Friday, August 21, 2015

Early Warning Report: Welcome to the Great Canadian Depression

Early Warning Report: August 21, 2015

....Welcome to the Great Canadian Depression 

OMFG!  I SPEAK!!!  WELL… ERRRR….. I mean write.

NO I AM NOT DEAD!  Not yet anyway.   Although, I am sure after the last year and the family ordeal I have been through, some would wish I would die and are still making their best efforts to put me in my grave earlier than expected.  It just will not happen, no matter how many twists and turns my story takes.  Death is a hard activity for this individual spirit and I will not go that easy.

Kind of like these markets, paralleling my own battle… they have been on a bullish run ever since I can remember.

But just like that last spoonful of chocolate ice cream in your bowl, it seems that all good things must come to an end.  There is no more ice cream left.  The bowl is empty.  The tub the ice cream was in only has a few streaks of freezer burnt ice cream left which only increase your chocolate craving.  Until the grocery store opens in the morning..  the chocolate ice cream party  is over.

When I say the party is over… it is certainly over for many.  It’s over for the mining industry which was supported solely by the parabolic growth of Chinese cities which has now subsided.  Alberta is well on its way to a depression with the price of oil sliding to 10 year record lows.  The single focus of conservatives ramming through energy initiative after energy initiative has left the Canada perilously unbalanced and over-weight on energy which is putting a frosty chill on Canada and its economy.  To make matters worse, our import dependent economy has gone into sticker shock with the loonie further losing its shine as a petro dollar.  The Chinese stock market bubble has heard a resounding pop turning billionaire’s into millionaires overnight.  Around the world there is continued debt woes along with sluggish growth across developed economies.

The only bright spot is the USA economy which may itself be rolling over. The signs are everywhere folks, we are well on our way into a global recession, one much more severe than the 'trip up' we experienced in the financial crisis in 2008.  In places like Canada, without a complete overhaul and reinvention of industry, we could be close to tipping the scales from a recession into a mini depression over the next 3 to 5 years depending on how fast and dynamic our industries can adapt to the changing global landscape.

The Bull Market Never Stops

But it does pause….

Are we at a bull market cycle top?   

No, because we still have yet to see monetary deflation which should come with the enormous debt load built up by western nations.  This monetary deflation in itself will push up nominal stock market prices well into trillion dollar valuations by the shear fact the operating company valued in a given currency does not change value.  If the USD could reduce in value 50% to 75% in a debt crisis… the corresponding companies valued in that currency would increase in value and would most likely benefit in outlook considering a lucrative export market would open up at that time.

In January of 2012 I wrote an article for Wall Street for Mainstreet which indicated that markets would rocket to the moon in an record bull run.   100,000 for the INDU is a possibility.  The most recent run came from a sub 7,000 point index.  Triple the original starting price in 6 years.    The DOW could easily triple from its next base of 12,000 to 13,000 during the next economic cycle and then triple again from that base.  In 15 to 20 years... you could easily see 100,000 INDU.  Maybe more.  If America gets beaten into oblivion by a military alliance.  Germany style  1920's inflation could be in the cards.

The stock market bull never stops.   The fact of the matter is… for the current financial system to work on its current model… growth has to always be there and the easiest way to create growth is to inflate away.  As false as that growth may be.

Certainly this market cycle looks to push well past 3,000 on the S&P 500.  The bottom line is you can never lose money over the long run in equities as long as financial markets use inflation as a primary economic tool.   Just ask Warren Buffet.

That is the number one rule for investing…. you have to always be invested.

That being said.  If you want to avoid short term pain of margin calls, investor psychology selling stocks at bottoms and buying at tops; you can’t buy and hold like Warren Buffet.  None of us have his pocket book thus could never attain his wealth following his great investment strategy.    Not many of us have that ability to take advantage of economies of a portfolio like Buffet and thus cannot invest like Buffet.  Not if we want to catch up to Buffet anyway.

So when is it a good time to sell?  Each company will give you its own signals when to sell which is usually a mix of fundamentals and /or technical but an easy time to pick a time to sell down the portfolio is usually when you find a general market down turn.  I would say when a multi-year trend in the market is broken... that is as good a time to do some general selling as any.

Like the one that is slowly appearing on the financial markets horizons.

What is definitive is that the bull rally is getting old and the markets are definitively turning over and going negative for the fall.   The US market and Chinese markets may rally in early 2016 dependent on economic data, or we could continue into a concerted global recession and in Canada, with an absolute collapse of its major industry oil… a depression.  

Clearly one thing that could make or break the US … interest rates and their free money policy.    If you see rates go up in September through December.  Brace for major pain, everywhere.

The Crash in Oil Prices Could Trigger a Canadian Depression

Like it or not, Canada was great before oil.  Canada balanced its budget without oil.   The current government made a huge error in judgement developing its single focused oil sands energy policy.   This was a huge mistake.  It drove up the loonie and drove out manufacturing.  It made us dependent on a single industry, and after 20 years of development, most Canadians clearly don’t like what they see from space with large parts of Canada’s north destroyed for centuries to come. 

Possibly altered forever.

It’s not just oil for Canada, oil is just the tip of the iceberg.  We are seeing the great commodity deleveraging in every materials sector.  Copper could fall back to $1.  Oil could fall well below $30.  Gold will spike for the traders during uncertainty like it always does, but its a short every single time and will continue its trend under $1000.

It’s over folks.

For energy and materials... when they lose their shine... they lose their shine and nobody wants them.  It's like a hot potato and nobody wants to be holding it when the music stops.

There is no rebound.

Globally we are returning to world where China doesn’t need materials and eventually, China won’t need our oil either.   So you know what Einstein said? About it being insanity hitting your head against a wall over and over and over.  So why bother when remaining in this industry is, like that, hitting your head against the wall. The song "The Gambler" keeps playing in my head.... "and know when to run..."

And if you over extended yourself at the wrong time thinking there might be a way out, here in Canada, some of us have literally chosen to blow our brains out like the stock brokers in 1929 crash, jumping out windows.   Sometimes you just gotta know when to walk away, and not double down and hold em.  Hell, I ran as fast as a could as soon as the checks dried up.  The writing was on the wall in 2012 when 50 exploration companies changed their stripes to graphite miners.

It was that bad then and it is that much worse today.

It is not just Canada.

Believe it or not record low oil prices are killing global spending from some pretty big spenders like the Saudi’s Russians, Qataris, and Canadians.  This could be a good thing.  The Saudi’s have way too much money and with that, came a military program which is creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen and supports ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The winds of war are in the air and a lower oil price will certainly impede growing hegemony in the Middle East.   You are going to see a price war between the Iranian and the Saudi’s… and guess who is going to win?  The Iranians of course who have had to sell discounted black market oil for 40 years.   The arrogance of the Saudi’s trying to maintain market share could kill the price well below $30.  The middle east is goign to get worse, much worse.  The Iranians are the only force capable of stopping the Saudi's.  Yemen is the first one.  UAE could be next.  I am sure the new Saudi king would love to move his new palace to Dubai.

Unlike the Middle East, a lower oil price won’t stop the Russian military complex.  Russia has an entire internal economy which supports the nation even if the entire world stops trading with Russia.  You can't beat Russia.  It is impossible so why even bother and with NATO entering the Ukraine you have undeniably awoken the Russian bear and poked it in its eye. They will still build their military might because they have the technology and more importantly, the infrastructure.

Here is the bad news.... unfortunately for Canada, we are affected the most by a crashing oil price.  Hit with a double whammy event with the oil sands producers being the highest cost producers in the entire industry.  Some companies will go under and many projects in Alberta will be the first to be put on care and maintenance.

Projects like the oil sands may never see their potential as alternative energy continues to achieve new efficiency.

Consumers continue to demand alternatives to fossil fuels.   Undoubtedly oil is a 20th century technology and the world is slowly moving away from its thirst for this dirty form of energy.  How fast will demand move away and how long will it take, are questions none of us know and many are just hoping the time lag is enough to suck more oil out of the tar sands.  Personally I think the best days for the Tar Sands are behind her.  There is a lot of money invested in backward thinking.

A lot of money to be lost up north.  The bottom line is Keystone is dead, Northern Gateway is dead, and Energy East is going nowhere.   Alberta has done it all wrong and sold itself down the river to foreign governments and corporations on promises it could never keep.

It's time to pay the piper.

The way out for Alberta and its energy crisis is easy.   Energy will always be a huge part of Alberta’s economy and abandoning it is not the way out.   Investing into turning bitumen into value added products and using our low dollar to be competitive against other nations exporting those value added energy products is the answer. 

Investing into technology is the answer.

Whether it is creating new regulations for a hemp industry just waiting to flourish, or investing in education to develop entirely new industries, now is the time to plant the seeds that will take us into the future for the next generation.  Whether it’s in Alberta or the rest of Canada, just like the politicians keep chiming for change.  Canada needs a reset button.  This should include an entire overhaul of our industries to take us forward to  help employ our younger generations who continually get shut out of jobs kept by aging baby boomers who refuse to retire.

It is what we should have done in the first place instead of touting Canada as the new Saudi Arabia.   Develop a broad Canadian economy which included more than energy, mining, and banking to financing the energy and mining.  Canada was never meant to replace Saudi Arabia, as investors are starting to realize.  Now is not the time to focus on pipelines and raw resource extraction for a few extra WTI dollars on the spread.  Now is the time to focus on broad change across the country.

Not when consumers are ready for an all-electric alternative.  Not when abundant natural gas resources are much cleaner alternative for industry.  Not when nuclear continues to expand and thorium reactors are being planned and hotly debated.   Not when solar technology and other renewable resources are on the verge of becoming commercial including Tesla’s simple solar powered house battery.

Now is not the time to keep hitting our heads against the wall... not with the oil sands.  Its time to turn to new industries.

One thing is for sure, the over-weight nature of our industries to materials, energy and banking… you are going to see a corresponding effect on the Toronto Stock Exchange with values continuing to plunge.  You will see a huge pullbacks in industry nationwide. 

I say.....  "Welcome to the great Canadian Depression".

The list of stocks to short in the Canadian Markets is a long one. 

US markets look to top out

Not only has Canada taken it on the chin in the last 8 months with it really yet to show in the stock market.  The US recovery from the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 is complete and is also showing signs of a top in this economic cycle.  The US market looks to correct this fall either way.    During the summer, a flat and directionless market has suddenly become much more bearish.

Even though we are in a perpetual low rate environment, you just can’t go up forever...

 And when you look to leading indicators like the transports breaking down... 

The INDU is struggling.  The Russell 200 just hit 6 month lows and the S & P 500 is starting to break its multiyear uptrend.  The technical signs keep flashing everywhere.   The bull run in US equities is looking like it is at an end.   When you combine the US charts with what is going on in China and the continuing debt woes in Western Europe.  You add in oil prices taking the steam out of some pretty big spenders... we now have conditions which are almost ripe for a concerted global recession.

How severe remains to be seen.  There are always so many variables at work.  One thing is for sure, the markets in the US and in Canada are at a crossroads and if Canada is a leading indicator of what is to come in the US because of huge shale oil expansion which is no longer profitable.  You could see a similar type decline in the Midwest and a similar effect on America's 6 year recovery.

You don’t even need to look at economic stats to tell you which way the market is going.  The market tells you that in advance of the stats.  Cheap money continues to fuel the market and the market will respond to continued quantitative easing, but there is so much negative undertones globally that is looks to me like the cycle is now over.

What could really make the recession into a doozy is when and how hard rates go up.  Normalization will happen and you will see a US market reaction during normalization of interest rates.

How hard and how severe... is everyone's question.  Some think a Greek like situation in the US, others predict a slow and steady raise over the next 10 to 15 years.

At any rate...  now might be the time to buy some calls on the VXX and short the major indices in North America.

Christopher Skidmore

Beat the Market Stock Picks 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Journey is the Prize

What were you doing when you were 22?    Most likely graduating university and preparing for the big bad world of finance I bet. 

I spent most of mine homeless, jobless, and having mixed success and failure with my first business venture.   I remember that summer well because I never had so much fun being homeless and jobless.  I had finished selling my last ‘Impact Knife’ (an autoglass removal tool invention) for gas money and cash.  People loved my invention, I sold every last one I made, but when my standing order for 500 Impact Knives was cancelled at Autostock (the family autoglass warehouse) because of family politics, it put me in a bind having spent all my investment on moulds anticipating production.   At 22 I had planned taking on the world with my better-mouse-trap combining two proven autoglass tools into one, but someone else had other plans. 

So after realizing my business was all but dead and what little money I had from it was draining fast, I drove my little Nissan pick-up across Southern Alberta until I ended in the Crow’s Nest Pass somewhere deep into the logging roads until I couldn’t drive anymore.   I parked, grabbed my pack and a sleeping bag, and started hiking from there.  I had no destination, I needed none.  And pretty much the entire summer, I would rewind, press play, and repeat… I always ended up at the end of another high country road and would camp and hike.  I didn’t even know much about backpacking or the backcountry.  I didn’t care.  It’s not like I had a care in the world at 22 after having my dreams dashed by family and little hope of any further investment with the death of my business partner and grandfather Herbert Skidmore.

That summer I never had a destination.  It was a tough year and with little to look out for, I wound my way around the Rockies taking one winding road after another and one cragged trail to another.  No destination ever, my only home was my soul which would eventually return me to my truck, most nights nestled in the bed of the Nissan under a canopy of stars falling asleep to the sounds of a crackling fire.  

That summer made who I am today.   Some summers I don’t even remember anymore.  But that one stands out as vivid as it was 6 months ago.  It set off a passion in me for several things like hiking which I still do today, albeit not as much.  I used to love doing day hikes and overnight marathon type hikes covering 20km to 50km.  I love the gruelling tests these hikes put on your body and mind.  It not only tests your body, but puts your spirit and core through the ringer.  And what doesn’t break you, kill you, or beat you back mentally into a thumb sucking baby… just makes you that much stronger.

I don’t hike so much these days because it’s an all-day activity you have to set aside the time for and I have kids, but I still very much enjoy burning up the Grouse Grind, BCMC, 5 Vistas, or any one of the numerous trails that populate our North Shore Mountains.   Name a trail or peak from The Lions to Golden Ears and I have hiked it.   And in any condition too, from winter trails to summer runs… there really isn’t anything I personally enjoy more.  

Hypothermia on 'The Camel'

Once my hiking partner and I got caught in terrible conditions fording a swollen Lynn Headwaters and hiking up past the snowline to ‘The Camel’ in October.  To make matters worse I had fallen on shale scrambling up scree and was bloodied, but we still pressed on. By the time we reach the lodge on Grouse Mountain, my partner and I both had hypothermia, we had to strip down to our underwear to warm up and dry out by the fire in the lobby at the lodge.  You would think we might call it a day at the lodge?  Nope. Down the BCMC to the Baden Powel and over to the Lynn Headwaters to complete one of the most gruesome day hikes ever endured in just over 12 hours.

All I can say about hikes like that and what keeps me going in spite of 100% rottenness for 100% of the time… aside from the fact that stopping in the middle of nowhere would be certain embarrassment for a North Shore rescue.

What keeps me going at the worst point when all I want to do is give up?  Over and over and over I repeat this phrase in my head…

“The Journey is the Prize”

I may not be having fun right now this moment fearing I may never find civilization and die of hypothermia behind Grouse Mountain in a snowbank, but when I look back and know I fought the fight all the way and didn’t quit.  That I preserved during the worst conditions just to exist that day means more than just a summit of a peak.  I won more than just a day’s worth of exercise.   In a sense, each hike was like a ‘Right of Passage’ pushing body, mind, and spirit past what you should normally be able to endure.  Each hike adds up to a collection of trials each with a different set of tests that eerily parallels life.  

It is so much more than making a summit.  You look back and you can see the history of your life.

It wasn’t attaining the Camel in a rainy, snowy late October day through Hanes Valley; or any other peak that I may have hiked.  It isn’t even the magnificent 360 degree view giving you the feeling you are indeed on top of the world.  Ruler of all.  After all the summits and peaks and views.  It wasn’t any of it.

It was all of it and more. 

It was the journey that was the prize. 

Saved by a Branch

One of the hikes of have done quite a few times and still love to do every so often is “The Lions”.  It is not a hike for the faint of heart and I find whenever I go up I am free climbing areas others are roped into.  At any rate, we used to drive out to Lions Bay to ascend from sea level instead of driving up Cypress and then hiking across for a photo shoot.  Obviously for myself, the tougher the journey, the more satisfying the prize.

At one point we had made it to the first peak on the Lions back and were dropping down to climb the Lion’s head when I caught a rock on my toe and hurtled forward off the ledge I was standing on to the ledge directly below.  I landed on my feet, but landed on loose, dry dirt and my feet started sliding off the ledge as I tried to brace myself from the fall.  What seemed like hours, but must have only been seconds; my foot stuck to a pine branch not more than 18 inches long growing out of the side of the ledge which stopped my foot and my momentum from going over the second ledge I had fallen on to. 

I peered over what I had almost fallen off.  It was a 1,000 foot drop to the reservoir below.

It is times like those when you realize that it could all end just like that and really, if it wasn’t for a freak of nature, would have.  It shouldn’t take near death experiences to ‘wake you up’ (or in my case several) and realize you were meant for more than a drop off a cliff.  But I knew from that day on, after almost becoming another stat on The Lions  that I could never live life in fear death knowing I am already living on some else’s clock.  I should not be here.  So I relish in the struggle that is placed before me because without it, it would not make me into the person who I am or who I am going to become.  Since these three life altering experiences I have always viewed the world a bit differently, not in cherishing the conquest of victory, but in fighting the good fight until there is no fight left.  That is ultimately where I want to derive life’s riches and lessons from, from struggle each one of us endures each day to make ourselves before our death.  The struggle to ultimately make as much an impact and difference on others while living yours.

That is the real prize. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

5 Holy Grails of Medical Marijuana

5 Holy Grails of Medical Marijuana


If you have been underneath a rock for the last year or out in the bush hibernating, there has been a mainstream development in investing, medicine, and in societal acceptance medical marijuana.  Society is finally realizing the benefits of this versatile plant which is about to kick start a revolution in modern medicine as cannabinoids are turning out to be one of the best and most versatile forms medicines, from nature or man.  

Science and medicine have ignored cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system for the last 40 years primarily because of the drug war.  As a result of ignoring this critical system in the human body, cannabinoid medicine is now the last low hanging fruit in the biotech sector.   We are a generation behind in cannabis science creating a sub theme in biotech investing playing more than 40 years of catch up in this area of medicine.

The Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System is one of the body’s great re-balancing mechanisms.   It is the system that regulates other systems in the body.  It regulates your blood sugar, cholesterol, circulation, immune system, brain function, nervous system and metabolism.   Cannabinoids target the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system whose receptors exist in the central nervous system, the brain, the immune system, gastrointestinal tract, and peripheral nervous system. 

Within the emerging opportunity of medical marijuana there are at least 5 ‘Holy Grails’ of cannabis medicine within reach of the pharmaceutical and natural medicine industries. 
  • Immune & auto-immune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Pain & inflammation
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Neurological disorders

Immune and Auto-Immune Diseases - $100B

Speaking from experience, one if the best medicines for HIV, is cannabisIt is so powerful; 'Cannabinoid therapy' can even become an alternative to HAART therapy and ARV medication.  CBD interacts with CB2 receptors stimulating the immune system and CD4 cell count production while THC slows down transcription of the HIV virus.  Even after almost 9 years of diagnosis, the more cannabis I put into my system, the better I feel with the caveat I don't smoke it.

Who knows what an ideal dose is for a person with HIV like myself or even what that ideal dose will do to someone with HIV.  Currently I do about 1,500 mg of THC a day and want to increase this dose at least 10 fold and show no signs or symptoms of HIV or AIDS.  At a high enough dose; a theory is cannabinoids may be able to shut down the virus similar to HAART. 

There is also an emerging problem in the US where HIV patients are outliving HAART cocktails whose virus is becoming resistant to available drug cocktails.  What is an HIV patient going to turn to when drug manufacturers refuse to make any more HIV drug cocktails?  The logical conclusion is cannabis of course.  My health strategy is the opposite, use cannabis to delay the onset of AIDS and then use HAART cocktails as a last resort after I have exhausted all other options.  If I am correct in my approach, I should outlive most other HAART patients by the period before I started using ARV medication, which so far is 10 years. 

There are over 30M people in the world who live with HIV and only 8 million of those use HAART medication.  In 2014 this is still an under-served market simply because drug manufacturers refuse to sell HIV patients in 3rd world countries affordable medication.  The HIV drug market is estimated at $20B with $13B of this market spent in the US.  Cannabis could conceivably take a huge chunk of this market as HIV patients start running out of ARV options.

As little as 400mg of THC per day is enough to delay the onset of AIDS for years.  If 35M HIV patients took half a gram of 80% THC cannabis oil a day at a long term price of $5 per gram, at minimum, that is a $30 billion market.  In my opinion, every HIV patient in the world should take at least half a gram a day irrespective of their drug program.  For someone in Africa, $2.50 per day is much more affordable than the outrageous programs for ARV medication. 

It is not just HIV; cannabis works on many different immune and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.   Auto immune diseases affect 50 million Americans, 50 times the amount of Americans infected with HIV.

A stand dose for cannabis oil seems to be between 0.5 grams and 1 gram of 80% THC oil...  clearly the potential market just in this category is staggering.

Cancer - $150B

The biggest revolution in oncology in the last 5 years is the discovery that cannabis can cure cancer.  I say that with a grain of salt because I believe cancer is a chronic disease caused by the body being out of balance from both external factors like asbestos exposure and/or internal body factors like having a poor PH.  The facts are the facts, people are beating cancer with cannabis.  So maybe you can’t say cannabis cures cancer, but what it does do is kill cancer cells and hundreds of people throughout North America are on a version of Rick Simpson’s Phoenix Tears.  What people can no longer deny is that concentrated cannabis kills cancerous tumors and will stop the spread of cancer if taken in high enough doses.

Cannabis performs several anti-tumor functions …
  1. Anti-proliferative  – prevents cancer cells from reproducing
  2. Anti-angiogenic  – prevent the formation of new blood vessels needed by tumor to grow
  3. Anti-metastatic -   prevents cancer from spreading to other organs
  4. Apoptotic – induces cancer cell to seek its own death hastening death of cancer cell
THC and CBD are proving to be a very powerful one two punch against many forms of cancer.  THC has powerful anti-tumor properties and acts to kill tumors directly while CBD helps induce cell death and helps stop the cancer from spreading.  The ratio of THC to CBD is different with every cancer at every stage and could be 100% THC all the way to 100% CBD; but it is generally thought a 3:1 THC to CBD ratio is a good shot gun approach, although GWPH’s cancer drug has a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio.  What I am finding is people are prescribing THC oil to attack the cancer directly and CBD's to supplement the therapy.

There are a few studies out there using CBD's to kill cancer cells, but by no means is CBD the primary cancer killer, THC is. There seems to be a strong correlation with tumor-less cancers requiring higher CBD concentrations while tumor heavy cancers responding to high THC concentrations.  Another major factor for cancer seems to be tissue content.  If the cancer is in a high fat tissue/cell area or made up of fat cells, THC seems to bind to the cell better and be much more effective. 

The most revolutionary part of cannabinoids and their anti-tumor properties is they target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells completely untouched.   Cancer is a $100B plus industry and cannabis is poised to take a huge bite out of this market.   All the following cancers have been beaten with cannabis oil like Rick Simpsons Phoenix Tears or FECO made in the US, even big name celebrities like Tommy Chong using cannabis oil to beat prostate cancer.   
  • Brain cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Leukemia
Cancer cells have even been reverted back to healthy living cells by encapsulating them in cannabinoids.  This work is being done right here in the MMAR clubs in Vancouver by doctors volunteering their time for research.    

Metabolic Diseases - $125B+

Cannabinoids play a major role in regulating and re-balancing the body’s active metabolisms such as weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.  Cannabinoids have the potential to play a key role in preventing and maintaining type 2 diabetes as well as many other metabolic related diseases, many of which stem from poor health.  Cannabis cannot only help stimulate appetite and increase weight in those who are underweight; but it can also help signal to the body a decrease in appetite in those that are overweight or even suppress appetite.  In short, it helps re-balance the entire body.

The endocannabinoid system is the body’s greatest mechanism in regulating and fixing the bodies other vital systems.  Cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid receptors which then tell the body what it needs or does not need and then rolls out a response system appropriate to the ailment.  Diabetes is a major 21st century epidemic and cannabis could play an important role in helping to stabilize a person’s body in a variety of metabolic disorders.  Diabetes alone affects 25M Americans who spend close $130B annually on the disease.

Pain/Inflammation - $100B

$35B is spent every year managing pain.  The anti-inflammatory market is nearly double that at $70B per year.  Combined, this $100B plus US market represents a major market segment for cannabis.  Cannabinoids are more effective pain management mechanisms for many types of pain than opiates, and CBD’s have been found to be 50 times more effective at calming inflammation than Ibuprofen in some cases.  Inflammation medicine is another area in medicine which could be greatly improved utilizing receptors in the endocannabinoid system.  Most effective anti-inflammatory medications are steroids which are not safe for everyday consumption,  certainly not for most patients, who deal with chronic inflammation.

It doesn’t matter what type of pain it is or what is causing the inflammation, cannabis is one of the most effective medicines for both pain and inflammation.  Again, it’s the one two punch of CBD and THC that combat to dull pain, and decrease both localized and general inflammation in the body.  Chronic pain, migraines, inflammation related pain; cannabis does not discriminate and works on it all.  As science begins to understand how cannabinoids interact in our body, the next generation of pain and inflammation medicine derived from cannabis should make most opiates a distant second choice to cannabinoid pain killers.

Managing pain and inflammation is another area I receive immense benefit from cannabis having endured 3 knee surgeries including a broken tibia plateau with 7 screws and a plate inserted into the left knee.  Without cannabis, running 1000 km per year at a 4:30/km clip with a screw still inserted through the width of the base of my knee would be impossible.

Neurological Disorders - $100B+

This might be the biggest category in cannabinoid medicine simply because it encompasses so many conditions from migraines to epilepsy and everything in between, many which remain unsolved and untreated by the science and medical communities.   3 million Americans live with epilepsy and it is estimated 65 million people live with the disease worldwide.  ALS is another disease recently in the limelight for whom most would greatly benefit from cannabis including slowing down the progress of the disease similar to how it works on many other diseases.

What is clear and is not a coincidence is that because we ignore the one thing that has the greatest impact on our neurological system, we continue to struggle to solve many of these ailments.   The irony is cannabis has been rejected because it causes a ‘high’ and we fear how it may impact our brains, but the reality for many of us, it will save our brains.

Someone once told me my greatest enemy was fear, we fear the unknown which keeps us from embracing truth.   What we do know is that both CB1 and CB2 receptors affect the nervous system indicating regulating the central nervous system is a primary function of the endocannabinoid system.
  1. Brain damage/dysfunction
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Dementia
    • Concussions
  2. Spinal cord disorders and injuries
    • Spina Bifida
  3. Peripheral neuropathy
    • ALS
  4. Seizure disorders
    • Epilepsy
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Alcoholism
    • Brain Hemorrhage
    • Stroke
  5. Movement disorders
    • Parkinson’s
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Muscle Spasms
  6. Sleep Disorders
    • Narcolepsy
  7. Neuropsychiatric illnesses
    • OCD
    • Tourette’s
    • Huntington’s
    • PTSD

Cannabinoid Medicine

Cannabis is poised to revolutionize both natural and pharmaceutical medicine.  Cannabinoid medicine has much potential because it can make nutraceutical health plans more effective by helping the body absorb and distribute nutrients where it is needed.  Cannabis has the potential to open up a new class or even several new classes of drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD have little potential to be synthesized on their own or this would have been done already.  Products like Marinol have had little success against naturally derived THC.  The real potential is to combine pharmaceutical drugs with different cannabinoids to make the pharmaceutical drugs more effective.  One example of this is THC and its ability to cross the blood brain barrier.  Combining THC with other drugs that haven’t been able to cross the BBB may open the door to help solving and eventually curing diseases like dementia.  Certainly for diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s the blood brain barrier is a major issue and combining cannabis with drugs that to carry them across would provide immediate synergies.  THC also acts to protect the brain so there are other synergistic activities THC performs on the brain as well making this area of medicine extremely promising.

I have serious doubts synthetic cannabinoids will replace the cannabis plant.  Natural medicine continues to grow and become an increasingly popular source of alternative medicine.  This includes cannabis and the ‘whole plant medicine’ that many patients source from their plants.  In fact, synthetic cannabinoids are far less effective.  What will emerge, is a new class of drugs based on combining natural cannabinoids with pharmaceutical medicine which will help revolutionize many programs from chemotherapy to pain medication.

This is where most biotech companies will fit in.  Not in growing MMJ or selling it like a MMPR company, but sourcing raw cannabinoids for production in their own medicines.   In effect this is where COC Cannabis Oil Corp wants to fit in.  Not in your traditional selling buds to the public, but producing a concentrated raw THC and raw CBD product for use by drug manufacturers, MMPR suppliers, gourmet kitchens, nutraceutical companies, and other retail medical marijuana outlets that may be allowed to exist in the future similar to the 40 or so ‘compassion clubs’ clubs active in Vancouver. 

That is our primary focus.  To produce a raw THC and CBD product you can infuse in any product or take straight in a gel cap.  So when you think of medical marijuana, most envision an individual smoking a joint to relieve pain or some weird disease under-served by the medical community.  That is part of it, and it will continue to be a large part of medical cannabis… but the horizon of this emerging industry is much more than that.

 Medical marijuana has the potential to revolutionize medicine and could help eradicate many 21st century medical epidemics like cancer and diabetes.

Christopher Skidmore

COC Cannabis Oil Corp