Olivia Newton-John Credits Cannabis for Help in Surviving Stage IV Breast Cancer

By Alex Pietrowski

At age 71, famed actress and singer Olivia Newton-John is winning a long battle with cancer, and she gives major credit to medicinal cannabis for helping her to overcome pain and get much-needed rest so that her body could heal.

Having been fought off cancer in 1992, then also in 2013, she was again diagnosed in 2017, this time with stage IV breast cancer, which eventually spread into her lower back, causing extreme pain.

While she did work with traditional medicine under the care of her physician, she says that supplementing with cannabis and a variety of herbs has helped her to stay off of destructive opioids for pain management.

READ: MEDICAL CANNABIS SUPERIOR TO OPIOIDS FOR CHRONIC PAIN, STUDY FINDS

Opioids are highly addictive, have terrible side effects, and are causing a shocking number of overdose deaths in America today, but switching to cannabis for pain is proven to be very effective, and is what ultimately led to a positive turn around in Newton-John’s most recent effort to beat cancer.

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As noted by Express:

“Before turning to the herb she described as a “safe alternative”, Olivia said she went through “months and months of excruciating, sleep-depriving, crying-out-loud pain”. She said she weened herself off morphine with cannabis, and doctors had supported her.”

Newton-John is married to John Easterling, otherwise known as Amazon John because he is respected for his work with Amazon rainforest conservation and his relationship with indigenous people of the region. Olivia refers to him as a ‘medicine man,‘ and explains that his knowledge of the healing properties of plants, along with his cultivation of cannabis and preparation of specific cannabis tinctures, provided her with a synergistic, natural approach to coping with cancer.

And it’s working!

Recently, at the G’day USA gala in Los Angeles, she commented:

My tumours are receding or they’re going away or they’re staying the same. On a Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that’s pretty amazing.

If I hadn’t had the experience I’m having with cannabis I wouldn’t be able to talk about it. [Source]

Appearing on the Dr. Oz show in 2018, she talked about the miraculous and  instantaneous pain relief from taking homemade cannabis tinctures:

Medicinal cannabis is a big part of my recovery and… my husband is a medicine man, really a plant medicine man and he grows, because we live in California so we can, he grows cannabis for me and makes tinctures, and the pain relief was incredible, even from the first time, even just a few drops of the tinctures made such a difference to me that I totally believe in it. [Source]

She is now a passionate advocate for medicinal cannabis, and while her story is quite remarkable, it is not at all unique. Many people around the world are benefiting from the healing properties of cannabis, including CBD, and her story mirrors that of celebrity actor and comedian Tommy Chong.

In 2012, Chong was diagnosed with prostate cancer and went public with the news that he aimed to treat himself with hemp oil.

I’ve got prostate cancer, and I’m treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis. So [legalizing marijuana] means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested.  ~Tommy Chong

In 2013, Chong reported to the world that he had beaten his cancer with a proper diet and cannabis oil derived from plants that he grew on his own rooftop in California.

After I came out with the news last June that a cancer doctor told me I had prostate cancer and suggested a high frequency treatment that is not approved in America and could only be done in Mexico at the cost of $25,000, I immediately looked at alternatives. I contacted my nephew in Vancouver, who was about to become a doctor, and he suggested I meet with a Dr. McKinnon in Victoria, BC. That doctor changed my diet and put me on supplements, and within a year I brought my PSA numbers down drastically and eliminated the cancer threat. I also treated the condition with hemp oil (hash oil). With the diet, the supplements and the hash oil, plus a session with a world-renowned healer, Adam Dreamhealer, I’m cancer-free. That’s right, I kicked cancer’s ass! So the magic plant does cure cancer with the right diet and supplements. I’m due for another blood test, MRI, etc., but I feel the best I’ve felt in years. And now for a celebration joint of the finest Kush… [CelebStoner]

Tommy Chong is still doing very well today, and is, as always, another staunch advocate for the legalization of cannabis nation-wide and world-wide.

Research into how cannabis actually works to treat cancer continues to evolve, further supporting the case for legalization, which is terrible news for the medical establishment, because it democratizes cancer treatments. If enough people shift towards homegrown medicines it could radically change the economic dynamic of how people approach cancer treatment. This is especially important in light of the fact that cancer diagnoses are on the rise worldwide.

Please share this information far and wide to help with the liberation of natural medicine!


Read more articles by Alex Pietrowski.

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article (Olivia Newton-John Credits Cannabis for Help in Surviving Stage IV Breast Canceroriginally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com

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Scientists Discover Cannabis Compound That Could Be 30 Times More Potent Than THC

By Elias Marat

Are you tired of puffing on flower? Can’t quite afford to lay down the cash for a dabbing rig? Uninterested in the usual edibles?

Well, Italian scientists have discovered a previously unknown cannabis compound that has been shown in lab tests to be potentially 30 times stronger than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in THC that gets you high.

Whether the new cannabinoid—named tetrahydrocannabiphorol, or THCP—has any intoxicating effects at all, remains an open question.

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The Italian researchers also discovered another previously unknown compound named Cannabidphorol, or CBDP. The compound is apparently a close cousin of CBD, the medicinal compound that has gained a surge of attention in recent years for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant properties.

Authors of the report, which was published in the journal Nature, estimated the effects of THCP by observing its ability to bind to human cannabinoid receptors that impact the entire nervous system. THCP bonds stronger than THC by about 33 times.

The discovery has scientists wondering if THCP could explain why some cannabis strains pack such a powerful punch that can’t be explained by the presence of THC and CBD alone.

Lead study author Cinzia Citti told CNN:

This means that these compounds have higher affinity for the receptors in the human body.

In cannabis varieties where THC is present in very low concentrations, then we can think that the presence of another, more active cannabinoid can explain those effects.

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Additionally, research has shown that the molecular chain of almost 150 cannabis compounds is only five atoms long versus THCP’s seven. The study marks the first time that atom chains exceeding five has been observed in any naturally-observing cannabinoid—hinting at the possibility that THCP could be the most potent compound ever discovered in the plant.

The discovery of the new compound could hint at the presence of even more previously-unknown compounds as well as potential new medical benefits of cannabis.

Jane Ishmael, associate professor in Oregon State University’s College of Pharmacy, said:

There are other minor cannabinoids and traces in the plant that can be hard to study, but by isolation we can continue to assess the effects they might offer.

Historically, many of our medicines have been derived by or inspired by natural products. By having new compounds that bind with very high affinity, that will give scientists a new probe into biological sciences.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Bees Absolutely Love Cannabis and It Could Help Restore Their Populations

By Elias Marat

Bees are major fans of hemp and a recent study has found that the taller the hemp plants are the larger the number of bees that will flock to it.

The new research, spearheaded by researchers at Cornell University and published last month in Environmental Entomology, shows that humans aren’t the only fans of weed. The findings also reinforce a study published last year at Colorado State University that discovered the same thing.

The study shows how bees are highly attracted to cannabis due to the plant’s plentiful stores of pollen, and it could pave the way for scientists to figure out new ways to support their struggling population as well as floral populations.

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According to the study, the greater the area covered by the hemp plant the greater the chance that bees will swarm to the area. Additionally, those hemp plants that are taller have a much greater likelihood of attracting bees with the tallest plants attracting a stunning 17 times more bees than the shortest plants.

The study also found that as time went on greater amounts of bees visited the hemp plots on a more frequent basis. It sounds almost like the word-of-mouth effect among humans who hear about great deals at a dispensary, no?

The researchers also discovered that hemp, a major cash crop with multiple applications, can support no less than 16 different varieties of bees in the northeastern United States.

The findings may seem strange considering that cannabis doesn’t produce the sweet, sugary nectar that your typical floral varieties produce to attract insects. Nor does hemp flower come in the dazzling array of bright colors that likewise attract bugs. However, the pollen produced by male flowers is highly attractive to the 16 bee subspecies in the study for reasons that remain unknown.

Female flowers—the kind that humans like to smoke for its intoxicating and soothing effects—are basically ignored by bees since they don’t produce any actual flowers.

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The study’s author’s wrote:

The rapid expansion of hemp production in the United States… may have significant implications for agroecosystem-wide pollination dynamics.

As a late-season crop flowering during a period of seasonal floral dearth, hemp may have a particularly strong potential to enhance pollinator populations and subsequent pollination services for crops in the following year by filling gaps in late-season resource scarcity.

What makes the findings so compelling is the crucial impact it could have on suffering bee populations across the United States.

Bees are perhaps one of the most important managed pollinators in U.S. agriculture. Spreading the male sex cells of flowers to their female counterparts in a natural process that is highly crucial to plant reproduction.

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, pollinators are worth anywhere from $235 and $577 billion worldwide owing to their pivotal role in the production of global crops. In the U.S. alone this means that bees are responsible for $20 billion of domestic crop production. Without bees we can kiss almonds, blueberries, watermelon, and other crops goodbye.

The authors of the study made clear that the combination of bees plus hemp won’t mean that folks should worry about cannabinoid-rich pollen sneaking it into their diets nor will the bees start producing honey enriched with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—as nice as that sounds.

Likewise, the presence of cannabinoids like THC in hemp pollen is “not likely to have an impact on bee development due to the loss of cannabinoid receptors in insects.”

So while we often like to focus on the recreational or medicinal use of marijuana—in its edible, smokeable, and vape-able forms—this new research shows that the plant can in fact help nature and agriculture in amazingly important ways.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Willie Nelson Joins the Fight Against a Corporate Takeover of the Cannabis Industry

By Phillip Schneider

As marijuana becomes legal across the country, a select few companies have come to dominate the market with some bad business practices. But Willie Nelson is trying to stop them.

Thirty-five years ago, as Willie was playing his music at Live Aid, a benefit concert for those affected by the famine in Ethiopia, he had the idea for a benefit concert that supports local farmers.

But Bob Geldof, the organizer of Live Aid at the time, thought that his proposal was a “crass, stupid, and nationalistic” conflation of the two issues. As Willie listened to him downplay the importance of farmers affected by a drought, bankruptcy, and a corporate takeover of the industry, it only solidified his desire to start his own concert, thus Farm Aid was born.

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In their first year, Farm Aid included artists such as Johnny Cash and B.B. King and raised over $9 million for down-and-out American farmers.

“We were losing like 300 farmers a week” to suicide, Nelson recalls. “[But] things are a little better now. People have started thinking about buying and growing sustainably.”

Since Farm Aid began, a paradigm shift has occurred. People are now talking about sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and organic food, and the likes of Big Tobacco, Big Agriculture, and Big Biotech have become stains on American identity.

Willie Nelson was as much a player in this cultural shift as anybody, but he knows that the battle isn’t over yet. In recent years, Willie has set his sights on something very near and dear to him: marijuana.

As a life-long marijuana smoker, Willie Nelson has a deep concern about the way that cannabis is grown and distributed. Out of this passion for weed came the start-up company Willie’s Reserve, a company started by Willie and investor Andrew Davison that seeks to bring social responsibility into the pot market.

I really believe in the environmental aspect of this. It’s a great way to revitalize small farms, and I want to make sure that any product we grow is as clean as we can make it and that, wherever possible, we’re trying to lower the environmental impact of our operations. – Andrew Davidson on Willie Nelson’s response to his proposal.

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The legalization movement was founded on the values of justice, liberty, and health. Many people, often disproportionately black, have been thrown in jail for victimless crimes relating to cannabis. Although marijuana is now legal to smoke in many places, it is not always legal to grow or sell. In order to do so, you must get a medical permit, or a cannabis business license respectively, in which the government is handing out very few.

It looks a lot like the concentration of capital that we have seen with Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco. I think that’s problematic for cannabis-law reformers, because it plays into our opposition’s strongest argument. – Alison Holcomb, drafter of the original cannabis legalization law in Washington State

Big Pot has also begun using harmful pesticides, none of which cannabis activists and consumers ever desired to smoke. Prior to legalization, black market growers typically would not use any pesticides because the quantity of plants tended to be low.

But when you’re investing millions of dollars in a large cultivation center, you can bet they are not going to take the risk of their crop getting wiped out by mold or mildew or insects. – Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Oddly enough, there are no chemicals approved for use on the cannabis plant. This tends to mean, however, that companies are using whichever chemicals they want without much oversight. These chemicals include Avid, Floramite, myclobutanil, and imidacloprid, which professor of entomology at Colorado State University Whitney Cranshaw claims actually develops more mites on the plants.

To make matters worse, labels such as “clean” and “natural” have a striking resemblance to the Big Food term “all natural,” in that there are few regulatory requirements, resulting in meaningless labeling used solely to market products as less dangerous than they actually are.

Although Willie Nelson has recently announced his retirement as a weed smoker, he is still in charge of his company and is rumored to take edibles frequently. However, he has stated before that he “[doesn’t] like edibles that much.”

I had a bad experience the first time I did it. This was 50 years ago. I ate a bunch of cookies, and I lay there all night thinking the flesh was falling off my bones. – Willie Nelson

Willie’s Reserve empowers local farmers by allowing them the Willie Nelson branding in exchange for particular rules they must follow, such as restrictions on pesticide use and that they must be small companies. This ensures quality weed and empowers small businesses seeking to compete with the big names like Privateer Holdings and Diego Pellicer.

They [consumers] want to know where the product comes from, they want to know it’s clean and cared for, they want to know it was local grown and that it has a connection to their community. – Andrew Davidson

Willie has another enemy in the pot industry:  GMO Marijuana. In one of the biggest moves to consolidate power in the cannabis industry to date, Bayer and Monsanto are maneuvering to take over the cannabis industry with genetically modified strains, which you can only grow if you have a license from the company.

These problems could have been fixed on the first day, but you have a lot of bureaucracy and bullshit, a lot of big corporations. So that’s what we’re up against. They’re trying to monopolize it all. That’s horseshit. That ain’t right, and we’ll do everything we can to keep that from happening. – Willie Nelson


Read more articles from Phillip Schneider.

Phillip Schneider is a student as well as a staff writer and assistant editor for Waking Times. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website, or follow him on the free speech social network Minds.

This article (Willie Nelson Joins the Fight Against a Corporate Takeover of the Cannabis Industry) as originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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Nearly 90% of Americans Are Now in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana

By Tyler Durden

Nearly 90 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, according to a September study conducted by Pew Research. As Statista’s Maria Vultaggio notes, at 69 percent of approval, marijuana legalization was most common among 18 to 29 year olds.

At 12 percent, it was least common among Republicans.

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On January 2, the governor of Kansas said she would likely sign a bill to legalize marijuana. Though Governor Laura Kelly wouldn’t advocate for the bill, she’s not opposed to it.

“I haven’t really decided what I would do. This is something where what the people want is probably more what I will want on something like that,” Kelly told WIBW.

“I don’t have a personal ideology regarding it. If the folks want it and the legislature passes it, would I sign it? Probably.”

Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

READ NEXT: 2020 the “Biggest Year Yet” for Cannabis Reform—These Are the States That May Legalize Weed


By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com | Republished with permission

This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.

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Italy’s Top Court Legalizes Home-Grown Cannabis for Personal Use

By Elias Marat

In a landmark ruling, Italy’s Supreme Court has decriminalized growing small batches of cannabis at home for private use.

In the latest interpretation of laws governing the growth of narcotic plants, the judges decreed that “small amounts grown domestically for the exclusive use of the grower” should be exempt from criminal prosecution.

The top court’s decision was made on December 19, but wasn’t reported by national and international media outlets until Friday, sparking contentious reactions from conservative politicians who favor prohibitions as well as calls from advocates to legalize cannabis entirely.

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Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League Party, blasted the decision as well as the widespread trade of low-strength “legal weed” or “cannabis light” in Italy, Reuters reports. Salvini has been in the midst of a crusade against the legal sale of low-potency marijuana with THC levels under 0.6 percent, which was made legal in 2016 and upheld by the parliament earlier this month.

In a statement, Salvini said:

Drugs cause harm, forget about growing them or buying them in shops.

While Maurizio Gasparri, a senator with the right-wing Forza Italia party allied to the league, promised that if a center-right coalition comes to power it “will cancel the absurd verdict of the court.”

It still remains unclear what quantity would constitute “small-scale cultivation” under the law, but the ruling arose from a case where an offender was in possession of two plants.

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Lucio Fiorentino, the founder of cannabis supply company Cannabidiol Distribution, told La Stampa:

It’s the end of a nightmare … After Salvini’s witch hunt I had to fire 10 people and I lost 68 per cent of my revenues.

Matteo Mantero, a senator from the co-ruling Five Star Movement, has been a vocal advocate of the legalization and regulation of cannabis. Mantero commented:

The court has opened the way, now it’s up to us.

However, the complete legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes remains an uphill battle. While some figures within the Five Star Movement generally have a liberal, hands-off approach to cannabis, other members of the movement are opposed to decriminalization. The party’s center-left and centrist coalition partners are also generally cautious in their approach to cannabis.


By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Cannabis Use Among Older Adults Rising Rapidly

Study is first state-wide investigation of cannabis use among older Americans and the outcomes they experience

Cannabis use among older adults is growing faster than any other age group but many report barriers to getting medical marijuana, a lack of communication with their doctors and a lingering stigma attached to the drug, according to researchers.

The study, the first to look at how older Americans use cannabis and the outcomes they experience, was published this month in the journal Drugs & Aging.

“Older Americans are using cannabis for a lot of different reasons,” said study co-author Hillary Lum, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Some use it to manage pain while others use it for depression or anxiety.”

The 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Health showed a ten-fold increase in cannabis use among adults over age 65.

The researchers set out to understand how older people perceived cannabis, how they used it and the positive and negative outcomes associated with it.

They conducted 17 focus groups in in senior centers, health clinics and cannabis dispensaries in 13 Colorado counties that included more than 136 people over the age of 60. Some were cannabis users, others were not.

“We identified five major themes,” Lum said.

These included: A lack of research and education about cannabis; A lack of provider communication about cannabis; A lack of access to medical cannabis; A lack of outcome information about cannabis use; A reluctance to discuss cannabis use.

Researchers found a general reluctance among some to ask their doctors for a red card to obtain medical marijuana. Instead, they chose to pay more for recreational cannabis.

Lum said this could be driven by feeling self-conscious about asking a doctor for cannabis. That, she said, points to a failure of communication between health care providers and their patients.

“I think [doctors can] be a lot more open to learning about it and discussing it with their patients,” said one focus group respondent. “Because at this point I have told my primary care I was using it on my shoulder. And that was the end of the conversation. He didn’t want to know why, he didn’t want to know about effects, didn’t want to know about side effects, didn’t want to know anything.”

Some said their doctors were unable or unwilling to provide a certificate, the document needed to obtain medical marijuana. They also said physicians need to educate themselves on the latest cannabis research.

Some older users reported positive outcomes when using cannabis for pain as opposed to taking highly addictive prescription opioids. They often differentiated between using cannabis for medical reasons and using it recreationally.

“Although study participants discussed recreational cannabis more negatively than medical cannabis, they felt it was more comparable to drinking alcohol, often asserting a preference for recreational cannabis over the negative effects of alcohol,” the study said.

The researchers also found that despite the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and other states, some older people still felt a stigma attached to it.

“Some participants, for example, referred to the movie `Reefer Madness’ (1936) and other anti-marijuana propaganda adverts that negatively framed cannabis as immoral and illegal,” the researchers said.

The study adds to the growing literature on the diversity of marijuana use patterns in older adults, said co-author Sara Honn Qualls, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychology and director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

“Older adults who use marijuana are ingesting it in a variety of ways for multiple purposes,” she said. “This and other papers from the same project show growing acceptance of marijuana use for medical purposes by older adults, and a clear desire to have their primary health providers involved in educating them about options and risks.

Lum agreed.

She said Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, provides a unique laboratory to gauge public attitudes toward cannabis.

“From a physician’s standpoint this study shows the need to talk to patients in a non-judgmental way about cannabis,” she said. “Doctors should also educate themselves about the risks and benefits of cannabis and be able to communicate that effectively to patients.”

Article by University of Colorado. The study co-authors include: Julie Bobitt; Melissa Schuchman; Robert Wickersham; Kanika Arora; Gary Milavetz and Brian Kaskie.

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73% of Oncology Providers See Benefit of Medical Marijuana

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2019 shows that while 73 percent of surveyed oncology providers believe that medical marijuana provides benefits for cancer patients, only 46 percent are comfortable recommending it. Major concerns included uncertain dosing, limited knowledge of available products and where to get them, and possible interactions with other medications.

“I think in some cases we’re missing out on providing a useful tool. Providers think it has benefit, but aren’t comfortable recommending it,” says Ashley E. Glode, PharmD, assistant professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the study’s first author.

Survey respondents included 48 specialized oncologists, 47 physicians, 53 registered nurses, 17 pharmacists, and 7 “other” oncology providers. Seventy-nine percent reported that educational programs both during training and as continuing medical education courses could increase their comfort level with medical marijuana prescribing. Interestingly, 68 percent of providers reported receiving information about medical marijuana from their patients – the next most common sources of information were news media (accessed by 55 percent of providers), and other providers (53 percent).

“We asked and most providers didn’t train in a state where medical marijuana was legal. We need to adapt our healthcare education to include this, and also offer trainings on medical marijuana to current providers,” Glode says.

Providers also reported legal and regulatory concerns, especially providers working in academic medical centers who expressed uncertainty whether recommending medical marijuana could jeopardize federal funding (marijuana remains a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Schedule 1 drug). Providers felt as if additional clinical data describing the effectiveness of medical marijuana and endorsed guidelines describing the conditions and situations in which it should be used would increase their comfort in prescribing.

“Still, the biggest issue that providers saw is the lack of certainty in dosing,” Glode says. “The issue is it’s not regulated – a dispensary might say a product has this much THC and this much CBD, but no one is testing that for sure. Limited data suggest that patients should start low and slow, no more than 10mg of THC in a dose, but we don’t know that’s what patients are really getting. Then from a consumption perspective, inhalation and smoking is the least preferred due to possible damage to the lung. So many doctors recommend edibles, oils, and tinctures, but we still don’t have good data comparing dosage across these forms.”

Glode and study colleagues including Stephen Leong, MD, hope to expand the survey to gather a more nationally representative sample.

“Knowledge is an issue,” Glode says. “If we could do a better job educating our healthcare providers, it might be used more often and potentially more safely.”

Article by University of Colorado.

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Is All Cannabis Use Self-Medication?

By Susan Boskey

Recently I was invited to be on a panel about cannabis use for seniors. In an email exchange with one of the organizers I asked, “Are you referring to recreational or medicinal use?” The response I received back was unexpected. She said, “I see no reason to treat medical and recreational differently. Everyone is using cannabis for medicine whether they realize it or not.”

Really? I have been pondering her response ever since. Seems like this concept has gained traction as a cannabis-culture meme.

First of all, I think her response has something to do with the fact of living in Washington State where both adult-use and medical are legal. What I mean is . . . probably in the 10 states and DC that have legality for both, more people use cannabis than in medical-only states. That’s pretty obvious.

But what’s not so obvious, to me, anyway, is the thought that ALL of these users are using cannabis in an attempt to get better in their own way. That would include those using cannabis products containing an extremely high percentage of THC, say 15+ percent and smoking/using it several times a day and others who go ‘blotto’ to the extent of becoming non-functional on a regular basis.

Self-medicating? Interesting but I’m not so sure it’s true.

I guess it depends on how you define self-medicating. The online Cambridge Dictionary defines it as: “to take medicine or drugs to help you with a condition without asking a doctor”

If someone determines to help a condition they experience by using cannabis, wouldn’t they also want to learn the best ways to use it to accomplish that?

If they don’t have a conscious intent to use cannabis to help their health and wellbeing and consistently use more than necessary to do so, is that an act of medication or potential self-destruction?

Do we give unconscious use of cannabis a high-five pass because it’s cannabis whereas we might not if it were alcohol?

Where do addictive personality traits enter the conversation?

Is the blank-check assertion of self-medication instead cover for denial? Here are some indicators of possible cannabis addiction:

  1. Tolerance and withdrawal
  2. Using more than intended
  3. Unable to cut down or stop use
  4. Lots of time spent getting high
  5. Reduced activities
  6. Continuing to get high despite the problems it causes
  7. Using it to escape from problems
  8. Depending on it to be creative or to relax or enjoy yourself
  9. Choosing relationships and activities based on whether or not you will be able to get high
  10. An inability to attend to daily responsibilities [1]

I have more questions than answers at this point. But what I know for certain is that cannabis is an amazing and beneficial plant and that I am committed to learning and sharing its whole story. In my world every story has at least two sides. Methinks those who paint something as being all one way, may possibly have something to gain by doing so.


Susan is a Certified Cannabis Practitioner and graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectrum of wellness modalities. Her mission today is to intervene in the noise of modern life and help her clients identify and remove stressors that trigger their dis-ease. She personalizes care plans regarding the best cannabis strain, dose and delivery system to address her client’s issue. As a non-physician coach Susan enjoys the added flexibility of also providing protocols for simple lifestyle changes to accelerate the healing process. Visit her website: LifestyleWellnessRx.com 

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Mount Sinai Study Finds CBD Treats Opioid Addiction By Reducing Cravings and Anxiety

Mount Sinai study finds CBD is effective at treating opioid addiction by reducing cravings and anxiety without harmful side effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) reduced cue-induced craving and anxiety in individuals with a history of heroin abuse, suggesting a potential role for it in helping to break the cycle of addiction, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published May 21 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study also revealed that CBD tended to reduce physiological measures of stress reactivity, such as increased heart rate and cortisol levels, that are induced by drug cues.

The wide availability and use of heroin and prescription opioid medications in the United States during the past decade has resulted in an unprecedented epidemic involving more than 300,000 deaths. Despite this staggering toll, limited non-opioid medication options have been developed. Two of the current options, methadone and buprenorphine, are opioid substitution therapies which work on the same opioid receptors (mu receptors) as heroin and other potent opioid agonists.

These medications, however, carry a stigma as well as their own addiction risk, are mired in tight governmental regulation, and therefore are underutilized by the millions of people diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Such a treatment gap highlights the urgent need to develop novel therapeutic strategies that do not target the mu opioid receptor.

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“To address the critical need for new treatment options for the millions of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic, we initiated a study to assess the potential of a non-intoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals,” says Yasmin Hurd, PhD, the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai and first author of the study. “The specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.”

Previous preclinical work conducted by Dr. Hurd and her lab team at Mount Sinai, in animals with a history of heroin self-administration, demonstrated that CBD reduced the animals’ tendency to use heroin in response to a drug-associated cue. To determine whether the preclinical work could be translated to humans, her lab then conducted a series of clinical studies that demonstrated CBD was safe and tolerable in humans.

The current study used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled design to explore the acute (one hour, two hours, and 24 hours), short-term (three consecutive days), and protracted (seven days after the last of three consecutive daily administrations) effects of CBD administration on drug cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder. Secondary measures assessed participants’ positive and negative affect, cognition, and physiological status.

Through the study, 42 drug-abstinent men and women were randomly assigned to receive either 400 mg or 800 mg of an oral CBD solution or a matching placebo. Participants were then exposed to neutral and drug-related cues during the course of three sessions: immediately following administration, 24 hours after CBD or placebo administration, and seven days after the third and final daily CBD or placebo administration. Neutral cues consisted of a three-minute video showing relaxing scenarios, such as scenes of nature, while drug-related cues included a three-minute video showing intravenous or intranasal drug use and exposure to heroin-related paraphernalia like syringes, rubber ties, and packets of powder resembling heroin. Measures of opioid craving, anxiety, positive and negative affect, and vital signs (skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were obtained at different times during the sessions.

The study team found that CBD, in contrast to placebo, significantly reduced both the craving and anxiety induced by drug cues compared with neutral cues in the acute term. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures seven days after the final short-term exposure. In addition, CBD reduced the drug cue-induced physiological measures of heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. There were no significant effects on cognition, and there were no serious adverse events. The capacity of CBD to reduce craving and anxiety one week after the final administration mirrors the results of the original preclinical animal study, suggesting that the effects of CBD are long-lasting, even when the cannabinoid would not be expected to be present in the body.

Our findings indicate that CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder,” says Dr. Hurd. “A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll, enormous health care costs, and treatment limitations imposed by stringent government regulations amid this persistent opioid epidemic.”

Dr. Hurd’s research team is working on two follow-up studies: one delves into understanding the mechanisms of CBD’s effects on the brain; the second paves the way for the development of unique CBD medicinal formulations that are likely to become a significant part of the medical arsenal available to address the opioid epidemic.

Article published by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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