Tag Archives: cannabis

Cannabis vs Alcohol – PART II

cannabis v alcohol deathsAs the US gets ever closer to their 2012 Presidential election, medical marijuana coverage seems to be increasing over there. With medical marijuana dispensaries getting closed down in certain states it would appear that the pro-cannabis movement is cranking up the volume.

So while I was rummaging through the Stateside news this week I came across this statistic:

Deaths from Cannabis = 0 (ever)
Deaths from Alcohol = 2,000,000 (every year)

You would think that the more dangerous drug, ie alcohol, would be the illegal product. So with a zero death toll I can see why the pro-cannabis lobbyists are trying so hard to fight for the cannabis corner, and ultimately the decriminalisation of this fabulous herb as well as better medical research into the benefits it can bring.

Cannabis as a treatment has been controversial as there is conflicting research about whether medical cannabis is or is not addictive. Many studies have found that cannabis is not addictive, or as harmful, as other drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, and opiates.

There has been a few medical studies peformed over the last few years to ascertain whether the herb has a solid medical application, and three of the most compelling studies I’ve found are below:

1) A 2009 study found that injections of THC, the primary active chemical in cannabis, helped eliminate dependence on opiates such as morphine and heroin in test animals.

2) A survey on addiction treatment and relapse rates amongst substance users found that respondents used cannabis to curb their alcohol cravings, and as an alternative to previous use of prescription drugs, and even as a substitute for more potent drugs such as cocaine.

3) Another study published in the Harm Reduction Journal over in the US found that medical cannabis users were much less likely to use more potent drugs, and even reported less tobacco use than non-cannabis users.

To me, it couldn’t be clearer that more effective research is needed; not just in the US, but on a global scale. Since withdrawal from alcohol and serious drug use often prompts the same symptoms as other medical conditions that cannabis is used to treat (anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, and sleeplessness), it seems logical that responsible use of cannabis could also help with addiction recovery.

Just to round off this post, I’ve pasted below a beautiful illustration depicting several cannabis vs alcohol statistics.

alcohol Vs cannabis chart

Makes you wonder why cannabis is so vilified, doesn’t it?

…I’m also thinking of moving to Oregon, where apparently you are allowed to legally possess 24 ounces of the green gold, according to the chart above!

Cannabis to the Rescue…again!

Medical MarijuanaYet more positive scientific studies have been carried out using cannabis. The Telegraph reported over the weekend that cannabis could be used to treat obesity-related diseases. Read the full story by following this link.

So this so-called evil, destructive, and illegal plant is responsible for helping patients yet again – this time it’s those who are at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Initial animal tests have already shown scientists that levels of cholesterol in the blood stream are reduced, and so they are now progressing on to human trials – fingers crossed they get positive results from these human test subjects. Results will be later this year apparently.

When you click the link to the Telegraph article I would strongly recommend you read the comments as well – some of it is eye-opening stuff.

Cannabis Without the High???

So I checked the latest news on my Alerts this morning, and the headline “Medical Marijuana Without the High” screamed out at me, so I obviously had to check that link out immediately.

According to this Reuters report, an Israeli company has been able to cultivate CBD-only cannabis plants that have very little THC, if any. As any seasoned toker knows, it’s the THC that gives you that stoned feeling.

I for one welcome this move as this breakthrough will surely only support the expansion of medical research into the effects of cannabis-related products to treat conditions such as HIV, Parkinson’s, MS, Diabetes, and a whole host of other ailments. Some people just don’t want the THC stoner effects, and by developing a CBD heavy plant they may get all the benefits of the plant with none of the psychoactive feelings.

Free the Weed!

Free the weed!For years during my misspent youth all I knew about cannabis was that it made you feel good when you smoked it, it was a great social drug with the obligatory passing round of the joint at parties, and best of all it wasn’t physically addictive at all. So you could have a high old time on it, get a good night’s sleep in, and wake up for work the next morning no problem and have complete function of mind and body (unlike some other drugs I could mention; some legal, some not)..

The older I get though, the more I’m learning just what a wonderful and diverse plant cannabis is, which in turn has got me scratching my head wondering why on earth this plant has got such a bad rap over the last 100 years or so. It used to be a widespread commercial plant until it was outlawed over 100 years ago by the governments of the day, and that is where our dependence on fossil fuels began. If it had been kept as a commercial plant we would almost certainly be running our industries using hemp oil products, our cars would be run on the same stuff, meaning far less pollution of our planet caused by the over-mining of the scarce fossil fuels. Not to mention the wide application of cannabis in the medical field.

However, becuase this plant was made illegal all those years ago the scientific applications surrounding this plant have been very much restricted, and as the years have rolled by the world populous as whole has been brain-washed by the powers-that be into thinking that this plant is evil and oil is king. It’s all to do with money and control, and it’s only been recently that certain medical breathroughs are becoming apparent – a cure for Alzheimers? Assisting in easing, and even reversing the symptoms of Diabetes? A help for Bulimia and HIV sufferers? A potential aid for various cancers? Yes, there is scientific evidence out there backing up all these claims. So why oh why are we not going hell for leather trying to use this plant to help the human race?

I personally see the mindset surrounding the vilification of cannabis changing within our lifetimes. As fossil fuels continue to dwindle, people will be looking for a replacement to run our industries and power our cars, and commercial hemp will almost definitely feature in a big way. My hope is that people power will prevail and the people in charge will have no option but to listen to the masses. And of course with all this medical breathroughs in the use of marijuana to treat various ailments will be properly explored…it’s just a shame that we are leaving it so late.

Free the weed and everything else will follow!

How is the War on Drugs Going?

US war on drugsWay back in the 80s, the US began their ‘war on drugs’. So almost 30 years later, just how is this war on drugs going? Is the US government winning? The simple answer to this is a resounding no! In fact this war is being won hands-down by the Mexican and South American Cartels.

I found this fascinating article posted on businessinsider.com which illustrates just how one-sided this war on cannabis and other illegal drugs is…makes you think doesn’t it.

The South American countries seem to be coming round to a new way of thinking. Hot on the heels of Uruguay announcing they will potentially legalise cannabis, Columbia has also announced that they are seriously considering decriminalising small amounts of cannabis and cocaine for personal use. The full story can be found here, courtesy of theweedblog.com.

And lastly, this article I found at allvoices.com pretty much sums up the mood of the ever growing pro-legalisation-of-cannabis groups. Loving the picture of the man smoking the absolutely enormous reefer at the rally in Toronto!!

Medical Marijuana

Some more Stateside news again today…

…As you may or may not know, the marijuana laws in some US states have been relaxed of late. Although the growing and cultivation of the herb is still very much a grey area, if you pop along to your local GP in California (or other select states) they have the power to prescribe you a Medical Marijuana Pass, you then take this into your local Marijuana dispensary with some cash, and you can then legally buy cannabis over the counter. The bible belt god-botherers over there must be going bonkers at this!

Anyway after a quick scour of the interweb I found this great chart of the top-selling weed over there, courtesy of weedmaps.com. Most of these strains I’ve heard of before, but Green Crack at #2? What’s all that about?

I’m not a big fan of the US drug laws, mainly because they seem overly stringent and focus on punishing the end-user and not the suppliers (and that ‘drug war’ against the suppliers is being comprehensively won by the South American and Mexican cartels…but that’s a story for another post). However, what is refreshing is this relaxation in policy against smokers of cannabis. It’s unusual to see this relaxation in policy from the US, but I wish we had something like this in the UK.

It just makes sense; if people want to smoke they will, regardless of whether it’s legal or not, by relaxing the rules it cuts out the black market element of buying cannabis from dealers who are plowing that money into very unsavoury elements of crime. By following the US (Californian) example, you make the weed taxable and redirect the cash to the government and not the organised crime gangs.

When will the UK government learn?

Worldwide Use of Cannabis

According to the United Nations, the following Top 12 list shows countries with the largest annual consumption of cannabis:

1) Palau: 24.2%

2) Northern Mariana Islands: 22.2%

3) Guam: 18.4%

4) Italy; New Zealand: 14.6%

6) Nigeria: 14.3%

7) USA: 14.1%

8) Canada: 12.7%

9) Saint Kitts and Nevis: 11.7%

10) Bermuda: 10.9%

11) Spain: 10.6%

12) Australia: 10.3%

I really thought the UK would feature in this list!

Anyway there’s also a great illustration below, courtesy of the UN’s World Drug Report 2012, that shows how cannabis use is spread on a global scale:

Cannabis use on a global scale

 

And this one below shows the trend changes in the use of cannabis globally:

Cannabis decrease in the UK

 

And look at the UK – there has, apparently, been a large decrease in cannabis use. However it still stands that cannabis is still far and away the most widely used illicit drug, with over 119 million users worldwide…that’s a lot of ‘erb being smoked and a lot of munchies being devoured.

And finally, according to the same UN report, they report that globally, illegal drugs kill around 200,000 people a year, compared with 2.3 million alcohol-related deaths and 5.1 million tobacco deaths.

I think I’ll stick with the illegal drugs thanks, have a nice weekend 🙂