28 February 2016

Hemp for Optimal Brain Health

There are over 400 phytonutrients that exist in hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), the same plant as Cannabis. Optimal brain health is achieved when linoleic acid (LA) and alpha linoleic acid (ALA) are consumed in a ratio only naturally found in hemp. The brain also has a requirement for cannabinoids, which regulate most of the major functions of the body including alertness, emotions, inflammation and cancer defences. The brain can make a small number of its own cannabinoids, but as 4,000 years of history and decades of scientific research indicate, it operates optimally when supplied with dietary cannabinoids, such as those found in hemp. The brain can build itself from saturated and monounsaturated fats but it has a preference for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Research on humans and animals suggests that optimal brain health is achieved when linoleic acid (LA) and alpha linoleic acid (ALA) are consumed in a ratio of between 3.5:1 and 4:1, a ratio only naturally found in hemp. 

The fruit of hemp is not a true seed, but an 'achene', a tiny nut covered by a hard shell. But, like other oil seeds, hemp consists mainly of oil (typically 44%), protein (33%) and dietary fibre and other carbohydrates (12%, predominantly from residues of the hull). In addition, the nut contains vitamins (particularly the tocopherols and tocotrienols of the Vitamin E complex), phytosterols and trace minerals. Hemp’s main nutritional advantage over other seeds lies in the composition of its oil, i.e., its fatty acid profile and its protein, which contains all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts and in a desirable ratio. More and more people are discovering the nutritional benefits of hemp seed, nut and oil.

However, confusion among the public on exactly how hemp oil differs from cannabidiol, or CBD oil, prompted the non-profit Hemp Industries Association in the United States (US) to issue a statement explaining the difference between the oils in order to ensure consumers, specifically medical Cannabis patients, were not misled about intended use. Confusion between hemp and Cannabis oil spiked as states in the US passed laws that allowed use of strains of Cannabis low in THC and high in CBD. Consumers often confuse hemp oil with CBD oil because both are low in THC and contain CBD. “With hemp research and development pilot programs taking off ... and the hemp retail market growing at an incredible rate, it’s crucial consumers and retailers alike understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD extracts”, Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of Hemp Industries Association, said.

Though hemp oil does contain low levels of CBD, typically less than 25 parts per million (ppm), CBD extracts “are produced either directly from Cannabis flowers that are up to 15% CBD (150,000 ppm), or indirectly as a co-product of the flowers and leaves that are mixed in with the stalks during hemp stalk processing for fibre”. Because of this distinction, the Association says, “It is important for American farmers and processors of hemp to understand that most CBD in products mislabelled as ‘hemp oil’ is a product of large-scale hemp stalk and fibre processing facilities in Europe where fibre is the primary material produced at a large scale. CBD is not a product or component of hemp seeds and labelling to that effect is misleading and motivated by the desire to take advantage of the legal grey area of CBD under federal law”.

The reason hemp is illegal is not because of any negative impact to the environment or human health, but exactly the opposite. It is so environmentally friendly, nutritionally and medicinally beneficial, that it provides too many abundant resources which would make it impossible for powerful corporations to compete. Although hemp was once the most important cash crop in the US, more so than corn and wheat combined, hemp was banned and classified as a Schedule I 'drug' under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. While classification under Schedule I meant hemp could no longer be grown in the US, products containing hemp, such as lotions, fabric and food, are legal for purchase in the US and are found at natural and health food retailers and grocers.

According to scientific and clinical studies, hemp oil has the potential to help a range of conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, alcoholism, schizophrenia, PTSD, antibiotic-resistant infections and various neurological disorders. In addition to trying an alternative energy source, what if it were possible to address the underlying source of the brain’s energy problems? It has been shown that glucose receptor dysfunction in the brain is related to membrane instability from dietary essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency. Restoration of adequate membrane EFA content increases glucose uptake and utilisation in brain cells. 

One of the functions of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is to act as oxygen magnets and transporters. It is known that haemoglobin carries oxygen around the body; however, before oxygen can bind with the haemoglobin in red blood cells, it first has to be attracted to and released into the cell. This is exactly what Omega 3 and 6 do. Research in cystic fibrosis has shown that as cell membrane levels of linoleic acid (Omega 6) decrease and levels of oleic acid increase, the amount of oxygen entering the cell decreases. Linoleic acid, as found in hemp seed oil, undergoes “reversible oxygenation” much more easily than oleic acid. Researchers concluded that a diet overly rich in oleic acid and too low in linoleic acid can impair the oxygenation of cells.

The brain can produce its own cannabinoids, all of which are made from metabolites of linoleic acid as found in hemp seed oil. The receptors cannabinoids interact with are also made from Omega 3 and 6. Research shows Omega 3 deficiency leads to destruction of cannabinoid receptors resulting in various mental, emotional and physical dysfunctions. The entire Endocannabinoid System is best fuelled by hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil’s unique content of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids may be capable of addressing a number of medically neglected metabolic issues as well as optimising the function of the Endocannabinoid System.

Hemp seed oil is a great source of high-quality nutrients and has a long history of use in Eastern culture as a multi-purpose natural remedy. Despite its widespread popularity, prejudice related to its association with Cannabis has kept it from common use in the West. Thankfully, education is prevailing and the market for hemp seed oil is growing in the US, with an increasing number of people seeking it out for its reported health benefits.

Hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that are required for brain development. DHA is crucial to the health of the brain as well as the retina of the eye, particularly in the first year of life as described in the study,
The effects of n-3 fatty acid deficiency ... and function of the brain and retina. Mothers who supplement with hemp seed oil during pregnancy may provide brain- and eye-protective benefits for the developing baby.

Taking a fish oil supplement can be a helpful way to increase Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, a nutrient that is essential for brain development, immune system health, and mood regulation. Expectant mothers certainly want to include these nutrients in their diet; however, fish contains a great deal of
mercury which can hinder neurological and developmental mechanisms in the unborn baby. Fortunately, hemp seed oil works as a terrific alternative to traditional Omega 3 fatty acid supplements and doesn’t carry the same risk of mercury ingestion.

Adapted from The Brain Needs Cannabinoids And Dietary Hemp Is The Answer, with Hemp Oil Versus CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?, Dr Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing, n-3 fatty acids and the immune system in autoimmunity, Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, Maternal Fish Consumption, Hair Mercury, and Infant Cognition in a US Cohort, 5 Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

23 February 2016

Hazy Drug Driving Advice On Australian Roads

Random Drug Testing on Australia's roadsides, it’s probably not just because of what you’re smoking.

Random roadside or Mobile Drug Testing is being rolled out across the country at an increasing rate, with as many as 200,000 drivers to be tested in Victoria and 100,000 in New South Wales (NSW) by 2017. Prompted by a recent NSW court case, where a Lismore man was acquitted after being pinged nine days after having Cannabis. What is the current state of play in each Australian state? Cannabis is, after all, the most widely cultivated, trafficked and used 'illicit drug'* and accounts for almost half of all drug seizures worldwide, while 34.8% of Australians aged 14 years and over have used it one or more times in their life, 10.2% using it in the 12 months to 2014.

But state governments in Australia, perhaps reflecting their territories' approach to illegal drugs in general, give different advice to drivers about just how long the psychoactive component of Cannabis, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can be detected by a roadside test; ranging from zero tolerance, general guidelines over how long it takes to become undetectable, to no advice at all.

In NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory (NT), roadside saliva swabs are tested in the Draeger 5000. While the machines can pick up many drugs, in Australia RDT's are generally geared towards the psychoactive chemicals in Cannabis, methamphetamine and ecstasy. Drugs such as MDMA and crystal methamphetamine can generally be detected within 24 hours of taking them, but with THC it’s all a bit vague about how long it takes to get out of your system. In NSW, RDT's are developing into a hotly debated issue following reports people have been picked up days after using Cannabis despite having been told to only wait 'at least 12 hours' before getting behind the wheel.

Both NSW and the NT use the same testing device, however NT drivers are advised by the Department of Transport that THC takes an average of about 5 hours, with caveats, to break down and become undetectable in the body. The NT Department of Transpor goes further, and breaks down what happens to THC in your system: "After approximately 5 hours, the ∆9-THC component has metabolised into Carboxy-THC in your body. Carboxy-THC is inactive and may be present in your body for days or weeks after consuming the drug. Police will not be testing for Carboxy-THC during the roadside swab test". The NSW road safety website says Cannabis can typically be detected in saliva by an RDT test stick for up to 12 hours after use.

Even Draeger points to slightly different advice on their website, linking to a 2013 industry product review that says the device can detect very small quantities of THC (five nanograms per millilitre), and pinpoints the time of drug consumption within an 8-hour time window. “This makes it very easy to determine whether a person has taken one or more drugs recently and is still influenced by them”, Dr Stefan Steinmeyer, responsible for 'Drug Testing' at Draeger is quoted as saying in the review.

In Victoria, police use Securetec's Drugwipe swabs and according to police media, test them in Securtec's Drugwipe Twin II Combo. Victoria's Road Accident Commission warns the effects of THC can last for up to 24 hours and warns that "recent use of THC and the risk of being killed in a fatal crash is similar to a driver with a BAC of up to approximately 0.15".

In South Australia (SA), THC can be detected for "several hours after use (again the exact time varies depending on the amount and potency of the Cannabis used and individual metabolism). “Inactive THC residue in the body of a driver from use in previous days or weeks will not be detected”, the SA advice says. The state's Legal Services Commission is slightly more specific about the window and advises THC can be detectable for up to 4 hours.

In Western Australia (WA) they also use the Draeger (if you test positive roadside with the Securetec swab, the swab is placed in the Draeger 5000 for further analysis). WA's Road Safety Commission says THC is generally detectable for up to 4 hours after use, again with the usual caveats.

Queensland has an absolute zero tolerance policy toward drugs and driving and neither the Queensland Police nor the state's Department of Transport offer any advice on how long it takes for THC to become inactive.

Tasmania police warn it is illegal to drive a vehicle with illicit drugs in your blood, but offer no readily available breakdown of THC.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge compares the NSW drug testing system to the UK's, where a range of illicit and prescription drugs are tested for, with set detectable levels of impairment. He believes the Lismore decision will open the state government to a flood of legal challenges, as drivers are fined despite believing they are taking sound government advice. The NSW Greens recently used Freedom of Information laws to access police documents that show there is no lower limit of drugs that are detectable in the saliva of people subjected to the roadside oral drug tests.

drug impairment
An excerpt from the NSW Police RDT Standard Operating Procedure Handbook

Shoebridge believes RDT's should test for impairment and the limited trio of drugs screened for expanded to take in cocaine and some prescription drugs (the NSW Greens are preparing to move a motion in parliament to have the state's tests reviewed). “Roadside drug testing is not about getting impaired drivers off the road”, Shoebridge said of drug testing in NSW. “It’s an ideological war on a handful of illegal drugs dressed up as a road safety campaign”.

Shoebridge recently sat in on Lismore local court, where he said there were about 150 matters listed for mention on the day. Forty six were for drug-driving matters, he said, or one third of the court list. “The magistrate was having enormous difficulty getting to some of those seriously important cases, domestic violence, dangerous driving, assault matters, things you want magistrates and barristers spending their time on”.
He pointed to the UK's Wolfe report, which sets out the effects that various drugs have on driving.

But we don’t know as much about the effects surrounding driving and Cannabis as we do about the effects of alcohol on driving, Queensland University of Technology's Professor Jeremy Davey said. Davey, from the CARRS-Q Centre for Accident Research and Safety, sat on an expert panel that advised Queensland on its own drug driving laws. He says THC can be detected in your saliva for up to 24 hours.

He argues the focus on impairment is misplaced and likens it to the roughly 70-year history of observations into alcohol and driving and old arguments people used to use about alcohol, such as "I drive better on on the sauce""The next one is 'I’m used to it and I’m not affected by it'. Well, you think you’re not affected by it. The other one is ‘Oh, I’ve used only a little bit'. All these excuses they said for alcohol 30, 40 years ago, are being used for illicit substances”. he said.

“We know that at .05 (alcohol reading) you are twice as likely to be involved in a motor accident. This fixation on impairment, we know that there are varying levels of impairment but where do you draw the line on impairment? Impairment is impairment”. he said. “And also, and this is the nature of drugs, the same level may impair you to some degree today, and tomorrow it may impair you to another degree and that can be more or less and operate differently on different people, and at different times. So you have to look at it on a population base”.

random drug test australia

A saliva drug test being performed by a Melbourne police officer in 2006, shortly after it was announced the technology to detect the drug in saliva and blood samples had been perfected.

Random Breath Testing changes driver behaviour and there is some evidence to suggest the same approach works for drug testing, said Sydney University's Professor Rebecca Ivers, an injury epidemiologist and researcher in global health. From a road safety perspective, the deterrence approach is generally seen as the most effective way of keeping people safe on the roads. "When it comes to road safety, when we're talking about preventing people from crashing and having serious injuries and death, we have to be pretty hard line about it", she said.

"What we do know works, having random alcohol testing works very well in changing people's behaviour and there is some evidence that the same approach does work for drug testing. If they think they're going to be caught at a random roadside test and be penalised, then they are not going to do that behaviour". The reality is the ‘safe level of alcohol’ when you’re behind the wheel is set at a politically and socially prescribed level and changing the test to narrow or expand it (to take in fewer or more drugs, including prescription drugs) will require a long conversation with the community.

"Like when Random Breath Testing was introduced, with the upper prescribed level .08, before we worked our way down while drawing on tens of thousands of clinical tests and controlled experiments", Davey said. “Now, we don’t have those controlled experiments with Cannabis. However, we have enough knowledge of the drug that we know that it does impair. One does use a piece of common sense”.

Common sense? Where? Statistics show benzodiazepines and cocaine are causal in more fatal road accidents than all the other 'illicit drugs' put together (excluding only alcohol)! According to Australian drug detection expert Tony Graham, incorporating a test for cocaine in the saliva swab would be a simple matter. "There is absolutely no reason, if they choose to, why they can’t do it", he said, in November 2015.

Random or Mobile Drug Testing is not a road safety measure when you know all the facts. It is an attack on the lifestyle of some and unfortunately, and in some cases tragically, the sick and suffering are caught up in the mix as it is hard otherwise to explain why some drivers are stopped more than once for these purported ‘random’ tests (police themselves admit to targeting previously tested drivers). And this is an expensive campaign, with the drug test kits costing about $40 each (as opposed to $1 each for alcohol breath tests) and a mobile drug testing bus costs up to $500,000. Add in the cost of training, laboratory work and all the television ads and the taxpayer is footing the bill for activities that are not evidence based and DO NOT SAVE LIVES!

Australian governments have lately found it hard to frame policies consistent with even some science and this is just one of them. Alcohol breath testing works because of the nature of alcohol. Roadside drug testing for Cannabis does not work as a road safety measure because it does NOT understand the nature of Cannabis. And too many otherwise law-abiding Australian citizens are paying a ridiculously high price for NOT driving whilst impaired!

*The term ‘illicit drug’ can encompass a number of broad concepts, according to the Australian government, including;
• illegal drugs - a drug that is prohibited from manufacture, sale or possession in Australia, for example, Cannabis, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy
• misuse, non-medical or extra-medical use of pharmaceuticals - drugs that are available from a pharmacy, over-the-counter or by prescription, which may be subject to misuse, for example opioid-based pain relief medications, opioid substitution therapies, benzodiazepines, over-the-counter codeine, and steroids
• other psycho-active substances - legal or illegal, potentially used in a harmful way, for example, kava, or inhalants such as petrol, paint or glue (but not including tobacco or alcohol)

22 February 2016

Doctor Asks Mexico to Embrace its Endocannabinoid System

How The Science of the 'EndoCannabinoid System'

Will Change the Practice of Medicine and the Economy

My name is David B. Allen M.D., an American Board certified Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon and have board certification in General Surgery. I am a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) a non-political, non-religious organisation dedicated to scientific research in all fields of the cannabinoids, ranging from biochemical, chemical and physiological studies of the endogenous cannabinoid system to studies of the abuse potential of recreational Cannabis and consider myself a professor and research scientist of the Endocannabinoid Signalling System (ECS), I have been asked to give a summary of the medical and social effects of Cannabis and the current status of this 'new' science.

The discovery of the ECS is the most significant advancement of medicine and will save more lives than any other discovery including the discovery and application of sterile surgical technique. The ECS is a combination of cell membrane receptors that cause physiologic changes when endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) bind to the receptors. What this entails is: your body makes chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids) that bind to specific receptors and regulate metabolism, the immune system, cell division and differentiation.

Links to references above, at end of article

This is the discovery of a communication system that all cells have, that lets them sense their environment and manipulate the metabolism to maintain a steady state of life called homoeostasis. Homoeostasis is the ability to adjust metabolism in order for the species to survive hostile environments.

Homoeostasis is adaptability: A rule of nature; “If you can’t adapt you die”.

The Cannabinoid receptors, CB-1 and CB-2, are protein chains that pierce the cell membrane seven times and have portions of the receptor both inside and outside the cell membrane. These protein receptors are not visible with conventional microscopy and this fact delayed knowledge of their existence. The external portion of this protein has a specific shape and electrostatic charge that matches the corresponding shapes and charge of the cannabinoid molecules. This matching causes a strong attraction and binding of the Endocannabinoid to the protein receptor.

CB-1 receptors control glucose metabolism and CB-2 receptors control fatty metabolism. There is also some cross control. Glucose metabolism produces a lot of energy quickly, but also produces exhaust in the form of oxygen free radicals. Fatty metabolism produces even more energy, but does it more slowly, and produces oxygen free radicals at a lower rate. The ability to change what you metabolise allows you to survive when food source is scant.

By altering the concentration of cannabinoid receptor types you can change what the cell burns and change its production of exhaust. By changing this rate you can change the longevity of the cell or organism. This, in effect, is what Juan Ponce De Leon was searching for, the 'fountain of youth'. "When you burn the candle slower it lasts longer".

In 1512, Spanish King Ferdinand encouraged the explorer, Ponce de León, to continue searching for new lands, in hopes of finding more gold and expanding the Spanish empire. Around this time, Ponce de León learned of a Caribbean island called Bimini on which it was rumoured there were miraculous waters purported to be a “fountain of youth”. The fable was familiar on both sides of the Atlantic, alleging the spring was in the Garden of Eden, which many believed was located in Asia (early Spaniards believed America to be Asia).

There is good evidence that hibernation may indeed be a result of changing the food source from glucose metabolism to fatty metabolism during winter torpor. This change can only occur by manipulation of the regulatory mechanism of these two metabolic pathways. Down-regulation of body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate dramatically decreases metabolism and allows an animal to survive without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating for very long periods.

Cells have similar survival issues. The toxic products (oxygen free radicals) of metabolism can injure DNA and this is the reason why eukaryotic cells have nuclear membranes to separate the DNA from damage caused by metabolic by-products.

Stem cells are totipotent cells that can develop into any of the cells of the organism. Their only job is to divide and make more stem cells, or divide into one of the three germ cell layers: Ectoderm outside; Mesoderm, middle layer; and Endoderm, inside cells.

When the cells develop into one of the three germ cell layers, they have different metabolic requirements and different susceptibility to the toxicity of oxygen free radicals. By changing what substance to burn the cells can be directed to differentiate into specialised cells, such as brain, muscle, bone, or intestinal cells. As discussed in the study, 'Expression and function of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and their cognate cannabinoid ligands in murine embryonic stem cells'.

Your health is entirely dependent on the functioning of your ECS. If you have good health you have a well functioning ECS and if your health is diseased you have a diseased ECS. This is why Cannabis works for so many diseases. Many diseases we now have names for will be renamed when the enzyme defect in the patients’ ECS is identified.

The process of conception does not occur without a functioning ECS. The ECS is the control mechanism for metabolism and as such is the ultimate master control system. Therefore the ECS is the key to life.

Scientists were not aware of the mechanism of action of aspirin for a very long time. It was finally recognised that aspirin works by inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase or FAAH. This is the enzyme your body makes to degrade your endocannabinoids. When this enzyme is inhibited, less endocannabinoids are degraded and levels increase, providing analgesia. Aspirin works by increasing your own endocannabinoids.

The safety in manipulating the ECS lies largely in the fact that the brain stem has minimal numbers of CB-1 receptors; depression of the brain stem control of heart rate and respiration is not produced by cannabinoid stimulation. Opiates and barbiturates, by contrast, kill by depressing the brain stem control of these vital functions. This deadly situation is never encountered when using Cannabis and this fact accounts for its unprecedented safety over virtually all substances and medications. The LD-50 or lethal dose for 50% of subjects given any drug or substance, is a standard of safety or danger to the subject. Substances producing death at low concentrations are the most dangerous. No medication or substance on earth has a lower LD-50 than Cannabis, including table salt and water.

Cannabis use is not associated with any major organ failure or dysfunction, and in fact results in the protection of all organs. Even pulmonary function is not degraded with chronic Cannabis use. Donald Tashkin’s study, 'Effects of Marijuana Smoking on the Lung', published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, demonstrated a 150cc improvement in forced vital capacity (FVC) of patients who had used Cannabis for over 20 years, over non-smokers. Only mild bronchitis is known to be associated with Cannabis smoking and that condition reverses with cessation of smoking.

In the near future you will be hard pressed to find any items that do not have Cannabis in them. The oils can be used for fuel, food, cosmetics, paint and frankly too many items to name. The fibre will be used in clothing and building products like hemp concrete (hempcrete), rope and plastic (Hemp Information). The Cannabis flower will be used unheated in food as a staple and daily nutritional requirement and properly classified as a nutraceutical.

One of the most amazing unknown facts about Cannabis, hidden from the general public, is that if you eat Cannabis that is unheated or raw it does not get you high. There is no euphoria. The reason for this is that the Cannabis plant does not produce THC! Cannabis produces all of the cannabinoids as acid forms of the chemicals, which means they have a carbon dioxide attached to the cannabinoids. This is termed the carboxylated or acid forms of cannabinoids. When you heat Cannabis it releases a CO2 molecule and the cannabinoid becomes decarboxylated or neutral.

THC (the decarboxylated or PH neutral form) binds onto the CB-1 receptors whereas THC-A (the un-decarboxylated form) does not bind to receptors. Raw unheated cannabis has un-decarboxylated cannabinoids that do not bind to cannabinoid receptors, and thus do not cause euphoria or the high.

Although Cannabis tastes bad if you eat it raw, it has amazing protective effects, and this fact makes Cannabis a preventive medical treatment. The fact that Cannabis has a very bad flavour will prevent children from eating it, and if they did it would not get them high, or euphoric. This fact makes raw Cannabis safe around children.

Cannabis that is eaten raw and unheated results in a lower incidence of diabetes and all of the consequences of the disease. Long-term Cannabis use is associated with 66% less incidence of Diabetes as evidenced in the study, 'Decreased prevalence of diabetes in marijuana users: cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey (NHANES)' in October 2011 and a patent originally taken out in February 2005 by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 'Treatment or preventing diabetes with Cannabidiol; Us Patent' which is still current.

Can you imagine the impact of decreasing the incidence of all complications of diabetes by this amount? There would be 66% less amputations, less blindness, less renal failure, less dialysis and less diabetic testing equipment. Children would be able to eat Cannabis raw and unheated to decrease the symptoms of ADHD. Currently the medical system uses amphetamines to treat ADHD, so the advantage of Cannabis therapy is clear.

Grandma will be able to eat raw Cannabis to decrease the size and severity of a stroke by 50% (US patent 6,630,507 'Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants'). Heart attack victims may see even better reduction of myocardial infarction by as much as 66% by use of CBD (study,'Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive Cannabis constituent, protects against myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury'). Patients with a history of heart attack or stroke will carry CBD capsules in their pockets to prevent or lessen the severity of these diseases. Insurance companies will pay for this like they do for nitroglycerine tablets.

Cannabis is a new class of antibiotic (A Structure−Activity Study'Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa'). Almost all classes of bacteria are sensitive to cannabinoids and even MRSA resistant bacteria are killed by cannabinoids. The germicidal mechanism of action of Cannabis is different from the mechanism of action of any other antibiotic such as Penicillin, Sulphur, Tetracycline, Cephalosporin or Quinolones like Cipro, or Levoquin. Antibiotics work by inhibiting many of the vital functions of bacteria. This work includes inhibiting DNA synthesis, RNA synthesis, Protein Synthesis, and Cell Wall Synthesis. The exact mechanism of germicidal action of cannabinoids is not known, and may be due to changes in altering glucose metabolism.

The implications of the cannabinoid germicidal effect are tremendous and can be applied to any situation where bacteria exist. Surgical drapes impregnated with cannabinoids, burn wounds treated with Cannabis oil that provide occlusive dressings, mouthwash for sore throats, vaginal douche, ointments, creams are all possible.

The major issue with Cannabis that has limited its medical use is that the oil is not soluble in water. This makes Cannabis oil unusable for intravenous injections. The US government has a patent on making water-soluble compounds of cannabinoids by forming esters that are water-soluble (2006 study, 'Pharmacological Characterization of Novel Water-Soluble Cannabinoids, Water soluble derivatives of cannabinoids', US patent 5847128). The future of emergency medical care is in IV solutions of cannabinoid compounds that can be delivered in the field by the intravenous route or in the operating surgical suite. All cardiac surgeries will use water-soluble cannabinoid compounds to limit reperfusion injury and strokes during surgery.

Currently there is a large body of evidence to show that the ECS controls cell differentiation of stem cells (2007 study, 'Expression and function of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and their cognate cannabinoid ligands in murine embryonic stem cells'). The implications of this evidence are that one might replace body parts and organs through control of stem cell differentiation. Immortality lies in this science!

Manipulating body metabolism can develop into prolonging life and placing us in suspended animation or hibernation. Some animals have daily torpor and save energy and prolong their life by reducing their metabolism and conserving energy every night. Hummingbirds are an example. There have been reports of short periods of human hibernation with reduced body temperatures and metabolism. By reduction of metabolic rate, we can extend life. Again, immortality lies in this science.

Cannabis use is associated with a 9% incidence of 'dependent type' activity, less than coffee and far less than alcohol, tobacco or drugs like cocaine and heroin. The definition of “dependent activity” is ethereal and can even be applied to drinking water and breathing oxygen. Can you be dependent on a substance your body needs to maintain homoeostasis? This is a flawed thought process without understanding of the science.

Decriminalisation causes the illegal activity that was once attractive and appealing to be ordinary and boring. Rates for teenage use of Cannabis in Amsterdam are well below rates of those in the United States as evidenced in the study, 'Prevalence of substance use in the Netherlands compared with the United States'.

When Cannabis is legalised and made available to the public two things happen:
1) Traffic deaths go down; and,
2) Beer sales go down! A November 2011 report, 'Medical Marijuana** Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption', used US' state-level data to examine the relationship between medical Cannabis laws and a variety of outcomes. Legalisation of medical Cannabis is associated with increased use among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalisation is associated with a nearly 9% decrease in traffic fatalities, likely due to its impact on alcohol consumption. 

Evidence from simulator and driving course studies provides a simple explanation for why substituting Cannabis for alcohol may lead to fewer traffic fatalities. Studies show alcohol consumption leads to an increased risk of collision. Even at low doses, drivers under the influence of alcohol tend to underestimate the degree to which they are impaired, drive at faster speeds and take more risks.

When the true nature of the nutraceutical effects of Cannabis are more widely known, most all humans and animals will use it daily to prevent disease and consumption of Cannabis will increase dramatically.

The question, "Is Cannabis use the preamble to the consumption of other addictive substances?" is based on the assumption that Cannabis has mechanisms of action that are similar to other addictive substances. As such it is not based on the science of the ECS.
What are the success stories and failures at the international level in the regulation of Cannabis for medical and / or recreational use? Regulation is about jail sentences and fines for growing a plant that cures everything and prevents you from spending your life savings on pharmaceuticals that don’t work and endanger you. You should not tax medicine or nutraceuticals.

The NIH produced a paper entitled: 'Sex Differences in the Effects of Marijuana* on Simulated Driving Performance'. This government study shows that men have 1.1 seconds faster reaction time and three times better safe avoidance and 18% fewer crashes when they use Cannabis compared to when they were not using it (Table 2). This study shows that in some instances drivers are safer on Cannabis than when they are not!

The full effects of 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have not been revealed because of the restriction of scientific study that the prohibition laws have created. US Schedule One classification allows scientific research only with government approval and that is rarely granted. Foreign investigators have made most of the advances in the science of the ECS. There are some studies that show the best clinical result of treatment of myocardial infarction is with a combination of CB-1 receptor blockers and CB-2 stimulators in combination. This also holds true for liver disease to prevent hepatic fibrosis. This means that stimulation of CB-1 receptors only may not work for some disease process.

There are no documented damaging effects of the use of Cannabis other than mild bronchitis that clears with cessation of smoking. The benefits generated by allowing responsible use of Cannabis are: the decrease of the police state and increase of personal freedoms to use a substance that harms no one.

Cannabis use allows the user to inhibit the amygdala or the fear organ of the brain. This allows the person to have less fear and anxiety and have a more positive outlook on life. There is less fear of change or fear of others who are different from you. There is more empathy with Cannabis use and when the amygdala is turned off you stay in cognitive thought more often and avoid brain stem autonomic reactions, known as 'Amygdala Hijacking'.

Cannabis use improves empathy and acceptance of change. Avoidance of Cannabis use has the opposite effect.

Prohibition of Cannabis is in its last moments of life on earth. Science and the Internet have revealed information too important to ignore. The lies on which prohibition was based were hard to disprove prior to the Internet. The Internet is responsible for spreading the truth despite government propaganda.

There will be wet and dry counties after Cannabis is legalised, but eventually the money made by incarcerating people for using a plant will pale in comparison to what can be made by legalisation of 'Mother Nature’s plant.

*Expanded from a letter by David B. Allen M.D., California, United States
**Cannabis sativa L., is the correct botanical term, marijuana is a North American colloquialism

Almost all early research was devoted to clarification of cannabinoid chemistry34104105, and pharmacology was mainly done using synthetic compounds5. Following the isolation and structure elucidation of the plant cannabinoids, particularly of cannabidiol106 and of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)6, pharmacological and physiological work was initiated8915. The identification of cannabinoid receptors242931, of endogenous cannabinoids3032107 and of receptor antagonists5066 made possible extensive pharmacological and neurobiological research leading to cloning of the anandamide-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)108, the discovery of retrograde signaling by 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG)45, the discovery of allosteric sites on cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1)33, the discovery that endocannabinoids bind to receptors other than CB1 and CB2 (Refs 109110111), the discovery and evaluation of endocannabinoid-like molecules in the brain9596 and the discovery and function of inhibitors of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes112113. Cell biology114and neuroscience115116 investigations were also carried out, and clinical trials were initiated101117118. Cloning of DAG lipase was also reported119.