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Study: Daily Marijuana Use Associated With Increased Treatment Retention Rates for Those Addicted to Opioids

Daily cannabis use is associated with greater odds of retention in treatment among those addicted to opioids, according to a new study published in the journal Addiction, and epublished online by the National Institute of Health.

“Cannabis use is common among people on opioid agonist treatment (OAT), causing concern for some care providers”, states the study. “However, there is limited and conflicting evidence on the impact of cannabis use on OAT outcomes. Given the “critical role of retention in OAT in reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality”, researchers “aimed to estimate the association of at least daily cannabis use on the likelihood of retention in treatment among people initiating OAT.” As a secondary aim researchers “tested the impacts of less frequent cannabis use.”

The study comprised a total of 820 people who use illicit drugs (PWUD), who initiated OAT between December 1996 and May 2016. . Participants were followed for a median of 81 month.

The primary outcome was retention in OAT, defined as remaining in OAT (methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone-based) for two consecutive 6-month follow-up periods, and the primary explanatory variable was cannabis use (at least daily versus less than daily) during the same 6-month period. “Confounders assessed included: socio-demographic characteristics, substance use patterns and social-structural exposures.”

In adjusted analysis, “at least daily cannabis use was positively associated with retention in OAT [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04-1.41]. Our secondary analysis showed that compared with non-cannabis users, at least daily users had increased odds of retention in OAT (aOR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.02-1.43), but not less than daily users (aOR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.87-1.14).”

Researchers conclude from this that “Among people who use illicit drugs initiating opioid agonist treatment in Vancouver, at least daily cannabis use was associated with approximately 21% greater odds of retention in treatment compared with less than daily consumption.”

More information on this study, conducted by researchers at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University – all in Canada – can be found by clicking here.

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Study: THC/CBD Effective in Treating Pain From Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

According to a new study published by the Journal of Pain Research, THC/CBD can have “remarkable analgesic capabilities” in the treatment of chronic refractory pain caused by failed back surgery syndrome.

“This study aimed to evaluate pain and its symptoms in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refractory to other therapies, treated with a combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in association with spinal cord stimulation (SCS)”, states the study’s abstract. “Outpatients referred at Pain Unit of San Vincenzo Hospital in Taormina (Italy), between September 2014 and January 2016”, were evaluated.

For the study, eleven FBSS patients diagnosed with neuropathic pain, and suffering from moderate to severe chronic refractory pain and undergoing treatment with SCS and a combination of THC/CBD for 12 consecutive months, completed the Douleur Neuropathique 4 questionnaire.

“All the included patients discontinued previous unsuccessful therapy at least 2 months before the beginning of the cannabinoid therapy, with the exception of the SCS that was continued. Patients received a fixed dosage of cannabinoid agonists (THC/CBD) that could be increased subjective to pain control response.” A Brief Pain Inventory questionnaire “was administered to measure pain and its interference with characteristic dimensions of feelings and functions”, and the “duration of treatment with SCS and THC/CBD combination was 12 months.”

Researchers found that “Effective pain management as compared to baseline result was achieved in all the cases studied. The positive effect of cannabinoid agonists on refractory pain was maintained during the entire duration of treatment with minimal dosage titration. Pain perception, evaluated through numeric rating scale, decreased from a baseline mean value of 8.18±1.07-4.72±0.9 by the end of the study duration (12 months) (P<0.001).”

The study concludes by stating that “The results indicate that cannabinoid agonists (THC/CBD) can have remarkable analgesic capabilities, as adjuvant of SCS, for the treatment of chronic refractory pain of FBSS patients.”

For the full study, click here.

The post Study: THC/CBD Effective in Treating Pain From Failed Back Surgery Syndrome appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Northern Mariana Islands Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law

Northern Mariana Islands Governor Ralph DLG. Torres has signed HB 20-178, the Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018, into law.

“Today, our people made history”, said Governor Torres is a public statement. “We took a stand to legalize marijuana in the CNMI for recreational, medical, and commercial use”.

Torres’ signature on the measure comes shortly after it passed the Senate 6-0-2; it passed the House in August 108-1-1.

The new law allows those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, while also possessing up to 16 ounces of marijuana infused food products and 72 ounces of marijuana infused liquids. Licensed cannabis retail outlets are authorized to distribute the plant.

Under the new law there must be a Cannabis Commission appointed within 30 days. Once formed, the commission will have 180 days to create and adopt rules for the program.

Gover Torres’ signature of HB 20-178 makes the Northern Mariana Islands the first US territory to legalize cannabis.

The post Northern Mariana Islands Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Getting Lobsters High?

Recreational marijuana is legal in Maine, and one restaurant is using the drug to get its lobsters high before boiling them in a pot. Talk about high class dining!

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