Hemp Vs. Nuclear Waste

Have you heard of phytoremediation, or decontamination of soil? The combination of Ancient Greek “Phyto” or Plant with a bit of Latin “Remedium” to mean plants that clean or restore the balance of the soil and air. And guess which plant is the best at doing this? You got it. Hemp.

After the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster it was discovered that certain plants absorb radiation, heavy metals and other manmade toxins as part of their natural cycle. Hemp is rather unique because about 75% of the plant remains viable for safe production of many different products from the stalks and seed after it does a rather magnificent job cleaning up all sorts of nasty chemicals and toxins from the soil.

Hemp, the hero of Chernobyl

For over a decade, industrial hemp growing in proximity to the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine has been helping to reduce soil toxicity. Slavik Dushenkov, a research scientist with Phytotech, one of the organisations behind the hemp plantings, stated that “hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants we have been able to find”.

In neighbouring Belarus, much of the rural land was contaminated, and authorities there are also pursuing the use of hemp in an attempt to clean up the soil. The harvest produced will be turned into ethanol; one added benefit of industrial hemp over other phytoremediation plants is that it can also be used to produce biofuel, potentially adding a second use for the crop after it removes toxins from the soil.

US imposed and outdated Cannabis Control Law affects Japan’s clean-up efforts

Following the devastating environmental damage caused by the Fukushima meltdown, Japan is considering using hemp to aid their clean up efforts. However, due to the Cannabis Control Law forced into Japanese law by the occupying U.S. powers in 1948, hemp may only be grown under license, which are highly restricted and difficult to obtain.

Hemp could potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of sites across the globe—it is estimated that in the USA alone there are 30,000 sites requiring remediation. And let’s not forget that the radioactive waste from the Fukushima disaster is now washing up on America and Canada’s west coast.

Hemp can help

In this video, Dr. Masaru Emoto talks about industrial hemp as a solution to the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, and may help provide some more answers to any lingering questions on why hemp is such a proven and valuable tool in the fight to repair human-inflicted damage to our soils and ecosystems.

“It is the suggestion to plant a lot of hemp in the land of Fukushima. Hemp is prohibited in almost all places in the world, but I am supporting the movement for hemp to revive….I think it has the…potentiality to purify the environment…I believe hemp fields will bring the eradication effect” – Dr. Masaru Emoto

Watch the full video below with English subtitles. Tell us your thoughts on the eradication effect hemp can bring to polluted soils and ecosystems on social media or in the comments section below.

Source : Herb

CAN CANNABIS INHIBIT CERVICAL CANCER?

The disease that persistently plagues us today is cancer.

Cancer is an umbrella term that essentially results in gross proliferation of certain cell types throughout the body and can form (metastasize) in many different ways. The result is always the same, hyper-growth of a certain group of cells, depriving our bodies’ natural cells from properly functioning and surviving.

One particular variety of cancer that is having a detrimental impact on sub-Saharan Africa is cervical cancer.

Currently, there are a quarter million African women who die of cervical cancer a year, demanding further research into inexpensive and effective treatments. It has been known for decades that cannabis use helps cancer patients, though the science behind cannabis’s effect is not well understood.

While there are many ways in which cancer can form, there seem to be some common features, and they revolve around a cellular function known as apoptosis. Apoptosis, otherwise described as “programmed cell-death,” is a last resort effort in preventing the spread of malfunctioning cells.

The cell is at a constant equilibrium of anti/pro apoptotic signals, when the pro-signals “outnumber” the anti-signals, the cell initiates a cascade of reactions resulting in cellular self-destruction.

One common way in which cancer manifests itself is in the hyper-expression of anti-apoptotic signals, preventing the cell from self-destructing, resulting in over-growth and tumor development. One of the prominent signals in the cell that is associated with cancer growth is a protein called Bcl-2. While there is not a mutation in the protein itself, there are a series of mutations that cause the cell to make too much Bcl-2.

Recently, a lab at North West University in South Africa did a series of experiments using extracts from cannabis sativa. The researchers used a “cancer model” to perform their experiments on. (One example of these “model cancer” cells are the HeLa cells, an immortalized cell line that is widely used in molecular biology.)

It was discovered that cannabis sativa extract could not only inhibit the growth of cancer cells, but in some cases outright kill the cells.

The compound in the extract that is believed to be active is cannabidiol, better known as CBD. Researchers believe that the mechanism of action is that CBD activates a Bcl-2 degradation pathway. If you recall, Bcl-2 is an anti-apoptotic signal (keeping the cell alive), so if it is degraded, then the cell will succeed in killing itself.

Further research needs to be conducted to better understand the mechanism in detail, as well as exploring potential off-target effects. It would not be a good idea to use a drug that killed all cells!

There is an increasing need for affordable medical care around the world, and this is a potential, inexpensive treatment with the promise of saving lives.

Source : Hightimes

Why Cannabis Compounds Could Eventually Replace Anti-Anxiety Meds

Research into the potential medical uses of cannabis compounds continues apace. Among the most recent, a study delved into why cannabis is an effective stress reducer. While not conclusive on their own, the results contribute to a longer-term possibility – that cannabis compounds may turn out to be more effective and safer in alleviating anxiety than prescription anxiety meds.

The recent study focused on marijuana’s potency in reducing the stress response in regular users. Stress was measured by tracking cortisol amounts in study participants’ saliva. Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” is a reliable indicator of stress; higher or lower amounts correlate closely with a person’s response to stressful situations.

The study compared the stress responses of a group of daily marijuana users to a group of non-users. The results were consistent: regular users had a “blunted” response to acute stress. In effect, their internal stress engines had been tuned down by regular exposure to marijuana.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effects of acute stress on salivary cortisol levels in chronic cannabis users compared to non-users,” said Carrie Cuttler, study co-author and clinical assistant professor of psychology. “While we are not at a point where we are comfortable saying whether this muted stress response is a good thing or a bad thing, our work is an important first step in investigating potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis at a time when its use is spreading faster than ever before.”

The comment that this result is too preliminary to be called “a good or a bad thing” is well-taken (tuning down the stress response too much is likely to have both negatives and positives), but it does point to the potential for harnessing a modified version of this effect down the road.

These results pair well with findings from research showing that marijuana compounds have a distinct effect on levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which plays a key role in the anxiety response. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that acts as a brake on anxiety, counterbalancing the effects of excitatory brain chemicals like glutamate. Early research suggests that compounds in marijuana, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), enhance GABA’s effects with moderate downsides. (CBD has an impressive research profile in several areas, anxiety among them.)

Benzodiazepines, the mostly commonly used prescription anxiety meds, also affect GABA levels. The meds are effective at quickly delivering what users are seeking – an anxiety extinguishing calmness.

But that benefit comes at a cost. Tolerance to benzodiazepines, including Xanax and Klonopin, builds rapidly, requiring a user to take more and more of the meds to get the same effect. It doesn’t take long to develop a dependency that may not end. Instead of going through the well-documented hell of getting off the meds, many users choose to stay on them indefinitely. In addition, benzo side effects—fatigue, disorientation and mental fogginess, among others—are notoriously difficult to manage while trying to make it through the day. Overdose potential for benzos is also high, accounting for thousands of deaths in the U.S. every year.

While preliminary, the latest research suggests that the compounds in marijuana could eventually be harnessed to deliver anxiety relief with decreased dependency, fewer side effects and less overdose potential.

The early signs are promising, but this, like all possibilities for future medical uses of marijuana compounds, depends on the research continuing.

Source : David Di Salvo ( by Forbes )

The latest study was published in journal Psychopharmacology.

You can find David DiSalvo on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and at his website, daviddisalvo.org.

There’s no known cure for arthritis, but Cannabis works wonders

Most of us know someone — an aunt, uncle or grandmother — suffering from arthritis. It is one of the most common health ailments in the world, with more than 50 million people affected in the U.S. alone.

The term “arthritis” is actually a category that includes over 100 conditions and diseases affecting joints and surrounding tissue. Symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling aching joints are common. Arthritis can seem inescapable and changes people’s quality of life. There is no known cure.

Despite anecdotal evidence about efficacy of marijuana for arthritis, physicians simply don’t know enough about it to engage their patients about it as a treatment option. In one study, 70 percent of physicians said they would not know how to discuss possible interactions with other meds or suggest dose.

That is a great shame since cannabis has a better safety profile than the NSAIDS, steroids and opiates that are often employed to reduce arthritis discomfort but come with increased risk of heart attack, stroke, weakening of bones and addiction. Even if patients were able to use cannabis as a complementary therapy, they could very potentially cut back on the use of harder, more dangerous meds.

It’s no surprise that cannabis could offer arthritis sufferers relief. After all, cannabis is known to be as much as 20 times more effective than aspirin at reducing inflammation and can be an effective sleep aid. Some research certainly supports those decisions.

An Israeli study found that 90 percent of medical marijuana patients stayed on their medicine regimen and most reported reduced pain and function. Researchers at the University of Nottingham noted that targeting cannabinoid receptors with medical marijuana products may help bring pain relief to knee joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.

The first Health Canada approved cannabis clinical trial studying arthritis began in 2016. The CAPRI Trial (Cannabinoid Profile Investigation of Vaporized Cannabis in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee) will compare the effects of different ratios of THC and CBD as well as the short term safety of vaporized cannabis. Results have not yet been published.

Similar to other ailments, a gap exists between physician knowledge base about cannabis and patient interest. Some patients and physicians will wait until there is irrefutable evidence before trying cannabis as an alternative therapy. Others will not wait for more information and seek to improve their quality of life with cannabis now

What we do know is that as more states come online with regulated medical marijuana, more patients will have an alternative to consider, and having options is good news.

Source : Daily News

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