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February 28, 2019 administrator

While New Year’s Eve is far behind us, it’s still not too late to spark up predictions about and resolutions for our next orbit around the Sun.  As my lovely wife will attest, I’m not keen on making New Year’s resolutions. But, given the fast-growing CBD industry, I think it’s worth it to make some predictions for 2019.

 

Before delving further into the topic, let’s first understand what CBD is and why the buzz surrounding it just keeps getting louder:

 

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

 

Cannabidiol is one of over 115 known naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It’s different from THC (the mind-altering compound in marijuana) since it has a unique chemical structure.

 

Most importantly, it’s complicated to obtain CBD ONLY from the hemp plant, so most CBD extracts contain a mixture of compounds, all derived from the cannabis plant.

 

Why is CBD all the Buzz Nowadays?

 

The rise in CBD popularity didn’t happen overnight. It’s the outcome of results obtained after consumption of CBD products by the people. Those who were suffering from some serious illnesses got cured, and it made the compound accepted and liked by the people.

 

Some of the huge health benefits of CBD include:

  • Reducing stress
  • CBD creams and lotions provide instant relief from soreness, ache, and pain
  • Curing depression and anxiety
  • Fighting cancer and arthritis
  • Curing sleep deprivation and insomnia
  • Beautifying the skin and reversing the signs of aging

 

These benefits might get credit for the massive growth of this sector. Then again, the use of marijuana, being an illegal activity has kept it in neutral ground. Consequently, the need for medications, which comprises CBD in its pure form with no THC, is a must.

 

Businesses are researching innovative ways to isolate and create CBD infused products in diverse forms at affordable rates. It’ll help in getting more attraction of the CBD users towards them and thus more gains.

 

The legalization of marijuana has already gathered momentum in the recent past owing to the efforts of some individuals. However, irrespective of whether it gets legalized or not, the industry isn’t going to experience the downfall anytime soon.

 

Cannabis Industry Predictions for 2019

 

 

  • Further Mainstream Awareness

 

 

My first prediction is that the increasing interest will continue through 2019 and beyond, with CBD infused beverages and edibles coming into play. We’re also likely to see an increase in seniors who take CBD, thanks to more research being devoted to CBD. Additionally, there will be deals with “outsider” companies and a lot of money will likely be invested in increased research into CBD and cannabis tech.

 

 

  • CBD Standards Surface

 

 

My second prediction is that consumers will start to insist on knowing what they are paying for and what they’re getting.  Rules and Regulation must happen, maybe through a self-governing body or national regulatory bodies in different countries.

 

 

  • True Brands Emerge

 

 

My third prediction is that true brands will emerge. True brands start with product consistency, and it has been tough for the current CBD brands to guarantee consistency across locked borders.

 

In 2019, brands will be capable of tightly controlling, regulating, and reporting on their repeatable processes, allowing product consistency in geographically dispersed regions. Consistency begets credibility, which contributes to the growth of a product to a brand.

 

 

  • More, Big Retailers

 

 

My fourth prediction is that 2019 will see giant retailers such as Amazon join the CBD movement. Back in 2017, you could only get CBD products from small independent retailers like head shops, specialty stores, or natural food stores. Throughout the UK, people have been requesting these products, and the big retailers have been wise to listen.

 

 

  • More Employment Opportunities

 

 

My fourth prediction is that huge developments in the CBD sector will lead to far more jobs. The CBD market will really grow in the following couple of years. Estimates indicate that sales are expected to increase more than 27 percent annually by 2022; this translates to more than $22 billion in sales.

 

Ultimately, that substantial growth in sales also indicates far more labor, so job development will increase by about 21 percent by 2022, which is huge compared to almost any other existing market. The CBD market employs averagely 135,000 workers. By 2022, that number will double.

 

 

  • Increased Cultivation

 

 

To sum up, my sixth prediction is that as sales increase, the demand for CBD products will also increase – large enough to stretch the industry’s present supply chain. Hemp growers will be in high demand, as well as product formulators, lab workers, and extraction pros.

 

According to according to ma CBD oil more hemp acreage will be cultivated in 2019 than ever before. Countries that started pilot programs will experience great success and will decided to expand.

 

Conclusion

 

No one can genuinely predict exactly where the CBD market is headed, but it’s definitely going into brighter and larger locations. We’re as excited as everybody else to see exactly where the road will take us, and we’re hoping for new discoveries along the way.

 


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November 9, 2018 administrator

As cannabis becomes legal and more socially acceptable worldwide, a growing number of people are using it for both recreational and medicinal reasons. The fastest growing demographic to embrace marijuana, surprisingly, is elderly Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers: A Growing Market for Cannabis

The reasons for seniors to use marijuana are many. They are the first generation of elderly Americans to have grown up with marijuana as a common recreational drug. With cannabis now legalized or at least decriminalized in many areas, they can finally indulge without fear of repercussions.

In addition, the golden years bring new freedom from drug tests and other employment-related barriers to cannabis use. Our newest batch of senior citizens has plenty of time and money to enjoy marijuana and few good reasons to just say no.

Last, the health benefits of medical marijuana are particularly attractive to this age group. Many of them are beginning to deal with age-related complaints such as joint pain, glaucoma, and other medical problems that cannabis is known to alleviate. In an age where other pain medications are increasingly difficult to get, marijuana may be the best non-prescription alternative.

Decreased Stigma for All Ages

The elderly Americans using cannabis in growing numbers are not new to the drug. The first waves of hippies are now in their seventies or older. Many of them have enjoyed marijuana in the distant past.

However, there was a stigma regarding cannabis use until very recently. People who smoked it were viewed as stoners. Many workplaces tested for THC routinely. Smoking pot could land you in criminal courts, family courts, and a variety of difficult situations.

As a result, many Boomers gave up marijuana when they settled into families and careers. However, this generation is not convinced by the scare tactics that kept previous cohorts from using cannabis en masse. In many cases, senior cannabis use is more of a homecoming than an experiment.

In a society increasingly accepting of recreational marijuana use, these reasons not to enjoy cannabis have dissipated like, well, smoke. There are no longer career consequences or undercover cops to fret about. Nothing stands between our seniors and the high they once craved.

In addition, the new availability of upscale smoking supplies appeals especially to baby boomers. The range of aesthetically appealing vape pens and specialty cannabis products gives cannabis use the feeling of a hobby meant for connoisseurs, similar to collecting fine wine or Cuban cigars.

A Geriatric Healthcare Revolution

The purported health benefits of cannabis are another oft-cited reason for the increase in use among seniors. The generation of flower children and Woodstock is far less likely to place their faith in pharmaceuticals than a natural herb.

A study in 2016 found that seniors in states that decriminalized medical marijuana are receiving fewer prescriptionsfor drugs that treat chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, and other chronic complaints that cannabis is believed to treat. Cannabis may soon have a secondary benefit of decreasing the growing cost of Medicare Part D.

Although marijuana has not been conclusively proven to help many of the ailments it is purported to treat, it is increasingly preferred over prescription drugs. This is particularly true of opioid pain medication. The American Medical Association reported last year that opioid prescriptions drop 14% in the year after a state legalizes medical marijuana. Even people who remain uncomfortable with marijuana use tend to prefer it over the negative societal and health effects of opioids.

There was a time when grandmothers all over the nation took a handful of pills every day to treat a laundry list of conditions. Today’s grandma may instead take an edible or smoke a joint.

Considering that even the best pharmaceuticals have side effects, it is hard to see this change as a negative one. The opioid crisis remains one of our nation’s top public health problems. Most of the health concerns associated with marijuana disproportionately affect young people and growing brains.

A Growing Market

Senior citizens are becoming an unlikely yet red hot market for businesses that offer cannabis products. Several edible companies such as Colorado-based Wana Brands are creating products specifically for seniors, such as extended-release CBC capsules.

The world of legalized marijuana can be overwhelming to elderly people, many of whom last bought marijuana in a park in the seventies. Today’s dispensaries can have hundreds of products, from lotions to sprays to candies to dog treats. Many products boast a specific CBC to THC ratio, a new consideration when using cannabis as a medication.

Dispensaries are working hard to appeal to an older and more sophisticated client base. Dispensaries in California are offering shuttle buses and special senior citizen discounts to capture this market. Many dispensaries are appealing to this demographic by adopting a more sleek and professional appearance. The dispensaries favored by older Americans often feel more like an Apple Store than a head shop, with glass shelves and employees in business casual wear.

The Bottom Line on High Seniors

Social scientists and pharmaceutical companies ignore this trend at their peril. We do not yet know the long term consequences of a generation of stoned grandparents. We also do not know how marijuana use will affect pharmaceutical use and other medical costs over the long term.

In the meantime, corporate American appears to be planning for a generation of seniors who use cannabis the way previous generations used pills. Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to dabble in the marijuana game. Geriatricians and family doctors have been calling for increased research on cannabis use in the aged so they can give evidence-based recommendations to a growing number of patients who are interested.

There is no indication that this is a mere trend. Almost ten percent of Americans aged 50-64 years old use marijuana. For generations to come, marijuana may become more associated with grandparents than with teen stoners. This is a dramatic societal shift that could have huge effects on the way our nation views recreational drug use and the golden decades after retirement.


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October 21, 2018 administrator

Cannabis is often in the news. There is much written about it being illegal, legal, or medically legal. There are articles on how it grows and how to get it to grow better. There are articles on how it’s a drug and how it’s a medicine. However, the piece that is rarely reported on is the components of cannabis, including THC, and how they make the body work.

The Use of Chemical Compounds by Plants

If a plant creates a compound that does not directly contribute to its ability to grow and reproduce, then there is usually an indirect reason for its production. The two main reasons that a plant will use an indirect chemical is to deter predators or to encourage pollinators and/or seed spreaders. Predators can be deterred by something that tastes bad, or by something toxic to them. Pollinators are drawn to showy flowers, and seeds that are surrounded by yummy fruit can be pooped out and spread the location of the plant. The book The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan suggests that the chemical compound of certain plants was used to entice people to spread them as well. Though the compounds in cannabis were originally used, most likely, to discourage insect predators, their effects on people had enough of an effect to spread this plant worldwide.

Why Chemicals Have an Effect on the Body

A chemical can only work in locations where there are receptors for the chemical. Receptors are locations on the body where, if the right thing is plugged in, something will happen. Depending on which of the compounds are plugged in, it works like a set of instructions to the body to release certain hormones, bring in blood cells, or allow for different brain pathways to change the processing of current information (this can result in a high, pain relief, memory loss or something else, depending on the compound). They are similar to the charge ports on today’s electronic devices. To get them to work, you need to have the right shape of port on your cord. In this case, the cord is THC or one of the other cannabis chemical compounds. Looking at the medical reason for it is like examining this natural wiring. Cannabis has two kinds of chemical compounds, called terpenes and cannabinoids. Terpenes are responsible for the different smells of the cannabis strains, while cannabinoids are responsible for the medical effects, as well as the high. Here is a look at the chemicals that are contained in cannabis, their effect on the body, and why they work that way:

THC

The most well-known chemical compound in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. There are two varieties, known as 9-THC and 8-THC. This compound is known for its high, and because of this, cannabis has a very unique history in the plant world. While most plants which are used by people will be bred for the size, color, or taste of an item, cannabis was instead bred for the concentration of this chemical in the plant. Hemp, A different strain, subspecies or species, depending on who you talk to, was bred instead for the fibrous consistency and oil content of the plant. This means that the current day cannabis strains may be very different than those which were originally discovered in locations like Ancient Egypt. This is most concentrated in the plant’s flower buds, though it can be found, along with other compounds, in every part of the plant.

How THC works in the body

THC has two different receptor site location types. The first is located in the brain, where type CB1 receptors live, and the second is on some of the immune organs, like the spleen and lymph nodes. These are called type CB2 receptors. In type CB1, the high is found. In type CB2, there is the ability to suppress immune system function.

What Does the Body use CB1 and CB2 Receptors For?
It is important to note that the body does not have receptors, usually, to take in outside chemicals. Instead, these are areas that are activated by the body’s natural hormones in times of need. The change in perception created by type CB1 receptors have been shown by the body to be a coping mechanism for times of undue stress. The body can activate these during times of crisis or extreme physical exertion, like childbirth, in order to keep the full memory of the event from creating PTSD responses. The nausea center of the brain can also be tempered by THC, allowing an easier reaction from chemotherapy. CB2 receptors are immune suppression locations. When the body is in the middle of an autoimmune attack, where it is killing itself to fight an unseen enemy such as an allergy, these receptors can slow down the response and keep it from doing too much damage to the body. Medically, this receptor can theoretically be used to protect the body from foreign objects like surgical pins and even transplanted organs.

Other compounds in Cannabis:

The pharmacological uses for many of the other cannabinols have been of increasing interest as the allowance of cannabis for medical purposes has become more mainstream. Dozens of these compounds exist with a multitude of properties. Here is a small sampling of them and their medicinal applications:

  • Cannabichromene: This is the second most abundant cannabinol compound in the body. It affects the CB1 receptors by stimulating neurogenesis, or brain growth and fights depression. Its use of the same receptors along the spine can be a pain reliever. By way of the CB2, swelling or edema can be reduced. For those with digestive fungal and bacterial overgrowth, it also has an antifungal and antibacterial component. This can be found in all plant parts, and usually must be chemically extracted to use as an isolated compound.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): This antioxidant stimulates the seizure center of the brain to stop convulsive attacks. It also seems to have anti-tumor properties. This is a nonpsychotic compound (no high) found in many parts of both cannabis and hemp, and often utilized through the oil.

The many effects of the cannabis compounds on the body are just beginning to be discovered. The vast knowledge of cultivation techniques to increase THC levels, taste varieties and other effects can also be used to design medical-centric cannabis strains designed for more effective treatment of certain conditions. Already this is being done to creates strains of cannabis that don’t give the high but do contain the other medically significant compounds. This particular science is in its infancy, though the knowledge of pharmacology and specific medical effects of different compounds will surely make this one of the fastest growing sectors of the cannabis industry.

Sources:
Pollan, Michael: The Botany of Desire
http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000640
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol
Onaivi, Emmanuel: The Biology of Cannabis
http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000636
http://www.leafscience.com/2013/09/21/5-health-benefits-of-cannabichromene-cbc/
http://www.leafscience.com/2014/02/23/5-must-know-facts-cannabidiol-cbd/


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December 21, 2017 administrator

Cannabis has been used as medicine for thousands of years, but with the recent resurgence of medical marijuana, many patients have questions. Due to the murky legal territory of cannabis around the globe, some patients may wonder how medical marijuana use may affect their employment, or if it will show up on a drug test. Despite the unrivaled relief that medical marijuana provides for a variety of conditions, these are still important considerations.

Medical Cannabis is Still Cannabis

The reality is, regardless of why a person uses marijuana, it will still show up on a drug test. The most common type of drug test used today is called urinalysis. This process can detect the metabolites and byproducts of THC, which will be present in the body for a time after using medical marijuana. The length of time that THC use can be detected after stopping will vary for each person based on the frequency of use, duration of use, and individual biology.

When Might an Employer Drug Test?

Every employer has their own policies on drug testing, but there are a few guidelines that most companies use. Many companies will first do a pre-employment drug screen to check for drug use before hiring a new employee. Most companies will drug test an employee after hire if there is an accident which leads to physical harm, or if there are signs of intoxication on the job. Rarely, some employers may simply have a policy to randomly drug test their employees. Employees at these companies may be tested one or more times per year, or may never receive a drug test.

Looking Forward

Could medical marijuana be excluded from employment drug tests in the future? There is lots of precedent for this considering other prescription drugs. Many prescription drugs will show up on a drug test because they have a potential for abuse. If someone with a valid prescription is required to be screened, a Medical Review Officer may contact them after the test to verify that they do in fact have a prescription for the flagged substance.

 

Right now, it seems unlikely that these same privileges will be given to medical marijuana users. That said, it is up to the individual business (as well as their insurance policies) to decide. As more governments begin to allow medical marijuana use, businesses and insurance companies will likely start to treat medical cannabis as a medicine rather than an illicit substance.

 


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October 14, 2017 administrator

High blood pressure is often referred to as a silent killer within the medical industry. According to Intermountain Vein Center, venous reflux can be caused by blockage of veins and increased blood flow due to stress. It may not seem to be as serious as conditions such as cancer or seizures, but it can still cause serious long-term health issues. Severe cases of high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke, all of which can be fatal.

Some studies have shown that certain strains of cannabis may be effective in lowering blood pressure and improving vein health, although this is still a controversial topic. The best-known strains that are said to be good for lowering blood pressure are Indica-dominant hybrids such as White Haze and Early Queen, but since these strains aren’t often available at medical marijuana dispensaries, here are some other strains that could be useful in improving vein health.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is an incredibly popular cannabis strain that is available at many dispensaries. Named for its blueberry-like aroma, Blue Dream provides patients with a feeling of relaxation and balance that has proven effective in treating depression, chronic fatigue, and ADHD. It stands to reason that its relaxing effect can also reduce anxiety and lower one’s blood pressure. Blue dream is available at our 16th Street Mall, 3D Cannabis Center, and Buckley dispensaries.

Green Crack

Green Crack is a powerful strain of cannabis with a high THC content that is often used to treat arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. The high THC levels are often thought to have a positive effect on a person’s blood pressure and vein health. We carry Green Crack at the 16th Street Mall.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is known for providing a relaxing and uplifting feeling that makes it a popular strain for those living with anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and nausea. Some users have reported that the relaxing high that comes from using Northern Lights helps their muscles relax, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

It should be noted that there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on the effects of cannabis on blood pressure. While these strains do seem to help patients who have problems with hypertension, other studies have shown that smoking marijuana may actually raise some people’s blood pressure – at least temporarily. It is possible that vaping or using edibles are much more effective ways of lowering blood pressure, so you should speak with your doctor to find out what cannabis strain or method of delivery is right for you. As always, use caution whenever you attempt a new treatment for any medical condition you may have, and always check the strain data on our website before you buy!


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August 2, 2017 administrator

Despite the misconceptions people have towards marijuana, the medicinal effects of cannabis are becoming more and more obvious. Many patients are turning to cannabis in a hope to get a relief they crave in a more natural way, to have an alternative to opioids that they gradually become addicted to.

Options abound when it comes to ways of getting medical cannabis into your system. There’s always the traditional method – smoking it either in a joint or a bowl or a bong. There are also other ways like edibles, tinctures, and sublinguals, each with their advantages and disadvantages Medical cannabis patients are more likely to vaporize and use edibles than recreational users, according to a RAND Drug Policy Research Center Study that was published in the Addiction journal. According to the study, which surveyed 1,994 people in four western states in 2013, only 3% of recreational users vaporized compared to 18% of medical users. This difference may be due to medical users being exposed to new delivery methods through the dispensaries they frequent.

However, vaporization has quickly become the preferred method of consuming medical marijuana. The question is, why are patients, specifically cancer patients, turning to vaporization as their preferred delivery method?

There are many answers to that question. For starters, cannavaping is a more efficient means of delivering the medicinal part of cannabis. It’s also much easier to customize a dose and it’s easy to take a small hit from a vape pen as needed. And because medical cannabis products can be carried in the device itself, patients can take a dose when needed. Also, it doesn’t feel as ‘taboo’ as other methods like smoking a joint or a bong. Finally, for a cancer patient combating nausea, it might be the only way they can ingest the medicine.

Eliminates Harmful Toxins

Vaporizing cannabis is reportedly healthier than smoking it. There have been no long-term studies on vape pens since it is a new phenomenon, making it impossible to say what effects it may have on the lungs. That said, many experts agree that vaporizing is at the very least, better than smoking. In addition, a few smaller studies have shown that vaporizing can lead to fewer lung issues when compared with smoking.

One study found that burning cannabis creates 100 different toxins. Many of these toxins have been linked to cancer. A 2007 study that was published concluded that patients who vaporize receive the same benefits as those who smoke, yet without these harmful toxins. This can be especially beneficial to those suffering from cancer, whose immune systems are already compromised and shouldn’t be further burdened with processing toxic chemicals.

In another study, which only included smokers suffering from lung ailments, using a vaporizer for just one month led to “significant improvements” in the lung health of 20 cannabis smokers. Another study reports that vaporization may be a gentler method of consuming cannabis, something that may be a draw for many cancer patients.

What’s important, cannavaping can give you a temperature control, an option that allows to get the most cannabinoids without burning it. There are specific temperature settings for vaping the dry herb and vaping the concentrates, meaning CBD oils. The dry cannabis herb starts to combust around 200C degrees, depending on the plant’s humidity level, the maximum temperature the cannabis plant can endure without burning is 230C. As for the CBD, the optimal temperature range for releasing the cannabinoid is 16-180C. When going higher, up to 185C, you’ll be releasing the CBN, which is associated with having sedative effects.

Most vaporizers come with temperature control settings, those are called vape mods and are for more experienced vapers, most of the vape pens don’t allow temperature control but they are already set for the right temperature. You just have to hit the start button and enjoy the relief from cannabis.

Just know which cannabinoid has your doctor prescribed and make sure your vape device is compatible with dry herbs and/or concentrates .

Quicker Relief

When compared to edibles, which take longer to work their way through the digestive system, vaporization provides faster relief from symptoms. This can be an important factor for those choosing to cannavape to relieve both pain and nausea. In addition to providing faster relief, cannavaping may provide patients with better control over dosing. This is because they can simply stop inhaling once the desired relief has been achieved. For this reason, some doctors are advocating for the use of vaporizers to their medical marijuana patients.

Fewer Side Effects

In a large study that involved medical marijuana users, vaporizers ranked highest in side-effect satisfaction. Patients reported that they felt more functional after vaporizing cannabis versus smoking it. In cancer patients already experiencing the side-effects of chemotherapy and other medications, fewer side-effects is definitely a plus. Patients also reported feeling more clear-headed due to the lack of smoke. They reported that smaller doses of cannabis were required versus other methods including edibles, drinkables such as tea, and joints.

More Discreet

Many medical marijuana users, as well as those recreational users who have switched to cannavaping, do so because it is more discreet. Smoking cannabis produces that tell-tale odor that screams “someone’s smoking pot.” With vaporizers, this odor is significantly, though not completely, reduced. Another reason is that a joint or a bowl is fairly obvious and not easily hidden.

Some medical marijuana users report that cannavaping feels less taboo than other methods, and this is especially helpful in places where marijuana has yet to be legalized medically or recreationally.

While there are a multitude of reasons medical marijuana users prefer to cannavape, these are a few of the major explanations. While more research needs to be conducted regarding it being safer and more effective, it is a method that is growing in popularity.


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June 2, 2017 administrator

New uses for the compounds in Marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinoids (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN)) are steadily being revealed thanks to the legalization of medicinal and/or recreational use in many states paving the way for research and development. Medical Marijuana has also made its way into the cosmetics and skincare industry by way of topical treatments.

Exploring Topical Medical Marijuana

Medical reasons for using topical treatments also translate into cosmetic uses given that these ailments can affect our appearance. Cannabis oil works by reacting with our endocannabinoid system.

What Can Topical Medical Marijuana Be Used For?

  • Eczema

Sufferers of Eczema can tell you how difficult it is to treat safely and effectively. The medications that work carry a risk of serious side effects including allergic reaction, and even permanent skin discoloration. Topicals are a safe alternative due to the anti-inflammatory properties in CBD and CBN.

  • Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition where skin accumulates in thick patches, called plaques. The medications for this ailment can have severe side effects, including liver damage. None of which are associated with cannabis of any type. The compounds in the medicine work with the immune system to lower inflammation.

  • Acne

Acne, particularly cystic acne, benefits from topical cannabis. Apply to the affected area at night before bed, this aids in the reduction of scarring as well. The compound can also sooth the pain.

  • Anti-Aging

When blended with coconut oil it has been shown to increase elasticity in aging skin. The oils also lead to a reduction of wrinkles and even age spots with continued use over time.

  • Severely Dry Skin

An almost magical potion when used with other oils, particularly coconut, cannabis oil relieves very dry and cracking skin. The healing and anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabis oil as well as the moisturizing benefits of coconut oil team up to make a powerfully healing moisturizer.

  • Varicose Veins

Ivein in Utah states that varicose veins affect up to 60% of the American population. Varicose vein gels made with hemp oil target the blood vessels to promote healthy function and strength along with healing and regeneration. This can be a great option for those who are unable to seek treatment in their area.

Marijuana is a surprising plant with its spectrum of benefits. The topical cannabis industry is a fairly new field with a promising future. With these discoveries, we are exposed to a whole new world of possibilities.


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March 9, 2017 administrator

Although it was the November 2016 ballot that saw the most marijuana measures in US history get the “yes,” 2017 is already proving to be a giant year for medical marijuana. Maybe we can just call 2016 as the big, burly man who got the lid on the pickle jar started and 2017 as the person who gets all the credit for taking the top right off.

Here are the top medical breakthroughs 2017 will get to claim all its own.

 

  1. Clinical trial underway to look at marijuana to treat PTSD in US army veterans

The first participant in a clinical trial by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to study the effectiveness of smoking marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans. The study is the first of its kind to evaluate the safety and efficacy of using marijuana to manage symptoms of PTSD. The study received a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and will look at how four different levels of THC potency works with 76 veteran participants.

On its website, MAPS identifies itself as a California-based non-profit research organization focused on “the careful uses” of marijuana.

 

  1. GW Pharmaceuticals admits cannabis kills cancer cells

British company GW Pharmaceuticals has been testing medical marijuana and cancer for years but only recently ascertained, with clinical evidence, the reduced mortality rate of people with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBM is a form of brain cancer that typically kills patients within two years. In a recent press release, GW noted that there is substantial oncologic research on cannabinoids to treat several forms of cancer, with exceptionally positive effects on tumor growth and suppression.

 

  1. Cannabis transdermal patch developed for testing on fibromyalgia and other nerve pain disorders

Cannabis Science, Inc. is commencing their most recent foray in developing new cannabis medicines with a transdermal patch that delivers therapeutic marijuana through the skin and into the bloodstream. The aim is to use the potent and harm-reduced dosage to treat nerve pain associated with fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy. Both patches will contain different ratios of the two primary cannabinoids found in cannabis: THC and CBD and each formulation will be designed to most effectively manage the symptoms of each respective illness.

 

  1. Researchers in Canada test medical cannabis oil as treatment for MS

Researchers at the Canadian University of Manitoba are performing tests on mice to see if cannabinoid oil products could be used to alleviate the neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study’s long and dedicated title says it all: “Identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in suppressing multiple sclerosis induced neuropathic pain following cannabinoid treatment in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).”

Canadian Licensed Producer of cannabis medications, CanniMed Therapeutics, will supply the cannabinoid oil products as well as the $80,000 CDN (about $61,000) grant that the study needs to commence. One of the medications being tested is a 10:10 concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol); the other is a high-CBD 1:20 level.

 

  1. Medical marijuana doctors want patients to use suppositories

Smoking marijuana is not an ideal delivery system for many patients and edibles are difficult to dose, which is why some scientists have begun experimenting with cannabis suppositories as a safe and efficient manner to put therapeutic cannabinoids into the endocannabinoid system. The concern has less to do with the cannabis and more to do with the act of smoking the substance.

University of British Columbia addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Paul Farnan, is one advocate of administering medical marijuana suppositories, just like some laxatives and opioids. What happens when patients use cannabis suppositories is that the body absorbs cannabinoids into the bloodstream via mucous membranes in the rectum, allowing more absorption than any other delivery method—smoking, vaping, ingesting edibles, and sublingual drops. The lungs just aren’t especially good at absorbing cannabinoids, and the gastric acids in the stomach tend to interfere with the absorption of marijuana. This method has rapid systemic effects and reduces the psychoactive results of the drug, which is ideal for patients with chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Suppositories are being made now by dissolving cannabis extract in an oil or butter, freezing the product into small molds.

 

  1. Medical marijuana could help fight opioid epidemic

Medical practitioners and researchers concerned about the current opioid crisis point out that the use marijuana for pain relief could result in fewer prescriptions for the highly addictive opioid painkillers. Some states are even in the process of adding chronic pain to the list of conditions that qualify for a medical cannabis recommendation from doctors. One study, published in Health Affairs, found that prescriptions for drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet that are paid for by Medicare dropped substantially in states that adopted medical marijuana laws or expanded their current program to include chronic pain. A second study in 2016 from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that states with a medical marijuana program had 25 percent less opioid overdose deaths than those who have not adopted medical marijuana laws.

 

  1. Owners treating sick animals with cannabis

Cannabis isn’t just for human consumption say some pet owners who have started using products, such as extracts, pet-safe edibles, and ointments to treat their furry friends’ cancer, anxiety, seizures, and arthritis. Pet cannabis products are not regulated, but the cannabidiol (CBD) in them is a safe and efficient chemical compound that does not produce a psychoactive high that is associated with marijuana.

Not all veterinarians agree with the practice, however, saying there isn’t enough science-based evidence that CBD is effective for treating animals. Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states now, and recreationally available in eight, plus the District of Columbia, but it remains federally illegal. Even hemp-based CBD products, those not derived from the marijuana plant cannot be legally distributed; veterinarians in legal states are barred from recommending cannabis for pets and would risk losing their license if they did. Despite this, companies like TreatWell are selling cannabis tinctures that can be added to a pet’s food or administered orally. Co-founder Alison Ettel recommends different formulations based on the animals’ ailments—pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, inflammation, seizures, cancer, and glaucoma.

 

  1. Two marijuana breathalyzers are in the works for impaired drivers

As cannabis legalization sweeps the US, so do concerns over whether legalization is leading to an increase in drivers indulging in marijuana before hitting the road. That’s why two startup companies—Hound Labs and Cannabix Technologies—and likely a few more, have started distributing material on the marijuana breathalyzer systems they are developing to help detect THC in the bloodstream, similar to how alcohol breathalyzers detect the amount of alcohol in a driver’s’ blood.

Hound Labs’ device works on chemistry to test how much THC is prevalent in the driver’s fluids and is a test to be administered roadside. Whereas the Cannabix Technologies device uses a combined technology called FAIMS for its device. Whether the human body’s fluids are a reliable source of this information has yet to be confirmed, especially because THC is stored in the body for weeks. Expect to see Hound Labs release their Marijuana Breathalyzer this year with Cannabix Technologies coming out with their version shortly after.

 

  1. Could Cannabis Help Cure Alzheimer’s Disease?

Reports of cannabis helping in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease is overwhelming.

Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California are shedding some light on how medical marijuana—the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in particular—can treat Alzheimer’s disease because of its ability to remove amyloid from the brain. Amyloid is the toxic component, a hallmark of the disease, which builds up like a plaque in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. The other component to the disease is the inflammation that occurs as the brain reacts to the formation of amyloid. One of the marijuana’s main benefits is providing relief from inflammation. Professor David Schubert, the principal author of the Salk Institute paper, told the Daily Mail that, “Although other studies have offered evidence cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate they affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”

His co-author, Neel Nabar, says “it’s important to keep in mind that just because a drug may be effective doesn’t mean it can be safely used by anyone,” adding that their findings might lead to the creation of medicine that is safe, legal, and useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

  1. A new 3D-printed cannabis inhaler lets doctors administer medical marijuana remotely

Syqe Medical—a startup out of Tel-Aviv, Israel—has created a cannabis inhaler for physicians who want to deliver a precise dose of marijuana remotely for their patients. The Isreal Health Ministry is supportive of the device, which is created via 3D-printing and currently in use at Rambam hospital in Haifa. Times of Israel describes it the hospital as the world’s first to prescribe weed as “standard medical treatment.”

“For doctors, the inhaler solves the problem of [recommending] plants for smoking, and offers a solution for patients in that, for the first time, they will be able to receive a precise dose of medical cannabis,” said Syqe Medical chairman Eytan Hyam.

The pocket-size gadgets come pre-loaded with 100-microgram cannabis cartridges, a caregiver interface, thermal and flow controllers, lung interfacing, and wireless connectivity to the clinical databases. Pain clinics, cancer centers, intensive care units, and other medical institutions can all potentially benefit, which is why Syqe turned to Teva Pharmaceuticals to take on the marketing and distribution of the units. Teva is considered the largest generic drug maker in the world.

 

  1. Weed Gum Being Tested as Aid Against Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a notoriously unpredictable and treacherous disorder where the gut becomes unmanageable and painful while trying to do its job of digesting food and absorbing nutrients.

“People often experience sudden flare-ups, and for many, it has a negative impact on their quality of life. CBD has shown to have promising effects, but there has been a clear need for practical and effective formulations,” says Renger Witkamp, a nutrition and pharmacology professor at Wageningen University.

This is the inspiration behind AXIM Biotechnologies’ newest creation of a weed gum called CanChew Plus that is believed to treat stomach cramps and to bloat and diarrhea associated with IBS. Why gum? Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in many forms, including oils and pills, but Witkamp believes that gum will deliver a sustained release dosage of CBD in a highly bioavailable form.

 

  1. Pot Use Linked To Hopeful Outcomes In Brain Injury Patients

Researchers from Argentina, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States are all evaluating the use of cannabis to improve outcomes in patients hospitalized with intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH aka bleeding in the brain). Right now, 725 subjects with spontaneous ICH are being tested. The inspiration for the study are the findings that cannabis-positive subjects possessed “milder ICH presentation” when hospitalized and presented “less disability” post-hospitalization compared to similar patients who do not use marijuana.

 

  1. A new strain of cannabis that could help treat psychosis

Although it was touted as a potential trigger for schizophrenia, marijuana appears to have antipsychotic effects.

Dr David Potter and the GW Pharmaceuticals team are developing a cannabis-based treatment for psychosis and related illnesses such as schizophrenia. Despite the belief that marijuana causes psychosis, Potter explains that the cannabis plant is much more than just a psychedelic drug.

“The most well-known ingredient in marijuana that gets people high is THC [or tetrahydrocannabinol],” Potter tells The Guardian. “But THC is just one of dozens of potentially useful cannabinoids in the plant.”

While high doses of THC can induce temporary schizophrenia-like symptoms—paranoia, delusions, anxiety and hallucinations—cannabis also contains a cannabinoid known as cannabidiol (CBD), which helps negate those effects.

 

 

 


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