Cannabis for Parkinson’s? The Scientific Evidence Is Compelling | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

Could the very plant that for decades was accused of “frying” users’ brains be far superior to pharmaceuticals in treating the “incurable” neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinson’s disease?

Despite the political controversy surrounding medical marijuana use in the country, research has begun to emerge showing that a component of this plant known as cannabidiol (CBD), and which does not have the controversial psychoactive properties associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may have a wide range of therapeutic applications, including treating conditions that are refractory to conventional drug-based approaches.

One such condition is Parkinson’s disease, to which there is, at present, no effective conventional treatment. In fact, the primary treatment involves dopamine increasing drugs that also increase a neurotoxic metabolite known as with 6-hydroxy-dopamine, and which therefore can actually accelerate the progression of the disease. This is why natural alternatives that are safe, effective, and backed up by scientific evidence, are so needed today. Thankfully, preclinical research on cannabidiol has already revealed some promising results, including two studies in animal models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) assessing its neuroprotective properties:

“In the first one, Lastres-Becker et al. (2005) showed that the administration of CBD counteracted neurodegeneration caused by the injection of 6-hydroxy-dopamine in the medial prosencephalic bundle, an effect that could be related to the modulation of glial cells and to antioxidant effects (Lastres- Becker et al., 2005). In the next year, Garcia-Arencibia et al. (2007) tested many cannabinoid compounds following the lesion of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with 6-hydroxy-dopamine and found that the acute administration of CBD seemed to have a neuroprotective action; nonetheless, the administration of CBD one week after the lesion had no significant effects (Garcia-Arencibia et al., 2007). This study also pointed to a possible antioxidant effect with the upregulation of  mRNA of the enzyme Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase following the administration of CBD.” [1]

In addition to these animal studies, the following three human clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate cannabidiol’s neuroprotective effects.

  • A 2006 study published in Biological Psychology titled, “Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex N-Acetylaspartate/Total Creatine (NAA/tCr) Loss in Male Recreational Cannabis Users,” investigated the N-acetylaspartate to creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the brain of regular cannabis users through magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H1-MRS) to assess the neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids present in the drug and found a strong positive correlation between CBD and NAA/Cr in the globus pallidus and putamen. [2] According to the study, “the globus pallidum is the region with the highest amount of CB1-receptors in the brain and the target of neurostimulation in patients with Parkinson’s disease, who developed a strong tremor. Our MRSI results support a positive effect of CBD on the putamen/globus pallidum region in cannabis use. Therefore, it may be promising to test a possible influence of the nonpsychotropic CBD in the onset of Parkinson’s disease.”
  • A 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease,” [3] assessed the therapeutic use and neuroprotective effect of CBD in PD patients. The open label study was conducted with six patients with PD-related psychosis. They were administered CBD at doses ranging from 150 mg in the first week to 400 mg in the fourth and last week of treatment (doses were adjusted to optimize the clinical response). The study reported significant improvements in psychosis as well as in the total scores of a scale that measures general symptoms of PD (Unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale – UPDRS)
  • A 2014 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial,” evaluated the effects of cannabidiol in Parkinson’s disease patients, dividing 21 patients into 3 groups of 7 receiving either placebo, cannabidiol (CBD) 75 mg/day or CBD 300 mg/day. Increases in well-being and quality of life were observed in the 300 mg/day groups versus the placebo groups. The researchers hypothesized that these improvements may have been due to cannabidiol’s “anxiolytic,” “antidepressant,” “anti-psychotic,” and “sedative” properties.

These results, taken together with the results from the animal models of PD, indicate that CBD may provide a drug alternative in PD patients. Additionally, a new study published in Toxicology In Vitro titled,”The neuroprotection of cannabidiol against MPP+-induced toxicity in PC12 cells involves trkA receptors, upregulation of axonal and synaptic proteins, neuritogenesis, and might be relevant to Parkinson’s disease,” makes the case for using cannabidiol in PD even more compelling by helping to illuminate some of the molecular mechanisms beneath its benefits.

The study found that cannabidiol protects against the neurotoxin known as MPP(+), which is widely believed to be responsible for the damage to the dopamine-producing cells in the substania nigra of Parkison’s patients, by preventing neuronal cell death and inducing neuritogenesis (a neuro-regenerative process for repairing damaged neurons). This mechanism was found to be independent of the neural growth factor (NGF) pathway, even though it involves NGF receptors. Cannabidiol was also found to increase the expression of axonal and synaptic proteins. The study concluded that CBD’s neuroprotective properties might be of benefit to Parkinson’s disease patients.

For additional research on how cannabis can contribute to mitigating neurodegenerative diseasesread our article, “Marijuana Compound Found Superior To Drugs For Alzheimer’s,” and peruse the cannabis research database on GreenMedInfo.com. Also, for an extensive set of data on natural interventions for Parkinson’s disease, view our database on the topic: Parkinson’s disease research. Finally, peruse an extensive list of foods, spices, and natural substances that have neuritogenic properties here.

 

Sorgente: Cannabis for Parkinson’s? The Scientific Evidence Is Compelling | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

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Marijuana eyed as safer substitute to reduce prescription narcotic addictions, overdoses | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

The routine back operation Bob Deslauriers had in 1987 was supposed to fix damage wrought by a rugby-playing youth. Two decades after the fact, it nearly killed him.

The 58-year-old unknowingly received a tainted blood transfusion during the surgery, and 18 years later discovered the resulting hepatitis C infection had virtually destroyed his liver.

A transplant last year saved Deslauriers’ life, but by the time he left hospital, the engineer and former corporate CEO had another problem: He was on so much opioid painkiller, he could do little but blankly stare at the TV.

His salvation, surprisingly, came from marijuana. Pot helped wean him off all but a small dose of morphine — and made his intellectually demanding work possible again, according to a unique case study published this month.

A multi-hospital research project has now been launched to test the novel idea of using a historically illicit drug to curb dependence on a legal — but potentially debilitating — one. Meanwhile, a recent survey suggests many medical-cannabis users are already substituting weed for prescription pharmaceuticals.

Deslauriers is convinced of the benefits.

“We’re kind of conditioned in society to look down on marijuana, because of all the propaganda we’ve been fed all our lives,” says the Eastern Ontario resident. “(But) it’s basically given me my life back.”

The case also underlines the complexity of cannabis as an emerging medicine, with Deslauriers using a strain high in the compound cannabidiol (CBD) to treat his pain, and one with lots of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to control chronic nausea.

The concept could have wide application if proven effective, given Canada’s massive prescription opioid habit — per-capita consumption here is second only to the United States.

Hundreds of Canadians die yearly from overdosing on prescription narcotics — many simply taking what doctors recommended for chronic pain — while others spiral into addiction.

Dr. Hance Clarke, who co-authored Deslauriers’ case study, heads Ontario’s Transitional Pain Service, set up last year with provincial funding partly to help post-operative patients who become dependent on the medications.

The Toronto General Hospital physician stressed that one case does not prove the effectiveness of marijuana to phase out narcotics. But Clarke and colleagues have begun an observational study involving numerous patients, and a more rigorous randomized controlled trial is eyed for the future.

There is already some evidence that cannabis can treat certain types of pain, with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors known to be involved in pain modulation.

‘We’re kind of conditioned in society to look down on marijuana, because of all the propaganda we’ve been fed all our lives. (But) it’s basically given me my life back’

“Gone is the day where a patient says, ‘I smoke cannabis recreationally and I continue to do this for my pain’ — and I have to shy away from that,” said Clarke. “I can say, medically, I have a prescription pad and I can actually bring (cannabis) to the table as part of their pain regimen.”

The case study sounded familiar to Dr. Norm Buckley, director of the National Pain Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., who has had patients tell him they were going to smoke marijuana to get off narcotics — and succeed.

Cannabis would appear to be safer than opioids — unlikely, for instance, to cause life-threatening symptoms in excessive doses, he noted. The problem is a lack of science to indicate what strains and what doses are appropriate for which patients, the kind of prescribing guidelines that come with pharmaceutical medicines, Buckley noted.

“Right now we’re not really using it as a medication,” he said. “We’re giving people permission to experiment with it.”

Still, a recent study at the University of British Columbia, based on an online survey of medical-marijuana patients, found that 80 per cent used it to replace prescription drugs for conditions ranging from pain to depression and HIV. The most common reason was fewer negative side effects.

The athletic, entrepreneurial Deslauriers lived a full life until about 10 years ago, playing on Canada’s national rugby team, competing in other sports and later heading a “conglomerate” whose businesses stretched from oil and gas to TV production.

Then he collapsed after a charity run in 2005, learning that he had advanced cirrhosis of the liver — triggering burst veins and internal bleeding — and would likely be dead within a week.

He survived the initial crisis and finally underwent a liver transplant, thanks to the organ part his sister donated.

Desluariers had already been on hydromorphone — a semi-synthetic morphine derivative — because of chronic abdominal pain beforehand. With the acute pain related to the surgery, the dose soared to almost 40 milligrams a day.

Though no longer running the company, he still does research work on robotics at home, but found the narcotic-induced fog made that impossible.

After beginning to smoke a CBD-rich cannabis strain, he was able to reduce the hydromorphone almost immediately, and is now down to two to eight mg per day, Deslauriers said.

Sorgente: Marijuana eyed as safer substitute to reduce prescription narcotic addictions, overdoses | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

Banking on the Marijuana Industry? | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

It is legal to sell marijuana in 23 states. But pot businesses can’t deposit their money in banks because of federal banking laws. While the dilemma has been a back-burner issue in Congress for several years, a solution may be in the works. A provision in the upcoming financial services spending bill would prevent the federal government from spending money on penalizing financial institutions that accept legal marijuana businesses as clients. That would greatly reduce the ability of federal agencies’ to prosecute the banks.

Sorgente: Banking on the Marijuana Industry? | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

Ontario to allow smoking and vaping medical marijuana in public places | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

Instead of popping two aspirins, you can now light up a joint at work – if you have a medical marijuana prescription.

Medical marijuana users with a doctor’s prescription are exempt from the laws that prohibit cigarette smoking and e-cigarette vaping in most public places in Ontario, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dipika Damerla, explained on Wednesday.

“The law allows for an exemption because someone needs it for a medical purpose … It’s about negotiating. It’s about balancing the rights,” she said.

But Damerla said the legislation that allows for the exemption also permits business owners and employers to “override the exemption.”

“As an employer and a restaurant owner, you can say that there is no vaping, no smoking of medical marijuana,” she said.

There was some confusion over whether the exemption applied only to vaping, and not smoking, but Damerla make it clear that both are permitted with a doctor’s approval.

“They are consistent with each other,” she said.

Patrick Brown, Ontario PC Leader, expressed concerns that the new provincial rules would contradict with respective municipal guidelines.

“The conversation they should have is with municipalities to make sure that the provincial regulations are in line with what municipalities have already established,” he said. “And in some cases they have their own regulations that prohibit smoking in places like parks.”

When asked about concerns that marijuana could be smoked in the presence of children, Brown said he didn’t think there was going to be “an overwhelming amount of people in Ontario running out to parks to have their medical marijuana.”

Toronto Public Health, which has taken a hard stance on cigarette smoking, and has called for e-cigarette and hookah bans, refused to comment when reached by CityNews.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party would take a hard look at the rules surrounding medical marijuana smoking and vaping.

“We know that Health Canada has issued some warnings about exposure of young people to the smoke and vapor of medical marijuana and that’s something we have to keep in mind,” she said.

When asked how she would react if someone lit up a joint while she was enjoying dinner, she quipped, “I’ll probably eat more.”

Medical marijuana advocates applauded the exemptions.

In a release, Jonathan Zaid, Founder and Executive Director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) stated: “This is another important milestone in the recognition of the legitimacy of the use of cannabis as a medicine. Ontario has taken a huge step forward by exempting medical cannabis patients and their use of vaporizers.”

Sorgente: Ontario to allow smoking and vaping medical marijuana in public places | Marijuana News | Cannabis Industry & Legalization News | 420 Intel

Carta dei Diritti delle Persone che Utilizzano e Coltivano Cannabis – FreeWeed

Consapevoli dell’importanza di portare in primo piano, in questo momento storico di grande interesse verso la Cannabis, la tematica dei Diritti delle Persone che la Utilizzano e Coltivano, l’Associazione FreeWeed Board ha valutato l’idea di redarre, e di proporne l’adesione come firmatari a tutti gli interessati, una Carta dei Diritti sulla Cannabis, che comprenda universalmente gli ideali sociali che […]

Sorgente: Carta dei Diritti delle Persone che Utilizzano e Coltivano Cannabis – FreeWeed

Alaska first legal state to OK option for social pot use

On-site consumption was a hot topic during the public comment process in Alaska. Board chairman Bruce Schulte, who offered the amendment, said there appeared to be a public demand for such facilities

 

By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press

Updated Nov. 20, 2015 at 5:01 p.m.

JUNEAU, Alaska — The board tasked with writing rules for Alaska’s recreational marijuana industry voted Friday to allow for people to use pot at certain stores that will sell it, a first among the four states that have legalized the drug.

The 3-2 vote by the Marijuana Control Board also changed the definition of the term “in public” to allow for consumption at some pot shops, none of which are open yet. Colorado, Washington and Oregon have legalized recreational marijuana but ban its public use, including in pot stores.

“This would put, I think, Alaska in the forefront on this issue,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project.

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On-site consumption was a hot topic during the public comment process in Alaska. Board chairman Bruce Schulte, who offered the amendment, said there appeared to be a public demand for such facilities.

Voters last November passed the state’s initiative legalizing recreational pot use by those 21 and older. The law banned public consumption but didn’t define “public.”

Regulators adopted an emergency regulation earlier this year when the law was taking effect that defined “in public” as a place where the public or a substantial group of people have access.

Some initiative supporters thought that definition was too restrictive, saying it would seemingly even bar pot consumption at weddings or office parties.

The board amended the definition to allow for consumption in a designated area at certain licensed pot stores. It had previously said it lacked the legal authority to create a type of license permitting public use.

Cynthia Franklin, the board’s director, said she expects another round of regulations detailing exactly what will be allowed at those stores, such as the types of marijuana.

The regulations, once adopted, will undergo a legal review by Alaska’s Department of Law.

It is still illegal to buy marijuana in Alaska because businesses have not yet been licensed to sell it. The board is set to begin accepting business applications in February, with the initial industry licenses expected to be awarded in May.

http://www.thecannabist.co/2015/11/19/alaska-marijuana-regulations-edibles-social-pot-use/44104/

“Meglio essere illegalmente vivo che legalmente morto”, adolescente in cura con cannabis

Il 15enne statunitense Coltyn Turner si dice guarito dal morbo di Crohn dopo essersi curato con olio di cannabis

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“Preferisco essere illegalmente vivo che legalmente morto”, così un ragazzino americano di 15 anni, Coltyn Turner, ha commentato la sua situazione dopo essere guarito grazie all’uso della cannabis a scopo terapeutico. L’adolescente infatti soffriva di un grave disturbo, il morbo di Crohn, una malattia infiammatoria cronica dell’intestino che porta a forti dolori addominali, diarrea, vomito e perdita di peso. La malattia tormentava il ragazzo tanto da costringerlo su una sedia a rotelle per mancanza di energia. Dopo aver provato varie cure classiche senza successo, la famiglia del giovane ha deciso l’anno scorso di provare cure alternative a base di marijuana, in particolare olio di cannabis. Questo ha comportato il trasferimento di tutta la famiglia dal Midwest a Colorado Springs dove è legale per alcuni pazienti pediatrici la prescrizione del derivato della marijuana.

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Una decisione che si è rivelata vincente visto che il ragazzo non ha accusato più nessun sintomo. In cura dal marzo del 2014, solo quattro mesi più tardi il 15enne infatti è stato in grado di lasciare la sua sedia a rotelle e camminare cinque miglia su una montagna. Infine ad ottobre la colonscopia ha trovato che il suo colon era libero da infiammazioni e alla fine dell’anno il ragazzo ha potuto dire addio a tutti i disturbi. Il suo caso è stato presentato in diversi congressi come caso limite degli effetti positivi della cannabis terapeutica per particolari patologie.

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