Cenedella.de

Patient Advocate since 1977.


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German cultivation tender for medical marijuana stopped in its tracks…..and information on the GERMAN PATIENT ROUNDTABLE www.germanpatientroundtable.de

https://www.cannabisindustryjournal.com/news_article/german-court-stops-pending-cannabis-cultivation-bid-on-technical-fault/

German Patients are Going to be on the Front Lines of This Discussion

The difficulties that German patients have already faced in obtaining a drug that is now legal in their own country for medical use (and even for recreational purposes across an open border in Holland) are legion. While to a certain extent, German patients are in the same boat as patients elsewhere and their problems, in fact, there are still huge access issues that remain. For starters, the drug is much more expensive here, so those without health insurance approval face bills of about $3,000 per month. Why the eye-watering price? All medical grade cannabis is still imported, although increasingly this is now just via other EU countries, not just from Canada.

“One of the reasons we organized the national German Patient Roundtable is to give patients a voice in all of this supply and demand discussion and to help BfArM and others formulate workable solutions for all,” responded Philip Cenedella IV when reached for a response by CIJ. Cenedella, an American expat and the organizer of the Roundtable, a nationally focussed, umbrella group that is kicking off its campaign this year, spoke for many who are far from court and boardrooms where the decisions are being made.

Philip Cenedella
Philip Cenedella, pictured left, at the Deutsche Hanfverband (DHV) conference in Berlin last November.
Photo: @MedPayRx, Instagram

“While there are very talented firms who will now take up this discussion with the government and reissue a response for the tender, what we continue to see on the ground is that patients simply do not have the access granted them in the law which was passed over a year ago,” Cenedella says, with more than a note of frustration. “We again are calling on all government officials, industry executives and patient advocates to band together to immediately establish workable protocols that directly help the patients.”

Indeed, despite the frustration and delay, if not new costs and opportunities that this decision creates, one thing is very clear on the ground here. The current status quo is unacceptable. That alone should also put pressure on the powers that be to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. And via several routes, including widening import quotas or even issuing new licenses as a new solution to domestic cultivation is implemented.

“Patients are not being served and do not have access to a medicine that has been proven to improve lives,” says Cenedella. “Our simple request is for BfArM to finally invite patients into their discussions, to work with patients to formulate workable cultivation and distribution solutions, and we humbly request that this happen now before they go down another dead-end road, ending in another court defeat, and resulting in even more delays to the patients that are still lacking the care afforded them by the German Federal Court’s decision of 2017.”

 

For more info:

http://www.germanpatientroundtable.de

 

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Deutsche Bahn: Cannabis medicine at railway stations is permitted – from DHV

https://hanfverband.de/nachrichten/news/deutsche-bahn-cannabismedizin-auf-bahnhoefen-ist-erlaubt Published: 24 August 2017 – 11:08By: Florian Rister

Can cannabis patients take their medicine at stations? Are you allowed to smoke cannabis in designated smoking areas? These questions have not only been concerned with many affected and even railway workers since the amendment of the Act in March. The DHV has followed up at the German Railroad and received answers!

We are currently aware of a case in which a cannabis patient was given a ban on smoking in the smoking area of ​​a station due to the smoking of cannabis. It seemed all the more exciting to get an official statement from Deutsche Bahn. Because by the re-classification of medical cannabis as a classic Annex III narcotic, this actually corresponds to the same status as many other drugs also. It is therefore not surprising that the Deutsche Bahn provides in its opinion: Legal cannabis medicine prescribed and taken is permitted at railway stations, also smoked in the smoking zone!

Here are our related questions and the complete answers from DB:

1.) The building rules for DB stations prohibit “trade with and consumption of drugs and narcotics”. Does this apply in principle to prescribed anesthetics from Appendix III BtmG?

On the basis of the relevant legal bases, such as the BGB (German Civil Code) as well as other sources, the building rules for passenger stations reflect the conditions of use of all station visitors. The control content is based on the faulty behavior of station attendants perceived on the spot and are intended to ensure that all station visitors behave equally and in a manner which is reckless in DB’s railway stations. The regulation you referred to relates, as in the BtmG, to the anesthetics of Appendix III in principle. The exception to this is provided by medically prescribed anesthetics, which were prescribed by a physician according to the provisions of the BtmG §13 (1). In this case, we believe that the intended use, Which is detectable by the corresponding prescriptions. This means in practice, as long as pharmacies documented the entitlement to the funds from Annex III to prove and consumers according to the enclosed medical regulation the legal authority to the consumption of the anesthetics can prove and from consumption no danger for the life and / or the safety of the Railway undertakings, this is not prohibited by the rules of the DB railway stations.
2.) Can patients with a prescription for cannabis take this orally in railway stations or other premises of the DB, eg as a drop, drink or pastry?

Provided that the requirements of § 13 (1) are met and the consumer can prove this and does not create any danger to life or limb through the use, the consumption is permitted in public areas of the passenger stations. For non-public areas of DB or third parties in the station, eg travel centers, office complexes or even rental units in railway stations, the respective responsible owners can define different regulations at their own discretion. This is beyond the competence of DB Station & Service AG.
3.) Can patients with a prescription for cannabis smoke this in designated smoking areas on DB stations?

If the requirements of § 13 para. 1 are fulfilled and the consumer is able to prove this and the risk of death is not a risk to life and limb, the patient may smoke in the designated smoking areas of the DB Cannabis stations by means of smoking. Provided that he does so in a provocative manner or for other station visitors of an inconvenient form, we reserve the right to use the relevant safety authorities as the owner of the house. If a consumer is unable or can not prove his right to use against our employees or on behalf of the DB companies on demand, we reserve the right to initiate domestic measures and to contact the relevant safety authorities to clarify the facts.
Subjects:
German Hemp Association
Cannabis as medicine
Panorama & Strange
Germany – General information
Special Topics:
start page
Cannabis as medicine law (2016)


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Top 9 Active CBD Clinical Trials To Date – by Joe Powers

Top 9 Active CBD Clinical Trials To Date
by Joe Powers
What CBDs (Cannabidiols) Are Currently In Clinical Trials And What Results Are They Proving
As CBD (cannabidiol) comes into the light of the public eye, the curiosity of government researchers continues to grow. Through this growth of interest comes with it funding for real science and research into the mysteries of cannabis sativa and specifically, CBD Cannabidiol.

How many clinical trials are currently active?
Are potential participants able to sign up?
Will their clinical trials be recruiting soon?
Clinicaltrials.gov does an excellent job of organizing the data and presenting it in an easy to find and understand manner. On this website, you’re able to do advanced searches to locate clinical trials which are actively enrolling (cannabidiol) and will soon be recruiting (cannabidiol). Make sure you do also search for the search term CBD; actively enrolling (CBD) & soon recruiting (CBD). When you search for cannabidiol you’ll on receive 20+ results. While searching for CBD will yield 80+ results.

A few of the upcoming CBD clinical trials include:

Autistic Disorder
Anxiety
Chronic Pain
Epilepsy
Infantile Spasms
Lung Cancer
Multiple Sclerosis
Parkinsons
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Schizophrenia
And several more
As of now, there are 22+ active clinical trials researching the effects of CBD (cannabidiol).
A few of the 22+ conditions currently in active clinical trials are as follows:

Click here to see full CBD clinical trials list for either CBD or Cannabidiol search terms.

Cannabis Use Disorder
Effects Of CBD In Healthy Humans
Epilepsy; Drug Interaction, Pediatric, & Drug Resistant
Opiate Addiction
Sturge-Weber Syndrome
Seizures
Infantile Spasms
Advanced Parkinson’s Disease
Type 1 Diabetes
And more.
What results are they proving? What new information is currently available from new studies?
As of now, there are no results posted of any studies going on.
CUD (Cannabis Use Disorder)
First of all, the active clinical trial for cannabis use disorder started in March 2014. This study wants to investigate a “novel treatment” for those who want to quit cannabis and meet the criteria for moderate use. Stage 1 of the trial is scheduled to wrap up and collected its final data for the primary outcome July 2017. In the first stage, they will identify the MED (Most Effective Dose), by taking an oral CBD, to lower cannabis abuse. Next, in stage 2, they will then decide if the MED in stage 1 is an effective treatment for curing CUD.

Effects Of CBD In Healthy Humans
This particular clinical trial is studying healthy adults between the age of 18 – 55 years of age with 75 participants enrolled. Beginning in 2010 and is estimated to have all their primary data by July 2017. Most noteworthy, participants are injected with active Delta-9-THC (0.035mg/Kg) over a 20-minute time frame. This size of the dose is the same amount of THC you’d receive if you were to smoke about a half to a whole cannabis joint. What will be measured in this study are specific behaviors at time intervals of; 15,80, 240 days. The subjective effects to be studied involve perception alterations and effects of mental processes. Mental functions will be assessed using various visual & analog scales among others.

Epilepsy
There are currently three clinical trials researching the effects of CBD and epilepsy.
One clinical trial is investigating CBD with epileptic children between 1 and 18 years. Phase 1 is determining the optimal dose of CBD rich cannabis extract to treat Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. High environmental climates and fever are two of the main stimulants triggering episodes. Gathering the primary data will take an initial 20 week and will continue to follow up for another 64 weeks. During this time, they will evaluate adverse effects and document side effects through questionnaires.

Second epilepsy and CBD clinical trials will be investigating the interactions between Clobazam and CBD. With the third and final CBD and epilepsy clinical trial involving CBD and drug resistant epilepsy with children 2 – 19.

Opiate Addiction
As opiate addiction study moves into phase 2, they will be gathering data on effectiveness while continuing to evaluate safety. Research here is focusing on utilizing CBD to modulate the craving for opiates by inhibiting drug-seeking behavior. This clinical trial is necessary because, despite the abundance of alternative therapies available to treat opioid dependency, most patients end up relapsing. The study set to complete in October 2017.

Seizures & Sturge-Weber Syndrome
SWS (Sturge-Weber Syndrome) is a rare neurological and skin disorder. Some children with this syndrome don’t have any symptoms while others have severe developmental delays and seizures. GW Pharmaceuticals Ltd. & Faneca 66 Foundation began clinical trials in December 2014 to determine the optimal dosage of CBD to treat SWS, a drug resistant form of epilepsy. They are currently in phase 2 and estimating trial completion in January 2018 while measuring the change in seizure frequency.

One more active seizure CBD clinical trial is an open-trial, in multiple locations, researching the long-term safety CBD with the treatment resistant seizure. Currently in phase 3 and estimated completion in December 2017

Infantile Spasms (IS)
The 9th and the final active CBD clinical trial is studying Infantile Spasms (IS) in children between 6 and 36 months of age. Infantile Spasms (IS) is described as a rare and terrible form of epilepsy that usually strikes children in their first year of life. There’s an even more urgent need for this trial because the currently available medicines are not helping and the children are remaining sick. Now, in phase 2 and will continue researching the safety and efficacy of COS (Cannabidiol Oral Solution) in treating IS.

As a result, there are 22+ active CBD clinical trials, 230+ completed clinical trials, and 110+ clinical trials either in open enrollment or getting ready to open up to recruiting for CBD clinical trials.

[Featured image credit- CannaSOS]

Joe Powers | August 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Tags: cannabidiol, Cannabis, CBD, Clinical Trials, Epilepsy, opiate addiction, Seizure | Categories: Health, Science | URL: http://wp.me/p8nEcz-zk


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CW Hemp, PlusCBD Oil, HempMeds (RHSO), Elixinol and CannazALL are the top 5 CBD brands online, according to a new report by Tampa, Florida-based Brightfield Group, a market research firm that specializes in the cannabis industry. The report (cost: $395) projects the hemp-derived CBD market will hit $1 billion by 2022, noting CBD sales hit $170 million in 2016 and suggesting 55% compound annual growth over the next five years will cause the market to crack the billion-dollar mark.


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Europe’s market potential for cannabidiol (CBD) is pegged at around €2 billion as a treatment for chronic diseases, according to a new report by nova-Institute and HempConsult (both of Germany), who probed the market for non-psychotropic CBD, increasingly in demand as a food supplement and pharmaceutical.


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ALGAE DYNAMICS CORP ENTERS INTO A LETTER OF INTENT WITH BONIFY TO PRODUCE UNIQUE CANNABIS OIL PRODUCTS; ACCELERATES GO-TO-MARKET STRATEGY

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ALGAE DYNAMICS CORP ENTERS INTO A LETTER OF INTENT
WITH BONIFY TO PRODUCE UNIQUE CANNABIS OIL PRODUCTS;
ACCELERATES GO-TO-MARKET STRATEGY

TORONTO--August 16, 2017--ALGAE DYNAMICS CORP (OTCQB: ADYNF) (the "Company"), a
company focused on the development of unique health products and pharmaceuticals utilizing cannabis
and algae oils, today announced that it has further refined its relationship with 6779264 Manitoba Ltd dba
Bonify (“Bonify”) in a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) dated August 10, 2017. Bonify is a Licensed Producer,
pursuant to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations in Canada, with the capability to
grow multiple strains of cannabis in its state-of-the-art 320,000 square foot facility.
The Company previously announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Bonify on May 9, 2017, in
which Bonify agreed to supply raw cannabis plant material for processing into cannabis oil for sale and
for use in research. In the recently completed LOI, the Company and Bonify have outlined the following:
1) The purchase and installation of cannabis oil extraction equipment by the Company in Bonify’s
facility;
2) The processing of cannabis material supplied by Bonify and other Licensed Producers in the oil
extraction facility;
3) The supply of cannabis oil and algae omega-3 oils to The University of Waterloo and University of
Western Ontario to support the Sponsored Research Agreements that the Company has in place with
the two universities; and
4) The sharing of direct expenses, and, after adjustment for the market value of cannabis material
supplied by Bonify and third parties, sharing of revenues from the sale of cannabis oil and algaecannabis
oil products.
The term of the agreement is for three years from the commencement of operations and is renewable by
mutual agreement. The Company and Bonify agree to use best efforts to complete formal documentation of
the agreement by September 30, 2017. Upon termination of the agreement, the Company agrees to transfer
title of the equipment to Bonify. The Company has engaged investment bankers to assist with the raising of
necessary capital to purchase and install the extraction equipment.
Given the favorable terms of this agreement, the Company does not anticipate moving forward with its
previously announced joint venture with ARA – Avanti Rx Analytics Inc. in which it was contemplated that
oil extraction would be done utilizing the latter’s facility.
Assuming that all regulatory approvals are in place, initial revenues are expected within six to nine months
following completion of financing,
Paul Ramsay, Chairman and President of Algae Dynamics Corp, stated, “We believe this Letter of Intent
gives us an improved pathway to early revenues as well as a reliable high-quality source of cannabis oil for
the universities to support our important algae-cannabis oil research. We look forward to expeditiously
completing this agreement.”
Jeff Peitsch, President and CEO of Bonify, commented, “Our team is pleased to be working with Algae
Dynamics Corp in support of the Company’s ongoing research and product development work with
universities. We see many benefits to working together with innovative companies such as Algae Dynamics
in this burgeoning cannabis market.”
About Bonify
Bonify is a Canadian-owned Licensed Producer and leading provider of medical cannabis. By maximizing
research findings and strictly adhering to best-in-class practices, quality standards and procedures, Bonify
produces medical cannabis products to help individuals get the most out of life each and every day. With
over 1,000,000 square feet of potential productive capacity at its present site in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,
when at full scale, Bonify will be capable of growing over 100,000 kgs of cannabis annually.
About Algae Dynamics Corp
ADC is engaged in the development of unique health products and pharmaceuticals that utilize hemp,
cannabis and algae oils. We have engaged two Canadian universities to provide research into the use of
extracts from cannabis oil, which we plan to use to develop products that combine the significant health
benefits of Omega-3s derived from algae oil and extracts from cannabis oil. Our research is focused on the
use of cannabis oil in the context of cancer, and the use of cannabis derivatives for the development of novel
pharmacotherapies for mental health.
For more information, visit http://www.algaedynamics.com
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27A of the
Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press
release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding
beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include,
among other things, use of proceeds and the development, costs and results of current or future actions and
opportunitiesin the sector. Actual results could differfrom those projected in any forward-looking statements
due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new
projects and development stage companies, our ability to raise the additional funding we will need to
continue to pursue our exploration and development program, and our ability to retain important members
of our management team and attract other qualified personnel. These forward-looking statements are made
as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or
to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are
reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove
to be accurate.
Investors should consult all the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure
outlined in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year, our quarterly reports on Form
10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
Jack Eversull, President
The Eversull Group, Inc.
jack@theeversullgroup.com
972-571-1624
COMPANY
CONTACT:
Paul Ramsay, President
Algae Dynamics Corp
ramsay@algaedynamics.com
416-704-3040

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Cannabis And The Elderly: A Neurophysiological And Pharmacological Review

by Gaurav Dubey

The elderly population, a term which is generally agreed to mean any individual age 65 or older, is a uniquely diverse and often complex demographic to treat

The aging baby boomers now include many frail and elderly individuals, as Knickman and Snell put in their 2002 review discussing, among several items, “the potential burden an aging society will place on the care-giving system and public finances” (Knickman & Snell, 2002).

Devastating neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well illnesses such as cancer and chronic pain are more prevalent in older populations and require a multimodal treatment approach. Such treatment can involve hospice care when patients are diagnosed as “prospectively dying” and are the often given very high doses of narcotics, such as morphine, to help ease this pain (Ber-sala et al., 2013) (Scitovsky, 2005).

However these powerful comfort drugs carry serious side effects that can be incredibly detrimental to one’s quality of life (Meier, 20111). A study by Ber-sala and colleagues, however, is one among several emerging studies that also indicate significant alleviation of symptoms in the elderly upon cannabis consumption (Ber-sala et al., 2013). I have discussed previously works that clearly demonstrate the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of various disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Chronic Pain, conditions with a high prevalence in the elderly population. To this end, this article will focus on a new 2017 study by Katz and colleagues that demonstrably shows the utility and efficacy of cannabinoids in the elderly while using other related and supporting data (Katz et al., 2017). Providing safe, effective and therapeutic care for our senior citizens and adequate end of life care for hospice patients is the hallmark of a successful healthcare system and compassionate society. As such, further investigation into cannabis and cannabinoids for the elderly population is a vital responsibility for the medical community and it’s healthcare providers.

The elderly population, which is steadily increasing in numbers, is the demographic with the highest prevalence of disease and suffering (Parker et al., 1997). The need for adequate care and allocation of resources to treat this diverse population presenting with an even more diverse palette of pathologies is a critical one. Elderly patients typically consume a large amount of prescription drugs, all with varying risk and side effect profiles (Katz et al., 2017).

“Comfort Drugs” used in hospice care, such as hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl, while generally effective at treating pain, can cause significant drowsiness and even respiratory depression, leading to death, upon overdose (Chau et al., 2008). Chau’s study also describes how normal physiologic aging can significantly alter the pharmacokinetic mechanisms of such drugs in the elderly population, which requires even greater care by the prescribing physician (Chau et al., 2008). With the mounting clinical evidence regarding the efficacy of cannabis to treat a wide variety of pathologies, including many that significantly affect the senior population, special attention should be given to the potential of adding cannabis to the arsenal of drugs to help treat the elderly.

When used simultaneously with opioids, “cannabinoids have been shown to successfully lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain” leading to patients using fewer opiods and experiencing fewer side effects (ref). Perhaps more fascinating from a neuropharmacological standpoint is the fact that cannabinoids seemed to also “prevent the development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates” and is even able to essentially cause a weaker dose, that wasn’t working as efficaciously for pain relief for the patient before, to become effective once again (Lucas, 2012). The reduced side effect and high safety profile both present cannabis as a compelling alternative or adjunct to these drugs as well.

In a new 2017 review analyzing clinical evidence for the utilization of cannabinoids in the elderly by Katz and colleagues, the beneficial effects of cannabis in the elderly is implicated by just some of the major conditions cannabis is known to effectively treat in the elderly: Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Cancer (Katz et al., 2017).

pensioner cannabis

Image credit- Mass Roots

Furthermore, in discussing the safety of cannabis, Katz and colleagues state, “Cannabinoids present a relatively safe profile of action in elderly patients. Hence, cannabinoid treatment should be considered more readily when other options fail, even in cases of scarce data” (Katz et al., 2017). In fact, I strongly believe that due to the relative safety of cannabis (no reported overdoses/deaths), it should often be considered a first line treatment if possible, over the use of an opioid analgesic, for instance, which carries significantly greater risks. In a population that is often already overmedicated, the possibility of using cannabis, a compound known to be relatively safer than some of the other drugs used to treat chronic pain and illness, should be seriously considered as a mainstay treatment as more data becomes available (Katz et al., 2017).

Indeed, my article regarding cannabis use reducing the individual consumption of prescription drugs speaks to this point well.

As mentioned above, cannabis has been identified to have beneficial and therapeutic properties for several diseases with high prevalence in the elderly. One such condition that cannabis has been indicated for is Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Indeed, Volicer et al. demonstrated in a placebo-controlled crossover-designed study that treatment with a THC analogue (Dronabinol) attenuated behavioral disturbance in Alzheimer’s patients (Volicer et al., 1997).

While critics of this study claim the lack of quantitative data make the results difficult to adequately validate, a systematic review by Woodward and authors, reporting on “the largest studied cohort of dementia patients treated with Dronabinol to date”, was able to confirm these findings. They reported that Dronabinol could serve as an efficacious “adjunctive treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia” (Woodward et al., 2014).

Furthermore, Katz and colleagues, in reviewing this clinical data, concluded that cannabinoids seem to be a safe and effective treatment for therapy “to manage behavioral disturbances in patients” (Katz et al., 2017). Neurodegenerative disorders such as AD are debilitating and often require a multidimensional approach to treatment. Similar challenges arise when considering Parkinson’s disease, another common neurodegenerative illness prevalent in the elderly.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is another illness commonly associated with elderly patients and is primarily characterized by death of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. It often presents with symptoms such as: tremor, rigidity, gait abnormality and non-motor related clinical symptomology (Katz et al., 2017).

While the etiology of PD is still largely unknown, emerging research has uncovered that our own endocannabinoid system seems to play a significant role in the mechanism of the illness (Katz et al., 2017). This is pharmacologically fascinating as there is a lack of CB1 receptors (one of two main cannabinoid receptors in the body/brain) in the dopaminergic nigostriatal (this is spelt correctly?) neurons that are being damaged due to this serious illness.

canada cannabis

It’s currently presumed this occurs due to the fact that the endocannabinoid system modulates GABA and glutamate transmission (two other major neurotransmitter systems in the brain not part of the endocannabinoid system) (Katz et al., 2017). The ability of our own intrinsic endocannabinoid system to play a key role in the mechanisms of this disease holds promise for the future treatment of PD with cannabis.

A common feature of both PD and AD along with other neurodegenerative disorders prevalent in the elderly is dementia, a debilitating phenomenon that has shown significant receptivity to the therapeutic applications of cannabis (Walther & Halpern, 2010). In regards to PD, cannabis has been shown to provide “significant amelioration also in rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, pain and sleeping problems with no significant adverse effect” (Lotan et al., 2014). Furthermore, a small cohort of 22 PD patients treated with cannabis and surveyed 30 minutes after use reported “a significant improvement of 9.9 points in the mean score Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (P<0.0001)” (Katz et al., 2017).

Another common morbidity and co-morbidity among the elderly population is cancer. Chemotherapy is a common mainstay of cancer treatment and is well known to carry seriously averse side effects that are difficult to manage for patients. A recent 2016 review by Dr. Abrams states “Cannabis is useful in combatting anorexia, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, and depression” induced by chemotherapy (Abrams et al., 2016).

In a study with 211 patients, of which 131 had a second, follow-up interview, “all cancer or anticancer treatment-related symptoms showed significant improvement (P < 0.001). Aside from memory lessening in patients with prolonged cannabis use, “no significant adverse events” were reported (Ber-sala et al., 2013). Having worked in an oncology ward for 4 summers and in my training as an EMT in Miami-Dade, I’ve personally witnessed the immense suffering of cancer patients. It’s difficult not to want to provide anything and everything to assist them, especially if they are in their final years and moments before the inevitable. Narcotics such as morphine for pain and adderall to combat the drowsiness from the morphine are common balancing acts in regards to hospice care medications.

As stated by Nersesyan & Slavin, “Stimulants such as methylphenidate or caffeine can increase alertness in patients who are experiencing somnolence on a dose of morphine that provides sufficient pain control” (Nersesyan & Slavin, 1998). With cannabis having a significantly lower side effect profile and a lower chance of adverse drug events as mentioned above, it is time to seriously consider easy access of cannabis to elderly patients suffering from these conditions, especially those in hospice care. Perhaps the pharmacokinetic mechanisms of the drug are not completely understood, however, enough compelling data exists, combined with the fact there has never been one singlepurported overdose/fatality from cannabis that serious consideration need be given to this modality of treatment.

cannabis weight loss

The safety profile of cannabis next to some of the other drugs used to treat this patient population isn’t even comparable when considering potential for fatalities (that already occur every day) from opioids alone. For this and so many other reasons, it’s time to make a change.

So why restrict access to cannabis if it is beneficial for elderly and it improves their quality of life? Ber-sala, in his study, states that cannabis induced relief of symptoms in their study may in part be due to its euphoriant properties. He points out that, “from a medical point of view, the general improvement in the level of distress is important as an end-point for palliative studies, and the cause is less important (Ber-sala et al., 2013).

There is no doubt that the use of potent narcotics such as morphine and hydromorphine create powerful and potentially addicting “highs” as well, but their use is often times warranted in this situation. Thus, holding cannabis to a different standard due to this side effect is in fact holding a double standard and disrespecting science and evidence. In fact, if you’re sick and dying of cancer on your deathbed, the idea of “feeling good” is a powerful one I think many people, especially those in the medical profession, can relate with.

Another reference in regards to cannabis in popular culture is the “munchies”, essentially, the appetite-stimulation effects of cannabis use. While the data is scarce on this topic in the elderly, preliminary findings show promise (Katz et al., 2017). A few small studies (<40 people) using Dronabinol as a treatment found small changes in weight gain or increased consumption of food over shorter time intervals (Katz et al., 2017). Furtherore, when considering the “entourage effect” (define that) and the beneficial effects of, for instance, Sativex (a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio, whole plant cannabis formulation) over other synthetic cannabinoid compounds such as Dronabinol and Marinol, it begs the question about whether whole plant cannabis formulations would be even more beneficial to patients over synthetics compounds (Russo, 2008).These results call for further investigation as proper nutrition is vital to this population of patients.

The stigmatization of the “high” of cannabis and the social satire of the “muchies” can often detract from the medical necessities of these effects for cancer patients, many of whom report as truly depending on these characteristics of cannabis to help them through such illnesses (Waissengrin et al., 2015). Overwhelming data shows this population could potentially benefit greatly from cannabis use and only more research and more science can help change public perception.

The elderly population is one that suffers from an increased prevalence of a variety of severe pathologies, not the least of which including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer and chronic pain. A recent 2016 study found that “medical expenses more than double between ages 70 and 90” and that “ the government pays for over 65 per cent of the elderly’s medical expenses” (De Nardi et al., 2016). If the effects of cannabis can be reproduced in bigger trials, FDA approved treatments and therapies that are efficacious and successful can be implemented, healthcare costs and the benefit to society overall could improve. With a healthcare crisis already underway in our country, perhaps a paradigm shift such as this one is a promising one. Maybe the question we should be asking is not “can we afford to do this?” but rather, “can we afford not to?”

[Featured image credit- Endoca]

Gaurav Dubey | August 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Tags: Cannabiscannabis elderlyCannabis studyMedical Cannabis studyPensioners | Categories: FeaturedHealth | URL: http://wp.me/p8nEcz-H9
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