Our Letter to the Editor of JAMA
SCC Board Members recently published a Letter to the Editor of JAMA opposing several key provisions in the “model guidelines” the Federation wants the state medical boards to adopt. These provisions would:
- Trigger investigations of cannabis clinicians based on how many patients they approve and how many plants they authorize patients to grow.
- Constrain cannabis clinicians from using cannabis as medicine themselves.
- Prevent cannabis clinicians from conducting research in concert with dispensaries.
It is well known the chemical structures of THC and CBD were worked out and published in 1963-64 by the Israeli pharmacologist Raphael Mechoulam and colleagues at Hebrew University in Israel.
It is not so well known that Mechoulam, now 84, has been conducting and guiding cutting-edge cannabinoid research all these years. Zach Klein’s beautifully filmed biopic, The Scientist recounts Mechoulam’s role in discovering and elucidating the endocannabinoid system, and proposing clinical applications.
Klein plays the curious Everyman who questions Mechoulam about cannabis and how it works in the body. The interviews are conducted in the pleasant Jerusalem apartment where Raphe and Dahlia Mechoulam have lived since 1966, and in Mechoulam’s lab at Hebrew University, and in his car as the scientist drives to and from work, and at a meeting of the International Canabinoid Research Society (a group Mechoulam helped organize).
Although Mechoulam’s manner is gentle and undemanding, he is making a strong plea in The Scientist: cannabis-based medicines should be made available to patients. He does not point an angry finger at any government or agency that has impeded progress —he shrugs in disappointment.
In response to Klein’s first question, Mechoulam observes (in the mildest, sweetest tone of voice) that cannabinoid medicine “is not being used as much as it should be in the clinic. It is of great promise in the clinic. Maybe this film can push it forward a bit.”
Klein asks why, at the start of his career, Mechoulam chose to study the active compound(s) in cannabis.
Mechoulam replies, “Well, a scientist should try to find topics of importance…”
Ongoing Medical Cannabis Studies
Gregory Gerdeman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology at Eckerd College and expert on the physiology and evolutionary neurobiology underlying the endocannabinoid system (ECS) presents to SCC at the June quarterly meeting.
A talk on Cannabis and its effects on the Pulmonary System by Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Director of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine.
In 2015, researchers at the University of Michigan published the first systematic comparison among medical cannabis users who use and do not use prescription pain medications (PPMs). PPM users and nonusers did not exhibit any difference in either lifetime or past-3-month use of other drugs, including cocaine, sedatives, street opioids, and amphetamines. PPM users rated the efficacy of cannabis higher than PPM for pain management and indicated a strong desire to reduce PPM usage. Longitudinal study designs are needed to better understand the trajectories of alcohol and other drug involvement over time among medical cannabis users. read more…
In the United States, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is diagnosed in approximately 5.2 million people annually, and these people suffer a wide range of symptoms. A comprehensive literature search on PTSD and cannabis covering the period January 1, 1995, to October 1, 2014 was conducted. While further research into cannabinoid treatment effects on PTSD symptoms is required, the evaluated evidence indicates that substantial numbers of military veterans with PTSD use cannabis or derivative products to control PTSD symptoms, with some patients reporting benefits in terms of reduced anxiety and insomnia and improved coping ability. read more…
The medical certificates of 30 patients with adult ADHD, who were granted approval by the German Health Ministry to use cannabis flowers between 2012 and 2014, were analysed with regard to course of disease, previous treatment efforts, and effects of self-medication with cannabis or therapy with cannabis-based medications. For adult patients with ADHD, who experience side effects or do not profit from standard medication, cannabis may be an effective and well-tolerated alternative. read more…
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the leading cause of cancer‐associated mortality worldwide; however, only limited therapeutic treatments are currently available. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of cannabinoids as novel therapeutic targets in HCC. In addition, the mechanism underlying the effects of a synthetic cannabinoid, WIN55, 212‐2, on the BEL7402 HCC cell line was investigated. These results provided a basis for the application of WIN in the treatment of HCC. read more…
A study recently published in Neurotherapeutics by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine reviews scientific evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials of cannabinoids in epilepsy. These studies suggest that CBD avoids the psychoactive effects of the endocannabinoid system to provide a well-tolerated, promising therapeutic for the treatment of seizures. Future placebo-controlled clinical trials will provide insight into cannabinoid function and the potential neuroprotective effects of the endocannabinoid system. read more…