The Medicine of Marijuana

 

The professional literature on the medical benefits of marijuana is voluminous. Cannabis, as marijuana was known to American doctors and medicine suppliers until 1942, has been accepted as valid treatment by multitudes of patients, physicians and other heath care professionals in the states accommodating medical use and globally. The medical evidence of its benefit has been rejected by the federal government, however, which places politics over science on this  issue. Despite federal obstruction of medical use and research into marijuana’s medical applications, a large and growing body of published, peer-reviewed research supports the use of cannabis for a wide variety of debilitating illnesses and conditions. American patients, researchers and health care providers are falling behind the medical discoveries in countries where the government does not impede the study of this medicine, in its condition-specific applications, dosages and delivery systems.

The purpose of this page is to provide materials of significance to doctors, other health care providers and medication suppliers.

 The Mayo Clinic Proceedings, one of America’s preeminent healthcare institution’s journal reporting research and innovative medical analysis, documents the conflict between science and the federal government in its February 2012 article, Blurred Boundaries: The Therapeutics and Politics of Medical Marijuana, with an introductory article by the world leader in cannabis research, Israel’s Raphael Mechoulam.

Affidavit of Paul Armentano, filed in U.S. District Court, California, 2011, identifies the research published in the last ten years establishing the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis and its components.

Alternet.org on September 14, 2012, published an Armentano article entitled “5 Marijuana Compounds That Could Help Combat Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons (If Only They Were Legal),” which notes “A 2009 literature review [Trends Pharmacol Sci] published by a team of Italian and Israeli investigators indicates that [cannabidiol — CBD — ‘quite possibly the most single important cannabinoid in the marijuana plant’] likely holds even broader clinical potential. They acknowledged that CBD possesses anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antiepileptic, neuroprotective, vasorelaxant, antispasmodic, anti-ischemic, anticancer, antiemetic, antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and bone stimulating properties.”

Brief of Petitioner Craker v. DEA, First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, 2011, explains how the federal bureaucracy actively obstructs medical research with marijuana, inconsistently with federal policy allowing research with other controlled substances.

This link comprehensively details the history of medical marijuana. The History of Marijuana as Medicine, from the non-partisan ProCon.org. 

This research report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, January 11, 2012, documents ordinary marijuana use as not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function. The long-term study examined 5,000 people from three American cities and found no consequences to lung health from smoking pot. Note, cannabis also may be taken therapeutically by vaporizer, edibles or external tincture.

This January 30, 2012 Israeli newspaper article reports an oncologists’ study by a research hospital and the Israel Cancer Association, headlined Israeli researchers say more doctors should recommend marijuana to cancer patients.

This 2005 Harm Reduction Journal research article concludes that, “while tobacco and cannabis smoke have similar properties chemically, their pharmacological activities differ greatly. Components of cannabis smoke minimize some carcinogenic pathways whereas tobacco smoke enhances some.” Also, see this Washington Post report of a 2006 National Institute of Health funded UCLA medical school study of 1200 cancer patients (“the largest case-control study ever done”), finding cannabis use “may kill aging cells and keep them from becoming cancerous.”

This January 17, 2012 article in The Atlantic magazine, reports on the federal government’s prevention of FDA-approved research exploring the promise of marijuana’s efficacy with treatment-resistent combat veterans suffering PTSD.

This 2012 report in The Open Neurology Journal describes protocols for doctors to use in making patient recommendations for  marijuana, based on research conducted by the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. The article also finds “Based on evidence currently available, the Schedule I classification [of marijuana under federal law] is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

This September 6, 2012 web-article documents reports by the American Association for Cancer Research, Harvard University and Spanish academic research reported in a British professional journal, “show[ing] ‘cannabinoids’ in marijuana slow cancer growth, inhibit formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other [cancer] side effects.”