The Promising Potential of Medical Marijuana | Chris Kresser

The Promising Potential of Medical Marijuana

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Medical marijuana is now legal in several U.S. states, but it’s still incredibly difficult for scientists to legally study it. The possible therapeutic uses of marijuana are vast, but more research is still needed. Read on to learn about the most promising potential applications of medical marijuana and the current state of marijuana research.

Medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is now being used to successfully treat several conditions. istock.com/tvirbickis

Marijuana is the term commonly used for the Cannabis sativa plant. (1) Despite being legal in 23 states and Washington, D.C., cannabis is still federally classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high abuse potential and no medical use currently accepted by the U.S. government. (2) Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), while cocaine and methamphetamine (meth) are Schedule II drugs, since they have an officially recognized medical use. (2)

As crazy as this may sound, it’s harder for scientists to conduct studies on marijuana than on cocaine or meth. College students routinely administer methamphetamine to rodents in their science classes, but if they are caught with cannabis, they may face serious disciplinary—or even legal—consequences.

The Differences between Cannabis, CBD, and THC

The terms “marijuana” and “cannabis” both refer to any of the subspecies of the whole, unprocessed Cannabis sativa plant and its basic extracts. (3) Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannibidol (THC) are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that are of particular medical interest. These chemicals and those that resemble them are known as cannabinoids. (3) THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis responsible for much of the “high” that users feel; CBD, however, is non-psychoactive and does not produce the physiological responses that THC does. (4, 5)

While using unprocessed cannabis as medicine remains unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA has approved two synthetic cannabinoid medications. These medications are dronabinol and nabilone, both of which are approved for the treatment of nausea caused by chemotherapy and to increase appetite in patients with extreme weight loss caused by AIDS. (3)

However, there are numerous other areas in which cannabis and cannabinoids could prove beneficial to people’s health and well-being.

Four promising uses for medical marijuana…

Endocannabinoid Receptors Suggest Potential Targets and Applications for Medical Cannabis

The human brain contains endocannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids can induce either an inhibitory or excitatory response from the affected neuron by acting on these endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors bind not only the chemicals found in cannabis but also endogenous compounds—i.e., compounds that are naturally produced in the body. (6)

The known functions of our bodies’ endogenous cannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors suggest possible therapeutic targets for medical cannabis.

Endocannabinoid receptors have been linked to the regulation of appetite, pain management, neuroprotection, central regulation of motor functions, sleep, regulation of nausea and vomiting, reward-driven neurocircuitry, intraocular pressure, memory, tumor growth, and gastrointestinal motility. (7)

One specific type of endocannabinoid receptor, CB1, is known to stimulate appetite and ingestive behaviors. (7) This effect is responsible for the snacking behavior—or “munchies”—caused by recreational cannabis use. It is also the reason that cannabis can be used medically to increase the appetites of patients with AIDS or those who are undergoing chemotherapy, as mentioned before, while also reducing nausea and vomiting among those groups. Cannabis’s appetite-stimulating effects could also be used to treat age-induced anorexia in the elderly in general, and specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease. (8) Cannabinoids may also be able to slow the disease process of Alzheimer’s by preventing inflammatory effects induced by the beta-amyloid deposition that is a hallmark of the disease. (9)

Endocannabinoid receptors have been shown to reduce pain from a variety of causes. The analgesic effects of acetaminophen can be prevented by blocking specific cannabinoid receptors. (10) Cannabis extracts containing THC alone and THC with CBD have proved effective at reducing chronic and neuropathic pain. (11) Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who use cannabis report a reduction in symptoms, including muscle spasticity, pain in extremities, tremor, bowel dysfunction, and walking and balance dysfunction. (12) This may be due to cannabis’s role in pain, motor control, and gastrointestinal motility.

Conditions for Which Medical Cannabis Shows the Most Promise

  1. PTSD. While anti-drug crusaders frequently cite the detrimental effects of cannabis on memory (13), there are certain populations for which this effect would be a good thing. People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could benefit from the memory-weakening effects of the drug. Nabilone, the cannabinoid drug approved for the treatment of anorexia and nausea among cancer and AIDS patients, is associated with a cessation or reduction in the intensity of nightmares in a majority of PTSD patients surveyed. (14) New Mexico was the first state to allow usage of medical cannabis to treat PTSD, and one study done within in the state revealed a 75 percent reduction in symptoms among participants with PTSD. (15)
  1. Cancer. Cancer and AIDS patients are the two populations for which medical cannabis or cannabinoid use has become most widely accepted. Nabilone and dronabinol have been approved for treatment of anorexia, cachexia, nausea, and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy since the 1980s. (16) Newer research has revealed an even more exciting use of cannabis for cancer patients: cannabis may be able to treat the cancer cells themselves. Cannabinoids induce cell death, inhibit cell growth, and slow metastasis in tumor cells without harming the surrounding non-cancerous cells. (16) In a mouse model, pure THC and CBD were shown to prime glioma cells—a cell found in certain types of brain cancer—for radiation therapy, making them more sensitive to and easily destroyed by irradiation. (17) Studies like these show that cannabis may have a broader application for cancer patients than previously thought.
  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS). Cannabis can provide relief for multiple symptoms of MS, as discussed above, but it has shown the most promise for treating spasticity. Spasticity refers to the feelings of stiffness and involuntary muscle contractions experienced by people with MS, and it is one of the most common symptoms of the disease. (18) The endogenous cannabinoid system may be active in controlling spasticity, as indicated by exacerbation of this symptom in a mouse model of MS following blockage of endocannabinoid receptors. (19) In humans with MS, both whole plant cannabis-based medicine and an extract combining THC and CBD may reduce the number and severity of spastic episodes. (20, 21) Despite being one of most common symptoms of MS, spasticity has remained difficult to treat with most drugs currently on the market, making cannabis a very intriguing option for treatment.
  1. Treatment-resistant epilepsy. Cannabis has been used for millennia in the treatment of epilepsy, but it has only recently been investigated seriously by scientists for safety and effectiveness in this use. In particular, research has focused on cannabis use for childhood epilepsy that has shown resistance to current treatments. While cannabinoids have produced mixed results in animal models of epilepsy (22), CBD has been associated with a decrease in seizure frequency in a recent human study among participants with childhood-onset treatment-resistant epilepsy. (23) Additionally, the safety profile of CBD makes it an attractive treatment for epilepsy in children and young adults. The side effects of antiseizure drugs can be brutal for kids, and a growing number of parents have turned to CBD as an effective and much better tolerated alternative. More research and clinical trials are needed on this application of medical cannabis, but more than 4,000 years of anecdotal support for its efficacy in treating seizures have provided hope for many.

A Changing Legal and Social Environment

Once a niche area with limited scientific interest, the field of cannabis research has expanded rapidly in the last decade. Much of the research continues to focus on cannabinoids, rather than whole, unprocessed cannabis. Support for the use of whole cannabis comes from anecdotal evidence as much as from empirical scientific research, but research is slowly beginning to confirm or disprove those anecdotal claims. Cannabis’s current classification as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. government, as well as the attached social stigma, continues to limit the ability and willingness of researchers to investigate all of its possible uses. But as more states approve cannabis for medical and/or recreational use, research and funding will likely continue to expand.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently provides funding to more than forty active projects in the category of Therapeutic Cannabinoid Research. (24) Projects include investigations into the potential of transdermal CBD to reduce the chance of relapse in abstinent alcoholics (25), the ability of vaporized cannabis and dronabinol to reduce neuropathic back pain (26), and the role of the endocannabinoid system in radiation and chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment and possible methods for prevention or treatment (27), among many others.

I’m interested to hear from you now. Do you live in a state where medical cannabis is legal?  Have you or someone you know found relief from one of the conditions discussed here through the use of cannabis or cannabinoids? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

104 Comments

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  1. Down the road it will be interesting to see studies done on how growing conditions affect the plants grown – indoor vs outdoor, nutrient heavy vs nutrient poor, chemical fertilizers vs organic, and all areas in between.

    Just as the way we raise our livestock and grow our vegetables affects the nutrient content, I’d imagine the same is true for herbs.

    • Thoroughly agree Lucy. We are already ingesting vast quantities of toxic chemicals from unscrupulous cartels; the last thing the planet needs are wonderful plant medicines with amazing properties dosed with neurotoxins.

  2. I have had good luck with using cbd oil or tincture for treatment of my Parkinson’s Disease. It reduces the dyskenesia that typically occurs with long term dopamine treatment.

  3. Before I was treated by Chris, I had chronic back pain and indigestion and cannabis had helped with both. My husband also gets relief from chronic insomnia. The one setback for me is that I can’t control my eating so I have to be very careful not to gain weight. We smoke about three times a week and now it’s mostly for relaxation, fun and well – a much improved sex life!

  4. The conversation should go towards HEMP (you’ll notice they look different than it’s cousin), a higher CBD level plant. HEMP that has an extreme minimal amount of THC and higher amounts of CBD, is ‘legal’ in all 50 states, but is MIXED up with the ‘other’ cannabis plant. Those parents that rushed to Colorado for their epileptic kids, should have been told that they could stay home and order CBD oil for their child. I’m hoping that they understand this now. Hemp is also under the Schedule 1 label although there is absolutely no psychedelic effects. Government just wants to keep control of it. It was used for 1000s of years in the work (HEMP) to make ‘canvas’ (Latin for cannabis), rope, resins, oil, food, etc. 1937 ‘marijuana’ US stamp act made even growing HEMP extremely hard to grow and continues on the books with more legislation in 1972. We currently can ‘import’ hemp products, but US farmers cannot grow it. Look up HEMP on youtube and learn about about what HEMP could replace in our ‘synthetic’ world of oil products, cotton and trees for paper. HEMP is a complete food that we could practically live on if we had to. It is a medicinal plant to help the homeostasis of our bodies – endocannaboid system. A new ‘technology’ of HEMP fiber and lime and water (hempcrete), makes an extremely strong building material that gets harder every year making buildings last 1000 years not just tens or hundred years. It has a ‘negative’ carbon footprint for those worried about our environment.

    Please Dr C, as with too many others, there is NO SEPARATION in conversation of these two types of Cannabis and this confuses people. We need to do this and emphasize HEMP and it’s ‘medical’ uses instead of always mentioning ‘marijuana’ in the same breath. Until we do this, I have a feeling it will be longer than it should be to have HEMP legalized to grown through farmers or ourselves. btw, you don’t smoke it, (no effects), best way so far is the liposomal formula and hopefully at some point, transdermal patches.

    • Pat, Caroline is right with the importance of balancing K2, calcium, D2, and magnesium, I would also add to that potassium. I juice green veggies, 20 ounces every day and was shocked to discover I was probably low on magnesium.
      My son, a yoga instructor, said magnesium oil really works well to calm inflammation in muscles. So I made some oil, very simple, and applied some to my knee, rubbing it in, and in about 15 minutes, I got very calm, relaxed, mellow, and it did help with muscles too. So, this is actually a good forum to say that simply using magnesium oil could help with some of the minor things people are smoking grass to fix.

      • Fluoride can cause Magnesium deficiency, as it interferes with our bodies being able to metabolize it:
        “Fluoride (in vitamins or water) interferes with magnesium metabolism in the body according to Dr. John R. Marier, of the Division of Biological Sciences at the Canadian National Research Council, Ottawa, in a paper published in The Proceedings of the Finnish Dental Society, vol. 76, 1980, pages 82-102. This is significant because fluoride toxicity is increased when magnesium levels are low. Magnesium deficiency is widespread in the U.S., especially among children and teenagers, reaching the 99th percentile among young women.”

        FLUORIDE IS POISON!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I am 57 yrs old and deal with ms and restless legs which absolutely drives me crazy. I finally gave in and tried some THC. I couldn’t handle even half a dose so have taken one fourth piece of candy. After half an hour my legs are at peace and it is so wonderful to be able to sit still. I need to try CBD with out the psycho affects. I told my neurologist I tried it and how it had helped but he didn’t like it and insisted I take something he prescribed instead. Well I haven’t taken them because they have bad side effects. I just don’t get it.

  6. Wondering why all the commonly quoted research on seizure treatment is with children only. There was a Ted Talk recently that highlighted an adult whose multiple daily seizures have stopped with CBD oil & a ketogenic diet. Trying to get a relative to give it a try, but that person is wanting assurances of safety (even tho the seizures certainly arent safe). Any input welcome.

      • I work in the medical field and got diagnosed with a brain tumor. I had surgery 7 years ago and still have simple partial seizures. I hate the medications and it gets recommended that I keep trying others until I am seizure free. I have doubts about that. 30% of us do not respond to the meds. The side effects are not fun. There is a reason that there is keppra rage or keprage. I experienced it.
        I have given thought to the CBD. Since it’s federally illegal I could be fired. I volunteer for the EFNW and there was a conference where the CBD was talked about. Many of the parents are using it for their kids and having very good success. They did bring up things like checking where it is grown, does it have mold, mildew, fungus, etc.
        I too hope there is research. I get so upset that epilepsy has such a stigma. Yet there are medications for almost everything. Growing hair, losing weight, erections. Alcohol is legal. But no pills using CBD. Except for one man who is working on epidiolex .
        To be still a schedule 1……..the other night on the national news was information about an opiate that can be bought legally online and is stronger than heroine. (Pink) Legally can be bought on the internet? But still no research on marijuana.
        I love that even Dr Oz is having more medical people on and they are all taking about marijuana. For Alzheimers and opiate detox.
        I hope that medical marijuana gets looked at. I personally want to be able to try the CBD. (THC can increase seizures.) It does not mean it will work for everyone, but I would like to see if it would work for my seizures.

        • Frankie, CBD from hemp is not illegal federally if I understand it correctly. You can mail order quality CBD drops, a few brands we’ve tried are Mary’s Medicinals (one of the strongest on the market), Charlotte’s Web (which is a whole-plant-extract from a particularly effective strain for seizures), and Highland Pharms (which gets good reviews on fibromyalgia boards). I’ve also used the iPuff CBD vape pen, also available mail-order, which comes in a box clearly labeled, “Legal for adults 18+ in all 50 states.” I don’t like the flavor but it’s discreet and convenient. Stay away from anything made in China, they are known to be heavy in contaminants.

          • Why would you use a company selling hemp oil who use olive oil as a flavouring!! This is a joke, just like the mint chocolate variety. Not just olive oil but also adding sunflower seed oil to a medicinal oil is laughable. Why are charlottes web bulking out a potentially perfectly good product with different oils?
            Do they actually think seed oils are healthy. Rancidity alone should make them steer well clear, just another gimmick.

    • I use for seizures, could not handle the meds from the doctors.
      With a strict diet, no caffeine and little sugar and no stimulates.
      I have quite a couple times because of it being illegal and every time i had a seizure within 3 weeks.
      It is not addictive in no way. I do not care what people say.

  7. What they are seeing, pot growers have been a very greedy bunch! Marijuana should be very cheap, as it’s easy to grow (a weed!) and process (just dry it out).

    _______

    Yes, well we wouldn’t want to be paying these growers for their time and effort, would we!

    I imagine all these greedy people should be doing it for free!

    • Andrew said: “Yes, well we wouldn’t want to be paying these growers for their time and effort, would we! I imagine all these greedy people should be doing it for free!”

      The final price will be decided by the buyers, not the growers. I’ll bet you a big doobie that marijuana will not cost $80 for a quarter-ounce once it’s legal everywhere.

      A newly licensed grower recently told a reporter that his cost of producing quality medical grade marijuana is approximately $500 a pound, or about $35 an ounce, and this price is expected to drop as soon as he can invest in LED lighting.

      The retail price will be determined mostly by taxes, demand, and surplus product…just like everything else.

      I think everyone agrees it will be great to get this stuff out of illegal gardens in national parks or smuggled across borders, and grown openly just like any herb.

  8. It’s legal with a prescription in California for medical purposes. I have used CBD tinctures for pain & inflammation and found them to be superior to NASAIDs by actually reducing the inflammation rather than merely masking the symptoms. Topical creams work well on my plantar fasciitis. There are so many potent strains, it’s important to know what will be effective for your body at what time of day; indica, sativa, THC % CBD %. This is true medicine & not the home grown shake you may have smoked & giggled over in the past. A reputable dispensary that tests the veracity of the products they sell can greatly minimize trial & error.

    • Christa, it was inspiring to read about your success with using CBD tinctures and creams for pain/inflammation.

      Would you please share with us which specific (brands, etc.) ones you found to be the most effective? I am trying to find a good topical application for my constant knee pain.

      Thank you very much.

  9. I work in a critical care unit in Oregon. I do see on occasion dronabinol prescribed for some of my patients. Most commonly I see it for those in chemo or with chronic pain conditions and it does help. In terms of chronic pain I’ve seen it be more effective with fewer adverse effects than chronic opioid use for the same conditions. Oregon has been legalized for a while now and before that I think it is a state that was always open to the use and research of medical marijuana in general.

    I have also noticed an upward trend in the recreational use of synthetic marijuana’s and the synthetics I have concerns with. Our ED and units are seeing more severe symptoms of acute psychosis and altered mental status in our patients on the synthetic stuff than anything I ever noticed with organic cannabis.

  10. I broke my wrist recently. My doctor suggested ibuprofen for pain and inflammation. It made me feel worse.
    A friend in MA had a prescription for a high CBD strain of cannabis, that had nearly no THC (.3).
    He used it for a broken pelvis and femur.
    I do not enjoy recreational marijuana, but I decided to try some of his medicine for the intense pain, inflammation, and loss of sleep I was experiencing.
    It dissipated my pain within 10 minutes and allowed me to sleep well.
    I ran out of the sample I was given and I am now losing enough sleep that I’m quite tired during the day from my midnight pain sessions.
    The cbd also seemed to reduce edema. Being hurt and unable to work or do simple tasks like dress or prepare food can be somewhat depressing. My depression also vanished while using this medicine.
    When I ran out of my sample, I purchased some simple over the counter cbd extracts, oil and gum- but they did not work on any of the said symptoms.
    I concluded the the whole plant is more effective.
    I am trying to get a prescription, but my doctors will not prescribe.
    It’s such a safe medicine without side effects. It could replace many dangerous drugs that are also addictive.

    • I posted this in a comment above as well…btw I’m not associated with any of these companies. You can mail order quality CBD drops, a few brands are Mary’s Medicinals (one of the strongest on the market), Charlotte’s Web (which is a whole-plant-extract from a particularly effective strain for seizures), and Highland Pharms (which gets good reviews on fibromyalgia boards). The iPuff CBD vape pen, also available mail-order, comes in a box clearly labeled, “Legal for adults 18+ in all 50 states.” It’s discreet and convenient. Stay away from anything made in China, they are known to be heavy in contaminants.

  11. Thanks for the article.

    I would like to see information about smoking (I cannot imagine daily smoking is healthy for lungs despite it being a medicinal plant) VS. using the plant like other medicinal plants: teas, tinctures, medicinal oil, juicing leaves & buds, cooking with it (and I am not talking about making pot brownies for the purpose of a major high), etc.

    Also, I have read much on the tweaking of marijuana to achieve higher THC levels upsets the natural balance of the plants chemicals that work in synergy as well as chemicals that work in opposition to balance out the negative effects of marijuana. I have read higher strain THC can actually be upsetting to brain chemistry for those inclined towards schizophrenia and other chemical imbalances. Information / research along these lines would be useful. When we mess with nature, nature messes with us.

  12. Here, in the UK, the tory government has decided to classify CBD as a medicine, thereby acknowledging its beneficial properties whilst simultaneously also making it illegal to buy! Infuriating but not surprising!

    • Ah, UK tory politicians! The most plastic and false of all people. Mostly elitist and arrogant , you can bet that if they had cancer, these lying scumbags would be getting CBD’s privately.

  13. Our son has pancreatic problems brought on by exposure to nerve gas while deployed. His pain in a 10 at least….more than 2 x a week. So far no one in VA seem to know what to do. He uses cannabis to handle pain and increase his appetite. Morphine is only other solution offered from VA even after MAYO clinic said had Military acted quickly his situation would not have escalated to this level had they acted sooner.

  14. Husband of my friend developed schisophrenia, doctors said that the starter was cannabis, which he heavilly used in that time. Almost every substance on this planet can be either poison as well as medicine…

  15. A great resource if you want more science on medical cannabis can be found at “theroc.us,” click on Research, baseCAMP, and Research Library.

    • Wonderful library of research, thank you.
      One minor observation is the use of synthetic cannabinoids in vitro showing promise. Whereas in reality virtually no one put on synthetic cannabinoids would chose them over the real plant with it’s staggering array of healing chemicals compared to the synthetic rubbish authorised by those happier to see cocaine and methamphetamine as lesser drugs than marijuana.

      But thanks again for the site. Beware of synthetic crap authorised by the FDA. Fear and Death Associates.

    • I Have SJOGREN’S and every Arthritis there is . Along with having Hypothyroidism since I was 6 but not DX until the age of 10 so I have had it hard. The Anti-Inflammatory diet has helped me My Son thinks Medicinal Marijuana would help with the Fog, Excruciating pain, since I react to everything they prescribe. So I found the article interesting. Thank You

  16. I am an acupuncturist in a state that has legal medical use. I have found that many of my patients have wonderful results in treating a wide variety of conditions. The best one however, is high CBD oil for pain management. In these cases it works quickly and because it is high CBD and low THC (less psychoactive) older people feel more comfortable experimenting with it.

  17. We all know what is happening. Cannabinoids in their natural form can’t be patented. No money for Big Pharmagheddon.

    These brilliantly magnificent compounds and all their wonderful plant uses aren’t going to attract any of the fraudulently funded, government backed, stooge organisations.

    • In addition, private prisons need a steady flow of customers, which illegal marijuana provides. Police unions are also fighting legalization for their own self-interests.

    • I have severe RA and have been flaring for the last 5 months. I live in WA so I can grow outside which is dead easy and the yields are large. I make dry ice hash also easy, I make up capsules and take 4 pills aday. So far it seems to help. I have a dog with cancer and I’m trying it on her, she gets 2 pills aday. I hope it works.

  18. I live in Alaska where cannabis was legalized last year for recreational sale and use. It’s been legal for medical purposes for a lot longer, but they made it so you could not buy or sell. Now, being sold openly in stores, anyone can access the stuff.

    What they are seeing, pot growers have been a very greedy bunch! Marijuana should be very cheap, as it’s easy to grow (a weed!) and process (just dry it out). The price of marijuana is expected to be cut by 2/3 when the first stores open later this year, compared to current street values. I’ve read this same thing has happened everywhere they legalized marijuana. Take away the stigma, unlawfulness, and periodic shortages and all you have left is a medicinal weed that can make you feel funny.

    I think at first it will be mostly “stoners” who buy the stuff, but with more awareness and articles like this one, people will start to see the value in using cannabis as a natural medicine. The trend in growers now is to raise strains with maximum THC content, but consumers are asking for less THC and more CBD.

    It will be interesting to watch this all unfold over the next 20 years.

    • Medicinal-grade cannabis is definitely NOT easy to grow and warrants a higher price. It’s very labor-intensive and has to meet higher standards and potency. The market determines the value. In Colorado, the wholesale price plummeted because so many people were getting into the growing business.

    • Thoughtful response, Tim. And I agree, a lot of the way marijuana is grown, sold, and used is totally related to the social stigma around it – which greatly impacts who uses it and why.

      Looking back at my first experiences with pot (I was really too young) and all the portrayals of pot in movies & media, it’s easy to see why everyone relates to it in a certain way and really only chooses to use it in order to get “high,” which is still seen as irresponsible. When a lot of folks think of marijuana, they think of Cheech & Chong or Snoop Dog partying with a bunch of naked chicks & a 6 foot bong. So, I’m interested to see how policy changes can create more intelligence and intention around it’s use. I use herbs for all kinds of things medicinal, so if I trusted marijuana more to play a more subtle healing role in my life – it wouldn’t be any different than ginseng, valerian, or lavender.

      Unfortunately, even the stuff I’ve gotten from dispensaries during the short time I had a medical card seemed far too strong! Clearly catering to a market which is still mostly seeking to get high.

    • From my reading THCA works similar to CBD and if you never heat the pot you have more THCA than THC. If you grow outside it really is easy inside its both expensive and time consuming. I’ve done both and even went into hydroponics and the was expensive.

    • Be careful with morning glory seeds. The difference between the dose that induces psychedelic effects and the dose that can lead to serious medical side effects isn’t that great.

      Also, seeds from commercial growers may be treated with other dangerous chemicals.

    • Yes, it feels like you have had nothing at first, for the first half hour to hour, so it is easy to con yourself into thinking it is safe to take more.

      If you take ten seeds without scrubbing off the outer husk containing the cyanide compounds, which are very toxic in comparison to those harmless cyanide compounds found in apple seeds and Himalayan bitter apricot seeds, you will end up gasping and very uncomfortable after a couple of hours with rapid heartbeat for hours, puking your guts out, with projectile diarrhoea through the night, and you may run the risk of inhaling your vomit, as the seeds are that intoxicating you don’t know which way is up or down at times, or won’t be able to position yourself properly to vomit, and won’t even know if you are breathing in vomit, extremely dangerous, but the head trip is quite intense, not so much hallucinogenic, except in your head.

      Best to have friends with you if you decide to use, at least to help you position yourself properly to vomit safely, so you don’t inhale your vomit, which can cause serious lung damage and lead to long term serious infection and worse. You will need a bucket right next to you right through the experience, as vomiting is frequent and violent, but who will want to help clear up your mess?

      To avoid this toxic part of the experience, use a diamond nail file or similar to carefully remove all the outer husk, and just take ONE seed on the first occasion to experiment to see if you have effectively removed the outer shell containing the cyanic compounds, which are seriously nasty, then a week or so later, try two seeds that you have cleaned. Use extreme caution.

      Ten uncleaned seeds are so powerful that they will lay you out in bed, you won’t be walking around outside on them, not for long anyway, and if you try to, you will likely get picked up by an ambulance as you will be so out of it and unable to care for your body, puking and crapping as you go, which you will have very little control over.

      You will really need to be close to a bathroom throughout your experience and you should be able to make it there to plant yourself on the crapper when you need to, the puking part is harder to manage.

      Ten seeds kept me laid out all through the night, physically very uncomfortable indeed, feeling like I was possibly heading towards death due to physical symptoms, and this was not merely some mentally created ‘bad trip’ in my mind, as I am very experienced with different compounds, this was due to a very seriously dangerous toxin in these seeds that I took.

      More than ten uncleaned seeds will almost certainly land a person in A and E in hospital seriously, and I am a healthy person, average build, with a clean system, weighing 14 stones. I felt close to death around 2.5-3 hours after I took ten uncleaned seeds, chewing them one at a time very carefully to fine pulp before swallowing, and I am no wimp, and stuck it out, viewing it as a learning experience, and found the insights I gained of great benefit.

      The cyanic compounds prevent oxygen binding with haemoglobin in your blood and you would certainly suffocate to death if you have too many. I reckon 20 or so would very possibly be fatal, possibly by causing cell necrosis in parts of the body through oxygen starvation, or by initiating stroke or heart attack, seriously toxic, not kidding. There are supposed to be chemical methods to remove the cyanic compounds, but I am no chemist.