Tag: Studies

Study: Medical Marijuana Patients Reduce Their Use of Opioids

VICTORIA, BC — Patients with legal access to medical cannabis reduce their use of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other prescription drugs, according to data published online ahead of print in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

Researchers at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia assessed the use of medical cannabis and prescription drugs in a cohort of 277 patients registered in the Canadian government’s medical marijuana program.

Sixty-three percent of the respondents reported substituting cannabis for prescription medications. Patients were most likely to report using cannabis in lieu of opioids (32 percent).

Patients also reported using cannabis in place of benzodiazepines (16 percent) and anti-depressants (12 percent).

Respondents were most likely to reduce their use of prescription medications because they believed that cannabis posed fewer adverse side effects. Respondents also reported that “cannabis is safer” than prescription alternatives and that it provides “better symptom management.”

Authors concluded:

“The finding that patients using cannabis to treat pain-related conditions have a higher rate of substitution for opioids, and that patients self-reporting mental health issues have a higher rate of substitution for benzodiazepines and antidepressants has significant public health implications. In light of the growing rate of morbidity and mortality associated with these prescription medications, cannabis could play a significant role in reducing the health burden of problematic prescription drug use.”

The study’s conclusions are consistent with those of prior reports finding that patients with legal access to cannabis spend less money on conventional prescription drugs, and are less likely to use or abuse opioids.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis access, use, and substitution for prescription opioids and other substances: A survey of authorized medical cannabis patients,” appears in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

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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: Cannabis Extract Associated with Improved Survival Rates in Glioma Patients

Glioma in the left parietal lobe (brain CT scan), WHO grade 2. (Wikimedia/Mikhail Kalinin)

LONDON — Brain tumor patients treated with cannabis extracts possessed increased one-year survival rates compared to those who went untreated, according to clinical trial data reported this week by British biotechnology firm GW Pharmaceuticals.

Twenty-one patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme and who were undergoing conventional anti-cancer treatment participated in the study. Patients received either a proprietary cannabis extract containing a combination of THC and CBD or a placebo.

“[P]atients with documented recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83 percent one year survival rate compared with 53 percent for patients in the placebo cohort,” the company summarized in a press release. “Median survival for the THC:CBD group was greater than 550 days compared with 369 days in the placebo group.”

The study’s findings replicate preclinical data demonstrating that the adjunctive use of cannabinoids with temozolomide may be associated with greater anti-cancer activity than the use of conventional therapy alone.

Glioblastoma multiforme is an especially aggressive form of cancer, with only 28 percent of patients surviving one year and fewer than four percent surviving five years.

For more information on the potential anti-cancer activity of cannabinoids, please see: http://norml.org/library/item/gliomascancer.

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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.

Clinical Trial: THCV Lowers Blood Sugar Levels In Type 2 Diabetics

DERBY, UK — The administration of THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is positively associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetics, according to the randomized, placebo-controlled data published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Investigators from the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine assessed the twice daily administration of various cannabinoids (CBD or THCV or CBD and THCV in combination) versus placebo over a period of 13 weeks in 62 non-insulin dependent subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Authors reported that the administration of THCV alone “significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose” levels and improved pancreatic cell function. By contrast, other treatment therapies failed to show detectable metabolic effects.

Investigators concluded, “THCV could represent a new therapeutic agent in glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.”

Population-based observational studies have previously reported that cannabis consumers typically possess lower BMI and other favorable indices related to diabetic control compared to those without a history of marijuana use.

Full text of the study, “Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group pilot study,” appears in Diabetes Care.

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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.

National Academy of Sciences Releases Report on Marijuana Confirming Medical Benefits; Dispelling Myths

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on the health impacts of marijuana Thursday, confirming the existence of medical benefits and dispelling some long-held myths about the substance.

The review of more than 10,000 scientific abstracts found, “There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective” for the treatment of chronic pain in adults, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis spasticity.

“These findings clearly undermine the federal government’s decision to classify marijuana under Schedule I, which is reserved for substances with no medical value,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It confirms that marijuana has several medical benefits and is not nearly as problematic as people are often led to believe. There is no rational or scientific justification for our nation’s current marijuana prohibition policy.”

The report also dispels several myths about the health impacts of marijuana. It found no links between smoking marijuana and the development of lung, head, or neck cancers, nor did it establish a link between marijuana use and asthma or other respiratory diseases. The respiratory problems that it did link to smoking marijuana, such as bronchitis, appear to improve after the consumer ceases their use.

According to the report, “There is no or insufficient evidence” linking marijuana use to all-cause mortality (death), deaths from overdose, or occupational accidents or injuries. It also found no substantial evidence of a link between the use of marijuana and the use of other illegal drugs. The report also does not appear to make any links between marijuana use and violent or aggressive behavior. Several of these findings were also included in the National Academies of Sciences’ previous report on marijuana, which was released in 1999.

“The report essentially concludes that marijuana is not harmless, but it is not as harmful as many other products that are regulated for adult use,” Tvert said. “If the researchers conducted a similar study on alcohol, they would conclude that it poses far more harm and provides far fewer medical benefits than marijuana. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and that should be reflected in our nation’s laws.”

The entire report can be read 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.

NORML Responds to National Academy of Sciences’ Marijuana Report

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report Thursday acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, and sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to marijuana research – in particular “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.

Authors of the report also addressed various aspects of marijuana’s effect on health and safety, acknowledging that the substance may pose certain potential risks for adolescents, pregnant women, and for those who may be driving shortly after ingesting cannabis. In each of these cases, these risks may be mitigated via marijuana regulation and the imposition of age restrictions in the marketplace.

Commenting on the report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said:

“The National Academy of Science’s conclusions that marijuana possesses established therapeutic utility for certain patients and that it possesses an acceptable safety profile when compared to those of other medications or recreational intoxicants are not surprising. This evidence has been available for some time, yet for decades marijuana policy in this country has largely been driven by rhetoric and emotion, not science and evidence.

“A search on PubMed, the repository for all peer-reviewed scientific papers, using the term ‘marijuana’ yields over 24,000 scientific papers referencing the plant or its biologically active constituents — a far greater body of literature than exists for commonly consumed conventional drugs like Tylenol, ibuprofen, or hydrocodone. Further, unlike modern pharmaceuticals, cannabis possesses an extensive history of human use dating back thousands of years, thus providing society with ample empirical evidence as to its relative safety and efficacy.

“Today, 29 states and Washington, DC permit physicians to recommend marijuana therapy. Some of these state-sanctioned programs have now been in place for nearly two decades. Eight states also permit the regulated use and sale of cannabis by adults. At a minimum, we know enough about cannabis, as well as the failures of cannabis prohibition, to regulate its consumption by adults, end its longstanding criminalization, and to remove it from its Schedule I prohibitive under federal law.”

The report marks the first time since 1999 that the National Academy of Sciences has addressed issues surrounding marijuana and health.

Authors reviewed over 10,000 scientific abstracts in their preparation of the new report.

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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: History of Cannabis Use Not An Independent Risk Factor for Stroke

Study: History of Cannabis Use Not An Independent Risk Factor for Stroke | NORML

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — The use of cannabis is not an independent contributing factor to the risk of stroke in those under 60 years of age, according to population-based data published online ahead of print in the journal Stroke. An international team of investigators from Sweden and France assessed the relationship between marijuana use and stroke risk […]

Study: History of Cannabis Use Not An Independent Risk Factor for Stroke | 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.

Most Police Want Marijuana Laws Reformed, Poll Finds

In a national poll of police officers conducted on a wide variety of topics, less than one third of those surveyed said marijuana should remain illegal.

According to the Behind the Badge survey of nearly 8,000 police officers conducted by the National Police Research Platform (NPRP), 68% of police support legalizing medical marijuana.

While 32 percent of police surveyed supported full legalization of marijuana for adults, the number is still lower than the national average of 49% support among the general public.

According to the Pew Research Center, who published the poll results Wednesday:

As more jurisdictions move to decriminalize or legalize the private use of marijuana by adults, large majorities of the police and the public favor easing restrictions on the drug. However, a larger share of the public than police favor legalization of marijuana for personal and medical use (49% vs. 32%).

Overall, about seven-in-ten officers support allowing medical use of marijuana (37%) or favor the legalization of the drug for both personal and medical use (32%). The public is more favorably inclined than police toward relaxing marijuana laws; more than eight-in-ten Americans support either legalizing marijuana (49%) or allowing only medical use of the drug (35%).

The surveys found little support among the public for outlawing marijuana use under any circumstances (15%). However, police are twice as likely as all adults to favor an outright ban on the drug (30%).

As with younger adults generally, officers younger than 35 are more likely than those ages 50 to 60 to favor permitting personal and medical use of marijuana (37% vs. 27%). Among the public, a majority of adults (63%) under the age of 45 favor legalization.

The poll of 7,917 law enforcement officers from 54 agencies across the United States was conducted between May 19 and Aug. 14, 2016.

Source: Pew Research Center

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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: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Fewer Traffic Fatalities

The passage of medical marijuana legalization is associated with reduced traffic fatalities among younger drivers, according to data published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.

Investigators from Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Davis analyzed traffic fatality data from the years 1985 to 2014.

They reported that states with medical cannabis laws had lower overall traffic fatality rates compared to states where cannabis is illegal, and that there was an immediate decline in motor vehicle deaths following the establishment of a legal cannabis market – particularly among those under 44 years of age.

Authors concluded: “[O]n average, MMLs (medical marijuana laws) states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states. …. MMLs are associated with reductions in traffic fatalities, particularly pronounced among those aged 25 to 44 years. … It is possible that this is related to lower alcohol-impaired driving behavior in MML-states.”

An abstract of the study, “US traffic fatalities, 1985-2014, and their relationship to medical marijuana laws,” 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.

Study: History of Marijuana Use Helps Reduce In-Hospital Mortality

GREELEY, CO — Hospitalized patients who test positive for cannabis are less likely than non-users to suffer from heart failure or cardiac disease, and are less likely to die from cancer, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer Medicine.

A team of researchers from the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Alabama assessed the relationship between marijuana use and health outcomes among a nationwide sample of 3.9 million hospitalized patients.

Researchers reported that marijuana-positive patients were more likely than non-users to seek hospitalization for stroke, but that they possessed lower odds of heart failure or cardiac disease, and that they possessed increased survival rates overall – especially among those patients with cancer. Authors concluded, “Odds of in-hospital mortality were significantly reduced among marijuana users compared with non-users in all hospitalized patients as well as cancer patients.”

Separate data, presented in April at the 2016 meeting of the American College of Cardiology, reported that heart attack patients with a history of cannabis use are less likely than non-users to die during hospitalization. A 2014 UCLA study similarly reported greater survival rates in marijuana-positive patients hospitalized for Traumatic Brain Injury.

Full text of the study, “Marijuana use and inpatient outcomes among hospitalized patients: analysis of the nationwide inpatient sample database,” appears in Cancer Medicine.

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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.

Recreational Marijuana Use is Increasing Among Adults Over 50

(Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance)

(Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance)

Baby Boomers are quickly becoming the largest generation to admit to marijuana use after age 50, according to a new study released by New York University.

There is a common misperception that widespread marijuana use is limited to younger generations,” researchers write.  “However, the Baby Boomer generation has reported higher rates of substance use than any preceding generation.”

“Given the unprecedented aging of the U.S. population, we are facing a never before seen cohort of older adults who use recreational drugs,” says Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, who led the study “Demographic Trends among Older Cannabis Users in the United States, 2006-2013.”

Researchers analyzed responses from over 47,000 adults age 50 and older in the United States. They found a 71% increase in marijuana use among adults aged 50 and older between 2006 and 2013. Adults ages 65 and older had a significantly lower prevalence of marijuana use compared to those ages 50-64, but prevalence of use increased two and a half times over eight years.

Overall, marijuana use was higher among men than women through all years, according to researchers.

The study’s authors note that one reason marijuana use is on the rise among Baby Boomers is that they don’t consider it a health risk.

“We found only five percent of these older adults felt using marijuana once or twice a week was a great risk to their health” said Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, a CDUHR affiliated researcher and an assistant professor of Population Health at NYULMC.

“I thought the perception of low risk was fascinating because, typically, we think of older generations as drug-adverse, and perceiving most drugs to be risky,” said Dr. Palamar. “But apparently very few Baby Boomers consider marijuana use risky. But after all, this was the generation who was there, in the late 1960s, when the counterculture revolution exploded marijuana into mainstream popularity.”

The researchers note that the majority of self-reported marijuana users indicated they first started using before the age of 18. This means that most of the current users either continued use or have begun using again more recently. Research is needed to determine whether this is related to changes in local, state, and national acceptance.

“Personally, I don’t think we need to be very alarmed about most older people who are using marijuana,” notes Dr. Palamar, “as our results suggest that only 4% started use after age 35. It is probable that most older users are at least somewhat experienced and are hopefully at reasonably low risk of harming themselves or others after use.”

This study underscores the need for further research on marijuana use and its effects in this population. More importantly, the research dispels the myth that older adults do not use marijuana.

Eight states have voted in favor of legal recreational marijuana and 26 states allow medicinal marijuana.

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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.