A bi-weekly newsletter about cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine

2023
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    IACM-Bulletin of 3 December 2023

    IACM: 13th IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine in 2024 to be held online

    The 13th IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine, which was originally scheduled to take place in Aberdeen from 11 to 13 April 2024, will unfortunately have to be held online for various reasons. Further information on the dates and programme will follow in the coming weeks.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 19 November 2023

    USA: Ohio becomes the 24th state to legalise the use of cannabis for adults

    Ohio voters approved a ballot proposal on November 7 legalizing recreational cannabis. This makes Ohio the 24th state in the United States to permit cannabis use for non-medical purposes. While this change brings new freedoms for adults, employers in Ohio are provided broad rights and responsibilities under the new law.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 5 November 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis may reduce the need for antianxiety medication

    In a longitudinal observational study with 108 adults suffering from anxiety or PTSD as a referring condition did the use of cannabis allow a reduction in other medications. Investigators of Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia, USA, asked participants to fill out a survey at baseline and after 3 months.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 22 October 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis users had better outcomes and mortality due to COVID-19 compared to non-users

    Investigators of the American College of Chest Physicians in Glenview, USA, analysed data of 322,214 patients with COVID-19 infection admitted to hospitals in the United States, of whom 2,603 were cannabis users.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 8 October 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis use is common among breast cancer patients

    According to a survey by investigators of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA, a large proportion of patients with early-stage breast cancer uses cannabis to treat insomnia and pain. Among 2462 patients, who answered the question on cannabis use, 14.8% reported using the drug in the last 30 days and 59.4 percent reported never having used cannabis.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 16 July 2023

    Germany: Ministry of Health presents draft law on legalisation of cannabis

    On 5 July, the Federal Ministry of Health presented a draft law on the legalisation of cannabis. According to the bill, the possession of up to 25 grimes of cannabis is to be allowed for persons over 18 years of age and the cultivation of a maximum of three plants for personal use. In addition, cannabis is to be allowed to be cultivated and distributed collectively in cultivation associations, also called cannabis clubs. The clubs and club members must be prepared for strict rules.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 24 September 2023

    IACM: WeCann and IACM organise Latin America’s largest conference on cannabinoids in medicine in November 2023 in Brazil

    The WeCann Summit 2023 is the main congress for physicians on Endocannabinoid Medicine in Latin America. It is organised in cooperation with the IACM.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 10 September 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in Parkinson’s disease according to observational study

    In a study with 15 patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease profited from different CBD/THC products by reducing pain and improving sleep. Investigators of the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, USA, compared 8 patients, who were prescribed CBD/THC treatments and 7 who were not prescribed cannabis.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 13 August 2023

    Israel: Major changes of the policy on medical cannabis to ease access

    The Health Ministry says that from December 2023, doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis to patients. The ministry publishes its reforms into the medical cannabis system, saying that it will review the system again after a year. Today, many of the about 120,000 Israelis with licenses to use medical cannabis have been facing rising costs, more bureaucracy, and more difficulties in obtaining their supply.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 30 July 2023

    Albania: Parliament legalised cannabis for medical purposes

    The Parliament voted 69-23 to allow limited and controlled growth of cannabis plants, a move harshly contested by the opposition. It was not clear how the medical cannabis will be regulated. The government believes that allowing limited production of cannabis can boost tax revenue.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 16 July 2023

    Germany: Ministry of Health presents draft law on legalisation of cannabis

    On 5 July, the Federal Ministry of Health presented a draft law on the legalisation of cannabis. According to the bill, the possession of up to 25 grimes of cannabis is to be allowed for persons over 18 years of age and the cultivation of a maximum of three plants for personal use. In addition, cannabis is to be allowed to be cultivated and distributed collectively in cultivation associations, also called cannabis clubs. The clubs and club members must be prepared for strict rules.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 2 July 2023

    Ukraine: President Zelensky supports the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging his country to legalize medical cannabis to help those suffering from the "trauma of war" with Russia.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 18 June 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in generalised anxiety disorder

    According a prospective study with 302 patients suffering from generalised anxiety disorder from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry a treatment with cannabis may improve their symptoms. Primary outcomes of the study by investigators of the Imperial College Medical Cannabis Research Group in London, UK, were changes in generalised anxiety disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaires at 1, 3, and 6 months compared to baseline.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 4 June 2023

    USA: Minnesota becomes the 23rd state to legalise the use of cannabis for adults

    Minnesota became the 23rd state in the country to legalize recreational cannabis for adults after Gov. Tim Walz signed the measure into law on 30 May. Starting 1 August cannabis use and possession will be decriminalized and home-growing of cannabis plants will become legal for people 21 and older. The state will also begin expunging cannabis convictions from Minnesotans' records in August. But the start of retail sales is likely at least a year away.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 21 May 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia

    According to an analysis of data from 306 fibromyalgia patients in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry the treatment with cannabis was associated with a global health-related improvement of quality of life. The research was conducted by investigators of the Medical Cannabis Research Group from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, UK.

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    IACM-Bulletin of May 07 2023

    USA: Delaware will become the 22nd state to legalise recreational cannabis

    Delaware will become the 22nd state to legalize recreational cannabis after its governor allowed two bills already passed by the legislature to become law. Governor John Carney said he would not veto a bill that will allow private citizens over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce (about 28 g)  of cannabis for personal consumption, and a second bill that would see the state issue 30 retail business licenses over the next 16 months through a bidding process.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 23 April 2023

    Germany: The government intends to allow private cannabis cultivation and cannabis social clubs

    The German government on 12 April presented plans to legalise cannabis, presenting legislation that would allow private cultivation and distribution through non-profit groups but not widespread sales of the drug in shops.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 9 April 2023

    Science/Human: A considerable number of patients with inflammatory bowel disease use cannabis

    According to a survey with 162 adults suffering from inflammatory bowel disease 37% reported use of cannabis. Investigators of the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, USA, found out that 63% use it to relieve their symptoms and many patients did not inform their physician of their cannabis use.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 26 March 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis is safe and effective in treating severe chronic diseases

    A retrospective analysis of data from 157 Australians, who were prescribed medicinal cannabis for different diseases, showed that the medication is safe and effective. Investigators of the University of New South Wales in Sydney and other academic institutions in Sydney, Australia, published the results according to which cannabis was perceived beneficial by 53.5% of patients.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 12 March 2023

    IACM: Raphael Mechoulam has passed away at the age of 92

    On 9 March 2023, Raphael Mechoulam, professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, passed away at his home in Jerusalem at the age of 92. He is often referred to as the father or grandfather of cannabinoid research because of his ground-breaking discoveries. He had first determined the exact chemical structure of the cannabis active ingredient delta-9-THC in 1964, together with Yehiel Gaoni, and his research group discovered the first endocannabinoid in 1992, which he named anandamide.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 26 February 2023

    Science/Human: Cannabis use may have a favourable effect on hospital stays of patients with inflammatory bowel disease

    Cannabis users suffering from inflammatory bowel disease are less likely to be hospitalised then non-users. Investigators at the Department of Internal Medicine of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, USA, compared hospitalised adult patients in Colorado and Washington before (2011) and after (2015) recreational cannabis legalization.

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    IACM-Bulletin of 12 February 2023

    🏷️ Science/Human: Treatment of childhood epilepsy with a combination of THC and CBD may be much more effective than treatment with CBD alone

    A case series of 35 children (<18 years old) with treatment resistant epilepsy from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was analysed. Data were presented by investigators of the Department of Surgery & Cancer of Imperial College London, UK. Patients received either CBD isolate oils (n = 19), CBD broad-spectrum oils (n = 17), and CBD/THC combination therapy (n = 17).  

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    IACM-Bulletin of 29 January 2023

    🏷️ Science/Human: Cannabis may improve agitation and sleep in Alzheimer’s disease according to observational study

    A retrospective, observational trial aimed to investigate the clinical action of THC: CBD cannabis extract administration in patients with Alzheimer’s disease on severe symptoms such as agitation, weight loss, cognitive impairment, and sleep disturbance. Thirty patients (9 men and 21 women) diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe Alzheimer’s disease, aged 65-90 years, were enrolled by the Second Opinion Medical Network in Modena, Italy. They used olive oil-diluted cannabis extract twice a day for 12 weeks.

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    IACM-Bulletin of January 15, 2023

    🏷️ Science/Human — Cannabis legalisation has no relevant effects on psychiatric disorders according to a twin study

    Using data from a longitudinal study with 4043 twins from the USA, investigators from the Universities of Minnesota and Colorado, USA, and the University of Helsinki, Finland, found that the legalisation of cannabis in the USA had no relevant effects on a wide range of adult psychiatric and psychosocial outcomes. The participants were first assessed in adolescence and now at the age of 24-49 residing in states with different cannabis policies (40% resided in a recreationally legal state).

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    IACM-Bulletin of January 1, 2023

    🏷️ Science/Human — Cannabis had no negative effect in lung cancer patients treated with immunotherapy

    According to a study with 201 lung cancer patients by the Oncology Institute of the Tel Aviv Medical Center, and the Sackler School of Medicine, Israel, the use of cannabis had no negative effects on a treatment with pembrolizumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, for metastatic disease. 102 (50.7%) patients received licence for cannabis within the first month of treatment. The most common indication for cannabis was pain (71%) followed by loss of appetite (34%).

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