Medicinal Marijuana vs Aggressive Brain Cancer

Marijuana’s active ingredients have the power to kill a certain type of aggressive brain cancer, according to a new study.

Cannabinoids and THC were shown to inhibit the growth of high-grade glioma in the study conducted by the Oncology Department at St. George’s University of London.

“High-grade glioma is one of the most aggressive cancers in adult humans and long-term survival rates are very low as standard treatments for glioma remain largely unsuccessful,” according to researchers Wai M. Liu, Katherine A. Scott, and Angus G. Dalgleish.

The team used the combination of THC, CBD and radiation in the treatment of glioma for the study, published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

“Taken together, our data highlight the possibility that these cannabinoids can prime glioma cells to respond better to ionizing radiation, and suggest a potential clinical benefit for glioma patients using these two treatment modalities.”


Medicinal Marijuana vs Chest Pain

About 23% of the adult population, or 70 million Americans, experience non-cardiac chest pain at some point in their lives.

While chest pain is often related to the heart, many aren’t aware that the digestive system can be a major trigger as well. For example, acid reflux is one of the most common causes of non-cardiac chest pain.

But could taking THC help? It’s possible, according to new research from Temple University.

In a pilot study involving 13 patients, treatment with Marinol — a pill made from pure, synthetic THC — seemed to increase pain tolerance and reduce the frequency and intensity of chest pain episodes. The pill was given twice daily over the course of four weeks.

“This novel study has promising findings in future treatment for these patients,” said study co-author Dr. Ron Schey, Associate Professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine.

The study did not compare Marinol with existing treatments for chest pain, meaning that more research is still necessary. On the other hand, the way it works already seems clear.

According to Dr. Schey, THC likely works by activating cannabinoid receptors in the esophagus that decrease sensitivity to pain. The study’s findings were presented October 20 in Philadelphia at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Interestingly, pain management is one of the most common uses of medical marijuana. Other studies show that cannabis may alter the way the brain perceives pain signals sent from different parts of the body.

A 2013 study that compared pain relief from THC pills versus vaporized cannabis found that pills took longer to work but had a longer-lasting effect.

Even still, sufferers of non-cardiac chest pain may have to stick with their current regimen for now. Though Marinol can be prescribed for managing nausea and weight loss in cancer and HIV/AIDS, it has not been approved by the FDA for treating pain.

Marijuana, Dopamine and Productivity

It’s no secret that medical marijuana has many medicinal benefits. Despite the leaps and bounds that society has made in legalizing marijuana, there can still be a negative stigma surrounding those who partake, be it medically or recreation-ally. However, many people are blind to the fact that cannabis can be a beneficial tool when it comes to the overall quality of work. Not only can it help you to access the more creative parts of your imagination, but it can also help to clear away the clutter and help you to focus. This leads us to ask the question, could cannabis actually boost overall work ethic and productivity?

Marijuana, like other drugs, causes the brain to release the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is one of the many chemicals in the brain that helps regulate the brain’s activity. These chemicals are also known as neurotransmitters.
When a person inhales or ingests cannabis, cannabinoids increase the flow of dopamine by blocking off the function of another neurotransmitter, called GABA. Under normal circumstances, GABA “waters down” the flow of dopamine to the brain. However, when cannabinoids and THC inhibit GABA, the brain releases more dopamine as a result. This increase in dopamine causes people to feel more calm, focused, and can even boost their overall creativity. Contrary to popular belief, endocannabinoids are more strongly linked to ‘runner’s high’ than endorphins.

Increased productivity can be directly linked to the brain’s dopamine levels. Although dopamine is usually linked to feeling pleasure or reward, it also acts as a motivator—and when the brain’s dopamine levels increase, there is more of a want or need to get things done. Researcher Mercè Correa of the Universitat Jaume I explains it best in the Cell Press Journal, Neuron.

“It was believed that dopamine regulated pleasure and reward and that we release it when we obtain something that satisfies us, but in fact, the latest scientific evidence shows that this neurotransmitter acts before the pleasure or reward, encouraging us to act. In other words, dopamine is released in order to achieve something good or to avoid something evil.” Therefore, an increased flow of dopamine can boost your motivation to stay focused and potentially take on bigger goals in the future.

There are several strains of marijuana that can lend to increasing the dopamine levels in your brain. Sativa strains are usually labeled as being more “creative,” giving the user high levels of dopamine and allowing their brain to become more motivated and open. Some common cannabis strains to look for that could increase your drive and work ethic are Green Crack, Jack Herer, and Cherry AK.

These clear Sativa strains are popular for their ability to provide a uplifting and energetic head high, without the heavy, zone-inducing state. This makes them ideal for powering through work, chores around the house, or other creative endeavors. If you don’t have access to these specific strains, do not worry, any of the clear-headed Sativa strains that your local dispensary or collective has available should suffice.  Just be sure to ask your budtender for their personal recommendations.

Read More: Medical Jane

Is Hydroponics Right for your Home Medicinal Grow?

 With growing marijuana now legal in almost all states with legalized medical cannabis, patients need a way to produce their own supply. Buying from medical dispensaries can be costly and growing plants at home is a cost-effective alternative. However, traditional growing methods are far from ideal. So what’s all this hype behind hydroponics and is it legitimate?

Growing marijuana traditionally in soil works fine, but it’s messy, high maintenance and it limits your ability to hide the smell. Marijuana plants come with a pungent odor and most of the time, growers don’t want their house to smell like a kingpin’s headquarters. Even just a couple of plants can come with an overwhelming smell. Instead, growers should consider using hydroponics systems, which offers a soil free method of growing that’s low maintenance and can be easily concealed inside a grow box, grow tent, or any other secluded environment. It’s great for growing in closets and small environments, or even basements and big open spaces.

Growers can use complex setups such as a grow tent with an intake fan and outtake fan that runs the air through a carbon filter. The air absolutely must be exhausted out of the grow tent in order to keep the temperature just right and the grow conditions ideal. Carbon filters are the most effective solution for eliminating the smell before it gets to the open air.

Getting started with hydroponics is far from easy, as it has a much steeper learning curve than traditional soil growing. However, once the grower is experienced and familiar with hydroponics, it requires far less maintenance and very rarely will the plants need to be checked on. Hydroponic systems use a reservoir of nutrient enhanced water to supply the plants with the nutrients they need to grow. This allows the plants to grow without soil. Soil’s not actually needed, it just provides the right environment for the nutrients to get to the roots. Hydroponic systems reinvented the way we grow crops and are even playing a role in organic gardening for fruits and vegetables.

Hydroponics comes down to two basic tasks: making sure the pH level in the water reservoir is correct and making sure you have added the right amount of nutrients to the water. These are two tasks that you will do often in the beginning. It’s recommended that you do this daily to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes with your first grow.

It’s as if hydroponics didn’t already have enough to convince growers it’s the ideal way to grow their plants, because it also provides faster grow times and higher yields. If you want to grow your medical marijuana plants up to 3X faster than how long it would take growing in soil, and if you’re excited about your plants producing better yields than soil grown plants, then hydroponics is for you. Most growers report significantly faster and better yielding crops when using hydroponic systems.  

Thank You: Marijuana Growers Headquarters

MMJ vs Brain Cancer

Scientists using an extract of whole-plant marijuana rich in pot’s main psychoactive ingredient THC as well as cannabidiol (CBD) showed “dramatic reductions in tumor volumes” of a type of brain cancer.

“High-grade glioma is one of the most aggressive cancers in adult humans and long-term survival rates are very low as standard treatments for glioma remain largely unsuccessful,” according to researchers Katherine A. Scott, Angus G. Dalgleish, and Wai M. Liu from the Oncology Department at St. George’s University of London. 

Writing in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics this month, the team recounts how they decided to build on existing research that shows “cannabinoids have been shown to specifically inhibit glioma growth as well as neutralize oncogenic processes such as angiogenesis.”

The researchers wanted to boost the success of cannabinoids, so they investigated using THC and CBD both alone and in combination with radiation in a number of glioma cell lines.

Marijuana kills cancer cells in proportion to its dose and duration of treatment, researchers found, and whole plant cannabis rich in THC was more efficacious than pure, lab-grade THC alone.
Moreover, pre-treating cells with THC and CBD for four hours prior to irradiation increased the cancer-killing effects of radiation. 

Scientists think THC and CBD prime cancer cells to commit suicide when exposed to radiation — a process called apoptosis. 

Tumors treated this way in mouse models for glioma showed “dramatic” results, with pot-treated tumors shrinking to nearly one-tenth the size of tumors in the control group.

“Taken together, our data highlight the possibility that these cannabinoids can prime glioma cells to respond better to ionizing radiation, and suggest a potential clinical benefit for glioma patients by using these two treatment modalities.”

The federal government states cannabis is a schedule one drug with no medical benefits and a high potential for abuse. However, 23 states have medical marijuana laws, and untold thousands of patients with untreatable gliomas are turning to cannabis not only for palliative treatment of chemo nausea and pain, but as an adjunctive therapy for treating the cancer itself.

More: The SF Gate

MMJ vs Parkinson's Disease and it's Painful Symptoms

According to a recent study published in Clinical Neuropharmacology, participants using smoked medical cannabis had significant improvements in motor disability and impairment. These results were found in addition to reported decreases in tremor (repetitive shaking), rigidity (stiffness or inflexibility), and dyskinesia (difficulty in performing voluntary movements), and improvements in pain and sleep disturbance. This study was flawed in that it included only 22 participants, there was no blinding to treatment (i.e. both the participants and researchers knew that they were using cannabis, which means that the results were potentially a result of “expectancy effects”), and they used a “within-subjects” design, which has well-documented weaknesses. Still, these results show that further study is appropriate and warranted.

While there is limited evidence that has been gathered evaluating cannabinoid medicine and medical cannabis use as treatment for PD, there is a wealth of information on the effects of these options on symptoms often experienced by patients with PD, such as pain and sleep disturbance. According to a post on the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation website by Blair Ford, M.D., “Descriptions of PD do not generally include the mention of pain. And yet, when carefully questioned, more than half of all people with Parkinson’s disease say that they have experienced painful symptoms and various forms of physical discomfort.” There is mounting evidence that cannabis may be useful for some patients in managing chronic pain. Additionally, evidence for relief from symptoms experienced by patients with PD, such as depression and anxiety, has been discovered with the use of cannabinoid therapy. Cannabis use may also provide relief to patients experiencing nausea and vomiting, potential side effects of certain standard PD medications.

No large, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blinded clinical trials have been conducted on the effect of whole-plant cannabis on patients with PD, meaning that there is no evidence that a cause-effect relationship exists showing that cannabis use improves symptoms or slows progression for patients with PD.

When the evidence on cannabis in relation to a certain disorder is limited, we can turn to patient stories for anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana may provide relief for some patients, especially those with symptoms uncontrolled by standard therapies. A recent blog post, ”The goal of medicine is to balance evidence with stories” highlights the important point which is its title. Given the favorable safety profile of medical cannabis and potential for low-risk experimentation for most patients, patient stories help in guiding healthcare professionals to which symptoms/disorders may be alleviated by the use or study of cannabinoid medicine.

According to David Esparza, a patient who has lived with PD for over 13 years and has experienced negative side effects from standard therapy, “[Cannabis] helps me with my attitude, it helps me with my shaking, it helps me deal with my new life… I don’t know how I look to other people… but I know what I feel like [when using cannabis]… I feel good.” He shares his story here.

Much Much more at: Medical Jane

Marijuana and Memory Loss

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is known to impair nearly all aspects of memory. There is one exception, though. THC does not affect the recall of existing memories.

The most obvious effect of THC is the disruption of short-term memory. This means it will be harder to form new memories while high. THC also impairs the consolidation of short-term memories into long-term memories. This makes it difficult to remember what happened during the high — even after it wears off.

But THC does not impair your ability to recall existing memories. So, marijuana users will be able to remember things like their name and where they live, no matter how high they might get. Similarly, marijuana use does not lead to memory loss or dementia.

In fact, experts believe that the body’s endocannabinoid system — a biological system made up of naturally occurring, marijuana-like compounds — acts to regulate memory formation. Specifically, it seems to function as a filter of sorts, preventing the brain from being overloaded with irrelevant or useless memories.

The effects of THC on memory seem to depend on dose, with larger doses having a more severe effect. But studies also show that frequent users tend to be more tolerant to marijuana and its effects.

Some studies suggest that CBD may act to reduce the memory impairments of THC. However, not enough research exists to say for certain whether this is true.

While memory impairment is a downside for most marijuana users, THC can help some people forget bad memories.

In fact, studies show that the endocannabinoid system is directly involved with the extinction of negative memories. By acting on the endocannabinoid system, THC is believed to facilitate this extinction.

As a result, THC is believed to hold promise in treating anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Experts believe that marijuana can help patients with PTSD cope with traumatic memories by improving their ability to forget.

More at: Leaf Science

GROW TIP: Properly Drying Your Harvest

Once the marijuana plants have been harvested, they have obviously ceased to produce new cannabinoids and resins. The main changes to the potency will be negative, but effective drying and storage can help mitigate the effects. Most of the weight contained in the plant is water and drying will cause the liquid to evaporate, ensuring that the marijuana will burn evenly and smoke well.

lf you were impatient, and tried to quickly cut, dry, and smoke a bud prior to your harvest, you probably noticed how poorly it smoked. This is due to the water that comprises well over half (more that 60%) of its weight.
It probably didn’t get you high either, since drying also helps to activate the cannabinoids within the marijuana plant. But since you are a prudent cannabis grower, you waited until your buds were perfectly ripe and ready.

There are several methods to consider when drying marijuana, and they range from quick and easy, to slightly more involved but not much more difficult. The first method that I will describe is the slowest but by the far the most effective in terms of sealing in the aroma and taste of your buds. Simply hang the buds upside down in a secure dark place such as a closet or room with sealed windows and a good draft. It is important that air be able to circulate while the marijuana plants are being dried. This means that you may have to exercise some caution in terms of where you might be able to safely dry the plants – they will be very, very pungent.

Use a fan to keep the air circulating and be sure to separate the plants or you could lose a lot of your buds to mold. Removing the large green leaves and stems speeds the drying process since those parts of the plant contain much more water. Do not dry the marijuana in the sunlight as the buds will lose potency, their color and some of their taste. They may also become brittle, which will make them smoke very harshly.

If your drying room is very humid, or if it is raining outside pay special attention to your bud and make sure that the room is well ventilated. You will have to be especially vigilant under these conditions with respect to mold. This is the reason that the drying area should be secure: your multiple trips should not arouse suspicion. Expect the drying time for a large amount of marijuana plants to be at least ten days to two weeks.

Thank You: I Love Growing Marijuana

STUDY Marijuana Linked to Fewer Brain Injury Deaths

People who use marijuana may be more likely to survive a serious head injury than people who don't, a new study suggests.

At one hospital, the death rate after traumatic brain injury was lower among people who tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana) than among people who tested negative for it, researchers found.

“This data fits with previous data showing that (THC) may be neuroprotective,” Dr. David Plurad, one of the study's authors, said in a phone interview.

Experiments in animals have found that THC may protect the brain after injury, Plurad and his colleagues write in The American Surgeon. Little is known about the specific effects of THC on brain injury in humans, however.
For the new study, the researchers reviewed data on 446 adults treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California for traumatic brain injuries. All had been tested for THC.

Overall, approximately one in five patients tested positive for THC and one in 10 patients died after their injury.

About 2.4 percent of people who tested positive for THC died, compared to about 11.5 percent of those with negative THC tests.

People who tested positive for THC were about 80 percent less likely to die, compared to people with negative THC tests, researchers found after they adjusted the numbers to account for age, gender, injury severity and type.
Previous studies have also suggested that alcohol may protect the brain in traumatic brain injuries, Plurad said. Those studies did not account for the presence of THC, however.

“We included the presence of alcohol in our statistical analysis, and it didn't turn out to be as protective as the presence of the marijuana,” he said, adding that future studies examining the effects of alcohol on traumatic brain injury should account for the presence of THC.

One concern with the study, according to Plurad, is that the test for THC could not distinguish occasional from regular users. A person could test positive after having used marijuana days or even weeks before.
Given that marijuana is inexpensive and may have some medical benefits, its therapeutic effects are worth investigating further, he added.

“There's not going to be one answer, is marijuana good for you, is marijuana bad for you,” he added. “Like most things in life, and particularly medicine, it's going to be somewhere in between.”

via: Reuters

Why Marijuana makes everything so Tasty and Delicious

According to a study published earlier this year, marijuana use makes food taste better and enhances a consumers sense of smell. The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience reported that marijuana has an effect on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This results in an increased food intake as a result of a more accurate and improved sense of smell.

In the study, mice were used, however this information has implications for populations of people who have problems with food consumption. Patients in recovery from serous eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa are a group of people who could potentially benefit from this information.

The study was led by Giovanni Marsicano, a researcher from the Université De Bordeaux who is particularly interested in the endocannabionoid system. Marsicano and a team of neuroscientists from Europe found that the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, can fit inside receptors in the olfactory bulb in the brain. This means that the senses of taste and smell are enhanced when marijuana is used. When food smells better, there is an effect on appetite which leads to a greater consumption due to an increase in smelling accuracy. Basically, food is more appealing when sense of smell is sharp.

Marsicano explains that feeding disorders such as anorexia nervosa are often accompanied by an altered perception of food. As smell is a sense which is linked to the intake of food, it is a sense which is altered in diseases such as this. The ability to regulate or change this may be a future therapy useful in this type of disorder.

Mice are often used in laboratory trials as they share some cognitive similarities to humans. In the study, mice were given tests to access their sense of smell. These tests consisted of almond and banana oils. Initially, the mice showed great interest in the oils and sniffed at them a lot. After a while however, the mice showed a decreasing level of interest. This is a well documented phenomenon referred to as olfactory habituation.

When the mice had been given a dose of THC, they did not show a decreased level of interest in the oils after time. These mice also demonstrated an increase in appetite and ate a lot more than the mice who had not been given THC. The scientists then tested the THC on a set of mice genetically engineered to not have any cannabinoid receptors in their olfactory bulbs. In these mice, there was no effect when they were given THC, they did not sniff at the oils for longer, nor did they eat more food. The researchers concluded that it was the effect that THC had on the olfactory receptors in the brain that was responsible for the increase in appetite, which in turn may have been due to enhanced sense of smell.

From this study, a conclusion has been drawn surrounding the way in which marijuana increases appetite by improving the way food smells and tastes. This in turn also promotes feelings of well being and increases happiness.

By Tabitha Farrar at: Liberty Voice

CBD vs Parkinson's Disease

The administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, is associated with improved quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease, according clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Investigators at the University of São Paulo in Brazil assessed the efficacy of CBD versus placebo in 21 subjects with Parkinson’s. Authors reported that the administration of 300 mg doses of CBD per day was associated with “significantly different mean total scores” in subjects’ well-being and quality of life compared to placebo.

Separate assessments of CBD versus placebo reported that the cannabinoid did not appear to mitigate general symptoms of the disease, nor was it shown to be neuroprotective.

“This study points to a possible effect of CBD in improving measures related to the quality of life of PD patients without psychiatric comorbidities,” investigators concluded. They added, “We found no statistically significant differences concerning the motor symptoms of PD; however, studies involving larger samples and with systematic assessment of specific symptoms of PD are necessary in order to provide stronger conclusions regarding the action of CBD in PD.”

Clinical reports have previously indicated that both CBD and/or whole-plant cannabis may address various symptom’s of Parkinson’s disease, including improvement in motor symptoms, pain reduction, improved sleep, and a reduction in the severity of psychotic episodes.

Survey data of patients with PD indicates that almost half of all subjects who try cannabis report experiencing subjective relief from the plant.

Cannabis Conversion and Decarboxylation

The other day I was asked by an acquaintance why the tincture they were making had very little, if any, noticeable medicinal or psychoactive effect. They swore they followed the same process found in a book on making edibles and soaked the cannabis in high proof for weeks but the tincture just didn’t work.

The answer was simple but one that many in the cannabis industry don’t understand. One very important and necessary extra step had been overlooked. Cannabis used to make tinctures as well as other edible cannabis products requires decarboxylation. From asking around I have a feeling a lot of you just blurted out “Say What?”

So here is the deal. THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) is found in abundance in growing and harvested cannabis and is a biosynthetic precursor of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Wow, this sounds scary like organic chemistry, doesn’t it? It is, so for both of our benefits, I’ll give you the dumbed down version.

Research suggests THCA has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects but does not produce the psychoactive effect that make you feel “high”. This “high” is from the cannabinoid THC, of which little if any is found when cannabis is growing or recently harvested.

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide (CO2). This means a chemical reaction takes place in which carboxylic acids loose a carbon atom from a carbon chain. This process converts THCA to THC, the much loved compound with many medicinal and psychoactive effects. When the cannabis drys, it very very slowly begins to decarboxylate and converts THCA to THC.

The good news is we don’t have to wait years for cannabis to decarboxylate. We can speed things along with a process that is a lot simpler than you might expect. Simply heating dried cannabis to the correct temperature for enough time releases that carbon dioxide and creates THC. Why have so many of you never heard of this before? Decarboxylating takes place without extra effort when cannabis is heated during the act of smoking or vaporizing. It also takes place to some degree when cannabis is cooked into butter or when hash and kief are added to a favorite recipe and then cooked in the oven.

When making tinctures, cannabis is not heated or baked, it is simply soaked in high proof alcohol. Decarboxylation never takes place and you end up with a product with a lot of THCA and very little THC. This may be a good for some symptoms but will not produce the results most expect.

More on Decarboxilation by Rambo and Marijuana Growers HQ

Marijuana and Sleep

People who smoke marijuana before bed often struggle to recall their dreams the next morning. Yet, when these individuals stop smoking, they tend to experience more vivid dreams than before.

Marijuana is known to affect various aspects of sleep, including activities that are not involved with dreaming. But there’s a simple reason why marijuana users tend to have less dreams.

This phenomenon can be explained by how marijuana affects the sleep cycle, specifically a stage known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

The brain is most active during REM sleep and most dreaming is thought to occur during this stage. Numerous studies have shown that using marijuana before bed reduces REM sleep. Researchers believe this is why marijuana users report fewer dreams.

During the night, the brain cycles through 4 different stages of sleep, spending the most time in deep sleep (or slow-wave sleep) and REM sleep. The amount of time spent in these two stages is closely related. In fact, studies show that marijuana lengthens the time the brain spends in deep sleep, which leads to less REM sleep.

Ingesting THC or marijuana before bed also appears to reduce the density of rapid eye movements during REM sleep. Interestingly, less REM density has been linked to more restful sleep.

Most studies on marijuana and REM sleep have looked at the effects of THC. However, other compounds in marijuana may interfere with THC’s effect on sleep. For example, CBD has been found to promote wakefulness compared to taking THC alone.

Regular users of cannabis experience an abnormal increase in REM sleep when use is stopped. This is called the REM rebound effect, which leads to longer and denser periods of REM sleep. The REM rebound explains why cannabis users often experience highly vivid dreaming when trying to quit.

The sleep disturbances that occur during cannabis withdrawal usually begin 24-72 hours after quitting and can persist for up to 6-7 weeks.

Interestingly, the REM rebound is not unique to cannabis use. Other substances that interfere with sleep, such as alcohol and sleep medications, can cause REM rebound too. What’s more, people who are sleep deprived often undergo a rebound in non-REM sleep.

The rebound effect appears to be the body’s way of coping with being deprived of certain stages of sleep.

While healthy people should avoid taking substances that alter their sleep, it’s not clear whether the effect of marijuana on REM sleep is actually harmful. In fact, experts are still not sure why we need REM sleep.

On the other hand, deep sleep is believed to be the most important sleep stage for repairing and restoring the body. Likewise, studies show that when deprived of sleep, the brain prioritizes deep sleep over REM sleep.

While more research is needed, it’s possible that the ability of marijuana to increase deep sleep, even at the expense of REM sleep, might turn out to be a good thing.

Anorexia, the Brain and Marijuana – It’s no secret that marijuana helps to increase appetite, but its potential to treat anorexia may not be that simple. 

What scientists now know is that anorexia actually leads to changes in the brain – specifically in pathways connected to marijuana. 

These pathways are part of the endocannabinoid system, which include natural marijuana-like chemicals (cannabinoids) and the receptors that they bind to. 

Last week, a team of Belgium researchers published more evidence of this relationship from a “well-known rodent model” of anorexia nervosa. 

Their findings appear online in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

“These data point to a widespread transient disturbance of the endocannabinoid transmission, specifically for CB1 receptors in the ABA model [activity-based rat model of anorexia].”
They also concluded that a change in the brain’s cannabinoid system likely takes place as an effect – rather than a cause – of anorexia. 

Specifically, their findings suggest that the body creates more receptors to compensate for a “chronically hypoactive” endocannabinoid system in cases of anorexia. But these changes may only be temporary, since receptors rebounded to normal levels after the experiments stopped. 

Like marijuana, chemicals that make up the endocannabinoid system act as regulators of appetite. 

Some scientists believe that the body may produce lower levels of these chemicals in order to improve the ability to survive during periods of “prolonged starvation” – or anorexic states.

That is, patients with anorexia may experience a natural decrease in appetite because of changes that occur in the brain. 

Although yet to be tested in anorexia, the authors note that marijuana has been shown to increase food intake in other patient groups.

“Cannabis and cannabinoid agonist with minimal psychoactive side effect profile have been used as eating stimulants in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or cancer patients.”
Unfortunately, treatment options are limited when it comes to anorexia and full recovery is seen in only 40-50 % of patients, according to the authors. 

They hope their latest findings will lead to a better understanding of how marijuana-based treatments may be used to help patients recover from the eating disorder. 

The study was published ahead of print and received funding from the Research Council of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders, Belgium, and the K.U. Leuven Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center 

OUTDOOR GROW TIP Camouflaging Your Outdoor Marijuana Garden

Try to plant under trees or next to bushes, and keep only a few marijuana plants in any one spot. That way if some are discovered you’ll still have others to harvest. Through bending and pruning you can change the classic conical shape of the marijuana plants into something that might be mistaken for mere foliage. Plus, when you bend the stems horizontally, it can help to give more sun to growing buds, making your yield even larger.

Marijuana plants can be grown under trees, but remember that they need at least five hours of direct light and as much indirect light as possible (the more light, the higher the yield). Some cannabis growers have been known to pin flowers to their plants to help in the disguise. Another method is to grow near other plants that are close in color or size to your marijuana plants. Be careful though, because if these plants begin to wither and die, during the end of the summer growing season, your marijuana plants will stand out like a spotlight. 

Make sure your marijuana plants are out of sight from casual onlookers and try to take a different route to get to them each time you visit the site. When you visit your marijuana plants you might want to cover your tracks and try not to unsettle the environment too much. When seen from above, your different paths to the same place will have a bicycle wheel effect, focusing attention on the place where all the paths stop. Also, try to park near other cars even if it means taking a longer route to your marijuana plants. This is one reason why it is important to have a water source nearby. It is hard to look inconspicuous when toting a large amount of water into a remote area. Always have a good reason for being in the area and have the necessary items to make your claim believable.

These are some of the many contingencies that you must prepare for and think about well before you begin germinating your cannabis seeds. Sometimes it might be necessary to think small at first and grow fewer plants that you can be sure you will be able to harvest.

It can’t be said too many times; the most basic thing that you can do to protect your cannabis crop is to be very guarded about who you tell. If you must reveal its existence, never, ever disclose the location. If your site is well hidden then usually the reason you get ripped off or reported is because you bragged about your marijuana plants. If your plants are cut down or discovered, then it doesn’t matter how big they are or how much time you put in, because they won’t be there for you to harvest.

Learn More and Grow More with: I Love Growing Marijuana

More Pot = Less Domestic Violence

Researchers from Yale University, University of Buffalo and Rutgers recruited 634 couples from 1996 to 1999 while they were applying for a marriage license in New York State. After an initial interview, the researchers followed the couples over the course of nine years using mail-in surveys to measure the effects of marijuana use on intimate partner violence (IPV).  

The study defines IPV as acts of physical aggression, such as slapping, hitting, beating and choking, and it was measured by asking couples to report violence committed by them or toward them in the last year. 

At the end of the first year, 37.1 percent of husbands had committed acts of domestic violence. 

Marijuana use was measured by asking participants how often they used marijuana or hashish (defined as pot, weed, reefer, hash, hash oil or grass) in the last year. Participants were also asked about other drug use including alcohol, because, as the researchers explain the study, marijuana and alcohol are often used in conjunction. 

What the researchers found surprised them: due to the fact that alcohol and other substances are known to increase domestic violence, they hypothesized that marijuana use would have the same effect. But that was not the case.

"More frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV for both men and women over the first 9 years of marriage," the researchers wrote. Not only that, couples who both used marijuana frequently -- compared to one spouse using it more than the other -- were at the lowest risk for subsequent partner violence.

Why would marijuana be different than other substances? Researchers hypothesize that the positive side effects of using marijuana may actually reduce conflict and aggression. They note that previous research has found chronic marijuana use to blunt emotional reactions, which could in turn decrease violent or aggressive behavior between spouses.

via: The Huff Post

More Evidence that Medicinal Marijuana can defeat PTSD

In a study, researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel were able to prevent rats from developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by treating them with the active compounds in marijuana, or cannabinoids.

Led by Dr. Irit Akirav from the Department of Psychology, the team used rats because of their similarity to humans in responding to trauma.

People with PTSD — a severe type of anxiety disorder — suffer from symptoms that can be set off by common triggers, also known as trauma reminders.

While PTSD is usually treated after symptoms appear, the team found that dosing rats with cannabinoids following a traumatic event could make them immune to future triggers. “In other words, cannabis made the effects of trauma reminders ‘disappear’,” explains Dr. Akirav.

The treated rats showed no symptoms of PTSD. But rats that were left untreated did, including impairments in memory extinction, changes in pain sensation and increased panic behavior.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the treatment worked by rewiring circuits of the brain involved with trauma.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence, the researchers note, suggesting marijuana can not only help manage symptoms of PTSD but also prevent symptoms from developing early on.

Despite the promising results, medical marijuana has never been studied in humans with PTSD. Hence, most doctors are unwilling to even consider it as a treatment option.

Still, researchers around the world have shifted their focus to cannabinoids as a future therapy for PTSD. Dr. Akirav’s group believes there is now enough evidence for human trials to proceed.

“The importance of this study is that it contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD,” notes Dr. Akirav, “and thus supports the necessity to perform human trials to examine potential ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event.”

Treating PTSD with medical marijuana is far from a new idea. In fact, PTSD sufferers are known to have higher rates of cannabis use compared to the general population. What’s more, brain imaging studies have revealed irregular cannabinoid pathways in people with PTSD, providing further support for cannabis as an effective treatment.

And despite the lack of clinical trials, many psychiatrists say they’ve witnessed patients benefit from using medical marijuana in place of other drugs.

Much More at: Leaf Science

GROW TIP Topping Your Marijuana Plants for Better Yield

Topping marijuana is typically misunderstood by most growers. A single growing shoot might produce a larger individual cola, topping the plant gives you 4 colas that can soak up the best light intensity. The entire plant, in general, is allowed to get more light and produce bigger buds. Although individual colas might not be as large, the cumulative yield is much greater than an un-topped plant.

It’s vital that you top the plants early on so that you get a solid start. When my clones take root properly and start to grow out, I cut out the meristem, which divides the plant into 2 growing shoots. Growth will slow initially, but the plant will eventually become stronger and yield more. If you top low enough, the marijuana plant will create 4 growing shoots. Download my free grow bible for more marijuana pruning techniques.

Although most strains take well to topping, some don’t. Really short, slowly-growing indicas like Urkle simply take a long time to grow when topped. Even so, we can usually expect 5 ounces per plant with this method. To put it plainly, all plants improve with topping, but certain slow-growing strains may take a while to mature properly.

The key with most strains is to top early (around 10 inches with a few internodes). This allows the plant to keep a low profile while also providing the optimal amount of bud sites that receive the best light. Another benefit is that you don’t need as many plants to entirely fill up a room. Medical limits often make it more beneficial to have fewer plants that can give you the same yields as more plants.

Seedlings are slightly different. It’s important to let the seedling develop and grow at least 4 to 5 internodes prior to topping. Topping a seedling too early will shock a plant, slow down the growth process, and waste a ton of time. A seeded plant should be given enough time to take root properly and produce a few sets of fan leaves. I generally wait until I see roots coming out of the drain holes before I top.

More Grow Tips at: I Love Growing Marijuana 

Marijuana Legalization = Less Pain Killer Deaths

America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States.

However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually. 

“The difference is quite striking,” said study co-author Colleen Barry, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The shift showed up quite quickly and become visible the year after medical marijuana was accepted in each state, she told Newsweek.

In the study, August 25 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers hypothesize that in states where medical marijuana can be prescribed, patients may use pot to treat pain, either instead of prescription opiates, or to supplement them—and may thus require a lower dosage that is less likely to lead to a fatal problem.

As with most findings involving marijuana and public policy, however, not everyone agrees on a single interpretation of the results. 

It certainly can be said that marijuana is much less toxic than opiates like Percocet or morphine, and that it is “basically impossible” to die from an overdose of weed, Barry said. Based on those agreed-upon facts, it would seem that an increased use in marijuana instead of opiates for chronic pain is the most obvious explanation of the reduction in overdose deaths.

 Read More: Newsweek

MMJ Medicinal Marijuana vs Sickle Cell Anemia

The news: San Francisco General Hospital is making strides in developing a marijuana-derived treatment for sickle-cell anemia, a blood disorder that affects over millions worldwide, including 10% of African Americans in the U.S. It causes severe pain throughout the body. The condition is currently treated using opiate painkillers, but researchers believe that CBD, one of the compounds in marijuana, could cure the disease without the dangerous addictive, often lethal qualities of pharmaceutical painkillers.

A safer alternative. Rather than administering cannabis intravenously or through smoke, the study used vaporized cannabis extracts, specifically, oils that are high in CBD. After administering CBD to lab mice with sickle cell anemia, doctors discovered that the mice had far less pain and inflammation, reducing the need for high doses of opiates. That could mean that tens of thousands of human patients will be relieved from their ailments without having to turn to corrosive opiate drugs.

Long road until now. It’s making great headway now, but the study was delayed for over a year by the FDA because they wanted to ensure that CBD vapor wouldn’t be harmful to lab animals like mice and dogs. That seems rather ridiculous considering that the FDA has approved animal testing for countless chemical pharmaceuticals and held up a study because they were worried that a plant derivative would harm lab mice. Protecting lab animals is not part of their testing protocol.

Despite the needless hurdles, the trial is underway. Researchers are making progress on a treatment for sickle cell anemia that doesn’t have the potential to devastate the patient’s life like opiate painkillers do. It’s yet another example of cannabis effectively treating pain and outmoding the widely prescribed pharmaceuticals. For patients, it’s a new era of treatment options, but it poses a challenge to pharmaceutical companies, who are doing what they can to slow it down. But if discoveries like this keep coming up, they’ll have a hard time convincing the public otherwise.

GROW TIP ScrOGing your way to Better Yields

 What is ScrOGing? Actually, the term is ScrOG, which is the shortened form of “Screen of Green”. Still confused? Simply put, to ScrOG is to force the lower growing buds of your marijuana crop to the plants’ canopy by way of light optimization.

A screen is used to force your crop to grow low and dense, forming a canopy of buds at the screen level; thus, the term “Screen of Green”. This practice will yield more usable product for those of you who grow indoors. Sounds good, right? Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Screen the plants

Secure a screen 20” to 25” above your plants. It should be made of sturdy material and have 2” x 2” open squares throughout. The idea is to limit the plant’s height while encouraging the formation of buds.

Step 2: Remove colas

When the cannabis reaches about 10” in height, snip off the colas located at the very top of the plant. This forces the stem to form new branches.

Once the new branches begin to peek through the holes of the screen, carefully manipulate each one into a separate hole away from the main stem. Doing so encourages horizontal growth, making the crop denser. Take some landscape tape and tie the spread-out branches to the screen in order to train them to grow laterally. The result you want to achieve is a dense canopy running along the screen.

Step 3: Prune

Before the plants reach the top of the screen, snip off the small lower branches and any side shoots growing at the bottom. This process allows the marijuana plant to concentrate its growth efforts on the top where the buds will form.

Step 4: Force flowering

Force your marijuana plants from the vegetative stage into the flowering stage by putting them on a lighting schedule. Twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness will push your crop’s energy into producing flowers or buds. Some growers choose to force flowering just before the plants shoot up through the screen. The flowering stage can take any where from eight to eleven weeks, depending on the strain.

Step 5: Secure branches to screen

As the marijuana plants continue to thrive, train all branches to grow horizontally by attaching them to the screen. Again, use landscape tape to secure them. Be very gentle in this process to avoid damaging the flowering tops. Any breakage that may occur can thwart the growth patterns. Make sure the air is well ventilated below the canopy otherwise you risk the formation of mold in your dense crop.

The process of ScrOGing is ideal for indoor grown cannabis crops, especially if your space is limited. HPS lights are best but fluorescent bulbs will also work. The method is simple to implement and can result in a much larger yield of traditionally grown marijuana.

Watch the Video and Read More at: I Love Growing Marijuana

Marijuana and Anxiety

Anxiety and marijuana have a complicated relationship, but different types of cannabis may play a role.


Many people who use marijuana say that it helps relieve anxiety. On the other hand, there are just as many who report feeling more anxious after using marijuana. Although the exact details remain a mystery, a possible explanation may lie in the specific chemical make-up of cannabis.

As most marijuana users are aware, not all cannabis is the same. There are a wide range of strains of cannabis available, and many are believed to have unique effects on their user.

What makes different strains unique from one another is their active chemical ingredients, also known as cannabinoids. Although clinical research is lacking, knowing the differences between strains and how they affect anxiety can be helpful.

The two most common chemicals in cannabis are THC and CBD. Although most strains contain both compounds, levels of THC and CBD tend to vary from strain to strain. Interestingly, research shows that the two chemicals can have opposite effects on anxiety.

THC is responsible for the marijuana high and is also strongly linked to feelings of paranoia, especially when taken in high doses. This is because THC activates an area of the brain responsible for fear — the amygdala.

CBD, on the other hand, is believed to counteract the mind-altering effects of THC. What’s more, studies have shown that when taken on its own CBD can lower anxiety in both healthy and anxiety-prone individuals.

The reason why marijuana is often associated with anxiety may be because most varieties of cannabis are specifically bred to be rich in THC. The way CBD and THC are produced within the plant causes strains with high THC to have less CBD (and vice versa).

High CBD strains have only recently become popular among cannabis consumers, due in part to growing awareness of the compound’s medical effects. As a result, there’s a strong chance that any marijuana you obtain will have more THC than CBD.

Other components in cannabis may also contribute to its effect on anxiety. Besides THC and CBD, cannabis contains over 60 different cannabinoids along with a variety of aromatic compounds known as terpenes.

Certain terpenes in cannabis have been found to possess anti-anxiety properties. Still, most of these chemicals are only present in trace amounts and little is known about their overall impact on marijuana users.

Read More: Leaf Science

The Benefits of CBN Cannabinol

Cannabis is widely used as a sleep-aid for those who suffer from insomnia and cannabinol is the reason why. By all accounts, CBN is the cannabinoid responsible for the sedative effects of cannabis. Because of this, I tend to reserve high-CBN strains for night use.

Another use for cannabinol as an anti-bacterial. According to a Italian study from 2008, cannabinol “showed potent activity against MRSA” when applied as a topical. Topical uses also have shown promise in treating burns and psoriasis.

The research on cannabinol (CBN) is still lacking, but some early studies have suggested it could stimulate bone growth. If that’s the case, it would be helpful in treating osteoporosis. It could also help those with broken bones to recover more quickly.

When searching for the perfect strain, it’s important to know what you’re getting. This is why lab-testing should never be overlooked. Testing facilities like Steep Hill Lab in California give patients a complete cannabinoid profile of their medicine. It’s always a good idea to check a strains profile before making a decision.

Because cannabinol is a production of degradation, it’s not usually found in high concentrations (in a collective). High levels of CBN are usually related to poor storage methods. If cannabis is stored in an airtight container of some sort, it’s unlikely that a lot of THC would convert to CBN.

Luckily, not all is lost if you’re searching your collective for a sleep-aid. The simple solution would be to allow you’re medicine to age a bit. When exposed to the air, the THC will begin to degrade and convert to CBN, a great way to fight insomnia.

More on CBN at: Medical Jane

MMJ vs Leukemia

As we know, a growing number of studies have suggested a link between cannabis and cancer. Anecdotal success stories of people using the plant to treat their ailments are popping up with increased prevalence and cannabis is gaining ground as a viable treatment for cancer.

In November, two Canadian researchers published a case study in the journal Case Reports in Oncology that adds to the scientific literature on cannabis. It suggests that cannabis extracts could help treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells that can cause death in a matter of a few weeks if left untreated. With that said, combination therapy is the most common form of treatment.

More than 94 percent of children affected with the disease are still in remission after 5 years. The same can only be said of 30-40 percent of adults.

Still, a 14-year-old patient from Canada suffered from an overly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and traditional treatments were unsuccessful after 34 months. A standard bone marrow transplant, aggressive chemotherapy, and radiation therapy were revoked and treatment was deemed a failure.

In turn, the family started their child on a cannabis extract regimen. Specifically, they chose to administer whole-plant cannabis extracts orally, much like the method popularized by Rick Simpson (RSO).

Yadvinder Singh is the author of the Canadian case study. According to his observations, cannabis extracts offered an effective treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In fact, he noted that there were “indications of dose-dependent disease control.”

Double-blind experiments with a much larger sample size will be necessary before the entire medical realm is in agreement with Dr. Singh. Still, more case studies are greatly encouraged. If nothing more, they provide documented evidence to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Thank You: Medical Jane

Terpenes and Terpenoids Explained

Ever wondered what gives your Blue Dream strain that fresh blueberry flavor & scent?

The answer is terpenes. Terpenes (TUR-peen) are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, and are referred to as terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (drying and curing the flowers). They are the main building block of any plant resin or “essential oils” and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors. Some are even known to have medicinal value.

Terpenes are the main class of aromatic compounds found in cannabis and have even been proven to interact synergistically with cannabinoids to provide for a range of different effects. While many people believe that it is the sticky glands of THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) that provide cannabis with its peculiar aroma, it is in fact the more unstable monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes that are responsible. In fact, it is the smell of the specific sesquiterpene, Caryophyllene oxide that drug dogs are able to detect when probing for cannabis.

Understanding the importance of terpenes allows for a true “cannasseur” to broaden their approach to searching for new strains based on smells and tastes, rather than purely effects.

In addition to cannabinoids, many terpenes are known to have their own pharmacological value as well. For example, alpha-pinene is an organic compound found in the oils of rosemary and sage as well as many species of pine trees. Pinene can increase mental focus and energy, as well as act as an expectorant, bronchodilator, and a topical antiseptic and has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to retain and restore memory. It was ALSO found at the highest level in the Green House Seed Company strain, Super Silver Haze.

Other terpenes such as limonene have relaxing effects and are found in anything with a citrus smell such as oranges, lemons, rosemary, and juniper. Limonene is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-depressant and anti-carcinogenic properties as well. It is thought to quickly penetrate cell membranes causing other terpenes to be absorbed more rapidly and effectively. Because of Limonene’s potent anti-carcinogenic and anti-fungal properties, it is thought to be the component protecting marijuana smokers from aspergillus fungi and carcinogens found in cannabis smoke.

Cannabis is also known for possessing a significant amount of the terpene beta-caryophyllene (BCP). According to Berkely Patients Care, this terpene is responsible for activating the CB2 receptor and acts as a non-psychoactive anti-inflammatory. Because it binds to a cannabinoid receptor, beta-caryophyllene is considered a cannabinoid. The terpene is in many legal herbs and spices and contributes to the spiciness of black pepper. It is also an FDA approved food additive, making it the first dietary cannabinoid.

Myrcene is another abundant terpene in cannabis, mainly sativas, and is a building block for menthol, citronella and geraniol. The terpene possesses muscle-relaxing, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects among other benefits. Myrcene also has an effect on the permeability of cell membranes, which allows for the absorption of more cannabinoids by brain cells.

Myrcene is also a very important chemical in the perfumery industry because of its peasant odor, which is described as clove-like, earthy, and fruity. It can be found in the essential oils of the bay tree, myrcia (where the name comes from), and mangos.

Much Much More at: Medical Jane

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