Study: Cannabis May Help Treat Acute Kidney Injury

Activation of the body’s CB2 receptors – something done naturally through the consumption of cannabis – may help treat acute kidney injury, according to a new study published by the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

“Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a common cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), which is an increasing problem in the clinic and has been associated with increased rates of mortality”, states the study’s abstract. “Currently, therapies to treat AKI are not available, so identification of new targets which, upon diagnosis of AKI, can be modulated to ameliorate renal damage is essential.” In this study, “a novel cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, SMM-295 [meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids], was designed, synthesized, and tested in vitro and in silico. In vivo testing of the CB2 agonist was performed using a mouse model of bilateral IRI, which is a common model to mimic human AKI.”

“Histological damage assessment 48 hours after reperfusion demonstrated reduced tubular damage in the presence of SMM-295”, claim researchers. “This was consistent with the reduced plasma markers of renal dysfunction, i.e., creatinine and NGAL, in SMM-295 treated mice. Mechanistically, kidneys treated with SMM-295 were shown to have elevated activation of Akt with reduced TUNEL-positive cells compared to vehicle-treated kidney following IRI.”

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Republic of Georgia Decriminalizes Cannabis After Court Rules Criminalization to be Unconstitutional

The Republic of Georgia’s constitutional court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to criminally prosecute someone for consuming cannabis.

“Cannabis consumption has been decriminalized today,” says attorney Iago Khvichia, who represents the political party Girchi. “It will soon be decided whether [consumption] will be legalized”. The ruling doesn’t, however, effect the distribution of cannabis.

The ruling comes from a case brought forth by Givi Shanidze, a Georgia citizen who has been charged with several cannabis consumption offenses; Shanidze’s case was an attempt to have these charges cleared from his criminal record.

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Wisconsin Governor Signs Hemp Legalization Bill Into Law

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed an industrial hemp legalization bill into law.

The legislation, introduced by Republican Representative Jesse Kremer, was passed unanimously by the Wisconsin House of Representatives and Senate, before being signed into law Thursday by Governor Walker. Under the proposed farmers who receive a license from the state would be legally authorized to cultivate and produce hemp. Hemp would be defined as having 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis and in small amounts in hemp plants. Farmers with a prior drug conviction would not be eligible to receive a hemp license.

With Governor Walker’s signature, Wisconsin has joined the over 30 states that have legalized hemp on the state level, despite it remaining illegal federally.

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Minnesota Adds Autism and Obstructive Sleep Apnea as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Conditions

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced today that the state will be adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as new qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program.

“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” said Commissioner Ehlinger. “However, there is increasing evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with severe autism and obstructive sleep apnea.”

This year, as in years past, the Minnesota Department of Health used a formal petitioning process to solicit public input on potential qualifying conditions. Throughout June and July, Minnesotans were invited to submit petitions to add qualifying conditions. The process included public comments, a citizens’ review panel and a set of research summaries for each condition prepared by Minnesota Department of Health staff. Petitioners put forward a total of 10 conditions for consideration this year, including anxiety disorders, autism, cortico-basal degeneration, dementia, endogenous cannabinoid deficiency syndrome, liver disease, nausea, obstructive sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease and peripheral neuropathy. There were also petitions to add cannabis delivery methods including infused edibles and vaporizing or smoking cannabis flowers. Unfortunately these requests were not approved.

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Study: THC May Treat Diabetes-Induced Cardiovascular Disease

According to a new study published by the journal BioMed Research International, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be “a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”

“The aim of this study was to determine if chronic, low-dose administration of a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus”, states the study’s abstract. “Diabetes was induced in eight-week-old male Wistar-Kyoto rats.. Following the induction of diabetes, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol was administered via intraperitoneal injection (0.15 mg kg-1 day-1) for an eight-week period until the animals reached sixteen weeks of age.”

Upon completion of the treatment regime, “assessments of vascular reactivity and left ventricular function and electrophysiology were made, as were serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation.” According to researchers, “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol administration to diabetic animals significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations and attenuated pathological changes in serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. Positive changes to biochemical indices in diabetic animals conferred improvements in myocardial and vascular function. This study demonstrates that chronic, low-dose administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol can elicit antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant effects in diabetic animals, leading to improvements in end organ function of the cardiovascular system.”

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Poll: 62% of New York Voters Support Legalizing Cannabis

According to new polling, a strong majority of registered voters in New York are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adults.

The poll, conducted by Emerson College and commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance, found that only 28% of New York voters are opposed to cannabis legalization. With 10% unsure, even if all of them decided to start opposing legalization supporters would still have a 24% majority.

The poll also found that 60% of respondents support legalizing and taxing marijuana to help address New York’s budget deficit. Between 15% and 27% of voters supported each of the other options presented — increasing sales or income taxes, increasing tolls, or cutting public education or other services.

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Canada’s House of Commons Approves Bill to Legalize Cannabis

Legislation that would legalize cannabis for all adults in Canada has been approved by the nation’s House of Commons in a 200 to 82 vote.

Approval of Bill C-45 in the House of Commons sends it to the Canadian Senate for consideration. If approved by the Senate, it will be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval). Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, a supporter of Bill C-45, calls the measure’s approval in the House an “important milestone” in the nation’s plans to reduce organized crime and keep cannabis away from children.

If the measure is passed by the Senate and signed into law, as expected, the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis would become legal for those 18 and older. The measure would establish a system of licensed brick-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets, while also allowing cannabis to be sold online.

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WA: Over $140 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in October, Setting New Monthly Sales Record

In Washington State there was $142,045,620.27 worth of legal marijuana and marijuana products sold in October, easily breaking the previous monthly record set in August ($133 million).

The over $140 million in legal cannabis sold in October resulted in nearly $30 million in taxes for the state. So far for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which began on July 1st of this year, there has been $534 million in marijuana sold, resulting in over $120 million in taxes. For FY 2017, which began on July 1st, 2016, and ended on June 30th, 2017, there was $1,371,882,585.79 in legal marijuana sold in Washington State in fiscal year 2017; the state garnered $314,838,969.21 in taxes from these sales.

This data was obtained by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB). According to the WSLCB, 1,896 licenses have been issued throughout the state for marijuana producers, processors and retail outlets.

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Florida: Convicted Murderer Granted Judicial Permission to Use Medical Marijuana

A schizophrenic man convicted of murder in 1999 has been granted permission from a judge to legally take part in Florida’s medical marijuana program.

Miguel Valdes

According to the Miami Herald, 34-year-old Miguel Valdes was previously convicted for a 1999 gang-related murder, and was released on probation in 2010. Despite Valdes’ murder conviction, a Miami judge has granted him permission to legally use medical marijuana, given he follows the rules and guidelines established by state law. The judge’s ruling came amid strong objections from prosecutors and the state’s attorney.

“It keeps me mellow,” says Valdes, who currently lives with his girlfriend and 6-year-old son. “I really need it for my sleeping. When I’m not taking it, I wasn’t sleeping and I’d wake up in a bad mood. I feel better now.”

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Study: Cannabinoids Have Potential Therapeutic Use in Alcohol-Related Problems

Cannabinoids hold potential therapeutic use in alcohol-related problems, according to a new study being published in the journal Alcohol, and epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Case reports and observational studies suggest that the use of Cannabis sp. mitigates problematic ethanol consumption in humans”, states the study’s abstract. “Here, we verified the effects of the two main phytocannabinoid compounds of Cannabis sp., cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in the expression of ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization in mice.”

For the study, male adult mice “were exposed to locomotor sensitization by daily intraperitoneal injections of ethanol (2.5 g/kg) for 12 days; control groups received saline.” After the acquisition phase, “animals were treated with cannabinoids: CBD (2.5 mg/kg); THC (2.5 mg/kg); CBD + THC (1:1 ratio), or vehicle for 4 days with no access to ethanol during this period.” One day after the last cannabinoid injection, “all animals were challenged with ethanol (2.0 g/kg) to evaluate the expression of the locomotor sensitization.”

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