National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the federal government, has put out a “Drug Facts” publication addressing the question, “Is Marijuana Medicine?”.
The report does a decent job to explains medical marijuana and the illnesses that can benefit from its use. What is astonishing is that this “Drug Facts” publication from the federal government, dated April 2015, asks the question, “How might cannabinoids be useful as medicine?”, and then gives a detailed answer of the medical benefits of cannabis. It even discusses the current marijuana based medicines:
- FDA-approved dronabinol and nabilone used to treat nausea and boost appetite
- UK, Canada, and several European countries approved nabiximols (Sativex®), a mouth spray containing THC and CBD used to treat MS. US is conducting clinical trials for its safe use in treating cancer pain
- Yet to undergo clinical trials Epidiolex, a CBD-based liquid to treat childhood epilepsy
“Marijuana can kill certain cancer cells”
The report specifically mentions recent studies that have “shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others“, including the possibility marijuana extracts “can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors“. It goes on to mention that marijuana extracts showed promise, when used in conjunction with chemotherapy, to “increase the cancer-killing effects of the radiation“.
Why is cannabis Schedule I?
Federal government currently designates cannabis as Schedule I; Schedule I is for substances that have no medicinal value.
Intentionally or not, the “Drug Facts” publication almost seems like the federal government’s medical professionals’ rebuttal to the Schedule I designation. Anyone suggesting that marijuana has no medicinal value after reading this report would have to fall into the camp of the “willing blind”.
Let’s hope the CARERS Act introduced by a bipartisan team of Senators will finally move us toward more sensible marijuana laws based on facts.
The NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse Publication: “Drug Facts – Is Marijuana Medicine?” (April 2015)