Experts: Medical Marijuana Best as Pill

  Experts: Medical Marijuana Best as Pill

Posted by CN Staff on December 29, 2006 at 07:31:02 PT
By Christine Rook, Lansing State Journal 
Source: Lansing State Journal 

Lansing, Michigan -- There's a lot of talk lately about giving Michiganders the right to take a toke.A state House bill legalizing medical marijuana is going nowhere this month, but already there is a petition drive out of Eaton Rapids and talk of a second to allow Michigan voters to legally light up. It's fascinating politics, but is it good medicine?
Yes and No.There is strong evidence that marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient has a place in the modern arsenal of medicines. Smoking it, though, hardly appears to be the best way to administer that drug, experts say.In fact, smoking delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly called THC, might be appropriate only for a few chronically ill patients who meet specific criteria.Local oncologist Dr. Anas Al-Janadi called smoking marijuana "a very bad way to administer good medicine."Al-Janadi, who treats cancer patients through the Michigan State University Breslin Cancer Center, said he would never advocate smoking weed for medicinal reasons."Even if the patient is terminal," he said.Smoking, after all, is not the only way to medicate with THC. It is available by prescription in pill form.THC Helps Some:THC has been proven to reduce pain in some patients and to ease vomiting in about 25 percent of those in chemotherapy, according to a 1999 report by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. THC also shows promise in treating wasting syndrome in AIDS patients.But some other health claims are just that - claims.Marijuana, for example, has been shown to reduce pressure in the eyes of glaucoma patients, but the effect is short-lived and not worth the drug's side effects, according to the institute report. THC, for example, alters mood and can actually add to patient distress.The debate shows no sign of waning.Tim Beck is an insurance sales executive from Detroit who smokes marijuana to relieve pain. It's legal in Detroit, Ferndale, Ann Arbor and Traverse City, as long as the marijuana is smoked for medicinal purposes and the user has proof his physician approves. In Detroit, for example, police said they won't charge such a user even though state law prohibits marijuana possession.Beck wouldn't divulge the details of his illness, but he noted that pharmaceutical-grade THC doesn't work for everyone."Everybody's metabolism is different," he said.Available in Capsules:Synthetic THC is marketed in capsule form under the trade name Marinol and comes in only three dosages, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.It's approved for the treatment of severe weight loss in AIDS patients, and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.Its limited approval is cited as a civil liberties issue."Who should make decisions about medical health - the patients and their doctors or government officials?" asked state Rep. Leon Drolet, R-Macomb County.His answer: patients and doctors.As a doctor, though, Al-Janadi sees little point in advocating the smoking of a substance that can lead to dependence and has been proven to contain cancer-causing compounds."I had one patient who just swore that the only thing that helped him was smoking marijuana," Al-Janadi said. "The guy was doing great with Marinol."Note: Smoking might benefit small number of patients. Source: Lansing State Journal (MI)Author: Christine Rook, Lansing State JournalPublished: December 29, 2006Copyright: 2006 Lansing State JournalWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #11 posted by FoM on December 29, 2006 at 16:09:28 PT
Have a Happy New Year and enjoy the parade!
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Comment #10 posted by potpal on December 29, 2006 at 15:52:34 PT
truth fom all
Thanks for the chuckle. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.Throw the TV out the window.Happy New Year!!!!Hope to be on Broad Street in Philadelphia to watch the Mummers strut their stuff on Jan 1. SE corner, Broad and Washington...look for a guy on a ladder. Calling for rain though...:-(May you find inner peace (gave up on the outer), good health, dodge the lie enforcement officiers (toke), and prosper. Aloha beaucoup and grazie mille.
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Comment #9 posted by paulpeterson on December 29, 2006 at 11:45:10 PT
Selective intelligence leads to dark ages
"Selective intelligence" is actually an analog of "Cognitive dissonance" whereby the dominant left side of the brain (where rule-based exlusionary commands live-like "No") selectively shuts down blood flow (think budget termination for a socially motivated program) to the right side, where real life interaction happens-especially when the left brain doesn't think the observations or words heard are possible. Therefore, for people that think cannabis will NEVER BE LEGAL, won't help and even stop it from happening.Bottom line? This line of thinking causes a DARK AGE, where new ideas wither on the vine, staunched by vicious prohibitionist thought patterns. War makes it worse, which means that we should be in for tough times ahead-except for the fact that Bush has used up all his "Risk cards" at war. PAUL PETERSON
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Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 29, 2006 at 10:21:13 PT
Selective Intelligence
It still amazes me how our entire Society as a whole can be so wrong about marijuana and cannabis consumers.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 29, 2006 at 10:14:35 PT
With all the heavy news on TV that was so funny. Thanks for the laugh.
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Comment #6 posted by Truth on December 29, 2006 at 10:06:12 PT
I tried Marinol, I couldn't keep the damn things lit.
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on December 29, 2006 at 10:03:33 PT
Well, let's see...
"As a doctor, though, Al-Janadi sees little point in advocating the smoking of a substance that can lead to dependence and has been proven to contain cancer-causing compounds."As a Toker, though, Al-Juana sees little point in advocating the prohibition of a substance that cannot be proven to lead to dependence any stronger than caffeine and has been proven to contain anti-cancer compounds.Yes?Toke.
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on December 29, 2006 at 08:49:29 PT

I would recommend a vaporizer , but........

December 28, 2006 - Washington, DC, USA#1: Cannabis Smoking Not Linked To Lung Cancer, UAT Cancers, Largest Case-Controlled Study SaysSmoking cannabis, even long-term, is not positively associated with increased incidence of lung-cancer, according to the findings of the largest population-based case-control study ever conducted. "We did not observe a positive association of marijuana use -- even heavy long-term use -- with lung cancer, controlling for tobacco smoking and other potential cofounders," investigators concluded. Their data further revealed that moderate lifetime users had an inverse association between cannabis use and lung cancer. The five-year trial was sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Full text of the study appeared in the October issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.Read the full story at:, not to mention the ridiculous price of THC in pill form.
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Comment #3 posted by doc james on December 29, 2006 at 08:11:43 PT:

smoking of a substance that can lead to dependence
And this is an "informed," cancer oncologist/physician? there is no dependence as with opiates not even close! Does the fool even know how much those tiny capsules cost? Very very expensive when compared to med quality pot. marinol didn't/doesn't work for me and I find that a toke or three of some sugary/trichome laden buds work best, easier to tartrate(sp) Its the real deal. Now a few 5 mg as chasers aren't too bad.
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Comment #1 posted by thestales on December 29, 2006 at 08:10:44 PT

Dark Ages
Are we living in the Dark ages? Have we invented the wheel? Do we have Fire yet? These people work in the medical profession with MRI's, CT scans, and numerous other technologies, but they are clueless when it comes to ANY vapor technology? I don't buy it. I mean really, all it is a piece of hot ceramic. And even if the experts are retarded and have not heard of vaporizing, In the name of all things holy what is wrong with ingesting whole plants as medicine? People have been eating cannabis for at least 10,000 years. Why must all our medicines be in pill form with noxious side effects? Can't we just eat an orange to get our vitamin C? Or do we have to always take a pill? Can't I use some White willow bark instead of an asprin? What about a nice warm cup of strong opium tea and honey instead of shooting someone up with morphine?Why is it when I talk to my doctor about relieving asthma with vaporizing Lavendar essential oils he is clueless? Works better than 99% of inhalers. Arnica and Tumeric for my sprained ligament, Huh, "why would that work?" And I gaurentee the side effects are no where near what the "western" medicine uses. Can't patent Lavendar, Arnica, Tumeric, or any other plant for that matter. Therefore you can't make money. Best in pill form...for who? The pharma industries pockets. Certainly not the patients.
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