Cannabis Less Harmful Than Current Drug Therapies?

Many when faced with a serious illness fight for their life but ironically are prescribed medications that in fact not only cause harm but also are capable of taking their life.  Many prescription side effects are quite lengthy.  Those that are on prescriptions long-term end up requiring even more medication down the line to combat the side effects from the first drug.  With all that in mind patients are looking for a safer alternative solution.

From cancers to anxiety many prescribed therapies are not only dangerous but can cause death.  Chemotherapy has come a long way from the early days but it is still a drug that ravages the body.  By contrast research has shown that cannabinoid therapies induce programmed cell death in cancerous cells.  Cannabinoids as is widely known are praised for their ability to alleviate without any reported deaths throughout its historic, several thousand year use.

Although the official stance from the government is that cannabis has no accepted medical value science tells us otherwise.  Below you will see a study that weighs the harm of accepted drug therapies such as opioids.  As always I encourage all to do their own research and please feel free to share ~ Cherry Girl

Prescribing Cannabis For Harm Reduction 2012
Neuropathic pain affects between 5% and 10% of the US population and can be refractory to treatment. Opioids may be recommended as a second-line pharmacotherapy but have risks including overdose and death. Cannabis has been shown to be effective for treating nerve pain without the risk of fatal poisoning. The author suggests that physicians who treat neuropathic pain with opioids should evaluate their patients for a trial of cannabis and prescribe it when appropriate prior to using opioids. This harm reduction strategy may reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with prescription pain medications.

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A Natural Choice For Pain Management

Most people do not know what it is like to be in pain every day but for the millions of Americans that do it can be difficult to live with.  When you wake up and go to sleep in pain it wears on you.  It can cause depression to set in.  When the pain is constant people seek out relief but sometimes find there is no easy answer.

Many seek help from traditional medicine only to find that it is costly, makes symptoms worse or causes unwanted side effects.   Pain management is a booming industry.  America is addicted to pain medications.  15,000 people in 2008 died from overdoses of legal prescription painkillers — more than died from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined.

But there is a natural way to relieve pain and modern science is slowly figuring out what millions already know.  Cannabis is not a new designer drug but has been around for thousands of years.  It was once used medicinally for a myriad of reasons.  With prohibitions for the last 75 years it has been difficult for science to unravel the mysteries.  Below you will see studies that show how cannabis can help with pain management.  Please Share with truth about the CURE!

Cannabinoid Receptors and Pain
The discovery of this ‘endocannabinoid system’ has prompted the development of a range of novel cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, including several that show marked selectivity for CB(1) or CB(2) receptors. The endocannabinoid system has physiological and/or pathophysiological roles in the modulation of pain.”
Cannabinoid receptors and pain.
Pertwee RG. SourceDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, AB25 2ZD, Scotland, Aberdeen, UK. rgp@aberdeen.ac.uk

Abstract
Mammalian tissues contain at least two types of cannabinoid receptor, CB(1) and CB(2), both coupled to G proteins. CB(1) receptors are expressed mainly by neurones of the central and peripheral nervous system whereas CB(2) receptors occur centrally and peripherally in certain non-neuronal tissues, particularly in immune cells. The existence of endogenous ligands for cannabinoid receptors has also been demonstrated. The discovery of this ‘endocannabinoid system’ has prompted the development of a range of novel cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, including several that show marked selectivity for CB(1) or CB(2) receptors. It has also been paralleled by a renewed interest in cannabinoid-induced antinociception. This review summarizes current knowledge about the ability of cannabinoids to produce antinociception in animal models of acute pain as well as about the ability of these drugs to suppress signs of tonic pain induced in animals by nerve damage or by the injection of an inflammatory agent. Particular attention is paid to the types of pain against which cannabinoids may be effective, the distribution pattern of cannabinoid receptors in central and peripheral pain pathways and the part that these receptors play in cannabinoid-induced antinociception. The possibility that antinociception can be mediated by cannabinoid receptors other than CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, for example CB(2)-like receptors, is also discussed as is the evidence firstly that one endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide, produces antinociception through mechanisms that differ from those of other types of cannabinoid, for example by acting on vanilloid receptors, and secondly that the endocannabinoid system has physiological and/or pathophysiological roles in the modulation of pain.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11164622 

The Future of Cannabinoids As Analgesic Agents: A Pharmacologic, Pharmacokinetic, and Pharmacodynamic Overview
Cannabinoid receptor agonists and/or molecules that affect the modulation of endocannabinoid synthesis, metabolism, and transport may, in the future, offer extremely valuable tools for the treatment of a number of currently intractable disorders.”— So, in the future, cannabis will be an “extremely valuable tool for treating a number of currently intractable disorders.
The future of cannabinoids as analgesic agents: a pharmacologic, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic overview. McCarberg BH, Barkin RL. SourceFamily Medicine Kaiser Permanente, Escondido, California, USA. Bill.H.Mccarberg@kp.org

Abstract
For thousands of years, physicians and their patients employed cannabis as a therapeutic agent. Despite this extensive historical usage, in the Western world, cannabis fell into disfavor among medical professionals because the technology available in the 1800s and early 1900s did not permit reliable, standardized preparations to be developed. However, since the discovery and cloning of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the 1990s, scientific interest in the area has burgeoned, and the complexities of this fascinating receptor system, and its endogenous ligands, have been actively explored. Recent studies reveal that cannabinoids have a rich pharmacology and may interact with a number of other receptor systems-as well as with other cannabinoids-to produce potential synergies. Cannabinoids-endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids-affect numerous bodily functions and have indicated efficacy of varying degrees in a number of serious medical conditions. Nevertheless, despite promising preclinical and early clinical data, particularly in the areas of inflammation and nociception, development challenges abound. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other CB1 receptor agonists can have an undesirable CNS impact, and, in many cases, dose optimization may not be realizable before onset of excessive side effects. In addition, complex botanically derived cannabinoid products must satisfy the demanding criteria of the U.S. Food and Drug Association’s approval process. Recent agency guidance suggests that these obstacles are not insurmountable, although cannabis herbal material (“medical marijuana”) may present fatal uncertainties of quality control and dosage standardization. Therefore, formulation, composition, and delivery system issues will affect the extent to which a particular cannabinoid product may have a desirable risk-benefit profile and acceptable abuse liability potential. Cannabinoid receptor agonists and/or molecules that affect the modulation of endocannabinoid synthesis, metabolism, and transport may, in the future, offer extremely valuable tools for the treatment of a number of currently intractable disorders. Further research is warranted to explore the therapeutic potential of this area.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890938

Role of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Pain and (Painful) Spasticity
In chronic pain and (painful) spasticity, an increasing number of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown the efficacy of cannabinoids. Patients with unsatisfactory response to other methods of pain therapy and who were characterized by failed stress adaptation particularly benefited from treatment with cannabinoids. Different methods of administration and other types of cannabinoids, such as endocannabinoid modulators, should be tested in future trials.
Role of cannabinoids in the treatment of pain and (painful) spasticity.
Karst M, Wippermann S, Ahrens J. SourceDepartment of Anaesthesiology, Pain Clinic, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. karst.matthias@mh-hannover.de

Abstract
Both the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its role in the control of pain and habituation to stress, as well as the significant analgesic and antihyperalgesic effects in animal studies, suggest the usefulness of cannabinoids in pain conditions. However, in human experimental or clinical trials, no convincing reduction of acute pain, which may be caused by a pronociceptive, ECS-triggered mechanism on the level of the spinal cord, has been demonstrated. In contrast, in chronic pain and (painful) spasticity, an increasing number of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown the efficacy of cannabinoids, which is combined with a narrow therapeutic index. Patients with unsatisfactory response to other methods of pain therapy and who were characterized by failed stress adaptation particularly benefited from treatment with cannabinoids. None of the attempts to overcome the disadvantage of the narrow therapeutic index, either by changing the route of application or by formulating balanced cannabinoid preparations, have resulted in a major breakthrough. Therefore, different methods of administration and other types of cannabinoids, such as endocannabinoid modulators, should be tested in future trials.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21142261

The Role of Endocannabinoids in Pain Modulation and the Therapeutic Potential of Inhibiting Their Enzymatic Degradation
The EndoCANNABINOID SYSTEM modulates pain. Cannabinoids inhibit FAAH and MAGL.
The Role of Endocannabinoids in Pain Modulation and the Therapeutic Potential of Inhibiting their Enzymatic Degradation. Alvarez-Jaimes LJ, Palmer JA. SourceJohnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC, 3210 Merryfield Row,San Diego, CA 92121, USA. jpalmer9@its.jnj.co.

Abstract
The need for new pain therapies that provide greater relief without unwanted side-effects drives the search for new drug targets. The identification of endogenous lipid ligands for the two known cannabinoid receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)) has led to numerous studies investigating the role of these endocannabinoids in pain processes. The two most widely studied endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA; arachidonoyl ethanolamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2 AG), but there are also a number of structurally related endogenous lipid signaling molecules that are agonists at cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptors. These lipid signaling molecules are not stored in synaptic vesicles, but are synthesized and released on-demand and act locally, as they are rapidly inactivated. This suggests that there may be therapeutic potential in modulating levels of these ligands to only have effects in active neural pathways, thereby reducing the potential for side-effects that result from widespread systemic cannabinoid receptor activation. One approach to modulate the levels and duration of action of these lipid signaling molecules is to target the enzymes responsible for their hydrolysis. The two main enzymes responsible for hydrolysis of these lipid signaling molecules are fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglyceride lipase (MGL). This article will discuss the role of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of pain and will review the current understanding of the properties of the hydrolytic enzymes and the recent advances in developing inhibitors for these targets, with particular relevance to the treatment of pain.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21466449

Cannabinoids For Pain Management
Cannabinoids have been used for thousands of years to provide relief from suffering. Adverse effects are not uncommon with cannabinoids, though most are not serious and self-limiting. In view of the limited effect size and low but not inconsequential risk of serious adverse events, cannabinoids should be employed as analgesics only when safer and more effective medication trials have failed, or as part of a multimodal treatment regimen-In other words: Cannabinoids, which are safe and effective for pain, should only be used after you’ve tried all of Big Phama’s failed drugs, or in combination with Big Pharma.
Cannabinoids for pain management. Thaler A, Gupta A, Cohen SP.
SourcePain Management Division, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 21029, USA.

Abstract
Cannabinoids have been used for thousands of years to provide relief from suffering, but only recently have they been critically evaluated in clinical trials. This review provides an in-depth examination of the evidence supporting cannabinoids in various pain states, along with an overview of potential adverse effects. In summary, there is strong evidence for a moderate analgesic effect in peripheral neuropathic and central pain conditions, and conflicting evidence for their use in nociceptive pain. For spasticity, most controlled studies demonstrate significant improvement. Adverse effects are not uncommon with cannabinoids, though most are not serious and self-limiting. In view of the limited effect size and low but not inconsequential risk of serious adverse events, cannabinoids should be employed as analgesics only when safer and more effective medication trials have failed, or as part of a multimodal treatment regimen.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21508629

The Role of Central and Peripheral Cannabinoid1 Receptors In the Antihyperalgesic Activity of Cannabinoids In A Model of Neuropathic Pain 
These data show that cannabinoids are highly potent and efficacious antihyperalgesic agents in a model of neuropathic pain. This activity is likely to be mediated via an action in both the CNS and in the periphery.
The role of central and peripheral Cannabinoid1 receptors in the antihyperalgesic activity of cannabinoids in a model of neuropathic pain.
Fox A, Kesingland A, Gentry C, McNair K, Patel S, Urban L, James I.
SourceNovartis Institute for Medical Sciences, 5 Gower Place, WC1E 6BN, London, UK. alyson.fox@pharma.novartis.com

Abstract
We have examined the effects of cannabinoid agonists on hyperalgesia in a model of neuropathic pain in the rat and investigated the possible sites of action. The antihyperalgesic activity of the cannabinoids was compared with their ability to elicit behavioural effects characteristic of central cannabinoid activity. WIN55,212-2 (0.3-10 mg kg(-1)), CP-55,940 (0.03-1 mg kg(-1)) and HU-210 (0.001-0.03 mg kg(-1)) were all active in a ‘tetrad’ of tests consisting of tail-flick, catalepsy, rotarod and hypothermia following subcutaneous administration, with a rank order of potency in each of HU-210 > CP-55,940 > WIN55,212-2. The effects of WIN55,212-2 in each assay were blocked by the Cannabinoid1 (CB1) antagonist SR141716A. In the partial sciatic ligation model of neuropathic pain WIN55,212-2, CP-55,940 and HU-210 produced complete reversal of mechanical hyperalgesia within 3 h of subcutaneous administration with D50 values of 0.52, 0.08 and 0.005 mg kg(-1), respectively. In this model WIN55,212-2 was also effective against thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia. WIN55,212-2 produced pronounced reversal of mechanical hyperalgesia following intrathecal administration that was blocked by the CB1 antagonist SR141716A. Following intraplantar administration into the ipsilateral hindpaw, WIN55,212-2 produced up to 70% reversal of mechanical hyperalgesia, although activity was also observed at high doses following injection into the contralateral paw. The antihyperalgesic effect of WIN55,212-2 injected into the ipsilateral paw was blocked by subcutaneously administered SR141716A, but was not affected by intrathecally administered SR141716A. These data show that cannabinoids are highly potent and efficacious antihyperalgesic agents in a model of neuropathic pain. This activity is likely to be mediated via an action in both the CNS and in the periphery.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11323130

 

Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists As Analgesic Agents
Increasing data emerging from controlled clinical trials support an analgesic activity of cannabinoids. However, the psychotropic side effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol or synthetic derivatives essentially puts a brake on their use.”– In other words: Cannabinoids CURE pain, but we cannot have THe Cure because of the side-effects of THC, such as euphoria (feeling good), increased appetite, and temporary memory loss.
Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptor agonists as analgesic agents.
Fox A, Bevan S. SourceNovartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Chronic Pain Unit, 5 Gower Place, London WC1E 6BS, UK. alyson.fox@.novartis.com

Abstract
Increasing data emerging from controlled clinical trials support an analgesic activity of cannabinoids. However, the psychotropic side effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol or synthetic derivatives essentially puts a brake on their use, possibly limiting the degree of analgesia that can be achieved as well as providing regulatory hurdles. Animal studies show that although these side effects are mediated via central cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptors, the analgesic activity in chronic pain states may be mediated via spinal CB(1) and potentially CB(2) receptors, as well as peripheral CB(1) and CB2 receptors on sensory nerves or immune cells. The design of novel compounds that either specifically target peripheral CB(1) receptors or display high selectivity for CB(2) receptors may offer avenues for harnessing the analgesic effect of CB receptor agonists while avoiding the central adverse events seen with cannabinoid structures. Clinical trials with such compounds are required to determine whether either approach can provide the level of analgesia required to fulfil the unmet medical need left by current therapies for chronic pain.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16004597


Medical Marijuana Strain and Effects Chart

Strain Type Medical Effects Medical Condition
Strong Indica Pain relief,  relief from insomnia, calming, appetite,  anti-anxiety Cancer, Aids, high anxiety, panic attacks, pain, fibromyalgia
Indica Relaxing, moderate pain relief, soothes anxiety symptoms Mild anxiety, stomach ailments, insomnia, appetite
Indica Dominant Some pain relief, mildly awake, moderate anti-anxiety Mild pain, slight insomnia, anxiety
Sativa Dominant Mildly uplifting, moderately relaxing, migraine relief Some depression, stomach ailments, MS symptoms, appetite
Sativa Awake, busy, mind clearing, happy, upbeat Mild depression, stomach ailments, mild MS, appetite
Strong Sativa Uplifting, motivating, brainy, euphoric,  anti-depressant Chronic migraines, depression, multiple sclerosis
CBD is a known active ingredient in marijuana.  It is known to have pain relief effects without the psychoactive properties of THC.  Meaning that you can get the pain relief you’re looking for without the high feeling.