In my last post I pointed out the fact that alcohol has been known to be a carcinogen for many years now by the scientific community, but not so much by the broader Australian public. It begs the question then: Is cannabis a carcinogen?
Well, ask most people and you will get a response along these lines;
“Mate, if ya smoke it, it gives ya cancer. Just look at cigarettes, they don’t call ’em ‘cancer sticks’ for nuthin!”
I have found that the general public is very much unaware of the ways in which cannabis may be administered to the body, for if they were one would expect this argument wouldn’t keep popping its annoying little head up.
I alluded to one of the various ways cannabis may be taken in my last post, but I would like to expand upon this here.
Cannabis can be used in a number of ways:
– Smoked; either via a pipe, rolled in a cigarette (joint) or through a bong (water pipe)
– Ingested (eaten)
The majority of people can be forgiven for not having any idea of this mode of delivery for the active components within cannabis, and if you are reading this and you fall into this category, GREAT!
Let’s take a closer look.
Essentially a vapouriser is an electronic device that is used to extract the pharmacologically active compounds in cannabis, commonly known as cannabinoids (This link is for the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre suprisingly. It was nice to see that the existence of these compounds was even alluded to on the site and clear noting of the medicinal potential of cannabis was present).
A vapouriser heats the cannabis via an element within the device which releases the cannabinoids as vapour, like from an oil burner, well before the point of combustion, thus avoiding the negative health impacts of breathing burnt matter (i.e. smoke) into the lungs. THIS PROCESS ESSENTIALLY ELIMINATES THE INHALATION OF POTENTIALLY HARMFUL MATTER, SO IMPACT ON LUNG FUNCTION IS NEGLIGIBLE.
Cannabinoid vapours can be released at relatively low temperatures when compared to the temperature at which combustion occurs. Vapourisers optimally are incorporated with an accurate, often digital, thermostat control to ensure efficient and effective vapourisation of the material. Temperatures around 200C are often recommended as the most efficient and effective, whereas combustion occurs somewhere around 700C.
Here is a really interesting clip of a medical cannabis user using vapourisation as her preferred method of delivery and her thoughts on medical cannabis in general:
Which brings me nicely to my next point: Why is cannabis viewed as an illicit substance when it can be used as a medicine that has little to no negative health side-effects when compared to other legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco. NOWHERE IN THE WORLD WILL YOU FIND SOMEONE PRESCRIBING AN AIDS OR HEART DISEASE PATIENT ALCOHOL OR CIGARETTES. Nowhere.
On the contrary you can, and will continue to, increasingly find research that positions cannabinoids as a significant area of cancer research, in terms of both potential treatments for cancer diagnosis and also for relief of symptoms associated with cancer.
It is worth having a browse at the following research articles regarding the ANTI TUMORAL PROPERTIES of cannabis and, perhaps most ironic of all, its potential as a therapeutic agent for TREATING LIVER FIBROSIS!
That’s right. Cannabis can be used to treat such things as Alcoholic Liver Disease. Am I alone in finding this current state of prohibition of cannabis disgusting? If cannabis can actually reduce the impact of alcohol on the body it should be scheduled as a Schedule 2 Pharmacy Medicine at least and at the very most Schedule 4 prescription only medicine. It is currently Schedule 9 Prohibited Substance (see schedules here), whereas Schedules 5 to 7 are substances classified as either needing caution taken when handling them, or those that are simply poisonous.
CANNABIS IS ACTUALLY SCHEDULED AS BEING MORE DANGEROUS THAN POISON, YET IT IS USED AS MEDICINE FOR THOSE MOST AT RISK OF SERIOUS HEALTH EFFECTS FROM POISONOUS SUBSTANCES.
I’m sorry, why again?