The endogenous (originating within our bodies) production of steroids is accomplished through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the adrenal glands. As part of the immune system they are a powerful inflammatory hormone. With disease the need for external anti-inflammatory steroids is accomplished by adding corticosteroid drugs like cortisone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone that mimic our endogenous steroids, a new effective way was discovered to reduce inflammation in the body. They are prescribed for arthritis, asthma shortness of breath and any disease symptom that causes swelling or edema of cell tissues.

However, the side effects and long term use can cause glaucoma, cataracts, fluid retention, high blood pressure, mood swings, weight gain, diabetes, increased risk of infections, osteoporosis, suppressed adrenal gland function, thin skin, and slower wound healing. (Muhammad Yasir et al. Corticosteroid Adverse Effects StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan)

Coming off steroids can result in ‘steroid withdrawal syndrome’ which happens when the body has become reliant on the exogenous (pharmaceutical) steroids. The physician will prescribe steroid sparing agents that allow for the reduction in the dose or can be the first line of choice for suppressing the immune system. Examples are cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, and sirolimus.


Many are classed as chemotherapy drugs and come with their own unpleasant side effects, causing hair loss, nausea, nail and skin problems, fatigue, abdominal bloating, disruption to her menstrual cycle, urinary tract infections, and mouth ulcers. Long term use of immunosuppressants has also been linked to a greater risk of developing cancer in later life. (Martin P. Gallagher et al.)

Steroid sparing drugs were first developed to prevent rejection after transplants, and this holds true for CBD, as well. There are phase II clinical trials being conducted by Israeli researchers to demonstrate the effects of CBD to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in steroid-resistant patients. Nine out of the ten subjects responded to the CBD treatment, with most of them achieving a ‘complete response.’

Israeli researchers next have begun recruiting for a larger patient sample size for phase II clinical trials for CBD as a steroid sparing treatment in Crohn’s disease and autoimmune hepatitis. Patients will gradually shift from their current treatment (steroids or immunosuppressants) to just taking 300mg of synthetic CBD daily. The next conundrum is testing which CBD is effective a synthetic, hemp or full flower CBD.

It is difficult to discuss anything without mentioning the pandemic caused by COVID-19. This is a reference that shows the folly of using masks all the time.   “Kellogg, seeking a reason for the failure of cloth masks required for the public in stopping the 1918 influenza pandemic, found that the number of cloth layers needed to achieve acceptable efficiency made them difficult to breathe through and caused leakage around the mask. We found no well-designed studies of cloth masks as source control in household or healthcare settings.”

the war on COVID-19

like an eager sailor

I salute the orders for

mandatory confinement

gaining credits to

apply for a prize like

an inspiring troubadour

day seven day eleven

even day twenty-seven

honor courage commitment

values of an obedient

sailor    instead of clarity

guidelines turn

into spaghetti

death predictions

change like the wind

gloves not needed    then

gloves suggested   then

mandated by zip code

nation state or city

honor turns to anger

from loss of control

no income to pay rent

feed my children

courage to resist

guidelines the new


today I view a video

a physician clad in scrubs

on the steps of a hospital

declares the danger of lockdowns

increases in suicides   child abuse

empty beds   hospital layoffs

needed surgeries denied

like a betrayed sailor

my anger becomes an

orphan as I weep

direct questions about cannabis and steroid sparing drugs to