Editor’s note: Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’. ~ Steve Elliott
By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
I have felt my own mortality and was humbled to learn that two long-time friends my age have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, both within the last few months of each other. My friends, and millions of others, are searching for any new treatment that could heal and restore brain homeostasis and halt the progression of this neurodegenerative disease.
Cannabinoids are neuroprotectants.
We all have fragile friends and family with very similar serious medical conditions whom we all wish we could help. How many times in your private thoughts did think of that person you love and say to yourself, I wish there was a medicine I could find that would heal them?
When you are searching for hope and it appears, it’s like the hero in a movie appearing in the nick of time. The cannabis plant is that all-around hero of our time.
The Cannabinoid Hippocratic Oath: As a plant-based medicine I will first do no harm: gentleness is my very nature.
Patent Title: Cannabinoids act as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
|Assignee:||The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services http://www.google.com/patents/US6630507|
What is the significance of US Government Patent 6,630,507? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agZuafXG2Ds
Helping my friends in their search for evidence-based cannabis treatment, the gold standard for evidence appeared in the form of this famous 2003 Department of Health and Human Services medical cannabis patent, which I also learned was a clone of an earlier exact 1998 study by the same researchers.
Cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants/ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences / 1998 July
Cannabis is a potent brain anti-inflammatory medicine
“The non psychoactive marijuana constituent cannabidiol was found to prevent both glutamate neurotoxicity and Reactive oxygen species -induced cell death. The psychoactive principle of Cannabis, THC, also blocked glutamate neurotoxicity with a similar potency to cannabidiol”.
Taken together, these two studies highlight, document and support what was known for 16 years: that the Department of Health and Human Services supplied evidence that was vetted for accuracy by the U.S. Patent Office and granted the highest official seal of approval, stating that cannabinoids could be used as a direct form of treatment for the big four neurological diseases — Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
As early as 1998, robust evidence existed that endocannabinoids protected the brain from neurodegenerative diseases; the evidence was so good that the U.S. government put a lock on it, for the benefit of U.S. citizens I assume.
Because of the big lie called Schedule I, which shuts down all positive research.
This shutdown of scientific research caused direct harm to millions of people who, for nearly two decades, were desperately looking for new treatment options so they could simply live another day. Why no human drug trials?
“Considering the relevance of preclinical data, the need for finding treatments for motor symptoms that may be alternative to classic dopamine replacement therapy and the lack of efficient neuroprotective strategies in Parkinson’s”…
“We believe it is of major interest to develop further studies that allow the promising expectations generated for these molecules (cannabinoids) to progress from the present preclinical evidence towards a real clinical application.”
From: Cannabinoids and Parkinson’s disease /CNS & Neuro. Disorders Drug Targets/Dec 2009
For one government agency to first supply solid evidence that cannabinoids are the new frontier of anti-inflammation brain medicine, then for a second government agency to validate the evidence with a patent, and then for a third government agency to stonewall that same medical research into the development of those drugs that could have been fast-tracked to prevent needless suffering and countless deaths, all for hidden political reasons and in order to not admit that they were wrong, is immoral, and the very definition of a crime against the people of this great country.
For a government agency to stop patients from accessing life-saving medicine reminds me of another famous experiment conducted when life-saving medicine was withheld from people in the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Is medical marijuana as Schedule I really any different from this atrocity?
So, who of those in power for the last 16 years are responsible for stopping real clinical application of medical cannabis research for neurodegenerative disease, and who in power today are stopping this important scientific progress from saving lives?
Cannabis is nontoxic and has never caused a fatality from direct use, ever! Cannabis is so safe it sets the gold standard against which all other drugs should be measured for safety.
Can you appreciate depth of that statement and the impeccable safety record of this botanical medicine? The science is on our side, so why not immediate clinical use? The downside of immediate cannabis-based treatments for neurodegenerative disease is near zero, but still no movement towards real clinical application to help average people.
Schedule I has been falsified and is pseudoscience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscience
The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra. An unknown inflammation process appears to be killing off these cells; it is here where medical cannabinoids protect the remaining dopamine cells and perhaps stimulate neurogenesis of new ones.
Pharmaceutical use of cannabis is not new and history shows us how this miracle plant has been misinterpreted through an era of ignorance. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, and the credibility of marijuana as a therapy specifically for Parkinson’s disease is somewhat new. “Marijuana is a miracle plant that helps Parkinson’s patients and benefits people suffering from many other illnesses,” states PD patient and author of “Marijuana for Parkinson’s Disease ” – Richard Secklin
Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, US patent 6630507, are our heroes.
Here are the top 10 cannabinoid science medical studies that support US Patent 6630507.
I hope this may be of help to you when formulating your treatment options with your physician.
1. Endocannabinoid Modulation of Dopaminergic Motor Circuits / Front. Pharmacol. / June 2012
“There is substantial evidence supporting a role for the endocannabinoid system as a modulator of the Dopaminergic activity in the basal ganglia, a forebrain system that integrates cortical information to coordinate motor activity regulating signals.”
“In fact, the administration of plant-derived, synthetic or endogenous cannabinoids produces several effects on motor function. These effects are mediated primarily through the CB1 receptors that are densely located in the dopamine-enriched basal ganglia networks, suggesting that the motor effects of endocannabinoids are due, at least in part, to modulation of Dopaminergic transmission.”
“Therefore, it has been suggested that endocannabinoid system modulation may constitute an important component in new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of motor disturbances”.
“l-DOPA induced dyskinesia (LID) constitute one of the most disabling complications derived from the long-term therapy with l-DOPA affecting up to 40% of PD patients after 5years of treatment”
“Cannabinoid agonists could exert antidyskinetic effect by regulating glutamatergic release in the striatum and/or by re-establishing endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity affected by dopamine denervation.”
2. Prospects for cannabinoid therapies in basal ganglia disorders / Br J Pharmacol. 2011 August
“Cannabinoids are promising medicines to slow down disease progression in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease two of the most important disorders affecting the basal ganglia. “
“Cannabinoids like Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol protect nigral or striatal neurons in experimental models of both disorders, in which oxidative injury is a prominent cytotoxic mechanism… leads to a slower progression of neurodegeneration in both disorders. This effect would be exerted by limiting the toxicity of microglial cells for neurons and, in particular, by reducing the generation of proinflammatory factors. It is important to mention that CB2 receptors have been identified in the healthy brain, mainly in glial elements and, to a lesser extent, in certain subpopulations of neurons, and that they are dramatically up-regulated in response to damaging stimuli, which supports the idea that the cannabinoid system behaves as an endogenous neuroprotective system. This CB2 receptor up-regulation has been found in many neurodegenerative disorders including HD and PD, which supports the beneficial effects found for CB2 receptor agonists in both disorders…
“In conclusion, the evidence reported so far supports that those cannabinoids having antioxidant properties and/or capability to activate CB2 receptors may represent promising therapeutic agents in HD and PD, thus deserving a prompt clinical evaluation”.
3. Medical marijuana treatment for motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease International Parkinson’s Congress/June, 2013 http://www.mdsabstracts.com/abstract.asp?MeetingID=798&id=106491
“Cannabis holds promise as another treatment option for PD. It can apparently alleviate not only the motor symptoms but also the non-motor symptoms, especially PD-related pain and sleep, thereby improving patient quality of life.”
“Despite the many recent advances in the symptomatic treatment of PD, there is still no realistic prospect for a cure. In recent years, new data support the idea of a relevant role for the cannabinoid system in PD”.
“As cannabinoids have neuroprotective properties, they have been proposed as potentially useful neuroprotective substances in PD, as well as to alleviate some symptoms in specific circumstances (i.e. parkinsonian tremor associated with over activity to the subthalamic nucleus; levodopa-induced dyskinesia).”
“Cannabinoid-based compounds might provide protection against the progression of neuronal injury characteristic of this disease; the influence of cannabinoids on local inflammatory events associated with the pathogenesis in PD.”
“Collectively, all these evidence support that the management of the cannabinoid system might represent a new approach to the treatment of PD”.
5. The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of motor dysfunction
“There is evidence that cannabinoid-based medicines that are selective for different targets in the cannabinoid signaling system (e.g. receptors, inactivation mechanism, enzymes) might be beneficial in basal ganglia disorders, namely Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease”
“These benefits not only include the alleviation of specific motor symptoms … but also the delay of disease progression due to the neuroprotective properties demonstrated for cannabinoids.
6. The Influence of Cannabinoids on Generic Traits of Neurodegeneration / Br J Pharm., Oct. 2013
“In an increasingly aged population, the incidence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are on the rise. While the etiologies of these disorders are different, a number of common mechanisms that underlie their neurodegenerative components have been elucidated; namely neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced trophic support.
Current therapies focus on treatment of the symptoms and attempt to delay the progression of these diseases but there is currently no cure. Modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system is emerging as a potentially viable option in the treatment of neurodegeneration. Endocannabinoid signaling has been found to be altered in many neurodegenerative disorders…
Through multiple lines of evidence, this evolutionarily conserved neuro-signalling system has shown neuroprotective capabilities and is therefore a potential target for neurodegenerative disorders. This review details the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and highlights the beneficial effects of cannabinoid treatment.”
“We discuss the role of microglia in the healthy brain, and then the role of microglia in chronic neuroinflammatory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as in neuroinflammation following acute brain injury such as stroke and global hypoxia.
As activation of CB2 receptor on microglia results in suppression of the proliferation and activation of microglia, there is potential for the anti-inflammatory properties of CB2 agonist to treat neuropathology’s that involve heightened microglia activity.
In addition, activating CB2 receptors may result in an increase in proliferation and affect migration of NPCs. Therefore, it is possible that CB2 agonists may assist in the treatment of neuropathology’s by increasing neurogenesis.”
8. The decrease of dopamine D₂/D₃ receptor densities in the putamen and nucleus caudatus goes parallel with maintained levels of CB₁ cannabinoid receptors in Parkinson’s disease
Brain Research Bulletin/April 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22421165
“Our data suggest the presence of an unaltered CB₁R population even in late stages of levodopa treated PD. This further supports the presence of an intact CB₁R population which, in line with the conclusion of earlier publications, may be utilized as a pharmacological target in the treatment of PD”
9. Functional diversity on synaptic plasticity mediated by endocannabinoids/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3481528/
“To date, the endocannabinoid system is considered the best characterized form of retrograde synaptic transmission. Short-term forms of plasticity induced by cannabinoids have been described in numerous brain areas in different organisms, accounting not only for our understanding of the hippocampus and cerebellum as the major sites of action for endocannabinoid system, but also suggesting that the endocannabinoid system itself is an ancient mechanism in evolutionary terms…
“However, our more global understanding of the role endocannabinoid system play in regulating behavior and mental disease is just beginning. The endocannabinoid system is thought to be involved in regulating over-excitability and promoting synaptic homeostasis.”
10. Symptom-relieving and neuroprotective effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THCV in animal models of Parkinson’s disease / Br J Pharmacol. 2011 August
“Previous findings have indicated that a cannabinoid, such as Δ9-THCV, which has antioxidant properties and the ability to activate CB2 receptors but to block CB1, might be a promising therapy for alleviating symptoms and delaying neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.”
This post is dedicated to Peter McWilliams.
Cannabis Is Medicine — Prohibition Does Not Work!
Former NYPD cop, former high school health teacher, the unstoppable “Captain Cannabinoid” aka Captain Cannabis, Ron Marczyk, R.N., Toke Signals columnist
Editor’s note: Ron Marczyk — Captain Cannabinoid — is a retired high school health education teacher who taught Wellness and Disease Prevention, Drug and Sex Education, and AIDS Education to teens aged 13-17.
He also taught a high school International Baccalaureate psychology course. He taught in a New York City public school as a Drug Prevention Specialist.
He is a Registered Nurse with six years of ER/Critical Care experience in NYC hospitals, earned an M.S. in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology, and worked as a New York City police officer for two years.
Currently he is focused on how evolutionary psychology explains human behavior.
To see all of Ron Marczyk’s “Worth Repeating” articles for Toke Signals, click here.