C&P#55: CBD has 56(!) different brain binding sites + cannabis for increased penis length(?)
The feds loosen up on hiring former stoners
Welcome to the 55th edition of Cannabinoids & the People, a weekly newsletter where I collect all the new cannabinoid science. You can check out last week’s issue here & if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do.
As always, here’s the Living Glossary of Cannabinoid Terms & at the bottom is the album of the week.
Our first ‘People of the Cannabinoids Connection Board’ is below with 4 entries from other seekers out there. And for the newsletter birthday giveaway contest of SUNset (our Queer cannabis history graphic novel), congrats to our winners Anna P, Tessa P & Claire B. And a special thanks to Jen C for becoming a paid yearly subscriber of the newsletter.
Also, if you’re presenting cannabinoid or psychedelic research at a conference this year, reach out to me about a video interview with the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine & get your work seen by 100k doctors.
Lastly, this newsletter is a day late because I’m home alone with the kids for a week. Send thoughts, prayers & foodstuffs.
CBD has 56(!) different molecular targets in the brain
THC/CBD sprays for the spasticity of MS & cannabis for chronic pain & facial pain
Semen quality + cannabis use increasing penis length(?)
If you are a mouse, exercise helps with your pain & obesity via your endocannabinoid system
Per usual, CBD for pediatric epilepsies (this is always true – but we don’t usually get 4 studies in the same week)
THC label inflation is real sez Dr. Anna Schwabe
One more piece of anti-inflammatory research by the dear departed Dr. Mechoulam
This Day in History: The Robert Randall Case!
Case report of psilocybin mushrooms for red-green color blindness
A request to spread the word
This newsletter only spreads by word of mouth – so please forward to colleagues & tell your friends & relatives.
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My work this week:
One-Minute Cannabinoid Science shorts:
CBD for a mental health crisis +
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome +
CBD, kratom & chemotherapy +
CBD protecting the heart from toxins
EU report for Weed Talk News: Italian military halts production of medical cannabis + France allows CBD in a lousy way + Czech CBD ban
The Graphic Novels I Should Be Writing Series...
Chapter 4: The Papers – the history of the early cultural & medical writing plus the clear parallels between cannabis & opium
T Rex has lips? + History Wall: The 1730s + 'The Princess & the Goblin' by George Macdonald & 'Female Illustrators of the Golden Age'
(I link to YouTube for accessibility, but find me on TT @lexpelgerandhisbooks)
My platforms: Linktree
YouTube for educational videos, lectures & shorts on new cannabinoid science
Anandamide; or, the People: my graphic novel series on cannabis, the endocannabinoid system & the War on Drugs based on Moby-Dick
LinkedIn, Twitter & my TikTok on books, hermeticism, science & history
Ways to support this work:
Buy Me a Coffee
PayPal: donate here
People of the Cannabinoids Connection Board
Yoga, cannabis, mushrooms & elevation ceremonies
Hello, I'm Becca Williams. I'm a clinical nutritionist & emotions/yogic therapist who embraces cannabis and psilocybin microdosing in my emotional and trauma release work. From humble beginnings of guiding "cannabis elevation ceremonies" in my Denver home in 2015 (thanks Lex for interviewing me for Psychedelic Salon in those early years!) to today helping people prepare for their psychedelic journey before and optimize integration after and resolve any lingering challenges. I moved from the U.S. to Portugal last year and would love to expand my network of friends and colleagues in Europe. You can reach me at Becca@emotionallib.com or BeccaWilliams.org/retreats.
I’m Kelly Ebbert and I work with Tree of Life PR, a cannabis-centric communications company. I am passionate about spreading the word about cannabis and how it acts as a powerful healer for many people across the planet. In my work, we help shine a light on brands working to show what cannabis can do. We write about it, we talk about it, and we demonstrate cannabis’ power in all forms. I would love to connect with other cannabis brands, writers, storytellers, and artists to share that passion and showcase the difference they are making with their unique cannabis solutions. You can contact me on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cannabis advisor seeking connections
Hello, my name is Jaimee Denaro. There are several reasons why I enjoy connecting with people involved in the cannabis community. One of the most significant reasons is that we share a common interest in the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis. As a patient who has turned to cannabis as an alternative to opioids, I understand firsthand the power of this plant to alleviate pain and promote healing. By connecting with others who share this belief, I can learn more about the latest research and developments in the field, as well as gain support and encouragement from others who have had similar experiences.
Another reason to connect with cannabis enthusiasts, scientists, advocates, and more is that it can be a way to build a sense of community and belonging as well as learn the latest research. The cannabis community is made up of a diverse group of individuals who share a passion for this plant, and by connecting with others, I can expand my cannabis community circle and build relationships with like-minded people. Whether I attend events, participate in online forums, or simply strike up conversations with others, connecting with people in the cannabis community is my favorite way to feel more connected and supported. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Illustrator/collage artist for a graphic novel series about the cannabinoids based on Moby Dick
I'm a biochemist/writer with a graphic novel series on the human history with cannabis, the War on Drugs & the science of the endocannabinoid system based on Moby Dick. I've already finished three books (see the PDFs at lexpelger.com) & have the next 6 chapters written. I'm looking for an illustrator specializing in collage - because as you can see, most of the visuals are drawn from the history of illustration & other sources. I don't have any money upfront but can offer proceeds from sales. If interested, email email@example.com.
Best Of Cannabinoid Science...
Wise thoughts from Jackie Bryant, who’s on a cannabis break because of pregnancy, about cannabis use disorder & how much cannabis is too much
In a review of public health data from the UK, cannabinoid-based medicines improved the outcomes for chronic pain patients
Clinical outcome data of chronic pain patients treated with cannabis-based oils and dried flower from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry
A review of 20 studies of cannabis user brain scans found links to abnormal dopamine synthesis, lower CB1 receptors & FAAH binding levels as well as lower glucose usage & cerebral blood flow during experimental tasks
Molecular brain differences and cannabis involvement: A systematic review of positron emission tomography studies
Not all of those are necessarily bad things. Maybe a little less blood flow is exactly why I usually find myself in the basement after sending this newsletter, but the abnormal dopamine synthesis makes sense with the small but real links between earlier onset of cannabis use & schizophrenia. The low usage of glucose (the brain’s primary energy source) is also linked to negative mental health states, but as previous research has shown, even one dose of CBD can improve brain glucose usage.
According to a survey of 10,000 men, they found cannabis use to cause a perceived penis length increase of 2.54 centimeters (1”)
The Perceived Effect of Cannabis Use on Penile Growth in Humans
The key word here might be “perceived”. If I smoke the right amount, everything about me seems bigger & better.
If the wrong amount, smaller & worse.
On how CBD hits on 56 molecular targets in the brain
The Polypharmacological Effects of Cannabidiol
One of the best review papers I’ve seen in years. This is the one to share to skeptical friends & relatives. Check out Figure 3 & hang it above your desk.
I might even do a video this week walking through the implications of a few dozen of these binding locations.
A review of using medicinal cannabis for children with developmental or mental health disorders
Medicinal Cannabis for Paediatric Developmental, Behavioural and Mental Health Disorders
For the spasticity of multiple sclerosis, a review of five studies supports the use of THC/CBD sprays as an effective add-on treatment
Effectiveness and Safety of Cannabinoids as an Add-On Therapy in the Treatment of Resistant Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review
A review of eight studies on the benefits of using cannabinoids for facial pain
Cannabis and cannabinoid medications for the treatment of chronic orofacial pain: A scoping review
And a review of PEA for facial pain
Orofacial Pain Management: An Overview of the Potential Benefits of Palmitoylethanolamide and Other Natural Agents
A review of 13 studies in mice on how exercise helps to control pain & obesity
Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in the Control of Pain and Obesity by Exercise in Rodents: A Systematic Review
“The results indicated that there was increased expression and levels of cannabinoid receptors and eCBs, respectively, after aerobic and resistance exercise, and that this effect was associated with antinociception. The eCB system was modulated by exercise in obese rats, confirming that it may also be involved in the control of obesity and metabolism when these are modulated by aerobic training. Exercise can be effective in controlling pain, partly through the involvement of the eCB system. In addition, exercise can modulate the imbalance of the eCB system in obesity and metabolic disorders, thus also controlling these pathologies through this signaling system.”
A review of the cannabinoids in the brain for cognition & neurological disorders
(Endo)Cannabinoids and Cognitive Functions in Animals: Healthy and Pathological Brain
In a monkey model of HIV, the typical intestinal barrier dysfunction can be reduced by low doses of THC
Cannabinoid enhancement of lncRNA MMP25-AS1/MMP25 interaction reduces neutrophil infiltration and intestinal epithelial injury in HIV/SIV infection
In mice with neuropathic pain, injection of CBD lowers the pain via serotonin & TRPV1 receptors
Peripherally injected canabidiol reduces neuropathic pain in mice: Role of the 5-HT1A and TRPV1 receptors
And in another model in rats, CBD help with the pain as well as with the depressive behaviors & memory impairment via changes in the hippocampus
Cannabidiol in the dorsal hippocampus attenuates emotional and cognitive impairments related to neuropathic pain: role of prelimbic neocortex hippocampal connections
A mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, CBDA & THCA rescued memory deficits & reduced the damage by the Aβ plaques & tau proteins
The Cannabinoids, CBDA and THCA, Rescue Memory Deficits and Reduce Amyloid-Beta and Tau Pathology in an Alzheimer's Disease-like Mouse Model
In fat tissue, THCV protected the stem cells against inflammation & stress of the endoplasmic reticulum (a protein production & folding center of the cell)
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) Protects Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (ASC) against Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Development and Reduces Inflammation during Adipogenesis
In a rat model of osteoarthritis, CBD inhibited inflammation, lowered pain & reduces pathological changes
Cannabidiol inhibits inflammation in rat osteoarthritis
In heart cells, CBD inhibited the transition from endothelial to mesenchymal state linked to heart fibrosis (scarring) & heart failure (it might even reverse the transition)
Cannabidiol Not Only Inhibits Endothelial-to-mesenchymal Transition But Also Promotes The Reverse Process Of Mesenchymal-to-endothelial Transition In An In Vitro Model
In mice with colon cancer, full-spectrum hemp extracts increased their survival & reduced their cachexia (wasting syndrome of muscle mass loss)
Liposomal hemp extract for the management of cachexia
An evergreen note on reading restricted papers:
First stop for seeing if there’s a free version of a paper, use the Google Scholar Chrome extension (Mac version), Google Scholar itself or try ResearchGate.
Three other helpful browser extensions are: Unpaywall, Open Access Button & PaperPanda
For the infamous backdoor, use Sci-Hub – the pirated papers repository (Chrome extension here). This works better for older paper than the stuff that just came out.
For Twitter users, send a Tweet of the paper’s title with the hashtag #icanhazpdf. It works because people are beautiful(ish).
Finally, email the author. They’re almost always happy to oblige because, thanks to the predatory academic publishing system, they don’t make a dollar off of their papers.
the Headlines & Fav Articles
In the US, states have collected $15B in cannabis taxes since 2014
I maintain that this is a damned shame. There shouldn’t be an onerously heavy vice tax on a widely used medicinal plant that should never have been illegal in the first place.
The US Sentencing Commission told judges to be more lenient when sentencing cannabis charges
The US Dept of Transportation released new rules allowing for saliva tests as an alternative to urine tests for truckers, pilots & commercial drivers
Urine tests indicate usage within the past month & not impairment on the job. While saliva tests are not a very good measure, they should cut down on the false positive tests that can ruin careers.
US Secret Service relaxes rules about past cannabis use for potential agents
And so does the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
In Massachusetts, cannabis shops can now sell clones & seeds to customers
With homegrow being one of the most important aspects of any cannabis program, I applaud this move.
In Florida, a judge told a DUI defendant to stop taking medical cannabis & suggested Xanax instead
Rep. Troy Carter of Louisiana hosted a Crawfish & Cannabis event https://twitter.com/RepTroyCarter/status/1651717957712584704
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: May 8, 1978, the Randall v US case guarantees glaucoma patient Robert C. Randall’s right to the prohibited medicine of cannabis & established a program that allowed others with life- and sense-threatening ailments to access cannabis
Also, join the newsletter of cannabis hero Alice O’Leary Randall and/or buy one of her excellent books on the medical use of cannabis as well as the history of her fight to make it accessible to all patients.
ICEERS releases a 6-minute documentary on the cannabis social club model of Barcelona
France unveils a temporary framework for allowing CBD to be registered as a food supplement, but it requires 0% THC & basically kneecaps the full plant extracts that are so popular
This country. In terms of cannabis, it’s like I’m living in the Amerika of Europe.
The War on Drugs & Prohibition
How Sweden used the strength of a synthetic cannabinoid’s binding to the CB1 receptor as an indicator of whether they should ban that molecule
Using in vitro receptor activity studies of synthetic cannabinoids to support the risk assessment of new psychoactive substances - A Swedish strategy to protect public health from harm
For driving, subjects reported that THC reduced their perceived ability to drive & acted synergistically with alcohol
Preliminary study of the interactive effects of THC and ethanol on self-reported ability and simulated driving, subjective effects, and cardiovascular responses
Business & Law
Friend of the newsletter Dr. Anna Schwabe found that across the Colorado Front Range, cannabis products had inflated levels of THC on their labels
Uncomfortably high: Testing reveals inflated THC potency on retail Cannabis labels
“Overall, ~70% of the samples were more than 15% lower than the THC potency numbers reported on the label, with three samples having only one half of the reported maximum THC potency.”
New ASTM standards for cannabis labeling
In young adults, exposure to cannabis advertisements not directly associated to cannabis vaping 2 years later but may cause indirect increased positive beliefs about cannabis
Examining indirect effects of advertising exposure on young adults' cannabis and nicotine vaping
Psychedelics, Plant Medicines & Other Psychoactives
American Medical Association to issue first new code for psychedelic therapies
Sgt. Pepper’s album & eating the mustache to get high
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The Psychoactive Research
[This isn’t a deep dive into all of the science of psychedelics & other psychoactives like I do for the cannabinoids. If a newsletter with all that new science would be of interest to your company or organization, reach out to me]
Case report of psilocybin mushrooms improving color-blindness for two weeks
Case report: Prolonged amelioration of mild red-green color vision deficiency following psilocybin mushroom use
The Plant & the History
A literature review of the sustainability of hemp
The Sustainability of Industrial Hemp: A Literature Review of Its Economic, Environmental, and Social Sustainability
On hemp in the Indian state of Uttarakhand
Political Ecology of Hemp in Uttarakhand: From Theory to Policy and Practice
A review of hemp in South & Southeast Asia
Uncovering the Potential and Handicaps of Non-drug Hemp Cultivation in South and Southeast Asia
Growing & Farming
A survey of the common diseases & pests of cannabis in the US
Occurrence and Distribution of Common Diseases and Pests of US Cannabis: A Survey
On how to reduce the stress effects of herbicides on hemp crops
THE INFLUENCE OF GROWTH REGULATORS AND FOLIAR TOP DRESSING ON REDUCING THE STRESS EFFECT OF HERBICIDES IN HEMP CROPS
A genomic description of the genes involved in the synthesis of cannabinoids
Genomic description of critical cannabinoid biosynthesis genes
On the genetic underpinnings of CBC & its enantiomers (mirror image molecules)
Natural Cannabichromene (CBC) Shows Distinct Scalemicity Grades and Enantiomeric Dominance in Cannabis sativa Strains
On hempseed proteins for diabetes
Mining and Validation of Novel Hemp Seed-Derived DPP-IV-Inhibiting Peptides Using a Combination of Multi-omics and Molecular Docking
A review of the last five years of new research on the phytochemistry, agronomic & biological activities of cannabis
Recent Research on Cannabis sativa L.: Phytochemistry, New Matrices, Cultivation Techniques, and Recent Updates on Its Brain-Related Effects (2018-2023)
And a general overview of the traditional uses of the plant & its medicinal properties
An overview of the traditional applications, botanical features, chemical composition, and medicinal properties of Cannabis sativa L
Clinical Use & Ingestion Methods
In new medical cannabis patients, they had different patterns in their trajectory of use
Cannabis use for medical symptoms: Patterns over the first year of use
“We identified five unique trajectories of use; 31 participants (21%) had low stable or no use, 50 (34%) had medium stable use, 19 (13%) had high stable use, 26 (17%) showed de-escalating and 23 (15%) showed escalating use over 9 months following the RCT. Of 149 participants enrolled, 19 (13%) met diagnostic criteria for CUD at 12 months. Only the escalating cannabis use pattern predicted significantly higher rates of CUD compared to the low or no use category.“
In CBD e-cigarettes, these researchers found that a negligible amount is converted to THC by the vaping
CBD-Containing Liquids for e-Cigarettes: Formation of Psychotropic and Secondary Cannabinoids and Amount of CBD Surviving the Smoking Procedure
Yet another metric for trying to quantify cannabinoid ingestion
CannaCount: an improved metric for quantifying estimates of maximum possible cannabinoid exposure
Mental Health, Sleep & Substance Use Disorders
In youth in an early psychosis intervention program, they use CBD for pain relief & THC for relaxation, sociality & sleep enhancement
Perspectives toward cannabidiol (CBD) among youth in Early Psychosis Intervention programs: A qualitative study
In adolescents & young adults, an association between cannabis use & an earlier age of onset of depression & anxiety
The Association Between Tobacco and Cannabis Use and the Age of Onset of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms Among Adolescents and Young Adults
On ADHD symptoms & cannabis use among college students
An examination of the effects of ADHD symptoms and sex on the relation between cannabis protective behavioral strategies and cannabis consequences
On why people use THC & delta-8 THC as well as the effects on their mental health
Delta-8- and Delta-9-THC Use Frequency, Use Motives, and Mental Health Outcomes
Second edition of a textbook on cannabis & psychosis
Marijuana and Madness
In a mouse model of drinking alcohol & the associated neuroinflammation, the CB2 receptors may be a potential target for treating alcohol use disorder
Cannabinoid CB2 receptors modulate alcohol induced behavior, and neuro-immune dysregulation in mice
A patent on using MAGL inhibitors to treat autism
Monoacylglycerol Lipase Modulators for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Brain & its Diseases
In 36 pediatric patients with various epileptic disease the majority saw clinical benefit while 75% reported no adverse side effects
Efficacy of Cannabidiol in Pediatric Patients: Postmarket Experience at a Single Center
“Most patients in all groups experienced some clinical benefit and only 33% of patients experienced no clinical benefit. The maximum tolerated dose of cannabidiol at 3 months ranged from 5 to 31 mg/kg/d with a median of 17.9, 13.2, and 18.0 mg/kg/d in the LGS, DS, and DRE (other) groups, respectively. Eight patients discontinued cannabidiol at 3 months and only two patients were hospitalized after initiation of therapy. Seventy-five percent of patients did not report any adverse side effects.”
In two studies of CBD for a rare pediatric epilepsy, the researchers were able to use seizure free days as a new outcome measure
Seizure-free days as a novel outcome in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: Post hoc analysis of patients receiving cannabidiol in two randomized controlled trials
With the number of seizures per day often in the dozens, it sounds like the researchers were surprised to even be able to consider a seizure free day as a potential endpoint they could measure.
In two pediatric cases of epilepsy from high fevers, CBD seemed to be the helpful turning point when other treatments had failed
Cannabidiol in the acute phase of febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES)
For pediatric epilepsy, these Italian doctors prefer isolated CBD over “galenic formulations” (extracts)
Cannabidiol use in patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: experts' opinions using a nominal group technique (NGT) approach
Doctors will almost always choose predictability – but from parents, you often hear about the improvements with more full spectrum medicine.
fMRI brain scans of cannabis users found local differences with non-users but no significant differences in global network measures
Altered brain structural and functional connectivity in cannabis users
“Several significant differences were observed in local structural/functional network measures (e.g. degree and clustering coefficient), being prominent in the insular and frontal opercular cortex and lateral/medial temporal cortex. The rich-club organization of structural networks revealed a normal trend, distributed within bilateral frontal, temporal and occipital regions. However, minor differences were found between the two groups in the superior and inferior temporal gyri. Functional rich-club nodes were mostly located within parietal and posterior areas, with minor differences between the groups found mainly in the centro-temporal and parietal regions. Regional network measures of structural/functional networks were associated with times used cannabis (TUC) in several regions. Although the structural/functional network in both groups showed small-world property, no differences between cannabis users and healthy controls were found regarding the global network measures, showing no association with cannabis use.”
A new way to monitor endocannabinoid levels in mouse brains
Monitoring of age- and gender-related alterations of endocannabinoid levels in selected brain regions with the use of SPME probes
Harms, Cannabis Use Disorder & Street Synthetics
A big review of 83 studies on the risk factors and protective strategies for negative cannabis use consequences
A Scoping Review of Risk and Protective Factors for Negative Cannabis Use Consequences
A review of nine studies on legalization & cannabis use disorder (CUD) find an increased prevalence of CUD with legalization but a decline in CUD admissions
Assessing the Impact of Recreational Cannabis Legalization on Cannabis Use Disorder and Admissions to Treatment in the United States
A review of the new synthetic cannabinoids & their effects
Emergence of Synthetic Cannabinoids: Pharmacological insights and adverse effects
Pain, Inflammation & Surgeries
In patients having spinal fusions, the cannabis users had a decreased daily dosages of opioids overall but an increased risk of developing an opioid dependence
Postoperative Opioid Use Among Opioid-Naive Cannabis Users Following Single-Level Lumbar Fusions
Novel cannabinoid derivatives with anti-inflammatory properties
Novel Synthesis of C-Methylated Phytocannabinoids Bearing Anti-inflammatory Properties
Ahh, this is a paper from the late great Dr. Mechoulam.
From migraine pain, a dual blocker of the MAGL & FAAH enzymes
Potent dual MAGL/FAAH inhibitor AKU-005 engages endocannabinoids to diminish meningeal nociception implicated in migraine pain
Hormones, Reproduction & Maternal Effects
In males consuming cannabis, they had higher levels of anandamide & sex hormones, a more basic semen pH & apparently got laid more
Gonadotropin axis and semen quality in young Swiss men after cannabis consumption: Effect of chronicity and modulation by cannabidiol
Guts & Metabolism
In patients with suspected cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, an analysis of their use patterns & blood cannabinoid profiles
Cannabis Use Patterns and Whole-Blood Cannabinoid Profiles of Emergency Department Patients With Suspected Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
In public health data, cannabis users had a slightly higher systolic blood pressure but no difference for diastolic blood pressure
The impact of marijuana use on blood pressure in non-hypertensive USA adults: NHANES 2005 – 2012
A case study of an elderly man with a dangerously low heartbeat from an accidental oral ingestion of a large amount of cannabis
A Case of Near-Fatal Bradycardia Caused by Accidental Cannabis Intoxication
In human nasal cells, cannabis smoke reduced cell viability & cell migration, indicating a toxic effect
Effect of cannabis smoke condensate on human nasal epithelial cell adhesion, growth, and migration
A case report of a lung disease after cannabis use
Acute Recreational Cannabis-Induced Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: A Case Report
Cancer & Chemotherapy
A review of the endocannabinoid system as a gatekeeper in liver cancer
The endocannabinoid system, a new gatekeeper in the pharmacology of human hepatocellular carcinoma
In colorectal cancer, how the terpenes eugenol & beta-caryophyllene increased the effectiveness of an anti-cancer drug
Exploring Mechanism of Actions for Eugenol and Beta- Caryophyllene to Combat Colorectal Cancer Chemotherapy Using Network Pharmacology
Using nano lipid carriers to enhance the bioavailability of CBD in the intestine
Nanostructured Lipid Carriers Loaded with Cannabidiol Enhance Its Bioaccessibility to the Small Intestine
The antibiotic effects of lavender essential oil (linalool is a key terpene of cannabis)
Essential Oil of Lavandula officinalis: Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activities
A quantum analysis of cannabinoid binding
QSAR Modelling of Biological Activity in Cannabinoids with Quantum Similarity Combinations of Charge Fitting Schemes and 3D-QSAR
PS: This week’s album is Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s ‘The Complete Mercury Recordings’. And rarely do I have this much fun learning about a musician. What a guy!
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, he became blind at the age of 2 due to improper medical treatment. By 15, he could play two saxophones at once & was out on the road with a rhythm & blues band. He went on to become one of the most influential & innovative soloists in jazz history as well as one of its most creative collector & tinkerer of musical instruments.
With a huge array of influences from every corner of jazz, as well as blues to classical to pop music, for his style he preferred the term “Black Classical Music”. He mastered circular breathing so he could play without stopping & routinely performed with 3 saxophones at once, modifying them to accommodate his needs, as well as an ensemble of unusual instruments & even household objects. Outspoken onstage about civil rights & Black history, he interlaced his shows with satire & absurdist humor. He almost always led his own bands & also started the “Jazz & People’s Movement” to create new opportunities for jazz musicians. Even after suffering a paralyzing stroke in 1975, he modified his instruments for one arm use & continued to play until another stroke at the age of 42 took him too young. To see him in action, check out this 1972 live show.