Five Ways CBD Can Improve Health

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, and science has given it close attention in recent years for its potential in treating a wide variety of medical conditions. In 2015 the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) stated that “pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful,” and research continues to explore exactly how CBD benefits us. We've highlighted five ways science is showing how CBD can improve our health - but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Anti-Tumor Properties
The 2015 NIDA article also states “several pre-clinical reports showing anti-tumor effects of CBD...have found reduced [cancer] cell viability, increased cancer cell death, decreased tumor growth, and inhibition of metastasis.” In December of 2016, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported CBD - and other cannabinoids - to be “protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors,” including breast, colon, pancreatic, and lung cancers.

Anti-Anxiety Properties
The NCI further reported that “animal studies have shown CBD to have anxiolytic properties...these anxiolytic properties are mediated through unknown mechanisms,” which basically means CBD calms feelings of anxiety, we just don't know how - yet. Also, CBD does not cause the cerebral “high” that can bring on anxiety in some cannabis users (tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, does that), and there is some evidence that shows CBD actually counteracts some of the anxious feelings brought on by THC.

Anti-Seizure/Anti-Convulsion Properties 
The anecdotal evidence surrounding the efficacy of CBD in treating a range of seizure and convulsive disorders is astounding, and a January 2017 article in Neurology Today states that, “several animal studies and both randomized and open-label studies have found that cannabidiol oil (CBD) shows promise in treating seizure disorders, but questions remain about proper dosages to apply, the potential for adverse effects, and the drug-drug interactions with other antiepileptic drugs (AEDS).”

Antioxidant Properties
The United States Government Patent #6,630,507 states that “cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism,” and that this attribute “makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.” The Patent says CBD acts by “preventing or treating diseases caused by oxidative stress,” and like other cannabinoids can “easily penetrate tissues, giving them the ability to enter the central nervous system and brain.”

Neuroprotective Properties
The NIDA notes that CBD has “shown to have neuroprotective properties in cell cultures as well as in animal models of several neurodegenerative diseases,” including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and neurodegeneration caused by alcohol abuse. In 2016, a research team in China reported that “CBD had been shown to reverse the reduction in neuronal viability and the increased excitotoxicity, inflammation, and oxidative stress” and the aforementioned U.S. patent states that “cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such a stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and HIV dementia.”

via: Civilized

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $100 The Helix Basic Bubbler

The Helix Basic Bubbler
by Grav Labs

The Helix Basic Bubbler was created by Grav Labs to bridge the gap between the Helix Multi and the Helix Classic. Those familiar with Grav Labs' Helix chambers will instantly recognize that distinguishable swirl of smoke created inside the chamber.

You will instantly love the bubbler attachment with feet, and the beautiful spoon head design.

The Helix Basic Bubbler by Grav Labs is certainly destined to be a classic in its own right. Made from sturdy borosilicate glass, the Helix Basic Bubbler is meant to last.

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Stoner Gift Ideas Under $50 The High Knife

The High Knife

High Knife is a versatile pocket knife made from stainless steel with a built-in pipe for smoking your herb. 

This multi-purpose pocket knife and smoking pipe is integrated with various smoking accessories such as a pipe sleeve, pipe cleaner, and a roach clip. It also offers utility tools such as different size blades, wine, bottle & can opener, screwdriver, tooth pick, sewing tool, and tweezers. 

Best of all, it comes in its own embossed stash box that can be used for storing your product.

Available at WickiePipes
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MMJ vs Phantom Limb Pain

HelloMD spoke with Charles Rutherford of Boveda. Boveda leads the industry in humidity regulation technology and allows both producers and patients alike to preserve the quality of their cannabis products. Charles spoke to us about his personal journey with medical marijuana and his experience using cannabis to ease his nerve and phantom limb pain after losing his foot in a terrible motorcycle accident.

Do you use cannabis as a medicine?

Yes, but I never had fun with cannabis recreationally in my life, it wasn’t really for me. Three years ago I got hit by a careless driver on my motorcycle, and this resulted in the amputation of my left foot. Phantom limb pain and nerve pain have become a constant and painful problem for me. Yet, the doctors only mean for me to deal with this pain was to give me more and more opiates.

Opioid abuse is not a road I wanted to go down. I live in Minnesota and we have a medical marijuana program, so I was able to try marijuana for my phantom limb pain. Because of cannabis, I was able to stop using opioids because I could use marijuana for both the pain relief and it allows me to sleep at the end of the day.

The funny thing is, that even though we were operating our business within the cannabis industry, I was very skeptical about patients using cannabis as medicine. It was only due to my own desperation to stop my own pain that I eventually tried cannabis. It has been amazing what it has done for me. I went from being a skeptic to a believer overnight.

How did this influence you?

My personal story, and how cannabis helped me with phantom limb pain, informs everything we do at Boveda in relation to cannabis. I have a personal passion for medicinal cannabis and how it can help others. Through marijuana, we can alleviate the huge epidemic of opioid addiction and death, so I have made it my own personal crusade to make sure that the flower stays in the best position it can be for people who do use it as a medicine.

I also work to help expand the knowledge and understanding of the industry. At Boveda we have commissioned a lot of testing so we can see what exactly is happening to the cannabis flower at different stages of storage and what is really the maximum storage time it can have. We are also looking to see if there is a best objective curing method and a best objective storing container, and since my story informs all of that, I would say that 95% of my attention is on cannabis.

What I have discovered is that people around me who were skeptical about cannabis and had a certain idea of what a 'cannabis user' looked like has completely changed. I am a competitive athlete, I still compete in skiing, golf, and mountain biking, I’m a professional, and I don't 'look' like a cannabis user.

In my circle of influence that has definitely reverberated. People who have had certain feelings about cannabis and about what 'those people' (who use cannabis)' look like or do, know that I am not any of those things. Since I don't have a fear of sharing my story and I am not involved with a lot of things that the stereotypical marijuana user is, it is good at helping convert people to the idea that cannabis is a medicine and it can be used safely and effectively.

What about cannabis in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, we haven't seen a lot of people go towards cannabis. I think there are only maybe 1,100 people who are patients here in Minnesota. Because of some of the restrictions on what qualifies for medical marijuana, as well as restrictions on growing and administration methods, it has put it out of reach for a lot of people. I’m not sure if this kind of program will ever survive here, because of how it was put into place, which is a real shame.

What do you think about the recreational use of cannabis?

The reality is, I come from a spot with personal beliefs of personal responsibility. I think people are being hurt by the status quo, so I think we shouldn’t be asking if we should legalize medical marijuana, but rather, are people getting hurt by the status quo?

Are we okay with people getting addicted to opioids? Are we okay with making the cheaper and logical leap after opioids, something that can kill people even faster, like heroine? Are we okay with people getting a medication that can kill them right from their doctor?

So, there is clearly a paradox in the status quo. The safest option for people medically is something that isn't prescribed to them by a doctor, meaning marijuana. Yet the thing that can kill them, opioids, is what their doctor is handing out to them. I think people should have the ability to responsibly decide what they put inside their body and clearly cannabis is a safe and effective medicine.

How do we sway the negative stereotype of cannabis?

People need to tell their story of how marijuana has helped them. I encourage friends who have family members who are against medical or recreational marijuana to tell my story. I am a conservative, Republican, Christian who has volunteered at church every Sunday for the last six years. I am an NRA member, I carry a gun, I am a competitive athlete, and I am a professional. Those qualities don’t normally fit into what people see as a typical cannabis user, which is why my story, in addition to being a medical case, is a political case as well.

This is also what a cannabis user can look like. Marijuana legalization, however, does not have to be a political issue, because being a conservative I believe in personal responsibility. So once again, using cannabis responsibly is exactly what I believe in. Stories of people who don’t normally fit into the cannabis mold and show people that a cannabis user can be anyone is important. Peoples’ perceptions or prejudices may keep them from listening to certain people, so finding the right messenger to get the message to certain people is crucial.

Anything else you would like to add about Boveda?

Our product is unique and uniquely valuable. Boveda is being used by some big brands because they understand that it is the right thing to do for safety and quality of their cannabis. For personal use at home, we recently just released our 58% humidity formula for people who wanted a slightly lower humidity for their cannabis flowers. You just pop a Boveda pack in with your flowers and it adds or removes moisture as needed, then locks into the moisture that is encrypted into the Boveda pack.

Via: HelloMD

Find a Boveda Retailer Near You
or Visit Boveda's Online Store

How Does Humidity Affect Your Cannabis? by Leafly

There are many elements to consider when properly curing and storing your cannabis. One of the most crucial considerations is managing the relative humidity (RH) of the plant material while it is stored in an airtight container. Having too much moisture will increase the risk of contamination by mold or mildew, while having too little moisture will cause the trichomes to dry out, becoming brittle, harsh, and less effective as the essential oils that carry the cannabinoids and terpenes slowly degrade.

Luckily, there’s a solution that avoids the difficult balancing act of monitoring the ambient humidity of your climate, maintains the ideal RH, and gives you a powerful tool to give your cannabis the best possible cure.

What is Ambient Humidity?

Ambient humidity is what’s happening outside your container of cannabis. It could be your bedroom, the trunk of your car, or the outdoors. In air-conditioned homes, the humidity is usually 20-30% because the AC scrubs moisture out of the air. In a heated home, the humidity will often be even lower as the furnace scrubs much of the ambient humidity.

In the time it takes to open and prepare cannabis for consumption, the flower can lose a detectable amount of moisture. Without a proper way to monitor and adjust the humidity in your container, the cannabis will dry over time.
Using humidity control products like Boveda 62 in the container allows you to quickly replace the lost moisture both in the air and in the plant, so the cannabis is the same original quality every time. Some would even make the case it gets better with age, like wine or cigars.

The RH “Sweet Spot”

Humidity control packs can monitor ambient humidity and add or remove moisture to deliver a precise RH, giving your cannabis the optimal moisture content and keeping it true to its original form. For example, the Boveda 62, developed after repeated requests from cannabis aficionados to create a pack that held a lower RH, keeps your buds at the perfect 62% RH level.

To determine the best RH for cannabis, we hired a third party laboratory to do a moisture sorption isotherm on a single strain of cannabis. A moisture sorption isotherm test applies a wide range of humidity levels to an item and determines an RH range in which the properties of the item doesn’t change. For the strain of cannabis, the lab tested, 59-63% RH showed to be ideal.

In the same way nature has gifted the world cannabis, it gifts us the natural salts that provide the key to balancing RH levels. Different salt compounds hold a varying range of moisture, which makes it crucial to source a salt that stabilizes moisture content at an ideal 62%.

Many who prefer vaporizing their cannabis are finding they favor even lower humidity levels, such as the 54%. Personal preference can also dictate your ideal RH “sweet spot,” with elements like plant density and personal taste being the deciding factors.

How Does RH Affect the Curing, Drying, and Storage of Cannabis?

If you want the best possible cure, you need to store cannabis in an environment with stable RH within the ideal range. The ambient humidity isn’t much of a concern, because Boveda responds to conditions inside the container, absorbing or releasing moisture to maintain the ideal 62% inside.

From there, your major concerns are temperature and light. Boveda adjusts the humidity based on temperature changes, but cannabis should always be kept away from high temperatures to avoid decarboxylation or activating the precious cannabinoids. And as widely recommended throughout the cannabis industry, always store your cannabis in a cool dark place.

While Boveda is effective at removing excess moisture, growers should still dry cannabis using their traditional methods, and when the branches feel close to their target moisture content, put the buds in containers with Boveda to help adjust the RH to the proper range for cannabis.

by: Leafly

Find a Boveda Retailer Near You 

Marijuana and Dreaming

Cannabis has long been used as an all-natural sleep aid, indica strains are particularly geared towards promoting a deep and restful sleep. While cannabis can help users fall asleep faster, and even lengthen our deep sleep cycle, it has a serious impact on our dreams.

Cannabis and Dreams

Long-term cannabis users can build up a tolerance over time, meaning they need to consume more and more cannabis for the same results. Many regular users will take something called a tolerance break (T Break) where they stop consuming cannabis for a few days, or even weeks in order to reset this built up tolerance.

If you have taken a tolerance break you probably already know how it can impact your dreams. Many people report having extremely vivid and memorable dreams after stopping cannabis use for a few days. This ‘rebound phenomenon’ has been studied extensively, and we finally have a good understanding of how cannabis can affect our sleep cycle and how it can influence our dreams.

Stages of Sleep

Before we dive into the effects cannabis can have on our dreams it’s important to understand the different stages of sleep. There are 4 stages of sleep as well as a REM stage (rapid eye movement). During REM sleep is when dreams occur, our body becomes paralyzed, our eyes move rapidly, heart rate increases and brain activity ramps up significantly.

Stages 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle are referred to as our deep sleep stage (since lumped into one stage). Experts suggest that the deep sleep cycle is an integral time period when the body repairs itself and you achieve a feeling of restfulness.

Studies have shown that cannabis use can severely diminish the time we spend in REM sleep, meaning less time spent dreaming. In contrast, cannabis users often spend more time in the deep sleep stages of sleep, leading to a more restful sleep.

Cannabis users who stop cold turkey to reset their tolerance will often find it difficult to fall asleep immediately after stopping. They’ll also experience something called the “rebound phenomenon”, which refers to their increase in REM sleep which cause far more vivid dreams.

Individuals who use cannabis daily for years will often report that they never dream. While they’re still actually having dreams in their shortened REM cycle, they don’t remember them. This makes the dreams during a tolerance break feel far more intense.

This and More from my Friend: The Chill Bud

Stoner Gift Ideas Under $75 The Helix Spoon Pipe

The Helix Spoon Pipe 
by Grav Labs

The Helix Classic Mini, made in the USA by Grav Labs, is stealthy 5" in length. But don't let the size of this tiny wonder fool you, micro-holes in the Helix Mini allow for extra cooling of smoke, and give it the power of a much larger glass pipe. The attached head allows for dry pipe smoking with the same micro-holes making every puff a smoother, cooler sensation.

Grav Labs does not use less than the best for their products, and this hand pipe is no exception to that rule. Being made of lab-grade borosilicate glass means this Helix Mini pipe is durable enough to travel safely, and discreetly, in any pocket or bag. 

Available at Billowby

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Testing labs are the Cannabis Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Testing labs are the cannabis industry's dirty secret. Cannabis companies depend on these labs to determine the level of THC in their products or give them a pass with regards to mold, pests or pesticides. The problem is that not all labs are created equal.

The labs themselves aren't inspected or graded by any agencies and customers have no idea whether or not products were tested at a reputable lab. Some believe that the problem is standardization, but there are plenty of state standards -- the real problem is enforcement.

For instance, THC ratings are less than transparent. Marijuana consumers tend to equate THC levels with price. They believe if an edible has a low THC level, it should be cheaper and conversely, if it has a high THC level, it should cost more. They are looking for more bang for their buck. Can I get something with 25 mg of THC as cheaply as possible? The producers know this is just plain wrong. The process for extracting THC is the same whether the amount is small or not.

It is really a customer preference issue. Many customers actually prefer a smaller level of THC in order to go about their day without being extremely impaired. However, because of this developing value trend, some producers are incentivized to get their products listed with higher THC levels and some labs are willing to help them get there.

Dylan Hirsch, executive vice president of Diagnostic Lab Corporation said, “Many of the labs will sometimes say they can get better results. It can be so subjective for results on THC.” Sometimes, it's the growers who are unscrupulous. They may bring a different product than their own to the lab for testing -- one that could have higher THC. “There is no assurance that what the lab tested and what they are now selling to someone else is the same product,” he said. Hirsch suggested that there needs to be a tighter supply chain.

Part of the challenge is that the labs's business model makes it it difficult to be profitable. The machinery is expensive and their staff scientists are well-paid professionals. For example, testing equipment may cost $600,000, but then they may only be testing 2 samples a day for maybe $100 each. Hirsch also pointed out that the lab may have expensive testing equipment, but then the testers might not be that great.

Garyn Angel, CEO of Magic Butter, an infuser machine company, said that different testers give different results. He believes that another part of the problem is that there are no standard operating procedures for testing marijuana and infused products. “Everything in science works on standard operating procedures," Angel says. "True science is repeatable. Testing cannabinoids though is not like testing blood.” He believes the problem is that the labs don't want to share their methods and feel it is proprietary because of the competition among labs.

Consumers, trained from years of having an FDA keep companies in check, have a false sense that the product they are buying is actually what it says it is. Lena Davidson, Market Relations at edible brand Botanical Seatle, says her company is willing to take their products to a top lab like Analytical360 in Seattle. They pay extra for premium testing to get more accurate results, but other competitors may not have such high standards. “We consider it an investment in our brand reputation,” she said. “It's like the word organic. Something may say it's organic, but there are different definitions of organic.”

Davidson also added that the cannabis community is well aware of which labs are “friendly” to the industry, meaning they reject fewer items. “It would be helpful to have a lab rating system,” she said. Davidson also suggested that maybe if they could have fewer items tested, but make the tests more expensive, that could help the labs with their business model. She noted that every single batch of their product has to be tested and they pay for roughly 45 tests a month.

“Regulators focus on sign-sheets at dispensaries and grow facilities when instead they could be making sure labs are accurately testing for mold and insects,” she pointed out. Consumers have no idea whether the product they are buying was taken to a good lab or one that just wants to keep its cannabis producers happy.

Hirsch also thinks it's a compliance issue. He pointed out that there are rules against pesticides and yet people are still getting sick from ingesting products with pesticide residue. "There are lots of tests around, but no methodology of testing," he said. Even though it is expensive for labs to get accredited, he believes the industry should require it. In the meantime, customers will have to trust in the brands they buy. They may have to pay more to know that the product they are consuming is clean and has an accurate THC reading.

Some questions to ask yourself before Investing in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis industry investors are a passionate group. Many are willing to take the risk that comes with investing in companies that mostly described as speculative. Plus, the overhang of being in a federally illegal industry affects every decision an investor in this group faces.

Before committing your hard earned dollars in this group, you must ask yourself these three questions. Does the company have a real and viable business plan? Is the management professional and effective? Can the company withstand the upheaval in the marijuana market?

If all this work seems overwhelming, consider working with a financial company that specializes in cannabis companies. Invictus MD (CSE: IMH, OTC: IVITF) looks for traits like this when they are deciding to deploy capital. They look for brands that are leaders in the space or have the potential to become top brands. They also make sure the company has advantages over their competitors and Invictus has high expectations regarding the management team. It's this kind of disciplined and prudent approach that leads to successful investing.

1. Kick the tires and do your homework before investing in a cannabis company. 
Read the company's business filings and don't rely on just news articles to learn about a company's business. Some news stories may be helpful, but it should not be your only source of information. If the company is public, there will be numerous documents filed on behalf of the company. Take the time to read these filings.

Ask yourself whether the company's plan is viable and if their growth projections are realistic? Do they have a real business or it is merely a business idea? If they sell a product, how much revenue is coming in? If it isn't much, but the projections are for double-digit or triple-digit growth, how are they getting there? Are the growth projections based on hard numbers or does it seem like guesswork? Perhaps this is a red flag.

2. Is there an actual product? 
Talk is cheap. Does the product or business actually exist? Is the location a real location? Plug in their address in Google maps and check the earth view to make sure you see what they are claiming. Can the product be manufactured in volume? Small batch is easy, but can this business grow? Can this business then be replicated in multiple states? Look at the company's expenses. Startups frequently need to spend a lot of capital to get off the ground, but do the expenses look unusual?

Once you are satisfied that this business is real and they are who they say they are, then look at the management. Are they in it for the long haul or looking to merely enrich themselves on the “greenrush.” Are they loading up on excessive amounts of stock or giving themselves unusually high salaries? Don't be afraid to call management with questions you've compiled after doing your initial analysis of the business. They may be busy, but good management is normally willing to answer well-thought out questions of a potential investor.

3. Check the management's background.
Many cannabis companies are bringing in top talent from more traditional industries. Look at LinkedIn to see if in fact they worked at the places they claimed. Was management successful in other businesses in other industries. For example, if they were successful REIT manager before, then the chances they will be successful REIT manager in the cannabis space is more likely. If they worked for a major food company like Nabisco or General Mills, then it's highly possible that they will be successful as an infused edible producer.

The cannabis market is in a period of uncertainty with the new administration. Is the company you are considering for an investment able to survive this uncertainty. Does it have enough capital to withstand years of not making money? If in the worst case scenario the government decides to crack down on cannabis businesses, could your company engage in another sector that doesn't rely on cannabis? For example, could your indoor cultivator turn to growing organic vegetables? Can the edible company still sell food that isn't infused?

These are three critical questions to ask yourself before committing your disposable income with any cannabis company. This is a nascent industry and like many companies from the dot-com era, several will not be around in a few years. However, with some good research you may be able to uncover the future leaders of the cannabis industry.

via: Civilized

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