NEW NORML REPORT SUMMARIZES THE ROLE OF CANNABIS IN MODERATING DISEASE PROGRESSION – Review Of 120+ Recent Scientific Trials Reveals That In US, Politics Trumps Science

Washington, DC: Recently published clinical and preclinical research on the therapeutic use of cannabis indicates that cannabinoids may curb the progression of various life-threatening diseases – in particular, autoimmune disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease) – according to a comprehensive new report published today by the NORML Foundation.

The NORML Foundation report summarizes over 120 recently published trials assessing the therapeutic utility of cannabinoids for the treatment of fifteen specific disease indications: Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gliomas, hepatitis C, hypertension, incontinence, osteoporosis, pruritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and Tourette’s syndrome.

“Despite continued political debates regarding the recreational use of cannabis, clinical investigations of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids are now more prevalent than at any time in history,” states the report’s author, NORML Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano. “In some of these cases, modern science is now affirming longtime anecdotal reports of medicinal cannabis users. In other cases, this research is highlighting entirely new potential clinical utilities for cannabinoids.”

Whereas initial clinical investigations into the therapeutic use of cannabis focused primarily on whether cannabinoids might provide symptomatic relief, investigators today are exploring the potential role of cannabinoids to inhibit the progression of several life-threatening diseases including cancer, Armentano says.

“Arguably, this latter trend represents far broader and more significant applications for cannabinoid therapeutics than researchers could have imagined some thirty or even twenty years ago,” he concludes. “Unfortunately, because of the US government¹s strong public policy stance against any use of marijuana, the bulk of this modern research is taking place outside the United States and continues to go unrecognized in North America. Nevertheless, the emerging body of clinical and preclinical work published over the past six years makes it clear that the US government’s stance against the therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids is based on politics, not science.”

Full text of the report, “Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids: A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 – 2006,” is available online in HTML and PDF formats at: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Foundation Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500 or via e-mail at: paul@norml.org.