Medical Marijuana for Pain and Sleep and the PEM (!) in CFS

Cort

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Check out this nice informative blog from Healthiosity:cool:

http://healthosity.blogspot.com/2010/05/medical-marijuana-and-cfs-expert.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+RecoverFromCfsGetHealthyLiveWell+(Recover+From+CFS++|+Get+Healthy++|+Live+Well)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND CFS, AN EXPERT OPINION
Posted: 22 May 2010 09:52 AM PDT

Throughout history humans have sought to relieve suffering. People with CFS have overwhelming symptoms that cause excruciating suffering. Medical marijuana (MMJ) helps relieve suffering. AND MMJ can help you in your recovery including getting off toxic synthetic medications.

Because MMJ is legal in California I've been fortunate enough to have legal access to the most benign but effective medication I've ever used. For me it's been effective in relieving pain and insomnia. In fact I used it to taper relatively quickly off that last sleeping medication I was on. I had tried for 5 years to taper the capsule I was taking without any luck. After using MMJ I was sleeping through the entire night without waking up at all!!!

The side effects of most medications only add to the suffering of so many people. Pain medications cause pain, anti-depressants cause depression, anti-anxiety medications cause anxiety, and sleeping medications cause insomnia. But MMJ effectively treats so many symptoms without side affects and without addiction problems that so many of these drugs cause.

I recommend using MMJ instead of synthetic chemical medications for the purpose of relieving the pain of post extertional malaise, and other chronic pain, insomnia, and even anxiety. I have to say it IS rather head trippy so you have to be prepared for the altered state of consciousness and I don't recommend using it every day all day. If you have to work or have to drive or other responsibilities you shouldn't use it. But if you're stuck at home because you have excruciatingly painful PEM or other pain, or you cannot sleep I recommend using it, if it's legal where you live.

No one but the person experiencing an episode of nasty PEM can understand the horrible misery. Isn't it incredible that MMJ can help relieve that misery and help you get through it?

I'll write more about how to use the best strain for your symptom, and have to also caution you if you're going to use MMJ edibles, do not eat an entire cookie or other baked good. Try a small portion first, and wait 90 minutes in between ingesting any more. Eating MMJ is less controlled than smoking it and you can overdose quite easily.

There's an enormous amount of media going on right now about medical marijuana and about marijuana in general including the film, "The Botany of Desire" by New York Times bestseller Michael Pollen and the Wall Street Journal piece below.
 

julius

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I have found it extremely helpful with most of my symptoms. I was on prescription Cesamet (a synthetic THC) for a while with fantastic results. Can't afford to buy it any more.

I have found that oral administration (eating it) really cuts down on the "high" but still provides the therapeutic effects (I prefer to avoid the high). Unfortunately with oral MJ you need to use a lot of it, so cost is again a major consideration.

Of the hundreds of natural and pharmacuetical remedies I have tried over the years, MMJ is by far the most effective for symptomatic relief.
 

free at last

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Interesting thread, I know the benefits this can have sleeping appetite, ect but i found after prolonged use just a week. Im convinced for me it actually produces crashes. Not sure if the synthetic agent would be the same or indeed why the natural alternative would produce crashes. But for me it does. i was a prolonged heavy user leading up to the flu like attacks that lead to chronic illness. there is evidence it can suppress the immune system. so prolonged heavy use for years may have actually set me up to become chronically ill with a diagnosis of ME/ CFS especially if one considers XMRV and a suppressed immune system. all guessing now im afraid. But thats all i can do relate my experiance and feelings in this puzzle we call ME/ CFS
 

julius

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I've seen the research about the immune supression, and I've wondered if that has something to do with the positive effects I feel.

One of the big benefits for me is that is reduces my inflammation, and immune suppression can easily account for that.



glenp

I saw that documentary, and read about the british research which they are referring to. The research is just not that good.

Besides, they are claiming that the extremely high potency of modern pot leads to psychotic episodes. But I am talking about quite low doses, and taking steps to avoid the psychological 'high' (such as eating rather than smoking). So even if the argument in the Nature of Things is correct, it doesn't really apply here.
 

Esther12

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I quite fancy it for pleasure, but just don't really have the spare time for it if I'm going to do the basic tasks needed for survival.

Also, given the prejudices many have about CFS, being a regular weed smoker is unlikely to be interpreted in the same way it is for MS sufferers. We probably shouldn't let that affect our decisions, but it's likely to affect the way others treat us.

I knew someone with FM who found marijuana much more helpful than all his other potent drugs.

(I'm really bored of being sober... I cannot believe how sober I am... eight years of relentless reality... )
 

julius

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Weird, I actually am able to do those tasks far more easily with it than without.
I guess its a testament to how heterogeneous this disease is. What is a lifesaver for one is not effective for another.

I completely hear you on the prejudice thing. Unfortunate.
 

serenity

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i really have no opinion on this other than - like any drug it can be abused. as long as you take it for medical reasons i have no objections & i do think it should be legal ... but use caution like you would with any other drug. potential for abuse is always an issue.
just be careful with any drug, i'm tellin ya' as a former addict that addiction is not one more thing you want to add to your list of problems.
because this drug isnt' legal in most states, it is harder - because you have to decide how to use it yourself, instead of just listening to your doc.
 

Sunday

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Interesting thread. I live in California and have a prescription. I have heard of strains that are more effective for physical pain and less psychogenic (think that's the word). Maybe I have been lucky or maybe my chemistry is good with it; I have grown and used just two strains and they have both done well for me.

I also infuse oils. The only bad findings I've heard of about marijuana have to do with irritation of and damage to the lungs; ingestion bypasses that problem. Those of you who have to buy marijuana, you don't have to use the expensive stuff to make this oil, shake will do if it's decent quality. I tend to just mix the oil in with something in the evening, about 2 hours before I want to go to sleep, because THC is very stable (stores well), but pre-baked goods aren't. Here are some of the symptoms it really helps:

sleep - it works reliably almost all the time, both for sleep and sleep quality (though other things have also improved my sleep quality, I still haven't found anything else that actually reliably gets me to sleep as well). It doesn't cause liver damage when used over long periods, as Ambien (the only other sleeping drug that worked for me) does. (And why is LIVER DAMAGE considered an acceptable side effect?) It's not nearly as expensive, either (although that may be different for others, since I grow my own). The herbal sleeping aids I have used (when needed) for decades no longer work. Other sleeping aids leave me so groggy and horrible feeling in the morning that they are not worth it. I already feel horrible most mornings. They also give me terrible-quality sleep.

nausea - for the first year and a half, I was nauseated a lot of the time. For two months starting Freddd's B12 protocol, I was nauseated 24/7 - except when that blessed high of marijuana crept in and at last I could enjoy my food. (I was losing a lot of weight at the time, though I was dedicatedly chewing my way through the proper amount of nutrients.) And also, being free of nausea in the evenings - I can't believe how much brainpower and energy nausea occupies. I learned how to function with it, but it's so much better without.

nerve pain - It's not a total cure, but I notice using marijuana with another anti-inflammatory is much more effective for me. When it's really bad, I use marijuana oil topically. It reeks, but it helps. A friend of mine said she knew someone who used to have to go out to the fields in Mexico and find some leaves for her mother; her mother would pound them into a poultice. It was the best thing she knew for her painful knee.

depression - hey, we all know it: sometimes taking a straight look at this life really sucks. Marijuana really helps me to look at things in a new way and not give up. That's worth a lot to me. If I have to be a druggie to get there, OK. Where is being completely clean going to get me these days? I feel crap when I'm completely clean. And I sure can't get my high off exercise...or a lot of other things I used to do and love.

relaxation - I'm sure this is related to the above, but since a lot of us have that tired-but-wired thing going, or other anxiety, it's a pretty crucial piece of the picture. We all know that stress increases inflammation, which leads to a host of problems.

And I seem to remember reading somewhere on this forum (it was Kim, of course) that marijuana has antiviral properties. I think. Sorry, I'm a bit brainfoggy and can't find it. And no, I haven't taken my dose yet - I'll probably be better after I do.


Occasionally I give marijuana a miss just to see if I'm now able to sleep without it. I'm not. When I went on a trip to visit family last Christmas, I didn't bring it, because of the interstate-illegality thing. I used all kinds of other sleeping aids, but nothing worked; basically I slept every other night, from the exhaustion of having a white night the night before. (Ironically, the day I left, I found a newspaper in the airport; medical marijuana actually IS legal in RI, the state I was in. I'm taking my marijuana with me next year.) I had a fine time otherwise; mainly I missed it for the sleep and nausea reasons, although I did really enjoy coming back to it for yes, the high, the beautiful perspective on a life that can often look pretty ugly. I'm very grateful to marijuana.

If marijuana is addictive, it's a strange kind of addictiveness. For me, it's not physical, and it's not psychological - I've used it on and off for decades, and while it's nice to have around, I've never been one of those who had to use up all I had immediately; mostly I would save it for special occasions. In times of stress I would smoke it most days (well, usually evenings, after work), but after some initial mistakes it became clear to me which activities were better with marijuana (home fix-it projects, music, housecleaning, writing, hanging out in nature and with friends) and which ones were just awful (driving; making change; doing anything requiring analysis).

I do know people who compulsively smoke through whatever marijuana they've got, though, and I wonder whether it's a matter of personal chemistry or just that that person would be addicted to something to help them relax and marijuana happens to be what they use for that.

So I use marijuana every night, barring the occasional vacation. I was suprised at the comment of ingested marijuana not involving psych effects, because to me it's much more like a mild hallucinogen than smoking it. Much more serious effects. I love the psych effects, because it really helps me be not so depressed about feeling like crap all the time. Sometimes, if I'm really crashy, I will take a small dose of marijuana during the day, because it helps my mood and any pain or nausea. But like any other sleeping medication, you just have to plan not to go out and run that heavy machinery or do anything requiring a brain. Except if it's something creative; marijuana's really helpful for that, and I must say, with brainfog turning me into a zombie, being able to do ANYTHING creative is a huge boost for me.

I've been very interested to hear of other people's experiments and especially the comparison with other medications. I've long suspected that marijuana was a top-notch medicinal, but it's nice to have that corroborated.

You do have to be careful of the dosage, as has been said. Sarahg mentioned the variability of strength; what I do is take a very tiny sample of every batch of oil, so I can gauge what a proper dose is for me. I'm also willing to offer advice on this if anyone is interested; a tiny dose for me may not be a tiny dose for you.

Sorry this post turned so epic. This is something I've studied and thought about and experimented with a lot, so I guess I'm relieving the pressure of all that knowledge roiling around in the brainfog.
 

Dr. Yes

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This is quite interesting... THC as an antiviral against EBV (etc.)... The lead researcher here, Peter Medveczky, is the same guy who led the team that recently discovered HHV-6 integrates into the telomeres of chromosomes when it goes into latency (a major paper that was discussed on this forum).
Cannabis May Help Combat Cancer-causing Herpes Viruses
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040923092627.htm

ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2004) — Tampa, FL (Sept. 22, 2004) -- The compound in marijuana that produces a high, delta-9 tetrahydrocannbinol or THC, may block the spread of several forms of cancer causing herpes viruses, University of South Florida College of Medicine scientists report.

The findings, published Sept. 15 in the online journal BMC Medicine, could lead to the creation of antiviral drugs based on nonpsychoactive derivatives of THC.

The gamma herpes viruses include Kaposi's Sarcoma Associated Herpes virus, which is associated with an increased risk of cancer that is particularly prevalent in AIDS sufferers. Another is Epstein-Barr virus, which predisposes infected individuals to cancers such as Burkitt's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease.

Once a person is infected, these viruses can remain dormant for long periods within white blood cells before they burst out and begin replicating. This reactivation of the virus boosts the number of cells infected thereby increasing the chances that the cells will become cancerous.

The USF team, led by virologist Peter Medveczky, MD, found that this sudden reactivation was prevented if infected cells were grown in the presence of THC. While cells infected with a mouse gamma herpes virus normally died when the virus was reactivated, these same cells survived when cultured in the laboratory along with the cannabinoid compound – further evidence that THC prevents viral reactivation.

Furthermore, the researchers showed that THC acts specifically on gamma herpes viruses. The chemical had no effect on another related virus, herpes simplex-1, which causes cold sores and genital herpes.

Small concentrations of THC were more potent and selective against gamma herpes viruses than the commonly used antiviral drugs acyclovir, gancicyclovir and foscamet, said Dr. Medveczky, a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.
The USF researchers suggest that THC selectively inhibits the spread of gamma herpes viruses by targeting a gene these viruses all share called ORF50.

Dr. Medveczky emphasized that more studies are needed. "We have not evaluated the effect of THC in an animal model yet so we do not recommend people start using pot to prevent or treat cancers."

In fact, Dr. Meveczky said, THC has also been shown to suppress the immune system so smoking marijuana could "do more harm than good" to patients whose immune systems are often already weakened.
So be warned, if you choose to self-medicate!!
 

helsbells

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My only experience of this has been negative which is a shame because I echo the sentiments of someone on this thread after 15 years of being sober, I would really welcome being out of it occasionally! I will stick to the medicinal point: First time I smoked it on getting ill I ended up going massively weird and someone drove me to A & E (ER), had smoked it very occasional prior to onset no problems this episode actually triggered massive anxiety and panic attacks which lasted for a couple of years and really marked my original descent into illness - of course I must have been a pretty full barrel at that point but that was a deffinitive point. Never would dare smoke it again, i think it was a chemial reaction because I had to stop smoking cigaretts soon after too as I believe the chemicals and metals in the the tobacco stated to make me feel peculiar, not as intense but increased anxiety etc. Then years later someone told me good for pain so I tried a little in food and sorry to be graphic but violent diarrhea ensued very quickly. I think with me i just do have very marked MCS so if somethings natural or not if its chemically active I will react.
 

Mithriel

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I go to an MS therapy centre. Many of the clients were part of an official research trial, some of the others bought laced chocolate, sold to people with their GP's knowledge, and a few just bought and smoked it.

The results were disappointing all round. The side effects were worse than any of the benefits. I think that MS sufferers, like us live very on the edge so what would have been a slight loss of balance to a healthy person caused a serious fall in someone with MS.

A few did feel it helped with sleep, but no one mentions it now. LDN is where most of the interest lies.

Mithriel
 

Rosemary

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Thank you Dr Yes....Thanks for posting this very interesting research,

Quote " The compound in marijuana that produces a high, delta-9 tetrahydrocannbinol or THC, may block the spread of several forms of cancer causing herpes viruses "

I have looked at several scientific studies which look at how marijuana...THC can halt the spread of cancer cells.

...In the study below I therefore find it interesting that THC also slowed the growth of virus-induced leukemia in lab mice

For your interest.
This is the first experiment which documents marijuana's anti-tumor effects which took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia. The results of that study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that marijuana's psychoactive component, THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."

http://www.ukcia.org/research/AntineoplasticActivityOfCannabinoids/index.php

This is quite interesting... THC as an antiviral against EBV (etc.)... The lead researcher here, Peter Medveczky, is the same guy who led the team that recently discovered HHV-6 integrates into the telomeres of chromosomes when it goes into latency (a major paper that was discussed on this forum).
So be warned, if you choose to self-medicate!!

Further information here:
Cannabinoids: Potential Anticancer Agents
http://americanmarijuana.org/Guzman-Cancer.pdf
 

Sunday

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Dr. Yes, thanks for finding that study abstract! and it WAS antiviral, which is encouraging in the brainfog department. Although I'd forgotten the EBV, which is perhaps less encouraging.

Rosemary, thanks for posting the anti-tumor activity quote. If I'd ever seen that study, I don't remember it. Good to know.

One of the interesting things to me is that at least some of these studies are funded by hostile entities, yet I haven't heard of any findings against it except the lung ones.

Which isn't to say this is for everybody. It's true, we all have different sensitivities, and this just may not work for some. But it could be an incredible boon for many others. I'd also point out that in earlier studies on hallucinogens, researchers emphasized the importance of context (setting) and, at least for the initial times, caretakers, to relieve anxiety. That could apply here, too.
 

julius

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So many great insights here.

I think it will be a bigger topic once we are all taking ARV's. As I understand it, MMJ is often prescribed for HIV patients to help them with the side effects of their medication.

Will be interesting to see.
 

Rosemary

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Cannabis destroys cancer cells... reveals research at Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry

http://www.qmul.ac.uk/news/newsrelease.php?news_id=175

Researchers investigating the role of cannabis in cancer therapy reveal it has the potential to destroy leukaemia cells, in a paper published in the March 2006 edition of Letters in Drug Design & Discovery. Led by Dr Wai Man Liu, at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, the team has followed up on their findings of 2005 which showed that the main active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has the potential to be used effectively against some forms of cancer. Dr Liu has since moved to the Institute of Cancer in Sutton where he continues his work into investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of new anti-cancer agents.

It has previously been acknowledged that cannabis-based medicines have merit in the treatment of cancer patients as a painkiller; appetite stimulant and in reducing nausea, but recently evidence has been growing of its potential as an anti-tumour agent. The widely reported psychoactive side effects and consequent legal status of cannabis have, however, complicated its use in this capacity. Although THC and its related compounds have been shown to attack cancer cells by interfering with important growth-processing pathways, it has not hitherto been established exactly how this is achieved.

Now Dr Liu and his colleagues, using highly sophisticated microarray technology – allowing them to simultaneously detect changes in more than 25,000 genes in cells treated with THC – have begun to uncover further the existence of crucial processes through which THC can kill cancer cells and potentially promote survival. Further, Dr Liu found that the mechanism of cannabis may be independent of the presence of receptors – proteins found on the surface of cells to which other signalling molecules bind. Binding of molecules to receptors elicits a response in the cell, be it growth or death. The finding that cannabis action may not require the presence of these receptors introduces the possibility that the drug may be used more widely as the cancer cell’s dependence on the cannabis receptor is removed.

Whilst leukaemia treatment is on the whole successful, some people cannot be treated with conventional therapy - 25 per cent of children with leukaemia fail to respond to traditional treatment leaving their prognosis outcome poor. Dr Liu’s research findings provide a crucial first step towards the development of new therapies that can eradicate a deadly disease which affects millions of children and adults worldwide.

Dr Liu said: “It is important to stress that these cannabis-like substances are far removed from the cannabis that is smoked. These novel compounds have been specifically designed to be free of the psychoactive features, whilst maintaining anti-cancer action. Ultimately, understanding the fundamental mechanisms of these compounds will provide us with insights into developing new drugs that can be used to effectively treat cancers.”
 

Misfit Toy

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As I sit here typing, I am in so much pain. I wish I lived in a state that it was legal. I have tried smoking it. It makes things worse for me. Not sure about ingesting it. I would like to have it legal so I would know it is pure. I live in an apartment and can not grow it. I think it would help with my depression and anxiety. Plus, the pain and lack of sleep which causes the pain. I am so desperate right now. I am desperate for something to work.
 

Sunday

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Oh Spitfire, I hear you. I'm so sorry. I could offer up ideas but you've probably had a million of them. I really hope you can find something that works for you. A friend of mine has Lyme's and bad sleep problems; she's been using something called Vivix (it's from Shaklee) and it really has helped her sleep - and she's been having problems with sleep for years. It's extracts of elderberry, grape, and a couple of other things.

OK - I guess I put in one suggestion, but just one. I'll stop now and just send you my good wishes. And sorry if I took this thread off track, but if you live in a state where it's not legal, it's hard to get. I've heard there are actually a handful of federal prescriptions for some people in a bad state, but I don't know if that's something that you have to be grandfathered into or if it's a program still going on.
 

Dr. Yes

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Here's a selection from the THC-antiviral paper itself, for those interested in a more in-depth look:

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) inhibits lytic replication of gamma oncogenic herpesviruses in vitro [2004]
Maria M Medveczky, Tracy A Sherwood, Thomas W Klein, Herman Friedman and Peter G Medveczky

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, MDC Box 10, University of South Florida, and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612-4799, USA

BMC Medicine 2004, 2:34doi:10.1186/1741-7015-2-34

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/2/34


Background
Reactivation of latent virus is often initiated by extracellular signals activating through receptors and various transcription factors. Transcription factors activate the promoter of the critical viral gene open reading frame 50 (ORF 50) of KSHV, HVS, MHV 68 or its homologue Rta of EBV [8-16]. The ORF 50 protein is also a transcription factor and further boosts production of its own mRNA [10,13,16]. An important function of ORF50/Rta is to activate early lytic genes [1,2] involved in DNA synthesis. After synthesis of early proteins, the process culminates with expression of late genes leading to production of virion components, virus assembly, release of progeny virus and cell death.

The major psychoactive cannabinoid compound of marijuana, ?9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been shown to modulate and primarily suppress immune responses against various pathogens [for review see [17,18]]. THC binds to and activates either one of the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) located on the surface of both brain and lymphoid cells [17-26]. CB1 and CB2 belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors characterized by seven transmembrane loops interacting with the ligand on the outer surface of the cell. The receptors also contain an intracellular signaling domain.

(...)

Since THC is an immune modulator we hypothesized that it may have an effect on gamma herpesvirus replication and/or latency. The data presented show that THC inhibits reactivation and lytic replication of these herpesviruses, possibly through inhibition of the ORF 50 promoter.

Discussion

To summarize the antiviral effects of THC and to compare THC with well-characterized antiviral drugs, we compiled data from the literature as well as from our own experimental results. Table 2 shows the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of four known antiviral drugs and of THC. Data on the antiviral effects of acyclovir, PFA and ganciclovir on KSHV were obtained from our Gardella gel assays [32]. Usherwood et al. [33] also used a Gardella gel-based assay to determine the effect of acyclovir against MHV 68 in transformed B cell line S11. The data regarding the effects of four antiviral drugs against MHV 68 and on cell division are from the work of Neyts and De Clercq [34] using standard lytic virus replication inhibition assays on monolayers. The THC antiviral results are from the data described in this paper (Gardella gels for KSHV using BCBL-1 cells and NIH12 antiviral assays for MHV 68). These data suggest that THC is a potent and selective antiviral agent against KSHV comparable with some well-characterized anti-herpesvirus compounds. THC is even more potent and selective against MHV 68 than acyclovir, ganciclovir and foscarnet. Cidofovir appears to be most potent in these in vitro experiments; however, this drug is known to cause serious side effects and is toxic to the kidney in humans.

As outlined earlier, THC can modulate and inhibit the activation of immune cells, so it is not entirely surprising that it can down-regulate the reactivation of viruses residing in lymphocytes, as shown by the data. However, the antiviral effect of THC is not cell specific, since MHV 68 and HVS replication was also strongly inhibited by THC in NIH3T12 or owl monkey kidney monolayer cell cultures. This observation suggests that THC either directly or indirectly targets a viral gene shared by these herpesviruses.

The data presented in Figure 7 suggest that THC may inhibit KSHV replication through the cannabinoid receptors. When BCBL-1 cells were treated with THC the receptor antagonists partially reversed this effect, suggesting a role for the CB receptors expressed by BCBL-1 cells. However, more studies are required to evaluate whether CB1, CB2 or both receptors are involved. As discussed in the Introduction, ORF 50/Rta is a critical gene for both reactivation of latent virus and lytic replication in monolayers. Interestingly, ORF 50/Rta activation involves cAMP signaling [12,35]. In contrast, cannabinoid receptor binding has been shown to down-regulate the level of activated CREB through a decrease in cyclic AMP synthesis [17,18,26,36]. Therefore, one possible explanation is that THC inhibits cAMP signaling, leading to decrease of ORF 50/Rta-mediated transcription and block of virus replication. This antiviral mechanism of THC is supported by our data. Luciferase reporter assays showed that in the presence of THC, initiation of transcription of ORF 50 mRNA in both KSHV and MHV 68 is markedly reduced (4-fold and 7.4-fold, respectively) as compared with the CMV immediate early promoter. These data suggest selective inhibition of the ORF 50 promoter of MHV 68 and KSHV by THC. However, it is also anticipated that THC may also block other cellular and viral genes, as this drug has been shown to cause a wide range of changes in lymphocyte gene expression [17,18].

Conclusions

(...)

Interestingly, statistical analysis indicates a lower incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma in HIV positive women using non-intravenous drugs [45]. About 5.4% of HIV positive women with no drug use developed KS, whereas none of the 47 women in this study who only used marijuana suffered from KS [ref. [45], and James Goedert, personal communication]. This report, however, involved relatively few individuals so further analysis of a larger cohort is warranted.

We believe that studies on cannabinoids and herpesviruses are important to continue because there are obvious potential benefits. Better understanding may lead to the development of specific non-psychoactive drugs that may inhibit reactivation of oncogenic herpesviruses.