The extensively-studied phenomenon known as “Forest Bathing” in Japan and South Korea and as “Kneipp Therapy” in Germany involves exposure to high concentrations of naturally-occurring aerosolized phytochemicals in conifer & deciduous forests.
This natural treatment for conditions ranging from asthma to dermatitis has been documented and validated by a raft of high-quality medical and scientific research.
There is no question that “Forest Bathing” has therapeutic benefits. For example, positive effects on NK (Natural Killer) cell activity have been shown with in vitro treatment of tumor cell lines with monoterpenes released from trees (and of course present in Cannabis flowers) such as d-limonene and α-pinene, and also in forest bathing trips. The anti-tumor effects act by increasing intra-cellular levels of anti-tumor proteins such as perforin, granulysin, and granzymes A/B.
Haven’t heard of “Forest Bathing”? I hadn’t either until I ran across it during some intense research into naturally-occurring environmental Cannabis terpene aerosols. The ancient Japanese natural health practice called “Shinrin Yoku”, defined as “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing”, has a wide range of rigorously tested and proven health benefits.
In 2005 the Japanese government introduced a nationwide “Therapeutic Effects of Forests Plan” that pays “Forest Bathing” health benefits. The government says that it pays for this therapy because of the proven reduction in other health care costs across the spectrum.
South Korean scientists and public health researchers have documented a wide range of positive health benefits from exposure to terpenes in the air of coniferous forests, with variations among the terpenes in different species of trees at different locations accounting for differences in the health benefits of inhalation of forest air.
They have divided the country into numerous micro-climes where particular combinations of coniferous tree species co-exist and perfume the air, each location offering a particular healing, stimulating mix of terpenes and other phytochemicals.
Interestingly, the dominant terpenes in the air of these forests are the same terpenes that characterize different Cannabis strains and the same kinds of variability in Cannabis strains similarly account for their differing health benefits.
There is also a natural medicinal therapy in Germany called “Kneipp Therapy”, that involves a series of exercise routines done in a terpene-rich forest environment. Kneipp Therapy has been studied using quality clinical research protocols and the exercises have been found to be significantly more beneficial when performed in a forest environment compared to other kinds of locations.
So, it’s both very interesting and very significant for establishing the validity of the Cannabis “Entourage Effect” that the dominant terpene profiles of all of the therapeutic forests studied in the Japanese and Korean “Forest Bath” scientific literature (cited below) appear to be various combinations of myrcene, pinene, limonene, linelool, and a number of less-celebrated but still important Cannabis terpenes like cynene, terpinene and boneal. There are many other “minor” phytochemicals shared between the airborne perfumes of Cannabis flowers and therapeutic forests, and almost certainly many of these will ultimately be shown to play significant roles in both the Forest and the Cannabis “Entourage Effect”.
Bottom line – I believe that there is an inescapable argument in favor of the Cannabis “Entourage Effect” presented by the “Forest Entourage Effect”, which itself is definitively established in international, if not US, scientific and medical literature.
There has been extensive research in multiple advanced countries on the health benefits of exposure by inhalation and skin absorption to the airborne terpenes in forest environments – interestingly enough, these turn out to be the same terpenes that are inhaled in the vapors from Cannabis flowers.
“Forest Bathing” research establishes that inhaling a naturally-occurring mix of terpene emissions or vapors has far greater health benefits than exposure to or ingestion of any of the terpenes and other phytochemicals singularly, like in a pill or other oral or topical medication.
Cannabis visionaries have always known that the THC was only one element of the sensual pleasures and only one of the sources of health benefits from the sacred flower, just as wine lovers have always known that the alcohol is only a relatively small part of their total experience. Nobody drinks a bottle of Etude Pinot Noir or Chateau Pomerol Bordeaux for the alcohol, and nobody chooses which Cannabis flower to enjoy simply on the basis of THC content, although that approach seems to dominate much of today’s adolescent-style Cannabis marketing. Even the most dedicated couch-locked stoner knows very well that there is a world beyond THC and may spend a lot of time (if they’re not too ripped) thinking about taste and aroma options when they’re choosing between Durban Poison and Granddaddy Purple.
However, the concept of a Cannabis “Entourage Effect” has been universally ridiculed by anti-Cannabis forces who say that the supposed variety of effects of different Cannabis strains is simply a kind of mass delusion. They claim that there is no evidence that different phytochemical profiles of different Cannabis strains signal different health and well-being effects, and say that in their expert, informed scientific opinion such observations are imaginary. While their criticisms are couched in the careful, apparently rational language of science, and even rated a major article in Scientific American in 2017, all of the criticisms amount to a simple “It’s all in your head” dismissal.
In other words, the anti-Cannabis establishment says tough, there’s no scientific evidence to support your claim, and there’s not going to be any evidence either because we aren’t going to fund research.
Well, I’ve got some news for these die-hard prohibitionists.
OK, they have managed to impede research that could validate many of the medical benefits of the whole Cannabis Flower as opposed to plain old THC extract. With notable medical research exceptions, many of the health and sensual benefits ascribed to the Cannabis Flower are currently only validated by experience and consensus, both of which the scientists are fond of reminding us can be way off target. They point to the flat earth delusion, or to many other instances where “everybody knows” something that simply isn’t true, and smugly point out that nobody can prove all these marvelous things we’re saying about Cannabis.
It’s hard to find a reasonable explanation of why the Federal government has arrayed its dark-side powers against the Cannabis flower, but in this match between the Flower and the Power it’s beginning to look like the Power is going to lose this one because Forest Bathing research actually provides plenty of evidence . The research unequivocally supports the validity of the “Entourage Effect” by demonstrating that naturally-occurring environmental terpene and phytochemical aerosols do have measurable, verifiable positive impacts on overall health as well as on specific diseases and conditions, and do vary among forest tree species and environments in the same ways that Cannabis flowers vary among strains in response to environmental variables.
Forest Bathing research is directly applicable to validating the “Entourage Effect” of Cannabis terpenes and phytochemicals that are widely observed but, according to the Federal propagandists, not “scientifically verified”. As an example, there is solid research that says that terpene emissions from plants are directly correlated with the concentration of terpenes in the plant. The higher the concentration of terpenes, the greater the emissions from the plant. “Forest Bathing” research naturally focuses on terpene emissions from coniferous and to a lesser degree deciduous trees, but the relationship between terpene concentrations and emission rates has been widely replicated in studies with agricultural crops and seems to apply to all plants.
The bottom line is that clinical literature as well as popular wisdom in several countries points to the health benefits of inhaling and “bathing in” an atmosphere rich in terpenes and other phytochemicals. While the health benefits of many of the individual components of this phyto-soup are only recently becoming well-known, the benefits of exposure to the entire environmental complex of a pine/conifer forest are familiar to anyone who has ever walked outdoors that first morning in a forest campground.
A recent study concluded: “Exposure to natural environment is beneficial to human health. Among environmental exposures, the effects of forest have been emphasized in many studies. Recently, it has been shown that a short trip to forest environments has therapeutic effects in children with asthma and atopic dermatitis. Based on these studies, healthcare programs to use forest have been developed in several countries. Forest bathing has beneficial effects on human health via showering of forest aerosols. Terpenes that consist of multiple isoprene units are the largest class of organic compounds produced by various plants, and one of the major components of forest aerosols. Traditionally, terpene-containing plant oil has been used to treat various diseases without knowing the exact functions or the mechanisms of action of the individual bioactive compounds.”
So, it’s clear that relaxing for a few hours in a forest environment filled with terpenes can be beneficial and even therapeutic for people with a wide range of diseases and conditions from dermatitis to cancer. Do a simple internet search for “forest bathing’ and you’ll find books, resorts, videos and even classes. But enter “cannabis bathing” into a search and you’ll get bath salts, bubble bath, and a lot of fruit-flavored massage and lubricating oils.
For the past year or so I have been exclusively using a vaporizer to enjoy Cannabis flowers and I can add my experiences to the observations of many others that whole flower Cannabis vapor is a marvelous clean, natural high which, now that I realize it, is almost exactly like stepping out of my tent high in the pine forests of the Oregon Cascades and inhaling that first breath of vibrant, aromatic, high-energy mountain air.
So in my opinion all this research on “Forest Bathing” makes the smug “You can’t prove it and we’re not going to let you” chant of the anti-Cannabis “scientists” pretty much irrelevant. Sooner or later there will actually be research on every aspect of inhaled and absorbed Cannabis terpenes and other phytochemicals but until then the parallel research on Forest Bathing should be more than adequate scientific evidence for any reasonable person of the validity of the Cannabis “Entourage Effect”.
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Li, Q., Kobayashi, M., Wakayama, Y., Inagaki, H., Katsumata, M., Hirata, Y., Hirata, K., Shimizu, T., Kawada, T., & Park, B. (2009). Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 22, 951–959.
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Ormeño, E., Gentner, D. R., Fares, S., Karlik, J., Park, J. H., & Goldstein, A. H. (2010). Sesquiterpenoid emissions from agricultural crops: correlations to monoterpenoid emissions and leaf terpene content. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 3758–3764.
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Far Out! I’ve been writing about the superiority of Cannabis as a natural treating and healing medicine since 1969, and I love this kind of research. By adding another dimension to the usefulness of Cannabis in enhancing quality of life and natural health, this long-distance runners research once again emphasizes the huge difference between Cannabis and most synthetic pharmaceutical industry products.
Where Cannabis Flowers can treat, heal and improve many different body and mind functions, including long-distance running, and can be called a true Natural Existential Medicine, Pig Pharms’s drugs are better called Synthetic Mechanical Medicines.
Pig Pharma manufacturers share the same strategy – they spend Billions to design chemicals that target specific body parts and processes in specific ways that accomplish the enthusiastically-advertised goal of their “medicine”. These “Mechanical Medicines” have what the industry cheerfully calls “side effects”, referring to the damage these drugs cause as they slash and burn their way through the human body and mind in mindless pursuit of their molecular goal. Pig Pharma takes full advantage of the natural human tendency to focus on positive messages and pretty images while they recite the litany of hellacious side-effects in a soothing voice that slips underneath most people’s attention while serving its real purpose of covering Pig Pharma’s ass – we warned you!
An excellent example is bisphosphonates, a class that includes alendronates like Fosamax, chemicals that are packaged, advertised & prescribed widely for osteoporosis. These chemicals are advertised by the manufacturers to build strong bone and to stop bone loss. Of course that sounds like just what a person whose bones are losing mass would want.
But what people don’t know, and aren’t told by their doctors, or by the manufacturers, is that these chemicals work by poisoning cells called osteoclasts that remove old, dying bone and allow the body excrete it. If the osteoclasts are killed off, no old bone cells are removed. It’s like shooting the garbage collector – your garbage piles up and starts to stink pretty quickly.
But, just like the ads promise, the person taking these chemicals goes to the doctor after a few months and now, like a miracle, they are told by their doctor that they “aren’t losing bone mass”. What great news! Of course, we just won’t mention that it’s because the old dead bone cells are backing up in their bones rather than being excreted by their body. And if you block a natural excretion process, like sweat or urine or feces, all kinds of bad things tend to happen. But hey – nobody said there weren’t going to be some side-effects, right?
Can’t you hear these guys bragging – “We were looking for an osteoporosis drug, and when we focused on some of the natural processes in human bone, we saw that there were specialized cells called osteoclasts whose job is the removal of old dead and dying bone, and we realized that if we could stop that old bone removal by poisoning the cells doing the removal, then we could claim that our drug is “building bone”. Pure genius! We are making Billions, and nobody can sue us because we warned them there might be side-effects like cancer, heart disease and death. And anyway, they love our ads and their own doctor prescribed our brand name shit specifically for their osteoporosis, and it “works” – so what’s not to like?”
But …. the heinous behavior of Pig Pharma isn’t why I titled this post “Not Fair”, believe it or not.
What I wanted to draw attention to is that as long as we are now so advanced in society that we’re testing the benefits of Cannabis for long-distance runners, how about a side-by-side test of Coca Leaf Tea? As long as those of us who love and understand Cannabis now feel free to drive a spike through the heart of the “War on Drugs” why not act now together to liberate the Coca plant as well? Is Coca Leaf less worthy than Cannabis as a natural medicine? Does it not also offer human beings great benefits at little cost? Shouldn’t Coca Leaf belong to the People, as Cannabis now does?
Let’s let the long-distance runners decide. Coca Tea for half, Cannabis for the other half. Let the race begin! Everybody is a winner even before it starts. Now that would be fair.
The scientific and medical literature of the 1800s gives us thousands of case studies primarily from Europe, Canada and the US, as well as somewhat limited published research, on the role of Coca Leaf preparations in treating and healing an impressive range of conditions and diseases.
In these case studies Coca Leaf was almost always consumed by the patient as tea (hot water extract) or tonic (alcohol extract), which means that the initial site of almost all the recorded medical action of Coca Leaf on the body was the human gut.
The same has been true for hundreds of generations in the Andes – they chew Coca first to bathe their gut with the healing, balancing juices, and from there the healing influences radiate throughout their muscular, endocrine and nervous systems.
So according to the historical evidence, the healing action of Coca Leaf appears to be centered in the gut.
Fast forward to today.
We now know that it is the health and balance of an individual’s gut microbiome that determines their overall state of health. We know that when that balance is upset gut diseases occur, and we increasingly understand how metabolic and neurological diseases are linked to disturbances of the gut microbiome.
Human adults carry about six pounds of bacteria in our gut, and in this mass of living organisms there are literally tens of thousands of species – most of them still unidentified. However we do know the major players in the human gut, and increasingly we are finding out that changes in the populations of these major players, plus blooms of pathogenic players like klebsiella and c. dificil, seem increasingly likely to be causing serious human illness.
So it may not be making too much of a speculative leap to say that it is likely that one of the important things that 19th Century science is telling us is that Coca Leaf helps to maintain, and works to restore a healthy gut microbiome, although of course those 19th Century doctors knew nothing of the gut microbiome. But they did know that Coca Leaf preparations worked on a wide range of diseases – better than almost anything else in their apothecary.
It certainly wouldn’t take a major research project to confirm or to disprove what I believe the 19th Century medical literature so clearly suggests. As part of the work I’m doing in trying to find funding for “Centros de Coca Curación” I intend to include funding for research studies in this and related areas, engaging reputable degreed scientific and medical researchers in Peru, Bolivia and any other country where they would be free to conduct their work and publish the results.
Readers of this blog know that in past posts I have engaged in a lot of speculation on the modern implications what 19th Century science knew about the healing properties of pure, natural Coca Leaf. I believe that the richness of the human experience recorded in those days by people of science and medicine can guide us today, lost as we are in the machinations of the pharmaceutical and allopathic medical “industries”.
Isn’t it time to begin demanding that legislators in states that have legalized Medical Cannabis now move to legalize first the import of fresh Coca Leaf and Coca Medicines and also to legalize cultivation of Coca Leaf in the United States for general consumption as well as medical purposes?
The internet is so deep and wide that no matter how often and how well one searches there is always more to find. I would like to share something I just found with readers of panaceachronicles, in case some of you have not yet read the absolutely stunning article entitled “The Wonders of the Coca Leaf” by Alan Forsberg (2011).
If you have never heard of this remarkable work I am not surprised – neither had I. It seems to have circulated widely in Latin America journals and on Latin American websites but not very much elsewhere in the world. So when I did run across multiple references to it while doing a deep search of some Latin American scientific & medical journals over the weekend and came across at least a dozen links to the article I started trying to download and read it. However when I began following those links – surprise! – most of them were broken and the few that were not 404 somehow froze when I tried to download and read the article. Coincidence, or censorship?
But as almost always happens the censors missed one link, and I was finally able to download the document. I have saved it (offline) just in case you try to access it through this link and find that the link is now mysteriously broken. If that happens let me know and I’ll be happy to send the document to you – with apologies to the author who I am not able to locate to request permission to do so. I will keep looking for Alan, not just to request his permission but also to offer him my profound gratitude for his seminal work.
The article itself is incredibly well-written, thorough, and fully documented, and the hyperlinked bibliography will allow you to browse a wealth of information resources that our society’s keepers would prefer to keep invisible. However, as those of us in the US and the rest of the world awaken and begin to join the fight that the Bolivian people have begun to unshackle this potent natural medicine, this article will provide us with a sharp blade to cut through the evil bullshit that has been piled on the heads of generations of suffering people by the corrupt and manipulative governments, corporations and institutions of the world.
I hope – I know – that you will enjoy reading this work of genius, and will come away from the experience determined to do for Coca Leaf what you have already done for Cannabis.
Here is a glimpse of the table of contents, and a link that I hope works for you.
The Wonders of the Coca Leaf By Alan Forsberg (2011)
> The Historical Use Value of Coca as a Food and Medicine
> The Traditional Meanings of Coca and its Development as a Symbol of Ethnic Identity
> Coca as a Tool for Social Interaction and Spiritual Protection
> Coca and the Western World: A History of Substance Abuse and Political Pressure
> Development of an International System of Control: Coca Taken Prisoner
> The Social Force of Rebellion behind Coca Deprivation
> A Different Approach to Coca Production – Turning Over a New Leaf
> Suppression of Scientific Research on the Benefits and Uses of the Coca Leaf
> Contemporary Non-traditional Uses of the Leaf: Sharing its benefits with Modern Society
> INCB and the Frontal Assault on Coca
> Coca as an intangible heritage of humanity: Freeing coca from the shackles of international law
Finally, here is the author’s statement at the conclusion of his essay.
“The overwhelming scientific evidence accumulated in the past 50 years should be enough to allow the international community to correct the historical mistake33 that was made when coca was included on the list of drugs banned by the 1961 Single Convention and coca chewing was slated to be abolished. But there is the danger in the tendency of a reductionist scientific viewpoint to diminish the significance of this complex wonder to merely a chemical compound, a highly nutritious food supplement, or versatile medicine. Equally troubling is the profit-making tendency to want to “add value” by treating this sacred leaf as a raw material to be refined in order to extract a flavoring agent or isolate its notorious alkaloid without recognizing the natural coca leaf’s holistic goodness as well as its sacred and social qualities as an intangible heritage of humanity offered by Andean-Amazonian cultures. The prophetic “Legend of the Coca Leaf” presages us of the difference between the way the leaf is used traditionally in the Andes, and the corrupted form used by Western conquerors. As the Sun God said to the Andean wise man Kjana Chuyma: “[coca] for you shall be strength and life, for your masters it shall be a loathsome and degenerating vice; while for you, natives, it will be an almost spiritual food, for them it shall cause idiocy and madness” (Villamil 1929, Hurtado 2004a).”
“People everywhere need to learn to respect the beneficial and mystical qualities of coca leaf in its natural state and recognize the idiocy and madness behind its prohibition in international law. To do so will require a serious re-evaluation and education campaign to overcome cultural barriers and long held stereotypes. The Bolivian and other Andean governments should discard the INCB directive to “formulate and implement education programs aimed at eliminating coca leaf chewing, as well as other non-medicinal uses of coca leaf” and rather take the time to “educate others about the coca leaf and the need to correct this historical mistake” because, as Virginia Aillón, first secretary to the Bolivian Embassy in Washington states: “Coca is not cocaine. Coca is medicine, food, coca is fundamentally cultural” (Armental 2008, Ledebur 2008 pp.2 & 5).”
Thank you for visiting my blog. I thought that you might find this chapter from my 1984 book “Marijuana Foods” interesting in light of how widespread the acceptance of Medical Marijuana is these days, and how much research is now available to confirm the reality. The illustration is by the wonderful artist Pat Krug, who illustrated the book.
But, as you can see, even thirty years ago ( Lord, has it really been that long?) there was plenty of evidence that Marijuana is a gift from nature intended for the healing and enlightenment of the human race. Of course in those days young people were still being sentenced to 50 years hard time for the possession of a joint, so the idea of Marijuana as medicine did not compute except to the awakened few.
I hope that my books helped move the cause along, and I hope that you will especially enjoy the last section of this chapter “A Revolution In Caring”.
Chapter 5: Marijuana As Medicine
All materials Copyright © 1984 by Bill Drake
All Rights Reserved
Dear Reader. It is very important that you know that many of the medical and scientific literature references in this section are several years old. It is important that you independently inform yourself of the latest research in these areas before making any decisions about the personal medical use of Marijuana for any medical condition.
Table Of Contents
• Smoking Marijuana For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Food For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Beverages For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Smoke Enema For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Suppository For Self-Medication
• Marijuana And Self-Medication
• For Nausea and Vomiting
• As an Anticonvulsant
• In Movement Disorders
• As a Muscle Relaxant
• For Glaucoma
• In Bronchial Asthma
• For Hypertension & Anxiety
• For Insomnia
• In Eating Disorders
• In Treating Alcoholism
• Clinical Trials with Marijuana
• A Revolution In Caring
• Are You Shocked?
If you are thinking of using Marijuana for the first time you may not be aware that you have a number of options besides smoking. While smoking Marijuana is not as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, largely because homegrown Sinsemilla Marijuana is almost always organic and all commercial cigarettes have dozens of unregulated known carcinogenic chemical contaminants, if you aren’t a smoker and have a need for Marijuana for medical reasons, you don’t have to start smoking unless you want to.
Since smoking Marijuana is probably the most common current way to use it, we’ll begin with a look at several different smoking-related options.
Smoking Medicinal Marijuana
Probably the only way most people think of using Marijuana is by smoking a joint or a waterpipe. The principal reason for smoking Marijuana is that it produces almost instant effects since the lungs are very efficient at absorbing the complex chemicals in the smokestream. Recreational users call this a rush, and it feels almost exactly like what happens when you stand up too fast after sitting for a long time on a very hot day. Another way to describe it is that it’s like the biggest dizzy feeling you ever felt as a kid.
While the use of a waterpipe cuts way down on the irritating qualities of Marijuana smoke, not everyone likes to fuss with keeping a pipe clean. A waterpipe does lower the temperature of the smoke as well as filtering a lot of the soot and tar. It is also a little less wasteful than a joint because the pipe is a more efficient burning mechanism. If you use a waterpipe you’ll find that over time it develops a glaze of residue that daily washing with soapy water won’t remove. Just fill a plastic container with cheap white vinegar and immerse your waterpipe and all its components in the vinegar overnight and the next morning they’ll sparkle plenty.
Hand-rolled joints are a strong favorite because of convenience as well as portability. If you don’t know how to roll a joint, ask a doctor (yeah, right) or a friend for help. Never buy a pre-rolled joint, and you are better off not accepting one from anyone except someone you really trust. Even if a saint gives you a joint it doesn’t hurt to ask if there is anything but Marijuana in it. Sometimes people have perverse ideas of how to do a friend a favor.
In some cases government-produced joints will be available. It’s up to each individual to decide if they want to use Marijuana this way. It has the advantage of being strictly dosage-controlled. Federal Marijuana has the disadvantage of being too mild for effective relief of many symptoms, and for use in a holistic situation where the high is an integral part of the therapy. However, drug-naive physicians may be attracted to the administration of federal Marijuana because it’s available at a dosage which has known effects and references in clinical literature. (Of course, that same clinical literature ignores the potential of the whole natural Marijuana flower, for reasons discussed elsewhere, so its value is really pretty limited unless you are a pharmaceutical company looking for profitable new drugs to synthesize and manufacture.)
Eating Marijuana Food For Self-Medication
The principle advantages are smoke-free access to the therapeutic benefits of Marijuana, a sense of variety, cost effectiveness, dosage control, and duration of effective relief. Marijuana extract prepared and served as food enhances the experience of using the flowers of this great plant for their healing powers. It can be prepared and served so many natural ways that it can become a part of many different approaches to healing.
When consumed in very low dosage in foods the relief and associated Marijuana high arrive gently and stay a long while. They are a natural accompaniment to both quiet relaxation and energetic socializing, depending on the mood, the setting, and the objectives.
Marijuana Beverages For Self-Medication
Drinking a Marijuana beverage may be tolerated when food is not, for a variety of reasons. Many of the direct effects of chemotherapy and radiation make the intake of anything, even therapeutic food somewhat difficult. In such cases, where no other approach is preferred, a sip or two of a pleasant Marijuana liqueur or cordial is both a pleasant and effective alternative. The liqueur/cordial also offers easy, fast absorption and onset of relief, and effective duration of relief. They are easily stored and carried with you, and are a very cost-effective way to use Marijuana.
You’ll find a wide range of herbal and fruit beverages you can make with marijuana extract in the recipe sections of this book.
Marijuana Smoke Enema
Our age sometimes prides itself on having seen and done everything, but the Anal Hookah, as a friend with a dark sense of humor called this approach, appears to have been first developed in the 16th century by the Dutch as a means of bringing drowning victims back to life. The then-newly discovered American herb Tobacco was being used back then for many different medical applications during the early days in Europe, and the Tobacco Smoke Enema for drowning victims was one of the more useful treatments of its time and by all accounts was used successfully hundreds of times.
I’ve tried to picture how this remarkable discovery was made. It must have been a tragedy involving a drowning in one of the Dutch canals, with everyone standing around crying and yelling “Can’t somebody do something!” Nearby stood a Dutchman – perhaps a physician himself – smoking his pipe and feeling quite moved by the scene. If he was like most Dutch people I know, he was a very private person and would never allow another person’s lips to touch his pipe, making what happened next a remarkable act of compassion.
In a moment of pure selflessness – or maybe he just needed a good excuse to buy a new pipe, though that would be unlike most of my Dutch friends of today – he must have walked up to the crowd gathered around the drowned person and said something like – “Ahem, er um, well, if nobody has any objections, I could try blowing a little tobacco smoke up this poor soul’s rectum. My first puff in the morning certainly wakes me right up.” The crowd must have been stunned, then someone must have cried out “Just do it!” – and the rest was medical history, at least for a few decades in Holland.
The Dutch might have invented it and used it to good effect, but the rest of the queasy world was evidently not ready for the Tobacco Enema even to save lives, since I’ve seen no evidence of it around emergency rescue vehicles and lifeguard stands, nor on TV.
Nevertheless, over the years since I saw my first picture of an actual 16th century Tobacco smoke enema syringe I have quietly circulated the idea of Marijuana smoke enemas when I have been approached for information and suggestions by people with complications which precluded other approaches and where a quick result was desired. I recall a particularly effective use of the Marijuana smoke enema with a person with severe asthma, unconscious from a car wreck.
If the situation is such that a person can’t tolerate any other form of Marijuana, the Marijuana smoke enema may be effective, such as when the person is unconscious or otherwise unable to cooperate. There’s no need for an elaborate apparatus; simply taking a rubber or plastic enema tube with the bag removed and the tip in place, inserting it, taking a draw on a joint or waterpipe, and blowing little puffs into the rectum.
Puff- don’t blow. Very tiny little puffs, a few at a time and then wait. If the person is conscious and can report effects, it should be less than 15 minutes before they are felt, and more smoke can be given if needed – but be sure to give the first puff or two time to come on completely, since this is often all that’s needed. Experimenters have observed that the high by this route is as rapid as with the lungs but has “deeper” qualities, perhaps because of the greater central nervous system involvement in this area of the body.
A further advantage of this approach is that the active substances in the smoke are rapidly absorbed by the blood in the tissues, and there is almost nothing left behind to irritate the area when the therapy is completed, as there is in the case of suppositories.
While not recommended for extended use, this method offers a clean, safe way for a very ill person to get immediate relief without trauma as long as both the sick person and the person assisting in the administration of the therapy are either broad-minded and tolerant, or a little kinky, or both.
Marijuana Suppository For Self-Medication
Marijuana extract suppositories are a potentially useful approach when a person is unconscious or otherwise unable to cooperate. It is also an option when the throat, stomach, lungs and GI tract are involved in disease and the benefits of Marijuana are desired. The suppository approach offers a slow-onset high, very effective absorption, and long-lasting relief from small dosages.
An effective Marijuana suppository is made by hand-forming Marijuana butter extract into a little “bullet” about 1/2 inch long and as big around as a regular pencil. (Cocoa butter is also an efficient absorber of Marijuana potency and can be used to prepare these suppositories if there is an intolerance of regular butter extract.) Another approach making suppositories is to do a Marijuana/Oil extract with pure (not toasted) sesame oil, decant into capsules designed to melt in the rectum, chill and then insert.
The Research Picture – Marijuana And Self-Medication
In combination with what was already known from folklore and traditional medicine Marijuana researchers over the last 25 years have uncovered and confirmed some pretty astonishing indications of Marijuana broad potential as a therapeutic, and in some cases healing drug. In this section we’ll look briefly at the major areas of disease, injury and other trauma or condition where research scientists have shown Marijuana to be useful.
If you are being treated by a medical professional and choose to use Marijuana to address problems associated with your therapy you should discuss your decision prior to entering your course of therapy. There may be good reasons why you not use Marijuana, regardless of its potential for relief. There are quite a few studies which show that people with diabetes and cardiovascular problems should be especially cautious.
Through use of the bibliography and your own research, and information which your doctor has, you both will be able to discuss the matter factually. However if all you are offered is anti-drug propaganda, try another Doc.
For Nausea and Vomiting (emesis) associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Marijuana has the proven ability to alleviate the symptoms of both anticipatory nausea/vomiting as well as the nausea/vomiting actually connected with chemo or radiation. There’s not really any need to say much more. This is one of the few areas so well researched that there have even been clinical trials of people smoking joints of street Marijuana.
Use of Marijuana for anti-emetic relief is so well established that nobody facing either kind of therapy for any reason should deprive themselves of its benefits. Now that the smoke-free alternatives in this book are available there is no reason why an appropriate way of using Marijuana cannot be found.
Some Useful Readings
Ahmedzai, S, et al. 1983. Antiemetic efficacy and toxicity of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, in lung cancer chemotherapy. British Jour. Cancer, 48: 657-663
Artim, R. and DiBella, N., Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) plus prochlorperazine (PCZ) for refractory nausea and vomiting (N/V), ASCO Abstr., 2, 85, 1983
Bakowski, M. T. 1984. Advances in anti-emetic therapy. Cancer Treatment Review 11: 237-256.
Bateman, D. N., Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and gastric emptying, Br. Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 15, 749, 1983
Borison, H., and McCarthy, L., Neuropharmacology of chemotherapy-induced emesis, Drugs, 25 (Suppl. 1), 8, 1983
Borison, H., Borison, R., and McCarthy, L., Phylogenic and neurologic aspects of the vomiting process, Journal Clinical Pharmacol. 21, 23S, 1981
Borison, H., McCarthy, L., and London, S., Cannabinoids and emesis, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, p. 1480, 1978
Brigden, M. R., and Barnett, J. B. 1989. Antiemetics and cancer chemotherapy. In: Nausea and vomiting: recent research and clinical advances. Edited by R. K. Harding, J. Kucharzyk, and D. J. Stewart. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton
Brigden, M., Wilson, K., and Barnett, J., Rational choice of antiemetic agents during cancer chemotherapy, Can. Fam. Phys.,29, 1682, 1983
Chang, A. E., Shiling, D. J., and Stillman, R. C., Goldberg, N. H., Seipp, C. A., Barofsky, 1., Simm, R. M., and Rosenberg, S. A., Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic in patients receiving high-dose methotrexate: a prospective randomized evaluation, Ann. Int. Medicine,91, 819 1979
Chang, A. E., Shiling, D. J., Stillman, R. C., Goldberg, N. H., Seipp, C. A., Barofsky, 1., and Rosenberg, S. A., A prospective randomized trial of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as an antiemetic in patients receiving high dose methotrexate (MTX), ASCO/AACR., Proc., 20, 377, 1979
Chang, H. S. L., MacLeod, S. M., and Correia, J. A., Nabilone vs. prochlorperazine for control of cancer chemotherapy-induced emesis in children, ASCOAbstr.,3, 108, 1984
Citron, H.L., Herman, T., Fossierck, B., Krasno, S., Vreeland, F., Harwood, S., Ortega, L., and Cohen, M., Double blind randomized crossover study of the antiemetic effect of Levonantradol (LVN) vs. tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), AACR Abstr., 24, 165, 1983
Colls, B.M. et al,The antiemetic activity of THC vs metoclopramide and thiethylperazine in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy New Zealand Medical Journal, 1980: 91, pp 449-51.
Cone, L., Green, D., and Helm, N., Use of nabilone in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced vomiting in an outpatient setting, Cancer Treat. Review, 9 (Suppl. B), 63, 1982
Cunningham, D., et al. 1985. Nabilone and prochlorperazine: a useful combination for emesis induced by cytotoxic drugs. British Medical Jour. 291: 864—865.
Dodds, L.J., Journal of Clinical Hospital Pharmacology, The control of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, 6/85, 10 (2) pp 143-66.
Dow, G. and Meyers, F., The California program for the investigational use of THC and marijuana in heterogeneous populations experiencing nausea and vomiting from anticancer therapy, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/8), 128S, 1981
Einhorn, L., Nagy, C., Furnas, B., and Williams, S., Nabilone: an effective antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 64S, 1981
Eyre, H.J. and Ward, J.H., Control of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Cancer, 12/1/84, 54 (11 suppl) pp 2642-8
Frytak, S. et al, Delta-9 THC as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer therapy, Annals of Internal Medicine, 1979: 91, pp 825-30.
Frytak, S., and MOERTEL, C. G. . Management of nausea and vomiting in the cancer patient. Jour. Am. Medical Assoc. 245: 393 -396,1981
Frytak, S., Moertel, C. G., and O’Fallon, J. R., A comparison of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), prochlorperazine (PCP) and placebo as antiemetics for cancer chemotherapy, ASCO/ AA CR ., Proc., 20, 3 91, 1979
Garb, S., Cannabinoids in the management of severe nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Some additional considerations, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/9), 57S, 1981
Gez, E., Biran, S., Fuks, Z., Edelstein, E., Lander, N., and Mechoulam, R., A marihuana component for nausea and vomiting induced by chemo and radiotherapy, Harefuah, 105(10), 306, 1983
Gralla, R., Tyson, L., Bordin, L., Clark, R., Kelsen, D., Kris, M., Kalman, L., and Groshen, S., Antiemetic therapy: a review of recent studies and a report of a random assignment trial comparing metoclopramide with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Cancer Treat. Rep., 68(1), 163, 1984
Herman, T., Einhorn, L., Jones, S., Nagy, C., Chester, A., Dean, J., Furnas, B., Williams, S., Leigh, S., Dorr, R., and Moon, T., Superiority of Nabilone over prochlorperazine as an antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 300(23), 1295, 1979
Herman, T., Jones, S., Dean, J., Leigh, R., Dorr, R., and Moon, T., Nabilone: a potent antiemetic cannabinol with minimal euphoria, Biomedicine, 27, 331, 1977
Herman,T.S.,et al.1979. Superiority of nabilone over prochlorperazine as an antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 300: 1295 – 1297.
Hisi, M., Niederle, N., Bremer, K., Schmitt, G., Schmidt, C., and Seeber, S., Levonantradol in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cytostatic drugs, Dtsch. Med. U’ochenschr., 107(33), 1232,1982
Hoffman, R., Using Marijuana in the Reduction of Nausea Associated With Chemotherapy, Murray Publishing, Seattle, Wash., 1979
Homesley, H. D., Gainey, J., Jobson, V. W., Spurr, C., Welander, C., Muss, H. B., and Kimball, J., Failure of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and prochlorperazine to control chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, ASCO Abstr., I, 67, 1982
Johansson, R., Kilkku, P., and Groenroos, M., A double-blind controlled trial of nabilone vs. prochlorperazine for refractory emesis induced by cancer chemotherapy, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9 (Suppl. B), 25, 1982
Jones, S., Durant, J., Greco, F., and Robertone, A., A multi-institutional phase-lll study of nabilone vs. placebo in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Cancer Treat. Review, 9 (Suppl. B), 45, 1982
Joss, R., Galeazzi, R., Bischoff, A., Do, D., Goldhirsch, A., and Brunner, K., Levonantradol, a new antiemetic with a high rate of side effects for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Br. Journal Cancer, 46(3), 492, 1982
Kaminski, M. and Erlichman, C., Current management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Ther. Rev., 38(1). 53, 1983
Kenny, J. and Wilkinson, P., Levonantradol effectiveness in cancer patients resistant to conventional antiemetics, Clinical Oncol., 8(4), 335, 1982
Krebs, H. B.,et al.1985. Combination antiemetic therapy in cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting. Cancer, 55: 2645-2648.
Laszlo, J. 1982. Treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Cancer Treat. Rev. 9(Suppl. B): 3—9.
Levitt, M., Faiman, C., Hawks, R., and Wilson, A., Randomized double blind comparison of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana as chemotherapy antiemetics, ASCO Abstr., 3, 94, 1981
Levitt, M., Nabilone vs. placebo in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9, Suppl. B., 49, 1982
Levitt, M., Wilson, A., Bowman, D., Faiman, C., Kemel, S., Krepart, G., Schipper, H., Weinerman, B., and Weinerman, R., Dose vs. response of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vs. prochlorperazine (PCPZ) as chemotherapy antiemetics, ASCO/AACR., Proc., 22, 422, 1981
Levitt, M., Wilson, A., Bowman, D., Kemel, S., Krepart, G., Marks, V., Schipper, H., and Thomson, G., Physiologic observations in a controlled clinical trial of the antiemetic effectiveness of 5, 10, and 15 mg of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in cancer chemotherapy. Ophthalmologic implications, Journal Clinical Pharmacol.,21, 103S, 1981
Lucas, V.S. Jr. and Laszlo, J., Delta-9 THC for refractor vomiting induced by cancer chemotherapy, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980: 243, 1241-43.
MacLeod, S., Chan, H., and Correia, J., Nabilone (N) vs. prochlorperazine (P) for control of chemotherapy-induced emesis in children, Can. Soc. Clinical Invest., 1984 Meeting, 7 (Suppl. 2), 1984
Maule, W. and Perry, .M., Management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis, Pract. Therap. 27( 1 ), 226, 1983
McCabe, M., Smith, F. P., Goldberg, D., Macdonald, J., Wooley, P. V., Warren, R., Brodeur, R., and Schein, P. S., Comparative trial of oral 9-tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) and prochlorperazine (PCZ) for cancer chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, ASCO/AACR., Proc., 22, 416, 1981
McCarthy, L. E. and Borison, H. L., Cis-platin emesis and cannabinoids in cats, Pharmacologist, 22, 448, 1980
Meyers, F., Stanton, W., Dow, G. and Rocchio, G., Reduced adverse effects with optimal antiemetic dosage schedule of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), ASCO Abstr., 3, 94, 1984
Minutes of Meeting on the Current Status of Research with Tetrahydrocannabinol and Nabilone for the Control of Cancer Chemotherapy-lnduced Vomiting, Department of Health Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C., 1978
Morrow, G. R. 1984. Clinical characteristics associated with the development of anticipatory nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Journal Clinical Oncol. 2: 11701 176.
Neidhart, J., Gagen, M., Wilson, H., and Young, D., Comparative trial of the antiemetic effects of THC and haloperidol, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 38S, 1981
Nerenz, D. R., et al. 1982. Factors contributing to emotional distress during cancer chemotherapy. Cancer, 50: 1020-1027
Nerenz, D. R., et al. 1986a. Anxiety and drug taste as predictors of anticipatory nausea in cancer chemotherapy. Journal Clinical Oncol. 4: 224-237
Orr, L. and McKernan, J., Antiemetic effect of Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol in chemotherapy-associated nausea and emesis as compared to placebo and Compazine, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 76S, 1981
Orr, L., McKernan, J., and Bloome, B., Antiemetic effect of tetrahydrocannabinol compared with placebo and prochlorperazine in chemotherapy-associated nausea and emesis, Arch. Int. Medicine, 140, 1431, 1980
Poster, D. S., Penta, J. S., and Bruno, S., Treatment of Cancer Chemotherapy-lnduced Nausea and Vomiting, Masson Publishing U.S.A., New York, 1981
Riggs, C., Egorin, M., Fuks, J., Schnaper, N., Duffey, P., Colvin, 0., Aisner, J., Wiernik, P., and Bachur, N., Initial observations on the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the plasma pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/9), 1981
Rivlin, R. S., Shils, M. E., and Sherlock, R 1983. Nutrition and cancer. Am. Journal Medicine 75: 843—854.
Sallan, S. E., and Frei, E., III. 1975. Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 293: 795—797
Sallan, S. E., Cronin, C., and Zelen, M., et al. 1980. Antiemetics in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer: a randomized comparison of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and prochlorperazine. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 302: 135—138.
Sallan, S., Zinberg, N., and Frei, E., lll, Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 293, 795, 1975
Sallan, S.E. et al, Antiemetic effect of Delta-9 THC in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, New England Journal of Medicine, 1980: 302, pp 135-138.
Schein, P., Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting Associated with Cancer Chemotherapy, Report to the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., 1980
Steele, N., Braun, D., O’Hehir, M., and Young, C., Double-blind comparison of the antiemetic effects of nabilone and prochlorperazine on chemotherapy-induced emesis, ASCO/AACR Proc., 20, 337, 1979
Stewart, D. J. 1989. Nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. In Nausea and vomiting: recent research and clinical advances. Edited by R. K. Harding, J. Kucharzyk, and D. J. Stewart. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton.
Stewart, D.J., Cancer therapy, vomiting and antiemetics, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2/90, 68 (2) pp 304-13.
Stuart, J., Welsh, J., Sangster, G., Scullion, M., Cash, H., Kaye, S., and Calman, K., The antiemetic potential of oral levonantradol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Br. Journal Cancer, 46(3), 492, 1982
Stuart-Harris, R., Mooney, C., and Smith, 1., Levonantradol: a synthetic cannabinoid in the treatment of severe chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting resistant to conventional antiemetic therapy, Clinical Oncol.,9(2), 143, 1983
Sweet, D., Miller, N., Weddington, W., Senay, E., and Sushelsky, L.,Tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy—a pilot study, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 70S, 1981
Tortorice, P.V. and O’Connell, M.B., Management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Pharmacotherapy, 1990, 10 (2) pp 129-45.
Triozzi, P.L. and Laszlo, J., Optimum management of nausea and vomiting in cancer chemotherapy, Drugs, 7/87, 34 (1) pp 136-49.
Ungerleider, J., Andrysiak, T., Fairbanks, L., Goodnight, J., Sarna, G., and Jamison, K., Cannabis and cancer chemotherapy, a comparison of oral delta-9-THC and prochlorperazine, Cancer, 50(4), 636, 1982
Ungerleider, J., Andrysiak, T., Fairbanks, L., Tesler, A., and Parker, R., Tetrahydrocannabinol vs. prochlorperazine, the effects of two antiemetics on patients undergoing radiotherapy, Radiology, 150(2), 598, 1984
Vincent, B. J., McQuiston, D., Einhorn, L., Nagy, C., and Brames, M., Review of cannabinoids and their antiemetic effectiveness, Drugs, 25(Suppl. 1), 52, 1983
Wada, J., Bogdon, D., Gunnell, J., Hum, G., and Rieth, T., Double-blind randomized, crossover trial of nabilone vs. placebo in cancer chemotherapy, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9 (Suppl. B), 39, 1982
Welch, D. 1981. Nutritional compromise in radiation therapy patients experiencing treatment-related emesis. Journal Parenter. Enteral Nutr. 5: 57—60
Frytak, S., Moertel, C., O’Fallon, J., Rubin, J., Creagan, E., O’Connell, M., Schutt, J., and Schwartau, N., Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, a comparison with prochlorperazine and a placebo, Ann. Int. Medicine, 91(6), 825, 1979
As an Anticonvulsant In Seizure Disorders
No testing of whole Marijuana has been done, but various Cannabis-based molecules without “high” qualities have been shown to be very effective in some seizure models. Seizure models are attempts to set up working cause-and-effect mechanisms which explain how different seizures happen. Scientists are just beginning to figure out which pathways in the brain/body are involved in seizures, which are a very complex set of related but separate phenomena.
All this begs the issue somewhat, because it’s clear from both the clinical studies and from folk knowledge that smoking a joint can bring quality relief from many different kinds of seizures. It’s those dreaded “side-effects” again which keep the search for a High-free pharmaceutical going, and keep effective therapy out of the hands of those in need.
The use of Marijuana alternatives offers those with seizure problems the potential for all-day control of the problem, with a very manageable “High”. The manageability issue is important because many people with seizure problems are otherwise vigorous, healthy people who lead normal lives until the seizure cuts them down. If they happen to be in the middle of something dangerous like driving a car or handling a power tool, such flash incidents can be life threatening. A manageable level of Marijuana high will not interfere with many kinds of work, and will actually help make some kinds of work more enjoyable and potentially more productive.
Contrary to all the propaganda, and most disturbing to those who preach inevitable doom with the first criminal encounter with dope, there have been some very well done, beyond-reproach studies which show that a certain portion of the population actually does better at the task of driving a car when high on Marijuana than when “straight”. Almost anyone who is a regular Marijuana user will tell you the same thing. And the fact that Marijuana shows up very rarely by itself in the blood tests of traffic fatalities means that the millions of people who use Marijuana regularly and nothing else are not having fatal car crashes or doing other things that get their blood sampled.
The implication for people with seizure disorders is to consider, and talk over with your doctor the idea of training yourself to get along while being a little high all day in order to get the benefits of this natural anti-seizure medicine.
Some Useful Readings
Boyd, E. H., Boyd, E. S., and Brown, L. E., Differential effects of a tetrahydrocannabinol and pentobarbital on cerebral cortical neurons, Neuropharmacology, 14, 533, 1975
Boyd, E. S., Boyd, E. H., and Brown, L. E., The effects of some drugs on an evoked response sensitive to tetrahydrocannabinols, Journal Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 189, 748, 1974
Calne, D. B. and Klawans, H. L., Pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of tremor, Pharmacol. Ther.,2, 113, 1977
Carlini, E. A., Mechoulam, R., and Lander, N., Anticonvulsant activity of four oxygenated cannabidiol derivatives, Research Commun. Chem. Pathol. Pharmacol., 12, 1, 1975
Carlini, E.A. and Cunha, J.A., Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 417S-427S
Chiu, P., Olsen, D. M., Borys, H. K., Karler, R., and Turkanis, S. A,. The influence of cannabidiol and Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on cobalt epilepsy in rats, Epilepsia, 20, 365, 1979.
Colasanti, B. K., Lindamood, C., and Craig, C. R., Effects of marihuana cannabinoids on seizure activity in cobalt-epileptic rats, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 16, 573, 1982.
Consroe, P. and Wolkin, A., Cannabidiol-antiepileptic drug comparisons and interactions in experimentally induced seizures in rats, Journal Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 201, 26, 1977
Consroe, P. F. and Man, D. P., Effects of Delta 1 and Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on experimentally induced seizures, Life Sci., 13, 429, 1973
Consroe, P. F., Wood, G. C., and Buchsbaum, H., Anticonvulsant nature of marijuana smoking, JAMA, 234, 306, 1975
Consroe, P., Benedito, M. A. C., Leite, J. R., Carlini, E. A., and Mechoulam, R., Effects of cannabidiol on behavioral seizures caused by convulsant drugs or current in mice, Eur. Journal Pharmacol., 83, 293, 1982
Consroe, P., Jones, B., Laird, H., and Reinking, J., Anticonvulsant-convulsant effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976
Consroe, P., Martin, A., and Singh, V., Antiepileptic potential of cannabidiol analogs. Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 428s, 1981.
Corcoran, M. E., McCaughran, J. A., and Wada, J. A., Antiepileptic and prophylactic effects of tetrahydrocannabinols in amygdaloid kindled rats, Epilepsia, 19, 47, 1978.
Cox, B., Tenham, M., Loskota, W. J., and Lomax, P., The anticonvulsant activity of cannabinoids in seizure sensitive gerbils, Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc., 18, 154, 1975
Craigmill, A. L., Cannabinoids and handling-induced convulsions, Research Commun. Psychol. Psychiatr. Behav.,4, 51, 1979
Davis, J. P. and Ramsey, H. H., Antiepileptic action of marijuana-active substances, Fed. Proc., 8, 284, 1947
Delgado-Escueta, A. V., Treiman, D. M., and Walsh, C. 0., The treatable epilepsies, New Engl. Journal Medicine,308, 1576, 1983
Feeney, D. M., Marijuana and epilepsy: paradoxical anticonvulsant and convulsant effects, in Marihuana: Biological Effects, Nahas, G. G. and Paton, W. D. M., Eds., Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979
Feeney, D. M., Marijuana use among epileptics, JAMA, 235, llOS, 1976.
Feeney, D. M., Spiker, M., and Weiss, G. K., Marihuana and epilepsy: activation of symptoms by delta-9-THC, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 343.
Fish, B. S., Consroe, P., and Fox, R. R., Convulsant-anticonvulsant properties of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in rabbits, Behav. Genet., 13, 205, 1983
Gram, L., Bentsen, K. D., Parnas, J., and Flachs, H., Controlled trials in epilepsy: a review, Epilepsia, 23, 491, 1982 .
Izquierdo, I. and Nasello, A., Effects of cannabidiol and other cannabis sativa compounds on hippocampal seizure discharges, Psychopharmacology 1973: 28, pp 95-102
Juul-Jensen, P. and Foldspang, A., Natural history of epileptic seizures, Epilepsia, 24, 297, 1983.
Karler, R. and Turkanis, S.A, The cannabinoids as potential antiepileptics, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 4375-4485.
Karler, R. and Turkanis, S.A., Cannabis and epilepsy, in Marijuana: Biological Effects, ed. G. Nahas and W. Paton, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979, pp 619-641
Karler, R. et al, Anticonvulsant properties of Delta-9 THC and other cannabinoids, Life Sciences 1974: 15, pp 931-47.
Karler, R., Borys, H. K., and Turkanis, S. A., Influence of 22-day treatment on the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids, Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch. Pharmakol., 320, 105, 1982
Krall, R. L., Penry, J. K., Kupferberg, H. J., and Swinyard, E. A., Antiepileptic drug development. 1. History and a program for progress, Epilepsia, 19, 393, 1978.
Perez-Reyes, M. and Wingfield, M., Cannabidiol and electroencephalographic epileptic activity, JAMA, 230, 1635, 1974
Sofia, R. D., Solomon, T. A., and Barry, H., Anticonvulsant activity of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol compared with three other drugs, Eur. Journal Pharmacol., 35, 7, 1976
Testa, R., Graziani, L., and Graziani, G., Do different anticonvulsant tests provide the same information concerning the profiles of antiepileptic activity?, Pharmacol. Research Commun., 15, 765, 1983.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Electrophysiologic mechanisms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol’s convulsant actions, in the Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacologic and Therapeutic Aspects, Agurell, S., Dewey, W. L., and Willette, R. E., Eds., Academic Press, New York, 1984, 845.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Electrophysiologic properties of the cannabinoids, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 449s, 1981.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Excitatory and depressant effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinols and cannabidiol on cortical evoked responses in the conscious rat, Psychopharmacoloey, 75, 294, 1981.
Turkanis, S. A., Chiu, P., Borys, H. K. and Karler, R., Influence of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on photically evoked after-discharge potentials, Psychopharmacology, 52, 207, 1977.
Turkanis, S. A., Smiley, K. A., Borys, H. K., Olsen, D. M., and Karler, R., An electrophysiological analysis of the anticonvulsant action of cannabidiol on limbic seizures in conscious rats, Epilepsia, 20, 351, 1979
Wada, J. A., Osawa, T., and Corcoran, M. E., Effects of tetrahydrocannabinols on kindled amygdaloid seizures and photogenic seizures in Senegalese baboons, Papiopapio, Epilepsia, 16, 439,1975.
Wada, J. A., Wake, A., Sato, M., and Corcoran, M. E., Antiepileptic and prophylactic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol in amygdaloid kindled cats, Epilepsia, 16, 503, 1975
Wada, J.A. et al, Antiepileptic properties of delta-9 THC, Experimental Neurology, 1973: 39, pp 157-65
Woodbury, D. M., Application to drug evaluation, in Experimental Models of Epilepsy, Purpura, D. P., Penry, J. K., Tower, D., Woodbury, D. M., and Walter, R., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1972, 557.
There is a long list of symptoms which the research literature identifies as yielding to Marijuana therapy:
• akinesia or bradykinesia
• spasm, tremor
• dystonia (cramped muscles fixing limb or body in an abnormal posture/position)
• Tonic component: dystonic posture & pain
• Phasic component: dystonic spasms and tremor
• Iatrogenic Dyskinesia
• Epileptic activity
• Muscle Spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis
• Tourette Syndrome
• chorea ( in Huntington’s Disease)
Some Useful Readings
Consroe, P. et al, Open label evaluation of cannabidiol in dystonic movement disorders International Journal of Neuroscience, 11/86, 30 (4) pp 277-82.
Edmonds, H. L., Hegreberg, G. A., van Gelder, N. M., Sylvester, D. M., Clemmons, R. M., and Chatburn, C. G., Spontaneous convulsions in beagle dogs, Fed. Proc., 38, 2424, 1979
Giusti, G. V., Chiarotti, M., Passatore, M., Gentile, V., and Fiori, A., Muscular dystrophy in mice after chronic subcutaneous treatment with cannabinoids, Forensic Sci., 10, 133, 1977
Lang, A. E., Sheehy, M. P., and Marsden, C. D., Anticholinergics in adult-onset focal dystonia, Journal Can. Sci. Neurol., 9, 313, 1982.
Marsden, C. D. and Schachter, M., Assessment of extrapyramidal disorders, Br. Journal Pharmacol., ll, 129, 1981
Marsden, C. D., Treatment of torsion dystonia, in Disorders of Movement, Barbeau, A., Ed., Lippincott, New York, 1981
Meinck, H.M., et al, Effects of cannabinoids on spasticity and ataxia in multiple sclerosis, Journal of Neurology, 2/89, 236 (2) pp 120-2.
Moss, D. E., Montgomery, S. P., and Salo, A. A., Tetrahydrocannabinol effects on extrapyramidal motor behaviors in an animal model of parkinson’s disease, in The Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacological and Therapeutic Aspects, Agurell, S., Dewey, W. L., and Willette, R. E., Eds., Academic Press, New York, 1984
Moss, D.E. et al, Nicotine & cannabinoids as adjuncts to neuroleptics in the treatment of Tourette Syndrome and other motor disorders,Life Science, 1989, 44 (21) pp 1521-5.
Porter, R. J., Efficacy of antiepileptic drugs, in Epilepsy, Ward, Jr., A. A., Penry, J. K., and Purpura, D., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1983, 225.
Rosell, S., Agurell, S., and Martin, B., Effects of cannabinoids on isolated smooth muscle preparations, in Marijuana, Nahas, G. G., Ed., Springer, New York, 1976, 397
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Effects of Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on cat spinal motoneurons, Brain Research, 288, 283, 1983 .
Yung, C. Y., Clinical features of movement disorders, Brain Research Bull., 11, 167, 1983
As a Muscle Relaxant in Spinal Injury
It is well known around the rehabilitation centers of this country that smoking a joint is one of the best way to relieve the cramped muscles, tics, shakes and tremors, the involuntary yawning and tortured posturing accompanying so many kinds of spinal cord injuries, brain damage, and degenerative diseases.
There are also about 250,000 people in America with Central Pain Syndrome arising from Spinal Cord Injury or certain kinds of Stroke. Central Pain, or Thalamic Pain is an unremitting whole-body torture which can’t be relieved by any of existing pain therapy, including opiate drugs. While there are several potentially revolutionary drugs on the horizon for Central Pain its victims suffer at the highest levels of physical torture and can get no relief. I have two close friends who have suffered CPS for years, both from SCI, and both have told me that without marijuana they would have committed suicide long ago. One of them has tried the smoke enema and reports remarkable relief from the pain’s intensity lasting several hours, while my other friend jokes that he’s tried to avoid having smoke blown up his ass all his life and he isn’t about to begin doing it to himself now.
Some Useful Readings
Dunn, M. and Davis, R., The perceived effects of marijuana on spinal cord injured males, Paraplegia, 12, 175, 1974
Malec, J., Harvey, R. F., and Cayner, J. J., Cannabis effect on spasticity in spinal cord injury, Arch. Phys. Medical Rehabil., 63, 116, 1982
Petro, D. J., Marihuana as a therapeutic agent for muscle spasm or spasticity, Psychosomatics, 21, 81, 1980
Petro, D.J. and Ellenberger, C.E., Treatment of human spasticity with Delta-9 THC, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 413S-416S.
This is perhaps the second-best known application of Marijuana, and is an extremely well-researched field. This may be because eye problems are one of the few areas where Marijuana can be administered as a pharmaceutical preparation without “danger” of getting the patient high. While there are plenty of reasons why a person with glaucoma might want to use Marijuana to get high and treat the disease, many people would just as soon be able to do so without smoking. Marijuana administered in just about every form imaginable in just about every way possible has been tested for effectiveness in dealing with the symptoms, with good results overall.
There appears to be a lot of variability in the way different people with Glaucoma react to the use of Marijuana. Since eye pressure changes are easily and reliably measurable on an outpatient basis, and since there are so many possible factors at work, anyone with Glaucoma would be well advised to find a knowledgable medical professional to work with to discover the optimal form of Marijuana therapy. However it is also a fact that many, many people with this threatening disease self-medicate with little or no medical supervision, but in the absence of studies it’s hard to know what happens.
Some Useful Readings
Colasanti, B.K. et al, Ocular hypotension, ocular toxicity, and neurotoxicity in response to marijuana extract and cannabidiol, General Pharmacology, 1984, 15 (6) pp 479-84.
Cooler, P. and Gregg, J.M., Effect of Delta-9 THC on interocular pressure in humans, Southern Medical Journal, 1977: 70, pp 951-54.
Dawson, W. W., Jimenez-Antillon, C. F., Perez, J. M., and Zeskind, J. A., Marijuana and vision —after ten years’ use in Costa Rica, Investigations in Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 16, 689, 1977
Deutsch, H. M., Green, K., and Zalkow, L. H., Isolation of ocular hypotensive agents from Cannabis sativa, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 479S, 1981
Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E. C., Benigni, D. A., and Waller, C. W., Cannabinoids in glaucoma. ll. The effect of different cannabinoids on intraocular pressure of the rabbit, Current Eye Research, 3, 841, 1984
Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E., Murphy, J. C., Wirth, P., and Waller, C. W., Cannabinoids in glaucoma: a primary screening procedure, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 472S, 1981
Flom, M. C., Adams, A. J., and Jones, R. T., Marijuana smoking and reduced pressure in human eyes: drug action or epiphenomenon?, Investigations In Ophthalmology, 14, 52, 1975
Green, K. and Kim, K., Mediation of ocular tetrahydrocannabinol effects by adrenergic nervous system, Exp. Eye Research, 23, 443, 1976.
Green, K. and Podos, M., Antagonism of arachidonic acid induced ocular effects of Delta tetrahydrocannabinol, Investigations In Ophthalmology, 13, 422, 1974
Green, K. and Roth, M., Marijuana in the medical management of glaucoma, Perspectives In Opthamology, 1980: 4, 101-05.
Green, K. and Roth, M., Ocular effects of topical administration of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in man, Arch Ophthalmol., 100, 265, 1982
Green, K., Bigger, J. F., Kim, K., and Bowan, K., Cannabinoid penetration and chronic effects in the eye, Exp. Eye Research, 24, 197,1977
Green, K., Bigger, J. F., Kim, K., and Bowman, K., Cannabinoid action on the eye as mediated through the central nervous system and local adrenergic activity, Exp. Eye Research, 24, 189, 1977
Green, K., Symonds, C. M., Oliver, N. W. and Elijah, R. D., Intraocular pressure following systemic administration of cannabinoids, Current Eye Research 2, 247, 1982
Green, K., The ocular effects of cannabinoids, Current Topics Eye Research., 1, 175, 1979
Green, K., Wynn, H., and Bowman, K. A., A comparison of topical cannabinoids on intraocular pressure, Exp. Eye Research, 27, 239, 1978
Harvey, D., Analytical studies on marijuana, Trends Anal. Chem., 1, 66, 1981
Hepler, R. S., Frank, J. M., and Petrus, R., Ocular effects of marihuana smoking, in the Pharmacology of Marihuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Jay, W. M. and Green, K., Multiple-drop study of topically applied 1% Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in human eyes, Arch. Ophthalmol., 101, 591, 1983
Johnson, M. R., Melvin, L. S., and Milne, G. M., Prototype cannabinoid analgetics, prostastlandins and opiates—search for points of mechanistic action, Life Sci., 31, 1703, 1982
Korczyn, A., The ocular effects of cannabinoids, Gen. Pharmacol., 11, 419, 1980
McLaughlin, M.A. and Chiou, G.C., A synopsis of recent developments in antiglaucoma drugsJournal of Ocular Pharmacology, Spring 1985, 1(1) pp 101-21.
Merritt, J. C., Cook, C. E., and Davis, K. H., Orthostatic hypotension after Delta 9-THC marijuana inhalation, Ophthalm. Research, 14, 124, 1982
Merritt, J. C., Crawford, W. J., Alexander, P. C., Anduze, A. L., Gelbart, S. S., Effect of marihuana on intraocular and blood pressure in glaucoma, Ophthalmologv, 87, 222, 1980
Merritt, J. C., McKinnon, S., Armstrong, J. R., Hatem, G., and Reid, L. A., Oral Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in heterogeneous glaucomas, Ann. Ophthalmol., 12, 947, 1980
Merritt, J. C., Olsen, J. L., Armstrong, J. R., and McKinnon, S. M., Topical Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in hypertensive glaucomas, Journal Pharm. Pharmacol., 33, 40, 1981
Merritt, J. C., Perry, D. D., Russell, D. N., and Jones, B. F., Topical Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and aqueous dynamics in glaucoma, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 467S, 1981
Perez-Reyes, M., Wagner, D., Wall, M. E., and Davis, K. H., Intravenous administration of cannabinoids and intraocular pressure, in the Pharmacology of Marihuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Podos, S. M., Becker, B., and Kass, M. A., Prostaglandin synthesis, inhibition, and intraocular pressure, Invest. Ophthalmol., 12, 426, 1973
Razdan, R. K., Howes, J. F., and Pars, H. G., Development of orally active cannabinoids for the treatment of glaucoma, in Problems of Drug Dependence 1982, NIDA Research Monograph 43, Harris, L. S., Ed., Publ. No. (ADM) 83-1264, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 1983
Shapiro, D., The ocular manifestations of the cannabinols, Ophthalmologia, 168, 366, 1974
Zimmerman, T. J., Leader, B., and Kaufman, H. E., Advances in ocular pharmacology, Annual Rev. Pharmacological Toxicology, 20, 415, 1980
In Bronchial Asthma
This use of Marijuana has not been well-researched, but the few studies available seem to show that Marijuana is an effective bronchodialator, better in fact than many pharmaceuticals. Marijuana seems to be more effective than commercial pharmaceuticals for asthmatic people who have heart, thyroid, diabetic and hypertension problems, all of which are seriously aggravated by many available bronchodialator drugs.
It isn’t necessary to smoke Marijuana to obtain the bronchodialator effects. The research studies which administered Marijuana orally as an extract mist, and by swallowing a capsule filled with extract found that the method of ingestion did not affect Marijuana’s ability to arrest asthma symptoms.
Marijuana can also be a real relief for the stress and anxiety which accompany asthma attacks. Working with the high to identify and relax stressed areas of the body is something which many regular Marijuana users have been doing for years, and asthmatic people in most cases could benefit from this aspect of Marijuana as well as from the indisputably attractive bronchodialator effects.
Some Useful Readings
Abboud, R. T. and Sanders, H. D., Effect of oral administration of Delta 9-THC on airways mechanics in normal and asthmatic subjects, Chest, 70, 480, 1976
Davies, B. H., Radcliffe, S., Seaton, A., and Graham, J. D. P., A trial of oral Delta – 1 THC in reversible airways obstruction, Thorax, 30, 80, 1975
Gong, H., Tashkin, D. P., Simmons, M. S., Calvarese, B., and Shapiro, B. J., Acute and subacute bronchial effects of oral cannabinoids, Clinical Pharmacol. Ther., 35, 26-32, 1984
Graham, J. D. P., Davies, B. H., Seaton, A., and Weatherstone, R. M., Bronchodilator action of extract of cannabis and Delta 1 tetrahydrocannabinol, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Hartley, J. P. R., Nogrady, S. G., Seaton, A., and Graham, J. D. P., Bronchodilator effect of Delta 1-THC, Br. 1. Clinical Pharmacol., 5, 523, 1978
Shapiro, B. J. and Tashkin, D. P., Effects of beta adrenergic blockade and stimulation on cannabis bronchodilatation, in Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 173
Shapiro, B. J. and Tashkin, D. P., Effects of Beta-adrenergic blockage and muscarinic stimulation on cannabis bronchodilation, in Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976, 277
Shapiro, B. J., Tashkin, D. P., and Frank, 1. M., Mechanism of increased specific airway conductance with marijuana smoking in healthy young men, Ann. Intern. Medicine, 78, 832, 1973
Shapiro, B. J., Tashkin, D. P., and Vachon, L., THC as a bronchodilator. Why bother?, Chest, 71, 558, 1977
Tashkin, D. P., Reiss, S., Shapiro, B. J., Calvarese, B., Olsen, J. L., and Lodge, J. W., Bronchial effects of aerosolized Delta 9-THC in healthy and asthmatic subjects, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., l1S, 57, 1977
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., and Frank, 1. M., Acute effects of marijuana on airways dynamics in spontaneous and experimentally induced bronchial asthma, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., and Frank, 1. M., Acute effects of smoked marijuana and oral Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on specific airways conductance in asthmatic subjects, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., I 09, 420, 1974
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., Lee, Y. E., and Harper, C. E., Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., 112, 337, 1975
Vachon, L. and Sulkowski, A., The effect of Beta-adrenergic blockade on acute marijuana intoxication, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 161
Vachon, L., Fitzgerald, M. X., Solliday, N. H., Gould, 1. A., and Gaensler, E. A., Single dose effect of marijuana smoke, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 288, 985, 1973
Vachon, L., Mikus, P., Morrissey, W., FitzGerald, M., and Gaensler, E., Bronchial effects of marijuana smoke in asthma, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1975
Vachon, L., Robins, A. G., and Gaensler, E. A., Airways response to aerosolized Deta 9-THC: preliminary report, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976
Vachon, L., Robins, A. G., and Gaensler, E. A., Airways response to micro aerosolized Delta 9-THC, Chest, 70, 444, 1976
Williams, S. J., Hartley, J. P. R., and Graham, J. D. P., Bronchodilator effect of Delta 1-THC administered by aerosol to asthmatic patients, Thorax, 31, 720, 1976
For Hypertension & Anxiety
Recent discoveries that Marijuana acts on the same receptors in the brain as many commercial tranquilizers has reinforced clinical evidence that it is a superior relaxant and anti-anxiety drug. This will come as no news to millions of people, but many of those who have most needed to get mellow over the past years have been so mesmerized by the anti-drug hysteria that they have been stuck with trying to use alcohol and cigarettes to control anxiety. With damn little success, of course, because both these drugs first appear to relieve and then re-install anxiety at higher levels. When such folks are finally floored by their accumulated stress and toxicity, Marijuana offers a pleasant, inexpensive natural alternative which will, after only a brief trial, win the hearts and minds of 99% of these poor propagandized souls.
It’s not just the booze and cigs crowd that suffers from hypertension and anxiety; almost everybody has a few pet anxieties which regularly claw their insides out, and Americans are becoming notorious in the world for the rate at which we allow stress to disable and kill us.
Some Useful Readings
Freemon, F.R., The effect of Delta-9 THC on sleep, Psychopharmacologia, 1974: 35, pp 39-44.
Sethi, B.B. et al, Antianxiety effect of Cannabis: involvement of central benzodiazepine receptors,Biological Psychology, 1/86, 21 (1) pp 3-10.
Zaugg, H. E. and Kyncl, J., New antihypertensive cannabinoids, Journal Medical Chem., 26, 214, 1983
Zuardi, A. W., Shirakawe, J., Finkelfarb, E., and Karniol, 1., Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by Delta 9-THC in normal subjects, Psychopharmacology, 76, 245, 1982
In line with Marijuana’s complex nature, the same flower which when consumed allows you to stay up all night with friends engaging in vigorous dialogue allows you, under different circumstances, to drift imperceptibly into a dream state from which you wake in the morning refreshed and alert.
As in so many other uses of Marijuana, set and setting are very important in effectively addressing insomnia. All the usual accoutrements to a restful night’s sleep should be in place- a secure, quality environment, reduced potential for noise or interruption, loving thoughts, and a conscious desire to approach sleep. Reading a book while high is an excellent way to drift off into your own thoughts, and doing so while in bed is a classic approach to induced sleep. Meditation tapes now generally available are also an excellent tool to use while high, especially those specifically designed to place the mind in a mood to sleep restfully.
Marijuana is not a sleeping pill; it does not knock you out to achieve its effect. Marijuana is a mind-medicine, not a body medicine even though it has profound and overwhelmingly positive body effects. In fact, it is up to you to consciously use the Marijuana, not to passively take a “big enough dose” to put you to sleep by chemically overwhelming your nervous system so it doesn’t transmit worry or discomfort signals, which is how most so-called “sleeping aids” work.
In Eating Disorders
Here is another area of medicinal benefit where it is not so much the chemical properties of Marijuana as its mental effect which is responsible for the desired action.
Marijuana is well-known among people who use it socially and recreationally for the effect called the Blind Munchies. When a person is in the grip of the munchies nothing edible within reach is safe, especially food that responds to those deep-level body hungers we call cravings. There has been speculation that blood sugar levels are involved, but the research is inconclusive. The BM’s are not predictable in the sense that they are invariably brought on by use of Marijuana.
Whatever occurs to you when you are in this state is what you want, and normal behavior can go right out the window. It doesn’t matter if that last granola bar belongs to someone else- it’s gone; it doesn’t matter that it’s only 9AM- you want a double pepperoni pizza. Otherwise normal people caught in the grips of the Blind Munchies become slightly deranged; fixated may be a better word. They do not wait calmly in line at the ice cream store, they can’t wait until they’re out of the convenience store to open their candy bar.
All this is not a pretty sight, and probably contributes to Marijuana’s bad reputation among the other kinds of folks who hang out at ice cream stores and candy counters and encounter these hulking red-eyed fiends.
Now, one might reasonably ask how such an effect could possibly help someone who is ill?
The blind munchies seem to be the result of a combination of factors, including the (perhaps unrecognized) presence of deep cravings, and the process of suggestion. These factors are the reasons why Marijuana has therapeutic potential in the area of eating disorders.
Marijuana focuses attention, and if the high person’s attention is directed in a subtle way toward the deep levels at which food/nutritional cravings exist, the body-mind will pick up those signals and can experience them as desire and intense attractiveness. Not invariably, and not always perfectly, but the more skilled the individual or others involved in the therapy the more likely it will be that the person can come to desire and enjoy that which they need from a medical perspective.
Some Useful Readings
Costa, G., and Donaldson, S. S. 1979. Effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the nutrition of the host. N . Engl . Jour. Med . 300: 1471 1474.
Hollister, L.E., Hunger and appetite after single doses of marihuana, alcohol and dextroamphetamine, Clinical Pharmacological Thera. 1971: 12, pp 44-49.
Kokal, W. A. 1985. The impact of antitumor therapy on nutrition. Cancer, 55: 273—278.
McLaughlin, C. L., Baile, C. A., and Bender, P. E., Cannabinols and feeding in sheep, Psychopharmacology, 64, 3 21, 1979
In Treating Alcoholism
It’s no real surprise that Marijuana has been shown to be effective in helping people withdraw from alcohol addiction- it gives the addict a very attractive exchange. The intoxication benefits of Marijuana are superior, the urge to violence and aggression almost nil, and the damage to health far less.
From the moralists viewpoint this may not seem like it’s doing the alcohol addict a lot of good, but from the addicts viewpoint it makes kicking alcohol a whole lot easier. The moralists and the addict have a totally different agenda, though to get any help at all these days addicts generally have to get with the moralistic chant. It’s a true testament to the sincerity of the desperation of people trapped by alcohol that they will do anything, even roll over and sing psalms for the moralists, who parade these “saved souls” before the cameras where they stand, blinking and shuffling, looking for all the world like POW’s, which of course they are, prisoners in the war waged upon them by those who force doctrine upon the weak and broken in exchange for bread and a better cell.
Some Useful Readings
Bhargava, H., Effect of some cannabinoids on naloxone-precipitated abstinence in morphine-dependent mice, Psychopharmacology, 49, 267, 1976
Carder, B., Blockage of morphine abstinence by Delta 9-THC, Science, 190, 590, 1975
Chesher, G.B. and Jackson, D.M., Quasi-morphine withdrawal symdrome: effect of cannabinol, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, Pharmacology and Biochemistry Review, 7/85, 23 (1) pp 13-15.
Crancer, A. et al, Comparison of the effects of marihuana and alcohol on simulated driving performance, Science, 1969: 164, pp 851-54.
Fernandes, M. and Hill, R., Morphine-cannabinoid interactions in rats and mice, Arch. Pharmacol., 19, 282, 1974
Hine, B., Friedman, E., Torrelio, M., and Gershon, S., Morphine dependent rats. Blockade of precipitated abstinence by tetrahydrocannabinol, Science, 187, 443, 1975
Hine, B., Friedman, E., Torrelio, M., and Gershon, S., Morphine-dependent rats: blockage of precipitated abstinence by THC, Science, 187, 443, 1975
Jones, R.T and Stone, G.R., Psychological studies of marijuana and alcohol in man, Psychopharmacology 1970: 18, pp 108-17.
Reeve, V.C. et al, Marijuana-alcohol driving performance study: A summary of preliminary findings, in, Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, 1985
Rosenberg, C. M., Gerrein, J. R., and Schnell, C., Cannabis in the treatment of alcoholism, Journal Stud. Alcohol, 39, 155, 1978
Sprague, G. L. and Craigmill, A. L., Effects of two cannabinoids upon abstinence signs in ethanol dependent mice, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 9, ll, 1978
Clinical Trials with Marijuana
Almost without exception, the clinical trials of Marijuana’s effectiveness as a therapeutic agent have involved the use of an extract from the plant, or a synthetic or derivative chemical compound manufactured in the laboratory based on the natural model from the living plant.
Without exception all researchers frame their findings in the context of seeking to isolate the high from the medical benefits. None view the high as beneficial, even as a hypothesis. All studies done in the past twenty years have as an underlying, governing assumption that getting high is undesirable and has no place in therapeutic applications of the plant.
All the research buys into the official line that consciousness-altering substances are and ought to be highly regulated and unavailable to ordinary people.
None of the researchers exhibit an overt personal familiarity with the high experience but one can read behind the lines of a few studies to see that the authors were knowledgeable people communicating effectively with colleagues but being very, very careful.
Finally, none of these studies examine the therapeutic potential for the individual using the whole flower of this remarkable plant, without the intervention of self-interested doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, police, politicians, and professional bureaucrats.
A Revolution In Caring
There is a silent revolution against uncaring health care across America, and it is being led by people who discovered and used psychoactive drugs in the 1960’s & 70’s. Most of us are now in our mid-lives, and we increasingly have parents, family members and friends suffering from disease, injury, pain, accumulated stress, degenerative conditions, mystery infirmities, and the other challenges life throws at us all.
In the revolution to bring about a caring society, many of these enlightened ones are offering the relief of natural, whole Marijuana to those in need along with their services as what one friend of mine calls herself- a Companion Guide.
In other centuries and other places the intellectuals and artists of society used Marijuana to explore realms of the mind in the name of creativity and innovation. In other still more distant places and societies, healers and holy men used this gift of Shiva as a holistic medicine for the body, and meditative gate to other levels of consciousness.
In America this century Marijuana has been used primarily as a relaxant and mild euphoric; however, it has always had a strong spiritual component. There is something in the Marijuana high which resonates with the American spirit of adventure, of quest, of exploration, of frontier, of invention, and of rebellion. The Marijuana high answers all those calls in the American soul, and although our society is still burdened with those medieval drugs alcohol and tobacco and their powerful overlords, the time will come when the choice of an enlightened, caring society will be the Marijuana high or its spiritual/meditative equivalent.
Compassionate, creative, therapeutic use of Marijuana in a psychological and spiritual healing process opens new professional opportunities for many health care professionals who are personally experienced with the Marijuana high.
Why should personally enlightened professionals continue to submit to the whips of the cynics and moralists, those evil sisters, thus depriving their patients, clients, loved ones, friends and collegues of the benefits of a wholistic approach to Marijuana therapy which uses the powerful healing high, with themselves acting as compassionate Companion-Guides as well as medical professionals.
Imagine the impact on the quality of the relationship and its healing potential if all parties to the process could use the Marijuana high to get past the kinds of barriers that typically isolate those in need from those giving care.
Historians will record the callous manipulation of the ordinary people of this world by privileged classes and their institutional representatives and enforcement agencies as the root cause of the pain, suffering and destruction of human live and values which is deliberately mislabeled “the drug problem”.
The Pain problem, the Despair problem, the Racism problem, the Poverty problem, the Ignorance problem and the Exploitation problem are real names of real problems; the “Drug Problem” is not real, it is an illusion.
Meanwhile millions of deluded puppets chant “Just Say No”, at the same time most passionately chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to the whispered suggestions that theirs is the holy mission of blaming and judging and punishing others, placed in their inner by a voice they perceive as the voice of God. The irony is that the very demons they fear are the source of these suggestions, because when these crusader go forth they create dangerous, destructive passions – the dark playground of these angry entities.
The relief these crusaders promise through their “programs” is a sick illusion- there are very simply no truly effective drug rehabilitation programs anywhere. There are lots of ineffective programs which occasionally have a person enrolled who is successfully rehabilitated, for which the program’s operators then claim credit and seek additional funding, but the fact is that nothing rehabilitates an individual except inner resources combined with realistic external support, and there is no support of the kind and quality needed available in our society except for those fortunate enough to be loved and cared for by an angel.
While you’re never going to see our government research it, or announce the results if the do, there is evidence that Marijuana contains substances which protect the lungs of the smoker from the tissue changes which lead to cancer in smokers of cigarettes and those exposed to industrial smoke.
This “anti-neoplastic activity” of Marijuana has been noticed and investigated during the comprehensive search of natural substances for use as cancer drugs. This property of Marijuana was not remarkable enough to qualify it as a cure for cancer (imagine the difficulties!), but was sufficiently strong for the researchers to note that there may be some connection here with the fact that research has not been able to show the kinds of cancerous effects in long-term Marijuana smokers which show up regularly in long-term cigarette smokers. The other kinds of lung damage associated with smoking, such as emphysemia, dont appear as severe in Marijuana smokers, despite the (generally poorly done) federally sponsored research trumpeted in the media as evidence of Marijuana’s dangers.
Of course there will never be zero risk in smoking anything. But the greatest danger to Marijuana smokers appears to come directly from the authorities, in two principle ways. There is the obvious danger of arrest and exposure to draconian police and judicial strategies designed to intimidate the populace, but there is a much more direct, major danger to your health. The anti-drug authorities have persisted, in spite of official bans, to spray a variety of highly toxic chemicals onto Mexican and South American Marijuana crops, some of which is rescued by the growers and sent right along to the U.S. where Marijuana users who are driven to the streets by their government are then poisoned by that same government as a penalty for violating it’s corrupt laws. This isn’t an atrocity of the magnitude of the government-cigarette industry conspiracy, but it will do to illustrate the moral degeneracy of our decaying institutions.
The network of privileged and entrenched people who run this lunatic asylum we call home are determined that we are all going to settle down and agree to be ruled by them and their designated authorities. Their tactics are no more imaginative now than they have ever been, because when dealing with the mass of people sophisticated tactics dont work. Keep it simple, stupid. It’s easy enough in a modern democracy, especially if you control the message content of the mass media, to create a constituency of fear.
The “drug problem” is an ideal constituency-maker. Americans have been pretty constantly under the grip of the moralists and the economic interests benefited by them since the earliest days of the country, and by now many people have been thoroughly indoctrinated into accepting and vigorously believing that deviant behavior must be both controlled and punished. It’s not hard to get these folks to accept that drugs are bad, especially when you can create dramatic footage on TV and point to all the human wreckage on the streets. In line with the KI.SS principle, the public sees this stuff, listens to a few politicians and “experts” and concludes yes, by golly, there really is a “drug problem”.
But there is another reason why the “drug problem” has been created, a deeper, more important reason. Certain drugs, Marijuana perhaps foremost among them, directly threaten the mechanisms by which control of society has been exercised for centuries by the privileged and entrenched interests that transcend generations in their quest for domination of others. These mechanisms depend upon certain kinds of blindness in people, a blindness that has been cultivated intensively over the years.
Are You Shocked?
You read the papers and see the headlines about the war on drugs. You read Time and US News & World Report and Readers Digest and know about the horrors of drug abuse. You go to church and hear people you respect and trust predict that drugs will be the ruin of our society.
And now your doctor or, maybe more difficult to handle, a loving relative or friend tells you that you can get relief from your suffering with Marijuana. What are you to think? You may believe that drugs are evil, that the soft drugs lead to other, more addictive drugs, that they ruin your mind, and perhaps that they are a sin.
This section is devoted to an expression of my personal social & political viewpoints. Many people will disagree with what I say here, and if you feel this way I want you to be able to use the information in the book without having to agree with my views on the role of drugs in society and other related issues and concerns.
Social and recreational use of Marijuana is a major issue in the minds of many people, but more directly threatening and frightening are the twin problems of violent and degraded situation in our inner cities, and the sickening toll among our children. Many good people sincerely believe that these problems have been created by drugs, and can be solved by control of drugs.
I call these people good because they think of themselves as good and are motivated by what they believe are good motives. Jesus of Nazareth said at his crucifixion “Forgive them Father; they know not what they do”, and most Christians believe that Jesus was asking for forgiveness on behalf of those who were killing him, and those who had caused it to be done. I believe that these last words sum up the message of his life.
If Jesus was anything of the holy man which belief, tradition and doctrine have made him, and this was the message of his life, it would not be directed at forgiving those few poor souls who were murdering him – it would be his final offering of wisdom to all who lived then and have lived since. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. “
This is the gift which the prophet Jesus gave us – that in his last words, out of all the things that could have been said, he chose to ask god to forgive all people for none know what they do. If we hear that message, and realize that we know not what we do, then we may begin to awaken, and see what we do, and change what we do. As it is, we know not what we do. How else is it possible to explain the misery and evil we inflict on each other throughout the world; how else to explain why power corrupts; how else to explain our isolation from each other; how else to explain the greed and lust of those who rule; how else to explain suffering in the midst of great plenty?
The so-called drug problem is a part of that misery inflicted by some people on others, since it is almost entirely the social consequences of drug use, and not drug use itself, which produces the painful, evil consequences known as the drug problem.