How might cannabinoids be useful as medicine?

The term cannabinoids refer to compounds or chemicals found in marijuana or more precise in the Cannabis Sativa plants. Since the number of clinical trials is still not large enough to prove all the benefits and risks of the marijuana plant only two of its chemical compounds (THC and CBD) have been approved by the FDA, to be a component of some medications in form of pills, tinctures, oils, creams, gums, and other edibles.

The THC is responsible for the “high” sensation but many patients also reported relief with various illnesses and symptoms such as anxiety, pain, muscle spasticity, after the treatments with THC-based medications. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, helpful with seizures, inflammation, migraines, and nausea.

I recall that CBD’s property of calming neurological inflammation was patented, I think, by the FDA or some govt agency.

It’s interesting. I will look for more information about whose patent it is and let you know if you are also interested.

Thank you

Hi petergrins, I’ve recently published a piece about the many application of CBD:

Here is an abstract:

Anxiety: A study published in the Journal of Neurotherapeutics looks at CBD’s potential as a treatment for anxiety disorders.
There have even been positive findings related to CBD as a treatment for childhood PTSD and sleep disorders.

Skin: A recent study explored the therapeutic effect of CBD ointment on inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars.

Arthritis: A study published in a 2016 edition of the European Journal of Pain found that cannabis reduces inflammation and pain related to arthritis.

Cancer/chemio: The FDA has approved two marijuana-derived drugs for the treatment of cancer-related nausea and vomiting.

The article also mentions seizures & addiction. Here is the link to the article.
Hopefully it answers some of your questions!

@axel410

I’m going to allow for this now, but I haven’t checked your links. If you are selling stuff, I will shut down your account. Generally, we don’t like people coming in and setting up links to themselves right off the bat.

Yeah, that’s fair actually. Thanks Lausten.

In response to Peter Grinspoon,

Marijuana is a powerful stress reducing agent, but depending on the condition you’re treating, results will vary from patient to patient. I once heard a researcher say publicly that any one who’s experienced trauma from a head injury should use marijuana because of its high omega 3 content and anti-inflammatory effect.

If you or any clinician is treating someone for psychological ailments, like PTSD, rape trauma, alcoholism, opioid addiction or a range of other “personality disorders” the most effective tool for initiating the process of healing is likely to be hallucinogenic therapy. However thanks to the brain dead attitudes of boneheaded conservatives this approach is illegal. The documentary “Hofmans’ Potion” made in the early 2oo6 (?) tells the stunningly successful story of how the Canadian government used LSD in the 1950,s to treat alcoholism with a success rate after followup confirmation of a whopping 70 percent. Skilled clinicians are the key like those who founded MAPS, multi-disciplinary association for psychedelic studies. Plants and the infinite variety of compounds extracted from them hold the key to treating nearly all human maladies because humans have co-evolved with them for millions of years.

@michaelmckinney1951

As someone who dabbles in herbalism, I must admit that this last sentence was pretty cool. Might have to share it.

Cannabis is used medically as purified cannabinoids (eg, CBD), synthetic cannabinoids (eg, dronabinol), or parts of the whole plant. Nearly three dozen states have legalized some form of medicinal cannabis. But those laws are not universal in their language, according to Governing.com, a website that covers politics, policy and management. https://www.addictionrehabcenters.com/addiction-treatment/marijuana-addiction-treatment-and-rehabilitation/

To be fair I don’t think you can actually say that cannabis is “used medically”, at least not officially. Given that there are no FDA approved uses cannabis is not “medicine” and cannot legally be advertised as such. It is “alternative medicine”. Given the disdain we all tend to have for the alternative medicine corporate profit grabbing I think it’s important that we not pretend our favored alternative medicine, by every definition, is somehow special until scientifically proven to be.

That said there is a TON of anecdotal evidence. But, as we all know, anecdotal evidence is pretty much useless. How much anecdotal evidence is there against cannabis? I don’t know. I’ve never felt inclined to look up the anecdotal evidence either way (not that there is any authority for anecdotal evidence) and not surprisingly the only anecdotal evidence thrust in our faces is by cannabis enthusiasts. By the nature of anecdotal evidence there would be very little against it because first you have to be okay enough with cannabis to even try it and THEN you have to be interested enough in talking about it if it didn’t work.

As for the patent, patent 6630507 states the antioxidant properties of cannabinoids, which MAY make it useful in treating some conditions. There has been little to no medical testing done. Realistically, no medical properties can rightly be claimed for cannabinoids any more than they can be for any other alternative medicines. Research is needed. Without it, could be good, could be bad, could be meh. There is no way to know and anyone claiming otherwise is fooling themselves unless they say, “It seemed to have done this for me”, remembering to take into account the placebo effect AND the fact that simply relaxing may help whatever malady may afflict you.

As for me, I’ll try the hell out of it…when it’s legal in my state. Not that I’m all pro government or anything, I just don’t want to break the law to see what all the fuss is about.

Hopefully, with the Biden Presidency, the inappropriate Federal scheduling of Marijuana as a schedule 1 narcotic, will be redacted.

Then, maybe we can get more rigorous research about its efficacy in addressing medical issues.

But there has been a THC medicine on the market for years now. It can be used to decrease nausea and promote appetite.

I will also try marijuana if I can afford it, when it is legal. I know from experience that for me, it is a pleasant experience. Not like a highly addictive substance like cocaine, which feels too good, and has big time downsides.

 

I used to hang out with a bunch of stoners who were amused that I would not partake, but they could toke up in front of me no problem. The moment it’s legal on a state level here there are about 4 or 5 guys who are going to show up on my doorstep with weed because it amuses them to imagine me smoking pot. So I don’t have to afford it.

And pot is not at all addictive. Some people are prone to psychological addiction and do become addicted to pot, but that’s not due to any affect inherent in pot itself. I have known two people like that and neither of them cared whether it was pot, meth or paint fumes that was getting them high, so long as they were getting high. Had nothing whatsoever to do with an addictive properties of weed. And I think it’s pretty much settled that pot is both less likely to cause addiction and less harmful than alcohol. If you ingest it in some way other than smoking it also has near zero health effects that I’ve ever heard of. It won’t burn out your liver or make you look like Rudolf.

Now, I don’t want you thinking I’m a teetotaler here or anything. I tried to try pot once when I was young. But we weren’t real experienced. All the propaganda shows the leaves, so when we found it in a ditch somewhere, that’s the part we took and “dried out” in the microwave. Yeah, that did nothing. I don’t have anything against mind-altering substances or anything. I just don’t get in the mood to drink more than once every 3 or 4 years and don’t want the hassle of finding a “drug guy” and sneaking around with it just to get high. The benefit I imagine would be pretty cool. But the real possible consequences are not for me.

I’m in a state where CBD and “oils” are legal but not much else. I haven’t tried them for pain yet. I have been at a job that can test me at any time for 12 years, until 2 weeks ago. I know the CBD doesn’t show up in testing. THC does though so I’ve been a good boy for a long time. I will be visiting my mother in Michigan soon, where the retail locations are a little more downplayed than some of the earlier adopters, but they are there. If I have any revelations, I’ll you know. From now on, if I put “visiting my mom” in quotes, it’s code.

Even CBD is illegal without a prescription, which can be obtained for only very specific illnesses where I am. CBD with no THC in it is the same as marijuana under the law here. Even so it’s still widely available, advertised openly on signs. The law is mostly unenforced for the oils. There were one or two raids where all they did was confiscate the offending products and go on their merry way without filing charges. Mostly CBD is illegal, but ignored and, so, sold openly in gas stations.

For at least a while my mother-in-law was using it and swore by it. She was in a car accident decades ago which left her in a lot of pain. This lead to a decades long opioid addiction, which destroyed her nerve endings, leaving her in permanent pain without the pills. But I don’t really trust or opinion on the matter as she’s a hypochondriac and a very unpleasant woman. Not sure if she’s still using it or not, but she made us help her find some once. And, of course, it wasn’t the same brand, and it didn’t say that it contained 3% THC like her old bottle did, so that one might not have “worked” for her at all because her head is a lot of her issues.

But I did hear one story, again, anecdotal evidence, which I found very convincing. There was a young boy, about 10 or so, going through cancer treatments. His parents did everything in their power to alleviate his suffering, as parents tend to do. The one thing they claim to have found which worked was THC free CBD oil, which they were driving a great distance at terrible legal risk to get for him. They swore it helped him and were so sure that they risked prison and having their son taken from them to get it, again, as any decent parent would. That’s a pretty convincing anecdotal tale to me. The people swearing by the anecdote weren’t even the ones being helped by it. That was for nausea, not pain though.

In more ways than one is cannabis/marijuana helpful to our bodies; the THC in marijuana helps our bodies function better and improves our body’s immunity https://mmjdoctors.com/7-surprising-ways-that-marijuana-can-treat-your-illness/

I can tell from the title alone that article is making illegal claims as, without FDC approval, it cannot be claimed that anything can treat any illness.

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms

That medicine, Epidiolex, was approved in 2018.

Then there is Marinol (aka Dronabinol).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dronabinol

In 1999, Marinol was rescheduled from Schedule II to III of the Controlled Substances Act, reflecting a finding that THC had a potential for abuse less than that of cocaine and heroin. This rescheduling constituted part of the argument for a 2002 petition for removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, in which petitioner Jon Gettman noted, “Cannabis is a natural source of dronabinol (THC), the ingredient of Marinol, a Schedule III drug.”

At its 33rd meeting, in 2003, the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence recommended transferring THC to Schedule IV of the Convention, citing its medical uses and low abuse potential.

 

I would point out that those things are not “marijuana”. The link I took exception to was making medical claims about “marijuana”. I take no issue with making medical claims about “medicines”.

The cannabinoids CBD and THC are components of marijuana. If you get a strain of marijuana that is high in CBD it is going to have very similar effects to Epidiolex. And a strain high in THC would have effects similar to Marinol.

 

And again, I would point out that “components of marijuana” are not “marijuana”. I doubt smoking your blood pressure medication would have the same affect as taking the pill. I’m not anti-pot or anything (although I’m starting to go that way with all the “pot is medicine” crap I’m seeing lately), but “marijuana” contains a whole lot more than “CBD” and “THC”, so “marijuana” IS NOT the same as “CBD OR THC”, it’s “CBD AND THC AND some other stuff”.

I’m not in any way saying that marijuana definitely can’t treat anything. I’m just against ALL “alternative medicine” claims, even ones we really, really want to be true. When you can get it from a pharmacy with the word “medicine” on the label, and NOT just because California recognizes “lack of chill” as a “medical condition”, that’s when it becomes “medicine”. Until then it’s just pot.