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Marijuana/Cannabis for Pain and PTSD Part 1
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I’m not writing about a toothache, a bruise or even a small cut. I’m not even writing about acute pain. However, this is a great overlap and acute pain/injury can develop into severe chronic pain.
That is what I’m writing about. Pain of both kinds can be graded on a scale of 1 to 10 with one being more of a nuisance but ten being so severe that it causes unconsciousness or even death by shock.
Aspirin is possibly the most common painkiller for mild (1-5) pain but some will say any alcoholic beverage, coffee, tea or even a tobacco cigarette will work.
There are about eight classes of non-opiate painkiller drugs of which aspirin is the best known. It was discovered almost pre-history in willow bark but it wasn’t till 1899 that Acetylsalicylic acid or Aspirin was discovered and patented. All the rest followed but Aspirin is still number one.
Opium itself has been used for about 6000 years and the various Opiates (Morphine, Codeine, etcetera) are used for the more severe/chronic pain. The most potent Opiates, that is, derived from Opium, are Heroin, Dilaudid and Oxycodone (eg Oxycontin, Percodan).
There are about a dozen in this class. These seem to be the best known and used. There are other Opioid drugs like Methadone, Fentanyl and Demerol which are not related in chemical structure but which have similar pharmacological actions to the Opiates.
The dosage of the Opiates is not a real clue to their effectiveness. For example, doses of codeine up to 60mg or more will not provide the same relief as 5mg of Morphine or 2.5mg of Dilaudid. Heroin is considered by many to be the ultimate strong painkiller. It is used in England. Dilaudid or Oxycontin is considered to be the most useful for severe pain in the U.S.
One of the strangest features of all of the above is that they all have major adverse/side effects. Aspirin causes stomach bleeding. Tylenol causes severe liver and kidney damage. Others are similar.
The Opiates and Opioids are in a class by themselves for bad adverse/side effects. They frequently cause nausea, vomiting, severe constipation and the worst is severe addiction even after brief use.
This brings us to the use of Cannabis. Both Cannabis and Opium were used in medicine about the same time, about 5000 years ago and both were widely used in the Orient and slowly brought to Europe. Cannabis was first brought to European Russia (Scythia) about 1000 years ago.
Opium was possibly brought to Europe by the Arabs via Africa and the Mediterranean countries. The Greek Theophrastus wrote about it in the Third Century, A.D.
Dr. William O’Shaunessy brought Cannabis as medicine from India to England about 1840, from which it spread to the rest of the western world.
For some “Reefer Madness” reason it was declared a dangerous/useless drug by the U.S. Government in 1937 and only two “legal” Cannabis medicines are now available, Marinol and Sativex. They are not very satisfactory.
In the meantime ever since about 1850 Marijuana, first used by smoking a pipe or as a cigarette, has taken over. The U.S. Govt. estimates about 10 million people use it daily as medicine and 70 million have used it for recreational/social reasons.
Marijuana, as is, is widely used for pain both mild/acute and extreme/chronic. About 70% of legal medical marijuana patients use it for all kinds of pain. Their experience indicates it is the SAFEST, MOST EFFECTIVE, THOUGH MILDLY ADDICTIVE PAINKILLER EVER DISCOVERED BY MAN.
WHY ISN’T IT LEGAL???
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More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier
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