Hitting The Not-High Points: Cannabinoids

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Cannabis terpenes

(THC) Additionally, it is a bronchodilator (Williams et al., 1976), neuroprotective antioxidant (Hampson et al., 1998), antipruritic agent in cholestatic jaundice (Neff et al., 2002) and has 20 times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone (Evans, 1991). THC is likely to avoid potential pitfalls of either COX-1 or COX-2 inhibition, as such activity is only noted at concentrations far above those attained therapeutically (Stott et al., 2005).
>Are cannabis terpenoids actually relevant to the effects of cannabis? Terpenoid components in concentrations above 0.05% are considered of pharmacological interest (Adams and Taylor, 2010). Animal studies are certainly supportive (Buchbauer et al., 1993). Mice exposed to terpenoid odours inhaled from ambient air for 1 h demonstrated profound effects on activity levels, suggesting a direct pharmacological effect on the brain, even at extremely low serum concentrations (examples: linalool with 73% reduction in motility at 4.22 ng·mL−1, pinene 13.77% increase at trace concentration, terpineol 45% reduction at 4.7 ng·mL−1). Positive effects at undetectable serum concentrations with orange terpenes (primarily limonene, 35.25% increase in mouse activity), could be explainable on the basis of rapid redistribution and concentration in lipophilic cerebral structures. A similar rationale pertains to human studies (Komori et al., 1995), subsequently discussed.
>Compelling confirmatory evidence in humans was provided in a clinical study (Komori et al., 1995), in which hospitalized depressed patients were exposed to citrus fragrance in ambient air, with subsequent normalization of Hamilton Depression Scores, successful discontinuation of antidepressant medication in 9/12 patients and serum evidence of immune stimulation (CD4/8 ratio normalization).
>Amongst terpenoids, pinene was a major component of Sideritis erythrantha EO that was as effective against MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains as vancomycin and other agents (Kose et al., 2010). A Salvia rosifolia EO with 34.8% pinene was also effective against MRSA (MIC 125 µg·mL−1).
> The authors proposed CBD as a treatment for heroin craving and addiction relapse. A recent study demonstrated the fascinating result that patients with damage to the insula due to cerebrovascular accident were able to quit tobacco smoking without relapse or urges (Naqvi et al., 2007), highlighting this structure as a critical neural centre mediating addiction to nicotine. Further study has confirmed the role of the insula in cocaine, alcohol and heroin addiction (Naqvi and Bechara, 2009; Naqvi and Bechara, 2010). In a provocative parallel, CBD 600 mg p.o. was demonstrated to deactivate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity in human volunteers in the left insula versus placebo (P < 0.01) without accompanying sedation or psychoactive changes (Borgwardt et al., 2008), suggesting the possibility that CBD could act as a pharmaceutical surrogate for insular damage in exerting an anti-addiction therapeutic benefit.
>Acute overdose incidents involving THC or THC-predominant cannabis usually consist of self-limited panic reactions or toxic psychoses, for which no pharmacological intervention is generally necessary, and supportive counselling (reassurance or ‘talking down’) is sufficient to allow resolution without sequelae. CBD modulates the psychoactivity of THC and reduces its adverse event profile (Russo and Guy, 2006), highlighted by recent results above described. Could it be, however, that other cannabis components offer additional attenuation of the less undesirable effects of THC? History provides some clues. The sentiment was repeated by Calkins (1871), who noted the suggestion of a friend in Tunis that lemon retained the confidence of cure of overdoses by cannabis users in that region. This is supported by the observation that lemon juice, which normally contains small terpenoid titres, is traditionally enhanced in North Africa by the inclusion in drinks of the limonene-rich rind, as evidenced by the recipe for Agua Limón from modern Morocco (Morse and Mamane, 2001).
>Another traditional antidote to cannabis employing Acorus calamus (Figure 3B) is evident from the Ayurvedic tradition of India (Lad, 1990, p. 131):

Cannabis antidotes

Calamus root is the best antidote for the ill effects of marijuana. . . . if one smokes a pinch of calamus root powder with the marijuana, this herb will completely neutralize the toxic side effects of the drug.

This claim has gained credence, not only through force of anecdotal accounts that abound on the Internet, but with formal scientific case reports and scientific analysis (McPartland et al., 2008) documenting clearer thinking and improved memory with the cannabis–calamus combination, and with provision of a scientific rationale: calamus contains beta-asarone, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with 10% of the potency of physotigmine (Mukherjee et al., 2007). Interestingly, the cannabis terpenoid, α-pinene, also has been characterized as a potent inhibitor of that enzyme (Miyazawa and Yamafuji, 2005), bolstering the hypothesis of a second antidote to THC contained in cannabis itself. Historical precedents also support pinene in this pharmacological role. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/)



Purslane Power

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Green living mulch of purslane chokes out other weeds. Here beneath young corn.

“Make hay while the sun shines,” stock up on purslane during the warm Summer season. Purslane can be frozen; over a period of weeks in the freezer it drys out to the point it can be later transferred out to room temp storage.

It is listed by the World Health Organization as one of the most used medicinal plants, and it has been given the term “Global Panacea” [11]. The Chinese folklore described it as “vegetable for long life” and it has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese Medicine [12, 13]. It is cold in nature and sour in taste and is used to cool the blood, stanch bleeding, clear heat, and resolve toxins. The dried aerial part of this plant is indicated for the treatment of fever, dysentery, diarrhoea, carbuncle, eczema and hematochezia, with a recommended dose of 9–15 g [14–16].
Gamma linolenic acid content is worth noting:
>It is very good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma-linolenic acid (LNA, 18 : 3 w3) (4 mg/g fresh weight) of any green leafy vegetable. It contained the highest amount (22.2 mg and 130 mg per 100 g of fresh and dry weight, resp.) of alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid (26.6 mg and 506 mg per 100 g of fresh and dry weight, resp.).

More about purslane in a previous post: https://myfamilyschinahistorywithsocialistcharacteristics.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/overlooked-health-and-nutrition-gold-mine/


Eggs, Butter, Coffee

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Linaria vulgaris is now classified in the Plantain Family.

Imprudent lawyer enjoying coffee along the path of enlightenment…
This lovely plant with leaves resembling French tarragon, also known as butter and eggs, imprudent lawyer, yellow toadflax, is thick on an east-facing little mound opposite my garden. Since last summer in warm weather I have noticed a smell like coffee drifting from that area. Could it be?

Why called imprudent lawyer? When the throat is pressed the mouth of the flower opens.

linaria 2

>The name “snapdragon” originates from the “popping” or “snapping” sound that is made when you squeeze the flower. According to Wildflowers of Wisconsin, the other common name, toadflax, is based on how the flower opens wide like a frog or toad’s mouth when squeezed. (I wonder if the name “imprudent lawyer” is linked to that wide open mouth, too?)

A European import, it has now naturalized over most of North America, including inside my greenhouse. Though less commonly used than many other herbs, it does have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.


The Reality Of Modern Medicine

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cow hunting

If your doctor trusts the drug company data you can’t trust your doctor. That is the reality of “evidence-based medicine.”

An interview I heard on the radio a week ago finally resurfaced from what rattles around below the surface of my memory. The warnings about drugs apply also to medical devices. “The overwhelming majority of medical devices that are on the market, that are implanted in patients, undergo no clinical trials,” journalist and author Jeanne Lenzer says.

>Did you know…

  • Medical interventions have become the third leading cause of death in America, killing more Americans each year than diabetes, murders, car accidents and AIDS combined.
  • You might think medical devices—like pacemakers, artificial hips, cardiac stents, etc.—don’t have side effects like drugs do. Nothing could be further from the truth.
  • The FDA does not require clinical testing for most high-risk implanted devices, and only 5% of the highest risk cardiac devices undergo the equivalent of the standard requirement for drug testing: two randomized, blinded clinical trials. Patients serve as unwitting test subjects to determine whether devices are safe.
  • Tens of millions of Americans have an implanted medical device, and yet the death rate caused by these devices is unknown, because no one is keeping track. Not the FDA. Not the manufacturers. Not hospitals. Not doctors.
  • The FDA habitually defends the interests of industry over the public interest, in part due to the “revolving door” between the businesses being regulated and the FDA. (https://www.jeannelenzer.com/the-danger-within)

Back to the clickbait subject, drugs.

Examples of Methods used Pharmaceutical Companies to Get the Results They Want from Clinical Trials:

Conduct a trial of your drug against a treatment known to be inferior.

Trial your drugs against too low a dose of a competitor drug.
Conduct a trial of your drug against too high a dose of a competitor drug (making your drug seem less toxic).
Conduct trials that are too small to show differences from competitor drugs.
Use multiple endpoints in the trial and select for publication those that give favourable results.
Do multicentre trials and select for publication results from centres that are favourable.
Conduct subgroup analyses and select for publication those that are favourable.
Present results that are most likely to impress—for example, reduction in relative rather than absolute risk.


The much bigger problem lies with the original studies, particularly the clinical trials, published by journals. Far from discounting these, readers see randomised controlled trials as one of the highest forms of evidence. A large trial published in a major journal has the journal’s stamp of approval (unlike the advertising), will be distributed around the world, and may well receive global media coverage, particularly if promoted simultaneously by press releases from both the journal and the expensive public-relations firm hired by the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the trial. For a drug company, a favourable trial is worth thousands of pages of advertising, which is why a company will sometimes spend upwards of a million dollars on reprints of the trial for worldwide distribution.

Overall, studies funded by a company were four times more likely to have results favourable to the company than studies funded from other sources. In the case of the five studies that looked at economic evaluations, the results were favourable to the sponsoring company in every case.


Wolf Totem

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The Great Wall(s) of China were built to keep the Han Chinese farmers in, so as not to rile the Tatars, as much or more than to keep the Mongol/Tatars out. The Tatars held back the Han Chinese farmer tide inside the Yellow River barrel for two thousand years before the Yuan, Jinghis and Kublai Khan. It’s ironic now that under the “Communist” PRC Han Chinese have become the supreme global Bourgeoisie.

Myth #2: The name for China, Zhongua, meaning middle region/country, is not from an arrogant attitude that it is the center of the universe (any more than other people call themselves The People in their own language) but because they were farming passive people squeezed for millennia in the middle between more war-like belligerent cultures and tribes to the north and to the south.

Wolf Totem is a book (and movie) about this problem. How bourgeois communist Han Chinese destroyed the environment, people and life of Inner Mongolia. The wolf represents the life of the Nomad people and cannot survive.


Feel The Burn

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Pungent Plants Rape/Mustard seed, Moringa, Curry Leaf (Murraya Keonigii, in the photo)

See also- https://everythingiknowaboutthatilearnedfrommysleddogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/the-missing-stink/

No pain, no gain? >Rapeseed-mustard is an important source of edible oil in Indian diet especially in Eastern and North-Western India. The major fatty acids of rapeseed-mustard oil are oleic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosenoic and erucic acid. Erucic acid in oil of Indian rapeseed-mustard varieties is quite high (Chauhan et al. 2007). High amount of erucic acid in edible oils has been reported to impair myocardial conductance, causes lipidosis in children and increases blood cholestrol (Gopalan et al. 1974; Renard and McGregor 1976; Ackman et al. 1977). Rapeseed-mustard cultivars grown in India also have high level of glucosinolate content (Chauhan et al. 2007). Glucosinolates, a group of plant thioglucosides, found principally among members of family Brassicaceae are responsible for the characteristic pungency of rapeseed-mustard oil. The glucosinolates are broken down by the enzyme thioglucoside glucohydrolase commonly known as myrosinase to yield sulphate, glucose and other aglucon products. Cleavage products from hydrolysis are detrimental to animal health as they reduce the feed palatability and affect the iodine uptake by the thyroid glands thus reducing feed efficiency and weight gains (Bille et al. 1983; Fenwick et al. 1983; Bell 1984) especially in non-ruminants such as pigs and poultry. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551133/)
* But glucosinolates are also considered to be healthy constituents in human diets.
>The enthusiasm for the health benefits of M. oleifera is in dire contrast with the scarcity of strong experimental and clinical evidence supporting them. Fortunately, the chasm is slowly being filled. In this article, I review current scientific data on the corrective potential of M. oleifera leaves in chronic hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, as symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Reported studies in experimental animals and humans, although limited in number and variable in design, seem concordant in their support for this potential. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3290775/)
>Status of lipid peroxidation was studied in rats induced high fat diet and some commonly used spices, viz. Murraya koenigit and Brassica juncea. The study revealed that these species alter the peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) level to a beneficial extent. Histological studies also focus on modulation of hepatic functions to near normal level. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9315222)
>M. koenigii is a traditional Indian Ayurvedic herb. Apart from being a useful food supplement in curries and chutneys, the herb possesses immense therapeutic potential. The therapeutic usefulness of the herb can be easily understood from the present review. Leaves, fruits, roots and bark of this plant are a rich source of carbazole alkaloids. These alkaloids have been reported for their various pharmacological activities such as antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrhoeal, diuretic and antioxidant activities. Apart from these activities, the plant is reported to possess a wide spectrum of biological activities.
>An infusion of the roasted leaves is used to stop vomiting. The green tender leaves are eaten raw for the cure of dysentery. A decoction of the leaves is sometimes given with bitters as a febrifuge and the leaves have been claimed to be used with mint in the form of chutney to check vomiting. (http://www.jcimjournal.com/jim/FullText2.aspx?articleID=jcim20110803)

The Mighty Moringa

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Although you might not like the taste, it comes with the high content of health-promoting glucosinolates (think broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and the dried leaf can be used in any similar foods or nutritional supplements where that taste is pleasant such as curries or other savory foods…
And, see below, may be best not to use hot water or to cook it.

A general precaution in any nutritional evaluation is described here for the traditional Ayurvedic herb combination Triphala: >The increased popularity of herbal remedies such as Triphala has led to dramatic improvements in the processing of crude plant materials that serve to maximize the absorption of otherwise poorly absorbed plant components. Despite these improvements, these preparations still display pronounced variability in efficacy, which is likely related to the natural variation in composition of gut microbiota species that catalyze the biotransformation of herbal components. This response variability is not unique to herbs and, in fact, may be the case for virtually all health-promoting compounds ingested by humans. >Polyphenols in Triphala modulate the human gut microbiome and thereby promote the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes. The bioactivity of Triphala is elicited by gut microbiota to generate a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds.

>Despite the recent advancements in chemotherapeutics, chemotherapy is still associated with severe adverse effects such as nephrotoxicity, nausea, hair loss, skin irritation, anemia, and infertility [38], [39]. Therefore, naturally occurring anticancer compounds from natural plants, especially those with low toxicity and high potency, have important implications for chemotherapy and chemoprevention.
>In the field of anticancer drug discovery and development process, compounds with the highest anticancer activities often have bulky hydrophobic groups within their chemical structures, rendering them water insoluble [53]. Low water solubility leads to both formulation issues and serious therapeutic challenges. Administering the poorly soluble drug candidate intravenously might result in serious complications such as embolism and respiratory system failure due to the precipitation of the drug [54], while poor absorption would result from extravascular dosing [55]. Therefore, increasing water solubility and/or developing soluble bioactive compounds with high anticancer activities have attracted increasing attention. In this study, I focused on the new water-soluble MOL extracts and examined its potential as an anticancer drug candidate.
>The reason why the difference in the cell cytotoxicity between cancer cells and normal cells is not clear at this time, but I think complex effects caused by some compounds in the extract can protect normal cells from severe cytotoxicity. Overall, these data suggest that the cold water (4°C)-soluble MOL extract may become a good candidate for anticancer therapy with high specificity and less adverse effects. In conclusion, I demonstrated that the soluble MOL extract may have be a new promising candidate for a natural anticancer drug. Further studies are required in this regard.
>Compared to the data, I had much greater inhibition rate of up to 90% by using cold-MOL extract (see Figure 2). The possible difference in anticancer activities between cold- and hot-DW treated MOL extract might be resulted from the heat inactivation of some bioactive molecules within M. olefeira leaves, but obvious reason needs to be clarified through further research.



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