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Roughly five months. That is apparently when Mississippians can expect their newly approved medical marijuana program to begin to take shape.
Two months after voters in the Magnolia State approved a measure legalizing medical cannabis, officials in Mississippi are previewing what the program’s implementation will look like in the new year.
According to local television station WJTV, the next few months will see the Mississippi Department of Health examine best plans for implementation. By July, according to the station, the department “will outline the rules and framework”; on August 15 of this year, “licenses will be distributed, and then the program would officially start.”
WJTV reported that “all medical marijuana” in Mississippi will be regulated by the department, something Ken Newburger, the head of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, told the station was an ideal arrangement.
“Because it’s a medical program and everything about it needs to be handled from a health medicine perspective, the State Department of Health was the best choice. Most other states that have good, functioning medical marijuana programs chose the State Department of Health as their regulatory body. So that’s really why we felt like it was the right place,” Newburger told WJTV.
More than half of people who use medical marijuana products to ease pain also experience clusters of multiple withdrawal symptoms when they're between uses, a new study finds.
And about 10% of the patients taking part in the study experienced worsening changes to their sleep, mood, mental state, energy and appetite over the next two years as they continued to use cannabis.
Many of them may not recognize that these symptoms come not from their underlying condition, but from their brain and body's reaction to the absence of substances in the cannabis products they're smoking, vaping, eating or applying to their skin, says the University of Michigan Addiction Center psychologist who led the study.
When someone experiences more than a few such symptoms, it's called cannabis withdrawal syndrome - and it can mean a higher risk of developing even more serious issues such as a cannabis use disorder.
In the new research published in the journal Addiction, a team from the U-M Medical School and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System reports findings from detailed surveys across two years of 527 Michigan residents. All were participating in the state's system to certify people with certain conditions for use of medical cannabis, and had non-cancer-related pain.
Results from a recently published study suggest U.S. consumers perceive CBD as more of an over-the-counter pain reliever and less like prescription opioid medicines.
The study was carried researchers Trey Malone and Brandon R. McFadden from the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware.
Based on data from a national survey conducted in 2019 of 1,050 U.S. adult respondents, the study found more than half perceived CBD (cannabidiol), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), hemp and marijuana as having medical use and also significantly less potential for abuse compared to commonly prescribed anti-anxiety and pain medications.
There was also a majority view that THC and marijuana had less potential for abuse than alcohol – this has become quite apparent in many states where the push for legalization for recreational use is gaining more support; and not just at a state level, but nationally as well.
Of the approximate 32% of respondents who had consumed CBD and/or THC, between 31% and 49% had used the cannabinoids as a replacement for other medications. Of those who replaced a conventional medication with CBD, 37% to 56% replaced an over-the-counter medication while only 21% to 23% replaced a prescription opioid.
Cannabidiol is one of the most active compounds found in hemp plants. You can learn more about this on here. Many studies have found out that it can balance the bodily functions of many mammals. When CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system present in both humans and animals, it can help the body regain homeostasis.
Many pet owners administer cannabidiol to their furry friends because they find that the extract can help with many ailments. Some of the medical conditions in animals that CBD can provide relief for are anxiety, joint pains, backaches, cancer symptoms, seizures, digestive disorders, social withdrawal, stress, insomnia, irritability, mood disorders, and more.
During the recovery phase from surgery, a lot of pet owners have found that CBD seems to stimulate healing, and it has therapeutic benefits for many of our furry friends. At the end of your pet’s life, cannabidiol can also lessen the suffering, anxiety, and pain that your beloved canine or feline may be experiencing. You can learn more about CBD oil’s other benefits at https://www.holistapet.com/ where you can get more information about CBD oil’s potential uses. Some products are exclusively made for pets, so you may want to look for those as well.
About the Endocannabinoid System
A network of receptors is present in the endocannabinoid system, and it is found in the human and animal body.
The body synthesizes endocannabinoids so that homeostasis can be maintained. A stable environment inside the body means that your pet is healthy.
Because medical care in prisons is seriously deficient, the need and inherent right for effective medication may be even greater for prisoners than for the general population.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast.
The Associated Press reports, “A state district judge in Albuquerque has ruled this week that the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center should not penalize medical marijuana patients under its custody or supervision for using the drug.”
It is unclear whether other New Mexico jurisdictions will concur with the ruling, but it will inevitably be litigated nationally.
First, try to let’s understand the scope of our criminal justice problems.
In a recent study, Thomas M. Clark, Ph.D., head of a recent analysis, found that “the anticancer effects of cannabis outweigh the carcinogenic effects even in the airways and bladder, where carcinogen exposure is high.”
Clark headed an August analysis directly on the issue of cannabis and cancer, supported by his sabbatical leave from Indiana University South Bend. At first, Clark had three hypotheses: cannabis increases cancer risk, the benefits and risks of using cannabis canceled out, or cannabis lowers cancer risk.
At the first analysis of the data set, there was a slight association with cannabis and reduced cancer risk. However, by removing data that did not control for tobacco use, defined as data with a high risk for selection bias, and data at risk for performance bias, the association became medium to large.
Likewise, the data revealed a medium to large association with reduced cancer risk if data related to testicular cancer was removed. However, according to the analysis, “the hypothesis that cannabis use increases cancer risk is not supported by the available data.”
Making Sense of the Complexity of Cancer Risk
In the words of Clark, “decreased cancer risk in cannabis users should not be surprising, as cannabis and cannabinoids decrease obesity, inhibit chronic inflammation, reduce fasting insulin levels and insulin sensitivity, and have direct antitumor actions.”
How many people in the United States live with fibromyalgia? It might be surprising to find out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports it’s roughly 4 million U.S. adults who have this chronic medical condition.
Fibromyalgia consists of widespread, severe and frequently overwhelming musculoskeletal pain. Traditional fibromyalgia treatment methods currently exist and are used to help combat the pain and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with the condition, but cannabis as an alternative medicine is gaining traction.
Fibromyalgia: A day in the life
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain syndromes, with intense musculoskeletal pain being a common symptom. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia causes more than pain.
This chronic condition can result in sleep issues or sleep disorders, fatigue and lethargy and even emotional or mental distress. Beyond these issues, other common fibromyalgia symptoms include headaches and migraines, depression and anxiety, memory and concentration issues, and overall body stiffness. Additionally, fibromyalgia often wreaks havoc on an individual’s quality of life and overall well-being.
Cannabis may offer a light at the end of the tunnel for fibromyalgia patients, especially with respect to its analgesic properties.
Consumption of medical cannabis in the Czech Republic has quadrupled year-on-year. While in 2019 patients were prescribed 17 kilograms of cannabis, last year the amount increased to 66.8 kilograms.
According to data published by the Office of the Government’s Drug Policy Department, the Ministry of Health, and the Public Institute for Drug Control, the increase was due to the fact that since last year, 90 percent of the price of cannabis has been covered by health insurance.
At the end of 2019, 434 patients were prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes, last December this figure grew to 1103 people, ie about two and a half times more. The number of registered doctors authorized to issue therapeutic cannabis has also risen – from 78 at the end of 2019 to 123 in 2020.
In 2019, doctors issued 4,145 prescriptions, ie about 345 prescriptions per month. During last year, they prescribed 14,167 recipes, an average of about 1,181 per month.
The consumption and prescription of medicinal cannabis has been legal in the Czech Republic since 2013.
These days the list of illnesses that cannabis medicines can be used for grows every day, with research studies being done left and right to test its efficacy against different symptoms and disorders. Most attention is focused on CBD because of its lack of psychoactive effects, while THC is often left out. However, it was found early on that THC is good for the eyes, and has been used to treat conditions like glaucoma for decades.
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Medical cannabis back in the day
Before getting into the restart of medical cannabis in more recent decades, let’s go over some facts about the use of cannabis in medicine. Essentially, it’s been used in medicine for thousands of years, long before it was co-opted by Western medicine in the 1800’s, and then re-introduced once again after a period of enforced illegalization. It’s a part of two of the oldest medicinal traditions, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, both of which have multiple applications for the use of cannabis to treat tons of different ailments. It has been used in many other lesser-known medical traditions as well.
Prior to it being scheduled as a narcotic by the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances which forced a global illegalization, cannabis was being used in all types of Western medicine applications. In fact, it was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia for the first time in 1850, but dropped from there in 1937 following the Marijuana Tax act. Before the laws changed, it could be found in tons of products, for almost anything. Most people, of course, had no real understanding of this, but it does show that cannabis was being used very heavily in the world of medicine. Considering how many countries were forced into illegalizing the plant, this was not confined to just the US.
Cannabis has existed medicinally in essentially three stages. The first was everything up until the 1800’s when it was used in natural medicine traditions. The second stage was the original co-opting of the drug into Western medicine, and the third is the reintroduction back into Western medicine more recently.
More than 40 children in the U.K. with severe forms of epilepsy are at risk of losing access to their medicine due to Brexit restrictions, reports The Times.
As of Jan. 1, British prescriptions are no longer recognized in the European Union. With many families travelling to the Netherlands to get their cannabis prescriptions filled — and Dutch law requiring a valid prescription to export cannabis products — they are now left scrambling to find alternatives
Hannah Deacon, the mother of Alfie Dingley, the first patient in the U.K. to receive a permanent medical cannabis licence, told The Guardian that her son’s life is at risk.
“I am facing the fact that my son might go into refractory epileptic seizures again, which can kill people,” Deacon said. “That’s how dangerous this is. So to say, ‘Oh, you can swap it for another product, sorry we can’t help,’ it is grossly unacceptable. It’s very very dangerous and I’m really frightened about what is going to happen.”
Deacon said she received a letter on Dec. 17, 2020 outlining the changes and while the family was fortunate to secure a few months of medicine, it remains fearful for what happens when that supply runs out.
David Spradin is the CEO of a California-based marijuana company called Perfect Union.
It has 14 marijuana stores between Los Angeles and Sacramento, six stores in New Mexico and has had stores in Oregon and Washington, says Rick McAuliffe, a Rhode Island lobbyist who now also serves as a director for Spradin’s new local affiliate: Perfect Union-RI.
The company and 27 other businesses all filed applications last month for a chance to run one of six new medical marijuana dispensaries planned for Rhode Island.
While Spradin’s local venture incorporated just in November, the Californian has been around, buying up one marijuana cultivation operation, in Warwick, and purchasing a Providence site for a possible second — indicators of the interest some outside investors have with Rhode Island’s booming, multimillion-dollar marijuana industry.
Spradin’s Western stores sell in both the recreational and medical markets “and he thinks the opportunity in Rhode Island and the Northeast is very good,” says McAuliffe, particularly if Rhode Island joins several Northeast states and legalizes recreational use of the drug.
There’s still more to be done to improve patient access to medical cannabis in Western Australia says the director of a medical clinic in Perth’s western suburbs.
In November 2019, changes were made to Western Australia’s medical cannabis program to make patient access a little easier. Previously, patients would need a referral to a specialist from a GP in order to gain a prescription for cannabis medicines, but the change enabled GPs the ability to prescribe medicines where a patient is over the age of 16, isn’t drug dependent and doesn’t have a history of drug use.
The involvement of a specialist certainly appeared to discourage access. Between November 2016 and August 2019, only 876 approvals were granted. But further improvements are still required, particularly where medicinal cannabis is classified Schedule 8.
Speaking with radio station 6PR’s Gary Adshead last week, Director of St Francis Medical group David Cooper said doctors are still experiencing barriers within Western Australia’s health system.
“The doctors have to apply to state health if the treatment is a schedule eight or a controlled drug treatment,” said Mr. Cooper – and this was resulting in delays of up to 6 weeks for some patients.
In the whole ‘scare’ industry of marijuana, there’s a lot of weird, often illogical, mainly contradictory, and definitely silly stuff floating around. Often, when investigating further, it’s found that there’s a lot of talk, but not a lot of substantial information that this talk is based on. One of the more troubling theories, as far as I’m concerned, is that cannabis and schizophrenia are linked. Is this something that the standard marijuana smoker really has to worry about?
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What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a flowering plant of the Cannabaceae family. It’s generally split into three species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Some people consider them to be all the same species. Cannabis is known for its hemp fiber properties, its medicinal abilities, and its psychoactive effects, the latter of which have caused the plant to be unnecessarily scheduled in ways that keep it from public use.
Generally speaking, when referring to a plant that is less high in the psychoactive compound THC, the plant is considered hemp, and when it contains a large amount of THC, it’s considered marijuana. The cutoff in the US is .3% according to the last farm bill, but Europe makes the distinction at .2%. This distinction separates what can be used medicinally in many locations, especially where low-THC products are legal, but high-THC products are not.
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder which can include delusions and hallucinations for the sufferer. The condition is also associated with disorganized speech, general lack of motivation, and issues with proper thinking patterns. For many who suffer from it, it creates an inability to distinguish reality from fantasy. The symptoms of the disorder often take place in episodes of high intensity, intertwined with periods of normality. Approximately 1% of the population is estimated to have schizophrenia. As of right now there is no cure for the disorder, and those with the condition are generally relegated to high doses of very strong medication. It is said that with medication, many with the affliction are able to keep their symptoms under control. There is no specific test that will give an answer as to whether a person has schizophrenia. Like many psychological disorders it is merely characterized by its symptoms, and diagnoses are given based on these symptoms.
With all the tech advancements in grow ops, and a valiant attempt to eliminate the stoner stereotype from dispensary storefronts, the American pot market has become a bit bougie.
Everyone is ranting and raving these days about medical marijuana. Depending on who you ask, it can prevent, treat and even cure various health conditions from anxiety to cancer. Some believe in the powers of the herb so much that they have tossed all of their prescription drugs in the trash and kicked it into high gear down the path of pot. But a lot of these people are learning that with all of the legal discrepancies associated with this crop, it’s a rather expensive trip.
In Ohio, a recent survey conducted by the state found that nearly 60% of patients and caregivers are unnerved about the price of medical marijuana. The poll found that most program participants pay around $300 out of pocket every month for cannabis products. And many are complaining about it.
“Why are these products so expensive?” one responder inquired. “Does Ohio realize that those prescribed mmj (medical marijuana) often deal with symptoms that make working full-time difficult?”
But while Ohio patients grumble about the state’s prices being unreasonable and unaffordable, expensive is just the nature of the beast when it comes to medical marijuana. In states like Michigan and Illinois, the average cost of an ounce of medicinal herb is between $265 and $380.
As more places legalize cannabis for recreational use, the issue of a minimum use age becomes relevant. When trying to establish a minimum use age for a drug that was considered a narcotic very recently, even by the places legalizing it now, it becomes about the actual risk factors associated with it. While a few studies come out with weak links to neural issues, the real question not being asked is, can cannabis be good for young brains?
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Perhaps it’s taboo to even suggest it, but it was also taboo to consider legalizing cannabis just a few years ago. It was perfectly fine for doctors to encourage cigarette smoking all the way up until the 1960’s, even though by that point it was already well understood by the medical community the very strong, and undeniable connection between cigarettes and cancer. That connection was denied by tobacco companies until 1998. It only became ‘taboo’ to mix smoking, and things like children, when it was decided on a grander scale to encourage a minimized use of cigarettes. The idea of taboo is often linked simply to how well something is understood, and the information being put out there. Information that is often paid for, and used to serve a purpose. Before we get into the question of whether cannabis is good for young brains, let’s go over what we do know about it already.
Cannabis and plant medicine?
Cannabis is a flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family. So right there we know one important thing about it: it’s a plant. And that means that we are not dealing with pharmaceutical medicine, we’re dealing with natural plant-based medicine. Now, if you’re thinking cannabis is the one standout plant in the plant world to offer medicinal benefits, you’d surely be mistaken. For anything (and I mean *anything*) that cannabis is said to be capable of doing, you will, indeed, find other plants that do the same. Want help with neurological issues and cutting down on amyloid plaque in the brain? Take some turmeric. Want a natural anti-depressant? Give St. John’s Wort a try. Need help sleeping? Try hops, or California poppy, or valerian. Need some help paying attention? Swallow down some gingko biloba, and if you really want to get rid of that cold faster or protect yourself against microbial diseases, take your oregano oil everyday (also about the best way to get rid of food poisoning, which I can personally attest to).
Even when it comes to THC’s ability to make a person feel good, well, so do poppy, and coca, and plenty of other plants. In most ways, when looking at plant medicine, there is actually absolutely nothing special about cannabis. But, also when looking at plant medicine, there is very little reason to believe that a plant already associated with helping with neurological disorders, would be the same plant to cause them. Yes, some plants are deadly, but we already know that no one dies from cannabis. At the very worst, literally, the very worst possible, it *could cause minor deficits, but once again, way more points in the direction that it is helpful to the brain, not harmful.
Five years after Texas legalized medical marijuana for people with debilitating illnesses, advocates and industry experts say the state’s strict rules, red tape and burdensome barriers to entry have left the program largely inaccessible to those it was intended to help.
But with a new legislative session gaveling in next month, some Texas lawmakers see an opportunity to fix the state’s medical cannabis program — known as the Compassionate Use Program — by further expanding eligibility and loosening some restrictions so Texas’ laws more closely resemble those of other states that allow the treatment.
There are 3,519 Texans registered with the state to use medical marijuana, though advocates say 2 million people are eligible based on current law.
Texas’ program pales in overall participation and scope compared with other states: It has fewer enrolled patients and businesses than most other states with medical marijuana programs. At least some form of medical marijuana is legal in 47 states nationwide, but Texas’ restrictions put it in the bottom 11 in terms of accessibility, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“We’re pretty dang close to the bottom. We’re pretty far behind,” said state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, referring to how access to Texas’ medical marijuana program fares compared with other states. Menéndez will push legislation in the next session to further expand the program.
A grieving mother has made yet another call for Indonesia to legalise the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The substance is banned in the country under the 2009 Narcotics Law, which is one of the world’s strictest drug regulations.
Dwi Pertiwi, the mother of Musa bin Hassan Pedersen, who lived with cerebral palsy until his death at the age of 16, joined two fellow mothers and a coalition of activist groups to file a petition challenging the law with the Constitutional Court on November 21.
The preliminary hearings had barely begun when Musa died on December 26 after his condition deteriorated as a result of breathing difficulties and hypoxia, according to the coalition.
Musa had caught pneumonia at only 40 days old, the coalition said, but diagnostic and treatment errors had resulted in the development of meningitis, an inflammation of the brain that, in infants, is a risk factor for cerebral palsy.
With ever-climbing HPV-positive cancer rates, research on the effect CBD and THC has on the human papillomavirus can’t come soon enough.
Often called the common cold of the sexual world, the Centers for Disease Control states that HPV has infected over 79 million individuals worldwide. Both prevalent and highly contagious, HPV tends to thrive on porous skin located in the throat, anal cavity, cervix and tongue, making it extremely difficult to test and eradicate around the world.
Risk factors of HPV are a compromised immune system, smoking and poor diet and sleep. Thought to cause over 70% of cervical cancers, the World Health Organization states that HPV has more than 100 types and has one of the best known defenses: vaccination.
For decades, researchers believed that marijuana played a role in HPV-related cervical cancer. However, a 2010 study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, found that marijuana did not cause cervical cancer.
Understanding HPV’s infectivity
While once thought to only be contracted through sexual conduct, studies in the last two decades have showcased that HPV can live on surfaces. A 2002 study, published in the British Medical Journal found HPV DNA could live in a clinical environment, without skin-to-skin contact. A more recent and in-depth study, featured in Taylor & Francis Online, found that when comparing the bovine papillomavirus with the human papillomavirus, both showed a remarkable ability to retain a 50% infectivity at room temperature after 3 days.
Additionally, in 2014, Penn State further researched earlier findings, discovering that unless a special method of cleaning instruments (autoclaving) or bleach was present, HPV was persistent on surfaces and was able to be transmitted. While still cited as a “sexually-transmitted infection,” HPV appears to be anything but.
As a Mississippi mayor sues the state over medical cannabis, the attorney general of Mississippi, Lynn Fitch, as well as Secretary of State Michael Watson, are on the side of the medical initiative. This is surprising to many, as both Fitch and Watson are Republicans.
The mayor of Madison, Mary Hawkins Butler, initially filed the lawsuit in October, before medical cannabis even passed, claiming that Initiative 65 would limit the abilities of cities to control where medical cannabis businesses are built. While the initiative passed back in November by a significant number of votes, she is still hoping to see it overturned.
However, so far, she is not getting a lot of support from major players in the state. The attorney general’s office is arguing in support of the secretary of state’s office against the lawsuit.
Butler is claiming that she has a leg to stand on because the initiative process is outdated, since it requires the same number of signatures from five congressional districts. Mississippi no longer has five congressional districts; since 2000, they have four.
The restructuring happened because of fighting over partisan issues, and the lines being redrawn on a federal level. Therefore, it no longer works to say that all five districts need an equal number of signatures.
Bill Cobb uses medical marijuana to treat PTSD and chronic back pain.
“I’m a 50-year-old Black man who’s been a civil rights worker,” said Cobb, now a criminal justice activist in Philadelphia. “I smoke to have my brain slow down. But to be honest, I also smoke because I enjoy it.”
Alleviating his physical and mental pain is difficult when he feels another sting: His doctor-recommended medicine is not covered by insurance. He pays out of pocket — as much as $120 a week.
“It’s way too expensive,” Mr. Cobb said. “It’s ridiculous.”
Other marijuana users in Pennsylvania agree.