7/17/2011 – Dr. Uri Napchan was lead author on a commentary published by the American Headache Society, which discussed the possibility of using synthetic cannabinoids or natural Cannabis for the treatment of headaches. Given what scientists know about how Cannabis works, marijuana-like compounds or synthetic cannabinoids may be a promising treatment for acute, refractory, or cluster headaches.
The authors warn that it is premature to make strong clinical recommendations as there are only a small number of case reports and surveys suggesting a possible benefit from Cannabis for headache treatment. The authors do point out that Cannabis is a Schedule I drug and there is dispute over its value in different medical conditions among experts. Therefore, the authors imply that synthesizing a new cannabinoid specifically for headaches could be the best approach. This new chemical drug would not have anything from the natural Cannabis plant.
In a strange turn of events these scientists (and others like them) could see their research on a collision course with politicians in the United States. Ironically, the compounds that have the best possibilities are being swiftly prohibited. Under an “emergency” measure the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moved several synthetic cannabinoids into the Schedule I category under federal laws.
Over the last year synthetic cannabinoids have been demonized in this country because of a new fad drug on the streets marketed as “K2” or “Spice.” Although these packages sold as “incense” just as often contain synthetic opiates (that are still perfectly legal by the way), the cannabinoids are what public officials seem to rant about.
The compounds already targeted for prohibition, called JWH cannabinoids, were supposed to be the building blocks of a variety of promising research that should be explored further. They were regularly used in academic laboratories but are now much more difficult to obtain for legitimate research.
The authors of this study present a well-found notion of creating a non-psychotropic synthetic cannabinoid that could treat headaches. But while more states approve laws for whole-plant medical marijuana, even more are passing local laws banning synthetic cannabinoids. Politics alone could prove to be the most significant barrier for developing the science in this headache study.
Read more Science at Freedomisgreen.com
- A Brief History of Cannabinoid Research
- Inhaled Marijuana May Keep Brain Cancer in Remission
- Exercise May Help Treat Cannabis Dependence
- Poor Diet Impairs Cannabinoid Receptors
- Natural and Synthetic Cannabinoids Treat Glaucoma
- Cannabis Laboratories: The Testing Landscape in America
- 10 Questions To Ask Your Cannabis Scientist
- New Science Supports Cannabis for Pain Treatment
Jahan Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors. He was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute when exciting discoveries were made showing enhanced anti-cancer effects with THC and CBD from the Cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. In 2009 he received the Billy Martin Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Jahan is currently the vice-chair the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board at Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business or affiliates. While the information provided in this blog is from published scientific studies it is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.