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Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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The Marijuana Policy Project promotes their drug as a substitute for opiate pain pills.  Like the worst offenders in the opiate industry, the cannabis lobby follows an addiction-for-profit business model. Their master plan needs 80% of the demand to be met by 20% of the users.  Science shows no evidence for using medical marijuana as a substitute for pain pills.

Governor David Ige of Hawaii wisely refused to cave to lobbyists, and he vetoed a measure that would have allowed medical marijuana to treat opiate addiction.

large-scale, major study from Australia demonstrates that cannabis doesn’t work as a substitute for opiate pills in instances of chronic, non-cancer pain.  The study came out in July, 2018 and it supports the findings of an American study published in September, 2017.

The three-year research  study by Olfson, Wall et. al., Cannabis use and the Risk of Prescription Opioid Use Disorder, 2018, concluded: “Cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder.”   More than a year ago, Dr. Ken Finn, professional advisorto Parents Opposed to Pot, published Current Research on Marijuana in Pain is lacking.

It seems we should NOT be encouraging “medical” marijuana use if our goal is to stop  addiction. Theodore Caputi and Keith Humphreys recently published in the Journal of Addiction: Medical marijuana users are more likely to use prescription drugs medically and nonmedically.  They concluded: “Medical marijuana users should be a target population in efforts to combat nonmedical prescription drug use.”   See our page on Marijuana vs. Pain Pills.

The Canadian Family Physicians wrote an editorial about Medical Marijuana in February, 2018, p. 87, after devoting an entire issue to the journal on medical marijuana.  Like the NAS report in the United States, the Canadian physicians reviewed hundreds of relevant studies. In the editorial, they concluded:

“Evidence indicates the most consistent effects of medical cannabinoids are adverse events.  A variety of adverse events have a greater magnitude of effect than the potential benefits for the conditions targeted.

Read the Clinical Conundrum of Medical Marijuana for more information.   Dr. Ken Finn treats pain patients at of Springs Rehab in Colorado Springs.  He advises that there are more than 600 drug interactions with medical marijuana.   Are any medical marijuana dispensaries giving these warnings?  Another Colorado doctor who advocates marijuana for pain recently stated that marijuana edibles and concentrates should be banned.

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Jumping the Gun on ‘Marijuana as medicine’!  At What Price?

It is no accident that in almost the same week both Australia and UK have decided that cannabis is to be recommended for a host of medical disorders mostly in advance of gold standard clinical trials. This is a direct product of the organized transnational global drug liberalization movement orchestrated from New York 1.

I wish to most respectfully disagree with the points made by BMJ editor Dr. God lee. Diarrhoea and colic occur in cannabis withdrawal; Crohn’s disease has a prominent immune aspect, and cannabinoids are likely acting partly as immune modulators. Statements from patients are uninterpretable without understanding the treatments tried, their withdrawal symptomatology and their personal preferences.

Most importantly, as Dr Godlee states, cannabis is a mixture of 104 cannabinoids. The tide cannot be both out and in at the same time. Medicines in western nations are universally pure substances. This comprises a fundamental difficulty.

Medical research has confirmed that the body’s endocannabinoid system is a finely regulated and highly complex system which is involved in the detailed regulation of essentially all body systems including the brain and cardiovascular systems and stem cell niches.

Studies have shown that the rate of use of cannabis by expecting mothers closely parallels that in the wider community. In fact given the long half-life of cannabis in tissues even were a maternal habitual smoker to stop when she discovered her pregnancy, her infant would continue to be exposed to her on-board cannabinoid load for several months afterwards during critical periods of organogenesis. And other studies show that the father’s cannabis use is even more damaging than the mothers’ 2.

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Medical research has confirmed that the body’s endocannabinoid system is a finely regulated and highly complex system which is involved in the detailed regulation of essentially all body systems including the brain and cardiovascular systems and stem cell niches.  

Studies have shown that the rate of use of cannabis by expecting mothers closely parallels that in the wider community.  In fact given the long half-life of cannabis in tissues even were a maternal habitual smoker to stop when she discovered her pregnancy, her infant would continue to be exposed to her on-board cannabinoid load for several months afterwards during critical periods of organogenesis.  And other studies show that the father’s cannabis use is even more damaging than the mothers’.

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We wanted to make sure you had seen four key studies just into play

  • groundbreaking study in The Lancet found that marijuana use over four years actually made it harder for patients to cope with chronic pain, and did not reduce their use of opioids.
  • study in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that increasing self-exposure to non-medical marijuana was a predictor of greater odds of opioid dependencediagnosis.
  • study in the International Review of Psychiatry found an increased rate of serious mental illness in states that had legalized medical marijuana.
  • In JAMA: "(The) associated acute and long-term psychoactive effects on brain function (of marijuana) are...known. Expanding use of cannabis among pregnant and lactating women (as likely will occur with legalization) may lead to increased risk from fetal and child exposures if the teratogenic potential of cannabis remains underappreciated."

Additional Resources on Link Between Marijuana and Opioids

These articles follow other warnings from medical professionals: the recent editorial published in the Journal of the Society for the Study of Addiction, which cautions against drawing policy conclusions from population studies, and the editorial comment from the American Society of Addiction Medicine on February 20, 2018. And don't forget NIDA's rigorous study showing pot users are twice as likely to have abused opioids and have an opioid use disorder than non-marijuana users.

SAM has published a one-pager describing the overwhelming link between marijuana and opioid abuse. While not every marijuana user will go on to use heroin, nearly all heroin users previously abused marijuana. We need smart policies that discourage use, get people back on their feet, and restore people to participate in and contribute to society. States that have legalized marijuana, by contrast, see increased drugged driving, increased arrests of minority youth, and increased emergency room visits. Colorado is experiencing the highest number of drug overdoses in its history. Legalization is a failed experiment.

 

Sincerely, Dr. Kevin Sabet President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)                         

Affiliated Fellow, Yale University

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Cannabidiol is a chemical that occurs in hemp plants and marijuana. It is possible that cannabidiol oil could help to treat the symptoms of menopause. Researchers have looked at other herbal and natural remedies as treatment options but have not yet proved that any of them are consistently effective…At present, there is very little reliable evidence to suggest that CBD oil can treat the symptoms of menopause. Researchers have only just started to understand how the endocannabinoid system works and the role it may play in different health conditions.

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