The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on marijuana supplements that claim to cure cancer. Four companies were the center of an FDA news release on Wednesday which stated that the companies were “illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes.”
The products came in all shapes and forms, from teas and creams to syrups and drops. The sites selling the products featured testimonials of happy and “cured” customers, which the FDA noted in individual letters posted on the agency’s website calling out the companies.
The FDA said in their release that these products were not reviewed or approved by the agency. They haven’t evaluated whether they work, the proper dosages, how they interact with other drugs or determined their side effects.
Health benefits of marijuana
Health benefits of marijuana
Cannabis has been found to help slow tremors and pain in Parkinson's patients. According to Medical News Today, the compounds in marijuana help to "reduce the effects of reduced dopamine in the brain".
A study conducted by Israeli scientists found smoking marijuana helped reduce these tremors. "We not only saw improvement in tremor in these patients, but also in rigidity and in bradykinesia," said researcher Ruth Djaldetti.
Furthermore, marijuana has been found to slow the progression of Parkinson's because of its antioxidant qualities.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes glaucoma as a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged over long periods of time. It can limit vision and sometimes lead to blindness.
The link between glaucoma and marijuana has been studied since the 1970s, as smoking marijuana has been found to lower eye pressure. Doctors are working on ways to elongate the effects of marijuana.
The American Cancer Society claims that the drug can also lower pain, reduce inflammation and calm anxieties of not just chemo patients, but patients suffering from a chronic illness or disease.
Scientists have found that cannabinoids, one of the many chemical compounds found in the plant, can inhibit tumor growth. It was particularly effective in the inhibition of colon cancer.
According to an article published by CNN Health, marijuana may be beneficial for Alzheimer's patients. It was found that THC, an ingredient in cannabis, blocks inflammation in the brain and "stimulates the removal of toxic plaque".
Marijuana has also been used to help dementia patients. Author and doctor David Casarett told CNN, "I spoke to many family members of people with mild or moderate dementia who believed that THC or whole-plant marijuana was effective in alleviating the confusion and agitation that sometimes occurs."
5. Skin Diseases
It is widely known that marijuana possesses antiinflammatory benefits, helpful to patients who suffer from arthritis and cancer, amongst many others.
A study published by the University of Colorado found that using the drug topically can alleviate pain and "may be effective against eczema, psoriasis, atopic and contact dermatitis. More and more dermatologists are encouraging the use of cannabinoid cream.
6. Stroke victims
Cannabis and stroke victims is an interesting topic of study for many researchers, some of whom contend the drug can "shrink" the damaged area of the brain.
Doctors, who tested the drug on mice, rats and monkeys, believe the chemical "shows promise as a neuroprotective treatment for stroke”, according to the Huffington Post.
Advocates have argued that marijuana can provide immense relief for patients, specifically veterans, who suffer from PTSD. In states like New Mexico, "medical marijuana is legally prescribed for PTSD".
A study conducted by the University of Haifa fond that marijuana helped block the "development" and progression of PTSD in rats. But, researchers explain, that there is a critical window of what marijuana can do.
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“We have an obligation to provide caregivers and patients with the confidence that drugs making cancer treatment claims have been carefully evaluated for safety, efficacy, and quality, and are monitored by the FDA once they’re on the market,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in the release.
The FDA constantly warns against fraudulent products that claim to be natural dietary supplements. It is always wise to exercise caution when ordering these kinds of products.
A spokseperson for a Stanley Brothers company told the New York Times they would cooperate with the FDA’s regulations to fix their testimonials. Tisha Casida, the cheif executive of That’s Natural! said they would also cooperate with the FDA but noted to the Times that people shouldn’t have to rely only on FDA-approved drugs to “experience health and wellness from naturally derived cannabinoids.” Natural Alchemist has yet to respond and the website the FDA listed for Greenroads Health could not be reached.
If the companies refuse to correct these violations, the FDA will proceed with legal action which could end in product seizure and injunction.
Marijuana laws by state
Marijuana laws by state
No legalization of any kind
(Photo: Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images)
Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use