The Therapeutic Potential For Cannabis

«Cannabis Use and Abuse by Man: An Historical Perspective» of this site provides a fascinating, historical account of the use of cannabis across many cultures and centuries. Suffice it to say here that any natural substance with over 5000 years of medical history will have attached to it a heritage of hearsay and legend through which one must sift to identify areas of true therapeutic potential for us in the late twentieth century and beyond. A summary of conditions for which cannabis has been used, ranging through various shades of rationality, appears in Table Medicinal and quasi-medicinal uses for cannabis and its derivatives: Indications for which only anecdote or reports of traditional use exist: aphrodisiac muscular spasm in rabies / tetanus Huntingdon’s chorea jaundice toothache earache tumour growth cough hysteria insanity menstrual cramps rheumatism movement disorders gut spasm pyrexia inflammed tonsils migraine headache increasing uterine  contractions in childbirth urinary retention/ bladder spasm parasite infection fatigue allergy fever herpetic pain hypertension joint inflammation diarrhoea malaria forgetfulness Indications Read more […]

Specific Medicinal Uses of Cannabis

The historical and contemporary, medicinal uses of cannabis have been reviewed on several occasions. Perhaps the earliest published report to contain at least some objectivity on the subject was that of O’Shaughnessy (1842), an Irish surgeon, working in India, who described the analgesic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties of the drug. This report triggered the appearance of over 100 publications on the medicinal use of cannabis in American and European medical journals over the next 60 years. One such use was to treat nausea and vomiting; but it was not until the advent of potent cancer chemotherapeutic drugs that the antiemetic properties of cannabis became more widely investigated and then employed. One can argue that the available clinical evidence of efficacy is stronger here than for any other application and that proponents of its use are most likely to be successful in arguing that cannabis should be re-scheduled (to permit its use as a medicine) because it has a “currently accepted medical use”. Specific Medicinal Uses of Cannabis: Use as an Antiemetic Specific Medicinal Uses of Cannabis: Glaucoma Specific Medicinal Uses of Cannabis: Multiple Sclerosis Spastic Conditions A discussion Read more […]

Wormwood: Recommendations On Safety

1. Do not use in pregnancy. 2. Do not use in porphyria. 3. The volatile oil should not be taken internally. A man of 31 drank 10 mL of essential oil of wormwood, thinking it was absinthe. He became agitated and incoherent with tonic and clonic seizures, and developed acute renal failure resulting from rhabdomyolysis (myoglobin release due to muscle injury). He recovered after 8 days of hospital treatment and had normal serum electrolyte, creatine kinase and creatinine concentration after 17 days. The possible association between ingestion of ketones and convulsions has received much attention. Two cases of convulsions have occurred in association with use of volatile oil of sage Salvia officinalis, which contains ketones. Convulsions have been induced in rats by injected oil of hyssop, which mainly contains pinocamphone. Thujone was first isolated in 1845 and it is argued that thujone is the convulsant constituent in wormwood. Intraperitoneal injection of thujone was convulsant in mice and the action was blocked by earlier intraperitoneal administration of diazepam or phenobarbital. Hold et al (2000) showed that alpha-thujone acts at the noncompetitive blocker site of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type Read more […]

Zinc: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

Zinc is involved in many chemical reactions that are important for normal body functioning and it is essential for health and wellbeing. • Although zinc supplements are traditionally used to treat deficiency, they are also used to prevent deficiency in conditions associated with low zinc status or deficiency, such as acrodermatitis enteropathica, anorexia nervosa, malabsorption syndromes, conditions associated with chronic diarrhea, alcoholism, diabetes, HIV and AIDS, recurrent infections, severe burns, Wilson’s disease and sickle cell anaemia. • Zinc supplements are also popular among athletes in order to counteract zinc loss that occurs through perspiration. • Zinc lozenges have been used to prevent and treat the symptoms of the common cold and oral supplements have been used to treat acnevulgaris, improve wound healing and chronic leg ulcers, resolve intestinal permeability problems and reduce recurrences in Crohn’s disease, treat recalcitrant warts, reduce symptoms of tinnitus and improve ADHD. • Topical applications of zinc have been used to treat acnevulgaris (in combination with erythromycin), herpes simplexand to promotewound healing. • Numerous interactions exist between other minerals, Read more […]

Zinc: Clinical Use

Many of the clinical uses of zinc supplements are for conditions thought to arise from a marginal zinc deficiency, but some indications are based on the concept that high-dose zinc supplements act as a therapeutic agent. DEFICIENCY Traditionally, zinc supplementation has been used to treat deficiency or prevent deficiency in conditions such as acrodermatitis enteropathica, anorexia nervosa, malabsorption syndromes, conditions associated with chronic diarrhea, alcoholism, diabetes, HIV and AIDS, recurrent infections, severe burns, Wilson’s disease and sickle cell anaemia. Zinc supplements are also popular among athletes in order to counteract the zinc loss that occurs through perspiration. COMMON COLD Oral zinc supplements, lozenges and nasal sprays and gels have been investigated in the treatment of the common cold. It has been demonstrated that a transient increase in zinc concentrations in and around the nasal cavity prevents rhinovirus binding to cells and disrupts infection and/or modulates inflammatory cytokines that may exacerbate cold symptoms. Nasal preparations A randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial with 160 people tested the effects of a nasal spray of 0.12% zinc sulfate and found that it Read more […]

Tyrosine: Clinical Use. Dosage

PHENYLKETONURIA Phenylketonuria (PKU) is treated by restricting dietary intake of natural protein and substituting a protein source that lacks phenylalanine but is fortified with tyrosine. This recommendation is because people with PKU are unable to metabolise phenylalanine, the precursor to tyrosine. Unfortunately, tyrosine supplementation has not been shown to consistently improve neuropsychologic function in PKU, which is possibly because increases in plasma tyrosine levels are not sustained and brain influx often remains suboptimal despite tyrosine supplementation. In practice, plasma tyrosine levels are monitored and controlled (normal: 45 micromol/L) before tyrosine supplementation is considered. ENHANCED COGNITION Therapeutically, tyrosine supplements are used to enhance levels of its derivatives and, therefore, improve cognitive function. One randomised, placebo-controlled study investigated the effects of L-tyrosine (1 50 mg/kg) on cognitive performance following one night’s sleep loss. Supplementation was found to significantly reduce performance decline, with cognitive improvements lasting approximately 3 hours. RCTs comparing the effects of a balanced amino acid drink with one lacking in tyrosine Read more […]

St John’s wort: Background. Actions

Common Name St John’s wort Other Names Amber, balsana, devil’s scourge, goatweed, hardhay, hartheu, herb de millepertuis, hierba de San Juan, hypericum, iperico, johanniskraut, klamath weed, konradskraut, millepertuis, rosin rose, sonnenwendkraut, St Jan’s kraut, tipton weed, witch’s herb Botanical Name / Family Hypericum perforatum (family Clusiaceae or Guttiferae) Plant Parts Used Aerial parts, flowering tops Historical Note St John’s wort has been used medicinally since ancient Greektimes when, it is believed, Dioscorides and Hippocrates used it to rid the body of evil spirits. Since the time of the Swiss physician Paracelsus (c. 1493-1541), it has been used to treat neuralgia, anxiety, neurosis and depression. Externally, it has also been used to treat wounds, bruises and shingles. The name ‘St John’s wort‘ is related to its yellow flowers, traditionally gathered for the feast of St John the Baptist and the term ‘wort’ is the old English word for plant. St John’s wort has enjoyed its greatest popularity in Europe and comprises 25% of all antidepressant prescriptions in Germany. In the past few decades its popularity has also grown in countries such as Australia and the United States. Chemical Components Naphthodianthrones Read more […]