Weed in Review: 2.16.18

Weed in Review: Friday, February 16, 2018

In the United States

Lawsuit Argues That Feds’ Cannabis Ban Violates Our Constitutional Rights: Yesterday, plaintiffs in the federal case of Washington, et.al v. Sessions, et.al provided oral arguments in response to the federal government’s motion to dismiss their suit, which challenges the constitutionality of cannabis’ classification under the CSA.

Senate leadership agrees to timetable on cannabis bill: Under the agreed upon timetable, the Senate will hold a final vote at third reading on or before June 7.

What Are You Smoking? Episode 26: Exercising with Cannabis: This week on the show, Content Director Rebecca Kelley and Leafly Editor Hannah Meadows join Will to talk about integrating cannabis into exercise regimens.

The Open-Source Database That Can Save the Cannabis Industry Needs Your Help: The wrong company patenting your favorite strain could mean a future of watered-down copies.

Growing Cannabis Use by Patients Needs to Be Matched by Counseling and Awareness of Risks, Report Says: As the medicinal use of cannabis becomes increasingly accepted among certain patient groups, including people with fibromyalgia, physicians will be progressively pressed to understand its use, effects, limitation and risks to properly inform and guide patients.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania have been given the go-ahead by Gov. Tom Wolf to begin sales: With more than 10,000 patients already registered, Pennsylvania’s MMJ program is poised to become one of the largest in the country.

Recreational cannabis bill introduced: Georgia state senator Curt Thompson, a Democrat from Tucker, recently introduced a bill in the State Capitol for the legalization of recreational marijuana. It is undoubtedly an unpopular viewpoint in the Capitol, considering that Georgia is largely a “red” state and traditionally the conservative stance is to oppose drug legalization.

Detroit Approves Moratorium on New Marijuana Dispensaries: Michigan voters decided that the Detroit City Council shouldn’t have as much power to limit marijuana in their city, so the Detroit City Council shut it all down.

Philadelphia DA drops 50 marijuana-possession cases: Philadelphia’s new district attorney has recently dropped more than 50 marijuana-possession cases. Top prosecutor Larry Krasner told reporters Thursday that his office tossed the cases earlier this week after noticing a spike in marijuana arrests. He said it was the right thing to do and that his office could use those resources to prosecute murder cases.

Philip Morris Not Selling Marijuana Cigarettes:  Q: Are Philip Morris “Marlboro M” brand marijuana cigarettes now for sale in four U.S. states? A: No. That claim comes from a 2014 satirical story. It has recently resurfaced without the satire label.

Medical Research Updates

OHSU doc drafts cannabis primer for other doctors: Did you find anything that surprised you in your review of research? “The strength of cannabis, the potency of THC percentage by weight. That increase from the 60s and 70s until now was pretty surprising. We are talking in the 60s 1 or 2 percent THC by weight and now the strongest strains in the world are 30 percent plus by weight. As with all substances our patients are using, it’s super important to keep the dialogue open and honest and nonjudgmental and especially with cannabis it’s really important for physicians and patients to keep an open mind and continue pushing for quality research.”

Medical Cannabis Safely Reduces Pain in Seniors: A study led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Published a study this month in The European Journal of Internal Medicine. The study found that medical cannabis can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects.

Cannabis does more harm than good: Health officials warn doctors against prescribing the drug for ailments as the effects outweigh the minor benefits: Professor Mike Allan of the University of Alberta, who led the team writing the guidelines, said: ‘While enthusiasm for medical marijuana is very strong among some people, good-quality research has not caught up.’

Study: Alcohol more harmful to the brain than marijuana:  One of the most popular selling points for legal marijuana is that it is safer than alcohol. Although you’d be hard-pressed to convince US Attorney General Jeff Sessions of this, there is a growing body of evidence that shows Americans could be leading healthier lives by replacing booze with bud. In fact, the latest study shows that marijuana is less of a detriment to the human brain that its boozy counterpart. So, is it possible that more people could keep their mental faculties longer by switching to marijuana?

Is Marijuana the World’s Most Effective Treatment for Autism? Israel has been at the forefront of medical marijuana research since modern health care began considering its merits. Raphael Mechoulam, who studies medicinal chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, first identified THC and CBD by studying 5 kilos of Lebanese hashish in the early 1960s. He was eager to unlock its chemical components in the same way that researchers had studied and mapped cocaine and heroin in the past, and in 1980 his research led to the very first trial on the use of CBD for epilepsy.



Update on the proposed framework for distribution and sale of recreational cannabis in British Columbia: In anticipation of the July 2018 legalization of non-medical cannabis by the federal government, on February 5 British Columbia released policy guidelines that will inform the development of the province’s regulatory framework for the distribution and sale of non-medical cannabis within the province. Presumably, in order to simplify and promote compliance with the provincial regulations, these preliminary policy guidelines are closely modeled after the existing tobacco and alcohol regimes. They also reflect the results from a public engagement initiative the province completed in fall 2017.


Check out Cannabis Business Times Events Page for the latest.

Our favorite news sources:

The Cannabist

High Times

Merry Jane

Vice Marijuana


Medical Marijuana for Seniors

Wondering how medical marijuana could transform the life of a senior citizen? While reviewing the list of diagnoses below, we encourage you to also consider how many of these conditions come with pain. For many, pain leads to restless nights and poor sleep patterns. Then imagine a night for you or your loved with not only reduces pain, but a better night’s sleep as well. Isn’t it worth trying?

  • cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient’s health status
  • cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s treating physician
  • intractable nausea or vomiting
  • epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • painful peripheral neuropathy
  • a central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms
  • admittance into hospice care in accordance with rules adopted by the department;
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition approved by the legislature.

1o Things Seniors Should Know About Medical Marijuana

  1. Safer than many commonly prescribed medications
  2. Not physically addictive
  3. May reduce or replace prescription medications
  4. There are many different strains
  5.  There are strains without “the high”
  6. There are alternatives to smoking marijuana
  7. Marijuana-infused ointments may relieve arthritis & neuropathy pain
  8. It does not lower your IQ
  9. It may help increase appetite
  10. The stigma is fading

Sativa vs Indica for Seniors

Medical Use of Sativa for Seniors: Mental and Behavioral Issues like Depression and ADHD, Stimulates Hunger and is Useful for Patients with Certain Forms of Cancer, Relieves Headaches and Migraines, Relaxes Muscles and Relieves Pain, Acts as an Expectorant

Common Effects of Sativa: Stimulating Head High, Feelings of Well-Being and Ease, Energizing and Thought Provoking, Uplifting and Cerebral Thoughts, Increases Focus, Promotes Creativity and Boosts Your Imagination

Medical Use of Indica for Seniors: Chronic Pain, Muscle Spasms, Constant or Persistent Nausea, Specific Diseases such as Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, and Lupus, Sleep Aid for People with Insomnia, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Anxiety

Common Effects of Indica: “Couch-Lock” Body High, Reduces Nausea, Sleep Aid, Relieves Migraines and Head Aches, Relaxes Muscles and Relieves Pain

Wellness with Weed: Medical Marijuana for Seniors

Is Marijuana a Healthy Option for Seniors?

Cannabinoid receptors were discovered only in 1987. They are also a part of our human bodies and part of our Endocannabinoid System in the brain that has a physiologic role in appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Although some associate short-term memory loss with “getting high” on pot, the Head of Neurology at Ohio State University, Dr. Wenk, has been following a group of Baby Boomers who use Cannabis for many years, and he finds that moderate users (one or two hits a day) actually have improved cognitive function and increased executive reasoning skills than those Baby Boomers who do not use cannabis at all.  Dr. Wenk and many other researchers believe that moderate use of medical cannabis can help our brains repair naturally occurring damage to our brain cells caused by aging.

Does cannabis have side effects? Yes, because there are so many strains to treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms, there can always be possible side effects. It is important to be candid with your dispensary patient service provider about your present condition to be sure they know how to prescribe the best medicine for your needs. As an example, if one is prone to anxiety and/or panic attacks, we would steer them away from any and all Sativa strains, which can keep us alert and engaged, but can also create anxiety or even paranoia among those who are already anxious.  We would never allow a patient with schizophrenia to purchase a Sativa. If one has high blood pressure or other cardiovascular aliments, we would suggest Indica cannabis and once again steer clear of Sativa strains that might elevate one’s metabolism and heart rate a bit.

While Sativa cannabis is very popular for daytime use as it can give us energy and a clearer mind, Indicas are popular for relaxation, nighttime pain relief, and a very effective sleep aid. As a matter of fact, if someone is scheduled for surgery, we recommend avoiding cannabis for two weeks prior to sedation for surgery. Other possible side effects come from dosing cannabis in higher forms than are necessary for effective pain relief or for other medical uses. One can experience depersonalization and even Amotivational syndrome from doing too much too often. Our Patient Education material warns of MMJ abuse and addiction potential which can happen in 10% of our patients, but it is not a severe addiction to break, unlike opiates, which kill 16,000 annually (past ten-year average).  Nobody has EVER been known to die from using cannabis in any form. Breaking a marijuana addiction is similar to stopping coffee cold turkey. Stopping a prescription drug opiate medication addiction is painful and potentially life-threatening.

Some additional articles we like…

The Seniors Guide to Medical Marijuana

An extensive page with information about seniors and marijuana…

8 Benefits of CBD for Senior Citizens

Pain Relief, Bone Health, Soothing Effects, Fights Glaucoma, Insomnia and Sleep Issues, Alternative to Prescription Medications, Stimulates Appetite, Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain

Instead of impairing learning and memory, as it does in young people, the drug appears to reverse age-related declines in the cognitive performance of elderly mice…

Seniors with Medical Marijuana Access Use Fewer Prescription Drugs

(Reuters Health) – Physicians wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other medications for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, a new study finds…