Ask the Doctor: Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana is the focus of tonight's Ask the Doctor segment.
Medical marijuana is the focus of tonight's Ask the Doctor segment. Dr. James Forsythe, of Century Wellness Clinic, is taking your calls between 5-6pm. To speak with him, dial 858-2222. For future questions, go to http://www.drforsythe.com/
(From the National Institute on Drug Abuse)
How might cannabinoids be useful as medicine?
Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical interest are THC and CBD.
THC increases appetite and reduces nausea. The FDA-approved THC-based medications are used for these purposes. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.
CBD is a cannabinoid that does not affect the mind or behavior. It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.
NIH-funded and other researchers are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment.
Photo of a young male and female scientist.
For instance, recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that treatment with purified extracts of THC and CBD, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation (Scott, 2014).
Scientists are also conducting preclinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts to treat numerous diseases and conditions, such as the following:
autoimmune diseases (diseases that weaken the immune system): HIV/AIDS
multiple sclerosis (MS), which causes gradual loss of muscle control
Alzheimer's disease, which causes loss of brain function, affecting memory, thinking, and behavior
substance use disorders