The following post is in response to an article written by Dr. Jonathan Golob titled “Is pot medicine?”
If we investigate the links in Dr. Golob’s article, a curious but common pattern emerges. The evidence presented is skewed. For example, clicking on the link “a systematic review of the available double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized studies of pot cannot show a consistent benefit for pot” we find that this is really not a review of cannabis at all! Rather this study examines acupuncture, electrostimulation, herbal medicine, magnets, dietary supplements, imagery, and spiritual healing on nerve pain. So in my opinion, this is a rather poor example of a study relating to the dearth of the cannabis literature on neuropathic pain.
Also in my opinion, another link in the article is also very misleading. It states that cannabis is “unable to show any benefit of pot smoking over placebo for diabetic neuropathy”. While this statement is true in one sense, a closer examination sheds more light on the topic. To quote from the paper cited: “There was significant improvement in pain scores in both groups”. What’s also misleading is that this study was only the first in a series of many studies and the majority of which show benefit, including elegant double blind experiments with large numbers of patients. I’ve posted the link to several of these other studies here.
Let’s be clear, there are certain things that are controversial just because nobody wants to really know the truth. And there are certain things that we know are right because throughout the history of a particular therapeutic agent keep recurring, and this is the case for cannabis and pain. For thousands of years cannabis has been in the pharmacopeia of every society and culture in which it was available including the US pharmacopeia until 1942. It’s been helping humans with pain for thousands of years. Not only is it good medicine, it’s great medicine with an extremely low toxicity and multiple benefits other than just pain. And there’s substantial peer reviewed evidence to boot.
If we don’t cherry pick studies and examine the full scope of the literature, there is a continuous recurrence of analgesic action since the very inception of the studies on cannabis. It is my opinion that any claims on a lack of scientific evidence for medical cannabis are simply not founded in a proper understanding of the scope of the literature.
It is my hope that you find this information useful, and that it plays a small part in helping patients live better lives. With the examination of all of the evidence, I believe that the power of this plant as medicine will finally be allowed to find its true place of power in the vast and ongoing history of medicine.
The amount of available information on the non-toxic, protective, pain relieving, and anti-cancer compounds of cannabis is staggering. Here are just a very few studies from the massive and ever growing body of evidence in peer reviewed medical literature.
Click below on these few links to find hundreds of cannabis studies, including double blind, gold-standard studies:
- Dr. Jake’s list https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rkv69ym9RfdPQi_B8-RrbNCBHenp2t4oMrtZUue2_aY/edit?hl=en&authkey=CNbg9MIL#
- Granny Storm Crow’s list: http://othersidefarms.com/granny-crows-list/index.html
The sheer numbers of peer reviewed studies on cannabis are voluminous and growing daily!
©2011 J. F. Felice, ND