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Safety and tolerability of transdermal cannabidiol gel in children with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies

9/3/21--In this nonrandomized controlled trial, CBD transdermal gel was well tolerated over 6.5 months of treatment, with 60% of patients experiencing a treatment-related adverse event, 96% of which were mild or moderate. A 43.5% reduction in seizure frequency was observed in focal impaired awareness seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. These results suggest that CBD transdermal gel is well tolerated in children with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and may be associated with a reduction in epileptic seizures. Read

Cannabis research center established at Washington State University

6/2/21--The Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach, or CCPRO, multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scientists working on a diverse range of cannabis-related projects, was officially approved by the WSU Faculty Senate and Board of Regents in May. WSU started organizing spearheading research into cannabis in 2011, even before Washington state became the first in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana the following year. Read

Cannabinoids, Phenolics, Terpenes and Alkaloids of cannabis

5/8/21--This review discusses the chemistry of the cannabinoids and major non-cannabinoid constituents (terpenes, non-cannabinoid phenolics, and alkaloids) with special emphasis on their chemical structures, methods of isolation, and identification. Read

Marijuana medical research growers receive U.S. approval

5/14/21--The U.S. government has approved new growers of research marijuana for the first time in more than 50 years, people involved in the process said, widening the capacity to study the drug’s medical value. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s action after years of delay means researchers will be able to study marijuana from more than one grower, a farm at the University of Mississippi, which the government approved in 1968 as the only legal source of pot for federal research. Read

Authors yank ketamine study, hoping it will go away without attention, and journal obliges

5/10/21--The authors of a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience covering the antidepressant effects of ketamine have retracted their article for a lack of reproducibility — but readers have no way of knowing that because the journal declined to say as much in the retraction notice. One result of the paper was uncertain due to a misuse of an experimental reagent, therefore, the authors asked the journal to withdraw our paper. Read

Are researchers getting the terms used to denote different types of recreational cannabis right? – a user perspective

4/29/21--There is a pressing need to identify simple terminology that is understood in the same way by researchers and users of cannabis. The results of this study suggest a disparity between the common terms used by researchers in academia and those used by cannabis consumers. Results of this study indicate a need to move towards descriptors that incorporate information on the concentration of key cannabinoids as well as information on methods of preparation and consumption. Read

The short-term impact of 3 smoked cannabis preparations versus placebo on PSTD symptoms: A randomized cross-over clinical trial

3/17/21--This study is the first randomized placebo-controlled trial of smoked cannabis for PTSD. All treatment groups, including placebo, showed good tolerability and significant improvements in PTSD symptoms during three weeks of treatment, but no active treatment statistically outperformed placebo in this brief, preliminary trial. Additional well-controlled and adequately powered studies with cannabis suitable for FDA drug development are needed to determine whether smoked cannabis improves symptoms of PTSD. Read

Cannabis and cancer part 2: Scientists look for ways to increase knowledge about cannabis with help from people with cancer

3/8/21--Some scientists at a recent symposium suggested that the strongest research supports the use of cannabis to ease chemotherapy’s side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, while other claims, such as whether cannabis “cures” cancer, lack scientific evidence and require further study. To begin addressing the research gaps, Dr. Sharpless said the National Cancer Institute has launched a nationwide survey of 12,000 people with cancer to assess their use of cannabis and related products. Read

Cannabis associated with reduced fentanyl exposure in Vancouver study

1/22/21--Patients who used cannabis and underwent opioid agonist therapy in Vancouver had a significantly lower risk of being exposed to fentanyl, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. However, an addiction specialist told Healio Primary Care that study design flaws limit how the results can be interpreted. Read  

Cannabis associated with reduced fentanyl exposure in Vancouver study

1/22/21--Patients who used cannabis and underwent opioid agonist therapy in Vancouver had a significantly lower risk of being exposed to fentanyl, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. However, an addiction specialist told Healio Primary Care that study design flaws limit how the results can be interpreted. Read

Mount Sinai Health System launches Center for Psychedelic Research

1/7/21--The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has launched a new center for psychedelics research. The Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research pursues a multipronged clinical and research approach to discovering novel and more efficacious therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other stress-related conditions in the veteran and civilian population. The Center will focus on studying MDMA, psilocybin, and other psychedelic compounds. Read

The science of addiction: Do you always like the things you want?

12/12/20--It has been said and noted in a BBC article that Kent Berridge, professor of biopsychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan, has transformed scientific understanding of human desire and motivation. He argues that wanting is more fundamental than liking. According to Berridge, the single most important implication of the wanting-liking distinction is the insight it offers us into addiction - be it to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and perhaps even to food. Read

DEA issues final rule for licensing more growers of marijuana for research

12/17/20--The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) revealed a long-awaited final rule aimed at expanding the number of authorized growers of marijuana to be used in scientific research. The agency said it made “minor modifications” from the initial proposed rule on licensing cannabis manufacturers it released in March. Read

The healthy brain and child development study – Shedding light on opioid exposure, Covid-19, and health disparities

12/9/20--This large longitudinal study, cofunded by the National Institutes of Health Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative and several National Institutes of Health institutes, is preparing to deploy a wide range of research tools to study brain development and physical and mental health beginning during pregnancy and following up children until age 10 years. The study design will enable collection of many variables, among them severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection status at the time of pregnancy or thereafter. Read

University at Buffalo and Charlotte’s Web announce collaboration to advance hemp cannabinoid science

11/19/20--Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc., the market leader in hemp CBD extract products, announces a collaboration between its CW Labs science division and the University at Buffalo's Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences to advance hemp cannabinoid science through a research program that provides a better understanding of the therapeutic uses and safety of cannabinoids. Read

UCLA receives seven grants totaling $6.4 million for cannabis research

11/20/20--UCLA has received seven grants totaling $6.4 million from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. The awards will fund studies on topics ranging from the toxicity of inhaled and second-hand cannabis smoke to employment conditions in California's cannabis industry. Read

Psychedelics in Psychiatry — Keeping the renaissance from going off the rails

12/2/20--There is a resurgence, some say renaissance, of clinical research on psychedelic substances after decades of dormancy. Recent studies have produced findings suggesting psychedelics may demonstrate substantial efficacy for serious psychiatric conditions such as mood and substance use disorders. Read

Peter Thiel backs Berlin start-up making psychedelics in $125 million round

11/23/20--Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel has backed ATAI Life Sciences, a Berlin start-up aiming to make psychedelic drugs to treat mental health disorders in a $125 million funding round. Described as a drug development platform, ATAI Life Sciences was set up to acquire, incubate and develop psychedelics and other drugs that can be used to treat depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health conditions. Read

USask launches first study on effects of smoked cannabis on brain development

11/13/20--University of Saskatchewan (USask) pharmacologist Robert Laprairie will use a Brain Canada research grant to determine how a mother’s use of cannabis during pregnancy affects the brain of the developing fetus she’s carrying. Laprairie is one of 20 Canadian neuroscientists each awarded $100,000 today as part of Brain Canada’s Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Program. Read

Mood and cognition after administration of low LSD doses in healthy volunteers

10/17/20--Overall, the study demonstrated selective, beneficial effects of low doses of LSD on mood and cognition in the majority of observations. The minimal LSD dose at which subjective and performance effects are notable is 5 mcg and the most apparent effects were visible after 20 mcg. Read

Medical marijuana research gets a boost from Johns Hopkins University and Realm of Caring

9/21/20--Bloom Medicinals announces a medical marijuana research partnership with Johns Hopkins University, America’s first research university, and Realm of Caring, a medical marijuana advocacy organization. Read

Study Designs and Statistical Methods for Studies of Child and Adolescent Health Policies

9/8/20--Rigorous empirical studies of the effect of a policy intervention seek to consider (or estimate) what outcomes are (or would be) with the policy compared with what outcomes are (or would be) without the policy. Read

Cannabis research database shows how U.S. funding focuses on harms of the drug

8/27/20--A new analysis of cannabis research funding in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom has found that $1.56 billion was directed to the topic between 2000 and 2018—with about half of the money spent on understanding the potential harms of the recreational drug. Read

Like CBD, but better

8/29/20--A few start-ups and niche firms are developing small molecules that are inspired by CBD and other natural products from cannabis plants as potential drugs for a wide array of diseases. Human clinical trials are underway or just wrapping up for some of these drug candidates, while others are still in research or preclinical stages. Read

The Current Status of Psychedelics in Psychiatry

7/29/20--Until very recently, no companies would manufacture medical-grade psychedelics, which made getting regulatory approval for clinical research—especially clinical trials—very difficult and in some countries (eg, Germany) impossible. Read

Evaluation of the potential use of cannabidiol in the treatment of cocaine use disorder: A systematic review

9/1/20--The evidence found in this study indicates that CBD is a promising adjunct therapy for the treatment of cocaine dependence due to its effect on: cocaine reward effects, cocaine consumption, behavioral responses, anxiety, neuronal proliferation, hepatic protection and safety. Moreover, clinical trials are strongly required to determine whether the findings in animal models occur in humans diagnosed for cocaine or crack cocaine use disorder. Read

Anti-Cancer Potential of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids Present in Cannabis

6/20/20--Studies of individual pure compounds found in cannabis have demonstrated, as highlighted in this review article, that many of the compounds present in cannabis could be part of a therapeutic solution for specific problems found during cancer treatment. However, additional clinical studies are needed to clarify whether some of these compounds (alone or in combination with other anticancer agents) could be useful in anticancer therapies. Read

FDA action on cannabis firm’s drug for COVID-19 patients sends Philly pharma firm’s stock soaring

6/3/20--Shares in Philadelphia-based cannabis company FSD Pharma spiked 324% in premarket trading this morning on news that it had been granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration to submit an application for a clinical trial using a synthetic drug that mimics the action of a molecule found in marijuana to treat COVID-19. Read

The state of cannabis research legislation in 2020

6/1/20--U.S. researchers lack appropriate access to commercially available cannabis products for clinical trials. Meanwhile, patients continue to use state-sanctioned products marketed as medicines in the absence of evidence to support their benefits or define their harms. Read

Ethos Cannabis and Jefferson University launch their first studies under Pennsylvania’s Medical Cannabis Research Program

5/27/20--Ethos Cannabis and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University have launched their first studies under Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis research program. Pennsylvania’s 2016 medical cannabis law allows medical cannabis operators to seek “clinical registrant” licenses to partner with one of the state’s medical schools, called “academic clinical research centers,” to orchestrate patient-facing clinical studies into the benefits of medical cannabis. Read

Trump Admin could let researchers study marijuana dispensary products, scientist argues after DOJ memo released

5/1/20--Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI), who is involved in a case that forced the release of a previously “secret” Justice Department document about federally authorized marijuana research this week, is now calling on Congress to urge administrative action to more rapidly expand studies into the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Read

Cannabis scientists are chasing the perfect high

4/1/20--According to an article published in The New York Times, wherever marijuana is legal, companies are claiming that they have figured out how to produce a bespoke high. Some of the research these companies cite to support what they are advertising has been published and peer-reviewed, but much of the recent work on the effects of cannabis has been conducted privately, and the companies are guarding their results as trade secrets. Read

Florida researchers studying COVID-19 impact on marijuana users

4/4/20--Researchers from the University of Miami are studying the effects of the coronavirus on medical marijuana users and document how these individuals are faring during the pandemic. The study will also look at whether sharing joints and vapes could be a contributing factor to the spread of the coronavirus. Read

Controls to enhance the cultivation of marijuana for research in the United States

3/23/20--The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to amend its regulations to comply with the requirements of the Controlled Substances Act, including consistency with treaty obligations, in order to facilitate the cultivation of marihuana for research purposes and other licit purposes. Read

White House releases 2020 National Drug Control Strategy

2/3/20--Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll released the Trump Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes the President’s priorities for addressing the challenge of drug trafficking and use. Read

Cannabis compound could be weapon in fight against superbugs

1/19/20--A compound made by cannabis plants has been found to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria, raising hopes of a new weapon in the fight against superbugs. Scientists screened five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties and found that one, cannabigerol (CBG), was particularly potent at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs. Read

Newfound cannabis compound may be 30 times more potent than THC

1/10/20--Two newfound cannabinoids have been discovered in the glands of the Cannabis plant, and one of them may be at least 30 times as potent as the high-inducing compound THC. However, it's still unknown if it causes a high or has medical benefits. Read

WSU partners with California company in hopes of receiving marijuana for research

11/11/19--Washington State University has made a deal with a California-based company in hopes of attaining pharmacy-grade marijuana for future study. The school’s Collaborative for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach announced the partnership with Biopharmaceutical Research Co. in a news release last week. Read

Insights on the effects of cannabidiol on severe form of epilepsy

11/7/19--Results from a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology may help explain why cannabidiol -- a chemical component of marijuana with no psychoactive properties -- reduces the frequency of seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy. The effect may be explained by a drug-drug interaction between cannabidiol and the anti-seizure medication clobazam. Read

The first publicly available annotated genome for cannabis plants

9/30/19--The annotated genome allows, for the first time, the use of classical genetics and proteomics tools for the interrogation of these plants. Furthermore, the presence of an annotated genome within the NCBI Genome browser now permits any researcher with a web browser to manually examine or BLAST genetic sequences, vastly reducing the resources required to create primers to amplify genes from the plants or microbial contaminants that may affect them. Read

Research Brief: High fat foods can increase CBD absorption into the body

8/12/19--A University of Minnesota study examined whether eating high-fat foods after taking CBD increased the body’s absorption of CBD. The study tested whether fasting or a high fat meal has an effect when cannabidiol oral capsules were taken by patients. The study found CBD exposure is vastly increased when CBD is taken with high fatty foods; when compared to fasting, taking CBD with food increased the amount of CBD in the body by four-times and the maximum amount recorded in the participants’ blood by 14-times. Read

Study will examine prenatal marijuana use on infant development

5/10/19--Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine are recruiting pregnant women to participate in their "Moms + Marijuana" study. The study will analyze whether prenatal marijuana use -- primarily to control nausea, and in the absence of alcohol, tobacco and any illicit drugs -- affects their child's brain development and cognitive, motor and social skills. Read

Hepatotoxicity of a cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in the mouse model

4/30/19--The goal of this study was to investigate Cannabidiol (CBD) hepatotoxicity in 8-week-old male B6C3F1 mice. CBD exhibited clear signs of hepatotoxicity, possibly of a cholestatic nature. The involvement of numerous pathways associated with lipid and xenobiotic metabolism raises serious concerns about potential drug interactions as well as the safety of CBD. Read

No, CBD-infused jelly beans definitely won’t get you high. Here’s why.

3/18/19--The cannabis-derived product, CBD, is appearing in jelly beans — designed by David Klein, the man who created Jelly Belly candies. Klein told the website that he doesn’t want to make any unfounded health claims about his new product but is sure that it “will help the world.” Read

ABCD study completes enrollment, announces opportunities for scientific engagement

12/3/18--The National Institutes of Health announced today that enrollment for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is now complete and, in early 2019, scientists will have access to baseline data from all ABCD Study participants. Read

Critics question direction of CSU cannabis research

3/3/19--Denver's only cannabis research center is proceeding with developing a seed-to-sale marijuana-tracking system that no one in the industry says they want. That tracking system was the mandate of a bill introduced into the Legislature during last year's session that lawmakers rejected twice, primarily because the state's marijuana industry loudly told them they don't want to add a foreign substance to their product. Read

Cannabis-based drug in combination with other anti-spasticity

12/13/18--Oral spray containing two compounds derived from the cannabis plant reduced spasticity compared with placebo in patients already taking anti-spasticity drugs. Read

Washington issues its first marijuana research license

11/19/18--The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board says it has issued the state's first license to grow marijuana for research. Verda Bio Research in Seattle says it will be growing marijuana to conduct basic research on some of the plant's lesser-known compounds. Read

State issues $2.7 million in medical marijuana research grants

11/21/18--The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has awarded $2.7 million in grant funding for two research studies to investigate the potential therapeutic uses of marijuana. Both research studies are random controlled trials, the type of research considered to be the “gold standard” in the scientific community. One study will research marijuana as a treatment for chronic spine pain and will evaluate its use as a therapy to reduce prescription opioid use. The other will research the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat children with autism spectrum disorder. Read

Notice of intent to publish a funding opportunity announcement

11/7/18--The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on minor cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant as it relates to pain and nociception. Read

Increase in fentanyl — responsible for 44 percent of New York City overdose deaths — has led to apprehension and caution

9/12/18--The findings of a new study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, demonstrate a high level of understanding among people who use drugs regarding ways to prevent an overdose and some adoption of these methods, but the researchers assert that more needs to be done to prevent overdoses. Read

Federal chokehold on marijuana stymies studies on epilepsy, autism

9/11/18--In an editorial published in Spectrum, Shaun Hussain, director of the Infantile Spasms Program at the University of California, Los Angeles Mattel Children’s Hospital, addresses the cumbersome regulations discouraging many talented and motivated researchers from investigating the potential value of marijuana. Hussain openly expresses his views about marijuana containing 100 mostly unexplored chemicals (known collectively as cannabinoids), any one of which could aid the treatment of not just epilepsy and autism but any number of conditions. Read

Scientists explore how marijuana may fight psychosis

9/9/18--British scientists have found how a substance in the marijuana plant acts in the brain to reduce abnormal activity in patients at risk of psychosis. Their findings suggest that the substance could be used in a possible treatment for the condition. Read

Amid opioid crisis, researchers aim to put medical marijuana to test

9/3/18--Dr. Jeffrey Chen, director of the Cannabis Research Initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles, is spearheading a cannabis initiative team at UCLA to conduct a high-quality clinical study of the painkilling properties of pot — and perhaps stem the opioid epidemic. Dr. Chen says this initiative will be one of the first, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis and pain. Before the study can begin, however, the researchers need approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with funding. Read

Study on marijuana and PTSD in military veterans only needs a few more volunteers

8/9/18--The first controlled study examining marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder needs just a handful more U.S. military veterans to volunteer as test subjects before it can be completed, the study's nonprofit sponsor announced Thursday. Read

Police probe of Brazilian marijuana researcher sparks protests

3/8/18--A police investigation targeting Brazil’s most prominent marijuana researcher Elisaldo Carlini, a retired professor of psychopharmacology at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), has ignited a wave of protest among scientists. They say that the move by authorities from the state of São Paulo threatens research freedoms at a time when science in the country faces severe problems because of draconian budget cuts. On March 1, researchers, students, and staff at Unifesp gathered on campus to express their support for Carlini and to protest against what they perceived to be an attack on the university. Read

FDA accepts GW Pharma’s NDA filing for Epidiolex in the treatment of LGS and Dravet syndrome

12/28/17--GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) announces that the FDA has accepted for filing with Priority Review its recently submitted New Drug Application (NDA) for Epidiolex (cannabidiol or CBD), an investigational treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, two rare and difficult to treat conditions of childhood-onset epilepsy. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date for completion of the FDA review of the Epidiolex NDA is June 27, 2018. Read

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer

12/12/17--A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new Michigan State University study. Read

Could marijuana prevent opioid deaths? Here’s what a UNT researcher says

12/10/17--According to Melvin Livingston, lead author of a recent study and an assistant professor at UNT Health Science Center, marijuana use may reduce opioid-related deaths. The study, published in October, indicated legal recreational marijuana use reduced opioid overdose deaths in Colorado by 6 percent during a two-year-period beginning in 2013. But researchers only had two years of data on legal recreational marijuana use to draw from. Read

Meet the ‘father of marijuana research’

12/8/17--Raphael Mechoulam started his first marijuana project by walking into a police station and asking for some confiscated weed—for research purposes. Decades later, the 87-year-old Israeli chemist is known widely as the “father of marijuana research,” after he used those 5 kilos to discover THC (marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient) in the 1960s, and then later discovered the structure of CBD. Read