Viking Herbalist 3 years later.
 
It's been 3 years since I last wrote new posts on the blog, and I have only updated it a few times. My training as a Medical Laboratory Technologist, has taken up most of my time, but it has been 3 educational years, and I am now ready for the final sprint. We only have an optional subject and bachelor project left, and I have been lucky enough, to be allowed to immerse myself in separation techniques (chromatography such as TLC, HPLC, GC, etc.)[1] before we finish.
 
Working in November 2020 at Skejby AUH.
 
In all that time, the Danish experiment with medical cannabis has run, and 10,071 prescriptions have been issued in 2.5 years to 2550 people.[2] It is disappointingly low, considering that there are hundreds of thousands of potential patients, who could benefit from medical cannabis, even in the limited target group covered by the trial. There are a lot of challenges, and it is simply too cumbersome, and expensive to get medical cannabis through your own physician.  
 
It is positive, however, that the trial has been extended, but without a better subsidy scheme, more approved products and good knowledge gathering, it is difficult to see a clear path forward. There is widespread criticism, of the doctors' hesitant attitude to prescribing medical cannabis, but as one doctor has told me, it gives serious ethical considerations to prescribe medication, that is so expensive that people risk leaving their home.
 
I know from personal experience, how stressful it is to live with chronic pain, and what one is willing to do to get rid of them. The Netherlands is far ahead of Denmark, with a price of medical cannabis falling from approx. 44 kr./gram to approx. DKK 17.50 / gram in 2021[3] In comparison, it costs DKK 156.29 / gram for BEDIOL in Denmark.[4]
 
Considering that BEDIOL is genetically similar to Ruderalis Indica from Sensi Seeds[5], which easily thrives at our latitudes, Henrik Rindom's[6] approach to patients' problem makes sense, and despite the trial scheme, unfortunately still relevant here 4 years later.
 
When I last updated the post "Literature list of research, with summary in Danish."[7] only 3 approved products were included in the trial scheme, BEDIOL "CannGros", BEDROCAN "CannGross" and BEDICA "CannGross". There were briefly THC drops from STENOCARE, but it was a bit of a scandal and the products are no longer available.[8] Now, almost 2 years later, the supply of approved cannabis products has only been expanded by a further 2.[9] 
 
One product is a duplicate of BEDIOL from Scanleaf approved July 2021, so the only real new offer for patients is Sedeman Aurora Nordic Cannabis with 5 mg THC (dronabinol)[10] extract of cannabis sativa "Pink Kush". This product is of the same dose and type used by the sclerosis patients in MUSEC Trials[11] and in the "Literature list of research, with summary in Danish." describes how the dose is increased over time, to a final dose of 25 mg THC / day. So it’s really a single product update [16.8.2021] in 3 years.
 
Considering that Aurora Nordic in Odense, for almost a year, has had a permit to export medical cannabis and products to the European market, it is thought-provoking that it must take so long, to approve products for the Danish experimental trials. Patients are patients, regardless of whether they are German or Danish.[12]
 
When the evidence for beneficial therapeutic effects, are so high for multiple sclerosis patients, it is almost unethical that these patients one year after, for the most part, were still referred to the illegal market, or civil disobedience by growing cannabis themselves.[13] Sadly, not much has happened since.
 
On NORML's website[14] there is a lot of proper research from 2000 - 2021, and I am looking to see, if I can find something more, that could be relevant to the blog. When the trial scheme does not contain more approved cannabis products, and it is only very limited what diagnoses it covers, it is a bit of a challenge.
 
In the time since I started using CBD myself in 2012, and in particular after I wrote the first blog posts in 2017, it has been accepted in line with other supplements / vitamins, although the legislation in this area seems strange and arbitrary. In 2012, one was diagnosed with "cannabis addiction syndrome" if one told one's doctor that CBD oil attenuated the genes from one's irritated colon (colon iritabilis). In 2021, you can buy the same type of oil in Matas.[15]
 
Sinnika Kvamme, whose article on the discovery of the endocannabiode system is in the header of the blog, has in "Beyond the high: Mapping patterns of use and motives for use of cannabis as medicine" published in June 2021, described the Danes' use of cannabis as medicine, based on a large anonymous questionnaire survey, with over 3,000 participants. 65% of the respondents used CBD oil as a medicine[16] There are still no approved CBD products in the trial scheme, such as Bedrolite® (THC <1.0% | CBD 9%)[17] which in view of the widespread use, points to a bias in the supply in the trial scheme, yet one of many.
 
When you as a patient are left to the black market, there are many challenges in addition to the stigma, of having to do something illegal. As I said, I have experienced this myself, in connection with my use of CBD, and it did not change until March 2017, when I, together with my doctor, added to my medical record and other case files, that I benefited from CBD. This is also seen clearly by my lab responses, where my leukocyte counts rise and fall, depending on whether I ingested CBD or not.
 
 
It also says that I smoke hash occasionally, when the oil is not effective enough. There should more correctly have said cannabis, but it was addressed to the job center, and my doctor was not sure they would understand it. I did what Henrik Rindom recommended the same year, because it was difficult to find help. CBD could alleviate my inflammation and upset stomach, but I had tremors, sensory disturbances, tics and pain, which sometimes also subsided / disappeared when I took cannabis, other times it did not help.
 
In the fall of 2017, I had concluded that I had to approach the problem much more systematically, when I did not know the content, of cannabis in the cannabis I was using. I was advised to take a look at the Alpha-Cats test kit[18] that uses thin layer chromatography[19] to measure the potency / presence of the 6 most common cannabiodes, Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinol (CBN), Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromene (CBC). The founder of Alpha-Cat Sébastien Béguerie demonstrates in the video.
 

Sébastien Béguerie has a master's degree in plant science, specializing in plant physiology and medical cannabis, and was, unlike the majority of CBD sellers, in fact a person with in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the field. Different ratios of CBD: THC are used to treat different problems, as a simplified overview here shows.[20]

 
I also consulted a neurologist via Health Tap[21] with expert knowledge, that gave me better insight into, what it might be at work when I experienced relief, and I read a lot of research. I had access to a varied range, of different varieties of cannabis, as well as extracts, etc., and did a whole series of TLC tests with the Alpha-Cats kit. A few of them can be seen below, with explanations.
 
 
I then shared the results with Seb, who made me aware, that the concentration of CBG (Cannabigerol)[22] was very high on some of the tests (primarily extracts), and the relief I experienced might be due to this. CBG, Cannabigerol is the decarboxylated form of cannabigerolic acid from which other cannabinoids are synthesized. Cannabis harvested early has a higher content of CBG, which showed in the result of the TLC test. 
 
It completely changed my perception of what it was I was relieved of, and for months I instead took cannabis in fresh form, which has the great advantage that it does not have a euphoric effect. Recent research from 2018 also suggests that THCA & CBDA may be included in neurological therapy.[23]
 
I supplemented with CBD from Alpha-Cat and after a few months also CBG, which was a new product at the time.[24][25] By May 2018, a lot of the worst disorders had disappeared, but I still have a chronic inflammatory condition and periodontitis, and my physical injuries still hurt, but the symptoms that resembled degenerative neurological conditions, have not returned. Otherwise, it would not have been possible for me, to complete 3 years of study, with 5 clinical practices at the age of 52 years. 
 
Now that CBD and CBG have become "mainstream", and the legal basis for the products has changed, it is unlikely that I can repeat the experiment with self-medication, but the interest in finding a possible explanation, apart from it went away by itself, has not diminished.
 
Research from November 2019 has shown the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties of two non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD) in relation to the neurodegenerative disease ALS[26] and research from 2015 indicates that cannabis can play a significant role in adult neurogenesis.[27]
 
Yes, it was probably a thorough summary of what has happened in the last 3 years, and my thoughts on how it has managed to get here, where only one semester of the education is missing.


Never give up, never surrender.
 
Thomas F. Kortholm - Viking Herbalist August 2021.
 
Not Guilty

 

 
Reference liste:

[1]: "Kromatografi" Wiki 

[2]: EVALUERING AF FORSØGSORDNINGEN 3.1 November 2020.

[3]: Medical Cannabis Network 7.2.2020

[4]: Medicinpriser.dk 16.8.2021 

[5]: Sensi Seeds, Ruderalis Indica

[6]: JyskeVestkysten 26.10.2017

[7]: "Litteraturliste over forskning, med resumé på dansk." - Blog, Thomas F. Kortholm

[8]: Lægemiddelstyrelsen 11.7.2019 

[9]: Lægemiddelstyrelsen 7.7.2021

[10]: Produktark Sedeman Aurora Nordic Cannabis

[11]: MUSEC Trials 2012

[12]: TV2 Fyn 22.9.2020

[13]: Skleroseforeningen 1.9.2019

[14]: NORML, Recent Medical Marjuana Reserch 9.7.2021

[15]: MATAS 1000 mg CBD Olie

[16]: Beyond the high: Mapping patterns of use and motives for use of cannabis as medicine

[17]: Bedrocan Products

[18]: Alpha-Cat: How it works

[19]: TLC Wiki

[20]: Alpha-Cat: Understanding ratio CBD:THC

[21]: Health Tap

[22]: Cannabigerol Wiki

[23]: Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology 8.10.2018

[24]: Alpha-Cat CBG Products

[25] : Alpha-Cat: CBG, a new ally 10.2.2018

[26] : Could the Combination of Two Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoids Counteract Neuroinflammation? Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Associated with Cannabigerol 18.11.2019

[27]:  The role of cannabinoids in adult neurogenesis 16.6.2015