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Marijuana cures Crohn's disease

2016-04-01 01:25:42.579709+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn's disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study.:

RESULTS: Complete remission (CDAI score, <150) was achieved by 5 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (45%) and 1 of 10 in the placebo group (10%; P = .43). A clinical response (decrease in CDAI score of >100) was observed in 10 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (90%; from 330 ± 105 to 152 ± 109) and 4 of 10 in the placebo group (40%; from 373 ± 94 to 306 ± 143; P = .028). Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency. Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.

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#Comment Re: Marijuana cures Crohn's disease made: 2016-04-01 01:55:07.450788+00 by: Jack William Bell [edit history]

[Long rant warning. I can't figure out how to TL;DR it though.]

The problem I see here is the placebos may not actually be inactive. Related problem: the study focused on delta-9 THC as the active substance without ruling out other chemicals.

Basically, there are at least 486 chemical compounds in most strains of cannabis. Of those an unknown number have active effects, including 66 cannabinoids. Of the known-to-be-active compounds THC and the various CBD variants are the most important, but others may provide healing effects as well.

The linked-above study says they chemically removed the THC, which probably removed some of the other compounds, but almost certainly didn't remove all of them. So they don't know if some of the placebo group got something helpful from the medicine or not.

Worse, while THC is useful as an appetite enhancer and known to have beneficial psychoactive effects – good for things like PTSD and OCD – it does little or nothing for pain and may provide none of the anti-tumor, anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory or general healing effects associated with different cannabis strains. (I think it is well-known and accepted at this point that most CBD compounds work great for pain and some are known to have anti-seizure effects, thus why high-CBD Indica strains are suggested for those problems. Note that some of those strains have minimal psychoactive effects.)

And here is where I conclude with a "So, basically..." So, basically, this is yet another study looking at the wrong things and not designed to deal with the complex chemical components available in different forms and amounts in different strains of cannabis. In fact, given the realities of the plant, I'm fairly certain it is difficult or impossible to perform the kind of study required for real pharmaceutical science using actual cannabis. And when the studies then move on to trying the raw chemicals instead (delta-9 THC in this case) they don't see the same effects.

Which, in the end, is why pharmaceutical companies hate the concept of medical marijuana: they can't figure out how to create a pill or a patch that works better than the natural plant because the chemical interactions are so complex.

#Comment Re: Marijuana cures Crohn's disease made: 2016-04-02 00:21:29.322863+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Sounds like there might be a business opportunity in growing and then refining marijuana, separating and purifying the various components, and then selling them for research purposes. This wouldn't have been practical in the past with pot growing being prohibited; it was simpler for pharmaceutical companies to synthesize pure THC and leave it at that, trying to synthesize all the other components without having specific reasons for doing so would've been insanely expensive.

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