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On December 3rd, 2014 I attended The Cannabis Seminar on my home island of Salt Spring, BC. It was presented by Dr. Paul Hornby of Hedron Analytical and Neil Morgan of the newly created Canbis Nutrameds. The event offered Salt Spring Island a rare opportunity to meet other community members with an interest in cannabis. With 2 1/2 hours scheduled for the presentation, the room filled with people from a variety of ages and backgrounds: I sat beside a woman with two children who was interested in raw juicing; I met a young man planning to grow 1000 acres of hemp; conversations about techniques for growing or making extracts simmered all around me.

Neil Morgan began by giving a brief overview and history of cannabis as an industrial and medicinal crop. He emphasized the potential of an ‘industrial revolution’ as hemp begins to replace existing materials from everything from housing and to our diet and how we use medicine. He juxtaposed the symptom based treatment of allopathic medicine with herbal medicine that seek to address the cause of a malady. He suggests that by obtaining our essential dietary requirements from a hemp-laden breakfast, we will be healthier and happier people. Neil and Dr. Paul performed an experiment on 30 people who they provided a breakfast with at least 30 grams of hemp seed and/or protein powder. They noticed general improvements in sleep, appetite and overall energy.

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Neil sees a future where cannabis is sold in ‘Save-On Foods’ and herbal cannabis products have replaced a majority of non-prescription drugs. He raised a concern about a potential deficiency of endocannabinoid activity contributing to a number of health conditions, and sees the wide efficacy range of medical cannabis as the proof in the pudding. Before endeavouring to explain the intricate workings of the endocannabinoid system, he passed the stage to Dr. Hornby.

Dr. Paul Hornby began his work as an analyst testing to make sure Canadian industrial hemp contained little to no THC. A hemp farmer came to Paul with a product called ‘Hempty’, an industrial hemp leaf tea. While the tea had little THC, it had plenty of CBD. The farmer was prohibited from selling ‘Hempty’ because CBD is illegal under the Canadian CDSA. Curiously CBD is legal in the United States, where growing hemp is illegal.

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Dr. Hornby works with Vancouver cannabis dispensaries, testing products for cannabinoid content as well as undesirable contaminants. His work with standardized oral preparations of cannabis has proved helpful to many patients seeking aid navigating the use of different cannabis varieties. He was the first to analyze Haley’s Comet, the high CBD cultivar that helps Hayley Rose avert her daily grand mal seizures. After observing over 4000 cases he has developed suggested ratio’s of CBD to THC, as well as milligram amounts, for patients with conditions including epilepsy, anxiety and multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Hornby covered many key areas of interest regarding what he calls the Big Daddy of herbal medicine. Both Paul and Neil see the spread of cannabis as the leading edge of a greater trend in society toward healthier, more natural lifestyles. I highly encourage you to attend The Cannabis Seminar, if it comes to your town.

If you have any questions please email thecannabisseminar@shaw.ca

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(previously appeared at LiftCannabis)