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Updated: 3 weeks 37 min ago

Cannabis Consumers Walk Differently than Non-Consumers, Finds Study

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:45
Those who consume marijuana walk differently than those who don’t, according to a new study published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

According to its abstract, the aim of the current study was to “investigate balance and walking gait in adults with a history of cannabis use”. To determine this researchers had cannabis consumers and non-consuming controls complete “screening tests, a gait and balance test (with a motion capture system and in-built force platforms), and a clinical neurological examination of movement.”

Compared to controls, cannabis users “exhibited significantly greater peak angular velocity of the knee (396±30 versus 426±50°/second, P=0.039), greater peak elbow flexion (53±12 versus 57±7°, P=0.038) and elbow range of motion (33±13 versus 36±10°, P=0.044), and reduced shoulder flexion (41±19 versus 26±16°, P=0.007) during walking gait. However, balance and neurological parameters did not significantly differ between the groups.”

In other words, cannabis consumers tended to move their elbows more, but their shoulders less, while swinging their knees in a quicker fashion.

According to researchers; “The results suggest that history of cannabis use is associated with long-lasting changes in open-chain elements of walking gait, but the magnitude of change is not clinically detectable.”

They conclude by stating that “Further research is required to investigate if the subtle gait changes observed in this population become more apparent with aging and increased cannabis use.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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Study: THCA May Treat Neurodegenerative and Neuroinflammatory Diseases

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 19:32
According to a new study, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), a compound found in cannabis, may be useful in treating neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.

“While the biological effects of decarboxylated cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) have been extensively investigated, the bioactivity of Δ9-THCA is largely unknown, despite its occurrence in different Cannabis preparations”, states the study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. “The aim of this study was to determine whether Δ9-THCA modulates the PPARγ pathway and has neuroprotective activity”.

For the study; “The effects of six phytocannabinoids on PPARγ binding and transcriptional activity were investigated. The effect of Δ9-THCA on mitochondrial biogenesis and PGC-1α expression was investigated in N2a cells.” The neuroprotective effect “was analysed in STHdhQ111/Q111 cells expressing a mutated form of the huntingtin protein, and in N2a cells infected with an adenovirus carrying human huntingtin containing 94 polyQ repeats (mHtt-q94).” In vivo neuroprotective activity of Δ9-THCA “was investigated in mice intoxicated with the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP).”

After conducting the above-mentioned research, researchers conclude that; “Δ9-THCA shows potent neuroprotective activity, worth consideration for the treatment of Huntington´s Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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How Does Medical Marijuana Affect Metabolism?

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 23:44

By GreenDoorWest

How Does Medical Marijuana Affect Metabolism?

One of the more relatable side effects of smoking marijuana is feeling hungry. Getting the munchies has always been a natural part of getting high, but it turns out that the influence of medical cannabis on the human digestive system is much more complicated than we initially thought. More specifically, it seems that marijuana can have a profound impact on the body’s metabolism, and could lead to better overall health as a result.

Lower Obesity and Diabetes Rates

At first glance, one would assume that eating junk food while stoned is a surefire way to gain a ton of weight and become unhealthy, but the fact is that there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. In fact, despite plenty of stories of stoners eating food that would make a sober person think twice, it seems that those who partake are far less likely to become obese or diabetic. This is according to several recent studies, including one of the Inuit people, who are common marijuana smokers.

Cannabis and Metabolism

Overall, patients that smoke marijuana regularly seem to have an improved carbohydrate metabolism than nonsmokers and have less risk of developing high blood sugar, retaining fat, and having high cholesterol. But what gives?

Well, one leading theory as to why this happens is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by the body, and they can help regulate all kinds of internal systems such as digestion, mood, and movement.

Overall, it seems that smoking weed contributes to both increase one’s enjoyment of food while also reducing one’s appetite and ability to gain weight.

While more research needs to be conducted, it seems like smoking weed can have a net positive effect on your metabolism and lead to both weight loss and improved blood sugar.

Medical Marijuana Delivery

Although you should consult your doctor before trying any kind of alternative treatment, if you are taking weed for any reason, you should look into getting it delivered. Whether you smoke it or use other methods like a cannabis Epsom salts bath, delivery makes it easier for you to get what you need.

So, if you were looking for another reason to get high, it seems like your waistline may thank you for taking up the habit.

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Oklahoma Has Spent Over $2 Million to Drug Test Welfare Applicants, Less than 3% Tested Positive

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 23:45
Oklahoma has squandered millions of dollars drug testing applicants for welfare over the past five years, with just a minimal percentage testing positive.

Since Oklahoma implemented a policy for drug testing applicants of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds in 2012, the state has spent over $2.2 million administering such tests. Out of 19,878 individuals drug tested under the new law, just 2.8% tested positive for drug use.

As part of the law, those applying for welfare are mandated to complete a drug screening. Those deemed likely to be drug users must then undergo a drug test; those testing positive for an illegal substance are banned from receiving funding for at least a year, unless they seek treatment in which case the ban is reduced to six months.

In 2014 the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that a similar program in Florida is unconstitutional. The court concluded that there’s no evidence to explain why it’s necessary to force individuals seeking welfare to submit to unreasonable search in order to receive aid, and suggested that the policy plays on stereotypes.

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President Trump Rescinds Order Limiting Police Militarization

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 21:05
President Trump has officially repealed an order that limits police militarization.

On Monday the Trump Administration rescinded Executive Order 13688, which limited the Pentagon’s ability to transfer some kinds of military equipment to state and local police departments. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the move “leaves law enforcement’s federally provided drones, explosives, and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles without oversight.”

“Military equipment should only be transferred to police if departments can prove appropriate use, training, and oversight, and that the equipment will only be used in specific and necessary circumstances, such as active shooter scenarios,” says Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). “At tremendous risk to public safety, the 1033 Program doesn’t require these vital measures.

Major Franklin goes on to state that; “We must stop reinforcing the mentality that police are warriors and civilians are the enemy – it endangers everyone.”

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Three Marijuana Strains Inspired by Game of Thrones

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:10

By Evan Hundhausen, Herb.co

With the seventh season of Game of Thrones officially over, and with just one season remaining, we thought now was the time to take a look at some marijuana strains inspired by the hit show. Whitewalker OG

Whitewalker OG is bred by Gold Coast Extracts. It won first place at the High Times 2013 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup. Jake Browne of “The Cannabist” said this after sampling the strain, “(it) almost entirely shut down the speech center of my brain and made movement feel labored.” Woh, man! Maybe that’s exactly how those white walkers in the show really feel anyhow. You can also find another strain called White Walker Kush bred by DNA genetics.

 

Khaleesi Kush

Khaleesi Kush is a Game of Thrones strain invented by HighRise Seeds, but the seeds seem to have sold out fast and are not available at the time of this writing. It’s an indica and has genetics of Lavatera, Pakistani Kush and Bubblegum.

 

Blackwater

Blackwater is a potent Indica, which received 3rd place at the High Times 2014 Los Angeles Cannabis Cup. The flowers are purple and known to be sticky with a grape aroma. It’s bred by The Cali Connection. Just to remind you, “The Battle of the Blackwater” was when Tyrion Lannister (Yes, the short guy.) lead his army into battle and sent out the stuff called “wildfire” blowing up all those ships!

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FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA (Ecstasy) for PTSD

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 22:06
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA (the main compound found in ecstasy) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MAPS and the FDA have also reached agreement under the Special Protocol Assessment Process (SPA) for the design of two upcoming Phase 3 trials (MAPP1 and MAPP2) of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for patients with severe PTSD.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a novel treatment package that combines psychotherapeutic techniques with three administrations of MDMA as a pharmacological adjunct.

By granting Breakthrough Therapy Designation, the FDA has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.

The first Phase 3 trial (MAPP1), “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Site Phase 3 Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Manualized MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder,” will begin enrolling subjects in Spring 2018, after the completion of an open-label lead-in training study at Phase 3 sites starting this fall.

“Reaching agreement with FDA on the design of our Phase 3 program and having the ability to work closely with the agency has been a major priority for our team,” said Amy Emerson, Executive Director of the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC). “Our Phase 2 data was extremely promising with a large effect size, and we are ready to move forward quickly. With breakthrough designation, we can now move even more efficiently through the development process in collaboration with the FDA to complete Phase 3.”

“For the first time ever, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy will be evaluated in Phase 3 trials for possible prescription use, with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD leading the way,” said Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of MAPS. “Now that we have agreement with FDA, we are ready to start negotiations with the European Medicines Agency.”

The Phase 3 trials will assess the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 200-300 participants with PTSD, aged 18 and older, at sites in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. Participants will be randomized to receive three day-long sessions of either MDMA or placebo in conjunction with psychotherapy over a 12-week treatment period, along with 12 associated 90-minute non-drug preparatory and integration sessions. The primary endpoint will be the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5), as assessed by a blinded pool of independent raters.

In MAPS’ completed Phase 2 trials with 107 participants, 61% no longer qualified for PTSD after three sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy two months following treatment. At the 12-month follow-up, 68% no longer had PTSD. All Phase 2 participants had chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD, and had suffered from PTSD for an average of 17.8 years.

MDMA transiently increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature in a dose-dependent manner that is generally not problematic for physically healthy individuals. Serious Adverse Events involving administration of MDMA in MAPS studies have been uncommon and non-life threatening. Phase 2 trial results are currently being prepared for publication.

About Breakthrough Therapies

The FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to treatments that (1) are intended alone or in combination with one or more other drugs to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition; and (2) preliminary clinical evidence indicates may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. Since 2012, the FDA has implemented this program to expedite the development and review of any treatment designated as a breakthrough therapy. For more information, see the FDA’s Fact Sheet.

About Special Protocol Assessments

The Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) process is an agreement resulting from official evaluation and written guidance from FDA on the protocol design, clinical endpoints, planned conduct, and statistical analyses for the Phase 3 trial to ensure they are acceptable to support regulatory approval. Final marketing approval depends on the efficacy results, adverse event profile, and an evaluation of the ratio of risks and treatment benefits demonstrated in the Phase 3 clinical program. The SPA agreement may only be changed through a written agreement between the sponsor and the FDA, or if the FDA becomes aware of a substantial scientific issue essential to product efficacy or safety. For more information, see the FDA’s Guidance for Industry.

About MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a novel treatment package that combines psychotherapy with the administration of MDMA (approved generic name: midomafetamine) to achieve significant and lasting reductions in PTSD symptoms. MDMA is administered in three single-dose psychotherapy sessions administered in a clinic setting spaced three to five weeks apart, along with preparatory and integration sessions. Phase 2 clinical trials have shown that MDMA can reduce fear and defensiveness, enhance communication and introspection, and increase empathy and compassion. These combined neurological effects can enhance the therapeutic process for people suffering from PTSD.

About PTSD

PTSD is a serious, long-lasting, and life-threatening condition when not adequately treated, highlighting the need for expedited approval of new therapies. PTSD sufferers may relive their traumatic experiences through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached from daily life. Approximately 7% of the U.S. population, and 11-17% of U.S. military veterans, will have PTSD sometime in their life. As of June 2016, more than 868,000 veterans were receiving disability compensation for PTSD, with an estimated taxpayer cost of $17 billion per year. PTSD is a stress-related condition associated with reduced cognitive and psychosocial functioning, fractured relationships, inability to maintain employment, substance abuse, and increased risk of depression and suicide. In the general population, 27% of suicides are associated with PTSD.

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Netflix Develops Line of Marijuana Strains Inspired by their Shows

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:30
In an interesting move, popular streaming service Netflix has developed a line of marijuana strains meant to be consumed with some of their most popular shows.

According to a press release each of the new strains were “cultivated with the specific shows in mind, designed to complement each title based on their tone.” For example, “sillier shows may be more indica dominant, while dramedies will be more sativa dominant to help the more powerful scenes resonate.”

Three of the strains – Omega Strain, Eve’s Bush, and Rutherford B. Haze – were created to compliment one of Netflix’s newest shows Disjointed, about a California-based dispensary owner. Other strains include:

  • The Camp Firefood strain inspired by Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, described as a “very chill indica”
  • Banana Stand Kush inspired by Arrested Development
  • Vodkush inspired by Chelsea
  • Prickly Muffin inspired by Bojack Horseman
  • Peyotea 73 inspired by Grace and Frankie
  • Sassafrass OG inspired by Lady Dynamite
  • Poussey Riot inspired by Orange in the new Black
  • Baka Bile inspired by Santa Clarita Diet; and
  • Moon 13 inspired by Mystery Science Theater 300 Returns

 

According to Netflix, they aren’t making a profit from these strains, which were developed for promotional purposes.

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American Legion Passes Resolution in Support of Medical Marijuana for Veterans

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 07:32
The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans organization, has passed a resolution calling for a change in federal law to allow medical marijuana for veterans.

The American Legion, which represents over 2.4 million veterans, approved the resolution yesterday at their national convention in Reno, Nevada. Legion member Rob Ryan of Ohio authored the resolution, which calls on the federal government to for allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana in states where it’s legal.

“Our state congressmen, when the American Legion says something, they listen”, says Ryan. “Hopefully, this will have the same impact at the federal level. People should not be afraid to go to their doctors and talk honestly.”

Last year the American Legion passed a resolution calls for the government to “amend legislation to remove marijuana from schedule I and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.”

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U.S. Marijuana Stock Index Cut in Half and then Some Since Trump Elected President

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 04:09
The U.S. Marijuana Index has dropped drastically since Donald Trump was elected president.

On November 7th, the day of the general election, the U.S. Marijuana Index was at 108.75; this was not too far from the market’s all-time high of 126.35 (which was on January 16th, 2015). Eight and a half months later, as of the end today’s market, the index has dropped over 50% to 51.79.

According to MarijuanaIndex.com: “The U.S. Marijuana Index tracks the leading cannabis stocks operating in the United States. Constituents must have a business strategy focused on the marijuana or hemp industry, and are required to meet our minimum trading criteria.” The Index is “equal-weighted and rebalanced quarterly.”

For more information you can click here.

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The First Public Building Made of Hemp in the United States Now Open in Idaho

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 02:52
The Borah Basin Building, the first public-use building made from hemp in the U.S., is now officially open in Ketchum, Idaho.

“I looked to natural materials to create more insulating, more efficient, and less energy intensive homes,” 26-year-old Mattie Mead told Komo News. “And through that study Hempcrete stood out to me as above and beyond one of the greatest options for creating a building that is not just energy efficient but is also healthy.”

Hempcrete, made from hemp, is an ideal building material as it’s fire resistant,  rot resistant, pest resistant, and mold resistant, all while being carbon-negative. “So in essence our building and our walls are carbon sinks – they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Whereas most other building products are carbon positive – they put out more carbon dioxide than they absorb,” says Mead.

To build the house, Mead’s company, Hempitecture, partnered with BaseCamp, a nonprofit located in Idaho.

“There’s something that’s remarkably inspiring about being 45 minutes from the nearest town and being able to be sheltered, warm, comfortable, have facilities to use, and to have a space to connect with themselves and the natural environment around them,” says Mead, who says the building took three years to complete and was funded mostly through $27,000 garnered on Kickstarter.

“I cannot take sole credit for this building project because there were a lot of people who were so instrumental in the construction of this building. So to be a part of a community experience like that in Idaho was really special.”

To learn more about the Borah Basin Building, click here.

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Colorado Governor Responds to Jeff Sessions Criticizing his State’s Marijuana Law

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 01:28
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman have responded to a July 24th letter from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions who raised “serious questions” about Colorado’s marijuana laws.

“The State of Colorado has worked diligently to implement the will of our citizens and build a comprehensive regulatory and enforcement system that prioritizes public safety and public health,” Hickenlooper and Coffman wrote in the letter which was obtained by The Cannabist. “When abuses and unintended consequences materialize, the state has acted quickly to address any resulting harms.” They note that; “While our system has proven to be effective, we are constantly evaluating and seeking to strengthen our approach to regulation and enforcement.”

“Colorado’s system has become a model for other states and nations,” the letter states. “Our agencies have consulted with countless jurisdictions around the world as they work to construct a comprehensive and effective regulatory framework.”

They continue; “We stand ready to work with our federal partners to fortify what we have built. We are confident that if we work together, we can maintain a responsible regulatory and enforcement model that protects public safety, public health and other law enforcement interests.”

Sessions also sent letters to Alaska, Washington and Oregon, with governor’s in alll three states having  already responded in a manner similar to Hickenlooper.

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What to do with a Male Marijuana Plant: Four Options

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 01:02

By Trevor Hennings, Leafly

Have a male marijuana plant, but you’re not sure what to do with it? Here’s four possibilities .

Unlike most flowering plants, cannabis is unique in that it requires both a male  and female plant to reproduce. While hermaphroditic (self-pollinating) cannabis does exist, the plant most commonly expresses male- or female-specific sex organs.

Female cannabis plants produce the large, resinous buds that are dried, cured, and consumed. For this reason, females are typically the only plants you’ll find in someone’s cannabis garden.

Male plants are commonly regarded as useless and discarded. While pollination by males is essential for producing more cannabis plants (unless working from clones), it’s a process that is generally best left to breeders so growers can focus on producing consumable seedless buds called sinsemilla. 

Do male plants truly belong in a compost bin, or could they serve a more beneficial purpose to gardeners? Surprisingly, there are more uses for male plants than one might think.

1. Breeding

The obvious function of male cannabis plants is for breeding seeds. When pollinating females, males provide half of the genetic makeup inherited by seeds. Because of this, it’s important to look into the genetics of the male plants. Their shape, rate of growth, pest and mold resistance, and climate resilience can all be passed on to increase the quality of future generations.

2. Hemp Fiber 

When it comes to hemp fiber, the male cannabis plants produce a softer material while females are responsible for producing a coarse, stronger fiber. The soft fiber from the male plants make them more desirable for products like clothing, tablecloths, and other household items.

3. Concentrate Production

It may come as a surprise that male plants can be psychoactive in nature—though much less potent than females. The plants do not produce buds, but small amounts of THC can be found in the leaves, stems, and sacs, which can be extracted to produce hash or other oils. 

4. Garden Enhancement

Cannabis plants offer more benefits in the garden beyond bud production. Both male and female cannabis plants produce aromatic oils called terpenes, which are associated with pest and disease control. Since males also produce terpenes, you may consider including your males in a vegetable or flower garden (as long as they’re well separated from any female cannabis plants). Dried material from cannabis plants have also been used to produce terpene-rich oils that are applied to repel insects and pests as natural bug sprays.

Additionally, cannabis plants are deep rooting plants with long taproots. Taproots are known for their ability to dive deep into the ground and break apart low-quality soil, allowing for moisture and nutrients to infiltrate and improve the soil quality. These taproots also help keep the soil in place, thereby preventing nutrient runoff and loss of soil during heavy rains. 

Humans are largely focused on female cannabis plants, and rightly so. But it’s important to acknowledge and cherish the characteristics of the male cannabis plants as well. Females may produce the buds we know and love, but by limiting diversity of the males, we could be losing out on potential benefits we do not yet understand. Specific males could have compounds we are unaware of that might play significant roles in how females develop, or how cannabis as a whole develops in the future.

If attempting to capitalize on any of the above benefits without the intent to breed, keep in mind that cannabis pollen is extremely good at traveling long distances, determined to find a female. It helps to have a solid understanding of how pollen works and travels before you embark on any of these alternative uses so as not to accidentally pollinate your own plants or a neighbor’s.

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Study: Cannabis Appear Effective in Treating Vocal Tics in those with Tourette Syndrome

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 00:22
Regular administration of cannabis-based medicines is directly associated with improved  speech in patients with Tourette Syndrome, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

For the study, researchers from Hannover Medical School (Germany) “report the cases of two young German male patients with treatment-resistant Tourette syndrome (TS), who suffer from incapacitating stuttering-like speech disfluencies caused by vocal blocking tics and palilalia.” In case 1, a 19-year old patient received whole-plant cannabis at a dose of 1 × 0.1 g daily. In case 2, a “16-year old patient initially received dronabinol at a maximum dose of 22.4–33.6 mg daily.”

According to the study; “Both treatments provided significant symptom improvement of vocal blocking tics as well as of comorbid conditions and were well tolerated.” Researchers examined “significant improvement not only of simple and complex motor and vocal tics, but also in the overall symptomology including comorbid conditions and most importantly significantly improved patients’ quality of life including their social contacts and performance at school without side effects.”

Thus, the study concludes, “cannabis-based medicine appears to be effective in treatment-resistant TS patients with vocal blocking tics.

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Study: Topical Marijuana Effective for Managing Pain Associated With Wounds, Can Reduce Opioid Use

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 07:04
Topical marijuana has the potential to improve pain management associated with wounds, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain Management and e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Pain associated with integumentary wounds is highly prevalent yet it remains an area of significant unmet need within healthcare”, states the study’s abstract. “Currently, systemically administered opioids are the mainstay of treatment. However, recent publications are casting opioids in a negative light given their high side effect profile, inhibition of wound healing, and association with accidental overdose, incidents that are frequently fatal.” Thus, “novel analgesic strategies for wound-related pain need to be investigated”.

Researchers state that the ideal methods of pain relief for wound patients are “modalities that are topical, lack systemic side effects, non-invasive, self-administered, and display rapid onset of analgesia”, and; “Extracts derived from the cannabis plant have been applied to wounds for thousands of years”. The discovery of the “human endocannabinoid system and its dominant presence throughout the integumentary system provides a valid and logical scientific platform to consider the use of topical cannabinoids for wounds.”

In this study researchers “are reporting a prospective case series of 3 patients with Pyoderma Gangrenosum (PG) that were treated with Topical Medical Cannabis (TMC) compounded in non-genetically modified organic sunflower oil.”

They conclude that; “Clinically significant analgesia that was associated with reduced opioid utilization was noted in all 3 cases. TMC has the potential to improve pain management in patients suffering from wounds of all classes.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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Connecticut Board of Physicians Recommends Two New Medical Marijuana Conditions

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 05:16
The Connecticut Board of Physicians has voted to add two new medical conditions that qualify someone to become a legal medical marijuana patient.

The Board of Physicians on Friday unanimously approved adding both  “intractable headache syndromes” and “neuropathic facial pain” to the list of medical marijuana conditions for those 18 and older.  The commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection now has the final say in whether the conditions are actually added to the state’s list of medical marijuana conditions.

If the commissioner does approve of the conditions, they will join 22 other conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive Status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Cachexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy
  • Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
  • Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
  • Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder

There are currently over 19,000 patients registered to legally use medical marijuana, and over 700 physicians making recommendations.

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Indiana Lawmaker to Introduce Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 06:17
A lawmaker in Indiana says he plans to introduce a bill to legalize medical marijuana.

Republican State Representative Jim Lucas (Seymour) says he has “every intention of introducing a bill that legalizes medical marijuana”, according to the Indy Star.

“I can’t comprehend how we can deny people something that provides them with relief that’s not addictive and is not killing anyone when we know for a fact that prescription opioids are killing people,” says Lucas, who has been seeking feedback from doctors, veterans organizations, cannabis advocacy groups like NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and Facebook users.

According to Lucas, he still has “a lot to learn on this”, and that; “Right now, I’m drinking from a fire hose, reaching out to credible groups and individuals.”

Lucas would be the first Republican lawmaker to introduce a measure to legalize medical cannabis in at least five years.

“I understand this is going to be a minefield,” says Lucas. “My plan is to make this such an issue with the media and the people that the state will be forced to give it a proper hearing.”

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Study: CBD Blocks Opioid Reward, May Help Treat Addiction

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 00:10
According to a new study published in the journal Planta Medica, cannabidiol blocks the reward of opioids and as such may be useful in treating those addicted to them.

This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi and Oxford, “sought to determine whether the cannabis constituent cannabidiol attenuates the development of morphine reward in the conditioned place preference paradigm.” Separate groups of mice “received either saline or morphine in combination with one of four doses of cannabidiol using three sets of drug/no-drug conditioning trials.”

After drug-place conditioning, “morphine mice displayed robust place preference that was attenuated by 10 mg/kg cannabidiol.” Further, “when administered alone, this dose of cannabidiol was void of rewarding and aversive properties.”

Researchers conclude that; “The finding that cannabidiol blocks opioid reward suggests that this compound may be useful in addiction treatment settings.”

The full study – published online by the U.S.National Institute of Health – can be found by clicking here.

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Super Troopers 2 Releasing on 4/20

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:30
Super Troopers 2, the IndieGoGo funded follow-up the cult classic Super Troopers, will be releasing on April 20 (A.K.A. 4/20), the unofficial though much-celebrated cannabis holiday.

The original Super Troopers released in 2001, and although it received mixed reviews and had a far from impressive run at the box office (grossing less than $20 million in the U.S.), it quickly became a cult hit, and remains popular to this day. There’s no better indication of the film’s following than the fact that those behind it were able to raise over $4.6 million on IndieGoGo, a crowd-sourcing website, for a follow-up. This was over twice the original goal.

According to Steven Lemme, co-founder of Broken Lizard, the group behind Super Troopers, the sequel will be released in the “springtime and there’s a very obvious date, which happens to fall on a Friday this year.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Lemme is talking about April 20, 2018, which falls on a Friday (the day new movies are typically released).

Lemme says Super Troopers 2 has been “testing better than any movie we’ve tested,” and “came out fantastic.”

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How to Get Rid of Pests and Parasites on Marijuana Plants

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 00:03

By Dianna Benjamin, WikiLeaf.com

Mother nature is beautiful.  Except she’s also kind of gross and at times, highly inconvenient.  And since cannabis is a plant, it is subject to pests and parasites.  Whether marijuana is grown indoors or outside, it cannot escape the circle of life, and apparently, humans aren’t the only ones interested in consuming cannabis.  Here is a list of the most common parasitic threats and what to do about them.

Cannabis Pests and Parasites Spider Mites

These guys are probably the most common of all pests and can cause the biggest headache.  Spider mites don’t play; they reproduce rapidly, reach full maturity in a matter of days, and binge on plant material until chlorophyll is depleted and the plant is dead.  It doesn’t take long for a spider mite spotting to turn into a full blow infestation and the demise of an entire cannabis harvest.

Aphids

Easy to miss, aphids are tiny, quick, and devastating.  Like spider mites, they reproduce quickly and feast on the cannabis plant matter. They are especially damaging to indoor gardens that lack the natural aphid predators outdoor gardens can harness for protection.

Grasshoppers and Crickets

Pot lovers by nature, these insects will make the cannabis plant their primary food source without quick and effective intervention.  Crickets and grasshoppers typically feast at night and leave behind a whole lot of damage for growers to discover in the morning.  While birds love to eat these bugs, they must dig through the soil to get to them, and that can cause damage to root systems.

Caterpillars

Like grasshoppers and crickets, caterpillars are very attracted to cannabis, and their insatiable appetites can destroy the crop.  Borer caterpillars go unnoticed because they burrow through the plant, hollowing it out and killing it before growers realize what’s happening.

Cutworms

They sound as lethal as they are.  Cutworms can destroy a harvest before it even has a chance to begin growing.  These night crawlers eviscerate cannabis seedlings and the tops of cannabis plants.

Leaf Miners

These insects are creepy and make me a little paranoid about eating anything leafy.  They burrow through the cannabis plant and mine the leaves of cells and nutrients.  In their wake, they leave behind brown or white streaks through the leaf tops.  The adults leave their larvae under the leaves, and those babies grow up to be just like their creepy, burrowing parents.  Unfortunately, the best remedy for these bugs are your hands since most pesticides that target leaf miners are more dangerous than they are beneficial.  Yep, that means you’ve got to find ‘em and squish ‘em.

Fungus Gnats

From their larval-hood to adulthood, these microscopic insects love to eat the cannabis plant.  They start by eating fungus near the plant’s base, but steadily eat through the roots.  This can be devastating for plant growth and soil drainage.

Slugs and Snails

Simultaneously cute and disgusting, these common garden pests eat cannabis plant matter and can eventually do a lot of damage.  They aren’t particularly discreet, though.  They leave streaks of shiny slime everywhere they go.  Like I said.  Cute and disgusting.

Whiteflies

These tiny, flying insects love to chow down on cannabis.  They live beneath cannabis leaves, and, because of their size, are not easy to see.  Whiteflies can be particularly dangerous because of their ability to spread disease.  As fliers, they are extremely mobile, and once they show up, they can take down an entire harvest.

Thrips

These tiny bugs thrive on the cannabis flower.  An infestation of them can ruin the crop’s ability to fully mature.  Like whiteflies, thrips are notorious for spreading diseases which can be even more detrimental to the plant than the thrips’ appetite.

Mealy Bugs

These insects are not a problem in small numbers, but an infestation could overrun a harvest.  Mealy bugs are small and live in the plant’s crevices.

They make their presence known by leaving behind gifts of cotton-like balls

These insect-hand-crafted gauze balls can cover a cannabis plant, and the presence of the mealy bugs can cause plant discoloration.

Ants

Rather than posing a direct threat to cannabis plants, ants are indicators of other problems since they are attracted to aphids or whiteflies.  Additionally, as burrowing insects, ants can damage the cannabis root systems.

Birds

Like ants, birds aren’t always bad.  In fact, they can be extremely helpful in eliminating other pests like caterpillars.  However, birds love seeds.  Birds are most hazardous to cannabis before the plant has even sprouted.

Cats and Dogs

We love our pets, but they aren’t the best for cannabis grows.  Although it isn’t likely that they will eat the cannabis, a cat’s ammonia-heavy urine and pet fecal matter are harmful for cannabis gardens.  The ammonia will wreak havoc on your plants and the feces attracts harmful pests.

Deer

Rudolph and Bambi love plants, and that includes young cannabis.  Deer will eat an entire plant, destroying a harvest well before maturity.  Fortunately, a mature cannabis plant’s pungent aroma is a natural repellant for scent-sensitive deer.  Before maturity, however, cannabis plants must be vigilantly guarded against these large herbivores.   

Mice and Rats

While mice and rats are not particularly inclined to seek out cannabis, they will eat it if it’s there and nothing else seems better.  They are also the mammalian versions of roaches—they’re everywhere.  Even when you don’t see them, they see you, the insidious vermin.

Gophers

Another rodent, gophers tunnel underground.  While burrowing alone isn’t always a bad thing—moles do it, too, but they aerate the soil and eat pesky insects for you—gophers also eat the cannabis roots, sometimes even pulling the entire plant down into their subterranean dwellings.

Natural Solutions to Pests and Parasites

Despite her inconvenience, mother nature is also a force of balance.  Ecosystems work to create and sustain life because each part of that system contributes to its overall wellbeing.  So here is a list of critters to welcome to a cannabis friendly ecosystem.  Keep in mind that these are pretty much exclusive to outdoor grows.

Amphibians are natural predators for snails and slugs.

Aphid midges are great natural predators for over 60 types of aphids.

Damsel bugs eat lots of pests including caterpillars, leafhoppers, thrips, and aphids.

Ground beetles binge eat on slugs, snails, and cutworms.

Lacewing larvae and adults thrive on caterpillars, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, and aphids.

Lady bug larvae and adults feast on mites, mealybugs, and aphids.

Birds of prey are natural predators for mice, rats, and gophers.

Sunflowers are pretty, covering, and natural repellants to cutworms.

Wasps and praying mantises are natural predators for caterpillars.

Environmentally Friendly Pest Control and Pesticides

Sometimes introducing natural predators to a cannabis grow isn’t an option or enough.  Here are safe ways to deter pests from your cannabis:

Neem oil has been regarded as an incredibly potent and versatile pesticide for centuries.  A spray containing this oil, organic soap, and warm water can ward off all kinds of insects.

Salt spray is an effective repellant for spider mites and other insects because it dehydrates the bugs and their larvae.

Citrus oil can be used in combination with cayenne pepper, soap, and/or water to create a natural pesticide for slugs and ants.

Onion and Garlic sprays are a natural repellant for most insects.

Scarecrows or reflective objects are good, reversible deterrents for birds.  Once the seeds have sprouted, you can remove these items so birds can help you get rid of other pests.

Fences are the best deterrent for large mammals including dogs, cats, deer, and humans.

Diluted dish liquid is a good way to get rid of grasshoppers and crickets.

Cornmeal is a safe way to deter ants from your plants. While ants are natural predators for whiteflies and aphids, they also threaten cannabis root systems, so apply cornmeal to the soil to keep them away.
References

Bergman, Robert.  “Marijuana Pests & Bugs—Control and Identification.”  I Love Growing Marijuana.

Group, Edward.  “10 Homemade Organic Pesticides.” Global Healing Center.  28 April 2010.

ROL Staff.  “10 Insects You Should Actually Want Around Your Plants.”  Rodales Organic Life. 11 May 2016.

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