When Retirement Comes With a Daily Dose of Cannabis

Scientists: Marijuana could hold the key to treating Alzheimer’s but drug laws stand in the way

From The Independent

Katie Forster

Chemicals found in cannabis could be used to help treat dementia, early studies have shown – but further research into the findings is being stymied by restrictive drug laws, scientists say.

Cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can aid the removal of dangerous dementia proteins from brain cells, according to researchers at the Salk Institute, a renowned biomedical research facility in California.

While initial findings published last year raise hopes cannabis compounds could one day form the basis of a new medicine to help treat Alzheimer’s disease, the next steps are proving slow.

Professor David Schubert, who led the study, told CNBC legal issues were a “major roadblock” preventing him and his team from conducting further research into the medicinal properties of marijuana.

“It’s so blatantly obvious that this plant should be studied in greater detail,” he said. “It’s hard enough to get funding without having to worry about legal issues on top of it.”

Professor Schubert said the institute had submitted an application to the US Drug Enforcement Agency for permission to use cannabis extracts for tests on mice in December, but had not yet received a response.

Hollywood sign changed to ‘Hollyweed’ to promote cannabis legalisation

The researchers used a small amount of synthetically-produced cannabinoids in the first study, which was found to stimulate the removal of a toxic plaque associated with dementia in the brain.

Dementia, which mainly affects older people, causes a deterioration in memory, thinking and behaviour and can impede someone’s ability to perform everyday activities.

It affects around 47.5 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, and it recently overtook heart disease to become the leading cause of death in England and Wales. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.

A protein called amyloid beta creates a harmful plaque in the brains of people with dementia that can destroy nerve cells.

Research is ongoing into the role amyloid beta plays in the disease, but scientists believe the protein begins to accumulate in brain cells well before Alzheimer’s symptoms manifest themselves.

The team at the Salk Institute showed that THC reduced the amount of amyloid beta in nerve cells with high levels of the protein, allowing the cells to survive.

The US Alzheimer’s Association have said marijuana is a legitimate area of research into possible treatment for the disease, but some experts have been sceptical, reported CNN.

“It is difficult to say what, if any, effect this might have in humans, even if it would successfully promote clearance of [amyloid beta plaque],” Donovan Maust, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said.

There are currently three nobel laureates on the Salk Institute’s faculty, and among the scientists who have trained or worked there, 11 have won nobel prizes overall.

It is based in La Jolla, near San Diego in California, where marijuana was made legal in November.

However, as it receives funds from the US government, the institute is prohibited from using cannabis in experiments without authorisation. Applications can take six months to approve.

The Alzheimer’s Society acknowledged the results of the early research on its website, but warned “there is no evidence that cannabis can help to prevent the underlying causes of the disease in people”.

It also said heavy use of the drug has been linked to memory and cognitive problems.

7 health benefits from smoking cannabis

7 really surprising health benefits from smoking cannabis
(Picture Metro/Mylo)

SOURCE Anti-drug activists think that a few puffs on a joint will turn you into a red-eyed, unemployed psychopath – probably for life.

But is marijuana actually that bad for you? Continue reading

Thank You to our readers

This blog was born due to frustration from trying to add helpful information to Wikipedia, and eventually being disallowed in lieu of Big Pharma propaganda.

I kept files on my computer of all the information I was gathering but was unable to share via the “people’s encyclopedia”. Quickly the files began to overflow, and this blog was the result.

For fun, you can compare Wikipedia’s Medical Cannabis article from before, and after the “Project Medicine” editors took it over.

In the “after” (present) version, notice how much effort is given to promoting the “side effects”, and how little to the benefits; note how the page was made less attractive, as if to “uglify” the subject matter.

Well, the last thing I expected when creating this little blog was to actually be able to compete with Wikipedia’s readership.

We didn’t just compete, it turns out. This little WordPress blog is now enjoying double, triple, and sometimes quadruple the number of views compared with Wikipedia’s propaganda.

For instance, last month Wikipedia had 44K views:Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 4.43.39 PM.png

Patients for Medical Cannabis had 85K !!!Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 4.43.54 PM.png

I am beyond delighted that we have absolutely beat the system. I have nothing deep to say about this, except that it is most gratifying and I believe this has resulted in saving lives, lives that would have been lost or ruined by pharmaceuticals, or by the lack of knowledge about using cannabis oil for halting the spread of cancer. If we helped even one individual, it was so worth it.

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Much love to all of you dedicated to sharing the truth about natural healing, and who have helped end the lies spread about this ancient miracle plant.

~ Editors of Patients for Medical Cannabis

Personal story from a reader: CLEAN for 4 years from IV heroin addiction by using Cannabis

The following comment was posted tonight to this article: Marijuana Treats Addiction

I’ve been using cannabis to curve my appetite for Opiates. I was an IV opiate user for 18years. After many treatments (inpatient varying from 1 to 6months), methadone, 12 step follow through attempts. My M. O. was kick feel better put pieces of life back together than as soon as I felt better I would lose it all again. This sounds overdramatic because it was, I became unbelievably discouraged with life. I have always loved marijuana but I was always told all or nothing. I would find smoking took away my cravings? The problem guilt for lying to those around me in recovery who would have not have been OK with me using more then asprin. Finally I excepted I was going to die with a needle in my arm or I’m going to get stoned when I want and fuck dishonesty and guilt! I’m OK with needing something, I was rapidly running out of time trying to adapt to spiritual principles that people have recovered with successfully. I haven’t had a spike in my vain or any opiod use for 4 years now. After spending 20 going back and forth from clean to using with never more then a total of 118 days consecutively without relapse. It was my ego not wanting to admit I couldn’t do what others could on there spiritual journey of recovery. Once I stop caring what you thought and respected my choice I was free. . Now it’s amazing to have so many folks with similar pasts experiencing the same results. Fellowship is important and as more people realize the lesser of two evils is OK the larger it gets! – anonymous

A neurobiologist says medical marijuana could solve the US opioid abuse crisis

Ephrat Livni for QZ dot com

Americans are in pain. Over 2.5 million people in the US are addicted to opioids, the US Department of Health and Human Services reports. About 80 die daily from opioid overdoses. It’s gotten so bad that even conservative state legislators want to legalize medical marijuana, arguing it’s a safer, less addictive pain killer.

Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscience, psychiatry, and pharmacology professor at Mount Sinai Hospital’s medical school in New York, writing in Trends in Neuroscience on Feb. 2, agrees. She believes weed legalization can lessen opioid addiction dramatically, and that scientists must join the cultural conversation about cannabis. She writes:

Epidemics require a paradigm shift in thinking about all possible solutions. The rapidly changing sociopolitical marijuana landscape provides a foundation for the therapeutic development of medicinal cannabidiol to address the current opioid abuse crisis. We have to be open to marijuana because there are components of the plant that seem to have therapeutic properties, but without empirical-based research or clinical trials, we’re letting anecdotes guide how people vote and policies.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive element in marijuana, can treat opioid addiction, says Hurd. Studies support the claim: CBD has been shown to attach to different receptors in the brain and reduce opioid cravings for weeks after ingestion, according to animal research. “Preclinical animal models have long demonstrated that, in addition to reducing the rewarding properties of opioid drugs and withdrawal symptoms, CBD directly reduces heroin-seeking behavior,” she explains. (Heroin is an illegal, street opioid; there are other legal prescription opioids sold in pharmacies.)

Plus, because CBD produces no high, its legalization isn’t likely to lead to a black market, Hurd notes. Illegal pain pill sales and use are common, on the other hand, and result in criminal charges.

But scientists haven’t been able to test whether the effects seen in animal models would translate to humans, because marijuana research in the US has been hampered by the federal government’s classification of the drug as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Cannabis is illegal nationally, although it is increasingly permitted for medical purposes in many states, with various limitations.

There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests replacing opioids with medical marijuana would work. Hurd notes that states with legal medical marijuana have seen a reduction in painkiller prescriptions, addiction, and associated deaths. For example, a study from Columbia University researchers last year found that states with legal medical marijuana had fewer traffic fatalities associated with opioids; this research team also argued that medical marijuana legalization could lead to a reduction in prescription painkiller addiction.

The DEA seems increasingly inclined to agree that CBD, at least, has a medical use. In December, the agency announced a new code for the extract in the Federal Register, designed to expedite cannabis extract research for medical purposes. “From a practical standpoint, we are giving priority, actually, to those researchers who are conducting research with marijuana extracts, [which] the internal code will allow us to track and prioritize,” DEA spokesman Russ Baer told US News & World Report. “We recognize there have been some studies that have been promising…and we want to be able to support that ongoing scientific research, particularly as it relates to marijuana extracts.”

Great interview on medical marijuana and CBD