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chptr 6 The Body of Medical Literature on Cannabis Medicine

Discussion in 'Health' started by Rokerijdude11, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. http://jackherer.com/chapter06.html

    Our authority here is the 'Body of Literature,' starting with ancient materia medicae; Chinese and Hindu pharmacopoeia and Near Eastern cuneiform tablets, and continuing all the way into this century, including the 1966-76 U.S. renaissance of cannabis studies - some 10,000 separate studies on medicines and effects from the hemp plant. Comprehensive compendia of these works are designated as the prime sources for this medical chapter, as well as ongoing interviews with many researchers.

    Affordable, Available Herbal Health Care

    For more than 3,500 years, cannabis/hemp/marijuana has been, depending on the culture or nation, either the most used or one of the most widely used plants for medicines. This includes: China, India, the Middle and Near East, Africa, and pre-Roman Catholic Europe (prior to 476 A.D.).

    Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, NORML, High Times and Omni magazines (September 1982) all indicate that if marijuana were legal it would immediately replace 10-20% of all pharmaceutical prescription medicines (based on research through 1976). And probably, Mechoulam estimates, 40-50% of all medicines, including patent medicines, could contain some extract from the cannabis plant when fully researched.

    (Read the U.S. government-sponsored research as outlined by Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, 1976; Roffman, Roger, Marijuana as Medicine, 1980; Mikuriya, Tod, M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; Also, the work of Dr. Norman Zinberg; Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. Lester Grinspoon; and the U.S. Government's Presidential Commission reports [Shafer Commission] from 1972; Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Tel Aviv/Jerusalem Univ. 1964-97; W.B. O'Shaunessy monograph, 1839; and the long term Jamaican studies I & II, 1968-74; Costa Rican studies through 1982; U.S. Coptic studies, 1981; Ungerlieder; U.S. military studies since the 1950s and '60s.)

    Superstar of the 19th Century

    Marijuana was America's number one analgesic for 60 years before the rediscovery of aspirin around 1900. From 1842 to 1900 cannabis made up half of all medicine sold, with virtually no fear of its high.

    The 1839 report on the uses of cannabis by Dr. W.B. O'Shaugnessy, one of the most respected members of the Royal Academy of Sciences, was just as important to mid-19th Century Western medicine as the discoveries of antibiotics (like penicillin and Terramycin) were to mid-20th Century medicine.

    In fact, the Committee on Cannabis Indica for the Ohio State Medical Society concluded that "High Biblical commentators [scholars]" believe "that the gall and vinegar, or myrrhed wine, offered to our Saviour immediately before his crucifixion was in all probability, a preparation of Indian hemp."

    (Transcripts, Ohio State Medical Society 15th annual meeting June 12-14, 1860, pg. 75-100.)

    From 1850 to 1937, the U.S. Pharmacopoeia listed cannabis as the primary medicine for more than 100 separate illnesses or diseases.

    During all this time (pre-1000 B.C. to 1940s A.D., researchers, doctors and drug manufacturers (Eli Lilly, Parke-David, Squibb, etc.) had no idea what the active ingredients of cannabis were until Dr. Mechoulam discovered THC in 1964.

    20th Century Research

    As outlined in the previous chapters, the American Medical Association (AMA) and drug companies testified against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act because cannabis was known to have so much medical potential and had never caused any observable addictions or death by overdose.

    The possibility existed, they argued, that once the active ingredients in cannabis (such as THC Delta-9) were isolated and correct dosages established, cannabis could become a miracle drug.

    Twenty-nine years would pass, however, before American scientists could begin to even look into cannabis medicine again.

    THC Delta-9 was isolated by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam at the University of Tel Aviv in 1964. His work confirmed that of Professor Taylor of Princeton, who had lead the research and identification of natural THC Delta-9 precursors in the 1930s. Kahn, Adams and Loewe also worked with the structure of cannabis' active ingredients in 1944.

    Since 1964, more than 400 separate compounds have been isolated in cannabis from over a thousand suspected compounds. At least 60 of the isolated compounds are therapeutic. The United States, however, forbade this type of research through the bureaucratic authority of Harry Anslinger util 1962, when he was forced to retire. (Omni Magazine, Sept. 1982)

    Growing Acceptance

    By 1966, millions of young Americans had begun using marijuana. Concerned parents and government, wanting to know the dangers their children were risking, started funding dozens and later hundreds of marijuana health studies.

    Entrenched in the older generation's minds were 30 years of Anslinger/Hearst scare stories of murder, atrocity, rape, and even zombie pacifism.

    Federally sponsored research results began to ease Americans' fears of cannabis causing violence or zombie pacifism, and hundreds of new studies suggested that hidden inside the hemp plant's chemistry lay a medicinal array of incredible therapeutic potential. The government funded more and more studies.

    Soon, legions of American researchers had positive indications using cannabis, anorexia, tumors and epilepsy, as well as for a general use antibiotic. Cumulative findings showed evidence of favorable results occurring in cases of Parkinson's disease, anorexia, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy; plus thousands of anecdotal stories all merited further clinical study.

    Prior to 1976, reports of positive effects and new therapeutic indications for cannabis were almost a weekly occurrence in medical journals and the national press.

    National Conference Praised Cannabis Therapy Potential

    In November 1975, virtually all of America's leading researchers on marijuana met at Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California. Seminars were sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to address a compendium of studies from their earliest to most recent findings.

    When the seminars were over, practically all the scientists concluded that the federal government, with the hard evidence collected so far on the therapeutic potential of marijuana, should be rushing to invest tax money into more research.

    They felt the taxpayers should be informed that there was every legitimate reason for the field of public health to continue large scale research on cannabis medicine and therapies. All the participants, it seems, believed this. Many of them (such as Mechoulam) believed that cannabis would be one of the world's major medicines by the mid-1980s. In March 1997, Mechoulam, in a speech at the Bio-Fach in Frankfort, Germany, still believed that cannabis is the world's best overall medicine.

    Marijuana Research Banned

    However, in 1976, just as multi-disciplined marijuana research should have been going into its second, third, and fourth generation studies (see Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana and NORML federal files), a "surprise" United States government policy again forbade all promising federal research into marijuana's therapeutic effects.
     
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