U.S. Government Destroying History: Why We Must Save Cannabis Plant Genetics From Extinction

Strains such as Kush have been made notorious through songs and celebrities professing their love for the strain.  Those that have experienced Kush know why it is so famous.  From Tahoe OG Kush to Afghan Kush the high is memorable.  Cannabis is not a new plant created in a lab but rather has been used for centuries as medicine, religious herb and for recreation.  Research proves more every day how vital plant genetics are in finding the right compounds to combat illnesses and find cures.  Genetics is something that isn’t often thought of when discussing the War on Drugs but it has definitely been affected by it.

Some cannabis genetics are thought to have come from Providences in China and spread throughout the Silk Road while others originate in the Middle East.  There of course was the large movement through the 60s and 70s that helped spread and create new cannabis strains through people exchanging seeds and ganja.

With new genetics infiltrating the gene pool in the States new plant strains emerged.  Hybrids also came out of the mix.  People discovered that by crossing different strains they could breed out the undesirable traits while promoting higher potency and better growth stamina.  By cross breeding not only Indica with Indica but breeding for balance we have seen hybrid strains that have the pain relief of an Indica but with the “upper” functioning high of a Sativa.  Genetics play a role in growth, mold/pest resistance and of course potency.  

Blueberry strains are known for their social anxiety and pain relief as well as helping with digestive disorders and have spawned notorious strains like Blue Cheese, Blue Dream, Old-Time Moonshine and Blue Haze .  DJ Short created the Blueberry strain by crossing his Afghani Indica, brought by some growers from California and his Purple Thai.  The female pedigree of his Purple Thai is his highly potent all-around champion, “Juicy Fruit” Highland Thai female. It packed a very sweet tropical punch and an intense high that lasted for many hours. The second plant was a Purple Thai out of Oregon, Ohio. This plant was a cross between an outstanding Highland Oaxaca Gold and a very freaky Chocolate Thai. The hybrid was very dark colored and would express a deep royal purple color at the slightest exposure to cold. The finished product was equally tasty and strong as the Juicy Fruit female.

The War on Drugs forced cannabis use underground.  Cannabis began being bred for bag appeal and what would bring the best sales.  Growers began looking for traits that would bring the biggest yield with the shortest flowering time.  Medicinal qualities were disregarded.    For decades it was thought that the compound THC was responsible for all of the effects cannabis provided.  We now know of CBD which is actually responsible for pain relief and has been found to help with insomnia, anxiety and Alzheimer’s.  CBD was another casualty of the war with most of today’s strains registering less than 0.5%.  With the War on Drugs ongoing for over 40 years countless plants have been destroyed with the government’s actions forever destroying precious genetics.

Although cannabis has been around for thousands of years it wasn’t until the summer of 2011 that the genetics of the cannabis Sativa and Indica were mapped.  We know that there are hundreds of strains that have come from the original heirloom landraces.  Today many patients and citizens alike have the option of what type of relief or high they are looking for.  From the euphoric highs of the Sativa to the amazing pain relief that Indicas bring the options are endless.

Everyday we have new research that is released that shows the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids.  Now more than ever we understand why we need to preserve the genetics of all cannabis plants.  We know that we can use different strains to treat a wide range of illnesses and afflictions.  We also know that cannabis is not a one-size-fits-all type of plant.  You need to have the correct strain containing the right balance of compounds to reach the desired effects.

We have more proof than we have ever had before showing the medical benefits even on a molecular level.  We are beyond smoke when taking about cannabis therapies.  There are a wide range of options when talking about uses.  Tinctures, edibles, concentrates, oils, topical lotion, capsules, vaporizers and more.

Support is at an historic high with medical use over 75% and legalization for adults over 21 at 50%.  States that have enacted decriminalization have found favorable outcomes.  States that have enacted medical statues have found large increases in tax income as well as economic growth in the communities.

If cannabis is allowed to thrive imagine the possibilities.  Imagine 5, 10, 15 years from now how much we will know about genetics, compounds and treatments for cancers.  Imagine all the possibilities if we could openly and safely exchange genetics and end products.  How many people could find relief?  How many could save their life?

It is time that we stand up and protect cannabis genetics.  We need to stop the violent raids by government officials.  The government needs to change their stance on cannabis therapies.  Now more than ever it is time we stop the continual attacks on patients, crops and our heritage.  The War on Drugs needs to end.  It has been a failed war for over 40 years that has forever changed the history of cannabis.  Those that have kept cannabis genetics alive even in the face of persecution and imprisonment thus passing down history should be celebrated.  Urge your representative today to show support for ending the failed approach to dealing with cannabis.

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How Some Green Can Help The Blues

Americans across the nation are facing mounting pressure from the economy and many other challenges.  Many are also suffering with depression and mood disorders along with added pressures.  The average American who has tried cannabis well knows the mood elevating effects which include uncontrollable giggling or laughter.  Of course it is also dependent on the right strain but that is where science comes in.  Below you will see studies where scientists have discovered why our moods are altered as well as further the knowledge we have on the interactions of cannabis’ compounds and our bodies.  Please feel free to share and I encourage all to do their own research as well ~ Cherry Girl

The Dopamine and Cannabinoid Interaction in the Modulation of Emotions and Cognition: Assessing the Role of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor in Neurons Expressing Dopamine D1 Receptors
Although cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) are densely expressed in neurons expressing dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs), it is not fully understood to what extent they modulate emotional behaviors…….These results provided first direct evidence for a cross-talk between dopaminergic D1Rs and endocannabinoid system in terms of controlling negative affect.

Effects of Cannabinoids Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid and Cannabidiol in MPP(+) Affected Murine Mesencephalic Cultures
Cannabinoids derived from Cannabis sativa demonstrate neuroprotective properties… Therefore we studied some major cannabinoids, i.e. delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in mice mesencephalic cultures for their protective capacities… our data show that cannabinoids THC and THCA protect dopaminergic neurons against MPP(+) induced cell death.” (Possibly due to the cross-talk between  the dopamine and cannabinoid systems as seen in the study above)

Antidepressant-like Effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and Other Cannabinoids Isolated From Cannabis
Results of this study show that Δ9-THC and other cannabinoids exert antidepressant-like actions, and thus may contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.

 

Central Nervous Disease and Cannabis

It is estimated that over 50 million Americans are affected by disease or disorders of the spinal cord and brain.  Central nervous system disease affects either the spinal cord (myelopathy) or brain (encephalopathy).  Disorders includes spinal cord injury, memory loss, addiction, schizophrenia, learning disability, depression, violence, stroke, brain injury, dementia, and many others.  Scientists have studied cannabis compounds when applied to CNS disease and below you will find those studies.
Please feel free to share ~ Cherry Girl

Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids in CNS Disease
The major psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta(9)-THC), and endogenous cannabinoid ligands, such as anandamide, signal through G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors… Signalling is mostly inhibitory and suggests a role for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in CNS disease… Anecdotal evidence suggests that patients with disorders such as multiple sclerosis smoke cannabis to relieve disease-related symptoms. Cannabinoids can alleviate tremor and spasticity in animal models of multiple sclerosis… Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in Parkinson’s disease… The inhibitory effect of cannabinoids… suggests they may be potent neuroprotective agents…cannabinoids may be effective analgesics. Indeed, in clinical trials of postoperative and cancer pain and pain associated with spinal cord injury, cannabinoids have proven more effective than placebo… Acute adverse effects following cannabis usage include sedation and anxiety. These effects are usually transient and may be less severe than those that occur with existing therapeutic agents. The use of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids such as cannabidiol may allow the dissociation of unwanted psychoactive effects from potential therapeutic benefits… This review highlights recent advances in understanding of the endocannabinoid system and indicates CNS disorders that may benefit from the therapeutic effects of cannabinoid treatment.

Cannabinoids.  Current Drug Targets CNS Disorders Neurol Disorders
Since the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system, research into the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has steadily increased… Properties of CB receptor agonists that are of therapeutic interest include analgesia, muscle relaxation, immunosuppression, anti-inflammation, antiallergic effects, improvement of mood, stimulation of appetite, antiemesis, lowering of intraocular pressure, bronchodilation, neuroprotection and antineoplastic effects… CB receptor antagonists are under investigation for medical use in obesity and nicotine addiction. Additional potential was proposed for the treatment of alcohol and heroine dependency, schizophrenia, conditions with lowered blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease and memory impairment in Alzheimer’s disease.

Antiepileptic Potential of Cannabidiol Analogs
These data suggest anticonvulsant requirements of 2 free phenolic hydroxyl groups, exact positioning of the terpinoid moiety in the resorcinol system and correct stereochemistry. Moreover, findings of separation of anticonvulsant from neurotoxic and psychoactive activities, notably with CBD diacetate, suggest that additional structural modifications of CBD may yield novel antiepileptic drugs.

Structure-Anticonvulsant Activity Relationships of Cannabidiol Analogs
The compounds were evaluated for anti-convulsant activity in seizure susceptible (AGS) rats and for neurotoxicity in the rat rotorod (ROT) test. Comparisons of stereoisomers of CBD and several analogs revealed a general lack of stereoselectivity for anticonvulsant and other CNS properties of this class of compounds.

Antiepileptic Potential of Cannabidiol Analogs
Also, CBD and all analogs were not active in tetrahydrocannabinol seizure-susceptible rabbits, the latter a putative model of cannabinoid psychoactivity in humans. These data suggest anticonvulsant requirements of 2 free phenolic hydroxyl groups, exact positioning of the terpinoid moiety in the resorcinol system and correct stereochemistry. Moreover, findings of separation of anticonvulsant from neurotoxic and psychoactive activities, notably with CBD diacetate, suggest that additional structural modifications of CBD may yield novel antiepileptic drugs.

An Electrophysiological Analysis of the Anticonvulsant Action of Cannabidiol on Limbic Seizures in Conscious Rats
An electrophysiological analysis of the anticonvulsant action of cannabidiol (CBD, from cannabis) on limbic seizures in conscious rats…CBD was the most efficacious of the drugs tested… Other properties of CBD were also noted: For example, compared with delta 9-THC, it is a much more selective anticonvulsant vis-à-vis motor toxicity…These characteristics, combined with its apparently unique set of electrophysiological properties, support the suggestion that CBD has therapeutic potential as an antiepileptic.

Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Cannabidiol Displays Antiepileptiform and Antiseizure Properties In Vitro and In Vivo
“CBD (cannabidiol) is the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa whose structure was first described by Mechoulam and Shvo (1963); CBD has recently attracted renewed interest for its therapeutic potential in a number of disease states. CBD has been proposed to possess anticonvulsive, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties in humans… within the CNS, CBD has been proposed to be protective against epilepsy, anxiety, and psychosis and to ameliorate diseases.

Cannabidiol–Antiepileptic Drug Comparisons and Interactions in Experimentally Induced Seizures in Rats
“A comparison of the anticonvulsant… effects of cannabidiol (CBD), delta 9tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinol and antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, ethosuximide and trimethadione) was made… These data indicate that CBD is an effective anticonvulsant with a specificity more comparable to drugs clinically effective in major than minor seizures. Furthermore, it appears that CBD enhances the anticonvulsant effects.

Monumental Achievement – Cannabis Plant Genetics Mapped

In 2011 we saw cannabis all over the news.  We saw raids, booming industries, more states push for and more doctors taking a stand for legalization.  Cannabis has been in use by humans since at least 2737 BCE with Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung recorded prescribing it for a number of ailments.

There are many mysteries and controversies surrounding the cannabis plant.  Science has been trying to unravel them for years.  In 2011 we had a monumental breakthrough that quite literally could change the course of history.

Kevin McKernan has stacked up a long list of big accomplishments at just 38.  He is the owner of Medicinal Genomics with a lab in Amsterdam for researchers to freely study the cannabis plant.  Kevin was part of the Human Genome Project for four years.  He also worked on a robotic system that could handle He also developed methods to process DNA 100,000 times faster.

With a man who’s resume is that impressive you have to ask yourself why would a guy like that get into the business of studying cannabis.  He did work on mapping tumors and after working with doctors and patients started to see that many cancer patients were using cannabis.  After looking into cannabis he saw that there was much more to this plant and that it did have medicinal value.

While working with oncologist he found that if you sequence a tumors DNA as well as the patient you will discover the differences which can then become a target for drug therapies.  With cannabis being mapped the same theory could apply, instead of using Big Pharma drugs you could use Cannabinoids.

With both the Indica and Cannabis plant genetics mapped science can now start to get a better grasp on how cannabinoids interact with our bodies.  When we can successfully target each person illness with specific cannabinoids we will effectively understand the science behind the curing powers of cannabis.

Science will finally be able to confirm what millions have known for thousands of years.  Today we know more about THC, the psychoactive ingredient and the CBD, non-psychoactive ingredient and how the synthases of each are the genes that code for an enzyme that helps fold the hydrocarbons into Cannabinoids.

What controls the other 83 cannabinoids and other hundreds of terpenes is still unknown.   Many genes that were bred out in search of higher THC content since the government prohibited cannabis use, will need to be brought back through selective breading.

This is one more step in our fight for legalization.  With scientific proof the government will have no choice but to recognize cannabis has medicinal value.

Even the national Cancer Institute briefly posted a page that listed cannabis as a pain reliever and anti-nausea as well as possible anti-tumor effects.  The government made them take it down since this has only been proven in cell cultures and rats although it is currently in human clinical trials.

When dealing with chemotherapeutic drugs there is a fine line between killing the tumor and killing the patient.  Whats exciting about cannabis is that it is not fatal and very few drug therapies have such a forgiving window.

With all this new data in the coming years we will see our knowledge grow and hopefully result in legalization.  It will take all of us making our voices heard, that we should have a natural choice when treating our illnesses.  Kevin and his team have posted their findings online for all to look at.  Please feel free to share ~ Cherry Girl