WeedLife News Network

Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

According to the World Health Organization cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide.

It is estimated that as many as 1 out of every 6 deaths worldwide are caused by cancer.

Roughly 22% of cancer deaths were the result of tobacco use, with obesity, a lack of sufficient fruit and vegetable consumption, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol use also being major contributors to developing cancer.

Anyone that has battled cancer or have a loved one that did will be quick to tell you that it is absolutely horrific.

It’s easily one of the saddest things someone can endure.

The window to petition the state to add new medical marijuana qualifying conditions has reopened through Dec. 31.

Advocates in the past have petitioned for the addition of anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder to the list of Ohio's 22 qualifying conditions for medicinal cannabis. Those conditions have been previously rejected by a state medical review board, though.

At one time, the board seemed to be in favor of approving anxiety and autism in particular but ultimately sided with officials who swayed their decision to reject them. That includes a doctor from Nationwide Children's Hospital who argued in 2019 that there is little formal research on the effectiveness of marijuana in treating these conditions.

Of course, marijuana is still a federally illegal substance, which inherently prevents research into its possible medical applications, creating a chicken-and-egg problem from a research perspective. This has contributed to disparate views on these conditions — and whether they're appropriate to treat with marijuana — across the country as states set their own rules. Pennsylvania permits both anxiety and autism as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, for example, while Michigan allows the latter but not the former.

According to guidance from regulators with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, a petition will be rejected if the condition has been previously reviewed by the board and rejected, "unless new scientific research that supports the request is offered."

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Researchers in Brazil have found that cannabis oil can be an effective treatment for patients with fibromyalgia, according to the results of a clinical trial completed recently. An abstract of the study, “Ingestion of THC-rich cannabis oil in people with fibromyalgia: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial,” was published last week in the journal Pain Medicine.

To conduct the study, researchers tested the effectiveness of a plant-derived cannabis oil on 17 women with fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. The patients were treated over a period of eight weeks with a cannabis oil rich in THC. The initial dose was one drop per day, with subsequent dosage increases according to symptoms. The mean dose for those in the cannabis group was 3.6 drops per day, equating to a total of 4.4 milligrams of THC and 0.08 milligrams of CBD per dose.

Patients were separated into two groups, one of which received the cannabis oil, while the members of the control group received a placebo. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) was administered at pre- and post intervention moments and in five visits over eight weeks. The researchers reported that “the impact of the intervention on quality of life in the cannabis group participants was evident, resulting in reports of well-being and more energy for activities of daily living. Pain attacks were also reduced.”

First Gold-Standard Study

“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate the benefit of cannabis oil – a THC-rich whole plant extract – on symptoms and on quality of life of people with fibromyalgia,” the investigators wrote. “We conclude that phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy for symptom relief and quality of life improvement in these patients, and we suggest that this therapy could be included as an herbal medicine option for the treatment of this condition in the Brazilian public health system.”

Because of the impact that fibromyalgia can have on the health of patients and the need for effective and affordable medicines to treat them, the researchers recommended further research to study cannabis as a treatment for the condition.

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Timing is everything. How any drug affects your brain is determined by many factors. Your age at the time of exposure is one of the most important. Other factors include the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and the maturity and efficiency of the liver and kidneys; these factors vary with normal aging. No drug is always beneficial or always harmful. Cannabis is an excellent example of this principle.

 

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance. However, it is not the most harmful substance consumed by humans. The harmfulness of many substances depends upon how they interact with the brain. It is not possible to kill yourself with cannabis in the way that it is possible to die from consuming too much alcohol. The reason is the distribution of receptors in the brain that respond to either alcohol or cannabis.

 

How do the risks and benefits of cannabis change during normal aging?

Prenatal cannabis:

Cannabis use is still common among pregnant women. A large longitudinal study tried to assess the consequences of cannabis use. The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study recruited 11,875 children aged 9 to 11 years from 22 sites across the US between June 1, 2016, and October 15, 2018. They examined prenatal cannabis exposure prior to and after maternal knowledge of pregnancy. Prenatal cannabis exposure was associated with increased incidence of psychopathology in the offspring, including attention deficits, thought disorders, social problems, and sleep disruptions, as well as lower gray matter volume; these associations sometimes lasted into middle childhood. Exposure after the mother had knowledge of pregnancy was associated with lower birth weight as well as significantly reduced total intracranial volume and white matter volumes. The implications are clear: the prenatal brain is very vulnerable to the presence of cannabis.

 

Cannabis during adolescence:

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peer-reviewed study published in the research journal PLOS ONE demonstrates that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is remarkably cost-effective when compared to currently available treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is estimated that a public healthcare payer or private insurer making MDMA-assisted psychotherapy available to 1,000 patients with PTSD would reduce general and mental health care costs by $103.2 million over 30 years. This treatment has not yet been approved by the FDA, does not work for everyone, and carries risks even in therapeutic settings.

Lead author Elliot Marseille, Dr.P.H., M.P.P., said, “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is conducted by a licensed psychologist and trained clinician over the course of twelve sessions with three sessions lasting six or more hours. The cost of that time is not inconsiderable, but in just over three years, healthcare providers will break even on the costs of mental health and general medical care. These estimates are promising yet likely too conservative: the study did not measure the value of increased productivity or lower disability payments as patients recover from PTSD and is constrained by the limited availability of data on the long-term trajectory of PTSD. Further research will be needed to determine the full financial, personal, and societal benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD."

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation and co-author, developed the treatment manuals governing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. She notes, “A growing body of evidence suggests that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is often more effective than currently available treatments for PTSD, a notoriously difficult-to-treat condition. Previous research has focused on safety and efficacy and indicates statistically significant improvements over currently available treatments with a reduction in symptoms for 82% of participants. This study should compel healthcare providers to include MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a covered treatment for PTSD following FDA approval.”

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Executive Director of MAPS and a study co-author, states, “The profound personal toll of PTSD can include a deterioration in physical health, relationships, and ability to participate in social activities along with the anxiety, insomnia, and suicidal ideation that mark the condition. By demonstrating a return of an average of 5.5 quality-adjusted life-years over 30 years, we have shown that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has the potential to reduce more than the personal burden of PTSD, contributing to improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare burdens for payers and providers.”

The cost-effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy from the U.S. healthcare payers’ perspective was constructed with a decision-analytic Markov model to portray the costs and health benefits of treating patients with chronic, severe, or extreme, treatment-resistant PTSD. Efficacy was based on the pooled results of six randomized controlled trials with the 105 subjects who participated in Phase 2 trials and a four-year follow-up of 19 of those subjects. Other inputs were based on published literature and on assumptions when data were unavailable. Results are modeled over a 30-year analytic horizon and conducted extensive sensitivity analyses. The model calculates expected medical costs, mortality, quality-adjusted life-years, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio.

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When it comes to growing medical cannabis for the first time, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed about all there is to know. Indeed, growing cannabis isn’t quite as straight-forward as, say, growing a tomato plant! There are a number of different things that you will need to do throughout the crop’s cultivation process in order to successfully grow cannabis to start with, and once the crop has grown, harvesting and storing the buds is a challenge in and of itself! Don’t panic, though; if this is your first time growing cannabis, we’re here to help you learn how to grow your own cannabis from home.

Think About the Legalities First of All!

Of course, before you even think about getting started, it’s vital that you consider the legalities of growing cannabis. The rules regarding cannabis use and cultivation have been rapidly evolving in recent years all around the world. Therefore, there is no one hard and fast rule for what is and what is not legal when growing cannabis.

So, check with your country’s laws as well as the rules for cannabis cultivation and possession in your state or region, too. You’d be surprised how much variation there can be! For example, the rules regarding cannabis cultivation and use can vary from state to state in the US, with some states have legalized both recreational and medicinal marijuana to some degree; other states may have only legalized one or the other, and some states are still firm in their stance that both medicinal and recreational cannabis is illegal.

Getting Started: Things to Think About

So, you think growing cannabis is right for you. That’s great! Unfortunately, right from the get go you will need to think carefully about how you intend to be growing cannabis to get the best results.

Why Grow Cannabis Anyway?

First, you should think about what the purpose for the cannabis is going to be. Why do you want cannabis? Are you growing cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes? This is an important question to ask yourself, because not all cannabis plants are created equal and different strains offer very different effects, with some strains being purely medicinal in nature and others not being medicinal, and instead giving an overwhelmingly powerful recreational high!

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The National Psoriasis Foundation states that upwards of 8 million people have the auto-immune skin disorder. Often accompanied by arthritis, psoriasis not only causes scaling of the skin, but complications to fingernails as well. 

Affecting everyone from children to adults, psoriasis can lead to anxiety and depression, as individuals with the skin disorder are often afraid of being ridiculed. Usually treated with Humira and Enbrel, psoriasis comes with a shocking price tag and complications that are often difficult to ignore. 

A 2014 study published in the journal Drugs in Context found that Humira had a price tag upwards of $39,000, while Enbrel’s annual cost was around $46,000. Stelara, the most expensive drug, was found to cost over $53,000. As TNF blockers, while medications like Humira help against psoriasis, they can lower the body’s ability to fight infections and cause serious side effects.

Even more interesting, a September 2019 study in London found that, “A number of medications commonly prescribed by rheumatologists may interact with cannabidiol oil” (CBD oil). The most affected medicines appear to be corticosteroids (including hydrocortisone and prednisolone) since CBD, “is a potent inhibitor of CYP3A.” Put plainly, CBD may block the effects of the other medicine.

Image Credit: Aleksandr_Kravtsov | Getty Images via The Fresh Toast

Can CBD alone help psoriasis? 

Often triggered by stress, new studies are showing that psoriasis can be better managed by diet, oral health, and even cannabidiol. The National Psoriasis Foundation shared information on a study from the Journal of Dermatological Science showcasing that, “CBD may offer therapeutic value for psoriasis by slowing the overgrowth of certain skin cells.” 


The outcome of the cannabis referendum has raised concerns about the availability of medicinal options.

Just over 53 percent of people voted no to legalisation, while 46 percent voted yes.

Medicinal cannabis company Cannasouth's chief executive Mark Lucas told Francesca Rudkin a yes vote would have helped more people gain better and cheaper access to medical cannabis.

"There's no denying that some patients will access medicinal cannabis currently from the black market,  and if there was a white market, if you like, they would have been accessing very basic formulations of cannabis from that market."

The official result of the referendum, including special votes, will be announced on Friday. 

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The NHS has repeatedly refused to fund medical cannabis for children with severe epilepsy, families have said.

Three prescriptions are thought to have been written for "whole plant cannabis" oil since it was legalised two years ago, campaign group End Our Pain say.

But at least 20 families are paying for costly private prescriptions after being turned down by the NHS, it said.

The Department of Health and Social Care says more research is needed before it can be routinely prescribed.

Emma Appleby, from Aylesham in Kent, pays £2,000 a month for the medicine for her daughter Teagan, 11.

Teagan in ICU

While marijuana is typically advised against before surgery, many doctors and surgeons are speaking out about its effects for after-care. 

Breast implants are still a booming business. As one of the most popular surgeries in the U.S., over 300,000 women go under the knife annually. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent more than $16.5 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2018. 

With many instances of news covering breast implant illness, where individuals who have received breast implants describe symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, hair loss, and chronic pain, more patients are asking about the risks associated with getting implants or having them removed. And, with medical marijuana and CBD available in more states each year, considerations should be made when combining marijuana and the addition of implants or their removal.

Marijuana and Implant Surgery

Whether patients are undergoing surgery for a reduction or receiving implants, many doctors spoke to us about the importance of a candid conversation about marijuana use. Dr. Nathan Castillo, who practices out of Atlanta, GA,  shared that patients should, “refrain from smoking marijuana for at least 4-6 weeks before surgery.” Studies have found a link between marijuana use before surgery and a risk of vasodilation during surgery, the latter of which occurs when blood pressure falls due to blood vessels relaxing. 

Additionally, a 2018 study published in the journal Heliyon, found that consuming marijuana before surgery could complicate outcomes during and after the procedure. The study found that marijuana’s effects were most prevalent one hour after the start of the surgery and lasted anywhere from 2-4 hours. With an increase in both airway obstruction and anesthetic doses administered, the study found patients who consumed marijuana before surgery carried more risks than patients who abstained. However, while marijuana is typically advised against before surgery, many doctors and surgeons are speaking out about its effects for after-care. 

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A new U.S. mice study offers promise for advancing understanding of how cannabis can help lessen the symptoms of various bowel conditions, insight that could lead to new ways of fighting gastrointestinal (GI) infections.

Published online this month in Cell, the study led by the University of Texas, Southwestern (UTSW) shed light on how the body’s endocannabinoids, which share features with chemicals found in cannabis, “can shut down genes needed for some pathogenic intestinal bacteria to colonize, multiply and cause disease.”

Cannabis and its derivatives have a history of relieving chronic gastrointestinal conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, according to a statement from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. What is not so well-known is whether or not endocannabinoids — which, when not working as intended, can lead to intestinal inflammation and have an impact on gut microbiota — affect susceptibility to pathogenic gastrointestinal infections.

 

To help answer the question, study leader Vanessa Sperandio, Ph.D. and her colleagues considered mice that had been genetically altered to overproduce endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) in organs — which is also present in humans — including the intestines. These mice and unmodified littermates were then infected with a bacterial pathogen that attacks the colon and causes inflammation and diarrhea.

The altered mice “developed only mild symptoms compared with the more extreme gastrointestinal distress exhibited by their littermates,” the statement notes. Their colons showed far lower inflammation and signs of infection, and they cleared their infection days faster than their littermates.


Determining suitable doses of medicinal cannabis will be crucial for the plant to advance as a treatment for health conditions, University of Newcastle Professor of Clinical Pharmacology Jennifer Martin says.

Professor Martin said her team's research was making progress in this area.

As director of the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence, she leads the CARE NSW Trial for patients with advanced cancer.

Patients in regional areas and greater Sydney have been recruited for the NSW Health-funded trial.

The trial will assess a range of cannabis medicines on symptoms that patients with advanced cancer experience. It aims to pinpoint the best dose and frequency of cannabis medicine to control symptoms.

Research: Professor Jennifer Martin is gathering evidence. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

There’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence about the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) for treating pain, but a new study offers further scientific insight into how the compound interacts with nerve cells.

Published in the Journal of Pain Research, the study suggests that CBD may help block pain-signalling pathways.

Researchers found that lab-cultured rat neurons treated with CBD were less sensitive to capsaicin, the active compound in chili peppers. The nerve cells treated with CBD saw an influx of calcium and reduced levels of the pain-signalling molecule cAMP, a key signalling molecule in the pain pathway, reports Imperial College London.

 

Researchers believe this might help explain the therapeutic effect of CBD in patients with acute and chronic pain.

The study was led by Mikael Sodergren, a senior clinical lecturer at the university, a hepatobiliary consultant and a pancreatic surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

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Canadian researchers have found medical cannabis seems to be having an impact on alcohol use among patients.

A large cross-sectional survey of patients in Canada indicates significant reductions in alcohol use following commencement of medical cannabis. The study drew on data from a survey of 2,102 patients enrolled in the country’s medical cannabis program and included 973 who reported using alcohol on at least 10 occasions over a 12 month period prior to starting use of cannabis.

The top line results:

419 (44%) reported decreases in alcohol usage frequency over 30 days323 (34%) had decreased the number of standard drinks consumed per week76 (8%) reported no alcohol use at all in the 30 days prior to the survey taking place.

The researchers note being below 55 years of age and higher rates of alcohol consumption in the pre-cannabis period were both associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol use. Unsurprisingly, an intention to use medical cannabis specifically to reduce alcohol consumption was associated with significantly greater odds of both reducing alcohol use – or ceasing it altogether.

The researchers concluded:

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Seniors are turning to cannabis to treat common symptoms of aging, with nearly 80% of those who reported using cannabis saying they did so for medicinal reasons, according to a study from researchers at the University of California San Diego. Results of the study, “Cannabis: An emerging treatment for common symptoms in older adults,” were published this month in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

To conduct the research, investigators surveyed 568 seniors at a geriatric clinic. All respondents were at least 65 years old, and 73% of those surveyed were older than 75. The researchers discovered that 15% of seniors had used cannabis in the last three years, among whom half reported using cannabis regularly. Cannabis was used primarily for medical reasons by 78% of those who reported its use.

“Pain, insomnia, and anxiety were the most common reasons for cannabis use and, for the most part, patients reported that cannabis was helping to address these issues, especially with insomnia and pain,” Christopher Kaufmann, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine at UCSD and one of the study’s authors, said in a press release.

The researchers also found that 61% of respondents who used cannabis had begun doing so at the age of 60 or older, according to Kevin Yang, a third-year medical student at UCSD and another author of the study.

“Surprisingly, we found that nearly three-fifths of cannabis users reported using cannabis for the first time as older adults,” Yang said. “These individuals were a unique group compared to those who used cannabis in the past.”

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No, these are not early voters for the 2020 election. The lines we're talking about in Missouri are outside dispensaries, where residents welcome the sale of legal medical marijuana, which has already proven wildly popular in the Show-Me State.

The sales began about two years after Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment in the November 2018 election that allowed the sale of medical marijuana.

In October, Missouri became the latest “non-coast state” to see the popularity of cannabis explode, joining Illinois and Michigan. Both of those states started adult-use marijuana sales within the past year and have seen record sales.

Two dispensaries owned by N’Bliss in St. Louis County became the first to open in Missouri. More will follow in the weeks and months to come. The state has approved 65,000 patients so far for the medical marijuana program. Another 12,000 await approval to get on the list.

N’Bliss CEO Bradford Goette told Fox 2 in St. Louis: “The patients there are so excited to be able to finally get the medicine they need and deserved for so long.”

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In this article Dean Billington, Chief Operating Officer at Brains Bioceutical, discusses how medical cannabis can help the UK’s chronic pain problem.

Chronic pain is one of the most troubling and expensive issues for the NHS and patients. In fact, a recent study by The British Pain Society suggests that chronic pain affects more than 40% of the UK population, meaning that more than 26 million people in the UK are living with pain that has lasted three months or longer. The BMJ has suggested that this could rise to as high as 60% among those over the age of 75.

For many patients battling this silent epidemic, it is a hopeless exercise of jumping from one prescription drug to another and at a huge cost. For example, the associated treatment for these patients is estimated to account for 4.6m GP appointments each year at a staggering cost of £69m.

Unfortunately, treatment pathways often direct patients to opioid painkillers. A recent review published by Public Health England revealed that the UK now has the fastest-growing rate of opioid use across the world, with prescriptions rising by 22% over the past decade to 40 million prescriptions a year. This is despite the fact that NHS guidelines recommend that opioids should not be taken for more than a few weeks at a time as patients can become addicted to them. In addition to this, health experts have warned that opioid painkillers are not effective for 90% of people with chronic pain.

With the NHS now looking to move away from prescribing these addictive opioids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) –  following updated draft guidance issued by NICE last month –   there is an undeniable need for alternative medicines that are effective and affordable.

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You can get creative about ways to enjoy the possible healing properties of CBD oil. You’ll just need to try different methods to find the styles that you prefer.

CBD oil is naturally extracted from the hemp plant and is appreciated for its possible healing properties. Hemp is not to be confused with marijuana as it doesn’t contain the psychoactive component, THC, required for the high effect. This is the reason why hemp oil is legal and safe to use as a health supplement.

Inflammation occurs when the body signals send blood to the areas that need repair. The interacting processes of the cells are what cause inflammation. Inflammation can also be caused by side-effects of medication used to treat certain ailments such as chemotherapy.

We have compiled a list of 8 different ways that you can use CBD oil to treat inflammation.

Massage Oil

 
 
 

CBD oil is a possible source of anti-inflammatory compounds and chemicals, meaning the oil may reduce inflammation if applied directly to the inflamed body parts. You can use CBD oil to gently massage the areas so that joints or muscles soak in the particles. After you have massaged the oil on the swollen areas such as the ankle or knee, you can tie a cloth bandage around the area as you would after applying a muscle cream. Tying a bandage may encourage the soaking in of the oil.

why a canna cure gives a new meaning to a relaxing spa day massage

It’s a great time for cannabis in the U.S., with a wide variety of quality products reaching different areas of the country. While marijuana is not legal on a federal level, U.S. states seem to be more open to the possibility of cannabis as a valid option for people struggling with different illnesses or who want to consume it recreationally.

There are thousands of medicinal cannabis products available for purchase online, but the Internet can be a hard (and questionable) place to buy stuff unless well-informed aobut what you’re looking for. Here are five of the most common products that consumers may want to learn more about.

Medical cannabis oil

This product is mostly administered through an oral syringe and made up of a dark coloured liquid containing a mixture of components within the cannabis plant. Offering cannabinoids and terpenoids, many cannabis oils are high in antioxidant features and have painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabis oils have been reported to be helpful in treating a variety of ailments and can even be prepared at home.

CBD hemp oils are easier to acquire in most U.S. states since a medical card is not needed to purchase. / Photo: iStock / Getty Images PlusPhoto: iStock / Getty Images Plus

CBD hemp oil

This product is made from hemp plants with low THC and high CBD content. Since these hemp products contain almost no THC, they’re non-psychoactive, which means that they won’t get a user high. CBD hemp oils are easier to acquire in most U.S. states since a medical card is not needed to purchase.


An ever-growing list of scientific, peer-reviewed studies has found that the cannabis plant possesses significant medical qualities.

The cannabis plant has been found to successfully treat a number of conditions, from chronic pain to multiple sclerosis.

Scientific studies are backed up by an enormous amount of personal experiences of patients who have successfully treated their conditions with cannabis.

In every measurable way the cannabis plant is medicine.

Unfortunately, not every country allows medical cannabis to be used legally by patients.

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