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This is not your grandparents’ marijuana – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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This is not your grandparents’ marijuana. You’re going to hear that a lot if you haven’t already. Substitute grandparents for parents, and the meaning is the same.

In the “good ole days,” like the 1960s and 70s, cannabis contained no more than 2% THC. By the 1990s, it was 4%.

But now, in the legal states, cannabis flower has up to 30% THC. You can find 99% THC content in concentrates, edibles, and vapes.

Cue the new cannabis temperance movement. This is not your grandparents’ marijuana.

This actually is your grandparents’ marijuana

This is not your grandparents' marijuana

First, it’s called cannabis. Marijuana is a slang term that originates from a racist past. In a society that renames sports teams and fabricates history as an attempt to correct past wrongs, it’s amazing people are still calling cannabis marijuana.

Second, the “this is not your grandparents’ marijuana” meme is factually incorrect.

Our body has an endogenous cannabinoid system. This physiological system regulates our mood, pain, sleep, and stress responses. It’s responsible for our cardiovascular function, muscle formation, metabolism, and motor control, among other things. 

If you think of your brain and body as a busy intersection, the endocannabinoid system is the lights. Letting cars, bicycles, and pedestrians know when it’s safe to cross.

Everybody has cannabinoid receptors throughout their brain and body. Cannabis is a plant with plant cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids, that mimic the natural endogenous ones our body produces.

CBD is one of the most popular of these plant cannabinoids. Technically psychoactive, people don’t feel stoned or high, even from large dosages. CBD users report less anxiety, better sleep, less inflammation, and overall well-being when consumed.

Modern cannabis has more of these cannabinoids than cannabis from a few decades ago. The reasons are obvious: prohibition meant cannabis flowers couldn’t bloom to their potential. 

Anyone saying, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” is factually incorrect.

It is the same plant. Same genus. Same species. 

This is not your grandparents’ THC marijuana

When people say, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” or “This is not your parents’ marijuana,” they are really saying that the THC content of modern cannabis is too high for their liking.

But the beauty of the modern cannabis industry is the variety.

You can buy cannabis flower with low amounts of THC. You can purchase THC cannabis balanced with CBD. CBD and THC compete for the same cannabinoid receptors, so the high won’t be as intense.

But the cannabis temperance movement isn’t about free choice. When they say, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” they mean the THC content of modern cannabis is too high for anyone.

These people don’t understand the economics of prohibition. To quote Milton Friedman, “If you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.” 

But I’ve never known a “think of the children” busybody to understand economics.

Suppose it were true that this is not your grandparents’ marijuana, that high THC content was dangerous and unhealthy. The temperance busybodies still don’t have a foundation to stand on.

As Thomas Sowell said, “Crusaders [against substances] cannot accept the fact they are not God, that they have neither the right nor the competence to run other people’s lives.” 

If THC limits become the norm, all that’s been accomplished is a guaranteed income stream for the legacy markets.

But is THC dangerous?

This is not your grandparents' marijuana

By saying, “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana,” the cannabis temperance movement wants you to believe THC is somehow dangerous. They’ll make claims about psychosis and addiction, anxiety and depression.

But, like other issues, the narrative you get depends on which “experts” you listen to. Plenty of studies link poor mental health with cannabis consumption. But the question remains: do people with mental health issues seek out cannabis as a medication, or does high THC cannabis cause poor mental health in people? 

Our bias is clearly toward the former, but we’re not trying to legislate our beliefs into law. Do what you want. If you think high potency cannabis might cause mental health issues, don’t consume it.

See how easy that was?

“This is not your grandparents’ marijuana” is a way of justifying control and diminishing individual freedoms.

People with influence and power are usually looking to increase it. That’s why the principle of liberty must stay strong, even for what some might consider “petty” issues like THC limits. 

Cannabis consumers want high THC content. They’ll find a way to get it. There is no moral, medical, or economic case for THC limits. “This is not your grandparents’ marijuana” is pure cringe. 





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Canada’s Medical Cannabis Reimbursements – Weed | Cannabis | Marijuana

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A record number of Canadian military veterans have received medical cannabis reimbursements. The federal government spent more than $150 million last fiscal year. The amount has doubled from only three years ago.

Veterans Affairs Canada is on track to spend $200 million on medical cannabis reimbursements this year.

Medical Cannabis Reimbursements for Vets

The rationale behind the reimbursements is the 2008 court decision requiring the federal government to provide “reasonable access” to medical cannabis. And it makes sense when the federal government already reimburses vets for pharmaceuticals.

The demand among veterans has soared since 2016. In November, the government overhauled how it dealt with medical cannabis reimbursements. The government reduced the amount of cannabis it would cover as a reimbursement, as well as the cost.

So-called “experts” applauded the decision, as they equate an absence of evidence as evidence of absence. Some believe military veterans are abusing cannabis to avoid their psychological trauma. But this is just further evidence of the cannabis industry‘s public health problem.

Can Canadians Afford This? 

Medical Cannabis Reimbursements

The November 2016 overhaul slashed medical cannabis reimbursements to three grams per day from the previous ten. The government gave those using more than three grams six months to either wean themselves down or find an additional means of income to afford their medicine.

Slashing medical cannabis reimbursements for vets came in the wake of an auditor general report. Citing “public health experts,” they decided that ten grams per day were too much.

Some can’t imagine putting a price on treating Canada’s vets with dignity. But the fact is that the year-over-year increase in medical cannabis reimbursements is unsustainable in the long term.

Should Vets Get Medical Cannabis Reimbursements?

Should Canada’s military veterans receive medical cannabis reimbursements? Most Canadians would likely argue yes. Whatever the annual cost, national defence is the federal government’s top priority (or, at least, it should be). And if that means combat vets need ten grams of medical cannabis per day for the rest of their lives – so be it.

If the federal government wants to reduce these costs, there are several ways to do it.

One:  Suppose the federal government wants the number of vets with PTSD and requiring medical cannabis reimbursements to go down. In that case, they can stop requiring our military to engage in activities that cause trauma.

They can stop sending Canada’s military to parts of the world where we have no business. “Peacekeeping” missions in Yugoslavia or Rwanda are an Orwellian way of describing war.

Two: They can defund other areas of the government. The federal government’s first (and some would argue, only) function is national defence. 

All additional government bureaucracies can be gutted or downsized to the provincial government. Or, ideally, returned to the private sector that handles resource allocation more efficiently and effectively.

Three: They can liberalize the cannabis industry, resulting in lower prices. Lower prices for the same or higher amounts of cannabis mean the cost of medical cannabis reimbursements goes down, even as usage or the number of vets increases.

In Summary

Canada's Medical Cannabis Reimbursements

A record number of Canadian military veterans receive medical cannabis reimbursements. This number increases year after year. Capping what vets can claim is a short-term solution if one can even call it a solution. “This is purely a cost-saving endeavour,” says Michael Blais, founder of Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

However, the most insulting part of all this is the “public health experts” suggesting that military vets are avoiding their problems or trauma by consuming medical cannabis instead of some toxic pharmaceutical.

The next time the Canadian government wants to engage in a conflict overseas, perhaps we can send politicians and public health busybodies instead. Keep the troops home. Station them in the Arctic. We have a lot of work to do up there. Russia is already claiming parts of the Arctic circle for itself.

We shouldn’t be so foolish as to believe that territory belongs to Canada just because it says so on a map. 





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What are the most active ingredients in hemp and cannabis?

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Delta-9 THC is the most common active ingredient in cannabis. And CBD is the second most common on the market today. But are THC and CBD the first and second most active ingredients in cannabis?

Two cannabis ingredients more active than D9-THC

CBN (cannabinol) and delta-8 THC, byproducts of THC-acid or CBD, lightly agonize CB1 receptors with less activity than delta-9 THC.

Pharmacologists use a binding efficacy measure to deduce a molecule’s activity on a receptor. At CB1 receptors, D9-THC is nearly two times more active than a minor variant of itself known as THCv. Albeit an agonist in small doses, THCv (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is more commonly known as a neutral CB1 receptor antagonist. Neutral antagonism and inverse agonism is still activity, though.

Different types of activity at receptor sites. Courtesy of Coll, A. 2013. (1)

Infamously, a minor ingredient in cannabis chemovars known as THCp is thirty-three times more active than D9. (2) However, hexyl-THC is also present in cannabis with an unknown affinity and efficacy. (3)

THCp is the most potent ingredient in cannabis, with hexyl-THC in second place. Yet, more research needs to confirm hexyl-THC’s affinity at CB1 receptors. Furthermore, THC-oct, also known as THCj, has not yet been seen in cannabis but is more active than THCp given its longer side chain.

The most active ingredient in hemp

CBD partially binds to and agonizes the therapeutic human cannabinoid receptor, CB2. But let’s not forget about one terpene and ingredient in most hemp and cannabis chemovars, b-caryophyllene — a full CB2 receptor agonist. B-caryophyllene does not directly affect CB1 receptors, whereas CBD works as a Negative Allosteric Modulator (NAM) at CB1 receptors. That means CBD changes how THC’s stone feels, reducing part of the CB1 receptor’s spectrum.

Hexyl-CBD is, however, also present in cannabis. (3) With a longer-side chain, hexyl-CBD is more active than its common cousin, according to studies in mice. And a renowned study documented the discovery of CBDp and THCp in chemovars from the Italian government a year earlier — but only tested the latter. (2)

Cannabimimetic activity

At the end of the day, efficacy and affinity at CB1 or CB2 receptors still cannot deduce the ‘activity’ of a cannabinoid. Cannabidiol is broad, affecting a large umbrella of biological mechanisms. The promiscuous cannabinoid, therefore, is often descriptive of CBD.

Then again, it is one of the most thoroughly studied cannabinoids. And more research on CBG (cannabigerol) has come to light in recent years, with CBC (cannabichromene) and other ingredients still in the background.

CBD protects the endocannabinoid known as anandamide, which partially activates the CB1 receptor agonist. Likewise, ibuprofen and chocolate protect anandamide. In contrast, CBG protects 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that functions as a full CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist. Not surprisingly, drugs that protect 2-AG face delays due to their more broad cannabimimetic effect.

Furthermore, CBG and CBGa are both more potent COX-2 inhibitors than CBD, but not necessarily CBDa. The plant produces acidic phytocannabinoids, whereas COX-2 enzymes degrade the endocannabinoids.

What is the second most active ingredient in cannabis?

That question depends on many factors, and researchers can only make estimations at this time.

  • Efficacy at CB Receptors — Hexyl-THC (given THC-oct/THCj does not occur naturally.)
  • Activity at CB1 Receptors respective to abundance in current chemovars — CBN (cannabinol)
  • Activity at CB2 Receptors respective to abundance in current chemovars — Beta-caryophyllene
  • General cannabimimetic — THCa (with full spectrum extract) (4)
  • Most sites affected — CBD

Opining that CBD is the second most active ingredient in cannabis exposes two problems in cannabis science and endocannabinology. Firstly, the quantified answer to photodynamic activity is not straightforward. Secondly, the answer is not known.

Let us know in the comments what you think defines a cannabinoid’s activity level. And check out this story to learn more about hexyl-THC.

Sources

  1. Coll, Anthony. (2013). “Are melanocortin receptors constitutively active in vivo?”. European journal of pharmacology. 719. 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.04.051.
  2. Citti C, Linciano P, Russo F, et al. A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):20335. Published 2019 Dec 30. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56785-1
  3. Linciano P, Citti C, Russo F, et al. Identification of a new cannabidiol n-hexyl homolog in a medicinal cannabis variety with an antinociceptive activity in mice: cannabidihexol. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):22019. Published 2020 Dec 16. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79042-2
  4. De Petrocellis L, Ligresti A, Moriello AS, et al. Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1479-1494. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01166.x





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RIP Olivia Newton-John: Medical Cannabis Advocate – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy Award-winning singer, died this week at 73 years old after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. While she was known as one of the stars of Grease, the Australian singer/actress was also a medical cannabis advocate.

And her use of medical cannabis may have extended his life. Diagnosed in 1992, Olivia battled breast cancer for over 30 years.

Olivia Newton-John: Medical Cannabis Advocate 

In a Facebook message, Olivia Newton-John’s husband said she “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California,” surrounded by family and friends.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer,” the post states. It also asks that interested fans send the foundation a donation in place of flowers.

In a September 2018 interview with High Times, Olivia Newton-John said she was consuming cannabis as part of her treatment. She called it a “magical, miracle plant.”

Olivia Newton-John

“My husband’s a plant medicine man so he grew cannabis and made tinctures for me for pain and inflammation,” she said. “The pain was the hardest thing. I can walk, but I can’t go long distances.” 

Medical cannabis, she says, “helped me a lot with pain because I don’t like taking prescription drugs.”

“I really believe the cannabis has made a huge difference,” she told 60 Minutes Australia in 2019. “If I don’t take the drops, I can feel the pain, so I know it’s working.”

“People have this vision from the ’60s of people just sitting around and getting stoned. It’s not about that. This plant is a healing plant. I think we need to change the vision of what it is because it helped me greatly and it helps with pain and inflammation.”

“I’m totally off painkillers, I’m totally off morphine, and I attribute that to the cannabis because it was able to take over with the pain,” she told You Magazine in March 2021.

The late singer and actress also called cannabis “kind and compassionate.” “It’s what should be available for everybody to use,” she said.

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre

Olivia Newton-John’s experience with medical cannabis led her to create the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre in Melbourne in 2012.

“I have seen the incredible beauty of the plants and their healing abilities… if I hadn’t had that experience, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you about kinder therapies… your body wants to heal itself,” she once told the Daily Mail

“That’s why I’m excited to start this foundation.”

Olivia Newton-John spent years lobbying the Australian government to legalize medical cannabis. Politicians legalized medical cannabis in 2016, but not without restrictive rules and regulations many patients criticize as overly bureaucratic. 

30 Years Battling Cancer

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John’s cancer resurfaced in 2017, a third time since her original diagnosis in 1992. But, as she told the media:

“When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit. If somebody tells you, ‘You have six months to live,’ very possibly you will because you believe that. So for me, psychologically, it’s better not to have any idea of what they expect or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don’t, I don’t tune in.”

Staying positive certainly helps. But so does medical cannabis. While Newton-John used it to ease her symptoms, research shows cannabis also has anti-tumour properties.

As well, several studies suggest cannabinoid therapy reduces breast cancer cell proliferation.

Unfortunately, cannabis’s anti-cancer properties weren’t enough to save Olivia Newton-John. Things might have been different if she had started cannabinoid treatment with her first diagnosis in the early 90s.

But we at least have her repertoire of songs and performances. And through her celebrity, she was able to promote cannabis-based medicines and therapy.

Without Olivia Newton-John’s intense lobbying efforts, would the illiberal Australian government have ever legalized medical cannabis?

Rest in peace, Olivia Newton-John. Medical cannabis advocate.





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