An Ancient Look at a New Medical Approach for Pain

An Ancient Look at a New Medical Approach for Pain
Posted by CN Staff on August 04, 2008 at 05:46:50 PT
By Andrea McCreery, Ph.D. 
Source: Rocklin & Roseville Today
California -- Cannabis: should it be legal or not? Decide for yourself after you read this interview with Dr. Philip A. Denney, a Carmichael medical physician, who expresses his views on medical marijuana below.Q: Dr. Denney, when did you first get interested in using marijuana for pain control?
A: I was a child of the 60s and a Viet Nam era vet. After serving in the military, I went to medical school and was amazed at all the scientific literature I found about cannabis. By the way, we call it ďcannabisĒ because marijuana is a Mexican slang word.Q: Did you have the opportunity to recommend cannabis when you first started practicing, 30 years ago?A: No. Cannabis didnít become legal in the state of California until 1996. I started seeing patients who wanted to use it around 1999. Since then, Iíve seen about 25,000 patients who have considered using cannabis because of their medical condition.Q: Tell us a little about the history of this plant.A: Cannabis was the most commonly used pharmaceutical agent in this country for 100 years, between 1840 and 1940. Then it was made illegal by back room political deals to protect corporate Americaís interest in paper and cotton.Q: Werenít Americans using hemp for paper before those political dealings?A: Yes. Cannabis was the most commonly used pharmaceutical agent for those 100 years and hemp was used for making paper, canvas and cloth. Cannabis is actually a superior fiber but it was very labor intensive until a machine was created in the 1920s to make the process easier. DuPont was worried that it would replace artificial fibers like nylon, polyester and rayon. They created a brilliant public relations campaign that made cannabis a villain. The government lied to the public to protect the corporate interests.Q: In California, itís legal to use cannabis if someone sees a licensed physician who agrees that their situation is one that constitutes legitimate use. Dr. Denney, why do you say that cannabis is safe?A: Cannabis is an attractive medicine for those with pain because it is very well tolerated and thereís no such thing as a cannabis overdose. The herb doesnít build up in the tissues, itís not toxic to the liver and you can discontinue its use easily without problems. Thatís not the case with opiates, oxycontin, valium, Zanax and muscle relaxants. Cannabis is not a magic drug that cures things. It just makes pain more tolerable.Q: It sounds like God created a plant for pain control that outdoes any drug that the pharmaceutical industry created. The cannabis that youíre referring to is high quality cannabis, not whatís sold on the street?A: Yes.Q: What do you usually find with patients who try the cannabis?A: Whatís common is that someone is on 60 Vicodin pills a day when they first arrive for a medical consult. After using 1/4 oz. cannabis per week, they donít need the vicodin anymore. It doesnít happen every time but it happens enough for practitioners like myself to take note of it. This benefits the patients because once anyone can cut back significantly on the drugs that theyíre taking, it improves their quality of life.Q: What about risks, say from smoking cannabis?A: Itís not good to smoke anything, but the relative risk of harm from cannabis compared to tobacco is very low. A person inhales both of them. Both are made of cellulose. When you burn cellulose, bad chemicals in the smoke are generated. Thereís a similar risk in smoking either cannabis or tobacco.Q: So why do you say that smoking cannabis is relatively safe?A: Because the difference is volume. Someone smoking one pack cigarettes a day is getting 4 to 4.5 oz. tobacco per week. Someone smoking cannabis only does 0.25 oz. per week. The relative risk of lung problems from smoking cannabis is less in those who smokes tobacco.Q: The risk could be eliminated totally from consuming the cannabis in other ways then?A: Yes. There are the infamous cannabis brownies and some people put it in peanut butter. Some people vaporize it through a vaporizer. The active ingredients vaporize and thereís zero smoke. Itís more of an elegant way to use it.Q: Dr. Denney, whatís your prediction about the status of cannabis use in America? Itís legal here in California but what about other states?A: I predict that this political foolishness will resolve once cannabis medications are available in the pharmacy. In Canada, people can get cannabis in the pharmacy. When it happens here, it will allow the government to save face and leave us alone. FDA approval will give them a way to say that they were not against it; they were just against growing it in your back yard. They still will have the opportunity to arrest you if you grow it in your back yard.For more information on medical cannabis, visit -- -- or visit -- -- for alternative pain intervention with the use of Immuzymeģ and OPC-165ģ for those suffering from autoimmune diseases and the inflammation caused by Th1 disease.Disclaimer - The views presented here are not necessarily the same as Life-Sources, Inc. for pain management; yet, we all know there is a huge drug problem in this country creating drug over-doses resulting in costly hospitalization, destruction within families due to excessive drug dependence and liver damage (as with all prescription/OTC counter drugs) and much more resulting in unnecessary deaths. After all, we know God put these plants on this earth for ďsome reasonĒ. And, the quality of life has been improving for those undergoing chemotherapy enhancing the patientsí appetite and ability to gain weight assisting their health. Perhaps a closer look at this approach may be necessary in more cases than we imagined.An Ancient Look at a New Medical Approach for PainDr. Donna Schwontkowski interviews Dr. Phillip Denney, M.D.Copyright 2008 MDM, Inc. Andrea McCreery, Ph.D. is located in Fair Oaks, CA.Source: Rocklin & Roseville Today (CA)Author: Andrea McCreery, Ph.D. Published: Monday, August 4, 2008 Copyright: 2008 Rocklin & Roseville TodayWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on August 06, 2008 at 07:34:56 PT
Pharm lobby fear exposed.
"Whatís common is that someone is on 60 Vicodin pills a day when they first arrive for a medical consult. After using 1/4 oz. cannabis per week, they donít need the vicodin anymore."Don't need to wonder why the Pharm industry is worried anymore!& it aint just Vicodin!
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Comment #4 posted by aolbites on August 05, 2008 at 14:37:05 PT
keef is not pollen
keef is not is the broken heads of resins extrusions.aka what hash is made of.pollen contains no known medical or other benefit.
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Comment #3 posted by David Robert Darrah on August 04, 2008 at 20:00:51 PT:
Keef ( marijuana pollen)I believe is the answer to helping the sick. It can be taken into the body in different ways. Cheyenne
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Comment #2 posted by aolbites on August 04, 2008 at 09:53:35 PT
More cancer control from MJ
Turned-off Cannabinoid Receptor Turns On Colorectal Tumor Growth (Aug. 4, 2008) ó New preclinical research shows that cannabinoid cell surface receptor CB1 plays a tumor-suppressing role in human colorectal cancer, scientists report in the Aug. 1 edition of the journal Cancer Research.CB1 is well-established for relieving pain and nausea, elevating mood and stimulating appetite by serving as a docking station for the cannabinoid group of signaling molecules. It now may serve as a new path for cancer prevention or treatment."We've found that CB1 expression is lost in most colorectal cancers, and when that happens a cancer-promoting protein is free to inhibit cell death," said senior author Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.DuBois and collaborators from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center also show that CB1 expression can be restored with an existing drug, decitabine. They found that mice prone to developing intestinal tumors that also have functioning CB1 receptors develop fewer and smaller tumors when treated with a drug that mimics a cannabinoid receptor ligand. Ligands are molecules that function by binding to specific receptors. Agonists are synthetic molecules that mimic the action of a natural molecule."Potential application of cannabinoids as anti-tumor drugs is an exciting prospect, because cannabinoid agonists are being evaluated now to treat the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy," DuBois said. "Turning CB1 back on and then treating with a cannabinoid agonist could provide a new approach to colorectal cancer treatment or prevention."Cannabinoids are a group of ligands that serve a variety of cell-signaling roles. Some are produced by the body internally (endocannabinoids). External cannabinoids include manmade versions and those present in plants, most famously the active ingredient in marijuana (THC).Receptor shutdown by methylationEndocannabinoid signaling is important to the normal functioning of the digestive system and has been shown to protect the colon against inflammation. Since chronic inflammation is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer, the researchers decided to look into the role of cannabinoid receptors in a mouse model of colon cancer."People have looked at cannabinoids in cancer earlier, mainly in cell culture experiments," DuBois said. "The molecular mechanisms for loss of the receptor and its effect on cancer have not been previously shown."First, the team found that CB1 was largely absent in 18 of 19 human tumor specimens and in 9 of 10 colorectal cancer cell lines. Further experimentation showed that the gene that encodes the CB1 protein was not damaged, but shut down chemically by the attachment of methyl groups - a carbon atom surrounded by three hydrogen atoms - to the gene encoding CB1.Treating cell lines with decitabine, a demethylating agent approved for some types of leukemia, removed the methyl groups, restoring gene expression in 7 of 8 cell lines and full expression of CB1 protein in three lines.Next, the group found that deletion of the CB1 gene in a strain of mice that spontaneously develops precancerous polyps resulted in a 2.5-to-3.8-fold increase in the number of polyps and a 10-fold increase in the number of large growths, those most likely to develop into cancer.Treating mice that had the CB1 receptor with an endocannabinoid agonist resulted in a decline in polyps ranging from 16.7 percent to 50 percent. The reduction was greater for larger polyps.CB1 thwarts survivin, a protein that protects cancerCannabinoids previously had been shown to kill cancer cells in lab experiments by inducing apoptosis - programmed cell death. The team confirmed the role of CB1 in apoptosis, showing that tumor cells with high CB1 expression were sensitive to apoptosis when treated by a cannabinoid agonist. Cell lines with silenced CB1 resisted cell death.A series of experiments showed that CB1 increases cancer cell death by stifling a protein called survivin. Survivin is overexpressed in nearly every human tumor but is barely detectable in normal tissue, DuBois noted. Overexpression of survivin is associated with poor outcome and reduced apoptosis in colorectal cancer patients. The researchers pinpointed a cell signaling pathway by which activated CB1 cuts down survivin."Just increasing the levels of cannabinoids to treat colorectal cancer won't work if the CB1 receptor is not present," DuBois said. This suggests that treating first with a demethylating agent, such as decitabine, to reactivate CB1 in the tumor and following up with a cannabinoid might be an effective attack on colorectal cancer.Scarcity of CB1 also is associated with Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. Further investigation, the researchers note, is needed to define its role in those diseases and other types of cancer. The team also analyzed the other main cannabinoid receptor, CB2, and found no role for it in colorectal cancer.They also treated the mice with a CB1 antagonist, a compound that binds to the receptor but does not activate it. Mice with CB1 blocked in this manner also showed an increase in the number and size of polyps. A CB1 antagonist called rimonabant is currently marketed overseas for weight loss. The researchers note that a patient's risk for colorectal cancer should be assessed when use of such drugs is being considered.The study was funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.Co-authors with DuBois are first author Dingzhi Wang, Ph.D., Haibin Wang, Ph.D., Wei Ning, Michael Backlund, Ph.D., and Dushansu K. Dey, Ph.D., all of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Turned-off Cannabinoid Receptor Turns On Colorectal Tumor Growth
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 04, 2008 at 08:56:53 PT
Off Topic: DNC Not Green Enough for Denver
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