Bowel Study Backs Cannabis Drugs 

Bowel Study Backs Cannabis Drugs 
Posted by CN Staff on July 31, 2005 at 17:28:43 PT
The compounds share some properties with cannabis 
Source: BBC News
United Kingdom -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease may benefit from cannabis-based drugs, UK scientists believe. The Bath University team found people with the gut disorder had an abundant number of a type of cannabinoid receptors in their body. They believe this is part of the body's attempt to dampen down the inflammation and that giving a drug that binds to these receptors could boost this. Their findings appear in the journal Gastroenterology.
 Cannabinoids When people have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis - collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD - their immune system goes into overdrive, producing inflammation in different areas of the digestive tract. This causes symptoms such as pain and urgent diarrhoea. Anecdotally, people with IBD who have been users of cannabis have reported that their symptoms get better when they use the drug. " These initial results look extremely promising and exciting." - Dr Derek Scott from Aberdeen University Dr Karen Wright and colleagues examined gut samples from healthy people and IBD patients and looked for the presence of two receptors known to react to natural cannabis-like compounds produced by the body. Both the patients and the healthy people had similar numbers of CB1 receptors in their gut. However, the IBD patients had far greater numbers of CB2 receptors. The normal job of CB1 and CB2 receptors is to switch immune responses on or off. CB1 receptors also help to promote wound healing in the lining of the gut.  Potential Therapy Dr Wright said: "This gives us the first evidence that very selective cannabis-derived treatments may be useful as future therapeutic strategies in the treatment of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. "This is because some extracts from cannabis, known as cannabinoids, closely resemble molecules that occur naturally in our body, and by developing treatments that target this system, we can help the body recover from some of the effects of these diseases." She said that the psychoactive effects and the legal implications associated with herbal cannabis use made it unsuitable as a treatment. However, it might be possible to make a synthetic cannabis-like drug that has all of the therapeutic benefits and none of the other actions of cannabis. "Targeting drug development to components of the in-built cannabinoid system could be the way forward," she said. Dr Derek Scott, a researcher in Biomedical Sciences at Aberdeen University, said: "These initial results look extremely promising and exciting.  More Trials  "However, further work is required so that we can better understand exactly how the signalling pathways controlled by cannabinoid receptors might be targeted in IBD patients, and whether there might be any side-effects." Cannabis-based medicines are already used for multiple sclerosis in some countries. Dr John Zycheck, from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, which has been granted 2 million to study these drugs for MS, said: "There is no reason why clinical studies could not be undertaken at a fairly early stage because we are already testing cannabinoids for a variety of different conditions. "Cannabinoids do have an effect on the gut. It slows gut transit. We see it in our MS patients." He said more work was needed to check whether these drugs would reduce inflammation and to work out a dose that was strong enough but not toxic. Dr George Kunos from the US National Institutes of Health said an alternative approach could involve testing compounds that amplify the action of the body's natural cannabinoids by blocking their normal destruction in the gut. He said animal studies suggested compounds that block the enzyme fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH) do this. Dr John Bennett, Chairman of Core, a national gut and liver disorders charity, said: "I would not want any patient to think that a cannabis-based treatment for IBD is around the corner. Much more work is needed." Newshawk: Jose Melendez Source: BBC News (UK Web) Published: Sunday, July 31, 2005Copyright: 2005 BBC Website: Contact: newsonline Related Article & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links May Become Aspirin of the 21st Century
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Comment #7 posted by FallenZer0 on August 02, 2005 at 07:33:14 PT
thanks =)
thanks for the welcome & warning.Jose, my family approves of my choice to use marijuana instead of medicine. hell, my dad does it for his migranes. i know smoking it could have bad effects... but with my stomach problems it's hard to cook with it..i'm not sure if i'm using marijuana for the long run yet. i'm not done seeing what my body accepts most.. but this seems like a viable option to me. -zer0
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on August 02, 2005 at 03:19:55 PT
fair warning, FallenZer0
1. Smoking ANYTHING can and does have side effects. Consider using a vaporizer or cooking with the herb.2. Choosing to fight the drug war while you use or are near 'illicit' contraband can get you arrested, or worse. Be aware that your friends and family may also be adversely affected by your choice in this matter.Good luck and welcome, friend.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on August 01, 2005 at 23:40:39 PT
Welcome, FallenZer0.
Glad you're joining us.
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Comment #4 posted by FallenZer0 on August 01, 2005 at 20:24:09 PT
Hi, i'm new.
As someone WITH IBD, i have noticed marijuana helps me alot more then the "antispazmotics" perscribed to me.i've been toking instead of taking my medicine for the past week, andi noticed it works so much better then the pills, AND there's no side effects. i thought it was funny that this came out as i was "researching". i really hope i can use marijuana instead of man made pills one day. that's my dream. IBD is embarrasing, painful, and the foods i can eat are limited (no dairy, no fruits, nothing processed) and marijuana seems to help my symptoms alot. reading this and knowing i could be persecuted for medical reasons makes me sad, and i know i'm goign to do everything i can to fight the war on drugs now.-zer0
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Comment #3 posted by unkat27 on August 01, 2005 at 19:54:01 PT
Scientific Realism
I just have to say this. As a poor Catholic from a family with a history of alcoholism, alcohol abuse is VERY BAD for the gastro-intestinal system and the bowels. VERY BAD. What I am suggesting is simple: Given the choice between cannabis and alcohol as options for relief from anxiety and depression, I'll choose cannabis every time. It has far less adverse physical side-effects. Too bad the PTB doesn't give a damn about the facts. Too much money in all the pharmaceutical cures and surgical operations, I guess. 
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Comment #2 posted by CorvallisEric on August 01, 2005 at 13:45:01 PT
She said that the psychoactive effects and the legal implications associated with herbal cannabis use made it unsuitable as a treatment."psychoactive effects and the legal implications" doesn't make morphine "unsuitable as a treatment" - "herbal" doesn't make St. John's wort (by prescription in Germany) "unsuitable"However, it might be possible to make a synthetic cannabis-like drug that has all of the therapeutic benefits and none of the other actions of cannabis.Such a hot potato! Can't be an extracted or synthetic version of a naturally-occurring cannabinoid but must only be "cannabis-like." The consequence: "I would not want any patient to think that a cannabis-based treatment for IBD is around the corner. Much more work is needed."Is it the fear of the dreaded high - uniquely for cannabis and not the entire pharmacopia of psychoactive drugs - or is it something else beyond conventional medical caution? There really seems to be a unique and absurd fixation on cannabis by those in many kinds of authority.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 31, 2005 at 17:35:42 PT
Doctor Suggested Cannabis for Pain Relief 
July 31, 2005 
Pain ReliefSixteen per cent of people who use cannabis for medical reasons say that their doctor suggested it, according to research published in the March issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice.Nine hundred forty-seven people in the UK reported using cannabis for medical purposes, with more than a third (35 per cent) saying that they used it six or seven days a week. The majority (68 per cent) said that it made their symptoms much better."The results of our UK survey, including the extent of use and reported effects, lend support to the further development of safe and effective medicines based on cannabis," says lead author Dr Mark Ware, principal investigator and pain physician at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Pain Centre.People with chronic pain were most likely to use cannabis for medicinal purposes (25 per cent), followed by patients with multiple sclerosis (22 per cent), depression (22 per cent), arthritis (21 per cent) and neuropathy (19 per cent).Younger people, males and those who had used cannabis recreationally were also more likely to use it for medicinal reasons.Key findings included:73 per cent of respondents used cannabis at least once a week, with 35 per cent using it six or seven times a week.62 per cent said a friend, family members or acquaintance had suggested it and 55 per cent said they had read a book or article about cannabis. Nineteen per cent were prior users or had found out its benefits by accident and 16 per cent said their doctor had suggested it.The majority of users (82 per cent) smoked the drug. Other methods included eating it (43 per cent) and making cannabis tea (28 per cent).916 reported average usage levels, with the largest percentage (27 per cent) using one to two grams per day. Only 2 per cent used 10 or more grams a day and 7 per cent used five to nine grams a day.45 per cent of 916 respondents said cannabis worked better than prescribed medication. Thirty per cent of the 872 who answered the question on side effects said that prescribed drugs were worse than cannabis and 34 per cent said the side effects were much worse.77 per cent of 876 respondents said their symptoms returned or got worse when they stopped using cannabis.
"To our knowledge, this is the most extensive survey of medicinal cannabis use among chronically ill patients conducted to date," says Dr Ware. "We believe that it presents a broad picture of the current state of cannabis use for medicinal purposes in the UK."About the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC)
The Research Institute of the MUHC is a world-renowned biomedical and health care hospital research centre. Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, a university health centre affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. The institute supports over 500 researchers, nearly 1,000 graduate and postdoctoral students, and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge. For further details visit the Research Institute website.
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