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THC – Harmful even at low doses?
 
Last week’s issue of The Lancet Psychiatry published a meta-analysis of 15 studies that demonstrate a single dose of THC induces positive (including delusions and hallucinations), negative (such as blunted affect and amotivation), and general (including depression and anxiety) psychiatric symptoms.
 
CBD does not induce such symptoms, nor does it moderate the effects of THC as is commonly believed.
 
“These findings highlight the acute risks of cannabis use, which are highly relevant as medical, societal, and political interest in cannabinoids continues to grow,” say the researchers. The findings “highlight the potential risks associated with the use of cannabis and other cannabinoids that contain THC for recreational or therapeutic purposes.”
 
This week’s issue contains a commentary which concludes, “There is sufficient evidence to warn people that using THC could increase their risk of developing psychiatric symptoms or even a psychotic illness.”
 
Read “Psychiatric symptoms caused by cannabis constituents: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” (full text) in The Lancet Psychiatry here.
Read “THC – Harmful even at low doses?” in this week’s issue here.

 
What’s wrong with this picture
in the age of COVID-19?
 
It’s not just that they’re less than six feet apart, it’s that they are practicing the counter-culture tradition of sharing a joint. What if he has the virus?
 
A New York Post article writes that “health-conscious potheads find themselves rethinking weed etiquette.” Maybe, but are they doing enough to protect themselves and each other?
 
One user advises putting those more vulnerable first. “People with compromised immune systems or without insurance will take the initial hit [of weed] before sharing it with others.”
 
This woman keeps a gold joint-tip for when others share a joint with her. “It’s like a small cigarette holder,” she says. “I can insert the joint into it and have a clean tip.” We’re not supposed to touch elevator buttons with our bare fingers, but it’s okay to handle a joint from someone else?
 
Marijuana users, please! Listen to the experts. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep six feet between you and anyone else. Wash your hands frequently. And stop sharing joints!
 
Read New York Post article here.

 
Is marijuana an “essential” like milk or bread? Some states say yes.

History may look back on the US in 2020 and conclude the country took leave of its senses.
 
The marijuana industry has developed so much clout with (spent so much money on) state lawmakers and regulators that it has persuaded many states to declare pot shops and medical dispensaries “essential” businesses. 
  • Over the past week, marijuana sales have soared in states like California, Colorado, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
  • Nevada pot shops and dispensaries can operate so long as they don’t allow crowds to form, so stores encourage customers to order online or by phone.
  • Illinois lets customers pick up pot supplies curbside or in parking lots.
  • Other states are waiving rules and allowing deliveries for the first time.
  • Curaleaf, with 53 dispensaries in 17 states, has designated its first hour in the day for those ages 60 or older to shop. 
Meanwhile, marijuana advocacy groups and individuals are trumpeting this news as a sign that marijuana “has arrived at the forefront of mainstream American society.”
 
“Now, in the era of expanding legalization, cannabis providers in many states are held up as vital members of the community who are providing a valuable service on par with picking up prescription drugs at a pharmacy or filling up your car at a gas station,” claims Forbes.
 
Advocacy groups are pressuring state officials to keep recreational pot shops open for people who use the drug therapeutically but “don’t necessarily jump through the hoops needed in order to become officially certified as patients.”
 
Read New York Times article here. Read Forbes article here.

 
NIDA issues a request for information to establish a standard unit dose of THC in marijuana used for research
 
Nora Volkow, MD, director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, maintains a blog on the agency’s website. Monday, she announced that NIDA has issued a Request for Information from the research community, other stakeholders, and the public regarding the establishment of a standard dose of THC in marijuana to facilitate research.
 
As states make marijuana more available through legalization, there is a critical need to understand the effects – both adverse and potentially therapeutic. “One hindrance to conducting such research is the lack of a standardized measure of the THC in various cannabis products, making it hard to compare the results of different studies,” she says.
 
All are encouraged to contribute comments to this RFI.
 
Read Nora’s Blog here.

 
Controls to enhance the cultivation of marijuana for research in the US
 
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking Monday to expand the number of companies that grow pharmaceutical-grade marijuana for research.
 
It is long and complicated but will enable an expansion of the number of manufacturers that can grow marijuana for research. Currently, this job is done exclusively by the University of Mississippi Marijuana Research Project.
 
Three different kinds of bulk research-grade marijuana producers are described, and all will be required to sell their end product to DEA, which will distribute it to researchers.
 
Read DEA document here.

 
FDA sends more warning letters
to online vaping companies
 
The US Food and Drug Administration issued more warning letters to vaping product manufacturers this week, including Vape Orb/Slackers Brew Enterprise, which is marketing “Intensed Juice – Oreo Dunked! e-liquid with labeling and/or advertising that causes it to imitate food products, particularly ones that are marketed toward, and/or appealing to, children” (see above).
 
The companies that received warning letters from FDA, including this one, have 15 days to correct violations or face “civil money penalties, criminal prosecution, seizure, and/or injunction.”
 
Read FDA warning letter to Vape Orb/Slackers Brew Enterprises here.
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Did you know that in addition to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter, National Families in Action also publishes The Marijuana Report website? There you can find summaries of (and access to) scientific marijuana studies, the growth of the commercial marijuana industry, and what families and communities are doing to restrain it. Begin at our Welcome Page to access all the resources The Marijuana Report website offers.
 
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor, Sue Rusche. Editor, Nicole Carter. Proofreading, Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus. IT Consultant, Lee Clontz. Social Media Coordinators, Margarita Eberline, Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, and Nicole Carter.
National Families in Action Board of Directors
William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board, Coldwell Banker Atlanta. Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta. Richard L. Brown, Secretary, Attorney (Ret.), Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Jeannine F. Adams, Director, President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta. Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director, Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta. LLP, Atlanta. Debbie Berndt, Director, Parent Movement 2.0, Walnut Creek, California. Margarita Eberline, Director, Strategy Director, Ultim Marketing, Atlanta. Robert Margolis, PhD, Director, Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia. Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, Director, Birmingham, Alabama.
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.), United Parcel Service, Atlanta.
 

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