Q& A: With MMJ On The Back Burner What Do We Know?
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Q& A: With MMJ On The Back Burner What Do We Know?
Posted by CN Staff on October 27, 2009 at 05:29:12 PT
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- Last week, the Justice Department ordered its staff to back off prosecution of people who use marijuana for medical purposes in the 14 states in which such use is legal. The directive reopened a question that has been part of the debate on U.S. drug policy for decades. To understand more about the drug's medical properties, we turned to Daniele Piomelli, who since 1998 has led a program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, to study the impact of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs on the brain. 
He is a professor of pharmacology and biological chemistry at the University of California at Irvine as well as and director of the center for Drug Discovery and Development at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. What medical benefits does marijuana offer? Have these benefits been demonstrated in rigorous scientific studies? Several controlled clinical trials have been carried out in the last few years, using either smoked marijuana or a mouth spray that contains an extract of the marijuana plant. The results are quite consistent. They show that marijuana improves the well-being of patients with multiple sclerosis and alleviates chronic pain in patients with damage or dysfunction of nerve fibers (so-called neuropathic pain). Other work has shown that marijuana and its active ingredient THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) reduce the nausea that accompanies chemotherapy, stimulate appetite in AIDS wasting syndrome and lessen tics in Tourette's syndrome. By and large, the use of marijuana in these trials was associated with few and mild side effects (for example, dry mouth and memory lapses). What are the risks of medical use of marijuana? Could it become addictive or lead to use of other, more dangerous drugs? Marijuana can produce dependence, though less aggressively than, say, tobacco or the so-called opiate painkillers. Frequent use is risky, however, particularly during adolescence when the neural circuits in the brain are still maturing. It turns out that the brain employs its own marijuana-like substances, called endocannabinoids, to send signals from one neural cell to another, and that THC mimics these substances. The endocannabinoids seem to be very important in brain development, so messing with them before the nervous system becomes fully mature is not a smart thing to do. There is little hard evidence that using marijuana leads to the subsequent use of other addictive drugs. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly clear that stressful life events (particularly in critical periods such as adolescence) can encourage drug use and facilitate the development of addictions. How would a marijuana user be sure to get the correct dose of the active ingredient? It is difficult to say, because the various types of marijuana now available contain widely different concentrations of THC. Standardized marijuana preparations that contain a fixed amount of THC are not currently sold to the public, though the National Institute on Drug Abuse does provide them to investigators for use in clinical trials. Is there an alternative way to get the same ingredient in some other form? A clinical form of THC was approved by the Food and Drug Administration many years ago. It is marketed under the name of Marinol and is used to treat nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy as well as loss of appetite in AIDS patients. It comes in capsules and is taken orally. Many medical marijuana users say the fixed dose of oral THC creates a problem; they say they prefer smoked marijuana because its dosage can be adjusted simply by changing the length and intensity of the puffs. They may be right, but the burning of a marijuana joint creates tars and other toxic chemicals that can be harmful with prolonged exposure. An alternative is to use so-called smokeless delivery systems such as vaporizers and sprays. Source: Washington Post (DC)Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Washington Post Contact: letters Website: URL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #19 posted by museman on October 27, 2009 at 20:16:32 PT
one more thing about herbs
They aren't "DRUGS." Which kinda throws the drug warriors premises of 'dangerous drugs' out the window. You also 'manufacture' drugs by 'changing the natural conditions' of the plant (according to prohibition definitions)-never mind that 'God' and the plant does all the 'manufacturing.'It is important to establish the distinction between herbal medicine, of which cannabis is a part, and pharmaceutical drugs, because that is related to the FED schedule SNAFU that states "Marijuana (cannabis) has no medicinal use."They call a nuke generator a 'plant.' An herb a 'drug.' They named their first mega defence computer 'The Beast' and gave it the number 666. There is a long list of such twists on the common understanding. Any defintitions to come along since prohibition, concerning cannabis, that were made by the status quo of prohibition-think are absolutely contaminated by BS, and not worth consideration. It would be better, if we aren't going to allow modern experienced canabis users to reveal the truth, to go back to the terms and definitions used before prohibition. For other stuff we'll have to go back further. It would save a lot of time and trouble to just ask the long time cannabis user,instead of trying to sort through all the dross and excremental falsities generated by the establishment in their attempts to thwart the truth about cannabis.FREE KANEH BOSM FOREVER
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Comment #18 posted by schmeff on October 27, 2009 at 19:23:23 PT
I Consider It An Herbal Supplement
To my knowledge, cannabis is the only source in nature for the same molecular structures that are produced in the human body known as endocannabinoids. Put simply, we have receptors for the cannabis molecule in our bodies. Evidence suggests that the human endocannabinoid system regulates appetite, body temperature, mood, blood pressure, bone density, reproduction, learning capacity, libido and motor coordination.The FDA actually took the almost unprecedented step of unanimously BANNING the use of a cannabis blocker in the US last summer. The cannabis-blocking drug, known as Rimonabant and marketed under the brand-name Acomplia, was approved for use in Europe as a diet drug. An anti-munchie agent if you will.But the side effects of blocking cannabinoids created problems for patients with those essential body systems listed above. Read between the lines of the FDA advisory panel's justifications for banning Rimonabant, and you quickly realize that cannabinoids are essential for human health.I take vitamin C to supplement a substance far less important to my body than cannabinoids. Why wouldn't I take cannabis to supplement my cannabinoid system? As a supplement, it's undoubtedly safer than vitamin C. One can damage one's self with too much vitamin C. Not so with cannabis.All use is medicinal.
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Comment #17 posted by Canis420 on October 27, 2009 at 17:39:35 PT:
Well then
It seems that maybe the term "herb" as it pertains to medicinal plants is used in the traditional sense and is not related to the term "herbaceous" which is a scientific botanical term. Anyway, it was just a brain fart that I have now gotten out of me system
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Comment #16 posted by museman on October 27, 2009 at 11:40:29 PT
herb, weed, woody,
A moot point if there ever was one.The only reason to create a distinction, is because of the prohibitionists control of definitions in classifying cannabis. The first and fundamental definition of an 'herb' is 'seed bearing plant' -which was documented in the oldest known reference, predating by thousands of years the 'scientific' breakdown into species and genus. The inventions of mans preference for cataloguing and naming plants and animals, has nothing to do with the original statement of our Creator conscerning their use. The fact that many 'scientists' deny the existence of said Creator -thereby freeing them to manipulate and invent to their hearts desire whatever definitions of terms they wish to use to justify their attempt at bettering God, still does not change the 'grandfathered in' premise of 'herb bearing seed' as believed by both educated, and uneducated people for many thousands of years.The persnickity and nitpicky focusing on such peripheral issues, can't possibly have anything to do with ending cannabis prohibition. The fact is that some, if not all of these definitions of terms are directly attached to belief systems. If we believe, as the Scripture tells us; that YHWH gave us all 'seed bearing plants (herbs) to be used as meat, then who has the authority (other than false and forced) to dictate otherwise? Answer, nobody.And how is it that the definitions of terms used by those who actually have experience with the plant and its uses are constantly being challenged by those who merely speculate, based on the heresay of status quo sources? What, besides engendering division and confusion is the intention here?Trying to find reasons to undermine such things as 'religious freedom' under which that bible quote about herbs definitely falls, can't possibly be of any real use to ending prohibition, if it is merely a finite point of contention that totally bypasses the fact that the Government, scientists, or any other 'professional' who trys to outdo God with their assumptions of authority and definitions of reality, are just WRONG, period.Who is anyone to tell another how to be? If I am harming you, or there is a clearly percieved intent to harm you, then you have every right to deal with me however you can, but the many inventions of 'crime' that have been laid over common sense and ethical behavior and propagandized to the nth degree by BS TV programming (for example) are just inconscionable, and evidence only corruption not rightness, or justifiable 'authority.'Bottom line is, cannabis is illegal for no good reason whatsoever, the intent of prohibition is control, and prevention of consiousness. Everything that was ever stated as reasoning behind it was complete invention. And if there are any facts involved, they have been imbellished beyond recognition.SO though I believe the empty debate about whether or not cannabis is an herb or not could be carried on indefinitely without ever reaching consensus (particularly when one is so attached to their 'definition' that no amount of logic and reason will change the ego-like defense of said attachment) what is the point?END CANNABIS APARTHEID NOW!!!!!!
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Comment #15 posted by konagold on October 27, 2009 at 11:09:38 PT
Cannabis is a reed
the name comes from the Hebrew words Kaneh Bos{em} [The 'em' is silent denoting plural]found in old testament verses Ex. 30:23 Is.43:24Kaneh =ReedBos= aromatic [sometimes translated 'sweet']branches and stems are hollow thus a reed
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on October 27, 2009 at 10:14:25 PT
Herbs are Weeds
When I gave up pharmaceutical drugs I bought a few books on herbs. What I remember reading was herbs are weeds that have a discovered value. Flowers can be weeds until they are domesticated and then they are sold as flowers. 
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on October 27, 2009 at 09:53:54 PT
I didn't try too hard....
but I did come up with this:
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Comment #12 posted by Canis420 on October 27, 2009 at 09:51:39 PT:
Herb v woody
I could be wrong but I do not think that just because it is a weed it is herbaceous. To me, being a weed or a "weedy" species just means they can be an early successional plant that can take over an area that has been disturbed somehow or non-native plants that create monocultures. These can be either herbaceous or woody. Weeds are usually undesireable and fast growing. Such as anything that comes up in your garden that you dont want can be considered a weed. St Johns wort my be marketed as an herb but I believe botanically it is a woody plant. The stems are hard and not soft.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 27, 2009 at 09:23:27 PT
Does This Help?
I looked up Weeds. Cannabis and St. John's Wort are considered weeds and I know SJW is marketed as an herb.
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Comment #10 posted by Canis420 on October 27, 2009 at 08:55:34 PT:
Herb v woody
Herbaceous plants are very soft, like a lot of wetland plants such as the cattail, rushes and water lilly's etc. Cannabis is fibrous yes but it is also pretty hard.
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Comment #9 posted by dongenero on October 27, 2009 at 08:49:09 PT
not sure either Canis420
From M_W dictionary: Herb"a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season."Cannabis may be more fibrous than woody. I think you would have to say cannabis dies down at the end of a season, though I imagine a stout stem could stand for some time.
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Comment #8 posted by Canis420 on October 27, 2009 at 08:36:51 PT:
Comment #1 Cannabis an Herb?
I hear a lot of people refer to Cannabis as an herb but I am not sure it is an herb. Seed bearing flowering plants are either herbaceous (herb) or woody. Herbaceous plants do not get woody stems above the ground and visa versa. My experience with Cannabis plants lead me to believe they are woody plants and not herbaceous.
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Comment #7 posted by RevRayGreen on October 27, 2009 at 07:17:11 PT
Please send comment to the Dr. here......
Daniele Piomelli
Professor, Pharmacology
School of Medicine Louise Turner Arnold Chair in NeurosciencesJoint Appointment, Biological Chemistry
School of Medicine Ph.D., Columbia University, New York, 1988, PharmacologyPharm.D., University of Naples, Italy, 1982Phone: (949) 824-6180, 7080
Fax: (949) 824-6305, 4855
Email: piomelli University of California
Department of Pharmacology
Gillespie NRF 3101, 3216
Mail Code: 4625
Irvine, CA 92697
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 27, 2009 at 07:11:24 PT
I didn't see anywhere to comment either.
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Comment #5 posted by RevRayGreen on October 27, 2009 at 07:09:00 PT
I looked
high and low on that article this a.m. but it appears no comments ???
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 27, 2009 at 06:42:50 PT
He compared medical marijuana to Oxycontin. 
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on October 27, 2009 at 06:23:06 PT
Dr. Phil......
...can kiss my grits!I've had my fill of Phil!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 27, 2009 at 05:44:16 PT
Dr. Phil on Jay Leno
He is against medical marijuana.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on October 27, 2009 at 05:42:54 PT
marijuana and other psychoactive drugs.....
It is an herb, dang it, a plant, a sprig of bio-mass sprouting up out of the ground like asparagus. Rush is a drug addict [oxycontin, etc.] I am an herbalist. I imbibe a botanically classified herb; cannabis.Tom De Lay is a drug addict, his choice of drug is alcohol.See how so many years of controlled information {propaganda} has changed the language? ["marijuana and other psychoactive drugs on the brain."]Power is the strongest psychoactive drug there is!!!! 
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