Thursday, 9 August 2018

As we have spoken in others posts there are several delivery mechanisms for medical cannabis. We can find creams, wafers, sprays, tinctures and suppositories while there are useful, the truth is the most common delivery methods are OIL and GAS (as in vapour).
Today we are going to show you a little explanation made by Dr. David Hepburn about OIL as delivery mechanism of medical cannabis


Dr. David Frederick Hepburn explains:

Oils can be obtained in a bottle, capsules or even as a vape (not MD-recommended currently). As a pill-taking society, many would prefer to use a capsule, given that it looks medical and resembles other capsules in the neighbors’ bathroom. The other advantage of an encapsulated oil is that the dosing is much more accurate. 

Canada limits capsules to a maximum of 10mg THC per unit. Ingested cannabis oil has the advantage of lasting longer but the disadvantage of taking forever to kick in. Once the oil has been ingested it must wend it’s way past the waffles, kumquats and possibly some of the neighbors’ capsules, then get absorbed from the gut and zip off to the liver for a little sprucing up before being presented to the bloodstream.

The liver typically wets the side of a Kleenex and dabs away at the oil until it frowns and turns away. Too late. The liver has converted 9 delta THC into 11 delta THC and, while this new form is effective as medicine, it is rather more psychoactive. This whole process, from mouth to membrane, takes 90-120 minutes which can be a good thing… or….sometimes not so much.

As we may learn of Dr. David Hepburn´s text, the use of cannabis oil has some advantages and disadvantages. especially the effectiveness of the dose although with some difficulties to arrive to bloodstream.

An example story told by Dr. David Hepburn:

“-Cyril Bloggins, not an experienced user of cannabis, has taken note how his wife, Daisy, has had her wrist, bowels and crankiness all improved since she started cooking those new BC brownies. 
He decides to try one for his own nasty, gnarly, kneecap, so he cuts one from the herd and braces himself. An hour goes by. Feels nothing. Sneaks back in and grabs another, and another and noting some Reeses Pieces and marshmallows in the mix, decides they taste pretty good and… he still doesn’t feel anything. 

Soon half the plate is in Cyril’s central solar system. Cyril… doesn’t get out of bed for three days. He is so stoned that his head is on lock down and Mabel has morphed into Heather Lock lear (the early years). Cyril’s natural reaction “I must be allergic to cannabis.” No Cyril, the toxicity is always in the dose and you just dosed yourself into a long doze.-“

Finally, it is advisable to follow properly the instructions of your doctor regarding the dose to obtain the correct results. In the following post we will speak about the other common delivery method for medical cannabis. GAS

Dr. David Hepburn website:

Myths about medical cannabis (Second part) - Dr. David Frederick Hepburn.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

In a previous post we talked about 3 common myths on medical cannabis. Now Dr. David Hepburn is going to explain 2 other common myths.

4. “CBD, non psychoactive, medical, oil, good - THC, psychoactive, recreational, smoke, bad.”

Thinking that the CBD is good and the THC is bad, is a myth that does not benefit at all the uses of medical cannabis. This common myth mentioned by Dr. David Hepburn leads to the question “Is medical cannabis the same as recreational cannabis?” The answer is yes....and no. THC is used for one purpose in recreational users, to get high. But the same THC is also needed to treat various medical conditions that respond better to THC dominant strains, (e.g migraines).

Furthermore THC can make CBD work better and vice versa. However the THC is usually quite a bit lower than recreational users prefer. So the difference is in the intent and content. Recreational users dub CBD “hippie’s disappointment” and have no use for it. However CBD is a vital part of most medical uses.

THC is also medically beneficial in many conditions including: migraines, spasms, Tourette’s, nausea, some types of pain etc. Some states have believed the “THC is bad” myth and have limited it’s use or dosage, thinking that only CBD is medically useful. Big mistake. They are only cheating patients out of the benefit of THC dominant or THC:CBD combination treatments, vital for many conditions. In fact, CBD by itself is much less effective than CBD with either THC or other cannabinoids used inconjunction.

Furthermore, THC can actually have it’s psycho-activite effect mitigated by simply adding CBD. CBD serves (as a negative allosteric modulator) to change the psycho-activity while not changing the medical benefits of THC. The plant is brilliant. And should there, heaven forbid, be a little euphoria due to THC as part of terminal cancer treatment, is it terribly bad to be sick....with a smile?

5. “Cannabis is safe for youth.”

The last myth by Dr. David Hepburn:

The adolescent brain is not like a normal human brain. Prior to neuromaturation (age 25ish unless you happen to be a son of mine), the young brain is being actively pruned and connections created. During adolescence there is an explosion in development and creation of our natural cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), enzymes (FAAH and MAGL) and actual cannabinoids (anandamide and 2 AG).

These three components comprise the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is essential to be aware of in order to understand how and why cannabis can be used as medicine. Adding plant (exogenous) cannabinoids to a teen brain, that is busy trying to determine it’s own system, may not only have a deleterious effect in the production of a normally developing system, but may also have an effect on some types of memory, learning and emotions that are not beneficial and may persist for many years, even after neuromaturation.

In fact, the prefrontal cortex, replete with ECS components, is the last part of the brain to mature. This area of the brain is responsible for executive control and, should it not be allowed to develop properly, issues ranging from decision making to impulse control can be thrown for a loop. Cannabis is a drug and needs to be respected as such. Too many youth currently think that cannabis is harmless. They are... mistaken.

To learn more about Dr. David Frederick Hepburn's work on medical cannabis visit:

Dr. David Hepburn: Change how family doctors view medical cannabis (second part)

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Continuing with our previous post, here you can find the rest of the interview to Dr. David Hepburn. In this part, Dr. Hepburn will talk about the different methods to consume cannabis, the ethical dilemmas about medical cannabis etc.

Interview (part two)

Is it right for commercial cannabis growers to pay for educating doctors who are the gatekeepers to the clients that buy their products?

That goes on all the time with Big Pharma, they're the ones who sponsor all the big events. This is virtually how we do 90 percent of our education. Routinely on a week-to-week basis, we probably get invitations through the week to two, three, four dinners put on by a specialist and sponsored by a drug company. It's nothing untoward, so to speak. There are other avenues for education – reading journals – but the journals are all supported by pharmaceutical companies, right?

What do you think about clinics specializing in pot prescriptions which say they are charging patients fees because they are helping them navigate the confusing federal medical marijuana regulations?

It's all smoke and mirrors, jiggery- pokery is being done. Personally I think it's unethical, so I charge patients nothing. What I do is I give them the options. I say, 'Here's the list of Health Canada's licensed producers, you can select one based on anything you find interesting on their Web page. Be it the fact that some of [them] offer certain deals with respect to a vaporizer and some require less amount purchased at one time.' Different LPs have different advantages and that is what the patients like.

Are cannabis oils more dangerous than vaporizing the drug?

There are those advantages to it, you can encapsulate them, however there are some disadvantages to them as well. And this is where it's very important to caution people to the appropriate uses of oral or edible or ingestible cannabinoids, and that there is a high variability to absorption rates. One of the things I heard down in Colorado is people were coming in and they were taking more and more derivatives of one sort or another. Next thing you know it all kicks in because it can take an hour or two to really take effect. People ask me the dose and I say, 'Just a little bit. Start low and go slow.'

There has been a lot of talk recently about the dangers of 'edibles.' What happens when someone is sent to hospital with an overdose?

They might give them IV, saline, tell them to go home and they'd be fine. It's not toxic. In fact, it's incredibly nontoxic, however it gives them an unpleasant experience that may sabotage the use of it. I probably would never start people on an oil, but what I like about the vaporizers is that you can titrate the dosage easily. You know in 95 seconds if it's going to work and it doesn't last very long.

You know the actual best form of cannabinoids to me is, believe it or not, suppositories? They are far and away the best delivery mechanism over all.


They go through a different absorption system, you know within 15 minutes you have it absorbed in there and it's actually done through the intestinal mucosa. You get a longer lasting effect than you would get for the vaporizer, but you also get a quicker response than you would get from the ingestible.

In sum up as we can see Dr. David Frederick Hepburn keeps trying to educate the medical sector about the use of medical cannabis.

You can be following his work in the following links:

Dr. David Hepburn: Change how family doctors view medical cannabis

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Dr. David Hepburn has given talks and conferences throughout Canada and the world, trying to educate his colleagues and the audience about the use and prescription of medicinal cannabis. For several years Dr. Hepburn has been striving to change the resistance that exists in the field of medicine unto this plant and thereby promote its use for various diseases.

In this post we present the first part of an interview that Dr. David Hepburn granted a couple of years ago. In this interview Dr. David Hepburn tries to describe his effort to change how many Canadian doctors view the drug.

The interview

Why did you first become involved in prescribing cannabis about a decade ago?

I was in the group that wanted nothing to do with cannabis, and it actually came from a physician [friend] in Ontario whose mother had cancer. He phoned me up and said, 'My mom is in Victoria, she is an octogenarian, cancer-stricken and her doctor won't help her. My mom would never miss a tax date or jaywalk, and yet the one thing that's helped her with both her pain and her chemo-related symptoms is cannabis.' And would I help her out? Finally I capitulated and said, 'Okay, I will help her apply for the [federal medical marijuana] program.'

I began to explore more into that and I watched this sort of explosion I guess the same way [American neurosurgeon and media personality] Sanjay Gupta would have.

He's made a 180 and I have too.

Why are Canadian doctors are so reluctant to prescribe?

They don't want to be recommending something that we've all been taught is bad for you. The reticence is legitimate, I think that it's normal. 'Hey, listen, I don't know anything about it, I'm not keen on prescribing it.' The standard things that I would hear is, 'We want to see more research into it, etc. etc.' That's a vicious circle – there isn't the research being done because of the fact that the government has made it unreachable.

So you recommend cannabis for conditions and symptoms without the clinical trials that back up such prescriptions?

There remains a lot of good studies to be done. But because it is safe and tolerable and we know it works for a lot of people for conditions in which the research is lacking, that doesn't mean we necessarily rob the person of the opportunity to use it now. We sit in our office day after day and year after year and we hear patients who sit down and say, 'Doc, the thing that really works for me, to be honest with you, is cannabis.' We trust these patients and we know them not to be jaywalkers. When you hear it long enough, you begin to realize that it's something that is working for these people…

Here ends the first part of the interview in our next post we can read the rest of the interview, we invite you to read the next part because we can see how Dr. David Hepburn mentions very interesting things about the uses of medicinal cannabis

If you want to know more about Dr David Frederick Hepburn work visit his websites:

Conditions Cannabis is prescribed for - By Dr. David Hepburn (Second Part)

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

In a previous post Dr. David Hepburn en listed 5 of the 10 most common diseases for which cannabis has been prescribed by doctors. In this post we bring you the remaining 5 mentioned by Dr. David Frederick Hepburn:

Particularly nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. A recent survey of US oncologists reveal that 46% of them discussed using cannabis with the patients. Cannabis is as or more effective than most drugs used for this. Actually, it has allowed patients who were unable to tolerate taking chemo, to be able to do so.

Neuropathic pain
Any pain involving nerves, ie diabetes, MS, peripheral neuropathy is an excellent target for cannabinoid therapy. The pain pathways are covered with cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R). When cannabis binds to these receptors, the flow of pain signals is mitigated, inhibited and controlled. More of a dimmer switch than a circuit breaker, our cannabinoid system responds by governing neurotransmitter flow, a good thing when it comes to pain signals.

Cancer related symptoms
A recent study indicated that patients with terminal cancer who took cannabis were much more likely to die at home than in hospice. While this may seem a pyrrhic victory, cannabis addresses some of the common symptoms for which cancer patients go to hospice, including pain, anorexia, fear, nausea and anxiety. Being sick is one thing, being sick with a smile is another.

Post Traumatic Stress is a debilitating condition that symptoms ranging from fear to insomnia and nightmares to anxiety and depression, that cannabis has been shown to address. The purpose of our ECS has been described as one meant to help us “eat, sleep, relax forget and protect.” Not being able to forget and reliving the emotions surrounding very traumatic events, has led to some significant pathology in many victims, including many returning soldiers. Cannabis has become an area of increasing interest and global research for the treatment of PTSD patients.

Those with fibromyalgia will recognize these symptoms and, for at least one licensed producer of medical cannabis, was the number one reason that cannabis was purchased by patients –

3 Myths about medical cannabis by Dr. David Hepburn.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Dr. David Hepburn states that the rapid expansion of global interest in medical cannabis also means a rapid expansion of myth information. In this post we will describe three of the five common myths regarding the medical cannabis.

1. The first myth mentioned by Dr. David Hepburn:

“I have to get high to get help.” No nada nyet nein. Of the many cannabinoids available only a small few cause the “stoned” effect, THC being the most common one. However the vast majority, including the medically beneficial CBD, CBG and CBC will not cause that same psychoactive effect.

2. As the second myth Dr. David Frederick Hepburn explains:

“I don’t want to have to smoke medicine.” Few doctors are comfortable with
writing a prescription of “Smoke two of these and call me in the morning.” We don’t want you to smoke anything other than a salmon for the doctor. The advent of oil extraction, and the ability to provide those oils in capsules, has led to this option becoming the most sought after delivery mechanism. Many children with conditions ranging from epilepsy to autism are treated successfully with medical cannabis and none are smoking. However, Dr. David Hepburn clarifies that there are situations/ conditions where inhalation is the best delivery method, such as migraines, nausea and some types of spasms and pain. The medical means of inhalation is vaporization, not smoking. Vaporization is no more smoking than a flying squirrel is a kangaroo. There is a vast difference in vaporizing dried product and smoking dried product. Smoking means 900 degrees C at the tip and combustion of everything which is then inhaled. Vaporization is only heated to the necessary level to release the cannabinoids, around the 200 degrees C level and is not combusted.

3. Finally Dr. Hepburn points out the third common myth:

 “It will make you psychotic.” That was a slogan of the reefer madness campaign and, in some who have yet to be educated on the matter, it still rattles around the stigma section of their frontal lobe right beside beliefs of a horned Satan and Donald Trump (my apology for the ....redundancy). Dr. David Hepburn is emphatic in emphasizing that Cannabis has not been shown to cause schizophrenia. In fact, countries where cannabis use is prevalent have the same incidence of schizophrenia as countries where cannabis is nowhere to be found. While it can most likely exacerbate and initiate first break psychosis in those who are genetically predisposed (ie. those who have the AKT1 genotype), using cannabis is akin to pouring gasoline on a pile of sticks. If there are no underlying embers, it will cause no reaction at all.
In the next post we will describe the two remaining myths mentioned by Dr. David Hepburn

If you are interested In Dr. David Hepburn's next conferences related to medical cannabis please visit:
https://doctordavidhepburn.blogspot.com  or

Stay tuned for our following posts

Medical History of Cannabis Dr. David Hepburn

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Traditional Cannabis has been known in North America as the stoner-hippie drug known for psychedelic properties, however the history and usage of medical Cannabis dates back much further.

Historical use and significance of the Cannabis plant has been noted in a wide variety of written works, with origins tracing back to the ancient world. The first record of Cannabis’ use in medicine comes from the Pen’ts’aoching, the world’s first pharmacopeia, compiled by oral traditions during the time of China’s Emperor Shen-Nung in 2700 BC. Uses for medical Cannabis in this time included rheumatic pain, gout and malaria.

The use of medical Cannabis then began its’ long history in India, becoming a strong part of both Indian legend and religion. Mentioned in The Vedas, sacred Hindu text, Cannabis was referred to as a source of happiness, joy-giver, liberator that was compassionately given to humans to help us attain delight and lose fear[1]. A large-scale study was commissioned by the British in the late 1890s over concern of the widespread use of Cannabis in Colonial India[2]. They were particularly concerned about the potential psychoses of the drug, and the risk it posed to the health of the natives. In the end, it was decided that its use was ancient, had religious sanction among Hindus, and was ultimately harmless in moderation. Cannabis was generally used in India as an anticonvulsant, analgesic, anesthetic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.[3]

Therapeutic uses of Cannabis were first introduced to Western medicine in 1839 by Irish physician William O’Shaughnessy when he published ‘On the preparations of Indian hemp or gunjah’3. O’Shaughnessy tested the toxicity of Cannabis on animals, and once determined the product was safe, provided extracts to patients, discovering it’s analgesic and sedative properties. In the end, he came to realize the efficacy of Cannabis in treating muscle spasms caused by tetanus and rabies.[4] Upon the results of O’Shaughnessy’s trials, as with those of other physicians at the time, the use of Cannabis began to spread rapidly through the world of Western medicine in both Europe and North America.

The rise of vaccines for diseases previously treated by cannabis ultimately resulted in a decline of cannabis use during the 1900’s compounded by the development of many synthetic analgesics that rendered cannabis use at the time obsolete3. The American Medical Assocation advised that Cannabis remained a medical agent, however ultimately in 1941 Cannabis was removed entirely from the American Pharmacopeia.

After the removal of Cannabis from the American Pharmacopeia, the use of Cannabis for medical purposes was nearly non-existent, until it’s revival for recreational purposes in the 1970’s. Studies began to advance, identifying the cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system, alluding to the possible source of Cannabis’ analgesic, sedative and immunoregulatory properties.[5]

Fast-forwarding to today, research into the potential uses of Cannabis for medical purposes are continuously expanding into areas not explored previously. This includes isolation of specific compounds for treatment diseases such as Epilepsy, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s, as well as the potential to use it in place of common every day drugs for sleep aid and chronic pain. As we go forward, it is becoming abundantly clear that the possibilities for medical Cannabis are endless.


[1]Abel, E.L. (1980). The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York: McGraw Hill.
[2]Iverson, L.L. (2008). The Science of Marijuana. New York: Oxford University Press.
[3]Zuardi AW. History of cannabis as a medicine: a review. Rev Bras Psiquiatr 2006;28:153-7. 
[4]Mikuriya TH. Marijuana in medicine: past, present and future. Calif Med 1969;110:34-40. 
[5]Lee MA. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system. The Prop 215 Era 2012.
  URL: http://www.beyondthc .com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/eCBSystemLee.pdf

Conditions Cannabis is prescribed for - By Dr. David Hepburn

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

In listing ten common conditions that doctors use cannabis to treat, it is important to appreciate that some conditions respond better to different types or different combinations of cannabinoids. For example, migraines, will respond to THC dominant medications. Joint inflammation conditions prefer CBD dominant strains while others still, like chronic pain, usually settle on a 1:1 CBD:THC combination. Not only are the type and ratio of cannabinoids used important, but so is the dose. For example, a low dose of THC (micro-dosing) can help with anxiety and some types of pain. A higher dose of THC can do the exact opposite and actually exacerbate anxiety and worsen pain. While cannabis is being used for treatment in dozens of conditions ranging from Acne to Tourette’s to Asthma (yes that asthma), here are some of the more common conditions where cannabinoid medicine plays a role. 


For those with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, their joints are just smoking, which is why many turn to smoking joints. However the ingested route of medical oils are more effective for longer periods of time compared to the relatively quick but short acting relief of an inhalation method such as a vaporizing (always preferred over smoking). Much safer than most medications used to treat arthritis, cannabis has no risk of causing stomach bleeds, constipation and even death that opiates or anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) could cause. In fact, NOBODY dies of cannabis.....ever. This is because, unlike opiates that claim numerous lives every day, there are no cannabinoid receptors in the brainstem, that vital part of the brain that controls our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. 
Cannabis acts to harness our own endocannabinoid system (ECS), which includes our naturally produced cannabinoids, anandamide and 2AG. These endocannabinoids are made throughout our body and are made in response to imbalances in multiple systems, usually involving hormones and neurotransmitters. When we make too much cortisol, the stress hormone, our ECS kicks in and we make anandamide that works to shut down cortisol production. When our own natural cannabinoids aren’t enough, then the addition of plant cannabinoids can be very helpful.
It has become headline news, of late, that CBD dominant cannabis can significantly reduce seizures in many children (and adults) in some of the more difficult type of seizure disorders. Noting the powerful effect cannabinoids have on children with terrible seizures, many key opinion leaders in the worlds of medicine and government have changed their minds about cannabis. Some families will even relocate to places where there is a more compassionate government that allows children to be treated for seizures with cannabis oil.

William Osler, the founder of modern medicine, stated that “cannabis is the single best treatment for migraines.” This is one of the few conditions where vaporized cannabis is more effective than ingested, as those who get struck by a migraine (often with nausea) don’t want to wait an hour before the ingested oils kick in.
Twitchiness involving nerves and spasm are areas where cannabinoids tend to excel in. This also defines the cause of IBS, a very common condition that may be fraught with constipation, diarrhea or both. The bowel has many cannabinoid receptors (CB2R) that, when activated by cannabis medicine, can reduce gut spasm and cramping.

In the next post we will see another five conditionswhich cannabis can help

  • Conditions Cannabis is prescribed for – Dr. David Hepburn. for https://plena-global.com/news-desk/conditions-cannabis-is-prescribed-for/

  • http://davidfrederickhepburn.com/

  • https://doctordavidhepburn.blogspot.com/

Cannabis and Cancer By Dr. David Frederick Hepburn.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

At the conference presented by Dr. David Hepburn entitled "Cannabis and Cancer: the Promise, Potential and Practical Possibilities" Dr. Hepburn presented different points of view and promising advances in science on how cannabis could help against cancer. At the beginning Dr. David Hepburn established that has been several studies from serious institutions like The National Cancer Institute or NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Dr. David Frederick Hepburn mention “In June of 2015 cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells that is from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health United States” as well as a study of NIDA Dr. Hepburn quote “they have even said that the whole plant of marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells one of the most serious forms of brain tumors.

Dr. Hepburn is aware that in terms of research and development there is still much to be done to give medical cannabis the relevance it deserves in the world of cancer, but emphasizes that all these conservatives institutes “are acknowledging the fact that there have been a lot of preclinical and experimental studies with animals and now some clinical that are showing the promise potential and the possibilities that exist with cannabis in the world of cancer”
During his participation in Cannabis Life Dr. David Hepburn also stressed that "it is important to know that every one of us has cannabis in our bloodstream and that is an important concept to understand if you want to know how cannabis works as a medicine" This is in fact our endocannabinoids.
Dr. David Frederick Hepburn explains:

“The endocannabinoids system is a series of  what we call neurotransmitters receptors and enzymes that work together to make to bring us to a balance to homeostasis to a middle ground where we are healthy it helps us to eat, sleep, relax protect and don´t forget important things, it also helps us to avoid vomiting all day long” so if you do not understand the endocannabinoids system then you do not understand cannabis

In this way Dr. David Hepburn stressed the importance of continuing to investigate the benefits of medicinal cannabis, in particular for cancer treatments.
If you are interested in listening to the full conference of Dr. Hepburn please visit: