Marijuana activists have been arguing for many decades to try to get the Federal Government to expand research into the plant’s medicinal value. For most of that time, they were unsuccessful. So, any research was confined to very limited or even clandestine study to stay out of the reach of Johnny Law. But over the past few years, as various state laws have loosened regulations, so has the Federal government, and finally some very positive news is coming out.
One of the things that early researchers discovered about marijuana is that there were dozens of “cannabinoids.” What cannabinoids do exactly was, and still, is a mystery for the most part. What was known early on was that this part of the plant didn’t have the psychoactive effects that marijuana’s best known ingredient, THC, has. Over the years the list of these cannabinoids, which are unique to the marijuana plant alone, has grown to at least 85 different ones.
Now, because of expanded research that simply wasn’t possible in previous decades, at least one of these cannabinoids has been isolated and the signs are extremely positive about it when it comes to treating sometimes extreme, violent, and life threatening seizures in children with epilepsy. It is called CBD therapy, and involves an oral dose of a liquid made from the cannabinoid. Before this treatment, pretty much every other solution tried in this area by the conventional medical community has been a complete and utter failure.
But now there is hope, thanks to marijuana and CBD.
In a story published by the Los Angeles Times this week, Dr. Orrin Devinsky of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, the senior author of the preliminary study describes some of the successes of this research. He points out that in an area where there has been little to no success with any therapy or treatment, CBD in preliminary research has reduced them by over 50% and some children completely stop having seizures.
And because of that miracle treatment, many stop needing other dangerous pharmaceuticals, and as their parents and loved ones describe it they “come alive” no longer needing the sedative drugs used in mostly an act of futility before this treatment.
The subjects in this preliminary study range in age from toddlers to adults, but the median age was 11. All of them have severe epilepsy that does not respond to other treatments. These are kids who have literally hundreds of seizures a month or even a week. After 1 single small dose of CBD, some patients went from hundreds to 1 or even zero debilitating seizures in the same time frame.
And no one is getting high, no one getting the strung out on “the pot,” and as far as I know, no one has been turned gay from CBD treatments. The success of this study should lead to expanded double blind studies to confirm the results. But if marijuana wasn’t being treated like an abused orphan in our current set of draconian laws and obstacles of unbearable regulation and red tape, the track could be much faster for the suffering to end.
And keep in mind the results found here are merely a reflection of what other studies have found before. Studies so convincing and successful that even Texas republicans are trying to legalize marijuana so more of this good work can get done.
So maybe everyone can get behind this? Including those pious “christian” conservatives who seem to lash out at everything in a knee jerk fashion if it even smells liberal. But the thing is, this isn’t liberal. It isn’t conservative. It’s just the right thing to do. But if someone needs to put it in a christian frame, just think of it as “people using the tools God gave us to help our fellow people, in this case our precious children who are suffering.”
Still not convinced? Check out this great TED talk on medical solutions with marijuana:
Also, here’s a very abbreviated list of some of the things cannabis has been shown to help:
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease): Cannabis may correct imbalances in theendocannabinoid system that coincide with neurological degeneration.
Alzheimer’s: While existing Alzheimer’s treatments target the disease’s symptoms, cannabis is a promising therapy to undo its degenerative effects.
Autoimmune disease: THC may modify DNA to reduce autoimmune reactions like chronic inflammation.
Bipolar disorder: This study found that bipolar subjects with a history of cannabis use had better neurocognitive function than those with no history of cannabis use.
Brain degeneration: Cannabinoids reduce the effects of brain aging.
Brain inflammation: THC and CBD are neuroprotective antioxidants, and are equally or more effective than other pharmaceutical treatments, but without the damaging side effects.
Cancer: Six different cannabinoids combat the growth of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy side effects: Cannabis treats the side effects of chemotherapy, like nausea and appetite loss, without inhibiting the effectiveness of chemotherapy in battling cancer.
Crohn’s disease: High-THC cannabis has the ability to put Crohn’s disease into remission, and is an effective treatment without the negative side effects of traditional steroid treatments.
Depression: “Across four methodologically diverse samples, marijuana use consistently buffered people from the negative consequences associated with loneliness and social exclusion.”
Diabetes: Diabetics who regularly use cannabis have lower levels of fasting insulin.
Glaucoma: Cannabis reduces intraocular pressure, the effect of the disease that causes blindness.
Heart disease: Low doses of THC can help to prevent pulmonary heart disease.
Head and neck cancers: Moderate cannabis users have lower risk of head and neck cancers.
HIV: Regular doses of THC can modify T cell count and decrease the damage to immune tissue in infected primates.
Meth-related brain damage: Delta-9-THC reduces the effects of neurotoxicity caused by prolonged methamphetamine use.
Multiple sclerosis: Cannabis extract may lower the frequency of spasms and diminish immobility caused by MS.
Obesity: The prevalence of obesity is lower among cannabis users.
Osteoarthritis: Cannabis reduces the pain caused by osteoarthritis by correcting an imbalance of cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder causes an imbalance of cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which can be brought to balance using cannabis.
Seizures: Through the anticonvulsant properties of two chemical agents in the plant, cannabis is a highly effective treatment to prevent chronic seizures.
Sleep apnea: Cannabis stabilizes the involuntary autonomic nervous system during sleep, reducing sleep-disordered breathing.
This list grows as more is learned. Remember CBD is only 1 of at least 85 of these just newly known substances within the plant. If laws are modernized and red tape eliminated, just think how much we might learn about the other 84.