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UK: Letter: Setting the Record Straight on Cannabis

Chris Coomer

Jersey Evening Post

Tuesday 23 Feb 2016

On page 2 of Saturday's JEP (13th Feb.), Dr Nigel Minihane, Chairman of the Primary Care Body which
represents Jersey GP's, was quoted as saying "just the other day, there was a trial of a cannabinoid
substance [sic] in France which left someone brain dead because it had attacked their immune system".

The substance being trialled wasn't a cannabinoid of any shape or form, as Dr Minihane asserts,
rather it was an FAAH inhibitor. FAAH, or Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, is an enzyme that works
to break down and supress endogenous cannabinoids, otherwise known as endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are, in simple terms, the human bodies own form of internally produced
cannabis-like compounds. These compounds regulate homeostasis and are vital for a healthy
body and mind, endocannabinoid deficiency is thought to be responsible for various health issues.

The endocannabinoid Anandamide, also known as the 'bliss molecule', is found in quantities in breast
milk and has a molecular structure similar to that of THC derived from cannabis. Rather than
administering a potentially dangerous experimental synthetic cannabinoid, they were trying to enhance
existing cannabinoid signalling by allowing anandamide to accumulate. By prolonging the action of
anandamide and other endocannabinoids, FAAH inhibitors have the potential to reduce anxiety, pain,
and other neurological conditions.

Cannabis is already proven efficacious in these fields, indeed it’s used safely every day by millions of people
around the world for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Instead of blocking the natural degradation of our
endocannabinoids with FAAH inhibitors, perhaps we should look at what has been done safely for thousands
of years, supplementing our endocannabinoids with cannabis, as Mr Kacki was. At least then we can guarantee
that patients will survive their treatment.

With kind regards, Chris Coomer, C/O Cannabis Science - Jersey / Decriminalise It - Jersey




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