According to medicalexpress.com, the United States government recently approved the import of marijuana extracts from Canada. Though an uncommon occurrence, the US government approved the import for a clinical trial involving tremors. The condition has a number of similarities and difference to the tremors in Parkinson’s. As such, the research may potentially crossover. Keep reading to learn more about this development, or follow the original story here for more information.
Working with the Law
Under federal law, researchers may not obtain marijuana through common avenues. Buying it from providers in licensed states can create a number of legal issues and is not permitted. The National Institute on Drug Abuse does have a program with the University of Mississippi. This allows many researchers to receive what they need for tests. Many other researchers complain, however, that the process for obtaining marijuana is difficult and time consuming. It also provides only a limited number of varieties which may affect test results.
With approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), researchers at the University of California San Diego will be able to receive cannabis compounds from a Canadian company. The process behind this move took several years. Many researchers view this willingness to go through complex regulations as a sign the US supply is too difficult to work with.
Essential tremor is a shaking condition. Many people mistake it for Parkinson’s syndrome. The two are actually quite different. Parkinson’s causes shaking while a person is holding still. Essential tremor, on the other hand, causes people to shake while they are performing tasks. It makes routine day-to-day behaviors such as writing or speaking difficult.
Patients often attempt to control their symptoms through drugs designed for other purposes. Blood pressure medicine is a common example. It is often only mildly effective. Researchers express a huge need to develop something specific to the condition. Despite the fact that essential tremor is, by some estimates, ten times as common as Parkinson’s, little research is being invested for it.
There is already some research and anecdotal evidence to support marijuana as a treatment for tremors. Observed patients showed sudden improvement after exposure to marijuana products they had obtained. The FDA application outlines a specific formula for the cannabis substance. It is designed such that it should be effective but minimize any psychoactive effects a patient experiences. The university research hopes to study 20 patients will use a wrist-mounted device to monitor tremors during the process.