Category: Dispatches

SoHum Brings CBD-Rich Seeds to L.A.

We got an update from Lawrence Ringo of SoHum seeds, whose booth at the High Times event in L.A. last weekend featured seeds from three CBD-rich strains: his original Sour Tsunami, a Sour Tsunami-Harlequin cross (“Harle-Tsu”) and a Sour Tsunami-Cannatonic cross (“Canna-Tsu”). Back at the ranch, Ringo told us, he’s growing out two new strains — “Swiss Gold,” a clone of which he purchased at Organicann in Santa Rosa, and ACDC, which William Courtney, MD, gave him saying, “Grow billions of seeds. The world’s going to need them.” Courtney told Ringo that a lab had found ACDC to have...

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Tashkin on Cannabis and COPD

At the 2008 Patients Out of Time meeting at Asilomar, much of Dr. Donald Tashkin’s talk was devoted to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two forms of COPD, which is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Air pollution and tobacco smoke are known culprits. Inhaled pathogens cause an inflammatory response, resulting in diminished lung function. COPD patients have increasing difficulty clearing the airways as they get older. Tashkin and colleagues at UCLA conducted a major study in which they measured lung function of various cohorts over eight years and found that tobacco-only...

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Cannabis and Schizophrenia

From O’Shaughnessy’s, Winter/Spring 2008  Schizophrenia is caused by damaged genes or an insult in the womb or infancy that results in malfunction when the brain develops and gets exposed to hormones produced in adulthood. What role, if any, does cannabis play in this process? We asked Lester Grinspoon, MD. “There is now sufficient evidence to warn young people that using cannabis could increase their risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life,” according to a paper in the Lancet July 28. The “evidence” was produced by an exercise in statistics. The authors (no MDS among them) searched databases for relevant studies and then analyzed 35 of them deemed worthy. They claim to have “adjusted for about 60 different confounding factors, including other substance use, personality traits, socio-demographic markers, intellectual ability and other mental health problems.” They concluded that people who have used cannabis face a 40% higher risk of psychosis, and that heavy use increases the risk to 50-200%. Political Context The British government has been reconsidering the legal status of cannabis, which in 2004 was moved from Class B to Class C —a less dangerous drug category with less onerous penalties for growers, distributors and users. Prohibitionist forces —notably the big drug companies and law enforcement— protested. In 2005 the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs reviewed the medical literature, held hearings and concluded that Class...

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