The last word.

This weeks blog post wraps up the final instalment of the information I learnt at the Symposium…

Law Enforcement perspectives

Mick Palmer, ex-Federal Commissioner of Police, said “the case for medicinal Cannabis is incontestable” and that change “should happen very quickly”.

“To suggest the case studies are not convincing enough, to me, is mind blowing” he continued in reaction to suggestions that legalisation of Cannabis for medicinal reasons should wait until large clinical trials have taken place in Australia.

Clint Pheeney, Commander of Tamworth Police, said “a lot of police feel the same way” as Mr Palmer but police policy prohibits police speaking out against other police policies, inhibiting debate within the police force.

Robin Adams, Minister for Health on Norfolk Island, said “I believe cannabis is natures true gift to humanity”.

The currently understood benefits of Cannabis are exciting however the need to public and medical education is vital to the successful treatment of patients with Cannabis medicine.

The need for public and medical awareness

There is a definite need to educate the medical community. Many doctors are unaware of the Endocannabinoid System or the benefits of cannabinoid medicine. The most they learn about Cannabis is that it is a dangerous drug that should be avoided. In fact, until very recently it was near impossible to gain a government grant to support studies into the effects of cannabis unless the purpose of the study was to prove its danger.

Both State and Federal Government should include a provision in the law that all medical students currently studying in Australia must learn about the Endocanabinoid System as part of the official curriculum. All practicing doctors should engage in educational training and certification on medicinal uses of Cannabis. Without doctors realising the benefits the jump between patient and medicine is a long one. Scientific researchers at the University of Sydney, headed by Professor Ian McGregor, are in the process of forming the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Research to further current knowledge. It is vital that the evidence and information they produce is transferred to the medical community through further education.

One final point, repeatedly expressed at the symposium is that of the important of synergy – using all of the plant. Kander said that for fighting cancer whole plant extracts with a full spectrum of cannabinoids works best. Klein asserted that from his experience it is wrong to separate cannabinoids. Due to the complimentary nature of cannabinoids Dr Bearman said “it is a mistake to extract THC and/or CBD from the plant and expect it to act the way cannabis does”.

The law will change and when it does people will finally be able to access this life changing and saving medicine. Legislative reform is only the first step. This information needs to become commonly known in the public sphere as quickly as possible so that people facing these illnesses know their options.

It is time to deal with reality. The reality of the situation is that Cannabis has formally been represented as an dangerous drug. The reality now is that varying degrees of evidence show cannabis is actually a life saving and life improving medicine. Live in reality and enjoy the benefits.

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Thank you for following the Cannacare blog and learning everything I learnt from attending the Symposium. From here on out blog posts will be a bit less frequent but will provide you with information about the latest development in medicinal Cannabis.

Cannabis, Autism, MS and ALS.

Autism

Zach Klien has worked with parents of an 11 year old Autistic boy who was unresponsive to medication and simultaneously suffered from the side effects of those medications. The parents described their lives as ‘a living hell’, said Klein. They acquired a license to use medical Cannabis on their son, and over time increased the child’s dosage to 7.5 mg of THC throughout each day. After a month of treatment the child showed no signs of agitation or aggression. His sleep, communication and moods improved. After 3 months he was able to return to school.

MS and ALS

A 1997 House of Lords Report found that too many Multiple Sclerosis sufferers were being arrested for Cannabis possession. The report sparked research by GW pharmaceuticals that led to the development of Sativex – a Cannabis alcohol medication. This medication is now sold in 12 states globally and has passed Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that effects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

At the Symposium the following condition were mentioned – either for Cannabis’ ability to treat the symptoms or pain relief:

  • Restless leg syndrome – Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder. Sufferers experience strange uncomfortable sensations in their legs and the desire to move them.

  • Complex Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – Complex Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a chronic neurological syndrome where sufferers experience severe burning pain, excessive sweating and tissue swelling.

  • Chrones disease – Chrones disease causes ulcers and fistulae in the intestines. Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory effects can be used to help sufferers.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Irritable Bowel Syndrome causes abdominal paid coupled with either diarrhoea or constipation.

  • Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome – Sufferers from CVM endure alternating cycles of severe vomiting and non-vomiting periods that can last for hours or days.

Members of law enforcement were also present at the Symposium sharing their perspective which will be covered in next weeks blog.

Cannabis and Cancer

This is a compilation of what was said about cannabinoid medicine and various types of cancer at the Symposium. It is truly mind blowing and must continue to be researched vigorously.

Cancer – Glioma, Astrocytoma, Neuroblastoma, Breast Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Liver Cancer, Leukemia, Lung Cancer, Paediatric Cancers (cancer in children).

Justin Kander, an advocate at the Students For Sensible Drug Policy for use of Cannabis to treat cancers, spoke about the current knowledge and scientific research showing that Cannabis can inhibit most major cancers. The Endocannabinoid System is an integral part of the body’s natural arsenal for fighting and preventing cancer. Kander asserts that the human body is programmed to fight cancer because several types of healthy cells are programmed to grow more Cannabinoid receptors when they turn cancerous. This is why people with better Endocannabinoid Systems can survive cancer better.

Cannabinoids cause programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cancer cells while not affecting healthy cell viability. They also inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells and stop them from spreading to other parts of the body. These finding have been taken seriously by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as they recently approved a pharmaceutical CBD product as an orphan drug to directly treat Glioma, a form of brain cancer. This is an admission by the United States government that a Cannabinoid can be used to fight cancer in humans.

Kander told the symposium how breast cancer is susceptible to THC, an effect mediated by CB2 receptors. Kander later advised me that CBD is also affective. He spoke about how THC kills four types of pancreatic cancer cells. THC can be used against two types of liver cancer cells and reduces the size of tumours. Astoundingly, just a few milligrams of CBD, the primary non-psychoactive Cannabinoid, can kill leukaemia cells. CBD only targets cancerous cells, leaving healthy cells to thrive.

Skin cancer can be treated topically with Cannabis oil. At the symposium I met a NSW woman who’s face was so badly affected b skin cancer that her doctors told her she would have to have her nose amputated.

“I came across Medical Cannabis quite by accident after being told by a Skin Cancer Specialist this year that the most likely outcome for me would be amputation of my nose requiring plastic surgery.”

“This news didn’t sit well with me. In the past I have had lesions cut out, burnt out, frozen … followed by radiation, photo dynamic therapy to my face and nose, none of which were successful in the long term.”

“Since being treated with Topical Cannabis Healing Salve in the past 3 weeks my condition has improved and I am confident I will not be having major surgery. This is a life changing event in my life of 70 years.”

“My advise to all people young and old is to at least try the healing powers of Cannabis in what ever form is suitable to your condition. You have nothing to lose but rather everything to gain.”

High THC and high CBD oils, used consistently over time, have been used to put brain and lung cancers into remission. It is important to understand that all patients need maintenance doses even after the cancer has gone into remission, but especially for aggressive or hereditary types of cancer. Maintenance doses vary greatly by person, but Kander recommends doses between 50-200mg per day of extracts containing equal amounts of THC and CBD. Depending on the specific case, the actual dose can be quite different. 

Anal cancer can be treated with Cannabis oil and suppositories. One patient with prostate cancer that Kander talked about put their cancer into full remission after six months of use. Dr. Ephraim Lanksy, an Israeli physician, reported that high-CBD treatment reduced tumour volume by 75% in a patient. Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather, President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, has reported success against many cancers and says it is “unethical” to keep Cannabis treatment from dying patients.

Though there is extensive scientific information on Cannabis, the O’Shaughnessy’s Journal being a good place to start. Cannabinoidal treatment of cancer still has its limits and more research is vital to achieve its full potential. Some people, and some cancers, are resistant to Cannabis medicines. At times, Cannabis may stop the cancer growing but will not cause it to regress. This is why research and clinical trials are so desperately needed.

“For the past almost seven years, I have spoken with hundreds of patients who have used Cannabis extracts for cancers and seen remarkable results. Several of these patients were sent home to die and are now in complete remission.” Kander said

“The most common condition that seems to have a nearly 100% success rate is skin cancer, which can be eliminated through topical application. The most resistant cancer I’ve come across is breast cancer, although even with that there have been several profound successes.”

“Remissions from cancer are not just being reported by random people on the Internet. Respected doctors, licensed dispensaries, publicly-traded corporations, and experienced caregivers are also sharing positive results of the same nature. News websites from across the world have also reported remissions from people. It’s undeniable that Cannabis extracts are fighting cancer in humans, the real question is how far does this go and how can we optimise the treatments.”

“These almost miraculous results are not surprising given the scientific evidence. Cell and animal studies have found that phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD kill or inhibit virtually all forms of cancer. As importantly, our own endocannabinoids kill cancer cells through similar mechanisms as the phytocannabinoids. Since every vertebrate has an Endocannabinoid System, it makes it that phytocannabinoid supplementation working through this system would have efficacious results. And that’s what we’re seeing.”Kander said

Cannabinoid treatments for cancer are already being practiced overseas and in Australia. However, Australian sufferers and their families are still forced to risk prosecution and subject themselves to untested medicine that don’t possess the full plant compound profile available in Cannabis from legal medical production facilities.

Among the most incredible survivor accounts that I learned about at the Symposium came from Sharon Kelly. Kelly was diagnosed last year with terminal lung cancer and told she had 8 months to live. After relatively unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments Kelly began successfully using Cannabis oil to force the lung cancer into remission. As I sat having dinner with Sharon Kelly, I realised I was talking to a women that would no longer exist without Cannabis medicine.

“When I started my Cannabis oil treatment in February 2014 I was hoping and praying that it would work, but I really didn’t know… I searched the Internet for someone that has lung cancer that had used it. I found one over in the USA, the man’s name is Stan Rutner. His story tells us that his cancer was far more advanced than mine and yet he reversed the cancer. He is still alive and just turned 81, when only given weeks to live, several years ago.” said Kelly

“Now that my PET Scan has shown that my terminal Stage IV Lung Cancer has been reversed I decided to make a Youtube video and put it out there for some else like me. Someone that the doctors gave no hope to … someone who has heard these words … I’m sorry but it’s terminal and there’s nothing we can do. Someone like me who goes searching the Internet for an answer when there appears to be none.” Kelly continued

“My wish is that it will give others hope and encouragement to try something new, something that worked for me and it can work for you too. Don’t give up, be encouraged and be happy!”

Mara Gordon, is currently practicing a highly controlled form of Cannabis treatment for children suffering from cancer. Gordon spoke about how she watched her own sister lay in hospital dying of cancer. She said the doctors accused her of being a ‘drug dealer’ when she offered to help treat her sister with Cannabis oil. Unfortunately her sister sided with the doctors and lost her battle with cancer. Gordon went to her sisters funeral but has since been able, through her practice, to prevent others suffering and dying as her sister did.

The aim of her practice is both to provide quality of life through pain relief, nausea relief and appetite stimulation, as well as using cannabis to force cancers into remission. Gordon separates the THC and CBD into separate doses, administered two hours apart, to allow both sets of cannabidial CBD to have their full medicinal effect. Interestingly, Gordon also advised a 2 hour time lapse between children taking pharmaceutical and Cannabis medicines.

Gordon warns treatments work best when practiced as part of a holistic healing process. This means patients have to eat the right foods, have positive attitudes and supportive families. As many people know foods like sugar actually feed cancer. As Gordon said at the symposium – you can’t just take Cannabis oil and then “go about your bad behaviours”. Most medicinal Cannabis cancer patients use Cannabis medication in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Among the many case studies of children who’s cancer has gone into remission or have achieved better quality of life that Gordon spoke about at the symposium was the story of Silas. At 19 months old Silas was diagnosed with precursor b acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May of 2013. His family began using Cannabis oil in June 2013 and has been “cancer free” ever since.

Blind studies on children have found a complete separation between the placebo and the actual THC medicine for nausea and pain resulting from anti-cancer treatments. Vomiting and nausea ceased completely in patients taking THC medicine. Interestingly, the study found THC caused no psychoactive effects.

Pain, Diabetes and Epilepsy – Cannabinoid Medicine

Pain disorders – Glaucoma, pain caused by cancer treatments, HIV pain relief, Fibromyalgia

High levels of THC, combined with lower levels of CBD are the best mixture to treat insomnia and provide pain relief. This includes pain relief for:

  • Fibromyalgia – a rheumatic condition where sufferers experience muscular pain and stiffness in specific parts of their bodies.

  • Glaucoma – increased pressure within the eyeball that eventually causes loss of sight.

  • HIV pain relief

  • Anti-cancer treatment related pain relief (discussed further under cancers).

  • Arthritis

  • Inflammation – CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory

Here is a video that visualises the endocannabinoid signalling system in relation to pain relief.

Diabetes and obesity

Studies are also showing Cannabis users have lower rates of diabetes and better carbohydrate metabolisms.

Intractable epilepsy

Director of the documentaryPrescribed Grass’ Zach Klein, among others, spoke to the huge benefits of Cannabis medicines for epilepsy sufferers. The earliest mention of Cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy dates back to a 15th century Arab story where an Arab leader used Cannabis indefinitely to stop his seizures.

Cannabis’ ability to completely stop seizures has been known for 34 years. Astoundingly no action has been taken.

Dr Katelaris, who’s medical license was suspended for practicing Cannabinoid medicine under laws that do not recognise its medicinal benefits, and a passionate advocate for Cannabinoid medicine, said that “the government is happy to let children get brain damage every day when salvation is at hand.”

Cannabis has a neuro-protective effect that helps to protect the brain against damage caused by seizures. Studies in mice have found that 2-AG brain receptors (Cannabinoid receptors) increase after brain trauma and lower the effects of that trauma by 50%.

There is extensive anecdotal evidence and case studies of Cannabis oils being used to treat epilepsy in children. Medical communities overseas recognise and advise its use, such as the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado.

Neuropsychological diseases and Cannabis medicine

Alzheimers, Parkinson’s disease, Turrets syndrome, Dementia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Cannibinoids actually inhibit the molecular basis for Alzimas because they have neuro-protective effects. Dr Bob Melamede asserted that the normal functioning of your brain cells will eventually kill you without the neuro-protective effects of cannabinoids produced naturally in the body.

A person can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after extremely traumatic events. Cannabis can be used by PTSD sufferers to stop recurrent nightmares, thoughts, anxiety, mood changes and flashbacks caused by and related to the traumatic events. Professor Bearman asserted that PTSD could be related to increased dopamine transporters in the brain. Cannabinoids can be used to slow the speed of these neural transmissions which leads to behavioural changes and better quality of life.

Dr Ilya Reznik says there is a need to switch to cannabis based neuropsychology to learn more about the plants neurological benefits.

Please click on image to read enlarged version.
Please click on image to read enlarged version.

Further studies in 2014 support Dr Reznik’s findings.

Zach Klein spoke about the results of experimental use of Cannabis medicine in an Aged Care Facility to treat Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and PTSD. Mrs A, a patient who suffered from such severe Dementia that her daily life comprised of groaning unresponsively in her wheelchair. Encouragingly, she reacted very positively to Cannabis treatments. She stopped groaning, became more lucid and she began to smile and laugh again. She no longer even needed to use her other prescription medicines.

Inspired by Mrs A’s progress other residents applied for medicinal Cannabis licenses and had “outstanding results,” said Klein. Mr G, a stroke survivor and Parkinson’s Disease sufferer, used 0.5 grams of high-THC cannabis flower taken titrated via vaporiser three times daily. Immediately his excess salivation reduced, his appetite improved and he stopped contracting infections. He could sit up straight again because the pain from his gout and arthritis had gone. He also stopped using his other medications.

The Symposium audience was shown an extract of Klein’s upcoming documentary ‘The Scientist’ where a Parkinson’s sufferer’s intensely debilitating hand tremors and pain was stopped through using Cannabis. His hand was steady and he could write once more.

Cannabis and Mental Illness

ADD, and ADHD

Professor Bearman told the Symposium that Attention Deficit Disorder may be caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency causing the brains neuro-impulses to move so quickly that they overwhelm the frontal quartex. It may follow that extra phytocannabinoid’s introduced from Cannabis oil would ease the disorder.

Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Bipolar, Schizophrenia

Cannabidiol (CBD) can be used to treat anxiety. THC has been used in studies to treat depression.

Cannabidiol could be useful in treating schizophrenia. Many people are aware of the argument that schizophrenia can actually be caused by recreational use of cannabis with high levels of THC. However, high doses of CBD actually have an antipsychotic affect. A German research team found CBD lowers schizophrenic attacks and one trial patient using CBD was completely freed of attacks.

University of Sydney doctors made the point at the Symposium that, though levels of recreational Cannabis use have risen quite profoundly in the past 30 years, levels of schizophrenia in Australia’s general public have not risen much at all. It seems the correlation between schizophrenia and cannabis is definitely an area for future research.

Next week’s blog will focus on some really exciting findings on Cannabis and neurological disease.

Black Market Derived Cannabis “Pot”

Last week saw the passing of Dan Haslam. Dan suffered from terminal cancer. He used Cannabis to restore his appetite, decrease his pain and nausea and improve his quality of life. Dan and his family have been pioneering advocates for changing the way people think about medical Cannabis in Australia. Dan himself convinced NSW Premier Baird of its amazing potential. We send our condolences to Dan’s family and all who know him. Rest in Peace Dan.

Black Market Derived Cannabis “Pot”

THC is a psychoactive and is responsible for Cannabis’s bad reputation. Dr Wendy Smith from the University of New South Wales analysed Cannabis seized by NSW police and found that almost all forms of the plant consumed recreationally the have been bred to have high levels of THC and virtually non-existent levels of CBD – the Cannabinoid that counteracts THC’s psychoactive effects. Regardless of if the plant is grown hydroponically or organically, the ratio of THC and CBD in ‘pot’ in NSW are consistently skewed in favour of THC.

Scientific Advocates

Dr Illya Reznik is an independent private doctor prescribing Cannabis medications in Israel. Dr Reznik suggests Cannabis should be changed from a schedule 1 classification to a schedule 2 or 3. Dr Reznik said that Cannabis is actually safer then Ritalin.

“It is just hypocrisy, it should be stopped” he said. Dr Reznik advocated for a change to “practice based medicine” where doctors see something is working and treat patients with it at the same time as running tests.

Dr Bob Melamede, a leading authority on the therapeutic uses of Cannabis, says Cannabis “is the solution to the world’s healthcare problems”. Dr Melamede said that keeping an “anti-aging drug that cures cancer” off the market is proof of government incompetence. Thankfully the Australian government has turned to a more open-minded attitude about medicinal Cannabis.

Dr David Bearman has 14 years of experience with Cannabis medicine and proclaimed the “incredible safety profile” of the plant. In 1937 the American Medical Association said it “knows no dangers” from medicinal Cannabis use. Evidence of its benefits are quickly mounting and studies must continue. There are currently thousands (if not more) anecdotal accounts, evidence of historical uses and over 20 000 scientific studies.

Next week the blog will start to explore the conditions and diseases Cannabis can be used to treat.

The Endo-Cannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has its origins deep in the vertebrate branch of the tree of life. All vertebrates, including humans, have an ECS. The ECS utilises endocannabinoids to stabilise health, longevity and fight illness.

The fact that analogs of these endocannabinoids are naturally replicated by the phytocannabinoids present in Cannabis may merely be an evolutionary coincidence. However, humanities use of Cannabis for spiritual, recreational and medicinal purposes throughout history has been called an evolutionary phenomenon.

Under the modern climate of prohibition the benefits of Cannabis medicine have been largely ignored and widely unknown. In fact, even among the medical community the ECS is a relatively unexamined system. However, many Cannabinoid science breakthroughs can be attributed to Israeli Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His work with Cannabinoids and the identification of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the 1960’s, and the phyto-cannabinoids Anandamine and 2-AG, pioneered modern research into this Medicine.

Neurological links have been found between the ECS and a large number of homeostatic, immunological and cognitive functions in the human body. Studies ranging from simple observational to double blind and placebo based clinical testing have found that endo-cannabinoids mimic the functions of phyto-cannabinoids and can assist in the management of a variety of diseases and conditions. THC and CBD are just two of the 60+ cannabinoids that are present in Cannabis.

One of the ECS’s functions is the inhibition regulation of synaptic impulses. When a neuron in the brain fires a synapse that cell degrades slightly. This can eventually lead to cell death (apoptosis) if the ECS is not functioning properly. The post-synaptic nerve responds by producing and releasing Anandamine and 2-AG from its cellular membrame. These phyto-cannabinoids activate receptors in the pre-synaptic nerve, a biological pathway which results in the closing of calcium channels, which allow the release of neurotransmitters. This leads to a decrease in synaptic activity, allowing the neurons to regenerate. This has massive implication for diseases like epilepsy.

Searching google scholar for key words such as ‘cancer Cannabinoid’, ‘multiple sclerosis Cannabinoid’, or even ‘HIV cannabinoid’ provides results including experimental reports, literature reviews and the findings of a wide variety of studies into the use of Cannabinoids. These cases range from directly treating a disease to alleviating the symptoms and/or side effects of other medications via stimulation of the ECS through the administration of endocannabinoids.

Basically – cannabinoid compounds our bodies create naturally and need to fight disease and live longer are also found in the Cannabis plant.

It is important to understand that an incorrect profile of Cannabinoids and turpenes in the plant can cause an adverse reaction, similar to other medicines. For instance, when giving titrating antibiotics to treat a viral sickness, patients require the correct amount & type of medicine.

Cannabis: History and the Making of a Dangerous Drug

Professor Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School, recent author of Marihuana Reconsidered and Marihuana the Forbidden Medicine, explained the history of Cannabis and how it became known as a ‘dangerous drug’. Professor Grinspoon’s interest in Cannabis was initially in exposing and documenting its dangers, however he soon realised he too had been misinformed.

Grinspoon referenced a 1967 study that found there is little empirical evidence to support Cannabis prohibition. Cannabis medicines have been used for over 10 000 years. It was brought to the attention of the West when it was re-introduced as a medicine from India into England as an anaesthetic, muscle relaxant and insomnia treatment in 1839. Queen Victoria actually used Cannabis to treat her premenstrual cramps.

Interestingly, Cannabis was included in the oldest known copy of a pharmacopoeia, dated somewhere between 1100 and 1700 BC. A pharmacopoeia is a book containing a list of medicinal drugs, their effects and directions for use.

By 1850 Cannabis was widely distributed via pharmacies and chemists throughout the UK, USA and Europe. Patent Medicines listed Cannabis as the 3rd most commonly used medicine before the invention of Aspirin. Sir William Osler said in 1898 that Cannabis was the best treatment for migraines and during the 1920’s Cannabis cigarettes, such as Cannadonna & Cigarettes De Joy sold in Australia, were used for their bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects to treat asthma. However, it is now known that smoking Cannabis only unlocks about 13% of its full medicinal effects, so other administration methods are best. At that time three million prescriptions containing Cannabis, and other over-the-counter Cannabis medications, were sold per year in the USA.

This was all brought to an end by a combination of events. Those speaking at the Symposium mainly focused on the effects of The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 (USA). However, for a richer explanation of the history of Cannabis and the reasons for its prohibition, watch documentaries such as ‘Cannabis Science’ and ‘Grass: The History of Marijuana Prohibition in the USA’. The Tax Act made medical use difficult because of all the newly required paper work required to prescribe Cannabis. Couple this with the rise of easy-to-prescribe modern pharmaceuticals and Cannabis fell into decline. It was officially taken out of the US pharmacopoeia in 1941.

Throughout the rest of the century propaganda ran wild linking ‘marijuana’ from Mexico to deviant sexuality and even depicting recreational users injecting the drug intravenously! Films like Reefer Madness and She Was as High As Grass didn’t help cannabis’s new found public relations problems.

During the US governments ‘War on Drugs’ era “deceptive propaganda against marijuana” led the public to believe Cannabis was addictive, caused psychosis, violence and mental degradation, said Professor Grinspoon. In reality, Cannabis has remarkably limited toxicity and has never caused a death, unlike aspirin which kills over 1000 people each year. In fact, people cannot over dose from Cannabis because there are no Cannabinoid receptors in the brainstem.

Professor Lester Greenspoon said that, if it weren’t for Cannabis’s defamed reputation, it would be proclaimed a “wonder drug” today as penicillin was in the 1940s. The low toxicity of the plant means “cannabis has been found to be relatively benign and very useful”, said Professor Greenspoon.

At this point your probably thinking ‘if Cannabis can do so much good, why hasn’t it been taken up by pharmaceutical companies’. The answer repeated expressed at the Symposium was deafening. Cannabis is a plant and therefore it cannot be easily patented unless its genetic structure is dramatically altered. If you cannot patent it, you cannot gain a monopoly on it. So, it was more profitable for companies to keep selling patentable medicines, regardless of the potentially side effects. However, this is changing as pharmaceutical companies are producing products containing specific Cannabinoids for specific medicinal uses – such as whole plant extract nasal spray called Sativex, used to treat spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis.

The Cannabis plant contains 85 unique cannabinoids compounds with different functions for treating illnesses. Before I explain what cannabis can be used to treat, I need to explain why it works.

Check in again to read about the Endo-Cannabinoid System.

Science will Revolutionise the way the World views Cannabis

After attending the Inaugural Medicinal Cannabis Symposium in Tamworth I realised many things. The most obvious – I had previously been misinformed.

Since the age of thirteen I was told that Cannabis was a brain damaging drug with the potential to break apart families and ruin lives.

Never once was I told about cannabis’ neuro-protective effects or how cannabis oil is saving children from a slow eventual death caused by epilepsy.

Never once was I told that cannabis can force almost all major cancers into regression and remove the ‘terminal’ from ‘terminally ill’.

Here, in this article, I will explain what I learnt at the Symposium. I will tell you what I was told. I will provide you with the evidence I was shown. I urge you to read the piece through, to go and investigate for yourself.

I met a multiplicity of people – politicians, scientists, researchers, doctors, industry representatives, patients, carer and advocates – already solid in their conviction that cannabis is a life changing medicine.

NSW Premier Mike Baird’s opened the Symposium with a statement of support for the various medicinal cannabis Greens and Nationals Bills that have recently gone before NSW parliament. Clinical trails will take place for people suffering from terminal illnesses and “others who may be impacted”, Premier Baird said.

In response to the very real concerns of people already treating their loved ones with cannabis medication the Premier explained that NSW police will be issued formal digression when faced with charging a person, or carer, in possession of medicinal cannabis.

When the topic was breached at the latest Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting every State and Territory said they would enact the NSW bill if it is passed early next year. This commitment must be honoured by our States and Territories so that confusion and accidental criminal activities can be avoided.

Mrs Lucy Haslam, the women pioneering the push for medicinal cannabis legalisation in NSW, hails from Tamworth and is mother to Dan Haslam. Dan needs cannabis to stop the pain and nausea caused by the chemotherapy he is receiving to treat his cancer. Lucy and husband Lou bravely made public their sons use of cannabis as a step towards changing current law so that others need not take legal risks to help their loved ones.

The symposium was hosted by Seven Networks op Journalist Helen Kapalos who conducted a poll on the Morning Show that found that 2.9 million out of 3 million respondents voted in favour of legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes. In a democracy like Australia the law can only function effectively if it reflects the values of society. Louise Haslam said that “civil disobedience shows the laws are out of step”.

For Dan, cannabis provides a better quality of life, allowing him to regain some of his appetite to help his body fight the cancer. However, we soon learnt that medicinal cannabis can go much further then providing better quality of life.

Visit again to read about some of the history of Cannabis prohibition that I learnt about at the Symposium.

Author: A. Choularton. 17th December 2014.