CategoriesGreen Medizin news

Beyond THC and CBD: Meet the New Cannabinoids on the Block

Extraction tech is advancing, and the cannabis industry is just starting to discover and isolate the numerous cannabinoids found in the plant besides THC and CBD. Could delta-8 be the next hot trend?

This is what the future of cannabis looks like.

As the rest of the world catches up to CBD – one of the many compounds in cannabis that doesn’t get us high – extraction specialists are delving deeper into the plant’s chemistry by siphoning troves of lesser-known cannabinoids and infusing them into novel products.

Most of us know about the most famous cannabinoid, THC, and what it does: it can reduce or increase anxiety, it can make us giggle uncontrollably, or put us to sleep. And it may do some other cool stuff, too, like regenerate brain cells or cause cancer cells to self-destruct.

As awesome as THC and CBD are, cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids, and each offers its own unique contribution to our homeostasis, a state of healthy balance, by interacting with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. THC and CBD may work wonders on a wide array of ailments, but they’re not always effective. Because the other cannabinoids exhibit their own pharmacologies, they may treat illnesses that don’t respond well to THC or CBD alone. However, most cannabis strains don’t produce the other cannabinoids in sufficient amounts, so a little chemistry is needed to either tease out these less-prominent compounds or convert them from other cannabinoid precursors in bulk.

Before we dive in, know that the research on the cannabinoids mentioned below is severely limited, with most of the studies performed on mice or rats. Plus, the scant few conducted with humans were usually not controlled trials. Due to the Controlled Substances Act, all cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (even the ones we haven’t yet discovered) fall under Schedule I restrictions, meaning researchers must receive stringent federal approval to study them. Further, assuming the academics clear the DEA’s hurdles, researchers must still rely on the government’s crummy weed, which lacks some of the less-prominent cannabinoids.

here’s it all going? Which new cannabinoids could prove to be game-changers? Which are destined to become over-hyped curiosities, fads within the ever-expanding legal market? And will any of them even get us lit? As more and more legit research occurs, and more and more canna-businesses try to differentiate themselves within the green rush with “novel” products, the possibilities and benefits of isolating new cannabinoids are just now starting to reveal themselves — to consumers and companies alike.

Photo courtesy of Oregrown

Delta-8-THC: For a Kinder, Gentler Way to Get Baked

When we think about THC, we’re usually thinking about a specific form, or isomer, of the molecule. The one we smoke or vape is delta-9-THC. Delta-8-THC, however, promises a similar, yet nuanced, experience compared to its delta-9 isomer.

Oregon-based Oregrown makes a Pax vaporizer pod filled with delta-8-THC. The company’s director of extractions, Jake Jones, told MERRY JANE that one of delta-8’s benefits is that users experience its effects instantly, whereas fully feeling a delta-9 dab may take five to ten minutes.

“It really feels medicinal,” Jones said about delta-8. “It’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t give you as strong of a high. It gives you more of a calming, relaxing sensation in the body.”

Joseph Nielsen, Oregrown’s head extraction engineer, described delta-8’s effect as “a solid punch.” “I feel it right in the forehead, behind the eyes,” he said. “But delta-8 is really smooth, and it tastes sweeter [than delta-9].”

Jones and Nielsen believe delta-8 could be used as a training wheel for inexperienced medical cannabis patients. Because it produces an incredibly mellow, subtle high, delta-8 could help new patients ease into THC-based therapies, or it could replace delta-9 entirely for patients who don’t like to get too stoned. Seniors, child patients, recovering addicts, or people with mental illness may also benefit from delta-8’s reduced psychoactivity. Although there hasn’t been nearly as much research into delta-8 compared to its rock star sibling, studies suggest delta-8 may have the same medicinal properties as delta-9.

Where can you get your hands on some delta-8 flower? Probably nowhere at the moment. In nature, delta-8 is found in cannabis at incredibly small amounts. Instead of extracting delta-8 directly from the plant, Oregrown first extracts delta-9 then converts it to delta-8 through a manufacturing process. The result is a clear, viscous oil that can be dabbed, vaped, or possibly infused into edibles.

While Oregrown only supplies delta-8 in a Pax pod, Guild Extracts in California offers a dabbable delta-8 “sap.” In fact, Jones and Nielsen first learned about delta-8 a few years ago by stumbling on Guild’s product. In Washington, Hitz Cannabis produces a delta-8 dab oil, and some dispensaries there carry Oleum Labs’ delta-8 vape pen cartridges, as well.

THCV: Ganja’s Jenny Craig

Although weed is (in)famous for triggering rabid cases of the munchies, some strains do the exact opposite. The culprit? Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, a cannabinoid usually found in Afghan or African cultivars like Durban Poison. Research on rodents suggests THCV may also be able to protect the human brain, improve insulin resistance, and prevent seizures.

GW Pharmaceuticals, the creator of the cannabis-derived pharmaceuticalsSativex and Epidiolex, is currently working on a drug made with THCV. Besides killing appetite, GW’s pot pill may also treat eating disorders and diet-related conditions like Type II diabetes. We may not see this weed diet pill any time soon, though, as GW’s research got stuck at phase II of its clinical trial in 2016.

Outside of pharma, THCV is already finding its niche among the figure-conscious. Last year, SuicideGirls, the alt-model outfit featuring tatted ladies, unveiled its Chill Hustle Zero line of cannabis products with THCV.

“We created Zero because we wanted to get high and not overeat,” said SuicideGirls’ Milloux Suicide in an interview last year with MERRY JANE. “I love getting high, but I am also really into my health and fitness. I like to be able to smoke without waking up the next morning in a bed full of Taco Bell wrappers reminding me of last night’s bad decisions.”

SuicideGirls is not the only company seeing green in cannabinoid extractions, either. Bethenny Frankel, the brain behind the Skinnygirl brand of low-calorie wines and mixers, plans to launch her Skinnygirl Marijuana line sometime in the near future. Skinnygirl’s weed “will be a specially-engineered strain of pot designed to not give you the munchies,” an insider revealed to US Weekly.

CBN: When CBD Alone Just Ain’t Cuttin’ It

Like all things, molecules break down over time. THC is no different. When it degrades or metabolizes, THC converts to cannabinol, or CBN.

“CBN is a more stable form of THC, essentially,” said Jeremy Riggle over the phone to MERRY JANE. Riggle is the chief scientific officer at Mary’s Medicinals, one of the first and only companies to offer CBN products. CBN won’t get anyone lifted, but “it still has some therapeutic benefits, such as being a sedative,” he added.

Fighting insomnia is just one of CBN’s properties. In addition to making us sleepy, it can treat painreduce inflammation, and act as an antibiotic. Riggle noted that CBN may also slow or reverse signs of aging when combined with other cannabinoids, making it ideal for beauty products like face masks or eye creams.

Because CBN is made by the breakdown of THC, there’s not a lot of it in most cannabis plants. Unless, of course, you’re holding some seriously old weed. Mary’s Medicinals doesn’t get its CBN by extracting it directly from the plant. Instead, like Oregrown, they get it by extracting THC, which is then heated until it converts to CBN.

THCA: The Raw Dawg

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, is another cannabinoid that Mary’s Medicinals infuses into its topicals. By weight, THCA is the most prevalent cannabinoid found in cannabis. When you see lab results on your bud bottles, the listed THC percentage is actually THCA. Additionally, THCA by itself is not psychoactive,which is why we burn and inhale cannabis in order to get high. Heat causes combustion, which leads THCA’s acidic portion to pop off the molecule, leaving behind the THC-laden smoke we all know and love. Now companies like Mary’s Medicinals want to harness THCA’s power without putting it to a flame.

“If you’re looking to not get high, but instead want benefits to your immune and endocrine systems, then THCA is the way to go,” said Riggle. “It kind of gets the immune system kick-started and operating optimally.”

Why does Mary’s deliver THCA through the skin if it’s intended to benefit immune and hormonal regulation? Riggle cited a 2009 paper published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. The skin acts as a “passive barrier” to protect the body’s innards from its environment, and a vast endocannabinoid system network runs through our skin. Hair follicles and sweat glands mediate cell signaling to the immune and endocrine systems, so targeting the epidermis with THCA makes sense.

Ironically, THCA behaves much like CBD, never activating the body’s CB receptors but stimulating them just enough to initiate healing effects. CB receptors act as gateways on cells, triggering specific cell signals after coming into contact with a cannabinoid like THCA. Some of those effects include halting the spread of cancersprotecting nerve cellsanti-inflammation, and curbing nausea.

Besides transdermal patches or other topicals, one of the easiest ways to get THCA into the body is by juicing raw cannabis. Unfortunately, most dispensaries only sell dry cannabis. To juice it, you need hefty amounts of fresh, wet buds. Unless you grow your own or your buddy’s a caregiver, products infused with THCA may be the most efficient route — for now.

“We’re starting to manipulate the enzymes that generate these cannabinoids, so I don’t think we’re far away from having plants that are high in THCA or CBN or whatever,” Riggle said. “That’s definitely where things are going: figuring out ways to produce other cannabinoids besides THC or CBD.”

Delta-8, photo courtesy of Oregrown

The mainstreaming of new cannabinoid products adds to our already-existing arsenal of goodies for customizable or directional highs. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why certain cannabinoid/terpene combos make us sleepy, focused, awake, or bubbly. But isolating specific cannabinoids will help patients and researchers better understand how different cannabinoids interact inside of our bodies.

Until then, whether we’re prescribed an FDA-approved weed pill or simply prefer that our beauty products are loaded with cannabinoids, we are, essentially, guinea pigs. The nation’s fastest growing industry isn’t just testing the limits of federal law; it’s testing how we respond to an incredibly young market that could become oversaturated with THC and CBD products before legalization goes national. It’s also no coincidence that many of these novel extractions are taking place along the West Coast, America’s first (and so far, only) region to fully embrace regulated recreational cannabis.

What cool discoveries will companies stumble on when the East Coast finally opens up to legal cannabis? What about those in the Midwest or the Deep South? And what happens when academic researchers can finally investigate this plant’s chemistry with gloves completely off?

Randy RobinsonFOLLOWBased in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljayShare this article with your friends!

NOW WATCHINGSeed to Strain: Blue DreamPlayUnmuteLoaded: 21.01%Remaining Time -5:52Picture-in-PictureFullscreenIn this episode of Seed to Strain we spotlight one of the most popular strains on the West Coast, Blue Dream. Whether you are new to toking or a cannabis connoisseur chances are you’ve heard of these fluffy blue nugs. The sativa-dominant hybrid which hit the scene a decade ago, will enliven your mind while relaxing your body. A cross between the indica strain Blueberry and the sativa strain Haze, Blue Dream offers a chill yet productive high. Bess, one of the original growers of the strain tells MERRY JANE that while the plant was first cultivated in the northern part of the state, it was Los Angeles that catapulted Blue Dream into legendary status. Today, Blue Dream continues on as a dispensary staple. The strain continues to rein because unlike other popular flowers, there is no proprietary license so you’re free to grow, where it’s legal that is.

CategoriesGreen Medizin news

Florida Veterans Affairs: Medical Marijuana Won’t Jeopardize Benefits

Did you know that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating physiological and mental health condition that affects more than 12% of American soldiers? Military service can put individuals in life-or-death circumstances repeatedly. Veterans with PTSD struggle because what they see, hear, and feel during their tours of service can stay with them for a long time. 

What many people do not know, however, is how hard it is for American veterans to reintegrate into normal civilian life, because of PTSD. Reformation of the support and services provided by Veteran’s Affairs resulted in the designation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a disability.

The state of Florida recently expanded the list of qualifying health conditions to include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are an estimated 1.25 million veterans currently living in the State of Florida. Many of them are seeking an alternative approach to manage anxiety and the symptoms of PTSD. 

Medical cannabis has been featured in many global clinical health studies, supporting the efficacy of marijuana treatments for mood disorders and trauma. 

What are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Like any other medical condition, PTSD must first be diagnosed as a health issue from a mental healthcare provider, such as a psychologist. Post-Traumatic stress disorder is more than a feeling of stress or flashback memories. It is feeling like you are reliving agonizing moments of your life. For veterans, it feels like you are right in the middle of it again, fighting for your life. 

Patients that have PTSD symptoms often go unnoticed and underserved by the medical community. Military veterans sometimes fear the stigma of mental health issues. Others feel that they should “tough it out.” They feel pressured to cope with their emotions and memories, because it is “not a big deal” and are forced to deal with their symptoms alone.

Post-Traumatic stress disorder can make emotional engagements more difficult and stressful. Veterans with the condition do not know when they will feel symptoms of extreme anxiety or emotional distress. Veterans with PTSD symptoms can experience:

  • Deep sadness and remorse
  • Inability to open up to or trust new people or relationships
  • Sustain long-term relationships with a spouse or partner
  • Feelings of detachment from loved ones
  • Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • A feeling of emotional numbness
  • Traumatic flash-back memories
  • Negative thoughts about self-worth 
  • Distrustful thoughts about people and the world around them

The physical symptoms caused by excessive anxiety can include appetite loss, hypertension, hormonal variances, and suicidal thoughts or ideations. From 2007 to 2018, the number of veteran suicides stayed at the rate of 6,000 deaths per year. Roughly 13% of suicide deaths in the United States annually are veteran soldiers. Veterans with PTSD may also experience difficulty acquiring and retaining employment. 

What Does Veterans Affairs Say About Medical Marijuana Use? 

Veterans are encouraged to speak to a Veterans Affairs doctor before seeking to become certified for medical marijuana. While a VA doctor will not provide advice or consulting regarding medical marijuana, they can discuss symptoms and other treatment options.

The Veteran’s Affairs website states that it recognizes marijuana (and medical cannabis) to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug, per Federal law. As such, it does not endorse, recommend, or counsel military veterans on the use of medicinal marijuana therapies in any state.

Will I be Denied Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits for Taking Medical Marijuana?

Veterans Affairs will not endorse or provide medical cannabis as a treatment option for veterans with specific physical or mental health conditions. At the federal level, cannabis is viewed to be a Schedule-1 drug and prohibited substance. It is right up there on the list with some pretty terrifying and hazardous drugs.

Do you know what they say about being judged by the company you keep? Cannabis gets lumped in with some pretty frightening drugs, even though it has many medically documented health and pain relief benefits.

A Schedule 1 (Class 1) drug is illegal as it is categorized as a health and safety threat. Cannabis has been classed with the likes of heroin, LSD, and cocaine. Opioids, like high doses of codeine, Fentanyl, and Oxycodone are classified as Schedule 2 drugs (with less potential to harm patients). Barbiturates like opium and morphine are also classified as Schedule 2. 

On the Veterans Affairs website, the agency states that no veteran will have their VA benefits cut or reduced if they are a certified medical cannabis user. The VA does not endorse it or enable veterans to access medical marijuana. On the other hand, they do not penalize retired soldiers from seeking therapies for PTSD and other qualifying health conditions in Florida and other states.

How Do I Qualify for Medical Marijuana as a Military Veteran in Florida?

A military veteran must follow the same procedures as any other permanent or a seasonal resident in the state of Florida. Acquiring a medical cannabis card in Florida requires a formal diagnosis of PTSD or other qualifying health conditions.

The formal diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may also require an evaluation from a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. For military veterans however, it is common for the VA to diagnose the retired soldier as part of the evaluation for disability benefits and services. 

The next step is to contact a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) in Florida for an evaluation and consultation with a state-certified marijuana doctor. During the course of the online (or in-person) evaluation, the medical diagnoses will be reviewed to determine if they qualify according to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). 

The doctor from the MMTC will guide you through the required next steps to submit your application for a medical marijuana certification. Each Florida resident that is certified for medical marijuana is also required to submit their name and contact information to the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry. This is a confidential, HIPAA-compliant, and secure state government listing required for all cardholders. 

Once the patient’s information has been successfully submitted to the registry, the certified medical marijuana card will arrive by mail in approximately 10 business days. The card will have your picture on it and allow you to visit any Florida dispensary to purchase medical cannabis products. There are a variety of different products to choose from, including smokable marijuana, tinctures, or sublingual drops, and therapeutic capsules.

At the time of writing, edible marijuana products are not legalized. They are expected to pass legislative approval within the next year, however. When it is legalized, options for edible marijuana in Florida may include baked goods, confectionaries (candy, chocolate), THC infused olive oil (for salads and cooking), and more.

What Happens if I Return to Active Duty while Using Medical Marijuana?

If an American military veteran agrees to return to active duty or volunteer as part of the National Guard services, they are required to submit to drug testing. If you are a veteran who currently has a medical cannabis card, you will not be able to continue purchasing medical cannabis while in military service. Military veterans from Florida who are returning to service should surrender their medical cannabis card and contact the Florida Registry to have their name removed.

It is also advised that to successfully pass the drug testing required to return to active duty, veterans wait a period of at least 60-days without the consumption of medical marijuana.

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How CBD Oil May Treat Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19

Anxiety disorders affect some 40 million adults in the US every year. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic currently wreaking havoc worldwide, there is a real danger of that figure increasing in 2020. Without a doubt, hearing or watching news about the rising number of infections and deaths can increase anxiety levels. Losing jobs the way millions have during this pandemic can make people worry about their future. The realization that no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is close on the horizon can send one into panic mode. The stay-at-home orders state governments have issued aren’t helping anxiety either.
Covid19_CannabisCategoriesGreen Medizin news

Researchers Are Looking At Cannabis As A Potential Way To Prevent COVID-19

Two Canadian researchers think that a special strain of cannabis might potentially be a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19.
The researchers, Olga and Igor Kovalchuck have reportedly been developing and testing a novel cannabis strain for years, except with the goal of creating a strain that helps to combat cancer and inflammation. When the pandemic hit, the duo started to focus their efforts on how the strain might be used to help fight COVID-19.
The duo’s work was published in an April issue of the online medical journal Preprints.
“Similar to other respiratory pathogens, SARS-CoV2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, with potential for aerosol and contact spread. It uses receptor-mediated entry into the human host via angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) that is expressed in lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract,” reads the study. “Modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility.”
After looking at the research done on cannabis and COVID by other scientists, they were able to determine that cannabis, a special strain in particular, could potentially block COVID-19 from entering a person’s body to begin with.

It all comes down to our body’s ACE2 receptors, which works sort of like doorways into our bodies for the virus. In the case of the Kovalchuck’s work, cannabis would be used to decrease the level of ACE2 gene expression, essentially temporarily closing the doors to the virus.

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2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ON MARIJUANA: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

With support for marijuana legalization stronger than ever before, the issue of cannabis reform is slated to become a prominent issue in the 2020 presidential election.

Donald Trump, seeking a second term as President of the United States, is expected to earn the Republican party’s nomination. Trump has yet to take any notable actions related to marijuana, neither positive or negative, since taking office.

On the Democrat side, an abundance of declared primary candidates will battle in the primaries for their party’s nomination. Among Democratic voters, marijuana legalization has become a mainstream stance and politicians vying for their support have responded. So far, nearly every single declared Democratic presidential candidate has come out in support of either completely legalizing marijuana at the federal level, or descheduling it and leaving it up to the states.

Make informed choices by reviewing each candidate’s stance on marijuana legalization. Through the interactive tools below, you can quickly and easily sift through each candidate’s position on cannabis reform and any comments they’ve made about the issue. Click around the interactive graphic below to review each 2020 presidential candidate’s legislative support, public statements, and even tweets related to cannabis. Through the interactive timeline, you can click-and-drag and pinch-in and pinch-out zoom to discover when each candidate first made a pro-marijuana statement, first backed cannabis reform legislation, and any time there was a major development in their cannabis stance. Want to cut to the chase? A cannabis “temperature gauge” offers a quick-glance view of how strongly each candidate champions marijuana.

From now until the 2020 presidential election, this article will serve as home base for 2020 presidential candidates and their stance on federal marijuana policy. It will be regularly updated to reflect changes as presidential hopefuls enter and drop out of the race, as well as to document any shifts or major updates in cannabis views.

CANDIDATES’ SUPPORT FOR MARIJUANA OVER THE YEARS

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Capping pot’s THC potency stalls in Florida Senate

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A proposed cap on the level of euphoria-inducing THC in medical marijuana has hit a snag in the Senate, leaving a priority of the House in jeopardy as time runs down on the legislative session.

Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, introduced a proposal Monday that would have capped THC levels in medical marijuana for patients under age 21. Harrell tried to add the plan to a broad Department of Health legislative package (SB 230) but backed away after facing questions from members of the Senate Rules Committee.

Monday — 11 days shy of the scheduled March 13 end of the legislative session — was the first time lawmakers in either chamber had formally considered a proposed 10 percent THC cap.

But House Speaker José Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, has called the cap a priority, while Senate leaders have remained skeptical about the issue.

Echoing the arguments of Oliva and other House leaders, Harrell pointed to research outlined in “a whole variety of medical articles” describing the dangers of high doses of THC on adolescents’ brains.

Harrell referred to a controversial article published in the medical journal The Lancet that linked smoking high-THC marijuana — 10 percent or higher — with psychosis.

Limits on the strength of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, are necessary to protect developing brains, she told the Rules Committee.

“I am very concerned about what is happening to our young people,” Harrell said. “The studies that are coming out on brain development show that medical marijuana … has a very deleterious effect, especially on young adults.”

Harrell’s proposal would have capped THC in all forms of medical marijuana for patients under 21, with two exceptions. The cap would not have applied to patients who are terminally ill, and doctors could have requested a waiver from the Department of Health for patients they believe need higher levels of THC.

But Harrell’s amendment ran into trouble when several senators on the Rules Committee began questioning the rationale for the cap.

For example, Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who has long advocated for medical marijuana, reminded Harrell that children under age 18 already are required to have approval from two doctors to be eligible for the cannabis treatment.

Brandes asked Harrell if she had any “specific example of any person today in Florida that has been harmed” by medical marijuana.

Harrell said she could provide “a whole variety of medical articles … that will give you significant findings that they are seeing.”

The bill was temporarily set aside, and Harrell withdrew the THC amendment when the health department’s package was re-introduced later Monday afternoon.

Ron Watson, a lobbyist who represents one of the state’s medical marijuana operators, said the cap would “put at risk the most vulnerable medical cannabis patients in Florida” who are currently using higher-potency THC products.

“We believe a patient’s course of treatment should only be decided by a physician in collaboration with a parent and their child,” Watson, who works for MüV Florida, told The News Service of Florida.

Watson said a 10 percent cap is “arbitrary” and “based on inconclusive research.”

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, the House has not introduced or considered a THC cap. But it is not unusual for high-priority issues to become part of the horse-trading between House and Senate leaders in the waning days — or hours — of the session.

“I think it’s important that we pass it. We’re seeing different strains. Now in Europe, there are strains that are 100 times stronger,” Oliva said last month. “And we’re starting to learn that this has some schizophrenia-type results, and especially in young developing brains. And so it is, in fact, a priority for us.”

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CANNABIS AND ITS UNTAPPED THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS FOR WOMEN’S GYNECOLOGICAL HEALTH

Learn all about how cannabis can help women manage the symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause, as well as naturally boost their sexual health.
By: Kim Nunley

While women have historically been more hesitant to embrace cannabis, there is an array of medically legitimate reasons why they may want to incorporate it into their health routine.

Women’s bodies are regularly changing, presenting a unique set of health challenges from menstruation, menopause, and hormonal imbalances. Women using cannabis to deal with symptoms and health issues is not new, and yet cannabis remains highly untapped by many women who are either unaware of its benefits or hesitant to try it due to the lingering stigma around marijuana use.

Keep reading to learn about the various ways cannabis use can benefit women and their gynecological health.

History of Cannabis Use for Female Medical Conditions

Women have been using cannabis for gynecological health purposes for thousands of years, according to renowned cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo.17

The earliest references to cannabis use for female health issues can be found in ancient Mesopotamia, when women would blend cannabis with mint and saffron to create a botanical agent called Azallú to address menstrual pain.

Ancient texts in China, Persia, Israel/Palestine, and Syria all recommended cannabis for an array of complaints that impact women, including painful cramps, bloating, abnormal bleeding, menopausal symptoms, and urinary tract infections. In ancient Europe, women helped ease their contractions during childbirth by grinding cannabis into honey and introducing the botanical substance vaginally.

In the 1800s, Queen Victoria used cannabis likely in a liquid tincture form to relieve her menstrual cramps. Years later, in the mid 1900s, Victorian doctors even promoted cannabis tinctures during menstruation.

How Cannabis Benefits Women’s Gynecological Health

Cannabis elicits its effects on the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a major self-regulatory network that is responsible for regulating a wide array of functions, such as mood, metabolism, appetite, immune system response, pain response, and more. The endocannabinoid system also plays an integral part in female reproductive processes.

The ECS regulates these various functions through substances called endocannabinoids, which bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and throughout the peripheral nervous system and immune system. As fluctuations occur and a function becomes unbalanced, the EC system responds by synthesizing endocannabinoids on demand. Those endocannabinoids then bind with cannabinoid receptors, triggering a series of chemical reactions that bring functions back to balance so they run optimally.

Sometimes, however, the ECS can become deficient in endocannabinoids. This can cause endocannabinoid system dysregulation, leading to an imbalance in the body and eventually health issues.

That’s where the benefit of cannabis comes in. Cannabis contains more than 100 plant-derived cannabinoids, called phytocannabinoids. Like endocannabinoids, these cannabis-derived cannabinoids are able to interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. In essence, the cannabinoids derived from cannabis can serve to supplement the body’s own endocannabinoids, helping ensure the ECS performs its regulation duties effectively.

Studies have even shown that this interaction, between cannabis-derived cannabinoids and the ECS, can be helpful for conditions that have been linked to ECS dysregulation, including multiple sclerosisAlzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).14

What this suggests for women’s gynecological health is that any reproductive issues they have that are related to a deficiency in endocannabinoids may also be benefitted by cannabis use and the absorption of cannabinoids.

Benefits of Cannabis for Menstruation Symptoms

Most women experience symptoms before and during their periods, including abdominal cramps, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and spasms. A growing number of women are using cannabis to address these symptoms, which can vary in intensity and sometimes be debilitating.

While research on cannabis’s effects on period pain are lacking, there is a solid body of evidence on the pain-relieving properties of cannabis. Cannabis has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, which can contribute to lowering pain related to inflammation of the uterus. In some states, lawmakers and advocates are even pushing to add menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

For women who suffer from endometriosis, cannabis may also offer relief. Findings in a small collection of studies reveal that the sometimes-disabling pain related to endometriosis can be eased with cannabis.11,12

Cannabis’s effectiveness for treating menstrual pain is likely related to cannabinoids and their interactions with the endocannabinoid system. Researchers have found that there are cannabinoid receptors located on many cells throughout the uterus, suggesting that the ECS plays a role in management of dysmenorrhea-related pain.12

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Cannabis and coronavirus: Here’s what you need to know

e global concern over the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has many people taking precautions against contracting the virus. Here’s what we know about cannabis and this novel coronavirus.

How cannabis users can stay healthy around coronavirus

Stop sharing joints, blunts, and bongs while coronavirus is spreading

The puff-and-pass customs surrounding cannabis are among the greatest pleasures of the plant. But passing around a joint is is a good way to spread any virus, including COVID-19. For now, stick to your own supply and offer a friendly elbow bump.

Wash your hands frequently

We can’t emphasize this enough. Thorough handwashing really, really, really does help prevent transmission of coronavirus, as well as other ailments. Before you sit down for a session or dig into some munchies, make sure to wash your hands for a count of 20 seconds. That’s as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You”—or the first chorus of Sublime’s “Smoke Two Joints.” Just saying.

Don’t buy into unproven coronavirus remedies

Given the general hype around CBD, expect to hear outlandish claims about its effect on coronavirus, most likely spread via social media. These claims are not true. There is no solid research on CBD and coronavirus.

Be cautious with cannabis around COVID-19

Smoking weed when you’re down with a virus: Not such a great idea. Leafly’s article Cannabis for colds and flu? Here’s what the experts say has a lot of helpful advice about integrating cannabis (or not) into the treatment and recovery from a normal flu. Yes, THC and CBD have pain-relieving, sleep-inducing, and anti-inflammatory properties.

But inhaling hot smoke is the last thing your lungs need when fighting a cold or flu. Do your research before medicating.

CategoriesGreen Medizin news

4 WAYS THE CORONAVIRUS MAY IMPACT THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY

With the coronavirus pandemic looming, the cannabis industry braces for impact. The new virus could impact the cannabis industry in these four ways.

The cannabis industry is not immune to the new coronavirus disease known as Covid-19. When an economic superpower is overcome by an epidemic that halts trade and shuts down entire cities, it’s going to have a ripple effect.

Here are four ways the coronavirus could impact the cannabis industry.

Shortages of Inexpensive Hardware and Testing Equipment

In the small print on most cannabis vaporizers, consumers can spot the “Made in China” label. The coronavirus’ outbreak in China has halted a workforce, causing a record low month in manufacturing activity.

Last month’s government-imposed factory shutdowns will impact the cannabis vaporizer companies that depend on the Chinese supply chain. Keep in mind, nearly all vaporizersvape cartridges, and vape batteries are manufactured in China.

In an interview with Marijuana Business Daily, Richard Huang, CEO of Cloudious9, a cannabis vaporizer manufacturer based in Hayward, California, said China’s work stoppage will influence all sectors of the cannabis industry, spanning from cultivators using LED lighting, to greenhouse structures, packaging, and lab equipment providers.

“It could be a very difficult year for hardware companies trying to maintain a steady supply of inventory,” Huang told Marijuana Business Daily.

Shortfalls of Hemp Imported from China

China is the world’s leading hemp producer. It will take a lot to change a 5,000-year-old tradition, but with a broad slow down of production, hemp cultivation in China will be impacted. A report from the Washington Examiner shows capacity at major Chinese ports has been at least 20 percent lower than normal.

With the long-standing tradition of hemp cultivation and a hemp market dedicated to textile production, China has been able to produce clothing and textiles at rates and costs that North America and other economies simply cannot compete with.

One unexpected consequence from the coronavirus is a bigger assurance that China will make good on the recent trade agreement with the U.S. The agreement includes a promise from China to purchase $40 billion to $50 billion worth of U.S. farm goods over two years, hemp included.

Blow to Stock Markets

When the coronavirus landed in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average took a nosedive. The spread of the virus brought on the Dow’s biggest one-day decline in history. The drop marked Wall Street’s worst week since 2018.

The Dow began to make a comeback in the first days of March, but the downturn in stock markets may have already caused investors to become even more hesitant to bet on cannabis. According to a CNBC market report, fears over the coronavirus disease’s impact on corporate profits and the global economy led investors to pursue safer alternatives to stocks.

“Global investors will be prone to panic as the virus arrives at their doorstep, underscoring the need for near-run prudence and patience before augmenting favored holdings,” strategists at MRB Partners wrote in a note. “The outlook is uncertain, or rather certainly bearish in the near term as quarantining spreads around the world, but with considerable doubt as to the duration and depth of the economic fallout.”

Shoes to Fill in the U.S.

As much as the threat of a global pandemic is frightening and tragic, there are some impacts that could benefit the U.S. cannabis industry. According to New Frontier Data, China’s hemp market is expected to hit $1.5 billion in 2020. That could leave some pretty massive shoes to fill and space for the U.S. to gain a foothold in hemp.

Another possible outcome from China’s economic shutdown is a shifting in reliance on certain cannabis-related hardware to local businesses. Nic Easley, CEO of Denver-based 3C Consulting, told Marijuana Business Daily that threats to the supply chain are a “huge wake-up call.”

“It’s forcing companies to look at their supply chain. ‘Where do my products come from? Do I have multiple options for vendors?” Easley said. “Everyone was looking for the cheapest option forever, and that’s China.”

More Cannabis Industry News and Analysis

Want to read more cannabis news? Visit our cannabis news page for the latest developments in cannabis policy, business, and scientific research.

CategoriesGreen Medizin news

Colgate’s newest brand launches CBD product line

Just last month, Colgate announced an agreement to acquired Hello Products LLC. And this month the brand launched a collection of CBD oral care exclusively at Ulta Beauty.

Hello Products, an oral care brand based in New Jersey, launched its seven-product CBD line earlier this week, CosmeticsDesign reported.

Colgate announced in January an agreement to acquire the “naturally friendly” brand, citing its “strong appeal among younger consumers and across broad segments.”

Founded by Craig Dubitsky in 2012, Hello Products has goods in more than 44,000 U.S. retail locations.

The company’s CBD line consists of three toothpastes, two mouthwashes and two lip balms.

All contain broad-spectrum hemp oil and hemp extract from hemp grown by U.S.-based partner farms and were available at 1,190 Ulta Beauty stores beginning Feb. 1, the company said in a statement.

The Hello Products acquisition was a stock-and-cash deal and was expected to close no later than February 2020, Colgate said.

No other details about the deal were announced.

Colgate trades on the New York Stock Exchange as CL.