|Own your ow legal marijuana business||
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
by Gabriel G. Nahas, M.D.
Nicholas A. Pace, M.D.
New York University Medical Center
Note to Readers:. Dr. Nahas is, to say the least, a zealot on this issue. To say the least, there have been some issues with the accuracy of his statements about marijuana. We invite the reader to compare the statements made by Dr. Nahas with the results of the other research studies on this web site.
The anecdotal claims concerning the unique therapeutic properties of
marijuana smoking in alleviating the nausea and vomiting induced by the chemotherapy of
cancer or of AIDS do not withstand scientific scrutiny.
In the first place, modern therapeutics distinguish between a crude drug
and its pharmacological active pure ingredient, in this instance between marijuana and
THC. While crude marijuana preparations made of plant material and containing THC display
similar pharmacological properties as THC, their overall effect is quite different.
Indeed, marijuana contains in addition to THC 60 other cannabinoids which modify
absorption, availability and transformation of THC in the body, and which are also
biologically active. Besides cannabinoids, 360 other compounds have been identified in the
plant material such as terpenes, flavinoids, furan derivatives and alkaloids. The smoke if
a marijuana cigarette contains in its gas phase the noxious vapors of carbon monoxide,
acetaldehyde, acrolein, toluene, nitrosamine and vinylchloride, and in its particulate
phase phenol, creosol, methyl and napthalene. Marijuana smoke also contains twice as many
cancer producing substances (benzanthracene and benzopyrene) as a tobacco cigarette of the
same weight. The respective amount of all of these different chemicals will vary with each
marijuana cigarette and its resulting smoke, therefore prescriptions of marijuana cannot
comply with the Pure Food and Drug Act, which requires that all medicines be labeled with
the exact amount of chemicals they contain. In addition, crude drug marijuana preparation
can also be contaminated with salmonella bacteria which gives diarrhea and with a fungus,
aspergillus, which may cause severe bronchopneumonia (It has been suggested that the
marijuana cigarettes prescribed to patients be sterilized.).
Damaging effects in man caused by prolonged exposure to marijuana
smoking have been reported in two recent International Symposia; they include
emphysema-like symptoms, cancer of the lung, mouth and tongue, prolonged impairment of
memory and of psychomotor performance resulting in train or car accidents, a six-fold
increase in the incidence of schizophrenia, leukemia in children born from marijuana
smoking mothers and damage to the growing fetus.
However, if smoked marijuana had unique therapeutic properties, these
forgoing undesired effects could be overlooked. Prominent cancer specialists such as Dr.
R. J. Gralla of Sloane-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center, Dr. D. S. Ettinger of Johns
Hopkins Medical School, Dr. George Hyman of Columbia University College of Physicians and
Surgeons, and Dr. John Laszlo, Vice President for Research of the American Cancer Society
have concluded that the crude drug marijuana taken by inhalation has only limited
effectiveness in the treatment of vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and documented
negative effects on pulmonary, cardiovascular and immunity systems. The American Cancer
Society stated in 1989 that the results of clinical investigations were insufficient to
warrant the decontrol of marijuana smoking for medical use. the American Medical
Association and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed a similar opinion.
The therapeutic applications of smoked marijuana have been traced down to the psychoactive ingredient it contains: THC. This compound taken by mouth will relieve the vomiting resulting from cancer chemotherapy in a limited number of patients. But THC also produces acute undesirable psychic and cardiovascular symptoms, and its depressant effect on immunity is not a good indication for patients with cancer or AIDS who already have impaired immunity. To treat nausea associated with chemotherapy, modern drugs with much greater bioavailability, specificity, and effectiveness, and less side effects than THC, such as metoclopramide and ondansetron, have already been used on millions of patients. And these drugs have become the preferred choice of the majority of physicians who wish to treat their patients in the safest and most effective fashion. However, THC, because of its therapeutic properties, has been reclassified from Schedule I to Schedule II, which permits its prescription by physicians.
Marinol is one of the presently available preparations. But most other countries, signatories of the Single Convention of the United Nations on Controlled Substances, did not concur with the U.S. Reclassification and kept THC in Schedule I, among drugs which have no unique therapeutic usefulness and high abuse potential.
While the reclassification of THC to Schedule II might be understandable, this would not be the case for smoking the crude drug marijuana, which would as a result become more available and more readily diverted for non-medical use.
There is no medical justification for the use of marijuana smoking in the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer or AIDS chemotherapy. Other claims formulated in the prescientific area of medicine concerning the therapeutic properties of marijuana smoking for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, chronic pain, pruritis, menstrual cramps, and labor pain are purely hearsay and may even be harmful to the patient. Such claims have been nonetheless recently revived by the same Harvard professor who has also stated that 'used no more than two or three times a week, cocaine creates no serious problem.' His latest book, "Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine," is a loose compendium of unverifiable anecdotes.
The unilateral reclassification by the United States of marijuana from
Schedule I to II would perpetuate a cruel hoax by sending the wrong message to uninformed
patients and health professionals who rely on safe and effective medicine. There is no
medical justification for the use of marijuana smoking in the treatment of nausea and
vomiting associated with cancer or AIDS chemotherapy."
Contents | Feedback | Search | DRCNet Home Page | Join DRCNet
DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library | Hemp (Marijuana) | Medical Information
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
|Drug Information Articles|
Taking a drug test:
How To Pass A Drug Test
Beat Drug Test
Pass Drug Test
Drug Screening Tests
Drug Addiction Treatment