Author: Ian

Is This the Medical Marijuana Vaporizer of Tomorrow?

Few global regions enjoy more government-backed cannabis research and investment than Israel. There, state-sanctioned medical cannabis research startup Syqe Medical has been working to create what the company is hyping as the world’s first metered-dose medical cannabis inhaler. The device uses structurally modified cannabis that has been pre-loaded into individual “vapor chips,” essentially tiny cartridges preloaded with raw, whole-plant cannabis in order to retain the plant’s properties. This allows for precise, consistent dosing for medical patients in increments as small as 100 micrograms (0.1 mg). It’s a level of precision, Syqe said, that will allow cannabis to be delivered...

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Cannabis and Depression

We hear a lot about how cannabis has helped people suffering from a wide variety of physical ailments, from cancer to glaucoma to AIDS. Stories about using cannabis to treat psychological disorders such as depression, however, are less common. Fortunately, as cannabis sheds the stigma that has long been associated with its use, more people are speaking out about how cannabis has helped them deal with mental illness. Doctors and researchers are also beginning to come out in favor of cannabis and its potential to treat psychological disorders.   What is Depression? Depression is a complex mood disorder that...

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The Greenhouse Revolution: How Old-School Structures are Changing Cannabis Cultivation

It’s no secret that the cannabis industry has an energy problem. A 2011 study by Dr. Evan Mills, a senior energy scientist at UC Berkeley, estimated that cannabis production consumed 1 percent of the nation’s total energy — and that was before recreational legalization and the resulting explosion of cannabis cultivation. Total production at the time produced about the same amount of greenhouse gas as 3 million cars. Yikes. Though there were negative environmental consequences associated with outdoor growing, Mills’ report found that the bulk of the blame lay with indoor cultivation. “Current indoor cannabis production and distribution practices...

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Cannabis and Cancer

This is part one of a two-part series. Part two examines the evidence that cannabis can cure cancer. Cancer has touched the lives of nearly every American, either directly or through a loved one. Although the US Food & Drug Administration hasn’t approved marijuana as a cancer treatment, America’s shifting legal landscape has encouraged many patients to consult their physicians about the effects it can have on cancer and cancer-related symptoms. The medical benefits of cannabis are no secret. In October 2003, the government patented medical marijuana under US Patent # 6630507, which mentions the antioxidant properties of cannabinoids....

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Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?

Given that 39.6% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, cancers affects nearly everyone. Chances are, someone close to you has battled cancer. Oncologists, more than doctors in any other discipline within medicine, support the option of recommending cannabis as part of a treatment program for patients suffering from cancer. However, while the positive effects of using cannabis to alleviate cancer symptoms have been well documented, the U.S. government continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug — high potential for abuse and no known medical use. Consequently, the federal government’s position...

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MyDx Analyzer: A Cannabis Testing Lab That Can Fit in Your Back Pocket

Daniel Yazbeck pinches the end of a pre-rolled joint, pushing a Tic-Tac–sized crumb of cannabis out of the end. He slides open a port on a handheld plastic device called the MyDx analyzer, loads the sample inside, and, three and a half minutes later, we know nearly everything about it except the name of the grower. Inside the device, a series of sensors known as an “electronic nose” did their thing, using technology developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to detect chemicals in space to analyze the flower’s content of THC, CBD, CBN, THCa, and CBDa cannabinoids as well as...

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How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?

Congratulations, you just landed your dream job! Your eyes widen as you read through the offer letter from your future boss. “Salary…health benefits…401k.” All that hard work has finally paid off! But as you reach the bottom, your heart stops. “Routine drug test…urine…marijuana.” Panic sets in. When was the last time you smoked cannabis? Two weeks ago? Three weeks? And how long will it show up on a drug test? Although conventional wisdom says at least 30 days, the answer is not straightforward. There are many different kinds of drug tests available, which have varying levels of sensitivity and...

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Cannabis and Arthritis

It’s no secret: America’s baby boomers are aging, and one of the most common ailments in older populations is arthritis. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 53 million Americans have arthritis, with women making up 60 percent of the arthritis diagnoses. But what exactly is arthritis, and how can cannabis help it? What is Arthritis? “Arthritis” is an umbrella term used to describe 200 rheumatic diseases affecting the joints and their surrounding tissues. It causes inflammation and stiffness that develops abruptly or gradually around one or more joints. Causes and Forms of Arthritis Although...

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Is Cannabis Safe to Use During Pregnancy? New Study Clarifies Risks

A recent review of cannabis and pregnancy studies provides new insight on a question that has long weighed on the minds of families and to-be mothers: Is cannabis safe to use during pregnancy? Published in Obstetrics & Gynecology this month, the authors reviewed 31 studies between 1982 and 2015, evaluated their results, and concluded that cannabis – when used without tobacco or other drugs – posed no significant risks to specific concerns about birth weight and preterm delivery. This was consistent with findings of a 2010 study funded by the CDC. Up until this point, studies on cannabis and...

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It’s Time to Treat Medical Cannabis Like Medicine

In fall 2013, when other parents were trading stories about the difficulties of balancing homework with little league practice and swimming lessons, I was in my garage, painstakingly measuring amounts of a Schedule 1 narcotic to extract medication for my son. Tinkering with lab equipment and solvents usually only found in chemistry labs, I was trying to purify compounds from cannabis — not to get high, but to save my son’s life.  My son Ben has suffered thousands of seizures in his short, six-year life. Treatment-resistant epilepsy in children is a cruel disease that can lead to significant cognitive,...

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How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect Autism?

Autism and Cannabis at a Glance Autism is a collection of disorders that impact brain development, characterized by communication difficulties, social interaction problems, and repetitive and sometimes injurious behaviors Autism is caused by a combination of genetic mutations and environmental factors, such as advanced parental age and pregnancy problems Autism management focuses on therapies over drugs, including behavioral modification and social-skills coaching There are no clinical studies on cannabis and autism, but there is a growing body of positive anecdotal evidence from doctors and parents Lack of scientific data keeps doctors from endorsing cannabis in treating autism, but some...

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CBD and the Brain: What Does It Do and What is It Good For?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid molecules produced by Cannabis, second only to THC in abundance. These plant-derived cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids (phyto = plant in Greek), are characterized by their ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors that are part of our endocannabinoid system. While THC is the principal psychoactive component of Cannabis and has certain medical uses, CBD stands out because it is both non-psychoactive and displays a broad range of potential medical applications. These properties make it especially attractive as a therapeutic agent.    Evaluating the evidence Perhaps the most remarkable thing about CBD is the...

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CBD vs. THC: Why is CBD Not Psychoactive?

Why is THC psychoactive and CBD is not? How can one cannabinoid alter the mind so profoundly, and the other seemingly not at all? When we’re talking about cannabis and psychoactivity, we’re dealing exclusively with CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system. The difference between CBD vs. THC comes down to a basic difference in how each one interacts with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor. THC binds well with CB1 cannabinoid receptors. CBD has low binding affinity for CB1 receptors. That’s where the two diverge. Think of it like an electrical plug connecting to...

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PotCoin: Can the Cryptocurrency for Cannabis Live up to Its Hype?

In early 2014, around the time retail cannabis stores opened in Colorado, news reports heralded the arrival of a digital currency for the legal cannabis market. PotCoin was supposed to allow consumers to buy or sell marijuana anonymously without using cash. At least one dispensary installed an ATM linked to the cryptocurrency. And then PotCoin fell into obscurity. Within months, the headlines and news stories dried up. PotCoin has been live since its 2014 launch, but it’s failed to drum up a serious following. The currency was eventually taken over by a new set of administrators, including the developer of...

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The Science of Sativa Cannabis Strains

This article is sponsored by The Bloom Brand. The Bloom Brand is the leading cannabis lifestyle brand in Southern California, striving to set the standards of consistency and quality for concentrate products in the market today.   If we’re stereotyping cannabis strains, sativas can be thought of as the “uppers” of the cannabis world – more energetic, clear-headed, and motivating than their relaxing and often couch-locking indica cousins. But why is that the case? What makes Super Lemon Haze better for going about your day than, say, Granddaddy Purple? What is the Difference Between Sativa and Indica Strains? From a scientific...

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Australian Research Initiative Will Put Medical Cannabis Claims to the Test

Imagine you’ve lived a full life, had a very successful career, and are just beginning to relax and spend time with your grandchildren. But one of those grandchildren is sick. She has Dravet Syndrome, a rare and difficult to treat form of epilepsy. What would you do? If you were Barry and Joy Lambert, you might donate $33.7 million to Sydney University to research cannabis—a treatment that’s shown potential to transform lives of patients with epilepsy. The unprecedented private donation last year established the Lambert Initiative, which aims to break new ground as to the medical benefits of cannabis,...

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