By Ruth Hill

Mountains of information keep jumping off the pages of newspapers, magazines, and emails about the benefits of medical cannabis. Yet, the stigma remains. Every other person I talk to does not want to use this wonderful herb. The fake news has thoroughly ingrained the public about the dangers and yet cannabis is safer than any pharmaceutical developed.

While California has the longest record for legalizing use the coming new regulations present a valid fear and anticipation. We have so many unnecessary barriers on business it boggles the mind as to what the bureaucracy will design come January 1, 2018. Unless the banking issue is resolved it will be a colossal mess. In the meantime, hundreds of millions of tax monies are lost in the black hole of someone’s pocket. It’s an underground economy that will continue to support the black market. If you have not watched Disjointed, the Netflix series about “Ruth’s Alternative Healing,” you haven’t lived. The problems are dramatized very effectively. educates the public on credible scientific information with lectures by scientist, growers, and physicians experienced in cannabis use. The most recent YouTube presentation was with Stephen Goldner, a pharmaceutical pioneer, who developed liquid methadone many years ago. Liquid methadone is given sublingually for bone and nerve pain because it binds to the NMDA receptors not used by opiates. Diabetics use cannabis for neuropathy. Goldner runs an FDA consulting business called “Regulatory Affairs Associates”. They help pharmacists get FDA approval for their new drugs.

Goldner is now developing sublingual cannabis pills similar to nitroglycerin tablets for angina pain. The cannabis pill is placed under the tongue and absorbed quickly avoiding what is called 1st pass. This is a medical term that refers to the act of digested food, drugs, or alcohol, being metabolized by gastric juices and passing through the liver where it is broken down again. In cannabis, the THC molecule or delta9-tetracannabinoid is converted to 10-hydrocannabinoid which is ten times the strength.           Medically any drug absorbed in the mouth, or for that matter in the rectum via a suppository, will avoid 1st pass through the liver and be quickly absorbed in the bloodstream rendering it effective within 15-30 minutes. Therefore, edibles are discouraged unless the user is very knowledgeable. Edibles are also discouraged in naïve cannabis users.

California AB 350 is a bill that amends the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). It prohibits a cannabis product from being made in the shape of a person, animal, insect, or fruit, resulting in manufacturers and dispensaries changing how they produce and sell edibles. A major problem with edibles and vape pens is the difficulty in determining the precise content of the THC or CBD molecule in the product.

For this reason, new users become fearful or impatient and give up if not effective after 3-6 days. Some users give up after one or two doses. Effectiveness is determined by the user’s unique metabolism, the cannabis potency, type, and amount ingested or vaporized. i.e. one drop, two drops, one pump, one bite one drag on the vape pen or joint.

Micro dosing of vape pens is thought to solve the problem of exact dosing. But the label does not describe what is in the dose. THC? CBD? THCa? Are there terpenes in the dose? These microdose pens or vape pens or edibles do not measure the cannabis like a morphine, valium or statin tablet.  

We have a long way to go to achieve the exact dosing as other pharmaceuticals. Beginning users should have faith and continue using with medical supervision. In summary tinctures administered under the tongue is currently a precise and accurate method.

Goldner shared his networking with the FDA and the DEA. He believes they know cannabis is medicinal and are waiting for someone to tell them to reclassify the drug and start testing. That someone is Congress. The FDA the DEA and the AG cannot make laws. So, what are you waiting for? Elections are coming up in 2018. Become engaged with our California candidates. Send letters requesting action if they want your vote. We can make cannabis mainstream.

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