So many drugs are developed, not because they have a great medical need, but because they can make a lot of money. In many cases, there are methods and drugs of holistic medicine that can replace synthetic pharmaceuticals in any quantity.
Cannabis is one of these types of treatments, and, according to Dr. Gedda, “the time has come to ask questions and look at a new understanding of this plant.”
Dr. Gedde is the owner and founder of the Colorado-based Gedde Whole Health organization and the Clinical Institute of Marijuana Preparations.
“Honestly, I never thought that I would be in this sphere,” she says . “I studied pathology and research at the medical institute and worked for many years in a research laboratory.
I wrote both master’s and doctoral works in biophysical chemistry. I received training at Stanford, and then I worked in the pharmaceutical industry. I had no idea that cannabis is a medicine. ”
Extensive research shows that cannabis herb really has a serious perspective as a medicinal plant, mainly due to its cannabidiol (CBD) content.
Cannabinoids interact with the body through natural cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout the body.
There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, the immune system, and many other organs.
Both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of cannabis are manifested when the cannabinoid activates the cannabinoid receptor.
Creating a medical practice in the field of medical cannabis
About 10 years ago, Dr. Gedde opened her own medical practice with a focus on non-pharmaceutical alternative treatments. But it was not until 2009 that she discovered medical cannabis.
“Then this whole topic has come to Colorado. I began to look for opportunities to include recommendations on medical cannabis in my practice.
What the patients started telling me really amazed me. I began to hear about all the benefits and lack of cannabis toxicity.
I learned about the endocannabinoid system and it helped me to understand that it can really be effective without being toxic. ”
About two years ago, parents first came to her who wanted to use a form of cannabis with a high content of cannabidiol (CBD) and a low content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to treat their child with epileptic seizures.
“I went further and began to learn how this can help. Now, two years later, the news that cannabis treats epilepsy has become known to the whole world, I think.
We take very seriously the collection of relevant information about what is happening with these children, and we try to bring it to other doctors so that they can understand it and use it in their practice.
We want to collect qualitative data from the practice and our experience that can be published. We want to help people understand the origin and scientific basis of the action of cannabis, so that they really begin to understand: this is a medicine, and use it in medicine, ”she says .
Basic cannabis Information
The cannabis plant contains cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both have healing properties, but, unlike THC, which has a psychotropic effect and causes a state of “obkurennost”, CBD does not have this effect. The whole plant also has many terpenes, which also have healing properties.
Thanks to traditional plant breeding and seed exchange, manufacturers began to grow cannabis plants for medical use – with higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. Dr. Allan Frenkel, a California Certified Public Therapist who treats patients with medical cannabis, works with a number of strains that are rich in CBD.
Currently, CBD is a Scheduled 1 controlled substance, which means:
- A drug or other substance with a high risk of abuse.
- The drug or other substance is not currently approved for US medical use.
- There are no approved data on the safety of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
Without a doubt, the assignment of CBD to this group needs to be revised, since each of these three points is blatantly wrong.
“I believe that it is necessary to defend this issue at the federal level,” says Dr. Gedde . “Prove the need to revise the attribution of cannabis to groups of medicinal substances.
She is now included in List I – very hazardous substances. According to its actual safety and toxicity profile, it should be much lower in the list. If it is excluded from the List 1, then three important things will happen:
- Doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana. Doctors will be able to help their patients get exactly what they need without forcing them to look for their own source, which is potentially fraught with all kinds of situations.
- Doctors will be able to conduct real clinical trials. It is impossible to conduct an approved human study if the substance, according to the federal government, is very dangerous. It is forbidden. And if you take cannabis to another list, then doctors will be able to engage in actual clinical research, which is now banned.
- Potentially, we could receive insurance coverage for cannabis, which would be of great importance for people who need its medicinal properties. ”
She also suggests talking to state legislators. Currently, medical cannabis is legalized in 23 states. 11 more states have been considering this issue since 2015.
The perception begins to change and many begin to recognize the medical value of cannabis. Even the US Secretary of Health recently expressed support for medical cannabis.
His statement reflects growing sentiments in the medical and scientific community that health benefits of cannabis can no longer be ignored. However, there are still many obstacles, and in many states the use of marijuana is strictly prohibited, even for terminally ill patients.
How does cannabis compare to prescription drugs?
Well known about the dangers of a number of prescription drugs. A classic example is the analgesic drug Vioxx, which killed more than 60,000 people before it was withdrawn from the market.
According to Dr. Gedda, cannabis is certainly much safer than most prescription drugs, and enough data has been collected to compare it with the known toxic substances of many drugs currently used.
These include toxic damage to the liver and kidneys, damage to the gastrointestinal tract, nerves and, of course, death. In addition, cannabidiol and other marijuana products often help when other drugs have already been tried unsuccessfully, since they are not only safer overall than prescription drugs, but are usually more effective.
Dr. Gedde notes:
“Mortality from the use of painkillers in accordance with prescriptions is constantly maintained. Therefore, even by prescription, they are very dangerous and there is always the risk of abuse. And drugs used in pediatrics to treat seizures are also acutely toxic to internal organs. Many of them are very sedative.
Because of the sedative effects of these drugs, children become unable to function and interact. Other medications have a side effect of anger and behavior problems.
Unprovoked rage, in fact, is an established side effect of a number of anticonvulsants. Cannabis, and in particular, cannabidiol, do not have any of these side effects. No toxicity. The main side effect of cannabidiol is drowsiness.
When a child gets used to it, the effect gradually disappears; so, when using hemp oil and correctly determining the dosage, the child becomes very active and functional. If we compare them with each other, then, from the point of view of safety, comparison is out of the question. ”
Cannabis to control seizures in children
According to the experience of Dr. Gedda, 25 percent of them have a significant reduction in the number of seizures in a few days or weeks when taking hemp oil. But the results are different, and not every child responds well to this treatment in the short term. She notes that some children are so sensitive to drugs that they need to start with a very low dose and wait long enough for the effect.
“In clinical practice, we develop protocols that seem to benefit the majority of children in the best possible way, however, it should be noted that for some children, the results manifest very quickly. For others, it takes more time, up to several months, ” she shares .
On the use of cannabis in children for the treatment of other diseases, in addition to epilepsy, information is scarce. However, in January 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AARP) updated its policy statement on marijuana, recognizing that cannabinoid cannabis “can now be one of the options for … children with life-threatening or life-limiting diseases, under which current treatments are inadequate. “
The main objection of pediatricians from a children’s hospital in Denver regarding the use of CBD in children, even in conditions such as uncontrolled seizures, is the lack of research on the potential harm of long-term use of CBD (cannabidiol) in children. Perhaps in the long run, negative effects of CBD and other cannabinoids will occur, which we will learn about later.
“In my opinion, there is a common sense not to suggest using CBD as a dietary supplement or as a“ beneficial tonic ”for children,” says Dr. Gedde . “I believe that it is important to weigh the use of therapy, including the potential, as yet unknown, risks, taking into account the danger of the uncontrolled disease itself and other therapies.
For many patients, even incomplete information on CBD, comparing these risks, including the known toxic effects of their current treatment, is a reason to try CBD in therapeutic doses. ”
Potential side effects of medical cannabis
According to Dr. Gedda, the main side effect that needs to be monitored is the psychotropic effect of THC, i.e., their ability to cause a “high” feeling. However, she also emphasizes that THC, however, has a number of valuable medicinal properties, therefore, depending on the disease, higher or lower levels of THC may be required. For example, in patients suffering from severe pain, when the perception of pain raises serious concerns, the psychotropic effect of THC allows patients to change their perception of pain in mind and body.
“This is an example of when psychotropic action is necessary, but there are other areas when it is not needed. Choosing the type of product, its cannabinoid content and how to use it is very helpful in controlling this side effect, ” she explains .
“In addition, in terms of the risk of excessive psychoactivity in case of an overdose, cannabis is very safe. There is no evidence of related deaths. What can not be said about almost any substance on the planet, including water. You can drink too much water and die. But to enter into the body so much cannabis, so that it killed you, will not work. “
US government holds cannabis patent as neuroprotector
It is interesting to note that the US government, through the Department of Health and Human Services, holds a patent for cannabis, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), as a neuroprotector and antioxidant. The patent was filed more than a decade ago and was approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2003. It was based on research conducted with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“This is definitely a paradox. Through the Drug Enforcement Administration, the US federal government takes the position that cannabis has no medical value and is extremely dangerous;
Meanwhile, there is scientific evidence that it is useful as a medicine, is not dangerous at all, is really non-toxic and can be prescribed in palliative therapy – of course, in comparison with other medicines.
I think we need to ask why this separation exists. This is indeed similar to politics, especially in the areas of federal government dealing with drug laws and the fight against them. But such a policy, of course, goes against current medical experience and scientific knowledge. ”
The main thing is education
Many ask how to learn more about cannabis, and Dr. Hedda notes that this is indeed not easy, despite many independent publications with expert reviews on the useful properties of cannabis.
“The difficulties of accessing this information are explained by the fact that most of the funds for research on cannabis were aimed at proving its harm, as from a drug … [And] the shield is a real study of the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis has helped people for centuries. And study the history of medical practice; this is where the sources of information lie. ”
It is also helpful to look at current clinical practice permitted in several states, including Colorado, where cannabis can be bought safely and legally. Here you can learn more about the correct dosage, as well as how to use that have been found to be effective in various diseases.
“The story that we are told about cannabis and cannabis is very one-sided,” she notes , “there is still a lot to be mentioned in it. There are many potential benefits. ”
One of the credible sources where you can find research related to the use of cannabis is the cancer.gov website, the American government’s cancer site. In addition, the medical literature can be found on the public resource PubMed.
The Herald of Pain journal , which is published by the American Society for the Study of Pain, contains a long list of studies on the analgesic effects of cannabis, and is certainly worth the efforts of those who want to get rid of chronic pain.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse Control, which also has information on the medicinal aspects of marijuana, preclinical and clinical trials are being conducted to test marijuana and various extracts from it to treat a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation , pain and mental disorders.
To learn more about this, I recommend listening to my previous interview with Dr. Frenkel, in which he talks about many of the healing properties of marijuana.