Cannabinoids Decrease the Th17 Infla... [J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Marijuana's cannabinoids improve human health by reducing systemic inflammation which is a root cause for many degenerative diseases. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013 Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Cannabinoids Decrease the Th17 Inflammatory Autoimmune Phenotype.

Kozela E, Juknat A, Kaushansky N, Rimmerman N, Ben-Nun A, Vogel Z.

Source

The Dr Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, ewa.kozela@weizmann.ac.il.

Abstract

Cannabinoids, the Cannabis constituents, are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties but the mechanisms involved are not understood. Here we show that the main psychoactive cannabinoid, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the main nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), markedly reduce the Th17 phenotype which is known to be increased in inflammatory autoimmune pathologies such as Multiple Sclerosis. We found that reactivation by MOG35-55 of MOG35-55-specific encephalitogenic T cells (cells that induce Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis when injected to mice) in the presence of spleen derived antigen presenting cells led to a large increase in IL-17 production and secretion. In addition, we found that the cannabinoids CBD and THC dose-dependently (at 0.1-5 μM) suppressed the production and secretion of this cytokine. Moreover, the mRNA and protein of IL-6, a key factor in Th17 induction, were also decreased. Pretreatment with CBD also resulted in increased levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Interestingly, CBD and THC did not affect the levels of TNFα and IFNγ. The downregulation of IL-17 secretion by these cannabinoids does not seem to involve the CB1, CB2, PPARγ, 5-HT1A or TRPV1 receptors. In conclusion, the results show a unique cannabinoid modulation of the autoimmune cytokine milieu combining suppression of the pathogenic IL-17 and IL-6 cytokines along with boosting the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.

via Cannabinoids Decrease the Th17 Infla... [J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI.

Marijuana's cannabinoids protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease

Here is more evidence that THC and CBD, cannabinoids from marijuana, can effectively protect us from the damage that leads to the development of Alzheimer's disease as well as other neurological ailments. The cannabinoid THC stimulates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but the cannabinoid CBD steers THC away from the CB1 receptor and over to the CB2 receptors, thus possibly activating the neuroprotective effects described in this study. With the trillion dollar threat that Alzheimer's disease poses to our national health care budget, isn't it critical that we recruit more adults to use some form of marijuana? Tell you friends and family that the most effective thing they can do to protect themselves from Alzheimer's disease is to start using cannabis--either smoking or vaporizing a small amount a few times a week, or taking some drops of a cannabis tincture before bedtime or eating a low-dose edible. What we want to do is increase the regular consumption of cannabinoids in our society because the evidence is in: using some form of marijuana regularly lowers our risks for developing numerous, serious illnesses. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013 Jan 1;354:847-58. doi: 10.3233/JAD-130137.CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist Ameliorates Alzheimer-Like Phenotype in AβPP/PS1 Mice.Aso E, Juvés S, Maldonado R, Ferrer I.SourceInstitut de Neuropatologia, Servei d'Anatomia Patològica, Abstract: The specific CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist JWH-133 induced cognitive improvement in double AβPP/PS1 transgenic mice, a genetic model of Alzheimer's disease. This effect was more pronounced when administered at the pre-symptomatic rather than the early symptomatic stage. The cognitive improvement was associated with decreased microglial reactivity and reduced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, and IFNγ. In addition, JWH-133 reduced the expression of active p38 and SAPK/JNK, increased the expression of inactive GSK3β, and lowered tau hyperphosphorylation at Thr181 in the vicinity of amyloid-β plaques. Moreover, JWH-133 produced a decrease in the expression of hydroxynonenal adducts, and enhanced the expression of SOD1 and SOD2 around plaques. In contrast, the chronic treatment with JWH-133 failed to modify the amyloid-β production or deposition in cortex and hippocampus. In conclusion, the present study lends support to the idea that stimulation of CB2 receptors ameliorates several altered parameters in Alzheimer's disease such as impaired memory and learning, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress damage and oxidative stress responses, selected tau kinases, and tau hyperphosphorylation around plaques.

via CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist Ameliorate... [J Alzheimers Dis. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI.

THC from marijuana is an anticancer drug

How long will this government-perpetrated fraud that there is no such thing as medical marijuana endure in the face of an overwhelming tsunami of science which proves that marijuana delivers health-building and protecting cannabinoids which fight disease and enhance our vitality? Promote adult marijuana use! From the following report, "THC has shown therapeutic potential as an anticancer drug." J Drug Target. 2013 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Preparation and characterization of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-loaded biodegradable polymeric microparticles and their antitumoral efficacy on cancer cell lines.

de la Ossa DH, Gil-Alegre ME, Ligresti A, Aberturas MD, Molpeceres J, Torres AI, Di Marzo V.

Source

Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid , Madrid , Spain .

Abstract

Abstract: Cannabinoids present an interesting therapeutic potential as antiemetics, appetite stimulants in debilitating diseases (cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis), analgesics, and in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and cancer, among other conditions. However, despite their high clinical potential, only few dosage forms are available to date. In this paper, the development of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) biodegradable microspheres as an alternative delivery system for cannabinoid parenteral administration is proposed. Tetrahydrocannabinol was encapsulated into biodegradable microspheres by the oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion solvent evaporation method. Several formulations were prepared using different drug:polymer ratios. The influence of antioxidant (α-tocopherol acetate) concentration on the release of THC from the microparticles was studied. Elevated process yield and entrapment efficiencies were achieved. The in vitro drug release studies showed that the encapsulated drug was released over a two week period. As THC has shown therapeutic potential as anticancer drug, the efficacy of the microspheres was tested on different cancer cell lines. Interestingly, the microspheres were able to inhibit cancer cell proliferation during the nine-day study period. All the above results suggest that the use of biodegradable microspheres would be a suitable alternative delivery system for THC administration.

via Preparation and characterization of Δ9-tetrahy... [J Drug Target. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI.

Majority of Doctors Would Recommend Medical Marijuana

Most Docs OK With Medical Marijuana: SurveyMajority would give a prescription to an advanced cancer patient in pain

By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Three-quarters of doctors who responded to a survey about medical marijuana said they would approve the use of the drug to help ease pain in an older woman with advanced breast cancer.

In a February issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors were presented with a case vignette, as well as arguments both for and against the use of medical marijuana. Doctors were then asked to decide whether or not they would approve such a prescription for this patient.

The results now appear in the May 30 edition of the journal.

Seventy-six percent of the 1,446 doctors who responded said they would give the woman a prescription for medical marijuana. Many cited the possibility of alleviating the woman's symptoms as a reason for approving the prescription.

"The point of the vignette was to illustrate the kinds of patients that show up on our doorstep who need help. This issue is not one you can ignore, and some states have already taken matters into their own hands," said Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, a professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Bostwick wrote the "pro" side for the survey, but said he could've written the "con" side as well, because there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue.

"There are no 100 percents in medicine. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that this is something we should study more. Forgive the pun, but there's probably some fire where there's smoke, and we should investigate the medicinal use of marijuana or its components," Bostwick said.

Marijuana comes from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It's a dry, shredded mix of the plant's leaves, flowers, stems and seeds. It can be smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe, or it can be added to certain foods, such as brownies.

The case presented to the doctors was Marilyn, a 68-year-old woman with breast cancer that had spread to her lungs, chest cavity and spine. She was undergoing chemotherapy, and said she had no energy, little appetite and a great deal of pain. She had tried various medications to relieve her pain, including the narcotic medication oxycodone. She lives in a state where the use of medical marijuana is legal, and asks her physician for a prescription.

Dr. Bradley Flansbaum, a hospitalist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City, said he sided with the majority for this particular case.

"I think there's some context that needs to be considered," Flansbaum said. "This was a woman with stage 4 cancer who wasn't responding to [anti-nausea medications]. I'm not saying let's legalize marijuana, but this is a woman at the end of her life, so what's the downside, given that there might be a benefit. In a different situation, medical marijuana might not be so well embraced."

For his part, Bostwick said that while he approved the use of medical marijuana in this case, he feels it's important that the prescription of marijuana as medicine only be done within the confines of an already-established doctor-patient relationship.

"My concern is doctors who see someone once and give them a prescription for medical marijuana. That's bad medicine," Bostwick said.

While many physicians felt as if there was no harm in allowing the breast cancer patient to try marijuana to see if it helped, Dr. Gary Reisfield, who co-wrote the "against" side for survey, expressed concern about a patient with lung disease smoking marijuana.

"Marijuana smoke irritates the airways," he said. The smoke can also cause airway inflammation and symptoms of bronchitis, and decreases the ability of the lungs to fight off fungal and bacterial infections, said Reisfield, chief of pain management services at the University of Florida's department of psychiatry.

What's more, marijuana isn't as safe a drug as many believe it to be. "Heavy marijuana use is associated with numerous adverse health and societal outcomes including psychomotor, memory and executive function impairments; marijuana use disorders; other psychiatric conditions such as psychosis; poor school and work performance and impaired driving performance," he said.

Many of the physicians who responded pointed out that drugs already approved and in use also have the potential for addiction, such as narcotics. "Similar arguments could be made against alcohol, opiates and stimulants," Bostwick said.

For his part, Reisfield pointed out that there are two FDA-approved prescription cannabinoid pills -- dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet) -- that don't begin working as quickly as smoked marijuana, but provide longer symptom relief without the high of marijuana. They also don't appear to have any addictive properties, he said.

What many doctors would like to see, according to the survey, is more evidence on the use of marijuana as medicine, so they could make a better-informed decision one way or the other.

More information

Learn more about marijuana and its potential for medical use from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., professor, psychiatry, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Bradley Flansbaum, M.D., hospitalist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Gary Reisfield, M.D., chief, pain management services, department of psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville; May 30, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine

A Response to “Going to Pot” by Roxanne Khamsi

By Clint Werner, author of “Marijuana Gateway to Health”

In the June 2013 issue of Scientific American, “Science of Health” columnist Roxanne Khamsi wrote a surprisingly unscientific and biased piece on the health ramifications of legalizing marijuana that was sadly tainted with residue from last century’s reefer madness campaign. The title of the piece itself, “Going to Pot” is a loaded term that confers a negative association on the subject via cultural symbolism having nothing to do with the reality of what science is telling us about marijuana and how it affects the human organism and society. First, Ms. Khamsi is mistaken when she writes that doctors “may prescribe marijuana to treat or manage ailments.” In states with medical marijuana provisions, physicians write recommendations for their patients that allow access to dispensaries or cultivation cooperatives. Ms. Khamsi then asserts that “the safety of recreational use is poorly understood” and that “researchers worry that both short- and long-term use of the drug may harm the body and mind.” Researchers who are up-to-date on the science of marijuana have no such concerns regarding adult use. In terms of harming the body, recent research has revealed that regular use of marijuana actually seems to improve physical health. Population studies have shown that regular marijuana users have a reduced risk for developing lung cancer (Hashibe, Cancer Epidemiological, Biomarkers and Prevention, 2006), head and neck cancers (Liang, Cancer Prevention Research, 2009), bladder cancer (Thomas, American Urological Association meeting, 2013), lymphomas (Holly, American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999), as well as diabetes (Rajavashisth, BMJ Open, 2012). The diabetes protection data from the enormous NHANES report also revealed that subjects who smoked marijuana three times per week had a profound (> 50%) reduction in their blood levels of C reactive protein, a inflammation marker for heart disease, indicating that they experienced significant protection from developing cardiac disease. Research also revealed that regular, moderate marijuana smokers have improved lung function compared to non-marijuana smokers with no risk for developing COPD (Pletcher, JAMA, 2012). National Institute of Drug Abuse pulmonary researcher, Dr. Donald Tashkin has said that he now endorses legalization since there is no basis for concern about the substance’s negative effects on lung function. Given the nearly century-long reefer madness campaign waged with untold billions of government dollars, it is hard for people to grasp that a denigrated and criminalized substance could have such positive health effects, especially when smoked, but science trumps myth and superstition with evidence. In terms of mental health, a just-published paper reports that “marijuana use consistently buffered people from the negative consequences associated with loneliness and social exclusion” (Deckman, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2013), which could be one of the reasons that researchers found a truly startling drop in suicides, especially among young adult men, following the enactment of state medical marijuana laws (Anderson, IDEAS, 2012). Other research has shown that marijuana’s anti-depressant effects could be the result of neurogenesis, the production of healthy and functional new brain cells, which is promoted by the cannabinoids in marijuana (Jiang, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2005). Another recently-published study found that “mortality risk was lower in cannabis users than in non-cannabis users with psychotic disorders” (Koola, Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2013), indicating that marijuana is a beneficial treatment for mental problems rather than, as increasingly inferred, a causative agent. In attempting to explain the activity of marijuana’s cannabinoid molecules on the endocannabinoid receptors, Ms. Khamsi once again employs loaded language to imply a negative effect, writing that THC “triggers domino chains” which implies a collapse of order and function rather than an alteration in order and function, which is what is truly occurring. Ms. Khamsi then frets that using marijuana impairs “working memory.” Yes marijuana alters mental functioning; it shifts the mind into a blissful euphoria that redirects thought from the ordered and analytical to the relaxed and free-association style of thought that characterizes relaxation and insight. And unlike alcohol, which serves a similar function of quieting the work day mental noise, marijuana is not carcinogenic or lethal. Ms. Khamsi expresses the understandable concern that marijuana users will make our roadways more dangerous but this is not supported by data that shows us what actually happens when legal restrictions are eased. A comprehensive review of data from states with medical marijuana laws found that enactment of the laws led to a significant drop in traffic accident deaths by allowing for marijuana to substitute for alcohol, a far more impairing substance. Traffic accident fatalities dropped by 9 percent in medical marijuana states. (Anderson, pending publication in the Journal of Law and Economics, 2013). That is essentially the same level of protection afforded by the passage of mandatory sea belt laws and by increasing the age for alcohol consumption from 18 to 21 years. According to research conducted by the automobile insurance company 4autoinsurance.com, marijuana users are safe drivers because, unlike alcohol drinkers, they are aware of their level of impairment and either refuse to drive, delay driving or drive more carefully than normal by reducing speed and not changing lanes. Regular marijuana users showed far less evidence of impairment than did novice and occasional users. Impairment testing is the only way to effectively police for marijuana-impaired drivers without ruining the lives of people who pose no threat on the roadways. The cannabinoid CBD steers THC away from the CB1 receptor, thus dulling or nullifying the mind-altering effects, but CBD does not reduce THC levels in the blood. Therefore, a driver using a high CBD strain of marijuana could test over the THC limit while experiencing no psychoactive effects whatsoever. Consequently, effective and fair impairment assessment techniques will need to be developed. Ms. Khamsi then returns to the health effects of marijuana, but ignores the previously cited benefits of reduced risks for developing numerous cancers, diabetes and other inflammation- and oxidation-based degenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. She then refers to the recent study of data from New Zealand that indicates that teenagers who use marijuana heavily have up to an 8 percent drop in IQ points. Those results were called into question upon review but still indicate a disturbing effect of heavy marijuana use on the developing adolescent brain. Neurologist Dr. Gary Wenk, who has written “a puff is enough” to protect the adult brain from age-related dementia, says that the effect of marijuana on a developing brain, especially in those under 15 years of age, is impairing. Regular use of marijuana by teens may also interfere with social and professional skill development by monopolizing the time and consciousness of teens that enjoy it. Ms. Khamsi correctly notes that black market marijuana is sometimes contaminated with “sand or glass beads” which are far more harmful to the user than cannabis itself. Black market marijuana is also frequently contaminated with insecticides not intended for use on plants that are consumed. Some of these products are neurotoxic and, ironically, may induce neurodegenerative illnesses by interfering with the functions of the endocannabinoid system. (Casida, Annual Review of Entomolgy, 2013) Smuggled marijuana is also stale and often riddled with mold. Given these threats to heavy teenage users, the question needs to be asked: How do we best reduce access to marijuana, especially the most harmful forms of marijuana, by teenagers? One study suggests that multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is the most effective approach for treating teenagers with what is termed “cannabis use disorder” (Rigter, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2012). MDFT essentially reestablishes parental authority and time management in teens’ lives. If parents remain involved in all aspects of their teenage children’s lives, MDFT would not be necessary to correct a deficit in parenting. The best way to prevent teenage substance abuse is for parents to rigorously monitor and guide their children’s activities. By doing this, parents might not prevent experimentation but they can create an environment where regular access to and use of marijuana is impossible. Shrinking and killing off the black market via legalization and regulation can assist parents in this task, by making marijuana more difficult for teens to obtain. Dealers do not card and taking marijuana away from the illicit drug black market will also protect teens from the multiple drug offerings of those dealers. If teens do obtain marijuana on the sly, at least, having been diverted from legal and tested supplies, it will be less likely to be contaminated with more harmful substances. Commercial medical marijuana venders such as Harborside Health Center, which Khamsi mentioned, contract with growers and test their marijuana for safety and potency. Legalization transforms marijuana cultivators from shady criminals into proud artisans. And despite the possible risk of heavy marijuana use to teenagers’ cognition, a study of adolescent binge drinkers found that those who used marijuana suffered significantly less alcohol-related brain damage than the booze-only drinkers (Jacobus, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2009). Consider the irony: Marijuana protects the brains of booze binge drinkers. Ms. Khamsi also mentions increases in emergency room visits and those seeking treatment for marijuana use. The emergency room statistic most frequently cited by opponents of legalization involve the detection of marijuana use via urinalysis, a method that only indicates if marijuana has been used within the last two to four weeks, therefore the data does not indicate that marijuana use caused the emergency room visit. It merely indicates that more people seem to be using marijuana overall (DAWN Drug Abuse Warning Network, HHS, 2008). In fact, two studies have found direct associations between marijuana use and a decrease in emergency room visits (Vinson, Missouri Medicine, 2006 and Gmel, BMC Public Health 9, 2009). The BMC study found that “relative risks decreased with increasing levels of use,” in other words, when more marijuana was used, fewer injuries occurred. This might seem odd until one recalls that a cannabinoid-blocking drug (rimonabant) was rejected for approval by the FDA due to its side-effects, which included an increase in accidents and injuries. Given that smoking marijuana reduces our risks for developing various cancers, diabetes, heart disease, COPD, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammation-based illnesses along with depression, suicidal tendencies and alcohol-caused traffic accidents, shouldn’t it’s use by adults be encouraged and safe, legal outlets be established? Science has spoken.

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A Response to “Going to Pot” by Roxanne Khamsi

By Clint Werner, author of “Marijuana Gateway to Health” In the June 2013 issue of Scientific American, “Science of Health” columnist Roxanne Khamsi wrote a surprisingly unscientific and biased piece on the health ramifications of legalizing marijuana that was sadly tainted with residue from last century’s reefer madness campaign. The title of the piece itself, “Going to Pot” is a loaded term that confers a negative association on the subject via cultural symbolism having nothing to do with the reality of what science is telling us about marijuana and how it affects the human organism and society. First, Ms. Khamsi is mistaken when she writes that doctors “may prescribe marijuana to treat or manage ailments.” In states with medical marijuana provisions, physicians write recommendations for their patients that allow access to dispensaries or cultivation cooperatives. Ms. Khamsi then asserts that “the safety of recreational use is poorly understood” and that “researchers worry that both short- and long-term use of the drug may harm the body and mind.” Researchers who are up-to-date on the science of marijuana have no such concerns regarding adult use. In terms of harming the body, recent research has revealed that regular use of marijuana actually seems to improve physical health. Population studies have shown that regular marijuana users have a reduced risk for developing lung cancer (Hashibe, Cancer Epidemiological, Biomarkers and Prevention, 2006), head and neck cancers (Liang, Cancer Prevention Research, 2009), bladder cancer (Thomas, American Urological Association meeting, 2013), lymphomas (Holly, American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999), as well as diabetes (Rajavashisth, BMJ Open, 2012). The diabetes protection data from the enormous NHANES report also revealed that subjects who smoked marijuana three times per week had a profound (> 50%) reduction in their blood levels of C reactive protein, a inflammation marker for heart disease, indicating that they experienced significant protection from developing cardiac disease. Research also revealed that regular, moderate marijuana smokers have improved lung function compared to non-marijuana smokers with no risk for developing COPD (Pletcher, JAMA, 2012). National Institute of Drug Abuse pulmonary researcher, Dr. Donald Tashkin has said that he now endorses legalization since there is no basis for concern about the substance’s negative effects on lung function. Given the nearly century-long reefer madness campaign waged with untold billions of government dollars, it is hard for people to grasp that a denigrated and criminalized substance could have such positive health effects, especially when smoked, but science trumps myth and superstition with evidence. In terms of mental health, a just-published paper reports that “marijuana use consistently buffered people from the negative consequences associated with loneliness and social exclusion” (Deckman, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2013), which could be one of the reasons that researchers found a truly startling drop in suicides, especially among young adult men, following the enactment of state medical marijuana laws (Anderson, IDEAS, 2012). Other research has shown that marijuana’s anti-depressant effects could be the result of neurogenesis, the production of healthy and functional new brain cells, which is promoted by the cannabinoids in marijuana (Jiang, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2005). Another recently-published study found that “mortality risk was lower in cannabis users than in non-cannabis users with psychotic disorders” (Koola, Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2013), indicating that marijuana is a beneficial treatment for mental problems rather than, as increasingly inferred, a causative agent. In attempting to explain the activity of marijuana’s cannabinoid molecules on the endocannabinoid receptors, Ms. Khamsi once again employs loaded language to imply a negative effect, writing that THC “triggers domino chains” which implies a collapse of order and function rather than an alteration in order and function, which is what is truly occurring. Ms. Khamsi then frets that using marijuana impairs “working memory.” Yes marijuana alters mental functioning; it shifts the mind into a blissful euphoria that redirects thought from the ordered and analytical to the relaxed and free-association style of thought that characterizes relaxation and insight. And unlike alcohol, which serves a similar function of quieting the work day mental noise, marijuana is not carcinogenic or lethal. Ms. Khamsi expresses the understandable concern that marijuana users will make our roadways more dangerous but this is not supported by data that shows us what actually happens when legal restrictions are eased. A comprehensive review of data from states with medical marijuana laws found that enactment of the laws led to a significant drop in traffic accident deaths by allowing for marijuana to substitute for alcohol, a far more impairing substance. Traffic accident fatalities dropped by 9 percent in medical marijuana states. (Anderson, pending publication in the Journal of Law and Economics, 2013). That is essentially the same level of protection afforded by the passage of mandatory sea belt laws and by increasing the age for alcohol consumption from 18 to 21 years. According to research conducted by the automobile insurance company 4autoinsurance.com, marijuana users are safe drivers because, unlike alcohol drinkers, they are aware of their level of impairment and either refuse to drive, delay driving or drive more carefully than normal by reducing speed and not changing lanes. Regular marijuana users showed far less evidence of impairment than did novice and occasional users. Impairment testing is the only way to effectively police for marijuana-impaired drivers without ruining the lives of people who pose no threat on the roadways. The cannabinoid CBD steers THC away from the CB1 receptor, thus dulling or nullifying the mind-altering effects, but CBD does not reduce THC levels in the blood. Therefore, a driver using a high CBD strain of marijuana could test over the THC limit while experiencing no psychoactive effects whatsoever. Consequently, effective and fair impairment assessment techniques will need to be developed. Ms. Khamsi then returns to the health effects of marijuana, but ignores the previously cited benefits of reduced risks for developing numerous cancers, diabetes and other inflammation- and oxidation-based degenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. She then refers to the recent study of data from New Zealand that indicates that teenagers who use marijuana heavily have up to an 8 percent drop in IQ points. Those results were called into question upon review but still indicate a disturbing effect of heavy marijuana use on the developing adolescent brain. Neurologist Dr. Gary Wenk, who has written “a puff is enough” to protect the adult brain from age-related dementia, says that the effect of marijuana on a developing brain, especially in those under 15 years of age, is impairing. Regular use of marijuana by teens may also interfere with social and professional skill development by monopolizing the time and consciousness of teens that enjoy it. Ms. Khamsi correctly notes that black market marijuana is sometimes contaminated with “sand or glass beads” which are far more harmful to the user than cannabis itself. Black market marijuana is also frequently contaminated with insecticides not intended for use on plants that are consumed. Some of these products are neurotoxic and, ironically, may induce neurodegenerative illnesses by interfering with the functions of the endocannabinoid system. (Casida, Annual Review of Entomolgy, 2013) Smuggled marijuana is also stale and often riddled with mold. Given these threats to heavy teenage users, the question needs to be asked: How do we best reduce access to marijuana, especially the most harmful forms of marijuana, by teenagers? One study suggests that multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is the most effective approach for treating teenagers with what is termed “cannabis use disorder” (Rigter, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2012). MDFT essentially reestablishes parental authority and time management in teens’ lives. If parents remain involved in all aspects of their teenage children’s lives, MDFT would not be necessary to correct a deficit in parenting. The best way to prevent teenage substance abuse is for parents to rigorously monitor and guide their children’s activities. By doing this, parents might not prevent experimentation but they can create an environment where regular access to and use of marijuana is impossible. Shrinking and killing off the black market via legalization and regulation can assist parents in this task, by making marijuana more difficult for teens to obtain. Dealers do not card and taking marijuana away from the illicit drug black market will also protect teens from the multiple drug offerings of those dealers. If teens do obtain marijuana on the sly, at least, having been diverted from legal and tested supplies, it will be less likely to be contaminated with more harmful substances. Commercial medical marijuana venders such as Harborside Health Center, which Khamsi mentioned, contract with growers and test their marijuana for safety and potency. Legalization transforms marijuana cultivators from shady criminals into proud artisans. And despite the possible risk of heavy marijuana use to teenagers’ cognition, a study of adolescent binge drinkers found that those who used marijuana suffered significantly less alcohol-related brain damage than the booze-only drinkers (Jacobus, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2009). Consider the irony: Marijuana protects the brains of booze binge drinkers. Ms. Khamsi also mentions increases in emergency room visits and those seeking treatment for marijuana use. The emergency room statistic most frequently cited by opponents of legalization involve the detection of marijuana use via urinalysis, a method that only indicates if marijuana has been used within the last two to four weeks, therefore the data does not indicate that marijuana use caused the emergency room visit. It merely indicates that more people seem to be using marijuana overall (DAWN Drug Abuse Warning Network, HHS, 2008). In fact, two studies have found direct associations between marijuana use and a decrease in emergency room visits (Vinson, Missouri Medicine, 2006 and Gmel, BMC Public Health 9, 2009). The BMC study found that “relative risks decreased with increasing levels of use,” in other words, when more marijuana was used, fewer injuries occurred. This might seem odd until one recalls that a cannabinoid-blocking drug (rimonabant) was rejected for approval by the FDA due to its side-effects, which included an increase in accidents and injuries. Given that smoking marijuana reduces our risks for developing various cancers, diabetes, heart disease, COPD, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammation-based illnesses along with depression, suicidal tendencies and alcohol-caused traffic accidents, shouldn’t it’s use by adults be encouraged and safe, legal outlets be established? Science has spoken.

THC and similar compounds suppress HIV infection and spread

Here is more evidence that using marijuana can improve the health of and increase the long-term survival of people with AIDS. THC and similar synthetic compounds block the ability of HIV to infect cells and to replicate. Recall that the Bush Sr. Administration denied medical marijuana to the numerous AIDS patients who were seeking it and ended the Compassionate Use Act rather than help the suffering. How many people died prematurely because of you old buzzard Bush? Blood drips from your mangled talons you evil vulture. Attenuation of HIV-1 replication in macrophages by cannabinoid receptor 2 agonists Servio H. Ramirez,†,1, Nancy L. Reichenbach, Shongshan Fan, Slava Rom, Steven F. Merkel, Xu Wang, Wen-zhe Ho,† and Yuri Persidsky,†,1+ Author Affiliations Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and †Center for Substance Abuse Research, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ↵1.Correspondence: Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, 3401 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA. E-mail: yuri.persidsky@tuhs.temple.edu or servio.ramirez@temple.edu                                                     Abstract: Infiltrating monocytes and macrophages play a crucial role in the progression of HIV-1 infection in the CNS. Previous studies showed that activation of the CB2 can attenuate inflammatory responses and affect HIV-1 infectivity in T cells and microglia. Here, we report that CB2 agonists can also act as immunomodulators on HIV-1-infected macrophages. First, our findings indicated the presence of elevated levels of CB2 expression on monocytes/macrophages in perivascular cuffs of postmortem HIV-1 encephalitic cases. In vitro analysis by FACS of primary human monocytes revealed a step-wise increase in CB2 surface expression in monocytes, MDMs, and HIV-1-infected MDMs. We next tested the notion that up-regulation of CB2 may allow for the use of synthetic CB2 agonist to limit HIV-1 infection. Two commercially available CB2 agonists, JWH133 and GP1a, and a resorcinol-based CB2 agonist, O-1966, were evaluated. Results from measurements of HIV-1 RT activity in the culture media of 7 day-infected cells showed a significant decrease in RT activity when the CB2 agonist was present. Furthermore, CB2 activation also partially inhibited the expression of HIV-1 pol. CB2 agonists did not modulate surface expression of CXCR4 or CCR5 detected by FACS. We speculate that these findings indicate that prevention of viral entry is not a central mechanism for CB2-mediated suppression in viral replication. However, CB2 may affect the HIV-1 replication machinery. Results from a single-round infection with the pseudotyped virus revealed a marked decrease in HIV-1 LTR activation by the CB2 ligands. Together, these results indicate that CB2 may offer a means to limit HIV-1 infection in macrophages.

via Attenuation of HIV-1 replication in macrophages by cannabinoid receptor 2 agonists.

Promotion of β-amyloid production by C-reactiv... [Neurochem Int. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

The inflammatory compound, C-reactive protein, is involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, heart disease, diabetes and most likely cancer and arthritis. A solid study of a large population sample found that people who smoked marijuana at least three times per week had half of the blood levels of C-reactive protein as those who did not use marijuana (Decreased prevalence of diabetes in marijuana users, 2012). This is more evidence that responsible marijuana use benefits human health by preventing disease-friendly internal environments,  interrupting disease processes. and triggering repair mechanisms. Neurochem Int. 2012 Feb                                                       Promotion of β-amyloid production by C-reactive protein and its implications in the early pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.         Bi BT, Lin HB, Cheng YF, Zhou H, Lin T, Zhang MZ, Li TJ, Xu JP.SourceDepartment of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China.                                                                         Abstract: C-reactive protein CRP and β-amyloid protein Aβ are involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease AD. However, the relationship between CRP and Aβ production is unclear. In vitro and in vivo experiments were performed to investigate the association of CRP with Aβ production. Using the rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cell line PC12 cells to mimic neurons, cytotoxicity was evaluated by cell viability and supernatant lactate dehydrogenase LDH activity. The levels of amyloid precursor protein APP, beta-site APP cleaving enzyme BACE-1, and presenilins PS-1 and PS-2 were investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting analysis. Aβ1-42 was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The relevance of CRP and Aβ as well as potential mechanisms were studied using APP/PS1 transgenic Tg mice. Treatment with 0.5-4.0 μM CRP for 48 h decreased cell viability and increased LDH leakage in PC12 cells. Incubation with CRP at a sub-toxic concentration of 0.2 μM increased the mRNA levels of APP, BACE-1, PS-1, and PS-2, as well as Aβ1-42 production. CRP inhibitor reversed the CRP-induced upregulations of the mRNA levels of APP, BACE-1, PS-1, and PS-2, and the protein levels of APP, BACE-1, PS-1, and Aβ1-42, but did not reversed Aβ1-42 cytotoxicity. The cerebral levels of CRP and Aβ1-42 in APP/PS1 Tg mice were positively correlated, accompanied with the elevated mRNA expressions of serum amyloid P component SAP, complement component 1q C1q, and tumor necrosis factor-α TNF-α. These results suggest that CRP cytotoxicity is associated with Aβ formation and Aβ-related markers expressions; CRP and Aβ were relevant in early-stage AD; CRP may be an important trigger in AD pathogenesis.

via Promotion of β-amyloid production by C-reactiv... [Neurochem Int. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI.

A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology

Using marijuana is your best bet for avoiding the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. And you don't have to use enough to get stoned, used as a preventative, one puff is enough to protect the brain from the inflammation and changes that lead to Alzheimer's dementia. A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology                                                       Lisa M. Eubanks,† Claude J. Rogers,† Albert E. Beuscher, IV,‡ George F. Koob,§ Arthur J. Olson,‡ Tobin J. Dickerson,† and Kim D. Janda corresponding author†

:Abstract: Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients as well as reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol THC, competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase AChE as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β-peptide Aβ aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Aβ aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.Keywords: Cannabinoids, Alzheimer's disease, Acetylcholinesterase

via A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology.

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A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology

Using marijuana is your best bet for avoiding the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. And you don't have to use enough to get stoned, used as a preventative, one puff is enough to protect the brain from the inflammation and changes that lead to Alzheimer's dementia. A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology                                                       Lisa M. Eubanks,† Claude J. Rogers,† Albert E. Beuscher, IV,‡ George F. Koob,§ Arthur J. Olson,‡ Tobin J. Dickerson,† and Kim D. Janda corresponding author†

:Abstract: Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients as well as reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol THC, competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase AChE as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β-peptide Aβ aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Aβ aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.Keywords: Cannabinoids, Alzheimer's disease, Acetylcholinesterase

via A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology.

Is Cannabis Really That Bad?

Here is a fairly well-balanced look at what marijuana does and what, if any, risks there are from using it. Of course the author is a bit conservative when addressing the possible benefits, downplaying or dismissing them somewhat, but the evidence is solid, regular use of marijuana improves health more than it harms health. The Scientist Is Cannabis Really That Bad? Though some studies point to negative consequences of pot use in adolescents, data on marijuana’s dangers are mixed.

By Sabrina Richards | January 23, 2013

Marijuana is a tricky drug, alternately demonized as a gateway drug and lionized for its medical promise. And while the juries remain out on both sides of the coin, one thing is clear: its use is on the rise. According to the US Department of Human Health and Services, the number of people in the United States who admit to smoking pot in the last month climbed from 14.4 million in 2007 to over 18 million in 2011.

This increase may in part be due to the lack of strong evidence supporting the suspected risks of cannabis use. Indeed, though marijuana smoke carries carcinogens and tar just as tobacco smoke does, definitive data linking marijuana to lung damage is lacking. And a recent long-term study that seemed to conclusively link chronic marijuana initiated in adolescence to a lowered IQ in New Zealanders was quickly challenged by a counter-analysis that pointed to socioeconomic status as a confounding factor. According to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cannabis use increases in teenagers as marijuana’s perceived risks decline, and researchers—and undoubtedly some parents—are anxious to get to the bottom of the matter.

Take a deep breath

In 2012, a study at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) calculated that even smoking a single joint every day for 20 years might be benign, though most participants only smoked two or three joints each month. “I was surprised we didn’t see effects [of marijuana use],” said UCSF epidemiologist Mark Pletcher, who led the study.

One assessment of various epidemiological studies points to small sample size and poor study design as reasons for scientists’ inability to nail down a link between cannabis and cancer risk. But some suspect that such a link doesn’t exist, and that marijuana may even have cancer-preventive effects. A 2008 study, for example, suggested that smoking marijuana may reduce the risk of tobacco-associated lung cancer, calculating that people who smoke both marijuana and tobacco have a lower risk of cancer than those who smoke only tobacco (though still a higher risk than non-smokers).

But even Pletcher isn’t sanguine about marijuana’s effects on the lungs, and suspects that there may still be long-term lung damage that can be hard to detect. “We really can’t reassure ourselves about heavy use,” he explained.

Your brain on drugs

There is some evidence to suggest that stoned subjects exhibit increased risk-taking and impaired decision-making, and score worse on memory tasks—and residual impairments have been detected days or even weeks after use. Some studies also link years of regular marijuana use to deficits in memory, learning, and concentration. A recent and widely discussed report on the IQs of New Zealanders followed since birth found that cannabis users who’d started their habit in adolescence had lower IQs than non-users.

In this study, led by researchers at Duke University, “you could clearly see as a consequence of cannabis use, IQ goes down,” said Derik Hermann, a clinical neuroscientist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany who was not involved in the research.

But not 4 months later, a re-analysis and computer simulation at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Oslo countered the Duke findings. Ole Rogeberg contended that socioeconomic factors, not marijuana use, contributed to the lower IQs seen in cannabis users.

Rogeberg’s conclusion counters a sizeable literature, however, which supports a link between pot use and neurophysiological decline. Studies in both humans and animals suggest that people who acquiring a marijuana habit in adolescence face long-term negative impacts on brain function, with some users finding it difficult to concentrate and learn new tasks.

Notably, most studies on the subject suggest that while there may be negative consequences of smoking as a teen, users who begin in adulthood are generally unaffected. This may be due to endocannabinoid-directed reorganization of the brain during puberty, Hermann explained. The intake of cannabinoids that comes with pot use may cause irreversible “misleading of the neural growth,” he said.

In addition to the consequences for intelligence, many studies suggest that smoking marijuana raises the risk of schizophrenia, and may have similar effects on the brain. Hermann’s group used MRI to detect cannabis-associated neuron damage in the pre-frontal cortex and found that it was similar to brain changes seen in schizophrenia patients. Other studies further suggest that weed-smoking schizophrenics have greater disease-associated brain changes and perform worse on cognitive tests than their non-smoking counterparts.

But much of this research can’t distinguish between brain changes resulting from marijuana use and symptoms associated with the disease. It’s possible that cannabis-smoking schizophrenics “might have unpleasant symptoms [that precede full-blown schizophrenia] and are self-medicating” with the psychotropic drug, said Roland Lamarine, a professor of community health at California State University, Chico. “We haven’t seen an increase in schizophrenics, even with a lot more marijuana use.”

In fact, other research suggests that cannabis-using schizophrenics score better on cognitive tests than non-using schizophrenics. Such conflicting reports may be due to the varying concentrations—and varying effects—of cannabinoids in marijuana. In addition to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxic cannabinoid that is responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering properties, the drug also contains a variety of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which can protect against neuron damage. Hermann found that the volume of the hippocampus—a brain area important for memory processing—is slightly smaller in cannabis users than in non-users, but more CBD-rich marijuana countered this effect.

A deadly cocktail?

While data supporting the harmful effects of marijuana on its own are weak, some researchers are more worried about the drug in conjunction with other substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, or cocaine. Some studies suggest, for example, that marijuana may increase cravings for other drugs, leading to its infamous tag as a “gateway drug.” A study published earlier this month supported this theory when it found that, at least in rats, THC exposure increases tobacco’s addictive effects. Furthermore, marijuana may not mix well with prescription drugs, as cannabis causes the liver to metabolize drugs more slowly, raising the risk of drug toxicity.

Despite these concerns, however, Lamarine thinks it’s unlikely that the consequences of cannabis use are dire, given the amount of research that has focused on the subject. “We’re not going to wake up tomorrow to the big discovery that marijuana causes major brain damage,” he said. “We would have seen that by now.”

Correlations between cannabis use a... [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Now we see that the so-called research that the opponents of marijuana legalization were touting as "definitive proof" that marijuana use damages teen brains has been revealed as bogus with flawed methodology and deceptive causal inference drawn from premature evidence. The review of the pseudo-scientific deceit found that "the true effect (of marijuana on teen cognition) could be zero." So how did the original research team come up with such flawed results? By tailoring the study's parameters and subject population and protocol to give them the results they wanted. Why? Because bad science on marijuana gets excellent funding. With the turn in public opinion and the move by the first two states to legalize marijuana, be prepared to hear more and more desperate assertions drawn from bogus research in a pitiful effort to hide the truth about marijuana and how it benefits human health. 2013 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Correlations between cannabis use and IQ change in the Dunedin cohort are consistent with confounding from socioeconomic status.

Rogeberg O.

Abstract

Does cannabis use have substantial and permanent effects on neuropsychological functioning? Renewed and intense attention to the issue has followed recent research on the Dunedin cohort, which found a positive association between, on the one hand, adolescent-onset cannabis use and dependence and, on the other hand, a decline in IQ from childhood to adulthood [Meier et al. (2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(40):E2657-E2664]. The association is given a causal interpretation by the authors, but existing research suggests an alternative confounding model based on time-varying effects of socioeconomic status on IQ. A simulation of the confounding model reproduces the reported associations from the Dunedin cohort, suggesting that the causal effects estimated in Meier et al. are likely to be overestimates, and that the true effect could be zero. Further analyses of the Dunedin cohort are proposed to distinguish between the competing interpretations. Although it would be too strong to say that the results have been discredited, the methodology is flawed and the causal inference drawn from the results premature.

via Correlations between cannabis use a... [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI.

President Obama Says Marijuana Users Not High Priority in Drug War - ABC News

Deja vu all over again? This sounds like what Obama said regarding medical marijuana--that there were bigger priorities for federal law enforcement than battling states' regulation of medical marijuana business, but then the Administration turned and devoted millions to fighting it with a brutality not seen in either the Bush or Clinton Administrations. Let's hope the President is "evolving" on this issue, as he did on gay marriage, before more lives are ruined by arrest, imprisonment and cannabis deprivation. If this is his attitude about wholesale legalization, will he call off the monstrous federal attorneys who work to eradicate safe access via dispensaries and drive marijuana distribution back into the shadows of criminality? Let's hope so! Marijuana Not High Obama Priority

Dec. 14, 2012President Obama says recreational users of marijuana in states that have legalized the substance should not be a "top priority" of federal law enforcement officials prosecuting the war on drugs."We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama said of pot users in Colorado and Washington during an exclusive interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters."It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal," he said, invoking the same approach taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in 18 states where it's legal. Obama's comments on marijuana are his first following Colorado and Washington voters' approval of Nov. 7 ballot measures that legalize the recreational use and sale of pot in defiance of federal law.Marijuana, or cannabis, remains classified under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I narcotic whose cultivation, distribution, possession and use are criminal acts. It's in the same category as heroin, LSD and "Ecstasy," all deemed to have high potential for abuse. Obama told Walters he does not – "at this point" – support widespread legalization of marijuana. But he cited shifting public opinion and limited government resources as reasons to find a middle ground on punishing use of the drug."This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law," Obama said. "I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about, How do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?"The president said he has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to examine the legal questions surrounding conflicting state and federal laws on drugs."There are a number of issues that have to be considered, among them the impact that drug usage has on young people, [and] we have treaty obligations with nations outside the United States," Holder said Wednesday of the review underway.As a politician, Obama has always opposed legalizing marijuana and downplayed his personal history with the substance.

via President Obama Says Marijuana Users Not High Priority in Drug War - ABC News.

Marijuana protects drunkards' brains during booze withdrawal

The following data is pretty academic but what it essentially says is that withdrawal from alcohol so severely disrupts brain chemistry that it kills brain cells and that there is some solid evidence that using marijuana can reduce the severity of the damage. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Isn't it amazing that alcohol addiction so completely sabotages and rewires brain chemistry that suddenly stopping drinking it can kill brain cells? And then when you consider that activating the CB1 receptor, as using marijuana does, shields the brain from the booze damage, you just have to shake your head at the injustice of cannabis prohibition and vow to work harder to tell the general public the truth that the drug warriors want to keep buried. Pharmacological activation/inhibition of the cannabinoid system affects alcohol withdrawal-induced neuronal hypersensitivity to excitotoxic insults.Rubio M, Villain H, Docagne F, Roussel BD, Ramos JA, Vivien D, Fernandez-Ruiz J, Ali C.SourceINSERM U919 Serine Protease and Pathophysiology of the Neurovascular Unit, UMR CNRS 6232 CINAPS, Caen, France. rubio@cyceron.frAbstractCessation of chronic ethanol consumption can increase the sensitivity of the brain to excitotoxic damages. Cannabinoids have been proposed as neuroprotectants in different models of neuronal injury, but their effect have never been investigated in a context of excitotoxicity after alcohol cessation. Here we examined the effects of the pharmacological activation/inhibition of the endocannabinoid system in an in vitro model of chronic ethanol exposure and withdrawal followed by an excitotoxic challenge. Ethanol withdrawal increased N-methyl-D-aspartate NMDA-evoked neuronal death, probably by altering the ratio between GluN2A and GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. The stimulation of the endocannabinoid system with the cannabinoid agonist HU-210 decreased NMDA-induced neuronal death exclusively in ethanol-withdrawn neurons. This neuroprotection could be explained by a decrease in NMDA-stimulated calcium influx after the administration of HU-210, found exclusively in ethanol-withdrawn neurons. By contrast, the inhibition of the cannabinoid system with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant SR141716 during ethanol withdrawal increased death of ethanol-withdrawn neurons without any modification of NMDA-stimulated calcium influx. Moreover, chronic administration of rimonabant increased NMDA-stimulated toxicity not only in withdrawn neurons, but also in control neurons. In summary, we show for the first time that the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system is protective against the hyperexcitability developed during alcohol withdrawal. By contrast, the blockade of the endocannabinoid system is highly counterproductive during alcohol withdrawal.

via Pharmacological activation/inhibition of the cannab... [PLoS One. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI.

Nazi Twin Singers Reformed — Prussian Blue Changed By Smoking Weed - HollywoodLife.com

In case you missed this wonderful story of psychological healing following marijuana use for physical healing. One of the main reasons that authority figures hate and fear legalized marijuana is that marijuana use causes one to question the values one has been programmed with. If the values are solid, you keep them, if they are based on bigotry, ignorance and conformity to useless values, adios! Marijuana Changed Notorious Nazi Twins Into Peace-Loving Hippies Wed, June 27, 2012 5:22pm EDT by Lorraine Chow

The then-11-year-old twin sisters who caused outrage in 2003 with their pop band, Prussian Blue a.k.a. the poisonous gas used to kill Jews during the Holocaust have reportedly changed their ways because of marijuana!In 2003, California twin sisters Lamb and Lynx Gaede had formed a neo-Nazi band named Prussian Blue, after the by-product of the poison used to gas millions of Jews. Now that they are 20, the twins have changed dramatically into peace-loving hippies. Why? Marijuana.According to the Daily Mail, the sisters — seen here as kids wearing matching smiley Hitler faced T-Shirts — are no longer racist and have actually become “pretty liberal” because of medical marijuana.When Lynx was diagnosed with cancer during her freshman year of high school and had a tumor removed from her shoulder, she was prescribed OxyContin and morphine to deal with the pain. She then began smoking to ease withdrawal symptoms and nausea.“I have to say, marijuana saved my life,” she said.Lamb, who has scoliosis and chronic back pain also got her own medical marijuana card.“We just want to come from a place of love and light,” Lamb said. “I think we’re meant to do something more – we’re healers. We just want to exert the most love and positivity we can.”– Lorraine Chow

via Nazi Twin Singers Reformed — Prussian Blue Changed By Smoking Weed - HollywoodLife.com.

[Marijuana Gateway to Health] - C-SPAN Video Library

Here is the recording of my talk at the Commonwealth Club of SF in June. Click on the link at the bottom. Marijuana Gateway to Health

Jun 14, 2012

Commonwealth Club of California | Health and Medicine Forum

Clint Werner looks at the science and politics behind the medical marijuana movement (which he has been covering since 1996). So far, 16 states have approved using marijuana for medical purposes but the federal government .. Read More

1 hour, 0 minutes | 366 Views

via [Marijuana Gateway to Health] - C-SPAN Video Library.

No limits on medical pot, Calif. high court rules - Health - Health care - NBCNews.com

This is an important ruling because we are just learning about the impressive therapeutic effects of concentrated cannabis oil, used both internally and topically for anti-tumor activity. More and more pathology reports are turning up that seem to confirm that ingesting huge amounts of cannabinoids, concentrated into an oil, works to stunt and possibly kill off tumors. Without the freedom to produce massive amounts of cannabis, these remedies cannot be made. Also, more and more topical pain relief products are coming out that are infused with marijuana's cannabinoid oils. Try getting those from a street dealer! No limits on medical pot, Calif. high court rules

High court reverses mandate that patients can have maximum of 8 ounces

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

via No limits on medical pot, Calif. high court rules - Health - Health care - NBCNews.com.