Cannabinoid Medicines

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 Advances knowledge on cannabis, cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and related topics especially with regard to their therapeutic potential.

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Case Study: Cannabis Extracts May Help Treat Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

11568_642361372465659_220894057_nAs we know, a growing number of studies have suggested a link between cannabis and cancer. Anecdotal success stories of people using the plant to treat their ailments are popping up with increased prevalence and cannabis is gaining ground as a viable treatment for cancer.
In November, two Canadian researchers published a case study in the journal Case Reports in Oncology that adds to the scientific literature on cannabis. It suggests that cannabis extracts could help treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Whole-Plant Cannabis Extract Helps Treat 14-Year-Old’s Leukemia
cannabis oilAcute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells that can cause death in a matter of a few weeks if left untreated. With that said, combination therapy is the most common form of treatment.
More than 94 percent of children affected with the disease are still in remission after 5 years. The same can only be said of 30-40 percent of adults.
Still, a 14-year-old patient from Canada suffered from an overly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and traditional treatments were unsuccessful after 34 months. A standard bone marrow transplant, aggressive chemotherapy, and radiation therapy were revoked and treatment was deemed a failure.
“Cannabis extracts offered an effective treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.”
In turn, the family started their child on a cannabis extract regimen. Specifically, they chose to administer whole-plant cannabis extracts orally, much like the method popularized by Rick Simpson (RSO).
Yadvinder Singh is the author of the Canadian case study. According to his observations, cannabis extracts offered an effective treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In fact, he noted that there were “indications of dose-dependent disease control.”
Double-blind experiments with a much larger sample size will be necessary before the entire medical realm is in agreement with Dr. Singh. Still, more case studies are greatly encouraged. If nothing more, they provide documented evidence to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Study: Cannabinoids Could Play A Role In Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


As we know, a growing number of studies have suggested a link between cannabis and cancer. A number of people have turned to the plant to help treat their ailments and more and more anecdotalsuccess stories are popping up with increased prevalence. In turn, consideration for cannabis as viable treatment for cancer is gaining ground. In 2006, a team of researchers from Complutense University in Spain published a study in the journal Cancer Research that sheds further light on the matter. It suggests that cannabinoids could help treat pancreatic adenocarcinoma – one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.

Spanish Researchers Investigate Cannabinoids, Cancer Treatment

Acknowledged as the fourth deadliest cancer diagnosis, pancreatic cancer is estimated to kill around 37,000 Americans each year. With this in mind, the Spanish research team sought to determine if the ability of cannabis to inhibit tumor growth could help improve the disease’s prognosis.

“The administration of cannabinoids seemed to induce cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).”

Interestingly, the researchers used a cell culture experiment to determine that pancreas cancer cells express an increased number of cannabinoid receptors. Further, the administration of cannabinoids seemed to induce cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death). Upon further investigation, the team of Spanish researchers determined that cannabinoid-induced apoptosis occurred through activation of the CB2 receptor – one of two widely-acknowledged cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabinoids Shown To Inhibit Pancreatic Cancer In Animal Models

thcThe research team also investigated the effects of cannabinoid treatments on living animal models. First, they induced tumor growth in a group of nude mice. They then proceeded to treat the tumors with one of three options – tetrahyrdrocannabinol (THC), JWH (a synthetic cannabinoid), or a placebo for comparison.

According to their findings, cannabinoid administration was able to inhibit cancerous growth, prevent its spread, and even induce cancer cell apoptosis in live animal models.

“Cannabinoids lead to apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via a CB2 receptor.”

In conclusion, the Spanish researchers determined, “cannabinoids lead to apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via a CB2 receptor” They went on to report that their findings could spur the beginning of “a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.”

Of course, people have long been using medical marijuana and cannabis extracts to help treat a variety of cancers, so we’re not exactly surprised.


Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) May Help Prevent Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage


It is no secret that alcohol consumption can negatively affect one’s liver. This is because it can cause an excess of fats and lipids and additional oxidative stress.
With that said, a recent study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine offers an interesting preventive measure. Funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) could help protect the liver from alcohol-induced damage.
Researchers Prevent Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage With CBD
cannabidiol animationAs we know, cannabidol (CBD) has been found to have anti-oxidant effects. Couple that with the constituent’s lack of psychoactivity and it makes sense why the team of researchers from China and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York chose to investigate its ability to counter alcohol-induced oxidative stress in the liver.
In doing so, they injected mice with ethanol twice a day for five days. This was intended to model the impact of binge drinking on one’s liver. Prior to this, a group of the mice were administered cannabidiol (CBD) as a preventive measure.
“The study’s results seem to confirm that cannabidiol (CBD) protects the liver from steatosis – the accumulation of fats and lipids.”
Sure enough, the study’s results seem to confirm that cannabidiol (CBD protects the liver from steatosis – the accumulation of fats and lipids. The researchers suggested that this was the result of inhibiting oxidative stress and activation of pathways associated with fat accumulation.
The accumulation of fat in the liver can lead to much more serious problems like cirrhosis of the liver if it gets out of hand. With that said, there is no easy way to go about “curing” the disease once it occurs, so taking a preventive approach is best. In addition to regular dosages of cannabidiol (CBD), the American Liver Foundation suggests that you eat a well-balanced diet, limit your alcohol intake, and practice safe sex.

Physicians More Involved In Medical Cannabis Treatments, Case Studies


In modern times, cannabinoid medicine is often administered and controlled by individuals with no formal medical training. Dispensaries are run almost entirely by entrepreneurs, and the role of doctors has mainly been limited to writing recommendations.
However, with the rising use of cannabis extract medicine, more medical doctors (M.D.) are getting involved. Their work is confirming what medicinal cannabis providers have been seeing for years – that cannabinoid medicine can eliminate cancer in humans and control other diseases.
Medical Doctors Investigate The Role Of Cannabis In Homeostasis
Dr. Robert Melamede is a professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He teaches several advanced courses and has published research on the endocannabinoid system, suggesting it regulates other key body systems and processes.
“Cannabinoid deficiency has been implicated in a number of age-related illnesses.”
According to his paper, “Endocannabinoids: Multi-scaled, Global Homeostatic Regulators of Cells and Society,” cannabinoids regulate “sub-cellular biochemistry, intercellular communication, and all body systems.”
Elaborating on his studies, Dr. Meladede discusses the idea of a cannabinoid deficiency that has been implicated in a number age-related illnesses.
HomeostasisDr. Melamede is not the only one to implicate endocannabinoids in homeostatic regulation. A September 2008 study in Endocrine, Metabolic, and Immune Disorders- Drug Targets stated, “The ECS has deep phylogenetic roots and regulates many aspects of embryological development and homeostasis, including neuroprotection and neural plasticity, immunity and inflammation, apoptosis and carcinogenesis, pain and emotional memory, and the focus of this review: hunger, feeding, and metabolism.”
Further, a 2006 study published in Endocrine Reviews described how cannabinoid receptors “participate in the physiological modulation of many central and peripheral functions”, including modulating “all the endocrine hypothalamic-peripheral endocrine axes.”
Published in the September 2008 Progress in Brain Research, another study stated the endocannabinoid system maintains brain homeostasis as well. It does so partially through the synthesis and release of endocannabinoids as retrograde neuronal messengers. As more research is conducted, further pathways by which the endocannabinoid system regulates homeostasis will doubtless be revealed.
robert melamede
Academic Reviews, Case Studies Show Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis
Several doctors have been integral to tracking the results of patients using cannabis extract medicine. Dr. Yadvinder Singh (M.D.) and Dr. Chamandeep Bali (N.D.) published a study in Case Reports in Oncology describing the results of a 14-year old patient using cannabis oil for terminal acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“There are countless researchers who have published studies on the therapeutic effectiveness of cannabinoids.”
With cannabis oil, leukemic blast cell count was almost entirely controlled. Despite the remission of the cancer, the patient passed away on Day 78 of treatment as a result of gastrointestinal bleeding caused by prior chemotherapy treatments.
On the academic front, there are countless researchers who have published studies on the therapeutic effectiveness of cannabinoids. Dr. Manuel Guzmán is well known for his research with THC and gliomas. He also has done work showing cannabinoids or cannabinoid receptor activation kills skin cancer and pancreatic cancer cells.
Another popular researcher, Dr. Sean McAllister, has focused on the use of cannabidiol to combat breast cancer. He is now trying to initiate clinical trials in the United States for breast and brain cancer, and hopes to procure funding shortly.
Physicians Report Success Treating Cancer With Medical Cannabis
The most relevant accomplishment of Dr. Melamede occurred when he was President and CEO of Cannabis Science. During his tenure, the company treated several patients for skin cancer with cannabis oil. On April 6, 2011 they announced the successful treatment of basal cell carcinoma with topical cannabis extract therapy.
Another prominent M.D., Dr. William Courtney is one of the few doctors helping patients directly with cannabis extract medicine. He specializes in the use of juiced cannabis, which was critical to helping his wife Kristen overcome an especially severe form of lupus.
Doctors said the disease would prevent her from having children and she would die before 30. Now, according to the documentary target Leaf, she is apparently in near-complete remission and has a child.
In said documentary, Dr. Courtney also discussed a patient who was having success with terminal brain cancer using only juice from cannabis leaves. In an extended Huffington Post Live segment, he confirmed the cancer had been completely eliminated with this method.
Furthermore, Dr. Courtney also described the remission of a brain tumor in an eight-month old patient with the use of cannabis oil. This result was achieved without chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. In addition to his work helping patients, Dr. Courtney has educated others at conferences and is an expert in cannabis science.
“Homeopathic therapies including hemp oil had putative benefit of directing apoptosis by stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors on the tumor cells.” – Dr. Peter Anastassio
Dr. Donald Abrams is the chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. He has helped several patients use cannabis oil as an adjunct therapy for cancer, including Michelle Aldrich, a notable cannabis activist who has worked for decades on cannabis policy reform.
Michelle was diagnosed with poorly differentiated non-small cell adenocarcinoma, a aggressive form of cancer, in her lungs on January 12, 2012. By May 10, 2012, a combination of chemotherapy and cannabis oil had resulted in virtually complete resolution of the lung cancer tumor.
Michelle’s surgeon, Dr. Peter Anastassiou, remarked he had “never seen lung cancer totally eradicated by chemo, much less in four months.” The surgeon shed light on this issue in his pre-surgery report, stating that “homeopathic therapies including hemp oil had putative benefit of directing apoptosis by stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors on the tumor cells.”
Dr. Abrams also consulted with Joy Bianchi, a legendary San Francisco presence who helps developmentally disabled individuals, on her cancer treatment. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Bianchi began chemotherapy and cannabis oil treatments. She now believes the oil is stopping progression of the cancer, and has a “newly revitalized” spirit.
Epilepsy Studies Reveal Successful Cannabinoid Treatments
Another physician, Dr. Margaret Gedde, has been following the results of children using high-CBD oil for various forms of intractable epilepsy. Her review, which she shared at the 67th American Epilepsy Society Meeting in December, confirmed that the extremely beneficial effects of high-cannabidiol (CBD) oil were extending beyond the story of Charlotte Figi and the Realm of Caring.
Dravet syndrome, Doose syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, metachromatic leukodystrophy, and idiopathic epilepsy all responded positively to the treatment. In fact, the improvement was quite dramatic in most cases, spurring a number of doctors into action.
Dr. Francis Filloux, the top pediatric neurologist at the University of Utah, and who has 25 years of experience treating Dravet syndrome, recently called for target immediate access to high-CBD oil for Utah children with severe epilepsy. The letter in which Dr. Filloux made this statement was also signed by Helen Barkan and Lynne Kerr, two more pediatric neurologists at the university.
Of course, many more doctors work at the local level to help people with cannabis oil. A few caregivers have reported that some oncologists even refer cancer patients to them for treatment.
The rising awareness of cannabis extracts will inevitably lead to increasingly greater roles for medical doctors and more evidence as to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Chinese Study: Cannabis Could Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Through CB2 Activation


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a type of chronic arthritis that affects joints on each side of the body. It is characterized by joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and fatigue.

Cannabis has been used to help treat the inflammatory symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis for years. Despite anecdotal success, past research offers little insight into the mechanism involved in treating the condition with cannabis.
A recent study to be published in Rheumatology does just that, suggesting that the benefits could be attributed to activation of the CB2 receptor.
Researchers Investigate Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cannabinoid Treatment
Before diving into the study, it’s helpful to know that fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) are the type of cells most often associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis. They become constantly engaged in inflammatory mechanisms, which causes cartilage damage, joint destruction, and deformation over time.
As we know, there are currently two widely-acknowledged cannabinoid receptors. Some suggest that more could exist, but not all are in agreement. Nonetheless, activation of the CB2 receptor in particular has shown promise in treating a number of inflammatory conditions.
“Activation of the CB2 receptor – which occurs when one consumes cannabis – could be a potential therapeutic target of rheumatoid arthritis.”
A team of researchers from China sought to determine whether a similar mechanism could be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis. In doing so, they investigated the potential effects of CB2 receptor activation in FLS-cell types.
According to their results, rheumatoid arthritis cell-types showed an increased amount of CB2 receptor expression. Further, activating the CB2 receptors seems to have inhibited the proliferation of the FLS cells associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
In conclusion, the Chinese researchers determined that activation of the CB2 receptor – which occurs when one consumes cannabis – could be a potential therapeutic target of rheumatoid arthritis.
Of course, this idea is nothing new. Cannabis infused topicals are a common method of treatment for joint pain, because they allow patients to target the areas in need of the most relief.