Many of our members have expressed an interest in using THC and CBD and Marijuana for various reasons. There is a lot of side talk and there is no doubt we have users, and others that are probably thinking about it as Medical Marijuana is becoming legal State by State. There is a lot of mis-information, related to cancer. So I prepared a little primer below:
Cannabis has been used for centuries. The Egyptians used it to treat Glaucoma and it was also used as an anti-inflammatory. They had their own form of Obstetrics, and they mixed/ground the leaves of the plant with Honey which they applied to the Vagina. There is truly one account of God instructing Moses to make a Holy Anointing using olive oil. In Hebrew Cannabis is referred to by the Hebrew Words--->Kaneh Bosm. [So is Cannabis Kosher?]
Cannabis has over 400 chemicals 80 of which have been identified as Cannabinoid Components, and over 200 compounds that are Non-Cannabinoids. For Medical purposes, Cannabinoids such as THC[Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol],CBD[Cannabidol], and other substances such as Polyphenols, and Terpenes. Notice THC is--binol and CBD is--bidol--the spellings are close. But the workings in the body are different. Recreational use Cannabis contains higher THC and lower CBD, for that High State, which I enjoyed in the 1960's. Medical use Cannabis has less THC. Usually 2 Cannabis Plants are used: Cannabis Sativa which is higher in THC and Cannabis Indica which has a higher CBD concentration. Humans have Cannabinoid Receptors! Type 1 [CB1] is mainly found in the brain. Type 2 [CB2] is usually found in the immune system and the bones. THC mainly works on CB-1 Receptors, and CBD works on CB-2 Receptors.
In Vitro studies with THC have shown that Cannabinoids affect migration, Angiogenesis and Apoptosis[programmed cell death] of Cancer Cells. But each type of cancer seems to respond differently to the effect of Exogenous Cannabinoids. Many types of cancer have a higher concentration of CB-1 and CB-2 Receptors and some are lower.
Uses of cannabis in cancer pain has been used for a few decades, but for overall pain it has been used for centuries. Old Pharmacy Dictionaries[Pharmacopoeia],note its use for acute pain. But for Post-Op pain it is not as effective. It seems when used with opioids there are modest benefits. Now we are talking here very severe pain. Interesting, probably based on where the receptors are---> there are about 30 studies where Cannabinoids were very effective for Neuropathic Pain--and many of us with Pca do discover one day we have Neuropathy. Studies have shown THC to be very effective in eliminating Nausea and vomiting due to Chemo. Cannabinoids have a pretty good effect on Appetite-- especially with Cachexia patients, which are hard cases. People with or without cancer have increased Appetites--->we use to call it getting the munchies.
In both in vitro and in vivo studies[Mouse Studies], have shown antiproliferative, anti-metastatic, anti-angiogenic and pro-apoptotic effects of Cannabinoids in various Malignancies[Lung, Glioma, Thyroid, Lymphoma, Skin, Pancreas, Breast and Prostate]. ***Cannabis has never been clinically studied for malignancy. And Never Will! Researchers would want to identify 1 or 2 chemicals out of 400, and modify by adding an OH group, a CH3 Group, or an NO2 group to create a new compound that does the same thing as the identified compound so to patent something.There is no money for this. You chemists out there understand. We are left with the Mouse Studies and Anecdotal evidence of thousands of individuals. It is important that men know that if they are taking Coumarin or other blood thinners, this could be dangerous, by increasing bleeding There are so many types of Cannabis Oils with different amounts of CBD and THC--->this makes it almost impossible for a patient to make a choice for best benefits.
For the science students, I will do a small part 2 regarding De Novo Synthesis of Ceramide and Sphingolipid, and the participation of Endocannabinoid[ECS]. For most readers the above should suffice, and will probably create some conversations.