The Daily Mail and Guardian lost their shit over weed stories this week. If cannabis was legalised we wouldn’t see the same news.
On the 19th the normally calm and collected Guardian ranted, a “study estimated that 30% of first-time cases of psychotic disorders in south London, and half of those in Amsterdam, could be avoided if high-potency cannabis was not available.”
The Daily Mail lost its shit on another story that screamed, “Children aged NINE are damaged by cannabis: Shocking toll of young patients admitted to hospital with mental disorders.” We all know the paper’s newsroom could do with a daily dose of CBD pumped through its air conditioning system so while Feed The Birds took the piss, those like me who know cannabis pharmacology yawned and found a Tory to troll elsewhere on Facebook.
The Guardian story is more interesting in its language: ‘could be avoided if high-potency cannabis was not available’. Let’s look at why.
Daily Heil talks shit about cannabis again on it’s front page.
Everyone reading this blog would prefer to see cannabis freely available in dispensaries in the UK. Many just don’t want hassle from the police but others want it for medical reasons, while another group (like me when I used to smoke it) know the really good shit doesn’t get you completely stoned off your bollocks but can provide a range of really pleasant highs.
The criminal grows are maximising THC levels for different reasons – firstly, perceived market demand and secondly a lack of time to fully mature buds. One weed growing advice site points out, “If you are tempted to harvest your plants too early, you are likely to get lower levels of CBD because they won’t have attained the highest levels of cannabinoids yet.”
If you’re a criminal grower then you know time is of the essence – the longer you’re growing the more time the police have to bust you. It just makes sense to maximise THC content and then sell it. THC develops in the plant trichomes before other cannabinoids known to tackle the massive stoned effect of THC.
THC is quite a shitty substance at some levels. Here’s a pro cannabis website’s explanation of my comment: “it is possible for people to experience toxic psychosis after only 10 mg of THC”. You can now see why the Guardian appears to be questioning strengths of cannabis and also The Daily Heil’s point that kids are freaking out on the more potent stuff.
The Marijuana Break website also states that Sativex has enough THC in a dose that on its own, even a hardened Rasta could lose his or her mind. People don’t though: “Sativex contains especially high doses of THC, and at around 48 mg is far beyond the limit for most individuals. Somehow, though, research shows that only 4 out of 250 patients utilizing Sativex had an episode of toxic psychosis”.
I was talking to a leading psychopharmacologist a few years back and she was very interested in CBD as in her eyes it could be the next great breakthrough in combating schizophrenia. She saw how it ‘dials back’ the effect of THC and in reasonably high doses can calm hallucinations and delusions.
THCV and other cannabinoids?
A new strain of cannabis has recently been developed at the expense of a San Francisco pain clinic called Black Beauty. It has a dark colour on the leaves thanks to high quantities of the cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
THCV has loads of therapeutic properties but pertinent to this article, the US based Apothecarium website showed, “THCV’s ability to act as antipsychotic was the subject of a 2015 study that concluded THCV has therapeutic potential to treat schizophrenia.”
Even as someone who shouldn’t smoke weed thanks to schizophrenia, I’d like to have a go on some Black Beauty as it sounds rather fun – the Apothecarium states, “Strains or products rich in THCV may result in a stimulating, clear-headed, almost psychedelic type of energetic high that is typically shorter in duration.” BOOM – a trippy high on medicine!
Black Beauty is a very new strain – possibly not found outside even California now – but this shows what can happen where a market is legalised and regulated. You don’t have criminals with one track minds getting people ‘as stoned as possible’ but you see boffins working without fear of arrest trying to work on breeding in different effects.
Let’s make weed safe by legalising
Do I need to say more than that?
One more thing – the Daily Mail’s shite about kids smoking too much weed? In Washington state in the US, it was recently reported, “State agents doing checks for all three restricted products [alcohol, tobacco and cannabis] said licensed marijuana stores passed tests for selling to underage buyers 90 percent of the time. For stores that sell liquor, the compliance rate was 86 percent, and for tobacco sales slightly lower, said Justin Nordhorn, enforcement chief for the Liquor and Cannabis Board, which oversees all three products.”
Legalise and put honest people in control of kids getting weed? Well, I never…
Richard is a marijuana, water sports and electric vehicles writer based in Dorchester, Dorset. Living in Prince Charles model housing estate, Poundbury, he is an avowed republican, community and Labour Party activist. Visit his website at www.richardshrubb.com for more about what he does.
Feed the bird is a collective of like-minded individuals who encourage raising awareness of cannabis and hemp seeds by feeding them to birds. The hemp seed is the most useful seed in the world, as well as being the most useful plant. We encourage the legal spreading of hemp seeds for bird feeding purposes.