The Endocannabinoid System: A History of Endocannabinoids and Cannabis

Have you ever wondered why marijuana affects us the way it does? What is it that makes THC and CBD react with our bodies, healing and offering relief to the ill? What makes this plant such a diverse medicine, able to treat such a large number of vastly different conditions?

If you had asked this question fifty years ago, there wouldn’t have been an answer for you to find. Unfortunately, the extraction methods available in the early 1900s made it difficult to determine which one of the 80+ cannabinoids found in cannabis was the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the effects of marijuana.

The truth is, it’s only been in the last couple of decades that scientists have truly even begun to understand the ways cannabis works within our bodies.

It all started with a scientific breakthrough in 1964, when a scientist from Israel named Raphael Mechoulam was able to identify and isolate THC for the first time – just prior to which they were able to identify CBD as well.

Being able to isolate these cannabinoids for the first time was the first stepping stone in discovering the endocannabinoid system – a biological system that can be found in just about any living thing with vertebrae.

“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance,” says Raphael Mechoulam, the dean of the transnational cannabinoid research community. “We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.”

In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was found in the brain of a rat. Initially found by Allyn Howlett and William Devane these cannabinoid receptors turned out to be plentiful in the brain – more so than any other neurotransmitter receptor.

Soon after this discovery researchers started using a synthetic form of THC (which is actually FDA approved these days, to treat severe nausea and wasting syndrome) to start mapping the CB receptors in the brain. Not much of a surprise, the receptors were located primarily found in the regions responsible for mental and physiological processes including memory, higher cognition, motor coordination, appetite and emotions among other places.

 

 

 

Read the full article at Marijuana Times.

Nevada Lawmakers Clear The Way For Test Crops Of Hemp

CARSON CITY — Marijuana’s useful cousin hemp could soon be sprouting on test plots in Nevada after a legislative subcommittee gave final approval Thursday to regulations overseeing the pilot project.

Robert Little, plant division administrator at the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said the agency already has received a handful of applications to grow the plant and anticipates receiving around 20.

Senate Bill 305, passed by the 2015 Legislature, allows limited growing of hemp for research.

The regulations require a $500 application fee to cover the administrative costs of overseeing the project, Little said. Additionally, the department will charge $1 for every pound of seed purchased, as well as $1 per acre to pay for pre-harvest inspections.

 

Read the full article at the Las Vegas Review Journal.

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Nevada Lawmakers Clear The Way For Test Crops Of Hemp

Marijuana’s useful cousin hemp could soon be sprouting on test plots in Nevada after a legislative subcommittee gave final approval Thursday to regulations overseeing the pilot project.

Robert Little, plant division administrator at the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said the agency already has received a handful of applications to grow the plant and anticipates receiving around 20.

Senate Bill 305, passed by the 2015 Legislature, allows limited growing of hemp for research.

The regulations require a $500 application fee to cover the administrative costs of overseeing the project, Little said. Additionally, the department will charge $1 for every pound of seed purchased, as well as $1 per acre to pay for pre-harvest inspections.

Little explained that obtaining viable seed is a federal offense without a permit, and a federal law that allows states to oversee hemp growing for research comes with strict requirements.

 

Read the full article at Las Vegas Review Journal.

This Doctor Destroys Cannabis Myths Once And For All

This article was first published on IllegallyHealed.com.

We sat down with founder of Healer.com, Dr. Dustin Sulak, a licensed osteopathic physician, about the most common myths about cannabis, many of which have been sponsored by industries that benefit from the prohibition of cannabis, along with the facts.

Here’s the most common cannabis myths — destroyed:

Cannabis Kills Brain Cells And Lowers IQ

Interestingly, numerous studies have proven cannabis does just the opposite — it promotes the growth and development of new brain cells [1]. No other class of compounds has demonstrated the neuroprotective effects of cannabis. Very promising animal studies show that treating brain injuries, including newborn babies lacking oxygen [2], victims of stroke, and head trauma, all sustain less damage and heal faster if they are given cannabinoids, the substances found in cannabis, or their synthetic counterparts [3]. Cannabinoids also protect the brain from slower forms of injury, like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis [4], especially when used in the correct dosage.

While cannabis can cause some temporary cognitive changes, such as a decrease in short term memory, these changes are reversible when an adult stops using cannabis [5].

Cannabis Makes You “Stoned” Or “High”

Smoking or ingesting marijuana can cause a psychoactive effect, which most people describe as a pleasant euphoria and enhancement of the senses, but it can include less desirable features like sedation and paranoia. Pleasant or uncomfortable, a growing number of patients want the medical benefits of cannabis without any intoxication or impairment in function — they want to use it while working, safely driving, and more. This is both possible, and practical.

After decades of selective breeding to produce the most intoxicating strains of cannabis, sought after by recreational users and dealers in the underground market, medical cannabis breeders are now producing strains that emphasize the health benefits and reduce or eliminate the psychoactivity [6].

 

 

Read the full article here.

Cannabis Root Is A Buried Treasure

“Given our exhaustive use of the hemp and Cannabis plant – making use of the fiber, leaves, flowers, seeds and resin – it seems strange that there should be any element that has thus far escaped the notice of the modern herbalist. Perhaps because it usually spends its days hidden beneath the soil, the humble root is vastly under-explored, compared to the other components of the plant. However, looking at pre-prohibition medical- and veterinary literature, it is apparent that our ancestors (as with so many lost secrets and traditions) knew very well about its specific healing properties.”

Our Friend Bob has volunteered to analyze the cannabis root study conducted by Blair Van Pelt to understand the explanation as to the components that are compiled in cannabis root.

He writes; I took another nice read through Pelt and Riesenberg study. They found no alkaloids in the 26.06 grams of dried roots from the 9 cannabis sativa plants (variety Bedrocan) that they used in their study but they DID find the Glycoside, 3 different kinds of fatty acids, sugars, and 2 different lipids. 1 lipid was unidentified and the other was identified but they weren’t sure if it was biologically active. They expected to find alkaloids in the root but didn’t in this study.

 

Read the full article at Hemp-Eaze.

O.penVAPE Expands its Cannabis Brand to Nevada

DENVER, CO, Mar 07, 2016 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — O.penVAPE, the world’s largest cannabis brand, in partnership with TGIG, a Nevada medical cannabis enterprise with a state-of-the-art production and cultivation facility, has begun producing and distributing O.penVAPE’s best-selling CO2 extracted cannabis oils.

Denver-based O.penVAPE licenses products and manufacturing services in the medical and adult-use cannabis industry. Through its network of licensees in nine states and Jamaica, it is the largest extractor of cannabis oil in the United States.

Demetri Kouretas, CEO of TGIG, said its valuable relationship with O.penVAPE will make it possible for patients to obtain cannabis oil processed through CO2 extraction, a pure and safer form of cannabis oil. His company has begun wholesaling O.penVAPE products to current operating dispensaries and plans to make O.penVAPE products available to all of southern Nevada’s 48 dispensaries by the end of the year.

“Employing the science and technology that O.penVAPE has perfected, we are manufacturing superior cannabis oil for customers who have been requesting a way to ingest cannabis in safer measured doses,” Kouretas said. “We researched partnerships with other manufacturers and selected O.penVAPE because we share with O.penVAPE’s leaders similar views about access to medical cannabis. We simply got along well.”

Chris Driessen, Chief Business Development Officer of O.penVAPE, said TGIG is one of two Nevada enterprises that have entered into licensee agreements with O.penVAPE. TGIG holds four Nevada state licenses, making it possible for them to cultivate cannabis, produce O.penVAPE cannabis oil, and distribute and sell cannabis flower and O.penVAPE products. Per Nevada law, TGIG’s license covers the southern portion of the state, which includes the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite, Laughlin and Clark and Nye counties.

 

 

Read full article here.

Ten Minutes to a Not Guilty Verdict in San Diego Medical Marijuana Concentrate Case – Or, How to Ruin Bonnie Dumanis’s Weekend

San Diego, CA It is hard to say exactly when the San Diego District Attorney’s Office lost their cannabis extraction case against legal patient John Mazula. His friends would say it was when the DA chose John to victimize; many activists say it was when John hired brilliant cannabis defense attorney, Michael Cindrich. Courtroom spectators might say it was directly after Mr. Cindrich crushed it during closing arguments yesterday afternoon. Or, right after cannabis scientist Andrew Pham’s expert testimony made the DEA chemists look like goofballs. And, when I asked the jury foreman, he said it was when prosecutor Matt Carberry rested his case without having proved any of what was alleged.

Yesterday after closing arguments the jury left the courtroom to begin deliberations at 4:04PM. We all went our separate ways with plans to return today to wait for a verdict. At 4:30 a text came in that the jury had already reached one. Stomachs churned. It was too fast! Or, was it? I was in my car on the freeway. I was desperate to return to hear the decision read aloud in court. I was scared for John and his wife Tracy. How could the jury have reached anything but a not guilty verdict, I asked. But this is conservative El Cajon, I answered. Our chapter chair Marcus Boyd, available so many times for me on the phone through this case, helped talk me through the shock and fear. I’m ashamed of the way I drove.

I didn’t have to suffer for long because 15 minutes later John texted me “not guilty” and with that the two year long ordeal for the Mazula family was over. It would be all fun and celebration from here and I wondered why we ever worried.

 

Read the full article at Americans For Safe Access.

Is Las Vegas the Next Pot Boom Town?

 A city that is world famous for its late night lifestyles, fine dining, lavish resorts, and for being the epicenter of legal gambling, Las Vegas, Nevada is finally forging ahead with its long overdue medical marijuana program. Although voters in Nevada approved medical marijuana in 2000, it has taken more than 15 years for the state and local cities to implement regulations to allow commercial cultivation and dispensaries. In the past year and a half, 60 licenses have been issued and more than a dozen grow facilities, processing centers and dispensaries have opened for business across Nevada, with several in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Being a desert oasis nicknamed ‘Sin City’ for its rather liberal approaches to gambling and adult entertainment, Las Vegas is a fitting location for cannabis culture to thrive, and an obviously lucrative marketplace for an array of canna-business. Many industry insiders and analysists predict the Nevada marijuana market, post recreational legalization, could be worth upward of $100 million dollars per year.

One unique factor sets Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, aside from any other medical marijuana market; the state provides reciprocity to qualified patients from ANY legal medical marijuana state, with CBD-only states as an exception. Patients from Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, or any other state with a regulated medical marijuana program may show their patient registration card (or certificate) and a valid government-issued ID to dispensary staff, and be able to purchase legal flower, vaporizers, concentrates and/or edibles. While no dispensary is open on the strip because of zoning laws, there are a few stores nearby and a handful of others spread throughout the valley who are eager to provide Las Vegas’ 40 million + annual visitors with an alternative enjoyment and means of relaxation in a city that is otherwise quite busy and sometimes overwhelming. To date, no other state is offering reciprocity for non-resident medical marijuana patients.

 

Read the full article here.

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Pairing Cannabis with Food: A New Culinary Trend

As you have probably taken note, the way people view cannabis is (finally) beginning to change. Where once having a gathering of people who would partake in this extraordinary plant was taboo, we are now seeing exciting changes take place. Enjoying cannabis in it’s many forms is no longer a pastime for ambitionless or rebellious youth. People from all age ranges, educational levels, and socioeconomic backgrounds are beginning to see the its benefits and incorporating it into their daily and social lives. One example of this is the increasing popularity of cannabis pairing events. There are many different strains of cannabis, each bearing it’s own particular set of benefits. Cannabis pairing events are a way to merge social with educational activities.

Living near Napa Valley, everyone seems to know a lot about wine. Often, I have been invited to wine pairing dinners with friends who have spent countless hours learning their Cabs from their Pinots and the cheese with which to pair it. Wine pairing has been popular for so long, it’s now passé. Given the current trend towards marijuana legalization, many people are now treating cannabis like wine and high-end cannabis food pairing events are starting to pop up like mushrooms in February. According to Philip Wolf, a pairing experience expert, “Cannabis should be treated like fine wine. It harmonizes so well with food when you have the right pairings.” Gone are the days of stoner food and in is the convergence of sophisticated chefs, growers and collective owners throwing elaborate culinary fetes in intimate settings. Sounds like fun, right?

So, it was with much enthusiasm that I recently received an invite to Sava’s upscale cannabis and food pairing event in San Francisco to celebrate the launch of their new online collective.

Read the original article on Hello MD. To learn more about Sava and future events, visit Andrea’s collective at GetSava.