Posts Tagged ‘alternative medicine’

Find The Right Marijuana Strain For You At Leafly.com

By Steve Elliott
Thursday, August 18, 2011, at 12:20 pm
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Graphic: Leafly.com
Leafly helps you make sense of the plethora of medical marijuana strains available.

​Leafly.com, online for just over a year now, is a powerful resource which can help medical marijuana patients find the strains which work best for them. Since its debut in June 2010, patients have used the site to explore the dispensary options available and to match strains with symptoms.

When I entered one of my favorite strains, Afgoo, Leafly told me the effects, medical uses, and where I could find it, listing five dispensaries from 10 to 35 miles away.

Toke of the Town had a chance to chat with Mike Juberg, on the sales team at Leafly.com, about what the site has to offer.

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Graphic: Leafly.com
Toke: Tell me when Leafly got started, and what inspired its creation.

Mike: We started building Leafly in March of 2010 shortly after receiving our medical marijuana recommendations. We were overwhelmed by the strain choices at dispensaries and had no good resources to help make an informed decision on which to try.
We were also disappointed by the existing choices of dispensary locator sites. The majority are clones of each other and most suffer the same problems with speed and poor user experience; we knew we could do it better.
After two months of weekend work we launched the site in June 2010 and the response has been tremendous.
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Graphic: Leafly.com
Toke: What is the most powerful feature available to patients on Leafly?

Mike: The most talked-about feature on our site is the explore page (http://www.leafly.com/explore). This is a great starting point for patients new to the mmj world. You can filter strains by their effects and drill down until you find one that best suits your needs. There is also the option of only showing strains available at dispensaries near you, so you are sure to find what you need.
Toke: What’s the most important thing to know for patients new to Leafly?
Mike: As a new patient the sheer number of varieties of cannabis within a dispensary can be a bit overwhelming. For participating dispensaries we have menus integrated with Leafly data to help new patients make selections best for them.
New patients should also know that we take privacy very seriously. We have made conscious decisions at every step to ensure discretion. All aspects of the design intentionally exclude the iconic leaf image and pictures of bud are shown only on photo pages, so it won’t be obvious what you are looking at to coworkers glancing over your shoulder at work.
To register for an account we don’t require an email address and all your profile information is hidden by default. You have to opt in to be public, which some people are comfortable doing and others are not.
Toke: What’s next in Leafly’s future?

Mike: We have a long roadmap of product enhancements and new dispensary services we are working on, as well as new mobile and web apps to help the cannabis community. Everything is top secret right now. 🙂
Toke: What makes Leafly’s dispensary offerings unique?

Mike: While other sites only provide a means to advertise a dispensary we do that while also creating products that simplify their operations. Things like SMS services for patient outreach, social media integration, pushing menus out to multiple sites, and an unmatched analytics platform so they can track visitor trending over time.
With more on the horizon we like to use our technological know-how to solve real problems that dispensary owners face every day.

Seattle Hempfest All Weekend!

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Photo: Jack Rikess
By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent (From Seattle)
Seattle’s Hempfest opens today. For 20 years, political activists, social progressives, cannabis enthusiasts and the curious has been making the trek out to the Northwest’s longest running cannabis klatch. The festival occupies a twist of land that stretches on the East edge of the sound for a little better than a mile and half.  Really, just a hefty salmon toss down from Pike Place Market.
Expanding from two to three days, with a new Friday opening instead of the usual Saturday beginnings, from what I saw Thursday as the crews were setting up, it’s only getting bigger and better. For three days, there will be knowledgeable speakers talking about issues intrinsic to Washington State, plus non-stop music, great looking food booths and of course, about two hundred thousand attendees, looking for info, music, exotic munchies and a precipitous good time.

Being a veteran of a few of these festivals, as pot leaves are being glued to fences and outside shops and all things marijuana were being erected, I kinda wondered where the “Patient’s Tent” was going to be or as we say in California, the “215 Area.” That place where a festival goer can go when the cotton candy because too much and you’re looking for some cotton mouth now. Y’know, that place where we go to medicate. That place where the heads traditionally gather communally passing around the good Karma. You know, where we go to smoke.
That’s when I was told that there is no marijuana smoking at Hempfest. This may seem a little incongruous but this is also the reason the event has been able to exist for two decades operating during Republican administrations and now our own turncoat, President Obama. Operating a cannabis happening is at best a mountain climb with the uphill politics, a changing climate daily and with only your trusted guide to rely on, an overnight landside can stop you in your tracks.
Even this year’s Hempfest has to jump through hoops brought on by the City of Seattle, mostly a paperwork smokescreen intended on delaying the promoters from opening. But the Pot Gods favored the righteous, and here we are today.
Putting on an event of this nature must come fraught with hassles and unforeseen calamities. At the entrances and exits, rent-a-cops maintain security and control. The local Seattle’s finest, not the coffee, the cops, secure a position above the fray allowing the event’s own security to handle any interior occurrences.
When you think of rock concert security, the Hell’s Angels is what first pops in my head. Bearded fatso’s who favor pool cues as their means for communication. Or maybe ex-cops or old guys from World War II that ran security for hotels or corporations, now retired from that are in charge. I imagine pot-bellies, low slung pistols in a drooping holster, maybe a southern accent. Guys who are more comfortable working a state fair and now have been begrudgingly brought in to “work” with the hippies.
Two hundred thousand guests can be a handful to say the least. I had to meet who was in charge of the safety of the two hundred grand. I mean, the water right there! What could go wrong?
I walked over to the security tent. There was a kid out front with khaki shorts, security team t-shirt with a peaceful smile and a radio about to be keyed. Before he could get to his job, I interrupted him, asking if I could speak to who is in charge.
He said, “That be me.”
Really.
“Really.”
Meet Mitch Draper, the 24-year old, who’s in charge of yours and my good time.
My first question was, c’mon, Mitch, you’re the boss?
Then my ageism is snubbed out like Mexican swag.
“Well, this is my 10th year of working the festival. I started out doing this and that, but in the last years, I started with security, and now…I’m the boss.”
Right away his even keel demeanor tells you how partly he got this job. But there are details. So I asked Mitch my “burning” question.
What do you do about people smoking pot on the grounds?
“Most people are really cool and considerate. We give them a choice if they’re caught smoking on the Hempfest’s grounds. You can either dump out your stuff right now into this barrel that we bring to them, or we call in SPD.
The barrel?
“We have a huge barrel that we keep inside the perimeter. Once we catch someone and they choose the barrel. They dumped their stuff out and them before their eyes, we pour chlorine bleach all over everything.”
Is it mostly marijuana?
The 24-year old Army reservist went on, “We get acid, ecstasy, pills and other junk. But it all goes into the barrel.”
Just then some of the other members of the security team came out to where we were.
Not trying to be a smart ass, I asked these obvious older than 24 guys, what it was like to take orders from Mitch.
“So what’s it like being in security with Mitch? Taking orders from a kid?”
A big guy logging in at over a couple of bills corrected me right away. “We are the safety team; we don’t like being called security. That’s for the Seattle cops or TSA that handles some of our external posts. And that’s a stupid question. Mitch is great and a great boss. His age has nothing to do with his ability.”
Another gentleman, who looks like he could be your cousin William from Indiana, second the Big Guy’s opinion that Mitch is in control and sets the right tone for this kind of event.
All of Safety Team seems so mellow and youthfully exuberant that the three day festival may happen possibly with sun and not the expected rain, belittles the fact that Cousin Willy is actually ex-special forces and most of the rest of the team, even in their twenties
So guys, what does the Safety Team look out for. What are your biggest headaches?
Mitch said right away, “Distribution. People doing business or smoking or even giving some away. It’s all a no-no.”
Then comes the barrel?
Mitch nods his head yes. “There’s always someone who shows up thinking he can make some bucks selling here. Sorry, no.”
The Big Guy says crowds can be a challenged. “With this many people, some of them get a little crazy. We just do basic crowd control and it always seems to work out.”
One of the guys who hadn’t spoken yet said, “I hate the drunks. Even Seattle Police will tell you that they rather deal with the stoners at Hempfest. Their mellow and listen. The drunks are drunks. They want to fight or just cause trouble.”
Cousin Willy also mentioned dehydration. “Dehydration is a huge problem. People forget to drink water at these things. Got to stay hydrated. That goes for staff too. People working hard, we remind the staff to keep refreshing. We try to stay proactive.”
Any problems from past years stand out?
“We had a drunken naked guy swim out to the channel one year,” Mitch stated matter-of-factly. “We called the Coast Guard right away. They got him. He became their problem.”
At that point, my girlfriend, who I’ll call ‘Yoko,’ asked Mitch if the compound that the Safety Team is housed in, the Draper Compound. Is it named after you?”
Mitch answered humbly. “No, the compound is named after my Dad, Merle Draper. He was a long time cannabis activist in Washington before he passed.”
A second generation cannabis kid.
Mitch’s Dad is famous up here in these parts but Mitch didn’t expound and I didn’t pry. But I knew if he was my kid, I’d be sure as damn proud of him as I’m sure his father is.
While talking to them a call came on the radio about some street people on the outside of the gate harassing some people. I decided to tag along.
Four face-tattooed hobos, two inches away from the front main gate were smoking the ends of street-flatten cigarettes while trying to sell whatever they had on a blanket to the walkers going by.
Right away the hobos got their dandruff flying, accusing everyone but themselves that the others were the source of causing problems, not them.
Mitch and the Safety Team reasoned with them. Talked to them in low gentle tones. In five minutes they were gone.
Mitch and his guys are pros.
Have a great and safe Hempfest!

 
Photo: Jack Rikess

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Photo: Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco.

Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at jackrikess.com.

Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.

His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.

He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.
Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco.

5 Tips For Choosing A Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
The “medicine wheel” at Ben Reagan’s dispensary, The C.P.C., is used to demonstrate for patients the continuum between saliva and indica varieties of medicinal cannabis.

Co-Founder, The C.P.C.

Choosing alternative medicine such as medical cannabis is a big decision, and one you probably took a long time to make.  Now that you’re here, and whether or not you were previously a cannabis user, there are a few things you should know about dispensaries (also known as collectives) to ensure that you get the quality of life improvement and medical benefits you’re looking for.
Here are five tips to help get you started on your new journey.

1.  Store nearest you. 
Some cities like Seattle are one of the most progressive, medical cannabis-friendly cities in the Unites States, having recently gone from 10 to approximately 51 known, licensed dispensaries in a very short time.
If you live in one of the other medical-cannabis friendly cities such as Denver, chances are there is a collective within 10 minutes of you, and a large majority of them have delivery services. Or if you’re really lucky, in California in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, dispensaries are practically more common than Starbucks.
Of course, continuing legislative flux can have an impact in your state, such as Arizona, where confusing laws have slowed down the approval process for new dispensaries, and unfortunately the attorney general is jockeying to close them down.
Either way, do some research, you have lots of choices ─ some of our favorite resources include WeedmapsPotlocatorTHC List, and CannabisNW.
2. The Experience.
For all of us it’s the “experience” that counts, and with dispensaries this is even more so.
For starters, think about the type of experience you’re seeking. Some collectives taking form in Washington are prone to the California model with heavy security doors, bullet-proof glass and large display jars.
Other dispensaries have lounge areas that, while they remain smoke free, offer a comfortable setting to review medicines, new products, and treatment plans.
Some focus on a groundwork/community model like the Farmers Markets in Seattle and Tacoma, where you can experience a large number of vendors offering more of a “home grown” experience in a market setting.
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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Jeremy Kaufman, left, and Ben Reagan at The C.P.C. dispensary in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood
​Some, like The CPC, the Seattle dispensary I co-founded with my partner Jeremy Kaufman, have opted for a more personal, one-on-one experience that works on educating the customer so as a team, patient and dispensary can customize the medicine and treatment plan for specific conditions.
The CPC caters to folks that have serious pain management issues, sports injuries, back and neck pain, etc., so we’ve set it up more like a doctor’s office with first time consults lasting anywhere from 20-30 minutes at a time.
Folks should also consider the feel of the place, pricing, and even the level of community help. Do they give back?  Are they involved in the policy and regulation fight in their own city or state?
Finally, when you walk into your collective remember you are the one paying for the surroundings. You’re the one deciding what model you like with your collective buying power!
Bottom line, when you walk into a dispensary it should not look and feel like a place where “stoners” hang out.
For a great resource to see what other folks are experiencing and chatting about check out the forum at LegalMarijuanaDispensary.com.
3. Knowledge. 
Do you leave your collective feeling like you do when you leave your doctor’s office?
Are the folks running it more informed than you, and equipped with the knowledge that will enable you to deal with the ailments and illnesses that are impacting your quality of life? Does the dispensary encourage you to ask questions?
When you leave your chosen place do you feel enriched by what you got from there?
You can tell how much interest they have in sharing knowledge by the environment they created for you.
Getting educated about the benefits for your particular condition will make a big difference in the impact this medicine has for you.  For example, when some people start to use medical cannabis, the unwanted experiences (paranoia, feeling uncomfortable, impaired) can easily be averted with a little consultation, knowledge and empathy for the patient.
The good news is that customized medicine can be created, for example in the case of a car accident the patient may suffer from back pain which is muscle-related, and whiplash which is nerve-related.  Blends are created to provide patient with “functionality” during the day and for pain management and sleep at night.
Find a dispensary with knowledgeable folks running the place, and your treatment plan, experience and quality of life will reflect that.
4. Quality of Medicine. 
There are myriads of things that take place during growing of the plant that have a big impact on the quality of medicine.  For example, the potency level (of THC-CBD-THCA); proper flushing (getting all the excess fertilizers out), and finally, curing and manicuring (the look and quality of the medicine).
Many collectives spend a good amount of time with their providers, learning and understanding his methods for growing effective medicine. Many here in the Seattle area have a natural approach and prefer organically grown medicine.
You can always ask about where it comes from and how it was grown.
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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Medicated caramels and a choice bud of “UW Med” strain medical cannabis from The C.P.C. in Seattle
​Moving on from the plant, most new patients don’t realize that edible cannabis medicine, also called medibles, are now a high-quality, highly effective alternative, and can be engineered to fight specific and highly targeted ailments and symptoms
Some medibles (candy, caramels, peanut butter cups, cookies, chocolates) can have a longer duration then combusting. Low tolerance folks will find they only need half a gram or less of cannabis to have an effect
Also, anything that melts in your mouth such as chocolate or caramels will have a sublingual effect allowing you to control how much of an immediate effect you receive.  Naturally, taking smaller bites will have the edible in your mouth longer and will give you a bigger initial brain effect.
For chronic pain management indica strains are used to produce a relaxed, heavy body effect.  And for nerve-related issues such as fibromyalgia, whiplash, sciatica, sativa strains are used to produce a body-based, clear-headed effect.
Additionally, sublinguals such as tinctures and candies are used when fast-acting relief is required, for example onset of a migraine headache. Topicals, such as creamswaxes and ointments reduce inflammation, pain, and ache, and do not produce a body or head “effect.”
Of course, inhalants remain the fastest way to get medicine into the system, and if you’re not familiar, many folks are opting for vaporizing which eliminates the need to combust.
Make sure to always ask if your dispensary offers products that are guaranteed for consistency, equitable strength, efficacy, etc.?
Net-net, pass on dispensaries that do not guarantee their products, or may simply stock their shelves so you have something to buy – beware the fake chocolate almond bar!
5. Commitment to the Community.
 
We mentioned earlier the need to evaluate your dispensary on its commitment to community. This industry is filled with passionate people, many who spend a good amount of time working hard to support the community.
For example, consider this Denver dispensary and its food drive to support the homeless, or this California dispensary that supported a local beach clean-up.
Part of having a Commitment to the Community is providing a positive face to what we do.
Does the place you go to follow common sense simple things, like signage that says “no medicating on site”, discretion in the signage, or is it located where children may be walking by on their way back and forth to school?
Ask the dispensary questions about their commitment to their community.
And be sure to mention what you think they can do better. As we all know, community works better with feedback!
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Photo courtesy Ben Reagan
Ben Reagan, co-founder, The C.P.C.
About the Author

Ben Reagan, co founder of The C.P.C, was inspired to join the industry after seeing the benefits of medical cannabis first-hand with a very close family member.
Ben brings a deep intelligence, vision, and dedication to his craft, and has an insatiable desire to seek out what’s new in the industry.
The C.P.C was co-founded as a means to assist those in our community who are seeking out alternative medicines and treatments under Chapter 69.51A RCW in the state of Washington.

Cops Find Marijuana Plants After Roommates Fight

Dumb and Dumber just went at it and screwed theirsevles with the stupidity.
An East Hampton man is being held on $40,000 bond and $20,500 cash after he was arrested on charges he menacing his roommate with a metal pipe and was growing marijuana at his house.
On Aug. 3 at 12:10 p.m., town police were called to Alejandro Fernandez’s house on Tub Oarsman Road by the alleged victim who said he been in fight with Fernandez. The man accused Fernandez of punching him in the face and chasing him around the backyard with the pipe.
Fernandez, who is 30, had left the house by the time police arrived.
Police asked the roommate to point out where the incident took place and was brought onto a large deck overlooking the backyard. The “officer noticed several orange pots with cannabis plants growing in them along the side fence,” a report said.
Meanwhile, Fernandez returned to the house and as another police officer went over to his pick-up truck and reportedly saw marijuana branches next to a pile of top soil in the back of the truck.
He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon with a previous conviction, a felony, second-degree menacing with a weapon, a misdemeanor, unlawfully growing cannabis under the Public Health Law, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation.
Following an arraignment in East Hampton Town Justice Court, Fernandez was turned over to the Suffolk County sheriff’s office in lieu of bail.

7 cannabis studies that will change everything…

​​ Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
Worth Repeating
​By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
Since the 1960s, the major milestones our country has achieved are incredible.
We elected an African-American president, women’s issues have made tremendous progress, and gays and lesbians can marry.
But cannabis is still illegal…?  Not for long! 
As the tsunami of hard empirical positive medical cannabis research builds, it meets the inevitable changing younger demographics of our country, and with the need for new cannabis- based jobs and new tax revenue.
The cannabis legalization tipping point is close at hand!
“Cannabis is the people’s medicine” and has overwhelming public support.
Let’s knock this last domino over!
And to that end…
I would like to highlight several 2011 research papers that discuss the most current findings regarding medical cannabis treatment and disease prevention.

The following medical papers focus on:
• Cancer and colon cancer prevention,
• Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease
• Vomiting from chemotherapy
• Osteoporosis
• Traumatic brain injury
• Heart disease /Heart attack
The concept of the endocannabinoid system was outlined a mere 14 years ago, and looks how far we have come!
Today “phytocannabinoid therapeutics” is the newest, fastest growing field in medical research.
As this medical cannabis evidence-based tsunami approaches, its main therapeutic action appears to restoring homeostasis to multiple body systems.
The action by which phytocannabinoids heal is by reestablishing the proper immune set points within CB 1/2 receptors in both brain and body.
Perhaps the root of many human illnesses is an anandamide deficiency, which, when corrected and rebalanced by THC intake, produces homeostasis.
Whatever anandamide does in the body, phytocannabinoids mimic. My prediction is that phytocannabinoids will ultimately be found to be an vital to human health.
Phytocannabinoids mimic the same actions of Anandamide in the brain and body, which maintain homeostasis, maintaining wellness and disease prevention!    

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Graphic: TRENDS In Pharmacological Sciences
Pharmacological actions of non-psychotropic cannabinoids (with the indication of the proposed mechanisms of action). Abbreviations: D 9 -THC, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; D 8 -THC, D 8 -tetrahydrocannabinol; CBN, cannabinol; CBD, cannabidiol; D 9 -THCV, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin; CBC, cannabichromene; CBG, cannabigerol; D 9 -THCA, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid; CBDA, cannabidiolic acid; TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; PPARg, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g; ROS, reactive oxygen species; 5-HT1A, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor subtype 1A; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase. (+), direct or indirect activation; “, increase; #, decrease.
It’s All About THC
THC is unique, in that it is only found in one plant on earth.
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Photo: Rhinoseeds
Power Flower strain
​ The female cannabis plant is a THC-resin factory. THC, which makes up the plant’s resin, has the important job of collecting pollen from the male plant for fertilization. No THC-laced resin, no seed production.  Additionally, this resin tastes very bad to herbivores, which leave it alone, and it also offers superior UV protection to the plant at high altitudes.
A cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes, which contain more THC than any other part of the plant
The cannabis plant has only two functions: to make THC and seeds.
THC is the most abundant “phytocannabinoid” within the cannabis plant.
All other THC-like substances in the plant are THC intermediate metabolites being assembled by the plant on their way to becoming THC.
Once the plant is cut down and dies, the THC degrades into cannabindiol.  Cannabinol (CBN) is the primary product of THC degradation, and there is usually little of it in a fresh plant. CBN content increases as THC degrades in storage, and with exposure to light and air, and it is only mildly psychoactive.
Why would just this one plant, and the phytocannabinoids it produces control not one, but two dedicated molecular receptors for phytocannabinoids, with more predicted to still be discovered?
Did evolution intend for them to be naturally consumed for proper body function? As any other plant-derived antioxidant?
How THC talks to the brain and immune system
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Graphic: How Stuff Works
​All healing, cancer fighting and aging in your body is controlled by the immune system.
Phytocannabinoids appear to control the activity level of the immune system up or down, so that it doesn’t attack its host or respond too weakly to cellular dysfunction. Whenever you hear the term “anti-inflammatory activity,” think “cannabis immune system control.”
CB1 cannabigenic receptors are the majority of receptor type in the synaptic clef. THC-activated CB1 brain receptors directly link up and control the microglial cells in the brain; the microglia is the specialized white blood cells that make up the brain’s dedicated immune system.
Cannabidiol is degraded THC. It activates CB2 receptors mostly in the body. In both cases, THC controls both immune systems (brain and body), in one form or another. It seems that CB1 brain receptors link up to CB2 body receptors, which in turn control many autoimmune diseases.
The word used to describe this cannabis brain/body link up is Psychoneuroimmunology.
Mind = neurotransmitter = immune system communication system, or in this case
Cannabinergic Psychoneuroimmunology” — cannabinoid-induced immune system healing.
Cannabis consciousness repairs your immune system: never underestimate the power of a bong hit!
#1:   “The Endocannabinoid System and Cancer: Therapeutic Implication” 
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Photo: WhyProhibition.ca
​Findings: Delta 9 THC as a treatment for breast, prostate, brain and bone cancer
“This review updates the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and anti-tumor actions (inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, induction of apoptosis, reduction of tumor growth) of the cannabinoids in different types of cancer.”
“The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer, as identified in clinical trials, is also discussed. Identification of safe and effective treatments to manage and improve cancer therapy is critical to improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering in cancer patients.”
“In this regard, cannabis-like, compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted.”
“The available literature suggests that the endocannabinoid system may be targeted to suppress the evolution and progression of breast, prostate and bone cancer as well as the accompanying pain syndromes. Although this review focuses on these three types of cancer, activation of the endocannabinoid signaling system produces anti-cancer effects in other types of cancer including skin, brain gliomas and lung.”
“Interestingly, cannabis trials in population based studies failed to show any evidence for increased risk of respiratory symptoms/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer (Tashkin, 2005) associated with smoking cannabis.”
“Moreover, synthetic cannabinoids (Delta 9 THC) and the endocannabinoid system play a role in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis, reducing tumor growth and metastases and inducing apoptosis ( self destruction for cancer cells) in all three types of cancers reviewed here.
“These observations raise the possibility that a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may promote cancer, by fostering physiological conditions that allow cancer cells to proliferate, migrate and grow.”
IMPORTANT: This is a very intriguing observation. What is being implied here is that some people may be suffering from an anandamide deficiency! Just as a diabetic is insulin deficiencient and must supplement their body with insulin, in this case THC is the vital medicine needed to replace low levels of anandamide.
These observations also raise the exciting possibility that enhancing cannabinoid tone (code for THC locking into the CB1 receptor) through cannabinoid based pharmacotherapies may attenuate these harmful processes to produce anti-cancer effects in humans.
Bottom line:  Smoking marijuana prevents cancer body-wide.
#2:  “Update on the Endocannabinoid System as an Anticancer Target” 
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Graphic: Americans for Safe Access
​Findings: antitumor effects, cancer prevention
“Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could offer an attractive antitumor target. Numerous findings suggest the involvement of this system (constituted mainly by cannabinoid receptors, endogenous compounds and the enzymes for their synthesis and degradation) in cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo.”
“This review covers literature from the past decade which highlights the potential of targeting the ECS for cancer treatment. In particular, the levels of endocannabinoids and the expression of their receptors in several types of cancer are discussed, along with the signaling pathways involved in the endocannabinoid antitumor effects.”
“Furthermore, targeting the ECS with agents that activate cannabinoid receptors (This means THC) or inhibitors of endogenous degrading systems such as fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors may have relevant therapeutic impact on tumor growth. Additional studies into the downstream consequences of endocannabinoid treatment are required and may illuminate other potential therapeutic targets.”
#3:  “Cannabinoids and the gut: new developments and emerging concepts”
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Photo: Top News
​Findings: THC and inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, colon cancer, vomiting/chemotherapy
“Disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been treated with herbal and plant-based remedies for centuries. Prominent amongst these therapeutics are preparations derived from the marijuana plant Cannabis.  Cannabis has been used to treat a variety of GI conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors.”
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Sites of action of cannabinoids in the enteric nervous system. CB2 receptors indicated with the marijuana leaf.
​  “Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions.” (CB2 receptors are embedded within the lining of the intestines in large numbers.)
“They are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut.”
“As we have shown, the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and specific regional or organ-specific actions.”
“CB2 receptors are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation (cancer)”
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How THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct
​ “Preclinical models have shown that modifying the endocannabinoid system can have beneficial effects…. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential.” [THC is the Pharmacological agent mentioned.]
Colorectal Cancer Prevention Model

Cannabiols via CB1 and possibly CB2 receptor activation, have been shown to exert apoptotic actions in several colorectal cancer cell lines.
See the illustration at left for how THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct.
#4:   “Gut feelings about the endocannabinoid system”
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Graphic: CMR Journal
Schematic illustration of the functional roles of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the gastrointestinal tract. The ECS regulates four major functional elements in the gut: motility, secretion, inflammation, and sensation in health and disease. Major components of the ECS that have been defined in each of these functional roles are shown: CB1 and CB2 receptors, anandamide (AEA), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and the endocannabinoid membrane transporter (EMT). For motility, the CB2 receptors only appear to be active under pathophysiological conditions and are shown italicized.
​ Findings: Stemming from the centuries-old and well known effects of Cannabis on intestinal motility and secretion, research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in gut function and dysfunction has received ever increasing attention since the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids.
In this article, some of the most recent developments in this field are discussed, with particular emphasis on new data, most of which are published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility, on the potential tonic endocannabinoid control of intestinal motility, the function of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors in gastric function, visceral pain, inflammation and sepsis, the emerging role of cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in the gut, and the pharmacology of endocannabinoid-related molecules and plant cannabinoids not necessarily acting via cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors.
These novel data highlight the multi-faceted aspects of endocannabinoid function in the GI tract, support the feasibility of the future therapeutic exploitation of this signaling system for the treatment of GI disorders, and leave space for some intriguing new hypotheses on the role of endocannabinoids in the gut.
#5: “Cannabinoids and the skeleton: from marijuana to reversal of bone loss”
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Graphic: Medicinal Cannabis
​Findings: CB2 receptors maintain bone remodeling balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
The active component of marijuana, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, activates the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, thus mimicking the action of endogenous cannabinoids.
CB1 is predominantly neuronal and mediates the cannabinoid psychotropic effects. CB2 is predominantly expressed in peripheral tissues, mainly in pathological conditions. So far the main endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, have been found in bone at ‘brain’ levels.
The CB1 receptor is present mainly in skeletal sympathetic nerve terminals, thus regulating the adrenergic tonic restrain of bone formation. CB2 is expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, stimulates bone formation, and inhibits bone resorption.
Because low bone mass is the only spontaneous phenotype so far reported in CB2 mutant mice, it appears that the main physiologic involvement of CB2 is associated with maintaining bone remodeling at balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
Indeed, in humans, polymorphisms in CNR2, the gene encoding CB2, are strongly associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Preclinical studies have shown that a synthetic CB2-specific agonist rescues ovariectomy-induced bone loss.
Taken together, the reports on cannabinoid receptors in mice and humans pave the way for the development of 1) diagnostic measures to identify osteoporosis-susceptible polymorphisms in CNR2, and 2) cannabinoid drugs to combat osteoporosis.
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Graphic: Fit Body Bootcamp
​​Findings: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents the leading cause of death in young individuals.
FINDING:  THC activation of the CB1 receptor is the same as the action of anaidemide on CB1 This article discusses how anandamide increases in the brain after injury, so THC may have the potential to become a front line emergency medicine in the future.
“There is a large body of evidence showing that eCB are markedly increased in response to pathogenic traumatic head injury events.”
“This fact, as well as numerous studies on experimental models of brain toxicity, neuroinflammation and trauma supports the notion that the eCB are part of the brain’s compensatory or repair mechanisms.”
These are mediated via CB receptors signalling pathways that are linked to neuronal survival and repair. The levels of 2-AG, the most highly abundant eCB, are significantly elevated after TBI and when administered to TBI mice, 2-AG decreases brain edema, inflammation and infarct volume and improves clinical recovery.( So would THC.)
This review is focused on the role the eCB system plays as a self-neuroprotective mechanism and its potential as a basis for the development of novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of CNS pathologies with special emphasis on TBI.
Bottom line:  For proof see U.S government 2003 patent
#7:  “Acute administration of cannabidiol in vivo suppresses ischaemia-induced cardiac arrhythmias and reduces infarct size when given at reperfusion”
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Graphic: Cannabis N.I.
Not only is CBD cardioprotective — it is also an anti-epileptic, sedative, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-emetic, and anti-tumorant.
​ Findings:  Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, with anti-apoptotic, (the process of programmed cell death) anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has recently been shown to exert a tissue sparing effect during chronic myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R).
However, it is not known whether CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R injury and the present studies tested this hypothesis.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either vehicle or CBD (10 or 50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before 30 min coronary artery occlusion or CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before reperfusion (2 h). The appearance of ventricular arrhythmias during the ischaemic and immediate post-reperfusion periods were recorded and the hearts excised for infarct size determination and assessment of mast cell degranulation. Arterial blood was withdrawn at the end of the reperfusion period to assess platelet aggregation in response to collagen.
KEY RESULTS: “CBD reduced both the total number of ischaemia-induced arrhythmias and infarct size when administered prior to ischaemia, an effect that was dose-dependent. Infarct size was also reduced when CBD was given prior to reperfusion. CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) given prior to ischaemia, but not at reperfusion, attenuated collagen-induced platelet aggregation compared with control, but had no effect on ischaemia-induced mast cell degranulation.”
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: “This study demonstrates that CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R by both reducing ventricular arrhythmias and attenuating infarct size. The anti-arrhythmic effect, but not the tissue sparing effect, may be mediated through an inhibitory effect on platelet activation.”
Remember to exercise your ganja rights! Every day is a Ganja day!

Higher Education: Top 20 & Bottom 20 Colleges For Marijuana

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Photo: Little Eddy
A mass exhale of marijuana smoke at the Unibversity of Colorado Boulder campus at 4:20 p.m., April 20, 2010. UC-Boulder came in fourth on the list.

​California and Colorado dominated the The Princeton Review‘s Top 5 colleges for marijuana use this year, with two entries each.

In the rankings — part of the Review’s “The Best 376 Colleges” survey — Colorado College in Colorado Springs ranked as the #1 pot-smoking school in the United States.
The small private school blazed past the competition in the annual rankings, which The Princeton Review released on Monday.
Colorado College has been a “usual suspect” on the marijuana list for the past few years, said Rob Franek, vice president and publisher of the Review.

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Photo: Santa Cruz IMC
A comely reveler at the 4-20 celebration at University of California – Santa Cruz
​Franek said Colorado College, like others on the list, has strong academic standards, reports Brittany Anas of the Boulder Daily Camera.
The Princeton Review surveyed 122,000 students nationwide to come up with the rankings.
“We go directly to whom we think would be experts, and that’s current college students,” Franek said.’
University of Colorado-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard was unimpressed with his school’s #4 showing, saying the rankings are subjective and have no scientific backing.
“The media is way more interested in the rankings than we are,” he sniffed.
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Photo: Santa Cruz IMC
University of California at Santa Cruz, April 20, 2010
​ Pacific Northwest favorite Evergreen College, long known as a countercultural haven, just missed the Top 11, coming in at number 11.
The Princeton Review , which a college test prep company with no connection to Princeton University, released the Top 20 standings to garner publicity for its annual guidebook, The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition, which went on sale Monday.
The lists, besides more academically oriented rankings, also include “party school” standings (Ohio University ranked #1) and one called “Got Milk? (beer usage reported low).” Other rankings include “Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, clove-smoking vegetarians,” “class discussions encouraged,” “great college towns” and “most politically active students.”
As for the Bottom 20 Colleges when it comes to marijuana use, it’s no surprise that schools associated with the U.S. military show up near the top of the list, along with places like Mormon stronghold Brigham Young University in Utah and the Catholic school Thomas Aquinas College in California.
Top 20 Colleges: How Widely Used Is Marijuana?
1. Colorado College, Colorado Springs
2. University of California – Santa Cruz
3. University of California – Santa Barbara
4. University of Colorado – Boulder
5. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
6. Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
7. Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina
8. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida
9. New College of Florida, Sarasota
10. University of Vermont, Burlington
11. The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
12. New York University, New York City
13. Reed College, Portland, Oregon
14. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
15. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York
16. Pitzer College, Claremont, California
17. Arizona State University, Tempe
18. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
19. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York
20. Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
Bottom 20 Colleges: How Widely Used Is Marijuana?
1. U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut
3. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, California
4. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
5. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri
6. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
7. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York
8. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
9. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York
10. The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma
11. Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio
12. Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan
13. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
14. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
15. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
16. Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
17. Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport
18. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
19. City University of New York – Baruch College, New York City
20. City University of New York – Queens College, Flushing, New York

China Censors Little Black Book Of Marijuana; Release Delayed

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Graphic: Peter Pauper Press
It’s “too controversial” for the uptight Chinese, but ready for you on September 15

​Communist Bosses Won’t Even Allow Book Inside The Country

The worldwide release of an American book on cannabis has been delayed, due to the refusal of the communist government of China to allow its binding on Chinese soil, according to the publisher.

The Little Black Book of Marijuana, by yours truly, Toke of the Town editor Steve Elliott, was scheduled for availability on August 1, but that printing schedule was thrown off after the totalitarian Chinese government decided the book was “too controversial” to even allow the printed pages inside the tightly-run dictatorship.
“Our printer is located in Hong Kong, with binderies in mainland China,” production manager Ginny Reynolds of Peter Pauper Press explained to me Friday morning. “Usually it’s no problem to move  printed books from Hong Kong to China for binding.
“However, Chinese censorship is extremely tight,” Reynolds told Toke of the Town. “Any content deemed ‘sensitive’ or ‘controversial’ by their standards is banned.”

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Photo: alapoet
Steve Elliott: “You can always tell a totalitarian dictatorship, because they’re afraid of the truth.”
​ “We have the same problem with our books on sexuality,” she told me. “The printer has to arrange for binding in Hong Kong, and facilities there are limited and overbooked in the summer season.
Basically, what this means for prospective readers of The Little Black Book of Marijuana is that instead of an August 1 availability date, we are now looking at a delay until around September 15. Believe me, that doesn’t make me any happier than it does you. In fact, it frustrates the hell out of me.
In fact, you wanna talk about frustration? The book is already bound, at this point — but it’s literally on a slow boat from China. The damned thing is somewhere in the mid-Pacific, chugging this way at a glacial pace, and there ain’t shit you or I can do, except maybe fire up a doob and wait.
“We’re doing everything we can to speed things along, although I know patience is hard to come by!” Reynolds said. “We were unaware of the extent of the delays until recently.”
So, for those of you who have already ordered The Little Black Book of Marijuana: The Essential Guide to the World of Cannabis, I offer my sincere apologies. You will receive your books, just a month later than planned.
Now, who’d care to join me in a big shout?: FUCK CENSORSHIP!

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Graphic: Peter Pauper Press
Here’s a sneak peek at the photo section of The Little Black Book of Marijuana.

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