Some Proof that Marijuana is a Powerful Medicine

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Jürg Gertsch, of ETH Zürich, and his collaborators from three other universities have provided some proof that marijuana is a powerful medicine — not because of its supposed active ingredient, THC, but because of another ingredient, beta-caryophyllene:

Gertsch and his team published their findings on June 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.They focused on the anti-inflammatory properties of the impressive substance — testing it on immune cells called monocytes and also in mice.

Since beta-caryophyllene seems to be powerful, occurs naturally in many foods, and does not get people high, it could turn out to be a nearly ideal medication. The organic compound is also phenomenally cheap. Sigma Aldrich sells it, in kosher form, for forty-two dollars per kilogram.

Of course, since it’s already cheaply available, it’s in no one’s interest to spend the money to get it FDA approved.

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