Category: Second Column

MBC Votes Today on Revised Guidelines

April 20, 2018 By Fred Gardner.  The Medical Board of California (MBC) is meeting at the LAX Hilton today. There are two agenda items of special interest to cannabis clinicians and patients: The board meeting starts at 9 a.m. and will be streamed live. Here’s the link to watch (and comment, if you are so moved). Igor Grant’s presentation  probably won’t start till 10 a.m.  It’s hard to predict how much time will be devoted to the preceding agenda items. Grant and his colleagues at the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research were the med board’s go-to experts when they were...

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GW’s Epidiolex Passes Background Check

April 17, 2018  Food and Drug Administration staff has favorably reviewed GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex data in a document sent to an advisory committee that will soon decide whether to approve the “almost-pure-CBD”  plant extract as a treatment for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In hospital-based clinical trials tracking more than 400 children with these severe forms of epilepsy, Epidiolex reduced the frequency and severity of seizures by about 40%.  Adverse events in the liver were detected in 14% of Epidiolex patients versus 3% of patients given placebo. But the FDA document states, reassuringly: “The observed risk can be appropriately managed with...

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Would Cannabis Help Pat McCaw?

Golden State Warriors guard Patrick McCaw was badly injured during a game March 31. He got undercut while leaping and fell hard on the base of his spine. He was placed on a stretcher and rushed to UC Davis Medical Center, where X-rays, scans and an MRI exam showed that he had suffered a severe lumbar-spine contusion. McCaw’s recovery has been slow and painful. The San Francisco Chronicle reports today (April 16): “To walk, McCaw slowly places one foot in front of the other with the labored effort of someone much older. Severe lower-back pain has made sleep a...

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Widely used sugar adversely affects our microbiomes

Terrific piece in the Times April 6 by Moises Velasquez-Manoff headed “The Germs That Love Diet Soda.”  Trehalose is sugar on which the baddest bacteria —aptly named Clostridium difficile— thrive.  It’s also produced as we digest shrimp, mushrooms, and yeast (bread). There are lots of reasons to avoid processed foods. They’re often packed with sugar, fat and salt, and they tend to lack certain nutrients critical to health, like fiber. And now, new research suggests that some of the additives that extend the shelf life and improve the texture of these foods may have unintended side effects — not on our bodies...

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MJ and Domestic Violence are Inversely Related

The conclusion of this paper from Psychology of Addictive Behaviors is right in the title: “Couples’ marijuana use is inversely related to their intimate partner violence over the first 9 years of marriage.” Researchers at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, led by Philip H. Smith, conducted the study, which we don’t expect will receive much publicity in the media. Thanks to NORML’s Paul Armentano, who forwarded the abstract: Research on the association between marijuana use and intimate partner violence (IPV) has generated inconsistent findings, and has been primarily based on cross-sectional data. We examined whether husbands’ and wives’ marijuana use predicted...

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