Study: Adults Often Substitute Cannabis for Prescription Medications
New York, NY: Adults who purchase retail cannabis typically report using it to mitigate pain and to improve sleep, and often use it in place of conventional medications, according to data published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
A team of investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the University of Miami assessed marijuana use trends among 1,000 adult use customers in Colorado. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said that they consumed cannabis to promote sleep, while 65 percent reported using cannabis to alleviate pain. Among those respondents with a history of taking prescription sleep aids, 83 percent reported either reducing or ceasing their use of those medicines. Among those respondents with a history of consuming prescription opioids, 88 percent reported mitigating or stopping their use.
"Our findings suggest that de facto medical use may be highly prevalent among adult use customers, and that access to an adult use cannabis market may influence individuals' use of other medications," authors concluded. "Our findings ... suggest that adult use customers may be similar to medical cannabis patients in their use of cannabis as a substitute for prescription analgesics and sleep aids. ... While adult use laws are frequently called 'recreational,' ... our findings suggest that many customers use cannabis for symptom relief."
Longitudinal studies assessing the use of prescription drugs following patients' enrollment in state-sanctioned medical cannabis access programs frequently report a decline in the use of conventional medicines, specifically opioids, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleep aids.
Full text of the study, "Use of cannabis to relieve pain and promote sleep by customers at an adult use dispensary," appears in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
Study: Patients Report Reduced Anxiety, Improved Sleep Following CBD Administration
Denver, CO: The administration of plant-derived CBD is associated with sustained reductions in anxiety and short-term improvements in sleep, according to clinical trial data published in The Permanente Journal.
A team of investigators with the University of Colorado and Colorado State University College of Health and Human Sciences assessed the adjunctive use of CBD in 72 patients seeking improvements in sleep and anxiety-related disorders. Patients took daily doses of CBD in a capsule form for a period of one to three months. Subjects typically took 25mg per day, although some subjects consumed daily doses as high as 175mgs.
Subjects reported reductions in anxiety and improvements in sleep following 30 days of CBD dosing. Patients who continued taking CBD experienced sustained reductions in anxiety symptoms during the total three-month trial period. Sleep scores stabilized after one month. CBD administration was "well tolerated" among study subjects, "with few patients reporting side effects."
Authors concluded, "CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations. ... Randomized and controlled trials are needed to provide definitive clinical guidance."
Full text of the study, "Cannabisiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series," appears in The Permanente Journal.
Clinical Trial: Metered Dosing of Herbal Cannabis Effective in Hospitalized
Haifa, Israel: Hospitalized patients administered cannabis via a metered dose inhaler report symptom relief and no severe adverse effects, according to clinical data published in the journal Palliative & Supportive Care.
Israeli investigators assessed the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of metered dose cannabis inhalation in a group of hospitalized patients. The device allowed for patients to self-administer precise quantities of cannabis in a vaporized (non-combustion) form.
All patients reported reduced pain symptoms following cannabis inhalation. Several subjects also reported relief from nausea and spasticity. No severe adverse effects were reported by any of the study's participants. Three-quarters of the participants reported the inhaler to be "easy to use."
Authors concluded, "[T]he current study results have demonstrated the feasibility of administrating cannabis using the Syqe Inhaler, allowing for the first time, to administer small, safe, accurate, precise, and reliable dosages of cannabinoids" in a hospital setting.
Full text of the study, "Cannabis treatment in hospitalized patients using the SYQE inhaler: Results of a pilot open-label study," appears in Palliative & Supportive Care.
Report: More Financial Institutions Are Working with the Marijuana Industry
Washington, DC: The total number of financial institutions willing to work directly with state-licensed cannabis business continues to grow, according to quarterly data provided by the US Treasury Department.
Since the close of last year, the number of banks actively servicing marijuana businesses increased over 10 percent. The total number of credit unions servicing the industry rose by nearly 20 percent.
Federal law discourages banks and other financial institutions from maintaining relationships with marijuana businesses because the plant remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. In February, NORML submitted testimony to Congress in support of legislation to amend federal law in a manner that facilitates relations between the cannabis businesses and the banking industry.
Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Among Pancreatitis Patients
Miami, FL: Acute pancreatitis (AP) patients with a history of cannabis use have lower hospitalization costs and possess lower rates of in-patient mortality than do those without exposure to the substance, according to data published in the journal Pancreas.
Researchers with the University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine assessed the impact of cannabis exposure on AP-related mortality, morbidity, and cost of care. Health records of over 2.8 million subjects with AP were analyzed for the study.
Investigators reported, "[T]he cannabis-exposed group had significantly lower in-patient mortality compared with the non-cannabis group. ... Cannabis-exposed patients also had decreased length of stay."
They concluded, "Cannabis-exposed hospitalized patients with AP had lower age-adjusted, mortality, morbidity, and hospitalization-cost than non-cannabis-exposed patients."
The findings are consistent with prior studies reporting that a history of past cannabis use is associated with reduced in-hospital mortality among patients admitted for heart attacks, traumatic brain injuries, burn-related injuries, and those hospitalized with other forms of severe trauma.
Full text of the study, "The impact of cannabis consumption on mortality, morbidity, and cost in acute pancreatitis patients in the United States: A 10-Years analysis of the National Inpatient Sample," appears in Pancreas.
Delaware: Lawmakers Advance Marijuana Bill Reducing Penalties for Juvenile Offenders
Dover, DE: Lawmakers have advanced legislation amending criminal penalties for juveniles who violate the state's marijuana possession laws. The bill now awaits action from Democratic Gov. John Carney.
Senate Bill 45 eliminates criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession offenses (up to one ounce) for those under the age of 21. Instead, juvenile offenders will face a fine-only civil penalty. Those with past criminal convictions for juvenile offenses will be eligible for the mandatory expungement of their records.
Under current law, marijuana possession offenses are decriminalized for those ages 21 and older, but remains criminalized for those under the age of 18. Those between the ages of 18 and 21 may be eligible for civil sanctions, depending on their past criminal history.
If signed into law, the new measure will take immediate effect.
Maine: Governor Signs Legislation Finalizing Rules for Retail Marijuana Sales
Wednesday, 03 July 2019
Augusta, ME: Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation into law late last week finalizing regulations to oversee the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults.
Commercial llicenses will initially (until 2021) be granted only to state residents. State employees, active members of law enforcement, those with felony drug convictions, and those who have been denied licenses in other states are ineligible to participate in the retail cannabis industry.
The regulations impose limits with regard to THC content and the appearance of cannabis-infused edible products. Retailers will not be permitted to sell customers more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and/or five grams of concentrate in a single day. Retailers will need to first receive local approval prior to applying for a state operator's license.
Maine voters initially approved the legalization of cannabis sales in November 2016, but lawmakers – led by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage – repeatedly took steps to delay the law's implementation.
New York: Rochester District Attorney to Cease Prosecuting Low Level Marijuana Offenses
Rochester, NY: The District Attorney for Monroe County (population 748,000) has announced her intent to no longer prosecute minor marijuana possession offenses. Her decision follows meetings with representatives of NORML's Rochester affiliate.
"A marijuana arrest and prosecution is a barrier for those trying to access public assistance, employment and education opportunities, when dealing with child protective services, and other life opportunities," Mary Kruger, Executive Director of Roc NORML, said. "This policy change is a step in the right direction and we are grateful that the District Attorney's office has decided to take this action."
The District Attorney's decision follows similar actions taken by municipal prosecutors from several other major cities, including Baltimore, Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri; and Norfolk, Virginia, among others.