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J Cannabis Ther 2003(2):01-2



E. Russo

This issue of Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics represents an important turning point, from a previous focus primarily on review articles and surveys.

Heretofore, there has been a dearth of clinical studies of cannabis and cannabinoids due to the daunting task of running the gauntlet of national and international constraints surrounding these modes of therapy. That situation is changing, however slowly.

We begin this issue with three more surveys, which remain of critical importance to physicians and legislators as we assess the attitudes of patients and their results employing cannabis therapeutics. The first is from Ware et al. and concerns attitudes and perceived effects of cannabis in a cohort of Canadian patients with HIV/AIDS. It represents a worthy companion to our previous offerings in JCANT 1(3/4), Cannabis Therapeutics in HIV/AIDS.

Next, we have a survey of a more general population of THC and cannabis- using patients in Germany by Grotenhermen and Schnelle. Similarities in results and attitudes become apparent across these cultures.

The third survey by Gallagher et al. is from Canada once more, and pertains to attitudes and opinions toward cannabis in a group of palliative care patients. In our aging populations, with an increasing burden of chronic and terminal diseases, such information is of great importance.

We then transition into initial clinical studies with a review of the presentations from the Cannabinoids in Pain Management Symposium from the American Academy of Pain Management Annual Meeting in Reno, NV. As is apparent, early clinical trial results are arriving on the scene, and will accelerate in the coming months.

Some governments, such as the Netherlands, are allowing physician prescription of cannabis, with supplies available in pharmacies. As a service to our readers, we have included a document on cannabis cultivation guidelines provided by that government, derived from the rules for Good Agricultural Practice of the Working Group on Herbal Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA), first published in the Dutch State Gazette. We thank Willem Scholten of the Office of Medicinal Cannabis for providing this translation.

Our next offering will be a special theme double-issue on the state of the art in cannabinoid therapeutics. Its content will consist primarily of Phase II and Phase III double-blind controlled studies of cannabis extracts. We hope that it represents a continuing trend as the pace of research accelerates.

Ethan Russo, MD

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