Chronic Relief by Nishi Whiteley
I will provide comments on what strikes me as interesting or takeaway points from each section of the book as our group reads.
- Everyone should know who Dr. Russo is, anyone that reads cannabis literature will see a number of fantastic papers by him.
- 1972 Shafer Commission - Everyone should be aware of the numerous commissions that studied cannabis and showed minimal harmful effects, minimal addiction, no massive societal problems. Recommended cannabis be regulated like alcohol. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shafer_Commission
- The web link to the list of research papers is excellent
- Important to realize that Sativex (a prescription medication made of THC,CBD, and terpenes) is legal in many countries world wide already!
Everyone should be aware of the different classes of controlled substances, called schedules, under the US Controlled Substances Act.
The referenced Americans for Safe Access website does indeed have lots of good resources broken down state by state
Important to realize how uneducated most Americans still are about how safe and non toxic cannabis is.
Important to ensure the cannabis dollars do good, not go to black market
I personally do not like her choice to title the book "chronic relief" as she discusses. I get where she is coming from, but chronic is cliched and the future of cannabis is to ditch much of the ghetto language associated with the underground elements of the industry.
I empathize with her feelings of how she began her book project in secret. In the beginning I was like her afraid of what people would think, but I absolutely despise political correctness and think its one of the great downfalls of academia these days. The science irrefutably supports cannabis, and not just for horrible diseases; cannabis has such low toxicity the plant and its products are truly a choice with less side effects for many people than alcohol, ibuprofen, tylenol, narcotics, not to mention the AMAZING potential our understanding of the ECS has to change the way we think about things like diabetes, alzhiemers and so many more. However, I know cannabis is a smarter choice for so many people either to replace certain medications or complement them, and the need is so great for likable young educated folks to take the lead, and I have no problem fighting the haters off. They are on the wrong side of history.
Her focus on suffering in the different categories of the human experience speaks to the amazingly complex endocannabinoid system and cannabis ability to modify everything from mood to pain from physical suffering.
How to use this book - She makes an important point for anyone trying to learn more - if you find any section particularly interesting make sure you dig up her primary source references and read them.
I am interested to see how she uses her "Common Denominators of Illness" to show how one can use cannabis. A refreshing choice than to see staff writers on many cannabis websites shoving links into spammy posts trying to act like they know what they are talking about!
I think people are beginning realize they no longer have to sneak or hide cannabis, that its absolutely a reasonable addition to many peoples armamentarium for relieving suffering. And frankly I take pride that people using cannabis are making a healthier choice than relaxing with pain pills or alcohol.
I cannot echo her statements enough about how the majority of patients we see are high functioning adults, many of which make a smart choice of cannabis over alcohol or NSAIDs for pain and other maladies.
Also remember that the big studies on cannabis show that cannabis users have a lower BMI than non users, likely because cannabis users are happier, feel less pain and get outside and do stuff!
The prologue and chapter 1 were very relatable to me. Everyone in the world is awakening to the idea of ending the war on the people. We need to be able to save the ones we love and give people the ability to do so without poisoning them. One thing that will always stick with me from her mothers story is that "aren't we lucky?".
Nishi Whiteley states very early on that she is not a medical or legal cannabis expert and her statements reflect her own independent research and experience. For me that is the power of the book. Whiteley is not a stereotypical stoner/ pot head; she represents all of us normal everyday people who have found comfort and relief with responsible, educated cannabis consumption. We need more brave people like Whiteley, who are not afraid to share their stories in order to break the negative stigma associated with this non toxic medicinal plant. the story of her mother's death was both insightful and inspiring.
Chapter 2 Review
In 2016 over 2.2 million Americans have decided medical cannabis cards works better for them rather than medical prescriptions. They are paving the way for the future of cannabis. On the other hand, the amount of Americans prosecuted in 2016 for marijuana is at a record high. Over 650,000 people per year are arrested for minor charges and its only feeding the prison profiteering monster. Legalization is definitely going to help that issue.
I feel one of the best parts of chapter 2 is on page 11. It tells citizens what to do if they are communicating with the law. I have seen it many times where people dig a grave and have no way out of the trouble they SPOKE themselves into. Just try to remember the most important one of all "remain silent".
The other parts of chapter 2 that are notable are the difference between Marijuana & Hemp, the history and legality of cannabis, and the pioneers of the cannabis movement. These are definitely things a new user should be educated about and it will give them a good start on their new journey.
First paragraph sheds some light on one of the four major industries that do not favor cannabis legalization:
1) Prison industry (650,000 possession arrests)
The overgeneralization of glaucoma as being due to "inflammation" is an insult to readers intelligence and simply a dangerous thing to say. No physician would ever write this section. Glaucoma pathophysiology is very complex and has different causes. Glaucoma is NOT just due to "inflammation" , its a very serious problem that should be taken that way because the disease deals with one's vision. Cannabinoids are not always sufficient to manage glaucoma and any patient using cannabinoids as a major part of therapy for glaucoma has to follow VERY closely with their eye doctor.
The list of conditions she writes about leaves off the biggest ones out there:
aches and pains
Cannabis is valid choice and has less toxicity that ibuprofen, aspirin, and tylenol in managing these above conditions and many adult Americans choose to use cannabis instead of these drugs or alcohol. A perfectly rational choice.
Notable items from her timeline are 1944 and 1972 major reports that were published by government funded studies finding no gateway effect of cannabis. These studies were ignored by the wack jobs pushing a totally failed drug war that ravages our society unnecessarily.
Also notable is that the special interests war on cannabis delayed the discovery of receptors in humans until 1988 (CB1) and 1993 (CB2). Sad sad. What a cool physiologic system that was ignored due to illegitimate suppression of cannabis!!
http://www.zeldatherapeutics.com/ is a good resource to follow for Breast Cancer information and cannabis treatments.
Marinol was approved in 1985 for CINV
The facts shared about Judge Young recommending cannabis be changed to a schedule two drug is nice, not to mention the previous other studies by government organizations finding no reason cannabis should remain schedule 1.
HOWEVER - moving cannabis to schedule two is NOT the answer, that just plays into pharma's hands. Cannabis is a safe plant and should be moved to the same classification as alcohol or tobacco.
Chapter 3 was definitely for the "fellow science geeks" as she called them. The chapter will give anyone some understanding of the cannabis plant and the science behind it. This look at CB receptors, ECS, cannabinoids, terpenes, and the therapeutic effects is the education the world needs to know learn about in 2017.
There over 400 therapeutic chemicals that occur in cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and a phytosterol. Separately these all have their own medicinal qualities, but when they are together they support each other and increase the benefits of one another. This is known as "the entourage effect" which is a scientific hypothesis that proposes the combinations of natural components in cannabis work together to increase the benefits to the user. The author compares it having a full orchestra versus a solo artist.
In conclusion, it was an informative chapter and you can learn a lot from the 26 pages it offers. The science that is arising from legalization is opening the doors to more understanding of the cannabis plant and we are finding new medicinal properties constantly. I look forward the progression of this understanding.
Chapter 1 of CHRONIC RELIEF was a great introduction to introduce us to Nishi's relationship and love for cannabis. Like Nishi, I too had a mother who was terminally ill (with brain cancer). I wish I knew what I know now about the benefits of cannabis before she had passed. Nishi luckily chose to challenge the status-quo, and no longer be ill informed about the positive benefits that come from the cannabis plant. Because of her choice to learn more about it, her mother suffered less in the final days that she was able to spend with her. It is definitely very inspiring that she turned her mother's death into something joyous and valuable for the entire world to read.
Cannabis has been used as a prescribed medicinal plant dating back to 2737 B.C. Today, over 2.2 million Americans have medical cannabis cards. Many people are turning to cannabis as alternatives to opioids, alcohol, and other illicit drugs for its positive medical effects. One of the most fascinating things I learned from this chapter was that components in cannabis mimic a very important chemical system in the human body: the Endocannabinoid System. The "ECS" is responsible for keeping the human body in balance. By using the anti-inflammatory, cancer-killing, or many other positive properties found in cannabis...patients can hopefully find more comfort with the right knowledge and education.
Points I love for people to know from this chapter
- Pharmacologically active doses of CBD can reduce disorientation and tachycardia caused by THC (one highlight of the entourage effect of using whole plant or multiple cannabinoid therapy)
- Mention of biphasic dose response
- Understand the basics of endocannabinoid pharmacology
- The main endocannabinoids anandamide (arachidonyl ethanolamide) and 2-arachydonyl glycerol (2-AG)
- CB1 and CB2 receptors
- The enzyme Diacyl glycerol lipate (DAGL) synthesizes endocannabinoids
- Enzymes Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) break down endocannabinoids