By Steve Elliott
The chief psychoactive compound in marijuana appears to be able to damage and weaken the most common strain of the HIV virus, according to a recent study.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, more common known as THC, is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis; it's the chemical that gets you high. A synthetic form of THC was used to attack the HIV-1 virus, which represents more than 90 percent of all HIV types, reports Ian Steadman at Wired UK.
HIV interactions with the CB2 cannabinoid receptor in white blood cells, specifically in macrophages, one of the many types of white blood cells. While lymphocytes -- the main white blood cells -- do the bulk of the infection-fighting work by tracking down and destroying germs, macrophages are sort of a backup part of the immune system. Macrophages are attracted to damaged cells, which they surround and engulf.
Unfortunately, macrophages are also one of the first types of cells infected by HIV when it invades the body. HIV can live inside macrophages for months, infecting other cells.
Investigators and researching how to stop the HIV virus from infecting macrophages; doing so could dramatically reduce the speed at which infection progresses, giving time for other antiretrovirals to help keep it at bay, or even eliminate it.
By Steve Elliott
Funny how everyone in Washington suddenly seems to be a marijuana expert, now that the herb is legal in the Evergreen State. In one of the latest examples of how an advanced cluelessness can make its way into the press, prosecutors and crime lab scientists are claiming that the differentiation between marijuana and hemp in the state's legal marijuana law could make it impossible to go after any pot "crimes" at all.
The problem supposedly stems from a part of I-502 meant to distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp, which is grown for its fiber and seed oil. Washington law now defines marijuana as having more than 0.3 percent of the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Scientists (who really should know better) with the state crime lab clain that "often," even potent marijuana can have less than 0.3 percent, claiming that it's only when heated or burned that "another compound" turns into delta-9 THC.
"That means if people get caught with more than an ounce of marijuana, or if police bust illicit grow operations, prosecutors might not be able to prove the plants or material seized meets the definition of marijuana, The Associated Press inaccurately reported on Wednesday.
United States: Sunil Aggarwal, PhD – Removal of Cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances ActSubmitted by restore on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 06:57
The Pharmaceuticalization of Cannabis: Rescheduling proponents suggest cannabis doesn't meet the Controlled Substances Act's extensive criteria for placement in Schedule I. The U.S. Government clings to the stance that cannabis merit’s Schedule I status.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Sunil Aggarwal, PhD, represents a new generation of scientific-minded doctors, leaving cannabis’ negative propaganda behind and fighting for it as a valuable, medicinal plant. His credentials include the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Health Professionals for Responsible Drug Scheduling, service on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and he is a Seattle Hempfest Core Staff Member.
By Larry Derfner, Jewish Journal
In nearly 50 years of researching the legendary powers of cannabis, Raphael Mechoulam, an 80-year-old chemistry professor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, says he’s only sampled the stuff himself once. That was in 1964 at his home in Tel Aviv.
"My wife baked a cake and my research partner and I spread THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the oily, active ingredient in cannabis) on the top. We used 10 mg of THC on each slice – too much, I think – and we and a group of friends and colleagues started eating," says Mechoulam in his office in HU’s pharmacology labs.
"I felt a little high, but nothing more. My wife said she didn’t feel anything at all. One man said he didn’t feel anything, but started having laughing fits for the next hour. One woman had a bad trip – she was a very reserved person and suddenly she felt exposed in front of everyone. One man said he didn’t feel anything, but then didn’t stop talking for three hours, which I suppose was to be expected since he was a member of Knesset."