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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Medicine Naturopathy Politics Popular culture Quackery

Medical marijuana for autism and autism biomed quackery: One in the same and on the verge of approval in Michigan

When I first started writing about the claims made for medical marijuana and the cannabis oil derived from it, it didn’t take long for me to characterize medical claims for cannabis as the “new herbalism,” as opposed to pharmacognosy, the branch of pharmacology devoted to the study of natural products. The reason is simple. Although […]

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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Popular culture Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Medical marijuana and the new herbalism, part 3: Cannabis does not cure breast cancer

It’s been a while since I discussed medical marijuana, even though it’s a topic I’ve been meaning to come back to since I first dubbed medical marijuana to be the equivalent of herbalism and discussed how the potential of cannabinoids to treat cancer has been, thus far, unimpressive, with relatively modest antitumor effects. The reason […]

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Biology Cancer Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine History Skepticism/critical thinking

Medical marijuana and the new herbalism, part 2: The cult of “cannabis cures cancer”

About five weeks ago a month ago, I finally wrote the post I had been promising to write for months before about medical marijuana. At the time, I also promised that there would be follow-up posts. Like Dug the Dog seeing a squirrel, I kept running into other topics that kept me from revisiting the […]

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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Did cannabis oil save Deryn Blackwell’s life?

In a forthcoming book The Boy in 7 Billion, Callie Blackwell claims that cannabis oil, which she had started giving her son Deryn to relieve his symptoms during a bone marrow transplant for two cancers, actually saved his life when the bone marrow transplant appeared to be failing. Unfortunately, her story appears to be another testimonial that confuses correlation with causation.

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Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Medical marijuana and the new herbalism, part 1

Three months ago, I wrote about how the Cleveland Clinic had recently opened a clinic that dispensed herbal medicine according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice. As regular readers might expect, I was not particularly impressed or approving of this particular bit of infiltration of quackademic medicine into a major, generally well-respected academic medical center, […]