Tag Archives: cannabis history

DEA/DOJ not the Problem

I’m sorry but the DEA/DOJ are not the problem with Cannabis legalization on a federal level or even Scheduling of Cannabis.  The real problem is with HHS, FDA, NIDA and other “Medical” organizations that continue to feed DEA/DOJ faulty information.

While I’m not going to say that the DEA doesn’t want to have Cannabis in Schedule I for ease of prosecution, they are not to blame for failed Petitions.  The problem is in the petition process.  First the DEA is required to ask the FDA, NIH for a recommendation.  Well they both ask NIDA to give them the information and everyone knows that NIDA is opposed to Cannabis.

NIDA provides FDA and NIH with information about Cannabis and all it’s “Hazards”.  Rather than do a real investigation like it’s own PubMed and other resources it barfs up NIDA information and gives it to the DEA.

DEA then takes that information and says sorry not going to change anything.

There is also the fact that the petitions in the past 6-7 years have been faulty in their filing and haven’t been really challenged in court.

HIA has offered DEA resistance and met with success.  ASA is currently suing the DEA for it’s compliance with the little known “INFORMATION QUALITY ACT”.  This requires agencies to provide Quality Information when they give it out.  Frankly NIH, NIDA and any other agency that has information opposing Cannabis should be challenged.

If your not following on social media NIH, FDA, and NIDA then you should be:

FDA https://www.facebook.com/FDA/

NIDA https://www.facebook.com/NIDANIH/

NIH https://www.facebook.com/nih.gov/

USDA https://www.facebook.com/USDA/

WHO – Systematic Review of Cannabis Safety

who-report-safeIn a report to the upcoming WHO conference another report has been issued about the safety of Cannabis and it’s use in medicine.

The report acknowledges thousands of years of historical use of cannabis for medical purposes.  Unfortunately due to the limited number of published scientific studies on the few conditions they studied they didn’t find definitive proof of cannabis efficacy in the treatment.

What they did find is that in all cases there weren’t adverse side effects like other medications.

In regards to adverse events, the included studies considered many adverse events, the majority of them were of low to moderate gravity. For the most serious adverse events (i.e. CNS side effects, depression and confusion) no differences were observed between cannabis and placebo. Incidence of general psychiatric disorders was higher in the cannabis groups but results came only from two small studies (92 participants). In addition, frequency of dissociation was higher in the cannabis groups, and no studies considered the development of abuse or dependence.

The report Titled “Systematic reviews on therapeutic efficacy and safety of Cannabis (including extracts and tinctures) for patients with multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, dementia and Tourette syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and cancer receiving chemotherapy Laura Amato, Marina Davoli, Silvia Minozzi, Zuzana Mitrova, Elena Parmelli, Rosella Saulle, Simona Vecchi DEPARTMENT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY LAZIO REGION, ASL ROMA 1 – ROME, ITALY”

Can be found at the following link – LINK

or we have archived it here – systematic_reviews_on_therapeutic_efficacy_and_safety

Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research

WHO Pre-review Report Cannabis and Cannabis resin

With the upcoming meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Thirty-eight Meeting in Geneva, on 14 – 18 November 2016 many are calling for Cannabis to be an agenda item.

coverIn a pre-view Report “Cannabis and Cannabis Resin Pre-Review Report A document prepared for the World Health Organization” was prepared by H. Valerie Curran, Philip Wiffen, David J. Nutt, Willem Scholten.  In their report they give all the reasons why Cannabis should be more than an Update Item on the agenda.

In their report to the WHO they state in the preface:

In the eighty years since cannabis and cannabis resin were last reviewed by the Health Committee of the League of Nations in 1935, both the social context of cannabis use and the science of drug dependence have dramatically changed. Yet, cannabis and cannabis resin continue to remain under the strictest control regime possible under the Single Convention, without a valid scientific re-assessment of this decision. Cannabis and cannabis resin are listed in Schedule I and Schedule IV respectively, which means that both remain strictly prohibited worldwide.

then adding that the WHO is acting in a manner that appears to make continued prohibition illegitimate

The current scheduling of cannabis is in marked divergence with the Convention’s principle that scheduling of substances should be based on a scientific assessment by WHO. In the absence of a recent assessment, the continued prohibition of cannabis appears completely illegitimate even though it may be legal.

38ccdThey then proceed to ask the WHO to conduct a Scientific Review of cannabis and cannabis resin

A scientific review by the WHO, the only authoritative global body to make such an assessment, would greatly legitimize international policies and their national implementation. A scientific assessment of cannabis and cannabis resin appears most timely given the many debates that have emerged on this issue across the world in recent years.

In the fifty years since it’s inception the WHO has never conducted a scientific review of cannabis.  Despite it’s mandate to review the substance.

The scheduling under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs assumes a scientific justification. However, cannabis and cannabis resin have never been evaluated by WHO since it was mandated the review of psychoactive substances in 1948.

The purpose of the pre-review report is to clarify the position of the current state of use both medically and none medically.

The purpose of a Pre-review is to determine whether current information justifies a Critical Review. For evaluating substances in a Pre-review, the categories of information are identical to those used in Critical Reviews. At the stage of the Pre-review, the Expert Committee must decide whether the information justifies a Critical Review. If it finds that the data available may justify changing the scheduling of cannabis and/or cannabis resin, the Committee should recommend a Critical Review in its next Meeting.

The 53 page report, or 75 with cites, covers everything from adverse reactions, LD50 level, and pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about cannabis and how it works.  The report is remarkable in it’s completeness.

Conclusions Despite that the scheduling system of substances under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is supposed to be based on scientific assessments, the WHO has never reviewed cannabis and cannabis resin. This means also that the Expert Committee continues to recommend that cannabis is not to be used medically despite growing evidence of considerable medical use world-wide, including the availability of a pharmaceutical preparation with a marketing authorization in multiple countries. Many countries are struggling with the impact of the prohibition of cannabis with its wide negative impact on societies (including through human rights violations) and on drug markets and drug use, including on the market of synthetic cannabinoids.

Committee recommendations are needed on the following topics:

1. Whether a Critical Review should be conducted for reviewing the current scheduling in Schedules I and IV. Each of the following reasons would justify a recommendation for a Critical Review: a. because WHO has never conducted a Critical Review, meaning that there is no scientific justification for the current scheduling; b. because the wide-spread medical use, including the use of preparations with a marketing authorization is in contradiction to listing in Schedule IV; c. because it is not clear whether the dependence-producing properties of cannabis and cannabis resin are between codeine and morphine (justification for Schedule I) or between dextropropoxyphene and codeine (justification for Schedule II) or below those of dextropropoxyphene (justification for not scheduling).

2. On the medical use of cannabis and its preparations (which can include revoking old recommendations by the Committee)

3. On the need of quality control on cannabis and cannabis products for medical and non-medical use.

Here is a link to the piece – LINK

Here is the report itself just in case it disappears from the net – whocannabisreport

Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research

The History of Cannabis

Cannabis use can be documented as far back as 2700BC(1) in ancient Chinese writings.  These writings tell us that cannabis was used by the Chinese for a variety of uses.  These included fiber, oil, and as a medicine.  By 450bc history tells us that cannabis was being cultivated in the mid-east region.  From Afghanistan to Egypt hemp was cultivated for its fiber, medical and recreational use.  It appears that Cannabis was first introduced into Europe around 500AD.  It is known that cannabis was in wide cultivation in Europe by the 16th century.  It was cultivated for it’s fiber and seed.  The seed was cooked with barley and other grains and eaten.

In 1537 Dioscorides called the plant Cannabis Sativa, the scientific name that stands to this day as the plant’s true name.  He notes it’s use in “the stoutest cords” and also its medicinal properties(2)

Cannabis was introduced into Chile about 1545(3) where it was grown for fiber.  Cannabis was introduced into New England soon after Puritan Immigrants settled, noting that it grew “twice so high”(4)

In Virginia the early legislature passed many acts to promote the cannabis industry.  Before the revolution cannabis seems to have flourished in the area around Lancaster PA.

Cannabis was first grown in Kentucky in 1775(5).  In 1802 two extensive Ropewalks were built in Lexington Kentucky to make rope from the cannabis being grown in the area.  There was also announced a new machine that could break “eight thousand weight of hemp per day”(6), a huge quantity and step forward for the cannabis fiber industry.

Cannabis spread to other states including Missouri by 1835, Illinois by 1875, Nebraska by 1887, California by 1912(7) Minnesota by 1880(8), Wisconsin and Iowa by the early 1900’s.

The industrial cultivation was stalled by Federal legislation in 1937 bu the imposition of a heavy tax on producers known as the Marijuana Tax Act.

By 1940 the US Government reduced the tax so that production could take place during WWII.  During WWII the industry flourished in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky where farmers were encouraged to grow it for the war.  The Film “Hemp for Victory” produced by the USDA explained to farmers the need for hemp for the war effort.

After WWII with the heavy tax back in place the commercial cultivation declined until the last documented crop was grown at the University of Minnesota in 1968 (9).

1 – Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture, L Dewey, 1913 pg 296

2- Dioscorides. Medica Materia, li bri sex, 1537, page 147

3- USDA Bureau of Plant Industry, Bulletin #153, Husbands, Jose D, 1909, page 42

4- Yearbook of the USDA Dewey, 1913 pg 291

5- A study of the past, the present and future of the hemp industry in Kentucky, Moore, Brent, 1905, page 16

6- Travels to the West of the Alleghenies, Michaux, Andre, 1805 page 152

7- Yearbook of the USDA, L Dewey, 1913 page 293

8- Hemp in Minnesota during the War Time Emergency, Schoenrock, Ruth, 1966, page 15

9 – Robinson, Bob, Dr.  Hemp Experimenter at UofM 1960-1968 199