1,600 lung injuries linked to vaping: CDC
Updated data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has identified a total of 1,604 incidents of lung injury related to the use of portable vaping cartridge products, including 34 deaths.
A specific cause of the illness remains unknown, though some experts have speculated that the injuries may be related to additive ingredients in the e-liquid products, such as Vitamin E oil, or the presence of a specific metal-binding agent in certain types of portable cartridges. The agency states that the overwhelming majority of products associated with the illness were obtained via the unregulated “informal” market.
The CDC’s latest advisory concludes: “To date, no single compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury), and there might be more than one cause. Because most patients report using THC-containing products before the onset of symptoms, CDC recommends that persons should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC. Persons should not buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC, off the street and should not modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments. In addition, because the specific compound or ingredient causing lung injury is not yet known, and while the investigation continues, persons should consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.”
Patients report cannabis offers relief for spinal cord injury symptoms
PHILADELPHIA —Many spinal cord injury (SCI) patients with a history of cannabis use say that it provides them “great relief,” according to data published in the journal Spinal Cord Series and Cases.
A team of investigators affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia assessed cannabis utilization and attitudes in a national sample of patients with SCI.
Forty-two percent of respondents reported being either past users or current users of medical cannabis. Among them, 63 percent reported that cannabis offers “great relief” from symptoms – including the alleviation of pain and spasticity – while 30 percent reported that it provided more limited relief. Only six percent said that cannabis provided no relief from SCI symptoms. A majority of respondents also said that medical cannabis was more effective than prescription medications in treating their condition and that it possesses fewer adverse side effects.
Authors concluded: “Our findings support the notion that MC (medical cannabis) may have an important role – either as adjuvant therapy or as monotherapy – in treating a number of common symptoms experienced by individuals living with SCI. There is certainly a need for expedited clinical trials evaluating efficacy of MC in chronic SCI, and no justification for cannabis’ continued classification as a Schedule 1 drug, a designation indicating that it has no accepted medical use.”
6 in 10 physicians say cannabis a ‘legitimate medical therapy’
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Nearly six in 10 primary care physicians believe that medical cannabis is a “legitimate” therapeutic option, according to survey data published in the journal BMC Family Practice.
Investigators with the Mayo Clinic surveyed the attitudes of primary care providers in a large Minnesota-based health care system.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “medical cannabis was a legitimate medical therapy.” That finding is consistent with both national and state-specific surveys similarly showing that most doctors are supportive of medical cannabis access.
Nonetheless, half of respondents expressed discomfort in talking to their patients about medical cannabis options, a finding that is also consistent with prior data. Many expressed a desire to receive additional education about cannabis in order to become better versed in the subject.
Authors concluded: “Providers generally believe that medical cannabis is a legitimate medical therapy. Significant opportunities exist to: 1) close knowledge gaps for clinicians through the collection and dissemination of information about the effectiveness of medical cannabis for state qualifying conditions; 2) alleviate concerns about drug interactions by exploring opportunities for information sharing between dispensaries and traditional medical practices; and 3) expand the knowledge base about how medical cannabis impacts patient QOL (quality of life).”
Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, visit norml.org.