By Steve Elliott
In a first-of-its-kind study on the biochemical impact of psychological trauma, researchers have discovered a connection between the amount of cannabinoid receptors in the human brain and the chronic, disabling condition post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The findings, from New York University Langone Medical Center, appeared online Tuesday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, reports Science Daily. They will also be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry in San Francisco.
There are a number of treatments using psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD patients, but these methods aren't always available, reports Loren Grush at Fox News.
No pharmaceutical treatments have yet been developed to specifically target PTSD.
The NYU Langone Center researchers utilized brain imaging technology to highlight the connection between the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and PTSD. The cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 receptors, are activated in the brain when a person uses marijuana, which can lead to impaired short-term memory and reduced anxiety.
By Czech News Agency
Prague - Czech-born chemistry professor Lumir Ondrej Hanus was Thursday presented with the Czech Addiction Science Award for his discovery of cannabinoids proper to the human body with which he has opened the door to further research into and use of hemp for treatment.
Hanus, who left for Jerusalem after 1989 and is active at the Hebrew University, "is a world-recognised capacity and a pioneer of the use of a substance that was primarily considered a substance abused as a drug," Jindrich Voboril, Czech national anti-drug coordinator, told CTK.
Hanus considers hemp one of the safest medicines. He is against its legalisation for recreational purposes and he disagrees with that hemp can be used for prevention of diseases.
During his recent stay in the Czech Republic Hanus explained his discovery saying there are bonding points in the brain to which cannabinoids produced by the body are bound. If the system is disrupted, the person concerned falls ill. The balance of the system is restored if hemp-based substances are administered and the health condition improves.
On this principle hemp alleviates strong pains and improves the condition of cancer and multiple sclerosis patients.
Thanks to Hanus' discoveries, Israel has changed the relevant law allowing hemp to be used as a medicine and it is covered by health insurance.
With more states opting to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, researchers are taking a closer look at the use of cannabis to treat chronic illnesses.
Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, recently sat down with the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, to find out how it’s being studied.
Dr. Manny: Now from the medical marijuana perspective, as far as the treatment of chronic illnesses, what is it about cannabis that makes it that special?
Medicine Hunter: Well, it seems that there are primarily two things – there's the THC, that's what people associated with getting high. And that appears to have a saliatory effect on the eyes in case of glaucoma. For people who are suffering from chemotherapy and can't eat, it helps to get their appetite back. And we also know that it is a potent pain reliever – and science on that goes back to the 1890s.
But there’s another agent in cannabis that is getting more attention now, and that is called cannabidiol. And this is something that you can swallow by the bucket-full, and it won't get you high at all. But it appears to have profound nerve-protective and brain-enhancing properties. And interestingly enough, it also induces an anti-anxiety effect.
A UCSF study suggests patients with chronic pain may experience greater relief if their doctors add cannabinoids – the main ingredient in cannabis or medical marijuana – to an opiates-only treatment. The findings, from a small-scale study, also suggest that a combined therapy could result in reduced opiate dosages.
By UCSF Staff
More than 76 million Americans suffer from chronic pain – more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics.
"Pain is a big problem in America and chronic pain is a reason many people utilize the health care system," said the paper's lead author, Donald Abrams, MD, professor of clinical medicine at UCSF and chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH). "And chronic pain is, unfortunately, one of the problems we’re least capable of managing effectively."
In a paper published this month in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers examined the interaction between cannabinoids and opiates in the first human study of its kind. They found the combination of the two components reduced pain more than using opiates alone, similar to results previously found in animal studies.
By Stephanie Bishop, Hemp News Correspondent
I was born in 1974, the year Nixon left office. Somewhere in my late teens, I realized my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was toxic and the Smurfette Big Wheel, which I loved, was made by a little Kid is Asia for 2 cents a day. I don’t think they make much more 35 years later. Since then, you wouldn’t believe the amount of information I have taken in and processed. Governments are spending more money on guns, missiles and warplanes than basic services for their people. Our food is toxic on purpose. Corporations focus on the bottom line, destroying lives and entire eco-systems to see it grow. The really rich continue to violate the really poor. All of our financial systems are non-sustainable. Our air and water, the very things we need to survive are polluted. The list goes on and I haven’t scratched the surface. It’s enough to drive a person mad.
I learned to build up my filters and decipher truth from subtle lies. I joined anti war groups and attended rallies, marching with thousands of individuals dedicated to ending commodity wars fought on our dime and in our name. Eventually, I had to look for solutions or be lost in the vastness of problems humans face today. I had to focus on something with the potential to save the World. I found this solution in the Cannabis Plant.
United States: Sunil Aggarwal, PhD – Removal of Cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances ActSubmitted by restore on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 06:57
The Pharmaceuticalization of Cannabis: Rescheduling proponents suggest cannabis doesn't meet the Controlled Substances Act's extensive criteria for placement in Schedule I. The U.S. Government clings to the stance that cannabis merit’s Schedule I status.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Sunil Aggarwal, PhD, represents a new generation of scientific-minded doctors, leaving cannabis’ negative propaganda behind and fighting for it as a valuable, medicinal plant. His credentials include the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Health Professionals for Responsible Drug Scheduling, service on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and he is a Seattle Hempfest Core Staff Member.
By Liina Flynn, Echo
Klara Marosszeky has a vision for the future that involves revamping of the local farming industry to produce industrial hemp crops. Working with farmers, she has just harvested her first commercial crop of industrial hemp and is looking for innovators who want to utilise the product.
(Tetrahydrocannabinol) content and produces the longest, strongest plant fibres in the world. It is used in many countries in the manufacture of plastics, fiberglass, fabrics, food and building materials.
“In the UK, a major car manufacturer, Lotus, is making whole cars out of hemp,” Klara said. “Everything but the engine is hemp. Henry Ford would be grinning in his grave.”
Klara currently teaches sustainability courses at TAFE and envisions hemp as the solution to many of the sustainability issues that are affecting Australia today. Not only is she trying to create a hemp industry in NSW and open the way to using hemp seed as a food product, but she is out to make housing materials affordable. After looking around for alternative products to replace our current dependence on timber, Klara spent years experimenting with hemp masonry as a building material, with very successful results. Two years ago, she was a finalist for the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board’s innovation award for her hemp masonry.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
Raphael Mechoulam is an Israeli professor for Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. While working on research at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Michoulam succeeded in the isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active principle of cannabis. He and his research group have also succeeded in the total synthesis of the major plant cannabinoids delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol and multiple others. Another research project initiated by him led to the isolation of the first described endocannabinoid anandamide which was isolated and characterized by two of his postdoctoral researchers, Lumír Hanuš and William Devane.
Over the past few years, Professor Mechoulam, has become a great inspiration to activists, doctors, scientists and citizens worldwide for his dedication and continual striving to find cures to devastating human ailments, such as PTSD and chronic pain.
Although Research Shows Medical Mariuana Works, Critics Say California Center's Research Is Flawed
By Kathleen Doheny, WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Marijuana can be a promising treatment for some specific, pain-related medical conditions, according to California researchers who presented an update of their findings Wednesday to the California Legislature and also released them to the public.
"I think the evidence is getting better and better that marijuana, or the constituents of cannabis, are useful at least in the adjunctive treatment of neuropathy," Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, tells WebMD.
"We don't know if it's a front-line treatment. I'm hoping the results of our studies will prompt larger-scale studies that involve a much more varied population."
"This [report given to the Legislature] sets the stage of larger-scale studies,'' he says.
Some experts who reviewed the report say some of the studies are flawed and that they worry about the long-term health effects of marijuana smoke.
Perspective: Medical Marijuana Research