Tag: Studies

Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Patients Find Relief in Medical Marijuana

(Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance)

FORT COLLINS, CO — Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis report that cannabis effectively mitigates many of their symptoms, according to survey data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Five hundred and ninety-five subjects responded to an online questionnaire hosted on the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society webpages.

Respondents reported that cannabis was highly effective (6.4 on a scale from zero to 7) at providing symptom management, and 59 percent of participants said that they had reduced their use of prescription drugs since initiating medical marijuana treatment.

Those respondents who identified themselves as medical cannabis users reported lower overall levels of disability compared to non-users, specifically in the domains of memory, mood, and fatigue.

Placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the use of both whole-plant cannabis and/or cannabis-derived extracts in patients with MS have consistently shown efficacy in the mitigation of spasticity and other symptoms.

A plant cannabis-derived spray, Sativex, is available by prescription for the treatment of MS in Canada, the United Kingdom, and in several other countries.

Patients with PD consistently report subjective benefits from cannabis, particularly for the mitigation of tremors and bradykinsea (slowness of movement).

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use in people with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis: A web-based investigation,” appears in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

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Is Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department Actively Blocking Cannabis Research?

More than two dozen federal applications to grow cannabis for research purposes have stalled as Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department lets them languish. The bottleneck is frustrating researchers, doctors, and other stakeholders desperate to learn more about the drug.

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A year ago, the US Drug Enforcement Agency began accepting applications to grow cannabis for research, a move meant to improve the availability and quality of cannabis for use in scientific research. As part of the approval process, the DEA says it needs the DOJ’s sign-off—but so far that hasn’t come.

“They’re sitting on it,” one law enforcement official told the Washington Post, which first reported the story. “They just will not act on these things.”

A senior DEA official told the Post that “the Justice Department has effectively shut down this program to increase research registrations.’’

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Photos Prove Government-Grown Cannabis Is Basically Ditch Weed

As a result of what’s effectively become a DOJ roadblock, researchers are struggling to access cannabis to conduct experiments into the drug’s health effects and clinical applications. To date, there is only one place in the US that has permission from the federal government to grow and distribute cannabis: the University of Mississippi. Not exactly a cannabis hotbed, historically speaking.

The cannabis that is grown at Ole Miss is nothing to write home about. In some cases, it barely even looks like cannabis. As Leafly reported in March, cannabis provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for a study into PTSD looked less like medical marijuana and more like clippings you might dig out of an old lawnmower.

In the PTSD study, Johns Hopkins University was slated to help conduct the multiyear clinical trial, sponsored by the nonprofit group Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS. But soon after the researchers received the government-grown cannabis, John Hopkins pulled out of the study. In a statement to Leafly, a university spokesperson said the school withdrew “because our goals for this weren’t in alignment.”

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Dustup Over NIDA-Grown Ditch Weed Leads Johns Hopkins to Ditch PTSD Study

MAPS spokesman Brad Burge, however, told Leafly that the poor-quality cannabis was the primary reason the study hit a road block. “NIDA wasn’t able to provide the relatively high THC level that we wanted to look at,” Burge said. “We asked for a 12% THC strain, and they were only able to get us a 10%.” For reference, the bulk of cannabis sold at adult-use stores in legal states exceeds 20% THC.

Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said last year that the DEA would “support and promote legitimate research regarding marijuana and its constituent parts.” At the time, the statement was a victory for cannabis researchers. But so far little has come of it.


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Herbal Cannabis Sales Still Dominate the Retail Marijuana Market

SANTA MONICA, CA — Herbal cannabis is far more popular among consumers than are plant-derived edibles or extracts, according to an analysis of retail sales data in Washington state.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and from the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica reviewed data from over 36 million separate retail cannabis transactions in Washington.

Sales occurred from July 2014 to September 2016.

Authors reported that “traditional cannabis flowers still account for the majority of spending (66.6 percent), though they acknowledged that sales of plant-derived extracts have increased significantly over the past two years.

Researchers also reported that prices on cannabis-related products fell sharply in the months following legalization “as new retailers entered the market and production expanded.”

Full text of the study, “Variation in cannabis potency and prices in a newly legal market: Evidence from 30 million cannabis sales in Washington state,” appears in Addiction.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Study: Marijuana Users Have Lower Mortality Rates in Intensive Care

Trauma patients who test positive for marijuana upon their admission to the intensive care unit are less likely to die during hospitalization than are age-matched controls, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona analyzed the in-hospital mortality rates of adults admitted into the ICU over a five-year period, of which 2,678 were matched (1,339: marijuana positive, 1,339 marijuana negative).

Authors concluded: “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen. … Prospective studies with long-term follow up will be useful in answering many of the remaining questions surrounding the specific impact of marijuana on outcomes after trauma.”

Prior studies have similarly reported greater survival rates among marijuana-positive patients hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries and heart attacks as compared to matched controls.

An abstract of the study, “How does marijuana effect outcomes after trauma in ICU patients? A propensity matched analysis,” appears online here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Yet Another Study Finds That Marijuana Use Doesn’t Lead to a Lower IQ

TEMPE, AZ — The habitual use of cannabis by teens is not independently linked with adverse changes in intelligence quotient or executive functioning, according to longitudinal data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

A team of investigators from the United States and the United Kingdom evaluated whether marijuana use is directly associated with changes over time in neuropsychological performance in a nationally representative cohort of adolescent twins.

Authors reported that “family background factors,” but not the use of cannabis negatively impacted adolescents’ cognitive performance.

They wrote: “[W]e found that youth who used cannabis … had lower IQ at age 18, but there was little evidence that cannabis use was associated with IQ decline from age 12 to 18. Moreover, although cannabis use was associated with lower IQ and poorer executive functions at age 18, these associations were generally not apparent within pairs of twins from the same family, suggesting that family background factors explain why adolescents who use cannabis perform worse on IQ and executive function tests.”

Investigators concluded, “Short-term cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to cause IQ decline or impair executive functions, even when cannabis use reaches the level of dependence.”

Their findings are consistent with those of several other studies – including those here, here, here, and here – finding that cannabis use alone during adolescence does not appear to have a significant, direct adverse effect on intelligence quotient.

widely publicized and still often cited New Zealand study published in 2012 in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that the persistent use of cannabis from adolescence to adulthood was associated with slightly lower IQ by age 38.

However, a follow up review of the data published later in the same journal suggested that the observed changes were likely due to socioeconomic differences, not the subjects’ use of cannabis.

A later study by the initial paper’s lead investigator further reported that the effects of persistent adolescent cannabis use on academic performance are “non-significant after controlling for persistent alcohol and tobacco use.”

Full text of the study, “Associations between adolescent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline: A longitudinal co-twin control study,” appears in Addiction.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

CBD May Help Slow Progression of ALS

WEIN, AUSTRIA — The co-administration of cannabidiol (CBD) with the prescription drug riluzole (marketed as Rilutek) is associated with the delayed onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), according to a case report published in the Journal of General Practice.

A researcher reported that the administration of 300mg of CBD twice daily was associated with the limited progression of various ALS symptoms in a single patient.

The author wrote, “It is concluded, that co-medication with CBD may be able to slow down the progression of some but not all symptoms of motor neuron disease.”

Preclinical data indicates that cannabinoids possess neuroprotective properties that may hold promise in the treatment of brain diseases like ALS. However, clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cannabis treatment in ALS patients have yet to be conducted.

Full text of the study, “Co-medication with cannabidiol may slow down the progression of motor neuron disease: A case report,” appears in the Journal of General Practice.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Smoking Marijuana Doesn’t Lead to Changes in the Hippocampus, Study Finds

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — The regular use of cannabis by young people is not associated with hippocampal volume alterations, according to case-control longitudinal data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Investigators from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom conducted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at baseline and at follow up (average of 39-months post-baseline) in 20 habitual cannabis users and in 23 non-using controls.

Authors reported: “Compared to controls, cannabis users did not show hippocampal volume alterations at either baseline or follow-up. Hippocampal volumes increased over time in both cannabis users and controls, following similar trajectories of increase. Cannabis dose and age of onset of cannabis use did not affect hippocampal volumes.”

They concluded, “Continued heavy cannabis use did not affect hippocampal neuroanatomical changes in early adulthood. … These data suggest that cannabis users show the same developmental trends as normative samples and that heavy cannabis use in this group may not necessarily interfere with hippocampal changes in neuroanatomy in early adulthood.”

The findings are consistent with other recent studies, such as those here and here, finding that the use of alcohol but not cannabis is negatively associated with specific structural changes in the developing brain.

Full text of the study, “Longitudinal study of hippocampal volumes in heavy cannabis users,” appears in The Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Study Linking Cannabis Use and Increased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome Is Inconsistent With Prior Data

ATLANTA, GA — The findings of a recent, well-publicized study correlating long-term cannabis use with a slightly increased risk of metabolic syndrome are inconsistent with those of several prior observational studies.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a constellation of risk factors linked with an increased likelihood of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

Investigators at the Georgia State University School of Public Health assessed the association between subjects’ duration of cannabis use and MetS in a cohort of 3,051 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during the years 2011 and 2012.

Researchers reported that subjects’ cannabis use history was correlated with a “small, yet consistent increase in odds” for hypertension, obesity and other MetS risk factors. For many factors, the data showed “an initial decrease in values but [then an] eventual increase.” Authors of the study were unable to control for subjects’ diet, an important risk factor for MetS.

They concluded, “Extended duration of marijuana use could possibly increase the risk for the development of metabolic syndrome. … Longitudinal research is required to define the true relationship between marijuana use and metabolic syndrome.”

Researchers acknowledged that their findings are largely inconsistent with those of prior studies. Specifically, a 2016 study involving a significantly larger cohort of NHANES participants reported that “current marijuana use is associated with lower odds of metabolic syndrome.”

Several other observational trials have similarly reported that those with a cannabis use history are less likely to be obese, possess lower BMI, and are less likely to suffer from adult onset diabetes as compared to non-users. A 2017 longitudinal study reported that those who consume cannabis long-term suffer no greater likelihood of cardiovascular disease by middle age than do those with no history of use.

Recent clinical trials data also finds that the administration of specific cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC-V, are positively associated with reductions in blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Full text of the study, “Relationship between years of marijuana use and the four main diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome among United States adults,” appears in the Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Analysis: Criminal Justice Referrals Driving Youth Marijuana Treatment Admissions

Over half of all young people entered into drug treatment for marijuana are placed there by the criminal justice system and this percentage is increasing, according to data published online in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

A team of researchers from Binghamton University in New York and the University of Iowa reviewed youth marijuana treatment admission data (TEDS-A) during the years 1995 to 2012.

Investigators reported that youth admissions for cannabis rose 65 percent during the study period – from 52,894 annual admissions in 1995 to 87,528 in 2012.

Admissions rose most precipitously among Latinos (an increase of 256 percent since 1995) and African American youth (an increase of 86 percent).

Criminal justice system referrals rose 70 percent during this same period, and now account for 54 percent of all substance abuse admissions by young people.

Among those in treatment, half exhibited little if any evidence of suffering from marijuana dependence.

Specifically, 30 percent of all young people admitted into marijuana treatment since 2008 had no record of having consumed cannabis in the 30 days prior to their admittance.

Another 20 percent of those entered into treatment had use cannabis three times or fewer in the month prior to their admission.

Prior evaluations of TEDS data among adults have yielded similar results.

“Our findings indicate that the severity of drug use involved in those admissions has decreased,” authors concluded. “This study highlights the importance of identifying youth in actual need of treatment services.”

Since the late 1990s, both youth use of marijuana and the prevalence of so-called ‘cannabis use disorder’ by young people have declined significantly.

An abstract of the study, “Trends in youth marijuana treatment admissions: Increasing admissions contrasted with decreasing drug involvement,” is online here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Cannabis Smoking Associated With Spontaneous Remission of Restless Legs Syndrome

Cannabis Smoking Associated With Spontaneous Remission of Restless Legs Syndrome | NORML

BORDEAUX, FRANCE — Cannabis inhalation alleviates symptoms in patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS), according to a series of case reports published in the journal Sleep Medicine. Up to ten percent of the US population is estimated to suffer from RLS. French researchers reported on the experience of six patients with treatment-resistant RLS following cannabis inhalation. All patients reported “total […]

Cannabis Smoking Associated With Spontaneous Remission of Restless Legs Syndrome | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.