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IACM-Bulletin of 07 January 2007

IACM: Call for papers for the 2007 Conference in Cologne

CALL FOR PAPERS: The program committee would like to invite you to present your research at the IACM 4th Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine in Cologne, Germany, on 5-6 October. You may submit your abstract electronically until 15 April 2007 for oral presentations and until 15 June 2007 for poster presentations to info@cannabis-med.org. If your abstract is accepted you will have free access to the meeting. In addition, speakers will have one night of free accommodation at the conference hotel Holiday Inn. Speakers may ask the IACM for a subsidy of their travel expenses.

IACM AWARD: During the Meeting the IACM will honour four persons for special achievements regarding the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine. We would like you to propose candidates and send your proposal by e-mail to award2007@cannabis-med.org until June 15, 2007. The IACM Award Committee consisting of Vincenzo Di Marzo, Franjo Grotenhermen, Ester Fride, and Kirsten Müller-Vahl will elect the Awardees. Each award is associated with a price money of 500 EURos (about 650 US Dollars).

IACM GENERAL MEETING: During the meeting the IACM will held its annual General Meeting. Regular members will elect the new Board of Directors (a maximum of 10 members) including the chairman. Associate members will elect the patient representatives (a maximum of 2 members). Members of the IACM are invited to make suggestions for candidates by e-mail to info@cannabis-med.org. Suggestions can also be made during the General Meeting. IACM members will get a written invitation to the General Meeting together with the printed IACM-News in July.

More information on IACM Award and Call for Papers at
www.iacm-conference2007.org

Finland: Pain patient given permission for the medical use of cannabis

Finland’s National Agency for Medicines has granted a citizen special permission to use cannabis for the relief of pain. According to a newspaper article this permission is valid for one year. Terhi Hermanson, head physician at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, said that the case is the first one in which a patient has applied for permission to use cannabis for medicinal purposes in Finland. She adds that the ministry now must examine the legislative aspects of the case.

The patient in question suffered from a serious injury to his back and neck in a traffic accident four years ago. Since then he suffers from chronic pain, which was not relieved by opioids. These caused severe side effects. The decision the certificate of exemption was made by the regional administrative court. The matter is seen as a special case. Erkki Palva, head of the drug safety section of the National Agency for Medicines emphasises that it should not be seen as a statement in favour of using cannabis as a generally accepted treatment. "Finland has significantly stronger drugs in use, such as morphine and other opiates," Mrs. Hermanson told the newspaper Turun Sanomat.

The article is available in English at:
www.hs.fi/english/article/Finnish+man+given+permission+to+use+cannabis+against+pain/1135223628010

(Source: Helsingin Sanomat of 12 December 2006)

Science: THC decreases intraocular pressure and improves blood circulation in the eye

According to research at the University of Aachen a single oral dose of 7.5 mg THC, which was applied to eight healthy medical doctors in a self-experiment, reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) and increased blood circulation in the retina. Measurements were performed before and two hours after intake of THC.

THC resulted in a significant medium reduction of IOP from 13.2 mm Hg to 11.8 mm Hg. The time for the passage of blood from arteries to the veins in the retina decreased significantly from 1.77 seconds on average to 1.57 seconds. Systemic blood pressure and heart rate were not significantly altered. Researchers concluded that "cannabinoids, already known for their ability to reduce IOP, may result in increased retinal hemodynamics. This may be beneficial in ocular circulatory disorders, including glaucoma."

Abstract available at:
www.cannabis-med.org/studies/study.php

(Source: Plange N, Arend KO, Kaup M, Doehmen B, Adams H, Hendricks S, Cordes A, Huth J, Sponsel WE, Remky A. Dronabinol and retinal hemodynamics in humans. Am J Ophthalmol 2007;143(1):173-4.)

News in brief

Science: Fever
According to animal research application of a synthetic cannabinoid (WIN55,212-2) prevented fever associated with an infection of so-called gram-negative bacteria. This effect was reversed by a CB1 receptor antagonist suggesting that the fever lowering effects were mediated by the CB1 receptor. (Source: Benamar K, et al. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Dec 28; [Electronic publication ahead of print])

USA: California
According to a report by Dale Gieringer and Richard Lee of California NORML Californians consume between 0.9 and 2 billion US Dollars (about 0.7-1.5 billion EURos) worth of medical cannabis each year. Because of federal law, the state loses most of the 70 to 120 million US Dollars (about 53-91 million EURos) in possible state sales taxes that would otherwise be collected. The report is available at: www.canorml.org/background/OakZFinancialReport.pdf

Holland: Coffee-shops
The mayor of the town Terneuzen near the Belgium and French border, J. Lonink, suggests to licence the coffee-shops. According to a newspaper article 2,500-3,000 people visit the two coffee-shops of the town each day, many coming from Belgium and France. Licensing could create new jobs and result in tax revenues of several millions of EURos per year, which could be used by the town for the improvement of infrastructure. Mr. Lonink stressed that this is only his personal opinion. The article is available at: www.trouw.nl/hetnieuws/nederland/article583880.ece/Laat_vergunning_voor_coffeeshops_veilen (Source: Trouw of 27 December 2007)

Science: Epilepsy
According to cell experiments with cells involved in the development of epilepsy the application of two endocannabinoids inhibited persistent epileptic activity. In this model the anti-epileptic drugs phenobarbital and phenytoin were ineffective. (Source: Deshpande LS, et al. EUR J Pharmacol. 2006 Nov 22; [Electronic publication ahead of print])

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