Setting the Record Straight
In spite of spurious DEA classifications, past rogue reputation as an intoxicant or hallucinogen, and any other vestiges of "reefer madness", it is now widely accepted that the lowly "weed" cannabis has a number important applications. Most notable among these are its innumerable medicinal potentials. Though serious research into the therapeutic applications for cannabis is in its infancy, it is already reputed to have fabulous results in the treatment of numerous conditions. A cursory internet search under "medical cannabis" reveals a plethora of pages with articles attesting the efficacy of medical cannabis. It has successfully been used in the treatment of nausea, anorexia, pain, neuropathy, high blood pressure, and seizures as well as treatment of mental disorders ranging from anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to depression, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and even drug addiction.
Francis Young, a DEA Administrative Law Judge admitted as early as 1988: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care."
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In spite of any debate over which conditions might benefit from cannabis, it has demonstrated itself superior in the treatment of several devastating and potentially deadly conditions including cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune disorders, Alzheimer's, cardiomyopathy, and diabetes (see sidebar for more conditions). It has even been known to cure advanced stage cancers where all standard medical treatments have failed!
Its no secret that great numbers of patients have benefited from therapeutic use of cannabis, often administered as an oral agent (cannabis oil, cannabis tincture or cannabis laced edibles). There are many well known cases where lab values, ultrasound images and other medical diagnostics exist to document such effective and amazing results of cannabis therapy as to almost seem miraculous. The problem is the Drug Enforcement Agency, which continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. Again and again they defy the vast body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the validity of cannabis as medicine and the various medicinal efficacies of cannabis. In spite of mouting evidence to the contrary, the DEA continues to maintain that cannabis is a dangerous drug with absolutely NO medical use whatsoever.
Another obstacle to effective research of medical cannabis lies in the "divide and conquer" nature of today's medical establishment, which focuses on alleviation of individual symptoms rather than upon systemic wellness. Virtually all officially sanctioned research surrounding the medical and pharmacological capabilities of cannabis revolves around the isolation and identification of the active chemical components of cannabis and observing their individual actions upon the human body. Some progress has been made in this respect but here are over 400 active chemicals contained within cannabis so it will likely take decades to properly study and catalog the affect of its individual chemical components. What a daunting task! All the while, there are ailing patients who need cannabis treatment today, not ten or twenty years from now!
The most powerful active ingredients of cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN). Yet an apparent bias exists among researchers with emphasis directed toward development of pharmaceutical agents that rely on CBD or CBN alone while neglecting the great many beneficial actions of THC, which is considered the psychoactive component of the plant. We believe that such an approach represents yet another impediment to realizing the full potential of medical cannabis. Such shortsightedness actually undermines effective research and could result in the medical establishment overlooking what may be the most important factor related to cannabis efficacy.
That is not to say that the medical model of application of individual chemical components toward alleviation of individual symptoms is not useful; there has already been the creation of several drugs which contain natural or synthetic cannabinoids or cannabinoid analogs such as Dronabinol (Marinol), Nabinole (Cesamet, Canemes), and Rimonabant (SR141716).
Since our inception, Trichome Labs has been devoted to understanding the complexities of these interactions. Exploiting this knowledge has enabled us to produce some of the world's finest cannabis. Our dedication to quality cannabis is a constant that will never change. Neither will our concern for patient safety and well being. We were one of the earliest compassionate caregivers in Southern California. We stood at the forefront of the demand for patient safety in the form Certified Medical Cannabis; and we are proud to have been among the first to offer Certified "Safe and Pure" cannabis to our clients. We continue our stand as patient advocates by demanding that individuals retain the right to grow their own cannabis and create their own, unadulterated remedies based on the full complex of compounds found within the cannabis plant. We believe this represents a safer, more comprehensive and effective means of treatment as opposed to isolated or synthetic cannabinoids.
Clearly, the strain of cannabis which best reduces nausea in the chemotherapy patient may not be the most effective choice for controlling blood sugar in the diabetic patient or increasing cognition in the Alzheimer's patient. Therefore we work tirelessly to discover the most efficacious medical application of each strain. It is our eventual goal to produce the first medical repertory for cannabis with details as to the potential medical efficacies of each particular strain of cannabis. Such a device would assist patients in selecting strains appropriate to individual patient needs. It will also benefit dispensaries and caregivers who wish to go beyond generalizations and offer remedies that target certain conditions while retaining the unique balance of chemical compounds inherent to the whole plant.
Our conclusions are based upon empiracle data gathered from patient testimony as well as our own detailed analysis of each strain to determine its individual balance of chemical compounds. As technology improves and new methods of analyzing plant components become available our toolbox for categorizing the efficacies of each different strain will improves as well.