10 compelling medical cannabis video testimonials


1. Brain injury and uncontrolled epilepsy


‘I’m doing awesome on it… I had the first normal EEG three months ago that I’ve had in 23 years. It’s a quality of life that no-one can put into words.’

2. Systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis


‘People have to know about this. It changed my life. I had no more back pain and felt the best I ever had’

3. Dravet Syndrome


‘The first day I gave it to him (thank God a million times) was the first day he ever went seizure free in his life.’

4. Multiple Sclerosis


‘I would not be sitting here today if I did not have my cannabis.’

5. Crohn’s Disease


‘I’ve been smoking cannabis for 36 years and it’s been nothing but a positive experience for my health. It’s wonderful. I cannot say enough about cannabis.’

6. Parkinsons Disease


‘It helps me, it gives me a better attitude, I don’t feel like a victim.’

7. Cancer


‘Life expectancy was 4 weeks, max. After a week of the cannabis capsules the 24/7 oxygen supplement was in the closet.’

8. Autism


‘He woke up and started to communicate.’

9. Type 2 Diabetes


’Sativas are wonderful they have saved my life.’

10. Auto immune disorder


’It’s most quickly noticeable in the morning when I’m having these gastric symptoms and they disappear almost immediately the cannabis.’

The latest cannabis discoveries that governments don’t want you to know

Despite issuing a highly publicized memorandum in 2009 stating, “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration,” it remains clear that federal lawmakers and the White House continue to willfully ignore science in regards to the cannabis plant and the federal policies which condemn it to the same prohibitive legal status as heroin.

In fact, in 2011 the Obama administration went so far as to reject an administrative petition that called for hearings to reevaluate pot’s safety and efficacy, pronouncing in the Federal Register, “Marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.” (The Administration’s flat-Earth position was upheld in January by a three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.)

Nevertheless, scientific evaluations of cannabis and the health of its consumers have never been more prevalent. Studies are now published almost daily rebuking the federal government’s allegations that the marijuana plant is a highly dangerous substance lacking any therapeutic utility. Yet, virtually all of these studies – and, more importantly, their implications for public policy – continue to be ignored by lawmakers. Here are just a few examples of the latest cannabis science that your federal government doesn’t want you to know about.

Frequent cannabis smokers possess no greater lung cancer risk than do either occasional pot smokers or non-smokers

Subjects who regularly inhale cannabis smoke do not possess an increased risk of lung cancer compared to those who either consume it occasionally or not at all, according to data presented in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy for Cancer Research.

Investigators from the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed data from six case-control studies, conducted between 1999 and 2012, involving over 5,000 subjects (2,159 cases and 2,985 controls) from around the world.

They reported, “Our pooled results showed no significant association between the intensity, duration, or cumulative consumption of cannabis smoke and the risk of lung cancer overall or in never smokers.

Previous case-control studies have also failed to find an association between cannabis smoking and head and neck cancers or cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract.

Nevertheless, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration continues to maintain [10], “Marijuana smokers increase their risk of cancer of the head, neck, lungs and respiratory track.”

Consistent use of cannabis associated is associated with reduced risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Will the pot plant one day play a role in staving the ongoing epidemic of Type 2 diabetes? Emerging science indicates that it just might.

According to trial data [10] published this month in the American Journal of Medicine, subjects who regularly consume cannabis possess favorable indices related to diabetic control compared to occasional consumers or non-consumers.

Investigators at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, assessed self-report data from some 5,000 adult onset diabetics patients regarding whether they smoked or had ever smoked marijuana. Researchers reported that those who were current, regular marijuana smokers possessed 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels and reduced insulin resistance compared to those who had never used pot. By contrast, non-users possessed larger waistlines and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’) cholesterol – both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Similar benefits were reported in occasional cannabis consumers, though these changes were less pronounced, “suggesting that the impact of marijuana use on insulin and insulin resistance exists during periods of recent use,” researchers reported.

The recent findings are supportive of the findings of 2012 study by a team of UCLA researchers, published in the British Medical Journal, which reported that adults with a history of marijuana use had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and possess a lower risk of contracting the disease than did those with no history of cannabis consumption, even after researchers adjusted for social variables (ethnicity, level of physical activity, etc.) Concluded the study, “[This] analysis of adults aged 20-59 years … showed that participants who used marijuana had a lower prevalence of DM (Diabetes Mellitus) and lower odds of DM relative to non-marijuana users.”

Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.

Inhaling cannabis dramatically mitigates symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Smoking cannabis twice daily significantly reduces symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disorder that is estimated to impact about half a million Americans. So say the results of the first-ever placebo-controlled trial assessing the use of cannabis for Crohn’s – published online this month in the scientific journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers at the Meir Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Israel assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis versus placebo in 21 subjects with Crohn’s disease who were nonresponsive to conventional treatment regimens. Eleven participants smoked standardized cannabis cigarettes containing 23 percent THC and 0.5 percent cannabidiol – a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid known to possess anti-inflammatory properties — twice daily over a period of eight weeks. The other ten subjects smoked placebo cigarettes containing no active cannabinoids.

Investigators reported, “Our data show that 8-weeks treatment with THC-rich cannabis, but not placebo, was associated with a significant decrease of 100 points in CDAI (Crohn’s Disease and activity index) scores.” Five of the eleven patients in the study group reported achieving disease remission (defined as a reduction in patient’s CDAI score by more than 150 points). Participants who smoked marijuana reported decreased pain, improved appetite, and better sleep compared to control subjects. Researchers reported that “no significant side effects” were associated with cannabis inhalation.

The clinical results substantiate decades of anecdotal reports from Crohn’s patients,some one-half of which acknowledge having used cannabis to mitigate symptoms of the disease.

Marijuana-like substances halt HIV infection in white blood cells

The administration of THC has been associated with decreased mortality and ameliorated disease progression in monkeys with simian immunodeficiency virus, a primate model of HIV disease. So could cannabinoids produce similar outcomes in humans? The findings of a newly published preclinical trialindicate that the answer may be ‘yes’ and they reveal the substance’s likely mechanism of action in combating the disease.

Writing in the May edition of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, investigators at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia reported that the administration of cannabinoid agonists limits HIV infection in macrophages (white blood cells that aid in the body’s immune response). Researchers assessed the impact of three commercially available synthetic cannabis agonists (non-organic compounds that act on the same endogenous receptor sites as do plant cannabinoids) on HIV-infected macrophage cells. Following administration, researchers sampled the cells periodically to measure the activity of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which is essential for HIV replication. By day 7, investigators reported that the administration of all three compounds was associated with a significant decrease in HIV replication.

“The results suggest that selective CB2 (cannabinoid 2 receptor) agonists could potentially be used in tandem with existing antiretroviral drugs, opening the door to the generation of new drug therapies for HIV/AIDS,” researchers summarized in a Temple University news release. “The data also support the idea that the human immune system could be leveraged to fight HIV infection.”

Cannabinoids offer a likely treatment therapy for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress syndrome is estimated to impact some eight millions American annually and effective treatments for the condition are few and far between. Yet just published research in the May issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry indicates that cannabinoids hold the potential to successfully treat the condition.

Researchers at the New York School of Medicine reported that subjects diagnosed with PTSD possess elevated quantities of endogenous cannabinoid receptors in regions of the brain associated with fear and anxiety. In addition, authors also reported that these subjects suffer from the decreased production of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter, resulting in an imbalanced endocannibinoid system. (The endogenous cannabinoid receptor system is a regulatory system that is present in living organisms for the purpose of promoting homeostasis).

Authors speculated that increasing the body’s production of cannabinoids would likely restore the body’s natural brain chemistry and psychological balance. They affirmed, “[Our] findings substantiate, at least in part, emerging evidence that … plant-derived cannabinoids such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD.”

The researchers concluded: “The data reported herein are the first of which we are aware of to demonstrate the critical role of CB1 (cannabinoid) receptors and endocannabinoids in the etiology of PTSD in humans. As such, they provide a foundation upon which to develop and validate informative biomarkers of PTSD vulnerability, as well as to guide the rational development of the next generation of evidence-based treatments for PTSD.”

But don’t expect federal officials to help move this process forward. In 2011 federal administrators blocked investigators at the University of Arizona at Phoenix from conducting an FDA-approved, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the use of cannabis in 50 patients with PTSD.

Scientific integrity? Not when it comes to marijuana. Not by a long shot.

See more stories tagged with: marijuana[27], cannabis[28], science[29]

Via Encod

What is Medical Cannabis?

Photo by hhcplus

It’s truly amazing the number of conditions that respond favourably to cannabis. We are looking at an unexcelled wonder plant and herbal medicine that has no comparison.

It would appear that cannabis and hemp were one of the first plants grown in agriculture. We came out of being hunters and gatherers about ten thousand years ago and so that’s at least the length of time that cannabis has been cultivated.

Cannabis has long been known as a medicinal plant as a medicinal product, the latest studies or the latest findings are a tomb in china in which the contents of the medicine bag of a medicine man were discovered and one of the things that it contained was cannabis. The tomb was carbon dated as almost 5000 years old.

The conventional wisdom which goes to the oral history of China is that the Emperor Shennong wrote first Chinese materia medica and that it contained cannabis. He is alleged to have written it in 2637 BC which would be almost 5000 years ago. The oldest known copy of that goes back to somewhere between 100 BC and 100 AD. The oldest actual written record of the use of cannabis as a medicine is found in the writings of the Indian as in India Ayurvedic medicine in which that piece of history is dated eight somewhere between 1100 BC and 1700 BC.

Cannabis is found in every major materia medica that has ever been written that includes the Ebers Medical Papyrus from Egypt.  It includes the writing of Dioscorides who was Niro’s Doctor and his materia medica was used for over a 1000 years and it was included in the United States pharmacopeia from 1854 until 1941.


The Ebers Papyrus, also called the Papyrus Ebers, is an Egyptian medical papyrus dating to around 1550 BC

Marijuana has been a medicine for a lot longer than it hasn’t been a medicine. Evidence suggests that it was used in northern China for either shamanists purposes or religion or healing. The culture of cannabis has medicine moved across the world, india was very big in the use of marijuana. It was from India where W.B. Oshaughnessy who worked for the British East India Company picked up cannabis and brought it to the united kingdom where apparently it was queen Victoria’s favourite treatment for her menstrual cramps. Ultimately it came to the U.S.A in the early part of the twentieth-century and most of the major drug companies in this country were actually producing cannabis medicine.

Up until the beginning of the twentieth century cannabis was probably the second or third most commonly used medicine in the world.  Cannabis was found in patent medicines that were manufactured by such familiar names as Eli Lilly Squibb, Merk, Park Davis, Smith Brothers you know the Smith Brothers cough drops. It was available powdered, chopped, whole and as tinctures. It was only in 1937 when congress enacted the marijuana tax act that imposed a levy of a dollar an ounce for the use of medical marijuana that was the beginning of the end for marijuana as a medicine in the United States. It was in 1942 when it was totally removed from the US Pharmacopeia or at least the formulary but up until 1942 physicians could still write prescriptions for cannabis so marijuana has not been a medicine for sixty eight years in this country, but it has been a medicine in the world for 3000 years.

It was the misconception that use of marijuana lead to debauchery and physical violence and for that reason I guess the investigator would probably be more conservative than we are now and that’s hard to believe.  So it was considered the way alcohol was considered in time of prohibition.  So it was prohibited, all uses of marijuana.  It had been used medicinally as well as for recreation.  All uses were declared illegal and marijuana was given the status of a ‘Schedule #1’ substance which means a substance that is without any recognised demonstrable therapeutic effects. As opposed to cocaine which was also declared illegal for recreational use but still having medicinal properties which is used as a local anaesthetic for which it is still used today. That’s Schedule #2.

When the marijuana tax act was passed in 1937 immediately Fiorello LaGuardia who was the mayor of new york established an august body of scientists to investigate whether the claims that marijuana use was going to increase mental illness and crime in the united states were valid and the La Guardia commission report was issued in 1942 and they concluded that marijuana was a a good medicine and that the claims that it’s use would increase crime and mental illness were unsubstantiated.

Fiorello La Guardia

Fiorello LaGuardia – Mayor of New York when the marijuana tax act was passed

“Prohibition can not be enforced for the simple reason the majority of American people do not want it enforced and are resisting it’s enforcement. That being so, the orderly thing to do under our form of government is to abolish a law which cannot be enforced a law which the people of the country do not want enforced.”

So that sentiment was repeated in 1972 when the Nixon marijuana commission wrote their report. This was in the face of the admonition by president Nixon that they not recommend the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.

“The recommendation of the commission in its first report is that we do not feel that private use or private possession in one’s own home should have the stigma of criminalization. People who experiment should not be criminalized for that particular behaviour.”

Every ten years or so our government has sponsored another look into marijuana as medicine. The last one actually now being 1999 when the Institute of Medicine did it.  Every ten years these august bodies come up with the same conclusion, that there is medicinal value to marijuana and its adverse effects and its addictive potential gateway drugness are overstated and for some reason every ten years these reports go… I don’t know if they are ignored, but they certainly don’t seem to change policy.

In 1974 a fellow with glaucoma named Robert Randall who was going blind was arrested for possession of marijuana.   He had found that using marijuana had diminished the symptoms that he was having and it was later found by both Johns Hopkins and the Jule Styne eye institute of UCLA that this was the only thing that would preserve his eyesight and the federal government then agreed to provide Mr. Randell with marijuana for medical purposes.  He had made an agreement, or the government thought he had made an agreement not to tell anybody about this.  Well as soon as it happened he told as many people as he could, began to spread the word and people begin to apply for this program which is called the IND (Investigational New Drug) program.  At one time there were as many as 15 Americans who were receiving 300 hand rolled marijuana cigarettes a month from the federal government.  And there were another 35 people who were approved for the program. In 1989 the first Bush administration decided that they needed to review this they were concerned that too many people were applying for the program and if too many people got on it and if too many people got on it the public might get the quote “wrong idea” that marijuana actually had some medical value which of course it actually does have some medical value.

one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man and he stated that it was safer than eating 10 potatoes

Just prior to that time in 1988 the chief administrative law judge of the food and drug administration issued a ruling recommending that marijuana be rescheduled from Schedule #1 to Schedule #2. In his ruling he found that marijuana was one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man and he stated that it was safer than eating 10 potatoes. So I’ve always been very careful about the number of potatoes I’ve eaten since then.

Marijuana was widely used in the 19th century for the treatment of Asthma and in the 1970’s we found that marijuana has a bronchodilator effect. This is because of the THC in marijuana.

First of all let’s compare and contrast marijuana with the other even more widely smoke substance in our society tobacco. Tobacco was used more there than any other smoke substance and marijuana is second only to tobacco. We know that if you analyse the contents of tobacco and marijuana they are quite similar and the major difference is that tobacco contains nicotine not found in in marijuana and marijuana contains THC and about 60 other THC like substances called cannabinoids not found in tobacco, but there are other a lot of other particulars that are shared in common and these include carcinogens such as benzopyrene the most potent of the carcinogens and considered to be responsible for a large percentage of human cancers. Benzopyrene is found in 50 percent higher concentration in marijuana smoke than in the smoke from a comparable quantity of tobacco. This has been shown by 3 separate groups of chemical investigators so the expectation is that if you smoke marijuana enough in and on a regular basis you would incur similar risks to smoking tobacco. So what are the major health risks for tobacco? emphysema which I prefer to call COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) which is the new term. Which consists of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. You can have significant impairment of lung function without emphysema it could just be due to airways disease. Because we can’t separate out the 2 components of COPD emphysema and the airways component we lumped in together.

COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. and in the world and will become the 3rd leading cause in 2020.  It is a very important disease.  About 120,000 Americans die each year from COPD. Probably the best evidence for separating or best method for separating out a patient with COPD from someone else is to look at the rate of decline in lung function. I shouldn’t say the best it’s the probably the most informative. But it’s more difficult to do because you have to make measurements every year for a number of years. So you get a slope of rate of loss of lung function over time. We did that. We actually measured lung function every year in marijuana smokers up up to 8 years. We found that the slope of the decline in lung function is almost identical in the marijuana only smokers compared to non-smokers where it was accelerated in tobacco smokers. Just one other piece of evidence that marijuana is not a risk factor for the development of COPD. I’m convinced of that.

And the other major health consequence pulmonary health consequences of tobacco is lung cancer. Cancer is the 2nd most common cause of death in the U.S. and lung cancer is most common form of cancer. The major risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco smoking. About 160,000 Americans die each year of lung cancer so the question that came to my mind or rather my colleagues was whether or not there was any evidence that marijuana would at least qualitatively share some of these health risks with those of tobacco. That was the rationale for initiating our studies back in the 1980’s.

What is the evidence that marijuana smoking, habitual marijuana smoking can lead to lung cancer?

With respect to the development of lung cancer we found no evidence of any increased risk of lung cancer occurrence in association with marijuana smoking alone. The marijuana smokers if anything had a reduced risk for developing lung cancer. Not a significantly reduced risk but a reduced risk less than 1 fold. So that means reduced. Whereas the tobacco smokers had a markably increased risk. Those who smoked more than 2 packs a day had a 20 fold increase in risk. That is 2000 percent. Those who smoked from one to two packs a day had an 8 fold risk – 800 percent.  So that contrasts with no risk, no increased risk, if anything a slightly reduced risk for the marijuana smokers.

THC actually has an anti-tumoral effect.

THC actually has an anti-tumoral effect. These are studies that were done both experimentally on animals and in cell culture systems and for different kinds of cancer. For lung cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, prostate cancer gliomas which is brain cancer. That the development and growth of the tumor is suppressed by THC and the metastasis  are also suppressed. So how could that be? well THC impairs protein synthesis and it’s what we call antimitogenic anti-proliferative which means those tumor cells don’t as readily proliferate in the presence of THC.

They are also antiangiogenic. So they interfere with the growth and development of new blood vessels that are necessary for metastatic spread. And they also are proapoptotic. What is apotosis? It is programmed cell death so when cells age there is a mechanism whereby the cells die. It is a non-necrotic death and the die off of old cells and we get rid of them before they have an opportunity to develop mutations that would lead to cancer. So enhancing a proapototic effect diminishes the risk of the cells becoming cancerous. So marijuana or THC turns out to be proapototic so those appear to be the mechanisms that might account for these anti-tumoral effects of THC.

We decided to do our own case control study. Funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse which is a major funding agency for marijuana related research. This is the largest study ever conducted on this subject. It was very well designed. We used the Los Angeles tumor registry to identify and rapidly ascertain all the cases of lung cancer head neck cancer cancer that were diagnosed in the LA county system and of course by the time we got to some of them they had already died or were too sick but we got to over sixty percent of them who agreed to participate and were able to participate and we administered this questionnaire. Then we matched them to controls same age, socioeconomic status, within the same neighbourhood using an algorithm which USC developed for this purpose. So we could match comparing apples with apples. We then administered this detailed questionnaires. Also in molecular we got… smears so we could look at DNA to look at genetics to look at lung cancer.

So, what we did was to recruit smokers. Heavy smokers of marijuana at least a joint a day for a week and it ended up that the average smoker of marijuana who we recruited smoked 3 joints a day for about 15 years and we also required that they smoked that much for 5 years but on the average they smoked 3 joints for fifteen years so that’s about 45 to 50 joint years.  A joint year is the average number of joints smoked times the number of years smoked. Over the study population was I think between 35 and 59.

Of course we thought that they had to be teenagers in the early twenties at the time of the marijuana epidemic which you know was in the in the mid 60’s. Prior to that time very few people used marijuana but after that time it just mushroomed up to 1979 which represented the apex, that means the acme of use in society so that is why we chose those age limits and so what did we find?

For any category of cannabis use including heavy use (defined as more than 10 joint years) we look at 20 joint years.. for any category of marijuana use the ratio was less than 1 which means reduced risk.  It was not significantly reduced but it was reduced. The compensatables were not that wide… around a point estimate, so there was no evidence, we controlled for all accumulated factors such as economic status in common, tobacco smoke….same time we did a similar study on tobacco smokers there was a huge effect from tobacco….

So. I am a cancer doctor and everyday I see patients with cancer who have nausea from their chemotherapy or their cancer loss of appetite pain depression insomnia my experience over the past thirty years of being an oncologist is that there’s one medicine that I could recommend to patients that can take care of all those problems.  Instead of writing 5 different prescription drugs all of which have side effects and addictive potential. I can tell my cancer patients to try marijuana to take care of any combination of those symptoms.

The first study that I really wanted to do was in patiens with the so-called AIDS wasting syndrome which was something we saw before the availability of active antiretroviral drugs and patients with HIV infections just wasted away. They lost weight they got diarrhoea and fevers and Dronabinol delta 9THC became available to help those patients increase their appetite. When we prescribed those patients dronabinol in the early 90’s they said “you know this is okay but I really prefer to smoke real cannabis because when you take cannabis by mouth either as delta 9THC or eating in fact baked products the absorption is very slow and variable so it takes about two and a half hours for a peak to be reached and the peak level in the blood is quite low and it stays in the body for quite a long time as well. Also when taken by mouth the delta 9THC becomes converted by liver to another psychoactive metabolite.

So people that take dronabinol or take cannabis baked products often get more zonked (tired) than people who smoke because when you smoke you don’t get that second metabolite and so when you smoke you get a very rapid peak in the blood of in two and a half minutes as opposed to two and a half hours. People can really control the onset of the activity and how long it lasts better if their smoking rather than swallowing a pill or eating a baked product. So, our first study that we hoped to doing in the the early 90’s was to show that smoked cannabis was better than dronabinol in increasing appetite in patients with AIDS wasting syndrome.

I tried twice to get cannabis from the government because they’re the only legal source of marijuana for clinical trials. Both times I failed and then went to Allen Leshner who at the time was the head of the national institute on drug abuse and he explained to me infact that the government NIDA the national institute on drug abuse has a congressional mandate only to to study substances of abuse as substances of abuse. So my requests have marijuana to study it as a potential therapeutic agent could never be granted by the government because congress says you can only study these substances as substances of abuse and not as treatments for disease.

In 1996 the terrain changed when we got HIV drugs that actually worked and we didn’t see the wasting syndrome anymore but these drugs were broken down by liver by the same pathway that metabolizes some illicit substances and there was a report in the literature of the patient dying from an ecstasy overdose. It was someone on the aids antiviral drugs who took and ecstasy at the same time. So I said haha little light bulb went off that maybe I should study to see if it’s safe for patients on the aids antiretroviral drugs to smoke cannabis. So I submitted that grant to the government and that worked within their schema because I was looking to see if it was harmful. With that application I finally succeeded and got a million dollars and 1400 government (marijuana) cigarettes to study in patients with HIV. Now these patients didn’t have the wasting syndrome any more but the end point of our study was is there a change in the amount of the aids virus in the blood stream after 21 days of exposure to either 3 government cigarettes a day or 3 dronabinol capsules or 3 placibo capsules.

We looked at the change in the HIV virus and it didn’t change at all. We also looked at the interaction between the cannabinoids either smoke or oral and the amount of AIDS drug in blood stream that didn’t change clinically significantly either. We also knew that people were concerned that marijuana might have an impact on the immune system that could be negative and we looked at that very carefully in these HIV patients and we found no evidence of any negative affect and perhaps some evidence of a benefit in the immune system in patients smoking even more than taking the capsules.

My opinion the whole plant is medicine that nature provided. It’s the best medicine.

It is truly amazing the number of conditions that respond favorably to cannabis. The #1 condition is pain. Cannabis is useful in relieving people’s pain and is particularly effective in relieving pain from connective tissue disorders. Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, systemic lupus, reflex sympathetic dystrophy. A whole host of conditions that we don’t really understand very well, people seem to get good relief from cannabis. People are able to decreased the amount of opiates that they’re taking and in some instances to stop taking opiates entirely for pain control.

 I have a number of people who don’t have epilepsy when they use cannabis regularly

The first modern research that was done cannabis was done in 1949 that demonstrated its usefulness in treating epilepsy. I have a number of people who don’t have epilepsy when they use cannabis regularly. The founder of modern medicine is a Physician named Sir William Osler who was prominent around the turn of the nineteenth or twentieth century, wrote the first textbook of internal medicine and in that text book he said that cannabis was the most effective medication for the treatment of migraine headaches and I certainly have a number of people with migraines who get substantial relief or even prevention of migraines by consumption of cannabis. Other conditions that common respond favourably to marijuana include depression, it helps people with sleep, helps with appetite. It is also very good training GI symptoms, nausea, diarrhea, it is excellent for treating Crohn’s disease.

We did a little study of people with Crohn’s disease and found that many of them were able to stop using steroids to stop using other medications that they had taken for their Crohn’s that they have less diarrhoea they had less abdominal pain, it was a true miracle for them. There is a list here of conditions that was originally developed by doctor Tod Mikuriya who was a pioneer in terms of medical marijuana. He actually worked for the national institute of mental health and his job was to give out grants for doing studies on cannabis. He thought he was there to find out how cannabis was useful to treat medical conditions. NIMH thought he was there to hand out grants to see how dangerous it was. This was a marriage made in hell and needless to say he did not stay with NIMH for very long.  Cannabis is seen as a neuro protective agent and we have found that it has provided benefits for people with multiple sclerosis, it certainly treats their neuropathic pain and their muscle spasms but more importantly people who were placed on Sativex the tincture of cannabis in early studies in Great Britain have remained on it for years and years and rather than progress their multiple sclerosis has stayed the same suggesting that cannabis may not only be effective in reducing the symptoms but also in slowing the progression of disease.

It is helpful when dealing with anxiety of people that have alzheimer’s disease. It is helpful in dealing with the muscle spasms that are associated with parkinson’s disease. When it comes to psychological illnesses cannabis is useful in not only treating depression which are already mentioned about also bipolar disorder which is depression and mania. It is useful in treating (ADD) attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. There was a study done at the Max Plank Institute in Germany a few years back that demonstrated it was useful in reducing fearful memory so that might suggest why it is used for alleviating PTSD. This is extremely important at this time when we have so many people who are serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The pentagon has projected that at least a third of these people and I think that is a very conservative estimate will come back up with the symptoms of PTSD.   Matter of fact in regards to PTSD of both the Israeli government and the Croatian government have given their troops cannabis for treatment of PTSD. The list just goes on and on. Many many conditions cause pain serious conditions… spondylitis which can actually turn you over or make you bend over in a crippled position. People who have failed back surgery. People who have herniated disks, people who have chronic dislocated shoulders.  All of these people get relief from cannabis and they find that the cannabis provides that relief with fewer side effects than the opiates do.

Another thing that is sort of counter intuitive where cannabis is useful in the treatment of asthma. You may have seen the ads for Advair that says it is both a bronco dialator and anti-inflammatory, well so too is cannabis. This is why there were numerous marijuana cigarettes on the market in the 1920’s for the treatment of asthma specifically for the treatment of asthma. So as I pointed out by holding up this list the list of conditions for which cannabis is useful is extremely lengthly.

That’s a quick overview of some of the conditions that cannabis is useful in treating. Most people tend to take cannabis at least in the evening some people take it more often than that and the reason is that many of these conditions interfere with sleep and then there are some people who just have sleep problems, have insomnia difficulty.  Cannabis is very useful in assisting people in going to sleep.  Now if they have difficulty staying asleep in addition to smoking or vaporizing or using it sublingually they should also use it as an edible or drink it because it will kick in 45 minutes into their sleep and it will be affective for about 5 to 6 hours.

There are a number of ways of administering cannabis. Smoking and vaporizing cause the chemicals to get into the body upstream of the liver. So you have unmetabolized cannabinoids that are going to the brain. Now this doesn’t mean that when the cannabinoids go to the liver that they are inactivated but it means that they’re different 85 percent of the cannabinoid is metabolized on its first pass to liver. The other thing is that when it goes to the brain immediately by the respiratory route of administration the effect will be in 15 – 30 seconds. Whereas if we wait for it to go through the GI Tract to deliver it will take 45 minutes before its effective.

Now each one of those routes of administration is going to give you a slightly different mix of chemicals because when you smoke it you are oxygenating the cannabinoids and the other chemicals that are in there.  So while you may be vaporizing the cannabinoids that are behind where the flame is you’re also burning the cannabinoids right at the junction there.  So that smoked marijuana is not identical to vaporizing marijuana. With the vaporized marijuana all the volital oils will be vaporized by the time you get to 340 degrees C…You will have removed or been exposed to about 70 percent fewer irritants then when you smoke it. It also has a somewhat different odor it doesn’t have the characteristic classic burn rope odor it has more of a nutty odor. Now when you eat marijuana you’re going to have metabolized 85 percent of cannabinoids. People who eat it talk about having a body high as opposed to a mind high. That is because you are being exposed to different combination of cannabinoids.


A cannabis vaporizer. This one is made by Arizer, a Canadian company.

Now some people have found that an under the tongue spray which is what Sativex is, Sativex is an alcohol extract of the whole plant which combines extracts from two plants one that is high in THC for it’s therapeutic value and another that is high in CBD to keep down the euphoria.  When you spray it under the tongue it will be effective in about 15 minutes but it will go to the brain first before going through the liver. On the other hand there are many people in Canada where Sativex is legal that find that they still prefer cannabis to Sativex.  Now Sativex is prescribed in Canada and it appears as though the british government and or the spanish government might also approve Sativex in the near future for sale as a pharmaceutical in their country.

The US food and drug administration (FDA) found that Sativex, basically liquid marijuana was safe enough to be tested on americans and they approved a phase 3 clinical study, phase 3 just means with human beings, in December of 2005 to determine whether or not this under the tongue tincture spray was useful in intractable pain of people with cancer. This study did not gets started until 2007 and still ongoing.


Cannabis edibles are popular – but watch your dose

There have been numerous studies with cannabis and tincture of cannabis and pain that have shown it is useful in relieving pain. We talked about under the tongue we’ve talked about smoking talked about being vaporization. There’s also these synthetic delta 9THC that can be taken orally just like edibles….The main problem with edibles is that it’s hard to tell whether you’re going to get a dose that is going to just deal with the therapeutic needs that you have whether it’s going to give you euphoria or whether it is going to give you disphoria. You need to have a regular supply so that you can be fairly certain that you’re going to take an amount that will be the therapeutic dose and not an amount that will give you dysphoria as a side effect.

Lastly the Curanderos who are ley healers in southern mexico and central america have used tincture of cannabis as part of their therapeutic armamentarium for at least 200 years. The topical application of tincture of cannabis is useful particularly on the small joints the fingers and toes in dealing with pain associated with arthritis and the reason for this is that cannabis is both an analgesic, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory and we know this not only from the anecdotal evidence that we have but also from thousands of studies have been done around the world with mainly animals and sometimes in tissue culture.

The International Cannabinoid Research Society has been around for about 20 years and the have conferences each year the last for three days in which researchers from all over the world talk about the results they have gotten doing basic science studies. Any drug that a doctors is considering recommending or prescribing they need to balance off the therapeutic effects with the side-effects. When you talk about the treatment of pain for many people the opiates are very effective pain killers but for some people the opiates cause confusion they make it difficult for them to concentrate ,difficult for them to drive, they don’t enjoy playing with their kids and their grandkids it causes them constipation. With cannabis for many of those people they find that it certainly does not give them constipation and does not cause them confusion, it provides them with sufficient relief from their pain that they can go about their activities of daily living they can drive their car without the interference and more importantly they can have fun they can play with their children they can play with their grandchildren.


Cannabis in concentrated oil format. Image from www.cureyourowncancer.org

I wouldn’t necessarily say that across the board cannabis is to be used instead of opiates but I would say that for many people it can be used to instead of opiates and for others it can be used in conjunction with opiates and they can use a lower dose of the opiates and hopefully have fewer side effects.

Now any therapeutic agent that we know of has some side effects and marijuana is no exception.The main side-effect to the use of marijuana is from smoking it and that is a cough. So that can be completely avoid by eating it or drinking and it can be largely avoided by vaporizing it.

One of the things that is talked about a lot is that you can have a panic reaction and that is certainly possible it most commonly occurs in people who are novices users. Particularly if they’ve been exposed to plant that is very high in THC. Another thing that people sometimes have is paranoid thinking that the police are after them. I’ve noticed that this is not nearly as common since it has become legal because the police are not after them and so it may not be paranoia that people were experiencing but an exaggerated perception of reality and one of the things that we have lost as a result of the propaganda misinformation that has been spread about cannabis is the fact that it has legitimate therapeutic value and we have discouraged research.

We have a dramatically discouraged research in this country and numerous other countries including England, Israel Spain, Germany are far ahead of us in terms of quantity of research they are doing on the medicinal value of cannabis. This is particularly alarming in these economic times when we certainly could use the economic stimulus the economic boost that would come from having pharmaceutical cannabis available in the country as it is now in Canada and as it possibly soon will be in England and Spain.

Jefferson said that this country would be in dire straits if we have laws that interfered with what we put into our own bodies, are we not in control of our own bodies?

If the people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who love under tyrany

Thomas Jefferson

Make the most of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.

George Washington

Marijuana is a medicine that patients themselves can grow. For people with cancer who may be facing thinking about the end of their life to be able to grow a plant and work in the garden and produce their own medicine is very empowering. Something that I think does a patient a lot of good.

Marijuana is illegal and the government does not sponsor this kind of research. In view of the fact that large numbers of people are using marijuana medicinally I think it’s a shame that there is no investment in this kind of research.

I think that there is a very bright future for medical cannabis in this country. I grew up around drugs but to me drugs are a good thing. I walked into building everyday almost of my first years that had a 13 foot tall sign that said “Drugs”… my father was a pharmacist and we sold medication. As far as I am concerned medication is helpful to people I don’t think that medication has personality and sits on the shelf until you prescribe it for somebody. It has beneficial uses and has side effects and should only be used when necessary.

Transcript from Medical Cannabis and its Impact on Human Health.


What is the best way to make cannabis oil?

by Dr Arno Hazekamp

What is Cannabis oil?

Concentrated cannabis extracts, also known as Cannabis oils because of their sticky and viscous appearance, are increasingly mentioned by self-medicating patients as a cure for cancer. In general, preparation methods for Cannabis oil are relatively simple and do not require particular instruments. The purpose of the extraction, often followed by a solvent evaporation step, is to make cannabinoids and other beneficial components such as terpenes available in a highly concentrated form. Cannabis oil is usually taken orally, by ingesting a small number of drops several times a day. Please find here some information on the question whether cannabis can cure cancer.

How is Cannabis oil prepared?

Various methods have been described for the preparation of Cannabis oil. The most popular method, as described by former (skin)cancer patient Rick Simpson from Canada, suggests the use of naphtha or petroleum ether as a solvent for the extraction. Following the success of Simpson oil, a number of related recipes have sprung up, emphasizing small but significant changes to the original recipe. Examples include focusing on safer solvents such as ethanol, or preventing exposure to organic solvents altogether, by using olive oil.

What is naphtha or petroleum-ether?

In general, petroleum-ether and naphtha refer to very similar products, even though different names may be used around the world; e.g. in some countries naphtha is equivalent to diesel or kerosene fuel. Both solvents are a mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), often available in a wide range of qualities. All the solvent components should be considered harmful and flammable, and some of them, such as hexane and benzene, may be neurotoxic. Both naphtha and petroleum-ether are considered potential cancer hazards according to their manufacturers. Moreover, products sold as naphtha may contain added impurities (e.g. Coleman® fuel) which may have harmful properties of their own.

Are residual solvents a health risk?

Although Cannabis oils are usually concentrated by evaporating the solvents that were used for extraction, this does not completely eliminate residual solvents. As a result of sample viscosity, the more concentrated an extract becomes, the more difficult it will be to remove the residual solvent from it. In such a case, applying more heat will increase solvent evaporation, but simultaneously more beneficial components (such as cannabinoids or terpenes) may be lost as well. The use of non-toxic solvents should therefore always be advised, so that potential residues are not harmful to health.

What is the best and healthiest way to prepare Cannabis oil?

Recently, an analytical study was performed to compare several generally used preparation methods on the basis of cannabinoids, terpenes, and residual solvent components. Solvents tested included ethanol, naphtha, petroleum-ether, and olive oil. Based on this study, the following recommendations can be made:

  • As extraction solvents, ethanol and olive oil were shown to perform the best, extracting the full range of terpenes and cannabinoids present in cannabis plant material very efficiently. Additionally these solvents are safe for consumption.
  • Unfortunately, pure ethanol also extracts large amounts of chlorophyll from cannabis material, which will give the final extract a distinct green, and often unpleasant, taste. Removing chlorophyll by filtering the ethanol extract over activated charcoal was found to be effective, but it also removed a large proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes, and is therefore not advised. Additionally, in many countries consumption-grade ethanol is an expensive solvent, as a result of added tax on alcohol products.
  • Of the solvents tested, this leaves olive oil as the most optimal choice for preparation of cannabis oil for self-medication. Olive oil is cheap, not flammable or toxic, and the oil needs to be heated up only to 100°C (by placing a glass jar containing the product in boiling water for 1-2 hours) so no overheating of the oil can occur. After cooling down and filtering the oil it is immediately ready for consumption. As a trade-off, however, olive oil extract cannot be concentrated by evaporation, which means patients will need to consume a larger volume of it in order to get the same therapeutic results.
  • Preheating of cannabis to ‘activate’ (decarboxylate) the cannabinoids may result in loss of terpenes as a result of evaporation. If the full range of terpenes is desired in the final Cannabis oil, dried buds and leaves can be used directly for extraction, without preheating.

About the author

Dr Arno Hazekamp is a phytochemical researcher at the Department of Plant Metabolomics of Leiden University, The Netherlands. He also coordinates the R&D program at Bedrocan BV.

Medical Marijuana Primer with Michael Backes

A conversation with the brilliant Michael Backes, a Hollywood special effects consultant (films from Jurassic Park to Spider-Man 2) who happens to be one of the world's foremost experts on the subject of medical cannabis. If this is a topic that is of interest to you, you can be assured of finding what he says in this interview quite fascinating (or your money back!). Fun fact, several characters in Michael Crichton's novels are named "Michael Backes."