Cannabis and Motor Coordination

As cannabis rounds the bend in many states toward legalization, one of the biggest questions on society’s mind is how to ensure that it is safe and does not impair potential life threatening activities. Since the founding of MADD in 1980, we’ve grown more aware of the danger of drunk driving, which kills close to 28 people a day in America and is a heart-breaking drain on society. Since cannabis can also have mind-altering effects, as a society, we’re equally wary about the danger of driving under the influence of cannabis or any psychoactive substance for that matter. In fact, this fear is constantly cited as reason for not passing medical cannabis legislation. This concern has led states that have already approved medical cannabis to pass regulations specifying levels acceptable for operating vehicles. At first glance, this all seems acceptable. In the same way that patients with allergies should not take Benadryl before operating machinery, medical cannabis patients must be careful about actions that can jeopardize their safety or the safety of others. However, some of these legal driving limits are unbelievably low. In Washington State, for example, the legal limit is 5 nanograms THC-COOH per milliliter of blood in a blood test. To put that in perspective, this amount could actually exist in a medical cannabis patient 24 hours after consuming cannabis. But is a patient realistically an inhibited driver 24 hours after medication? Of course not. Anyone with a proper medical cannabis experience knows that. However, that’s just…

Cannabis and Carcinoma Part II

Today we’re revisiting a topic: the use of the endocannabinoid system as a possible therapeutic target for cancer treatment. Last time, we discussed the ability of some cannabinoid molecules to trigger cell death in cancerous cells. In that article we were careful to note that those results did not necessarily equate to a cancer solution and more testing would need to be conducted. Since then, cancer research has continued to be a focal point of the endocannabinoid research community, so we’re pleased to be able to further the discussion. The leading cause of global cancer death is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is the most common type of liver cancer and usually brought on by other illness or stress, such as viral infection or alcoholism. The survival rate is generally poor, as by the time tumors are noticed, they are generally too big to remove. In fact, liver transplant is usually the most effective approach. Unfortunately, livers have a waiting list and most cases of HCC occur in undeveloped countries where some sort of solution is desperately needed. At this point in time, researchers are testing all sorts of new chemicals and processes. Endocannabinoids, with receptors all along the immune system, represent a unique approach to a solution In earlier studies, the chemical WIN55,212-2 (WIN55), a synthetic cannabinoid which produces effects similar to the THC found in cannabis, has been shown to cause cell cycle arrest in the cancer cell line BEL7402 (carcinoma cells). Like THC, WIN55 actives CB1 receptors. Researchers…