A Brief History of Cannabis Medicine

For thousands of years, cultures around the world utilized the cannabis plant as food, fiber and medicine. Cannabis appears in the first materia medica ever written. The earliest Chinese pharmacoepoia, Shen Nung’s Pen Ts’ao Ching (Divine Husbandman’s Classic of Materia Medica), was passed on by oral tradition and dates back to between 2637 and 2737 B.C.E. Nung is considered the Chinese god of agriculture and possibly the mythical Second Emperor of China. Researchers date the oldest written compilation that still survives documenting these Chinese oral medical traditions to between 300 ...
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STUDY: Tincture of Cannabis to treat “Cannabis Dependency”?

Last month, the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) Internal Medicine released a study claiming Nabiximols successfully “reduced illicit cannabis use in patients with cannabis dependence.” The study was poorly designed and meaningless, and the subsequent article was short on logic and facts. Let’s review them. Nabiximols, or GW Pharmaceuticals’ Sativex, is a standardized cannabis tincture with an equal dose of CBD and THC. It is essentially a whole plant cannabis extract. Nabiximols is replacing “illicit”, or illegal,  cannabis use only by the default of it being in the early stages of FDA...
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Why Do We Even Have Drug Schedules?

Prior to 1970 there was no such thing as a federal drug schedule. This concept was enacted as part of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and President Nixon’s War on Drugs. The CSA was a politically driven law, not a medically or scientifically generated piece of regulation. The CSA created five schedules allegedly based on medical use and abuse potential. Although cannabis has a 4,000-year history as a human medication, under federal law it is placed in Schedule I meaning it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Marinol, synthetic THC, was approved by the FDA as a ...
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Dispensaries v. Pharmacies: Why Are They Regulated So Differently?

In several court decisions, the California Supreme Court has determined that a doctor’s recommendation for the medical use of cannabis is, for all intents and purposes, the equivalent of a prescription. Since that is the case, that determination should have application to dispensaries. Photo: Cannabis Museum, Ohio Historically from the 1850s until 1942, cannabis-containing prescriptions and patent medicines were available in pharmacies. One needs to ask why dispensaries and pharmacies are not treated under the same regulations today. Dispensaries ought to have a legal obligation to ...
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Painless: The Case of Too Much Anandamide

When it comes to pain it looks like you can’t have too much Anandamide. Anandamide, aka “the bliss molecule”, or N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) is an endogenous cannabinoid produced by the human body that binds to the endocannabinoid system similar to plant-derived THC. Anandamide, the "Bliss Molecule" Recently an article appeared in the British Journal of Anesthesia that discussed an unusual case of a woman who felt little or no pain. When the case came to the attention of researchers, what they found provides us with more insight regarding the analgesic and anxiolytic effects not o...
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Report: New Cannabinoid Drug Interactions

Picture taken on January 15, 2012 in Lille, northern France, of drug capsules. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images) Adrian Devitt-Lee of Project CBD writes: "The interactions between plant cannabinoids and a drug-metabolizing enzyme called carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) was recently published in Drug Metabolism and Distribution. Researchers at the Universities of Michigan and Florida showed that THC, CBD, and cannabinol (CBN) all inhibit CES1. CES1 is important for activating or inactivating drugs that regulate blood pressure, as well as the ...
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Commentary: This is Your “Little Brain” on Cannabis

This article from Psychology Today brings up an important topic of conversation for medical professionals. Perhaps the high concentration of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum is a protective adaptation. Poor coordination and difficulty with visual tracking should be a warning to slow down, both in terms of cannabinoid ingestion and movement. Unfortunately, poor judgement on the part of the frontal cortex and reward circuitry is able to override this primitive early warning system and we all know the outcome when that happens. Continuing to ignore the brain’s innate warning circuitry would b...
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Study: Cannabis in Oncology Practice

Image: Royal Queen Seeds Promoting MMJ Among Oncologist in the USA By John Taenzler, Ph.D. for Cannabis Business Executive In October 2018, a survey was conducted among 87 oncologists (ONCs) in 19 of the States where medical marijuana (MMJ) has been approved and available.  An objective of this research was to assess the depth of knowledge about cannabis pharmacology, state-specific regulations, and attitudes of national medical organizations toward MMJ. In examining and assessing the perceptions and attitudes of these ONCs towards MMJ, physicians were asked about their curre...
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Protections Needed for Cannabis Users on Their Own Time, Based on Science

I wrote the following in support of two bills in the Oregon State Legislature that would protect cannabis patients and adults who use legally off-the-job from losing employment due to a failed drug test. As all cannabinoid medicine specialists know, presence of THC in the blood, saliva or urine does not equal impairment. Allowing the termination of an employee because they used a legal substance on their own time should be viewed as a fundamental violation of a citizen’s rights.  If an employee is using a disabling substance at work (e.g., alcohol, cannabis) and is impaired, it should...
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A Brief History of Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids in the U.S.

The Ayurvedic Medicine Materia Medica Since the late 1940s and early 1950s, both state and federal entities have assiduously avoided treating cannabis as the medicine it has been for over 4,000 years. Cannabis has been recognized as a medicine since at least 2637 B.C.E. when it was included in the first known pharmacopoeia, the Ping Ts’ao Ching, alleged to be written by the second Emperor of China, Shen Neng. Cannabis has appeared in all subsequent major pharmacopoeias including an Ayurvedic Medicine Materia Medica, dated from between 1100 B.C.E. and 1700 B.C.E., as well as the Ebers Papy...
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