Two epic days of my life occurred during the Cannabis Nurses Network Conference here in San Diego at the Harbor Island Sheraton in February. Turns out that Cannabis Nurses are some of the most amazing people on the planet.
They came to learn and they came to teach. There is so much about the Cannabis plant that we have discovered, and it’s the tip of the iceberg. And it’s the Cannabis Nurses who are on the front lines, able to see the beneficial effects of the plant on their patients. The number of success stories shared during the two-day conference was phenomenal.
Enjoy these quotes.
“The endocannabinoid system is the largest receptor signaling system in the human body responsible for balance between all other body systems and cannabis acts on that system to help create balance for the body. And that’s why we see in medicine so many different diseases and symptoms that can be treated by the simple plant.” – Nurse Heather Manus
“When you think about how we get deficient in our endocannabinoids, just like you get deficient on anything, you can supplement and it just so happens that with this plant, the phyto cannabinoids are a wonderful supplement to plug into these receptors to affect physiological changes and balance.” – Elisabeth Mack, RN, MBA
“I sure don’t have all the answers, but it sure seems to me that we are a country with a lot of people in pain and it sure seems to me that the current Orthodox approach is not working. It seems to me that the over reliance on opioids isn’t working and it also seems to me that cannabinoid-based approaches or cannabinoid-based opioid Combo approaches are a better way to go. And it also seems to me that Cannabis might just be an exit drug.” – Uwe Blesching
” As someone who is a sexual assault survivor who experienced pain with penetration from the age of 13 until the age of about 28 and I thought I was broken and I thought things were wrong with me. It turns out cannabis oil, THC, oil actually made the difference where I was able to experience penetrative sex without pain. That was huge.” – Ashley Manta
One of the biggest stories of the year has been percolating under the radar it seems. It has to do with the most respected profession in the USA, and that is Nurses.
When I walked into a room filled with over 200 Cannabis Nurses in late February 2019 at the San Diego Harbor Island Sheraton, I felt the Earth move under my feet (thank you Carole King).
Yes, the paradigm shift was physically and spiritually uplifting. These nurses had come to San Diego to learn more about the medicinal qualities of the Cannabis plant and to drill down into exactly why it helps so many of their patients with varying illnesses and concerns. They had come to learn more about the EndoCannabinoid System, how it regulates every other system in the human body and how it features receptors that are amenable to Cannabis. All attendees were baffled by the fact that medical schools do not extensively teach their students about ECS – an important discovery made by Israeli Professor and Researcher and “Father of THC,” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1996.
As Nurse Heather Manus says on the CNNC website, “Knowledge of the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoid Therapeutics is merely the tip of the iceberg; actually only scratching the surface, of the top, of the tip, of the iceberg. We have much more to learn and discover; it’s exciting and fascinating to explore the unknown inner-workings of ourselves and the human/plant relationship with Cannabis that is driving current science and research.“
San Diego Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who is running to be our next Mayor, gave the Opening Remarks. She welcomed the nurses and acknowledged the importance of further Cannabis studies. She mentioned that San Diego is on the forefront of these studies and features many dispensaries that service people with medical Cannabis products.
Some of the attendees became Cannabis nurses after their own personal experiences. Nurse Fame spoke about how she had been severely injured in an automobile crash that took the life of her 15-year-old son. She described how she had awakened from a concussion to find her son was dead beside her and that the car she was pinned under was on fire. Her road to recovery was long, arduous and accompanied by the healing properties of Cannabis. Nurse Fame’s testimonial was only one of many.
Nurses earned accreditation by attending the CNNC (Cannabis Nurses Networking Conference) now in its fourth year. Videos of all the speakers will soon be available for all the nurses and medical professionals who were unable to participate in this year’s conference.
Nurse Heather is the person primarily responsible for creating the CNNC and standing on the front lines of the Cannabis issue, even when it wasn’t such a popular issue as it is today, and gathering so many caring professionals under one roof. She’s a Power House and a Goddess, as her husband, attorney Ken Sobel, tells everyone. He is rather a big deal, too, as an attorney who has argued for Cannabis and winning several landmark cases.
It was a great gathering of respected nurses and now the work of educating people about ECS and Cannabis continues.
We interviewed the esteemed Tommy Chong in his beautiful Pacific Palisades home for our documentary, “Cannabis Tales from the Nectarball Collection.”
He is as kind and humble as he appears in all those Cheech & Chong movies, and he regaled us with some great stories of his Canadian childhood, how he first became acquainted with Cannabis, his early musical career, and how Cheech & Chong came to be.
What was it like when he took his first toke?
Tommy: “My first marijuana trip was, I was 17 years old. I was in a jazz club called the a Flat Fifth and this Chinese bass player came back from LA and he had two gifts for me. He had a Lenny Bruce record and a joint and he handed me the Lenny Bruce and the joint and I put the joint in my pocket. And so he lit up his other joint that he had from his private stash. And that was the first toke I’ve ever had in my life. And I can tell you, it changed my life. It really did. The music that was playing, I heard music for the first time when I was high. It was an Ornette Coleman song called lonely woman. I’ve looked it up and it’s still incredible and when I heard that song being played when I was high on pot, I could literally see the lonely woman sitting in a hotel room looking out the window.”
There’s more but you’ll have to find out when you see the documentary.
When will it be finished?
We are still collecting interviews, mostly from medical practitioners, Cannabis nurses and people whose health has improved from the use of Cannabis. If you have a great Cannabis Tale and are interested in sharing it with us, and possibly with the world, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, here is a live recording I found on Youtube, Ornette Coleman performing “Lonely Woman.”
San Bernardino’s High Times Cannabis Cup this year was fraught with people shooting themselves in the foot. First the City Council deemed that there would be no commerce at the show. They made their pronouncement three days prior to the show’s opening. This, in turn, scared off several sponsors and a whole lot of fair-goers. Money had to be refunded, apologies made, and yet the show did go on.
Selfishly speaking, it was like a dream for those of us who did attend. No crowds to elbow through, step-right-up advantages at all the dab and toker booths and strict adherence to sharing gigantic doobies with happy compatriots at 4:20PM. And by the way, commerce occurred anyway.
Our mission there was to collect interviews of movers and shakers in the Cannabis industry. We were happy to speak with Cannabis Evangelist, Bong Appetit’s Jason Pinsky, who consented to be interviewed with the caveat that he would interview us first. We are used to being behind the camera so this was a very interesting premise. Those who know Jason are familiar with his whimsical, playful nature. Maybe someday he will share that footage with the Cannabis world.
We are grateful to High Times and their stellar staff (including Jon and Danny) who paved the way for us to shoot our interviews, and enjoy all the amenities of their Cannabis Cup. We loved the weather, the people and the education. We relished the fares of the food trucks. We appreciated the rap artist headliners. We rode the ferris wheel. We came, we saw and we “honkered.” (If you get my “drift.”)
Maybe next year the San Bernardino City Council will have their act together and partake of the economic boon known as Cannabis.
Here’s a little shout-out video we produced, shot and edited, with some of the Cannabis Luminaries who attended the High Times Cannabis Cup:
If there were a natural resource that could be used in thousands of products ranging from varnish to lace, and this resource could dispel our reliance on trees for paper, wouldn’t that be good?
If this resource were renewable, if it could quench our need for hundreds of imported products and provide jobs for thousands of Americans, then wouldn’t that be good?
This resource exists! It is one of the hardiest and most versatile of all plants, and it has been cultivated for over 6,000 years. It is known as hemp.
Hemp Goes Way Back
In 1492, the sails and rigging on Columbus’s Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria were made from hemp. In 1776, the Continental Congress drafted the Constitution and Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp. Later, during the 1800s, the covers of wagons carrying intrepid colonists westward ho would be made from hemp.
When Rudolph Diesel invented his famous engine in 1896, he and most engineers back then figured the diesel would run on fuels superior to petroleum, made from vegetable and seed oils; hemp was the most efficient.
In the 1930s the Ford Motor Company operated a successful biomass conversion plant that included hemp. About that time, a machine to strip the outer fibers of the hemp plant appeared on the market, called a decorticator. It could turn hemp into paper and fabrics quickly and cheaply. Hemp paper was recognized as superior to wood paper.
Henry Ford Was On To Something….
In 1941, fulfilling a desire to “grow automobiles from the soil,” Henry Ford unveiled a plastic car. Hemp was a primary ingredient. The car was a thousand pounds lighter than a comparable steel car, and was reputed to withstand a blow ten times as great as steel without denting.
So, what happened? In an effort to discover why Ford had steered away from plastic cars, and what had caused hemp’s fall from grace, I phoned my parents in Michigan. Both of them had been born in Detroit in the 1920’s, so they were right at the epi-center of the auto industry when the plastic car was unveiled and hemp was still a household item.
My mother said that the big industries had coalesced to fight off an innovation that might deal them a death blow in the future. They easily quashed a fledgling industry that posed a threat to their formidable profits.
Well, my mother was right. While surfing the Web, I found the following passage:
“Hemp, once the mainstay of American agriculture, became a threat to a handful of corporate giants. To stifle the commercial threat that hemp posed to timber interests, William Randolph Hearst began referring to hemp in his newspapers, by its Spanish name, “marijuana.” This did two things: it associated the plant with Mexicans and played on racist fears, and it misled the public into thinking that marijuana and hemp were different plants.
“Nobody was afraid of hemp — it had been cultivated and processed into usable goods, and consumed as medicine, and burned in oil lamps, for hundreds of years. But after a campaign to discredit hemp in the Hearst newspapers, Americans became afraid of something called marijuana.”
Today, many people still harbor the fear. We fear what we do not understand.
The Wonders of Hemp
Hemp is a cheap, clean and quickly renewable source for paper, canvas, rope, textiles, clothing, medicine, food, fuel, paint, varnish, building materials and plastic.
A single acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper as four acres of trees. Trees take 20 years to harvest while hemp takes a single season. In warm climates hemp can be harvested two or even three times a year. It also grows in bad soil and restores the nutrients.
Hemp is softer, warmer and more water-absorbant than cotton, has three times the tensile strength of cotton, and is more durable than cotton. By the way, about 50% of chemicals used in American agriculture today are for growing cotton. Hemp growing requires no chemicals and has few weed or insect enemies.
Hemp seed can be ground up into flour. With its high nutritional value and short growing cycle, it could serve as a food source for the masses in the near future as world food sources diminish.
It is estimated that methane and methanol production alone from hemp grown as biomass could replace 90% of the world’s energy needs. The vegetable source is renewable, cheap and clean, while we all know the petroleum and coal sources are limited, expensive and dirty. By the way, many of today’s race cars run on methanol.
How can a plant with so many beneficial uses to mankind be bad? Because the blossom of the female hemp plant contains a narcotic. The irony is that their fear of that benign drug caused our forebears to trade off a non-toxic resource for a myriad of industries that have polluted our air and water, pillaged our planet and executed crimes on humanity that I believe are far worse than the effects of an herb!
We can keep striding down the path of destruction with those whose voracious greed has devoured so many irreplaceable resources. If a plant could single-handedly heal our world, it is hemp. A gift from Mother Earth. Certainly nothing to fear.