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Canada Becomes Second Nation in the World to Legalize Marijuana

(CNN) Recreational marijuana use will soon be legal in Canada after the Senate passed a “historic” bill on Tuesday with a vote of 52-29.

Canada is only the second country in the world – and the first G7 nation – to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market. In the neighboring US, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use.

Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, stems from a campaign pledge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep marijuana away from underage users and reduce related crime.

The act to legalize the recreational use of weed was first introduced on April 13, 2017, and was later passed at the House of Commons in November. The Senate passage of the bill was the final hurdle in the process.

Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana’s production, sale and consumption in December 2013.

Although the Canadian government had initially stated its intent to implement by July 2018, provinces and territories, who will be responsible for drafting their own rules for marijuana sales, have advised that they would need eight to 12 weeks after the Senate approval to transition to the new framework.

The government is expected to choose a date in early or mid September.

Study Finds Alcohol Makes You Aggressive; Pot, Pretty Much the Opposite

On Twitter, Trudeau praised the bill and focused on Canada’s youth.

@JustinTrudeau
It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” he tweeted.

The justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, also applauded the vote.

“This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada,” she tweeted. “This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.”

cannabis-infographic

What’s legal and what’s not

Once the bill is formally approved, adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households and prepare products such as edibles for personal use.

However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana.

Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or — when neither of those options are available – federally licensed producers. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

The Canadian government has also implemented changes to their impaired driving laws, to address repercussions for driving under the influence of cannabis.

The bill set a floor on the minimum age of the consumer at 18 years, and makes the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis products an offense for minors.

While provinces can increase the minimum age, the intent is to continue to discourage Canadian youth from pot use, by establishing many of the same restrictions that exist for cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Canada Plans to Use Its Marijuana Revenue in the Best Possible Way

Market boom

C-45 is also expected to spark a billion-dollar industry, given total spending on marijuana could surge as high as 58%, especially as users are expected to be willing to pay a premium for legal access to the drug.

In the United States, BDS Analytics estimated that the pot industry took in nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017. The revenue from the sales is equivalent to the entire snack bar industry.

As a result, the attempts to legalize cannibas for recreational use have caused Canadian marijuana companies like Canopy Growth Corp., Aphria Inc., and Aurora Cannabis Inc. to become the center of investor frenzy.

As provinces decide local rules of implementation, marijuana availability will vary across the country. In Alberta, recreational weed will be widely available at more than 200 private retailers across the province. On the opposite end of the spectrum, marijuana availability will only be provided in 40 state-run shops in Ontario. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it will be available in Loblaws grocery stores.

By Bani Sapra, CNN          Wed June 20, 2018
 
CNN’s Mary McDougall and Madison Park contributed to this report.
source: cnn.com

 

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6 Scientific Reasons Why You Should Consider Not Smoking Weed On A Regular Basis

It’s about being balanced and informed.
Exploring the upsides and downsides to cannabis.

We’ve reported a ton on the benefits of cannabis and its potential in medical applications, but what about the other side of the coin? Is it fair to say cannabis comes with no downsides? When treating people and seeing positive benefits, what negative effects might also come?

Marijuana has been the subject of intense debate over these last few years. Now legal in multiple states in the U.S. and authorized for medicinal purposes in even more, an increasing number of people are recognizing how arbitrary the line is between legal substances, like alcohol and cigarettes, and illegal ones, like pot — particularly since both alcohol and cigarettes have been shown to be extremely detrimental to the human body, while marijuana has not.

But what’s the reason for that? Getting marijuana to study has proven to be incredibly difficult for many researchers and therefore getting study results has been tough.[2]

So given that this natural substance is being used incredibly regularly, and yet doesn’t have a full scope of research behind it, we wanted to balance the scales and bring awareness to the fact that we should really think twice before using this substance daily for long periods of time and thinking it’s completely safe. Unless of course you have been prescribed the substance, but even at that, it’s good to be in the know.[2]

This article came in response to a recent article pointing out the sheer benefits of smoking cannabis without mentioning the other side of the coin. We feel any research that takes this approach is simply not beneficial to public awareness.

To be clear, we’re not saying this plant should be illegal. It’s a plant, but we don’t know as much about its safety in daily and long term use as we’d like.

We Can’t Blindly View It As Safe

The massive support for the legalization of marijuana does have its drawbacks, as it leads people to believe that smoking marijuana is completely harmless, and even good for you. While it can be quite therapeutic for dulling pain or alleviating anxiety, so can alcohol and even prescription drugs. It seems like people are willing to see the downsides of those substances but not cannabis. [1]

In reality, research shows that smoking cannabis on a regular basis may still be hazardous. Many forget that the plant’s medicinal benefits are most readily taken advantage of when it is ingested, not smoked.

It is admittedly encouraging to see all of the support for the legalization of marijuana, and all of the evidence emerging that smoking it is not as harmful as it was originally said to be. The legalization of marijuana threatens many industries, so perhaps this is why it has taken so long to get the ball rolling.

That being said, more of a balance is needed: with so much support out there for marijuana, many people, especially young people, think there are no health consequences of smoking it. This is why we’ve decided to put together a list of 7 reasons why you should really consider not smoking marijuana on a regular basis.

We are very well aware of the other side of cannabis (articles). For example, we recently published an article showing how cannabis helped cure a girl from cancer. She is one of many examples of people who have benefited immensely from cannabis, and it’s important to raise awareness about how paediatric cannabis is saving lives. You can read that article here.

We have also published a number of articles on why marijuana should be legal, as well as reported on the dozens of health benefits it boasts, from helping people with pain and epilepsy to replacing prescription drugs and more.

A number of studies have been published that show cannabis completely annihilates cancer. We are talking about decades of research (a simple google search for scholarly articles on cannabis and cancer will show you this). Despite this fact, no human clinical trials have been conducted. Here is an article of a molecular biologist explaining how THC kills cancer.

It’s also important to mention that we are not against smoking weed, but based on the science, smoking weed regularly on a daily basis for a period that lasts more than a year could be harmful to your health.

“Really, the way to do these things, is to do them rarely so that your whole system can reassert itself and come to equilibrium. . . I think the real way to do cannabis is like, once a week. . . . ” — Terrence McKenna (source)

1. Most of the Medicinal Benefits of Marijuana Come From Different Methods of Ingestion, Not Smoking

Cannabinoids are any group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors that already exist in our body, and our bodies themselves actually produce compounds called endocannabinoids.  These play a vital role in the human body, helping to create a healthy environment. Cannabinoids themselves also play an important role in immune system regeneration. Studies have shown that multiple constituents of cannabis can kill cancer cells, repair damaged brain cells, and more.[3] The medical potential of this plant is truly miraculous, and it’s a shame that despite decades of research showing undeniable results, like its ability to completely annihilate cancer, human clinical trials are only n0w commencing, and only in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs.

It’s important to know that contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis does not assist a great deal in treating disease within the body, as therapeutic levels cannot be reached through smoking. Creating oil from the plant or eating the plant is the best way to absorb cannabinoids. Smoking also alters the plant molecules; when cannabis is heated and burnt it changes the chemical structure and acidity of the THC, which in turn negates its therapeutic value. The smoke from marijuana is toxic to the body, just as the smoke from any other substance would be. (I will discuss this further on in the article.) Furthermore, anytime you burn something and inhale it, you create oxidation within the body, which is unhealthy and can lead to many issues.

None of the health benefits of marijuana come from smoking it. When one says “cannabis cures cancer,” that doesn’t mean smoking it.

2. Heavy Marijuana Use Is Linked To Lower Dopamine Levels In The Brain

Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University have found that heavy smokers of marijuana could have a compromised dopamine system. When studying heavy smokers, they discovered lower dopamine release in one region of the brain, the striatum, which is the part of the brain that’s involved in working memory, impulsive behaviour, and attention. Several other studies have shown that addiction to other drugs can have similar effects on dopamine release, but this is the first evidence of its kind linking it to smoking cannabis.[4]

The study examined 11 adults between the ages of 21 and 40 who were heavily dependent on cannabis against 12 healthy control subjects. 16 was the average age these individuals started smoking, and they had not stopped since.

Their press release outlines how the study was conducted, and the methods used:

Using positron emission tomography (PET) to track a radiolabelled molecule that binds to dopamine receptors in the brain, the scientists measured dopamine release in the striatum and its subregions, as well as in several brain regions outside the striatum, including the thalamus, midbrain, and globus pallidus. The cannabis users in this study stayed in the hospital for a week of abstinence to ensure that the PET scans were not measuring the acute effects of the drug. Participants were scanned before and after being given oral amphetamine to elicit dopamine release. The percent change in the binding of the radiotracer was taken as an indicator of capacity for dopamine release.
Compared with the controls, the cannabis users had significantly lower dopamine release in the striatum, including subregions involved in associative and sensorimotor learning, and in the globus pallidus. (source)(source)

Anissa Abi-Dargham, MD, a professor of psychiatry (in radiology) at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and a lead author of the paper, said that “the bottom line is that long-term, heavy cannabis use may impair the dopaminergic system, which could have a variety of negative effects on learning and behaviour.” She also went on to emphasize that “these findings add to the growing body of research demonstrating the potentially adverse effects of cannabis, particularly in youth, at the same time that government policies and laws are increasing access and use.” (source)

Here is another study that was done two years ago that examines the same thing.

We all know correlation does not mean causation, but we all know that it doesn’t either. You have to make your own judgements, use the Bradford Hill Criteria, and look at a number of different studies from both sides.

Based on everything I’ve looked at, in my opinion, marijuana smoking does have some sort of effect on the brain in multiple ways, differing from person to person. Whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ I’m not sure.

joint

3. Smoking Marijuana Linked To Schizophrenia, But It’s Complicated

A number of studies have linked smoking cannabis to schizophrenia and psychosis.[5] For example, a fairly recent study found that schizophrenia plays a role in a person’s likelihood of smoking weed. The study showed that genetic variants predicting schizophrenia  can also be used to predict a person’s tendency to smoke pot. The study showed that the same genes that predispose people to enjoying smoking cannabis might also predispose some to develop schizophrenia.

Lead author of the study, Robert Power, a genetic psychiatrist at King’s College London stated that “there is a well-established link between people who use cannabis and schizophrenia.” (source)

Based on the scientific literature, it’s quite clear that there is a link, and at the same time, it seems to be clear that there isn’t. Mathew Hill, a cell biologist at the University of Calgary, tells us “the relationship is an ongoing debate in the scientific world — at least what the nature of the association is.” He also told us that “there is little evidence that, at a population level, cannabis use during adolescence is a primary contributing factor in the development of psychiatric illness.” (source)

Just because some studies show an associative link does not mean there is one. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that there’s not one. This is the key! Some studies have shown that people who are in the early stages of schizophrenia that also smoke weed experience much larger brain modifications, like changes in white matter, compared to those who are not susceptible to schizophrenia.

What is clear is that people who already show signs of psychotic illness do experience adverse effects from smoking marijuana.

“There is definitely some kind of genetic basis to increased vulnerability to these adverse effects (in people with schizophrenia) that go beyond the correlational association.” — Mathew Hill (source)

Again, it’s well-known that marijuana smoking by people with schizophrenia only worsens the disease, and a number of studies have shown that smoking marijuana actually increases the development of schizophrenia in those who might be genetically predisposed to it. So, if you have a family history of psychotic illness, smoking weed is something you might not want to partake in, or if you suffer from any other ailment that’s classified as a mental illness for that matter.

One thing seems to be certain: cannabis smoking does affect the brain in various ways, especially at crucial stages of brain development in adolescents.

Below is a great publication and a good summary to find out more information about this topic and why it’s so confusing. Again, this connection (between schizophrenia and marijuana smoking) is still up for debate in the scientific world, and there are conflicting studies that continue to contradict each other every single year. This suggests that we simply don’t know enough and therefore should be careful with our habits.

So, next time someone tells you that there is a link between schizophrenia and marijuana smoking, they’re wrong, and next time someone tells you there is no link, they are also wrong! The best way to avoid any risk is to just avoid smoking marijuana all together.

Clearing the smoke: What do we know about adolescent cannabis use and schizophrenia?

4. Smoking Marijuana Changes Your Brain

One recent study found that using marijuana daily for at least four years or longer can create certain anatomical changes in the brain. In this particular study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brains of approximately 50 adults who were chronic marijuana users, compared to more than 60 people who didn’t use marijuana at all.

Researchers found that the people who had been smoking daily for at least four years had a smaller volume of gray matter in their orbitofrontal cortex, which is usually associated with addiction.

Lead author of the study, Francesca Filbey, an Associate Professor in the School of Behavioural Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas said, “not only is there a change in structure but there tends to be a change reflected in connectivity…all we can say is that we do see these [differences].” (source)

This is concerning, especially given the fact that grey matter is a major component of the central nervous system. Not only is it associated with addiction, it’s also associated with muscle control, sensory perception, memory, emotions, speech, decision making and self-control. A smaller amount of grey matter has also been implicated in a number of psychiatric disorders, including depression. There is a widespread reduction of gray matter in people who suffer depression, and yes, smoking marijuana may give temporary relief from depression, but when one doesn’t have it, they might feel depressed.  Marijuana could contribute to depression, and the fact that one feels better when one smokes it might make them think that it helps with their depression. This could be dangerous as they could be constantly depleting their gray matter.

Again, there are a number of studies that show smoking marijuana recently can drastically change the brain, and also disrupt brain development.

Another recent study also found that marijuana smokers showed signs of damage in the corpus callous, which is a major white matter tract that connects the left side of the brain to the right side. However, the study did mention that the people examined could have had deviant brain structures prior to their use.

A study published a few years ago showed that people who constantly smoke marijuana have abnormal brain structures, but multiple studies have also shown that marijuana smokers show no difference in brain structure.

The list goes on and on, but one thing is for certain: the effects on the brain are unclear. Further research is needed to identify what smoking marijuana does to the brain because there are still a number of studies that are contradictory. That being said, there is no doubt that it does something, but the way it interacts with our biology can vary for each individual.

5. Smoking Harms The Lungs

Regardless of what you are smoking, smoke is harmful to lung health; this is a no-brainer. Whether it’s burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. Smoke from marijuana combustion is no different. According to the American Lung Association:

Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.

Again, marijuana smoke contains a similar range of harmful chemicals to that of tobacco smoke, and there is no shortage of research suggesting that long-term marijuana smoking is associated with an increased risk of some respiratory problems. Despite this proven correlation, there is no association between smoking marijuana and lung cancer.

There are other alternatives to smoking marijuana, such as vaporizing or eating it.

6. Smoking Marijuana Can Increase Your Risk of Serious Cardiovascular Disorders

Multiple studies have connected smoking marijuana with potential cardiovascular disorders. One recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association noted that:

Several striking cardiovascular complications following cannabis use raised the issue of possible implications of cannabis in cardiovascular outcomes…The rate of cannabis-related cardiovascular complications reported steadily rose during the past 5 years.  Cardiovascular disorders represented 2 percent of the reports related to cannabis, classified into cardiac, cerebral, and peripheral arteriopathies. This result is consistent with previous findings and strengthens the idea that cannabis may be responsible for serious complications, in particular on the cardiovascular system. (source)

Another recent study, published last year concluded that:

The evidence reported in this article point toward an undisputed linkage between cannabis consumption and potentially lethal cardiovascular complications. (source)

Something to Consider:

Trouble Living Life Without Smoking

As with so many of our other favourite habits, smoking is a vice, and many people who smoke weed have difficulty stopping. Life often feels boring without it; smoking becomes a need and almost a mental addiction (we know there is no physical addiction involved.) And this is obviously problematic. It is rare to find someone who will be able to smoke a joint a couple of times a month, which is the amount many experts in the field of “mind-altering”‘ drugs propose. It’s a substance that is abused and not given the respect it deserves, often being used as an escape — helping the person avoid asking themselves why they feel the need to alter their state so often. If you are a regular smoker and notice that without smoking for a night or two you become bored, anxious, or depressed, or have certain feelings come up because you don’t have a joint in your hand, it may be time to consider reducing your usage, and perhaps facing those negative feelings head-on.

If you have a hard time going without smoking a joint, that in itself is a problem. Alternatively, if you are a regular marijuana smoker but can easily stop for weeks at a time, without any desire to smoke, perhaps you don’t have a problem. The main point here is that smoking shouldn’t be used to escape one’s problems because it just prolongs the process of facing them.

How Is It Grown?

These days, it’s hard to find ‘pure weed.’ Most people are not aware of the original source, and marijuana can be grown with harmful pesticides. In fact, it wasn’t after the legalization of marijuana in Colorado when authorities found dangers pesticides in most of the marijuana that was being sold. You can read more about that here.

Where do the seeds come from? When Big Pharma takes over, what type of seeds will they be, and how will it be grown? Are they genetically modified? There are still many questions to be asked.

Concluding Comments

So what can you take from all of this? We simply don’t know enough about this plant and smoking it to do it everyday and expect nothing bad will happen. There has been a very misleading culture spread about how safe this is to use in all forms and that simply isn’t the case.

Many natural substances are harmful to you if you have too much of it and too regularly. Even natural medicinal botanicals are things like this are not meant to be used everyday.

Again, we hope this helps to clear up the negative stigma around marijuana and also the blind-faithed positive stigma around it. Balance is important in this case and what we strive to convey in this report.

by Arjun Walia        April 25, 2016


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Edible Marijuana in Canada’s Future

Pesto With a Punch: Edible Marijuana in Canada’s Future

Munching treats like ‘weedish meatballs’ may soon outpace smoking, but some doctors are concerned

By Chris Brown, Chris Corday, CBC News  Last Updated: Apr 09, 2016

Canada’s infatuation with getting a legal high may soon lead straight to Mary Jean Dunsdon’s Vancouver kitchen. The self-described diva of cooking with cannabis has been baking and selling intoxicating edibles for the better part of 20 years.

“I’ve easily sold 700,000 to one million cookies,” she told CBC News recently in her kitchen.

To her customers, Dunsdon, best known by her nickname Watermelon, is a trusted brand.

“I’ve done it all: ‘nice cream cones’, marijuana bacon, I’ve made ‘weedish meatballs’,” she said.

With legalization on the way in Canada, Dunsdon is hoping her underground bakery and the goodies she sells to a loyal base of medical and recreational customers will finally emerge from the shadows and capture a slice of a new market for marijuana edibles.

She has good reason to be optimistic about her future in the business of bud. In the U.S. states where recreational marijuana is already legal, edibles — basically any food or drinks containing marijuana — are the fastest growing segment of the market.

New Frontier Financials, which tracks the growth of the U.S. marijuana industry, says Washington state’s sale of about 280,000 units of edible marijuana in March is double what it was just 10 months ago. For Canada, it’s a trend line that offers a glimpse into the future and also a cautionary tale.

“Edibles will be more popular. Way more popular than smoking,” said Dunsdon.

During our visit, Dunsdon ground up marijuana leaf and bud and sprinkled the herb mixture over a fillet of wild B.C. chinook salmon. The topping bears a striking resemblance to pesto.

“If you eat it, and eat just the right amount, it’s probably the nicest thing you’ve ever felt,” she said.

CBC News Article Video

Users say the high and the experience that comes with ingesting marijuana are markedly different than with smoking. The former produces an all-over “body high” and there can be a significant time lag until the sensation kicks in.

With smoking, the effects of THC, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, occur much faster. That makes it easier to control the dose and to know when you’ve had too much.

Top health official concerned

“I think we have to think carefully about what format we’d like to have edibles available,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health.

Daly cites last year’s big outdoor marijuana party on 4/20 day at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

“We had 63 visits to St. Paul’s Hospital emergency department for marijuana intoxication. Seventy per cent [of those people] had consumed edible products,” says Daly.

For adults, overdoing it on marijuana edibles rarely leads to serious consequences beyond intense anxiety or a strong urge to go to sleep. But for kids, Daly says, the consequences can be far more severe.

“For very young children it can depress respiration, it can lead  to a coma. In the United States, about seven per cent of reported poisonings ended up in critical care units.”

In its 2015 poison control report, the Washington Poison Center said it received 86 calls about accidental exposure to marijuana edibles, up from only 38 incidents in 2014. Last Halloween it issued a special warning to parents about marijuana treats.

Still, the calls for ingested marijuana remained far lower than other types of poisoning, just half the rate of calls for kids exposed to e-cigarettes or nicotine.

Fans of edibles won a small victory last year when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the government couldn’t restrict licensed medical users to smoking the bud they purchased under the Harper government’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, or MMPR.

Testing the product

Whatever regulations the Trudeau government eventually creates for recreational pot, the expectation is a burgeoning industry in marijuana testing will be at the centre of it.

“Beer consumers want to have a consistent product, and I think marijuana customers are going to want the same thing,” said Emily Kirkham, vice-president of laboratory operations for Signoto Labs in Vancouver.

Dealing with a natural product and a potency that varies from plant to plant will be among the challenges for the marijuana testers.

“Labs have to have standardized testing,” said Kirkham.

“Someone has to regulate them. You’ve seen where they’ve sent random samples to different labs and they get different results.”

Still, Kirkham believes issues of quality control and the safety of edible products can be overcome.

“We can put childproof packaging and proper labelling and in that case, it’s really no different than a pharmaceutical.”

The federal justice minister has been unwilling to say how long it will take to set up the new rules for legalization.

“We will take the time that is necessary to get this right,” Jody Wilson-Raybould said in a statement emailed to CBC News.

“The next step is to launch a task force that will give us expert advice.”

source: www.cbc.ca


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Pot Cookbooks Moving Mainstream As Legalization Movement Grows

Michelle Locke, The Associated Press    Published Thursday, August 28, 2014 

There are books about cooking with herbs. And then there are books about cooking with herb.

Yes, we’re talking cannabis cuisine, a small niche in the culinary world but one that is drawing more interest as the legalization movement moves pot closer to the mainstream.

“When I sell books personally at events like Seattle Hempfest and Denver County Fair, response has been huge in those states that have newly legalized, and I will sell hundreds of copies over a weekend,” says Elise McDonough, author of the “The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook,” which grew out of the recipe column in the magazine (which, by the way, turns 40 this year).

McDonough, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, has a new book out this summer, “Marijuana for Everybody,” which includes a chapter on cooking with cannabis, as well as advice on selecting edibles from newly legal retailers in Washington state and Colorado, the two states that allow the recreational use of marijuana.

“I think as the legalization juggernaut continues to roll across the nation, you’re going to see a lot more interest and a lot more books,” says McDonough.

Finding hard data on pot cookbook sales is tough. But a look at Amazon’s rankings show that several, including McDonough’s, are enjoyed renewed sales vigour, particularly considering their specialty status and that most are at least several years old. McDonough says about 35,000 copies of the High Times cookbook have sold, a respectable total for a niche genre.

Titles in the marijuana cookbook category include “The Ganja Cookbook Revolution” by Jessica Catalano, “Baked: Over 50 Tasty Marijuana Treats,” and “The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook,” by Cheri Sicard.

Sicard, like McDonough, has a new book coming out – “Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women” – cheekily set for release on 4-20-15, an unofficial holiday for marijuana fans. And it, too, goes beyond recipes to take more of a general lifestyle approach.

Sicard has noticed an uptick in interest since legalization, though not a drastic one, since a number of states already allow medical use of marijuana. She also notes that people have been cooking with pot for a long time. Pot brownies, after all, are practically a cliche.

cooking with cannabis

But brownies, points out Sicard, are not the only choice for the marijuana cook. In fact, it’s easier to work with the pronounced herbal taste of the drug in savory dishes.

Sicard, who lives in the Los Angeles area, was a food writer before she became a marijuana recipe expert. That’s a skill she developed after getting a medical recommendation to take marijuana for chronic nausea. Researching ways to use marijuana, and wading through advice both good and bad on the Internet, prompted her to write her own book.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there and that is why there is the need for good cookbooks,” she says.

Krista Lyons, publisher of Berkeley, California.-based Seal Press, which is publishing Sicard’s new book, has seen the market change for marijuana books. It’s not that no one published them before; there’s a history of small publishers releasing books about marijuana. But now “you can walk into an Urban Outfitters and find a book about pot on a front table,” she says. “It’s just an indicator that attitudes have shifted.”

What Nutritional Value Does Marijuana Have?

Why hemp?

Because no other single plant on earth can compete with the nutritional value of hemp.

The nutritive properties of the hemp seed are astounding. Rich in essential fats and oils, the seeds could provide a nutritional boost to a food-culture which mistakenly percieves all fat as a bad thing; which is more and more lacking in the important fats oils; and which is being inundated with downright dangerous fats, oils, and synthetic substitutes. The seeds can be ground into a flour, not unlike other strictly cereal crops like wheat or oats.

Cannabis hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source provides complete protein in such an easily digestible form, nor has the oils essential to life in as perfect a ratio for human health and vitality.

Hempseed is the highest of any plant in essential fatty acids (EFAs). Hempseed oil is among the lowest in saturated fats at 8% of total oil volume. The oil pressed from hempseed contains 55% lineoleic acid (LA) and 25% linolenic acid (LNA). Only flax oil has more LNA at 58%, but hempseed oil is the highest in total EFAs at 80% of total oil volume.

“These essential fatty acids are responsible for our immune response. In the old country the peasants ate hemp butter. They were more resistant to disease than the nobility.” The higher classes wouldn’t eat hemp because the poor ate it. – R. Hamilton, ED.D., Ph.D. Medical Researcher-Biochemist UCLA Emeritus.

LA and LNA are involved in producing life-maintaining energy from food and the movement of that energy throughout the body. EFAs govern growth, vitality and state of mind. LA and LNA are involved in transferring oxygen from the air in the lungs to every cell in the body. They play a part in holding oxygen in the cell membrane where it acts as a barrier to invading viruses and bacteria, neither of which thrive in the presence of oxygen.

The bent molecular shape of the EFAs keeps them from dissolving into each other. They are slippery and will not clog arteries like the sticky, straight-shaped saturated fats (SFs) and the trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in cooking oils and shortenings that are made by subjecting polyunsaturated oils like LA and LNA to high temperatures during the defining process.

LA and LNA possess a slightly negative charge and have a tendency to form very thin surface layers. This proprty is called surface activity, and it provides the power to carry substances like toxins to the surface of the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys, and lungs where they can be removed. These acids’ very sensitivity causes them to break down rapidly into toxic compunds when when refined with high heat, or improper storage exposes them to light or air.

cooking with pot

Nature provides seeds with an outer shell that safely protects the vital oils and vitamins within from spoilage. It’s also a perfectly edible container. Hempseed can be ground into a paste similar to peanut butter only more delicate in flavour. Udo Erasmus, Ph.D. nutritionist says: “hemp butter puts our peanut butter to shame for nutritional value.” The ground seeds can be baked into breads, cakes, and casseroles. Hempseed makes a hearty addition to granola bars.

Pioneers in the fields of biochemistry and human nutrition now believe cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and most cancers are really diseases of fatty degeneration caused by the continued over-consumption of SFs and refived vegetable oils that turn EFAs into carcogenic killers. One out of two Americans will die from the effects of CVD, One out of four Americans will die of cancer. Researchers believe cancers erupt when one’s immune system response is weakened. And, more Americans are succumbing to immune deficiency diseases than ever before. Promising syudies are now under way using the essential oils to support the immune systems of HIV patients.

The complete protein in hempseed gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma gobulin antibodies.

The body’s ability to resist and recover from illness depends upon how rapidly it can produce massive amounts of antibodies to fend off the initial attack. If the globulin protein starting material is in short supply, the army of antibodies may be too small to prevent the symptoms of sickness from setting in.

The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins. Hempseed protein is 65% globulin edestin plus quantities of albumin (present in all seeds) so it’s easily digestable protein is readily available in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma.

Hempseed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition-blocking disease that causes the body to waste away. (Czechoslovakia Tubercular Nutritional Study, 1955.)

The energy of life is in the whole seed. Hempseed foods taste great and will insure we get enough essential amino acids and essential fatty acids to build strong bodies and immune systems, and to maintain health and vitality.

Excerpted from Hempseed Nutrition by Lynn Osburn. 

source: www.hemprecipes.com


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Regulate antibiotics not recreational drugs, ethicist argues

CBC News       Feb 21, 2013

Governments worldwide should stop wasting money on criminalizing recreational drugs and use those funds to curb antibiotic misuse, a medical ethicist suggests.

Philosophy Prof. Jonny Anomaly of Duke University in Durham, N.C., called the war on drugs “unwinnable and morally dubious,” in his paper published this week in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

“Most of the violence and crime associated with narcotics is caused by laws that prohibit drug use, rather than drug use itself,” Anomaly wrote.

Anomaly defines recreational drugs as illegal narcotics such as heroin and marijuana, illegal stimulants such as cocaine, and legal drugs that people take to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, induce euphoria etc.

The claim that stimulants tend to make people violent has little evidence, Anomaly said. In contrast, when Portugal decriminalized recreational drugs, there was not a big increase in consumption.


But antibiotic resistant infections often kill people or impair their health making the infections much more expensive to treat, Anomaly wrote.

The collective harms of antibiotic use pose a serious threat. Although individual patients and doctors perceive benefits from antibiotics,it would be better to reserve them for serious infections, he claims.

“My use of antibiotics may lead to an increased risk of infection by another person by subtly influencing the composition of our microbial environment,” he wrote.

“Instead of a fully free market for antibiotics, I have argued that we should think hard about how to regulate them in a way that carefully balances individual liberty and public health.”

Anomaly explains that adding user fees on use of antibiotics promotes social benefits by conserving existing treatments. The revenue could also fund costly research into new antibiotics that are not patentable in the short-term — a public good.

He acknowledged that a user fee would not be a panacea but argued it could be part of a multi-pronged approach that includes:

  • Phasing out the use of these drugs in farming.
  • Cash incentives for pharmaceutical companies to conserve existing drugs.
  • Banning over-the-counter sales of antibiotics in developing nations.
  • Global surveillance of resistant bacteria, spearheaded by wealthy countries.
source: CBC