Cannabinoid Genotoxicity Extends to Cannabidiol and Other Cannabinoids too – Cannabis is not a soft drug – especially in its marketing campaign!

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By Dr Stuart Reece

Why don’t we start with a short quiz of general knowledge of current events and topical issues in the community??

Which American state has 500 students with autism in every graduating year group across the whole state?
Which American state has current legislation afoot to declare autism at epidemic proportions in their state?
Which American state has the fastest growing autism epidemic by recent metrics (at 30% every two years)?
Which smoked illegal drug is now linked with causing strokes???
Which smoked illegal drug is linked with causing most major psychiatric diseases – including schizophrenia, bipolar
disorder, depression and anxiety.
Which illicit drug is known to cause failure of achievement of major life goals – forming a long term stable relationship, getting a job, having a career, paying tax???
In which US state have city after city been trashed by out of control mental illness, drug use, homelessness, poverty
and law enforcement and social relief services completely overwhelmed?

Which American state is amongst the top four for rates of children born with holes in their heart (known as atrial septal defect)?
In which American state did the rate of holes in the heart (atrial septal defect) increase more than threefold from 299 to 912 cases 2000-2012?
Which smoked illegal drug is now recognized to cause heart attacks?
Which illegal drug is known to stop the heart by causing major cardiac arrythmias?

Which two American states share the highest rates of children born without ears or with tiny little ears (like peas –
called anotia or microtia)???

Which four American states have the highest rates of Downs syndrome in the nation??
What do all four of these states have in common??
Which American state has the highest rates in the nation for all four major chromosomal abnormalities of birth namely Trisomies 13, 18, 21 (Down’s syndrome) and Turner’s syndrome???

Which are the two leading states for babies born without arms??
What do these two states have in common??

Drug use is known to damage babies when they are growing inside their mothers.
In which leading American state, which was also home to most of the above waves of recent deformed babies, was
the rate of all drug use actually falling – all except one drug.
Which state was that?
And which drug was the exception??

Drug use is well recognized as leading to cancer in many organs. This is widely recognized for both tobacco and alcohol.
Which drug has been linked with causing cancer of the testicles in 100% of the studies – four out of four – which have
examined this question?
Which is the only illicit drug linked to four inheritable cancers in the children born to infants exposed in utero
Which drug was examined in detail in a 150 page report by the Californian environmental Protection agency and found to be a proven carcinogen in 2009?
Why are virtually all carcinogens considered teratogens –known to harm developing babies?

Which smoked illicit drug causes major genetic damage to both eggs and sperm?
Which smoked illicit drug reduces fertility in both males and females?
Our genes not only carry our DNA sequence, but also the software which programs those genes and turns them on and off – which scientists call the “epigenome”.
Which smoked illicit drug is known to damage the epigenome?
For how many generations does epigenetic inheritance continue?
Is this period more or less than 100 years???

The above series of questions relate to the recent experience of the US state of Colorado following its progressive legalization of cannabis over the period 2000-2014.

If you answered “Colorado” to most of the questions about congenital defects you were correct. The two
exceptions were the question about babies born without limbs – the two commonest US states for these defects are
Alaska and Oregon; and babies born with tiny ears – which are Alaska and Oregon.

The leading states for cannabis use according to major recent US surveys are Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Maine, Vermont and Washington. Scarily Alaska comes at or near the top of the list for: Down’s syndrome, atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD) a defect called Encephalocoele where babies are born with a big bubble blown out the back of their skull where the neck joins, no arms, no ears and gastroschisis which is where the bowels are hanging out. Colorado leads or co-leads the charge on the three chromosomal trisomies trisomy 21, 18 and 13 and no ears (anotia). The four states which lead the pack on Downs syndrome are all cannabis liberal states:
Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Massachusetts.
Downs syndrome, ASD and VSD are relatively common congenital defects. Congenital defects as a whole affect around 3% of the community – unless you live in Colorado which up until September 2018 reported a major congenital abnormality rate four times higher than that at 12.6%. One notes that after that the problem “went away” because the state then changed all of their official congenital anomaly figures for the past 15 years after attention was drawn to these facts internationally.

And one cannot attribute these severe changes in Colorado to the use of other drugs as the national survey showed that the use of most other drugs has actually fallen across this recent period. So it is obviously a cannabis signal.
This strong “red flag” warning signal for cannabis also shows up loud and clear in the US nation’s leading mental
health survey where cannabis use grew most strongly across the nation in the 18-25 year age group, which was also the age group with by far the worse mental health, which was also declining most rapidly. This implies that the decline in both the US nation’s minds and their gene pool is occurring in close relationship to cannabis use both across the nation geographically, across time with temporal variability, and also within defined demographic groups.

Cannabis is known to damage the epigenome of the sperm in a way which affects brain heart and immune development and has also been traced in human foetal tissue from live born babies. This damage is presently believed to be inheritable for four generations or 100 years. Scientists are very concerned about this serious risk. In one study over 6,000 sites of DNA methylation were affected and thus reprogrammed, and that is a substantial number compared to our around 25,000 genes.

And most worryingly it was recently reported from Ain in the east of France near the Swiss border that the incidence of babies born without arms is 58 times higher than the normal background. And the same thing was seen in the cattle in the area. However this was not seen in nearby Switzerland where it is not permitted to add hemp to the food chain via stock feed. Cannabis has previously been linked with such defects in a major Hawaiian study of over 300,000 births published in 2007.

Most of the cannabis teratological literature is fairly conservative. The Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia have admitted in 2014 that cannabis is linked with four defects – no brain (anencephaly – babies die within an hour or two mostly), bowels having out (|gastroschisis) diaphragmatic hernia and oesophageal atresia with or without
tracheooesophageal fistula. The American Academy of paediatrics has issued a position statement in 2007 saying that both ventricular septal defect (holes in the heart) and Ebsteins anomaly (damaged tricuspid valve) are known to be linked with cannabis use.

And the three longitudinal studies of babies born after prenatal cannabis exposure presently being conducted in
Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Netherlands, all very consistently find persistent and subtle brain damage of executive functioning to be major issues. This finding in three nations is the most concerning and likely by far the most common of all.

Certainly physicians in both Colorado and in Australia are seeing just this pattern of subtle brain abnormalities in
the patients who present to our clinics. This is therefore the most concerning aspect of the cannabis free for all which
is being falsely foisted on the west by a relentless media mantra. If India has its holy cows, then the theistically
allergic media are no less as enamoured with their own devoutly protected “deep green god” – regardless of the
painfully obvious fallout.

Most worryingly of all – consider these few final major issues. Of the two perspective described above – the
conservative one espoused by well recognized international authorities – and the more worrying picture of 21 defects
reported from the massive epidemiological Hawaiian study – which one is the more correct – especially in an era when as is widely known cannabis, cannabis oils and hashish butane oils are rapidly becoming so much more concentrated than in past eras?? It is said that the most stringent test of any theory is its ability to make predictions about future events. By this criterion only the 2007 Hawaiian report by Forrester predicted the links in Ain in France with the armless defect, and the patterns of chromosomal abnormalities, atrial septal defect and anotia / microtia across USA. In this important respect then the Forrester – Menz report is more accurate – and of course much more concerning – than the “standard received wisdom”.

It appears to be acting as a kind of a roadmap – as the tide both of cannabis use and of cannabis concentration – rises all around us.

And most concerning of all is that many papers in the cannabinoid genotoxicity literature show an exponential
relationship between cannabis dose exposure and the genotoxic damage which is directly responsible for cancers in patients, their children and foetal abnormalities including mental retardation and brain damage. That is to say that beyond a certain threshold dose doubling the exposure produces not twice as much genetic damage- but 10-20 times as much. Cannabis use during pregnancy has been linked with the following four cancers which are all believed to be due to genotoxic damage uncurred during in utero exposure: acute lymphatic leukaemia, acute myelomonocytic leukemia, neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.

It is very important to appreciate that these concerns relate not just to Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol itself, but, since
cannabis contains at least 108 cannabinoids, all of them have been implicated in genotoxic damage through the above mentioned epidemiological studies. Studies in animals and cells have found that cannabidiol, cannabinol, cannabidivarin and cannabichromene – at least – all have direct genotoxic and / or epigenetic effects which are of great concern. In many cases this effect is worse than that observed with Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol. They all also damage mitochondrial function which exerts severe indirect genotoxicity partly by limiting energy supply to growing, dividing and metabolically active tissues, and partly by close and multichannel signalling from the mitochondria directly to the nucleus and its architecture and genetic management machinery.

And… despite what one might think from the deafening silence from the popular press, the genotoxicity of cannabinoids is not even controversial! Serious warnings relating to reproductive health are prominently featured in the formally registered patient information inserts for both cannabidiol “Epidiolex” and the cannabidiol / THC mixture “Sativex”.

All of which paints an horrific and ghoulish picture of the drug-wrecked future. In the USA it is obvious that the
guardians of the culture are radically missing in action. CDC which is charged with protecting the public health; FDA which is charged with protecting the food and pharmaceutical supply and the USA President all seem be absent from the foray. One can only wonder why… Intimidated?? Cultural groupthink??
Personal money at stake?? Careers on the line??
My father always taught me: “If everybody else was jumping over a cliff, would you jump too??” Paradoxically
indeed in 1958 it was the FDA which protected the USA from the holocaust that became the completely avoidable
international thalidomide teratogenesis epidemic, whilst societies in Australia, England and in Europe were duped and succumbed to the commercial marketing campaign and the deliberate subversion of the then known truth. Cannabis was recently been found to be recommended to 78% of pregnant women in Colorado. Just as in that era, thalidomide was also used for anxiety, sleeplessness, nausea, unwellness and “disease”.

Today America has obviously succumbed to the siren voice of the modern media darling – the “green holy cow” of
the west.

One can only wonder if anyone in this country has the courage to see the bleeding obvious and call “Enough Already”
and insist that our public agencies do their duty and discharge their office with honour.