Hello Dr. Grinspoon!
I have long been a fan of your straightforward, honest approach in
regards to Cannabis use for the mentally ill, and have even included
your article on the anecdotal evidence for Cannabis use for Bipolar
Disorder, in a petition to include Bipolar Disorder or Psychotic
Disorders on the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program's list of
'debilitating' medical conditions. I have submitted two such
petitions (the most recent, April 18th 2012) and both times have been
denied access to the medicine that has changed my life and allowed me
to live non-psychotically and conventional medicine free. The board
continuously refers to the 'psychotogenic' properties of THC, and
completely ignores the very real therapeutic properties (anti-
psychotic properties and anxiolytic properties) of CBD. As if the
risk of continuing psychosis, or early psychosis, is worse a risk than
the diseases developed from conventional pharmaceuticals available
today (Obesity, Diabetes, Movement Disorders, etc.).
The submission I would like you to consider, is the product, in part
of psychiatric abuses I feel I have endured since my first psychotic
break in 2005. To that end it may read as anti-psychiatry, and I
sincerely mean no disrespect to you or to the ethical psychiatrists
and mental healthcare professionals, who are willing to consider
Cannabis as a very real therapeutic agent in helping those suffering
mental disorder. However, I am certain that the psychiatrists I have
encountered during this time (2005 to 2009, 4 acute psychotic
episodes) would to this day, despite my lack of psychosis for the last
two years, while using CBD rich Cannabis strains as my sole medicine
(2010 to present), would insist that I discontinue Cannabis use, as an
unacceptable risk to my mental health, and consider lifelong use of
substances that will without a doubt shorten my life, and make that
shorter life one filled with physical discomfort and low self-esteem,
knowing I am ingesting the drugs of the powers that be (for the
financial gain of the powers that be), rather than those that were
given to me and others suffering, by I believe, some cosmic genius.
Thank you for your time! And for the truth you seek in regards to
Miles A. Houser
P.S. The fine print: You are more than welcome to use my name. I am
male, 27 years old, and live currently in the state of New Mexico. I
am an outdoor laborer thus far by trade, though have been on SSDI
since 2008 or so. I have dreams of finally, now that my psychosis has
been tempered, returning to school and pursuing the herbal sciences
and eventually Naturopathy.
Table of Contents:
- Sources of Cannabidiol
- Thoughts from the Garden
- Experiences from the Abyss /Final Thoughts
Some people need Cannabis! If you have been labeled as ‘mentally ill’ you are one of these people. There is a very real and ominous conflict of interest for the psychiatrist drug pusher, when confronted with this fact. The Psychiatrist’s way of life, and bank account, are directly connected to the toxic compounds they seek, by force, to make you dependent on.
If you find yourself bio-chemically addicted to these prescribed compounds, it is imperative that you detox from them safely and only after you have Earth’s given medicine in hand, legally, if possible. I am not a doctor, and can only share my personal story as credentials. I have been diagnosed by the mental health complex with Bipolar I Disorder (with psychotic features), Schizophrenia, and Schizoaffective Disorder over the course of my experience in losing my mind. I have been forced, either directly, or by well intentioned, misinformed social norms, to take the following drugs: Geodon, Haldol, Lithium, Depakote, Zyprexa, Abilify, Risperdal, Benztropine, and Lamictal. I have had my right to chose a natural way of life, free from toxic chemicals, taken from me on two separate occasions (a total of two years during which time ‘treatment’ was mandatory with the threat of police enforcement should I refuse) by a supposed court of law. Despite this, I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
I will save you the details of my own personal hallucinations and delusions, and cut right to the chase: Cannabis has helped me out of the darkness and separated me from a corrupt system of calculated drug peddling, and it can help you do the same!
Much like the concepts of yin and yang, light and dark, or equal and opposite reactions, Cannabis is given to us across a spectrum. You are more than likely familiar with the term or abbreviation, THC, which is an easy way to reference Tetrahydrocannabinol, the most common cannabinoid (cannabinoids are molecules specific to the Cannabis species) found in virtually all Cannabis plants. However, you may be unfamiliar with the less common abbreviation CBD, which is short hand for a less common cannabinoid, Cannabidiol. It is this molecule or cannabinoid, that has the very real potential to save your life, and free you from the shackles of pharmaceutical-based psychiatry.
The media, and to a more tragic extent, mainstream mental healthcare system, has sensationalized the connection between Cannabis and Psychosis. The key to wading through this quagmire of disinformation, based mostly, if not entirely, on faulty statistical analysis of self- reported Cannabis use by enlisted Swedish soldiers, is to remember one thing: All cannabinoids are not the same, and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will get you ‘high.’ By keeping this in mind, you can sidestep entirely the debate, whether a Cannabis induced ‘high’ provided by THC worsens or betters your mental health. There has been absolutely no direct ‘cause and effect’ evidence for a connection between the consumption of Cannabis, and the course of your psychosis long term. There are many hypotheses for the vague, general connection of Cannabis use and psychosis: self-medication of the unpleasant feelings associated with psychosis, and lack of social outlets for those suffering psychosis are two such hypotheses that more than adequately explain why people predisposed to psychotic disorders choose to use Cannabis, before and after psychotic breaks.
On the other hand, there has been a direct ‘cause and effect’ connection made by the scientific community between the ingestion of the cannabinoid CBD (Cannabidiol), and a marked reduction in psychotic symptoms in those suffering from psychosis (in other words, a reduction in psychotic symptoms, with no other plausible explanation other than ingestion of CBD); equivalent in symptom reduction, as psychosis sufferers given conventional anti- psychotic drugs. Additionally, there has been a direct ‘cause and effect’ relationship established between CBD ingestion and social anxiety levels in people suffering Social Anxiety Disorder, a common secondary diagnosis given to those suffering through psychotic experiences. Interestingly, both of these ‘cause and effect’ relationships give further credence to the above mentioned hypotheses explaining why someone suffering from psychosis, would choose to use Cannabis ‘frequently’ despite pharmaceutical company funded, doctorally accredited, scientists and psychiatrists screaming that it is to their detriment.
A further note of importance in regards to the previous statements comparing THC and CBD, and Cannabis use in general, is that Cannabidiol (CBD) has been demonstrated, directly, with clear ‘cause and effect,’ to attenuate (that is, counteract) the phenomenon of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) related anxiety and psychotomimetic (a ‘psychotomimetic’ refers to a substance deemed capable of producing perception symptoms similar to psychosis) effects of Cannabis ingestion.
Finally, ‘medication adherence,’ that is, continuing to use drugs that are clearly toxic (with the physical body confirming as much, producing physically unpleasant side effects and￼developed diseases such as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, Tardive Dyskinesia, and Diabetes), is a major obstacle in the short-term and long-term recovery of people with ‘mental illness,’ psychotic disorders in particular. It is only logical to assume that using Cannabis as a well- tolerated medication, something the ‘mentally ill’ are already doing, despite assumed contraindication by their doctors, would greatly increase the chances of short-term, and therefore long-term, recovery.
Sources of Cannabidiol
So how do you get your hands on a medical supply of Cannabidiol? Unfortunately, due to the federal classification of Cannabis as a schedule one controlled substance and thus, government enforced prohibition of the Cannabis plant and its extracts, it is not an easy task. For the majority of individuals suffering from psychosis and other ‘mental illness,’ it is nearly impossible. However, do not abandon hope! There has been a recent flurry of CBD awareness, and many people are working hard to secure a reliable source of ‘Cannabidiol Dominant’ Cannabis strains. That is, strains containing higher amounts of CBD than THC. Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol are competing cannabinoids within the Cannabis plant, making up the vast majority of total cannabinoids in all Cannabis plants not selectively bred to express cannabinoids other than CBD or THC; as such, the total amount of medicinally active Cannabis compounds are represented in a ratio of CBD:THC. As one rises, the other drops. CBD and THC are controlled by co-dominant alleles, which regulate the chemical expression of a particular Cannabis plant. Thus a plant containing the alleles for sufficient quantities of CBD would be represented on a Punnett Square (the visual representation of Gregor Medel’s theory of inheritance) as either alleleTHC/alleleCBD, containing roughly fifty percent THC and fifty percent CBD, or alleleCBD/alleleCBD, containing predominantly CBD as the active cannabinoid within the plant. It is important that you consult and become familiar with the recommended reading at the end of this manifesto, as well as the concept of ‘Mendelian Inheritance,’ for a more thorough understanding of this mechanism.
So where does this lead to? The answer is Cannabis landraces (populations of Cannabis plants that are self-sustaining with very little, if any, selective breeding by humans done in their past, that grow wild); medical Cannabis dispensaries; and medical Cannabis seed banks. It has been noted by several Cannabis breeders, the occurrence of CBD alleles (and thus the potential for CBD dominant Cannabis plants) in Cannabis landraces found in the mountain ranges bordering Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. While it is possible to start from scratch with landrace seeds from this region, and identify CBD dominant plant examples for propagation (cloning and or developing stable, uniform, CBD rich seed stock), it involves a great deal of luck, a hefty budget, access to a lab willing to analyze Cannabis flower or leaf samples, seeds, and a thorough understanding of basic genetic inheritance. In other words, a fairly professional plant breeding lab. For those pursuing such an endeavor, it is interesting to note that Hemp strains of Cannabis are also a source of the critical CBD allele; both cultivated Hemp and feral Hemp (such as the feral Hemp landraces of Nebraska and Kentucky, U.S.A fame). Problems may arise in using Hemp strains for CBD alleles, if the particular Hemp strain used is dioecious, and contains both male and female flowers. This is an unfavorable trait for medical Cannabis breeders and medical Cannabis growers as seeds do not contain active cannabinoids, and thus cannot be used medicinally, only for food and oils. You will end up with less medicine per grow if your Cannabis is seeded. However, seeded CBD medicine is better than no medicine at all! The breeding process can also prove very time consuming, and unfortunately comes with an increased legal risk, as the plant numbers necessary for an ideal breeding project are interpreted by law enforcement as far surpassing that of a non-commercial growing operation.
For those living in the great state of California, U.S.A, CBD dominant strains are very possible to procure, immediately! You simply need to see a medical Cannabis doctor who will write you a physicians recommendation for your mental illness. Take your medical records, and this manifesto to help make your case! Then do an online search for dispensaries that carry lab verified CBD dominant strains.
Other states with medical programs, such as Colorado and New Mexico, have lab verified CBD dominant strains available; however, these states (every state but California) have highly ineffective medical Cannabis programs, and have opted to take the power to decide which medical conditions may benefit from the use of Cannabis away from the physician, and place it into the hands of bureaucratic state-run agencies, by creating a list of predetermined ‘debilitating medical conditions’ attached to each particular state’s medical Cannabis law, in an attempt to avoid interference from the federal government. This is tragic as it allows for a small body of likely misinformed doctors (‘medical advisory boards’ or the equivalent), control over an entire states population, in deciding who can use Cannabis medicinally; and in doing so has systematically prevented every ‘mental illness’ (except for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from being added to the lists of ‘debilitating medical conditions,’ for which Cannabis can be legally (at least in regards to state law) recommended. As of the time of writing this manifesto, this is the case. It is my sincere hope that by the time you are reading this, the situation will have changed, and those suffering from psychosis (an undoubtedly ‘debilitating’ condition), and other ‘mental illness’, will have legal access to the medical Cannabis that can end their suffering -- without the risk of jail time and property confiscation for growing their medicine, and with the option to￼purchase reliable medicine from a dispensary if they choose. It is discriminatory and criminal that this is not the case!
Lastly, numerous Cannabis seed banks have begun to advertise CBD dominant, or CBD rich, Cannabis strains in seed format. If you choose to purchase these seeds, advertised as containing elevated quantities of CBD, you run the risk of getting seeds that are not CBD dominant, with little recourse if you order internationally. Therefore, given the necessity for CBD dominant (CBD percentages greater than THC percentages) Cannabis to effectively prevent and treat your psychosis, it is recommended that you order seeds from a domestic medical Cannabis seed bank or buy them from a trusted medical Cannabis dispensary; and have access to a lab capable of identifying CBD dominant plants grown from these seeds, that can be kept at your home as ‘mother plants’ and propagated with the knowledge of exact CBD:THC ratios.
An ally in tracking down CBD at all levels can be found at www.projectCBD.org
Thoughts from the Garden
I will not attempt to go into to much detail on how to grow your own medical supply of Cannabis, as there is already an abundance of literature, detailed literature, on the subject. However, I do encourage you to grow your medicine organically. While it is possible that you may end up with a slightly smaller yield, your chances of successful harvest, and the quality of your medicine, will be much higher.
I seek to grow my medicine with no more than 1000 watts of electricity used by my equipment (which is still too much in my opinion), and steer-clear of using plastic wherever possible. Cannabis grows voraciously, and you need only provide it a habitat in which to thrive! Indoor gardening, for the majority of climates, is simply a tragic consequence of Cannabis prohibition. If you can safely (legally) grow an adequate medical supply of Cannabis outdoors, and your growing season allows it, do so! It is sure to be a rewarding experience.
Professionally formulated organic nutrients are available online, or at your local gardening center. Outdoors, rich organic compost, dolomite lime, and moderate applications of high phosphorous, ethically sourced guano, are likely more than enough for a bountiful harvest. Mycorrhizae, fungus that works symbiotically within plant roots to increase phosphorous uptake, as well as drought and pest resistance, are a great way to invigorate your plants, and your soil, while reducing your ecological footprint.
Well-timed applications of certified organic Neem oil (oil from the seed of the Neem tree used for everything under the sun for centuries in India) is all that is necessary for pests and diseases your plants may encounter. Remember, pesticides and fungicides (not including Neem) are synthetically designed to kill, and have no place on your medicine. I like to liberally treat my plants with organic Neem oil just before flowering and find I have little issue with pests for the rest of the season. There is a theory suggesting minor insect damage has the tendency to increase the potency of Cannabis, as well as other medicinal herbs. A side note: naturally occurring pyrethrins (pyrethrins is a term used to define a pair of organic compounds that contain neurotoxic-insecticidal effects), though not synthetic, are toxic to humans and other organisms. Thus, you should leave them in plant form, as adjacent Chrysanthemums and Marigolds, if you want to include them in your gardening.
Adequate light; proper ventilation and temperature; good soil and sufficient organic nutrition; the Earth, untreated-wood raised beds, or clay pots; and water, are all you need to successfully grow Cannabis. Inside, the ability to consistently control the photoperiod (amount of light in hours) through the entire course of your growing season, is also necessary.
A growers skill and success develops over time, and no one is exempt from natural devastation, occasionally. Stick with it, and read as much as you can on the subject!
Experiences from the Abyss/Final Thoughts
To accurately assault the psychiatric industry, brings with it certain outrage from key players who stand to benefit from the continued assault on our bodies, minds, and spirits, caused by the ingestion of the toxic compounds the mental health care establishment forcefully provide. As stated in my introduction, I am not a doctor. Though I have had hallucinations and ‘delusions’ indicating to me a destiny as a healer or shaman. More to the point, I am a victim of Doctors. My first psychotic introduction to the psychopathic mental health care system, propped up by supposed experts (psychiatrists and the makers of the drugs they sell), as well as supposed mental health care advocates, such as the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, who refer to the ‘mentally ill’ as ‘consumers’ (an absolutely derogatory term in my opinion), was for all literal purposes rape in an isolation room. As the medical procedure is described, forced catheterization: having a tube dipped in lubricant and forced through my male genitalia (my urethra) to my bladder, by four strong medical staff, for a urine sample. This was followed shortly by being subjected to forced shots of paralyzing Geodon, and until two years ago, when I took it upon myself to go to California and begin healing myself with Cannabidiol dominant Cannabis, a never-ending barrage of forced oral ingestion of other toxic compounds, with forced, court ordered shots of Risperdal Consta should I refuse. Court ordered medical treatment. Court ordered consumption of substances more toxic than pure heroin and pure cocaine (in non- overdose amounts); and most definitely, without even an inkling of a shadow of doubt, more toxic than pure Cannabis. This ‘treatment’ was at a staggering cost to taxpayers, myself, and my family. This is criminal, and it can happen to you if you don’t stay sane.
Therefore, I implore you to investigate Cannabidiol dominant strains of Cannabis as an alternative to this nightmare! These strains, and this plant, may very well be your only hope for true recovery, and halting the ever increasing financial might of the pharmaceutical industry; and the scientists, psychiatrists, law enforcement officers, and judges, who do their bidding.
The universe created you with its own goals in mind. I can be sure these goals were not your bio-chemical dependence on toxic substances, for the financial pleasure of the pharmaceutical companies and the sick, sadistic pleasure (or misguided intentions) of their allies.
Trust yourself! Trust your body! Stand up and fight! It is your life on the line!
Cannabidiol (CBD) Dominant Strains of Cannabis used by the author over the past two years:
True Blueberry X OG Kush Harlequin
Essential Further Reading
Bergamaschi M. M., Queiroz R. H., Chagas M. H., De Oliveira D. C., De Martinis B. S., Kapczinski F., Quevedo J., Roesler R., Schroder N., Nardi A. E., Martin-Santos R., Hallak J. E., Zuardi A. W., Crippa J. A. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology 36, 1219–1226.
Crippa, J. A., & Zuardi, A. W. (2007). Anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol. European Psychiatry, 22, S21.
DeAngelo, S. (Director) (2010). First look: Analytical window into california’s medical cannabis supply [Web]. Retrieved from www.harborsidehealthcenter.com/images/ ProjectCBD.pdf
De Meijer, E. P. M., Bagatta, M., Carboni, A., Crucitti, P., Moliterni, V. M. C., Ranalli, P., & Mandolino, G. (2003). The inheritence of chemical phenotype in cannabis sativa l. Genetics, 163, 335-346.
Grinspoon, L., & Bakalar, J. B. (1998). The use of cannabis as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder: Anecdotal evidence and the need for clinical research. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 30(2), 171-177.
Leweke, F. M., Koeth, D., Gerth, C. W., Nolden, B. M., Schreiber, D., Gross, S., Schultze-Lutter, F., Hellmich, M., & Klosterkotter, J. (2007). Cannabidiol as an antipsychotic agent. European Psychiatry, 22, S21.
Leweke, F. M., Pahlisch, F., Schreiber, D., Gerth, C. W., Nolden, B. M., Klosterkotter, J., Hellmich, M., & Piomelli, D. (2009). Antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol. European Psychiatry, 24, S207.
Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., Klosterkötter, J., Hellmich, M., & Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry, 2(e94),
Morgan, C. J. A., & Curran, H. V. (2008). Effects of cannabidiol on schizophrenia-like symptoms in people who use cannabis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 192(4), 306-307.
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A. S., Hallak, J. E. C., Moreira, F. A., & Guimarães, F. S. (2006). Cannabidiol, a cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug. Brazillian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 39(4), 421-429.
Cervantes, J. (2006). Marijuana horticulture: The indoor/outdoor medical grower's bible. Vancouver, WA: Van Patten Publishing.
Clarke, R. C. (1993). Marijuana botany. Oakland, CA: Ronin Publishing.
Guy, G. W., Whittle, B. A., & Robson, P. J. (2004).Medicinal uses of cannabis and cannabinoids. London, UK: Pharmaceutical Press.