Pot-Based Drug Shows Promise for Neuropathic Pain 

Pot-Based Drug Shows Promise for Neuropathic Pain 
Posted by CN Staff on May 16, 2005 at 18:52:46 PT
By David Hodges
Source: Medical Post
Toronto -- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients with neuropathic pain for whom conventional treatments have failed now have an alternative to Health Canada's controversial medical marijuana program.Canada has become the first country to approve the cannabis-based drug, Sativex, for the treatment of MS-related pain. That approval means the drug has demonstrated promising benefit, is of high quality and possesses an acceptable safety profile based on a benefit-risk assessment. Further studies will now be required to confirm the promising nature of the clinical evidence its approval is based upon.
Despite revised medical access regulations that in July 2001 legalized the use of marijuana for MS patients with severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms, the drug's role as a medication has remained complex. Many physicians have been advised not to prescribe marijuana because of the lack of information about optimum prescribing and potential legal issues. Dr. William McIlroy, the national medical adviser for the MS Society of Canada, said physicians at his own hospital made the decision a year ago not to prescribe marijuana until more objective evidence becomes available.Sativex, on the other hand, is "good news for the Canadian MS community" and "will likely be welcomed by the many people with MS, whose quality of life has been further compromised with neuropathic pain," he said in a statement on behalf of the society.In an interview, Dr. McIlroy also said that he is "positive in a guarded sort of way" about the drug, explaining that "evidence to date in support of it is relatively limited."Health Canada's approval of Sativex was based on the results of a four-week clinical trial involving 66 patients with MS-related neuropathic pain that was carried out in Great Britain, in which half received Sativex and the other half received a placebo.The results showed participants used Sativex (prescribed on an as-needed basis) less often compared to the controls using placebo. Sativex is administered via a spray into the mouth, which is well suited to the variable nature of neuropathic pain experienced by people with MS. Placebo patients in the study also used a spray.The Sativex group reported pain relief, less sleep disturbance and felt their condition had improved. But they also experienced more dizziness, nausea and fatigue.Dr. Allan Gordon, a neurologist and director of the Wasser Pain Management Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital here, said he believes Sativex will become another valuable treatment option for MS-related pain. "It's not going to be the only part of the treatment for chronic pain, but it's going to be an important part."Although many doctors aren't familiar with prescribing cannabinoids for pain, Dr. Gordon said "you have to go to the paradigm we have for treating pain, which is to take a history carefully, examine a patient carefully (and) do a history of alcohol abuse or substance abuse."Several studies completed at Dr. Gordon's pain and MS clinics found 20% to 30% of respondents had reported using marijuana actively or in the past and found it had some benefit."It might be useful to try to get use of (marijuana) that doesn't have the stigma with it," he said, noting it was used as medicine in the 19th century until it was outlawed in the early to middle 20th century.Neuropathic Pain ConditionsLike Dr. McIlroy, Dr. Gordon said more robust evidence is required to determine the efficacy of Sativex for MS-related pain. However, based on evidence to date, he said he would also like to see Sativex tested in other kinds of neuropathic pain conditions, such as stroke or spinal cord injury.Moreover, he said Sativex provides an opportunity for MS patients who don't want to use medical marijuana but still want to see if a derivative of the compound works for them.Sativex isolates the cannabinoid components, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), representing only two of the more than 60 related chemicals that make up the marijuana plant. It is believed that THC helps patients with pain while CBD has a neurological effect, and that isolating these two cannabinoids will enable patients to eliminate many of the side-effects that are associated with the use of medical marijuana. "If you smoke marijuana you've had exposure to some very different effects," Dr. Gordon said, adding it is unlikely that patients taking Sativex will experience the high associated with marijuana use.Note: Sativex approved for MS patients.Source: Medical Post (Canada)Author: David HodgesPublished: May 17, 2005 Volume 41 Issue 19Copyright: 2005 The Medical PostContact: medpost rmpublishing.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:GW Pharmaceuticals Approves Cannabis Spray Lesson of Sativex Approves GWs Cannabis Drug for MS
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Comment #12 posted by Jose Melendez on May 18, 2005 at 18:58:20 PT
responsible kudzu . . . beer drinking?
today's warm and ambiguous universal thought:Be happy, Hope!and now, for our featured oxymoron: Kudzu Beer?from: The Real Beerdrinkin' McCoyby Bob Coleman
 . . . Following the victory, McCoy basked in the glow of his accomplishment at his home in Clemmons, N.C. He had won free beer for life at Wynkoop, $100 of credit from Wynkoop at his home brewpub (Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery in High Point), apparel proclaiming his winner's status, his name on the contest trophy and, perhaps most important, bragging rights among his pals. In this case, the chest-pounding also would have domestic significance; the contest's winner in 2001 was McCoy's life partner, Cornelia Corey. McCoy expressed satisfaction with the new parity. "She's had her 15 minutes of fame, and now I guess it's my turn."     McCoy pointed out the irony of his being the third winner (of a total of seven) from North Carolina despite the state's restrictive limits on retail beer's alcohol by volume and prohibitions on home consumption by under-21s supervised by their parents. With persuasive charm, the Southern homebrewer of kudzu beer (kudzu is an abundant nonnative vine celebrated as part of the Southeast's regional identity) challenged his state officials to embrace a modern educative model. McCoy is convinced that responsible consumption is enhanced by proper exposure and training. "I'd prefer legislators to realize that beer isn't evil and that it's better to educate our youth."
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Comment #11 posted by jose melendez on May 18, 2005 at 08:30:38 PT
thanks steve
So, can you get Marc to ship me like ten pounds of hemp seeds?The Mexican schwag is all gone, and now that these varieties today are so seedless, I miss the crunch and meaty flavor I used to enjoy from the waste left over after cleaning . . . After all, it's food, with less thc than many hemp foods . . .
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Comment #10 posted by herbdoc215 on May 18, 2005 at 07:23:45 PT
Jose...people have spread cannabis to the 
far ends of the globe, we have harbored it at threat to our personal safety even...kudzu got nuttin our sweet, sweet cannabis. BUT cannabis will only graft onto one plant (Humulus) which is hops...both are ONLY two plants in their entire family. Back in the 70's alot of hippies tried grafting cannabis and hops together thinking thc production would/could move into hops...didn't work as thc is produced 'on site' in cannabis...BUT the truly amazing thing was discovering that hops have a drug in them VERY simular in effect to's called Humulin(sp?) so every red-neck beer drinker is really hooked upon a drug like thc whilst they attack that's ironic! The most response I've ever gained from cannabis is grafting indica hybrids onto non-drug variety root systems to increase grow rate and strength of resin production as it eliminates root system bottleneck for drug varieties. We did develop a strain that vines along the ground a few years ago to defeat helio detection that looks alot like kudzu...also it's nice to finally see them use it for something as it sure is a hell-of a problem in many areas of the south. Also there is 2 or 3 drugs/things I know of now to potentiate/increase effects of cannabis, first that comes to mind are MOA inhibitors, I'll look my old papers on it up and post a few more later...Peace, steve tuck
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Comment #9 posted by Jose Melendez on May 17, 2005 at 18:59:55 PT
Kudzu is very neat stuff, and really does grow so fast you can just barely see it move if you stare at it long enough. I had to stop staring, eventually. :)The coily ends act like tentacles and choke off other plants, taking entire trees down over time by blocking light, covering everything like snow, only green and quilt-like.Come to think of it, perhaps "someone" should try and graft these things. Imagine cannabis coated countrysides as far as the eye can see . . .Uhh . . . any ideas herbdoc? Milk and Honey!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 18:58:30 PT
Just a Comment
Nixon said something like this. People smoke pot to get high and we drink alcohol because it tastes good. That's not an actual quote but close. This is interesting when you think about it. All we hear is drink responsibly and nothing about getting drunk!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 18:53:59 PT
News Article About Kudzu 
Kudzu Speeds Up Alcohol EffectsMay 17, 2005 Christina Ficara - All Headline News Staff ReporterBOSTON, MA (AHN) - A new study reveals the Asian vine kudzu could help alcoholics cut back on the amount of drinks they need to consume to feel "drunk."The study, conducted at the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Boston, is published in this month's edition of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.Researchers found that people given the kudzu vine in a pill form had 1.8 beers during a 90-minute session compared with 3.5 beers for those who were not. The study doesn't explain the exact effect of the kudzu, however researchers believe the results suggest that it speeds alcohol's impact; the subjects needed fewer beers to feel drunk. Lead researcher Scott Lukas speculates "that rapid infusion of alcohol is satisfying them and taking away their desire for more drinks. That's only a theory. It's the best we've got so far."A 2003 study of the effect of kudzu on rats resulted in the rats drinking less while subjected to the vine. This study is the first to test kudzu effects on humans.Lukas recruited 14 men and women in their 20s to sip beer and watch television from reclining chairs in a hospital room set up like an apartment. The study revealed to Lukas taht the "individuals reported feeling a little more tipsy or lightheaded, but not enough to walk into walls or stumble and fall." Kudzu doesn't have any effect on the urge to drink, but researchers hope it might allow heavy drinkers to cut back. "That way they're a lot closer to being able to cut down completely," Lukas said. Copyright: 2005 All Headline News
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 17, 2005 at 17:57:55 PT
The stuff has taken over parts of the South. Killing everything else. They say you can actually see it grow it grows so fast!It was brought over from Japan or somewhere after the dustbowl era to stop erosion and it's taken over in some places.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 17:30:42 PT
I never heard of it. Is this the plant you are talking about?
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Comment #4 posted by billos on May 17, 2005 at 17:12:48 PT
Kudzu is a plant extract that is being recommended to problem drinkers. Supposedly you mix it with your drinks and it makes you not want so much because the kudzu expedites the effects of the alcohol.
Can you imagine a plant extract to expedite the effects of cannabis? The LEO's would be all over it lobbying congress to put it in schedule one.Simply amazing.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 09:59:03 PT
Just a Note
I've looked and can't find any news to post. Hopefully soon we will get the ruling on Angel's case and we'll know where we stand. I'll keep looking for news though. Maybe later on an article will show up. Have a great spring day everyone!
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on May 17, 2005 at 07:09:22 PT
Montel in D.C.
Montel Williams At the Capitol Hill Press Conference: Pot-TV
-Part 1 9:17
-Part 2 4:40
Date Entered: 12 May 2005
"Video clip of Montel Williams speaking at the press conference on Capitol Hill 5/4/05, Plus three videos from KTVU covering the same event."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 16, 2005 at 19:33:45 PT
BBSNews Article
USA: Bill in Support of the Medical Use of Cannabis   
Monday, May 16 2005 Contributed by Michael International Association for Cannabis as Medicine BulletinUSA: Bill in support of the medical use of cannabis introduced in Congress IACM - 2005-05-15 -- Republicans Ron Paul (Texas) and Dana Rohrabacher (California), along with Democrats Sam Farr (California), Barney Frank (Massachusetts), Maurice Hinchey (New York), and 25 co-sponsors reintroduced legislation on 4 May in Congress (House of Representatives) to permit the medicinal use of marijuana by seriously ill patients in states with a corresponding law. In announcing the bill, Mr. Frank was joined by television talk show host Montel Williams, who uses cannabis and says it is the only thing that has eased his suffering from multiple sclerosis. "It makes no sense at all to have the federal government overriding a vote of the people of a state on what should be criminalized and what shouldn't be criminalized in terms of personal consumption," Mr. Rohrabacher said. HR 2087 seeks to reschedule cannabis under federal law so that physicians may legally prescribe it in states that have recognized its use under state law. It would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I (criminally prohibited drug) to a Schedule II (prescription-only substance) and also permits the establishment of medical cannabis distribution systems by state legislators. Ten states have laws that effectively protect medical marijuana patients from arrest: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. A Maryland law protects patients from the threat of jail but does not provide protection from arrest. In July 2003 the House of Representatives rejected a similar bill. It was defeated by a vote of 273 to 152, which was closer than expected. In 1998 the vote in favour of a resolution condemning state medical marijuana laws was 310 to 93. (Sources: Associated Press of 4 May 2005, Washington Times of 5 May 2005, Washington Examiner of 11 May 2005) 2. Via BBSNews 2005 Complete Article:
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