cbd oil

3 Things to Look For When Buying CBD Oil

CBD oil, e-juice, and other products are becoming increasingly popular as the medicinal properties of cannabis become more and more mainstream. But unfortunately, the dubious legal status of marijuana in the U.S. and around the world means that regulation of these products is inconsistent at best.
There are many companies jumping on the medical marijuana bandwagon right now, taking advantage of the lack of oversight to sell you cheap, poor quality products – some of which could even be dangerous to your health.
So how can consumers today tell the good stuff from the bad? Research, of course. Before you purchase CBD oil, or any other cannabis product, you should do your homework. Always read product labels carefully, and check out the manufacturers’ website.
Here are the 3 most important things to look for, to ensure that what you’re about to buy is safe, healthy and of the highest quality:

3 Signs of High Quality CBD Oil

1. Check the Source

The best products always start with the best ingredients, and quality CBD oil starts with the soil.
Most CBD products are made from industrial hemp, which is what’s called a hyperaccumulator. Basically, that means that it can grow even in contaminated soil, absorbing heavy metals and other toxins through the roots. This makes it useful for phytoremediation (a.k.a. “soil cleanup”). But it also means that it’s possible for hemp to contain toxic levels of zinc, lead, mercury, arsenic, etc.
So it’s very important to know where your CBD oil sources it’s hemp before you consume it. Look for hemp grown in the U.S. or Canada (where there is strict state regulation), using organic farming methods if possible.
Also note whether the product is made from CBD-isolate (a.k.a. “pure CBD”). These products contain only cannabidiol, and none of the other active plant compounds. Look for “whole plant” or “full spectrum” products instead, as these contain other cannabinoids (CBN, CBL, terpenes, etc.) which interact with the CBD to increase it’s medicinal effects.

2. Extraction Method

Another important thing to consider is the extraction method, or how the CBD oil was derived from the plant. Some manufacturers use chemical solvents like butane, propane or hexane to extract their product. Oils produced in this way can contain dangerous carcinogens (a.k.a. substances known to cause cancer). Avoid these products at all costs.
Ethanol extraction is a somewhat safer method, which results in a cleaner product and higher concentrations of CBD and other cannabinoids.
But the gold standard is what’s called “supercritical CO2 extraction,” a method that uses carbon dioxide gas under extreme cold and pressure. This requires more expensive equipment – which of course generally means a more expensive product – but it results in the cleanest, safest, and highest quality CBD oil on the market.

3. Independently Tested

Perhaps the most important thing of all to look for is product that has been inspected and tested by an independent laboratory. After all, manufacturers are out to make money, and many of them will make false claims if it will help them sell more product.
Only buy CBD oil from a manufacturer whose claims have been tested and verified by an impartial 3rd party lab. And don’t be satisfied with a simple seal on the label! Go online to the seller’s website to find out exactly where their product was tested. If you really want to be sure, request a “Certificate of Analysis”. If such a certificate is not available, then you’d best find another supplier.
As laws continue to shift in favor of hemp and medical marijuana, increased regulation and oversight will improve the safety and quality of all cannabis products on the market. But for the time being, it’s up to us to be smart consumers, to educate and protect ourselves.
Knowledge is power, after all.

cancer marijuana

Cancer Treatments: Now With Marijuana

Marijuana is an old remedy.

Modern cancer patients aren’t the only people to understand the healing power of marijuana. Marijuana is the name given to the cannabis plant during 20th century prohibition. Cannabis grows wild in warm and tropical climates throughout the world and has been cultivated commercially for eons. Prohibition has given cannabis many other aliases as people developed code. Names like pot, grass, cannabis, weed, hemp, hash, hydro, ganja, and dozens of others all describe the same plant.
Records show marijuana has been used in herbal remedies dating back to the Chin Dynasty in China. Ancient doctors could see the effects of using cannabis as well as today and prescribed it for many maladies. The herb was so powerful that even the Romans put it in their medical texts.
Scientists have identified many biologically active components in marijuana that are the main reason it is so useful medically. These compounds are called cannabinoids. The two most studied of the hundred or so cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids are being studied but haven’t had the same amount of press or research put into them.

Is marijuana a legal treatment?

cancer treatmentAt this time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists marijuana and cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances that cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. Whole or crude marijuana (including marijuana oil or hemp oil) are also not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use whatsoever.
State laws have a little bit more play in them and diverge from the federal stance to different degrees. The use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions is legal in many states even though it remains federally banned. Each state has individual rules about how they deal with marijuana so it is important to research the specific rules for your state.
Dronabinol (pharmaceutical THC) and some synthetic cannabinoid drugs like Marinol are approved by the FDA. Marinol is used to relieve nausea and vomiting for chemotherapy patients in addition to being prescribed to AIDS patients for appetite stimulation.

Marijuana is more than THC.

Different compounds found in marijuana have affect the human body in different ways. For example, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes the mental high and can also relieve pain and nausea. At the same time it can reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant. Cannabidiol (CBD) can help treat seizures, can reduce anxiety and paranoia, and can counteract the “high” caused by THC according to the American Cancer Society.
Different cultivars (strains or types) of marijuana can have varying amounts of the different cannabinoids. The specific ratio of cannabinoids produced by a plant is known as it’s strain profile and can be used to better judge what effects to expect from a specific strain.
The effects of marijuana also change depending on how it enters the body:

  • When inactivated or raw cannabis is eaten, the THC is absorbed poorly by the body. Once absorbed, it’s processed by the liver into a second psychoactive compound. The second substance acts on the brain to change mood and/or consciousness differently than THC.
  • When marijuana is smoked or vaporized, THC enters the bloodstream quickly, bypassing the liver at first. It is transported to the brain before the liver can convert a large amount of it into the second chemical. Because there is so much less of the second chemical, the high is stronger but fades quicker.

What can marijuana treat?

A number of studies using small groups of marijuana users found that cannabis can be helpful for treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. A few studies have found that smoked or vaped cannabis can be helpful in the treatment of neuropathic pain as well.
Smoked marijuana has also helped improve food intake in certain HIV patients during some studies. Clinical trials have also been shown marijuana extract users tended to need less pain medication than others. The pain relieving effects seem to be even better in the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD than with THC.

How does marijuana affect cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, “…THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.” While there have been some early clinical trials of cannabinoids in treating cancer, future studies are inevitable.
Most studies show cannabinoids can be safe in treating cancer. They do not however seem to help control or cure the disease. Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for any issue (including cancer) may have serious health consequences.

What are the possible harms of marijuana?

While many insist marijuana can pose no harm to users, it is not true. The most common effect of marijuana is a feeling of euphoria. Yet the complex chemistry of the brain and cannabinoids indicates that there is a lot going on under the hood. Cannabis can lower the user’s control over movement, cause disorientation, and sometimes cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia. While the majority of users do not experience these negative effects, they are more common in new users who don’t understand their dosing requirements.
Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body along with harmful substances. Tar is one of the substances found in both tobacco and cannabis smoke. Heavy users (more than one gram a day) of smoked cannabis also commonly report chronic bronchitis.

Make sure to do research.

Because marijuana plants come in different strains with different levels of active compounds, it can make each experience different. Even with good data from a state certified lab, the effects of a specific strain on a specific user can be very hard to predict. It can take time and experimentation to find the best treatment plan or strain for a specific issue.
Even though cannabis is not chemically addictive (like caffeine or an opioid) people can still become psychologically dependant. Users will not receive the life threatening withdraws like they do from cocaine but they may still feel the conditioned desire to use.  Treatments and attitudes toward addiction vary widely across countries and the globe. If you struggle with addiction or are interested in treating any malady, it is best to seek a spectrum of qualified professional help before committing to any treatment plan. Make sure to get more than your own opinion before you make potentially life altering decisions. Thanks for reading.

cbd wr

CBD: How Cannabidiol (CBD) is Natures Best Healing Compound

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants.Scientific research over the last few decades has shown that Cannabidiol has dozens of medical benefits. Cannabidiol is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis.  Both THC and CBD belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids.
Of the known cannabinoid compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied. The difference between CBD and THC comes down to how they interact with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. Cannabidiol inhibits the interaction of CB-1 receptors throughout the body with a major focus on receptors in the central nervous system.
CBD Flower

How does CBD work in the body?

Cannabinoid receptors are cell membrane receptors  that contain transmembrane spanning properties. Cannabinoid receptors are activated by three groups of ligands (a molecule that binds to another molecule):  endocannabinoids that are produced inside the mammalian body, cannabinoids produced in plants and synthetic cannabinoids. Because CB-1 receptors bind with all three types of cannabinoids, one source can be supplemented for the other to provide medical benefit to patients.
The endocannabinoid system is a vast network of cell receptor proteins and serves many functions. CB-1 receptors are heavily concentrated in the central nervous system. Others types of cannabinoid receptors are found all over the body. They’re in every humans skin, digestive tract, and even in their reproductive organs. All of the endocannabinoids and plant cannabinoids bind to fatty compounds in the body. The binding properties of cannabinoids are why THC and CBD remain in a person’s system for so long.

How does CBD work in the brain?

Cannabidiol has low binding affinity for CB1 receptors. THC binds well with CB1 cannabinoid receptors but CBD does not. This is why one (THC) will cause a high and the other (CBD) will not. While this makes Cannabidiol a bad choice for recreational users, it is a significant advantage for use as a medicine. The high associated with cannabis is generally considered a side effect.
Since health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects. CBD is seen by most medical professionals as preferable to THC. CBD is non-psychoactive because it doesn’t act on the same pathways as THC. These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC.
CBD Flower 1

What does CBD do?

The fact that Cannabidiol-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients who want to avoid the stereotypical feelings associated with consuming cannabis.
Scientific and clinical research underscores Cannabidiol’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions. People looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy find Cannabidiol to be an effective treatment.
Conditions including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders find the most relief from treatments. This is because CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects along with anti-cancer properties. These properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers around the world.

How does CBD treat all these health issues?

The biggest distinction between CBD vs. THC comes down to a basic difference in how each one interacts with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. THC binds well with CB1 cannabinoid receptors while CBD does not. Think of it like an electrical plug connecting to an outlet.
A THC molecule is perfectly sized to connect with CB1 receptors. When that connection happens, THC stimulates those CB1 receptors like turning on a switch. THC works to activate those CB1 receptors.Cannabidiol works in a different way. It doesn’t act directly to activate or suppress CB1 receptors. Instead, it acts to suppress the CB1-activating qualities of a cannabinoid like THC.  So while THC turns on CB-1 receptors like sticking a key in an outlet, CBD blocks the outlet.

If CBD is so good, why isn’t it more mainstream?

Even though CBD shows great promise as a medicine, it remains illegal in most of the world. CBD is classified as a Schedule I drug (right beside THC) in the United States and a Schedule II drug in Canada and the UK.
The US government has been studying CBD for a while and fund most of the science going on stateside due to the difficulties associated in researching a schedule 1 substance. Even with the challenges, intrepid researchers have identified dozens of conditions that can be treated or cured using Cannabidiol.
A team of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister, has stated that they hope to begin trials on CBD as a breast cancer therapy. Due to the challenges of navigating the FDA, they are fighting an uphill battle.

If CBD is great as medicine, why aren’t more drug companies using it?

All is not dark for CBD research. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a request for a clinical trial of a CBD based drug. The drug in question is a pharmaceutical version of CBD used to treat children afflicted with rare forms of epilepsy. The drug is called Epidiolex and is made by GW Pharmaceuticals. GW Pharmaceuticals also makes another cannabis-based drug called Sativex.
Even with approval of trials for Cannabidiol based meds, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) made it clear that marijuana-based extract is still considered a Schedule I drug under federal law. They made sure to say in a Dec. 2016 address that the ban includes CBD oils and other types of CBD-rich extracts.

What does the future of CBD look like?

In general, far more research is needed to figure out all of the effects cannabis has on our bodies. But, to say that our overall understanding of CBD is “lacking” would be an understatement. In the midst of medical and recreational legalization happening in the US state by state, the federal stance on cannabis remains staunchly opposed. While the UK classifies CBD as a schedule 2 substance, the US still tightly holds to its schedule 1 status of all things cannabis.
A pharmaceutical version of Cannabidiolwas recently developed by a drug company based in the UK. The UK based company, GW Pharmaceuticals, is now funding clinical trials on Cannabidiol as a treatment for schizophrenia and certain types of epilepsy through the significantly easier UK process.
Only time will tell if cannabis will become a mainstream medical tool in the future. With political pressure and overwhelming public support for legalization, there has been a lot of gains in recent years. As legislation moves cannabis out of the darkness and into the limelight, government agencies like the FDA will have to reevaluate how they have classified cannabis. 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.

Spray Away Arthritis, Depression, and Anxiety with the MediPen

Do you suffer from depression, anxiety, or even arthritis? If so then you know that the medications used to treat these conditions come with many dangerous side effects. These side effects are different for everyone and some can be rather severe. When it comes to treating these conditions, what would you say if I told you they’re working on a way to spray away these problems? Well, this is just what’s happening at an NHS facility in Cardiff.

Studies that have focused on CBD research have become more common over the past few years. Thanks to the information being learned by doctors and scientists, people are starting to finally see the benefits that cannabis has to offer beyond recreational smoking. This cannabis-based spray which does not contain THC is in the works to help treat conditions including anxiety, arthritis, and depression. In an essence, you would be able to spray away these problems. It may sound like a magical potion, but this is very much a reality. Patients around the world are finding a multitude of benefits from consuming CBD.

Approximately 2 years ago a cannabis-based drug was approved in Wales, making them the first UK Nation to legalize access to this cannabis-based drug, but only to those with multiple sclerosis. The new drug does not contain THC and has no psychoactive effects associated with it. Instead, it contains CBD or cannabidiol. It is vaporized in an electronic pen device that looks much like an e-cigarette called MediPen. The MediPen will be available for sales online for as little as £50 and is available in 17 different flavors total. All cannabis plants utilized in the CBD product within the MediPen are grown in the Netherlands to the highest of quality, and bred specifically for a maximum CBD content.

When it comes to cannabis and cannabis-based drug research in the United Kingdom, it is not an area that is taken lightly. Both Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are intensely studying the effects of cannabidiol but have very strict guidelines and stringent processes in surrounding how these studies are conducted. MediPen aims to help change the perception the public has towards cannabis by working hand-in-hand conducting tests with the assistance of the NHS. By focusing on CBD and the amazing amount of health attributes associated with it, companies in the UK just may have a way one day for you to spray away arthritis, anxiety or depression.