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IACM-Bulletin of May 14, 2000


Science Germany — Clinical study on THC in Tourette's syndrome

At the Medical School of Hanover another study on the efficacy of THC in Tourette's syndrome has started at the end of April under the guidance of Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl. Until now 15 patients have been included in the study.

A total of 24 patients with Tourette's syndrome shall be treated over a period of 6 weeks. 12 patients will randomly receive THC (Marinol), the other 12 placebo capsules, without knowing which substance they get.

It is the aim of the study to examine the effects of THC on different symptoms of Tourette's syndrome (tics, obsessive compulsive behaviour, anxiety, depression) and to measure possible side effects on brain function (attention, memory, concentration, reaction time). Termination of the study is intended to be in November 2000. Dosing starts with 2.5 mg daily, than every three days increase by 2.5 mg until a maximum of 10 mg. There is the possibility of individual dose adjustment between 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10 mg per day. Dosing is once daily during breakfast or lunch.

The actual study is a follow-up of a pilot study carried out last year, that had shown that a one-time application of THC led to a significant decrease in tics and obsessive behaviour in 12 patients.

(Sources: Personal communications, Kirsten Mueller-Vahl; Mueller-Vahl KR, et al. Movement disorders. In: Grotenhermen F, Russo E, eds. Cannabis and cannabinoids: pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutic potential. NY: Haworth Press, 2000, in press)

Canada — Health Ministry looking for source of supply for marijuana

Am 5. Mai veröffentlichte das Gesundheitsministerium eine Aufforderung für Vorschläge zur Einrichtung einer kanadischen Quelle für qualitativ hochwertiges, standardisiertes, erschwingliches, für Forschung geeignetes Marihuana. Es hofft in diesem Sommer einen 5-Jahresvertrag abschließen zu können. Vorschläge können bis zum 6. Juni erfolgen.

Das Marihuana wird für klinische Studien benötigt, um wissenschaftliche Informationen über die Sicherheit und Wirksamkeit der Droge zur Linderung von Symptomen, die nicht auf zur Zeit verfügbare Medikamente ansprechen, zu sammeln.

Von dem gesuchten Lieferanten wird vor allem erwartet, dass er eine Einrichtung für Anbau, Verarbeitung, Herstellung und Lagerung von Marihuana in Kanada aufbaut und unterhält, Laboruntersuchungen und Qualitätskontrolle des Marihuanas während des Produktionszyklus durchführt, Marihuanaprodukte und Rohmaterial herstellt, verpackt, etikettiert und lagert, Marihuanaprodukte an durch das Gesundheitsministerium autorisierte Empfänger verteilt. Weitere Informationen unter:

Es gibt weitere Fortschritte bei den Forschungsinitiativen. Vertreter der Gemeindeforschungsinitiative von Toronto und des kanadischen HIV-Studiennetzwerkes sind in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Gesundheitsministerium dabei, die Erstellung eines Forschungsprotokoll abzuschließen. Zudem hat der medizinische Forschungsrat (Medical Research Council, MRC) im März 2000 Forschungsvorschläge erhalten.

Bisher wurde es 37 Kanadiern gestattet, Marihuana für medizinische Zwecke zu besitzen und anzubauen. Die Ausnahmeerlaubnis wurde nach Kapitel 56 des Betäubungsmittelgesetzes vom Gesundheitsminister erteilt. Das Gesundheitsministerium hat bereits einige Leitlinien für einen entsprechenden Antrag aufgestellt, inklusive Verbesserungen des Antragsformulars. Informationen unter:

(Quelle: Informationen zu Cannabis von Health Canada vom 5 Mai. 2000)

Science — First issue of Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics

The first issue of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics (JCT) will be published soon. It will be published by Haworth Press and is edited by Dr. Ethan Russo.

From the contents:


##Marijuana (cannabis) as medicine (Leo Hollister),

##Effects of smoked cannabis and oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on nausea and emesis after cancer chemotherapy: An overview of clinical trials (Rik Musty and Rita Rossi),

##The endocannabinoid system: Can it contribute to cannabis therapeutics? (Vincenzo di Marzo),

##The therapeutic use of Cannabis sativa (L.) in Arabic medicine, by Indalecio Lozano,

##Cannabis and eicosanoids: A review of molecular pharmacology (John McPartland),

##Cognoscenti of Cannabis I: Jacques-Joseph Moreau (1804-1884) (Ethan Russo),

##Lypemania with stupor; Tendency to dementia.- Treatment by the extract (resinous principle) of Cannabis indica.- Cure. Bicètre Hospice.- M. Moreau (de Tours). (Translated by Ethan Russo).


Free copies of JCT 1(1) are available by request by contacting:

Haworth Press

10 Alice Street

Binghamton, NY 13904-1580


News in brief


Cabinet Office Minister Mo Mowlam today said she hoped cannabis would soon be legalised for medical use. At Commons question time Liberal Democrat Dr Jenny Tonge said: "When will the Government stop making criminals of people with long term neurological disease and painful terminal illnesses and allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes?" Ms Mowlam replied: "We are looking at this. We've got scientific research which is very close to completion. (...) I can't give you a direct answer to a question `when?'. But like you, I hope it is soon." (Source: PA News of 10 May 2000)


Vice President Al Gore said on 11 May that there are better alternatives to the medical use of marijuana. On a visit to a high school, Gore said the question of medical use of marijuana should be decided "strictly on the science. (...) Right now, the science does not show me or the experts whose judgment I trust that it is the proper medication for pain and that there are not better alternatives available in every situation. (...) But if the science ever shows that it is, then that should determine the outcome." He said he sympathizes with terminally ill patients and their family members. (Source: AP of 11 May 2000)

Science Großbritannien/USA

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an investigational new drug (IND) application to begin clinical trials for CT-3 to Atlantic Technology Ventures. The company announced that Aster Clinical Research Center in Paris, France, will conduct the first scientific testing for CT-3 in Europe. This phase 1 clinical trial involves human volunteers and will begin in France this month. CT-3 is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug that is a synthetic derivative of a metabolite of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. (Source: PRNewswire of 10 May 2000; see also: ACM-Bulletin of 16 April 2000)

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