Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is Big Pharma Trying to Take All the Fun out of Pot?

By Steven Wishnia,
Printed on July 25, 2009

Pricey pharmaceutical-marketing newsletters have touted cannabis-derived drugs as the next blockbuster for the industry, but the biggest companies are primarily researching drugs whose effect is the opposite of the cannabis herb.

Numerous drug researchers are trying to develop medications that replicate the herb's therapeutic effects without the harm of inhaling smoke and the side effect of getting people high.
Others are looking into cannabinoid agonists, drugs that enhance the body's natural cannabinoid system -- or cannabinoid antagonists, which disrupt it -- and have been the pharmaceutical industry's main focus. Despite the millions of medical-marijuana users, both U.S. government restrictions and drug companies' need for exclusive ownership have limited research into herbal cannabis.

In any case, it will likely be a while before many cannabis-derived drugs arrive in your local pharmacy.

Read the rest of Wishnia's excellently researched article


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