Wetenschappelijke informatie

THC

De volgende citaten uit wetenschappelijke vakbladen bevestigen dat vaporiseren gezonder is dan roken. We hebben ook wat voorbeelden verzameld van wetenschappelijke publicaties over de medische toepassingen van cannabis. Men dient zich hierbij wel te realiseren dat veel van deze onderzoeken niet uitgevoerd zijn met een vaporizer maar met joints. Daardoor zullen de onderzoekers soms de werkzaamheid van cannabinoïden bevestigen, maar raden ze het gebruik van cannabis af vanwege de schadelijkheid van rook. Veel onderzoekers noemen ook de psychoactiviteit van cannabis als een ongewenste bijwerking, maar wij zijn van mening dat de patient dit zelf zal moeten beslissen. Waar de oorspronkelijke tekst werd gepubliceerd in het Engels hebben we de passages onvertaald gelaten.

Vaporizers

Volcano vaporizer maakt een veilige en efficiënte toediening van cannabinoïden mogelijk:

"Onderzoekers van de universiteit van Leiden bestudeerden de werking van de Volcano-verdamper met betrekking tot de herhaalde THC-opbrengst. Zij vatten hun bevindingen als volgt samen: "Er werd vastgesteld dat gemiddeld 54 procent van de beschikbare THC die in de ballon van de verdamper verzameld wordt, opnieuw kan afgeleverd worden. Bij gebruik van de verdamper voor klinische toediening van THC blijkt dat gemiddeld 35 procent van de geïnhaleerde THC onmiddellijk weer uitgeademd wordt. Onze bevinden tonen aan dat met de Volcano een systeem beschikbaar wordt voor een veilige en efficiënte toediening van cannabinoïden aan patiënten. De uiteindelijke totale opname van THC via de longen is vergelijkbaar met roken van cannabis, maar dan zonder de nadelen van roken voor de luchtwegen."

Bron: Cannaclopedia

Evaluation of a vaporizing device (the Volcano) for the pulmonary administration of tetrahydrocannabinol:

"What is currently needed for optimal use of medicinal cannabinoids is a feasible, non smoked, rapid-onset delivery system. Cannabis vaporization is a technique aimed at suppressing irritating respiratory toxins by heating cannabis to a temperature where active cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion where smoke and associated toxins are produced. The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of the Volcano vaporizer in terms of reproducible delivery of the bioactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by using pure cannabinoid preparations, so that it could be used in a clinical trial. By changing parameters such as temperature setting, type of evaporation sample and balloon volume, the vaporization of THC was systematically improved to its maximum, while preventing the formation of breakdown products of THC, such as cannabinol or delta-8-THC. Inter- and intra-device variability was tested as well as relationship between loaded- and delivered dose. It was found that an average of about 54% of loaded THC was delivered into the balloon of the vaporizer, in a reproducible manner. When the vaporizer was used for clinical administration of inhaled THC, it was found that on average 35% of inhaled THC was directly exhaled again. Our results show that with the Volcano a safe and effective cannabinoid delivery system seems to be available to patients. The final pulmonal uptake of THC is comparable to the smoking of cannabis, while avoiding the respiratory disadvantages of smoking."

Source: Interscience

Decreased respiratory symptoms in cannabis users who vaporize:

"Cannabis smoking can create respiratory problems. Vaporizers heat cannabis to release active cannabinoids, but remain cool enough to avoid the smoke and toxins associated with combustion. Vaporized cannabis should create fewer respiratory symptoms than smoked cannabis. We examined self-reported respiratory symptoms in participants who ranged in cigarette and cannabis use. Data from a large Internet sample revealed that the use of a vaporizer predicted fewer respiratory symptoms even when age, sex, cigarette smoking, and amount of cannabis used were taken into account. Age, sex, cigarettes, and amount of cannabis also had significant effects. The number of cigarettes smoked and amount of cannabis used interacted to create worse respiratory problems. A significant interaction revealed that the impact of a vaporizer was larger as the amount of cannabis used increased. These data suggest that the safety of cannabis can increase with the use of a vaporizer. Regular users of joints, blunts, pipes, and water pipes might decrease respiratory symptoms by switching to a vaporizer."

Source: Harm Reduction Journal

Cannabis

Vergelijking tussen marihuana en tabak:

"Er wordt behoorlijk wat onzin verspreid over schadelijkheid, teergehalte, en dergelijke, als het over marihuana gaat. "In marihuana zit 10 keer zoveel teer als in tabak" is zo een van die mythes die door tegenstanders van cannabis de wereld in gestuurd worden. Het is allemaal wel iets minder simplistisch. Op Cannaclopedia vind je in een vergelijkende tabel met de samenstelling van marihuanarook en van tabaksrook. Houd er rekening mee dat de vergelijking gemaakt wordt tussen gelijke hoeveelheden plantaardig materiaal, namelijk 1 gram marihuana tegenover 1 gram tabak. Bedenk ook dat wie één pakje sigaretten per dag rookt, 25 keer zoveel verbrand plantaardig materiaal inhaleert als de gemiddelde marihuanaroker die ongeveer één gram cannabis per dag gebruikt. Marihuana kan ook gevaporiseerd worden waardoor het overgrote deel van de schadelijke stoffen niet mee geïnhaleerd wordt, zelfs niet ontstaat, echter zonder de psychoactieve werking teniet te doen."

Bron: Cannaclopedia

Gematigd regelmatig gebruik van cannabis verslechtert het geheugen en de aandacht niet:

"Onderzoekers aan de Universiteit van Utrecht in Nederland vonden geen verschil in prestatie tussen niet-gebruikers en gematigd regelmatige cannabisgebruikers die een week niet gebruikt hadden, in geheugentests en selectieve aandacht. Ze vonden ook geen verschil in de algemene patronen van hersenactiviteit, gemeten met een fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Nochtans werd een belangrijke verandering opgemerkt in een klein deel van de linkerhersenschors. De regelmatige cannabisgebruikers hadden tijdens hun leven tussen de 675 en 5.400 cannabissigaretten gerookt en tussen 75 en 900 (gemiddeld 350) in de loop van het voorbije jaar. Niet-gebruikers rookten tijdens hun leven tussen 0 en 15 cannabissigaretten. In de geheugentest moesten de deelnemers vijf medeklinkers onthouden. Later werden medeklinkers aan de proefpersonen voorgelegd en zij moesten een knop indrukken als een medeklinker uit de lijst verscheen. Bij de test op selectieve aandacht moesten de deelnemers bepalen of de toon die ze hoorden lager was of hoger dan een opgegeven basistoon. In een gelijkaardige test moesten ze bepalen of een stip groter of kleiner was dan een eerder getoonde stip. De onderzoekers besloten hieruit dat zij "geen bewijs vonden voor grote tekortkomingen op lange termijn voor het werkgeheugen en de selectieve aandacht bij regelmatige maar relatief matige cannabisgebruikers na 1 week onthouding." Nochtans merkten zij op dat "niet alle effecten van cannabis op de hersenen kunnen uitgesloten worden", omdat er een verschil is in de activiteit van een deel van de hersenen dat betrokken is bij het werkgeheugen. Ze schreven dat de meeste eerdere onderzoeken zich richtten op extreem zwaar gebruik en dat dit niet representatief is voor de meerderheid van het recreatieve cannabisgebruik."

Bron: Cannaclopedia

Cannabis vs. nicotine smoke:

"More people are using the cannabis plant as modern basic and clinical science reaffirms and extends its medicinal uses. Concomitantly, concern and opposition to smoked medicine has occurred, in part due to the known carcinogenic consequences of smoking tobacco. Are these reactions justified? While chemically very similar, there are fundamental differences in the pharmacological properties between cannabis and tobacco smoke. Cannabis smoke contains cannabinoids whereas tobacco smoke contains nicotine. Available scientific data, that examines the carcinogenic properties of inhaling smoke and its biological consequences, suggests reasons why tobacco smoke, but not cannabis smoke, may result in lung cancer."

Source: Harm Reduction Journal

Medical applications of cannabis:

"For many years, friends of marijuana argued that it had medical benefits, but the science was slippery -- when the government even permitted the research at all. In 1990, CB(1), the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered. Then endogenous cannabinoids -- body-made chemicals that activated the receptors -- were identified, and everything changed. The second cannabinoid receptor, CB(2), was found in 1993. While CB(2) resides mainly in the immune system, CB(1) is largely a nervous Nellie -- living on nerve cells. Roger Pertwee, a cannabis expert at the University of Aberdeen, says the receptor is "distributed widely throughout the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. They are present in their greatest concentration around the hippocampus, cortex, olfactory areas, basal ganglia, cerebellum and spinal cord. This pattern accounts for the effects of cannabinoids on memory, emotion, cognition and movement."

Source: Whyfiles

Cannabinoids and pain management:

"The purpose of this systematic review was to find all of the randomized controlled trials of therapeutic use of cannabis in the management of human pain and then to obtain the best estimates of the efficacy of cannabis compared with either conventional analgesics or placebo. We also sought evidence of adverse effects (safety). [Our conclusion was that] cannabinoids give about the same level of pain relief as codeine in acute postoperative pain."

Source: PubMed

Cannabis for AIDS patients (1):

"Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a common cause of death among young adults in the USA. AIDS wasting syndrome is the most common clinical presentation of AIDS. Antiretroviral drug therapy has improved the prognosis of persons with AIDS, but also contributed side effects, particularly nausea and anorexia. Case reports demonstrate persons with AIDS use cannabis as medicine to control nausea, anorexia, and pain, while noting improved mood. Recent clinical research comparing smoked cannabis to oral dronabinol (synthetic THC or Marinol) demonstrates no immune dysfunction in persons using cannabinoids and positive weight gain when cannabinoids are compared to placebo. Harm reduction research indicates that heating cannabis to tempratures well below combustion ("vaporization") yields active cannabinoids and a significant reducation or elimination of toxics (benzene, toluene, napthalene, carbon monoxide, and tars) commonly found in smoked cannabis. More research is indicated but vaporizers appear to substantially reduce what is widely perceived as the leading health risk of cannabis, namely respiratory damage from smoking. In spite of a need for more rigorous scientifically controlled research, an increasing number of persons with AIDS are using cannabis to control nausea, increase appetite, promote weight gain, decrease pain, and improve mood."

Source: Haworth Press

Cannabis for AIDS patients (2):

"In its report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, released earlier this year, the Institute of Medicine cited the dangers of smoking as a major drawback. The IOM stated, 'Numerous studies suggest that marijuana smoke is an important risk factor in the development of respiratory disease. Because of the health risks associated with smoking, smoked marijuana should generally not be recommended for long-term medical use.' The IOM suggested that researchers concentrate on isolating medically useful cannabinoids and developing ' rapid-onset, non smoked cannabinoid delivery systems.' Such systems might be similar to the inhalers used for certain asthma medicines."

Source: Aids.org

Cannabis for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy:

"We searched systematically for the strongest evidence of efficacy and harm of cannabis in patients having chemotherapy. We examined whether there is any evidence that cannabis is antiemetic when given concomitantly with emetogenic chemotherapy, how well cannabis works in this setting compared with placebo or conventional antiemetics, the evidence for a dose-response relation, and the profile of adverse effects. [Our research concluded that] cannabinoids were more effective antiemetics than prochlorperazine, metoclopramide, chlorpromazine, thiethylperazine, haloperidol, domperidone, or alizapride. Across all trials, cannabinoids were more effective than active comparators and placebo."

Source: PubMed

Cannabinoids in the treatment of glaucoma

"The leading cause of irreversible blindness is glaucoma, a disease normally characterized by the development of ocular hypertension and consequent damage to the optic nerve at its point of retinal attachment. This results in a narrowing of the visual field, and eventually results in blindness. A number of drugs are available to lower intra ocular pressure (IOP), but, occasionally, they are ineffective or have intolerable side-effects for some patients and can lose efficacy with chronic administration. The smoking of marijuana has decreased IOP in glaucoma patients. Cannabinoid drugs, therefore, are thought to have significant potential for pharmaceutical development."

Source: ScienceDirect

Cannabinoids for patients with Multiple Sclerosis:

"Here we show that cannabinoid (CB) receptor agonism using R(+)-WIN 55,212, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, methanandamide and JWH-133 (ref. 8) quantitatively ameliorated both tremor and spasticity in diseased mice. The exacerbation of these signs after antagonism of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, notably the CB1 receptor, using SR141716A and SR144528 (ref. 8) indicate that the endogenous cannabinoid system may be tonically active in the control of tremor and spasticity. This provides a rationale for patients' indications of the therapeutic potential of cannabis in the control of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and provides a means of evaluating more selective cannabinoids in the future."

Source: PubMed

Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids, A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 - 2008

"Despite continued political debates regarding the legality of medicinal marijuana, clinical investigations of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids are now more prevalent than at any time in history. A search of the National Library of Medicine's PubMed website quantifies this fact. A keyword search using the terms "cannabinoids, 1996" reveals just 258 scientific journal articles published on the subject for that year. Perform this same search for the year 2007, and one will find over 3,400 published scientific studies.

THC

While much of the renewed interest in cannabinoid therapeutics is a result of the discovery of the endocannabinoid regulatory system, some of this increased attention is also due to the growing body of testimonials from medicinal cannabis patients and their physicians. Nevertheless, despite this influx of anecdotal reports, much of the modern investigation of medicinal cannabis remains limited to preclinical (animal) studies of individual cannabinoids (e.g. THC or cannabidiol) and/or synthetic cannabinoid agonists (e.g., dronabinol or WIN 55,212-2) rather than clinical trial investigations involving whole plant material.

As clinical research into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids has proliferated exponentially, so too has investigators' understanding of cannabis' remarkable capability to combat disease. Whereas researchers in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s primarily assessed cannabis' ability to temporarily alleviate various disease symptoms - such as the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy - scientists today are exploring the potential role of cannabinoids to alter disease progression. Of particular interest, scientists are investigating cannabinoids' capacity to moderate autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as their role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease).

Investigators are also studying the anti-cancer activities of cannabis, as a growing body of preclinical and clinical data concludes that cannabinoids can reduce the spread of specific cancer cells via apoptosis (programmed cell death) and by the inhibition of angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels). Arguably, these latter trends represent far broader and more significant applications for cannabinoid therapeutics than researchers could have imagined some thirty or even twenty years ago."

This report seeks to provide this guidance by summarizing the most recently published scientific research (2000-2008) on the therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids for 17 separate clinical indications:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dystonia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Gliomas
  • Hepatitis C
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Hypertension
  • Incontinence
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pruritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tourette's syndrome

In some of these cases, modern science is now affirming longtime anecdotal reports of medicinal cannabis users (e.g., the use of cannabis to alleviate GI disorders). In other cases, this research is highlighting entirely new potential clinical utilities for cannabinoids (e.g., the use of cannabinoids to modify the progression of diabetes).

Source: Norml.org