Is It Safe To Use CBD Products While Pregnant?

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Photo Credit: High Times

As more research comes out surrounding the safety profile of cannabidiol (CBD), some women wonder whether or not it is safe to use CBD products while pregnant. CBD could provide relief for some of the negative side effects of a pregnancy like pain, inflammation, nausea, and mood disorders. Women should understand all risks to the development of a fetus before deciding whether to use the cannabinoid because the endocannabinoid system plays a large role in the development of a fetus, like creating neurons and constructing brain pathways. Specifically, women should be wary of THC, which is a psychoactive cannabinoid that can interfere with these process. CBD use and access is increasing everyday, and although there is no evidence to suggest CBD can harm the development of a baby, its use among pregnant women remains confidential. Cannabidiol could provide natural relief from unwanted side effects during pregnancy, but women should exercise caution before jumping into a regimen as more research is left to be desired.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

How To Use Marijuana For PMS Relief

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Photo Credit: High Times

Medical marijuana may be able to help treat the pain and cramps associated with PMS due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The cannabinoids CBD functions as a non-additive and non-psychoactive pain reliever. THC, on the other hand, is known to have twenty times the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin, according to a study published in the US National Library of Science in 2008. That said, THC has the potential to exacerbate anxiety, which is another symptom of PMS. Because of that, it is best to consume whole plant cannabis, where CBD can buffer against the psychoactive effects of THC so that patients can enjoy the relief of provided by both cannabinoids.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

How Marijuana Affects Fertility

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Photo Credit: High Times

If you’re a medical marijuana patient or marijuana user planning to have a child and grow your family, here’s what you need to know about how marijuana affects fertility. Some studies suggest cannabis has a negative effect on the potency of a man’s sperm, but more recent studies may say something different. A study which began in 2013 and lasted until 2017 from Boston University’s School of Public Health that was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH) suggests cannabis does not impact fertility. As the first study to evaluate the relationship between cannabis and fecundability, the results determined there is no correlation between marijuana use and infertility. The study involved 4,194 women between 21 and 45 years of age who were in stable relationships and did not use fertility treatments in the United States and Canada. Of those women, 1,125 also had their partners enroll in the study. Throughout the study, 12% of the women and 14% of the men used cannabis, and researchers found their probability of pregnancy was comparable to that of non-users. Unfortunately, a more thorough investigation is desired due to the fact the study relied on self-reported data, and the frequency of marijuana use was unclear. The researcher hope for “future studies with day-specific data on marijuana use might better be able to distinguish acute from chronic effects of marijuana use, and evaluate whether effects depend on other factor.”

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Marijuana May Prevent Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

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Photo Credit: High Times

Researchers from the North Shore Medical Center in Massachusetts have determined marijuana’s anti-inflammatory properties may be able to reduce the harmful effects caused by alcohol use and addiction. Chronic and significant use of alcohol causes inflammation to the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. The study involved 319,000 patients with a history alcohol abuse, and divided the group into a group that doesn’t use cannabis, a ground that doesn’t depend on cannabis, and a group of those who are dependent cannabis users. They then looked at the association between cannabis use and the different phases of liver disease, which are alcoholic fatty liver disease (AS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (AH), cirrhosis (AC), and liver cancer (HCC). They found cannabis users were at a significantly reduced risk of developing these stages of liver disease. They also found dependent cannabis users had the lowest risk of developing the condition. Researchers concluded cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties protects the liver from damaged caused by alcohol.

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What Is THCA Crystalline?

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Photo Credit: ▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓ / Flickr (https://bit.ly/2lyRAE6)

THCA is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the acidic form of THC, and it is usually found in raw and live cannabis before the plant is exposed to heat. Unlike THC, THCA is non-psychoactive, so it won’t produce the feelings of getting high. THCA crystalline is produced when THCA is isolated from the cannabis plant and broken down into a powder. THCA can help target an endocannabinoid deficiency, but to reap the benefits of THCA, you’ll have to juice or eat cannabis in its raw form. Some tout THCA for having strong anti-inflammatory effects, while others claim the cannabinoid can fight migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and epilepsy. Unfortunately, research surrounding the cannabinoid is limited, and only one study has found the cannabinoid reduced nausea and vomiting in rats.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Is CBDV (Cannabidivarin) And What Does It Do?

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Photo Credit: High Times

There are over 100 known cannabinoids in cannabis, but many are only familiar with the well-known cannabinoids like cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol. One lesser known cannabinoid is cannabidivarin (CBDV), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that acts as an antiemetic and anticonvulsant. The cannabinoid is similar structurally to CBD, and like CBD, it may be able to help treat those who suffer from epilepsy and nausea. One study from 2013 found CBDV significantly reduced chemically-induced seizures. Another study from 2014 found the cannabinoid interactive with receptors responsible for detecting and regulating body temperatures and producing pain sensations. The Italian research team also noted CBDV reduced the duration and strength of simulated epileptic seizures in the brains of rats. Lastly, a study from 2013 published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found CBDV may have interacted with CCB1 receptors to reduce nausea in rats. The pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals is currently conducting clinical trials researching the use of CBDV.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Is CBN (Cannabinol) And What Does It Do?

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Photo Credit: High Times

You may not have heard of cannabinol (CBN), since it’s hardly present in cannabis flowers and does not have as potent of an effect as THC. This weaker potency, however, could be desirable to those who want the benefits of THC without the psychoactive effects. Cannabinol has been touted as one of the most sedative cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis, inducing body relaxation and making users sleepier. Researchers also found that CBD stimulated appetite in rats, allowing them to eat sooner, larger amounts, and for longer durations of time. Another study from 2006 found CBN, as well as several other cannabinoids, could control the growth of cancer cells, and was especially effective at targeting Lewis carcinoma. The cannabinoid also has minor anticonvulsant properties, and can activate the same pain pathways as THC. Cannabinol may slow the onset of ALS, and its antibacterial properties allow it to target MRSA. As a topical, cannabinol may also be effective in treating various skin conditions.

Although CBN is not a powerful psychoactive compound, some studies have found the cannabinoid, when combined with THC, will exacerbate its effects. One study found CBN increases the psychological and physiological effects of THC. This information is controversial, however, and other studies have claimed CBN provided no significant difference in psychoactive effects than THC alone. Still, those who are not looking for any psychoactive effects may want to avoid strains containing high concentrations of these cannabinoids.

To learn more about cannabinol or to discover where to find products containing high concentrations of cannabinol, check out the original post on High Times. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabinoid Receptor-1 (CB-1) & THC

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Photo Credit: High Times

We know that the cannabinoids in cannabis are able to produce their therapeutic relief by interacting directly or indirectly with the cannabinoid receptors found within the endocannabinoid system, but how exactly does this work? Well, for the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical can bind directly the cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB-1). The CB-1 receptor is part of a class of proteins called the g-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are responsible for managing cellular signal transduction to communicate between cells. The proteins are so important, in fact, that they account for 60% of drug targets. The CB-1 receptor is involved in combating varying diseases and abnormalities, including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and obesity.

Researchers have recently discovered that their are two types of agonists that bind to and activate the CB-1 receptors, one being very similar in structure to THC. With this information, we will not only be able to better understand how the receptor moves, but also why THC and other cannabinoids are able to produce such positive effects within the body.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Marijuana Could Help HIV Patients Maintain Mental Stamina

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Photo Credit: High Times

A new study published in the journal AIDS suggests THC could help those suffering from HIV maintain mental stamina. Researchers from Michigan State University have determined cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties could reduce mental deterioration from the virus by about 50% by preventing white blood cells and their proteins from causing damage in the brain. THC could slow or stop the inflammatory process. Researchers studied the blood of 40 HIV patients, both marijuana users and non-users, and found non-users exhibited a much higher rate of inflammation within their white blood cells when isolate. Co-author Norbert Kaminski explains, “The patients who didn’t smoke marijuana had a very high level of inflammatory cells compared to those who did use… In fact, those who used marijuana had levels pretty close to a healthy person not infected with HIV.”

Marijuana could be a beneficial supplemental therapy to the antiretroviral therapies that exist today through its ability to control white blood cells and inflammation. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Can Cannabis Treat Lyme Disease?

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Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Lyme disease develops out of a tick bite, and infects the body with an intractable bacteria. The disease can cause headaches, fever, fatigue, rashes, joint and nerve damage, and damage to the circulatory systems. It can also impact mental health. Because medical cannabis is known to act as an antiseptic and antibiotic, there are questions as to whether or not medical marijuana could be used to treat Lyme disease. There is little research on marijuana for Lyme disease, but one study from 2008 which was published in the Journal of Natural Products found cannabinoids were effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA, and researchers attested to the plant’s “powerful antibacterial agents.” Cannabis may also have the ability to treat the symptoms associated with the condition.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study Finds Medical Marijuana Is Helping Kids with Cerebral Palsy

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Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

A new study conducted by Tikun Olam at the Wolfson Medical Canter near Tel Aviv, Israel, has found cannabis oil significantly reduced symptoms and improved motor skills, sleep quality, bowel movements and general mood in children suffering from Cerebral Palsy. The study, which started three years ago, involved 4o children between the ages 1-17 with high levels of motor disorders, of which 20 have completed testing, and the majority will continue medical marijuana use as an effective supplement alongside current medications. For the first two months, researchers looked for changes in each child’s condition before allowing them to receive medical marijuana. After two months of stability, the children received cannabis oil orally or through a feeding tube three times a day, as a supplement to their current medications. There were two types of oils containing different proportions of THC and CBD.

Researchers used indexes that evaluated medical marijuana’s effects on spasticity, dystonia, motor changes, mood, sleep, constipation, pain, and quality of life, and found after three to four months, the children’s conditions began to improve. They found medical cannabis to be safe with few side effects, and children experienced the strongest improvements, statistically, in motor function, followed by pain relief and improvements in sleep and bowel movements. They also found THC to be most effective for symptom relief, but because of its psychoactive effects, use CBD to buffer these effects. One of the research managers Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider explains, “The THC’s effect is especially relevant to motor function, whether it’s Parkinson’s disease or other motor symptoms… But the THC is also responsible for the psychoactive effect, so we picked a variety that also has a lot of CBD, which moderates the euphoric effect.”

Researchers now want to determine the most effective vehicle for administering the medication. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Harnessing the Powers of the Body’s Endocannabinoid System to Fight Cancer

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Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Research surrounding the use of cannabis for the treatment of cancer is scarce, but what has been conducted offers hopes into the potential of this alternative therapy to enhance current treatments, reduce the side effects associated with them, and even slow the progression of cancer cells or kill cancer cells without harming the body’s normal cells. One study from St. George’s University of London found the cannabinoids THC and CBD weakened cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment.

Another study conducted at the University of Sheffield has found inhibiting enzymes that breakdown endocannabinoids, like monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) which is found in healthy tissues throughout the body, will reduce the growth of a variety of cancer cells in mice. A paper from 2011 concluded MAGL blocking drugs resulted in the increased production of endocannabinoids in healthy cells and in cancer cells, and slowed the progression of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Lead researcher Aymen Idris explains there may be a risk to using such drugs, however, in that they make produce psychotic symptoms similar to those experienced by cannabis users. To reduce this risk, they hope to develop drugs that will only enter and accumulate in tumor cells. Idris is hopeful of their studies, saying, “Treatment with drugs that stop the body breaking down its own cannabis in peripheral tissues, or drugs that mimic the action of natural cannabis outside the brain may be a fruitful way to develop safer cannabis drugs for treating cancer.”

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

More Studies Prove the Effectiveness of Cannabis in Lowering Blood Pressureww

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Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Preliminary studies suggest CBD may effectively reduce stress. In a double-blind study, researchers from the University of Nottingham, led by Professor Saoirse O’Sullivan, examined nine healthy volunteers. They discovered one treatment of CBD resulted in reduced blood pressure responses in the face of stress. Although CBD lowered blood pressure responses, blood flow was not degrade and circulation continued as normal.

More research is left to be desired, and O’Sullivan discusses the next steps, saying, “What we’re doing now, currently, is looking at whether or not we can repeat that, and, also: what happens when you do repeated dosing?”

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Reasons Patients Might Prefer Medical Marijuana to Prescription Drugs

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Photo Credit: High Times

At a time when Americans are seemingly overprescribed medications, many are beginning to look for alternative treatment methods that are as effective as their prescription medications, but that may contain higher safety profiles and produce fewer side effects. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 119 million Americans (or 45% of the population) over the age of 12 were prescribed medications. Of that, 19 million (or 7.1% of the population) abused their medications. These statistics show that finding alternative treatment options is necessary, and many patients are starting to turn to natural alternatives like medical marijuana, which is known to produce few adverse side effects and can provide relief for a myriad of symptoms.

One of the reasons patients may prefer medical marijuana is that it is as effective, if not more effective, than prescription medications at relieving certain symptoms. Countless studies have found patients attest to cannabis as being as effective or more effective at relieving chronic pain or reducing the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures, which allows them to reduce or eliminate their use of pharmaceutical medications. That said, sometimes medical marijuana cannot provide full symptom relief on its own. In some situations, marijuana can be used in conjunction with other more traditional treatment regimens, like prescription medications or chemotherapy, to enhance the effects of these therapies. Additionally, patients can use medical marijuana without the fear of risking overdose or without the fear of becoming addicted (although some suggest marijuana is habit forming and may stimulate a sort of psychological dependence). Some pharmaceutical medications may provide desirable symptom relief while at the same time producing other unwanted side effects, but with medical marijuana, this is not the case. With medical marijuana, side effects are not severe and are minimal.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

VA Studies Find Medical Marijuana Good for Nerve Pain

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Photo Credit: High Times

A new research review has determined medical marijuana may be able to reduce chronic nerve pain, or neuropathy, in patients with diabetes. However, in the study, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, researchers found less evidence that cannabis helps treat other types of pain or PTSD. Dr. Sachin Patel at the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville claims, “That doesn’t mean that it’s not, it just means we don’t have that evidence right now.” The authors also call for more substantial studies to better understand the effects of cannabis for pain or PTSD.

This study follows a report from the National Academy of Sciences that claims marijuana effectively treats chronic pain, manages muscle spasms from MS, and reduces nausea from chemotherapy. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Can Topical Cannabis Heal Wounds?

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Photo Credit: High Times

Cannabis can come in a variety of forms and vehicles, including in the topical form which can be used to treat skin wounds and abrasions and heal muscle pain. In a recent study, CBD in combination with terpenes could help treat malignant wounds when applied topically. The case report, which was published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, claims, “Anecdotal accounts of the use of topical extracts from the cannabis plant being used on open wounds date back to antiquity. In modern times, cannabinoid therapies have demonstrated efficacy as analgesic agents in both pharmaceutical and botanical formats.” Other studies have found cannabis topicals may be able to treat acne abrasions, kill harmful bacterias, and relieve muscle pain.

Patients interested in using cannabis topicals should check the ingredients for potentially harmful solvents, and should test the topical on a small area before applying to large portions of the skin or to the affected areas. This information has been provided by Hight Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.


Scientists Zero In On Marijuana Receptor To Figure Out How it Functions

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Photo Credit: High Times

Scientists have long known about the CB1 receptor, the endocannabinoid system, and that THC and other phytocannabinoids have the ability to bind with these receptors. While previously researchers thought CB1 receptors would bind with THC in a "lock and key" sort of scenario, they are now understanding that CB1 receptors are mobile and malleable, giving them the ability to conform to a wide range of molecules. CB1 receptors are flexible spirals composed of amino acids that eave through a cell's membrane. These spirals coalesce around the receptor's binding site upon entry of a cannabinoid. This new research was further substantiated when researchers led by Alexandros Makriyannis, director of Northeastern University's Center for Drug Discovery, were able to crystallize a CB1 receptor as it was in the process of binding with a THC-like molecule, a breakthrough that will help researchers to better understand the binding process so that they can develop synthetic chemicals that reproduce the desirable medicinal effects found in cannabis. 

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

Study: Low-Dose THC Can Relieve Stress, but Too Much May Do the Opposite

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Photo Credit: High Times

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago have determined small amounts of THC may have the ability to relieve stress, but that too much of the cannabinoid can instead exacerbate symptoms. The study involved 42 healthy volunteers between 18 and 40 years old who had previously tried marijuana. They were then divided into three groups and given capsules containing either 7.5 mg THC, 12.5 mg THC, or placebo. Neither participants nor investigators were aware of who was in which dosing group. The doses were said to produce the same effects as taking a few puffs from a joint. The study took place over the course of two four-hour sessions separated by five days, in which each participant took two capsules and then were interviewed and asked to complete a "reliably stress-inducing" math task. In the second session, the participants discussed their favorite movie or book and then played solitaire. During and after, they assessed their own stress levels and feelings while their heart rates and their blood pressure and cortisol levels were monitored and measured at intervals. 

The low dose group reported less stress after the psychosocial test than the placebo groups, and their stress levels dropped faster. The higher dosing THC group reported negative moods both before and after performing their tasks, and they were more likely to rate the psychosocial tasks as challenging or threatening. Lead researcher Emma Childs explained, “We found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect, underscoring the importance of dose when it comes to THC and its effects... Studies like these… are extremely important, considering the widespread use of cannabis for both medical and non-medical purposes.” Still, Child believes there are not enough significant studies due to regulatory obstacles, and hopes to see more scientific foundation behind the medicinal claims surrounding medical marijuana. 

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Aims to Find Out if CBD can Shrink Children's Tumors

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Photo Credit: High Times

Scientists from the Nottingham University's Children's Brain Tumor Research Centre aim o find out whether or not CBD could be beneficial in treating brain tumors in children. The studies that already exist are all preclinical trials, but they have found CBD reduces mitochondrial oxidative metabolism to reduce the viability of cells that make up tumors and inhibit their progression in animal and culture models. The study underway involves administering CBD to to laboratory grown cells made from ependymoma and glioma tumors over the course of seven days. Then, the spreading behavior of the treated and untreated cells will be compared using cell staining. The professor leading the study, Professor Richard Grundy, says, “We expect the cells – brain tumor and normal brain – grown in our standard conditions to be healthy and actively dividing. We expect that normal brain cells grown in cannabidiol will remain healthy. However, we expect the brain tumor cells grown in cannabidiol to stop growing and die.”

With the rates of cancer diagnosed in children has slightly increased in recent decades, finding more effective treatment methods that are not as toxic as chemotherapy and radiotherapy is desired. Grundy explains, “New ways to treat childhood brain tumors are urgently needed to extend and improve the quality of life in malignant brain tumor patients, so we are excited at the prospect of testing the effect of cannabidiol on brain tumor cells.”

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Will Cannabis Help End the Opioid-Abuse Epidemic?

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Photo Credit: High Times

In the past decade, the use and abuse of opioid prescriptions has grown exponentially, resulting in an explosive rise opioid-related fatal overdoses. Now, handfuls of studies suggest cannabis could be a powerful natural replacement for opioids, and with no risk of fatalities, it could make a significant dent in the amount of opioid related deaths. Research shows medical marijuana can benefit chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis, all of which are conditions where opioids are traditionally prescribed. Some researchers also hypothesize its neuroprotective properties could play a role in reducing dependence on opioids when used in conjunction with marijuana. 

The results are already pointing towards to efficacy of marijuana in the reduction of opioid use. An analysis of Medicare programs in marijuana-legal state found doctors prescribed fewer painkillers than in non legal states. Additionally, chronic pain patients account for the largest portion of medical marijuana patients in states where chronic pain is a qualifying condition, suggesting medical marijuana is effective as an analgesic. 

This information is provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.