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marijuana pain

Study shows that a placebo is better than marijuana for pain relief

A new systematic review and meta-analysis published in a respected journal show that marijuana is no different than a placebo in treating pain. I consistently read anecdotal claims that somehow cannabis and its derivatives are useful. in treating pain, but when I looked at the evidence, it appeared that there really wasn’t anything there.

Pain management is one of the most common reasons people report using medical cannabis. According to a US national survey, 17% of respondents who had reported using cannabis in the past year had been prescribed medical cannabis. When it comes to self-medication, the numbers are even higher – with estimates that between 17-30% of adults in North America, Europe, and Australia report they use it to manage pain. But does this mean that there is evidence that it actually works for reducing pain?

Real scientists decided to look at the same claims about marijuana and pain and have come to the same conclusion — there’s not much supporting evidence. Now I know the comments section will be filled with people that want to tell me how cannabis is a miracle drug for pain and should replace opioids. But I am one who only follows the evidence, and it’s seriously lacking.

Like I always do, we’re going to take a look at this study and see what it tells us about marijuana and pain.

Read More »Study shows that a placebo is better than marijuana for pain relief
aluminum exley

Christopher Aluminum Exley is still around after leaving academia

Christopher Aluminum Exley, who thinks that the aluminum in vaccines causes everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease and is a favorite target of my snark, disappeared after he left his academic appointment at Keele University in the UK.

In case you were wondering, Christopher Exley is still pushing false information about aluminum and vaccines. Of course, when does an anti-vaxxer ever really disappear from the world of pushing their nonsense?

Let’s catch up on Christopher Aluminum Exley, just so you know he’s alive and well. And still inventing claims about vaccines.

Read More »Christopher Aluminum Exley is still around after leaving academia
HPV vaccine encephalitis

HPV vaccine not linked to encephalitis — but, here comes a lawsuit

I was pointed to a lawsuit where the plaintiffs contend that their son died from a form of encephalitis caused by the HPV vaccine. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the family wants to blame the tragic death of their son on something — and the HPV vaccine is the most convenient target.

This article isn’t going to get into the weeds of the lawsuit, that’s best left to others. I just want to dismiss any link between the HPV vaccine and a form of encephalitis called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which the parents claimed was caused by the vaccine.

Read More »HPV vaccine not linked to encephalitis — but, here comes a lawsuit
cannabis sleep

Cannabis might be detrimental to sleep — new study

It’s clear that medical claims about cannabis, like improved sleep, are often used as a strawman for the attempts to get marijuana legalized. However, contrary to the popular belief about cannabis contributing to good sleep, it might actually be detrimental according to a new peer-reviewed study.

There are many of us that think that legal restrictions against marijuana was outright ridiculous, especially when other drugs, like cigarettes and alcohol, are completely legal. But where we draw the line is trying to push a narrative that cannabis has many medical benefits — most were overexaggerated or non-existent.

Marijuana cannot treat any of the 200 or more cancers. It cannot treat nonexistent vaccine injuries. Marijuana cannot treat most neurological conditions. I could go on and on, but scientific studies of most claims about cannabis as a treatment for anything have ended up with nothing.

So let’s take a look at the claims about cannabis and sleep.

Read More »Cannabis might be detrimental to sleep — new study
pexels-photo-5878516.jpeg

Greater incidence of neurological issues from COVID-19 than vaccines

A new study published in a peer-reviewed journal shows that there is a greater risk of neurological complications from COVID-19 compared to vaccines. Once again, we have actual medical science data showing that the COVID-19 vaccines are much safer than the disease.

The overall safety of the COVID-19 vaccines has been established in numerous articles. After several billion doses given, there are so few safety signals, and those are generally minor and extremely rare.

This newly published article examines the risk of neurological issues between vaccinated individuals and those who contract COVID-19. And once again, we see that the COVID-19 vaccine is demonstrably safer than getting the disease.

Read More »Greater incidence of neurological issues from COVID-19 than vaccines
acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is not linked to the HPV vaccine

A recent case report about a death of a 15-year-old boy from a form of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) after receiving the quadrivalent HPV vaccine has been widely shared by anti-vaccine groups. Of course, I wanted to look into any potential link between ADEM and the HPV vaccine.

Before I start looking at the evidence, I must point out that case reports have little meaning in the hierarchy of vaccine research. To be honest, case reports, even if they’re published in high-quality journals, barely rise above anecdotes as evidence. Why? They are nothing more than a report without being able to establish causality. But most importantly, they represent an n=1 research population, which tells us little. And it doesn’t show correlation, let alone causation.

We’ve also discussed ADEM before – the tragic story of Christopher Bunch whose mother blamed the HPV vaccine for causing his ADEM.

Setting that aside, is there any evidence that shows any link (or lack of a link) between acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and the HPV vaccine? Let’s take a look at this evidence.

Read More »Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is not linked to the HPV vaccine
Alzheimer's disease drug

FDA approval of Alzheimer’s disease drug aducanumab – Inspector General may investigate

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first new drug, Aduhelm (aducanumab), for Alzheimer’s disease in 18 years. The new drug is manufactured by Biogen, a US-based pharmaceutical company, and if you read the news reports and social media posts, you’d think the new drug is a miracle.

Given that Alzheimer’s disease afflicts over six million Americans each year, we wanted to celebrate aducanumab as a miracle. Except, there’s really nothing to celebrate here.

The FDA ignored the advice of its own expert advisory committee, which voted overwhelmingly (eight against approval, one for, and two abstained) to not recommend the drug because, according to the FDA’s own analyses, the drug failed to show that it can do anything to treat Alzheimer’s devastating cognitive decline. Plus aducanumab costs $56,000 per year (yes, $56,000) and comes with a relatively high risk for brain swelling and bleeding.

In response to the outcry, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock wrote a letter to the acting inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledging that there has been “significant attention and controversy” surrounding the approval of Aduhelm. In particular, Woodcock said, concerns continue to be raised about the agency’s contacts with Biogen, including “some that may have occurred outside of the formal correspondence process.”

So we have to ask why would the FDA approve this new drug for Alzheimer’s disease, even though aducanumab is expensive, has serious side effects, and probably doesn’t do anything to improve the outcomes of Alzheimer’s patients? And because the drug is so expensive and everyone will demand the drug for the disease, this could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the cost of healthcare in the USA and across the world (don’t believe for a second that this possibly worthless drug is going to cost only $5.00 in Denmark, because it won’t).

The answers to these questions are complicated, and I’ll try to explain. But I think what happened here is disturbing and tragic. And it could have implications for any new drug approved by the FDA.

Read More »FDA approval of Alzheimer’s disease drug aducanumab – Inspector General may investigate

Zombie pig brains – once again, internet exaggerate scientific results

I’m sure many of you read the news – scientists somehow made pig brains come back to life a few hours after the pigs died. Of course, most news sites had to produced clickbait headlines, and since most people don’t read beyond those headlines, there is a whole new mythos about these zombie pig brains. 

We’re here to correct some of that information. Hopefully, a few people will look beyond the headline to examine the science rather than fall for pseudoscientific dreck. Read More »Zombie pig brains – once again, internet exaggerate scientific results