2012 Introduction – Well, here I am again, staring at this blank screen, trying to figure out what to say so you will share the information I have gathered.
“Once the medical facts about cannabis become known, the need for legalization becomes obvious!” How many times have I said that? I need YOU to educate those around you. I can’t do it alone!
At times, it seems so futile- this never-ending battle against ignorance about cannabis. But I can’t give up – this simple herb has some amazing uses and people need to know what it can do.
Cannabis should be treated like any other medicinal herb, because that’s what it is, just an herbal medicine with a rather pleasant side effect- you feel “high”. Unlike common aspirin, cannabis never kills by overdose. Compared to some pharmaceutical drugs’ side effects, the “cotton-mouth”, “red eye”, “munchies” and “feeling a just bit too good” from using cannabis seems so trivial!
As Americans, we should be free to exercise our right to choose the type of medicines that we take. Anyone exhibiting the first signs of Alzheimer’s should be able to choose between Aricept, Marinol, or natural cannabis to slow the deposit of mind-clogging amyloid plaque.
“When tested at double the concentration of THC, Aricept blocked plaque formation only 22% as well as THC, and Cognex blocked plaque formation only 7% as well as THC.” (Marijuana May Slow Alzheimer’s – WebMD, 2006)
Marinol is just a capsule of a pure synthetic THC dissolved in sesame oil. It will work, but some people find that it causes anxiety because it lacks CBD (cannabidiol) to balance the THC high.
Natural cannabis has CBD and other cannabinoids in it, which act in a different way to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. (“Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids reduce microglial activation in vitro and in vivo: relevance to Alzheimer’s disease” – Molecular Pharmacology, 2011) I know which I would logically choose, but in 2/3s of the US, and everywhere by federal law, that choice is forbidden to us. Our government has banned our best choice!
Then there are thousands facing the severe nausea of chemotherapy- will they be able to keep an antinausea pill down long enough for it to work? Wouldn’t it be simpler to inhale some cannabis vapor, or smoke, and get almost instantaneous relief? In 16 states, you can!
And the pain from cancer? “Medical Marijuana a Success in Israel” – “More than two-thirds of cancer patients who were prescribed medical marijuana to combat pain are reportedly satisfied with the treatment” Are we less free than the Israelis? They are free to get legal, prescribed cannabis for cancer pain- are you? Our neighbor, Canada, has legal medical cannabis, and their government grows cannabis for patients! And surprise! The US has 4 federally legal MMJ patients and grows for them. The program is closed. No new patients allowed! Why? And why is cannabis research, all but banned in the US? This prohibitionist foolishness has to end!
2012 is supposed to be a time of change, an “interesting” year. It is time for us to demand a change in the laws on cannabis! We must keep telling the truth, keep presenting the facts to our friends and our families. The facts are there in PubMed- cannabis IS medicine! Our government lies to us about cannabis! And folks- “If the truth won’t do, then something is wrong!”
2011- This year’s message to all of you is a little different. I am going to be explaining a major scientific discovery- the Omega-3 / CB1 connection, and how it affects your healing with cannabis! But to understand fully this discovery, we need to revisit Biology 101.
Every cell in your body has tiny chemical receptors all over the cell’s “skin” or cell membrane. These receptors work kind of like an ignition switch- you put the right type of chemical “key” into a receptor and it “turns on” some kind of action. The type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1s) are the ones we are interested in looking at. They are found both in the body and the brain.
“Turning on” a CB1 receptor with either an endocannabinoid that your body makes, or a phytocannabinoid like THC, can result in many different things occurring. A cancer cell may be “told” to die through a process called apoptosis, it may activate a basic instinct such as nursing, soothe an irritated digestive tract, or simply ease your pain. The CB1 receptors in your brain are the ones to blame, or praise, for the cannabis “high”.
Every time a cell divides, whether it is a brain cell, or a body cell, it needs to make new “skin” to grow back to its full size, and that involves making a whole bunch of new receptors.
And this is where the cutting-edge science starts– to make functional CB1 receptors, you absolutely need Omega-3! In “Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid mediated neuronal functions”, the Omega-6-rich “western diet” is implicated in our declining mental and physical health. The “ideal” proportion of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is around 3 to 4 parts Omega-6 to every 1 part Omega-3. Our “western diet” can deliver up to a 50 to 1 ratio!
When no Omega-3 is available, our bodies will “jury-rig” a new receptor with an Omega-6 where there should be an Omega-3. This results in a small, but important chunk, the Gi/o effector protein, not getting attached. As with a machine, the pieces need to be assembled right to work!
A drop in the number of working CB1 receptors is an early clinical sign in Parkinson’s, colon cancer, Huntington’s, and heralds a high risk for premature birth. Mice bred to be low in CB1 receptors have more severe heart attacks and strokes. Cancers ravage them. They age and become senile earlier than normal mice. They are used to study neurological conditions and bowel disorders. They often seem depressed. They sound a lot like many modern Americans.
The three most common sources of Omega-3 are fish oil, flax seed oil and hemp seed oil.
Cannabis is an effective and safe herbal medicine, but we need functioning CB1 receptors for it to work its miracles. Virtually every person needs more Omega-3 in their diet, but none as much as the medical users of cannabis! Cannabis heals us using our cannabinoid receptors, and also provides the Omega-3 that we need to make healthy CB receptors, so we can heal. And that is the simple, but scientific truth.
A few definitions to help you along
Acute – the immediate, usually short term, effect
Adipose – fat
Agonist – a chemical that activates a receptor
Analgesic – pain killing
Analogue – a synthetic version
Anandamide – A “messenger chemical” made by your body – similar to THC
Angiogenesis – making new blood vessels, often to feed a tumor
Antagonist – a chemical that blocks the action of an agonist
Anti-nociception– pain relieving
Anxiolytic – calming, anti-anxiety
Apoptosis – a process that leads to the normally programed death of a cell.
Autophagy – the cell self-destructs
Beta amyloid plaque / β-amyloid/ Aβ – the stuff that gums up your brain in Alzheimer’s
Bronchodilator – opens up the lungs
Cannabidiol/CBD – the #2 compound in cannabis, no high, purely medicinal effects
Cannabinoids –they activate CB receptors and come from your body, cannabis or labs.
Carcinoma – cancer
Cesamet/ Nabilone – a synthetic THC pill
Chronic – long term and constant
Decarboxylation – a way to turn THCA into THC by gently heating the cannabis
Downregulation – a decrease in number
Dronabinol/ Marinol – a synthetic version of THC that has caused a 4 deaths
Emesis – vomiting
Endocannabinoid – a chemical messenger made by your body- anandamide and 2-AG
Endocannabinoid System – a system of chemical receptors on and between your cells
Endogenous – made in your own body
Epidermal – pertaining to the skin
Hepatic – having to do with the liver
Hyperalgesia – severe pain
Hyperemesis – severe vomiting
In vivo – in a live animal
In vitro – in a test tube
Ischemia – damage from lack of blood to an area
Ligand – a chemical that binds to a receptor. THC is a ligand of CB1 and CB2 receptors
Lipids – fats and oils
Marinol / dronabinol – a synthetic version of THC that has caused a 4 deaths
Metastasis – spreading through the body
Nabilone/ Cesamet – a synthetic THC pill
Neurogenesis – new brain cells are being formed
Neuropathic Pain – pain due to nerve injury
Neuroprotective – protects nerves and brain cells
Nonpsychoactive – won’t get you high
Osteoblast – a type of cell that makes new bone
Osteoclast – a type of cell that breaks down bone
Ovariectomized – Having had the ovaries removed, usually for menopause studies
Phytocannabinoid – a cannabinoid produced by a plant – THC and CBD are examples
Prions – they cause Mad Cow Disease
Pulmonary – having to do with the lungs
Receptors – These receive the chemical messages and send them into our cells.
Renal – having to do with the kidneys
Retinal – having to do with the retina in the eye
Terpenes – found in many plants including cannabis, they augment the effects of cannabinoids
Tinctures – An easy-to-make liquid extract of an herb made with alcohol or glycerin.
Upregulation – increase in number
Vasodilator – expands the blood vessels
Granny’s List 2012
2012 Index – Complete introduction and continuation of this page’s text.