Cannabis Synergy: Beyond THC

Cannabis is a plant as ubiquitous as it is therapeutic. For centuries Cannabis has held an integral role in many societies as a medicine and as a relaxant. A century ago, Cannabis extracts were used in the United States as a normalizer for disruptions in appetite and for cases of nausea, amongst their plethora of other alleviative properties. Since the early twentieth century, reports of Cannabis use turned to an anecdotal form due to the social controversy over the psychoactivity of Cannabis and the scheduling of Cannabis on the controlled substance list. Since then, illicit use continued, with anecdotes of profound therapeutic potential. The diversity of therapeutic effects attributed to Cannabis is staggering. Reports encompass relief from gastrointestinal disruption and illness, decrease in ocular pressure, analgesia, and normalizing depression to list just a few. This wide range of purported medical benefit is unlikely to be attributed to merely one psychoactive compound, the notorious delta-9 THC. THC may be accredited to a large variety of therapeutic benefit, but the variance in psychoactivity seen between strains invites the theory that these variances are caused by different relative ratios of THC to the other cannabinoids, and perhaps even more importantly, the terpenoids. Contrary to the omnipresent terpenoids, phytocannabinoids are produced exclusively in Cannabis. Their involvement with the endocannabinoid receptor system in humans has been an intriguing mystery, with theories such as the surreptitious mimic and others that are beyond the scope of this review (for more information, refer to the National Insitute of…

CBD & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an affliction that affects approximately one million Americans, with incidence rates much higher in developing countries. IBD is characterized by illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Excessive inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract results in intestinal damage and disturbances in motility and secretion. Serious pain follows, as well as a range of other pervasive symptoms. Currently no cures are known, and treatment is measured by reduction of symptoms and suppression of flare-ups. Alleviation of IBD is currently accomplished with a number of medications that induce and retain remission. Steroidal treatment is another pathway that is currently used. These drugs possess limited efficacy however, and many contain unwanted side effects. Cannabis and IBD
Cannabis Indica (nomenclature 2004 IU), the marijuana plant, has a long and storied history in medical application. Extracts of Cannabis were used in the USA a century ago for the treatment of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Anectodal accounts have been very prevalent regarding the effective use of Cannabis for IBD. Self-medication under state medical cannabis laws is used by a generous subset of IBD patients for its analgesic activity in the abdomen, as well as the increase in appetite and reduction of diarrhea. However, the greatest limitation to exploring the full efficacy of cannabis on inflammation and other IBD symptoms lies with the activation of CB1 and CB2 (cannabinoid) receptors by delta-9 THC and the resulting psychoactive effect. CBD, however, does not activate CB1 or CB2, and therefore is devoid of psychoactive…

Cannabinoid-Opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain, A Review

Everyone knows that cannabis delivers various medical benefits, perhaps the most important one being pain relief.  Other drugs relieve pain, and doctors normally prescribe opiates or opioids to relieve severe pain.  However, opioid side effects include sedation, nausea and vomiting, and addiction. Nevertheless, the medical and cannabis communities have good cause to learn more about the combined use of cannabis and opioids.  Research has shown that cannabis enhances the pain relief of opioids while reducing nausea (Narang, 2008).  Patients may benefit from the cannabis-opioid combination by being able to reduce their use of the opioids and the side effects they cause.  Many patients already augment their opioid pain relief regimen with cannabis, so the interaction deserves close examination. For some patients, psychoactivity poses the most serious side effect of cannabis.  Beyond that, patients can safely obtain pain relief from cannabis precisely because it has few other side effects.  The inherent safety of THC is due to the scarcity of cannabinoid receptors in the parts of the brain that control metabolism and breathing. In 2010, Dr. Donald Abrams conducted a study using 24 patients at the San Francisco General Hospital.  The patients normally consumed morphine or oxycodone for significant pain due to various conditions (cancer, multiple sclerosis, migraine, etc.).  The study examined the subjective effects on the patients following the addition of inhaled cannabis vapor to their opioid regimen.  The patients inhaled vaporized cannabis three times a day for five days.  The patients also continued their prescriptions of sustained release tablets…

CBD Alleviates Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

The rebirth of cannabinoid-based science strongly suggests that cannabinoids have numerous other applications besides reducing pain. In the paper summarized here, the scientists find that CBD (cannabidiol) provides effective relief from symptoms of schizophrenia. In some strains of marijuana, CBD content is comparable or displaces THC. Historic research found CBD to be the predominant cannabinoid in the Indica strains. Unfortunately, growers bred Indica strains to produce the psychoactive THC instead. Research found that CBD provided a variety of desirable effects for patients, and growers have refocused on developing strains where CBD predominates. Research on CBD’s effects on schizophrenia comes from Professor FM Leweke of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg. Leweke found that CBD is as effective at improving psychotic symptoms as the standard antipsychotic amisulpride. Cannabidiol also generated significantly fewer side effects of motor disturbances (so-called extrapyramidal symptoms), weight gain and sexual dysfunction. Leweke’s findings suggest a link between the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol and CBD’s ability to inhibit anandamide degradation. CBD may enhance anandamide signaling by inhibiting the enzyme that degrades anandamide (fatty acid amide hydrolase-FAAH). The study used dosages of 200 to 600 mg per day. A high yield CBD strain may contain 5% or 50 mg/ gram. Thus, a patient would have to consume 12 grams of CBD-yielding Indica to get the same effect as 600 mg per day. A patient could undertake such a regimen, but it would be costly and probably unpleasant. On the other hand, CBD…

CNBC’s Marijuana in America Documentary

Colorado made history as the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use. NBC News correspondent Harry Smith tells the story behind this emerging story, which has been called one of the greatest social experiments of the next century. Like Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "Weed" special report on CNN, CNBC's Marijuana in America: Colorado Pot Rush provides a good view of today's industry, from the thriving recreational market in Colorado, to the ground-breaking medical applications that are improving lives.

Terpenes: Effects in Medical Marijuana

The first thing people really notice upon inspecting a new supply of medical marijuana is - the aroma. What gives each plant its particular smell is the complex array of terpenes - the organic chemical makeup of the plant. How they relate with cannabinoids is the subject of much modern research. What is known is that terpenes are volatile, fragrant substances formed in the early steps of making proteins, amino acids, etc. They are not as immediately necessary as, say, water, but they do provide the structure for a plant to survive over time. Hundreds of components have been identified in cannabis varieties; some major terpenes present in all cannabis plants, and their generally recognized effects, are as follows: Alpha-pinene is a basic protective component; its function is improving respiration/circulation, disinfecting and repelling pests. (Think evergreen forest floor, early in the morning). Limonene is a calmative component, recognizeable as a lemony smell. It is a mood brightener and strong pestilent repellant. Alone these terpenes are somewhat aggressive/irritant but in mixtures they offer a strong foundation. Research does demonstrate an "entourage" effect for terpenes, where the final therapeutic impact of the whole plant is more than the sum of its parts. Cannabis also contains linolool, which induces calm, perhaps by modifying response of neurons to L-[H3] glutamate (Phytomedicine, 1999. 6(2), pp 107-113). Finally, myrcene is both sedative and anti-spasmodic (relaxing all muscles); it is also analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Beta caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene, as opposed to the above monoterpenes, and is…

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Weed Documentaries

The issue of CBD seizure intervention has recently received major visibility by a report by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, neurologist Sanjay Gupta.  In both Weeds and Weeds 2 (YouTube), he has given substantial airtime evidence to alternate opinions from the general bureaucratic presumption that marijuana is highly addictive with no medical potential. Although there is a major oversimplification stating that the yin/yang CBD and THC are the only potent components, we do learn many things about the history of and current international research into cannabis in the two CNN programs. In the doc we meet Charlotte, who suffered debilitating and increasing seizures that had proven drug-resistant and saw her parents, formerly totally anti-cannabis, search for and find a last best hope - a CBD-rich mj strain eventually named in her honor, "Charlotte's Web."  Colorado just happens to be home to the Stanley brothers, who just happened to have the capability to supply daily medicine from CBD plants, a happy situation for Charlotte. The documentary also covers other topics and issues around the benefits, business and legality of the emerging cannabis industry. It's definitely worth a watch.

Sacramento Cannabis Cup Winners 2012

Cornerstone is proud to have 3 FIRST PLACE WINNERS in the Medicinal Cannabis Cup. Cornerstone's C3 strain has high THC and entourage effects. Cornerstone's Four Cups strain provides relief from anxiety and depression. And, Cornerstone's Blueberry OG is a high CBD medicine with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Cornerstone also earned two HONORABLE MENTIONS for our Cheese (high THC) and CRC Harlequin (high CBD anti-inflammatory) strains.