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I just saw your April 23 press release. It says: “POP is not the only organization to notice the uptick in child deaths related to marijuana. Yvapil County District Attorney Sheila Polk reported that, in 2013, 62 deaths of children in Arizona were associated with cannabis, and that it was the substance most often related to accidental deaths in the state.” Polk is the Yavapai County Attorney. Polk relayed these Arizona Department of Health Services stats as political propaganda to defeat a legalization bill. The Health department told me they can’t confirm that marijuana was the cause of death or an accident in a single one of these cases: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/state-health-agency-has-no-evidence-that-marijuana-killed-anyone-7424243
There is more recent information in the 2016 report. http://azdhs.gov/documents/prevention/womens-childrens-health/reports-fact-sheets/child-fatality-review-annual-reports/cfr-annual-report-2017.pdf.
On page 62: In 2016, substance use was a factor in 14% of all child fatalities (n=107). Forty-one percent of substance use related deaths (n=44) resulted in deaths due to unintentional injuries. Of the substance use related deaths, marijuana was identified in 30% of deaths (n=46), alcohol was identified in 25% of deaths (n=38), opiates was identified in 10% (n=16), and methamphetamine was identified in 12% of deaths (n=19). In some cases, more than one drug was found to be a direct or contributing factor in the death of a child.
My personal experience are consistent with half of the claims in a recent add you placed in our local paper. I take oral THC to help me sleep and rub THC oil on my feet for peripheral neuropathy. My personal experience would refute the other half of your claims. Details to follow:
It works as well or better than any sleeping pill and much better than Lyrica or Gabopentin for my peripheral neuropathy. Not even addictive narcotics worked as well as a sleep aid. However, the oil was originally prescribed for my arthritis. It had no noticable affect on arthritis. Friends report similar negative results with any bone-related pain. The discovery it worked for neuropahty was a happy accident. Instead of 1500mg of Gabopentin daily I can now rub oil on my feet once every 3 days and the relieve is noticalby better than the conventional drugs, which all have horrid side effects.
In a town with a big military presence, I know PTSD suffers who swear by marijuana. Saved their lives. Be careful how you report your reservations about this drug. Don’t be misleading. Also, in a state where even recreational marijuana is legal, I’ve met two people who moved her for medical reasons. Both report the drug has kept them alive and able to function where no conventional medication could help. These are mature professionals, not stoners, forced to disrupt their lives to come here. Not cool that our political situation forced that decision on them. I look forward to the day when we are better informed about marijuana and can better accomodate such needs throughout our country.
On the downside, however, I can confirm that it does affect the mind beyond the period of medical efficacy. I notice nothing from the topical application of the oil but the sleeping doses definitely impair my memory. I try to take low enough doses so as not to get high…for me the marijuana high is more akin to a caffein buzz than the euphoria of narcotics and other pain killers. Keeps me awake rather than putting me to sleep.
In a nutsheel, like alcohol, my own experience indicates it is unwise to use it recreationally and a lot of the claims for medical benefit appear anecdotal, unsupported by US science and promoted more as a sales tactic than solid medical advice. I am glad you are pointing out the possible negative consequences to using and my heart goes out to any whose loved ones have suffered. However, I feel your certitude that it lacks merit is premature. The vast majority of the almost 300 US studies are underway with few offering results to-date. Every prescription drug I’ve ever taken in 7 decades had the potential for horrid side effects yet the drugs sometimes did well for their intended use and the side effects are uncommon. This may be the case with marijuana, too. (My first use of marijuana was 3 years ago, when 66. I’m not a stoner. At this point, however, going back to other drugs for my neuropathy seems ill advised. I am reducing the frequency of marijuana as a sleep aid in the hopes the mental influence will be less. We’ll see.) I also know one young man whose idiot father encouraged marijuana use as a child. We all fear it had a negative affect on his mental growth, except his idiot father. He has become a very nice adult but struggles with the mental challenges of life. Cannot firmly attribute it to marijuana but it is definitly a candidate.
I have wondered: In countries where marijuana has been available legally have there not been performed studies? Perhaps not published in English? I wonder why such studies are not cited by the US Medical profession. Do you have access to such information? The relief for my neuropathy is really dramatic. I hope they decide it can remain available for such uses. I expect, however, that it should be regulated as any drug with potential bad side effects. It should be at least treated as alcohol, legally unavailable to developing minds and bodies except where medically know to help.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Here are the medical studies that our doctors have thought necessary to document the claims. THC oil? Surprising, because many people think it’s THC oil that helps with pain. Most people will say it’s CBD that helps with pain. The pain doctor who is one of the advisors who wrote the ad finds that his patients who use marijuana never get off their pain pills. As for Veterans, we have numerous examples of vets who became more violent after using marijuana. Many of the pain and PTSD conditions for which people are promoting marijuana can be treated with alternative therapies like Neurofeedback and EMDR. (We have articles about this on our website.) The problem with marijuana is that it has extreme mental health side effects and most people are not warned of this problem ahead of time. Thanks for sharing.
The article “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Understand the State of the Research” is riddled with misinformation. For example, CBD does not convert to THC and Cyndimae Meehan died from a common condition known to those who suffer from epilepsy – SUDEP – not CBD poisoning (as the article implies) . Those who knew the girl would say that she enjoyed a better quality of life because of her homemade cannabis-based vernaculars after conventional treatment failed (and almost killed) her. Also, the FDA’s current regulated cannabis-based research is extremely limited and an extremely slow process. Many believe that cannabis has more to offer than current research protocols for a Schedule 1 substance can expose.
While I don’t believe any drug that doesn’t meet FDA standards should be legalized (and no drug should be taken “recreationally”), I believe that there is enough anecdotal evidence of cannabis’ medical potential to warrant more intensive medical (and social) study. After all, organized anecdotal evidence is called “data”. There’s great opportunity for the science community to come together with those caregivers who have been in the trenches for years, to share valuable data. If it’s done thoughtfully (wishful thinking), we could possibly discover a way to lesson our societal addiction to more toxic and deadly FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.
Educate yourself, your family and know what you’re voting for.
Thank you for your detailed response. We had links to 23 sources so the article wasn’t expected it to generate so much controversy. Nor was it implied that the CBD killed the children. The implication is that children with epilepsy have still died even after being given CBD. The marijuana lobbyists and marijuana industry hides that information and the public is told these children need the CBD now to save lives. That is exaggeration. (There is an article we wrote a week or two about these deaths, if your interested.)
This industry has recklessly tried to skirt around FDA approval, and in doing so they initiate their own “medical” marijuana programs that gets diverted to children who use it for fun, not medicine. We now have 6.5 million Americans (1/3 of marijuana users) who have Cannabis Use Disorder. This is a huge issue to address. We do not trust that expanded access to marijuana will not be abused. We need to watch for the people who are susceptible to psychosis and schizophrenia. You mention the problem of FDA approved pharmaceuticals. However marijuana is very addictive. We published another article last week about how marijuana is leading to the heroin addiction.
A separate reply will address the conversion of CBD to THC. In another article we mentioned three children who died after getting CBD. The parents of two of the children appreciated that their children had a better life before they died. Yes, that is indeed a blessing. However, the public has a right to know that some children die, rather than believing it will definitely save their lives.
Would appreciate if you read this article, which gives a clue why are children are getting into opiates and heroin. The ADDICTION comes first. Psychosis from marijuana
is huge now, with one hospital in the state of Washington reporting 1-2 new psychotic cases every day. The psychosis is more likely for those who begin at age 13 or 14. However,
it still happens to those who begin at age 19—-Margaret Trudeau, for example, who connected each episode of mania which landed her in the hospital, to marijuana
Regarding the Editor’s response to the “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Understand…” article comment:
I think we can both agree that there is a tremendous amount of greed, misinformation, shortsightedness, and ignorance driving [cannabis-related] legislative decisions at every level of government; particularly at the state level. We probably agree that our country boasts one of the best systems in the world (albeit imperfect) for determining the safety and efficacy of medical treatments and products and that legislators should not be making sweeping drug-related decisions that don’t take into consideration all of the repercussions and that could potentially negatively affect the vast majority of our society; particularly our children . Those who ignore the social, economic, scientific and political history of the alcohol and cigarette industries ought to be ashamed of themselves. We may be able to disprove and debate scientific data; but history reveals the truth.
I’m with the POP readers who are frightened and outraged about these developments and I fear marijuana (cannabis) legalization (and ignorant or selfish social attitudes) more than any other issue right now. I’m upset that at a legislative hearing, the life of a suffering, seizing child might be considered more important than that of a healthy one or one inflicted by one with a substance abuse disorder. While about 2.5 million people suffer from intractable epilepsy in the U.S., more than 26 million (and rapidly growing) suffer from some form of drug addiction. We all seem to know about the opioid crisis, finally – this problem has been building for decades. My heart burns for the anonymous readers who share their personal stories on this site about the impact of misused drugs and addiction. It makes me crazy when people say drugs like cannabis are “harmless”. Crazy. This is a highly complex issue with no single solution although taking personal responsibility is a starting place.
We may have to agree to disagree regarding what I perceived as the implication that vernacular preparations of CBD leads to the death of children – even if that’s not what was meant; it is easily misconstrued by the layman. Our country suffers from an age-old systemic problem that supersedes and overshadows the single potential hazard of Cannabidiol. Social scientists may have better explanations than I do, however.
Prescription drugs kill tens of thousands of Americans each year for a myriad of reasons – from over-prescribing to misprescribing to individual misuse. When it comes to epilepsy, FDA-approved AEDs’ side effects, in many cases, are more likely to kill, severely debilitate or delay developing brains and systems. Use and interaction of these powerful, addictive drugs is often misrepresented or misunderstood by physicians. Conspiracy theories aside, outside of warning labels, the FDA doesn’t “talk much” about those issues either. So far, it doesn’t appear that Cannabidiol falls into the category of potentially MEDICALLY lethal or easily abused substances. And this could also be true for other cannabinoids, including forms of THC (such as THCa) and especially CBG, CBN and CBDa. While I don’t foresee any cannabis cure-alls, it doesn’t seem that pharmaceutical-grade cannabis-based medications of the future will have anywhere close to the same risks as some of our conventional drugs. But to your point, the medical cannabis issue is very tightly woven into our politics and with recreational legalization and corporate lobbying interests hovering; grasping billions of dollars in their hands….here lies the problem. Alas! I don’t wish to preach to the choir!
The statement that CBD converts to THC IS misleading in context of the very short article. The NYU study you referenced (not within the article and not that everyday people like to interpret studies anyway) was a single in vitro study using simulated gastric fluid. The results, by no means, prove that CBD can be converted into THC in a human system – particularly at levels high enough to create psychotropic effects. And of course, CBD cannot be converted to THC using heat (which is what most people associate with getting high). Someone who knows nothing about the cannabinoid chemistry or even getting high, wouldn’t know the difference. They might see “THC” and think CBD is bad. How irresponsible would that be? And the reality is, even if it were true, there are much cheaper and easier ways for common people to access THC in order to get high. At this point, CBD’s conversion to THC is the the very least of our problems.
We may also have to disagree about research access. The reality right now is that “kitchen chemists” (a few who are credentialed biochemists and pharmacists) are “semi-scientifically” manufacturing, testing, and adapting medical treatments that appear to be superior in performance while lacking the side effects of pharmaceutical-grade treatments – particularly those faced with the use of AEDs. In this respect, the legal MMJ states really are a “laboratory” as the politicians like to say (irresponsibly, in my opinion). (And YES, there’s another layer: Predatory charlatan “CBD hemp” snake oil salesman who, like many industries, target desperate people – the fat ones, the sick ones, the lonely ones, the penniless ones, etc., etc.). Truly, those customizing their own “medicine” are highly critical of such transparent sales and marketing schemes. This particular community applauds any FDA actions to abolish these companies. Cannabis advocates are also distinctively divided.
Today, our federal system can’t seem to keep up with what these home-spun cannabis communities are finding helps make them feel and live better. And this informal, imperfect-but-tested information is spreading like wildfire. Part of this “great experiment” is an unregulated, uncontrolled study that’s happening as we speak. It’s been going on for many years. Safe or unsafe, socially responsible or not, formal research or anecdotal evidence, the findings and results gap between the scientific community and the fed-up “caregivers” who are trying to save lives – is widening rapidly. This is what I was referring to as untapped data. And where my wishful thinking ends.
To me, it’s a huge mess but it’s a mess that could lead to good things…or the downfall – simply due to irresponsible, thoughtless, selfish management – of our society. Maybe it will be a little of both – which would be right in line with the history of revolution in our country.
My best advice to individuals: Educate yourself, your family – and your friends, understand what you’re voting for and speak up.
The sources that explain the conversion of CBD to THC are Roger Adams, Hans Wolff, C.K. Cain and J.H. Clark, Structure of Cannabidiol. V. Position of the Alicyclic Double Bonds (Contribution from Noyes Chemical Laboratory, University of Illinois), Mikes and Waser: Marihuana Components: Effects of Smoking , Forensic Toxicol (2007) 25:16-21 and Kazuhito Watanabe et al: Conversion of cannabidiol to tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoids in artificial gastric juice, and the their pharmacological effects. For more information, please consult GW Pharmaceuticals or Dr. Orrin Devinsky of New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Our Medical advisor who is a PhD in Pharmacology from the faculty of Johns Hopkins who explained that the only way to deliver the CBD without risking the conversion is through a nasal spray. Smoking and through the stomach are not good.
FUCK YOU republican Alcoholic scumbags.
VOTE to STOP the GOP Nazi thugs in America.
This nothing to do with either political party, being against marijuana, and it has nothing to do with alcohol, either.
please inform us with more scientific facts about this issue. we really appreciate and will support you from asia.
Great work and great website!
I have watched this issue spiral out of control for more than 20 years. I have seen people addicted to it, and I know someone who used early and often and developed schizoaffective disorder–she died at 26. It is EXTREMELY frustrating for people to not recognize that it is not just a personal rights issue. It is a public health issue.
I live in Missouri, and pro-pot organizations have filed to put this issue on the ballot in 2016 (they hope the youth that vote will make the difference). The lack of valid information out there is astounding–the fact that people are not thinking critically about it but merely accepting it because they desperately want to, frightening.
Keep up the good fight! We need you and hope to work with you to make sure people have all the facts!
I wanted to send you a media release please advise how I can best do this – thank you .
Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have stories to share with us, please do. Thanks
Why are the residents of the District of Columbia being allowed to undermine the work of the US Senate and federal institution that provide a living to the people of the District of Columbia?
There always a lot talk about impeachment and dereliction duty of others by U.S. House of Representatives However, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has abandoned their oversight of the District of Columbia allowing the promotion of a self-induced temporary state of mental illness as moral right and encouraging the promotions of a market that is dependent on corruption of children for its existence.
It appears that some in the US House of Representatives are manipulating the DEA to help nurture an American marijuana industry. Is the cause of recreational drug use that noble for the House of Representatives to abandon its oversight? Is it for money?
The District of Columbia represents the nation not the residents of Washington DC. The fact that District of Columbia is allowed to even have legislation to legalize recreational marijuana is an insult to the nation. It is like Absalom with his David his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. Naked in front of the world flaunting contempt for the drug laws of our nation, the majority of the states and nations of the world.
Can you post the comment on this page: http://www.poppot.org/2014/08/06/is-washington-next-city-going-for-pot/
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