Your Weekly Cannabis Reader

by Sep 5, 2016

Image credit: Brennen Linsley/AP

There’s a Big, Surprising Benefit to Eating Weed Rather Than Smoking It

There’s a unique benefit to eating, rather than smoking, marijuana. When the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is metabolized in the liver, it turns into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is supposedly more psychoactive. This gives weed edibles a demonstrably “different” high — longer, steadier, but not necessarily more intense.

Cirino’s goal is to let people dose themselves to enjoy a steady high for a long period of time, as opposed to smoking a joint, whose high spikes and then falls away.

Edibles have a reputation as a very intense way to consume cannabis and many people are still hesitant to recommend them to anyone new to cannabis. Fortunately, proper dosing and lab-tested products are starting to change people’s perceptions and make edibles accessible to everyone.

That’s an important change because edibles provide a long-lasting, consistent experience that can be a great way to use cannabis. What’s your advice for beginner cannabis users who want to try edibles?

Image credit: The Chill Bud

Want to Reduce Obesity? Legalize Medical Marijuana, Researchers Say.

For older adults, they found that medical marijuana laws “are associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise.” The possible reason? People are often prescribed medical marijuana for chronic pain, one of the conditions it’s most effective at treating. Older patients are more likely to experience chronic pain. So if medical marijuana reduces pain, it may be allowing those patients to be more active — and hence, burn more calories.

But for younger adults, age 18 to 24, the study found a different dynamic at play. “Our findings show that the enactment of MMLs is associated with a 3.1 percent reduction in the probability of alcohol consumption and a 4.8 percent reduction in the probability of binge drinking” among this younger group, the researchers found. They posit that medical marijuana availability may lead some younger adults to “substitute away from highly caloric alcoholic beverages toward a lower-calorie marijuana ‘high,’ resulting in lower body weight and likelihood of obesity.”

Cannabis has long been denigrated as a “gateway drug” but it may actually be a gateway to better health and wellbeing. While this is only one study, there is evidence that certain cannabinoids, specifically THCV and CBD, may help fight metabolic syndrome.

That doesn’t mean that all cannabis will help reduce obesity — THC and CBN are both known for their appetite-stimulating abilities. However, it amazes me that one plant can offer so many different and even opposing uses; it’s exciting to witness this surge in cannabis research and learn more about what this plant can offer.

Image credit: Leafly

Why Did Cannabis Consumption Rise 3%, While Abuse Fell 30%?

Using the example of Harvard psychiatrist Norman Zinberg, Roffman continued. “Norman Zinburg offered the argument that behavioral norms for non-harmful consumption will be more likely to develop when a drug is legal than when it is illegal. If this is true, perhaps it is due to consumers: (1) perceiving themselves as deviant to one degree or another when engaging in an act that the law prohibits, (2) perceiving the law as unjust and their being liable for arrest a form of oppression, and (3) rejecting public and peer messaging favoring non-problematic use.”

Alleviating secrecy alleviates abuse. The normalization and mainstreaming of cannabis allows people to be open about their use which leads to cultural norms about “acceptable use” that help people know where to draw the line.

It also gives people something very important: the ability to ask for help. If you’re forced to hide your cannabis use, you have very few options for support if you’re struggling to use cannabis in a beneficial manner. The end of prohibition means that we’re creating a viable community that shares knowledge, resources, and experience for the benefit of all.

Image credit: Wikimedia

Cannabidiol Enhances Fracture Healing

Scientists have been studying for the past decade the effect that the cannabinoid cannabidiol has on bone healing and development.  It seems scientists can agree that CBD can accelerate the process of the body healing broken bones and making them stronger.

A study that was published in the February 2009 issue of International Immunopharmacology tested the effects of 5 milligrams of cannabidiol in a periodontitis experimental model in rats.  After 30 days a morphometrical analysis of alveolar bone loss demonstrated that CBD treated animals presented a decreased alveolar bone loss and a lower expression of the activator of nuclear factor kB ligand RANKL/RANK. 

A balanced endocannabinoid system seems to be essential for good health. We still have a lot to learn about how this system works in our bodies and how to maintain it for optimal health. Researchers didn’t discover the endocannabinoid system until the mid-nineties, so it often feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do.

Image credit: The Influence

Court Rules Medical Marijuana Cardholder “Too Irrational” to Own a Gun

The lawsuit alleged that her second amendment rights were violated. This Wednesday, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, upholding the decision to deny her a firearm. The court ruled that Wilson’s second amendment rights were not violated because drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

Wilson’s lawyer, Chaz Rainey, who’s appealing the decision, told the Associated Press, “We live in a world where having a medical marijuana card is enough to say you don’t get a gun, but if you’re on the no-fly list, your constitutional right is still protected.”

Rainey has a point. In many states, you can get completely drunk and saunter around with a loaded AR-15.

This is fascinating. The US is in the middle of a gun violence epidemic and very little has been done to curb it, but this is where we draw the line?

I grew up in a place where deer hunting was such an important event that we were given the opening day of rifle season off of school. Many of my friends and neighbors spent at least a weekend at deer camp every year and bringing alcohol was (and still is) considered an essential part of the hunting trip.

Honestly, most of the hunters and gun owners I know are incredibly responsible, so I can’t think of any alcohol-related gun accidents from my personal social circle, so denying guns to medical marijuana cardholders (But almost no one else?!) is something I just can’t wrap my mind around. Can someone explain it to me in the comments?

Image credit: GrowWise Health

Suffering from Migraines and Chronic Headaches? Medical Cannabis Can Help!

Recent studies show that cannabis can be helpful in treating headaches and migraines. In addition to helping manage associated symptoms, research indicates that marijuana has the potential to decrease the frequency of migraines experienced by chronic sufferers. A 2016 study by Rhyne et al. found that among 121 adult participants the frequency of headaches reduced from 10.4 migraines per month to just 4.6.

Patients suffering from migraines tend to be long-term sufferers, and may experience their first migraine during their teenage years. Many patients also experience nausea, vomiting, photophobia and a sensitivity to noise. In addition to providing pain relief and helping reduce the frequency of migraines, cannabis can also reduce nausea and vomiting and help induce a sense of calm and relaxation during this difficult time.

Migraines can be incredibly debilitating, so anything that helps give people their life back is excellent news. Do you suffer from migraines or severe headaches? Does cannabis help you manage them? Share your techniques for pain management in the comments.

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Herb Spotlight: Valerian

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Our herb spotlight is back with the pungent, nutrient-rich herb valerian. We’ve recently taken the initiative to plant all the herbs we use in our tinctures in the same greenhouse (our Temple) as mama ganja. The transplanting will happen next week, and we will certainly share the story of this new endeavor in the coming weeks!