New York, NY: The administration of oral CBD reduces cue-induced cravings and anxiety in subjects with a history of heroin use, according to clinical data published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
Investigators at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City assessed the effects of CBD versus placebo in 42 drug-abstinent participants with a history of heroin use. In contrast to placebo, CBD dosing of either 400mg or 800mg "significantly reduced both the craving and anxiety induced by drug cues … in the acute term. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures seven days after the final short-term exposure."
Researchers concluded, "CBD's potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder."
In observational studies, patients with legal access to cannabis typically reduce or eliminate their use of opioids. In clinical models, CBD administration has been shown to reduce cravings for tobacco. CBD dosing has also been associated with reduced cravings for methamphetamine in preclinical models.
Full text of the study, "Cannabidiol for the reduction of cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder: A double-blind randomized placebo controlled trial," appears in The American Journal of Psychiatry. Additional information appears in NORML's fact-sheet, "Relationship between marijuana and opioids."
Study: Past Cannabis Use Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality Among Heart Attack Patients
Aurora, CO: Heart attack patients with a past history of self-reported marijuana use possess greater in-hospital survival rates, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.
Investigators from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology compared the hospital records of over 3,800 heart-attack patients who acknowledged having consumed cannabis or had tested positive for it to those of over 1.2 million similarly matched controls.
Consistent with prior data, "[M]arijuana use prior to AMI (acute myocardial infarctions) was associated with decreased in-hospital mortality post AMI." In addition, "Average length of stay for marijuana users was shorter than non-marijuana users (4.51 days vs. 6.25 days, respectively)."
Cannabis-using subjects, on average, were 10 years younger than non-users. However, authors reported that "age-specific analysis and controlling for other potential confounders did not explain these findings." Patients with past cannabis exposure also were less likely to suffer from hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation.
Researchers concluded: "In this large, multiregional analysis, marijuana use reported during hospitalization for AMI was associated with a significantly decreased risk of in-hospital mortality. … Given the increasing prevalence and acceptance of marijuana use, these findings suggest that additional study is warranted to further investigate these discoveries and to identify potential mechanisms by which marijuana is associated with improved short-term outcomes following AMI and for mitigating the possible negative effects of concomitant substance use."
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 traumatic brain injuries, burn victims, those undergoing certain orthopedic surgeries, and those hospitalized with other forms of severe trauma.
Full text of the study, "Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction," appears in PLOS One.
Report: Majority Of Commercially Available CBD Products "Contaminated" With Heavy Metals
Washington, DC: CBD-infused products commercially available in retail stores and online often contain heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic, and typically contain less-than-advertised quantities of cannabidiol, according to a network news investigation of third-party testing results.
Investigators reviewed results for over 240 CBD-infused products. Their analysis determined that "70 percent" of the products were found to be "highly contaminated with heavy metals like lead and arsenic, herbicides like glyphosate and a host of other contaminants including pesticides."
In addition, "more than half" of the products tested contained percentages of CBD that were inconsistent with the product's labeling. Some products tested negative for any trace of CBD.
The results are consistent with those of previous reports – such as those here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here – which similarly determined that many commercially available CBD-infused products are of variable potency and may contain potentially harmful adulterants and heavy metals.
Earlier this month, NORML submitted written testimony to the US Food and Drug Administration recommending that the FDA provide regulatory guidelines governing product manufacturing, standardization, and quality.
Massachusetts: State Regulators Grant Initial Approval To Social Use Spaces
Boston, MA: Members of the state's Cannabis Control Commission decided late last week to advance plans to regulate social marijuana use facilities.
Regulators voted 3 to 2 in favor of the proposal, which seeks to establish a pilot program in up to a dozen self-selected cities throughout the state. However, implementing the plan will require additional legislative action from lawmakers.
To date, only Alaska has enacted statewide regulations governing on-site marijuana consumption sites. Similar legislation to establish "marijuana hospitality spaces" is before the Governor of Colorado. Earlier this month, city officials in Las Vegas approved a municipal ordinance to license on-site consumption spaces.
Maryland: Governor Approves Legislation Permitting Sale Of 'Medible' Products, Facilitating University-Sponsored Research Trials
Annapolis, MD: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has signed legislation into law permitting qualified patients to access cannabis-infused edible products from state-licensed facilities.
House Bill 17 permits dispensaries for the first time to sell "edible cannabis products." Separate provisions in the law permit academic institutions and research facilities seeking to conduct research on the "medical use, properties, or composition of cannabis" to obtain source materials from a state-licensed cannabis dispensary.
Federal regulations currently provide only a single source of cannabis for clinical research purposes, the University of Mississippi. However, clinicians wishing to conduct FDA-approved clinical trials on cannabis have long complained that federally-provided samples are of inferior quality. Recently published studies have reported samples contain far lower levels of both THC and CBD than do commercially available cannabis, and that federally grown cannabis strains are genetically similar to traditional hemp plants.
Texas: Lawmakers Advance Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill
Austin, TX: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House Bill 3703, to expand the state's low-THC medical access program. The bill's language must be finalized in conference committee prior to being sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
The measure expands the pool of patients eligible for low-THC therapy to include those diagnosed with: all epilepsy and seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, incurable neurological disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease), autism, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It also eliminates existing requirements that patients receive approval from a second physician prior to becoming eligible for the state's access program.
Under existing law, patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy may register to obtain low-THC (no more than 0.5 percent THC) oils produced by state-licensed manufacturers.