The potential of cannabis treatment.

Surgeon W.B. O’Shaughnessy introduced cannabis into Western medicine in the 1840s.

Cannabis is the safest medical remedy.

Cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medications known today, with the potential to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. By the early 19th century, the benefits of medicinal cannabis use had become widely acknowledged in the West, having been brought to France by Napoleon’s army as they returned from Egypt, where cannabis was commonly used for its analgesic and sedative qualities. Medical cannabis became universally accepted after extensive research by the Irish physician William O’Shaughnessy, who published a paper in 1843 entitled On the Preparations of the Indian Hemp, or Gunjah, which is noted for having introduced cannabis sativa to European and American medicine. O’Shaughnessy experimented with alcoholic tinctures and found this to be an effective way of isolating the major psychoactive component found in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Pfizer includes cannabis products in his recipes.

From 1890 to 1937, Parke, Davis & Company (now part of the Pfizer Group of Companies) marketed many formulations of medicinal cannabis, including tinctures that were available by the pint or a fluid ounce and cannabis tablets that could be bought by the gram. It was also possible to purchase powdered extracts, and even pressed flowering tops (dried cannabis buds) for users to make their preparations. All products and formulations were proudly advertised by the company as “originating from American home-grown cannabis.” Pfizer is now one of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies; in 2009 it made a $50 billion profit in annual sales of prescription drugs, many of which replaced cannabis medications.

Another major manufacturer of cannabis preparations and still a familiar name today is Eli Lilly & Co, who, from 1877 to 1935, manufactured and sold fluid, solid, and powdered extracts, all of which were stated to be manufactured from the flowering tops of the pistillate plants of cannabis sativa.5 Merck and Squibb are also both well-known pharmaceutical manufacturing companies that in the past have sold and marketed cannabis preparations.6 The two companies extensively advertised that they supplied dried flowering tops of the female cannabis plant. In addition, Merck was also a manufacturer and supplier of cannabis fluid extracts, tinctures, pills, and cannabis oil made from infused tops.

Сannabis is not a cause of death

Alcohol-based tinctures are still used by pharmaceutical companies
today; indeed, Sativex, a cannabinoid-based medicine, is a cannabis tincture spray. It has a cannabinoid profile of 51% THC and 49% CBD suspended in alcohol and is produced using organic cannabis, just like the tinctures made by Eli Lilly & Co over 150 years ago.

A 2008 report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission
concluded that prescription medications easily exceed illegal drugs as a major cause of death. An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida found that three times as many people were killed by pharmaceutical drugs than by cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines put together. Cocaine was responsible for 843 deaths, heroin for 121, and methamphetamines for 25. Cannabis accounted for no deaths whatsoever. In contrast, 2,328 people were killed by opioid painkillers, including Vicodin and OxyContin, and 743 were killed by drugs containing benzodiazepine, including Valium and Xanax.

In the U.S., over 40,000 people are killed annually by aspirin and painkillers. According to The American Journal of Medicine, over 100,000 patients are hospitalized annually for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)–related gastrointestinal complications and at least 16,500 deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. A report in The New England Journal of Medicine stated:
“It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to the number of deaths from AIDS and considerably greater than the number of deaths from multiple myeloma, asthma, cervical cancer, or Hodgkin’s disease. If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects from NSAID were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. Yet these toxic effects remain mainly a ‘silent epidemic,’ with many physicians and most patients unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore, the mortality statistics do not include deaths ascribed to the use of over-the-counter NSAIDS.”