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Talking about fake news..... seems that some of the claims re the benefits of MJ are questionable.

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Many cannabis health claims aren't backed by science

Fervour over how cannabis could help patients suffering from various ailments has run wildly ahead of what scientific studies have proven it can do, experts say.

'There's a lot more hype than evidence,' researcher says

Sheryl Ubelacker · The Canadian Press · Posted: Aug 15, 2018 7:15 PM ET | Last Updated: August 15
 
canntrust-20180626.jpg
A technician sorts cannabis at a medical growing facility in Ontario. There is strong evidence that cannabis can help alleviate some medical conditions, but there are many other health claims that have not been scientifically proven. (Tijana Martin/Canadian Press)
Google the word "cannabis" coupled with just about any disease — arthritis, epilepsy, even cancer — and there are all sorts of health claims made about what some have come to view as a potential wonder drug.

But fervour over what cannabis might do has run wildly ahead of what scientific studies have proven it can do, experts say.

"I think right now there's a lot more hype than evidence and there's a lot more enthusiasm for its widespread application than there are good trials to support such expansive use," says Jason Busse, co-director of the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research at McMaster University in Hamilton.

"Some of the things that I've heard that are a little bit more worrisome are on websites from companies producing these products, making claims for almost anything and everything," Busse says.

"There's a lot of hyperbole out there right now and I think there's a real risk that patients, who are desperate because of the limited options they have for their condition, are embracing very enthusiastically some of these claims."

Science-based benefits

So what are the legitimate, science-based benefits of the cannabis plant, whose purported therapeutic properties have been extolled for millennia?

There's strong evidence that certain cannabinoid components in marijuana can help alleviate nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, reduce muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis, and help people with AIDS-related anorexia regain lost weight.

Those cannabinoids — most notably tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient, and cannabidiol (CBD) — also have been shown to reduce pain in some people. Preliminary evidence suggests cannabis may help replace or reduce the dosage of opioids prescribed for pain control.

Dr. Mark Ware, a professor at Montreal's McGill University who has spent two decades researching pain, says marijuana doesn't appear to do much for acute pain resulting from trauma or surgery.

However, studies have shown cannabis may be effective in easing chronic neuropathic pain — the burning/stabbing discomfort caused by nerve damage — including that experienced by some diabetics.

"There hasn't been a lot of work on chronic inflammatory pain, chronic migraines, fibromyalgia and so on," says Ware, who recently went on temporary leave from McGill to become chief medical officer at Canopy Growth Corp., an Ontario-based licensed cannabis producer.

"It doesn't mean that they don't work for some of the conditions, it's just simply that we haven't looked yet."

Hope for arthritis patients?

Arthritis, both rheumatoid and osteo, is one disease where cannabis is creating a lot of buzz, in large part because a growing number of patients swear by it for easing stiff, swollen and painful joints.

"We know there's a lot of anecdotal evidence coming from patients who use medical cannabis to help manage symptoms of their arthritis, but of course we have to put some sort of scientific beef behind that," said researcher Jason McDougall, a professor of pharmacology and anesthesia at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Still, pre-clinical trials in animal models of arthritis are sparking hopes that cannabis may prove effective in humans, so much so that the Canadian Arthritis Society is funding research into cannabinoids.

"They have this whole slew of different beneficial properties that we're finding in the lab," says McDougall, who has an Arthritis Society grant to investigate the effects of injecting cannabinoids directly into arthritic joints using animal models.

"We know they're good for pain relief, they help with fatigue and we're finding that they can help repair the nerves in the joint, which become damaged in arthritis, and that they can be anti-inflammatory as well."

Difficult to prove

Dr. Danial Schecter, co-founder of the Canabo Medical Clinic, says about 70 per cent of the patients referred to him are seeking relief for chronic pain. But he also has patients whose major complaint is some form of anxiety.

"The area where we have most difficulty is in mental health conditions," says Schecter, who practises in Toronto and Barrie, Ont. "That's probably where there's the biggest disconnect is in the evidence in the use of cannabis for mental health disorders ... and the health claims that are made on the internet."

He doesn't recommend medicinal cannabis for general anxiety disorders except in specific cases. One backed by a growing body of research is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a condition marked by flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts related to a life-threatening experience such as combat.

"THC injected has been shown to be beneficial to reduce nightmares, allow these people to get a better night's sleep, so that the next day they have more resilience and they can consolidate new ways of thinking in a much better way."

Dravet syndrome

Where cannabis — specifically CBD oil — is also showing promise is in the treatment of children with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy that often doesn't respond to standard anticonvulsant drugs.

A small number of studies have shown that CBD oil can reduce or virtually eliminate seizures in some kids with Dravet's, and in June the U.S. FDA approved Epidiolex, the first cannabidiol-based medication for treating Dravet's and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, another rare pediatric epilepsy.

Excitement over cannabis as a potential neurotherapeutic has prompted some parents to use CBD oil to treat their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), despite a dearth of scientific support for any benefit and in the face of concerns over detrimental effects on the developing brain.

Chris Lawrence of Aurora, Ont., north of Toronto, says before he tried cannabis, he spent thousands of dollars on so-called therapies for his autistic son Logan, but none helped his symptoms.

The six-year-old is non-verbal, suffers from hyperactivity and engages in "stimming" — including rapid flapping of his hands for sometimes hours on end — and self-harm from slamming his head or heels against hard objects. Stimming is short for self-stimulatory behaviour, a common symptom of ASD.

Logan would also have three to five "level 5" meltdowns a day, hitting himself, screaming and throwing things, "crying so hard he would pass out," says Lawrence. "And there was no consoling him."

Desperate for something to help his son, Lawrence turned to oral doses of CBD oil after researching its purported benefits online, most of that through anecdotal reports from other parents of children with autism.

"The very first day we gave Logan CBD, he didn't have a single meltdown and he has not had a level 5 since," says his father, explaining that he and his wife assigned that number to his worst tantrums.

Since starting CBD oil in October 2017, "his temper was shot right down. His stimming was cut in half, his eye contact went up 10-fold. He started sleeping through the night."

Yet Lawrence is quick to point out "it's not a cure, it really isn't, but it alleviates some of the major symptoms."

'Make that evidence happen'

So is cannabis the panacea so many people seem to believe?

The consensus, at least from the scientific community, is that much more rigorous, high-quality research is needed to answer questions about marijuana's legitimate therapeutic uses and — critically — its potential harms.

"That's part of the reason for my move to industry," says Ware, who is co-ordinating clinical research at Canopy Growth with the aim of developing cannabis-based medicines.

"I'm tired of hearing that there's not enough evidence. I want to help make that evidence happen," he says, adding that much of the push to investigate cannabis medicinally has arisen because of the breadth of anecdotal reports about its apparent benefits.

"This is really a patient-driven phenomenon and will continue to be. So if we're listening, if we're paying attention, we will be handed the research questions by the very patients whom we hope to treat."

 

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Legalization always has been and always will be about votes! Trudeau could care less about any consequences his reckless legislation may bring.

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Let's clear up some misconceptions about cannabis addiction. First off: yes, it's real

“ Cannabis addiction is qualitatively different from a heroin addiction, for example, insofar as it is much less intense and not directly life-threatening. But it is also not trivial because it can lead to significant life-altering challenges, including problems with relationships, work, school and mental health. Indeed, one hallmark of addiction is when substance use directly and repeatedly activates the brain-reward system, ultimately leading to significant distress and interference with daily functioning.

Clearing up misconceptions

 

My particular focus on cannabis addiction is not meant to undermine or negate the potential benefits of cannabis, but rather it is a reflection of my role as a clinical psychologist who has researched and treated people with cannabis addiction for over 10 years.

 

Last month, I published a piece for Slate about cannabis addiction and was inundated with responses containing a multitude of misconceptions: that cannabis addiction is purely psychological, that cannabis withdrawal is not real, that only those with addictive personalities are susceptible and that cannabis addiction as a phenomenon does not exist at all. I want to address some of those misconceptions here.

 

For those who believe that cannabis addiction is not real: I encourage you to take a tour of an addiction treatment program. There, you will find people who voluntarily show up for help and are struggling to reassemble their lives as a consequence of an addiction to a substance that many people consider relatively harmless. “

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/cannabis-addiction-1.4789187

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Liberals approve first saliva screening roadside test for marijuana

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has approved the Drager DrugTest 5000 as the first saliva screening equipment to be used by law enforcement to test for THC, the main psychoactive agent in cannabis.
The Canadian Press · Posted: Aug 27, 2018 6:22 PM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
Police forces across the country have been asking the federal government for clarity around roadside tests for drug impaired driving as cannabis legalization nears. (CBC)
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is giving the green light to a new roadside test to check for drugs.

On Monday, Wilson-Raybould approved the Drager DrugTest 5000 as the first saliva screening equipment to be used by law enforcement to test for THC, the main psychoactive agent in cannabis.

The equipment will now be made available to police forces across the country, but the government says it will still be up to police forces to decide what testing equipment they want to use.

Manufacturers have told the government that they could meet demand for roadside saliva testing equipment within four to six weeks.

Legislation that passed Parliament in June allows for the use of roadside saliva tests to detect the presence of drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

The Liberals have pledged $161 million in funding for police training and drug-testing equipment over the next five years, as well as a public awareness campaign about the perils of driving while high.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said last month that it is unlikely to reach its goal of having 2,000 officers trained to spot drug-impaired drivers when marijuana becomes legal later this year.

Cannabis will become legal for recreational use on Oct. 17.

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Is it perfected?  By all means probably not.

Much like the breathalyzers used for alcohol drinking drivers, this technology will improve with time.  Between that, education, and better law enforcement, hopefully over time people will mature and it will be just like alcohol.

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With 6 weeks till pot legal, golf industry must decide about smoking on links

The golf industry must soon decide how it will handle marijuana smoking out on the links with six weeks to go until the drug is legalized.

British Columbia Golf Association survey finds younger players plan to smoke weed

CBC News · Posted: Sep 04, 2018 8:29 AM PT | Last Updated: September 4
 
Businesses and golfers are pondering how to handle marijuana smoking on the links after pot becomes legal on Oct. 17. (CBC)

To puff or to putt — or both.

That's the question facing golfers and businesses with a little over six weeks to go before marijuana is legalized on Oct. 17.

Players, for their part, are deciding whether they choose to use before or during a round. Private golf courses will need to choose whether they will allow marijuana — or players under the influence — on the green once the drug is legal. 

     
The National
A toke with your golf stroke: does pot have a place on the green? 
Golf B.C. has asked thousands of golfers for their thoughts — and opinions are mixed.

Some golfers think it's a great idea.

"It's a nice place [to use], out of the neighbourhood," said Cameron Burns, who was out for a round in Vancouver on Labour Day Monday.

"Helps my game out, that's for sure."

Dan Gleadle says he's indifferent about pot on the green, though he says he dsn't know "why anyone would want to" be high on the course. (CBC)Others players, not so much."I don't know why you'd want to, honestly, but if anybody did … who cares?" said Dan Gleadle, another golfer. "To each his own, as far as I'm concerned."The British Columbia Golf Association surveyed thousands of its members about the issue over the summer, and results found the issue is divided by age.More than half of players under the age of 35 said they planned to smoke weed on the links, but only 10 per cent over the age of 55 said they would do the same.Golfers line up at the driving range in Vancouver on Labour Day Monday. A British Columbia Golf Association survey found more young players are in favour of marijuana on golf courses once the drug is legalized in Canada, while older players skew in the other direction. (CBC)Kris Jonasson, the association's chief executive, said some older respondents are even worried about running into players under the influence during a game.The National Golf Course Owners Association Canada has said policies for staff and golfers need to be instated once pot is legalized.Municipal bylaws might make decisions on what's allowed and what isn't on behalf of some businesses.But some private courses — many of which already allow alcohol and cigarettes — will be left to make their own choice.Golfers enjoy a day on the links Monday in Vancouver. Municipal bylaws might decide what's allowed and what isn't on golf courses. (CBC)Cindy Zheng, a corporate employment lawyer in Vancouver, said those business owners could run into trouble trying to enforce an outright ban on one drug and not another.  "You might be perceived as being discriminatory — treating one group of people in a more preferential manner than another group, when both substances [alcohol and cannabis] are legal," she said.  "You would have to make sure that you are enforcing it properly." 

 

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How to spot a cannabis overdose

marijuana edibles

Edible marijuana products are displayed for sale at a Weeds Glass & Gifts medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Vancouver on May 1, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

     
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
     

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, September 7, 2018 8:54AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 7, 2018 9:48AM EDT

Although overdoses aren’t commonly associated with cannabis, consuming too much of the drug can lead to hospitalization and cause accidents resulting in serious injury or death.

With the impending legalization of recreational marijuana, physicians in Canada are already seeing an increase in emergency room visits by patients overdosing on the drug.

For example, the cases in Ontario have more than tripled in the last three years to nearly 1,500 last year, according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Medical expert Dr. Julielynn Wong explained that cannabis overdoses are most often caused by people taking too many edibles, which are food products infused with THC – the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

“Edibles pose a high risk overdose because unlike smoked marijuana, edibles take a longer time to take effect so people may consume more to feel the effects faster and this can lead to an overdose or serious injury or death,” she told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday.

Wong said many edibles users can be caught off guard by the “delayed, stronger, and longer lasting effects” if they’re more accustomed to smoking or vaping cannabis.

How to recognize a cannabis overdose:

If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose from cannabis, these are the signs to watch for, according to Wong.

  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Extreme confusion
  • Loss of contact with reality
  • Seizures

Wong said cannabis overdoses can often lead to dangerous situations that may result in serious injury or death, such as a car accident or a fall.

What to do in the case of an overdose:

If you suspect you or someone else is overdosing on cannabis, Wong said it’s important to call your local poison control centre, healthcare provider, the emergency department of your nearest hospital, or 911.

If the person overdosing is awake, Wong said they should try to take small sips of water to drink. Do not try to force the person experiencing the cannabis overdose to vomit, she advised.

How to prevent an overdose:

Wong said the most obvious way to prevent a cannabis overdose is to avoid consuming the drug, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking prescription medication. However, if you do want to take edibles, she said it’s best to start with a small dose.

“Do not consume more than the recommended serving amount of 10 milligrams of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana,” she advised. “Make sure you read the package labels so you know how much THC is in the edible you’re consuming.”

It’s also a good idea to have someone with you when you consume an edible, according to Wong. She said edibles can sometimes take two or more hours before you will feel the effects so it’s important to be patient.

Wong also reminded cannabis users to store edibles in child-proof containers that are out of the reach of children and pets.

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Alcohol overdose.... Anyone look at those stats?  Probably far higher numbers.

 

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This strikes me as false equivalency though. How is it that something is deemed good simply because it’s not as bad as something else? If that’s all it takes, I have the solution to the handgun problem in Toronto… simply pass out free shotguns.

My question is simple, will adding another legal intoxicant increase the incidents of impaired driving? Will introducing a new source of smoking cause lung cancer rates to spike now that we are getting a handle on tobacco? If the answer to both is no…. then go for it. But beware Dalton’s law of partial pressures, they add up quickly and before you know it even oxygen becomes poisonous. 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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I think the point being missed is that at this time in history more people consume pot than alcohol.

So legalizing it will introduce more controls.

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3 hours ago, deicer said:

I think the point being missed is that at this time in history more people consume pot than alcohol.

So legalizing it will introduce more controls.

Even worse then…  we legalize something previously illegal because more people are using the illegal product illegally?

I could entertain you at some length with examples of that being faulty logic. It's either a good idea on its own merits or it’s not. IMO, control measures are not enhanced by removing the controls previously being ignored unless you have a low threshold for measuring the success of your control measures.       

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Up to now, there was no way of measuring if someone was stoned while driving.  Now they have developed a mobile test.  That's an improvement.

Weed will be sold legally, the taxes and profits going to the people instead of criminals.  That's an improvement.

Legal weed opens the dialogue to effects of consuming the product and towards educating people of it's use. That's an improvement.

Time to move forward and be progressive in our laws and policies.  

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While I applaud the development of mobile testing, I think we’ve learned from impaired driving that deterrence is a function of stiff penalties coupled with the likelihood of being caught. IMO, legalization is likely to result in more instances of impaired driving than the existence of a test protocol will deter. In any case, development of a mobile test need not have been tied to legalization of the product even though I concede that it was. I would count not having it in place and deployed previously a failure rather than an improvement.

There are certainly other victimless products and activities that could be legalized and taxed… so in my view, taxation, in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily constitute an improvement to society at large. In addition, the notion that educational efforts are tied to a drugs legal status seems at odds with our experience with tobacco. Regardless though, it’s all moot now and we will see how the grand experiment unfolds in due course… I doubt all this progressiveness will make  motorcyclists feel any safer though. Cheers

 

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8 hours ago, deicer said:

Up to now, there was no way of measuring if someone was stoned while driving.  Now they have developed a mobile test.  That's an improvement.

Weed will be sold legally, the taxes and profits going to the people instead of criminals.  That's an improvement.

Legal weed opens the dialogue to effects of consuming the product and towards educating people of it's use. That's an improvement.

Time to move forward and be progressive in our laws and policies.  

You honestly think that people will stop buying weed from unregulated suppliers?  you are delusional.  Government produced weed is weak by comparison.  Yes the THC is better balanced with THC levels making it a tamer product but thats not what the "kids" want these days. 

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7 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

While I applaud the development of mobile testing, I think we’ve learned from impaired driving that deterrence is a function of stiff penalties coupled with the likelihood of being caught. IMO, legalization is likely to result in more instances of impaired driving than the existence of a test protocol will deter. In any case, development of a mobile test need not have been tied to legalization of the product even though I concede that it was. I would count not having it in place and deployed previously a failure rather than an improvement.

There are certainly other victimless products and activities that could be legalized and taxed… so in my view, taxation, in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily constitute an improvement to society at large. In addition, the notion that educational efforts are tied to a drugs legal status seems at odds with our experience with tobacco. Regardless though, it’s all moot now and we will see how the grand experiment unfolds in due course… I doubt all this progressiveness will make  motorcyclists feel any safer though. Cheers

 

decriminalization would have been the better approach.  We still put the protections in place to catch impaired drivers (weed) but we do not arrest and criminally charge the users for possession and the like.

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I agree....since when could the govt compete with the private sector?? The small guys will compete on price to protect their turf.

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1 hour ago, boestar said:

decriminalization would have been the better approach.  We still put the protections in place to catch impaired drivers (weed) but we do not arrest and criminally charge the users for possession and the like.

The better approach would have been to defeat the problem rather than run from it.

The legalization of smoking a once illegal drug is a bass ackward approach to solving a problem that should have been eliminated.  Instead Trudeau embraced it for political gain at the expense of our youth.

At at the end of the day, the only thing that’s going to change is the number of people smoking pot will dramatically increase. 

It’s also an undeniable fact that a certain yet unknown % will move up the food chain to even worse life destroying drugs.  

The cartels will not be deterred...they will lower their prices to compete below Trudeau’s.

The inevitable health costs over time will no doubt sky rocket

Well done Justin! Your idiotic social engineering agenda trumps basic grade 3 level common sense yet again.

Edited by Jaydee

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17 minutes ago, st27 said:

I agree....since when could the govt compete with the private sector?? The small guys will compete on price to protect their turf.

Yes indeed, the law of unintended consequences will prevail. The only other constant is our capacity to ignore it.

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The better approach would have been to defeat the problem rather than run from it.

The legalization of smoking a once illegal drug is a bass ackward approach to solving a problem that should have been eliminated.  Instead Trudeau embraced it for political gain at the expense of our youth.

 

Problem?  What problem?

The only "Problem" is that Pot was made illegal for reasons not related to its deleterious effects but rather economic ones.

I think you would be very surprised at how many older people partake of the plant.  Very Surprised.  It is not a "youth issue"

By your logic the once illegal drug ALCOHOL should be banned as well.

Health costs Skyrocketing?  Really?  Show me a single case of Pot overdose from clean pot.  Doesn't happen.  you fall asleep long before you reach any saturation point.  Same logic would apply to smoking tobacco.  but wait.. Commercial tobacco contains many additives that are carcinogenic in nature.  Pot does not contain any of them.

If you are so worried the place a prohibition on cigarettes and alcohol.

BTW I personally do not partake of tobacco or pot but have been known to take a swig of some good old spirits from time to time. 

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I’m not opposed to this and I’m not even opposed to a variety of other initiatives but find myself always asking the same question. Are you willing to pay the bill? 

Green energy comes at a cost, are you willing to pay it? Immigration without a rock solid integration plan comes at a cost, are you willing to pay it? Establishing your city as a sanctuary city comes at a cost, are you willing to pay it? Establishing a safe injection site comes at a cost, are you willing to pay it? Introducing another legal intoxicant to the public comes at a cost, are you willing to pay it?

If the answer is yes, then go ahead, you have my blessing. The problem is, most liberal minded folks simply are not. Instead of convincing me that something is better or worse, popular or unpopular, dangerous or innocuous, you only need to promise me that you are willing to pay the damn bill... so far, I see little evidence of this side of the equation being as popular as the left side of the equal sign.

 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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