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J Cannabis Ther 2002(1):001-2



E. Russo

The Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics: Studies in Endogenous, Herbal & Synthetic Cannabinoids is pleased to present the first issue of its second volume. As we enter our second year, circumstances find the usual turmoil on cannabis political policy, while science marches on inexorably with new discoveries on its therapeutic effects, and an improved understanding of the role of endocannabinoids in human health and disease.

The current issue offers a good deal of new ground while reviewing recent historical foundations.

The first article by Russo et al. examines the benefits and side effects of cannabis in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) Program. The program was closed to new applicants in 1992. This study is the first of its kind to examine chronic cannabis usage in medical patients using a consistent source of medicine of known potency. The results are analyzed in the context of past chronic use studies in "recreational" consumers. We hope that this previously unavailable information will contribute useful data to the current clinical cannabis debate.

Ester Fride has become well known for her innovative work on the endocannabinoids, their patterns in growth and development and essential role in neonatal feeding behavior. We are now honored to present her latest offering on a putative new therapeutic possibility: applying cannabinoids to the complex pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis. I anticipate some would attempt to derogate such work as "speculative," but this pejorative label is surely inappropriate when one considers the care, diligence and rigor that Dr. Fride has applied to the problem.

The new articles are rounded out with a submission by John McPartland, who has previously honored us with studies of anti-inflammatory mechanisms of the cannabinoids, and physiological effects of the "minor components" of cannabis. His revelatory new offering with partner Patty Pruitt moves us into the realm of the molecular biochemistry and genetics of cannabinoid receptors. Meticulous ontological examination assists us in understanding the evolutionary patterns of endocannabinoids and their role in bodily processes. Some may wonder how this could be construed as "therapeutic," but most often one needs to peruse the road map before setting forth on a grand journey. Such work tells us much about where we have been, and where we must go for a more thorough understanding of endocannabinoid function, and harnessing that power towards therapeutic advances.

The issue is rounded out with reviews of an eclectic selection of books: Cannabis and Cannabinoids, Advances in Hemp Research, Waiting to Exhale, Hemp Diseases and Pests, and Mom's Marijuana.

Ethan Russo, MD

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