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Marijuana can reduce pain and spasms - UCal Feb 2010

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by shrewsbury, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    The article says a 24-page report was submitted Wednesday to the Legislature, but after a quick search, I haven't been able to find the report itself or the 6 studies mentioned. They found pot helped people with MS, diabetes and AIDS among others. Is there a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the US that this is supporting? I see the Center is expected to close down for lack of funding.

    Marijuana can reduce pain and spasms, report claims
    (my bolds and spacing)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The first U.S. clinical trials in more than two decades on the medical benefits of marijuana confirm pot is effective in reducing muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by certain neurological injuries or illnesses, according to a report issued Wednesday.

    Igor Grant, a psychiatrist who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said five studies funded by the state involved volunteers who were randomly given real marijuana or placebos to determine if the herb provided relief not seen from traditional medicines.

    "There is good evidence now that cannabinoids may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment," Grant said at a news conference where he presented the findings.

    The California Legislature established the research center in 2000 to examine whether the therapeutic claims of medical marijuana advocates could withstand scientific scrutiny. In 1996, state voters became the first in the nation to pass a law approving pot use for medical purposes.

    Thirteen other states have followed suit, but California is the only one so far to sponsor medical marijuana research. After 10 years and nearly $9 million, the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is preparing to wrap up its work next year.

    Along with the studies on muscle spasms and pain associated with spinal cord injuries and AIDS, the center also has funded research on how marijuana affects sleep and driving, limb pain due to diabetes, and whether inhaling vaporized cannabis is as effective as smoking it.

    State Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat who leads a budget subcommittee on health and human services and supports medical marijuana, said he doubted there would be more financial support for the center, given California's ongoing budget crisis.

    The federal government classifies marijuana as an illicit drug with no medical use but produces the only pot legally available for scientific research under a contract with the University of Mississippi.

    Grant said obtaining some of the Mississippi crop and meeting the complex security regulations required by the Drug Enforcement Agency and other federal agencies was time-consuming and cumbersome.

    Grant, however, had no problem with the quality of the government's supply. Its consistency was helpful in determining that patients who smoked less-potent marijuana enjoyed the same amount of pain relief but less mental confusion than those who inhaled a more powerful strain, he said.

    Such quality control is notably absent from the marijuana that patients with a doctor's recommendation can legally obtain in California through hundreds of cooperatives and storefront dispensaries, Grant said.

    He said more research was needed on how pot works and its side effects.

    "Because we don't know the composition of the strains that are on the street, we don't know what patients really are getting," he said. "As a doctor I feel some discomfort when someone says take X or Y pill or herb because we think that might be helpful."

    In the 24-page report submitted Wednesday to the Legislature, Grant said research protocols had been rigorous, with six studies published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed science journals.

    (c) 2010 Tulsa World. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
     
  2. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Hmm... maybe!

    As the article points out, medical marijuana is legal in California. Of course that's not the same as legal in the US. I don't know what initiatives might be in the works in other states.

    I didn't like pot in my teens and twenties when it was very available socially, but this part of the article is interesting to me:

    Mental confusion is exactly what WE don't need more of, right?

    Also, a friend whose dad uses pot for his pain told me that when you've got a lot of pain, smoking it doesn't make you high, it just makes you closer to normal.

    So I've been thinking about trying to overcome my dislike of anything psychotropic or narcotic (I don't even like alcohol) and maybe trying pot. I'd love to see the study if anyone finds it. Thanks!

    ~ Creek
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Fatigue and concentration are more of a problem for me than pain, so I don't think I have any excuse for disappearing into a cloud of smoke - other than just being bored of eight years of sobriety! I had a friend with bad Fibromyalgia who grew and smoked weed, and it seemed to help him. It seemed pretty mild compared to the rest of the cocktail of drugs he'd be prescribed.

    I think getting stoned in the evening and listening to some music would be a nice way to spend some time - but given the way alcohol affected me after I got ill, I'm not sure it's something I'd try right now. Isn't marijuana meant to weaken your immune system too?
     
  4. SeaShel

    SeaShel Senior Member

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    The pot that is out there now, on average, is apparently much stronger than what I *might* have been familiar with in college.

    I wish one of these chemistry whiz growers would develop a strain that does away with the munchies, cuz that's the last thing I need with all of this cfids weight gain. For those of you with lack of appetite issues, I would think medical marijuana could be a godsend.

    There's a low rumble starting here in AZ to get a medical pot initiative going, we'll see if it happens. If the old hippie retirees voters outnumber the conservative ones, maybe it'll have a chance. ;-)

    I'd certainly welcome muscle spasm relief, I'm on a very strong prescription and they just don't work anymore.

    Shelley
     
  5. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Got the link!

    The press release, report to the Legislature, and links to studies are on the CMCR site here: http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/
     
  6. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    I have found it very helpful in almost all aspects of ME. The trick, I found, was to not get high. I first noticed the effect when I was younger and a smoker. I didn't enjoy the feeling of being high, but after 30-40 min or so, the high would recede and I would feel generally better in the following ways;

    less inflammation
    clear thinking (no brain fog)
    more energetic
    less ache and pain
    no pressure in head

    I could go on.

    I suspect it's the immunosuppressant activity, but can't be sure.

    I got my doctor to prescribe a synthetic oral analogue of THC and found it to be extremely helpful. It had the added benefit of not really giving a high. Similar to eating marijuana rather than smoking it.

    I would honestly recommend talking to your doctor about Nabilone (cesamet) or Dronabinol (Marinol).

    After 30 years with this disease, this is the only therapy of significant all round benefit for me.
     
  7. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    I was never into Pot. The smell of it made me yak. You can get the same muscle spasm relief from Belladonna, but they banned it, other than in some homeopathic stuff that isn't strong enough to do anything. They did make Donnatal out of the Belladonna and that does work, if you can get a doc to give it off brand. After my doc retired, I couldn't get it again and then I just kept forgetting to ask new docs for it. Belladonna soothes the central nervous system. My doc used to have me take one with a benadryl and a tylenol and it worked. Put me to sleep, though :D
     
  8. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Not that I'm aware of.

    For those outside of the USA or any others unfamiliar with the laws surrounding the use of marijuana for medical purposes, here's an explanation, as best I understand it: currently all marijuana, medical or recreational, is illegal on the federal level, and also on the state level in most states. However some states have made it legal provided you jump through the proper hoops and abide by the given restrictions (doctor's note, registering, not exceeding specified amounts, etc). This strange conflict of legislature means that first of all, no matter which state you live in, you can "get busted" by federal authorities for any use of marijuana...but you probably won't because the feds tend to have bigger fish to fry.

    State authorities, on the other hand, do not.

    There are 16 states that currently have some form of lenience towards the medical use of marijuana. They are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Note that I did not say medical marijuana was legal in all these states, because some only provide affirmative defense, while others hold affirmative defense in reserve for those using MM without registration. Affirmative defense means that it doesn't protect you from arrest but if used in court it can protect you from conviction or mitigate the sentence.

    For information on which states do what I'll just copy and paste from this informative website:

    The states that have not legalized MM but still offer a defense is Maryland and, as of last month, Washington (that's Washington state, not Washington D.C.) when a supreme court ruling stated that "I-692 did not legalize marijuana, but rather provided an authorized user with an affirmative defense if the user shows compliance with the requirements for medical marijuana possession."

    I'm not quite sure what's up with Arizona but it doesn't seem to fit into either category. The ballot proposition seems to relate to doctors only and leaves patients completely out of the picture.

    According to this page the 13 states with current pending legislature or ballots to legalize marijuana are: Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennesse, and Wisconsin.

    One final thing to note is that while California has taken the term "medical use" and turned it into a joke, many other states have not. If you live in California just about any complaint made to the "right" doctor followed by a request for a note permitting marijuana will result in legal permission to use it, and no one will bat an eye if you tell them you're on it. Not so in other places. California is by far the most open and lenient about it out of all the states that allow it so far and it is certainly not representative of the nation's attitude as a whole towards MM.

    ...and in case anyone's wondering, no, I do not have personal experience with marijuana, medical or otherwise. :p Information was obtained solely through research.
     
  9. Knackered

    Knackered Guest

    I've tried it and it didn't work for me, it just made me feel a bit sick and dizzy. I've no objection for anyone else using it though, I don't understand why it's illegal, alcohol is much worse for the body and mind.

    One of my best friends used to smoke it pretty much every day to ease his shoulder pains, he was a window cleaner and without it he'd have had to give up his job.
     
  10. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    At the risk of repeating myself - a few people are reporting on Nabilone as a treatment on the Patientslikeme site.

    Jenny
     
  11. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    Personally, if I were to go this route I would strongly recommend Nabilone or a nebulizer/vaporizer. I've done a fair amount of research in the behavior change and smoking cessation field. I have two issues with smoking; 1) the delivery system, and 2) the effects that nicotine has on neural arousal and it's subsequent addictive qualities. The nicotine issues are not in play with THC but the delivery system with smoking pot is similar (probably fewer additives - cigarette makers like to add stuff to that amongst other things, the cigarette keeps burning even when you're not smoking - you know, as a convenience to you so you don't have to keep lighting up AND less control/no documentation of what is actually going into the pot, especially if you are not getting it through a store in a state where it is legal.

    The delivery system in CFS folks is a real issue. LA Jason has published data on the high rates of death by heart attack in CFS and Dr. Hsue at UCSF (http://cardiology.ucsf.edu/people/priscilla_hsue.html) has opened an HIV cardiovascular clinic. Dr. Hsue feels that the retrovirus HIV causes inflammation which presents additional risk and a unique profile of escalated Heart Disease risk amongst HIV patients (http://www.ifarablog.org/2010/02/hiv-inflammation-and-cardiovascular.html). Given my own experience (and that of many others on this forum) with heart disease, throwing in the added strain of lung damage is not on my list of things my body needs in order to heal.
     
  12. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    Jenny,

    Thanks, just got up so will check later.

    Shane,

    Totally agree about tobacco, but it's not necessary to add it. But I would recommend against smoking at all, even with a nebulizer. When smoked (or nebulized) there is a sharp spike early on, this produces the 'high' that many people (myself included) find distasteful.

    When taken orally, the delivery is much slower and long lasting, producing a completely different effect.

    The only problem with this method (which is why I am not using it at all now) is the expense. Taken orally, the dose of MJ must be much higher to produce even these therapeutic effects. And nabilone is also expensive. So, unfortunately, even though there is a very good treatemnt out there for me, I can't afford it.
     
  13. Luke

    Luke ooph

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    Is it not a possibility for you to grow your awn legally in Canada?
     
  14. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    Yes and no. Just a few plants, which isn't nearly enough.
     
  15. Luke

    Luke ooph

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    This info seemed a bit more hopeful than that. It seems to sugget you could grow as much as you can get a prescription for ( not suggesting you haven't looked into it yourself though).
     
  16. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    Oh, with a license. That's different. In BC anyone can grow a few plants without one.

    But the equipment and labor required to grow that much is a barrier for someone who can barely function. Especially since eating it requires so much more plant material than smoking.
     
  17. Luke

    Luke ooph

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    "If you're on a budget, if you can't fill your prescription, if you are dealing with uncompassionate pricing or feel you're being taken advantage of please contact us to help improve your situation. If you have an MMAR number, Apply Now and fill out our form so we can get started"

    The above seemed to suggest they try to hook you up with cool not for profit growers, maybe you could get lucky.

    I hear you
     
  18. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    Thanks for that.
     
  19. Luke

    Luke ooph

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    My pleasure mate.

    "We will work together to ensure you are provided the right amount, the right strain at a price that reflects your personal situation, AND we'll deliver your high quality product to your front door."

    Now that sounds like a good service!
     
  20. Rosemary

    Rosemary Senior Member

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    Latest MS drug contains cannabis

    The first licensed medical drug containing whole cannabis plant extracts has been launched to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
    Sativex will be made widely available after it was approved by the medicines regulator last week.

    Taken as a mouth spray, it is used to help alleviate symptoms of spasticity - involuntary muscle stiffness and spasms - associated with MS and is said to be the first symptom relief drug specifically for those with the condition.

    It is the first cannabinoid medicine derived from whole plant extracts of the cannabis sativa plant, and is only the second cannabinoid drug to be licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

    Cannabis is a Class B drug and using it for medicinal purposes remains illegal in the UK.

    But doctors can prescribe Sativex to MS patients experiencing the spasms and cramping associated with spasticity.

    MS charities welcomed the regulator's approval of the drug, which was developed by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals.

    Pam Macfarlane, chief executive of the MS Trust, described the launch as a milestone.

    She said: "We have been aware for a long time, based on comments from people with MS, that cannabis-based medicines can significantly improve spasticity, which is a common, complex symptom of MS.

    "For this reason, the MS Trust has campaigned for the availability of a licensed medicine that can be properly controlled and prescribed."

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20100621/thl-latest-ms-drug-contains-cannabis-d831572.html


    Hope for MS sufferers as first cannabis-based drug is licensed

    By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

    it is the world's oldest euphoric drug – and yesterday the first medicine made from cannabis was licensed in the UK.

    Britain is the first country to give the drug full regulatory approval, although it has had a limited licence to treat neuropathic pain in Canada since 2005. It is made from plants grown at a secret location in southern England by GW Pharmaceuticals, a small biotech company whose shares have risen 60 per cent in the last six months in anticipation of yesterday's announcement.

    The medicinal benefits of cannabis have been known for at least 2,000 years. Its analgesic properties were described by the British herbalist Nicholas Culpeper in 1653.

    There are at least 60 active constituents of cannabis and scientists believe they can harness them to alleviate a range of symptoms. Millions of pounds are being invested by drug companies to test medicines derived from the plant as treatments for pain, epilepsy and inflammatory conditions such as bowel and skin diseases....continued

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...t-cannabisbased-drug-is-licensed-2006812.html
     

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