Step up medicinal ganja research, US doctor tells Jamaica

Staff reporter

Sunday, December 30, 2018

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NEGRIL,Westmoreland — With the medical cannabis industry poised to take off in a big way internationally, American natural medicine doctor, Dr Jenny Wilkins is recommending that Jamaica brush up it's research on the creation of medicines from the plant to treat diseases plaguing its people.

“What I would love to see is better research here, accessible research where people like me can come and standardise supplementation, being able to create true medicine for the different ailments that are plaguing Jamaicans,” Dr Wilkins noted.

An international authority on the endocannabinoid system, Dr Wilkins wants local doctors to be educated on how it works, arguing that Jamaicans stand to benefit from the introduction of cannabinoid medicines, extracted from the cannabis plant to treat common ailments such as diabetes and hypertension.

The endocannabinoid system is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.

“Diabetes, hypertension and that is so easy to cure. Type two diabetes is all dietary and with the right supplements, the right vitamin supplements, the right cannabinoid vitamins, someone's diabetes can go away. And then combining the cannabinoid medicine. So for growing it here and giving the access to the consumers and educating the doctors on how to recommend cannabinoid medicines and sending consumers to the pharmacy.... oh my gosh, it's going to change the way people live here. People here are already so friendly and nice. It is the most amazing culture, it is so laid back. I have never met such an amazing group of people. They are so hospitable, they are so friendly, everybody smiles at you,” said Dr Wilkins, who is also CEO and Proprietor of Agevital: Pharmacy, Research and Wellness.

She described the endocannabinoid system as the conductor in our biochemical make up.

“Without that conductor making sure that symphony, that orchestra all of the violinists, the guitarists, the trambonists — you have to think of the body like that. So if the violinist is out of fine tune, it makes the whole entire symphony sound bad. So when we are listening to reggae, if someone is off-key the song is not going to be the same. So that conductor, that endocannabinoid system helps to regulate all of those different receptor sites throughout our entire body, starting with the CB1 receptor, neurologically in the brain all the way to the CB2 receptor in the gut and our immune system is in our entire gut,”noted the television personalit, public speaker, author and clinical research associate.

She noted that, “cannabis is a part of that functional medicine, meaning evidenced-based medicine.

“We are not just throwing darts at you and guessing, like most doctors just guess. You have a two-minute doctor's visit—you go in there and you tell them you have acid reflux, I have insomnia, I am having panic attacks—they just write a quick medication and they send you to the pharmacy to get the drug. As opposed to truly scientific about it and say let's look at the body and treat it like a car. Let's maintain your car in order for your body to heal itself,” she insisted.

Dr Wilkins noted that one of the inhibitions to the advancement of medical cannabis is the threat it poses to the profit margins of big pharmaceutical companies.

“This is something so new and so suppressed by the medical community because you have the big pharmaceutical companies that fear it. They don't want people to find true healing because so much money being made in keeping people sick. It's a multi-billion- dollar industry. Just the hypertension is a billion dollar industry. So can you imagine all of a sudden those numbers got threatened because of a natural product?” she questioned.

She was speaking to the Jamaica Observer following her presentation at a a health and wellness seminar at the fourth staging of Rastafari Rootz Fest held at Long Bay Beach in Negril, Westmoreland.

The event is the brainchild of Ras Iyah V, a strong cannabis advocate. The dreadlocked Rastafarian expressed satisfaction at the interest of seminars at the three-day event which also featured two nights of reggae concerts and climaxed with the seminars of the Ganjamaica Cup.

“The response from the seminars was great. I was not expecting that level of attention and types of discussions,” Ras Iyah V said.

He has already started preparation for next year's staging of the event which he said promises to be bigger and better.

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