Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents
As of 2016, upwards of 60 clinical trials relating to the use of medical cannabis were in progress. The scope of clinical trials included conditions such as anxiety, cocaine dependence, infantile spasms, schizophrenia, solid tumor, and many more. The status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug, under the Controlled Substance Act, limits researchers’ ability to freely collect data if they require support from NIH funding. While there are opportunities for researchers to study cannabis and its derivatives with the support of private funds, this typically risks an appearance of sacrificed scientific integrity and independence. Very few private entities would condone research which might shed an unfavorable light on their products. On the other hand, current NIH-funded research requires the use of the national supply of cannabis, a crop well-known to be very limited in quality. Increasingly, more states have been legalizing the medical and recreational use of cannabis in recent years, allowing scientists with more opportunities for private funding in which to shed more light on the vast medicinal benefits of cannabis. Animal models and human trials have pointed toward clinical applications of medical cannabis including anxiety, nausea, seizures, and inflammation, although the array of competing and synergistic compounds within the plant seem to continually open new doors to relief from a large array of illnesses.
Effects of Drug Abuse, Smoking and Alcohol on Donor Hearts and Lungs
A review article that discusses how drug use can affect donor organs has revealed that receiving organs, such as a heart or lungs, from a donor who has used cannabis does not add risk to the procedure. A careful assessment of any donor organ should still be conducted, but having a history of cannabis use does not prevent someone from safely donating.
A recently published study looking to expose the functional status of older drug users has found that most of their cognitive abilities are equal to their peers who have never smoked cocaine, except for a marginally lower verbal comprehension. Similar studies should continue in order to determine how chronic drug users will affect or challenge public health systems in the future.