About

Posts by :

Low-toxic cannabis helps folks using more dangerous opiate pain killers

Low-toxic cannabis helps folks using more dangerous opiate pain killers

Opioid prescription deathsMedical cannabis not only helps patients using opiate painkillers to get better pain relief, it also helps them reduce their use of this very dangerous type of medication. Cannabis is low toxic, and does not have to cause a head high for patients to experience relief. Also medical cannabis does not have to be smoked and there are plenty of good non-smoking options available for folks who prefer alternative methods to smoking. Low-toxic cannabis is an intelligent low cost option for folks in chronic pain, as it helps patients get off of their far more toxic opiate pain killers.  These facts are supported by sound science.  I have compiled a list of science from peer reviewed journals supporting below the video.  Because of its safety and effectiveness for pain, our legislators have a moral, ethical obligation to make sure that cannabis is legally available to patients who suffer from chronic pain.

More science below to help combat the lack of quality information about medical cannabis in today’s media

One of the big criticisms of proposed cannabis legalization is the idea that legal cannabis might increase teen use.  These claims are not based in science.  The most up to date science from the great states of Washington and Colorado show that teen use rates for cannabis have not increased with cannabis legalization.  Basically, the prohibitionists’ non-scientific argument is that young folks are so dumb that they’ll be tempted to use cannabis unless we spend millions of dollars locking them up and destroying their lives.  Young people have been very effectively messaged that tobacco use is a bad choice without making tobacco illegal and there’s no reason to believe that cannabis would be different in this regard.  Prohibition is not the best tool for informing people about how to make intelligent choices.

120926092633Below are several peer reviewed studies showing that medical cannabis helps opiate pain medications work better

Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Aug 25. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4005. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25154332.  “…States allowing the medical use of cannabis have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws”.   

—Did you know that there are 25% fewer overdose deaths from opiate pain killers in states with legal medical cannabis? That’s right folks, the science has been clear for a long time.  And now there’s even more evidence that low-toxic medical cannabis saves lives for folks in chronic pain.  This time it’s the heavy hitting Journal of the American Medical Association stating “states allowing the medical use of cannabis have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws”.  Below are a few more of the many, many, many studies on cannabis and chronic pain:

Cannabis as an Adjunct to or Substitute for Opiates in the Treatment of Chronic Pain, Lucas, P., Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 44 (2), 125–133, 2012  “When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects)”….

Cannabis in Palliative Medicine: Improving Care and Reducing Opioid-Related Morbidity, Gregory T. Carter, MD, MS1, Aaron M. Flanagan, MD2, Mitchell Earleywine, PhD3, Donald I. Abrams, MD4, Sunil K. Aggarwal, MD, PhD5, and Lester Grinspoon, MD, American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine 000(00) 1-7, 2011  “…long-term drug safety is an important issue in palliative medicine. Opioids may produce significant morbidity. Cannabis is a safer alternative with broad applicability….”

Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients with Intractable Cancer-Related Pain, Johnson, JR, Burnell-Nugent, M, Lossignol, D, Ganae-Motan, ED, Potts, R and Fallon, MT,MB Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Vol. 39 No. 2 February 2010 167-179  “This study shows that THC:CBD extract is efficacious for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer pain not fully relieved by strong opioids.”

Cannabis as an Adjunct to or Substitute for Opiates in the Treatment of Chronic Pain, Lucas, P., Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 44 (2), 125–133, 2012  “Novel research suggests that cannabis may be useful in the treatment of problematic substance use. These findings suggest that increasing safe access to medical cannabis may reduce the personal and social harms associated with addiction, particularly in relation to the growing problematic use of pharmaceutical opiates. “

Cannabinoids against pain. Efficacy and strategies to reduce psychoactivity: a clinical perspective.  Karst, M and Wippermann, S (2009).  Expert Opin Investig Drugs, Feb. 18, No. 2,125-133

“There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain. When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects) by patients in a clinical setting. Additionally, cannabinoids can prevent the development of tolerance to and withdrawal from opiates, and can even rekindle opiate analgesia after a prior dosage has become ineffective. Novel research suggests that cannabis may be useful in the treatment of problematic substance use. These findings suggest that increasing safe access to medical cannabis may reduce the personal and social harms associated with addiction, particularly in relation to the growing problematic use of pharmaceutical opiates.”

Cannabinoid–Opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain, Abrams, DI, Couey, P, Shade, SB, Kelly, ME and Benowitz, NL, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 90 (6) 2011, 844-851  “We therefore concluded that vaporized cannabis augments the analgesic effects of opioids without significantly altering plasma opioid levels. The combination may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer side effects.”

Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients with Intractable Cancer-Related Pain, Johnson, JR, Burnell-Nugent, M, Lossignol, D, Ganae-Motan, ED, Potts, R and Fallon, MT,MB Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Vol. 39 No. 2 February 2010 167-179  “This study shows that THC:CBD extract is efficacious for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer pain not fully relieved by strong opioids.”

Patients and Caregivers Report Using Medical Marijuana to Decrease Prescription Narcotics Use, Peters, D.C., Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, 35, 2013, 25-40  “All patients and producers who were taking opiate pain killers claimed they reduced overall drug use, especially opiates, by using medical marijuana. Patients and caregivers also claimed medical marijuana was preferred over opiates, eased withdrawal from opiates, and in some cases was perceived as more effective at relieving pain.”

Cannabinergic Pain Medicine A Concise Clinical Primer and Survey of Randomized-controlled Trial Results, Aggarwal, SK, Clin J Pain  Volume 29, Number 2, February 2013, 162-171  “Cannabis and other cannabinergic medicines’ efficacies for relieving pain have been studied in RCTs, most of which have demonstrated a beneficial effect for this indication, although most trials are short-term. Adverse effects are generally nonserious and well tolerated. Incorporating cannabinergic medicine topics into pain medicine education seems warranted and continuing clinical research and empiric treatment trials are appropriate.”

Cannabinoid-opioid interactions during neuropathic pain and analgesia, Bushlin, I, Rozenfeld, R and Devi, LA, Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2010, 10(1): 80.

Impact of Cannabis Use during Stabilization on Methadone Maintenance Treatment. Scavone JL, Sterling RC, Weinstein SP, Van Bockstaele EJ.  Am J Addict 2013;22(4):344-51.

Cancer PatientBelow are more peer reviewed references demonstrating that medical cannabis helps patients use less of their prescription opiate pain killers

Cannabis not only helps opiate medications work better, it also helps patients use less of this highly toxic class of drugs. There is positive synergy between opiate medications and cannabis.

Cannabinoid–Opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain, Abrams, DI, Couey, P, Shade, SB, Kelly, ME and Benowitz, NL, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 90 (6) 2011, 844-851 “We therefore concluded that vaporized cannabis augments the analgesic effects of opioids without significantly altering plasma opioid levels. The combination may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer side effects.”

Synergistic interactions between cannabinoid and opioid analgesics

Life Sci. 2004 Jan 30;74(11):1317-24. Review. PubMed PMID: 14706563. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14706563

Synergy between THC and morphine in the arthritic rat

Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Jul 12;567(1-2):125-30. Epub
2007 Apr 20. PubMed PMID: 17498686. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17498686

Cannabis reduces opiate use in the treatment of non-cancer pain

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2003 Jun;25(6):496-8. PubMed PMID:
12782429.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12782429

Synergistic and additive interactions of the cannabinoid agonist CP55,940 with mu opioid receptor and alpha2-adrenoceptor agonists in acute pain models in mice.

Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Mar;144(6):875-84. PubMed PMID: 15778704; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1576059. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15778704

Cannabinoid-opioid interactions during neuropathic pain and analgesia, Bushlin, I, Rozenfeld, R and Devi, LA, Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2010, 10(1): 80.

Additionally, there is a lot of good science showing synergistic effects between the molecule CBD and THC.

Feel free to comment at CannabisMatrix.com or email me at DrJake@DrJakeFelice if you have any questions regarding these synergistic effects.

Jake w Hatch surf photoBelow is essential data for citizens to consider which puts into perspective the magnitude of the scope of drug toxicities for our citizens, and why low toxic cannabis can be such an excellent option for patients suffering from even mild to moderate chronic pain.  

 No other pain relieving medication is less toxic than cannabis, not even aspirin or Tylenol. If deaths from toxic effects from NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and Aleve were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these drug toxicities would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. This is why cannabis as medicine can be an excellent choice as a substitute for more toxic pain-killers such as opiates and NSAIDs.

The July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine stated the following: “Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The figures of all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-appreciated.”

And again in June 1999 the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine issued a similar statement:  ”It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to the number of deaths from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and considerably greater than the number of deaths from multiple myeloma, asthma, cervical cancer, or Hodgkin’s disease.

If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects from NSAIDs were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. Yet these toxic effects remain mainly a “silent epidemic,” with many physicians and most patients unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore the mortality statistics do not include deaths ascribed to the use of over-the-counter NSAIDS.”

A recent study in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management notes that the number of deaths and hospitalizations from GI bleeding due to NSAIDs has remained unchanged since the 1999 study.  Again, medical cannabis has never killed a single patient.

Yours truly,

-Dr. Jake Felice

Seattle, WA

Share

Dr. Jake answers your cannabis questions

Dr. Jake answers your cannabis questions

Thanks for watching CannabisMatrix.com  I’ve decided to do a series of short videos answering patient questions about cannabis.  If you find this interesting, please share with a friend.  Also, feel free to email me your questions at DrJake@DrJakeFelice.com.  As a post script, I’d like to say that I wish I would have added more information regarding the synergy between opiate medications and cannabis. Cannabis not only helps opiate medications work better, it also helps patients use less of this highly toxic class of drugs.

Below are a few more peer reviewed references supporting the facts discussed in this video:

From JAMA:  25% fewer overdose deaths from opiate pain killers in states with legal medical cannabis

Synergistic interactions between cannabinoid and opioid analgesics http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14706563

Synergy between THC and morphine in the arthritic rat http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17498686

Cannabis reduces opiate use in the treatment of non-cancer pain http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12782429

Synergistic and additive interactions of the cannabinoid agonist CP55,940 with mu opioid receptor and alpha2-adrenoceptor agonists in acute pain models in mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15778704

-2

Photo by Derek Sparks dereksparks.com

Additionally, there is a lot of good science showing synergistic effects between the molecule CBD and THC that I did not have time to explore. Feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions regarding these synergistic effects.

Yours truly in health,

-Dr. Jake Felice, ND

CannabisMatrix.com

Seattle, WA  USA

Special thanks to Derek Sparks for the images on this post!

Share

25% fewer overdose deaths from opiate pain killers in states with legal medical cannabis

25% fewer overdose deaths from opiate pain killers in states with legal medical cannabis

That’s right folks, the science has been clear for a long time.  And now there’s even more evidence that low-toxic medical cannabis saves lives for folks in chronic pain.  This time it’s the heavy hitting Journal of the American Medical Association stating “states allowing the medical use of cannabis have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws”.   It’s important for people to remember that medical cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever, and patients don’t need to smoke it or get a head high to experience low-toxic pain relief.

Opioid prescription deathsThe substitution of less harmful medicines in lieu of more harmful drugs is compassionate and intelligent medicine. Cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever by almost any measure. It has never caused a single death, ever. Cannabis does not have to be smoked to be effective, and medical cannabis patients don’t have to get ‘high’ to experience pain relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen kill more Americans than most people are aware.

As citizens become more attuned to the benefits of cannabis as an inexpensive natural pain reliever that doesn’t have death as a side-effect, many forward thinking doctors are recognizing the amazing benefits of low-toxic cannabis for all types of pain and inflammation, including mild and moderate pain.

The following comes from the IACM:

On average, states allowing the medical use of cannabis have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws. A new multi-institutional study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined the rate of deaths caused by opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2010. Results reveal that on average, the 13 states allowing the use of medical cannabis had a 24.8 percent lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate after the laws were enacted than states without the laws, indicating that the treatment with cannabis may be safer for patients suffering from chronic pain related to cancer and other conditions.

Approximately 60 percent of all deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses occur in patients who have legitimate prescriptions. While noting that evidence for the pain-relieving properties of cannabis is limited, some studies have suggested “it may provide relief for some individuals,” said lead author Dr Marcus A. Bachhuber. “In addition, people already taking opioids for pain may supplement with medical marijuana and be able to lower their painkiller dose, thus lowering their risk of overdose.” Additional results of the study show that the relationship between lower opioid overdose deaths and medical cannabis laws strengthened over time; deaths were nearly 20 percent lower in the first year after a state’s law was implemented, and 33.7 percent lower five years after implementation.

A proper cannabis recommendation for pain requires more than just a few minutes of a doctor’s time, and includes information on cannabinoid content, strain selection, and delivery methods. If you’re not getting this information from your doctor, you’re not getting a true cannabis consultation and are missing information on the full value and healing potential of the plant.

If you know of someone who is looking for low toxic options for their chronic pain, feel free to forward this article to them.  Prospective patients can also call me at 206-795-6044 to see if they might be a good candidate for medical cannabis.  There is no charge for this service. If you or anyone you know would like more information about me and my naturopathic services you can visit my website here: http://www.drjakefelice.com/

All my best in health,

-Dr. Jake Felice, ND, LMP

Seattle, Washington

 

Share

Got Science? Dr. Jake’s comments to the Washington State Board of Health

Got Science? Dr. Jake’s comments to the Washington State Board of Health

The challenge to the public is that since the 1940s, medical bureaucrats and legislators have ignored the science pertaining to the use of cannabis as medicine. It is my concern that the same will be true for our Washington State Board of Health. If regulators do not understand the existing and emerging science of cannabis, they will be making poor decisions that not only do not benefit the health and well being of citizens; but could also arguably be causing harm in preventing citizens from accessing one of the least toxic forms of pain relief known to science.

Cannnabis patientSince the 1940s the federal government has commissioned expert medical panels to review scientific information about medical use of cannabis; and has done this almost every decade starting with the LaGuardia commission report in the 1940s, and continuing up to the most recent Institute of Medicine report in 1999. All of these reports repeatedly present the same conclusions based on the most up-to-date science available at the time their publication. They contain informative and straightforward information, stating the clear conclusion that scientific evidence indicates the safe and therapeutic effects of cannabis for pain.

Low toxic cannabis SanjayIf the Board of Health’s goal is to protect our citizens, the substitution of less harmful medicines in lieu of more harmful drugs, is compassionate and intelligent medicine. Cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever by almost any measure. It has never caused a single death, ever. Cannabis does not have to be smoked to be effective, and medical cannabis patients don’t have to get ‘high’ to experience pain relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen kill more Americans than most people are aware.

Healthy coupleAs citizens become more attuned to the benefits of cannabis as an inexpensive natural pain reliever that doesn’t have death as a side-effect, many forward thinking doctors are recognizing the amazing benefits of low-toxic cannabis for all types of pain and inflammation, including mild and moderate pain.

Cannabis is a botanical containing hundreds of pharmaceutical compounds that provide three major advantages over single molecule synthetic drugs: 1) The therapeutic effects of primary active ingredients of botanicals may be synergized with other compounds, 2) the side-effects of primary active ingredients may be mitigated by other compounds in the plant, and 3) botanicals in general, and cannabis in particular, have much lower toxicities than those of single molecule drugs.

Cannabis is a plant-based botanical medicine with extremely low toxicity. The Board of Health should understand that because of the unique nature of botanicals, the FDA actually considers botanical drugs to be in a different regulatory class from the regulatory policies applied to single molecule drugs. These federal policies are grounded in sound science, and can be referenced through the white paper published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA.

Recently the Board of Health asked for public comments regarding the development of guidelines for physicians around medical cannabis. I wonder if anybody will be listening. Click here to read a copy of my letter to the board.

Thoughts or questions about this topic? I welcome your comments.

Most sincerely,

Dr. JakeDr. Jake Felice, Redmond, Washington

As a post script, I’d like to say that I wish I would have added more information to the board regarding the synergy between opiate medications and cannabis. Cannabis not only helps opiate medications work better, it also helps patients use less of this highly toxic class of drugs.

Below are a few more peer reviewed references supporting this fact:

Synergistic interactions between cannabinoid and opioid analgesics http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14706563

Synergy btw THC and morphine in the arthritic rat http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17498686

Cannabis reduces opiate use in the treatment of non-cancer pain http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12782429

Synergistic and additive interactions of the cannabinoid agonist CP55,940 with mu opioid receptor and alpha2-adrenoceptor agonists in acute pain models in mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15778704

Additionally, there is a lot of good science showing synergistic effects between the molecule CBD and THC that I did not have time to explore in this letter. Feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions regarding these synergistic effects.

Share

Medical cannabis for kids???

Medical cannabis for kids???

Do you think medical cannabis is just for stoners?  Take a look at this little girl who uses large amounts of medical cannabis to treat her epilepsy.  You might just find yourself shedding a tear.

Cannabis offers effective, low toxic options for patients with seizure disorders and can even be helpful for petiatric patients.  Newer strains of high-CBD, low-THC cannabis such as Charlotte’s Web provide safe, effective seizure relief that can really work.  -Dr. Jake Felice

Share

How cannabis drives tumor cells to sucicide

How cannabis drives tumor cells to sucicide

Check out this very interesting video on cannabis and cancer.  Emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors.  -Dr. Jake Felice

From Cannabis Planet on Vimeo.

Share