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Cannabis Nation News with Mike Boutin and Julie Rose

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 It's Time For An Honest Conversation about Cannabis!

5 Things Cannabis Related You Probably Didn't Know

If one was to spend a little time hitting Google searching for cannabis facts, you’ll quickly find yourself having to wade through a sea of obscure references, and very contradictory information.  My goal here is to hopefully shine a little light on the subject, helping others come to their own conclusions.

                       Milk, does a body good!

 1.   I thought it would be appropriate to start at the beginning; and by beginning, I’m referring to the start of human life. Confused yet? It’s ok, it’s all about to start becoming a lot clearer. Recent studies have shown that breast milk contains cannabinoids! Studies (one done in 2005 can be found here) have linked the endocannabinoid system to feeding regulation in newborns. What this is thought to mean (and appears to be most critical in the first few days of life), is that it helps in the babies development of normal suckling behaviour by both stimulating the appetite and activating the oral-motor musculature. Why I like this so much is for one simple reason; it tells us from the moment of birth we’re hardwired to process cannabinoids. On a side note, it’s the activation of this same system that causes you to get the munchies. Some food for thought perhaps?

                                                              In the beginning...................

  2.   Through a lot of my own personal conversations with others, I’ve noticed that a surprisingly large amount of people don’t actually realize just how long cannabis has been being used medicinally. So for this reason, I thought it would be great to elaborate a little on this. Cannabis was first documented as a medicinal herb in 2737 B.C. (known as “Ma”) in what’s considered the first Chinese Pharmacopoeia (known as the “Shennong pen Ts’ao ching” or more simply as the “Great Herbal”, and has apparently survived by a copy that was believed to be made back around 500 A.D.). It was composed by the Chinese emperor Shennong. This is of course, only the first apparent recorded medicinal use. I’d like to point out here that the earliest archaeological evidence shows twisted strands of hemp being use to make patterns on clay pots in Taiwan as far back as 10,000 B.C. (taken from Peter Strafford’s book “Psychedelics Encyclopaedia”). Looking at the amount of time between the two events, I can’t help but think that there’s bound to have been more than a few other people who could’ve claimed to have known about the medicinal values.

                                                               Once upon a time
3.   This one I find an important little piece of history. Cannabis was recognized by the US for it medicinal value as early as 1850, and found it’s place in the United States Pharmacopeia dating from 1850 till 1942 before it was removed (You can find actual photocopies of the pages referencing cannabis in the US Pharmacopeia from each of the editions ranging from the 3rd to the 12th edition here). Recorded uses ranged from labor pains and nausea, to even rheumatism. Cannabis was first added to the pharmacopeia due to the popularity of it’s use growing after William B. O’Shaughnessy reported his findings in a paper from 1839 he titled “On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or gunjah”. It’s studies revolved around “their effects on the animal system in health, and their utility in the treatment of tetanus and other convulsive diseases”. 

            This is your brain on ..........
4.   I wanted to touch on what I thought was one of cannabis’ biggest misconceptions. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana does not cause brain damage. In fact, recent studies are providing evidence that this appears to be the complete opposite (you can find one from 2012 here). Whether the argument is against one time use, or long term use, the indications are that the introduction of cannabinoids in to the endocannabinoid system interferes with age-related cognitive decline by decreasing age-related neuroinflammation and increasing neurogenesis. What’s being suggested is that the inflammation that most age related cognitive decline, neural failure, and brain degeneration is tied to, appears to be linked to the decline in our own bodies abilities to produce our once youthful levels of cannabinoids; contributing to such conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and more. So regular use with age may actually be saving your cognitive abilities from declining. Stick  that in your pipe and smoke it!

     Well, there's your problem!
5. I’d have to say that some of most contradictory information involving cannabis would probably revolve around the argument of cannabis and the related deaths. You could spend hours reading stuff that people have argued for both sides, the main problem I see here most, is the breakdown in communication that occurs. Nuances in the details of studies is what appears to cause these communication breakdowns. So let me see if I can help clear things up for people. First, simply, there has been no recorded death CAUSED by consuming marijuana. “Caused” is the key word here, let me explain. The required amount to overdose on pot is staggering, requiring cannabinoid receptors to be saturated at a ratio of 40,000:1. At (and for the sake of argument lets round up) about 10mg of THC being found in a joint, it would take smoking thousands of joints in a very short period of time in order to accomplish this. So can smoking pot cause death? No. There’s a reason why the CDC posts absolutely no information on deaths caused by smoking cannabis every year, but yet covers the deaths related to tobacco or say alcohol. So why do so many people argue till they’re blue in the face that smoking pot can kill you? Well, sadly this is where things really go to crap. There are countless “studies” that contribute marijuana as a RELATED cause of death. Here’s the problem with that, the term “related” implies it was (at the very least) not the only cause. Where some people seem to argue, is that the “related” is as definitive as “causes” for cause of death. Which clearly isn’t the case.
For instance, if you take a puff off a joint, and then fail to tie your shoe securely before walking your dog, and later after noticing your untied shoe, bend over to correct the problem, at the same time that a local newly licensed teen driver comes barreling around the corner while tweeting on his cellphone about the latest drama involving his most recent sexual encounter, and in the heat of the moment doesn't notice you bent over tying your shoe, and subsequently smashes your spirit into another dimension.  The fact that you took a toke prior to your outing may be counted as a "related" cause of death.
Well, hopefully everyone’s able to take a little something away from all this. It’s not hard to see that we as people have had a long history involving cannabis, and with all the new information becoming available all the time, one could argue that this incredible history we’ve had, has been a very symbiotic one. I know mine has.