Medical Cannabis?


#44

As a scientist, I think that is not likely to provide very reasonable data, and “personal experience” is never a valid resource of documentation. It’s experience. And experience is invaluable in information-poor systems. But I’m a scientist, so I’m all about actual documented data with reasonable estimations of error.

You should absolutely listen to personal experience, but don’t mistake that for a substitute for the missing science. Anecdote and personal beliefs will never provide the sort of information that well-controlled studies can provide. And you may be put in the position in the future where you have to decide which you believe more: personal experience and anecdote or actual scientific evidence. Besides the Israel studies, there really is a pretty good body of research. This World Health Organization report is, from my perspective as a scientist, both fair and comprehensive. It doesn’t take a position, but rather evaluates a wide array of evidence from other sources. But if you don’t like it’s conclusions, what do you do? You can ignore the best published science out there (and if it’s not actual, peer-reviewed publication of controlled experiments, it’s not published science), or you can make a decision based on that and others. But cherrypicking which reports you like and which you don’t is…unscientific at best.

Honestly though, it kind of sounds like you’ve already made up your mind! If you’re willing to take the risks of medicating with an unknown, why not just try it as an n=1 experiment? It won’t have any actual validity from a science perspective, but you’ll find out it will work, it won’t work, or the worries about unknown effects and interactions was right all along!


#45

< rant>

The interaction issue is also my main gripe with “alternative” medicine based on herbs and botanicals. To be clear, I am not addressing the placebo effect. I have no doubt that many of them have very real, even profound, effects. But see my previous comment. There simply hasn’t been the kind of credible research needed to satisfactorily ascertain how they affect other things, specifically other meds. And I’m leery of consuming something too many of whose effects are just too well concealed.

< /rant>


#46

The plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence”.


#47

I don’t understand this. Are you saying because there hasn’t been as much study into chemical interactions of sweeteners and preservatives as you think there should be, that someone “lacks credibility?” Who lacks credibility? And why do you think food additives are understudied? They are one of the most studied class of chemicals in the world. There is a huge body of safety data from the FDA, from the EU regulatory bodies, and from almost every other country on earth that regulates food products. All of the regulatory data (at least in the US and Europe) is sourced from well-controlled scientific studies. Does that mean they always get it right? Of course not, but science isn’t in the business of getting 100% of findings right.

So I’m confused on how regulation of food additives has anything to do with regulating cannabis for medical use, unless it’s in the context of cannabis-derived food additives (which is actually a thing, in the form of hemp seed, which is approved for use as a foodstuff in the US).


#48

It’s just a personal opinion. It’s the reason I eat all organic, no chemicals in my food, no alcohol, etc…as few pharmaceutical medications as possible. From my perspective, GMOs would not be sanctioned until we had several decades of research to back up the claim that they do no harm. But there they are–on the market and unlabeled. I realize I live in a world most don’t.

It’s ok with me if it doesn’t follow a logic that makes sense to you. It works for me. I am known for my ability to stand outside the norm :wink:


#49

@David_dns From your perspective, what you are saying is “truth.” From my perspective, what you are saying is an opinion. From my perspective, both personally and professionally, personal experience aka anecdotal evidence is equally valid.

Two opinions. We all have them.


#50

I brought the topic to the group as a final gathering of information before making my decision about whether to go forth with the “experiment” I’ve described in another post.

For sure, this thread’s conversation tipped the scales for me…I cam looking for personal experiences and got some. I also got a lot of opinions, and I considered those as well. I was never looking for scientific validity–it wasn’t in my beginning post, and it isn’t as high a priority for me as it is for some to expressed their opinions here. Those responses were helpful in clarifying for me what is a priority–for me.

I will go forth and do the experiment. I consider any medication a risk until I’ve used it and determined the benefits measured against side effects in my body. For me, this is just like that.


#51

Take that to its logical conclusion and one example proves a trend. Sorry, I don’t buy it. There is a clear distinction between objective fact (the sun rises in the east), and opinion or “truth” (your word), which is entirely _sub_jective.

If you can’t measure it, it’s not science.


#52

I agree almost entirely with what you’re saying (and I think you’re implying), but I do have an issue with this last bit :slight_smile: We scientists are also really good at making observations that aren’t really measurement. And then those observations can be compared across time and space to infer something about structure, function, and mechanism of systems. But that isn’t exactly measurement in the way people tend to think about it.

Otherwise, you’re right on. An opinion is never science, in the same way an anecdote is never science. Science fundamentally functions as a process with distinct parts: observe, measure, test, generalize, and repeat process. And the beautiful thing about the “generalize, and repeat process” part is that science is great at discarding theories that turn out not to be supported by evidence. The problem with relying on personal opinion, experience, and anecdote is that you end up accepting as “true” that which you want to be true while discarding evidence that doesn’t agree with your viewpoint. Definitely not science.


#53

Hi! My name is Nicole. I am a T1D, have been for 31.5 years. I have a myriad of health issues in addition to my T1D, such as: Peripheral Neuropathy, Endometriosis, IBS with Chronic Constipation, an Overlarge Bladder (I can’t remember the medical term for this, but I can basically hold and pee out over 44 oz of urine at once), Hypoglycemia Unawareness, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, slight Insulin Resistance, Insomnia, and I recently was diagnosed with a small amount of Retinopathy in my left eye. I am prescribed Humalog insulin that I administer via a Medtronic insulin pump that I’ve been on for about 6 years now. I was recently prescribed Metformin to treat the insulin resistance (which I thought was strange since it’s always been a predominately T2D meddication). I am prescribed Lyrica to treat my peripheral neuropathy. I am prescribed TriNessa and Spironolactone to treat the PCOS. I used to take Bethanechol (sp?) to treat the bladder issue, but I cannot afford to see every doctor I need to see so my appointments are centered around priority versus need. I was prescribed Linzess to treat my IBS, but the same conflict that I spoke of in the last sentence applies here as well. I take Temazepam to treat my insomnia, even though it doesn’t work as well as I’d like especially if I’m stressed out. (The doctor wants me to have a sleep study done, but usually excellent Aetna PPO plan wants me to pay $300 out of pocket for the study and an additional $50 copay to the sleep doctor to get this accomplished. I just plain don’t have it.) My eye doctor said the retinopathy he found in my left eye in September is so small that it’ll heal on its own in a few months and he doesn’t feel like he needs to treat it.

With all of that said, I do not live in a state that allows any legal form of cannabis. However, I have been a cannabis user since the age of 16. I am now 37. I have conducted, if you will, a “study” for the last 17 years and I can tell you this: cannabis is useful for me in treating the nasty, yuck feeling you get when your blood glucose is elevated. Over the years I have also observed that if I test my blood, get a reading that is hyperglycemic, bolus with insulin to correct it, and then just wait for it to come down, I will be waiting a long time. Often, for me, as long as 4-5 hours for it to come back down to my target range (90-130). But when I do all the same and also add in the use of cannabis, I not only feel better physically and can function more normally versus laying down for sometimes half a day until my glucose comes down, but my glucose comes down faster than just insulin alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean to imply that cannabis brings me from the brink of possible DKA to possible hypoglycemic shock in a short time frame. Not at all. It does, however, bring my glucose down faster without making me bottom out. I have, as a teenager, overindulged in chocolate after my use of cannabis and paid the price for it later via my glucose reading, but it never sent me to the hospital with DKA or any other malady. The issue of whether or not overindulgence is possible with cannabis that has THC is no different to me than the possibility of overindulgence at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Fourth of July, one’s birthday, etc. To me, it is simply a matter of willpower, as well as the particular strain of cannabis one has used plays a large part in the presence of the “munchies” or not.

Am I a drug addict? Absolutely not. I am a wife, a mother (no, I don’t partake in front of my children), and a college student. I just graduated with my Associate’s degree this past summer and I am now working on my Bachelor’s degree in Museum Studies, History, and Geography. I am a Phi Theta Kappa inductee/member (an international honor society), I have been on the President’s honor roll every semester, and I currently have a 3.7 GPA. (It was a 4.0, but I didn’t do as well as I’d have liked in my Physics course last semester.) I am an intelligent, motivated, hard-working disabled woman who simply functions and feels better after using a little cannabis daily. I’m certainly not giving Cheech and Chong a run for their money!

With all of that presented, I truly hope that breakthroughs in the benefit of cannabis on other diseases/maladies than cancer can be undoubtedly scientifically proven so that all of us could reap the benefit. Good Lord, I just heard on the news last night that the pharmaceutical industry is now looking into the health benefit of the use of psychedelics (mushrooms) and Ecstasy to treat many different maladies, including smoking cessation. They decided to do this after the results of some study that had been done. (I was in the middle of something and didn’t catch what the was performed on or for.) But…seriously?! It’s 2016 and Big Pharma sees the potential benefit of psychedelics and ecstasy, but everyone is still all firmly ensconced in the reefer madness propaganda? Isn’t there something wrong with that picture? I sure think there is!


#54

[quote=“David49, post:38, topic:57691, full:true”]
I have no issue with marijuana as a recreational drug: I have never seen any evidence to convince me it’s more dangerous than alcohol or as dangerous as tobacco (operating vehicles and machinery while high aside). I don’t drink or use any mind-altering drugs myself, but I am in favor of legalization for various (largely social justice) reasons.
[/quote]Wait just one minute there, Buck Rogers… Do you drink coffee or tea? Do you? Huh? DO YOU?

HA! GOTCHA!

:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :grin:


#55

Well damn, you got me there! I do drink coffee and tea, and I eat food too. I don’t tend to use intoxicants, is that a meaningful distinction?


#56

All very good points.

One interesting and somewhat unique aspect the cannabis is that there is a very very large cohort of voluntary guinea pigs out there testing many of these potential drug interactions. To date, over decades of pharmaceutical development, nothings popped up to my knowledge that has any really serious and/or dangerous interactions.

Now, my knowledge of this is far from comprehensive, so I may have to eat crow. However, I feel pretty confident that cannabis is relatively safe, on the same safety level as aspirin, chamomile tea, and a variety of other natural plant substances that have been a part of human culture and consumption for all of human history.

This sort of analysis is exceedingly loose and imprecise. There are plenty of example of natural substances that have horrific drug interactions (check out St. John’s Wort, for example). I’m not hanging my hat on the “natural” aspect of it (that by itself means nothing), but rather the historical experience humankind has had with the stuff, and the lack of serious issues.


#57

[quote=“David_dns, post:51, topic:57691, full:true”]

If you can’t measure it, it’s not science.
[/quote]I must object strongly to this opinion.

Much science can not be measured. Particularly in the theoretical disciplines.


#58

This is fascinating to me! I have the same issues with bringing blood sugar down from elevated levels. I will most definitely give this a try. I read that sativa strains enhance metabolic function due to the high levels of pinene terpenes, but yours is the first experiential report I’ve come across. Thank you for sharing! In case you’re interested, what I have been doing up to now–that helps modestly–is to take supplements that help mitochondrial function.

I am very fortunate to live in a state that is 100% legal. There is more professional support, and–like @karen57 mentioned–dispensaries have a plethora of strain/CBD to THC ratios/terpene options… though it’s great to have the option to grow for me because I love gardening and taking care of plants.

I’m sorry that you have so many issues with which to deal. I’m glad MC helps with some of them We just keep doing the best we can, right?


#59

Tell me that caffeine isn’t mind-altering. I’m ready to argue :grin:


#60

I agree with you. That’s why I modified my stance: I choose not to indulge in intoxicating drugs. Caffeine is just a base necessity of life, I’m pretty sure.


#61

My bad… a fair distinction, I missed it in round two.


#62

I wholeheartedly agree that studies on cannabis need to be more tightly aligned with the scientific method so as to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what quite a number of us already know. I acknowledge your point regarding patients being inadequate vouchers for the safety and use of cannabis in diabetes. I recognize your point regarding hesitation of using natural products because of hazards such as St. John’s Wort. Or even Belladonna. I get that. (I certainly wouldn’t advocate the use of poison ivy as toilet paper!) But you also mentioned aspirin, which I found interesting since you were heading down the path of dismissal of the topic already. I’m sure you already know, but aspirin is derived from the White Willow Tree. It is an extremely useful product derived from nature. Some of our best medications come from nature! I would much rather take a product that works and is natural than to take all these dang pills and get multitudes of other unwanted side effects that is a common occurrence with scientific lab/beaker created medications. I mean, I don’t know anyone who wants relief from chronic dry eye but gains anal leakage as a side effect of the medication that they were prescribed to treat the initial issue. Furthermore, I want a doctor that truly listens to ME about my disease, not some chart with scientific measurements of all the intricacies of my body systems that he/she compares to some medical book so they can figure how best to treat me. Granted, treatment of patients does involve just that. But I’ve found in my 31.5 years as a T1D that it is extremely important to know and listen to one’s body. No one knows each of our bodies better than we do. I don’t want to be on a thousand different medications. I want to be on safer, more all natural medications that I don’t have to worry about drug interactions and unwanted side effects. Last but not least, the original question of this thread asked others about their personal experiences with cannabis. I simply answered in kind.


#63

Have a great evening, all!