Study: Cannabinoids Exert Neuroprotective Effects in Those With Vascular Dementia

Cannabinoids exert a neuroprotective effect on the cognitive deficits caused by vascular dementia, according to a new study published by the journal Psychiatry Research, and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health.

A 3D model of vascular dementia (photo: Alzheimer’s Association).

“Vascular dementia (VaD) is characteristic of chronic brain ischemia and progressive memory decline, which has a high incidence in the elderly”, states the study. “However, there are no effective treatments for VaD, and the underlying mechanism of its pathogenesis remains unclear.”

With that in mind, “This study investigated the effects of a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) on VaD, and molecular mechanisms of the effects.”

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Florida Attorney Who Helped Legalize Medical Marijuana Looking to Put Full Legalization to a Vote in 2020

John Morgan, who was the driving force behind Florida’s successful medical marijuana legalization campaign, is looking to put the full legalization of marijuana to a vote of the people by 2020.

Attorney John Morgan is the founder of United for Care, a nonprofit organization that successful placed an initiative to legalize marijuana on the 2016 ballot, which was subsequently approved by voters.  Responding to state lawmakers working to restrict the voter-approved law, Morgan says he’s working to legalize marijuana for all adults.

“Maybe it’s time for full legalization”, Morgan said in a recent Tweet. “It would pass with Flying Colors!” Morgan goes on to say that “I’m going to look at starting a fund where we all can donate to get full marijuana legalization on the ballot in 2020”.

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Oklahoma Voters Legalize Medical Cannabis

Oklahoma voters have legalized medical cannabis through the passage of State Question 788.

The initiative allows those with a recommendation from a physician to possess and use up to three ounces of cannabis (eight ounces at home), and up to 72 ounces of cannabis-infused products such as tinctures, edibles and topicals. Patients will also be allowed to grow up to six mature cannabis plants, and six seedlings.

State Question 788 – which passed with around 56% support – legalizes a licensed and regulated system of marijuana cultivation centers and retail outlets, with the latter authorized to sell medical cannabis to any qualified patient.

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Oklahoma, the Fourth Most Conservative State, May Soon Become the 30th to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the U.S., but tomorrow it may become the 30th to legalize medical cannabis.

According to Gallup, Oklahoma is the fourth most conservative state, with Mississippi, North Dakota and Wyoming narrowly taking the lead in that category. Despite this, activists were able to collect well more than the number of signatures required to place a medical cannabis legalization initiative on the primary ballot. Now, in just a matter of hours, Oklahoma voters will have the opportunity to pass that initiative. This would make Oklahoma the 30th state to legalize medical cannabis, marking 60% of the entire United States.

The passage of State Question 788 would be important for a number of reasons, beyond the fact that it would inherently benefit thousands of people by legalizing a vastly medicinal plant. For one, it would demonstrate that a comprehensive medical cannabis initiative can pass in a heavily conservative state, despite opposition greatly outspending the measure’s proponents. This would strongly indicate that medical cannabis has embedded support across the nation that’s becoming (or maybe already is) unbreakable.

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U.S. Senate Approves Bill Allowing Veterans Affairs Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana

The full United States Senate has passed a bill that allows physicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend medical marijuana to patients living in states where the medicine is legal.

The Senate voted 86 to 5 on a spending bill that includes a provision to finally allow veterans living in medical marijuana states to receive recommendations from their physicians at the VA.

The measure states that “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs in this Act may be used in a manner that would —

(1) interfere with the ability of a veteran to participate in a medicinal marijuana program approved by a State;

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Epidiolex Becomes First-Ever FDA-Approved Drug Derived From Marijuana

According to a press release sent out this morning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for the treatment of seizures associated with two forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older.

This marks the first time the FDA has ever approved a drug that contains a substance that was directly derived from marijuana. It is also the first FDA approval of a drug for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome.

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies”, says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development”.

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Study: THC/CBD Spray Provides Pain Relief to Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Sativex, a medical spray made from cannabis using equal parts THC and CBD, is effective in providing pain relief to those with multiple sclerosis, according to newly released research.

“Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)/cannabidiol (CBD) (nabiximols or Sativex®) is an oromucosal spray formulation containing THC and CBD at an approximately 1:1 fixed ratio”, states the abstract of the study, which was published by the open access journal Medicines. “Its administration for the treatment of pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been established. ”

Noting that “MS patients generally complain of different kinds of pain, including spasticity-related and neuropathic pain”, researchers “compared and evaluated pain modulation and thermal/pain threshold of MS patients before and after THC/CBD administration.” 19 MS patients underwent “clinical examination, numerical rating scale (NRS), quantitative sensory testing (QST), and laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) before and after 1 month of therapy.” Psychophysiological and neurophysiological data were compared to sex- and age-matched controls.

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Study: THC Blood Levels “Do Not Correlate Well” With the Level of Driving Impairment

A new study has found that “blood levels of tetrahydrocannabinol do not correlate well with the level of impairment”, and heavy marijuana use doesn’t consistently lead to “cognitive and psychomotor impairment”.

“Marijuana is the most widely consumed illicit substance in the United States, and an increasing number of states have legalized it for both medicinal and recreational purposes”, begins the abstract of the study, which was published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health. “As it becomes more readily available, there will be a concurrent rise in the number of users and, consequently, the number of motor vehicle operators driving under the influence.”

With that in mind, the study examined “the cognitive and psychomotor effects of cannabis, as well as current policy concerning driving under the influence of drugs.” To do so, “The authors performed a MEDLINE search on the epidemiology of cannabis use, its cognitive and psychomotor effects, and policies regarding driving under the influence of drugs.”

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Massachusetts Approves State’s First Recreational Marijuana Business License

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted unanimously yesterday to approve the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana business license.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightThe commission approved granting the license to Sira Naturals, a marijuana cultivation facility (located in Milford). The company currently grows medical marijuana.

“We’re very excited about it and we are going to work very, very hard to continue our tradition of providing premium cannabis sustainably grown and sold with integrity,” said Sira Naturals CEO Michael Dundas following the commission’s approval of his company’s license.

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New York: Governor-Commissioned Report to Recommend Legalizing Marijuana

New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced this week that a forthcoming report conducted by his office will recommend that the state legalize marijuana.

The Health Department report will recommend that “a regulated, legal marijuana program be available to adults in the state”, Commissioner Zucker said at a recent press conference. “We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons. We have new facts.” The complete report is expected to be released in the near future, potentially as soon as next week.

The announcement from Commissioner Zucker comes just weeks after the New York City Comptroller’s office stated that they estimate New York would garner $434 million in annual tax revenue if the state legalized marijuana for adults.

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