Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the B.C. Centre on Substance Use conducted over 5,000 interviews with 1,152 people who used heroin and other drugs and reported chronic pain at some point from June 2014 to June 2017.
The participants were largely from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and lead author M-J Milloy said the study aimed to discover “new interventions” that might “lower or address the risk of overdose” in heavy opioid users.
More than 12,800 apparent opioid-related deaths occurred in Canada between January 2016, when the federal government started tracking the data, and March 2019, according to the latest available statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Milloy said chronic pain is one of the “driving factors” of the opioid crisis, adding that many who can’t get effective pain relief can turn to the black market for opioids.
“This is the population that’s really suffering the worst burden of mortality in the crisis,” he said. “And there’s been some work suggesting that cannabis might be beneficial in the overdose crisis. So we’ve really tried to use our data to figure out if that is true.”
What they found was that daily cannabis use was associated with significantly lower odds of daily illicit opioid use, suggesting cannabis may serve as a substitute treatment in people with chronic pain.
The story went viral online this week and was picked up in publications in Canada and overseas, including the Daily Mail and The Sun in the U.K.
While a spokesperson for the university says he receives no funding from any industry group, it is worth noting the cannabis company contributed $2.5 million to UBC and BCCSU for the professorship and research.
Milloy said the fact that his study looked at daily cannabis use raised a “valid concern” about the risk of addiction, but added it’s also linked to therapeutic benefits.
“A lot of people who are benefiting from cannabis are the people who are using it every day,” he said.
“We are very aware of the risk of harms. And I want to emphasize that none of us think that cannabis is a panacea or a silver bullet to knock out the overdose crisis. What we do think, though, is that it has tremendous potential.”
Conflicting research raises questions
A day after the UBC study was published, researchers at McMaster Universitypublished a review of almost 30 years’ worth of data in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that examined the use of cannabis as a replacement drug for people with opioid addictions.
Researchers looked at six studies involving 3,676 participants dating back to 1991 in an effort to determine the effects of cannabis use on opioid addiction during methadone treatment.
What they found was starkly different than the UBC study — there is no consensus among studies that cannabis use is associated with reduced opioid use.
“There’s a lot of hype and interest and hope that this could be a replacement. Could this be helping people with chronic pain or with opioid addiction?” said senior author Dr. Zainab Samaan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster.
Cannabis produces pain-relieving molecules that are 30 times more potent at reducing inflammation than aspirin.
(TMU) — Medical marijuana is fast gaining credibility as a valid pain relief treatment, with data from various studies attesting to the medical and health benefits of cannabis as a viable alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
And now, researchers have uncovered a new reason why: the cannabis plant produces pain-relieving molecules that are 30 times more potent at reducing inflammation than aspirin.
What makes the discovery so groundbreaking is that it could carve a new path to natural pain relief medications that would save patients who suffer chronic pain from the risks of addiction associated with opioid-based pain killers.
According to the team of researchers at Canada’s University of Guelph, they found out how the two important molecules—cannflavin A and cannflavin B—were produced through a combination of genomics and biochemistry.
The two cannflavins, known as “flavonoids,” were identified in 1985 when scientists proved that they had benefits which could fight inflammation at a gram-for-gram rate of about 30 times that of aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid.
However, prohibitionist laws in Canada prevented further research into the potent anti-inflammatory qualities of the molecules.
But with Canada joining the growing bandwagon of countries legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, molecular and cellular biology Professors Tariq Akhtar and Steven Rothstein were able to resume an analysis into cannabis and how it produces cannflavins.
“Our objective was to better understand how these molecules are made, which is a relatively straightforward exercise these days.
There are many sequenced genomes that are publicly available, including the genome of Cannabis sativa, which can be mined for information. If you know what you’re looking for, one can bring genes to life, so to speak, and piece together how molecules like cannflavins A and B are assembled.”
Their full findings, which were published in the peer-reviewed journalPhytochemistry, offer an exciting opportunity to create new natural health products with equal or greater power than traditional synthetic or opioid-based pain relievers.
“There’s clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids.
These molecules are non-psychoactive and they target the inflammation at the source, making them ideal painkillers.”
The research comes amid the ongoing opioid crisis in North America which has largely been driven by large pharmaceutical firms such as Purdue Pharma, the company responsible for making the OxyContin narcotic pill, incentivizing or misleading doctors and patients about the dangerous and addictive nature of strong painkillers to boost company profits.
In recent years, drug overdose deaths have reached monstrous proportions, with 65,000 fatal drug overdoses taking place in 2017 alone. Many who abuse the pills have prolonged addictive fixations on opioids, with the hardest-hit age group ranging from 25 to 34 years old. Out of that age group, 12,325 died in 2017, among whom two-thirds were men.
Professor Rothstein, however, hopes that his team’s latest discovery can help make a powerful difference in people’s lives.
“Being able to offer a new pain relief option is exciting, and we are proud that our work has the potential to become a new tool in the pain relief arsenal.”
Lowered pain tolerance and the destructive cycle of chasing pain relief is a hallmark of opioids. Cannabis offers consistent pain relief without the risk of developing increased pain sensitivity.
When opioids first hit the market in 1911, and up until the 1990s, these were reserved for post-surgical (acute) pain and patients with cancer. Since then, opioid use for treatment of chronic pain has escalated. It is now one of the most over-prescribed medications in North America. Unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of long-term opioid use is sensitization to pain, or a decrease in pain tolerance. In other words, instead of acting as an analgesic and decreasing pain, overused opioids make individuals more sensitive to pain.
Patients on high doses of opioid pharmacotherapy may suffer escalating acute pain, which can lead to a vicious cycle of increasing the dose, but never again finding that pain relief. Currently, there are no strategies that would prevent, reverse or manage this state of increased pain sensitivity.
To put this sensitization issue into perspective, one study pointed out that patients with lower back pain, on long-lasting morphine, developed pain tolerance within one month of therapy. Further studies suggested that one of the culprits for this process involved a metabolite of morphine, called morphine-3-glucoronide.
Cannabis Research on Pain is Not Very Accurate
Cannabis is an alternative analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicine, as demonstrated by a several pre-clinical studies. However, when it comes to human trials, the data is very scarce and the available studies are inconclusive due to inherent design flaws. Most of the studies conducted, thus far, measured pain tolerance and pain threshold immediately after consumption of THC, CBD, or both (via smoking or oral formulations). Collectively, these studies suggest that cannabis has some analgesic effect but only in males, and not in females, and can increase the pain sensitivity and decrease pain threshold. Not exactly reliable results when you consider methodologies.
(Natural News) Cannabis may still be prohibited by the U.S. federal government, but that doesn’t mean the prized plant isn’t a medicine. While federal prohibition may make scientific research on cannabis harder to complete, many studies have shown that the plant has wide-reaching medicinal benefits. Research continues to show that for dozens of conditions, cannabis could be a natural solution.
As of 2018, 29 U.S. states have legalized cannabis for medical use. In the U.S., legalized medical cannabis is gaining more support than ever, with an 84-percent approval rating according to recent survey data.
Even the National Institutes of Health recognizes the medical benefits of cannabis – and it’s a federal organization. All this has left many people wondering why cannabis prohibition is still running strong in the U.S. But despite prohibition’s dampening effect on research, the science on medicinal cannabis continues to pour in. Here are 10 health conditions scientifically shown to have success with cannabis treatment:
1. Cannabis can relieve many types of pain
For chronic pain sufferers of any kind, cannabis can bring relief with fewer side effects and less risk than many mainstream treatments. Studies of patients with peripheral neuropathy have shown that pain reduction can be observed within a week of regular use. CBD, or cannabidiol, is thought to be the key pain alleviator here; reports say that it “reduces the inflammatory response and binds to TRPV1 receptors, which are capable of mediating antihyperalgesic effects.”
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Chronic pain can come from many different sources, but for fibromyalgia patients, cannabis could be very effective. Studies also show that it can relieve other types of pain, like arthritis. While not every person with chronic pain finds relief from cannabis, many do. In fact, pain is the most common reason people ask their doctors for medical marijuana.
2. Relief from anxiety
In the right amount, cannabis has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress in users. However, the dose makes the poison: For many people, too much cannabis can cause anxiety to spike instead. CBD oil can also help reduce feelings of anxiousness.
3. Eases depression
Studies have shown that the infamous plant has anti-depressive benefits as well. Specifically, the plant compound CBD has been shown to exhibit similar effects on depression as pharmaceutical antidepressants.
4. Cannabis protects brain cells
Despite popular belief, cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can actually help protect your brain – especially CBD. Sources say that CBD is “proven to reduce short-term brain damage and was associated with extracerebral benefits.”
5. Fights Alzheimer’s disease
In addition to protecting the brain against damage, studies have shown that THC, a compound in cannabis, can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the plant may help reverse the degenerative condition entirely.
6. Relieves the symptoms of MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious disease with no currently known cure. But studies have shown that cannabis can provide much needed relief to people who have MS – especially those struggling with painful muscle spasms. Muscle spasticity effects an estimated 90 percent of MS patients. Studies show that cannabis can help relieve this symptom; survey data indicates that as many as 97 percent of MS patients could benefit from it.
7. Eliminates nausea, increases hunger
Cannabis can help reduce feelings of nausea in patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS and other debilitating conditions. Furthermore, in patients with poor appetite, the plant medicine may help increase overall tolerance of food.
8. Treats IBD
For patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), cannabis could be a novel treatment that provides symptom relief. Studies suggest that both THC and CBD (two well-known cannabinoids) play an important role in gut function – and the benefits can’t be ignored.
A recent report on consumer habits suggests recreational cannabis users rely less on alcohol, over the counter pain medications, and sleep aids.
According to the Recreational Cannabis Consumer report conducted by High Yield Insights, a consumer analysis firm, “Recreational consumers report using cannabis products for a variety of reasons, from relaxation to pain relief to sleep assistance, putting cannabis in direct competition with alcohol and pharmaceuticals.” The firm’s press release adds that “[c]onsumers also express greater demand for convenient cannabis product formats such as edibles and “pre-rolls” (premade marijuana cigarettes). “
The specific statistics are not insignificant. As the release notes, “[o]ver 20% of recreational consumers report using lower amounts of over-the-counter pain medications (-27%), sleep aids (-22%) and alcoholic beverages, including spirits (-21%) and beer (-20%).”
Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights, said:
“We are just starting to grasp how legalization has impacted consumer behavior, be it spending, usage occasions, or shopping habits. Understanding these changes will lead to new growth opportunities for cannabis and further disruption for other categories.”
He cited the emergence of niche markets, including consumers over the age of 55 who used cannabis at a younger age and are now returning to it.
Though the findings are based on consumer research, more academic inquiries have found similar preferences among consumers. Studies have concluded the consumption of alcohol decreases in states where cannabis is legal in some form, as do opioid prescriptions, though these findings amount to correlation rather than causation. Recent research has also suggested that cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, may be useful in reducing dependency on alcohol and cocaine.
Further, many patients have expressed their preference for cannabis over prescription pills to treat pain.
Because of these preferences, cannabis could serve as a disruptive force against the pervasive power of the pharmaceutical industry, and alcohol industry, both of which lobby against the plant’s legalization.
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In 2017, some Americans could buy legal marijuana almost as easily as they could order a pizza. Pot shops outnumber Starbucks stores in states like Colorado and Oregon, and medical marijuana delivery services drop the drug off at people’s doors in California and Massachusetts.
With marijuana now more accessible – legally – than ever, more researchers are weighing in on its health effects. But that doesn’t mean we fully understand the plant or its impacts.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a massive report in January that gives one of the most comprehensive looks – and certainly the most up-to-date – at exactly what we know about the science of cannabis. The committee behind the report, representing top universities around the country, considered more than 10,000 studies for its analysis and drew nearly 100 conclusions. Many of those findings are summarized below.
In the short term, marijuana can make your heart race.
Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana, your heart rate can increase by between 20 and 50 beats a minute. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The report from the National Academies found insufficient evidence to support or refute the idea that cannabis might increase the overall risk of a heart attack. The same report, however, also found some limited evidence that smoking could be a trigger for a heart attack.
Marijuana’s effects on the heart could be tied to effects on blood pressure, but the link needs more research.
Research suggests this is a poor assumption – and one that could have interfered with the study’s results. According to a recent survey, about 52% of Americans have tried cannabis at some point, yet only 14% used the drug at least once a month.
Other studies have come to the opposite conclusion. According to the Mayo Clinic, using cannabis could result in decreased – not increased – blood pressure.
So while there’s probably a link between smoking marijuana and high blood pressure, there’s not enough research yet to say that one leads to the other.
Marijuana use affects the lungs but doesn’t seem to increase the risk of lung cancer.
People who smoke marijuana regularly are more likely to experience chronic bronchitis, according to the report from the National Academies. There’s also evidence that stopping smoking relieves these symptoms.
Perhaps surprisingly, the report’s authors found moderate evidence that cannabis was not connected to an increased risk of the lung cancers or head and neck cancers associated with smoking cigarettes.
Marijuana may help relieve some types of pain.
Marijuana contains cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical that is not responsible for getting you high but is thought to be responsible for many of marijuana’s therapeutic effects. Those benefits can include pain relief or potential treatment for certain kinds of childhood epilepsy.The report from the National Academies also found conclusive or substantial evidence – the most definitive levels – that cannabis can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, which could have to do with both CBD and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Pain is “by far the most common” reason people request medical marijuana, according to the report.
Marijuana may not be the “gateway drug” that opponents make it out to be.
Most people Brigitte Biesel’s age use their mini scales to weigh letters, but the 80-year-old bought hers to measure weed. “Recently, I saw one similar to mine on Bares für Rares [the German equivalent of Antiques Roadshow],” she tells me excitedly. As she’s chatting, she’s also trying to concentrate on grinding the cannabis buds onto her delicate silver scale.
Today is baking day at Biesel’s terraced house in Köpenick, Germany, a picturesque district in Berlin. “I think it’s safe to say that I’m the first person to bake this specific variety of cookies here,” she says, laughing.
Biesel loves to bake. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, she made vanilla rolls, cinnamon stars, and other treats for her extended family and friends. But her baking today isn’t about anyone else. I’m here to help her prepare her “medication,” as she likes to call it—cookies spiked with cannabis from a nearby pharmacy.
Biesel isn’t trying to get stoned and blank out the world. “That’s not really my thing,” she says. On the contrary—thanks to cannabis—she feels more alive. It makes her chronic pain more bearable, it helps her get out of bed in the morning, and it allows her to comfortably sit down in her garden under the rhododendrons, which she especially loves when they bloom red, white, and purple in spring and summer.
Her story is similar to the thousands of Germans who have found that cannabis works where conventional medicine has failed them. In March 2017, it became legal to obtain medicinal weed in Germany with a prescription, but relatively few clinics will prescribe it, and many health insurance companies don’t want to cover the costs. By the end of last year, more than 13,000 people had submitted insurance claims to the three largest health insurance companies in the country. The German government had estimated that only 700 people would apply. “They have no clue,” Biesel says.
For the past 60 years, Biesel has struggled with chronic pain. At 19, she was diagnosed with scoliosis—a condition where your spine twists and curves out of place. If you stand behind her, you can clearly see that her spine is not straight, but rather shaped like an “S.”
Still, Biesel was determined to live a full and active life, despite her condition, and spent her 20s skiing, cycling, and swimming, while working as a costume tailor for the revues at the Friedrichstadt-Palast theater in Berlin. But, in her 30s, she woke up one morning barely able to feel the entire left half of her body. “I couldn’t move my left hand—it just wouldn’t work,” she remembers.
In an East Berlin clinic, she was strapped onto a bed and pushed into an operating room. Bright lights, 20 students, and two professors stared down at her like she was the sole survivor of some UFO crash landing, she tells me now. Nobody could explain her paralysis. At the time, hospitals in East Germany didn’t have CT scanners, so the alternative was to push a hollow needle into her spinal cord in order to collect spinal fluid. The pain was so unbearable that she fainted.
The doctors discovered the cause of her paralysis was a slipped disc between her fifth and seventh vertebrae. She lived with the paralysis for almost 15 years until, in the 1980s, three Berlin doctors managed to stabilize her neck with a piece of her hip bone. She regained much of the feeling that she had lost. The doctors were allowed to leave Communist East Germany to present their revolutionary surgery in West Germany, but they never returned. “I had to do rehab by myself and make sure that the scars healed properly,” she says.
That wasn’t the end of her medical troubles. In 2000, she suffered a stroke, and the subsequent medication she was given damaged her intestines and stomach lining. On top of that, she was recently diagnosed with PNP—a rare form of muscle paralysis in which your immune system fights against your own nervous system. At times, she can’t get her legs to do what her mind wants.
For as long as she can remember, doctors in more than 50 different hospitals and clinics have prescribed super strength painkiller after super strength painkiller, but nothing has worked. And often, to combat the pills’ side effects, she’s prescribed even more drugs with even more side effects. When you listen to her outlining her medical history for half an hour, it becomes obvious why there’s a small pile of cannabis lying there on the kitchen table next to a vase with fresh tulips.
Biesel infusing some melted butter with weed
At the tail end of 2016, Biesel’s grandson came to visit and brought along some weed cookies for her to sample, to see whether they helped with the pain. She considered it for a moment before deciding that whatever they’d do, it couldn’t be much worse than her usual medication. She bit into one. It took about 30 minutes to kick in. “My pain didn’t go away completely, but when I ate the cookies, I felt lighter,” she explains. “I don’t think about the pain as much, and I don’t feel as sad either.” She goes on to tell me that she’s suffered from depression for the past 15 years, ever since she underwent a particularly difficult stomach operation. “Everything just isn’t as bad when I have the cookies.”
Biesel paid €110 [about $130] for 5 grams of cannabis and €160 [$195] as a consultation fee, while her husband drove ten miles to a pharmacy that actually stocks medicinal weed. Every time she bakes, she makes a batch big enough to last about two to three months. Her insurance company should cover the cost, “but they can be difficult at times,” she says.
Biesel’s latest doctor has prescribed her two different types of medicinal cannabis—Bakerstreet to help manage her pain in the morning, and Bediol to help her fall asleep at night. She’d rather not smoke a joint, she tells me because smoking used to give her problems with her circulation. Her grandson also gave her a cookbook with weed recipes, but the cookies are her favorite. “And two a day won’t make me fat,” she laughs. “Anyway, shall we start baking?”
1.5 grams of crushed cannabis
200 grams [1 1/2 cups] of flour
100 grams [1/2 cup] of butter
50 grams [1/4 cup] of sugar
A pinch of baking powder
1 egg yolk
Biesel carefully pours some cannabis onto the scale. At 1.47 grams, she stops before slowly adding some more, but overshoots her mark by 0.2 grams. “No, that’s too much,” she says to herself before taking bits off until she hits exactly 1.5 grams. She knows as well as anyone that precision is key, with medication and with baking.
Biesel mixes the weed butter into the dough.
Biesel kneads the ingredients for the dough together and covers the mix in plastic wrap, before leaving it to rest for at least an hour. Next, she melts a knob of butter in a small pan, and, as it simmers on her stove, she stirs the crushed buds into the butter.
Her kitchen—with its framed pictures of cozy benches and watercolors of berries and roses—soon fills with the sweet scent of her grandson’s recipe. “This all gets pretty smelly,” she warns me.
As the cannabis butter cools down, she preheats the oven to 220 degrees Celsius [428 degrees Fahrenheit] and kneads the weed butter into the dough until green speckles appear throughout. Before she finishes, she combines it with the leftover oil residue in the pan. “You don’t want any of it to go to waste,” she explains.
“People who say [cannabis is] just a narcotic don’t know what real pain is,” Biesel says. She never takes enough to get high. Well, except once with her grandson for fun. “We were sitting outside in the garden, and I ate three cookies,” she remembers. “I felt like I had drunk a glass and a half of red wine.”
After an hour, she rolls out the dough “evenly and thinly for a consistent effect,” before picking up a shot glass—her makeshift cookie cutter—and shaping 30 round dough balls onto a tray. They then go into the oven for 12 minutes. When they come out, Biesel has a way to manage her pain for the next few months.
President Trump announced last year that the opioid epidemic was a “public health emergency” and called for the medical community to look for alternative therapies to battle the growing crisis. The President cited the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics which places drug overdose as the leading cause of injury death in the United States, outnumbering both gun-related deaths and traffic crashes. It is estimated that 175 people die each day in our country because of a drug overdose.
The class of drugs most commonly being abused is painkillers or opioid analgesics prescribed to treat chronic pain. Of those who are given these drugs, medical professionals have stated that the elderly (or those 65-years-old and older) are the most at risk of overdosing. Doctors have warned that while older Americans represent only 14 percent of the total population, they comprise 30 percent of all those who use opioids.
This has prompted several health institutions to look for better and more natural ways to treat chronic pain.
A new study conducted by researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center concluded that medical cannabis could be the answer. Authors of the study observed around 3,000 elderly patients suffering from chronic pain brought about by various conditions including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among other things. More than 60 percent of patients were prescribed medical cannabis to alleviate their pain.
The researchers saw that in only six months, 93 percent of patients reported a significant reduction in the amount of pain they felt. Moreover, 60 percent of the participants claimed that their quality of life was raised from “bad” or “very bad” to “good” or “very good” within the same time period. Seventy percent likewise reported moderate improvement in their condition.
More importantly, 18 percent of all participants lessened, or completely stopped, their prescription to their opioid analgesics.
Observational studies have been difficult to conduct, with the DEA’s pressure to limit its use in the public.
As explained by Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: “Unfortunately, there are almost no uses of medical marijuana that have been subjected to the kind of rigorous testing you’d want for a pharmaceutical. This does not mean that it has no benefits, but only that the lack of human studies prevents us from being sure if medical marijuana can really help.”
Even so, countless number of patients have reported the efficacy of medical cannabis in reducing certain symptoms, especially those related to anxiety, pain, stress, and sleeping disorders.
(Natural News) Men beware: taking ibuprofen daily can negatively impact your fertility. To be more precise: taking this pain reliever in doses utilized by athletes can lead to sexual hormone dysfunction. This is what a team of Danish and French investigators uncovered in their study. This new research is built on the team’s earlier work, wherein they found that over-the-counter pain relievers could affect the testicles of male babies. From here, they decided to analyze what ibuprofen could do to adults.
For the purposes of their study, the team recruited 31 men who were between 18 and 35 years of age. Of the volunteers, 14 were given 600 milligram doses of ibuprofen twice a day, while the rest were administered a placebo. The doses that the 14 participants received is both the maximum dose prescribed by most ibuprofen packages and what many athletes take as a preventive measure.
After just 14 days or a third of the way into the study, the men who were being given ibuprofen had developed hormonal imbalances. Taking the drug increased their levels of luteinizing hormones, which are hormones released in the anterior pituitary gland that control the function of the ovaries and testes. At the same time, their overall testosterone dropped. Though their testosterone levels remained the same, the researchers noticed that their testosterone production took a significant dip, resulting in them getting compensated hypogonadism.
Luckily for the volunteers, these were just short-term effects, and the authors stated that the participants’ hormone levels would return to normal at the end of the experiment. They warned, however, that long-term users of ibuprofen wouldn’t be as fortunate, although those who took ibuprofen on occasion wouldn’t be as at high of a risk.
Speaking to TheGuardian.com, study author David Møbjerg Kristensen remarked that long-term users were the subjects of their concern, such as athletes and those undergoing pain management. “Our immediate concern is for the fertility of men who use these drugs for a long time. These compounds are good painkillers, but a certain amount of people in society use them without thinking of them as proper medicines,” he said.
Kristensen’s co-author Bernard Jégou echoed his sentiments, commenting: “We normally see this condition in elderly men, so it raises an alarm. We are concerned about it, particularly for healthy people who don’t need to take these drugs. The risk is greater than the benefit.”
There are two types of hypogonadism: primary hypogonadism and central hypogonadism. Primary hypogonadism, which was the risk presented by ibuprofen usage, is caused by an issue in the gonads. By contrast, central or secondary hypogonadism is brought about by problems with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
Hypogonadism affects both women and men. Women who have this condition may experience a wide range of symptoms that include the lack of menstruation, milky discharge from their breasts, hot flashes, and a low or absent sex drive.
Find out what other medicines can do to your body by visiting BigPharmaNews.com today.
“We’ve seen a lot of issues with this class of drugs known as NSAIDs,” says Joseph. “Sold under brands such as Advil or Motrin to help reduce swelling; to help reduce pain in people, you know, an over the counter drug. And the Consumer Health Product Association, a trade group that represents manufacturers of over the counter medications, says that [they] ‘support and encourage continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help safe use of over the counter medicines.’ And they say the safety of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported for decades by scientific studies and real-world use.”
It’s also concerning that this research is simply a continuation of that which began with pregnant women. “A team of French and Danish researchers began exploring the health effects when a mother-to-be took any one of three mild pain reliever found in medicine chests. And that was Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen,” said Joseph. “What they found was that…all three drugs are anti-androgenic. Meaning they disrupt male hormones and the three drugs even increase the likelihood that male babies would be born with congenital malformation [when a woman who is pregnant with a male baby takes the drugs.]” This lead to the study on adult males who have taken these three drugs, and it was discovered that ibuprofen had the strongest infertility effects.
This is not to say one shouldn’t take ibuprofen. But perhaps look into these side effects a little further and evaluate for yourself how harmful a drug could be on the body before taking it.
Doctors then, as now, overprescribed the painkiller to patients in need, and then, as now, government policy had a distinct bias.
The man was bleeding, wounded in a bar fight, half-conscious. Charles Schuppert, a New Orleans surgeon, was summoned to help. It was the late 1870s, and Schuppert, like thousands of American doctors of his era, turned to the most effective drug in his kit. “I gave him an injection of morphine subcutaneously of ½ grain,” Schuppert wrote in his casebook. “This acted like a charm, as he came to in a minute from the stupor he was in and rested very easily.”
Physicians like Schuppert used morphine as a new-fangled wonder drug. Injected with a hypodermic syringe, the medication relieved pain, asthma, headaches, alcoholics’ delirium tremens, gastrointestinal diseases and menstrual cramps. “Doctors were really impressed by the speedy results they got,” says David T. Courtwright, author of Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America. “It’s almost as if someone had handed them a magic wand.”
By 1895, morphine and opium powders, like OxyContin and other prescription opioids today, had led to an addiction epidemic that affected roughly 1 in 200 Americans. Before 1900, the typical opiate addict in America was an upper-class or middle-class white woman. Today, doctors are re-learning lessons their predecessors learned more than a lifetime ago.
Opium’s history in the United States is as old as the nation itself. During the American Revolution, the Continental and British armies used opium to treat sick and wounded soldiers. Benjamin Franklin took opium late in life to cope with severe pain from a bladder stone. A doctor gave laudanum, a tincture of opium mixed with alcohol, to Alexander Hamilton after his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.
The Civil War helped set off America’s opiate epidemic. The Union Army alone issued nearly 10 million opium pills to its soldiers, plus 2.8 million ounces of opium powders and tinctures. An unknown number of soldiers returned home addicted, or with war wounds that opium relieved. “Even if a disabled soldier survived the war without becoming addicted, there was a good chance he would later meet up with a hypodermic-wielding physician,” Courtright wrote. The hypodermic syringe, introduced to the United States in 1856 and widely used to deliver morphine by the 1870s, played an even greater role, argued Courtwright in Dark Paradise. “Though it could cure little, it could relieve anything,” he wrote. “Doctors and patients alike were tempted to overuse.”
Opiates made up 15 percent of all prescriptions dispensed in Boston in 1888, according to a survey of the city’s drug stores. “In 1890, opiates were sold in an unregulated medical marketplace,” wrote Caroline Jean Acker in her 2002 book, Creating the American Junkie: Addiction Research in the Classic Era of Narcotic Control. “Physicians prescribed them for a wide range of indications, and pharmacists sold them to individuals medicating themselves for physical and mental discomforts.”
Male doctors turned to morphine to relieve many female patients’ menstrual cramps, “diseases of a nervous character,” and even morning sickness. Overuse led to addiction. By the late 1800s, women made up more than 60 percent of opium addicts. “Uterine and ovarian complications cause more ladies to fall into the [opium] habit, than all other diseases combined,” wrote Dr. Frederick Heman Hubbard in his 1881 book, The Opium Habit and Alcoholism.
Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, medical journals filled with warnings about the danger of morphine addiction. But many doctors were slow to heed them, because of inadequate medical education and a shortage of other treatments. “In the 19th century, when a physician decided to recommend or prescribe an opiate for a patient, the physician did not have a lot of alternatives,” said Courtwright in a recent interview. Financial pressures mattered too: demand for morphine from well-off patients, competition from other doctors and pharmacies willing to supply narcotics.
Only around 1895, at the peak of the epidemic, did doctors begin to slow and reverse the overuse of opiates. Advances in medicine and public health played a role: acceptance of the germ theory of disease, vaccines, x-rays, and the debut of new pain relievers, such as aspirin in 1899. Better sanitation meant fewer patients contracting dysentery or other gastrointestinal diseases, then turning to opiates for their constipating and pain-relieving effects.
Educating doctors was key to fighting the epidemic. Medical instructors and textbooks from the 1890s regularly delivered strong warnings against overusing opium. “By the late 19th century, [if] you pick up a medical journal about morphine addiction,” says Courtwright, “you’ll very commonly encounter a sentence like this: ‘Doctors who resort too quickly to the needle are lazy, they’re incompetent, they’re poorly trained, they’re behind the times.’” New regulations also helped: state laws passed between 1895 and 1915 restricted the sale of opiates to patients with a valid prescription, ending their availability as over-the-counter drugs.
As doctors led fewer patients to addiction, another kind of user emerged as the new face of the addict. Opium smoking spread across the United States from the 1870s into the 1910s, with Chinese immigrants operating opium dens in most major cities and Western towns. They attracted both indentured Chinese immigrant workers and white Americans, especially “lower-class urban males, often neophyte members of the underworld,” according to Dark Paradise. “It’s a poor town now-a-days that has not a Chinese laundry,” a white opium-smoker said in 1883, “and nearly every one of these has its layout” – an opium pipe and accessories.
That shift created a political opening for prohibition. “In the late 19th century, as long as the most common kind of narcotic addict was a sick old lady, a morphine or opium user, people weren’t really interested in throwing them in jail,” Courtwright says. “That was a bad problem, that was a scandal, but it wasn’t a crime.”
That changed in the 1910s and 1920s, he says. “When the typical drug user was a young tough on a street corner, hanging out with his friends and snorting heroin, that’s a very different and less sympathetic picture of narcotic addiction.”
The federal government’s efforts to ban opium grew out of its new colonialist ambitions in the Pacific. The Philippines were then a territory under American control, and the opium trade there raised significant concerns. President Theodore Roosevelt called for an international opium commission to meet in Shanghai at the urging of alarmed American missionaries stationed in the region. “U.S. delegates,” wrote Acker in Creating the American Junkie, “were in a poor position to advocate reform elsewhere when their own country lack national legislation regulating the opium trade.” Secretary of State Elihu Root submitted a draft bill to Congress that would ban the import of opium prepared for smoking and punish possession of it with up to two years in prison. “Since smoking opium was identified with Chinese, gamblers, and prostitutes,” Courtwright wrote, “little opposition was anticipated.”
The cannabinoids in cannabis – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – interact with your body by way of naturally-occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. In fact, scientists now believe the endocannabinoid system may represent the most widespread receptor system in your body.1
There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more, and both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. Your body actually makes its own cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana, albeit in much smaller quantities than you get from the plant.
The fact that your body is replete with cannabinoid receptors, key to so many biological functions, is why there’s such enormous medical potential for cannabis. More often than not, medicinal marijuana is made from plants bred to have high CBD and low THC content. While THC has psychoactive activity that can make you feel “stoned,” CBD has no psychoactive properties.
That doesn’t mean THC is medicinally useless, however. It too has been found to have a number of medicinal benefits, although it does need to be balanced with CBD to lessen its psychoactive effects. For example, recent animal research2 suggests THC has a beneficial influence on the aging brain.3,4 Rather than dulling or impairing cognition, THC appears to reverse the aging process and improve mental processes, raising the possibility it might be useful for the treatment of dementia.5
Drug Company Vies for CBD Monopoly
As reported by Motherboard, the drug industry is now pushing for legislation that would make CBD oil illegal – by turning it into a drug.6 The article discusses a South Dakota Senate bill, SB 95, which would exempt CBD from the definition of cannabis, thereby transferring it from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule IV substance. This would allow CBD products to be sold, legally, in South Dakota, where medicinal marijuana is currently not allowed.
This past summer, lobbyists for GW Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, fought for an amendment to the bill that would have limited CBD rescheduling to products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – in other words, they wanted only CBD drugs to be legally obtainable.
“Not surprisingly, GW Pharmaceuticals has just such a drug in the pipeline.Epidiolex, a ‘proprietary oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol,’ has already been given to epileptic children in the U.S. as part of afederal investigative studydocumented recently in theNew England Journal of Medicine.” Motherboard writes. Epidiolex is currently under FDA review for approval.
“Since no other pharmaceutical company has a CBD drug anywhere close to market, and the wide range of CBD products already available in medical marijuana states lack FDA approval, if the bill had passed with that amendment intact, patients in South Dakota would have been subjected to a virtual CBD monopoly …
More ominously, The Great CBD Battle of South Dakota appears to be but the opening salvo in a nationwide war between GW Pharmaceuticals and traditional medical cannabis providers …
[U]nder the amendment, South Dakota would … ban myriad CBD products already available in many other states. Even though they cost far less than Epidiolex, and are potentially more effective for patients, since in addition to CBD those “full spectrum” cannabis extracts also contain small amounts of THC and other medicinal components of the plant.”
Study Confirms CBD Benefits for Drug-Resistant Seizures
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study7 published in The New England Journal of Medicine in May 2017 again confirmed what has long been known: that CBD offers relief for children with drug-resistant seizures, in this case patients diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a “catastrophic early-onset encephalopathic epilepsy, with a high mortality rate.”
GW Pharmaceuticals funded the study and was responsible for the trial design. The company also supplied the CBD and placebo. The active treatment was an oral solution containing 100 milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter, given in addition to the child’s current antiseizure medication regimen. The placebo was identical to the treatment solution, but without CBD.
The dose was gradually increased over the course of 14 days, with a maximum dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight, taken twice a day. At the end of the treatment period, the CBD solution was tapered down over the course of 10 days, reducing the dosage by 10 percent each day. Following is a summary of the main findings:
Children taking CBD experienced a nearly 40 percent reduction in the frequency of convulsive seizures over the 14-week treatment period, from a median of 12.4 seizures per month to 5.9. In the placebo group, the median convulsive-seizure frequency decreased from 14.9 to 14.1
43 percent of patients in the CBD group experienced a 50 percent or greater reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency, compared to 27 percent in the placebo group
During the treatment period, three patients in the CBD group were completely free of seizures. No patients in the placebo group were free of seizures
When looking at all seizure types, the median frequency of seizures per month decreased from 24.0 to 13.7 in the CBD group (a reduction of 28.6 percent), compared to a decrease from 41.5 to 31.1 in the placebo group (a reduction of 9 percent)
37 of 60 caregivers (62 percent) said their child’s overall condition improved in the CBD group, compared to 20 of 58 caregivers (34 percent) in the placebo group
Reported Side Effects
Interestingly, while medical cannabis is typically well-tolerated, with few side effects, a whopping 93 percent of children in the CBD group – as well as 75 percent of those in the placebo group – suffered adverse events in this trial.
Eighty-four percent of adverse events in the treatment group were deemed mild or moderate, and included vomiting, fatigue, fever, upper respiratory tract infection, decreased appetite, convulsions, lethargy, drowsiness and diarrhea. Eight patients in the treatment group withdrew from the study due to side effects.
Of course, these conventional investigators were clueless about the benefit of a ketogenic diet for the treatment of seizures, so that was something that was not evaluated in the study. This is unfortunate, as it would have radically decreased side effects and may even have been more effective than the CBD. According to the authors:
“Elevated levels of liver aminotransferase enzymes (alanine aminotransferase or aspartate aminotransferase level >3 times the upper limit of the normal range) led to withdrawal from the trial of three patients in the cannabidiol group and one in the placebo group.
Overall, elevated aminotransferase levels occurred in 12 patients in the cannabidiol group and one in the placebo group. All these patients were taking a form of valproate [editor’s note: a type of medication used to treat epilepsy] … There were … no instances of suicidal ideation …There were no deaths.”
As mentioned earlier, full spectrum cannabis extracts will not be pure CBD, as they’re derived from the whole plant. And, as noted by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, ” … [E]vidence is mounting that these compounds work better together than in isolation.”8
It’s possible that “pharmaceutical strength” CBD might be too pure, hence the high rate of side effects. Regardless, there’s a significant difference in cost between a CBD drug and natural CBD oil, which in and of itself is of great concern for many patients and their families who now worry Big Pharma is trying to take over the cannabis industry.
Monopoly in South Dakota Avoided, for Now
As noted by Motherboard, “parents with children suffering from Dravet’s syndrome and many other serious illnesses have been pushing for access to the “miracle drug” since 2013, when Gupta’s “Weed” documentary debuted on CNN.” The program featured a 6-year-old girl beset by some 300 grand mal seizures each week. A CBD-rich cannabis oil reduced her seizures by 99 percent.
Following the airing of “Weed,” hundreds of families moved to Colorado to obtain the herbal medication for their ailing child. Other positive media attention has also helped to loosen the stigma surrounding medical marijuana. In 1969, only 12 percent of Americans favored marijuana legalization. Today, a majority of Americans favor legalization: 53 percent favor legalizing marijuana across the board and 77 percent support legal medical use.9 Even the new surgeon general has cited data on how helpful medical cannabis can be.
Unfortunately, medical cannabis may just be “too good.” Showing promise for a wide range of ailments, the drug industry sees cannabis as major competition, and rightfully so. In South Dakota, a scaled-back amendment to SB 95 was ultimately signed into law. South Dakotans who want legal access to CBD will still have to wait until Epidiolex gains FDA approval, but GW Pharmaceuticals was not successful in limiting the down-scheduling of CBD to FDA approved CBD drugs only.
As a result, GW Pharmaceuticals will not have a monopoly on the market. Still, GW Pharmaceuticals has reportedly contracted lobbyists in several different states10 to fight for its cause, and their combined efforts may well delay implementation of cannabis reform that could improve access to medicinal marijuana. As noted by Melissa Mentele, chairperson of New Approach South Dakota, a cannabis reform group, who herself found relief from chronic pain when she started taking CBD-rich cannabis oil:
“Cannabis patients and caregivers have organized and fought for decades for the government to look at cannabis as a treatment option. Nobody did until hundreds of patients bravely shared their stories. So, we as a community have done the work for them, and now Big Pharma wants to swoop in and use an unfair monopoly and an inferior product to profit off the backs of catastrophically ill and dying people. It is disgusting.”
Indiana Cracks Down on CBD Products
In related news, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced CDB oil containing THC, regardless of the amount, will no longer be legal in the state, and has instructed local police to “perform normal, periodic regulatory spot checks of CBD oil products.” Retailers were given 60 days to sell out or remove such products from their stores.
According to Indy Star, “Most of the CBD products being sold in Indiana contain less than 0.3 percent THC, meaning they can’t produce a ‘high,'” adding that “Advocates of CBD oil say those products don’t have as many benefits as full spectrum CBD oil products.” At present, Indiana law only allows CBD products to be used by epileptic patients, who must register with the state’s CBD oil registry.
Republican state Sen. Jim Tomes has vowed to introduce legislation that would expand access to CBD oil under state law. According to Indy Star, “He’s received calls from people who’ve used the product to treat arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and mental illnesses.” Tomes told the paper, “I just don’t understand why is there such a resistance to allow people to get this product here? You can’t abuse it. It either works or it doesn’t.” The answer to Tomes’ question appears to be drug industry pressure. As reported by New Hope:11
“Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. appears to be relying on a discredited opinion from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on the legality of the hemp-derived cannabinoid, which must come from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent THC (the high-inducing cannabinoid).
The Nov. 21 advisory opinion was issued from the state capital of Indianapolis, which also happens to be the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., which is seeking fast-track approval from the FDA for its non-opioid painkiller drug, tanezumab.12
‘As a matter of legal interpretation, products or substances marketed for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana, and under federal law,’ Hill wrote in his opinion. This conclusion does not apply to any product that is approved by the FDA.
There are currently two products that contain cannabidiol undergoing clinical trials; Epidiolex and Sativex. Simply put, cannabidiol is a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a Schedule I controlled substance.'”
Legal Products Confiscated Amid Confusion
There’s plenty of confusion, however, as the attorney general’s opinion and Holcomb’s seizure instructions contradict a 2014 industrial hemp law that allows CBD products in Indiana as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. The primary confusion appears to center around the fact that state law permits CBD as long as it is sourced from hemp and not marijuana.
In an effort to resolve the problem, the hemp industry, led by CV Sciences, has held educational meetings to explain the differences between marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products. The campaign resulted in Indiana state police issuing a statement saying that CBD products are in fact legal in Indiana as long as they’re sourced from hemp. All of this just goes to show that when it comes to cannabis and its derivatives, there’s plenty of confusion to go around, and it’s not always easy to determine the legal status of a given product in a given state.
FDA Issues Warning Letters to CBD Manufacturers
The FDA is also increasing its scrutiny of companies making CBD products. As reported by The Cannabist,13 four Colorado businesses have received FDA warning letters for making “illegally unsubstantiated health claims” on their CBD products. In a November 1 press release, the FDA said:14
“[T]he agency today issued warning letters to four companies illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes … The deceptive marketing of unproven treatments may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.
The FDA has grown increasingly concerned at the proliferation of products claiming to treat or cure serious diseases like cancer. In this case, the illegally sold products allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the marijuana plant that is not FDA approved in any drug product for any indication.”
The warning letters15 also rejected claims that CBD oil can be classified as dietary supplements, as Investigational New Drug (IND) applications have been submitted for the CBD-containing drugs Sativex and Epidiolex (both by GW Pharmaceuticals). This suggests the agency is not just aiming to clean up the cannabis industry’s propensity to make illegal claims; it also raises concerns that the legality of all CBD products is in question now that CBD-containing drugs await FDA approval.
Medical Marijuana Lowers Prescription Drug Use and Abuse
While CBD has now been reclassified to a Schedule IV substance in North Dakota by excluding it from the state’s definition of marijuana,16,17 it still remains a Schedule I (illegal) controlled substance in most other states. This is tragic, considering the evidence showing medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use. One wonders if perhaps that’s one of the reasons why it hasn’t been rescheduled across the nation.
There are no other truly compelling reasons why addictive narcotics like OxyContin are legal, while marijuana – which is extremely unlikely to kill you even if you take very high amounts – is not. The video above features W. David Bradford, Ph.D., whose study was published in the journal Health Affairs in July 2016.18 As reported by The Washington Post:19
“[R]esearchers at the University of Georgia scoured the database of all prescription drugs paid for under Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. They found that, in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law.
The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year.”
Legalizing Marijuana Could Save Medicare Hundreds of Millions Each Year
According to Bradford, the Medicare program could save $468 million per year if marijuana were legalized in all U.S. states.20,21 Already, $165 million was saved in 2013 in the 18 states where medical marijuana was legal that year. Similarly, a 2015 working paper by The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) states that:22
“If marijuana is used as a substitute for powerful and addictive pain relievers in medical marijuana states, a potential overlooked positive impact of medical marijuana laws may be a reduction in harms associated with opioid pain relievers, a far more addictive and potentially deadly substance.”
Not only did the NBER find that access to state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries resulted in a significant decrease in prescription painkiller overdose deaths, it also led to a 15 to 35 percent drop in substance abuse admissions. So, it would seem medical marijuana – far from being the deadly drug it’s been made out to be – could actually save thousands of lives that would otherwise be destroyed by painkiller addiction and its lethal consequences.
It’s a real travesty that the U.S. Senate is more than willing to shell out taxpayer money to Big Pharma for addictive painkillers and the drugs to treat addiction when a safe and effective answer to the pain and opioid epidemics lies right before our noses.
Both CBD and THC Are Far Safer Than Commonly Used Pain Killers
Polls show older Americans are becoming increasingly converted to marijuana use.23 Between 2006 and 2013, use among 50- to 64-year-olds rose by 60 percent. Among seniors over 65, use jumped by 250 percent.24 Pain and sleep are among the most commonly cited complaints for which medicinal marijuana is taken. Considering the high risk of lethal consequences of opioid painkillers and sleeping pills, medical marijuana is a godsend.
As noted by Dr. Margaret Gedde, an award-winning Stanford-trained pathologist and founder of Gedde Whole Health, there’s enough scientific data to compare the side effects of cannabis against the known toxicities of many drugs currently in use. This includes liver and kidney toxicity, gastrointestinal damage, nerve damage and, of course, death.
Cannabidiol has no toxicity and it’s virtually impossible to die from marijuana. It’s also self-limiting, as excessive doses of THC will provoke anxiety, paranoia and nausea. Such side effects will disappear as the drug dissipates from your system without resulting in permanent harm, but it’ll make you think twice about taking such a high dose again. Make the same mistake with an opioid, and chances are you’ll end up in the morgue.
Gedde also notes that cannabis products often work when other medications fail, so not only are they safer, they also tend to provide greater efficacy. In 2010, the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR25) released a report26 on 14 clinical studies about the use of marijuana for pain, most of which were FDA-approved, double-blind and placebo-controlled. The report revealed that marijuana not only controls pain, but in many cases, it does so better than pharmaceutical alternatives.
Where to Find Reputable Information About Medical Cannabis, Its Uses and Benefits
While reputable information about cannabis can be hard to come by, it’s not impossible to find. One good source is cancer.gov.27,28 This is the U.S. government’s site on cancer. Simply enter “cannabis” into the search bar. You can also peruse the medical literature through PubMed,29 which is a public resource (again, simply enter “cannabis” or related terms into the search bar).
CMCR also provides a hyperlinked list30 of scientific publications relating to a wide variety of medicinal uses of cannabis, and the Journal of Pain,31 a publication by the American Pain Society, has a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,32 which also has information relating to the medicinal aspects of marijuana, preclinical and clinical trials are underway to test marijuana and various extracts for the treatment of a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, pain and mental disorders.
To learn more, I also recommend listening to my previous interviews with Gedde and Dr. Allan Frankel, in which they discuss the clinical benefits of cannabis. Frankel is a board-certified internist in California who has treated patients with medical cannabis for the past decade. Awareness is starting to shift, and many are now starting to recognize the medical value of cannabis.
Unfortunately, that also means the drug industry is doing everything it can to secure its place in the market, and in so doing, eliminating the legal use of natural and far less expensive cannabis products. It’s up to us to make sure we stay involved in the political process whenever marijuana-related legislation is brought up. If we don’t, you can be sure the drug industry will become the only game in town.
The situation in Canada is just as devastating, with opioid overdoses estimated to cause at least 16 hospitalizations and eight deaths each day.
This did not happen overnight. The number of opioid overdose deaths has risen at an alarming rate since the early 2000s. Now, more than a decade later, communities, health professionals and some politicians such as NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, are still pushing for a national health emergency to be declared here in Canada as well.
By declaring a national public welfare emergency, the federal government could both acknowledge the scale of the opioid overdose crisis and unlock funds critical to a successful response.
Such a move would not be without precedent.
From SARS and H1N1 to opioid deaths
We should have learned by now, from past health crises that have affected our entire nation.
When 44 deaths were caused by SARS in Canada in 2003, the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health urged the Government of Canada to “consider incorporating in legislation a mechanism for dealing with health emergencies” — one that “would be activated in lockstep with provincial emergency acts in the event of a pan-Canadian health emergency.”
However, there is still much more that can be done.
Funding pain management research
For instance, Statistics Canada is mandated to produce statistics on the health of Canadians. Unfortunately, the latest available data on painkiller misuse was released in 2012 (via the Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health) and no updated version has been collected since. Scientists across the country are eager to help, but may not have the resources to do so.
Providing national public data repositories would allow researchers across the country to help determine overdose trends, high-risk sub-populations and other important information that could inform national policy decisions and target health responses where they are most urgently needed.
The federal government also has the power to determine which areas of research should be given priority in funding. New initiatives such as the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse are an important step forward for guiding evidence-based treatments for substance-use disorders.
Priority funding pools could also be set aside to encourage research, education and clinical care targeted toward finding safer pain management approaches — a serious problem that exists for much of the opioid-using population. Currently, there is a concerning lack of evidence-based alternative treatments for chronic pain patients whose opioid prescriptions are being cut off.
All hands on deck
Finally, empowering the health-care workforce to help address the opioid epidemic is essential.
In Canada, there is not enough recognition of the potential role for nurses and other allied health professionals to help. Allocating funding for more training and staffing for these skilled professionals would promote an “all hands on deck” approach to assessing and treating pain and addiction, administering overdose-reversing interventions, assisting with urgent clinical research and educating and supporting affected communities.
If Canada were to declare a public welfare emergency, more health centres with skilled staff performing these essential roles could be immediately mobilized to help curb the opioid epidemic.
It’s time to recognize the opioid overdose crisis as the national public health emergency that it is.
The truth is out there. Nothing can stop the truth from coming out. Despite the false claims the United States Drug Enforcement Agency is parading around on marijuana, we all know the plant has a significant medicinal value.
For us here, we are not just supporting the plant for smoking’s sake. We are advocating for a very good use of the plant, by using it to cure acute and chronic diseases that have been disturbing people, allowing them to become victims of the cruel pharmaceutical companies. The government and the greedy corporations would most certainly prefer you to not read these article, but we urge you to follow the article with rapt attention. Nobody knows tomorrow’s outcome. The article may help you tomorrow, if not today.
Marijuana if added to other natural herbs, is capable of curing many diseases. In this particular case, combining marijuana and coconut oil to fight diseases provides some remarkable results.
Using coconut oil, internal and external of the human body, promotes good health. The oil can be applied externally to heal skin and hair from damage. It can also be ingested to help improve memory, fight cancer, ease digestion, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, cure Urinary Tract Infections, eliminated kidney infection, protect the liver and more. Also, using coconut oil in your cooking greatly improves the quality of the meal.
In fact, one way to make coconut oil more useful is by infusing it with the medicinal properties of marijuana. Marijuana and coconut oil, when combined properly, create a symphony more beautiful than chocolate and peanut butter, according to the author Nicolette Aolani Kineret.
Coconut oil is full of natural saturated fats. Don’t worry, these are the ones that increase the HDL (good cholesterol) in your body and help convert the LDL (bad cholesterol) into HDL, a key ingredient to a healthy heart.
The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana, the two cannabinoids that give marijuana its healing properties, are said to be very fat soluble. The high concentration of fatty acids present in coconut oil creates a perfect adhesive for the cannabinoids that bond with the fatty molecules.
The results of the marijuana and coconut oil are much more potent than other butters/margarines/oils, highlighting the medicinal properties of the plant. Marijuana can be used to cure all types of illnesses, depending on the strain. You just have to know how to choose the right strain.
According to experts, strains with high levels of THC are best for treating pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, nausea, lack of appetite or eating disorders, asthma, glaucoma and sleep disorders.
On the other hand, other strains that are higher in CBD can be used to combat anxiety, pain, tumors, cancer, seizures, psychosis and neurodegenerative disorders.
Marijuana in the sativa family, has a high CBD:THC ratio. These properties make it energizing, that is, capable of stimulating the mind, promoting optimism. Due to the high CBD content, they are often used to treat depression, ADHD, and appetite loss. Conversely, those in the indica family have a high THC:CBD ratio. The high THC content gives indica strains a sedative effect that helps with anxiety and sleep disorders.
Now, knowing the strain you want, you can now prepare your marijuana coconut oil by going through the following simple steps. But before you do, decarboxylate the marijuana first. Decarboxylation is a simple process. It is even recommended that whenever you use marijuana for cooking, or any other recipes, make sure you follow these easy steps:
Preheat the oven to 240° F. / 115° C.
Break up cannabis flowers and buds into smaller pieces with your hands. We use one ounce, but you can elect to do more or less.
Put the pieces in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Make sure the pan is the correct size so there is not empty space on the pan.
Bake the cannabis for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that it toasts evenly.
When the cannabis is darker in color, a light to medium brown, and has dried out, remove the baking sheet and allow the cannabis to cool. It should be quite crumbly when handled.
In a food processor, pulse the cannabis until it is coarsely ground (you don’t want a superfine powder). Store it in an airtight container and use as needed to make extractions.
After successfully decarboxylating your marijuana, you can make your marijuana coconut oil by following these simple steps:
Place one gram of decarboxylate marijuana for every ounce of virgin coconut oil. Place the crushed marijuana in a glass jar and add the coconut oil. Put the lid on the jar, seal it well and put it in a pan full of water. Slowly heat the water and keep it on a below boiling level of 100 degrees Celsius (212 F) for 60 minutes. In this way you will keep the oil safe from overheating.
Next, use a strainer to strain the mixture to eliminate the solid elements. Make sure to squeeze the juice from the marijuana. Some people use cheesecloth to strain the mixture properly.
Once you are done with this procedure, you can eat the marijuana coconut oil as it is, or use it in other foods, or apply it as a lotion. Feel free to cook with this treated oil, but only when the temperature is lower than 157 degrees Celsius (315 F). That is the temperature of the point of boiling of the active compound of marijuana. Please take note that if you use higher temperatures than what is recommended, the effects will be gone.
(Natural News) We’ve heard a lot about the crime and deaths caused by the opioid crisis, but what about the financial impact of it? Many small towns are struggling to cover the costs associated with the epidemic, whether it’s emergency calls, coroner bills, courtrooms, or overcrowded prisons.
Reuters recently examined the case of Ross County, Ohio, which has seen its budget for child services doubling from $1.3 million to $2.4 million in just five years. Three fourths of the children placed into protection there come from parents with opioid addictions; that proportion stood at just 40 percent five years ago. The county’s general fund is only $23 million to begin with, so now they are considering places they can make cuts to foot the bill, and it appears that economic development schemes and youth programs could be axed as a result.
Meanwhile, the toxicology and autopsy costs in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, have gone from $89,000 in 2010 to $165,0000 in 2016, and prosecuting crimes related to opioids and providing public defenders to the accused is sending court costs through the roof. Mercer County, West Virginia, meanwhile, expects its county jail expenses to rise by $100,000 this year, with 90 percent of the extra costs said to be related to opioids. West Virginia led the nation in the number of drug overdoses for the third year in a row in 2015.
According to a 2011 study published in Pain Medicine, healthcare costs associated with prescription opioid abuse were $25 billion, while criminal justice system expenses were $5.1 billion. Workplaces, however, had the biggest cost, with lost earnings and employment amounting to $25.6 billion. The total cost of the crisis to the economy was estimated at the time to be $55.7 billion, and it’s only growing.
How did the situation become so dire?
Opioids – which include prescription painkillers as well as heroin and fentanyl – are 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and they’re highly addictive. Many of those who find themselves caught up in their web started out with prescription painkillers and then moved on to drugs like heroin, and some pharmaceutical companies have been spending a lot of money encouraging doctors to prescribe these drugs through kickbacks and other incentives to create new addicts.
Their encouragements are clearly working; the National Survey of Drug Use and Health indicates that 97.5 million Americas took prescription painkillers in 2015. Opioid abuse is responsible for the deaths of more than 100 Americans each day, and drug overdose deaths have tripled since 2000.
Will Big Pharma ever be held accountable?
The city of Everett, Washington is one of many launching lawsuits against the makers of opioids. Everett is suing the makers of OxyContin for their role in the epidemic after experiencing unusually high numbers of overdose deaths. They are suing Purdue for negligence, saying they placed profits over the welfare of people and caused substantial damages to the city. The company already pleaded guilty in 2007 to charges it misled patients and doctors about the drug’s addictive properties.
Meanwhile, the attorneys general from 41 states are widening their investigation into the sales and marketing practices of the opioid industry. Five Big Pharma firms have been served subpoenas requesting information as investigators seek to find out if their actions exacerbated the epidemic. It’s about time they are held accountable for their contribution to this crisis, which is bankrupting our nation city by city and state by state, prompting fears that if nothing is done, American could collapse into a narco-pharma state.
During a SHTF situation, pain could become an annoyance for some, but unbearable for others. If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.
Lactuca Virosa is the scientific term for the morphine-like plant, and many people have used it in place of addictive prescription pain medication, like opioids. The plant is called “wild lettuce,” and it’s fairly abundant. Known as a weed to most, it gets plucked from lawns and tossed in compost piles, but it’s important to know what it can do, and how safe it actually is.
Wild lettuce is a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be growing right outside your door. More commonly found in North America and England, it’s a cousin to the lettuce we typically see at the grocery store. It’s also referred to as bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.
There is actually no opium in the plant, according to WebMD. But wild lettuce gets its nickname “opium lettuce” from the pain relieving and sedative effects of a white substance produced in the stems and leaves of the plant.
Back in the 19th century, wild lettuce was already being used by some as a substitute to opium. But, it was in the 70’s that it started to gain significant popularity by those wanting a more natural remedy. Individuals were starting to use it for both pain relief, as well as recreational purpose.
In the earlier days, people using wild lettuce prepared it a couple different ways. One way was to cook the plant in a pan of water and sugar mix, until it reduced to a thick syrup-like consistency. While this was an effective form, it was quite bitter even with the sugar added. The most common form however, was drying the stem and leaves to use as an herbal tea.
Watch out for allergies too. Wild lettuce may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking wild lettuce.
*This is for informational purposes only and not intended to be medical advice. Consult a doctor if you have questions regarding your health.
In total, 412 individuals will be prosecuted by his office in what’s been called the “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history.”
On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that federal prosecutors charged more than 400 people (doctors, nurses and pharmacists) for taking part in medical fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 BILLION in fraudulent billing.
“Among those charged are six Michigan doctors accused of a scheme to prescribe unnecessary opioids. A Florida rehab facility is alleged to have recruited addicts with gift cards and visits to strip clubs, leading to $58 million in false treatments and tests.
Officials said those charged in the schemes include more than 120 people involved in illegally prescribing and distributing narcotic painkillers.” 1
In 2015, more than 52,000 Americans died of overdoses. In 2016, that number rose to 59,000 Americans. Thanks to pharmaceutical companies who convinced physicians and other pharmacists that they had created drugs (like Oxycontin and Vicodin) that could treat pain but not be addictive, we are in the middle of a crisis.
LD: I can hardly praise this article enough or overestimate its importance. It is the first of three such articles on the subject of Big Pharma and the opiate addiction epidemic it has irresponsibly unleashed in America under the influence of organized Jewry in the form of the oligarchic Sackler family. This is Edmund Connelly at his best. We are taken right into the heart of darkness here. You owe it to yourselves and your families to acquaint yourself with the grim facts of this man-made epidemic if only for this reason: your own survival and happiness depend upon it.
PICTURES AND CAPTIONS BY DARKMOON
Like Harold Covington, I have a soft spot for Jewish writer James Howard Kunstler. For starters, his style amuses me, especially in his weekly (now twice weekly) blog Clusterfuck Nation. This blog plays a useful role beyond that, however, in that he consistently zeroes in on the damage his own tribe is doing to the United States (and the world). He can sum this up cleverly, bitingly, and accurately, yet of course he never names the Jew, even after he’s gone through half a dozen uninterrupted Jewish names.
While the news waves groan with stories about “America’s Opioid Epidemic” you may discern that there is little effort to actually understand what’s behind it, namely, the fact that life in the United States has become unspeakably depressing, empty, and purposeless for a large class of citizens. I mean unspeakably literally. If you want evidence of our inability to construct a coherent story about what’s happening in this country, there it is.
I live in a corner of Flyover Red America where you can easily read these conditions on the landscape — the vacant Main Streets, especially after dark, the houses uncared for and decrepitating year by year, the derelict farms with barns falling down, harvesters rusting in the rain, and pastures overgrown with sumacs, the parasitical national chain stores like tumors at the edge of every town.
You can read it in the bodies of the people in the new town square, i.e. the supermarket: people prematurely old, fattened and sickened by bad food made to look and taste irresistible to con those sunk in despair, a deadly consolation for lives otherwise filled by empty hours, trash television, addictive computer games, and their own family melodramas concocted to give some narrative meaning to lives otherwise bereft of event or effort.
Kunstler lives in Greenwich, New York, a tiny village northeast of Saratoga Springs. He uses this setting for his surprisingly sympathetic World Made By Hand novels (four of them), where narrator Robert Earle is a carpenter in a post-oil world in which inhabitants of the United States are reduced to living like their ancestors did in the middle of the 1800s. I say sympathetic in that Kunstler creates a Gentile world, one which rings true to me, peopled by generally decent and caring folk. I salute Kunstler both for his ability to imagine a world so unlike the one in which he grew up (New York City) but more so for his willingness to actually like these White Christians. We all know many Jews have completely opposite views and feelings.
Because Kunstler has made the effort to write these four novels, I take his reportage on the current state of small-town America more seriously than I normally might. Thus, I grieve when reading about “America’s Opioid Epidemic,” for I believe it is likely true.
I also believe that Kunstler gets the cause of this psychic pain right, describing how “These are people who have suffered their economic and social roles in life to be stolen from them. They do not work at things that matter. They have no prospects for a better life.” A lot of them voted for Trump.
Par for the course, Kunstler has pointed to a tragedy, if not a crime, yet fails to name the culprits. So who might the culprits be?
Let me begin to answer that by asking, “What do David Duke and the Daily Stormer writer known as Eric Striker have in common with retired professor of sociology James Petras?” The answer: They all point to the Jewish Sackler family as being behind the upsurge in prescriptions of opiates and consequent addiction and overdose deaths of White Americans.
Normally, we would never expect a modern American social scientist to notice, much less explicitly state, that America’s ruling class (heavily Jewish) is knowingly murdering White citizens, but Petras is surely no normal scholar. And in writing about this epidemic, Petras uses the title “Death on the Prescription Plan. The ‘White Plague’ of the 21st Century.” Trust me, Petras is deliberate in using the term “White Plague” to refer both to heroin, the powder killing so many Whites, and to these Jewish-promoted opiates as being a plague to White Americans specifically. And Petras is outraged by this and highly sympathetic to the victims. How often can any of us say that about modern academics, including those academics who are themselves White?
Petras’s introduction to the essay is the opposite of the normally mealy-mouthed convoluted prose used by today’s academics. Who could fail to understand the points Petras endeavors to make?
Over the past two decades hundreds of thousands of Americans have died prematurely because of irresponsibly prescribed narcotic ‘pain killers’ and other central nervous system depressants, like tranquilizers and their deadly interactions.
The undeniable fact is that they have been mostly from the white working and lower middle class from rural and deindustrialized regions. The governing elite and oligarch macro-decision makers have quietly dismissed this sector of the country as ‘surplus’. The victims or their surviving family members have no chance of redress for the widespread malpractice and greed that led to their addiction or death. The government as a whole and the oligarch-controlled mass media have deliberately failed to document and investigate the deep causes for the epidemic, except to spout the usual superficial ‘clichéd explanations’.
How chilling that Petras refers to these small-town Whites as “surplus,” for we have heard the term used in identical ways before. Tomislav Sunic, for instance, has written in Homo Americanus that “in order for the proper functioning of future Americanized society, the removal of millions of surplus citizens must become a social and possibly also an ecological necessity.”
For years, the American elite has belittled and attacked the backbone of American society — the very Whites Petras defends. Petras notes, for example, how it was candidate Hillary Clinton who dismissed this segment of the American population as “deplorables.” Prior to that, candidate Obama referred to them in a similarly negative way: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. . . . And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Yes, that helps to explain their frustration, but we might add the fact that “their” government is has long been pursuing policies that marginalize them and now is colluding to kill them. I’d be frustrated, too, and angry and afraid and I’d cling to whatever I found at hand.
Petras provides a welcome class analysis of this War on Rural Whites. While social scientists may still write in terms of class, Petras stands out, as mentioned, for both naming Whites as victims and being sympathetic. He also decries the normal tendency of “experts” to blame amorphous trends such as “globalization and automation,” calling them “superficial” or “fake” explanations. Why, he asks, is America the sole developed nation in which this kind of spike in deaths is occurring? In Germany, he notes, the death rate for workers between ages 50-54 has declined to 42/100,000, similar to the drop France has seen. Yet in America it has jumped to 80 people per 100,000.
More than that, however, is the fact that he pursues the facts to find the specific identity of those classes or groups normally referred to vaguely as “capital,” “ruling structures” or even “Big Pharma.” Observe Petras’s chain of thought in identifying those responsible for “OxyContin, the White Plague.”
He begins with an analysis of capital: “Billions of synthetic opioid narcotics have been cheaply manufactured and prescribed at extraordinary levels of profits — far exceeding those of the so-called ‘block-buster’ drugs. The billionaire owners of pharmaceutical companies specializing in narcotic pain medications have hired legions of drug salespeople to work with doctors and pain clinics in a largely unregulated field, without any intervention or oversight form the capitalist state.”
He then ramps up the charges against these forces:
“The most ‘effective’ and heavily promoted painkillers, like OxyContin, happen to be the most rapidly addictive and deadly. The pharmaceutical industry deliberately glossed over the dangerously addicting nature of these ‘wonder drugs’ through their drug representative visits to hospitals and clinics. . . . The perpetrators of mass murder by overdose have profited immensely and with total impunity for the ensuing havoc.”
Effects of cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, and OxyContin (synthetic heroin)
Typically, we would expect writers on the left to employ Marxist gobbledygook such as “the capitalist perpetrators of this ‘opioid war against the working class’ blah, blah, blah,” but Petras pointedly steers us directly toward the true culprits in this case: “One such company is Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of OxyContin. It is owned by the oligarch Sackler Family, whose founders are among the most elite high cultural philanthropists in the country (the NYTimes obituary  described family patriarch Arthur Sackler as “a research psychiatrist, entrepreneur and philanthropist who became one of this country’s leading art collectors and patrons”). Since entering the unimaginably lucrative US ‘pain’ market in 1995, OxyContin has earned Purdue over $35 billion dollars and brought the Sacklers into the Olympian heights of the America’s ‘Uber-rich’.”
Fortuitously, those of us aware of Jewish issues had an excellent opportunity to find out more about “the oligarch Sackler Family” by listening to a superb podcast (here) by David Duke only one week before Petras’s essay appeared. Now we at TOO don’t usually operate as a log of bad behavior by individual Jews. All groups have their bad apples. However, as recounted, for example, by Andrew Joyce in the area of money lending, there is a long and extensive history of Jews developing very lucrative schemes that ultimately prey on non-Jews, often people with less education and bleak economic prospects. These schemes ultimately spring from traditional Jewish ethics in which outgroups have no moral standing. The story of Arthur Sackler and his heirs fits this pattern.
The show’s intro reads:
Today Dr. Duke had Daily Stormer journalist Eric Striker as his guest for the hour. They had a discussion of the epidemic of opiate abuse in America. In so many cases, the introduction to opiates was initiated by the medical profession. This epidemic has hit white communities particularly hard, with middle-age white men being the only demographic in America to see its death rates rise.
Dr. Duke pointed out that the indoctrination of whites to feel guilt and hate themselves, along with the institutionalized discrimination against whites in college admissions and hiring, has helped fuel this epidemic. Eric Striker went into the history of two Jewish families, the Sacklers and the Sassoons, who played central roles in the spread of the use of opiates throughout the world.
A color map was included to show the areas hard-hit by the epidemic.
LD: You will notice that the worst affected areas for opiate abuse in America lie in the heavily populated urban centers on the east coast. Vast swathes of America on the west coast and in the rural central plains remain untouched.
This really is a podcast worth hearing. Even after researching The Jewish Problem for more than three decades, I was still surprised to hear the figures Duke and Striker quote — numbers that parallel those cited by Petras.
The show was based on a long essay done by Striker (here) where he usefully compares what today’s Sackler family is doing to what the Jewish Sassoons did to the Chinese over a century and a half ago. In that case, the Sassoons arranged for large amounts of opium to be imported into China, the result being that “Queen Victoria got a cut, and in exchange gave them Hong Kong as a place from which world drug Jewry . . . could set up a base of operations. From here, the British military would ‘protect’ the unbridled flow of opium.”
Striker next calls the Sackler family “the New Sassoons,” and with good reason. Just as China had been severely hobbled by the opium trade and millions of users left dead or with ruined lives, today in America untold numbers of patients are being destroyed by legally prescribed drugs. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this figure, but if it is even remotely close, it amounts to a high crime. Striker writes, “A recent study in the United States has found that approximately 190,000 people have perished from prescription painkiller overdoses, the vast majority of them died from excessive doses of OxyContin.” Wikipedia cites a study finding that in 2008, recreational use of oxycodone and hydrocodone were involved in 14,800 deaths, at which rate it would take less than 13 years to reach this figure.
If this is true, how could the American medical establishment allow this? And what forces might be responsible for pushing this known danger on innocent Americans?
Like Petras, Striker points his finger straight at the Sackler family, digging up the history of the family and their pioneering efforts at reaping profits in the pharmaceutical industry despite the damage their actions caused. During the post-war years, American doctors in general still tended to put patients’ health over profits. The practice then, as Striker sees it: “The lack of prolonged use limited the profitability of the drug market, and true to the Hippocratic oath, the questions of health, life and death were not seen as appropriate venues for those driven by an unquenchable capitalist thirst, much less for people interested in crippling and enslaving those around them.”
The Sacklers changed all this. As his Wikipedia page says, “Sackler became known as “the father of modern pharmaceutical advertising” and is considered to have inspired the ambitious OxyContin marketing strategy.”
Their first “Copernican shift” came in 1963, when Arthur Sackler secured the license for the tranquilizer Valium and turned it into “the world’s first $100 million drug” (and later the first billion-dollar drug).
Thirty years later, a new drug was ready: “Until 1995–96, Oxycodone was reserved as a last resort for those suffering from extreme, terminal cancer. But seeing the market limitations, … Purdue Pharma submitted a patent to the Food and Drug Administration for a new iteration of the drug: OxyContin.”
Again, we must ask, “How did the medical establishment allow this?
Striker traces Sackler’s efforts to break down medical resistance, and in doing so, Striker reveals a key element of the mystery — how “Jewish cooperation across different sectors” [my emphasis] achieved untold profits for them and untold misery for the goyim.
In short, the Sacklers devised an unseemly strategy to promote “pain management” by creating front groups that furthered Sackler interests, by providing incentives for doctors to use their drug, by defaming doctors who resisted the use of OxyContin, and ultimately threatening doctors with the loss of their medical license “unless they started prescribing synthetic heroin for minor ailments.”
The result: “Suddenly, giving out OxyContin like it’s ice cream became the norm. The few honest medical practitioners who got in the way were hopelessly silenced and crushed. The expansion of opiate use geared specifically at White workers and the middle class was mandated down the private and public chain of medical command.”
RAVAGED BY OXYCONTIN
ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE RUTHLESS SACKLER EMPIRE
LD: White American workers and the middle classes are deliberately hooked on this killer drug. The Sassoon family (Iraqi Jewish settlers in England) got hundreds of millions of Chinese people hooked on opium in the 19th century on behalf of the British Empire’s East India Company. (See here). Today, exactly the same thing is being done by the oligarchic Sackler family to millions of vulnerable Americans on behalf of Big Pharma. (LD)
Though Purdue Pharma eventually triumphed, generating $35 billion worth of sales for OxyContin (Petras quotes the same figure), there were bumps along the way, such as the conviction of three Jewish executives in a case against Purdue. Wiki’s reportage mirrors that of Striker:
In May 2007, the company pleaded guilty to misleading the public about OxyContin’s risk of addiction, and agreed to pay $600 million in one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in U.S. history. Its president, top lawyer, and former chief medical officer pleaded guilty as individuals to misbranding charges, a criminal violation, and agreed to pay a total of $34.5 million in fines. Those executives are: Michael Friedman, the company’s president, who agreed to pay $19 million in fines; Howard R. Udell, its top lawyer, who agreed to pay $8 million; and Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim, its former medical director, who agreed to pay $7.5 million.
Though $600 million is a large number, Striker dismisses it as “merely a cost of doing business,” which seems plausible in light of the $35 billion figure for sales.
So it has come to this? The Establishment enables a situation where the former backbone of the United States’ society — rural and working class Whites — is suffering addiction and often death? Sadly, the evidence suggests just this.
The increasing invisibility of these people can be seen in an article by Jewish writer Hanna Rosin appearing in the September 2013 issue of The Atlantic Monthly (“Murder by Craigslist: A serial killer finds a newly vulnerable class of victims: white, working-class men”). In it, she described how single White males were lured to the Ohio countryside by promises of work, then ambushed and murdered. The murderer figured that such men would not be missed, so the crimes might go undetected. As Rosin chillingly sums it up, “At what other moment in history could a serial killer identify middle-aged white men as his most vulnerable targets?”
I think by now it might be clear that a “full-spectrum assault” on Whites is underway — the flood of non-White immigrants, the discrimination against White males through affirmative action, the job-killing trade policies, the assault on family formation due to feminism, etc. Now we have the medical establishment targeting “surplus” Whites. What a crime!
I don’t mean to depress my readers with this information but I do want people to wake up to the danger. And for this story on the manifest risks of OxyContin, we owe a debt of gratitude to James Petras, Dr. Duke and Eric Striker.
Let me add another point as well. Petras notes that the Sackler family is “among the most elite high cultural philanthropists in the country,” endowing the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution and the Sackler Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yet as I pointed out in my review of the Richard Gere film Arbitrage, “Hollywood conceals the facts about massive Jewish involvement in Wall Street finance — including immense malfeasance and endless instances of shady practices. Not only does Hollywood conceal these facts, it then PROJECTS them onto innocent Gentiles.” Recall that in Arbitrage, the goy played by Gere involves himself in very shady business practices and is responsible for the fiery death of his mistress, yet at the end of the movie he is feted in some elite New York City setting for his philanthropy.
This miscue is part and parcel of the ongoing Jewish effort to divert attention away from Jewish misbehavior. Arbitrage and six other films compose what I think of as my “How They Lie to Us” series of big-name films that peddle goy characters as the financial malefactors. Think of Leonardo DiCaprio playing the lead in The Wolf of Wall Streetwhen in fact the convicted villain was well known to be Jewish.
I’m going to close this essay with an invitation. Yesterday I happened to read a blog about the risks of modern vaccinations, which made many claims about how vaccines are actually seriously hurting or even killing the recipients. I claim no expertise whatsoever in this area and do not in fact have much exposure to the topic. Still, the basic storyline strikes me as similar to the one about the legal prescription of OxyContin. We are all well aware that concern about vaccines is seen by the medical establishment as the ultimate conspiracy theory — except that the medical establishment signed on to doling out OxyContin like ice cream. Thus, I invite informed readers to address the topic of possibly harmful vaccines and any possible link to the Tribe of the Sassoon and Sackler families. Who knows what we might find?
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone