Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Myth of Cannabis as a Cure-All

I hate seeing scammers (or those who are just plain delusional), like Rick Simpson, taking advantage of sick people, and convincing them to avoid real treatment for serious diseases.

Here is Simpson's video lauding his cannabis oil as a cure-all for cancers and anything else that may ail you. This huckster even recommends against children being treated with chemo and/or radiation. He's no better than religious nuts and/or naturopathy nuts who deny their children proper medical treatment. Simpson is currently living overseas, having been on the run for a long time from the authorities here in Canada.



This kind of pseudo-medicinal wild claim taints the good reputation cannabis has (aka marijuana, hemp, pot) with its PROVEN medical uses, such as for appetite in cancers, AIDS, mood improvement, lessening multiple sclerosis symptoms, etc. with the snake-oil quackery that can be seen in the above video.

While some cannabis derivatives are showing promise in cancer research, it's NOT yet at the point where it cures any cancers. And when it does, it will likely be specific cannabinoids at synthetically high doses.

If people want to eat pot oil 'just in case', there's probably nothing wrong with that (you'll just get a nice high), but DO get REAL medical treatment too. Modern cancer treatments have improved hugely over the last decade or so. Steve Jobs regretted that he wasted a year with "alternative" treatments when he had cancer. The earlier you get it with REAL medicine, the better your chances.

If Simpson were at all legit, he would have at least had real doctors follow his 'patients', and perhaps via signed release-of-info forms, documented his alleged success using paperwork from the real doctors, showing that 1) the cancers (and other claimed conditions) were real (maybe include second opinions to lower incorrect diagnoses), 2) that they refused normal medical treatments, and 3) that their cancers etc were indeed cured after whatever length of time that Simpson promises the oil will cure them by. In addition, 4) follow up documentation from real docs saying they were still cancer-etc-free for at least 10 years in a row after the 'cure'.

If he had done the above, at least he'd have done the best a lay-researcher could do. It would have still been illegal though, since Simpson is neither a medical doctor nor an educated researcher of any kind, plus cannabis is currently illegal. But he did not do any proper documentation, relying instead on emotional anecdotes as seen in the video. A wise move on his part, since it would very likely show proof against his claims, such as people who never really had cancer (or whatever claimed disease) in the first place, and people with diseases who were NOT really cured.

Hopefully marijuana will be legalized soon - for recreational use. I suspect that when legalization happens, there will be a sudden decrease of the 'pot cures all' myths. That's because people who want to use it recreationally, won't be making up medical excuses just so that they can use it legally.

I'd like to say again, that pot DOES have some legit medical uses, but a cure-all panacea is not one of them.



[UPDATE]

Same youtube channel as above, now has this video up, entitled "Molecular Biologist Proves THC Cures Cancer: Dr. Christina Sanchez":



I just looked for research done by Dr. Sanchez at Google Scholar http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=%22Christina+Sanchez%22+marijuana&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5
and
http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=%22Christina+Sanchez%22+cannabinoids&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5

I can't find any papers written or co-authored by her. I want to read about which cannabinoids, and in which doses, showed which results, on which types of cancers - especially the ones she talked about in the video. Also, I want to know sample sizes (how many people in the study) and other info to do with methodology. I want to see if she seems to be one of the legit researchers or whether she's pulling claims out of her imagination (mixed with the stuff that's long been known - like the existence of the human endocannabinoid system).

Which specific cannabinoids are showing promise for future research? The plant carries many types. She didn't name any except THC, which is the most well known one since it's mostly responsible for the high one gets when smoking pot.

As I mentioned above somewhere, the future of cannabis in cancer treatments, will most likely need synthetically high doses of specific cannabinoids (to be affordable, just like aspirin would be very pricey if it were still extracted it from willow tree bark instead of synthesizing it). Dr. Sanchez seems to agree with the cannabinoid part of that, but is very vague when it comes to which ones and at what doses. She only mentions THC. The rest are just "cannabinoids"

I hope she's legit, as there are too many quacks. However, the title jumps the gun a bit. THC has not been proven to cure cancer. This is very misleading. To be accurate, it should be something like "Some Cannabinoids Show Promise in Cancer Research" and of course, the actual studies/papers/abstracts-at-least should be cited.

I love pot, and want it to be completely legal. But, I hate seeing false-hope-claims of it being a medical miracle. Maybe specific cannabinoids, and maybe in the future, but it's not currently a panacea no matter how nice that would be if true.



[ANOTHER UPDATE]

I just found her on Pubmed, but her name is spelled differently (Cristina Sanchez), which is why I couldn't find her before.

She seems legit, but she's not claiming a proven cure (at least not in the free papers I looked at). She is just claiming that it's looking good at the pre-clinical stage things are at now.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solar Freakin' Roadways Won't Work - Here's Why

There are dozens of reasons why Solar Freakin' Roadways won't work. The proposed idea is impossible due to many scientific and economic hard facts, any of which on their own would be enough to fail the proposed project.

Below, are 5 videos that youtuber and scientist Thunderf00t made about the roadway proposal. He explains clearly why the idea is unviable on multiple grounds.

He also demonstrates what he claims, showing clearly the ways in which the project fails.

This is the pwnage of the decade. Maybe of the century. Enjoy...









Friday, June 20, 2014

Liberals Promise Legal Marijuana in Canada for October 2015

There are 4 main political parties here in Canada. From left wing to right wing, they are: The Greens, The NDP (New Democrats Party), the Liberals, and the Conservatives.

The Greens are kind of kooky, into conspiracy theories, and idealistic. I suspect that they'd be too flakey to ever properly run an entire country. They also get the fewest votes out of the 4 parties and haven't got a hope of getting elected on any large scale anyways. Backing them would simply be a waste of a vote.

As for the NDP, most of my life I supported them, but then, their nightmarish 1984-ish stance on mandatory census sexual questions lost me as a supporter of them. My older blogposts about the Census (articles are in reverse order, so start with the bottom one) cover the arguments that I had with both the NDP and StatsCan about mandatory census questions. I could never vote NDP again after that.

That leaves the Liberals and the Conservatives. Both have a fair bit of experience running things, unlike the other parties. The Conservatives are far too right wing though, pushing antiquated, draconian measures and law changes. Conservative Stephen Harper has been bad for Canada.

So now, that leaves the Liberals. They are the best of our current choices, although I don't back ANY party 100%. And not only are they our best choice, check out what they've promised. I really hope this will not turn out to be a typical politician's lie...

Justin Trudeau, who is running for the Liberals, has promised that if he gets into office, he will legalize marijuana by October, 2015!


Marc Emery, currently serving prison time in the US (extradited from Canada for selling pot seeds by mail plus supporting legalization activists), says this on his prison blog:
Justin Trudeau is an even rarer example, because as leader of the federal Liberal Party of Canada, currently in office, he is advocating legalization as soon as he becomes Prime Minister (next October is the target). No Canadian political leader in Parliament has ever advocated legalizing marijuana.
The Liberals webpage, Getting Smart on Crime and Cannabis, has their stance on pot, which seems very modern, reasonable, and evidence-based. Here's what they say:
Conservatives have failed.
Liberals know the difference between being tough on crime and being smart on crime.

Stephen Harper keeps fighting a failed war on drugs that only benefits organized crime and increases gang activity. Harper is protecting their profits while failing to deal with the negative health and social impacts of drug-related crime in communities across Canada.

We need successful policies.
The billions spent have shown little results – and now as Harper spends more of your money on mega-prisons and plans to lock up marijuana users with hardened criminals, even U.S. Republicans are warning Canadians not to adopt failed American crime policies.

Liberals stand for an evidence-based crime policy.
The Liberal Party of Canada believes in a smart on crime approach, targeting real criminals instead of our youth, to keep our communities safe. Liberals understand the need to consider ending the prohibition of marijuana and addressing the root causes of crime to see real results.
I'm not thrilled with the wording "Liberals understand the need to consider ending the prohibition of marijuana" as it avoids strong commitment. They could later say that they "considered" it whether they legalize it or not. Let's just hope for the best. If they really want to stay the most popular party after getting elected, they'll legalize it. It's what most Canadians want. It's also sensible. And it's also about time.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Blog & News Link Mix 1

I added the '1' to the title, in case I make this a regular thing. I'm going to go through over 400 posts and articles in my newsreader, and linking to some of what's been posted over the last few days. As I find interesting articles, I'll add them to the list below, in the hopes that you'll find them interesting too.

New species of metal-eating plant discovered in the Philippines
This plant eats up huge amounts of nickel. It shows promise in both cleaning toxic soils, and in commercial harvesting of the metal from the plants themselves.

Lifting the Veil of “Islamophobia” - A Conversation with Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali discuss "islamophobia", Ayaan's lack of support from feminists and liberal academia, political correctness, the facts about her asylum in the Netherlands, jihadis, converts to islam, theocracies, and more.

The Murder Of Rashid Rehman
A lawyer in Pakistan was murdered by islamicists for the 'crime' of representing someone accused of blasphemy. Theocracy is deadly.

How Internet Trolls Improved My Self Esteem
Rebecca Watson wonders about the source of a funny, captioned picture that was posted on Twitter. I can help her out with this one. The originally uncaptioned picture is a frame from the following video: "Karaoke Request 3 - Rebecca Watson"

I animated her mouth using a morphing program, which gives a kind of deformed look to it all. It's a look I find funny, and I think it goes well in parody/comedy videos to fake the subject singing or talking.

Well, I'm caught up in my newsreader. That's all I have for you until next time.