Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Marijuana saves lives

Here's yet another study showing the medical benefits of marijuana consumption. It helps hepatitis C patients stay on their pharmaceutical drug regimes.
Treatment for hepatitis C involves months of therapy with two powerful drugs, interferon and ribavirin, that have severe side effects, including extreme fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite and depression. Because of those side effects, many patients do not finish treatment and the virus ends up destroying their livers.
In studying a group of patients that included cannabis smokers and non-smokers, the results undeniably suggest cannabis contributed to the cure.
At the end of the six-month treatment, 19 (86 percent) of those who used marijuana had successfully completed the therapy -- meaning they took at least 80 percent of their doses over at least 80 percent of the period. Only 29 (59 percent) of the nonsmokers achieved that goal.

Similarly, 54 percent of the marijuana users achieved a "sustained virological response," the gold standard goal of therapy, meaning they had no sign of the virus in their bodies six months after the treatment was over. That compared with only 18 percent of those who did not smoke pot.
Even the scientists often ignore that second statistic. The studies showing marijuana may have a curative effect and not just a pallative one are all too often overlooked. But remembering the studies done in the past that showed marijuana was responsible for shrinking cancerous tumors and may have a preventative effect on lung cancer, one suspects it may have had a curative effect on the Hep C as well.


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