Parent use of cannabis for intractable pediatric epilepsy: Everyday empiricism and the boundaries of scientific medicine.

Social Science & Medicine

“Cannabis is an increasingly sought-after remedy for US children with intractable (biomedically uncontrollable) epilepsy. However, like other complementary-alternative medicine (CAM) modalities, and particularly as a federally illegal, stigmatized substance, it is unsanctioned by mainstream medicine. Parents are largely on their own when it comes to learning about, procuring, dispensing, and monitoring treatments. Exploring how they manage is crucial to better assist them. Moreover, it can illuminate how ‘research’ done on the ground by laypeople variously disrupts and reinforces lay-expert and science-non-science divides. To those ends, in 2016, 25 Southern California parents who used, had used, or sought to use cannabis pediatrically for epilepsy/seizures were interviewed regarding their evidentiary standards, research methods, and aims when trying the drug. Parents generally described their work as experimentation; they saw their efforts as adhering to authorized scientific practices and standards, and as contributing to the authorized medical cannabis knowledge base. Findings subverted assumptions, based on an outdated stereotype of CAM, that cannabis-using parents do not believe in biomedicine. Indeed, parents’ desire for their children’s biomedical demarginalization, combined with biomedical dependency and a high caregiver burden, fueled a collaborative stance. Implications for understanding the boundaries of science are explored, as are norms for parent agency as ill children’s care managers, radicalization among people affected by contested illnesses, and the future of ‘medical marijuana.'”


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Accelerated Burn Wound Closure in Mice with a New Formula Based on Traditional Medicine.

Image result for Iran Red Crescent Med J.

“A combination of the oils of sesame, hemp, wild pistachio, and walnut has been used for treatment of skin disorders, including wound burns, in some parts of Kerman, Iran. Evaluation of this remedy in the form of a pharmaceutical formulation in animal models can pave the way for its future application in wound burn healing in humans.

This experimental study investigated the healing potential of a new formula (NF) based on folk medicine from Iran for the treatment of third degree burns in mice. The formula was a combination of the oils of four plants: sesame (Sesamum indicum L.), wild pistachio (Pistacia atlantica Desf.), hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), and walnut (Juglans regia L.).

When compared to the controls, NF significantly improved wound contraction after day 10. Histopathological and immunohistochemical findings confirmed the efficacy of the NF.


A new therapeutic remedy was introduced for the treatment of burn wounds.

Further clinical and molecular studies are suggested to determine the exact mechanism(s) involved in the burn wound healing effect of NF.”

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“The cannabis plant has been known to humanity for centuries as a remedy for pain, diarrhea and inflammation.

Current research is inspecting the use of cannabis for many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dystonia, and chronic pain.

In inflammatory conditions cannabinoids improve pain in rheumatoid arthritis and: pain and diarrhea in Crohn’s disease.

Despite their therapeutic potential, cannabinoids are not free of side effects including psychosis, anxiety, paranoia, dependence and abuse.

Controlled clinical studies investigating the therapeutic potential of cannabis are few and small, whereas pressure for expanding cannabis use is increasing.

Currently, as long as cannabis is classified as an illicit drug and until further controlled studies are performed, the use of medical cannabis should be limited to patients who failed conventional better established treatment.”

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Marihuana as Medicine

“BETWEEN 1840 and 1900, European and American medical journals published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of the drug known then as Cannabis indica (or Indian hemp) and now as marihuana.

It was recommended as an appetite stimulant, muscle relaxant, analgesic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant. As late as 1913 Sir William Osler recommended it as the most satisfactory remedy for migraine.

Today the 5000-year medical history of cannabis has been almost forgotten.

Its use declined in the early 20th century because the potency of preparations was variable, responses to oral ingestion were erratic, and alternatives became available—injectable opiates and, later, synthetic drugs such as aspirin and barbiturates.

In the United States, the final blow was struck by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Designed to prevent nonmedical use, this law made cannabis so difficult to obtain for medical purposes that it was removed from the pharmacopeia.”

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Issues and promise in clinical studies of botanicals with anticonvulsant potential.

“Botanicals are increasingly used by people with epilepsy worldwide. However, despite abundant preclinical data on the anticonvulsant properties of many herbal remedies, there are very few human studies assessing safety and efficacy of these products in epilepsy.Additionally, the methodology of most of these studies only marginally meets the requirements of evidence-based medicine.

Although the currently available evidence for the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy is similarly lacking, several carefully designed and well controlled industry-sponsored clinical trials of cannabis derivatives are planned to be completed in the next couple of years, providing the needed reliable data for the use of these products.

The choice of the best botanical candidates with anticonvulsant properties and their assessment in well-designed clinical trials may significantly improve our ability to effectively and safely treat patients with epilepsy. ”

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The Health Benefits of Medical Cannabis


“Few people may know this but cannabis, or marijuana, had been popular as a remedy since ancient times.

It was in 2727 B.C. when there was the first record of its use in China. It was also familiar to ancient Greeks, Romans and people from the Middle East.

It was only during 1600 when cannabis use began to be regulated and restricted…

It was only recently that the public knew that cannabis has many benefits which were previously unknown to many people. Cannabis has been legalized in some states because it is non-toxic, can be moderately used by adults and has some beneficial effects on health.

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is the term used to refer to the use of marijuana, cultivated with medical seeds, and other cannabinoid substances for treating health problems. Marijuana is a mixture of green, brown, crumpled and dried leaves from the marijuana plant. This mixture of leaves are rolled up and smoked like a cigar or cigarette or smoked through a pipe. It can also be mixed with food and eaten. Its mode of administration to the user includes vaporizing or smoking dried buds, consuming extracts and the ingestion of capsules. Synthetic cannabinoids are even available in some countries such as dronabinol and nabilone. While in some countries the recreational use of marijuana is illegal, in some countries its medical use is legal.”

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Marijuana and its receptor protein in brain control epilepsy

“VCU study is first to test anticonvulsant potential of marijuana and brain recurrent seizures. 

Ingredients in marijuana and the cannabinoid receptor protein produced naturally in the body to regulate the central nervous system and other bodily functions play a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The study, the first to look at marijuana and the brain’s cannabinoid system in live animals with spontaneous, recurrent seizures, suggests new avenues that researchers can explore in their search for more-effective drugs to treat epileptic patients who don’t respond to today’s anticonvulsant medications or surgery.

The results appear in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

“Although marijuana is illegal in the United States, individuals both here and abroad report that marijuana has been therapeutic for them in the treatment of a variety of ailments, including epilepsy,” says Dr. Robert J. DeLorenzo, professor of neurology in the VCU School of Medicine.

 “If we can understand how marijuana works to end seizures, we may be able to develop novel drugs that might do a better job of treating epileptic seizures.” 

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions, characterized by spontaneously recurrent seizures. Approximately 1 percent of Americans have epilepsy, and 30 percent of those patients are resistant to conventional anticonvulsant drug treatments.

Cannabinoids have been used as a natural remedy for seizures for thousands of years, and studies since at least 1974 have found that the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana displays anticonvulsant properties.” 


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Three out of four doctors recommend marijuana in New England Journal of Medicine poll

More than three out of four doctors support medical cannabis for a hypothetical breast cancer patient, New England Journal of Medicine reports“More than three out of four doctors support medical cannabis for a hypothetical breast cancer patient, New England Journal of Medicine reports

In a poll by the well-respected New England Journal of Medicine released today, more than three out of four doctors recommended medical cannabis for a hypothetical late-stage breast cancer patient.

“We were surprised by the outcome of polling and comments, with 76% of all votes in favor of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes — even though marijuana use is illegal in most countries,” Jonathan N. Adler, M.D., and James A. Colbert, M.D. wrote for the NEJOM May 30th.

Marijuana is a federally illegal – schedule one drug – that the U.S. government claims has no medical value and is more dangerous than heroin or LSD. Yet 19 states have legalized cannabis for medical use, given its 10,000 year history as a safe herbal remedy for nausea, pain and insomnia among other conditions.”


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Marijuana first plants cultivated by man for medication (Update)

“Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) is one of the first plants cultivated by man. Shrouded in controversy, the intriguing history of cannabis as a medication dates back thousands of years before the era of Christianity.

Scientists believe the hemp plant originated in Asia. In 2737 B.C., Emperor Shen Neng of China prescribed tea brewed from marijuana leaves as a remedy for muscle injuries, rheumatism, gout, malaria, and memory loss. During the Bronze Age in 1400 B.C., cannabis was used throughout the eastern Mediterranean to ease the pain of childbirth and menstrual maladies.

More than 800 years before the birth of Christ, hemp was extensively cultivated in India for both its fiber and healing medicinal properties. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician famous for his investigative research in pharmacology, is credited with introducing the therapeutic, healing properties of cannabis to Western medicine. During the 1830’s Dr. O’Shaughnessy, working for the British in India, conducted extensive experiments on lab animals. Encouraged by his results, Dr. O’Shaughnessy commenced patient treatment with marijuana for pain and muscle spasms. Further experiments indicated that marijuana was beneficial in the treatment of stomach cramps, migraine headaches, insomnia and nausea. Marijuana was also proven to be an effective anticonvulsant.

From the 1840s to the 1890s, hashish and marijuana extracts were among the most widely prescribed medications in the United States The 1850 United States Census records 8,327 marijuana plantations, each larger than 2000 acres. Recreational use of marijuana was not evident until early in the 20th century. Marijuana cigarettes became popular, introduced by migrants workers that brought marijuana with them from Mexico. With the onset of Prohibition, recreational use of marijuana skyrocketed. During the early 1930s, hash bars could be found all across the United States.

Although protested by the American Medical Association, the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act banned the cultivation and use of cannabis by federal law. Under the law, cultivation, distribution and consumption of cannabis products for medicinal, practical or recreational was criminalized and harsh penalties were implemented.”



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Is marijuana bad for you?

“Hasn’t pot always been considered harmful?
Not at all. Marijuana, the dried form of the plant Cannabis sativa, was used as an herbal remedy for centuries in China, the Middle East, and Asia. William O’Shaughnessy, a physician for the East India Tea Company, brought it west in the 1830s as a treatment for rheumatism, tetanus, and rabies. It was commonly prescribed as a pain reliever in the U.S. until the 1930s, when its growing popularity caused such concern that the newly founded Federal Bureau of Narcotics reclassified it as a narcotic. The bureau soon launched a decidedly unscientific campaign claiming that marijuana use provoked insanity, homicidal tendencies, and uncontrollable lust. The marijuana user, the bureau asserted, “becomes a fiend with savage or ‘caveman’ tendencies. His sex desires are aroused, and some of the most horrible crimes result.””

Adolescents who smoked marijuana at least four times a week, lost an average of 8 IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38, according to a study from New Zealand.

“Was there any evidence for such claims?
None; in fact, the American Medical Association argued against marijuana prohibition in the 1930s, citing its therapeutic potential. But the bureau made its case that marijuana was “dangerous for the mind and the body,” and the federal government outlawed its use in 1937. It wasn’t until the 1970s that a campaign began to restore marijuana’s therapeutic reputation, and in 1996 California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. Psychiatrist Tod Mikuriya, a founding father in the medical marijuana movement, claimed that cannabis has none of the adverse side effects of opiates. “In fact,” he said, “it really enhances both quality of life and rehabilitation.””


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