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January 11, 2012

The "Edible" difference, an analysis for the DEA to choke on

When cannabinoids are smoked, they are transported- almost in real time- to the brain, a phenomenon immediately appreciated by those who have have been able to get “high” on smoke at least once, as a sudden feeling that the world is somehow less oppressive than it was seconds earlier, i.e. that they are about to enter a controllable anxiolytic state. As explained earlier, there must be an as-yet unidentified population of cannabis aspirants who disobeyed the law by smoking the forbidden weed on one or more occasions, but were unable to get high.

Since federal drug policy minders have never acknowledged their existence, those unsuccessful initiators are unlikely confess their unlawful attempts unless they are really dumb as well as unlucky.

Because passage of a Draconian omnibus prohibition law, a.k.a. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, had clearly been in response to the Supreme Court's nullification of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, the same absence of scientific scrutiny that existed in 1937 was applied to the CSA, thus the concept of hemp prohibition has never received any scientific (or even critical) scrutiny from within the federal bureaucracy. Beyond that, the idea that prohibition laws simply don't work has always been implicitly denied by modern feds who insist their policy is one of control.

Since the MTA also effectively scotched all production and consumption of “hemp,” (except for wartime emergency duty) the MTA also eliminated the troublesome environmental protection that might have accrued from the multiple other products never produced. The only crying over that spilled milk was an underground classic that has so far, been successfully ignored by the “straight” world.

Back to edibles: since the stomach and the gut digest everything presented to them and those (unknown) digestion products reach the blood stream via an entirely different route than smoked cannabinoids, it thus follows that two never-studied processes affect edibles: first, are the unknown breakdown products of cannabinoid digestion within the intestine. Second are the (unstudied) metabolites produced by their processing in the liver (because unlike inhaled cannabinoids, they enter the blood stream through the hepatic portal circulation, which, as its name implies, goes directly to the liver.

Difficult as it is for me to believe, I seem to be the first to note the pharmacokinetic differences between inhaled and orally ingested cannabinoids. Certainly I have been looking for such descriptions for a few years and have yet to found any. It occurs to me the main reasons for the silence of peer-reviewed literature on the subject may be: 1) the illegality of "marijuana," and 2) the reluctance of researchers to embarrass the drug war's notoriously protective federal agencies. Of course there's also their insistence that a "semisynthetic" analog of THC ( Marinol) the feds paid to develop is safer and more effective than the illegal natural product. Then, there's the entirely unsolicited FDA advisory that "marijuana" couldn't possibly be medicine because it had to be smoked!

If there's a better explanation of either the pharmacokinetic differences I've noted or the failure of either scientific and popular publications to tackle the touchy subject, I'd like to hear/read about them.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 11, 2012 11:32 PM