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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 06 Jun 2017 04:20:21 PST

Study: Cannabis Use Not An Independent Risk Factor For Increased Likelihood Of Psychotic Symptoms

Philadelphia, PA: There exists "minimal evidence" in support of an association between cannabis use by itself and the onset of psychotic symptoms in young people, according to data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Investigators from the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychiatry assessed the relationship between drug use and the onset of psychotic symptoms in a cohort of 4,171 young people ages 14 to 21. Authors reported that "neither frequent nor early cannabis use predicted increased odds of psychosis spectrum classification" after researchers adjusted for potential confounders (e.g., concurrent use of other substances, comorbid psychopathology, and trauma exposure).

They concluded, "Overall, we found minimal evidence for associations between cannabis use by itself and psychosis spectrum symptoms."

The findings are similar to those of a 2015 longitudinal study reporting that early-onset cannabis use is not positively associated with a greater risk of psychosis or other mental health disorders in mid-life.

A 2016 literature review published in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports concluded that cannabis use likely does not cause the psychosis, but rather, that subjects susceptible to the disorder may be more likely to engage in habitual use of the substance.

Full text of the study, "Cannabis use, polysubstance use, and psychosis spectrum symptoms in a community-based sample of U.S. youth," appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Study: Maternal Cannabis Use Not Associated With Adverse Neurodevelopment

Baltimore, MD: Cannabis exposure in utero is not associated with any significant, long-lasting adverse outcomes in offspring, according to a scientific review published online ahead of print in the journal Preventive Medicine.

A pair of researchers from the University of Maryland, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry reviewed four prospective cohort studies evaluating the long-term health outcomes of in utero cannabis exposure.

They concluded, "The evidence base for maternal-infant health outcomes of cannabis use in pregnancy is more robust than for many other substances. ... Although there is a theoretical potential for cannabis to interfere with neurodevelopment, human data drawn from four prospective cohorts have not identified any long-term or long lasting meaningful differences between children exposed in utero to cannabis and those not."

A 2016 literature review published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology similarly reported that the moderate use of cannabis during pregnancy is not an independent risk factor for adverse neonatal outcomes such as low birth weight.

A 2017 study reported that maternal marijuana use was not independently associated with adverse effects on their children's educational attainment. By contrast, maternal alcohol use was associated with detrimental educational outcomes in the cohort.

Full text of the study, "Cannabis and pregnancy: Maternal child health implications during a period of drug policy liberalization," appears in Preventive Medicine. Additional information is available online from NORML.

Study: CBD Administration Mitigates Seizure Frequency In Phase III Trial

New York, NY: The oral administration of CBD (cannabidiol) reduces seizure frequency in children with intractable epilepsy, according to placebo-controlled, randomized trial data published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A team of investigators from the United States and England evaluated the effects of pharmaceutically standardized cannabidiol extracts (aka Epidiolex) versus placebo in 120 children and young adults with treatment-resistant Dravet syndrome.

They reported, "The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo."

In April, researchers announced similar results in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, another severe form of epilepsy.

The lead author of the new study, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center said that the findings warrant the immediate rescheduling of marijuana under federal law. "Cannabis is approved in 20 countries for spasms in multiple sclerosis," he said. "So to say there's no evidence of efficacy is simply untrue. ... They have to de-schedule this drug. It's just not fair to the research and clinical communities, or to the patients. It's medieval."

The manufacturer of Epidiolex, British biotechnology company GW Pharmaceuticals, is seeking FDA approval for its product for the treatment of severe seizure disorders.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Trial of cannabidiol for drug resistant seizures in the Dravet syndrome," appears in The New England Journal of Medicine. Additional information regarding the efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy is available online from NORML.

Arizona: Governor Vetoes Hemp Licensing Measure

Phoenix, AZ: Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has vetoed legislation, Senate Bill 1337, that sought to establish regulations for the creation of a regulated statewide hemp industry.

The measure determined that "the development and use of industrial hemp can improve the [state's] economy and agricultural vitality," and sought to govern its "licensing, production, and management."

Over 30 states have enacted similar laws regulating the plant's cultivation for either research or commercial purposes. Most recently, South Carolina adopted legislation expanding its 2014 hemp research program.

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