Review Identifies 140 Controlled Clinical Trials Related to Cannabis

Marijuana researchScientists have conducted over 140 controlled clinical trials since 1975 assessing the safety and efficacy of whole-plant cannabis or specific cannabinoids, according to a new literature review published in the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.

A pair of German researchers identified 140 clinical trials involving an estimated 8,000 participants. Of these, the largest body of literature focused on the use of cannabis or cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic or neuropathic pain. Authors identified 35 controlled studies, involving 2,046 subjects, assessing the use of marijuana or cannabinoids in pain management. In January, the National Academy of Sciences acknowledged that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain.

Cannabinoids have also been well studied as anti-emetic agents and as appetite stimulants. Researchers identified 43 trials evaluating marijuana or its components for these purposes, involving total 2,498 patients. They also identified an additional 14 trials examining the role of cannabis or cannabis-derived extracts in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Researchers also identified several additional trials evaluating the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for Crohn’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, epilepsy, and various other indications.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that new drugs typically gain FDA approval on the basis of one or two pivotal clinical trials.

Full text of the study, “Medicinal uses of marijuana and cannabinoids,” appears online here.

38 thoughts

  1. Thank you Paul.

    To those of us becoming familiar with the technical terminology, “controlled” studies are not only vital to FDA approval, (one of the biggest “controlled” agencies by Big Pharma to maintain prohibition, if I may bend the context of the current definition), but “controlled” studies are absolutely necessary to fight propaganda from Big Pharma and Project SAM by citing sources of marijuana’s medical efficacy in individuals separated from alcohol, tobacco and prescription medications.
    This library of controlled studies can be found on this website with a click on the options tab (top right) and we need to share this information with our state and federal politicians frequently and continuously. Please take some time to copy the links in this data and paste it into our next letter to our Congressman, which can be found clicking on the green “Act” tab here on this website.

    Now, to those of us who either frequent this blog or have achieved a unified mental, spiritual and physical understanding and identity concerning marijuana and whole plant medicine, and are just visiting, check this out:

    This is a Youtube video of Gabriel Maté, M.D. during his recent presentation “From Jungle to Civilization: How Plant Medicines Can Promote Health in a Toxic Culture,” at the M.A.P.S. Psychedelic Science 2017 seminar.

    The principle of his presentation is essentially that we live in a toxic culture where we treat acute pain wich intends not to cure underlying chronic pain (for predatory profit) and provides a dissasociation from our present self identity and “esscence” by failing to treat or “cleaving” the mind and spirit from treatment to the body.

    Whole plant cannabis treats all three simultaneously.

  2. But are current times less barbaric? As consumers of private insurance and patented single-molecule prescription medications we participate in the toxicity of our culture. Our smartphones provide us an endless venue of escape from dealing with our supressed emotions. Weve never needed marijuana more to confront our hidden inner selves and heal our fractured identities.
    And thats what is changing: What is new about the message and circumstances of Dr. Maté is that more American consumers in states with legalized marijuana are replacing prescription medications, especially synthetic opiates, with whole plant cannabis for chronic pain, depression, addiction, disease and mental illness where synthetic prescription medications have failed.
    What is new is that we are finally hearing a professional correction of the meaning and context of the words “toxic” and “medicine,” so we understand how to moderate dosage and balance mental and spiritual well being with our physical health. Marijuana is reconnecting us not only to our supressed identities, but to eachother and nature. If we grow a marijuana plant, why not some tomatoes, compost, save the base cut of lettuce, place it in a cup of water and start a sustainable garden?
    As we legalize whole plant marijuana we experience a reconnection with our common roots, our heritage and spiritual identity; a divergence from escapism and a return to the healing social activity and diversity of sustainable gardens our ancestors cultivated for us, rather than the industrialized model of profit over patients or the agricultural monoculture that threatens the fabric of coexistence with humankind within our planet.

  3. 42 years ago crossing the Indian ocean in rough seas I became violently seasick, I am talking serious dehydration not able to hold down a drop of water for days. The ships medical officer gave me some motion sickness pills, these came right back up along with the dry heaves. To hurry this story along, a friend produced a joint, we smoked it, 10 minutes later I was feeling way way better, 20 minutes later I was eating and rehydrating, 30 minutes or so after that I laid down and slept for hours. The next day I was a little weak from the ordeal but pretty much cured, I could really care less if anyone believes this or not, let them be sick if they are too ignorant or hard headed, besides this happened 20 years before I even heard the term MMJ.

    1. A few years ago i took some antibiotics made from sulfur crystals and had a violent reaction were i lost my top layer of skin,i was vomiting real bad and tried dramamine ,benadryl, to stop the vomiting but could not keep anything down, Was starting to dehydrate and couldn’t keep water, pedialyte or gatorade down. But after smoking some cannabis about 10-15 minutes later i was able to drink some gatorade, and eat a few crackers and get start to get rehydrated.

  4. Hey, everyone. This article IS slightly at least related to this article. I lost my password on my Yahoo! account, and I was not able to comment on this ridiclous article that I am posting, so if you want to leave comments of protest, here is the article. It is an article which I things assumes too much on the negative side. I was irritated reading it, but it is still an important article. Thanks, and hope you keep my post up, NORML, I know this is a somewhat different article but it is relevant to our cause. Stay strong, all, opinions like this one we should resist. And Rosenburg is wrong. Peace.

      1. oh, and sorry for the extended replies here, but forgot to say, another reason I posted on this article is because I was so irritated I did not want to wait until the morning, lol. So I hope NORML moderators keep it up 🙂 Thank you.

  5. What would it mean for the unconstitutional and unchangeable doctrine written by crooks that created and supplied the everlasting “drug war”?

    1. @ Joel: the other Joel,

      This is our dilemma.

      For those who respect truth and reason, we’ve already won the argument, years ago, when Jack Herer pointed out that “the emperor has no clothes.” But for those who only respect power and money, this will mean nothing, and they will continue to spew their violent propaganda onto the rest of us. The innocent and the gullible will buy their propaganda, and will become witless foot soldiers in the war against us.

      Yet, we must promote the truth, even more so. I believe facts are mightier than alternative facts, don’t you?

      1. Lol… its “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” Mark. 🙂
        If he “has” no clothes it would be less of a statement of the perception of hemp and more of a basic humanitarian issue.
        Of course Im being an @$$.
        All respects due to the late Jack Herrer. His investigative links from Mellon, Anslinger and Hearst are still a source of “conspirital” contention. Just because racism and beaurocracy were the major origins of prohibition does not mean that Dupont and the rest of the timber and petrochemical industry werent terrified their patents would never compete nor profit from a fairly taxed and legaly regulated domestic hemp economy. The most fascinating fact of the Marijuana Stamp Act of 1937 is that poor white farmers had no idea that the “Mexican Marijuana” prohibition law they were supporting would not recognize the difference from the hemp that sustained their farms.
        But to answer Joel’s question, this evidence means nothing to our prohibitionist enemies so long as Vermont or any state is delayed from legislatively legalizing marijuana and our Federal Courts determine “Congress does not have to be right.”
        Its up to us to get the right people into our state and federal legislatures.

      2. “Conspiratorial”
        Better get that $#!+ right if Im going to correct you! 😉

    2. @JtoJ

      By discerning the holistic meaning of the federal definition of marijuana that is consistent with the findings needed for its Schedule 1 status from within its conflicted sentences which are literally misinterpreted as an omnibus, and stating that meaning clearly, then this reform of that definition can be presented to the lawmakers as an alternative that upholds the Constitution before being rescheduled (note the minor update):

      Sec.802.(16). The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company.

      This reform means that the versatile cannabis plant will be de-scheduled, while the accurately defined “term” retains its Schedule 1 status until its medical value is officially recognized.

      Tell every one of them.

      1. Well if it aint ol Yearbait the Great, building your smokeless Tower of Babble.

        Einstein once said “If you cant explain it to a 4 year old you probably dont understand it yourself.”

        Except I think you know damn well that hidden in your labrynth of dead-end definitions you are advocating the arrest and continued prohibition of marijuana consumers simply because they “smoke” whole plant marijuana, aren’t you?
        And you also know damn well that by advocating smokeless ingestion of cannabis that this avenue of policy will NOT lead to “descheduling” but “REscheduling,” which means quasi-prohibition where synthetic pharmaceutical patents from mass-murderers like Insys Therapeutics control the market.

        Im just a self employed construction contractor trying to keep my kids healthy and out of jail when they get busted smoking weed after a Friday night football game.

        Who do you work for Yearbait? Project SAM? GW Pharma? Insys? C’mon, spill it or kill it.

      2. @Julian

        Your rigorous monitoring of the blogs is commendable. Thanks for including a “Reply” link. It shows that you are fair. While the original reply was to Joel, the other Joel, your hostility was prefigured. Nevertheless, I persisted. Would that we could be cordial.

        Fibers and cannabinoids from cannabis are just the things that the reformed definition will re-legitimize. When the results of the study “Medicinal uses of marijuana and cannabinoids” are officially recognized – then from marijuana too (but not for kids).

        Try explaining, or even reciting the current definition to a 24 yr. old. He will probably just stare at his cell phone below the table. Explain the reform to them, and they might just contact their members of Congress.

        De-scheduled cannabis will re-inform us of the reasons for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Luckily, people in 29 states are also being re-informed. The enlightenment of/from cannabis led to our heritage’s foundation, but the unreasonable prohibition of cannabis stoked by the hyperbolic fear of the poorly defined substance called marijuana is causing the problems. I just volunteered to be a problem solver.

      3. Alright Year, let us be cordial but answer eachother clearly. No dodgeball.

        First, Im flattered you think Im “fair” but we have no control over the “Reply” button on this forum. It runs out after the fourth or fifth reply, so you will have to reply to my previous post and write “@Julian.”

        Second, you did not answer my most important statement and question… that by advocating the redefinition of prohibition limited to “the smoke of” we are still condemning Americans to incarceration, especially those with less income and in states without voter initiatives. Also, this redefinition would much more likely result in Rescheduling, not DEscheduling, leading to a continuance of prohibition under schedule II with an oppressive synthetic patenting of marijuana. How do you reconcile this line of policy with your relentless to persuit of redefining the goal post? Dont you feel your method of federal rescheduling and redefinition is distracting us from persuing better efforts to respect states rights?

      4. What about bongs? Would that have helped Tommy Chong when he was prosecuted by the government for selling glass and/or plastic pipes?

      5. I wonder if there is such a book titled, The Metaphysical Arguments About Marijuana and how to understand it without the help of that wonderful weed.

      6. So youre a “problem solver” huh Yearbait?

        Solve THIS problem:

        Florida legislature just banned smoking marijuana even though it was written into the voter-approved Constitutional amendment to allow smoked marijuana in their state medical program.
        Same bull$#!+ that happened to Pennsylvania when Big Pharma got involved. Sure, its going to court, but continuing to incarcerate people who smoke their medicine while others vaporize is another way of Big Pharma trying to hide the “magic” of possession of whole plant cannabis and hide synthetic patents in oils and vaporized forms of ingestion.
        Im trying to be cordial with you but youve got a lot of answering to do because I was tired of this war on whole plant weed bull$#!+ since conception.

      7. @Julian

        The answer to your question is literally in the text of the reform. The term “marijuana” is listed in Schedule 1 with the “h” spelling, not the term “cannabis”. By being specific in its meaning, the reformed definition literally de-schedules the plant, and I think you are correct in that it would likely result in the rescheduling of marijuana – the smoke. Rescheduled smoke would be legal smoke, probably with restrictions like for tobacco smoke.

        Primarily, it is the enforced conflation of the two terms permitted by its unspecific riddle of a definition that makes people think cannabis is in the Schedule. A clear definition is important because that will remove the conflation, and thereby conform to the Necessary and Proper clause.

        Attempts to reschedule the current definition have always failed because that definition violates the Constitution. That is its “trick”. If the current definition was rescheduled, its format would still violate the Constitution, and that would likely become more apparent. In an earlier blog, I saw how some States, like Texas, define marijuana to be the plant. See how they joined in effecting the “trick”? When redefined at the federal level, then the Supremacy clause would put an end to their trick.

        Cannabis can then be controlled, but not prohibited, by the States as per the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and its smoke (marijuana specifically) can then be rescheduled to acknowledge its medical value, as well as its nuisance value. THC has already been effectively rescheduled except when within marijuana. That is why the medical studies are so important.

      8. @Year,
        I really dont know now whether you are baiting us into a rescheduling trap or youre just tilting at the Windmills like Don Quixote, or both.
        Marijuana will be prohibited under its current scheduling whether we spell it with an “h” a “j” call it cannabis or whatever the Hell “booty juice” or any of the other so-called slang terms are listed on the DEA’s website.

        CONGRESS HAS TO DESCHEDULE MARIJUANA by CLEARLY stating it has been REMOVED from the Controlled Substances Act. As Ive said before, simply redefining all those smoke and mirrors is just a long road down Reschedule-ville.
        And where do you get the idea that Rescheduling the “smoke” of marijuana would make it legal as “tobacco”? You do realize tobacco- even though it kills 450,000 Americans per year and marijuana kills none- isnt even on the CSAct’s scheduling list?
        NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano has written plenty of articles on how rescheduling marijuana is still prohibition. And if you want to see what a failure it is to legalize even medical marijuana while prohibiting the smoke, you wont have to wait long because the Florida legislature just did it. And its already going to court.
        As for the Supremacy Clause taking on the whole plant definition in Texas, check out the next blog. I dont know what you expected it to “take care” of but right now at least it doesnt apply to private cases. Even if the Supremacy Clause challenged a state definition of cannabis it would STILL be prohibition!!
        A weed by any other name would still smell as sweet. And prohibition by any other scheduling or definition still stinks. And the Texas definition is more honest about what Big Pharma wants to do, although it is preposterous to prohibit or patent an entire plant. While were at it I patent the horse, potatoes and some jalapeños and prohibit anyone else from their possession. Wish me luck.

      9. When we break it all down THC is not profitable by itself because its the synergy of cannabinoids that make whole plant cannabis medically and recreationally safe and effective. Its part of marijuana’s unpatentable charm. Any attempt to synthesize and redefine marijuana prohibition to patent its molecules has failed because our medical synthetic patenting system has failed. Synthetics make us sick and give us side effects. Synthetic heroin is a growing pandemic. Synthetic marijuana kills and its NOT whole plant cannabis, no matter what we call it or how we the public, the DEA or the FDA define it.
        You can call marijuana whatever you want just roll me up and smoke me when I die because Im not going to stop smoking the plant unless I choose to.
        What about you, Year? How do you consume your herb? And have you clicked on the Act tab to protect states rights and take action so I can call you by your proper moniker?

  6. Keep these European Vacation articles coming.

    It sure would be a nice bit of progress in Manchester if Colin Davies finally got to open a cannabis coffeeshop like in the old article what I dug out of the archives.

    I’m all for non-cooperation with the prohibitionist feds.

    Crackdown on legalization would backfire:

  7. Holy $#!+!!

    Sessions just asked Trump to resign and Trump refused! The President is blaming Sessions for recusing himself of the Russian investigation for the appointment of Special prosecutor Mueller. Sessions knows that testimony from tomorrows hearing with former FBI director Comey will be an historic damnation of a greater scale than any President in US history. (Nixon didnt even have evidence of direct tampering in surveillance or elections… he simply ordered others to do it. Not so with the big mouth on the Trump chump).
    So what does this mean for marijuana policy? The Cole memos were still under “review” but Sessions has ordered a scaling back to mandatory minimums and private prisons. For now, we in the marijuana legalization community can rest assured the USAG is too preoccupied to give his full attention to Drug War III. We can sit back, pop a few medibles and listen to Mueller’s testimony tomorrow and feel the tremor of the collective squirming of spines in Washington when Sessions’ name is mentioned at the hearing. So much for fake news: $#!+’s about to get real.

    1. I totally agree with you, Julian, on how I too have noticed this is a huge ditraction that will serve to our benefit, the Comey and Russia affair, you are right on, and I await the proceedings today as well.

      I see my letter to Director Henderson was deemed inappropriate and discarded.


      I will comment that Florida just finally is convening on medical. Hope NORML posts something of value on the subject.

      Oh, btw, I attempted a donation on here but debit did not go through, I wish it had, but it worked for MPP.

      Right on, as so frequently, Julian. I can’t wait. I personally think if Sessions steps down it is Guiliani coming up next, Christie’s career is tainted goods,but you are so right, again, about this whole affair being a distraction. Should have seen the major mainstream media networks last night. Massive Comey inquiry coverage, how he went to Sessions…his convos with Trump, the disagreements between the two….sad for America, indeed. But I do hope he resigns, we shall see what happens.

      My fight now, however, is primarily in DEFENSE of the states that have fully legalized. Expansion is supposed to be our priority, but I think now is the time to defend against fed. interference and other measures. Conn. looks promise on expansion. Few others, at the moment. Thanks, Julian.

      1. I must apologize to NORML as I see my long post to Director Henderson is still awaiting moderation before being posted. I am very sorry about this, I need to pay closer attention to time zones….well, I only request it still be posted..and I will pay closer attention as a guest of this site in the future. My post was not discarded, and I apologize for saying that it was. I just did not notice it was still under moderation. Norml, sorry about that, I will be more careful in the future. I hope you will still consider posting, I at least do feel it is entirely app. and a very cool post, I was really feeling the passion at the time. Also, I did want to mention, perhaps NORML, in the end of the week notices, do not forget Florida.

        If you have heard, they just convened for the first time on medical, MPP sent me an email notification too. I will be back on tomorrow. Again, I am sorry for not noticing my post was, in fact, still under moderation, and not “deemed inapp. and discarded.” I just failed to notice it had merely not been approved yet. So I will be more careful in the future for certain. :)—Matt, and in solidarity

      2. and one final point, lol, one thing that was true, I did attempt to donate on here, sigh, my debit card did not go through, but as soon as I figure that out, I would be more than happy to make that financial donation. MPP did get a donation though, so at least that went through. 🙂 Matt

      3. What I find hilarious is not only that apparently Sessions has been begging the President for months to resign but this whole explanation that the reason Trump is angry with ol Beau is because Trump believes Sessions betrayed him by recusing himself of the Russian investigation. When in fact, Sessions was doing the correct procedure to keep suspicion away from the dumb box of orange rocks we call our President.
        Now Sessions is on Trump’s hitlist and he wont let him resign so he can be sure to throw him under the bus when the heat picks up this summer. The funny part is Sessions was trying to help cover up Trump’s tracks. Thats what he and every Trump supporter gets for being a wipe-@$$: A federal indictment and the unemployment line. Life is like a box o chocolates, aint it ol Trump-Gump-Sessions?

      4. WHAT Rudy Guliani is going to do us….to minorities…broken windows…stop and man with a white wife……

        this is a nightmare

      5. Appointing Guliani is not going to be easy, and the lack of appointments in General is art of an anarchist strategy from Chief Grim Reaper Bannon:

        More likely, Rosenstein will become AG if Sessions gets the can. Leafly’s new political Haymaker column points out that Rosenstein stopped prosecuting cannabis cases when he was top prosecutor in Baltimore after Maryland legalized mmj, meaning he respects states rights.
        Whats going to be interesting is Rosenstein already has to recuse himself from investigating the Russia-Gate since he appointed a special councel and he himself is under investigation. Trump got neutered and theres nothing he can do about it or fire his way out of it.
        Besides, Guliani wouldnt pass confirmation and I dont think even he wants the job anymore. Who wants to work for a sociopath who cant even distinguish a supportive ruse of a disagreement from disloyalty?


    My response to Law Director Henderson as a former Ohio resident:

    Your proposal to ban, outright, the distrubution, cultivation, or sale of medical marijuana in Perrysburg is not only a tragedy, but an absolute joke, which flies in the face of not only the inevitable future of legalilzation nationwide, but for the patients who desperately request marijuana rather than the use of powerful and addictive opiods.

    1. You apparently heard from noone at the city council meeting recently, the public forum, well, now you are hearing from me. I don’t think you seem to realize that medical marijuana is legal in about 28 or 29 states now, but, perhaps based on a “fear for safety of the community,” or the typical talking points of those living in fear and suspicion of the unknown, you want it BANNED. Perhaps, if you could go farther, use itself would also be banned as well, perhaps it already is. I commend your neighbor, Bowling Green, for rejecting a ban on medical marijuana.

      The tide toward the legalization of this wonderful plant is clearly shifting in this country, and even a federal crackdown will not stop the inevitable future. I commend the states who see the FUTURE, and have not only permitted legal medical use, but have woken up to reality, and allowed full and total recreational marijuana use, enjoyed by many, from many professionals, educational backgrounds, functions in society, and walks of life.

      I really encourage you, Mrs. Henderson, to wake up to reality and see that your ban will, even if it passes will one day be tossed aside by those who see a better way, and use common sense rather than remaining stuck in the past. This ban is a bad idea, and is ignorant of the reality of all the other cities who permit for said distributing, culitvation, and selling of BOTH medical and recreational use, and who reap the benefits. If you want Perrysburg to remain stuck in the past, the proverbial Dark Ages of Prohibition, be my guest. I was done with confused and backwards Ohio a long time ago. Perhaps you joined Prosecutor Dobson or others who might have opposed Issue 3, I too felt the law was badly written, but it was a start for Ohio to embrace the inevitabe future.

  9. That future WILL see both medical AND recreational use of marijuana come to every city, and every state, including Perrysburg, whether you yourself or those who support your proposed ban like it or not. Let me repeat, medical marijuana WILL come to Perrysburg one day even if your ban becomes law. It is such a shame that you are even proposing this when others choose the opposite and prosper as a result. Wake up and see reality. Legalization and the distribution, cultivation, and selling of medical and recreational marijuana are coming to Perrysburg one day, regardless of the council’s proposed ban. It is just sad, but at least I know I am right, and I stand with the other municpalities and states that have embraced FULL legalization and prosper as a result, both the patients and citizens.

    I encourage you to wake up and realize legalization is inevitable nationwide and around the world, Canada is slated for next year alone, and MI has not only medical, but is once again collecting signatures for recreational use for next year as well. Perrysburg City Council needs to wake up and get their heads out of the sand. Perhaps the police who favor the ban as well. Legalization is coming, Perrysburg. Pass all the bans you want, but one day, those bans will be eliminated, and legalization will ensue.

    Please consider checking out,,, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the Marijuana Majority, and all of us who are fighting every hour,, every single day, to legalize in every city, in every state. I see the inevitable future, Director Henderson, and I encourage you to do the same.

    Thank you,

    Wish to remain an anonymous citizen

  10. oh, and to my post for Director Henderson, and I know it is long, but I hope it posts, I should have assauged her concerns or those of others on the council by suggesting tight reguations and controlled grow areas for medical cannabis…sigh…but it is what it is. Okay, last post on this article, I promise, NORML, lol, other than replying to anyone who replies.

  11. There it is: Democratic Senator Ron Wyden asks what involvement Attorney General Sessions had in the FBI investigation for Russian intereference in our elections, or why he was being investigated:

    Comey: “Due to a variety of reasons… due to reasons that I cannot discuss in an open setting…”

    (Subpeonaaaaa… Waaaait for iiiit…)

    Wyden: “Mychael Flynn was fired four days after Senator Sessions was sworn in. Any relation to that?”

    Comey: “I- I don’t know. Perhaps there was?”

    Here’s the bottom line… At this point its going to be very difficult for the President to fire special prosecutor Mueller, as the Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein must be ordered by the President to do so and Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, is being investigated by Mueller.

    That means todays testimony will result in subpeonas. That means Sessions’ Drug War has been stalled at very least to allow pivitol legalization in California to take effect and allow for revenue which can be used to declare damages in court. Most importantly, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut are competing to bring the first legislatively enacted marijuana legalization, and the President and his administration are going to be so wrapped up with this investigation that new Federal judges wont be appointed in time to stop marijuana legalization by Federal injunction using the Supremacy Clause.

    Democratic Senator Dick Durbin is grilling Comey on Sessions now too.

    Well Bless your heart Beauregard, goes to show you can run in Alabama but you sho caint hide!

    The fake just got REAL!

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