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Monday, November 28, 2011

Cannabis Essential Oil

     Essential oils have been used for centuries for various curative properties.  The "essence", or unique odor, of any such plant used for oils is derived from naturally occurring compounds, such as esters and terpenes.  Through inhalation or topical application, people find relief of a variety of ailments.
     The essential oil of cannabis flowers makes for a great addition to any aromatherapy set.  Not to be confused with *Rick Simpson* oil (hemp oil) or hemp seed oil, cannabis essential oil that has been steam-distilled will be a clear to translucent light green color.  The subtle, warm, sweet scent of cannabis flower oil makes for a great compliment to citrus oils like bergamot, lemon, or orange essences.  It can be added to baked goods and candies for a delicate added flavor.
     Cannabis flower oil is often the carrier oil for more pungent oils during aromatherapy, but that doesn't undermine its significance.  The oil alone can exhibit a calming and uplifting effect and is thought to enhance clarity of thought and enhance concentration.
     Cannabis essence is generally safe for all skin types and can even be applied as an insect repellent.  By mixing the oil with water in a spray bottle, one can protect houseplants and animals.  The high terpene content of the oil works in a similar fashion as citronella.   Please note that as with all natural products, sometimes allergic reactions can occur.  Use with awareness and caution, maybe by testing a sample on a small area of skin.  Keep this, as with all essential oils, in a cool, dark place to avoid early degradation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Schuette Hates Cannabis...Hey! Must be the Money!

     I wish I could say that I researched and wrote this but I found this article to accomplish the task of informing the public a lot better than what I could do myself.  Here is the link to the *article*.  After reading this, you will find the similarities to my DuPont blog posts to be uncanny.  (Here are the links to my DuPont posts:
http://thecannaculturist.blogspot.com/2011/09/dupont-hates-cannabis-part-1.html
http://thecannaculturist.blogspot.com/2011/09/dupont-hates-cannabis-part-2.html
http://thecannaculturist.blogspot.com/2011/09/dupont-hates-cannabis-part-3.html
If you are not appalled by this cronyism in our public servants, I really do not know how else I can help you!)

For those who wish not to go to the above link for the original article, here is the full text:

"Attorney General Bill Schuette's opposition to medical marijuana has been described by some observers as bordering on an obsession.
"Why is Schuette so obsessed?  Perhaps the real reason is to prevent industrial uses of the hemp plant, from which marijuana is derived, from competing with products of the Dow Chemical Company, in which Schuette's family has a large financial stake, while producing top executives.  Schuette's stepfather, Carl Gerstacker, was a Dow CEO, and his father, William Schuette, Sr., was in line to become CEO when he died of a heart attack in 1959.  The Schuette family's Dow-based wealth has helped to bankroll a long political career that began in 1984, when he was elected to Congress at 31.
"Dishonestly demonizing the use of marijuana, which is for the most part benign, as a cover for crushing potential competition from industrial hemp, is nothing new.  Back in the 1930s, one of the most successful campaigns that resulted in the 1937 federal marijuana prohibition was run by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who used his newspaper chain to spread lies about alleged harmful effects of marijuana.  But Hearst's real concern was that using hemp fiber to produce paper pulp for newspapers would cut into his own paper pulp business derived from extensive timber holdings.  At the same time, the DuPont family and financier Andrew Mellon wanted marijuana banned to prevent hemp fiber from competing with DuPont's nylon.
"So it is with Dow today.  Industrial uses of hemp include plastics, water purification and weed control that could compete with Dow products and perhaps cause its business to decline, costing the Schuette family a lot of money.  As such, Schuette, who led the failed campaign against Proposal 1 in 2008, is now doing all he can to undermine medical marijuana, interpreting the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act as narrowly as possible.  After all, if medical marijuana were to become solidly established as a legal business in Michigan, there would be no excuse not to allow industrial hemp, which has a THC level too low for recreational use.
"So the next time you hear Schuette, a hypocrite who has admitted smoking marijuana in college, dishonestly attack medical marijuana, understand that he isn't out to protect the public.  He's just in it for the money."






Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Did Liberty Lose Her Way?

     ‎When did liberty become an anachronism? Is it not meant for our time as well as the time of our nation's forefathers? I speak to those who presume the paths of modern Conservatism and Liberalism are in some way the right paths - yea, the only paths for the future of this nation. I dare say that our freedoms were not taken from us, though it is the easy acknowledgement to claim they were. I say that our freedoms were handed over willingly. We, the people, are in the midst of the greatest experiment of freedom this world has ever seen and yet, at the slightest shake of fear, accept the infringement of our rights, one freedom at a time. Today's Conservatism and Liberalism have bred a willingness to swallow a deadly poison by the name of "Statism". The antidote, my friends, is the education of liberty, a time-lost responsibility gone by the wayside.


     Are you doing your part to see that freedom is regained and retained?  Please - if not for your sake, for mine - share this blog with folks who do not understand.  We need to educate the masses, even if it may hurt our public perception.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend.  It may hurt, but we still have an obligation for the truth...

Monday, November 14, 2011

“Why is marijuana needed when it is already available in pill form?

     "It", if referring to marijuana, is NOT available in pill form.  "It", if referring to THC - the main psychoactive compound in cannabis - is sold by prescription under the name *Marinol* (Dronabinol).  That may seem like a trivial point but we must keep in mind that THC and marijuana are not the same thing.
     Marijuana contains at least 66 active cannabinoids in addition to THC. Research has shown that these other compounds contribute significantly to marijuana’s therapeutic effects. For example, cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to have anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory actions, as well as the ability to protect nerve cells from many kinds of damage. CBD also moderates THC’s effects so patients are less likely to get excessively “high.” Other cannabinoids naturally contained in marijuana have also shown significant
therapeutic promise.
      Also, people who use the pill find that it commonly takes an hour or more to work, while vaporized or smoked marijuana takes effect almost instantaneously. They also find that the dose of THC they have absorbed (in the pill form) is often either too much or too little. Because slow and uneven absorption makes oral dosing of THC so difficult, The Lancet Neurology wrote in May 2003, “Oral administration is probably the least satisfactory route for cannabis.”  In its 2008 position paper on medical marijuana, the American College of Physicians noted, “Oral THC is slow in onset of action but produces more pronounced, and often unfavorable, psychoactive effects than those experienced with smoking.”
     Now let's consider those who use cannabis for its anti-nausea properties.  As Mark Kris, M.D., one member of an expert panel convened by the National Institutes of Health in 1997 to review the scientific data on medical marijuana, explained during the group’s discussion on February 20, 1997: “[T]he last thing that [patients] want is a pill when they are already nauseated or are in the act of throwing up.”
     Thousands of patients risk fines and/or jail time for using cannabis even though they could use a THC pill legally.  They obviously think it is worth the risk to use the whole plant versus merely one chemical from the plant.  It is time to legalize cannabis for medicinal use and stop punishing people for choosing a natural medicine for their ailments.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Shouldn't We Wait for Further Research to be Done Before Marijuana is Used as Medicine?"

     This question is a good one.  Who wouldn't want to make sure that a substance like cannabis is safe and effective before using it?  Here's the thing: cannabis has undergone NUMEROUS studies by a variety of groups and institutions.  My question is, "How much research is required before cannabis is accepted?"  More research is always desirable, but we know enough right now to know that there is no justification for arresting patients using medical marijuana under their doctor’s care. Check out many of my previous posts on the medical benefits of cannabis and you will see that I have cited many reports from universities and laboratories showing the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine.
      In addition, the federal government has huge restrictions on cannabis research because of the plant's Schedule I status.  As a Schedule I drug, marijuana can be researched as a medicine only with federal approval. Until California voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996, federal authorities blocked all efforts to study marijuana’s medical benefits. Since then, federal restrictions have been loosened somewhat, and a small number of studies have gone forward, but that happened because the passage of ballot initiatives forced the government to acknowledge the need for research. The federal government remains intensely hostile to medical marijuana, and if the political pressure created by ballot initiatives and legislative proposals subsides, the feds will surely go back to their old, obstructionist ways. The federal government has been supplying medical marijuana to a small group of patients for over 20 years, in what is officially deemed a research program, but has refused to study even its own patients!
     Another problem is that all medical marijuana research must be done with marijuana supplied by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA’s product is poor-quality, low-grade marijuana that is likely to show less efficacy and greater side effects than the marijuana available through medical marijuana dispensaries in California and elsewhere - but it remains illegal to use this higher-quality marijuana for research! Scientists and activists have appealed to the Drug Enforcement Administration to allow other sources of marijuana to be used, and in 2007, DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled that a proposed University of Massachusetts project to grow and study marijuana for medical purposes should be allowed to proceed. But the DEA does not have to obey Bittner’s ruling and has given no indication that it intends to do so. The U.S. government remains the largest single obstacle to medical marijuana research.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Isn't Medical Marijuana advocated by the Same People Who Support Drug Legalization?"

     To answer the title question simply, "maybe, but what does that matter?".   Let's look at this objectively...  Some organizations believe that nobody, sick or otherwise, should be sent to prison simply for growing or using their own marijuana. Why is it surprising or scandalous that those organizations think that patients should not go to prison? Should those organizations take the position that healthy marijuana users should not go to prison but medical marijuana users should?  That would be absurd!  It is only common sense that groups like NORML and recreational users in general would be in favor of medical decriminalization.
     There are plenty of groups out there that support medical cannabis use while not endorsing broad-spectrum legalization.   Supporters of medical marijuana include some of the most respected medical and public health organizations, including the American College of Physicians, American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, and the state medical societies of New York, California, and Rhode Island.  Poll results show that about half of those who support medical marijuana bills still reject full legalization.
     Let's face it: medical marijuana laws protect patients from jail and/or fines.  That's a good thing, right?  Should seriously ill patients be subject to arrest and imprisonment for using marijuana with their doctors’ approval? If not, then support medical marijuana initiatives.  I personally support an approach to cannabis like other herbs - because that's what cannabis is.  I consume turmeric ground into a powder and put in a fruit/vegetable juice blend  I do this because I believe in its health benefits.  Cannabis should be on par with herbs and spices like turmeric because it is a natural plant with healing properties.  I, like many, believe that healthy as well as sick people should be able to grow and or use cannabis for whatever reasons they desire.  Should society punish those who are sick just to spite people who want full legalization like myself?

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Aren't the Medical Marijuana Bills and Initiatives Full of Loopholes Which Basically Legalize it for Anyone?"

     I have never been asked this question before.  Nope.  Opponents of medical cannabis don't ask this... they state it.  It typically sounds like this: "I voted against that marijuana initiative because you know anybody will be able to smoke it 'legally'."  We can't have that, can we?  Truth be told, people are going to eat, drink, and smoke what they want for the most part.  If a federal bill banning the consumption of fried starchy foods (like potato chips) - because of the cancer risks associated with acrylamide found in the foods - were to pass, people would still find a way to consume them.  Let's not kid ourselves.  The rate of cannabis usage doesn't go up merely because of state MMJ initiatives. How do I know?  Well, I personally can't vouch for that.  I enlist the help of studies!  In "Marijuana Use and the Response to Proposition 215 Among California Youth, a Special Study From the California Student Substance Use Survey (Grades 7, 9, and 11) 1997-1998", the researchers found NO increase in youth cannabis use despite the enactment of Proposition 215, the loosest of all the state initiatives.  Other state studies have comparable findings.
     Increase in legal patients can be contributed to an increase in public awareness and education concerning medical marijuana.  That is how I was introduced to it and I had never used it before it was made available medically.  Just because a state like Michigan has about 100.000 registered voters doesn't mean that there are too many people getting MMJ cards too easily.  Many people if given the opportunity would prefer to use a natural substance to treat ailments and chronic conditions without the harmful side effects of prescription drugs.  Sure, many patients were using prior to the passing of state bills.  That should attest to the fact that cannabis has worked for them and they are now wanting to take the legal route in getting their medication.
     In addition, it is just irresponsible to say that state initiatives have created an "open market" for cannabis use.  A person mast have an ailment that a licensed medical doctor believes is best treated with marijuana.  The General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of Congress, recently renamed the Government Accountability Office) interviewed officials from 37 law enforcement agencies in four states with medical marijuana laws. The key issue they examined was whether medical marijuana laws had interfered with enforcement of laws regarding non-medical use.  According to the GAO's findings, the majority of these officials "indicated that medical marijuana laws had had little impact on their law enforcement activities."  In California, the number of marijuana arrests has increased since passage of Prop. 215, totaling over 65,000 in 2004.  That hardly sounds like legalization, does it?
     If the state bills and initiatives are not perfect, they are still the best attempt to protect patients and physicians from punishment for using and recommending cannabis for medicine.  Currently in the U.S., about 99% of all cannabis arrests are on the state and local levels.  The remaining 1% of arrests (DEA, FBI, and Border Patrol) are manly focused on drug trafficking and large-scale operations.  Once federal law changes, we may see less of a need or no need at all for these state MMJ laws.