Oklahoma AG Says Board of Health Doesn’t Have Authority to Ban Smoking Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter sent out a press release today stating that the Board of Health’s recent ban on smoking medical marijuana is beyond their authority.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

“The current rules contain provisions that are inconsistent with the plain language of State Question 788 and the State Board of Health acted outside of its authority when it voted to implement them,” Hunter said in a Wednesday press release, referencing the Board’s recent vote to alter the voter-approved initiative to ban smoking medical marijuana despite the initiative clearly allowing  it.

“Although I didn’t support State Question 788, the people of the state have spoken and I have a legal duty to honor the decision made by the electorate”, says Hunter. “My advice today is made pursuant to that responsibility as attorney general.”

Continue reading

Study: CBD May Be Useful In Treating Breast Cancer

CBD may be a useful treatment for various breast cancer subtypes, according to a new study published by the journal The Breast.

“Studies have emphasized an antineoplastic effect of the non-psychoactive, phyto-cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD)”, begins the study’s abstract, which was epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health. “However, the molecular mechanism underlying its antitumor activity is not fully elucidated. Herein, we have examined the effect of CBD on two different human breast cancer cell lines”.

In both cell lines, “CBD inhibited cell survival and induced apoptosis in a dose dependent manner as observed by MTT assay, morphological changes, DNA fragmentation and ELISA apoptosis assay.”

Continue reading

Study: Eating Raw Cannabis Associated With Significant Improvements in Insomnia Patients

Consuming “raw, natural medical cannabis flower” is associated with “significant improvements” in insomnia patients, finds a new study published by the open access journal Medicines.

For the study 409 people with a specified condition of insomnia completed 1056 medical cannabis administration sessions using the Releaf AppTM educational software during which they recorded real-time ratings of “self-perceived insomnia severity levels prior to and following consumption, experienced side effects, and product characteristics, including combustion method, cannabis subtypes, and/or major cannabinoid contents of cannabis consumed.” Within-user effects of different flower characteristics were modeled using “a fixed effects panel regression approach with standard errors clustered at the user level.”

Researchers found that “Releaf AppTM users showed an average symptom severity reduction of -4.5 points on a 0⁻10 point visual analogue scale.” Use of pipes and vaporizers was associated with “greater symptom relief and more positive and context-specific side effects as compared to the use of joints, while vaporization was also associated with lower negative effects.” Cannabidiol (CBD) “was associated with greater statistically significant symptom relief than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the cannabinoid levels generally were not associated with differential side effects.”

Continue reading

Study: Cannabis Can Cause Death of Colon Cancer Cells

According to a new study published by the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, cannabis can cause the death of colon cancer cells, implying that it may be a potential treatment option for the disease.

“Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer diagnosis and fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide”, begins the abstract of the study. “Purified cannabinoids have been reported to prevent proliferation, metastasis, and induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell types. However, the active compounds from Cannabis sativa flowers and their interactions remain elusive.” This study was “aimed to specify the cytotoxic effect of C. sativa-derived extracts on colon cancer cells and adenomatous polyps by identification of active compound(s) and characterization of their interaction.”

For the study, ethanol extracts of C. sativa were “analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry and their cytotoxic activity was determined using alamarBlue-based assay (Resazurin) and tetrazolium dye-based assay (XTT) on cancer and normal colon cell lines and on dysplastic adenomatous polyp cells.”

Continue reading

New York Health Department Announces Emergency Rules Allowing Medical Marijuana as a Replacement for Opioids

The New York State Department of Health announced today the filing of emergency regulations adding any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

Effective immediately, registered practitioners may certify patients to use medical marijuana as a replacement for opioids, provided that the precise underlying condition for which an opioid would otherwise be prescribed is stated on the patient’s certification. This allows patients with severe pain that doesn’t meet the definition of chronic pain to use medical marijuana as a replacement for opioids, states a press release from the Health Department.

In addition, the regulation adds opioid use disorder as an associated condition. This allows patients with opioid use disorder who are enrolled in a certified treatment program to use medical marijuana as an opioid replacement.

Continue reading

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

Maine’s Legislature has voted to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of legislation allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they deem appropriate.

Recently Maine’s Legislature voted overwhelmingly to pass LD 1539, which removes the state’s list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions, instead allowing doctors to recommend the medicine to anyone they feel could benefit of it. The measure makes several other changes, including increasing the number of dispensaries allowed in the state from eight to 14.

Despite passing by a combined vote of 144 to 31 in the House and Senate, Governor LePage  – a staunch opponent of marijuana and efforts to liberalize the laws surrounding it – vetoed the measure.  Thankfully the bill had well more than the 2/3rds support it needed in the legislature for them to override the veto, which they have now officially done.

Continue reading

Study Finds Medical Marijuana Associated With 30% Reduction in Schedule III Opioid Prescriptions, 29% Reduction in Medicaid Spending

Newly released research, published on the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, shows that the legalization of medical marijuana is associated with a large reduction in prescriptions and dosages of schedule III opioids.

Noting “29 states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis for medical use”, the study “examined whether statewide medical cannabis legalization was associated with reduction in opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.”

Using a variety of scientifically designed methodologies (specifics can be found by clicking here), researchers found that for Schedule III opioid prescriptions, “medical cannabis legalization was associated with a 29.6% reduction in number of prescriptions, 29.9% reduction in dosage, and 28.8% reduction in related Medicaid spending.”

Continue reading

Study: Cannabigerol May Treat Neuroinflammation and Oxidative Stress

According to a new study published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the cannabis compound cannabigerol “may be a potential treatment against neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.”

“Inflammation and oxidative stress play main roles in neurodegeneration”, states the study’s abstract. “Interestingly, different natural compounds may be able to exert neuroprotective actions against inflammation and oxidative stress, protecting from neuronal cell loss. Among these natural sources, Cannabissativa represents a reservoir of compounds exerting beneficial properties, including cannabigerol (CBG), whose antioxidant properties have already been demonstrated in macrophages.”

With this in mind, researches “aimed to evaluate the ability of CBG to protect motor neurons against the toxicity induced from the medium of LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages.”

Continue reading

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Are Now Qualifying Medical Cannabis Conditions in Minnesota

Those in Minnesota with autism spectrum disorder or obstructive sleep apnea can now become legal medical cannabis patients if they receive a physician recommendation.

Approved by Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger in November, the addition of autism and sleep apnea to the state’s medical cannabis program officially took effect on July 1. They join 11 other qualifying conditions including HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

[T]here is increasing evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with severe autism and obstructive sleep apnea”, Dr. Ehlinger said in November when announcing the two additions. Unfortunately Dr. Ehlinger rejected adding several other conditions including dementia, liver disease and anxiety disorders.

Continue reading

Michigan Adds 11 New Medical Cannabis Conditions, Including Autism

Michigan has officially added 11 new conditions that qualify an individual to become a medical cannabis patient.

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Shelly Edgerton approved adding the new conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, based on recommendations from the Medical Marihuana Review Panel. The move doubles the number of medical cannabis conditions from 11 to 22.

The 11 new conditions include:

Continue reading