Cannabis and the medical industry

The medical industry is going to great lengths to make cannabis look bad, like the recent article published by MedPage Today about use by kids and subsequent stunted growth:

“Boys who smoked marijuana heavily were significantly smaller than their peers by the end of their adolescent growth phase, according to a study conducted in Pakistan.”

For one thing, only a very small percentage of cannabis use by kids would be considered “heavy.”  And what doctors in Pakistan consider heavy use is undoubtedly up for debate.

This article was published as “a collaboration between MedPage Today® and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.”  This group has been trying to link cannabis to a number of different medical conditions, including one single case of hypopituitarism:

PHOENIX — Chronic marijuana use was found to be the cause of hypopituitarism in a 37-year-old man, a case that highlights a potentially growing problem, say physicians…

So based on this one case, they’ve made this astounding statement:

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can suppress multiple hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis pathways, with subsequent effects on multiple organ systems, they explained. “Any gland can be affected, including the whole pituitary,” Dr. Pinsker told Medscape Medical News…

No doubt based on a 2002 study that concluded:

Click to access EndocrineEffects.pdf

“Despite these findings in animals, the effects in humans have been inconsistent, and discrepancies are likely due in part to the development of tolerance. The long-term consequences of marijuana use in humans on endocrine systems remain unclear… Long-term effects on the various endocrine systems have not been clearly demonstrated, and clinical consequences, if present, are likely to be subtle.”

Back to the stunted growth article, when was the last time you saw medical research from Pakistan of all places?  You know, Pakistan, the country where females are treated like dirt (and not included in this “study”).  I think it’s interesting to note that Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry has grown by leaps and bounds:

In Pakistan there is huge development in pharma industrial sector after its independence in 1947. According to the National Drug Policy of Pakistan, there are 338 national and 30 multinational pharma industries which are working in Pakistan…

Wikipedia:  The Pakistan pharma industry is relatively unknown in the international markets with an export turnover of US$0.5 Billion as of 2013 as compared to US$23.7 Billion from neighboring India. Pakistan Pharma Industry has only a few quality producers approved by global regulatory authorities. Like the domestic market, sales in the international market has doubled during last five years. The pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan lacks basic research or development skills and no innovative discoveries are reported… The pharmaceutical sector in Pakistan is one of the still developing sectors within the country’s fragile economy & counterfeit medicines are a major problem…

I haven’t posted the article about this junk science because I don’t believe it, just like I don’t believe that bud can cause schizophrenia.  But anti-drug advocates everywhere use this type of research to support their ignorant views, including this recent survey question at MedPage Today:

A recent study found a link between marijuana use by kids and subsequent stunted growth — the latest of many to find associations without proving cause-and-effect. Do you believe pot-smoking poses a true health risk?

Funny, the fact that this association didn’t prove cause-and-effect was not mentioned in the article.  In fact, it said:  Study adds to evidence for developmental abnormalities with teen marijuana use.

There are a lot of products that kids shouldn’t consume, like energy drinks, soda, and cheese puffs.  And I won’t even get into the fact that pollution and all the chemicals that are approved for use are not good for kids either.  But I will say that if kids are going to try drugs — and many of them will, including alcohol — marijuana is the safest choice.

Out of the 28 comments currently posted under this survey, these about sum it up:

May 23, 2015
More “Statistical Crap”. There are also strong relationships between baldness and TV viewing, motor vehicle travel and deafness, and doubtless erectile dysfunction and swimming! Given even a small determination, “links” can be claimed between just about anything and everything but fortunately for mankind it remains simple BS…

Dr Dave (H+N Surgical Oncology)
May 26, 2015
It simply amazes me how a statistical association can be assumed to be causal. To my knowledge albeit small but on point since Oncology patient have used pot for decades I know of NO such health concerns. It reminds of the issue of the weather in Houston being bad and at the same time the suicide rate in LA went up by 8% so the inference was that bad weather in the middle of the country make California’s more depressed. Actually written up in a journal! …

edward vytlacil sr.
May 26, 2015
Whatever happened to evidenced based medicine? Much evidence here that it is uncommonly practiced. Dr. Dave — right on! A reasonable response is to consider risk versus benefit. And with recreational use by young people, the comparison must be between marijuana and alcohol, as abstinence is not much of an answer for most of humankind. Data shows DUI is a major cause of highway death, young people certainly not an exception, while numbers for marijuana are in the noise level. “May cause health issues . . .” and of course, may not, in fact may relieve health issues.

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