Vol. 2, Number 12
December 1, 2010
cheryl riley, editor & writer
Gradi Jordan, writer
Who's Who
What's New
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AAMC El Dorado County CA
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University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Cannabis Farm - by c.a. riley

The federal government has denied for decades that cannabis has any medicinal value. At the same time, within a heavily secured but otherwise unremarkable laboratory on the University of Mississippi campus at Oxford, a US government cannabis farm has since 1968 been growing large quantities of the plant for research purposes. The government calls this operation “The Marijuana Project.”

In 1978, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) began the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Study (INDS) on cannabis, wherein qualifying patients are provided with cannabis monthly in the form of cannabis cigarettes, or “joints”—300 of them per patient—as the US government stubbornly clings to its official position that cannabis is medically ineffective.

Flooded with applications as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the INDS program was closed to new patients in 1992 during the George H.W. Bush administration, but to this day the few remaining patients still receive their free monthly ration of joints, courtesy of the federal government. It is widely reported that this government cannabis is of low quality—not really suitable as medicine. Nonetheless, the farm at Ole Miss is the only facility legally allowed to grow marijuana for research in the US.

In 2007, the Ole Miss pot farm produced about 880 pounds for NIDA. Government cannabis is distributed to researchers who go through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) rigorous qualifying process. One organization procuring cannabis for research is the National Eye Institute, for a study on the effects of cannabinoids on intraocular pressure.

Along with producing cannabis for research and the Compassionate IND program, the Marijuana Project also analyzes samples of seized cannabis from around the country and has reported that illicit cannabis averages 10.1 percent THC—the most active of its many components. In the 1970s and early ‘80s cannabis THC levels were around 4 percent at most. Obviously, street cannabis is more potent than ever, and undoubtedly much more potent than that grown on the government’s pot farm.

For more information, please see the article on Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, Who‘s Who in Medical Cannabis.

Who's Who in Medical Cannabis - Mahmoud ElSohly, PhD - by c.a. riley

Step into Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly’s office in the Coy W. Waller Laboratory Complex on the University of Mississippi campus at Oxford and the first thing you’ll notice is the heady, slightly sweet aroma of cannabis. This should not be surprising, as Dr. ElSohly is director of the NIDA-funded Marijuana Project at the university, where the entire Waller Complex smells as if it is the home of an army of skunks.

In 1968, a few years after THC was isolated as the active ingredient in cannabis, the federal government was seeking standardized cannabis for research. This would require that marijuana be grown under strictly controlled conditions in order to standardize the amount of THC and other cannabinoids in the finished product.

When the federal government called for proposals Ole Miss won a three-year contract to supply cannabis for research and has had the federal contract since 1968. Although the contract is renewed every five years, the university must submit a new bid each time. The contract pays about $1.2 million annually.

Dr. ElSohly says, “If another organization came along with equal capabilities that could do this for a little less money, we could lose this. We have no idea who applies each time or even if anyone else applies at all.”

Since the Marijuana Project has been housed at the University of Mississippi for more than 40 years and Dr. ElSohly has been with the project since 1975, however, he probably needn’t worry.

In the beginning, Dr. ElSohly worked under the Marijuana Project’s director, Carlton Turner. In 1980, when Turner was recruited as President Ronald Reagan’s drug czar, ElSohly was promoted to direct the project.

When NIDA requests an outdoor grow Dr. ElSohly and his staff plant and tend the crop until harvest time. After the harvest, drying, manicuring and deseeding must be done and the cannabis tested for quality assurance. It is then stored in a large, walk-in freezer at about 16 degrees.

For some (unknown) reason, some of the finished product is shipped out to be made into cigarettes and is then sent back to the laboratory where it is distributed to researchers and the four remaining Compassionate IND patients.

Dr. ElSohly says that the cigarettes are not made on-site unless there is a requirement for high-potency cannabis, which must be hand-rolled because it gums the manufacturing equipment. He says that large orders are processed by a subcontractor in North Carolina.

Dr. ElSohly is president and laboratory director of ELI, ElSohly Laboratories Incorporated, a small company dedicated to helping solve analytical problems in the area of drugs of abuse, testing for those drugs and performing research and development, along with other activities.

ElSohly serves also as Research Professor in the National Center for Natural Products Research; Research Professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Professor of Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi.

He has earned several degrees, holds a number of patents, and has authored more than 400 articles and presentations pertaining to drug discovery, analysis and metabolism. Many of his articles focus on forensic issues of drugs of abuse, and he is certified by the American Board of Forensic Medicine (BCFM) and the American College of Forensic Examiners (BCFE).

The list of ElSohly’s achievements goes on and on but they are much too numerous to list here. Find more information about Dr. ElSohly at http://www.elsohly.com/ .

What's New

Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Connecticut: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Delaware: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB1381

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
   Marijuana Bill Reaches House

Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB 627

Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
   Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law

New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 478

Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 1393

South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act

Featured Recipe - Nebu’s Hazy Hazelnut Bhang

One of our readers has submitted a wonderful recipe for a delicious beverage that is guaranteed to be soothing. Nebu doesn’t like cannabis extractions using animal products like butter so he uses the natural oils found in nuts. These oils can be beneficial all by themselves particularly the omega three fatty acids. While Nebu and Nurse Nancy Wife both love Hazelnuts, yours truly doesn’t so I asked if you can use macadamia nuts. Yum, you can! You could also use walnuts if you like that flavor and want more omega three.

I’d also like to point out that Nebu and I discussed using flowers (bud) versus trim. High grade trim will work but not be as potent nor will it taste as good. Keep this treat refrigerated and use extreme caution as you can see from the recipe you’ve got a solid 30 grams of flowers into a bit less than four cups making this preparation one of the strongest I’ve ever seen.

From Nebu:

I thought I would share a little recipe with everyone who might find occasion to ingest their cannabis as opposed to inhale. I typically prefer phyto-inhalation (aka vaporization or volitization) of cannabis as method of delivery but, not too long ago, I was a bit laid out from an outpatient surgery and wanted to medicate whilst horizontal (to deal with pain), without the typical prescription narcotics/acetaminophens, etc.,.

I am also not a proponent of drinking another mammal's lactating excretion (i.e. cow's milk, etc.,) in any shape or form, so I use other forms of "milk" (i.e. Hemp Seed, Almond, Sesame, Pecan, Hazelnut, Walnut, Cashew, Rice, Soy). It's very easy to do and you get all the nutritional benefits of live, raw enzymes without the pesticides, antibiotics, white-blood cells, bovine growth hormones, etc., from "dead" milk (they have to cook it, "pasteurize" in order to kill the diseases, bacteria, etc.,).

Here's what you'll need:

  1. Blender
  2. Bubble Bag or other polymesh (75U)
  3. 4 cups Water (spring, 'live' water is best, or filtered)
  4. 1 cup Hazelnuts (or other favorite nut)
  5. 3 Dates
  6. 4 Tablespoons Raw Honey
  7. 1 Oz of Kind (lower nugs, else trim)
  8. 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract (La Vencedora, if you can get it)
  9. Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
* Soak the hazelnuts in water overnight (necessary for most varieties of nuts in order to soften them). Use the soak water as part of the 4 cups in the blender mix, step 1 below.

1. Combine the water, nuts, dates, vanilla, and salt into the blender and blend on high for a good 5 minutes.

2. Strain this through the 75U mesh into a pot. Work the nut mush good to get all the juice out. *I save my nut mush for other recipes (i.e. nut yoghurt, mix w/dry fruits and dehydrate for trail mix/cookies, etc.,)

3. Take the pot of nut milk, add the Oz of kind and slowly heat on low on the stove. If you can measure the temp keep it below 125F (the enzymes in your milk can survive below this temp). Slow-low cook for ~ 10 minutes while stirring constantly.

4. Remove from stove and filter thru the 75U again.

5. Add the honey to taste... organic cocoa (2 tablespoons) is also a good choice here to help mask the taste if necessary.

Chill or drink warm, as preferred. Makes ~ 4 cups.

Follow AAMC on:
6th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
April 15-17, 2010
Providence, RI USA

Medical Marijuana States

District of Columbia
New Jersey
New Mexico
Rhode Island