cannabidiol

California: Researchers Hope To Test Cancer Fighting Marijuana Compound

By: Steve Elliot for Hemp News (http://hemp.org/news/content/california-researchers-hope-test-cancer-fighting-marijuana-compound) "The pain-relieving and nausea-relieving effects of medical marijuana and its chief psychoactive ingredient, THC, are becoming well known for those fighting cancer and other serious diseases. But for more than five years now, a group of researchers in California has been focusing on another of the cannabinoids found in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD).

Watch the video here! http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=9057615

"Cannabidiol is a non-toxic agent from cannabis that is not psychoactive," said Sean McAllister, Ph.D., a lead researcher in the recent study at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, reports Carolyn Johnson at KGO.

McAllister and fellow researcher Pierre Desprez, Ph.D., say they are now ready for human trials, using CBD to treat metastatic cancer. They've already produced a synthetic form of CBD, which they say targets a specific gene related to cancer's spread.

"We found this one compound, CBD, had a specific effect on metastatic cancer cells, very aggressive tumor cells," Desprez said. "The bad cancer cells, the ones that spread throughout the body."

The team documented the effect of CBD on brain cancer in a large scale animal trial in a recently published study. Brain scans showed the disruption of the tumor cells after the CBD was used to switch off a specific gene regulator, according to the researchers.

"We find when you treat with CBD, you down regulate the expression of this protein, and that inhibits the disease process," McAllister explained.

That may be due to a natural defense mechanism in the cannabis plant, according to Desprez; he believes the plant may have developed CDB to retard the development of insects which ate marijuana, thus protecting itself.

"So maybe the plant is making these compounds to combat the development of insects and we can use the compound to target cancer cells that act like embryonic cells," Desperz speculated.

Due to the non-toxic nature of CBD, the team hopes to be authorized soon for human trials, for which they are currently seeking funding. The team has already designed two trial models, one for brain cancer and one for breast cancer.

The Science and Neuroscience: Cannabis and Creativity (from Neboagency.com)

ThisIsYouBrainOnCannabis

"We’re not the first ones to ask this question, obviously. The effects of marijuana on creativity have been studied extensively by everyone from prestigious PhDs in university laboratories to white kids with dreadlocks in their college dorms. The findings have been a bit of a mixed bag.

One of the keys to creativity is divergent thinking, meaning the ability to view things in a multitude of different ways. It’s what makes creative people creative. It’s what makes people, upon viewing your creation, say, “I’ve never thought of it that way,” or “Wow, what was he smoking?”

Marijuana in the Brain

With that in mind, a 2010 study by Morgan, Rothwell, et al. showed that one of marijuana’s primary properties is its ability to increase hyper-priming, or your ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. It’s the cause behind those famous and well-parodied “Aha!” moments when a high person suddenly realizes a deep truth about himself after noticing something inconsequential like a dead worm on the sidewalk; or how a weed-fueled conversation can go from whether or not the guy from ABC’s “Nashville” was also in an episode of “Boy Meets World” (he was) to the pros and cons of Taco Bell quesadillas in no time flat.

Marijuana also causes your brain to release the neurochemical called dopamine, which gives users the signature calm, euphoric feeling. It also helps reduce your inhibitions and turn off your “inner-editor” while writing, drawing, or brainstorming. People high on marijuana often describe their thoughts and feelings as moving more freely, almost flowing through them.

Last, research suggests that cannabis blurs the lines between a person’s five senses, allowing for an increased capacity for wonder and awe. It enhances your ability to marvel at things, somehow allowing you to experience events in a profound, internal way.

But it’s not all cheese puffs and genius works of art for weed smokers. A study done in 2010 by Bourasa & Vaugeois claims that the supposed creative benefits of marijuana don’t hold up statistically. The study showed no positive effect from marijuana on divergent thinking and that it may even have a negative impact in this area.

Cannabis in the Brain

So, how do we explain the disparity between studies? Maybe creativity is tougher to define than we’re led to believe. Maybe it’s more complicated than a series of tests or response times engineered by psychologists.

Even if we were to agree that divergent thinking is the most important aspect of creativity, it’s still only one aspect. Weed isn’t some magical substance that can turn any old schlub into Picasso. True creativity also requires intelligence and a whole lot of hard work."

Read the rest of the article on Nebo!