norml11 - Page 60
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I0. Another common medical way to determine .drug safety is called the
therapeuicraLio. This ratio defines :the difference between a therapeutica.lly
effective_dose and-a, dose whic_h is capable of inducing adverse effects.
II. .A commonly used over-the-counter product, like aspirin has a
%herapeutic ratio of around l:_0. Two aspirins are the recommended .dose for
adu|t patients. Twentytimes this dose, forty aspirins, may cause a- lethal
reaction in some patie_Its, and will almost certainly cause gross injury to the
digestive system, including extensive internal bleeding.
_2o The therapeutic ratio for prescribed drugs is commonly around l:lO
or lower. Valium, a commonly used prescriptive drug, may cause very serious
biological damage if patients use ten times the recommended (therapeutic) dose.
13. There are, of course, prescr#ptive drugs which have much lower
therapeutic ratios. Nany of the drugs used to treat patients .with cancer,
-glaucoma and multiple sclerosis are highly toxic. The therapeutic r. atio of
some of the drug.s used _n antineoplastic therapies, for example, are regarded as
extremely toxic poisons with therapeut_ic ratios that may fall below l'lo5.
These drugs also have very low LD-50 ratios and can resu]t in toxic, even lethal
reactions, while being properly employed.
14. By contrast, marijuana_s therapeutic ratio, like its L0-50, is
impossible to quantify becaGse it is so high.°
15. In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we
commonly consume. For example;, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic
response. By comparison, it _[s physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to
]6. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeuticallY
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