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Marijuana & Spirituality: What Is The True Relationship? | Collective

The question of what role cannabis plays in my spiritual experience has been a topic of great evaluation in my life in recent years. The plant has played an interesting role in my journey of self-discovery, aiding me in times of emotional hardship as well as being a catalyst for some of my more profound observations about reality and my own existence therein.

I believe that all plants are teachers, they hold within them a primordial wisdom without the limitations of the mind, and through the use of these various plant teachers we are able to expand our normally restricted ways of thinking. But as much as we can learn from cannabis, can this plant be just as much of a distraction from the truth? There are a few things to consider, one of these being someone’s vibratory state, and the other being their intent.

Cannabis has been used as a spiritual drug since 3/2000 BC, indigenous to ancient Central and South Asian cultures. The reason being was for its psychoactive properties, the ability to alter one’s state of consciousness. By altering one’s state of consciousness, we are able to view our reality from a different perspective, one that differs from the normal confines of the 3D reality. For thousands of years, Shamans held the knowledge that each plant contains a unique set of frequencies that could ultimately teach us a new way of thinking and being. Accordingly, cannabis can teach us about a number of things such as the path of least resistance, oneness, surrender, release, letting go, inhibition, the present moment, communion, allowing, the fear behind the insistent ego, and the effortlessness of being.

Teal Scott is a bright up and coming spiritual advisor, offering free tips and guidance through her website (www.askteal.com) and her YouTube channel (The Spiritual Catalyst). She covered the topic of marijuana and spirituality quite eloquently, and so I’m using her video as inspiration for this discussion.  She begins by explaining people’s altering reactions to the plant,

“People react differently to cannabis, that’s because people hold different vibrations and vibratory rates, when a person with their unique vibratory rate shares the space with a cannabis plant, the person’s vibration has to match the vibration of the cannabis plant, otherwise they cannot share the same space”.

In shamanic tradition, plants were thought of as gateways or portals between realms or dimensions, and the vibratory relationship between the person and the plant was called friending. We friend the plant so the plant can allow us to pass between realms. Cannabis inhibits the brain from functioning at a normal capacity, which provides a great deal of relief for many people who are bombarded by their own resistant thoughts.  The brain is a transceiver of information designed to keep the illusion of a static three dimensional world.  When the brain is inhibited by a substance it begins to dismantle the 3D reality it is used to transcoding, and a person is able to see beyond their normal dimensional realities. Furthermore, Teal goes on the explain, cannabis sometimes allows a person the most of his/her own true being to be fully present or unrestricted.

So why is it that people react differently? Teal claims there are two reasons. The first being that someone’s vibration may be higher or lower than the plant. If someone with a lower vibration than cannabis uses the plant, it is likely they will feel better because the plant raises their vibration. Conversely, if someone with a higher vibration ingests or smokes the plant, they will most likely feel worse, experiencing feelings of paranoia or sadness.  The second reason involves intent.

marijuana

Cannabis enhances the truth of the universe, which is intention directs energy and creates your reality. If you do not set an intention before you use cannabis, then it is going to respond to the intention of your subconscious. For example, if your subconscious fears the loss of boundaries, or wishes for you to know something that is buried in the subconscious, then the ingestion or inhalation of cannabis will surface these subconscious fears and emotions. This is why many experience the paranoia associated with cannabis use.

One of the main benefits of cannabis use for most people is that it helps to release resistance. It is perhaps the best spiritual drug to help with this challenge. It forces the mind to let go of thoughts, which induces a stress reaction for the body. This is why it is the best release of stress for people with anxiety or pain, as pain is a form of resistance. It forces a person to go with the flow, and allows more of their true being to be present, hence why people experience such profound spiritual experiences while using cannabis.

The situation gets sticky when advocating for the use or non-use of cannabis. This area is grey because it is an individual case for every person. What can be said, however, is that when cannabis is used without intent, and a person  uses the plant on a regular basis to escape resistance, then there is likely no more personal lessons or growth proceeding. In this case, a person can be addicted to the escape, and is ultimately holding themselves back with regards to their personal development and spiritual expansion. They become unable to reach the organic space of non-resistance without the use of the substance.

Although not always defined as, marijuana is an addictive substance, whether habitually, psychologically, or physically, it is an easy escape route if used in that manner. Addictive means that we are dependent on a substance to produce a feeling state. Ultimately, we have the ability to reach these states without the help of tools, even though these tools can yield many benefits if used respectfully.

It’s important to remember that stress and resistance are what make us grow the most. Denying these two feelings is cutting your expansion short. If resistance is creeping up, then there is always something that needs to be addressed or looked at. Covering up these sorts of things with cannabis can be bypassing the root of the issue, therefore preventing you from fully learning.

That being said, there are many cases in which cannabis use can be beneficial. Besides the potent health benefits associated with the ingestion of cannabis concentrations, if someone is caught in a mind pattern of negative, anxious, depressive, or angry thoughts, then the use of cannabis can help break these patterns. If someone is in pain or is nauseous from a debilitating illness, cannabis can strongly aid in masking these types of agonies by eliminating resistance. In these cases the person’s vibratory rate is so low that cannabis picks them back up into realignment.

All in all, cannabis should never be a long term plan in treating resistance. If we want to be expanding at our highest capacity then we need to be looking at the root of our resistances so that we can continue to move forward. Being conscious about our decisions with any mind altering substance is the most important thing we can do. However, psychoactive plants and substances are tools that were put here in our world for a definitive reason. These plants are teachers. With the proper intention put forward, cannabis and other psychoactive plants have the ability to expand our consciousness in ways never thought possible.

Source:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSpiritualCatalyst


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Congress Passes Historic Medical Marijuana Protections In

Congress dealt a historic blow to the United States’ decades-long war on drugs Saturday with the passage of the federal spending bill, which contains protections for medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations in states where they are legal.

The spending bill includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-legal medical cannabis programs. If the bill is signed into law, it will bring the federal government one step closer to ending raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as stopping arrests of individuals involved with pot businesses that are complying with state law.

“When the House first passed this measure back in May, we made headlines; today we made history,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who in May introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), told The Huffington Post regarding the bill’s passage.

“The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws,” Farr added. “This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”

The bill protects medical marijuana programs in the 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, as well as 11 additional states that have legalized CBD oils, a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that has shown to be beneficial in some severe cases of epilepsy.

“Congress has finally initiated a drawdown in the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “This legislation makes it clear that the DEA has no business interfering in states’ medical marijuana laws. Taxpayer money should not be used to punish seriously ill people who use medical marijuana and the caregivers who provide it to them.”

Under the Obama administration, the DEA and several U.S. attorneys have raided marijuana dispensaries and sent people to prison, even though they complied with state laws. According to a report released last year by advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, the Obama administration has spent nearly $80 million each year cracking down on medical marijuana, which amounts to more than $200,000 per day.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” alongside heroin and LSD. Since that doesn’t change with the passage of the omnibus package, it’s not entirely clear how the protections will work in practice.

“This isn’t finely written policy yet,” Farr said in June after the amendment first passed in the House, Forbes’ Jacob Sullum reported. “This is a statement of congressional intent that [the] DEA [should] back off on these issues. We will have to continue to reconcile federal policy with state policy.”

A statement issued by Americans for Safe Access following the spending bill’s passage Saturday called the measure “historic” and said patients’ rights advocates believe it “will dramatically impact DOJ enforcement, including ending federal medical marijuana raids, arrests, criminal prosecutions, and civil asset forfeiture lawsuits.”

Industrial hemp also received new protections from DEA intervention under the spending bill. The same plant species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, hemp contains little to no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana associated with the “high” sensation. The farm bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February, legalized industrial hemp production in states that permit it.

Eighteen states have legalized industrial hemp production, and more than a dozen others have introduced legislation that would authorize research into the plant, set up a regulatory framework or legalize growing it.

Earlier this year, the DEA made headlines when it seized hemp seeds intended to be used in the launch of Kentucky’s legal hemp research pilot program. A month later, the hemp seeds were released, and the state began planting its research crop.

It wasn’t all victories for marijuana in the spending bill — the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, D.C., which nearly 70 percent of voters approved, appears to be blocked. However, several members of Congress have taken issue with the language used in bill, arguing that law may still be able to move forward.

Congress Passes Historic Medical Marijuana Protections In

Congress dealt a historic blow to the United States’ decades-long war on drugs Saturday with the passage of the federal spending bill, which contains protections for medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations in states where they are legal.

The spending bill includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-legal medical cannabis programs. If the bill is signed into law, it will bring the federal government one step closer to ending raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as stopping arrests of individuals involved with pot businesses that are complying with state law.

“When the House first passed this measure back in May, we made headlines; today we made history,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who in May introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), told The Huffington Post regarding the bill’s passage.

“The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws,” Farr added. “This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”

The bill protects medical marijuana programs in the 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, as well as 11 additional states that have legalized CBD oils, a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that has shown to be beneficial in some severe cases of epilepsy.

“Congress has finally initiated a drawdown in the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “This legislation makes it clear that the DEA has no business interfering in states’ medical marijuana laws. Taxpayer money should not be used to punish seriously ill people who use medical marijuana and the caregivers who provide it to them.”

Under the Obama administration, the DEA and several U.S. attorneys have raided marijuana dispensaries and sent people to prison, even though they complied with state laws. According to a report released last year by advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, the Obama administration has spent nearly $80 million each year cracking down on medical marijuana, which amounts to more than $200,000 per day.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” alongside heroin and LSD. Since that doesn’t change with the passage of the omnibus package, it’s not entirely clear how the protections will work in practice.

“This isn’t finely written policy yet,” Farr said in June after the amendment first passed in the House, Forbes’ Jacob Sullum reported. “This is a statement of congressional intent that [the] DEA [should] back off on these issues. We will have to continue to reconcile federal policy with state policy.”

A statement issued by Americans for Safe Access following the spending bill’s passage Saturday called the measure “historic” and said patients’ rights advocates believe it “will dramatically impact DOJ enforcement, including ending federal medical marijuana raids, arrests, criminal prosecutions, and civil asset forfeiture lawsuits.”

Industrial hemp also received new protections from DEA intervention under the spending bill. The same plant species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, hemp contains little to no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana associated with the “high” sensation. The farm bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February, legalized industrial hemp production in states that permit it.

Eighteen states have legalized industrial hemp production, and more than a dozen others have introduced legislation that would authorize research into the plant, set up a regulatory framework or legalize growing it.

Earlier this year, the DEA made headlines when it seized hemp seeds intended to be used in the launch of Kentucky’s legal hemp research pilot program. A month later, the hemp seeds were released, and the state began planting its research crop.

It wasn’t all victories for marijuana in the spending bill — the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, D.C., which nearly 70 percent of voters approved, appears to be blocked. However, several members of Congress have taken issue with the language used in bill, arguing that law may still be able to move forward.

Congress Passes Historic Medical Marijuana Protections In

Congress dealt a historic blow to the United States’ decades-long war on drugs Saturday with the passage of the federal spending bill, which contains protections for medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations in states where they are legal.

The spending bill includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-legal medical cannabis programs. If the bill is signed into law, it will bring the federal government one step closer to ending raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as stopping arrests of individuals involved with pot businesses that are complying with state law.

“When the House first passed this measure back in May, we made headlines; today we made history,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who in May introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), told The Huffington Post regarding the bill’s passage.

“The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws,” Farr added. “This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”

The bill protects medical marijuana programs in the 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, as well as 11 additional states that have legalized CBD oils, a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that has shown to be beneficial in some severe cases of epilepsy.

“Congress has finally initiated a drawdown in the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “This legislation makes it clear that the DEA has no business interfering in states’ medical marijuana laws. Taxpayer money should not be used to punish seriously ill people who use medical marijuana and the caregivers who provide it to them.”

Under the Obama administration, the DEA and several U.S. attorneys have raided marijuana dispensaries and sent people to prison, even though they complied with state laws. According to a report released last year by advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, the Obama administration has spent nearly $80 million each year cracking down on medical marijuana, which amounts to more than $200,000 per day.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” alongside heroin and LSD. Since that doesn’t change with the passage of the omnibus package, it’s not entirely clear how the protections will work in practice.

“This isn’t finely written policy yet,” Farr said in June after the amendment first passed in the House, Forbes’ Jacob Sullum reported. “This is a statement of congressional intent that [the] DEA [should] back off on these issues. We will have to continue to reconcile federal policy with state policy.”

A statement issued by Americans for Safe Access following the spending bill’s passage Saturday called the measure “historic” and said patients’ rights advocates believe it “will dramatically impact DOJ enforcement, including ending federal medical marijuana raids, arrests, criminal prosecutions, and civil asset forfeiture lawsuits.”

Industrial hemp also received new protections from DEA intervention under the spending bill. The same plant species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, hemp contains little to no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana associated with the “high” sensation. The farm bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February, legalized industrial hemp production in states that permit it.

Eighteen states have legalized industrial hemp production, and more than a dozen others have introduced legislation that would authorize research into the plant, set up a regulatory framework or legalize growing it.

Earlier this year, the DEA made headlines when it seized hemp seeds intended to be used in the launch of Kentucky’s legal hemp research pilot program. A month later, the hemp seeds were released, and the state began planting its research crop.

It wasn’t all victories for marijuana in the spending bill — the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, D.C., which nearly 70 percent of voters approved, appears to be blocked. However, several members of Congress have taken issue with the language used in bill, arguing that law may still be able to move forward.

DC, Oregon, and Alaska Just Voted to Legalize Marijuana | Mother

Oregon and Alaska are renowned for their pot-smoking libertarians, hippies, and hipsters, but they’re no match for the blazer-and-khaki-clad stoners in the nation’s capital. That’s right. DC’s marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 71, which was predicted to sail through by a 2-1 margin, has officially passed by an even larger margin. Okay, not officially passed, but, you know, the big media guys called it and…and…what was I writing about again?

Oh, yeah. So, pot easily passes in DC and, by a smaller margin in Oregon, and by just two points in Alaska. How to explain this, other than Sen. Mitch McConnell’s well-known addiction to Grand Daddy Purp?

If the DC vote caught you by surprise, then consider our capital’s long, intimate relationship with the cannabis plant. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. George Washington urged his gardener to “make the most” of Indian hemp seed, which, translated into modern English, obviously means cooking it into hash oil and smoking dabs from an oil rig. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you clearly don’t live in DC.) The point is, DC was cool before Portland even fucking existed.

When I was in college in the late 1990s, I visited DC, where I bought some low-grade pot from some young black dude on the street. Such purchases happen all the time in DC, and when things go wrong, it’s usually the young dealer, not the stoned college kid, who winds up in jail. The disparities are well known within the District’s African American community: Blacks make up about half of the DC population but accounted for 90 percent of its arrests for drug possession, according to a study last year. And while, according to the Washington Post, African Americans in the District once tended to oppose legalization for fear it could lead to more young blacks getting addicted, they now support it as the same rate as whites do.

The most obvious reason that DC suits could get legal pot is that there’s no rural DC—unless you count the cherry trees around the Washington Monument, which I don’t. However, this map shows the vast swath of Oregon hinterlands that backed Mitt Romney in 2012. That tiny blue sliver resembling the Gaza Strip is Portland.

But pro-pot voters in DC still face an uphill battle. While Washington is the most liberal place in America after San Francisco, (so says The Economist), it is also home to Congress, a slightly less progressive institution, which happens to control the District’s purse strings and has 30 days to review and nullify any new DC law. Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, pictured above (he’s the guy without the tea), has pledged to “blunt” the DC pot rule, as Politico aptly put it. Getting the rest of Congress to follow suit might get a lot easier if, as some pro-pot campaigners fear, thousands of ecstatic stoners spark up on the streets tonight.

These legalization measures weren’t the only marijuana initiatives on the ballot Tuesday. Florida was supposed to be the first state in the South to legalize medical marijuana, but support for the measure took a nosedive, and it has lost by a fairly big margin. (Slate‘s Michael Ames blames “dysfunctional partisanship.”) There are also local measures on the ballot in several states. And for what it’s worth, a medical-marijuana referendum passed today by a 12-point margin in Guam, which is certain to give a boost to this song:

Rand Paul, James Comer to Notify Justice Department That Hemp

Sen. Rand Paul and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer are playing a game of chicken with the federal government over the growing of industrial hemp in the state.

Encouraged by the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission, Comer and Paul plan to draft a letter to U.S. Department of Justice indicating that Kentucky will proceed with adopting regulations and issuing permits for farmers to begin planting the controversial crop as early as next February, unless they are told otherwise.

Paul and Comer, both Republicans, hope to provoke clarity on the current legality of growing hemp in Kentucky, which remains murky in the wake of a memo released last month by U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole. That Aug. 30 memo stated that the federal government will respect state marijuana laws, which advocates believe likely includes the legalization of hemp production.

A spokesperson for Paul said that the junior Kentucky senator intends “to be a part of correspondence with the Department of Justice” and that Paul “supports the work of the Hemp Commission and supports Commissioner Comer’s efforts to move forward with the reintroduction of industrial hemp in Kentucky.”

Paul, long a vocal advocate for legalizing hemp, has donated $25,000 to the hemp commission through his RandPAC, the State-Journal has reported. 

Comer sent a previous letter to the Justice Department earlier this year urging the federal government to lift its ban on hemp. That letter was co-signed by a whos-who of Kentucky politicians—including Paul, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, a Democrat and Republican, respectively.

It’s gone unanswered.

“Seven out of eight of our federal delegation, they never got a response from [the] DOJ,” Comer said. “So we’re going to try Plan B. We’re just going to send them a letter saying, ‘okay, this is what we’re going to do, unless you tell us otherwise.’”

The commission also voted today to clarify the language of state legislation legalizing hemp production to allow for state legislators to hold seats on the commission. It also voted to request a draft of regulations from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture regarding hemp production.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 50 in the 2013 regular session that greenlights the creation of a regulatory framework for Kentucky hemp production should the federal government lift its ban on cultivating the plant.

Kentucky State Police Maj. Anthony Terry informed the commission that the Office of the U.S. Attorney General plans to issue an opinion clarifying that the Cole memo changes nothing in Kentucky with respect to marijuana because the state hasn’t legalized the drug for recreational or medical purposes.

Holly Harris, Comer’s chief of staff, said that while that may be the case regarding marijuana, hemp is a different matter altogether. She said that because Senate Bill 50 decouples hemp from the definition of marijuana, then hemp is legal at the state-level.

She said that Cole’s congressional testimony given by Cole on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee further legitimizes the hemp commission’s plans to push forward with the permitting process. In his testimony, the U.S. deputy attorney general indicated that the Justice Department will refrain from prosecuting hemp farmers in states where the crop is legal.

Harris added that Paul and Comer plan to draft their letter “soon.” That letter is the latest bid by Comer to lobby the federal government to sanction the growing of hemp for industrial and research purposes in the state.

On Tuesday, Comer joined Massie to evangelize the crop’s potential to Congressional staffers and to lobby for legislation that would exempt hemp from any definition of marijuana as defined in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

While hemp is chemically different from marijuana and is not used as a drug, it is treated similarly to its psychoactive cousin by law enforcement agencies because of a lack of clarity in federal law prohibiting illegal drugs. The Controlled Substances Act does not mention hemp by name, but that hasn’t stopped law enforcement agencies from interpreting it as such.

As a result, hemp advocates would prefer standing legislation that would specifically decouple hemp from marijuana at the federal level. Two such bills are currently circulating Congress.

A recent study by University of Kentucky agricultural economists found that hemp production in the state would create fewer jobs than expected, which Comer said failed to take into account other factors. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service released a study in July which estimated the potential domestic market for hemp production to be $500 million a year.

According to Comer, how much of that potential market Kentucky will claim depends on how quickly the state can capitalize on an emerging hemp market to be “first in the nation.”

JNI | Full text | Cannabinoid receptor type-2 stimulation, blockade

Animal care and housing

Prior to initiating any research, the Thomas Jefferson University Institutional Animal
Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviewed and approved the research protocol and the
use of male C57BL/6 mice. Animal care and use was monitored by the University Animal
Care and Use Committee to assure compliance with the provisions of Federal Regulations
and the NIH ‘Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals’. All mice were housed
in the Thomas Jefferson University Laboratory Animal Services Facility which is accredited
by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and complies
with NIH standards.

Experimental design

Seventy-four (n = 74) adult male mice at approximately 8 weeks of age (weighing 22
to 24 g), including strains of C57BL/6 wild-type mice (Charles River, Wilmington,
MA, USA) or CB2R knockout B6.129P2-Cnr2tm1Dgen/J mice (Taconic, Hudson, NY, USA) were randomly assigned to undergo controlled cortical
impact injury (n = 66) or serve as craniotomy controls (control) (n = 8). There were
three study arms to determine the effects of CB2R modulation on genes and proteins expression for primary vascular inflammatory markers
(TNF-α, ICAM, iNOS, and BBB permeability) which included: (1) CCI injury over time
compared to craniotomy, (2) CB2R agonists and CB2R antagonist compared to vehicle-treated mice, and (3) CB2R knockout (CB2R KO) CCI groups with and without JWH-133 compared to wild-type CCI (Figure 1). Endpoints for CCI time course experiments were at either 6 hours (n = 4) or 1 (n
= 10), 2 (n = 7), or 3 (n = 5) days after CCI injury. Two administrations of synthetic
selective CB2R agonists, 0-1966 (n = 8) or JWH-133 (n = 12), a selective CB2R antagonist, SR144528 (n = 4), or vehicle solution (n = 10) were administered to
wild-type CCI mice as described below. To determine the selectivity for the CB2R, knockout mice lacking the CB2R were treated with a CB2R agonist JWH-133 (n = 3) and 0-1966 (n = 4) or vehicle (n = 9) and compared to wild-type
CCI mice (n = 8). Controls underwent all surgical procedures including an equal time
of isoflurane exposure, buprenorphine injection, incision and craniotomy but were
not subjected to CCI injury, did not receive treatment or vehicle, and were euthanized
at 3 days post-operatively. All surgeries and experimental post-mortem procedures were performed so that, within each cohort of mice, craniotomy or vehicle-treated
control groups were run in parallel with their respective experimental groups to insure
consistent environmental conditions. On an annual basis, there is a 6 to 8% mortality
rate for our CCI injury model due to the formation of fatal hematomas or cerebrovascular
blood clots. Controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) injury resulted in a loss of
6 of the original 66experimental CCI mice (9% mortality rate) equally distributed
among groups, and final group sizes were reported for each experimental outcome (see
figures).

Figure 1. Experimental design flowchart showing experimental groups, endpoints, and outcome
measures under each experimental arm: (1) CCI injured groups over time compared to
craniotomy (control), (2) CCI injured mice treated with vehicle, cannabinoid receptor
type 2 (CB
2R) agonist, (*0-1966 or **JWH-133 (JWH)), or CB2R antagonist (SR144528), and (3) wild-type CCI mice treated with vehicle or JWH, compared
to CB
2R knockout CCI injured mice with and without JWH.

Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury was induced using CCI injury, a highly reproducible non-penetrating
brain injury model 31]. Mice were injured using methods previously described by our laboratory 19],23],32]. Anesthesia was induced with 3% isoflurane and maintained throughout the procedure
at a dose of 2.5% isoflurane. Prior to the start of the procedure, all mice were injected
with short-acting buprenorphine (0.01 cc subcutaneous) for acute post-operative pain
control. A right-sided 4 mm craniotomy was performed at 1 mm posterior to bregma exposing
the mouse somatosensory cortex. A rounded aluminum 3 mm diameter stereotaxic impactor
tip (MyNeuroLab, St. Louis, MO, USA) was used to produce a cortical injury at a 1.0 mm
depth, 3 m/s velocity, and 100 msec contact time. Following injury, the bone flap
was sealed with permanent cyanoacrylate-based fast-acting adhesive closures and the
skin was closed with 6.0 silk sutures. Post-operative care included warming with indirect
heat from a heat lamp until ambulation resumed, and unlimited access to food and water.
Brain and core body temperature were maintained at 37 ± 0.5°C throughout the procedure
and monitored with temporalis muscle and rectal temperature probes to avoid the neuroprotective
effects of anesthesia-induced hypothermia.

Treatment administration

Stimulation of the CB2 receptor was performed using agonists 0-1966 (Organix Inc., Woburn, MA, USA) or JWH-133
(Tocris Bioscience, Minneapolis, MN, USA). 0-1966 was used for the TNF and ICAM PCR
experiments, while JWH-133 was used in all other experiments (Figure 1). The CB2R agonist was switched to JWH-133 in the later experiments in this study because it
had the same selectivity profile for CB2R as 0-1966 but with better solubility, was easier to administer, and was commercially
available as a solution. 0-1966 was dissolved in a pure ethanol:emulphor:normal saline
solution (1:1:18) resulting in a final concentration of 0.5 mg/mL. The CB2R agonist, 0-1966, also known as 0-1966A, is an analog of bicyclic resorcinols (dimethoxy-resorcinol-dimethylheptyl)
and structurally similar to cannabidiol as described by Wiley et al. 33]. 0-1966 demonstrates 225-fold higher selectivity for the CB2R (Ki = 23 ± 2.1 nM) compared to CB1R (Ki = 5,055 ± 984 nM) 33]. JWH-133 selective CB2R agonist (Ki = 3.4 nM), in water-soluble emulsion Tocrisolve TM 100 (Tocris Catalog
Number 1684) has appoximately 200-fold selectivity over CB1 receptors. The times for
repeated intraperitoneal (ip) injections of 0-1966 (5 mg/kg) and JWH-133 (1 mg/kg)
for the one-day endpoint were at either 2 or 18 hours post-CCI. The timing of treatment
administrations were based on our previous studies 19]. Dosages were based both on preliminary dosing studies performed by our laboratory
for our TBI model as well as on previous studies on models of stroke and spinal cord
injury 19]-22],34]. Vehicle solution was prepared in an identical manner to include 0.2 mL of pure ethanol:emulphor:normal
saline solution (1:1:18) minus the cannabinoid and administered at the same time points
as 0-1966. The selective CB2R antagonist, SR144528, (Cayman Chemical, Ann Arbor, MI, USA) was dissolved in DMSO:emulphor:normal
saline solution (1:1:18) and injected at 5 mg/kg at 2 and 18 hours post-CCI.

BBB assessment

Fluid-phase BBB permeability was assessed using sodium fluorescein (NaF) at 1 day
post-CCI in wild-type, CB2R KO mice with and without a CB2R agonist (JWH-133) or controls as previously described by our laboratories 8]. NaF uptake assay was performed for 20 mice randomly divided into CCI subgroups euthanized
at either 1 day (n = 236) or serving as controls (n = 4). CCI subgroups consisted
of wild-type treated with vehicle or JWH-133, and CB2R KO receiving vehicle or JWH-133. Brain samples were run in duplicate experiments.
We selected NaF to evaluate changes in BBB permeability due to its low molecular weight
(376 Da) compared to others probes that bind to albumin such as Evans Blue, horseradish
peroxidase (HRP), or IgG (≥67,000 Da). Thus, NaF is a more sensitive probe that allows
for detection of smaller leaks in the barrier. Mice were injected ip with 100 μL of
10% NaF in PBS and the NaF was allowed to circulate for 10 minutes. Following administration
of a lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital, cardiac blood was collected followed by
transcardial perfusion with 15 mL of heparin (1,000 U/L) in PBS. Brains were sectioned
into a left and right hemisphere and micro-dissected to separate the cerebral cortex,
and processed immediately. To determine BBB permeability, tissues were weighed, homogenized
in 1/10 dilution in PBS and centrifuged at 14,000 × g for 2 minutes. Five-hundred
microliters of the clarified supernatant was transferred into 500 μL of 15% trichloroacetic
acid and centrifuged at 10,000 × g for 10 minutes while the pellet was retained for
RNA isolation. One hundred and twenty-five microliters of 5 N NaOH was added to 500 μL
of the supernatant, and the amount of fluorescein for each sample was determined using
standards ranging from 125 to 4,000 μg on a Cytofluor II fluorometer (PerSeptive Biosystems,
Framingham, MA, USA). Serum levels of sodium fluorescein were assessed as previously
described so that signals in CNS tissue samples could be normalized against the amount
present in the circulation. NaF uptake into each brain region of interest is expressed
as (ug/g NaF in cortex)/(μg NaF in serum).

RT-PCR

The pellet isolated during the BBB assessment outlined above was subsequently used
for RNA isolation. Total RNA was extracted with the RNeasy Miniprep Kit (Qiagen, Valencia,
CA, USA), reverse transcribed into cDNA with MMLV reverse transcriptase (Promega,
Madison, WI, USA) and then measured by quantitative real-time PCR with gene-specific
primers and probes 35]. IQ supermix and the iCycler iQ real-time detection system were also used for quantification
(Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA, USA). All samples were run in duplicate and compared
to cDNA gene standards to determine copy numbers, which were normalized to the copy
number of each sample’s housekeeping gene L13. Levels of mRNA are reported as the
fold change in gene expression of normalized to the endogenous reference gene L13
and relative to the untreated, craniotomy controls.

Immunohistochemistry

Mice were administered a lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital (120 mg/kg, ip) and underwent
cardiac perfusion with heparinized saline followed by 4% paraformaldehyde. Brains
were post-fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for 24 hours, then transferred to 30% sucrose
for storage. Frozen sections were cut coronally with a cryostat at –24°C (20 μm thick),
and air dried overnight. Tissues were incubated in 10% NGS in O.3% Triton-100. Coronal
brain sections were labeled using the following primary antibodies overnight at room
temperature: (1) rabbit anti-mouse iNOS (1:200; Enzo Life Science, Farmingdale, NY,
USA) and (2) rabbit anti-mouse ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba-1)
(1:250; Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Richmond, VA, USA). Fluorescent secondary antibodies
DyLight 488- or 549-conjugated AffiniPure Goat anti-rabbit IgG (Jackson ImmunoResearch,
West Grove, PA, USA) were applied for 2 hours at room temperature. Negative control
staining was performed by omitting the primary antibodies.

Statistical analyses

All statistical analyses were performed using the GraphPad Prism 5 software program
(La Jolla, CA, USA). To determine differences between CCI injury and controls at 6 hour,
2 day and 3 day time points, differences between wild-type and knockout mice, and
and differences between vehicle-treated, agonist-treated, and antagonist-treated groups,
statistical comparisons were performed using a one-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni
post hoc analysis for experimental groups compared to control. Significance levels were set
at P 0.05 for all statistical analyses and results are reported as the mean and SEM.

Marijuana & Spirituality: What Is The True Relationship? | Collective

The question of what role cannabis plays in my spiritual experience has been a topic of great evaluation in my life in recent years. The plant has played an interesting role in my journey of self-discovery, aiding me in times of emotional hardship as well as being a catalyst for some of my more profound observations about reality and my own existence therein.

I believe that all plants are teachers, they hold within them a primordial wisdom without the limitations of the mind, and through the use of these various plant teachers we are able to expand our normally restricted ways of thinking. But as much as we can learn from cannabis, can this plant be just as much of a distraction from the truth? There are a few things to consider, one of these being someone’s vibratory state, and the other being their intent.

Cannabis has been used as a spiritual drug since 3/2000 BC, indigenous to ancient Central and South Asian cultures. The reason being was for its psychoactive properties, the ability to alter one’s state of consciousness. By altering one’s state of consciousness, we are able to view our reality from a different perspective, one that differs from the normal confines of the 3D reality. For thousands of years, Shamans held the knowledge that each plant contains a unique set of frequencies that could ultimately teach us a new way of thinking and being. Accordingly, cannabis can teach us about a number of things such as the path of least resistance, oneness, surrender, release, letting go, inhibition, the present moment, communion, allowing, the fear behind the insistent ego, and the effortlessness of being.

Teal Scott is a bright up and coming spiritual advisor, offering free tips and guidance through her website (www.askteal.com) and her YouTube channel (The Spiritual Catalyst). She covered the topic of marijuana and spirituality quite eloquently, and so I’m using her video as inspiration for this discussion.  She begins by explaining people’s altering reactions to the plant,

“People react differently to cannabis, that’s because people hold different vibrations and vibratory rates, when a person with their unique vibratory rate shares the space with a cannabis plant, the person’s vibration has to match the vibration of the cannabis plant, otherwise they cannot share the same space”.

In shamanic tradition, plants were thought of as gateways or portals between realms or dimensions, and the vibratory relationship between the person and the plant was called friending. We friend the plant so the plant can allow us to pass between realms. Cannabis inhibits the brain from functioning at a normal capacity, which provides a great deal of relief for many people who are bombarded by their own resistant thoughts.  The brain is a transceiver of information designed to keep the illusion of a static three dimensional world.  When the brain is inhibited by a substance it begins to dismantle the 3D reality it is used to transcoding, and a person is able to see beyond their normal dimensional realities. Furthermore, Teal goes on the explain, cannabis sometimes allows a person the most of his/her own true being to be fully present or unrestricted.

So why is it that people react differently? Teal claims there are two reasons. The first being that someone’s vibration may be higher or lower than the plant. If someone with a lower vibration than cannabis uses the plant, it is likely they will feel better because the plant raises their vibration. Conversely, if someone with a higher vibration ingests or smokes the plant, they will most likely feel worse, experiencing feelings of paranoia or sadness.  The second reason involves intent.

marijuana

Cannabis enhances the truth of the universe, which is intention directs energy and creates your reality. If you do not set an intention before you use cannabis, then it is going to respond to the intention of your subconscious. For example, if your subconscious fears the loss of boundaries, or wishes for you to know something that is buried in the subconscious, then the ingestion or inhalation of cannabis will surface these subconscious fears and emotions. This is why many experience the paranoia associated with cannabis use.

One of the main benefits of cannabis use for most people is that it helps to release resistance. It is perhaps the best spiritual drug to help with this challenge. It forces the mind to let go of thoughts, which induces a stress reaction for the body. This is why it is the best release of stress for people with anxiety or pain, as pain is a form of resistance. It forces a person to go with the flow, and allows more of their true being to be present, hence why people experience such profound spiritual experiences while using cannabis.

The situation gets sticky when advocating for the use or non-use of cannabis. This area is grey because it is an individual case for every person. What can be said, however, is that when cannabis is used without intent, and a person  uses the plant on a regular basis to escape resistance, then there is likely no more personal lessons or growth proceeding. In this case, a person can be addicted to the escape, and is ultimately holding themselves back with regards to their personal development and spiritual expansion. They become unable to reach the organic space of non-resistance without the use of the substance.

Although not always defined as, marijuana is an addictive substance, whether habitually, psychologically, or physically, it is an easy escape route if used in that manner. Addictive means that we are dependent on a substance to produce a feeling state. Ultimately, we have the ability to reach these states without the help of tools, even though these tools can yield many benefits if used respectfully.

It’s important to remember that stress and resistance are what make us grow the most. Denying these two feelings is cutting your expansion short. If resistance is creeping up, then there is always something that needs to be addressed or looked at. Covering up these sorts of things with cannabis can be bypassing the root of the issue, therefore preventing you from fully learning.

That being said, there are many cases in which cannabis use can be beneficial. Besides the potent health benefits associated with the ingestion of cannabis concentrations, if someone is caught in a mind pattern of negative, anxious, depressive, or angry thoughts, then the use of cannabis can help break these patterns. If someone is in pain or is nauseous from a debilitating illness, cannabis can strongly aid in masking these types of agonies by eliminating resistance. In these cases the person’s vibratory rate is so low that cannabis picks them back up into realignment.

All in all, cannabis should never be a long term plan in treating resistance. If we want to be expanding at our highest capacity then we need to be looking at the root of our resistances so that we can continue to move forward. Being conscious about our decisions with any mind altering substance is the most important thing we can do. However, psychoactive plants and substances are tools that were put here in our world for a definitive reason. These plants are teachers. With the proper intention put forward, cannabis and other psychoactive plants have the ability to expand our consciousness in ways never thought possible.

Source:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSpiritualCatalyst


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Federal Government's Ban on Medical Marijuana Quietly Ended


pot-filephoto

File photo of jars of medical marijuana. (Credit: KDVR via CNN)

pot-filephoto

File photo of jars of medical marijuana. (Credit: KDVR via CNN)

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.

The bill’s passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.

Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.

The Obama administration has largely followed that rule since last year as a matter of policy. But the measure approved as part of the spending bill, which President Obama plans to sign this week, will codify it as a matter of law.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

DC, Oregon, and Alaska Just Voted to Legalize Marijuana | Mother

Oregon and Alaska are renowned for their pot-smoking libertarians, hippies, and hipsters, but they’re no match for the blazer-and-khaki-clad stoners in the nation’s capital. That’s right. DC’s marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 71, which was predicted to sail through by a 2-1 margin, has officially passed by an even larger margin. Okay, not officially passed, but, you know, the big media guys called it and…and…what was I writing about again?

Oh, yeah. So, pot easily passes in DC and, by a smaller margin in Oregon, and by just two points in Alaska. How to explain this, other than Sen. Mitch McConnell’s well-known addiction to Grand Daddy Purp?

If the DC vote caught you by surprise, then consider our capital’s long, intimate relationship with the cannabis plant. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. George Washington urged his gardener to “make the most” of Indian hemp seed, which, translated into modern English, obviously means cooking it into hash oil and smoking dabs from an oil rig. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you clearly don’t live in DC.) The point is, DC was cool before Portland even fucking existed.

When I was in college in the late 1990s, I visited DC, where I bought some low-grade pot from some young black dude on the street. Such purchases happen all the time in DC, and when things go wrong, it’s usually the young dealer, not the stoned college kid, who winds up in jail. The disparities are well known within the District’s African American community: Blacks make up about half of the DC population but accounted for 90 percent of its arrests for drug possession, according to a study last year. And while, according to the Washington Post, African Americans in the District once tended to oppose legalization for fear it could lead to more young blacks getting addicted, they now support it as the same rate as whites do.

The most obvious reason that DC suits could get legal pot is that there’s no rural DC—unless you count the cherry trees around the Washington Monument, which I don’t. However, this map shows the vast swath of Oregon hinterlands that backed Mitt Romney in 2012. That tiny blue sliver resembling the Gaza Strip is Portland.

But pro-pot voters in DC still face an uphill battle. While Washington is the most liberal place in America after San Francisco, (so says The Economist), it is also home to Congress, a slightly less progressive institution, which happens to control the District’s purse strings and has 30 days to review and nullify any new DC law. Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, pictured above (he’s the guy without the tea), has pledged to “blunt” the DC pot rule, as Politico aptly put it. Getting the rest of Congress to follow suit might get a lot easier if, as some pro-pot campaigners fear, thousands of ecstatic stoners spark up on the streets tonight.

These legalization measures weren’t the only marijuana initiatives on the ballot Tuesday. Florida was supposed to be the first state in the South to legalize medical marijuana, but support for the measure took a nosedive, and it has lost by a fairly big margin. (Slate‘s Michael Ames blames “dysfunctional partisanship.”) There are also local measures on the ballot in several states. And for what it’s worth, a medical-marijuana referendum passed today by a 12-point margin in Guam, which is certain to give a boost to this song: