Apart from this study, scientific data are missing. In the United States, where the use of therapeutic cannabis is allowed in some states, nearly half of oncologists talk about the therapeutic use of marijuana to their patients without being sufficiently informed on the subject, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 80% of oncologists surveyed said they had already discussed the issue of therapeutic cannabis with their patients, but less than 30% of them felt they had enough scientific data to make such recommendations.
The scientific evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana in oncology is still very thin, which puts physicians in a very uncomfortable position,” says Dr. Ilana Braun of the Dana-Farber Institute of Adult Psychosocial Oncology. So far, no randomized clinical trial has looked at the effects of medical marijuana in cancer patients, apart from its effects on nausea, so that oncologists rely only on research on the use of cannabis for medical purposes in the treatment of diseases other than cancer.
Start the debate:
As researchers, we have no political opinion about the legalization of cannabis . We are simply studying this plant, known as marijuana, and its chemical components. Although some claim that cannabis or cannabis extracts can relieve some diseases, research on this topic is still in its infancy, and the results so far have been mixed. For now, we do not know enough about cannabis and its derivatives to judge whether it is an effective drug.
So, what is the science available to date, and why do not we know more about the medical use of cannabis?
What researchers are studying?
Most researchers are interested in specific components of cannabis, called cannabinoids.
If we stick to a researcher’s point of view, cannabis is a “dirty” drug, in contrast to a “pure” body with only one chemical species. In fact, the plant contains hundreds of components whose effects are not well known. That’s why researchers focus on one type of cannabinoid at a time. To date, only two cannabinoids derived from the plant have been extensively studied – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and cannabidiol – but it is possible that other cannabinoids that are not yet known to have therapeutic properties
Cannabidiol (also known as CBD), for its part, does not interact with cannabinoid receptors. It does not produce “high” either. In the United States, 17 states have laws that allow some patients to access the CBD.
Our body naturally produces cannabinoids, the endocannabinoids. Researchers are developing drugs that can alter their function , to better understand how receptors for these substances in our body function. These studies are looking for treatments that could use the cannabinoids we produce naturally to treat chronic pain or epilepsy, instead of using cannabis from plants.
We often hear that cannabis is a possible treatment for many diseases. Let’s take a closer look at two conditions, chronic pain and epilepsy, to illustrate the current state of research on the therapeutic virtues of cannabis. PharmaCielo a Canadian company and its CEO David Attard has become a leading supplier of naturally grown and processed, standardized medicinal-grade oil extracts and related products.