Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’
by Vivian I Curl in
Marijuana and Glaucoma
Dear PUBLIC SERVANT:
The Republicans are at it again with yet another assault against the people of Michigan with the launch of “Senate Bill 977, which removes Glaucoma as a qualifying medical condition by the State of Michigan for the Medical Marijuana Program.” We the people take this as a direct assault aimed against the aging Michigan population. The people are tired of the expensive pharmaceutical toxins that provide minimal relief for this condition glaucoma. We the people write this letter because we are mad that you are actually considering this attempt with Senate Bill 977. We the people see this Bill as an attack against the aging senior community.
Public Servant you should be aware that “Over 2.2 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision”Gluacoma.Org
We are writing this letter to educate you the PUBLIC SERVANT. We believe you must need this educational information as it is only obvious that you are not considering the peer reviewed validated research. This research confirms that marijuana is the best alternative herbal treatment for the condition of glaucoma.
We the people are uniting to state our disapproval of Senate Bill 977:
The condition “Glaucoma is an eye condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds up inside of the eye. The condition tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life” WebMD. This condition starts with “the increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure continues, glaucoma will cause loss of vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years.” WebMD
Six validated research articles that confirm marijuana is a critical component for relieving the symptoms of pressure in the eyes for Glaucoma patients:
- Elsevier, SciVerse, Science Direct provides a survey of ophthalmology and presents “Marijuana can cause a profound lowering of IOP, but the high nonresponse rate, short half-life, and significant toxicity are strong indicators that it is not an appropriate therapeutic agent. Ginkgo biloba and some other Chinese herbal remedies do not affect IOP, but may improve blood flow to the optic nerve and, as such, may have a beneficial effect on glaucoma” Science Direct
- The Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry states “The smoking of marijuana has decreased IOP in glaucoma patients. Cannabinoid drugs, therefore, are thought to have significant potential for pharmaceutical development. However, as the mechanism surrounding their effect on IOP initially was thought to involve the CNS, issues of psychoactivity hindered progress. The discovery of ocular cannabinoid receptors implied an explanation for the induction of hypotension by topical cannabinoid applications, and has stimulated a new phase of ophthalmic cannabinoid research” PubMed.
- The British Journal of Ophthalmology presents that “cannabinoid will most likely prove to be useful as an anti cancer drug21 and for the management of pain,22,23 and of various kinds of motor dysfunction that include the muscle spasticity, spasm, or tremor associated with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury,24 the tics and psychiatric signs and symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, and the dyskinesia that is produced by l-dopa in patients with Parkinson’s disease.25–27 As now discussed, one other important potential clinical application for cannabinoids, is the management of glaucoma” PubMed.
- The Department of Ophthalmology says the only issue with marijuana is the toxicological profile “Development of drugs based on the cannabinoid molecule or its agonists for use as topical or oral antiglaucoma medications seems to be worthy of further pursuit. Among the latter chemicals, some have no known adverse psychoactive side effects. Smoking of marijuana plant material for the reduction of elevated IOP in glaucoma is ill-advised, given its toxicological profile” PubMed
- J Clinic Pharmacol, 1981, Aug-Sep, 21 (8-9 Suppl): 467S-471S “Systemic delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), administered either by smoking marihuana or as synthetic THC in soft gelatin capsules, lowers ocular tension in various glaucoma’s, but at the expense of significant decreases in systolic blood pressure” PubMed
- Chem Biol Drug Des, 2010 Jun, 75 (6):632-40 says “Cannabinoid compounds have widely been employed because of its medicinal and psychotropic properties. These compounds are isolated from Cannabis sativa (or marijuana) and are used in several medical treatments, such as glaucoma, nausea associated to chemotherapy, pain and many other situations” PubMed
Please research and you will find that these are validated reasons why we should continue to allow Glaucoma patients the opportunity to medicate and relieve the pressure without the use of harmful synthetics. Wake up and realize that pharmaceutical sludge is the reason that people are unhealthy today. We must stand against the pharmaceutical and governmental assault on medical marijuana.
Thank you for your consideration:
Vivian I Curl, Marketing Specialist, Nutritional Health Research Writer, Poet, and Communication Major. Vivian@Qventerprises.com
You the citizen can take action also by copy and pasting your name into the above spot and sending this letter to: www.legislature.mi.gov
By Raymond Cushing, AlterNet
The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February, 2000 when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
The Madrid study marks only the second time that THC has been administered to tumor-bearing animals; the first was a Virginia investigation 26 years ago. In both studies, the THC shrank or destroyed tumors in a majority of the test subjects.
Most Americans don’t know anything about the Madrid discovery. Virtually no major U.S. newspapers carried the story, which ran only once on the AP and UPI news wires, on Feb. 29, 2000.
The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice – lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.
The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on the events in his book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out – unsuccessfully – to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.”
The Madrid researchers reported in the March issue of “Nature Medicine” that they injected the brains of 45 rats with cancer cells, producing tumors whose presence they confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the 12th day they injected 15 of the rats with THC and 15 with Win-55,212-2 a synthetic compound similar to THC. “All the rats left untreated uniformly died 12-18 days after glioma (brain cancer) cell inoculation … Cannabinoid (THC)-treated rats survived significantly longer than control rats. THC administration was ineffective in three rats, which died by days 16-18. Nine of the THC-treated rats surpassed the time of death of untreated rats, and survived up to 19-35 days. Moreover, the tumor was completely eradicated in three of the treated rats.” The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.
The Spanish researchers, led by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutense University, also irrigated healthy rats’ brains with large doses of THC for seven days, to test for harmful biochemical or neurological effects. They found none.
“Careful MRI analysis of all those tumor-free rats showed no sign of damage related to necrosis, edema, infection or trauma … We also examined other potential side effects of cannabinoid administration. In both tumor-free and tumor-bearing rats, cannabinoid administration induced no substantial change in behavioral parameters such as motor coordination or physical activity. Food and water intake as well as body weight gain were unaffected during and after cannabinoid delivery. Likewise, the general hematological profiles of cannabinoid-treated rats were normal. Thus, neither biochemical parameters nor markers of tissue damage changed substantially during the 7-day delivery period or for at least 2 months after cannabinoid treatment ended.”
Guzman’s investigation is the only time since the 1974 Virginia study that THC has been administered to live tumor-bearing animals. (The Spanish researchers cite a 1998 study in which cannabinoids inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, but that was a “petri dish” experiment that didn’t involve live subjects.)
In an email interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. Hence, the Nature Medicine article characterizes the new study as the first on tumor-laden animals and doesn’t cite the 1974 Virginia investigation.
“I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by these people, but it has proven impossible.” Guzman said.
In 1983 the Reagan/Bush Administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer, who states, “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared.”
Guzman provided the title of the work – “Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids,” an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute – and this writer obtained a copy at the University of California medical school library in Davis and faxed it to Madrid.
The summary of the Virginia study begins, “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN)” – two types of cannabinoids, a family of active components in marijuana. “Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.”
The 1975 journal article doesn’t mention breast cancer tumors, which featured in the only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study – in the Local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974. Under the headline, “Cancer Curb Is Studied,” it read in part:
“The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered.” The researchers “found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”
Guzman, writing from Madrid, was eloquent in his response after this writer faxed him the clipping from the Washington Post of a quarter century ago. In translation, he wrote:
“It is extremely interesting to me, the hope that the project seemed to awaken at that moment, and the sad evolution of events during the years following the discovery, until now we once again Îdraw back the veilâ over the anti-tumoral power of THC, twenty-five years later. Unfortunately, the world bumps along between such moments of hope and long periods of intellectual castration.”
News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29, 2000 with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article. This writer stumbled on it through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report web page. The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.
Raymond Cushing is a journalist, musician and filmmaker. This article was named by Project Censored as a “Top Censored Story of 2000.”
ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 2011) — A chemical component of the marijuana plant could prevent the onset of pain associated with drugs used in chemo therapy, particularly in breast cancer patients, according to researchers at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia.
The researchers developed animal models and tested the ability of the compound cannabidiol, which is the second most abundant chemical found in the marijuana plant, to relieve chemo-induced neuropathic pain, said Sara Jane Ward, research assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in Temple’s School of Pharmacy and the study’s lead author.
“We found that cannabidiol completely prevented the onset of the neuropathic, or nerve pain caused by the chemo drug Paclitaxel, which is used to treat breast cancer,” said Ward, who is also a research associate professor in Temple’s Center for Substance Abuse Research.
Ward said that one of cannabidiol’s major benefits is that, unlike other chemicals found in marijuana such as THC, it does not produce psycho-active effects such as euphoria, increased appetite or cognitive deficits. “Cannabidiol has the therapeutic qualities of marijuana but not the side effects,” she said.
Ward’s research has long focused on systems in the brain that are impacted by marijuana and whether those systems could be targeted in the treatment of various disorders. “Marijuana binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the body and researchers have long been interested in whether there is therapeutic potential for targeting this receptor system,” she said.
Ward became interested in this current study after attending a conference in which she learned about a pain state that is induced by chemo-therapeutic agents, especially those used to treat breast cancer, which can produce really debilitating neuropathic pain.
Cannabidiol has also demonstrated the ability to decrease tumor activity in animal models, said Ward, which could make it an effective therapeutic for breast cancer, especially if you “combined it with a chemo agent like Paclitaxel, which we already know works well.”
According to Ward, there are currently about 10 clinical trials underway in the United States for cannabidiol on a range of different disorders, including cannabis dependence, eating disorders and schizophrenia. Because of this, she believes it will be easier to establish a clinical trial for cannabidiol as a therapeutic against neuropathic pain associated with chemo drugs.
In addition to Ward, Temple researchers involved in the study included Michael David Ramirez, Harshini Neelakantan and Ellen Ann Walker. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Peter F. McManus Charitable Trust.