Chronic Use Study

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Chronic Cannabis Use in the Compassionate Investigational New Drugs Program (IND)

img 1 cannisterIn the spring of 2001 in Missoula, MT, four (Irv Rosenfeld, George McMahon, Elvy Musikka, and Barbara Douglass) of the 6 remaining federal medical marijuana patients underwent an extensive three-day examination of every system in their body to determine the long term effects of cannabis. Known widely as The Missoula Chronic Use Study, the investigators concluded that after using cannabis therapeutically for a range of 11 to 27 years, with a dose of nine cured ounces per month for Barbara and others, and eleven cured ounces every 26 days for Irv, they were all in fine condition exempting their original illness and the wear and tear of age. We assume that the federal government never bothered to conduct such long-term studies because it did not want to scientifically validate the efficacy of cannabis. A thorough review of the study was published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics and is available here in PDF – Chronic Cannabis Use in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program: An Examination of Benefits and Adverse Effects of Legal Clinical Cannabis

The Missoula Study was presented by it’s director, Dr. Ethan Russo at the 2002 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference in Portland, OR. It is viewable here in full length, divided into two videos:

img 2 legalpatients2002Part One features the legal patients telling their stories, introduced by Mary Lynn Mathre, President of Patients Out of Time.

Missoula Study, Part One

Part Two is the Missoula Study in detail, including MRI scans; chest x-rays and pulmonary function tests; neuro-pychological exams; endocrine and immune system tests; brain-wave (EEG) tests; hormonal system tests and the “P-300?, an Evoke-Potential electro-physical test of memory.

Missoula Study, Part Twoimg 3 debris

Before giving results of the “Missoula Study” of four legal medical marijuana patients, Dr. Ethan Russo first examines the medicine itself – “marijuana cigarettes” grown at the Univ. of Mississippi; freeze-dried and rolled in North Carolina; full of broad leaf, stems and seeds.

Then the govenment/pharmaceutical alternative – dronabinol (synthetic THC marketed as Marinol(tm). Largely ineffective, patients also complain about getting uncomfortably high, as conversion by the liver boosts the psychoactive levels of THC.

Conclusions of the Chronic Cannabis Use in the IND

1. Cannabis smoking, even of a crude, low-grade product, provides effective symptomatic relief of pain, muscle spasms and intraocular pressure…

2…Cannabis patients are able to reduce or eliminate other prescription medicines and their accompanying side-effects.

3. Clinical Cannabis provides an improved quality of life…

4. Side effect profile of NIDA Cannabis in chronic usage suggests some mild pulminary risk.

5. No malignant deteriation has been observed.

6…no neuropsychological or neurological deteriation has been observed.

7. No endocrine, hematological, immunological sequelae have been observed.

img 4 nidacigs


1. Improvements in U.S. clinical Cannabis…sterilized, potent, organically-grown unfertilized female flower tops…

2…”Compassionate I.N.D.” should be reopened and extended…

3…laws amended to provide clinical Cannabis to suitable candidates.

Suggested Reading:

Russo, E. B., Mathre, M. L., Byrne, A., Velin, R., Bach, P. J., Sanchez-Ramos, J., et al. (2002). Chronic cannabis use in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program: An examination of benefits and adverse effects of legal clinical cannabis. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 2(1), 3-57.

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