What an exciting time to be involved in the cannabis fight. The research is proving to be the one area where the 'prohibitionist' are being trampled. They cannot even respond to what has been learned 2 years ago, much less the tital wave of new information about the endo-cannabinoid system.
For those not familiar with Patients Out of Time (POT), it is an organization formed by Al Byrne (Navy Lt Commander, retired) and ML Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN. The purpose was to educate health care professionals in the art of Cannabis Medicine and these conferences serve as continuing education (AMA Approved) for these professionals. They are conducted every other year. I have attended the past three conferences and highly recommend it to anyone able to attend. It is the end-all for these folks with a world wide credentialed faculty.
The focus this year was "The Endocannabinoid System and Age Related Illnesses". NC was well represented by nccpn Medical Director Kevin Baiko, Dr. and Mrs Lee Porter, my wife and I. What we didn't anticipate was several other NC folks from Wake Forest University and RTI (research triangle park) who presented at the conference. I was particularily pleased to hear Allyn Howlett (PhD) who discovered the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the late 70s. This in turn led to Dr. Mechoulam's discovery of Anandamide (derived from the sanscrit word for bliss) and 2-AG which binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is where the rubber meets the road and was a great learning opportunity.
Currently. Ms Howlett and other researchers are involved in describing two additional receptors, GPR55 and GPR18. By blocking CB1 and CB2 receptors in mice, the effects of cannabinoids were still found in the mice. Unravelling exactly how these work is ongoing and promising research and I assure you, above my paygrade.
BTW, the first presentation was by David Allen, MD. He presented evidence of the "repression of scientific knowledge" about the plant. This helps explain why when you describe some incredible research, eveyone is amazed and the common reaction is: "If it really is that incredible, why have we not seen it in the news?" Best answer is: "money talks", and the money aint happy with all this incredible news. (my thoughts)
Also, as you know, NIDA pays for this research so, the majority of the studies (94%) that are funded must "deal with the evil news about cannabis". The remaining 6% for good news. What we learned is that, regardless of the bad news, the fact that 'cannabis' is medicine has been a side effect well demonstrated in these trials; It cannot be denied. We are working with Ben Scales, attorney for Robert Dorr, to see if there can be positive studies to support his court fight that could be supponoaned.
I will speak about the conference at the nccpn reorganization and update meeting planned for the 24th of May. This is an important meeting for our work going forward. Delegation of tasks and jobs will be discussed, along with an updated constitution and bylaws. I realize this is Memorial Day weekend and it is somewhat late for planning but if too many people are affected, we could make alternate arrangements. Please, please, please...someone start a list of attendees planning to attend. If you can make it, RSVP on the site so we can plan lunch. It will be sandwiches but still need a 'guestimate'.
Thanks and hope you will join us at the waterfall for a day of information and fun. Call if you have something urgent to discuss or recommendations for the event.