Medical Market

Yes Cannaninoids. Yes legislation. Yes research. Yes…. marketing?

Yes. Hawking wares in the world’s bazaar. There is a need. A demand. There is a great deal of dollar value in this medicine. Of course. I like to think the greater value is in the actual healing. Ironic that many pharmecautical drugs don’t improve the conditions for which they are prescribed. The side effects are truly awful and often costly. So mother nature with her radical self makes this cancer killer compound. It can stop seizing, convulsions, spasms. If you’ve got crohn’s, alzheimers, osteoporosis or multiple sclerosis it can help you. Fibromyalgia? Schizophrenia? AIDS? Acne? ADD or ADHD? Are you having trouble sleeping? I know some of you have a headache right now. Maybe you’ve got metabolic syndrome or a rheumatism. I know it sounds impossible! Nothing is impossible for a reasonable price! The current estimated price on the cannabis oil industry is about $5 Billion US dollars. So while legislators and regulators figure out the how to navigate their own strategy people are extracting these compounds in their backyards and basements. Some people have small but legitimate and lucrative businesses. They look forward to the growth of this industry. Independent lab research has been a crucial niche in the grower to consumer chain. Data is the reason for the season right now. Facts. Fortunately patients are active in the expansion and eager to participate and give feedback. This is a miracle almost in itself. Animal studies (-_-) are not always applicabe to human experience. While political constraints are preventing clinical research there are no standard or safety regulations for these products. In the case of extracting cannabinoids solvents are mostly used and may leave harmful residue in the finished product. Other contaminants from some part in the process can also compromise the quality. Producers at this point can still say they haven’t killed anyone, either.

This is good news as there is a consistent increase in demand for cannabis oil based medicine. Doctors outside of the community often refrain from recommending cannabis to patients because they know nothing about it. They did not learn about the endocannabinoid system in medical school so they can not advise regarding the effects, dosage or mechanics of it’s actions. Perhaps as information and awareness spreads more doctors will continue their education. Especially as their patients request these options.

It is fact that cannabinoids and cannabis components can modulate physiological systems in the human brain and body. They directly activate seratonin receptors acting as an anti depressant and have therapeutic effects on neuropathways. A Dr. Sean McAllister and his colleagues at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco report that CBD kills breast cancer by down regulating gene ID1, which has been implicated in several types of aggressive cancers. Silencing that gene is a great strategy. CBD can be an effective nontoxic therapy for treating aggressive forms of cancer without the side effects from chemotherapy. Studies done outside the U.S. have shown CBD to be a great neuropathic painkiller. Some products that have been officially approved as medication in their respective countries are currently undergoing clinical trials in the United States. Some scientists have determined that CBD is more therapeutically effective with THC because they interact synergistically. CBD enhances THC as a painkiller while muting the psychoactivity. It also neutralizes the anxiety and rapid heart beat. There is a strong whole plant contingent being represented in scientific research communities and in the market place. This also highlights the theory that different ratios of CBD:THC are better suited to a range of conditions. The desire is for concentrated oils & extracts to be available in varying ratios, calibrated to suit the requirements of individual patients. Patients sensitivity to THC is a key factor in dosing appropriately and this balance approach may be optimal for experienced cannabis users who are comfortable with a mild high. Patients with little or no experience with cannabis might start with a CBD dominant remedy and increase the small amounts of THC until they reach a suitable ratio for their needs. CBD has no known adverse side effects at any dose but too much may be less effective. Israeli scientist Yosef Sarne believes less is more when it comes to cannabinoid therapies. He has tested and found that ultra low doses of THC have cardioprotective and neuroprotective effects in lab animals (-_-). He will also conduct similar research on ultra low doses of CBD.

Most preclinical studies with cannanidiol use a synthetic molecule made in a biochem lab purely for the purpose of research. Where as whole plant cannabis includes THC, the rest of the cannabinoids and 400+ other trace compounds which interact synergistically for a holistic effect. That is to say 100mg of synthetic is not equal to 100mg of whole plant CBD. Terpenes are one of those many magical molecules that comes with the entourage. Terpenes are volatile molecules that evaporate easily. They are also the basis for aromatherapy and consequently popular as a holistic healing modality. Various researchers emphasize the pharmocological importance of terpenoids in cannabis. THC, CBD, etc have no smell. Marijuana’s smell & flavors depends on which terpenes are dominate. The combination of cannabinoids & terpenes in any strain creates a specific psychoactive effect. About 200 terpenes have been found in cannabis. Only a few appear in substantial amounts and terpenoid profiles can vary considerably from strain to strain. Like cannabinoids they originate in the glandular trichromes and they even share a biochemical precursor, geranyl pyrophosphate. Terpenoid oils in marijuana repel insects, animals and prevent fungus. Terpenes have an impressive display of health benefits for humans and a wide range of therapeutic attributes. One stellar terpenoid 1Beta-Caryophyllene is found in essential oil of black pepper, oregano and other edible herbs. It is also in various cannabis strains and many green leafy vegetables. It is gastroprotective so it is good for threating ulcers and shows promise for inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders because it binds to CB2 receptors. It is the only terpenoid known to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor. This is one (of many) reasons why green leafy vegetables are so good to eat. The dual status of this terpene illustrates the synergystic interplay of cannabis plant components. Both terpenoids and cannabinoids increase bloodflow, enhance cortical activity and kill respiratory pathogens. Terpenes can also quell the psychoactivity of THC while it boosts the benefits.

At this intersection I think 2 things are abundantly clear. First of all advocates and patients are not fighting for synthetic or inferior medicine. It is the purest products from the whole plant that these people want to see succeed in the market place. Second each component of the plants unique properties must be studied in detail in order to achieve optimal effecicacy in treatment.

We have no real way of knowing what this new market full of products & remedies will look like when they are finally flowing through the channels of major distribution. It would be nice if they were at the very least quality controlled and ethically sourced on top of being well intentioned.



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