Cannabichromene and its Benefits

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Today let’s take a look at the cannabichromene (CBC), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with various benefits. CBC does not bind well to CB1 receptors throughout the brain, but it is able to bind with other receptors like the TRPV1 receptor and the TRPA1 receptor, both of which a receptors that play a role in pain perception. When CBC interacts with these receptors, it increases the production of some of the body’s natural endocannabinoids like anandamide.

CBC is a powerful cannabinoids on its own and in conjunction with other cannabinoids. CBC may be the second most powerful cannabinoid to inhibit the growth of new cancer cells, and it inhibits the uptake of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which has been shown to fight breast cancer in vitro and in vivo. CBC has also been found to block pain and inflammation associated with collagen-induced osteoarthritis, and in one animal study, it produced an even greater anti-inflammatory effect alongside THC than the two could produce on their own. CBC may also benefit brain function, and one 2013 study involving mice found the cannabinoid made neural step progenitor cells (NSPCs) more viable. The cannabinoid is also a powerful inhibitor of acne through its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to suppress excessive lipid production in sebaceous glands. CBC may also produce antidepressant properties when working synergistically alongside THC and CBD.

This information has been brought to you by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis as an Anti-Anxiety Medication

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

A new study published in Psychopharmacology has found regular cannabis use can, over time, reduce the risk of anxiety and blunt stress responses in stressful situations, including when a person is sober. In the study, which involved 40 regular cannabis users and 42 people who had little to no experience with cannabis, non-cannabis users reported feeling anxious and exhibited high levels of cortisol in stressful scenarios, while cannabis users reported less anxiety, and exhibited no change in cortisol levels. Prior to the study, all participants abstained from use for 12-18 hours. Results also found that patients did not exhibit heightened cannabis cravings when stressed.

Co-author, researcher, and clinical assistant professor at Washington State University explains, “Based on our findings, the potential effects of cannabis on stress do appear to extend beyond the period of intoxication… But we’re not yet comfortable saying whether that muted stress response is a good thing or a bad thing.” Both too much and too little cortisol can prove problematic, with too much resulting in negative side effects and leading to various conditions, and too little preventing a person from producing an appropriate stress response. More research is necessary in order to determine whether reduced cortisol levels are beneficial or detrimental.

Learn more about this study by reading this article on Leafly. This information has been reviewed and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Australian Biotech Company Wants to Treat Autism Symptoms With Cannabis

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

In 2017, the Australian biotech company Zelda completed observational trials in Chile suggesting medical cannabis extracts may be effective for treating the core symptoms of Autism, including difficulties in social interactions, language, and repetitive behaviors. The study involved 21 patients, with the median age around 9 years old, who were treated with medical cannabis extracts over the course 12 weeks. The patients were then examined by EEG, neuropsychological analysis, metabolism, and genetic tests. Of those treated with the extracts, 71.4% showed improvements in at least one of their core symptoms, and 66.7% improved overall. Additionally, cannabis extracts were more effective than the more traditional medications.Since then, Zelda has initiated the recruitment for observational trials in the USA, with 15 patients already formally enrolled for trials beginning this year. They hope this will lead to future clinical trials.

This information has been provided by Leafly and Proactive Investors, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

THCA Shows Promise for Huntington’s Disease, Study Finds

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

In a new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers have found THCA reduced inflammation, served as a neuroprotectant, improved motor function, and prevented brain degeneration in animals. THCA is the acidic precursor to THC, and is found in cannabis that has not yet undergone the heating process decarboxylation. THCA has the a lot of the same beneficial properties offered by THC, but without any psychoactive side effects. One thing that distinguishes THCA from other cannabinoids is its ability to positively affect the PPARy brain receptor, which is responsible for lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis. This has led the study’s authors to believe THCA may serve “as a lead structure for the development of novel drugs for the management of (Huntington’s) and, possibly, other neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases.” The authors find their study unique in that they are actively researching the acidic forms of cannabinoids, something that other studies often neglect. They explain most studies “have used neutral cannabinoids, especially THC and CBD… with little attention to the genuine phytocannabinoids of the plant, namely their acidic forms. We provide evidence that these compounds hold significant pharmacological potential.”

This information has been provided by Leafly and approve by our Chief Medical Officer.

A Look at How Canadian Patients are Using Medical Marijuana

Photo Credit: Tilray

Photo Credit: Tilray

As access to medical marijuana continues to grow, but relatively little is known about how to properly dose the medication, it can be helpful to look at how patients have already been using the medication effectively. A 2017 study led by Philippe Lucas, the Vice President of Patient Research & Access at Tilray, and Nick Jikomes, PhD, in partnership with with researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, McMaster University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria, surveyed 2,032 medical marijuana patients across Canada. The median age of patients involved in the survey was 40, and men almost outnumbered women two to one. About 70% of users substituted medical cannabis for prescription medications, with most substitutions replacing opioids (36%), antidepressants (21%), and other pain medications. Lucas explains, “In 610 mentions of opioid medication, 59% of patients stopped using these painkillers completely, and another 18% cut their consumption to a quarter or less… This suggests that cannabis may already be playing a harm-reduction role in the current opioid crisis.” Patients (31%) also used cannabis to reduce tobacco use, and half of those respondents were able to quit tobacco use completely. Additionally, 44% of participants were able to reduce alcohol consumption, and 26% substituted cannabis for illicit drugs.

When it comes to specific conditions being treated with medical cannabis, 38% used cannabis to treat chronic pain, and 40% used cannabis to treat mental health issues, which included but is not limited to anxiety and insomnia. High-CBD strains were the most preferable strains, favored by 14.5% of respondents, and sought after by 50% of extract and concentrate customers. Among the variety of forms and vehicles of administration available to patients, the classic cannabis flower remained the most preferred form by a long shot. About 74% of patients used about a gram and a half of cannabis daily, and the majority of patients still preferred the traditional method of smoking the medication. That said, new methods of cannabis consumption are growing in popularity, ant 47% of patients preferred non-smoking methods of administration, with 31% of those respondents choosing to vaporize their medication. The least popular methods of administration were cannabis juicing, at .2% of respondents choosing this method, and topicals, with only .3% choosing this vehicle.

By journaling daily on the CannaBest Medical app, you are anonymously contributing the growing medical cannabis knowledge base and better understand how patients are using medical marijuana to treat symptoms. With this information, we can better understand how patients are precisely and effectively dosing their medical marijuana, which will offer guidance to other patients with their own regimens and will help physicians with their recommendation moving forward. We thank you for your participation, and hope you continue to use this tool daily so that, collectively, we can help others. This information has been provided in part by Leafly and Tilray, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Ways to Enjoy Cannabis Without Having to Smoke It

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Some patients may want to try cannabis therapy, but may not want to smoke the medicine for fear it may produce harmful effects on the lungs. Luckily, in today’s world, there are various options available to cannabis consumers that don’t involve smoke inhalation. One health-conscious way to inhale cannabis involves vaporization, which heats cannabis at a lower temperature so that it never reaches the point of combustion. Vaporizers come in a variety of sizes and fit into a wide price range to fit your needs. Patients may also look towards consuming cannabis edibles, which infuses foods and drinks with therapeutic cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are absorbed throughout the digestive process, which takes some time to take effect, so it is best to start at a low dose and slowly titrate until the desired relief is reached.

Patients can also take cannabis oils orally in what is known as ingestible oils. These oils are usually contained within capsules or plastic applicators, and like edibles, may take a while to take effect. The cannabis tincture allows patients to consume liquids infused with cannabis extracts and experience the effects in a quicker manner. This is because liquid drops are applied under the tongue, where they immediately enter the blood stream. Tinctures are easy to dose, and come in a variety of flavors, potencies, and cannabinoid profiles. so that they can be catered towards specific needs. If you don’t want to consume or inhale cannabis, you may want to try cannabis topicals, which are applied directly to the skin as a balm or lotion. Topicals are useful for targeted symptom relief, where they can treat localized areas of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Topicals do not produce psychoactive effects.

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

Best Practices for Using Cannabis Topicals

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Cannabis topicals consist of lotions, creams, moisturizers, balms, salves, liniments, or ointments, and offer a method for administering cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a way that doesn’t require smoking or produce psychoactive effects. Topicals are desirable because they offer localized relief that targets the areas that produce aches and pains. To effectively use topicals, it’s important to understand where source of the pain is, as opposed to where the pain is manifesting. For example, a headache may not be produced by the head, but rather by tension in the neck or other parts of the body. It is also important to clean the area before application so that your skin absorbs the beneficial cannabinoids without unwanted bacterias. It is then recommended to apply the topical generously and vigorously and actually massage it into the skin. Then, you can expect to feel subtle relief that may not necessarily cure your aches and pains, but that will make them feel more bearable.

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

How Cannabidiol (CBD) Works for Treating Anxiety

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Various animal studies and human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggest CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties, and when administered acutely, it seems both safe and well-tolerated. This suggests the cannabinoid could be helpful for the treatment of panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and mild to moderate depression. Many pharmaceutical medications known as SSRIs work to target serotonin receptors to reduce anxiety and depression. Like SSRIs, CBD may be able to support signaling through serotonin receptors, and in one animal study, Spanish researchers found CBD enhanced 5-HT1A (a subtype of serotonin receptor) transmission ad affected serotonin faster than SSRIs.

Brain scans of those who suffer from depression or anxiety often show a smaller hippocampus, which is an area of the brain known for its role in memory formation and cognition. Treatments of depression are often associated with neurogenesis within the hippocampus. One animal study found consistent administration of CBD promoted neurogenesis in the hippocampus, suggesting it may help treat anxiety and depression. in a small double-blind study, Brazilian researchers found patients afflicted with generalized social anxiety reported significant decreases in anxiety after CBD consumption. These claims were validated through the support of brain scans that showed cerebral blood flow patters consistent with anti-anxiety effects. Another small study found patients with social anxiety disorders reported less anxiety while performing public speaking tests after the use of CBD. These findings were supported by indicators relating to heart rate and blood pressure.

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

What Is THCA and What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, is an acidic cannabinoid that precedes THC. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-psychoactive compound found in raw cannabis. Through the use of heat to initiate decarboxylation, THCA converts into THC, which does produce psychoactive properties. Although THCA is not as well studied as THC, research is beginning to suggest that THCA may provide significant therapeutic benefits. Preliminary research suggests THCA may provide anti-inflammatory effects, which could benefit a wide range of conditions including arthritis and lupus. It may also contain neuroprotective properties, which could help those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. THCA may supply anti-emetic properties for nausea or appetite loss, and it may also be anti-proliferative, which is relevant for prostate cancer. Patient testimonies also suggest THCA may provide relief for insomnia, muscle spasms, and pain. This information may provide hope for seeking relief, but there is still much to be desired when it comes to research surrounding THCA and its potential benefits.

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

Cannabis and Its Impact on High Blood Pressure

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Today, we will be discussing what we know about the effects of cannabis on blood pressure. Some studies suggest some cannabis users may experience a mild to moderate dose-dependent increase in blood pressure and heart rate within 10-15 minutes after consumption, followed by a modest hypotensive effect, or drop in blood pressure. As consumption continues, users can develop a tolerance and reduce cannabis’ effects on blood pressure. When it comes to looking at serious adverse risks, one longitudinal study from UC San Francisco regarding coronary artery risk development in young adults (CARDIA) looked at data from 3,617 African American and Caucasian adults over to course of 15 years. In the study, no long-term causal link was established between cannabis consumption and the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. That being said, according to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, cannabis could actually increase the risk of suffering a heart attack by five times in certain individuals from at-risk populations within an hour after consumption. Within two hours, however, risk returns to normal.

Lastly, because the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating cardiovascular function, and because anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid similar to THC, relaxes blood vessels, there is speculation that certain cannabinoids in cannabis may be able to lower blood pressure. Even the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported, “endocannabinoids tonically suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension… targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension.” There are currently no cannabinoid-based or synthetic cannabinoid-based medications approved to treat hypertension.

We hope for further research to better understand cannabis’ relationship to blood pressure through rigorous clinical studies. This information has been sponsored by PureCBDVapors in conjunction with Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

PTSD, Insomnia, and Cannabis: What’s the Evidence Say?

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Many of those who suffer from PTSD may suffer from insomnia as a result of the disorder, and it is said that psychotherapy medications and sleep aids are commonly prescribed to treat PTSD-related insomnia. However, these treatment regimens can produce a wide range of negative side effects. Now, research suggests medical cannabis may be able to provide relief for sleep-related issues without producing the unwanted side effects. According to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH), and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, consuming THC helped subjects to fall asleep easily and quickly.

Another study headed by Dr. Kenneth Cousens from the Napa State Hospital, California, and Dr. Alberto DiMascio, Director of Psychopharmacology at the Department of Mental Health, Boston State Hospital, suggests medical marijuana not only helps people fall asleep quicker, but that their quality of sleep is better and they are able to stay asleep longer. In addition to research, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting medical cannabis is much more preferable to the various combinations of medications that the VA currently relies on to treat the problems associated with PTSD.

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

Vast Majority of Pain Patients Prefer Cannabis to Opioids, Study Finds

Photo Credit: Wikipedia (https://bit.ly/2PVTzMT)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia (https://bit.ly/2PVTzMT)

Yet another study has determined patients prefer using medical cannabis to opioid medications. The study involved nearly 3,000 medical cannabis patients, of which nearly all responded they were able to reduce their opioid consumption after bringing cannabis into their dosing routine, and a vast majority also preferred using cannabis to their prescription pills. In the survey, HelloMD and the University of California Berkeley asked questions regarding cannabis as a substitute for opioid and non-opioid based pain medication. They found 97% of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that they could reduce opioid painkiller use through cannabis, while 92% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed cannabis effectively treated their condition and was the preferable means for symptom management. Additionally, 81% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis alone was more effective than using it in addition to opioids, with a similar response when asked about consuming cannabis with non-opioid medications.

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

This information has been provided by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also find the full text of the study here.

Is CBD the Next Big Thing for Acne?

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., has recently completed phase 1 of a clinical trial involving the use of synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of acne. The preliminary trial took place in Australia, where twenty participants applied the synthetic cannabinoid, which is called BTX 1503, topically for a month. Researchers looked towards the safety, tolerability, and phaymacokinetics (which refers to the amount of drug that remains detectable in the bloodstream after use). The trial was completed within 12 months and was deemed a huge success, with the company stating, “Top line data demonstrates that BTX 1503 has an excellent safety profile, with little to no skin irritation, and no severe adverse events were recorded.”

Previously, a study from 2014 published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found CBD inhibited lipogenic action and the production of sebocytes in biopsies of human scalp and arm skin. Both of those processes contribute to the development of acne. Additionally, CBD produced anti-inflammatory effects.

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



Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine?

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds within the cannabis plant that mimic compounds our bodies already produce called endocannabinoids. Because of this, these plant based cannabinoids have the ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors in our body in order provide a wide range of therapeutic effects, among them being relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. The effect a cannabis strain is able to produce is dependent on the strain’s cannabinoid composition and on how these cannabinoids bind to the different receptors in our bodies. Some pharmaceutical medications have produced synthetic cannabinoids in order to produce symptom relief that imitates that produced by the cannabis plant. Some of these medications include Marinol, Nabilone, and Rimonabant. However, isolating and mimicking these compounds means that the relief they provide are highly targeted and limited, and research has shown herbal cannabis elicits a wider variety of therapeutic effects.

It is important to understand which types of cannabinoids work best for treating your symptoms so that you can discover optimal relief. With our app’s journaling function, you can easily monitor your dosing regimen so that you can keep track of what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t know where to begin, our physician approved guidelines can point you towards a good starting point, from which you can begin to titrate and and make alterations based on your personal preferences.

This information has been provided in part by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also visit their page for a helpful infographic detailing cannabinoids that may help treat specific symptoms. While the infographic does not provide information regarding how much of each cannabinoid you should aim for, it could help in understanding what to look for when visiting your nearest dispensary.

Are Time-Released Cannabis Pills the Future of Medical Marijuana?

Photo: Leafly

Photo: Leafly

For patients who want to use medical marijuana as a treatment option, there are only so many vehicles available to them. Some patients want the therapy, but don't want to use the most popular methods of smoking, vaporizing, or consuming edibles. For them, there are only a few other options available, like taking tinctures, using topicals or patches, or swallowing pills. Now, cannabis pills are being further explored, and some think it could be the future of medical marijuana. 

Wana Brands, one manufacturer or edibles and cannabis pills, says the time-released formula in the capsules allows patients to get proper dosing throughout a 12 hour period. One problem people have with the medical marijuana industry is that they don't view it as a real medicine, partly because no other medicines exist that can be smoked or inhaled. Cannabis pills that mirror the image of pharmaceutical medications may solve this problem by changing the "stoner imagery" currently associated the medical marijuana movement. 

For more on Wana Brands and how cannabis pills work, read this Leafly article: http://bit.ly/1DuNBFQ