DEM Pure Certified: Dragonfly Earth Medicine

“Gardening is one of the single biggest acts of protest for consumerism.” – Dragonfly Earth Medicine

As the marijuana movement gains momentum nationwide, more stories in the media are drawing attention to the fact that our precious greens are in reality, not so green.

Dragonfly Earth Medicine (DEM) is here to set the standard for sustainability with their Pure Certification, and the standard is being set sky-high.

DEM is defining what it means to be a organic cannabis farmer, actually, they’re defining what it means to be a regenerative cannabis farmer. The difference is significant. They are not only educating farmers on how to grow exquisite organic cannabis and sustain their land, but how to actually improve, or regenerate, their land and their community.

Give a man bottled nutrients and he will come back the next week needing more, teach a man to grow his nutrients and he’ll replenish the earth. This is essentially DEM’s philosophy, teaching organic farmers to grow nutrients for your garden, from your garden. It is clear through their actions that their passion lies in spreading the movement of pure medicine, regenerating the land and teaching others their beyond organic methods. DEM Pure is a way of gardening free of chemicals and bottled nutrients and without overuse of animal products and earth-mined minerals. The family-trio is passionate about spreading their ways of sustainability and self-sufficiency.

You may be asking yourself, what exactly does beyond organic mean?

  • No synthetics, no chemicals – Earth-based nutrients only (DEM practices teach you to grow your own nutrients!)
  • No hydroponic growing – This is a soil-only certificate.
  • All inputs need to be organic and healthy for the plants, earth and patients. Time needs to be taken to look up the origin of all inputs and what impact each one will have on the Earth and humans.
  • A continuous effort to make the farm more sustainable and ecologically sound.
  • Re-using “waste” material in your gardens. Fan leaves and stalks are healthy organic materials to use in teas and for mulch.
  • Implementing an integrated pest program that is diverse and uses only natural cures. When the going gets tough with unbeneficial pests or microbes, never divert from what is right, over what is right now. This philosophy requires continuous education to address each new problem or issue that comes up. Beyond organic pest management is preventative, it is not symptomatic or full of easy cures.
  • See your gardening as a service (dharma) to humanity and the earth.
  • Treating workers and patients with respect and kindness. Educate everyone around you on cannabis and beyond organic gardening practices.
  • Employ at least six closed-loop practices (we’ll go into more detail below on closed loop systems)
  • No hydrocarbon solvent extractions (no BHO)

Based on information from dragonflyearthmedicine.com

Organic cannabis farmers have repeatedly faced conflict in labeling their products “organic” because, in order to be certified organic, one needs to go through the Federal Department of Agriculture (emphasis on the federal, you know, those guys who still consider cannabis a Schedule 1 drug).

As farmers who are passionate about creating a clean product know, it takes hard work and dedication to grow organic cannabis. Particularly when growing indoors where you have to be one step ahead in your preventative pest management.

When you spend that much energy caring for and creating organic, clean cannabis, you want to be able to market that purity to your consumers. With the word “organic” off-limits, how are you supposed to assure your customers that what they’re ingesting is free of pesticides and chemicals?

This is where DEM steps in. The Pure Certification “redefines what the cannabis industry sees as pure, clean medicine.” It shows patients that what they’re ingesting is not only organic but sustainable, fair trade and regenerative.

Kelly, Josh, and their son, Sky, have dedicated themselves to spreading the valuable expertise needed to execute an entirely closed-loop cannabis farm. This passion for ganja, permaculture, and organic gardening inspired them to create the DEM Pure Certification. Now that momentum for the cannabis movement is gaining traction nationwide, there is a wide-open stage to set the standards for how cannabis should be growing.

When Josh and Kelly first moved to their farm in British Columbia they dreamed of building a food forest oasis, filled with biodiversity and a thriving ecosystem. They quickly realized their dreams were going to take longer than expected and a lot of hard work because their ground was riddled with rocks and infertile soil. Living two hours away from the closest grow store forced them to learn and create closed-loop gardening systems. They began experimenting, making teas from plants they found wildly growing around the property such as stinging nettle, which they now consistently incorporate into their gardens. They collected various bacterias and fungi from around the property and created their own microorganism brews. They fermented just about anything they could get their hands on, including fish heads from the lake down the road. All this trial and error led them to create a farm that is now, 20 years later, bursting with life and knowledge of the land.

Now let’s talk about just a couple of the many systems that DEM considers closed-loop…

  • Growing Your Own Nutrients can be easily accomplished by dedicating a small plot to perennial producers. These plants can be used in tea brews, soil layering, and soil ingredients.
  • Chipping/Shredding stalks and roots of your cannabis plants for use as a beneficial and nutritional soil ingredient. DEM teaches that, “Plants benefit greatly from decomposing their own matter, feeding the soil food web moro-organism colonies.”
  • Live Raw Tea Brews are made by fermenting cannabis leaves, weeds, or any of the plants you’re cultivating on your property. DEM recommends, “Following strict fermentation practices and the addition of beneficial inoculants to help break down the plants to make nutrients readily available to your next crop.”
  • Soil Building / Re-Using Soils is the foundation of healthy, organic garden. If you care for your soil properly and keep feeding it organic inputs then it will only get better and better over time. Check out our how to grow guide for Building Your Own Organic Soil for a kickstart.
  • Agri-Cultures Inoculants are beneficial cultures made by fermentation that help your plant and soil thrive. You can make your own inoculants to use in tea brews and soil building. Some examples are fermenting soil and bokashi, activated EM (effective microorganisms) and calcium extractions.
  • Mycoremediation is the process of using fungi to condition soil back to health. DEM recommends using Garden Giants (King Stropharia) because they quickly decompose plant material while simultaneously cleaning toxic or compacted soils. With this closed-loop practice, you can remediate your soil and eat amazingly tasty mushrooms at the same time!
  • Cover Crops are an easy way to bring a beyond organic practice into your grow room, indoors or out! Cover crops such as buckwheat, rye, barley and oats are fast-growing grains that add easy-to-access nutrients into your soil. Planting these seeds directly into your beds immediately releases nutrients to the top layer of your soil, which DEM explains is the most biologically diverse layer of the soil. Cover crops also protect your precious soil from wind and water erosion.
  • Water Recycling can be used to minimize water run-off and to ensure no water is wasted. Which is essential for those who experience a drought season. There are other water-saving techniques you can implement such as mulches and cover crops, but it is also simple to build a rain catchment system. Another fun fact – DEM recommends re-using your ice extract water to feed your cannabis! “It not only is immediately available, it also contains valuable nutrients, trichomes and terpenes that are a great food for your gardens.”
  • Geothermal systems allow you to naturally harness the Earth’s constant 52 degree temperature in order to cool down your grow in the summer or heat it up in the winter. A simple geothermal system can be created by digging a tunnel, at least 5 feet underground, that begins outside of the greenhouse and ends inside of the greenhouse. By placing a fan and filter in the tunnel you can have a constant stream of 52 degree air blowing into your greenhouse.

Based on information from dragonflyearthmedicine.com

One of the requirements for the DEM Pure Certification is that you have implemented at least six of these closed-loop practices. They are not limited to this list either, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a closed loop, it just takes some brainpower followed by action. Kelly further explains, “Closed loops are a very effective way to keep pathogens out of your gardens because everything that you need is available right there and was manufactured right there.”

One of the primary philosophies behind DEM is feeding plants with plants. Josh, Kelly and Sky educate farmers on how to grow their own nutrients and supplements, rather than buy bottles of who-knows-what. They will enlighten you to see nutrients everywhere you go.

Kelly explains, “This commitment is sought after and given to gardeners that are already on the path of ecological regeneration, growing of high-quality health medicine and food, and educating the next generation of healthy cannabis growers.”

If you’re interested in learning more, the Dragonfly Earth Medicine team is available for consultations which you can find more about on their website. Also, their Instagram is filled with a wealth of beyond organic knowledge.

 

Be sure to check out Josh, co-founder of Dragonfly Earth Medicine, in this awesome segment on WeedmapsTV. “The Real Cannabis Culture”  (at 2:19)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNZTAMXwrQM&w=560&h=315]

 

Keep your eyes out for Pure Certified Cannabis in your state! Here are all of the cannabis farms that are DEM Pure Certified…

California: Boomspharm, Grownwell Farms, Black Sheep Organics, Biovortex, Coastal Seeds, CannaCruz, Dos Perros, Farmer Mary Jane, Jasmine Farms, Sudarshan Botanicals, Nomads Landing, Sungrown Medicinals, Yokayo Greens Farm, Emerald Triangle Genetics, Ogre Farms, Chalawa Farms, California Mountain.

Nevada: Greenlife Productions

Washington: Good Good Garden

Colorado: Anbessa Organics, Jah Gardens, Dr. Dankman, Nikka T & Abba Zabba, Rocky Mountain Natural Farming.

Michigan: Gage Green Gardens

Oregon: Gnomegrown Organics, Black Ram Organics, Kush Syndicate, Eugene Health Center, Emerald Valley Organics, Happy Plants, White Rose Gardens, Knotty Pine Organics, TKO Reserve.

 

Repost from Marijuana.com

The Top Seven Cannabinoids and Their Health Benefits

Cannabinoids, as we’ve discussed in some of our previous blogs, are chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. They are not just ordinary chemical compounds, (there are over 400 chemical compounds in the marijuana plant) but ones that interact with receptors in the body to produce specific effects in your physical, mental and emotional being. How many cannabinoids are there in marijuana? Well, the numbers vary from 80 to over a hundred, depending on which article you read and who is doing the counting.

Since legal medical and scientific research is limited because marijuana is still listed on the dangerous drug schedule of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) not all of the identified cannabinoids, whether the number is 80 or 110, have been thoroughly analyzed for the health benefits they may provide. Some cannabinoids, however, have been researched much more than others and have been found to contain very practical and remarkable healing properties. We have listed the top seven cannabinoids below, along with their medicinal characteristics in no particular order. We’ve left it for you to decide what order of importance they should be in.

THC Delta 9

 (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

This is the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana and it is the element that gets people high. Amazingly, this fundamental component of cannabis is also a real medicinal miracle worker. Some of the benefits and maladies this cannabinoid has been useful for over the last few decades are:

• Pain reliever

• Crohn’s Disease

• PTSD

• Multiple Sclerosis

• Parkinson’s Disease

• Neuropathic pain

• Cancer

• Alzheimer’s Disease

• Appetite stimulator

• Anti-nausea

CBC

(Cannabichromene) 

This cannabinoid is definitely not psychoactive and won’t get anyone high. It is a common element in cannabis and besides showing signs that it can help brain cells grow it has also been shown to be:

• Anti-depressant

• Anti-tumor

• Anti-inflammatory

• Anti-fungal

CBG

(Cannabigerol) 

Even though this non-psychoactive element in marijuana is found in small quantities it is becoming more and more popular with research scientists for its potential medicinal abilities. It has many great qualities and some of them are:

• Anti-fungal

• Anti-microbial

• Pain reliever

• Anti-tumor

• Anti-psoriasis

• Anti-depressant

• Mood stabilizer

THC Delta 8

This cannabinoid is similar to THC Delta (9) but is less psychoactive. Its healing properties include:

• Anti-anxiety

• Neuroprotective abilities

• Appetite stimulant

• Anti-nausea

CBD 

(Cannabidiol)

This cannabinoid is the one that has changed the most minds about marijuana being legalized for medical purposes. It is not psychoactive and can be isolated and refined from the marijuana or the hemp plant and its most famous use is that of stopping and/or greatly reducing epileptic seizures. This is the element in cannabis that influenced Dr. Sanjay Gupta, of CNN News to change his mind about the legalization of medical marijuana. Before he saw clear proof that CBD reduced Gran Mal seizures in a six-year old girl from 300 per week to 3 to 4 a month, Dr. Gupta was absolutely against any kind of marijuana legalization. CBD was hailed as a medical break through by many and now several companies have isolated this cannabinoid and are marketing it as an anti-seizure drug.

Other wonderful medicinal benefits from CBD are:

• Anti-emetic and anti nausea

• Anti-psychotic

• Anti-inflammatory

• Anti-oxidant

• Anti-cancer

• Anti-depressant

• Reduces the effects of the THC high

CBN

(Cannabinol) 

When the marijuana’s dried buds or flowers sit out in the air for a period of time, the THCa breaks down and becomes another cannabinoid altogether: CBN.

This newly transformed cannabinoid has the following medicinal properties:

• Antibiotic

• Appetite stimulant

• Pain reliever

• Anti-asthmatic

• Sedative

• Anti-glaucoma

THCv

(tetrahydrocannabivarin) 

This is another cannabinoid that is similar to THC Delta (9) but it is about 1/5 a psychoactive as its counterpart and namesake THC. It is one of the many cannabinoids that work best when they are paired with other cannabinoids, creating an entourage or synergistic effect. THCv also mitigates some of the more negative effects of THC, which, many times is very useful to the user. This cannabinoid has many healing properties, some of which are:

• Anti-convulsive

• Neuroprotective

• Helps with weight loss

• Promotes Bone Growth

• Reduces symptoms of PTSD

The cannabinoids are obviously very important elements in the medicinal world. More research is opening up even though cannabis is still listed a schedule one drug, and as more research is done on marijuana the more positive benefits will be discovered, which will ultimately be good for all of us.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

Cannabis and Autism

Catch 22. That simply means that if you want to get a job as a carpenter – you can’t – unless you join the union. But you can’t join the union – unless you have a job. The Urban Dictionary defines Catch 22 as: A requirement that cannot be met until a prerequisite requirement is met, however, the prerequisite cannot be obtained until the original requirement is met.

And that is precisely what’s happening in the world of autism and medical marijuana. Doctors won’t prescribe cannabis to autistic children because there has been no research and no data to support the efficacy of marijuana on autism. The catch 22 here is, that no doctors will research the effects of pot on autistic children because there hasn’t been any research on the effects of pot on autistic kids. Also because they are afraid that the cannabis may be dangerous to them.

However, there is anecdotal evidence that autistic children who are given small doses of CBD (cannabidiol) are moving toward healthier and happier lives. CBD is one of the main healing cannabinoids in cannabis. When Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN witnessed the miraculous recovery of a young girl who tried CBD, he came out in favor of legalizing medical cannabis. The girl, Charlotte Figi, didn’t have autism but she was having 300 Grand Mal seizures every week because of Dravet Syndrome.   After being given small doses of CBD oil her seizures were immediately reduced to two to three times a month.

Some other doctors are also opening their minds and their ears and are paying attention to marijuana, the new medicine. “Anecdotes should not be dismissed,” said Dr. Daniele Piomelli, one of the world’s top neuroscientists and endocannabinoid researchers. The University of California-Irvine faculty member won’t consider prescribing cannabis at this time, but is aware of the growing clamor for it. “An anecdote is a pointer. It’s something that suggests something needs to be either proven or disproven.”

There are even some medical professionals out there who are taking action since the mainstream medical researchers and labs are sitting on their hands. Dr. Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist in Puerto Rico, is researching CBD and how it affects kids with autism. He tells how a young non-verbal child, after receiving two small doses of CBD, began to develop language skills. Martinez says, “It’s incredible to see a child go from being non-communicative to achieving a significant improvement in quality of life—for both the child and his family.”

There are many other success stories regarding autism and marijuana’s CBD oil. Hopefully, more doctors and researchers in the medical world will start listening to them and be willing to do what they were trained to do: heal the sick, no matter what the source of the medicine is.

Source:  https://www.leafly.com/news/health/how-does-cannabis-consumption-affect-autism/

 

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

The Benefits of Cannabis

There are so many naysayers out there regarding marijuana that we thought we’d brighten up your day a bit and pass on some interesting, informative and good news to you. There are some obvious and very well documented health benefits from ingesting cannabis, such as pain relief, reduction of epileptic seizures and the decrease in eye pressure for those suffering from glaucoma, but we wanted to give you a few more that might surprise you.

Weight loss is probably not the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of marijuana. There have been several studies at major universities (Harvard and University of Nebraska) that have found that people who use marijuana are skinnier than their friends who don’t use it. Apparently, the pot friendly people had smaller waists than non-users even though the munchies caused them to eat up to 600 more calories a day than usual. Go figure.

Lung capacity increase for people who smoke marijuana was reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Survey. It also found that lungs were not affected negatively by cannabis smoke.

Depression was found in much lower levels in those who smoked cannabis occasionally or daily compared to people who never used marijuana. This was found in studies done by USC and SUNY Albany.

ADHD and anxiety symptoms were found to be relieved with small doses of cannabis. This was also found in the same studies done by USC and SUNY Albany.

Cancer cells have been killed in patients with leukemia who smoked pot. That was in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, which basically said that cannabis turns off the cancer gene and stops the cancer from spreading.

Arthritis pain has been successfully reduced in many patients who ingest marijuana. The THC stifles the chronic pain that accompanies arthritis. Patients generally reduce pain, get more sleep and their inflammation is also greatly diminished.

Opiate addiction has been decreased when addicts substitute marijuana for the opiates they have been using.

Multiple Sclerosis pain has been shown to significantly decrease when patients use marijuana.

There are many more benefits to those who use cannabis; we just wanted to share a few with our readers. Don’t forget that pot can bring out your creativity also. Many artists and aspiring artists say that their creative doors magically opened up and worlds that they never imagined previously were now theirs to explore. Go explore and be happy!

The Cannabinoid Receptors and PTSD

We’ve talked about the endocannabinoid system in a past blog, but only briefly touched on the cannabinoid receptors. In this blog, we’d like to explore the cannabinoid receptors just a bit more before we move on to another topic. Research scientists are always eager to pounce on things that are waiting to be dissected, analyzed, broken down to their smallest component. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is one of those things and it is a malady that affects thousands of military personnel and average citizens alike. According to NYU researcher Alexander Neumeister, “There’s not a single pharmacological treatment out there that has been developed specifically for PTSD.”

A recent study done at NYU School of Medicine concluded that there might be a connection between the effects of PTSD, marijuana and the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors are mechanisms that are part of the endocannabinoid system. They are uniquely structured to be able to bind only with cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and endocannabionoids that are generated naturally within the body. There are two known cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, numbered in the order in which they were discovered. The cannabinoid receptors play a role in signaling messages from the brain to the body and they transmit information about memory, pain, mood and appetite, among other things.

Previous studies have shown that when CB receptors are combined with cannabis they can reduce anxiety, which is a major element of PTSD. The NYU study had 60 participants; some of them had PTSD, some had experienced trauma but were not diagnosed with PTSD, and some had experienced no trauma but were diagnosed with PTSD. They were all given a tracer to illuminate their CB1 receptors, then they underwent a PET scan. It was found that the PTSD sufferers had more CB1 receptors than the healthy subjects in the parts of the brain that produced anxiety and fear.

Since the PET scan was able to show the abundance of CB1 receptors in the brains of people with PTSD and showed those without the disorder having much less, the study suggested that their findings could lead the way to diagnosing PTSD accurately. Today, PTSD diagnoses are derived only from subjective observations, without any physical techniques, which makes it difficult to diagnose it with accuracy. The NYU research offered a biological interpretation for the disorder by showing the concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which in turn points to the discovery of a way to actually “see” PTSD in patients.

The lead researcher for the study, Alexander Neumeister had this to say, “There’s a consensus among clinicians that existing pharmaceutical treatments such as antidepressant simply do not work.” He also added, “that anecdotal evidence has shown that some PTSD sufferers who use marijuana, a cannabinoid, experience more symptom relief than with antidepressants.”

Cannabinoid receptors are miraculous and integral parts of our bodies. They play a role in our health and well-being and our physical healing. Now they might be able to play a role in healing our heroic military men and women who suffer from PTSD.

Cannabinoids Prove Themselves Yet Again…

If you keep up with marijuana news or if you’re just around people who are always up to speed about what’s happening in the world of cannabis, then you know that many of the cannabinoids in marijuana are extremely beneficial on a medicinal level. Well, now one of the nation’s leading and most highly respected mainstream magazines has recently published a story touting the scientific effectiveness of marijuana and its potential role in preventing and slowing Alzheimer’s disease.

We’ve talked about Alzheimer’s previously and we are always thrilled when a cure or a preventive measure is tied to cannabis. This time, however, we are totally thrilled by the source of the news: Forbes Magazine. Yes, this magazine that reports on who the richest people on the planet are and what your portfolio should really look like is sharing the story of scientific researchers who have made major breakthroughs using marijuana as their focus.

The venerable Salk Institute in San Diego, California, has been seriously looking into THC (terahydrocannabinol) and other marijuana constituents, and how they can remove the amyloid beta proteins from their lab-grown neurons. Now, that didn’t make any sense to me either – at first, because I’m not a scientist. However, I am a human being and the further I read, the more I understood that what that meant was Alzheimer’s patients accumulate the toxic protein named amyloid in their brain. And they’ve been doing it for decades. THC was shown to remove amyloid along with decreasing cellular inflammation, both of which contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Professor David Schubert, senior author of the study, said, “We believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.” This study is an important step forward in understanding some of the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s and perhaps some of the ways to prevent the disease also.

Taking precautionary steps when one is young in order to remove amyloid beta and protecting the nerve cells from inflammation is one key thing to do. Although the study points to THC and other active compounds in cannabis that might be able to assist in removing amyloid beta from nerve cells, the researchers stop short of recommending the use of marijuana to Alzheimer’s prone people. Their next step is going to be clinical trials and they want everyone to know that this marijuana study was “promising but not actionable.” That, of course, is shorthand for “Go to you dispensary now! Do not stop at GO, do not collect $200. We think that’s a grand idea – thanks to Forbes Magazine.

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2016/07/05/marijuana-compounds-show-promise-in-protecting-brain-cells-from-alzheimers/#5996be4375ab

Where Is All The Cannabis Research Coming From?

Since our government still has marijuana listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, that is, as dangerous as heroin with no medicinal value, there are only several laboratories that have been given permission to do any type of research on cannabis in this country. While much of our knowledge of the healing properties of marijuana comes from anecdotal evidence in the United States, there have been many bona fide scientific studies that have produced real results and pertinent observations on the effectiveness of the herb’s healing properties outside the country. Some very successful studies have been done in Europe but the ones that are getting the most attention internationally and in the U.S. are from Israel.

Israel has become the world leader in medical marijuana research. Although it is a very small country, it is apparently very open-minded when it comes to medicine.

Israel’s Ministry of Health has been looking closely at the medicinal effects of cannabis for decades. In fact, it was the legendary Israeli scientist, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who convinced the Ministry to start a medicinal cannabis program and in 1992 it was implemented. Today, that medical marijuana program treats over 25,000 Israeli patients with cannabis and cannabis extracts.

Dr. Mechoulam, by the way, became famous in marijuana circles and the scientific community in the 1960s. He was the man who isolated the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). He also identified CBD (cannabidiol), another incredibly potent, but not psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana plant. CBD has been shown to drastically reduce epileptic seizures, decrease pain, it is an anti-psychotic, anti-inflammatory and among other things it is an antioxidant and antiemetic.

CBD is the element that brought about the famous “turn around” of Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN. He was adamantly opposed to legalizing any part of marijuana until he did a show for CNN on marijuana. He discovered that a little girl named Charlotte Figi, was having over 300 gran mal seizures every week and couldn’t talk, walk or do anything else with her life until her parents, as a last resort, took her to Colorado, where Marijuana use was legal. They too were against the use of cannabis but when they heard that CBD in cannabis helped a patient who had similar seizures then they bought some CBD extract and gave it to Charlotte. The small doses of CBD changed her life immediately. Instead of the 300 seizures each week she had only 3 or 4 each month and they were much less severe. She now lives a normal life and Dr. Gupta is an advocate for legalized medical marijuana.

Israeli scientists who regularly do research on the effects of marijuana think they have found another breakthrough use for cannabis: the prevention of cancer. Israeli cancer patients have been using marijuana for some time to relieve pain and nausea and to stimulate their appetite. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have found that marijuana can possibly be effective in treating brain and breast cancer and also in delaying the progress and expansion of cancer cells. These are only preliminary findings and there is a lot more to look at before firm conclusions can be reached but the researchers are investigating 50 different strains of cannabis and observing their effects on over 200 types of cancer.

The Israeli research on marijuana is proving to be indispensible to patients all over the world. Thanks to Dr, Mechoulam and his associates, we in the United States can clearly see the benefits of marijuana to fight diseases, pain, seizures and many other maladies. There is, however, another party to thank for all these years of dedicated research: The United States government. That’s right, NIH (the National Institutes of Health), an official agency of the federal government, has been funding Dr, Mechoulam’s pet projects for over five decades. We were surprised when we found out also.

The NIH has been sending $100,000 to Dr, Mechoulam each and every year for his cannabis research. The amazing thing is, that with all the great results that the Israeli’s have discovered, apparently the United States government doesn’t do anything with them or cannabis would have been removed from its Schedule 1 classification long ago. We think that much of this extremely positive marijuana information has been packed and sealed into a wooden box and stamped “Top Secret” and then stored in a large warehouse somewhere and stacked next to another wooden box that contains the Holy Grail. Or…the data got lost along the way from Israel to Washington D.C. We just can’t explain it.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

The Endocannabinoid System: Our Body’s Unique System for Maintaining Health

Some scientists and researchers believe that the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the human body is one of the most important finds in recent medical history. That is saying a great deal, especially since there have been thousands of other medical breakthroughs in our time. It’s also very interesting because the endocannabinoid system was named after cannabis sativa, the marijuana plant.
Why is this system so important? The researchers who are involved in the study of this incredible network of receptors say that it has a hand in influencing many of our bodily systems such as, the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and our metabolism. They also tell us that they see great potential in the treatment of insomnia, nausea, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, obesity and other ailments through the modulation of the activity of the endocannabinoid system.
Dr. Ralph Mechoulam, an Israeli researcher, discovered the endocannabinoid system in the 1990s. He was also the scientist who identified THC as marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient. Dr. Mechoulam discovered two endocannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2). These receptors (in the nervous system and brain) are uniquely designed for accepting and distributing cannabinoids from the marijuana plant. It was also observed that the human body can produce endocannabinoids very much like the body produces its own endorphins, which cause a euphoric effect. Endocannabinoids are simply cannabinoids that we produce ourselves, inside our own bodies, and cannabinoids come from outside the body and are an important pain relieving and medicinal components in marijuana.
The receptors have different functions. When ingesting marijuana, CB1 receptors are responsible for our perception of being “high” and for the feeling of pain. When the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) reaches the CB1 receptor, the pain is diminished greatly and the “high” is experienced. CB2, on the other hand, is compatible with other cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol), which can reduce anxiety and spasms along with reducing the number of epileptic seizures a patient might have. When CBD plugs into the CB2 receptor it also works as an anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic medication among other benefits.
Most of the research on the endocannabinoid system has shown that it is indeed a very important and necessary physiological system that works in conjunction with our own endocannabinoids and with outside cannabinoids from the marijuana plant. The system’s receptors then disseminate all of the cannabinoids’ and marijuana’s healing aspects throughout the body. Research on the endocannabinoid system is ongoing in Israel and several other countries. When our government decides to take marijuana off of the dangerous drug list then more research will take place here. Until then, know that your body has an incredible system that is constantly working to keep you healthy.

What Exactly is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis?

An interesting condition known as Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome has been popping up around the country. It involves nausea and cyclical vomiting and doctors rarely know how to diagnosis the cause of the symptoms because this phenomenon is so new to the medical world.

When someone comes into the emergency room complaining about throwing up for several hours each day, the physicians immediately begin quizzing the patient about their eating and lifestyle habits. The medical professional knows from years of medical school that nausea and cyclical vomiting could be any of a number of maladies including food poisoning, stomach flu, intolerance to certain foods or even gall stones, among a host of other things. Yet even though the ailment is sitting right there in front of them doctors are seldom able to pinpoint the correct name for it: Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, or CHS.

That vomiting disorder with the funny name that sounds so much like cannabis and so often slips through the cracks of medical expertise has been unrecognizable and untreatable until now. (By the way, CHS was named after the cannabinoids in marijuana because even though researchers aren’t quite sure why this syndrome is caused by pot, they are very sure that it is). Nausea and cyclical vomiting in people with CHS is always accompanied by very hot showers or baths to alleviate the pain and the vomiting. The hot water helped ease symptoms but only temporarily. Some patients had to go back to the hospital more than ten times with still no diagnosis. Patients underwent tests of all kinds that came back with negative results. When the patients stayed in the hospital for several days, however, for dehydration due to vomiting, their symptoms went away and they felt much better.

Soon, some pretty smart doctors saw a pattern in all the patients’ behavior: Nausea, vomiting, hot showers and…marijuana. When someone thought of asking if the patient smoked marijuana that became the Bingo moment. All the patients with CHS had marijuana in common with each other. They all had long-term use of cannabis in common with each other. “No predisposing factor is known except the length of the exposure to cannabinoids, with an average of around 10 years with daily usage,” explains Omri Braver, an internal medicine physician at the Soroka Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences in Beer Sheva, Israel who has treated several cases. “There might be some other factors—but they haven’t been described yet.”

Medical experts agree that long-term chronic use (or overuse) of marijuana, especially on a daily basis, increases your chances of becoming a CHS sufferer. They simply don’t know at this time who is more prone to it than others, but the upside of all this vicious, violent vomiting is that as soon as you stop smoking marijuana your symptoms will go away. So, if you have imbibed the herb everyday for a great many years and you start to become nauseous unexpectedly, CHS may be the name for it. Set your herb aside for a day or two and you may feel a lot better.

 

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CBN & THCV: Cannabinoid Profile

Cannabinoids, as we’ve talked about in previous blogs, are chemical compounds unique to cannabis that bind with cell receptors in the brain and body and either get one ‘high’ or have some healing benefit. The two most popular cannabinoids of the over 80 so far discovered in marijuana, and the ones which have been researched the most are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

THC, the psychoactive element in the herb, is a very effective pain reliever, appetite stimulant, reduces nausea and vomiting, calms asthma attacks, relieves intraocular pressure (Glaucoma), and is a sleep inducer.

CBD is non-psychoactive (doesn’t get you high) and has been shown to be an antioxidant, antiemetic (diminishes nausea and vomiting), antipsychotic, anti-tumor (fights cancer), and the most remarkable and most talked about remedial property of CBD is its very successful use in lessening the number of epileptic seizures people have.

These two stars of the cannabinoid universe have been rightly singled out as miracle workers because of all the things that they can do for human health. However, researchers are now shining the light of science on several other here-to-for unmentioned and unknown cannabinoids for their potential medicinal attributes.

CBN (Cannabinol) is a cannabinoid that is formed when the oxidation of THC occurs. It can happen because of poor storage or through extensive handling, any process that exposes THC to UV light (ultraviolet) and oxygen in the air. CBN will also be formed at a faster rate if it is subjected to higher than normal heat temperatures. Since CBN is created from THC it has some of the basic characteristics of that most famous cannabinoid. CBN is psychoactive but with a very low potency, about 10% the strength of its cousin THC. Still, it can lower the heart rate, cause dizziness fatigue and disorientation. CBN can also attenuate (lessen) the potency of THC along with the anxiety that THC may bring with it.

The many therapeutic benefits of CBN have surprised most researchers who have been ignoring these “minor league” cannabinoids for all these years. Some of the beneficial effects of CBN are:

• Pain reliever – more effective than THC and several times stronger than aspirin.

• Anti-inflammatory

• Antispasmodic – reduces convulsions and seizures.

• Stimulates bone growth

• Lessens symptoms of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)

• Immunosuppressant – helpful in organ transplants and for treating HIV.

The other cannabinoid that has sat quietly in the shadows until now is THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin). This cannabinoid, as its name suggests, is closely related to its big brother THC, but the effects it produces are a bit different. THCV is psychoactive and it enhances the euphoric effects of THC but for a much shorter duration. It is also gives one a burst of energy and a clear-headed buzz.

Some of THCV’s medical uses are:

• It is an appetite suppressant – no munchies here – but it is good for weight loss.

• THCV is being tested on diabetes and is showing very positive signs of being able

to reduce insulin levels and regulate blood sugar in patients.

• It also appears to be able to suppress emotions and is being tested on PTSD

patients who have anxiety attacks.

• THCV stimulates bone growth.

• THCV is being tested on Alzheimer’s sufferers and it is improving brain lesions,

motor control and tremors in patients.

While these are all positive and very promising test results, there is still much work to be done in the study of cannabinoids and marijuana in general. Scientists are also coming to the conclusion that even though individual cannabinoids demonstrate marvelous medical capabilities, they are almost always more effective when they work in conjunction with other cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. That is called the entourage effect. More on that later.