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Sunday, January 10, 2010

CATALYST ABC Medicinal Cannabis

Dr Andrew Katelaris
Resident Medical Officer
North Shore Private Hospital
St Leonards Sydney Australia
Wk ph: 8425-3000/3176

Dr Andrew Katelaris There is a huge variation in the quality and the potency of cannabis that’s available throughout Australia. This can vary from just talking about THC content alone from 1% up to 22% in some of the most extreme examples.

Narration: Ironically, Katelaris never had permission to test ‘street’ cannabis. He’d broken the conditions of his licence and the NSW Government wasted no time in shutting down his research.

Dr Andrew Katelaris: I was astounded. This was meant to be a first license, a photochemical survey into the variability of what was available. What we wanted to do was rapidly follow that up with producing quality cannabis and setting up the trials that the situation so desperately requires.

Narration: Researchers have discovered that our bodies produce their own cannabis-like molecules. These are picked up at the end of our limbs, in our spine and in our brain by special cannabinoid receptors. Each of these areas offers a potential site for treating pain.

Research at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital has been investigating how effectively cannabis blocks pain. An electrode is delicately lowered onto a single brain cell. It’s zapped with a pain signal.

And this is the response in the cell to that stimulation of a pain pathway. Then THC, the most active ingredient in Cannabis is added and the cell is zapped again.

Dr Christopher ‘Chris’ Vaughan And this time the response is there. It’s dramatically reduced from before adding the THC.

Narration: The results show cannabis is a very effective pain-killing drug.

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