High Hopes Ride on Cannabis Painkillers Amid Opioid Crisis 

A handful of drugmakers are taking their first steps toward developing marijuana-based painkillers, alternatives to opioids that have led to widespread abuse and caused the U.S. health regulator to ask for a withdrawal of a popular drug this month.

The cannabis plant has been used for decades to manage pain and there are increasingly sophisticated marijuana products available across 29 U.S. states, as well as in the District of Columbia, where medical marijuana is legal.

There are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved painkillers derived from marijuana, but companies such as Axim Biotechnologies Inc, Nemus Bioscience Inc and Intec Pharma Ltd have drugs in various stages of development.

The companies are targeting the more than 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, and are dependent on opioid painkillers such as Vicodin, or addicted to street opiates including heroin.

Opioid overdose, which claimed celebrities including Prince and Heath Ledger… Continue reading

UC Berkeley & HelloMD Study on Cannabis Use as a Substitute for Opioid and Non-Opioid Pain Relievers

HelloMD, one of the nation’s largest community of medical cannabis patients, today announced the results of their landmark study examining the use of cannabis as a substitute for opioid and non-opioid based pain medication. Performed in collaboration with University of California Berkeley, HelloMD surveyed its patient database, collecting survey data from close to 3,000 participants, questioning their usage of cannabis and how it has affected their consumption of opioids.

Use of cannabis as a substitute/in conjunction with opioid-based pain medication

Use of cannabis as a substitute/in conjunction with opioid-based pain medication

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. According to the CDC, most drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid with 91 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids and heroin.

Key findings:

  • 97% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they could decrease their opioid use when using cannabis
  • 92% “strongly agreed/agreed” that they prefer cannabis… Continue reading

Cannabis Access Mitigates Opioid Abuse — The Science Says So 

Ample scientific evidence exists supporting the contention that cannabis mitigates opioid abuse, dependency, hospitalizations and mortality. It is unfortunate this literature was not given strong consideration by New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher, who appears to have placed ideology above evidence.


• A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that states where medical cannabis was legal experienced year-over-year declines in opioid-related overdose deaths compared to those states where marijuana remained illegal. Authors determined, “Examination of the association between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the law showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time: year 1 (−19.9 percent), year 2 (−25.2 percent), year 3 (−23.6 percent), year 4 (−20.2 percent), [and] year 5 (−33.7 percent).”

• A 2015 report by The… Continue reading

Tennessee Candidate Supports Cannabis Decriminalization

Steven Reynolds via FB

Due to requests by many of our Facebook page following, Tennessee NORML will begin publically sharing the stances on cannabis issues of Tennessee politicians and candidates for office as we learn them. We will be reporting on both pro cannabis and anti cannabis politicians and candidates of all party affiliations, all in the nonpartisan interests of educating voters who are interested in politics and cannabis issues in Tennessee.

We’re happy to report that Steven Reynolds, who is running to replace TN legislator Scott DesJarlais in district 4 has turned out to be a very cannabis law reform friendly candidate!

This is the answer we received from his campaign when we asked about his stance on cannabis issues:

“Steven has been calling for decriminalized cannabis on the federal level since day one of his campaign. He wants to impose a federal tax on all recreational cannabis… Continue reading

Fake News? Fentanyl Laced Cannabis Stories Shared, Yet No Actual Cases Have Been Reported

As the deadly synthetic opiate fentanyl snakes through the drug supply across the nation, rumors of cannabis being laced with it are making their way across social media.

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, Hamilton County’s coroner, said that marijuana, like any drug, could be a threat.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Social media posts saying fentanyl is in marijuana have ballooned over the past several weeks.

  • Nonetheless, no authorities reached by The Enquirer could confirm this is the case.

  •  “In regard to marijuana, I’m not familiar with that,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Melvin Patterson said.  He’d heard of no cases of fentanyl in marijuana. “There could be,” he said.

  • Lt. Tom Fallon, a Hamilton County Heroin Coalition investigator, said he checked with the county’s narcotics officers and found that so far, no fentanyl/marijuana combination has… Continue reading

Legal Cannabis Hurts Alcohol Sales: Considered Safer Choice by Consumers

The legal weed market appears to be impacting booze’s bottom line.

Data compiled by OutCo and Monocle Research finds that many California twenty-somethings, post-legalization, are switching from beer to pot. Marketers surveyed 2,000 cannabis consumers in seven major California cities. One-third of millennial respondents said that they are choosing cannabis over beer. One out of five acknowledged substituting weed for wine, and 14 percent admitted consuming herb rather than hard alcohol.

Older respondents, including baby boomers, also reported making the switch from booze to pot. According to the survey, 20 percent of Gen Xers and eight percent of boomers similarly acknowledged substituting pot in place of alcohol.

The findings provide further credence to a December 2016 report from the Cowan & Company research firm which determined that beer sales by major distributors – including Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors – have “collectively underperformed” over the past two… Continue reading

Task Force to Examine Medical Cannabis in Tennessee

A task force consisting of state senators and representatives will soon take a harder look at issues around medical marijuana in Tennessee.

Lt. Governor Randy McNally and speaker Beth Harwell are responsible for appointing lawmakers to the task force. McNally expects those appointments to be made in July.

Rep. Jeremy Faison introduced a bill for medical marijuana in February. He’s optimistic that this joint task force will help both educate the general public on the science of medical marijuana as well as educate lawmakers on the extent of the support to medical marijuana in Tennessee.

“Tennessee has done a great disservice to a lot of people by not allowing them access to a plant that God gave us,” Faison said. “I know and I’ve seen the science of what this plant can do and I’m hoping to bring in professionals from all over the world to be able… Continue reading