Welcome to the next installment in a series of technical writer educational articles Curt Robbins at the Higher Learning LV and MJNews Network. This collection is aimed at professionals in the cannabis and hemp industries who want a better understanding of the nuanced biochemistry of this special– –and now legal– –Herb.
Readers will learn about it this week medical cannabis misinformation, a problem that has plagued producers, processors and consumers of the herb since the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, a wave of anti-drug laws sparked by food and drug purity activism (a popular progressive movement after the turn of the century) gripped the governments of the United States (ironically spearheaded by California in 1913).
The era, sometimes referred to as “reefer insanity,” included the first generation of American potty criminals, a small cabal of powerful bureaucrats who had allied themselves with corporate barons. All were motivated by the common goal of cultural and corporate protectionism and characterized by pronounced bigotry.
That first wave of marijuana misinformation managers carefully inventing urban legends in relation to supposed ones harms supplied by the herb – operated in sharp contrast to the modern day carpet packing companies who also make false claims about the plant, only to proclaim their puffed up Services in an effort to drive sales.
By Curt Robbins
A study The study, published in March 2021, examined the validity of information about medical cannabis that is generally available on the internet. The study looked at the occurrence of expressions such as “marijuana health” and “cannabis benefits” in the lay press, using the Google search engine and the marketing service Buzzsumo (a paid “social engagement data bank”).
The study sorted the retrieved information sources and articles into 81 categories. It found that a staggering 80 percent of the information retrieved was incorrect. In addition, the authors of the study only found five percent of them to be “true” and factual.
“Health claims were compared with… existing ones [clinical] Trial evidence and classified as false, partially true, and true. Disagreements were resolved through discussion, ”reported the study’s authors about their inclusion and evaluation method.
The researchers concluded that “the inadequacy of current evidence enables the spread of false claims informing current social discourse about the health benefits of cannabis,” and warned that patients and wellness professionals “should be cautious consumers of online health information.” the current state of evidence and the spread of false claims. “
It should be noted that in this study the health claims found on the Internet were compared with the “existing” ones [clinical] Trial Evidence. “Much of the credible research on the medical efficacy of marijuana has not been demonstrated in human clinical studies, but in animal studies (marked in vivo). In other cases, valid results are obtained from ‘test tube research’ that does not involve living things (so-called In vitro studies).
Many clinical practitioners and scientists believe that the data obtained through research outside of human studies has real value, even though it is objectively less reliable and provides less practical or useful data than the data obtained from carefully conducted clinical studies were delivered.
Expensive, double or triple-blind, placebo-controlled human studies with dozens or hundreds of carefully qualified subjects are the gold standard for researchers in all areas of medicine. However, the results of studies in animals such as rodents often provide valuable insights into the underlying biochemical mechanisms that are common to a number of mammals beyond humans.
However, from a strategic point of view, the 2021 study did not include any non-clinical study results, which could lead to a bias in the data collection method (and thus the conclusions). If the study had been limited to peer-reviewed journals containing both clinical and non-clinical published results, a significantly larger percentage of the articles would almost certainly have been considered true, beyond the meager 4.9 percent.
Misinformation and urban legends have plagued people and their businesses since the dawn of organized societies. It is no secret to consumers that companies and their marketing campaigns sometimes make claims that are not based on scientific research, but rather on the greed of their owners or investors.
The internet and social media abound in urban legends, fueled by arguably unethical marketing claims by hemp and cannabis companies across North America. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to the misinformation problem in the modern legal cannabis industry and its real impact on patients and lifestyle users.
Of course, smart entrepreneurs should strive to ensure that their cannabis medical information sources are reputable. Many companies, including the author’s clients, oppose developing content marketing materials– –such as product descriptions, blog articles, white papers or other advertising media– –cite sources outside of peer-reviewed research studies published in prestigious journals.
While most organizations do not limit themselves to research from clinical trials in humans, it appears that the reliability of medical claims is significantly higher when they are based on the results of large, comprehensive human studies (more of which would benefit industry).
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