Last week praguepot attended a medical marijuana conference in Prague. Four days of science and activism was our idea of an adult Disneyland! We got to see the relationship between cannabis and evolving scientific evidence supporting the claim that pot is in fact medicine. The major conflict of the conference was between pharmaceutical standards for production and dosing of medicine and the reality that cannabis is a natural herb with varying potencies and properties.
Big pharmaceutical actors are rushing to break cannabis down into their various compounds. Synthetic THC and CBD are individually tested on poor lab rats and then people. Individually these chemicals can have positive and negative effects. The only really negative talk of the conference was about the effects of synthetic cannabinoids. Spice or K2 as it is sometimes known can be lethally dangerous for people. After a couple of exposures to synthetic cannabis some unlucky people have had severe kidney problems. I won’t go all geeky on you with the science but basically some of the synthetic chemicals cause inflammation which can lead to kidney failure.
When I pointed out to a politician attending the conference that pot prohibition leads some people to smoke synthetic cannabis and risk very real health dangers, he just shrugged. Until cannabis is legal the system’s hands are tied. So why isn’t cannabis legal? Well, I am afraid we are caught in a frustrating situation. Real scientific evidence is missing from the argument. Synthetic chemicals have been examined. In fact most of the scare stories we have been reading over the last decade or two have been based on the studies of these synthetic experiments. Doing scientific research on pot is very difficult because no two plants have the exact same chemical make up. Even on one plant, different bud sites will have slightly different THC and CBD levels. This is a nightmare for well intentioned scientists seeking to examine the plant. It looks like our favorite herb will need a whole new way of testing before it can be cleared by science.
This is at the heart of the hold up. Science can’t give a clear answer to law makers, so law makers can’t easily give the green light to legalization for fear of being blamed for a zombie apocalypse. While scientists can’t give clear data on cannabis, the herb is widely expected to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry. Bullish scientists spoke of half of all medication commonly prescribed being replaced by some form of cannabis. This is amazing news for citizens. Getting the medicine you need in a non toxic form will only promote health. For big pharma however, it is their worst case scenario. A new, sensible approach to cannabis is required. There are thousands of different strains with slightly different medical applications. It is time to let Mother Nature have a chance to heal the masses. This is an exciting moment in history. The reintroduction of nature into medicine. Yes, it is a little messy, but when you use cannabis to treat an illness, you don’t get harmful side effects.