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The best Christmas gifts for cannabis enthusiasts in 2017
Christmas is creeping up and fast. But there’s still plenty of time to pick up some weed-friendly gifts before the festivities commence. From portable vaporizers to tasty edible treats, picking out the perfect present is hard when you are overwhelmed by options. That’s why HERB has put together the ultimate Christmas gift guide for weed lovers. Whether you’ll be treating yourself, a friend, or a family member this year, here are all the best Christmas gifts for cannabis enthusiasts.
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect travel vape, then look no further than the Hydrology9by Cloudious9. Not only does the Hydrology9 deliver the therapeutic potential of a vaporizer, but it also offers an exciting bong-like experience. With its built-in water filtration system, you are rewarded with smoother, cooler hits with fewer carcinogens. And while you’re ripping away, the device will put on a mini light show with its LED light indicators that guide you through a vaporizing experience like no other. The Hydrology9 also provides five precise temperature controls and even heat distribution. There just so happens to be a built-in tool at the bottom of the vape that stirs around your herbs without forcing you to put down the device to do it yourself.
To get your hands on the Hydrology9 today, head on over to Cloudious9’s website here.
The best desktop vaporizer
Of all the desktop vapes, everyone needs the Volcano Digital Vaporizer. Chances are you’ve seen this device pop up on the web a dozen times. That’s because it’s one of the most popular desktop vapes for multiple reasons. In addition to its vapor bag delivery system, the Volcano Digitial Vaporizer, ranging from 104 to 446 degrees Fahrenheit, allows you to be as precise with the temperature setting as you like. The device is also as solid as a rock with its German engineering, making it a truly dependable and long-lasting vape. Not to mention, unlike the beloved Classic, the Digital comes equipped with an LED screen that displays both the current and chosen temperature. Oh, and you get all sorts of goodies along with it, including,
- 1 Air Filter Set
- 1 Easy Valve Filing Chamber
- 5 Easy Valve Balloons
- 5 Easy Valve Mouthpieces
- 1 Herbal Grinder
- 1 Easy Valve Liquid Pad
- 6 Easy Valve Normal Screens
- 3 Easy Valve Clips
- 1 Cleaning Tool
If you purchase the Volcano Digital Vaporizer from VaporNation, you can have the device shipped to you for free overnight as a bonus gift. Or, you can select a vape case as your bonus gift if you wish. Click here to get yours while they’re still in stock.
The best dab rig
For all the concentrate lovers out there, here is an apparatus that provides the perfect balance of flavor and airflow. The “Othership” Mothership Inspired Faberge Egg Rig from Smoke Cartel, made of the highest quality glass, is amazingly affordable and easy as pie to pull. Even better, the rig includes a ceramic and domeless nail, plus a carb cap. And thanks to its bent neck, you don’t have to worry about splash-back getting into your mouth.
At the present time, the “Othership” is on sale for 50 percent off, and shipping is free. So if someone you know is in need of a new and outstanding dab rig, check out the device here.
The best mini-rig/bubbler
The Merlin recycler Rollie Bubbler and mini-rig by MJ Arsenal is the most adorable rig you’ll ever see. If you’re always on the move, then you can carry this baby along with you for smooth travel dabs. Or, for those who are tired of burning their fingers while attempting to finish off their joints/blunts, just slide them in and puff away without any hassle.
Thanks to Merlin’s recycler water filtration system, consumers get to enjoy fresher and fuller bodied hits than what they’re used to getting from its predecessors. Each device comes with a 1 Quartz banger and 1 Set of silicone attachments, which includes a carb plug and a banger clip, all for less than 40 bucks. Talk about the perfect stocking stuffer.
To get the Merlin recycler Rollie Bubbler and mini-rig for a friend, and of course, one for yourself, because let’s be real, you know you want one, snatch them up here.
The best hand pipe
Honestly, can you ever own too many pipes? The Twisty Glass Blunt, in particular, is a hand pipe that every cannabis enthusiast should own. Like 7pipe’s site says, rolling a blunt will never be the same again. Not only can this bad boy store up to 1.5 grams of bud, but it’s also super-duper easy to ash. Unlike most pipes, which require you to bang the ashes out against your hand or trashcan, all you have to do is twist the device and dump. Then, you’re left with fresh herbs for your next sesh.
To adopt a Twisty Glass Blunt and make medicating on-the-go that much more of a breeze, check out 7pipe’s site here.
The best e-grinder
Electric grinders are all the rage these days. That’s because they offer a simpler way to break down and dispense your bud. The Chewy 2.0, in particular, holds up to three grams of herb and can fill up to three thousand bowls on a single charge. And with its shredding blade technology, you get a perfect grind every time. Whether you desire a grinder that delivers fluffy bud on-the-go or a device that isn’t difficult to clean, the Chewy 2.0 is for you.
For yet another great stocking stuffer, click here to claim your Chewy 2.0.
The best 4-piece grinder
Need a little something to help you collect all that good kief? If so, then Platinum Grinders Herb Grinder will get the job done right. In fact, this grinder happens to be Amazon’s best seller. In addition to its affordable price tag, Platinum Grinders Herb Grinder is extra tough and will last a lifetime. And with its super strong magnetic lid, your herbs will stay safe and secure until you’re ready to smoke them.
Head on over to Amazon now and add it to your cart.
The best smoking tool
For a handy accessory that includes everything you could possibly need to help you get your sesh on, feast your eyes on the Nuggy Hybrid. Whether you’re a dabbing, rolling, or packing, this nifty tool can make the process easier. The Nuggy Hybrid comes with a roach clip, knife, paddle, pick, bowl scraper, scoop, and ALOX shell, which can be used as a carb cap.
To grab a Nuggy Hybrid just in time for Christmas, click here to place your order.
The best THC-infused topical
Swimsuit season or not, cellulite can kick rocks. If you’re ready to get rid of this unwanted skin condition once and for all, then you need Nice Buns by High Gorgeous in your life. Packed with 100 MG of THC/THCa, Nice Buns is the award-winning cellulite treatment that women all over California cannot stop raving about. In addition to being vegan-friendly and paraben free, Nice Buns smells super delicious with its warm cinnamon roll scent.
Unfortunately, you can’t get your hands on Nice Buns online. However, you can find the topical at several dispensaries in Cali, so be sure to call up your favorite ones to see if they have any in stock.
The best CBD-infused topical
Are you stuck in a state where cannabis is illegal? If so, no worries, you can still enjoy the healing abilities of the herb with a CBD-infused product, such as Cannuka’s CBD Healing Skin Balm. From softening dry skin to reducing blemishes to easing inflammation, this topical does it all. After just one application, you’ll be amazed at how soft and smooth your skin feels. And it will undoubtedly become your favorite everyday body moisturizer.
To transform your skin this holiday season, head on over to Cannuka’s website here.
The best at-home infuser
Of course, what kind of gift guide would this be if we didn’t include the MagicalButtermachine? If you’ve ever tried making cannabis butter at home, then you know good and well that it’s a daunting, lengthy process. But with MagicalButter, infusing your own butter, tincture, or even lotion is a no-brainer. And it takes little to no time to get the job done. Just drop in your herbs and butter, then press a button and the machine will handle everything else for you. The MagicalButter machine is quite literally the best investment for enthusiasts that love cooking with cannabis but cannot stand the procedure.
If you purchase a MagicalButter machine soon, then there’s still time to whip up some delicious recipes for your upcoming Christmas dinner. To snatch one up, click here.
The best THC-infused edible
For the best all-natural, old-fashioned gummies you’ll ever taste, look no further thanLord Jones‘ High CBD Gumdrops. Each gumdrop contains 20 milligrams of CBD, along with four other simple ingredients: natural fruit flavors, gelatin, citric acid, and sugar. If you’re someone that prefers to stay away from that artificial nonsense, then you best believe you won’t find any of that inside Lord Jones’ products. Aside from being a quick and scrumptious snack, these gumdrops have the potential to relieve pain, ease anxiety, and promote a calm sense of well-being.
In case you have a craving for something sweet this Christmas, here is where you can find Lord Jones’ High CBD Gumdrops.
12 Year-Old Alexis Bortell Sues Jeff Sessions for Seizure Medical Marijuana
LARKSPUR, Colo. – A 12-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the right to receive medical marijuana in her home state. Alexis Bortell has epilepsy and also suffers from seizures. The treatments that are permitted by the FDA are ineffective, so Alexis and her family moved from Texas to Colorado where medical marijuana is legal.
Alexis is the first child to sue Jeff Sessions in opposition to the federal marijuana policy. Sessions has been outspoken about his opinion on weed in the past, saying that people who use marijuana are not good people. The lawsuit states that Alexis had multiple seizures daily and no treatment was effective until trying medical marijuana.
Her doctor recommended brain surgery, but the family wanted to exhaust less invasive treatment options. The doctor recommended medical marijuana but advised the family that it was not yet legal in Texas. Not only did Alexis have immediate relief from her seizures with medical marijuana, she has not had a seizure for several years. "Since being on whole-plant medical Cannabis, Alexis has gone more than two years seizure-free.” Alexis takes marijuana in the form of cannabis oil. She has two drops of the medicine daily, saying "I'd say it’s a lot better than brain surgery."
Alexis wants to be able to return to her native Texas when it is time to attend college. She also wants to be able to visit family without risking prosecution, saying in the lawsuit "I would like to be able to visit my grandparents without risking being taken to a foster home." The lawsuit argues that Alexis shouldn’t be subject to arrest just because she is in Texas with her medicine.
Also participating in the lawsuit filed in New York last July is a military veteran with PTSD, a little boy with the neurometabolic disorder Leigh’s disease and former Broncos football player and Super Bowl winner Marvin Washington. The lawsuit deems the schedule 1 classification of marijuana is unconstitutional and that the federal laws on marijuana were a result of racial prejudice stemming from the 1960’s. Charles Rosenberg, the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is also named in the lawsuit.
ARE CONCENTRATES LEGAL IN ARIZONA?
THEY ARE...FOR NOW...
What’s in a name? For most of us, the distinction between the names “marijuana” and “cannabis” means a robust debate about the history of prohibition and the relative propriety and accuracy of using one name or another.
But for Arizona patients seeking relief from concentrates like shatter and wax, the distinction between those names might mean the difference between safe access and jail time. The deciding factor? How courts ultimately decide to reconcile the overlap of an outdated state narcotics law and an imprecisely defined medical marijuana law.
At issue is the Arizona criminal code — a pre-1960 relic that classifies marijuana and cannabis as two separate substances. Under this law, “cannabis” is the legal name for any extraction or concentration of marijuana resin. It’s also classified as a narcotic and carries stiffer criminal penalties than marijuana.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Actlegalizes “marijuana” and “any mixture or preparation thereof,” but according to the ruling of a Navajo County Superior Court judge, that does not encompass “cannabis.”
The ruling came in a case concerning a 26-year-old man who had a valid medical marijuana card, but was not allowed to legally possess resin because the resin was considered “cannabis.”
From the Phoenix New Times:
“After review of the statues the court finds that the AMMA does not include cannabis,” Navajo County Superior Court Judge Dale Nielson wrote in his October ruling. “The court reads that AMMA language of ‘any mixture or preparation thereof’ as making reference to the dried flowers of the plant and as such, without further definition, or information that cannabis can be extracted from a ‘dried flower,’ the court cannot find that this would include cannabis.”
However, a previous ruling on the same legal distinction between “marijuana” and “cannabis” reached the opposite conclusion when local law enforcement attempted to crack down on edibles using the same legal argument.
A ruling out of Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, ruled the opposite way. In 2014, after Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery hit a patient with a felony narcotics charge for having a single piece of THC-infused candy, a Maricopa judge ruled that the state’s medical cannabis law indeed “authorizes qualifying patients to use extracts, including CBD oil, prepared from the marijuana plant.”
In both instances, zealous law enforcement efforts are at the root of these cases; neither arose from a large scale distribution or manufacturing operation — one was an arrest over a few grams of hash, the other started with a single piece of medicated candy.
But since neither of these rulings creates a binding state precedent — and because there’s such a stark contrast between the competing interpretations — the issue is likely to ultimately come before the state Supreme Court.
But in the meantime, patients, retailers and producers are still left in a tenuous position: Without clear legal parameters concerning the legality of concentrates, edibles and other cannabis products, they’re at the mercy of local ordinances and often overzealous prosecutors and police, who seem dead set on prosecuting “cannabis” offenders under the state criminal code.
And if higher courts ultimately do uphold the prohibition on “cannabis” concentrates, edibles and tinctures? It would be absolute chaos for an already established medical retail system that serves over 89,000 people.
TELL US, are you an Arizona cannabis patient? How would a ban on concentrates affect you?
You know you’ve made it into the mainstream when a 29-year-old pot enthusiast lectures ABC News about the importance of learning how to interpret terpenes.
“My passion has led me down a road of daily research, growing, caregiving, activism, jobs, businesses, and now I am an expert witness in high-level cases and lecturing around the world,” Max Montrose told ABC News. “I have researched this plant incessantly from credible sources, and worked with it daily for 15 years.”
Montrose is president of Denver’s Trichome Institute, which is basically a weed trade school. Among other things, it teaches people how to interpret terpenes and offers training to become a pot sommelier.
Why Focus on Terpenes?
By now most of us know that terpenes are the compounds found in the essential oils of plants. Terpenes are responsible for certain plants’ distinctive tastes and aromas.
In the case of cannabis, terpenes also play a role in how the plant affects the mind and body when it’s consumed. So, following Max’s lectures, he gives an olfactory workshop where students can touch and smell the plant. He teaches them how to use their senses to determine good and bad cannabis samples, and to figure out where on the spectrum of psychoactivity a cannabis sample falls.
Montrose said we should use our senses the same way a sommelier does, “to break down real, true and noticeable characteristics [of the plant].” He calls his self-taught theory “Interpening,” which is a combination the words “interpreting” and “terpene.”
In his late teens, Montrose developed Interpening and coined the hybridized word. “I discovered all the ways to correlate psychotropic effect with bud structure and smell, and scent perception analysis.”
“Interpening:” Learning to Interpret Terpenes
There are over 120 different types of terpenes that can be expressed by the cannabis plant, although some are only found in trace amounts. They not only contribute to the smell and taste of the plant but they also pertain to the science of pharmacology.
Montrose said that identifying the dominant type of terpenes in a cannabis sample and recognizing where that smell is being felt in the nose—along with analyzing the structure of the bud—can clue consumers in to the type of impact a particular cannabis sample might have when it’s smoked.
For Montrose, there are a few key reasons why a person might want to learn how to interpene. For starters, this is a valuable skill for anyone interested in advising customers in a dispensary or medical setting on what kind of weed they should buy for their needs and wants.
Beyond that, plant scientists can breed a plant to produce particular terpene profiles. Similarly, people are learning to identify which seeds will produce which aromatic plants.
Understanding terpenes is also a major step forward in cannabis genetics, as we learn more about the role of terpenes—along with cannabinoids—in determining a plant’s overall set of effects.
According to Max Montrose and the Trichome Institute, the more we know about terpenes the better marijuana producers will be at growing specialized cannabis specifically tailored for whatever effects a consumer might be seeking.
7 Diseases Medical Marijuana Can Treat
Even though marijuana is approved for medical use in nearly 60% of U.S. states, there’s still somewhat of a stigma attached. However, doctors and patients agree that marijuana can be medically beneficial to many people. Here, we will explain 7 diseases that medical marijuana can treat.
A 2013 New England Journal of Medicine study found that nearly 8 out of 10 doctors approve the use of medical marijuana. A survey of California residents found that 92% of patients agree that marijuana is helpful for their symptoms of chronic pain, migraine headaches, and cancer.
Medical marijuana has shown promise in treating many conditions, including the following seven diseases:
- Chronic Pain – Opioid abuse is a worldwide epidemic that often stems from an addiction to prescribed painkillers. Opioids are highly addictive pain medications that should be used with extreme caution. Fortunately, there’s a growing body of evidence to support an alternative. Medical marijuana as a painkiller is less likely to lead to addiction and has been shown to reduce opioid use in patients who suffer from chronic pain.
- Cancer – Medical cannabis can be used to treat pain associated with cancer, but it also may slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells. Animal and in vitro studies have shown that cannabinoids may reduce stop some forms of cancer from spreading.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – PTSD can be a debilitating condition for which cannabis is the most promising treatment we have today. Researchers have found that people with PTSD have lower levels of anandamide, a compound also found in cannabis. With PTSD, the body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids to fill receptor sites, and this is where marijuana helps.
- Multiple Sclerosis – Smoking marijuana has been found to reduce pain and ease muscle spasms in people with multiple sclerosis. In the same way, marijuana has also been found to ease symptoms of people with spinal cord injuries.
- Glaucoma – The idea that marijuana can help with glaucoma dates back nearly five decades. Many studies have shown that cannabis can help lower intraocular pressure (IOP), which the main cause of this disease that can lead to blindness.
- Epilepsy – Studies suggest that marijuana and its active cannabinoids have antiepileptic effects for those who suffer partial or tonic-clonic seizures. In some animal studies, marijuana has also shown promise for reducing seizure thresholds.
- Chron’s Disease – One study found that cannabis improved Chron’s disease symptoms in 90% of people who took it, and 45% of the cannabis group experienced a complete remission.
For the fastest relief, smoke or vaporize marijuana. This is one of the fastest ways to get THC into the bloodstream and brain. It will take longer for you to experience the effects of medical marijuana by ingesting it, but they will last longer.
What is the Best Way to Do Dabs? A Little Dab Will Do!
What is the Best Way to Do Dabs?
Dabbing is the common terms for smoking or vaping concentrated cannabis. While it has been around for nearly a decade, there are still some uncertainties as to how to perform this technique. TWB has posted about dabs before, but we wanted to give you the lowdown on different ways to do dabs so you can decide which method is the best for you.
The preference for the concentrated version over the cannabis flower lies in its much stronger and powerful kick. The potency comes from its 70 to 90% THC content and no dead plant matter. With the heightened popularity of the ‘dabs’, the increased attention to consumption methods are growing. The below methods are guaranteed whether you are novice or pro.
- Dab Rig
This is only advised if you know what you’re doing and have a high tolerance. The rig consists of four components; oil rig, torch, nail and wand. The concentrated marijuana goes on the wand. You heat the nail with the torch and once hot, dab the the concentrate and inhale.
A similar but alternative method is using the electric nail. Similar to the Dab Rigs, except that instead of a torch, the nail is plugged in to heat up. You get more control over the temperature this way and can be sure to vaporize concentrates rather than combusting.
- Health Stone
This stone is a porous rock that you place in your bowl-piece. The marijuana is placed directly on the stone; no dab tool required. You still need a torch to heat the stone which then vaporizes the dab. This method works best for any concentrates like hash or crumble.
- Dab Pen
This is the most convenient way to use highly-concentrated cannabis. The pens are easy to use and portable and you don’t need a torch or any tools. The biggest complaint of the pens is the plastic aftertaste that gets left in your mouth, but it is not the worst thing, considering you can just pour the liquid in and go.
- Pre-Filled Vape Cartridges
Easy to use, these cartridges can be used in a dab pen that allow for refills or an e-cigarette or vape pens. These are very discreet and convenient but can be pricey too.
When you have super potent cannabis, you can mix it with some dry herb, creating ‘twax’. It offers a pleasurable experience but the high is sub-par to other methods. When rolled with flowers, the dab will burn slower making it perfect to share.
Whichever method you decide upon, one of these popular methods will be the better choice. Then all you have to do is decide what type of concentrate you want, shatter, crumble, wax or oil, and in a short matter of time your dabbing experience will be under way.
Author bio: Taylor Walker is a cannabis enthusiast and freelance writer based in Canada. Taylor has a keen interest in the health benefits of marijuana. He has written about topics such as CBD oil and various cannabis consumption methods and almost everything in between.
Arizona County Cracking Down on Dispensaries
That Don't Pay Taxes
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s most populous county is cracking down on medical-marijuana dispensaries and growth operations that aren’t paying property taxes on their business equipment.
Medical-marijuana businesses are evading as much as $1.5 million in property taxes each year by failing to report the value of the equipment they use, Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen said on Thursday.
Just 11 of the 109 dispensaries and growth operations that were sent business personal property tax forms responded by an April 1 deadline, Petersen said.
The Assessor’s Office has calculated a value for the 98 business that failed to respond and has hit them with a 10 percent penalty for failing to report, he said.
The businesses are encouraged to meet with Petersen’s staff to correct the record if necessary, he said.
“The point of this is to tell you all that I will pledge to work with (medical marijuana business owners),” Petersen said. “Even if they received a value they believe is incorrect, I encourage them to come in and meet with my staff. I would like to see their facilities so we can see what kind of property is there.”
Kevin DeMenna, lobbyist for the Arizona Dispensaries Association, said there is no conspiracy by businesses to avoid paying taxes. DeManna blamed the lack of response on the confusion that comes with starting a new industry.
Most dispensary owners have been unaware that they owe taxes on business personal property, DeManna said.
3 Deadly Pharmaceuticals that Could be Replaced by Marijuana
1. Opioid-Based PainkillersSo why is Big Pharma investing millions of dollars every year in researching and creating its own marijuana-based pain killers? Because Big Pharma recognizes medicinal marijuana outshines typical medications in many ways, and the prescriptions drug companies do not want to be left behind when this is recognized on a national level. Medicinal marijuana is indisputably beneficial in its comparative safeness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “opioids killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, and nearly half of all opioid deaths involved a prescription drug.” Since the recent Marijuana Boom in America, which began nearly a decade ago with the legalization of medical marijuana in several states such as Colorado and California, the misconception that marijuana is “a dangerous street drug” is being questioned more and more.Currently, opioids such as Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Hydrocodone, among others, are used to treat both chronic and acute pain. Acute pain being immediate, sharp pain, while chronic pain refers to long-term, reoccurring pain. Foreign prescription drug companies, such as Israel-based Intec Pharma Ltd, Nemus Bioscience, and Axim Biotechnologies Inc. are all currently testing non-psychoactive Cannabidoil (CBD) in laboratories to see if these types of pain can be mitigated through the use of CBD. With the results yet to be published, we patiently wait to see if marijuana is the next breakthrough in replacing dangerous opioids.2. Sleeping AidsAccording to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported by the New York Daily News, “nearly 9 million US adults resort to prescription sleeping pills.” Sleeping aids like Ambien and Zolpidem are not only addictive, but can lead to ER visits and possibly even death. They become especially dangerous when paired with alcohol or other medications. There is also the risk of overdosing on sleeping pills, where no such risk exists with marijuana.Insomnia affects individuals’ ability to function normally throughout the day. Sufferers experience drained energy, impaired mental acuity, and altered moods. Marijuana comes in two major strains: sativa and indica. Sativa strains tend to worsen insomnia, indica strains tend to relax the body and mind, and result in drowsiness.For prolonged sleep, we recommend taking indica edibles, rather than smoke or vapor. Although smoking or vaporizing makes effects immediate, the high tends to wear off after 3-4 hours, and could result in waking up in the middle of the night. Edibles, on the other hand, take longer to kick in, but last up to 6-8 hours; so restless patients have a better chance of staying asleep throughout the whole night. Please be cautious if you are new to edibles. Do not re-dose if their effects are not felt in the assumed timeframe. 3. Anti-Anxiety DrugsAnxiety disorders are often misunderstood and poorly treated… with benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium. Although not physically addictive, this class of drugs can cause serious dependency issues. According to the American Public Journal, reported by the New York Times, in 2013 nearly 5.6 percent of Americans filled a benzodiazepines prescription, and approximately 3 of every 100,000 people died from overdose. In March 2014, Vanderbilt University led a study on the effectiveness of treating anxiety through medical marijuana. They found that the cannabinoid receptors in the brain are pivotal in regulating anxiety and triggering the flight or fight responses that are essential to human survival. Those suffering from anxiety disorders often accidently trigger these cellular responses in the cannabinoids’ communication (in the amygdala), which can then create “fake” fight or flight scenarios, resulting in unnecessary anxiety. Since marijuana produces endocannabinoids and affects the same receptors in the brain, its use can help regulate anxiety and alleviate anxiety disorders.
(5 Marijuana Strains for Anxiety)
It should be noted, the same study also found that some of the heavy, habitual users actually incurred the opposite effect, and showed increased levels of anxiety.Big Pharma is predicting a giant increase in the number of Americans wanting marijuana-based painkillers, sleeping aids, and calmers. When the laws change, they expect to be ready.
Why Seniors Are Turning to Cannabis for Their Health Woes
More and more states are legalizing marijuana for medical applications every year, in spite of the fact that the federal government still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug. People of all ages are increasingly turning to cannabis to help treat their health care woes. The most surprising demographic to take the step into medical marijuana use is senior citizens. Here is a look at why some seniors are turning to cannabis for their health over other treatment options.
Living Through the Drug Wars
Senior citizens have lived through multiple wars on drugs, from the official “War on Drugs” in the 1980s to the “Just Say No” campaigns of the 1990s. There may even be some still alive who remember Reefer Madness from the 1930s. For many of them, this decades-long quest to quash any and all drug use has colored their opinion of using medical marijuana. In spite of this, many seniors are turning to cannabis for their health needs, at least in states where it’s legal.
Whether it’s due to declining health or simply because they’ve begun to accept their own mortality, many seniors suffer from the symptoms of clinical depression. Some may even believe it is a consequence of aging — that depression is just part of getting old — but that couldn’t be further from the truth, and it causes many suffering from these symptoms to forgo treatment.
Cannabis has been successfully used to help treat depression, and there are multiple ongoing studies looking into the short- and long-term effects of cannabis for depression. One of the side effects of using medical marijuana is that it tends to promote laughter — and laughter, as they say, is the best medicine. In this case, that’s not just a saying — laughter has been found to help improve health and increase lifespan.
Encouraging Active Lifestyles
While it is true that some strains of marijuana contain levels of THC and CBD that help you relax, other strains are bred for the feeling of energy you get after smoking or eating them. These particular strains can be a great tool for seniors to help them start and maintain an active lifestyle even at their age.
Regular exercise — even just 10 to 15 minutes of light cardio or strength training every day — has been found to help prevent the loss of muscle mass that comes with age. In addition, it can help improve mood by releasing endorphins into the body, improve mental health and function and reduce the chance of the senior developing more serious health risks later in life.
It is always important to talk to a doctor before starting any exercise regimen, but many seniors are finding cannabis helps increase their overall energy levels and makes them want to exercise again.
A common, but often dangerous, side effect of aging is that senior patients frequently lose their appetite — reducing their food intake to the point that they begin to lose weight. This could be due to anything from depression to medication side effects to simply being unable to prepare their own meals. Whatever the case, medical marijuana has become a vital tool to help due to its tendency to increase the user’s appetite.
Getting the munchies after smoking marijuana is a stereotype that, in this case, could be useful. Cannabis both helps increase appetite and reduce nausea — which is also why it’s so popular with patients undergoing chemotherapy or using other medications that have side effects like nausea or vomiting.
Reducing Drug Dependency
Many seniors are turning to cannabis for their health issues instead of their prescription medication for one simple reason. In many cases, medical marijuana offers better symptom control than prescription drugs, without all the nasty side effects. In some cases, such as when the individual lacks health insurance, cannabis can even be cheaper than prescription medication.
This isn’t to suggest that medical marijuana is an alternative for all prescription medications, especially for senior patients. Many of them have simply started turning to cannabis as an alternative.
Prescription drug dependency is a problem across the country — opioid pain killers, for example, are creating an epidemic of overdoses and addiction. The United States consumes nearly 80 percent of the opioids produced in the world, and elderly patients account for nearly 55 percent of prescription opioids in the country. This is leading to increasing numbers of senior citizens who need some form of substance abuse treatment. It’s estimated that by 2020, more than 4 million seniors will require treatment for substance abuse — a number that’s climbed nearly 260 percent since 2003.
Cannabis could also be used to help senior patients who are suffering from withdrawal from prescription medication. The research on this use of medical cannabis is still largely anecdotal, but it is possible to use marijuana to both reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and decrease the chance of relapse after the patient has made it through recovery. For senior patients who are suffering from substance abuse after months or years of prescription medication use, this could be an invaluable tool.
Medical marijuana is still considered a dangerous drug by the federal government — it’s classified as Schedule 1, which puts it in the same category as drugs like heroin and ecstasy. In spite of this federal mandate, more and more states are legalizing marijuana use every year. As the legalization spreads, we will likely hear about more reasons why seniors are turning to cannabis for their health needs instead of prescription medications for relief from glaucoma to cancer, and everything in between.
How Does Marijuana Help Alleviate Pain?
It is important to make a statement before this article, and that is: Marijuana is a lot more than what many think.
It has a great number of medicinal properties, Marijuana is an instant remedy for various neurological and physical disorders; but, unfortunately, is an underutilized therapeutic.
We all know how dreadful a few health conditions are. It is not only these health conditions, but the treatments for these health conditions will also be painful and draining. Medical condition like Cancer is something many are scared of, by just hearing its name. According to various scientific research experiments, Marijuana not only addresses pain but, several other symptoms, like Nausea, loss of appetite, depression, etc.
In this piece of content, we will be strongly focusing on the pain-alleviating properties of Marijuana
Before knowing about the Marijuana’s effect on pain, it is important for us, to know, what is a pain.
So, what is a pain?
First and foremost thing to know about pain is that it does not come from the organ that is injured, but it all happens in the brain. The injured area cannot lead to any pain, and it is one of the sensations, created by brain alone, to safeguard you. Pain is a simple result of the evaluation of the danger data received by the danger detection system, stored information, current information, and cognitive data, meaning previous exposure, social exposures, beliefs, and lastly the sensory data. And, where are all these evaluations, happening? It is in the Brain.
Many would have observed, the pain suddenly appearing or disappearing, i.e., one time, you will have shooting pain, and the next moment, it is gone. This off and on cycle occurs in the brain. The pain re-occurrence happens, when the brain is provided the credible evidence that there are dangers for the body and it needs protecting.
There are too many questions on how to effectively, or reduce pain without damaging other parts of the body. The most logical approach towards this is to soothe your brain, first. Yes, when your brain is assured that it is in a safe place, by delivering evidence of safety to the brain, you can bid goodbye to your pain, quickly. However, this is a little tricky.
What does Marijuana do for the pain?
One common factor that Marijuana and Pain have in common is that, their effects are centred in our brains. Pain happens in the brain, and Marijuana has its activity on the brain; this is sure to ring a bell, now.
Marijuana not only addresses one type of pain, but most of the types, like neuropathic pain, muscular pain, psychogenic pain, and lastly, idiopathic pain.
Both THC and CBD, which are the prominent cannabinoids of Marijuana, have their own effect on pain; one makes you forget the pain by exciting you, while the other makes you fall asleep, which also relieves the symptoms of pain.
The way THC works on the brain is pretty interesting…
THC has the ability to plug into the cannabinoid receptors, the unique receptors that receive cannabinoid neurotransmitters. When the THC interacts with these receptors, the neurons in the brain get excited, during which, these cannabinoid receptors will not have their usual effect.
In simple words, different areas in the brain, where cannabinoids are present, get excited at once. And during this, the communication and normal operation will be absent. And, it is here, the brain loses its ability to judge what is important, and what isn’t. The beneficial result is: pain becomes less important for your brain due to excitation.
As reported earlier, Cannabidiol (CBD) can also alleviate the pain, and its effect is more physical, rather than, psychological, which is one of the reasons; CBD is preferred largely for the pain treatment by those who are concerned about the psychological effects of this herb. Another reason why CBD is the best for pain relieving is that, it can treat every form of pain, and addresses every pain, at its cellular level.
Pain is dreadful and is something that people fear the most. Instead of going for pain-killers that will have side-effects 90% of the time, one can opt for the occasional consumption of side-effects- free, chemical free and safe Marijuana.
Legality of CBD???
Remember just before Christmas, when the DEA quietly adopted a “Final Rule”criminalizing “marihuana extract,” presumably including all extracts from the cannabis plant?
Then, the agency went on to “clarify” that the Final Rule was based on the DEA’s own interpretation that weed extracts derived from mature cannabis or industrial hemp stalks were not illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, furthermore, the ruling was meant to give priority to researchers.
Confusion and panic reigned across the land, especially from the burgeoning hemp industry, which has been developing countless innovative products, including plastics, and has seen the rise of an agricultural sector that could save the American farm.
And not to mention the fate of CBD extracts for medicinal purposes.
Hemp industry lawyers immediately took to the mat and filed a federal lawsuiton behalf of the Hemp Industries Association, Centuria Natural Foods and RMH Holdings LLC, which was intended to protect an American agricultural revival, attorney Bob Hoban told the Cannabist, in a special report.
“The entire industry hinges on this,” Hoban said.
Hoban, managing partner of Hoban Law Group, said that the action is clearly beyond the DEA’s authority.
“This Final Rule serves to threaten hundreds, if not thousands, of growing businesses, with massive economic and industry expansion opportunities, all of which conduct lawful business compliant with existing policy as it is understood and in reliance upon the Federal Government,” Hoban wrote on the firm’s website.
Hoban cautioned that the industry cannot sit on the sidelines, assuming state legalization and existing case law will shield producers, retailers and consumers of hemp-derived products.
It is now up to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to make a decision that could determine the course of the hemp industry, only recently revived after nearly eight decades, thanks to the 2014 Obama Farm Bill.
Although a decision in the 9th Circuit would be legally binding in only a collection of states and territories in the western United States, Hoban explained, it would at least clarify the DEA’s rule notice and set a precedent for the future.
The US Courts of Appeals for the 9th Circuit covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington.
Hoban called the appeal “the first inning of a very long ballgame.”
Meanwhile, hemp tries to make up for lost time.
A series of hemp pilot programs are underway around the country although they involve barely two percent of American farmers.
Before hemp was prohibited in 1937, that number was 30 percent, and our hemp was consider among the best in the world.
At least 16 states now have laws allowing cultivation of hemp for research and/or commercial purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and its production is raking in the dough.
The Hemp Business Journal calculated that last year the industry brought in an estimated $688 million in U.S. sales, with hemp-derived CBD accounting for around $130 million of that total.
So, can anyone guess why the DEA wants to put the kibosh on hemp and classify it as a Schedule 1 drug?
No? Neither can we. It seems incredibly counterproductive.
But then, so many decisions and actions taken by the DEA are beyond irrational and inexplicable. Just sayin’.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
Greece Announces Medical Pot Is Effectively Legal
“From now on, the country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal,” said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a recent press conference, reported by the Greek Government Gazette.
Presumably PM Tsipras is referring to turning a page forward when referring to the joint ministerial decision reached by Ministers of Health and Justice, which noted that cannabis will no longer be classified as a Table A drug (like our Schedule I drugs). Bravo!
This makes Greece the sixth country in the European Union to legalize MMJ after the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
But, let’s turn some pages back to the famous Greek historian, Herodotus (490 – 425-BC), who is said to have been the first writer to make mention of cannabis in Western literature when he documented its use among the nomadic Scythian tribes who regularly traversed northern Greece and Asia Minor.
Herodotus, often referred to as “the father of history,” describes a funeral tradition of the Scythians, where they fumigated cannabis on hot coals inside tents, a practice known today as hotboxing.
Herodotus wrote at length about cannabis use in the form of hemp, dating back to circa 200 BCE where it has been discovered in tombs in northern Greece, having been used to make clothing, sailcloth and other textiles.
Cannabis also had a place in the Greek Pharmacopeia.
Modern historian Michael Lahanas wrote: “The ancient Greeks used cannabis as a remedy to treat inflammation, earache, and edema (swelling of a body part due to collection of fluids).
It’s always nice when a country’s history catches up with itself.
As yet, there is no news from the Greek government about MMJ cultivation licensing, but, according to Neocosmos.com once the framework has been completed, Tsipras said that the importation of cannabis-based medicines will be permitted.
Will Medical Cannabis End the Opioid Epidemic in the U.S.?
The amount of deaths caused every year by opioid overdoses could be prevented with the use of medical cannabis. This is a topic that The Weed Blog has been covering frequently as of late, as you can see hereand here.
We have an increasingly serious opioid abuse problem in the U.S. Drug addiction has always been a major issue throughout the world, and it continues to plague generation after generation. Drug addicts compulsively look for ways to get their fix, despite knowing it is harmful for their health.
Addiction not only impacts the life of the abuser, it has an effect on everyone around them, including family and friends. Drug use will eventually have a negative impact on every aspect of a user’s daily life. Drug abuse is a substance-related disorder, and often the only way to overcome it is professional rehabilitation. If you’re concerned someone in your life might have an addiction, although it won’t be easy, talk to them and encourage them to get help.
The amount of people addicted to opioids has increased over the years, which has led to more opioid-related overdoses and deaths. It’s imperative we find a way to curtail this trend, and some are looking toward the use of medical cannabis to end the opioid epidemic.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin and synthetic versions thereof, which are often used to treat pain.They include fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone and codeine, in addition to others — most of which are only available by prescription.
Opioids work by attaching to receptors in the brain.They send a signal to the brain that blocks pain, slows down breathing and creates a calming feeling. When used for a short amount of time and as prescribed, opioids can be safe — although, even when used properly, dependency is still a risk. Since opioids have the ability to produce feelings of euphoria, they are highly addictive.This can lead to overdoses or death.
Opioids were originally derived from opium plants, which are used to create morphine.The earliest recorded use of opium for medical purposes goes back as far as 3400 B.C., and it has been in use in some form or another until the present day.
How Big of an Issue Is Opioid Abuse?
According to the CDC, the most common opioid drugs people overdose on include oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone, resulting in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015.
In some cases, addicts who are no longer able to get their fix through prescription drugs will turn to heroin, increasing their chances of an overdose. If heroin is unavailable, there are new cases of people turning to over-the-counter diarrhea medicine to get their fix, which is just as dangerous and could have an impact on the heart.
How Is Cannabis Used Medically?
Cannabis use for medical purposes was first referenced as far back as 2900 B.C. by a Chinese emperor. It gained medical popularity in the West in the 1840s, and use of cannabis for medical reasons continues to this day.
The use of medical cannabis is becoming less stigmatized, and more states are passing laws to allow doctors to prescribe its use. Some conditions medical cannabis is used to treat include nausea caused by cancer treatments, seizure disorders, Crohn’s disease or muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. However, the most common request for medical marijuana is to treat pain.
How Is Cannabis Used to Treat Pain?
One of the main reasons patients turns to opioid use is to curtail or improve chronic pain. Living with chronic pain can be incredibly difficult and debilitating. It not only impacts the physicality of the sufferer, it can also have an effect on their health, mood and overall well-being. Finding relief from chronic pain can improve a person’s daily life. This, coupled with the added sense of euphoria, can explain why so many use and abuse opioids.
The cannabis found in marijuana plants treats pain by altering the way nerves function. However, the science behind what medical marijuana does for pain is lacking, and the FDA hasn’t approved the plant to be used medically. However, some physicians and users of medical marijuana will attest to its pain-relieving ability.
How Could Medical Cannabis Replace Opioids?
Since most users of opioids are looking for ways to reduce their pain, and medical cannabis seems to have the ability to do just that, it seems like a natural replacement for more dangerous painkillers. After all, there have never been deaths related to cannabis overdoses.
Studies have been conducted to examine the possibility of replacing opioids with medical cannabis use, and states where medical cannabis is legal have seen a reduced rate of death from opioids. It seems only logical that an alternative pain-relief method can reduce the opioid epidemic.
Why Hasn’t Medical Cannabis Replaced Opioids?
Using medical cannabis as an opioid replacement hasn’t become a worldwide practice for many reasons — chiefly, the lack of scientific research on the medical use of cannabis and the stigma that still surrounds marijuana. The drug is still classified as a Schedule I, which is the highest drug rating, and places it in the same category as heroin and hallucinogens such as LSD and peyote. This classification also means that marijuana has no medical uses and a high potential to be abused.
Medical cannabis also has some side effects, including dry mouth, insomnia, paranoia, drowsiness, respiratory problems and short-term memory loss, in addition to a few others. There have also been studies that have linked marijuana use to psychiatric disorders.
While the idea of using medical cannabis to replace opioid addiction seems promising and there are a few studies to back up its effectiveness, there just isn’t enough evidence. Addiction is an incredibly difficult disorder to overcome. The addict can’t do it alone, and while there are support groups and clinics that do what they can, there are limited resources to help addicts get and remain clean.
Any progress that can be made in reducing the amount of opioid abusers and related deaths should be researched and given a chance. Thousands of lives depend on it.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA ON ALZHEIMER’S PREVENTION
A preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that very small doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can slow the production of toxic clumps of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain, which are thought to kick start the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, the fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaques.
The study supports the results of previous research that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Back in 2006, Kim Janda, a chemistry professor at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues published the first study showing that THC might have a positive effect in fighting Alzheimer’s.
“It was one of first papers that showed there could possibly be a link,” Janda said. “There was huge pushback when we published it.”
Since then, many other studies have been undertaken, and the news keeps getting better.
Researchers from the Abarbanel Mental Health Center, the Medical Faculty at Tel-Aviv University and the Department of Psychology at Bar-Ilan University have also conducted a study to observe the effects of cannabis on Alzheimer’s.
The Israeli study observed the effects of medical marijuana on 11 people living with Alzheimer’s over the course of four weeks. Ten participants finished the trial.
Despite the small size of the study, researchers concluded that: “Adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s patients’ pharmacotherapy is a safe and promising treatment option.”
More research is obviously needed to support a long-range study with proper control groups.
With the anti-science administration in the White House, funding for such research may be difficult to come by at the moment.
But, if our current leaders could look beyond their preconceived and mostly erroneous views of cannabis, it would be worth it for the government to join the rest of the scientific world.
Especially considering that in the United States there are 76 million baby-boomers, and they are living longer than ever. Studies have warned that as many as 28 million of them could develop Alzheimer’s.
The cost of caring for them could exceed $300 billion—that is unless the Trump administration has its way and cuts all available medical care. But that’s another story.
Those baby boomers who are already disposed to consuming cannabis may be a step ahead of their friends.
So, if you’re reading this, join the folks who are taking the decision into their own hands and warding off Alzheimer’s with a simple and pleasant, remedy.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
Can Medical Marijuana Help Treat Liver Disease?
Can medical marijuana help treat liver disease? As more scientific research is being done on the cannabis plant in general, so is more research on the endocannabinoid system. There have been articles written about what the endocannabinoid system is, and even articles about how endocannabinoid deficiency can affect the human body.
Research has also found that liver disease, a disease that inflicts more than 400,000 people each year and is ranked among the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., can be treated with medical marijuana because of the endocannabinoid system. This very system regulates not only the nervous system, but the immune system as well. Because of this, researchers have concluded that cannabis may possibly be able to help people suffering from certain forms of liver disease because of our preexisting cannabinoid system. This followed a study in 2005 that researchers at the Hebrew University Medical School did, which concluded that our body’s own internal endocannabinoid system has receptors that bind with cannabis’ most active ingredient, THC.
While this study showed a possible connection between liver disease and cannabinoids, more research was needed.
A recent article on the Fresh Toast stated that following the 2005 study’s conclusions, a 2011 study published in the journal of Cell Death and Disease used mouse models to determine that cannabidiol or CBD (cannabis’ non-intoxicating ingredient) causes infected liver cells to participate in apoptosis, also known as cell suicide.
They concluded their research noting that CBD may have “great therapeutic potential.” Even better, controlled doses of CBD do not affect healthy or non-malignant cells. So it can attack the bad cells and shy away from the good ones.
But if cannabis has positive effects on liver disease cam it also have negative effects? According to science, not particularly.
Cannabis consumption does not increase or accelerate the progression of liver disease. In a 2013 study that asked the question can medical marijuana help treat liver disease, researchers studied 690 liver disease patients– specifically patients with HIV and Hepatitis C infections, which showed promise.
At the start of the experiment, 53 percent of the subjects had smoked cannabis in the last six months, consuming an average of seven joints per week. 40 percent of the subjects smoked daily.
Researchers concluded that “There was no evidence that marijuana smoking accelerates progression to significant liver fibrosis.”
So, no, smoking cannabis won’t worsen liver disease, if anything, the last 12 years of research prove it could help.
How To Make Marijuana Infused Olive Oil
Most stoners prefer to make cannabis butter because it’s quite versatile and it’s easier to make edibles with as compared to always just throwing weed in the pot. However, it seems like most people don’t really know that you can make olive oil infused with cannabis as well. The olive oil is far healthier than butter, not to mention it won’t go back on you and it’s far easier to transport, making it much better then most people know. This recipe will teach you how to make your own cannabis infused olive oil, which can be used in pretty much every single recipe out there!
Cannabis Infused Olive Oil Recipe
- 3.5 cups virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce marijuana, finely ground
- Use a coffee grinder to get the best powdery marijuana. Usually you can fit about 7 grams in these little grinders at a time and they do a very good job of giving you a fine powder.
- Start by putting the oil in a sauce pan and turn up to medium. Do not let the oil reach the boiling point but once it has heated up, you can add in the marijuana powder.
- Let the oil simmer, never letting it boil and constantly stirring. If you see bubbles begin to form in the oil, turn down the heat and remove the mixture from the burner until it cools off a bit. By boiling the mixture, too much THC would be released and you wouldn’t get the desired effect from your oil.
- Continue this for about an hour, possibly two if you have the time.
- Strain your oil through cheesecloth in to a container that you can cap. Be careful to let the oil cool off a bit, as it’ll be extremely hot right off the stove. Also make sure to squeeze the cheesecloth to make sure that you get all of the oil out of it.
- You now have your marijuana-infused cannabis oil!
How Is Hemp CBD Oil Different From Marijuana CBD Oil?
At 5 years old, young Charlotte Figi had been suffering roughly 300 grand mal seizures weekly for years when her father, Matt, looking for alternatives to her mostly unsuccessful traditional allopathic treatments, found a video online extolling the benefits of CBD oil in the treatment of Dravet Syndrome. Under Colorado’s fledgling medical marijuana program, Charlotte’s parents found a strain of high cannabidiol (CBD), low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis flower named R4 being sold at a Colorado dispensary. They bought a few ounces and worked with friends to extract oil from it. High-CBD, low-THC cannabis is a desirable medicine, both for the therapeutic benefits of CBD and the low presence of THC, which minimizes psychoactivity. Charlotte responded favorably to her very first dose, bringing the frequency of her seizures down to one per week.
Her parents then met the Stanley brothers, owners of Colorado’s largest dispensary at the time and cultivators of a high-CBD strain of cannabis very few people were purchasing. Together, they developed the dormant strain into a continual harvest and constant supply of medical marijuana CBD oil to treat Charlotte, and subsequently, other patients seeking similar relief. The strain became what’s known today asCharlotte’s Web. When the news of this process, and others like it, aired on CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s documentary Weed in 2013, people across the globe, especially parents of children suffering seizures, flocked to the Internet to find this “miracle” CBD oil. Little was to be found.
Capitalizing businesses quickly jumped in to fill the void created by the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which strictly prohibits the use and sale of marijuana because of the presence of THC, not CBD. Under the law, hemp-derived CBD is completely legal, but CBD doesn’t appear out of thin air. In order to produce CBD oil, you must first harvest high-CBD cannabis plants, legally. In the United States, this requires growers to be licensed in their state either as an industrial hemp farmer or a medical/recreational marijuana grower. Not all states provide these licenses, and where some do, each type of license has a completely different set of parameters, rules, and regulations, including whom you can sell your products to.
Needless to say, the rabid overnight demand for CBD oil combined with the intricacies of a nation involved in a drug war created a very confusing topic, and an opportunity for businesses to sell snake oil. Still today, people are discovering the wonders of CBD and yearning for information on how to obtain it. In an effort to untangle this web, here’s a go-to guide for understanding the differences between hemp-derived CBD oils and marijuana-derived CBD oils.
Hemp CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid known largely for its muscle relaxant properties. Isolated on its own, CBD is non-psychoactive and it’s been reported to be effective in treating seizures, even in young children.
CBD is found in both the drug producing Cannabis Indica and hemp producing Cannabis Sativa. Hemp CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, the C. Sativa species of cannabis, which produces nearly no amount of the cannabinoid Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but does produce some amount of the cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD). Industrialized hemp production is legal at the federal level, with laws and licensure varying from state-to-state.
CBD Works Best Combined With Other Cannabinoids
Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds, 80 of which are currently categorized as cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the principal cannabinoids in cannabis, both commonly occurring in the relatively largest concentrations, and they are incredibly synergistic.
Embracing the full-spectrum of cannabis’ naturally occurring phytonutrients is part of a process called whole plant medicine. This practice is highly regarded in the holistic and alternative medicine communities, existing in stark contrast to the practice of fractionated medicine, a process involving the heavy use processing and chemical synthesis popularized by the pharmaceutical industry.
Long before people began hybridizing cannabis to create the highest THC strain to wow judges at cannabis competitions, naturally occurring fields of cannabis most likely contained plants with moderate concentrations of both primary cannabinoids CBD and THC along with other naturally occurring therapeutic cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, plus various terpenes, flavonoids, and all other phytonutrients found in healthy cannabis plants. Thanks to Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam, the synergies of all these compounds working together is now known as “The Entourage Effect.”
While not sanctioned for children because of its euphoria-producing properties, adding any amount of THC to a therapeutic dose of CBD largely enhances CBD’s effects. Medical cardholders in many states can now access CBD products with varying ratios of CBD to THC. Everything from 20:1 to 1:1 ratios, even 2 parts THC to 1 part CBD, make for an incredibly therapeutic array of options for patients seeking the benefits of Cannabidiol.
Hopefully this guide will help you better understand the intricacies and the processes involved in accessing varying forms of CBD.
2,500-year-old marijuana discovered in an ancient tomb
The marijuana plants had been used as a burial shroud, the archaeologists say
A 2,500-year-old stash of whole marijuana plants have been unearthed from an ancient tomb in northwest China. This discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that ancient people used marijuana for its psychoactive properties, and incorporated it into their rituals.
team of archaeologists, led by Hongen Jiang with the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, discovered 13 marijuana plants that were still largely intact, if yellowed and desiccated after millennia underground. In a first for funerary marijuana, the plants were found lying like a burial shroud atop the body of a man who had died in his mid-30s. Their roots lay below the man’s hips and the tips — which had been trimmed to remove the flowers — extended up around his face, according to the publication of the find in the journalEconomic Botany.
This stash was found in one of 240 tombs that archaeologists had excavated in a desert region of the Turpan Basin in northwest China. The area had probably once been a stop along the Silk Road, and pastoral people called the Subeixi had lived and traded here, Kristin Romey for National Geographic reports. Three other tombs in this cemetery also contained marijuana fruits, leaves, stem fragments, and seeds. Scientists have wondered whether the marijuana plants came in via trade, or whether they had been farmed or grew wild in the region. Since the burial shroud marijuana plants were whole, uprooted plants, that suggests local growth.
Ancient people in Siberia and northwestern China have been putting pot in tombs since at least the first millennia BCE. An open question has been whether these plants were used for fruit, for their hemp fibers to make rope and clothing, or for what we use them for today: to get high, or to cut pain. So far, archaeologists have found 6,000 to 7,000-year-old hemp fabrics in Northern China, but haven’t unearthed any evidence of hemp clothing near the Turpan Basin before 2,000 years ago. While it’s possible that the clothes may simply have rotted over time, it’s also possible that the main purpose of marijuana wasn’t fiber.
In 2006, archaeologists found a large cache of marijuana fragments in a grave from around the same time period, at a nearby settlement. When scientists later analyzed the plants, they detected compounds that form when the main source of marijuana’s high — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — breaks down. That means these plants were probably prized for their psychoactive properties. This latest discovery of marijuana plants used as a burial shroud as well as the many previous findings of marijuana in the region’s tombs suggests that marijuana was used either medicinally or ritually, the authors write.
Study: Cannabis May Treat Vascular Dementia
According to the study’s researchers; “Vascular dementia is the highly devastating neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mainly found in aged people but the effectual therapeutic target is still not there.” In addition; “Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) has been broadly found in vascular dementia (VaD) patients.” CCH is thought to “link with neurodegenerative disorders and their subsequent cognitive deteriorate on.”
For the study, researchers examined “the role of a selective agonist of cannabinoid receptor type 2(CB2); 1-phenylisatin in CCH induced VaD [using rat models].”
In doing so, it was found that the CB2 agonist attenuated the CCH. “Hence”, researchers state, “it may be suggested that modulation of cannabinoid receptor may provide benefits in CCH as cognitive impairment and VaD.”
They conclude; “Therefore, selective agonists of CB2 receptors may be a potential research target for the alleviation of VaD.”
The full study, conducted at Amity University Uttar Prades in India, can be found by clicking here.
A separate study published last month by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that administration of THC and CBD – both cannabis compounds – is effective in treating dementia in its early stages, as well as its late stages.
Study: Cannabis Can Eliminate Toxic Protein From Alzheimer's Disease
Scientists at the Salk Institute labs in San Diego have come up with the preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds that cannabis part can eliminate amyloid beta, the toxic protein generally associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Salk Institute officials have warned that the findings published in the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease’s June issue mustn’t be taken as an indication that cannabis is a cure for Alzheimer’s.
They carried out the studies in neurons grown in a lab, and the studies could ultimately offer insight in the part inflammation plays in the disease. The work of Salk Institute may offer indications regarding creating novel therapeutics for the disorder.
The study’s senior author, David Schubert, said, “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. We believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells”.
The progressive brain disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, results into memory loss and can severely impair the ability of a person to conduct everyday tasks. The National Institutes of Health said that it affects over 5 million people in America, and is the country’s most common cause of dementia, and main cause of death. In the coming half century, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is likely to become three times.
For long, it has been known that amyloid beta gets collected in the nerve cells of the aging brain quite prior to the appearance of the symptoms and plaques of Alzheimer’s disease, as per the Salk Institute.
Amyloid beta is a main part of the plaque deposits, a trait of Alzheimer’s, but the exact roles played by amyloid beta and the plaques it makes aren’t clear so far.
"Most images of marijuana in pop culture involve stoners getting high and forgetting what they were doing. But what if weed could actually prevent memory problems instead of causing them," according to a news report published by Observer.
The Salk team actually began their study by examining J147, another experimental Alzheimer's drug. As they put that drug through its paces, they discovered that it activated endocannabinoids, receptors that mediate the effects of marijuana on the brain but can also reduce brain inflammation.
Given this result, researchers decided to find out if marijuana itself could help memory. They altered human nerve cells in the lab so they would produce high levels of amyloid, a protein produced in the brain that can build up and form plaque deposits-the accumulation of these deposits over time may hasten the development of Alzheimer's disease.
"The government doesn't want to fund clinical trials and drug companies can't make a profit. Until the social structure changes and the laws change, it's gonna be difficult to sort this out."- Dr. David Schubert
According to a story published on the topic by Leafly, "Scientists at the Salk Institute labs in San Diego have published preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in cannabis can remove amyloid beta, the toxic protein most commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease."
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that leads to memory loss and can seriously impair a person's ability to carry out daily tasks. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects more than 5 million Americans, is the nation's most common cause of dementia, and is a leading cause of death. Alarmingly, the incidence of Alzheimer's is expected to triple during the next 50 years.
"Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer's disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves," said Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert's laboratory and the first author of the paper.
Several famous athletes are advocating for marijuana use as a workout tool. These athletes do not necessarily consider marijuana as a performance enhancer, but a “life enhancer.” They report more focus and positivity when working out with marijuana.
Canadian Olympic snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati supports marijuana use during workout sessions. He says, “As an athlete, there’s a lot of repetitive working out that goes on and going to the gym two, three hours a day for five days a week for years on end gets monotonous. To be able to spice it up in a natural way for an athlete is the best possible thing,” The Washington Post reports.
Rebagliati added that the focus gained is nothing he’d ever seen before as he said, “All the distractions of your phone, the people next to you working out, it just goes away and you’re just going to pound out the workout.”
Former NBA player, Cliff Robinson, was suspended twice during his 18-year career for marijuana use. He is venturing into the Oregon marijuana industry and focusing on marijuana designed specifically for athletes. In the NBA, Robinson was known as “Uncle Cliffy,” but he is changing the nickname to “Uncle Spliffy.”
Robert Szatkowski, better known as professional wrestler Rob Van Dam, is a known marijuana user and advocate. Szatkowski said, “I’ve been known to apply smoking to everything throughout the day,” and that it also “helped him in thinking good thoughts,” especially in high-stress situations like being in the ring in front of millions of people.
Szatkowski also says that the physicality of pro-wrestling is the equivalent of “50 car crashes in 10 minutes in the ring,” resulting in multiple minor injuries. The injuries leave him battered and in pain. Marijuana helps with his pain management and he wishes to see it as a legal treatment and workout tool.
5 Must-Know Facts About Cannabidiol (CBD)
Because while doctors can’t seem to look past certain side effects of THC, CBD doesn’t appear to present that problem. On the other hand, evidence of CBD’s medical benefits continues to grow.
Here are five facts that you should know about this unique compound:
1. CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied.
CBD and THC levels tend to vary among different plants. Marijuana grown for recreational purposes often contains more THC than CBD.
However, by using selective breeding techniques, cannabis breeders have managed to create varieties with high levels of CBD and next to zero levels of THC. These strains are rare but have become more popular in recent years.
2. CBD is non-psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the chemical a significant advantage as a medicine, since health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects.
CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways as THC. These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC.
A 2011 review published in Current Drug Safety concludes that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions.” The authors add that several studies suggest that CBD is “well tolerated and safe” even at high doses.
3. CBD has a wide range of medical benefits
Although CBD and THC act on different pathways of the body, they seem to have many of the same medical benefits. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
- Suppresses seizure activity
- Combats psychosis disorders
- Combats inflammatory disorders
- Combats neurodegenerative disorders
- Combats tumor and cancer cells
- Combats anxiety and depression disorders
Unfortunately, most of this evidence comes from animals, since very few studies on CBD have been carried out in human patients.
But a pharmaceutical version of CBD was recently developed by a drug company based in the UK. The company, GW Pharmaceuticals, is now funding clinical trials on CBD as a treatment for schizophrenia and certain types of epilepsy.
Likewise, a team of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister, has stated that they hope to begin trials on CBD as a breast cancer therapy.
4. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
CBD seems to offer natural protection against the marijuana high. Numerous studiessuggest that CBD acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia.
CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, which may explain why some strains of cannabis are known to increase alertness.
Both CBD and THC have been found to present no risk of lethal overdose. However, to reduce potential side effects, medical users may be better off using cannabis with higher levels of CBD.
5. CBD is still illegal
Even though CBD shows much promise as a medicine, it remains illegal in many parts of the world. CBD is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States and a Schedule II drugin Canada.
On the other hand, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a request to trial a pharmaceutical version of CBD in children with rare forms of epilepsy. The drug is made by GW Pharmaceuticals and is called Epidiolex.
According to the company, the drug consists of “more than 98 percent CBD, trace quantities of some other cannabinoids, and zero THC.” GW Pharmaceuticals makes another cannabis-based drug called Sativex, which has been approved in over 24 countries for treating multiple sclerosis.
A patent awarded to the U.S. Health and Human Services in 2003 (US6630507) also covers the use of CBD as a treatment for various neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders.
8 TERMS EVERY MODERN DAY MARIJUANA USER NEEDS TO KNOW
Knowing the proper terminology when it comes to marijuana is becoming more and more important as the marijuana industry (medical and recreational) begins to blossom across the U.S.
An edible is a consumable product (food and drinks) that contains marijuana. Sometimes the word medible is used because it is a combination of the words edible and medicine. Edibles generally take 30 minutes to 60 minutes to take effect. The effects last between 2 and 8 hours depending on the dosage and strength of the marijuana used in the item.
THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that produces a “high.” Each strain has a different THC level, higher percentages mean stronger effects. Marijuana averages at about 12 percent THC, but more modern marijuana strains have been tested above 30 percent.
Cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD, is another compound found in the marijuana plant. It produces no psychoactive effects. CBD strains are typically used for pain relief, nausea, epilepsy, psychosis prevention, cancer treatment, and for treating many other medical conditions.
Strain refers to the type of plant the marijuana came from – Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica. All strains come from either sativa or indica; when cross-bred the strain becomes a hybrid. Hybrids are generally sativa- or indica-dominant and the effects primarily reflect the dominant strain.
Sativa strains are known for providing energy and creativity effects. Sativas are ideal for daytime use as they typically promote productivity.
Indica strains are ideal for chronic pain disorders, anxiety, insomnia and nausea. The most common effects of indica strains are relaxation and pain relief. These strains are ideal for night time use because they provide a more relaxing “high” than sativas. Stronger indicas are known to induce couch lock, or lazy feelings.
Shake is the leftovers from marijuana trimming. It consists of trichomes and leaves at the bottom of the barrel, so-to-speak. Some shake also contains stems. Shake is ideal for rolling joints as well as making marijuana butter, which can then be used to make edibles.
Dabs are a highly concentrated form of marijuana. It is a sticky, gooey substance that can contain THC levels of 60-90 percent. Other terms for dabs are: wax, shatter, BHO (butane hash oil). Dabs are generally only used by experienced and high-tolerance users.
A new study, Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS), is being published in the Journal of Pain and found that patients who used marijuana daily for one-year reported reduced discomfort and increased quality of life.
The study also found that patients do not experience an increased risk of serious side effects, and that patients who used marijuana had a reduced sense of pain when compared to a control group, as well as reduced anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
The researchers discovered that daily marijuana consumers possessed no greater risk to experience “serious adverse events” than non-users. In particular, the researchers did not find any significant adverse changes in consumers’ cognitive skills, pulmonary function, or blood work following one-year of daily marijuana use.
“The sensory component of pain was reduced over one year in cannabis users compared to controls” and “quality-controlled herbal cannabis, when used by cannabis-experienced patients as part of a monitored treatment program over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile,” concluded the study’s researchers.
Indica vs. Sativa: The Small But Significant Difference in Cannabis Genes
Researchers from Canada recently published a genetic analysis of a large batch of different hemp and marijuana strains to teach the world more about a plant that has been neglected for too long by the academic community. They discovered a large genetic difference between hemp and marijuana, with a small, but significant, rift between indica and sativa.
Modern taxonomy considers all of cannabis to form one species, Cannabis sativa L.; so-called indica,sativa and ruderalis are actually subspecies of Cannabis sativa L. Until now, the official story told us that hemp fell under Cannabis sativa L. subs. sativa, the cannabis we smoke fell under Cannabis sativa L. subs. indica, and Cannabis sativa L. subs. ruderalis was essentially ditchweed.
The study selected 81 “marijuana” samples (high-THC) and 43 hemp samples (low THC and low overall cannabinoid production). They got the marijuana seeds from online sources that reported the percent indica or sativa for each strain. Their genetic analysis showed a moderate separation in the marijuana gene pool that correlated with the seedbank-reported percent indica or sativa. While the differences between indica and sativa have been doubted, this research shows that they “may represent distinguishable pools of genetic diversity,” even though “breeding has resulted in considerable admixture between the two.”
Compared to the genes of the high-THC cannabis we smoke, hemp genes are quite different. Since the two have always been considered the same species, the illegality of high-THC cannabis has always carried over to hemp. This and further research may soon prove that hemp forms a separate species, which would help it gain recognition as a purely industrial plant, whose cultivation doesn’t require the regulatory considerations needed for recreational or medical cannabis cultivation. Dividing the two species will also help prevent the use of CBD derived from potentially contaminated industrial hemp as medicine.
In an unexpected twist, researchers also discovered that hemp shares more genetic relation to indicastrains than sativa strains. This could be due to the fact that most sativa strains do not produce CBD, while most indicas produce at least a small amount. Hemp strains do not make large flowers with abundant trichomes and produce almost all CBD as their major cannabinoid. The small amount of CBD in indicas may represent part of the small similarity they have with hemp strains.
Taking a look at the graph they published, you can see they analyzed some well-known strains in the cannabis world. For each strain (named in the column on the right) the provided the percentage ofsativathe seedbank reported (in the middle column), and the left column represents the level of indicaor sativa based on their analyses. Red means sativa and blue means indica. If you take a closer look you’ll see a lot of discrepancies between the reported percentage of sativa and what the analysis shows. Strains like Neville’s Haze and Dr. Grinspoon, well known super-sativas, tested with high levels of sativa genes, but Durban Poison, a well-known African sativa, tested with almost no sativa genes. White Widow showed up in two places on the list; the first instance it has a little sativa presence, and the second one has almost none.
The study admitted that the ongoing illegality of cannabis has made sample verification almost impossible, and this is the most likely explanation for some of these discrepancies. As we continue to unify the knowledge gained so far about cannabis the scientific community will inevitably unravel the mystery surrounding the progeny of cannabis. Further genetic knowledge will help us preserve and enrich the precious cannabis gene pool.
One young woman, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis three years ago, was fed up with the side effects and ineffectiveness of the liver-destroying anti-rheumatic drugs her doctors were giving her so she decided to take matters into her own… blender.
Katie Marsh’s daily relief is a smoothie with fruit, yogurt and thawed, juiced cannabis.
After trying other natural anti-inflammatory remedies like turmeric and ginger, her pain continued to worsen and she became more and more debilitated.
“It got so bad that I had trouble getting out of bed, getting off and on the toilet and even dressing myself,” according to a Fox News article.
Upon a friend’s advice, Ms. Marsh decided to try juicing marijuana. She soon sought out Dr. William Courtney, co-founder of the International Cannabis Foundation a leading expert in raw dietary cannabis.
“When it’s consumed as a leafy green vegetable, you get the whole profile of the plant,” said Dr. Courtney.
Unlike heated forms of cannabis, raw dietary cannabis contains both the terpenes and chemical compounds in the correct portion and ratio. Some 8,000 of his patients, he says, have seen positive effects from ingesting raw dietary cannabis, whether juiced, blended, or chopped into coleslaw.
According to Courtney, one of the biggest benefits is the positive effect cannabis has on the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system, which is made up of endocannabinoids, or chemical compounds found throughout the body that perform different processes.
“I believe this plant, having evolved over millions of years, is put together to support that system,” he said.
As for Katie Marsh, it’s working like a charm. Once she learned what strains to look for, she started juicing every day.
“I saw results very quickly. Within a matter of a couple of days I was able to stop the prednisone and ibuprofen,” she said.
Nearly a year later, Marsh still has slight pain in her feet from damage done by the rheumatoid arthritis, but her condition is now in remission.
Israeli researchers have discovered that cannabis can be effectively used in healing broken bones and maybe other skeletal illnesses.
READ MORE: Mile-high club: Oregon permits in-state flyers to pack marijuana
Scientists from the Tel Aviv University revealed that cannabis has a component which enhances the healing process of fractured bones. The study was published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
A curative component, called cannabidiol (CBD), sped up healing processes in the broken leg bones of trial rats with mid-femoral fractures. CBD is non-psychotropic and is also effective when isolated from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis.
“While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactivity,” said Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory, as cited by the Tel Aviv university website.
To illustrate these findings, scientists tested two different groups of rats - one was treated with both CBD and THC while the other one only with CBD.
READ MORE: Seeing green: Washington rakes in revenue from marijuana taxes
“We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing,” Gabet explained.
“Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing,” he added.
The researchers also found that human cannabinoid receptors stimulate bone growth. That means further studies of marijuana usage to treat osteoporosis and other skeletal diseases are to come.
“We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant,” Gabet said.
“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” he added.
READ MORE: Legalization has no effect on teen pot use – study
Medical cannabis also provides bone tissue with mineralization, so it protects bones from further injury, making them less fragile. “After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future,” Gabet explained.
This is not the first study devoted to the health properties of marijuana. It has been linked to effective treatment of epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson ‘s diseases. It is also used to soften the negative effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, treat chronic pain, and help people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
A bad first experience is often times enough for people to thrown in the towel to eliminate a repeated bad experience from their life forever. With marijuana, it is usually side effects such as anxiousness or paranoia – which are primarily associated with high-THC marijuana strains – that make people fear marijuana.
But many marijuana strains – usually indicas and some hybrids that contain less THC and more CBD – have been cultivated to cause relaxation, euphoria and pain relief for consumers. This list provides some of the best marijuana strains for novice or low-tolerance marijuana consumers:
– Maui Waui(Sativa)
– Northern Lights(Indica)
– Jack Herer(Sativa)
– Blue Dream(Hybrid)
– Verde Electric(Hybrid)
– OG Kush(Hybrid)
– Pineapple Express (Hybrid)
The benefits of vaporizing instead of smoking are well documented: it is better for health and, for most consumers, it’s also less expensive in the long run.
Here are four reasons why you should consider making the switch from smoking to vaping:
1. IT’S HEALTHIER
The combustion of marijuana can produce several known carcinogens and tar, which can irritate the lungs and lead to chronic bronchitis. Vaporizers were primarily designed to overcome this issue. By heating marijuana at a lower temperature than combustion, the devices produce an inhalable vapor that still contains the active medical ingredients in marijuana (cannabinoids), but without the harmful by-products.
2. IT’S COST-EFFECTIVE
While some vapes require an initial investment of about $200, many often cost as little as $40. And vaping saves you money in the longterm, because you use less marijuana to get the same effects as with smoking.
3. IT’S DISCREET
Some vapes do still emit a noticeable vapor and marijuana odor, but for the most part, newer vaporizer pens are much more discreet than smoking and are odorless.
4. THE FLAVOR
Most vaporizers enhance the flavor of the marijuana strain being vaped, which adds to the many pleasures already attributed to marijuana.
Early research suggests that CBD, a substance naturally found in marijuana, is an effective treatment for minimizing the inflammation experienced by asthma sufferers.
The research study found that the studied rats treated with CBD experienced a reduction in two types of cytokines, known as Tp and Th2. In addition to showing that CBD treatment was effective in reducing cytokine levels, the study also suggests that CBD may influence a reduction in the major stimuli of mucus hyper-secretion, another prominent symptom experienced by those with asthma.
The study’s findings were consistent with that of the Ribero study, which shows CBD to have potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. It is noted, however, that the asthma-associated inflammation of the rat models differed somewhat from that of the LPS-induced inflammation of the mice models being studied for decreasing inflammation due to lung injuries.
This study and many others like it are demonstrating the need for more effective, rigorous and timely studies on the potential medicinal benefits from marijuana.
Some marijuana strains are known for helping to produce creativity. For this reason, many artists and musicians throughout history have used marijuana to increase their creativity.
Here is a list of some marijuana strains that can help produce creativity:
– Blue Dream(Hybrid)
– Maui Waui(Sativa)
– Sour Diesel(Hybrid)
– XJ 13(Hybrid)
– Alien OG(Hybrid)
– Deadhead OG(Hybrid)
– Girl Scout Cookies(Hybrid)
In a recent interview, Morgan Freeman, the 77-year-old Oscar winner, spoke candidly about his marijuana use and his stance on legalization.
“Marijuana has many useful uses,” stated Freeman. “I have fibromyalgia pain in this arm, and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana. They’re talking about kids who have grand mal seizures, and they’ve discovered that marijuana eases that down to where these children can have a life. That right there, to me, says, ‘Legalize it across the board!’”
In addition to touting all the medical benefits of marijuana, Freeman also pointed out that negative effects of marijuana are rare and other legal substances are much more dangerous to society.
“Now, the thrust is understanding that alcohol has no real medicinal use,” Freeman said. “Maybe if you have one drink it’ll quiet you down, but two or three and you’re fucked. Look at Woodstock 1969. They said, ‘We’re not going to bother them or say anything about smoking marijuana,’ and not one problem or fight. Then look at what happened in ’99.”
The actor’s own experience with marijuana dates back to 2008, when a car accident left him with shattered bones in his arm. He found that marijuana effectively alleviated his pain and has since been an outspoken advocate of legalization.
“They used to say, ‘You smoke that stuff, boy, you get hooked!’” Freeman chuckled. “My first wife got me into it many years ago. How do I take it? However it comes! I’ll eat it, drink it, smoke, snort it!”
Finn Selander, a former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent, who spent six years as the DEA’s Marijuana Coordinator in Miami and New Mexico, is now speaking out in favor of legislation that would create a full-fledged recreational marijuana program in Arizona.
Now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Selander said that he’s seen too many lives ruined by strict marijuana laws and those laws need to change.
“As an agent, I was doing my job,” Selander stated. “I was enforcing the law. It was definitely hard at times… I would see injustice in a number of cases.”
The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act initiative Selander is supporting is set to to appear on Arizona’s 2016 ballots and “proposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use for those over the age of 21, creating a network of shops licensed to sell and distribute it and taxing it 15% on top of the regular sales tax.”
Marijuana use for the treatment of chronic pain has had a long history with many written references of its use dating back to around 2700 B.C.E. The first records from the nineteenth century were noted by an Irish doctor who described the use of marijuana in the treatment of cholera, rabies, tetanus, menstrual cramps and delirium tremens.
Recently, research has been done around marijuana therapy in the treatment of chronic pain with very promising results.
“Medical marijuana is a very effective therapy for chronic pain patients because it affects people’s perception of pain, has the ability to mitigate the inflammatory process, and has been shown to affect voltage-gated sodium channels in nerves in a way similar to lidocaine,” reports Dr. Mark Rabe, Medical Director of Centric Wellness.
The ability of marijuana to help relieve chronic pain rests in the cannabinoid receptors – cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB2). Studies show that CB1 receptors are located all over the body, however they have particularly high concentration in the central nervous system in areas that control pain perception. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are primarily located in areas of the body that control immune function, such as the spleen, white blood cells, and tonsils.
The fact that these receptors are found in the two major body systems responsible for producing the sensation of pain, the immune system and the nervous system, is what gives marijuana its therapeutic relevance in the chronic pain space. Additionally, and importantly, there are a lack of cannabinoid receptors in the brainstem region, the area of the brain responsible for controlling breathing, thus the dangerous side effect of respiratory depression found with high dose opioid use, is not a factor with marijuana use.
Dr. Rabe reported that: “We have many patients who come in on higher doses of opioid medications. Through using cannabis, in conjunction with other therapies, they are able to lower their daily opioid requirement.”
Numerous studies support these findings, including a 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics which showed that vaporizing marijuana increased the patient-reported analgesic effect of opioids, without altering plasma opioid levels. Moreover, there is an emerging body of research whose findings suggest marijuana can be used as an effective substitution therapy for patients with opiate abuse issues.
A portion of this year’s NFL draft class appears to be pro-marijuana. Of the draft class, a pair of highly regarded defensive prospects, Shane Ray and Randy Gregory, are prized for their abilities to get to opposing quarterbacks, and both have also admitted to marijuana use. Ray admitted just days before the draft.
NFL teams must now weigh their evaluations of the players’ abilities against their concerns about character issues and possible future suspensions for marijuana use because it is banned in the NFL. For some teams, decisions on Ray and/or Gregory, who failed a drug test at the NFL draft combine in February, will come down to how they feel about usage of the drug in question.
One unidentified general manager gave some insight into his team’s thinking: “My estimate is 30 to 40 percent of players in this draft class use marijuana regularly. That’s right in line with our league. Publicly teams act shocked, disappointed about marijuana. Privately we know a lot of guys smoke and we’re far from shocked.”
In fact, the GM’s “30 to 40 percent” estimate may be low. A former defensive lineman, whose 10-year careerended in 2006, told the Associated Press last year that half the players in the NFL use marijuana, at least occasionally.
Another former NFL player stated: “It’s not, let’s go smoke a joint. It’s, what if you could take something that helps you heal faster from a concussion, that prevents your equilibrium from being off for two weeks and your eyesight for being off for four weeks?”
Many NFL players use marijuana to help treat chronic pain and inflammation instead of painkillers which are addictive and have many other negative side effects.
CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has returned with more revelations about medical marijuana with his latest documentary, “Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution,” which originally aired on April 19 (and can be viewed below).
The documentary discusses medical marijuana and examines the lives of families that benefit from it. Gupta also gives viewers an insider’s look at the politics behind medical marijuana research.
Weed 3 also focuses on the efforts of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), whose researcher Dr. Sue Sisley is attempting to get federal approval to study marijuana’s effect on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), after a series of bureaucratic setbacks. SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR THE VIDEO!!!
Doctors, researchers and medical professionals are finding that raw marijuana (cannabis), usually in a juiced form, is much more beneficial than if smoked or vaporized. This is because heating marijuana decarboxylates it and removes many beneficial substances. Below are some quotes from these professionals:
“If cannabis were discovered in the Amazon rainforest today, people would be clambering to make as much use as they could of all of the potential benefits of the plant. Unfortunately, it carries with it a long history of being a persecuted plant.” – Donald Abrams, chief of Hematology Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital.
“It (cannabis) has captured these molecules that help our bodies regulatory system be more effective. The bottom line is it’s a dietary essential that helps all 210 cell types function more effectively. I don’t even refer to it as medicine anymore, strictly as a dietary essential.” – Dr. William L. Courtney, dietary raw cannabis specialist.
“If you heat the plant, you will decarboxylate THC-A and you will get ‘high’. You’ll get your 10mg (of THC). If you don’t heat it, you can go up to five or six hundred milligrams, use it as a dietary cannabis and push it up to the anti-oxidant and neuro-protective levels which come into play at hundreds of milligrams. It is this dramatic increase in dose from 10 mg of psychoactive THC to the 500 mg – 1,000 mg of non-psychoactive THC-A, CBD-A, and CBG-A that comprises the primary difference between traditional ‘Medical Marijuana’ and Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis.” – Dr. William L. Courtney, dietary raw cannabis specialist.
“CBD works on receptors, and as it turns out, we have cannabinoids in our bodies, endogenous cannabinoids, that turn out to be very effective at regulating immune functions, nerve functions, and bone functions. The endogenous cannabinoid system acts as a modulator in fine-tuning a lot of these systems, and if something is deranged biochemically in a person’s body, it may well be that a cannabinoid system can bring things back into balance.” – Ethan Russo,senior medical adviser to GW Pharmaceuticals.
“[Cannabis has the] greatest potential of any medicinal plant.” – Ethan Russo,senior medical adviser to GW Pharmaceuticals.
With statements from medical professionals such as these, it’s a wonder why cannabis is federally illegal and classified as a Schedule I substance, which means the government has concluded that it has no medicinal value whatsoever. Hopefully, in the near future, marijuana prohibition will end worldwide and humans will have access to this amazingly beneficial plant that nature has provided us with.
The Government Just Admitted That Cannabis Kills Cancer
Cannabis kills cancer cells and that’s a fact. However, it’s a plain fact the federal government has tried to hide or dismiss throughout marijuana’s prohibition.
As more studies and facts surrounding the medical benefits of marijuana, hiding these truths becomes increasingly impossible by the day. A recent admission by government branch NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse) finally relays of message of truth from the government:
“recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.” [The Daily Caller]
This admission comes on the heels of influential Senators introducing the CARERS act, a bill that would effectively decriminalize cannabis and end prohibition. While not without merit, the admission by NIDA seems like the folding of a cheap and fake suit once and for all: it’s simply not logical or plausible to argue against marijuana’s medical effects, even if you’re the government with an ulterior motive.
And as marijuana becomes a prime issue in the 2016 election, whichever candidate wins that race will likely do so by embracing the rise of reason in America.
Federal Government Unwittingly Admits Cannabis Kills Cancer
A group of federal researchers commissioned to prove the government’s claim that marijuana has “no medicinal value” may have unwittingly let some crucial research slip through the cracks, forcing the United States to admit that cannabis can kill cancer.
Although, at first glimpse, the latest claim appears to be a cruel April Fools' prank from Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), but after careful inspection, it seems that the federal government is actually supporting a recent study which has determined that marijuana has the power to eliminate cancer cells.
The research, which was conducted by a team of scientists at St. George’s University of London, found the two most common cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), weakened the ferocity of cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment. The study, which was published last year in the medical journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, details the “dramatic reductions” in fatal variations of brain cancer when these specific cannabinoids were used in conjunction with radiation therapy.
"We've shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults," wrote lead researcher Dr. Wai Liu, in a November 2014 op-ed for The Washington Post. "The results are promising... it could provide a way of breaking through glioma [tumors] and saving more lives."
While it is not uncommon for research to surface unveiling the truth surrounding marijuana and its high-powered chemistry for treating a wealth of debilitating health conditions, it is, however, a bizarre and extremely rare occurrence for the federal government to get behind any of these claims. Yet, in an updated synopsis on the potency of marijuana as medicine, Uncle Sam’s leading drug addiction watchdog indicated that it might be changing its opinion of marijuana and how the substance can be used to maximize human vitality and strengthen the realm of overall public health.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine,” the report states. “However, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications.”
This is an interesting statement considering that marijuana remains listed as a Schedule I dangerous drug under the Controlled Substances Act, but it may suggest that reform of federal pot laws is on the horizon.
NIDA’s newfound pro-pot position is especially curious on the heels of a recent proposal introduced to both Congress and the House of Representatives in an attempt to legalize medical marijuana on a national level. The bill, which is called the CARERS Act, seeks to downgrade the Schedule I status of marijuana to a Schedule II in order to make the herb more flexible in the eyes of the federal government as an accepted form of medicine. In addition, the bill would also remove cannabidiol, the non-intoxicating compound of the pot plant, from the Controlled Substances Act and allow it to be distributed on a state-to-state basis without violating federal statutes.
However, the truly disheartening aspect of the national medical marijuana debate is that while a legion of lawmakers push to reschedule the plant and leading federal health officials are coming forward in support of the herb as medicine, the process of rescheduling the substance is one that the Obama Administration has the authority to initiate at any time.
Earlier this year, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy announced on national television that “marijuana can be helpful” in the treatment of various medical conditions. Yet, Attorney General Eric Holder has done nothing to force a change to pot policies, leading us to suspect the latest "cannabis kills cancer" revelation by NIDA will unfortunately engender similar results.
Allegations from anti-marijuana proponents stating that marijuana use causes serious harms are debunked, unwarranted and unproven, says one of the nation’s leading marijuana researchers.
Dr. Igor Grant recently spoke to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and stated about marijuana that there is “ no evidence for long-term damaging effects in adults.”
Over his professional tenure, Dr. Grant has authored multiple peer-review journal articles about the health effects of marijuana, including a report which concluded that long-term and frequent use of marijuana was not associated with the “substantial, systematic, and detrimental effect of cannabis use on neuropsychological performance.”
Dr. Grant also served as the director of the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. At that time he oversaw the completion of numerous FDA-approved clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of marijuana. In 2012, he co-authored a summary of these trials for the scientific journal Open Neurology. The article stated: “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”
Dr. Grant further noted that the present Schedule I classification of the plant is inappropriate and severely hampers researchers from studying its effects.
There are many ways to ingest medical marijuana and each has its pro’s and con’s. Some folks swear by their edibles while others prefer the tried and true approach to medical marijuana: just plain smoking it. But thanks to advances in science and tech, vaporizing marijuana is the new norm. In fact, next to dabs, vaping (inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device, which became Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2014) has become one of the most popular new ways for patients to medicate.
One of the many reasons people like using vape pens is that they’re typically odorless which makes it easy to use when you’re on the go. Some of the newer pens, like Slim Joint, are designed to look stylish and discreet and are available in regular and extra strengths, depending on one’s needs.
How E-Joints Work
Vaping e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine, is the catalyst that started the vaping trend. But now, you can vape good old marijuana too, getting the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids that you may require for health reasons.
When you inhale an e-joint, the tip glows, just like a real joint. But what you exhale is vastly different and more comparable to the mist that a fog machine creates. E-joints function on the same basic principle: a heating element known as an ‘atomizer’ heats up the fluid, turning it into a gas.
Many e-cigarettes are rechargeable, with refillable liquids that come in a variety of interesting flavors. The level of customization and variety of tastes have turned vaping into a popular hobby. But for medical marijuana patients, e-joints are more than just a tool for relaxation – they’re an important delivery method for medicine. And, just like there are many varieties of e-cigarettes there are many varieties of e-joints as well. There are also different strains available (including indicas, sativas and hybrids) and different flavors and methods of vaping.
Depending on the region or dispensary, there are a few options for vapes. Some dispensaries will process their marijuana into a psychoactive liquid that can be used in a personal vaporizer. Disposable e-joints are just like disposable e-cigarettes in that they require little maintenance or recharging batteries. Popular brands include the Juju Joint and the SlimJ. One major con is for environmentalists, as these e-joints are disposable, but many producers are working on programs to recycle the devices, especially as these devices grow in popularity.
Are E-Joints Safe?
There has been a fair amount of controversy in response to the safety of e-joints, especially in regards to health effects. Since users inhale a vapor instead of smoke, many believe it’s much safer. So far, the overwhelming consensus about e-cigarettes and vaping is that it’s far safer than inhaling smoke. The truth is, not enough research exists to be definitive, but according to WebMD, “So far, evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may be safer than regular cigarettes. The biggest danger from tobacco is the smoke, and e-cigarettes don’t burn. Tests show the levels of dangerous chemicals they give off are a fraction of what you’d get from a real cigarette. But what’s in them can vary.”
E-joints are a different matter entirely as none of the chemicals contained inside an e-joint are addictive. Plus, the cannabinoids inside are known by a wide scientific consensus to be helpful for certain conditions, including cancer, HIV, glaucoma, chronic pain, and many other conditions.
Medical marijuana patients are likely already familiar with which strains are best for their condition(s). But are e-joints right for patients? That’s a decision each patient will have to make on your own. Who knows, the result could be very positive. azmarijuana.com
The Federal Government Just Made Marijuana Legal in All Native American Reservations in the US
A huge event in national marijuana reform has taken place today.
The map above outlines ALL of the new areas in the us where it is now legal to grow and sell marijuana according to the federal government.
The Federal Government released a memo to the Justice Department issued to US attorneys, saying not to prosecute Native American tribes for growing and selling marijuana on their sovereign lands.
The policy was dated October 28 but was released publicly only today
Now people living in states with anti marijuana laws will in fact be living 10 minutes away from a marijuana store!
The Department of Justice released a memo Thursday directing U.S. attorneys not to prosecute Native American tribes for growing and selling marijuana on their sovereign lands.
The guidance, authored by Monty Wilkinson, the executive director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, extends even to reservations in states where marijuana has not yet been legalized.
The new policy, which is dated October 28 but was released publicly only today, is very similar to a 2013 memo the Justice Department issued outlining eight guidelines that states with legal marijuana would have to follow to avoid federal interference, such as not allowing sales to minors and preventing diversion of the drug to jurisdictions where it is prohibited.
“The eight priorities in the [earlier federal memo] will guide United States Attorneys’ marijuana enforcement efforts in Indian Country, including in the event that sovereign Indian Nations seek to legalize the cultivation or use of marijuana in Indian Country,” the new guidance says.
“Having the Department of Justice take a stance honoring the sovereignty of Native American tribes when it comes to how they set their own marijuana policy is refreshing,” NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri told Marijuana.com in an email. “The individuals living on these reservations deserve the same freedom to decide how they chose to handle marijuana on their own lands as we are currently providing the fifty states under current Justice Department memos.”
The new memo says that U.S. attorneys will still get involved in marijuana prosecutions when requested by tribal leaders, and it remains to be seen how many and which Indian tribes will be interested in taking advantage of the new clearance to grow and selling marijuana without federal interference.
Altieri predicted that some tribes would do so. “Like most others in this country, many in these regions see the failures of our current prohibitionist policies and will likely take this opportunity to pursue a new approach,” he said.
Such a move could have big financial benefits for tribes, many of which operate casinos and sell untaxed tobacco products on their sovereign lands, which attracts interest and revenue from non-Indians.
Kevin Sabet, of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told U.S. News & World Report that the new memo means, “A situation is quickly forming where people living in states who do not want legalization will in fact be living 10 minutes away from a marijuana store.”
Mike Liszewski of Americans for Safe Access welcomed the new guidance but said, “as sovereign nations, these lands should already have this ability as a right.”
Liszewski also focused on the potential medical benefits of unimpeded cannabis cultivation and sales. “Medical access to cannabis grown on reservations could prove to be a cost-effective way for tribal nations to improve the wellness of tribal members,” he said in an email to Marijuana.com.
By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
The majority of Americans say that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling dataprovided by the General Social Survey. The GSS is a bi-annual scientific survey that collects data on social trends within the United States.
Fifty-two percent of respondents endorsed legalizing marijuana – an increase of nine percentage points since GSS pollsters asked the question in 2012. Forty-two percent of respondents said that they opposed the idea.
GSS pollsters have been tracking Americans’ views regarding marijuana legalization since the early 1970s. In 1990, only 16 percent of respondents backed legalizing the plant. The just-reported 2014 survey data marks the first time that the General Social Survey has ever reported majority support for legalizing cannabis.
Separate national surveys by both Gallup and the Pew Research Center, amongothers, have previously documented that most Americans now favor legalizing the plant.
A poll performed by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy polled Arizonans about marijuana issues in Arizona and found that 45 percent support adult-use recreational marijuana legalization, while 42 percent support the current medical-use-only marijuana law. Only 13 percent of Arizonans want marijuana completely outlawed in the state.
The poll questioned over 700 Arizonans statewide.
“It is important to keep in mind this research polled a sample of all Arizona adults, not just voters or likely voters,” said David Daughery, the associate director of the Morrison Institute. He went on to mention that “since this issue would be decided by voters, the opinions of those who will not vote are of no consequence to a ballot measure.”
If Arizonans vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in 2016, Arizona would have similar laws to Colorado, where adults can use and possess small amounts of marijuana – purchased from state-regulateddispensaries – for recreational use.
The ASU poll can be read here.
Use: 9.86% of the population.
Status: Illegal, but soon to be decriminalized
Use: 10.3% of the population.
Use: 10.6% of the population.
Status: Legal for personal use. Illegal to produce, sell or use in public.
Use: 12.2% of the population.
Status: Illegal for recreational use. Legal for medical use.
Use: 14.3% of the population.
5. New Zealand
Use: 14.6% of the population.
Use: 14.6% of the population.
Status: Illegal to produce or sell. Decriminalized for personal possession.
3. United States
Use: 14.8% of the population.
Status: Legal medical use in 23 states. Legal recreational use in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C.
Use: 17.7% of the population.
Use: 18.3% of the population
NBC might soon have a sitcom about a fictitious Denver marijuana dispensary. The show, being dubbed as “Buds,” will be about the day-to-day happenings inside a legal, recreational marijuana dispensary somewhere in Denver.
There is still a lot of speculation as to whether the show will be more along the lines of “Seinfeld,” “Mad Men” or a mix of the two.
According to various outlets, “Buds” is a part of NBC’s 2015-16 development cycle. Its executive producers are Adam Scott (of NBC’s “Parks and Rec” show), Naomi Scott (his producer wife) and Mande. It’s the first sale since the Scotts’ production company Gettin’ Rad Productions signed a first-look deal with Universal TV in 2014.
The nation’s new surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, stated that marijuana “can be helpful” for certain medical conditions, and that he wants science to dictate policy on the federally banned substance.
“We have some preliminary data that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful,” Murthy mentioned in an interview with “CBS This Morning” in response to a question about his position on marijuana legalization in the U.S.
Murthy didn’t use the opportunity to endorse marijuana legalization for medical or recreational purposes, but he did note that he believes U.S. marijuana policy should be driven by scientific research and what it reveals about the efficacy of using the cannabis plant for medical reasons.
“I think we’re going to get a lot more data about that,” Murthy stated. “I’m very interested to see where that takes us.”
Murthy was not the first surgeon general to question U.S. drug policies. In 1993, Joycelyn Elders, the surgeon general under President Bill Clinton, stated that she believed that legalizing drugs in the U.S. would “markedly reduce our crime rate.” Not long ago, in 2010, Elders called for the legalization of marijuana in the U.S.
A new bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow doctors employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend marijuana as means of medical treatment to veterans that suffer from certain medical conditions, such as: serious physical injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.
Do to federal laws current VA policy prohibits doctors from recommending marijuana for medical use.
Nearly 20% of veterans returning from the Middle East are diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or PTSD; all of which are notoriously difficult conditions to treat. A study published recently in the Annals of Epidemiology found that the suicide rate among these veterans is 50% greater than the national average.
Last year a study was published in the American Journal of Public Health which found that in states that passed medical marijuana laws there was a statistically significant reduction in suicide rates.
“The men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have made tremendous sacrifices for our country,” stated a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project. “They deserve every option available to treat their wounds, both visible and hidden. If VA doctors are confident that medical marijuana would improve their patients’ quality of life, they should be able to recommend it to them in states where it’s legal.”
The inhalation of one marijuana cigarette (aka joint) per day over a 20-year period of time is not associated with adverse changes in lung health, according to a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society journal.
Researchers assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large sample of U.S. adults, ages 18 to 59. They reported that marijuana exposure was not associated with FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline or with any deleterious change in spirometric values of small airways disease.
The researchers noted, “The pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use” and that “In a large representative sample of US adults, ongoing use of marijuana is associated with increased respiratory symptoms of bronchitis without a significant functional abnormality in spirometry, and cumulative marijuana use under 20 joint-years is not associated with significant effects on lung function.”
The study is the largest cross-sectional analysis to date that examined the relationship between marijuana use and spirometric parameters of lung health.
A different study published in 2012 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported similar findings: cumulative marijuana smoke exposure over a period of up to 7 years (the equivalent of up to one marijuana cigarette per day for seven years) had no associated adverse effects on pulmonary function.
In a 2013 study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, they acknowledged that marijuana smoke exposure was not associated with the development of lung cancer, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or bullous lung disease. The study concluded: “Habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function. Findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use. … Overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking.”
That's not marijuana -- that's cannabis
DENVER — Last December, Denver police reported a major increase in the number of marijuana-related arrests in the city's schools.
Parents were outraged at the 39% increase in a single year — the year in which Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales. But it turned out the number of underage users was wrong.
That's because while filling out their reports, some police officers used the now-archaic "marihuana" spelling. Data analysts pulling the numbers forgot to look for the old spelling in the old records and came up with inaccurate totals. The revised numbers showed only a 6% increase.
The mix-up over the spelling highlights what's turning into a heated debate within the legal and increasingly mainstream marijuana community.
For a variety of reasons, many folks in the legal weed community would like to see "marijuana" and "pot" and "weed" relegated to the scrapheap of pejorative descriptions. And they aren't shy about letting me know their feelings. One reader, for instance, complained that my word choices made me sound ignorant and biased.
Their preference: cannabis.
For some, the old and frequently used words evoke the scare tactics long employed by governments and police. There's a school of thought that "marijuana" opponents ginned up the word because it sounded scary and foreign. (Although I can't find evidence that that's the case, despite what Wikipedia might say.)
For others, the words are loaded with reefer madness baggage. With proliferating legalization and mounting acceptance of pot across the country, they say it's time for a better name. These ganjapreneurs believe cannabis sounds more positive.
But switching words isn't that easy, as lawmakers and regulators are finding out.
"There's really a landmine out there in terms of the words we use," says Ron Flax, an examiner with the Boulder County Land Use Department.
What most people call marijuana is actually two different strains of cannabis: indica and sativa, both of which contain THC, the compound that gets people high. (Hemp is a sub-strain of the sativa plant containing very little THC that's used for clothing, rope and oil.) The different strains have different effects, depending on how they've been crossbred. And don't even get me started on the brand names growers give, like Sour Kush or Blue Dream; there's no regulation of what growers call their products.
Working in the famously marijuana-friendly "People's Republic of Boulder," Flax tries to be careful about the language he chooses. Last year, as the county was developing regulations about pot grow-house energy use, Flax started saying "cannabis" when talking to the industry, as a sign of respect for legitimate business owners. But he ran into a hiccup because county regulations and state laws refer to the plant as marijuana or marihuana.
If he wants his regulations to be legal, Flax has to call marijuana marijuana. And he's not alone. The laws in Oregon and Alaska legalize "marijuana," while the laws in Washington and Colorado legalize both "marijuana" and "marihuana."
And that highlights the challenges of changing how we describe things. You may have noticed I've used a variety of words when referring to marijuana. It's hard to argue readers don't understand that reefer, pot, weed and ganja all mean the same thing. As Shakespeare's Juliet might muse, does the name really matter, be it marijuana or Montague?
But I get where people are coming from. After decades of operating in the shadows, marijuana retailers (we used to call them drug dealers) crave the legitimacy that comes from regulation and public respect. And they want to see the language reflect that marijuana has indeed gone mainstream.
Americans’ attitudes about marijuana have undergone a rapid shift over recent years. A recent survey found that many more Americans now favor marijuana and shifting the focus of the nation’s overall drug policy. Here are 6 facts about marijuana and public opinion in the U.S.:
1. Support for marijuana legalization is quickly outpacing the opposition. A majority (52%) of Americans say marijuana should be made legal, compared with 45% who want it to remain illegal. In 1969, a Gallup pole revealed that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use. Between 2010 and 2013 support for marijuana legalization rose 11 points. 76% of people surveyed said people convicted of minor marijuana possession should not serve time in jail.
2. Not everyone supports legalization.31% of Republicans do. Most whites and blacks say marijuana should be legalized, while only 39% of Hispanics agree. 63% of Millennials say marijuana should be legalized while only 27% of the Silent Generation (those 69 to 86 years old) agree.
3. 69% of Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to health than marijuana. 15% picked marijuana as being worse and 14% said both or neither. If marijuana became as widely available as alcohol in the U.S., 63% still believe alcohol to be more harmful to society.
4. 63% of Americans don’t want people to smoke marijuana in public. 54% of people surveyed think that legalizing marijuana would lead to more underage people using it. Whereas 57% of the people surveyed said they would be okay with a store legally selling marijuana in their neighborhood.
5. 47% of Americans say they have tried using marijuana. 11% said they tried marijuana within the past year, which the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says is the most used illicit drug in the U.S.
6. Four states – Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – and the Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana use. 14 states have decriminalized certain amounts of marijuana possession. Including those five recreational marijuana locations, nearly half of U.S. states (23 and Washington D.C.) have legalized medical marijuana use.
Tucson medical marijuana users now have a home away from home where they can medicate and hang out.
The 420 Social Club on Fourth Avenue has been open to all medical marijuana card holders since last month, and it's the first to start functioning in the Old Pueblo, while a few already have been set up in the Phoenix area.
Creator Ron Johnson, a Vietnam veteran with multiple health issues, wanted a safe haven for patients to meet each other that also provided educational resources and a setting that, of course, abides by the law.
Since state voters approved the Medical Marijuana Act in 2010, medical pot is legal for several conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, but patients aren't fully protected. They can still find themselves in deep shit if found to be medicating on the streets, their car and college campuses, among other legal guidelines.
"I figured, friends already come here to smoke, might as well open it to other people," says Johnson, who also lives at the 420 club. The place is a duplex and his living area in the back is divided by a sliding door.
Johnson and his collaborators, which include Robert Clark, co-chairman of SAFER Arizona—that group is gearing up to get recreational marijuana legalized in the 2016 state elections—and local medical marijuana advocate Mark Brown, say they couldn't allow for more patients to find themselves in ill situations with the law, and so the social club was born. "Some of us got some serious issues," Clark says as he gathers pot to smoke from a colorful glass pipe. "If we are miles and miles away from home and we need to use our medicine, we have no place to go. Ron is giving us a place where we could come and medicate, and not have to risk using out on the street and get in trouble."
They point to cases involving college students who are medical marijuana patients. If university officials find pot in their possession or in their dorm, they are criminally charged and thrown out of school. The 420 Social Club is a few blocks away from the UA, and they encourage students with medical marijuana cards to get good use out of that.
But Johnson wants you to know that this place won't allow non-holders to come get high. He wants his joint (pun intended) to survive and thrive, and in order for that to happen he can't break the law. The contract lists all the stuff you can't do, including bringing weapons, tobacco products or show up there drunk.
Also, "You come in and sign in with your medical marijuana card," he says. "You can have guests but if they don't have a card, they cannot smoke."
As you walk in, a table stands near the entrance with sign-up sheets, MMJ educational brochures and business cards from the various Tucson dispensaries, as well as green and red wristbands: Green means you're good to smoke the green. The red means you're a guest, and not allowed to touch it as stipulated by the Medical Marijuana Act.
Across from that table is a glass case with beautifully hand-made silver jewelry. Johnson teaches people with disabilities in Nogales, Sonora how to make jewelry and sell it to make a living. Soon, the jewelry is moving out from that case, and Johnson hopes to fill it up with medical pot samples donated by the dispensaries. It'd be a way for dispensaries to promote themselves among patients, but it'd also make the 420 Social Club a "one stop shop."
It's a comfortable place—living room, a big TV, a stereo blasting 1960s and '70s rock, a fridge with all kinds of soda and other beverages. The door is always open. "My favorite part is all of the new, interesting people that I've met already," Johnson says.
Johnson hopes to remodel the backyard, an 1,800-square foot area, to host concerts, parties and educational forums, not only because he thinks it's needed in the community but also because he'd like to generate revenue that'll make the club 100 percent self-sustainable.
With the money from the memberships—$5 daily, $40 monthly or $420 yearly—Johnson says he's not looking for a dime to go to his pocket, it's about maintaining the 420 club and the services it offers.
An official opening event will be happening the first or second week of February, depending on when Johnson is done reorganizing the interior. In the meantime, enjoy free entrance until that grand opening takes place.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most commonly known chemicals that are naturally found in marijuana. Both CBD and THC belong to a unique class of compounds known ascannabinoids.
Marijuana is typically know for its THC content, which provides the psychoactive active aspects or “high” from consuming marijuana. But CBD has begun to draw attention from the medical community because of the amazing health benefits it provides.
THC is best known for being psychoactive. CBD, however, is non-psychoactive. In other words, CBD can’t get you “high” like THC. This lack of a “high,” or lack of side effect as medical professionals like to put it, is one reason why CBD is so appealing as a medicine.
THC is known to help reduce pain, but CBD is the substance that has the most anti-inflammatory properties, making it an all-star at pain reduction and healing. THC and CBD are also know to suppress muscle spams and reduce nausea, making them perfect for chemo patients.
THC is known to cause anxiousness or paranoia in some people, but CBD actually reduces anxiety and can actually counteract the anxiety caused by consuming THC. Studies also suggest that CBD can reduce anxiety when administered on its own.
In addition to being non-psychoactive, CBD also has antipsychotic properties. Researchers believe that CBD might protect marijuana users from getting “too high” by reducing the psychosis-like effects caused by THC. CBD is also being tested as an antipsychotic medicine for patients with schizophrenia.
One of the more common uses of marijuana is as a sleep aid. THC is known to be responsible for most of marijuana’s sleep-inducing effects. On the other hand, studies have suggested that CBD acts to promote wakefulness, making CBD a better choice for daytime use.
HEMP BILL IN VIRGINIA!!!
January 4, 2015
With the General Assembly headed back to Richmond in the coming week’s one organization is hoping to gain support to pass a bill that could legalize the industrialization of hemp.
The Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition (VIHC) is determined to legalize hemp research and growth in the Commonwealth.
Industrialized hemp could soon take root in Virginia, that's if House Bill 1277 passes this year.
The U.S. Farm Bill currently allows states to legalize hemp for research and so far 17 states have jumped on the bandwagon.
Jason Amatucci, founder of the VIHC says Virginia should be next.
“We just want to catch up in Virginia and be a part of this new economy,” says Amatucci.
On Saturday night people in support of HB 1277, which would legalize hemp in the Commonwealth, gathered at the Boneyard restaurant in Belmont to watch the movie “Hemptsters” and discuss more about the plant.
“It is not marijuana,” says Amatucci. “It is a completely different plant and has completely different attributes and grows really fast and tall.”
“This is a natural resource.”
The plant can be used to make textiles and food along with thousands of other products.
“We've got all these new technologies,” says Amatucci. “We're talking about batteries, bio diesel; we're talking about “hempcrete,” a non-toxic alternative to concrete.”
Amatucci says they just need support to help transform hemp into a legal economic source in Virginia.
“Call, write, email, your delegate, your state senator and say 'I'm a constituent and I support bill 1277.'” Says Amatucci. “We'll be watching how you vote.”
“We really think this is part for jobs, economy and the environment and it's a win for Virginia.”
The General Assembly goes back into session on January 15.
If you would like to learn more about industrial hemp and HB 1277 make sure you check out the links under the photo in this story.
The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most well known cannabinoid for a long time has been tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but as more scientific research is conducted involving cannabis and its ability to be used as a medicine, more and more people are learning about other cannabinoids, expecially cannabidiol (CBD). The last couple of years interest in CBD has grown exponentially, as it’s been featured on numerous television episodes showing how well it works in treating people who suffer from severe epilepsy. One of the most common questions I get asked these days is ‘what is the difference between THC and CBD?’
The most important thing that I try to get people to grasp is that THC will get you high (assuming you consume enough of it) and CBD will not. THC has psychoactive properties that affect your brain and give you a ‘buzz’ while CBD does not. I have talked to many, many people that avoided medical cannabis at all costs simply and only because they didn’t want to be high all the time. Once they understand that there are dozens of cannabinoids, and that they all don’t get you stoned (specifically CBD), they are much more open to the idea of trying medical cannabis.
A brief description of THC is below, via Wikipedia:
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or more precisely its main isomer (−)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol ( (6aR,10aR)-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), is the principal psychoactive constituent (or cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant. First isolated in 1964 by Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science it is a water-clear glassy solid when cold, which becomes viscous and sticky if warmed.
For a more thorough description, watch the video below, courtesy of SC Labs:
A brief explanation of CBD is below, via Project CBD:
Cannabidiol — CBD— is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn’t get one high makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects without troubling lethargy or dysphoria.
To sum up, if you want to get high, consume strains or products made from strains that are high in THC. If you don’t want to get high, but want to still get the medical benefits of cannabis, consume strains or products made from strains that are high in CBD. Be aware that all cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and beyond) have a medical benefit, and it’s important to research which strains contain which levels of cannabinoids, and what cannabinoids are best suited for the particular conditions you are trying to treat. I will be writing more articles moving forward on what strains work best for what conditions.
It’s worth noting that just because someone claims that ‘X’ strain is known to have a certain percentage of THC and CBD, doesn’t mean that every plant ever produced of that strain will always have those percentages and ratios of THC and CBD. Different grow methods and factors can change those levels, so always make sure what you are buying has been tested by a reputable testing facility if cannabinoid levels are important to you.
DOJ NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES CAN GROW AND SELL MARIJUANA
New federal policy will allow Native American tribes interested in cultivating and selling marijuana to do so, as long as they maintain “robust and effective regulatory systems,” said the U.S. attorney for Colorado, John Walsh.
Tribes will need to avoid certain enforcement triggers that also apply to state-regulated marijuana markets, including a prohibition on sales to minors and the diversion of marijuana trafficking to states where marijuana remains illegal under local law.
It is currently unclear how many tribes will take advantage of the new policy directive. Certain tribes are well-known for using their special legal status to host casinos and/or sell untaxed tobacco.
According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs there are 326 federally recognized Native American reservations. Many reservations are in states that don’t allow medical or recreational marijuana use, such as Oklahoma and the Dakotas. Many others are located near major East Coast cities.
“The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations,” stated Timothy Purdon, U.S. attorney for North Dakota and chairman of the Attorney General’s Subcommittee on Native American Issues.
The Department of Justice said U.S. attorneys can review tribes’ marijuana policies on a case-by-case basis and that prosecutors retain the ability to enforce federal law.
Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, said Native American tribal leaders “will have a tremendous opportunity to improve public health and safety, as well as benefit economically” by legalizing marijuana use. Tvert also stated that “Regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol would ensure the product is controlled, and it would bring significant revenue and new jobs to these communities…studies have consistently found above-average rates of alcohol abuse and related problems among Native American communities, so it would be incredibly beneficial to provide adults with a safer recreational alternative.”
CONGRESS PROTECTS POT
State operated medical marijuana programs and legal hemp cultivation may have just got historic support from Congress. The proposed federal spending bill on Tuesday included amendments that prohibit the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state medical marijuana operations. In addition it blocks the Drug Enforcement Administration from using its funds to interfere with state-legal industrial hemp research. If it passes, the bill will protect programs in the states that have legalized marijuana and CBD oils for medical purposes as well as those operations that research industrial hemp.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who a introduced the amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), told Huffington Post:
“The enactment of this legislation will mark the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana and has instead taken an approach to respect the many states that have permitted the use of medical marijuana to some degree. This is a victory for so many, including scores of our wounded veterans, who have found marijuana to be an important medicine for some of the ailments they suffer, such as PTSD, epilepsy and MS.”
Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance stated: “For the first time, Congress is letting states set their own medical marijuana and hemp policies, a huge step forward for sensible drug policy. States will continue to reform their marijuana laws and Congress will be forced to accommodate them. It’s not a question of if, but when, federal marijuana prohibition will be repealed.”
Veterans May Gain Easier Access To Medical Marijuana
A bill introduced in Congress would allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana for their patients.
The Veterans Equal Access Act. Introduced Thursday by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) with 10 bipartisan cosponsors, would lift a ban on VA doctors giving opinions or recommendations about medical marijuana to veterans who live in states where medical marijuana is permitted.
“Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury are just as damaging and harmful as any injuries that are visible from the outside,” Blumenauer said. “Sometimes even more so because of the devastating effect they can have on a veteran’s family. We should be allowing these wounded warriors access to the medicine that will help them survive and thrive, including medical marijuana, not treating them like criminals and forcing them into the shadows. It’s shameful.”
Nearly 30 percent of veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from PTSD and depression, according to a 2012 report from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some scientists have suggested that marijuana may help PTSD symptoms, which can include anxiety, flashbacks and depression. In a recent study, patients who smoked cannabis saw an average 75 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms.
"A clinical trial needs to be done to see what proportion and what kind of PTSD patients benefit, with either cannabis or the main active ingredients of cannabis," said Dr. George Greer, who was involved in the study.
This year, federal health officials signed off on a study that would have examined the effects of five potencies of smoked or vaporized cannabis on 50 veterans suffering from PTSD. The study's future still remains unclear because the federal government's sole provider of medical-grade cannabis didn't have the proper strains for the research to begin. Then the study's lead scientist was fired from the University of Arizona, where the research would have taken place.
Currently, 23 states allow the medical use of marijuana. Ten of those states, as well as Guam which legalized medical marijuana this month, allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for PTSD-related symptoms. The plant remains illegal under federal law for all uses.
Marijuana breath test under development at WSU
Washington State University chemistry Professor Herbert Hill said existing technologies can be re-purposed to test breath for THC, pot’s psychoactive component, which would be useful to patrol officers who suspect someone is driving high.
A team at Washington State University is working to develop a breath test that could quickly determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana.
Law-enforcement officers already use preliminary breath tests in the field to estimate drivers’ blood alcohol content. But no similar portable tool exists to test for marijuana impairment using a breath sample.
Stoned drivers have become an increasing concern since Washington voters legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012. A quarter of blood samples taken from drivers in 2013, the first full year the initiative was in effect, came back positive for pot.
WSU chemistry Professor Herbert Hill said that existing technologies — including those already used by airport security and customs agents to detect drugs and explosives — can be re-purposed to test breath for THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.
Hill said he and WSU doctoral student Jessica Tufariello are working on a handheld device that uses a technique called ion mobility spectrometry to detect THC in someone’s breath.
Right now, officers and prosecutors rely on blood tests to determine how much active THC is present in a driver’s blood. Those test results aren’t immediately available to patrol officers who suspect someone is driving high.
Initiative 502 set 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood as the legal limit at which a driver is automatically determined to be impaired.
Initially, the marijuana breath test under development at WSU probably won’t be able to pinpoint the level of THC in the body; it will only tell officers that some active THC is present, Hill said.
Still, Hill said such a tool could prove helpful to officers as they decide whether to arrest a suspected impaired driver.
“We believe at least initially that it would lower the false positives that an officer would have,” Hill said. “They would have a higher level of confidence in making an arrest.”
Law-enforcement agencies still would have to obtain follow-up-test results to use as evidence in court, just as they do after a positive preliminary breath test for alcohol impairment.
Hill said he and his research team plan to finish laboratory tests with a prototype marijuana breath test this year, then start testing human breath between January and June 2015.
After that, the researchers plan to test a version of the device out in the field, he said.
Some lawmakers at a Nov. 21 meeting of the Senate Law & Justice Committee appeared impressed by the research.
“WSU is going to be at the forefront, it seems to me, of supplying this kind of science and the technology that’s based on it to police all over the country,” said Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle.
Bob Calkins, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, said the agency would “welcome anything that will help us get impaired drivers off the road.”
He said the State Patrol wouldn’t want to use any new technology until it is fully developed, though.
“It needs to be rock solid before we’ll adopt it,” Calkins said.
Some state officials have expressed concern about increasing numbers of drivers testing positive for marijuana impairment since the drug was legalized in Washington.
In 2012, 18.6 percent of blood samples taken from suspected impaired drivers in Washington tested positive for active THC, according to the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory.
That number rose to 25 percent of tested blood samples statewide in 2013, the first year I-502 was in effect.
Another study is adding evidence to the case for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease with the compounds in cannabis.
Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease this September “strongly suggest that THC [the main active ingredient in marijuana] could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways.”
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s today. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation, costing America about $203 billion in 2013.
Chuanhai Cao and other researchers at the University of South Florida and Thomas Jefferson University wanted to investigate the “potential therapeutic qualities of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with respect to slowing or halting the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.”
So they treated Alzheimer’s research cells (N2a-variant amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) cells) with THC and examined them for amyloid-β at the 6, 24, and 48-hour time markers. Amyloid-β is a type of protein that is linked to Alzheimer’s symptoms. The researchers found THC “to be effective at lowering Aβ levels … in a dose-dependent manner.”
The main active ingredient in pot “directly interacts” with amyloid-β, “thereby inhibiting aggression”. THC was also effective at lowering other key Alzheimer’s Disease markers. Furthermore “no toxicity” was observed from the THC. The researchers also found THC “enhances” the function of the cell’s energy factories — the mitochondria.
“THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function,” stated study lead author Chuanhai Cao, PhD and a neuroscientist at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and the USF College of Pharmacy.
“Decreased levels of amyloid beta means less aggregation, which may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Since THC is a natural and relatively safe amyloid inhibitor, THC or its analogs may help us develop an effective treatment in the future.”
Other research in the same journal that month indicates THC boosts the body’s natural anti-Alzheimer’s fighting mechanism — the endocannabinoid system.
Alzheimer’s Disease is thought to result from a lifetime of brain inflammation. Cannabis is one of the most safe anti-inflammatories in medicine. Some neuroscientists believe a bout of pot smoking in early adulthood may prevent Alzheimer’s onset later in life. Cannabis slows brain aging, Timereported in 2012.
Smoking, vaping, or eating the pot molecules THC and CBD directly effects nerve cell function, reducing chronic brain inflammation, oxidative stress, and cellular dysfunction — all the while promoting stability of the human body’s internal environment (homeostasis) and healthy brain cells (neurotrophic support), studies show.
“What we found was that not only did the single puff a day reverse the memory impairment but also restarted neurogenesis,” Ohio State University, Gary Wenk told the Seattle Post Intelligencer this year.
Other studies have shown THC inhibits other key pathological markers of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The U.S. government has patented marijuana molecule CBD as a neuroprotectant, evan as it maintains that cannabis is a schedule 1 drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse. The federal drug war is blocking deeper research into cannabis’ impacts on brain disease, Wenk states.
Where in the world can you legally smoke cannabis?
Colombia: Small amounts of up to 22 grams are OK for personal consumption. However, selling it remains illegal. You are allowed to grow up to 20 plants for personal use.
Costa Rica: It's a bit of a grey area. Cannabis is illegal but there's widespread smoking throughout the country. Police officers do not arrest people carrying enough for personal consumption, yet no amount has been outlined as a minimum for possession.
Czech republic: Possession of up to 15 grams for personal use or growing up to five plants is a police caution. Medical use of the drug on prescription has been legal since April 2013.
Ecuador: Having a small stash of under 10 grams for personal use is legal.
Peru: Possession of under eight grams is considered legal for personal use.
Portugal: It became the first country in the world in 2001 to legalise the use of all drugs, and started treating drug users as sick people, instead of criminals. However, you can be arrested or made to go into rehab if caught several times in possession.
Romania: Medical use is legal under certain conditions.
Spain: Growing the plant on private property for personal use, and consumption by adults in a private space, is legal. But buying or selling any quantity of cannabis is a criminal offence. Possession and consumption in a public place is illegal and punishable by a fine.
Switzerland: Growing up to four plants is legal. But sale or transport is illegal.
Uruguay: A law has been passed legalising cannabis but won't into come into effect until 2015. The new law says that buyers must be 18 or older, residents of Uruguay, and must register with the authorities. Authorities will grow the cannabis that can be sold legal.
USA:Colorado and Washington state have legalised marijuana for recreational use, while some of the other states permit medical marijuana.
UK: It is illegal to possess cannabis.
Jamaica: Growing, selling and using cannabis is illegal. However, the government passed a motion in 2013 to decriminalise the drug if a person was found with a small amount.
Netherlands: Cannabis products are only sold in "coffee shops" and possession of up to 5 grams for personal use is OK. Other types of sales and transportation are illegal.
Norway: It's legal to have up to 15 grams for personal use. Anything over that is punished with a fine of 1,500-15,000 kroner (£139-£1,396) in the case of first-time offenders; possessing more is considered dealing and punished more harshly.
With the recent political debate around medical cannabis trials, you could be forgiven for thinking that the notion was something altogether new.
In fact, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years in India and Asia. It was introduced to western medicine in the mid-nineteenth century by an Irish doctor William O'Shaughnessy, upon his return from service in India, and become a popular therapy around the world.
Even former US president Richard Nixon's 1972 National Commission on 'marihuana' supported studies of its use in the treatment of conditions such as glaucoma, migraine and cancer (although Nixon subsequently ignored his own Commission's findings and instead declared a 'war on drugs').
The criminalisation of marijuana saw it swiftly fall from medical favour. However, it seems that medical cannabis's star is once again rising, with some evidence suggesting it may offer considerable relief in conditions where few other treatments are able to help.
Making people more comfortable
Cannabis's therapeutic benefits stem from the way it stimulates with the body's own method of making us feel good, known as the endocannabinoid system, explains Emeritus Professor of Anaesthesia Laurence Mather, from the Northern Clinical School at the University of Sydney.
"The endocannabinoid system in the body is not a pain relieving system like the endorphin system, like for morphine-type things, it's more a general wellbeing system, and it works by making people feel more comfortable with themselves," Mather says.
"It doesn't ablate pain, it makes the body more accepting."
Cannabis helps with a very specific type of pain that does not appear to respond well to pain relieving treatments, such as opioids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
"It does not work, for example, in post-operative pain … and in acute pain such as from a surgical incision," Mather says.
However, it is showing considerable promise in treating what is called 'neuropathic pain', which generally refers to pain that stems from diseased or damaged nerves. For example, researchers in the United States are testing the use of cannabis to treat the pain associated with sickle cell disease – a condition in which mutated blood cells can cause lifetime chronic pain that has been described as being worse than the pain of labour or cancer.
It's estimated thousands of Australians are risking arrest by using cannabis for medical reasons. A national clinical trial has been announced but legalisation could be many years away, and then for expensive pharmaceutical drugs only. RN's Background Briefing investigates the science and the politics of medical cannabis.
The appetite stimulating effects of marijuana – more commonly known as 'the munchies' – have also proven useful in countering the bodily wasting associated with a range of conditions from HIV/AIDS to cancer.
"That was observed back in the '60s and '70s, particularly by the recreational users of the time … they noticed the incidence of weight gain was more favourable in those that used cannabis than others," Mather says.
This observation led to the development of a drug called dronabinol, which is a synthetic version of the main psychoactive component of cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This drug is used not only to treat weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS and cancer, but also the nausea and vomiting often associated with cancer therapies.
While THC is the most famous of cannabis ingredients, it is not the only one proving beneficial in the medical arena. Another drug, nabiximols, an oral spray which is available in Australia under the brand name of Sativex, contains both THC and cannabidiol, and is used for the treatment of muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.
Given cannabis's potential to alter our mood, thinking and behaviour, it should come as no surprise that it's also being investigated for treatment of psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent US study found a 75 per cent reduction in PTSD symptoms with the use of medical cannabis, and in many US states medical cannabis is approved for use in individuals with PTSD.
There is also growing support for the use of cannabis to treat severe childhood epilepsies, such as Dravet's syndrome, with anecdotal evidence from parents suggesting cannabis drastically reduced thefrequency of their children's seizures.
Fewer side effects
Likewise, some argue that medical cannabis could provide a much safer and more pleasant alternative to the existing pain relief options used in palliative care.
"The side effects of many things that are used for treating these conditions such as heavy duty pain and things of that kind – treating them with opioids or treating with NSAIDS – are far more dire than they are from cannabis," says Mather.
"People can die from morphine, they stop breathing; people can die from paracetamol because it buggers their livers, people can die from NSAIDS because it buggers their kidneys, but cannabis doesn't do any of these things."
Like any drug, cannabis has its side effects, although what's interesting with medical cannabis is that the effects most sought after by recreational users are generally the effects most avoided by medical users, says emergency medicine specialist Dr David Caldicott, from the Australian National University and Calvary Hospital in Canberra.
"The product that is beginning to emerge globally is one that is bred and used for largely recreational purposes and so these are strains now which contain a much higher concentration of the psychoactive component, which is THC, and that isn't necessarily the most useful component," says Caldicott.
"Many people who consume this product medicinally actually don't like this effect, they choose strains, say for example in the US, that are much lower in THC concentration and higher in the cannabidiol concentrations."
In parts of the world where medical cannabis is legal, considerable effort has gone into developing strains of marijuana that are carefully tailored for medical use, to reduce the unwanted side effects and boost the more desirable ingredients.
Lack of good data
But medical cannabis presents a conundrum for medical professionals. Its illegality in large parts of the world means most medical users are self-medicating and this also makes it a difficult drug to study in clinical trials.
As a consequence, a significant proportion of medical cannabis research is based on self-reported use and outcomes, rather than large, carefully-designed, randomised trials, says Professor Ian Olver, head of the Cancer Council Australia.
"Probably two decades ago I remember sitting on a panel that reviewed the evidence [for medical cannabis], and in most cases the evidence is anecdotal," says Olver. As a result, he is cautious about the idea of more widespread availability of medical cannabis but acknowledges that there may be some patients for whom it is their only recourse to relief.
"If you've got a patient who's been through conventional therapy and has not responded, you're sympathetic to them if they find something that's worked, but that's quite different to saying something should be widely available for everyday use of pain," he says.
Olver says there is also concern about the possible side effects of smoking marijuana, even for medical purposes, as this could introduce cancer-causing chemicals into the lungs.
However Caldicott says there are other methods of delivery being considered, such as e-cigarettes, which would not only be more palatable for non-smokers but could avoid the potential side-effects of smoking. The active components of cannabis can also be infused into tinctures, which could be a useful option for use in children.
Ultimately, the medical cannabis debate is not about making it widely available for a broad range of health conditions – as currently occurs in many states in the US – but about giving a small number of patients an option where they may have none.
"Medical cannabis is never going to replace paracetamol," says Caldicott.
"We're not talking about the sky falling in, we're talking about a niche market which would be very tightly regulated." http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2014/10/27/4115279.htm
Judge lets Arizona woman use medical marijuana during probation
October 24, 2013 10:34 am •
PRESCOTT — An Arizona judge is allowing a woman to use medical marijuana while she's on probation even though it was prohibited under the plea agreement she accepted.
Judge Cele Hancock of Yavapai County Superior Court made that decision when she granted a motion on behalf of 43-year-old Jennifer Lee Ferrell, The Daily Courier reports.
Ferrell awaits sentencing on charges that include DUI, resisting arrest and attempted aggravated assault on a police officer.
Her lawyer's motion said prosecutors cannot prohibit use of medical marijuana as a condition of probation because state law allows medical marijuana use.
The County Attorney's Office said defendants don't get to pick and choose probation conditions and that it will appeal the judge's ruling.
Probation no bar to medical marijuana use
PHOENIX — The state cannot prohibit someone from using medical marijuana because that person is on probation, even for drug charges, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
Appellate Judge Peter Eckerstrom said that when voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010, they declared those with a doctor’s recommendation and the required state-issued ID card are not subject to “arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege.”
That “clear language,” Eckerstrom said, prohibits a trial judge from barring someone from using medical marijuana if he or she does so within the parameters of that law.
Eckerstrom did not dispute that there probably are public-policy concerns about letting someone with a long history of substance abuse, as in this case the court was considering, continue to use marijuana for whatever reason.
But the judge said these public-policy debates are for the Legislature and, by extension, for the people through their constitutional power to make their own laws.
“They have done so here,” he wrote. “Our task is to apply the law they have written, not to second-guess the wisdom of their determinations.”
Deputy Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre, who had argued that the restriction was valid, said his office is reviewing the ruling before deciding whether to seek Supreme Court review.
The ruling, which sets a precedent in Arizona, involves Keenan Reed-Kaliher, who spent time in prison for possessing marijuana for sale before being released to serve three years’ probation in June 2011.
Terms of his probation include a condition he “obey all laws” and not possess or use illegal drugs.
Reed-Kaliher subsequently got a medical marijuana card allowing him to obtain and use the drug. His probation officer then imposed an additional condition specifically barring possession and use of marijuana, saying that was consistent with the original court order.
Cochise County Superior Court Judge Wallace Hoggatt upheld the condition, saying Reed-Kaliher had agreed to the conditions as part of the deal. Anyway, the judge said, probationers may lose rights that other citizens have.
Eckerstrom, writing for the majority in Friday’s 2-1 ruling, said that decision was wrong.
“Under the express terms of the immunity provision, Reed-Kaliher could not be deprived of the privilege of probation solely based on his medical use of marijuana,” the appellate judge wrote. “A condition of probation threatening to revoke his privilege for such use cannot be enforced lawfully and is invalid.”
Eckerstrom said the promise to “obey all laws” can’t be used against Reed-Kaliher because voters specifically exempted medical pot use from criminal laws.
The drug does remain illegal under federal law. But Eckerstrom said the Arizona law is not pre-empted by federal law, and Reed-Kaliher still could be arrested by federal authorities if they wanted.
But he said state judges have neither a duty nor role in enforcing the federal statutes.
Friday’s ruling drew a dissent by Appellate Judge Philip Espinosa, who said the terms of the 2010 voter-approved law are irrelevant. He said Reed-Kaliher agreed to the terms of his probation, including an agreement to obey all laws.
“In this case, Reed-Kaliher expressly agreed to accept that restriction in order to gain the benefits of a plea bargain, and I see no basis for excluding the federal drug laws from that agreement,” Espinosa wrote.
The judge also said there could be implications for defendants charged with drug offenses if the majority opinion stands.
“Prosecutors and courts unable to prohibit marijuana use may be much less likely to offer or approve plea agreements in many cases,” Espinosa wrote.
A broad study looking into the effectiveness of medical marijuana on patients in California has come back with very positive results; 92% of patients polled said that using marijuana helped to alleviate their symptoms, which ranged from chronic pain stemming from migraines and arthritis to cancer.
The California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System’s data concluded that 5% of adults in California admitted to using medical marijuana in order to treat a serious medical condition.
The study’s author noted that, “The most common reasons for [marijuana] use include medical conditions for which mainstream treatments may not exist, such as for migraines, or may not be effective, including for chronic pain and cancer.”
The author of the study also mentioned: “Our study’s results lend support to the idea that medical marijuana is used equally by many groups of people and is not exclusively used by any one specific group.”
Even with medical marijuana being legal in 23 states in the US there are still a large number of hurdles to overcome. One political hurdle comes from former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who has referred to marijuana as “one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.”
It seems like listening to patients, the people actually living with these chronic ailments every day, are the ones with the most valid input, not the politicians. http://azmarijuana.com/arizona-medical-marijuana-news/90-patients-medical-marijuana-works/
There have been stories of people utilizing oils and edibles who see a decrease, or ever halt, in the number of seizures experienced. The world has also seen the development of low-THC alternatives for children with epilepsy. Now, as medical research in the field is taking off, we are learning more about this treatment for an ailment that has plagued individuals for centuries.
It has recently been discovered that cannabis high in CBD rather than THC is effective in treating seizures, leading to studies that want to synthesize CBD and make a medication with none of the intoxicating effects of THC.
Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU explains the measures being taken to try and explore this further. “While cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy for centuries, data from double-blind randomized, controlled trials of CBD or THC in epilepsy is lacking. Randomized controlled studies of CBD in targeted epilepsy groups, such as patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, are in the planning stages.”
One of the places where this research might take place is in Denver, through the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health. Dr. Edward Maa, who is in charge of this program, is all for these advancements. “As medical professionals, it is important that we further the evidence of whether CBD in cannabis is an effective antiepileptic therapy,” she states.
As more studies are done on this treatment, those who medicate with cannabis for epilepsy and see improvements, can get more solid answers as to why the treatment is working— and also rest assured that their means of release will never again come under fire. http://ireadculture.com/article-4415-the-effectiveness-of-treating-epilepsy-with-cannabis.html
TEEN MARIJUANA USE DOWN
Although marijuana legalization is quickly gaining momentum in the United States, statistics from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveal that teens between the ages of 12 and 17 are using less marijuana than they were a decade ago.
According to the statistics, teen alcohol and tobacco consumption has declined as well. This might signify a healthy lifestyle shift by our society.
The survey also noted that teenagers are finding it more challenging to get a hold of marijuana than a decade ago. This can lead to the conclusion that the legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use has made marijuana less available to teens. It’s also likely that the legal and regulated marijuana industries, whether medicinal or recreational, are diminishing the marijuana black market leading to less marijuana being distributed on city streets.
Education and Certifications
The owners of Tumbleweeds Health Center are giving it their all to inform Tucsonans about the benefits of cannabis...
Tumbleweeds Health Center owners Dana Zygmunt and Kim Williams have long known the benefits of medical marijuana, so when Arizona voters passed Proposition 203 in 2012, the duo decided against moving to Colorado to open their marijuana health facility, instead staying right here in Tucson.
On November 11, 2011, Zygmunt and Williams opened Tumbleweeds, 5315 E. Broadway Blvd., a premier cannabis health and certification center with the goal of educating medical marijuana users and potential users, whose qualifying conditions range from such things as seizures to cancer to chronic pain.
Williams said when first starting out, there were a lot of uncertainties in the industry.
"It was very scary at the start because it's a new business in a new industry, and we didn't know what type of people we would have coming in," she said. "But in the last three years, as the world and our country has decided medical marijuana is okay, the attitude is changing so much. We were whispering about it at first, and now we're proudly yelling about it."
While Tumbleweeds is not a dispensary and therefore does not carry cannabis products, it does sell high CBD tinctures, salves, lotions, and candies, and also carries numerous vapors and vaporizers.
"Not only do we carry a lot of products, but we also help educate our patients on how to use these products," said Zygmunt.
Still, Williams and Zygmunt say they intend to apply for a dispensary license at the next available opportunity, and will eventually also harvest their own cannabis on-site.
This will complement their current educational efforts, giving the company an even bigger footprint in the medical marijuana industry.
Williams and Zygmunt are hosts of a weekly podcast show called "Weedsday Wednesday" that educates listeners about marijuana, breaks the latest industry news and hosts several expert interviews.
Next Wednesday, the show will feature Robert Melamede, CEO of Cannabis Science.
Podcast listeners can dial in at 646-915-8421.
The community following due to such efforts has translated into better business for Tumbleweeds. Often, Williams said, patients stop in to learn, or even just to say hello and thank them for continued assistance.
"We're a cozy, friendly atmosphere, and people really feel welcome coming in," she said. "We're here to give people an education they can't get at other places in town."
The most rewarding part of the business, Williams continued, is seeing how medical marijuana has aided those who are ill.
"It's watching their pain go away and their smiles come back," she said, noting there are still a number of misconceptions about the industry.
"Our government has led the general public to believe that you will go insane if you use cannabis—literally that it will drive you to an insane, mad state," she said. "That's one of the stigmas that older people come in with and have a hard time wrapping their heads around, especially if they've never seen or used marijuana before."
For such reasons, Tumbleweeds sells a number of health educational books and videos. For those looking to apply for a medical marijuana card, it also serves as the lowest-cost certification center in town.
"If anyone does it cheaper, we will match them," said Williams.
For more information on Tumbleweeds or on how to become certified, visittumbleweedshealthcenter.com or call 838-4430. Tumbleweeds is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Canadian Hemp Guitars
Hemp has a million and one uses from clothing to concrete, and now Canadian Hemp Guitar (CHG) owners Boyd Pellow and Stewart Burrows are bringing the complex genius of the material straight to musicians’ finger tips. With their own luthiers creating amazing guitar designs and a lot of ingenuity and innovation, Boyd and Stewart have taken the world’s most functional plant and turned it into one of the world’s most rockin’ machines: The cannabis guitar.
Just a few years ago, CHG was established to create a sustainable small production facility that would hand make high quality hemp instruments for the working musician. Boyd Pellow is the head luthier for the company and has experience building, repairing and designing acoustic and electric guitars for over 20 years. Back in 2012, Boyd joined forces with his long-time friend and musician Stewart Burrows to create the company, Canadian Hemp Guitars. Stewart is an award-winning singer songwriter, guitarist and a harp player, and is an advocate for the use of hemp products along with running the business side of CHG.
The process starts with industrial hemp that is locally grown in Canada. After harvesting the material, is shipped to Illinois where the bast is separated from the hull and then pressed into sheet boards for manufacturing. These sheet boards are then shipped up to Canadian Hemp Guitars shop in Hemmingford, Quebec, where they are cut to size and hand made into hollow body guitars.
With 20 years of experience in crafting and repairing musical instruments, Boyd wanted to find a different material than the standard tone woods to make guitars out of.
Using a material like hemp started as more of a research endeavor for Boyd, but quickly became the versatile material he had been looking for."At first, I was looking for alternatives to wood, simply because of the waste in production,” he said. “Somebody had mentioned that I should look into hemp and that was really my first exposure to what is possible with hemp. I contacted a research and development company in Ontario and went up to see them and they showed me what was possible with some of their pressed materials. So I got a couple sample pieces from them and started working on my kitchen stove at home, heating things up and pressing them just to see how the process works. I gradually moved on, I had an old book press that I transformed into a proper heat press, it worked out beautifully and I am still using the whole thing now."
Canadian Hemp Guitars currently has one guitar shape that is reminiscent of vintage masonite guitars like Danelectro and that model be configured with different components such as a P-90 or a set of Humbucker pickups. The bridge has the option of a tune-o-matic style that is used on Les Pauls or a Bigsby style tremolo and one of the most interesting parts of the build process is the fact that Boyd uses what’s known as a Zero-Fret neck. This technique is not common in modern day production but adds a great deal of sound to every note played and has been resurrected by luthiers who replicate vintage guitars. Each guitar is also available with a custom paint job with names like Purple Haze, Acapulco Gold and Panama Red or it can be clear coated for more of a natural look.
As a material, hemp and wood don’t seem that similar, but Boyd experimented enough with the material to know that it could be substituted for wood in some cases. "Once we've compressed this stuff into a high density fiber board, all the specs are very, very close to that of tone wood,” Boyd explains. “In some categories they exceed, in some they are the same and in some its slightly less." This allows CHG to produce an extremely sustainable and affordable musical instrument without having to engage in deforestation and elaborate milling processes.
With more and more American states moving towards legalizing the production of industrial, recreational and medicinal cannabis we are going to be seeing more and more sustainable processes, inventions and cool new products like the Candian Hemp Guitars coming out each year. Available online and at select retailers in the U.S. and Canada, Boyd and Stewart are working hard to get each customer exactly the guitar that they have in their head into their hands. Rock 'n’ roll has never been this sustainable.
The federal government has decided to increase their marijuana supply for research purposes. The DEA announced last week that they will increase their marijuana production quota from a meager 21 kilograms to a whopping 650 kilograms in order to meet demand.
A farm at the University of Mississippi in Oxford is federally permitted to grow a set amount of marijuana to be used in clinical trials. All protocol must first be approved by the DEA, FDA, and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse before administering marijuana to human test subjects.
Marijuana advocates have been quick to point out that in the past the majority of the research being done by the federal government on marijuana has been designed to point out all the potential harms rather than the many therapeutic benefits.
A spokesman for the research said, “The additional supply of cannabis to be manufactured in 2014 is designed to meet the current and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana. This projection of increased demand is due in part to the recent increased interest in the possible therapeutic uses of marijuana.”
There are currently eight trials being done on marijuana’s effects on humans, but only two are devoted to researching the plant’s benefits.
For years, the federal government has subsidized studies designed to find negative effects from marijuana while blocking inquiry into its potential benefits. Ironically, their adamant search for downsides has created remarkable scientific insights that explain why marijuana is such a versatile remedy for many medical conditions and why it is the most sought-after “illegal” substance on earth.
There are over 100 unique cannabinoids identified in marijuana; of them, the best known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s principal psychoactive component, and cannabidiol (CBD), marijuana’s anti-inflammatory component that can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. In addition to the phytocannabinoids produced only by the cannabis (marijuana) plant, there are endogenous cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human brain and body.
Some highlights from the exploding field of cannabinoid science:
1. THC, CBD and other plant cannabinoids are not only effective for the management of cancer symptoms (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc.), but they also aided a direct anti-tumoral effect, according to peer-reviewed studies by the Complutense University in Spain and the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
2. The Scripps Research Institute in California found that THC inhibits an enzyme involved in the accumulation of beta amyloid plaque that disrupts communication between brain cells, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.
3. At Kings College in London, cannabinoid receptor signaling assisted neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) in adult mammals and helped regulate the migration and differentiation of stem cells.
4. In China, scientists have shown that the pain-releiving effects of acupuncture are mediated by the same cannabinoid receptors that are activated by THC.
5. Pharmaceutical companies are attempting to induce therapeutic outcomes by manipulating levels of the body’s own cannabinoids. Animal studies indicate that it is possible to dissipate a wide range of pathological conditions (such as neuropathic pain, hypertension, colitis, and opiate withdrawal) by preventing/delaying the enzymatic breakdown of endogenous cannabinoids.
US Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) has introduced a bill to Congress that would make cannabidiol (CBD) legal under federal law. CBD oil is the marijuana-based oil that has been shown to reduce seizures in children with debilitating epilepsy and helps with other medical conditions.
“These children and individuals like them deserve a chance to lead a healthy and productive life and our government shouldn’t stand in the way,” said Perry.
If passed, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014″ would allow states to permit patients suffering from epilepsy and other related medical conditions to use CBD oil that is extremely low in THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana) but very potent in CBD content.
Currently, federal law states that any product made from marijuana is illegal, as marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I drug.
The bill would allow children and adults with epilepsy and other seizure disorders access to cannabidiol for treatment by removing CBD oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Therapeutic hemp would be defined at the federal level as marijuana containing no more than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), under the bill.
Eleven states (Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin) have enacted laws this year to allow CBD-based medications. Many of the laws passed in these states are not workable due to the current limitations imposed under federal law and are unlikely to provide much, if any, relief for patients.
In addition, 23 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing medical marijuana for a wide variety of medical conditions, including seizures and chronic pain.
‘Prince of Pot’ returns to Canada after time in U.S. jail
Marc Emery was greeted by a crowd of supporters Tuesday upon crossing into Canada from Detroit after serving a five-year sentence for selling marijuana seeds to customers across the border.
Supporters of the country’s self-styled “Prince of Pot” – including his wife, Jodie – gathered in Windsor, Ont., ahead of his return, which happened around 4 p.m. local time.
Jodie Emery said she and her husband are lucky that he is coming home a free man and can immediately resume their activism to legalize marijuana.
Dozens of supporters were lighting up joints and smoking pot with vaporizers as they waited for Emery outside Windsor City Hall.
Emery, 56, was extradited to Seattle in May 2010 and he pleaded guilty to selling marijuana seeds from Canada to American customers.
When Emery was first arrested almost a decade ago, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency heralded his seizure as a “significant blow” to the legalization movement.
His wife addressed the crowd of supporters waiting for her husband, saying Marc Emery “never hurt anyone.”
“The families and loved ones of the pot prisoners did not hurt anyone and yet this government makes them suffer,” Jodie Emery said, choking up as she spoke.
“You don’t have to think Marc Emery is a hero but a lot of people do and I want to give him a hero’s welcome and then we’re going to continue our campaign to end prohibition in Canada, legalize marijuana, stop arresting people for pot, please. Please stop.”
Details are still to be worked out for a 30-city cross-Canada marijuana advocacy tour and a visit to Europe for several speaking engagements, she said. The couple is based in Vancouver.
NY TIMES SUPPORTS MARIJUANA!!!
Perhaps the most renowned newspaper in the country, if not the world, has proclaimed that it is time to finally put an end to marijuana prohibition in the US.
The New York Times recently printed a story in their Sunday editorial that stated, “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. We reached the conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.”
The Times also looked into the idea of letting states continue to decide their own fate in regards to how to govern marijuana on a state level and feel that it isn’t the best option. They went on to say, “We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, recuing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.”
While the Times doesn’t necessarily speak for Congress, they most definitely have a massive following and are seen as perhaps the most respected news publication on the planet, so it isn’t as if they just decided to up and publish something without reviewing all of the facts. The United States perception of marijuana is changing rapidly, and it seems like we are only moving forward.
Summer Solstice has arrived and the plants are blooming. Smells of summer fill the air, and with them come a lift in mood and a boost of energy. The particles that make up those scent molecules are called terpenoids and they make up the flavors and fragrances of our lives.
Terpenoid compounds or terpenes are essential oil components found in nature, and form the largest group of chemical constituents found in plants. Terpenoid compounds have evolved over time as the Earth’s creatures have evolved into ever more complex structures and organisms. Plants produce terpenoids for a variety of reasons mainly centering on the principles of attraction and repulsion.
Summer Solstice has arrived and the plants are blooming. Smells of summer fill the air, and with them come a lift in mood and a boost of energy. The particles that make up those scent molecules are called terpenoids and they make up the flavors and fragrances of our lives.
Terpenoid compounds or terpenes are essential oil components found in nature, and form the largest group of chemical constituents found in plants. Terpenoid compounds have evolved over time as the Earth’s creatures have evolved into ever more complex structures and organisms. Plants produce terpenoids for a variety of reasons mainly centering on the principles of attraction and repulsion.
Terpenoids have a huge effect on the mammalian brain. The Olfactory center or area of the brain are associated with mood, memory, stress, and the ability to concentrate. These areas also control the release of hormones which effect functions such as appetite, sexual attraction, fertility cycles, and body temperature. This is why scents and fragrances can have such profound effects on our thoughts and actions. The sense of smell is also closely linked with the sense of taste.
Researchers suggest that approximately 80 percent of what we taste is actually due to our sense of smell, as without it we would only be able to taste the five flavors that are distinguishable by the taste buds (nerve receptors) on our tongue. The Cannabis plant expresses over 200 different types of terpenoids. Each variety of cannabis has a terpenoid content that is genetically determined, making the terpenoid profile or composition one way to identify specific varieties. While the cannabinoid content provides information regarding the strength, potency, and type of variety, the terpenoid content shows how that variety is meant to be used medicinally.
The main terpenoids found in cannabis used for medicinal purposes include d-limonene, ß-myrcene, linalool, a-pinene, ß-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, pugelone, a- terpineol, and 1,8 cineole to name a few. Each variety of cannabis contains a multiple number of terpenoids whose healing properties can overlap and complement each other in very important ways.
D-Limonene is found in lemon peels, lemongrass, and other citrus fruits, providing the lemon scent. It is the second most widely distributed terpenoid found in nature. It is used for the treatment of anxiety and depression, as an anti-fungal due to its ability to increase the permeability of cellular membranes, and as a treatment for gastric reflux and other digestive system conditions. Research has shown it plays an important part in tumor apoptosis or cell death.
ß-myrcene is a potent antioxidant. Found in mangoes, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemon grass and others, it easily crosses the blood brain barrier also increasing the ability of the THC to bind to the CB1 receptor by inducing its attachment to the receptor. It serves as an anti-inflammatory, liver protectant against aflatoxin, muscle relaxant and sedative.
Linalool is found in hundreds of plants including lavender, laurel, coriander, citrus and rosewood. It has a mild sedative action and is used to reduce anxiety. Research is being done now to determine if it has anti-epileptic properties. The scent of linalool can be detected by the olfactory sense at only 1 ppm.
A-pinene is the most predominant terpenoid found in nature. A component of many other more complex terpenes, it has anti-inflammatory properties and works as bronchodilator. A-pinene has also demonstrated action as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor along with the terpenoid pugelone.
ß-caryophyllene is found in oregano, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Recent research has shown it has anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-fibrotic, and anxiety reducing effects. Terpenoids are delicate, volatile molecules that are easily destroyed by heat and affected by light and humidity. Storing cannabis in a dark glass jar, once dried, will help to preserve the terpenoid content. Terpenoid content can also be increased just prior to harvest by exposing the plants to a relative lack of nitrogen, so flush well. Enjoy the flavors and fragrances of summer and the additive healing properties they bring.
DEA wants to reschedule Marijuana
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an analysis at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) request on whether the United States should downgrade the classification of marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug, said Douglas Throckmorton, Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs at the FDA, at a congressional hearing.
The FDA reviewed the status of marijuana for the DEA in 2001 and 2006 and recommended it remain a Schedule 1 substance. The DEA has since been petitioned to change the classification of marijuana. “We’re in the process of conducting an eight-factor analysis,” said Throckmorton.
Throckmorton would not say when he expects the FDA to complete its analysis or whether it would recommend a change. The agency would first consult with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and then send the recommendation through the Department of Health and Human Services before handing it to the DEA.
Due to a large amount of concerns from both players and coaches alike in regards to the overly harsh punishments the NFL issues for marijuana use, the league has decided to look at changing its drug policy.
Discussions on the severity of the NFL’s drug policy have been going on since 2011 and include talk of beginning to test for Human Growth Hormones, as well as increasing the threshold for marijuana testing resulting in less intense punishments for positive results.
The NFL’s Player Association has also mentioned that the league will be looking into the medicinal benefits of marijuana as a result of all the recent medical marijuana legalization efforts throughout the country.
Cleveland Browns star receiver, Josh Gordon, is the most recent player to test positive for marijuana and is currently facing a one year suspension as a result.
The British Journal of Pharmacology has recently published a study that says the chemical makeup of marijuana is able to prevent such diseases as: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Huntington’s disease.
Both THC and CBD, which make up the chemical structure found in marijuana, are believed to promote nerve cell function in users which in turn can protect against brain inflammation and intra-cellular dysfunction. The way that they are able to achieve this is by accessing the brain’s endocannabinoid system which in turn promotes healthy cell regeneration.
Gary Wenk, a professor at Ohio State University, made similar claims in January which stated that “If you do anything, such as smoke a bunch of marijuana in your 20s and 30s, you may wipe out all of the inflammation in your brain and then things start over again. And you simply die of old age before inflammation becomes an issue for you.”
This isn’t just a huge realization for the health of Americans, it is also a way to lighten the massive amount of money the US spends on fighting diseases like Alzheimer’s, which cost the country over $200 billion in 2013 alone.
The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Arizona authorities can’t prosecute motorists in Arizona for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the driver is impaired at the time of the stop.
This ruling overturned a decision last year that upheld the right for authorities to prosecute marijuana users for driving under the influence even when there was no evidence of impairment.
The state Supreme Court explained that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of inactive metabolites or non-psychoactive compounds (such as CBD) from marijuana, does not constitute impairment under the law.
Attorney Michael Alarid III stated that “this does have far-reaching impacts on medical marijuana patients… and it basically corrects an error in the interpretation of the law.”
Obama Nudges The Ball Forward on Marijuana
In an interview with the New Yorker released on Sunday, President Obama made perhaps the strongest endorsement by any sitting president on relaxed marijuana laws. Pushed by interviewer David Remnick, Obama acknowledged that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol in its effect on consumers. He also noted the obvious racial and economic disparities in enforcement of marijuana laws. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”
A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year’s day in Northglenn, Colorado, in this December 31, 2013 file photo. The District of Columbia will take a step closer toward decriminalizing marijuana on January 15, 2014 with a move that will make smoking a joint in the U.S. capital a violation comparable to a parking ticket.
In fact, the president backhandedly came close to endorsing outright legalization of the drug for recreational purposes, by offering a modified endorsement of new laws in Colorado and Washington that do exactly that:
Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”
Obama circled back around and noted the new laws in both states could be “a challenge” because of the potential for legalization of other, harder types of drugs. He also noted he has advised his daughters not to smoke marijuana. So it wasn’t an outright endorsement.
But the moment was still significant in several ways. In context of the United States’ long-running and highly problematic war on drugs, it is quite notable to have a president come out and say that marijuana isn’t nearly as harmful as it is often made out to be and to back serious changes in the legal regime governing the drug.
Obama is correct about the racial disparities at work here: The American Civil Liberties Union issued a report last year finding that African Americans are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana, despite similar rates of use.
The White House’s record is somewhat checkered on this issue. On the one hand, early in Obama’s time in office, his administration stepped up federal crackdowns on marijuana producers sanctioned by state law, a move that was highly criticized by reformers. However, Attorney General Eric Holder recently took steps to relax federal prosecution of marijuana offenses and said the Justice Department won’t challenge new state laws on marijuana. Obama’s comments may reflect a real evolution in his approach to drug policy, and one that may have long-lasting effects.
But there is, of course, also a political angle here. Whether he meant to or not, Obama was positioning himself and his party on the correct side of an issue that many Democrats feel could reap serious political rewards in the coming months and years.
For example, in Florida, strategists on both sides of the gubernatorial race there believe a statewide referendum to legalize some marijuana use could tilt the contest to Democrats. Republicans have filed a legal challenge to keep it off the ballot, because they openly admit it may bring young people and minorities — traditional Democratic voters — to the polls in unusually high numbers. “It’s an issue that the Democrats can use to pump up the youth vote,” Alex Patton, a Republican political consultant told Bloomberg Businessweek. “The politics of it are dangerous for the GOP.”
And Florida isn’t the only place marijuana will be on the ballot this year. At least four other states will put the issue before voters, and people outside those areas are no doubt following the evolving debate closely.
Polls have shown recent spikes in support for legalized marijuana. Gallup found 58 percent of Americans favor legalization, and other surveys show majorities also share Obama’s view that the drug is not physically or mentally harmful. I have no idea if Obama’s remarks were a calculated move, but his party’s prospects this fall seem likely to improve as a result.
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Obama Admits Marijuana Is Less Dangerous Than Alcohol
Author: George Zornick
Published: January 20, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Washington Post Company
An interview was released by the New Yorker today in which United States President Barack Obama had some interesting things to say. It was a lengthy interview covering many areas of public policy, with a specific Q & A session about marijuana. When asked asked about marijuana, Barack Obama stated the following:
”As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
There are two ways a marijuana reformer can look at these sentences. One way to look at it is ‘Obama just said that marijuana isn’t more dangerous than alcohol.’ This is a significant statement for the President of the United States to make about marijuana. The other way to look at it is ‘Obama is such a hypocrite. Why the F doesn’t he just legalize it like alcohol then!?’ Both ways to look at Obama’s statements are definitely valid. Obama went on to say:
“Less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.” What clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.” But, he said, “we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.” Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”"
I agree with Barack Obama that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is important for going forward. Everyday that marijuana is grown and sold legally, and tax revenue piles up, is a day that the world gets to see that legalizing marijuana is a great thing. Everyone wins, no one loses, no matter what Kevin Sabet says.
MARIJUANA FOR ARIZONA'S ELDERLY
Marijuana has many health benefits and can be very beneficial for elderly people.
Arizona is known for its large retirement population and snowbirds visiting in the winter. And good news for them because they can probably qualify for medical marijuana in Arizona rather easily.
Arizona’s elderly and snowbirds can obtain a medical marijuana card in Arizona as long as they have a residential address in Arizona and have a qualifying medical condition.
With these two qualifiers, Arizona’s elderly can visit an Arizona marijuana doctor and obtain a medical marijuana card.
With a medical marijuana card in hand, these new medical marijuana patients can visit an Arizona dispensaryto obtain their medicine (medical marijuana). Or they can choose to get their medicine delivered to them via a medical marijuana delivery service.
Phoenix -- Medical marijuana users have no constitutional right to grow their own drug, a trial judge has ruled.
Judge Katherine Cooper of Maricopa County Superior Court threw out a challenge by two men to a provision in the 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act that says only those living farther than 25 miles from a state-regulated dispensary can cultivate the plants. She said there is no basis for their claim that the provision limits their health-care rights.
But Cooper left the door open for the men to raise a separate challenge that the 25-mile rule amounts to a violation of their rights under constitutional provisions guaranteeing everyone equal protection of the law. She said, though, they have yet to make a case for that claim.
The 2010 law allows those with a doctor’s recommendation to get a card from the state allowing them to obtain and possess up to 2½ ounces of marijuana every two weeks.
That law also envisioned a system of state-regulated dispensaries to sell the drug. But it also says anyone who lives farther than 25 miles from a dispensary could grow up to 12 plants at any one time.
Initially, that exemption applied to everyone because it took the state more than a year to license dispensaries. But state Health Director Will Humble said just about all of the approximately 40,000 medical-marijuana cardholders in Arizona now live close enough to a dispensary.
The challengers, who had been growing their own, did not want to give up that right.
They cited provisions of a 2012 constitutional amendment that says individuals cannot be forced to participate in any health-care system.
Attorney Michael Walz said forcing those who are entitled to use medical marijuana to buy their drugs at retail from a dispensary amounts to forcing them to participate in that system.
“Dispensaries are not a ‘health-care system,’ ” the judge wrote.
She said they do not manage, process, enroll or pay for health-care services for qualifying patients.
And Cooper said the amendment the men are relying on clearly applies to mandated health insurance, “not to a businesses that sell controlled substances.”
Anyway, the judge wrote, participating in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is hardly a compulsory program.
Instead, she pointed out, it simply allows those who qualify to legally obtain and possess marijuana.
“It does not compel people to use medical marijuana or even obtain a qualifying registry card,” Cooper said.
An appeal is likely.
20 Medical Studies That Prove Cannabis Can Cure Cancer
Cannabis has been making a lot of noise lately. Multiple states across the United States and countries around the world have successfully legalized medical Marijuana, and the Uruguay parliament recently voted to create the world’s first legal marijuana market. This is good news as the health benefits of Cannabis are vast, with multiple medical and scientific studies that confirm them. On the other hand, arguments against the use of marijuana is usually published in Psychiatric journals, which show no scientific evidence that Cannabis is harmful to human health. All psychological evaluations from the intake of cannabis are largely based on assumptions, suggestions and observations (1). When we look at the actual science behind Cannabis, the health benefits can be overwhelming. So what does one who opposes the use of cannabis base their belief on? Nothing, not scientific evidence anyways. The negative stigmatism attached to marijuana is due to it’s supposed psychotropic effects, yet again, there is no scientific evidence to show that marijuana has any psychotropic effects. Nonetheless, cannabis has recently been the focus of medical research and considered as a potential therapeutic treatment and cure for cancer.
Cannabis is a great example of how the human mind is programmed and conditioned to believe something. Growing up, we are told drugs are bad, which is very true, however not all substances that have been labelled as “drugs” by the government are harmful. Multiple substances are labelled as a “drug” in order to protect corporate interests. One example is the automobile and energy industry, a car made from hemp is stronger than steel, and can be fuelled from hemp alone. Henry Ford demonstrated this many years ago. Hemp actually has over 50,000 uses!
Let’s take a look at the science behind Cannabis and Cancer. Although Cannabis has been proven to be effective for a large range of ailments, this article will focus mainly on it’s effectiveness in the treatment of cancer. Cannabinoids may very well be one of the best disease and cancer fighting treatments out there. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation. The body regenerates best when it’s saturated with Phyto-Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can also be found in Cannabis. It is important to note that the cannabinoids are plentiful in both hemp and cannabis. One of the main differentiations between hemp and cannabis is simply that hemp only contains 0.3% THC while cannabis is 0.4% THC or higher. (Technically they are both strains of Cannabis Sativa.) Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. While not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis.
While taking a look at these studies, keep in mind that cannabis can be much more effective for medicinal purposes when we eat it rather than smoking it. Below are 20 medical studies that prove cannabis can be an effective treatment and possible cure for cancer. Please keep in mind that this is a very short list of studies that support the use of medicinal marijuana. Please feel free to further your research, hopefully this is a good starting point.
1. A study published in the British Journal of Cancer, conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, this study determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. They were responsible for the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action. Cannabinoid delivery was safe and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects. THC was found to decrease tumour cells in two out of the nine patients.
2. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the biochemical events in both acute neuronal damage and in slowly progressive, neurodegenerative diseases. They conducted a magnetic resonance imaging study that looked at THC (the main active compound in marijuana) and found that it reduced neuronal injury in rats. The results of this study provide evidence that the cannabinoid system can serve to protect the brain against neurodegeneration.
3. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics already acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (CBD, non psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines. The addition of cannabidiol led to a dramatic drop in the viability of glioma cells. Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumour. The study concluded that cannabidiol was able to produce a significant antitumor activity.
4. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics outlines how brain tumours are highly resistant to current anticancer treatments, which makes it crucial to find new therapeutic strategies aimed at improving the poor prognosis of patients suffering from this disease. This study also demonstrated the reversal of tumour activity in Glioblastoma multiforme.
5. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. They also demonstrated that CBD significantly reduces tumour mass.
6. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics determined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth. They confirmed the potency and effectiveness of these compounds.
7. A study published in the Journal Molecular Cancer showed that THC reduced tumour growth and tumour numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis and impair tumour angiogenesis (all good things). This study provides strong evidence for the use of cannabinoid based therapies for the management of breast cancer.
8. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) determined that cannabinoids inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation.
9. A study published in the journal Oncogene, by Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department determined that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor induced lung cancer cell migration and more. They go on to state that THC should be explored as novel therapeutic molecules in controlling the growth and metastasis of certain lung cancers.
10. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, from the Department of General Surgery in Germany determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell invasion. Effects were confirmed in primary tumour cells from a lung cancer patient. Overall, data indicated that cannabinoids decrease cancer cell invasiveness.
11. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by Harvard Medical School investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in lung cancer cells. They determined its effectiveness and suggested that it should be used for treatment against lung cancer cells.
12. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine illustrates a decrease in prostatic cancer cells by acting through cannabinoid receptors.
13. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine outlined multiple studies proving the effectiveness of cannabis on prostate cancer.
14. Another study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that clinical testing of CBD against prostate carcinoma is a must. That cannabinoid receptor activation induces prostate carcinoma cell apoptosis. They determined that cannabidiol significantly inhibited cell viability.
15. A study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacology recently showed that cannabinoids induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in matle cell lymphoma. The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, The Swedish Research Council and the Cancer Society in Stockholm.
16. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer also determined and illustrated that cannabinoids exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in various types of cancer and in mantle cell lymphoma.
17. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine conducted by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology by Virginia Commonwealth University determined that cannabinoids induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.
18. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine results show cannabinoids are potent inhibitors of cellular respiration and are toxic to highly malignant oral Tumours.
19. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that that THC reduces the viability of human HCC cell lines (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and reduced the growth.
20. A study published in The American Journal of Cancer determined that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumour biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Results showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumour cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumour cells.
Lawsuit Claims Prop 203 Provision Preventing Growing of Medical Marijuana within 25 Miles of a Dispensary is Unconstitutional
AZMMPS: “a ‘motion for a preliminary injunction and memorandum of law in support thereof’ was filed in the United States District Court for the district of Arizona which will send the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act back to Federal Court. The lawsuit, HAYES vs ARIZONA has Governor Brewer named along side the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services Will Humble and Robert Halliday who is the director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety as well as Tom Horne the Arizona Attorney General. The Plaintiff is listed as Billy Hayes, the Co-Founder and former CEO of Arizona Cannabis Society, local medical marijuana advocate and also a well known medical marijuana cultivation consultant. The case itself is claiming a small portion of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) is unconstitutional, the section in question is being referred to as the ’25 Mile Rule’ and Hayes is looking to have it removed from the Law.”
Former President of Mexico:
End Marijuana Prohibition Now
Our friends at High Times scored a really provocative and informative interview with Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, where Mr. Fox demonstrates both a wide range of knowledge about the need for countries like America and Mexico to end cannabis prohibition and forward-looking vision about the need for regulation and tax laws similar to alcohol products.
Mr. Obama and company, when your own Partnership for a Drug-Free [sic] America is left little-to-do but inane surveys indicating that American parents do not want cannabis marketed to their children when it is legal and the former president of the country where America’s failed war on some drugs has caused the most social upheaval, street violence, political and law enforcement corruption…maybe you should start listening and acting upon their recommendations.
- See more at: http://blog.norml.org/2013/07/17/former-president-of-mexico-end-marijuana-prohibition-now/#sthash.Z8Bp5CGU.dpuf
FLAG MADE OF HEMP FLIES AT
A flag made out of a substance that's illegal to grow in the United States will fly above the nation's Capitol building on July 4, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The Stars and Stripes will be stitched out of hemp fibers, which come from a plant that the federal government considers to be as harmful as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. As far as the Drug Enforcement Administration is concerned, marijuana plants all fall on the Schedule I list of controlled substances, regardless of their concentration of the psychoactive compound THC. Hemp strains contain very little THC, and while it is legal to import the processed fabric, there are stiff penalties in place for its cultivation.
Congressional lawmakers sought to change that earlier this year, however, withlegislation that would have legalized hemp for research purposes. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) was a key proponent of this measure, which was tripped up last month by the House's failure to pass the farm bill to which it was attached. He also reportedly played a key role in getting hemp up the Capitol's flag pole.
According to the Post, Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman gave the flag -- made with Colorado-grown hemp -- to Polis, who worked out the details with the Capitol's flag office. Colorado has legalized hemp production, along with eight other states. While federal law still prohibits its cultivation, some enterprising and daring individuals have already started farming hemp.
Bowman told the Post that the display was a "a powerful symbol,” steeped in American history. Many historians believe that the first American flag, sewn by Betsy Ross in 1776, was made of hemp.
What is hemp?
Hemp is a variety of cannabis that is grown for the fiber and seeds. The fiber and seeds are incredible valuable and is why hemp is often called a “cash crop”. Hemp is a very hearty plant and grows very quickly in very diverse soil conditions. Cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes has been done by many civilizations for over 12,000 years. Industrial hemp was the desired fiber used to manufacture rope, canvas, paper, and clothing until alternative textiles and synthetics for these purposes were discovered. Although China has been the largest hemp producer over the years, other countries such as Australia and Canada are catching up. It is illegal for anyone to grow hemp in the United States as hemp is illegal under the marijuana prohibition act (see hemp history). Now hemp oils, hemp plastics, hemp building materials and many hemp fiber products can be seen and purchased on the market. Hemp is truly an amazing plant with the potential to help “green up” many industries. Still wondering What is Hemp? or want to learn more?
Traditionally, hemp fiber has been a very coarse fiber when raw, which made it well suited to rope but less than ideal for clothing designed to be worn against delicate human skin. Advances in breeding of the plants and treatment/processing of the fibers have resulted in a much finer, softer hemp fiber, which is ideal for weaving into hemp clothing, fabrics and rope. Watch the video on Hemp for victory to learn more about the importance of hemp during war times.
The “re-”growth of industrial hemp in the United States is heavily regulated, although the neighbouring nation of Canada successfully grows hemp commercially. Since becoming legal to grow again in Canada, the crop has taken off and has become a booming multi-million dollar export. Hemp building materials are another growing segment of the hemp industry. Canada is now a leader in the global hemp food/health marketplace. Canadian hemp products can be found in many hemp markets now in the United States and the world over.
In addition to providing useful fibers, hemp seed also has high nutritional value. and the plant can be used to make biodegradable plastics, some fuels, and a variety of other things. Hemp foods including but not limited to hemp energy bars, hemp salad dressing,hemp milk, hemp protein shakes, hemp oil gel caps and hemp protein powderare among some of the health products being produced today. Visit the Hemp University to learn more!
Now when someone says “what is hemp?“, you can be the one that knows!
Study: Hemp Seed Oil Associated With Improved Clinical and Immunological Parameters In Multiple Sclerosis Patients
- May 24, 2013
The consumption of legal hemp seed nutritional oil, in conjunction with the intake of evening primrose oils and a restricted diet high in Hot-natured foods (such as pepper) and low in saturated fats and sugars, is associated with “significant improvement” in symptom management and immunological characteristics in subjects with multiple sclerosis, according to clinical trial data published this month in the scientific journal BioImpacts.
Researchers at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran assessed the impact of hemp seed oil, evening primrose oils, and a restricted diet for a period of six months in 23 patients diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. Researchers reported that participants at the study’s completion “were healthier in comparison to baseline,” concluding that “clinical and immunological parameters showed improvement in the patients after the intervention.” They noted that hemp seed oil possesses potent antioxidative properties and also likely acts on specific signaling pathways that regulate inflammatory responses — two characteristics that would presumably make it beneficial in the treatment of MS.
Authors concluded: “After 6 months, significant improvements in extended disability status score were found. … [O]ur study demonstrates for the first time in the literature a decrease in both clinical and pro- inflammatory disease activity in MS patients during periods of dietary intervention. Our data demonstrated that co-supplemented hemp seed and evening primrose oils with Hot-natured diet intervention may decrease the risk of developing MS.”
Previously published clinical trials assessing the impact of inhaled cannabis and extracted organic cannabinoids in patients with MS have demonstrated that plant cannabinoids can alleviate disease symptoms — such as involuntary spasticity, neuropathy, and bladder dysfunction — and, in some subjects, may actually moderate disease progression. Nonetheless, the National MS Society shares little enthusiasm for cannabis or cannabis-derived products as a therapeutic option for MS patients,stating on its website: “[B]ased on the studies to date — and the fact that long-term use of marijuana may be associated with significant, serious side effects — it is the opinion of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Medical Advisory Board that there are currently insufficient data to recommend marijuana or its derivatives as a treatment for MS symptoms.”
By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Inhaling cannabis reduces symptoms of Crohn’s disease compared to placebo in patients non-responsive to traditional therapies, according to clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Researchers at the Meir Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Israel assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis versus placebo in 21 subjects with Crohn’s disease who were nonresponsive to conventional treatments.
Eleven participants smoked standardized cannabis cigarettes containing 23 percent THC and 0.5 percent CBD (cannabidiol) twice daily over a period of eight weeks. The other ten subjects smoked placebo cigarettes containing no active cannabinoids.
Investigators reported, “Our data show that 8-weeks treatment with THC-rich cannabis, but not placebo, was associated with a significant decrease of 100 points in CDAI (Crohn’s Disease and activity index) scores.” (The CDIA is a research tool used to quantify the symptoms of Crohn’s disease patients.) Five of the eleven patients in the study group also reported achieving disease remission (defined as a reduction in patient CDAI score by more than 150 points).
Researchers also reported that “no significant side effects” were associated with cannabis inhalation. Subjects in the study group reported improvements in appetite and sleep compared to those in the placebo group. Cannabis inhalation was also associated with “significantly less pain” among the participants.
The study is the first placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the consumption of cannabis for the treatment of Crohn’s.
Israeli researchers had previously published observational trial data reporting that Crohn’s patients require fewer disease-related surgeries following their use of cannabis.
According to survey data published in 2011 in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, some one-half of Crohn’s disease patients acknowledge having used cannabis to mitigate their disease symptoms.
Using marijuana in Arizona can result in a DUI conviction even if an individual hasn’t smoked pot for weeks, according to a state appeals court.
In the case of Montgomery vs Harris, a state’s appellate court overturned a lower court decision, ruling that prosecutors can convict drivers for being under the influence even if there is no evidence that the person is actually under the influence.
In 2010, Hrach Shilgevorkyan was stopped for speeding. A blood test revealed the presence of carboxy-THC, an inactive substance that stays in the body for up to four weeks after the smoking of marijuana, but which does not impair normal capabilities.
The court concluded that as long as certain chemicals in marijuana show up in a driver’s blood or urine, the individual can be found guilty, which means a person can go to jail for using long after the fact.
The ruling overturned a lower court judge’s decision that said it made no sense to prosecute someone with no evidence that they’re under the influence.
Study: Inhaled Cannabis Reduces Symptoms In Patients With Treatment-Resistant Multiple Sclerosis
Review: Clinical Trials For Cannabis And Prostate Cancer Warranted
Barbula, Venezuela: Plant cannabinoids possess analgesic and anti-cancer effects and ought to be assessed in patients with prostate cancer, according to a literature review published in the Indian Journal of Urology.
A pair of investigators from Venezuela and the United States assessed the potential use of cannabis in the treatment of prostate cancer. They concluded: "Prostate cancer cells possess increased expression of both cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptors, and stimulation of these results in decrease in cell viability, increased apoptosis, and decreased androgen receptor expression and prostate-specific antigen excretion. ... It is our conclusion that it would be of interest to conduct clinical trials involving medicinal cannabis or other cannabinoid agonists, comparing clinical markers such as PSA with controls, especially in men with bone metastatic prostate cancer, whom would not only benefit from the possible anti-androgenic effects of cannabinoids but also from analgesia of bone pain, improving quality of life, while reducing narcotic consumption and preventing opioid dependence."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and the second cause for cancer-related death.
When Patients With Fibromyalgia Try Marijuana
Advocates for cannabis decriminalization have long touted marijuana's potential medical benefits, but some new research suggests that the grass, as it were, may not always be greener.
Plenty of people aren't waiting for marijuana to become legal to start trying it as a medicine, though. About 1 in 10 patients referred to a McGill University pain clinic in Montreal for fibromyalgia over a six-year period were using marijuana to deal with the chronically painful condition, a new study found.
The researchers found that those who self-medicated with marijuana were more likely than those who didn't to have poor mental health and to be considered seekers of narcotics.
Correlation isn't the same as causation, which this study couldn't establish.
Still, the findings raise a flag, according to one of the authors. "There's been some benefit shown for the outcome measure of pain," researcher Peter Ste-Marie tells Shots. But if a treatment doesn't allow someone to get back to the pattern of their normal life, Ste-Marie says, it's not a long-term solution. "There's a possible negative there as well. It's one thing to diminish the pain a little, but it's a whole different ballgame if it doesn't also improve [patients'] function."
The findings were published online by the journal Arthritis Care & Research.
Medical use of marijuana is allowed, with authorization, in small quantities in Canada, although all the people in this study got their marijuana illegally. A few people took legal prescription drugs that contained the active ingredient in marijuana.
In any event, marijuana and other drugs should be seen as only one possible ingredient for treatment of fibromyalgia, Ste-Marie says. "What's better than over-medicalizing patients is to see them take control of their disease," Ste-Marie says. "I mean, treatment can help manage pain, but it's really what [patients] are doing for themselves that's most helpful. There's no miracle drug, that's for sure."
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
"May 12-13: Sowed hemp at muddy hole by swamp."
GEORGE WASHINGTON, DIARY, 1765
DID YA KNOW?!
Hemp provides durable fiber harvested ideal for making ropes, sails, cloth, and paper: it's been cultivated for 12,000 years the world over for these purposes and more. In fact, the derivation of the word "canvas" comes from the root word "cannabis." Cannabis plants used for hemp production contain very low levels of THC, unlike psychotropic cousin, marijuana.