VIDEO: Should we Legalise Medical Cannabis for UK Cancer Patients?

VIDEO: Should we Legalise Medical Cannabis for UK Cancer Patients?

“The Antidote” is a one-episode discussion programme created for a project on the Film and Television BA course at Westminster University.

Is it immoral to refuse cancer patients a drug that has been proven to help with chronic pain? Or is this movement simply a red herring for those attempting for the blanket legalisation of cannabis?

This episode of “The Antidote” explores the use of medicinal cannabis with guests Peter Reynolds, and Peter Hitchens.

GW Pharma's Cannabis Drug fails in Cancer Study

GW Pharma's Cannabis Drug fails in Cancer Study

An experimental cannabis drug failed to alleviate pain in cancer patients as hoped in a clinical study, sending shares in its British maker GW Pharmaceuticals 18 percent lower on Thursday.Read more

Epilepsy Cannabidiol Treatment: Doctors Vs. Patients

Epilepsy Cannabidiol Treatment: Doctors Vs. Patients

A survey about using marijuana-based treatments appears to have split opinions between people with epilepsy and the doctors who treat them. Specialists warn there is not yet enough evidence to support their use.Read more

THC ‘Reducing Trauma in Brain Injuries’

THC ‘Reducing Trauma in Brain Injuries’

As the green wave of marijuana legalization sweeps across the US, it has become much more lucrative to dive into proper research of medical marijuana. These days we have a research study coming out almost every week unlike before when all we heard every day was a new raid going down somewhere in California. Keep in mind that cannabis was always a very controversial drug. Even today, it is so heavily under researched we wouldn’t advise just anybody to get their hands on it. However, if you are a patient suffering from a chronic condition, you are advised to do anything you can to help yourself lead a normal life.

Research Studies

Some research studies have shown that marijuana can be a great drug if enjoyed infrequently and after the age of twenty-five because around that age your brain is pretty much fully formed. Sure, some studies say thirty, some say eighteen but the most recent ones show twenty-five as the median brain development age so we will stick with that. If you are a teenager that’s heavily reliant on recreational marijuana, that is probably not going to end well, especially if you toke three to ten joints a day. However, not that we want to induce recreational marijuana enjoyment, but a new research study provided by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute has shown that people who have THC in their bodies have less of a chance of dying from trauma brain injuries than those who don’t have an indication of cannabis in their body.

Clinical Trials

Even though at first that sounds completely insane, they actually studied injuries on a sample of 446 patients and they have all been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. Their urine samples were tested and the results were pretty astonishing. 82 patients had THC on their medical results and just about 2.4% of those patients have succumbed to those injuries and died. Compare that to 11.5% of other 364 and you realize this wasn’t just a coincidence; it was something really worth digging your teeth into. And before you say: “but maybe their injuries differed greatly when compared to one another”, let us stop you right there because they didn’t. All injuries were very similar in scope so that makes the findings extremely relevant.

Animal Research

An animal study was done and it showed the same results. The thing with marijuana, however under researched it may be, is that there are compounds within the plant that act as a protector of the brain and animals clearly showed eerily similar results. The study was obviously done in a strictly clinical setting and serves as a terrific grounds for future research. The pace of research is picking up very quickly so we believe exciting times are ahead for marijuana research, albeit in the scope of medical or recreational marijuana – or both. For instance, the Israeli company Tikun Olam is also serving as a fine example by producing the first CBD only strain that has had a huge impact in the medical marijuana community.

by M.B

Study Suggests Cannabigerol May Prevent Colon Cancer

Study Suggests Cannabigerol May Prevent Colon Cancer

Marijuana is a vastly under researched territory. All that we have heard on the topic of medical marijuana in the last twenty years was rarely substantiated by scientific research. There’s a myriad of reasons why that is so, none of which are worth going into detail at this very moment. However, during the last couple of years, medical marijuana research has taken an upswing, mainly because of the born again marijuana industry. And we should take some time to appreciate that, as this is a plant that could save hundreds of thousands of people.

Since cannabis is not that well researched, there are a myriad of compounds within the plant that might serve some purpose one way or another. For a while, it was believed that THC is key in fighting cancer. Scientists soon realized that CBD is a much more important factor when fighting cancer. Some companies even went so far as to breed a CBD only strain. Then again, THC is fantastic with chemotherapy patients as it improves their appetite. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to separate compounds and figure out which works best for what but sometimes the entire plant seems to provide it all in one go, that’s why cannabis oil is being hailed as a miracle drug.

A Miracle Drug

We already know the miracle-like effects cannabis has, especially in fighting cancer. So it comes as no surprise that scientists have discovered another cannabis compound that seems to be highly effective in fighting colon cancer. To be perfectly clear, it prevents the progression of colon cancer. The compounds name is Cannabigerol (CBG). The research study appeared in the Oxford journal Carcinogenesis and was recently made public by the National Institute of Health. The compound seems to be non-psychotropic, so maybe we can expect CBG only strains in the future?

The obvious advantage of this compound is that it is specifically aimed at the actual creation of cancer cells. To quote the researchers: “in vivo, CBG inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors as well as chemically-induced colon carcinogenesis. CBG hampers colon cancer progression in vivo and selectively inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer cells.”

CBG Efficiency

To translate the aforementioned quote, it seems that CBG is quite effective in preventing colon cancer because, unlike chemotherapy, it doesn’t aim at “the good cells”, only the radically bad. They also add that CBG should definitely be implemented in the prevention of colorectal cancer and should be considered as a cure as well. Why CBG has been tested specifically on colon cancer and not other cancers remains unclear. However, this is certainly refreshing news because every company so far has yielded positive results. Let us remind you that cannabis has so far yielded excellent results in preventing cancer, dealing with chemotherapy side-effects, ALS, epilepsies, AIDS, and a myriad of other diseases. Naturally, every pharmaceutical company on the planet would like to patent this wonderful plant but that can’t be done for now since you can’t claim copyrights on a product of nature.

by M.B

Can Smoking Medical Marijuana Still Get You Fired?

Can Smoking Medical Marijuana Still Get You Fired?

It is nothing new under the sun: employees getting fired for smoking marijuana even in states like Colorado where one can legally purchase and consume limited amounts of it. The reason for such a contradiction is that marijuana is still a controlled substance on a federal level and businesses can still prohibit the use of it and choose to terminate employees for smoking the plant even in their private time. Until marijuana is legal under both state and federal law, employers are still able to take whatever action they consider to be prudent.

Take Mike Boyer for instance, who is reportedly the first person to legally buy marijuana in Washington: Boyer received immediate national attention that, unfortunately, his bosses saw it, too. It led to two of his three part-time jobs to request a drug test from him. Boyer did not create a fiasco over the situation with his employers, but was nonetheless unaware of the severity that all the attention brought him.

What about medical marijuana, though? What about those individuals who receive a prescription from their doctor to use medical marijuana for their ailments or disabilities? Should they receive the same penalty as those who use marijuana for recreational purposes?

That is the battle that Brandon Coats faces today. Coats, 35 and who is a quadriplegic, was a teenager when he was paralyzed in a car crash. He began using medical marijuana in 2009 to help calm his violent muscle spasms. He had worked for Dish Network as a telephone operator for three years in Colorado before failing a drug test that he told his employers he would surely fail because of his medical usage in 2010.

Coats says that his use of medical marijuana is well allowed under state law, which protects employees from being terminated for legal activities off duty, but the company disputes that because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, businesses are still able to enforce a zero-tolerance policy.

Coats says that he has never been under the influence at work, but the potent chemical in marijuana, THC, can stay in the body for weeks making it hard for medical users to pass drug tests even while sober. Some lines of work are far too hazardous or sensitive to be under the influence of any drug, but the line between medical and recreational marijuana, even in private use, are still blurred. Coats has not been able to find steady income due to his medical marijuana usage, but plans to continue to fight in hopes of changing how employers treat their employees who privately partake in using medical marijuana for serious conditions.

With all the mixed signals about medical marijuana and employment, as of now, the answer still remains that one can still be fired for smoking a little pot. Employers still have the upper hand with the federal law on their side, so it is still their choosing as to whether or not they decide to test you or even hire you if tests are found marijuana positive.

by Mitchelle Williams

Israel Create World’s First Metered-Dose Medical Marijuana Inhaler

Israel Create World’s First Metered-Dose Medical Marijuana Inhaler

Medical cannabis is gaining attention, as its applications and the list of approved medical conditions it treats grow. Some medical professionals are still wary of the drug, however, due to its reputation and inconsistent dosing. Israeli company Syqe (pronounced sy-kee) Medical is doing something about that.

Introducing the Syqe Inhaler, which is, according to the company’s website, the world’s first metered-dose, pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis inhaler. Designed to consistently deliver a precise dose of medical-grade cannabis, the device should instill greater confidence in doctors who prescribe the drug.

Based in Tel Aviv, the company “aims to transform cannabis and other psychoactive botanicals into mainstream medical drugs.“ Clinical trials suggest they are well on the way. The precision of the inhaler allows patients to obtain the perfect “balance between symptom relief and psychoactivity.”

Additionally, built-in wireless technology allows physicians to monitor their patients’ use, and an app will allow them to alter the dosage remotely as needed. Patient input can also adjust the dosage to maintain that optimum balance.

The benefits of the device are many. First, vaporized cannabis offers a clean, concentrated dose. Now, patients obtain their medical marijuana and vaporize it with their own devices, but the Syqe Inhaler has its own proprietary cartridges. Precision-measured cartridges also eliminate the guesswork of the more traditional smoking. Additionally, the inhaler is compact and easy to carry, and can be printed on any 3D printer.

Israel is on the cutting edge of cannabis research and development. In Israel, marijuana has been researched since the 1960s, and some 13,000 patients have received approval to use cannabis medically. Most recently, fibromyalgia and childhood epilepsy were added to the list of conditions for which the drug may be prescribed. In fact, the Israeli government is backing the development of Syqe’s inhaler, to the tune of $1 million US.

Source:: Israeli Device World’s First Metered-Dose Medical Marijuana Inhaler – Breaking Israel News

Breaking Down Cannabis and Cancer

Breaking Down Cannabis and Cancer

As the laws regarding the use of marijuana begin to change around our nation, and we slowly crawl back out of the dark ages in terms of how the world views this miraculous plant genus, more research is being published showing how the medicinal attributes that it has to offer are apparently endless.

But what would have to be established as one of the most amazing discoveries regarding marijuana’s medical efficacy is its reported protective effect against the development of certain types of cancerous tumors.

Cannabis and Cancer – The Stats!

These types of discoveries are imperative for the human race, especially when you take into consideration that approximately 585,000 Americans are expected to perish from some destructive form of cancer in 2014 alone, which calculates to around 1,600 deaths per day.

Cancer has been categorized as the second most common cause of death in the United States, which is only exceeded by heart disease, and accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.

In addition, it is expected that approximately 1,665,540 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2014, according to the American Cancer Society. Those numbers are shocking to say the least.

But with every piece of research that’s published regarding the medicinal attributes that marijuana has to offer the medical field, we come one step closer to having the understanding and capacity to quite plausibly dramatically change those staggering statistics.

The Plant!

The marijuana plant is comprised of 21 carbon-containing compounds called cannabinoids, which have been made known to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells via numerous methods. Among these plant-derived compounds, which are also referred to as phytocannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been found to be the primary psychoactive component. But ample research that has been conducted over the past decade or so shows how cannabinoids such as Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG) and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are also capable of performing biologic activity.

CBD, in particular, is believed to possess the ability to perform significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect (high) of THC.

The Treatment?

Previously published studies have suggested that cannabinoids such as THC present anti-cancer properties. In fact, back in 2009, researchers at Complutense University in Spain established that THC stimulated the demise of brain cancer cells in a progression identified as “autophagy,” which is a normal physiological process in our bodies that deals with destruction of cells. When the study’s researchers targeted human tumors in laboratory mice with doses of THC, they found that two cell receptors were particularly associated with an anti-tumor response.

Upon further analysis, two human patients with exceedingly aggressive brain tumors who received intracranial (within or introduced into the skull) administration of THC also showed similar signs of autophagy. It’s studies like this that justify the question as to why our world leaders choose to perpetuate an antiquated policy regarding the use of marijuana for any dedication, let alone medicinal. Keeping a naturally occurring wild plant that’s continually being proven through scientific examination to have numerous advantageous medicinal and commercial uses classified as a dangerous drug is a crime against humankind.

Stop the lies, legalize, and save some lives!

by Erik G

Switching from Painkillers to Medical Marijuana

Switching from Painkillers to Medical Marijuana

It’s been obvious for a while that the human race likes to relieve itself of pain, by pretty much any means necessary. It doesn’t really matter what kind of a prescription drug we are talking about. As long as it does the job, people don’t even care what they’re stuffing down their throats. Naturally, with neglect comes addiction. And then, instead of relieving a problem, you are faced with another problem. Of course, we are talking about painkillers. It doesn’t really matter if you are downing Valium or Prozac, you are probably not doing your body a favor in the long run. Not only are these pills highly addictive but they also provide you with this false sense of security. That is why without them – you are a complete zombie.

Abusing Marijuana

Then again, people abuse marijuana as well. Whoever says that marijuana is not addictive is laughing at your face. The upside is though – the side effects are not nearly as damaging as downing painkillers on a daily basis. We have always been proponents of responsible marijuana consumption. You know, don’t smoke a kilo a day, but keep the doctor at bay. So, with that in mind, according to painkiller research within the next ten years, it is safe to say that medical marijuana always seems like a more viable option, especially when compared to painkillers.

Swapping One Addiction With Another

The problem with people switching from medical marijuana to painkillers is that they feel like they have discovered the holy alternative grail of calmness and serenity. That is why they tend to over exaggerate and just swap one addiction with another. That is almost reasonable because it is hard to switch from that numbness provided by the painkillers to that peacefulness provided by medical marijuana. That is why you should ease that transition by performing some kind of physical activity. Yes, you read that right. Thirty minutes of walking per day or, God forbid, jogging, will put your mind at ease to a certain degree, maybe enough to make that transition without smashing your entire apartment in the process. It will give your body a very small boost needed to make it tired to a certain extent.

Use It Responsibly

The main thing you have to remember is this. It is a far better option to enjoy nature’s gift of medical marijuana than to simply ingest medicinal drugs that are only giving you the illusion of recovery. Marijuana will not turn you into a zombie if you use it responsibly. You will still be able to think quite normally under the influence of marijuana. There are plenty of ways you could go about it, from edibles and joint to vaporizing, which is by far the healthiest option.

So next time you get that prescription, maybe it would be better to get some weed and cook yourself a decent meal, hm? What do you think? Doesn’t that sound better than taking that Valium with a glass of wine and discovering you have to take three next time because your body has built up immunity to prescription drugs? We thought so. Be smart; don’t use prescription medication unless you REALLY have to.

by M.B

The Effects of Medical Marijuana on PTSD

The Effects of Medical Marijuana on PTSD

Medical marijuana has always been a more favourable option when compared with painkillers produced by Big Pharma. The side effects are less harmful, mainly reduced to a serious case of the munchies. Veterans have been reporting that a good nights sleep is something that seemed impossible until they discovered medical marijuana. This isn’t the case just in the US but all over the world as well. Every now and then a case pops up in court where a veteran was caught growing marijuana in his home or garden and unbelievably so – the judges let them off with a warning, even though most European countries haven’t legalized marijuana. This isn’t always the case unfortunately, and people suffering from PTSD still do end up in jail if caught possessing marijuana.

The Right To Grow

It should be noted that not only veterans could suffer from PTSD. Civilians suffer from the same disorder and sometimes that is even harder to prove. Being a citizen of a country that has gone to war doesn’t give you the right to just go ahead and plant fields of cannabis in your back yard. But most of all, this area of medical marijuana is heavily under researched. Fortunately, as awareness of medical marijuana has been spreading across the globe, so has the public opinion towards it. As more people support it, the market starts opening up and more funds are being poured into research.

For example, Canada is preparing to conduct research on medical marijuana effects on post-traumatic stress disorder. The study will take place in the town of Kelowna. It seems that this particular study will be focusing specifically on veterans. For instance, 40 men and women that have served in the military are eligible for the study, which should start in the summer 2015 and end sometime in 2016.

The Effects of PTSD

The effects of PTSD are quite debilitating and make it practically impossible for veterans to lead normal and productive lives. Clinical research might change and researchers are looking into getting some core data out of strains that contain more THC and CBD. Naturally, these percentages fluctuate from strain to strain so it will be interesting to see which strain is more beneficial to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms of PTSD are no joke. We already mentioned sleep disorders that stem from it but we’re not even scraping the surface with that one. Irritability is another issue that plagues the veterans and we’re not just talking about being annoyed in the way we usually lose our temper. When combined with extreme bouts of anger and range, irritability can lead to a nervous breakdown. Additionally, they also battle with depression, which is one of the most serious conditions that could stem from the battlefield since the images that are etched in your head while you’re there are really hard to erase. That is why they have flashbacks as well. Basically, when you combine all these together, it’s pretty easy to see why they can’t lead anything resembling a normal life. That is why veterans are pushing for medical marijuana to become a legitimate treatment option in the US as well.

by M.B