Some Proof that Marijuana is a Powerful Medicine

By chillinwill · Jun 30, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill

    Marijuana contains an amazing chemical, beta-caryophyllene, and scientists have thoroughly proven that it could be used to treat pain, inflammation, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.
    Jürg Gertsch, of ETH Zürich, and his collaborators from three other universities learned that the natural molecule can activate a protein called cannabinoid receptor type 2. When that biological button is pushed, it soothes the immune system, increases bone mass, and blocks pain signals -- without causing euphoria or interfering with the central nervous system.
    Gertsch and his team published their findings on June 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.They focused on the anti-inflammatory properties of the impressive substance -- testing it on immune cells called monocytes and also in mice.
    Since beta-caryophyllene seems to be powerful, occurs naturally in many foods, and does not get people high, it could turn out to be a nearly ideal medication. The organic compound is also phenomenally cheap. Sigma Aldrich sells it, in kosher form, for forty-two dollars per kilogram.
    Unfortunately, big pharmaceutical companies tend not to seek FDA approval for natural chemicals, and most doctors are reluctant to prescribe drugs that have not received a green light from the regulatory agency. Thus, it would require a heroic effort by academic researchers to prove that beta-caryophyllene is safe and effective in humans.
    Perhaps, before that happens, the natural substance will find its way into the herbal medicine aisle of health food stores.
    Photo: Jaypeg21 / flickr
    Thanks for the tip, Rick Henrikson

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  1. Nature Boy
    If this is truly effective, surely it's possible to get this passed as a legitimate medicine. It's very far from what people identify as the smoked herb that gets you stoned. The realm of herbal medicine is one a lot of people avoid purely because of the lack of merit attached to these proposed cures. Then again, herbal medicine is a market that's booming so you'd never know.
  2. Paracelsus
    The thread title would have been more accurate like this: "some proof that studying marijuana can give rise to powerful new medicines." Because this is what is really exciting about such findings. A similar example is the finding that marijuana isn't correlated with lung cancer. Very nice, but the REALLY interesting thing about this is that marijuana does something that prevents cancer in spite of all the carcinogens that it contains and that figuring out what this something is and what it does may help countless people.
  3. mickenator
    If this kind of drug helps reduce the symptoms of pain would it be of any use in opiate withdrawl or is that a different receptor in the brain ?
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