By Ruth Hill
In the newspapers today, you will read about youngsters in CA dying from unregulated cannabis. There are over 207 pages of cannabis regulations in the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). In addition, there are regulations promulgated by counties and cities. So why are youngsters under the age of 21 ingesting unregulated cannabis?
There are 708 chapters and 707 pages in the 2022 Alcohol and Beverage ACT in CA, yet alcohol is available in every corner store, every big box outlet, Rite Aid, every restaurant in CA. Eleven percent of entering college students are already heavy drinkers leading to nearly 2,000 students dying each year. So why isn’t the journalist talking about how youngsters die of alcohol ingestion? Why are colleges prohibited from teaching the Science of cannabis, yet any business is allowed to obtain a liquor license?
There is not a single death from cannabis consumption by anyone, any age, any where in the world, ever. That is a fact. What allows the public and media to denigrate a natural plant that God made to mimic the biology of living mammals? Poor research? Government lies?
Pharmaceutical influence? Alcohol commercials?
I’m watching football while writing this and 50% of the commercials are showing and telling me how cool it is to drink alcohol. Children watch this. Are the parents telling children that alcohol kills? I doubt it.
So, what is the science that tells us alcohol kills yet cannabis does not? The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the science. The ECS has millions of receptors all over the body for cannabis, more than any other chemical in the body. This abundance of receptors for the plant cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are the exact replica of the natural cannabinoids we make, anandamide and 2-AG. What makes people believe cannabis kills, is the erroneous comparison between natural cannabinoids (NC) and synthetic cannabinoids (SyC).
SyC act on the same brain cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) as THC. The defining reason NC does not kill mammals as opposed to alcohol is there are NO, NONE, ZERO receptors for THC in the brain stem which controls breathing. The caveat to this Scenario is two very important principles. First, there is a major lethal difference between the THC and CBD in the plant and synthetics which are made in the lab.
SyC are human-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. These products are also known as herbal or liquid incense. Manufacturers sell these products in colorful foil packages and plastic bottles to attract consumers, especially teenagers. Hundreds of brands have been around for years. Now they are packaged as K2, Spice, Joker, Black Mamba, Kush, and Kronic.
The second caveat is NC are partial agonists whereas Sy the plant cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
C are full agonists. A full agonist is when the drug locks onto a receptor completely. Receptors are not simply off-on switches. They are more like light bulbs on a dimmer switch. A full agonist will crank the receptor to its full level of “brightness” which is not possible with THC. The black-market SYC are full agonists causing medical emergencies, including adverse cardiovascular events, stroke, and death.
Deaths can also occur when dangerous synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are added to the packaged mixture without the user knowing it. A small class of molecules designed expressly to evade legislation passed in China in July 2021 banning SYC containing one of seven general core new chemicals, called OXIZID cannabinoids. These alternative core structures are technically legal – or at least not explicitly illegal.
Prohibition creates a market for completely unheard-of drugs that can be talked about as marijuana-like. While lazy journalists cause a sensation by inflating a mother’s grief some important scientific nuance gets left out of the writing regarding SYC which the media, legislators, and “say no to cannabis promoters” cannot or will not understand.
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