Feb 19th 2015–The Burning Issue

Our charity is concerned with the medical use of cannabis rather than its recreational use.
That said, our medical users have a wealth of invaluable hands-on experience.
We would like to share some of this information as it is germane to BBC Radio 4’s “Cannabis Week”.
We are three days in and there is still no mention of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The BBC is normally well researched, yet has completely missed out on the importance of the ECS.
The BBC is not alone; the majority of medical schools around the world do the same.
The ECS is science fact. Confirmed in 1990 yet astonishingly, most doctors haven’t even heard of it.
A quarter of a century has passed and the ECS still isn’t featured in Gray’s Anatomy – Incredible.

The ECS is the vitally important regulatory system that balances our major organs and our immune system.
As we get older we need to ingest cannabinoids, otherwise our ECS becomes deficient and we become ill.
Endocannabinoid deficiency leads to illness whether young or old.
Cannabis is “essential nutrition” rather than a pharmaceutical “medicine”.
That’s why it helps people presenting so many different illnesses to get better – to return to homeostasis.
Cannabis is not a miracle drug, it’s the essential food that our endocannabinoid system needs.
The ECS is as important to us, as the oil, in an engine.

Our charity has come across recreational users experiencing problems smoking cannabis with tobacco.
They’re most likely to smoke more, because nicotine is so addictive.
Tobacco raises the burn temperature, increasing the number of chemicals present and the risk to our airways.
Not only is nicotine addictive, it increases the psychoactivitity of cannabis.
In practice, nicotine increases the “kick” of whatever active substance is present with it.
Recreational cannabis users who don’t use tobacco have a far healthier relationship with the plant.
One not dominated by nicotine.

The prohibition of cannabis means that it is not usually grown by its consumers.
Instead of growing outdoors in sunshine and soil – like the best medical cannabis
there is a black market of indoor growers ready to run the risk . . . for a price.
Prohibition practice among illegal growers: “more plant food = bigger plants = more money”.
They grow for profit not medicine.

Indoor-grown plants need to be flushed for the last 3 weeks, to remove all residues of plant food.
Unflushed cannabis is laden with nitrogen based residues and will form ammonia gas when smoked.
Ammonia when smoked causes cognitive dysfunction and neurological damage.
Of concern, is that ammonia also facilitates an unnaturally high delivery of nicotine into the lungs, which markedly
increases cannabis psychoactivity and more pertinently, ammonia’s cognitive dysfunction.
This is most likely the cause of the psychosis featured in the KCL “skunk report” earlier this week.
It sadly appears to be another harmful, counter-social consequence of prohibition.

Harm reduction occurs when:
Recreational users choose not to include tobacco
Growers responsibly flush their plants
Patients have legal access to safe, healthy plants
Crime declines in the absence of black markets

As our population lives increasingly longer, decriminalising personal medical growing, would collapse the black market, increase the quality of life in later life, keep people healthy longer and save the NHS billions.

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