Medical Marijuana as Treatment for Parkinson's Disease

Much about Parkinson’s Disease remains unclear. Nobody knows the true cause of the disease and scientists are still searching for a cure. What we do know is that Parkinson’s is a degenerative condition that depletes dopamine centers within the brain. Recent research has shown positive results when utilizing cannabis for Parkinson’s Disease treatment.

What Are Parkinson’s Effect On The Human Body?

The loss of dopamine causes these common symptoms: body tremors, muscle spasms, loss of balance, insomnia, memory loss and dementia. What is most frightening about Parkinson’s Disease is the fact that it is progressive. What may start out as the occasional finger twitch can lead to the inability to freely move certain muscles. These symptoms of Parkinson’s makes it extremely difficult to accomplish daily tasks.

The root causes of Parkinson’s Disease are unknown and current medications only dull its symptoms.Over time, many patients build up a tolerance to these treatments, which cause their symptoms to eventually return. Some Parkinson’s patients are now finding relief through medical cannabis treatments.

Science Behind Using Cannabis For Parkinson’s Disease

Recent scientific research into how Parkinson’s affects our neurological structure has uncovered how the disease attacks the dopamine centers within the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia helps control muscle mobility and is one of the key regions in the brain that Parkinson’s attacks. The basal ganglia has a surprisingly high amount of endocannabinoid receptors that consist mostly of CB1 receptors; the receptors where endogenous THC is activated when it reaches the brain.

Cannabis’ ability to be a neuro protector has been discussed and researched for decades. A study conducted nearly twenty years ago researched whether or not cannabis had neuroprotective qualities. Researchers injected rats with a neurotoxic chemical that typically severely decays the brain. When given cannabis extracts, the rat’s brains were protected from the chemical. The groundbreaking study proved that cannabis has inherent neuroprotective qualities.

Cannabis Is A Reliable Neuroprotectant

A reliable neuroprotectant that could treat Parkinson’s would be very welcome. While the research proving cannabis is a reliable neuroprotectant is promising, it is scarce. There is not enough cannabis research to prove definitively that cannabis can effectively treat Parkinson’s disease, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.

According to multiple firsthand accounts, patients can find relief by using medical cannabis. In states where medical marijuana is legal, those with Parkinson’s have began exploring alternate treatments with medical cannabis. As more states continue to legalize marijuana use, more patients will have the ability to discover the medicinal qualities of cannabis for Parkinson’s disease.

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $40 The Glass Sherlock Pipe by Grav Labs

The Glass Sherlock Pipe
by Grav Labs

These glass Sherlock pipes, at only 6-inches in length, is the perfect traveling companion for smokers worldwide. Discretion when smoking is sometimes extremely valuable and glass Sherlocks like these are the definition of "stealthy." Even though this hand pipe is the larger size, slipping it quickly inside your pocket or bag is no problem, and your privacy is protected. 

Unlike some other brands, Grav Labs glass merchandise doesn't need special precautions to keep it safe. Only the best lab-grade borosilicate is used in any of their products, and the toughness of that substance is legendary. These awesome glass Sherlock Pipes come in a variety of colors, and it may be difficult to choose just one. 

Available at Billowby
Everything at Billowby 10% OFF
with Code: MRSTINKYS

MMJ Football and the CTE Crisis

Persistent vomiting, three-day bouts of confusion, unprovoked rage, self-harm, suicidal impulses -- those are just some of the horrifying symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that afflicts up to 99 percent of retired NFL players thanks to the severe concussions that have become everyday injuries in pro football.

CTE is jeopardizing the lives of players as well as the reputation of the NFL, but medical marijuana could restore both to good health. 

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed the prevalence of CTE among retired NFL players. After analyzing 111 brains of deceased players whose bodies were donated for research, scientists found that 110 of the 111 specimens (99 percent) had developed CTE.

Researchers noted their results might be somewhat skewed since the families of those donors suspected that their loved ones had developed CTE. But there's no denying that CTE is a real and prevalent threat to the lives of NFL players. But the disease often begins to take root in their teens.

According to the study, approximately 3 in 14 high school players (20 percent) develop CTE, which can begin showing symptoms in their mid 20s. The rates rise to 48 out of 53 college players (90 percent) and climb steadily among long-tenured NFL players. That means every game increases the risk of developing the lethal condition, which can't be detected until after it claims the player's life. 

CTE can only be diagnosed after death. So there is no way to identify and cure the illness before it takes hold, but there might be a way to mitigate and perhaps reverse its symptoms. 

Medical Marijuana Could Help NFL Players
There's no cure for CTE, but cannabis could protect the brain from the damage caused by repeated concussion. The neuroprotective properties of cannabis could make players more CTE-resistant, according to Lester Grinspoon -- a Harvard professor of psychiatry. And tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -- the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- also stimulates parts of the brain involved in healing after a traumatic brain injury.

So marijuana might not only reduce but perhaps reverse the effects of CTE. 

That's why retired players like Eugene Monroe and Kyle Turley are calling on the NFL to repeal the league’s ban on cannabis and support medical marijuana research that could lead to a CTE breakthrough. 

"I suffer from traumatic brain injury from playing this sport. I've seen this firsthand in multiple scans of my brain," Turley told Freedom Leaf last year.

Turley added that allowing athletes to use medical marijuana could save the lives of players like him as well as the sport itself. "If we want to save football, then we've got to start looking at solutions, not just count concussions. Cannabis is that potential savior."

Read More at: Civilized

MMJ Drug Could Extend the Lives of Brain Cancer Patients

UK drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals announced it has achieved positive results in the second phase of a clinical study on Glioma, a cannabinoid-based therapy aimed at treating an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The study looked at 21 patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiform, or GBM, and found that participants who were given the drug—a combination of THC and CBD—lived significantly longer than those who took a placebo.

“These promising results are of particular interest as the pharmacology of the THC:CBD product appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment,” the study’s principal investigator Susan Short, an oncology professor at the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology at St. James University Hospital, said in a statement.

Study participants who received Glioma showed an 83 percent one-year survival rate, GW reported, compared to a 52 percent rate among those who took a placebo. The median survival rate was 550 days among those who took the drug and 369 days among those who did not.
While the company says the treatment was “generally well tolerated”  by patients, there were some observed side effects.  Most common were vomiting, dizziness, nausea, headache, and constipation.

GBM, one of the most common types of brain tumor, is an aggressive cancer that arises in the brain or spinal cord. It carries a poor prognosis, with only 28.4 percent of patients surviving longer than a year after diagnosis. Only 3.4 percent of patients survive to year five.

CEO Justin Gover said in a statement that the latest results continue to validate the importance of researching cannabis as a treatment for cancer and other diseases.

“These data are a catalyst for the acceleration of GW’s oncology research interests,” he said, “and over the coming months, we expect to consult with external experts and regulatory agencies on a pivotal clinical development program for THC:CBD in GBM and to expand our research interests in other forms of cancer.”

Read More At: Leafly

VIDEO EDIBLE RECIPE Pot Jello Shots by Mary Jean

Baked Episode 8
Pot Jello Shots

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $20 The Glass Bubble Bowl by GravLabs

The Glass Bubble Bowl
by Grav Labs

Beautiful, functional, smoking art all describe this Glass Bubble Bowl. 

It's made of the same durable borosilicate as any of Grav Labs glass items. You may lose it somewhere but you don't have to worry about breaking it. The bumps near the top are more than just decorative, they also make this Bowl very easy to hang onto. 

Spare bowls are always a good idea, and since this price is not a budget breaker, you don't have to choose from the assorted colors available, just get one of each. 

This bowl has the kind of quality that can be felt. As soon as you hold in your hand, you will know what true craftsmanship feels like. 

Available at Billowby
Everything at Billowby
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REVIEW The Fumo Pipe

The Fumo Pipe is a new twist on the old steamroller. Made from a solid billet of aluminum, stainless steel bowl-piece a stainless steel push-button carb and a polycarbonate smoke chamber, the Fumo Pipe is near indestructible.

Strong and sturdy is always good but how does it smoke? Well, to be brief, pretty darn good. The design and engineering take advantage of heat-syncing of the aluminum providing some cooling but the trick is storing the Fumo Pipe in the freezer. Either way, chilled or right out of the box, the Fumo Pipe delivers a cooled hit.

I have certainly given my Fumo Pipe a workout and everyone I have shared it with agree that the pipe is worth having it in any collection. Even with all of the testing and sharing, my pipe hasn’t clogged yet. The pipe cleaned up quickly and easily with a little alcohol, a couple of cotton swabs and a paper towel.

Overall, I give the Fumo Pipe an “A”. Unique and clever design, good smooth smoke and easy to maintain. I couldn’t ask for more.

Available at WickiPipes
Everything at WickiePipes
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5 Facts about the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was drafted by infamous anti-cannabis prohibitionist Harry Anslinger, and signed into law on August 2, 1937. Up until this law was passed, cannabis products were legal to sell in pharmacies and drug stores, so long as they were properly labeled and regulated, but it was during the 1930s that the mainstream attitudes towards cannabis began to sway greatly towards negative opinion.

1. The Origins of ‘Marihuana’
This was one of the first acknowledgments by the US government of the new and notorious drug known as “marihuana.” The name itself, marihuana, was derived from Mexican Spanish, although the linguistic origins have been widely debated. From the Aztec language Nahuatl to the Chinese word ma ren hua, meaning “hemp seed flower,” marijuana truly has many roots, but the word was popularized by Harry Anslinger as part of his campaign to instill fear of the drug. Before this, it was commonly referred to as "hemp" or “cannabis sativa,” and was considered “a fashionable narcotic,” often found in over-the-counter pharmaceutical products like cough syrups.

2. The Opposition of the AMA
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was originally passed to levy taxes on hemp products and on the commercial sales of cannabis products. Farmers could acquire tax stamps for the cultivation of fiber hemp, physicians would be charged a tax for prescribing cannabis, and pharmacists would be required to pay a tax for selling cannabis. The American Medical Association was strongly opposed to the act, arguing against the measure in court and proposing instead that cannabis be added to the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.

3. Reefer Madness Is Born
The law was enacted a year after the production of the notorious anti-cannabis film, Reefer Madness, originally titled Tell Your Children, but also known as The Burning Question, Doped Youth, and Love Madness. Reefer Madness was financed by a church group before being widely released as an exploitation film to warn the public about the dangers of cannabis use. It was just one in a long line of education-exploitation films of the era, including Marihuana (1936), Assassin of Youth (1937), and Devil’s Harvest (1942).

4. The Power of the Paper Industry
Over the years, many have speculated that the reason for the campaign against cannabis boiled down to demonizing the hemp industry because it was a low-cost substitute for paper pulp. The paper industry, and more specifically, the newspaper industry, led the charge against cannabis with Anslinger. William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon, and the DuPont family all had major investments in the timber and newspaper industries, and a rise of hemp would have seemingly undercut their profits. Curiously, years later, manufacturing paper with hemp as the raw material proved that hemp lacks the qualities needed to become a major competitor of the traditional paper industry, as it does not contain a high enough concentration of cellulose to be an effective substitute.

5. The First Victim of the Drug War
The first person to be arrested under the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was precisely the person Anslinger and his cohorts sought to target with their cannabis crusade: a young, Mexican-American named Moses Baca, who had a quarter-ounce of cannabis tucked into his drawer in his third-floor rooming house in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Judge John Foster Symes sentenced Baca and made his disgust for cannabis well-known: “I consider marijuana the worst of all narcotics, far worse than the use of morphine or cocaine. Under its influence, men become beasts. Marijuana destroys life itself. I have no sympathy with those who sell this weed.”

via: Leafly

Nearly Half of people who use CBD products Stop taking Traditional Medicines

The largest survey on cannabidiol or CBD usage to date found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medicine. A new survey from Brightfield Group and HelloMD covered 2,400 of HelloMD’s community of 150,000 members and did a deep dive into the usage of CBD products and their effectiveness. HelloMD is an online community that brings together doctors and cannabis patients.

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that doesn’t give users the feeling that they are high or stoned. Instead, it is known to have medicinal qualities. Contrary to the image of men being the predominant consumers of cannabis, this survey found that 55% of the CBD users were women, while men preferred the THC-dominant products. Brightfield Group, which helped conduct the survey, studies consumption patterns and demand trends and is committed to providing accurate data in the cannabis industry which seems to be rife with unsupported claims.

The most common reasons people used CBD were to treat insomnia, depression, anxiety and joint pain, according to Dr. Perry Solomon, the Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. Forty-two percent of the CBD users said they had stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had switched to using cannabis instead. Eighty percent said that they found the products to be “very or extremely effective.” Only 3% or less found the product to be either ineffectual or only slightly effective.

One of the areas that the CBD producers will have to work on is educating the consumer about CBD products. There are more than 850 brands of marijuana-derived CBD products on the market and 150 hemp-derived products. (Marijuana and hemp are the two variations of the cannabis plant.) Eight percent of the consumers surveyed admitted they didn’t know which CBD product they had used.

Adding to the confusion is the murky legal status of CBD. Technically, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) labels all CBD products as illegal. However, hemp-derived CBD is available in just about every state and even online through Amazon. Marijuana-derived CBD tends to only be found in states with legal medicinal marijuana.

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $100 The Nexus by QLoudUp

The Nexus Concentrate Vaporizer
1st Place 2017 Cannabis Cup
by QLoudUp

The Nexus featuring three different atomizers, all interchangeable in one beautiful device. 

Inside out, the Nexus masters the balance between technology, performance and beauty. We’ve done that by shattering the boundaries of what a portable vaporizer can really do.

Nexus packs a long lasting battery, but when you do need to recharge, you’ll discover a micro USB port on the bottom of the pen — so there’s no need to disassemble to power up.

Switch temperatures with ease. Toggle through its three carefully selected temperature settings (340°f, 400°f, 460°f) with three clicks.

Available at
15% OFF the Nexus by QLoudUp
with Code: CJ15

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $30 The Click from Randy's Wired Papers

The Click • Thick Oil Vaporized
from Randy's Wired Papers

Equipped with a 10-second vaporizing cycle that runs at 4.2V, the 650mAh Battery of the Click pumps out 8W and gets the Click to a Max Temp. of 400° F. The 1.0 ml Click CE3 Tank comes equipped with Anti-Spit Back Technology and the top fill tank makes for easy access. The Click comes with two magnetic adapters to connect to the CE3 tank or your own personal pre-filled tank. 

The magnetic adapter allows for easy transitioning between tanks, just place your tank inside the allotted slot and listen for the ‘click’. Once Clicked into place you are all set to enjoy all your favorite oils!

Note: I think the best things about the Click are the option to use your own 5/10 threaded cartridge as well as the way the cartridge sits inside the casing. 

I am a big fan of cartridges when I travel and the fact that I don’t have to worry about breaking the cartridge in my pocket is why I am a fan of my Click from Randy’s Wired Papers. CJ

Available at Randy's Wired Papers
10% OFF Everything at Randys

CBD vs Breast Cancer

Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining traction in medical circles and the public eye as increasing amounts of scientific literature confirm its medicinal qualities. These include CBD’s ability to stave off inflammation, curb anxiety, depression, PTSD, psychosis, and seizures.

More astonishingly, and perhaps more urgently, CBD is proving to be a powerful anticancer agent (as recently acknowledged by the U.S. government’s National Cancer Institute). A paper published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that CBD inflicts programmed cell death (PCD) in breast cancer cells.

In the introduction, the authors note:

“Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women in the United States. Conventional treatment options are often limited by toxicity or acquired resistance, and novel agents are needed. We analyzed the effects of the Cannabis sativa constituent, cannabidiol (CBD), a potent, natural compound with reported activity in breast cancer cell lines, and elucidated its effects on key neoplastic pathways.

Later on in the paper, they write:

“We found that CBD inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cell lines and induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, at these concentrations, CBD had little effect on MCF-10A cells, nontumorigenic, mammary cells. These data enhance the desirability of CBD as an anticancer agent, because they suggest that CBD preferentially kills breast cancer cells, while minimizing damage to normal breast tissue.”

If CBD continues to shine in the laboratory as research continues, it holds the potential to augment or replace conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, which often cause significant harm to healthy cells and may catalyze undesirable and potentially devastating side effects.

The authors of the paper explain that CBD coordinates apoptosis and autophagy, resulting in the death of breast cancer cells. Apoptosis (cell suicide) plays a vital role within our bodies. It is a form of cell death that facilitates the elimination of old and unhealthy cells without the release of harmful substances. 

Autophagy (cell recycling) is another normal physiological process by which the body breaks down unwanted cells. It maintains our homeostasis, or balance, by aiding the degradation of old cells and the formation of new ones.


Pain Patients Prefer MMJ not Pills

A newly released survey of nearly 3,000 medical cannabis patients found that nearly all respondents said they could reduce their opioid consumption after adding cannabis to their treatment regimen, and a vast majority preferred cannabis to prescription pills.

In a survey of its patients, the medical cannabis community website HelloMD asked a wide range of questions examining the use of cannabis as a substitute for opioid and non-opioid based pain medication. The study, conducted in cooperation with the University of California-Berkeley, was led by researchers Amanda Reiman and Mark A. Welty.

Among the key findings, 97% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they could decrease their use of opioid painkillers when consuming cannabis. And 92% said that they agreed or strongly agreed that they prefer cannabis to treat their medical condition.

Strikingly, 81% agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis alone was more effective than taking cannabis with opioids. This result was similar when patients were asked about consuming cannabis with non-opioid-based pain medication.

According to Reiman, cannabis could help with pain problems in patients who don’t want to take addictive opioid medications.

“The treatment of pain has become a politicized business in the United States. The result has been the rapidly rising rate of opioid-related overdoses and dependence,” she said. “Cannabis has been used throughout the world for thousands of years to treat pain and other physical and mental health conditions.”

Reiman added that she has been hearing anecdotal evidence from patients for years.

“Patients have been telling us for decades that this practice is producing better outcomes than the use of opioid-based medications,” she said. “It’s past time for the medical profession to get over their reefer madness and start working with the medical cannabis movement and industry to slow down the destruction being caused by the overprescribing and overuse of opioids.”

Dr. Perry Solomon, chief medical officer for HelloMD, agreed Reiman’s take.

“The latest publication from the National Academy of Sciences clearly refuted the ‘gateway drug’ theory that using marijuana can lead to opioid addiction, instead finding evidence of cannabis having multiple curative benefits,” he said. “Our study further substantiates this. Hopefully this will awaken the public, medical professionals and legislatures to the fact that cannabis is a safe, non-addictive product, available to help fight the opioid epidemic.”

via: Leafly

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $75 The Flower Pod by Chill Gear

The Flower Pod
by Chill Gear

The Large Flower Pod hand pipe by Chill Gear is perfect for on-the-go adventures or just daily use around the house. It’s unique design and finish makes it virtually indestructible and great for any party or outdoor activity such as camping, boarding, hiking, and biking. 

The Large Flower Pod includes a built-in storage container, a swivel lid to cap your herb, it is dishwasher and freezer safe, and it is extremely easy to assemble/disassemble. This compact and effective herb pipe fresh out of Vancouver, Washington is the perfect unbreakable piece for any occasion made from anodized aluminum. 

Choose Chill Gear Flower Pod in 6 colors: black, green, orange, purple, red & silver.

Available at WickiePipes

10% OFF Everything at WickiePipes
with Code: MRSTINKYS

Marijuana Treats Migraine Pain Better Than Prescription Medication

In another win for marijuana research, a study has found that the active compounds in cannabis are more effective at reducing the frequency of acute migraine pain than prescription migraine meds, and with fewer side effects.

The study included a total of 127 participants who suffered from chronic migraines and cluster headaches, severe headaches that occur on one side of the head, often around an eye. Migraine pain usually affects both sides of the head and is often accompanied by light sensitivity and nausea.

The cannabis-based medication the researchers gave the participants was a combination of the two active compounds in marijuana: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound that gets pot users high; CBD doesn’t get you high, but research has shown that it provides therapeutic benefits, including relieving seizures in epileptic patients.

The study had two phases. In the first, sufferers of chronic, acute migraines were given varying doses of the THC-CBD drug. The results showed that those who received a 200mg dose each day for three months experienced significantly less pain--about 55% less (lower doses didn’t provide the same pain relief).

The second phase of the study included both those suffering from chronic migraines and those suffering from cluster headaches. Migraine sufferers were given either the THC-CBD drug or 25 milligrams of amitriptyline, an antidepressant medication often used to treat migraines. The cluster headache sufferers were given either the THC-CBD drug or 80 milligrams of verapamil, a calcium channel blocker med often prescribed for cluster headaches.

The results showed that THC-CBD was slightly better at reducing the frequency of migraine attacks than the commonly prescribed med (40.4 % versus 40.1%, respectively). And the THC-CBD drug was very effective at reducing migraine pain, cutting it by 43.5%.

The drug was also effective at reducing the severity of pain in cluster headache sufferers, but only if they had a history of migraines from childhood on.
The side-effect profile was also generally better than the common meds. People taking THC-CBD reported fewer stomach aches and muscle pains, and fewer incidences of colitis than those taking the prescription med. On the downside, those taking THC-CBD reported some drowsiness and difficulty concentrating.

The study reinforces earlier research showing that medical marijuana is effective at reducing the frequency of migraines, and it adds to a chorus of research findings pointing to marijuana compounds as less risky alternatives to prescription pain meds. A number of clinical trials are underway to determine whether drugs made from the compounds could supplant opioids as a go-to painkiller, and thereby lessen the burden of opioid addiction. Those trials will take some time, but it’s encouraging that research is moving steadily in the direction of discovering the therapeutic potential of marijuana compounds. With potentially enormous upsides, like reducing how many people are hooked on opioids, it's imperative that the research continues.

Redefining the Standard for Quality Cannabis

Or does quality even matter anymore when there’s a $ store on every corner?  I believe that like everything else in the world, the definition of quality is relative and subjective and thus can be mere personal preference.

Yet for those of us who strive to define or redefine quality, the game still rages on.  A higher quality product draws a higher monetary value and there is almost always a bidder for every level of quality.  So in the world of Cannabis, what makes a quality flower?

In my opinion, the four main factors in the creation of Cannabis that directly affect its quality are genetics, growing, trimming/curing, and preservation.

Genetics encompasses so many things, more every day as technology sharpens.  Heirloom or GMO?  Do you use feminized seeds or do you prefer to play “where’s Waldo?”  The genetics of a Cannabis strain also identify the expected cannabinoid ratio of the plant as well as the terpene make-up if grown to optimum health.  A strain’s genetics decides its smell, taste, and potency as well as how it affects you and your biology.  It could be argued that genetics are the #1 factor in deciding the quality of Cannabis.

A seed with superior genetics can still rot if left to sweat while germinating.  Careful attention to detail is the gardener’s best tool and knowing what to look for takes time and practice. And a bit of failure too.  Many a gardening genius has suffered the woes of lost ladies in the throes of flowering.  Fertilizing, watering, light distribution, these are all things that must be managed daily or even several times a day.  Fans, C02 machines, ladybugs for spider mites!  The umbrella of products and techniques that growing Cannabis encompasses is vast, to say the least.  I believe it could also be argued that how Cannabis is grown has the most effect on its quality.

How much leaf is too much leaf to hug your glistening nug?  For some, trimming means everything and the hours perfecting some trimmers’ techniques leave them with aching hands and sticky fingers.  I’d trim all day long for free if I could take the latex gloves home with me!  It seems like the trim is all about aesthetics. But it can also be about taste and experience since smoked or vaped flower definitely tastes different than leaf.

A well-cured nug of Cannabis can mean the difference between a headache and pure herbal bliss.  Proper curing is a time-consuming yet crucial oft-skipped step in the creation of quality Cannabis.  After proper drying, you store your dried and trimmed buds inside an airtight glass jar to allow the sugars and organic terpenes to ripen, ferment, and break down the chlorophyll. This makes for a smoother, sweeter smoking and vaping experience.  

Further conversion of cannabinoids occurs during this period as well so a good cure most definitely can affect more than just taste, but the effect as well.  Once again, one could argue that the curing and trimming of the nug is a big part of what makes quality.  I’m here to say though, that I see a fourth aspect to add to your arsenal of tools for creating quality Cannabis.

Growers have been judging dryness with such vague measurements as “when the stem easily snaps” for too long.  And many have suffered the loss of mold-covered medicine because they jarred it up while it still had too much moisture in it.  Now there is a product called Boveda that can control the relative humidity of your medicine for months and months.

Boveda packs work using a reverse-osmosis membrane. Inside is a solution of natural salts and purified water vapor either exudes or absorbs moisture to keep your nugs fresh and free from mold or harmful micro-organisms.  Studies have shown that Cannabis flowers can lose up to 15% of their terpene content when they are over-dried.  Boveda is now the trusted product in two-way humidity control used to preserve everything from Humidors to Cannabis to Guitars.  They come in various sizes and RH levels which for Cannabis range between 58% and 62% relative humidity.

So since it’s all relative anyways, I’d love to know your opinion of what affects the quality of Cannabis.  Either way, we can now agree that the final step is always proper preservation and storage of your nugs.  And the best way to do that is with Boveda.

Learn more about Boveda for Herbal Medicine on the Boveda Home Page.

– Dianna Donnelly
Dianna Donnelly is a Cannabis educator, blogger, and free-lance writer living in Kingston, Ontario. She counsels new patients on the safe and effective use of medicinal cannabis and believes that with enough time, cannabis, and coconut oil she can heal the world.

MMJ vs Crack and Cocaine Addiction

If you’ve been keeping up with recent headlines pertaining to the medicinal use of cannabis, you’ve no doubt noticed the influx of studies that point to the plant as a viable treatment for curbing opioid addictions. Researchers have also garnered similar results for benzodiazepine users, proving the immense value that marijuana has on eliminating dependence on highly addictive prescription pills. 

A team of Canadian researchers has recently released a report showcasing similar benefits for people suffering from a crack or cocaine addiction. Between 2012 and 2015, 122 individual participants reported that cannabis helped reduce their crack use. The study ultimately concludes that “further clinical research to assess the potential of cannabinoids for the treatment of crack use disorders is warranted.”

Although the study was primarily focused on crack use, the substance is pharmacologically identical to powder cocaine. Rates of substance abuse disorders related to crack and cocaine both land right around 6 percent, and these findings are especially significant seeing that there is at this time no pharmaceutical treatment for this type of addiction. This particular drug epidemic might have peaked in the late ‘80s and into the ‘90s, but statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that almost 1.4 million Americans still have some level of dependence on cocaine.

While this research offers promising results, it’s not the first study to show that cannabis use can help reduce the severity of crack and cocaine addiction. In 2015, Brazilian researchers investigated the effects that marijuana had on the quality of life of crack users. They found a noticeable reduction in addictive behavior and aggressiveness; some even claimed that marijuana helped relax them to the point where they no longer felt the need to use their normal amount of cocaine.  

Similar studies have also been conducted using mice as subject instead of people. A collaborative research group from Beijing and Baltimore took mice that were intentionally addicted to cocaine, and who were also taught to self-administer it. Once they were treated with a synthetic cannabinoid compound, their desire to intake more cocaine had subsided tremendously. Researchers in Barcelona made a similar discovery back in 2005 by altering the cannabinoid receptors in mice. 

Cocaine and crack addiction may not be as prevalent and lethal as opioid abuse, but these recent findings are still critical to the cannabis movement nonetheless. By showing the crack users were able to wean off of the extremely addictive substance by using marijuana, another argument is added to the increasingly long list of reasons why cannabis needs to be made available to those suffering from serious drug addictions.

Marijuana and Anxiety

For every story of panic resulting from being too high, there is another about how marijuana has provided life-changing relief from chronic anxiety.

Studies show that marijuana has anti-anxiety properties, which can help people with disorders such as PTSD and social anxiety.

Many factors contribute to marijuana’s effect on anxiety. Strain composition, drug tolerance, environmental factors and pre-existing conditions can all influence whether you feel panicked or relaxed after using marijuana.

Here we look at the evidence and explanations underlying both sides of this complex story.

Relief from anxiety is one of the most commonly cited reasons for using marijuana. What’s more, scientists are starting to uncover evidence that marijuana may be a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders.

The use of cannabis for treating anxiety was first described in 1563 when Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta claimed that cannabis could deliver sufferers from “all worries and care.” The effects of marijuana have been described as calming, relaxing and even hypnotic.

Many long-time users of marijuana report that the drug reduces their anxiety, citing relaxation and stress relief as the main benefits.

In addition to anecdotal evidence, there is some science to back up what many users claim.

A 2014 study from Vanderbilt University found that smoking marijuana can increase the presence of naturally occurring brain chemicals called endocannabinoids, which are reduced as a result of chronic stress. Some researchers think that a reduction of endocannabinoids could be a major cause of anxiety disorders.

Marijuana may also be more safe and effective than traditional anxiety medications.

A recent Canadian study found that within 90 days of using prescribed medical cannabis for anxiety and pain, 40% of patients were able to stop using benzodiazepines — a commonly prescribed anxiety drug with a number of side effects, including a high potential for abuse.

Studies also suggest that marijuana could be an effective treatment for PTSD. Since marijuana is known to play a direct role in memory extinction, some experts believe that it could help PTSD sufferers forget bad memories and negative experiences.

Much more about Marijuana and Anxiety at Leaf Science

The Terpene Linalool vs Opioid Addiction

An individual strain of cannabis can contain a mix of more than 200 terpenes. One of these terpenes, linalool, has been shown to offer a wide variety of medical benefits.

Terpenes like linalool, which are available in a variety of aromatic herbs (not only cannabis), have been used for millennia to treat a wide array of medical conditions. Modern research has confirmed the practices of ancient civilizations, revealing strong medical efficacy for many severe conditions.

Modern research has confirmed the practices of ancient civilizations, revealing strong medical efficacy for many severe conditions.

Linalool has been shown to be a major anti-inflammatory, meaning it helps those with cancer and arthritis. Research has also proven the value of this terpene for treating anxiety and insomnia due to its sedative properties.

Linalool is actually one of the minor terpenes available in certain strains of cannabis. It is found in smaller quantities than major terpenes like myrcene (the most common), pinene, and limonene. It emits a floral, sometimes spicy aroma. Hundreds of species of plants produce linalool, including a variety of mints and herbs.

Linalool relieves a number of symptoms, including pain, depression, seizures, and inflammation. Because it acts as a sedative, it is helpful for treating insomnia – its tranquilizing effects can help many who suffer from a variety of types of psychosis.

Because of its analgesic, or pain-killing, properties, Linalool is a powerful treatment for several diseases, including multiple sclerosis, dystonia, chronic pain, and arthritis.

When used in combination with major terpenes and cannabinoids (like THC, CBD, CBN, and CBC), this powerful terpene is serious medicine in a patient’s pain management arsenal.

Linalool’s value is of special note during a modern epidemic of opioid use and addiction to pharmaceutical drugs like Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin.

A study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine in 2002 showed that linalool is a major anti-inflammatory agent, potentially helping with ailments such as cancer and arthritis. The same research team, in a follow-on study in 2003, discovered that linalool is also a pain killer.

These researchers again, in 2006, conducted another linalool study that further examined data from animal models. This study reinforced the fact that linalool is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

The sedative qualities of linalool were proven in a 2008 study published in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal. The research estimated that 19 million Americans suffer from anxiety-related ailments and revealed linalool to be a sedative capable of providing real efficacy to them.

In a world crippled by addictions to opioids and other pharmaceutical therapies, the value of natural terpenes in the treatment of serious disease if of special merit.

Patients can often – through the consumption of herbs that contain terpenes like linalool, including cannabis – reduce or avoid the negative side effects of synthetic drugs.

via: Herb

Myrcene: the Terpene found in Mangos

Cannabis cultivators and dispensaries owners claim that the future of marijuana is in terpenes (fragrant oils). Terpenes will attract the majority of medical marijuana patients and weed connoisseurs with smell and taste as well as numerous health benefits.

Those who feel high because of the smell of a pine and need to reduce inflammation will look for alpha-pinene in their strains.

Those who want to reduce the level of stress at work should pay attention to limonene that smells like citrus.

Linadol with the smell of lavender will be useful for those who want to cope with anxiety.

But let`s speak about myrcene, the terpene of the future.

What Do Researchers Say about Myrcene?

Swiss scientists in their 1997 study determined that myrcene is one of the most common and abundant terpenes in cannabis. It can reach up to 50% of the whole terpenes volume.

Myrcene has a puzzling smell of earth, herb with undertones of musk. It`s a bit difficult to define it because it is not as distinct as the smell of a pine.

It is one of the terpenes that helps other terpenes to form. Along with thujone, another marijuana terpene, myrcene can help to battle the symptoms of diabetes. This was the conclusion of American scientists in a 2007 study. GW Pharmaceuticals found out that myrcene can manage pain effectively.

A 2011 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology  revealed that myrcene has effects that were only cannabinoids could possess.  Myrcene served as muscles relaxant in animals, helped to fight insomnia and cooperated with of the cannabinoids effectively.
Thus, working with CBD myrcene could reduce inflammation and manage pain or even battle cancer. Combined with THC myrcene turns out a real hypnotic sedative.

5 Most Important Effects of Myrcene:

Prevents tumors formation;
Reduces anxiety, serves as a sedative;
Reduces inflammation;
Helps to fight with insomnia;
Has powerful analgesic effect

Mango is Another Source of Myrcene 

There is a myth that eating mango before smoking weed can enhance the psychoactive effect of marijuana, and this myth has a scientific basis.

Myrcene from mangos will make you high even higher increasing the level of THC in your brain.

So eat one mango, smoke some El Nino marijuana strain to achieve the largest volume of myrcene possible. Basil is another source of myrcene in nature.
via: CannaSOS

More about Terpenes and Myrcene

Gateway to Health - From Pills to Plants

The idea that Cannabis is a gateway drug is still very much ingrained in some of our minds.  I can’t help but agree. For me, this plant with my naturally occurring cannabinoid receptor system has been a gateway to many good things. For people like myself, Cannabis is a gateway to sleep, smiles, sex and good health just to name a few. 

Gramma and Grampa are both on the herbal and the canes are flying out the window.  Children and seniors alike are going to legalizing clinics in droves so they can finally live free.

For many, it means living pain-free and addiction-free for the first time in their lives.  I’m speaking of those in the midst of the opioid epidemic or even those on the cusp.  They are a faceless, yet growing statistic that we all read about daily. The thing is, there are faces to these statistics and they’re as common as your Gramma and Grampa. Doctors prescribe opioid pain medications to children and seniors every single day. Some are for simple procedures that used to require a popsicle and an aspirin when I was young!

With each dose of Cannabis oil, opioids get titrated down. Each puff of cannabis vapor quells aches, pains, tremors, and metal illnesses.

There’s a very good reason why Cannabinoids are replacing so many pharmaceuticals for so many conditions.  Not only does our endo (naturally occurring) cannabinoid system contribute to our immune system, improving our health, but it also has a way of lessening the negative bias a depressed, sick, or stressed brain can have.

As you know, different regions of the brain are responsible for different things. The two Cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2 are in the region of the brain that controls our emotions. Cannabis turns your frown upside down and makes you giddy for a reason. A veteran friend of mine who recently changed from pills to plants told me he couldn’t believe how many emotions he felt now, where before he was numb. Opioids, and recently Acetaminophen in studies confirm their ability to deaden emotions.

This can feel like a good thing and is often one of the reasons why people continue to take them.  When the side effects are this bad, numb is good.

Every day I read testimonials of healing from new patients using this plant in its many forms.  Many enjoy the experimentation and subjective nature of it. You do have to start low and titrate slowly with whatever ingestion method you choose.  Many also report other health changes they weren’t expecting but welcomed gladly. With receptors in almost every single part of the body, it’s no wonder why this plant just does a body good!  So the next time you hear the rhetoric of Cannabis being a gateway drug, challenge them with your knowledge and remember to duck for flying canes!

– Dianna Donnelly
Dianna Donnelly is a Cannabis educator, blogger, and free-lance writer living in Kingston, Ontario. She counsels new patients on the safe and effective use of medicinal cannabis and believes that with enough time, cannabis, and coconut oil she can heal the world.

Originally Posted on the Blog

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