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The medical conditions in which Cannabis based drugs are being studied are unusually diverse and probably larger than any other single category of drugs. The published studies on the following medical conditions shall give you an idea of the range (1).
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Anxiety – Sleep Disorders/ PTSD
- Appetite Loss/Weight Loss
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar Disorders
- Crohn’s Disease
- Dependency/ Withdrawal
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Huntington’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Psychosis/ Schizophrenia
- Tourette Syndrome
The list has few more entries also.
The results reported in various studies are encouraging and promising.
While medical research is making big strides in the field of Cannabis, the acceptance and legalization is not as universal. The first countries legalizing Cannabis for medical use were Canada and Uruguay. Uruguay is also the first country to legalize Cannabis for recreational use.
Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (https://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu) is based in the University of California, San Diego and is coordinating research on Cannabis. In 1999, California State legislated and commissioned University of California to establish a scientific research program to expand public scientific knowledge on purported therapeutic usage of marijuana (2).
In 2010, CMCR submitted an initial report (2). And showed the following pre-clinical and clinical studies published or submitted for publication.
- Donald Abrams, M.D. UC San Francisco Cannabis for Treatment of HIV-Related Peripheral Neuropathy
- Donald Abrams, M.D. UC San Francisco Vaporization as a Smokeless Cannabis Delivery System
- Jody Corey-Bloom, M.D., Ph.D. UC San Diego Short-Term Effects of Cannabis Therapy on Spasticity in MS
- Ronald Ellis, M.D., Ph.D. UC San Diego Placebo-controlled, Double Blind Trial of Medicinal Cannabis in Painful HIV Neuropathy
- Mark Wallace, M.D. UC San Diego Analgesic Efficacy of Smoked Cannabis
- Barth Wilsey, M.D. UC Davis Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial of Smoked Marijuana on Neuropathic Pain
During the last ten years, the pace and progress has been much faster.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (https://nccih.nih.gov) reports that “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved marijuana (the plant) for treating any health problems. The FDA has approved three cannabinoids as drugs. In 2018, the agency approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol or CBD) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy. This drug is derived from marijuana. The FDA has also approved the synthetic cannabinoids dronabinol and nabilone to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in people who have already taken other medicines to treat these symptoms without good results. Dronabinol is also approved to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with AIDS. Dronabinol contains synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a component of marijuana, and nabilone contains a synthetic substance with a similar chemical structure. In 2016, the FDA approved Syndros, a liquid form of dronabinol.” (3)
Another interesting resource is www.clear-uk.org whose 2015 report was published in British Medical Journal (BMJ) (4). The report concludes that “Cannabis clearly offers significant therapeutic benefits for a wide range of conditions without substantial risks or unmanageable side effects. Cannabis should be transferred from schedule 1 to schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations. Current MHRA policies and fees on traditional herbal products and marketing authorisations are an unnecessary obstacle to making medicinal cannabis available.”
To be Continued…..