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Natural CBD from cannabis lowers nicotine cravings

Study: Cannabis compound reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

A natural plant compound found in cannabis reduces nicotine cravings. Inhaling  the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) significantly mitigates tobacco smokers’ desire for cigarettes, according to clinical trial data published online in July 2013 in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Investigators at University College London conducted a double blind pilot study to assess the impact of the ad-hoc consumption of organic CBD versus placebo in 24 tobacco-smoking subjects seeking to quit their habit. Participants were randomized to receive an inhaler containing CBD (n=12) or placebo (n=12) for one week. Trial investigators instructed subjects to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke.

Researchers reported that, “Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by

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Cannabinoids may halt diabetes

By Paul Armentano, norml.org

A naturally occurring analogue of THC — tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) — has positive metabolic effects in animal models of obesity, according to preclinical study data published online in June in the scientific journal Nutrition & Diabetes.

British researchers assessed the effects of THCV administration on dietary-induced and genetically modified obese mice. Authors reported that although its administration did not significantly affect food intake or body weight gain in any of the models, it did produce several metabolically beneficial effects, including reduced glucose intolerance, improved glucose tolerance, improved liver triglyceride levels, and increased insulin sensitivity.

Researchers concluded: “Based on these data, it can be suggested that THCV may be useful for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes), either alone or in combination with existing treatments. Given the reported benefits of another non-THC cannabinoid, CBD in type 1 diabetes, a CBD/THCV combination

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Study: Legal medical use has no measurable effect on teen use rates

By Paul Armentano, norml.org

Once again a new study has affirmed that the enactment of statewide medical marijuana laws is not associated with increased rates of adolescent use.

According to a report published online in June, 2013 by the American Journal of Public Health, the passage of medical use laws has had no “statistically significant … effect on the prevalence of either lifetime or 30-day marijuana use” by adolescents in those states.

Researchers at the University of Florida College of Medicine studied data from the years 2003 and 2011 and “found no evidence of intermediate-term effects of passage of state MMLs (medical marijuana laws) on the prevalence or frequency of adolescent nonmedical marijuana use in the states evaluated.” Authors concluded, “Our results suggest that, in the states assessed here, MMLs have not measurably affected adolescent marijuana use.”

The study’s findings rebut the myth that passage of medical cannabis adversely impacts

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Study: Cannabis smoke not associated with serious pulmonary risk

By Paul Armentano, norml.org

Cannabis smoke poses only nominal pulmonary risks compared to those associated with tobacco smoke, reports a literature review to be published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Its author, Donald P. Tashkin, MD, emeritus professor of medicine and medical director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA conducted US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years.

“Dr. Tashkin found that regular smoking of marijuana by itself causes visible and microscopic injury to the large airways that is consistently associated with an increased likelihood of symptoms of chronic bronchitis that subside after cessation of use,” explains the American Thoracic Society news website. “He also found that the evidence does not indicate that habitual use of marijuana leads to significant abnormalities in lung function when assessed either cross-sectionally or longitudinally, except for possible increases in

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Michigan Court upholds patients’ driving rights

By Paul Armentano, www.norml.org

Michigan’s state-authorized cannabis patients have legal protection from criminal prosecution for having THC in their systems while driving, the state Supreme Court ruled on May 21, 2013. In its unanimous opinion, People v Koon, the Court held that patients who comply with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) may not be criminally convicted of being ‘under the influence’ (DUI) absent evidence of behavioral impairment.

Michigan’s zero tolerance traffic laws classify the operation of a vehicle with any amount of THC in one’s system to be a criminal offense — whether or not one is impaired. Under these types of traffic safety laws, motorists are guilty per se (in fact) of a criminal traffic safety violation if they engage in the act of driving while detectable levels of certain controlled substances, or, in some cases, if their inert metabolites (byproducts) are present in the defendants’ blood or

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Nevada plans one or more cannabis dispensaries per county

By Phil Smith, stopthedrugwar.org

Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, signed a new state law on June 12, 2013 allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries. Senate Bill 374 establishes a state-regulated system of dispensaries and envisions up to 66 dispensaries across the state, with up to 40 in Las Vegas, 10 in Reno and at least one in each county.

“We applaud Gov. Sandoval and the legislature for their leadership and commend those law enforcement organizations that expressed support for this much-needed legislation,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, who testified in support of the bill.

“It will make Nevada a safer and healthier place not only for medical marijuana patients, but for the entire community. This new law will provide patients with the safe and reliable access to medical marijuana that they deserve,” O’Keefe said. “Regulating medical marijuana sales will also generate revenue and take

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Patients battle federal cannabis ban in appeals court

By Martin Williams

The nation’s largest medical marijuana patient advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), filed a petition with the federal court of appeals March 22 in its epic battle to force the federal government to comply with its own laws on medical marijuana.

The UN drug control treaties authorizes nations to allow the medical use of cannabis and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is required to move the plant out of its banned status, Schedule 1, if it has accepted medical use. Currently 18 states and thousands of studies agree that it has medical value and is wrongly prohibited.

In its widely watched case that seeks to reclassify marijuana for medical use, ASA v. DEA, the patient group seeks a rehearing before the original panel, as well as seeking full (en banc) review by the US Court of Appeals for the Washington DC Circuit. The circuit court

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The bogus marijuana DUI scare

By Dale Gieringer, canorml.org

Data show that California has an excellent DUI record, but unfounded scare stories about marijuana and driving were raised again in the news.

A survey of nighttime drivers by the Office of Traffic Survey reported Nov. 19, 2012 that one in seven were “under the influence of drugs,” according to the LA Daily News. The study did not pretend to assess whether motorists were affected or impaired by drugs, however, only if they had used them recently, as it employed oral-swab drug tests that are sensitive to use for up to three days.

Marijuana was reported in 7.4% of drivers, more than any other drug, including alcohol (7.3%). Police spokesmen predictably opined that marijuana is a bigger DUI risk than alcohol. “The biggest problem right now is medical marijuana,” said LA Sheriffs’ deputy Sgt. Philip Brooks. “People seem to think it’s a legal substance.” [Editor’s note: It

Read More: The bogus marijuana DUI scare

Help in fighting court cases

Legal consultant and cannabis expert witness Chris Conrad, author of Cannabis Yields and Dosage, offers advice and professional services for court cases, sometimes paid by a county’s indigent defense fund. Info at chrisconrad.com.

Growers learning new tricks for better output


By Chris VanHook, Esq., cleangreencert.com

From pre-planning to final preparation, the world of cannabis cultivation saw many technological advances in 2012.

One of the most important was the development of the ozone machine, which aids the grower in cleaning indoor grow rooms between cycles. This step, often neglected by growers, is important for the control of molds, mildews and spider mites.Ozone machines sanitize the air and surface areas more effectively than liquid cleaners, because their emissions permeate the room’s cracks and crevices to kill unwanted bacteria and pathogens.

Once the grow room has been prepped,it can be powered by a new grid developed by Grean Bicycles Research Lab. Their new digital switches control a grow room’s climate while requiring 75% less energy than standard 120/240 volt mechanical timers.The Northern California-based laboratory also developed a passive cooling system which ducts outside air over the room’s lights and carries their heat to

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Study: Cannabis may lower diabetes risk

By Paul Armentano, norml.org

Adults with a history of marijuana use have a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and a lower risk of contracting the disease than non-users, according to clinical trial data published Feb. 24, 2012 in the British Medical Journal.

Scientists at University of California, Los Angeles assessed the association between diabetes mellitus (DM) and marijuana use in 10,896 US adults aged 20 to 59, split into four groups: non-users (61.0%), past users (30.7%), light users, 1-4 times/month (5.0%) and heavy, 5+ times/month current users (3.3%). Diabetes was defined based on self-reporting or abnormal glycemic parameters.

The UCLA investigators reported that past and present cannabis consumers had a lower prevalence of diabetes, as adjusted for other variables (ethnicity, level of physical activity, etc.) and family history of DM, and found no association between cannabis and hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attack), or heart failure. They hypothesized that

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Drawing strength from ill son, mom uses Toons to send message


By John Dvorak, hempology.org

The first things that draws your attention to the art of Georgia Peschel, aka Georgia Toons, are her positive attitude, mischievously ribald nature and unabashed devotion to cannabis hemp.

Toons approaches cannabis prohibition with the watchful eye of a caring mother, the fervor of an ardent activist and the understanding of a patient. Others draw strength from her drawings, as she draws from all aspects of cannabis including industrial hemp. She sees can­na­bis prohibition as the kaleidoscopic issue that it is, drawing many unique, brightly colored images, each illustrating her delightfully offbeat yet poignant opinion.

She draws strength from her son, Storm, born with multiple synostosis syndrome, an extremely rare and painful condition that caused his young bones to fuse together. Storm cried in almost constant pain over years of trial and error with many different approaches including the use of debilitating pharmaceuticals. Peschel began

Read More: Drawing strength from ill son, mom uses Toons to send message