Hidden within Docuseries


A good friend of mine sent me this 7-part documentary, sorry Docuseries. https://hiddenwithindocuseries.com/#schedule It contains some interesting facts and research into the endocannabinoid system, also, how some doctors and dispensaries in the US are trying to sway mainstream opinion. Suffer a little sales pitch, but I enjoyed watching it to strengthen my commitment to the research I was doing in aquaponics ‘keep the plants in very dry growing medium and nutrients far lower than how I initially started growing other crops, starve the fish’. Unfortunately, the loss of my wife, fish, plants, house, farm and health has placed me back in UK under the NHS knife, fortunately cure able but my years are taking their toll. 

‘Aquaponics Grow’ no longer 


Brits could be barred from the US for life if they smoke cannabis in states where it is LEGAL, senior lawyer warns

Brits could be barred from the US for life if they smoke cannabis in states where it is LEGAL, senior lawyer warns


Charlotte Slocombe said cannabis smokers risk breaking immigration law 


Foreign nationals in America have been expelled from the US and barred for life


British tourists and expats in America could be deported and barred for life if they smoke cannabis in states where it’s legal, a senior lawyer has warned.


Possession of cannabis remains illegal under federal law in America but a number of states have legalised, decriminalised or approved its use as a medicine. 


According to Charlotte Slocombe, a senior partner at Fragomen in London, Britons caught consuming the drug in cannabis approved states, like California and Washington could still face arrest and deportation. 


A US immigration lawyer has warned that despite new states like New York and New Jersey looking to legalise cannabis, foreign nationals could still be deported and excluded from the country if they’re caught partaking


In this file photo from October 2018, Nelson Rivera III, left, sells medical cannabis products to Victoria Silva, right, at a New England medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts. According to Slocombe, there are opportunities for customer details to be stored at dispensaries, which can later find their way into the hands of immigration officials 

This can have devastating repercussions, including refusal of future travel or visas.  


After Washington DC and and Colorado legalised marijuana for recreational use in 2013, nine more states followed and more conversions are expected. 


New Jersey and New York are expected to legalise cannabis for adult use in 2020, which has provoked Slocombe’s warning. 


‘Canada legalised cannabis in 2018 but as the US customs and Border Protection keep saying, US federal law has not changed,’ said Slocombe. 

‘What is confusing to people is that while states in the USA have legalised cannabis it remains illegal federally.’


Slocombe added that cannabis dispensaries can take details from your identification and this could be picked up by immigration. Border control can block you from the country even if you just admit to taking drugs. 


US citizens are still vulnerable to federal law but in the case of cannabis, it’s the immigration law that causes the danger for foreign nationals. 


This danger also extends to businesses providing equipment to state-approved cannabis producers.


She added that even those supplying IT services to cannabis company should be wary.  


pics on link



Why Are Doctors Still So Reluctant To Prescribe Medical Cannabis?

Why Are Doctors Still So Reluctant To Prescribe Medical Cannabis?

“Sometimes, doctors need to think about things on a more human and personal level.”



“Stupid” and over-cautious guidance from national health chiefs who “frankly don’t know much about cannabis” is leaving GPs without the support they need to prescribe the drug, a consultant has warned.

Desperate families of epileptic kids in the UK are paying thousands of pounds a month for medical cannabis because the NHS is cautious about handing it out.

But the problem isn’t just doctors’ reluctance. Foggy guidelines, a lack of experience and what some fear are financial interests could all be keeping the drug from those who say they need it most.

Meanwhile, there are fears that sufferers are being driven to buy unlicensed or dangerous drugs on the black market.

“We have used all our savings and we are now having to fundraise to pay for the oil,” one mother told HuffPost UK.

Another said: “Having a child with a disability is very difficult and we have to fight for them every day. Then when families find a product that alleviates their child’s symptoms, they are not able to access it.”


When legislation was introduced last year making it possible for people to legally access medical cannabis, campaigners and families were given fresh hope.

But the numbers of patients actually getting their hands on it are very low as figures show just 18 NHS prescriptions have been issued for unlicensed cannabis medicines since the Government legalised such products a year ago.

Many families and those fighting for greater access to cannabis as a medicine have been further frustrated by guidelines published this week by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which they have described as “disappointing” and “restrictive.”

NICE, the drugs advisory body, looked at cannabis products for several conditions and issued guidelines. Two cannabis-based medicines to treat epilepsy and MS – Epidyolex and Sativex – have been approved for use by the NHS in England.

Campaigners say the guidance doesn’t take into consideration cannabis medicine derived from the whole plant extract, which they say benefits more patients.

And they have been angered by NICE guidance saying there is not enough evidence for cannabis medicine to treat chronic pain, and recommending it should not be offered except as as part of a clinical trial.

So why are so many medical specialists still reluctant to prescribe cannabis medicine more than a year since the new legislation?

HuffPost UK spoke to a number of doctors and experts and discovered many doctors are actually supportive of the idea of prescribing medical cannabis – but feel their hands are tied and they are constantly blocked.

Fear and stigma

One medic who knows all about the resistance to prescribing medical cannabis is Dr Dani Gordon. She treated thousands of patients with cannabis medicine in Canada and was one of the first doctors to prescribe it.

Dr Gordon, a specialist in cannabis medicine who qualified in the US and Canada, now lives in the UK and is involved in mentoring and training the first UK cannabis doctors as well as carrying out critical research and guest lecturing on the topic.

She told HuffPost UK the reasons why many UK doctors are reluctant to prescribe cannabis medicine are complicated, but that much of it stems from fear.

“We had the same thing in Canada when medical cannabis was first prescribed,” she said. “When I first added it to my practice, I did not tell other people as I thought I might be judged. There was a stigma.”

Why Are Doctors Still So Reluctant To Prescribe Medical


Health Canada took a neutral stance on cannabis as a medicine and developed a comprehensive document about it, meaning the ultimate decision on whether to prescribe was left to doctors.

But she believes the NICE guidelines have put UK doctors in a difficult position. “The NICE guidelines are basically saying: ‘Don’t prescribe it for chronic pain,’ and this is really hampering UK physicians,” she explained.

They may only be guidelines but physicians train for 15 years – it is their livelihood. Going against the guidelines would be frowned upon.

“Physicians are scared and that’s a big issue. They are scared about going against the guidelines, especially when they know nothing about cannabis medicine themselves.”

Dr Gordon describes medical cannabis as “one of the most helpful tools in my toolbox” when it comes to the quality of life of patients.

She said: “Overwhelmingly, cannabis is probably the single most helpful quality of life medicine I have seen for many different types of chronic symptoms where other conventional drug therapies have failed.

“I have seen the difference it made to depression, chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, insomnia and auto-immune conditions and came across so many amazing stories.”

Medical cannabis expert Prof Mike Barnes says there is a real “fear of the unknown” of a drug that was once viewed as dangerous. “Doctors are cautious and conservative and don’t like the unknown,” he said. “There are only a handful of doctors prescribing it, which is just ridiculous.”

Prof Barnes also cites lack of knowledge about cannabis as a medicine among doctors as a factor. “Doctors are not educated about cannabis – but this is not a criticism as they have not been taught about it.

“We need more teaching initiatives about medical cannabis.

“As cannabis is an unlicensed medicine, a doctor has to take more responsibility and if something goes wrong, they can be sued. This is making doctors cautious, but cannabis is remarkably safe and the chances of something going wrong are very remote.” 

Guidelines and lack of evidence

Medical cannabis expert Prof Mike


Medical cannabis expert Prof Mike Barnes

Prof Barnes, who is a consultant neurologist and rehabilitation physician in Newcastle, has slammed “appalling” guidelines for putting doctors off prescribing medical cannabis. “We have guidelines from the Royal College of Physicians and British Paediatric Neurologist Association and now the NICE guidelines which are all equally awful. They are produced by people who frankly don’t know much about cannabis.

“NICE have dismissed anything about proper plant cannabis because they say there is not enough evidence which I fundamentally disagree with. 

“The recent NICE guidelines do not reflect what clinicians across the world see when treating patients with chronic pain conditions. They also fail to recognise that medical cannabis is a quality of life medication, hugely beneficial for helping improve people’s level of functioning.”

Dr Sunil Arora, a consultant in anaesthetics and pain medicine, agrees. “The situation for clinicians is confusing,” he said. “There is a distinct lack of clarity from our regulatory bodies about what is possible for doctors to do, how they can access medical cannabis education and what products are available to prescribe. 

“My patients live with chronic pain every day and many have tried many other medications with side effects or without effectiveness. This medication is often their last resort. I want to be able to help them by exploring every treatment that’s available to me.”

While NICE guidance recommended two cannabis-based medicines to treat epilepsy and MS, campaigners say the recommendations were a missed opportunity as there is no positive recommendation that the NHS should allow prescribing for whole-plant medical cannabis.

NICE also states that people with chronic pain should not be prescribed drugs containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and that CBD should not be offered to manage chronic pain in adults unless as part of a clinical trial.

“There was no evidence for the use of CBD alone either as a pure product or containing traces of THC,” the guidelines state. “Therefore, the committee recommended that CBD should not be offered unless as part of a clinical trial.”

One of the problems, says Prof Barnes, is the way conventional pharmaceutical-style drug trials are carried out with randomised double blind placebo controlled studies. This type of trial is not suitable for plant-based cannabis, he believes, as there are so many varying factors.

While there is a lot of evidence from other countries, Prof Barnes says there is an insistence for UK-based evidence. “NICE looked at over 19,000 cannabis and epilepsy studies and rejected them all apart from four.” he told HuffPost UK. “They perceive there to be a lack of evidence. This is patently stupid and disgraceful.

“I think there is enough evidence to prescribe and learn as we go along. We do need more evidence on different doses, extracts and strains of cannabis. But we feel there is enough evidence to help people now.

“I think this insistence on more evidence will hold us back four or five years in the development of cannabis medicine.

“In the meantime, people will carry on experiencing chronic pain and children will continue to have epilepsy and suffer.”

‘GPs should be able to prescribe cannabis’

Why Are Doctors Still So Reluctant To Prescribe Medical


As a GP, Dr Leon Barron frequently encounters patients who have exhausted all other treatments and would love to see a full spectrum of medical cannabis products available through the NHS.

He also believes GPs should be allowed to prescribe medical cannabis, not just specialists.

Dr Barron, who works as a GP in Hertfordshire and around London, told HuffPost UK: “I think GPs are ideally placed to be the primary prescribers of medical cannabis.

“GPs are being left out of the conversation around medical cannabis – but we are the ones dealing with the bulk of queries from patients and are seeing a lot of complex conditions which are difficult to manage.

“When patients are in pain and have exhausted all other treatments, it can take eight months for them to be seen by a specialist. So it leads to them being prescribed stronger painkillers – including opioids. The UK has the fastest growing use of opioids.”

Dr Barron developed an interest in medical cannabis after he says a relative in Israel experienced life changing results after using it. The relative had severe osteoporosis but, after being given cannabis oil by her doctors, says she saw a huge difference in her pain, mobility and ability to sleep, and managed to come off some of her other medications.

“We know cannabis is safe – particularly in comparison to opioids,” Dr Barron said. “It is a very safe medicine, particularly if we know it is from a reputable source and is a high quality licensed cannabis product and you know what you are getting.”

The GP fears if people can’t access medical cannabis legitimately through the NHS, there is a risk they will turn to the black market. “A report recently found that 1.4m people in the UK said they were using cannabis for medical needs. The problem is many of them will be buying it from street corners and it is highly potent and they don’t know what is in it.”

Dr Barron says another reason some doctors will be reluctant to prescribe cannabis is because they feel “uncomfortable” that the campaign for it is patient-driven. “That does not sit comfortably with them,” he said. “It is a shift in mindset for a doctor.

“But personally, I think when you are faced with an individual, there should be an emphasis on compassionate prescribing if it would be of benefit to them.

“It will be an extra tool in the toolbox for doctors when people are desperate and have tried everything else.”

Dr Rebecca Moore, a consultant psychiatrist working in London in the private sector, is interested in cannabis and its treatment around trauma and PTSD. She uses it in her clinical practice frequently for patients with anxiety and says it has proved to be helpful.

“The evidence we have from patients who are already using cannabis for a whole variety of reasons is that, for many of them, it is life changing, particularly around pain,” she said. “It can make a huge difference to their quality of life.

“Hopefully, there will be more data over the next few years and more trials showing it works and is a good choice for patients and prescribers.” 

What families think:

Ben - before and after taking medical


Ben – before and after taking medical cannabis

Joanne Griffiths says her son Ben was suffering up to 300 epileptic seizures a day. After trying him on medical cannabis, she claims, this fell to around six.

She told HuffPost UK how the family had tried everything else for Ben, who is now 10. In desperation, three years ago, they tried medical cannabis a friend had brought back from Canada.

“We were only giving Ben small amounts but it made such a difference,” she said. Ben was taking CBD in 2017 then got access to whole plant from Canada in early 2018. He has had a private UK prescription since April.

Joanne, who lives in Preston, told Ben’s neurologist, who she says was keen for the boy to be prescribed medical cannabis on the NHS and filled out all the application forms. But the hospital trust blocked it.

She feels many in the medical profession want their own evidence based in the UK before prescribing cannabis.

But she also believes there is a monetary element. “I believe there is a mercenary factor,” she said, “as hospital trusts would get money for taking part in trials.

“But the whole plant cannabis medication could help children now who desperately need it.”

Ilmarie Braun’s severely epileptic four-year-old son Eddie has a private prescription for medical cannabis. She says she has seen a remarkable difference, adding they had support from their doctor – but were still turned down for medical cannabis on the NHS.

Ilmarie, who lives in Chester, told HuffPost UK Eddie had tried everything recommended by the NHS before they started him on CBD oil in January 2017.

At first, he responded well. But when that plateaued, they wanted to try medical cannabis containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

“When they announced they were setting up a panel, our doctor applied,” said Ilmarie.

“But the expert panel turned us down saying Eddie had not tried Epidyolex so he was put on this.

“It did help, but the side effects were very difficult to live with and he was still having a lot of seizures. It did not help him as much as we felt something with THC would.”

The family took Eddie to Holland and got him a prescription for medical cannabis. Soon after, in May this year, a doctor in the UK agreed to see Eddie and gave him a private prescription for the medication.

Ilmarie said: “Eddie has not had any focal seizures since he has been on whole plant cannabis oil, and we have not needed to call an ambulance. He is finally sleeping through the night, which he has never done before, and he is happy and started school in September.

Eddie Braun with his family since taking medical


Eddie Braun with his family since taking medical cannabis

“We recognise this is not a cure and Eddie still has some seizures and has learning difficulties. He has a life-limiting condition and for us, it is about quality of life and making sure he can enjoy the time he has.

“Our experience with our doctor who has now retired was very positive. He wanted to prescribe cannabis for Eddie and did everything and even wrote letters to Holland. He applied to the expert panel and was turned down and even wrote an individual funding request to a committee which was also turned down.

“I think even when you have a doctor who is supportive like us, you are turned down higher up as it is about funding. When you have a doctor who isn’t supportive, it is about a lack of education about cannabis as a medicine.” 

Eddie’s family are paying about £1,000 a month and friends and family are supporting them through fundraising.

Ilmarie told HuffPost UK she was “devastated” by the NICE guidelines and says they will now have to continue focusing their efforts on fundraising. “Eddie is so good right now and we cannot allow that to change. We have to make sure he continues to get this medicine.”

Karen Gray, who lives in Scotland, says her seven-year-old son Murray has gone from having up to 600 epileptic absences a day to being seizure-free for five months since the family went to Holland and obtained two cannabis oils for him.

Murray before he started taking cannabis


Murray before he started taking cannabis oil

Murray since he has been taking cannabis


Murray since he has been taking cannabis oil

Karen says the family are now spending £1,300 a month on the oils which a Scottish importer is getting for them “practically at cost”.

She said to HuffPost UK the NHS should prescribe Eddie the medicine to take the financial burden off the family. “We have used all our savings and we are now having to fundraise to pay for the oil,” she told us.

“But Eddie’s neurologist just won’t prescribe it as there have not been trials in the UK.

“I think doctors are terrified to prescribe it as they fear they will get looked down on by their colleagues and peers. They don’t want to be the first to prescribe it.

“But they give out trial cancer drugs every day. This is not any different. Cannabis is actually safer than a lot of other unlicensed medicine.”

She added: “They even tried Murray on ketamine, the horse tranquiliser, and he had terrible side-effects. They were willing to try that but not whole plant cannabis which has caused him no side effects.” 

Hannah Deacon with son Alfie


Hannah Deacon with son Alfie Dingley

Hannah Deacon, who pleaded for the law to be changed to help her severely epileptic son Alfie Dingle and has been crusading for other families, says she is saddened and angry by the NICE guidance. 

Alfie, now eight, was seizure-free for 11 months – but has now had a return of a few seizures. Hannah says she would like to try other strains of treatment.

She told HuffPost UK: “I don’t think the problem with prescribing cannabis is necessarily with the doctors. I think many doctors on the ground are very interested in medical cannabis and excited about another medicine to help their patients.

“The issue is that NICE and senior clinicians just don’t understand medical cannabis and are making recommendations which will prevent access for many people across the country.”

She added: “Having a child with a disability is very difficult and we have to fight for them every day. Then when families find a product that alleviates their child’s symptoms, they are not able to access it.

“As far as I am concerned, it is the persecution of the most vulnerable in our society.”

NICE told HuffPost UK it had published recommendations on cannabis-based medicinal products but was unable to comment on individual cases.

GP Dr Leon Barron said the issue needed to be viewed by doctors on a more “human” basis.

“If I remove my doctor’s ‘hat’,” he said, “if there is someone who is suffering themselves or has a loved one who is not responding well to conventional treatment, I would like to think they could try medical cannabis if they wished and nothing else has helped.

“I think sometimes doctors need to think about things on a more human and personal level.”




The UK Continues Banning Cannabis-Based Painkillers

The UK Continues Banning Cannabis-Based Painkillers – Campaigners Not Satisfied With The New Bill


The continuing UK ban on cannabis

Cannabis-based medicines have been approved in various countries, however, the UK still continues to show its resistance against the legalization of these medicines. People have associated marijuana with a stigma for decades and it isn’t surprising to see people being dubious about trusting cannabis-based medications. 

There are two major cannabis-based medicine- Epidyolex and Sativex. Recently, both these medicines were licensed in the NHS for children suffering from two severe forms of epilepsy- Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Although the NHS legalizing these medicines seems like a good step, charities have said that the guidelines do not go that far. 

While the new law permits cannabis-based medicines to treat the symptoms, these are still not legal to use or purchase for reducing the pain. The NHS is following the updated guidelines issued by the drug advisory body NICE. 

Epidyolex consists of cannabidiol or CBD, Sativex consists of both THC and CBD. 

CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive substance found in hemp, a cannabis genus plant. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation, acute pain, ache, muscle soreness, injuries and promote accident recovery. CBD is also well-known for its mind-calming effects which helps people deal with anxiety, depression, insomnia and other health disorders including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and Tourettes. 

Contrary to the effects of CBD, THC or tetrahydro cannabidiol is a psychoactive substance found in cannabis plants. It produces a feeling of euphoria and often renders hallucinations to the user who is consuming it. THC, if used for an extended amount of time can lead to permanent mental health disorders. However, in limited concentration, THC is not harmful. 

Despite regulatory bodies and frameworks, people still tend to be reserved when it comes to cannabis-based medicines. However, for those who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy like Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome, the availability of Epidyolex at NHS seems like good news.

While the United States has widely accepted CBD products and is using it in an array of consumer-based products, the UK seems to be one step behind it. According to the Farm Bill in December 2018, the U.S. government legalized hemp-derived cannabinoid for medicinal purposes with a maximum limit of 0.03% THC per unit. 

The U.S. consumer market is flooded with Cannabis-based products ranging from skin care products such as oils, tincture, creams, topical, etc to edible items like gummies, chocolates, candies, popcorn, beer, and much more. 

But the market in the UK has quite limited options when it comes to CBD based products. It hasn’t been an easy journey for parents whose children suffer from epilepsy. Although they know what can help alleviate the symptoms of their children’s conditions, accessing cannabis-based medicines has been a difficult task. 

The idea that only a handful of doctors can allow prescription based medicines, clinically tested by a state regulator, can measure that pain seems absurd. Campaigners and charities have been fighting this battle for long now. What’s more heartbreaking is that doctors answer politicians who in turn answer to pharmaceutical companies that have vested interests in existing products. 

The introduction of cannabis-based medicines may lead to a dramatic fall in the sales of other medications being used for epilepsy, which concerns pharmaceutical leaders. However, with the promising future that CBD envisions, companies are gradually integrating CBD in their products. 

When last year, Sajid Javid, the then home secretary had issued licenses for cannabis-based medicines for children with two highly publicized cases, it seemed like a progressive move. However, it turned out to be merely headline-grabbing news.

An initiative by Drug Science led by David Nutt, the neuropsychopharmacologist will consist of 20,000 strong trials of patients’ experience with cannabis-based medicines. The study is aimed at conditions shown to be affected by the drug, not just epilepsy and MS, but anxiety, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress and Tourette’s. 

Nutt says that it’s simply wrong to neglect the needs and urgency of better medications for people who are suffering from one of the other diseases. Also, if left untreated, people may turn to the black market to access cannabis-based medicines which may be unregulated and harmful. 

The breakthrough came in the U.S. only after the federal government was told that it could not interfere with the state’s right to decide. So when it comes to the UK, local bodies will have to empower themselves to stand with the people for having the right to choose a better and much efficient medication- cannabis-based medicines. 

Although research is limited when it comes to the effects of CBD, there is still evidence that proves the efficacy of cannabis-based medicines. Be it be a child suffering from epilepsy or a woman suffering from depression, CBD has been touted to benefit them all.


Marijuana Company Will Pay You £28,000 A Year To Smoke Weed Every Day

Marijuana Company Will Pay You £28,000 A Year To Smoke Weed Every Day


A marijuana company is offering potheads the job of a lifetime, offering a lucky someone the opportunity to smoke weed every day, and pay them up to £28,000 ($36,000) a year for the privilege. 

For some, it’ll sound too good to be true: can you really test a wide range of cannabis products from the comfort of your own home, and get paid up to $3,000 a month for it?

Turns out ‘one of the most trusted medical marijuana resources online’, American Marijuana’s job is 100% real and it’s important too.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Smoking WeedCinema 5

However, don’t expect to get the gig just because you love lighting up. The website explains that you shouldn’t expect to be hired ‘just because you can smoke because we’re looking for a guy who also has extensive knowledge of marijuana to educate our readers’.

The crux of the job is this: they’re looking for someone to review a wide variety of cannabis products – from vapes, weed strains, edibles to CBD oils – to give the site’s readers ‘honest and reliable insights’.

Maybe a degree in cannabis will help.


Explaining the job further, the website adds: 

Every month, the lucky applicant will be shipped a box containing different brands and varieties of cannabis products every month. These products range from weed strains, vapes, edibles to CBD oils.

The applicant will then test the products in person and write about their experience with the product from unboxing to everything they’ll be doing with the product. It has to also be noted that the applicant will be required to record their experience in film.

This includes an in-depth explanation of their experience with the product during and after their use to educate readers and viewers on the effectiveness of the product.

Naturally, there are a few conditions. You have to be fit, healthy, over the age of 18 and live in a state in America or Canada where medical marijuana is legal.

The $3,000 payment is discretionary based on experience and capability, according to the application’s terms and conditions.


Just recently, two cannabis-based medicines used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS) were approved for use by the NHS.

However, facing the rigmarole of actually securing medicinal marijuana, the first major trial of the drug in the UK has launched, with 20,000 patients set to test its impact on a range of conditions.

If the American Marijuana gig sounds like the perfect job for you, click here to find out more details.



Cannabis users missing diagnosis

Cannabis users missing diagnosis


The open door left by vague legislation points towards people experimenting with cannabis in their privacy with hybridisation, increasing the toxicity and lethality of the drug.


Cannabis-derived CBD oil may be the latest trend in food and drink customisation offering claimed health benefits, but the problem is that more and more people are using it as a solution to conditions they do not really have.


This startling claim is derived from a mountain of political evidence showing an economic ‘invisible hand’ pushing towards drug legalisation, in an attempt to intellectualise and rationalise the semantics of a judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court in 2018 permitting the cultivation and use of cannabis for personal consumption, says Dr Lochan Naidoo – world renowned addictionologist, former chairman of the United Nations Narcotics Board and founder of Jullo Specialist Substance Abuse Rehab Centre in Merebank, Durban.


After the advent of the popularly celebrated national court case, stores around the Dolphin Coast have mushroomed up advertising cannabis-derived products from beer, pizza, baked goods, creams and medicines, each claiming to offer unverified benefits for one’s personal health.


While many don’t see the direct correlation between cannabis use and crime or death, Naidoo explains that the recent ruling is part of a careful dismantling of the drug control system originally intended to protect the health and welfare of citizens, and that the consequences are not necessarily direct nor immediate.


“Young children who have been exposed to drug use or adults with drug-related psychosis are at severe risk of a long-term imbalance within the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which controls judgment and common sense,” said Naidoo.

“This is further explained by the presence of mirror neurons that mimic the brain of the person who actually uses drugs, pre-disposing young children to go into adulthood with other problems such as hypertension or substance misuse.”


The open door left by vague legislation points towards people experimenting with cannabis in their privacy with hybridisation, increasing the toxicity and lethality of the drug.


While CBD oil may not itself contain the psycho-active component of cannabis – Naidoo claims it lays the foundations towards a drug-legal ‘narco’ community, simultaneously with search and seizure laws being changed to prevent police officers from searching individuals without a warrant.


Kerry Roberts, a psychologist based in Salt Rock, affirmed that very little research had been done regarding the long-term effects of cannabis-related products, and maintains that recreational cannabis use is a dangerous habit leading to psychotic behaviour, lack of concentration and motivation.

“While CBD is used for non-psychoactive pain relief, a lot of people are self-diagnosing their need for it and as society gradually becomes more socially accepting of cannabis and its self-administered use, the lack of knowledge and ignorance about the dangers of cannabis use will become more likely,” said Roberts.


Childhood trauma has been statistically linked to crime, incarcerated individuals and suicide as a common denominator, and more psychiatric professionals are urging the public to take ‘adverse childhood experiences’ into account as a measure of a society’s health, and look more substantively as to whether the immediate gains claimed by cannabis-related products are worth the risks, or whether they even have diagnosis for it.


Naidoo and Roberts agreed that professional medical diagnosis by a multi-skilled healthcare practitioner was critically relevant, as opposed to the efforts of a merchant to prescribe a product to push sales.



Hapless drug user found it ‘too much hard work’ to look after his cannabis plants

Hapless drug user found it ‘too much hard work’ to look after his cannabis plants


A drug user who was found with dying cannabis plants in his house claimed it was ‘too much hard work to look after them’.


Police searched the home of Phillip Wright after he was found in possession of the class B drug and a knuckle duster on Tate Street, in Blyth.


A court heard that officers found four dying cannabis plants, along with cultivation equipment, in the 43-year-old’s bedroom.


But, despite the leaves being “practically dust”, Wright was still charged with producing the drug and appeared at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to the charge.

Described as “not the world’s greatest gardener” by his own solicitor, Wright claimed he’d researched how to grow cannabis on Google for his own use.

He told a Probation officer: “This is the first time I’d tried growing them and I Googled them and bought the equipment.

“But it was too much hard work to look after them and the plants died.”


Wright also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and amphetamine and to one count of possessing a knuckle duster.

The court heard that he had a previous conviction for possessing a knife from 2001, meaning he faced a minimum six-month immediate prison sentence for a second offence of possessing a bladed article or offensive weapon.


But magistrates deemed that the past conviction was 18-years-ago and, instead, gave Wright a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.


Lorna Rimell, prosecuting, said police had cause to stop-and-search Wright, of Cowpen Road, Blyth, in the town on the morning of September 8 this year.

They found him to be in possession of cannabis, amphetamine and the knuckle duster.


Ms Rimell said: “Police later searched the defendant’s property and found a bedroom in the address, which appeared to be set-up for the production of cannabis.

“It had equipment in it for the cultivation of cannabis. Officers also found four cannabis plants in the bedroom, which were not looking particularly healthy.

“There was a foil ventilation tube and the windows were covered over to keep the heat in.”


Paul Dunn, defending, said Wright had the knuckle duster for his own protection and hadn’t planned on using it.

“As for the cannabis plants,” he added. “He’s not the world’s greatest gardener. He made an attempt to grow some cannabis and failed spectacularly.

“When I talked to him about the cannabis production charge, he told me ‘They were just about dust’.”


The court heard Wright uses amphetamine and cannabis on a daily basis but doesn’t drink alcohol.



Does Marijuana Legalization Lead To More Problematic Weed Use?

Does Marijuana Legalization Lead To More Problematic Weed Use?


Marijuana legalization increased marijuana use and cannabis use disorder among older adults, a new study finds.


While the benefits of marijuana legalization are aplenty, it’s also important to consider the possible consequences as well. According to a new study, not only does legalization lead to increased cannabis use, it increases the rate of cannabis users who develop addictive behaviors. The study highlights the possible public health consequences to legalization, so that regulators and lawmakers can create proper policies to prevent them.

“Although occasional marijuana use is not associated with substantial problems, long-term, heavy use is linked to psychological and physical health concerns, lower educational attainment, decline in social class, unemployment, and motor vehicle crashes,” researchers wrote in the study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

For the study, lead author Magdalena Cerdá, a drug policy expert at New York University, and her team analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2008-2016). The survey divided age groups between those between 12 to 17 (teenagers), 18 to 25 (young adults), and 26 years or older (older adults). The researchers then looked at how marijuana legalization affected whether participants used cannabis in the past month, and if they met the NSDUH’s definition for cannabis use disorder (their criteria include problematic use to addiction).

Where the sharpest rises in marijuana use occurred was for older adults, when comparing those in legal states vs. those in non-legal states. Among the age group, cannabis use in the past month jumped from 5.65% to 7.1%, frequent use rose from 2.13% to 2.62%, and cannabis use disorder recorded in the past year changed from 0.9% to 1.23%. However, the young adult group had no significant changes in marijuana consumption behaviors. While researchers found an increased risk of cannabis use disorder among teenagers, it was a relatively minor adjustment.

“For adolescents, I think we need to take the findings with a grain of salt,” Cerdá told Vox. “We need to really track changes among adolescents over a longer period of time and across other states that are legalizing to see if that’s really a robust finding or it’s actually due to some other third factor.”

As Vox adds, the researchers took special care in checking their findings against possible limitations. That included analyzing whether marijuana use was already increasing prior to legalization, if demographic or socioeconomic changes had any effect, or if other variables could be influencing their results.

The researchers took several steps to validate their results. They looked at both demographic and socioeconomic changes to see if they had any effect; they checked to see if marijuana use had already been on the rise in states that eventually legalized cannabis;  and they conducted statistical sensitivity analyses to try to account for other variables that they may have missed. But ultimately, because the data used comes from self-reporting participants, it’s always difficult to draw definitive conclusion from the research.

What Cerdá emphasized, though, is that she and her team don’t believe their study should stop any possible marijuana legalization. Instead they want their research to influence how states develop regulations and frameworks around legalization. As she told Vox, legal drugs remain available despite their negative effects. Tobacco results in 480,000 to 540,000 deaths each year while drinking in excess is connected to 88,000 annual deaths.

For marijuana, we should “start to think about ways to legalize that prevent those unintended consequences, just like we would regulate tobacco and alcohol,” Cerdá said.

“[Because legalization] has a lot of important benefits from a criminal justice standpoint, and I think it could, if done well, have benefits from a public health standpoint,” she added. “If it’s well-regulated, we could regulate the quality of the product, we could regulate the potency of the product — in a way we couldn’t if it were illegal.”


Bristol gets first medical cannabis centre

Bristol gets first medical cannabis centre

Anyone can book a consultation

Bristol’s first medical cannabis centre has launched in Redland.

The MyAccess service in Redland Court Road’s May Wellness Centre is only the second medical cannabis clinic in the UK to get a licence, which the CQC announced last night (November 13).

The Government legalised medical cannabis last November and now the May Wellness Centre can start assessing patients with conditions such as chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Anyone can book a consultation at the clinic. If a patient is found to be suitable for a prescription, they can pick it up from pharmacies such as Boots, which would place an order from a wholesaler.

Initial consultations costing £150 are now available at the clinic. Follow-up consultations cost £50.

Leila Simpson, deputy CEO of the United Patients Alliance, said: “The CQC’s decision is incredibly significant in providing real hope to thousands of families trying to access medical cannabis for their loved ones.

“Patients have remained frustrated by the slow uptake of prescriptions in both the NHS and private sector, and we call on the Government to urgently increase the speed of access to these vital medicines with uninterrupted supply based on patient need.”

‘Over the moon’

Bruce is a 45-year-old army veteran who has a long history of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).

The Devon resident hopes he will be eligible for medical cannabis at the clinic.

He said: “I’m over the moon by this exciting news. For years I’ve been desperately trying to access medical cannabis for my CPTSD and the thought of now being safely prescribed in Bristol fills me with excitement.”

Graham Woodward, clinical director at MyAccess, said: “We’re delighted to have received our CQC registration, which I’m confident will be a turning point for patients who have so far been unable to access medical cannabis.

“I hope this brings renewed hope for the reported 1.4 million people in the UK using ‘street cannabis’ to treat their chronic health conditions that a legitimately sourced, high quality medical cannabis alternative is available.”

The CQC licence means patients can be prescribed in the Bristol clinic, but it also allows MyAccess specialists to provide home care services for those too unwell to travel.  


Dr Oscar D’Agnone, consultant psychiatrist with MyAccess, said: “I’ve seen the transformative benefits of medical cannabis first-hand and I am really pleased to be able to start assessing patients in a CQC-registered clinic.”

If you would like to find out more, visit www.myaccessclinics.co.uk.




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