Author: Fred Gardner

Cannabis Specialists Agree on Health History Questionnaire

From O’Shaughnessy’s Spring 2004 Drs. Jeff Hergenrather, Tod Mikuriya and Frank Lucido of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group have developed a questionnaire for patients that elicits extensive information about cannabis use.  The three physicians have submitted an abstract to the International Cannabinoid Research Society and hope to make a presentation at the ICRS meeting to be held this summer in Naples, Italy.  Here is the abstract, as drafted by Hergenrather. [“ICD” stands for “International Classification of Disease.”] Pre-1937 citations in the medical literature for cannabis treated conditions include 28 codeable diagnoses among them chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, seizure...

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Cannabis in the Curriculum (USC Keck School of Medicine Takes the Lead)

By Fred Gardner —O’Shaughnessy’s Spring 2004 “Any pain-management training that does not have information about cannabis is committing malpractice.”  —Claudia Jensen, MD On Feb. 13 students and faculty from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine put on a half-day program devoted to the clinical uses of cannabis and the relevant pharmacology. Some 30 first- and second-year medical students attended the history-making event in McKibben Hall, which was organized by Rolando Tringale, a second-year medical student, and Claudia Jensen, MD, a Ventura pediatrician who is an Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine. Jensen teaches “Introduction to...

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The Remarkable Dr. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy

By Michael R. Aldrich, Ph.D. Many medical marijuana users know that Dr. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy (1809-1889) introduced cannabis to modern Western medicine, but know little else of this Irishman’s extraordinary life. In addition to his pioneering work on cannabis therapy, O’Shaughnessy invented the modern treatment for cholera, laid the first telegraph system in Asia, and made significant contributions to pharmacology, chemistry, drug clinical trials, science education, and underwater engineering. There has never been a full biography of him, yet his genius shines through 19th-century science in all those fields. O’Shaughnessy was born in Limerick in 1809 (or late 1808),...

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Notcutt on N=1 Trials

From O’Shaughnessy’s report on the International Cannabinoid Research Society’s 2002 meeting: William Notcutt recounted that he and colleagues at the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth used Sativex —GW Pharmaceuticals’ extract formulated for spraying under the tongue— in clinical trials involving 29 chronic pain patients. Initially patients were given a 1:1 mix of THC and CBD for two weeks. The 27 who reported benefits than received, over the next eight weeks, one-week treatments with high-THC, high-CBD, placebo, and 1:1 THC/CBD extracts. The order in which patients used the various extracts was unknown to either them or the doctors. This method, in which...

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The Marijuana Problem

By Lester Grinspoon, MD   —O’Shaughnessy’s Summer 2003 There are many thousands of patients who currently use cannabis as a medicine. Only seven are allowed to use it legally. They are the only survivors among the several dozen patients who were awarded Compassionate Use INDs during a period of time from 1976 until 1991 when the government halfheartedly acknowledged that marijuana has medicinal properties. This program was actually discontinued because of the exponentially growing number of Compassionate IND applications; the official reason was provided by James O. Mason, then chief of the Public Health Service: “It gives a bad...

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Marijuana Smoking Doesn’t Lead to Higher Death Rate —Kaiser Study

By Fred Gardner, O’Shaughnessy’s Summer 2003 Although the inhalation of chemical toxins in cannabis smoke has been linked to bronchitis and other respiratory problems, it has not been shown to cause lung cancer or a higher death rate. The most extensive study to date on marijuana and mortality was conducted by investigators at Kaiser Permanente and published in Cancer Causes and Control in 1997. It showed no substantial link between regular marijuana smoking and death, but suggested that marijuana prohibition may itself pose a health hazard to the user. The Kaiser team, led by Stephen Sidney, MD, looked at 10...

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O’Shaughnessy’s Statement of Purpose

The first issue of O’Shaughnessy’s,  Summer 2003, included this Statement of Purpose on the editorial page: The California Cannabis Research Medical Group was founded by Tod Mikuriya, MD, to enable doctors who have been monitoring their patients’ cannabis use to share data and observations. Cannabis is not a conventional medicine at this time, and O’Shaugnessy’s —published by the CCRMG— is not starting out as a conventional journal. Our primary goals are the same as the stated goals of any reputable scientific publication: to bring out findings that are accurate, duplicable, and useful to the community at large. But in...

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