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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 10 Mar 2020 04:20:21 PST

Study: Cannabis Administration Associated with Opioid-Sparing Effects in Cancer Pain Patients

Camden, NJ: The adjunctive use of medical cannabis is associated with opioid-sparing effects and overall improvements in symptom management in patients suffering from cancer pain, according to data published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

A team of researchers affiliated with the Cooper University Teaching Hospital in Camden, New Jersey assessed trends in opioid consumption and symptom control in patients who did and did not consume medical cannabis.

They reported that those in the medical cannabis group were more likely to report improvements in mood and experience a delay in the dose escalation of their use of opioids. Medical cannabis patients reported pain relief at a level that was analogous to those who did not use the substance.

Investigators concluded: "Our study found that the addition of MMJ (medical marijuana) to patients' palliative care regimen withstood the development of tolerance and reduced the rate of opioid use, over a significantly longer follow-up period than patients solely utilizing opioids. ... MMJ(+) improved oncology patients' ESAS scores [a measurement of pain, nausea, and anxiety) despite opioid dose reductions and should be considered a viable adjuvant therapy for palliative management."

The study's findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting that the initiation of medical cannabis therapy influences patients' opioid consumption patterns.

Full text of the study, "The efficacy of medical marijuana in the treatment of cancer-related pain," appears in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Study: Adjunctive Use of Cannabis Improves Symptom Management in Patients with Fibromyalgia

Milan, Italy: The adjunctive use of whole-plant medical cannabis extracts is associated with improvements in symptom management in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), according to clinical data published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.

A team of Italian investigators assessed the administration of cannabis extracts in 102 FM patients who had not previously responded favorably to conventional medical treatments. The adjunctive use of cannabis over a six-month period was associated with improvements in patients' anxiety and depression in half of the study's participants. Just under half of subjects reported improvements in sleep, and a third acknowledged a reduction in overall disease severity.

Authors concluded, "This observational study shows that adjunctive MCT (medical cannabis treatment) offers a possible clinical advantage in FM patients, especially in those with sleep dysfunctions."

The findings are similar to those of prior observational studies, such as those here, here, here and here, reporting that medical cannabis use reduces pain and other symptoms in FM patients.

Full text of the study, "Adding medical cannabis to standard analgesic treatment for fibromyalgia: A prospective observational trial," appears in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.

Poll: More Than Two in Three US Latinos Back Legalizing Marijuana

Santa Monica, CA: More than two in three US Hispanic adults support legalizing marijuana, according to nationwide polling data compiled by the digital media firm H Code.

Pollsters surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 1,300 English- and Spanish-speaking US Hispanic respondents. Sixty-eight percent of those polled said that they are favor of legalizing marijuana in the United States.

That percentage is consistent with other nationwide polls of US adults, such as those here, here, and here, finding that two-thirds of respondents believe that the adult use of cannabis ought to be legal. By contrast, prior polls of Hispanic-only voters had often reported that Latinos were less likely than the general population to express support for legalizing cannabis.

Survey: Smoking Cannabis Remains Most Popular Method of Ingestion

Seattle, WA: Adults who consume cannabis are most likely to smoke it, according to data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers analyzed data from over 6,100 adult cannabis consumers in twelve states. Ninety-one percent of respondents acknowledging having smoked herbal cannabis, with 59 percent reporting that inhalation "was their only mode of marijuana use." By contrast, only 25 percent of respondents reported having ever used cannabis-infused edible products, and only 20 percent reported ever having vaporized cannabis. Five percent of subjects reported exclusively consuming marijuana edibles, and two percent said that they only vaped cannabis.

The data is consistent with prior studies, such as those here and here, showing that the majority of people who self-report consuming cannabis do so by methods that involve smoking the substance.

Full text of the study, "Modes or marijuana use: Smoking, vaping, eating, and dabbing – Results from the 2016 BRFSS in 12 states," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Vermont: House Members Pass Amended Marijuana Retailers Bill

Montpelier, VT: Members of the Vermont House of Representatives have approved legislation, Senate Bill 54, regulating the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana to adults. Because Representatives made several changes to the bill, it must now be reconsidered by members of the Senate, who approved the initial version of the legislation last year by a veto-proof majority.

The legislation establishes rules and regulations governing a commercial cannabis industry in the state. The measure provides regulations for licensed producers and retailers, establishes tax rates on retail sales of cannabis products, and sets potency caps on specific products, such as concentrates.

In 2018, lawmakers approved legislation legalizing the personal possession and private cultivation of marijuana by those ages 21 and older. However, that law did not establish a structure for the retail production and sale of marijuana.

To date, only one state — Illinois — has taken legislative action to authorize adult-use cannabis sales.

It remains uncertain where Republican Gov. Phil Scott stands on the bill. In the past, he has expressed skepticism toward the notion of legalizing marijuana sales, but some insiders indicate that he has softened his stance in recent months.

Maine: Medical Cannabis Is Now State's Third Largest Economic Market

Augusta, Maine: Patients purchased an estimated $112 million worth of medical cannabis-related products in 2019, according to newly released Maine tax data.

The annual revenues related to medical cannabis are more than the total revenues generated by the sales of blueberries, maple syrup, apples, herring, and oysters combined. Only the state's lobster industry and potato industry bring in more annual revenue.

Some three-quarters of the revenue generated from medical cannabis (85.3 million) came from sales by caregivers to patients. Although the state's medical cannabis access program has been operational for some two decades, Maine officials only began tracking caregiver-related tax revenue in February of 2019.

Licensed retail adult-use marijuana sales are anticipated to begin in June.

Utah: State's First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opens

Salt Lake City, UT: The first of Utah's fourteen licensed medical cannabis retail providers opened for business this week, just one day after Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed legislation finalizing regulations for the state's nascent access program.

On Sunday, the Governor signed Senate Bill 121 into law. The legislation, which further amends Utah's two-year-old medical cannabis law, includes updated regulations regarding the packaging of raw cannabis, among other changes. That same day, officials instituted the state's online verification system for its patient registry.

On Monday, the state's first medical cannabis retailer opened for business in Salt Lake City. Two additional retailers are expected to open within the coming months.

Voters in 2018 approved Proposition 2, which legalized the use and dispensing of medical cannabis to qualified patients. Shortly thereafter, lawmakers held a special legislative session where they voted to repeal and replace the initiative law with their own, more restrictive legislation. Since that time, lawmakers have made several additional changes to the law.

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