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Study: Combined Administration of Oral THC and PEA Effective in Patients with Refractory Tourette’s Syndrome

New Haven, CT: The combined administration of oral THC (dronabinol) and the endogenous compound PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) is associated with symptomatic improvements in patients with treatment-resistant Tourette’s syndrome (TS), according to observational trial data published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

A team of Yale University researchers assessed the use of THX-110 (a proprietary combination of THC and PEA) over a period of 12 weeks in a cohort of patients with refractory TS.

Authors reported that participants’ tic symptoms improved within one week of treatment and continued to improve over time. Treatment with THX-110 was well-tolerated by the majority of subjects.

They concluded: “THX-110 treatment led to an average improvement in tic symptoms of roughly 20 percent, or a 7-point decrease in the YGTSS [Yale Global Tic Severity Scale] total tic score. … Our open trial of THX-110 treatment supports an emerging body of evidence suggesting that cannabinoid compounds may be effective for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome.”

Full text of the study, “A Phase-2 pilot study of a therapeutic combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and palmitoylethanolamide for adults with Tourette’s syndrome,” appears in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

Analysis: Legal Cannabis Sales Projected to Reach $43 Billion By 2025

Washington, DC: Retail marijuana sales in the United States are projected to reach $43 billion per year by 2025, according to an economic analysis by New Frontier Data.

Legal marijuana sales have increased to historic levels in recent months, with sales totaling nearly $6 billion in the first quarter of this year. Retail sales are projected to increase in the coming months as additional states – such as New Jersey and New York – begin licensing cannabis retailers.

The New Frontier Data analysis estimates that by 2025, “42 percent of total annual US cannabis demand will be met by legal purchases in regulated marketplaces.”

Of the $43 billion in projected annual sales in 2025, analysts estimate that roughly 62 percent of transactions will involve adult-use purchases while the remaining 38 percent will be medical cannabis sales.

For more information, see the NORML fact sheet ‘Marijuana Regulation: Impact on Health, Safety, Economy.’

Israel: Politicians Narrowly Reject Measure Depenalizing Cannabis Possession

Jerusalem, Israel: Members of the Israeli Parliament have narrowly defeated legislation that sought to depenalize activities involving the possession and cultivation of cannabis by adults.

The proposal sought to eliminate criminal and civil penalties involving the possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis and/or the home-cultivation of personal use quantities of the plant. The legislation failed in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) by a vote of 55 to 52.

Lawmakers decriminalized low-level marijuana possession offenses in 2017 – subjecting first-time and second-time offenders to a fine-only penalties. The production and prescribed use of medical cannabis is permitted nationwide.

Additional information on Israeli cannabis laws is available on Lexology.

Survey: Many Patients with Spine-Related Pain Turning to CBD

New York, NY: An estimated one-in-four patients with spine-related pain report using CBD to combat their symptoms, according to survey data published in the International Journal of Spine Surgery.

Researchers anonymously surveyed patients at a spinal surgery clinical in New York over a four-week period.

Twenty-five percent of respondents acknowledged either using or having used CBD for symptom control. Nearly half (46 percent) of users reported that it mitigated their pain. Thirty-three percent said that the use of CBD improved sleep and 20 percent said that it reduced their anxiety. By contrast, nearly 25 percent of users reported no therapeutic benefits from CBD.

Authors concluded: “This is the first study, to our knowledge, to examine the consumption patterns and perceived effects of CBD in patients with spinal pathology. This investigation demonstrates that CBD is a prevalent alternative therapy used by many patients with spine-related symptoms. As the popularity of the supplement is only expected to increase over time, spine surgeons must educate themselves on the evidence behind the use of CBD, understand its legal status, and be aware of the potential for mislabeling of ingredients.”

Full text of the study, “Prevalence of cannabidiol use in patients with spine complaints: Results of an anonymous survey,” appears in the International Journal of Spine Surgery.

New Hampshire: Governor Signs Law Expanding Patients’ Medical Cannabis Access

Concord, NH: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation into law expanding the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access.

House Bill 605 permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with opioid use disorder. Some studies have shown that the use of cannabis is associated with greater rates of treatment retention in patients with OUD and that cannabinoids may mitigate opioid-related cravings.

Separate provisions in the law permit non-resident patients who possess a valid registration from another state to legally possess and purchase limited quantities of medical cannabis from dispensaries in New Hampshire.

The new law takes effect in early October. Additional information is available from the NORML fact sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’

Alaska: Regulatory Change Permits for Greater THC Levels in Edible Products

Juneau, AK: Regulatory changes set to take effect on September 1, 2021 will allow adult-use cannabis retailers and manufacturers to provide edible products containing elevated quantities of THC.

The new rules raise the amount of THC permissible in a single serving of an adult-use edible product from 5mg of THC to 10mg. Multi-serving products will be permitted to contain up to 100mgs of THC – twice the amount previously permitted under the law. The regulatory changes were codified on August 2.

The rule change comes at a time when lawmakers in a handful of states have recently debated imposing new rules lowering the amount of THC permissible in certain products. Specifically, recently passed legislation in Colorado reduced the quantity of THC concentrates that younger patients may purchase in a single day, and called on public health officials to consider making further recommendations regarding the availability of higher-potency THC products.

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