Cannabis is acceptable as a medicinal plant Posted on 20 Dec 07:42

Cannabis is acceptable as a medicinal plant


Much speaks for their great potential as a medicinal plant - here's momentum in the research of hemp. And also waiting on the market for the first drugs with cannabis as a drug for the start.

Recently, the American television station CNN has reported in a lurid story about the fate of the seven-year-old Charlotte from the state of Colorado. She suffers from a very rare but cruel form of epilepsy, the Dravet syndrome. The disease begins in the first few months of life and is associated with partially over a hundred seizures a day that are medically barely treatable. The disease prevents normal development, a mental disability is the result. Meanwhile, Charlotte has the ability to walk, talk and eat almost entirely lost. Conventional medicine was at her wit's end. They even considered to put the child in an induced coma to allow his body a rest.

The father, meanwhile, sought diligently for a therapy that promises relief from his child - until he came across the illegal cannabis. After he had heard that a boy was successfully treated with Dravet syndrome in California so he wanted this therapy must have for Charlotte. Charlotte received a dissolved in oil cannabis extract of the active ingredients tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and especially cannabidiol (CBD). The effect was striking: the spasms died within a few hours, and decreased to about one seizure per week - and that, without the child was high.

Rudolf cautery, pharmacist and specialist for cannabis at the University of Bern, reporting on CNN followed closely. About the amazing effect he was less surprised. Since he started in the mid-1990s with the cannabis research as a Swiss pioneer, he was able to observe such effects. Exciting, however, he found the fact that with such contributions cannabis'm getting acceptable and had been pre-CBD, a component of Hanfplanze without noise effect addressed.
Momentum in research. For a long time the research around the use of cannabis in medicine has focused mainly on the active ingredient THC, according to cautery. However, its application is a problem mainly because of the intoxicating effect. While CBD, as recently discovered, neutralizes this effect, or at least reduced and in addition also has a cancer and anti-inflammatory effect. Been known for is its anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and nausea-relieving effect. "Besides, it has a low toxicity and few side effects," says the pharmacist.

THC and CBD are among the 66 cannabinoids to the most promising therapeutic agents. Cannabinoids have been used primarily to treat neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, against the side effects of chemotherapy or for chronic pain. The discovery of the CBD and its potency was loud cautery of the International Cannabis Research new impetus. For the natural remedies cannabis always open new research approaches, such as the application in breast cancer, or psychosis. Medizinalcannabis place in recent years more and more recognition. The strict prohibition of cultivation, trade and consumption of hemp, especially Medizinalcannabis is increasingly relaxed in many countries (see box right).
Austrians have to wait. So a cannabis preparation was in France recently for the first time allowed the manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals Sativex. The two active components THC and CBD contained therein promise relief from the pain and discomfort in multiple sclerosis. In the spring also an approval of the same drug in Switzerland is expected. And since 2005, the Dutch company Bedrocan officially sells cannabis medicines.

Meanwhile, politics and society do in Austria still quite difficult. "Due to the legal situation in Austria there are no research with natural cannabinoids," explains Kurt Blaas, a general practitioner with extensive experience in drug therapy and chairman of the Association for Cannabis as Medicine. Universities also investigated not, although he would be granted an exception. Since the early 1990s, however, dronabinol - synthetic THC - are prescribed simply by prescription. Likewise, it is noisy and a half years since Blaas possible to deliver in certain indications such as multiple sclerosis Sativex by insurances - also in Germany have MS now this possibility.
Proof of efficacy difficult. Nevertheless, the cannabis specialist wishes finally a "decriminalization, perhaps even the partial legalization of consumption and trade." After all, he points out: "The use of natural cannabinoids that are produced under controlled conditions, is suitable for medical use." Especially since there are also many patients who then asked specifically, especially in the cancer field. Political advances have so far yielded little success, a petition with nearly 6,000 signatures from patients and interested parties was also deposited with the government parties.

Not only the legal-political situation has so far prevented that the pharmaceutical industry has entered in a big way. The research prepares the proof of efficacy of cannabis difficulties, which is often contradictory, in contrast to the many non-academic experience reports. This is related to the pharmaceutical chemist in accordance with the internal iron complex functions of endogenous cannabinoid system include all mammals, and which plays an important role in a disease process.

So presented in the spring of last year, a molecular biologist Cristina Sánchez carried out in Tenerife study in which a brain tumor had been treated with THC. The result: The THC triggered the death of the cancer cells and prevented the formation of new cancer cells.

It is worth noting was mainly that the THC was not directly effective, but that it stimulated endogenous cannabinoids to be more active. The validity of this study is limited because only a small number of patients was tested. The same effect is achieved THC in the context of animal tests also against an aggressive type of breast cancer. However Secured is also nothing here, because in contrast to other animal testing cannabinoids lung and breast tumors could be even greater.