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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 07 Oct 2014 04:20:21 PST

Study: Five Percent Of Californians Report Having Used Cannabis To Treat A Serious Medical Condition

"Our study contradicts commonly held beliefs that medical marijuana is being overused by healthy individuals"

Sacramento, CA: Five percent of Californians say that they have consumed cannabis therapeutically in the treatment of a serious medical condition, according to population-based surveillance data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Investigators with the Public Health Institute in Sacramento assessed survey data collected from a random sampling of 7,525 Californians age 18 or older. Data was initially collected in 2012 as part of the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System telephone survey. Participants in the survey were asked, 'Have you ever used medical marijuana for a serious medical condition?' This study is the first to use population-based surveillance data to estimate the extent of medical cannabis use in California.

Researchers reported that some 5.7 percent of men and 4.6 percent of women acknowledged having ever use cannabis medicinally. Of these, 92 percent reported a high degree of satisfaction with cannabis therapy. Californians were most likely to report having used cannabis therapeutically to address symptoms associated with chronic pain (31 percent), arthritis (11 percent), migraine (8 percent), and cancer (7 percent).

Self-reported medical marijuana consumers were more likely to be Caucasian and were somewhat more likely to be younger in age, the study found. However, authors reported, "Even though those who are younger and white are more likely to report ever using medical marijuana than their older or non-white counterparts, our study shows that medical marijuana is used by a diverse population and is not limited to any specific age, gender, racial/ethnic or education group."

Authors concluded: [I]t is clear that (California's medical marijuana law) is helping people who are sick and use medical marijuana to treat serious medical conditions. ... Our study contradicts commonly held beliefs that medical marijuana is being overused by healthy individuals ... under the pretense that they have a serious medical condition and that they 'need' marijuana to treat it."

Full text of the study, "Prevalence of medical marijuana use in California, 2012," will appear in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Study: CBD Administration Improves Quality Of Life In Patients With Parkinson's Disease

Ribeirão Preto, Brazil: The administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, is associated with improved quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease, according clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Investigators at the University of São Paulo in Brazil assessed the efficacy of CBD versus placebo in 21 subjects with Parkinson's. Authors reported that the administration of 300 mg doses of CBD per day was associated with "significantly different mean total scores" in subjects' well-being and quality of life compared to placebo.

Separate assessments of CBD versus placebo reported that the cannabinoid did not appear to mitigate general symptoms of the disease, nor was it shown to be neuroprotective.

"This study points to a possible effect of CBD in improving measures related to the quality of life of PD patients without psychiatric comorbidities," investigators concluded. They added, "We found no statistically significant differences concerning the motor symptoms of PD; however, studies involving larger samples and with systematic assessment of specific symptoms of PD are necessary in order to provide stronger conclusions regarding the action of CBD in PD."

Clinical reports have previously indicated that both CBD and/or whole-plant cannabis may address various symptom's of Parkinson's disease, including improvement in motor symptoms, pain reduction, improved sleep, and a reduction in the severity of psychotic episodes.

Survey data of patients with PD indicates that almost half of all subjects who try cannabis report experiencing subjective relief from the plant.

Full text of the study, "Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease: An exploratory double-blind trial," will appear in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Maryland: Reduced Marijuana Possession Penalties Take Effect

Annapolis, MD: Legislation took effect on Wednesday reducing marijuana possession penalties to a noncriminal offense.

Senate Bill 364, signed into law in April, amends statewide penalties for marijuana possession offenses involving ten grams or less from a criminal misdemeanor (presently punishable by arrest, up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a criminal record) to a non-arrestable, non-criminal, fine-only offense ($100 fine for first-time offenders, $250 for second-time offenders).

The new law does not reclassify penalties involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia, which remains a criminal offense.

A 2013 ACLU analysis of state-by-state marijuana arrests data reported that Maryland has the fourth highest rate of marijuana possession arrests in the nation.

Nearly 20 additional states, as well as the District of Columbia, now classify the minor possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes as a non-arrestable offense.

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