health laws

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and product FAQs: Fad or effective? Legal or not?

Trending: Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, gummies, tinctures and more. Why are cannabis products gaining popularity as medical treatments and in general? As more states have legalized medical marijuana, more people have shifted their views on cannabis treatments (like former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s recent change of heart). And last month, an advisory panel at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unanimously recommended a medication made from CBD for some forms of epilepsy. CBD comes from cannabis/marijuana but has some key differences. So, let’s take a closer look at CBD products and some FAQs, like, do they work and are they legal? What is CBD? Short answer: Cannabidiol (pronounced canna-bid-EYE-ol) or CBD is a chemical found in cannabis plants that does not produce a “high.” More info: Cannabis plants can produce more than 100 different types of cannabinoids, a type of chemical that reacts with receptors in the brain. The two most common cannabinoids found in medical marijuana are THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is responsible for producing the mental and physical effects of medical marijuana. CBD has many of the same therapeutic qualities as THC, but without psychoactive effects. (For even more info, read our report called “Weed 101: How and why patients use medical marijuana.”) …

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What’s the right-to-try bill + possible pros and cons?

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation that could give terminally ill patients the “right to try” experimental treatments — so what’s the controversy? Catch up on the topic and share your thoughts below. “Right-to-try,” in a nutshell The “right-to-try” bill aims to give terminally ill patients who’ve exhausted all other treatment options quicker and easier access to an “experimental treatment” (this is a medication or treatment product that has passed “phase one” of the clinical trial process but has not yet received full Food and Drug Administration [FDA] approval). See this PatientsLikeMe guide to clinical trials to learn more about trial phases and the FDA drug approval process. The House failed to pass the bill on the first try, on March 13, but voted 267 to 149 to pass it on March 21. All in favor… Backers of the bill have cited these “pros” in their reasoning: 38 states have already passed their own versions of “right-to-try” legislation, so a federal version of the law would grant access to experimental treatments nationwide. Although the FDA has existing “expanded access” (or “compassionate use”) policies that allow the use of investigational treatments in the most dire cases, patients must apply to the FDA for permission to receive …

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Amplifying the patient voice on health care: Real people, real change

In 2017, patients like you participated in research, attended conferences and took action on important health care changes. Check out some of the ways the PatientsLikeMe community is raising a unified voice on health care. “Patients are a key piece to healthcare’s puzzle” Back in May, PatientsLikeMe, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and Arc Fusion teamed up with strategic thinkers and doers from across the health care spectrum— from clinicians, payers and policy makers to FDA regulators, journalists and attorneys. The goal of the event was to discuss how real-world health data, generated by real people like you on PatientsLikeMe, can shape decision making in the health care industry. PatientsLikeMe members attended the event including Laura, Geof, Jim, Letitia, Gary, Lisa and Allison. After an evening of frank conversation, eclectic talks and performance, Laura wrapped up the event with a moving rendition of Ragtime’s Make Them Hear You. Reflecting on the event she said: “Patients are the key piece to healthcare’s puzzle. Being a part of the Arc Fusion program and dinner was invigorating and so rewarding, as people from all aspects of healthcare, including patients like me, came together to place that puzzle piece. I can’t wait to continue …

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