Philip Robson Therapeutic aspects of cannabis andcannabinoids 2001
“Cannabis and some cannabinoids are effective antiemetic’s and
analgesics and reduce intraocular pressure. There is evidence of symptom relief and
improved well-being in selected neurological conditions, AIDS and certain cancers.
Cannabinoids may reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Anticonvulsant activity
requires clarification. Other properties identified by basic research await evaluation.
Standard treatments for many relevant disorders are unsatisfactory. Cannabis is safe
in overdose but often produces unwanted effects, typically sedation, intoxication,
clumsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, lowered blood pressure or increased heart rate.
The discovery of specific receptors and natural ligands may lead to drug
developments. Research is needed to optimise dose and route of administration,
quantify therapeutic and adverse effects, and examine interactions.”
Their conclusion (House of Lords, 1998) published in November 1998, was that,
although cannabis should remain a controlled drug, the law should be changed to
allow doctors to prescribe “an appropriate preparation of cannabis if they saw fit”, and “search for a way to avoid criminalising those who seek only to assuage their own
suffering”. The government rejected this recommendation on the day of publication.
This extract highlights the moment the political decision was taken to shelve Robson’s findings, instead of sharing with the British Public nor amending legislation to represent the fact that cannabis is not a harmful Schedule 1 Drug warranting Class B sentencing but is in fact a relatively benign, safe and therapeutically effective traditional herbal health remedy.
Cannabinoids: A new hope for breast cancer therapy?
This review summarizes our current knowledge on the anti-tumour potential of
cannabinoids in breast cancer, which suggests that cannabinoid-based medicines
may be useful for the treatment of most breast tumour subtypes.
“Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells
Scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other
compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic
protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be
neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation
in nerve cells” says Salk Institute Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper.
The researchers concluded that the results of the current study, “both when analysed
using morbid risk and family frequency calculations, suggest that having an
increased familial risk for schizophrenia is the underlying basis for schizophrenia in
these samples – not the cannabis use.
“While cannabis may have an effect on the age of onset of schizophrenia it is unlikely
to be the cause of illness,” said the researchers, who were led by Ashley C. Proal
from Harvard Medical School.
Clearing the smoke: What do we know about adolescent cannabis use and
“What can be said is that the extreme opinions on this subject are not rooted in
science. There is little evidence that, at a population level, cannabis use during
adolescence is a primary contributing factor in the development of psychiatric illness.
In fact, it has even been suggested that at a societal level, the prevention of 3000-
4000 adolescents from consuming cannabis may prevent only 1 case of psychosis
from emerging. At the same time, however, there is evidence that in high-risk
populations, cannabis can be highly adverse, so arguments claiming that cannabis is
innocuous are equally flawed… once a diagnosis of schizophrenia is present,
cannabis use is clearly adverse”.
“In summary, enormous doses of Delta 9 THC, All THC and concentrated marihuana
extract ingested by mouth were unable to produce death or organ pathology in large
mammals but did produce fatalities in smaller rodents due to profound central
nervous system depression.”
“The non-fatal consumption of 3000 mg/kg A THC by the dog and monkey would be
comparable to a 154-pound human eating approximately 46 pounds (21 kilograms) of
1%-marihuana or 10 pounds of 5% hashish at one time. In addition, 92 mg/kg THC
intravenously produced no fatalities in monkeys. These doses would be comparable
to a 154-pound human smoking at one time almost three pounds (1.28 kg) of 1%-
marihuana or 250,000 times the usual smoked dose and over a million times the
minimal effective dose assuming 50% destruction of the THC by smoking.”
“Thus, evidence from animal studies and human case reports appears to indicate that
the ratio of lethal dose to effective dose is quite large. This ratio is much more
favourable than that of many other common psychoactive agents including alcohol and
barbiturates (Phillips et al. 1971, Brill et al. 1970).”
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