Can medical marijuana treat ADD/ADHD and autism?

Today, things are a lot of different.

Filled with the sound of high-tech machines, a pristine growing operation in Tempe is one of many across the country taking the pot plant to new highs.

“It’s been a miracle drug,” said JP Holyoak.

Holyoak is behind the setup along with two medical marijuana dispensaries in the Valley.

The financial advisor by trade says it’s a massive undertaking that began very close to his heart.

“This is very personal for me,” said Holyoak.

His daughter Reese is the reason.

Today, she’s non-stop — getting around is no problem for the 7-year-old.

“Reese was born with a rare neurological disorder and for years was simply non-responsive. She wasn’t moving. She wasn’t developing. She wasn’t even making eye contact with us,” describes Holyoak.

He said Reese suffered dozens of seizures every single day.

“It was absolutely miserable. It’s a living hell,” Holyoak said.

Holyoak said she was on a pharmaceutical merry-go-round, trying drug after drug to control the seizures, but nothing worked and the side effects were horrible.

Then Arizona passed the medical marijuana law, and one of the qualifying conditions was seizures, which caught the attention of the conservative Republican.

“Up until this point, I had been anti-marijuana. I was simply a desperate parent,” describes Holyoak.

Holyoak said Reese went from seizures day and night to just one, every few months. It was a game changer.

“Because we were able to essentially stop those seizures, she’s able to start developing. She started smiling. She started looking at us. She started to crawl,” describes Holyoak.

At her latest checkup at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Holyoak said 23 separate doctors came into Reese’s room to see her because they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They said a child with Aicardi Syndrome shouldn’t be doing any of the things Reese was doing.

The little girl who was bound to a wheelchair was now free. The marijuana he says was working.

“The single and sole difference between a child that’s non-responsive, unable to feed herself and is in a wheelchair, and the bright, vibrant, loving and beautiful girl we have today is marijuana. That’s the only difference,” said Holyoak.

Reese takes an oil Holyoak’s dubbed, “Reese’s Peace.”

It’s made mostly with CBD, one of dozens of cannabinoids in marijuana.

CBD is a non-psychoactive part of the plant known for its medicinal qualities, unlike the well-known and prevalent THC which causes the high.

Not only has CBD helped Reese, Holyoak says it’s benefiting countless other Arizona families as well.

There are 103,122  medical marijuana cardholders in Arizona, 191 are minors.

Holyoak shared the story of another young patient. A 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose dad became emotional after seeing a major difference in his son.

“The dad called me with tears. He said for the first time, his son walked to the door and gave him a hug. It’s the first time he’d ever done that,” described Holyoak.

And now, more parents are turning to CBD for help.

Some of them, for “non-qualifying conditions” like ADD and Autism — something Holyoak doesn’t encourage, but understands.

“The standard treatment today for ADHD are drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, which are essentially methamphetamine. There needs to be more research on it,” said Holyoak. “If this could be an alternative treatment to many of those other extremely harmful drugs, what a blessing that would be for all of us.”

More marijuana research is key.

The current U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, agrees, as do many high-ranking officials.

Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz from the University of Arizona is on the verge of that research.

“Cannabis is a source of potential medical breakthroughs. It could be a source of medical busts, but until we investigate, we don’t know,” said Dr. Lifshitz.

Dr. Lifshitz is an Associate Professor at the U of A’s College of Medicine. He’s also a research scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Voters may have passed a law to allow marijuana to be used as medicine in Arizona, but Dr. Lifshitz says, under federal law, cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, and by that definition has no medical benefit.

“It’s not because no one has proven there’s no medical benefit, it’s that very few people, if any, have done research to determine what the medical benefit might be,” explained Lifshitz.

Dr. Lifshitz says getting the approval and licensing and funding to do research on a Schedule 1 drug is extraordinarily difficult. He describes the process as “a catch 22.”

In the meantime, he’s not surprised that some parents are taking matters into their own hands, giving CBD oils to kids for “off-label” or unauthorized uses.

“With the information age and the amount of information at our fingertips, both through somewhat verified sources like Web MD and even unverified sources like Facebook pages, there’s a lot of medical information and misinformation out there,” said Lifshitz.

He says right now mostly case studies and professional opinion show marijuana can be beneficial under certain circumstances.

Actual research would provide verified data so decisions can come from an informed position.

“What we really need to do from a scientific standpoint is understand which components of the plant, meaning which cannabinoids that make up that cannabis plant, are having beneficial effects, which are having no effects and which may have negative effects,” explained Lifshitz.

He says heart-warming stories like Reese’s motivate him as a scientist.

Right now, though, it’s not clear how her case might compare to others.

“The question at hand is, will all children like Reese respond to it, or only children exactly like Reese respond to the same treatments,” said Lifshitz.

As Reese’s life has changed for the better, Holyoak has since become a crusader of sorts.

He’s the face of the campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol and was recently touted one of the Valley’s “Maestros of Medicine” by Onthespot247 Magazine

“When I look at my daughter, when I look at other children like her, and I look at the adults that this is helping as well, it’s worth it. It’s always worth it and I’ll never stop doing it,” said David Mervacy.



(ANTIMEDIA) At 10 months of age, Kalel Santiago of Puerto Rico was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma. He endured chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgery for two yearsand survived. Then he was diagnosed with something permanent: severe autism that disabled him from speaking.

“While he was in the hospital, we noticed he didn’t speak at all and had some behavior that wasn’t right, like hand flapping, and walking on his toes,” his father Abiel Gomez Santiago told Yahoo News. “But we waited until he was 3 and cancer-free to look at his behavior.”

According to Yahoo, “He and his wife Gladys — also parents to two older boys, now 18 and 20 — did a cram course in educating themselves on autism. They tried various schools and therapies and eventually found impressive success with a unique surf-therapy school near their home.”

Eventually, the Santiago family stumbled upon a treatment of real potency and potential: CBD oil.

Through a fundraising program, they were able to receive a tiny bottle of the oil. Kalel was given oral doses twice a day.

Within just two days, he was finally able to speak. “He surprised us in school by saying the vowels, A-E-I-O-U. It was the first time ever,” Abiel said. “You can’t imagine the emotion we had, hearing Kalel’s voice for the first time. It was amazing. The teacher recorded him and sent it to my wife and me and we said well, the only different thing we have been doing is using the CBD.”

Soon after, he began using consonants, too, speaking like his parents never thought possible. “He said, ‘amo mi mama,’ ‘I love my mom,’” Abiel says. “I don’t know how to thank [the CBD oil makers].”

Kalel’s story is yet another piece of evidence piling onto the mountain of support for cannabis oil and full marijuana legalization. Please share this with as many people as possible.

Growing Your Own Cannabis, the Organic Way

This last week I made my first ever batch of ‘super soil.’ As far as I know, the term super soil originated with a cannabis cultivator named Subcool, and is a special blend of organic inputs that creates a very nutrient rich soil. I know a lot of people that have used (or slightly modified) Subcool’s super soil recipe and produced some amazing results.

I have grown cannabis in the past, but it was always either deep water culture, or non-organic soil methods. I had to go to a couple of places to get everything in the recipe, but I’m confident that it will be worth it. Blending it all up exposed me (and my helpers!) to some pretty awful smells, but it was still very fun.

More and more people are going organic

I have not frequented a garden supply story since 2011. Prior to that, I was hitting the grow store on a weekly basis. I became very familiar with the guys there, and so coming into the store and seeing them was a real pleasure.

After exchanging life updates, I told them what I was after. With every input I rattled off, their smiles became larger and larger. ‘Another super soil guy!’ one of the employees exclaimed. I could tell that I was not the only one that was pursuing the same adventure.

The employees helped me gather up all of the things I was after (a lot of meals, organic soil, etc., click the link above for the full list), and explained to me how much things had changed since 2011. People are moving away from cultivation methods that involve heavy metal fertilizers, and moving towards organic cultivation methods.

There are obviously a multitude of reasons involved. But the biggest contributing factors in my opinion are that people are more concerned with what they are putting into their bodies, no different than food, and that cannabis testing is raising the bar as to what is acceptable to consume, and what is not.

Cannabis testing isn’t perfect

I had the pleasure of hanging out with legendary cultivation guru Jorge Cervantes recently, and we discussed cannabis testing. As Jorge pointed out, most testing labs are not looking for all the contaminants that are out there. And even the ones that do are only required to report a handful of them.

My friend Jason from Udoxi Scientific always points out that cannabis testing only looks for some contaminants and potency, but doesn’t look for heavy metals at all. Cannabis pulls heavy metals from soil in a very efficient way. The same trait that makes cannabis great for cleaning up contaminated areas is the same trait that creates high levels in cannabis that people smoke all over the world, every day.

As far as I know, there are no studies in regards to cannabis consumption and heavy metals. I have to assume it is not good, which is why I try very hard to know where the cannabis that I’m consuming comes from, and what inputs went into the plant. That’s not to say that I refrain from consuming non-organic cannabis, but it’s something I’m moving more towards every day.

“No Consideration Farms”

I am in the starting phases of constructing my own indoor garden. I wish I could cultivate outdoors, but unfortunately I’m not in a suitable location for that, and haven’t been able to find a good location outside of the town I live in.

But I know people that need cannabis, and I have the knowledge and means to knock out some decent cannabis, so I’m taking the plunge and getting back into cultivation. I’m calling my garden ‘No Consideration Farms’ because I plan to just give all of the cannabis away, minus some for myself. You know, for informal testing purposes!

I consume a lot of concentrates, and plan on getting some of my harvest converted to concentrates. Having organic plant matter to convert is important, because just as the concentration process concentrates cannabinoids, so too does it concentrate heavy metals and other contaminants. I don’t want any part of that, for reasons that should be obvious.

Growing your own cannabis, the organic way

Growing cannabis is one of the funnest things that a person could ever do. Cultivating your own flower, harvesting it, and consuming it – there’s no feeling quite like it. I have grown my own vegetables, and even have a couple of fruit trees at my house, but consuming out of my vegetable garden doesn’t compare to consuming homegrown, even if it’s not as good as what is on local dispensary shelves.

There’s a certain feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that is unique to consuming your own cannabis. I am already learning that cultivating organic cannabis is particularly rewarding, as every step of the way has it’s own sense of creation.

When you grow organically, ‘cooking’ soils and brewing compost tea, you are creating more than just a grow medium – you are creating a thriving root ecosystem. And with the compost tea, you can also use it as a foliar spray to fend off pests and disease.

Do you grow cannabis? If so, do you grow organically, or do you stick to non-organic methods? If you haven’t made the leap to organic, why not? Also, for those green thumbs out there, please post tips on organic cultivation so that others can learn from your knowledge and experience.

For a great course on organic indoor cannabis cultivation, check out ‘How to Grow Your Own Indoor Organic Cannabis At Home’ hosted by “CannaGirl” Ariana Tibbets.

Marijuana: 8 Health Benefits You Didn’t Know About

Marijuana is a subject that is slightly controversial in some social circles. Some people claim it makes you paranoid, others think it makes you lazy, but did you know that this plant also possesses health benefits? Read on to discover eight health benefits of marijuana that you were previously unaware of.

Number Eight: Treats and Prevents Glaucoma

Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball, which leads to a whole host of problems and pain. Marijuana has been shown to decrease this pressure, providing relief for and preventing the disease Glaucoma.

Number Seven: Marijuana Improves Lung Health

Although it seems hard to believe, marijuana does not decrease lung capacity. In fact, studies have shown that it actually increases it. The reasons for this are unclear however, and may be due to users taking deep breaths while inhaling the drug.

Number Six: It Can Help with Epilepsy

Researcher Robert J. DeLorenzo did a study where he gave epileptic rats marijuana extract. The extract rid the animals of epileptic symptoms for about 10 hours.

Number Five: Helps with Dravet’s Syndrome (a Seizure Disorder)

Dravet’s syndrome causes developmental delays along with severe seizures. In one study, a five year old girl went from having 300 seizures a week to only 1 per week with the help of a medical marijuana strain which is low in THC and high in Cannabidiol.

Number Four: It May Prevent the Spread of Cancer

Weed may help to combat the spread of cancer, suggest researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Research conducted in 2007 helped the studiers to reach this conclusion.

Number Three: Decreases Anxiety for Some Users

Medical weed is often used in addition to chemotherapy for its anti-nausea and pain relieving properties. For some patients, it also reduces anxiety. Higher doses may have the opposite effect though.

Number Two: THC Slows Alzheimers

A 2006 study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that marijuana helps prevent the onset and spread of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s true!

Number One: Provides Pain Relief for Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers

The THC in weed binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles of sufferers of MS and helps to relieve painful symptoms. Thanks for reading!