THE STORY ~ PatentWear’s Cannabis 507 design reflects the irony of U.S. Patent No. 6,630,507, granted in October 2003 and held by the United States of America—the very same government which simultaneously criminalizes cannabis and lists it as a Schedule 1 narcotic, defined as “highly addictive” and with “no currently accepted medical use.” (Note: an understated version, Patent 507, without the iconic leaf image is available for a more conservative statement on this issue). However, Patent 507 (its colloquial nickname) asserts that there are, indeed, “useful medicinal properties of cannabinoids” for “a variety of health symptoms and conditions” including relief from epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, arthritis pain, inflammation, nausea, reductions in some brain tumors, and auto-immune diseases.
Medical cannabis, also known as marijuana (the Mexican nickname for cannabis) has not been easy to study, especially in the USA where its legal status is highly restrictive and any research is fraught with red tape. The varying state laws and selective enforcement of these laws adds confusion and a lack of motivation for scientists to study the subject further.
Yet, the federal government, with taxpayer dollars, has funded some of its own studies of cannabis. Working together at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the combined team of Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist Dr. Julius Axelrod, Dr. Alden Hamson, and Dr. Maurizio Grimaldi, all experts and pioneers in the field of antioxidants and neurotransmitters, was subsequently granted U.S. Patent No. 6,530 507 for the use of certain cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis for treating diseases caused by oxidative stress. The patent’s Assignee is the United States of America.
The crux of the entire matter is cannabinoids, the chemical components of the cannabis flower. To date, over 85 have been identified, with THC and CBD being the most well-known. These are the components that provide beneficial medical relief for an array of symptoms. While Patent 507 differentiates between the psychoactive THC and the non-psychoactive CBD, it also finds that a combination of both CBD and THC together can decrease the size of a stroke by 50%.
Whether benefits are anecdotal or science-based, the dichotomy of a government severely criminalizing something for which it, itself holds a patent (for the benefits!) restricts the clinical studies necessary to learn more. It is hoped that, through our Cannabis 507 design, a new awareness of this odd predicament can contribute some small steps towards change that ultimately includes marvelous—and universally legal—health benefits from a plant for so many of the unbearable human afflictions among us.