Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mother Energy, Eternal Earth part 2

Written by Rand Clifford   
Source: pacificfreepress.com

US prohibition of hemp farming is a national catastrophe. Addiction to fossil energy is a global, ecological catastrophe. Both are peoples’ catastrophes; right up there with the consequences of hemp prohibition, and suppression of Mother Energy access, is the demonstrated disregard of humanity.

Nature is infinitely subtle. We are part of nature. Working against nature is working against us.

The ultimate question for mankind seems to be: If you are clever enough to exploit Earth’s fossil energy, are you wise enough not to destroy yourselves with it?

Sheer cleverness is obviously not our problem. A collective, nurtured and even enforced wisdom deficit leading to corporate profit becoming God, that seems our problem. Runaway focus on profit is a dead end.

Nikola Tesla was a very human being. Awareness and wisdom shining from Tesla’s mind was so brilliant he could only be targeted in a world destined to run on oil. His statements about science being but a perversion of itself unless its goal is the betterment of humanity...that, along with other noble demonstrations of his humanity put a big bull’s-eye on his back.

As much as Tesla gave us, and as much praise as he has attracted, a proportional derision hounds even his memory. Powers of corporate profit have failed to excise the memory of Tesla from public consciousness, and so, have fallen back on the next best thing: relentless disinformation, misinformation, misdirection and distraction.

Has one man ever offered so much to humanity? Has any man ever been suppressed in so many ways both subtle and overt? A main idea being pushed lately is that an electric car is named after Tesla—as though that’s one of his greatest achievements. Reliable information regarding what matters most about Tesla is disappearing.

It is generally agreed that on January 7, 1943, Tesla had an appointment to discuss with FDR the possibility of tapping Mother Energy—of mankind hooking its machines up to “...the very wheelworks of nature.” Limitless, clean and natural energy (Tesla used the term, “Free energy”).

He missed his appointment with FDR. Tesla was found dead of “natural causes”.

Evidence suggesting that Tesla was murdered includes the FBI being right on the scene to confiscate all of Tesla’s possessions. Papers, notebooks—everything involving his research remains locked down. And for reasons of “national security”, the coroner’s report is also ultra classified because it reveals that Tesla did not die of natural causes.

Parallels between malign powers attacking Tesla, and those responsible for prohibition of hemp farming since 1937—the parallels are astonishing, yet predictable. Access to Mother Energy, the force that energizes the universe, and freedom regarding hemp in all its life-promoting glory...seems hard to imagine two things of greater public benefit, or two things more threatening to the profit status quo.

Today, hemp threatens entrenched profits of even more industries than in the summer of 1937, when congress was being asked to essentially outlaw a drug they knew nothing about.

That summer, congressman Snell asked congressman Rayburn, regarding the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act, “What is this bill about?”

“It has something to do with something called marijuana,” replied congressman Rayburn. “I believe it is a narcotic of some kind.”

Of course the real issue was non-drug industrial hemp. Marijuana and the whole “reefer madness” shame was a ruse to protect profits of industries such as timber, paper, petroleum, cotton...a fact substantiated by “medical marijuana” opening broader decriminalization of marijuana. Get ready for even greater shame when marijuana is legal, but hemp farming is not.

Biotech is a new industry threatened by hemp that is gaining immense and hazardous control over not just our food supply. Biotech's ultimate thug is a beast that has grown to own the designation of “Most Evil Corporation in the World”: Monsanto.

Sheer political power of this beast recklessly splicing up “Frankenfoods” lurks in what many are calling the “Monsanto Protection Act”.

Monsanto has deployed its congressional gangsters to attach and defend “riders” to both the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, and the 2012 Farm Bill. Essentially, these riders represent a green light for Monsanto to do their worst—with no restrictions, and no responsibility for the consequences. If Monsanto prevails, as usual, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will be free from all meaningful safety reviews, and the government will be forced to approve new GMOs upon request. Danger of this cavalier profiteering with the code of life is unprecedented in both scope and malignancy.

Nature has woven over Earth a system of life perpetual, a tapestry of species filling myriad niches. Intricacy of the environment supporting life, and life supporting the environment—magnificence achieved over billions of years. Nature’s clock is geological.

Mankind’s clock seems stuck on me now. Call us Prometheans, getting most of our energy burning things; combustion, explosion, chemical reactions. We’ve learned to tear apart largest atoms for fission energy while piling up radioactive waste deadly for millennia. We’ve learned to fuse the smallest atoms, but fusion, nature’s way...we only use fusion in thermonuclear warheads triggered by fission. Our biggest bang so far.

And now we have the childhood of biotech. Compared to nature, biotech is something like a child with molecular trimmers and mucilage splicing genes into places they don’t belong and releasing unnatural mutants into nature. A playground for childishly snipping and splicing at life’s tapestry...a thread here, a thread there (in nature they are all connected). Monsanto is the unquestioned playground bully, a child obsessed with profit—to hell with consequences!

Monsanto’s character is starkly highlighted by its fight against GMO labeling. Almost 90% of the public wants to know if GMOs are in their food; over 50% say they would not buy GMOs. Monsanto will spend whatever it takes to make sure the public has no right to know if they are consuming GMOs.

An estimated 70-80% of processed foods in grocery stores now contain at least one GMO.

Freedom of speech depends entirely on who is speaking and what they say. Freedom of speech can be very expensive. Monsanto can afford freedom to speak or conceal; citizens are enormously restricted—the Occupy Movement is fine proof. Monsanto can release into the environment unknown hazards for profit, with little regard for public safety. It’s called freedom of money, freedom of power.

Private profit, public risk...a morbid refrain echoing wherever corporations go.

Monsanto is a perfect poster child for working against nature; hemp is a perfect example of the power of harmony with nature. Frankensteinian “improvements” churned out by Monsanto, and subsequent, potential mother lode patents and control of food supply are irrelevant when it comes to hemp. How can so-called improvements be spiced into what nature has already perfected?

Besides, 80% of Monsanto’s GMO patents are for “Roundup-ready” crops modified to withstand massive amounts of Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup. Hemp needs no herbicides, pesticides, fungicides...needs no petrochemical inputs, which in itself is good for a slew of corporate enemies. 

As a pinnacle of nature offering fantastic benefits across the biosphere and public, hemp is guaranteed Monsanto’s hatred. Is this a corporation that should be telling government what to do?

While hemp farming is legally shackled and chained, Monsanto paves with cash its road toward total legal immunity. Were hemp to win, everything that deserves a better future wins. When Monsanto wins, nature loses.

Entire regional economies could grow from a foundation of hemp farming; a natural antidote to the plague of globalization. Superior natural products flowing through jobs that cannot be offshored; wealth that cannot be skimmed and sucked away by casino financialization; local businesses strong enough not to be snuffed by Wal-Mart.

Hemp has the power to divert vast corporate profits directly to the people while benefitting life on Earth as only nature can. Any wonder why hemp farming remains banned, 75 years and counting?

Tesla tried to give humanity access to Mother Energy, humanitarian eminence that cost him everything. Today, offering Mother Energy access remains mortally dangerous. The corporate Empire is willing to extinguish life on Earth with fossil and fission energy, and genetic mutilation, if that’s what it takes to maximize profits; evidence compounds everywhere, damage perhaps already irreversible. And profits are soaring.

Corporations have become powerful enough to control civilization. Power never gives up anything without a fight. Whether or not the public has much fight in them...that could be the ultimate question for humanity. Extreme superiority in numbers is a power being slept away, despite blaring alarms.

If the public could somehow make Mother Energy research and application unrestricted, safe and sane...make it a most cherished endeavor instead of a most deadly, the benefits could be worth any costs of fighting—but it must be done before nothing is left to fight for. How much more corporate profit will the biosphere take and still function?

There might be no better first step in reversing global corporate creep than fighting to get back hemp farming. Globalization is as unnatural as Monsanto.

Could there be two things of greater potential benefit to life on Earth than Mother Energy, and hemp in all it’s glory? The fact that we must fight for the rightto live naturally, empowered by two things of such benefit to the health and well-being of the public, the biosphere, the future of humanity—the fact hisses that we’ve let an evil system embed over us.

If there is no fight, there will eventually be no rights...at least not for the people.

Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novel, CASTLING, is "A Story of the Power of Hemp". The sequel, TIMING, and Clifford's new novel, Priest Lake Cathedral, are published by StarChief Press.

Overwhelming support for industrial hemp

By Rosemary Grant
Source: abc.net.au

All up, half a dozen submissions were heard yesterday by the House of Assembly Standing Committee on Environment, Resources and Development inquiring into Tasmania's industrial hemp industry.
The hearing was the second in the inquiry into the current state of Tasmania's hemp industry, and opportunities or solutions required to encourage a viable industrial hemp industry and associated value-adding.

Chairman of the inquiry MHA Brenton Best says so far they've not received any submissions arguing against the industry.

Can hemp oil replace fish oil in the human diet?

By Dionne Payn
Source: HempLifestyleMagazine.com

You've probably heard about how good omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are
for human health. The common advice is that to get a good supply in
your diet you need to eat oily fish on a regular basis. 

Not many people know that hemp is a fantastic source of omega-3 and
6 fatty acids. But can hemp replace fish oil in the diet? Before we
get into that, let me start by giving you the lowdown on why these
fatty acids are important for good health.

What are essential fatty acids anyway?

Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid and is known as
an 'essential' fatty acid. Our bodies can't make it so we need to
consume it through the food we eat. Our bodies convert ALA to the
longer chain fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

EPA and DHA are very important for good health. They are powerful
anti-inflammatory compounds, which is beneficial as inflammation is
the cause of many degenerative diseases. EPA & DHA also lower blood
pressure and blood triglycerides which can reduce the risk of
strokes and heart disease. 

Linoleic acid (LA) is an essential omega-6 fatty acid and is the
precursor to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). We get plenty of omega-6
fatty acids in our diet from sources such as cooking oils (soybean,
sunflower, and canola oil), poultry and eggs. 

The problem is that our intake of omega-3 fatty acids is too low,
yet our intake of omega-6 fatty acids is too high. The typical
Western diet has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 15:1 but the
recommended ratio is 3:1. In a number of clinical studies, patients
with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma have reduced
their symptoms just by eating the correct balance of omega-6 to

The general advice is to consume more oily fish such as mackerel,
salmon & sardines, or take supplements that contain concentrated
amounts EPA & DHA. But what if you don't want to eat fish or take
fish oil supplements?

The problem with fish and fish oils

There are a few issues to consider when deciding to consume fish or
fish oils. Firstly, there is the human health aspect. Our oceans
are polluted with methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's)
and dioxins, and these contaminants are found in fish. Fish that
are predatory (eat other fish) are large and at the top of the food
chain, and so tend to contain more toxins. 

Governments around the world are advising pregnant and
breastfeeding women to limit the amount of fish they eat as mercury
can cause harm to unborn babies or young children. 
For the general population, the medical consensus is that the
benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risk to human health from
these toxins. However to be on the safe side, many people choose to
avoid fish and fish oil supplements altogether.

Then there is the environmental issue. In 2010, Time Magazine
published an article which asked the question, "Is the fatty-acid
craze threatening our ecosystem?" They made the point that the
market for omega-3 supplements doubled to $1 billion US dollars
between 2006 - 2010. 

Environmentalists feared that menhaden, a small filter feeding
species of fish, were being overfished to produce fish oil
supplements. This led to 13 out of 15 Atlantic States banning the
fish oil company that caught 90% of the fish from their waters. 

Fish oil companies strenuously deny that they are having an effect
on declining fish stocks arguing that only 1% of fish catch is used
for making supplements. However, a Canadian research group argued
that the recommended dose of 100 mg of fish oils per day was not
sustainable and would lead to fish stocks collapsing by the middle
of the 21st century. 

Then there is the question of whether it is ethical to kill fish
for food or fish oil. The Vegetarian Society's website states that: 

"Fish have a nervous system and pain receptors like all other
animals" and "an estimated 23% of that total catch is killed and
discarded as a result of 'incidental capture".

So if you choose not to eat fish or use fish oils, where do you get
your beneficial omega-3 fatty acids?

Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids
Because eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
are only found in oily fish, a lot of research has focused on how
much alpha linoleic acid (ALA) can be found in plants. 

By far, the best source of ALA is flax seed (over 50%), followed by
hemp (15-20%), walnut (14%), canola (11%) and soy (7%). While ALA
can be converted to EPA & DHA in the body, the conversion between
ALA to EPA is not very efficient; even in healthy people it is only

The reason for this is that ALA has to be converted to a fatty acid
called stearidonic acid (SDA) before it can be converted to EPA. 
The enzyme responsible for this conversion is very inefficient and
this effect is worse in the elderly, people suffering from diabetes
or obesity, and people that have a high omega-6 intake.

The good news is that if you take SDA directly, the conversion to
EPA is much easier, which hasn't gone unnoticed by big
Agri-companies. Monsanto have cottoned onto this (excuse the pun)
and have genetically modified the soya bean to produce SDA, while
BASF is working on genetically modifying canola to do the same. 

Thankfully for us, hemp is a natural source of SDA and we don't
have to resort to GM foods to get a plant based source of our

Hemp is one of the few sources of a rare omega-6 fatty acid,
gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA has a similar chemistry to EPA and
has many of the health benefits of EPA. 
Ideal dosages

According to the Good Oil Website, a daily dose of 1 tablespoons of
hemp oil will gove you 94% of your recommended daily allowance of
omega-3 and 94% of your recommended daily allowance of omega-6
fatty acids.

A comparison of flax and hemp oil

As I mentioned before, flax contains more ALA than hemp, but does
not contain SDA. Many people that try flax oil find it has a strong
aftertaste which can be a bit off-putting. Flax oil also has a
short shelf life, needs to be used as quickly as possible after
pressing and should be kept in the freezer, otherwise it turns

In comparison, hemp contains linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha
linoleic acid (omega-3) in the optimum 3:1 ratio for human health
and it has a pleasant nutty taste. It does need to be kept
refrigerated to preserve the quality of the oil, but is more robust
and doesn't go off as quickly as flax oil.


Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids are important for our health and longevity,
and it is great to know that we aren't restricted to consuming fish
or fish oils to get our recommended dose. If you want to avoid fish
for ethical reasons, hemp is a fantastic alternative.



Advanced Foods and Materials receives $500,000 for hemp and flax waste products

Source: biofuelsdigest.com

In Canada, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that Advanced Foods and Materials Canada is receiving an important investment to turn by-products of flax and hemp into high-quality fiber.  AFM will use this $500,000 investment to increase production capabilities of the technology developed by Blue Goose Biorefineries.
AFM states that the development of this technology will substantially increase the value per acre of hemp and flax crops by finding uses for parts of plants that are currently considered waste. The increased production and availability of high-value cellulose products will create jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and research and development, to the benefit of the agricultural sector and Canada’s economy as a whole. The technology also benefits the environment by expanding biorefining capabilities.

Harper Government Invests to Create Value from Waste

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, July 18, 2012 - Flax and hemp producers could soon benefit from a major increase in value per acre. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that Advanced Foods and Materials (AFM) Canada is receiving an important investment to turn by-products of flax and hemp into high-quality fiber.

"This technology will create a new revenue stream for farmers by using what were essentially waste products and getting value for them back at the farm gate," said Minister Ritz. "Our government strongly supports this kind of innovation, which will keep Canada's agricultural sector sustainable and our economy strong."

AFM will use this $500,000 investment to increase production capabilities of the technology developed by Blue Goose Biorefineries.

The development of this technology will substantially increase the value per acre of hemp and flax crops by finding uses for parts of plants that are currently considered waste. The increased production and availability of high-value cellulose products will create jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and research and development, to the benefit of the agricultural sector and Canada's economy as a whole. The technology also benefits the environment by expanding biorefining capabilities.

"We are pleased to lead the scale-up of this technology and are looking forward to working with Blue Goose, POS Bio-Sciences, and the University of Saskatchewan," said Perry Lidster, AFM Canada Managing Director. "The project will have a positive impact on the value of Canadian crops and will create new opportunities for innovation and competitiveness with the end products that are produced."

"The Blue Goose Biorefineries project is a prime example of how collaboration can work synergistically among academia, industry, and government in matching research activities with strategic industrial needs for the betterment of the socio-economic welfare of the agri-food sector in Canada," added Rickey Yada, AFM Canada Scientific Director.

AFM is a national non-profit organization in the research, development, and commercialization service for innovations in the biomaterials, food, and health sectors. For more information, please visit www.afmcanada.ca.

This project is funded under the Agricultural Innovation Program — a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011 and part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. The Program boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector. For more information about this and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs, please visit www.agr.gc.ca.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Full-bore legalization Oregonians to vote on wide-open marijuana measure

Source: special.registerguard.com

For years, political debate over marijuana has focused on medical uses of the drug. That’s going to change. An initiative measure has qualified for Oregon’s November ballot that calls for wide-open, no-holds-barred marijuana legalization. The efficacy of marijuana laws and the effects of their repeal will be debated head-on.
The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would allow anyone to grow and possess any amount of marijuana for personal use. Any amount — no limit. For those not interested in growing their own, the measure would create a state agency that would certify marijuana growers, purchase their crops and distribute the drug to state outlets for sale to any buyer 21 and older.
There’s more: The measure creates a legal distinction between marijuana and hemp — one is a drug, the other is a crop that can be used in the manufacture of fabrics, oils and other products. The state would be forbidden to regulate hemp. Most of the state’s profits from marijuana sales would go to the general fund, but a small portion would be used for drug education, treatment and the promotion of industrial uses of hemp.
Oregon’s measure goes beyond the measures that will be on the November ballot in Colorado and Washington state, both of which would legalize possession of marijuana in amounts of 1 ounce or less. In Oregon there would be no limit.
The campaign will hinge on arguments that proponents of legalization have been making for decades. They say legalization would drive criminal enterprises out of the marijuana business. They say marijuana could become a significant source of state revenue, like alcohol and tobacco. They say police could concentrate on fighting other crime. They say hemp could become the basis of mew agricultural and value-added industries.
Oregonians didn’t buy these arguments in 1986, when voters rejected, by a 3-1 ratio, a measure to allow the cultivation and possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use. That was a long time ago. But other states’ more recent legalization proposals have also failed, though by closer margins — 59 percent rejected a Colorado measure in 2006, and 54 percent opposed a 2010 California initiative in 2010.
The long-standing arguments against legalization will also be heard again. Opponents say that making marijuana less expensive and more widely available would increase its use, adding to the problems created by other legal drugs. They claim marijuana can cause physical and mental harm, especially in the potent forms that have become common. They point to the likelihood that minors would find it even easier to obtain marijuana than it is now. And they warn that marijuana, legal or illegal, is a gateway to harder drugs.
In addition, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would be squarely in conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act. The federal government has mostly turned a blind eye toward states’ medical marijuana laws. No such half-hearted response to Oregon’s full legalization would be possible. The sponsors will have to explain why Oregon should invite a collision with the federal government, or show how it might be avoided.
Oregon can expect an influx of out-of-state money to finance the campaigns for and against legalization. And the nation will be watching to see whether a state that is often in the vanguard of changes in public policy will enact the world’s most libertarian marijuana law.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How Weed Can Protect Us From Cancer and Alzheimer's

By Clint Werner
Source: alternet.org

Hardly the harmful intoxicant that many once thought it was, cannabis is a nourishing plant that actually improves and prolongs life.

Photo Credit: Pablo Evans


For thousands of years cannabis has been used as a medicine for a remarkably broad range of ailments. Opponents of medical marijuana have claimed that nothing works on so many diverse illnesses and that the only relief offered was one of stupor from being stoned. But in 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered and since then researchers have learned that there are two types of cannabinoid receptors which are distributed throughout our bodies and that we make chemicals within our bodies—endocannabinoids—that a
re similar to the cannabinoids made by the cannabis plant. Both plant and human cannabinoids bind to and influence these receptors in order to discourage the rise and progression of numerous disease processes.The following is an excerpt from MARIJUANA: GATEWAY TO HEALTH—How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. 
The discovery of the cannabinoid receptor system has changed our entire understanding of cannabis and its effects. In fact, from the inception of the anti-marijuana campaign of the 1930s and its subsequent prohibition until today, almost everything we believed about it was wrong. Hardly the harmful intoxicant that many once thought it was, cannabis is a nourishing plant that can improve and prolong life.
We have recently learned that cannabinoids can help bring our bodies and nervous systems into balance, but what happens when certain compounds block the interaction between endocannabinoids and their receptors, effectively depriving our bodies of sufficient cannabinoids?
It is well known that one of marijuana’s most notable effects is appetite stimulation, or what is colloquially referred to as the “munchies,” a compelling drive to eat and snack. Researchers studying the endocannabinoid system have found that this phenomenon is linked to the activation of the CB1 receptor in the part of the brain that regulates appetite. With the increasing incidence of obesity becoming a public health crisis, scientists have begun to explore the effect of cannabinoids on the regulation of appetite. Researchers working for the international pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, for example, began looking for chemical agents that effectively block CB1 receptor activity (known as CB1 receptor antagonists), which they reason could help suppress appetite and reduce compulsive eating. The company eventually developed a compound called rimonabant, which appeared to effectively inhibit the ability of cannabinoids to activate the CB1 receptor.
The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) approved rimonabant for use in Europe in mid-2006, and it was soon available in Great Britain as an over-the-counter drug available without prescription.By early 2008, the drug was available in 56 countries. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, refused to approve it for distribution in the United States due to concerns about its possible side effects. This decision was based on the recommendation of an FDA review panel, which in mid-2007 unanimously concluded that rimonabant was associated with unacceptable increases in the risk of adverse psychiatric events, suicidality, neurological problems, nausea, vomiting, and more. Then, in late 2008, the EMEA decided to review the drug’s post-marketing data. Agreeing with the FDA’s belief that the risks of rimonabant outweighed its benefits, the European regulators revoked its previous approval and suspended Sanofi-Aventis’ marketing authorization for the drug.
The first cannabinoid-blocking drug turned out to be a disastrous failure. An alarming number of research subjects in clinical trials around the world (which included 16,000 subjects in the U.S. alone) experienced severe neuropsychiatric side-effects including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sleep disorders, amnesia, and psychomotor agitation leading to contusions, concussions, falls, traffic accidents, and whiplash injuries. Others had gastrointestinal symptoms and erectile dysfunction at a rate three times higher than those who had not received the drug. One patient experienced an increase in multiple sclerosis symptoms and another developed optic neuritis. Two committed suicide. Rimonabant also appeared to promote the development of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.
Evidence also suggested that rimonabant could increase the likelihood of colon cancer. A study at the University of Texas published in August 2008, for example, found that mice treated with a CB1 receptor blocking drug—like rimonabant—had increases in the size and number of colon polyps, which are benign tumors that can become cancerous if not removed. Conversely, the study found that treatment with endocannabinoid activators—like THC from marijuana—decreased the number of polyps. In other words, while blocking the cannabinoid receptor increased the likelihood of colon polyps, stimulating it decreased that likelihood. Rimonabant and marijuana apparently have opposite effects on the likelihood of developing colon cancer. This suggests that it would be wise to conduct follow-up studies to assess the impact of rimonabant on increases in colon cancer. The damage already done by rimonabant may be beyond calculation. By 2007, before the EMEA suspended its approval, about 37,000 patients in the U.K. were using the drug. Even worse, although it is prohibited in both Europe and the U.S., rimonabant is still marketed over the Internet to unsuspecting consumers as a weigh-loss drug by Indian pharmaceutical companies.
The global policing organization INTERPOL states on its Web site that “member countries remain firmly committed to their enforcement efforts against the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis products.” Given what we know about the beneficial nature of cannabis and the harmful effects of cannabinoid-blocking drugs, it makes little sense that the eradication efforts of INTERPOL and other law enforcement organizations are more focused on marijuana than they are on drugs that are—like rimonabant—actually proven to be dangerous.
The suppression of the endocannabinoid system has been connected to numerous health-related problems, involving cognitive function, sleep cycles, digestion, sexual response, physical coordination, and overall happiness. In order to study the endocannabinoid system scientists have selectively bred mice with a specific genetic mutation that disables the CB1 receptors. Studies of these “CB1 knockout mice” have shown that an absence of activity at the CB1 receptor has devastating effects on the physical and mental health of these animals. These effects include:    
  • Increased anxiety, increased susceptibility to the depressive effects of chronic stress
  • Reduced responsiveness to rewarding experiences
  • Reduced appetite and pronounced weight loss
  • Reduced ability to forget traumatic memories
  • Increased activity in the HPA axis, an area of the brain associated with stress and fear
  • Increased susceptibility to neurotoxins
  • Reduced ability to regenerate neurons in the hippocampus
  • Reduced amounts of trophic factors (biological compounds associated with cellular growth and healing) in response to damage
The CB1 Knockout mice also had a greater risk of developing neurological problems (such as seizures) and had a greater overall mortality. One group of researchers was somewhat mystified at the severity of the effects, going so far as to comment that “the CB1 knockout animals died suddenly without any obvious signs of disease." (It is also worth noting that taranabant, another cannabinoid-blocking diet drug, manufactured by Merck, has proven to have similar negative psychiatric and GI side effects as rimonabant.)
The side-effects of cannabinoid blockers and the results of experiments on CB1 knockout mice point to the existence of what we could call the “Cannabinoid Deprivation Syndrome.”
Cannabinoid researcher Ethan Russo, M.D., theorizes that endocannabinoid deficiency might well offer an “alternative biochemical explanation for certain disease manifestations.”  It appears that a number of hard-to-treat diseases such as migraines headaches, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may well be related to a lack of proper endocannabinoid activity—implying that supplemental cannabinoids derived from or based on marijuana could be of great value. Russo reasons that some people could be “endocannabinoid deficient” and has labeled the syndrome Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD).  Cannabis won’t kill you, but a lack of cannabinoids could.
Let’s re-examine the evidence. Taking a drug that inhibits cannabinoid activity—like rimonabant—can cause agitation, anxiety, depression, vomiting, sleep disorders, suicidal tendencies, and an increase in accidents and injuries. On the other hand, drugs that increase the activity of the endocannabinoid system—like marijuana—result in euphoria, laughter, suppression of nausea, better sleep, resistance to cancer and dementia, and increased brain cell production. The implications are clear: When our cannabinoid receptors have an adequate supply of cannabinoids, we experience a heightened state of health. When they do not, we suffer from Cannabinoid Deprivation Syndrome. The rimonabant debacle and scientific studies have given us even more evidence that maintaining a well-nourished and active cannabinoid receptor system is vital to our health.
Clint Werner is a journalist and medical marijuana advocate, and is the author ofMarijuana: Gateway to Health - How Cannabis Protects us from Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.