Effect Measure

Swine flu is a depressing and worrying topic, but into each depressing and worrying topic a little sun must shine. Or an opportunity glimpsed. Or something like that:

The World Health Organization declared a swine flu pandemic Thursday, raising its pandemic warning from phase 5 to 6, making swine flu the first global flu epidemic in 41 years. Now that H1N1 “Swine Flu” has been elevated to pandemic status, with reports of outbreaks in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, San Francisco, USA-based Cannabis Science Inc. (OTCBB: CBIS) CEO Steven Kubby urges public health officials around the world to “take medical cannabis seriously.”

According to the company, which specializes in cannabis research and development for medical purposes, the world may have at its disposal a means of combating the affects of this deadly disease. Dr. Robert J. Melamede, Director and Chief Science Officer for CSI reports, “Research into use of whole cannabis extracts and multi-cannabinoid compounds has provided the scientific rationale for medical marijuana’s efficacy in treating some of the most troubling diseases mankind now faces, including infectious diseases such as the flu and HIV, autoimmune diseases such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and diabetes, neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and brain injury, as well as numerous forms of cancer.”

[snip]

“Based upon recent discoveries regarding the role that endocannabinoid system plays in maintaining human health, we may have a unique solution to the looming threat posed by deadly influenza strains that we believe, if implemented, could save millions of lives.”(press release via Medical New Today)

It certainly is unique. Is it impossible that a good hit on your bong could protect you from dying of swine flu? Not impossible. But don’t hold your breath.

Comments

  1. #1 Phillip Huggan
    June 14, 2009

    At the very least helps with nausea.

  2. #2 christian
    June 14, 2009

    I’ve smoked marihuana for 45 years now and indeed, I get all of that, if I stop. It doesn’t keep me from running a flu blog in the Netherlands either. You’re in it quite often, though not this time ;)

  3. #3 revere
    June 14, 2009

    christian: Just to be clear. The US should follow the example of your country. I’m not sure that a big push on cannabis for swine flu is where I’d put money or energy at this point, though.

  4. #4 doug l
    June 14, 2009

    @christian; thanks for that input. I checked out your blog and while I don’t read Dutch, there’s plenty of worthwile commentary in English. The Timbuk3 video is fantastic, never more relevant than these days, and should be required listening.
    You must be a fan of the Legendary Pink Dots!

  5. #5 Science Avenger
    June 14, 2009

    Bong smoke has kept me safe from swine flu for 25 years. There hasn’t been a single succesful attack in all that time, despite all those flu viruses out there who want to kill me.

  6. #6 Nattering Nabob of Negativism
    June 14, 2009

    No, I think you’re supposed to hold your breath.

  7. #7 revere
    June 14, 2009

    Nattering: I wouldn’t know. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA.

  8. #8 Genevieve
    June 14, 2009

    Strangest article I ever read. I wonder if reefer really does help your immune system. If you notice the numbers on FluCount.org slow down then i guess its safe to say everying is toking up :)

  9. #9 Grahame Grieve
    June 14, 2009

    ahh, weird. I’m always suspicious of such broad spectrum claims. Let alone on this subject from a commercially interested party. I’m surprised you quoted it.

    On the general subject, they’re stopped testing for H1N1 here in Victoria Australia, and there’s an article on the front page of the local paper quoting a local infectious diseases professor estimating that perhaps 1/3 people “have the virus” (wish I knew what exact words he actually used). Which is consistent with my observations – a very mild but very infective flu passed through my community several weeks ago.

  10. #10 revere
    June 14, 2009

    Grahaeme: Jeez. I wasn’t promoting it. I was making fun of it.

  11. #11 Grahame Grieve
    June 14, 2009

    Too subtle for me. I’ll try better next time.

  12. #12 The Doctor
    June 14, 2009

    This report has been in the media for a couple of days. What Dr. Robert J. Melamede, Director and Chief Science Office for USA-based Cannabis Science Inc actually said is this:

    “The high lethality of some strains of flu can be attributed to the excessive inflammatory response driven by Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). Endocannabinoids are nature’s way of controlling TNF activity. Phytocannabinoids can mimic the natural endocannabinoids to prevent excessive inflammatory immune responses. Based upon recent discoveries regarding the role that endocannabinoid system plays in maintaining human health, we may have a unique solution to the looming threat posed by deadly influenza strains that we believe, if implemented, could save millions of lives.”

    OK, sounds biologically plausible but too easy. Revere, what do you think?

    GW

  13. #13 Dr Attila Danko
    June 15, 2009

    Graham:
    Have many people tested with this respiratory virus? See my comments in the blog I’ve been writing in. I’m a Victorian GP seeing 40-50 acute patients a day. Basically: I have seen hundreds with an URTI, tested dozens (of the more severe ones) for non specific influenza, and only had ONE positive result. Mild respiratory illness is NOT influenza, even mild influenza. This URTI makes people a bit unwell for a few days. We definitely do NOT have one third of us having swine flu. Perhaps the good professor has decided that cannabinoids are more fun than oseltamivir!

  14. #14 g336
    June 17, 2009

    I’m highly skeptical, but this can be tested easily enough:

    Ask people who present at the ER with N1N1 about their cannabis consumption. Let them know it’s for research purposes. The heavy pot smokers will gladly stick up for their weed.

    Now compare the percentages of non, light, moderate, and heavy pot users to a normal population. If the hypothesis is any good, we’ll see significantly fewer pot smokers in the hospital with N1N1 than we see in the population at-large.

    That said, the idea of nausea and vomiting for three to five days frankly terrifies me, the idea of persistent diarrhea is not much better, and the dehydration factor is a major health risk for me.

    So I’m thinking seriously about getting a couple of teaspoons’ quantity of pot to keep around the house just in case. Its effectiveness against nausea is well known. And I’ll deal with it just like prescription narcotic analgesics: do not drive, do not leave the house, just stay in and be glad the stuff works as intended. Being half-asleep from a pill is better than being in howling pain, and being half-stoned from pot is better than feeling as if my insides are turning inside-out.

  15. #15 aj from Auckland
    June 18, 2009

    Nearly everyone here seems to smoke it except me, so keep watching this city for the next few weeks & find out!

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