Health

A Cannabis Detox Could Be The Next Health Fad

All health nuts know that juicing and detoxing can have beneficial affects on the body. Juicing and detoxes in general help get rid of unwanted toxins that are found in processed food, and therefore in the food that you’re eating. But did you know that a cannabis detox might just be the healthiest form of detox?

Cannabis juicing isn’t just a weird cannabis smoothie. It’s actually an all natural raw vegetable drink that is no different than any of the other vegetable juicing trends.

The facts are extremely simple. By creating juice out of the raw cannabis, you are receiving all of the nutrients, without the “high.” This allows for the detox to remain do-able without the worry that you will constantly be feeling psychological effects.

When you juice cannabis raw, it is shown that you are keeping the THC-A and CBD-A intake, which allows your body to take in all of the natural nutrients that you don’t receive when smoking cannabis.

These nutrients that are found in raw cannabis help boost your immune system, improve bone metabolism, help neural function, and prevent the growth of cancer cells.

The juicing part is actually pretty easy for anyone. Whether or not you are using a juicer or a blender, add raw cannabis to other veggies or fruits and mix. Since you are doing a detox, you should add more fruits and vegetables to make sure that you are not starving during the day.

So, here’s how to start detoxing. First off, understand that detoxes should be started out gradually and should be short at first. Even regular juicing detoxes usually only last from one to three days and are meant for people who are respectively healthy.

The process of cleansing or detoxing takes around one week, including pre-detox and after-detox. Treat your cannabis juicing detox just like any other vegetable detox. There is no difference because in it’s raw form cannabis is one of the healthiest veggies you could find.

The day of your cleanse should therefore consist of 6 cannabis juices, one every two hours. This will ensure that you are getting enough nutrients for the day, while also maintaining energy. For extra energy, try eating a protein, like grilled chicken at night.

With all juices or detoxes, water should be your best friend.

Keep hydrated during your cannabis detox by drinking water before, during, and after every juice. You’ll wake up the day after feeling extremely refreshed and toxin free!

Amato, ByMissy. “A Cannabis Detox Could Be The Next Health Fad.” Green Rush Daily, 20 Mar. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/cannabis-detox-next-health-fad/.

How Cannabis Can Help With Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a tool that can be utilized at any moment. This topic gained a significant amount of attention over recent years. Mindfulness is studied for its therapeutic benefits for those struggling with mental and physical disorders.  Furthermore, it is known to help with stress reduction. One therapeutic approach, known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), often combines mindfulness. CBT and mindfulness are used in conjunction to bring about positive change. Here is a short fun video explaining mindfulness.

What Is The Similarity Between CBT and Mindfulness?

How Cannabis Can Help With Mindfulness

CBT looks at how our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions influence one another. For example, our thoughts may impact our emotions resulting in a behavior. CBT focuses on identifying the root of what influences our presenting problems.

For instance, you may feel sad when you are alone. One way to change this cognitive distortion is to try and identify the thought that creates the sad emotion. Perhaps, you were alone a lot as a child and you associate this to a negative emotion (sadness).

In order to create change, you must identify the problem and work to reverse this thought pattern. Changing thought patterns are difficult, but mindfulness is the key. We can catch our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors when we utilize present-moment awareness.

Mindfulness helps in CBT because it allows us to focus on what is happening in the present moment. Sometimes, this may produce negative feelings. Although this is the case, negative feelings are just as important as positive ones.

Think about the age-old concept of yin and yang. We cannot experience positivity without negativity, or light without darkness. In a world where we try to create the illusion of control over our lives, mindfulness helps with acceptance and letting go. If we can allow ourselves to experience the negative, then it creates room for those feelings to pass.

The Benefits of Cannabis

How Cannabis Can Help With Mindfulness

Self-reports, studies on the impact of health ailments, and the statistical rise in use demonstrate the benefits of cannabis. More people are asking questions about further uses of cannabis. Unfortunately, research is only on the cusp of what needs to be done.

With legal discrimination against cannabis and powerful lobbyists, society continues to identify marijuana as a drug. Therefore, finding research on how cannabis may assist in a healthy population of people proves difficult.

The Relationship between Mindfulness and Cannabliss

Cannabis may help in feelings of happiness, pain management, and creating a calm state of mind. For some, cannabis induces more anxious feelings including paranoia and racing thoughts.

Therefore, if you are someone wanting to combine mindfulness and cannabis together, consider the type of weed you are ingesting. Sativa strains provide an energetic high. For some anxiety-prone people, a sativa may inhibit mindfulness.

Those with anxiety may prefer Indica strains, which may help in promoting feelings of peace, present-moment awareness, and a slowing of the mind. Mindfulness is something we can attain at any moment. With that being said, what is the harm of combining two beneficial components?

A Scientific View

How Cannabis Can Help With Mindfulness

In a world where it is difficult to control the chaos on the outside, it can feel more troublesome to quiet the chaos on the inside. Cannabis helps with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxietydepressionPTSD and fibromyalgia.

In fact, a study done on patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia found a significant increase in mental health outcomes for those using cannabis. All you need to do is look at the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental health disorders (DSM).

A rise exists in people diagnosed with mental health disorders because we continue to treat psychological problems as a deficiency in the human being. The DSM serves a purpose, especially for those with serious mental illness. Although this is true, our society over-diagnoses people. Alternative treatments, like mindfulness and cannabis, may help.

What Are the People Saying?

How Cannabis Can Help With Mindfulness

On a forum on reddit.com people express their feelings on mindfulness and cannabis: “I find this to be true. I think it depends on the individuals own chemistry with the plant’s psychoactive components.”

“After meditating a few times earlier this week, I’ve found that weed just dulls my mind and I can’t get as much clarity as doing it sober. I haven’t smoked in three days now and I feel great. I normally smoked 2-3 times a day. It doesn’t work for me, but if it works for you, roll with it.”

“I find that either an Indica body stone or Sativa head high will give a sensation resembling that of mindfulness, and in the right circumstances/dosage will truly be mindfulness. Inducing mindfulness or meditating while high produces highly exaggerated effects, as though the two together are so much more powerful than either could be alone.”

“It depends on the type of marijuana for me. Strong indica helps, strong sativa really sets my mind on fire and makes it so hard to concentrate, despite my most valiant efforts.”

“I have found it to be enhancing to my practice.”

Rodgers, ByFrancine. “How Cannabis Can Help With Mindfulness.” Green Rush Daily, 10 May 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/how-cannabis-can-help-with-mindfulness/.

Soy Compound Protects Heart From Stress Induced by THC, Study Finds

A compound in soybeans could be the key to a healthy heart for cannabis consumers.

Among many other things, cannabis affects some key functions related to the cardiovascular system. Specifically, cannabis is commonly considered a “vasodilator.” That means it helps open up your blood vessels. In most cases, this makes it easier for blood to flow and subsequently leads to things like a temporarily lower blood rate, decreased blood pressure for those who have glaucoma or other health conditions, and more.

But in some cases, cannabis actually places stress on the body’s cardiovascular system. Similarly, cannabis has been linked to an increased risk for certain types of cardiovascular disease.

But now, new research has found that a chemical compound in soybeans could counteract these potentially negative side effects of marijuana.

Soybeans Could Prevent Damage from Marijuana

The new research was presented recently at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2019 Scientific Sessions. According to researchers working on the project, the objective was to discover ways to make cannabis consumption—especially medical marijuana—more effective and safer.

“These medications are prescribed to reduce the nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy and to increase appetite in certain people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome,” research Tzu-Tang “Thomas” Wei said in a press release. “The goal of our studies is to investigate the mechanisms of marijuana-induced damage and discover new drugs to prevent those side effects.”

Specifically, cannabis has been linked to some cardiovascular diseases. For example, some past studies have pointed to potential links between marijuana and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Researchers on this new project wanted to see if there is a way to avoid these risks. And it turns out soybeans could be the solution.

In this study, researchers exposed endothelial cells, which are very similar to the cells inside blood vessels, to THC. They then exposed those same cells to an antioxidant found in soybeans called JW-1.

Here’s what they found:

  • When the cells were exposed to THC they showed signs of inflammation and oxidative stress. Importantly, both of these are linked to the development of heart disease.
  • JW-1 blocked access to certain cannabinoid receptors.
  • As a result of this, JW-1 helped eliminate some of the potentially negative effects of THC in exposed cells.

Implications of New Data

These findings could have important implications for medical marijuana patients. But they could also be very helpful in applications beyond the specific context of medical marijuana.

Specifically, researchers believe that there could be other health benefits from learning how to block and manipulate certain parts of the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Interestingly, this new study is not the first time researchers have tried to block cannabinoid receptors for health reasons. But so far, such attempts have fallen short.

“Previously, a drug that blocked CB1 was approved in Europe for the treatment of obesity,” Wei said. “But it had to be withdrawn because of severe psychiatric side effects.”

He continued: “In contrast, as an antioxidant, JW-1 may have neuroprotective effects. Discovering a new way to protect blood vessels without psychiatric side effects would be clinically important with the rapid growth of cannabis use worldwide.”

Next up, researchers involved with this project said they plan to test cells from real-life cannabis smokers. Additionally, they want to examine cells from folks who smoke both marijuana and cigarettes. And finally, they also want to see how THC impacts blood vessels in combination with other cannabinoids like CBD.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Soy Compound Protects Heart From Stress Induced by THC, Study Finds.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Aug. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/soy-compound-protects-heart-from-stress-induced-by-thc-study-finds/.

Soy Compound Protects Heart From Stress Induced by THC, Study Finds

A compound in soybeans could be the key to a healthy heart for cannabis consumers.

Among many other things, cannabis affects some key functions related to the cardiovascular system. Specifically, cannabis is commonly considered a “vasodilator.” That means it helps open up your blood vessels. In most cases, this makes it easier for blood to flow and subsequently leads to things like a temporarily lower blood rate, decreased blood pressure for those who have glaucoma or other health conditions, and more.

But in some cases, cannabis actually places stress on the body’s cardiovascular system. Similarly, cannabis has been linked to an increased risk for certain types of cardiovascular disease.

But now, new research has found that a chemical compound in soybeans could counteract these potentially negative side effects of marijuana.

Soybeans Could Prevent Damage from Marijuana

The new research was presented recently at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2019 Scientific Sessions. According to researchers working on the project, the objective was to discover ways to make cannabis consumption—especially medical marijuana—more effective and safer.

“These medications are prescribed to reduce the nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy and to increase appetite in certain people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome,” research Tzu-Tang “Thomas” Wei said in a press release. “The goal of our studies is to investigate the mechanisms of marijuana-induced damage and discover new drugs to prevent those side effects.”

Specifically, cannabis has been linked to some cardiovascular diseases. For example, some past studies have pointed to potential links between marijuana and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Researchers on this new project wanted to see if there is a way to avoid these risks. And it turns out soybeans could be the solution.

In this study, researchers exposed endothelial cells, which are very similar to the cells inside blood vessels, to THC. They then exposed those same cells to an antioxidant found in soybeans called JW-1.

Here’s what they found:

  • When the cells were exposed to THC they showed signs of inflammation and oxidative stress. Importantly, both of these are linked to the development of heart disease.
  • JW-1 blocked access to certain cannabinoid receptors.
  • As a result of this, JW-1 helped eliminate some of the potentially negative effects of THC in exposed cells.

Implications of New Data

These findings could have important implications for medical marijuana patients. But they could also be very helpful in applications beyond the specific context of medical marijuana.

Specifically, researchers believe that there could be other health benefits from learning how to block and manipulate certain parts of the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Interestingly, this new study is not the first time researchers have tried to block cannabinoid receptors for health reasons. But so far, such attempts have fallen short.

“Previously, a drug that blocked CB1 was approved in Europe for the treatment of obesity,” Wei said. “But it had to be withdrawn because of severe psychiatric side effects.”

He continued: “In contrast, as an antioxidant, JW-1 may have neuroprotective effects. Discovering a new way to protect blood vessels without psychiatric side effects would be clinically important with the rapid growth of cannabis use worldwide.”

Next up, researchers involved with this project said they plan to test cells from real-life cannabis smokers. Additionally, they want to examine cells from folks who smoke both marijuana and cigarettes. And finally, they also want to see how THC impacts blood vessels in combination with other cannabinoids like CBD.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Soy Compound Protects Heart From Stress Induced by THC, Study Finds.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Aug. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/soy-compound-protects-heart-from-stress-induced-by-thc-study-finds/.

10 Best Weed Strains For Depression

If you or a loved one are dealing with depression, medical cannabis may help. Here are the best weed strains for depression.

Depression is one of the most common mood disorders, and it can easily become debilitating. Fortunately, some of the chemicals found in cannabis may help treat the symptoms of depression. Here are the best weed strains for depression.

Best Weed Strains for Depression: An Introduction

Researchers still have a lot to learn about the relationship between cannabis and depression. One study found that low doses of THC can serve as powerful anti-depressants, but that higher doses may make certain symptoms worse.

More recently, a 2015 study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo found that endocannabinoids produced by the body play a key role in regulating mood. More specifically, they found that depression is often accompanied by decreased endocannabinoid production.

This study concluded that consuming cannabis can restore endocannabinoid activity. When that happens, it can help stabilize moods, emotions, and ease the symptoms of depression.

When you’re trying to treat depression, look for strains that produce positive feelings and that ease anxiety and stress.

10. Fruity Pebbles (Hybrid)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Fruity Pebbles is a hybrid strain that produces well-balanced, gentle highs perfect for treating depression. Buds have an average of 12 to 20 percent THC.

Expect to feel a calming body buzz after a few puffs. A few more puffs and you’ll notice a cerebral high setting in that will introduce feelings of euphoria, creativity, and happiness.

9. Granddaddy Purple (Indica)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Granddaddy Purple is well known among both recreational and medicinal consumers.

It’s the offspring of two potent indicas, Purple Urkle and Big Bud. With high levels of both THC and CBG, this strain will give you an extreme sense of physical relaxation.

8. Chemdawg (Indica)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Despite having a very murky genetic background, Chemdawg has risen to become a hugely popular indica-dominant strain.

As an indica, it produces the exact type of effects you’d expect. You’ll feel a sedating body high that will be rounded out by a gentle head buzz. The result is a powerful sense of relaxation and uplifting euphoria.

7. Blue Dream (Hybrid)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Blue Dream highlights the best of what hybrids have to offer. This strain combines the pain-relieving, indica properties of Blueberry with the energy-boosting, sativa qualities of Haze.

Expect fast-acting uplifting feelings of euphoria without getting couch locked or sedated.

7. Blue Dream (Hybrid)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Blue Dream highlights the best of what hybrids have to offer. This strain combines the pain-relieving, indica properties of Blueberry with the energy-boosting, sativa qualities of Haze.

Expect fast-acting uplifting feelings of euphoria without getting couch locked or sedated.

5. Skywalker OG (Hybrid)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

This one is usually best as an evening or night time strain. With an average of 18 to 30 percent THC, Skywalker OG is a hybrid that delivers powerful highs.

You’ll probably feel the sedating body high this strain produces more than anything else. Because of this, it can help treat aches and painsheadachesinsomnia, stress, and depression.

4. Jack Herer (Sativa)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Jack Herer is all about feeling good. And that is sometimes exactly what you’re looking for when you’re seeking out the best weed strains for depression.

From start to finish, this strain is comforting and uplifting. Many users find the earthy smell and taste comforting. That comfort goes deeper as you start smoking or vaping.

At that point, you’ll benefit from the intensely euphoric and uplifting cerebral buzz it gives you.

3. Headband (Hybrid)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Headband is a hybrid that produces sativa-style effects. Expect a powerful head high that will melt away your stress, anxiety, and depression. Beneath all that cerebral activity you’ll also benefit from a deeply relaxing body buzz.

2. Harlequin (Sativa)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

Harlequin is a classic high-CBD strain. It consistently produces buds that have a CBD/THC ratio of 5:2.

With all that CBD, Harlequin is an excellent all-around medicinal strain. And since it also has a decent amount of THC, you’ll still get enough psychoactive effects to help you feel uplifted and mellow.

1. White Widow (Sativa)

Best Weed Strains For Depression

White Widow is one of the most well-known strains in the world. It’s especially popular in Amsterdam.

The strain produces a unique blend of head and body highs that leave people feeling relaxed yet energized. For this reason, it’s an excellent social lubricant.

But it’s also ideal for helping you feel more inspired, uplifted, and confident, so you can tackle whatever the day has in store.

Final Hit: Best Weed Strains For Depression

When it comes to finding the best weed strains for depression, look for strains that have calming, relaxing, mood-enhancing properties.

Indicas, sativas, and hybrids all have traits that can contribute to this. Whatever you do, pay attention to how strains affect you and steer clear of anything that makes you feel anxious, stressed out, or paranoid.

Lindsey, ByNick. “10 Best Weed Strains For Depression.” Green Rush Daily, 11 Aug. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/cannabis-strains/best-weed-strains-depression/10/.

New Study Finds Marijuana Benefits Mental Health and Curbs Addiction

Marijuana use is on the rise all across the country. The recent elections saw 9 states have some form of cannabis legalization on their ballots. And in a landslide victory for cannabis, 8 of those initiatives passed. Now, more Americans have legal access to weed than ever before. That makes questions about the plant’s safety and potential mental health benefits more pertinent now than ever before.

The principal way cannabis interacts with the body is through the hundreds of cannabinoids found within. These compounds act on the brain in a variety of different ways to bring about all kinds of effects. Through these results, many studies have found therapeutic benefit. From Parkinson’s disease to high blood pressure, hundreds of individual studies have found marijuana to be an effective course of treatment for dozens of ailments.

And its therapeutic potential isn’t limited to physical diseases either. There is also evidence in the literature that cannabis can provide aid for those suffering from psychological health issues. Marijuana use alleviates Anorexiadepression and a host of other mental health disorders, and the list is always growing.

In that vein, a group of researchers from Canada and the United States recently performed a scientific review. In it, they examined the studies surrounding cannabis’s potential benefits for mental health. Their results conclude what many already knew: marijuana is an effective medication for numerous mental health disorders.

Review Concludes That Marijuana Benefits Mental Health

New Study Finds Marijuana Benefits Mental Health and Curbs Addiction

In an effort to shed light on cannabis’s medicinal value, the researchers combed through hundreds of studies. In doing so, their focus was on determining whether or not the medical community should consider marijuana a viable medication in treating mental health disorders.

The team published their results in the journal Clinical Psychology Review. In their report, the researchers confirmed that marijuana is helpful in treating mental health. Specifically mentioned were depression, social anxiety, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). However, the study notes that this list may not be exhaustive.

Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and contributor to the study, weighed in on the matter. “This is a substance that has potential use for mental health. We should be looking at it in the same way and be holding it up to the same standard.” And in conducting this review, Walsh, and his team have done exactly that.

Aside from treating various mental health disorders, the study made a different but equally remarkable observation about cannabis. Physicians may also use the herb as a powerful tool in curbing harmful addictions.

Cannabis Fights Addiction To Opioids

New Study Finds Marijuana Benefits Mental Health and Curbs Addiction

To many, the fact that cannabis benefits mental health is no surprise. Perhaps more surprisingly, patients can use the plant to fight addictions to other more harmful drugs such as opioid painkillers.

As it stands, there is an opioid crisis in the US. Thousands are overdosing throughout the country all the time.  And even more are becoming hopelessly addicted. In combating this problem, some have suggested that marijuana is the answer to the opioid epidemic. And the results of this study may have vindicated those people by confirming that notion.

Walsh notes, “We are really excited about the potential substitution effect. If people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits.” This statement came on the heels of the review’s publication, which found some evidence that marijuana can be effective in this capacity. By replacing opioids with cannabis, the country would see fewer overdoses, emergency room visits, and deaths; all of which society would welcome with open arms.

The Final Hit

New Study Finds Marijuana Benefits Mental Health and Curbs Addiction

Following the legalization of marijuana in many more states within the union, we can expect to see more studies of this kind come out shortly. The authors of the study make clear that more research is obviously needed, but they are nonetheless very optimistic regarding marijuana’s medicinal value.

In addition to learning more about marijuana, further studies would also help eliminate the stigma surrounding its use. Fortunately, reviews of this kind will no doubt continue to pour out. With how great of a boon cannabis is as a therapeutic agent, it’s only a matter of time before the world of mainstream medicine accepts its inclusion.

Riley, ByCasey. “New Study Finds Marijuana Benefits Mental Health and Curbs Addiction.” Green Rush Daily, 17 Mar. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/marijuana-benefits-mental-health-curbs-addiction/.

25 Health Benefits of Marijuana

Health Benefits Of Marijuana

Medical marijuana is quickly becoming one of the most versatile and effective products when it comes to improving overall health. Research has proven time and time again that medical marijuana has powerful healing abilities. And as the legalization of marijuana continues to sweep the nation, research will continue to reveal the undeniable health benefits of marijuana.

Below are 25 reported health benefits of marijuana that will demonstrate just how important medical marijuana is to improving and maintaining overall health.

25 Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana

1. Medical marijuana has been found to reduce chronic pain in patients significantly debilitating diseases.

2. Patients with epilepsy have found relief from chronic seizures. In fact, in 2014, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a 99 percent CBD extract to help children with epilepsy.

3. Medical Marijuana has been found to ease nausea and reduce vomiting. This is especially beneficial to patients undergoing chemotherapy.

4. Medical marijuana increases appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy and those who are malnourished.

5. CBD is a powerful sleep aid and helps those suffering from insomnia sleep at night.

6. CBD reduces anxiety and feelings of depression.

7. Medical marijuana has been shown to protect the liver from binge alcohol-induced steatosis.

8. CBD stops the growth of cancer cells in lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

9. Medical marijuana helps reduce side effects associated with hangovers.

10. CBD lotion and salves successfully treat hives and allergy induces rashes.

25 Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana

11. CBD offers relief in inflammatory bowel diseases.

12. CBD helps reduce anxiety in those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

13. Medical marijuana may improve the quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

14. CBD reduces muscle spasms.

25 Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana

15. Medical marijuana can promote healthy digestive function.

16. CBD has been shown to help ease the pain associated with female menstrual cycles.

17. CBD has been shown to help some Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as herpes.

18. Medical marijuana may increase sex drive as well as overall sexual experiences.

25 Health Benefits of Marijuana

19. CBD oil has been shown to calm colicky babies.

20. Medical marijuana helps athletes maintain focus throughout mundane exercise regimes.

21. Cannabis salves relieve the itching associated with mosquito and other bug bites.

22. One of many health benefits of marijuana, it can reduce blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.

25 Health Benefits of Marijuana

23. CBD provides relief to those suffering from psoriasis.

24. Medical marijuana is successful in reducing pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

25. CBD reduces inflammation and slows the progression of inflammatory diseases.

Lewis, ByLindsey. “25 Health Benefits of Marijuana.” Green Rush Daily, 20 Mar. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/health-benefits-of-marijuana/.

Health Benefits Of Weed: Report Reveals What Cannabis Actually Does To Your Body

What Are The Health Benefits And Harms Of Using Cannabis?

With all the people who consume cannabis today, you would think we would know a lot more about what it actually does to your body. Unfortunately, increased cannabis use has not led to very conclusive evidence about long- and short-term health benefits. But a recent report has advanced our understanding of what weed does for human health in some important ways. Published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, this report represents the most up-to-date information on cannabis use and your health.

Most Important Findings

Health Benefits Of Weed: Bombshell Report Reveals What Cannabis Actually Does To Your Body

Importantly, the report is a public document that anyone can access to learn more about the science behind cannabis use. The report’s findings highlight cannabis’s effects on many of the most important public health concerns about the drug.

Prior to this 2017 study, the most recent comprehensive look at marijuana and health dates back to 1999. Before that, the last “Marijuana and Health” report was published in 1982.

Clearly, there hasn’t been an update to our knowledge about what cannabis actually does to your body in quite some time. Using a five-point rating system, researchers spell out how much we know about weed and wellness.

Those levels are crucial for dispelling myths about cannabis. They also help cannabis users know what’s true and what isn’t. Here are the rankings for the weight of evidence:

  • Conclusive
  • Substantial
  • Moderate
  • Limited
  • No or Insufficient

Conclusive Evidence About Cannabis and Health

Health Benefits Of Weed: Bombshell Report Reveals What Cannabis Actually Does To Your Body

The report makes some substantial and conclusive claims about cannabis and health. Some of them, people already accept as fact, while others fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Still others prop up long-standing arguments against cannabis use.

One of the latter has to do with the famous “gateway drug” idea. The study does conclude that “cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing substance dependence (other than cannabis).”

Some of the strongest conclusions, however, came in the domain of the therapeutic effects of cannabis. The report concludes that cannabis is a very effective treatment for adults suffering from nausea and vomiting, like chemotherapy patients, for example.

Another key finding relates to pain. The study found that adults suffering from chronic pain are more likely to experience “a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms” when they treat their pain with cannabis or medical cannabis products.

The study also provides some reassuring data for cannabis smokers concerned about lung health. According to the study, the evidence strongly suggests that for adults smoking cannabis does not increase the risk for particular cancers like lung, head, and neck.

What We Still Don’t Know About Cannabis and Health

Health Benefits Of Weed: Bombshell Report Reveals What Cannabis Actually Does To Your Body

In some areas, we’re still completely ignorant about how cannabis relates to health. While this information might not interest some, making sure we know what we don’t know helps avoid marijuana policies which are either too strict or too loose.

For these areas, researchers couldn’t find enough or sufficient evidence to draw a conclusion. We don’t know much about cannabis smoke and pregnancy. The relationship between smoking cannabis during pregnancy and other pregnancy outcomes is still unclear.

So is our knowledge about how cannabis use impacts one’s ability to resist and fight disease.

Furthermore, the evidence is very unclear about how cannabis is or is not associate with heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes. Surprisingly, researchers also don’t know much about cannabis use and asthma or reduced lung function.

Onward!

Health Benefits Of Weed: Bombshell Report Reveals What Cannabis Actually Does To Your Body

Now couldn’t be a more crucial time for cannabis research and policy. Debates are raging stronger than ever about what harms and benefits are or aren’t caused by cannabis and cannabinoid products.

That’s why this report is such a bombshell. It presents a far-reaching set of conclusions, based on the most up-to-date evidence. This report should become a go-to resource for anyone trying to figure out the truth about marijuana’s health benefits.

Drury, ByAdam. “Health Benefits Of Weed: Report Reveals What Cannabis Actually Does To Your Body • Green Rush Daily.” Green Rush Daily, 31 Mar. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/health-benefits-new-report/.

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Got The Munchies? Give These Healthy Snacks A Try.

What makes an ideal snack when you’ve got the munchies? Imagine you’ve just smoked some amazing Kush, and your appetite has been kicked into high gear. What do you crave? If you’re like most, you probably skip the healthy snacks and go straight for the sweets.

Cookie dough? Twinkies? Doritos? Brite Crawlers? Ben & Jerry’s? But what if getting the munchies wasn’t synonymous with loading up on junk food? Next time, try embracing the healthier side of cannabis. Here are the best healthy snacks to eat next time you get the munchies.

10. Hummus

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Once an esoteric dip only known to vegans, vegetarians, and bohemians, hummus is now one of the most popular snacks in the country.

From supermarkets to bodegas, you can find hummus in a tremendous variety of flavors.

From the traditional roasted garlic to spicy and even sweeter varieties, hummus can satisfy just about any kind of taste craving you can imagine.

Hummus is great as a dip. Use it with celery, baby carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers — any veggie you like. It also spreads well on fresh bread or pita.

What makes hummus so healthy is the protein it packs. It’s made from ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, which is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic.

Hummus is also rich in fiber. Furthermore, studies have shown that chickpeas and tahini both lower “bad” cholesterol.

And on top of all that, the antioxidants in the garlic and olive oil can improve blood flow. All good news for your heart.

Hummus is one of the most versatile healthy snacks to add to your arsenal.

9. Grapes

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Any fresh fruit is perfect if you’re looking for healthy snacks that will satisfy your cannabis-induced cravings. So why single out grapes?

Let’s start with the sensations. Biting into a grape is like biting into a flavor explosion. The slight resistance of the skin creates a bursting sensation when you

The slight resistance of the skin creates a bursting sensation when you bite down, with juices flowing out over your taste buds. When you’re stoned, it’s an intense experience!

Grapes also make healthy snacks for weed smokers because they are dry-mouth eliminators.

Nothing is more refreshing when you’ve got cotton mouth than biting into a fresh grape.Try freezing them for those hot summer days and hot hits.

Grapes are way better than candy, and better for you too. Green grapes tend to be more sour and pair well with sour strains.

Red and purple grapes, in general, are sweeter and go great with heavy indicas like Northern Lights.

Grapes also make the list for their potent health benefits. Grapes contain a long list of important antioxidants.

Probably the most important are polyphenols, which prevent all kinds of cancer, including lung, mouth, prostate, and colon.

Finally, grape skins, especially the red ones, are rich in another polyphenol called resveratrol that keeps your heart healthy.

8. Popcorn

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

When you’ve got the munchies and got ’em bad, it’s not always a question of what you eat, but also how much you eat!

The munchies can be an unstoppable force, compelling the stoned, hapless victim to eat far more than they otherwise would. When you’re high and hungry, sometimes it’s impossible to stop snacking.

That’s why having healthy snacks you can eat a lot of is so important for the weed consumer looking to maintain a healthy diet.

Popcorn is a great go-to healthy snack when you know you need to munch on the something for the long haul. It’s quick, bite-sized, and the popcorn kernels make an enviable delivery method for all kinds of delicious flavor

It’s quick, bite-sized, and the popcorn kernels make an enviable delivery method for all kinds of delicious flavor dusts and toppings.

But try to avoid the store-bought, microwave-in-a-bag popcorn. In addition to a whole host of unhealthy (or downright industrial) preservatives and chemicals, the microwave stuff has more calories than traditional popcorn.

Making popcorn the old-fashioned way is surprisingly easy, and only weighs in at 108 calories an ounce. You just need a sauce pot, a little bit of vegetable or olive oil, and heat.

Warm up the oil and toss in the corn kernels. Toss and stir for just a few minutes, and before you know it you’ll be poppin’! When you are high, the process can be quite entertaining.

When the popping subsides, you’ll have delicious, fluffy, and fresh popcorn that puts the microwave stuff to shame. Add some spices, butter, caramel, or chocolate sauce, and you’re in for a real treat.

7. Mangos

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Not surprisingly, we’re back to fresh fruit. But mangos, like grapes, deserve some recognition all their own.

So what makes mangos the perfect choice for bud smokers in search of healthy snacks? Well, the answer may just blow your mind.

Eating mangos before and during a smoke session can increase the length of your high. Mangos have the unique property of enhancing the potency of THC.

In other words, mangos won’t necessarily make you more stoned, but you will be high for longer. That’s because of a perfect harmony between the terpenes in mangos and the terpenes in cannabis.

Terpenes are the plant compounds that impart, among other things, the characteristic tastes, smells, and fragrances of a plant.

In fact, these terpenes are what make mangos and cannabis smell so amazing. Together, these terpenes interact with THC cannabinoids to prolong and even intensify the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

Of course, your results may vary. But the best part is, it doesn’t matter whether you eat mangos before or after you smoke, making it ideal for keeping your high going and satisfying your munchies at the same time.

Finally, a single mango has just 150 calories. Since eating this healthy snack is so rewarding for your senses, and can be quite filling, it’s a great choice for treating a bad case of the munchies.

6. Celery and Peanut Butter

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Sometimes, the desire to turn to your favorite junk food when you have the munchies comes from nostalgia. Those tastes that come from your childhood and are buried deep in the pleasure centers of your brain.

A good approach to finding healthy snacks that tap into that nostalgia is to recreate the good-for-you snacks you enjoyed as a kid.

“Ants on a log” is one of the most classic childhood snacks. A piece of a celery stalk filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins.

Delicious, full of different textures and flavors, and imaginative, celery and peanut butter is a fantastic choice for smokers hunting for healthy snacks.

There are all kinds of health benefits stuffed into this simple combination.

First, the peanut butter. If you go for the natural stuff, and not the sugar-filled kind, you’ve got a low-sugar, protein-rich snack packed with healthy fats.

Incidentally, cannabis firecrackers, one of the best weed-infused foods ever, feature peanut butter as a key ingredient.

Good for your heart, peanut butter is also rich in potassium. Additionally, eating celery with peanut butter can help you shed some pounds.

Who would have thought getting the munchies could be part of a healthy diet?

5. Almonds

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Mixing nugs and nuts is a great way to enjoy healthy snacks the next time you get the munchies.

Almonds and other tree nuts like pistachios and cashews can serve as incredibly healthy snacks when you’re high.

On their own, almonds aren’t much to get excited about. They’re kind of bland, a little dry, and otherwise pretty boring.

But they are healthy as can be, and with a little creativity — and lucky for you, you’re extra creative since you’re stoned — you can transform these humble nuts into dynamic flavor landscapes.

First, roast those babies. Natural almonds taste way better after they’ve been pan roasted in the oven for a few minutes and are toasty brown.

Then, squirt some lime on top, sprinkle with some chili powder and chopped cilantro, and you’ve got a southwestern style gourmet snack with just a few ingredients.

You can top almonds with whatever flavors you like. Try cinnamon and sugar if you’ve got a sweet tooth.

And despite their small size, almonds pack a punch in the nutrition department. They contain tons of healthy fats, protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.

Those nutrients can combat weight loss, reduce blood pressure, and help keep your heart healthy.

And if you’re looking to bring a stop to your munchies, almonds can reduce hunger and promote weight loss.

4. Avocado Toast

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

This healthy snack has been trending lately, and for good reason. Avocado toast is a delicious and nutritious way to indulge all your cravings.

You can also use avocados to make weed-infused guacamole. That way you can get high and satisfy your munchies at the same time.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but creativity wins the day in this department again. From savory to sweet, avocado toast can be dressed up any way you like.

For a refreshing, soothing snack after an intense smoke session, try a strawberry bruschetta version of avocado toast.

Start with some nice multi-grain bread and slices of fresh avocado. Toast the bread and set the slices on top.

In a separate bowl, mix some finely chopped strawberries, red onion, and fresh basil. Add a touch of olive oil to blend all the flavors.

Finally, spoon the bruschetta on top of the avocado toast. The textures and subtle flavors are something to ponder and savor slowly while you contemplate the mysteries of the universe.

The best part is that avocados have earned the title of “superfood” for their incredible nutrient density. In fact, avocados are the only fruit in the world that provides a significant amount of healthy fatty acids.

Besides that, they pack in nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. And if you don’t mind getting the giggles along with the munchies, you can call avocados by their other name: alligator pears. Chomp!

3. Sweet Potato Fries

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

They’re great when you’re sober. They’re great when you’re drinking. And they’re downright amazing when you are high.

Sweet potato fries are legendary in the healthy snacks department.

Sweet potato fries are incredibly easy to make. You don’t even have to fry deep them. Baking will do — and you’ve been baking already.

Just peel and chop however many sweet potatoes you feel like chowing down on. Toss them in a bowl with some salt, onion powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper for a kick.

Next, lay out the fries on a pan and stick them in a 450-degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the start to crisp around the edges.

Wait for them to cool, then dip them in some ketchup or your favorite side, and enjoy.

When you make french fries out of sweet potatoes, you tap into a nutrient-rich food that offers way more than fries made from regular potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin C. They provide about 27-30 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. And that helps you fight infections and stave off the flu and the cold.

Sweet potatoes also fight aging, help maintain strong bones, and keep your metabolism in good shape. So try them the next time you want to get your fry on.

A Quick Note: You can use either yams or sweet potatoes. Both are better choices than regular baking potatoes when you’re looking for healthy snacks.

2. Nachos

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Yes, nachos can be healthy. It all depends on your approach. Loading up some tortilla chips with veggies, beans, and cheese creates a crispy and colorful snack.

When you’re high, you’ll think you are eating a painting by Jackson Pollock.

Veggies, of course, are good for you. And the black beans provide a low-calorie source of protein and fiber.

The cheese provides some healthy fats — and some not-so-healthy fats, too — in addition to amino acids and calcium.

Besides, there’s nothing more rewarding for a serious case of munchies than the satisfying crunch of nachos drenched in melted cheese and healthy veggies.

The trick with keeping nachos healthy is paying attention to your ingredients. Avoid the fatty meats like ground beef or pork that typically top nachos to transform your nachos into healthy snacks.

You can also top your nachos off with an avocado to take advantage of its superfood powers.

A word of warning, though. Tortilla chips are fried and high in fat and calories. But there are varieties, such as tortilla chips made from blue corn, which are a bit healthier.

Pro Tip: Dice up some of your leftover sweet potato fries for a unique twist on this traditional stoner fare.

1. Veggie Pizza

Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies

Pizza and cannabis have long been partners in crime. What could be better when you’ve got the munchies than a little za?

In fact, the connections between the two have inspired some clever cannabis inventions. Last year, for example, a company designed a pizza box that quickly transforms into a disposable pipe.

Another creative inventor came up with the Portable Pizza Pouch. This contraption lets you carry a slice with you wherever you go so you’ll never be unprepared for the munchies.

But if you’re looking for healthy snacks, try baking your own veggie pizza. When you’re high, cooking can be a soothing, rewarding experience.

And making a pizza can introduce you to flavor combinations you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Let your mind run wild. Arugula and onion. Pineapple and black bean. Walnuts and cranberries.

If you do it right, pizza can become part of your healthy snacks arsenal. Making it yourself goes a long way.

You can use fresher ingredients and make it far less greasy than pies from the local pizzeria. Try using pita bread or other flatbreads as the base.

Ultimately, there’s nothing more enjoyable than feasting on the fruits of your labor. And there’s no more rewarding way to satisfy your munchies than a slice of piping hot za.

Drury, ByAdam. “Try These Healthy Snacks Next Time You Get The Munchies • Green Rush Daily.” Green Rush Daily, 19 May 2017, greenrushdaily.com/munchies/healthy-snacks-munchies/.

This Is What Happens When You Eat Raw Weed

Ever wonder what would happen if you eat raw weed? Hint: It’s not what you might expect.

For medical and recreational cannabis consumers, edibles continue to be a go-to method for ingesting weed. Edibles are convenient, discreet, and typically offer a longer, more intense effect than simply smoking up. Then again, crafting your own edibles takes time and skill. So, many people wonder whether there’s a shortcut: can’t you just eat raw weed?

The short answer is yes. You can totally pop a fresh bud into your mouth and chow down. But if you want to eat raw weed because you want to get high, you’re likely to walk away disappointed.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other benefits, besides getting stoned, to eating fresh herb. And those benefits hinge on the unique way your digestive system processes cannabis. So let’s dispel some myths and drop some knowledge. This is really what happens when you eat raw weed.

Will You Get High When You Eat Raw Weed?

This Is What Happens When You Eat Raw Weed

For most folks, the appealing thing about cannabis edibles is that they provide a smoke-free way to get high. But your local dispensary isn’t selling you flower to eat. It’s selling you flower to smoke. The edibles they sell you to eat are instead a preparation of cannabis that has activated the plant’s cannabinoids.

That preparation process involves a chemical reaction called “decarboxylation”. Essentially, decarbing converts the otherwise “inert” cannabinoids from their inactive state to their active form. So THCA, the inactive form of the psychoactive cannabinoid in weed, gets converted to THC, which will get you high. The same goes for CBD. At first, it’s CBDA. Then, the decarbing process turns it into active CBD.

Decarbing requires heat, which is why you put fire to your fresh flower when you smoke it. But the human digestive system doesn’t provide enough heat to decarboxylate the cannabis you eat, which is why edibles chefs have to do it beforehand.

The bottom line is this. When you eat raw weed, which hasn’t been decarbed, you’re consuming cannabinoids in a form your body can’t do anything with. So no, you won’t get high.

There’s some evidence that the drying and curing process converts some of the THCA to THC. But you’d have to eat roughly eight times more raw weed to get the same effect. And no one in their right mind is going to do that to get stoned!

Here’s What Really Happens When You Eat Raw Weed

This Is What Happens When You Eat Raw Weed

If you’ve ever tried edibles before, you probably know that the effect lasts longer and can be way more intense than just smoking flower. But it also takes longer to kick in. But why is that?

The longer, more potent effect of eating decarbed cannabis is a result of they way your digestive system handles the cannabinoids.

When you smoke weed, the THC and other important cannabinoids enter your bloodstream almost immediately through the lungs. But when those cannabinoids end up in your stomach, there’s a bit of a delay. Edibles users know that the effects can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to kick in.

So what’s going on during that time? First, the THC gets separated from the other ingredients in the edible by your stomach. Next, the THC is absorbed through the lining of your small intestine, but not into your bloodstream. The next step is actually the liver, where your metabolism breaks it down and feeds it into your blood. Interestingly, this pathway is very similar to the way alcohol makes us drunk.

But the liver does something unique to the THC it receives. The liver actually converts the decarbed THC into an even more potent version, 11-OH-THC.

According to a study in the Therapeutic Advancements in Psychopharmacology, 11-OH-THC is hyper-potent. And it effects the brain in stronger ways than ordinary THC. There’s also more of it. More power in a larger quantity means extremely intense psychoactive results. No wonder edibles can be so strong!

If You Eat Raw Weed, You’re Eating a Nutritional Powerhouse

This Is What Happens When You Eat Raw Weed

But what about eating your weed raw? We already covered why it won’t get you high. But are there any good reasons that make biting into a raw bud worth it?

Many medical marijuana practitioners and patients swear by the nutritional and therapeutic benefits of eating your weed raw.  Unfortunately, we only have their stories, and not any peer-reviewed research, to verify their claims.

Still, proponents of eating raw cannabis point to the many nutritional benefits packed into the plant. According to their logic, eating raw cannabis flower has all the nutrition of hemp, plus some.

One cannabis researcher, Dr. William Courtney, who informally studied the effects of consuming raw cannabis, says it provides the same therapeutic effects as smoking the plant. Courtney told Fox News that eating raw weed provides the “whole profile of the plant.” Heating or burning the plant, he said, could inhibit that medicinal potential.

Want To Eat Raw Weed? Juicing Is Your Best Bet

This Is What Happens When You Eat Raw Weed

It’s important to point out that eating raw weed has some downsides. Many folks report getting serious stomach aches or feeling nauseous after chomping down on some leafy green.

There could be two reasons for this. In the first place, the plant material of raw cannabis is just hard for your body to digest. That’s why edibles don’t just feed you decarbed cannabis, but instead use an alcohol or fat to bond to the cannabinoids and remove the plant material.

A second reason for stomach aches could be the pesticides and fungicides commercial growers use on their crops to keep pests away. Eating pesticide is definitely going to make you feel ill.

That’s why juicing raw cannabis has become so popular. Juicing cannabis allows consumers to obtain the health benefits of THC without the psychoactive effects.

Drury, ByAdam. “This Retail Weed Dispensary Just Unionized.” Green Rush Daily, 28 Aug. 2018, greenrushdaily.com/business/washington-first-unionized-dispensary/.

Why Everyone Should Try Juicing Raw Cannabis

While smoking, vaping, or taking, edibles are by far the most common ways to consume medical cannabis, juicing raw cannabis could be a powerful, though less common, way to use the plant.

The main difference between smoking, vaping or eating edibles and juicing has to do with the fact that nothing’s heated during the juicing process.

According to dietary specialist Dr. William L. Courtney, the raw cannabis plant contains two main chemicals: THC-A and CBD-A.

When cannabis is heated, it goes through a process called decarboxylation. Essentially, the heat transforms THC-A and CBD-A into fully activated THC and CBD.

This transformation is what gives cannabis its psychoactive properties. That’s why you have to heat your herb if you’re trying to make recreational edibles.

But what most people don’t know is that decarboxylation also changes the way your body absorbs the nutrients found in the cannabis plant.

As Dr. Courtney explains it, because THC bonds to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, it limits the number of nutrients that can be absorbed. But when cannabis is taken raw, the body is able to absorb a larger dose of those nutrients.

When you juice raw cannabis, you keep the THC-A and CBD-A intact, and your body can absorb much larger amounts of whatever nutrients and anti-oxidants the cannabis plant contains.

Many fans of juicing raw cannabis suggest taking it as a regular dietary supplement. Others have said cannabis juice can be a powerful form of treatment for a variety of health conditions, especially cancer.

You can even keep using your regular medical cannabis—something like Rick Simpson oil—and introduce an occasional dose of raw cannabis juice to give your treatment an extra boost.

In any case, here a couple of basic recipes to get you started:

Juicing Raw Cannabis With a Juicer

If you have a juicer, making raw cannabis juice will be super easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 cannabis leaves
  • 2 raw buds—do not use buds that have been dried and cured for smoking
  • other vegetables and fruits you’d like to mix in to your cannabis juice

Simply press your raw cannabis leaves, buds, and whatever other fruits and veggies you’ve got through your juicer. The fresher your ingredients, the better.

Drink the juice right away.

Juicing Raw Cannabis Without a Juicer

If you don’t have a juicer, don’t worry. You don’t need to run out and purchase an expensive new machine. You can get all the health benefits of raw cannabis juice using a blender and strainer.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 large handful of raw cannabis leaves
  • 1 cup water or fruit juice
  • blender
  • cheesecloth, sieve, or some other strainer

To make your cannabis juice, remove stems from your leaves and rinse them thoroughly. If the leaves were sprayed with anything while they were growing, you might want to soak them overnight to get them as clean as possible.

Add the leaves to the blender, along with 1 cup of water or juice. Using fruit juice can add more flavor as well as extra vitamins and nutrients to the final product.

Blend it up until it’s as smooth and liquified as possible. Pour the mixture through your strainer, and drink right away.

You can store the juice in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for a bit longer. But as a general rule, the fresher your cannabis leaves and the quicker you drink the juice, the better.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Why Everyone Should Try Juicing Raw Cannabis.” Green Rush Daily, 31 Mar. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/juicing-raw-cannabis/.

The Health Benefits Of Cannabis Juicing

Lover of both juicing and cannabis? Then you’ve stumbled into the right article. Even if you’re not familiar with cannabis juicing, there are plenty of health benefits they provide that you should know about. And if you weren’t aware, cannabis also comes with an array of benefits.

Health Benefits Of Cannabis Juicing

Need a Boost in Your Beet Juice? Add Cannabis

A boost in stamina is one of the many benefits you can get from drinking beetroot. The way you get the boost is through the nitrates inside the juice. In fact, a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Exter in the United Kingdom found that adult volunteers who drank 500ml of it a day could exercise for 16 percent longer than those who drank drinks without nitrate.

“Nitrates work in synergy with the other antioxidants that beetroot contains to reduce the oxygen needed by muscles,” said Stephen Bailey, lead researcher. “This enables them to work more efficiently and slows fatigue.”

The researchers add that “beetroot supports the liver,” and more. It can be used to slow the progression of dementia, cancer, and it assists in digestion. You can “beet” all kinds of diseases with this juice.

Hanna, ByAb. “The Health Benefits Of Cannabis Juicing • Green Rush Daily.” Green Rush Daily, 21 Apr. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/cannabis-juicing/.

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women’s Health

Cannabis can improve a variety of areas of your life. Here are just a few ways that it can be beneficial to women’s health.

Let’s be honest. Cannabis isn’t harmful at all. In fact, it can improve a variety of areas of your life. Here are just a few ways that marijuana can be beneficial to women’s health.

12. Alleviates menstrual cramps

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Most people who menstruate will agree that it tends to be an achy experience. Makes sense, considering that it’s the process of an internal organ ripping itself up. Before the days of Midol, marijuana was a popular way to ease menstrual cramps. It’s definitely effective, even if you don’t smoke it.

11. Treats other causes of pelvic pain

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Menstruation isn’t the only cause of pelvic pain. Cysts, digestive issues, and endometriosis are all well-known and documented women’s health issues. Studies show that cannabis helps alleviate both acute and chronic pelvic pain.

10. Better sex

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

A fulfilling sex life is fun, but more importantly, it’s healthy for both the body and the mind. What could be better than bonding with another person on such an intimate level? Adding marijuana to the mix! Weed is a natural aphrodisiac and heightens physical sensation. It can also boost your creativity, which may encourage you to get into that crazy new position you’ve been eager to try!

9. Easier orgasms

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

An orgasm isn’t necessarily the benchmark for good sex, but it’s definitely a huge bonus. Many women have trouble reaching orgasm during sex. It’s perfectly normal. But if you’re frustrated with anti-climactic sex and at your wit’s end, weed might be your solution. Cannabis can even make your orgasms stronger and last longer.

8. Clearer skin, stronger hair

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Cannabis isn’t only for smoking. Hemp is a plant with thousands (seriously thousands) of uses. When used in the making of cosmetics, such as shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and moisturizers, it can seriously help your bod. There are even hemp-based makeup products.

7. Eliminates Insomnia

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Insomnia is a nightmare. While there are tons of sleeping pills on the market, weed might actually be a more effective sleep aid. In fact, in a survey of over 50,000 people, 86% of participants who used marijuana as a sleep aid felt that pot was more efficient than over the counter sleeping pills. Plus, cannabis is all-natural and, most importantly, you can’t overdose on it.

6. Relieves anxiety

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

If stress is the silent killer, then anxiety is its accomplice. While Generalized Anxiety Disorder is quite common, it can be difficult to treat. Anecdotal evidence tells us that marijuana is helpful when it comes to treating anxiety. And now, science backs up the claims. A study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University shows that cannabis relaxes the “fight or flight” receptors in the brain.

5. Healthier weight

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Researchers at The University of Miami got the shock of their lives when a study they conducted revealed lower BMIs among stoners compared to their non-smoking counterparts. Even better? Smoking weed can make your next exercise session more productive.

4. Kicks cancer’s ass

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Weed alleviates nausea and lack of appetite associated with chemotherapy. We’ve known this for years. But new research shows that Mary Jane is an active fighter. When you combine cannabis and chemo, certain types of cancer has less of a chance of winning the battle.

3. Improves confidence

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Marijuana has a positive effect on your skin, your hair, your body, and your sex life. If you’ve experienced one or all of these benefits, how would you not feel more confident?

2. Networking opportunities

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

It’s becoming common knowledge that women are at the forefront of the marijuana industry. If you’re a cool lady stoner with a good head on her shoulders, why not use your expertise to your full advantage? If you’re dying for a new career path, check out some of the awesome women who are paving the way and try to make a connection! After all, a solid career has to be amazing for women’s health.

1. Strengthen your bond with other women

12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women's Health

Female friendship is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Since weed can help encourage emotional intimacy between people, there’s no better reason to share a joint or two with your gal pals. You can even go on a women-only cannabis retreat to make even more friends, which is always a boost to women’s health!

Gold, ByChloe Harper. “12 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Women’s Health • Green Rush Daily.” Green Rush Daily, 16 June 2017, greenrushdaily.com/women/cannabis-improve-womens-health/.

List of Qualifying Health Conditions For Medical Marijuana In Each State

Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana vary across. Here are the qualifying health conditions in every state.

The majority of states in the U.S. now allow for some form of medical marijuana. Each state has different guidelines and rules. In particular, qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana vary from state to state. Patients with one of these conditions can work with a doctor to get the necessary approval to buy and use medical cannabis. Here are the qualifying health conditions in medical marijuana states.

The Complete List Of Qualifying Health Conditions For Medical Marijuana In Every State (Alphabetically)

Alabama

Alabama has very narrow medical marijuana laws. The state only allows CBD products. Qualifying health conditions include:


Alaska

Alaska allows medical and recreational weed. Here are the health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Alaska:


Arizona

Arizona failed to legalize recreational weed in 2016. But the state does have a medical marijuana program. Here are the qualifying conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • PTSD
  • Seizures

Arkansas

In 2016, voters in Arkansas approved new medical marijuana laws. In August 2017, the state received its first dispensary application. Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Arkansas include:

  • ALS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic or debilitating disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • PTSD
  • Seizures
  • Severe arthritis
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Any medical condition or its treatment approved by the Department of Health

California

California has one of the largest, most active medical marijuana programs anywhere. Patients with these conditions can qualify for a medical marijuana card:

  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Severe Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been “deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician.”

Colorado

Like California, Colorado has a longstanding medical marijuana program. That program is complemented by a strong recreational presence. Here are the qualifying conditions:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic nervous system disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Seizures

Connecticut

Connecticut’s medical marijuana program was signed into law in 2012. Here are the qualifying conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Intractable spasticity
  • Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-surgical back pain with a condition called chronic radiculopathy
  • Postlaminectomy syndrome
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder
  • Other medical conditions may be approved by the Department of Consumer Protection.

Delaware

Delaware passed the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act in May 2011. Since then, it’s served patients with the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable epilepsy*
  • Nausea
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms

Florida

After new medical marijuana laws passed in the 2016 elections, Florida’s program has been going through significant changes. Here are the qualifying conditions in Florida:

  • ALS
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain*
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Seizures
  • Terminal illness (patients diagnosed with no more than 12-months to live)
  • Other debilitating medical conditions comparable to those enumerated

Georgia

Georgia is not known for being very liberal when it comes to cannabis laws. In Georgia, patients can only use certain CBD products that are extremely low in THC. Here are the qualifying health conditions for the state’s limited medical marijuana program:

  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hospice care patients
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Severe or end-stage Peripheral neuropathy
  • Seizure disorder
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome

Hawaii

There has a flurry of medical marijuana activity in Hawaii in recent years as the state issued multiple licenses for new medical marijuana dispensaries. Here are the state’s qualifying health conditions:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seizures

Illinois

Illinois has a robust medical marijuana program. The state also chose to decriminalize cannabis in 2016. Qualifying conditions include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Arnold Chiari malformation
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome type 2
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Dystonia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hydromyelia
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myoclonus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal cord disease
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
  • Syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome

Indiana

Indiana’s medical marijuana program is limited to CBD products only. These are the health conditions that qualify for Indiana’s program:

  • Severe epilepsy resistant to other treatments
  • Dravet syndrome
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Iowa

Patients with one of the following conditions and the proper recommendations can use certain CBD extracts:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Cancer-related chronic pain, nausea, or cachexia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Intractable epilepsy
  • Terminal illness
  • Untreatable pain

Kentucky

Kentucky is another state with a narrow and fairly restrictive medical marijuana program. The state’s qualifying conditions include:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Louisiana

In Louisiana, patients with one of the following conditions may qualify to use non-smokable forms of cannabis:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Muscular dystrophy,
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Seizure disorders/spasticity

Maine

Voters in Maine approved the legalization of recreational weed in 2016. Currently, patients with one of these conditions can also qualify for medical marijuana:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Maryland

In Maryland, patients may qualify for medical marijuana if they have one of these conditions:

  • Cachexia
  • Anorexia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is scheduled to start selling recreational weed by July 2018. Until then, you can get medical marijuana if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.

Michigan

Michigan has a strong and active medical marijuana program. But big changes could be coming soon as the state revamps its licensing practices. Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Michigan include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Nail-patella
  • Nausea
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms

Minnesota

In Minnesota, medical marijuana patients are only allowed to use non-smokeable forms of cannabis. Here are the qualifying health conditions:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cancer/cachexia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Seizures
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

Mississippi

Mississippi is not known for permissive cannabis laws. Currently, only patients with the following conditions can use CBD oil:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Missouri

Missouri also allows patients to use only CBD oil. Here are the qualifying health conditions:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Montana

In 2016, voters in Montana approved a new medical marijuana program. Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in the state now include:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

Nevada

Now that Nevada has legalized recreational weed, it’s pretty straightforward to get cannabis. But patients with one of these conditions can still qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program:

  • AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Persistent muscle spasms or seizures
  • Severe nausea or pain
  • Other conditions are subject to approval.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana laws were signed in 2013. Now, the qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in the state include:

  • ALS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
  • Chronic Pain (effective August 16, 2017)
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (effective August 27, 2017)
  • Elevated intraocular pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C (currently receiving antiviral treatment)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Moderate to severe vomiting
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Nausea
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (effective August 27, 2017)
  • Seizures
  • Severe pain (that has not responded to previously prescribed medication)
  • Spinal cord injury or disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Wasting syndrome

New Jersey

Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in New Jersey include the following:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seizure and/or spasticity disorders
  • Any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year.

New Mexico

New Mexico allows patients with one of the following conditions to use cannabis and to grow as many as four mature weed plants at a time:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Anorexia/cachexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hospice patients
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Intractable nausea/vomiting
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Painful peripheral neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Spinal cord damage

New York

New York’s medical marijuana program has come under fire for not being accessible enough. But as the state works to add more dispensaries and to expand the program, it could become a more helpful system for patients with one of these conditions:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuropathies
  • Spinal cord damage

North Carolina

North Carolina’s laws let patients with certain conditions use CBD oil:

  • Intractable epilepsy

North Dakota

North Dakota legalized medical marijuana during the elections of 2016. Qualifying conditions include:

  • Agitation from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cachexia or Wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic or debilitating disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable nausea
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Severe debilitating pain
  • Spinal stenosis

Ohio

Ohio signed a medical marijuana bill in 2016, and it is expected to be up and running sometime in 2018.Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Ohio include:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Pain that is either of the following nature: (i) Chronic and severe; or (ii) Intractable
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive status for HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program remains very limited. Currently, only patients with the following conditions can use CBD oil:

  • Pediatric epilepsy

Oregon

Oregon is a hotbed for cannabis. The state has already legalized recreational weed, but patients with the following conditions can also qualify for medical cannabis:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Seizures
  • Other conditions are subject to approval.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania legalized medical cannabis during the spring of 2016. Currently, qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in the state include:

  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Intractable spasticity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuropathies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Terminal illness, defined as 12 months or fewer to live.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s medical marijuana laws were signed in 2006. Now, qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Rhode Island include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Seizures
  • Other conditions are subject to approval.

South Carolina

South Carolina’s CBD-only medical marijuana program offers limited forms of treatment for the following conditions:

  • Dravet Syndrome
  • Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
  • Refractory epilepsy

Tennessee

In Tennessee, you can use CBD oil if you have the following conditions:

  • Intractable seizures

Texas

Texas has taken a long time to develop a medical marijuana program. In September 2017, the state finally issued its first medical marijuana license. Currently, qualifying health conditions include:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Utah

Utah has struggled getting a more comprehensive, accessible medical marijuana program into place. Currently, patients with certain conditions may use CBD oil:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Vermont

Vermont has a relatively open approach to cannabis. In fact, the state came close to legalizing recreational weed, but for now, qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Vermont include:

  • Any patient receiving hospice care
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Seizures
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea

Virginia

In Virginia, patients with these conditions can use a very precisely defined and tightly controlled form of CBD:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Washington

In Washington, recreational and medical weed are legal. Here are the health conditions that qualify for medical cannabis:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Intractable pain
  • Persistent muscle spasms, and/or spasticity
  • Nausea
  • PTSD
  • Seizures
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Any terminal or debilitating condition.

West Virginia

West Virginia’s medical marijuana laws are not yet operation. They’re scheduled to go into effect in 2018. For now,Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in West Virginia include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Epilepsy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathies (chronic nerve pain)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a CBD-only medical marijuana program. Here’s what qualifies:

  • Any medical condition for which a patient receives the proper doctor recommendations.

Wyoming

Wyoming’s CBD-only medical laws apply to patients with:

  • Intractable epilepsy

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. has surprisingly liberal cannabis laws. Qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Washington, D.C. include:

  • Any condition that a doctor deems debilitating and for which the doctor gives proper recommendations.

Final Hit: Qualifying Health Conditions For Medical Marijuana

As this list makes clear, medical marijuana can take a variety of shapes. Currently, one in five Americans can access some form of legal cannabis. But laws between states vary dramatically.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Complete List Of Qualifying Health Conditions For Medical Marijuana In Every State.” Green Rush Daily, 11 Oct. 2017, greenrushdaily.com/health/medical-marijuana/qualifying-health-conditions-for-medical-marijuana-state/.

New York Health Inspectors are Looking for CBD Products at Eateries

The crackdown on businesses selling CBD foods and drinks is beginning.

The CBD craze continues going strong. And in New York City, as well as other cities across the country, CBD products are starting to show up in restaurants, bars, cafes, coffee shops, and pretty much anywhere that sells food.

Yet despite the ubiquity of CBD and CBD-infused foods and drinks, many law enforcement and public health agencies remain deeply confused and uncertain about the legal status of CBD.

The latest example of this comes from the New York Department of Health. Specifically, the DOH has now announced that it will start cracking down on businesses selling CBD foods and drinks.

Cracking Down on CBD Products

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it was going to shutting down the sale of CBD-infused products in New York City.

However, this initial announcement did not really materialize. As reported by Gothamist, that’s primarily because many business owners were blindsided by the sudden announcement. As a result, the DOH chose to postpone the crackdown.

But now, the department has said the delay is over. And it will now start inspecting for and going after businesses that sell CBD-infused products.

Specifically, the DOH said that inspectors are now officially authorized to search for CBD products during routine food safety checks.

“The Health Department is responsible for promoting the safety of the food available to New Yorkers,” the DOH said in a recent statement. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised that it is unlawful to add cannabidiol (CBD) to food or drink. We have been informing businesses in New York City that may sell food and drink about this regulation to help them achieve compliance.”

For now, the DOH said it will embargo any CBD products inspectors find. But the agency will not levy any fines or penalties. At least not yet.

But the agency plans to start assessing fines for CBD products come October 1. At that point, businesses caught selling CBD-infused foods or drinks could face fines of $250-$600.

Confusion About CBD

The DOH’s announcement has compounded ongoing confusion about CBD’s legal status.

On the one hand, last year’s Farm Bill essentially legalized CBD around the country—as long as it’s derived from hemp and there’s no THC involved.

Specifically, the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the federal ban on hemp. Additionally, it also authorized hemp as a valid crop that qualifies for farm subsidies and crop insurance.

And, possibly most important for the world of CBD, it allows for the interstate commerce of hemp, which means that people should now be allowed to travel with hemp-derived CBD.

However, a lot of confusion remains. This confusion seems to be coming almost exclusively from governmental agencies.

For example, despite the new rules of the Farm Bill, authorities at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport have been arresting people for traveling with CBD products.

And now, the New York DOH appears to be launching its own crackdown, despite the growing acceptance of CBD and the seeming legalization of CBD under last year’s Farm Bill.

And it sounds like the crackdown has already started. For example, Gothamist reports that DOH officials have ordered at least five restaurants to stop selling CBD products. And other restaurants have chosen to stop selling CBD products in anticipation of a DOH crackdown.

But already, people are pushing back. For one, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the DOH’s decision an “overreaction.”

“DOH abruptly shifted policy on CBD without a clear process or reasoning behind it,” he told Gothamist. “Now in light of the movement in Albany on potentially regulating CBD, DOH’s ban seems like it is even more premature.”

Lindsey, ByNick. “New York Health Inspectors Are Looking for CBD Products at Restaurants.” Green Rush Daily, 3 July 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/new-york-health-inspectors-are-looking-for-cbd-products-at-eateries/.

New Drug Testing Strips Immediately Detect The Presence Of Weed

This could be a huge game-changer.

For those thinking about taking their weed vape penchillum or any other so-called “discreet” smoking device in public, you might want to think again. There’s a new sheriff in town that comes in the form of a groundbreaking new drug testing device. A company developed a new drug testing strip that is said to immediately detect the presence of weed in just a matter of seconds. The new technology certainly doesn’t bode well for anyone looking to toke up on the low.

New Drug Testing Strips Immediately Detect The Presence Of Weed

According to a report from Rick Sallinger of CBS Denver, the new, yet relatively unknown test strips, are already being used by various schools and police stations throughout the U.S. The test strips utilize the same technology frequently used in airports to detect bombs and other explosive devices, but have been tweaked and re-designed for something far less sinister: detecting small amounts of cannabis.

For his report, Sallinger visited the local Glenwood Springs school, Yampah Mountain High School, to check out the actual validity of the strips. Principle Leigh McGown ushered Sallinger into her office, where she had dozens of vape pens and cartridges in her desk.

However, McGown wasn’t sure which pens were filled with cannabis, and which were just simple nicotine concoctions. ”It would be very hard for me to know if this one has marijuana in it these containers have marijuana in it,” she said, due to the essentially undetectable smell of typical marijuana vape cartridges.

Using the strips provides a simpler, and more accurate way to test for cannabis products, McGown explained. All that one must do to get a positive test result is to simply dab a q-tip onto the oil that you’re looking to test, then rub it onto the testing strip. If the strip turns red, then the oil did, in fact, contain cannabis.

While this test might seem superfluous for testing pot, the strip does have other uses. According to the report, the testing strips also have been designed to detect for heroinfentanylamphetamines, and cocaine. So, in all, these strips have been used to test for explosive weapons, opioids, coke, meth, and weed. We’ll let you decide which one probably doesn’t deserve to be on that list. Fortunately, the strips don’t test for weed in your system. So as long as you aren’t carrying cannabis where it is forbidden, there is no reason to stress this test.

Kohut, ByTim. “New Drug Testing Strips Immediately Detect The Presence Of Weed.” Green Rush Daily, 27 June 2018, greenrushdaily.com/news/new-drug-testing-strips-immediately-detect-the-presence-of-weed/.

$1M Missing from Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program, Audit Shows

Arizona’s Auditor General says the Medical Marijuana Program is misspending money and not inspecting dispensaries. The Department of Health disagrees.

Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program isn’t performing up to par, according to a newly released report from the Arizona Auditor General’s office. In the report, the Auditor General concludes that the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS), which oversees the Medical Marijuana Program, struggled to meet its regulatory duties and responsibilities in a number of areas, from patient registration to dispensary inspections. But the report also found that DHS misallocated nearly $1 million in funds meant to benefit the Medical Marijuana Program. In its response to the Auditor General’s report, DHS disagreed with many of the key findings and said it would only make small changes to address the report’s recommendations.

ARIZONA’S MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM IS COMING UP SHORT

The Arizona Auditor General’s office has just released its report on a performance audit of how well Arizona’s Department of Health Services is managing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program. And the report’s findings don’t paint a very flattering picture of DHS’s performance in 2018.

Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010, when voters passed a ballot initiative approving the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). That Act gave DHS a range of regulatory and health and safety responsibilities. DHS is responsible for issuing—and revoking—medical marijuana patient registry identification cards. It’s responsible for inspecting dispensaries, cultivation sites, “infusion kitchens” and other cannabis industry infrastructure. And DHS is also responsible for investigating complaints, licensing businesses and administering the state’s Medical Marijuana Fund.

With nearly 200,000 qualifying patients, 2,022 designated caregivers and 8,179 dispensaries, managing Arizona’s large Medical Marijuana Program is no small task. But in nearly every area, the Auditor General’s report found that DHS was falling short.

The report says that DHS failed to perform some of its regulatory activities in a timely, consistent or adequate manner. For example, DHS is supposed to inspect every facility at least once a year. But the audit found that some dispensaries and cultivation sites hadn’t been inspected in over a year. The audit also found that DHS inadequately investigated and monitored complaints about dispensaries and cultivation sites. That it failed to consistently address facilities that didn’t follow the rules. And that it did not inspect medical marijuana “infusion kitchens” as food establishments. All of these issues put Arizona patients and the wider public at risk, according to the report.

ARIZONA HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISAGREES WITH AUDIT FINDINGS

The kicker, however, is the nearly $1 million DHS misspent on other programs and staff salaries. Sampling just 65 of the 7,177 total transactions that spent Arizona’s medical marijuana fund money, the audit found 30 of them that shouldn’t have received approval because they didn’t benefit the program. Those 30 transactions totaled $962,000. Given the small sample size, it’s possible DHS misspent even more money.

Specifically, the audit found that money went to pay two employees with salaries of about $131,000 per year. But those employees spent between five and 15 percent of their time working for other state programs. Other expenditures also failed to proportionately benefit the program. So in effect, that $1 million is missing from the Medical Marijuana Program.

But in response to the numerous problems identified in the audit, DHS refused to concede. Instead, the department challenged nearly all of the Auditor General’s findings. DHS also strongly disagreed that it had misspent funds. In fact, DHS went on to claim that the misspent funds were actually benefiting Arizona residents. “ADHS is confident that all Medical Marijuana funds were spent in an allowable manner,” said DHS spokesperson Chris Minnick. “While some expenditures may have benefitted other programs in addition to the Medical Marijuana program, the Department sees this as an advantage that also improves public health capacity for the citizens of Arizona.”

Drury, ByAdam. “$1M Missing from Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program, Audit Shows • Green Rush Daily.” Green Rush Daily, 27 June 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/medical-marijuana/1m-missing-from-arizonas-medical-marijuana-program-audit-shows/.

Study Says CBD Can Reduce Cravings and Anxiety from Heroin Addiction

Can CBD help reduce fatal heroin overdoses?

The number of people dying by heroin overdose has been on the rise since the early 2000s. In 2017, more than 15,000 people died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists and healthcare providers have been struggling to figure out how to help fight heroin addiction, and CBD may play a role in that space.

A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry Tuesday shows that CBD helped quell some anxiety and cravings among people who’ve abused heroin in the past. CBD isn’t like THC; it won’t get a person high. That’s why the team of scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai decided to investigate the potentials for the compound in those dealing with heroin addiction.

They began with 42 individuals who were abstaining from drug use. Each received either 400 or 800 milligrams of CBD or a placebo over three days, one dose a day. Then, they underwent three sessions right after they received the dose, 24 hours after, and seven days after the last dose of CBD (or the placebo).

During these sessions, the researchers exposed the participants to, as the study put it, “neutral” cues—think nature video—and “drug-related” cues—imagine a video of syringes—to gauge their physiological reaction, including heart rate and skin temperature.

The placebo ain’t do shit. On the other hand, CBD helped reduce the craving and anxiety that the more drug-friendly videos caused. The participants’ heart rates and salivary cortisol levels were impacted, in particular.

The coolest part, perhaps, is that the compound’s impacts lasted at least a week after the researchers administered it. So CBD has the potential to be long-lasting, reducing the need to constantly consume it and become dependent on it, as some of those recovering from a drug addiction could experience with other anti-addiction medication like methadone and buprenorphine.

That’s, in part, why teams like this one are in search of something new to help people live with their addiction. Also, everyday-life events that remind addiction survivors of their past drug use can cause anxiety and make it harder to continue with their sobriety.

“The specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use,” said lead author Yasmin Hurd, who is the director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai, in a press release.

Her team had first discovered these effects in previous studies they had conducted on animals. This latest study is their attempt to see if it’d play out the same with humans. The results are definitely promising. The authors didn’t discover any negative effects of the CBD administration.

“Our findings indicate that CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder,” Hurd said in a statement. “A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction, medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll, enormous health care costs, and treatment limitations imposed by stringent government regulations amid this persistent opioid epidemic.”

Still, there’s a lot more research to do. Her team is already planning on doing one to examine how CBD could impact the brain. (Other studies show it could help transmit medicine to the brain!) But the team also wants to figure out special ways to develop CBD medicines so it can help end the opioid epidemic. Heroin is but one piece of that tragic story; more than 47,000 people lost their lives to an opioid overdose in 2017.

These numbers have been on the rise, and cannabis may just help put a dent in them.

Fun, ByLissett. “Study Says CBD Can Reduce Cravings and Anxiety from Heroin Addiction.” Green Rush Daily, 21 May 2019, greenrushdaily.com/science/cbd-can-reduce-cravings-and-anxiety-from-heroin-addiction/.

Lady with Natural High Endocannabinoid Count Feels No Pain or Stress

A natural high, all the time.

As cannabis research continues to progress, we are learning more and more about the human body’s endocannabinoid system. Put simply, this is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters. It plays a key role in regulating functions like appetite, pain, anxiety, stress, sleep, emotion, and more.

Interestingly, this bodily system is activated by the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The interaction between marijuana’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids and your body’s endocannabinoid system is what produces the various effects you feel after consuming cannabis.

As it turns out, the human body also makes its own chemicals that act a lot like cannabinoids. And sometimes, people can produce incredibly high levels of these natural chemicals.

When this happens, it gives them an almost supernatural ability to deal with pain, stress, and anxiety. After some extensive medical testing, researchers have recently found that this is exactly what’s happening with a woman in Scotland.

The Woman Who Feels No Pain

Jo Cameron is a 72 year old woman who lives in the highlands of Scotland. Six years ago, she underwent hand surgery, which is known for having a particularly painful recovery period.

But to the amazement of her doctors, Cameron never requested painkillers. Additionally, her pain scores from the operation and throughout her recovery were consistently zero out of ten.

Not surprisingly, this caught the attention of her doctors. They scoured her medical records and saw other similar incidences. For example, she survived a car crash but sustained multiple broken bones. As with her hand surgery, Cameron reported zero pain. The same goes for a hip surgery she had later.

Ultimately, her doctors ran intensive tests. They discovered that Cameron has a rare genetic mutation that makes it so her body does not break down a bodily-produced cannabinoid called anandamide.

Often known as the “bliss molecule,” anandamide produces many of the same feelings and sensations as consuming marijuana. In particular, it is known for producing feelings of positivity and happiness.

Because Cameron’s body does not naturally break down this molecule, she has an overabundance of it in her brain. As a result, she feels no pain. Additionally, she also reports feeling no anxiety and says she is generally in a very good, happy mood.

But that’s not all. Her doctors also found some unexpected results of having that much anandamide in her system.

“What Jo tells us is that the endocannabinoids have a major role in pain as well as for relieving anxiety,” Cameron’s doctor Devjit Srivastava told NBC News Mach. “And more interestingly from a surgical perspective, an accelerated wound healing.”

Implications for Cannabis

In many ways, Cameron’s story has big implications for our understanding of both the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids themselves.

For starters, she serves as a strong example of the physical impact cannabinoids have on the human body. It also suggests that similar benefits can come from taking in cannabinoids from substances like marijuana.

And underlying all of it, Cameron’s condition shows some of the links between emotional and physical pain, as well as some of the ways that cannabinoids might be used to manipulate and treat various types of pain.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Lady with Natural High Endocannabinoid Count Feels No Pain or Stress.” Green Rush Daily, 24 July 2019, greenrushdaily.com/science/lady-with-natural-high-endocannabinoid-count-feels-no-pain-or-stress/.

Study Finds Molecules More Pain Relieving Than Aspirin in Cannabis

Scientists have known about the pain-relieving potential of cannabis flavonoids for decades. But only recently have they discovered how to make medicines with them.

A discovery made by researchers studying Cannabis sativa more than three decades ago is back in the scientific spotlight, thanks to a major breakthrough that could transform how we treat pain. That 1981 discovery, which identified two cannabis plant-specific molecules with pain-relieving properties thirty times stronger than aspirin, has laid dormant for years, mostly because scientists had no idea how cannabis plants made those molecules, let alone how to extract them or synthesize them in large enough quantities. But a pioneering team of researchers in Canada just solved the riddle. And a major Canadian pharmaceutical company is already at work developing pain medicines that take advantage of these specialized chemicals. So what are they?

Cannabis Flavonoids Are Thirty Times More Effective than Aspirin for Pain Relief

If you’re paying attention to the ever-growing enthusiasm over using cannabis for health and wellness, you’ve probably heard of THC and CBD. THC, of course, is the psychoactive cannabinoid that human beings have enjoyed for recreational and therapeutic purposes since antiquity. And CBD, it’s non-psychoactive counterpart, is currently enjoying virtually celebrity status for its ability to help treat everything from seizures to stress. We know and hear a lot about these two cannabinoids because they’re the most abundant in the plant itself, making them the most commercially viable and the easiest for researchers to study.

But back in the early 1980s, plant scientists stumbled upon some chemicals in cannabis that exhibited highly potent anti-inflammatory properties. They weren’t cannabinoids or terpenes, but flavonoids, which are common plant metabolites that give fruits and veggies their color—and likely their health benefits. Over the years, scientists have started attributing the healthy, anti-oxidant and immune system-boosting benefits of fruits and vegetables to flavonoids. But as with all research into cannabis, our knowledge of its specific flavonoids and their vast potential are lagging behind.

In 1981, researchers discovered that C. sativa plants make their own flavonoids that no other plants produce. Then in 1985, researchers noticed that these flavonoids, called Cannflavin A and Cannflavin B blocked the production of two inflammation-inducing molecules in animal cells. That landmark study concluded that cannflavins A and B had anti-inflammatory properties that were thirty times greater than aspirin.

Cannabis Genome Research Unlocks Potential for New Medicines

The problem, however, was that the cannflavins exist in virtually trace amounts in cannabis plants. They’re powerful, but plants don’t produce much of them. And besides, no one knew exactly how C. sativa synthesized these anti-inflammatory cannflavins. And until recently, there wasn’t the interest—or the funding—to find out.

Now, however, thanks to renewed interest in medical cannabis and a deluge of research funding, scientists have solved that piece of the puzzle. Using genome mapping, researchers identified the genes that provide cannabis plants with the instructions for making cannflavins A and B. And we can use those instructions ourselves to synthesize these potent anti-inflammatory molecules.

And that’s exactly what Toronto-based pharmaceutical company Anahit International is working on right now. They’ve licensed the patent to the biosynthetic pathway for cannflavins A and B, and they’re using it to develop natural, pain-relieving medicines. The best part is cannflavins A and B don’t have any of the negative side effects of prescription painkillers like opioids. And they’re even less harmful to the body than over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Unlike other painkillers, cannabis flavonoids target pain-inducing inflammation at the source, rather than blocking pain signals in the brain. The potential for transforming how we treat pain is therefore tremendous. “These molecules are non-psychoactive and they target inflammation at the source, making them ideal painkillers,” said University of Guelph professor of molecular and cellular biology professor Steven Rothstein in a press release. “Being able to offer a new pain relief option is exciting, and we are proud that our work has the potential to become a new tool in the pain relief arsenal.”

Drury, ByAdam. “Study Finds Molecules 30 Times More Pain Relieving Than Aspirin in Cannabis.” Green Rush Daily, 25 July 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/study-finds-molecules-more-pain-relieving-than-aspirin-in-cannabis/.

CBD Kills Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Research Shows

Could cannabidiol (CBD) be the answer to the super-bug problem pharmaceutical companies aren’t willing to solve?

New research has identified another promising medical application for cannabidiol (CBD): its use as an antibiotic. At last weekend’s gathering of microbiologists for the annual ASM Microbe conference in San Francisco, Australian researchers presented a study that found CBD kills anti-biotic resistant bacteria. Specifically, the study found that CBD is active against gram-positive bacteria, such as the kinds that cause dangerous staph and strep infections. The findings are very significant, especially as the world faces a looming crisis of antibiotic resistance.

CBD Is a Potent New Antibiotic

In addition to becoming a phenomenon in the wellness and beauty market, cannabidiol is also an ongoing sensation among health professionals and medical researchers. In fact, CBD, the non-psychoactive compound produced by cannabis and hemp plants, is the only component of marijuana to receive FDA approval. Besides its proven efficacy for treating epilepsy, researchers are also studying CBD as a treatment for an array of other medical conditions, from pain and anxiety to inflammation and neurodegenerative ailments.

But investigations into the use of CBD as an anti-biotic are something new. There is some data out there to suggest that CBD kills bacteria. But so far, its anti-biotic capabilities haven’t been studied in any rigorous way. Indeed, the work of Dr. Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions is one of the first to take a closer look at CBD’s ability to fight infection.

In collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a drug discovery company, Dr. Blaskovich and his team investigated topical uses of synthetic cannabidiol for treating a range of skin conditions. What they found was that CBD performed exceptionally well at killing a wide range of gram-positive bacteria. And that includes so-called “Super Bugs,” bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics, like Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Even more remarkably, CBD did a better job killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria than common pharmaceutical antibiotics. That’s because, unlike those drugs, CBD did not lose its effectiveness over time. Bacteria, in other words, were not able to develop a resistance to CBD.

Can CBD Solve the Super-Bug Problem?

“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation,” said Dr. Blaskovich. Blaskovich also said that CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it so effective against epilepsy and pain, combined with its inherent antimicrobial activity, make it particularly attractive as a novel treatment for infections.

In the presentation of their research at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting in San Francisco, Blaskovich and his team emphasized how CBD did not lose its effectiveness against gram-positive bacteria, even after extended exposure. During the investigation, researchers also observed that CBD was effective at disrupting biofilms, a form of bacterial growth that makes infections particularly difficult to treat.

So while other commonly prescribed antibiotics lost effectiveness as bacteria became resistant to them, CBD remained a powerful bacteria killer. And that’s crucial, especially as health professionals globally are beginning to face a crisis of antibiotic resistance. Resistant bacteria are emerging rapidly worldwide, endangering the efficacy of antibiotics. Many decades after antibiotics were first introduced, bacterial infections are once again a major threat.

It’s a crisis that has emerged due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotic medications, as well as a lack of any new drug development by pharmaceutical companies. Developing antibiotics to save millions of lives just isn’t profitable for pharmaceutical companies, so none are actively working to develop new ones. As a result, antibiotic resistance presents an urgent, serious and concerning threat for health care systems, patients and their families, worldwide.

Cannabidiol, new research suggests, could be the answer to the super-bug problem pharmaceutical companies aren’t willing to solve.

Drury, ByAdam. “CBD Kills Anti-Biotic Resistant Bacteria, Research Shows.” Green Rush Daily, 25 June 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/cbd-kills-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-research-shows/.

Los Angeles County Banned Flavored Tobacco Products for Child Appeal

As people around the country continue coming down with lung illnesses that appear to be linked to vaping, more and more places are banning vape products. Most recently, this includes Los Angeles County.

Yesterday, the county’s Board of Supervisors approved a new ban on a number of vaping and tobacco products. The ban is aimed primarily at making it harder for young people to access these products. When the ban goes into effect, it will make all such products much more difficult to purchase across the board.

Los Angeles County’s New Ban Passes With Unanimous Approval

Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave unanimous support to the new ban.

Under the terms of the new provision, all flavored tobacco products will be banned in the county. Importantly, this includes e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and menthol cigarettes.

Specifically, the ban will block brick and mortar retailers from selling these products. But it will not have any affect on online retailers. Similarly, the ban will not punish consumers who purchase these products from online vendors or outside the county.

Now that the initiative has been officially approved by the Board of Supervisors, the ban will go into effect in 30 days. Once the ban becomes operational, retailers will have another 180 days to get rid of all banned products. Additionally, retailers will also need to apply for updated licenses during that timeframe.

Responding to a Growing Health Crisis

According to authorities in Los Angeles County, the new ban is largely in response to the growing health concerns surrounding vaping. In particular, there has been an explosive uptick in recent months in the number of vaping related hospitalizations.

As reported by CBS News, there have already been more than 100 people in California alone who have been hospitalized due to vape-related lung damage. And across the nation as a whole, there have been at least 14 deaths linked to vaping.

“As the number of vaping-related deaths and hospitalizations climb, and as more states have taken steps to protect youth from the harmful effects of vaping products, we need to support our state leaders and ask them to step in to protect the public,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement.

Further, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county chose to target flavored tobacco products because these products are “driving the current vaping epidemic among youth.”

A National Trend

Los Angeles County is not the first place to ban vaping and vape-related products. For example, just last week Washington state called for a full ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.

Similarly, states including Michigan, New York, and Rhode Island have also called for emergency bans on flavored vaping products. And in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Barker recently implemented a four-month ban on all vaping devices, whether or not they are flavored.

And earlier this year, leading e-cigarette company Juul received widespread national backlash. In particular, the company came under fire for marketing that many believed targeted young consumers. Last month, Juul Labs announced that it is halting all U.S. advertising of its e-cigarettes.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Los Angeles County Banned Flavored Tobacco Products for Child Appeal.” Green Rush Daily, 2 Oct. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/politics/los-angeles-county-banned-flavored-tobacco-products-for-child-appeal/.

Pesticides Found in Cartridges at Unlicensed California Dispensaries

An independent analysis shows unlicensed dispensaries and delivery services in Los Angeles are selling cut cartridges.

Since recreational weed became legal in California, the state has made changes to its laws in an attempt to ensure that cannabis and cannabis products are safe. In particular, the state has tried to eliminate the use of harmful pesticides and other chemicals often used in the growing process.

But according to a new independent analysis, many of these same chemicals continue showing up throughout the Los Angeles market. Interestingly, the new analysis also found that the shops selling contaminated weed were operating without the necessary licenses.

New Analysis Finds Pesticides in L.A. Weed

Local news company NBC4 I-Team recently published some of the results of its new independent analysis of marijuana in L.A.

As explained by local sources, the investigation aimed at seeing whether or not cannabis purchased at dispensaries in the city contained pesticides and other chemicals. Specifically, investigators were looking for instances in which chemicals that are banned by California law were present.

To carry out their test, investigators purchased THC cartridges as well as buds from 24 different marijuana shops and delivery companies. All of the products were then sent to Brightside Scientific for thorough chemical analysis.

According to lab results, seven of the 24 products tested by the NBC4 I-Team were contaminated with illegal pesticides. That equates to roughly 30 percent of all the weed the investigators purchased.

The team also found that many cartridges had illegal pesticides. In particular, there were cartridges that tested positive for myclobutanil.

This chemical is often used as a fungicide. Typically, it’s used to grow fruits and vegetables. And it’s generally considered safe for human consumption.

But that’s only in the context of growing produce. When it comes to weed it’s very different. That’s because myclobutanil turns into the dangerous compound hydrogen cyanide when it’s heated up.

Banned Chemicals Showed Up in Unlicensed Shops

The investigation wasn’t only checking for the presence of pesticides. It was also trying to determine if there were any trends in the retail locations selling a contaminated product. And it turns out there were some very clear trends.

According to the report, “all contaminated pot samples . . . came from stores and delivery serves that turned out to be operating illegally at the time of sale.”

Basically, the shops selling the contaminated weed did not have all the necessary licenses and approvals to be in operation. In some cases, shops might have been missing a state license. And in others, they might not have had the necessary city licenses.

But one way or another, the shops selling the tainted weed were not fully licensed for operation. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there are somewhere around 175 fully licensed marijuana shops in L.A. Additionally, cops estimate another 350 or so that are unlicensed.

Since recreational retail began at the beginning of 2018, law enforcement in L.A. and other parts of California have tried cracking down on unlicensed weed shops. But many continue to operate today.

Showing Improvements

Although this most recent analysis turned up a significant percentage of contaminated weed, it appears that California is seeing some distinct improvement.

The NBC4 I-Team conducted a similar test back in 2017. At that time, lab results showed that 93 percent of all samples had pesticides.

Since then, California has instituted much stricter laws about which chemicals cannot be used during the growing process. And this year’s NBC4 I-Team investigation showed that the frequency of contaminated weed has dropped down to around the 30 percent mark.

Drury, ByAdam. “This Lab Testing Facility Admitted to Faking Pesticide Results.” Green Rush Daily, 5 Dec. 2018, greenrushdaily.com/news/california-lab-testing-facility-admits-to-faking-pesticide-results/.

Patent for Method Removing Pesticides from Cannabis Oil Filed

The new method could end health concerns currently facing the legal cannabis industry.

These days, the world of cannabis is moving decidedly in the direction of concentrates. Whether it’s dabs or vape pens, it’s clear that concentrates are the next big thing in weed.

And this transition is creating all sorts of new opportunities and possibilities. At the same time, it’s raising a number of new questions about the best way to produce high-quality concentrates.

Recently, a scientist working at cannabis company Capna Labs filed a patent for a new method aimed at removing potentially harmful pesticides from cannabis plant matter.

According to the patent application, this process would ultimately be used to improve the process of extracting cannabinoids in order to make high quality THC oils and concentrates.

Patent Filed for New Pesticide Cleaning Process

The patent for the new cleaning process was officially filed earlier this month, on April 4. Specifically, the patent lists Capna Inc., a cannabis lab company, as the applicant. And Edwin Sibal, Chief Development Officer at Capna Technologies, is listed as the inventor.

According to the patent application, the new process uses bentonite to remove a number of pesticides from cannabis plant material. As explained in the patent application, the use of bentonite is central to the new process.

Further, the process being patented by Sibal and Capna Technologies is supposed to provide a new and improved way of stripping potentially harmful pesticides out of the cannabis plant material that is then used to make oils and concentrates.

In particular, the patent application claims that this new process of using bentonite could solve problems that current extraction methods cannot address.

“Plant matter, including cannabis plant matter, may contain contaminants such as pesticides, microbes, and heavy metal,” the application says. “Pesticides are not effectively removed by ethanol extraction alone, or using butane extraction alone, or using carbon dioxide extraction alone.”

As stated in the patent application, the new process of using bentonite “addresses the unmet need for removing pesticides from plant matter . . . by novel methods that use bentonite.”

Cannabis and Pesticides

In recent years, the use of pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers has become an important issue in the legal cannabis industry.

Specifically, there are growing concerns and worries over the safety of many of the chemicals commonly used in the cultivation and production processes.

Many times, these chemicals end up contaminating the final product, whether it’s flower, edibles, concentrates, or some other type of cannabis product.

These contaminants can be unhealthy and harmful to consumers. But it’s not just human health that is at stake. Often, these chemicals also harm the environment.

In some cases, chemicals used during the production process poison local wildlife. Similarly, they can leach into water supplies. And when that happens, it can spread toxins throughout larger regions.

More and more, states are trying to clamp down on the chemicals being used in the cannabis industry. For example, states like Colorado and California have put into place stricter rules.

Typically, these rules dictate what can and cannot be used in the production process. Similarly, other rules require more rigorous lab testing requirements to ensure that contaminants do not get through to consumers.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Patent for Method Removing Pesticides from Cannabis Oil Filed.” Green Rush Daily, 15 Apr. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/patent-for-method-removing-pesticides-from-cannabis-oil-filed/.

A Sixth Person Has Died from Vaping-Related Lung Disease

Officials are asking people to steer clear of vapes for a few months.

is one of the newest—and hottest—products to emerge out of today’s cannabis market. For many, vaping THC cartridges provides an incredibly discreet and convenient way to consume weed.

But a flurry of new reports from around the country suggest there could be some serious health problems linked to vaping. Most recently, health officials in Kansas have confirmed what has become the sixth vaping related death in recent weeks.

Death in Kansas Linked to Vaping

Earlier today, officials in Kansas confirmed that a person over age 50 died from a lung disease linked to vaping or the use of e-cigarettes. So far, it is unclear exactly what type of vaping products the person consumed.

Health officials in the state said the person already had an underlying health condition that may have been exacerbated by vaping.

“The patient had a history of underlying health issues and was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly,” officials said in a news release.

Also in the release, Kansas State Health Officer and Secretary of the State Department of Health and Environment, Dr. Lee Norman, urged Kansans to avoid vaping.

“If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop,” Norman said. “The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify.”

He added: “I’m extremely alarmed for the health and safety of Kansans who are using vaping products and urge them to stop until we can determine the cause of vaping related lung injuries and death.”

The Beginning of An Outbreak?

This most recent death is the latest in what appears to be a growing string of related deaths. Already, some in the media and elsewhere are referring to it as an “outbreak.”

In fact, the death in Kansas is the sixth vaping related death in the U.S. in recent weeks.

Along with this most recent death, officials in Minnesota, Los Angeles, Oregon, Illinois, and Indiana all reported similar casualties.

In each of these cases, vaping was involved. And officials suspect that vaping caused or contributed to the lung injury or sickness that caused the deaths.

Not Sure What’s Causing These Deaths

So far, it is not clear what exactly is causing these deaths. In fact, it’s not even clear if these deaths are coming from THC cartridges, generic vape cartridges, or e-cigarettes.

But, as reported by the Washington Post, officials could be getting close to figuring it out.

Specifically, some officials think that these deaths could be linked to THC oils that have been diluted with a substance called vitamin E acetate. This substance is an oil derived from vitamin E that can be harmful to humans.

Recently, authorities have found the presence of this oil in THC cartridges. This is especially true of THC cartridges sold on the illegal market.

In addition to growing concerns regarding the ingredients used in THC cartridges, there are also concerns over the hardware used in vaping. Specifically, the heating coils used in cartridges.

In April, heath officials in Michigan were alarmed when they found lead in vape pens. They soon found out that the heating coils used in some cartridges can leach lead or other heavy metals when heated up. Those metals then enter the lungs and body of whoever consumes the vapor.

Lindsey, ByNick. “A Sixth Person Has Died from Vaping-Related Lung Disease.” Green Rush Daily, 10 Sept. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/a-sixth-person-has-died-from-vaping-related-lung-disease/.

Cannabis Use Among Pregnant Women Double, Government Research Says

The number of pregnant women reporting past-month cannabis use has more than doubled among pregnant women that responded to the surveys.

According to a new report that summarizes findings from a national survey, an increasing number of pregnant women now say they have consumed cannabis while pregnant.

Researchers involved with the study presented their findings this week at a national medical meeting. Additionally, the findings were also published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

New Data on Cannabis Consumption and Pregnancy

The new study on weed and pregnancy was carried out by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

To complete the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Specifically, they looked at data from 2002-2017. And they focused on responses from women aged 12 to 44 to questions about cannabis and pregnancy. There were 467,100 women who fell into this category.

After compiling and analyzing all this data, researchers identified a number of trends. Most notably, they found consistent increases in the number of women consuming cannabis at some point during pregnancy.

Key Trends Identified in the Research

In addition to the general increase in cannabis consumption among pregnant women overall, researchers also broke down data according to more specific criteria.

Specifically, they broke down data according to trimester and frequency of marijuana consumption. And they compared data from the earliest survey years (2002-2003) against data from the most recent survey years (2016-2017).

Key trends from the study include:

  • Past-month cannabis use increased from 3.4 percent to 7.0 percent among all pregnant women who responded to the surveys.
  • Similarly, past-month cannabis consumption among pregnant women in their first trimester rose from 5.7 percent to 12.1 percent.
  • Daily or near-daily cannabis consumption among all pregnant women increased from 0.9 percent to 3.4 percent.
  • Daily or near-daily marijuana consumption among pregnant women in the first trimester rose from 1.8 percent to 5.3 percent
  • Additionally, daily or near-daily consumption went from 0.6 percent to 2.5 percent during the second trimester.
  • Finally, daily or near-daily marijuana consumption among pregnant women in their third trimester rose from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

It is not entirely clear why these numbers are increasing. But researchers suggested that consumption at early stages of pregnancy could be happening before women even know they are pregnant.

That would reflect similar increases in marijuana consumption among adult women who are not pregnant. According to the Associated Press, the number of women who are not pregnant who consume cannabis has also increased from roughly 7 percent to just under 12 percent.

Cannabis and Pregnancy

To date, there is no conclusive evidence of how cannabis consumption might affect babies.

According to the AP, some earlier studies suggested that cannabis consumption during pregnancy could be linked to premature birth and low birthweight. Additionally, some animal studies have seen fetal brain abnormalities from pregnancies with high doses of cannabis.

“Because we don’t know exactly how harmful it is, it’s better to err on the side of caution,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a lead researcher on the new study, told the AP.

However, Volkow and other researchers also said that further research is needed before there is any clear consensus regarding cannabis and pregnancy.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Cannabis Use Among Pregnant Women Doubles, Government Research Says.” Green Rush Daily, 19 June 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/cannabis-use-among-pregnant-women-doubles-government-research-says/.

CANNABIS COULD BE THE ANSWER TO DRUG-RESISTANT SUPERBUGS

Could a cannabis compound be the latest weapon in the fight against drug resistant bacteria? According to a post in the Guardian, that could be the case. Scientists have tested cannabis compounds on mice with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus), and one appears to have cured them of the superbug. MRSA is one of the most common superbugs found in hospitals and combating it has been a challenge.

The compound found to be effective in killing MRSA was cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. Until now, vancomycin has been considered the last line of defense in fighting the common hospital superbug, but CBG proved to be as effective. It will likely be some time before CBG is used as a treatment in humans though. As quoted in the article Eric Brown, the leader of the study, says, “There is much work to do to explore the potential of the cannabinoids as antibiotics from the safety standpoint.”

Cannabis Magazine. “Cannabis Could Be the Answer to Drug-Resistant Superbugs.” Cannabis Magazine, 20 Jan. 2020, cannabismagazine.com/cannabis-could-be-the-answer-to-drug-resistant-superbugs/.

PA to Treat Medical Marijuana for Parolees as Any Other Prescription

The Pennsylvania Board of Parole and Parole provided guidance to officers suggesting they treat marijuana prescriptions like any other prescription.

Pennsylvania is in the middle of what could be an important legal case dealing with medical marijuana. Specifically, there is a challenge to local policies that have attempted to bar parolees from accessing medical marijuana.

Some counties within the state are trying to keep such prohibitions in place. However, there is growing pressure to push back against these restrictions. And now, those insisting that parolees have a right to medical marijuana could be gaining traction. That’s because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to hear the case.

Obviously, this has big implications for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. But more broadly, it also carries significant implications for the rights of prisoners, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and those on parole.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROHIBITIONS

The heart of the debate is a lawsuit coming out of Lebanon County. As reported by local news source Fox 43, the suit is being filed against the County by the ACLU and plaintiffs Melissa Gass, Ashley Bennett, and Andrew Koch.

The lawsuit comes as a response to Lebanon County’s policy barring Gass and others from participating in the state’s medical marijuana program, simply because they are on parole.

Lebanon County, along with a number of other counties in Pennsylvania, have policies in place that prohibit parolees from accessing medical marijuana, even though it is legal in the state.

Not surprisingly, the lawsuit challenges the legality of this prohibition.

Initially, the 52nd Judicial District of Lebanon County defended the policy. Immediately, the ACLU pushed back.

“The plain language in the medical marijuana law shows that the legislature intended to protect all patients, including those on probation,” Pennsylvania ACLU legal director Witold Walczak said. “Judges may not agree with the Medical Marijuana Act, or may not support people using marijuana for any reason, but they must follow the law.”

PA SUPREME COURT IS HEARING THE CASE

Since Lebanon County’s initial response, the case has now moved on. Specifically, the state Supreme Court has decided to hear the case.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court explained that it normally would not hear cases like this. But, given the broad implications of this case, the court chose to allow it.

“The Court finds that this case implicates substantial legal questions concerning matters of public importance, particularly in light of the allegation that other judicial districts have adopted or are considering adopting similar limitations on the use of medical marijuana,” the Court explained in a filing.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has asked for all briefs to be submitted by December 9.

In the meantime, the Court also issued a stay on county policies that bar parolees from accessing medical marijuana.

“Any enforcement or implementation of the Policy is STAYED pending further order of this Court,” the court filing stated.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole issued a statement that seems to provide even more support for parolees’ rights. In it, the Board sent a memo to all state parole supervision staff.

That memo reads: “If the parolee has a prescription for medical marijuana, we would treat it exactly as we would treat any other prescription.”

That memo together with the Supreme Court’s stay indicates that parolees should be able to get medical marijuana in all parts of Pennsylvania. Final decision are pending the Supreme Court case.

Lindsey, ByNick. “PA to Treat Medical Marijuana for Parolees as Any Other Prescription.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Nov. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/pa-to-treat-medical-marijuana-for-parolees-as-any-other-prescription/.

Pregnant Women in California Are Using More Cannabis, Study Says

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The sharpest increase in use was with women who weren’t pregnant yet.

The use of cannabis among women in California has been on the rise, according to a new study. And even pregnancy doesn’t stop all of them, apparently.

PREGNANT WOMEN ARE USING MORE CANNABIS BEFORE AND AFTER PREGNANCY

Published in the JAMA Network Open journal Friday, the study looks at the pregnancies of more than 276,000 women who received coverage from healthcare company Kaiser Permanente Northern California between 2009 and 2017. The researchers found that the use of cannabis increased both before and during pregnancy in this period.

The increase isn’t as stark during pregnancy—1.95 percent to 3.38 percent—but it’s more dramatic before—6.8 percent to 12.5 percent of the women sampled. And the increase can be seen in daily, weekly, and monthly cannabis use. The authors hypothesize that this shift in behavior may be related to the normalization of cannabis use, as well as the growing knowledge around actual harms from cannabis.

RESEARCH NOT CONCLUSIVE

Now, cannabis use during pregnancy still remains a big, shiny question mark. A lot of research, however, hasn’t painted the best picture: from the potential for psychosis to brain malformations. A lot of this research is just beginning, though, so it’s not conclusive. Not yet. So women who plan to smoke while pregnant should exhibit serious caution until the impacts are fully understood.

The women sampled in this study represent the realities of many women, however. The sample is diverse with a range of ages represented, as well as ethnicities. Most of the women were white, 25 to 34-year-olds, but a little diversity is always better than none, which is all too common in cannabis studies. The study authors do note that cannabis use before and during pregnancy was most common among the younger participants, black participants, and/or those with a lower income. The study is based on self-reported data, so there’s always a chance that patients are misreporting by accident or, well, lying on purpose. That’s a major limitation to the study as individuals may underreport their usage.

AUTHORS SPECULATE REASON FOR INCREASE

Cannabis use during pregnancy may be a result of all the shittiness women feel during pregnancy. There’s nausea, but also the stress. The study authors speculate if the symptoms related to pregnancy have anything to do with this rise, as well.

There’s still a lot for them to examine, but this study offers a strong starting point, especially given the large sample of women it included. What they’ve gotta figure out now is the impact all this is having on women who smoke. A related commentary in the journal notes that there’s enough we don’t know for health professionals to advise pregnant women to take a break from the herb while they’re pregnant.

After all, if you can’t ensure your baby’s safety, then why not wait until it’s just your body you have to worry about. Then, you can smoke all the weed you want.

Fun, ByLissett. “Pregnant Women in California Are Using More Cannabis, Study Says.” Green Rush Daily, 20 July 2019, greenrushdaily.com/women/pregnant-women-in-california-are-using-more-cannabis-study-says/.

Study Claiming Pot is as Harmful to Fetus’ as Alcohol Used Synthetic Cannabinoid

Science is using synthetic cannabinoids and animals to make conclusions about cannabis use during pregnancy.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about how cannabis use affects pregnancy. It’s a topic, however, researchers are beginning to grow more and more curious about as cannabis legalization ripples throughout the U.S. On the downside of prohibition, the world of science is making conclusions about cannabis—without using actual cannabis or humans. Instead, they used synthetic cannabinoids with known severe side effects to research cannabis use during pregnancy.

Despite this, an entire special issue of a research journal published Tuesday is making headlines for research concluding cannabis use may be just as bad during pregnancy for the fetus as alcohol.

Researchers Claim Alcohol and Cannabis Trigger Similar Responses

“It raises concerns regarding the safety to fetal health, as use of cannabis by pregnant women may be as detrimental as alcohol use in terms of long-term effects on health,” said Gregory Cole, a professor and chair of the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina Central University and author of one of the studies, in an email to Green Rush Daily.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders occur when a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. These disorders can present themselves as physical deformities or in behavioral and learning disabilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The individual teams of researchers found alcohol and a CB1R antagonist or synthetic cannabinoid used in the place of cannabis triggered a similar response in the brain. Therefore, cannabis and alcohol use may result in similar effects in people who were exposed to them while in utero.

However, the CB1R antagonist they used has never been approved in the U.S. and was taken off of the market globally for it’s known severe side effects back in 2008.

Study Didn’t Use Human Subjects

It is worth noting that the study Cole helped work on, which made this conclusion, didn’t use humans to measure this. It used a zebrafish model, which is popular among health studies because they (surprisingly) share many genes with humans and operate under a similar organ structure, according to a blog post on the National Institutes of Health’s website. Plus, zebrafish are cheap and quick to breed. That’s always a plus.

The study would be much more definite if it involved human subjects, but this is a growing field of research with limitations from federal laws.

However, at least one previous study contradicts their findings. The research published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found no connection between adverse health impacts and cannabis. Instead, it points to the combination of marijuana and tobacco products as the culprit for adverse outcomes associated with cannabis.

Studies Claiming Harm Used Potent Synthetic Cannabinoids or Combined Cannabis with Alcohol

Both studies in this special issue focus on the adverse effects of cannabis exposure during pregnancy in animals. However, one study uses rats and a synthetic cannabinoid called CP55940 that is said to be 45 times more potent than the THC we know and love to make their conclusions.

The other study found that exposure to combined cannabis and alcohol during pregnancy could affect behavioral development. Researches claim the impacts appear bad when exposure to the synthetic cannabinoid happens alone and they’re even worse when combined with alcohol.

However, it is hard to say how much of a connection this research has to modern cannabis use among pregnant human women.

More Research Required

Despite this, the authors stressed the importance of their findings as many pregnant mothers believe that cannabis use is safe.

“What our study suggests is that early exposure to each drug may have unique effects on behavioral development and that the combination may have more severe effects on some behaviors,” said authors Jennifer Thomas and Kristen Breit, both of whom conduct research at San Diego State University’s Center for Behavioral Teratology, in an emailed statement to Green Rush Daily.

Still, the authors realize that more research is needed on this topic. And this special issue is only the beginning. As more and more states legalize cannabis in their own way, scientists will step up to the task. They need to—public health is depending on them providing the answers.

Fun, ByLissett. “Study Claiming Pot as Harmful to Fetus’ as Alcohol Used Synthetic Cannabinoid.” Green Rush Daily, 23 July 2019, greenrushdaily.com/women/study-claiming-cannabis-as-harmful-to-fetus-as-alcohol-used-synthetic-cannabinoid/.

Inhaled Cannabis Cut Headache and Migraine Severity in Half, Study Finds

Researchers say concentrates were associated with significantly larger reductions in migraine and headache severity compared to flower.

Lots of people consume cannabis to relieve headaches and migraines. But researches have hardly studied cannabinoids as a therapeutic treatment for these common ailments. That’s where this new study comes in. Researchers aimed to analyze the short and long-term effects of cannabis on headaches and migraines using data from nearly 20,000 sessions where people inhaled cannabis to relieve their symptoms. And what they found were significant reductions in headache and migraine ratings after cannabis use.

Specifically, researchers concluded that inhaling cannabis cut headache and migraine severity in half. But they also noticed different trends among women and men and a pattern of tolerance that changed cannabis’ effectiveness over time.

The new study on cannabis as a migraine and headache treatment is backing up thousands of years of human experience, including recent trends in medical cannabis use. According to recent reports, more than a third of medical cannabis users reported using cannabis to treat headaches and migraines. And on average, those patients report an average 3.6-point decrease (out of 10) in headache severity after inhaling cannabis.

CONCENTRATES RELIEVE HEADACHES BETTER THAN FLOWER

Furthermore, another study found that 40 percent of patients who received a medical cannabis recommendation for headaches reported a positive effect. For those patients, headaches and migraines weren’t just less severe, they also experienced roughly 6 fewer migraines a month. In fact, people have found cannabis so effective at reducing the severity and frequency of headaches and migraines that they’re using significantly less migraine medications.

Cannabis pain-relieving capabilities is something researchers are studying very closely. One recent study found that compounds in cannabis called flavonoids are thirty times more effective than aspirinand ibuprofen for pain. Cannabis can reduce pain intensity better than the most common over-the-counter pain relievers, reduce the use of these drugs and increase quality of life.

So what did this new study add to what we already know about cannabis and pain relief? Researchers sought to figure out not just whether inhaled cannabis decreased headache and migraine severity. They also wanted to understand how things like the type of cannabisTHCCBD and dose impacted changes in headache severity and frequency.

Overall, researchers found that headache and migraine ratings were reduced by nearly 50 percent after inhaling cannabis. But they noticed a couple of other important things about cannabis as a headache and migraine treatment, too.

First, researchers concluded that while inhaling flower produced significant reductions in headache ratings, consumption of concentrates was associated with “significantly larger” reductions in these ratings. It’s a novel finding that researches say presents an urgent call for further study.

TOLERANCE CAN DIMINISH EFFECTIVENESS OVER TIME

Given that concentrates produced a better result for migraine and headache patients, one might think dose or potency made the difference. But researchers say that things like dose, potency, strain type and THC to CBD ratios didn’t really make any difference when it came to reducing the severity of headaches and migraines. In other words, any kind of cannabis will do when it comes to treating headaches, and researchers don’t know why concentrates produced better results than flower.

One thing that did affect cannabis’ effectiveness, however, was time. The study found that for regular and frequent consumers, a toleranceto the effects of cannabis diminished its ability to relieve migraine and headache pain. Cannabis still worked for people with high tolerance, just not as well.

But researchers also added that a higher tolerance to cannabis never made headaches or migraines worse over time. That means cannabis differs dramatically from conventional migraine and headache medications, which can cause “medication overuse headache“. In other words, conventional medications can actually make headaches and migraines worse over time with frequent use. But cannabis doesn’t do that.

In light of these encouraging findings, the study’s authors are calling for more research into cannabis as a headache and migraine treatment. They say future studies need to take a closer look at how dose, type of cannabis, THC, CBD and other cannabinoid interactions influence patient outcomes.

Drury, ByAdam. “Inhaled Cannabis Cut Headache and Migraine Severity in Half, Study Finds.” Green Rush Daily, 26 Nov. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/studies/inhaled-cannabis-cut-headache-and-migraine-severity-in-half-study-finds/.

New Testing Finds Hydrogen Cyanide in Counterfeit Vape Cartridges

Vitamin E acetate is not the only culprit.

An influx of vape-related deaths around the United States has set off alarms around the country, which have resulted in temporary state-wide bans, impassioned warnings from bed-ridden vapers, and even an executive order to cease the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. While the dust from the initial fallback is still settling, disturbing new details have emerged regarding black market vape cartridges.

A new set of tests recently revealed the presence of hydrogen cyanide within counterfeit vape cartridges, giving us a bleak, albeit rudimentary insight into some of the mysterious vape-related deaths and illnesses plaguing the country.

Hydrogen Cyanide Found in Counterfeit Vape Cartridges

NBC News released a bombshell report on Friday, which delved into the potential causation of a rising crisis that has taken 12 lives and hospitalized 805 people over 46 states over the last month. While the medical community has yet to come to an agreement on a single, underlying cause for these illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most patients suffering from the harsh lung-illnesses have smoked black market vape cartridges containing THC.

For the report, NBC commissioned one of the country’s top cannabis testing facilities, CannaSafe, to test a total of 18 THC cartridges, obtained from both legal cannabis dispensaries and street dealers. The tests, perhaps unsurprisingly, displayed stark differences between the regulated product and the illictly-sold cartridges.

Three of the cartridges were purchased from legal dispensaries throughout California — none of them contained pesticides, heavy metals, or residual solvents like Vitamin E acetate, one of the major cause for concerns from health officials familiar with the outbreak. It has been suggested that dealers use the substance to “cut” cannabis for their cartridges.

However, CannaSafe determined the 13 of the 15 street cartridges did have traces of Vitamin E in them, raising a cause for concern. Additionally, 10 of the illicit vape cartridges were tested for pesticides, and all 10 tested positive.

All the products contained myclobutanil, a fungicide that has the ability to transform into hydrogen cyanide when it’s burned. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cyanide can lower the levels of oxygen in almost every organ in the body, including the heart brain and lungs, and can be rapidly fatal.

“You certainly don’t want to be smoking cyanide,” CannaSafe vice president of operations, Antonio Frazier, told NBC. “I don’t think anyone would buy a cart that was labeled hydrogen cyanide on it.”

The FDA has struggled to properly police these cartridges, mostly because the fatalities have come courtesy of unregulated street products. The California bureau chief for the fellow online cannabis publication, Leafly, David Downs, says that fake packaging is being manufactured in China and making its way to Los Angeles. The empty cartridges are then being filled with bootleg THC oil and being packaged as branded products.

“This all starts in China where you can get the empty cartridges both for the THC market and the nicotine market, as well as the additives, flavorings, and thickeners that are being put into these cartridges alongside the THC oil,” Downs said.

This was further corroborated by NBC after the publication said one of the LA-based dispensaries sold packaging for Dank Vapes — a brand that has been oft-counterfeited and linked to some of the lung disease cases throughout the U.S.

For now, cannabis consumers are being warned to only buy regulated products from dispensaries.

Kohut, ByTim. “New Testing Finds Hydrogen Cyanide in Counterfeit Vape Cartridges.” Green Rush Daily, 27 Sept. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/products/new-testing-finds-hydrogen-cyanide-in-counterfeit-vape-cartridges/.

Safest Ways to Consume Cannabis for People with Anxiety

There are a few different routes you can take to enjoy the benefits of cannabis while avoiding a panic attack.

Anxiety is a condition that has kept many people from enjoying the medical benefits of cannabis. There are two spectrums when it comes to cannabis and anxiety. Even though many people use cannabis to relieve stress, there are people that suffer from anxiety who can end up panicking after consuming high levels of THC.

However, cannabis has also been used to treat pre-existing anxiety. It all depends on the type of cannabis used, the potency and dosage. We’ll go over the various ways cannabis can influence anxiety.

MICRODOSING AS PREVENTION

The Ultimate Guide to Treating Anxiety With Cannabis
SageElyse/Shutterstock

There are people that could benefit from the medicinal effects of cannabis who can’t handle the psychoactive effects due to their anxiety. The best way to avoid a cannabis-induced panic attack is to learn how your body handles specific strains by microdosing.

Uncertain of the THC level? The safest thing to do is to take things one puff at a time and feel out the effects before taking another pull. With this in mind, the best tools for the job are a one-hitter or vaporizer.

If you’re going to use a vaporizer we recommend one that will only heat as you take a hit so no weed is wasted when you take breaks between puffs. Start by figuring out how many hits it takes to feel the effects without any feelings of panic. Be sure to take note of that for every time you use that specific strain.

Consuming your cannabis after meals is a good way to keep results consistent. The same amount you’re accustomed to can seem more intense if you’ve gone a while without eating.

CBD TO CALM ANXIETY

The Ultimate Guide to Treating Anxiety With Cannabis
Mitch M/Shutterstock

Fortunately, there is a safety net built within the cannabis plant for anyone prone to anxiety. Treating anxiety with cannabis is easier with cannabidiol or CBD. CBD is a different cannabinoid from THC that can actually counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. In fact, Brazilian researchers found CBD was able to relieve anxiety in patients with social anxiety.

Furthermore, research has proven the anti-anxiety ability of CBD. Researchers gave CBD with no THC to people with a generalized social anxiety disorder and put them in simulated public speaking situations. They found CBD was able to successfully reduce the anxiety induced by public speaking in patients with social phobia.

There are tons of strains high in CBD and low in THC. So people prone to anxiety have plenty of options for balancing out the psychoactive effects of THC. There are even CBD products with absolutely no THC content on the market so people with anxiety can get relief without the risk of accidentally consuming too much and panicking.

DELTA 8 THC: SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THC AND CBD

The Ultimate Guide to Treating Anxiety With Cannabis
High Times

If you’re prone to anxiety, most cannabis concentrates should be avoided. Unless they’re a CBD concentrate or an edible dose of Delta 8 THC.

1995 study on children found that kids did not show any signs of psychoactive effects after ingesting delta-8 THC.

Unfortunately, Delta 8 THC is rare because so few people produce it but it is also one of the best options for those looking for the medicinal effects of THC with less psychoactivity. However, be warned that there is still some psychoactivity to delta 8 THC when it is dabbed. So, anyone prone to panic from THC will likely be triggered by a large dab of delta 8 THC.

Even though delta 8 THC is less psychoactive than THC, it comes in concentrated form. As a result, you should practice microdosing when dabbing delta 8 THC.

People suffering from other conditions on top of anxiety that want to benefit from the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without having a panic attack have a few routes to take. Those with high-anxiety should stick to CBD treatment. Everyone else should be fine micro-dosing with cannabis flowers or experimenting with delta 8 THC. To avoid any unwanted surprises, we recommend skipping the THC edibles and concentrates.

Daily, ByGreen Rush. “Safest Ways to Consume Cannabis for People with Anxiety.” Green Rush Daily, 7 Jan. 2020, greenrushdaily.com/guides/safest-ways-to-consume-cannabis-for-people-with-anxiety/.

Cannabis with Mold and Yeast Recalled at 144 Colorado Dispensaries

Consumers are encouraged to see their doctor if they have health concerns.

The city of Denver recently announced that inspectors found potentially harmful contaminants in a large batch of cannabis products. As a result, the company that produced the contaminated weed has issued a recall.

Consumers in Colorado who may have purchased the questionable products are urged to either destroy it or return it to the retailer where they purchased it.

Cannabis Tainted With Mold and Yeast

On Monday, the city of Denver circulated a statement announcing the recall. As per that memo, Denver marijuana company Bonsai Cultivation has issued a voluntary recall on tons of products.

The recall comes in the wake of a safety test by the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE). Specifically, samples of flower from Bonsai Cultivation showed elevated levels of yeast and mold.

After failing the test, the company issued a recall. In particular, any Bonsai products containing dried flower that were purchased between April 30, 2019 and October 14, 2019 could be contaminated.

Anyone who purchased flower products made by Bonsai during that time period are encouraged to destroy the weed or return it to the place they purchased it.

Bonsai Cultivation products that are potentially contaminated include the following:

  • flower
  • pre-rolled spliffs
  • shake
  • pre-rolled joints
  • trim
  • pre-rolled blunts

According to DDPHE, the recall is affecting products from 144 retail stores throughout Colorado. Of those 144 shops, at least 54 are located in Denver.

Additionally, the contaminated products passed through three cultivation facilities and 11 manufacturing facilities in the state.

Contaminated Weed Could Create Health Problems

Authorities in Colorado and Denver are urging consumers who may have compromised product not to consume it. Doing so could lead to health problems, they said.

“DDPHE opened an investigation after identifying multiple samples of marijuana plant material had failed total yeast and mold sampling from multiple retail store locations,” Denver officials said in a statement. “Short and long-term health impacts resulting from inhalation exposure to mold/yeast may exist depending on the specific product, duration, frequency, and level of exposure.”

In addition to disposing of any contaminated weed products, consumers are encouraged to see their doctor if they have health concerns.

“Consumers with concerns about their personal health should contact their physician with related questions,” Denver officials said. “Any consumers who experienced symptoms of illness after smoking, vaping, or other consumption method of plant material purchased from Bonsai Cultivation are also urged to contact DDPHE at: phicomments@denvergov.org.”

Product recalls like this are not uncommon in the legal cannabis industry. Typically, they happen when lab tests reveal potentially unsafe cannabis products.

In general, safety concerns tend to center on possible contamination from pesticides, fertilizers, mold, yeast, or other substances.

Although unrelated, many places in the country are also dealing with similar health concerns related to cannabis products. Specifically, there have been a number of illnesses and deaths linked to vaping. In most cases, these problems appear to come from knockoff black market THC cartridges.

One recent test showed high levels of contamination among black market cartridges. However, that test showed that carts purchased at a legal dispensary tended not to have contaminants.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Cannabis with Mold and Yeast Recalled at 147 Colorado Dispensaries.” Green Rush Daily, 15 Oct. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/cannabis-with-mold-and-yeast-recalled-at-144-colorado-dispensaries/.

How to Use CBD for Anxiety

A pounding heart, sweaty palms, racing thoughts: For those living with an anxiety disorder, these unwelcome symptoms can make everyday life feel debilitating.

One in thirteen people around the world live with an anxiety disorder, making them the most common mental health disorder worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For those living with anxiety, finding a safe method for managing symptoms is a critical concern.

Quick-acting anti-anxiety medication, such as Xanax and Valium, may offer instant relief but can become addictive. Long-range anxiety medications, such as Prozac, may help reduce symptoms over time, but don’t work for everyone.

Enter cannabidiol, better known as CBD. CBD has recently captured the spotlight as an alternative or complementary treatment for anxiety.RelatedWhat is CBD oil? A beginner’s guide to cannabidiol extracts

CBD: SNAKE OIL OR POWERFUL ANXIETY TREATMENT?

Clinical research on CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders has proliferated in recent years with accumulating evidence pointing to its therapeutic potential.

Although most studies on CBD are preclinical and use animal models, clinical studies using human participants are now emerging.1 in 13 people around the world live with an anxiety disorder, making them the most common mental health disorder worldwide.

In a double-blind study from 2019, 37 Japanese teenagers with social anxiety disorder (SAD) received 300 mg of CBD oil or a placebo every day for four weeks. The teens were assessed with surveys used to diagnose and measure SAD symptoms. The anti-anxiety properties of CBD reduced symptoms aligned with the disorder, providing relief comparable to Paroxetine, a drug commonly used to treat the condition.

Interestingly, in the follow-up, nine of the seventeen teenagers who received the CBD intervention also declared that they had decided to seek some form of treatment. Teenagers with SAD rarely seek help due to the stigma surrounding the condition and for fear of interacting with therapists.RelatedAre you getting the CBD you paid for? We put 47 products to the test

A 2019 retrospective case study reviewed outpatients at a mental health clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. Forty-seven of the patients sampled had expressed concerns about anxiety. Over three months, the majority of patients were given 25 mg of CBD daily in addition to treatment.

After the first monthly assessment, 79.2% of patients experienced an improvement in anxiety. After two months, 78.1% of patients reported a further improvement compared with the previous month.

However, there were also patients who reported that the symptoms of their anxiety worsened after taking CBD—15.3% felt their anxiety had become exacerbated after the first month and 19.5% felt their anxiety had worsened further after the second month.

Another study, done in 2018, also suggests that CBD may heighten anxiety. It included a small sample of individuals with paranoid traits and found that CBD exacerbated anxiety among some of the participants. Anxiety was measured through symptoms such as cortisol concentration, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure.

These contradictory findings may be due to factors such as small sample sizes and variations in dosing. CBD is a bidirectional medicine, which means it can cause opposing responses at different doses. We’ll delve deeper into this below.RelatedWhy CBD works better with a little THC (even if you don’t want to get high)

HOW SHOULD I CONSUME CBD FOR ANXIETY?

If you’re curious about using CBD oil as a tool to help manage your anxiety, education is critical. Understanding the pros and cons of the various ingestion methods can help you determine which form of consumption best suits your needs.

SHOP TRUSTED CBD BRANDS ON LEAFLY MARKET AND ENJOY 30% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME

TINCTURES AND OILS

CBD tinctures and oils represent a quick, easy, and accurate way to consume CBD. Most tinctures contain CBD in an alcohol base. CBD oils contain CBD extracts infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.

Tinctures and oils are taken using a dropper, which allows you to easily measure intake. The cannabinoid rapidly enters the bloodstream when taken sublingually—results can kick in as quickly as ten minutes and last up to three to four hours.

CBD VAPE OILS

CBD can be vaped using a special pen that vaporizes the oil. At present, the safety of vaping has come under intense scrutiny. A serious lung condition known as VAPI, or EVALI, has hospitalized more than 2,000 people and led to the deaths of 42. The federal Centers for Disease Control has found that most cases have been linked to the use of illicit-market THC vape cartridges tainted with vitamin E oil (tocopheryl-acetate).

CBD vape cartridges purchased in legal state-licensed cannabis stores are highly regulated, while CBD cartridges purchased from other sources are completely unregulated. Proceed with caution when considering any vaping product in an unregulated environment.RelatedVape pen lung injury: Here’s what you need to know

EDIBLES

CBD can be added to almost every food under the sun. While super easy to consume in this form—and often delicious, particularly as gummies—it may take an hour or more before results are felt.

What’s more, the oral bioavailability of CBD can hinder CBD absorption—when you consume CBD orally, it has to pass through your gastrointestinal tract before it is metabolized by the liver. As a result, a limited quantity of CBD makes it into the circulatory system.

It’s important to also note that the FDA has recently deemed food containing CBD illegal. You’ll have to get CBD edibles in state-licensed adult-use markets.

SMOKING

Smoking provides an almost instantaneous method for enjoying the effects of CBD. Smoking sends the cannabinoid directly to the alveoli of the lungs, and from there, CBD molecules enter the bloodstream for rapid absorption. However, measuring your CBD intake can be tricky when you smoke, and the act of smoking itself can cause lung inflammation.

DOSING CBD FOR ANXIETY

If you read the studies cited above, you’ll notice that the dosing varied significantly between them. The teens in the Japanese study were provided with 300 mg of CBD daily, while the outpatients in the Colorado study received 25 mg. Why such a large discrepancy in dose?

As most scientists and clinicians will readily admit, there is no universally recommended dosage for CBD, and, to date, there haven’t been any large-scale clinical trials to inform dosage guidelines. In addition, the FDA is still learning about CBD—such as its cumulative effects on the body—before it decides on how to regulate it.

This doesn’t necessarily mean CBD is unsafe. Existing research already suggests that it appears to be a safe, well-tolerated treatment. If you’re interested in experimenting with CBD to manage your anxiety symptoms, aim for an informed, cautious approach to dosing (which is always a good idea). Below are some dosing considerations.Sign up for more Leafly newsWe won’t share this without your permissionsign up

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GENERAL DOSING TIPS

Some basic factors that you should consider when devising a CBD dose include:

  • Body weight
  • Metabolism
  • Concentration of CBD
  • Severity of your anxiety

The concentration of CBD varies between products, and is generally expressed as milligrams (mg) per container.Your unique body chemistry affects how you respond to CBD.

Once you know the potency of the CBD product you hold, you can use a dosage calculator or an app such as Accugentix to help settle on your perfect dose. Dosage calculators can provide a recommended dose in milligrams based on your body weight and the severity of your symptoms.

Your unique body chemistry also affects how you respond to CBD. Some individuals metabolize medicine faster than others, which can be attributed to genes or lifestyle. If you know that you metabolize medication quickly, it’s possible that you may benefit from a higher dose.RelatedThe entourage effect: How cannabis compounds may be working together

BIDIRECTIONAL EFFECTS

CBD may do different things at different doses, a phenomenon known as bidirectional effects. Overstimulation of the body’s endocannabinoid system may exacerbate symptoms instead of alleviating them.

Additionally, high levels of CBD, such as 300 mg, have been known to promote sleepiness and relaxation. Conversely, low levels of CBD may create an elevating response, inciting wakefulness and alertness. The best way to avoid unwanted bidirectional effects is to follow the adage: start low, go slow.

START LOW, GO SLOW

Titration refers to the process of adjusting the dosage of a medication to get its maximum benefits without adverse effects. CBD has been shown to be safe even when taken in high doses (300-600 mg), nonetheless, it’s advisable and more cost-effective to start with a low dose and increase it incrementally, observing how you feel as you go.

This method forces you to pay attention to subtle changes in your body as it responds to the medication. Everyone’s optimal dosage and tolerance is unique, and this process allows you to get acquainted with yours.RelatedA physician’s perspective on optimal cannabis dosing

Dr. Dustin Sulak, a cannabis medicine expert at Healer.com, offers educational resources for novice and seasoned cannabis users alike to find their optimal dosage.

TALK TO AN EXPERT ON MEDICAL CANNABIS

If you’re still feeling unsure and you live in a state where you can safely converse with a health professional about CBD, consider scheduling a consultation. Some cannabis dispensaries also have medical experts on hand who can provide you with sound advice and dosage recommendations.

Stone, Emma. “How to Use CBD for Anxiety.” Leafly, 10 Dec. 2019, https://www.leafly.com/news/health/how-to-use-cbd-for-anxiety.

LONG-TERM CANNABIS USE IMPROVES SYMPTOMS OF IBS, STUDY SHOWS

The study looks at how marijuana impacts inflammatory bowel disease.

One of the many positive effects of legalization is that it also helps advance research. This is especially true when it comes to research into marijuana’s potential medicinal qualities.

Specifically, as marijuana becomes legal in more and more places around the world, it becomes easier for researchers to access and use the plant in medical and scientific research.

And it’s not just immediate research that is benefitting and improving. Research into the long-term effects of cannabis is becoming much more accessible and more widely available, thanks to the ever-growing body of marijuana-related data.

Now, researchers in Israel have published a new study about the long-term effects of marijuana on inflammatory bowel disease. And according to their work, cannabis could have multiple positive benefits for people dealing with the condition.

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS POSITIVE OUTCOMES FROM USING MEDICAL CANNABIS

The study was recently published online. It is part of the forthcoming November issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Specifically, the study looks at how marijuana impacts inflammatory bowel disease.

In the research, scientists worked with 127 patients. Each of them used legal medical marijuana to treat their bowel condition. Specifically, patients in the study consumed an average dosage of 31 grams per month.

Throughout the patient group’s ongoing treatment of inflammatory bowel syndrome, researchers gathered key metrics before starting medical marijuana, one month after using medical marijuana, and at least one year after consistent use of medical marijuana.

Additionally, patients periodically filled out questionnaires about their health in general and, more specifically, about the state of their inflammatory bowel disease.

After compiling and analyzing these numbers, researchers identified the following trends:

  • Patients’ Harvey-Bradshaw Index (a method for gauging the severity of Crohn’s disease) consistently showed marked improvements.
  • There was an average weight gain of 2 kilograms among patients within the first year of medical cannabis use.
  • On average, medical marijuana patients reduced their need for other medications.
  • Employment among medical cannabis patients rose from 65 percent to 74 percent.

RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS

In addition to noting several positive health indicators among the medical marijuana patients, researchers also said they did not observe any noticeable negative side effects.

Ultimately, they concluded: “Cannabis use by inflammatory bowel disease patients can induce clinical improvement and is associated with reduced use of medication and slight weight gain.”

They also wrote: “We conclude that the majority of inflammatory bowel disease patients using cannabis are satisfied with a dose of 30g/month. We did not observe negative effects of cannabis use on the patients’ social or occupational status.”

CANNABIS AND BOWEL DISORDERS

This study is not the first time experts have linked cannabis to the effective treatment of bowel disorders.

In fact, many believe that cannabinoids like CBD can be very helpful in managing a wide range of bowel diseases and disorders.

In fact, it is fairly common for people to use medical marijuana to treat the following bowel conditions:

  • Celiac disease
  • Leaky gut disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • and many others.

Now, in the wake of this brand new research, it seems as if patients might be able to add inflammatory bowel disease to that list.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Long-Term Cannabis Use Improves Symptoms of IBS, Study Shows.” Green Rush Daily, 28 Oct. 2019, https://greenrushdaily.com/health/studies/long-term-cannabis-use-improves-symptoms-of-ibs-study-shows/.

Massachusetts Lab Offers First Two Vitamin E Acetate Screenings Free

With regulators zeroing in on vitamin E acetate as the likely cause of vape-related lung sickness and death, one testing lab is offering free product testing.

The state of Massachusetts is taking aggressive action to improve regulations and testing procedures for vaping products. Efforts are currently focusing on vitamin E acetate, after the Centers for Disease Control released a new report identifying the common vape additive as a likely cause of the recent nationwide outbreak of vape-related deaths and lung sicknesses.

In light of the CDC’s findings, Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission is quarantining all cannabis vaping products until it can develop protocols for making sure shops aren’t selling anything containing vitamin E acetate. And the commission is getting a little help from MCR Labs, the laboratory that developed one of the first ways to test weed for the suspect chemical. And to respond to increasing public concerns about vitamin E acetate’s roll in vape-related lung illness, MCR Labs is offering two free screenings to any and everyone who wants to test their cannabis products.

LAB FINDS UPWARDS OF 50 PERCENT VITAMIN E ACETATE IN FAKE THC CARTRIDGES

MCR Labs began screening cannabis vape cartridges for vitamin E on September 20, coinciding with the start of Massachusetts’ ban on vapes. Of the 109 samples MCR Labs analyzed, nine tested positive for vitamin E acetate. And some of those cartridges contained more than 50 percent of the additive by weight.

If you’ve ever wondered what all that extra stuff in your unregulated, counterfeit vape cartridge is, or why the color or consistency of the oil isn’t quite like the stuff you can get at licensed retailers, that’s likely why. Whoever’s manufacturing fake THC carts is cutting the THC oil with upwards of 50 percent vitamin E acetate. Indeed, MCR Labs saysthat none of the initial 109 samples it tested came from licensed producers or manufacturers of cannabis products.

Conversely, MCR Labs says that none of the vaping products supplied by a licensed, regulated producer have tested positive for vitamin E acetate.

MCR Labs is reporting its findings to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission as it works to develop new regulations addressing the ingredients, labeling, sourcing, manufacturing and consumption process of cannabis oils and concentrates. Meanwhile MCR Labs will continue to offer two free vitamin E acetate screenings to anyone who submits a cannabis vaping product.

The free tests help MCR inform state regulators about which kinds of products are most contaminated with the chemical. And so far, their results are raising questions about the effectiveness of the commissions’ quarantine on regulated products. Critics say the quarantine will push medical patients and retail consumers back into the illicit marketplace, where products are more likely to contain vitamin E acetate.

MASS. LAB BEHIND VITAMIN E ACETATE TEST OFFERS FIRST TWO SCREENINGS FREE

Despite the recent opening of Massachusetts’ recreational cannabis market, state agencies have had cannabis vaping products on lock down. Since late September, neither medical cannabis patients nor recreational consumers have been able to buy THC oils, concentrates, cartridges, aerosol products, inhalers or any products, like vape pens, designed to work with them. Instead, medical cannabis patients and recreational consumers can only purchase flower and vaping devices that work exclusively with dried herb.

At the height of the public outcry over the nationwide vape-related health crisis, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency ban on all e-cigarette and cannabis vaping products. The governor’s action drew a slew of legal challenges, and a state Superior Court has been steadily chipping away at the blanket ban on vapes, ruling that Gov. Baker and the state’s Department of Public Health exceeded their constitutional authority.

In one major decision, Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that only the state’s Cannabis Control Commission had the authority to block the sale of cannabis products. But just as the governor’s ban on medical cannabis vaping products expired on November 12, the commission issued a quarantine on all medical cannabis products except flower.

The commission cited the recent CDC report linking vitamin E acetate to lung illness and vape-related deaths. Under the agency’s existing set of regulations, product testing does not require screening for vitamin E acetate. Therefore, the commission said in a statement, products sold at licensed dispensaries and retail shops could contain the suspect additive.

Drury, ByAdam. “Massachusetts Lab Offers First Two Vitamin E Acetate Screenings Free.” Green Rush Daily, 14 Nov. 2019, https://greenrushdaily.com/health/massachusetts-lab-offers-first-two-vitamin-e-acetate-screenings-free/.

Lab Test Shows ‘Fentanyl Laced Weed’ Police Found Had No Fentanyl

Three back-to-back false field tests lead to the wrongful arrest and defamation of a young man.

A shocking twist to a strange saga appears to exonerate a man accused of lacing his marijuana with the highly addicting opiate, fentanyl, as an FDLE report concludes there was actually no trace of the pain-killing substance in the cannabis.

The man in question, 19-year-old Lucas Rosier, was arrested during a traffic stop back in September. He was found with marijuana, which was then tested during a series of roadside exams.

But according to the latest report, which was first obtained by Jacksonville’s local Fox affiliate, Action News Jax, the test came back positive only cannabis and not fentanyl as previously believed.

The results of the latest tests dispute the Clay County Police Department’s original findings. In fact, the battery of roadside tests concluded the exact opposite of what was determined by the far more accurate FDLE screening.

 “The results came back negative for marijuana all three times,” the original report said. “The green leafy like substance tested positive for laced fentanyl all three times using an agency issued field test kit.”

Rosier admitted to Action News Jax that the last few months have been difficult on him following the police’s initial findings.

“I’ve had people send me death threats saying you’re a horrible human being, that I shouldn’t even be alive.” Rosier said.

One of Rosier’s lawyers, Beth Sammons, says the roadside kits used in these drug stops are often unreliable.

We have no idea how the Sheriff’s Office is storing these kits, we have no idea how old these kits are.” Sammons said.

Rosier’s case will now go through misdemeanor diversion and subsequently dropped. The CCPD said they will update their Facebook post about the arrest—likely, as an effort to decrease the backlash against Rosier—once they receive the tangible results of the FDLE lab test.

The Clay County Police Department also noted they will continue to evaluate their drug kits, but as of right now, they will still be used.

Fentanyl in Weed

There have been some other reported cases of marijuana-laced fentanyl, although, these cases are few and far in between.

Back in April, there were three different incidents involving fentanyl-laced marijuana in upstate New York. The first,  police found three people unconscious in a car in a parking lot after they ingested the tainted cannabis. Another incident in Sullivan County had officers confiscating seven grams of weed that was found to have traces of fentanyl in it. A third incident, this time in Knox, New York, saw paramedics revive three more people who had overdosed on the polydrug.

“This is the stuff that is causing the majority of the overdoses,” Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff said at the time. “They are mixing fentanyl with heroin, cocaine and now marijuana.”

A fentanyl-laced marijuana epidemic also broke out in Tennessee back in 2017. At the time, Tennessee DA Matthew Stowe expressed his concerns about the drug popping up exponentially in confiscated marijuana.

“It’s absolutely being seen in Tennessee,” he told local sources. “It’s being seen in West Tennessee, it’s coming in in vast, vast quantities.”

Kohut, ByTim. “Lab Test Shows ‘Fentanyl Laced Weed’ Police Found Had No Fentanyl.” Green Rush Daily, 5 Dec. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/lab-test-shows-fentanyl-laced-weed-police-found-had-no-fentanyl/.

Nevada Cannabis Lab Fined $70K for ‘Unsound’ Practices

PHOTO: nhungboon / Shutterstock.com.

SPARKS, Nev. – The Nevada Department of Taxation, Marijuana Enforcement Division has levied a $70,000 fine against state-licensed, Sparks-based cannabis testing facility Certified Agriculture Lab LLC, (known as Ag Lab) for “unsound testing practices,” according to media reports.

The lab also received a thirty-day suspension of its license, retroactively dated to November 18. Ag Lab must provide officials with a plan of correction to address non-compliant issues discovered by the state’s investigation before being allowed to resume testing for THC potency.Advertisement

In mid-November, the taxation department announced Ad Lab-tested products were labeled inaccurately for levels of the cannabinoid THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.

The department did not comment on actual levels of THC in the product, but urged consumers who had purchased products tested by Ag Lab to contact their retailers with concerns. They did not issue a product recall.

At the time, Ag Lab said the suspension was “as baseless as it is appalling” in a statement.

The taxation department issued an advisory in November when it suspend Ag Lab’s license, alerting “all legal cannabis users to take caution when using product tested by Certified Ag Lab LLC and when comparing any similar products of the same potency, as those effects may be greater and/or less than that of the product tested by Certified Ag Lab LLC.”

This is not the first suspension for Ag Lab. On December 22, 2018, the taxation department suspended the lab’s license for “not following proper lab procedures and good laboratory practices.” The license was reinstated in early January 2019, when “deficiencies had been corrected.”

Joanne Cachapero. “Nevada Cannabis Lab Fined $70K for ‘Unsound’ Practices.” Mg Magazine – Cannabis News & Information, Joanne Cachapero, 21 Dec. 2019, mgretailer.com/cannabis-news/nevada-cannabis-lab-fined-70k-for-unsound-practices/.

Massachusetts’ Ban on THC Vapes Comes to an End

One day after the ban on e-cigarettes was lifted, THC vapes will be allowed again under new rules.

As the number of mysterious vape-related illnesses seems to slowly wane, some of the restrictions implemented on them, at least within certain state jurisdictions, also appear to be fading along with them. Most notably, in Massachusetts, where a full-on ban on vaping and the sale and distribution of vape-related products was recently reversed.

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health voted to remove the ban while implementing lesser-regulations on flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes. However, the new ordinances did not originally mention anything about THC vaping products; the state legalized recreational marijuana sales in November of last year.

But cannabis smokers didn’t have to wait long on the issue—the state’s ban on THC came to a ban just one day later, albeit with some new regulations in place.

THC VAPE CARTRIDGES ONCE AGAIN PERMITTED IN MASSACHUSETTS

On Thursday, the Cannabis Control Commission voted to once again allow the sales of cannabis vape pens and cartridgesfilled with THC oil. Patrons were allowed to purchase the product as of 2 p.m. that day.

The commission determined that there was not nearly enough evidence to determine that the mysterious lung illnesses were the result of dispensary-issued products. Still, the commission’s executive director, Shawn Collins, said that they will take additional preventive measures to ensure all THC products are clean and free from harmful additives.

“Today, hopefully, is the start of a process,” said Shawn Collins, the commission’s executive director.

Under the new set of laws, all cartridges sold after December 12th must be tested vitamin E acetate and other contaminants, such as heavy metals. Vitamin E acetate has been the chief contaminant found in black market products. The cutting agent wasn’t found in any legally-sold products, however. Other harmful components, such as Hydrogen Cyanide, have been found in illicit vapes.

Conversely, any products produced before December 12th will be quarantined indefinitely.

Each product will have to include a disclaimer on the packaging as well. The warning must read: “This product has been tested for contaminants, including Vitamin E Acetate, with no adverse findings. WARNING: Vaporizer Products may contain ingredients harmful to health when inhaled.”

The move comes as a major win for cannabis dispensaries. Some businesses saw up to 40% decreases in sales after the statewide ban. However, New England Treatment Access president Amanda Rositano believes its a win for all sides.

“ is really a win for our customers and our patients who can now have access to a product that has been tested, that’s well regulated, that comes with accurate information about what’s inside those products, and that really drives them back into the regulated market and away from the illicit market,” she said.

Kohut, ByTim. “Massachusetts’ Ban on THC Vapes Comes to an End.” Green Rush Daily, 13 Dec. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/politics/massachusetts-ban-on-thc-vapes-comes-to-an-end/.

CDC Lists Vape Brands Linked to Hospitalizations

Dank Vapes was used by more than half of the hospitalized patients.

Following an outbreak of a mysterious vaping illness that has plagued the country, officials have determined some of the brands directly linked to the lung issues caused by the black market vape cartridges.

According to the new report from the CDC, the brand Dank Vapes was used by 56 percent of the hospitalized patients, with  TKO (15%), Smart Cart (13%), and Rove (12%) rounding out the group.

“It’s not likely that a single brand is responsible for this outbreak,” Brian King, a senior CDC official on the investigation told the AP.

While a few are actual brands, Dank Vapes isn’t a licensed company. Instead, it’s simply empty packaging illicit sellers can buy from China and fill their oils in.

The other companies are victims of a similar ploy. Sellers can also purchase fake TKO, Smart Cart, and Rove packaging to make their homemade oil look similarly legitimate.

The co-founder of TKO Products, Bill Loucks, says that his company only sells to licensed dispensaries in California. Still, he receives emails about his product in various other states. TKO, like the other aforementioned companies, has had to scramble to protect its brand by updating its packaging design.

“If you bought them outside of California … you are the proud owner of fakes,” Loucks said to the Associated Press in an email.

THE WORST MIGHT BE BEHIND US

According to the CDC report, the worst of the mysterious outbreak may be behind us. Per the data, there has been a decline in hospitalizations dating back to mid- September.

“Since September 15, there has been a steady decline in hospitalized EVALI patients reported weekly to CDC,” the report says. “Among all hospitalized EVALI patients reported weekly to CDC by states since November 5, 2019, the percentage of recent EVALI cases declined from 58% reported November 12 to 30% reported December 3.”

Still, there are numerous cases being reported to this day, with another 176 vaping-related lung illnesses this past November alone. Overall, there has been a total of 2,291 reported this year amongst all states. 25 of said U.S. states have reported at least a death, with a total of 48 casualties nationwide.

Some of these deaths have led to bans of flavored e-cigarette nicotine cartridges. New York City just became the first major city to ban flavored e-cigarette products, while Michigan became the first state to do so back in September when the epidemic was still at its height.

Still, research has shown most of the illnesses and deaths have been courtesy of black market THC cartridges, not flavored e-cigarettes. The CDC reported that a whopping 80% of cases were caused from vaping THC, while just 13% of the reported issues were from e-cigarettes.

“Overall, 80% of hospitalized EVALI patients reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products,” the CDC stated.

Lab studies have shown that most of the tainted cartridges contained traces of Vitamin E acetate oil, amongst other pesticides. Legally sold cartridges, on the other hand, tested clean, prompting warnings to only purchase the products from licensed dispensaries.

But the CDC wants you to err on the side of caution and stay away from vape products altogether.

“CDC recommends that persons not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC,” the report noted.

Michigan Requires All Cannabis Cartridges to Be Retested Before Sale

Michigan’s ban on cannabis vape products is lifted for any products that test clean after the emergency rules went into place.

In the wake of this year’s vaping crisis, in which numerous people around the country experienced lung injury, illness, and even death after vaping, Michigan is taking steps to ensure better safety for consumers.

Most recently, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued emergency rules about vaping. Specifically, the agency has stopped the sale of all cannabis vape products.

But the move is not a permanent ban. Instead, it will remain in place until all products are re-tested to ensure safety.

ALL VAPE PRODUCTS MUST BE TESTED FOR VITAMIN E

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified vitamin E acetate as the substance causing all the vape-related health problems. In many cases, the substance was being used to cut THC oils used in vaporizers.

While vitamin E is safe in many applications, inhaling vitamin E acetate can lead to a number of health problems. And that’s exactly what has been happening to consumers in recent months.

Now, in an attempt to slow the frequency of vape-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths, Michigan is requiring that all cannabis vape products be tested specifically for vitamin E.

Anything containing vitamin E can not be sold. And any other additives must clearly be indicated on product labels.

“It is absolutely vital that patients and consumers know, with certainty, the ingredients in the products that they are using,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said in a statement. “These rules require stringent testing and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Michiganders.”

The vitamin E testing rule applies to all new cannabis products in Michigan. But it also applies retroactively. That means that all vape products currently on dispensary shelves must be tested for vitamin E—even if they have already cleared earlier lab tests.

The emergency rules go into effect immediately. As soon as vape products have been tested and it’s clear that they do not contain vitamin E, they can once again be sold.

Despite potentially slowing retail for the time being, key industry players appear to be on board.

“We’re fully supportive of the governor’s decision,” Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, told the Associated Press. “Our members’ number one priority is providing safe, tested medicine to medical marijuana patients across the state. We think this will contribute significantly towards that goal.”

MICHIGAN’S CANNABIS MARKET

The emergency rules come on the eve of kicking off recreational retail sales in Michigan. Earlier this month, state officials decided to roll out recreational sales on December 1.

Initially, there was some uncertainty about whether or not recreational sales would actually start so soon. The biggest question had to do with whether or not sellers would have to wait for a brand new harvest. Doing so would take until 2020.

But authorities ultimately decided to green light the move instead of waiting. In order to allow for sales to begin so quickly, authorities will let already-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to transfer up to 50 percent of current medical marijuana inventory into recreational inventory.

This, officials said, should allow for enough product to start recreational sales. At the same time, it should also let medical sales continue without seeing too much slow down.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Michigan Requires All Cannabis Cartridges to Be Retested Before Sale.” Green Rush Daily, 25 Nov. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/health/michigan-requires-all-cannabis-cartridges-to-be-retested-before-sale/.

Edible Highs Vs. Smoking Highs: What’s The Difference

There’s a time and a place for each.

BENEFITS OF EDIBLE HIGH VS. SMOKING HIGH

Foodio/Shutterstock

Despite the popularity of smoking as the most common method of consumption, many cannabis users prefer edibles for a number of reasons.

Healthier?

One of the main reasons for someone to choose edibles vs smoking highs is healthcare. Combusting cannabis releases a number of potentially harmful toxins.

Even vaping weed, which produces fewer toxins than smoking, can still irritate the throat and lungs to the point of extreme discomfort. Furthermore, some of the harmful compounds found in tobacco smoke are also present in cannabis smoke. Thanks to edibles, anybody that doesn’t want to smoke will still be able to enjoy the benefits of marijuana with absolutely no strain to their lungs.

Dosing

Anyone purchasing their cannabis products from a dispensary in regulated marijuana markets may prefer edibles over smoking for controlled dosing.

In states like Colorado, every 10mg serving must be stamped with THC warnings. As a result, it is easy to keep track of exactly how much THCyou’re taking at a time. On the other hand, it is harder to tell how much THC you’re getting per puff when smoking.

If you’re making your own edibles, it will be much harder to control your dosage. When it comes to homemade edibles or anything acquired in a state without strict edible regulations, finding the right dosage will be more of a challenge. You’ll have to try a small amount at a time to get an idea of how potent the edible is.

Easier To Ingest

Making edibles can be complicated depending on the recipe. However, once they’re made, ingesting them is about as easy as it gets.

Smoking comes with more of a process than eating an edible. You’ll need to know how to roll or you’ll need a pipe. Then, you’ll have to grind and prepare the weed. Eating a pot brownie is as simple as breaking off the right serving size, chewing and swallowing. You won’t be left with a dirty pipe or stinky roach clip.

Stealthier

A huge advantage of consuming edibles over smoking is the stealth factor. Smoking in public can attract unwanted attention.

While smoking, anyone that is close enough to see you will likely smell you too. Even if you smoked in private, the smell of burned weed will likely stick to your breath and clothes. If you’re worried about any drama that may come from the lasting stigma against cannabis consumption, you’ll feel more comfortable consuming edibles in public. Just keep eyedrops on you in case your eyes get red.

Longer High

From a recreational perspective, one of the main reasons to consume an edible is in the hopes for a longer, stronger high.

Once you develop a tolerance to cannabis, you may find yourself smoking several bowls before feeling the desired effects. Not to mention, the high from smoking doesn’t last anywhere near as long as with edibles. If you don’t have the time to grind weed and roll or pack a bowl constantly, you may benefit from choosing edible marijuana over smoking the plant.

Benefits of Smoking vs. Edibles

Circuito Fora do Eixo/Flickr

Even though edibles seem to come with a number of advantages over smoking, most people still prefer to burn one.

FASTER HIGH

The main advantage smoking provides over edibles is the fast-acting relief. When you eat an edible you may have to wait for up to two hours before feeling any of the effects. Even worse, you could wait hours and feel nothing. On the other hand, you’ll feel most of the effects from a joint by the time you finish it.

Certain patients that need quick relief can’t wait for the effects of edibles to kick in. When you’re laying in bed wide awake, you won’t want to wait two hours to feel the sedative effects from an edible. Anyone suffering from a condition that requires immediate relief is better off smoking or vaporizing cannabis.

FEWER SURPRISES

Smoking will come with fewer surprises than consuming edibles. If you’re not purchasing your edibles from a dispensary with strict regulations on dosing, you’ll have to find out the potency on your own.

Take caution when trying edibles you made yourself. Try as small of a piece as possible, slowly increasing dosage until effects are felt. Most beginners try weed for the first time by smoking, not eating it. An edible is more likely to overwhelm users than a joint. If high levels of THC make you anxious, you’ll want to avoid edibles that aren’t marked with the precise dosage per piece.

Fewer surprises will also make it easier to microdose cannabis. You can take things one puff at a time and gradually feel effects escalate. With an edible you may not feel anything in an hour, take another dose and then get hit by both doses at once. Microdosing with edibles requires much more patience than with smoking.

SOCIALIZING

Edibles aren’t the best method of consumption in a group setting for a number of reasons.

It only takes a few seconds to consume an edible but it can take up to a few hours for the effects to settle in. As a result, some people may find themselves sitting around waiting while others are already on cloud 9. On the other hand, smoking a joint will give a group something to do while together while waiting to get high. By the time the joint is finished, the whole group should be at least somewhat high.

People that prefer edibles vs smoking usually do so for reasons associated with stealth and health. Smoking also has its advantages for people looking to get high as soon as possible.

Daily, ByGreen Rush. “Edible Highs Vs. Smoking Highs: What’s The Difference.” Green Rush Daily, 15 Nov. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/guides/edible-highs-vs-smoking-highs-whats-the-difference/.

Doctors Perform Double Lung Transplant On Patient With Vaping Illness

A medical breakthrough—and a warning to the public.

Doctors at Henry Ford Health System say they just completed the first-ever double lung transplant on a patient suffering from vaping-related lung injuries. While the operation is a breakthrough, many health experts are also using it to warn the public about the potential dangers of vaping.

Recently, the U.S. and other countries have seen a spate of lung injuries—many of which have turned fatal—that experts believe are directly linked to vaping.

History-Making Surgery

Yesterday, the Henry Ford Health System, located in Detroit, Michigan, published a brief press release about the operation.

“A team of Henry Ford Health System medical experts performed what we believe is the first double lung transplant in the United States for a patient whose lungs were irreparably damaged from vaping,” the release stated.

According to the hospital, the patient has asked for his identity not to be released. However, the patient did give permission for the hospital to share updates and photos. According to the press release, the patient wants this information to help “warn others.”

So far, there has not been additional information besides this initial press release. But the hospital is scheduled to hold a press conference later today. At the conference, the hospital will likely provide updates on the patient’s status.

Lung Epidemic Linked to Vaping

This is the latest piece of news related to the ongoing epidemic of vaping-related lung illness. To date, the U.S. has seen more than 2,000 lung injuries. And experts say they are directly linked to vaping. Even worse, out of those injured, at least 39 patients have died.

The sudden uptick in vape-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths has become what many consider to be a public health crisis. Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently said those numbers are dropping.

Cause of Epidemic Has Been Identified

Initially, experts were uncertain about the cause of these illnesses. But it appeared as if THC cartridges on the illicit market were especially dangerous.

In fact, one study from September showed that a high percentage of illegal vape cartridges contained a substance called vitamin E acetate. According to that study, 13 out of 15 illegal vapes had vitamin E.

Vitamin E acetate is reportedly used as a thickening agent in some vaping liquid. But when vaporized and inhaled, the substance can quickly become harmful, even deadly.

Since the release of that study in September, the CDC has focused even more on the dangers of vitamin E acetate. Just last Friday, the agency confirmed that the substance is likely the cause of the recent lung injuries.

“For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern: vitamin E acetate,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. “These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lung.”

Now, in the wake of the recent double lung transplant, health experts are once again reminding the public of the potential dangers of vaping.

“It would be nice if it’s the last—if the epidemic of acute lung injury can be brought under control” professor of medicine Dr. David Christian told media source Global News.

Donohue, Caitlin. “$1 Billion Worth of Cannabis Seized in California Hemp Field Bust.” High Times, 4 Nov. 2019, hightimes.com/news/1-billion-worth-of-cannabis-seized-in-california-hemp-field-bust/.

MEDICAL CANNABIS AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Source: Herb.delivery

Chances are that most of us have either dealt with a loved one who has suffered from dementia or knows someone with a loved one suffering from the condition. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia worldwide, accounting for between 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. This means that Alzheimer’s affects approximately 30 million people across the globe. Since life expectancy is increasing, this number is expected to almost quadruple to 120 million people by 2050.

Because of this expected explosion of cases, scientists and medical professionals are looking to different ways of treating and, hopefully, preventing the disease. One of those ways is cannabis.

Is cannabis a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s? As it turns out, there is evidence that it may help in some ways, but long-term testing still needs to be carried out in humans.

How Alzheimer’s Affects the Brain

The jobs of our brain cells include the sending and receiving of information, generating energy, and constructing new brain cells. They are like little factories. Just like a normal factory, if one part of the assembly line breaks down it causes problems with other parts of the factory. Scientists know that people with Alzheimer’s have a particular kind of breakdown in the cells of the brain that leads to irreversible symptoms.

The prime suspects in damaging the cells are two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles. Plaques are deposits of a protein fragment called amyloid-beta that build up in the spaces between nerve cells. Tangles are another protein called tau, which forms twisted fibers that build up inside cells.

Source: Very Well Mind

While scientists aren’t exactly clear on just how plaques and tangles work in Alzheimer’s disease, most believe that they may block communication between and inside nerve cells. These blockages lead to cell death, which leads to the loss of memory, personality changes, and problems carrying out daily tasks.

Autopsies indicate that everyone develops plaques and tangles as they age, but those with Alzheimer’s tend to develop far more and in a predictable pattern. This pattern begins in the memory areas of the brain before spreading to other areas. This is why the first symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss.

Source: Medical Net

Cannabis and Alzheimer’s

Currently, 14 medical marijuana states allow cannabis for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. While researchers currently see the potential for benefit in some cases, they also recommend caution due to the possible unforeseen risks. Alzheimer’s advocacy groups recognize the potential benefits in mood, sleep, and behavior. They also, however, note that studies indicating the benefits are limited.

Agitation, aggression, and anxiety are some primary symptoms of Alzheimer’s where cannabis use may have a positive impact. While small studies have been done on individuals with conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder using cannabis to alleviate these symptoms, they have been small. The only evidence currently available for the effect on Alzheimer’s disease is anecdotal.

This means that there is a need to do more, larger studies on the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and cannabis. These studies should focus on effectiveness, dosing methods such as vape pensor edibles, and which cannabinoids are the most effective.

While cannabis may help to improve symptoms or episodes of agitation or anxiety, there is currently no reason to suspect that cannabis would improve cognitive function in current Alzheimer’s patients. However, there might be positive indications for cannabis preventing the development of Alzheimer’s in the future.

Source: Zenpype via Lab Roots

Cannabis in Preventing Alzheimer’s

David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California is part of a team testing the effects of THC on human neurons grown in a lab. The study showed that tetrahydrocannabinol promotes the removal of amyloid-beta protein and lowering inflammation. Amyloid-beta protein is thought to be one of the primary factors in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The downside to this study is that the amyloid-beta protein that forms the plaques believed to cause Alzheimer’s is that those proteins have other important brain functions. So, the complete removal of them is a no-go. However, limiting the inflammation response to the plaques may be beneficial. Thankfully, both THC and CBD (cannabidiol) are both potent antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.

It is important to note, however, that while research indicates that cannabis may play a role in reducing these proteins and inflammation in rodent models and lab-grown cells, we are still a long way away from testing on humans.

Source: Ghost Professors

It is important to note, however, that while research indicates that cannabis may play a role in reducing these proteins and inflammation in rodent models and lab-grown cells, we are still a long way away from testing on humans.

The takeaway here is that while cannabis shows promise as a potential preventative treatment and may help with some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we’re still a long way from declaring it as a legitimate treatment.

Cannabis Magazine. “Medical Cannabis and Alzheimer’s Disease.” Cannabis Magazine, 23 Aug. 2019, cannabismagazine.com/medical-cannabis-and-alzheimers-disease/.

Cannabis and Mental Health: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

To avoid the side-effects from traditional medications, some ADHD patients are using cannabis.

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Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that can considerably impact one’s daily life. The disorder has the ability to affect attention spans and behavior, as well as trigger bouts of hyperactivity. As such, patients tend to struggle with school, work, relationships, and common tasks and interactions. 

Several causes of ADHD have been identified. They include genetics, developmental issues in the central nervous system, and a person’s environment. Additionally, families with ADHD or other mental health concerns may be at higher risk, as are those exposed to toxins as children. Issues during pregnancy, like premature births or drinking while pregnant, can play a factor as well. 

Coexisting conditions tend to occur alongside ADHD. Accompanying disorders may affect a person’s anxiety, mood or psyche, with learning disabilities also common. 

ADHD contains three subtypes of the disorder, including attention deficit disorder (ADD). Other subtypes include Combined, which affects hyperactivity and inattentiveness, and Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, which states what is affected in its name.

According to 2016 Center for Disease Control data, 9.4% of American children between the ages of two and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD. Of the 6.1 million diagnosed, 3.3 million children were diagnosed between the ages of 12 and 17. 

The disorder is known to affect the sexes differently. Girls with ADHD tend to outperform boys with ADHD in school. Meanwhile, boys tend to suffer in school and act out more. Boys with the condition likely stand out more due to their frequency as well, with triple the amount of diagnoses. 

In both genders, symptoms include being withdrawn, frequent talking, disorganization, and difficulty completing tasks. That said, with symptoms mirroring a person’s everyday struggles, making it difficult for a person to know what they’re dealing with. Experts suggest consulting a physician if you feel that you or your child’s day is disrupted daily. If the occurrence is not a daily burden, it is not likely ADHD.  

Though more frequent in children, ADHD affects 4.4% of adults as well. This percentage may be inaccurate, according to some expert positing. They believe scores of undiagnosed adults may drive the figure higher, though unclear of the number. While possible, the Mayo Clinic points out that adult ADHD diagnoses are difficult. In addition to the previous examples, ADHD also shares similar symptoms with other anxiety or mood disorders, further clouding a diagnosis. 

Like other disorders and mental conditions, some don’t see their ADHD as entirely negative. “ADHD is an absolute blessing and blatant curse depending on the day,” explains Melissa Gumely, an early-30s clothing designer and creative. She offered up examples. “There are days I’m a multitasking, hyper-focused ninja working on and completing task after task. Others, I can’t get out of my head or my bed.”

Officially diagnosed at 17, Gumley recalls her hyperactivity as a problem for teachers as early as age seven. By her senior year in high school, she reported taking AP classes with an inability to focus on a single one. 

“I would finish assignments within 10 minutes and then get sent to go ‘walk it off,’” she said. She switched to a vocational program mid-year, which she said helped. 

She continues to struggle with ADHD today. Her symptoms include feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. “It’s constantly fighting with your executive function because some days your brain and body are working against each other.” She continued, “It’s exhaustion but permanent insomnia.”

Treatment for ADHD

In most cases, adults and children are treated using some combination of medication, psychological therapy and treatment for any coexisting conditions. However, some patients experience less than ideal outcomes with traditional methods. Some of the reported adverse effects include difficulty sleeping, higher blood pressure, head and stomach pain, as well as weight loss. 

As such, cannabis has become an option for many seeking treatment. 

Sarah ElSayed is a public relations executive who was diagnosed with ADD nearly 12 years ago. She explained how cannabis has been part of what she believes is her ideal treatment. “I do believe that cannabis, in addition to probiotics and a reduced sugar diet, helps me maintain my focus without the help of stimulants.”

Medical professionals who spoke to High Times for this article agreed that ADHD treatments are not one-size-fits-all. Brooke Alpert is a licensed cannabis practitioner and founder of Daily Habit. Alpert touched on the correlation between CBD and ADHD. “The studies that focus on ADHD and CBD have shown some conflicting evidence.” 

She added, “I think more research needs to look at what relief people are finding with cannabis so we can have a better picture of how to further recommend CBD and cannabis for those with ADHD.”

Alisa Martin is a writer and researcher for InsuranceProviders.com and holds a B.S. in medical technology. Martin pointed towards a study that found 25% of patients surveyed manage their ADHD with cannabis. The researcher went on to agree that additional studies are required. “More investigation is needed from the medical community, as well as an increased public openness and understanding regarding the benefits,” said Martin. 

The current lack of evidence and the federal legal status in the U.S. leaves medical professionals uncomfortable to prescribe cannabis. As such, patients often self-medicate.

Those who self medicate have some lab findings to confirm their faith in cannabis treatments. They include a 2017 small clinical study that found that a 1:1 CBD/THC medicine reduced ADHD symptoms. Matt Scillitani, a Demographic Researcher for Remedy Review, also cited the study. Scillitani also pointed out that the research did not meet a statistically significant threshold. 

He echoed a similar sentiment about the need for more studies. He also touched on shortcomings in the currently available date. “Additionally, of the few clinical studies that do evaluate cannabinoids and ADHD, most assess the effects of THC or THC/CBD adjunctively.” Scillitani also pointed out that studies typically use only adults and small sample sizes.

Despite the uncertainty in the eyes of science, many are convinced cannabis is their ideal treatment. For the designer Gumley, she claims that cannabis provides everything medications like Adderall, Vyvanse and Ritalin claimed but never did. “It helps bring calm to an otherwise constant anxiety-ridden body,” she explained, highlighting mental and physical relief. 

She added, “Cannabis has changed my life exponentially for the better.”

Ward, Andrew. “Cannabis and Mental Health: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” High Times, 21 Oct. 2019, hightimes.com/health/cannabis-and-mental-health-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/.

End-of-Life Hospital Care in California Could Soon Include Cannabis

The awkward legal-ish status of cannabis is something that affects many. And out of those, perhaps terminal patients are the most in need. When someone is painfully dying in a hospital, they are generally pumped full of drugs that often leave them barely conscious, or fully asleep.

Ryan had stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had reached the point where he needed professional care, but his only option to treat the intense pain was morphine, and even fentanyl—which is up to 100 times stronger than already-potent morphine⁠—leaving him barely conscious, or asleep. The last days of his life were being stolen, and he wanted all the coherent time he could gather to spend with his 9-year-old son.

So Ryan asked his father, Jim Bartell, to get him off the pharmaceuticals so he could function in some capacity during his last days. Jim located a hospital that would allow cannabis, and Ryan was promptly transferred to it. On the first day that Ryan was allowed cannabis, they had to spray a tincture under his tongue because he couldn’t even swallow.

But by the next morning, he was reportedly alert, talkative, and pain-free. Ryan was able to spend his last two and a half weeks of life chatting on the phone and taking visitors—connecting, laughing, and taking the precious time to say goodbye.

But Jim Bartell’s Mission Had Just Begun

Ryan Bartell passed away on April 21, 2018, but Jim wasn’t done with this issue. He drafted a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis in hospitals.

In an interview with Leafly, he shared that as President of a San Diego firm that handles things like government PR, he’d been prepared for this mission—he’d already reviewed hundreds of government bills over the years.

After three long months of research and another three weeks of drafting, he took SB305 to Senator Ben Hueso at the end of 2018. Sen. Hueso agreed to sponsor it, and Jim and his staff continued to work together near daily until SB305 was submitted in February. Much of the pushback came from the California Hospital Association, who feared that they would lose federal funding as cannabis is still federally classified as a Schedule I drug.

But they worked through the opposition, drafting the bill so if the government were to change position and enforce federal prohibition against cannabis—then that hospital would be suspended from compliance.

And on September 11th, 2019, the California State Legislature unanimously approved their Senate Bill No. 305, which was aptly, and powerfully, titled “Ryan’s Law.” It’s now on its way to California’s pro-cannabis Governor Newsom, who is expected to sign it in the coming weeks. If all goes as predicted, it will come into effect on January 1st, 2020.

This means that starting next year, terminal medical cannabis patients with a prescription will be able to use cannabis in forms other than smoking/vaporization in hospital care. Cannabis will be procured by the patients, not the hospital. Hospitals will not be allowed to interfere with its administration, but will be allowed to help if needed.

Next steps for Ryan’s Law

Jim doesn’t plan to stop there. He says that this issue is affecting people like Ryan, and the people who love them, all over the country—so he’s doing something about it. First steps are to take on the geographically (and politically) close states of Oregon and Washington. And now they’ll only have to amend the bill with state-specific health codes instead of starting from scratch. Hopefully these states align quickly, and others as well.

Medical cannabis may be legal in many places, but patients in need of this medicine still face obstacles in terms of using it when and where they need it. While the chronically ill and those still in the fighting stages of diseases aren’t yet protected, this is an encouraging step in the right direction.

While some other states have on the books that they allow cannabis in hospitals, this will be the very first law that requires allowing it. Finally.

Even with such strict laws in place, a massive library of studies supporting the power of medical cannabis have amassed over the decades. It’s beyond time that medical cannabis became more accessible.

Hartley, Meg. “End-of-Life Hospital Care in California Could Soon Include Cannabis.” Leafly, 24 Oct. 2019, http://www.leafly.com/news/politics/end-of-life-hospital-care-in-california-could-soon-include-cannabis.

Can Cannabis Help with Crohn’s Disease?

Can cannabis help with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease? This is a popular question, with a myriad of articles claiming that cannabinoid-rich oil can bring relief—or even a cure—to those diagnosed with the disease. Claims like these sound enticing and exciting, but is there truth to them? Is there research to back up cannabis as a remedy? Does anecdotal evidence support the claims?

As it turns out, the results are not as straightforward as it would seem.

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. This autoimmune disease affects the digestive track and in serious cases can cause life threatening complications.

For some, the disease presents mild to almost no symptoms, while for others, it can be a life-long battle. Some of the most common symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Digestive issues

In severe cases, Crohn’s disease can lead to losing sections of one’s colon, or even so much that a colostomy bag may be necessary.

It is clear to see why the hunt for a cure is so important for patients. Currently, there are no pharmaceutical medicines or medical treatments that offer a cure for Crohn’s disease. Immunosuppressants and steroids can be used to slow its progression, but do not entirely prevent flare ups and symptoms.

But what about cannabis? Can cannabinoids offer a better alternative to the pharmaceutical industry? Unfortunately, neither the results of research nor anecdotal evidence provide a clear answer to this question.

The Research on Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease

There are currently no cures for Crohn’s disease, and that includes cannabis. That said, the real question is this: Can cannabis put and keep the disease in remission?

2018 study conducted by the University of Western Ontario assessed the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in inducing and maintaining remission in patients with Crohn’s. The results, however, were inconclusive.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading clinician in the field of cannabis medicine, weighed in on the topic with an optimistic outlook. He confirmed that there are no current studies which show conclusive evidence that cannabis is treating the underlying symptoms of Crohn’s, but there are several successful animal models which show a clear, positive correlation.

Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather is a medical cannabis physician from California who continues to pursue knowledge and new research. When last touching base, Dr. Hergenrather spoke of a 500-person study on Crohn’s at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv that may reach as many as 1,000 participants. Time will tell the outcome of said study, but Dr. Hergenrather had a positive outlook on his observations thus far.

Both Dr. Hergenrather and Dr. Sulak’s spoke of encouraging results with their own patients.

“We’ve treated maybe 400 people with inflammatory bowel disease, [and] we’ve seen a whole range,” says Dr. Sulak. “We’ve seen people who are on biologic drugs that have been able to achieve better control when adding cannabis, and then over time get off those drugs and retain their remission. We see people who just don’t tolerate those drugs because they have a lot of side effects and they come here for alternatives, and cannabis works well. And [for some], cannabis doesn’t work.”

Dr. Hergenrather spoke of his own clinical experience, stating, “[About half of] the patients that I’m treating with cannabis seem to be able to eliminate the use of conventional medications. The use of CBD-rich strains and various blends will undoubtedly make this medicine more acceptable to a wider population of Crohn’s sufferers.”

So why doesn’t cannabis seem to work for everyone, and how can a patient know if it will work for them? Unfortunately, it seems to be a bit of trial and error.

“There’s no single approach that can specifically address the symptoms,” says Dr. Sulak. He says it’s a matter of individualized treatment for each patient, and that dosing and cannabinoids play a role. For example, he says a low does of CBD isn’t likely to help a chronic patient, whereas THCA is an important cannabinoid that should be included in treatment.

Are there risks associated with cannabis use and Crohn’s?

Unfortunately, without clear evidence or treatment options that can guarantee results, using cannabis as a treatment can leave patients feeling as though they are taking a gamble with their health.

Angela Bacca is a journalist with over 12 years of experience in cannabis media, business, research, and policy advocacy. She’s also been living with Crohn’s disease for 15 years.

“It’s a reaction to being lied to about pharmaceuticals for so long, I think,” said Bacca about the impulse to buy into the idea that cannabis oil is a cure-all. “What I have learned is that you can’t look at cannabis to ‘cure’ or ‘treat’ your disease the way a pharmaceutical drug promises to. Those drugs don’t either, but they usually suppress the problem—at greater long-term cost—so that you don’t have to do anything else to address your symptoms. [You’re] usually discouraged or kept in the dark about more natural things you can do to address symptoms.”RelatedCannabis Shows Great Promise in Treating Cancer—Let’s Not Wreck It With Hyperbole

Ultimately, Bacca experienced negative consequences from believing all she needed to treat her Crohn’s was consume cannabis oil. She says there’s a lot more to non-Western healing than simply replacing drugs.

Still, Bacca feels cannabis fits into a larger picture of health, not just for those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but for anyone suffering from any autoimmune disease.

“There are a lot of other ways to upregulate my endocannabinoid system without cannabis,” Bacca said. “You will also notice that the things that upregulate the endocannabinoid system are things everyone should do, especially if they have any sort of disease, illness, or discomfort—get sleep, get water, eat a whole food diet, avoid chemicals, get exercise, meditate, [and] manage stress.”

Bacca believes it’s time to move past asking questions such as, what strain can cure my Crohn’s disease? “That is a pharmaceutically minded way of looking at natural medicine,” she says. “Cannabis should be your gateway to herbalism and healthy living. You would be surprised how many people’s conditions reverse with clean whole food diets, herbs, exercise, sleep, and hydration. We need doctors to realize most [people] know little to nothing about cannabis because they know nothing about plants, diet, and the world around us.”

So how can patients talk to their doctors about adding cannabis to their treatment of Crohn’s? Dr. Sulak has some great advice for breaking the ice.

“My number one suggestion is always to use the word ‘cannabis’ and avoid its other name because doctors are more comfortable with that,” Sulak says. “I like to have patients say something to the extent of, ‘Would you be willing to learn more about the benefits of cannabis and whether that can help me?’ They can also say, ‘Do you understand how the potential risks and benefits of cannabis compared to some of the other treatments you’re suggesting?’”

So How Can Cannabis Help?

So if cannabis is not a cure, and evidence for its ability to put Crohn’s into remission is inconclusive, in what ways do we know cannabis can help patients with Crohn’s disease?

“All health should be about eliminating the conditions that cause the disease state as well as treating it,” says Bacca. “No, cannabis doesn’t cure [Crohn’s], but it makes a lot of symptoms go away.”

Cannabis can relieve symptoms of nausea and digestive issues, it can stimulate appetite to prevent weight loss, it can relieve pain, and assist in getting good sleep to help fight fatigue. When we look at cannabis in this light, we can see how it can greatly benefit people with Crohn’s—even if it can’t cure the disease.

Further research is needed to draw any conclusive evidence about the risks and benefits associated with cannabis and Crohn’s. Although the search for a Crohn’s cure continues, it’s worth acknowledging that cannabis can at least bring relief and a better quality of life to those suffering the disease.

Lland, Rae. “Can Cannabis Help with Crohn’s Disease? Doctors and Patients Weigh In.” Leafly, 24 Oct. 2019, http://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-crohns-disease.

Researchers Study How to Treat Cannabis Addiction With More Cannabis

A pioneering study from University College London researchers has found that CBD extracts can help people quit or reduce their dependence on cannabis

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The solution to cannabis dependency might simply be more cannabis. That’s according to a new study from researchers at University College London, which found that cannabidiol (CBD) can help people reduce their consumption of THC. Presenting the study at this year’s London’s New Scientist Live festival, lead author Val Curran called the findings “really remarkable.” Curran, a professor of psychopharmacology at University College London, and her team were the first to test the idea of using CBD extracts to treat cannabis use disorders. And indeed, the results are very promising: Curran’s study found that CBD extracts cut the amount of cannabis people smoked in half.

CBD Extracts Can Help Reduce Cannabis Dependency

Cannabis “addiction” can be difficult to define. With no strong chemical dependencies, cannabis use disorders aren’t as destructive or difficult to overcome as those involving more addictive substances, such as nicotine and alcohol. Still, rough estimates put about ten percent of cannabis users in the “addiction” camp. For these cannabis consumers, reducing intake or trying to quit can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including anxietyinsomnia and agitation. Scientists believe increasingly potent THC products are increasing the number of people becoming addicted to cannabis or struggling with dependency issues.

But Curran thinks her research is pointing to an answer. And the answer, she says, is treating cannabis addiction with more cannabis. But Curran doesn’t mean more flower, edibles, concentrates or other THC-dominant products. Instead, she says therapeutic doses of another cannabis compound, cannabidiol (CBD), can help people quit or reduce cannabis use without withdrawal symptoms.

Curran’s study took 82 people living in the U.K. who were classified as “severely addicted” to cannabis. The participants were divided into three groups, and over the course of a four-week trial, each group was given either a daily 400 mg dose of CBD, 800 mg of CBD, or a placebo. All participants also had access to counselors and other psychological support to help them drop their cannabis habit.

According to the study, the 400 mg CBD group experienced the greatest reduction in cannabis use after six months. Researchers measured cannabis consumption by testing participants’ urine for THC. Not only did the 400 mg CBD group have half as much THC in their urine, they also doubled the days when their urine did not test positive for THC. The 800 mg CBD group saw some improvement, but less than the 400 mg group. The placebo group saw no reduction in cannabis consumption.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and the Fight Against Addiction

Curran’s University College London study resonates with other recent findings about the ability of cannabidiol to both counteract the negative side effects of THC and fight addiction. One recent study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that CBD prevents the brain from amplifying stressful stimuli. THC, say researchers, sparks off a chain reaction of nerve signals in the brain that can spiral into stress and anxiety. Cannabidiol counteracts the runaway-train effect, blocking the signaling pathway and preventing the unwanted mental disturbances that potent doses of THC can cause. “CBD gets rid of the toxic effects of THC,” Curran said during her “Cannabis: medicine or madness?” talk at the New Scientist Live festival.

“CBD has a variety of anti-addictive properties,” said University of Sydney professor Iain McGregor. McGregor worked on Curran’s study and is also researching the use of CBD to treat alcohol addiction. Anxiety is a major side effect of detoxifying, and McGregor says CBD is very good at reducing anxiety.

These important studies continue to highlight the wide-ranging therapeutic and health benefits of cannabidiol. But it’s important to keep in mind that most of the commercial CBD products available today, especially outside legal cannabis markets, do not have the potency of the capsules used in Curran’s study. And in most places, CBD products face little if any regulatory scrutiny.

Drury, Adam. “Researchers Study How to Treat Cannabis Addiction With More Cannabis.” High Times, 14 Oct. 2019, hightimes.com/news/researchers-study-how-to-treat-cannabis-addiction-with-more-cannabis/.

A ‘Significant’ Number Of Patients Stopped Taking Benzodiazepines After Starting Medical Marijuana

Nearly half of patients using marijuana to help with their respective medical conditions stopped taking prescribed benzodiazepines, a new study reports.

“Within a cohort of 146 patients initiated on medical cannabis therapy, 45.2% patients successfully discontinued their pre-existing benzodiazepine therapy,” the study’s authors write. “This observation merits further investigation into the risks and benefits of the therapeutic use of medical cannabis and its role relating to benzodiazepine use.”

While much research has been dedicated to understanding how medical cannabis could potentially replace opioids for patients who deal with chronic pain and other ailments, the new study suggests patients who take Valium, Xanax and other popular tranquilizers for neurological conditions (such as anxiety, insomnia and seizures) may find relief through marijuana. The findings were published last month in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Researchers in Canada conducted a retrospective analysis of data collected from a group of patients who had been referred to the Canabo Medical Clinic for medical cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions. They identified 146 patients who reported taking benzodiazepines regularly at the start of their cannabis therapy.

According to their findings, 44 patients (30 percent) had discontinued their benzodiazepines by their first follow-up visit. Another 21 had stopped the benzodiazepine treatment by their second follow-up visit, and one more person reported doing so at the third visit. All in all, 66 patients, or 45 percent of the sample, stopped taking benzodiazepines after starting a medical marijuana regimen.

“Patients initiated on medical cannabis therapy showed significant benzodiazepine discontinuation rates after their first follow-up visit to their medical cannabis prescriber, and continued to show significant discontinuation rates thereafter,” the study states. “Discontinuation was not associated with any measured demographic characteristic. Patients also reported decreased daily distress due to their medical condition(s) following prescription cannabinoids.”

The amount of CBD and THC content did not appear to play a role in who continued to discontinued taking the tranquilizers.

The design of the study, however, limited the authors’ ability to speculate about the mechanisms underscoring their results. Additionally, because they didn’t have access to information on what marijuana strains patients used or how they consumed it, the authors caution that their results can’t be generalized to what’s available in legal commercial markets today.

“The study results are encouraging, and this work is concurrent with growing public interest in a rapidly developing Canadian cannabis market,” said lead author Chad Purcell in a statement. “We are advising the public to observe caution. The results do not suggest that cannabis should be used an alternative to conventional therapies. Our purpose is inspiring others to advance current cannabis understanding as we collect stronger efficacy and safety data that will lead to responsible policy and recommended practices for use.”

The study also serves as an opportunity to draw more attention to the potential risks associated with benzodiazepines, Purcell told PsyPost. “I was interested in this project because it presented an opportunity to address benzodiazepines and cannabis use, both of which are becoming increasingly socially relevant. Benzodiazepines can be effective in treating many medical conditions but unlike opioids, there seems to be little public awareness of the risks associated with these commonly used prescription medications.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths related to benzodiazepines rose 830 percent between 1999 and 2017.

Lawson, Kimberly. “A ‘Significant’ Number Of Patients Stopped Taking Benzodiazepines After Starting Medical Marijuana.” Marijuana Moment, 15 Oct. 2019, http://www.marijuanamoment.net/a-significant-number-of-patients-stopped-taking-benzodiazepines-after-starting-medical-marijuana/.

University Researchers To Study Effects of Medical Cannabis On Chronic Pain

The project will be subsidized by a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is a branch of the National Institutes of Health

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The project will be subsidized by a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is a branch of the National Institutes of Health

Researchers at the University of Georgia will study the effects of legalized medical cannabis on those suffering from chronic pain thanks to a multi-million dollar grant.

The project, announced this week, will seek clarity on whether medical marijuana laws alter the health behaviors of people living with chronic pain and whether they substitute or reduce traditional pain treatments while using medical cannabis.

“We are thrilled to get started on this work,” said Grace Bagwell Adams, assistant professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia. “Much of the policy change has happened quickly in a landscape that is not well understood at the patient level. This work is going to contribute to our understanding about the intersectionality of medical cannabis policy and the behavior of chronic pain patients.”

Researchers will have access to years of data on five million Medicare and five million Medicaid enrollees’ complete medical claims history, which will include all inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug use, as well as some information about socioeconomic status.

In addition, the research team will also examine comparable data on individuals with private insurance.

“For all three types of individuals—Medicare, Medicaid and HCCI/private insured—they will follow the same people over time and see how their pain management health care decisions change as they gain access to medical cannabis via changes in state laws,” the school said in its announcement.

The project could help illustrate the real world policy effects in more than 30 states across the country that have legalized medical cannabis. It is also the latest in a flowering of academic research on marijuana, as governments, institutions and companies reconsider prohibitions on pot as concerns over prescription painkillers continue to mount.

The National Football League said in May that it would participate in a study on the effects of cannabis on pain management, a response to the growing number of players who have become addicted to prescription drugs.

In April, the cannabis investor Charles R. Broderick made a $9 million donation that was split between Harvard and MIT to support research into how marijuana affects the brain and behavior.

Broderick said the gift was driven by a desire “to fill the research void that currently exists in the science of cannabis.”

David Bradford, the public policy chair at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, said that the research announced this week will also fill a gap.

“Researchers have been able to document reductions in aggregate prescription use, especially opioids, after states implement [medical cannabis laws],” Bradford said. “But there is almost no research on how a large representative sample of individual patients respond to medical cannabis access. Do we see lots of patients reducing opioid use, or just a few patients reducing by a lot? What happens to other kinds of health care use, like emergency room visits or physician office visits? We don’t know, and we’re excited to find out.”

Edward, Thomas. “University Researchers To Study Effects of Medical Cannabis On Chronic Pain.” High Times, 9 Oct. 2019, hightimes.com/news/university-researchers-to-study-effects-of-medical-cannabis-on-chronic-pain/.

New Clinical Trial Will Examine Effects of Cannabis Compound on Autism

A clinical trial in New York will study the effects of CBDV on children with autism.

A New York clinical trial will study the effects of the cannabis compound cannabidivarin, or CBDV, on patients with autism, according to a report from CNN. The study at the Montefiore Medical Center will examine the effects of CBDV on irritability and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program and Anxiety and Depression Program at Montefiore Hospital and the lead researcher on the study, told CNN that previous research has shown that CBDV may have potential as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders.

“In some of the animal models that are similar to autism, it was found that CBDV had important effects on social functioning, on decreasing seizures, on increasing cognitive function, and in reducing compulsive or repetitive behavior,” Hollander said. “So for that reason, we wanted to apply that to autism.”

The CBDV formulation being used in the study is produced in the U.K. by GW Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the only FDA-approved cannabis medicine Epidiolex. The drug has been approved for use in the U.S. and European Union to treat two serious disorders that cause childhood epilepsy. Dr. Geoffrey Guy, the founder of GW, said that epilepsy and autism share some common symptoms.

“When you look at these—loss of cognitive function, poor socializing skills, poor language skills—what you’re looking at is a phenotype very similar to autism,” Guy told Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an interview for the CNN special “Weed 5: The CBD Craze.” “In my mind, epilepsy and autism-type presentations are on the same continuum.”

Holand believes that autism and epilepsy may have similar underlying causes and says that CBDV has shown some success treating seizure disorders, giving him hope it may also be effective for autism patients.

“There’s some abnormal electrical activity even though they don’t have seizures, for example,” Hollander told Gupta. “And we had previously shown that when we give anticonvulsants that decrease the electrical activity, or the spikes, some of the disruptive behaviors, or the irritability, actually get better.”

“And that was one of our thoughts, why this CBDV could be helpful,” Hollander added. “Because if it helps with epilepsy and it helps in terms of decreasing the spike activity, we might also get improvement in the some of the aggression, or the self-injury, or the temper tantrums.”

Some Experts Wary About Cannabis

Dr. Alexander Kolevzon, the clinical director of the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai who is not involved in the study, said that while he is encouraged by the potential of cannabis-based medications, it is still too early to tell if it’s an effective medication for patients with autism spectrum disorder.

“The field of autism has a long history of enthusiasm for many treatments based on small pilot studies and anecdotal accounts,” Kolevzon said. “However, often when these treatments are tested rigorously in larger studies, the benefits are not significantly different than that of placebo.”

Montefiore Medical Center is currently recruiting volunteers to participate in the study. Participants must be children 5 to 18 years old with autism spectrum disorder.

Herrington, A.J. “New Clinical Trial Will Examine Effects of Cannabis Compound on Autism.” High Times, 30 Sept. 2019, hightimes.com/news/new-clinical-trial-will-examine-effects-of-cannabis-compound-on-autism/.

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