Category: Dispatches

THCA almost impotent at cannabinoid receptors

The Cannabis plant produces cannabinoids in their acidic form —as anyone who has tasted a freshly pruned bud can attest. In recent years, doctors and patients have become very interested in THC Acid, which is said to be non-psychoactive while exerting anti-seizure effects and other medical benefits. Two isomers of THC Acid  have been identified —THCA-A and THCA-B. “Cannabis primarily biosynthesizes THCA-A, and this isomer has been the focus of most pharmacological studies,” Dr. John McPartland and pharmacologists from New Zealand note in a paper published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. “Conversely, THCA-B has greater stability and crystalizes more readily.”  THCA-B is the...

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The DIS-implementation of Prop 215

Numerous government agencies have been working hard to implement California’s “legalization” law that takes effect next year. Contrast the bureaucats’ activity with their response to California voters passing legalizing cannabis for medical use, when they did less than zero. Passing an initiative is only half the battle, it turned out. Implementation is everything. In 1996, California’s top Law Enforcers actually tried to get Prop 215 overridden by the feds. As journalist Pat McCartney wrote in O’Shaughnessy’s, “Documents obtained by this reporter from state and local agencies, and litigants in the Conant v. McCaffrey case, reveal California officials committing acts...

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RCT confirms that cannabinoids help adults with ADHD

 “Cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomised-controlled trial,” by R.E. Cooper and colleagues at Kings College London has been e-published in European Neuropsychopharmacology. “Adults with ADHD may represent a subgroup of individuals who experience a reduction of symptoms and no cognitive impairments following cannabinoid use,” the abstract concludes. “While not definitive, this study provides preliminary evidence supporting the self-medication theory of cannabis use in ADHD.” (Thanks to Joe. D. Golstrich, MD, for forwarding.) The trial by Cooper et al was conducted with Sativex, GW’s Oromucosal Spray, which contains a 50-5o mix of THC and CBD. The peer-reviewed results confer credibility on the thousands of...

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O’Shaughnessy’s Statement of Purpose

In this, the Year of Evaluating the Evidence, Tod Mikuriya’s insistence on the value of Clinical Evidence —what doctors learn from patients— seems especially relevant. The editorial from O’Shaughnessy’s first issue, Summer 2003, includes one of Tod’s memorable axioms: “Neither human physiology nor the effects of cannabis have changed.”  I regret the funky layout of the 1873 Indian Government Report, with its scanned pages of the document Tod had unearthed.—FG In This Issue As California physicians take advantage of the unique research opportunity afforded by the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, there is renewed interest in studies carried out...

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The Cooling Effect of Cannabis

By Tod Mikuriya, MD It has been observed by my office staff and confirmed anecdotally by colleagues that people seeking physician approval to medicate with cannabis usually register body temperatures markedly below 98.6. Hypothermia in the mouse is one of the “classic tetrad” of symptoms indicating activation of the cannabinoid system. The genesis of hypothermia requires further study. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission observed that one of the reputed benefits was to help laborers tolerate the heat. Cannabis was described as used to cool the passions -in contrast with alcohol, which heated them. Clinically, cannabis appears to actually lower...

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