Medical Marijuana for Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma.net

Medical Marijuana for Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma.net

Mesothelioma patients looking for alternative treatments may turn to cannabis and evidence is growing that it may help relieve symptoms.

Source: Medical Marijuana for Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma.net

You can also check out information about Mesothelioma here: https://mesothelioma.net/mesothelioma/



Petitioning Florida Governor And Congress: Dahlia’s Law: Legalize Medical Marijuana

Petitioning Florida Governor And Congress: Dahlia’s Law: Legalize Medical Marijuana

Baby_needs_CannabisFor patients such as my daughter, who was diagnosed this May (at the age of two) with highly aggressive brain cancer, WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR POLITICAL AGENDA. This antiquated legislation MUST be rectified IMMEDIATELY. Marijuana is easily obtainable. The ONLY people these laws have kept the medicinal benefits of cannabis from are DOCTORS and PATIENTS. Having already polled the residents of the State you serve with a result of over 60% being pro-legalization, it is your responsibility as our representatives to present this leglislation on our behalf. Your denial of our request is indicative of the lack of obligation to work for us, and furthermore indicates your willingness to work against us.

TO CONGRESS:
The majority of drug addictions in this country are that of prescription drugs and legal alcohol. With that said, I never would have been an advocate for the medicinal use of marijuana had I not been forced into a situation which required my education on the matter. When my daughter was diagnosed in May, at the age of two, with highly aggressive brain cancer, my entire world, everything that ever meant anything, anything that ever made sense, dissipated overnight.

While we are led to believe that we have options in the care of our children, the truth is not so. Chemotherapy and radiation are the only treatments offered to cancer patients, and a parent does not have a choice in this treatment. While my daughter has received the best cancer care in the country, and perhaps the world, there are some things which need to be addressed. Medical professionals have no idea why a baby gets a cancer such as my daughter’s. The conventional treatment are low success and high risk. She may just be one of millions to you, to doctors, and to politicians, but to me, she is the only one. She is the only one of her, and she deserves every chance possible to survive.

I studied diets, supplements, foods, essentials oils, anything that has ever been reported to have any positive effects on cancer. After months of researching, of speaking personally to doctors, scientists, and researchers, I found that cannabinoids (found in cannabis extract) could not only replace a handful of drugs she is currently prescribed, including morphine (extracted from the opium plant- a legal, prescription painkiller that does not send knowledgeable people into panic that someone is going to go smoke opium), several anti-nausea, anti-vomiting, appetite stimulants, etc., but have also been shown to stop the growth of and even kill cancer cells!

Only one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis is psychoactive (THC), and this particular cannabinoid has been replicated by pharmaceutical companies and put on the market as Marinol. Unfortunately, this replication does not work as well and does not have any of the additional effects of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis. THC induces aptosis in cancer cells! When dosed properly, just as morphine or any other plant-derived drug, the drug can be prescribed in a manner that does not obtain the negative side effects one might fear in giving a child any drug. Additionally, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD, can be increased in order to counteract any psychotropic effects of THC. This cannabinoid also aids in the treatment of cancer cells. This is not propaganda- science is firm in these findings!

The United States Government patented cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants! Why, when a two-year-old is diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer, is this not available for a physician to use properly in order to help her? Does the Bible not state that plants are for nourishment and healing? Every drug has the potential for misuse. The supposed abuse by some can no longer deny God-given medicinal benefits to an entire nation! The bottom line is that politicians are not physicians. Please relinquish the antiquated legislation surrounding this demonized drug so that the anti-cancer effects of this drug can be further researched, and so that its many other medicinal benefits can be properly utilized.

We all know that marijuana is not hard to obtain. Therefore, who is the lack of medicinal use benefiting? This is only keeping the drug out of the hands of the people whose hands it should be in- the physicians! Allowing doctors to properly use and prescribe this drug for medicinal purposes will greatly assist those who fear stepping outside of the law, and will prevent many otherwise law-abiding citizens from doing so in extreme situations such as mine and that of so many others.

My daughter’s emotional and mental well-being are as important as and contribute to her physical healing in this horrible situation. I do not feel that moving away from our friends and family in order to relocate to a state where medicinal marijuana is already legal is the right thing to do. Rather, I believe that with the education of our own politicians here in Florida we can bring ourselves up to current time.

If you have never been put in a position to have to research this topic, I will be glad to assist. I have a proposed bill, I have hundreds of studies, and I will be glad to answer any questions you have. I can get you in touch with medical professionals, scientists, and researchers. I will do anything it takes to ensure our politicians are as educated as the parents and loved ones of suffering family members have had to become. The suffering residents of your state are awaiting this legislation, and for those of us in my situation, we do not have much time. Based on the urgency of this matter, I would request that you kindly decline from having a staff member return a generic response.

TO THE GOVERNOR:
My name is Moriah Barnhart and I am writing you on behalf of my daughter, Dahlia, who was diagnosed with a highly aggressive, life-threatening brain cancer this May at the age of two. As you may or may not know, childhood cancer research is largely underfunded and while the cause of cancers such as hers are unknown, the cure is even more debatable. She is currently undergoing the only treatments available under current legislation, and with a low success rate and high probability of organ damage, brain damage, later cancers, and many other ailments, I am seeking to obtain some humanity from our politicians with regards to the outdated legislation governing our current medical treatment options (or, more accurately, the lack thereof).

We are all aware that many of our commonly used medicines come from plants. Morphine comes from opium. In fact, some of the chemotherapy drugs my daughter is being given come from plants. I believe that, as the Bible says, God created plants to nourish and to heal. While the political agenda behind the outlaw of the cannabis plant, and the hemp plant (which does not have the capability of producing psychoactive effects), has maintained a stronghold in this country for decades, we are at a point where the people have become educated and will not stand for the continued stifling of science, research, and medicine. It is now well known and documented that this plant produces extracts which treat and show curative potential for seizures, neurological disorders, and cancer. In fact, it is also becoming public knowledge that the United States government patented cannabinoids from the plant’s extract as neuroprotectants and antioxidants. It is time lawmakers stopped playing God. We now understand that while politicians have maintained that this is a dangerous drug, the science shows otherwise. We see that with the majority of drug-related deaths being attributed to legal prescription drugs and legal alcohol consumption, there are no reports of death by cannabis.

In a position such as mine, I will leave no stone unturned with regards to potential treatment options for my daughter. After vigorously studying diets, supplements, and holistic approaches to helping her fight this deadly disease, it has become quite clear that cannabis is known by scientists and doctors to have medicinal benefits that outweigh those of the handfuls of dangerous and potentially deadly drugs my sweet baby is being given now, with none of the dangerous side effects. However, politicians contend that this is not so, and as a matter of personal and professional agenda refuse to reclassify it appropriately, leaving its use to those who would step outside of the law instead of placing it in the hands of medical professionals.

POLITICIANS ARE NOT PHYSICIANS. It is time this injustice be rectified.

I have attached a link to my narrated letter to Congress, as well as the bill proposal, for your review. While I will be bringing this proposed legislation to Congress on a federal level post-shut down, for the time being, it is urgent that our home state make its appropriate legislative modifications immediately. As I am sure Mr. Fabrizio has already advised you, Florida residents are already at a 60% pro position, and this number is rising. With my public outreach, and that of many others, the education of the residents should bring the statistics up drastically. I look forward to your action in show of concern and support for my daughter, as her emotional and mental well-being during this severe crisis are as important as and contribute to her physical well-being and healing. Therefore, I do not believe it is in her best interest at this time to relocate to a state wherein medicinal marijuana is already legal, but rather to bring our own state out of its antiquated legislation so that she may maintain her close bonds to family and friends here at home.

I am sure that upon being made aware of our situation, along with that of many residents of the State which you serve, as well as being privy to the science which shows the extracts of cannabis have great healing and treating potential, are not dangerous, and do not meet requirements to be falsely classified as a Schedule I drug, that you will kindly make a proactive stance in the legalization of a medicine my daughter and many others are in desperate need of. This is obviously a time-sensitive matter of the utmost urgency and I look forward to hearing back from you shortly.

Petitioning Florida Governor And Congress: Dahlia’s Law: Legalize Medical Marijuana.


Medical marijuana may help fibromyalgia pain – CNN.com

Medical marijuana may help fibromyalgia pain – CNN.com

(Health.com) — Lynda, a 48-year-old mother of three who lives in upstate New York, got a diagnosis of fibromyalgia in 2000. While there are prescription medications for fibromyalgia, she’s found one unconventional drug — marijuana — that really does the trick.

“I would use [marijuana] when the burning pains started down my spine or my right arm, and shortly after, I found I could continue with housework and actually get more done,” says Lynda.

Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat and only 35 percent – 40 percent of people with the chronic pain condition get relief from the available medications. Although there are strong opinions surrounding its use, some patients are trying marijuana — legally or illegally — and finding it can help fibromyalgia pain.

“My patients are asking me all the time about it,” says Stuart Silverman, M.D., a rheumatologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles. “Historically and anecdotally, marijuana has been used as a painkiller.”

Why marijuana sometimes helps

Our bodies naturally make pain relievers called endorphins, but they also make other substances that can trigger pain relief in the so-called endocannabinoid system. This system seems to play a key role in many processes in the body, including modulating how we feel pain. Marijuana contains cannabinoids very similar to those that occur in the body naturally.

Fibromyalgia patients typically experience bodywide pain, but they must often take multiple drugs for other symptoms, which can include difficulty sleeping, restless legs syndrome, depression, and anxiety. However, marijuana may treat multiple symptoms, and some patients are seeing results.

It seems logical — why shouldn’t fibromyalgia sufferers try marijuana for their symptoms, if they live in a state where medical marijuana is legal?

But there are two problems with herbal cannabis, Silverman and other critics say: It’s a complex natural substance that contains about 60 different compounds with potentially medicinal effects, some of which may interact with one another. The other problem is that the amount of these various compounds may vary by batch, as marijuana is not synthesized but grown.

While Silverman says he has great hopes that synthetic medicines based on individual compounds in cannabis may one day help fibromyalgia patients (after appropriate randomized controlled clinical trials have been done), he argues that the real thing today is just too inconsistent.

“We think that there’s probably a role for that class of compounds, the cannabinoids in general, and it’s just a question of working out how that’s going to be put into practice,” says Mark Ware, M.D., an assistant professor in family medicine and anesthesia at McGill University, in Montreal, and the executive director of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.

Drugs derived from marijuana

Ware recently published a study showing that one such compound, nabilone (Cesamet), helped fibromyalgia patients sleep better. It was more effective than amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant often prescribed to fibromyalgia patients to ease pain and improve sleep. And a study published a couple of years ago found nabilone helped lessen pain and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients.

Health.com: Everyday challenges of Fibromyalgia

Nabilone is a synthetic analog of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol — THC for short — often thought of as the active ingredient of cannabis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug back in 1985 for treating nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The only other cannabis-based drug now on the market in the U.S. is dronabinol, which is sold as Marinol in the U.S. and is FDA-approved for treating chemo-related nausea and vomiting. It hasn’t been tested formally in fibromyalgia patients, although Lynda received a prescription for Marinol in 2006.

“The drug makes me more tired and doesn’t last long enough in my system, but I’ve stuck with it since then for two basic reasons — I do supplement with marijuana, just not as many times per day,” she says. “There are times that I don’t use all day or week or month.”

Health.com: 10 food rules for pain patients

A third cannabis-based medicine, Sativex, is now in clinical trials in the United States for treating cancer pain.

The drug is sprayed under the tongue or into the cheek, and contains THC and cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that eases inflammation and pain and may also reduce the side effects of THC (like anxiety, hunger production, and some of the intoxicating properties), as well as a number of other compounds (other cannabinoids and terpenoids, which are analgesics in their own rights).

But do they help?

“It is quite possible that cannabis-based medicines could be helpful for sufferers of fibromyalgia based on available science,” says Ethan Russo, M.D., who is senior medical advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex, and a study physician for the U.S. clinical trials now underway for cancer treatment.

Health.com: Is Chronic Pain Ruining Your Relationship?

Russo says he’s hopeful Sativex will get FDA approval for treating cancer pain in 2013. “While a theoretical basis for Sativex potentially helping benefit fibromyalgia symptoms is quite strong, and we know it has been very helpful with neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance in many other conditions,” he adds, “it’s ultimate utility in fibromyalgia can only be proven in a meaningful, practical fashion through formal randomized clinical trials.”

For now, Ware says, patients with fibromyalgia who aren’t being helped by their existing treatment might want to discuss nabilone with their physician. “A lot of doctors just don’t know that these prescription cannabinoids exist,” he says.

However, these drugs have side effects too. “The most typical side effects are what I call the three D’s: drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. It’s not euphoria as such,” he adds.

In Canada, federal law allows patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s support (they can’t prescribe marijuana because it’s not approved as a drug in Canada) of the patient’s application to possess; the drug is delivered directly to the patient, and grown under controlled conditions by the government.

“I have patients with a range of pain syndromes who have failed all their other treatments and for whom herbal cannabis has been the only reasonable option that they have that controls their symptoms,” Ware says. In such cases, he adds, he will help the patient obtain the card they need to authorize them to possess the drug.

But in the U.S., the legality of medical marijuana is determined state-by-state (it’s now legal in 14 states), and rules and regulations vary widely.

And while Attorney General Eric Holder said last year that he would no longer go after people who were selling or using medical marijuana legally, many users — and potential users — are fearful of the legal risks they may be taking.

Health.com: A state-by-state guide to medical marijuana laws

“Licensed for use or not, it’s still a federal crime, says Dee, a 52-year-old medical assistant with fibromyalgia, who lives in Colorado, which passed a law allowing medical marijuana in 2000. While visiting a wellness center for therapeutic massages, staffers suggested she try marijuana for her symptoms.

After getting her doctor’s approval, “I tried a little of this and a little of that. I would say that most of the time my pain was not relieved,” although she did sleep better and had a better appetite. “I did find one plant that really did help, but it was hard to get, and you only get so much grown per plant for year.”

Health.com: 10 gifts that ease the pain

So when the time came for Dee to get her state license to use medical marijuana (Colorado gives people 90 days), at a cost of $90 every year, “I let the ball drop.”

While Dee says she has no problem with medical marijuana, she is concerned about the increase of dispensaries across the state. “There are more places to purchase medical marijuana than banks or Mexican restaurants now,” she says.

In New York, the state assembly has approved medical marijuana legislation, and Lynda says she is working to support legalization efforts there. For now, legal or not, she is continuing to use marijuana.

“I would suggest to any ‘fibromyalgiac’ to try marijuana if they are open to it,” says Lynda.

“I swore when I became a parent I would not touch weed again (ah, youth), but times have changed, and I was desperate to find something for the burning pain so I could function. I’m glad that I made this decision because it works for me.”

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

Medical marijuana may help fibromyalgia pain – CNN.com.


Can Marijuana Prevent Alzheimer’s? | Next Avenue

Can Marijuana Prevent Alzheimer’s? | Next Avenue

Cognitive decline is the No. 1 fear among Americans older than 50, but while we know that exercise, proper diet and social and educational engagement can help maintain brain health, there is as yet no intervention that can fully prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

If no such development occurs, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple in the next 50 years. And while there has been hope that natural remedies could have an impact, none has been shown to be effective so far. When a study released last month proved that ginkgo biloba could not prevent Alzheimer’s, one researcher called it the “nail in the coffin” for that theory.

(MORE: The U.S. vs. Alzheimer’s: The Fight Heats Up)

Could marijuana be the answer?

Cannabinoids, the active chemical components of marijuana, can regulate inflammation in the brain and promote neurogenesis — the growth of new neural pathways — even in cells damaged by age or trauma. As more research has indicated that brain inflammation appears to be a cause of several degenerative diseases, marijuana has been getting a closer look as a potential preventive medication.

In a 2006 study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, a team of University of Connecticut researchers reported that THC, the chemical compound responsible for marijuana’s high, “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.” The research team predicted that cannabinoid-based medications “will be the new breakout medicine treatments of the near future.”

To be clear, most scientists investigating the link between cannabinoids and brain health are not advocating widespread casual marijuana smoking to ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana possession remains illegal and research has shown that long-term, frequent marijuana use can impair memory, focus and decision-making.

However, new treatments that can reproduce, through natural or synthetic means, some of the beneficial effects of cannabinoids could hold promise. In 2007, Ohio State University researchers published a paper stating that medications which can stimulate cannabinoid receptors in the brain “may provide clinical benefits in age-related diseases that are associated with brain inflammation, such as Alzheimer’s disease.” In 2009, Italian and Israeli researchers found that cannabidiol (CBD), marijuana’s primary non-psychoactive cannabinoid, may also block the formation of the plaques in the brain believed to bring on Alzheimer’s.

(MORE: While Marijuana Endures, Prescription Pills Emerge as a Killer)

Cannabinoid researchers see other potential benefits as well. “In animal models of diseases, the onset and severity of arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arteriosclerosis and many cancers” are limited by cannabinoids, says University of Colorado biology professor Robert Melamede, who is also the president of the medical research and development company Cannabis Science. “Appropriate cannabis use reduces biological harm caused by biochemical imbalances, particularly those that increase in frequency with age. Proper cannabis use, as distinguished from misuse, may have significant positive health effects.”

For Treatment, a Puff May Be Enough

Gary Wenk, a professor of neuroscience at Ohio State and an expert on chronic brain inflammation and Alzheimer’s, says that he began studying cannabinoids after other sorts of compounds sent to him for review by pharmaceutical companies consistently failed to reduce inflammation in the brain. In experiments with rats, he says, marijuana has proven to be the most potent brain anti-inflammatory available. Wenk and his team have also surveyed dementia-free older people about their lifestyles and, he says, discovered that “individuals who smoked marijuana in the ‘60s and ‘70s, who are now entering their 60s and 70s, are not getting Alzheimer’s at the rate they should be.”

Wenk believes that, in humans, “the equivalent of one puff a day” could help ward off dementia. “I have said to older people, ‘Try it,’” Wenk says. “They email me back to say it’s helping. It’s worked in every rat we’ve given it to. We have some happy, intelligent old rats.”

In a YouTube talk, “Marijuana and Coffee Are Good for the Brain,” which has been viewed more than 84,000 times, Wenk envisions a cannabinoid medication people might take “via a patch, so you wouldn’t actually have to inhale any cancerous smoke, and you wouldn’t have to prepare the cigarettes. We could get around all of those behaviors that some people find unpleasant, especially the elderly.” He says he’ll continue to search for “a magic bullet” to deliver cannabinoids “to reduce the inflammation and its consequences on your mental function without having to raise the specter of it being a drug of abuse.”

Potential for Abuse

For the 10 percent of marijuana users who become addicted, a single puff can never be enough. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency considers marijuana to be a Schedule I Controlled Substance with “a high potential for abuse.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls marijuana “the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States.” And in a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, medical marijuana, which can be legally prescribed in 17 states and the District of Columbia for the relief of chronic pain associated with cancer treatment, AIDS and other conditions, was the most abused prescription drug among people over 50.

“Someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time,” the institute warns.

Well aware of these concerns, researchers continue to work to isolate marijuana’s beneficial components from its addictive ones. Israeli researchers recently developed cannabis plants that have no THC, but retain robust amounts of CBD, raising hopes for developing cannabinoid medications that deliver no high and carry no risk of addiction. Such drugs could potentially be used not only to help prevent Alzheimer’s but also to treat anxiety, depression, Huntington’s disease and other maladies.

Two cannabinoid-based medications for nausea, Marinol and Cesamet, have already been approved for use. Sativex, a mouth spray with plant-derived THC and CBD that treats spasticity, cancer pain and neuropathic pain, is available in Canada and parts of Europe; it’s presently under an investigational new drug application in the United States.

Receptive to Cannabinoids?

In discussing their 2006 paper on the potential benefits of THC-based therapies, the University of Connecticut research team wrote, “As the science supporting the validity of endocannabinoid therapeutics progresses, the criminalization of marijuana and the repressive position of the U.S. government is becoming increasingly absurd.”

(MORE: Can the Nation Support Boomers’ Mental Health Needs?)

The federal government has given no indication that marijuana will be legalized anytime soon, although national polls indicate that a majority of Americans might support a change in policy. Until then, though, the 3 million American adults over 50 who use marijuana without a prescription do so in violation of the law. Those users, and many other baby boomers, are open to legalization and may be expected to advocate at least for additional medical uses of cannabinoids.

“Boomers are the first generation that’s been exposed to all the weird chemicals in our food and environment,” says Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana — Medical, Recreational and Scientific (Scribner, 2012). “It’s like a massive experiment has been done on us — and all of this stuff is taking its toll, health-wise.

“The fact that baby boomers came of age with marijuana makes them receptive” to cannabis-derived treatments, he adds. “We’re the first generation that is less healthy than the generation that preceded us and we’re turning to alternatives.”

Can Marijuana Prevent Alzheimer’s? | Next Avenue.