The Healing Power of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped

(Allan Badiner, Alternet, November 23, 2012)
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there is an increasing consensus that the medicinal benefits of psychoactive THC pale in comparison to the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) from the leaves of the same plant–raw and unheated. Depending on the strain, some plants are high in CBD but also contain a lesser amount of THC which is said to enhance the healing potentiality. CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC (for example, suppressing the appetite vs. stimulating it). CBD is beginning to be recognized by researchers at mainstream medical institutions around the world as a potentially very powerful weapon against cancer.  . . . Other studies point to CBD as having great promise as a defense against Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2006 study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, a team of University of Connecticut researchers reported that cannabis “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.” The research team predicted that cannabinoid-based medications “will be the new breakout medicine treatments of the near future.” . . . Cannabis medicine has distinct advantages. CBD, as well as THC, can be given in massive doses with no side effects. In fact, it has performed very effectively as an anti-psychotic when given in high doses. . . . Meanwhile, it’s useful to note that since 2003, the U.S. federal government has held a “medical patent” for the marketing of cannabinoids as antioxidants or neuroprotective agents. The patent states that cannabinoids are “useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

 

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