NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - March 5, 2009

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - March 5, 2009
Posted by CN Staff on March 05, 2009 at 11:26:51 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Inhaled Cannabis Aborts Cluster Headaches, Journal Reports - "Marijuana use at the onset of his headaches consistently brought complete relief within five minutes of inhalation for each attack"   March 5, 2009 - Bronx, NY, USABronx, NY: Inhaling cannabis completely relieved the pain associated with cluster headaches, according to a case study published in the journal Headache.
Neurologists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported that a 19-year-old patient with a cyclical pattern of cluster headaches responded favorably to smoked cannabis. The patient lacked responsiveness to numerous traditional treatments – including prednisone, sumatriptan (trade name: Imitrex), and oxycodone – but did report, "Marijuana use at the onset of his headaches consistently brought complete relief within five minutes of inhalation for each attack."Investigators reported that the patient also received relief from the administration of five-milligram doses of synthetic oral THC (dronanabinol). They wrote, "[D]ronabinol was substituted for marijuana for acute treatment of his cluster headaches; dronabinol consistently provided dramatic relief within five to fifteen minutes of ingestion."Researchers concluded, "We present a patient with cluster headache who was refractory to multiple acute and preventive medications, but successfully aborted his attacks with recreational marijuana use. ... The beneficial effect may be related to the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus, which has been implicated as a site of dysfunction in neuroimaging studies of patients with cluster headache."In 2007, investigators at Italy’s University of Perugia, Department of Public Health, reported that patients with chronic migraines possessed "significantly lower" levels of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) in their platelets compared to age-matched controls."These data support the potential involvement of a dysfunctioning of the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems in the pathology of chronic migraine and medication-overuse headaches," they concluded.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Full text of the study, "Cluster attacks responsive to recreational cannabis and dronabinol," appears in Headache.DL: Spray Shows Long-Term Benefits For Multiple Sclerosis March 5, 2009 - Port Down, United KingdomPorton Down, United Kingdom: Long-term administration of Sativex, an oral spray consisting of natural cannabis extracts, reduces spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients, according to clinical trial data reported last week by the biotechnology firm GW Pharmaceuticals.Thirty-six patients completed the placebo-controlled randomized withdrawal study. Subjects in the study had been using Sativex for a mean of 3.6 years.Patients who ceased using Sativex during the four-week trial experienced significantly worse spasticity than they had while taking the drug, investigators reported. There was "no evidence of withdrawal syndrome in those patients who stopped taking Sativex."A similarly designed study previously reported that long-term use of Sativex consistently reduced MS-associated neuropathic pain. Patients in that study continued to receive adequate pain relief from Sativex over a period of several years without growing tolerant to the drug or having to increase their daily dose over time."Taken together, these studies show that the efficacy of Sativex in the treatment of both neuropathic pain and spasticity due to MS is maintained in long-term use," researchers concluded in a press release.Ongoing investigations of the use of cannabinoids and multiple sclerosis have indicated that the compounds may slow the progression of the disease. A 2008 review published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design reported, "Cannabinoids may not only offer symptom control but [they] may also slow the neurodegenerative disease progression that ultimately leads to the accumulation of disability."In 2005, Sativex was approved in Canada for prescription use to ameliorate symptoms of MS.For more information, please visit: http://www.gwpharm.comDL: Study: Over 7 Million Americans Under prison Supervision In 2007March 5, 2009 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The U.S. correctional population swelled to a record 7.3 million people in 2007, according to a study released this week by the nonprofit group Pew Center on the States.In all, one in 31 adults – including a disproportionate number of African Americans – in the United States is incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, the study found."Black adults are four times as likely as whites and nearly 2.5 times as likely as Hispanics to be under correctional control. One in 11 black adults – 9.2 percent – was under correctional supervision at year-end 2007," the study determined. "And although the number of female offenders continues to grow, men of all races are under correctional control at a rate five times that of women." In Georgia, one in 13 adults is under correctional supervision, the highest percentage of any state in the nation.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Full text of the study, One in 100: Behind bars in America 2008, is available online at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: March 5, 2009Copyright: 2009 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on March 05, 2009 at 11:41:31 PT
Here I go Again
Cannabis, schedule I narcotic, Marinol, schedule III. Where are they going to place Sativex, FDA, DEA etc.? It is, "an oral spray consisting of natural cannabis extracts," natural extracts, unlike Marinol which is a synthetic THC. Oh, don't forget, if Sativex is marketed as a neuroprotectant or antioxidant the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will sue you for patent infringement!!! What a steaming pile of hypocrisy!!!One more question, let us say the developers of Sativex were sued for patent infringement, would the government have to admit medical uses for cannabinoids? 
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