Exploring Cannabis’ Relationship to Lung Cancer

The trajectory of every medical cannabis patient is unique. Some patients think of themselves as life-long recreational users until they realize that they’ve been subconsciously using the plant to help treat genuine health conditions. This may be the case for individuals that deal with chronic pain or psychological stress. Others, however, are surprised to find themselves using cannabis at all. For these individuals, finding solace and peace in a substance that is widely perceived as recreational might very well be the last resort. This patient may have gone through years of frustrating dead-end pharmaceutical treatments or thrust into an adverse situation through cancer treatment. Regardless, many of these patients are non-smokers and the consumption of cannabis poses a significant problem. The vaporizers we have reviewed offer an elegant solution to non-smokers, but the basic issue remains: patients are inhaling warm plant matter into lungs that were not designed for the process. This, of course, raises questions about lung cancer and is one of the reasons doctors are hesitant to show support for the medical cannabis movement. Here at Cornerstone, we are advocates for health and for whatever treatment works for the patient, whether that involves cannabis, a more traditional pathway, or a holistic median. From the relative wealth of studies currently available we have no reason to believe that vaporized cannabis plays a role in the development of lung cancer. Despite often having more tar than an equal volume of tobacco (which is almost completely removed in a vapor sample…

Endocannabinoids and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Have you ever had a bad situation made worse by your own reaction? Have you ever wished you had been slower to react or had reacted with less intensity and more deliberation? This also often occurs on a cellular level. What happens during brain trauma is a great example of the body’s reaction causing more problems than the injury itself. Brain trauma is the leading cause of death in young people. Whether from injuries during rigorous or extreme activities such as sports, or from less avoidable car or workplace accidents, brain trauma can leave individuals with physical disability or worse, comatose. Researchers have also observed that beyond the acute (short-term) effects of brain trauma, individuals with previous brain injuries are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions. Countless studies have shown that one of the most critical factors in determining the long-term health consequences of head injury is the type and quality of treatment immediately surrounding the injury. In other words, the potential to change the outcome of the accident is greatest immediately after it has occurred, where small differences in timing and medical reaction can mean the difference between a healthy recovery or prolonged damage. When such an injury occurs, the alarm bells of the brain start going off, launching the brain into an instinctually protective mode. The flow-chart found at the end of the article outlines the specific sequence of that process. During this protective behavior mode, the brain accomplishes several important physiological changes. These…

Vaporization Part III

Have you ever wondered if you were getting the most out of your vaporizer? Perhaps you’re curious about how long vapor can be stored without losing potency? Unfortunately these simple questions can be difficult to answer because vaporizer companies often don’t provide technical research on the subject; careful medical testing of cannabis vaporization devices is uncommon. Yet, as vaporizers grow in popularity and cannabis becomes more culturally mainstream, information is becoming increasingly available. One prominent figure in the medical cannabis research movement, Arno Hazekamp, from the University of Leiden in Holland, focuses on answering very practical questions with sophisticated, quantitative methods. His text, Extracting the Medicine, will be the basis of reviewing functionality of vaporizers in this article. Perhaps the most widespread, non-portable vaporizer design is the balloon-based model. This design catches vapor produced in a temperature-safe bag, referred to as a “balloon”. The balloon adds a significant functionality to any vaporization system. Most apparent, of course, is the ability to de-tether oneself from the source of heat or vaporization. However, the true benefit of the balloon is the ability to breathe at any rate or in any fashion comfortable for the patient. In addition, the vapor in a balloon is typically cooler in temperature than that of a whip or pen style, which many patients prefer. Quality of vapor is determined by both the amount of medicine present in the vapor, as well as the distribution of that medicine or how consistent the vapor is. The ideal vaporizer reaches…