Hello ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yogis and gangstas, proletariat and bourgeois – we gather you all here today as fellow humans, to tell you a tale of life, a tale that we’ve each personally experienced, a tale about that moment when a human life is birthed from womb to world, water to air, and darkness to light.
Let me tell you about my experience, what it is like for a privileged white boy, who never wanted kids, to start a family. I’ve gone from drunkenly tipping porta potties for fun and angrily beating up strangers to vent, to tenderly holding this bundle of love in my arms and crying with joy as I look into my wife’s eyes. And am I ever glad that I made it here.
We’re both wounded kids, Penpa and I. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has childhood wounds, so I’m not saying we’re anything special. But I can’t talk about our first child without bringing up our root wounds. For us, this journey from pregnancy to birth has been a deep dive into the early traumas which have shaped us, and healing them so they aren’t passed on.
Our wounds were both around broken families. Hers while fleeing Tibet as a refugee and being left behind at a boarding school in India while her parents settled in Nepal to make a living. Mine after a drug bust sent my father to jail, which led to his deportation back to Guatemala and out of my life for 30 years.
So when we found out we were pregnant, we both felt a strong need to be an unbroken family, to be in love and raise the child together as a team, as lifetime teammates. That meant all the lingering bullshit we were still harboring inside us needed to be addressed, and the growth needed to happen now, no more procrastination. In that way, from the very start, this kid was cutting through our self deception and leading us into growth and transformation.
As first time parents, this entire experience has been a novel adventure delivering gorgeous views and regular challenges to step up and grow. As our baby developed in the womb, we both felt a powerful energy sweep over us, inspiring us to face what we’d been afraid to face. The spiritual power of bringing a new life into the world was unexpected, but greatly appreciated. While the pregnancy changed us, the birth was also a rebirth for us into the life of parents.
I’d hoped for a short labor, a “wake up in the morning with contractions starting, head to the birth center at midday, and get home by dinner to celebrate with the new arrival” type of labor.
What we got was contractions starting on Friday, which became intense enough that Penpa couldn’t sleep that night. The next morning they’d slowed a bit but were still coming regularly enough so that we knew it was no longer Braxton Hicks. We already had our 41 week appointment with the midwife set for that afternoon, so we went with our bags packed ready to stay and have the kid.
No such luck, as the midwife checked to find we were only 1 centimeter dilated and she said we were still only in latent (early) labor, which could last a while. She informed us that it was common for contractions to get accelerated at night due to melatonin and oxytocin levels rising, which was our experience that evening as contractions stayed spaced out till nightfall, when they got closer again, making it tough for Penpa to sleep.
Sunday repeated the previous days pattern, but contractions got more intense and we started thinking, “it’s gonna be a Monday baby!”
When we woke up Monday morning (more like I woke up and Penpa braved the day after another sleepless night) it felt like my vision was coming into fruition, as the contractions were stronger and more consistent, generally 6 to 3 minutes apart. By the afternoon we were getting long stretches of minute long contractions spaced 3 minutes apart, and by the evening we hit the magic number of 3-1-1; 3 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour. That was our cue to head into the midwife, so we grabbed our bags and made the drive. Upon arrival to the birth center, we unpacked our bags, burned some incense and smudged each other, and got the water started in the tub. It was time to bring this baby into the world.
Or maybe not. The midwife did the cervical check and came back with some rattling news – it was only at 2 centimeters. While active labor is usually indicated by 3-1-1 contractions, the official measure is a cervical dilation of 5 to 6 centimeters. So we still had a bit of time to go, while these contractions were now no joke and happening all the time. It could be another 12 hours, or another couple days, before hitting enough dilation, no way to know for sure. What they did know was that we’re only supposed to be admitted at active labor, so they sent us to labor at home till we hit that mark.
We went home to another sleepless night of contractions spaced 3, or 2, or even 1 minute apart. By Tuesday morning Penpa was beat and saying things like “I think I’m gonna die”, but she kept riding the contraction waves out, switching positions from leaning on the birth ball, to laying in the tub, to child’s pose on the bed, and more. We weren’t sure how we’d know if she was dilated enough, but when the bloody show started increasing quickly and the contractions got so strong that she was beginning to feel urges to push, we decided it was time to go.
We got into the car for what turned out to be our last drive out to the midwife, arriving at 12:20pm. The cervical exam brought great news – she was 7.5 centimeters dilated!
By 1:40pm on October 16th our baby boy, Dorje GEM Khandro, arrived, birthed in the same tub where we’d started filling the water the night before. I caught him in my hands (with the guidance of the midwife) and we brought him up into Penpa’s arms. I cried with relief that our baby was safe and in our arms, relief that all my worries could now subside, our little Gem was here!
Penpa carried him to the bed where she laid down and held him on her chest as she delivered the placenta. The medical staff did their checkups while we laid on the bed with our beautiful baby boy and had our minds blown and hearts open wide from all the love pouring out.
It’s an experience of love that I don’t have words for, and which I’d been told about but never understood. There’s no understanding it till you have the experience for yourself, and I’m guessing any parent reading this knows exactly what I mean. I’ve continued to cry throughout the week since the birth from the overwhelming love and gratitude I feel. On an energetic level, I felt this blissful love blasting through my energy channels and transforming my energy body back to a flow I hadn’t felt since childhood.
After some initial breastfeeding I had the honor of cutting the cord. Then mama and baby Dorje took a well earned nap before we went home to eat dinner with grandma. She was blown away that we’d had the baby just 6 hours earlier, and were now home and eating instead of laid up in the hospital for several days like she’d been when I was born.
That night I couldn’t stop staring at our baby boy, rotating from awe, to tears of joy and gratitude, to relief, to love for my family – the amazing woman who brought my boy into the world, and this precious Gem which was already transforming me on every level of my being.
Since then I felt like I entered into season 2 of LOST and joined Desmond in the hatch, having to hit the button every 108 minutes. The midwifes told us to make sure we breastfed every 2 hours, which we tracked with our phones. Every time that alarm went off, the breastfeeding would start and we’d hit the button to reset the countdown again. We began our baby-moon and entered the world of sleep deprivation, the initiation ritual of all new parents.
After a week as parents Penpa said “Sleepless nights are worth it, when you have a treasure like this.” Oh, how right she is.
I'm now diving into my new life as a parent and an Innovative Yogi. I've been blessed to get to this place, and I feel like it's my duty to share what I've learned.
Meditation, breathing, yoga, mindfulness, and soul work have been the essential tools for my transformation, and through Innovative Yogis I'm offering training and coaching to anyone who wants to learn them.
Poker set me on the path of meditation thanks to a great CardRunners series called "The Eight Fold Path To Poker Enlightenment". While I'd been exposed to meditation all my life, I didn't actually try to get good at it till I realized how much it would help me improve my poker game (especially managing tilt and staying focused).
While my poker skills improved, so did my life overall, and it was the first step on my path of personal evolution to the person I am today. It makes me happy to be able to offer that back to the poker community, so hit me up if you want to my help as you travel your path
P.S. I'm still on the babymoon, spending lots of time with my newborn son, but will be available for online sessions starting next week
I first started posting blogs back in 2007, and boy did I post a lot. I'm happy to see that I still have the record for most blog posts on the site, holding strong at 633 (but DustySwedeDude is catching up, so I have to start posting again to hold onto this auspicious achievement).
It used to be so damn busy here, a hustle and bustle of online poker activity. I guess that was the poker boom, and the end of BW, and the arrival of smart phones, and the rise of social media's domination of content... all factors which I'm guessing led to this slightly ghost town vibe.
But that means those of you who are still here, are truly dedicated. I appreciate that, cause out of all the online communities I joined into, this is definitely the one I shared the most with. I was close with my StarCraft teams, but I was generally the manager and focused on running the thing rather than enjoying it. Here at LP I was just focused on poker and me, and it was fun to meet so many of you during those times, to learn poker, to talk shit, to be exposed to all sorts of interesting topics and debates... ahh good memories.
When I quit grinding after my trip to Southeast Asia, I continued on the path of being focused on me, and finally experienced the joy of attending school because of wanting to be there, not because someone is forcing me. I decided to use my time in school as an opportunity to research and learn about everything I'd ever been curious about, and come to my own conclusions. I'd gotten really good at copying other people's statements on controversial topics, and while they worked during interactions out in the world, I didn't actually know the logic or data behind why the statements were true, or even if they were true.
Going back to university and taking it seriously was a big awakening to me, as I first got my mind blown by all the mainstream info about how amazing the universe is, and then got my whole world shattered when I realized the mainstream answers were limited and it was ok to jump off the cliff into the crazy answers, into the world of investigating consciousness and what this reality really is. And when I say shattered, I mean things were falling to pieces all around me, I had no idea how to interact with the world anymore upon realizing that so much of my behavior was wrong or beliefs were not true. I went back to school as a 26 year old in 2010, but halfway through I'd crumbled back to my 12 year old self, as I realized that everything I'd used to build my personality during my teenage years wasn't based on me, just based on copying in an attempt to survive. I had to relearn how to be around people, and new techniques for dealing with the anxiety which had always plagued me. It was a total nervous breakdown, which I soon learned was also my spiritual awakening.
The biggest realization I had was that healing was important. I'd always done my best to be tough and strong and recover quickly and not feel it and numb the pain and don't be a pussy and be a man. My closest friends as a teenager were all going through the same thing, and we'd often become friends because we met by punching each other in the face, and we'd be tough during the day but when we got drunk enough at night tears and bro hugs would arise. Then we'd go destroy some property or beat someone up to feel better, not realizing how the destruction always made us feel worse in the end. We were friends cause we had brief moments of healing together, but we didn't know how to truly heal because everything we'd learned about being a man was getting in the way.
Halfway through my Psychology degree I decided that continuing to get straight A's wasn't as important as diving into the crazy stuff. It started with marijuana. I used the university's resources to do a deep dive into the research, and I found out about the conspiracy theory level shenanigans which had occurred to suppress the scientific truth about cannabis. I realized that the opportunity to legalize was fast approaching and that Colorado could be the first domino tipped to start a process of legalization around the world, so I dedicated myself to the political process and organized my campus. We crushed it and won a huge victory, something I'll be proud of being part of until my dying day <3
Along the way I opened up to alternative healing modalities, and especially the world of meditation and yoga. I'd grown up with exposure to both through my dad, but had always rejected them as woo woo, weirdo, extremely unenjoyable, and a place where crazy people hung out and talked about spiritual mumbo jumbo. But that piece of my personality had fallen of when everything shattered, so I began to tiptoe cautiously into what had always looked like the abyss...
Luckily my childhood exposure to family friends like Richard Davidson, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Daniel Goleman, amongst many other amazing minds of our time, had grounded me in how to scientifically approach the world of meditation. You see, my dad started something called the Mind and Life Institute, which has been bridging science and spiritual practices for over 30 years. It all started by bringing scientists to India for a meeting with the Dalai Lama, and has grown into a vibrant community of scientists and contemplative practitioners who are learning from each other. The meetings inspired loads of research, including the famous studies done by Richard Davidson with Mattieu Ricard. With the data they collected a new mainstream acceptance to the benefits of meditation has developed. I watched that process happen around me as a kid growing up, and it informed so much of how I approached my psychology degree, and my personal dive into the abyss.
As I began to practice yoga and meditation, it became clear that I needed to make it my lifestyle. I became a yoga teacher and began teaching 8 classes a week, of all types and styles. As my practice developed I learned more and more about my body, about my thoughts, about my energy... I began to feel things I'd never felt, see things from new perspectives, and find new ways of interacting with myself. While my personal research into "wtf is going on in this world and who the hell am I" had left me shattered, my practice of meditation and yoga helped to build me back up into a new person, updated to version 2.0.
That started a path of healing for me, which I'm still on right now. I've had a few more upgrades since then, often thanks to the beautiful help given by plant medicines while working with loving shamans, and I know I have many more patches left to come. But I'm finally starting to be ok with that, to be ok with being on this ride, on this journey of growth and evolution.
Resisting what is, resisting the bad feelings, resisting how things are... that has been my habit, that has been my pattern. Meditation has been the great teacher of learning to accept what is, right now, as it is. Learning to allow what is happening, to happen. And to be fully present with myself, my emotions, my stories, my thoughts, my energy, without resisting or forcing anything.
So the journey continues, as I'm just a silly noob who has barely begun upon the path. But I'm happy to see that I'm not alone, as a few of you other long time members are now talking about meditation, Buddhism, addiction, and healing. I guess this site is still about poker, but for those of us who have been using it for over a decade, maybe it's also now about our journey of evolution from the fervent pursuit of money, believing it was what we needed for happiness, to a deep dive into ourselves to find that inner source of happiness which doesn't depend on the transient nature of the external reality.
Or maybe I've just become a woo woo hippie dippy crazy person I guess that's ok too <3
Hello you pokerers who keep pokering things with your pokers.
For those moments where TPB can't fulfill a internet wanderers needs, I am ill equipped. Any help in expanding the boundaries of my movie browsing landscape would be much appreciated.
Oh, as for updates, got the bachelors in psychology this May and am enjoying a "figure your life out" type of summer. Got some fun plans coming together, so maybe I'll write something here about them once they come closer to fruition. Hope all of you fun souls I met at poker tables, or Vegas parties, or Bnet chatrooms, are still living it up
Medical marijuana is gaining acceptance, but could it even help kids? Dr. William Courtney has seen it happen, and on Friday, told HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski about it. Saying he was "quite a skeptic 5 or 6 years ago", Dr. Courtney continued that "my youngest patient is 8 months old, and had a very massive centrally located inoperable brain tumor." The child's father pushed for non-traditional treatment utilizing cannabis.
"They were putting cannabinoid oil on the baby's pacifier twice a day, increasing the dose... And within two months there was a dramatic reduction, enough that the pediatric oncologist allowed them to go ahead with not pursuing traditional therapy."
The tumor was remarkably reduced after eight months of treatment. Dr. Courtney pointed out that the success of the cannabis approach means that "this child, because of that, is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation... currently the child's being called a miracle baby, and I would have to agree that this is the perfect response that we should be insisting is frontline therapy for all children before they launch off on all medications that have horrific long term side effects."
The evidence continues to roll in, the latest being a biochemist cancer researcher who cured his own stage-4 prostate cancer with cannabis oil. Social stigma continues to block widespread knowledge of this cure, but attitudes are changing and initiatives like Amendment 64 here in CO (Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol) are leading us into a new view on cannabis. Y'all get to live through some exciting times!
Biochemist Dennis Hill graduated from the University of Houston and did his Graduate Work at Baylor Medical School. Dennis worked as a Cancer Researcher at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. When Dennis was diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer, which had metastasized to other parts of his body, he started researching. Since Dennis has a family history of prostate cancer, and he often witnessed ineffective results while working in cancer research, he felt a new approach was in order.
After researching possible alternatives Dennis ran across information about Rick Simpson using cannabis concentrate, which is an extract of the essential oil which is extracted from marijuana and contains cannabinoids. Simpson was using the oil to treat a wide variety of illness, including cancer. The more Dennis researched, the more he understood how cannabis worked on cancer. He has included 2 papers for the review of anyone interested that go into the science of how cannabis kills cancer. He was determined to give it a try, and decided to tell his doctor that he would be using cannabis concentrate alone for his treatment. He did not want to risk more damage to his body from chemo, so he chose to start the cannabis oil regime without any other treatment.
Dennis is educated, with a sound background in science, and a background in the cancer industry. He stated that the Cannabis Oil killed the cancer, and he is now cancer free. He never underwent any of the standard treatment ie chemo, or radiation. He maintained a healthy diet, and exercise as part of his healing and after care. Dennis worked two jobs while he was treating himself, and never experienced any of the side effects typically associated with standard cancer treatments. He administered 1 tiny dose of the cannabis oil in the AM, and 1 tiny dose of the cannabis oil in the pm, just as Rick Simpson suggests.
Here, Dennis Hill explains the inner workings of cancer death-by-Cannabinoids:
By: Dennis Hill
First let’s look at what keeps cancer cells alive, then we will come back and examine how the cannabinoids CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) unravels cancer’s aliveness.
In every cell there is a family of interconvertible sphingolipids that specifically manage the life and death of that cell. This profile of factors is called the “Sphingolipid Rheostat.” If ceramide (a signaling metabolite of sphingosine-1- phosphate) is high, then cell death (apoptosis) is imminent. If ceramide is low, the cell will be strong in its vitality.
Very simply, when THC connects to the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptor site on the cancer cell, it causes an increase in ceramide synthesis which drives cell death. A normal healthy cell does not produce ceramide in the presence of THC, thus is not affected by the cannabinoid.
The cancer cell dies, not because of cytotoxic chemicals, but because of a tiny little shift in the mitochondria. Within most cells there is a cell nucleus, numerous mitochondria (hundreds to thousands), and various other organelles in the cytoplasm. the purpose of the mitochondria is to produce energy (ATP) for cell use. As ceramide starts to accumulate, turning up the Sphingolipid Rheostat, it increases the mitochondrial membrane pore permeability to cytochrome c, a critical protein in energy synthesis. Cytochrome c is pushed out of the mitochondria, killing the source of energy for the cell.
Ceramide also causes genotoxic stress in the cancer cell nucleus generating a protein called p53, whose job it is to disrupt calcium metabolism in the mitochondria. If this weren’t enough, ceramide disrupts the cellular lysosome, the cell’s digestive system that provides nutrients for all cell functions. Ceramide, and other sphingolipids, actively inhibit pro-survival pathways in the cell leaving no possibility at all of cancer cell survival.
The key to this process is the accumulation of ceramide in the system. This means taking therapeutic amounts of cannabinoid extract, steadily, over a period of time, keeping metabolic pressure on this cancer cell death pathway.
How did this pathway come to be? Why is it that the body can take a simple plant enzyme and use it for healing in many different physiological systems? This endocannabinoid system exists in all animal life, just waiting for it’s matched exocannabinoid activator.
This is interesting. Our own endocannabinoid system covers all cells and nerves; it is the messenger of information flowing between our immune system andthe central nervous system (CNS). It is responsible for neuroprotection, and micro- manages the immune system. This is the primary control system that maintains homeostasis; our well being.
Just out of curiosity, how does the work get done at the cellular level, and where does the body make the endocannabinoids? Here we see that endocannabinoids have their origin in nerve cells right at the synapse. When the body is compromised through illness or injury it calls insistently to the endocannabinoid system and directs the immune system to bring healing. If these homeostatic systems are weakened, it should be no surprise that exocannabinoids perform the same function. It helps the body in the most natural way possible.
To see how this works we visualize the cannabinoid as a three dimensional molecule, where one part of the molecule is configured to fit the nerve or immune cell receptor site just like a key in a lock. There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptor sites, CB1 (CNS) and CB2 (immune). In general CB1 activates the CNS messaging system, and CB2 activates the immune system, but it’s much more complex than this. Both THC and anandamide activate both receptor sites. Other cannabinoids activate one or the other receptor sites. Among the strains of Cannabis, C. sativa tends toward the CB1 receptor, and C. indica tends toward CB2. So sativa is more neuroactive, and indica is more immunoactive. Another factor here is that sativa is dominated by THC cannabinoids, and indica is predominately CBD (cannabidiol).
It is known that THC and CBD are biomimetic to anandamide, that is, the body can use both interchangeably. Thus, when stress, injury, or illness demand more from endogenous anandamide than can be produced by the body, its mimetic exocannabinoids are activated. If the stress is transitory, then the treatment can be transitory. If the demand is sustained, such as in cancer, then treatment needs to provide sustained pressure of the modulating agent on the homeostatic systems.
Typically CBD gravitates to the densely packed CB2 receptors in the spleen, home to the body’s immune system. From there, immune cells seek out and destroy cancer cells. Interestingly, it has been shown that THC and CBD cannabinoids have the ability to kill cancer cells directly without going through immune intermediaries. THC and CBD hijack the lipoxygenase pathway to directly inhibit tumor growth. As a side note, it has been discovered that CBD inhibits anandamide reuptake. Here we see that cannabidiol helps the body preserve its own natural endocannabinoid by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down anandamide.
This brief survey touches lightly on a few essential concepts. Mostly I would like to leave you with an appreciation that nature has designed the perfect medicine that fits exactly with our own immune system of receptors and signaling metabolites to provide rapid and complete immune response for systemic integrity and metabolic homeostasis. (Bibliography)
The Human Endocannabinoid System Meets the Inflammatory Cytokine Cascade
By: Dennis Hill
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) started revealing itself to researchers in the 1940s and by the late ’60s the basic structure and functionality had been laid out. Today we know the ECS is a comprehensive system of biochemical modulators that maintain homeostasis in all body systems including the central and peripheral nervous systems, all organ systems, somatic tissues, and all metabolic biochemical systems, including the immune system.
This homeostatic matrix is not a recent evolutionary twist just for humans; we Find the Endo cannabinoid System in every chordate creature for the last 500 million years. It is a fully mature biochemical technology that has maintained health and metabolic balance for most of the history of life itself.
The two major interactive systems within the ECS are (1) the cannabinoid receptors that we find on all cell surfaces and neurological junctions and (2) the endocannabinoids that hit the receptors to trigger various metabolic processes. Looking at a cannabinoid receptor distribution map we see that CB1 receptors, that are most sensitive to anandamide, are found in the brain, spinal nerves, and peripheral nerves. CB2 receptors preferred by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are found largely in the immune system, primarily the spleen. A mix of CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the rest of the body including the skeletal system. And yes, 2-AG or CBD will grow new trabecular bone.1 It is also useful to note that both anandamide and 2-AG can activate either CB1 or CB2 receptors.
The nature of the endocannabinoids are functionally much like neurotransmitters, but structurally are eicosanoids in the family of signaling sphingolipids. These signaling cannabinoids keep track of metabolic systems all over the body. This information is shared with the nervous system and the immune system so that any imbalance is attended to. If the body is in chronic disease or emotional stress, the immune system can fall behind and lose control of compromised systems. It is here that phytocannabinoids can pitch in to support the stressed body in a return to health. The cannabis plant provides analogues of the body’s primary signaling cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is mimetic to anandamide, and cannabidiol (CBD) is mimetic to 2-AG, and has the same affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors; providing the body with additional support for the immune and endocannabinoid systems.
Phytocannabinoids supercharge the body’s own Endocannabinoid System by amping up the response to demand from the immune signaling system in two modes of intervention: one, of course, is in bonding with the cannabinoid receptors; the other is in regulation of innumerable physiological processes, such as cannabinoid’s powerful neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions, quite apart from the receptor system. It is interesting to note here that the phytocannabinoids and related endocannabinoids are functionally similar, but structurally different. As noted above, anandamide and 2-AG are eicosanoids while THC and CBD are tricyclic terpenes.
Let us look more closely at the two primary therapeutic cannabinoids, THC and CBD. The National Institutes of Health tell us that THC is the best known because of its signature psycho- tropic effect. This government report shows THC to be effective as an anti-cancer treatment, an appetite stimulant, analgesic, antiemetic, anxiolytic, and sedative.2
CBD (cannabidiol) is a metabolic sibling of THC, in that they are alike in many ways but are also different in important properties. First we see that CBD has no psychotropic effects and there are few CB2 receptors in the brain and peripheral nerves. There appears to be a broader therapeutic profile associated with CBD, which is listed here:
One of the most important health benefits of cannabinoids is their anti-inflammatory property. In this, they are strong modulators of the inflammatory cytokine cascade. Numerous disease states arise out of chronic inflammation; such as, depression, dementias including Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, viral infection, HIV, brain injury, etc.
Inflammatory cytokines can be activated by oxidative stress and disease states. Cannabinoids, being immunomodulators interrupt the cytokine inflammatory cascade so that local inflammation does not result in tissue pathology. Thus we are spared morbid or terminal illnesses.4
If our own endocannabinoid system can maintain metabolic homeostasis and even cure serious disease, why are we plagued by illness? We know that the body produces only small amounts of anandamide and 2-AG; enough to maintain the body but not enough to overcome chronic stress, illness, injury, or malnutrition. Cannabis is the only plant we know of that produces phyto- cannabinoids that mimic our own endocannabinoids. One of the great benefits of this mimetic medicine is that cannabinoids are essentially natural to our biology and do no harm to our tissues and systems.
It is well known that most diseases of aging are inflammatory in origin, thus making cannabis the best anti-aging supplement we could take to avoid arthritis, dementia, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. This is our key to good health and long life.
Since it is such an important attribute, as well as being independent of the cannabinoid receptor system, let’s look a little deeper into the ability of cannabinoids to inhibit the inflammatory cytokine cascade. Inflammation is good for us, a little here, a little there; it brings T-cells and macrophages to infection sites. This is good. However, chronic inflammation can cause serious illness and death. How do phytocannabinoids rescue us from dreaded infirmities? When the call comes in to the immune system to send troops, the First thing to happen is that the immune system signals glial cells to produce cytokines. Once this cat is out of the bag, the process can go one of two ways.
A) Killer cells clean up the infection and all is well.
B) Cytokines can stimulate more cytokine production and cause many more cytokine receptors to awaken. Unchecked, this becomes a cytokine storm showing symptoms of swelling, redness, fatigue, and nausea; even death.
Phytocannabinoids have the ability to suppress this inflammatory cytokine cascade by inhibiting glial cell production of the cytokines interferon or interleukin. Here we see the seeds of chronic inflammation dissolved by the modulation process of cannabinoids bringing homeostasis to systems out of balance. This is a good example of how cannabinoids normalize biological processes all throughout the body and allows us to keep that glow of well-being through a long and happy lifetime. (Bibliography)
Hello wonderful LP world... do miss you guys, but what tends to happen is that if I don't play poker I don't wander here often, and then I don't post or read often, and then it's a drift away. Occasionally I have some weird desire to post something somewhere and I think of LP, usually at like 2am or in between classes or something, and I'll post and then forget I posted. It can be quite a while before I make it back here again. It's weird how that happens as you age, being an internet kid as I was, to not be in a daily engagement with a tight online community.
Anyway, that's my ramble, and now the point. It seems that there's some dislike of my title choices. Maybe it's cause they're not original. Maybe cause I keep using the same one over and over again. Maybe cause that repeated title sounds crazy to some people. Whatever it may be, I'm here today cause I had one of those inspired moments and I thought it would be nice to finally reply to some comments and explain why I keep using that same old annoying title over, and over, and over again. So with no further ado,
CANNABIS CURES CANCER The comments edition
I use the title because I believe it to be true, and I'm fine with making a bold (or crazy sounding) claim that people will eventually catch up to. There's cautious, which is a good thing, and then there's stubbornness, which holds back progress. I've seen enough evidence to be convinced that cannabis has the power to not only slow tumor progression, but to also completely cure cancer. My definition of cure cancer may be a little different than your definition, so let me make it clear - by "cure cancer" I mean that someone has cancer, then they change nothing in their lives other than adding cannabis, and then they no longer have cancer. I hope that's simple enough. I know that this has occurred on our planet, that people have met that definition, and therefore I feel secure in speaking what I believe to be the truth in my title.
I get it - some of you are indoctrinated into the belief that you shouldn't believe, that you must doubt anything which can't fit into a test tube or hasn't been replicated a million times in a lab. That's fine, your needs will be satisfied... eventually. I've decided not to wait around like you though. I'm on a journey of letting truth flow into my life and not denying it, but embracing it. I don't blindly accept things, I require evidence just like you do. Just not as much. When I tell you the story about a 3 year old boy with a brain tumor who beat it by using cannabis oil, you just see anecdotal evidence and assume that there are too many unknown variables to be valid because it's not in a lab. You see reasons to doubt so you don't even investigate. But I see my brother, or my father, or myself, undergoing an experience and then being dismissed because my experience didn't happen in a lab where these doubters could watch me. I understand that by putting things in a lab you can eliminate variables from influencing the result and therefore be sure of cause. But I also know that you can witness something with your own eyes and know it to be true, and taking it into a lab is just a confirmation.
I'm not making this up about the kid with the brain tumor, and the story is well documented and actually quite epic... A 3 year old who's traditional cancer treatments have all failed, a desperate father who wasn't willing to give up on his son, and a daring journey to secure a medicine which his government deemed illegal and could land him in jail. And in the end, the fathers daring journey paid off, and his son lives.
What would you do if your 3-year old son was stricken with brain cancer? Most parents wouldn’t think twice about bringing their child to a mainstream doctor, only to undergo modern-day cancer ‘treatments’ such as chemotherapy. This is what one father, Mike Hyde, from Montana did when his 3 year old was diagnosed with brain cancer, but the father doesn’t attribute his sons victory against cancer with the use of chemotherapy or any other mainstream treatment; the dad actually says marijuana oil is what made the young boy beat cancer. While the story isn’t recent, it is one that everyone should hear about.
Doubt all you want, and fall further to the back of the pack as new truths emerge and reshape our world. That's fine, that's your choice and it's your right. But for those of us who are moving forward, it's going to be good.
And now to the comments:
On September 16 2012 22:39 Carthac wrote:
You couldn't have come up with a worse title. Marijuana is useful for slowing down the progression of certain types of cancer. Curing it would mean it eradicates the spread of the disease.
Now that I've explained my view above, I think it should make sense why I use the word "cure". The language of "slows progression" is just cautious scientists, which I respect and understand, but it's just caution because there's so much skepticism that they don't want to overstep. They've just recently found that cannabis "stops metastasis in aggressive cancers", so you can see the evolution occurring. More data arrives which confirms what was obvious to many of us earlier, while those who are cautious held back on their conclusions at the time. Carthac, I'm glad to see that you are aware that cannabis does have healthy effects on cancer, and I'm sure as the science moves along you'll be able to grow with it =)
On September 17 2012 17:14 NewbSaibot wrote:
I guess k2o doesnt read responses much anymore, but I've said time and time again that he'd do a far greater service to his skeptics if he cut the sensationalist bullshit and just created reasonable sounding topics. Saying "Pot cures cancer!!!1" is an immediate red flag and causes many people to just ignore the "evidence" and write off the information as likely bullshit, information which may in fact be quite valuable. His goal shouldnt be the preach to the quire, it should be to preach to those who are in doubt.
I think you make a very good, valid point here. And it makes a lot of sense. I'm still gonna behave differently though as I have a different goal in mind, but I agree that if my goal was to bring in the masses then there are better titles to choose. But this one is the most honest one to me, and I gotta speak my truth on this issue. I'm fine with sounding crazy or ridiculous now because I know soon people will catch up and a phrase like "cannabis cures cancer" will be common and normal. I'd rather be part of making that phrase normal to the masses, even if it means they won't read my posts. When they're ready, they'll remember those crazy, annoying, idiotic, sensationalist titles which that douche k2o4 used to post, and maybe they'll look up my post and read it then, maybe they'll find another source to get more info from, and then they'll know it too. That's my hope at least. Such an idealistic idiot I am.
On September 17 2012 20:49 whamm! wrote:
he must be high when he wrote this
You're so busted for not reading, cause I didn't write anything, just copy/pasted something and put it in a quote. osnap
Thank y'all for the fun comments to reply to. Till next time.
DOES MARIJUANA CAUSE CANCER? RESEARCH SAYS MARIJUANA FIGHTS CANCER by Lisa Garber
Does marijuana cause cancer? The censorship-happy government’s war on marijuana may be sorely misplaced, especially when considering all the other issues in need of focus. Dr. Sean McAllister of the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has spent years researching cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, the plant that flowers marijuana. “Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” he says.
You might remember Cash Hyde, the 3-year-old boy from Montana diagnosed with brain cancer but who beat it with his father Mike’s help and marijuana oil. Well, Hyde’s case isn’t the only one revealing the positive relationship between marijuana and cancer.
Does Marijuana Cause Cancer? THC as Therapy
In 1998, Cristina Sanchez of Complutense University in Madrid reported in a European biochemistry journal that THC—the famed psychoactive component in marijuana—“induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells,” which are a type of brain cancer.
Lead author of another study and Harvard University researcher Anju Preet says, “THC can have a potential therapeutic role.” His findings, presented in a 2007 American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles, showed that THC has a direct antitumoral effect.
THC’s First Human Trial
The first clinical trial studying THC’s antitumoral effect on humans was conducted by Manuel Guzman and his team of Spanish scientists. Guzman administered THC to nine patients who had not responded to traditional brain cancer therapies for the study. As published in a 2006 issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology, tumor cell proliferation reduced in response to THC administration through a catheter – showing the medical benefits of marijuana.
THC and the Lungs
Another Harvard study reports that THC slows lung cancer progress. Moreover, unlike chemotherapy which damages all cells—healthy or cancerous—THC specifically destroyed tumoral cells without harming healthy ones.
In another study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, spanning from 1985 to 2006, over 5,000 men and women smoked about one joint daily for seven years. Co-author Stefan Kertesz found that subjects, rather than having damaged lungs, showed increases in lung air flow rates. Surprising findings indeed.
Cannabidiol and Breast Cancer
With backing from the National Institute of Health, Dr. Sean McAllister conducted a study and found that cannabidiol inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and tumor growth.
McAllister researched cancer’s relationship to the ID-1 gene—a protein active during embryonic development but, in healthy subjects, turns and stays off. In the case of breast cancer patients, the gene turns back on, which causes malignant cells to metastasize. In the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, McAllister wrote that cannabidiol switches off the gene’s expression.
McAllister found that cannabidiol can even work alongside standard chemotherapy treatments by performing synergistically with pharmaceuticals. This means that maximum, toxic doses don’t have to be administered.
Despite accusations that marijuana smoking can compromise the immune system, mountains of research indicate that the plant has more to offer than a high. More studies are undoubtedly in the works.
In this research, Manuel Guzman located in Madrid, Spain discovered that cannabinoids substantially inhibit the growth of tumors in a variety of lab animals. In the study he also found that not one of these tested animals endured any kind of side effects seen in many similar chemotherapy treatments.
If all of the research doesn’t appeal to you, then maybe the 2,500 total studied patients throughout these 37 controlled studies may. None of the patients reported any kind of adverse side effects from the use of THC and based medication – further adding to the benefits of medical marijuana and strengthening the positive connection between marijuana and cancer.
So, does marijuana cause cancer, or does it fight cancer?