Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world


New Study Highlights Marijuana Benefits for Patients with MS

ms research

The wonder plant marijuana is showing off its medical diversity again.  Research has been discovering many potential medical uses for marijuana.  This week a new research study has uncovered even more evidence that marijuana can be beneficial to a wide variety of ailments, including multiple sclerosis.

Researchers in the United Kingdom analyzed the results of over 300 participants across 22 medical facilities who were suffering from MS.  The study was aimed specifically at relieving muscle stiffness, which impacts approximately 90% of those who have MS.  The effects of MS are well documented and many who have it find themselves having trouble with mobility and leading their daily lives.  Sleep deprivation is also commonly associated with MS and muscle stiffness.

The study results may give new hope for patients with MS who have not been responsive to traditional treatments.  In the UK study, which will be published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, researchers gave one group of participants marijuana while giving another group placebo.  After 12 weeks, 30 percent of those who were given marijuana reported improvements in pain and mobility.  Only 16% of the placebo group reported improvements.  The known side effects of marijuana, dizziness, confusion, fatigue etc. have been previously reported as negative side effects in past marijuana/MS studies.  While those still occurred study researchers announced “No new safety concerns were observed.”

Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis, like many, have eluded scientists for decades.  However, marijuana breakthroughs have been occurring regularly in recently with scientists also discovering that cannabis may be able to stop the metastasis of cancer, the spreading of HIV/AIDS, and many other difficult to treat conditions.  The hope now is that mainstream media outlets and political leaders keep the issue on the forefront.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Marijuana Like Compound in Brain Shows Fragile X Syndrome May Be Treatable


The federal government has shown an unwillingness to entertain operational changes.  In particular, federal authorities still prefer to suppress the monumental potential of medical marijuana as it is an uncomfortable topic because it may require regulation, rescheduling, and the admission of an almost 100 year mistake.

Medical marijuana breakthroughs are occurring at a frequent rate.  Last week alone, reported on a breakthrough that showed cannabis had the potential to fight epilepsy.  Perhaps even more groundbreaking was a study that showed components of marijuana had the ability to slow the spreading of cancer cells.  Of course this builds on years research that have shown marijuana to be a miracle of sorts, and has demonstrated promise in fighting chronic pain, muscle conditions, MS, complications related to chemotherapy, glaucoma, the spreading of HIV/AIDS, nausea, PTSD etc (it would take too much time to list them all).

Fragile X Syndrome now joins the constantly growing list of medical conditions that may benefit from marijuana research.  This complex condition is associated with autism and mental retardation in men and considered the most common cause of both.  Fragile X syndrome is a mutation of the FMR1 gene in the X chromosome that is passed on by the mother.  This mutation can result in mental disability, hyperactivity, physical disability, and language deficiencies.

The main problem has to do with messages and receptors in the brain.    Researchers have now found that 2-AG, a marijuana like compound and endocannabinoid transmitter is showing considerable promise in reducing fragile x syndrome symptoms.  Daniele Piomelli, a professor at UC Irvine was the lead researcher of the study and recently said “This compound is so important in regulating neural transmission in the brain that it seemed possible that it might be involved in a disease that is so devastating on brain function.”   When the 2-AG signal is boosted, it appears the brain will relay the correct messages, at least in lab mice.  Proffessor Piomelli explained  “We asked, ‘If we boost a little bit of that 2-AG signal, will it be enough to correct the problems that occur in fragile X mice? The answer was a resounding, Yes.  We corrected the physiology, but most importantly, we corrected their behavior.  The animals behaved just like normal animals.  They didn’t have the fears and movement problems of those with fragile X.”

We are only now seeing the tip of the iceberg as decades of potential research have been lost due to senseless marijuana regulations.  However, as groundbreaking discoveries that have eluded modern medicine for decades are coming through marijuana research, how long can we truly afford to look the other way.  As politicians are desperate not to admit mistakes (see Mitt Romney Campaign), there is something admirable about those who stand up, admit fault, and reverse a century long problem.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Jersey Shows that the Wheels of Progression Cannot Be Stopped

train wheels

Despite the best efforts of Governor Chris Christie, state legislators, and local townships, New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is moving along.  Patients have clearly stated that they are in favor of the program that was passed several years ago only to see bureaucratic delays on every level.  However as marijuana becomes widely accepted and research confirms its medical usefulness and lack of side effects, those trying to slow the unstoppable force of progression seem to be accepting the futility of such action.

Other states have deployed similar political tactics to delay the start of their marijuana program.  Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer has tried several times to prevent dispensaries from serving patients.  The result has created a rift between voters and the governor.  Looking to avoid such tension New Jersey has given approval for patients to register and receive their medical marijuana identification cards.  Patients with terminal cancer, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, MS, and other qualifying conditions will have the opportunity to apply for the ID card.  Patients can go to the New Jersey Department of Health Website to register or call 609-292-0424.  A registration card costs $200 and will be valid for 2 years.

Patients in New Jersey may still have to wait a bit for their medication as only 6 dispensaries have been approved and only one seems close to opening its doors.  Greenleaf Compassion Center has previously stated that it would have a crop available to distribute by September.  However they still have not yet received the final approval to dispense marijuana.  While there still may be time before the program is serving patients around the state, it seems to finally be moving on the right track.  There are over 150 doctors have registered to be a part of the program.  State Assemblyman Assemblyman Reed Gusciora also felt the program was moving in the right direction and recently said “The opening of a patient registry is a crucial and welcome step. . . . This represents the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Our elected officials often forget they are expected to work for the people.  New Jersey officials have finally gotten the message but were close to facing lawsuits.  Democracy is all about abiding by the will of the people and right now the people are expecting progress.  Trying to stop that is as pointless as trying to stop the ocean currents.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marijuana Media Propaganda continues today


The line between propaganda and politics can be razor thin.  Laws in this country are often passed only when jobs are on the line and/or the public demands action.  Propaganda has been used throughout history to perpetuate the political and social agendas.  Marijuana in the 20th and 21st century in America is a standout example of this.

Most of us at least viewed clips of “Reefer Madness” and while this would be considered absurd by today’s standards, it actually may have helped set marijuana back by decades.  As always, people feared the unknown.  As a result there has been a cultural and generational divide for so long.  It is now only in recent years with global communication now becoming instant, that we are seeing a real difference.  The facts are taking hold and patients are able to share their stories.  However technology often has its drawbacks, and of course the internet is no different.

With marijuana skyrocketing in acceptance and popularity, it no longer is viable for the media to claim that “marijuana is the smoke of hell”.  The media now tries to deceive in a more subtle way.  “Spin” is the common term used in political and campaign circles when describing how to take a singular event and dress it up in a way that is politically self serving.  This week alone we were able to see two high profile examples of this.  We at were not even looking for these stories, but there are so many like this that they basically fell into our laps.

We reported several weeks ago that cannabis was found to help patients deal with the symptoms of MS.  Another study published this week stated that marijuana does not stop the spread.  No one made the claim that marijuana would be curing MS, just that a patient’s quality of life can improve if they use medical marijuana.  The article headlines regarding the study jump on marijuana not being able to cure the condition, placing a negative focus on medical marijuana.  Would we say that aspirin is a failure because it did not cure a migraine but allowed a person to have a pain free afternoon?  In another separate story, media outlets jumped on a poll that showed that California residents were split and even slightly opposed to totally legalizing marijuana.  However, the polls also show that an overwhelming 80% of residents in California want medical marijuana to be permitted.  Many of the articles barely mention this while jumping on the legalization numbers.  However, is it not impressive and newsworthy that such a diverse state has come to a consensus on medical marijuana especially in the midst of the LA City Council trying to shut down dispensaries?

Blatant falsehoods regarding marijuana may be on the decline, but this new propaganda war will be fought much more subtlety.  This is a headline reading culture with many people not taking the time to read what is under the title, and those with an anti cannabis agenda certainly are aware of this.  As creative as the headlines can be, they are often devoid of any charm after the title sentence and we just ask that you read on.

, , , , , , , ,

Marijuana and MS, a true story


This past week has been an exciting one for medical news on the marijuana front.  The Canadian Medical Association Journal published the results of a small study on the effects of marijuana for people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.  Overall, the study shows that there is some benefit for patients. However, there are several drawbacks to the study. Its small sample size, 30 patients, as well as the inability to fully “blind” the patients.  A blind study relies on patients not knowing if they are getting actual treatment or a placebo.  Because of the “high” gained from cannabis use, most patients correctly guessed when they were given the real thing.  Drawbacks aside, this is a very important study because it moves forward the idea that cannabis has legitimate medical use.  For the most part, evidence in favor of marijuana use has been strictly anecdotal.  While those stories can help sway public opinion, it does little to change the minds of the medical and political community. They want incontrovertible evidence, methodically gathered and rigorously tested. This is understandable, but it does nobody any good when these studies have difficulty obtaining funding and patients because Federal laws prohibiting its (schedule 1 substances have no medical value, and that is cannabis’ official classification) use and study are hard to overcome.  Despite this, the anecdotes abound, especially in our networked era. As the stories spread, people who suffer will hear them and try marijuana for themselves.  Hopefully it helps them and then they become one more reason to change a law and undertake another study.

Claire Hodges is one patient who has MS and opted to try marijuana, despite the legal and medical uncertainties.  Claire had no symptoms until her late 20’s.  At this point, stress from her job mounted and her symptoms started to manifest slowly and steadily.  This was in the early 1980’s and detection techniques were not as advanced as they are now.  So, Claire was unaware of her disease because of several misdiagnoses.  Having traveled through Bangladesh, doctors initially thought she suffered from a rare form of malaria.  But it took them over another year to isolate the disease. It was not until after she started showing classic brain tumor symptoms (and had a brain scan) that neurologists were able to diagnose her with Multiple Sclerosis.

There is no cure for MS, only treatments. Some of those are more effective than others, all with varying side effects. Claire’s doctors first steered her to steroid therapy ACTH, Acthar (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone) which stimulates the adrenal cortex gland to secrete cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone.  She was suffering heavily at this point, unable to walk, and still believes that the effects of ACTH were far worse than the disease.  It caused acute acne breakouts, weight gain, and irrationality and paranoia (steroid psychosis).  She discontinued the ACTH regimen, and after having two children the disease progressed and her symptoms continued to grow worse. As the disease effected her more heavily she began suffering even more. She experienced muscle spasticity and pain, incontinence and other bladder issues followed, as well as vision degradation, poor balance, fatigue and more. As she succumbed to more troubles, doctors could only treat the symptoms by offering more prescriptions.  She tried Valium and Temazepam for sleeping and muscle pains. Also, as her body became susceptible to infection she was on numerous courses of antibiotics treatment.  She found the narcotics to be less than effective and their side effects only served to increase her gloom and depression.

Finally, after exhausting orthodox treatments, Claire looked in to other ways of medicating.  Other friends with MS recommended she try cannabis to help with her discomfort.  Initially she was uncomfortable with trying it out, so she asked her doctors.  None of them were able to give her any promises to its effectiveness, but did calm her fears and said moderate use would most likely not be dangerous.  That had to be better than all the dangerous pharmaceuticals she had tried before.  Using her network of friends, Claire was forced to illegally obtain marijuana and tried it out.  “The physical effects were almost immediate and extremely liberating.  I felt as though a heavy weight had been lifted from me.  The tension and discomfort in my spine and bladder melted away.  I was comfortable with my body for the first time in years, and I slept soundly that night.  The next day I was happy, knowing that there was something that would help me with my MS.”  Since then, Claire has been medicating with cannabis regularly, and has been able to rely much less on pharmaceuticals.  She grew her own medicine for some time, but stopped because of the fear of being caught with it.  So she must continue to purchase her medication illegally unless she moves to a state with a compassionate use laws and proper dispensary system.

Claire’s testimony, and others like her, help to open the minds of otherwise skeptical people.  If it can help her, than it can help other people. These stories are what we need to change the minds of politicians.  They need to be convinced that there is strength in compassion, not found in zero tolerance laws.  Claire is a strong human being. In spite of her affliction, she has not given up on life; she fights to stay active and productive for herself and her family.  Her cause is the cause against superstition and old prejudices, the cause for progress.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Study Confirms Benefits of Marijuana in Treating MS Symptoms

ms patients

Thousands, if not millions have been able to confirm that cannabis has helped provide them relief in a world where top medical care is often reserved for those with the right job or bank account.  Conveniently lawmakers now often say “there is not enough research” to support the idea that marijuana is an effective pain and psychological substance, though they rail against any research being performed in the area.  Like any controversial issue, the opinion of the people is discarded or minimized in favor of men in white coats and links to the pharmaceutical industry.  Many refuse to listen to our friends, family, and countless others who can only provide their honest and truthful experiences with marijuana.  Of course our lawmakers condescend them and say their testimonies on their own bodies is insufficient and unqualified.  Who is better suited to speak on matters of their body than the individual?

This is not to the ignore the science at all as it is crucial to understanding why patients are feeling better.  Personal stories regarding multiple sclerosis relief have been around for some time but now there is official scientific data to back it up.  Many news outlets including are reporting on study that was published in Canadian Medical Association Journal and performed at Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of California, San Diego. The study showed marijuana reducing MS symptoms including pain and spasticity.  Marijuana was shown to combat pain that was resistant to conventional MS treatments.  The study involved 30 individuals with over half of the participants requiring walking aids.  One drawback, according to researchers, was that cognitive ability was reduced after patients smoked marijuana and some patients complained of feeling “too high.”

THC is only one of many cannabinoids and is typically associated with the “high” feeling.  Research into cannabinoids is showing so much promise and while opponents will jump all over the fact that some participants in the study were uncomfortable, the larger picture is so bright.  Pain and spasticity was reduced and future marijuana strains have the potential to reduce pain without making patients feel overwhelmed or “stoned.”  Another cannabinoid, CBD, has shown great promise in this area.

The marijuana reform movement has been seeking to highlight the science behind what advocates claim.  The breakthrough on MS is significant and will require further examination and hopefully other conditions will receive the necessary funding to be properly evaluated.  While the science of marijuana is fascinating it is not always accessible to everyone.  With the help of labs such as The Werc Shop, a sophisticated but approachable label system could change this in the future.  However, for now, we need to stop ignoring our peers.  For the unrefined scientific mind, personal experience is what we are able to recognize and serves as the greatest evidence.

We may not understand how to identify cannabinoids under a microscope (though we are extremely appreciative of those who do) but we do notice when a person feels better and when their quality of life improves.  Lawmakers have created a scenario where we ignore these people and say no other evidence is available, however their mistake lies in the fact that WE ARE compassionate and see mounting evidence piling up one patient testimony at a time.  With personal stories and science now supporting marijuana’s varied benefits, where will opponents turn to next?

, , , , , , , , , ,