How Cannabis Treats Asthma

Studies show that cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant actually protect your lungs, and relieve the constriction and discomfort of asthma.
It is estimated that one out of twelve people suffer from asthma, a chronic respiratory disease that typically becomes present during childhood. While many people experience minimal symptoms with treatment, asthma is still linked to over 3,000 deaths per year.

Naturally, many asthmatics choose to stay away from smoking cannabis for fear of exacerbating their symptoms. But contrary to popular belief, studies have shown cannabis has little to no long-term impact on the lungs. In fact, recent research is actually showing cannabis is helpful rather than harmful for asthma patients.
Cannabis opens rather than restricts the airways.
A study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics showed just how cannabinoids protect the lungs. Using guinea pigs, the researchers measured the ability of cannabinoids to inhibit bronchoconstriction. The researchers in the study specifically looked at THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, CBD-A, and THC-V cannabinoids. Surprisingly, the study revealed that THC and THC-V were the only cannabinoids to inhibit constriction, with THC being the most effective. Essentially, cannabis acts a bronchodilator rather than a bronchoconstrictor.

The results from this study are astonishing considering that bronchoconstriction is one of the biggest problem plaguing asthma sufferers. During an asthma attack, the bronchioles (air passageways in the nose and mouth) become constricted. As a result, the rate of oxygen flow is severely restricted. But as this study suggests, cannabis helps to open up these airways. Several other studies have also shown that cannabis improves bronchoconstriction while resting and during an asthma attack.

Dr. Rachel Knox, co-founder of The Canna MDS and current Medical Chair of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, talked to Green Flower about the plant’s efficacy for asthma patients. She says:

“THC is actually a very potent bronchodilator and that’s exactly what we need when we’re treating asthma. When we are suffering from an asthma attack, those bronchioles are squeezing on themselves, making it very hard to breathe. Well, enter THC. It opens those bronchioles right up and we can breathe better.”

Cannabis possesses powerful anti-inflammatory effects
how-cannabis-treats-asthma-cannabinoids-crystals
These mushroom-shaped crystals are the trichomes, which contain most of the plant’s active cannabinoids.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the lungs’ airways. Essentially, this inflammation of the air passages causes a temporary narrowing of the lungs, which reduces the amount of oxygen carried throughout the body. For asthma sufferers, this makes breathing difficult, to say the least.

However, inflammation is not only present during an asthma attack but also when resting. Low-level inflammation can also be found in bronchi and bronchioles of asthma sufferers. And when an asthma attack does occur, inflammation increases further. In severe cases, inflammation can even cause total loss of breath.

Cannabis is a well-known anti-inflammatory, interacting with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, including the lungs. For example, a study in the journal Mediators of Inflammation revealed that the cannabinoid CBD contains potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory responses. In addition, the findings also showed that CBD reduces mucus hypersecretion – a hallmark characteristic of asthma. While the study has not yet been replicated on humans, the researchers concluded CBD could be a powerful treatment for asthma as it regulates exaggerated inflammatory responses in the body.

Cannabis reduces muscle spasticity
how-cannabis-treats-asthma-alpha-pinene
Alpha-Pinene is a terpene found in specific strains of cannabis. It is also found in the oils of many coniferous trees, like the pine tree, and is also found in rosemary essential oil.
Bronchospasm, otherwise known as bronchial spasms, are a sudden constriction of the muscles in the lungs. Causing difficulty in breathing, reactions range from mild to severe. For those with asthma, this likely comes as no surprise. Bronchospasms are a hallmark symptom of the condition.

But cannabis has shown to be incredibly effective for alleviating, and even eliminating muscle spasms. How is this possible? By relaxing the muscles in the lungs, the airways expand, allowing for an increase in airflow. According to Dr. Jessica Knox, it has to do with two components in specific cannabis strains – CBD and alpha-pinene. Knox says:

“Alpha-pinene and CBD have some muscle spasm relief effect which is crucial to hitting those bronchial muscles and helping them relax so that you can breathe better.”

A study in 2014 also indicated cannabis’ effectiveness for alleviating muscle spasms in the lungs. In fact, the researchers believe this mechanism may explain the acute bronchodilation (expansion of the bronchial air passages in the respiratory tract) produced when ingesting cannabis.

Cannabis alleviates asthma-related pain

An asthma attack may not only cause difficulty in breathing, it can also be painful.
While pain is not a primary symptom associated with asthma, over 75% of people who experience an asthma attack also experience chest pain. For those with severe forms of asthma, this pain can be uncomfortable and even debilitating.

However, it is important to note though that there are no pain receptors in the lungs. Asthma sufferers primarily experience pain because they are unable to breath properly. When normal airflow is interrupted, additional stress is placed on accessory muscles such as the sternocleidomastoid and scalene. During an asthma attack, these muscles must contract to help expand the ribcage. Because there is additional stress on these muscles, asthma sufferers often experience pain. This is primarily due to the fact that these muscles are rarely (if ever) used for normal breathing. It is essentially the same principle that applies after a tough workout for the first time. When a muscle is worked that has not been used, pain ensues.

While there have yet to be any studies that specifically address whether or not cannabis is effective at treating asthma-related pain, we do know that cannabis can reduce pressure and muscle spasticity in the lungs. This in turn allows for better airflow, causing less stress on accessory muscles. Not to mention the numerous studies indicating the powerful pain-relieving effects of cannabis.

Best method for treating asthma with cannabis?
how-cannabis-treats-asthma-vaporizing
Vaporizing is much gentler on the system and can deliver the medication without increasing irritation.
The positive impact of cannabis for asthma patients is evident. However, many asthma suffers are still hesitant to try cannabis. After all, isn’t smoking cannabis the last thing someone with asthma should do?

While studies as early as the 1970s suggest smoking cannabis widens rather than restricts the airways, thanks to modern technology, there are more treatment options than ever before.

One of those options is vaporization. Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading medical cannabis physician, finds that vaporizing cannabis is a highly effective solution for asthma patients. Dr. Sulak says this is because a good vaporizer provides superior temperature control:

“Probably 90% of people with asthma can take a single vaporize inhalation… If they do it right, they’re going to be able to breathe deeper, expand their lungs, and relieve constriction.”

Dr. Sulak recommends a daily dosing to get a baseline level of medication in your system for better overall asthma control.

For quick onset relief, such as in the case of an asthma attack, he recommends a tincture or vaporizer. These are much gentler on the system and can deliver the medication without increasing irritation.

Above all, Dr. Sulak suggests that patients listen to their bodies. “It’s very important to realize that your body talks to you. So if you are using a vaporizer as a method to treat your asthma and it’s causing you to cough or worsening your symptoms, vaporizing may not be for you,” he adds. In those cases, Dr. Sulak recommends an edible or tincture (best administered sublingually).

Source: The Green Flower

Medical Marijuana and Acute Pain Study

A new study is being conducted by Dr. Fenney out of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical center in Hartford Connecticut. The trial is state funded and will compare opioids and medical marijuana for treating acute pain, (ie a broken bone)

There are studies that suggest that medical marijuana is effective for chronic pain, which is pain that continues after an injury should have healed. Dr. Feeney wants to test marijuana for acute pain, where opioids have long been the drug of choice for physicians.
“The big focus from my standpoint is that this is an attempt to end the opioid epidemic,” he says. Overdoses from opioids, killed more than 30,000 people in 2015.
Schedule 1 Status

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which makes it very difficult for researchers to study. Scientists first have to apply for a license from the DEA, which can take years and the only available supply for researchers is the government’s marijuana grow facility at the University of Missipipi, which has limited supplies.

Feeney’s research on acute pain is able to get around the issues associated with marijuana’s scheduling. Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Connecticut. Instead of directly supplying the patients with marijuana, a doctor certifies a patient to use marijuana, and the patient then picks it up at a dispensary or pharmacy.

“The strains I have to select from are so pure and so potent that the stuff they get from the University of Mississippi pales in comparison,” says Feeney.
The trial includes 60 patients with rib injuries in total—30 on marijuana, 30 on opioids. Because of the study’s design, patients get to choose whether they use opioids and marijuana to control pain. So far, the hospitals have enrolled a quite a few patients. They’ve all chosen marijuana.

More Studies

Dan Clauw, who runs the pain lab at the University of Michigan, and his colleagues published a survey of patients who started using medical marijuana to alleviate pain. They cut their previous opioid use by two-thirds.

“They felt a lot better when their pain was being controlled by cannabis rather opioids because opioids have a lot of side effects,” he says. “Those side effects include dizziness, constipation, sexual dysfunction and—in the case of overdoses—breathing problems. That’s because opioids receptors are also in the brainstem, the part of the brain that regulates breathing. Marijuana acts on a different set of receptors.”

Source: Medical Marijuana 411.

CHEW HEMP PROTEIN BAR

Ingrediends:

Dry
1½ cup hemp protein powder, chocolate flavor (or original just add more cocoa)
½ cup hemp seeds shelled
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup walnuts, ground into a coarse flour
½ cup pumpkin seeds, whole
¼ cup chia seeds, ground
¼ cup dried mulberries
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
2 tablespoons spirulina powder
¼ teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
dash of ground cinnamon
Wet
1½-2 cups dates, about 20 pitted
½ cup dried tart cherries
5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 heaping tablespoon almond butter
½ cup water (start with ¼ and add gradually)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
Dry
Coarsely grind walnuts and chia seeds. Pour into a large mixing bowl and combine all remaining dry ingredients (hemp powder, seeds, cocoa, pumpkin seeds, mulberries, cacao nibs, and seasonings). Set aside.
Wet
Combine all wet ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. This mixture is very thick and sticky so you’ll need a powerful kitchen appliance or mix in small batches. Start with ¼ cup of water in this mixture.
Pour wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl with dry ingredients. This is where you can adjust the water and pay close attention to how much you use.
Using your hands (the best tools for this!), massage and combine the mixture until everything has come together to form a large ball.
If the mixture gets too wet, simply add more cocoa or hemp protein powder. If the mixture isn’t wet enough, try adding more coconut oil or a few more dates. The desired texture is a thick, chewy, sticky bar.
In a 8×8 or 9×9 inch parchment lined pan, evenly spread the protein bar mixture into the pan. Using your hands and fingertips firmly press the mixture into an even layer until it’s even and smooth on top.
Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Cut into small pieces or 12 whole bars.
Keep some for later in the freezer by wrapping individually in clear wrap or keep in the fridge for later use that week.

Enjoy

Hemp: how one little plant could boost America’s economy

Image a plant that cuts cholesterol, reduces our exposure to toxins, can ease joint inflammation, proves more durable than concrete, and can provide the economy with much-needed jobs for farmers and manufacturers. This wonder of the world exists – it’s hemp. But it is illegal to grow in America.
Hemp and marijuana both are cannabis plants – in fact, both are cannabis sativa. Hemp, however, contains virtually no THC (the psychoactive ingredient in pot), so smoking it will not get you stoned. Yet industrial hemp has endured 80 years of purgatory and prohibition at the hands of the government.
Hemp has been hailed as the little plant that could for centuries – for making fabric, rope, sails, paper and canvas. Hemp plants require less chemical spraying than cotton, soy, corn and wheat. It can help reduce soil degradation by faring better with less water and in drier climates. Paper made from hemp could help reduce deforestation, and requires fewer chemicals for processing than wood pulp. Hemp fabric has antibacterial qualities that can help it fight staph infections in hospitals.
That’s not all. Hemp seeds and oils offer more and better proteins than soy, along with the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats compared with other oils. The cannabinoids (CBD) in hemp can reduce inflammation and may even protect against anxiety and depression, seizures and brain injuries, according to recent studies.
Former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer became a promoter of hemp in general after he discovered that CBD oil from hemp alleviated headaches and post-football aches. If he was still playing, however, he’d be forbidden from using it. “We need to change the perceptions about hemp,” he says, adding that he’d love to see the stodgy NFL “lead that charge” by funding research into the oil’s benefits. “The NFL needs to help get players off prescription meds as much as possible, and hemp could help.”
A political battle
America already safely consumes $580m worth of products made from imported hemp every year – from milk to T-shirts to soaps. Yet because it has been illegal to import or cultivate seeds, the farming, processing and manufacturing jobs associated with hemp belong to the 30 countries growing it, from Canada to France to China.
“We are the only industrialized nations not to allow it,” says Joseph Yost, a Republican member of Virginia’s state legislature and hemp supporter, who points out that hemp could replace tobacco as a cash crop and bring back some of the manufacturing jobs that have left his state.
But after years of lobbying, Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp and executive director of the Hemp Industries Association, says efforts to legalize it are having an impact. The first breakthrough came in 2014, when Congress allowed for hemp to be grown for research purposes in states that permitted it. In 2016, 9,649 acres of hemp were planted across 15 states, and 30 universities conducted research on the crop. It allowed skeptical legislators to see the plant’s potential up close, and “helped demystify it for some”, Steenstra says.
The next, more politically daunting, step is persuading Congress to remove hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, where it was added by Richard Nixon’s administration.
“Only kneejerk drug warriors are still against hemp and every month that becomes increasingly more absurd,” says David Bronner, CEO of Dr Bronner’s, the popular health product company. Bronner positioned his company as an ardent backer of the cause. “I never dreamed the process of making it legal to grow hemp would take this long,” he said.
Growing and dissent
Alex White Plume, a former tribal president of the Oglala Sioux, began trying to grow hemp nearly two decades ago but was repeatedly persecuted by the federal government. He recently returned to South Dakota from the Standing Rock pipeline protests and equates the two struggles. “They are exactly the same,” he says. “We need to heal the earth and hemp can be used to replace many of the things we use today that [are harmful].”
In 1998, White Plume realized hemp could help break the Pine Ridge reservation’s cycle of deep poverty. He persuaded the tribe to legally adopt an ordinance differentiating between industrial hemp and marijuana, and thought tribal sovereignty would protect him from federal incursions.
His family researched the farming and business side – he envisioned as many as a dozen different businesses arising from the different parts of the hemp plant – and in 2000 they planted the crop not far from Wounded Knee Creek. “The Bureau of Indian Affairs had long tried to turn us into farmers, and I thought hemp was the way to do it,” White Plume says.
Then US officials showed up with guns, bulletproof vests … and weed-whackers. They decimated his plants. White Plume tried again in 2001 and 2002, until the government got an injunction against him for growing hemp without DEA permission. Despite help from Vote Hemp, White Plume says he nearly went broke appealing and still lost the case.
“It is awful and oppressive,” White Plume says. “The state won’t do diddly squat for our people but the government comes in and takes away my plants.”
Vote Hemp – backed by money from Bronner – recently hired a new lawyer and last year a federal judge finally lifted the federal court order. White Plume, 65, is still not allowed to grow hemp, but can now be paid to consult on hemp projects in other states.
“The whole thing makes me angry,” says White Plume, who adds that he no longer has the energy to become a hemp mogul but that his sister and daughter are developing business plans. “The United States should honor the treaties and our sovereignty.”
Ryan Loflin, a Colorado alfalfa and sorghum farmer, followed White Plume’s footsteps. In 2013, he planted 60 acres of hemp without government permission as an activist statement. “This is a political movement,” he says.
Loflin got media coverage, successfully daring the government to step in. “It was just time for this to happen,” Loflin says. “My community has been struggling for 30 years and lost a lot of farms but hemp can be beneficial to society and valuable to my community.”
A long political battle
Hemp’s demise traces back to the 1937 Marihuana Act, which imposed taxes and bureaucratic burdens on farmers. The culprit was the First Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner, Harry Anslinger, whose department needed a worthy project when alcohol was legalized.
“After Prohibition politicians needed their next new enemy to fight against,” says Dan Ratner, co-founder of Healthy Brands Collective, which owns the Tempt line of hemp-based food products. Ratner believes that the DuPont company (which made nylon, a new rival for hemp) and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (who owned many paper and timber interests) slandered hemp by playing up its cannabis roots, but it’s also plausible that hemp got accidentally caught up due to indifference and misunderstanding.
During the second world war, with Filipino imports cut off by Japan and the war machine desperate for hemp products such as tow lines, parachutes and aviation lubricant, the government produced a short film called Hemp For Victory, encouraging farmers to return to the plant; with federal aid thousands of acres of hemp were grown. Afterward, hemp faded back into obscurity until 1970 when Nixon put marijuana on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act – and industrial hemp was again lumped in with it.
Yost, who sponsored a Virginia bill legalizing hemp, says years of educational efforts have made inroads. These days, both Steenstra and Bronner are optimistic about legalization, thanks to changing perceptions and the demand for farming and manufacturing jobs.
“Outsourcing American jobs is not a popular concept right now,” adds Polis. “There’s so much potential for the economy it would be crazy not to move forward,” Steenstra says, adding that it is also a states’ rights issue that should appeal to conservatives.
He says Iowa senator Charles Grassley, the judiciary committee chair, has repeatedly bottled up hemp bills to prevent a vote but Bronner says Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky see the crop’s commercial potential and have been “amazing champions who may finally liberate hemp”.
Legalization is just the first step. “We need infrastructure,” Bronner says, so hemp can be processed and manufactured on a large scale. Legalization will attract investors and banks but supporters also hope for government grants and subsidies to create a market for hemp.
Loflin, the Colorado farmer, agrees: “We need to build this industry from the ground up.”
Source : The Guardian

Apple Tarte With Hemp Seed Crumb Topping

Ingredients :

For the crust:
1 1/2 cup Jeanne’s all purpose gluten free flour mix (or same amount of all purpose flour if not gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
110 gr cold butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup cold milk beaten with 1 egg yolk

For the apples:
2 tablespoons (15gr) granulated sugar
zest of half a lemon
2-3 medium apples (I used 3 medium winesap apples)

For the hemp seed topping:
1/4 cup Jeanne’s all purpose gluten free flour mix (or same quantity regular flour)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, super cold
3 tablespoons raw hemp seeds

Creme fraiche or whippped cream to serve (optional)

Method :
For the crust:In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, and salt on medium speed until well-combined. Slowly add sugar and flour and mix well. Add the egg yolk /milk mixture and mix until incorporated. Shape dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Place the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick round.
Place in a 9-inch tart pan, trim the edges. Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate 30 minutes up to 2 hours. (you can even freeze the dough in the tart pan at this point and let thaw in the fridge overnight when you are ready).

Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.

For the apples:
In a small bowl, rub together the sugar and lemon zest so that the citrus natural oils can flavor the sugar.
peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Arrange loosely in the tart pan.

Prepare the crisp topping:
In a medium bowl, combine with your fingertips or a pastry blender the flour, sugar, butter and hemp seeds until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Spread over the apple.

Bake tart for 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool to room temp and serve with generous dollops of creme fraiche or whipped cream.
Enjoy