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IACM-Bulletin of 06 September 2015

Sweden: Pain patient acquitted from the accusation for growing cannabis illegally

For the first time it was accepted that a pain patient had no other alternative than using cannabis to treat himself. Andreas Thörn, 36, from the city of Västerås was acquitted in the lower District Court of Västmanland for illegally growing his own cannabis at home. He had grown and used cannabis to ease his pain, which he contracted some 20 years ago in a motorcycle accident. Ever since then he has been in a wheelchair. Cannabis seems to be the only medicine that works in this case. Mr. Thörn has tried all legal medications without any success.

The sentence means that he will get back about 100 grams of home grown cannabis, which the police had seized. This is unheard of in Sweden with one of the toughest drug laws in the western world. Even for mere consumption there is a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison. The only allowed cannabis-based medicines are Sativex and THC (Marinol). But these are very hard to get and patients have to pay for themselves, which results in high expenses for the patients.

www.cannabis.se of 28 August 2015

News in brief

Science: The genetics of hemp are more similar to cannabis indica than cannabis sativa
Scientists demonstrated that cannabis strain names often do not reflect a meaningful genetic identity. They also provide evidence that hemp is genetically more similar to cannabis indica type cannabis than to cannabis sativa strains.
Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, Canada.
Sawler J, et al. PLoS One. 2015;10(8):e0133292

Science/Animal: Activation of CB2 receptors may be beneficial in obesity
A synthetic cannabinoid (HU308), which only binds to the CB2 receptor, reduced inflammation in obese mice without influencing weight gain. Authors concluded that “CB2 agonists may fortify CB2-mediated anti-obesity signalling."
Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Goethe-University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.
Schmitz K, et al. Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Aug 25. [in press]

Science/Animal: Endocannabinoids inhibit nausea
An inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) reduced acute nausea and anticipatory nausea in rats through two mechanisms: activation of PPAR-alpha and the CB1 receptor. Since FAAH is responsible for the degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide, inhibition of this enzyme increases the level of this endocannabinoid.
University of Guelph, Canada.
Rock EM, et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Aug 23. [in press]

Science/Animal: The activation of the CB1 receptor is beneficial in stroke
A synthetic agonist of the CB1 receptor (ACEA) improved recovery of nerve cells after stroke in mice. Researchers wrote that their “results suggest that CB1R may be involved in neuronal survival and in the regulation of neuroprotection during focal cerebral ischemia in mice.”
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Caltana L, et al. J Neurochem. 2015 Aug 22. [in press]

Science/Animal: The endocannabinoid 2-AG relaxes blood vessels
New data suggest that the endocannabinoid 2-AG can directly activate vanilloid receptors type 4 (TRPV4) in the endothelium of blood vessels, which partly contributes to the relaxant response to 2-AG. “However, the functional role of TRPV4 is highly dependent on the vascular region,” researchers wrote.
Institute of Cardiovascular and Cell Sciences, St George's University of London, United Kingdom.
Ho WS, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2015 Aug 21. [in press]

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