NIH "research" on Medical Marijuana : objectivity or kangaroo court?

Tommy the Terrorist mayday at super.zippo.com
Sun Feb 2 05:52:26 EST 1997

In article <moo-0102971106520001 at sl16.midtown.net> Bryan Cowan,
moo at midtown.net writes:
>Have you noticed that all requests for research into medical marijuana,
>even by private institutions using federal funding, are either refused or
>not funded? And then the feds have the chutzpah to say there's *not enough
>evidence* to support legalizing marijuana for medical use. Further proof
>that the state is the enemy of personal freedom.

   What I find particularly ironic - and frustrating - is that I have
read that the whole reason for using "medical marijuana", rather than
Marinol, is that the patients report that crude herbal marijuana *works*
better than Marinol.  Marinol, supposedly, gets them "super high" (it is
the most psychoactive single chemical in Cannabis, after all), but
doesn't really solve their symptoms.

   The significance of this, obviously, is that if those reports are
accurate, then there must be something ELSE in marijuana that has a
BETTER effect for appetite stimulation / nausea relief, but which is LESS
effective as a recreational drug.  If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say
there should be another cannabinoid receptor or isoform thereof, which is
specific to gastrointestinal nervous tissue and/or appetite-related
processing in the brain, but which would have somewhat different ligand
specificity, causing it to be optimally activated by other cannabis
alkaloids similar to but not the same as THC.

   Whoever first jumps the gun, gets the go-ahead from the authorities,
and starts doing the research on which fractions of crude cannabis
extract work best on live patients for nausea relief, is probably going
to get a very lucrative patent on a drug with widespread and
much-appreciated usefulness, even for people who don't want to be "high".
 But the cannabis advocates who have worked so long and hard to try to
get such experiments allowed?  I doubt they'll even get an early parole.

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