Cannabis – The study that blew my mind


I was a young cannabis research student on my first trip overseas to an international research conference. Of all the places in the world to experience your first science, the cognitively liberal nation of the Netherlands and the beautiful town of Leiden were pretty high up there. I did not know what to expect and as well as presenting my first scientific poster, I was gaining my first taste of the academic world. Events like these afford us a glimpse into the future of research and medicine in this field. There were a lot of incredible memories built on that trip. But a few presentations from the week of presentations stood out to me. So much so, that I pursued the speakers to understand more about their study. One presentation was particularly powerful in framing the value that this new realm of research could bring to modern medicine, and I shall share that study with you today. Graft versus host disease (GVHD) The field of transplantation in medicine will see developments over the next decades that resemble something from a sci-fi documentary. At current, transplant treatments are hindered by our understanding of the immune response of those receiving treatments. More than 25,000 hematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCTs) are performed each year for the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, immune-deficiency illnesses, congenital metabolic defects, hemoglobinopathies, and myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative syndromes (Weisdorf, 2007). Many variables impact the outcomes of GVHD. Multivariate analysis of overall survival and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) data has shown GVHD likelihood can be impacted by age, prior acute GVHD, time from transplantation to cGVHD, donor type, disease status at transplantation, GVHD prophylaxis, gender mismatch, serum bilirubin, Karnofsky score, and platelet count (Arora et al., 2011). GVHD affects a significant portion of transplant patients, anywhere between 30% and 70% of patients…

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