Bill's Marijuana and Narcotics Study

I took the liberty of copying Bill's email so we would have somewhere to discuss this:

Do you think the following article is appropriate to post. I would introduce it with all the legal provisos.
Pot, narcotics OK to treat pain, UCSF study finds
Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inhaled marijuana appears to be a safe and effective treatment for chronic pain when used in addition to narcotics like morphine and oxycodone, according to a small UCSF study that is the first to look at the combined effects of the two classes of drugs in humans.
The study, published in this month's edition of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, was designed primarily to look at whether taking marijuana with narcotics is safe, and researchers reported that there were no negative side effects from combining the drugs.
Overall, the 21 men and women in the study reported a roughly 25 percent reduction in pain after inhaling vaporized marijuana several times a day for five days.
If the results can be backed up in further studies, marijuana could prove an important means of augmenting the effects of narcotic drugs for the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain associated with cancer, AIDS and a variety of other conditions, said study author Dr. Donald Abrams, a UCSF professor and chief of the hematology-oncology division at San Francisco General Hospital.
"If we can get funded, we should do a study now with pain as the endpoint" and not just safety, Abrams said.
He added that scientists don't yet understand how, exactly, marijuana and opiates interact in humans, but "our results support that the relationship between cannabis and opiates is synergistic."
Multiple studies of medical marijuana have shown that the drug can be beneficial in treating pain. A drug called Sativex that combines the two main compounds of marijuana - cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - is currently in clinical trials for treatment of pain in cancer patients in the United States, and is already used in Europe and Can


I don't personally think that 21 people for 5 days is a valid medical study. Sounds more like an excuse to get together and get high on the University's dime. It would be more legitimate to do a long term study, including the effects of both pills and pot would have on nerve receptors and brain cells.

I would have serious concerns that posting this for the entire support group would cause certain members (who are at risk in the first place) to take this as medical community and LwTN permission to combine narcotics and marijuana ( even in states where medical marijuana is illegal ) with the promoise of no long-term problems.

It would seem more responsible to wait until a larger, long-term study was published in a "major" medical publication like JAMA or The New England Journal of Medicine that subject all articles to peer review by other doctors. Don't know how articles qualify for publication in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

My vote is no.

I had occasion to look into medical marijuana research a few years ago. Pot in unprocessed form is being used fairly widely for pain other than Glaucoma in California, under prescription. However the interactions claimed for marijuana and opioids appear to be very complex. There are over a hundred cannaboloid compounds in Pot, and their proportions vary significantly between sources. Likewise, some of those interactions may not be beneficial. There has long been argument and controversy over whether Pot becomes a gateway drug for Heroin and Cocaine, by introducing blood factors that operate for greater vulnerability to fast addiction.

A five day study of pain response in chronic pain patients is in fact no "study" at all. Such a short term trial cannot possibly address the gradual build up in blood stream of either the cannaboloid products or complex biproducts of opioids. And such factors may well prove to moderate or nullify the claimed effects of these drugs over time.

There are better studies out there. If we're going to address medical pot at all, I would be very uncomfortable using the UCSF paper.

Regards all,


I think he should be allow to discuss and people can make decisions for themselves. If nobody talks about it, it will never be studied and something helpful could be pushed aside. I say this on a larger scale than this site, but everything starts somewhere.

We can't shelter everything from everyone. Most of the people are adults and have already decided whether or not to try marijuana.

This topic is so mainstream that it's been on the ballot in California and other states, yet we can talk about it here?

Crystal, I'm not saying that the topic should be forbidden. Only that there are better studies from which to introduce it. A five-day effort among 20 -people is a non-starter if we intend to be at all credible.

I agree that the sample size is pretty small. I guess I'm used to small samples because some TN studies are that small because we have so few patients to study (though it seems like there are a lot more than statistics let on).

I personally think he should be able to discuss this. We can jump in the comments and say that the study is no good, too small of a sample size, but it could get a dialogue going. Personally, I'm already a walking panic attack and I can only imagine how paranoid I'd be using marijuana.

BUT, I live in California, and I see people saying it helps them. Not young hippies, but elderly people. (I live in a community with lots of elderly people)

I can see it from both sides, and I support whichever decision you guys decide to make.

I think he should be able to discuss it too. My grandmother was prescribed it a few years back when she was battling cancer and it really helped her. As long as there are appropriate caveats and it's not an advertisement for illegal drugs, I think it's fine. that's my opinion though.

I think the subject matter of the study’s been forgotten.

This isn’t a study about the use of medical marijuana (which I don’t have any problems with). This is a study about using marijuana AND narcotics together, which is a very dangerous combination. The narcotics could make the effects of the marijuana stronger and vice versa.

I replied to Todd, on October 23, 2010:

> I used to joke that my favorite drink was 'more' and if you got 'em, smoke 'em!

When 'presciption medications' tried to kill me...I'll say (off the record-LOL), that I never met a 'street drug' I didn't like.

"I was so much older then..." bob <

New Hampshire is NOT a medicinal marijuana state, I was prescribed Tetrahydrocannabinol in all it's tablet glory - I didn't inhale, and it had no effect after 6 months of use, about 1 1/2 years ago.

A drug is a drug, and we do have an Opiate Therapy [GROUP].

Sure, it's a lousy study, the [DISCUSSION] could mention it; Scott, I believe it is 'caveat emptor'. bob

Bob, I think we have an ethical obligation to "first do no harm". I am not comfortable that the combination of marijuana and opiates is one that we want to make light of, or imply that we recommend, by sponsoring a forum discussion on it, to patients. If you want to discuss medical marijuana, there are plenty of other and much stronger studies out there. Can't we find a more sound basis for the discussion?

Regards, Red


I make remarks that stop the discussions.

I make remarks that get fellow "MODS" to say, "Please don't let any of "our members" scare you off, especially being told "excuse me Missy", not very supportive or appropriate, however I think he means well." Comment by Tracy C from BC on May 17, 2011 at 11:52am.

"WE", not I, sponsored:

Please, feel free to link to my page;) bob

PS: Which Bill?

Hi, Bob.

I am not sure how the subject Morag from John Hopkins enters into play here.

Initially, I denied her application to LwTN. Scott went back in and approved the application.

Bob Snodgrass said:


I make remarks that stop the discussions.

I make remarks that get fellow "MODS" to say, "Please don't let any of "our members" scare you off, especially being told "excuse me Missy", not very supportive or appropriate, however I think he means well." Comment by Tracy C from BC on May 17, 2011 at 11:52am.

"WE", not I, sponsored:

Please, feel free to link to my page;) bob

PS: Which Bill?

Thanks for all the input..

The submitted article is a condensed version. I'll go back and find the source and the longer piece.

Perhaps. it will fill in the gaps .For now, I'll hold off submitting it.

My reply was to Red, and this discussion had to do with CENSORSHIP.

Childlike antics are owned by our own comments.

I believe this is a "Closed Group", and some could benefit from reading more. Thanks, bob

I thought he was backing up Red, but I wasn't sure!

I think Bob is reminding us of a thread from May 2011, where he tried to question a member's decision to have an MVD so soon in her journey. They shared a couple of responses, when Tracy posted the comment above. Worse, his unheeded warning was accurate -- the member had the MVD, and her pain increased 10 times over (her whole story breaks my heart). Bob's reminding us that being a moderator is not a popularity contest - and sometimes helping members is more than just being nice. (I realize there may be backstory that I don’t know about, but I’m just going off what was in that May thread.)

This whole thing leads me to a question. If a moderator sees another mod doing something wrong, or making inappropriate comments, shouldn’t we should always send a private message first (to give the offender the chance to fix it), rather than “throwing them under the bus” in a public forum? As moderators, shouldn’t we be setting the example? It’s not good for the members to see us “infighting.”

Everyone here is fantastic and we’re all bonded by this condition. We have so much to deal with already. I say that we wait for a better study and hold off on the post for now. Of course there is a chance a member will make a post, but that’s when we’ll chime in with the best information we have available, warnings, whatever the case calls for…

I make insolent and flippant remarks, attempting to get a point across, because.

The "backstory" is that Tammie has been a friend of mine since.

Νευραλγία τριδύμου #disabled. Seeing a primitive and paranoid culture. Earth matters. Nothing new is going to happen yesterday. bob


Wanted to warn you that your comment from this discussion in our closed group somehow showed up on your profile page. I deleted it so that no one else would see it. All of our comments here are not supposed to show up anywhere but here. Please check your profile page from time to time, just in case this happens again. : )

Yikes! I'll definitely keep an eye out.

Gloria, I just checked your profile and your comment showed up there too! Tracy's too!

So two possible scenarios - one that our comments are showing up on all of our pages and are not private, or second option, maybe because we're moderators so we see it, but an average member wouldn't see it?

I'll re-post this in the main moderator thread to make sure to get everyone's input!