WeedLife News Network
A new technology from Nextage Therapeutics Ltd. is being touted as allowing cannabis molecules to reach the brain directly, an advancement that could drive forward the development of treatments for people suffering from a host of diseases.
Based on research conducted at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the ability for weed molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) could reduce the necessary dosage of medical marijuana and minimize side effects caused by treatments spreading to other organs, according to an article in the Jerusalem Post.
A variety of treatments could be advanced for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, brain cancer and chronic pain, the article suggests.
The BBB is “is a barrier between the brain’s blood vessels (capillaries) and the cells and other components that make up brain tissue,” explains information from the University of Queensland. So in the same way the skull offers protection from physical damage, the BBB “provides a defence against disease-causing pathogens and toxins that may be present in our blood.”
Although the technology was designed with cannabinoids in mind, it does not preclude being used with other chemicals as well.
Oct. 17 marked the first day of medical cannabis sales in Missouri, and the state’s two operational cannabis retailers, N’Bliss and Fresh Green, have had quite the journey to serving patients in the nascent market.
N’Bliss, a subsidiary of Nirvana Investments, opened its first two stores in Manchester and Ellisville on Oct. 17, while Fresh Green opened for business in Lee’s Summit on Oct. 19.
“It was exciting—the energy is real,” N’Bliss Managing Partner and CEO Bradford Goette tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary of opening weekend.
Goette says the dispensary could have opened earlier, but the N’Bliss team took their time to ensure a great experience for its first customers.
“Your first sale and transaction should be memorable, but it should be right,” he says. “You should be doing this for the patient, and we want that to go smooth. We know with all the software systems, moving parts [and] compliance, there’s a lot of room for error. We wanted to test things and make sure things were working prior to opening.”
MediPharm Labs Inc has initiated a clinical trial to research and evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s cannabis-derived medicines for the treatment of end-stage renal disease or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Chronic kidney disease involves kidney damage over a long period of time that impacts on the organ’s ability to filter blood, meaning toxic wastes build up in the body. The progressive condition can result in major complications including eventual kidney failure and death.
It’s prevalence is quite shocking – according to Kidney.org, 37 million American adults have CKD and heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with the condition. The main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Combined, these are responsible for up to two-thirds of cases.
MediPharm Labs has partnered with Canadian firm OTT Healthcare Inc. for the trial, which will initially investigate dosing and safety profile of cannabinoid formulations, as well as assess pain and Quality of Life scores of patients receiving the medicines – the details of which weren’t revealed in the announcement.
Data gathered from this investigation will then support randomized double-blind clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of these products.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, report that the severity of their symptoms was reduced by about half within four hours of smoking cannabis, according to a Washington State University study.
The researchers analyzed data inputted into the Strainprint app by people who self-identified as having OCD, a condition characterized by intrusive, persistent thoughts and repetitive behaviors such as compulsively checking if a door is locked. After smoking cannabis, users with OCD reported it reduced their compulsions by 60%, intrusions, or unwanted thoughts, by 49% and anxiety by 52%.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, also found that higher doses and cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD, or cannabidiol, were associated with larger reductions in compulsions.
"The results overall indicate that cannabis may have some beneficial short-term but not really long-term effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder," said Carrie Cuttler, the study's corresponding author and WSU assistant professor of psychology. "To me, the CBD findings are really promising because it is not intoxicating. This is an area of research that would really benefit from clinical trials looking at changes in compulsions, intrusions and anxiety with pure CBD."
The WSU study drew from data of more than 1,800 cannabis sessions that 87 individuals logged into the Strainprint app over 31 months. The long time period allowed the researchers to assess whether users developed tolerance to cannabis, but those effects were mixed. As people continued to use cannabis, the associated reductions in intrusions became slightly smaller suggesting they were building tolerance, but the relationship between cannabis and reductions in compulsions and anxiety remained fairly constant.
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More than 40% of patients with multiple sclerosis have used cannabis or cannabinoid products in the last year, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan. The study, “Cannabinoid use among Americans with MS: Current trends and gaps in knowledge,” was published recently in Multiple Sclerosis Journal – Experimental, Translational and Clinical.
To conduct the research, investigators with the University of Michigan collected data from a nationwide sampling of more than 1,000 patients with multiple sclerosis. The study revealed that 42% of respondents reported using cannabis or cannabinoid-based therapies such as cannabidiol (CBD) in the prior year, a rate of use that is nearly twice that of the national average, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
“These national survey data highlight the rising prevalence of cannabinoid use in Americans with MS, and, among users, an abiding perception of benefit for multiple chronic symptoms,” the researchers wrote.
Among the survey respondents who used cannabis or cannabinoid products, 90% said that their cannabis use was medicinal. The researchers noted that many patients with MS experience chronic symptoms that have an insufficient number of quality treatment options. More than half of all patients experience chronic pain, which can also affect sleep. At least 60% experience sleep disturbances, which can lead to fatigue and other chronic symptoms.
The lack of effective treatment options leads many patients with MS to seek out alternative therapies, including cannabis and cannabinoid products such as CBD. However, little information on the proper use and dosage of cannabis needed to effectively treat MS is available, leading the study’s authors to call for more research on the subject.
When Detroit Free Press sports columnist Jeff Seidel noticed a sharp pain between his shoulder blade and spine, he thought he might have overexerted himself at the gym. Or maybe it was old injuries rearing up again.
What Seidel didn’t expect was that the pain would progress and worsen, and seemingly be unaffected by conventional therapies. Eventually, he decided to try something he’d avoided his entire life.
As a sports writer, Seidel is well-versed in the world of pain. Athletes are often expected to play through pain and to recover quickly with minimal complaint.
It was a Detroit Tigers trainer who told Seidel that his injuries sounded like a nerve issue. The trainer was right.
Missouri's first licensed marijuana dispensaries opened this weekend in the St. Louis area with long lines.
The two dispensaries run by N'Bliss opened Saturday in Ellisville and Manchester. Another dispensary is expected to open Monday in the Kansas City area nearly two years after Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow the sale of medical marijuana.
To buy the drug, people need approval from a doctor and a state medical marijuana card. Prices are expected to be high initially because the supply is limited in the state at this stage. N'Bliss was charging $125 for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana when it opened Saturday.
Kim Haller said she stood in line Saturday because she has long been frustrated with the high cost of medications and injections she uses to treat her multiple sclerosis. Recently, Haller said she had been buying marijuana from a licensed caregiver.
"It helps with my spasticity, which means my muscles don't move like I like them to, and sleep," Haller, 54, of St. Peters, said of the marijuana treatment.
If you’re struggling with depression, I would recommend being evaluated by a physician who specializes in depression before initiating medical marijuana or increasing the dosage.
We are in a very stressful time in our lives. For those who have a history of anxiety and depression, the current worldly troubles can lead them back into or worsen these ill feelings. For those who have never had anxiety or depression before, this can be the beginning of a difficult time.
It can be overwhelming to think of COVID-19, job insecurity, food and housing insecurity, managing schooling for the kids, racial issues and typical stressors of life for an extended period of time. But unfortunately, this is where we are without a specific timeline as to when it will sort itself out.
Having an open discussion with family, friends or heath care providers about personal mental health issues can be frightening. This is an important topic that needs to be addressed. Without facing the issues, depression and anxiety can worsen. We all know someone who is struggling whether ourselves or others. We need to be aware of symptoms such as pessimism, feelings of hopelessness, decreased energy, sleep disorders, decreased interest in hobbies and activities such as sex, persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to therapy, suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Unfortunately suicide has been the second most common cause of death in people aged 15-29.
More than 100 doctors have come forward to put their names behind cannabis legalisation, in response to the New Zealand Medical Association's backtracking from opposing the bill to neutrality.
They say they fear the Medical Association's decision to oppose the cannabis referendum and legalisation, without having consulted its members, could lead to the referendum failing.
The NZMA only changed its stance to a neutral one after several doctors came forward to RNZ complaining about its stance, and NZMA chair Dr Kate Baddock admitted that it did not consider the proposed legislation before opposing the referendum.
Dr Emma Clare, who has worked as a youth health GP, said many doctors thought the referendum would pass, and so did not speak up about the NZMA's anti stance.
That was until polling showed the referendum was unlikely to pass.
Missouri is getting closer to selling medical marijuana, as the state’s first testing facility begins inspecting the drug.
The testing site, EKG Labs, passed final inspections in late September and quickly began testing cannabis for BeLeaf Medical in Earth City. BeLeaf was the first cultivation site approved by the state, and co-founder John Curtis said it expects to receive the results from the first round of testing soon.
“Our first batch is in the hands of EKG Labs,” Curtis said. “They’ve had it about a week, actually maybe a little longer… which is common and perfectly normal for that first test to take a little bit longer.”
Curtis characterized the first round of testing essentially as a trial run. He said the facility likely needs to get its machines calibrated correctly and to ensure all equipment is working as it should. Once that happens, he said the testing will go much faster.
“Once they’re really up and running and all of their calibration is complete, it should be a five-day turnaround,” Curtis said. “So, if we drop a sample off on Monday, we hope to hear back by Friday if it can be put on the shelves for sale.”
A new survey has demonstrated barriers in the legal medical cannabis system that are forcing patients to self-medicate without the support of a healthcare professional.
Medical Cannabis Canada (MCC) has published the results of its first Medical Cannabis Patient Survey (MCPS), which found that systemic barriers in the legal medical cannabis system are pushing patients to unregulated and recreational markets without the support of a healthcare professional.
The results show that policy change is needed to reduce costs and expand access points to the medical market in order to improve care.
Medical cannabis in Canada
In Canada, cannabis can be legally accessed recreationally or medically. The medical system requires a ‘medical document’ (similar to a prescription) from a healthcare practitioner. The MCPS found that only one in three (37%) of Canadians using cannabis for medical purposes have a medical document. Patients without a medical document, report substantially less engagement with healthcare professionals and more report use of unregulated markets to access their treatment.
The MCPS reports that 74% of those who have had a medical document go to a healthcare practitioner or a pharmacist for guidance on cannabis use for medical purposes, compared to just 24% of those who have never had a medical document. This confirms that most patients are self-medicating without expert support.
A 10-year-old boy with Tourette Syndrome says CBD has helped him and he’s wondering if it could do the same for others.
Bryson Jones recently released a video, marking Mental Health Day, in which he details his experience with Tourette Syndrome and how CBD has worked for him.
The affable and active Oklahoman, a patient with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) who has his licence, relays that he uses CBD before going to school and before karate and boxing classes.
The 4:1 medication he takes “does not make you high,” he emphasizes in the video. “What it actually does, it makes you not nervous, it makes you calm and it doesn’t make you tic.”
Making clear that he’s 10 years old and not a doctor, he says medical marijuana may not be for everyone.
Some know it as cannabis, while others know it as marijuana or weed, especially because it has been trendy in pop-culture music and because it has been immortalized in western films.
Whatever you call it, cannabis is the world’s most popular drug and is the highest value therapeutic crop known at the moment, despite being illegal in many parts of the world.
It wasn’t until Monday, October 12, that a cabinet meeting approved guidelines that allow the growing of cannabis in Rwanda, which drew mixed opinions from people.
Cannabis is a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s believed to be the world’s most valuable cash crop from the absolute value perspective.
One study, which analysed data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation as well as UN World Drug reports, estimated cannabis to be valued at $47.7 million per square kilometer.
France has announced a medical cannabis trial that is expected to begin in Mar. 2021, will run for two years and will see 3,000 patients receive pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products for free, Le Monde reports.
France’s Ministry of Health and Solidarity will oversee the trial, which was approved by the National Assembly in 2019. The program will focus on the efficacy of cannabis therapy to treat conditions such as epilepsy, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and the side effects of chemotherapy, and will be limited to smokeless products like oils, tinctures and capsules.
Cannabis is illegal in France for recreational use and has been banned for medical use since 1953. In September, the country implemented a fixed fine of 200 euros (about $300) for cannabis consumption, rather than taking individuals into custody.
Though the plant is widely consumed, not everyone is in favour of cannabis reform.
Last month, in an interview with Le Parisien, Gérald Darmanin, France’s Minister of the Interior, called cannabis legalization “shit.”
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of more than 5,400 people, almost 11% of United States adults reported seriously contemplating suicide in June.
The most stunning moments in my years of involvement in the marijuana legalization movement were when someone told me, “I haven’t tried to kill myself since I started using marijuana.”
I am not a doctor, a psychologist, or even a counselor, so I was really unprepared for that. I have had cancer patients tell me that if they had not had a few tokes of marijuana to help them with the extreme nausea from chemotherapy, they would have chosen to die from the cancer rather than endure the hellish side effects from the chemo. The pharmaceutical antiemetics had stopped working.
Even in 1991, “More than 44% of the respondents report recommending the (illegal) use of marijuana for the control of emesis to at least one cancer chemotherapy patient. Almost one half (48%) would prescribe marijuana to some of their patients if it were legal. As a group, respondents considered smoked marijuana to be somewhat more effective than the legally available oral synthetic dronabinol ([THC] Marinol;”
And I have known patients who did kill themselves rather than go to prison and be tortured to death by a regime that would watch them die in pain rather than allow them to use that plant.
The two of you, plus others in your support network, are a team working to achieve one goal: your well-being.
The decades-long stigmatization of cannabis can make initiating conversations about its use awkward and difficult, particularly with your doctor. Add to that the knowledge — or even a hunch — your doctor may be skeptical about the benefits of cannabis, raising the topic can be downright intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.
Your medical doctor is among the most educated and trained professionals you invite into your circle of trust. In addition to four years of undergraduate school, another four years in medical school and three to seven years of residency, being a doctor requires constant continuing education and recertification.
But throughout their education and training, your doctor was taught that natural remedies have limitations, and when the body can’t function on its own, it needs therapies beyond natural remedies to make you better. What’s more, the federal prohibition against cannabis — which has until recently included all forms of CBD — U.S. physicians have not been exposed to a lot of credible research and clinical trials.
In other words, if your doctor is a cannabis skeptic, it’s not entirely their fault. Years of training combined with the law of the land shaped those opinions. But it’s also important to remember that your physician is invested in your health. Long before he or she embarked on the long journey to become a doctor, they likely just wanted to help people. After they put in the long hours at school and hands-on training in residency, they swore an oath to help you. They want a good health outcome for you as much as you do. The two of you, plus others in your support network, are a team working to achieve one goal: your well-being.
Arkansas medical marijuana dispensaries are experiencing a shortage of the flower form of the product and a spokesman for Alcoholic Beverage Control said the agency is looking into the supply issue.
The number of medical marijuana patients in the state has surged past 80,000. The state has only four cultivators in operation, and dispensaries report having trouble getting some strains entirely. The supply of other products, such as tinctures, vape cartridges and edibles, is sufficient, dispensary owners say.
“As of now, what we know is there have been shortages across the state of specific strains,” spokesman Scott Hardin said. “We have not seen any dispensaries that are totally out of product altogether. Typically, [the strain issues] have been resolved in a brief period of time.”
Fort Cannabis Co. in Fort Smith has run out of flower on a couple of occasions but the supply has generally been replenished within a day, according to Fort Cannabis General Manager Jordan Mooney.
“It’s never too long, like days at a time, or anything like that,” Mooney said. Sales of flower, however, account for the majority of its business, Mooney said.
A new study has found cannabis use is becoming more common among older adults in the USA – and it’s being used mostly for medical purposes.
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers surveyed 568 patients 65 years and older and found 15% had used cannabis in the past three years. Half of those reported using it regularly and 61 per cent started using cannabis after the age of 60.
“New users were more likely to use cannabis for medical reasons than for recreation,” said Kevin Yang, one of the UC San Diego researchers involved. Mr. Yang said this group were more likely to use cannabis topically rather than by smoking it or using edibles.
“Also, they were more likely to inform their doctor about their cannabis use, which reflects that cannabis use is no longer as stigmatized as it was previously.”
46% of the group using cannabis daily or weekly were using cannabidiol-only products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is releasing new draft guidelines that are meant to streamline approvals for generic oral CBD medications.
In a notice published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the agency said it is soliciting public feedback on its guidance to researchers who are interested in submitting abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for CBD solutions.
To expedite the approval process, FDA said applicants can request a waiver of an in vivo bioequivalence study if they meet certain requirements. This guidance comes two years after the agency approved the brand-name CBD-based epilepsy medication Epidiolex from GW Pharmaceuticals.
Going forward, if a drug company wants to produce generic versions of that 100 mg/mL cannabidiol solution, they could follow specific rules to skip the in vivo bioequivalence study step if the draft guidance is finalized. The drug would have to be derived from Cannabis sativa L, contain no more than 0.1 percent THC and have “no inactive ingredient or other change in formulation from the [reference listed drug] that may significantly affect systemic availability.”
Researchers must use “appropriate analytical methods” such as macroscopic or microscopic analysis or DNA bar-coding methods to determine that the solution is being made from cannabis sativa.