Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘palliative

The Panacea

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Possibly the most frequently heard objection to medicinal use of cannabis is disbelief that one medicine can help with so many different medical conditions. Contempt for this idea most frequently comes from the medical establishment who demonstrate their lack of knowledge of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Still not taught in most medical schools, the ECS is now known to be the largest neurotransmitter network in the body which does indeed impact on every other physiological system. It is a scientific fact, still not understood by many doctors, that cannabis can have beneficial effects on virtually every condition and disease.

Cannabis is a palliative medicine but I have no doubt that the curative powers of cannabinoids, which have already been proven in vitro and animal studies, will one day be harnessed into medicines. In different combinations, perhaps with other cannabis compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, they will successfully treat many cancers, mental health problems, digestive disorders and especially diseases of the immune system.  At this stage though, cannabis is best considered as something that helps us deals with symptoms, particularly chronic pain, mood and sleeping disorders.  In this regard, it is still not properly recognised for the immense benefits it offers, especially that it is so safe, non-toxic and kind to the body and mind.

Cannabis does undoubtedly produce some remarkable curative results. In my judgement these are largely by luck rather than design but cannabis is perhaps the only medicine you can do this with. It is so safe that you can try it and see, experiment with different doses and potentially with different ratios of its many active ingredients.  Very, very few doctors understand this. They are more used to dealing with toxic substances that can produce nasty side effects, which is why they and the NHS bureaucrats who control the purse strings are so dependent on clinical trials. These produce valuable data and safety information for pharmaceutical drugs but it means our physicians have lost the ability to treat patients as individuals, using safe, plant-based therapies.  This wisdom has been swept aside by the pharma industry’s rush for profit and forgotten by many of those who care for us.

So I take the view that cannabis really is a panacea.  Not a cure for everything but a remedy that offers some benefit for every condition.  This relies on another truth that is difficult for the medical establishment to deal with – cannabis is not one medicine but many, perhaps hundreds of different combinations of ingredients, beyond just THC and CBD, beyond terpenes and flavonoids, perhaps including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, essential amino acids, esters, glycosides, enzymes, proteins, sugars, alcohols, ketones, lactones, aldehydes – all the constituents of this remarkable plant. It is this complexity, of course, that makes clinical trials unsuitable for cannabis and its inherent safety that makes them unnecessary.

But I have my personal panacea.  It is made by a good friend who in his professional life produces some of the finest, whole plant, low-THC, high-CBD oils.  In his spare time he turns his lab to more interesting, illicit products.  You will be surprised to learn that my panacea is not a high-THC rocket fuel but a 3:1 ratio CBD:THC blend.  It is a happiness tonic, soothing pain reliever, gentle sleep enhancer and gorgeous elixir for all the aches, pains and complaints of my 63rd year.

I know that if little bottles of this were on pharmacy and supermarket shelves they would sell like hot cakes.  Six drops in a cup of coffee in the morning or hot chocolate before bed – it’s bliss, delight, comfort and it just enhances and smoothes life without any downside, no hangover or side effects at all. Of course, with that ratio it’s completely benign and would be even for an inexperienced cannabis consumer.  When products like this become legally available they will benefit hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Those early into the market will probably make a fortune if they can advertise and communicate its benefits effectively.  The really wonderful aspect though is that this can be as cheap as chips.  Made in volume it could sell for just a few pounds, euros or dollars a bottle that will last for weeks.  It really is a panacea although currently, stupidly, in this crazy world we live in, highly illegal.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm

Who Is Secretly Working To Keep Pot Illegal – Big Pharma?

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This is an extract from an article by Steven Kotler,
a science writer who lives in New Mexico.
The full article can be read here.

 

In 2009, the global pharmaceutical market was worth $837 billion—and it’s on track to top $1 trillion by 2014. This is a lot of money to spread around, so when it comes to lobbying efforts, very few have this group’s clout. Mostly, Big Pharma gets what Big Pharma wants. And one thing it wants is for marijuana to remain illegal.

It’s not hard to figure out why. You can’t patent a plant—and that’s a big problem for pharmaceutical companies when it comes to medical marijuana.

Why?

Imagine a wonder drug able to provide much-needed relief from dozens and dozens of conditions. Imagine it’s cheap, easy to grow, easy to dispense, easy to ingest and, over millennia of “product testing,” has produced no fatalities and few side effects—except for the fact that it “reportedly” makes you feel really, really good. That would be quite a drug. Knowing all this, it’s easy to see why the pharmaceutical industry worries about competition from marijuana.

And besides its palliative prowess, researchers consistently find that patients prefer smoking marijuana to taking prescription drugs. In another study run by Reiman, 66 percent of her patients used cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs; 68 percent used it instead of prescription drugs to treat a chronic condition and 85 percent reported that cannabis had fewer side effects than other medicines.

Miracle Medicine

Early on, the pharmaceutical industry fought back by spending money on anti-pot efforts, but the same NORML investigation that fingered the alcohol and tobacco industries as heavy backers of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America found that Big Pharma was doing so as well. “They were so embarrassed by that revelation” says MAPS founder Rick Doblin, “that they mostly stopped spending money on anti-marijuana lobbying efforts.”

Since then, the pharmaceutical industry has shifted its focus to developing alternatives to medical cannabis, often taking the traditional reductionist approach. Specifically, these days, if a pharmaceutical company wants to turn a plant into a medicine they isolate the most active ingredient and make what’s known as a “single-compound drug.” Morphine, for example, is really just the chemical core of the poppy plant. This too has been tried with marijuana. Out of the 400 chemicals in marijuana, 80 of them belong to a class called “cannabinoids.” Out of those 80 cannabinoids, a number of pharmaceutical companies have tried reducing marijuana to only one: THC. But the results have been unsatisfactory.

“There are certain cases,” says Doblin, “where the single-compound formula works wonders. But it’s just not true in every case. The pharmaceutical industry keeps claiming they’re not worried about medical marijuana because they make a better product, but when you reduce cannabis to just THC, you lose efficacy and gain side effects.”