S Africa legalises private use of cannabis

South Africa’s highest court has allowed the private use of marijuana, upholding a lower court’s ruling that found the criminalisation of cannabis was unconstitutional.

Activists who include members of the Rastafarian movement and traditional healers greeted the ruling with loud applause. They have held marches over the years to demand that the law be changed to allow people to smoke ‘weed’, which is called ‘dagga’ in South Africa.

Several government departments, including the health and justice ministries, oppose its legalisation and warn of harmful effects.

But in a unanimous judgment read by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the Constitutional Court decriminalised home consumption, saying “the use of cannabis must be for the personal consumption of the adult”.

Tuesday’s ruling also approved growing marijuana for personal consumption.

Rastafarian Garreth Prince and former Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton brought the case asking the High Court to allow for the home use of marijuana.

Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, known as the “Dagga Couple”, joined the case, and asked the court to strike down laws banning the use, cultivation and sale of marijuana.

He added that it would not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for their personal consumption in private.

However, the judgment did not specify the amount that can be used by an adult in private use.

“This must be determined by parliament,” he said.

Parliament is now expected to amend the laws that criminalise cannabis following the court ruling.

Activists had argued that the criminalisation of dagga use and possession is a violation of the right to equality, dignity, and freedom of religion.

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Longmont police arrest man, two juveniles in marijuana robbery

Longmont police on Friday arrested an adult man and two juveniles, alleging they beat and robbed a man for his marijuana.

The post Longmont police arrest man, two juveniles in marijuana robbery appeared first on The Cannabist.

Longmont police on Friday arrested an adult man and two juveniles, alleging they beat and robbed a man for his marijuana.

The post Longmont police arrest man, two juveniles in marijuana robbery appeared first on The Cannabist.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Many California marijuana products failing safety tests. Los Angeles launches crackdown on unlicensed marijuana businesses; more than 500 people are charged. Legal medical marijuana stores could start opening up in Fresno. Pro-law enforcement group releases study on impact of legal marijuana in Colorado. Colorado warns New Mexico about consequences of legalizing recreational marijuana. In New Mexico Senate race, Heinrich joins Johnson in call to legalize cannabis.

Michigan marijuana proposal support high. 5 things to know about Michigan proposal to legalize marijuana. Board sets final language for proposal to legalize Michigan recreational pot. Legalization of marijuana in North Dakota. Group forms to fight against legalizing North Dakota marijuana. Indiana farmers need industrial hemp or legal marijuana to prosper.

New Jersey marijuana legalization is picking up momentum. Most New Jersey residents say they’d go for legal weed if it means lower property taxes, poll shows. New Jersey urban mayors want increased focus on social justice aspect of marijuana legalization. Marijuana legalization listening sessions begin in New York. New York marijuana should not be legalized. Health benefits, economic growth cited as reasons to legalize New York marijuana.

Here’s a gateway ETF to invest in the eventual explosion of legal marijuana. Alcohol companies are seeing green in weed. Top Trump health official signals support for marijuana decriminalization. Congress should recognize states’ rights on cannabis. US has a marijuana legalization catch-22 on its hands.Price Elasticity of Illegal vs Legal Cannabis: A Behavioral Economic Substitutability Analysis. Availability of Legalized Cannabis Reduces Demand for Illegal Cannabis among Canada Cannabis Users: Evidence from a Behavioral Economic Substitution Paradigm.

What happens to US when pot’s legal in Canada? CBP officers prepare for Canada marijuana legalization. Canada marijuana users, workers and investors risk lifetime border ban. Canada marijuana legalization expected to cost Winnipeg $1.76M. Canada medical marijuana system will continue after legalization, says Health Canada. How Canada medical marijuana is opening the door to recreational cannabis. British Columbia municipalities seek 40 per cent of tax revenue from legal marijuana. Vancouver School Board educating youth about marijuana ahead of legalization.

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Libertarian Gary Johnson says his $250G in cannabis stocks irrelevant to his backing of legalized marijuana

Gary Johnson, a two-time Libertarian candidate for president who’s now seeking a U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico, says the more than $250,000 in cannabis stocks he owns does not influence his position on legalizing marijuana.

According to financial filings reviewed this week by the Associated Press, Johnson is said to own stocks worth more than $250,000 in the Nevada cannabis company Kush Inc. He also reported capital gains of at least $100,000 from stock in the company Cannabis Sativa, where he previously served as CEO between his 2012 and 2016 presidential runs.

Johnson, 65, who also served as a Republican governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, was required to disclose his personal finances after announcing his Senate candidacy in August.

He defended his earnings Friday, saying he sees no conflict of interest because he has always supported the legalization of marijuana.

“This was a career-ending move on my part in 1999,” Johnson said, referring to his support for legalizing pot when he was governor, despite its unpopularity at the time. “The last thing that I ever dreamed of happening is that somehow I would make money off this.”

“The last thing that I ever dreamed of happening is that somehow I would make money off this.”

– Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico

Johnson’s Senate campaign office did not immediately return Fox News’ request for additional comment.

Johnson has long advocated for legalizing marijuana. Both he and his daughter are also investors in the cannabis-specific hedge fund CB1 Capital.

He is running on the Libertarian ticket against incumbent U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, 46, a Democrat who recently embraced the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level.

The Republican contender on the ballot, construction contractor Mick Rich, opposes legalization.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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US Senate Candidate Gary Johnson Admits to Involvement in Cannabis Industry

Libertarian Senate candidate Gary Johnson recently disclosed a number of financial ties to the legal cannabis industry. Given Johnson’s pro-legalization platform, some have claimed these connections could be a conflict of interests. But Johnson insists that these claims are not true.

Gary Johnson’s Ties to Legal Weed

Johnson is currently running to represent New Mexico in the Senate. As part of the campaign process, he was required to submit a standard set of financial disclosures.

These disclosures revealed a number of connections to the legal weed industry. In particular, Johnson said that he owns more than $250,000 worth of stock in Kush, a cannabis company based in Las Vegas.

Similarly, Johnson reported that he is part of a profit-sharing arrangement with an investment fund called CB1 Capital. The fund invests exclusively in the cannabis space, and Johnson is reportedly serving as one of its key advisers.

Finally, Johnson’s financial disclosure revealed capital gains from stocks he holds in Cannabis Sativa, a marijuana holding company.

He said he earned at least $100,000 from these stocks. Johnson served as CEO of Cannabis Sativa in between his presidential runs in 2012 and 2016.

According to local news sources, Johnson’s financial ties to the cannabis industry have worried some folks in New Mexico. In particular, there are concerns that these connections could throw his pro-legalization platform into question.

As far as Johnson is concerned, there are no conflicts of interest. The politician said that there is nothing wrong with his financial interests in the industry because his political advocacy outdates his investments and work in the cannabis industry.

“This was a career-ending move on my part in 1999,” Johnson told the Albuquerque Journal. “The last thing that I ever dreamed of happening is that somehow I would make money off this.”

Johnson’s Pro-Legalization Politics

Johnson is one of the most well-known faces of Libertarian politics. Among many other things, he is known for being in favor of marijuana legalization.

He has run for president twice. Both times he ran on a Libertarian ticket. And both times, he said he supported legalization.

Now, he is running against Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Mick Rich to represent New Mexico in the Senate. While Johnson supports federal legalization, Heinrich advocates for decriminalization and Rich opposes legalization.

In New Mexico, medical marijuana is currently legal. The state has a relatively long and thorough list of qualifying health conditions. So far, the state has not legalized recreational cannabis.

According to studies, New Mexico consumes a relatively high amount of weed. For example, a 2016 report found that the state currently has at least 27,000 registered medical marijuana patients with an estimated 138,000 people who regularly consume illegal marijuana.

The study used these figures to estimate what a legal adult-use cannabis market would look like in New Mexico. Researchers estimated that such a market would consume more than 57 metric tons of cannabis annually. That, the report concluded, would be worth roughly $412 million with potential to grow to as much as $677 million.

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Can Canadian Online Cannabis Retailer Namaste Technologies Become The Amazon Of Cannabis?

A ladybug crawls on the leaf of a hemp plant grown for medical research in Thailand. (Photograph: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg)

As the Canadian market prepares for the anticipated rise in the demand for recreational cannabis post its legalization in October, Namaste Technologies, (CVE:N), a leading online retailer of ancillary hardware cannabis products, is busy spreading its roots in the online cannabis market. Just like the large cannabis producers, Namaste’s stock has surged, rising from $0.21 per share in November 2017 to $3.55 per share at present. However, the company hasn’t stopped growing, and aims to become the “Amazon of Cannabis” in the coming years. For this, the company announced the pre-launch of an artificial intelligence-driven medical cannabis marketplace – CannMart.com – which will enable it to procure and sell medical cannabis from both domestic and international cultivators. In this note, we discuss how this move will augment Namaste Technologies’ plans to become the “Amazon of the Cannabis Market.”

We currently have a price estimate of $7.00 per share for Namaste Technologies, which is higher than its market price. View our interactive dashboard – Namaste Technologies’ Price Estimate – and modify the key drivers to visualize the impact on its valuation.

Trefis

Global E-Commerce Company In Cannabis Space

Namaste Technologies is a Vancouver-based online retailer of medical cannabis vaporizers and smoking accessories. The company is one of the largest online retailers of cannabis delivery systems, operating through its 32 e-commerce sites in over 20 countries and distribution hubs located across the globe. The company’s websites have over 600,000 monthly visits with a database of approximately 1.5 million users. The company has a strong presence in the UK, Canada, and Germany and holds a large chunk of the online cannabis markets in Europe and Australia. With the growing demand for medical cannabis products, the company is catering to the emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, and Chile through a number of new supply channels.

CannMart.com Will Establish Namaste As A One-Stop-Shop For Cannabis

In 2017, Namaste Technologies had acquired CannMart Inc., a Canada-based late-stage applicant for a medical cannabis sales-only license under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. The acquisition was a strategic decision, taken to strengthen Namaste’s e-commerce and logistics platform and enable it to become a leader in retail distribution of medical cannabis in Canada.

In the quest to achieve this objective, Namaste announced the pre-launch of a medical cannabis online marketplace – CannMart.com earlier this week. The company has launched this marketplace, given its expectations that its subsidiary, CannMart, will receive its sales-only license in the coming months. Once this milestone is achieved, Namaste will be able to procure and sell medical cannabis from both domestic and international Health Canada approved cultivators and offer them on an AI-driven e-commerce marketplace designed to provide a unique and personalized experience to each patient.

AI-driven Marketplace And Strong Network Of Suppliers Will Drive Sales

Namaste will incorporate the advance e-commerce AI from its existing technology platform – NamasteMD, Canada’s first fully integrated patient consultation portal, to create a personalized user experience for every patient ordering through CannMart.com. In addition, the company will further integrate the AI technology and expertise of Findify, a leading e-commerce AI company that Namaste had acquired in May 2018, into the new platform. Furthermore, the company plans to leverage the database of over 1.5 million customers to expand its presence in the online cannabis market in Canada and gradually across the globe. Apart from this, Namaste has secured a network of suppliers and holds an inventory of high-quality medical cannabis flower and oil, which will be immediately available for sale once CannMart receives its sales-only license.

Namaste’s existing platform is known for its safe and reliable distribution of cannabis and is in line with the current provincial and federal guidelines for sale of cannabis within Canada. The new marketplace will enable Namaste to become a one-stop-shop for medical cannabis consumers in Canada by offering both cannabis consumables as well as ancillary products on the same platform. Thus, we expect CannMart’s sales-only license, coupled with an AI-driven marketplace to sell cannabis products, to solidify Namaste’s position as the leader in the cannabis e-commerce market and establish it as the “Amazon of Cannabis” in the coming years.

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Can Canadian Online Cannabis Retailer Namaste Technologies Become The Amazon Of Cannabis? ForbesFull coverag […]

94% of Medical Marijuana Users Get Relief From Cannabis, New Studies Find

Medical marijuana laws are on the books in over half of the United States, and the all-natural remedy is used by countless more Americans in spite of prohibition. Because marijuana is still a federally illicit narcotic, though, extrapolating the drug’s effects on specific ailments has been difficult to say the least.

In two new studies published in the journals Frontiers in Pharmacology and Medicines respectively, researchers in the University of New Mexico’s Department of Psychology sought out to fill that vacuum of data, combing through statistics from the Releaf App — a personal tracking tool for cannabis use — to gain insight into how viable the controversial plant is in treating different conditions.

Developed by a number of the University of New Mexico (UNM) researchers themselves, the Releaf App allows users to input the specific reason for their medical marijuana use, the type of cannabis they use — be it flower, concentrates, or topicals — and finally, any subsequent symptom relief, measured on a 1-10 improvement scale.

The first study, published in late August in Frontiers In Pharmacology, examined Releaf data covering a wide range of ailments, from anxiety and depression to nausea and muscle spasms, from 13,638 individual user entries. Digging through tens of thousands of smoke sessions and infused topical applications, UNM researchers found that cannabis use of any kind, for any condition, was met with an average symptom decrease of 3.7 points.

For the second study, made public in the July issue of the journal Medicines, the same authors looked specifically at the effects of smoking or vaping whole flower cannabis buds on insomnia, consulting data from 1,056 entries on the Releaf App. On average, those users reported a 4.5 point decrease in symptom severity, with pipes and vaporizers credited as the most effective sleep aid method.

By consulting low-pressure, user-generated data, the studies’ authors say that they were more effectively able to explore the way that marijuana is used in real world settings, instead of relying on often uncomfortable lab settings that could alter results.

“Observational studies are more appropriate than experimental research designs for measuring how patients choose to consume cannabis and the effects of those choices,” UNM Department of Psychology Associate Professor Jacob Miguel Vigil said in a press release announcing the research. “By collecting massive amounts of patient-entered information on actual cannabis used under real-life circumstances we are able to measure why patients consume cannabis, the types of products that patients use, and the immediate and longer-term effects of such use. In other words, many of the important and practical research questions that randomized controlled trials fail to address.”

In addition to effective treatment of 27 medical ailments, UNM researchers reported a lack of any significant negative side effects from cannabis, with Releaf users most frequently noting positive side effects like relaxation and peacefulness, as opposed to traditionally negative outcomes like foggy and forgetful.

As cannabis reform continues to be debated in state legislatures and by voters, with public polls consistently reporting overwhelming support for medical marijuana legalization, Vigil and his co-authors were confident that their data would push the cause further, especially considering the deadly nature of America’s current prescription pill epidemic.

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world,” Vigil said. “It is likely already beginning to do so.”

94% of Medical Marijuana Users Get Relief From Cannabis, New Studies Find MERRY JANE
US News churns out puff piece on medical marijuana app research HealthNewsReview.org

Patient-Reported Symptom Relief Following Medical Cannabis Consumption MedicalResearch.com (blog)
Full coverag […]

Marijuana seizures on Colorado public land nearly doubled in 2017

Colorado’s forests and mountains aren’t just crowded with hikers and their selfie sticks. Last year, the long arm of the law pulled a record number of marijuana plants from public lands in the state.

In all, officers uprooted nearly 81,000 plants in 2017 from the depths of the state’s mountain ranges, compared to about 45,000 in 2016, according to data collated by a federal drug task force.

This was the third yearly increase in a row, according to the new report. In fact, the reported number of plant confiscations was 18 times higher in 2017 than it was in 2014, the first year of full legalization.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Last year, the long arm of the law pulled a record number of marijuana plants from public lands in the state.
The post Marijuana seizures on Colorado public land nearly doubled in 2017 appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

California pot products seeing big safety testing failure rate

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 20 percent of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1, a failure rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety.

The testing has been especially tough on cannabis-infused cookies, candies and tinctures: About one-third have been blocked from store shelves.

In much smaller numbers, testing companies licensed by the state are finding unacceptable levels of pesticides, solvents and bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, according to data provided to The Associated Press by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


Nearly 20 percent of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1, a failure rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety.
The post California pot products seeing big safety testing failure rate appeared first on The Cannabist. […]

Marijuana industry donating to Lujan Grisham’s campaign

Campaign finance filings released Monday night show several contributions from the state’s burgeoning medical cannabis sector to the congresswoman and candidate for governor since July 1, totaling more than $20,000.

Contributors include the Verdes Foundation nonprofit dispensary, Reynold Greenleaf & Associates cannabis industry consultants and medical cannabis home deliverer MJ Express-O.

Lujan Grisham was in charge of the New Mexico Health Department when the state’s medical marijuana program began and has expressed support for approving recreational marijuana with adequate health and safety requirements.

Pearce has expressed reservations about recreational marijuana as New Mexico wrestles with poverty and addiction to other drugs.

Marijuana industry donating to Lujan Grisham’s campaign KOBFull coverag […]

New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions

SANTA FE, NM — On Friday, September 7th, the New Mexico Department of Health announced that Secretary Lynn Gallagher would not allow people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) to qualify for medical cannabis in New Mexico.

This is the second time the Medical Advisory Board’s (MAB) recommendation to add opioid use disorder was denied; the first time was in 2017. That year the NM Legislature also voted to approve adding opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, and sent a bill (HB 527) to Governor Martinez in 2017, but the bill was vetoed.

The Secretary also declined to add several other medical conditions that the Board recommended from the November 2017 meeting including muscular dystrophy, substance use disorder, eczema and psoriasis and Tourette’s syndrome.

Medical Advisory Board members are nationally board certified medical doctors who are appointed by the Governor and lend their service in a voluntary capacity.

Cannabis helps reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms, like nausea and insomnia; it promotes restful sleep and helps reduce the intensity of cravings. People receiving medication for OUD have been shown to have better treatment outcomes when they are also able to access medical cannabis. In New Mexico in 2017 more than 500 people died of an opioid drug overdose.

“We lose one or two New Mexicans to overdose every single day. The Secretary’s failure to add this condition is discriminatory and stigmatizing for people suffering from opioid and other substance use disorders” said Jessica Gelay, Policy Manager, with Drug Policy Alliance. “It’s well known that New Mexico needs more options to support people suffering from problematic opioid use. This decision means that medical cannabis, a legitimate option to support symptoms related to OUD and withdrawal from opioids continues to be out of reach. I am hopeful that under a new administration science and compassion will prevail.”

In 2018 both houses of the NM Legislature passed memorials urging the Secretary of Health to add OUD as a qualifying condition. Sponsors of the measures shared these comments:

“I’m extremely disappointed that the Administration has once again failed to listen to the experts to allow the use of medical cannabis to treat opioid use disorder. In the heart of the opioid abuse epidemic it’s critical we use every tool available to save lives,” said Senator Jeff Steinborn.

“I’m terribly disappointed in Secretary Gallagher’s recent decision. This means that more people will suffer and some will die, without this viable alternative to Opioid use. Her decision has real life consequences,” said Representative Joanne Ferrary.

Tags: , , , , , , New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions The Daily ChronicFull coverag […]

Medical cannabis effective in treating a wide range of health conditions

Utilizing new mobile application technology, researchers at The University of New Mexico found that medical cannabis provides immediate symptom relief across dozens of health symptoms with relatively minimal negative side effects.

In two recent studies titled, “Patient-Reported Symptom Relief Following Medical Cannabis Consumption,” and “Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions” published in the journals, Frontiers in Pharmacology and Medicines, respectively, UNM Department of Psychology Associate Professor Jacob Miguel Vigil and UNM Department of Economics Assistant Professor Sarah See Stith, document that patients experienced statistically and clinically significant therapeutic benefits when they used cannabis for symptoms ranging from chronic pain to insomnia.

These studies analyzed data collected with the Releaf App, developed by co-authors Franco Brockelman, Keenan Keeling and Branden Hall and currently, the largest repository of user-entered information on the consumption and effects of cannabis use in the United States with nearly 100,000 recorded user sessions.

Since its release in 2016, the commercially developed Releaf App has been the only publicly available, incentive-free patient educational software program designed for recording how individual cannabis usage sessions correspond to immediate changes in symptom intensity levels and experienced side effects.

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world. It is likely already beginning to do so.” — Jacob Vigil

This electronic assessment tool enables patients to monitor and manage their cannabis consumption decisions under naturalistic conditions while avoiding the limitations of retrospective survey collection methods (e.g., memory bias, social desirability effects) making it an ideal research tool for measuring real-world cannabis use.

In the first study, across 27 different health conditions with symptoms that ranged from seizure disorders to depression, users reported an average symptom reduction of nearly 4 points on a 1-10 scale following the consumption of cannabis in its various product forms, from concentrates to topicals.

The second study focused specifically on the use of raw natural cannabis flower, or ‘buds’ for treating insomnia, with similar degrees of effectiveness that varied according to characteristics of the flower and combustion methods. Both investigations were supported in part by the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research Fund, which was designed to facilitate the types of biomedical cannabis-based research that historically have been difficult to fund through conventional governmental entities, such as the National Institutes of Health.

Most prescription medications carry a long list of unavoidable negative side effects and risks of serious health concerns and even death, allowing alternative forms of medication to compete for patient preferences and healthcare industry demands. Medical cannabis is rapidly gaining popularity with the largest expansions in use among older people and patients with significant health conditions.

“Observational studies are more appropriate than experimental research designs for measuring how patients choose to consume cannabis and the effects of those choices,” said Vigil. “By collecting massive amounts of patient-entered information on actual cannabis used under real-life circumstances we are able to measure why patients consume cannabis, the types of products that patients use, and the immediate and longer-term effects of such use. In other words, many of the important and practical research questions that randomized controlled trials fail to address.”

Cannabis has been investigated as a potential treatment for a wide range of medical conditions from post-traumatic stress disorder to cancer, with the most consistent support for the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy and spasticity. These studies hint at just how wide cannabis’ therapeutic potential may be and are among the first to measure how characteristics of cannabis consumed by millions of people in the U.S. every day are likely to affect different types of health disturbances, both in symptom severity levels and experienced positive and negative side effects.

One of the most striking patterns in the current results was the breadth of symptoms that appeared to improve following cannabis consumption. More than 94 percent of cannabis users reported symptom intensity reductions following self-administered cannabis use across the various health conditions measured with the Releaf App. This may reflect the ability of the plant’s phytocannabinoids to influence the human endocannabinoid system, which regulates both mental and physical health and behavioral systems.

According to the endocannabinoid deficiency theory, many mental and physical health disturbances result from the dysregulation of the body’s innate endocannabinoid system (ECS), often described as a master network of chemical signals that promote physical and psychological homeostasis, or biological state-efficiency. The ECS consists of natural ligands (e.g., anandamide and 2-AG) and receptors (CB1 and CB2) that appear to play a major role in efficient regulation of a basic bodily systems including sleep, feeding (e.g., gut permeability and adipogenesis), libido and fertility, pain perception, motivation, happiness, anxiety, learning and memory, social functioning, autoimmune responses, cellular redox, and cancer pathophysiology.

“In other words and unlike conventional pharmaceutical approaches, which largely target specific neurotransmitter sites, cannabis may act to improve a broad spectrum of symptoms by regulating homeostatic functioning, perhaps best described as a system-modulating rather than symptom-modulating form of therapy,” said Vigil. “The medicinal potential of this concept and practical application for treating so many and seemingly diverse health conditions is unlike that of any other single medication currently known to exist.”

In addition to therapeutic benefits, these studies also showed that cannabis use is associated with frequent and numerous, yet generally non-serious side effects. Positive and context-specific side effects were far more commonly reported than negative side effects by the Releaf App users, with the most frequent reported side effects being positive (relaxed, peaceful, comfy) and the least frequent side effects being negative (paranoid, confused, headache).

Ultimately, cannabis could find a permanent place among our modern repertoire of medication options if it can treat users’ health conditions more effectively and more safely than conventional pharmaceutical remedies. As in the case of insomnia, prescription sleep aids such as antidepressants (e.g., trazodone, amitriptyline, and doxepin), benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam and lorazepam), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) medications (zolpidem and eszopiclone), and anti-psychotics (aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone) are associated with significant clinical drawbacks and heightened risk of morbidity.

The widespread apparent use of cannabis as a sleep aid and for treating myriad other health symptoms underscores the importance of further medical research regarding its risk-benefit profile and the effectiveness of cannabis as a substitute for other substances, including alcohol, over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids, and scheduled medications (e.g., opioids and sedatives).

According to Stith, “The economic impact of cannabis treatment should also be considered given the current burden of opioid and other high-risk prescriptions on healthcare systems, which have been forced to implement costly modifications to general patient care practices, including prescription monitoring programs, drug screening, and more frequent doctor-patient interactions.

“In addition, if the short-term risk-benefit profile of cannabis found in our studies reflects its longer-term therapeutic potential, substitution of cannabis for traditional pharmaceuticals could reduce the risk of dangerous drug interactions and the costs associated with taking multiple medications by allowing patients to treat a constellation of comorbidities with a single treatment modality. “

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world. It is likely already beginning to do so,” Vigil added.

Medical cannabis effective in treating a wide range of health conditions Science DailyFull coverag […]

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