Earlier today, someone posted an article from the blog Science Based Medicine. It very nicely points out the struggles people are having when justifying medical use, and exactly how to earn legitimacy. It also showed there is a need to explain WHY medical cannabis is a viable therapy right now, and MUST be made available to patients.
Many groups tend to overstate the known facts on both sides of the issue. The cannabis haters often argue that there is no science, addiction possibilities, and looming rises in teen drug use. However, the pro-cannabis lobby seems to do the same thing. This usually means the truth is somewhere in the middle. For instance, dealing with the cancer curing properties of cannabis, basically what we have is a luminous lump of anecdotal evidence and some highly suggestive studies. The article states, “They’ve done so [legalized medical cannabis] on the basis of a political movement among patients that make pot sound like a miracle drug that can help when no other intervention can.” This is very true. Cannabis is being touted as a miracle drug for many conditions including autoimmune issues, cancers, and epilepsy. The touting, in many cases, is because cannabis has helped when nothing else did. Granted, the legal status of cannabis makes it hard to do ANY positive research on it. One cannot clamor for science when it is impossible for the science to happen! Most medical cannabis advocates truly do want this studied in its entirety! Isolated cannabinoid therapy may help many people and cannot be ignored! But science takes time. Even if we got cannabis rescheduled today, it would be years before any results would come. The author goes on to say, “If marijuana is going to be approved for use as medicine rather than for recreational use, however, the standards of evidence it must meet should be no different than any other drug, and for the vast majority of indications for which it’s touted medical cannabis doesn’t even come close to meeting that standard.” This is something I seriously disagree with however. If “science” cannot provide a viable option, then it must yield to what exists. While cannabinoids need to be studied and isolated (there is a need for pharma), patients cannot wait for science to catch up. Until science has a better solution, medical cannabis needs to be available to those who need it. (Honestly, even after science’s solution, people need access to cannabis period.) Unfortunately, I feel “science” is just as bad as extreme religion when it comes to this. Since when is science ONLY studying one thing! Does that mean the study of ecosystems, or compounds is not science since the components aren’t singular? Science sound like a bunch of witch-hunt Puritans to me.
Sadly it also appears that the author isn’t familiar with Sativex. It is a measured dose of standardized, whole plant cannabis extract. The only reason it is unavailable in the USA is because of legal status. Marinol is also isolated, synthetic THC. So cannabis does exist in medicine form. Not sure why she neglected this science in her article when the author decided to state, “In brief, herbs, when they work, are adulterated drugs. The active ingredient is usually a minor constituent, embedded in thousands of other constituents that make up herbs, and it’s almost impossible to control lot-to-lot consistency with respect to content or active ingredients given how location, weather, soil conditions, rainfall, and many other factors can affect how the plants from which the medicines are extracted grow and therefore their chemical composition. ” The entourage effect was also not mentioned. This just suggests that cannabinoids work better with the full host of their constituents. Dr. Mechoulam in Israel has noted that cannabinoids seem to function based on the other cannabinoids within the profile. What is “sticky” about this, is the results of isolated cannabinoid studies. One is clearly going to get inaccurate results unless full cannabinoid testing is done, in addition to isolated cannabinoid studies.
It saddens me to think that so many in the scientific community have completely ignored the evidence out there, compounded with inhibitory laws that has prevented the research into one of our body’s most vital systems. I think it is fantastic someone did research, but looking at this person’s blog – they also sound like a bitter person who wants to criticize while not offering a solution. Patients cannot wait. Since this article was written, the FDA has granted CBD special Orphan Drug status for glioma. That means the FDA has recognized CBD kills cancer and can be especially effective in brain cancers like glioma. Sounds like the science must have been there. Attached are links to the blog in question. I didn’t respond to the cancer one specifically, since I cannot speak to that personally.