Science News on Medicinal Cannabis

Drug Policy Question of the Week – 6-21-10

As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network on 6-21-10.

Question of the Week: Is there any science news on medical marijuana?

Those of you who follow medicinal cannabis likely know that this question represents a play on words, for the subject is the cover story of the current issue of the prestigious Science News magazine, published biweekly since 1922 by the non-profit Society for Science and the Public.

This article, entitled “Not just a high: Scientists test medicinal marijuana against MS, inflammation and cancer” and available in full text on their website, provides a comprehensive overview of cannabis’ underlying biology, where it stands politically, and the studies that are defining new indications for it in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, PTSD, cancer, and diabetes.

What is particularly important about this Science News article are the 38 published studies that comprise its “Suggested Reading” and “Citations & References” sections. Several studies can be found in Drug War Facts.

As a sample, two studies concerning diabetic neuropathy discuss positive uses for cannabidiol, a component of cannabis termed a cannabinoid and abbreviated as CBD. One study in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science states,

“CBD has been shown to block NMDA-, LPS-, or diabetes induced retinal damage.”

The other study in the World Journal of Diabetes concluded,

“Recent evidence suggests that local inflammation plays a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. The function of CBD as an antioxidant to block oxidative stress and as an inhibitor of adenosine reuptake to enhance a self-defense mechanism against retinal inflammation represents a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of ophthalmic complications associated with diabetes.”

These facts and others like them can be found in the Medical Marijuana chapter of Drug War Facts. Be sure to look for the research section toward the bottom of the page. The website for Science News is

Questions concerning these or other facts concerning drug policy can be e-mailed to