Posts Tagged ‘benefits of marijuana’

Four More Bullsh*t Marijuana Myths Busted Using the Fed’s Own Numbers

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My apologies for getting this little nugget out to you guys late but you know how it is when you’re trying to pay attention and…well, you know how it is. Nevertheless, guess what I’ve got!?!

The Federal government’s annual report highlighting substance abuse. Now that may not sound interesting when I put it like that but if you look through the 300+ pages like Paul Armentano of NORML did right here. You’ll find even more myth busting information by comparing the data but in the meantime, here’s the breakdown.

Four More Bullsh*t  Mary Jane Myths BUSTED!!!

  • Myth: Marijuana use is prevalent in low income and urban areas thereby justifying the “War on Drug” and aggressive treatment and surveillance of poorer (read: Black and Latino) neighborhoods.

…..combating numerous drug warrior myths and stereotypes (such as the notion that high rates of illicit drug use — yes, the New England states lead in this broader category too — are typically relegated to poorer, urban, more racially diverse areas).

  • Myth: Marijuana use is neither determined nor undermined by state drug laws. People use marijuana if and when they choose to and not because states make marijuana possession laws harder.

…..it should be noted that despite the prevalence of medical marijuana states in these rankings, the authors of the report acknowledge that there is no evidence that the implementation of medi-pot laws is increasing the use of cannabis or other illicit drugs.

  • Myth: Establishing medical marijuana laws do not directly affect an increase in casual marijuana use.

They also call into question the notion that marijuana use among the general population is in any way influenced by the legal status of marijuana.

  • Myth: The Northeast loves them some Mary Jane. Nearly every state in the region made it’s way into the top spots for marijuana use.

The totals in the category ‘marijuana use in the past year among persons age 18 to 25‘ is even more New England-centric, with every northeast state (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) all included in the top percentile (along with Alaska, Colorado, New York, and Oregon). In the category, ‘marijuana use in the past month among persons age 26 or older‘ Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont top the list (along with Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, and Oregon).

So, according this report by the United States government marijuana use is not the big bad monster that they make it out to be. With social concerns and morals aside, I wonder if a level-headed person would read this and ask themselves what the implication of this data means.

At the very least, our government has inflated the seriousness of marijuana’s affects on society. The decision to do so may have caused a  focus of limited state resources on treating a problem that may not have been a priority compared to other social issues.

At the very worst, this data shows a how an entire class of people (poor/brown) have been manufactured into a criminal class justifying the pursuit, expense and time required by the state to prosecute them when their marijuana use maybe less prevalent than in other (upper-class/white) areas. So if the real intent of the state is to pursue those that use illicit drugs the their polices effort to lock up offenders would correlate with drug use. This one theory begs the question of the states willingness to exploit their own criminal justice system to violate the rights of citizens to fund private industries that benefit from such discretion, specifically, the courts, the prisons and the legal industry.

Don’t be intimidated by false marijuana myths, educate yourself and stop the stupid with real data made by the same people that we’re fighting. Shout out to Norml for doing the hard part, now all you have to do is repeat it. Almost like cheating on a test but not. Until next time, people

- http://www.hailmaryjane.com

Here’s Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense

Guest editorial: Here’s why legalizing marijuana makes sense
By Alex Newhouse

For the Yakima Herald-Republic

The call to legalize cannabis continues to grow louder despite all of the other problems our country is currently facing. Mainstream polls indicate almost 50 percent of Americans favor full-out legalization, and nearly 80 percent believe that marijuana should be available for medicinal purposes.

No one has ever died from simply using marijuana. In 1972, then-President Richard Nixon appointed the Shafer Commission to study the nation’s rising drug problem. It reported the following: “Neither the marihuana [sic] user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety.” The commission’s findings have withstood the test of time.

The more we learn about marijuana, the more benign it becomes. Marijuana does not cause cancer. Sound scientific studies, such as those done by UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin, have clearly demonstrated this. We also know that marijuana is legitimate medicine. If marijuana has no medicinal benefit, why are so many terminally ill patients turning to it to improve their quality of life? Why, after countless legislative hearings and initiatives, have 16 states and our nation’s capital legalized marijuana for medicinal use? And why does an expensive prescription drug called Marinol, which is a synthetic form of the active ingredient in marijuana, exist? Even the federal government owns a patent for the medicinal use of marijuana. (The patent number is 6630507.)

Marijuana is medicine to many people. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s own administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, held that “marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” Studies done by the California Center for Medical Cannabis Research and the recent breakthroughs highlighting the antibacterial properties of cannabis extracts also clearly demonstrate marijuana’s potential as a natural and inexpensive medicine.

Unlike most medicines, it is quite safe for marijuana to be used recreationally by responsible and healthy adults. According to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, over 100 million Americans have tried or use marijuana. If this market were taxed and regulated, crime rates would go down and agriculturally based communities would profit. We easily forget how much disrespect for the law vanished when alcohol prohibition was repealed, or that well over 30,000 Mexican citizens have died since 2006 as a direct result of a drug war fueled in large part by demand for marijuana, or that the U.S. has spent approximately a trillion dollars and 100,000 lives on a drug war that could be reined in considerably with marijuana legalization.

Regulating marijuana would also protect our children. It is easier for kids today to get marijuana than it is for them to get alcohol or tobacco, which is a fact supported by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Drug dealers simply do not ask for ID. Regulation would also lessen the burden on the criminal justice system, making it easier to keep violent criminals behind bars. Washington currently has mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports more people are being court-ordered into treatment for marijuana than ever before under threat of incarceration. This is a huge waste of resources.

The legalization movement is not about persuading people to use marijuana, but for giving the sick and responsible the liberty to consume a relatively benign product. Proposed policies within the spirit of the movement are worthy of our consideration.

 

* Alex Newhouse is a lawyer who lives in the Sunnyside area.

What a Marijuana Judge Looks For When Reviewing A Strain

by Matt Mernagh – Monday, July 11 2011

On Tuesday, July 12 I will reach a marijuana review milestone. Having pen & published 150 marijuana reviews. That includes marijuana photo galleries too. The last two reviews published, Cindy Bubbles and DJ Short’s Blueberry were donation from cannabis growers I know. From their personal head stash. Review 150 is another personal grower donation. Their samples were awesome. l am developing an excellent nug network of people who want to show off their efforts. Always looking for more. You can send your product to be reviewed to 1161 St. Clair Ave West, Toronto, ON, M6E 1B2.
I always write my reviews under the influence of the marijuana being reviewed. Usually rocking out on Blip to get the beat of my words down. If I had it together I would return to my original career as a music critic and do cannabis and album reviews. Rock out to a album to be reviewed while vaporizing marijuana also being reviewed. My influence is to take a music critic approach to my weed reviews. With a bit of food critic thrown in. Note, the music critic is sent everything. Developing a pallet takes time. Publicists pester professional critics (not food ones), offer dinners, passes and the like to curry favor. If weed arrived around here at the pace music, movies and other culture sent to alt-weeklies like NOW I’d have to hire a staff.
It’s more difficult to be critical with weed because it’s generally all very, very, good. The people handing me buds are proud of their homegrown grass. They want to show someone who will appreciate it by photographing and blogging their senses. In other words I’m getting cream.
Rarely am I afforded an opportunity to review the same strain twice. I’ve had a few strains several times now. Especially my favorite Jean Guy. I can even identify her.
Then exactly what are we judging? The grower, the genetics or the bud. Or combination of all three. I believe all of the above. Some weed is well grown, but doesn’t do diddly for my health condition or have a solid marijuana high. Then there’s weed that works for me and isn’t well grown. Flush your plants! Breeders do produce strains that do just suck Cartman’s balls.
Marijuana grown by two different people will produce different results. Based on skill level, nutrients and soil. Presuming both received equal genetics. One growers seed maybe fresh and vibrant while another receives old tired beans.
A goal we have is to hold a grower competition involving the same strain. Everyone picks up their clone on the same day and returns 90 later with finished result. With the clone producer not allowed to compete as they grew the mother plant.

Israeli Nursing Home Prescribes Medical Marijuana

Moshe Ratt smoking pot.jpg
Photo: NTD Television
Moshe Rott tokes up at Hadarim Geriatric Home in Israel

​Even as the Obama Administration inexplicably denies the medical benefits of marijuana, at least one Israeli nursing home is prescribing the herb to its elderly patients, reportedly with great results.

Israel’s Ministry of Health in 2008 approved limited use of medical marijuana, and now that the nation’s elderly residents are eligible for cannabis prescriptions, they’re giving it high marks, reports Andrew Belonsky at death + taxes.
“What does it do? It makes me tranquil and less uptight,” said patient Moshe Rott, reports Eric W. Dolan at Raw Story. “I’m able to take it easy, and I feel restful. Before that my hands were in pain, like someone suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It stopped after three months. My hands don’t shake anymore, and it’s totally different.”

“We were just looking for some kind of medicine that would bring relief, and we found it,” remarked Inbal Koren, head nurse at Hadarim Geriatric Home.
Pain specialist Dr. Bareket Schiff-Karen recommends medical cannabis to some of her patients.
“If the question is relieving pain and leading a normal life as opposed to being dependent on a drug, then why not take that drug to improve one’s quality of living?” Schiff-Karen asked.
“The Ministry of Health claims that these patients possess scientific evidence that their illness can be relieved by using cannabis.”
An instructor from one of the providing companies said that the most crucial point about cannabis is that it’s not dangerous or hazardous to the patient.

How To: Legally Obtain A Medical Marijuana Recommendation

Always wondered how to get a medical marijuana card?

Watch this video, super informative and valid for all states that currently approve marijuana.

Give us your feedback!

How To: Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Washington State

Washington State Marijuana

You do not need to carry a medical marijuana card to legally use medical marijuana in the state of Washington. If you are a qualifying patient, all you need is a written recommendation from your health provider.  If you have been told by a clinic that you must purchase a card or permit from them – this is not true.  There are groups or clinics in Washington that may charge a fee for you to see a doctor, but you are not required to visit a certain clinic or join an organization to get a medical marijuana recommendation from a health care provider.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Qualifying medical conditions

  • Cancer
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • Spasticity disorders
  • Intractable pain, (that is pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications)
  • Glaucoma, either acute or chronic (increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications)
  • Crohn’s disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
  • Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
  • Diseases, including anorexia, resulting in the following symptoms which are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Wasting
    • Appetite loss
    • Cramping
    • Seizures
    • Muscle spasms
    • Spasticity
    • Any other medical condition duly approved by the Washington state medical quality assurance commission in consultation with the board of osteopathic medicine and surgery.

Anyone may petition the commission to add a condition to the list. By law, the commission will consult with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. For more information about this process, you may contact the commission at: Medical Quality Assurance Commission, PO Box 47866, Olympia WA 98504-7866

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Authorized Health Care Providers

The following providers may recommend marijuana:

  • Medical Doctors (MDs)
  • Physician Assistants (PAs)
  • Osteopathic Physicians (DOs)
  • Osteopathic Physician Assistants (OA)
  • Naturopathic Physicians (ND)
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs)

Health care providers licensed in another state may not recommend marijuana; the law says the health care provider must be licensed in Washington.  The Department of Health does not keep information on health providers who are known to recommend marijuana as a medication.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Valid Written Recommendation

Beginning June 10, 2010, a recommendation must be written on tamper-resistant paper. It must also include an original signature by the health care provider, a date, and a statement that says in the health care provider’s professional opinion the patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. The 2010 law change also prohibits the use of a copy of the patient’s medical records in lieu of a recommendation.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Obtaining Marijuana

The law does not allow dispensaries, neither does it allow for the buying or selling of cannabis. Washington State law does allow a qualifying patient or designated provider to grow medical marijuana.

  • A qualifying patient and a designated provider may possess a total of no more than twenty-four ounces of useable marijuana, and no more than fifteen plants.
  • Useable marijuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis plant family Moraceae. Useable marijuana excludes stems, stalks, seeds and roots.
  • Plant” means any marijuana plant in any stage of growth
  • The given amounts represent the total amount of marijuana that may be held between both patient and designated provider
  • A designated provider must be at least 18 years old and must be designated in writing by the qualifying patient
  • A designated provider can only be a provider for one patient at any one time
  • The law does not say that a patient may or may not also be a designated provider
  • It does say that a designated provider may not consume a qualifying patient’s medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Designated Provider

  • A designated provider must be at least 18 years old and must be designated in writing by the qualifying patient
  • A designated provider can only be a provider for one patient at any one time
  • The law does not say that a patient may or may not also be a designated provider
  • It does say that a designated provider may not consume a qualifying patient’s medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana Use Outside of Washington State

Some states may allow you to use your recommendation from Washington when traveling. You must comply with the laws in the other state. Doctor recommendations, ID cards, and other documentation from other states are not legal in Washington.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Useful Contacts

From medicalmarijuanablog.com

To Weed Or Not To Weed?

By Miggy420

We’ve never said marijuana gives you super powers, makes you smarter or dumber. We’ve never said it’d be cooler if you had some, even though it would be. We never said everyone should smoke (though it might make politicians a little more honest). My whole reason (besides all the unjust imprisonments and lost opportunities) of being an active voice in the legalization is not to make everyone high, I just  want marijuana legal so I can be left alone while doing mine.

To live in a world where you don’t have to worry about cops or shitty pious neighbors, a world where my job and kids can’t be taken away from me. Instead we live in a world where a pothead/stoner/whatever you want to call yourself is a criminal. Instead we live in a world where self proclaimed alcoholics survive and thrive.

I blame the drug war proponents for lives lost; lost due to the inability to qualify for scholarships and other government programs that drug convictions dismiss you from. Lives literally lost in attempts to experiment with something legal for a high.

It’s human nature to want to escape, I remember being in the military trying the “legal weed” just to see what it would do for me – I was not impressed, natural is always the way to go. Within the past year or so there have been a rash of deaths as a result of the “the legal weed” – I blame the drug war proponents. Even the creator of “the legal weed” has come out for the legalization of marijuana.

Legalize it!

Smoking for pleasure is nothing new; Researchers debate Shakespeare’s use of “that noted weed” mentioned in his sonnets. For hard facts it has recently been found in the Gobi desert dating back 2700 yrs ago. So why is something so old made illegal and has remained that way fairly recently?

The times are changing but not soon enough for us die hard, not wanting to go to jail, not wanting the police to raid our homes, not wanting my children taken away, not wanting to fear the police while holding, stoner types. Marijuana has and is again taking a hold in pop culture once again. Take for instance the Late Night munchies Taco Bell commercial; who are they really gunning for? (note to Taco Bell: Sell here!)

As allergy seasons come and go I get more irritated about the law. Have you ever taken a Benadryl? At 6ft 230lbs it’s an uncontrollable high I don’t enjoy and this shit is legal. As our big brother society grows and grows it becomes clearer our signals are all mixed up. The FDA just released what a new pack of cigarettes will look like. A box with images caused by cigarette smoke, I say legalize marijuana and post images of couch potatoes and late night binging on the pack, I’d still buy.

So again why is this natural beautiful thing illegal? State by state, hope develops and then quickly dwindles away when the legislature doesn’t pass or is stuck in some proverbial red tape. Is it because not enough people care? Maybe. Is it because more people feel it should be illegal than not? I don’t think so. For the most part I think the majority of America is okay with knowing a stoner, unless of course that stoner is family mooching off of you, than all you see is a p.o.s not doing what it takes to get a job.

We’re so distracted by the daily inundation of shitty news that we get sidetracked about what really is bad, harmful, or in the end will effect my life Mr. Joe Nobody. Jon Stewart explains it best on a Fox News show that all media is simply laziness and sensationalism. Magazines like High Times took the sting out of the marijuana culture shock back in the day; but now its up to websites like theweedblog, tokeofthetown, and Hailmaryjane taking a bite out of the government crime. We are not criminals, those arrested for a gram up to hundreds of pounds are not criminals and the world has to be kept aware of this.

I recently stopped in one of the most amazing pro-marijuana towns in the world called Big Sky, Montana. The whole thing was happenstance, on my way from Bozeman, Mt. to my next job I picked up a hitchhiker, who turned out to be a seasonal worker in one of the big money resorts. Along the way to Big Sky he invited me to hangout for the night; this is where my adventure began. Here I acquired some local agriculture known as Chanel No#5 which was just as intoxicating as her real name counterpart. Bag in hand; we hopped from local to local seizing the day smoking, drinking, and joking: I met a pretty young woman facing federal charges because she was caught with 14 grams in Yellowstone Park (which is Federal land). During that night she smoked like a champ and knew of the penalties that she faces. We do what we do and know the penalties we face; this ought to tell somebody something of one plant.

On days when I discourage not by the movement but by the politicians I ponder “To weed or not to weed?” and its places like Big Sky, Mt. that tell me “To weed forever”.

Police Seize 8,000 Marijuana Plants in Michigan – Largest Marijuana Bust

An anonymous tip led to the confiscation of an estimated $8 million worth of marijuana from a Rome Township couple’s rural home.

Edwin and Linda Schmieding, both 60, remain in the Lenawee County Jail after bonds were set at $1.5 million for him and $1 million for her Tuesday afternoon in Lenawee County District Court. Both are charged with manufacturing more than 200 marijuana plants and with conspiracy. Edwin Schmieding also faces a felony firearm charge stemming from numerous handguns and long guns police seized from the home at 12501 Rome Road.

The couple are accused of growing more than 8,000 marijuana plants on their Rome Road property west of Hawkins Highway that had been a commercial flower farm. Doug Hartung, assistant Lenawee County prosecutor, said local officials are also talking with federal authorities because an operation of this size is far beyond personal use.

The raid was carried out by members of the Michigan State Police Office of Monroe Narcotics Investigation (OMNI) Team 3, which includes officers from some Lenawee County police departments. The Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team also assisted.

OMNI officers and other law enforcement officials spent Monday night and much of Tuesday harvesting plants. Michigan State Police Lt. Steve Galbreath said the final count is 8,023 marijuana plants. They were in various stages of growth in several locations on the property.

Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said the plants ranged from seedlings to fully grown, 6-foot-tall stalks, leading officials to suspect a potential wider range for their investigation.

“This is probably the most extensive marijuana growing operation that I can remember in the Hillsdale and Lenawee area,” Adamczyk  said. “This will put a crimp in some marketing somewhere.”

Calculating a potential one pound of marijuana per plant, officials estimated the street value of the bust to be more than $8 million. The price is $1,000 per pound on the street, Galbreath said.

The growing operation, which appears to have been going on for several years, included a greenhouse and several fields. Many of the plants were hidden among pine trees on the property, he said.

“This was well-hidden. It is a very rural environment,” Adamczyk said. “If you drove past it, you wouldn’t be able to see anything.”

Edwin and Linda Schmieding appeared distraught during a video arraignment from jail Tuesday afternoon. District Judge James E. Sheridan had to repeat several portions of the arraignment for them. Both said they are receiving Social Security disability and do not have money to hire their own attorneys. Public defenders were appointed.

“I don’t think either one of us are a great flight risk,” Edwin Schmieding said while Sheridan was setting bond.

He set bond at $500,000 per count. The couple face maximum 15-year prison terms and $10 million fines on the marijuana and conspiracy counts. Edwin Schmieding faces a mandatory two-year prison term if convicted of the felony firearm count.

Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh said the investigation began with an anonymous tip to a detective, who alerted the drug enforcement team. OMNI officers went to the scene to begin the investigation and noticed the smell of marijuana. That was enough evidence to secure a search warrant, said Hartung.

When they continued to investigate, officers found nearly 1,000 plants in a greenhouse. The search turned up an extensive growing operation that included lights, a watering system and ventilation equipment.

State police Lt. Tim Gill said officers also confiscated several handguns which were in a locked safe along with about $2,500 in cash. The property is subject to forfeiture, Gill said.

The Schmiedings did not resist and did not have criminal records, said Adamczyk.

OMNI Team 3 is a multi-jurisdictional task force made up of officers from the state police, Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department, Raisin Township Police Department the Adrian Police Department.

Daily Telegram staff writer Dennis Pelham contributed to this report.

Worth Repeating: Medical Cannabis May Treat PTSD

​​​Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.

Worth Repeating
​By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
Health Education Teacher (Retired)

An Israeli study finds that the cannabinoids in cannabis provide reliefe from anxiety due to stress. This study suggests that a treatment to heal a hyper-alert “fear memory” in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients may exist.

Medical cannabis may also enhance PTSD behavior therapy treatments as an anti-anxiety agent that resets a damaged amygdala and may act as a superior psychiatric medicine to present-day antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

The study: Cannabinoid activation in the basolateral amygdala blocks the effects of stress on the conditioning and extinction of inhibitory avoidance. Published in The Journal of Neuroscience, September 2009 [PDF]
ptsd.jpeg
Graphic: Opposing Views
​Background Information
The endocannabinoid system has recently emerged as an important regulator of stress and anxiety in post-traumatic stress disorder, with supporting biological evidence in animal models starting to accumulate showing cause and effect.
All mammals are born with the same hardwired stress/fear pathway in their brains from birth. Its purpose is to help ensure survival by automatically triggering fight, flight or freeze behavior when faced with a threat to survival. This pathway is the common link upon which all anxiety disorders are based — overwhelming fear and anxiety.
The emotions present in anxiety disorders range from simple nervousness to bouts of terror. This automatic stress/fear body response is controlled by the four-part brain pathway called the “amygdala-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.”
The amygdala holds a special “fear memory” which is separate from all other memories. It is located in as part of the brain called the limbic system. The amygdala scans the environment through the senses for threats to your existence.
Importantly, it vividly remembers all fearful events from your past, starting from infancy, by remembering all the details of the environment when threatened. The amygdala also controls coping and adapting to the stress of all challenges in your environment.
The hypothalamus/pituitary gland is the next controlling link from your brain to all the body’s glands, but in terms of fear and threats, the adrenal gland, sitting on top of your kidneys, is the next link. It releases two stress hormones that activate your muscles and immune system to respond to challenges and danger. Adrenaline (also called epinephrine) is a very short-acting hormone to get you out of danger fast.
The second stress hormone is called cortisol, also produced by the adrenal gland. If epinephrine is used for short-term stress, cortisol is used for long-term stress — the kind that takes place over days and weeks. Constant, unrelieved release of these two substances damages and rapidly ages the body.
Epinephrine makes your red blood cells sticky so wounds from combat clot quickly; long term, this leads to clogged blood vessels. Constant release of cortisol damages your immune system by breaking down white blood cells to be used as muscle fuel.
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Graphic: Esquire
This whole system can be overwhelmed and damaged by terrifying life events, or by being in a very high-stress environment for extended periods of time. This could involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or threats to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope, or by constant high levels of unrelieved stress over a prolonged period. About 30 percent of people develop PTSD after such events.
When this system is activated over and over with very strong electrical nerve signals, the amygdala doesn’t come back to baseline, because it becomes damaged by getting stuck in the hyper-alert state of fear, pumping out adrenaline and cortisol in large amounts when it is reminded of the original event.
Symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased constant arousal — such as difficulty falling or staying asleep-, anger, and hyper-vigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria require that the symptoms last more than a month and cause “significant impairment” in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Presently, cognitive-behavioral therapy is used as treatment for PTSD. This treatment takes a long time, requiring many cue exposure sessions where sights, sounds, images and memories that triggered the original fear are presented to the person with increasing realism. Avoidance behavior of anything that reminds the person of the event is addressed with breathing and muscle relaxation techniques that are learned and practiced while being exposed to reenacted memories.
What these sessions aim for is a cognitive override of the fight or flight response. Psychologists use the term “extinction” to describe the state when the sights and sounds no longer produce the reaction. However, these sessions are very vulnerable to reversal when high levels of stress are experienced in life.
Even if you have medical insurance, companies are reluctant to pay for such long-term treatment and would rather treat individuals with psychiatric drugs, many of which give only minor relief with many side effects.
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Graphic: Medical Marijuana Blog
Excerpts From The Study
“The main finding of the present study is that cannabinoids receptor activation in the basolateral reverses the enhancing effects of the environmental stress on inhibitory avoidance and its impairing effects on extinction”
“Acute stress elevates corticosteroid levels, and CB1 receptor activation in the basolateral amygdala significantly reduces this stress-induced elevation
“Indeed, pharmacological augmentation of cannabinoids reduces anxiety-related behavioral response”
“Manipulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system has become a major focus of current search for novel therapeutics to treat many common mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders, depression, and drug addiction”
The Experiment In Brief
Using a synthetic form of marijuana which has similar properties to THC in natural plant form, this synthetic cannabinoid called WIN55,212-2 was delivered directly into the basolateral amygdala, which is the location of the fear memory for past traumatic life-threatening events. Drug delivery was conducted by surgically implanting a micro cannula into this area for exact cause and effect.
“The potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid is underscored by the dense expression of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in regions known to be significant for anxiety and emotional learning, particularly the basolateral amygdala.”
The CB1 receptor into which THC fits is the fix, by resetting the damaged amygdala. The exact process is called “depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition.”
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Graphic: PHX Worldwide Marijuana March
“The first stage of the research examined how long it took for the rats to overcome a traumatic experience, without any intervention. A cell colored white on one side and black on the other was prepared. The rats were placed in the white area, and as soon as they moved over to the black area, which they prefer, they received a light electric shock. Each day they were brought to the cell and placed back in the white area. Immediately following exposure to the traumatic experience, the rats would not move to the black area voluntarily, but a few days later after not receiving further electric shocks in the black area, they learned that it is safe again and moved there without hesitation.”
Next, the researchers introduced an element of stress. A second group of rats were placed on a small, elevated platform after receiving the electric shock, which added stress to the traumatic experience. These rats abstained from returning to the black area in the cell for much longer, which shows that the exposure to additional stress does indeed hinder the process of overcoming trauma.
The third stage of the research examined yet another group of rats. These were exposed to the traumatic and additional stress events, but just before being elevated on the platform received an injection of synthetic marijuana in the amygdala area of the brain — a specific area known to be connected to emotive memory.
These rats agreed to enter the black area after the same amount of time as the first group — showing that the synthetic marijuana cancelled out the symptoms of stress. Refining the results of this study, the researchers then administered marijuana injections at different points in time on additional groups of rats, and found that regardless of when exactly the injection was administered, it prevented the surfacing of stress symptoms.
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Photo: First5.com
​This is where cannabinoids make all the difference in the world, because they activate CB1 receptors found in great numbers in the amygdala!
Bottom line #1: The results of this study show that cannabinoids can play an important role in stress-related disorders. “The results of our research should encourage psychiatric investigation into the use of cannabinoids in post-traumatic stress patients.”
Bottom line #2: “It is generally appreciated that the recreational use of cannabinoids is related to their positive modulatory effects on the brain-rewarding processes along with their ability to positively influence emotional states and remove stress responses to environmental stimuli.”
Watching the sad news from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, how many survivors will develop PTSD in the weeks and months to come?
How many more soldiers are going to come home from war with PTSD?
How many people suffer in silence from tragic events beyond their control in childhood?
So can medical cannabis repair the damaged fear memory in PTSD-affected brains? How about some human studies with volunteers, using real marijuana?
Imagine that! Here is a non-toxic plant that helps people survive the emotionally painful memories inflicted on them by child abuse, crime, rape, violence, war, and natural disasters.
Cannabis is the healing of the nations… Indeed.
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