Technology The weekend science ticket. Medicinal cannabis: the hope for a medical revival

The weekend science ticket. Medicinal cannabis: the hope for a medical revival




A doctor with medical cannabis in one hand and capsules in the other. (GETTY IMAGES / EYEEM)

After two years of discussions, on October 9, the Ministry of Health finally gave the official kick-off for therapeutic experimentation with cannabis substances in France. It is also from this spring that the first tests will begin.

The therapeutic use of cannabis is a subject that does not date from today, but which comes up strongly in the debates. Indeed, it is almost 5,000 years ago, in the great encyclopedia of aromatic herbs of the Chinese Emperor Shennong, that we find the first writings on hemp. This plant would also be one of the first to have been domesticated by humans.

However, it was not until the “peace and love” years of the 70’s to see a revival in the scientific sphere. Since then, many experts have looked into the question and we can identify more than 26,000 scientific studies.

The uses of cannabis are also multiple. From rheumatic pains to neurological diseases to chronic pain, many benefits have been mentioned. It is also on this last point that the first clinical trials in France will focus. 3,000 patients, including 700 with chronic pain, were selected to receive the new drugs.

However, the very term “therapeutic cannabis” and its alleged effects are questioned, in particular by the professor of medicine and pulmonologist Bertrand Dautzenberg of the Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.

Cannabis, overall, does more harm than good. I am for legalization, of course framed. And for me, cannabis is not an ideal substance, but it’s a bit like coffee, who will ask for therapeutic coffee?

Bertrand Dautzenberg, pulmonologist and professor of medicine

While hemp contains a number of active substances called cannabinoids, those that have caught the attention of researchers are mainly those allegedly responsible for a pain-relieving effect and relaxing effects. In the planned trials, patients will receive treatments with different doses. The objective will be to observe the tolerance for each of them, and the real effects on the reduction of chronic pain from which, it should be remembered, 12 million people suffer.

Yet if lhe studies have been numerous, the effects on pain management have never been proven.

The therapeutic effect of cannabis has never been proven very clearly. Certainly, there are people who say that it makes them feel good, but in the tests, it is not observable.

Bertrand Dautzenberg, pulmonologist, professor of medicine

– ANSM – Committee of experts on the therapeutic uses of cannabis

– Article from World on experimentation with cannabis and the risk of disappointing patients and scientists

– Article by Science and the Future on the therapeutic uses of cannabis

– The 10 proven therapeutic uses of cannabis by futura-sciences.com

– ANSM: the framework for experimentation with cannabis for medical use

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