Hemp for Health with Chris Conrad

Hemp for Health with Chris Conrad
Posted by FoM on October 11, 2000 at 07:51:41 PT
WebMD Live Chat Transcript
Source: WebMD
events_moderator Welcome to WebMD Live. Today we will discuss Hemp for Health with Chris Conrad.events_moderator Welcome to the show.Chris_Conrad Thank you!events_moderator What exactly is hemp, and what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?Chris_Conrad Hemp refers to all varieties of the plant cannabis sativa and the word hemp is the English word for the plant that has been in general use for about 1,000 years. 
The word marijuana is a Spanish colloquialism that's about 100 years old. From around the 1890s, from the song "La Cucaracha." That's where they got it. I only know the one verse using the word! :-) The word entered the lexicon to create a smokescreen via which cannabis was outlawed. In popular usage today, hemp refers to the non-psychoactive industrial uses of the cannabis plant. And marijuana refers to the medicinal or psychoactive uses. A new expression that's becoming popularized is "industrial hemp" which refers to the genetic varieties of hemp with no psychoactive capabilities.events_moderator So there a difference?Chris_Conrad Yes. And where we draw that line is around THC. Tetra hydro cannabinol. Basically, one percent or less THC will not get you high. You need at least three percent THC to get you high. So they refer to varieties of one percent or below as industrial hemp, 3 percent or higher is marijuana and then there's a gray scale between the two.events_moderator Is it genetically engineered?Chris_Conrad It's naturally occurring and has been selectively bred. I know of no engineered hemp. I'm sure there's someone working on it now. The "ditch weed," that's leftover hemp from WWII, doesn't get you high but it's not genetically altered. That's the fundamental difference that makes the DEA's role in this process so absurd. Hemp is not a drug. It doesn't even get you high. It does have medicinal properties, by the way.events_moderator Can you talk a little about The governments role in marijuana?Chris_Conrad The original role was in order to own property in the US, you had to grow hemp. In NC, SC, VA, PA, and also MA, RI, NY, and VT, they have laws on the books in the colonial period in the US requiring every landowner to grow hemp. The reason was support for the military to protect the country. Then they changed it to where you could use hemp to pay your taxes but you didn't have to grow it. When the French, British, Spanish and Americans all had control over various regions of what is now the US, hemp was one of the major means of exchange in lieu of money. They didn't use currency. It was consistent and always had value to everyone.events_moderator Kind of like the Gold StandardChris_Conrad It is. And later on the government's role has been to create a black market that has pushed the value of hemp above the value of gold. It was accomplished initially through political slight of hand, or from a lesser point of view, political fraud! :-) The Dept. of Treasury said it would make a tax to regulate the use of marijuana. And you would have to get a license from the treasury to grow hemp, but then they just simply didn't issue any licenses. That was in 1937. However, to everyone's surprise on 12/7/41 we wound up in the middle of WWII, and the Japanese cut off the US supply of hemp from the Philippines. One of the reasons we were so "concerned" with that country. In response, the Dept. of Agriculture produced a film called "Hemp for Victory" and the DEA started licensing hemp farmers to grow approximately a million crops. "Defend Freedom!" This info. is in my museum I've curated. I lived in Holland, by the way. In 1992 I was there for only 6 weeks doing work in my museum. I didn't found it, by the way. Back to the topic: Germany was at the same time trying to produce as much hemp as possible too. There was this global rush during WWII for which side could produce more hemp. The infamous moment in hemp history is George Bush was shot down, and when he was rescued, he was found wearing a chute made of hemp fiber! Hemp saved his life! A "dark" moment in our history! (laughs) After WWII they started prohibiting it again, and in 1962 Timothy Leary won a case against the government that called it unconstitutional. IN 1971 Nixon had the Controlled Substances act passed by Congress and put the DEA in charge of regulating marijuana and the way they chose to do that was making it unconstitutional. "Not prohibiting it but regulating it?" So, it is still unconstitutional. Catch 22. Semantics. In reality what they did, they put marijuana in schedule 1 of the Drug Scheduling Program. They never proved that any of it was true, they threw in marijuana with LSD and other drugs without showing the proof. In fact it's being contested right now. The DEA is saying the FDA should have known about it and vice versa. So that's pretty much the government's role until you get to the state level.events_moderator If hemp is illegal to grow in America, where does the commercially available hemp come from?Chris_Conrad As of this year it's available from Canada. Most of it comes from China and some of it comes from the European union where farmers are subsidized about 400 dollars per acre to grow hemp. China's the world's biggest producer followed by India, but India consumes it, producing almost none for export.events_moderator What different methods are there for taking marijuana?Chris_Conrad It can be consumed by smoking, I'll say first. It can be eaten and consumed. There are some inhalants/suppositories not commercially available. Mostly the former 3 are the most common ways. It can be taken in capsules or in pill form. And it also can be used topically as a disinfectant or pain reliever or for skin problems. In Mexico the leaves and flowers are soaked in alcohol and wrapped on the skin as a transdermal medication. Where you would see that is for someone with an open wound, inflammation, or arthritis. i.e. you don't need it in your lungs or your brain, but on that part of the skin.events_moderator What physiological changes occur in the body when someone intakes marijuana?Chris_Conrad Re: injesting it/smoking/eating it: The heartbeat speeds up, and the blood vessels dilate, which causes your eyes to get red. The palate dries out (it's a diuretic, your whole body dries out more, which leads to urination of course), and then the appetite becomes stimulated and your digestive system and all your muscles in general relax.events_moderator Does your Blood Sugar change?Chris_Conrad Only minimally. In fact the studies have been contradictory. Some have seen drops and increases. In the 1970s there was a lot of speculation that that's what caused the munchies. It probably actually has to do with the cannabinoids that attach to special receptors in your brain which launches a series of neurological and physiological benefits. But the appetite stimulation is probably neurological whereas the relaxation is muscular, and that's why it's good for cramps and muscle spasms.events_moderator What are the sedative effects of marijuana?Chris_Conrad As best we can tell that's a neurological effect also. Some don't appreciate that but if you have insomnia it's a benefit. Or you may mean it reduces stress, again it's neurological. i.e., we don't know the direct physiological cause of it. Some smoke it to keep awake or to increase or suppress appetite. So it has a moderating effect. If you're in an extreme situation it brings you to the middle.events_moderator What are the risks associated with smoking marijuana?Chris_Conrad I'd put them into 3 categories: the legal risks, risks associated with the smoke, and the risks associated with the cannabinoids. The cannabinoids have no known physical detrimental effect. The smoke has tars, carbon monoxide and other potentially hazardous compounds. However, there have been no lung cancers ever associated with the use of marijuana. And the legal risks vary by the state/federal laws. The most dangerous effect is you can end up in jail, maybe lose your home, car or children. But if it was legal those wouldn't exist. The one thing re: cannabinoids, they can cause discomfort, i.e. anxiety and mental confusion. But these are short term and don't have any physiological detriment.events_moderator Does using a water pipe reduce the risks of smoking it?Chris_Conrad It cools the smoke but it doesn't remove the harmful particles and chemicals in the smoke. It just cools it. There's no nicotine in marijuana.events_moderator How addictive is marijuana smoking?Chris_Conrad It's as addictive as the person who's smoking it. I..E., it's not physically addictive but some may have addictive personalities. However they don't get physical withdrawal or dependence or any other classic signs of addiction.events_moderator How does the health care system view marijuana?Chris_Conrad The health care system has become dominated by pharmaceutical drug interests who see it as an economic threat. That combined with legal threats from the government discourages doctors from using it. If you look in doctors annals for the past 5,000 years, it's been endorsed by the medical community, however the federal government penalizes it. Prescription is defined by federal law as illegal, but recommendation is defined by the first amendment, free speech.events_moderator So a Dr. can recommend but not prescribe marijuana?Chris_Conrad Correct. And that's his jurisdiction.events_moderator What is the current state of herbal medicine?Chris_Conrad Herbal medicine is currently under severe attack by the FDA. There has been legislation introduced into congress each year for the past 8 years trying to reduce people's access to herbal medicines. The future is dependent upon popular support for reform that increases access. I feel very strongly we need people to lobby in support of all herbal medicines.events_moderator How can people Lobby?Chris_Conrad It's congress that's considering this. Lobby directly to elected congressional officials.events_moderator How is cannabis used in homeopathic Medicine?Chris_Conrad In extremely dilute form. The difference between homeopathic and allopathic (orthodox) medicine is that homeopathic remedies are used in very dilute form to treat symptoms that are similar to the effect of the remedy. Allopathic medicines are used to attack symptoms that are opposite to the effect of the remedy itself. For example: because cannabis can stimulate creativity in the brain, a homeopathic dose might be used to treat a patient with delusions or hallucinations. Another example: cannabis causes cottonmouth. But if a person has a problem with a dry mouth then a small amount of cannabis can stimulate salivation. I would compare homeopathic dosages to inoculation meaning a very small amount that offsets some other undesirable conditions. I suggest that people who are interested in this subject look into the work of William Boericke. He's an MD who died in 1929 and did extensive work on the subject of cannabis in homeopathy. Since then, it's been illegal! :-) (laughs) That's like sending the doctors to prison to slow down the medical research. An interesting point? Boericke felt the cannabis indica and cannabis sativa were categorized in terms of subspecies. And today in CA patients are corroborating this distinction.events_moderator What is the difference between Sativa and Indica?Chris_Conrad In terms of the botany of the plant, the difference is the sativa plant has a taller plant which produces more stem proportionate to foliage. The indica plans, which originated in Afghanistan, are denser plants that are shorter. From the point of view of the cannabinoids, indica generally produces more dense concentration of cannabinoid drugs than does sativa. From a psychoactive distinction, sativas have more of an "elevated head effect...." Indicas have a more sedative, body effect.events_moderator What is the difference in THC levels between the marijuana of the 60's and the marijuana today?Chris_Conrad People today clean the stems and leaves out of their marijuana better than they used to in the 60s. That's the main difference. There was very strong marijuana available then. There were varieties: Thai, Vietnamese (most people think it's just Mexican), Afghani, Colombian, Panama Red, these are very strong varieties but it was very common to get the "Brown Mexi" Brown Mexican cannabis. The real thing that happened was in the 1980s when the federal government eradicated outdoor marijuana growth, breeders introduced hybrid marijuana that combined indica/Afghani varieties with the others mentioned (sativa) in order to grow better indoors. When that happened people found marijuana made them more tired and they took that to mean it was more strong but it's really not. The federal government's been collecting data on potency for 12 years now and the average US potency has been around 3 percent for the entire time. One other thing: they did studies on hashish and found hashish had about 23 percent THC and that's what most people were smoking historically. And today it's about 10 percent...with samples that go up to 23 percent or so. For those that say it's stronger today, it's a myth. (re: marijuana.) When they were testing it in the 60s, they had a bag that had the seed, stem, leaves, it's manicured down to the very gland today.... There is a health benefit to stronger marijuana. When it isn't very potent, people have to smoke more of it so it does more harm to the lungs. Stronger marijuana has less negative effect. The only proven detrimental effect is bronchitis. Everything else is theory.events_moderator What is Hashish?Chris_Conrad Hashish refers to the resin glands on the surface of marijuana buds. When the resin glands (trichome) are separated from the plant matter and compressed, actually, the plant matter that's separated, it's called kif, when kif is compressed, it's called hashish.smersh Will smoking pot make me stupider?Chris_Conrad There's no evidence that it does. Many of the most intellectual people I know are marijuana smokers. What will make you "stupider" is if you believe the propaganda that SAYS that you are "stupider" which is creating a self-fulfilling negative prophecy. That's also true for memory.events_moderator What are the effects of smoking marijuana on a persons memory?Chris_Conrad Marijuana does not cause short term memory loss. It causes creative bursts that may distract you from what you were just thinking about, but if you really apply yourself and try to remember, you will remember, especially if someone reminds you.events_moderator What ecological benefits does hemp provide?Chris_Conrad A massive reduction in the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, as well as sparing natural forest and reducing industrial waste. To me, saving the forests is probably one of the most important. And replacing fossil fuels. You'll never have an oil spill/nuclear meltdown from marijuana or hemp!events_moderator And it can replace a large majority of petro chemical products, correct?Chris_Conrad Yes. By the way, these are cursory answers, and for more information, you can contact me an read my book. We'll provide that information at the end of the chat.events_moderator What is marijuana's relationship to Ayurveda?Chris_Conrad In Ayurvedic medicine, it's believed the interaction of the spirit, body, and environment are crucial to good health and therefore cannabis is one of the most important historic remedies in Ayurveda. This touches on something I think is really important: the spiritual benefits of cannabis - - not recognized in Western medicine, but seen as critical in Ayurveda. It's curious because with the first amendment saying we have freedom of religion, those that use marijuana for spiritual purposes aren't validated.events_moderator What is the current legal status of marijuana in America?Chris_Conrad In Federal law it is classified as a Schedule 1 Dangerous Drug with no medical or socially redeeming characteristic. That's based on NO scientific data/basis whatsoever. There are 36 states that have passed resolutions recognizing the medical value of marijuana. In 1996 CA and AZ state voters legalized medical marijuana in their jurisdictions. In 1998 voters in AK, WA, OR NV, and AZ legalized it in those states. (AZ had been overruled at first. The law was reversed again). In CO and DC voters in 1998 legalized medical marijuana but government bureaucracies have stopped those laws from being implemented.events_moderator Wasn't it already legal to grow it for personal use in AK?Chris_Conrad Yes. Under the Rights of Privacy, the Raven decision, under the Supreme Court. Because it's considered a privacy issue, it's personal. If you're selling it, it's commercial and then the government steps in.events_moderator What is the status of the fight for marijuana legalization?Chris_Conrad It's supported by about 60 to 70 percent of the population nationally. It will be voted on in ME and CO in the 2000.events_moderator Other than medical?Chris_Conrad Industrial hemp has about 78 percent acceptance according the polls. ND and HI voted this year to legalize hemp farming and MN voted to have a pilot test program in operation by next year. The federal govt. says it's opposed to both of those.events_moderator What is Proposition 215?Chris_Conrad The CA Medical Marijuana Initiative. It's health and safety code section 11362.5 in CA state legislature. It allows patients to grow it, doctors to recommend it, caregivers to provide it, but it DOES NOT provide the sale of it. And there's the rub! I think 215 is a brilliant piece of legislation all in all. In 3 years, the feds. haven't been able to change it.events_moderator What is the Family Council on Drug Awareness?Chris_Conrad It's a not for profit organization dedicated to disseminating accurate, factual information about drugs, and drug policy. I'd like to refer you to my website, - - in closing knowing what we know, it's really up to YOU, the audience, to take the necessary steps to change these laws and bring justice and compassion back to America. The powers that be are making too much money off this current prohibition to let it go without your doing something active. Sitting back and letting it go on is like the same thing the Germans did when the Nazis rose to power, and we see where that led them. I think all Americans have a duty to defend the rights of all involved.events_moderator Thank you for joining us today Mr. Conrad.Chris_Conrad Thank you for your time and interest!NewsHawk: AnonymousTranscribed By WebMD Staff Web Posted: October 10, 2000Copyright © 1999 by WebMD, Inc. Related Web Site:Chris Conrad's Home Page
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Comment #2 posted by Roin Nachkebia on April 30, 2001 at 03:50:57 PT:
bussiness suggestion
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Comment #1 posted by observer on October 11, 2000 at 11:06:19 PT
La Cucaracha Lyrics Crawl Down NIH Memory Hole
Remember the memory hole in Orwell's novel '1984'? Here's another prohibition-related memory loss ... the NIH's version of La Cucaracha "just accidently happens" to "misremember" (i.e. falsify) a few lyrics! The Ministy of Truth at it again, altering history to fit current politics. Here are the NIH Versions:(Mexican folk song)La cucaracha, la cucaracha,ya no quiere caminar,porque no tiene, porque le faltadinero para gastar.. . . (Otra versión) [?]La cucaracha, la cucarachaYa no puede caminarPorque no tiene, porque le faltaUnas patitas para andar.. . . A less politically correct version (i.e. the traditional, historical version) begins:La cucaracha, las cucarachaYa no puede caminarPorque le quiere, Porque la faltaUn marijuana que fumar [The cockroach, the cockroachHe can't travelBecause he wantsBecause he lacksMarijuana to smoke] al.
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