What we’re reading



[Editor’s note: In this space, we will share best practices in person-centered care approaches to administering medicinal cannabis, for residential-care providers, home-care service providers, and family caregivers. We welcome your questions and suggestions for articles and links.]

“NCSBN National Nursing Guidelines for Medical Marijuana”
Journal of Nursing Regulation
July 2018

This is a comprehensive literature review and evidence-based national nursing guidelines for medical cannabis, from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

“Effects of Legal Access to Cannabis on Scheduled II-V Drug Prescriptions,” by Stith, Vigil, et al
Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
January 2018

In this study, researchers concluded, “Legal access to cannabis may reduce the use of multiple classes of dangerous prescription medications in certain patient populations.”

“Seniors ask: Do I Really Have an Endocannabinoid System, and What Does It Do?” by Barbara Blaser, RN
January 2019

Enjoyable overview of the human endogenous cannabinoid system, by Nurse Barbara Blaser, who first used cannabis at age 70. A mental healthcare provider for more than 30 years, she was the Director of the Illinois MISA Institute University of Chicago when she and her family moved to California in 2002. Barbara retired in 2013 from her position as Clinical Director in a hospice. In 2015 she returned to work as Clinical Director at award-winning Oakland dispensary, Magnolia Wellness.


[Editor’s note: In this space, we will report on scientific studies exploring the efficacy of medical cannabis in the treatment of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.]

Most of the completed research studies on the use of cannabis to treat neurodegenerative disease are preclinical, and suggest a role played by the human endogenous cannabinoid (“endocannabinoid”) system in the development of dementia disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s pathology. Preclinical research publications suggest the potential to manipulate the endocannabinoid system to control and even reverse the progression of dementia pathology.

Meanwhile, clinical studies are growing in quantity. These have been focusing on managing dementia-related symptoms, especially agitation.

“The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research”
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2017.

In this systematic review of medical studies, researchers confirm the substantial evidence for cannabis as an effective treatment option for many conditions.

“In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol for Alzheimer’s Disease,” by Georgia Watt and Tim Karl
Frontiers in Pharmacology
February 2017

This review of prior research studies points out that CBD has been found to be neuroprotective, prevent hippocampal and cortical neurodegeneration, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reduce tau hyperphosphorylation and regulate microglial cell migration, among other beneficial neuroprotective properties.


[Editor’s note: In this space, we will share experiences and guidance to help families and individuals make informed decisions about using cannabis as a supplemental treatment.

We also will provide recommendations on educational materials to read and to watch.]

World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana Under International Treaties
February 2019

Global health experts at the United Nations are recommending that cannabis be formally rescheduled under international drug treaties. The political implications are “hard to overstate,” Forbes says. If adopted, the recommendations would represent formal recognition that the world's governing bodies have effectively been wrong about the lack of therapeutic benefits and alleged harms. WHO's new position comes at a time when a growing number of countries are moving to reform their cannabis policies.

“Aging & Medical Marijuana”
Americans For Safe Access
July 2017

Americans For Safe Access (ASA) is a national nonprofit focused on ensuring safe, legal availability of cannabis for medical uses. ASA writes and publishes excellent booklets to read online, to download as free PDFs, or to buy as a Kindle book. ASA’s Aging & Medical Marijuana booklet provides a “starting point for the consideration of applying cannabis therapies to specific conditions.” These conditions include arthritis, chronic pain, cancer, movement disorders, and neurological disorders. You’ll also find useful insights into how cannabis compares with other treatments.

“CBD and Parkinson’s Disease,” by Nishi Whiteley
Project CBD
July 2017

Just one of many outstanding articles and videos offered by Project CBD, this report outlines how the endocannabinoid system and digestive imbalance play major roles in Parkinson's disease. Research has demonstrated that cannabis medicine may help to manage PD symptoms. Project CBD is a nonprofit that raises awareness of research into the medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD) and other components of the cannabis plant.