Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the primary compounds found in the cannabis plant, may prevent the rejection of organs during a transplant, according to a study published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
“We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing immune response in the recipient,” says Mitzi Nagarkatti, Ph.D., a researcher from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. “This opens up a new area of research that would lead to better approaches to prevent transplant rejection as well as to treat other inflammatory diseases.”
California’s full Legislature has given approval to Assembly Bill 258, a proposal to prohibit medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants based solely on their use of the medicine, or their status as a patient. The measure was passed by the Senate 33 to 1, and was approved in April by the House 52 to 8.
Assembly Bill 258 now heads to Governor Jerry Brown who has 30 days to sign it into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto it.
With an overwhelming 52 to 8 vote, California’s full Assembly has passed Assembly Bill 258, a proposal to prohibit medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants based on their cannabis use, or their status as a qualified patient.
“Today, I am proud to stand with my Assembly colleagues in support of AB 258, a common sense measure that will protect the lives of legal medical cannabis patients,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), the author of the bill, after yesterday’s vote. “With this legislation, California can insure that its residents are provided a fair assessment of their eligibility as an organ transplant recipient.”
The California Medical Association (CMA) has voted to approve a resolution urging clinics in the state against removing patients from organ transplant lists based on their use of medical cannabis. Resolution 116-14 was approved with a unanimous vote, which took place during the CMA House of Delegates’ annual meeting this weekend in San Diego.
The resolution opposes “utilization of marijuana use and positive cannabis toxicology tests as a contraindication for potential organ transplant recipients,” and calls on the use of “evidence-based medical findings to guide any alterations in this CMA policy.”
The government-funded National Cancer Institute is forthright with the fact that cannabis has vast medical value, including tumor fighting capabilities.
In drastic contrast to the Drug Enforcement Administration and other government entities, the U.S. National Cancer Institute has a report published on its website which proclaims several benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids, citing numerous scientific studies to back their claims. Among the benefits of cannabis, the organization says, is its anti-tumor capabilities, its effectiveness as a painkiller, and its usefulness as an appetite stimulant.
Cannabis can help stop organs from being rejected during transplants
In the U.S. (and many other countries around the world), people are regularly denied organ transplants if they test positive for cannabis, even if they’re qualified medical cannabis patients in states where it’s legal. It turns out that, beyond being a human rights catastrophe, it may be one of the most counterproductive practices in the medical world.
Recent studies – including one published recently by the National Institute of Health – have shown that cannabinoids can actually help the body accept new organs, significantly reducing the possibility of the transplant failing (which often leads to death).
In 2013 alone, there were over 1,200 pieces of cannabis-related legislation filed throughout the United States.
2013 has (by far) surpassed the mark of most cannabis-related legislation ever introduced in the U.S., with over 1,000 proposals filed in various states. This trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon, with numerous lawmakers already planning cannabis reform legislation for the 2014 session, and with support for reform growing at a rapid pace.
A medical spray made from the cannabis plant is legal for those with multiple sclerosis in over 20 countries.
Sativex, which is made entirely of cannabis-derived cannabinoids, is legal in over 20 countries across the globe, and is pending approval in nearly a dozen more. Canada was the first nation to approve this medication for use by people suffering with multiple sclerosis.
Despite the approval of this medication, most of the countries which have approved it retain harsh criminal penalties for those possessing, growing or using cannabis in its raw form, even for medical purposes, further displaying the ever-apparent hypocrisy of cannabis prohibition.
Hemp is carbon negative.
Even when you account for its full production – from seed to product – hemp is entirely carbon negative; hemp is one of the only plants in the world that this is true of. This means that hemp production does absolutely no harm to the environment, and may actually be beneficial to it.
Given this, and given hemp’s unrivaled diversity, it’s hard to argue that hemp is a necessity for an environmentally sustainable future.
Cannabinoids derived from hemp can expand the life of dogs and cats.
Recently a product labelled under the name Canna-Pets hit store shelves across the U.S. as a legal, over-the-counter cannabis medication for pets, which can help with a variety of ailments from diabetes to muscle pain. Interestingly, after 5 years of clinical studies, it was found that this new product – which is made from cannabinoids derived from hemp – can actually expand the life of pets. It does so with absolutely no side effects.
Cannabis can alter genes.
A recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry has found that THC – a compound found in cannabis – can actually alter genes, which can help treat a number of conditions, such as cancers and inflammatory diseases. The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Health.
Cannabis is made up of over 400 various compounds, most all of which have intense medical value.
What the government fails to acknowledge when they use the argument that “Marinol [synthetic THC] is legal, so we don’t need to legalize medical cannabis”, is that cannabis is made up of far more than just THC; cannabis actually consists of over 400 individual compounds, most all of which can be broken down and used for a variety of medical conditions. However, these compounds are most effective when taken together, which is why consuming cannabis has such intense medical value.
A study conducted by researchers at Montana State University and the University of Colorado found that states which have legalized medical cannabis have seen a significant reduction in overall traffic fatalities – an 11% reduction in total. Those behind the study claim that the reduction is due to a simultaneous reduction in alcohol consumption, which is validated by the fact that medical cannabis states have seen a large reduction in alcohol-related accidents. The study was recently updated and published in the Journal of Law and Economics.
Cannabis is an antibacterial.
Recent studies – including this one funded by the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy – have shown that cannabis, as well as fabric made from industrial hemp, has antibacterial capabilities, and can actually fight off deadly bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This indicates that clothing made from hemp may actually save lives.
A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, and by the National Institute of Health, has found that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – one of the prime compounds in cannabis – can potentially stop organ transplant rejections from taking place.
The study, which found that the higher the dose of THC, the higher the chance of protecting against rejection, also found synthetic cannabinoids to share a similar protective ability.