by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
Seems like there’s always some sort of summit being held online for various aspects of alternative health, which should be called real health. These summits gather several experts relating to a particular health topic, diet, optional cancer treatments, etc. But this author never expected a medical cannabis summit. Nevertheless, there is one now.
Speakers from several medical and nutritional practices who prescribe cannabis partially or wholly with their individual practices are available in this summit, the Holistic Cannabis Summit. The amount of cannabis experts weighing in represents a very encouraging and growing trend towards medical marijuana acceptance by holistic M.D.s and medical practitioners of all types.
Marijuana is Medicine for Many Purposes Regardless of DEA Schedule
Even the FDA recommends the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) should reschedule cannabis to a more medically acceptable status at a Department of Justice meeting expected this year (2016). Currently it’s rated as “a controlled substance” Schedule I: Addictive, dangerous, and without medical merit. Changing that is hopeful but doubtful. Medical cannabis, a natural plant with many varieties, is currently being used in many treatment plans that present an economic threat to the pharmaceutical industry.
Nevertheless, more states are legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, and more medical practitioners of all stripes are recognizing its efficacy and safety. Fortunately, Congress is restraining the DEA from its federal law over state law harassment of medical marijuana dispensaries and users.
But Canada is looking into legalizing marijuana and Mexico is leaning toward approving cannabis for medical purposes. Both of these actions would apply nationally, thus avoiding the legal territorial disputes between states and the federal government that complicate medicinal cannabis use here in the United States.
The Cannabis Summit makes it clear that not all legal medical marijuana states are equal. Some states will allow certain medical conditions to be included as legitimate reasons to use cannabis while others will not allow those same conditions.
Delaware is the only state so far that allows cannabis to be used for autism as a diagnosed condition. Evidently there’s a conditioned bias among government officials and others who still associate marijuana with “Reefer Madness” or the gateway drug to serious addictions for children – both not true.
The Cannabis Summit interviewed two activist mothers of autistic kids who are “non-responders” with conventional or “alternative” attempts for handling autism. They are attempting to get that changed because there are case histories of non-responders responding positively to cannabis treatments that contain the psychoactive compound of THC.
Also discussed were the different strategies for using co-existing conditions of autistic children to get around their states not listing it as a condition acceptable for cannabis use.
Some states require exhausting most “conventional” medical procedures before granting a marijuana medical card, while others allow doctors to simply prescribe it to obtain that license.
So far there are two states, Colorado and Washington, that simply allow cannabis used for whatever reason without that card or license.
A Return to Herbalism to Replace Chemical-ism
Cannabis is being studied botanically, very much like herbalism. This also makes the Cannabis Summit’s information fascinating and revelatory. The extremely wide spectrum of cannabis applications that are efficacious and safe are well beyond the public’s awareness, however tolerant that awareness may be.
On the Cannabis Summit it was pointed out how pharmaceutical companies isolate the most active compound of existing plants and reproduce it synthetically to create a patented “medicine” that can be claimed as an exclusive royalty yielding property for up to 20 years.
One of the several cannabis experts on the summit explained how offering synthetic chemical active ingredients without a plant’s complete synergistic containment of checks and balance compounds often leads to adverse side effects. Then prescribing more pharmaceuticals for those side effects becomes standard. Meanwhile, there is no real curing for the disease being treated.
Well over a hundred thousand people die from correctly prescribed and over the counter pharmaceuticals annually. Yet our government agencies protect the pharmaceutical industry by keeping all other natural remedies demonized or “unapproved” for medical use.
But the cannabis botanical herb approach deals with the totality of the plant’s natural components, which are being discovered and compared with actual clinical applications because cannabis is not a dangerous drug that requires safety testing. Cannabis applications for different diseases is determined by the botanical strains derived agriculturally and their THC-CBD ratios.
The Cannabis Summit goes into detail about the endocannabinoid system in our bodies consisting of receptors that match the compounds of cannabis. The receptors are the locks and the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids are the keys. Here are the basics:
CB1 Receptors are extremely prolific in your brain, but also present in your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and other parts of your body.
CB2 Receptors are primarily found in your immune system.
Part of determining appropriate cannabis strains for healing involves finding which receptors are involved according to their locations. Although there are over 60 cannabinoids in a marijuana plant, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two major cannabinoids.
THC is psychoactive, promoting the “high” side effect. CBD is highly medicinal in many cases without the high, making it ideal for children. This is explained in the Cannabis Summit.
Understanding Different Strains of Cannabis for Different Treatments
Although a strain that is mostly CBD (cannabidiol) has proven effective for severe and chronic seizure episodes in children, THC is required for effective cancer treatments. This is where creating the different ratios of THC and CBD through horticultural methods, not genetic engineering, come into play.
Nevada oncologist Dr. James Forsythe, M.D., explains how he uses a 2 to 1 THC – CBD ratio cannabis oil in his practice, which is similar to the original Rick Simpson concentrated cannabis oil. Rick Simpson paved the way for using cannabis oil as a safe effective cancer treatment in Canada almost two decades ago with a THC high oil that’s consumed orally in small amounts. Slight variations of cannabis oil delivery are used more often than smoking marijuana for serious diseases.
Dr. Forsythe also mentions another practitioner who uses the oil with a 4 to 1 THC – CBD ratio for serious diseases including cancer. According to Dr. Forsythe, cannabinoids penetrate cancer cells and secrete ceramide, which disrupts their mitochondria, the energy engines of all cells.
This forces tumor forming cancer cells to give up their refusal to self destruct or “suicide,” known as apoptosis. Normal cells are programmed for apoptosis to allow new cells to form in their place. But cancer cells expand by not succumbing to apoptosis. So cancer cells have to be destroyed or coerced into apoptosis without harming other healthy cells.
The high THC to CBD strains do that very well. Interestingly, we all have some cancer cells floating around that are not forming tumors or causing problems enough to warrant medical attention.
Dr. Forsythe and another cannabis expert on the summit, Dr. Dustin Sulak of Maine, spoke of the “entourage effect” with cannabis. In addition to THC and CBD, there are around 60 other cannabinoids.
Several different combinations of terpenes, compounds in plants that offer distinctive aromas and flavors, also add to healing the variety of maladies effectively without sickening or debilitating side effects.
Dr. Sulak explains how to find your optimum dose and what you can use to counter the psychotropic effects of THC if desired. He explains how “little can be more” with cannabis. Too much over too long of time tends to make the cannabinoid receptors “hide” inside cells instead of being open on the outer parts of cells, decreasing the amount of receptors.
Clinically Proven Healing Effects of Cannabis
So far cannabis has been clinically proven to heal or reverse symptoms of several medical situations, even at terminal or irreversible disease stages, that pharmaceutical medicines or surgeries usually complicate with side effects:
- Cancer of all types, including brain cancer
- Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory gut conditions
- Neurological dysfunctions, even MS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Relief from glaucoma attacks and other chronic pain
- Epilepsy and Seizures from Other Sources
The side effects include getting rid of all or most of pharmaceutical medications previously used and feeling better overall while undergoing treatment.
Cannabis offers healing for more diseases and disorders than any other one plant. Almost half of our population has used marijuana medically and otherwise. Not one death has ever been recorded. It’s amazing how this plant has been demonized so much, despite its medicinal use that goes as far back as 7,000 years ago.
But the lights are on now and there’s no turning back. This is a rapidly growing grass roots movement that involves scientists, doctors, and lay people. And the Holistic Cannabis Summit offers an up to date layman’s educational pinnacle for the medical cannabis movement from several perspectives.
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