Cannabidiol (CBD): THE MIRACLE DRUG? - by David Bearman, MD
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the over 65 cannabinoids found in cannabis. A cannabinoid is a 21 carbon molecule with a distinctive three dimension shape. Some of them have shown therapeutic value, as have the terpenes, which also give the plant its odor. CBD has an enormous range of therapeutic effects. It can relieve convulsions, inflammation, anxiety and nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth.
We know that THC, CBN, CBD and other cannabinoids found in cannabis bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors just as do the brains own naturally occurring cannabinoids , Anadamide (AEA) and 2- arachidonolglyceral (2 AG ).CBD (cannabidiol) is a major therapeutic constituent of the cannabis plant, and is a non-psychoactive (e.g. does not contribute to euphoria ) cannabinoid. Because of the unique combined effect of the various components of the plant, sometimes referred to as the entourage effect, the federal government should promote studies on cannabis and its constituents rather than rewarding those who stand in the way of doing university based botanical research on the medicinal agents in cannabis.
“CBD is demonstrated to antagonize some undesirable effects of THC including intoxication, sedation and tachycardia, while contributing analgesic, anti-emetic effect, and CBD has anti-carcinogenic properties in its own right. In modern clinical trials, this has permitted the administration of higher doses of THC, providing evidence for clinical efficacy and safety for cannabis based extracts in treatment of spasticity, central pain and lower urinary tract symptoms in multiple sclerosis, as well as sleep disturbances, peripheral neuropathic pain, brachial plexus avulsion symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis and intractable cancer pain.
Unlike delta9-THC, cannabidiol can be administered at relatively high doses without undesired toxic or psychological effects. One high dose CBD study showed that cannabidiol at a concentration of 10 uM was neuroprotective against both excitatory transmitter (glutamate) and oxidant (hydroperoxide) induced neurotoxicity.
Prospects for future application of whole cannabis extracts in neuroprotection, drug dependency, and neoplastic disorders are being researched. The hypothesis that the combination of THC and CBD increases clinical efficacy while reducing adverse events is supported.”
“Marijuana is an effective medical treatment and is neither addictive nor a gateway drug.”
- Institute of Medicine Study, 1999
Sadly the Obama administration is continuing the anti-science approach of the Bush administration. In early 2011, Bush holdover and acting head of the DEA, Michelle Leonhard was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the DEA. Just a year earlier she had denied the request by Dr. Lyle Craker of Professor of Botany at University of Massachusetts , for a federal license to grow cannabis for botanical research. That decision was in the face of a 100-plus page recommendation by the Chief DEA Administrative Law Judge Judy Bittner favoring allowing Dr. Craker to get a cannabis grow license which would allow him to grow his own strains so he could proceed with the research. Here is a thumbnail sketch of some of the therapeutic uses of CBD.
In 1949 the first modern study on the medicinal use of cannabis was done. It demonstrated impressive therapeutic evidence of decreasing the frequency of epileptic seizures. Recently Paul Consroe and colleagues in Brazil tested CBD as a treatment for intractable epilepsy. Patients stayed on the anticonvulsants they had been on (which hadn’t eliminated their seizures) and added 200 mg./day of CBD or a placebo. Over the course of several months of the seven patients getting CBD; three became seizure-free; one experienced only one or two seizures; and two experienced reduced severity and occurrence of seizures. Only one showed no improvement.
• Decrease Infarct Size
Cardiologists working with mice at Hebrew University have found that CBD treatment at the time of a heart attack can reduce infarct size by about 66%. Other cannabinoids may also contribute to this affect.
There have been numerous studies that demonstrate cannabis neuroprotective capabilities. Cannabinoids help preserve brain matter in stroke and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam developed a synthetic cannabionid dextrannabinol(?) which has been shown in basic science studies to help limit brain tissue death from decreased oxygenation in stroke and TBI.
Mechoulam characterized post-traumatic stress disorder, certain phobias and forms of chronic pain as “human situations which are conditioned” and might be amenable to treatment with CBD. “I know that many patients with PTSD take cannabis, self administered,” Mechoulam said. He has been trying to interest the Israeli Ministry of Health in testing CBD and THC at various ratios to treat PTSD.
Cannabis has been shown to be effective at inhibiting the growth of many cancers. CBD plays an important role in that effort. Other cannabinoids also contribute to cannabis’ anti neoplastic (anti-cancer) effect. Cannabis is an anti oxidant. It inhibits growth of new blood vessels and helps promote cell death (aptosis) for older cells. Older cells are the ones most likely to become cancerous. Cannabis selectively kills cancer cells and leaves healthy cells alone. It also has almost no toxicity. No other anti neoplastic agent can make that claim. Our awareness of the anti-neoplastic activity goes back at least to 1975 in an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Munson et.al. entitled “Anti neoplastic activity of cannabinoids” and another 1975 article by Carchi et.al. in Cancer Research.
Even more compelling is the work by noted UCLA pulmonologist Dr. Donald Tashkin. Tashkin has received numerous NIDA grants. In a 2005 NIDA funded study, Dr. Tashkin demonstrated that people who smoke marijuana are at a decreased risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers.
In 1974, a research team at the Medical College of Virginia (acting at the behest of the federal government) discovered that cannabis inhibited malignant tumor cell growth in culture and in mice. This study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1975. According to the study’s results, reported nationally in an August 18, 1974 Washington Post newspaper feature, administration of marijuana’s primary cannabinoid THC, “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell
A 2003 research paper by Dr. Manual Guzman of Complutense University in Madrid Spain entitled “Cannabinoids: Potential Anticancer Agents” described the results of his research on the brains of laboratory rats. This study found that the cannabinoids in cannabis inhibit tumor growth and are selective antitumor compounds, as they can kill tumor cells without affecting noncancerous cells.
In 2003, researchers at the University of Milan in Naples, Italy, reported that non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana inhibited the growth of glioma cells in a dose dependent manner and selectively targeted and killed malignant cancer cells.
• Pancreatic, Prostate, Heart, Skin, Lymphoma
In January 2008 investigators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health reported that the administration of cannabinoids halts the spread of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and lymphoma. The article did not address the effect of any one particular cannabinoid but addressed the anti-neoplstic effect of various cannabinoids.
In November 2007 it was reported that CBD reduces growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces their invasiveness. It thus represents the first non-toxic exogenous agent that can lead to down-regulation of tumor aggressieness.
Recent studies have shown cananbidiol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. The relationship or non-relationship of cannabis and schizophrenia is quite controversial. There is epidemiological evidence (Keene) that it has no effect. On the other hand there is a meta analysis (e.g. a rejiggering of data from several unrelated studies) that suggests a possible statistical association. There is NO evidence documenting a causal relationship.
The research on CBD is truly incredible. The interest in doing research on this chemical is high. There is great excitement as to the therapeutic potential of this and other Cannabinoids. One can only hope that we will see more state and federal funding for research on CBD, other Cannabinoids, alone and in combination and on cannabis itself. Dr. Craker’s proposed work should be strongly supported. If this botanical research is not done here, it will surely be done abroad. Once again, just as with the hemp industry, there will be an outsourcing of potential American jobs.
Who's Who in Medical Cannabis - Dr. Frank H. Lucido - by c.a. riley
Frank H. Lucido has been providing family and general health care at his present location in Berkeley since December 10, 1979. His practice includes primary care for patients older than 12 years. His patients know “Dr Frank” will generously spend time with them as their condition requires, and he will even make house calls when necessary.
Since establishing his practice in 1979, Dr Lucido has been affiliated with the Alta Bates Medical Center, also in Berkeley. He has served as a member of several working groups, and as Chairman of the Medical Education Committee. He has served also on the Family Practice Advisory Committee, and the Ethics Committee.
Since the 1996 passage of the California Compassionate Use Act, ‘Prop 215’, Dr. Lucido has become a prominent figure in the Bay Area medical cannabis community, conducting medical cannabis evaluations as well as lecturing and writing on the subject. He estimates he conducts about 900 cannabis consultations per year (including follow-up visits).
A number of times, Dr. Lucido has spoken to the Medical Board of California, and on several occasions the board has referred patients to him. His cannabis evaluation and recommendation letters are highly regarded by legal and court officials.
In his widely read Implementation of the Compassionate Use Act in a Family Medical Practice (co-authored with Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD), Dr Lucido meticulously defines practice standards. This groundbreaking work is intended to be a guide for other medical professionals evaluating and recommending patients for cannabis therapy.
After three decades in primary care medicine, Dr Frank has developed a deep sense of medical ethics. He has assisted several attorneys in defense of patients and physicians possessing or recommending cannabis within established guidelines.
Lucido founded Lucido Medical-Legal Consulting for patients and physicians in California and elsewhere. The group provides unassailable medical testimony for legal proceedings.
In 2004, Lucido founded MedicalBoardWatch.com to monitor actions against doctors who recommend cannabis to their patients.
Dr Lucido speaks on MC and practice standards. He likes to focus on speaking to fellow physicians in the hope of inspiring them to also recommend this safe, effective, and versatile medicine to their own patients.
Dr Lucido received his diploma from the University of Michigan in 1974 and went on to French Hospital in San Francisco where he finished his internship. He completed his Family Practice Residency at the University of California at Davis.
Frank Lucido’s attainments do not end there. He is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Association of Independent Medical-Legal Consultants, and is on the steering committee of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Lucido is a committed anti-nuclear activist.
In April, 2009, with Dr David Bearman and other researchers, Lucido formed the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine for the purposes of establishing board certification requirements for doctors recommending MC to their patients and to provide clinical expertise and legal assistance to them.
Dr Lucido also is well known as Angel Raich’s doctor in the 2005 precedent-setting case, Gonzales v. Raich.
Overall, Dr Lucido’s contribution to the advancement of cannabis therapy has been incredibly beneficial to patients and physicians alike. We cannot thank him enough.
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama
Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Connecticut: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Delaware: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Bill Status of SB1381
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Marijuana Bill Reaches House
Cannabis Compassion and Care Act
Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Bill Status of SB 627
Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law
New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.
New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act
Featured Recipe - 400 Watt Santana Soup
The morning dawns at 34 degrees with a biting northwest wind. The day promises to be one of paper sun and chill. Here is an antidote to the cold that is simple, delicious, and energizing. The backdrop to this soup extravaganza was Carlos Santana belting out "Persuasion" and "Fried Neckbones and Home Fries". Hey, Rock and Roll soup. Like Santana this soup has rhythm. In fact, it kicks butt.
4 pounds red potatoes
2 sweet yellow onions
1\2 pint heavy cream
1\2 pound sharp cheddar cheese- shredded
1-quart chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 tablespoons sweet dairy butter
3-4 tablespoons "secret forest glade" bud butter
1\2 pound bacon
3 tablespoons tawny Port (or more J
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Bring the chicken stock to a boil then simmer. Add the sprigs of fresh thyme. Wash, peel, and rough chop the potatoes. Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Caramelize (slow sauté) the onions (chopped) in the butter with salt and pepper. Add the onions and butter to the stock. Rinse the potatoes in cold water and add them to the stock. Slow simmer for two hours.
Add the tawny port, then the cream. Using a hand mixer (I call mine the "boat motor") blend the ingredients and simmer for another thirty minutes. Do NOT let the soup boil after the cream has been added! Add the cheddar cheese and blend once again.
Serve with crispy bacon and parsley as garnish. Yum!
Recommended beverage: 20-year-old Tawny Port if you can find and afford it. The taste and sweetness of good port really compliments the soup.
Hint: Serve with Green Garlic Toasted.