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The Healing Power of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped

Discussion in 'Cannabis News and Activism' started by Vicki, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Herbal Alchemist

    The Healing Power of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped


    Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states, but it's clear we've discovered a fraction of its potential for health.

    November 23, 2012


    There are now legal medical cannabis programs in 18 states plus Washington, DC, with pot fully legal for adults in two other states. Ironically, however, the actual healing power of the plant has barely been tapped. Smoking marijuana with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), or better, vaporizing it (using a device to bake the plant material and inhale the active ingredients), has an indisputably palliative effect and can be medically useful for pain relief, calming and appetite stimulation. It already has confirmed benefits against glaucoma, epilepsy and other specific diseases and disorders. It also gets people high. THC triggers cannabinoid receptors in the brain and this produces the sensation of being stoned. These receptors are found in the parts of the brain linked to pleasure, memory, concentration, and time perception.

    But, based mostly on research overseas there is an increasing consensus that the medicinal benefits of psychoactive THC pale in comparison to the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) from the leaves of the same plant--raw and unheated. Depending on the strain, some plants are high in CBD but also contain a lesser amount of THC which is said to enhance the healing potentiality. CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC (for example, suppressing the appetite vs. stimulating it). CBD is beginning to be recognized by researchers at mainstream medical institutions around the world as a potentially very powerful weapon against cancer.

    Researchers Sean D. McAllister and Pierre Desprez, who conducted studies of CBD's effect on cancer cells for California Pacific Medical Center, suggest that these non-psychoactive compounds from the cannabis plant might, in short order, render chemotherapy and radiation distant second and third options for cancer patients. Based on a more recent study, McAllister and Desprez feel that CBD's "could stop breast cancer from spreading."

    Dr. Donald Abrams, a cancer specialist and professor of integrative medicine at UCSF, conducted early trials involving THC medical cannabis, and now he is excited about the powerful impacts of CBD on cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute was busy researching this in the 1970s, Abrams explains, but restrictions on the use of cannabis for research in the United States resulted in most of the research on this subject disappearing in the U.S., and being picked up in other countries, such as Israel, Spain and Italy. He says existing studies point to a remarkable ability of CBD to arrest cancer cell division, cell migration, metastasis, and invasiveness.

    Other studies point to CBD as having great promise as a defense against Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2006 study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, a team of University of Connecticut researchers reported that cannabis “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.” The research team predicted that cannabinoid-based medications "will be the new breakout medicine treatments of the near future.”

    Medical cannabis has a long history of use, starting in India, and then in China and the Middle East some 6,000 years ago. It came to the West in the 1800s, where it was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia until the 1930s. Used for over 100 ailments, cannabis was a favorite of our grandparents for cough remedies, analgesics, and tonics and was available over the counter at every local drugstore as well as companies such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. Banned in 1937 via the Marijuana Tax Act as part of a politically and racially driven prohibition craze, it was gradually removed from the pharmacopeia and research was discouraged and later prohibited via drug scheduling. The FBI linked the herb with insanity and claimed a direct correlation between cannabis and violence, and even death, especially when used by people of color.

    Currently, science increasingly recognizes the role that cannabinoids play in almost every major life function in the human body. It wasn't until 1990 that endocannabinoids, produced by the human body, were discovered to act as a bio-regulatory mechanism for most human life processes and have receptors sites throughout the human body. CB2 receptors are found almost exclusively in the immune system, with the greatest density in the spleen. These CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and other newly recognized and very significant therapeutic effects of cannabis.

    Cannabis medicine has distinct advantages. CBD, as well as THC, can be given in massive doses with no side effects. In fact, it has performed very effectively as an anti-psychotic when given in high doses. CBD selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving normal healthy cells unmolested. On the other hand, chemotherapy and radiation are highly toxic and indiscriminately injure healthy cells in the brain and the body. Industrial hemp is often high in healing CBD and very low in THC. Hemp CBD is a waste product -- it's thrown out by the ton every year when it could easily be harvested for tumor shrinking.

    Medical cannabis farm Tikun Olam in Israel has been developing a strain of cannabis that is high in CBD (15.8%) but very low in THC (1%). This new strain is called Avidekel and seems to have the highest CBD to THC ratio of any other variant strain. Zack Klein of Tikun Olam told Reuters: “Sometimes the high is not always what is needed. Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it’s not even pleasant.”

    The THC industry and its users worry that once CBD medicine grows in popularity, the medical badge might be torn from the sticky buds that makes being "stoned" possible. Aside from THC's significant medical benefits, surely its ability to make people feel happier and less stressed should not be considered without therapeutic value. More likely, all options will thrive, and 1,000 cannabis flowers will blossom: Indica, Sativa, CBD + THC, CBD Only, etc.

    Meanwhile, it's useful to note that since 2003, the U.S. federal government has held a "medical patent" for the marketing of cannabinoids as antioxidants or neuroprotective agents. The patent states that cannabinoids are "useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia."

    However, stoners may have it all wrong, medically speaking. It is unlikely a person can get a sufficient level of cannabidiol (pronounced kan-nəbə-dī'-ˌȯl) from smoking the raw plant to impact diseases like cancer in a curative manner, says Desprez. The marijuana plant offers many uses, but it may come as a surprise to most users that you have to choose early in a plant's life if you want it to make you high or to heal you. Research suggests that cannabis is most beneficial when the whole spectrum of cannabinoids are represented, including some THC. It is the ratio of cannabinoids in a specific strain of cannabis that most determines its therapeutic potential. Juicing the cannabis leaves raw, along with some carrots or other green veggies, has proven very beneficial as it involves the ingestion of the acid form of cannabinoids, which are non-psychoactive (even the THC). Cannabis oil also has enthusiastic fans who claim it has cured their cancers.

    In India there are still large numbers of people who partake in an ancient practice of having a fresh raw cannabis drink called "Thandai" in which fresh cannabis leaves are made into a paste along with almonds, milk and sugar. This tasty drink is often consumed at religious festivals, and in some cities the government maintains distribution points for cannabis. A rolled sweet ball with similar ingredients is called "Bhang," familiar for over a century to many Western seekers walking the ghats of sacred Banaras.

    Cannabis edibles in the West are emerging as one of the fastest growing new sectors of the food industry. Dispensaries in 18 states offer such goodies as ice cream, cough drops, peanut butter, honey, saliva tea, and myriad baked goods and savory snacks--all dosed with THC. Given the huge potential market for non-psychoactive cannabis, the introduction of CBD-rich medicine at the dispensary level has been surprisingly sluggish. Owners have been reluctant to stock CBD-rich strains or edibles because their present customers are seeking —or are not adverse to— cannabis that provides euphoria or sedation. THC content is a known seller. Once the medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabis become more widely known, one can only imagine the variety and volume of CBD-rich foods that will rush to market.
    griff9, ShipDit, t-dub and 7 others like this.
  2. dorkus_molorkus

    dorkus_molorkus Well-Known Member

    I think that in time the world will discover that cannabis is possibly Gods greatest gift to mankind.

    & thus my personal logic announces by default,

    prohibition is the work of Satan & those who enforce prohibition are his tools. :rockon::bowdown:

    I am not a jebus nut, but the irony was just too poignant not to comment.

    A plant that can heal & solve many, many issues & bring so much relief simply & easily is banned, & those who use it are persecuted & incarcerated with brutality & vigour. Generations brainwashed & lied to, ourselves & our children branded criminals, the sick & the dying denied relief.

    all for a war on us essentially, and all the while we were told it was for our own good.

    Protect the children from the scourge of drugs they say,

    But, the truth is its all about money and a healthy dose of fear & control. ( the tourists hate us cuz we're free remember)

    So, surely its the love of money thats ultimately driving prohibition. Private jails, tactical equipment, FLIR equipped helicopters, and of course all the thousands of people needed to keep us arrested, prosecuted, locked up & all that entails.


    Why are our local law enforcement depts becoming more & more militarised.
    Do you really need 27 guys in full tactical gear, a tank, dogs, flashbang grenades, smashed windows & doors, shot dogs & traumatised families for a cupboard, a room, even a house full of weed?

    (1 Timothy 6:10) starts "For the love of money is the root of all evil"

    In summary,

    God gives us cannabis as his greatest gift.

    Satan takes it away & it becomes a tool to deny & torment humanity by enlisting human greed, fear & ignorance as his tools via mans love of money & power.

    So the do gooding mad christian right that has been claiming that cannabis was the tool of satan were right after all.

    Just the other way round, cannabis is a tool of the devil, but by denying us is to enslave & persecute us, and millions of rabid rightwing christian nuts have played a major part of making it happen.

    Nice trick mutha fucker. well done, & kudos to you. :evil:

    If Satans greatest trick was to convince us that he doesnt exist, then this must be a damn close second.

    I did not see that coming, did anyone else?

    DISCLAIMER: My musings have come after some mushroom tea that some hippy gimme back in Da nang '74 that I just found again in the back pocket of my dachshund. Funny thing is I dont own a dachshund, and I was 3yr old in 1974, & def did not go to Nam. (go figure)

    Anyhoo, I have my tongue firmly pressed somewhere moist & warm,

    or maybe not, I am not very sure. :D
  3. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    This one is for EVERYONE who raises a glass of alcohol to "toast" the prohibition of cannabis. If it really IS about the kids then why don't we make it ALL illegal then. Alcohol, cigarettes, ALL of it. You won't see the "protect the children" crowd support the removal of their beer/wine/martinis . . . ASSHOLE HYPOCRITES!

    ShipDit and Vicki like this.
  4. Vicki

    Vicki Herbal Alchemist

    I agree with you both, and have said these very same things.
  5. ShipDit

    ShipDit 1%

    The great Mid West Wasteland
    Think of all the things we KNOW about how cannabis affects the human body,and the countless discoveries yet to be made.
    I'm no regular at church,but I don't think it's all just a coincidence. A gift from the Gods? An evolutionary path parallel to ours? Doesn't really matter to me,I just appreciate the gift.

    Thank you.
    Vicki likes this.
  6. AGBeer

    AGBeer Lost in Thought

    Deep in my lungs
    "prohibition is the work of Satan & those who enforce prohibition are his tools. :rockon::bowdown:"

    On the contrary, I would be more apt to believe its the work of the Church that has more to do with this... (But not to derail - DEF another thread material... But I digress)

    I have been touting these benefits for years about cannabis and its potential. Its just awesome to see where RESEARCH - Bona Fide honest to goodness in the name of science RESEARCH is going to be able to take place in this country now (well at least in CO) :D

    I think this was the part I was most excited about the last election cycle. I cant wait to see what the future holds!
    Gunky, Vicki and ShipDit like this.
  7. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    One thing the article ignored is the fact that the human brain processes pain as both a tactile sensation and as an emotion. Pain emanates from many sources, some tactile, some neuropathic etc which may help explain why cannabis is so effective for such a variety of "pains"

    My question is: Why do so many people have a problem with the "getting high" aspect of the plant? What "exactly" is wrong with that? When granny hit the ol' bottle of moonshine (or popped a Valium) it was for "medicinal" purposes "wink wink" when you use alcohol its called getting "drunk" and seems to have a much less negative connotation. What the fuck is the difference? If anything cannabis is the lesser of the two evils by a long shot and has way more medical value as well.

    So embrace the plant and getting high. Life is short and painful enough. Live your life and stop telling other people how to live theirs. You may not need to interface with the plant now, but your life will change sooner or later, we all get sick and die at some point. The true beauty of cannabis is how it can help ease our journey, in such a variety of ways, with so few negative side effects, in a way that is accessible to the common man.
  8. ShipDit

    ShipDit 1%

    The great Mid West Wasteland
    It's my opinion that as adults we all have the right to alter our consciousness as we see fit. As long as it harms no one else,party on!
    Funny how many peeps think nothing of a little drink to relax,but have some kinda problem with herb. Oh well,their loss!:)
  9. survyvr

    survyvr Geeky ol' Crank

    Across the lake from Windozland
    An additional 'FYI'...

    Did you know...During the Prohibition of Alcohol, it was possible to...wait for it...

    Get a "Medical Alcohol" prescription from your Physician for "Health" purposes! Go figure?

    my $.02...
    Puffers, t-dub and ShipDit like this.

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