How Marijuana Passes as a Medication
Cannabis has been legalized, by vote, to be a “medication” in many states across the United States. No other medication in the US has been voted on and elected as a treatment option for illness. Because marijuana remains federally illegal, the FDA technically doesn’t have oversight over the production of the final marijuana products – including CBD, THC and combination THC/CBD products. Each state makes their own regulations and establishes their own regulatory system.
The marijuana enforcement division in the state of CO oversees a vast number of growers and dispensaries, but with a limited number of employees. An illegal marijuana market blossomed along with the growth of the legal market. Its products are sold without regulations regarding quality, contents and purity of product, etc. Nonetheless, the FDA issued many warnings to marijuana companies because of false claims or inaccurate and false labeling.
The marijuana plant itself contains numerous chemicals, and some of these chemicals cross into the brain easily. Some cannabinoids may limit inflammation. Research is still being done with regards to treatment/utilization of those compounds for treatment.
Marijuana advocates put out many product claims of treatment and cures without adequate scientific proof. They also put out products without consistency in their chemicals or compounds. In other words, dosing irregularities, chemical composition variations, and contaminants all exist within final products. Several studies have shown that many final products contain heavy metals, bacteria, fungus, insecticides, etc. (1,2) For the person who purchases these products, it is becomes a guessing game to know if your product is contaminated.
We saw an example of poor regulation in the vaping crisis, which hit the news a year ago, and mainly affected marijuana products. Before the sudden crisis, its promoters claimed that vaping was as the safe way to smoke – nicotine and THC. Vape pens were being used by many, and it was particularly popular with those in their early teens. This led to an unprecedented number of severe pulmonary injuries termed “EVALI” (e-vaping acute lung injury). Investigations showed that the vape pens contained harmful contaminants. Many suffered significant lung injuries with long-term medical consequences.
Is Marijuana approved by the FDA?
True medicine approved by the FDA undergoes rigorous trials and research. Due to potential complications noted during those trials, many new medications do not make it to the market. A drug that becomes available for prescription purposes comes with a dosage guideline. For example, amoxicillin (a commonly prescribed antibiotic) has a dosing guideline for adults – 500 mg three times a day and a weight-based calculated dosing guideline for children. The medical marijuana products comes with no standardized drug content recommendations and no dosing guidelines. An exception is the FDA-approved medication – Epidiolex (3), but it comes from pharmacies, not the marijuana shops.
Dosing varies from budtender to budtender. Many budtenders give recommendations for “treatments” of a host of ailments (insomnia, pain, seizures, Parkinson’s, menstrual cramps, diabetes, etc), based on anecdotal evidence. A recent University of Colorado survey of marijuana dispensaries found that a high percentage of budtenders contacted made recommendations for cannabis use during pregnancy.(4) These recommendations are not based on research or scientific information.
Because of clever marketing, the public believes in many “treatments” or “cures” from the use of CBD and or THC products. Side effects and drug interactions occur with every drug on the market. The cannabis industry hasn’t informed the general public of the potential consequences, drug interactions and side effects of these products called medications.
by Emergency Room doctor, Dr. Karen Randall
- Seltenrich, N. Cannabis Contaminants: Regulating Solvents, Microbes and Metals in Legal Weed. EPH, Vol 127, N8. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP5785
Schedule I Classification for marijuana
We believe marijuana must remain in a Schedule I classification, and that it should have the same designation as for heroin. Schedule I is for drugs that 1) have no accepted medical use and 2) have high potential for abuse. Several agencies of government reviewed the designation multiple times, and the scientists in these agencies keep coming to the same conclusion: Marijuana is a Schedule I drug.
Contrary to popular belief, extensive studies on the medicinal properties of marijuana exist. Over 15,000 studies were published over the last decade, so it is not true that this drug needs to be rescheduled in order to study it.
For medical professionals, we recommend a recently-published medical book, Cannabis in Medicine, edited by Kenneth Finn, MD.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), determines if components of the plant, or synthetic cannabinoids, are “medicinal. The agency regulates medicines for purity, dosage and efficacy, and assures monitoring by licensed medical doctors. In addition to Epidiolex which treats two types of childhood epilepsy, the FDA also approved Marinol, a synthetic cannabinoid prescribed for cancer patients to increase appetite, and Cesamet and Syndros, for nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy.
Medical marijuana, as dispensed the United States, is mainly practiced as a fraud. Many people who became sick from EVALI, the vaping illness, were using marijuana vapes for medical reasons – with no warning of the danger. Unfortunately, patients have also died from medical marijuana, and others died when dispensaries did not assure that medical marijuana patients would not drive under the influence.
For physicians or those authorized to give recommendations, medical marijuana represents an easy means to make lots of money. In states with recreational marijuana, these sellers advertise and promote medical marijuana cards, in order to avoid paying taxes to the state. (In other words, in states with both “medical” and “recreational, a loophole prevents the states from getting much of the promised tax revenue.)
Quotes by leaders of NORML reveal that medical marijuana was planned as a scam from the start. On February 6, 1979, at Emory University, Keith Stroup said: “We are trying to get marijuana reclassified medically. If we do that, we’ll be using the issue as a red herring to give marijuana a good name.” Richard Cowan and Ed Rosenthal followed up with statements saying that getting people to buy into the idea of medical marijuana and getting hundreds of thousands to do it will be the key to getting full legalization.
Emergency Room Doctor Tells of the Chaos of Medical Marijuana
“Multiple different types of patients are coming into the emergency department with a variety of unexpected problems such as marijuana-induced psychosis, dependence, burn injuries, increased abuse of other drugs, increased homelessness and its associated problems, and self-medication with marijuana to treat their medical problems instead of seeking appropriate medical care.”–Dr. Brad Roberts
Read more: Marijuana Through a Doctor’s Eyes.
Marijuana Dispensaries Sell to Pregnant Women
A research study by the University of Colorado found that 277 out of 400 marijuana dispensaries surveyed were quick to ‘prescribe’ medical marijuana to pregnant women. Women were misled into believing that it was a safe medication for their nausea and morning sickness and that it wouldn’t harm their unborn child. Cannabis, like tobacco and alcohol, can have a serious negative impacts on the developing child. Read More: Could Medical Cannabis be the New Thalidomide?
A new study links children whose mothers had used marijuana during pregnancy were more likely to have psychotic-like behaviors and more attention, social and sleep problems, as well as weaker cognitive abilities.
A Troubling Side Effect
Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome is a recently discovered side effect of marijuana. It consists of cyclic vomiting and nausea and is only temporarily relieved by hot showers. The only way to cure it is complete cessation of marijuana use. Here is a study about CHS.
Dr. Christine Miller Explains One Problem with Marijuana as Medicine
Advocates promote marijuana as necessary for the body’s endocannabinoid system, a simplistic claim. They argue, “Humans were born with a endocannabinoid system, so we were meant to use this plant.” Christine Miller, a molecular neuroscientist with a PhD. in Pharmacology, explains we don’t need cannabis to be healthy. She says using THC for the endocannabinoid system poses incredible dangers and that no doctor should recommend it. Our body makes a natural cannabinoid, such as anandamide, which binds to our cannabinoid receptors.
It is unsafe to use medical marijuana which interacts with many prescription drugs. Visit the Penn State website for an exhaustive list of drug contraindications.
What does the Science Say?
Dr. Brad Roberts (quoted earlier) published his observations of the chaos caused by medical marijuana in a medical journal:
A cautionary article, Is Medical Cannabis the Next Thalidomide? questions the wisdom of using this drug with significant risks to unborn children. “The drug has been linked to a host of serious birth defects, including at least six life-threatening deformities,” according to the article.
Another study explains that the risks marijuana poses to female fertility: Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System.
Several studies link marijuana use to increased risk for testicular cancer in men, but the dispensaries don’t warn the young men who use pot. Furthermore, cannabis use hastens the growth of head and neck cancer. Some marijuana users get nausea and constant vomiting , a condition called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Condition.
The Medical Documentation page on Poppot.org contains a lengthy list of links to some important science on marijuana. A quick glance at this list shows that it can cause numerous medical issues. Science confirms negative health impacts such as heart and lung problems and mental disease like bipolar, psychosis and schizophrenia.
Finally, medical marijuana users harm others, such as unborn babies and nursing babies. Promotion of medical marijuana causes youth addiction and suicide, and it creates DUID crash victims and victims of marijuana-triggered violence.
Real Life Stories of Harm from Medical Marijuana
Now Ya Know!
If you still believe marijuana passes as medicine, please watch “Smokescreen.”
Learn more about marijuana and the brain using the SAMSHA website, the United States government agency concerned with substance abuse and mental health. Visit: SAMSHA.gov/marijuana
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) offers a convenient downloadable fact sheet about “Medical Marijuana.” Read and share this with 5 friends who this might help.