Vol. 6, Number 10
October 2014
cheryl riley, James Freire,
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Paul Armentano,
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Al Byrne, Amanda Reiman,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
Arthur Livermore
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Tod Mikuriya, MD on the Scheduling Question - Fred Gardner

Doctors and activists frequently discuss the question of rescheduling or descheduling cannabis. Soon politicians and bureaucrats will be taking up the matter. Its “Schedule I” status is indefensible.

One of Dr. Tod Mikuriya’s political goals was to see cannabis moved to a schedule of its own. “Given its unique therapeutic properties, cannabis should be categorized as an ‘Easement,’” he wrote in a 2001 paper presented as a poster at the International Cannabinoid Research Society meeting. “Contemporary categorization of cannabis as a psychotropic drug has been largely incorrect. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies ‘Marihuana’ as a hallucinogen with high potential for abuse, lack of accepted safety, and no medicinal use…

“The term ‘Easement’ most aptly characterizes the unique medicinal effects of cannabis. While usually associated with legal terminology dealing with property, the first meaning given for Easement in Webster’s 3rd New Unabridged Dictionary is ‘An act or means of easing or relieving (as from pain, discomfort, or burdens).’”

Mikuriya cites Roget’s Thesaurus, which lists “easement” under “relief,” along with “deliverance, softening, mitigation, palliation, soothing, lullaby, cradle song, berceuse, solace, consolation, comfort, encouragement, lenitive, restorative, remedy, repair, refection, refocillation, refreshment, and regalement.”

Mikuriya notes that “Peter Mark Roget was a British physician and fellow of the Royal Society.”

Bear in mind, as you read the following excerpts from his paper, that Mikuriya had monitored cannabis use by thousands of patients and studied the pre-prohibition medical literature, whereas the authorities knew absolutely nothing about its effects.

“Cannabis has properties that are unique and distinctly different from other categories of drugs, according to persons who have discovered its utility for the management of a wide range of chronic diseases both mental and physical.

“Cannabis calms agitation, anger, and mania. Painful, disruptive, and frequently incapacitating symptoms are brought under control with minimal side effects and rapid relief when inhaled. Cannabis promotes sleep and permits relief from wakefulness without hangover.

“Cannabis relaxes both smooth and skeletal muscles. Obsessive and mood-driven cognitive patterns soften and can be put into emotional perspective.

“Appetite and bowel normalcy is restored, cognition is reconnected with somatic and affective awareness. Unlike sedatives, opioids, anxiolytics, stimulants, or antidepressants, cannabis is free from unwanted effects, save for ‘euphoria,’ which is not generally obtainable by those using the drug to achieve homeostasis and a sense of normalcy.

N.B.: The therapeutic properties described above apply to experienced users managing chronic conditions, not naive subjects trying to treat acute problems. Cannabis exerts a complex spectrum of effects that defy categorization as narcotic, sedative, or hallucinogen (although an overdose of oral cannabis might qualify as the latter). ‘Easement’ would be a more meaningful and accurate description based upon ethnographic, medical, and pharmaceutical literature, as well as clinical observations of patients making appropriate therapeutic use of inhaled or oral cannabis.

“Semantic characterizations are important in shaping not only personal experience but institutional policy as well.”

It was at the 2002 ICRS meeting that we first heard cannabinoids described as “retrograde messengers” that work by toning down signals. Even before the biochemists figured it out, Tod Mikuriya —an observant clinician— inferred from the effects cannabis has on people that its mode of action was unique and that it modulated multiple systems within the body.

Original Article

The Latest Cannabis Science The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You to Know - Paul Armentano
Five new cannabis-centric studies that warrant major attention.

Scientific revelations are published almost daily in regard to the healing properties of the cannabis. But most of these findings appear solely in obscure, peer-reviewed journals and go largely unnoticed by the major media. Here are five new cannabis-centric studies that warrant mainstream attention.

Marijuana Use Is Associated With Decreased Mortality In TBI Patients

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a history of cannabis use possess increased survival rates compared to non-users, according data published this month in the journal American Surgeon. UCLA Medical Center investigators conducted a three-year retrospective review of brain trauma patients. Data from 446 separate cases of similarly injured patients was assessed. Of those patients who tested positive for the presence of marijuana, 97.6 percent survived surgery. By contrast, patients who tested negative for the presence of pot prior to surgery possessed only an 88.5 percent survival rate.

"Previous studies conducted by other researchers had found certain compounds in marijuana helped protect the brain in animals after a trauma," the study’s lead author said in a press release. "This study [is] one of the first in a clinical setting to specifically associate THC use as an independent predictor of survival after traumatic brain injury."

CBG Administration Halts Cancer Progression

The administration of the nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) possesses potent anti-colon cancer activities and inhibits cancerous tumor growth, according to data published in September in the journal Carcinogenesis. A team of Italian researchers at the University of Naples assessed the effects of CBG on colon tumorigenesis. Investigators reported that the compound promoted apoptosis (cancer cell death) and reduced cell growth in colorectal cancer cells. CBG dosing also inhibited colorectal tumor growth in animals. Authors concluded: “CBG hampers colon cancer progression in vivo and selectively inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer cells. … CBG should be considered translationally in colorectal cancer prevention and cure.”

Parkinson’s Patients Respond Favorably to Cannabis Therapy

Patients with Parkison’s disease report significant improvement following cannabinoid therapy. Writing in September in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, investigators at the University of São Paulo in Brazil reported on the efficacy of the plant cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) versus placebo in 21 subjects with Parkinson's. Authors reported that the administration of 300 mg doses of CBD per day was associated with "significantly different mean total scores" in subjects' well-being and quality of life compared to placebo.

The Brazilian study is the second paper in recent months specific to the potential healing effects of cannabinoids in PD patients. In April, researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel reported that the inhalation of whole-plant improves various symptoms of PD in a cohort of 22 subjects. Marijuana use was associated with "significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement),” authors reported in the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology. They added: “There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores. No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed."

Marijuana Use Mitigates Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal

Cannabis consumption is associated with reduced symptoms of opiate withdrawal in subjects undergoing methadone maintenance treatment, according to recent findings published in The American Journal on Addictions. Investigators at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia assessed the use of cannabis in 91 opiate-dependent subjects undergoing methadone maintenance treatment. Authors reported that subjects' pot use during treatment was associated with less severe symptoms of withdrawal on the clinical opiate withdrawal scale (COWS), an index designed to serve as an objective measure of opiate withdrawal. "[I]ncreased cannabis use was found to be associated with lower severity of [opiate] withdrawal in a subset of the sample with available chart data," authors concluded. "These results suggested a potential role for cannabis in the reduction of withdrawal severity during methadone induction."

Inhaled Cannabis Facilitates Disease Remission In Patients With Crohn’s Disease

Inhaling cannabis reduces symptoms of Crohn's disease compared to placebo in patients who have not been responsive to conventional pharmaceutical therapies, according to clinical trial data published recently in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Researchers at the Meir Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Israel assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis versus placebo over a period of eight weeks in 21 subjects with treatment-resistant Crohn's disease. Investigators reported, "Our data show that 8-weeks treatment with THC-rich cannabis, but not placebo, was associated with a significant decrease of 100 points in CDAI (Crohn's Disease and activity index) scores." Five of the eleven patients in the study group also reported achieving disease remission (defined as a reduction in patient's CDAI score by more than 150 points). Overall, inhaled cannabis treatment was associated with “no significant side effects.”

Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and the co-author of Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink (Chelsea Green, 2009).

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 on the ballot

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

Minnesota: Passed a restrictive 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

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 - Here Come de Fudge…Coma Quick Brownies by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD

Maybe our brownies made from scratch are the best in the world but let’s face it, they are neither so easy nor quick to make. As the Canny Bus gets a new air conditioning compressor in order to make yet another northern excursion, we decided to try a quick and dirty method of making great fudge brownies.

Our northern medical cannabis gardeners provide free trim for the sick and dying. We can’t tell you who they are for obvious reasons but believe me they are real life savers. What’s more they love my cooking!

So, Kermit the Canny Bus is gassed up, repaired, and ready to go. Buttons our bear is onboard and his seatbelt fastened. Visions of fresh bud crowd his little stuffed bear brain. New trim awaits the canny cooks! We’ve picked a bushel of lemons for our northern friends and are prepared for a spring visit. Now for the real present, here comes de fudge, here come coma quick brownies. The way Nurse Nancy wife drives, the brownies will still be warm when we arrive at our secret rendezvous in a forest glade somewhere in the Foothills of the great Sierra Nevada. Forget Humboldt, Santa Cruz, and Big Sur or Amsterdam for that matter because these fertile foothills (elevation 2,500 feet) grow some of the best cannabis on the planet.

Note: This recipe can be made from start to finish in only 40 minutes.

Nurse Nancy Wife discovered that Duncan Hines makes one super duper brownie mix. I never met Duncan but he knew what he was doing when he came up with this mix. All you need to add is a couple of eggs and our own Black Out Butter. Can it be this easy to make deadly brownies that rival our own?


One box of Duncan Hines Brownie Mix
2 large eggs
1 cup Black Out Butter

Optional: 1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla, one teaspoon fresh lemon zest, one tablespoon Grand Marnier


Bring your Black Out Butter to room temperature. Wisk the butter and the eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually add the brownie mix and blend with a wood spoon until smooth. If the mix is too thick (doubtful) you can add a couple of tablespoons of water. Pour mixture into a Pam coated baking pan (not a loaf pan, not a cookie sheet, just a 6X6x2). Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until slightly firm. Set aside and let them cool if you have that kind of patience.

That’s it! You’re done.

Note: Pure cannabutter cooks just like oil. The directions on the box of Duncan Hines call for one half cup of oil but we used a full cup of cannabutter instead. This means that the brownies are going be fudgier than normal.

Potency Warning: This recipe makes approximately 12 large brownies. The one cup of Black Out Butter was made with approximately 50 grams of trim. Assuming trim potency 50% of flowers and estimating an extraction efficiency of 75% that mean each brownie has the equivalent of about 2 grams of flowers. We didn’t name these guys “Quick Coma” for nothing.

Medical Applications:

We strongly recommend these brownies for:

Severe insomnia
Muscle spasticity from MS, diabetes, HCV, and other disorders
OCD associated with autism spectrum disorders
Maintaining cannabinoid blood levels in chronic pain syndromes

Do not drive, operate machinery, or, in fact do anything besides sleeping, listening to music, or watching the Sci-Fi channel for 8-12 hours following ingestion.

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9th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
May 21-23, 2015
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