Study: Daily Marijuana Use Associated With Increased Treatment Retention Rates for Those Addicted to Opioids

Daily cannabis use is associated with greater odds of retention in treatment among those addicted to opioids, according to a new study published in the journal Addiction, and epublished online by the National Institute of Health.

cannabis “Cannabis use is common among people on opioid agonist treatment (OAT), causing concern for some care providers”, states the study. “However, there is limited and conflicting evidence on the impact of cannabis use on OAT outcomes. Given the “critical role of retention in OAT in reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality”, researchers “aimed to estimate the association of at least daily cannabis use on the likelihood of retention in treatment among people initiating OAT.” As a secondary aim researchers “tested the impacts of less frequent cannabis use.”

The study comprised a total of 820 people who use illicit drugs (PWUD), who initiated OAT between December 1996 and May 2016. . Participants were followed for a median of 81 month.

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Study: THC/CBD Effective in Treating Pain From Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

According to a new study published by the Journal of Pain Research, THC/CBD can have “remarkable analgesic capabilities” in the treatment of chronic refractory pain caused by failed back surgery syndrome.

“This study aimed to evaluate pain and its symptoms in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refractory to other therapies, treated with a combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in association with spinal cord stimulation (SCS)”, states the study’s abstract. “Outpatients referred at Pain Unit of San Vincenzo Hospital in Taormina (Italy), between September 2014 and January 2016”, were evaluated.

For the study, eleven FBSS patients diagnosed with neuropathic pain, and suffering from moderate to severe chronic refractory pain and undergoing treatment with SCS and a combination of THC/CBD for 12 consecutive months, completed the Douleur Neuropathique 4 questionnaire.

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Northern Mariana Islands Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law

Northern Mariana Islands Governor Ralph DLG. Torres has signed HB 20-178, the Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018, into law.

“Today, our people made history”, said Governor Torres is a public statement. “We took a stand to legalize marijuana in the CNMI for recreational, medical, and commercial use”.

Torres’ signature on the measure comes shortly after it passed the Senate 6-0-2; it passed the House in August 108-1-1.

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Study: CBDA and THC Have Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Hyperalgesia Effects

Both cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) show  anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia effects on acute inflammation, according to a new study published by the journal Psychopharmacology, and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health.

“The present study evaluates the anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia effects of CBD’s potent acidic precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), in a rodent model of carrageenan-induced acute inflammation in the rat hind paw, when administered systemically (intraperitoneal, i.p.) or orally before and/or after carrageenan”, begins the study’s abstract. “In addition, we assess the effects of oral administration of THC or CBDA, their mechanism of action, and the efficacy of combined ineffective doses of THC and CBDA in this model. Finally, we compare the efficacy of CBD and CBDA.”

Researchers found that “CBDA given i.p. 60 min prior to carrageenan (but not 60 min after carrageenan) produced dose-dependent anti-hyperalgesia and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, THC or CBDA given by oral gavage 60 min prior to carrageenan produced anti-hyperalgesia effects, and THC reduced inflammation.”

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New Jersey Senate Committee Passes Hemp Bill

A hemp legalization bill has been passed by a key Senate committee in New Jersey.

The Senate Economic Growth Committee passed Senate Bill 2491 today, sending it towards a vote by the full Senate. A companion bill to this measure, Assembly Bill 1330, was passed unanimously through the Assembly (67 to 0) in June.

According to its official text, SB 2491 “establishes an industrial hemp license for planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, distributing, buying, or selling industrial hemp in the State.” The bill also “establishes procedures and requirements for persons applying to the Secretary of Agriculture for a license, including procedures and requirements for fingerprinting and criminal background checks for license applicants.”

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Louisiana Officials Remove 100-Patient Limit for Doctors Recommending Medical Cannabis

Louisiana state officials today nixed a regulation that prohibited physicians from recommending medical cannabis to more than 100 patients, while also easing renewal requirements for patients.

Earlier today the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners, by a vote of 8 to 1, decided to remove an arbitrary rule that required physicians to stop recommending medical cannabis once they’ve recommended the medicine to 100 patients. The board also removed a requirement for patients to see their physician every 90 days in order to continue their ability to legally use medical cannabis (the vote on this was closer; 5 to 4).

Dr. Victor Chou, who was one of the first physicians in the state receive a license to recommend medical marijuana, told the board he met the patient cap just two weeks after opening his clinic, noting that he has “a waiting list of 700 patients”.

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Study: Marijuana May Have Anti-Obesity Effects

Marijuana may help fight obesity, according to a new study published by the International Journal of Molecular Science.

Noting that “Obesity is an increasing health problem worldwide” and its “related comorbidities imply a high cost for the National Health System and diminish a patient’s life quality”, the study’s abstract states that”Cannabinoid receptors (CB) regulate thermogenesis, food intake and inflammation”.

In this study researchers found that “Stimulation of CB2 limits inflammation and promotes anti-obesity effects by reducing food intake and weight gain.” Stimulation of the CB2 receptors, of course, can occur through the consumption of cannabis and cannabinoids.”

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New Jersey Committee Passes Marijuana Banking Resolution

A resolution urging the federal government to allow banks to work with marijuana businesses that are legal under state law has been passed by an Assembly committee in New Jersey.

The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee gave approval yesterday to Assembly Resolution 183, which urges Congress to pass the federal “Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2017.” According to the resolution, this bill would prohibit “federal bank regulators from punishing banks that service marijuana businesses and by prohibiting federal bank regulators from discouraging banks to do business with marijuana companies”, which would “improve public safety in New Jersey and would allow marijuana businesses to fully utilize the banking services offered in the State.”

The resolution notes that “New Jersey, like many other states, allows for the production and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana is effective in treating pain, muscle stiffness, nausea, lack of appetite, and other symptoms associated with serious illnesses like cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.” The resolution states that the legalization of medical marijuana “has been endorsed by the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the HIV Medicine Association, and many other medical organizations.”

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Michigan Judge Stops Closure of Nearly 100 Medical Marijuana Businesses

A judge is Michigan has stopped plans by state officials that would shutdown nearly 100 medical marijuana businesses.

Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello granted an injunction yesterday on the businesses’ closure. The injunction was requested by a lawyer representing one of the medical marijuana business that would have been shutdown. The state is currently reviewing the judge’s order.

Regulators on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, extended the deadline to Dec. 15, 2018, for medical marijuana businesses to be licensed, allowing 108 facilities to continue operating while warning that 98 others would be issued cease-and-desist letters. Borrello’s order tells the state to allow all to keep operating.

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New Jersey Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Now Authorized to Sell Vaporizer Cartridges and Vape Pens

The New Jersey Department of Health has waived regulations prohibiting medical cannabis dispensaries from selling vaporizer products such as cannabis vape cartridges and vape pens.

A cannabis oil vape cartridge (photo: GamonWeed.com)

Up until this point medical cannabis dispensaries in New Jersey were banned from carrying vaporizer products such as cannabis cartridges, with the law limiting them to selling cannabis bud, topicals (lotions, ointments, etc.) and oral lozenges. Now, with a rule change brought forth by the Department of Health, dispensaries are authorized to sell cannabis cartridges, vape pens and other similar products.

Curaleaf New Jersey, based in Bellmawr, is one of the first dispensaries to offer cannabis cartridges, with sales of the product starting earlier today. There are five other dispensaries located throughout New Jersey, and it’s expected that most if not all will be offering the product soon (if they don’t already).

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