Marijuana Ingredient Slows Heart Disease 

Marijuana Ingredient Slows Heart Disease 
Posted by CN Staff on April 06, 2005 at 10:17:54 PT
By Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer
Source: Associated Press 
Low doses of the main active ingredient in marijuana slowed the progression of hardening of the arteries in mice, suggesting a hint for developing a new therapy in people. Experts stressed that the finding does not mean people should smoke marijuana in hopes of getting the same benefit. "To extrapolate this to, 'A joint a day will keep the doctor away,' I think is premature," said Dr. Peter Libby, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The mouse work is presented in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature by Dr. Francois Mach of Geneva University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, and colleagues. He said in an e-mail that he believed future work will focus on finding drugs that mimic the benefit without producing marijuana's effects on the brain.Hardening of the arteries sets the stage for heart attacks. Inflammation plays a key role in the condition, characterized by a progressive buildup on the inside walls of blood vessels. So Mach and colleagues explored the anti-inflammatory effects of marijuana's main active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.They fed mice a high-cholesterol diet for 11 weeks. About halfway through that period, they started giving some of the mice very low, daily oral doses of THC — too low to produce any marijuana-like changes in behavior. At the end of the experiment, mice that had gotten the THC showed less blood vessel clogging than did mice that got no THC.Related work showed no additional benefit from higher THC doses, such as a person would get from smoking marijuana, Mach noted.Researchers found that the benefit came from THC's effect on immune-system cells. It reduced their secretion of an inflammation-promoting substance and their migration to the vessel wall, researchers found.It apparently did that by binding to proteins called CB2 receptors, which are found mostly on immune-system cells. THC also targets CB1 receptors, found mostly in the brain. So the work suggests scientists should try to develop a drug that works on CB2 receptors while ignoring the brain receptors, Mach said.Libby, who did not participate in the study, said the work was valuable for identifying the CB2 receptor as a potential target for treatment in hardening of the arteries, and showing that a natural substance could help.But he noted that controlling one's weight, exercising and eating right have already been proven to reduce a person's risk of heart attacks and strokes from clogged arteries.Dr. Edward A. Fisher of the New York University School of Medicine said THC's impact on artery-clogging in the experiment was relatively modest, and that it's not clear that results would apply to people.Complete Title: Marijuana Ingredient Slows Heart Disease Progression in MiceNewshawk: DruidSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Malcolm Ritter, AP Science WriterPublished: April 6, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press Medical Marijuana Information Links Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #17 posted by Sukoi on April 07, 2005 at 03:27:37 PT
I suppose the title of my comment was misleading as I certainly know of vaporizers. What I found interesting in the article is that many prohibs like to use the "smoking is dangerous" angle and then when something that allows consumption without smoke, that is somehow dangerous as well. From the article:"Though this new technology has been slow to catch on at Duke, officials worry about its potential danger to students."What potential danger? 
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Comment #16 posted by JustGetnBy on April 06, 2005 at 19:49:04 PT
Sukoi,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Vaporizers
Vaporizers are very big in the medical cannabis community in Ca. Those who use cannabis all day every day suffer from the excessive smoking, irritating their throat and lungs.
A quality vaporizer allows the same fast delivery and ease of dose titration wjithout the harshness.  There are numerous discussions about vaporizers on and
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 06, 2005 at 18:32:15 PT
I agree. 
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Comment #14 posted by observer on April 06, 2005 at 18:11:31 PT
Big pharma killing elderly .. so go after pot !
Just saw this factoid in an article out today:''More than 60 percent of older adults take their prescriptions improperly. Researchers say 140,000 seniors die each year because of problems with medications.''
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Comment #13 posted by Taylor121 on April 06, 2005 at 17:31:52 PT
Medical Marijuana in Texas & HB254
HB 658 had a good hearing. The chair of the committee is very supportative. Please call the committee to let them know you support HB 658. The bill was left pending in committee. You can watch the hearing right here Player required, it starts about 40 minutes into the total hearing. I also urge all Texans to take action on HB 254 which would reduce penalties for one ounce or less of marijuana. This has been pending over 2 weeks now, and unless we send a clear message to the committee, I believe it will die this session.You can contact all the committee members in one email here: under the link to support HB 658. You can also send a 2nd message in favor of HB 254 to the committee by erasing MPP's default letter and writing your own letter in favor of the amended form of HB 254.Time is running out, if you haven't yet, call/write all committee members and urge support for these bills! Please spread this message to your friends and family in Texas.Committee members phone #s:
Rep. Debbie Riddle, (R-Houston)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0572
District Phone: 281-537-5252
Email: debbie.riddle house.state.tx.usRep. Aaron Pena, (D-Edinburg)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0426
District Phone: 956-383-7444
Email: aaron.pena house.state.tx.usRep. Mary Denny, (R-Flower Mound)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0688
District Phone: 972-724-8477
Email: mary.denny house.state.tx.usRep. Juan M Escobar, (D-Kingsville)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0666
District Phone: 361-592-6120
Email: juan.escobar house.state.tx.usRep. Terri Hodge, (D-Dallas)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0586
District Phone: 214-824-1996
Email: terri.hodge house.state.tx.usRep. Paul Moreno, (D-El Paso)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0638
District Phone: 915-544-0789
Email: paul.moreno house.state.tx.usRep. Richard Raymond, (D-Laredo)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0558
District Phone: 956-753-7722
Email: richard.raymond house.state.tx.usRep. Elvira Reyna, (R-Mesquite)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0464
District Phone: 972-279-7030
Email: elvira.reyna house.state.tx.usWhen you call Rep. Terry Keel (R-Austin) -- see below -- be sure to thank him for holding the hearing and being a joint author of the bill.Rep. Terry Keel, Chair, (R-Austin)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0652
District Phone: 512-463-0652
Email: terry.keel
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on April 06, 2005 at 16:21:26 PT
I believe that the government has long known about the wonders of the cannabis plant - every aspect of it. I imagine they did extensive studies decades ago and decided that they could both make money AND control the masses by forging the drug war(of which cannabis is the foundation).They probably figured that by the time the masses started to discover the truth they could devise further means to supress the people(war on terror). The only thing that can stop us is the death of all freedom. It looks like that's their plan.Patriot Act poll...Should Congress renew the Patriot Act provisions set to expire soon?  * 25668 responses 
Yes - 18% 
No - 80% 
Can't decide - 2% Here's the poll... WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...USA Bombs own Buildings - Starts World War III - Caught on Video:'re all paranoid: Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots:
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Comment #11 posted by Sukoi on April 06, 2005 at 16:12:05 PT
Vaporizers bring new twist to pot use
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 06, 2005 at 15:52:36 PT
Related Article from Web MD
Marijuana Chemical Fights Hardened ArteriesBut Smoking Marijuana Isn't the Answer, Says Study.By Miranda Hitti, WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD on Wednesday, April 06, 2005  
April 6, 2005 -- The active ingredient in marijuana that produces changes in brain messages appears to fight atherosclerosis -- a hardening of the arteries. But puffing pot probably won't help. The findings, reported in the journal Nature, "should not be taken to mean that smoking marijuana is beneficial for the heart," says Michael Roth, MD, a professor of medicine at UCLA medical school. It takes a very specific amount of THC -- marijuana's key chemical -- to help the arteries. That dose is too low to produce mood-altering effects in the brain, according to the new study. "It would be difficult to achieve such specific concentrations in the blood by smoking marijuana," Roth explains in a Nature editorial. Smoking Pot: Bad for the Heart? Smoking marijuana can speed up the pulse and raise blood pressure (followed by a sudden fall upon standing or walking), Roth notes. "These effects lower the exercise threshold for chest pain [angina], and are an independent risk factor for heart attack and stroke," he writes. Inhaling marijuana smoke can also impair oxygen delivery via the blood, says Roth. The best way to take advantage of THC's artery-protecting effects may be by developing new prescription drugs "rather than using marijuana or oral THC as medicines," he writes. Testing THC on Mice The new study was conducted on mice, not people. First, mice went on an 11-week fatty diet designed to clog their arteries. For the last six weeks of the diet, some mice also got an orally administered low dose of THC along with the high-fat food. Afterward, the mice who had received THC had fewer signs of atherosclerosis. None of those mice died during treatment or showed unhealthy behavior, says the study. The results may be due to THC's anti-inflammatory properties, write the researchers, who included François Mach, MD, of the cardiology division at University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland. Inflammation has been shown to be associated with the development of atherosclerosis. Tracing THC's Effects The researchers took a closer look at THC. They knew the chemical has two receptors, called CB1 (mainly found in the brain) and CB2 (mostly found outside the brain). When they used another drug to block CB2 receptors in the mice, THC couldn't protect the animals' arteries. As for the CB1 receptors, the THC dose used in the study was too low to affect them, so no "high" was created. The study and editorial appear in Nature's April 7 edition. SOURCES: Steffens, S. Nature, April 7, 2005; vol 434: pp 782-785. Roth, M. Nature, April 7, 2005; vol 434: pp 708-709. News release, Nature.
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Comment #9 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on April 06, 2005 at 14:40:15 PT
What a good plant
Close your eyes to reality and you will miss out on some good discoveries.
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Comment #8 posted by goneposthole on April 06, 2005 at 13:11:42 PT
I want to be a mouse
looks like they get to have all of the fun and a stronger heart with a longer life to boot. Any way a person can morph himself into a mouse and volunteer for these experiments?No wonder the mice play when the cat is away.Long live mouses. They have it better than humans. good grief
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Comment #7 posted by ngeo on April 06, 2005 at 12:46:32 PT:
THe BBC story was a total distortion. It turned 'no additional benefit' from smoking into 'no benefit'. Also:(Quoting BBC)Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said more work needed to be done in the area."Although these results, which use an oral cannabinoid in a pill form, are interesting, we look forward to further research into the area."We certainly hasten to advise against people smoking cannabis to protect their heart health - cannabis is usually smoked with tobacco which is highly dangerous for the heart."And a spokeswoman for the National Heart Forum said: "This study presents interesting findings about the protective effects of active components found in marijuana and suggests scope for further investigation of these compounds."But she added: "It does not suggest that marijuana smoking is beneficial to the heart. On the contrary, the harmful effects on the heart are well documented."
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Comment #6 posted by cloud7 on April 06, 2005 at 12:25:39 PT
And the evidence continues to pile up.
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Comment #5 posted by observer on April 06, 2005 at 11:24:14 PT
people should smoke marijuana
Low doses of the main active ingredient in marijuana slowed the progression of hardening of the arteries in miceAnother reason why cannabis increases life-span. And, another reason for big pharma companies who can't patent cannabis, to hate cannabis. But, the big fascist pharma companies can always buy politicians and doctors alike. Voila: "To extrapolate this to, 'A joint a day will keep the doctor away,' I think is premature," said Dr. Peter LibbyNotice how careful these Bozos are to repeat the mantra, "the finding does not mean people should smoke marijuana." To which I say, "Bugger off. I'll continue smoke cannabis." The docs can shovel all the powerful side-effect-ridden patent heart medicines they want down their patients' throats and their own throats. (Go ahead, chlorinate and florinate that unpatentable natural molucule all the way to patentable financial success, as you buy politicians to outlaw the natural form.) No thanks. I'll stick with cannabis and perhaps a glass of wine now and then. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 06, 2005 at 11:20:51 PT
How did they compare mice who smoked cannabis ( that sounds so funny to me ) in the BBC article?
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Comment #3 posted by potpal on April 06, 2005 at 11:16:40 PT
bbc take on it...
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 06, 2005 at 10:47:22 PT
Sell you a pill instead
To extrapolate this to, 'A joint a day will keep the doctor away,' I think is premature," said Dr. Peter LibbyDoctors and corporare drug companies have relationships. Would they rather you buy a pill and serve them, than grow your own?
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on April 06, 2005 at 10:33:57 PT
this is why our gov't. doesn't support MJ research
This is exactly what our Government fears coming out of cannabis research. They are so addicted to Prohibition and to the money of that they don't even want to know if there may be life saving benefits to cannabis.Furthermore, within our Government, they actually have a very good idea of the potential benefits of cannabis, based on the previous research that has been presented and generally supressed or disregarded.Big pharmaceuticals are most likely trying to supress cannabis through lobbying until a solid patent scheme of synthetics can be worked out. Money rules, not compassion or values. Don't believe the hype.
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