#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Tue, 03 Mar 2020 04:20:21 PST
Clinical Trial: Oral THC Administration Associated with Opioid-Sparing Effects
Lakewood, CO: Trauma patients administered capsules containing oral THC consume fewer opioids than do similarly matched controls, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Trauma Surgery & Acute Care.
Investigators affiliated with the Saint Anthony Hospital and Medical Campus in Colorado assessed the off-label use of dronabinol (FDA-approved synthetic oral THC) on opioid consumption patterns in trauma patients with acute pain. Sixty-six patients participated in the study. Half of the participants received dronabinol and the other half did not.
Authors reported that patients administered oral THC experienced a "nine-fold greater reduction in opioid consumption" compared to controls. These opioid-sparing effects were most pronounced among participants who had prior experience with cannabis.
They concluded: "The addition of dronabinol resulted in reduced opioid consumption, ... suggesting a beneficial opioid-sparing effect of dronabinol in acutely painful conditions. ... Because our study showed that the opioid-sparing effect of dronabinol may be greatest in patients who use marijuana, use of dronabinol adjunctively may benefit nearly half of [Colorado's] population."
The study's findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting that patients typically mitigate their use of opioids following the initiation of cannabis/cannabinoid therapy.
Full text of the study, "Matched pilot study examining cannabis-based dronabinol for acute pain following traumatic injury," appears in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care.
Survey: Employers' Attitudes Shifting Regarding Drug Testing for Cannabis
Sunnyvale, CA: A growing number of companies are either abandoning marijuana-specific drug testing programs or reducing the frequency with which they test, according to nationwide survey data compiled by the online recruitment website Simply Hired Incorporated.
Fifty-five percent of hiring managers polled in the survey said that their companies do not test current employees for off-the-job marijuana use. Among those hiring managers who work for companies that do engage in testing, 40 percent said that "they do it less often than in the past." Larger-sized companies (1,000+ employees) were far more likely to utilize pre-employment testing for cannabis than were smaller-sized companies.
Nearly 70 percent of hiring managers said that their company would be "okay" with an employee using cannabis while away from work "as long as the company remains unaware of it." Among employees surveyed, 75 percent said testing positive for marijuana should not be grounds for automatic termination.
According to a comprehensive review of over 10,000 peer-reviewed studies by the National Academy of Sciences in 2017, "There is no or insufficient evidence to support ... a statistical association between cannabis use and ... occupational accidents or injuries."
Full text of the SimplyHired.com survey is online.
Study: Sickle Cell Disease Patients Who Use Cannabis Less Likely to Require Hospitalization
New Haven, CT: Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients who consume cannabis on a daily basis have lower rates of hospital admissions than do similarly matched non-users, according to data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
Investigators with the Yale School of Medicine and the Medical College of Wisconsin assessed hospitalization rates among SCD patients with and without a history of cannabis use.
They reported that SCD patients who used cannabis daily had "1.8 fewer annual [hospital] admissions and 1.2 fewer emergency room (ER) visits" as compared to non-users.
Authors concluded, "We show that people with SCD with more severe pain crisis are more likely to use daily cannabis, yet have lower rates of hospital admission and ER use as compared with others with similar disease severity and pain impact."
The finding is consistent with that of a 2018 study which reported reduced rates of hospitalization among SCD patients who initiated cannabis therapy.
Although the use of medicinal cannabis for symptom management is relatively common among SCD patients, clinical trial data assessing its safety and efficacy in this patient population remains lacking.
Full text of the study, "Daily cannabis users with sickle cell disease show fewer admissions than others with similar pain complaints," appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
Seniors More Frequently Turning to Cannabis
New York, NY: Cannabis use is increasing among those ages 65 and older, according to data published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Researchers affiliated with the New York School of Medicine assessed trends in self-reported cannabis use among seniors. They reported that 4.2 percent of seniors acknowledged engaging in past-year cannabis consumption in 2018, up from 2.4 percent in 2015 and 0.4 percent in 2006.
The study's findings are consistent with those of prior papers similarly reporting an uptick in marijuana use among older Americans. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, marijuana use among seniors is associated with self-reported improvements in pain management, day-to-day functioning, and in their overall health and quality of life.
Full text of the study, "Trends in cannabis use among older adults in the United States, 2015-2018," appears in JAMA Internal Medicine.
American Bar Association Calls for Marijuana Banking Access
Chicago, IL: The American Bar Association (ABA) has adopted a resolution urging for the passage of federal legislation facilitating banks and other financial institutions to legally interact with licensed cannabis businesses.
The resolution calls for the "enactment of [federal] laws to ensure that it shall not constitute a federal crime for banks and financial institutions to provide cannabis-related services."
Under existing law, banks are discouraged from engaging with state-licensed marijuana businesses. In September, members of the US House of Representatives voted 321 to 103 in favor of HR 1595: The SAFE Banking Act, amending federal law so that financial institutions may work directly with state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal repercussions. The bill now awaits action from the Senate Banking Committee. However, Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-IN) has expressed opposition to the measure.
In 2019, the ABA adopted a separate resolution urging Congress "to enact legislation to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act." With over 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is among the largest voluntary organizations in the world.
Kansas City: Mayor's Office Accepting Applications from Those Seeking Pardons for Marijuana Convictions
Kansas City, MO: The Kansas City Mayor's Office has launched an online system to facilitate the process of pardoning those with low-level marijuana convictions. Those seeking pardons may apply online through the city's website.
City Mayor Quinton Lucas had previously pledged to pardon past offenders, stating that those with low-level convictions should not have to "live with that stigma."
Upon launching the new program, he added: "I want to empower people to be able to find work, take care of their families, make a decent living and every day we will find ways to make their effort to do that in Kansas City just a little bit easier. This is but one step."
An estimated 5,000 local residents have received criminal convictions for marijuana possession since 2008. In 2017, voters approved a municipal ballot measure decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses involving 35 grams or less.