Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New biologically active compounds from cannabis

Scientists have isolated and identified nine new cannabinoids that have antifungal, anibacterial, and a variety of other biological activities.

Humans have been using cannabis for thousands of years for medical treatments, spiritual purposes, textile manufacturing, and other reasons. In recent history, chemists have isolated many cannabinoids, the metabolites in cannabis sativa, and have described some of their biological activities. For example, some cannabinoids have potent effects on multidrug resistant bacteria and others are effective against pain. The structures of known cannabinoids also inspire chemists to create synthetic chemicals to mimic certain aspects of their function, like pain reduction, while providing a powerful medical effect and avoiding negative side effects.

Although a lot of work that has been done on cannabis, scientists have not identified every cannabinoid, so many research groups are continuing to identify and categorize the chemicals in cannabis. Samir Ross from the University of Mississippi led one such group in the discovery of nine new cannabinoids, and they published the structures and biological activities of these chemicals in an advanced article in the Journal of Natural Products.

The researchers grew plants from high-potency Mexican C. sativa seeds and harvested the whole buds of mature female plants. They performed chemical extraction and purification procedures on the plant material to isolate the nine cannabinoids. They then determined the molecular structures of these new chemicals using a variety of techniques, including 1D and 2D NMR, UV, and HRESIMS (high resolution electron spray ionization mass spectra).

After figuring out the chemical structures, it was crucial to know how useful these molecules might be in terms of medicinal properties. The first good news was that none of the cannabinoids were toxic to cells extracted from African green monkey kidneys, which meant that they have potential as drugs. Upon closer inspection, several of the compounds had respectable biological activities, as well.

Compound 5 had potent antileishmanial activity, which makes it a possible candidate against leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that is spread by the bite of the sandfly. Compound 8 was effective at killing Staphylococcus aureus, a frequent cause of staph infections, and compound 7 had good activity against Candida albicans, a fungus that gives people oral and genital infections. The other cannabinoids weren’t as biologically active, but they all had some drug potential. For insistence, compounds 2 and 6 were mildly affective against MRSA, and compound 1 had some antimalarial activity.

The identification of these biologically relevant cannabinoids will give natural product chemists new ideas for future drugs. Even the less active ones can turn out to be useful, as chemists can make modifications of the structures that are more potent.

Journal of Natural Products, 2009.

Killing bacteria with cannabis

Marijuana is a source of antibacterial agents that are potent against multidrug resistant bacteria.

Besides identifying antibacterial capability, the researchers wanted to figure out why these cannabinoids are so good at killing bacteria. They obviously are very effective at specifically targeting some vital process in the bacteria.

Unfortunately, even after extensive work at modifying the cannabinoids and comparing their activities, that targeting mechanism remains a mystery. The scientists were able to figure out that the position of the n-pentyl chain (orange) relative to the terpenoid moiety (blue) serves to control lipid affinity.

These cannabinoids are promising enough to warrant rigorous clinical trials. They are applicable as topical antiseptics, biodegradable antibacterial compounds for cosmetics, and systematic antibacterial agents.

J. Nat. Prod., 2008. DOI: 10.1021/np8002673

Holistic Biochemistry of Cannabinoids, by Robert Melamede, PhD

At 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference, Dr. Melamede, University of Colorado, explains how the Endocannabinoid System functions as a "Global Homeostatic Regulator", balancing several organ systems. He hypothesises that, "Free Radicals are the Friction of Life. Endocannabinoids are the Oil of Life."

Conference hosted by Patients Out of Time. DVDs are available.

Medical Uses of Cannabinoids

Cannabis destroys cancer cells... reveals research at Barts and The London Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistr

Researchers investigating the role of cannabis in cancer therapy reveal it has the potential to destroy leukaemia cells, in a paper published in the March 2006 edition of Letters in Drug Design & Discovery. Led by Dr Wai Man Liu, at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, the team has followed up on their findings of 2005 which showed that the main active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has the potential to be used effectively against some forms of cancer. Dr Liu has since moved to the Institute of Cancer in Sutton where he continues his work into investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of new anti-cancer agents.

It has previously been acknowledged that cannabis-based medicines have merit in the treatment of cancer patients as a painkiller; appetite stimulant and in reducing nausea, but recently evidence has been growing of its potential as an anti-tumour agent. The widely reported psychoactive side effects and consequent legal status of cannabis have, however, complicated its use in this capacity. Although THC and its related compounds have been shown to attack cancer cells by interfering with important growth-processing pathways, it has not hitherto been established exactly how this is achieved.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marijuana may fight brain tumours

WASHINGTON: The main chemical in marijuana kills cancerous brain cells, offering hope for future anti-cancer therapies, say Spanish scientists.

A team led by Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University in Madrid, found that the active component of marijuana – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – kills tumour cells through a process called autophagy. This is the process that occurs when a cell self-destructs by digesting itself.

The research, which appears in the April edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, demonstrates that THC and related cannabinoids appear to be "a new family of potential anti-tumoral agents", the authors write.

Injecting THC

In the study the scientists conducted most of their research on mice, in which the growth of cancer was stimulated. But the researchers also looked at two patients suffering from a highly aggressive form of brain cancer who were enrolled in a clinical trial.

A mixture of THC in saline solution and injected it into each patient's tumour for 26 or 30 days, then the researchers took samples of the brain tumours. By analysing the tumours using electron microscopy, the researchers discovered that the cancer cells had been killed off while the normal cells stayed intact.

"Although these studies were only conducted in specimens from two patients," the researchers said, "they are in line with the preclinical evidence shown [in mice] and suggest that cannabinoid administration might also trigger autophagy-mediated cell death in human tumors."

Anti-cancer therapies

There have been previous studies that found cannabinoids curbed the growth of several types of tumours in rats and mice, but the mechanism by which is worked has been obscure until now.

Autophagy has a dual role in cancer: in some cases it promotes cancer cell survival and in other cases it inhibits cancer cell survival. This study identified the signalling route by which autophagy is activated for cell death.

The authors suggest that the study may prove useful in the development of future anti-cancer therapies based on THC or in the activation of the process that results in autophagy.

Study says marijuana chemical has anti-cancer properties

According to a study released on Thursday, Spanish researchers from the Complutense University in Madrid, together with scientists of other universities, found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the main chemical in the infamous narcotic agent, marijuana - likely helps the annihilation of brain cancer cells.

The research, which proposes to bring to improve the prospects of anti-cancer therapies, said that THC causes cancer cells to go through a process called autophagy - the breakdown that takes place when the cells fundamentally self-digest.

Based on the findings of the research, which was first carried out on the laboratory mice, and then substantiated on two patients - suffering from the highly aggressive and recurrent brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme - in an experimental trial, the scientists came to the conclusion that THC and associated "cannabinoids" depicted properties of being "a new family of potential anti-tumoral agent."

The study which has been published in the April edition of the US Journal of Clinical Investigation, on of the scientists, Guillermo Velasco, reported: "We found that the anti-tumoral action of THC is based on its ability to activate an intracellular signalling pathway that promotes the activation of a cellular process called `autophagy'. The activation of this pathway leads to cancer cell death."

Marijuana May Fight Lung Tumors

Cannabis may be bad for the lungs, but the active ingredient in marijuana may help combat lung cancer, new research suggests.

In lab and mouse studies, the compound, known as THC, cut lung tumor growth in half and helped prevent the cancer from spreading, says Anju Preet, PhD, a Harvard University researcher in Boston who tested the chemical.

While a lot more work needs to be done, the results suggest THC has therapeutic potential, she tells WebMD.

Moreover, other early research suggests the cannabis compound could help fight brain, prostate, and skin cancers as well, Preet says.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The finding builds on the recent discovery of the body's own cannabinoid system, Preet says. Known as endocannabinoids, the natural cannabinoids stimulate appetite and control pain and inflammation.

THC seeks out, attaches to, and activates two specific endocannabinoids that are present in high amounts on lung cancer cells, Preet says. This revs up their natural anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can promote the growth and spread of cancer.

In the new study, the researchers first demonstrated that THC inhibited the growth and spread of cells from two different lung cancer cell lines and from patient lung tumors. Then, they injected THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells. After three weeks, tumors shrank by about 50 percent, compared with tumors in untreated mice.

Preet notes that animals injected with THC seem to get high, showing signs of clumsiness and getting the munchies. You would expect to see the same thing in humans, so if this work does pan out, getting the dose right is going to be all important, she says.

Paul B. Fisher, PhD, a professor of clinical pathology at Columbia University, says that though the work is interesting, it's still very early.

The issue with using a drug of this type becomes the window of
concentration that will be effective. Can you physiologically achieve what you want without causing unwanted effects, he tells WebMD.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jorge Cervantes Ultimate Grow 2

On his first DVD, international ganja guide Jorge Cervantes taught you everything you need to know to go from seed to harvest. This time, the best-selling author of 'Marijuana Horticulture: the Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible' takes you ... Full Descriptionon a garden tour of his home country, Spain. You'll grow indoors, outdoors, hydroponically - and even plant a guerrilla garden hidden deep in the Spanish countryside. Filled with the common-sense advice found in his monthly column in HIGH TIMES, Jorge's newest effort clearly explains how and beginners alike can get started, get growing and yield huge amounts of marijuana - no matter where you are or how you're growing.

Expert horticulturist Jorge Cervantes shows beginners how to grow their own marijuana using the tricks he's developed over the years. by Jorge Cervantes

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jack Herer: The Emperor Wears No Clothes

Emperor Cover

If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation;

then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time...

and that substance is the same one that has done it before . . .



This is the book that started the hemp revolution. More than 600,000 copies have been sold to date. The print version of The Emperor Wears No Clothes is available in Jack's Hemporium. Jack wants this information to be available to everyone, so he has published the text of the book here on the internet for free. This is only half of what is actually in the book. If you want all the source material and graphics, please buy a copy of the book.

By selling his books, tapes, c.d.s, and movies, Jack has been able to help support the hemp movement for the last 20 years.











Chapter 11 - THE (HEMP) WAR OF 1812, NAPOLEON & RUSSIA







Jack Herer: The Emperor Wears No Clothes - Chapters

Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'

BBC NEWS | Health | Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'

The CBD compound found in cannabis is non-toxic

A compound found in cannabis may stop breast cancer spreading throughout the body, US scientists believe.

The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute team are hopeful that cannabidiol or CBD could be a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy.

Unlike cannabis, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties so its use would not violate laws, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics reports.

The authors stressed that they were not suggesting patients smoke marijuana.

They added that it would be highly unlikely that effective concentrations of CBD could be reached by smoking cannabis.

"This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects" - Lead researcher Dr Sean McAllister

CBD works by blocking the activity of a gene called Id-1 which is believed to be responsible for the aggressive spread of cancer cells away from the original tumour site - a process called metastasis.

Past work has shown CBD can block aggressive human brain cancers.

The latest work found CBD appeared to have a similar effect on breast cancer cells in the lab.

Future hope

Lead researcher Dr Sean McAllister said: "Right now we have a limited range of options in treating aggressive forms of cancer.

"Those treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be effective but they can also be extremely toxic and difficult for patients.

"This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects."

Dr Joanna Owens of Cancer Research UK said: "This research is at a very early stage.

"The findings will need to be followed up with clinical trials in humans to see if the CBD is safe, and whether the beneficial effects can be replicated.

"Several cancer drugs based on plant chemicals are already used widely, such as vincristine - which is derived from a type of flower called Madagascar Periwinkle and is used to treat breast and lung cancer. It will be interesting to see whether CBD will join them."

Maria Leadbeater of Breast Cancer Care said: "Many people experience side-effects while having chemotherapy, such as nausea and an increased risk of infection, which can take both a physical and emotional toll.

"Any drug that has fewer side-effects will, of course, be of great interest."

But she added: "It is clear that much more research needs to be carried out."

BBC NEWS | Health | Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'

Nature Reviews Volume 3 October 2003

Manuel Guzmán

Cannabinoids — the active components of Cannabis sativa and their derivatives
palliative effects in cancer patients by preventing nausea, vomiting and pain and by stimulating appetite. In addition, these compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumour cells in culture and animal models by modulating key cell-signalling pathways. Cannabinoids are usually well tolerated, and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies.
So, could cannabinoids be used to develop new anticancer therapies?


• Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa and their derivatives, act in the organism by mimicking endogenous substances, the endocannabinoids, that activate specific cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids exert palliative effects in patients with cancer and inhibit tumour growth in laboratory animals.

• The best-established palliative effect of cannabinoids in cancer patients is the inhibition of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.Today, capsules of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (dronabinol (Marinol)) and its synthetic analogue nabilone (Cesamet) are approved for this purpose.

• Other potential palliative effects of cannabinoids in cancer patients — supported by Phase III clinical trials — include appetite stimulation and pain inhibition. In relation to the former, dronabinol is now prescribed for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS.

• Cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth in laboratory animals. They do so by
modulating key cell-signalling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumour cells, as well as by inhibiting tumour angiogenesis and metastasis.

• Cannabinoids are selective antitumour compounds, as they can kill tumour cells without affecting their non-transformed counterparts. It is probable that cannabinoid receptors regulate cell-survival and cell-death pathways differently in tumour and nontumour cells.

• Cannabinoids have favourable drug-safety profiles and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies. The use of cannabinoids in medicine, however, is limited by their psychoactive effects, and so cannabinoid-based therapies that are devoid of unwanted side effects are being designed.


Cannabis and cannabinoids, by Dr Robert Melamede Ph.D.

  • Cannabis and cannabinoids, by Dr Robert Melamede Ph.D.

    A doctor from the University of Colorado in America has an opinion on cannabis which will doubtless have the hardline anti-cannabis British government choking on their cornflakes.

    Until recently only a handful of yoghurt knitting, tree-hugging hippies would have dared utter anything positive about the much maligned and not very well understood cannabis plant.

    But over the last decade more and more scientists; people who are trained to understand the complex chemistry behind the human cannabinoid system, are putting the pieces of a huge jigsaw together.

    Slowly but surely the big picture gains clarity and whilst there are still a lot of pieces to put into the jigsaw before its finished, what we understand today is that cannabis is, and remains, outlawed for all the wrong reasons.
    Dr Robert Melamede Ph.D. is chairman of the Biology Department at UC, (University of Colorado) and he has dedicated his life to learning more on how the human cannabinoid system works.

    The Cannabinoid System has been around for over 600 million years.

    Before the Dinosaurs.

    The Cannabinoid System is continuously evolutioning and has been retained by all new species.

    Food and feeding is at the heart of the Cannabinoid System.

    1. Cannabinoids are in every living animal on the planet above Hydra and Mollusks, with the exception of insects. Bodies are homeostatically maintained by the Cannabinoid System.

    2. Mothers give their babies a booster shot of cannabinoids in mothers milk to give them the munchies because they have to learn to eat. (they've been fed thru the umbilical cord and did not have to know how to eat.)

    3. Mice lacking the CB1 receptors don't like any changes. If they are moved to another part of the cage they act upset and when they are put back to the original spot in the cage they relax, but if then put into another part of the cage they get upset again. Comment: I wonder if people, especially drug warriors, had their CB1 receptors blocked then they would resist change and the ones of us that have unblocked CB1 receptors enjoy the benefits of cannabinoids are a lot more relaxed and not paranoid about or over change. Interesting thought. It turns out that that thought is absolutely correct. Many people' brains are not capable of a good connection to the CB1 CB2 receptors.

    4. All new species utilize cannabinoids.

    5. By being alive and breathing air our bodies produce "free radicals". Cannabinoids help to reverse this action.

    6. Cannabinoids do kill brain cells, but the brain cells they kill are called "Glioma" or Cancer of the brain(Tumor). All other brain cells are protected and healed by cannabinoids. (Glioma cells cannot tolerate the action of cannabinoids)

    7. Cannabinoids protect against sunburn and skin cancer because of the CB1 receptors in our skin.

    8. Cannabinoids slow down the aging process. Mice that their brains respond to cannabinoids live longer and mice that have brains that block the CB1 receptors die younger.

    9. Activity in the evolutionary advanced areas of the brain is increased in cannabinoids receptors and promotes higher consciousness levels.

    10. Cannabinoids are even found in the white blood cells (CB2 receptors). The CB2 receptors are found predominantly on immunological cells and regulate the shift in the immune system to the anti-inflammatory mode.

    11. Cannabinoids protect the heart against Arythmia.

    12. The way it works on pain is there is specific nerves that deal with pain. They are called vanilloid-Receptors. Anandamide(sanscript word for "Blissful Amide"), the bodies internally produced marijuana binds with the nerve endings, reducing pain. Anandamides are produced internally by our bodies in response to a whole variety of conditions. As an example, Aspirin prevents the breakdown of Anandamide, the internally produced marijuana to activate & start working at easing pain. How many old lady's say they "WOULD NEVER" use marijuana & are actually using the equivalent of marijuana that their bodies produce as a natural activity, & don't even realize it. And how many politicians and citizens of the US do this also & aren't even aware they are condemning something that their bodies make naturally. Anecdotal evidence is valid because when a person smokes marijuana & it relieves their pain, then they smoke it again & it relieves their pain again it becomes a fact known only to that person, but nonetheless true.

    13. In the case of most autoimmune diseases, the bodies immune cells produces free radicals & is destroying it's own body as a foreign object. Cannabis pushes the immune system into anti inflammatory mode & helps slow the progression of that disease, thereby slowing down the aging process.

    14. Seizures are controlled by marijuana not only THC, but non-psychoactive cannabidiol.(CBD) The exact mechanism is not known, however HEMP is high in CBD's & can cancel out the psychoactive high of THC & at the same time benefits the user or smoker. Cannabinoids control everything in our bodies including our minds.

    15. There are many other things that Cannabinoids do in the body, besides attaching to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, the main cannabinoid receptors in the higher part of our brain. Cannabinoids affect our skin and other parts of our bodies.

    16. Pharmaceutical companies are working at sythesizing different cannabinoid components and different types of strains of marijuana. If they can succeed, then there will be more choices for you and I to choose from and we will be able to use what works best for our particular bodies.

    17. The natural course for mankind, because of the location of our CB1 CB2 the brains main receptors, is to be more stoned.

    18. Drug warriors are not doing what they are doing to us because they are intentionally evil, but because they are more primitive(obtuse comes to mind). They look at the world with fear and hostility not cooperativity and understanding.

    19. According to a brain function study of 150 depressed people Cannabis protects the brain against healthy cell death and it also protects Neurons.

    20. Cannabinoids dilate our brochial tubes and help asthsma sufferers to breath both in and out. Because of the balance that is maintained in our bodies for good health there are instances where it works backwards, where death is possible, if too much is smoked. This goes back to the effects of cannabinoids on individuals and if it doesn't work for you, you should not use it. There was some old studies that were done back in 1977 where "AEROSOLIZED THC" was used on patients. This is not what the government tells us when they say it's not medicine, but we are all familiar with the 7 government patients that are supplied marijuana to be used as medicine and we know the government is lying.

    Due to space constraints we're unable to publish the full text but we really can't recommend highly enough that you click the SOURCE link and read Dr Melamede's text in full. It provides solutions for a lot of unanaswered questions you may have about cannabis.

    Dr. Robert J. Melamede Ph.D. Chairman of the Biology Department of the University of Colorado:
    Conducting Scientific research on Cannabinoids

    University of Colorado
    1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
    Room 232
    PO Box 7150
    Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150

  • Cannabis and cannabinoids, by Dr Robert Melamede Ph.D.

  • :Amsterdam Cannabis Ministry : Information on Cannabis : THC Ministry Amsterdam


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