It’s time to set the record straight before a story about a supposed medical cannabis related death gets out of hand.
A bit of background first.
On the 14th of January, France’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights was notified of a serious accident that occurred during a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted on a drug taken orally. The drug is being developed by a European laboratory.
The incident resulted in the hospitalization of six of the volunteers at the University Hospital of Rennes. Tragically, one of the patients was in intensive care and reported as being brain-dead, said the Ministry.
These drug trials can be very closely guarded affairs. In the absence of additional details, it appears some began making up information to fill in the gaps. After all, why let truth get in the way of a good story.
A few media outlets reported the drug in question was one inspired by a compound in cannabis; i.e. one of the many cannabinoids in marijuana. Note the “inspired”. Not extracted, based on or formulated from. That in itself appears to be incorrect.
With the Internet being what it is, an online version of Chinese Whispers ensued and before long, reports were popping up that the drug in question was cannabis-based.
Medical marijuana has a tough enough time in being accepted as it is – and these false reports won’t help its cause.
However, the French Government have clarified the situation.
“This medication did not contain cannabis and was not a cannabis-based drug,” said Health Minister Marisol Touraine.
Where some of the confusion may have arisen is that the drug in question was designed to act on the endocannabinoid system in the human body.
Endocannabinoids are created by the human body and associated with various functions and responses; including appetite, memory, pain control and stress response.
Cannabinoids mimic compounds in the human endocannabinoid system. Some of these compounds are thought to be beneficial in addressing various conditions brought on by endocannabinoid deficiency or imbalance.
Sometimes it’s hard to improve upon nature; and in this case, it has resulted in tragedy – but cannabis is not to blame in any way, shape or form.
These are the facts about the situation as we understand it at this point in time. You can read more about the drug trial here.