Vol. 7, Number 10
cheryl riley, James Freire,
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Paul Armentano, Keith Stroup
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Al Byrne, Amanda Reiman,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Rhode Island
Basic information to educate those who are considering using cannabis - Sandee Burbank
For decades the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively banned the use and sales of cannabis (marijuana) in the US. Prior to 1937, cannabis had enjoyed a 5000 year history as a therapeutic agent across many cultures.
About half of the states have now relaxed the cannabis laws. Since 1998 patients in Oregon have been able to legally grow and possesses cannabis for medical use. Now in Oregon, cannabis can be legally grown and possessed by anyone 21 and over. People use cannabis for a variety of reasons. Some use it to socialize and relax, to sleep, to enhance appreciation of music, art or a romantic experience and to find relief from a variety of medical conditions.
Cannabis can also adversely affect people who are not familiar with its effects. The use of cannabis should be carefully studied to avoid any negative effects. Misuse of cannabis can be serious, even putting people in life threatening situations. Below is some basic information to educate those who are considering using cannabis.
Interactions of Cannabis and Other Drugs
Cannabis can interact with other drugs one might be taking.
It can cause some drugs to be less effective, such as certain Heart Medications and Psychiatric Drugs.
It can enhance the effects of other drugs. In some medical cannabis cases, this has allowed patients and doctors to reduce the amount of other drugs used.
Cannabis use with:
Antihistamines and Sleeping Aids can Increase Sedation.
Alcohol, Benzodiazepines and Opiates can Increase Sedation.
Amphetamines, Antidepressants, Beta-Blockers and Diuretics can Increase Cardiac Effects.
Amphetamine and Cocaine Increase Cardiac Effects
Alcohol can Increase Sedation
Caffeine can Increase Cardiac Effects
To Determine Drug Interaction MAMA recommends the “Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs” by H, Winter Griffith, MS, revised and updated by Stephen W. Moore, M.D.
This book tells about hundreds of possible drug interactions, including the use of cannabis. MAMA recommends this book for use when applying MAMA’s “Drug Consumer Safety Guidelines” to weigh the benefits versus the risks of prescription and nonprescription drug use. www.mamas.org
Forms of Cannabis
Cannabis can be used in a variety of ways with different effects (smoked, eaten, vaporized and applied topically). Many use cannabis infused butter, tincture, salves, ointments and oils.
It is important to understand the time of onset and duration of any medication, and to know how to adjust the dosage for maximum benefit and minimal problems. Cannabis that is smoked, vaporized or used topically can be felt very quickly (a few minutes) and the effects will last for about 90 minutes. The effects of cannabis that is eaten takes much longer to feel (up to 2 hours) and those effects last for up to eight hours. When consuming cannabis orally, it is advised to err on the side of caution.
First Time Users
Using cannabis for the first time can be a very interesting experience. The body is full of receptor sites that are specific to cannabis-like chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is a group of nervous systems in the body that use this cannabis-like chemical (anandamide) and are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. The first time these receptor sites are stimulated by the use of cannabis, patients may feel new sensations throughout their body. Not only will there be new physical feelings, but mental stimulation is also reported by many. Knowing what is occurring can prevent first time users from being frightened by the new feelings. It is good to have someone present who is familiar with the effects. It is best to use methods that allow easy dosage control, (smoking, vaporizing or using tincture) since one can be aware of the effects in a few minutes, thus it is easier to prevent overdose.
Again, it is harder to determine the correct dosage of orally consumed cannabis, as it might take an hour or more before the effects are felt. Once dosage and timeline are determined though, this can be a good way to extend the effectiveness of the medicine.
For more information see: http://www.cannabis.net/endocannabinoids/index.html
Cannabis, like any other drug, should be stored in a place that is inaccessible to minors. Also be aware that driving while under the influence of any intoxicating drug is illegal.
Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA) is a nonprofit organization that has existed since 1982. MAMA does not advocate drug use by anyone. MAMA’s goal is to teach people how to evaluate any drug use for benefits versus risks, so they can make informed decisions to reduce harm.
*Sandee Burbank lives in Mosier and is the executive director of MAMA, which has medical marijuana clinics in The Dalles, Portland and Bend.
Johnny - Al Byrne
Between 1987 and 1992 I became involved with a Veterans Health Administration and Agent Orange Class Assistance Program that funded Vets, acting as peer counselors, to search out and offer aid to fellow Veterans. All the counselors who did the field work fought in Vietnam as did almost all of the clients or patients.
There were a small number of women in the group, all nurses of the Army and Navy. The majority of the guys were Army or Marine enlisted, a smaller number of Navy “brown water” sailors and a few from the Air Force.
My take is that the closer you came to death every day, and there were many ways to observe that act, the likelier a Vet was to be diagnosed with post traumatic stress (PTS).
I was the only counselor to have served as a Commissioned Officer and I doubled as the Contract Administrator for the multi thousand dollar grants we used to help Vets in the Appalachian region of Virginia and West Virginia. I had about 200 guys I worked with over those years.
Johnny worked at a wood yard, so did his son. His boss had called us one day looking for someone to talk to Johnny, get him some help. I showed up late one afternoon and met the boss who was younger than I and Johnny by a dozen years. Johnny was his friend as well as an employee and he was drinking himself to death I was told and it has something to do with Vietnam he was sure.
Johnny and I saw each other every week for months. He was on parole for pistol whipping some loser who thought the little guy in the corner of the bar room could be bullied. Johnny took him for a ride of terror before knocking him in the head and dumping him and his car in a big ditch. I took him for rides through the tree-lined roads of the county, away from the saws, the noise. He was drinking incessantly, doing lines of coke when he could score some and angry.
My job was to find a way to get him to talk out his pain, not physical pain for him but the emotional scars he carried along with their live-in demons. Talk we did about his homecoming, a day late he said to me, because if he had been there when the flood came he could have saved his family; father, mother, two sisters and younger brother. He was convinced that he could have saved them (or at least died with them), but the Marines had him in a stockade for acting up when he came to the states, for refusing to get a "getting out" haircut, for telling a sergeant to go to hell. Guilt is a primary factor in PTS and Johnny had more than enough because he had not been at home when he could have been.
This was on top of a tour of duty that young 19 year old Marines like him endured in the endless jungles of danger. He was a gunner on an armored vehicle. Four fifty-caliber machine guns fired at his command with the power to blow an engine block to pieces. One night he and his friends were attacked by the enemy. In front of his guns in the morning were over 400 dead men and he was untouched he said to me, but it was 20 months of talk before he remembered that morning, that night, and when he did he cried for a long, long time.
It had not taken the counselors long to determine a trend among the Vets. Some drank to excess and, like Johnny, took any other intoxicating drug they could find. Some did not drink or do coke, they used cannabis instead.
Johnny told me he could not sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. An exhausted rest at best. He told me he could not relax, his appetite was only for alcohol and being unconscious. I urged him to use cannabis and he did. He stopped the coke cold. His alcohol intake decreased to only a few beers a day and he slept.
A cannabis researcher in Italy has coined a phrase about the endocannabinoid system. It helps us eat, sleep, relax, protect, and forget. Cannabis is the only plant that has phyto-cannabinoids (made within the plant) that are similar to the endogenous cannabinoids (made within the body) recently discovered in the human body. When I use cannabis I do not dream and I told Johnny that and I told him that he could sleep again too if he used cannabis. It would help him eat again, real food. That he could smoke a bowl and relax for a while, and concentrate on good thoughts and forget the painful images he carried in his head and while these positives were replacing the negatives, his body would enjoy a return to homeostasis from feeding his system with cannabis compounds.
Johnny called me a couple of years after I no longer worked as a counselor. He was fine now he said and wanted me to know that. “You helped me man” he said on the phone and told me he stopped drinking, was married now, his son with him and he used cannabis every day.
In the US military Veterans like Johnny are denied the use of cannabis for any purpose in 27 states and US Territories. In the 23 states and DC with medical marijuana laws an illogical and ignorant law enforcement and lawyer generated medical protocol for medical cannabis use is in place. These "medical marijuana" programs are morally unjustified, medically unsound and designed by men and women with no medical training at all. A clear case of “practicing medicine without a license” by politicians and other lawyers who should know that action is against the law of the land if not the law of sanity.
Johnny and I use cannabis illegally in Virginia to help us cope with the trauma we endured, for what we did for our country. That is not right.
I've got a suggestion for the citizens of the US, support your troops by allowing doctors and nurses to take care of Johnny and me and the other Vets. He and I and they have had enough of what this country has not done for us and allowing Veterans the use of clinical cannabis would be a great start on fixing that situation.
Al Byrne, Lcdr., USN, ret.
CEO Veterans For Compassionate Care LLC.
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Ohio: Medical marijuana law on November ballot.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
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.
Featured Recipe - Patty Pot Peanut Butter Canny Cookies: A Delightful Snack from the Canny Bus Trip Kit by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD
All right. No excuses now. Here’s a recipe that’s so easy, so cheap, and so potent that you have to try it. Nancy Wife and I love peanut butter cookies. For us, the chewier and more peanut buttery the cookie, the better they are. This recipe is simple but there are some tricks.
Trick One: Make your cannabutter with unsalted (sweet) butter. Remember, low and slow for that emerald green butter. Check out “Better Bud Butter” for cannabutter preparation tips. Our cannabutter is derived from California Orange from the Western Sierra slopes. Obviously, our butter mentor was named Patty. Either that or we just love alliteration.
Trick Two: Cannabutter does not bake the same way as dairy butter. The melting point and other physical characteristics are different. You can use all cannabutter or use a 75/25 mix of cannabutter and sweet dairy butter. If you dilute the cannabutter you obviously will have less potent cookies. Instead of diluting try adding a bit of Crisco and/or extra peanut butter.
Trick Three: Depending on just how your cannabutter was made, the cookies will cook differently. Remember to check your cookies every couple of minutes after the initial nine minutes. Canny cookies generally cook in about 2/3 thirds of the time as normal. Baking temperatures should be lower.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and grease up or butter a nonstick cookie sheet (I like the PAM no stick spray of canola oil)
In a large bowl beat the butter until soft (or use a double boiler). Add both sugars and mix until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. We use a bowl and large rubber spatula for this. Avoid electric mixers as you may end up with paste instead of cookie dough (Nancy Wife is expert with mixers and can get away with it). A range of flour is given as sometimes you just have to eyeball the amount and use just enough flour to keep the dough from being runny. Sift together all of the dry ingredients and then mix into the butter/egg mixture. Add peanut butter to taste. We use about 20 ounces.
Important Tip: Refrigerate the dough for at least three hours.
Roll the dough into rounded teaspoon sized balls and arrange on the cookie sheet. Press down on each ball with a fork making a crisscross pattern. Bake for 9-12 minutes until light brown. The American Peanut Butter Cookie Association (APBCA) informs me that cookies without the traditional crisscross do not count.
Optional: Add some chocolate bits to the dough when ready or place on the tops of the cookie.
Warning! Depending upon the potency of your cannabutter, these little cookies can be very strong. Do not eat them like you would a bag of Chip Ahoys. One is great. Two is wonderful. Any consumption over two is strictly recreational not medical. Remember cannabis medicine is only illegal for those who enjoy it.
Recommended beverage: Got milk?
May 21-23, 2015
West Palm Beach, Florida USA
Contribute to the AAMC
Legal Fund here:
Medical Marijuana States
District of Columbia #
Rhode Island *
* States with reciprocity law
# States with legal marijuana