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Is Marijuana Medicine?


One of the biggest points of contention about marijuana is whether or not it can be considered medicine, according to Kevin Sabet, PhD, Policy Consultant and Assistant Professor, University of Florida. He says that while smoked crude marijuana is not medicine, marijuana does have medicinal properties – found in its individual components. These components can be isolated and delivered in a safe and effective way. Many of these components are being researched; some have been approved as medicines in the U.S. and elsewhere.

In the second of a two-part series of white papers to outline the facts about the drug, Dr. Sabet discusses:
•    What does the science say?
•    Non-smoked marijuana as medicine
•    Rescheduling marijuana
•    Obtaining marijuana for research
•    Non-FDA approved “medical” marijuana
•    Marijuana as medicine and youth

Read the white paper here Marijuana and Your Health- Just The Facts Part II.

7 Responses to this article

  1. Herschel Baker / November 12, 2012 at 5:22 am

    American Society of Addiction Medicine Rejects Use of ‘Medical Marijuana,’ Citing Dangers and Failure To Meet Standards of Patient Care
    Cannabis Should Be Subjected to the Standards of Federal Regulators Rather than to Voters’ Whims at the Ballot Box
    CHEVY CHASE, Md., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

    Citing the dangers of marijuana, the lack of clinical research on a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse, and the physician’s oath to “first, do no harm,” the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today issued a white paper recommending a halt to using the weed as a medicine in states where it has been declared legal.

    The organization—considered the nation’s leading professional society of physicians involved in addiction prevention, treatment, research, education, and public policy—supports the need for federal regulatory standards for drug approval and distribution, and discourages state interference in the federal medication-approval process.

    “Our policy statement is a careful attempt to put marijuana into proper perspective,” said Louis E. Baxter, Sr., MD, FASAM, President and Board Chair, American Society of Addiction Medicine. “We do not recognize this as a ‘medication,’ having not gone through an official FDA-approval process. As experts in addiction medicine, we reject having its use as such foisted upon us to effectively regulate a non-FDA-approved substance to administer as medicine. We also advise physicians against recommending it, as it is, and possibly forsaking the Hippocratic Oath of ‘first do no harm.’”

  2. Herschel Baker / November 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    The Treatment Research Institute (TRI)
    A prominent US-based addiction research centre, Treatment Research Institute, has issued a policy position report on medical marijuana. After a wide ranging review of the scientific literature, TRI found insufficient evidence to change the current Federal policy that restricts the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The TRI report states that in its raw plant form, and particularly when smoked, marijuana can have an array of medically harmful effects. The report also highlights the danger of ‘diverted medical marijuana’ finding its way to unintended users, especially to adolescents. ‘Even the most ardent marijuana proponents cannot claim that smoking marijuana is beneficial for the development of adolescents.’

  3. Herschel Baker / November 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    The Food & Drug Administration states that for a drug to be approved for human use 1) The drug’s chemistry must be known and reproducible, 2) There must be adequate safety studies, 3) there must be adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy, 4) Acceptance by qualified experts is required, and 5) the scientific evidence must be widely available. There is simply no way to measure the dose or purity of smoked marijuana. Unless, of course, some of its more than 465 compounds are found to have medical benefit and can be extracted or replicated synthetically. Two of these, already available by prescription, are dronabinol and nabilone.

    Marijuana, like many plant and animal matter, contains compounds that, when isolated and purified, can have therapeutic effects. Today we find that even the deadly poison causing botulism has been isolated for therapeutic use. However, no one would suggest recommending the bacteria causing botulism for self-medication. And several drugs have been developed from snake venom but that doesn’t mean a bite from the snake is safe. There are myriad examples but the one thing they don’t have in common is the psychoactive and addictive effects of marijuana. And it is marijuana’s psychoactive properties that are its real attraction.

  4. Avatar of jon
    jon / October 6, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Yes marijuana is medicine, Ive smoked pot here and there for various reasons, mainly insomnia. I smoke about 2-4 tokes a night for a 3 day span about 6 times a year, 1 joint will last me 2 weeks, The other options are tylenol PM, and benadryall, about 8 pills a night, and then 2 lorcet 10s in the morning to get ready for work, im not addicted to the pot but i got to have tylenol pm,benadryll, a lorcet daily. Everything can be addictive, I know ppl who got to have mcdonalds 3 times a day, or drink 12 diet cokes daily needing the caffine and habit. I belive even cocain,lsd, and other illigal drugs can be medicine, but just like anything and everything can become habit forming.And the * the doctors are pushing now days, Id rather my kids be on marijuana than anti-depressents like cymbalta, zoloft etc.

  5. Joe Miller / October 6, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Interesting, in a horrifying kind of way. It appears the good doctor’s prescription for cannabis use and/or addiction is incarceration.

  6. perryrants / October 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    it is certainly not medicine the way 100% of the users use it. i not sure how 5 or more blunts per day helps?

  7. Richard P Steeb / October 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    CANNABIS was included in the United States Pharmacopoeia from the days of William Brooke O’Shaughnessy until the days of Anslinger, when the term “marihuana” was foisted upon our nation.

    Sabet is not a physician. Prohibitionist trough-feeders’ gravy train is in jeopardy– watch our federal case on 16 October.

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