Understanding Medical Cannabis – 1. CBD Testers: Why CBD Can Treat Schizophrenia While THC Can Make You Psychotic 2. STUFF (NZ): Front line police work may not significantly change with legal cannabis 3. Nimbin Hemp Embassy: Medical Cannabis Workshop- Medican

1. CBD Testers: Why CBD Can Treat Schizophrenia While THC Can Make You Psychotic

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is the general term given to a group of conditions in which the person loses touch with reality.
It usually starts in the late teens to early twenties – before the brain is fully developed.

Biochemically, there is a dysfunction in two chemicals in the brain: glutamate & dopamine.
The glutamate is abnormally low & the dopamine is excessively high.

…Low glutamate results in low NMDA. NMDA helps in learning & memory.
When the glutamate is low, the NMDA will then be low, and the schizophrenic’s cognitive skills will be negatively affected.

…High dopamine can cause psychosis.
Psychosis is a term used to describe the “positive” symptoms of schizophrenia which include delusions, hallucinations, & disorganized speech.

Can THC make you psychotic?

Why CBD Can Treat Schizophrenia While THC Can Make You Psychotic?

Yes, but thankfully, not in everyone.  THC works by binding to the CB1 receptor which causes dopamine to increase.
Too much THC can increase dopamine to such an excessive level that the user becomes psychotic.

Can THC cause those who have “latent” schizophrenia to manifest itself?

While THC can make you psychotic it is CBD that can treat Schizophrenia
While THC can make you psychotic it is CBD that can treat Schizophrenia

The brain begins to develop in the fetus, before we are born,  and the “wiring” of the brain does not finish until young adulthood – around age 23.
Exposure to THC before the brain is fully developed can cause permanent “rewiring” of the brain and unleash latent psychotic symptoms of one who is predisposed to schizophrenia.
Most young adults do not have this predilection, but no one knows which young adult is at-risk until it is too late.

How is it that THC can aggravate the psychosis of schizophrenia, but CBD cannot?

THC binds to the CB1 receptor in the amygdala, resulting in the release of dopamine, which helps to reduce anxiety.
People with schizophrenia are more sensitive than normal people to dopamine release.
As a result, the dopamine that is caused by THC can create a schizophrenic attack.

CBD (cannabidiol) has no effect on dopamine because it works inside the cell, not on the cell surface – where THC works.
CBD inhibits FABP (fatty acid binding protein) which results in increased anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter which gives one the sense of emotional centeredness and bliss. 

Do people who are already suffering with schizophrenia “gravitate” to cannabis?

Those who have schizophrenia, have extreme anxiety to the extent that they become disconnected with reality.
By necessity, they seek out medications to help them.
The scientific and medical community have observed that there is a greater percent of those with schizophrenia using cannabis for self-medication than in the non-schizophrenic population.

Proof of CBD’s benefit in the treatment of psychosis

1.In studies performed on animals, high doses of CBD which bind to the D2 receptor in the amygdala (the same receptor that conventional antipsychotics bind to) resulted in a decrease of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

2.In King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, a study was conducted on eighty-eight humans, where half of the patients were given placebo and half of the patients were given CBD.
Both were allowed access to their existing antipsychotic medications.
The duration of the trial was six weeks.
Patients treated with CBD showed a significant reduction in symptoms of schizophrenia, with fewer side effects as opposed to those treated with placebo.
The psychiatrists who evaluated all eighty-eight patients confirmed that those who received CBD had improved.

3.CBD has been observed in multiple case reports on humans as being effective in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Doses of 600 mg a day for over four weeks have been used in studies with a remarkable safety profile.

4.Functional MRI studies on the brain reveal that the antipsychotic benefits that CBD give, are located in the limbic system – the parts of the brain that is involved in the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.

Take home points:

CBD can treat schizophrenia because it:

(1) blocks the ability of the CB1 receptor, when stimulated, to cause psychosis, and

(2) Blocks the D2 receptors in the limbic system which are excessively activated in schizophrenia.

(3) Increases anandamide – the bliss hormone  – which gives the person a sense of centeredness, something which is grossly lacking in those suffering with the mental illness of schizophrenia.

1. “Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent.”  Curr Drug Saf. 2011 Sep 1;6(4):237-49.

 2. “Cannabis Use and Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Prospective Evidence from a US National Longitudinal Study.” JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(4):388-395.

3. “Does cannabis use predict the first incidence of mood and anxiety disorders in the adult population?”  Addiction. 2007;102(8):1251-1260.

4. “Association between cannabis use and schizotypal dimensions—a meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies.”  Psychiatry Res. 2014;219(1):58-66.

5. “Cannabis use and mental health in young people: cohort study.”  BMJ. 2002;325(7374):1195-1198.

6. “Cannabis dependence and psychotic symptoms in young people.”  Psychol Med. 2003;33(1):15-21.

7. “Cannabis use and psychosis: a longitudinal population-based study.”  Am J Epidemiol. 2002;156(4):319-327.

8. “Improved Social Interaction, Recognition and Working Memory with Cannabidiol Treatment in Prenatal Infection (poly I:C) Rat Model.”  Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Jun;42(7):1447-1457

 9. “A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation.” Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(32):5131-40.

10. “Cannabis and psychosis: what causes what?” F1000 Med Rep. 2013; 5: 1.  Published online 2013 Jan 11

11. “A clinical and metabolic study of acute intoxication with Cannabis sativa and its role in the model psychoses.” J Ment Science. 1958;104:972–999. 

12. “Cannabidiol as an antipsychotic: a double-blind, controlled clinical trial of cannabidiol versus amisulpride in acute schizophrenia.”  15th Annual Symposium on Cannabinoids. Clearwater, Florida: Cannabnoid Research Society

13. “Blockade of effects of smoked marijuana by the CB1-selective receptor antagonist SR141716.”  Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58:322–328

14. “Cannabis Could Yield Novel Antipsychotics.” NEJM Journal Watch. Nov 4, 2016

15. “Cannabidiol is a partial agonist at dopamine D2High receptors, predicting its antipsychotic clinical dose.” Translational Psychiatry volume6, pagee920 (2016)

Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

2. STUFF (NZ):  Front line police work may not significantly change with legal cannabis

What if cops could smoke weed?
Police Association president Chris Cahill has asked police to consider where they stand on frontline officers using cannabis if it becomes legal, especially after critical incidents like a police shooting.
The legalisation of cannabis may do little to reduce the workload of police officers.
Personal cannabis use is already off the police radar, with a dramatic drop in arrests in recent years, and police officers in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal say it doesn’t eliminate organised crime, a panel of experts warned the Police Association’s annual conference, being held in Wellington on Thursday.
Massey University associate professor Chris Wilkins said police appeared to have decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute personal use of cannabis.
Police arrests for cannabis have fallen significantly.
Police arrests for cannabis have fallen significantly.

“If we decriminalised tomorrow, probably the difference in outcomes wouldn’t be that much different to what we have now.”

Police Association asks, ‘what if cops could legally use weed?’
Cannabis should be decriminalised and taxed to pay for synthetics and meth treatment, says justice advocate
Simon Bridges says National would enact referendum result on marijuana and euthanasia
New Zealand takes step closer to legalising recreational marijuana use
Cannabis campaigners say New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world

The debate comes as a referendum on legalised cannabis approaches.

Police Association president Chris Cahill has asked police to consider where they stand on frontline officers using the drug if it becomes legal, especially after critical incidents like a police shooting.
Police Association president Chris Cahill has asked police to consider where they stand on frontline officers using the drug if it becomes legal, especially after critical incidents like a police shooting.

Wilkins’ research showed the rate of arrests for cannabis reduced by 70 per cent between 1994 and 2014.
This was in part because of the introduction of pre-charge warnings in 2010, which helped unclog the courts and free up police time.
Yet 50 per cent of those arrested, predominantly Māori and those in lower-socioeconmic areas, were being convicted. 

Massey University drug researcher associate professor Chris Wilkins.
Massey University drug researcher associate professor Chris Wilkins.

Police intelligence practitioner Carrie Drake said the current law was not necessarily broken, but police did need a clearer policy on enforcing personal use. 

“It leaves us open to perceptions that the law is enforced arbitrarily, or on a race-based basis.”

A similar problem may arise with driving while impaired laws, possibly unenforceable if cannabis is legalised as there is no practical method of testing drivers.
Drake said police time was not freed up in the United States and the Netherlands, where cannabis use is legal. 

Officers she spoke to in the US said Colombian drug cartels have a significant presence in legitimate cannabis retailers. 

“The cannabis business itself may be run more-or-less clean, but they’ll be laundering money.”

In some places legalisation had created a grey market of people growing the drug for supposed personal use, only to start selling.

“Cannabis is a profitable commodity, no matter it’s legal status … I don’t think the gangs and the exploitation of social deprived people is going to go away.”

Canadian Police Association president Tom Stamatakis​ said legalisation in Canada was an opportunity to respond to a growing grey-market created by already legal medicinal cannabis.
Organised crime was present in medicinal cannabis outfits, police didn’t have the resources to enforce federal recreational cannabis laws, and prosecutions were clogging up the courts.

“Once it became clear that we were going to move to this legal regime, we really embraced it to be honest.”

Legal recreational use will come into effect in Canada next week.

The three-day conferences ends on Friday.


3. Nimbin Hemp Embassy: Medical Cannabis Workshop- Medican

Nimbin’s Medican weekend will be held a few days after Canada officially re-legalises Cannabis next week on October 18th.
HEMP Embassy President Michael Balderstone says some Embassy members have just returned from Vancouver and will be speaking about the changes.

“It sounds good but in fact is upsetting a lot of people over there with strict new regulations and increased penalties for anyone breaking the rules. And now the big debate is about drug driver testing which has not been an issue before. We naively thought regulations would be fair and just but they’re being made by straights who’ve never had a toke in their life!”

Meanwhile in Australia enquiries continue to grow about using Cannabis as medicine and the pressure is now on politicians to keep up with the public’s change of heart on this herb that has never killed anyone, ever.
Everyone is welcome to this weekend where all your questions can be answered by people with decades of experience.

We welcome back to this Medican is Australia’s Dr Pot, Dr Andrew Katelaris, who will be speaking again after spending another four months in jail.  To get bails for arrests, find more info from this site or from an expert on the subject so you can learn all there is about bail bonds.

He’s urging people who can to come and support him in Sydney when he will be in the Downing Centre District Court in a few weeks.
The charges are production and supply of a large commercial quantity of cannabis and if convicted the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
However, Dr Katelaris intends to run “the first successful medical necessity defence to be heard in the penal colony of NSW.”

Most medical cannabis activists who are arrested enter a plea of guilty with extenuating circumstances and often receive a mild penalty, but this provides no impetus for law change.

The battle lines on medical cannabis are now clearly drawn he believes. 
The government intends to replace a legal prohibition with a medical prohibition, where are a small number of selected practitioners act as gate keepers, providing medical cannabis to those with intractable illnesses only after all allopathic treatments have been tried. 
Further, the TGA approved medicine costs more than the current black market price. 
In an act of malice directed at the most vulnerable group in our society the police are giving no exemptions for medically prescribed cannabis when detected by roadside testing.

On November 5th, he would appreciate a show of public support, with as many people as possible attending the court to send a clear message to this government that it is totally unacceptable to play politics with people’s lives and put pharmaceutical profits before health and well being.

Also speaking at the workshop is Dr Deb Waldron from Queensland who has been researching the medicinal properties of Cannabis for more than thirty years and is now studying herbalism.

Malcolm Lee, a healer who has had a similar time studying the healing benefits of pot and has some extraordinary tales to tell.

Lawyer Steve Bolt will speak on Saturday only, about saliva testing drivers and the legal situation medical cannabis users find themselves in.

CBD Luke will be talking on Sunday only, about isolates versus whole plant extraction, clinical trials and the recent documentary movies about medical cannabis he has been involved in.

Radic Al who grew up in a herbalists household will demonstrate herbal extraction methods.

Rayman who saved her life with raw Cannabis juice and Simmo will demonstrate hemp seed oil extraction and speak of it’s extraordinary health benefits.

Not to be confused with Dr Pot, Andrew Kavasilas will be talking at the Medican each day about ongoing lobbying and advocacy in the face of the incredible push back and double speak by politicians and public servants.
As well as an update from a recent meeting in the Victorian Parliament where high profile activists are seeking to address numerous State, Federal and international impediments to medical Cannabis worldwide, including saliva drug testing in Australia.
Andrew will also speak about his new company Cann Global Limited and it’s endeavours as a leading Hemp seed food and medical Cannabis company.
He stands by the fact that “no government in the world has willingly introduced a meaningful medical Cannabis regime”.

There will be medical Cannabis users telling their stories at the weekend and we expect local Green political candidate Sue Higginson will drop in on Saturday.
We may even have a guest appearance from local social commentator, comedian and legendary HEMP Olympix official, S Sorrensen.
And to top it all The Hemp Club will be displaying and modelling handwoven hemp clothing you cannot find anywhere else on Earth.

All speakers except Steve and Luke will be there on both days and talks start at 11am and aim to finish by 4.20pm, at the Bush Theatre by Mulgum Creek in the old butter factory on the north side of Nimbin.
Everyone is welcome, donations greatly appreciated. Excellent food will be available at the on site Phoenix Rising Cafe.

Anyone using medical cannabis who would like to tell their story on the day should contact the HEMP Embassy…. phone 02 66891842 or email head@hempembassy.net or talk to Michael on the day.

The next Medican Workshop will be on the weekend of January 19/20, 2019.

For more phone 02 66891842 or email head@hempembassy.net 

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