Category Archives: drugs

Cannabis and Cancer: Censorship and Conspiracy

Ty Bollinger
December 16th, 2021

The cannabis plant (also known as the hemp plant) has been used in just about every culture for centuries. In fact, cannabis is included in the 50 fundamental herbs within the cornucopia of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been cited in ancient texts as having a healing effect on over 100 ailments. In recent years in the United States, the collective mood is changing in regards to cannabis/hemp (aka “marijuana”).

Personally, I prefer to use the term “hemp” or “cannabis” since those are proper names for the plant, and the truth is that the term “marijuana” (derived from the Mexican slang “marihuana”) was popularized in the early 1930s by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (which later became the DEA) in order to make this amazing plant sound sinister and to elude the public’s existing familiarity and comfort level with the plant and the medical application of cannabis/hemp tinctures. “Marijuana” was not a commonly smoked recreational drug at the time.

Currently, there are over 3 dozen states where it is legal for patients to use “marijuana” for medical purposes. Pending federal legislation may open up opportunities for federally-funded medical research, including human clinical trials. This will further prove cannabis’ track-record when it comes to healing a number of disease conditions ? including cancer.

Cannabis and The Endocannabinoid System

In the mid-1990s, renowned Israeli researcher Dr. Ralph Mechaoulam, professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, made an exciting discovery that would forever change how we look at our biological relationship to plant medicine. Dr. Mechaoulam discovered a subtle system within the body that seemed to have a balancing effect on every other system. He called it the Endocannabinoid (EC) System and it can be found in all mammals, including humans.

The EC system consists of a series of molecular receptors that are designed to receive cannabinoids. In particular this includes cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as well as other related substances such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN).

Prior research in the 1980s led Mechaoulam and others to pinpoint two main receptors for cannabinoids ? cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2). Researchers at the time also defined the natural substances called endocannabinoids, which our body produces on its own in a similar way it produces endorphins. Phytocannabinoids (namely THC, CBD, and their variants), on the other hand, come directly from the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are designed by the body to be specific targets for THC, while our natural endocannabinoids help to synthesize it. The process of THC-cannabinoid receptor binding and what this does for the body is what researchers have been studying for over two decades. They are doing this in order to find out exactly how cannabis works in healing cancer.

Microbiologist Dr. Christine Sanchez of Compultense Univeristy in Madrid, Spain has been studying cannabinoids and cancer since the early 2000s. She was the first to discover the antitumor effects of cannabinoids.

“We now know that the endocannabinoid system regulates a lot of biological functions such as appetite, food intake, motor function, reproduction and many others and that is why the plant has such a wide therapeutic potential,” says Dr. Sanchez in a video interview for the web-based cable channel Cannabis Planet.

Cannabis & Cancer: Tumor Growth

“We observed that when we treated [astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor] cells with cannabinoids, the THC…was killing the cells in our Petri dishes,” Dr. Sanchez says. “We…decided to analyze these components in animal models of breast and brain tumors. The results we are obtaining are telling us that cannabinoids may be useful for the treatment of Breast Cancer.”

Sanchez and other researchers have confirmed that the most potent effects against tumor growth occur when THC and CBD are combined.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, which does not have a psychoactive effect, has long been known as a potent anti-cancer agent. This is because of its ability to interfere with cellular communication in tumors as well as in its ability to instigate apoptosis, or programmed cancer cell death. Some research studies, including in vitro and animal-based trials conducted by San Francisco-based researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, have also shown that CBD may affect genes involved in aggressive metastasis. It does this by helping to shut down cellular growth receptors.

QUOTE-CANNABIS-hemp-Sanchez-Chemotherapy

?9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (i.e. THC), the psychoactive counterpart to CBD, has been shown to reduce tumor growth as well. It has also shown to have an effect on the rate of metastasis, including for non-small cell lung cancer ? the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. A 2007 study on THC and highly-aggressive epidermal growth factor receptor-overexpressing (EGF-expressing) lung cancer conducted by Harvard Medical School found that certain EGF lung cancer cells express CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. They found that the presence of THC effected metastasis of these cells by reducing the “focal adhesion complex,” which plays a vital role in cancer migration.

Studies have also been conducted on the combined effect of CBD and THC on lung, prostate, colon, pancreatic, liver, bladder, cervical, blood-based, brain, and other forms of cancer. These studies lend increasing evidence to the fact that cannabinoids are not only antioxidant phytonutrients but powerful “herbal chemo” agents.

Says Dr. Sanchez: “One of the advantages of cannabinoid-based medicines would be that they target specifically tumor cells. They don’t have any toxic effect on normal non-tumoral cells. This is an advantage with respect to standard chemotherapy that targets basically everything.”

If You Use Cannabis for Cancer, Do it Right

Because cannabinoid therapy is relatively new in the mainstream, a current challenge for patients regarding its use is lack of regulation. This may change, however, with the possible passing of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which has the support of 37 members of Congress.

CARERS would remove “marijuana” from the Controlled Substances Act Schedule I drug category, where it has been since 1970 ? on par with heroin and cocaine. This classification is ridiculous since, by definition, Schedule I drugs have “no currently accepted medical uses” and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) holds a patent (U.S. Patent 6630507) on cannabis oil for medical use!

Think about it. How can HHS hold a medical use patent for cannabis oil if there are no medical uses for cannabis? OK, enough of the logic lesson. Let’s just say that there are some serious logic deficiencies in these laws.

If “marijuana” is rightfully removed from a Schedule I drug, this would open the door for more targeted, federally-funded research as well as increased patient access to this amazing healing plant.

In the meantime, if you are on a cancer-healing path and are considering using cannabinoids, here are some general guidelines that experts agree are worth considering:

  1. Do your own research. The best way to learn about the power of cannabis in healing cancer is to start digging. There are approximately 500 articles on Pubmed alone relating to cannabis and cancer. Learn about strains, qualified targeted research studies, what method of administration may be right for you, and the importance of balancing the Endocannabinoid System.
  2. Know your source. Unfortunately, because the medical cannabis industry is largely unregulated, charlatans selling bogus products definitely exist. You should not have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for any cannabis product that you buy from regulated pharmacies or online. Also, make quality a priority for you. Be sure that your product comes from an organic source and that you know that the plant has not been grown or processed using pesticides.
  3. Stick with natural cannabis products. Synthetically-produced cannabinoids such as Marinol are commercially available. However, anecdotal evidence has found that these do not work as efficiently as natural substances do.
  4. Work with a professional healthcare provider trained in cannabinoid therapy. These professionals are out there in increasing numbers, especially in states where the medical cannabis industry is well established or growing, such as California and Colorado. Reach out to a patient advocate group online if no qualified professionals are in your area.
  5. Make cannabis therapy an important part of your overall cancer-healing toolbox. A well-rounded naturally-based cancer healing protocol involves working with the body’s own healing mechanisms through a variety of means. For you, this may mean changes to your diet and lifestyle, reducing stress, getting quality sleep, moving your body, intense detoxing protocols, and using other supplements and proven natural methods in addition to the powerful healing power of cannabis.

References:

Peer-reviewed Study Shows Cannabis Compounds Block Covid-19 from Entering Human Cells

Matt Agorist 
January 13, 2022

As many folks are quickly learning, no amount of police state can stop the spread of COVID-19. Despite lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing, and unethical forced medical procedures, the US and Europe are experiencing the largest wave of coronavirus yet. Even the criminal Dr. Fauci has since admitted that omicron will “find just about everybody.”

What’s more, contrary to the hype — all of which turned out to be false — that the vaccine would save us, end the pandemic, and stop covid dead in its tracks, the exact opposite has happened. Highlighting the sheer insanity of this rollout is the fact that as the Supreme Court deliberated whether or not OSHA can force workers to take the jab, the CEO of Pfizer, whose jab is being mandated, came out and said it provides “very limited protection, if any” against the virus.

As the house of cards crumbles with mandates, lockdowns, and the covid police state failing in a beautiful splendor, Team Doom is now walking back their stance, throwing their hands in the air, and realizing that no amount of tyranny can stop a virus. As it should have been this entire time, it is up to you to weigh the risks and make the appropriate choices to protect yourself and your family from a disease which, if most people catch, will be entirely fine.

The good news is that some of these choices are easy. Staying healthy, eating right, and exercising are some of the best ways you can protect yourself from the virus — although the state will tell you to do the opposite. And, if you want to go further, a new study out of Oregon State University showed that compounds found in hemp “show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells.”

The study was led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute. According to OSU:

Van Breemen and collaborators, including scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.

The compounds are cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, CBDA, and the spike protein is the same drug target used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy. A drug target is any molecule critical to the process a disease follows, meaning its disruption can thwart infection or disease progression.

“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”

“Any part of the infection and replication cycle is a potential target for antiviral intervention, and the connection of the spike protein’s receptor binding domain to the human cell surface receptor ACE2 is a critical step in that cycle,” he said. “That means cell entry inhibitors, like the acids from hemp, could be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and also to shorten infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. They bind to the spike proteins so those proteins can’t bind to the ACE2 enzyme, which is abundant on the outer membrane of endothelial cells in the lungs and other organs.”

According to Van Breen similar compounds have been used to block virus-receptor interaction in patients with other viral infections including HIV-1 and hepatitis.

“These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” van Breemen said. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2. CBDA and CBGA are produced by the hemp plant as precursors to CBD and CBG, which are familiar to many consumers. However, they are different from the acids and are not contained in hemp products.”

This study is preceded by a similar study we reported on out of the University of Chicago, in which researchers discovered that another particular cannabis compound inhibits infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human lung cells.

Marsha Rosner and her colleagues from the university found cannabidiol (CBD) and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD potently blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells.

TFTP has reported on a third study as well, out of Canada, in which researchers found that certain strains of cannabis may also increase resistance to the coronavirus.

As the state fails the people once again, the perfect irony can be found in the fact that a plant — which they still claim has ” no currently accepted medical use” — is doing a better job than them at stopping the virus.

Washington State’s Marijuana Tax Has Raised More than $3b

Brett Davis, The Center Square
January 8, 2022

Washington state’s tax coffers are much higher because of legal marijuana.

That’s according to a recent report by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a Washington, D.C.-based group advocating for legal reforms on cannabis. The report looks at tax revenue generated from state-legal, adult-use cannabis since 2014 when sales began in Colorado and Washington state.

For every $1 billion in revenue collected from the state’s cannabis retail tax, nearly $600 million is funneled into public health initiatives, including a fund that provides health insurance for low-income families.

Marijuana is big business Washington, one of 18 states with laws that legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. In Washington state, a 37% excise tax is levied on the retail transaction price. The state levies a 6.5% sales tax.

Washington state collected an estimated $480.9 million in marijuana tax revenue through the first nine months of 2021, not counting millions more in local taxes levied by cities and towns where recreational pot is sold in retail establishments, according to the report. Local taxes totaled an estimated $188.3 million from July 2014 through October 2021, per the report.

In 2020, the figure for statewide marijuana tax revenue was an estimated $614.5 million, and in 2019 it was $477.3 million. The Evergreen State collected a higher amount of tax revenue from legal marijuana than the state did from alcohol in those two fiscal years, the report notes.

During the June 2014–October 2021 time period, marijuana tax revenue is estimated to have filled state coffers with more than $3 billion.

Washington is a pot-pioneering state. It became one of the first two states, along with Colorado, to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana when voters passed Initiative 502 on Nov. 6, 2012.

Marijuana has since become more mainstream than ever, not just in Washington state but throughout the nation, if the money generated by legal weed is any indication.

As of December 2021, states reported a combined total of $10.4 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use cannabis sales, with more than $3 billion reported so far for last year, according to the report.

The other 16 states that legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana are Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Virginia.

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More Fentanyl than Heroin Now Being Seized at U.S. Border, as Fentanyl Kills in Record Numbers

Sophie Mann
January 3, 2022 

More fentanyl than heroin was seized at the U.S. border during fiscal 2021, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Roughly 11,200 pounds of fentanyl were seized last year, compared with 5,400 pounds of heroine, marking the first time in U.S. history that more fentanyl than heroin has been intercepted. 

Also confiscated at the border were just under 320,000 pounds of marijuana, 190,861 pounds of methamphetamine, and 97,638 pounds of cocaine.

Thus far, in fiscal 2022, 2,158 pounds of fentanyl have been seized, compared with just 277 pounds of heroin.

The explosion of fentanyl being illegally transported into the U.S. goes hand-in-hand with the record number of fentanyl overdoses and deaths that have occurred in the United States over the last several years. In November of 2021, the CDC noted that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. topped 100,000 annually between May 2020 and April 2021. 

A Drug Enforcement Administration report from late 2021 stated that the agency had seized “enough fentanyl in 2021 to provide a lethal dose to every American.”

According to facts and data compiled by the organization Families Against Fentanyl, fentanyl is now the number one cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, beating out other leading causes including. suicide, COVID-19, and car accidents.

REAL PANDEMIC: Medicare Beneficiaries Struggling with Opioid Addiction Not Getting Needed Treatments, Turn to Fentanyl

Madison Foglio
December 28th, 2021

Most Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with opioid use disorder are not getting the medication and therapies they need, according to a new watchdog report that raises fresh red flags about America’s addiction and overdose epidemic.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General reported that less than 16 percent of the approximately 1 million Medicare beneficiaries who were diagnosed with opioid use disorder in 2020 received the necessary medication through Medicare.

And of those who got medicine, less than half also received behavioral therapy also deemed important to avoiding abuse or overdose, the inspector general said.

Medicare’s track record is “raising concerns that beneficiaries face challenges accessing treatment,” the internal watchdog cautioned. You can read the findings here.

File: OEI-02-20-00390.pdf

The report also revealed disparities in treatment by geography and ethnicity.

“Beneficiaries in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Kansas were less likely to receive medication to treat their opioid use disorder than beneficiaries nationwide,” investigators noted. “Furthermore, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and black beneficiaries were less likely to receive medication than white beneficiaries.

“Older beneficiaries and those who did not receive the Part D low-income subsidy were also less likely to receive medication to treat their opioid use disorder,” it added. 

So what do they do? Typically, they turn to street drugs. And now more than ever Fentanyl dominates most street-level opioids.

The finding come as opioid-related overdose deaths in the U.S. reached at an all-time high of 70,000 fatalities in 2020, according to the report.

The inspector general urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take several steps to “increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries receiving treatment for opioid use disorder.”

They included: 

  • conducting additional outreach to beneficiaries to increase awareness about Medicare coverage for the treatment of opioid use disorder; 
  • taking steps to increase the number of providers and opioid treatment programs for Medicare beneficiaries with opioid use disorder; 
  • providing data about the number of Medicare beneficiaries receiving buprenorphine in office-based settings and the geographic areas where Medicare beneficiaries remain underserved;
  • taking steps to increase the utilization of behavioral therapy among beneficiaries receiving medication to treat opioid use disorder;
  • creating an action plan and taking steps to address disparities in the treatment of opioid use disorder;
  • collecting data on the use of telehealth in opioid treatment programs.