3 Steps to Making Edibles by Mary Jean Dunsdon

Before I dive into my first column, I figure I should introduce myself. I was born Mary Jean Dunsdon, youngest of four, to a Top Gun fighter pilot and a macramé hut/craft store owner. So I come by my current profession honestly. I have been unapologetic about my marijuana use and food production since 1993. I sold my first cookies on the world-famous, clothing-optional Wreck Beach that same year.

Before selling cookies, I sold slices of watermelon and T-Shirts to nude people. The T-Shirts had pictures of my best friend on them. He was an 80-year-old Irish bootlegger named Paddy White. Paddy loved to smoke pot. I sold the watermelon for $2 a slice—except to children. It was always free for children. This is where I got my name, Watermelon.

Since those early days, I have easily made and sold more than 1 million Ginger Extra Snap Cookies, Rum-Resin Balls, Bud-der Tarts, Weedish Meatballs, Spanakopita Puff Pastries, Nice Cream Cones, Quiche Your Ass Goodnights and so much more. I love to host marijuana-tasting salons in my home a few times each year. I cannot stress how important it is to know about serving size and cannabis conversion when hosting such parties. I want everybody to have a great time without sleeping over or freaking out. I have some great party tricks I will share with you in a later column, but for starters, I want to break down my rather simple process, step by step. When it comes to baking edibles, there are three steps to nail:

Making your shake flour
Determining your serving sizes
Converting your cannabis

These processes can be used for almost any recipe. I always encourage responsible edible creations that can be enjoyed by the average person. Advanced edible eaters can have two servings. For me, the easiest method of all for making edibles is by starting with some shake flour.

Making Shake Flour
Shake flour, quite simply, is finely ground, dried cannabis flowers and/or leaves. To make your own, pulverize cannabis flowers and/or leaves into a fine flour using a blender or coffee grinder, and then sift off any fibrous material. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it on a recipe-by-recipe basis.

Serving Sizes & Portion Control
The most important kitchen tool you will need for creating edibles is a scale. My serving guidelines, which I believe offer the perfect dose for the average person, is 0.5-0.75 grams per serving. So, if your recipe says serves 10, you will weigh up enough shake flower for 10 servings only. This equates to 5-7.5 grams, depending on the quality of your shake/bud. Don’t be a hero unless you like sleepovers. Less is always more. A little goes a long way. As my mama says, “You can always go back for seconds.”

You can then add your weighed shake to the fat, oil, alcohol or whatever you are using for your cannabis conversion. This helps avoids any confusion on how much to eat, or how much pre-made canna butter to add.

Cannabis Conversion
You need to convert dried cannabis to make it active, meaning it gets you high when you ingest it. Scientifically speaking, you need to knock the carbon molecule off the cannabis so it can bind to your cannabinoid receptors. Cannabis molecules cannot easily bind to your receptors with the carbon molecule intact. This is similar to a key that won’t fit into a lock. After you knock the carbon molecule off, the key fits perfectly.

You can knock carbon molecules off using heat, alcohols or fats. This is the process of cannabis conversion taking place. There are many different types of fats you can use to convert cannabis for edibles, including butter, coconut oil and bacon fat. There are also many different types of alcohol you can used to convert cannabis for edibles, including rum, vodka and black sambuca. Another way to covert cannabis is using dry-cooking techniques done in an oven or a slow cooker, and some patience.

Originally Posted at: Hydrolife

MMJ Medical Marijuana vs HIV and AIDS

At the time when HIV/AIDS broke out in the early 1980s, America was in the middle of a "war on drugs" campaign that included arresting people for marijuana possession. Research was suppressed on the medical benefits of cannabis until the 1990s when the drug began to be embraced by medical professionals as a treatment for certain health disorders, including HIV/AIDS. Today cannabis helps these patients in multiple ways as described below.
In 1999, the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine released a report commissioned by the White House that stated nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety can each be treated with marijuana. Each of these symptoms is also related to HIV/AIDS. People with the disease require more calories to maintain their weight, so marijuana also helps restore appetite to prevent weight loss. One of the best ways cannabis helps treat AIDS is by giving patients the munchies so that they are motivated to maintain their weight. 

HIV/AIDS occurs in three stages, with the final stage having the most accelerated weight loss. This stage can be accompanied by extreme fatigue, fever, diarrhea, pneumonia and depression. There is no question that cannabis at least helps. 

Another reason HIV/AIDS patients use marijuana is because it is effective at reducing pain, nausea and vomiting. These problems tend to be side effects from antiretroviral therapy (ART), which many patients abandon in favor of cannabis. The medical journal Neurology published a study in February 2007 that suggested marijuana effectively reduced chronic pain in patients with little side effects. Over the past decades, many myths about marijuana side effects, such as it causes cancer, have been debunked through credible research. 

At one time some medical experts feared that cannabis damages the immune system, but a study at San Francisco General Hospital found the opposite, that marijuana may help the immune system. The study observed 50 patients with AIDS that suffered severe foot pain due to the disease or the conventional medication they took for it. The group was split into 25 marijuana smokers and 25 placebo users. For five days they ranked their pain on a scale of 1 to 100. In the pot group, 13 of the 25 patients reported a reduction of pain by at least 30 percent, whereas only 6 of the 25 placebo users experienced such pain reduction. 

The top HIV/AIDS organizations, such as the American Academy of HIV Medicine, support the idea of seriously ill patients having access to medical marijuana. The medical industry is beginning to accept that conventional medicine may even make patients feel worse, which is partly why marijuana is finally being taken seriously again as a medicine.  

A study at Louisiana State University points to daily cannabis intake as having an impact of slowing down HIV. Researchers gave monkeys daily doses of THC over a 17-month period. The result of the study was reduced tissue damage in the stomach, where HIV infections are common. The findings are similar to a previous 2011 study, also led by Dr. Patricia Molina, that THC helps reduce the infection. Medical experts now believe that cannabis helps treat AIDS and can even save lives. 

Furthermore, a 2012 study published in the medical journal PLoS One points to cannabinoid drugs such as marijuana being defenders of the body and fighting HIV even in late stages. The study found that cannabinoid receptors could block the spread of HIV throughout the body. The idea that cannabis helps treat AIDS is no longer a pipe dream: it's reality.

via: the Medical Marijuana Association

Boveda for Trim and Extract Materials

A marijuana concentrate producer in Humboldt California feels strongly that even trim needs proper storage in order to retain the terpenes right up until processing. 

Here’s what he says:

“Trim and extract material exposed to humidity causes’ moisture to be absorbed in the material, resulting in extracts that deteriorate faster."

"Deterioration reduces extract efficacy and value to the manufacturer, the consumer, and every other link in the supply chain."

"Placing a few Boveda in bags of fresh trim helps to create full flavored extracts with mouthwatering terpene profiles.”

Humboldt, CA

Originally posted on the Boveda blog

Buy Direct at the Boveda

Related Posts: 

Boveda Two-Way Humidity Control Retains 15% More Terpenes for Cannabis, Research Reveals

Properly Curing Cannabis with Boveda

Star QB Jim McMahon Recovered from Chronic Pain with MMJ

Former Super Bowl champion and Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon credits medical marijuana for helping him recover from the chronic pain he developed from his long and arduous career as a football player in the NFL.

Now 56, McMahon has been plagued by debilitating health problems following his 15-year career in the National Football League which included multiple concussions and a broken back. Since retiring from football, McMahon has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and experiences severe headaches, depression, memory loss, and vision and speech problems. As a result of all these health issues, McMahon has joined other players in a pending class-action lawsuit accusing the NFL of negligence and misconduct in handling concussions.

Since he came forward with his health issues, McMahon said he has been feeling significantly better after his recent chiropractic neck treatments, but says medical marijuana got him off the copious amounts of prescription narcotic painkillers that he took throughout his career.

McMahon admitted to taking nearly 100 Percocet pills a month for pain in his shoulders, neck and arms before he received his medical card. “They were doing more harm than good,” he said. “This medical marijuana has been a godsend. It relieves me of the pain — or thinking about it, anyway. More people should have access to this wonderful plant.

McMahon received his doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis in his home state of Arizona after it was approved by a voter referendum in 2010. However, his focus lately has been on the state of Illinois, where he is advocating for chronic pain to be added to the list of acceptable conditions for medical marijuana patients.

via: Medical Jane

CBD vs Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

As medical marijuana becomes legal in more states across the country, there’s been a spike in public interest to see whether cannabis can effectively treat mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis that are commonly associated with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, there are conflicts in scientific consensus for both supporting and opposing views of cannabis use for the treatment of mood disorders. Some studies have linked marijuana use with early-onset psychosis, while others suggest there are anti-psychotic benefits of cannabis in bipolar disorder patients.

It has been shown that cannabidiol has anti-psychotic properties, particularly anxiolytic benefits in humans. CBD possesses hypnotic, anti-convulsive, neuroprotective, and anti-stress benefits. Based on this evidence, research studies have begun to investigate the anxiolytic and antipsychotic benefits of CBD, which may be useful in effectively treating bipolar disorder. 

The Neurochemistry of Bipolar Disorder and Cannabinoids

A dysfunctional endocannabinoid system (EC) has been implicated in mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, and modulation of the EC system by exogenous cannabinoids such as cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol and anandamide can potentially treat bipolar disorder symptoms by exerting antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic effects. Research studies have demonstrated the antipsychotic mechanism action of cannabidiol. Administration of cannabidiol may indirectly influence endogenous anandamide signaling by inhibiting intracellular metabolism by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Elevated levels of anandamide can attenuate mood disturbances and treat bipolar disorder symptoms. 

Research studies have pointed out the role of the dopamine (DA) system in mood disorders, including bipolar disorder. The key role of the mesoaccumbens DA system has been proven in the reward pathway (neural circuitry) and motivational behaviors. Experimental studies being conducted to investigate the efficacy of anti-psychotic drugs are based on the hypothesis of dopamine, glutamate, and other neurotransmitters. These drugs exhibit antagonism to dopamine D2 receptors which is commonly linked with hyperprolactinemia due to action of anterior-pituitary mammotrophic cells. These drugs are called typical anti-psychotics (Clozapine) which cause Parkinson-like symptoms, while atypical anti-psychotics are also effective without causing serious adverse events, which can be confirmed by a catalepsy test.

Atypical anti-psychotic drugs inhibit hyperlocomotion and the stereotype that results due to dopamine antagonists at lower doses. Effective anti-psychotic action requires the blocking of D2 receptors as well as glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. 

A comparative study assessed the anti-psychotic efficacy of haloperidol (an anti-psychotic drug) and cannabidiol (CBD) found that CBD inhibited hyperlocomotion without causing catalepsy, even at higher doses; while haloperidol caused prolactin disturbances. The pharmacological action of CBD mimics clozapine. Another neurochemical experimental study reported similar results. These results prove that CBD acts like an atypical anti-psychotic drug without causing serious and long-term side effects.

One study investigated the anti-depressive action of CBD in an experimental animal model (AKA olfactory bulbectomy mouse model) of depression (OBX). The results suggest that cannabidiol exerted rapid and sustained antidepressant action in the depressed animals by significantly augmenting cortical serotonin and glutamate levels in a dose-dependent manner. Receptor studies have shown that the action was exerted via a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism, which represents novel drug functionality. After prolonged CBD administration notable adaptive changes were documented in pre and post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptor action. 

CBD can inhibit glutamate toxicity and offers anti-convulsant and mood-stabilizing benefits, which are similar to the benefits of conventional therapeutic drugs such as valproate and lithium that are indicated for bipolar disorder. In open-label human clinical trials, CBD has significantly reduced psychotic symptoms and normalized motor functions in psychiatric patients. These benefits can be useful to treat manic episodes in bipolar disorder patients. 

Cannabinoids influence mood perceptions and exert anti-depressant action by acting as an agonist in central CB1 receptors. 5-HT is believed to be responsible for mood control and implicated in antidepressant-like actions. Research evidences have pointed out the action of CBD in the serotonin (5-HT) system and related neurons. Administration of CB1R agonists such as phytocannabinoids into the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of the brain has resulted in enhanced 5-HT neuronal activity and CB1R-dependent antidepressant-like effects in the experimental animals. This study clearly shows the dose-dependent antidepressant benefit of CBD, which can be particularly useful for the treatment of mood disorders, including bipolar disorder.

More Including: The Neuroprotective, Anti-psychotic, and Anxiolytic Benefits of CBD at Marijuana Times.

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