Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Canada Does Have Medical Cannabis For Patients

While Health Canada promotes the propaganda of the prohibitionists by using media filled lies directed at our youth, they also run and control the Medical Marihuana Access Program that allows patients with debilitating diseases or disorders to medicate legally and safely.

Many think there is no medicinal benefit to cannabis and they could not be more wrong. It is safe with no chance of over-dose. No one has ever died from it. Instead of destroying organs like chemical drugs, it rebuilds them to make them healthier. More than anything, I no longer have pharmaceutical bills surpassing $60,000 per year for MS medications that don't work like many others. We don't make that much money, so you as a tax payer would get to pay that bill for us.

Instead, my medication works and it costs you nothing. In fact, it virtually costs me nothing. So you are welcome.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Does This Help Explain Cannabis and Health?

As a Cannabis Consultant that is quite vocal about the medicinal use of cannabinoids and what it has done for me and others, I do get a lot of email. It may not be possible to respond to every one, but I do read them all. I also get pretty much every manner of question from doctors, patients, and family members looking to help a patient. Sadly, people like me are usually the last ones to be contacted for help when in fact, we probably should be the first. But trust me, the doctors in Canada are slowly learning.

Most recently I was asked a very simple question by a patient with Multiple Sclerosis. It only makes sense to share it and my response with you.

So how does cannabis help you?

To understand how cannabis can help you, you first have to have a little understanding of the plant itself. The medicinal compounds in cannabis are in a group called cannabinoids. These would be THC, CB1,CB2, and different turpenes found in plants. The different strains of Cannabis Sativa are the result of breeding to achieve differing levels of active cannabinoids and turpenes. All strains can have a slightly different effect.

While the governments' (mainly US), contend that there are no medicinal benefits to cannabis, the US Department of Health applied for and received a patent for Cannabinoids to be used as an Anti-oxidant and a Neuro-Protectant in 2003.

Because the human body produces the same cannabinoids naturally, the body has receptors specifically designed to process the active ingredients. For the most part, these receptors are only used for cannabinoids. Because the body produces it naturally, it is not filtered through the renal system such as chemical pharmaceuticals or opiates. The highest concentrations of THC found in humans is in women during pregnancy in the breast milk. This has long been speculated to be an immune system boost to the newborn with it's first feeding.

When you use it for the first time, the effect has a lot to do with the mode of use in how the side effects effect you. Inhalation either by smoking or vaporizing is by far the fastest route, with a maximum of side effects, but not very efficient due to the lung expelling 2/3rds of anything inhaled not being absorbed by the body.

Ingesting with the right preparation is by far the most effective way as it allows virtually all of the medicinal ingredients to be used. Humans are not designed to digest plant matter in the way that grazing animals are, therefore just eating dried plant could end up being more detrimental than good. Therefore, since 2003 a grey area has existed in the Canadian legal system in regards to the Medical use of Cannabis in Canada where the Supreme and Appellate courts in Ont found that the Criminal Code in regards to Cannabis is of no force or effect when dealing with medicinal use. The part of the law that does come into effect is Trafficking.

Essentially the many benefits of cannabis are still being found but regardless the condition, the cannabinoids are doing multiple jobs at the same time.

Ignoring side effects as with a proper dosing schedule, a patients may only feel relief and no other side effects, the active compounds start to work within minutes.

The first noticeable sign may be a slight increase in heartbeat, by approximately 10 to 15 bpm. This is normal and proving to be very therapeutic as the cannabinoids also act as a vasodilator improving blood flow through veins and vessels. This acts as a flushing system for the body. Unlike pharmaceutical blood thinners such as those used in stented angioplasty patients, cannabinoids do very little to the actual blood or vein walls. Instead it acts as a vasodilator by relaxing the muscles surrounding the vein making it very effective as well as very safe with red eyes. The red eyes really is a good thing.

The vasodilation effect that relaxes the muscles for the veins is the same effect that relaxes spasticity, tremor, and muscle spasms in patients with neurological disorders. This of course also helps with pain. But the mechanisms of cannabis for relieving pain do not work like any other compound.

Narcotic drugs such as opiates do very little to control pain. In fact, they are designed to do nothing for pain. Narcotics work by triggering pleasure sensors in the brain in order to trick the patient into thinking they are no longer in pain. If you ask the patient, they will freely admit that they still feel pain, but because they are high, they can deal with it.

Cannabinoids actually help to shut off the pain sensors neurologically. This works very well for chronic pain, which is the pain that most patients can't describe. Acute pain will still be felt. This is important, as acute pain is designed to be a warning that a part of the body is undergoing trauma and needs attention. The importance of acute pain is most evident in patients with Leprosy. The leprosy damage is done to the nerves. The deformities to limbs are the result of not feeling pain. A stubbed to really hurts enough to help prevent you from stubbing it again until you have no feeling.

Those are the best and most documented effects that can be felt. What cannot be felt is usually more important.

Once in your system in a large enough quantity, cannabinoids, work even harder behind the scenes. Cannabis has been proven to destroy cancer cells. Not in the same was as radiation by going in and destroying both healthy and damaged cells, but instead by making the cancer cell destroy itself, while repairing the damaged cells around it.

It has also been found to be very effective in controlling blood sugar, hormones, the digestive system, anxiety, and a host of other maladies. It will raise or lower blood pressure to normal values in many patients, while also helping to keep cholesterol levels in check. It is also used to help prevent nausea and increase appetite in patients undergoing cancer treatments.

Topically, it has been very useful for removing warts including plantar's, as well as removing cancerous tumors. Application of a pure concentrate to a cut or burn usually results in much less pain or scarring with a faster healing time. The plant properties designed to protect itself in nature also prove beneficial to humans with the anti-bacterial and UV radiation protection properties.

Because of Government stupidity fueled by greed, the most effective medicine known to man that has been used longer than any other medicine remains illegal. Meaning everything you have just read is medically considered anecdotal at best and only furthers the need for more studies.

Except... Anecdotal or not, I am alive because of it and so are many, many others. The only way for anyone to know for sure is to try it themselves. And with the truth, they can try it themselves safely knowing that not one death in over 5000 years has been contributed to cannabis.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Unsung Heroes in the Fight for CCSVI -- Dali Van Gogh

A couple weeks before my procedure, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a fundraiser for our friend Crystal who was also getting the same procedure a week later than myself. The fundraiser itself was great and very well organized, but the music is what made it happen. One band in particular, Dali Van Gogh,  intrigued me and not because the lead singer's name is Marcel, although that is pretty cool.

This is a band that plays music I like. Old style rock that I loved growing up with. Probably not for everyones taste being along the style lines of old AC/DC and led Zeppelin with a hint of some Black Sabbath I think. You can of course get more information on the band here ... http://www.reverbnation.com/dalivangogh.

But it wasn't the music that intrigued me, it is the story behind why the band was there to begin with that caught my attention. Crystal was having a fundraiser and needed bands to play, Marcel (the band one) being a personal friend, was asked if his band could play. Marcel of course informed Crystal that he would have to first check with the band. They agreed and the fundraiser was a success.

Now that in itself makes someone in my books a hero in the cause if you want to call it that. But of course, most things have a secret behind them, this being one.

Marcel had to first check with the lead guitarist, Isaac Kent for a very good reason. The fundraiser is to support a patient with Multiple Sclerosis to raise funds for a procedure that could be easily done in Nova Scotia, but is being blocked by the current NDP provincial government. There wouldn't be any real controversy to this, except Isaac's mother is Becky Kent and she is an NDP MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. And she voted no to letting Crystal try to save her life here like so many others need. More in this province still need care and are not going to be as fortunate as myself, Crystal and others. Which means they will suffer and die at her and her Parties hands.

Now that could be controversial. But like most families, not all children see eye to eye with their parents and I am more than sure these two have discussed it in great detail. Isaac is quite open in his stance against his mothers decision to side with her Party. And for that, him and his band are HEROES.

Plus.. Isaac, like many others here, also has a relative with this shitty disease. You figure it out.

In the meantime, you should head over to http://www.reverbnation.com/dalivangogh, check them out, support them by buying a CD, or more importantly, thank them for what they do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fat is Where It's At!

In April of 1982, war broke out between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Argentina's military invaded the Falklands and Britain responded by sending in a navel task force and amphibious assault. The war lasted for 74 days and resulted in 257 British and 649 Argentinian military dead. At the time I was full of piss and vinegar in Canada having been placed on Ready Alert for the event. We in the military watched this closely.

Shortly after the war, we started to receive reports back. The one that caught my eye the most was a medical report in regards to troop performance. The Falkland Islands are a great place to raise sheep, but a terrible place for an armed amphibious assault. It is made up of a lot of hills with steep banks and a lot of rocks to climb over making it very exhausting for a soldier to climb a hill, run, shoot, etc, all while carry more than 70 pounds of gear.

Soldiers of course were dropping due to fatigue brought on by physical exhaustion. Where it got interesting was the ones that were dropping first were the body builder types with very little fat. Where as the ones that would be considered overweight were in fact able to travel further distances for longer periods. This of course only makes common sense as the human body uses sugar to short bursts of energy and stored fat for energy when the sugar runs out.

From that day on, I stopped going to the gym. I refused to replace energy for looks.

Fast forward 30 or so years and I find that I made the right choice. I stayed large but not to the point of what I considered un-healthy. When that happened I would diet and get back to my comfort zone. A little over a year ago, I read a report that one of the specialists had written. The part that upset me was his description of me as being obese as I have never felt obese a day in my life.

Over a period of 8 months, I lost weight at the rate of 10 pounds per month due to not being able to eat caused by the advancement of my MS. I am no longer what one could consider obese after having lost the equivalent of a small person. My weight hasn't been this low since I was in high school. But on the bright side, I have gained a pound back since my CCSVI procedure and am able to eat.

I am not the only one that has been saved by being overweight. I do not believe anyone should be obese to the point where it is detrimental to their health, but society has made a grievous error by promoting thin as beauty. The conventional treatment for cancer is the same way. Patients that are overweight have a much better chance to survive than an underweight patient.

Personally I think the worse thing ever was the inception of the Body Mass Index when it seems pretty obvious that that little bit of extra fat, could indeed save your life.

I may not gain back all that weight. I may just accept this weight and go out and buy clothes that fit. But I have to wonder, if I didn't have that extra weight, would I have made it long enough to get the treatment that has obviously worked?

The next time someone calls you fat, take it as a good thing. It really is.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Change in Direction

I am in what most would call recovery.

I call it waking up from a four year nightmare to find out it was all true. For the last three years people have been telling me to write a book. The problem is if I wrote a book about the last four years and what I went through, it would look more like a fictional work along the lines of the Saw series of films. I lived it and I have a hard time believing it.

A non-fiction book requires a lot of preparation work. That I can do. I have been researching so-called autoimmune disorders for the last four years. Unlike most doctors, I have actually listened to thousands of patients. Knowing how Medical Textbooks are written and how the information is derived makes it pretty easy to write a manual of corrections when you have the proper information.

So instead of writing a book about my experience that would emotionally scar many, I will write a book on understanding MS. I just can't do anything with sugar coating, so it will be an MS Truths book. But a complete understanding of the disease as we as patients know it and not as our doctors think. How I am doing the book has not been completely decided. But initial thinking is it will be released by chapter in a separate blog attached to this one. Once completed, it may then be compiled and printed. Or the entire book will be kept hidden until completion. Regardless of the outcome, the book is about to become my job since I can't have a real one. I just won't get paid for it other than the satisfaction that hopefully someone can learn something.

Now for the fun stuff. I still have a lot of recovery to do. Mentally I am going in leaps and bounds, physically it is still a challenge. This blog is going to continue in the direction I started except instead of bringing attention to my plight, I will use it to bring attention to everyone else. I still have a personal fight with the Nova Scotia Health Minister and I will continue with that path and share it here. But more importantly I will show you more that are going through what I have gone through and others that are helping pave the way.

I do not hide that I have a problem with Pharmaceutical companies profiting off patients and doctors that are in it for the wrong reason. We as patients are obligated to inform other patients so they don't have to suffer like we have.

I am alive because 1. a lot of amazing people helped donate funds for a procedure that goes against conventional medical thinking, and 2. I went against conventional medical thinking by using cannabis instead of just accepting a fatal disease and dying.

Because I went public and told the truth that people do in fact die from this disease, I am now getting on average 5 messages a day from people or their loved ones that are also dying and have given up hope. The comments that have been made to some of these patients by their neurologists sicken me. And I am going to help all I can.

I will try to keep the confusion to a minimum during this process and can only guarantee that it should have something for everyone.