Vol. 5, Number 12
December 2013
cheryl riley, editor & writer
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Paul Armentano,
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Amanda Reiman,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
Arthur Livermore
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Veterans for Compassionate Care - Rick Rosio

Veterans are sometimes referred to as the "Forgotten Ones", because in many ways, they unfortunately continue to be.

The "Valiant Ones" is probably a more apt term to define this segment of our society. Those whose lives are usually always turned askew for a variety of reasons unique to these folks who venture forth to ways of living the rest of society can't really fully comprehend. The pact made to enter the US Armed Forces is one that changes lives as promised. It is now becoming more and more apparent that it just isn't manifesting as these folks were told it would when they came come.

For most of our country of citizens who do not serve in the military, there is no way to know the unique toll it takes on what could be considered a 'normal' life. What the "Warfighter" community shares in common, is the way they have had to forsake their sense of self to a cause that has not always followed through in 'protecting' those that gave of their lives to serve. There are many in-equities borne out of a 'service' that should enshrine it instead.

However, the stark realities facing our Veterans when they return home has resulted in an explosion of service related suicides as the effects of not only their service to this nation in a time of war, but from the various medications given to prevent illness while in the Middle East. Illness borne of service and then so little refuge.

Veterans for Compassionate Care is a special program created to bring more balance to those whose lives have been brought into turmoil as a result of their service. We bring compassion and care through a series of programs meant to bring about a "Revitalization" in Veterans lives. We are building out a nationwide organization in support of Veterans finding relief from many of their unique medical maladies.

The program we run is a harm reduction program for opiate dependency using Cannabis extracts. It is designed to provide our Warfighter community with the choice of living with their service related injuries using high doses of narcotic pain medications or Cannabis extracts and whole plant botanical substance.

The debate that continues within some communities over the need for a new method of providing care for both our Veterans and disabilities communities has brought the issue of Warfighter suicide rates of over 22 deaths a day, and the horrific toll upon their families as they face difficult times in their healing process. For too many years our valiant men and women have only had the option of traditional medications to help them heal from their service related injuries. The result has been an ever escalating level of opiates and benzodiazepine's leaving the recovering patient with additional issues of narcotization and benzodiazepine dependency that create another set of difficulties.

With the changes within the Federal Government's position of allowing developing legal Cannabis programs within the 20 states that have approved compassionate cannabis laws, there is finally a realistic option for our loved ones for a better method of pain management and general long term wellness among the palliative care community.

Veterans for Compassionate Care is a program driven model that is designed to provide an effective method for dosed cannabis therapy using whole plant CBD extracts to help with the healing process. Combined with a full medical program designed to be attentive to the unique injuries commonly found among our Warfighter community. TBI, CTE, amputations and severe back injuries along with shrapnel remnants are of particular note. The Behavioral Health component will provide access to counselors with training in dealing with PTSD and the collateral damage issues. Along with a staff trained in family dynamics our goal is to provide a well tuned alternative to the traditional positions of the VA Medical Staff. With the current restrictions in place on Federal facilities, Veterans for Compassionate Care will provide a quality program for Cannabis therapy.

Currently we are building this pilot program in Washington State with 3 locations pending, Seattle, Olympia and Spokane. We are developing a program for a 60 bed hospital facility to provide in-patient services for our opiate reduction program, with the goal of having this program brought forth within all 20 states with compassionate Cannabis programs.

The ability for the Veterans themselves to play all of the critical roles within this model makes this unique, as both a clinical model and voice for the Veterans. Under the umbrella of Cannabis Medical Solutions, VFCC will be able to help organize local chapters in every compassionate Cannabis State, and provide local input and direction in meeting the needs of the local Veterans community as we build these clinic models for national deployment. Recent stories of Medical Cannabis Solutions are abounding throughout the media and from around the world we hear of major strides in relief coming through Cannabis Therapy of one kind or another.

The Veterans community is lacking in alternatives to pain management, Cannabis Can Help!


Cannabis-based Medicines for Opiate Dependence - Jahan Marcu

The increasing abuse of Percocet and other opiate drugs is also leading to an increase in heroin use, and skyrocketing amount of people seeking treatment for opiate dependence:

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 100,000 individuals were admitted to the emergency department for painkiller abuse, such as a Percocet overdose. By 2008, the number of admissions to the emergency department had almost doubled to over 300,000.
• The Drug Abuse Warning Network issued a report in 2010 that detailed how the non-medical use of prescription pain relievers continues to be a public health issue in the United States that warrants serious concern.
• Emergency Department visits involving oxycodone products, such as Percocet, increased by 152% between 2004 and 2008.

Treatments for opioid dependence with drugs such as methadone or conventional medications run the risk of making the patient addicted or dependent on the medication. Conventional treatments for opiate dependence can induce severe withdrawal symptoms if the medication is stopped abruptly. A great need remains for the development of non-opioid drug therapies that have less dependence and abuse liability.

Since about the 1970s THC showed promise as a treatment of opiate dependence and withdrawal. It is yet to be specifically included for existing medical marijuana laws, despite strong evidence for its benefits. The plant remains off the table because of its status as schedule I narcotic.

The use of Cannabis to treat drug dependence is an old idea. In the late 1800s the Lancet published an article on a fairly successful treatment for opiate addiction, available in the form of a Cannabis tincture. The use of this plant to treat substance abuse disorders also appears in ancient Indian texts and Ayurvedic literature. A recent survey of medical marijuana patients suggested that there is a significant population currently using it as an “exit drug” or as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs. Intermittent marijuana use has been shown to improve retention in opiate dependence treatment programs.

The active ingredients in Cannabis interact with the endocannabinoid system within our body. This system consists of receptors, ligands (endocannabinoids), and proteins for synthesis and breakdown of endocannabinoids. Modern day researchers are studying these receptors and the natural THC-like compounds in our body for the treatment of various aspects of opiate dependence and withdrawal. For example, researchers in the laboratory of Dr. Aron Lichtman are studying a drug code named JZL-184. JZL-184 inhibits the proteins that breakdown endocannabinoids, thus increasing the amount of endocannabinoids available to interact with receptors. In Lichtman's animal study, high doses of JZL-184 significantly blocked all signs of opioid withdrawal.

As more states pass laws allowing the use of medical marijuana, opiate addiction should be under consideration as a qualifying condition. In addition to potentially helping a severely afflicted group of people, this would greatly help researchers to overcome the barriers to studying Cannabis and refining the plant as a medicine. There is a great need for new effective treatments of opiate addiction that are: non-toxic, have a low addiction potential, and do not cause severe withdrawal symptoms in opiate dependent patients.

Original Article

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What's New

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

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
   Marijuana Bill Reaches House
   Cannabis Compassion and Care Act

Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Medical Marijuana Approved by Maryland House of Delegates

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 York: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 214

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 - Black Out Bud Butter by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD

An even better bud butter for the Canny Bus

Better Bud Butter has been a terrific hit with website readers and those fortunate enough to have a copy of “The Canny Bus Trip Kit” (soon to be released). It’s hard to improve on Better Bud Butter but we’ve done it.

Improvement number one comes from using European sweet butter. Regular butter is about 80% butterfat while European butters range from 84-86%. This may seem trivial but remember it is the butterfat that exacts the cannabinoids so a 7-8 % increase in butterfat will result in a more efficient extraction and stronger butter. European style butter comes from a number of manufacturers including Plugra from upstate New York, Strauss Organic, and recently Challenge European Style. Yes, the best still comes from France but it is exorbitantly priced.

Improvement number two comes from using a Braun high speed coffee grinder to convert all cannabis plant material from whatever source to a fine powder. The use of powder means the butter will taste more like cannabis as some of the chlorophyll and a few terpenes get into the butter. It also means a vastly increased surface area where the butterfat meets the cannabinoids. Using powder or “flour” significantly increases the potency of the final butter.

Improvement number three comes from using the best starting materials available. In this case Train Wreck, California Orange, and Pooh Bear trim were ground up and supplemented by powdered California Orange flowers. Using bud as opposed to trim will increase the potency of the butter.

The three improvements noted above resulted in cannabutter that is markedly different from the normal (and quite wonderful) Better Bud Butter. Black Out Bud Butter (BOBB) is approximately 200-300% stronger. The name BOBB comes from the fact that this butter is midnight green and will cause blackouts if too much is consumed.


2½ pounds (six cups) of European Style high butterfat unsalted butter. I combined 8 oz of Plugra with 1 pound of Strauss Organic and 1 pound of Challenge European Style. Everyone has there own favorites but mine is Strauss. Strauss is smoother and less greasy than the others.

4 oz powdered Train Wreck Trim

2 oz powdered Pooh Bear Trim (a cross of Train Wreck and Salmon Creek Big Bud)

2 oz powdered California Orange trim

1/3 oz powdered California Orange flowers


The butters were melted in a covered crock pot set on high. The powdered cannabis was gradually stirred in with a wood spoon. The mixture was frequently stirred and cooked covered on high for one hour followed by three hours set on low. Stirring was accomplished every 15 minutes.

After four hours the hot mixture was squeezed through cheese cloth into a bowl then the product was filtered once more through cheese cloth. All available butter was squeezed out producing approximately 3 ½ cups. Theoretically, the cloth balls remaining could be re-extracted with more butter but the product would not be nearly as strong. Approximately 75-85% of the available cannabinoids are extracted on the first pass.

Here is one cup of BOBB in his new refrigerator home:

Note on Preparation:

No gloves were used in squeezing the rather hot cloth balls into the collection vessel. If you go barehanded beware of burns. Usually the ball can be twisted and held at the top then you can press the ball with the wood spoon against the side of the collection vessel. Once the ball has cooled sufficiently you can “wring” out the last of the cannabutter. Yes, this is messy but will leave your hands oh so soft.

Note on Amount of powdered cannabis to use: I use as much as will go into solution with the butter. This varies depending upon the cannabis and source.

Note on Potency:

I know this cannabutter is potent simply from the extreme effects produced from handling it. I look forward to using this super potent butter for the next batch of Pecan Sandies.

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