Our non-profit organization that we set up about 2 years ago has been doing a lot of work educating physicians around the medical cannabis issue. We have realized there is a need for physicians to be taught more and they really appreciate hearing it from other physicians, who either have experience with patients, who are doing research like myself. And this group, its call the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, its a fairly big mouthful, but the CCIC for short, is the group, and that has been really rewarding.
I think that as we accept the medical utility of cannabis. We are going to start to dig more deeply in to the cannabinoids the key constituents of the marijuana plant that are providing this benefit. From a pharmaceutical company perspective, I think there is going to be an interest in trying to isolate those compounds. Or trying to work within the endogenous cannabinoids system that system of cannabinoids, which is functioning within all of us all the time with, out any external influence. Trying to target that with medications that can up regulate the level of cannabinoids in our bodies can eliminate the break down of cannabinoids. So perhaps getting a cannabinoid effect without really taking in a cannabinoid but by enhancing our own endogenous levels. So I think that is one area the pharmaceutical industry is going to be taking. I think another area is trying to improve the over all quality and regulation of herbal cannabis.
By Dr. Frank Lucido As we approach the November elections, in which California voters will get to decide if cannabis can be taxed and regulated in 2010, I think about how fortunate I have been to have met so many of the pioneers who brought us to the point where marijuana may soon be taxed
I was asked by my Parliament, the parliament is called the Knesset, to head a committee to decide to go ahead with cannabis both a medicinal agent and so on and there was a committee of government officials mostly, and I was the only one from the outside so I was chairman. And we wrote a big report that said that it should be utilized as a medicinal agent. And more research would be done and also young people should not be sent to prison, or convicted, or criminal files should not be opened, to make things more tolerable. And although it never became a law, and government officials who were in charge of these things, apparently instructed the police to follow these recommendations. So since then, to the best of my knowledge, young people who were caught smoking pot, they were scolded, were told, you, you have a lot of problems, but they never opened a criminal file, they never appeared in court, they never were sent to prison, the reason was, it makes sense.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam – Cannabis During Pregnancy Raphael Mechoulam (Hebrew: רפאל משולם) (born 1930) is an Israeli organic chemist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. Mechoulam is best known for his work (together with Y. Gaoni) in the isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main
There are patients able to overcome their nausea and vomiting from their chemotherapy and perhaps even be cured of these malignancies by using cannabis. But what really started me in my research was in my work with HIV AIDS patients. Again seeing them being eaten alive if you will by the AIDS wasting syndrome, which was a common sort of end of life phenomenon that we had before we discovered effective anti retroviral drugs and about the time Delta-9 THC was approved, thats the drug durnabinol or marinol, for treatment for this wasting syndrome in HIV patients.
We did that study, and we showed that there was no damage to the level of the aids drug in the blood stream to the patients immune system or to the level of the virus in their blood stream over 21 days of smoking a government cigarette 3 times a day. And that led us then to move on and do other research looking to see if whether or not cannabis had any medicinal benefit for patients with HIV. Particularly we were fortunate in California when we had a budget surplus that one of our state senators established a center for medicinal cannabis research at the university of California. And that center worked out a deal with NIDA so that NIDA the only legal source of marijuana for research in the country would supply investigators who had been favorably peer reviewed by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to do clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of smoked marijuana. So I submitted a study to look at marijuana in patients with the painful HIV related peripheral neuropathy, which is the damage to the nerves in the hands and feet. For which we really didnt have any treatment.
I think another very exciting field about cannabis medicines, is the potential effect that cannabiniods and maybe some of the other components of the marijuana plant may have against cancer cells. Interestingly, although this work was initially being done the National Cancer Institute in the 1970s. It disappeared in the United States and most of this work is done in Spain and Italy. And many of my colleagues in those countries are very enthusiastic about the anti cancer activities of cannabiniods and how they work in many different places in the cancer cell cycle. To lead to arrest of cell division, cell migration and metastasis and cell invasiveness. So I think that there is a lot to be studied in this field too that is very exciting.
Dr. Donald Abrams Compares Cannabis To Opiate-based Medicines Donald Abrams, M.D. explains he first learned how medical marijuana helped patients in various ways through many studies – dating back through the 90’s. Dr. Donald Abrams is the Chief of Hematology-Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, as well as Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University