The Feds Just Approved a “Groundbreaking” Medical Marijuana Study at Yale

The Feds Just Approved a “Groundbreaking” Medical Marijuana Study at Yale

Original Post: Merry Jane: The Feds Just Approved a "Groundbreaking" Medical Marijuana Study at Yale

[Canniseur: One thought comes to mind; How anyone might mistake a placebo with a weed high? Seriously though, this is such great news. While not the first cannabis study at Yale, I love hearing about scientific cannabis studies. In 3-5 years, we’ll see some results. Let the validations begin!]

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just given the Yale University School of Medicine approval to begin clinical trials that could pave the way for the first American-made cannabis-based treatment for pain and stress.

The new study, which was also approved by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, will research how different strains of medical cannabis could be used to alleviate chronic pain or stress. The study may also explore how and if pot can help treat other conditions like PTSD, or to help individuals wean themselves off of opioids. This is one of the first FDA-approved double-blind studies on medical marijuana to be conducted on humans.

Rather than relying on the low-quality “ditch weed” that the US government provides to researchers, Yale will be partnering with CT Pharmaceutical Solutions Inc., a medical cannabis producer based in Portland, Connecticut. CT Pharma has been working on this study in partnership with Yale’s Dr. Rajita Sinha since 2016, but it’s taken three years to receive all of the necessary regulatory approvals to begin the trial.

“With increasing levels of use of medical marijuana products in the US today, it is imperative that we understand the science of how these products are working to alleviate patient symptoms,” said Sinha in a press release, according to the Hartford Business Journal. The new study intends to explore “how medical marijuana may alleviate pain and stress symptoms and contribute to developing new cannabinoid based treatments.”

In the first phase of the trial, researchers will recruit recreational cannabis users between the ages of 21 and 45 who do not qualify for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program. In the second phase, the subject pool will include adults aged 21 to 60 who are suffering from chronic pain. Subjects in both phases of the trial will randomly receive either THC, CBD, or a placebo. In addition to observing the effects of these cannabinoids on pain and other conditions, researchers will monitor the subjects’ heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs.

Gallery — These Athletes Believe in the Power of Medical Cannabis

CT Pharma board chair Michael Fedele said that if these trials are successful, his company intends to bring this new cannabis medicine to market in the US. 

“Right now, a company in England has the only FDA-approved, plant-based medical marijuana product in our market,” said Fedele, according to the Connecticut Mirror. “That really shouldn’t be the case with respect to American companies.” 

The first cannabis drug to be approved by the FDA, the anti-epilepsy drug Epidiolex, is made by UK company GW Pharmaceuticals.

In order to approve the drug for the US market, the FDA would require another round of trials, which could take another 3 to 7 years. But if all of these trials succeed, doctors anywhere in the US would be legally able to prescribe this cannabis product to their patients, even in states that do not have medical marijuana programs.

Original Post: Merry Jane: The Feds Just Approved a "Groundbreaking" Medical Marijuana Study at Yale

Cannabis Is the Most Effective Treatment for Endometriosis, Study Finds

Cannabis Is the Most Effective Treatment for Endometriosis, Study Finds

Original Post: Merry Jane: Cannabis Is the Most Effective Treatment for Endometriosis, Study Finds

[Canniseur: An effective treatment for endometriosis is of interest to many, many women. Cannabis as an answer makes sense. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the body’s primary regulatory systems. The female reproductive system includes a large number of cannabinoid receptors. These can be directly affected by the consumption of cannabinoids like THC or CBD.]

An Australian study found that women rate cannabis as the most effective treatment for endometriosis. But many have been forced to buy this medicine on the black market, thanks to strict marijuana laws.

Medical cannabis is one of the most effective treatments for symptoms of endometriosis, according to a new study recently published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada (JOGC).

This study surveyed 484 Australian women between the ages of 18 and 45 who have been surgically diagnosed with endometriosis — a chronic, inflammatory condition that affects about ten percent of all women of reproductive age. Endometriosis can cause pain, infertility, and gastrointestinal issues. Many women report that they still struggle with these symptoms even after having surgery or taking traditional medications.

The participants were asked whether they used self-management techniques to treat symptoms of their illness that are not utilized by traditional medication. Further questions investigated what kinds of self-management techniques were being used, how well these techniques worked, and if there were any negative side effects associated with self-management.

The study reports that 76 percent of all respondents said they used self-management techniques in the past six months. Most of the respondents (70 percent) used heat packs to treat their symptoms, but others turned to dietary changes (44 percent), exercise (42 percent), yoga and pilates (35 percent), or cannabis (13 percent). Yet although cannabis was the least popular self-management choice, women who used it rated it as the most effective technique.

“Women report good efficacy of cannabis in reducing pain and other symptoms, with few adverse effects reported,” the study authors wrote. Subjects who reported higher levels of pain were more likely to use cannabis than those suffering from milder symptoms. Women who used cannabis also reported a decrease in gastrointestinal problems, nausea, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. About ten percent of cannabis users did report minor side effects, including drowsiness, anxiety, and accelerated heart rate.

Researchers believe that cannabis may be able to reduce symptoms of endometriosis by way of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is one of the body’s primary regulatory systems, controlling metabolism, inflammation, immune function, and many other biological systems. It is known that the female reproductive system includes a large number of cannabinoid receptors, which can be directly affected by the consumption of cannabinoids like THC or CBD.

Australian doctors are currently able to prescribe medical cannabis via regulated pathways that allow limited use of unapproved medicines. But in 2017, when this survey was administered, this type of access did not exist, and women participating in the survey were likely using weed procured from black market sources to treat their symptoms. This limits the findings of the study, as researchers do not know what kinds of cannabis products the women were using, or their potency.  

“Australian law currently requires legal medicinal cannabis use to follow specific, regulated pathways that limit prescription by this method; however, self-reported illicit use of cannabis remains relatively common in Australian women with endometriosis,” the researchers concluded. “Further clinical research is warranted to determine the effectiveness of cannabis in managing endometriosis symptoms. In locations where medicinal cannabis is more accessible, there remains a paucity of evidence for its clinical efficacy with endometriosis-associated symptoms.”

One thing to keep in mind is that the illegality of cannabis in Australia at the time of the study likely impacted the figures in this report. As legalization in the West has shown, people are more comfortable being truthful about their marijuana consumption when it is legal. It’s possible (read: likely), then, that far more than 13 percent of Austrailian women with endometriosis medicate with cannabis to help cope with the pain and discomfort caused by the condition.

So, take these findings with a grain of weed.

Image via

Original Post: Merry Jane: Cannabis Is the Most Effective Treatment for Endometriosis, Study Finds

What research says about marijuana and cancer

What research says about marijuana and cancer

[Canniseur: A very simple, but informative story about cancer and cannabis. Not about alleviating pain, but about how cannabis compounds might actually cure different cancers. It’s a fast 1 or 2 minute read.]

Attitudes about marijuana are changing. Such changes are reflected in legislation that has legalized marijuana in many areas and, in some instances, unofficially decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in other places.

Shifting attitudes about marijuana, or cannabis, may be attributed to various factors, including medical research.

Though research studying the effects of marijuana on recovering cancer patients is ongoing, cancer patients and their families may be curious about the potential for cannabis to assist in their recoveries.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a plant that originated in central Asia but is now grown in many parts of the world. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the cannabis plant produces a resin that contains compounds known as “cannabinoids,” which are active chemicals that, when ingested, affect various parts of the human body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.

One active cannabinoid is cannabidiol, or CBD, which the NCI notes may relieve pain and inflammation without making users feel the “high” that other cannabinoids produce.

What are some other potential effects of cannabinoids?

The NCI notes that research has shown that cannabinoids may be able to do more than relieve cancer patients’ pain and inflammation. While additional research is necessary, the NCI says cannabinoids may be able to block cell growth. The NCI points to studies in mice and rats that have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth and blocking the development of blood vessels that tumors need to grow.

Cancer is marked by the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells, so the potential for cannabinoids to block that growth is a significant benefit. In addition, the NCI cites laboratory and animal studies that have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.

Have cannabinoids been linked to particular cancers?

Studies have shown that cannabinoids may have an effect on various types of cancer, including breast cancer and liver cancer. The NCI notes that a laboratory study of delta-9-THC, the main active cannabinoid in marijuana, in liver cancer cells indicated that the cannabinoid damaged or killed the cancer cells. Another laboratory study of CBD in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that CBD caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells.

Societal attitudes about marijuana are shifting, and ongoing research regarding its potential benefits in treating cancer may be changing the way the medical community views marijuana as well.

The post What research says about marijuana and cancer appeared first on The Cannifornian.

What research says about marijuana and cancer was posted on the cannifornian com.

Washington State University Joins Biopharmaceutical Firm For Cannabis Study

Washington State University Joins Biopharmaceutical Firm For Cannabis Study

Original Post: High Times: Washington State University Joins Biopharmaceutical Firm For Cannabis Study

[Canniseur: This could be a great collaboration, but…the Federal Government will keep trying to stop this research. Although many agencies at the Federal level have loosened up, there is still law. And the law is clear; Cannabis (the Feds call it marijuana) is still illegal and as a Schedule 1 drug, it can’t have any research done. This has to change soon.]

Medical marijuana research is at an interesting juncture. On the one hand, there has already been a sizable amount of research done on the topic. Yet in many ways, much more research is needed before any clear and consistent conclusions can be drawn.

Unfortunately, marijuana related research has always faced a number of legal barriers. That’s true even now, as legalization continues to happen in more and more places.

A newly announced partnership between researchers at Washington State University (WSU) and Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC) is attempting to overcome these barriers in order to pursue a number of new cannabis research projects.

WSU and BRC Team Up to Research Cannabis

According to a press release published by Washington State University, the school and BRC have agreed to launch an innovative new partnership.

To put it simply, BRC will handle the cannabis side of things. And Washington State University will conduct the bulk of the actual research and academic work.

Specifically, BRC is already registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to study cannabis and cannabis products. Additionally, the company is reportedly seeking approval to import and analyze marijuana. And moving forward, the company hopes to get licenses to grow its own cannabis for use in research.

By partnering with BRC, researchers at Washington State University can avoid the hurdles associated with sourcing their own cannabis. Instead, they can now rely on BRC for that and focus entirely on executing research.

At this point, BRC and Washington State University plan to focus their research on fields related to how marijuana affects physical and mental health. Additionally, they will also research the impact that cannabis has on public safety and other issues related to policy.

“We know less about the health benefits and risks of cannabis than almost any drug,” said Dr. Michael McDonell, chair of the Collaborative for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach program at WSU. “Currently, cannabis researchers must jump over extensive barriers to obtain cannabis they need to conduct human and animal research on the effects of health.”

He added: “Our partnership with BRC allows us to begin to work together to problem-solve innovatively through federally compliant strategies to obtain cannabis for research purposes.”

The Challenges of Cannabis Research

Historically—and continuing today—cannabis research has been slow because it is hard to obtain weed to study.

For years, there was only a single source from which researchers could source federally approved cannabis. Not surprisingly, this led to very high demand and very low supply.

Making it even harder, researchers often found that the cannabis they were allowed to use was not as potent as the cannabis being sold in dispensaries and on the illicit market.

If things go as planned, the partnership between WSU and BRC will address both of these issues. That will be especially true if BRC can start cultivating its own cannabis specifically for research projects.

“Partnering with a research institution of Washington State University’s caliber ensures that we are working with premier investigators to uncover the promise of the products,” said BRC CEO George Hodgin.

Washington State University Joins Biopharmaceutical Firm For Cannabis Study was posted on High Times.

20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

Original Post: Merry Jane: 20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

[Canniseur: Mold is everywhere. It’s in all the food we eat. This isn’t surprising, but there is nothing here that’s unusual. Growers can’t use really powerful fungicides because they might be harmful to us. Note that this is only in Denver. Issues like these will happen everywhere as we learn how to grow really good cannabis that’s as free of the so-called nasties as we can grow it.]

Colorado’s legal weed products may be sprouting mold and yeast only after they’ve made it to the storefront shelves, new lab tests show.

On September 9 and 11, Denver released lab results from 25 randomly selected dispensaries within the city’s limits. Of the 25 shops, 20 were selling some cannabis products that contained unacceptable levels of mold or yeast. That’s a whopping 80 percent of all stores that were tested.

“There are many different reasons why products may show up on the sale shelf contaminated,” said Abby Davidson, the food and marijuana safety manager at the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), to Westword. “It’s not that the dispensary that it was sent to had any hand, possibly, in contaminating the product. Or it could be that there were processes that happened after cultivation that maybe would’ve led to contamination. It’s really hard to point any fingers until we’re able to do our investigation and backtrack to how that product got to that dispensary.”

To sum up what Davidson said: There’s currently no testing protocol for weed products once they hit dispensary shelves in Colorado. Products are only batch tested after cultivation, once they’ve been extracted into concentrates, or after they’re infused into non-smokable products. As Davidson clarified, Denver officials aren’t trying to catch dispensaries with their pants down; rather, the city wants to understand what happens to weed products after they sit in bottles or behind glass counters for weeks on end.

Moldy weed has always been an issue with large-scale indoor grows, but the problem may have gotten worse after Colorado’s 2015 pesticide scandal, where some of the state’s biggest dispensaries were busted for spraying Eagle-20 a.k.a. myclobutanil, a powerful fungicide that may be toxic when burned and inhaled. With Eagle-20 now officially on the banned list of weed-grow chemicals, dispensaries were forced to resort to other mold-control methods, which may be much safer than Eagle-20 but not as effective.

The city has not yet released its official report on the random tests, but Westword got a hold of some of the results. Additionally, Denver officials have not named the dispensaries in question or which products came up positive for mold or yeast. But the publication did note that the only products testing hot were whole flower, pre-rolled joints, and shake weed.

While health authorities know that some mold and yeast strains can produce toxins that are dangerous to humans, there’s still no consensus concerning which levels of smoking molds or yeast are acceptable. Further, only certain molds and yeasts are known to cause serious health complications in humans. The Denver random test sampling did not assess whether the molds and yeasts found in weed products were the dangerous ones, only that the products tested above the thresholds for molds and yeast.

“It is important to note that the tests collected by DDPHE were not taken as part of an enforcement action or as a result of any complaints received about our products,” said one Colorado-based dispensary CEO, who Westword did not identify. “DDPHE collected samples from several Denver dispensaries as part of an assessment of the marijuana industry that is based on questionable scientific principles.”

Although the anonymous CEO never clarified how the City of Denver’s assessment was “based on questionable scientific principles,” Westword mentioned that one weed industry lobby, the Marijuana Industry Group, has criticized the state’s mold and yeast limits as “too strict and broad.”

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Original Post: Merry Jane: 20 Out of 25 Denver Pot Shops Were Selling Moldy Weed, Study Finds

Head Of Nation’s Only Federally Legal Marijuana Farm Develops THC Eye Drops

Head Of Nation’s Only Federally Legal Marijuana Farm Develops THC Eye Drops

Original Post: Marijuana Moment: Head Of Nation’s Only Federally Legal Marijuana Farm Develops THC Eye Drops

[Canniseur: Fascinating concept and execution. You need to read this to understand how Dr. ElSohly is going to  treat glaucoma with THC. It’s been known for a long time that cannabis can lower eye pressure in glaucoma, but this is the first real application. It’s quite an advancement in the treatment methods for glaucoma.]

The head of the nation’s only federally approved marijuana farm has revealed that he is developing cannabis eye drops to treat glaucoma.

In a podcast interview, pharmacologist Mahmoud ElSohly, director of the University of Mississippi’s Marijuana Research Project, discussed the history of how an eye doctor discovered that cannabis can relieve the interocular pressure associated with glaucoma. But while the THC in the plant treated the symptoms, it also means patients experience the high.

“The best way to treat glaucoma is not to take a drug that will affect your brain, affect your ability to function, the whole rest of your body just to lower the pressure inside the eyes,” ElSohly argued. “The way to do this is to develop, let’s say, eye drops, eye drops from marijuana.”

Both his lab and a separate, unnamed company that licensed the idea are looking into the eye drop possibility, with the company having already begun clinical trials, ElSohly said. It’s a notable advancement because THC is lipophilic, acting like an oil, and so “it doesn’t penetrate into the inner compartments of the eye to lower the pressure.”

“Therefore, only if you take systemically—meaning if you inhale it or swallow it or something—but then you deal with all the side effects of THC,” he said in the interview, which was recorded in February and published this month. “Now we’re developing a pharmaceutical product, and it’s been licensed by the way now, that we take the THC molecule and we modify it in a certain way to allow it to go inside the eye, and once inside, it breaks off and releases THC just in the eye to lower the pressure.”

“You don’t feel any psychological activity, it doesn’t even get into your blood. It’s all localized in the eye,” he said. “We have this product now that is being licensed and being developed as an eye drop.”

“That’s the way to develop pharmaceuticals based on cannabis but not cannabis, based on marijuana but not marijuana,” he added during the appearance on the podcast of anti-legalization organization National Families In Action, for which ElSohly serves as a scientific advisory board member. “That’s the way to do it and develop the medicine.”

The targeted treatment of glaucoma using the novel delivery method that ElSohly described is noteworthy, but it also underscores the potential for the development of other valuable treatment options derived from marijuana that’s being inhibited under prohibition. One barrier that researchers and lawmakers alike have identified is the substandard quality of cannabis produced at ElSohly’s farm.

Currently, the University of Mississippi is the only federally approved source of research-grade marijuana, but scientists have complained about the cannabis supply, which one study found is genetically closer to hemp than products available in state-legal markets. That raises questions about the validity of studies that rely on the government’s marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said in September that it is taking steps to approve additional marijuana farms beyond ElSohly’s Mississippi operation, three years after the agency initially invited applications for such facilities.

In an earlier podcast segment released in September, ElSohly made a series of remarks that some viewed as reflective of a fundamental misunderstanding of marijuana issues.

The director characterized cannabis containing eight percent THC as “extremely high potency” and expressed confusion as to why individuals would seek out varieties in the commercial market that contain “20 percent or 15 or 18 or any of those high amounts.”

But ElSohly was thinking about marijuana consumption in the context of standardized clinical trials, where individuals would have to consume an entire joint in one sitting in order to compare the effects of a controlled dose with other subjects. Others have pointed out that consumers might prefer higher concentration products because they can achieve the desired effect without having to smoke as much.

Head Of Nation’s Only Federally Legal Marijuana Farm Develops THC Eye Drops was posted on Marijuana Moment.

Using Medical Marijuana Is Linked to Decreased Alcohol Use and Improved Health

Using Medical Marijuana Is Linked to Decreased Alcohol Use and Improved Health

Original Post: Merry Jane: Using Medical Marijuana Is Linked to Decreased Alcohol Use and Improved Health

[Canniseur: Another study that shows a different sort of causation and correlation. But there appears to be more correlation to the actual events than the previous study we published. Many researchers begin a study with a desired outcome, which is the first step in bad research. Who you believe frequently is in your bias as well. This study seems better designed than others we’ve published.]

Researchers found that access to medical marijuana dispensaries improved physical and mental health for people of color, individuals suffering from debilitating pain, and other demographics.

A growing body of research has found that legal medical marijuana is associated with decreased alcohol and opioid use, alongside other public health and safety benefits. But according to a new research study, certain demographics may benefit more from medical marijuana than others.

This new study, published in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy journal, found that people living in states with legally-protected access to medical marijuana dispensaries experienced “improved self-reported health among several demographic groups, such as individuals with only a high school degree and non-whites, and especially among people with chronic pain,” Marijuana Moment reports.

In the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania explored data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System — a national survey given to around 300,000 people a year — collected between 1993 and 2016. In this survey, respondents were asked to rate their health over time, keeping track of how many days they were in poor mental or physical health, and days in which they suffered health-related functional limitations.

Researchers looked at self-reported health data from states that had passed medical marijuana laws (MMLs) before 2016 to states that had not. The study reports that “a MML alone increased the probability of reporting very good or better health by 1.7 percentage points and reduced the number of days with mental health problems by 0.114 days (or 3 percent), while dispensaries show little effect.”

Broken down by demographics, researchers found that certain groups experienced greater benefits from access to medical cannabis than others. The study reports “strong improvements in health among non-white individuals, those reporting chronic pain, and those with a high school degree, driven predominately by whether or not the state had active and legally protected dispensaries.”

“In several instances, the implementation of a MML alone led to improvements in health as well,” the authors wrote, according to Marijuana Moment. “For example, a medical marijuana law reduced the number of days with mental health issues and health related limitations among the married, while those with more than a high school degree, men, and those older than 54 saw reductions in days with mental health problems.”

The findings also confirmed previous research suggesting that legal medical marijuana is linked to decreased alcohol use. The study authors wrote that MMLs are “negatively related to alcohol consumption, reducing the probability of being a heavy drinker by 0.03 percentage points and the probability of being a risky drinker by 0.8 percentage points.”

In conclusion, the authors noted that state laws that actively protect access to medical cannabis dispensaries were associated with greater health increases than states that did not. “One insight of our study is that the effect of medical marijuana legislation depends on whether the state legally protected active marijuana dispensaries,” the authors wrote. “Distinguishing between both types of laws suggests that many of the observed health gains from a MML manifest through legally protected and active dispensaries.”

Original Post: Merry Jane: Using Medical Marijuana Is Linked to Decreased Alcohol Use and Improved Health

A New Study Says Weed Doesn’t Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

A New Study Says Weed Doesn’t Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

Original Post: Merry Jane: A New Study Says Weed Doesn't Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

[Canniseur: As it says in this article, one study doesn’t invalidate previous research. And a lot of precious research has shown to be poorly designed or even worse, designed to give the “results” the “researchers” wanted. And of course, the mainstream media jumped all over this one. Correlation is not the same as correlation. We need more and better research than this.]

Folks are finally fessing up to why they take medicinal cannabis: It helps them regulate their moods, fight stress, and otherwise live a life of relative contentment. How many of you reading this toke a bowl after a long day of work just to keep from flying off the rails? Exactly.

A new study from Australia is now claiming otherwise. According to the researchers’ data, there’s no hard evidence that weed helps with treating mental illness, mood disorders, or facilitates good mental health. But there are some serious caveats to consider.

The study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, concluded: “There is scarce evidence to suggest that cannabinoids improve depressive disorders and symptoms, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis.” The researchers added that weed didn’t appear to help with anxiety, and that more high-quality studies are needed to draw any definite conclusions.

How’d the researchers settle on this? They looked at 83 previously published studies regarding weed and mental health effects, which included a total of 3,067 subjects. (Yes, that’s plenty of samples for statistical testing.) After compiling the results across these 83 studies, the researchers found no significant link between weed use and mental health improvement

However, they noted that there were some “low-quality” studies that suggested THC could help with anxiety, and one study showed that THC increased psychotic symptoms rather than relieved them.

So, of course, the media latched onto this study as definitive proof that weed’s ability to control stress levels and anxiety was a myth. For instance, the science blog Live Science ran the headline, “There’s No Evidence Marijuana Will Treat Your Anxiety or Depression.” Science 2.0 ran with, “Marijuana Cannabinoids Don’t Help With Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Tourettes, Psychosis, or PTSD.” And The Guardian titled its story on the study: “Risks of cannabis use for mental health treatment outweigh benefits.”

Brain and Cannabis

One Study Does Not Invalidate Previous Research

While the Australian study does show that we need more research on cannabis’s effects on mental health, it’s inaccurate to state that this study disproves weed’s ability to help the mind. Science doesn’t work that way. We can’t point to one study that claims something contradictory while ignoring a mountain of scientific evidence that says otherwise. And there have been many studies over the years, as well as strong anecdotal evidence, that suggests cannabis can help with anxiety, stress, depression, and anger management.

There were also some major flaws in this study, as there are with many scientific studies. For one, the researchers have no idea what kind of weed some of the previous studies’ participants were taking, or even how the subjects consumed their cannabis or at what frequencies. We know that not all cannabis products are created equally, and some products may work better for certain medical conditions than others.

On top of that, we already know that weed isn’t a cure-all for every mental issue on the books. Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld, a California-based psychiatrist, noted to MERRY JANE earlier this year that he’s recommended cannabis to at least two schizophrenic patients in the past. However, he did not recommend cannabis to treat their schizophrenia. Rather, the weed was for treating their anxiety, which was mostly caused by schizophrenia. These two patients required careful monitoring, he said, just in case the weed did cause their symptoms to act up.


These Same Researchers Previously Claimed Weed Didn’t Help with Pain, Either

Last year, an Australian research group published a study that claimed cannabis did nothing for controlling pain, and that the phenomenon was likely placebo. That’s odd, considering there are thousands of studies that confirm weed can control pain and inflammation, though cannabis does not completely eradicate the perception of pain like some opioid painkillers. Rather, cannabis alters our perception of pain to make it more bearable.

Now, take a closer look at the latest Australian study’s authors. Three of them, Gabrielle Campbell, PhD., Wayne Hall, PhD., and Michael Farrell also co-authored last year’s weed-doesn’t-treat-pain study, too.

Campbell is a criminologist who primarily studies pain-management among opioid abusers and suicidal cancer patients. Hall is a university professor and addiction-treatment specialist. And Farrell is a professor of addiction psychology. All three of them work for Australia’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), a New South Wales research institute that’s funded by the Australian government through the National Drug Strategy program. In other words, NDARC is sort of like the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the US, which gladly funds drug research so long as that research affirms current drug enforcement policies.

And the National Drug Strategy program, despite its stated commitment to harm reduction, has dedicated itself to anything but. According to its own data, the program spends a whopping two-thirds of its budget on busting drug dealers and users and not on treatment programs, education, or other harm reduction strategies.

In other words, these three researchers are neck-deep in the addiction treatment industry, and they’re essentially being bankrolled by cops. And as we know from addiction specialist Kurt Isaacson, who runs an addiction treatment clinic in the US, legalizing weed will hurt the addiction-treatment industry’s bottom-line, since it depends on stigmatizing cannabis use and court-ordered therapies to keep the profits rolling in.

Of course, not all addiction specialists oppose weed legalization. Many of the doctors behind the Global Drug Survey agree that drug decriminalization or legalization will make it easier for addicts to seek out help. And even NDARC’s Campbell and Hall, in a separate 2018 study, concluded that weed could help alleviate opioid addiction, though, again, more research was needed.

So, what’s the takeaway? Take the latest Australian researchers’ study with a grain of weed. But keep in mind that they’re right about one thing: We need more studies regarding cannabis’s effects on us, and government obstruction into this research is not helping anyone.

Follow Randy Robinson on Twitter

Original Post: Merry Jane: A New Study Says Weed Doesn't Help with Mental Health, But Is It BS?

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