As the medical cannabis in Canada community continues its battle to end the prohibition of our medicine, we constantly come up against frustrating roadblocks. We have no trouble engaging those who oppose medical cannabis on the grounds that they believe it is a drug, like cocaine or heroin or methamphetamines. Those people are the victims of institutionalized falsification of fact. Those people can be convinced when confronted by the truth. The naysayers who cause the most frustration are those who revel in the aforementioned falsification, like the mainstream media (MSM) and our federal government, in particular, our Health Minister Rona Ambrose, who despite overseeing the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) does not believe that cannabis has medical qualities. And yet, a stream of science that proves otherwise continues to strengthen our argument, and resolve.
Consider the latest, a study from Case Reports in Immunology, “Life Threatening Idiopathic Recurrent Angioedema Responding to Cannabis”. The troubling argument, the one built on ignorance and ill will, would consider this title and suggest that it is rubbish, non-science. Conjecture. Those of us invested in the discourse would read further, and discover that cannabis has had miraculous effects on the subject of this study; a miracle born of a plant that the government and MSM see as nothing but a weed, a plaything of adolescents and the feeble minded. We might argue the adolescence and feeble mindedness is on the other side of the discussion.
Angioedema is swelling caused by a build-up of fluid in deeper layers of the skin. Idiopathic Recurrent Angioedema is a recurring form, which often appears without warning. It is quite common and quite painful. And since science and the medical cannabis community are concerned with reducing and managing pain, we’re both excited by the results, especially as angioedema is notoriously challenging to treat. A previous study on the ailment notes: “The treatment of idiopathic, chronic, recurrent angioedema with or without urticaria [hives] is difficult, both for patients and their physicians, because treatment often is only partially effective and is labour-intensive, expensive, and lengthy.”
The new study’s findings are inspiring:
“We present a case of a 27-year-old man with recurrent episodes of angioedema since he was 19, who responded well to treatment with medical grade cannabis. Initially, he responded to steroids and antihistamines, but several attempts to withdraw treatment resulted in recurrence. In the last few months before prescribing cannabis, the frequency and severity of the attacks worsened and included several presyncope events, associated with scrotal and neck swelling. No predisposing factors were identified, and extensive workup was negative. The patient reported that he was periodically using cannabis socially and that during these periods he was free of attacks. Recent data suggest that cannabis derivatives are involved in the control of mast cell activation. Consequently, we decided to try a course of inhaled cannabis as modulators of immune cell functions. The use of inhaled cannabis resulted in a complete response, and he has been free of symptoms for 2 years. An attempt to withhold the inhaled cannabis led to a recurrent attack within a week, and resuming cannabis maintained the remission, suggesting a cause and effect relationship.”
So, to summarize: An inexpensive treatment that the government and MSM don’t consider to be medicine was able to essentially cure an ailment whose former treatment was “partially effective and … labour-intensive, expensive, and lengthy.” Furthermore, not only did cannabis cure the angioedema, withholding cannabis “led to a recurrent attack within a week.” We’re glad that Rona Ambrose wasn’t Health Minister when Banting and Best were working or there’d be cemeteries filled with diabetics from Cornerbrook to Tofino.
Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a desperate attempt to quell the rising NDP tide in the polls, suggesting that a new Harper government would abolish the Senate. The Senate is the only government body that has been right on cannabis, as their 2002 Senate Committee Report on Illegal Drugs recommended ending prohibition. Perhaps Harper could instead make a promise to abolish the MMPR, a government program that has never gotten anything right, and give the suffering the safe, inexpensive, and effective medicine they need.