This cannabis-based product was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom at heavily guarded farms where they grow over 20 tons of cannabis annually. This is then processed and the cannabinoids THC and CBD are extracted to be made into an alcohol-based tincture. They charge patients around $190.00 (approximately) per 10-milliliter vial, which is only enough to last the average multiple sclerosis (MS) patients 10 days. There are estimated to be 80,000 MS sufferers in the U.K. alone; you do the math. If patients were allowed to grow their cannabis they could produce a generic copy of Sativex for $8 per 10 milliliters. The authors have proved this and demonstrated the product at cannabis conventions in both Barcelona and Valencia in 2013.
Regardless of the enormous profits being made at the expense of sick
people, cannabis buds and oil are far superior to Sativex as you benefit from the full and complex profile of cannabinoids, not just THC and CBD. In addition, patients don’t experience any ulcers, burning sensations in the mouth, or the unpleasant aftertaste of alcohol that many who use Sativex complain of.
In U.S. states such as California and Colorado, cannabis can be purchased at state-sanctioned dispensaries, but according to the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis is a Schedule I drug, listed alongside dangerous narcotics. The American Chronic Pain Society says in ACPA Medications & Chronic Pain, Supplement 2007:
“Some states allow the legal use of marijuana for health purposes including pain, while the federal government continues to threaten physicians with prosecution for prescribing it.”
There have been two rulings since 2001, United States v. Oakland
Cannabis Buyers Cooperative and Gonzales v. Raich, have confirmed the federal government’s commitment to prosecuting buyers and sellers even in states where cannabis has been approved for medical use. The FDA’s official stance on cannabis states:
“Marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”
Despite this fallacious statement, Sativex is licensed to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in the United States as a treatment for spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis (MS), and as a possible treatment for the side effects of conventional cancer therapies. Furthermore, synthetic cannabinoids such as Nabilone and Cesamet are available as prescription drugs in many countries. These synthetic copies of cannabinoids are expensive and compare poorly to cannabis plant extracts.
In April 2011, GW Pharmaceuticals entered into an exclusive license
agreement for Novartis Pharma AG to commercialize Sativex in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa. Under the agreement, GW Pharmaceuticals received an upfront payment of $5 million and is eligible for additional payments totaling $28.75 million upon the achievement of set commercial sales targets. In addition, GW Pharmaceuticals will receive royalties on all net sales. In 2009, the global pharmaceutical industry market was valued at $837 billion and is estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2014.
The profits for pharmaceutical companies targeting the cancer market expanded to $24 billion in 2004, with the highest growth rates occurring in the antineoplastic (cancer-inhibiting) class of drugs. The market for these drugs was valued at around $43 billion in 2005 and $69 billion in 2010. Why would these multinational corporations be interested in researching and promoting a cancer treatment that can be grown for free and is difficult to patent unless kept illegal effectively?
The following multiple-medicinal-use patent on a natural compound, which is illegal under patent statutes, was recently granted to the U.S. government by its own Patent Office:
Excerpt from U.S. Patent #6630507:
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties.
“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This newfound property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation-associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular applications as neuro-protectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH3,
This is a complete contradiction to the U.S. government’s officially stated policy about medical cannabis use and demonstrates that cannabis prohibition is not about protecting health–it’s about protecting corporate wealth.
Apart from the nutritional and health benefits gained from non-psychoactive hemp seed and oils now legally available, there is overwhelming evidence that cannabis oil made from illegal plant varieties can send many cancers into remission, particularly breast cancer. The antitumor effects of herbal cannabis and cannabis oil extracts have been well known since at least the 1970s, when the Medical College of Virginia reported on August 18, 1974, that marijuana’s psychoactive component, THC, slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers, and virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36%. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and tasked with finding evidence that cannabis damages the immune system, the study instead found that THC slowed the growth of these three types of cancer: The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further research was halted.
In 1998, a research team at Madrid’s Complutense University
discovered that THC could selectively induce programmed death in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting surrounding healthy cells. Further studies reported in the August 15, 2004 issue of Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, that cannabis constituents inhibited the spread of brain cancer in human tumor biopsies.
Led by Dr. Manuel Guzman, the Spanish team announced they had destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC. This work continues and the authors recently supplied the team with a quantity of their laboratory tested 1:1 (THC: CBD) oil containing 40% CBD with total active cannabinoids at 80%. This oil was made using the techniques described in this book, in later chapters, and research has shown that CBD (cannabidiol)–a nontoxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant–acts as a more potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth than other cannabinoids, including THC. The compound is particularly efficacious in halting the spread of breast cancer cells by triggering apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have also shown that CBD, can stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancers, stating:
“We started by researching breast cancer, but now we’ve found that cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers; brain, prostate, and any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present.”
Cannabis oil treatment of cancerous tumors
Even if only anecdotal evidence exists regarding the efficacy of cannabis oil treatment on cancerous tumors in patients, then surely every cancer sufferer has the right to be informed about this and allowed to try it. This is not a personal freedom argument but a discussion regarding the fundamental human right to life. Access to a potentially life-saving medication should not be subject to any laws whatsoever. People denied cannabis oil treatment have died of cancers that all of the available evidence suggests may have been entirely treatable. In the following chapters, we’ll look at the basic history and makeup of the cannabis plant, how its valuable contents can best be extracted and administered and we’ll also detail the nutritional benefits that can be derived from non-psychoactive varieties available such as hemp seeds and cold-pressed hemp oils. The aim is to help people make their own informed decisions regarding cannabis use, regardless of the government’s refusal to supply this information or allow cannabis use.