Anything that has completely dried does not require decarbing. Can fresh bud/trimmings be used to make infused coconut oil? Legal issues aside, make sure you use a *low* THC plant.
It's the THC that causes the various mental harms of cannabis (one in four cases of psychosis are caused by high-THC cannabis). The substance that is being investigated for various medical benefits is the CBD (cannabidiol), which shows promise as an epilepsy treatment, to ease the pain of cancer, treatment of psychotic conditions and even to address autism. In truth, CBD "sands down" the rough edges of a THC high, making it much easier to tolerate. Studies from England have determined that in high concentrations, CBD is as effective an anti-psychotic as pharmaceutical equivalents, with zero side effects. This strongly suggests that part of the role CBD plays is as a "yang" to THC's "yin". THC has many advantageous effects in my health regimen. Most specifically for some forms of pain CBD simply doesn't touch. And yet, I am sensitive to THC, suffering from such severe panic attacks that I've rushed to the hospital, on more than one occasion.
Since I started using CBD dominant strains, or 50:50 strains, I have been entirely free of panic attacks. I no longer concern myself with how high THC levels might be, as long as I have enough CBD in my system. The BBC is not a credible source for discussions of this nature. While CBD is the star in regards to medical cannabis, THC can also be very therapeutic - it can allow patients to get the rest they need, reduce their pain and it can also increases appetite. I don't believe THC should be entirely ruled out due to the recent study ( http://www.thelancet.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/pdfs. I can't say that article is very balanced - they have most of the science right but the some of language they have used is fairly incendiary and fear-mongering. There is definitely a real risk for a very small percentage of the population for "psychosis" - but I think the articles blow it out of proportion in an effort to scare folks. It's important to note that the 15% THC "skunk" is actually not out of the ordinary. That's about average for most of the medical-grade cannabis that's grown. Now that it's becoming more popular for its medical benefits it's easier to find it being grown in proper conditions and not just fast and for-profit, which is where the low THC cannabis was overwhelmingly coming from. That said, the risks and issues with cannabis are very important to talk about. It's important to let folks know about the benefits and risks associated with medicating with and consuming cannabis. With constantly changing information and conflicting media reports it can all be a bit overwhelming sometimes. As your link shows, occasional use of high-THC skunk triples the risk of psychosis, regular use increases it to five time that of the non-using population. "19.3% of psychotic disorders in the study population were attributable to exposure to daily cannabis use" . In the study area, the most common form of cannabis used was high-THC with negligible CBD content. Statistical bet-hedging aside, the results of the study clearly show that " skunk use alone was responsible for 24% of those adults presenting with first-episode psychosis to the psychiatric services in south London." Previous [anecdotal] claims of being able to smoke cannabis on a daily basis without psychotic events are due to the forms of cannabis available in the 1960s-1970s were relatively low in THC, with approximately-equal quantities quantities of CBD; "experimental studies show that THC induces psychotic symptoms, while cannabidiol ameliorates them and reduces anxiety." "Our findings show the importance of raising public awareness of the risk associated with use of high-potency cannabis (panel), especially when such varieties of cannabis are becoming more available. The worldwide trend of liberalisation of the legal constraints on the use of cannabis further emphasises the urgent need to develop public education to inform young people about the risks of high-potency cannabis." THC is bad, it makes you psychotic. Precisely: that's why I talked about them like they were one and the same. It's not fair to say all THC is "bad" just from this one study - especially considering there have been many studies done and they're wildly conflicting. Here's a good article ( http://www.alternet.org/drugs/debunking-latest-pat. ) on Alternet discussing this most recent study and also linking to similar ones with different results. I'm a little dubious of this study - they seem quite willing to link cannabis use and psychosis and be done with it, but I think there are some very important mental health considerations and socioeconomic issues that have not been fully examined.
It's early days yet, and until we have much larger studies (or even just more of them) to look at I believe it's unfair to draw conclusions. I realize I'm biased, but I've seen the huge difference cannabis can make for a patient and THC is part of that in many cases. So far one of the most promising uses of THC is linked to helping treat PTSD. There's a current push to get medical cannabis opened up for veterans here in the US via a bill called the "Veterans Equal Access Act." I'm really hoping the bill will go through and pave the way for more research!
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