By Ron Crumpton
If you believe a release from Nature, URB937 is a new drug that kills pain like marijuana, without getting you stoned, but is that what medical marijuana patients want.
According to their release, URB937 only activates the CB1 receptors outside the brain and spinal cord. Therefore, it relieves the pain without getting you high.
The problem is that like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, URB937 is a chemical and for a large part of the medical marijuana community, that is exactly what they are trying to avoid.
I know that in my case, I had debilitating chronic back pain. Doctors prescribed large doses of narcotic painkillers and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
The NSAIDS caused me to develop ulcers that eventually caused my stomach to rupture on two separate occasions that resulted in three surgeries two of which my life was hanging in the balance. Finally, I had to have more than one third of my stomach removed, and as a result constantly suffer from nausea.
Although the painkillers have the potential, they did not threaten my life they only made me suicidal, which is much better.
Many pain patients have taken chemical painkillers to the point that they have damaged their heart or liver and can no longer take them. There are patients that have gastric disorders who are unable to digest and absorb them into their system efficiently enough for them to be helpful, and people with cancer and AIDS often times cannot handle the many side effects of traditional medications.
For many patients, there is nothing that will fully relieve their pain. For these people the euphoria associate with marijuana can be the one thing that allows them to deal with the stress and strain of living with a chronic condition. In most cases, these patients would have to be treated for depression, anxiety or both. This would mean more chemical medications, which would have more side effects, and are unnecessary with the use of medical marijuana.
More than likely, this drug will get pushed through the FDA and it will be another Marinol, nothing more than another useless but dangerous chemical that will only further impede the efforts of medical marijuana advocates across the country.
Why is it so important to find something that works like marijuana? You would think that an herbal medicine that had the capacity to treat so many diseases would be the most sought after herb on the planet. Instead, it has been criminalized, villainized and ostracized.
If no one had ever heard of marijuana, and scientists discovered a new substance that could treat the sick, build homes and cars, provide paper, fuel and clothing there would be countries willing to go to war to possess it, rather than go to war to destroy it.