Our mission is to educate and be a self-help guide to people who are suffering illnesses around the world, by teaching the true benefits of medical marijuana to help ease the pain mankind is needlessly enduring!
A green-black narcotic with quadruple indica power
Since 1996 Sensi Seeds’ four-way indica hybrid Black Domina has been standing for merciless terrific indica power, fast flowering, fat yields and a highly special aroma. The Doc fell under her spell and got her in his grow room for a cultivation test. This strain story tells you what it was like for him to encounter Black Domina…
Introducing the grower
The Doc is a highly skilled and experienced grow veteran who, blessed with a huge green thumb, has been cultivating the Mary Jane plant for about 40 years. Widely admired for his extraordinary stately plants with big buds from the bottom to the top, he has gained himself a worldwide reputation as a top notch marijuana grower. He earned his nickname for his ability to always perfectly nurture his plants and generally fulfil their needs in any way, and in the rare case of a problem occurring, to make the correct diagnosis and fix it.
When the Doc flipped through the Sensi Seeds catalogue, he got caught by Black Domina, couldn’t avert his eyes from the strain photo, and suddenly a forceful voice in his head seemed to command him “grow! me! now!”…
For quite some time, he had felt attracted by that strain, and now that he was about to start a new cultivation cycle, Black Domina had ultimately put him under her spell. Feminised seeds were ordered in the blink of an eye and while waiting for their arrival, on the Sensi website the Doc read up about Black Domina: She’s a four way cross launched by Sensi Seeds in 1996 in which the power of four of the best indica strains ever bred is inherent: Northern Lights, Ortega Indica, Hash Plant and a special Afghani called “SA” – so Black Domina comes with the power of four Indica hearts! This quadriga gave birth to a 95% indica cultivar the leaves of which rank amongst the darkest in the world of cannabis strains, having the potential to look almost black.
Black Domina brings forth different favourable phenotypes, all of them displaying indica dominant traits such as stout bushy growth, low height, fast flowering (50-55 days), big tight buds and lavish resin gland formation. She’s easy to grow and thus a great grow room companion to any kind of gardeners, from beginner to expert level. Her heavy yield potential and quick finish makes her a worthwhile option for commercial growers as well.
A strain with such a name naturally raises the expectation of mighty potency and Black Domina certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard – her numbing indica buzz is so strong that users may consider it a veritable narcotic. Which has the ability to rapidly make one fall asleep if not prepared for such a walloping effect. For people suffering from insomnia though, that kind of effect is beneficial of course. Black Domina also has excellent medicinal properties when it comes to muscle rigidity and pain relief for instance. The complex smell and taste of this variety is unusual and unmistakable once sampled, it’s highly savoury zest blends an earthy basic Afghani note with tones of blackberry and black pepper. In its finish, connoisseurs will recognise a typical black hashish flavour.
After the seeds had arrived, the Doc’s Black Domina session got started. After 2.5 days, the two seeds shown had successfully germinated. In the three vegetative weeks given, they revealed the same growth pattern, growing into bushy compact indica plants. The only difference was to be found in the leaf shape, with one of the plants producing more narrow leaves than the other.
When flowering was induced by switching the light cycle to 12/12, they measured 34 and 37cm in height. Lauded the Doc, “I like this strain a lot already by now. An indica with good vigorous growth right from the start, without that sluggishness that other indica strains sometimes display in the beginning.” He decided to give his two Black Domina plants names and called them Emma and Carmen. After five weeks into flowering, The Doc reported “the stretching factor was almost 100% which I hadn’t expected. Even better Emma and Carmen are exhibiting voluptuous curves already at this stage. Throughout their bushy side branches, they’ve formed thick flower clusters with a very appealing high calyz-to-leaf ratio, with masses of white hairs emerging from these, and there’s plenty of bling-bling, too, as the flowers are already decorated with countless gleaming trichomes. Also, their scent increasingly gains intensity and complexity, I’ve got a good idea already of how condimental the buds will smell in the end.”
The buds kept on becoming thicker, more resinous and smellier, and after seven weeks of flowering, the end was in sight. With a flowering time of 55 days, Emma managed to mature just in time. Carmen flowered a bit longer, requiring 59 days to develop into a full-blooded domina. in the course of ripening, Emma’s shade leaves had turned light green in the end, but at least her sugar leaves has a darkish appearance. Carmen though had wrapped herself in an entirely dark green leaf coat, looking like a true domina. She was also a little bit more resinous, although Emma’s buds were heavily incrusted in crystals as well.
In terms of fragrance, they differed only very slightly. Both of them gave off a profound odour that, just as stated by Sensi, consisted of fruity-tangy and peppery tones overlaying an earthy oldschool Afghani basenote. Emma’s final measures were 63x63cm, “a square voluptuous marijuana domina”, comment the Doc with a grin. Carmen was almost as wide and tall, she arrived at a final height of 58cm.
The buds of both Black Dominas were rock-hard – before and after the drying process. Put on the scales, the entirety of buds weighed 213grams which made The Doc cheer “they’re two sensational heavyweight dominas, such a low height resulted in such a high yield, really amazing.” He was surprised that the buds of both ladies smelled ,markedly sweeter after the drying process, “and it’s a floral sweetness strongly reminiscent of violets – something I’ve never witnessed with cannabis buds so far. But under this sweet topping, that savouriness and pepperiness is still present, too”, explained The Doc.
The Doc was full of happy anticipation when he placed his “Mighty” vaporizer’s nozzle to his lips to test the poer and flavour of half a gram of Black Domina. A peppery prickling spread in his nose when he sucked the first load of vapor into his mouth where it released a concentrated sweet savouriness that seemed to accumulate in thick coatings because the aftertaste was extremely intense and lingering on the palate unusually long. After the second hit, the show was about to begin, Black Domina started to exercise her enormous indica power and The Doc felt his head and body becoming as soft as wax. The vapor clouds billowing from the vaporizer into his head seemed to circulate in there and thicken into a heavily numbing fog which made his eye lids droop and close. The powerful Black Domina stone weighed on his body and mind like tons, and The Doc was overcome by an irresistible desire to lie down in his bed. “Rien ne va plus!” was the last thought he had before he fell into a deep long sleep. With Emma, this scenario was precisely the same in the next evening.
Concluded by the Doc. “Black Domina has fully lived up to her name. With her mighty indica potency, driven by the power of four heats, she took commend and brought merciless stonedness over me. She gets high marks from me in all departments: her growing and blooming performance, yield, potency, smell and flavour. Thanks go out to Sensi Seeds for this tremendous outstanding indica hammer!”
Genetics: Northern Lights x Ortega x Hash Plant x SAD Vegetative stage: three weeks (after germination) Flowering stage: 55 and 59 days / 50-55 days in general Medium: Plagron Grow Mix soil, 11 litre pots pH: 6.2-6.6 EC: 1.2-1.8mS Light: up to 12 x SANlight S4W = 1680 watts Temp: 18-28C Air Humidity: 40-60% Watering: by hand Fertilisation: Organic Bloom Liquid from Green Buzz Liquids Additives/stimulants: More Roots, Humin Saure Plus, Big Fruits, Fast Buds and Clean Fruits from Green Buzz Liquids Height: 58 & 63cm Yield: altogether – 213g
Raised in the Heartland of America, Chad Padgett became a Mid-Western statistic when he became addicted to Oxycodone and methadone in his home state of Indiana, but then found love and a new career, after replacing the addiction with cannabis and other beneficial herbs.
Oxycodone abuse is now considered an epidemic across the country. According to Friends of Narconon.com, with Indiana’s seven interstate highway systems and 20 U.S. highways, with international shipping off the St. Lawrence Seaway system via Lake Michigan, Indiana has become a drug transportation and distribution hub.
But, like many who become addicted to prescription opioids, 41-year-old Padgett didn’t get his drugs off the black market, they were prescribed for serious ailments by his doctor in the small town of Walton, where he has made his home.
Seven Years to Live
After removal of his spleen in 1990, then his gallbladder in 1992, by fall of 2007, he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis; leaving him officially disabled. By 2008, Padgett was told he would likely be dead within seven years, from chronic pancreatitis that would lead to diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
“After being put on methadone and oxycodone, then having several endoscopic ultra-sounds with pain block procedures, two endoscopic procedures, then a stint placed in my pancreas, I was advised that I needed pancreatic enzymes and a dilaudid pain pump inserted into my spine,” Padgett shared. The oxycodone was no longer working on its own, so, I was then prescribed methadone along with the oxycodone, with an increase to 90 milligrams of both, daily.”
By 2013, after six years of procedures, with one year left to meet his doctor’s seven year death sentence, and eventual addiction to oxycodone and methadone, Padgett decided he wasn’t going to lay, slowly dying, in a hospital bed for the alleged last year of his life.
The Power of Plants
“That’s when I tried a simple cannabis vegetable glycerin tincture,” he explained. “My Oxycodone intake dropped from 90 milligrams a day to 30 milligrams immediately. I only had a ten day supply of the tincture, and the first day without it I was back to 90 milligrams of oxycodone.”
In Chad’s mind, the experience told him he needed a higher concentration of cannabis-based medicine for continued relief.
“I then obtained 20 grams of high THC full extract cannabis oil and successfully treated my Chronic Pancreatitis, while simultaneously coming off all of the narcotics in a three week period at home.”
Padgett said he’s been narcotic-free since then, with no looking back, as the benefits of cannabis replaced the pain killers, while putting his chronic illness into remission. Important to note, the analgesic effects of the cannabis, along with its anti-nausea properties, quell the harsh withdrawal symptoms associated with transitioning off opioids.
Trouble is, Indiana is not legal for cannabis as medicine, and Padgett could have gone to prison for what’s often referred to as being “illegally healed.”
“Now I’m focused on changing Indiana’s Draconian cannabis laws,” he declared. “I was Indiana’s speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) for a few years, and that allowed me to testify in the Indiana Senate Summer Marijuana Study of 2011; with my testimony quoted in Doug Fine’s book, ‘Too High To Fail.’”
From Death Bed to Healer
Last year, his newfound health changed Padgett’s disabled status, and he went back to school and trained to be a barber. But, his knowledge of cannabis led him to the realization of other beneficial herbs, which led him to receive a diploma as a Master Herbalist.
“I started producing legal herbal tinctures for sale in barber shop where I work in Marion, Indiana,” he said. “Initially I made tinctures from chamomile, sage and plantain – with my main focus on chamomile, as it works great for anxiety, depression, and insomnia – and is also a natural allergy fighter and anti-inflammatory.”
Padgett also shared that some clients have actually switched from CBD oil to the chamomile tincture for insomnia; with others stating they haven’t been as pain free in years after a few days use of the tincture.
Padgett’s line of tinctures include sage for sore throats, as Padgett explained, it’s also a natural antiseptic, helping with digestive issues and depression, as well as menopause symptoms; noting, nursing mothers should not use sage as it will dry up milk production. The Plantain tincture, he said, is used for heartburn and is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. He also added that it’s great for bug bites.
“It’s interesting to note, in barber school we learned that when barbering first came to the United States, barbers and herbalists were one in the same,” Padgett noted. “Barbering is personally rewarding, as you are more than just someone cutting someone’s hair – you are a listener, and in my case, a healer. You are also there for a quick laugh or smile, brightening their day.”
Barbers as Apothecary
Apothecary is the age-old practice of making remedies from plants, and superseded the pharmaceutical industry’s synthetic patents for centuries, globally.
It’s interesting to note, America’s first medical general in the military was actually an Apothecary General, using plants as remedy – including cannabis. Gen. Andrew Craigie was appointed to the newly created position just after the Civil War.
According to the National Barber Museum, the word barber translates to barba, or beard, in Latin. Barber services can be traced back to 6,000 years to Egypt. Barbers in the middle ages not only shaved and maintained beards, they also performed surgery, dubbing them barber-surgeons. This cross-over was pragmatic, as barbers had the sharpest knives, and the supposed skill set to use them.
Eventually, surgeons and barbers were separated, with barbers keeping the right to pull teeth. They also kept the famed candy-stripe poles; representing red for blood, white for bandages, and blue for veins.
According to The Guilds of Dublin, by John Webb (1929), Apothecaries were members of the Guild of Barbers, Surgeons, Apothecaries and Periwig makers. The guild, founded in 1446 by Henry VI, was the earliest Royal medical foundation in Britain or Ireland. Surgeons were added by Elizabeth I in 1576.
By 1747 Apothecaries separated from the guild, with barbers continuing to use plant-based personal care products for their clients. Photos of Apothecary museums show barber razors and apothecary bottles on display together.
A quick search online shows many barbers today not only using the word Apothecary, but also making their own shaving soaps and lotions, using plant-based compounds.
While in barber school, Padgett met his current wife, Kylie, who was an instructor. She also works in the barber shop and is helping him make more products, including topical creams and lotions for clientele.
Padgett waxes poetic on his role as barber and herbalist, knowing full-well a plant saved his life.
“Herbs are on this planet for a purpose, and that purpose is for them to be used just the same as our ancestors did before big pharma cashed in with mass-produced synthetics,” Padgett concluded. “Cannabis has given me my life back, and now that I’m healthy again, I’m able to truly help others heal with plant-based remedies.”
For more information or to contact Chad Padgett, visit him on Facebook or via his Instagram account @Padgthebarber
Chad and Kylie can be found at the 5 Star Salon & Barbershop, 504 North Baldwin Ave., Marion, Indiana
History of cannabis and its preparations in saga, science, and sobriquet
Cannabis sativa L. is possibly one of the oldest plants cultivated by man, but has remained a source of controversy throughout its history. Whether pariah or panacea, this most versatile botanical has provided a mirror to medicine and has pointed the way in the last two decades toward a host of medical challenges from analgesia to weight loss through the discovery of its myriad biochemical attributes and the endocannabinoid system wherein many of its components operate. This study surveys the history of cannabis, its genetics and preparations. A review of cannabis usage in Ancient Egypt will serve as an archetype, while examining first mentions from various Old World cultures and their pertinence for contemporary scientific investigation. Cannabis historians of the past have provided promising clues to potential treatments for a wide array of currently puzzling medical syndromes including chronic pain, spasticity, cancer, seizure disorders, nausea, anorexia, and infectious disease that remain challenges for 21st century medicine. Information gleaned from the history of cannabis administration in its various forms may provide useful points of departure for research into novel delivery techniques and standardization of cannabis-based medicines that will allow their prescription for treatment of these intractable medical conditions.
It has become painfully clear over the last few years that global attempts to prohibit cannabis have been an unmitigated failure and disaster. It has severely detrimentally effected communities around the world, severed public relations with the police and eroded trust in the judicial system – breeding intergenerational distrust, suspicion and hared of authoritative institutions.
It has incarcerated tens of millions of non-violent consumers, predominantly and disproportionally from impoverished ethnic and cultural minority neighborhoods. The vast majority of these arrests being for simply possession alone. Cannabis prohibition has also arguably contributed more to climate change than any other single factor by its absence as a versatile renewable industrial resource. The scale of industrial and commercial technological applications this plant has is rather quite staggering.
Our oldest companion species is the perfect renewable alternative to highly polluting petroleum based plastics, wasteful and destructive energy production and storage, It could provide pesticide-free textiles as well as replace many other environmentally destructive and wasteful industrial and commercial products that pump carcinogenic waste products into our environment at an alarming rate.
The prohibition of Cannabis has been used for over 90 years now as a racist, fascistic and classist apparatus to corral, control and coerce citizens conformity through arbitrary legislation, harsh punitive measures, sustained campaigns of malicious misinformation and the main streaming of media manipulation through the proliferation of propaganda, reefer madness rhetoric and ever-increasingly outrageous lies.
The fatigue born of fighting the war on drugs on multiple fronts for nearly a century has weakened the prohibitionist’s ideological position on cannabis. This has allowed for the re-emergence and the rekindling of an undying debate, one as old as prohibition itself. What system would be the best alternative to this current antiquated, disastrous and draconian prohibitive policy– legalization or decriminalization?
While both have their individual merits, there are obvious advantages and drawbacks to both systems as they currently stand. I personally feel that the most reasonable, rational and sensible approach would be an amalgamation of the two main alternatives to the all-out prohibition of cannabis.
Legalization doesn’t always necessarily mean decriminalization, in fact sometimes, as in the recent case of Canada it can actually mean increased criminalization through the implementation of arbitrary new legislation that confuses citizens while creating a climate conducive for the capitalization and commoditization of cannabis by the very same people that have spent decades demonetizing, persecuting and incarcerating its consumers.
So with the recent implementation of “legalization” in Canada the total number of cannabis related offences shot up from half a dozen to forty five. Also by failing to fully decriminalize cannabis this system will continue to perpetuate the stigma and shame that society has spent decades casting on cannabis consumers. While continuing to mislead the public into believing that cannabis is far more dangerous than it actually is.
Canada hasn’t in my opinion legalized cannabis, it’s just introduced ‘prohibition-lite’. A system under which if you are caught in “over-possession” (that’s possession of more than 30 grams) you could still face up to five years locked in a cage with violent and dangerous criminals for illegally possessing too much of a legal product. Does this sound like Cannabis has been legalized to you?
Canada now joins Uruguay as the only two countries to of “legalized” cannabis. Uruguay changed the law in 2014 to allow for domestic commercial cultivation and government controlled distribution through the country’s network of pharmacies. It also granted permission to personal and collective cultivation but once you’ve signed up to a government register, a step many citizens are refusing to take leaving them to continue to be criminalized and classified as an illicit cannabis consumers. Again this isn’t what I imagine the average consumer envisions when they think about cannabis legalization.
Although this may be the best system introduced yet, it still perpetuates the idea that consuming cannabis is more dangerous than alcohol or caffeine (both of which currently enjoy minimal regulation in the South American nations).
Another country that is being celebrated for legalizing cannabis, or Dagga as it’s known in South Africa. This isn’t true under the definition of the word as I understand it. I mean, how can South Africa allow personal cannabis possession and cultivation yet provide no form of domestic supply, distribution or public consumption and then continue to criminalize those that consume it in the wrong way and herald it as legalization? I’d say it’s far more accurate to describe dagga in South Africa as being decriminalized for personal cultivation, possession and consumption in private.
“The United States is an interesting case study. They’re currently trialling a variety of legalised and medical models in individual states. There are now ten states that have “legalised” adult-use Cannabis in some way with Michigan now joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont and the district of Columbia (Washington D.C) North Dakota was the only state to vote down adult use cannabis reform with Missouri and Utah passing medical bills.”
These systems of rigorous restrictions and over-regulation is not what the average cannabis consumer thinks of when they envision a world in which Cannabis has been re-legalized. Too often legalizing means gentrification, commoditization and capitalization of our culture and community. It means those typically straight-laced white middle class folks who were complacent and silent during prohibition because it wasn’t them or their kids being harassed daily by cops and actively targeted for “random” stop and searches. Now that public opinion and the law has shifted they’re emerging from the woodwork ready to invest, to capitalize and turn a culture they’ve spent decades condemning into a commodity.
So with this in mind is legalization really the best alternative or would full decriminalization be better?
There are many countries that have already decriminalized Cannabis to varying degrees. Some of which may surprise you. Belize, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Georgia, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Slovenia, Columbia and of course Portugal.
Although these countries have decriminalized cannabis they still have nevertheless failed to allow personal cultivation or provide any form of regulated and legalized commercial access to consistent quality products through a regulated domestic supply chain. This guarantees that these governments will continue to waste billions in vain attempts to police and control the consumption of cannabis by its citizens.
The continuation of prohibition on production prevents these governments from utilizing a legal marketplace to create economic stimulation and the generation of much-needed tax funds through a robust regulated domestic cannabis market. Instead leaving hundreds of millions/ billions in profits to the international smugglers and criminal gangs.
In the absence of a legally regulated market criminal enterprises are left vying for a share of the illicit market. Often using intimidation and violent tactics to bully and strong arm their way to the top of the supply chain. While employing underhanded, dubious and dangerous cultivation practices to ensure the continuation of their excessive profiteering from the prohibition of cannabis. This leaves the average consume at the mercy of these criminals who have controlled the domestic and international cultivation, transport and trade of cannabis for decades.
Portugal best exemplifies the shortcomings and failings of only introducing a decriminalization model without also creating a legal domestic commercial cultivation and distribution marketplace. In 200, Portugal decided to decriminalize all drugs to help combat what was at the time one of the worst rates of drug overdoses in Europe.
The leading politicians of the major parties commissioned a review of the country’s current drug policy – promising to implement the recommendations of the committee without politicizing its conclusions. The committee convened some months later and recommended that personal possession and consumption of all drugs from Heroin to Cannabis and Cocaine to Ketamine be decriminalized.
So instead of levying ineffective fines and incarcerating consumers, those caught with less than 10 days worth of their substance would be summoned before the Comissões para a Dissuasão da Toxicodependênciadissuasion (the commission for the dissuasion of drug addiction) A committee made up of an attorney, a psychiatrist and a social worker. It is their job to attempt to decrease the consumption of drugs rather than seeking to understanding the underlying reasons why these individuals are continuing to utilize their substance in the face of such staunch social stigma.
Although this is a welcomed volte face in the country’s drug policy. Portugal’s decriminalization efforts do nothing to help reduce the continued cultural condemnation and vilification of drug consumers or provide meaningful harm reduction techniques, education or support. It also fails to ensure consistent access to clean, quality, unadulterated substances produced under strict regulation through standardized production practices and supplied through an accountable system.
Interestingly after seventeen years of decriminalization it appears that the country is ready to look at fully legalizing cannabis. The opposition parties are hopeful that they will be able to introduce a bill to legalize cannabis in the country following the passing of a bill in July to allow pharmaceutically produced cannabis-based medications to be prescribed. I hope that they’ll keep their current decriminalized system too, effectively making them the first country to truly of re-legalized cannabis.
We shouldn’t just be discussing re-legalizing cannabis for medicinal applications or adult consumption we should be making the case for the industrialization of cannabis, we need all three pillars if we are to ever have a true cannabis revolution.
The ubiquitous reimplementation of Cannabis as a renewable resource would usher in a third industrial revolution. Utilizing cannabis technologies such as Hempcrete, Cannabis derived Graphene and biodegradable cannabis-based plastics. The cultivation of Cannabis with no arbitrary cannabinoid cap or other trivial restrictions could result in hundreds of, if not thousands of tons of resin rich flowers for use in pharmaceutical medications and other preparations. It would also easily provide more than enough material to fortify cereals, grains and other food sources in the same way we already do with vitamins. This would go a long way to supplementing the endocannabinoid system of every single man, woman and child in the country. It would also make pharmaceutical maintenance drugs and weak pharmaceutical-based cannabinoid derived medications obsolete in the vast majority of cases.
The grey-area created by the overly ambiguous language used in this debate is deliberately divisive. It is intended to promote distrust and cultivate disharmony and suspicion amongst advocates and activists. In reality there is no legalize vs. decriminalize, medical vs. recreational, grow your own vs. pharmaceutical medications.
In truth these are arbitrary definitions and distinctions designed to dissuade debate, to derail any discussion and demolish any attempts at opposing the current control paradigm. In reality there is only the re-legalizing argument. Which to me is the reintroduction of cannabis as a resource with no arbitrary restrictions or ideological limitations.
They like to say “legalizing cannabis” as if it will be the first time cannabis has been legal, when in reality prohibition is the blip. Cannabis was legal for the entirety of human history until some racist and fascist policy makers and industrialists colluded and conspired on a campaign of propaganda, misinformation and reefer madness.
There are unfortunately those that profess to back the ubiquitous re-legalization of Cannabis but whose actions betray their intentions and show that their true loyalties are with the corporate vultures that are circling and just waiting to pick the carcass of reform clean and not with the community and culture that they claim to represent.
This is why we must always be aware of the intricacies and implications of the reforms we offer our support to and read the fine print of any campaigns that we rally behind. Whenever an alternative policy is put forward by any political party, NGO or other body it must be intricately inspected to ensure that at the very least it decriminalizes all personal and social consumption and cultivation to guarantee that no one is ever again locked in a cage for the utilizing a plant that is less harmful than sugar.
Ultimately, any form of legalization without full decriminalization will only ever amount to a Prohibition-Lite policy. The way to finally deal with this mess is to re-legalize Cannabis as an industrial resource, as the oldest medicine and as a far safer alternative intoxicant to alcohol.
Current status of cannabis treatment of multiple sclerosis with an illustrative case presentation of a patient with MS, complex vocal tics, paroxysmal dystonia, and marijuana dependence treated with dronabinol
Pain, spasticity, tremor, spasms, poor sleep quality, and bladder and bowel dysfunction, among other symptoms, contribute significantly to the disability and impaired quality of life of many patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Motor symptoms referable to the basal ganglia, especially paroxysmal dystonia, occur rarely and contribute to the experience of distress. A substantial percentage of patients with MS report subjective benefit from what is often illicit abuse of extracts of the Cannabis sativa plant; the main cannabinoids include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC) and cannabidiol. Clinical trials of cannabis plant extracts and synthetic delta9-THC provide support for therapeutic benefit on at least some patient self-report measures. An illustrative case is presented of a 52-year-old woman with MS, paroxysmal dystonia, complex vocal tics, and marijuana dependence. The patient was started on an empirical trial of dronabinol, an encapsulated form of synthetic delta9-THC that is usually prescribed as an adjunctive medication for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. The patient reported a dramatic reduction of craving and illicit use; she did not experience the “high” on the prescribed medication. She also reported an improvement in the quality of her sleep with diminished awakenings during the night, decreased vocalizations, and the tension associated with their emission, decreased anxiety and a decreased frequency of paroxysmal dystonia.
We all tend to take our good health for granted until something happens which makes us realize how blessed we are to have it in the first place. All too often we can ignore seemingly minor symptoms without considering that they could be the warning signs of something more serious, so it’s no surprise that Sarah didn’t think too much of it when she developed a mild headache back in 2009.
Little did she know that this would be the beginning of a series of events which would change her life forever.
Whilst relaxing at home one evening, she paid little attention to the mild pain she had felt for the past few days. Like many people would, she just thought it would pass by with the aid of water, painkillers and taking it easy, but suddenly she collapsed and was rushed to the A&E department of the local hospital. The headache had become increasingly severe and her vision became blurred, however, there was no doctor on site who was available to investigate her symptoms more fully and she was sent home and asked to return the next day. Upon her return she was seen first by the doctor on call and then two additional doctors who were asked to give a second opinion.
Their observations indicated that Sarah was showing signs of mild loss in her outer vision and the disks in her eyes were showing to be slightly more pale than usual. In addition, her pupils were slow to react and the doctors suggested that she may have suffered a brain aneurysm. Understandably shocked by the news, Sarah tried to stay positive when they informed her that they would conduct a brain scan two weeks later to see if there was any evidence of abnormalities which could further explain what had occurred.
The CT scan was conducted and showed there to be no abnormalities, so Sarah was observed over the next three months before being discharged when her symptoms had subsided. She was happy that she seemed to have recovered from the mysterious event, but almost two years later she found herself faced with a much greater dilemma.
Sarah was 39 weeks pregnant when her labor spontaneously started. She headed to the hospital as quickly as she could and didn’t have any real concerns, but once she arrived at the hospital the labor suddenly stopped. Obviously concerned for the welfare of the unborn child, the doctors felt it was best if they induced Sarah to restart the labor process. Soon after the induction had begun, Sarah felt a strangely familiar sensation and suddenly developed a severe headache and lost vision in her right eye. Her left eye also showed diminished vision and she started to lapse in and out of consciousness for a few minutes at a time. In order to reduce the stress of the situation for both mother and child, the doctors decided to put Sarah to sleep and carried out an emergency caesarean section.
Thankfully, the baby was delivered with no further issue and Sarah was monitored to see if they could find the root cause of the complications. An initial CT scan didn’t reveal any obvious signals of what may have happened, so she was placed in intensive care as a safety precaution and morphine was administered to help with the pain of the headache. Incredibly, the morphine had very little impact on her comfort levels and the pain persisted. For the next three days she was monitored closely but no further tests were conducted; during the course of her stay the headache persisted and her vision was close to zero in her right eye while her left eye remained blurry.
Once she had left the hospital her GP prescribed pain medication in the form of paracetamol and Tramadol yet neither of these seemed to provide much in the way of relief. Due to his ongoing concerns, the doctor referred Sarah to a neurologist but this was later refused. Unperturbed by the setback, Sarah contacted the eye doctor who had observed her during her first episode. Fortunately, the doctor agreed that she needed further consideration and he arranged an appointment with a neurologist. Around this time Sarah collapsed again and this was the beginning of an increasingly frequent pattern of blackouts. Over the following months Sarah underwent a series of tests and was offered various different medications to try and alleviate her suffering. Her right eye showed complete loss of sight in an ERG test, she was given a lumber puncture which failed because the doctor failed to get the needle in correctly, she suffered numerous broken bones due to her blackouts and numerous tests were carried out to see what could be causing all of her problems. At one point she was told to take anti-epilepsy medication to help control her blackouts, which was relatively effective, however she was later told to stop taking them by her neurologist and the blackouts subsequently returned. Doctors prescribed Amitriptyline to aid with sleep, but Sarah found that it did little to help with the incessant pain of her headaches, while blood tests found that she had no vitamin deficiencies which could be linked to her condition.
Over time the prescribed dosage of this drug was increased from 10mg to 250mg, but Sarah was not happy with the side effects as it made her drowsy and depressed. Every time she complained about her symptoms to her physician they simply increased the dose and sent her on her way.
By October of 2017, Sarah had decided to stop taking the Amitriptyline she was prescribed as she felt that it was not alleviating her symptoms and instead was causing a negative impact on her quality of life. Her GP disagreed with her choice, but she stuck to it and found that her mood improved over the next six months. Over the following year she became medication free and learned to live with her constant symptoms despite the fact that the pain was often excruciating. Her blackouts continued to be a problem, sometimes up to eight times a day, but she began to recognize that there were some potential triggers for them including flashing lights, high stress levels, increased temperature and over-tiredness. That being said, she also found that sometimes they occurred with no obvious triggers. Throughout this whole period her right eye continued to show no signs of improving.
For Sarah this became part of a much larger picture of health issues which have plagued her over the past decade: In 2009, she had her gall bladder removed due to gall stones which had caused pancreatitis; she suffers near-constant stomach aches and heartburn and has had an endoscopy; an ovary was removed in 2010 due to a large cyst; she suffers chronic joint pain with a major area of pain being in her right hip, knee, ankle and fingers; for 6 years she has had a sever rash on her hand which left blisters and looked like the result of burns (creams and antibiotics have had little-to-no effect). As you may expect, this has caused her a huge amount of discomfort but Sarah always remained hopeful that she would one day find a solution.
After doing some investigating and some independent research, she decided to trial using a dilution of cannabis oil wholeplant extract in olive oil. The Strain was Critical 707 CBD, recommended by Emerald Triangle Seeds.
Initially she had half a teaspoon in the morning and she found that this helped to provide some relief and respite from her incessant headaches. Moreover, throughout the whole of her first week using the oil to treat her condition she didn’t suffer a single blackout. Over the coming weeks she continued to ingest one half of a teaspoon full in the morning but also added a second dose during the afternoon to see if it helped with any of her other ailments; her headache continued to be less painful but her stomach and joint pains also began to subside.
During this time she only experienced one blackout, an amazing fact when you consider that she had up to 8 per day previously, and this was the result of her suffering an impact to her head. By week 5 she trialed one whole teaspoon in the morning with no further doses and found that the headaches were almost non-existent. Amazingly, the rash on her hands which had been present for almost six years began to disappear and had practically vanished by the end of the first month.
At week 6 she found that the blackouts began to reoccur, but this was put down to a sinus infection which had caused a knock-on effect to the rest of her symptoms. Unperturbed, she upped her dose to one full teaspoon in the morning and a half teaspoon in the afternoon which seemed to help. Now she manages her condition entirely independently and has found that the oil has provided her with a standard of living which is far greater than what she was becoming accustomed to.
On a normal day she will use between one and one-and-a-half teaspoons of oil, with this increasing to two teaspoons if she is overstressed or feeling ill, and she has found that allowing the oil to sit under her tongue for a minute before swallowing is the most effective method of administration. Sarah has found that there have been almost no negatives to the use of oil in her case, other than a slightly dry mouth and a bout of drowsiness on one particular occasion when she had three teaspoons on a particularly challenging day (due to a severe viral infection), and she feels like her life is her own again for the first time in more than 6 years.
Over the coming years Sarah hopes that she can continue to benefit from the therapeutic qualities of the oil she now relies on and believes that without it she would be struggling to live her life to the fullest.
Please seek advice before using cannabis whole plant extract, as everyone has different tolerance levels. Also seek medical advice before using if you have particular illnesses, do not stop taking your regular medication without clear advice from your Doctor.
Historically, men have farmed the plant, toiled in the soil, and brought home the harvest but the women in the cannabis industry are quickly being recognized as the caretakers of the soul of the plant, mirroring her female qualities with strength, determination, and healing in the mix.
Throughout Latin America and Europe, plant-based medicine is still common, with cannabis understood as beneficial – though years of America’s failed War on Drugs and its negative influence understandably has taken its toll. The good news is, the plant is making a comeback for the people, with women rising up to meet the challenges of a new era and industry.
Specifically, the women of Latin America and Spain are coming together to help each other in a traditionally male dominated culture and are nurturing with the medicines they have made in the kitchen and in the community.
Status: Legal for medicine, 2017
Ana Florencia Sclani Horrac, Journalist
Ana Florencia Sclani Horrac is a journalist, researcher and activist, with a focus on the geopolitics of cannabis and its regulation in Argentina.
She’s written for Haze Magazine for six years, and collaborates with such groups as Soft Secret, Info Cannabis.org, Milito; and works as an intern for CONYCET, Argentina’s Department of Education, researching, teaching, and writing.
Ana has worked with many patients treated with cannabis, with diseases such as AIDS, cancer, sclerosis, migraines, and colon problems. She’s learned about dosing and various treatments and applications, including incorporating other beneficial herbs for an entourage effect.
Her goals are to go beyond scientific knowledge of the plant, and add geopolitical analysis of the reality of drug policy in her region, with a strategic perspective on common human rights.
“As a woman, on a personal level, cannabis has helped me through difficult times and tough family issues,” she said. “It has also helped me to be more resolute and insistent in my proposed projects on the subject.”
Her work has included leading workshops, such as, “Breaking the Taboo: Youth, Cannabis & Health,” at the National University of La Plata, sharing “Teaching has been nurturing, and I get as much from the students as they get from me.”
Ana is also involved with women’s efforts and organizations, such as, Mujeres Cannabicas; Argentina Mama Cultiva; and competitions, including, Copa Eva – an event solely for women cannabis farmers in Argentina.
She sees contradictions in the hemp and cannabis industries in her country and abroad, but is also hopeful, stating, “My work in geography has allowed me to travel, and I have a diverse collection of friends. This has also helped me to see beyond regions, and beyond the stigma associated with cannabis. There are real issues, both technically and politically, that we must deal with. Especially in realizing what this plant can do for our economy, as well as our health.”
Status: Legal for medicine, 2015
Though cannabis as medicine has been allowed in Columbia since 1986, it wasn’t until December of 2015 that sitting President Juan Manuel Santos signed a formal decree with guidelines, stating, “This decree allows licenses to be granted for the possession of seeds, cannabis plants, and marijuana. It places Columbia in the group of countries that are at the forefront… in the use of natural resources to fight disease.”
Citizens are allowed to cultivate up to 20 plants each.
Lorena Acero Acosta, co-owner Ganja Smoking shop
Cancer in Lorena Acero Acosta’s family brought her into the industry, after her mother passed away from an aggressive cancer three years ago. And while she was too late to help her mom, her focus now is on how cannabis works in the body, and helping others so they won’t have to suffer, as her mother did.
She also has a friend who is the mother of a child with refractive epilepsy, and she witnessed an 80 percent improvement in the quality of the child’s life.
Skilled in public accounting, she co-owns a cooperative called Ganja Smoking, with her life partner, who wishes to be unnamed.
Lorena discovered cannabis when she was just 15 years old. Personally, she said cannabis helps her with anxiety and a hyperactivity disorder.
“I’m constantly moving and overthinking everything all day long,” she shared. “When I leave my job, I smoke to clear my mind, relax my body. It also helps me to think objectively. It’s my energetic connection to people and my environment, and has improved my life significantly.”
“In Columbia, women are not empowered on the subject,” she said. “There is a heavy social stigma, which makes it more complex for a network of women to come together who support and defend the cause. But, slowly, things are changing. I’ve been lucky, as some of the men in the industry have shared their experiences and knowledge with me.”
Pilar Sanchez (right), co-founder Pideka Farm
Ask Pilar Sanchez who she is, and the list begins with being a woman first, a mother second, with cannabis activist directly following. She also considers herself educated on the plant, stating, “I’m a connoisseur and scholar of the plant.”
Pilar and her partner, Denis Contri, restored an old house in Bogota, with the intention of creating a space for urban gardening. The project and house became Pideka Farm, a place where questions could be answered on the plant, after decades of misinformation from the drug war, and subsequent misinformation.
Partnering with friends, Camilo Cruz and Jenifeth Gaitan Cifuentes, the couples founded the farm, to educate their fellow Columbians. They invited local authorities over; wrote letters to the Ministry of Health, the Food and Health Regulatory Authority in Columbia (INVIMA); and registered the farm as a company.
Within weeks, Pilar said doctors began contacting them for information, as well as the local media – which Pilar said was very helpful in spreading their message. Pideka Farm is now considered one of the pioneers in organic, medical cannabis in Columbia.
As a founding member and general manager of Pideka Farm, and co-founder of the Association of Cannabis Women of Columbia; through the farm, Pilar provides consulting on indoor farming operations for others coming up in Columbia’s newfound cannabis industry.
“Within the Association of Cannabis Women, I lead a group of empowered women who seek to transform the female involvement in the cannabis world,” she explained.
Coming into the cannabis space in Columbia is personal to Pilar, as she’s suffered migraines since she was eight years old. At 24, she became a medical cannabis patient.
“I was living in Europe and a medical doctor suggested I try cannabis to treat my migraines,” she said. “For years nothing had helped in the way cannabis had. After I returned to Columbia, I began to study the benefits of the plant and learned how to grow it.”
Today, Pideka Farm has a database with more than a thousand medical cannabis users, who utilize its products to treat numerous ailments, including immune system related illness, neural and psychiatric disorders, and chronic pain.
“Our youngest patient began treatment at three years old, and our oldest patient is 93 years old,” she said. “During the past three years I’ve been able to see how the medical benefits from cannabis have helped improve the quality of life to many people. Children treated now live a more dignified life, and are able to laugh and play.”
At a women’s conference in Barcelona, Spain, Pilar shared her experiences from the farm.
“During the conference, the idea of creating a group of women in Columbia began,” she said. “We now have a core team of ten women spearheading the project. We registered with the Chamber of Commerce in Bogota, then launched during the ExpoMedeWeed in the City of Medellin, Columbia.”
The association is a platform for visualizing the role of women in every aspect within the cannabis industry. It also takes into consideration the women who fell victim to the War on Drugs in Columbia, causing much heartache and bloodshed.
“The network of women in the cannabis space around the world is growing,” she concluded. “It’s within us to give this emerging market a spin by showing a new image and lending our voice, through our knowledge of the plant. With the work we are doing, we are helping to build a more peaceful country.”
Status: Decriminalized, 2003
According to CannabisLawBlog.com, Spain is one of the most cannabis-friendly countries in Europe, with regions throughout the country setting their own laws regarding usage of the plant. For instance, in blog author, Nadja Vietz’s, hometown of Barcelona, there are more than 200 cannabis clubs, with public use common.
Cannabis clubs began in Spain as early as 1993, with no legislation backing them up. After the clubs’ insistent planting, harvesting, and partaking was challenged in a series of court hearings, by 2003, its Supreme Court rulings successfully decriminalized its usage, but not sale.
The clubs are run as a kind of “members only, bring-your-own,” speak-easy, with an annual fee. Entry to the clubs are done by association, with new members being accompanied by a friend who is a member. Because of the “no sale” clause in the rules, semantics are important, with plant material and products being “acquired,” rather than “purchased.”
With a green-light on usage, Spain has also become top research hub for cannabis as medicine, specifically in the study of cannabis and cancer.
Sandra Corominas, Journalist & Farmer
Sandra Corominas is Columbian, currently living and working in the cannabis industry in Barcelona, Spain. She considers herself a farmer, activist, and both recreational and medicinal consumer of cannabis.
As a journalist, she works at Radio Prat, hosting a weekly talk show with a focus on international cooperation, human rights, and solidarity for the plant.
She’s also founded and is director of “Pota Verda” in Barcelona, an association advocating for the use of cannabis, otherwise known as “Maria,” providing members with a space to create and share.
“Pota Verda is a large association with 657 members,” Corominas said. “We have space for theater, workshops, language courses, art and painting. We also have therapeutic doctors and psychologists that advise and assist our members about risk prevention, and the regular use of cannabis.”
Similar to Pideka in Columbia, Pota Verda also promotes physical therapies, such as yoga, reflexology, and belly dancing, as well as offering workshops and lectures with doctors knowledgeable in cannabis as medicine.
Through her work, Sandra said she has witnessed “amazing healing” with cannabis, and have noted quality of life improving for patients on a regular basis.
“Of the many patient experiences at Pota Verda, two stand out in my mind,” she continued. “One was a 34-year-old patient helped with symptoms from diabetes; the other was a 63-year-old woman with chronic sleep issues, who now sleeps eight hours a night. The woman helped with sleep also saw great improvement with her attitude towards life – it helped make her a happier person.”
Sandra also uses cannabis to sleep at night, and for anxiety – stating, “I’m calmer and no longer grind my teeth at night. I also no longer need to use anti-inflammatory drugs that negatively affected my liver, as the clenching of my teeth caused chronic headaches that are now gone.”
As part of the network of women supporting cannabis across borders, Sandra said she’s hopeful for positive changes.
“Cannabis brings people together, not just in healing, but in social change,” she concluded. “As women warriors, we are helping to change drug policies, regulations, and unite for one cause – the healing and well-being of the people.”
Clara Sativa, aka: Clara Torrijos Reina, journalist & human rights activist
Clara is a well-known journalist and human rights activist in her home country of Spain. She co-founded Marijuana Television, part of the audiovisual communication cooperative, LiberInfo. She’s also a contributor to Canamo Magazine, Spain’s premier cannabis magazine; is co-founder of REMA, the National Network of Women Antiprohibitionists; and volunteers in communications for Women in Cannabis, Spain.
Her focus has been working with drug policy in Spain, Europe, and Latin America. She’s also a member of the Responsible Regulatory Platform of Spain; and works with citizens and social organizations, advocating for comprehensive regulation of cannabis.
She said she is most excited about the Latin American Network of Cannabis Women, and new contacts made with women in the United States.
Clara said she is in good health and does not use pharmaceuticals. She does use cannabis for therapeutic issues, such as relaxation, inspiration, and creativity – with occasional relief from menstrual cramps and other pain issues, as needed.
Due to her work as a journalist with Marijuana TV, she has witnessed a great deal of healing. The channel recently launched, Verde Medicina (green medicine), and has hosted patients dealing with myriad ailments, sharing their success stories on the program.
“We have shared cases of fibromyalgia, childhood epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and will soon present new cases of rare diseases, helped with cannabis, such as cancer and more,” she said. “Our main objectives are to inform in an unbiased way, about everything related to the culture and medicinal use of cannabis; and to influence the global failure of the drug war, while revealing cannabis as a beneficial medicine.”
Status: Pending legal use of cannabis as medicine, December 2017
Polita Pepper, Communications
With Mexico announcing its intent to legalize cannabis as medicine (announced April of 2017, to be finalized December 2018), cannabis advocate Polita Pepper couldn’t be happier.
“All over Mexico, people are already using the plant to heal,” Pepper said. “We just need the government to allow us to do what is already being done. As information from the United States and Spain on medicine is spread, the black market in Mexico is increasing every day. We need laws that allow personal cultivation for people who cannot afford to purchase it; and for patients who might need higher amounts of THC for specific illness, as is allowed in the U.S.”
Like many enlightened Mexicans, Polita has understood the benefits of how the medicinal herb has been used in Mexico for centuries. As an activist, she’s chosen her field of communications to help spread education on its healing properties.
“Activists groups, such as Cannativa, can work to educate families on the therapeutic properties of cannabis, teaching how to grow and safely prepare medicine,” Pepper added.
Of the many projects she’s been involved in, she’s collaborated with Canamo magazine, distributed in Spain, Mexico, and Chile; La Dosis in Mexico; Weeds in Colombia and Chile; and Chronic Magazine in Denver, Colorado in the U.S.
She also works in communications for Heaven Grown, a hemp building company based in Mexico City; and is part of the network of women in Latin America, helping to educate and empower women throughout her home country of Mexico, and beyond.
“Cannativa, is an association for information and education on medical cannabis,” she explained. “We provide the basic tools for learning about the plant as medicine, though discreet consultations.”
Polita said she has been able to witness profound changes in people’s health and the quality of their lives improved with the use of medical cannabis.
“I’ve seen how this plant opens doors to self-care,” she said. “It’s an ancestral medicine, used in Mexico by our elders for years. Personally, it brings me joy, has improved my health, and gives me the strength and conviction to create another world where grandmothers, women and children – and men, can sow seeds of change in positive ways.”
Like many people throughout the world, Polita said she’s known of the plant and its healing properties since she was a young girl, and is grateful the laws in Mexico are changing.
“The people need education on the plant now, more than ever,” she continued. “It’s the only way to combat the stigma from the drug war here. Up until now, it’s been a male-dominated industry, and a reflection of the exclusion of women in the labor market in Mexico. Being part of the Latin American network of cannabis women is a dream come true. I also look at it as a way to come together with the men and put our strengths together for a common cause.
Polita feels that cannabis being included in the war on drugs is “ridiculous,” and never should have happened, leaving her country with “deep wounds” and many deaths in the country she loves.
“The seeds are already germinating, with many wonderful men and women joining forces now to educate,” she said. “And though we have a long way to go, we will not step back, only forward. We will bloom together now.”
San Diego, California
Status: California: legal for medicine, legal for recreation January, 2018
Adelia Carrillo, CEO, Direct Cannabis Network
Adelia’s grandfather was from Durango, Mexico. He moved to America with his family, and met her grandmother in the states. Adelia’s mother was the youngest of eight children raised in California. Adelia eventually made San Diego her home.
San Diego is a Southern California town, bordering Baja California, Mexico.
She remembers her grandmother’s old ways, using herbs medicinally – aloe vera for cuts and burns; and cooking up cactus, or nopales, for breakfast – a traditional meal in Mexico – but also a highly beneficial plant.
Adelia crossed over into the cannabis space in 2014 after complications from a pregnancy led to more serious issues.
“My pregnancy worsened and I had to have emergency surgery and lost the baby,” she shared. “After surgery, I was given a lineup of prescriptions that actually hindered my recovery. The pharmaceuticals made me feel worse, and my fiancé suggested I turn to cannabis. To be honest, I was a bit naïve, as my previous experience was in recreational use, and I had no knowledge of the medicinal aspects at the time.”
Adela is now a full-fledged patient, primarily using CBD (cannabinoid) only products, including topicals, vaporizing via a pen and partaking of a low dose THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) activated product in the evening to destress from her often 14-hour work days.
Though cannabis has helped her immensely, both physically and emotionally, finding intelligent information on the industry was a challenge.
“At the time, I couldn’t find much on start-ups, technical aspects, or innovations in the industry,” she said. “That’s when I began to develop the Direct Cannabis Network.”
With a background in the consumer electronic industry in business development, sales, and marketing, Adela started her journey, with a mission to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that elevates ideas, connects communities, and raises the expectations of the cannabis industry.
Direct Cannabis Network.com (DCN) hosts information about everything business-related in the industry, including profiling start-ups, supporting business-to-business events via its New West Summit, streaming sit-down interviews, with its “Cannabis & Coffee” talk show and hosting informative articles.
California legalizing is a double-edged sword for many in the state where legal acceptance for medical cannabis began in 1996. Adela shared that while she acknowledges the pratfalls, she sees potential for the state, her network, and for women.
“I’m hoping legalization will give women the confidence to take a leap and become a part of this industry,” she surmised. “When I tell people I’m CEO of the network, they seemed stunned. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a Latina or a young woman – maybe both. One thing is for sure, we all need to continue building a voice and taking a stand for what we believe in. I believe women have the opportunity to become role models and help to propel the industry in ways that other industries will want to follow.”
Cannabinoid receptor 2: potential role in immunomodulation and neuroinflammation
An accumulating body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB(1), CB(2)) play a significant role in physiologic and pathologic processes, including cognitive and immune functions. While the addictive properties of marijuana, an extract from the Cannabis plant, are well recognized, there is growing appreciation of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in multiple pathologic conditions involving chronic inflammation (inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, HIV-1 infection, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease to name a few), mainly mediated by CB(2) activation. Development of CB(2) agonists as therapeutic agents has been hampered by the complexity of their intracellular signaling, relative paucity of highly selective compounds and insufficient data regarding end effects in the target cells and organs. This review attempts to summarize recent advances in studies of CB(2) activation in the setting of neuroinflammation, immunomodulation and HIV-1 infection.
Cannabidiol: from an inactive cannabinoid to a drug with wide spectrum of action
The aim of this review is to describe the historical development of research on cannabidiol.
This review was carried out on reports drawn from Medline, Web of Science and SciELO.
After the elucidation of the chemical structure of cannabidiol in 1963, the initial studies showed that cannabidiol was unable to mimic the effects of Cannabis. In the 1970’s the number of publications on cannabidiol reached a first peak, having the research focused mainly on the interaction with delta9-THC and its antiepileptic and sedative effects. The following two decades showed lower degree of interest, and the potential therapeutic properties of cannabidiol investigated were mainly the anxiolytic, antipsychotic and on motor diseases effects. The last five years have shown a remarkable increase in publications on cannabidiol mainly stimulated by the discovery of its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects. These studies have suggested a wide range of possible therapeutic effects of cannabidiol on several conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory diseases, nausea and cancer.
In the last 45 years it has been possible to demonstrate that CBD has a wide range of pharmacological effects, many of which being of great therapeutic interest, but still waiting to be confirmed by clinical trials.