Why Kenya Needs to Legalize Cannabis.
By Kathy Day
When presented with information that is different than what one believes it can cause cognitive dissonance, that uncomfortable feeling when presented with something opposite to what we believe, the first tendency is to dismiss it. Acknowledge that, and try to keep an open mind.
First and foremost Cannabis, also commonly called marijuana should be legalized for health reasons.
All humans, in fact all vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system which uses cannabinoids our body’s make on their own, called endocannabinoids, and any supplementation (exogenous, or from external source such as cannabis) to heal injuries and provide homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to function correctly regardless of motion and other influences.
Scientific evidence show the endocannabinoid system regulates the other systems in our body.
Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo is the Research Director at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry in Italy, one of the world’s leading cannabinoid scientists, co-author of more than 460 peer-reviewed publications, and served as President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS)
In a study published in 2011, “Endocannabinoid System” by
Vincenzo Di Marzo, Endocannabinoid Research Group, Pozzuoli (NA), state,”A key role of the ECS (endocannabinoid system) is emerging in the control not only of central and peripheral nervous system functions, but also of most aspects of mammalian physiology, including energy intake, processing and storage, the immune response, reproduction and cell fate. The ECS is also subject to dysregulation, and this seems to contribute to the symptoms and progress of several diseases.”
And lays out the following 10 Key Concepts:
1 “Endocannabinoids are local mediators with autocrine or paracrine function.”
2 “Endocannabinoids are usually produced de novo and ‘on demand’ following elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentrations.”
3 “Endocannabinoids often act in the central nervous system as ‘retrograde neuromodulators’, that is, they are released from post‐synaptic neurons and act at cannabinoid CB1 receptors on pre‐synaptic axon terminals.”
4 “Endocannabinoids possess immune‐modulatory functions and usually inhibit cytokine release from immune cells and regulate the migration of the latter.”
5 “Endocannabinoids are key regulators of food intake, gastrointestinal function, energy storage in the adipose tissue and energy processing by the liver and the skeletal muscle.”
6 “Endocannabinoids are deeply involved in pain processing at peripheral, spinal and supra‐spinal sites.”
7 “Endocannabinoids regulate both male and female reproduction.”
8 “Endocannabinoid can differentially affect cell fate in healthy and cancer cells by regulating differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis.”
9 “Endocannabinoids, and anandamide in particular, also directly interact with non‐CB1, non‐CB2 receptors, the most studied of which is the transient receptor potential vanilloid type‐1 (TRPV1) channel.”
10 “Dysregulation of the ECS underlies several neurological, immune and metabolic disorders, and therapeutic strategies manipulating the ECS are being developed”
The following video is an interview at the 7th Annual National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in 2012 Dr. Di Marzo explains further in the video link
In fact Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the man who discovered THC, endocannabinoids and whose team discovered the endocannabinoid system states, “The endocannabinoid system is involved in nearly every biological and physiological event that takes place in the human body.” The only thing on earth with cannabinoids that our bodies can use effectively as what we produce ourselves is cannabis. Science has proven motion sickness is the direct result of a malfunctioning endocannabinoid system. This knowledge should be used as a diagnostic tool. It only stands to reason, and most researchers and doctors who understand the endocannabinoid system believe that many health issues are actually caused by a malfunctioning or deficient endocannabinoid system. One has to ask, how is keeping cannabis illegal not a form of genocide by a legal system denying a substance that supplements our homeostatic regulator to maintain a condition of balance, without which other body systems become imbalanced causing illnesses, then treating the symptoms of those illnesses with chemical pharmaceuticals that merely treat the symptoms not the cause of the illness, which was the system imbalance to start with.
Currently medical guidelines and the pharmaceutical industry look at an ailment and treat the symptoms. When will we begin real health care and treat the cause? Wouldn’t that lower medical costs and improve health outcomes? Isn’t it time to look at the health benefits of cannabis and all the many wonderful healing help it has been to so many people across the globe already. No one ever died from using cannabis, ever in the entire history of the plant. We can’t say that about a single pharmaceutical, especially pain pills.
According to “Access to Essential Medicines in Kenya, A Health Facility Survey” published by the Ministry of Medical Services and Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation, “46.6% of the Kenyan population lives below the poverty line and suffer inequity in access to healthcare, and only about 10% of the population has some form of health insurance.” The report concludes that “Medicine stock-outs are prevalent and sometimes critical and essential medicines for a broader scope of health needs are less available,” and that, “Frequent stock-outs are a major barrier to
access, especially for the poor.”
Cancer is the third leading cause of mortality in Kenya, accounting for 7% of annual deaths. While smoking cannabis won’t cure cancer it will alleviate the symptoms associated to cancer treatment. However anecdotal evidence from a list of nations has shown a strong oil extract from the cannabis plants, known as Rick Simpson oil, (named after the man who discovered it) has saved thousands of lives.
Cannabis has 4 special properties that cures cancer.
1 Anti-proliferative – prevents the spread of cancer cells.
2 -Anti-angiogenic – halts the process of cancer cells developing new blood vessels
3 Anti-metastatic – stops cancer from spreading
4 Apoptotic – When cells are no longer needed, they commit suicide by activating an intracellular death program. The process is called programmed cell death or apoptosis. Cells become cancerous because they lose the programming. Cannabinoids in essence reprogram the cells so they then know to die.
According to a study published in 2011, “Accumulating evidence suggests that morphine can affect proliferation and migration of tumor cells as well as angiogenesis. Various signaling pathways have been suggested to be involved in these extra-analgesic effects of morphine. Suppression of immune system by morphine is an additional complication”.
A study published in 2017 states, “In solid cancers, invasion and metastasis account for more than 90% of mortality. However, in the current armory of anticancer therapies, a specific category of anti-invasion and antimetastatic drugs is missing.”
Many nations are changing laws regarding marijuana, the numbers of countries using cannabis for medicine grows annually. The tides are changing with more countries completely legalizing marijuana, which overtime has shown to have positive effects, from lowering death tolls caused by drunk driving to lowering crime rates, and lowering drug addiction rates. Cannabis has been a lifesaver for cancer patients around the globe.