#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org media :: news - Thu, 07 Nov 2019 04:20:21 PST
Case Reports: Cannabis Extracts Effective in Patients with Myotonic Dystrophy
Munich, Germany: The administration of cannabinoid-infused oils containing THC and CBD is associated with symptomatic improvements in patients with myotonic dystrophy, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Neurology. Myotonic dystrophy occurs in adulthood and is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness.
German researchers assessed the administration of CBD/THC oil over four weeks in six patients with treatment-resistant myotonia and myalgia.
They reported, "All patients reported an improvement of myotonia, especially in weeks three and four of treatment."
Authors concluded, "These first empirical results suggest a potentially beneficial role of CBD/THC in alleviating myotonia and should encourage further research in this field including a randomized-controlled trial on larger cohorts."
Researchers associated with a US-based pharmaceutical company have identified similar clinical observations and are also seeking to commence randomized patient trials.
Full text of the study, "A role for cannabinoids in the treatment of myotonia? Report of compassionate use in a small cohort of patients" appears in the Journal of Neurology.
USDA Issues Hemp Regulations
Washington, DC: The United States Department of Agriculture has issued interim rules governing the commercial cultivation of hemp. The rules are still subject to a mandatory 60-day public comment period following their publication in the Federal Register.
States the agency, "If a State or Indian Tribes wants to have primary regulatory authority over the production of hemp in that State or territory of that Indian Tribe they may submit, for the approval of the Secretary, a plan concerning the monitoring and regulation of such hemp production. ... With the publication of the interim rule, USDA will begin to implement the hemp program including reviewing State and Tribal plans and issuing licenses under the USDA hemp plan."
Legislation signed into law in 2018 mandates the USDA to promulgate regulations and guidelines to facilitate the licensed production of industrial hemp and products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids. Under federal law, cannabis plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance.
Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, said that the agency will "use the 2020 growing season to test drive the interim rule to guide any adjustments made in the final rule." Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who spearheaded the 2018 law change, said that the USDA's latest actions "will help farmers around the country continue pioneering this crop into the 21st century. ... There will inevitably be ups and downs as this new industry develops, but today's announcement is another crucial step (forward)."
Full text of the interim rules is available online.
Study: THC Metabolite Present for Extended Periods of Time in Young Adults Following Abstinence
Boston, MA: The inert THC metabolite, carboxy-THC may be present for periods of time exceeding 25 days in young adults who have ceased their use of the substance, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
A team of investigators from Harvard Medical School, John Hopkins University, and Massachusetts General Hospital assessed carboxy-THC detection times in a group of 70 adolescents and young adults (ages 15 to 25) during one-month of monitored abstinence.
Forty percent of subjects tested positive for the presence of carboxy-THC in urine for time periods exceeding 25 days. Investigators estimated that at least some subjects would continue to test positive for up to 80 days. Subjects' sex and body mass index influenced carboxy-THC elimination patterns.
Authors concluded, "[These] findings underscore that, as with adults, detectable cannabinoid metabolites do not necessarily indicate recent use in adolescents and young adults. ... Findings desperately call novel assays that can be administered at single time-points that can detect recent cannabis exposure and intoxication in both adults and adolescents."
Prior studies, such as those here and here, have identified the presence of carboxy-THC for periods of time exceeding 80 to 100 days post-abstinence in former adult users. As a result, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges: "Detection of total THC metabolites in urine, primarily THC-COOH-glucuronide, only indicates prior THC exposure. Detection time is well past the window of intoxication and impairment. ... It is ... currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations."
Full text of the study, "Urinary 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol elimination in adolescent and young adult cannabis users during one month of sustained and biochemically-verified abstinence," appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Survey: Six in Ten Physicians Say Cannabis Is a "Legitimate Medical Therapy"
Rochester, MN: Nearly six in ten primary care physicians believe that medical cannabis is a "legitimate" therapeutic option, according to survey data published in the journal BMC Family Practice.
Investigators with the Mayo Clinic surveyed the attitudes of primary care providers in a large Minnesota-based health care system.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed with the statement that "medical cannabis was a legitimate medical therapy." That finding is consistent with both national and state-specific surveys similarly showing that most doctors are supportive of medical cannabis access.
Nonetheless, half of respondents expressed discomfort in talking to their patients about medical cannabis options, a finding that is also consistent with prior data. Many expressed a desire to receive additional education about cannabis in order to become better versed in the subject.
Authors concluded: "Providers generally believe that medical cannabis is a legitimate medical therapy. Significant opportunities exist to: 1) close knowledge gaps for clinicians through the collection and dissemination of information about the effectiveness of medical cannabis for state qualifying conditions; 2) alleviate concerns about drug interactions by exploring opportunities for information sharing between dispensaries and traditional medical practices; and 3) expand the knowledge base about how medical cannabis impacts patient QOL (quality of life)."
Full text of the study, "A survey of the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge about medical cannabis among primary care providers," appears in BMC Family Practice.
Philadelphia, PA: Many spinal cord injury (SCI) patients with a history of cannabis use say that it provides them "great relief," according to data published in the journal Spinal Cord Series and Cases.
A team of investigators affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia assessed cannabis utilization and attitudes in a national sample of patients with SCI.
Forty-two percent of respondents reported being either past users or current users of medical cannabis. Among them, 63 percent reported that cannabis offers "great relief" from symptoms – including the alleviation of pain and spasticity – while 30 percent reported that it provided more limited relief. Only six percent said that cannabis provided no relief from SCI symptoms. A majority of respondents also said that medical cannabis was more effective than prescription medications in treating their condition and that it possesses fewer adverse side effects.
Authors concluded: "Our findings support the notion that MC (medical cannabis) may have an important role – either as adjuvant therapy or as monotherapy – in treating a number of common symptoms experienced by individuals living with SCI. There is certainly a need for expedited clinical trials evaluating efficacy of MC in chronic SCI, and no justification for cannabis' continued classification as a Schedule 1 drug, a designation indicating that it has no accepted medical use."
Full text of the study, "Utilization of medicinal cannabis for pain by individuals with spinal cord injury," appears in Spinal Cord Series and Cases.
CDC Tallies Over 1,600 Lung Injury Incidents Linked to Vaping E-Liquids
Washington, DC: Updated data provided by the US Centers for Disease Control has identified a total of 1,604 incidents of lung injury related to the use of portable vaping cartridge products, including 34 deaths.
A specific cause of the illness remains unknown, though some experts have speculated that the injuries may be related to additive ingredients in the e-liquid products, such as Vitamin E oil, or the presence of a specific metal-binding agent in certain types of portable cartridges. The agency states that the overwhelming majority of products associated with the illness were obtained via the unregulated "informal" market.
The CDC's latest advisory concludes: "To date, no single compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury), and there might be more than one cause. Because most patients report using THC-containing products before the onset of symptoms, CDC recommends that persons should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC. Persons should not buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC, off the street and should not modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments. In addition, because the specific compound or ingredient causing lung injury is not yet known, and while the investigation continues, persons should consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products."