S20161213 0017

What Science says about Cannabis Trichomes

Trichomes are responsible for producing cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis.

In fact, almost all of the medical benefit of cannabis comes from trichomes. Compounds like THC and CBD are prescribed by doctors to treat maladies from cancer to headaches.
Trichomes (trichs) are at the heart of the cannabis consumers quest. They are the workhorses that produce the medical miracles that cannabis is known for.
That is because all of the chemicals doctors have discovered in cannabis that treat disease and pain are produced in tiny structures called trichomes. Without trichomes, cannabis wouldn’t be able to help people.
Need to cure some cancer? Cannabis can help because of trichomes. Looking to take the edge off with a quick toke? Better have THC rich trichomes loaded in that bowl or the effort is wasted.

So what are trichomes exactly?

Trichomes are basically tiny chemical factories that cannabis plants create during the flowering process. These factories produce a potent mix of chemicals known as cannabinoids and terpenes.
Most of the 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis are non-psychoactive, meaning they don’t get you high. Yet they do have significant scientific and medical applications that go way beyond getting stoned.
Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system to produce a variety of positive effects. Research shows that THC and CBD act as neuroprotectants, increase neurogenesis, and can even relieve depression.
Terpenes on the other hand are the chemicals responsible for smells. Limonene is the terpene responsible for the smell of lemons while myrcene is what gives mangos their smell. Yet both terpenes along with a slew of others can be produced by trichomes.
So what does a trichome look like? It is a small hair-like structure produced in the flowers, leaves and stem of cannabis plants. Their main purpose is to protect the plant from dangers like insects or fungus.
Not to be confused with the pistils, trichs are small. Ranging from only 15-500 microns in size, individual trichomes are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. After all, a human hair is only 100 microns across.
Being small doesn’t stop them from creating the potent smell associated with cannabis though. Terpenes produced by trichs can be incredibly powerful, filling the air for miles around with the sweet smell of ganja.

 There are many interesting nuances about the science of trichomes. 

The chemicals that trichs produce have some amazing properties as well. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD act as neuroprotectants, increase neurogenesis, and relieve depression. Contrary to the fear-mongering of the last few decades, consuming cannabis can protect the body.
And don’t assume that people need to be blazed out of their minds in order to receive a benefit. Most of the 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis are non-psychoactive, meaning they don’t get you high.
In fact, even some forms of THC like THC-A and THC-V don’t get people high. The compounds simply can’t fit into the brains receptors responsible for the feeling of getting high.
Even though a person may not consciously feel the effects, cannabinoids and terpenes produced in trichs have a synergistic quality. The compounds work with each other to magnify the potency of the others.
Take Myrcene as an example. This terpene is found in and  responsible for the smell associated with mangos. Myrcene is also one of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis.
Besides smelling nice, myrcene also helps THC bypass the blood-brain barrier. Basically letting people get high faster and with less cannabis. The effects of cannabis comes down to the ratio of terpenes and cannabinoids that the trichomes have in them at the time.
The specific ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes inside of trichs changes as the terpene develops. This makes timing the harvest a critical step of the process.

Trichome care — what to know about aging and handling of the plant.

So how do people know when a trichome is ready? They look for some of the signs of mature trichomes. These signs include a strong odor and a milky color.
As the cannabis plant enters the flowering process, it starts producing vast quantities of trichs.  Strong odors will develop as the initially clear trichomes begin their chemical foundries.
Immature trichomes often have high levels of CBD instead of THC. As a trichome matures, it will begin to cloud up and become milky. Once they have matured, THC becomes the most common cannabinoid.
Life for a trichomes doesn’t stop once it hits maturity though. They continue to develop as long as the plant sticks around. Trichomes that have lived past their prime also continue to change color.
As a trichome moves into old age, the color shifts from milky white to dark amber. The color reflects the chemical decomposition of THC. As the trichomes age, they break down THC into CBN.

How do people get the most value from trichomes?

Trichomes are produced during the flowering process of the cannabis plant. Once produced, trichomes develop over several months before being ready to harvest.
Harvesting before trichomes are fully developed will limit the potency of the final product. That makes the best time to harvest the plant at the final stages of the flowering stage.
Even though all plants are able to produce trichs, they don’t all do it evenly. The female plants produce the significantly more than the males, especially when unpollinated.
Pollinated cannabis plants divert a great deal of energy to producing seeds instead of trichs. This is why many growers remove male plants from their crop before moving into the flowering process.
Things like ensuring adequate nutrients, preventing pollination, high enough levels of light and preventing pests all contribute to heavy trichome yields. Genetics also play a major role in trichome development.
Sometimes strains can produce more trichomes than others. Strains like Durban Poison and Haze take a long time to grow and are known to produce less than strains like Critical Cure and Green Crack.

Other times, a plant needs a little extra push.

Adding  extra CO2 to a grow room can also increase the growth rate of cannabis which leads to additional trich production.
Many growers implement a CO2 burner in their rooms to ensure a constant abundance of gas for the plants to use in making more trichomes. This technique can add a significant amount of trichomes compared to other methods.
Growers can also extract the trichs from harvested plants in order to produce a stronger product. The extraction process can be simple or complex but the goal is the same: separate the trichomes from the rest of the plant.
Methods like ice baths, dry sifting and using chemical solvents have all been developed to try and isolate the trichomes. The isolated trichomes are essential for products like BHO, CO2 and PHO.
Truly, the trichome is the key player in the cannabis game. Without trichs and the chemicals they produce, cannabis would not be cultivated around the world.
Hopefully, legalization will continue to progress and more people will get to learn about how important the trichome really is. Thanks for reading.


How To Pick The Right Weed Grinder

Why You Need To Grind Your Weed

Did you know you could be wasting pot by not grinding it up? One time at a party, a guy handed me a bong. Then, he stuffed a decent sized nug into the bowl piece and said “hit it.” I offered to grind it and he said there’s no need. Me and a friend thought he was joking but he was dead serious. I attempted to light it and barely blackened a corner of the nug while using up all my lung capacity for a small, unsatisfying hit. I knew then that this was clearly ineffective. You need to grind your weed up to get it to evenly burn, otherwise some of your weed won’t burn.
If you don’t believe me, try stuffing a whole nug into a bowl and smoking it. Then, you can try a ground up nug in a bowl and see which you prefer. You can break weed down by hand as well. However, breaking up by hand is messier and less effective than an even grind.

Picking The Right Grinder For Smoking Weed

So there isn’t one grinder to satisfy every kind of smoker. If you’re just a typical bowl or joint smoker a medium sized 4-piece grinder will do the trick. However, depending on your exact smoking method, there are grinders that will make your life even easier.
Alpaca Grinder
One of the most convenient grinders for bowl, bong, and paper users alike is the Alpaca Herb Grinder & Dispenser. The grinder is funnel shaped and makes packing a bowl or filling papers quicker and less messy. The company guarantees your herbs will be ground and dispensed within 10 seconds. Good luck pulling that procedure off with a traditional 4-piece grinder.
Using your hands to pinch and transfer weed usually leads to some spillage and loss. Well, the Alpaca grinder will ensure every precious trichome makes its way into your bowl. Simply fill the top chamber then twist. Ground herbs will instantly dispense from the bottom of the funnel.
Pen Simple
If twisting your grinder is too much work for you or if you have a debilitating condition that makes it hard, the Pen Simple was made for you. The Pen Simple is a pen-shaped electronic weed dispenser. Similar to the Alpaca grinder it does not need to be opened to dispense so there’s less waste. The Pen Simple can be carried in your pocket without worry of it opening and spilling out your precious herbs.
Best of all, weed is dispensed at the press of a button. The grind is perfect for joints, blunts, hand pipes, and water pipes. It can even fill pre-rolled cones. The Pen Simple just made smoking a whole lot easier.

Grinders For Vapes

Vaporizers benefit from a fine grind. Larger pieces of pot can be tough for certain vaporizers to handle. So, when shopping for a Vape Grinder you want to get something that really pulverizes your weed.
Kannastor Vape GR8TR Grinder
Kannastor has actually made a grinder specifically designed for vapes. The grinder comes with way more pieces than your typical grinder. The top portion of the grinder is a storage for pre-ground herbs. Finally, the blades have no trouble tearing a full nug into green sand.
Magic Flight Launch Box Finishing Grinder
The Magic Flight Finishing Grinder was designed specifically for their vaporizer. It’s a much simpler design than the Kannastor but it requires a bit more elbow grease. The 2-piece wooden grinder with a metal cheese grater-like plate. Finally, it’s extremely easy to clean and gives a fine grind that is perfect for ANY vaporizer.
image: greenito.com


Weed Advocate Rappers

Weed isn’t a topic rappers shy from. In fact, a lot of the positive attention given to marijuana started in hip-hop. Some rappers take weed a bit more seriously than just smoking it. Some believe smoking weed should be a human right and some are using their voice to do something about it. Whether it is through lyrics or activism here are some rappers doing more than just rapping about weed.


Ab Soul is known for his politically-charged lyrics. He started smoking weed after high school but he’s been an advocate ever since. Weed laws aren’t the only thing Soul wants to shed light on though. In fact, on the video of a single “Huey Knows” from his latest album, he honors political activist Huey P. Newton. Huey P. Newton was the co-founder of the Black Panther Party by repeating his image throughout the video.
As the video plays, images of recent controversies such as Colin Kaepernick, police brutality, and Donald Trump pop-up as well.
This isn’t a new trait for Ab-Soul, he was just as politically aware on his 2012 album “Control System.” On the album, he had a song called “SOPA,” bringing light to the Stop Online Piracy Act which would have violated the constitutional rights of all Americans. Additionally, in his song “Terrorist Threats” he addresses imprisonment through debt.

Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper has never been shy about his pot-use. It’s spoken about in his lyrics, interviews, twitter, etc. He was suspended from High School for smoking weed so it is apparent he has never cared for marijuana laws. He believes weed should be legal but he’s been busy fighting bigger battles. Chance The Rapper did an hour-long lecture on the Art of Activism for the University of Chicago.
From providing the homeless with clothes to launching multiple anti-violence initiatives in Chicago, Chance has wasted no time using his newly gained influence to bring about positive change. The young activist, has never been shy about the violence he sees in his city. It’s painted in his lyrics, tweets, and actions. He has encouraged other residents of Chicago to get out and protest to regain safety in their streets.

Killer Mike

We couldn’t leave Killer Mike off of our list of rap advocates. He’s been asked his political opinion on mainstream media and he had the pleasure of interviewing Bernie Sanders during the presidential election. He also introduced Bernie Sanders at his rally in Mike’s hometown Atlanta.
However, Killer Mike’s activism began well before his endorsement of Sanders.
He’s been on Real Time with Bill Maher, Fox, and CNN. He has been vocal about his views on racial discrimination, drug policy reform, and justice system reform.  He’s been an advocate of legal marijuana for a long time. Him and his partner in the Run The Jewels duo El-P are vocal weed advocates.

Snoop Dogg

One of the loudest advocates of legalized marijuana in the rap game is Snoop Dogg. Anytime Snoop spies foul play he’s the first to call people out. He’s chewed out the NFL for not allowing players to smoke weed. Weed isn’t the only thing that Snoop has been active about. Snoop lead a rally in LA with another rap activist “The Game” to reduce tensions between gangs and the police.


Strain Review: Gorilla Glue #4

Gorilla Glue #4 is a delectable hybrid created from a few strains: Chem’s Sister, Chocolate Diesel, and Sour Dubb. Its scent has been described as pungent, earthy, and sour, as is common with many diesel-type strains. Gorilla Glue scored first place in the LA and Michigan 2014 Cannabis Cups, and even in the High Times Jamaican World Cup. Incredibly potent, euphoric, and delightful, it’s no wonder this strain has won so many awards.
Effects boast a relaxation like no other. This hybrid is definitely suitable for getting couch-locked and heavy. It produces a very hard-hitting body high, so travel carefully. Try using it when you can’t sleep, or need to relax and focus on that. Many have described the smell and flavor to be like coffee, or chocolate, with hints of the sourness of lemon zest. Super sticky, dense, resin-coated buds are what to look for, and be sure to store them in an air-tight container. They’re named after glue for a reason!
The smoke is smooth and tasty. Definitely crack a window unless you enjoy overwhelmingly strong strains. Batches that are more sativa dominant may help you get up and go, but I prefer to use this strain on a day of rest. Great for people who have a difficult time concentrating, making themselves stay in one place for extended periods of time, and for meditating.
Excellent pain relief, freedom from anxiety, and a major boost in appetite are all things to look forward to with Gorilla Glue. Its effects are long-lasting without having that dreading feeling of “when will this end?” In my experience, GG#4 has been very calming. It’s given a mood uplift without losing track of time or my awareness and has helped to settle nervousness and anxiety. The pain relief lasted well over 3 hours, a side effect I can never get enough of. I highly recommend this strain for folks with chronic pain and depression. It doesn’t necessarily take away pain, or heal it, but you start to focus on other things, recognize different behavioral patterns to try, and often just forget that you’re even in pain.
image: Ry Prichard, The Cannabist


Strain Review: Cheese

When someone describes a weed as being cheesy, I think they mean that thick, sticky, squeak-between-your-teeth sort of feel. Or literally, a very stinky cheese. But in a good way! Some strains have been so ‘cheesy’ that there’s almost a solid fog of it, even before it’s lit. This one however, would obviously take the cake. The original Cheese is so sticky, absolutely covered in cheddar-orange hairs, and definitely potent and dank.
It’s actually a hybrid strain, with its pungency rooted in Skunk #1 (or a similar phenotype). Some breeders have crossed it with Afghani to produce more trichomes and higher grow yields, but all around, Cheese is a classic with world-wide popularity. I’d be surprised to enter a dispensary (or even a state alone) and not find some version of Cheese behind the counter. The high is very uplifting, kicking all traces of a bad mood out the window. The euphoria can be irresistible and very prevalent, which is always a nice thing. Smoke it with friends for an infectiously fun time.
Some folks suffering from cancer have used Cheese with success to treat physical pain, lack of appetite, and severe nausea. In my experience, the smell alone of Cheese can cause some nausea, but that was only the first couple of times being around it. Once you get used to it, the smell can be mouth-watering. Batches erring on the side of sativa could be amazing for helping you get up and go, packing a big meal, and enjoying yourself in the outdoors. Or, try out some new music, a funny movie, or spend some lovely time with your pet enjoying each other’s company.
I’ve never woken up the next morning with a ‘hangover’, so to speak, from smoking this strain. Some can be heavy handed, but not Cheese. I felt a clarity and gentle energy where I could have stayed in bed, but it felt much better to get up and see the morning. If you have trouble getting yourself going, try using Cheese either the night before or having one or two hits during the day. Get those chores done, find the inspiration to tackle a project, or settle into a really good book.

Grape Ape

Strain review: Grape Ape

You can probably imagine what this strain smells like– yes, fruity grapes, like the sugary sweet soda. Also a bit obvious, the nuggets tend to be a rich, deep purple in color and very aromatic. Grape Ape is an indica strain known well for its ability to provide deep relaxation, comfort, and freedom from stress and pain. Though it is hybrid, it tends to be indica-dominant. Its parentage lies in Mendocino Purps, Skunk, and Afghani.
The smoke produced is very thick, sweet-tasting, and doesn’t cause heavy coughing. To really get the right flavor, avoid using butane lighters and stick to either wick or matches. The grape flavor is gentle this way, and neither the smell or taste is overbearing. With a very small amount, effects can last up to 2 hours. That doesn’t seem very long, but I do mean small amount– less than half a gram.
You might experience relief from symptoms of ADD and ADHD, and help getting relief from migraines or other strong pains. One user reports Grape Ape to be a great replacement for coffee! So though it’s an indica strong hybrid, perhaps you can expect to feel energized and able. No more muscle aches and pains, or issue with anxiety, depression, and anger. Try Grape Ape with a group of friends, or by yourself for a study session that keeps you interested and focused.
Without being overpowering, the high creeps in gentle and slow. While some batches may give energy, others may give an unbeatable relaxation and easy sleep. Great for long car trips (where you aren’t the driver), or any other situation where you can afford to kick back and enjoy the ride. Grape Ape may help you to disengage from depressive, cyclical thoughts, or help bring you out of symptoms of PTSD or other similar issues. Try it for decreased or poor appetite, as well as poor sleeping habits. GA may be a little strong for new users, so like I said before, try a really small amount to see how it affects you. Others have found it very mellow. Like with all of these strains, feel free to experiment and find a combination that works best for your needs.
Chemical Makeup
THC: 15-23%
CBD: 0-0.07%
CBN: 0-0.03%
CBG: 0.3-0.7%
THCV: 0.02-0.2%
CBC: 0-0.2%
CBL: 0-0.4%
β-Linalool: 0-0.2%
β-Myrcene: 0.6-1.5%
a-Pinene: 0.06-0.4%
D-Limonene: 0-0.1%
β-Caryophyllene: 0.2-0.6%
image: StrainCentral / youtube


Strain Review: Chemdawg

You might be surprised to learn Chemdawg’s genetics have inspired strains such as Sour Diesel and OG Kush. Its potency is well famed, with the average THC level of 20-25%. The strongest effect has been reported to be full-body relaxation, with long lasting effect. If you’re a grower, the average yield for bud is 25-30 grams per plant, and requires a moderate amount of fertilizer, with a flowering period of roughly 63 days.
Nuggets can be bright, almost acid green, with plenty of the fuzzy orange hairs and glittering trichomes. Other batches, however, have shown as having dark purple leaves throughout. They tend to be dense and a little sticky, but break apart just fine in a grinder.
Some users suggest Chemdawg for strong relief from symptoms of PTSD, or for those who really need a chill day. Try it in a vaporizer for high-impact with less of the skunk-stink combustion would produce. Nerve tension, stress, and depression should all melt away when you try a few hits of Chemdawg. It’s said to be a very smooth ride, with no heavy coughing or instant dry mouth. Some have felt it to unleash the floodgates for emotions, but that’s likely due to its tension-busting abilities. If you’re the type of person who could stand to open up a little, ease the way with this strain.
The smoke produces a very socially charged high, perfect for hanging out with friends or enjoying a nature date with a significant other. It can be head-clearing, so enjoy a space of time free from paranoia and anxiety. Great booster for creative crunches, so light up before tackling a project you’ve been stuck on for a while. A bit on the funnier side, one user reviews Chemdawg, “[this strain] makes me eat like a baby dinosaur… I don’t even chew.” So, grab your favorite snack, settle in, and remember to chew thoroughly (if you can)!
Chemical Makeup
THC: 18-26%
CBD: 0.01-0.1%
CBN: 0-0.05%
CBG: 0.06-1.4%
THCV: 0.05%-0.3%
CBC: 0-0.08%
CBL: 0-0.5%
β-Linalool: 0-0.1%
β-Myrcene: 0.03-0.6%
a-Pinene: 0-0.4%
D-Limonene: 0-0.3%
β-Caryophyllene: 0-0.8%
image: Ry Prichard, The Cannabist

Northern Lights

Strain Review: Northern Lights

Nothern Lights has been mother to quite a number of famous strains, like Super Silver Haze. NL herself is one of the most well-known, oldest indicas in cannabis history. It’s known well for fast and easy growth/flowering, voluminous buds, and the instantly classic, recognizable body high. It was first produced and grown in Holland, in the late 80s.
The effects of Northern Lights can be higher on the psychoactive end. You might feel dreamy, relaxed, and a comfortable laziness that allows you to tell your inner critic to shut up and sit down. Let yourself sink into the lack of muscle pain and tension for once! Use Northern Lights for sleeplessness and stress, and hopefully both troubles will feel far off in the distance.
The scent of Northern Lights is reminiscent of pine needles and fresh dirt, which doesn’t sound great at first but I’ve found it to be a very grounding strain. While I like ones that send me soaring, being able to stay focused and appreciate all aspects of the high are qualities in my preferred strains. On the more extreme end, users have found relief in Northern Lights where they could not with heavy opiates. Plus, cannabis is much safer and non-habit-forming!
Some have found the thought flow with this weed to be ‘effortless.’ I agree– it’s an excellent strain for daydreaming (or more seriously, meditation), and it’s not one of those things where the day just gets away from you without you knowing what happened. I didn’t forget anything when I tried Northern Lights, either. Most strains have the effect of having a great time, and then a sort of tension-memory wipe the next morning. No such thing here! I was able to keep focus and remember all the plans that I was making mentally, the next day. GREAT news for folks that suffer from ADHD and other related neurological disorders.
image: medicaljane


What Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is used for

Dozens of years of research indicate many restorative uses for THC.

Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is often the most desired chemical found in cannabis. It is best known for bringing on the high that weed is known for. As one of the few compounds found in cannabis that is psychoactive, doctors and scientists have discovered many ways to utilize THC.
The extraction of pure Tetrahydrocannabinol was perfected by an Israeli physicist named Raphael Mechoulam. In 1964, Mechoulam separated and blended THC from Lebanese hashish, denoting the start of cannabis research that would prompt to the revelation of various different cannabinoids and how they interact with the body.
While the discoveries have been many and inspiring, they are not without their doubters. The federal government has classified cannabis as a schedule 1 drug meaning it has no medical benefit. This is in addition to the government obtaining patents for the neuro-protective capabilities of cannabis.
Be that as it may, while chemicals like cannabidiol (CBD) have begun to pick up support because of their absence of psychoactivity, many years of research have uncovered various health advantages one of a kind to THC. Here are a few of the most common uses.

Tetrahydrocannabinol relieves some types of pain.

A standout amongst the most common uses of therapeutic weed is for pain treatment. Upon closer examination, evidence has shown that Tetrahydrocannabinol interacts with the central nervous system to prevent the transmission of certain types of pain. Moreover, cannabis has been appeared to be particularly successful against neuropathic agony, or nerve-related pain.
The nerve signals that our brains sense as pain come from special cells with receptors on them. They become activated by temperature, touch, movement, or chemical changes in their environment. Pain signals arise and travel to the brain by one of three main pathways, each of which produces different pain sensations: somatic, visceral, and neuropathic.

There are three types of pain in general.

is the feeling most people recognize when they think about pain: a message sent by receptors located throughout the body whenever injury occurs. Somatic pain signals travel to the brain through nerves bundles and are typically experienced as a constant, dull ache. THC is able to reduce swelling and other contributing factors to somatic pain but in general is not very effective treatment.


occurs when skin or organs in the abdomen become stretched or otherwise disturbed from disease or injury. Pain signals issue from a special class of receptors present in the gut, producing feelings of pressure deep inside the body. Visceral pain can seem to be coming from different parts of the body than its actual source. THC is able to counteract feelings of nausea and many elements of chronic visceral pain.


occurs when the nerves are injured. It is often experienced as a burning sensation that can occur in response to even a gentle touch. Neuropathic pain usually doesn’t respond to narcotic painkillers making it stand out from the other types of pain. Antidepressant or anticonvulsant drugs, along with surgical procedures normally treat this type of pain but THC has also been found to be highly effective.

Cannabis is an excellent plant that has shown surprisingly positive results as a neuropathic treatment. The Tetrahydrocannabinol within that cannabis is able to work on a level that crosses many typical treatment boundaries. Pain treated by THC may be acute or chronic, blindingly intense or mind-numbingly dull. The pain can be momentary or have persisted for days to years.
However long it takes before a patient tries cannabis, it doesn’t take long for them to finally find relief. For acute pain, such as the discomfort that follows surgery, doctors typically prescribe opiates: narcotic drugs derived from, or chemically similar to, opium.

THC is better at dealing with some types of pain than opiates.

During the short-term treatment of intense pain, opiates offer significantly stronger relief for most patients. For chronic pain however, the tables turn in favor of Tetrahydrocannabinol. Treating chronic pain with opiates rarely brings relief.
Chemical dependence also becomes an issue with opiates as usage continues. Cannabinoids like THC have been proven to be non-addictive and highly effective for chronic pain. These differences combine to show that cannabinoids have significant promise in neuroscience and fundamental understandings of pain.
Peripheral nerves that detect pain sensations contain abundant receptors. Many of these receptors are tailor made for cannabinoids. According to research, cannabinoids appear to block peripheral nerve pain in experimental animals. Even more encouraging, some initial studies suggest that opiates and cannabinoids suppress pain differently.
If that is the case, marijuana-based medicines could combine with opiates to boost pain-relieving power while limiting the side effects. There are real hurdles to overcome if the initial Tetrahydrocannabinol research holds up. With the exponential expansion of scientific frontiers in recent decades and the recent deregulation of cannabis in over 26 states, we should have a significantly better understanding in the next decade.

Some people even use Tetrahydrocannabinol to treat PTSD.

Post traumatic stress disorder has only recently been classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) compared to other psychosomatic issues. PTSD is tied to traumatic memories and affects people from every walk of life. Soldiers, doctors, librarians and children can all have PTSD. Finding a safe treatment for so many different demographics is almost impossible.
Discovery of the endocannabinoid system by Dr. Mechoulam made safe treatment of PTSD, along with Parkinson’s and Cerebral Palsy a possibility. Since its discovery in the 1950’s, science has learned that Tetrahydrocannabinol is pharmacologically plastic. By manipulating the endocannabinoid system with THC and other cannabinoids, doctors are able to offer relief to patients that would otherwise have none.

We need more research to discover all that THC has to offer.

With the federal government classifying cannabis as a schedule 1 narcotic, it makes research in America almost impossible. There are some states like Oregon, Washington, California and many others that have taken steps to end Tetrahydrocannabinol prohibition but the fight is far from over.
Scientists can’t study cannabis if government continues to demonize it. As more states join the green revolution, it puts pressure on federal legislators to rethink their stance on legalization. If the community is able to enact declassification of cannabis it will remove the final argument against full legalization.
Once cannabis is removed from the scheduled substance list, we will finally put the whole scientific community to work, not just one Israeli scientist. No disrespect to Isreal, it’s just that cannabis is grown in other places to. We shouldn’t be stopping the Jamaican, American or Ukrainian scientific communities from contributing to THC research.
Thanks for reading.

weedreader n

THC vs. CBD: What Do They Do?

Have you ever wondered what THC and CBD are?

For those who don’t know, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are potent chemical compounds produced in the trichomes on cannabis flowers. Trichomes are the small mushroom looking structures that sparkle like crystals in the light. Cannabis with a high concentration of THC or CBD is prized over just about anything else.
The states that allow cannabis sales require licensed retailers to prominently display the THC, CBD and possibly several other three letter words for everything with cannabis in it. People are always talking about how potent cannabis has become compared to times past and equating it with the THC and CBD content. This all points to THC and CBD being important, but why?
To start, cannabinoids are a group of compounds that our bodies and plants produce naturally. There are over 85 different cannabinoids identified so far with more just waiting to be catalogued. They are called cannabinoids because when Raphael Mechoulam  first identified them back in 1964, they were in the cannabis plants the Israeli doctor was studying.
Science has shown that our own bodies produce and process cannabinoids in immune and nerve cells. Humans are not unique in this ability to process cannabinoids either. The systems needed can be found in many mammals including dogs and cats.
Some animals simply can’t process THC and CBD. Insects like bees and ladybugs don’t have the right systems to be affected by the cannabinoids produced in cannabis. So even if insects or reptiles get covered in cannabinoids, it can’t get them high.
Science is discovering that the connection humans have to cannabis goes down to the molecular level. Continued research into the structure of THC and CBD has revealed that they are structural isomers. Essentially, they have the same basic parts but get arranged in a different way.

How do THC and CBD Work?

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are able to bond with a special network or system of receptors in our cells. This system is present in most mammals, that is why cats and dogs will respond to cannabis in similar ways as you and I.
The specific receptors responsible for how weed makes us feel are called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. They were named after the different cannabinoids they are specialized to work with. I agree it’s not a very interesting name but being as simple as possible makes for easier science.
This system is called the endo-cannabinoid system. Endo for inside and cannabinoid for the type of chemical they work with. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD activate the receptors by mimicking the  neurotransmitters our bodies naturally produce called anandamides. Our bodies can’t tell the difference and accept the imposters without question. Yet each cannabinoid has a unique effect.

  • CB1 receptors respond to THC and are responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. They are present in most of the brain and play a role in vital functions like; memory, mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensation. Cancer, insomnia, PSTD, MS, and many more disorders respond positively to CB1 stimulation.
  • CB2 receptors respond to CBD and are responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis. They are found in immune cells and help reduce inflammation. Since inflammation is an immune response that is believed to be a factor in many diseases and conditions, controlling it can have life altering effects for people.

THC Ladybug

How are THC and CBD different?

THC is psychoactive, meaning it affects consciousness. Things like irritability, hunger and pain are all tied to brain function. THC reduces activity in the hippocampus, the part of the brain where memories are formed/stored). It also inhibits the amygdale, the part where the fight or flight instinct is stored/triggered.
If enough THC is added to the hippocampus, it can lead to a build-up of anxiety. Feelings of paranoia often accompany this negative reaction as the brain tries to deal with the elevated levels of cannabinoids. While no deaths have ever been recorded from weed alone, consuming cannabis does lead to reduced activity in certain parts of the brain.
While reducing brain activity is normally a bad thing, trauma and chemical imbalances can lead to hyperactivity in these brain areas. Conditions like PTSD and anxiety are examples where THC is one of the best treatments available. In fact, the VA recently made strides toward incorporating treatments into the framework of our military.
CBD is a totally different beast. It’s non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t affect consciousness directly. Yet it has been shown to have many beneficial properties. Things like swelling, decreased blood flow and seizures are all treatable by CBD.
Besides calming muscle spasms, CBD is able to counteract the psychoactive elements of THC. They have a balancing duality and because of their chemical similarities, it only takes a little acid to transition from THC to CBD and back again. Several companies have successfully synthesized cannabinoids already but it appears that the best effects come from natural plant sources.

How do we use THC and CBD?

Given that our bodies are hard-wired to benefit from cannabinoids, how do we get more? The oldest and most reliable way is to smoke some of the cannabinoid-rich trichomes that cover the cannabis flower. Vaporizing, eating and creating topical creams are also common ways to consume cannabinoids.
Modern extraction techniques exist that can produce almost 100% pure THC from raw plant matter. While this is the most potent/efficient way to consume THC, most commercial products range from 60-80%. Part of the reason lower percentage extracts are more common is the high cost of extremely pure THC or CBD comparatively.
Most people today consume cannabis in the form of food or concentrate to treat a malady or illness. Research has shown THC from smoking weed to be a neural-protector and helps slow/prevent Alzheimer’s. Cannabis can also provide relief to people suffering from neural conditions like Parkinson’s and Cerebral palsy. Patients often find more relief from their tremors, seizures and chronic pain than through other treatments.
Cannabinoids also play a part in the success of traditional cancer treatments like chemo therapy by stimulating appetite, relieving depression and reducing pain. While these benefits may seem minor, the increase in quality of life to these patients is measurable. Over time, the body will adapt to elevated cannabinoid levels so monitoring dosing is important.
Higher concentrations of THC and CBD are often needed for treatment of life threatening illness than can be found in raw cannabis. Over the centuries, this problem has been solved by refining the raw flower into concentrates. Products like BHO, PHO, RSO and CO2 extracts are excellent sources of concentrated THC to modern consumers.
Thanks for reading.