Marijuana has been used for 5,000 plus years for everything from medical use, writing paper, rope, and canvas to the illegal form it has today. Hemp is the plant marijuana comes from and used to grow wild on the farm where I grew up. Once in a great while a cow would get into some and act like she was a bit drunk. Dad didn’t save the milk from her for 48 hours just to be on the safe side and avoid the risk having it sent to the milk plant for distribution.
Last night my husband and I watched a show we had recorded on the History channel titled “The Chronic History of Marijuana“. I know this program probably has been aired before but it was the first time we’d seen it. The part of the program that really interested me was the medical use of this drug.
In some areas of the country medical marijuana is used for treating pain and nausea connected with cancer, HIV and neuropathy. It has shown to be effective in these situations. This brings up the question “Would it work for the pain of fibromyalgia?”.
A opinion was published by Dr. Robert L. Dupont who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School and president of the Institute for Behavior and Health, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing illegal drug use. In this opinion he states that he doesn’t believe the marijuana is the best help for any disease including fibromyalgia. He also states that there are as many as 2,000 chemicals in marijuana smoke that need to be looked at to see if any of them could actually be of benefit for pain control. If one, or some, could be found then they need to be isolated, researched further, and distributed in controlled doses rather than the random act of smoking it.
There are already drugs that are derived from marijuana:
Naboline is synthetic THC (the active component of marijuana). It was FDA approved in 1985 for the treatment of nausea in cancer patients.
Marinol, as it is sold in the US, is also prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. However one patient mentioned on CNN Health received a prescription for it in 2006 for her fibromyalgia pain to see if it would help.
Stavix is another drug from marijuana that is being tested for cancer pain. This drug contains the THC plus cannabidiol which eases pain and inflammation and eases the side effects of the THC.
Ethan Russo, M.D. says, “It is quite possible that cannabis-based medicines could be helpful for sufferers of fibromyalgia based on available science”.