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Marijuana as food supplement


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									With the recent surge in dispensaries making medical marijuana available
(in California, Sacramento medical marijuana dispensaries could be as
many as 80-”other areas could have more), there's also an increased
interest in medical marijuana's use as food supplements.      Two
substances (cannabinoids) in marijuana might yet make it into the list of
known food health supplements. As early as 1998, tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been found to have an antioxidant effect
that prevents cell damage due to free radicals.

  The antioxidant industry-”or rather, the multibillion-dollar
multivitamin industry-”regularly churns out lots of products loaded with
all imaginable combinations of vitamins to keep the body healthy and the
skin beautiful. Foremost among the vitamins in these products are the
vitamins C and E-”THC and CBD were found to be more effective
antioxidants than these.      The implications for research are exciting.
Marijuana extracts have the potential for treating or preventing damage
due to stroke, brain-wasting diseases like Alzheimer's Disease, and heart
attacks.      Since then, chemists have created synthetic chemicals with
properties similar to THC (the -˜high' producing chemical in marijuana)
and CBD (won't make you high).      An example of a THC-like synthetic is
cannabicyclohexanol-”found in the marijuana like herbal products K2 and
Spice. A synthetic CBD-like substance is dexanabinol.      When there's
billions of dollars to be found, expect government not to be left behind.
Indeed, by 2003, the US government filed and was awarded US Patent
6630507 for synthesizing marijuana-like substances for use as
antioxidants and brain-protectants.      The illegal status of marijuana
could be behind that move. This means that it would be in the interest of
government (and private companies) to keep marijuana extracts illegal so
they can continue manufacturing synthetic counterparts.       With
America's schizo stand on marijuana (THC is legal as medicine in some
states while remaining illegal at the federal level), don't hold your
breath for nationwide federal marijuana legalization any time soon. What
could happen instead (though unlikely) is that one day we might find CBD-
infused health food supplements offered in pharmacies while THC-rich
extracts could be found in legal medical marijuana dispensaries as aid
for the terminally ill and debilitated.      There's a strong evidence
that THC/CBD like substances produced in the body play a major role in
almost every important life function. That act as effective cell
protectors is part of the reason why.      But may we ask, if
cannabinoids are so healthy, why do marijuana smokers look bad? Bad hair,
bad skin and all? The answer could be partly due to marijuana smoking and
its associated habits of taking unhealthy junk food and alcoholic drinks.
Besides, cannabinoids are effective as antioxidants. Since smoking is an
oxidative process, it will counter the health benefits antioxidants are
supposed to give. The lesson is smoking-”whether it be tobacco or hemp-
”isn't healthy.

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