Redford Givens: Marijuana myths |

Redford Givens: Marijuana myths

Redford Givens, Webmaster
DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy, San Francisco

Michael Orlin may be a “medical professional,” but his opinions about marijuana and immunosuppression are seriously flawed and long out of date. It appears Orlin bases his immunosuppression theory on the work of disgraced cannabophobe Dr. Gabriel Nahas who tried to prove immunosuppression in vitro by using massive amounts of cannabis that were near lethal when applied to animals. No other researchers have ever been able to replicate Nahas’s work, and Nahas was kicked out of Columbia University because of his fraudulent research on marijuana.

The immunosuppression myth is based on studies where animals were given extremely high – in many cases, near-lethal -doses of cannabinoids. These results have never been duplicated in human beings. Interestingly, two studies done in 1978 and one done in 1988 showed that hashish and marijuana actually stimulated the immune system in the people studied. The recent discovery of a cannabinoid receptor inside rat spleens, where immune cells reside, raises the likelihood that cannabinoids exert a positive influence on the immune system.

As a member of the St. Joseph Hospital Pain Management team, no doubt Orlin comes into contact with some real immune damage caused by anti-cancer drugs such as Cisplatin, Chlorambucil, Carboplatin and nitrogen mustards that destroy the patient’s ability to fight a host of common infections. Anti-cancer drugs are so highly toxic to the immune system that patients are warned to stay away from people with colds, flus and other common infections that might be fatal with the immune system shut down.

Not one case of marijuana-induced immune deficiency has ever been clinically or epidemiologically detected in humans.

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