Medical Marijuana and Chronic Back Pain

Chronic Back Pain is one of the most common illnesses seen by physicians. Almost everyone has back pain at some time in their adult life. Back pain occurs most commonly between the ages of 30 and 50 due to the aging process and due to a more sedentary lifestyle that begins in this age group. The pain can be neuropathic or nociceptive. Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to a nerve. This kind of pain is felt as a sharp stabbing or burning. Nociceptive pain is caused by disease to the tissues outside of the nerves. It is felt as a dull ache or sense of pressure. Examples of these kinds of pain are a pinched nerve (neuropathic pain), and arthritis (nociceptive pain). It is frequent for patients to have both types of pain at once, called mixed pain.

Fifty percent of patients with back pain have experienced some type of trauma, such as a sports injury or motor vehicle accident. But the other fifty percent have no known cause of their back pain. Most patients who seek care for their back pain will undergo some type of evaluation that may include x-rays, CT scan, and/or MRI; occasionally some patients will have a myelogram (dye injected into the spinal cord area followed by x-rays) or bone scan (dye injected into the blood which will then concentrate in an abnormal area of bone). Many times no obvious cause of the pain is found.

Patients who have acute back pain will often improve or recover in six to eight weeks. Patients with acute pain occurring more than three times in one year or who experience longer episodes of back pain that interfere with daily activities (e.g., sleeping, sitting, standing, walking, bending, riding in or driving a car) are more likely to develop a chronic back condition. Sometimes these chronic back pain patients will have pain, numbness or tingling in their legs. Some patients with chronic pain do not respond to conventional therapy and have to find a way to live with their pain. Physicians have found that living with chronic pain is extremely difficult and can lead to opioid dependency (addiction), anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

The Treatment of Choice

Medical marijuana is increasingly becoming the treatment of choice for many chronic back pain patients. Conventional treatment therapies such as over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications – NSAIDS – (such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or aspirin) can be helpful but can cause side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, gastric bleeding, and ulcers. Prescription medications like other NSAIDS (like Celebrex) or opiates (like Vicodin or Norco) can be effective at treating pain but can also cause many adverse and unacceptable side effects. The addictive potential of opiates is very concerning to patients who struggle with chronic pain and need relief; it is this concern that leads patients to consider using medical marijuana, a very effective treatment for chronic back pain.

In 1975, scientists began studying THC in cancer patients and found that it was a very effective pain reliever without significant or toxic side effects. Other studies followed and the conclusion was the same: marijuana safely and effectively treats chronic pain with little to no side effects. No nausea, no stomach upset, no ulcers, no addiction – many patients jokingly only refer to an increased appetite (”munchies”) the only “bad” side effect. Marijuana side effects of elevated mood, improved sleep, and reduced anxiety are welcomed by most patients and considered beneficial to having a good quality of life when you suffer daily with chronic pain.

How can medical marijuana help your chronic back pain?

You will reduce or eliminate pain, allowing you to continue being active
You will reduce or eliminate the use of potentially addictive medications or dangerous medication side effects
You will reduce or eliminate the anxiety, depression, and insomnia associated with chronic pain
You will feel better knowing that you are using a natural treatment for the pain
You will have better quality of life
Evidence for Medical Marijuana

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued an evidence-based report on medical marijuana. It listed conditions that may be helped by cannabinoids, including neuropathic pain, acute pain, spinal cord injury, post operative pain, cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, nausea and appetite control among others.

The report says that discovery of a cannabinoid receptor in the parts of the nervous system that detect and control pain perception means that marijuana is a very promising source of pain relieving medications in the future.

The IOM found that cannabinoids are capable of giving mild to moderate pain relief comparable to codeine. In one study cited in the report, 10 milligrams of THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) yielded the same amount of pain relief as 60 milligrams of codeine. Side effects were similar with both drugs, but the THC seemed to be more sedating than the codeine. The patients taking the THC reported a greater sense of well-being and less anxiety.

The IOM also found that by combining cannabinoids with an opioid, the opioid may work better. This may decrease the dose of addictive narcotics needed to control pain.

Source: Medical Marijuana

HEMP – A SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

“Every generation faces a challenge. In the 1930s, it was the creation of Social Security. In the 1960s, it was putting a man on the moon. In the 1980s, it was ending the Cold War. Our generation’s challenge will be addressing global climate change while sustaining a growing global economy.” – Eileen Clausen, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Fossil fuel consumption, and our meat industry can be considered the most responsible for climate change. Around 80% of the CO2 being added to the atmosphere each year currently comes directly from the burning of natural gas, and coal and oil deposits. Agriculture is another significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock. One pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water for the growing of food and the rearing of the livestock.

While the nation states will be debating what can be done to control the situation, there is a simple solution that is being ignored and dismissed due to the politics behind it, and that is the awesome properties and power of the Cannabis plant.

“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and prosperity of the nation” — Thomas Jefferson.

Super Crop

Hemp can be considered a ‘super-crop’ that has been grown worldwide for at least 12,000 years. It is one of the most prolific, versatile and powerful bio-tools available to humanity to meet the enormous challenges of sustainability, climate change, environmental degradation and the destruction of eco-systems.

There are more than 25,000 known uses for hemp. It produces food, fibre, fuel and has unique medicinal properties. One hectare of hemp can produce as much usable fibre as four hectares of trees, or two hectares of cotton. It is the world’s most versatile natural product, potentially replacing wood, cotton, and petroleum products, including plastics.

Hemp grows in a short, flexible, summer window of the annual crop cycle and grows in diverse climates and soil types. It does not require pesticides or herbicides, as it grows tightly spaced, out-growing and blocking out weeds. This leaves a weed-free field for follow on crops while simultaneously conditioning and securing topsoil.

The Billion Dollar Crop

It was considered the ‘billion dollar crop’ by Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1937 before the USA began its campaign to suppress the hemp industry. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. In 1942 when US sources of “Manila hemp,” (a genus of the banana plant), were cut off by the Japanese in WWII, the US Army and US Department of Agriculture promoted the “Hemp for Victory” campaign to grow hemp in the US.

Hemp As Bio-Fuel

According to the IPCC between ten and fifteen percent of total global cropland is available for biomass production specifically for energy and transport. The greatest advantage of hemp cultivation, as a method of climate change mitigation, is the comparative ease with which it could be integrated into the existing fossil fuel economy.

With the ability to be grown at all but the very coldest latitudes, hemp could form the basis of an internationally distributed yet locally produced fuel industry. Hemp-based ethanol would not only be a complementary product to the oil economy (combining ethanol with gasoline increases quality of gasoline and produces significant environmental benefits), but could also be used as a direct replacement because it can be used with existing technologies.

It is also the only biomass crop that can add to the food production of land rather than replacing food production, as other biofuel crops, such as corn, triggered global food riots.

Solution to Agro Forestry

Hemp cultivation is 400% more efficient at CO2 absorption than agro-forestry per land use. Its rapid growth rate means it can provide the industrial quantities of biomass required in our modern society. Hemp can be processed into multiple sustainable raw materials solutions to suit the needs of local communities wherever it is grown, and save and preserve remaining forest resources and biodiversity.

Hemp is far less vulnerable to changes in climate, compared to slow and medium growth forests. It also shares many of the biochemical characteristics of hardwood and several metric tons of wood can be produced in a hectare, annually or bi-annually in hotter climates.

Growing hemp on deforested hillsides prevents landslides, run-off, and also prepares land for future crops or tree planting. In addition, it requires low-intensive management and can effectively replace all the goods and services traditionally supplied by depleted forest resources including fuel and shelter.

Water Efficient

An industrial hemp crop (80ha), planted in Nicaragua primarily for seed, survived Hurricane Mitch more or less intact due to its long tap roots and intricate root structures that held the plants securely to each other and the land. Over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids collectively serve to repel insects, improve water use efficiency, prevent water loss and also protect the plant from excessive UV-B radiation.

Compared to cotton that requires about 1400 gallons of water for every pound of produce, hemp requires half that or even less and produces 200-250% more fibre on the same amount of land. The Aral Sea in Russia, once the world’s fourth largest inland lake with a thriving healthy ecosystem is now only 15% of it’s original size due to the cotton industry and the heavy use of pesticides and herbicides. Hemp in comparison, aerates the land, rejuvenates soil, needs no herbicides or pesticides, and creates a thriving ecosystem.

Hemp as Food

Hemp protein contains all twenty-one known amino acids, including the eight essential ones adult bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and ratios to meet the body’s needs.

It can supply any diet with a vegetarian source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, chlorophyll, and a complete, balanced gluten-free source of the essential amino acids.

Versatile

Hemp is so versatile because, it is seasonal, it increases the nutritional output of the land, it increases yields from other crops in the rotation cycle, and bio-remediates and protects soil, while providing highly useful, versatile biomass and sustainable, biodegradable end products.

The Cannabis plant has been suppressed by the dominating industries that see it as a threat to their monopoly, such steel, pharmaceuticals, cotton, petroleum, plastics and construction. However, it can no longer be ignored as the global environmental crisis we are facing is much greater than the need to profit these unsustainable and destructive industries.

How much longer are we going to sit back and watch our planet go up in smoke while one of the major solutions, Cannabis remains relegated to the sidelines…? it’s time for a Hemp Revolution…

Source: Rebekah Shaman

Cannabis Topicals: A Beginner’s Guide

Cannabis topicals have been steadily increasing in popularity over the years, and for good reason. When used on the skin, cannabis-infused products like lotions and creams can have many benefits.

The main advantage of using cannabis topically is that you do not experience any psychological effects. Topicals are also incredibly easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

It’s as simple as rubbing a topical product onto any area that might be in pain, including sore muscles post-workout, itchiness from skin conditions such as eczema or even joint pain from arthritis.

If you’ve ever wanted to get the medicinal benefits of cannabis without the “getting high” part, topicals might be the answer you’re looking for.

What are Cannabis Topicals?

Cannabis topicals are products like lotions, salves and oils made for external use, and are most often used to treat inflammation, pain and skin conditions.
When used on the skin, the effect of cannabis is localized to the area of application, unlike the widespread effect when it is eaten or smoked. Another key difference between topicals and other forms of cannabis is that topicals do not produce a mental high.

“If you have tennis elbow and your elbow hurts, you can eat a cannabis brownie and it’ll go through your digestive system and enter your bloodstream and reach all parts of your body,” explains Ramona Rubin, founder of the topical cannabis company Doc Green’s in California.

“Or you can rub lotion on your elbow where it hurts and almost instantaneously you get a localized effect—very quickly and very effectively, and without any psychoactive effect.”

Different forms of cannabis topicals have been used throughout history. In early Indian medicine, for instance, cannabis was mixed with other ingredients to make a surgical anesthetic.

According to the East West School of Planetary Herbology, other ancient examples include a Tibetan treatment for itchy skin and traditional Arabic remedies for skin ailments and hair growth.

Despite being one of the safest and easiest methods of using cannabis, topicals are also one of the lesser known and utilized.

“The prohibition mentality has shifted things,” Rubin says. “I think we’ve forgotten a lot of the common uses. So we see what we do as a big education campaign. [Topicals are] one of the first forms of cannabis people should be exposed to.”

How Do Topicals Work?

When topicals are used, the chemicals from cannabis are absorbed through the skin and garner a response from the endocannabinoid system, a biological system that helps regulate many of the body’s functions.

Cannabinoids are the chemicals that activate our endocannabinoid system. They include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other compounds found in the cannabis plant.

CB1 and CB2 Receptors

We have cannabinoid receptors throughout our body that receive these chemical signals.

“The body contains two main cannabinoid receptors: CB1, the psychoactive receptor that also mediates pain and many other functions, and CB2, a non-psychoactive receptor that mediates pain and inflammation,” says Ethan Russo, MD, a cannabinoid researcher and the former president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society(ICRS).

“Both are operative in the skin and affect pain, itch and inflammation associated with many dermatological conditions.”

CB1 and CB2 receptors are abundant in our skin’s epidermal cells and sensory nerves, according to a study in the Journal of Dermatological Science. They are also found on mast cells, which are linked to inflammatory and allergic responses.

When topicals are applied, cannabinoids bind to the receptors in the skin, muscle tissue and local nerves. THC binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the skin, says Dr. Russo.

CBD does not work by binding to CB1 receptors, but rather by inhibiting production of the enzyme that breaks down an important endocannabinoid called anandamide, thus allowing that therapeutic neurotransmitter to flourish.

Non-Psychoactive Effect

“THC and CBD work through independent mechanisms in a complementary fashion,” says Dr. Russo. “Both work well on the skin, but are poorly absorbed via this route.”

This is why topicals work differently in the body than cannabis that is eaten or inhaled, producing a targeted, localized effect on the afflicted area and not resulting in the user becoming stoned.

“The skin is a difficult barrier to broach with medications,” Dr. Russo explains. “There are layers that require a drug to be water-soluble and others that must be lipid (fat) soluble. Cannabinoids are lipophilic (fat-loving) and do not penetrate readily into the bloodstream.”

For THC to have a psychoactive effect, it needs to enter the bloodstream and pass the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain.

A study published in the journal Forensic Science International found that THC does not show up in blood or urine tests after consistent use of THC-based topical products.

Types of Cannabis Topicals

Topicals come in many forms, including body lotions, salves, balms, oils, body sprays, and transdermal gels and patches. They can be made with CBD, THC, or THCA (the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw plants).

The most common types of topicals are fat-based products like oils and salves, or alcohol-based products, such as lotions and tinctures.

Extraction Process

Heating methods, such as a process called decarboxylation, are typically used to heat and activate the THC in cannabis. However, some brands—like Doc Green’s—opt for a raw, heat-free extraction method.

Doc Green’s Healing Cream uses an ethanol, pure alcohol extraction. Its CannaBalm, which is about five times as potent, is made from a CO2 concentrate.

“Carbon dioxide is a gas in the air at normal temperatures and pressures, and when it’s warmed and pressurized it goes from a gas state to something more like a liquid state,” Rubin says of the process.

In this “supercritical CO2 state,” it acts as a solvent on the cannabis—passing through the plant material, dissolving the cannabinoids, terpenes, resinous compounds, polyphenols, and more, before passing into another chamber where the CO2 is restored to a gas form.

“You’re leaving behind the chlorophyll, the ligands, and the plant structural elements, and getting a very pure, very clean, concentrated resin of the cannabis medicine,” explains Rubin.

Another benefit of using raw THCA is that there is no cannabis smell in the end product.

Popular Brands/Products

The topicals market is expanding, and Doc Green’s is joined by popular brands including Colorado’s Mary’s Medicinals, which is best known for its transdermal patches and transdermal gel pens that offer a slow, constant release of cannabinoids.

The company offers CBD and CBN-based products which are non-psychoactive. The THC versions of these products, on the other hand, do have a psychoactive effect.

Other popular brands include Whoopi & Maya (Whoopi Goldberg’s line of products aimed at relieving menstrual pain), Veda Balm, Mary Jane’s Medicinals, and HerbaBuena, in the Bay Area.

Although topicals are non-psychotropic, they are still largely treated like other cannabis products under the law. As such, availability and legal status depend on the laws in the state/country in which they are being sold.

Legalization in the U.S. would likely boost the use of topicals. In a survey, 79 percent of American Herbal Guild members said they would use cannabis clinically if federal law didn’t prohibit it.

Benefits and Uses of Topicals

Alicia Rose, with HerbaBuena, says the company has found THC to be most helpful for pain relief and THCA for fighting inflammation.

During the decarboxylating process, THCA becomes THC. Rubin, with Doc Green’s, explains that THCA products are still medicinally active, even though they are not psychoactive.

“They are so amazingly versatile,” Rubin says, adding that customers use Doc Green’s for treating injuries, aches, pains, cramps, spasms, sore muscles, headaches, insect bites and stings, pain from gout, menstrual cramps, and more.

Research on the efficacy and mechanization of topicals is lacking due to cannabis’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug in the United States and its status as only medicinally legal in Canada.

While a spike in this research in recent years has demonstrated the promising health potential of topical cannabis, there is still, in Rubin’s words, “a real need for more research and understanding.”

Studies on Cannabis Topicals

Existing research has focused on their potential for treating inflammation, pain and uncomfortable skin conditions (such as psoriasis and dermatitis).

A study on THC’s use for allergic inflammation out of the University of Bonn’s Department of Dermatology and Allergy concluded that cannabinoids should be “harnessed …for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.”

A 2009 study published in the journal Experimental Dermatology found that cannabinoids “seem to have immunosuppressive properties and could be considered as potential anti-inflammatory drugs.”

Additionally, the researchers concluded that topically administered cannabis has potential for its antipruritic (anti-itching) effect and pain relief.

“On the basis of the current knowledge, therapeutic possibilities of cannabinoid usage in skin diseases seem to be unquestionable,” wrote the study’s authors. “Possibly, in the future, cannabinoids will be widely applied to treat pruritus, inflammatory skin diseases and even skin cancers.”

According to the organization Americans for Safe Access, in addition to pain relief and reducing inflammation, “anecdotal reports on topical treatment efficacy” include superficial wounds, herpes, hemorrhoids, menstrual pains, migraine pain and more.

For links to additional studies, see MJCreams.ca’s list.

How To Use Cannabis Topicals

Topicals should be used as directed on a product-by-product basis, but, generally, they can be used liberally and often because there is no risk of overuse or abuse.

Doc Green’s recommends new users start with a small fingertip of its Healing Cream to gauge how much they need.

The effects last one to four hours, but Rubin says it can be reapplied as much as needed thanks to “a complete lack of side effects”—unless you count “very soft skin” as a side effect.

Since every person’s endocannabinoid system is unique, reactions may vary.

“Each person has an endocannabinoid tone that is a function of the number of cannabinoid receptors, levels of endocannabinoids, and prior experience with cannabinoids drugs, if any,” explains Dr. Russo, the researcher and former ICRS president. “On the skin, they may also have different reactions.”

Many cannabis lotions, oils and balms are made with a variety of other essential oils and ingredients. With this in mind, people with allergies and sensitive skin should take caution when trying a new topical.

Additionally, people with sensitivity or allergic reactions to airborne plant pollens may develop hives or itchy skin from contact with cannabis. Individuals who cannot use alcohol-containing products should avoid those made with pure alcohol extracts.

For everyone else, Rubin says the most important directive for using topicals is to remember to use them. Rose, of HerbaBuena, gives similar advice: “Use them liberally when and where it hurts.”

Source : Laef Science

BANANA & BERRY HEMP SEED PUDDING

Ingredients :

2 just ripe (not overripe) bananas, peeled (if too ripe, the flavor can be overwhelming)
2 cups (300 g) organic berries
2 Tbsp (30 ml) light coconut milk (or almond milk)
optional: maple syrup or pitted dates to taste
2 Tbsp (20 g) hemp seeds*
2 Tbsp (24 g) chia seeds
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Method :
Add bananas, berries, and coconut milk to a food processor and mix to combine. Then taste and adjust sweetness if needed, adding either maple syrup or pitted dates (optional) and blending to combine.
Next add hemp seeds, chia seeds, and cinnamon (see photo), and pulse to combine. Transfer to 3-4 serving dishes (I love these ones from World Market).
Cover and refrigerate to chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Enjoy

Cherry Hemp Breakfast Pudding

Ingredients :

1 cup of Coconut Milk1 bag of frozen dark cherries
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1 tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp chia seeds

Method:
Pour the bag of cherries and the can of coconut milk into a small pot.
Heat on low for 5 minutes to melt the cherries
Puree mixture with a hand/immersion blender
Pour into 4 ramekins and cover
Chill in refrigerator overnight

Enjoy

CHERRY HEMP SMOOTHIE

Ingredients :

1 large organic apple (or 2 small), peeled, cored, and chopped

1 large organic pear, peeled, cored, and chopped

2 organic celery stalks, chopped

1 lb. bag frozen organic cherries

1 frozen banana, chopped

3 tbsp raw shelled hemp seeds, plus more for topping

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

water or coconut water, as needed

unsweetened dried cherries, for topping

Method :

In a large blender, blend apple, pear, celery, and lemon juice with enough water to roughly combine the ingredients. Add the hemp seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, frozen cherries, and frozen banana. Blend until fully incorporated, adding water as needed.

Evenly distribute the smoothie between two 16 oz. jars or glasses (you may have some leftover) and top each smoothie with a teaspoon of hemp seeds and a small handful of dried cherries.

Enjoy

Source : Veggies & Gin

Cannabis for Osteoporosis Prevention

Osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) is a degenerative bone disorder characterized by progressive loss of bone tissue followed by multiple, pathological fractures and related disabilities. Brittle bone disease is comparatively more prevalent in elderly women than in elderly men, possibly due to hormonal causes. Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. suffer with osteoporosis, and nearly 34 million people are at risk of developing this bone disease.

At present, bisphosphonates are the approved medications to prevent and treat osteoporosis. To treat osteoporosis, those afflicted with osteoporosis have to suffer moderate to serious side effects of these drugs, which include esophageal inflammation, nausea, abnormal heart beat, and even bone damage of the jaw. Even if someone is ready to tolerate these side effects, apparently there are no treatment benefits in the long run. Yes, after five years or so, the patient runs the risk of developing brittle bones or related bone fracture, even if the patient is put on bisphosphonates treatment.

Given these undesirable, serious side effects and inefficacy, a safer and effective alternative is being sought after by the patients, as well as the medical research community.

Cannabinoid Receptors and Bone Turnover

In most biological organisms, including humans, the presence of functional endocannabinoids and their potential physiological roles were discovered way back. Recently, researchers have discovered the presence of cannabinoid receptors in bone tissues. CB2 is predominantly expressed in osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells). It has been shown that cannabinoid receptors are vital for regulation of bone metabolism. Physiologically, the balance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts is vital for maintenance of optimal bone health. As we age, the balance gets impaired, and leads to bone density loss and osteoporosis.

Although bone structures are appreciably regulated by CB2 receptors, CB1 receptor-deficient experimental animals have been shown to suffer increased bone resorption with reduced bone formation. Similarly, CB2-deficient experimental animals remarkably suffer age dependent low bone density, trabecular bone loss and related fractures. Surprisingly, activation of CB2 receptors has inhibited bone resorption and stimulated bone formation.

CB2 is predominantly expressed in osteoclasts, osteoblasts and osteocytes. CB2 agonists, including cannabidiol, can modulate these receptors’ functions and notably, CBD does not possess psychotrophic effects. These agonists enhance osteoblast count and activity while inhibiting osteoclast precursor proliferation and expression of osteoblasts. These properties facilitate stimulation of endocortical bone formation, suppression of bone loss and help the body to maintain normal bone mass.

Among these receptors, Cnr2 is one of the main cannabinoid receptors that regulate bone metabolism. Deficits in expression of Cnr2 are linked with low bone mineral density and bone loss. Activation of CB2 receptors inhibits bone loss in experimental animals, while CB1 activation in sympathetic nerve terminals has resulted in suppression of noradrenaline release, and thus balancing tonic sympathetic restrain of osteogenesis. This evidence points to the irrefutable role of cannabinoid receptors in bone health and maintenance.

The positive role of cannabinoid receptor activation in bone cell differentiation and activity has been demonstrated in several studies. CB2 receptor activation has several effects in both precursor bone cells as well as mature osteoblastic cells. Cannabinoid receptors could elicit cell proliferating and differentiating effects in the bones.

Not only the presence of cannabinoid receptors, but also the synthesis of endocannabinoids in the bones, has been confirmed by research studies. These studies have found higher levels of endocannabinoids and ligands, including 2-AG and anandamide, in the bones than in brain cells. Anadamide directly influences bone tissue by binding with CB2 receptors.

Based on this evidence, a follow-up study has shown that activation of CB2 receptors significantly reduced experimentally-induced bone loss and improved bone formation. Researchers now confirm the functional involvement of CB2 receptors in the maintenance of bone metabolism and bone-protective benefits against age-related bone loss disorders, including osteoporosis.

Thus, the involvement of CB2 receptors and signaling in bone formation and maintenance is now clear, which may serve as a potential therapeutic target to treat osteoporosis.

CBD as a Treatment for Osteoporosis

Based on this review, we can see that CB2 modulation by agonists could be a potential therapeutic approach to treat bone disorders, including osteoporosis.

Upon researching the scientific evidence, the potential use of cannabinoids to prevent the onset of osteoporosis began two decades ago. Since then, no notable study has been done to investigate the therapeutic benefit of cannabis for brittle bones.

Naturally, CB2 receptors are not associated with psychoactive effects and CB2-specific agonists could offer a reliable opportunity to treat or prevent bone loss without suffering side effects. In pre-clinical studies, CB2 agonists attenuated estrogen-dependent bone loss, prevented bone resorption and stimulated bone formation.

In vitro studies have demonstrated that minimal concentration of cannabinoids could activate osteoclasts via hemostatic regulation of endocannabinoid production and expression of CB2 receptors.

With these benefits, oral CB2 agonists could be potentially employed as an anti-resorptive and bone-forming therapy for osteoporosis patients.

Bone fracture (pathological) associated with osteoporosis is a problem that maims many of the elderly patients. Experimental research studies have shown that CBD can help fractured bone heal faster, and also halt the progression of osteoporosis.

As of now, no approved drugs are available to aid the healing of fractures. In accordance with the animal studies, cannabis hastened the healing process after bone fractures in humans. Additionally, the pain-relieving properties of cannabis could be helpful to calm down the ache, sharp pains and inflammation that accompany the broken bone.

Recently, an Israeli study has proven that CBD treatment has the ability to promote healing in broken bones. According to the study, CBD remarkably enhanced the biomechanical properties of healing femoral bone after 8 weeks of treatment. In the study, CBD was shown to achieve these benefits by stimulating mRNA expression of the bone-forming genes and enzymes, including lysyl hydroxylase, that are involved in collagen crosslinking and stabilization processes. These biochemical events aid the improvement of biomechanical properties of fractured bone. However, these benefits were not evident in THC-treated experimental animals

So, it’s now clear that CBD not only treats/prevents osteoporosis, but also the related complications, including pathological bone fracture as a result of bone loss.

Conclusion

Despite this positive evidence, we do see a few negative studies that contradict cannabis use. These studies concluded that cannabis use caused osteoporosis, but recent studies have concluded that the opposite is true.

This research evidence points out the key role of cannabinoid receptors in bone turnover and healing processes. Although human clinical trials are yet to be initiated in these patients, it appears that cannabis use or cannabinoids could be helpful for the prevention of osteoporosis. Compared to existing treatments, cannabis may be a safer and more effective treatment option for osteoporosis.

Although this research evidence is nascent and we have not exhaustively investigated the benefits and side effects of cannabis on osteoporosis patients, the strength of the available evidence is strong enough to support the positive claims, including prevention of brittle bones and preservation of bone health.

As there are no effective and safe treatments available for this unmet need, we are delighted to see these under-explored benefits of cannabis. Unfortunately, it is not possible for all to have access to medical marijuana treatment. But it’s catching up and the benefits of cannabis are being recognized, and legalization will follow.

For those who are unable to get medical marijuana treatment; rest assured, we’re not far away to get this treatment for all, and it will happen in next few years. For others, who can get legalized marijuana treatment, the hope is that osteoporosis will be included in the list of cannabis-treatable ailments.

Source: Marijuana Time Org.

Hemp Plastic is just ONE solution to a healthy planet

Plastics are big business. Look around and count the items within arm’s reach that are made from plastic. The substance has made life infinitely more convenient; people carry groceries in it, drink water from it, wrap foods in it, and even use it to build devices to access online blog posts about plastics. Its presence is as ubiquitous as its potential uses are endless. We need to use hemp plastic.

But the problem with plastics is that they never go away, ever. There is no global solution to the disposal of single use plastics such as grocery bags and water bottles. One trillion single-use plastic bags are consumed annually around the globe. One million bags are being used every minute. Each of these bags is used only for a matter of minutes, but take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

Every square mile of ocean, which takes up 70% of the planet, contains 46,000 pieces of plastic trash in various stages of decomposition, with the majority broken down into fragments which are consumed by sea life that is in turn consumed by humans, introducing toxic Bisphenol-A (BPA) into human diets, which may be the cause of fertility problems among women in countries reliant on the ocean for food, among other health concerns.

The consequences of all that plastic are steep and expensive. Nearly 50 percent of life, and therefore the entire food chain, exists the world’s oceans. All around the globe, beaches are buried in layers of plastic garbage, sometimes 5-10 feet deep. Scientists are at a loss as to how to clean up the damage already done, but agree that continued contribution to the plastic waste problem must stop.

The irony is that while solutions to the mounting problem of plastic garbage already exist, they are either dismissed as inconvenient (plastic bag bans or taxes, carrying reusable water bottles) or the means of their production are made illegal.

That’s right, illegal.

Hemp provides an excellent alternative to plastics yet remains illegal (and therefore cost prohibitive) due to its association with the drug marijuana. But there is no good reason for this. Even in the absence of international treaties or regulations requiring the end of plastic waste, taking concrete steps to implement hemp substitutions still make sense.

Currently, growing hemp in the United States is prohibited, but that may quickly change. Hemp reform has already made significant progress in the US Congress, and so a thriving domestic hemp economy may be just around the corner. And that will do more than just replace plastic bags.

Hemp plastics are destined to create an economic boom, slow the rate of plastic pollution in our oceans and air (they are flame retardant) and could be used on the exact same machinery already being used to create plastic goods like bottles and bags. Hemp plastics are not only 100% biodegradable, meaning they do not contribute to permanent pollution, but they are also 2.5 times stronger than standard use plastics.

Thus, a rapid switch can be made from a weak, disposable commodity which remains in a polluting form for thousands of years to a strong, organic, biodegradable alternative. And all that’s holding back a better future is bad public policy.

Source : Time for 4 Hemp