Cannabis

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Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing.jpg
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three different species, Cannabis sativa[1], Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central and South Asia.[1]

Cannabis has many different strains and does produce an oil that can be healing. Extracting that oil can be done in numerous ways which is as important as the oil itself.

Smoking it may produce different results which can be harmful. The plant Cannabis sativa is known to cause more of a "high" by stimulating hunger and by producing a rather more comedic, or energetic feeling. Conversely, the Cannabis indica plant is known to cause more of a "stoned" or meditative feeling, possibly because of a higher CBD to THC ratio. While the heat volatizes the oils and allows them and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)[2] to enter the blood quickly through the lungs they also change the oils and can alter the healing effects. The more volatile oils may enter the blood and the brain and cause what we call a high. This may differ in different people but some things are similar in every case.

The chemicals it produces can enter the brain and block pain but it can also block parts of the brain function[3] where thought takes place and awareness may reside.

A psychoactive or psychotropic drug whether man made or natural is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior.

When the mind or part of it is shut down or access is cut off by the chemicals and oils you may get the feeling that you have your awareness heightened. Because part of your brain is shut down you may be able to focus on what is left and imagine a higher level of awareness but that is only taking place in part of your brain. The other part has gone dim or dark.

There are numerous studies that show the onset of psychosis is earlier in users of the drug especially among young people.[4]

Female cannabis plants contain more than 60 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), thought to be the major anticonvulsant that helps multiple sclerosis patients; and cannabichromene (CBC), analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and even antipsychotic properties which may all contribute to the pain-killing effect of cannabis. It appears to be the THC that produces euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, fragmentary thoughts, lack of concentration, impaired memory, drowsiness, and even sudden panic or paranoia.

Work has been done to produce strains of the plant that are said to be low in THC and high in CBD.By crossbreeding a strain of marijuana with industrial hemp plants with less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and more cannabidiol (CBD)could be used to help heal without the high.[5]


How it works

"No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth [it] under a bed; but setteth [it] on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light." Luke 8:16

In the brain we have electrically excitable Neurons (neurone or nerve cell) which possesses a cell body (soma) and neurites, dendrites or axon. They do not actually touch one another but use chemicals called neurotransmitters, serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine, to pass messages across gaps called a synapse. These cells may form a complex pattern called "dendritic tree". It is in this dendritic tree that our consciousness thinks and where we are are aware of thinking.

THC the active chemical in marijuana mimics a natural neurotransmitter called anandamide[6] THC binds to cannabinoid [7] CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are located in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia of the brain. These brain areas can control short-term memory, coordination, learning, problem solving, and unconscious muscle movements.

THC prevents anadamide from doing its job, the delicate balance between anadamide and dopamine is interrupted. Suddenly we may become euphoric, off-balance, ravenous, seemingly impervious to pain, and unable to retain the memory of information. We are preventing our bodies from doing what they do naturally. Of course if our body is already malfunctioning then THC or CBD may interrupt the malfunction.[8] THC is fat-soluble, so even though its affect to the brain may seem to stop, it can remain in body tissues for several weeks or even months.

It is clear by all studies that most people smoking cannabis are doing so to experience the condition called a "high" which comes from interrupting the dendrite synapse connections of the mind by mimicking natural neurotransmitters, serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine... We call this process getting high.

Many drugs may dull or relieve pain although they may produce different side effects. Cannabis' ability to dim part of the brain may help multiple sclerosis patients, relieve pain, cause Parkinson patience to stop shaking and help artistic people like musicians with active cortex calm the mental distractions of other parts of their brain allowing them to focus on the music or other mental pursuits without those particular distractions.

The commonly held philosophy, "If it feels good, do it!" may have dangerous consequences. The motivation for the use of these naturally occurring drugs that interrupt the the natural activities of the brain should be seriously examined by everyone.

When a person seeks to get high by smoking cannabis they are interrupting a natural process of the mind "to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, and control impulses" with something found in nature.

Can smoking marijuana alter the way you look at money?

Researchers of the University of Michigan Medical School conducted a four-year study that concluded:

"... that marijuana use is associated with decreased neural response in the NAcc (nucleus accumbens) during the anticipation of nondrug rewards." [9]

Many things we do like going to work and attending to family issues are the result of the brain releasing response rewards when we fulfill certain activities. People like to accomplish things, finish jobs, or touch base with family members. They enjoy many things because the brain releases dopamine rewards which we learn to anticipate.

Capgras is the result of damage to the part of the mind which sends a signal to another part of the mind that reassures us concerning recognition of trusted loved ones. There may be other side effects caused by abuse or use of Methamphetamine. While the stories and evidence of Capgras are very dramatic, many more subtle influences may be generated by chemical interruption of normal mind processes.

The Michigan University study also stated that the relevance that "Over time, marijuana use may alter anticipatory reward processing in the NAcc (nucleus accumbens), which may increase the risk for continued drug use and later addiction." [10]

The anticipation of any kind of reward, job satisfaction, compliments, approval, things or money may activate and release dopamine, “reward" or “pleasure" chemical of the mind. Chronic marijuana users are observed exhibiting a weaker response to reward than the participants who smoke pot less frequently or didn’t use it at all. One conclusion from the study was that:

"the more marijuana a person smokes, the weaker their brain response to a money reward is."]
"that the study proves that marijuana is a highly addictive drug that changes a person’s behavior and causes problems with emotional functioning." [11]

We may become addicted to behavior that is harmful and interrupting that addiction can be beneficial. The natural addiction to beneficial behavior can also be interrupted by smoking cannabis which can clearly debilitate an individual so that they are unable to work or function in the world they must live in.

Any drug powerful enough to cure is also capable of doing harm.

The brain is the screen upon which we project our thoughts, organize our thinking, and set priorities. To intentionally impair the brain and those essential functions to experience an escape into an induced euphoria for the purpose of self pleasure should be carefully examined[12].

Religious oils

Cannabis is mentioned in the Hindu Vedas before 1400 BCE, in the Atharvaveda. Centuries later some in India identified it as the "food of the gods" and eventually became a ritual part of the Hindu festival of Holi.

To the Buddhist, cannabis is regarded as an intoxicant. Because of its recreational use it was considered a hindrance to meditation and clear awareness.

In ancient Germanic culture, Cannabis was associated with the Norse love goddess, Freya.

Amongst Israelite it was considered an anointing oil mentioned in Exodus. By some translators, anointing oils mentioned in Exodus was said to contain Cannabis.


The Dark Side

Any time we deny the light of our personal awareness by refusing or choosing not to see something, we create a shadow or dark spot within our minds. We establish an area within the dendritic tree we will not go and refuse to see. That dark place in your brain you are no longer noticing or aware of may leave you very exposed, spiritually speaking.

"It's like going to sleep and leaving all your windows and doors wide open." Comment to someone waking up who was beginning to question his use of Cannabis.
"Then goeth he, and taketh [to him] seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first." Luke 11:26

As studies have shown there may be a reduction in the ability to plan, organize, and solve problems which are usually done in particular parts of the brain. Activities that utilize those parts of the brain that are used for making decisions may be neglected. Things you would have done may be put off or neglected altogether. Also individuals may become more impulsive by showing patterns of less control over impulses that normally would be over ridden by demands of family, work and responsibility to community.

It also may leave you more vulnerable in the dim areas of your brain. Lots of drugs can do that. If you habitually drug your brain to obtain "peace", you may return to the drug to get the endorphins that are produced in the euphoric state. That is addiction.

The question is, why are you not at peace already?

That might seem to be a callous question if we are dealing with a cancer patient or someone with severe back pain, etc. but it is always an important question if not an important part of our daily prayer.

The truth is, listening to music or people talking in your headphones or just making up daydreams about the past or what you want to say or do are all part of that need to distract the brain. The brain is the tree of knowledge. It gives us a platform and screen on which to play out our lives in our minds eye. If we are dealing with guilt, anger, or judgments we may feel a greater need or even compulsion to drug the brain, to get relief.

There are many things found in nature and given us by God. While you can find good uses for almost all of them, we can honestly conclude that almost all of them can do harm to us if we misuse them. Doing harm to ourselves is doing harm to society. God wants us to seek His righteousness and that means the righteous use of the gifts he gives us. If we diminish our ability by the overuse or abuse of natural things such as alcohol, food or herbs and plants found in nature then we are going against Nature and Nature's God.

We should always approach such indulgence with a degree of wise and prudent caution plus a measure of righteous restraint.

Cancer Cures and Cannabis

While cannabis has been used to help patience deal with pain of cancer and modern therapies some believe it actually cures cancer based on test data.

Cannabinoids includes related compounds like cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors which your body naturally produces. These compounds called endocannabinoids play a role in many processes within your body that help to balance good health.

Not every strain of cannabis has the same effect. Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells by rebuilding of the immune system without any psychoactive effects.

Smoking cannabis does not reach therapeutic levels. Creating oil from the plant or eating the plant may help reach those levels. They appear to inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow.

Every cell there is a family of interconvertible sphingolipids[13] that specifically manage the life and death of that cell by regulating signal transmission and cell recognition.

A sphingolipid with a hydrogen atom only is a ceramide. A biological functions of lipids[14] is storing energy, signaling, and acting as structural components of cell membranes.

The CB1[15] or CB2[16] cannabinoid receptors on the cancer cell should normally cause the cell to die. When the cell comes into contact with some compounds in cannabis there is some times an increase in ceramide synthesis which drives cell death. There are number of G-proteins like p53 to cause cancer cell death by disrupting calcium metabolism in the mitochondria or starving or devitalizing abnormal cells.

The body should do this without the introduction of cannabis compounds. But as with Parkinson's and MS there may already be a malfunction or blockage in the natural metabolism of the body.

So again is it the cannabis that is curing the patient or allowing the patient to cure themselves by blocking that which was already blocking good and balanced health?

"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Mark 9:24
When someone is drowning do they need a swim coach or a lifeguard?

Many oil compounds found in nature may help the body heal itself by clearing blocked gateways and neurological signals necessary for good health.

Our bodies should overcome most diseases if we have a good and healthy immune system. from becoming balanced emotionally, spiritually, physically and maintaining a healthy food diet also may be essential.

Legal or Lawful

Cannabis is a natural plant whose properties may be used for good or evil, to heal or to harm, to help or to hide from the truth about ourselves.

The outlawing of Cannabis is an abuse of nature and the liberty granted by God but the fact that a government has the power to make a substance illegal is because people have already rejected God. They have made the State their Father. Because the Fathers of the State have been given the responsibility of caring for the needy of society, it will also give them the right to regulate the activity of the people for whom they must care.

If the State is responsible for your welfare it will and should have the power over the activity of the people.

With that in mind I must add that the abuse of Cannabis and many other things for personal pleasure or distraction, which is all too common is a crime against God.

Where the line is drawn should be between you and the Holy Spirit.

Peace on your house,

About the author

To read more go to "His Holy Church" (HHC) http://www.hisholychurch.org/

== Footnotes ==
  1. Cannabis sativa cultivars are used for fibers due to their long stems; Sativa varieties may grow more than six metres tall... especially as fiber ranging from paper, cordage, construction material and textiles in general, to clothing.
  2. the principal psychoactive constituent (or cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant. An aromatic terpenoid, THC has a very low solubility in water, but good solubility in most organic solvents, specifically lipids and alcohols.
  3. THC intoxication is well established to impair cognitive functioning on an acute basis, including effects on the ability to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, and control impulses.
  4. A 2007 meta analysis concluded that cannabis use reduced the average age of onset of psychosis by 2.7 years relative to non-cannabis use. A French review from 2009 came to a conclusion that cannabis use, particularly that before age 15, was a factor in the development of schizophrenic disorders.
  5. Charlotte's Web
  6. Anandamide plays a role in naturally boosting memory and learning, dulling pain, and stimulating the appetite. Ananda is the Sanskrit word for "bliss"
  7. Cannabinoids are receptor proteins. Endocannabinoids produced naturally in the body by humans and animals repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. Phytocannabinoids is found in cannabis and some other plants.
  8. That interruption may be called a cure but you might equate the believed cure with saving someone who is drowning. In the long term it would be better to teach them to swim but because of the immediate threat rescuing them must be the immediate concern.
  9. Association of Marijuana Use With Blunted Nucleus Accumbens Response to Reward Anticipation Abstract, Conclusion.
  10. Association of Marijuana Use With Blunted Nucleus Accumbens Response to Reward Anticipation Abstract, Relevance.
  11. The Mind Unleashed, SMOKING POT CHANGES THE WAY YOU LOOK AT MONEY, STUDY FINDS.
  12. An addict is a person who is addicted to a particular substance. Addicted - physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.
  13. Sphingolipids, or glycosylceramides, are a class of lipids containing a backbone of sphingoid bases, a set of aliphatic amino alcohols that includes sphingosine. They were discovered in brain extracts in the 1870s and were named for the mythological Sphinx because of their enigmatic nature.
  14. Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others.
  15. Found in the brain
  16. Found in the nervous system

other links

http://cannabisinternational.org/info/Grannys_List_July_2010.pdf