Cannabis Extract Relieves Chronic Pain Minus The High

In the wake of cannabis legalization in Canada, a team of scientists has delivered encouraging news for chronic pain sufferers by pinpointing the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol for safe pain relief without the typical “high” or euphoria that THC produces. The findings of their study have been published in the journal PAIN.

Cannabis indica and sativa are the two main cannabis strains that produce the pharmacological principles known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The team demonstrated that CBD does not act on the CB1 cannabinoid receptors like THC, but through the mechanism that binds specific receptors involved in anxiety (serotonin 5-HT1A) and pain (vanilloid TRPV1).

“In animal models of neuropathic or chronic pain, we found that low doses of CBD administered for seven days alleviate both pain and anxiety, two symptoms often associated,” says the study’s first author Danilo De Gregorio, a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University.

Lead author Gabriella Gobbi sees this as a new advancement for the evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine with CBD likely offering a safe alternative to THC and opioids for chronic pain, such as back pain, sciatica, diabetic, cancer, or post-trauma pain.

“Our findings elucidate the mechanism of action of CBD and show that it can be used as medicine without the dangerous side effects of the THC,” says Gobbi, a professor of psychiatry.

Despite widespread public usage, little clinical studies exist on CBD, which became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018, following the passage of Canada’s Cannabis Act.

Futurity

STUDY: Cannabis Oil Improves Crohn’s Disease Symptoms

According to a new study, cannabis oil can “significantly” improve Crohn’s disease symptoms.

“(S)tudies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis regularly to relieve their symptoms,” Dr. Timna Naftali, an Israeli gastroenterologist who also teaches at Tel Aviv University, said in a written statement. “It has always been thought that this improvement was related to a reduction in inflammation in the gut and the aim of this study was to investigate this.”

Crohn’s disease is a lifelong inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can cause severe belly pain and chronic diarrhea.

Dr. Naftali, whose study is being billed as the first of its kind, found that an eight-week treatment with cannabis oil containing a four to one CBD to THC ratio produced clinical remission in up to 65 percent of individuals with Crohn’s disease. The randomized, placebo-controlled study involved 50 people with moderately severe forms of the disease. The group that received cannabis oil also reported significant improvements in their quality of life.

Read more at CTV News

Spanbauer: Modernize The War On Drugs

Canada just became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17, making it “the largest national marijuana marketplace.”

In order to facilitate the demand on the new industry, Canadian recreational marijuana businesses are trying to lure inexperienced marijuana workers and their weed wisdom from states where marijuana is legal, such as Colorado. These offers come with the possibility of salaries reaching as high as $250,000 and the promise of a larger and undeveloped market to conquer.

The federal legalization of marijuana now seems eminently upon us as more states will vote on the matter in the upcoming November elections. Also, more than half the United States population is in support of federal legalization. However, looking at how far cannabis culture has come, it is clear that federal measures must be taken for reasons of equality.

America should take a page from Canada’s book and legalize recreational marijuana. This should be done for hundreds of reasons, the least of which being because over half of our population is in favor of it, and because it would introduce billions of dollars into our economy and open up new jobs. This needs to be done because marijuana is a harmless drug that should not be federally regulated in the ways that physically addictive and life-destroying drugs such as opioids are.

The focus needs to move from pot to the more serious drugs affecting our streets and taking the lives of young people across the nation. Once we can begin to reform drug legislation to fit these needs, our country will finally begin to heal.

Read the full article at Iowa State Daily

Magic Mushroom Drug Evolved to Mess with Insect Brains

There’s something odd about the many species of magic mushrooms: they’re not related to each other.

Usually, you’d expect such a complex and powerful chemical as psilocybin – the magical ingredient — to be produced by a closely related group of organisms whose common ancestor discovered it once.

But not in this case. Scores of mushroom species – one even lichenized — from five different distantly-related families make it. A team of American scientists wondered about that and had a hunch about why it might be.

Although mushroom-making fungi, considered sophisticated and complicated for the fungal world — have only rarely been caught sharing DNA this way, the fact that they have made an exception for these genes implies psilocybin is a seriously hot item.

In humans, psilocybin is converted to psilocin on ingestion, which activates one of the same receptors as feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin and produces the wild effects for which the drug is known. Serotonin, incidentally, is the same molecule on which antidepressant serotonin-reuptake inhibitors like Prozac act. However, serotonin is not the private preserve of humans. All animals with left-right symmetry – including insects — produce serotonin, as well as some plants and fungi.

A plant has an apparent motive for stockpiling a chemical arsenal: salad bar prevention. But what about mushrooms? The majority of psilocybin-producing mushrooms are either wood or dung decayers. In those environments, they are not only being eaten by insects but also competing with them for food. Termites are major fungal competitors inside decaying logs, but a variety of other wood- and dung-eating insects compete with fungi for food.

Psilocybin may help tilt the playing field in the fungus’s favor by causing insects to, I don’t know, maybe blank on what they went in that log for again? Another serotonin antagonist to a receptor called 5HT-2A causes Drosophila fruit flies to somehow neglect to eat the fruit they’re sitting on. Whatever they’re experiencing, though, is unlikely to be fun. Insects lack the dopamine-based reward systems also triggered by many of the drugs that make them so pleasurable and addictive to humans (although psilocybin acts on serotonin receptors and is non-addictive).

Read the full article at Scientific American

Coral Cove Cannabis Retreat Is Jamaica’s Best Kept Secret

It is a safe bet that anyone traveling to Jamaica on vacation is open to the experience of, if not directly looking for, an opportunity to legally consume cannabis. Cannabis tourism in Jamaica is taking off, as properties across the Caribbean island are highlighted for their ingenuity in the fast-growing industry. Coral Cove is the perfect example of one such retreat.

Originators of the cannabis tourism experience, Higher Way Travel carved out a niche by bringing cannabis tourists to Hawaii for the Cannabis Expo in 2017 and ensuing festivities. Run by April Black, wife of infamous pot personality Bobby Black, Higher Way Tours have since branched out into facilitating tourist experiences in Jamaica.

Coral Cove is off the proverbial beaten path. There are some unpaved roads and potholes on the way there, but the remoteness and seclusion of the location make it the antithesis of a tourist trap. The resort is named after the abundance of coral that is artfully incorporated into the masonry work on the property.

The retreat resides far away from prying eyes. People who want to walk around without winding up on social media or be gawked at by other guests will especially appreciate this homey hamlet, with its private, secluded waterfront cove. Although, the cove itself is heaven on Earth for aspiring influencers who are eager to snap selfies in exotic locales.

Continue Reading at Forbes

Magic Mushrooms? How Fungi Could Help Bees Fight Disease

“Colony collapse disorder” — or massive die-offs of bees — has caused international alarm in recent years, with experts blaming mites, viruses, and pesticides for the phenomenon.

The UN warned last year that bees were at risk of global extinction — but new research suggests fungi extracts could effectively inoculate bees against some of the most devastating viruses attacking them (AFP / Fred TANNEAU / MANILA BULLETIN)

Some countries have already moved to ban certain pesticides, and beekeepers use poisons to tackle mite infestations that can take out whole colonies.

But new research published Thursday in the journal Nature Scientific Reports suggests fungi extracts could effectively inoculate bees against some of the most devastating viruses attacking them.

The research was inspired by the observation that honeybees appear to feed on fungi in the wild, and a “growing body of evidence (that) indicates honey bees self-medicate using plant-derived substances”, the study says.

Mushroom extracts are already used against several viruses in humans and the authors reasoned fungi might have similar properties for bees.

Read more at Manila Bulletin

Giving Drugs to Animals Shows Similarity to Humans

When headlines appeared recently announcing that scientists had given the party drug ecstasy to octopuses, it wasn’t clear whether the more noteworthy behavior was on the part of the marine invertebrates or the humans. But there was a scientific reason for this small pilot study, which suggested that the drug has a similar effect on both species: making us friendlier.

While the brains of octopuses look very different from ours, and we have been diverging for more than 700 million years, we and these intelligent invertebrates share some of the same genes and molecular mechanisms for transporting signals around the brain and nervous system. We share, for example, a nearly identical version of a gene called SLC6A4, which codes for a protein that transports serotonin around the brain. This system, in us, is critical for regulating mood and social behavior and is the target to which the drug ecstasy binds. In humans, ecstasy, or MDMA, decreases inhibition and increases social behavior.

As a way to probe the similarity between species, researchers soaked octopuses in a bath containing the drug and observed their behavior in a three-chambered enclosure. Two spaces contained toys and the other, a male octopus.

When not on the drug, the animals avoided the male and went for the toys. The species studied, the California two-spot octopus, is not particularly social in the wild, and both sexes are particularly averse to hanging around with males. When on the drug, however, they preferred a male octopus to the toys.

Continue Reading at Bloomberg

Study Suggests More Older Women May Benefit From Bone Drugs

A bone-strengthening drug given by IV every 18 months greatly lowered the risk of fracture in certain older women, a large study found. The results suggest these medicines might help more people than those who get them now and can be used less often, too.

Broken bones are a scourge of aging. A hip fracture can start a long decline that lands someone in a nursing home. The risk is most common in women after menopause.

Estrogen keeps bones strong; they weaken after menopause when levels of that hormone drop. It often gets worse after 65, and women of that age are advised to have a bone mineral density scan — a low-dose X-ray to estimate bone strength.

If osteoporosis is found, treatment usually is Fosamax, Boniva or generic versions of these drugs, which help prevent bone from being lost faster than the body is able to renew it. Some people don’t stick with the pills or endure digestive side effects, so the medicines also can be given by IV, usually once a year.

More of this News at The Star

Coke Eyes Cannabis-infused Wellness Drinks As Market For CBD Beverages Expands

Coca-Cola is looking at pitching cans of cannabis-infused wellness drinks to consumers in the latest bid by a big beverage behemoth to tackle the budding market for potentially potent enhanced potables.

“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” the company said in a statement issued in response to a report from the Canadian BNN Bloomberg new service.

BNN reported that Coca-Cola was in talks with cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis to make marijuana-infused wellness drinks. Aurora Cannabis did not confirm that it was in talks with Coke, but the company’s chief executive did acknowledge that it had been in conversation with several beverage makers over the last few months.

Drinks infused with either cannabinoid-like CBD, which has medicinal, pain-relieving qualities, and THC, which gets users high, have become popular in states in the U.S. where the drug is legalized and in Canada where it has been fully decriminalized nationally.

The experiments in better sales through new chemistry come at a time when demand for both beer and bubbly sodas is slowing. Beer is being supplanted by booze and wine among American consumers (or a rising number of teetotalers are eating into sales of both). Meanwhile, sugary drinks also have seen their popularity dwindle as new consumers reach for the kombucha rather than the Coke.

Continue Reading at TechCrunch

Opinion: Americans Must Understand Marijuana Danger

The marijuana industry is coming at us fast and furious, demanding we legalize another harmful drug. It’s an issue about to come before voters, and it will change our country. Every single state that has commercialized marijuana has seen a multitude of public health concerns.

Alcohol used to be the main culprit when it came to impaired driving, but that drug is getting a run for its money from marijuana. So much so that recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an awareness campaign.

In Colorado, a study by the state itself found of the 4,000 drivers tested for marijuana in 2016, 73 percent were found to have the drug in their system. That year alone more than 26,000 people were pulled over for DUI, but police say it was too expensive to test them all for pot.

Another study, by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, found marijuana-impaired fatalities doubled from 2012 to 2016 and one in five drivers are under the influence of marijuana. That’s up from one in 10 before legalization.

Minorities aren’t the only targets of Big Marijuana, so is another vulnerable population: children. They are frequently exposed to enticing ads from the industry and the pot-infused gummies, candies and sodas are colorful and attractive to the young eye.

But it’s not just the edibles that kids are going for, they’re also hitting the more traditional means of getting high. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the rate of young people using marijuana has increased in states that have legalized the drug.

More of this news at Detroit News

FDA Approve ‘Magic Mushroom’ Treatment”

On Aug. 23, COMPASS pathways, a life science firm, finally got the thumbs up from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct clinical trials to treat patients who did not have luck with the other conventional treatments for depression.

Around 216 patients will partake in this trial in Europe and in North America starting in early September. The clinical study will actually need a smaller amount of patients and reduce treatment time up to an hour and a half.

Most physicians recommend treatments that do not necessarily work for some patients. This will give them a positive reinforcement that they will finally get the healthy help they have been longing. NOBODY wishes to feel as if they’ve been lobotomized from the prescribed medication that a physician has given you.

Since the early 60’s, the FDA has been apprehensive about the treatment of psilocybin due to its history of people in the past using it recreationally to experience these hallucinogenic trips.

Its mass hysteria caused it to be such a taboo subject in which any affiliation with these “magic mushrooms” is said to be thought-out as crazy or straight out rejected by any physician.

Previous research and studies show proof that a small dose of this agent can immediately assist the reduction of depression and other conditions such as drug addicts trying to become sober, terminally ill patients who suffer from anxiety because of thought of them dying and past ex-military veterans who experience PTSD.

Read the full article at Talon Marks

What is Marijuana Shake?

Have you ever bought weed and wondered why half of it was, essentially, scraps and dust? Or, better case scenario, you smoked most of your good buds, and you’re left with scraps at the bottom of the bag? While it might not be your ideal set of buds to pack your bowl, it’s not like it won’t get you ripped.

The proper term for your less-than-perfect scraps is shake. It is, at its core, the leftovers from your bud. But it can also be so much more.

What Is Marijuana Shake Used For?

So what is marijuana shake used for, exactly? Well, the same thing any type of pot is used for—smoking!

When it comes to marijuana shake, there’s really not much one has to know. Basically, when you’re storing a large amount of cannabis, it’s not going to stay perfect forever. Some bits of leaves, stems, or segments of the plant get lost in the mix. This, clearly, isn’t the best of your buds but the good news is, it’s actually quite usable. In fact, you might be smoking shake regularly without even knowing it.

The Pros And Cons Of Marijuana Shake

After reading the above and knowing the answer to the question “what is marijuana shake”, you’ve probably come to a crossroads—is marijuana shake a good thing, or a bad thing?

The short answer is both.

One of the pros of shake, is, again, it’s cheaper than nugs. If you’re going to be using it for rolling a bunch of joints, or even making edibles, where the consistency of the bud doesn’t really matter for extraction purposes, you might as well get the best bang for your buck.

There’s also an off chance that some of your shake is extra potent. If it’s sitting at the bottom of a vacuum-sealed bag for some time, it could accumulate some kief on top, making it stronger than regular weed. But if it hasn’t been in storage long enough to make that happen, then it’s less than likely that your shake is as strong as a regular nug.

Continue Reading at High Times

Is CBD Illegal In Ohio?

Under Ohio’s new medical marijuana law, which goes into effect on September 8, the Board’s clarification on CBD oil, which can derive from either marijuana or hemp, is illegal. The board says CBD oil must go through the same rigorous testing procedures and comply with the same rules as real cannabis.

CBD is not legal in all 50 states. According to the Agricultural Act of 2014 (AKA the farm bill), only CBD cultivated under state law “in which such institution of higher education or state department of agriculture is located, and such research occurs,” is legal. CBD that is not manufactured from hemp grown under a state pilot program or for academic research is not legal.

Additionally, according to Jo Ingles of WOSU public radio Ohio, “The board adds the only legal way to sell CBD is through a medical marijuana control program dispensary. The Ohio Department of Commerce approved 56 dispensary licenses, five of which are in Franklin County.”

Full article at Forbes

Nonaddictive Opioid Alternative Shows Promise in Monkey Study

With the opioid epidemic raging across America, many scientists are in search of an alternative painkilling drug — one that could be used in place of opioids, without the deadly side effects.

Now, a team of researchers in the U.S. and Japan say they’ve developed a promising new synthetic drug that could be as effective as opioids in relieving pain but without posing the risk of addiction. In a new study, the drug, called AT-121, successfully relieved pain in rhesus monkeys without resulting in harmful side effects or causing the monkeys to become addicted. Still, more research is needed before the drug could be evaluated in humans.

Although the number of opioids prescribed in the U.S. has decreased since its peak in 2010, the levels remain high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there were more than 42,000 deaths from opioid overdoses in 2016, up from 33,000 deaths in 2015, Live Science previously reported.

The fact that the drug was studied in a primate model, rather than in a mouse model as is done in many similar studies, means that the effects of the drug are likely much closer to what scientists would expect to see in humans, Roth said. And the monkeys didn’t experience any changes in respiratory health while taking AT-121, which suggests that an overdose would be unlikely to cause the harmful or fatal respiratory effects associated with an opioid overdose. “That would be a significant advance if that [result] is transferable to humans,” Roth added.

The scientists plan to continue their research by carrying out the safety and toxicology studies that are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before proceeding with human clinical trials. “We want to move as fast as possible because our results are exciting,” Zaveri told Live Science. The scientists are also researching other compounds that have a similar profile as AT-121, she added.

Live Science

Belladonna Market Prevalent Opportunities Up to 2018 To 2028

Intercultural changes attributed to globalization has led to the increased use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in both, developed and developing countries. Consumers’ attitude towards the empowering and holistic aspects of treatments involving alternative medicines is the primary reason why the penetration of belladonna is increasing across the globe. Belladonna is mainly used in homeopathy, which acts as an alternative medicine and a recreational drug.

Most governments are providing funds to encourage more research in the field of traditional medicines and CAM therapies. Increasing investments in the alternative medicines industry may contribute to the expansion of the belladonna market.

As a result of the implementation of these policies, the awareness about health benefits of belladonna as an alternative medicine is increasing among consumers. It may boost the growth of the belladonna market in the upcoming years.

This analytical research study imparts an all-inclusive assessment on the market, while propounding historical intelligence, actionable insights, and industry-validated & statistically-upheld market forecast. Verified and suitable set of assumptions and methodology has been leveraged for developing this comprehensive study. Information and analysis on key market segments incorporated in the report has been delivered in weighted chapters.

Read more on Business Analyst

Mind-altering Breast Milk? New Pot Study Poses That Question

CHICAGO (AP) — Marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient was detected in nursing mothers’ breast milk in a small study that comes amid evidence that more U.S. women are using pot during pregnancy and afterward.

The new study involved 50 nursing mothers who were using pot and provided breast milk samples to researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Lab testing found small amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical that causes marijuana’s “high,” in 34 of 54 samples up to six days after they were provided. Another form of THC and cannabidiol, a pot chemical touted by some as a health aid, were detected in five samples.

The study authors said “it is reasonable to speculate” that exposing infants to THC or cannabidiol “could influence normal brain development,” depending on dose and timing.

The results echo findings in case reports from years ago, when pot was less potent than what’s available today, said study co-author Christina Chambers, a pediatrics professor. It’s not known if the amounts detected pose any risk, but she said her research team is studying children whose moms’ were involved to try to answer that question.

Research has been hampered by federal government restrictions based on its view that marijuana is an illegal drug.

That has contributed to a stigma and shaded doctors’ views, said Keira Sumimoto, an Irvine, California, mother who used marijuana briefly for medical reasons while pregnant and breastfeeding. She said smoking a joint daily helped her gain weight when she was sick before learning she was pregnant, and eased childbirth-related pain, but that she quit because of backlash from marijuana opponents.

Read the full story at The Cannifornian

Can You Get Addicted to Pot?

Public-health experts worry about the increasingly potent options available, and the striking number of constant users. “Cannabis is potentially a real public-health problem,” said Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University. “It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when 9 percent of self-reported cannabis users over the last month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.”

But cannabis is not benign, even if it is relatively benign, compared with alcohol, opiates, and cigarettes, among other substances. Thousands of Americans are finding their own use problematic in a climate where pot products are getting more potent, more socially acceptable to use, and yet easier to come by, not that it was particularly hard before.

For Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, the most compelling evidence of the deleterious effects comes from users themselves. “In large national surveys, about one in 10 people who smoke it say they have a lot of problems.

The country is in the midst of a volte-face on marijuana. The federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, with no accepted medical use. (Meth and PCP, among other drugs, are Schedule II.) Politicians still argue it is a gateway to the use of things like heroin and cocaine. The country still spends billions of dollars fighting it in a bloody and futile drug war, and still arrests more people for offenses related to cannabis than it does for all violent crimes combined.

Read more at The Atlantic

US Federal Government Confirms: Marijuana Kills Certain Cancer Cells And Could Cure Brain Tumors

It is easy to say that marijuana is close to being legalized by the United States Federal Government. As it stands, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that marijuana is one of the most strictly regulated drugs, apparently because it is considered to have “no medicinal value” to the public.

Brain tumors can occur at any age, and the exact cause of brain tumors is not clear to researchers. The most common symptoms of brain tumors include headaches, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, seizures, memory problems, mood and personality changes, balance and walking problems, nausea and vomiting, changes in speech, vision, or hearing.

This new stand by the Federal Government is said to be based on a major study published in November 2014 by researchers at the St. George’s University of London, that found that marijuana can be an effective drug to fight brain tumors.

Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation”.

Read the full article at UR Health Info

Increase Your Cannabis Savings with a Medical Marijuana Recommendation

The passage of Proposition 64 in 2016 made California the sixth state to allow the recreational use of cannabis. Yet nearly two-and-a-half years into cannabis legalization, many Californians are still choosing to see a cannabis doctor. But why? California Municipalities Vs. Recreational Cannabis Sales The truth is, there are 332 California municipalities that have full bans on cannabis activities.

Here are the stats as of May 2018:

  • 14% s allow recreational cannabis dispensaries.
  • 19% sanction recreational marijuana deliveries inside their borders.
  • 20% permit storefront medical cannabis dispensaries.
  • 32% authorize MMJ delivery.

These numbers may change as legalization progresses but, as you can see, you’re clearly more likely to obtain legal cannabis with a medical marijuana recommendation.

Benefits of Being a Medical Cannabis Patient You enjoy several perks that just don’t apply to recreational users.

  • Increased possession limits for all forms of cannabis.
  • Potential exemption from state and local sales taxes.
  • Less restrictive purchase limits at dispensaries and on cannabis delivery orders.
  • Increased access to cannabis (as mentioned).
  • Medical dispensaries offer first time patient (FTP) deals, which recreational users can’t receive.
  • In some municipalities, you can grow more plants.
  • Cannabis remains illegal for anyone under 21. If you are, you must get a MMJ card to legally partake.*
  • Simple and dedicated medical service; with NuggMD there is no cost to find out if you qualify.

Read the full article at San Francisco Examiner

Hearing Set on Columbia County Cannabis Moratorium

A public hearing will be held next month to take comments on a moratorium halting new cannabis operations in Columbia County.

Commissioners last month enacted the moratorium on applications for production, processing or retail operations. The moratorium did not affect the one retail cannabis store in the county or an indoor grow operation approved by the county hearing examiner before the moratorium was enacted.

The resolution for the moratorium stated the current county code governing recreational and medical cannabis operations “allows for too much public safety issues and concerns, disallows for appropriate moderation and is in need of complete revision to ensure only suitable development occurs.”

Union-Bulletin