Di seguito tutti gli interventi pubblicati sul sito, in ordine cronologico.
Marijuana has never been linked to an overdose death, and new findings may explain why.
Published in the journal Science, French researchers have identified a natural hormone that reverses marijuana intoxication in rats.
In an interview with WebMD, study author Dr. Pier Vincenzo Piazza explained that rats exposed to THC showed a dramatic rise in a brain hormone called pregnenolone. The hormone also seemed to prevent marijuana's intoxicating effects.
"When the brain is stimulated by high doses of THC, it produces pregnenolone – a 3,000 percent increase – that inhibits the effects of THC."
But the study, originally meant for developing a treatment for cannabis addiction, has been met with different interpretations.
While the authors say that an addiction treatment based on pregnenolone could soon be tested in humans, others believe the study explains how the brain protects itself from a marijuana overdose.
By binding to cannabinoid receptors, THC triggers the release of pregnenolone, which in turn weakens THC's action on the receptors – a negative feedback loop that could prevent marijuana users from getting too high.
Considering the low rates of cannabis addiction, Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY, adds that a drug for cannabis abuse may not even be necessary.
"Although the authors pitch this as a novel way to treat cannabis abuse, it's actually a superb – if partial – explanation for why cannabis appears to have no potential lethal dose and why its capacity for creating addiction is more like caffeine's than that of any illicit drug."
Scientists have been studying pregnenolone since the 1940s for conditions like stress and arthritis, but only recently has the hormone caught the attention of cannabis researchers.
While pregnenolone pills are sold as supplements, Dr. Piazza and his team are now working on how to deliver the hormone in higher doses.
Source: WebMD via LeafScience
Now, for the first time, researchers have found that cannabis rich in CBD can slow the progress of colon cancer in live animal models.
Using a botanical extract made from high-CBD cannabis, researchers from Italy and the UK were able to reduce pre-cancerous lesions and tumor growth in mice with colon cancer.
The results, released last month in the journal Phytomedicine, also suggest that cannabis extract can selectively target colon cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Both CB1 and CB2 pathways seem to facilitate its effects.
"In conclusion, we have shown that CBD BDS (botanical drug substance) exerts beneficial actions in experimental models of colon cancer and antiproliferative CB1 and CB2 mediated effects in colorectal cancer cells."
The authors believe that the results could have "clinical relevance for the use of cannabis-based medicines in cancer patients," since current colon cancer treatments are "very toxic" and still "fail to prevent disease progression" in some patients.
Screening strategies for colon cancer have so far failed to reduce disease incidence and mortality, they add.
In 2008, colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or bowel cancer, was diagnosed in over 1 million individuals and caused more than 600,000 deaths worldwide.
Researchers have also made progress in studying cannabis as a treatment for brain and breast cancers.
Besides the potential to directly treat cancer, cannabis-based medicine can be used to stimulate appetite, reduce nausea and relieve pain in patients with cancer.
The study was partially funded through grants from GW Pharmaceuticals
In a recent ‘Ask The Doctor’ column, Dr. Heather Auld, Fellow at the University of Arizona Department of Integrative Medicine and a practising obstetrician/gynecologist, explained why the time has come for marijuana to be placed back into the U.S. pharmacopeia.
1. Marijuana has been used as medicine for more than 3,000 years
The use of medical marijuana has been traced to ancient civilizations in China, India, and Egypt. One of the earliest pieces of evidence is a book written by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 BCE, which described the benefits of cannabis in treating constipation, gout, rheumatism and absent-mindedness.
Dr. Auld writes that “only in recent decades has it been removed from our pharmacies.”
2. The American Medical Association supports medical marijuana and its use in research
When marijuana prohibition was passed in 1937, the American Medical Association (AMA) was one of the only voices of opposition. Indeed, the AMA was well aware that marijuana, since entering Western medicine in the mid-1800s, was commonly prescribed for a wide range of conditions.
Though synthetic drugs grew popular during the 20th century, the AMA has continued to support research on marijuana’s medical potential, a position they maintain to this day.
3. The ‘high’ is only from one component
Cannabis contains more than 400 chemical compounds, of which more than 60 have been identified as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the medically active ingredients in cannabis, including the one that gets you high, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
But other cannabinoids are known to offer similar medical benefits, without the high. Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) have been extracted from cannabis to produce non-psychoactive forms of medical marijuana. These are especially popular for paediatric patients.
4. Our body contains a natural cannabinoid system that regulates health and illness
It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that scientists discovered why marijuana works so well, and for so many different illnesses. The discovery was a natural system in the human body called the endocannabinoid system, which includes chemicals that mimic the activity of cannabis, called endocannabinoids.
Much like cannabis, Dr. Auld notes that endocannabinoids act to “decrease inflammation, increase immunity, decrease pain, and increase appetite.”
5. Smoking or vaporizing marijuana is better for pain relief
Although some believe there are better methods than smoking or vaporizing, Dr. Auld argues that it could be ideal for those in pain. Oral ingestion of cannabis provides longer-lasting relief, but also takes about an hour to achieve effect. Patients in pain usually require more immediate action, which smoked or vaporized marijuana provides.
6. Marijuana may be superior to narcotic painkillers for neuropathy or nerve pain
While opioid painkillers are incredibly potent and can work wonders for certain types of pain, they are much less effective in cases of nerve pain. In studies, marijuana performs just as well as gabapentin, a leading pharmaceutical used to treat neuropathy.
Also, Dr. Auld notes that “whereas narcotics commonly increase nausea and vomiting, marijuana relieves those symptoms.”
7. When combined, marijuana can decrease the amount of narcotics needed for pain relief
Studies suggest that marijuana can reduce the need for prescription painkillers when given together. The popularity of painkillers has led to a rise in accidental overdoses in the U.S., with opioids claiming over 16,000 lives in 2010. By reducing the need for high doses, medical marijuana offers a promising solution for doctors and patients.
8. The main side effect of marijuana is euphoria or extreme feelings of well-being
One of the most common reasons for doctors to dismiss medical marijuana is the unwanted side effect of getting high. Yet those who have never experienced a marijuana high can easily forget what the high actually does. Feelings of euphoria, while unwanted for some, can provide comfort for patients with debilitating or chronic illnesses.
9. Unlike highly addictive narcotic painkillers, marijuana has the same addictive potential as caffeine
Even when compared to common recreational drugs, studies have ranked marijuana among the least addictive.
A study conducted by NIDA researchers concluded that 9% of people who ever try marijuana will become addicted to it at some point, which is similar to caffeine. On the other hand, the same study found an addictive potential of 15% for alcohol and 32% for tobacco.
10. Marijuana is being studied as a treatment for tumors and various forms of cancer
For cancer patients, relief of nausea and pain are not the only potential benefits of marijuana.
In fact, compounds in marijuana have shown anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects in numerous animal models, “particularly in brain and skin tumors,” Dr. Auld writes, “but also in lung cancer, lymphoma and colon cancer.”
Last November 2013, a drug company called GW Pharmaceuticals began the first clinical trials of a marijuana-based treatment for battling cancer.
Source: LeafScience with LINKS for each point!
Researchers at the University of Manitoba believe hemp seeds could offer a safer alternative to drugs traditionally prescribed for hypertension. Previous studies, they note, suggest that proteins found in hemp seed possess a variety of cardiovascular benefits.
"Preliminary in vitro studies have shown that industrial hemp seed peptides possess both antioxidant and antihypertensive properties."
In a new study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the team found that an 8-week diet of hydrolyzed hemp protein could slow the development of hypertension in genetically-prone rats.
What's more, the diet was also effective at reducing signs of hypertension – plasma ACE and renin levels – in rats with already established conditions.
"The results confirm the potential of HMH (hemp seed meal hydrolysate) as a useful ingredient that can be used to formulate functional foods and nutraceuticals for the prevention and treatment of hypertension."
While a number of foods have been found to help control blood pressure, the researchers suggest that the protein content of hemp seeds, as well as being easy to digest, make it an ideal choice.
"The presence of superior amino acid profile in hemp seed proteins (principally identified as edestin and albumin) and high digestibility promotes their efficacy as a source of health-enhancing bioactive peptides."
Despite the positive results, more work still needs to be done. The team says the next step is to identify and purify the protein sequences responsible for its antihypertensive effects.
The study received funding from the Manitoba Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Using high doses of marijuana extract, prepared via methods outlined by well-known cannabis activist Rick Simpson, the patient experienced rapid reductions in leukemic cell counts.
Local doctors Yadvinder Singh, MD and Chamandeep Bali, ND detailed the case last month in the journal Case Reports in Oncology.
"Despite the nonstandardization of the medicines, the dose was readily titrated according to the biological response of the patient and produced a potentially life-saving response, namely, the drop in the leukemic blast cell count."
The patient, who was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 14, eventually turned to high doses of cannabis extract after 34 months of traditional chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy treatments proved unsuccessful.
Although the patient passed away 11 weeks into marijuana treatment, her death was caused by severe intestinal bleeding, a common side-effect of chemotherapy.
On the other hand, after starting marijuana treatment, the doctors report that the patient experienced almost no side-effects, and became healthy enough to return home from her placement at a palliative care center.
"It must be noted that where our most advanced chemotherapeutic agents had failed to control the blast counts and had devastating side effects that ultimately resulted in the death of the patient, the cannabinoid therapy had no toxic side effects and only psychosomatic properties, with an increase in the patient's vitality."
While case reports on marijuana's anti-cancer effects are rare, the authors note that an abundance of pre-clinical studies support the potential of cannabis compounds to fight various cancers, including leukemia.
What's more, both research and the current case report suggest a dose-dependent effect, meaning that higher doses show stronger anti-cancer activity.
Unfortunately, despite the promise, progress in clinical settings has been slow.
"It goes without saying that much more research and, even more importantly, phase clinical trials need to be implemented to determine the benefits of such therapies. Laboratory analysis is critical to figure out the constituents/profiles/ratios of the vast cannabis strains that show the most favored properties for exerting possible anticancer effects."
Cannabis also appears to be safer and less toxic than traditional cancer therapies, according to the authors, who conclude: "It is tempting to speculate that, with integration of this care in a setting of full medical and laboratory support, a better outcome may indeed be achieved in the future."
Published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, a team of experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of Calgary and The Rockefeller University summarized the current body of research on cannabis and anxiety.
As it turns out, despite marijuana's wide range of effects, relief from anxiety and stress happens to be the most commonly reported reason for using marijuana.
"Cannabis and its derivatives have profound effects on a wide variety of behavioral and neural functions, ranging from feeding and metabolism to pain and cognition. However, epidemiological studies have indicated that the most common self-reported reason for using cannabis is rooted in its ability to reduce feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety."
Studies involving THC also show that it "can reduce anxiety in patients with anxiety disorders," continue the authors. On the other hand, too high of a dose can have the opposite effect in certain people.
But while marijuana has long been regarded as an effective stress reliever, recent research has focused on the neurological activity responsible for this effect. What scientists now know is that marijuana acts on a system in the brain called the endocannabinoid system.
Interestingly, the authors also note evidence that suggests anxiety disorders could be caused by abnormalities of this biological system.
"The discovery of the ECB (endocannabinoid) system raised the possibility that ECBs (endocannabinoids) could be important modulators of anxiety, and might contribute to individual differences in anxious temperament and risk for anxiety disorders."
Among its various functions, the endocannabinoid system is believed to naturally regulate anxiety and stress levels. It does this through the release of chemicals that belong to the same class of chemicals found in marijuana: (endo)cannabinoids.
Though scientists have identified over 60 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, its main psychoactive ingredient, THC, is strikingly similar to one of the first endocannabinoids discovered in humans, anandamide.
By acting on the same pathways of the brain, both seem to hold promise as a treatment for stress and anxiety. So it's no surprise that people who suffer from excessive stress are finding relief in marijuana, a phenomenon that scientists call "self-medicating."
"Significant numbers of people may be self-medicating with cannabis in an attempt to reduce excessive anxiety."
But whether cannabis is the best way of targeting the endocannabinoid system is still up for debate.
In fact, the authors of the latest report argue that raising the brain's anandamide levels – by preventing its breakdown – may be a better therapeutic alternative, due to the "unwanted effects of cannabis (e.g. cognitive impairment, abuse liability)."
However, with no clinical trials of a drug that can do this, it may be a while until such an alternative is available.
Here we count down, in no particular order, a few (of the many) reasons why this year was memorable for cannabis research.
1. FDA approves first clinical trials of marijuana for paediatric epilepsy
Evidence that marijuana can help in a wide range of epileptic conditions dates back to the 70s. But it wasn’t till this year that research progressed to the stage of FDA-approved clinical trials.
Likely due, at least in part, to growing interest from the media and awareness among parents with epileptic children, a company called GW Pharmaceuticals this year became the first ever to initiate clinical trials of a cannabis-based epilepsy treatment. The drug is called Epidiolex and is a liquid extract high in the non-psychoactive marijuana chemical called cannabidiol (CBD).
Initial results are expected early 2014 and, if successful, may not just bring relief to thousands of children across the U.S for whom traditional medicines don’t work. In fact, clinical evidence that cannabis extract helps in paedetric epilepsy could very well lead to the rescheduling of cannabis under U.S. federal law.
Read more: New Cannabis Drug Approved For Trials In Children With Epilepsy
2. Scientists show that various chemicals in marijuana can kill leukemia cells
Evidence that marijuana can kill cancer cells has also existed for decades. But this year, research from the University of London revealed something very interesting.
Using leukemia cell lines, the study identified the cancer-fighting potential of a number of lesser known, non-psychoactive chemicals in marijuana.
Unlike THC, the compounds that were used in the study – cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabigevarin (CBGV) – can’t get patients high. Significant media attention was paid to this point. On the other hand, it’s doubtful that getting high is a major concern of anyone battling cancer.
Read more: Cannabinoids Destroy Leukemia Cells, New Study Finds
3. First clinical trials of marijuana for brain cancer begin in the UK
On top of breakthroughs in non-psychoactive cannabis treatments, 2013 also marked the launch of the first ever human trials of cannabis-based cancer medicine.
In November, GW Pharmaceuticals announced the start of Phase 1b/2a clinical trials of their pharmaceutical cannabis spray, Sativex, as an add-on treatment for aggressive brain cancer. The two-part trial involves giving Sativex to 20 patients with recurrent gliobastoma multiforme, in addition to the standard chemotherapy drug temozolomide.
While THC and CBD have both been shown to kill cancer cells on their own, some research suggests that combining marijuana compounds with traditional chemotherapy drugs can have even greater anti-cancer effects.
Read more: Cannabis Treatment For Brain Cancer Begins First Human Trials
4. Researchers show that marijuana can help cigarette smokers quit
Marijuana may not just be a safer recreational drug than cigarettes, but apparently it can also help cigarette smokers quit. The first human study to investigate this was conducted at the University College London, with the results published September this year.
The small, placebo-controlled trial involved the non-psychoactive marijuana compound CBD administered via vaporizer, which subjects were instructed to use whenever they felt the urge to smoke.
After one week of treatment, those who received actual CBD showed a 40% reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked, compared to the placebo group. The researchers concluded that the results were promising, but since the study only involved 24 subjects, larger studies are still needed.
Read more: Can Marijuana Help You Quit Cigarettes? Study Says Yes
5. Scientists provide first clinical evidence that marijuana helps in Crohn’s disease
In May, researchers out of Israel published results from the first human study investigating smoked medical marijuana as a treatment for Crohn’s disease. While the study was rather small, only 11 patients were involved, daily doses of medical marijuana led to complete remission in 5 of the patients.
Medical marijuana also helped patients wean themselves from dependency on steroid-based medications and improved their appetite and sleep, with “no significant side effects.”
While the study focused mostly on symptom measurements, the results may also support earlier findings from animal studies showing that compounds in marijuana can actually treat the underlying cause of Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
Read more: Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study.
6. Scientists provide first clinical evidence that marijuana helps in Parkinson’s disease
With animal and cell culture studies suggesting that marijuana may slow the progression of Parkinson’s, it was only a matter of time until human research was conducted.
Thankfully, Israeli researchers also published the first ever human study of medical marijuana for Parkinson’s this year. Although only 20 patients were involved, the results showed clear improvements in symptoms of tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia.
Patients also reported a dramatic reduction in pain associated with their disease, which led to improvements in sleep. Overall, measurements of disease severity taken after patients smoked medical marijuana showed a significant decline that lasted for around 2 to 3 hours.
Read more: Smoking Pot Eases Tremors in Parkinson’s
7. Harvard study shows smoking marijuana may make you skinnier and reduce the risk of diabetes
This year, an observational study involving over 4,600 adults, conducted at Harvard University, revealed a rather surprising link between marijuana use and slimmer waist lines.
Although suggested before, the link still seems counter-intuitive, since marijuana isn’t known for reducing food intake, but rather the opposite. Indeed, other studies suggest that marijuana users have a significantly higher calorie intake than non-users.
However, the Harvard study also found lower levels of insulin blood levels and insulin resistance among marijuana users, as well as higher levels of the ‘good’ type of cholesterol (HDL), all of which are believed to lower the risk of diabetes.
Considering the newest data, the researchers concluded that while marijuana is well known for stimulating a desire for unhealthy foods, it may have some less obvious metabolic effects that could be healthy in the long run.
Read more: Marijuana: The Next Diabetes Drug?
Di Salvatore Santoru
Peter Brabeck Letmathe è l'attuale amministratore delegato della Nestlè, la più grande corporation nel settore dell'alimentazione .
In un'intervista del 2005 apparsa sul documentario " We Feed the World ", affermò praticamente che quello all'acqua non si poteva considerare un diritto per gli esseri umani, dichiarando che l'acqua non è altro che un prodotto commerciale, e per questo è lecito che venga privatizzata e quindi detenuta in poche mani .
Le sue testuali parole sono :
" La questione su cui riflettere è bisogna o no privatizzare l'acqua ? Si scontrano due punti di vista, su ciò, il primo che definirei estremo è rappresentato dalle ONG per le quali l'accesso all'acqua dovrebbe essere nazionalizzato, in altre parole tutti gli esseri umani devono avere accesso all'acqua.
Questa è una soluzione estrema, e l'altro che dice che l'acqua è un prodotto alimentare e come tutti i prodotti alimentari ha un valore di mercato " .
Continua Letmathe : " è preferibile, secondo me dare sempre un valore a un prodotto cosicchè tutti noi siamo coscienti che tale prodotto ha un valore e che si possano attuare delle misure adeguate " .
Come riporta la sua pagina di Wikipedia, Letmathe è anche membro del consiglio di amministrazione della compagnia petrolifera ExxonMobil, di proprietà dei Rockefeller, una delle più potenti famiglie di banchieri e industriali internazionali .
Interessante è sentire il famoso discorso all'ONU di David Rockefeller, in cui il famigerato banchiere e petroliere afferma che essendoci sempre meno risorse da sfruttare, praticamente bisogna dimezzare la popolazione .
Letmathe è anche membro del consiglio di amministrazione di Credit Suisse e dell' Oreal, una delle più grandi multinazionali specializzate in cosmetici e altri prodotti di bellezza .
L'industriale è anche membro del consiglio di fondazione del " World Economic Forum " e membro della European Round Table of Industrialists, una lobby fondata nel 1983 che riunisce i più grandi manager delle multinazionali con sede in Europa e che ha una forte influenza sulle decisioni economiche prese dall'UE .
Ha anche partecipato alle riunioni del Bilderberg, il meeting che riunisce le più potenti personalità dell'alta finanza,della grande industria e della politica, e il cui obiettivo è la costruzione di un'unico governo mondiale guidato dai potentati finanziari e industriali .
Inoltre,come rivelato dall'agenzia di news " Bloomberg ", ultimamente la Nestlè ha anche lavorato con i Rothschild per studiare la vendita di asset in Sud America .
Letmathe ha fatto capire a che cosa sta lavorando l'elitè mondiale : un mondo basato sulla mercificazione totale dell'essere umano e di ciò che lo circonda, schiavo della dittatura del denaro e del potere di pochi oligarchi che per mezzo di esso esercitano il loro immenso potere sul resto dell'umanità .
Published in the December 2013 issue of Epilepsy & Behavior, the survey compiled responses from 18 parents who had turned to CBD (cannabidiol)-rich cannabis extract to treat their child's severe epilepsy.
Of those surveyed, 83% indicated a reduction in their child's seizure frequency. Parents reported little to no side-effects of cannabis treatment, and, in some cases, a reduction in seizure frequency of up to 80%.
Thirteen of the children suffered from Dravet syndrome, four had Doose syndrome, one had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and one had idiopathic epilepsy.
The study was led by postdoctoral fellow Catherine Jacobson, PhD, who believes in spite of the study's obvious weaknesses, that the results still support CBD-rich cannabis as an effective epilepsy medicine.
"Even given the caveats of the study, which are big, I believe that CBD will work for some children that are currently still seizing despite their trials of available anti-seizure drugs."
Dr. Jacobson says she was inspired to conduct the study by her own search for a treatment that could help her epileptic son. After hearing that some parents were having success using CBD-rich cannabis, she reviewed the literature and found research dating back to the 1970s that supported the anecdotes.
And while medical marijuana is legal in her home state of California, Dr. Jacobson believes that more research needs to be done in order for CBD to be widely accepted and available.
"Now the work begins, though, to find out which types of epilepsy it's going to help, how CBD interacts with other anti-seizure drugs, and what really are the side-effects?"
CBD remains strictly prohibited as a Schedule I drug, making it difficult for parents in many states to access the treatment. However, significant progress has been made in the past year towards achieving federal recognition of CBD as a medicine.
In fact, Dr. Jacobson is now part of a team at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) that is leading clinical investigations on a high-grade CBD extract developed by GW Pharmaceuticals.
Just last month, the company announced that it had received FDA approval to begin experimental treatments with the new drug, Epidiolex, in epileptic children.
Research is being led by Roberta Cilio, MD, PhD at UCSF and Orrin Devinsky, MD at the NYU School of Medicine, and initial results are expected.
GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it has been issued a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent Office for a patent application involving the use of THC and CBD, the two main chemicals in marijuana, for treating gliomas.
Once a patent application is deemed a genuine invention, the Patent Office sends a Notice of Allowance that outlines the fees involved with final approval.
Specifically, the company provides this description of the patent:
"The subject patent specifically covers a method for treating glioma in a human using a combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) wherein the cannabinoids are in a ratio of from 1:1 to 1:20 (THC:CBD) with the intent to reduce cell viability, inhibit cell growth or reduce tumor volume."
Filed in 2009, GW's patent application lists Otsuka Pharmaceutical as a collaborator and initially claimed the invention of the "use of a combination of cannabinoids in the manufacture of a medicament for use in the treatment of cancer."
However, it's likely that the application was revised since then to be more specific in its claims, including the ratio of THC to CBD used and the type of cancer treated.
Indeed, the use of cannabis and cannabis-derived chemicals to fight a wide range of cancers has long been suggested by pre-clinical research as well as anecdotal reports.
On the other hand, the first clinical trial to investigate these cancer treatments only began in november 2013, launched by GW Pharmaceuticals for their cannabis drug Sativex.
The trial investigates Sativex in combination with the standard chemotherapy drug temozolomide, and involves 20 patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive and rare form of brain cancer.
GW Pharmaceuticals also announced in November 2013 that it had begun human trials of a CBD-rich cannabis drug for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy.