An Israeli company says it is growing medical marijuana with a special twist -- it offers some of the same therapeutic benefits without the high.
According to Reuters, the company, Tikun Olam, is cultivating a type of cannabis plant that has high levels of a substance called Cannabidiol (CBD) believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
What the plants do not have is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound that gives many marijuana users the characteristic high.
Medical marijuana advocates tout the drug as an effective remedy for numerous symptoms, including pain and nausea. Studies have also found marijuana to be effective in relieving symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Zack Klein, Tikum Olan's director of development, said the company's THC-free marijuana offers symptom relief without the mind-altering effects.
"Sometimes the high is not always what they need. Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it's not even pleasant," Klein told Reuters.
Experts in the U.S. say there has been very little research on how the specific compounds in marijuana affect people's health, so it is difficult to predict how well this type of marijuana will work.
"With just regular marijuana, there is a mix between THC -- the more neurologically active component -- and CBD," said Dr. Igor Grant, director of the University of California San Diego's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. "There is still ongoing research to try to understand the actions of THC and CBD and how they interact."
There is, however, ample evidence to suggest that CBD is not psychoactive, he added.
THC has a number of physiological effects. It binds to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body to produce its effects, including the high.
"There are receptors all over the place -- in the heart, lungs, belly, brain -- and they control all sorts of things," said Dr. Timothy Fong, associate professor of psychiatry at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
It is particularly powerful as an anti-nausea remedy and is available in synthetic form as a drug called Marinol. A combination of THC and CBD, known as Sativex, is available in some countries outside the U.S.
One very small study of 16 human volunteers that compared THC to CBD found that CBD had fewer negative side effects than THC.
Right now, federal law considers THC, CBD and entire marijuana plants to be illegal according to ProCon.org, an independent charity that provides information on a number of different issues. Marinol, the drug that contains synthetic THC, is legal.
The mass cultivation of a plant similar to the Israeli-grown cannabis could create complicated legal and political issues, according to Robert MacCoun, a psychologist and professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.
While it remains to be seen whether or not CBD is effective against certain disease symptoms, many medical marijuana advocates believe it is the entire plant that provides therapeutic benefits.
"They have long argued that the substances in the plant collectively bring about the medical benefits," said MacCoun, who is not an attorney, but has done extensive research into policy issues surrounding medical marijuana.
If CBD turns out to also be therapeutic as THC, MacCoun explained it may change the legal and political dynamic, since the argument can be made that only certain ingredients should be legal.
Medical marijuana for research purposes must be obtained from the federal government, so it can be difficult to get, which MacCoun said limits the ability to study its effects.
And more research is exactly what experts who work with these compounds say is needed.
"This is an area that is very underdeveloped and underresearched," said Fong. "We need more ways to explore how the cannabinoid system works."
We don't normally post this kind of stuff, but it's just another example of the idiotic things that happen because a harmless substance is kept illegal. Those in legal states, be glad you have access to safe, quality medication - and the rest of you PLEASE stay away from this harmful synthetic crap!
A naked man went on a rampage last month in the streets of Indianapolis, doing “ninja” somersaults and karate-like kicks to evade the police officers and bystanders who attempted to wrangle him.
Recently-posted video shows David Martin, the nude 27-year-old, yelping in pain after police attempted to subdue him with a taser. But within seconds, Martin is back up again, kicking and punching his way through officers.
“This guy’s like a ninja, man. Holy crap!” the unidentified cameraman said as Martin performed a somersault during his evasion of the police.
“No way! That guy’s strong, he’s got to be on something,” the cameraman added.
According to the New York Daily News, Martin allegedly injured a female officer when he pushed her into a building; and injured a male cop after punching him in the face several times.
At the end of the video, Martin is seen running off after being tasered several times and kicking and flipping his way through police. Eventually police caught up and arrested him, charging him with battery, resisting law enforcement, and public indecency.
The Daily News reports that Martin later admitted to being high on Spice, a type of synthetic marijuana.
Naturally, a synthetic marijuana ban is coming down the pike in Indiana (and many other states), due to crazy stories like this one. But little do ban-happy politicians realize that potentially dangerous synthetic cannabinoids like this exist largely because the real stuff is illegal.
In 1901, Andrew Mellon (and his brother Richard) started an oil company in Texas called Gulf Oil. They wanted to drill in Kuwait but the British were in control - at that time. So, Gulf Oil appealed to the U.S. government and this is where it gets disturbing.
You see - Andrew Mellon gave up his position as Treasury Secretary of the U.S. (1921-1932) to become U.S. Ambassador to Britain (1932-1933). Naturally, as he traveled to Great Britain - he would bring up the subject of Gulf Oil's interest in Kuwait. Just two years later, in 1934, British Petroleum and Gulf Oil struck a 50-50 deal and in 1938, struck oil!
The hidden agenda gets worse
In 1930, while Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department, Andrew Mellon appointed Harry Anslinger as the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Many political experts see Anslinger and his campaign against marijuana as a secret agenda to eliminate hemp as an industrial competitor. When you follow the money - everything gets a little clearer.
In the 1920's and 30's, the DuPont Petrochemical Company (heavily financed by Andrew Mellow) was making similar advances with oil - instead of hemp. DuPont went on to become a leader in the development of Rayon fiber (synthetic fabrics), paint, synthetic rubber, plastics and other (toxic) chemicals. Clearly, Andrew Mellon had a vested interest in destroying the hemp industry.
By the way, Andrew Mellon became one of the wealthiest people in the United States. In fact, while serving as Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, his wealth peaked at around $300 - $400 million by 1929 -30. Andrew Mellon, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and many other industrialists (of the early 1900's) would stop at nothing to kill the hemp industry. It's time to re-discover the power of hemp to heal the world.
Wrestler Stephany Lee has tested positive for marijuana and will not be a part of the U.S. Olympic team in London.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Thursday night that she has been banned for one year after testing positive for tetrahydrocannabinol acid, a marijuana metabolite, in a sample collected April 21 at the Olympic trials in Iowa City, Iowa.
"I apologize to USA Wrestling, my teammates, my coaches and everyone who supported me for my mistake," Lee said in a USADA press release. "I will continue to train, and hope to be able to represent my country at the 2016 Olympic Games."
Under the rules of USA Wrestling, the sport's national governing body, Lee's replacement will be the next highest-ranked athlete in the 158.5-pound weight class. That's Ali Bernard, who placed fifth at the 2008 Olympics, and lost to Lee 2-0 in their best-of-three series at the trials.
Bernard, who was in Guelph, Canada, where U.S. wrestlers will compete Saturday in the Canada Cup, said she's excited for the opportunity to compete in London.
"I'm excited for myself, and that's what I'm focusing on," Bernard said by phone. "I need to get focused now. I'm just focusing on getting back into the competitive spirit."
The London Olympics begin July 27.
This is Lee's second doping violation. She won the U.S. Open title in April 2009. But the following month, USADA announced she had tested positive at the tournament for Carboxy THC, a marijuana metabolite.
U.S. women's coach Terry Steiner said he had spoken to Lee about the positive test.
"It's a bad decision that is going to definitely cost her," Steiner said. "We all make mistakes … and this one happens to be very costly. It is what it is. She'll pay with that and live with that decision the rest of her life."
"Like I told Steph, 'You need to handle this in the right way. You need to go forward with your life and learn from it and move on,'" he added. "That's very important right now, to show that she can move forward and do the right things right now."
Two days after winning her spot on the Olympic team, Lee and partner Brigg McDonald were married in a ceremony in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a state that has allowed same-sex marriage since 2009.
A call to Lee's Colorado residence was answered by her wife, who took a message.
Norwegian media are reporting that Snoop Dogg was briefly detained in Norway after entering the country with marijuana and a large amount of cash.
Customs officials decline to confirm the report, saying only that an American artist entered Norway with a small amount of marijuana that was detected by a sniffer-dog. Norwegian law prevents law enforcement officials from naming suspects.
A customs officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said Thursday that the artist was also carrying more cash than is legally allowed and was subsequently fined 52,000 kroner ($8,600) for the violations.
Snoop Dogg was scheduled to perform Thursday at a musical festival in the southern town of Kristiansand.
A Michigan medical marijuana patient cannot be prosecuted for illegal drug possession, despite not having proof of his or her registration at the time of arrest, the state Court of Appeals said Wednesday.
But the court said police were within their rights to arrest the patient, identified in court records as James RG Nicholson of Ottawa County, because he couldn't establish proof of registration on the spot.
Prosecutors had argued that Nicholson was not protected by the medical marijuana law because he did not "possess" a registry identification card at the time of arrest in May 2011. He told police his registration card was in a car at his residence.