Making medicine out of medicine. Wait, what?

Cannabis is an amazing medicine. It comes with a range of chemicals that can be adjusted through breeding to accommodate the user’s needs. It has aromatic terpenes that carry the cannabinoids to where the body needs them, thus serving as a built-in delivery system. Yet for Big Pharma, well, that’s not quite good enough.

This article from the Motley Fool highlights some medicines that are being made from cannabis. That’s wonderful and should be encouraged. But cannabis is already medicine. Big Pharma’s resistance to cannabis is due to the fact that’s it’s pretty good as it is. Keep in mind: there are plants and herbs and natural sources of all sorts of chemicals that can be altered into medicine because its natural form might have unpleasant or toxic side effects. This is great for Big Pharma, because an imperfect natural treatment makes room for Big Pharma labs to insert themselves and concoct “perfecting” techniques. In other words, plant medicines you have to alter before you can use them rationalize Big Pharma’s existence.

Cannabis is rendered as medicine with nothing more than a curing process and subsequent application of heat to activate the cannabinoids (this is why smoking is effective, even though combustion destroys a lot of cannabinoids). There’s no room for a guy in a labcoat to “fix” cannabis when it ain’t broken. That’s why Big Pharma fought cannabis for so long. Not only does cannabis work better than a lot of artificial drugs, but its effectiveness and natural sourcing spoil Big Pharma’s self-justifying narrative.

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A note about CBD: CBD-only medicines are fine and dandy for illnesses that are best treated with only CBD. But there’s little evidence that the other components in cannabis are either detrimental or unnecessary. They pick CBD for one and only one reason: it doesn’t get you high.  Now that cannabis’s medical value is accepted, Big Pharma is trying to co-opt what it once fought. They can live with cannabis-based medicine, only if they separate it from its natural source and remove its best feature. A cannabis high, in reality, has plenty of medical value. Not only does it treat mental illness symptoms straight up, it also treats the more mild and temporary forms of depression and anxiety that are par for the course for people with chronic physical illnesses. Taking the high out of pot and saying you’re “helping” sick people by giving them a medicine that treats fewer ailments and makes the patient white-knuckle mental distress–like it doesn’t count as a “real” problem–is akin to taking the taste out of food and claiming it helps people with eating disorders somehow.


One Response to “Making medicine out of medicine. Wait, what?”

  1. […] Still figuring out what will go where. Until then, here’s a link. […]

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