Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 2015
Source: North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA)
Copyright: 2015 North Coast Journal
Author: Thadeus Greenson


Yeah, it's a cure-all. My buddy Jonah broke his elbow one time. He 
just smoked some weed. It still clicks, but it's cool. -Ben Stone in 
the film Knocked Up.

Maybe Ben Stone and his friend Jonah were onto something. A study by 
Israeli scientists recently published in the Journal of Bone and 
Mineral Research found broken bones healed faster and stronger in lab 
rats injected with cannabidiol (CBD), one of the non-psychoactive 
compounds found in marijuana. In the study, Tel Aviv University 
researchers injected CBD into rats with mid-femoral fractures and 
found the CBD made the bones stronger during and after healing. The 
study found the treatment was far less effective, however, when the 
rats were injected with a combination of CBD and THC, marijuana's 
psychoactive ingredient. Sorry, Ben.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently conducted a 
systematic review of all controlled medical trials of cannabis and 
cannabinoids, analyzing almost 80 studies involving more than 6,400 
participants. Most of the trials didn't achieve statistical 
significance, the association found, but some did, including a study 
that found medical marijuana to be an effective treatment for 
chemotherapy-induced nausea, one that found it to reduce spasticity 
in multiple sclerosis patients, and two others that found it to be an 
effective pain treatment.

However, the review found little existing evidence that marijuana and 
cannabinoids help with anxiety and sleep disorders, psychosis, 
glaucoma, depression, dementia, epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome or 
schizophrenia. News write ups of the JAMA's review are all over the 
map, with some claiming the review questions the effectiveness of 
medical marijuana and others saying it confirms marijuana is, in 
fact, medicine.

In actuality, the review highlights marijuana's medical potential and 
the total dearth of "high-quality evidence" as to its effectiveness, 
which is directly related to the difficulty of conducting cannabis 
research in the United States, where the government continues to 
classify marijuana as a Schedule-1 controlled substance. So you have 
the nation's largest and most influential physicians' group saying 
marijuana has real medical potential to reduce pain and even save 
lives but there's not enough reliable evidence on the subject because 
Congress refuses to reclassify marijuana out the ranks of heroin, LSD 
and ecstasy. There's your story.

There's a lot of severe pain going around in Oregon these days. The 
New York Times recently reported that a whopping 93 percent of the 
state's 70,000 medical marijuana patients listed "severe pain" as the 
condition requiring treatment with pot. Ironically, "severe pain" is 
one of the state's qualifying conditions, along with HIV/AIDS, 
cancer, Alzheimer's disease, PTSD and multiple sclerosis, and, as the 
Times reporter notes, one that is "very subjective and potentially faked."

Meanwhile, a recent analysis by the Oregonian found that an alarming 
number of medical marijuana concentrates in the Beaver State are 
contaminated with pesticides, despite state mandated testing. The 
Oregonian purchased 10 concentrates from Portland dispensaries and 
had them tested by a pair of laboratories, which found eight to be 
contaminated with a total of 14 different chemicals, "including a 
half-dozen the federal government has classified as having possible 
or probable links to cancer. Among them: a common household roach 
killer and another whose health risks prompted the federal government 
to eliminate it for most residential uses more than a decade ago.

Ahhh ... Maybe that's what that clicking sound is all about.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom