Science

U.S.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Continues to Deny Cannabis Science

Jeff Sessions, Prohibitionist

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions vows medical cannabis has no medicinal value and science still contradicts his stance

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the ever outspoken cannabis prohibitionist, has been pushing for Congressional permission to prosecute medical cannabis providers in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.

AG Sessions, who points to America’s “historic drug epidemic” to justify the crackdown, denies extensive research showing medical cannabis access lowers rates of opioid-related overdose.

Tennessee: Hemp Research at Middle Tennessee State University Shows Promise

Middle Tennessee State University

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, graduate students are cultivating cannabis in greenhouses to research potential medicinal uses for the plant.

Shannon Smith, a graduate student at the university, said, "We're not interested in the full plant itself, we're just interested in the compounds the plant can produce."

The university, which has been licensed by the state, also received the approval of the Board of Regents and the Governor.

United States: LSU, Ole Miss, Southern University, Cultivating Cannabis

Ole Miss Federal Cannabis Plot

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Louisiana State University (LSU) Ag Center and Southern University Ag Center will soon be joining the University of Mississippi as an official medical cannabis producers.

Recently, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law allowing LSU and Southern University to cultivate and produce medical cannabis. The research will include extensive studies on cannabis to treat HIV, AIDS, cancer and seizure disorders.

“The medical research on this, in terms of marijuana, is lacking in general. We have a lot of antidotal information, but not a lot of real clinical studies of if you do this, you get this outcome,” said vice president of LSU agriculture, Dr. Bill Richardson.

Science: Cannabidiol Administration Reduces Blood Pressure, Study Says

Cannabidiol

A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

According to clinical trial data published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Oral CBD administration is associated with reduced blood pressure in healthy volunteers.

Florida: Universities Set to Begin Researching Industrial Hemp

Industrial Hemp

The University of Florida and Florida A&M University both qualified to spearhead the state's pilot hemp project

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Florida farmers are looking for an alternative cash crop, with citrus production down. A new law, SB 1726, signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday gives universities in the state with a college of agriculture permission to research hemp.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, with a companion bill sponsored by Rep. Dr. Ralph Massullo, R-Beverly Hills, allows for universities to develop pilot projects to cultivate, process, test, research, create and market safe commercial applications for industrial hemp.

United States: Cannabis Is Safer Than Opioids, According To Several Studies

Cannabis Vs. Opioids

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In the midst of an opioid epidemic in the United States, research studies show that using cannabis to treat chronic pain is a safer, less addictive alternative to narcotics.

In 2014, in a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that “in states where medical cannabis is legal to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where cannabis use is illegal. The study was published in the Aug. 25th issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Pennsylvania: Industrial Hemp Plot Planted In Perry County, Harvest To Be Cattle Feed

Perry County Hemp

From 1681 until around 1840 the culture of hemp was nearly universal in Pennsylvania

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, an industrial hemp research plot was planted in Perry County, Pennsylvania. If successful, the seeds should germinate in about a week and mature in 100 days.

Study: Cannabis Component Reduces Seizures For Some Epilepsy Patients, According To Research

NYU Langone Center

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

An oil derived from the cannabis plant sharply reduces violent seizures in young people according to a study published last Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study focused on patients with Dravet syndrome, a severe type of epilepsy.

"This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data that a marijuana compound is safe and effective for this problem," said Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center and primary author of the study.

Israel: Cannabis Can Help Heal Bone Fractures, According To Study

CannabisStudy

Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts

According to the research, the administration of the non-psychotropic component significantly helps heal bone fractures

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Cannabis was used as a medical remedy by societies around the world for centuries. Therapeutic use of cannabis was banned in most countries in the 1930s and '40s due to reefer madness campaigns without merit. Significant medical benefits of cannabis in alleviating symptoms of such diseases as Parkinson's disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder are being discovered by researchers throughout the world.

Washington: WSU Researchers Seeking Volunteers For Cannabis Study

WSUCannabisResearch

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) are seeking volunteers for their study to develop a breathalyzer that detects social cannabis use.

Volunteers will be paid $30 an hour for the first hour and $10 for every additional hour.

To comply with Washington state law, test subjects must be at least 21-years of age to participate in the study.

The breathalyzer would need to accurately detect “acute exposure” to tetrahydrocannabinol, WSU Professor Emeritus Nicholas Lovrich, doctoral candidate Peyton Nosbusch and City Councilor and research assistant Nathan Weller told the Pullman League of Women Voters last Thursday.

Participants will receive a blood test and a mouth swab for the study. The volunteers will then pick a strain from a Washington state-licensed retail cannabis store, and consume it at their residence.

After consumption, a taxi will pick up the volunteers and take them to Pullman Regional Hospital to complete secondary testing for the study.

Additionally, the study will have participants submit to a standard sobriety test conducted by local law enforcement officials.

Minnesota: Medical Cannabis Patients Report Benefits In Department of Health Study

MinnesotaCannabis.jpg

Majority of Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patients Saw Benefit in Program’s First Year

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Based on patient surveys and other data, a significant number of patients who used medical cannabis during the first year of Minnesota’s marijuana program reported benefits, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Less than a quarter of patients who participated in the study experienced negative side effects from cannabis.

The MDH study draws on data from survey results as well as enrollment, purchasing, and related health information to describe the experience of patients using medical cannabis from the program’s start on July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

“Based on this evidence from the first year, Minnesota’s approach is providing many people with substantial benefits, minimal side effects, and no serious adverse events,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger.

Kentucky: University of Louisville Studying Industrial Hemp for Fuel

KentuckyHemp2017

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For a second consecutive year, the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy is planting industrial hemp at the school’s Belknap Campus. The university is planting two types of hemp and kenaf to research their potential as renewable energy resources.

The study will focus on the potential for the crops to fulfill energy needs and become a replacement source for biofuels, fibers and 3-D printer applications.

The research will be included in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Interim president of U of L, Greg Postel, stated that researchers are seeking "unusual answers to renewable energy questions."

“Having the crops grow on campus actually raises awareness about the research that we have going on at Conn Center,” said Assistant Director Andrew Marsh.

"What we do with this plant matter is actually convert it into substances that will help solve energy problems, so the mission of the center is to work on technologies to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, and this industrial hemp and kenaf planting is one of those research directions," said Marsh.

Many farmers in Kentucky believe hemp could help revitalize Kentucky’s agricultural sector, and the hope is the research at Conn will help students and scientists study the crop’s potential as a fuel.

Study: Long-Term Marijuana Use Linked To Changes In Brain's Reward's System?

PseudoscienceThisIs[TheLibertarianRepublic].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Sometimes you really have to wonder about the "scientific" studies which are being done on marijuana. Now there's a new one which says that because people who've smoked marijuana for years show more reaction to photos of objects used to smoke it than people who don't smoke marijuana when shown the same photos, that means cannabis "changes the reward system of the brain."

Researchers led by Dr. Francesca Filbey at the University of Texas at Dallas said they found that people who had used marijuana for 12 years, on average, showed "greater activity" in the brain's reward system when looking at pictures of objects used for smoking cannabis than when they looked at pictures of a "natural reward," their favorite fruits, reports Agata Blaszczak-Boxe at Fox News Health.

As if marijuana wasn't a natural reward, eh? It's no accident we have a human endocannabinoid system, people.

Study: Marijuana Doesn't Affect Physical Health, Except For Gums

DentalHealthMarijuana[UptownDental].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Chronic marijuana use has about the same impact on health as not flossing, according to an extensive new study.

A research team led by Madeline H. Meier of Arizona State University tracked the cannabis habits of 1,037 New Zealanders all the way from birth to middle age, to see exactly what effects marijuana has on common measures of physical health, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. Those measures included lung function, systemic inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body weight, blood sugar, and dental health.

After controlling for other factors known to affect health -- especially tobacco use and socioeconomic status -- cannabis use had no negative effect on any measure of health, except for dental health. People who smoked more marijuana had a higher incidence of gum disease.

Even after controlling for dental hygiene, such as likelihood to brush and floss, the relationship between marijuana use and poor dental health persisted.

U.S.: 'Cannabis Damages DNA' Claims Debunked By Leading Researcher

EthanRusso[NatalieMartin-BeyondTHC].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When a study was released last week claiming that marijuana use damages DNA, and that damage could be passed to one's children, of course it made headlines around the world. For many of us who have been acquainted with cannabis for a long time, the study sounded like nonsense, and now one of the field's leading researchers is calling "reefer madness" on the flawed study from Australia.

While the study from the University of Western Australia claims that smoking pot will give your kids cancer, cannabis has been shown in cell, animal, and limited human trials to prevent, halt, or kill cancer, researchers note, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. The study, released last week by Associate Professor Stuart Reece and Professor Gary Hulse at UWA, had the lengthy, scientific-sounding title, “Chromothripsis and epigenomics complete causality criteria for cannabis- and addiction-connected carcinogenicity, congenital toxicity and heritable genotoxicity,” and was published in the July 2016 issue of the journal Mutation Research.

U.S.: AAA Says There's No Scientific Basis For Laws Against Driving On Marijuana

SafeDriver[WestCoastLeaf]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Six states that allow marijuana use in one form or another have legal tests which supposedly serve to determine who is driving while impaired -- but those tests have no scientific basis at all, according to a study done by the largest auto club in the United States. AAA, as a result, has called for scrapping those laws.

The study was commissioned by AAA's safety foundation, and it discovered that it's not possible to determine impairment by setting a blood-test threshold for the level of THC, the main component of marijuana responsible the high. Yet the laws in five of those six states automatically presume a driver is guilty of driving while impaired if he or she tests higher than the limit, not not guilty if the level is lower, reports the Associated Press.

The AAA foundation recommends replacing those faulty laws with ones that actually rely on science, using specially trained police officers to determine if a driver is impaired on pot, backed up by a test for the presence of THC rather than a specific level. The officers would be responsible for screening for dozens of supposed indicators of marijuana use.

U.S.: New Study Shows Natural Marijuana Superior To Synthetic Cannabinoids

WithinNatureLiesTheCureForHumanity.jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new study called “Comparison of Outcome Expectancies for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Botanical Marijuana,” in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, shows that negative effects are significantly lower for natural, botanical cannabis than for synthetic cannabinoids.

In the study, 186 adults who had previously used both the synthetic and natural forms of marijuana, as well as 181 who had previously used only natural (botanical) marijuana, were surveyed about their expected outcomes of using either type of cannabinoid. The results showed that the expected negative effects were significantly higher for synthetic marijuana than for natural marijuana across both categories of use history.

Despite the more commonly expected negative effects of synthetic cannabinoids, the most cited reasons for using these compounds were wider availability, avoiding a positive drug test for cannabis, curiosity, perceived legality, and cost. For instance, synthetic cannabinoids are popular among members of the armed services, and in other occupations where a positive test for marijuana might get you fired, but synthetic cannabinoids would remain undetected.

Canada: Current Oncology Mag Devotes Special Issue To Cannabis For Cancer Patients

CurrentOncology(logo).jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The treatment of cancer and its symptoms has been recognized as one of the most critical advances in cannabinoid therapeutics. Now, a special issue of Current Oncology magazine highlights the use of marijuana for cancer patients. The supplement is aimed at informing the medical community in Canada about the role that medicinal cananbis and cannabinoids can play in cancer management./

The special issue is guest edited by Dr. Mark Ware, director of clinical research, Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Centre, and executive director of the nonprofit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC). The issue is sponsored by Mettrum Health Corp., a vertically integrated producer of cannabis products.

"Finding answers to the questions regarding cannabis and cancer will require a concerted effort by patients, scientists, clinicians and the industry," said Dr. Ware. "We at CCIC are proud to have stimulated this discussion, and we urge all stakeholders to move forward with the needed research to address an issue that really is a matter of life and death.

Colorado: Researcher To Study MS Patients Who Use Medical Marijuana

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Some multiple sclerosis patients use medical marijuana to reduce their pain and muscle spasms, and a Colorado State University researcher is launching a crowdfunding campaign to study possible benefits and side effects of this long-term marijuana use.

The research project will not involve providing cannabis or encouraging its use; it will simply examine existing users who have decided to treat their MS symptoms with medical marijuana and voluntarily agree to participate in the study.

Thorsten Rudroff, director of CSU’s Integrative Neurophysiology Lab, said local clinicians estimate that up to 50 percent of their patients are using marijuana to alleviate their symptoms.

“Marijuana use may have additional benefits, such as improving motor function, but this is all based on anecdotal evidence,” Rudroff said. “We don’t have scientific evidence that this is working, so we think this research could provide valuable information.”

Rudroff would like to conduct tests on at least 20 MS patients in northern Colorado who are already using medical marijuana and compare them to a control group of the same size who don’t. He said that Colorado, which voted to allow medical marijuana use in 2000, is an ideal location for the study.

“This research can’t be done in many other states that don’t have the same marijuana laws,” Rudroff explained. “Also, Colorado has one of the highest rates of MS in the country. More and more dispensaries are coming, and we need to give patients solid information.”

Study: Smoking Marijuana Does Not Make You Anxious Or Depressed

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Using marijuana as an adult is not associated with mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, according to a new study published on Thursday.

The research, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, challenges some previous studies which claimed an association between marijuana use and both depression and anxiety, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

Scientists examined the records of nearly 35,000 American adults who participated in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. They looked at the prevalence of cannabis use among study participants in 2001 and 2002, then checked on their rates of mental health problems three years later, in 2004 and 2005.

After controlling for confounding factors such as socioeconomic differences, family history, environment, and past and present psychiatric disorders, researchers found that "cannabis use was not associated with increased risk for developing mood or anxiety disorders."

Lead author Mark Olfson of Columbia University and his colleagues think that some prior evidence of supposed links between marijuana and psychiatric disorders could be due more to confounding factors than any actual connection.

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