RESEARCH How Marijuana Helps Relieve Stress and Anxiety


A team of experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of Calgary and The Rockefeller University summarized the current body of research on cannabis and anxiety. 

As it turns out, despite marijuana’s wide range of effects, relief from anxiety and stress happens to be the most commonly reported reason for using marijuana. 

“Cannabis and its derivatives have profound effects on a wide variety of behavioral and neural functions, ranging from feeding and metabolism to pain and cognition. However, epidemiological studies have indicated that the most common self-reported reason for using cannabis is rooted in its ability to reduce feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety.”

Studies involving THC also show that it “can reduce anxiety in patients with anxiety disorders,” continue the authors. On the other hand, too high of a dose can have the opposite effect in certain people. 

But while marijuana has long been regarded as an effective stress reliever, recent research has focused on the neurological activity responsible for this effect. What scientists now know is that marijuana acts on a system in the brain called the endocannabinoid system. 

Interestingly, the authors also note evidence that suggests anxiety disorders could be caused by abnormalities of this biological system. 

“The discovery of the ECB (endocannabinoid) system raised the possibility that ECBs (endocannabinoids) could be important modulators of anxiety, and might contribute to individual differences in anxious temperament and risk for anxiety disorders.”  

Among its various functions, the endocannabinoid system is believed to naturally regulate anxiety and stress levels. It does this through the release of chemicals that belong to the same class of chemicals found in marijuana: (endo)cannabinoids. 

Though scientists have identified over 60 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, its main psychoactive ingredient, THC, is strikingly similar to one of the first endocannabinoids discovered in humans, anandamide.
By acting on the same pathways of the brain, both seem to hold promise as a treatment for stress and anxiety. So it’s no surprise that people who suffer from excessive stress are finding relief in marijuana, a phenomenon that scientists call “self-medicating.” 

Read More: Leaf Science

MMJ Cannabis compounds may limit Stroke Damage


Researchers at the University of Nottingham conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies into cannabinoids; chemicals related to those found in cannabis, some of which also occur naturally in the body. The findings showed that the compounds could reduce the size of stroke and improve neurological function.

Cannabinoids can be classified into those found naturally in the body (endocannabinoids), those made artificially (synthetic cannabinoids) or those derived from extracts from the plant cannabis sativa (phytocannabinoids).
The research, announced at the annual UK Stroke Forum, indicates that all three classes of cannabinoid could be effective in shrinking the area of the brain affected by stroke and in recovering neurological function.

Dr Tim England, Honorary Consultant Stroke Physician at the University of Nottingham and Royal Derby Hospital led the study. He said: "This meta-analysis of pre-clinical stroke studies provides valuable information on the existing, and importantly, missing data on the use of cannabinoids as a potential treatment for stroke patients. The data are guiding the next steps in experimental stroke in order to be able to progress onto initial safety assessments in a clinical trial."

Read More: MedicalXPress


Mangoes Increase Feelings Felt After Smoking Marijuana


The chemical compounds that have been found within mangos have been discovered by science to be able to increase, strengthen, and even lengthen the euphoric feelings felt after smoking marijuana. This is great news for the marijuana community for both recreational smokers and medicinal smokers as they both now have a healthy alternative snack to turn towards during their munchies.

Lately it seems that both the science community and the marijuana community have been falling into the same category. This is great news for both medical marijuana patients and recreational marijuana smokers alike! Of course it’s common knowledge that medical marijuana does exist and that it is a great natural remedy for aches, pains, and various ailments. And of course recreational marijuana smokers do enjoy the euphoric feelings of the herbal supplement as opposed to the feelings of intoxication caused by alcohol or liquor. So naturally marijuana is a safe alternative to most sinful pleasures as well it is a perfect organic solution to the stresses and pains of life. So here is a little secret that the science community has recently discovered for the marijuana community: Eating fresh mangos or even drinking a fresh mango smoothie one hour prior to smoking will dramatically increase the euphoric feelings felt by marijuana and help medical marijuana patients to ease their pain even more so.

This is because a chemical compound known as myrcene terpenes, which is most often used for fragrances, can be found within cannabis and marijuana as well as many other various plants such as lemon grass, hops, and of course mangos. This is why these types of plants of such rare and unique types of odors and aromas. Once ingested the chemical compound, or myrcene terpenes, assists the psychoactive substance THC by allowing it to pass through the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) at much faster speeds with much more efficiency. The time it takes for the THC to have an effect on the brain after inhalation is roughly seven seconds however, by eating a mango up to one hour prior to smoking the time it takes for THC to reach the brain and have an effect could be cut in half. As well as the length of the high and its time duration could be up to twice as long.

Individuals who have eaten a mango, digested it, and then smoked have also noted that the euphoric feelings felt by marijuana are alarmingly much more intense. This is perfect for medical marijuana patients who would like an increased amount of pain relief or for recreational marijuana smokers who just want to get even higher than before. It is important to also note the different speeds in metabolism for those who are attempting to try this experiment. This is because individuals who have faster metabolisms may need to ingest a bit more than those who do not have as fast of a metabolism as well as individuals with slower metabolisms may need to ingest a mango or mango smoothie up to an hour and a half prior to smoking. This will help ensure that the myrcene terpenes found within mangos have been properly digested and will have an effect.

Read More: The Weed Blog


MMJ RECIPE TIP: Use your Vaped Weed for Baking


For those of you who have baked with weed before, this step should be a piece of cake (or special brownie). If you are unfamiliar with culinary ganja, don’t fret. It really is not that difficult, and remember that you are using vaped weed that you probably would have thrown away otherwise. If anything, this is a great bridge to get you into the wonderful world of pot baking.

For this post, I will describe how to integrate your vaped bud into oil. It is also possible to cook your weed into butter, but I find it a bit more challenging because it is easier to burn your butter than oil when integrating. I personally prefer using canola oil because it’s easy to find and has a higher smoking point than olive oil. I’ve also heard coconut oil is a godsend for baking, but you might not be able to find it at your grocery store.

Okay, so have your baking mix (brownie, cake, cookie, or any recipe that works with cooking oil), cooking supplies, something to strain with, and your vaporized herb. How much vaped pot your should use kind of depends on how well you vaporize your weed. If the herb is still somewhat green, you may only need to use around 20 grams. If your vaped bud is mostly brown, I would play it safe and wait until you have 40 or 60 grams.

Empty your bud into a bowl and grind it up into fine pieces using a smaller bowl in a mortar and pestle style. Typically, you will want to proportion about equal parts weed and oil; I just pour the finely-ground weed into a measuring cup and match that amount with canola oil. Pour the oil into a pan on low heat; it should be low enough that it will feel hot but won’t burn your finger if you touch the oil.

Once the oil is warm, slowly add in the vaped bud; you can also add in some stems for the hell of it (not sure how effective they are, but why not?). Sway the pan from side to side to even out the mixture of oil and bud and make sure that the herb is immersed in oil. Ever so slightly turn op the heat; you will see small bubbles forming occasionally and may hear some faint sizzling over the pan. You may see a very light steam lift from the oil, but make sure it isn’t smoking or bubbling too rapidly. Keep stirring every couple minutes. Do this for about an hour.

Take the mixture off heat and let cool for about 20 minutes. Pour the mixture through a strainer and into a bowl. 

There are a variety of different straining methods from using two meshed stainless steel strainers (one straining into the other which strains into the bowl) or you can even use a cheesecloth if you’re super fancy, as this is probably the cleanest way to filter the oil from the bud. Really, though, you could cook the weed into the baking item if you so desire (the only thing it will compromise is the taste); I’ve also heard of people using a garlic press to get some extra oil from the plant.

Keep in mind that the oil will look much darker now, but don’t worry, it’s a good thing. At this point you just follow the directions of the recipe of whatever you’re baking. Odds are you probably have too much oil than the recipe calls for, so you have two options: keep some oil in the fridge for a second batch or (more preferably in my opinion) add some dry baking ingredients (like flour) to the mix till it thickens. Keep in mind that baking recipes usually have to pretty exact so improvisations might not lead to the most consistent bake.

Lastly, bake around 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Any more and you risk burning and wasting your precious vaped goodness. If a recipe calls for a higher temperature, just bake it longer until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. After the baked good is out of the oven, let it cool, and dig in. Remember that it takes longer to experience any effects of baked goods due to your metabolic rate, so I would eat one piece (or half) and wait an hour before deciding that you need more. Also, keep in mind that your high will last much longer (up to eight hours) than what you would experience from smoking. Other than that, chow down and enjoy!

Source: The Weed Blog

MMJ STUDY: Cannabis Use and Healthy Blood Sugar Levels


A new study published in the American Journal of Medicine has revealed a potential benefit from the use of cannabis. The article, entitled “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among U.S. Adults,” investigated the blood sugar-related effects of cannabis use among participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2010.

In several other studies of large populations, lower rates of both obesity and diabetes have been noted among users of cannabis, as compared with non-users. This curious fact encouraged the three primary authors of the study to examine cannabis use among the 4657 participants in the national survey. The researchers noted that although cannabis smokers generally consume more calories than non-users, they paradoxically live with lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and reduced rates of both obesity and diabetes. Of the participants in the national survey, 579 were currently using cannabis and 1975 had previously used cannabis.

To assess blood glucose, insulin resistance and other factors among cannabis users, the authors organized survey participants into three groups – those who had never used cannabis, those who had used cannabis but not within 30 days, and those who were current users. The authors put study participants through tests for fasting blood sugar levels, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) testing, and assessments of blood pressure, BMI and waist circumference.

The researchers found that subjects who were current cannabis users had lower levels of fasting insulin, lower levels of insulin resistance, smaller waist circumference, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol, which is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This supported findings from earlier studies in which cannabis users showed improved weight, improved insulin resistance, and reduced incidence of diabetes, as compared with non-users.

While the potential relationship between cannabis and improved body mass and blood sugar has yet to be fully understood, it is believed that cannabis acts on the cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptors in the brain, enhancing the activity of adiponectin. This hormone helps to regulate blood sugar and plays a role in controlling weight and reducing the tendency toward diabetes.

Read More: Fox News

Indoor Grow Tip: 30% Better Yields by Plucking Leaves


“Those big, light-blocking leaves on my pot plants, should I pluck them off so the rest of the plant gets more light and air?"

Most growers think that removing one or two big leaves is okay, especially since removal of the large ones allows other parts of the plant to produce bigger sticky buds. But then again, those big home-grown solar panels are gathering energy for the plant. Removing them is like cutting off a source of energy for growth.

Recently, while visiting one of the more skilled growers I have met in my travels, I asked the secret for getting consistent quality and big yields from top to bottom on very-tall indoor plants. I was told that plucking leaves was key. Turns out the answer has more to do with when rather than yes or no.

With OG Kush crops, after about four weeks into the bud cycle, the growers almost completely defoliated the big, beautiful leafy plants. Seeing the before and after, I was a little shocked (“what are these guys smoking?”): Big, healthy bushes stripped to sticks with just a few fan leaves, but with all of the budding sites intact.  

Yet, when they showed me a section that had been treated this way and was now ready to harvest, it became clear that there was a method to what appears as madness.

Read More: High Times


Four Not So Fun Facts About Growing Marijuana


Cannabis cultivation can be a rewarding experience in many ways, but few words have been written about the potential pitfalls of the lifestyle that comes with growing pot. HIGH TIMES’ senior cultivation editor Danny Danko lays down some harsh realities in this expose of marijuana manufacturing mishaps.

Ed. Note: We realize times have changed and not all of these apply to everyone growing pot these days, but unless you’re one of the lucky ones in Colorado or Washington who can put “Professional pot growing” on their resume, most of these will resonate with you in one way or another.

You Lie to Everyone You Meet

Friendly lady at the library trying to have a conversation with you? She’s gonna want to know what you do for a living. Meeting your new girlfriend’s parents for the first time? They’re gonna want to know what you do for a living. Sitting at a bar having a drink and minding your own business? Bartender might want to know what you do for a living. Understanding the pattern developing here? It’s hard to be an honest outlaw when you’re lying all the time.


Which leads to…


You Become Reclusive and Paranoid

It’s easier to stay inside and play X-Box 360 than to deal with being around people who all seem to be potential risk factors to your ultimate goal. Besides, there’s always work to do in the garden. Plus, hasn’t that van been parked on the street for a week? Did I throw out that cardboard box with “Hydro Harvest” printed on it? Did you hear that noise? Is that a helicopter? Cue the Good Fellas scene with Ray Liotta trying make the sauce with the Feds on his tail and you now know what life in a growhouse feels like sometimes.  


Police and Thieves

You and your garden are prey to a variety of pests besides spidermites and whiteflies. Cops and robbers both view you as an easy target. The cops know you’re probably not gonna freak out and start shooting. They also know that they will most likely go home safely to their families if they bust pot growers. Robbers, on the other hand, know you can’t go to the cops if you have a problem. This leads to many bad and worse situations until you actually have real cops robbing growers. If you think you’re safe from this type of thing out in Humboldt County, take a look at this.


Partners?

Want to know how most busts happen? Disgruntled business partners, angry girlfriends or scorned wives drop a dime on you and the cops just come to your door and make a simple arrest. This means you have to keep all potential partners happy. Think it through before you bring anyone in on your horticultural hobbies. What do they bring to the table that you can’t handle yourself? If there’s no answer, there should be no partnership. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of someone’s partnership or relationship leading to the demise of the grow project. Choose wisely.


Great Insight: High Times


STUDY Could CBDs Cannabidiol help you quit smoking cigarettes?


A team of researchers from University College London published a study in the September issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors that investigated whether low doses of cannabidiol (CBD) would help treat nicotine addiction in tobacco smokers who want to quit.

The research team, led by Celia J.A. Morgan, used a double-blind, placebo controlled model for their study, which consisted of 24 participants (12 male, 12 female) between the ages 18-35. In order to take place in the study, participants were required to smoke, on average, more that 10 cigarettes per day. That being said, they must also have expressed a desire to break the habit.

Participants were asked to record the amount of cigarettes they consumed during the week prior to treatment. After baseline testing, they were split into two groups. Each group was provided with an inhaler – One group received CBD and the other received a placebo. They were then instructed to use the inhaler whenever they felt the urge to smoke.

During the course of the treatment week, participants were asked to record their inhaler use and the number of cigarettes smoked in a journal. Additionally, participants were asked, via text message, to rate their current level of craving once per day.
 
According to the study’s results, the group receiving cannabidiol (CBD) treatment experienced a significant reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked. The same cannot be said of the placebo group, as there was little-to-no change from pre- to post-treatment. Interestingly, the decreased cigarette consumption occurred despite the fact that there was no change in the level of craving reported each day.

According to the research team, craving is often used to indicate the potential for relapse. Cannabidiol (CBD) was found to reduce cigarette consumption without causing craving levels to rise, which the researchers referred to as “a potentially encouraging finding.”

Read More: Medical Jane


MMJ STUDY: Medicinal Marijuana May Treat Aggressive Forms Of Breast Cancer


Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer is not one disease – it is an umbrella term used for many different diseases, according to HER2 Support Group. HER2-positive breast cancer is a particularly aggressive type that forms when there is an over-expression of the HER2 gene. 

Not only does HER2-positive breast cancer grow rapidly, but it is often associated with a poor prognosis and high recurrence rates. Although successful treatments have been designed to target the HER2 gene in particular, research reports that they do not garner a response from everyone.

As we know, cannabis has shown promise in treating a wide variety of cancers, and a Japanese study found cannabinoids to inhibit tumor growth. Accordingly, breast cancer research has turned to medical marijuana for answers.

Spanish Researchers Treated Breast Cancer With Cannabinoids

In 2010, a team of Spanish researchers published a study in the journal Molecular Cancer with the intent to “determine whether cannabinoids might constitute a new therapeutic tool” in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. They analyzed the anti-tumor potential of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a synthetic cannabinoid with similar effects to cannabidiol (CBD).

In order to analyze each cannabinoid’s potential, the researchers investigated their effects on mice with a similar form of cancer – the Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus. In addition to mouse trials, the researchers examined the effects of cannabis on 87 human breast tumors.

According to the study’s results, THC and CBD had a number of anti-cancer benefits in mice. Both cannabinoids investigated were found to inhibit cancer growth, reduce the number of tumors, and reduce the number and/or severity of metastases (secondary tumors in the lungs).

In studying the human cancer tissue, the researchers found that cannabinoids may inhibit cell proliferation and induce programmed cell death, or aptosis. According to the study, cannabinoids also seem to “impair tumor angiogenesis,” which allows tumors to receive more nutrients by causing blood vessels to grow.

One of the most pertinent findings, according to the study, is that 91% of HER2-positive tumors actively express CB2 receptors. As we know, both THC and CBD interact with CB2 receptors, and this could explain their interaction with breast cancer.

Read More: Medical Jane

MMJ STUDY: Cannabinoids May Aid In Migraines


Researchers Investigated Migraines & Cannabinoids In Rats

 

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco recently published a study in The Journal of Neuroscience centered around the endocannabinoid system and its role in the treatment of migraine headaches. According to their findings, the activation of cannabinoid receptors in the brain may help modulate pain signals.

The research team was comprised of five Department of Neuorology members called the ‘Headache Group’. Knowing that cannabinoids have been tied to the perception of neuropathic pain, the researchers wanted to see if they would have similar success treating the throbbing nature of migraine headaches.

Endocannabinoids May Help Relieve Migraine Headaches

 

The Headache Group investigated the periaqueductal gray matter, the part of the brain that modulates the descending nature of pain, in rats. In particular, they measured the activity of pain receptors and nerve fibers associated with headaches.

‘A delta fibers’ are nerves that respond to cold and pressure. According to the abstract of the Headache Group’s study, activation of the CB1 receptor reduced the amount of A delta fibers by as much as 19%, but there was no change in sensory information from skin on the face. This suggests that the pressure relief was the result of nervous system interactions.

Another bit of proof for CB1-induced migraine relief was discovered when the Headache Group realized that the inhibition of the cannabinoid receptor prevented a decrease in pressure A delta fibers. As the researchers learned, the mechanism that underlies migraine headaches is quite complicated.

Triptans are a family of medicines used to temporarily relieve migraines that are thought to affect serotonin receptors. However, the Headache Group found that the underlying mechanism of migraine relief may involve an interaction between cannabinoid and serotonin receptors in certain areas of the brain. Due to this, the Headache Group believes the endocannabinoid system may be involved in triptan-related relief as well.

Thank You: Medical Jane



Is MMJ Medicinal Marijuana the Next Diabetes Drug?


According to research published in the American Journal of Medicine, while pot smoking has become synonymous with a great appreciation of food, commonly referred to as “the munchies,” there is now new evidence that suggests people on a regular cannabis regimen are far less likely to suffer obesity, and more likely to preserve a lower body-mass-index.

The reason behind this phenomenon, surprisingly, has to do with the impressive metabolic rate of potheads versus their smoke-free counterparts.

"The most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than nonusers," says study author associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School Murray Mittleman. "Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level."

Out of the 4,600 participants in this study, consisting of both men and women, nearly 50% claimed to have smoked marijuana at least once throughout the course of their lives, while 12% admitted to being enthusiastic pot connoisseurs.

After considering other factors like age, sex, alcohol use, income, tobacco use and frequency of physical activity, researchers concluded that the insulin levels of regular marijuana users were still 16% lower than participants who did not sue pot. Interestingly, the people who claimed to smoke marijuana on a regular basis also showed a 17% decrease in insulin reduction -- indicating they are less likely to acquire Type II diabetes.

Marijuana may also prove beneficial for the heart: the study indicates that marijuana smokers had increased levels of good cholesterol, which is an important factor in protecting against heart disease.

Read More: High Times


MMJ TSA and the DEA Flying the Medicated Skies


According to Lawyers.com, the “mile high club” may take on a completely new meaning as more and more states vote to decriminalize the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis.

 

Everyone has heard the stories of people walking their baby cannabis plants on board airplanes & vaporizing in the terminal, but just how are they getting away with it?

The fact of the matter is that cannabis is federally illegal, and for that reason, it’s technically illegal to fly on commercial airlines with cannabis because airports fall under federal jurisdiction.

Well, you might be shocked to hear that medical marijuana patients have been boarding planes with carry-on luggage in one arm and a two-week old plant in the other since 2010.

The reason is that although TSA may reserve the right to allow any items on the plane, they are not an anti-drug agency, and therefore do not search for cannabis or other drugs during screening. In the case that cannabis is observed during security screening, TSA will defer the complication to a law enforcement officer.

According to a “Special Instructions” section on the TSA’s website:
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Whether or not marijuana is considered “medical marijuana” under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law and federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.

Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.”

So…Can I Bring My Medical Marijuana On The Plane?

At the end of the day, this is going to be a grey area that will likely linger until change comes on a federal level. It’s important to note that not all states recognize medical marijuana use authorizations from other states, so if you are leaving California and heading to Boston, you could be violating Massachusetts state law when you land.

According to the founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Keith Stroup, not even patients flying from Colorado to Washington are 100% protected.

Read More: Medical Jane

MMJ GROWER: What is the deal with Feminized Seeds



Cannabis is relatively unusual in the world of flowering plants, in that it has separate male and female plants. For purposes of growing high-potency herbal cannabis, the male is unnecessary and is in fact a hindrance. Breeders have therefore poured time and resources into developing seeds that will produce only female plants on germination.

When male pollen comes into contact with the female stigmas, fertilization occurs and the calyxes begin to form seeds. If male pollen can be excluded from the grow room entirely, the calyxes will fill with sticky, cannabinoid-rich resin instead. It is thought that this overproduction of resin may be a last-ditch attempt to attract pollinating insects, although cannabis is generally a wind-pollinated plant.

Dioecious & Monoecious cannabis

Cannabis is dioecious, meaning that it has two sexes, male and female. Most flowering plants are hermaphrodite, meaning that male and female flower structures are combined into “perfect” flowers. Others are monoecious, meaning that they have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. Cannabis is usually dioecious and sometimes monoecious, but true hermaphrodite flowers are extremely rare to non-existent (the few documented examples are disputed).

Occasionally, isolated populations of cannabis will become monoecious in response to environmental pressures. These monoecious plants have the ability to self-fertilize in the absence of fully male plants, to produce offspring that are genetically identical to the parent.

Feminization techniques

When breeders observed this tendency in wild plants, they realized that if the technique could be applied to indoor varieties, resulting in feminized seeds. One way to achieve this result involves crossing monoecious plants with dioecious to achieve increasingly monoecious results, while still retaining the desirable qualities of the dioecious parent.

However, this method can be unpredictable and take generations to produce useful results. Another technique is light-poisoning, which involves disrupting the daylight hours with random hours of darkness. After a few weeks of such stress, the female plant will begin to produce male flowers.

Gibberellic Acid

Another method involves treating a dioecious female with a substance that induces production of male flowers. Gibberellic acid is the most widely-used chemical, but other options include silver sulfate and 2-chloroethanephosphonic acid. The chosen chemical is sprayed on a healthy female two weeks prior to flowering, and as the male flowers emerge they pollinate any female flower in the vicinity, ultimately producing all-female flowers.

By: Dope Smoker UK




MMJ GROWER TIP: Properly Identifying Male and Female Plants

FEMALE CANNABIS PLANT

If you prefer to use regular seeds rather than feminized, it is important to separate the males from the females, unless you plan to allow pollination to occur so that new seeds can be formed. In the early stages of vegetative growth, it can be very difficult to distinguish between the two sexes, but after a few weeks tell-tale signs may begin to emerge.

Once the young plant has put out three or four sets of leaves, the nodes that join the leaf to the stem often display early signs of gender. Female “pre-flowers” often exhibit two wispy green shoots, that in time will develop into the first calyxes. Male pre-flowers do not put out these wispy shoots, and instead they first appear as two smooth green bumps between the leafs’ stems and the stalk.

Male cannabis plants generally mature significantly earlier than females, and so the first signs of pre-flowering also occur earlier. This means that an observant grower should be able to spot the males and separate them out before they have the chance to mature and pollinate the females. However, it is important to remember that even apparently female plants may exhibit hermaphrodite tendencies, so growers should remain vigilant through the flowering period.

 MALE CANNABIS PLANT

Thank You: Dope Smoker



Ten Reasons Why Marijuana is Better for you than Alcohol


The National Institute of Drug Abuse released a statement denying that pot is less toxic than alcohol, which resulted in cries of dismay from those at the HT offices and pot smokers nationwide. We decided to come up with a list of just some of the reasons weed wins over booze:
 
1. Marijuana Curbs Brain Damage Caused by Drinking
Unless you’re seriously in denial about alcohol’s negative effects, you’re probably aware that alcohol is less than good for your brain. Marijuana, however, may actually help prevent alcohol-associated brain damage and treat depression.


2. Marijuana May Help Treat Cancers Caused by Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is carcinogenic, and contributes to head and neck, breast, liver, esophageal and colorectal cancers. In fact, more than 19,500 cancer deaths in 2009 were deemed alcohol-related. Cannabis has been proven to help treat cancer and its symptoms.


3. Violent Behavior vs. Utter Chillness
Whether it’s used as an excuse for or directly causes aggression, alcohol more than any other substance promotes violent behavior. In case you’re unaware, marijuana tends to chill people out.


4. Alcohol Addiction is Extremely Dangerous
Alcoholism is an international problem, and withdrawal can lead to death or permanent brain damage. Cannabis addiction exists, but it is less harmful and generally less severe than addiction to other substances.


5. One Kills People. Guess Which One.
The first four points highlight alcohol’s lethality, but they don’t tell the whole story. Alcohol abuse kills 2.5 million people worldwide each year. The green stuff has led to exactly zero recorded deaths. Ever.


6. Alcohol Prevents Muscle Growth
Alcohol can prevent muscle growth in a variety of ways, from decreasing testosterone levels to interrupting sleep. Weed doesn’t directly affect muscle growth at all.


7. One Has Legitimate Medicinal Uses
Marijuana has a long, long list of physician-approved medical uses and the list is growing. Other than red wine’s ability to lower blood pressure, alcohol does just about nothing positive for a person’s health.


8. Drunk Sex is Sloppy, High Sex is Tingly
Alcohol decreases your ability to perceive stimuli. That can be a good thing when you’ve just faceplanted at a party and want to play it off like nothing. Losing feeling when you’re getting intimate, however, is pretty lame. Enter marijuana, which, as our very own Hypatia Lee can attest increases sensitivity and can improve sex.


9. Long Term Alcohol Abuse Could Kill You
Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to liver failure or other life-threatening conditions. Marijuana’s effects over a lifetime are still not entirely understood, but they do not include any of the potentially lethal ailments caused by alcohol.


10. Drunks Decisions Bad, High Decisions Slow
Alcohol leads to risky decision-making, period. That can be fun sometimes but dangerous at others. Scientist’s have yet to fully grasp marijuana’s effects on decision making, but this study shows that smokers more or less come to the same conclusions as sober peeps. They just take a little bit longer to arrive at those conclusions.


Thank You: High Times


Delta 9 THC Tetrahydrocannabinol Sparks Positive Brain Activity


Our good friend, the much-maligned cannabis plant – and her active cannabinoids have a long a long and storied history of relieving stress, helping people forget their daily frustrations – and generally giving consumers the ability to find humor (or at least tolerance) in their daily frustrations. Yet new evidence points to the plants positive effects going well beyond just… getting stoned. A 2012 study published in the peer-reviewed academic Journal European Neuropsychopharmacology advocates that the brains endocannabinoid system – known to be fired up by THC, the highly sought after psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – likely plays a key role in emotional processing.”

Researchers from the Netherlands and the UK looked at “Various psychiatric disorders such as major depression are associated with abnormalities in emotional processing. Evidence indicating involvement of the endocannabinoid system in emotional processing, and thus potentially in related abnormalities, is increasing. In the present study, we examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in processing of stimuli with a positive and negative emotional content in healthy volunteers.”

For their research scientists performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging study that “was conducted with a placebo-controlled, cross-over design, investigating effects of the endocannabinoid agonist ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on brain function related to emotional processing in 11 healthy subjects. Performance and brain activity during matching of stimuli with a negative (‘fearful faces’) or a positive content (‘happy faces’) were assessed after placebo and THC administration.”

As suspected, researchers noted reduced brain activity after the administration of  ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol when subjects’ processed stimuli with a negative emotional content. Conversely, researchers reported increased brain activity following THC administration when subjects’ processed stimuli with a positive emotional content.

Ultimately concluding: “These results indicate that THC administration reduces the negative bias in emotional processing. This adds human evidence to support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in modulation of emotional processing.”

By: Marijuana.com

STUDY: THC will help you get to Sleep.


A new study published by the American Journal of Addiction, and funded in part by the National Institute of Health has found that THC one of the primary components of cannabis – is “significantly associated with shorter sleep latency”, as well as “less difficulty falling asleep”.

For the study, “Thirteen male chronic daily cannabis smokers were administered oral THC doses (20 mg) around-the-clock for 7 days (40–120 mg daily) starting the afternoon after admission.”

Every morning, a questionnaire was completed by the participants, and “Plasma THC and 11-OH-THC (active metabolite) concentrations were measured in venous blood samples collected every evening. Changes in sleep characteristics over time and associations between sleep characteristics and plasma cannabinoid concentrations were evaluated with repeated measures mixed linear regression.”

Using this method, researches conclude; “Higher evening THC and 11-OH-THC concentrations were significantly associated with shorter sleep latency, less difficulty falling asleep, and more daytime sleep the following day.”

For anyone who has ever consumed cannabis, these results are certainly less than surprising. Still, being a government-funded study which indicates that cannabis can help with conditions such as insomnia, and even just standard sleep-troubles, it still holds some significance in validating cannabis as a medicine.

The Joint Blog

Study: Marijuana Smokers Have a More Positive Attitude.


It's no secret that marijuana can put a smile on many people's faces, but research suggests that the drug's positive effects go beyond just getting high. A 2012 study published in the peer-reviewed academic journal European Neuropsychopharmacology suggests that the brain's endocannabinoid system – which is activated by THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – may play an important role in emotional processing, "an essential aspect of appropriate social interactions and interpersonal relationships."

Specifically, the study's authors found that participants given THC in a controlled experiment showed lower brain activity in response negative stimuli than did those given placebo.  A bias toward negative stimuli has been linked to mental illnesses like depression, and evidence that THC reduces this effect suggests that the endocannabinoid system could play an important, beneficial role in how humans experience emotions and mood.

Researchers measured test-specific effects of THC administration on about a dozen men who had used marijuana at least four times in the past year, but no more than once a week. Half of them were given THC, the other half placebo; the researchers then showed all the men images of faces with expressions that appeared either "fearful" or "happy." They found that participants given THC showed significantly decreased accuracy in matching facial expressions with negative emotion, but showed about the same accuracy for positive associations. Using brain imaging technology called fMRI, they were also able to watch the effects of THC on the parts of the participants' brains that process emotion – identifying a "network-wide shift from a bias for negative emotional content towards a bias for positive emotional content."

The researchers concluded that the way the human brain reacts to THC could have significant implications for mental health treatment. "These findings," they wrote, "add to existing evidence that implicate the endocannabinoid system in modulation of emotional reactions, and support a previously suggested role for the endocannabinoid system in abnormal emotional processing associated with various psychiatric disorders."

Rolling Stone Magazine

Drug Test Detection Times for Marijuana


How long do drug tests detect marijuana? There is no simple answer to this question. Detection time depends strongly on the kind and sensitivity of the test employed; the frequency, dosage, and last time of use; the individual subject's genetic makeup, the state of one's metabolism, digestive and excretory systems; and other random, unknown factors. 

The basic drug test types and their approximate detection times are shown in the table below.


The most popular kind of drug test is the urine test, which can detect marijuana for days or weeks after use. Note that urine tests do not detect the psychoactive component in marijuana, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), and therefore in no way measure impairment; rather, they detect the non-psychoactive marijuana metabolite THC-COOH, which can linger in the body for days and weeks with no impairing effects. Because of THC-COOH's unusually long elimination time, urine tests are more sensitive to marijuana than other commonly used drugs. According to a survey by Quest Diagnostics, 50% of all drug test positives are for marijuana. 

Blood tests are a better detector of recent use, since they measure the active presence of THC in the system. Because they are invasive and difficult to administer, blood tests are used less frequently. They are typically used in investigations of accidents, injuries and DUIs, where they can give a useful indication of whether the subject was actually under the influence.

Hair tests are the most objectionable form of drug testing, since they do not measure current use, but rather non-psychoactive residues that remain in the hair for months afterwards. These residues are absorbed internally and do not appear in the hair until 7-10 days after first use. Afterwards, they cannot be washed out by shampoos (though shampoos may help remove external smoke particles that get stuck in the hair). Hair tests are more likely to detect regular than occasional marijuana use. One study found that 85% of daily users tested positive for marijuana, versus 52% of occasional smokers (1-5 times per week). Ingested cannabis was less likely to be detected than smoked marijuana. It is doubtful whether hair tests are sensitive to one-time use of marijuana. 

Saliva testing is a newer, less proven technology. The sensitivity of saliva tests is not well established in the case of marijuana. In theory, they are supposed to detect recent use, but this may range from several hours to over a day. They are supposed to detect secretions from inside the oral tissues that cannot be washed out with mouthwash. Because they are less intrusive than blood or urine tests, the industry has been eager to develop saliva tests. Due to reliability problems, they have yet to gain acceptance in the U.S., but they have come into use in some other countries, such as Australia. An international study of various onsite saliva tests concluded that no device was reliable enough to be recommended for roadside screening of drivers.

From:  California NORML


Vaporizing MMJ and Neuropathic Pain


Researchers at the University of California, Davis recently completed a study on the effects of vaporized cannabis on neuropathic pain. The study was sponsored by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research and the VA Northern California Health Care System.

Neuropathic pain refers to the perception of pain when there is no reason, biologically. It is the result of damage or disease to the somatosensory system, which controls the sensations associated with touch. 

The somatosensory system covers the skin, bones, joints, skeletal muscles, and internal organs; it is responsible for the perception of pain, temperature, and tactile touch.

Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Reduced Neuropathic Pain Because it affects the nervous system, neuropathic pain is very difficult to treat. Cannabinoids present in cannabis are known to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors within the nervous system, and even have analgesic (pain-killing) effects. It’s this knowledge that led to the study, which was titled “The Analgesic Effect of Vaporized Cannabis on Neuropathic Pain.”


The same group of people were studied for the amount of pain they experienced when exposed to 3 levels of treatment. There was a mild THC-dose treatment, a low THC-dose treatment, and a placebo treatment. In order to gauge the treatment’s success, the participants were asked to rate their pain on a scale from 0 (no pain) to 100 (worst pain possible). They did so before treatment and every hour after treatment for 6 hours.

In order for a treatment to be deemed successful, it must have caused at least a 3o-point reduction in perceived pain. The “mild” treatment (3.53% THC) was found successful in 61% of the participants. Not far behind was the “low” treatment (1.29% THC); it was successful in 57% of the participants. As for the placebo treatment (trace amount of THC), it was only successful in 26% of participants.

Interestingly enough, one could easily argue that the success of the placebo treatment may be due to the trace amounts of cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is not the only cannabinoid with known analgesic effects and it’s possible that other cannabinoids were present in the placebo.

Nonetheless, the results of this study show that small doses cannabis could play a role in reducing neuropathic pain. Damage to the nervous system is often impossible to reverse, and vaporizing cannabis is a viable option that allows patients to enjoy a better quality of life.

Another Great Article by: Medical Jane



MMJ STUDY: THC Kills Stomach Cancer Cells

 
A new study conducted by the the Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, and published in the journal Anticancer Research, has found promising evidence that THC may be the best medicine available to treat stomach cancer, especially when traditional medicine has been ineffective.

During the study researchers used cancer cells that were resistant to chemotherapy, and dosed the cells with a synthetic form of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the primary compounds found in cannabis. 

Researchers noted a drastic reduction in the survival rate of the cells that were exposed to the synthetic THC.
When conducting the study researchers found that larger doses of THC led to higher rates of cancer cell death, validating the initial finding that it can be an effective treatment (natural THC is likely even more effective).

Although more research is needed, hopefully this study – in addition to numerous others that have been released recently – will pave the way for cannabis being used as a standard – and not alternative – medicine in treating various forms of cancer.

Courtesy: The Joint Blog


STUDY Inhalation Of CBDs Lessens Desire For Cigarettes


Researchers at the University College London directed a double blind pilot study in order to measure the effect of the particular consumption of CBDs contrasted with a placebo in 24 tobacco-smoking subjects that were interested in quitting cigarettes.

According to clinical trial data published online in the journal Addictive Behaviors, the consumption via inhalation of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (Cannabidiol) considerably alleviates tobacco smokers’ craving to puff the cancer-causing stuff.

“Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by [the equivalent of] 40 percent during treatment,” researchers reported. Additionally, participants of the study who used CBD didn’t report undergoing amplified yearnings for tobacco throughout the study’s duration.

“This is the first study, as far as we are aware, to demonstrate the impact of CBD on cigarette smoking…. These preliminary data, combined with the strong preclinical rationale for use of this compound, suggest CBD to be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction that warrants further exploration,” researchers concluded.

Clinical trials that were previously published regarding CBDs have discovered that Cannabidiol is “safe and well tolerated” in healthy volunteers, while other studies of CBDs have documented the miraculous cannabinoid to retain a multiplicity of beneficial assets, including anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-epileptic, anti-cancer, and bone-stimulating properties.

If you’re looking to quit smoking cigarettes, it looks as if a strain of jane with high CBD levels just might help you tackle the preservative-packed tobacco addiction beast. Break your dependence and set yourself free, put down those nasty cigarettes and pick up some high CBD weed!

Thank You: the 420 Times

Curing Cancer with Rick Simpson’s Hemp Oil


Rick Simpson is a medical marijuana activist who has been providing people with information about the healing powers of Hemp Oil medications for nearly a decade now. Rick cured himself of a metastatic skin cancer back in 2003, and has since then devoted his life to spreading the truth of hemp oil. He has met an absurd amount of opposition and lack of support from Canadian authorities, as well as pharmaceutical companies, government agencies for health, and UN offices. Despite that fact, Rick Simpson has successfully treated over 5,000 patients (free of charge), and believes that all forms of disease and conditions are treatable. He states that it is common to have all types of cancer and diseases cured with the use of high quality hemp oil as a treatment.

Rick has treated patients will all types of conditions including, but not limited to, cancer, AIDS, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, leukemia, Crohn’s disease, depression, osteoporosis, psoriasis, insomnia, glaucoma, asthma, burns, migraines, regulation of body weight, chronic pain, and mutated cells (polyps, warts, tumors).

Read More and Get the Recipe: Medical Jane.com


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