Author: Frank Schuler

Frank Schuler is originally from Switzerland and reports on cannabis industry and policy news from around the world.
sleep sleeping bed nap

Patients Frequently Use Cannabis As A Sleep Aid According To Australian Survey

Insomnia is a major problem around the world. Whether people suffer from insomnia as a primary condition, or it is caused by a different primary condition, an inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep can have a massively negative impact on a person’s overall health, both physically and mentally.

When a human is sleep deprived, they become more irritable, and handling daily tasks becomes more difficult. A lack of sleep impairs brain functions such as memory and decision-making, and it can lead to depression. Physically, insomnia can impair patients’ immune systems, among other concerns.

The cannabis plant has served as a sleep aid for many insomnia sufferers over many years, and that appears to be the case in Australia according to the results of a recent survey. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Sydney, Australia: Patients frequently report consuming cannabis to treat sleep-related issues, particularly insomnia, according to survey data published in the journal Nature and Science of Sleep.

Researchers affiliated with the University of Sydney surveyed 1,600 Australians regarding their use of medical cannabis.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed acknowledged consuming cannabis to mitigate symptoms of a sleep disorder, typically insomnia.

Most respondents said that cannabis greatly improved their sleep quality. A majority of respondents also said that they decreased their consumption of benzodiazepines and alcohol following their use of cannabis – a finding that is consistent with other studies.

Those who reported consuming cannabis were most likely to acknowledge using THC-dominant cannabis products.

“[Our study] shows that the majority of participants reported an improvement in their subjective sleep symptoms since commencing medical cannabis,” authors concluded. “[I]t is imperative that randomized, placebo-controlled trials using quality-assured products are conducted to better understand the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid treatment in patients with clinician-diagnosed sleep disorders.”

The survey’s findings are similar to those of numerous other studies documenting that patients with insomnia and other sleep disorders report subjective improvements following cannabis use. Data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported that the enactment of adult-use marijuana legalization laws is associated with a significant reduction in the sales of over-the-counter sleep aids among the general public.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis use patterns for sleep disorders in Australia: Results of the cross-sectional CAMS-20 survey,” appears in Nature and Science of SleepAdditional information on the use of cannabis for insomnia is available from NORML’s publicationClinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.


woman smelling smell cannabis plant garden outdoor sungrown terpene terpenes

Terpenes Enhance THC’s Ability To Interact With Endogenous Receptor

For many years very little was known about cannabis terpenes. Terpenes are the compounds contained in the cannabis plant that gives it its smell. Scientists currently estimate that the cannabis plant contains over 150 different terpenes, with different genetics containing different ratios of terpene levels.

An example of a cannabis terpene is pinene, which is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis terpene profile testing results. Pinene is known for having a forest-type smell, and can also be found in pine nuts, rosemary, and sage.

Researchers in Israel recently examined cannabis terpenes and how they interact with the endogenous CB1 receptor, and what they found regarding THC’s interaction with the receptor and terpenes could change the way cannabis products and treatments are developed going forward. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Jerusalem, Israel: Terpenes in the cannabis plant enhance the ability of THC to interact with the endogenous CB1 receptor, potentially heightening its effects, according to preclinical data published in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology.

Israeli scientists evaluated the role of terpenes in CB1 receptor-mediated functions. Researchers also assessed the extent to which terpenes acted as direct CB1 receptor agonists and as modulators of THC agonism.

Researchers reported certain terpenes – including borneol, geraniol, limonene, linalool, ocimene, sabinene, and terpineol – amplified THC activity at the CB1 receptor, even at low quantities.

They reported: “The results demonstrate that all terpenes, when tested individually, activate CB1 receptors, at about 10-50 percent of the activation by THC alone. The combination of some of these terpenes with THC significantly increases the activity of the CB1 receptor, compared to THC alone. In some cases, several fold. Importantly, this amplification is evident at terpene to THC ratios similar to those in the cannabis plant, which reflect very low terpene concentrations.”

Authors concluded: “The use of selected terpenes may enable reducing the THC dose in some treatments, and as a result, potentially minimizing the THC-related adverse effects. This would also help in adjusting the treatment to more sensitive populations such as children and elderly. Enrichment with selected terpenes may allow for composition adjustment to personal needs and to changes during chronic use, such as for daytime versus for sleep.”

The findings expand upon those of a 2021 study documenting that certain terpenes activate CB1 and CB2 receptors, and that the combined administration of cannabinoids and terpenes produce additive effects. Authors of that study similarly suggested, “[T]erpenes could be used to enhance the analgesic properties of cannabis/cannabinoid therapy, without worsening the side effects of cannabinoid treatment.”

A study published earlier this year reported that cannabis flowers with elevated levels of the terpenes myrcene and terpinolene are associated with greater perceived symptom relief among patients.

Full text of the study, “Selected cannabis terpenes synergize with THC to produce increased CB1 receptor activation,” appears in Biochemical Pharmacology.




Canadian Study Finds Cannabis Products Effective In Self-Management Of Myofascial Pelvic Pain

Myofascial pelvic pain syndrome is a health condition involving pelvic pain that is often described by sufferers as ‘short, tight, tender pelvic floor muscles that can include palpable nodules or trigger points.’

While it’s unclear how many people around the globe suffer from the condition, it is estimated that 22% to 94% of cases of chronic pelvic pain involve myofascial pain. Chronic pelvic pain is one of the most common gynecologic conditions around the planet.

Treatments for myofascial pelvic pain vary from patient to patient, with many patients relying on their own regimens for treatment. Cannabis is a popular medicine for sufferers, and according to a recent study in Canada, there’s good reason to incorporate it into treatment strategies. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Vancouver, Canada: A significant percentage of women suffering from myofascial pelvic pain (MPP) acknowledge using cannabis and/or cannabis-products as a way to effectively mitigate their symptoms, according to data published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

Canadian investigators surveyed 135 female patients with MPP, 57 percent of whom acknowledged using cannabis. Among marijuana consumers, 79 percent said that they used cannabis products to treat their pelvic pain. Nearly eighty percent of those respondents said that they began using cannabis because conventional treatments were ineffective. Nearly half of consumers said that they used cannabis daily, and more than half did so via inhalation.

“On a scale of zero (totally ineffective) to 10 (totally effective), 69 percent of users rated the effectiveness of cannabis as 7 or higher at relieving pelvic pain,” authors reported. Among non-users, 64 percent said that they “would be willing” to try cannabis as an option to treat pelvic pain.

A survey’s findings are consistent with those of prior studies finding that an increasing percentage of patients with pelvic pain are accessing either cannabis or cannabis products, and that those patients who do so are consuming fewer opioids.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use preferences in women with myofascial pelvic pain: A cross-sectional study,” appears in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.


human brain

UK Study Fails To Identify Cannabis As A Risk Factor For Development Of Psychosis

Cannabis opponents and mainstream media outlets have claimed for many years that cannabis is bad for human brains. As part of their claim, opponents often suggest that cannabis use causes psychosis.

Psychosis is a serious mental health condition that is always worthy of research and thoughtful discussion, which is why public health strategies should be led by science and not the harmful political views of a small group of lawmakers.

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently conducted a study in which they examined what, if any, role cannabis use plays in the development of psychosis. Below is more information about the study’s findings via a news release from NORML:

London, United Kingdom: A history of cannabis use is not associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis, even among those predisposed to the disorder, according to data published in the journal Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

A team of investigators from Australia, Europe, and the United Kingdom examined the association between cannabis use and incidences of psychotic disorders in clinically at-risk subjects. Researchers assessed subjects at baseline and then followed them for a period of two years.

They reported: “There was no significant association between any measure of cannabis use at baseline and either transition to psychosis, the persistence of symptoms, or functional outcomes.”

Authors concluded,  “Our primary hypothesis was that cannabis use in CHR [clinically high risk] subjects would be associated with an increased rate of later transition to psychosis. However, there was no significant association with any measure of cannabis use. … These findings are not consistent with epidemiological data linking cannabis use to an increased risk of developing psychosis.”

Although the use of cannabis and other controlled substances tends to be more common among those with psychotic illnesses, studies indicate that lifetime incidences of acute marijuana-induced psychosis are relatively rare among the general population.

Data published last year in the New Zealand Medical Journal reported that those with a history of cannabis consumption do not typically exhibit more severe symptoms of psychosis than do those with no history of regular use.

Full text of the study, “Influence of cannabis use on incidence of psychosis in people at clinical high risk,” appears in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

United Kingdom

quality of life senior citizens pain

Chronic Pain Patients Report Improvements In New UK Study

A fairly sizable study was recently concluded in the United Kingdom involving cannabis, chronic pain, quality of life, and opioid use. The study revolved around multiple cannabis products, which is not always the case with cannabis studies. Below is more information about the scope of the study, and the findings, via a news release from NORML:

London, United Kingdom: Chronic pain patients who use cannabis products for six months report improvements in their health-related quality of life and decreases in their daily opioid consumption, according to observational data published in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.

British investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of plant-derived cannabis products (either oils, flower, or a combination of both) in over 700 chronic pain patients enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. All of the participants possessed a doctor’s authorization to access cannabis products. (Since 2018, specialists have been permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products to patients unresponsive to conventional medications.) Authors assessed the efficacy of cannabis at one, three, and six months.

Consistent with prior studies, investigators reported: “Treatment with oil-based [products], dried flowers, or a combination of both CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products] are associated with statistically significant improvements in pain relief and sleep quality after six months in chronic pain patients. Additionally, patients prescribed oils or both types of CBMPs experienced reduced anxiety and an improvement in their ability to perform daily activities. Patients prescribed a combination of both CBMPs recorded improvements in their self-care and mobility abilities. Collectively, this evidence signals that [the] initiation of CBMP treatment is associated with improved HRQoL [health-related quality of life].”

Researchers also acknowledged that patients significantly reduced their daily intake of prescription opioids – a finding that is consistent with dozens of other studies.

“In summary, these results suggest that both [cannabis] oils and dried flowers are associated with long-term improved HRQoL in chronic pain patients,” they concluded.

Prior studies assessing the use of cannabis products in patients enrolled in the UK registry have similarly reported them to be safe and effective for patients suffering from anxietypost-traumatic stressdepressionmigraineinflammatory bowel disease, and other afflictions.

Data published earlier this year in the journal JAMA Network Open reported that nearly one in four pain patients who reside in states where medical cannabis access is legal self-identify as marijuana consumers.

Full text of the study, “Clinical outcome data of chronic pain patients treated with cannabis-based oils and dried flower from the UK medical cannabis registry,” appears in Expert Review of NeurotherapeuticsAdditional information on cannabis and pain management is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

United Kingdom

blood sugar diabetes

Iran Study Finds That CBD/THC Combination Controls Blood Sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a health condition involving a problem with the way the human body regulates and uses sugar/glucose as fuel. Type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 diabetes in that the latter is a genetic condition that is typically detected early in life, whereas the former is considered to be a lifestyle-related condition that develops over time.

As of 2020, it was estimated that over ‘462 million individuals are affected by type 2 diabetes, corresponding to 6.28% of the world’s population.’ Common treatments and strategies for combating type 2 diabetes include eating healthier, exercising, losing weight, insulin therapy, and blood sugar monitoring.

Researchers in Iran recently conducted a study involving a sublingual spray containing CBD and THC to see if it helped patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Below is more information about the study via a news release from NORML:

Tehran, Iran: Diabetic patients administered a sublingual spray containing CBD and THC show improvements in their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, according to placebo-controlled data published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research.

A team of Iranian investigators evaluated the efficacy of a proprietary formulation of plant-derived CBD/THC compared to placebo in a cohort of 50 patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients utilized the spray twice daily for eight weeks. The sublingual formulation contained a ten-to-one ratio of CBD to THC.

Compared to placebo, cannabinoid therapy was associated with a “statistically significant decline in total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, FBS [fasting blood glucose levels], Hb [hemoglobin] A1C, and insulin secretion … at the end of the 8-week treatment period. … [T]here were no statistically significant differences in reported adverse effects between the two groups.”

Researchers concluded: “In the present study, we demonstrated that sublingual administration of [a CBD/THC] spray, … twice daily through an eight-week treatment period could effectively improve the patient’s lipid profile and glucose tolerance. … Based on these observations, the combination of CBD/Δ9-THC regimen could be a new therapeutic regimen for controlling the lipid profile and glycemic state of DM [type 2 diabetic] patients.”

Clinical trial data has previously shown that the administration of the cannabinoid THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) decreases fasting glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.

Population-based studies have reported that cannabis consumers typically possess lower BMI and other favorable indices related to diabetic control. Observational studies have also shown that the past use of cannabis is significantly associated with lower odds of diabetes in adults.

Full text of the study, “A phase I randomized, placebo-controlled study on efficacy and safety profile of a sublingually administered cannabidiol/delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (10: 1) regimen in diabetes Type 2 patients,” appears in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical ResearchAdditional information on cannabinoids and diabetes is available from NORML’s publicationClinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.


beer alcohol

Canadian Researchers Find Alcohol To Be Involved In More Crashes Than THC

Whenever cannabis reform is being proposed, it’s very common for opponents to ramp up scare tactics related to impaired driving. Don’t get me wrong, preventing impaired driving on public roadways is absolutely a worthwhile endeavor.

However, conversations and strategies regarding the mitigation of impaired drivers need to be sensible, and math and science need to lead the way, which unfortunately does not always happen.

The fact of the matter is that alcohol is much more problematic compared to THC, as demonstrated in a recent study out of Canada. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Drivers treated for traffic-related injuries are more likely to test positive for high levels of alcohol (BAC ≥ 0.08 percent) than they are likely to test positive for elevated levels of THC (THC in blood ≥ 5 ng/mL), according to data published in the journal Addiction.

Canadian investigators quantified and reviewed alcohol and THC concentrations in a cohort of nearly 7,000 injured drivers.

They reported, “In this sample, there were over three times as many drivers with BAC ≥ 0.08% (12.6 percent) than with THC ≥ 5 ng/mL (3.5 percent), suggesting that alcohol remains a greater threat to road safety.”

Authors also acknowledged that drivers who tested positive for high levels of alcohol were more likely to be involved in single vehicle accidents as well as in motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious injuries.

Because THC can remain present in blood for extended periods of time, the study’s authors emphasized that at least some subjects who tested positive for cannabis may not necessarily have had recent exposure to it. They further emphasized that subjects testing positive for the presence of THC at levels below 5 ng/ml are typically not under the influence and likely do not possess a significantly increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Driving simulator studies generally report that cannabis administration is associated with compensatory driving behavior, such as decreased mean speed and increased mean following distance, whereas alcohol administration is associated with more aggressive driving behavior. Nevertheless, cannabis exposure can influence certain psychomotor skills necessary for safe driving, such as reaction time and drivers’ ability to maintain lane positioning.

study conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drivers who test positive for any amount of THC possess, on average, a far lower risk of being involved in a traffic collision than  do drivers who test positive for alcohol at or near legal limits.

By contrast, drivers who test positive for the presence of both THC and alcohol in their system tend to possess significantly higher odds of being involved in a motor vehicle accident than do those who test positive for either substance alone.

Full text of the study, “A comparison of cannabis and alcohol use in drivers presenting to hospital after a vehicular collision,” appears in Addiction. Additional information on cannabis and driving performance is available from  NORML’s Fact Sheet, ‘Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.’


blood pressure hypertension heart health

No Increased Cardiovascular Risk For Stroke Patients Following Prescription Cannabis Use

Public health officials estimate that as many as 15 million strokes occur annually around the globe. Of that estimated 15 million, roughly one-third of them result in the person dying and another one-third leave the patient permanently disabled.

The main cause of someone experiencing a stroke is high blood pressure, which can be caused by a number of factors including poor diet, lack of exercise, other health conditions, and genetics.

With the rise in safe access to medical cannabis and products derived from medical cannabis, researchers are examining cannabis use and stroke survivors to gauge whether or not there are any elevated risks. Fortunately for stroke patients, a recent study in Italy is providing some promising news. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Genova, Italy: Patients with a history of stroke are not at an increased risk of cardiovascular complications following the use of nabiximols (a/k/a Sativex – an oromucosal spray containing a balanced ratio of plant-derived THC and CBD), according to clinical trial data published in the journal Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. Nabiximols is available by prescription in various countries, but not in the United States, for patients suffering from symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Italian researchers compared the cardiovascular impact of nabiximols versus placebo in a cohort of 34 stroke survivors. Subjects in the study suffered from symptoms of spasticity. Patients in the study took either nabiximols or placebo in addition to their standard medications for a period of one-month.

Investigators reported: “No … adverse drug effects emerged during nabiximols treatment, namely no significant fluctuation of blood pressure and heart rate, nor ischemic or hemorrhagic events occurred. During nabiximols treatment, self-assessed blood pressure and heart rate did not change compared to the baseline condition. No patients showed significant acceleration or decrease in heart rate or change in rhythm and none required an additional ECG or cardiological evaluation during the study.”

Authors concluded: “The present study is the first to evaluate the effects of a cannabinoid drug (nabiximols) in patients with post-stroke spasticity. … This ancillary study adds evidence that, in patients who already underwent a cerebrovascular accident, nabiximols does not determine significant blood pressure and heart rate variation or cardiovascular complications. These data support the cardiovascular safety of nabiximols, encouraging more extensive studies involving cannabinoids characterized by slow absorption rates.”

Numerous studies demonstrate the ability of cannabinoids to influence blood pressure and other cardiovascular responses. However, data is inconsistent with respect to whether the frequent use of cannabis may increase one’s risk of stroke, heart attack, or other adverse cardiovascular events. While some studies report an increased risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases among marijuana consumers, others report either no risk or provide evidence of possible cardioprotection. A 2021 literature review of 67 studies published in The American Journal of Medicine concluded, “[M]arijuana itself does not appear to be independently associated with excessive cardiovascular risk factors.” Authors did caution, however, that “it can be associated with other unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol use and tobacco smoking that can be detrimental” to cardiovascular health.

Full text of the study, “Nabiximols effect on blood pressure and heart rate in post-stroke patients: A randomized controlled study,” appears in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine.


cannabis plant garden

Israeli Tourette Syndrome Patients Report Improvements Following Cannabis Therapy

Global statisticians estimate that around 0.5-1% of the planet’s population has been diagnosed with some level of Tourette Syndrome, although the true diagnosis rate of people suffering from the condition could be larger due to gaps in identification and treatment in some parts of the globe.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by sudden, repetitive, rapid, and unwanted movements or vocal sounds called tics.” Currently, there is no cure for the condition.

Various treatments for Tourette Syndrome exist, with common ones being dopamine blockers, Botox injections, ADHD medications, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure medications. All of those treatments can yield possible undesirable side effects. Fortunately, a recent study in Israel found that cannabis may help. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Tel Aviv, Israel: Tourette Syndrome (TS) patients report improvements in their quality of life and reductions in their use of prescription medications following cannabis therapy, according to data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Israeli investigators surveyed patients prior to and six-months following cannabis treatment. Subjects in the study consumed products containing roughly twice as much THC as CBD.

Participants reported statistically significant improvements in their quality of life and employment status following cannabis treatment. Most subjects also reported reduced symptoms of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Patients reduced their use of prescription medicines.

By contrast, subjects did not report statistically significant improvements in their frequency of either vocal or motor tics during the study period.

Authors concluded: “Subjective reports from TS patients suggest that medical cannabis may improve their quality of life and comorbidities. More studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis.”

A limited number of clinical trials have shown both oral THC and inhaled cannabis to be associated with symptom improvements in TS patients, including decreased tic severity and reductions in obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial published last month in the journal Psychiatry Research reported that patients with more severe TS symptoms experienced symptomatic improvements following the consumption of a balanced formulation of oral THC and CBD.

Full text of the study, “Using medical cannabis in patients with Gilles de la Tourette’s Syndrome in a real-world setting” appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Additional information on cannabinoids and TS is available from NORML’s publicationClinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.


stethescope doctor medical hospital

Cannabis Sales In Canada Are Not Associated With An Increase In Crash Hospitalizations

Earlier this week we covered a report that was recently issued by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation titled, “Recreational Cannabis Consumption Spaces in Canada.” The report was published with support from the Canada Safety Council and DRIVE SOBER®.

In many ways, the report failed to provide proper context and seemed to try to portray cannabis in the most negative light possible, with a heavy focus on public roadway fearmongering. The results of a recent traffic-injury study are proving to be quite timely, as the findings of this new study seem to contradict many points that were recently offered up by cannabis opponents.

A new study based out of Canada examined traffic-injury hospitalization data in an attempt to see if the launch of legal adult-use sales in Canada was associated with an increase in traffic-injury hospitalization rates. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Toronto, Canada: The implementation of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada is not associated with any increase in traffic injury-related hospitalizations, according to data published in the journal Addiction.

Investigators assessed nationwide rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations in the years before and immediately following legalization.

Authors concluded, “Overall, there is no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada.”

The findings are consistent with those of a 2021 Canadian study that similarly “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

Several studies from the United States also found no significant changes in traffic safety in the years immediately following the enactment of adult-use legalization. However, other assessments evaluating longer-term trends in traffic safety following legalization have yielded inconsistent results.

Full text of the study, “The effect of recreational cannabis legalization on rates of traffic injury in Canada,” appears in Addiction. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.


zurich switzerland

Limited Adult-Use Cannabis Sales Project Is Moving Forward In Zurich

Switzerland’s experiment with adult-use cannabis pilot programs is reportedly expanding, with Zurich’s city government and the Zurich University Hospital indicating today that the Federal Office of Public Health has given the ‘greenlight’ for the local pilot program to proceed later this year.

A cannabis pilot program is, in theory, designed to permit limited local cannabis commerce for the purpose of gaining insight and helping craft potential national cannabis industry laws, rules, and regulations. It gives lawmakers and regulators the opportunity to see what works and what does not work at the local level to help them be better suited to create and implement national policies.

Zurich will not be the first jurisdiction in Switzerland to launch limited adult-use sales as part of a pilot program. Back in early February Basel, Switzerland launched its pilot program with 180 participants after experiencing various delays. The Basel program will eventually involve 374 people total, all aged between 18 and 76.

The pilot program in Zurich, which is the result of a legal amendment adopted by the Swiss parliament in 2020 allowing for adult-use cannabis trials, will be considerably larger than the one in Basel. However, it will still be very limited in size compared to other legal adult-use markets around the globe. Per Swiss Info:

The project, Zuri Can – Cannabis with Responsibility, is intended to study the impact of regulated cannabis supply on the consumption and health of consumers.

The project was delayed last October following objections by the health office.

The sale of cannabis products from pharmacies and social clubs to control groups is now due to begin next August.

A maximum of 2,100 participants can take part in the large-scale pilot project in Switzerland’s biggest city.

Meanwhile, right on the other side of the border between Switzerland and Germany, adult-use cannabis legalization is on the move at the national level. It will be very interesting to see if/when Germany legalizes cannabis for adult use and launches regulated sales nationwide how it may affect Switzerland’s pilot programs.

Presumably, at least some amount of consumers that would have otherwise participated in a Switzerland pilot program will instead go to Germany to make their cannabis purchases.

Even for those that participate in the program at home, many will still travel to Germany for various reasons and consume cannabis there instead of back in Switzerland, and that may skew the results of the cannabis trials, at least to some degree. Switzerland would be better served by passing its own national cannabis legalization measure.

basel, Switzerland, zurich

older elderly senior citizen seniors

Australian Researchers Find Cannabis Oils To Be Effective For Symptom Management In Older Patients

Neurological disorders affect many people around the globe. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 1 billion people across the globe suffer from some type of neurological disorder. People over 50 years old are more likely to develop a neurological condition compared to younger people.

Neurological disorders are diseases that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems, including the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles.

Various pharmaceutical medications are regularly prescribed to help address symptoms of neurological conditions among elderly patients. Just as symptoms are wide-ranging, so too are the medications. One medication that is showing promise is cannabis, as demonstrated in a recent study out of Australia. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Sydney, Australia: The use of plant-derived cannabis oils containing balanced ratios of THC and CBD is generally safe and effective for patients suffering from neurological diseases, according to observational trial data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Australian researchers assessed the sustained use of cannabis extracts in 157 patients with treatment-resistant neurological, musculoskeletal, autoimmune, or anti-inflammatory disorders. (Under Australian law, physicians may only authorize medical cannabis to patients that have been unresponsive to conventional prescription treatments.)

Investigators reported that patients age 65 or older and/or those suffering from neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis, perceived the greatest overall benefits from cannabis therapy. Their findings are consistent with those of several other studies reporting health-related quality of life benefits among older patients who consume cannabis.

Subjects were most likely to report cannabis to be effective for improving sleep and for reducing pain – findings that are consistent with other studies. By contrast, patients suffering from spondylosis were least likely to perceive benefits from cannabis therapy.

Authors concluded: “This retrospective medical record review describes the population characteristics of patients using medicinal cannabis at a clinic in Sydney, Australia and provides data on the effectiveness and safety of medicinal cannabis treatment on patient conditions and indications. … [Its findings] indicate that medicinal cannabis, in a balanced formulation, may address a variety of non-cancer conditions and indications concurrently and can be safely prescribed by a medical doctor.”

Full text of the study, “A retrospective medical record review of adults with non-cancer diagnoses prescribed medical cannabis,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Additional information on cannabis use among older populations is available from NORML Fact Sheet ‘Cannabis Use by Older Populations.’


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