Calif. Research Shows Pot Can Ease Muscle Spasms
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Calif. Research Shows Pot Can Ease Muscle Spasms
Posted by CN Staff on February 17, 2010 at 14:09:26 PT
By Lisa Leff, The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Sacramento, Calif. -- The first U.S. clinical trials in more than two decades on the medical benefits of marijuana confirm pot is effective in reducing muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by certain neurological injuries or illnesses, according to a report issued Wednesday.Igor Grant, a psychiatrist who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said the five studies funded by the state involved volunteers who were randomly given real marijuana or placebos to determine if the herb provided relief not seen from traditional medicines.
"There is good evidence now that cannabinoids may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment," Grant said at a news conference where he presented the findings.The California Legislature established the research center in 2000 to examine whether the therapeutic claims of medical marijuana advocates could withstand scientific scrutiny. In 1996, state voters became the first in the nation to pass a law approving pot use for medical purposes.Thirteen other states have followed suit, but California is the only one so far to sponsor medical marijuana research. After 10 years and nearly $9 million, the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is preparing to wrap up its work next year.Along with the studies on muscle spasms and pain associated with spinal cord injuries and AIDS, the center also has funded research on how marijuana effects sleep and driving, limb pain due to diabetes, and whether inhaling vaporized cannabis is as effective as smoking it.A laboratory study supported by the center examined if pot could be helpful in treating migraine headaches and facial pain. In that study, rats given a cannabis-like drug exhibited reduced activity of nerve cells that transmit pain.State Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat who chairs a budget subcommittee on health and human services and supports medical marijuana, said he doubted there would be more financial support for the center given California's ongoing budget crisis.The federal government classifies marijuana as an illicit drug with no medical use but produces the only pot legally available for scientific research under a contract with the University of Mississippi.Grant said obtaining some of the Mississippi crop and meeting the complex security regulations required by the Drug Enforcement Agency and other federal agencies was time-consuming and cumbersome.Grant, however, had no problem with the quality of the government's supply. Its consistency was helpful in determining that patients who smoked less-potent marijuana enjoyed the same amount of pain relief but less mental confusion than those who inhaled a more powerful strain, he said.Such quality control is notably absent from the marijuana that patients with a doctor's recommendation can legally obtain in California through hundreds of cooperatives and storefront dispensaries, Grant said.He said more research was needed on how pot works and its side effects."Because we don't know the composition of the strains that are on the street, we don't know what patients really are getting," he said. "As a doctor I feel some discomfort when someone says take X or Y pill or herb because we think that might be helpful."Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Lisa Leff, The Associated Press Published: February 17, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on February 18, 2010 at 05:15:21 PT
I see your pragmatic point and it is not to be argued with.There will be the, down to tooth and nail, crowd. The point is to take away their ammo and reduce their numbers down to a whiny crowd.I see history as a struggle between liberty and oppression. Some are greedy for power and mammon, others are greedy for freedom!
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on February 18, 2010 at 04:59:31 PT
Good work Paul...
you leave us in awe!
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Comment #8 posted by Canis420 on February 17, 2010 at 20:31:33 PT:
Thanks sooo very much Paul!
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Comment #7 posted by HempWorld on February 17, 2010 at 19:18:24 PT
Yeah Baby!
This is it!Thanks Paul for your help!
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Comment #6 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 17, 2010 at 18:51:43 PT
GeoChemist,  Wishful Thinking
Science and wisdom are present, but not enough.There is still a lot of prejudice, and dim-wits. Of course, let us not forget the masters control on government, media, complexes, etc.
But as the country goes in the economic toilet, they risk their control on several fronts.
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Comment #5 posted by GeoChemist on February 17, 2010 at 18:30:34 PT
This is a nuke
I just finished reading the report; we have a real weapon here. Not only does the study list a review board it also lists a national advisory council and their affiliated universities, et al. The genie has now climed into a tank...............
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Comment #4 posted by paul Armentano on February 17, 2010 at 17:50:11 PT
‘Gold Standard’ Studies Show Marijuana Effective
‘Gold Standard’ Studies Show That Inhaled Marijuana Is Medically Safe And Effective State-Funded Clinical Trials Show Cannabis Eases Neuropathic Pain And Spasticity, Landmark Report Says	
Sacramento, CA: The results of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of inhaled marijuana consistently show that cannabis holds therapeutic value comparable to conventional medications, according to the findings of a 24-page report issued Wednesday to the California state legislature by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).
Four of the five placebo-controlled trials demonstrated that marijuana significantly alleviated neuropathy, a difficult to treat type of pain resulting from nerve damage. 
“There is good evidence now that cannabinoids (the active compounds in the marijuana plant) may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment for … neuropathy,” said Dr. Igor Grant, Director of the CMCR, at a news conference at the state Capitol. He added that the efficacy of smoked marijuana was “very consistent,” and that its pain-relieving effects were “comparable to the better existing treatments” presently available by prescription.A fifth study showed that smoked cannabis reduced the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. A separate study conducted by the CMCR established that the vaporization of cannabis – a process that heats the substance to a temperature where active cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion – is a "safe and effective" delivery mode for patients who desire the rapid onset of action associated with inhalation while avoiding the respiratory risks of smoking.Two additional clinical trials remain ongoing.The CMCR program was founded in 2000 following an $8.7 million appropriation from the California state legislature. The studies are some of the first placebo-controlled clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis as a medicine to take place in over two decades.
Placebo-controlled clinical crossover trials are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ method for assessing the efficacy of drugs under the US FDA-approval process.“These scientists created an unparalleled program of systematic research, focused on science-based answers rather than political or social beliefs,” said former California Senator John Vasconcellos, who sponsored the legislation in 1999 to launch the CMCR. Vasconcellos called the studies’ design “state of art,” and suggested that the CMCR’s findings “ought to settle the issue” of whether or not medical marijuana is a safe and effective medical treatment for patients.“This (report) confirms all of the anecdotal evidence – how lives have been saved and pain has been eased,” said California Democrat Sen. Mark Leno at the press conference. “Now we have the science to prove it.”Full text of the CMCR’s report to the California legislature is available at online at: more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul, or Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator, at: or (415) 563-5858.
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Comment #3 posted by Paul Armentano on February 17, 2010 at 17:39:02 PT
full listing of CMCR studies
ongoing, completed, and discontinued studies:
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Comment #2 posted by Paul Armentano on February 17, 2010 at 17:31:23 PT
FYI, I attended today's CMCR news conference...
at the state Capitol, and spoke extensively with Igor Grant. Folks were not tepid in their comments -- they were very positive about science having decisively established the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis, perhaps even as "first line" medicine in some cases. After all, these five studies were all placebo-controlled clinical crossover trials, which are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ method for assessing the efficacy of drugs under the FDA-approval process. I'm writing up the story now.The 24-page CMCR report is onlin at:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 17, 2010 at 15:54:50 PT
Study Proves Pot is Good Medicine 
February 17, 2010URL:
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