A deadly plague of cannabis oil pedlars

Posted o3 February 2017

An interesting perspective on cannabis oil, written by Igo Vegter, and published in the Daily Maverick.

Some extracts:

[note note_color=”#fbfbf1″]“Cannabis ought to be legal. It ought to be researched for its medicinal qualities. But people who sell homemade cures for cancer are dangerous, swindling desperate people into forgoing medical treatment in favour of unproven home remedies. The price, too often, is death.”[/note]

[note note_color=”#fbfbf1″]”Even highly intelligent people succumb to desperation when facing a dreaded diagnosis. It is not pleasant to hear that you have a disease without a certain cure, or that you have a 50% chance of dying in the next five years. When the prognosis is even worse, as it can be with certain types of cancer or with late diagnoses, it is hardly surprising that people lose faith in conventional medicine, or are prepared to try anything, however outlandish. When the odds are against you, your only hope is to get really lucky.”[/note]

[note note_color=”#fbfbf1″]”African sellers of cannabis oil do exactly that. “Cannabis cures cancer,” declares the Cannabis Oil SA website, registered to Canna-Health of Johannesburg, Kwazulu-Natal (sic). “Four Ways Cannabis Kills Cancer,” reads an article on the Medical Cannabis Dispensary website, which is aimed at South Africans but is owned by a blind proxy in the US.

Such claims are highly overstated. Usually, they are supported by testimonials which are entirely worthless as medical evidence because they involve unspecified confounding factors (including conventional cancer treatment) and the subjective, uneducated perceptions of patients. If anyone tries to sell you any treatment on the basis of anecdotal evidence, that means they cannot produce scientific, statistical proof that the treatment actually works. Random chance, experimenter bias and the placebo effect are enough to produce anecdotal evidence. Anyone can do it.”[/note]

[note note_color=”#fbfbf1″]”Oriani-Ambrosini claimed that pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested in bicarbonate of soda or cannabis oil because they cannot be patented. Not only is this false, since they certainly can be patented in specific forms for specific uses, but that same supposedly greedy industry also sells aspirin, penicillin, quinine, and paracetamol, which are dirt cheap and unpatented. Besides, if nobody was interested in cannabis oil, it wouldn’t be a fast-growing, multibillion dollar industry. The argument that nobody can afford clinical trials in an industry that size is also spurious.

Another false narrative pits alternative remedies against conventional medicine, on the grounds that the latter are sold by profit-seeking corporations. This is even more absurd, since people who sell alternative remedies are just as much in it for the money, and the only difference between alternative medicine and conventional medicine is the existence of reliable, repeatable, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical evidence that proves that it can work. The chemicals in cannabis are simply untested drugs, flogged by unqualified people.”[/note]

Read the full article at the Daily Maverick

2 comments to A deadly plague of cannabis oil pedlars

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