One downside to the internet is the fact that bid headlines get around fast – and not all of them are true. This was the case last Thursday when a story about a cannabis based drug trial in France that was said to have caused brain death in at least one patient, with others in unconfirmed conditions.
The first thing any anti-marijuana activist wants to see is a headline like that. They share it on every social media outlet they have and tell all their friends to share it too. That’s how we get news stories that end up on Snopes.
Luckily, the French Ministry of Health official was quick to hit the media and make sure that everyone knew that these claims were false. The drug being tested had absolutely no trace of cannabis in any form. Actually, it’s a synthetic drug that is meant to work replicate how cannabinoids work with our body’s endocannabinoid system.
It seems that many researchers are interested in this type of medicine – a fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor. The reason? They want to be able to harness the same benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.
But hey wait a minute – don’t we already have a way to extract CBD? Both these FAAH inhibitors and CBD (cannabinoids from cannabis) help to regulate and elevate endocannabinoid levels – but guess what the big difference is?
One is all natural and one is man-made. One has never caused permanent harm to a user (or short term that I’m aware of – while the other has now killed one man and left at least four or five others with neurological damage.
We all know why they really want these medicines to work out. If they can patent it then not only will they make billions but they will likely be holding back prohibition reform efforts in many states as well as at a federal level. It’s unfortunate, but true – it’s all about the money to some people.
The thing is – we’ve seen time and time again that synthetic medications are not as safe as they claim to be. How many times do you see a commercial for something like a depression medication or a birth control pill or even a headache medicine – and then hear the list of potential side effects and you’re left thinking “why would anyone risk that over a headache?”
We’ve also seen that trying to replicate the effects of cannabis can be extremely dangerous. The first time was with Spice (K2) also known as synthetic marijuana, which is chemically treated herbs that could produce a similar high or a much, much more intense and terrifying feeling.
Now people are trying to replicate the medical effects and now one person is dead, at least four with brain damage and who knows how many others who are being observed for side effects. And this was only phase I of the clinical trial.
Personally, I would always choose something natural over something man-made. I, quite often, turn to essential oils prior to using an over-the-counter medication or seeing a doctor. We have the resources, we know what the plant can do – it’s time to stop fearing it, stop trying to replicate it the effects and use the natural medicine that is already available to us!