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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 16 Jun 2020 04:20:21 PST

Study: No Association Between Recent Cannabis Use and Increased Stroke Risk

Jackson, MS: Cannabis exposure is not associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, according to observational data published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice.

A team of investigators affiliated with the University of Mississippi, Department of Neurology assessed whether or not those testing positive for cannabis during a hospital admission screen were more likely to suffer from an acute ischemic stroke as compared to those who tested negative.

Researchers identified no link between recent cannabis exposure and either an increased or decreased risk of stroke after adjusting for confounders such as age, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

They concluded: "Studies that have analyzed the association between cannabis use and acute ischemic stroke have provided conflicting results. ... This is one of the few studies analyzing the association of recent cannabis use and acute ischemic stroke using admission urine toxicology test independent of polysubstance use. Even though our study has limitations, we did not find an independent association between recent cannabis use and the incidence of acute ischemic stroke. Further studies utilizing urine toxicology tests with larger sample size and including dosage of cannabis exposure should be done."

The findings are inconsistent with those of a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Stroke which reported a higher risk of younger-onset stroke-related hospitalization among those who with a history of cannabis use. NORML has long cautioned that those with a history of cardiovascular disease may be at greater potential risk for adverse events from cannabis exposure.

Full text of the study, "Association between recent cannabinoid use and acute ischemic stroke," appears in Neurology: Clinical Practice.

NORML Demands NIDA Acknowledge Marijuana Prohibition's Burden on Public Health

Washington, DC: NORML leadership on Monday sent an open letter to Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), asking her to recognize the detrimental impact that racially-discriminatory marijuana law enforcement practices have had on the public health of communities of color.

NORML's letter was written in response to a recent blog post authored by Director Volkow in which she recognizes, "Whites and Black/African Americans use drugs at similar rates, but it is overwhelmingly the latter group who are singled out for arrest and incarceration." The Director further acknowledges that the disproportionate enforcement of anti-drug laws has historically been utilized "as a lever to suppress people of a particular race," and that this abuse of law enforcement power "has had devastating effects on communities of color." She concludes, "I look forward to working with ... advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders ... to eradicate discrimination and promote equality."

NORML responded: "America's decades-long prohibition of marijuana was founded upon racism and bigotry. ... Today, the modern era of marijuana prohibition continues to be disproportionately applied to people of color. ... That is why we are asking [you] to demand an end to marijuana prohibition."

The letter continued: "We believe that taking this public position would be consistent with NIDA's mission to promote and enhance public health. NORML recognizes that, from a public health perspective, cannabis is not altogether harmless. ... But we believe, and based upon your recent public statements we have faith that you do too, that marijuana's potential public health risks to the individual adult consumer pale in comparison to the known public health burden imposed by its continued criminalization."

It concluded: "Will marijuana legalization and regulation alone fix over a century of systemic racism in America? No. But nonetheless we understand, all too well, the role that marijuana criminalization has played – and continues to play – in upholding the systemic racism that NIDA has now gone on record to condemn. That is why, in the interest of both enhancing public health and confronting the institutional racism that plagues our nation, we ask you and NIDA to publicly acknowledge that the perpetuation of the criminal enforcement of marijuana prohibition, as well as the stigmatization of those adults who use it responsibly, is far more detrimental to public health than is the behavior these policies are intended to discourage."

Study: Medical Cannabis Therapy Reduces Prescription Drug Use Among Nursing Home Patients

Tel Aviv, Israel: The use of medical cannabis mitigates symptoms and reduces the need for prescription medications among elderly nursing home patients, according to a study published in the journal Advances in Health and Behavior.

Israeli investigators assessed the impact of medical cannabis consumption on symptom management and prescription drug use in a cohort of 19 elderly patients over a one-year period. Participants in the study were enrolled in Israel's federal marijuana access program and were able to choose from four select strains of cannabis. All of the study's subjects were dependent on nursing home care.

Researchers reported, "All patients experienced immediate relief from medical cannabis usage." These effects included reduced pain, increased appetite, better mood, improved sleep, and dramatic improvements in symptoms of spasticity.

Authors further reported that cannabis therapy was associated with a reduction in subjects' use of prescription medications – a finding that is consistent with prior studies. Overall, participants discontinued taking a total of 39 prescription medicines during the study period. Patients were most likely to eliminate their use of opioids, anxiolytics, and anti-depressants after initiating cannabis therapy.

They concluded, "We found an overall improvement in the patients, including of their symptoms and medical conditions, cessation or reduction of traditional drug usage, and a general improvement in life quality. ... Overall, 39 dosages of prescription drugs were cancelled for the 19 elderly individuals included in this research, indicating that medical cannabis can be an effective treatment that also reduces environmental drug load."

Full text of the study, "Will medical cannabis treatment reduce pharmaceutical residues in the aquatic environment? A case study from an elderly nursing home," appears in Advances in Health and Behavior.

Clinical Trial: Hemp-Derived CBD Supplement Associated with Improved HDL Cholesterol Levels

Stow, OH: The daily administration of a commercially available, hemp-derived CBD oil extract is associated with improved HDL cholesterol levels, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Investigators affiliated with The Center for Applied Health Sciences in Ohio and Lindenwood University in Missouri assessed the health effects of a commercially available hemp extract versus placebo in 65 overweight but otherwise healthy participants. Extracts contained 15mg of CBD. Participants consumed either the extract or a placebo daily for a period of six weeks.

Researchers reported that those taking CBD experienced improved HDL (high-density lipoprotein aka "good") cholesterol levels as compared to controls. Subjects consuming the extract also acknowledged improvements in sleep and an overall improvement in their quality of life. No significant adverse events were reported.

Authors concluded, "Overall, these findings suggest that supplementation with this hemp extract at the provided dosage in the men and women studied exhibited improvements in HDL cholesterol, tended to support psychometric measures of perceived sleep quantity and stress response, perceived life pleasure, and is well tolerated in healthy human subjects."

Several observational studies have previously identified an association between cannabis use and elevated HDL levels, along with other decreased metabolic risk factors.

Full text of the study, "Effects of hemp extract on markers of wellness, stress resilience, recovery and clinical biomarkers of safety in overweight, but otherwise healthy subjects," appears in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Oklahoma: Cannabis Sales Total Nearly $300 Million in First Half of 2020

Oklahoma City, OK: Retail sales of medical cannabis have increased month-over-month in Oklahoma in 2020 and now total nearly $300 million for the year according to data provided by state Tax Commission and the Medical Marijuana Authority.

Sales of medical cannabis products in May were estimated to be $74 million, the highest monthly total ever recorded in the state. Total sales year-to-date have thus far been just over $275 million.

With nearly 300,000 patients registered with state officials to access medical cannabis products, Oklahoma has the highest number of marijuana patients per capita of any state.

Connecticut: Lawmakers Expand Patient Pool Eligible for Medical Cannabis

Hartford, CT: Regulators have expanded the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access to include those with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and persistent (lasting more than six-months) chronic pain.

Physicians in Connecticut have the option of recommending cannabis therapy for patients suffering from over 30 distinct conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress. Over 41,000 residents are registered with the state to obtain and consume medical cannabis products.

Iowa: Lawmakers Pass Legislation Amending State's Medical CBD Access Program

Des Moines, IA: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House File 2589, to amend state law permitting qualified patients access to high CBD/low-THC products.

The measure expands the pool of patients eligible for licensed CBD products to include those with post-traumatic stress and chronic pain conditions. It also allows physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and/or podiatrists the ability to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

It replaces the existing three percent THC cap on state-regulated CBD products with new requirements prohibiting dispensaries from dispensing "more than a combined total of four and one-half grams of total THC to a patient ... in a 90-day period." This threshold will not apply to patients suffering from a terminal illness or to those whose physicians have determined greater quantities of THC are necessary in order to sufficiently treat the patient's debilitating medical condition.

Separate provisions in the legislation require licensed dispensaries to "employ a pharmacist or pharmacy technician" on staff "for the purpose of making dosing recommendations" to patients.

Currently, only three of the state's five eligible dispensaries are operational, as is only one of the state's two eligible cannabis manufacturers. Critics of the state's limited access program have called it "the most bureaucratic, expensive, and ineffective program in the country."

The measure now awaits action from Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. Last year, the Governor vetoed legislation that removed the three percent THC limit on cannabis products and permitted chronic pain patients to be eligible for cannabis therapy.

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