Science and Pseudoscience in the world of medical cannabis
There is a solid scientific and medical basis that supports the therapeutic use of cannabinoids in the management of many diseases, but that does not mean that the plant might be the nearly magical technique for all fitness problems.
In a recent article, Ekaitz Agirregoitia summarized the most important aspects of the comparative and compilation study carried out by the United States Academy of Sciences and published in 2017 where the scientific evidence supporting the therapeutic use of these compounds was analyzed. The study indicates that in some cases there is conclusive or substantial evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids in the treatment, for example, of chronic pain in adults or chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The study also concludes that there are other possible applications for which the evidence supporting the existence of a benefit associated with the use of cannabinoids is still moderate, limited, or insufficient. Buy cannabis oil online
But what is required to be able to advance in the consolidation of the evidence that supports a scientific statement, such as the possible use of cannabinoids for the treatment of a certain disease? As always when we refer to conclusions based on evidence, the research work that can help clarify and consolidate any observation progresses slowly because it requires the development of multiple experiments in preclinical models. Thus, to understand the effects of cannabinoids in a certain disease, the usual approach would be to carry out experiments in cell and animal models of that disease, where the effect of cannabinoids can be analyzed in detail, but also to develop other experiments aimed at understanding the mechanism by which these compounds exert their effects. Many of these experimental approaches are laborious, they must be repeated on multiple occasions to be sure that they are reproducible and have a significant economic cost. In addition, at the end of that process, it is not enough to have obtained the results that we believe ratify our idea, but the work must be systematically compiled and sent to publish in a scientific journal, where it will be exhaustively (and anonymously) reviewed. by other researchers who are specialists in the field in question. These reviewers must evaluate, and where appropriate endorse, the quality and validity of the results obtained, and therefore on numerous occasions request that additional information be provided.
On the other hand, the acceptance process of a certain discovery does not end once the study that supports it in a scientific journal has been published. In order for its conclusions to be consolidated and generally accepted, it must gradually gather the consensus of the scientific community, which will normally wait for it to be corroborated by other different researchers. If, in addition, it is a study that implies a possible new therapeutic application in humans, to these preclinical studies it is necessary to add clinical studies, again a long and expensive process that must clearly demonstrate the benefits of a given therapy, as well as its advantages over existing treatments.
Of course, the scientific method I have just briefly described is not without its flaws and problems, and it is certainly capable of improvement in many respects, but the philosophy behind it is to ensure that a scientific statement is supported by Evidence derived from studies that have been reviewed, endorsed and ratified by other scientists specialized in the field in question and, therefore, can be assumed with a high degree of reliability. Is it an infallible and immovable process? Of course not. There are multiple examples of well-established scientific dogmas that have ended up being modified or overcome by other subsequent studies. Buy Dank Vapes online
How does this scientific method fit in the society of immediacy in which we find ourselves immersed? Well, although there is no doubt that the possibility of communicating information quickly through the internet or social networks has many advantages (and this same series of articles is a good example of this), it is also true that on some occasions it contributes to the rapid dissemination of information. hoaxes that lack the minimum scientific validity. Today it is quite easy to create an idea, endow it with a certain dose of pseudoscientific credibility and spread it through social networks as if it were an irrefutable truth that was there but that they wanted to hide from us. To launch one of these ideas, the numerous controls that the scientific method imposes are not necessary. There are numerous examples of claims that are based on biased, if not false, information that have successfully convinced a significant part of society that the claim is true. Perhaps one of the most chilling examples is that of the anti-vaccine groups, who, using false or distorted pseudoscientific arguments, have managed to stop many families with young children from following vaccination programs (undoubtedly one of the medical-scientific advances that have contributed to saving more lives in human history).
Unfortunately, these kinds of pseudoscientific beliefs are also prevalent in the field of medical cannabis. The study published by the United States Academy of Sciences, quoted at the beginning of this article, constitutes a very good compilation of what is known (or was known in 2017) and what has solid evidence, but also what It is not known or still needs to be explored further in order to draw a definitive conclusion. Cannabis oil buy online
However, in certain forums and meetings related to the world of cannabis (and a simple internet search can prove it), much more is often taken when considering hypotheses that are lacking in scientific evidence or excessively exaggerating. therapeutic properties of cannabinoids. Sometimes there are forums in which, using pseudoscientific arguments, cannabis and its derivatives are presented as the true panacea with which everything can be cured. For example, about a year ago I attended a meeting to which I was invited as a speaker to discuss our research on the antitumor potential of cannabinoids. Before I even gave my talk, I found that one of the other speakers (a person well known in the cannabis world, who had worked as a scientist but has now become a leading activist) made a completely speculative reinterpretation of our results and those of other researchers, proposing a number of mechanisms that were not proven and openly recommending substituting any antitumor therapy for treatment based on cannabis oil. I tried to make him see that what he was proposing were hypotheses constructed from the observations of others and that, while attractive and potentially interesting, they still had to be tested experimentally. In addition, I pointed out that, in my opinion, it was very dangerous to present as fully established hypotheses that for the moment we’re completely speculative, particularly when they have the potential to influence the type of treating cancer patients will receive. Obviously, despite the fact that we entered into a passionate, although cordial debate, I did not succeed in convincing him to change his point of view. My feeling, and perhaps I am wrong, is that it was more a matter of faith, almost of religious fanaticism than of reason … and in the face of blind faith there is little that can be done …
I think that the attitude of this activist and others well known in the world of medical marijuana, in addition to not being based on proven facts, is counterproductive to advance towards the normalization of the therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives. Furthermore, these approaches, particularly in the case of diseases as serious as cancer, can be dangerous as they can lead to patients deciding to forgo medical treatments from which they could benefit. vapes for sale
In my opinion, to advance the regulation of medicinal cannabis we have to convince the medical and scientific community of its therapeutic properties, using the scientific evidence that is available and developing additional studies if necessary. The use of scientifically unproven arguments will surely end up being as detrimental to achieving the regularization of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids as the conservative attitudes that deny it any therapeutic benefit. Buy Hemp Products
I am convinced that cannabinoids and their derivatives will – in fact, already do – take the place they deserve as useful therapeutic agents for the treatment or management of various diseases. In any case, in my opinion, it should be the scientific evidence already available (plus that of the numerous studies already underway or that will be developed in the coming years) and not faith, or uncontested observations, that set the tone. of that process.