Qualifying Conditions Of Medical Cannabis License Holders In The United States.
ABSTRACT: The evidence for cannabis's treatment efficacy across different conditions varies widely, and comprehensive data on the conditions for which people use cannabis are lacking. We analyzed state registry data to provide nationwide estimates characterizing the qualifying conditions for which patients are licensed to use cannabis medically. We also compared the prevalence of medical cannabis qualifying conditions to recent evidence from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on cannabis's efficacy in treating each condition. Twenty states and the District of Columbia had available registry data on patient numbers, and fifteen states had data on patient-reported qualifying conditions. Chronic pain is currently and historically the most common qualifying condition reported by medical cannabis patients (64.9 percent in 2016). Of all patient-reported qualifying conditions, 85.5 percent had either substantial or conclusive evidence of therapeutic efficacy. As medical cannabis use continues to increase, creating a nationwide patient registry would facilitate better understanding of trends in use and of its potential effectiveness.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Healthcare providers play a critical role in facilitating patient access to medical cannabis. However, previous surveys suggest only a minority of providers believe that medical cannabis confers benefits to patients. Significant new knowledge about the potential benefits and harms of medical cannabis has recently emerged. Understanding current attitudes and beliefs of providers may provide insight into the ongoing challenges they face as states expand access to medical cannabis. METHODS:We conducted an electronic survey of primary care providers in a large Minnesota-based healthcare system between January 23 and February 5, 2018. We obtained information about provider characteristics, attitudes and beliefs about medical cannabis, provider comfort level in answering patient questions about medical cannabis, and whether providers were interested in receiving additional education. RESULTS:Sixty-two providers completed the survey (response rate 31%; 62/199). Seventy-six percent of respondents were physicians and the average age was 46.3?years. A majority of providers believed ("strongly agree" or "somewhat agree") that medical cannabis was a legitimate medical therapy (58.1%) and 38.7% believed that providers should be offering to patients for managing medical conditions. A majority (>?50%) of providers believed that medical cannabis was helpful for treating the qualifying medical conditions of cancer, terminal illness, and intractable pain. A majority of providers did not know if medical cannabis was effective for managing nearly one-half of the other state designated qualifying medical conditions. Few believed that medical cannabis improved quality of life domains. Over one-third of providers believed that medical cannabis interacted with medical therapies. One-half of providers were not ready to or did not want to answer patient questions about medical cannabis, and the majority of providers wanted to learn more about it. CONCLUSIONS:Healthcare providers generally believe that medical cannabis is a legitimate medical therapy. Provider knowledge gaps about the effectiveness of medical cannabis for state designated qualifying conditions need to be addressed, and accurate information about the potential for drug interactions needs to be disseminated to address provider concerns. Clinical trial data about how medical cannabis improves patient quality of life domains is desperately needed as this information can impact clinical decision-making.
Project description:In Minnesota, medical cannabis was approved for use in 2014. From July 2015 to February 2019, our center certified 103 pediatric and young adult patients for the use of medical cannabis under the qualifying conditions of cancer and treatment-related symptoms. Here, we provide a review of the literature on medical cannabis use in pediatric and young adult cancer patients. We also provide demographic data on our patients certified for medical cannabis. The most common diagnoses were leukemia/lymphoma (36%), brain tumors (37%), and malignant solid tumors (26%). The most common indications were chemotherapy-related nausea, pain, and cancer cachexia. The age range at certification was 1.4-28.7 years (median 15.3 years). The time from cancer diagnosis to certification ranged from 0.5-197 months (median 8.9 months). The majority (94%) were certified during their first line of treatment. In the 32 patients who died from recurrent or progressive cancer, the time from certification to death was 1.3-30.3 months (median 4.4 years). Despite requesting certification, a subset (24%) never had medical cannabis dispensed. In our experience, pediatric and young adult oncology patients are interested in medical cannabis to help manage treatment-related symptoms. Ongoing analysis of this data will identify the therapeutic efficacy of medical cannabis.
Project description:More than one-third of adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) report using cannabis-based products. Many states list SCD or pain as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, but there are few data to guide practitioners whether or whom should be certified. We postulated that certifying SCD patients may lead to a reduction in opioid use and/or health care utilization. Furthermore, we sought to identify clinical characteristics of patients who would request this intervention. Retrospective data obtained over the study period included rates of health care and opioid utilization for 6 months before certification and after certification. Patients who were certified but failed to obtain medical marijuana were compared with those who obtained it. Patients who were certified were invited to participate in a survey regarding their reasons for and thoughts on certification. Patients who were certified for medical marijuana were compared with 25 random patients who did not request certification. Fifty adults with SCD were certified for medical marijuana and 29 obtained it. Patients who obtained medical marijuana experienced a decrease in admission rates compared with those who did not and increased use of edible cannabis products. Neither group had changes in opioid use. Patients who were certified for medical marijuana had higher rates of baseline opioid use and illicit cannabis use compared with those who did not request certification. Most patients with SCD who requested medical marijuana were already using cannabis illicitly. Obtaining medical marijuana decreased inpatient hospitalizations.
Project description:Lagging behind rapid changes to state laws, societal views, and medical practice is the scientific investigation of cannabis's impact on the human brain. While several brain imaging studies have contributed important insight into neurobiological alterations linked with cannabis use, our understanding remains limited. Here, we sought to delineate those brain regions that consistently demonstrate functional alterations among cannabis users versus non-users across neuroimaging studies using the activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis framework. In ancillary analyses, we characterized task-related brain networks that co-activate with cannabis-affected regions using data archived in a large neuroimaging repository, and then determined which psychological processes may be disrupted via functional decoding techniques. When considering convergent alterations among users, decreased activation was observed in the anterior cingulate cortex, which co-activated with frontal, parietal, and limbic areas and was linked with cognitive control processes. Similarly, decreased activation was observed in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which co-activated with frontal and occipital areas and linked with attention-related processes. Conversely, increased activation among users was observed in the striatum, which co-activated with frontal, parietal, and other limbic areas and linked with reward processing. These meta-analytic outcomes indicate that cannabis use is linked with differential, region-specific effects across the brain.
Project description:Background: The political climate around Cannabis as a medicine is rapidly changing. Legislators are adopting policies regarding appropriate medical applications, while the paucity of research may make policy decisions around conditions for which Cannabis is an effective medicine difficult. Methods: An anonymous online survey was developed to query medical Cannabis users about the conditions they use Cannabis to treat, their use patterns, perception of efficacy, and physical and mental health. Participants were recruited through social media and Cannabis dispensaries in Washington State. Results: A total of 1429 participants identified as medical Cannabis users. The most frequently reported conditions for which they used Cannabis were pain (61.2%), anxiety (58.1%), depression (50.3%), headache/migraine (35.5%), nausea (27.4%), and muscle spasticity (18.4%). On average, participants reported an 86% reduction in symptoms as a result of Cannabis use; 59.8% of medical users reported using Cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceutical prescriptions. Global health scores were on par with the general population for mental health and physical health. Conclusions: While patient-reported outcomes favor strong efficacy for a broad range of symptoms, many medical users are using Cannabis without physician supervision and for conditions for which there is no formal research to support the use of Cannabis (e.g., depression and anxiety). Future research and public policy should attempt to reduce the incongruence between approved and actual use.
Project description:In light of expanding legalization of cannabis and swelling debate about the potential risks, particularly for younger users, understanding acute cannabis effects among adolescents and emerging adults is more important than ever. Contemporary models of addiction development identify subjective drug responses as central to the developmental unfolding of drug use disorders. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about cannabis's acute subjective effects in human youths. This research utilized ecological momentary assessment (EMA) in the natural environment to identify the typical situational context of cannabis use among 85 frequent cannabis users, ages 15-24 years (M = 19.8, SD = 2.0; 48.2% female). Study aims were to (a) characterize momentary changes in several subjective states (i.e., stimulation, sedation, tension, craving, and high) when not using, just before cannabis use, and after use, and (b) evaluate whether cannabis responses varied with cannabis use disorder (CUD) severity or across the transition from adolescence to emerging adulthood in a correlational manner. Use of cannabis produced measurable reductions in craving and tension, as well as increases in stimulation, sedation, and "high." Participants with more CUD symptoms reported greater relief of craving and increased stimulatory response and high following use. In contrast, emerging adults reported diminished stimulatory response and high following use, relative to adolescents. Results highlight the utility of EMA for characterizing cannabis response as this behavior unfolds in daily life, during a key developmental timeframe in the pathogenesis of cannabis-use pathology. (PsycINFO Database Record
Project description:Introduction: Phytocannabinoids, characteristic compounds produced by medical cannabis, interact with cannabinoid (CB) receptors (CB1 and CB2) as well as other receptor systems to exhibit their corresponding pharmacological effects. In their natural form, CBs such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and cannabidiolic acid are inactive at these receptors, while their decarboxylated forms (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, respectively) are potent ligands at CB receptors. Thus, extraction and processing of medical cannabis for active constituents are important. Purpose and Methods: Patients consuming medical cannabis often have limited alternative treatment options and in recent years, medical cannabis extracts have been popular as a substitute for dried cannabis plants, despite limited studies on these derivatives. We investigated three disparate cannabis cultivars and compared four chemical extraction methods head to head, viz. Soxhlet, ultrasound-assisted supercritical fluid, and microwave-assisted extractions, for their efficiency. We further characterized the chemical compositions of these extracts. Results: Microwave extraction consistently produced completely decarboxylated phytocannabinoid extracts. Factors such as temperature and exposure time play important roles in the decarboxylation of phytocannabinoids, thereby generating pharmacologically active CBs, and these conditions may differ for each cannabis cultivar. Conclusion: Chemical consistency and potency due to active compounds are in turn important in producing consistent and reliable medical cannabis extracts and their derivatives. These processes must be subject to higher levels of scientific rigor as the patient population around the world are seeking the help of such extracts for various clinical conditions, and as medical cannabis industry is receiving acceptance in various countries.
Project description:Cannabis research has historically focused on the most prevalent cannabinoids. However, extracts with a broad spectrum of secondary metabolites may have increased efficacy and decreased adverse effects compared to cannabinoids in isolation. Cannabis's complexity contributes to the length and breadth of its historical usage, including the individual application of the leaves, stem barks, and roots, for which modern research has not fully developed its therapeutic potential. This study is the first attempt to profile secondary metabolites groups in individual plant parts comprehensively. We profiled 14 cannabinoids, 47 terpenoids (29 monoterpenoids, 15 sesquiterpenoids, and 3 triterpenoids), 3 sterols, and 7 flavonoids in cannabis flowers, leaves, stem barks, and roots in three chemovars available. Cannabis inflorescence was characterized by cannabinoids (15.77-20.37%), terpenoids (1.28-2.14%), and flavonoids (0.07-0.14%); the leaf by cannabinoids (1.10-2.10%), terpenoids (0.13-0.28%), and flavonoids (0.34-0.44%); stem barks by sterols (0.07-0.08%) and triterpenoids (0.05-0.15%); roots by sterols (0.06-0.09%) and triterpenoids (0.13-0.24%). This comprehensive profile of bioactive compounds can form a baseline of reference values useful for research and clinical studies to understand the "entourage effect" of cannabis as a whole, and also to rediscover therapeutic potential for each part of cannabis from their traditional use by applying modern scientific methodologies.
Project description:PURPOSE:This study aims to assess the fit of a number of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis models to the 2010 Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1) clinical decision-making (CDM) cases. The outcomes of this study have important implications for a range of domains, including scoring and test development. METHODS:The examinees included all first-time Canadian medical graduates and international medical graduates who took the MCCQE1 in spring or fall 2010. The fit of one- to five-factor exploratory models was assessed for the item response matrix of the 2010 CDM cases. Five confirmatory factor analytic models were also examined with the same CDM response matrix. The structural equation modeling software program Mplus was used for all analyses. RESULTS:Out of the five exploratory factor analytic models that were evaluated, a three-factor model provided the best fit. Factor 1 loaded on three medicine cases, two obstetrics and gynecology cases, and two orthopedic surgery cases. Factor 2 corresponded to pediatrics, and the third factor loaded on psychiatry cases. Among the five confirmatory factor analysis models examined in this study, three- and four-factor lifespan period models and the five-factor discipline models provided the best fit. CONCLUSION:The results suggest that knowledge of broad disciplinary domains best account for performance on CDM cases. In test development, particular effort should be placed on developing CDM cases according to broad discipline and patient age domains; CDM testlets should be assembled largely using the criteria of discipline and age.
Project description:Medical cannabis has been increasingly prescribed for a range of conditions including epilepsy, chronic neuropathic pain, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The benefits and possible adverse events of medical-grade cannabis products vary between patients, suggesting that genetics may play a role in the pharmacokinetics of the cannabinoids, yet regulatory restrictions have led to limited clinical studies. This study is aimed at identifying a genetic signature that is predictive of the pharmacokinetics of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal intoxicating chemical compound derived from cannabis. We have identified 55 variants among 38 genes that were overrepresented in either the Low-THC or High-THC groups. Overall design: Saliva samples were obtained from 28 healthy subjects who consented to the genetics sub-study after participating in a controlled pharmacokinetic study on a THC extract capsule. Subjects were grouped as ‘Low-THC’ or ‘High-THC’ based on the profile of their plasma THC concentration over various timepoints following intake of 5 mg or 10 mg THC under fed and fasting conditions. DNA, extracted from their saliva, was then analyzed using Illumina's Infinium DrugDev microarray.