Project CBD: Marijuana Specialists Plan To Study New Strains

By Fred Gardner, Editor, O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice
“You have to start somewhere.” —Willy Notcutt, MD

Fifteen members of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians -the doctors’ group founded by Tod Mikuriya in 1999 and now led by Jeffrey Hergenrather- met in Oakland Dec. 11. UCSF professor Donald Abrams recounted the obstacles he faced in conducting clinical trials with government-issued cannabis and getting his results published in peer-reviewed medical journals. The ensuing discussion focused on how SCC doctors might go about evaluating the effectiveness of high-CBD strains as they become available to patients in the year ahead.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. For many generations (of people and plants), cannabis in California and elsewhere has been bred to maximize psychoactivity, which is mainly a function of THC content. (Some  “minor” cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids also affect a plant’s effect.)  Because CBD and THC are in an either/or relationship at the genetic level, breeding for high THC means breeding out CBD. So it was widely assumed that the Cannabis available nowadays in California contains only trace amounts of CBD.
Surprisingly, six strains with buds ranging from 5% to 7% CBD by weight have been detected in the year since Steep Hill analytic lab began testing samples from dispensaries and individual growers.  Only two of these high-CBD strains have been made available to patients -and only intermittently, as the pounds delivered by the growers sell out in a day or two. “Soma A-plus” has been dispensed at Harborside Health Center in Oakland, and “Pineapple Thai” at Herbal Solutions in Long Beach. The other four strains are being grown out as clones and should be available by spring 2010 to collectives wishing to dispense them.
The doctors want, eventually, to test the effectiveness of cannabis with consistent CBD/THC ratios in treating various conditions. One hoped-for advantage of high-CBD strains is reduced psychoactivity, which might enable patients to take larger doses while remaining functional. The California doctors are somewhat enviously and somewhat gratefully tracking the progress of G.W. Pharmaceuticals, the British company that has been growing cannabis and making and testing whole-plant extracts for medical use since 1998 —with government approval and backing from corporate partners Bayer, Almirall, and Otsuka.
G.W.’s flagship product is Sativex, an oral spray that contains about equal amounts of CBD and THC. The rationale for the combination was set forth in “A Tale of Two Cannabinoids,” a 2005 article by doctors Ethan Russo and Geoffrey Guy in the online journal Medical Hypotheses. Here’s a summary:
“CBD is demonstrated to antagonise some undesirable effects of THC including intoxication, sedation and tachycardia, while contributing analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-carcinogenic properties in its own right. In modern clinical trials, this has permitted the administration of higher doses of THC, providing evidence for clinical efficacy and safety for cannabis based extracts in treatment of spasticity, central pain and lower urinary tract symptoms in multiple sclerosis, as well as sleep disturbances, peripheral neuropathic pain, brachial plexus avulsion symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis and intractable cancer pain. Prospects for future application of whole cannabis extracts in neuroprotection, drug dependency, and neoplastic disorders are further examined. The hypothesis that the combination of THC and CBD increases clinical efficacy while reducing adverse events is supported”
Sativex has been approved by Health Canada for treating neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis and cancer. It is obtainable by prescription in 22 countries. GW has applied for and is awaiting approval of Sativex as a treatment for MS spasticity in the UK and Spain. The U.S. FDA has given GW approval to conduct a clinical trial in advanced cancer patients whose pain is not adequately controlled by opioids. (GW is close to finishing an extensive study to determine optimum dosages.) The company hopes recruitment of subjects won’t take more than a year. When the results are in, assuming they’re favorable, GW will apply for marketing approval from the FDA
Dr. Notcutt’s Encouraging Input
The researcher who conducted Phase 2 trials on Sativex (to determine basic efficacy and optimum dosage range) back in 1999-2000 is Willy Notcutt, MD, a pain specialist at James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth, England. O’Shaughnessy’s recently asked Notcutt whether his approach could be adapted by California physicians and patients seeking to evaluate the efficacy of high-CBD strains. The setting was the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicine in Koln, and Notcutt was speaking for himself, not GW Pharmaceuticals, which expresses official corporate disdain for smoking as a delivery system and “the crude plant” as medicine.
Notcutt:  Indeed… Those were “N of 1” trials. [In N of 1 trials, data is collected from individuals as their use pattern changes. The number N of patients involved in each study is one, hence the name.]  The advantages of  N-of-1 trials were first described by a chap named Guyatt in Toronto. The fundamental thing is that the patient acts as his own control.
O’S: Is there a standard design?
Notcutt: It’s very flexible, you can design it any which way you want to. Presumably the patients are currently using a high-THC strain. First you establish the baseline: what’s the patient’s [self-reported score on a] pain scale or the sleep line, or whatever parameters you want to measure. Then you start them on the current drug for a week. Then you put them on the new one. Then you switch them back to the current one, and so forth. You can do it as many times as you like until you say…
[Stefan offers to buy beer, thread not picked up] “It can be done as many times as you want and for any period -one week, two weeks, six weeks. You can leave it open, you can do it single-blinded [not letting the patient know what he’s taking], you can do it double-blinded [neither doctor nor patient knowing which strain is being used].  But by far the easiest way to start out is to do a straight observational study: open observation and open label. The patients are going to tell you pretty quickly whether they prefer current drug or new drug. The advantage of going from current drug to new drug is, that is what a clnician actually does. That’s how medicine is practiced. I say ‘try this…’ ‘Not much help.’ ‘Now let’s try you on this new drug…’ ‘Yeah, well I think that drug has helped me…’
“I appreciate that you have a problem with standardization, but a lot of people [medical cannabis users] say, ‘I always get this type, I know how to work it, I fine tune it, if it’s a little weak or strong I smoke a little more or smoke a little less.’ Call that the current drug, which we assume is high-THC, and then compare it with high-CBD. That’s what you’re testing: the comparative efficicacy of high-THC and high-CBD cannabis.
“You’re using the patient as his own control and you plot it out: How many times do they smoke each day? What effects are they getting?  It’s close to what you normally would do as a clinician. That’s how I evaluate a drug anyway. If you define your parameters, and gets reports from 20 patients, you can then get a feel for whether it works.
“I would suggest that it be done completely open-label at first.
“Guyatt’s is not the only paper on N-of-1 trials. I have one from the BMJ [British Medical Journal] from a few years ago sayng that this is the way we should be studying chronic disease. It’s a well-recognized, acceptable clinical approach. But people have gotten so fixated in the last 20 years on the randomized, placebo-controlled trial- (sarcastically) ‘the only way you can do it,’ ‘the gold standard.’
“I think the N-of-1 trial is the only way you study this cohort at this time, because of your problems with standardization. You have people doing it different ways… But your individual patient becomes your study. And then you can aggregate your studies. You can do some simple statistics on it: of 20 patients that started, five found it didn’t work for them at all. Now let’s look at the 15 that reported effect…
“Then you can go on and blind your subjects and not tell them which is which. Or blind the physician. Guyatt wrote about building in a placebo, but you needn’t go to that extent. That’s not how we do medicine. The RCT [randomized, controlled trial] is furthest from normal clinical practice.
“The N-of-1 trial is a good way of generating some data where no data exists. The first two or three GW studies were all N-of-1, until we knew that it worked. If the first nine of ten patients had said, ‘This doesn’t work,’ then you don’t go further.
“You have to start somewhere. An observational study has the force of common sense. It may be best suited when you have a longterm chronic illness and you need some information about whether a drug works…
“Do we give an orthopedic surgeon and an eye surgeon the same tools? No. So should we statistically evaluate every medical problem by the same technique? If we’re evaluating a drug where the blood pressure goes up or down, or the sugar level goes up or down in diabetes, we use one technique. Why use the same technique for a drug that has a completely different spectrum of activity, in an area where you don’t get nice, number data, where you get much softer data, you get subjective opinion. There’s a whole difference in the quality of the data -why use the same statistical tools?
“People are now starting to say that evidence-based medicine is becoming a tyranny that’s killing off research. I’m very interested in this because I’m the lead for research in our district I’m also the lead for research in my own field.  If you start insisting on these big multi-center big studies, all randomized, and you don’t nurture the small studies -the little ones that come along, the N-of-1s that come along where the guy sits down and works on an idea, ‘try this out, try that out’ in a few patients, and generates a little bit more information that then leads to a bit of a better study…
“I still regard as one of the best studies ever, the guy who treated pain after shingles with amtriptyline or nortrypteline. All he did was he found out that when he used the amitriptyline, 60 percent of the patients hated it. When he used nortriptyline only about 30 percent of the patients hated it. A simple trial -but it changed our practice. We stopped using amitriptyline, we use nortriptyline. And now we know the reasons why. That was 10, 15 years ago. I’ve never seen that simple study replicated as a clinical trial of amitriptyline versus nortriptyline because there’s no money it for the drug companies.”
Notcutt offered to review any study design that the SCC docs come up with.
Fred Gardner edits O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice, now online at www.pcmd4u.org

0 thoughts

  1. Given the abundance of medical marijuana patients in California and other states where it’s legal, can’t N of 1 studies be done to gather data right now? Why can’t we use these patients to get a grip on benefits and any ill-effects of regular cannabis use? I can’t imagine patients refusing to give information on how the plant has helped or not helped them and what varieties have what effects. Why don’t we just ask them in the systematic way this article describes?

  2. It seems clear to me that the Constructive Fraud our wayward government has put upon us citizens has delayed proper medical treatment and blocked advances in the rediscovery of traditional canabis medicine once enjoyed by those who needed it. So our government in it’s fraudelent concern of our nation’s health has in fact endangered the public safety it swore to protect. By our government act of fraud it has hurt the safety of the public, it has endangered the public as a whole, and it has profit from the denial of our constitutional rights. This is a criminal act and we as people have the right to reject this and seek protection under Title 42, 1983-1986 of the United States Code. Our government has acted with treason, wanton disregaurd for human life and liberty.
    Jury Nullification is the way to remove power from the government and instill it back into the people. It is time to flood the Court of this Nation with Title 42s and Writs demanding the high courts take action aganist the executive and legislative branches of this wayward government. It is time to push, it is time to push the truth into the light for all to see. It is time to start the filing process throught the Country and show the government who really owns America, and NO! it is not Corp-America, it is you and me, it is our families and friend and our future generations. Time to put your foot down.

  3. Great. Whereas I’m all for testing cannabis and understanding more completely its effects on the body, the LAST thing we need is another goddamned pharmaceutical company patenting another cannabis pill. Am I the only one who hates Big-Pharma and how they try to sink their greedy little claws into everything?
    We can only hope cannabis will at least be state-legal before the next pill arrives on the market to the glee of the DEA.
    God forbid you are able to go directly to the source! How then will Phizer reap the profits?
    Goddamn crooks.
    Again I support research and the pursuit of knowledge, but this is just a step for the bastards to market another pill, while the DEA continues to demonize the plant.
    Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming in a sea of power wielding imbiciles.

  4. Good article. I hope it inspires more independent scientific studies for the efficacy of various plants cultivated for medical use. It’s the sort of end of the line for patients who are looking to zero in on what helps them the most for their unique conditions. Every patient needs the right strain to help them out. I hope to see many results that trickle their way down to all of the dispensaries located throughout the U.S. so that everyone gets what they need.

  5. “Sativex” is nothing but hemp oil. They have removed the m”medicine” from the plant,probably the same way Rick Simpson did or some other process that ends up being the same “medicine”,added a carrier fluid.probably alcohol,and are planning on selling it through the drug stores. After a suitable period,they will discover that Sativex blocks cancer,and we will have our first cancer blocking medicine made by the pharmaceutical companies and sold for billions to everyone. And they will try to do this while keeping marijuana schedule 1,so you can’t make your own.
    Combine this with the marijuana patch being developed and the “treatment” centers,owned by the same people owning the private prison systems and you have the next step in continuing making of money by the same industrial group. What a concept!

  6. =
    Yes but some people like me like the high both mind and body research can’t tell me what I already know from over 30 years personal experience what we need is research that informs people and legislators that cannabis is less harmless then other things like HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. If you are in Washington state or
    California you should call write and E-mail your state senators and reps and tell them they wont get your vote unless they support marijuana legalization we have to come out and do this or we will still be looking over our shoulders

  7. as one with a neuro disorder with a lot of pain, I would love for this to take place…Few of us actually smoke the weed for those qualities…and I cant wait for this to go through…test it in california, some of the true patients need it, problem is thats about 10 percent of those with cards.

  8. realize what is really positive is the research….its super important to find out why we get certain effects from certain cannabanoids, and then capture those, and we can almost create the relief we need…fantastic…I love it.

  9. Why don’t they research the CBD/THC ratio of Rick Simpson’s oil.
    [Editor’s note: Obviously both patients and doctors are keen on finding so-called cures for cancer. As promising as some cannabinoid compounds are regarding possibly shrinking some types of cancer tumors, as NORML has been often the first to report on such for the last decade, crude cannabis (hash and/or ‘honey’) oils at this time can not be said to cure cancer.
    A note below from cannabis researcher, author and Harvard Medical School professor Lester Grinspoon, MD re his concerns about Simpson’s claims, in response to a recent High Times article about Simpson.
    ***
    Medical Marijuana: A Note of Caution re Rick Simpson’s claims
    by Lester Grinspoon, M.D.
    Like everyone else who has been working over decades to ensure that marijuana, with all that it has to offer, is allowed to take its proper place in our lives, I have been heartened by the rapidly growing pace at which it is gaining understanding as a safe and versatile medicine. In addition to the relief it offers to so many patients with a large array of symptoms and syndromes (almost invariably at less cost, both in toxicity and money than the conventional drugs it replaces), it is providing those patients, their caregivers, and the people who are close to them an opportunity to see for themselves how useful and unthreatening its use is. It has been a long and difficult sell, but I think it is now generally believed (except by the United States government) that herbal marijuana as a medicine is here to stay. The evidence which underpins this status as a medicine is, unlike that of almost all other modern medicines, anecdotal. Ever since the mid-1960s new medicines have been officially approved through large, carefully controlled double-blind studies, the same path that marijuana might have followed had it not been placed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which has made it impossible to do the kind of studies demanded for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Anecdotal evidence commands much less attention than it once did, yet it is the source of much of our knowledge of synthetic medicines as well as plant derivatives. Controlled experiments were not needed to recognize the therapeutic potential of chloral hydrate, barbiturates, aspirin, curare, insulin, or penicillin. And there are many more recent examples of the value of anecdotal evidence. It was in this way that the use of propranolol for angina and hypertension, of diazepam for status epilepticus (a state of continuous seizure activity), and of imipramine for childhood enuresis (bed-wetting) was discovered, although these drugs were originally approved by regulators for other purposes.
    Today, advice on the use marijuana to treat a particular sign or symptom, whether provided or not by a physician, is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. For example, let’s consider the case of a patient who has an established diagnosis of Crohn’s disease but gets little or no relief from conventional medicines (or even occasional surgery) and suffers from severe cramps, diarrhea and loss of weight. His cannabis-savvy physician, one who is aware of compelling anecdotal literature suggesting that it is quite useful in this syndrome, would not hesitate to recommend to this patient that he try using marijuana. He might say, “Look, I can’t be certain that this will help you, but there is now considerable experience that marijuana has been very useful in treating the symptoms of this disorder, and if you use it properly, it will not hurt you one bit; so I would suggest you give it a try and if it works, great — — if it does not, it will not have harmed you.” If this advice is followed and it works for this patient, he will report back that, indeed, his use of the drug has eliminated the symptoms and he is now regaining his weight; or that it doesn’t work for him but he is no better or worse off than he was before he had a trial of marijuana. Particularly in states which have accommodated the use of marijuana as a medicine, this kind of exchange is not uncommon. Because the use of cannabis as a medicine is so benign, relative to most of the conventional medicines it competes with, knowledgeable physicians are less hesitant to recommend a trial.
    One of the problems of accepting a medicine, particularly one whose toxicity profile is lower than most over-the-counter medicines, on the basis of anecdotal evidence alone is that it runs the risk of being over- sold. For example, it is presently being recommended for many types of pain, some of which are not responsive to its analgesic properties. Nonetheless, in this instance, a failed trial of marijuana is not a serious problem; and at the very least both patient and physician learn that the least toxic analgesic available doesn’t work for this patient with this type of pain. Unfortunately, this kind of trial is not always benign.
    In the January issue of High Times Steve Hager published an article, “Rick Simpson’s Hemp-Oil Medicine” in which he extols the cancer-curing virtues of a concentrated form of marijuana which a Canadian man developed as “hemp-oil”. Unfortunately, the anecdotal evidence on which the cancer-curing capacity is based is unconvincing; and because it is unconvincing, it raises a serious moral issue.
    Simpson, who does not have a medical or scientific education (he dropped out of school in ninth grade), apparently does not require that a candidate for his treatment have an established diagnosis of a specific type of cancer, usually achieved through biopsy, gross and histopathological examinations, radiologic and clinical laboratory evidence. He apparently accepts the word of his “patients”. Furthermore, after he has given the course of “hemp-oil” there is apparently no clinical or laboratory follow-up; he apparently accepts the “patient’s” belief that he has been cured. According to Hager, he claims a cure rate of 70%. But 70% of what? Do all the people he “treats” with hemp oil medicine have medically established, well-documented cancer or is he treating the symptoms or a constellation of symptoms that he or the patient have concluded signify the existence of cancer? And what is the nature and duration of the follow-up which would allow him to conclude that he has cured 70%? Furthermore, does this population of “patients with cancer” include those who have already had therapeutic regimes (such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy) which are known to be successful in curing some cancers or holding at bay, sometimes for long periods of time, many others?
    There are patients who have a medically sound diagnosis of pre-symptomatic cancer (such as early prostate cancer) but who, for one reason or another, eschew allopathic treatment and desperately seek out other approaches. Such patients are all too eager to believe that a new treatment, such as hemp-oil medicine, has cured their cancer. Unfortunately, this cancer which was asymptomatic at the time of its discovery, will eventually become symptomatic and at that time the possibility of a cure is significantly diminished, if not no longer a conceivable goal.
    This lesson was brought home to me when I was asked by the American Cancer Society during a period early in my medical career when I was doing cancer research to participate in an investigation of a man in Texas who claimed that a particular herb that his grandfather discovered would cure cancer. I was able to locate two women who had well documented diagnoses of early (asymptomatic) cervical cancer who had decided not to have surgery but instead went to Texas and took the “medicine”. When I first met them some months after each had taken the “cure” they were certain that they were now cancer free. With much effort, I was able to persuade them to have our surgical unit perform new biopsies, both of which revealed advancement in the pathological process over their initial biopsies. Both were then persuaded to have the surgery they had previously feared, and there is no doubt that this resulted in saving their lives.
    There is little doubt that cannabis now may play some non-curative roles in the treatment of this disease (or diseases) because it is often useful to cancer patients who suffer from nausea, anorexia depression, anxiety, pain, and insomnia. However, while there is growing evidence from animal studies that it may shrink tumor cells and cause other promising salutary effects in some cancers, there is no present evidence that it cures any of the many different types of cancer. I think the day will come when it or some cannabinoid derivatives will be demonstrated to have cancer curative powers, but in the meantime, we must be very cautious about what we promise these patients.
    Dr. Grinspoon’s webpages are: rxmarijuana.com and marijuana-uses.com and ]

  10. Another side effect from their plan is that the DEA and ONDCP keep their billions of dollar budget intact and the anti-drug cartels that receive their funds fighting the terrible devil weed will continue telling America that marijuana has no medical attributes.
    It will really throw a knot in their tail if any state legalizes.
    As with the study showing that marijuana causes possible irreversible damage to young rats,there will be more “Possible dangers” brought forward in their attempt to convince America that they are protecting the children.
    And they won’t even mention the fact that legalization
    removes the dealer that don’t check ID’s or the cartels profits. Anything that stopped the flow of marijuana to the consumer damages the monies made by the “treatment” centers.
    Maybe we need a law that stops people from furnishing young rats marijuana,cause we sure don’t want to “possibly” hurt those poor little rats.

  11. I also see the double edged sword here but the fact remains that with Pharmies bringing cannibas based meds to the market that invalidates the Schedule I lie and that helps the ball roll.
    But personally I think it’s dangerous to separate the parts that nature put togather.

  12. If they pull this off,they will need a marker added to the Sativex,or otherwise,how will they know if you have been using marijuana in it’s raw form or if you are making your own hemp oil instead of buying big pharmacy’s Sativex?
    Since Sativex is marijuana without the fiber,it is going to show up on a drug screen using today’s testing procedures.
    And what kind of harm will the “marker” do too us?

  13. #3, please…..i smell yer cookin….you know that how it will go. cause…big pharm must live. they will govern the strains. i can see it getting legalized and the bastards will law in that it cant be over a certain percent thc…..they are gonna take all the fun out of it ,i would be willin to bet that people who use cannabis medically enjoy the buzz as well. though, i understand health bein the most important. it helps so many of us for so many different reasons….bbbbzzzzzz

  14. #3 please no: With you all the way. Thank you for saying what you did. This has been a fear of mine for sometime and it needs to be fought and beaten down and seen for what it is.
    My heart is sad over this dribble of turning a wondrous plant into another frakking pill. I want the entire plant in its raw form. What’s so wrong with that?

  15. “The Schedule I Lie”, is part of the Constructive Fraud” placed upon the citizen population. It is these lies that have been used to attack our liberty by a wayward government. Jury Nullification is the way citizens can take back their liberty without arguing with our wayward government employees who can’t seem to remeber who is boss.
    If we do not act then our wayward government and their friends, the Pharmies will destory the cannabis plant, our smoke just like they did with that other smoke, tobacco. If they touch it and control it, it too will have additives not fit for our landfills.
    It seems to me that this constructive fraud will continue up to the point where the elite can once again control a product and it’s profit then it become okay to use and enjoy, why? because the elite says so, it to their benefit and is now okay. When it fills their pockets with profit and greed we can have it. Hey elitist!, put it where the sun don’t shine! I for one will use Jury Nullification and take back my liberty by granting it to my brothers and sister that the wayward government tires to destory with it’s unlawful legislation. You won’t be convicted while I on any jury if your up on unlawful cannabis charges. No No I will use my right as a Jury of your Peers to see the law for what it is, unlawful and I will not convict, I’ll hang the jury before I give in. Time we all work together using our court system and make it clear to our government just who is the employee here and who is the employer.
    Don’t forget to be active in your local Courts, get on those juries, be active in stopping this Constructive Fraud in it’s tracks.

  16. I can hear big pharma rejoicing at the fact that they have a chance to keep the plant illegal AND make money off of it.
    greedy savages..

  17. One of the biggest issues I deal with daily as a legal cannabis patient having cancer is the safety of the medicines that I use. I hope each day for more study so that I can live to see the end of marijuana prohibition.
    Cheryl Shuman
    Executive Director
    Beverly Hills NORML

  18. #2 Well written, and I second the motion. Do you know how to file a section 4orty 2wo C-4583202&$%3@2%6.. whatchamahoozit? I seriously think there are enough potsmokers in this country who’d follow through.
    I for one am sick of having to support lies and misinformation as a counselor in a drug rehab agency. I start wondering if, given all the research presented here,and elsewhere that I’ve read, in established peer-reviewed journals, about the beneifts and low risk of cannabis, I start wondering if I’m acting unethically by not being open about the research that I’ve been coming across.
    I also observe the negative effects of being on the various antidepressant drugs like insomnia, lethargy, obesity, and subsequently diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and heart disease. These are the most expensive disorders in our health care system, yet we treat patients in a way that cultivates these conditions, and then we have to medicate for that and around and around we go. It costs an average of $600 for a month’s worth of antidepressants, and then how much more for all the other medications to cover the iatrogenics and the side effects? And ya wonder why health care costs have gone through the roof?
    So yeah, the powers that be have led us down a long expensive destructive road so now it’s time to put a stop to this bull**** and take back our lives.
    I read the link and this is a very telling descriptive study, great beginning for more research on the many questions this raises.

  19. Why is it, the more I read about the further studies and medical findings of medicinal marijuana and the further attempts to use such info to justify the push for the use of medical marijuana on a legal but prescribed level, that I can see that if medical marijuana is approved nationwide we will N E V E R get marijuana decriminalized or legalized for the rest of us recreational users?
    once again we find ourselves in a position to question who? besides patients, benefits from “medical marijuana”?. Who? Has the financial funding to keep pushing for “medical marijuana” and what is their financial and/or political angle? Everyone has a agenda and this movement just like any other throughout our history A L W A Y S has a socially elite backer with a personal agenda or just a philanthropic idea about how they want society to change for their benefit. The CIA was behind the influx of Cocain into our country in the 1980’s led by future president GW Bush and other aspiring officials.
    I have all the apathy and sympathy in the world for those that use cannabis for medicinal use, god bless them. But when does this become a civil rights issue?
    I am a responsible adult with a family, morgage, 2 cars, 2 kids, and yet my right to use is superceeded by the medical marijuana lobby ! ! ? ? ?
    Last time I checked the USA was founded on the belief that whats good for some is good for all. “All men are created equal”, I belive is the correct terminollogy.
    I get the feeling that when the “control” is channeled into “Medical Marijuana Laws” that we will have no ground to stand on against the prohibs and the rightwing christian agenda.

  20. Screw’em all. People will keep using cannabis , legal or not, reguardless of / independant of, pharmacutical comanies patents. They cant get rid of every cannabis seed on the planet or they would have done it.

  21. Rick Simpson’s hemp oil is made by dissolving THC into pure naphtha or isopropyl alcohol. These both are shown to improve the transdermal uptake of THC, a lipid soluble substance. Given what is already known about the anti-tumorous properties of THC, it is within reason to be optimistic of this substance’s efficacy. The hemp oil is not exactly comparable to the situation Dr. Grinspoon provides in which a random herb of unknown properties was involved.
    Dr. Grinspoon proves a good point that Mr. Simpson is not a medical professional. Because of this, there is no way he could have conducted a trial meeting the necessary specifications to determine the oil a true “cure.” And with the warm reception the Canadian government gave to his so-called miracle drug, it is unlikely that anyone there would have taken the liberty to do so. Just like in America, studies are difficult to undertake. For this reason, and the fact that Mr. Simpson is currently studying abroad in Europe are not helping this necessary step to take place.
    Either an underground study in America led by a maverick doctor, or a legal study done in a foreign country should be conducted. High Times seems to have a lot of faith in Mr. Simpson, so maybe they could find someone willing to donate a pound of marijuana, and help organize volunteers willing to participate in such a study. Said volunteers would have nothing to lose, as persons are no better or worse off having undergone a trial of marijuana. As soon as it were determined that this concoction was undoubtedly affective, NORML could stop being so cautious and slap CURE FOR CANCER FOUND in big bold letters on its homepage. This would be the biggest possible refutation against the claim that marijuana has no medicinal value.
    [Editors’ note: NORML could stop being so cautious and slap CURE FOR CANCER FOUND in big bold letters on its homepage. This would be the biggest possible refutation against the claim that marijuana has no medicinal value.
    This is not going to happen as 1) NORML does not publish non-scientific information from zealous cannabis activists who’re junior high dropouts that make hash oil in their garage, 2) NORML already scans the world daily to publish any breaking news or reports regarding verifiable and credible information on the effects cannabinoids may have on cancer cells, 3) The principles at High Times, concerned with Steve Hager’s profile of Simpson asked Dr. Grinspoon to write his ‘cautionary’ note about Simpson’s anecdotal claims for the High Times publication and website.
    Again, patients, their families and caregivers all favor remedies for cancer. So too with the people who volunteer and work at reform groups, as there is no conspiracy at play that reform organizations from NORML to ASA to DPA to ACLU to MPP to MAPS to POT do not promote Simpson’s claims because the nature of the diffusion of information that actually advances human intelligence is one of peer review, scientific methodology, open science, led by intelligent, educated and disciplined scientists, researchers and medical professionals.
    For almost 20 years prohibitionists and most in government insisted that cannabis had no medical utility at all and demanded more than anecdotal claims of its helpfulness from reform advocates. From 1982-1996, NORML, Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics and the Drug Policy Foundation built huge archives and compendiums of medical and scientific reports to bring to the litigation and legislative efforts that have largely led to today’s acceptance of cannabis as a medicine by the general public.
    Without the science, medical cannabis is not possible.
    Scientists around the world, including about 50 who’ve been working on cannabinoid and cancer research for over 20 years, are all free and able to test any claims made by Simpson or alike. When they publish they’re informed findings, or want to present a paper at a NORML conference, NORML will be there as conduit of credible and verifiable information concerning cannabis–looking to be informed always from the consumer’s perspective and needs.]

  22. More research is a good thing if done correctly. Knowing which strain works best for any problem would be very helpful. I would really be interested in knowing which one works the best on cluster headaches as I have suffered from them since I was five years old. I am now 55 years old. I have done a lot of experimenting on my own and have had some success. I can’t always get what I need as this medicine is still illegal in most states. I look forward to the day when I can go to my local dispensary and buy exactly the whole plant type or extract from that plant that works best for my problem. I hope we all have legal choices in our future when it comes to our medical needs. Research will someday provide us with this I’m sure. Norml and all of us will help make it legal and easier to get.

  23. Fireweed Yes I do know about filing a writ and the Title 42 1983 thru 1986. I am working on a Class Action Title 42 1983. Don’t know if any group of people have ever done this before. When I am done I would like to attack each Federal Judicial Districts with a class action title 42. It is my goal to push the courts or at least our Jury of Peers to see the Constructive Fraud as an unlawful act of congress. There was never any threat to this nation public safety and therefore Congress lacked the right to abrogate our liberty when it came to cannabis. The Fraud is a crime and all who push the fraud are not protected in anyway. Their action can be attacked in the Courts under Title 42, and section 1986 states that they can not hide from their unlawful action towards the citizens population and can and will be held accountable for their acts in this Constructive Fraud upon the us. They have been warned! They did not heed the warning so now the Title 42 comes into play. Under the Color of Law these folks have acted to deprive, harm, and profit off the public from their unlawful actions.
    Time to set this government right, time for this government to bend to the peoples’s will. Just remember they are the employees and we as one group are the employers and it is time to clean out the dead weight from our employees. Time to call them out into the light so all can see the crime they have done.
    Treason comes to mind when I think how they have betrayed the American people and the Constitution.
    Yes we will all work at hauling their asses into Court.

  24. A question for NORML. Is there any way you could do a statistical study on the people that were involved in the US governments marijuana program? Most of them have died by now,but some are still around. It would be informative too know if that group of people showed any statistical evidence of a reduction in cancer cases.
    Are they or were they at the present statistic of 1 in 3 people contracting cancer? They are probably the largest group of people with documented marijuana usage over the longest period of time.
    Another group of people to do a statistical study on would be the Viet Nam Vets. As many of them have continued using marijuana since then. Not all,and their usage isn’t documented as with the government
    program.
    [Paul Armentano responds: Since the federal government refuses to assess the health implications of the surviving federal IND cannabis patients, independent investigators have. Here’s a summary of the results, as posted by NORML back in 2001 (full text here: http://www.cannabismd.org/reports/russo2.php):
    http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4329
    A battery of medical tests on a cohort of chronic, legal medical marijuana smokers reveals no significant physical or cognitive impairment attributable to marijuana, according to preliminary results of a recent study.
    All four patients examined in the study are participants in the FDA/NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) program, and have been smoking government-grown pot daily for more than a decade.
    “This data agrees with the results of other chronic use studies performed in the 1970s in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Greece that found no significant attributable health problems in cannabis smokers. However, this study is the first of its kind to examine chronic cannabis usage in medical patients using a consistent source of medicine of known potency,” said Dr. Ethan Russo, who headed the study.
    Russo did observe “mild changes in pulmonary function” in three of the four patients, but noted these changes weren’t significant nor was there any evidence of malignancy. He speculated that the changes could be at least partially due to the weak potency of government-grown marijuana and its large content of fibrous material.
    No other tests, including MRI brain scans, chest X-rays, neuropsychological tests, immunological assays, and EEGs showed any significant adverse side-effects attributable to marijuana.

  25. Thank you. I guess that means we can’t access their medical histories to check for instances of cancer then.
    I t would have made a good study on the cancer blocking
    because it was a recorded marijuana use. That is what I was hoping for.
    Too bad someone in the VA couldn’t do a survey on the living Viet Nam veterans. But since they are government funded,that isn’t going to happen either.

  26. That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the recreational smokers?
    Something tells me when “Med Marijuana” becomes legal in all 50 states, it will still be considered illegal for all the recreational smokers which is not fair.
    After all, the big bucks come from the recreational smokers over the ones who take it for medical purposes. Not saying Marijuana patients don’t deserve this, it’s just that it won’t be fair for everyone else who just wants to smoke it just to relax, rather than use it for a specific illness.
    Tell me…Where there be any light for the recreational smokers?

  27. HEY!!!
    Here is an idea guys…….
    (bare with me…) Most everybody pays yrly taxes. But, all of us “stoners” hate having OUR tax money go toward Prohibition funding…..because it sucks. And does anybody remember this ol’ slogan: a Gov’t. OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people…..
    (the IDEA): Soooo, what if every year when Americans received their W2’s(or whatever), you could fill out a section in which You(the taxpayer), checkmark the specific Gov’t Programs you wish for your tax dollars to fund.
    Because, it seems a bit TYRANNICAL to be forced to fund a Gov’t Program I don’t beleive in.? I mean, is that much different than when 12th and 13th century Surfs were required to go hungry so the King could live in Lavish surrounding with Plentiful food????
    Does anybody else think this idea sounds even slightly more democratic???

  28. i for one am so happy to see some headway on this. I know people who smoke for pain management some with serious problems like blood and bone cancer. I myself have severe stomach problems and chronic pain that cannot be fixed. if i could take something like this legally instead of my pain meds i would probably weep with joy.

  29. Cuz,…..if I could vote on what my tax dollars went to…..Cannabis Prohibition wouldn’t be getting my vote(to put it nicely….)

  30. As I have said all this year, JURY NULLIFICATION! It is the key to getting our liberty back. It is this act that the citizens can use to rule over or overrule their wayward government agents/employees. We/employers must teach this important American concept to every American, young and old alike, if we wish to free those held unujustly by our wayward government.
    We as a society or sub-society must force this wayward government to chance to the will of the people. we can do this peacefully by taking our seeds that we throw in the trash and plant them in the face of this wayward government. By passively and peacefully planting your hemp seed in the face of the unjust will help bring this issue to a head. Media will not be able to ignor the tens of thousands of plants popping up on main street, court house lawns, and other government held property sitting in plain view.
    After this issue is pushed into the main media focus by the two acts listed above we as a sub-culture in this society file a Class Action Writ and a Class Action Title 42 1983-1986 in every Federal Judicial District in the United States. It will not matter if we win these cases or not, we will load down the Court System forcing them into open debate and Jury held cases over this Constructive Fraud placed on the people when our Congress unlawfully abrogated our liberty and misunderstood our Constitution.
    2010 should be the year we set the goal of freeing our brothers and sisters from these unjust acts of government. 2010 should be the year we set to push harder and faster upon the branches of government to correct this injustice.
    2010 is the Year of Jury Nullification on Cannabis. This should be the year we free ourselves from the tyrants who act so unjust and lie about the facts.
    Please send the word out this New Years, let the Americans know that the change is now, this coming year, no more tomarrows, it is today. Lets make the New Years resolution to be not for ourselves but for those unjustly held in our prison system. This year we as a sub-culture of American Society will make space in our overcrowded prison systems by freeing all those unjustly held for their part in the unlawful Cannabis laws.
    Lets make some noise, lets charge down the tracks with the truth in one hand and our Constitution in the other.
    Just think about what I have said here, we can bring this issue to a much needed close and we can and will have our liberty as we define it not how the wayward government defines it. Are you out there? Do you hear this cry for change? Then let US act as one voice and change this situation once and for ALL of US.
    Stomped On My Rights is a Son of Liberty and will settle for nothing less.
    The time is TODAY!

  31. Good idea samson but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Next time you write your legislator’s, your thoughts in this direction could be inserted but then again it would distract from the reason we’re all here, Legalize Cannabis, End the madness, expose the fraud of prohibition. Demand that the whole plant is left intact. Hope that makes sense.

  32. Cannabis leaves have more CBD than the bud, and only traces of THC. That’s why smoking “shake” doesn’t get one high. Use the leaves for the medicine and you can skip all the genetic hoopla. CBDs can also be found in relative abundance in the seeds of industrial hemp, which has virtually no THC whatsoever. Fred Gardner’s level of ignorance regarding CBDs is pretty astounding, considering that he’s supposed to be an expert.

  33. CBD’s are the future. The jig is up and the Big Pharma companies are not going to get there greedy little hands on this as we will continue to support places like Harborside in Califonia and companies like Alta who wnat to help those that suffer from Seizures and Chronic pain and cancer.

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