The reason people smoke cigarettes isn’t the nicotine…exactly. It turns out that nicotine by itself isn’t that great, and tobacco smoke also contains MAOIs and other things that add to the overall effect. Similarly, pure THC isn’t that great, and people smoke weed because the THC occurs in combination with other chemicals. Ignore the alarmist stuff about psychosis and the mispronunciation of the word “cannabidiol.” The synergistic effect is dramatic:

About 7 minutes into this next video, someone describes what CBD is like without the THC:

Morbid paranoia and anxiety + mild relaxation = the funniest thing that ever happened. Makes perfect sense.

There are even more active chemicals in the actual plant (after heating):

It’s kind of an advertisement, and it’s a bit repetitive since it’s a bunch of shorter segments strung together, but it’s extremely informative. Sedation, flavor, anti-anxiety effects, “psychedelic” effects, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-seizure effects, and anti-cancer effects each involve different combinations of chemicals, which are found in different ratios in different strains. Something not mentioned in the video is that the liver produces 11-hydroxy-THC when cannabis is consumed orally. Smoking or injecting things bypasses the digestive system, and thus certain liver enzymes. The pharmacokinetics of eating and smoking are different, but the effects are qualitatively different.

Just because something is a cannabinoid doesn’t mean that everything it does involves the cannabinoid system. CBD appears to be good for just about every psychological problem, without being “stoning.” Some of the anti-anxiety effect is attributable to 5-HT1A receptors. Buspirone is a 5-HT1A agonist that’s used to treat anxiety, so everything fits together.

In a way, the technically-large-scale-drug-traffickers were able to turn a scientific finding into something the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in:  cannabinoids that don’t make you stoned.  People can already just go to the store and buy CBD for themselves, without multiple phases of clinical trials and safety studies in animals and all those expensive things.  Of course, regulating the pharmaceutical industry is a lot safer than not regulating the pharmaceutical industry.  Still, it’s true that we don’t have safety and efficacy information for Charlotte’s Web the way we do for most things, but people decided for themselves that the risk is acceptable to them.  It hasn’t been the end of the world.  We don’t take the rule of law seriously in all sorts of other ways that don’t help people feel better.  All kinds of cheesy advice articles say “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” and the principle applies.  What’s good enough for the phone companies spying on everybody is good enough for epileptic children!  That’s hardly asking for a revolution.

They couldn’t prevent the research from happening indefinitely, so now it’s a True Fact that chemicals in marijuana protect brain cells, no matter what that mean guy in those commercials said.  That guy and others spent years training everybody to be mean to people for no reason.  It was so effective that we now see articles presenting the exciting new discovery that people use drugs because they’re sad and lonely, and they will have no friends except drugs if everyone is mean to them.  “So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”  Yes, the drug war has always been more about hating people than about pretend medical dangers.  We’re taught to sneer at people for “self-medication,” when it turns out that they’re using something that really is a psychiatric medication, by the same standards applied to other treatments!   We’re not going to get together and praise the resilient self-reliance of stoners, treating the wounds to their souls despite official persecution.

The federal government spent considerable resources putting obstacles in the way of simply doing the science.  There was only the word of stoners, who by definition have no credibility.  They’re also at a rhetorical disadvantage, because it sounds like “excuse-making” to explain the whole backstory about DEA licenses for facilities and the government’s insistence that their shitty strain of weed is the only one allowed in studies.  It’s what happened, but you sound like the weed is just making you paranoid.  It’s too much work to go home and read about the regulatory history of cannabis research and what an Institutional Review Board is and…People just go with the gut feeling that you’re not trustworthy and you’re “rationalizing” when you say that you do something because it makes you feel better (unlike the way normal people behave).

The facts are finally starting to prevail, but why was conservative people’s hatred of hippies and blacks more important than treating cancer for such a long time?  Dispensaries still aren’t welcome everywhere someone tries to set one up.  Referenda on medical marijuana don’t pass unanimously.  When we talk about excessive anger among black people, it has to be put in context with angry white people denying medical treatment on a large scale and punishing those who try to provide it, for sadistic reasons.  It’s not reasonable if you just call it what it is.  We’ve come to our collective senses, or had to adapt to decreased tax revenues, or the Illuminati find it useful for the rest of us to be more docile.  Whatever the reason, things are changing if CNN has features about how people giving weed to their child are human beings that also love their child.  We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Maybe one day pot will be mandatory.

To the extent that it’s profitable, the money from high CBD cannabis goes to a different group of people than usual.  The guy in that Youtube video says they make the high CBD strain available for $15/eighth, and cap the price.  I imagine “the market” would make high CBD strains expensive just because they’re novel, scarce, and interesting.  People are voluntarily extracting less money than possible from people with epilepsy and other conditions, just to be nice.  Surely we can find some way of funding medical research besides price-gouging the people getting the treatments?   Aren’t drugs expensive because that’s supposed to be impossible?