Category Archives: research & science

Oregon Sets Massive Precedent — Refuses to Enforce THC Blood Limit for Driving

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Photo Credit: Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office
The state is leading the way by insisting that science and evidence prevail when it comes to marijuana and DUID.

There’s a lot to be said for states that have legalized recreational and/or medical cannabis, but even Colorado and Washington have one problem – arbitrary blood-THC limits which imply a driver is impaired.

These numbers, such as Washington’s 5ng/ml, have no scientific basis for assessing the level of impairment. Despite this, six states with legal weed have per se limits for tetrahydrocannabinol; being over that number automatically makes you guilty of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Oregon, however, is bucking the trend. In its DUI Legislative Report, the state’s Liquor Control Commission said it is recommending against a per se THC limit. By relying on the actual state of science, this welcome exercise in rationality should set an example for other states setting up their own regulatory framework.

Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission was tasked in 2015 with “regulating the recreational marijuana market in Oregon, with studying the question of THC-related intoxicated driving.”

According to the report:

Due to restrictions on cannabis research and limited data, it is difficult to make definitive statements about the risk of THC-intoxicated driving. The body of evidence that does exist indicates that while attitudes towards driving after marijuana use are considerably more relaxed than in the case of alcohol, the risk of crashes while driving under the influence of THC is lower than drunk driving. Little evidence exists to compel a significant change in status quo policy or institute a per se intoxication standard for THC.

widely-reported study by the American Automobile Association in 2016 found no scientific basis for blood-THC limits and called on the six states using such laws to abandon them. Chemical tests for THC have not been shown to correlate to things like brake and gas pedal coordination, distance perception and general attention.

The only thing we know about blood-THC and driving is that it is not comparable to the tests for alcohol impairment. There is no THC breathalyzer test, and urine tests cannot detect it. Some blood tests can distinguish between THC and its longer-lasting metabolites, but these levels can vary widely depending on how often the person uses cannabis. Test results will also vary based on whether one smoked or ate the cannabis.

One person can feel impaired at 5ng/ml while another can function with no detectable impairment. In fact, many people charged with DUID based on arbitrary blood-THC limits have convinced juries they were not impaired when they were pulled over.

Even so, driving studies show driving while on cannabis is far less dangerous than driving on alcohol, including one finding virtually no driving impairment from cannabis. Other studies have found that speed is typically reduced while driving on cannabis, and people deliberately compensate for any impairment, although multitasking was somewhat affected.

In no way does this mean anyone can just toke up and get behind the wheel. Cannabis is psychoactive, and people unaccustomed to cannabis – especially teenagers – should certainly refrain from driving.

The Oregon Commission’s report also supports the premise that cannabis users are more responsible drivers than alcohol use.

The rate of drivers tested by Drug Recognition Experts who are positive for THC intoxication rose between 2013 and 2014, but did not increase following legalization. Fatal accidents data is highly variable year-to-year, making trend analysis difficult. But in Oregon in 2015 there were only three more traffic fatalities involving a driver testing positive for THC compared to 2004. Moreover, the rate of THC-related fatal accidents is also considerably lower than such accidents involving alcohol intoxication. Finally, while overall traffic fatalities and alcohol-related fatalities spiked in 2015, THC-related fatalities did not.

As a spokesman for AAA noted when their study was published, the increased risk from driving on cannabis is about the same as driving with a “noisy child in the back of the car,” and only half as dangerous as talking on a hands-free cellphone (legal in all states).While thankfully avoiding an arbitrary blood-THC limit recommendation, the Oregon Commission still felt compelled to offer advice on cannabis and driving. It recommended increasing the use of “Drug Recognition Experts” who administer lengthy sobriety tests specific to cannabis, as well as implementing a voluntary oral swab test to collect data.

Marijuana industry brought to a standstill by new pesticide testing regulations

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Molly Harbarger | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Once packed with marijuana concentrates and extracts, the Human Collective’s shelves are nearly empty.

Some pot leaf-patterned socks and glass pipes sit scattered among what’s left. A static screen with just 13 flower options has replaced a digital “bud list” that used to scroll through the shop’s options for people waiting in line. The lines are gone, too. Only one or two budtenders work at a time – cut in half from before.

Within months of Oregon’s full recreational marijuana market coming online, the industry has come to a standstill with low supplies and big price jumps for consumers.

Don Morse, owner of the Human Collective in Southeast Portland, and other retailers, growers and processors blame Oregon’s strict pesticide rules for the problem.

The regulations – the first mandatory pre-emptive testing in the country for marijuana – went into effect Oct. 1. But the state has so far licensed only a handful of laboratories to do the tests on thousands of products, including flowers, edibles, concentrates, oils and extracts.

And the tests are expensive – in some cases more than six times what companies used to pay, they report. Then they must wait weeks to get their products back and find out if they passed or failed.

Morse has laid off five budtenders since last month. He’s down to about 10 percent of the concentrate inventory he had before October. He can’t find anyone to sell him enough marijuana to fully restock.

That’s happening in most of the more than 400 marijuana dispensaries around the state.

For Morse, the gridlock is ironic because he pushed for the rules. He helped convince growers and processors that reasonable pesticide limits and testing regulations would be better for them and consumers. But now the fledgling businesses are in jeopardy, he said.

“We don’t want to come off like it’s boohoo and we’re only in it for ourselves,” Morse said. “The people of the state said they wanted this both medically and recreationally. They left it to the state to set the rules and the state has set the rules to the point where it’s no longer available to them. It’s this roundabout way of making cannabis illegal again.”

Megan Hatfield bought a vape pen cartridge of Sour Diesel for $45 at Morse’s store. It’s usually around $30 there, but she still considered it a bargain. She tried two other pot stores earlier in the week, finding only two other options, both at $80 for a gram.

“Honestly, I have been to a couple of places that didn’t have a selection nearly as big as this,” Hatfield said.

The Governor’s Office is expected this week to announce some temporary fixes to address the testing backlog, while the Oregon Health Authority has borrowed inspectors from other divisions to help license labs.

The slowdown is the price of safety, said Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the  health authority.

“Our goal is to protect public health,” he said, “by making sure that all marijuana products are tested for pesticides and other compounds by an accredited lab and that marijuana products that fail pesticide testing don’t reach consumers.”

***

Starting a year ago, anyone 21 and older could buy a limited amount of marijuana flowers, starter plants and seeds. Edibles and extracts were added in June. The state expects to issue 850 recreational licenses for everything from retail outlets to growers by the end of the year.

The state has debated how to handle pesticides for more than a year and came up with the nation’s most stringent rules for chemicals used in legal marijuana cultivation and the amounts that can show up in finished products, be it flowers or edibles.

While other marijuana states such as Washington have pesticide limits on crops, Oregon is the only state to require testing of each product before it hits shelves.

Labs here must test for a longer list of chemicals with stricter limits and in larger batches than before Oct. 1, when the rules didn’t say how to do the tests, who could do them and what happened if products failed. Today, labs must follow state-specified protocol and then state agencies follow up with growers and processors to make sure any products that fail are retested or destroyed.

So far, the state has issued two recalls for tainted marijuana flowers that made it to retail shelves.

The health authority has certified six labs for pesticide testing. It’s a long process that requires extensive proof that the labs are using the correct methods and that the results are consistent before a state assessor shows up to double check the work.

Through the end of the year, the state has three permanent full-time assessors and one full-time temporary assessor working. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has loaned three extra assessors – one full time and two part time – to help with the assessments and administrative tasks.

More labs will be certified through the state’s general lab-accreditation program, ORELAP, in the future, Modie said. There are eight more labs that have applied for accreditation, but none are ready for inspection yet.

“ORELAP’s role is to offer lab accreditation services, not to ensure that labs succeed in getting accredited or that there is sufficient supply of accredited labs in the for-profit market,” Modie said.

Rodger Voelker, lab director of one of the pesticide testing laboratories, Eugene’s OG Analytical, said that while some of the pesticide limits might be stricter than necessary, the delays are a temporary growing pain of a new industry.

“I hear this constantly — people saying this is totally unfair, that they don’t expect this of anybody else,” Voelker said. “That’s actually completely wrong. These things are expected of any industry where people are putting things in their mouth.”

Both state and federal agencies oversee food safety regulations that can be rigorous and expensive. Some of the health authority’s cannabis guidelines go above what’s required of food items, including a bigger sample that must be tested from each batch. But there’s also less scientific evidence about the effects of heating and inhaling marijuana products treated with pesticides, so the limits may evolve as research reveals new information.

Voelker was instrumental in pushing the state for the first comprehensive marijuana pesticide testing guidelines.

He acknowledged that the exacting new process created problems that the state and marijuana companies could have foreseen and are now causing pain. For instance, companies that take marijuana flowers and turn them into extracts and then infuse the extracts into other products are dealing with ingredients that are tested at each stage of the process. In the short-term, it brings those companies to a halt while that extract undergoes the lengthy process to get approval.

But Voelker predicted enough supply will soon be available and the system will be running smoothly a year from now.

“The bottom line is regulations are not perfect,” Voelker said. “They are made by humans for humans. In my opinion, although this isn’t fun to go through right now, we should be proud as Oregonians to put in place a system that is arguably better than any out there in regards to cannabis.”

***

The uncertainty is causing processors to reconsider their investments.

Sara Lessar and her husband have two plans for the future. The first is to wait until Oregon loosens its rules on pesticide limits for marijuana concentrates so their oils can get back onto dispensary shelves.

Across Oregon, processors and shop owners are saying they can’t get any concentrates through the testing process. Lessar buys marijuana flowers that are tested by state-certified labs and pass. But during processing, the pesticide traces are packed together and creep above the .20 parts per million maximum.

They can keep testing their oils to see if they can get them below the allowable limit, but the cost of testing is straining their ability to keep prices low, Lessar said. Before Oct. 1, they spent about $2,000 every six months on testing, but now they must pay $20,000, she said.

That’s tough because they just bought a new property in Coos Bay to produce Bandit Oils but have no revenue coming in and laid off three full-time employees and five part-time employees.

They’re considering their second option: Moving to California or one of the other states with legal recreational marijuana that doesn’t impose such strict pesticide limits.

Lessar isn’t against testing, she said, but the rules for concentrates seem almost impossible to overcome.

Others are hitting similar barriers.

“I have very few vendors who will sell me any extracts whatsoever and I have two vendors who will sell me edibles,” said Matt Walstetter at Portland dispensary Pure Green. “We used to have hundreds of products and tons of vendors.”

He said he usually has 15 varieties of shatter and five to 10 wax options — both types of concentrates. Now he has six shatters and one wax.

Walstetter stocked up before the transition date and like Morse relied on that to carry him for a while. But that will soon run out, he said.

The only edibles in Brad Zusman’s Cannadaddy’s dispensary are his own product. He created a marijuana-infused chocolate bar that he sold to retail stores around the state. But he decided to close the company, Blaze, when the bars couldn’t pass the pesticide tests.

He laid off his Blaze staff – 12 people — but he was still stuck with $80,000 worth of the bars made before the new testing rules. He was allowed him to “grandfather” the bars into his own inventory. But, because they weren’t state-approved, he couldn’t distribute them to other retail stores to sell to customers.

“That should have gone into all these other dispensaries, but people didn’t have cash to buy product,” Zusman said. “It’ll all be gone probably by the first of the year.”

The bars are almost a blessing in disguise, though, because he is struggling to find any other edible suppliers to sell to him. He lost $40,000 in October alone between slow business at his dispensary and the loss of sales for his edibles, he said, and told his 33 Cannadaddy’s employees that he might have to lay off 30 of them after the holidays.

“I predict you’re going to see 70 to 80 percent of the dispensaries you see today, you won’t see next year,” Zusman said. “If there’s not an emergency way to get products on the shelf, there’s no way to sustain leases or rent or equipment leases.”

***

Zusman’s prediction shouldn’t surprise anyone. Industry leaders warned state agencies that the new rules would create chaos.

Yet many were still surprised at the scale.

“We first started the conversation with the Legislature and Governor’s Office in August,” said Amy Margolis, an attorney who represents marijuana businesses. “And in that time we’ve lost good actors, people who have invested their lives and their livelihoods in this.”

The health authority’s accreditation program already had a large caseload before marijuana testing was added. The division also accredits labs that do environmental and water quality testing, as well as air toxics and industrial waste. It works with labs in more than a dozen states and three countries.

The administrator for the program warned that most marijuana labs need significant help shaping up and it can take months to get them there.

A new report says that the delay could cost the state millions.

The state collected $25.5 million in taxes from marijuana businesses by April and projected $44.4 million by the end of the year.

Beau Whitney, an economist for a national cannabis analytics company, doubts those projections will hold up now. He opened an online survey this month that so far is reporting that 80 percent of the responding Oregon businesses report that their bottom line is “severely impacted” by the market’s stall.

More than 22 percent of the 72 businesses that responded as of last week said they were going out of business or in danger of it and nearly all planned to raise prices for consumers if they hadn’t already.

Whitney said the survey shows nearly half of the businesses are losing $20,000 a month or more on average, some with their revenue cut in half. While Portland’s market is often considered oversaturated, Whitney said what’s happening isn’t explained by natural industry fluctuations.

“This is not just settling of the dust of the market,” Whitney said. “This is apparently policies that were put in place that have essentially devastated a market.”

He estimates the state stands to lose as much as $10 million of the projected tax revenue by the end of the year.

— Molly Harbarger

mharbarger@oregonian.com
503-294-5923
@MollyHarbarger

Marijuana-Infused Wine Is Here For Real, Where To Buy?

marijuana-grow-near-albany-for-states-legal-medical-marijuana-dispensariesMarijuana-infused wine is available on very limited stores.
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
First Posted: Oct 17, 2016 05:14 AM EDT
The controversy regarding marijuana is endless. Pro-marijuana people would love to share with others the good effects of the medical cannabis. Marijuana products such as brownies, cannabis oil and so much more flying in. Thus, a new product is made for wine and marijuana fans. The marijuana-infused wine is made available, but people can only buy it in California.

The idea of marijuana-infused wine all started when two girls met on a camping trip in Yosemite National Park in 2010. Lisa Molyneux, a cancer survivor who now owns a dispensary in Santa Cruz and a marijuana retail worked hand in hand with Louisa Sawyer Lindquist of Verdad Wines in Santa Maria. They both want to aid cancer survivors with marijuana and wine.

The result of their brilliant minds is Canna Vine, a high-end marijuana product incorporated with organically grown marijuana and biodynamically farmed grapes, made with the care of Opus One. Celebrities including Melissa Etheridge and Chelsea Handler expressed their support with the marijuana-infused product. As a matter of fact, Etheridge has her own line of wine called Know Label and it was also made by Molyneux.

The catch of the “Pot wine, also known as green wine (described, for legal reasons, as a “tincture”) has probably been around almost as long as there has been pot and wine. Now, the challenge is how to actually get it. Not only it is pricey with a price ranging from $120 to $400 a half bottle. People can buy it only in California, U.S. because it is only legal to buy it there. As for some states where marijuana is also legal such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, the problem is it is illegal to infuse alcohol with it, as reported by Indian Express.

 

However, Sawyer-Lindquist id that “Cannabis wine has been so effective as a stress reliever, as a mood elevator, and as a medicine. I have no idea what the market will be like for it, but whatever I make it I want to be safe, made from pure ingredients and, hopefully, delicious.” Etheridge added that “I think that an herb-infused wine might be the sort of beautiful bridge to helps us to understand where cannabis fits into our culture.” According to LA Times.

 

Portland startup Phylos Bioscience raises funds to bring a scientific approach to the cannabis industry

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The Phylos Galaxy, an interactive genetic map of cannabis strains, was the result of collaboration between Phylos Bioscience and the American Museum of Natural History. (Click for interactive graphic)

When Mowgli Holmes moved back to his home state of Oregon in 2013, the cannabis industry was beginning to take off in a big way — but as a molecular and evolutionary biologist, Holmes was surprised by the lack of research into cannabis as an agricultural plant.

“This new industry was taking shape really rapidly all around me, and it had no science driving it,” Holmes said. “All the basic science that we have for every other crop just doesn’t exist, and people are just running with zero knowledge.”

Holmes and co-founder Nishan Karassik started PhylosBioscience in 2014 to fill that gap in understanding. A new investment round will help the company expand its infrastructure in support of a new phase in its development. Phylos has raised $1.4 million of a planned $5.5 million round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

“We’re going to be getting an Oregon State cannabis research license, and starting to do the basic genetics research that will help breeders develop new plant varieties,” Holmes said.

Phylos has spent the last two years developing tools to help cannabis breeders and growers learn about the genetics of their crop, including the Phylos Genotype, a tool that catalogs the DNA of  individual plants. Holmes said a commercial version of the tool is planned for release in two weeks.

The startup also partnered with the American Museum of Natural History on the Cannabis Evolution Project, a two-year research project which tested the DNA of thousands of cannabis samples to produce an evolutionary map of the crop. The project also resulted in the Phylos Galaxy, an interactive visualization of the data, including the genetic relationship between cannabis strains.

“We tried to make it so that the basic visualization of the genetic structure of the population would be interactive, so people could play with it and zoom around in it and learn from it,” Holmes said.

Holmes also pointed out that, unlike in many agricultural industries, genetic information can be as valuable and interesting to a consumer as it is to growers and breeders. Holmes now serves as Phylos Bioscience’s chief science officer, and Karassik as its CEO. The startup employs 15 people at its headquarters in downtown Portland.

Cannabis Found to Shield the Brain from Alzheimer’s Disease

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Bad news for Alzheimer’s disease: THC (the active chemical compound in marijuana) is officially acknowledged to remove the toxic bundle of amyloid beta protein that onsets the evolution of the disease, ultimately damaging the brain beyond repair.

This late discovery is backed up by previous studies revealing the effective and protective qualities of cannabinoids and THC over patients suffering from this neurodegenerative disease.

Little is known about what exactly causes Alzheimer’ disease, but so far it’s believed to be caused by two types of lesions: neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques. The amyloid plaques form dense groups between the neurons, and the neurofibrillary tangles are produced by defective tau proteins that bundle up into a thick, insoluble mass in neurons.

The biological mechanism behind the formation of these lesions is yet a mystery, but recent studies have linked the inflammation in brain tissue to the spread of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” said Antonio Currais, member of Scripps Research Institute.

When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying,” he concluded.

David Schubert and his colleagues from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, tested the impact of THC over the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” said David Schubert.

For those unfamiliar with THC, this compound is responsible for the psychedelic effects and pain relief experienced as a result of smoking or ingesting cannabis buds. It is important to know that cannabis does not offer the state of mind and/or body high if consumed raw, requiring heat to release the THC that gives that unique tingling. Besides all these, most important is THC’s influence over HIV symptoms, chronic pain related to chemotherapy, post-traumatic stress disorder and stroke.

Scientists are so impressed with THC’s therapeutic properties that they initiated a program to breed genetically modified yeast that would yield more THC than any other method of synthesizing the compound.

On the cell surfaces all over our body can be found the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors that extract the THC directly from the bloodstream, after it passes from the lungs. In the brain, the cannabinoid receptors are found in the neurons associated with time perception, coordination, memory, thinking and pleasure, regularly binding with endocannabinoids, known to be a class of lipid molecules created by our organism during physical activities, in order to stimulate cell-to-cell signaling in the brain.

Due to tetrahydrocannabinol’s tendency to bind to lipid molecues, it interferes with brain’s ability to communicate with itself. This means that you may not be able to fully perform complex physical actitivites, but your state of mind could be at its fullest, compensating one for another.

Since THC is great for removing the harmful accumulations of amyloid beta proteins, this could mean something big for most, if not all the symptoms related to aging. So far, THC has proved itself to be very promising in reducing inflammation and plaque build-up, according to newest lab test results.

However, the government is still getting in the way of progress, despite cannabis’s potential has been clearly proved and confirmed, so the good news are that the researchers have found a backdoor in the form of a new drug called J147 that mimics identically the effects of THC, that will allow conducting further research for the sake of humanity and well-being.

The results of the study can be found HERE.

Woman Rids Body of Cancer in 4 Months Using Cannabis Oil

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MEDICALMARIJUANA.CO.UK – News, information and discussion on the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabis extracts.

Woman Rids Body of Cancer in 4 Months Using Cannabis Oil

Medical doctors and healthcare personnel alike are stymied by the miraculous cure which recently occurred to Michelle Aldrich who suffered from a deadly form of lung cancer.

Michelle was sixty-six years old at the time. Initially she developed a low-grade fever and cough which she couldn’t shake. Several months later it worsened; she developed signs of a pneumonia which prompted her to seek medical care. Her doctor ordered a CT scan trying to determine what the problem was. The scan revealed a large mass in the central region of the chest consistent with lung cancer.

NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER (NSCLC)

Unfortunately the biopsy and staging of the tumor revealed it to be poorly differentiated, non-small cell lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) or NSCLC for short, stage three. All lung cancers carry a poor prognosis but this form is particularly aggressive. From the National Cancer Institute:

General Information About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

NSCLC is any type of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The most common types of NSCLC are squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma, but there are several other types that occur less frequently, and all types can occur in unusual histologic variants. Although NSCLCs are associated with cigarette smoke, adenocarcinomas may be found in patients who have never smoked. As a class, NSCLCs are relatively insensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy compared with SCLC. Patients with resectable disease may be cured by surgery or surgery followed by chemotherapy. Local control can be achieved with radiation therapy in a large number of patients with unresectable disease, but cure is seen only in a small number of patients. Patients with locally advanced unresectable disease may achieve long-term survival with radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy. Patients with advanced metastatic disease may achieve improved survival and palliation of symptoms with chemotherapy, targeted agents, and other supportive measures.

Incidence and Mortality

Estimated new cases and deaths from lung cancer (NSCLC and SCLC combined) in the United States in 2015 1:

• New cases: 221,200.

• Deaths: 158,040.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. 2 The 5-year relative survival rate from 1995 to 2001 for patients with lung cancer was 15.7%. The 5-year relative survival rate varies markedly depending on the stage at diagnosis, from 49% to 16% to 2% for patients with local, regional, and distant-stage disease, respectively. 3

Michelle was classified with having stage three or T3, involving a number of regional lymph nodes in the chest. A T4 staging means distant nodes were found to be positive for tumor metastasis. Five-year survival vastly decreases from T3 to T4.

Surgically resectable disease is generally stage I, stage II and selected stage III tumors. Generally T3 and T4 use combination modalities since surgery cannot be used solo for cure. One must also use chemotherapy and or radiation.

But let’s face it, survival for this type of cancer hasn’t improved since the war on cancer began in the seventies as Dr Abramson reminds us. In his pivotal book “Overdosed America,” he explains that the age-adjusted death rate for all cancers has actually increased since the “war” began. Put simply: you are no better off today with most cancers than you were 45 years ago. Unless you have the courage to venture outside the conventional medical “box.”

ASTONISHING CURE IN LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS

At best using conventional medicine Michelle had an approximately 49% five year survival and that’s with only local tumor involvement. It drops quickly as you can see from above down to 2% five year survival with distant stage disease.

“I thought I was going to die,” Aldrich says from her Marina District apartment. But she didn’t. And now, she is busy telling anyone who will listen that, along with diet and chemotherapy, a concoction of highly concentrated cannabis oil eliminated her cancer in less than four months. 4

Initially diagnosed in January of 2012 and by April 2013 a repeat CT scan showed a reduction in tumor size by 50%. What tumor remained was surgically removed. Repeat CT scan showed no tumor involvement anywhere in the chest.

Her doctors — one of whom noted the effect of “homeopathic treatments, including hemp oil” to reprogram the cancer cells to kill themselves — “are floored,” she says. “They’ve never seen anything like it.” 5

CONFUSED?

See how confusing the nomenclature is? To clarify, Michelle did not use “hemp oil” she used cannabis oil which is completely different. Specifically she used Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), AKA Phoenix Tears. It is also not homeopathic in any sense of the word. RSO is allopathic all the way; it acts much like a powerful drug, as powerful as any pharmaceutical. In fact, it appears to be much more effective than any chemotherapeutic currently on the formulary.

Using “hemp oil” which is the essential oil extracted from industrial hemp, to treat ANY disease is a fool’s errand. Only authentic cannabis oil can cure cancers. Please be aware of that fact. Industrial hemp is good for food-grade seeds, its bright green oil can be used in salads. It’s also good for textiles and paper but when you want to cure disease you need the big guns that real cannabis employs.

MEET CONSTANCE FINLEY

In the East Bay area of San Francisco where I had my medical practice lives a woman who is very well known to the cancer community. She is a very busy person. While the webpages of the NCI claim that there is no evidence that cannabis cures cancers, we have plenty of real-time and anecdotal case reports of numerous cures of “incurable” late stage, highly aggressive tumors. Some of those reports come from Constance Finley.

Employing the same manufacturing techniques seen on Rick Simpson’s website, she takes a pound of cannabis and reduces it into one ounce of pure medical magic.

This cannabis reduction sauce (essential oil) in its thickened final stage is called Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).

Most oncologists would guffaw over the idea that the sap of a common weed could defy the realm of possibility and outperform the best that Big Pharma can deliver. But it can and it does. The internet is overflowing with anecdotal cures of virtually any cancer regardless of cell type. Doctors and laypersons alike would never believe it was possible were it were not for the scores of bona fide, documented, cases seen by this woman and many others.

She was quoted as saying that there is a world-class oncologist in San Francisco who has already referred 26 “deaths door” patients to her in 2013. All 26 of Finley’s referrals had stage 4 cancers. The patient population included brain tumors, colon cancers, and lung cancers to name a few. Stage four is a death sentence since it means the malignant cells had escaped the primary tumor and metastasized to other organs. Most had only a few months to live, some had less than six weeks. All patients received modern medical treatments such as chemotherapy with the concentrated oil. She reportedly has “cured” all but one of them. That’s a 96% cure rate, the best in the business if it’s true. And it’s not just in San Francisco.

These survival stories are becoming more common. One of the most high-profile was the case of Montana toddler Cash Hyde, diagnosed with a brain tumor at 20 months, whose family credits cannabis oil for keeping the tumor at bay and keeping him alive — until a change in Montana state law cut off his access to oil for a few months. The tumor returned and he died in November, at age four. 6

A LOW PROFILE

Understandably this San Francisco oncologist prefers to keep his name private when being quoted. Even when a powerful remedy like this mops up cancer cells like a Pickwickian tween in a pie-eating contest, academics still prefer to remain hidden lest they succumb to the predictable harassment and ridicule of their peers. Some could easily lose their jobs should they become overzealous reporting the truth that a simple plant extract outperforms the best chemo by an unbelievably wide margin.

One question. When will these oncologists start referring patients to Finley before the system nearly kills them? Imagine how helpful it could be then.

WIDE SAFETY MARGIN

Remember also that RSO is NON-TOXIC. There is no devastating blowback from using it. Contrast this to your typical chemotherapy course which causes blood cancers years later in up to 15% of patients who received chemo at some point earlier in their disease course. Furthermore, chemotherapy is an efficient immune system destroyer. Just what you don’t need when fighting for your life.

Meanwhile, by definition late stage cancer is incurable and always leads to 100% mortality. This makes RSO even more astonishing. That’s because these people are written off by modern medicine as failures where nothing could help them. Sick, emaciated from chemo and radiation, cachectic and nearly dead she revives them like a modern day Lazarus factory.

Take a moment to reflect on this humble fact. It reveals to us the absolute beauty of this incredible, health-regenerating, symphony of phytocannabinoids. A true gift from God.

If it’s all true. And that’s a big if. We need controlled studies now more than ever before. But don’t hold your breath. Clinical trials are ten years away, minimum.

EASY AS BOILING WATER
To make this unpretentious oil is actually very easy. Simply go to Rick Simpson’s website for instructions. The most important of all is that you use a safe solvent for extraction. Aldrich’s providers use Everclear in making what they call “Milagro oil” which is the same as RSO, at Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, CA. Finley’s operation uses isopropyl alcohol which can be toxic in large doses. Theoretically you will boil off all of the isopropyl alcohol but personally I think it’s far better to use ethanol the only truly safe alcohol (in small doses).

Once they have procured the precious oil patients with end-stage disease need to ramp up to an anti-cancer blood level as soon as humanly possible. But the material is extremely potent: a concentrated extract clocking in at around 70% active THC or higher. The oil is a reduction using heat so all of the acidiccannabinoids are converted to psychoactive decarboxylated forms of which THC is a major component.

THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT

But it’s not just the THC that they need. All of the 60 phytocannabinoids, decarboxylated and ingested along with the terpenes, and thousands of other mysterious chemicals found in the oil, produce the “entourage effect.” Scientists have speculated that this synergy is the real reason why RSO is so strangely effective. You need whole plant extracts of real cannabis to knock cancer cells into next week. The potent psychoactivity is the biggest hurdle to overcome.

That’s why patients need to start out with a dose that will not pound them into submission the first day which may discourage its use. Practitioners who use the drug regularly recommend starting out with a small rice grain sample of the sticky oil, rub it inside your mouth along the gum line. After that you simply swallow it. From there you quickly work your way up to dosing four times a day or more. For those familiar with the high of cannabis they can accelerate the dosing very quickly if they like the way they feel. You’ll be doing a lot of sleeping since the preparation normally comes from an indica only species. No sativas are used since the preparation becomes too speedy for most patients especially at high dosages. Sleep induces healing. It’s all part of the process: eat, sleep, relax, protect, and don’t forget…forget.

With perseverance one can increase the dose rapidly to full-strength in one week. You’ll want to increase the dosing of a “rice grain” to four time a day or more to achieve a total of one gram per day. So each dose is about ¼ gram. At that point blood levels are high, we start to see the magical entourage effect take place. Tumors shrink and finally disappear to be replaced with healthy cells.

HOW MUCH?

The cost? At a gram per day one needs to take it until the cancer is gone which is at least four months. A pound of quality (organic) Indica which is what they prefer to use to help you sleep and heal, runs about $2,500 to $3,000 in the Bay Area. Aldrich says a three-month regimen costs her $1,200 a month; Finley charges $5,500 for a two-month cycle. 7 That’s pricey but compared to what?

A typical cancer patient caught in the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS) could buy a (used) Bentley with the money they need for chemotherapy and radiation. In the US they will on average spend eighty thousand dollars toward chemotherapeutics during the last two years of life and often die in spite of “cutting edge” therapy. When viewed this way cannabis oil looks exceedingly cheap and very worthwhile. With the added bonus-you get to live.

The statistics tell us either you pay eighty thousand over two years for the right to die in pain, anguish, and loss of dignity; or you shell out eleven thousand on RSO and possibly receive a new lease on life. I don’t know that’s a tough choice.

Furthermore, patients with NSCLC who have survived their ordeal often develop secondary lung cancers years later as a matter of course.

Not so with RSO. Taking a lower maintenance dose of RSO after the tumors disappear is highly recommended since it will help prevent the ignoble recurrence of tumors.

 

Notes:

  1. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2015. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2015. ↩
  2. American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2015. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2015. ↩
  3. Ries L, Eisner M, Kosary C, et al., eds.: Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2002. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, 2005. ↩
  4. (http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/miracle-cannabis-oil-may-treat-cancer-but-money-and-the-law-stand-in-the-way-of-finding-out/Content?oid=2825695) 09/22/2015 ↩
  5. IBID ↩
  6. (http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/miracle-cannabis-oil-may-treat-cancer-but-money-and-the-law-stand-in-the-way-of-finding-out/Content?oid=2825695) 09/24/2015 ↩
  7. IBID ↩

New Research Reveals Why You Can Never Overdose on Cannabis

Medical-Marijuana-Regina-Bed-buds-ReginaResearchers have found a hormone that’s being produced naturally by the brain whenever THC levels tend to rise over the limit. In other words, marijuana has a ‘self-limiting’ effect triggered by the brain whenever cannabis users smoke or ingests too much of the herb, thus making overdosing on cannabis virtually impossible.

No matter how much cannabis you smoke or ingest, chances of dying from an overdose are extremely unlikely. Intrigued by this ‘defense mechanism’, a team of French researchers decided to furtherly investigate the phenomenon, and they came across a natural hormone that’s reversing marijuana intoxication in rats.

Author of the study, Dr. Pier Vincenzo Piazza, gave more details about their little experiment. Whenever they exposed rats to a high dose of THC, they released a hormone called pregnenolone which acts as a shield for marijuana’s intoxicating effects.

When the brain is stimulated by high doses of THC, it produces pregnenolonea 3,000 percent increase – that inhibits the effects of THC.”

In other words, cannabis has its own ways of taking care of you. How is that for a plant that’s still seen as a risk drug worldwide?

The study was originally intended at developing a treatment for cannabis addiction, but the results evolved in a different and surprising way. The authors of the study conceive using pregenolone as a possible treatment for addiction, and the recent research on rats succeeded in identifying the auto-defense mechanism used by the brain to deal with an otherwise deadly cannabis overdose.

Here’s What Marijuana Does to Broken Bones

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Fracture a joint? Smoke a joint. Or at least that’s what researchers from Tel Aviv University have suggested after studying the effects of marijuana on broken bones.

A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research last week says that a component of marijuana known as cannabidiol (CBD) “significantly helps heal bone fractures” by speeding up the process. It also strengthens bones, protecting them against future injuries.

This research could lead to new treatment options for people suffering from certain bone-related diseases, including osteoporosis, which causes 8.9 million fractures annually across the world, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

The team of researchers at Tel Aviv University tested the effect of THC and CBD separately on rat subjects, discovering a connection between our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors and bone growth stimulation.

“We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant,” one researched commented in a press release from Tel Aviv University.

“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory told the Times of Israel. “While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinic therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis.”

That is, marijuana rich in CBD can treat certain ailments such as bone disease, but it does not necessarily have to get you high to serve that medical function. Unlike THC—the component of cannabis with the most distinct psychoactive properties—CBD is associated with reduced psychoactivity, which makes it an ideal option for those who require daily treatment regimens.

“After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future,” Gabet continued. “Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing.”

Other accepted medical uses of CBD include the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain caused by Multiple Sclerosis.

By: Kyle Jaeger

How Cannabis Clubs Provide Support And Community To War Veterans

May 09, 2016 1200x600

Underneath a billboard advertising premium cannabis is one of Portland’s only operating cannabis lounges, and on any given day at the Northwest Cannabis Club the bar is full of U.S. military veterans.

Thomas Cashman is a veteran and vice president of the Oregon chapter of Grow For Vets, a non-profit organization headquartered in Colorado. He says he feels more comfortable there than at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VTF) clubs.

“Self-isolation is a huge symptom of PTSD and for me it was the most challenging one to break,” says Cashman. “Not every veteran wants to go to the VFW and drink whiskey and tell war stories. I don’t like to tell war stories and I don’t even like hearing them anymore. We have had a decade of that, I have heard them and I am done. I want to talk about how we can help more veterans and how we can get more veterans involved in helping more veterans.”

Grow for Vets supplies veterans with cannabis

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Grow For Vets provides any U.S. military veteran over the age of 21 with a regular supply of free cannabis, regardless of formal medical marijuana program status. Their mission is to “save more than 50 veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose” by providing veterans with a “safe alternative to deadly prescription drugs…and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own cannabis for treatment of their medical conditions.”

There are currently 21 million living U.S. veterans of all wars. Nearly 50,000 of them are homeless. Median incomes are low, around $30,000 and between 15 and 30 percent have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with higher rates among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Many veterans are undiagnosed. Those who are diagnosed usually are prescribed combinations of psychotropic prescription drugs, and many self-medicate with illegal drugs. Many have turned to alcohol abuse. Every day, about 22 (or more) veterans will take their own lives. A growing movement of veterans are using cannabis to treat both the physical and mental wounds of war.

“This is basically our unofficial clubhouse, it’s our basecamp,” Cashman says of the NW Cannabis Club.

Cashman says the club, which is private and “BYOC” (bring your own cannabis), allows Grow For Vets to host events and the club also hosts events in their honor. Veterans receive discounted membership and collection jars for the organization are displayed prominently at the register.

“This has become a gathering place for veterans who don’t drink,” Cashman says.

Retired soldier uses cannabis to treat PTSD980x1

One of those veterans is K. Patton, a retired army soldier working in Oregon’s new legal cannabis industry. Patton is a conservative and a registered Republican, who believes safe access to cannabis is a bipartisan issue. He is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, diagnosed with PTSD and using cannabis in place of pharmaceutical drugs to help combat the symptoms.

After returning from a tour of duty in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan, Patton has had difficulty adjusting to civilian life. He didn’t have much of a support system and was having trouble sleeping, keeping a job and maintaining relationships.

“If I heard a loud noise, I wouldn’t hit the floor but I would tense up, ready for a strike. My life was in the shitter and somebody told me I needed to get help,” says Patton.

He decided to seek professional help but instead he waited for months to be seen at his local VA hospital in Atlanta, which was ill prepared for the flood of new veterans created by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and caught up in bureaucratic scandal over secret waitlists.

He says he went nearly homeless for months to save up the money to relocate to Portland, where he was able to see a VA doctor without a long wait. He says although he had a great doctor, the drugs he was prescribed didn’t work.

“The only tools the government lets [my doctor] have are pharmaceuticals,” Patton says.

He was prescribed Citalopram, an SSRI anti-depressant drug.

“I tried to take it for awhile. I felt like something added was in my brain, it wasn’t stopping anything, it was just there. It was unsettling,” he says.

He was anti-drug before using cannabis980x2

Photo credit: Thomas Cashman

Prior to trying cannabis he says he was very anti-drug. He grew up watching drugs and the war against them destroy his community and his own family. He says his military service combined with extensive world travels have changed his perception of the War on Drugs and cannabis specifically.

“I got to see [the international drug war] from several different perspectives. I have been smart enough to study it. I could have been a statistic – any wrong move and I could have fallen into the system. Anything from having a kid or having no money to going into selling drugs, taking the easy way out,” says Patton.

Patton was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the late 80s and early 90s. He never knew his father and because his mother had a substance abuse problem he became the primary caretaker for his younger siblings. He refers to the era when he grew up in the New York City suburb as the “crack wars.”

As a kid, he read science fiction to escape and knew he wanted to travel when he grew up, which inspired him to enlist.

“There were always people on the corner using kids to sell drugs. The drug dealers would use everybody and anybody around them to sell drugs, including their own family,” he says. “One day, the police – the good guys – ran up on all the kids and other minors coming out of school and had us against the wall, patting us down – all that stuff. I didn’t have anything to do with it and I am getting pat down like I am the guy on the corner. I didn’t hate them for it but it pissed me off, I knew it wasn’t right. I didn’t know at the time they were taking my civil liberties away.”

Patton says the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t compare to the war he grew up in; the foreign wars were more dangerous but the one at home is more frustrating.

“It’s war-like, but it’s war against America, it’s a war against ourselves. We kill each other, we throw each other in jail, waste money – it’s a war on ourselves.”

He says witnessing the corruption on the streets and the governmental corruption led by Democratic state administrations in New Jersey led him to register Republican. Shortly after graduating high school, Patton enlisted in the U.S. army in August 2001. He was planning to be a career officer.

“I knew I wasn’t going to have enough money for school… I wanted to be a solider because it’s an honorable profession. I just knew it was what I wanted to do and was grateful to be doing it.”

Patton fought in two wars980x3

Photo credit: Thomas Cashman

A month later the September 11 attacks happened. He says he knew he would fight in a war, but didn’t imagine he would fight in two. After being stationed in Korea, he was deployed to Iraq in 2005.

In Iraq, Patton was part of an artillery unit, Convoy Logistics Patrol, that delivered ammunition to bases around the country, in addition to being on active duty guarding bases in Baghdad.

“If you didn’t get mortared the night before, then you would wake up in the morning,” he says. “We would get our mission, check vehicles and do maintenance.”

The deliveries were usually carried out overnight, when it was slightly safer to travel.

“It still wasn’t safe – far from it,” he says.

After 13 months in Iraq, Patton left the military, moved to Georgia and joined the Georgia National Guard. He says one of the motivations for leaving active duty was because he had become more politically aware and no longer agreed with the wars. Before going to war he says he primarily watched Fox News and had general faith in the government.

“My whole belief system was questioned.”

Shortly after the presidential election in 2008, he was called back to active duty in Afghanistan. When he found out he was going back he says he was frustrated at first – he was just coming out of his shell, making friends and had stopped carrying a gun with him everywhere. He says, however, he was ultimately honored to serve again.

Afghanistan was far more dangerous for him than Iraq. “Afghanistan was a whole different type of war we were fighting. Here we were a handful of men for hundreds of hundred of miles, fighting an unseen enemy. It was kinda like Vietnam – they knew where we were at all times and we just wait to get attacked.”

Afghanistan changed his views on drugs980x4

Photo credit: Thomas Cashman

He says his views on drugs really shifted during his time in Afghanistan. In much of the country both cannabis and poppies used to cultivate opium are grown in the open. He says the U.S. military tried to encourage the farmers to grow other agricultural crops, but no longer tries to eradicate the fields.

“It’s a part of life, we could destroy all the poppy we want, but they [the Afghani farmers] have nothing, if we destroyed their crops they would go after us. It wasn’t worth it to U.S. commanders on the ground.”

Patton says his exposure to cannabis culture, and international drug culture generally, has really altered his perception of it. He wishes it was taken more seriously by the government so it can be studied and properly administered by medical professionals.

“I just saw the toll of the drug war first hand. I saw addiction in my family, the amount of money we [the United States] have spent fighting it, seeing minorities and the poor people in America that are targeted by the War on Drugs. We need to have smart decriminalization and rehabilitation – we need to say we are going to stop it now, today.”

Since leaving active duty and relocating to Portland, Patton met and became active with Grow For Vets and frequents the NW Cannabis Club informally with many of the other local members.

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Photo credit: Thomas Cashman

Thomas Cashman says so many vets have been drawn to Portland’s cannabis lounge because fighting in wars bonded them to their fellow soldiers. They crave the sense of community, unity and family cultivated by service to their country and each other but are often isolated in civilian society, which further exacerbates PTSD.

Cashman says the Oregon chapter now has about 150 members they serve with free cannabis provided through donations from local growers and cannabis companies. Many of the growers are often veterans themselves.

“There are a good number of veterans that are growers,” he says. “There is crossover in those communities. It’s people who are used to standing on the edge and looking over. They understand that freedom is inherently unsafe and they accept and assume that risk.”

Cashman joined the military in 1989 and fought in both the first Gulf War in the 90s and the Iraq war in the 2000s. He was discharged in 2013 after a traumatic brain injury he suffered from a motorcycle accident while he was off-duty. He drank heavily to cope with his symptoms of PTSD.

After his discharge a friend whose parents were growers started providing him with free cannabis. He said having the regular supply changed his life. He stopped drinking, enrolled in school and started working through his PTSD.

“The biggest thing cannabis does for me is helps me sleep, sleep is so key to health,” says Thomas Cashman.

They also host educational events to bring more veterans into the fold, he says.

“My hope is the more veterans who successfully use cannabis, the more veterans will successfully use cannabis to treat their symptoms and as an alternative recreation to alcohol as well.”

Photos by Thomas Cashman

Seattle-based tech company binds itself to cannabis industry

May 9, 2016, 1:43pm PDT  Coral Garnick

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    Kelly Ogilvie is CEO of DeepCell Industries, a new company that licenses technology to… more

Through a new licensing agreement between two Washington-based companies, cannabis-infused sugar and salt can make its way to the state’s recreational retail marijuana market.

Seattle-based DeepCell Industries developed a technology to fuse THC from marijuana with crystals, like salt and sugar. Now, Green Labs, a licensed producer/processor in Raymond, have inked a deal to manufacture and distribute DeepCell’s brands.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DeepCell has three brands so far, Ruby (THC-infused sugar), Sapphire (THC-infused salt) and Emerald (THC-infused no-calorie sweeter). Ruby is currently in the process of being approved by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and DeepCell CEO Kelly Ogilvie expects Green Labs to submit Sapphire and Emerald for approval in the fall.

The industry standard right now for pot-infused edible products is butters and oils. Though infusing those products changes their flavor, Ogilvie said.

“What we are trying to do is unlock a new corner of edibles by allowing not just candies, gummy bears, cookies and brownies,” Ogilvie said.

Dosed packets of the DeepCell branded products will be available at recreational pot stores for use in say lemonade and coffee or to season a steak or pasta sauce. They could also be used in baking so a brownie can taste like a brownie.

The names and design of the products are marketed toward women and people who would drink a glass of wine or sip a scotch, versus taking shots or chugging a beer. This means no pot leafs on the packaging and a focus on quality ingredients.

One thing Ogilvie is sure to make clear, and it says it on almost every page on the website: DeepCell does not ever touch the marijuana.

The reason: Ogilvie actually left his job as senior policy advisor in Gov. Jay Inslee’s office in November to become the CEO of DeepCell. So, he knows the rules and regulations of the industry better than most.

A friend of Ogilvie came up with the technology to infuse crystals with the THC from cannabis, but Ogilvie saw the market possibilities to go beyond what started as a sugar tablet for the medical marijuana industry.

Because DeepCell can license its technology to regulated companies across state lines, it has even bigger market potential than just Washington’s recreational scene.

“So, we forgo some of that margin,” Ogilvie said about not producing the products within DeepCell itself. “But, it allows us to keep an arms distance from the licensing process and it allows us to cross state lines.”