CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne
BACKGROUND: The therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabis-based medicines raises safety concerns for patients, clinicians, policy-makers, insurers, researchers and regulators. Although the efficacy of cannabinoids is being increasingly demonstrated in randomized controlled trials, most safety information comes from studies of recreational use. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of safety studies of medical cannabinoids published over the past 40 years to create an evidence base for cannabis-related adverse events and to facilitate future cannabis research initiatives.
This paper is a sociological examination of policies and practices in Health Canada's Marihuana Medical Access Division (MMAD) that presume the illicit intentions and inherent "guilt" of medical cannabis users, hampering safe access to a medicine to which many are legally entitled, and raising doubts about this federal programme's overall effectiveness and constitutional legitimacy.
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM
BACKGROUND: Use of cannabis is often an under-reported activity in our society. Despite legal restriction, cannabis is often used to relieve chronic and neuropathic pain, and it carries psychotropic and physical adverse effects with a propensity for addiction. This article aims to update the current knowledge and evidence of using cannabis and its derivatives with a view to the sociolegal context and perspectives for future research. METHODS: Cannabis use can be traced back to ancient cultures and still continues in our present society despite legal curtailment.
The medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been controversial, especially in the United States. Marijuana for medicinal use is approved in 14 U.S. states and has recently been considered for legalization in several additional states. Given its demonstrated efficacy in symptom management, marijuana has a potential role in palliative care. This study utilized a 16-item questionnaire to assess the knowledge, experience, and views of hospice professionals regarding the use of marijuana in terminally ill patients.
BACKGROUND: Various national surveys suggest that cannabis use is rising nationally and many States have passed legislation that has potential to increase usage even further. This presents a problem for public roadways, as research suggests that cannabis impairs driving ability. METHODS: Anonymous oral fluid samples and breath tests were obtained from more than 900 weekend nighttime drivers randomly sampled from six jurisdictions in California. Oral fluid samples were assayed for the presence of Schedule I drugs.
PURPOSE: To replicate a prior study that found greater adolescent marijuana use in states that have passed medical marijuana laws (MMLs), and extend this analysis by accounting for confounding by unmeasured state characteristics and measurement error. METHODS: We obtained state-level estimates of marijuana use from the 2002 through 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. We used 2-sample t-tests and random-effects regression to replicate previous results.
For 5 millennia, Cannabis sativa has been used throughout the world medically, recreationally, and spiritually. From the mid-19th century to the 1930s, American physicians prescribed it for a plethora of indications, until the federal government started imposing restrictions on its use, culminating in 1970 with the US Congress classifying it as a Schedule I substance, illegal, and without medical value.
The cannabis plant has been known to humanity for centuries as a remedy for pain, diarrhea, and inflammation. Current research has shown cannabis to be a useful remedy for many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and chronic pain. Cannabinoids are used to improve food intake in anorexia of AIDS patients and to prevent vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy. In inflammatory conditions cannabinoids improve pain in rheumatoid arthritis and pain and diarrhea in Crohn's disease. Cannabinoids reduce the size of brain infarct and cardiac reperfusion injury.
The increasing prevalence and use of herbal mixtures containing synthetic cannabinoids presents a growing public health concern and legal challenge for society. In contrast to the plant-derived cannabinoids in medical marijuana and other cannabinoid-based therapeutics, the commonly encountered synthetic cannabinoids in these mendaciously labeled products constitute a structurally diverse set of compounds of relatively unknown pharmacology and toxicology. Indeed, the use of these substances has been associated with an alarming number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain. When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects) by patients in a clinical setting. Additionally, cannabinoids can prevent the development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates, and can even rekindle opiate analgesia after a prior dosage has become ineffective.