#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 06 Feb 2018 04:20:21 PST

Study: Marijuana Smoke Exposure Not Linked To Poor Lung Health

Aurora, CO: Long-term exposure to cannabis smoke is not associated with significant adverse effects on pulmonary function, according to clinical data published in the journal Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.

A team of investigators led by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health assessed the relationship between marijuana use and respiratory function in a cohort of 2,300 subjects ages 40 to 80, many of whom also smoked tobacco.

Authors reported, "Neither current nor former marijuana use was associated with increased risk of cough, wheeze, or chronic bronchitis when compared to never marijuana users. ... Current and former marijuana smokers had significantly higher FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) ... when compared to never users. ... Both current and former marijuana use was associated with significantly less quantitative emphysema ... when compared to never users, even after adjusting for age, ... current tobacco smoking pack years, and BMI. ... In agreement with other published studies, we also did not find that marijuana use was associated with more obstructive lung disease."

Researchers also reported that the long-term combined use of tobacco and cannabis was not associated with any additive adverse effects on the lungs. They concluded, "Among older adults with a history of tobacco use, marijuana use does not appear to increase risk for adverse lung function. ... There may be no to little increased risk of marijuana use for a further increase in respiratory symptoms or adverse effects ... among those with a history of concomitant tobacco use."

Prior longitudinal studies assessing the effects of long-term cannabis smoke exposure on lung function have similarly reported that subjects' marijuana use history is not positively associated with increased incidences of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, or with other significant detrimental effects on pulmonary function.

Full text of the study, "Marijuana use associations with pulmonary symptoms and function in tobacco smokers enrolled in the subpopulations and intermediate outcome measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS)," appears in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.

Study: Marijuana Use Doesn't Negatively Impact Human Fertility

Boston, MA: Marijuana use does not negatively impact fertility rates in either men or women, according to data published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Investigators at Boston University's School of Public Health evaluated the association between female and male use of marijuana and fecundability (the probability of conception) in 1,125 couples over a period of four years.

Researchers reported that conception probabilities did not differ among couples who used cannabis versus those who did not. "In this preconception cohort study, there was little overall association between female or male marijuana use and fecundability," authors concluded.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Marijuana use and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study," appears in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

FDA Grants 'Priority Review' Of Plant-Derived CBD Extract

Washington, DC: Representatives of the US Food and Drug Administration will undertake a 'priority review' of data specific to the safety and efficacy of Epidiolex, a standardized, plant-derived CBD extract formulated by a British pharmaceutical company. The review is scheduled to be completed by June 27, 2018.

Phase III clinical trial data shows that Epidiolex administration reduces seizure frequency in various hard-to-treat conditions, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

To date, the FDA has approved three marijuana-based pharmaceuticals - dronabinol (aka Marinol), nabilone (aka Cesamet), and liquid dronabinol (aka Syndros). All three of these products primarily consist of synthetic forms of THC.

If Epidiolex achieves FDA-approval, analysts suggest the product could retail for between $30,000 to $60,000 annually.

Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Prevalence Of Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease

Salem, MA: Cannabis use appears to be protective against liver disease progression in subjects who frequently consume alcohol, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Liver International.

An international team of researchers from the United States and Canada assessed the relationship between cannabis use and incidences of liver disease in individuals who regularly consumed alcohol.

Investigators reported: "[A]mong alcohol users, individuals who additionally use cannabis showed significantly lower odds of developing alcoholic steatosis (fatty liver disease), steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of liver cancer in adults). ... Our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with reduced incidences of liver disease in alcoholics."

Prior studies have reported that those who use cannabis are also significantly less likely than non-users to be diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Full text of the study, "Cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of progressive stages of alcoholic liver disease," appears in Liver International.

San Francisco: District Attorney's Office To Dismiss Thousands Of Past Marijuana Convictions

San Francisco, CA: City officials have announced plans to automatically expunge thousands of past marijuana possession convictions.

The San Francisco District Attorney's office says that it will review, dismiss, and seal an estimated 3,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975. The office also intends to review and resentence many past felony convictions.

Provisions in the state's 2016 voter-approved marijuana law allow those with past marijuana convictions to petition the court for expungement. However, because this process is often time consuming and can cost hundreds of dollars in legal fees, San Francisco's D.A. George Gascón says that his office will instead "wipe out convictions en masse."

"This example, one of many across our state, underscores the true promise of Proposition 64 - providing new hope and opportunities to Californians, primarily people of color, whose lives were long ago derailed by a costly, broken and racially discriminatory system of marijuana criminalization," California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

Legislation is pending in the California Assembly, AB 1793, that seeks to expand this automatic expungement process statewide.

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