Is the THC in Edibles Different than in Other Products?

THC in edibles

With so many choices in cannabis consumption, it isn’t hard to find something that works for your preferences and lifestyle. For those who want to avoid inhalation methods, edibles make a great alternative. The only downside is that edibles can create a situation where it’s easy to overdo it, and they can sometimes feel much stronger than other consumption methods. In this article, we’ll go over the reason edibles can sometimes feel so strong and if the THC in edibles is different than THC found in other consumption methods.

Edibles and Temptation

These days, cannabis edibles come in so many delicious forms, from discreet mints to easy to imbibe beverages. It’s hard not to indulge quickly and reach for the next treat. Here’s the thing: cannabis has a delayed action when it passes through the digestive system, and edibles make it tempting to take another bite of that delicious goodie before you feel the effects. This often causes people to accidentally eat very high doses of THC, potentially causing a negative experience. But is the dosage to blame for the way edibles seem to cause a different reaction than other methods of consumption? Maybe not.

THC in edibles 1

Is the THC in Edibles Different?

People who can enjoy smoking high-THC cannabis and go about their day sometimes find that eating cannabis makes them feel an overpowering sense of detachment from their body. Even though cannabis is considered safe, large doses of edibles can feel scary even to seasoned consumers and bring a heightened sense of delusion. One theory is that the body processes edibles and inhaled cannabis into two different substances, which can affect the mind in completely different ways.

Some scientists think the difference comes down to the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis – THC. When you inhale cannabis, the compound that hits your bloodstream is delta-9 THC. The cannabis you eat, on the other hand, ends up being processed by your liver into a different compound called 11-hydroxy THC. While these two forms of THC are similar to each other, the small difference means they affect your brain in dramatically contrasting ways. When 11-hydroxy THC crosses the blood-brain barrier, it is far more potent and creates a more intense experience than delta-9 THC.

THC in edibles 2

The reason?

Researchers think that the 11-hydroxy THC molecule can activate some cannabinoid receptors more fully than delta-9 can. This can lead to cannabinoid receptors becoming overstimulated and cause a situation where reactions like anxiety and paranoids are more prevalent.

While there is some research to support the theory that 11-hydroxy THC is more potent, other unpublished studies have shown that the two compounds are more or less equivalent. If so, then what causes edibles to affect people more strongly? One idea is simply that more THC of any kind gets into the body when cannabis is eaten, rather than smoked.

How to Avoid Feeling too Intoxicated

Regardless of which theory is correct, there are some steps you take to avoid overdoing it with edibles. Try starting with no more than 2 mg of THC, which is going to be much lower than the dose in most single-dose edibles. The idea is to work up slowly by taking a small about and not consuming more until the effects are fully felt. This takes a little bit of self-control, but the effort is worth it to ensure a positive cannabis experience.

THC in edibles 3

Are you interested in finding out more about cannabis edibles and how to use them? Come check out our wide selection and let our knowledgeable staff help you find edibles that will work perfectly for you!

How Does CBD Make you Feel?

How Does CBD Make You Feel

You’ve probably heard about Charlotte. She’s the little girl from Colorado who has Dravet’s Syndrome and went from suffering hundreds of seizures per week to just one when her parents tried treating her with cannabidiol (CBD). Since her success, the popularity of this cannabinoid has skyrocketed. But how does CBD make you feel? 

Perhaps you tried cannabis once upon a time and had a miserable and paranoid experience, and though you could use some relief…it just doesn’t feel worth it to try it again. Well, I’ve got good news. Even though it still comes from cannabis, CBD will not get you high. 

Cannabinoids: The Key to Canna-healing

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is located throughout our bodies, and its job is to create homeostasis between all the other systems. Our bodies make endocannabinoids, which fit right into the ECS like a lock and key. However, cannabinoids from the cannabis plant also fit into these receptors – and sometimes they can be an even better fit. 

How Does CBD Make You Feel 1

CBD May Be a Powerful Healer

CBD, like other cannabinoids, works with various parts of the ECS, so it is reputed to have a wide variety of medicinal effects. It’s important to understand that CBD’s effects are not some kind of “miracle cure,” they’re simply the body engaging the ECS to create balance within its various systems. 

How Does CBD Make you Feel?

If you’re taking pure CBD, it will not get you high. Its effects are different for different people, but they are often described with words and phrases like: calming, clear-headed, and improved mood. Though some users and patients do say that it makes them sleepy, many others say it helps them sleep when they lie down, but that they don’t notice a sleepy feeling beforehand.

How Does CBD Make You Feel 2

Like other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, CBD is more something that you notice when you don’t take it. Since it can treat symptoms without having many side effects, the return of symptoms is more noticeable than how the CBD makes you feel in the minutes and hours after taking it. In addition to possible drowsiness, other potential side effects are dry mouth, low blood pressure, and lightheadedness.

How to Get Started

It seems like you can find CBD products just about everywhere now. But not all CBD products are of the same caliber. While hemp-derived CBD products can be sold legally across the U.S., cannabis-derived CBD products cannot. This means that many people don’t have the benefit of purchasing safe, lab-tested CBD products from a reputable dispensary. 

How Does CBD Make You Feel 3

If you’re interested in trying CBD for yourself, keep in mind that hemp-derived CBD is not currently held to any standard by any governing agency, from the FDA on down. On the other hand, cannabis-derived CBD, whether in edibles, oils, or vape cartridges, are held to the same standard as other cannabis products.

You can find lab-tested, high-CBD products at your favorite Columbia dispensary. Stop by or order online now.

The Latest News on Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia treatment

Over 10 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia and know too well how real the pain of their condition can be. There is no known cure for this long-term chronic disorder, and due to the lack of objective tests, some doctors question whether it even exists. Although it’s now more widely accepted in the medical community, symptoms like general fatigue and tiredness can’t be measured with tests, making fibromyalgia treatment hard to come by. But a new Israeli study says cannabis could offer the hope that patients need.

New Study on Cannabis as a Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia is a chronic medical disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. It affects 3% to 6% of the world population, with around 80% of patients being female. While the study didn’t conclude that cannabis can cure the condition, it did find that it’s a good option for treating severe symptoms like pain. Cannabis can also help with many other fibromyalgia symptoms, including problems with sleep, fatigue, depression, and changes in mood.

Fibromyalgia treatment 1

While it’s widely accepted that cannabis can treat many forms of chronic pain, there haven’t been many studies that specifically look at the role it can play in treating fibromyalgia. Most patients are limited to a pharmaceutical cocktail of opiates, sleep aids, and antidepressants to find relief, but these treatments tend to be insufficient. This study sheds light on an exciting new option for a condition that is notorious for being difficult to treat.

Fibromyalgia Treatment Study Results

The study was conducted by Israeli researchers from the Department of Rheumatology at Rabin Medical Center. It’s the first and largest clinical trial to look at herbal cannabis in fibromyalgia patients and included 367 participants. The results proved to be overwhelmingly positive.

Fibromyalgia treatment 2

Patients in the study reported that after six months, their average pain level was reduced scientifically from a severe 9/10 to a manageable 5/10. Most patients experienced a positive response and a change in their quality of life from poor to good or very good. Researchers reported that:

  • 81.1% of patients experienced symptom improvement
  • 73.4% experienced better sleep
  • 80.8% experienced depression relief
  • 61.9% improved their overall quality of life

Cannabis: A Therapy With Few Side Effects

Study participants reported very few mild side effects, ranging from dry mouth to dizziness in less than 10% of patients. Researchers concluded that medical cannabis seems to be an effective and safe alternative to traditional drugs.

Researchers also noted that cannabis is a worthwhile treatment option for pain because of the low risk for addiction and negative side effects compared to opioids. They emphasized the importance of further research because of the potential for cannabis to treat other debilitating symptoms like depression and anxiety.

Fibromyalgia treatment 3

Many medical professionals are hopeful that cannabis could become the new go-to therapy option for treating fibromyalgia. It’s a safe and effective option for all patients but has an especially high potential for those who haven’t been successful with standard pharmacological therapies, and people who suffer a very poor quality of life.

If you want to learn more about treating pain with high-quality cannabis, we’d love to help. Schedule an appointment today or drop by. We’re happy to answer all of your questions and get you started on the road to better health.

Rest and Relaxation: The Best Terpenes for Anxiety

Terpenes for Anxiety

As many cannabis consumers are aware, cannabis is known for being an ideal medicine in the treatment of anxiety. However, most patients are completely unaware of the reasons for this, or the special chemicals that imbue cannabis with its reputation for inducing calm and relaxation. 

The answer lies with compounds called terpenes which exist in every strain of cannabis, as well as many other organic materials. Terpenes lend cannabis its distinct characteristics, which range from eliciting a lovely flavor of strawberry to anti-inflammatory effects that relieve pain and promote restfulness. Here are some of the most common terpenes for anxiety you’ll find in many strains of cannabis today.

3 Good Terpenes for Anxiety

Limonene

Terpenes for Anxiety 1

Limonene is a unique terpene found in cannabis strains that elicits the sensation of citrus whenever it is encountered. Derived from the oil of citrus peels, such as lemon or oranges, limonene is known as one of the best terpenes for anxiety, as strains enhanced with limonene are known to relieve paranoia or restlessness. 

Some preliminary research has begun to show that limonene is a potential anti-depressant, which sheds light on this terpene’s presence in famous strains aimed at combating depression like Super Lemon Haze. Limonene-laden strains are also employed in the treatment of certain types of cancer, making this terpene applicable to a wide variety of situations.

Caryophyllene

Terpenes for Anxiety 2

While caryophyllene might be associated with harsher flavors like garlic and pepper, its anti-inflammatory power makes this one of the ideal terpenes for anxiety. Strains that employ caryophyllene are known to be some of the most restful, calming strains currently available on the market, and can be used to treat conditions ranging from arthritis to Alzheimer’s. 

Researchers studying cannabis since the dawn of legalization in America were surprised to discover that caryophyllene interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body, despite not being a cannabinoid. This finding paved the way for further research into the properties of terpenes and how they could be used to modify the effects of cannabis strains to offer patients a more vast range of options for treatment. 

Myrcene

Terpenes for Anxiety 3

Myrcene is one of the more interesting terpenes found in cannabis, as its origins can be traced to a wide variety of herbs used in the holistic treatment of pain and inflammation. Found in famous strains from Harlequin to Cannatonic, Myrcene is perhaps the most potent terpene for anxiety currently available to cannabis consumers.

The most noteworthy property of this peculiar terpene is the way it interacts with the THC naturally occurring within cannabis. While myrcene is typically encountered in the form of plants like thyme, when encountered in cannabis this chemical has the potential to supercharge the effects of THC, producing a much more effective and longer-lasting high. That’s why myrcene-imbued strains are considered to be some of the most potent.

We need more research to learn whether the benefits of terpenes are the same for the terpenes in cannabis, but the future looks promising.

To experiment with terpenes yourself, stop by our Columbia, MD, dispensary. We look forward to helping you!

On The Cutting Edge of Cannabis: Transdermal Patches

Transdermal Patches

If newfangled cannabis products like concentrates, edibles, and extracts already make your head spin, get ready for transdermal patches. They’re a whole new way to get the gentle, long-lasting and effective relief of cannabis medicine: no smoking, vaping, drops or measuring required!

You may already be familiar with topicals. They’re the class of cannabis-infused balms, salves, oils, and liniments that apply the cannabis plant’s anti-inflammatory and other healing properties to sore and aching muscles and skin. Transdermal patches are similar, but there are some important differences to be aware of. We’ll explain them in detail, and suggest some instances in which you might want to try transdermal patches and others in which you might want to stick with topicals. 

Transdermal Patches: How They Work

While cannabis topicals are designed to apply the cannabis plant’s “active ingredients”—the dozens of cannabinoids and terpenes that work in concert on our bodies and minds—directly to the site of aches and pains, transdermal patches use the same approach for a very different result.

Transdermal Patches on skin

While transdermal patches are applied directly to the skin just like topicals, they’re typically designed to allow specific cannabinoids to pass through the skin and from there into the bloodstream. By comparison, the active ingredients in topicals don’t typically reach the bloodstream.

One useful way to think about transdermal patches vs topicals is that while topicals deliver cannabis medicine directly where they’re applied through your skin, transdermal patches deliver cannabis medicine to your entire body through your skin. 

Transdermal Patches: What You Need to Know

Because transdermal patches allow cannabis medicine to reach the bloodstream, products containing the cannabinoid THC will be psychoactive (meaning they will make you feel “high”).

Transdermal Patches examples
Source: Manna Molecular

That said, many users report that the nature of this psychoactivity is different from that experienced with smoked or vaped cannabis, and especially from the often stronger psychoactivity associated cannabis-infused edibles. Think of the effect of transdermal patches as a gentle, time-release approach to cannabis medicine and you’ll begin to get the idea. 

There are other distinctions between transdermal patches and other administration methods. For one thing, the patches typically deliver a very specific cannabinoid or combination of cannabinoids, not the “full-spectrum” we receive through many other approaches. Nor do they deliver terpenes, the non-psychoactive compounds that give strains of cannabis (and many other natural substances) their characteristic aromas and flavors. 

Transdermal Patches: Targeted Medicine for Specific Results

While there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that terpenes are medically useful, the fact that transdermal patches deliver only carefully targeted cannabinoids is deliberate. It allows manufacturers to design patches with very specific outcomes and goals in mind. Remedy Columbia currently stocks transdermal patches made to fight muscle spasms, insomnia, inflammation, and a host of other conditions. 

Transdermal Patch package
Source: Leafly

In addition to patches containing CBD, THC and a blend of the two, we’re excited to be carrying products containing CBN. This cannabinoid is only now stepping into the spotlight, but its demonstrated effects include mild sedation, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory action. It’s likely you’ll hear a lot more about this cannabinoid in the months and years to come.

We’d love to tell you more about transdermal patches and the specific ways they might help you find relief from symptoms and chronic conditions. Stop by our dispensary or drop us a line; we’d love to help!

Terpene Profile: Limonene, Uplifting Medicine from Cannabis

Limonene

If you visit our blog with any regularity, you’ll recognize the term “terpenes.” They’re the fragrant oils that give different strains of cannabis, not to mention many other plants and natural substances, their characteristic aromas and flavors.

Terpenes aren’t the only “active ingredients” in the cannabis plant—that crown goes to cannabinoids such as THC and CBD—but they’re among the most important. Besides determining the dominant aromatic and flavor characteristics of any given cannabis plant, the terpenes—of which there are over 200 in cannabis!—have medical attributes as well, bringing their own unique healing properties to bear.

We’ve written previously about myrcene—the most abundant and arguably most important terpene—but there are many, many more. Today we’ll look at limonene, one of the most distinctive of the terpenes. As you might suspect, it has a characteristic lemony aroma, but there’s much more to the story than just a pretty smell.

Limonene: What Does It Do For Us?

Limonene is found primarily in citrus—particularly orange—rinds, and it’s been used in medicines, foods, and natural cleaning products for many decades.

Limonene citrus terpene

Though many primary terpenes such as pinene exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in our bodies, one of limonene’s greatest strengths may be that it’s a “helper terpene,” helping facilitate the absorption of other terpenes through our skin, our mucous membranes and our gut. 

That last part of the body is important. As is increasingly becoming clear, the gut is in many ways a “second brain,” playing a large part in our body’s regulatory functions and even emotions. Limonene may help maintain healthy digestion and gut function; some other potential benefits currently under study include:

Limonene for belly

Anti-Cancer: Fighting cancer remains one of the medical world’s highest aims, and—as with many other terpenes—limonene may have a role to play. Two studies completed by the University of Arizona suggested that limonene not only helps modulate our immune system—an important role in fighting any disease, not just cancer—but may also play a direct role in controlling the spread of certain cancers themselves

Anti-Fungal: Again, as with many other terpenes, a study suggests that limonene can exhibit powerful antifungal properties. Because it absorbs easily through the skin, it may have a role to play in treating stubborn fungal infections like athlete’s foot and yeast outbreaks.

Mood Uplift: Anecdotally, many users report that limonene helps impart a generalized feeling of uplift and well-being. That’s certainly the case with high-limonene cannabis strains, as we’ll see below….

Cannabis Strains with High Limonene Content

Limonene is one of the “primary terpenes,” and it’s abundant in many cannabis strains. That said, not all strains containing limonene smell like lemon; sometimes you’ll detect a more subtle citrus scent, or even not one at all! While we need more research to determine the effectiveness of limonene for cannabis, the terpene still imparts a lovely aroma and energetic effect.

Limonene in cannabis

Strains with “lemon” in their name are a good indicator of limonene content. Others include: 

Strawberry Diesel: A versatile hybrid strain, it’s well-loved for its daytime usability—it doesn’t tend to leave you groggy—and it’s also good for fighting insomnia. But go slow: This strain is fast-acting and can be intense if you overindulge.

White Fire OG: This strain is popular in social situations or as a creative prompt. Some love it for its anxiety- and depression-fighting qualities, and many medical patients turn to it for relief from symptoms related to treatment for cancer. 

OG Kush: This is a potent, high-THC strain, and for many, the piney, spicy and earthy aromas are the epitome of “dank.” It’s known for a strong euphoria and general uplift, but be cautious: It can exhibit powerful “couch-lock”!

If you’d like to learn more about strains or products with limonene, stop by your favorite Columbia dispensary!

Why Understanding the Difference Between THC vs CBD Matters

THC vs CBD

If you follow developments in the world of cannabis at all, you’ve probably heard a lot about CBD lately: it’s good for anxiety; you can add it to your coffee; it’s completely legal!

The list goes on and on. CBD is a big deal, and for good reason. As the second most common cannabinoid—or “active ingredient”—in cannabis, it does as much as its more common cousin—good old THC—and then some. 

But while these two compounds are incredibly similar, they interact with our bodies in very different ways. So let’s dive in—with validated facts, not rumors—to the straight dope about THC vs CBD.

THC vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

Strangely enough, on a molecular and chemical level, CBD and THC are nearly identical. In fact, it’s just a difference of one atom—the smallest possible particle of any chemical—that separates them. That said, that single atom makes a whole lot of difference.

THC vs CBD molecules

From the user’s point of view, the major difference between THC vs CBD is that, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make you feel high. In fact, of the 113 cannabinoids that have been identified in marijuana, THC is the only one responsible for intoxication (aka “being high”).

But beyond the euphoria of feeling stoned, behind the scenes, these two cannabinoids affect your body in very different ways. Generally speaking, THC is associated with feelings of sedation. Some of its other major effects include:

By comparison, CBD tends to have an energizing effect; that’s one reason many cannabis fans save it for daytime use. Some of its other major effects include:

You may have noticed that THC and CBD address some of the same symptoms—such as pain relief—or play a role in treating broadly similar ones, like relief from both insomnia and depression. What gives?

THC vs CBD: Better Together or Apart?

While some of us might prefer the euphoria associated with THC (and some of us would prefer no psychoactivity at all), these two cannabinoids may be more effective together than separate.

THC vs CBD cb1 and cb2 receptors

Why? Both THC and CBD interact with specialized receptors in your body called CB1 and CB2. While both cannabinoids will bind fairly easily to the CB2 receptor, CBD interacts quite differently than THC with the CB1 receptor (the one responsible for the euphoric feeling of being high). CBD doesn’t readily bind with CB1 receptors, but when it’s paired with THC, it can help strengthen some of THC’s qualities. 

What does this mean for you? For one, CBD will tend to enhance some of THC’s pain-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. For another, the presence of CBD actually helps diminish some potentially uncomfortable feelings caused by THC, which may include paranoia—or even psychosis—in extreme cases of overconsumption.

But how can you predict what sort of effect any given cannabis is going to have? That’s where ratios come in. 

THC vs CBD: Why Cannabinoid Ratios Are so Important

All the cannabis we sell here is clearly labeled with the ratio between its two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD. While the ratios will change based on the specific characteristics of a given plant, we can separate them into three broad categories:

  • High THC / low CBD (10-30% THC, trace amounts of CBD)
  • Balanced CBD/THC (5-15% each THC and CBD)
  • High CBD / low THC (5-20% CBD, THC under 5%)
THC vs CBD measuring up

At a high THC / low CBD ratio, you can expect much more of the sedation and euphoria associated with THC. For those sensitive to this cannabinoid, side effects may include dizziness, anxiety, and paranoia.

At a roughly balanced ratio, the effects of the two cannabinoids tend to equalize each other. Balanced ratios are generally best for pain relief, and for those who don’t mind some euphoric effects (but aren’t interested in full-blown intoxication).

Finally, there are high-CBD ratios. Many users report that the effects of this type of cannabis are almost imperceptible; perhaps you’ll feel a mild buzziness or extra focus. You’ll get little of THC’s muscle-relaxing power, but CBD’s pain and inflammation-fighting qualities will be in full effect.

There are many other ways to look at cannabis and assess its effect on our bodies. But understanding the difference between THC vs CBD is perhaps the most useful one. And once you do, you’ll be an educated consumer—a cannasseur!—and most importantly, you’ll know what kinds of cannabis best suits your needs.

Still want help? No problem! Schedule an appointment today and we’ll help you find the strain or product to help meet your needs.

Can Cannabis Treat Crohn’s Disease?

Cannabis and Crohns

Crohn’s disease is challenging. It can cause pain, feelings of embarrassment, and can make simple things like going to the bathroom difficult and time-consuming. People with Crohn’s don’t look sick on the outside, so it can be hard for others to understand what they are going through. If you’re curious about an alternative treatment that can help with the physical and emotional stress of Crohn’s diseases, keep reading because this article is for you. Let’s explore the link between cannabis and Crohn’s and whether it can help people find the relief they need to live a better life.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic illness that’s part of a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease. It’s characterized by severe inflammation of the digestive system. While Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive tract, it often targets the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum. It’s thought to be caused by a combination of factors including environmental, bacterial, and immune issues in people who are genetically susceptible to the disease.

Cannabis and Crohns 1

The most common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea. Other symptoms include weight loss, fever, and bleeding from the rectum. Crohn’s can also cause complications like intestinal ulcers, blockages, problems absorbing nutrients, joint pain, and skin issues.

Crohn’s disease involves more than just dealing with stomach pains. Patients also live with things like unpredictable flare-ups, frequent trips to the bathroom, frequent doctor visits, limitations to activity, uncomfortable medical tests, and medication side effects.

While a Crohn’s diagnosis can make the future look bleak, many patients are finding hope with alternative treatments like cannabis. Let’s take a look at how cannabis can help people with Crohn’s live a better quality of life.

Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease

The first-line approach for Crohn’s is usually to reduce inflammation of the bowls. Most treatment options include medications, nutritional supplements, or surgery to remove affected areas of the GI tract. While some of these options are effective, they don’t work for everyone and can come with a slew of unwanted side effects. The good news is that cannabis has the potential to help.

Cannabis has been used as a treatment for gastrointestinal issues for centuries, and there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence about its effectiveness for helping manage Crohn’s. How does it work? The cannabinoids found in cannabis can bind to the receptors in the brain that help the body regulate the gastrointestinal tract.

Cannabis and Crohns 2

While both THC and CBD can help relieve Crohn’s symptoms, THC can reduce inflammation while also relieving pain, reducing nausea and vomiting, and stimulating a low appetite. For those who want a non-psychoactive option, CBD is a great choice. It can reduce inflammation while promoting clear-headed, calming effects. It’s also a powerful antibacterial that can help patients heal from infected fissures.

On top of providing physical relief, cannabis may help ease the anxiety and depression that often come along with a disease like Crohn’s. It may help reduce the constant worry about the next flare-up and the depression that can develop from embarrassment or feelings of hopelessness.

Research on Cannabis for Crohn’s

In addition to the anecdotal evidence, there are also new scientific studies that are uncovering how medical cannabis can treat Crohn’s. In a 2013 study, cannabis was shown to significantly impact patients suffering from Crohn’s compared to a placebo. In an 8-week course of THC-rich cannabis, 10 of the 11 patients experienced symptom reduction without side effects.

Cannabis and Crohns 3

In another study at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, Dr. Adi Lahat stated that treatment with inhaled cannabis improves the quality of life in patients with Crohn’s disease. He added that the data demonstrate a significant improvement in almost every aspect of a patient’s day-to-day life.

The Bottom Line?

We still need more research before the mainstream medical community can get on board with cannabis for Crohn’s, but what we do know is very promising. There are also thousands of reports from patients across the world who have found relief from inflammatory bowel disease by medicating with cannabis.

If you would like more information on how medical cannabis could help relieve your gastrointestinal issues, make an appointment with us today. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to answer any of your questions and help get you on the road to feeling better.

Can Cannabis Treat Arthritis?

Cannabis and arthritis

Arthritis is a debilitating condition characterized by pain and swelling of the joints. With over 100 different types of arthritis, it can be challenging to find a treatment that works. The good news is that recent science shows that medical cannabis can help patients suffering from the symptoms of arthritis, and a growing number are reporting success with both THC and CBD. If you’re interested in learning how cannabis can improve the quality of life for people with arthritis, keep reading because this article is for you.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an umbrella term that’s used to describe over a hundred conditions related to inflammation, swelling, and joint stiffness. The disease doesn’t discriminate, and people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds battle arthritis daily. Although it’s widespread, it remains one of the most misunderstood diseases worldwide. It can strike many different parts of the body, but often affects weight-bearing joints like knees, hips, and spine.

Cannabis and arthritis in the knee

Cannabis for Arthritis Pain

Cannabis is becoming a popular treatment for people suffering from arthritis, and it’s easy to understand why. The bottom line is that arthritis is caused by inflammation, and cannabis has been shown to treat inflammation.

How does it work? The answer lies in the cannabinoids. These are the active compounds in cannabis that interact with cannabinoid receptors that occur naturally in the body as a part of our endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabis and arthritis endocannabinoid system

The ECS keeps our physiological system in balance. When it’s activated through medical cannabis, it can work to counteract various forms of pain. If the ECS is having trouble regulating inflammation, introducing cannabinoids can make up for the deficit and help restore balance to the system. While the cannabis plant produces over a hundred different types of cannabinoids, the ones with the most potential benefit for arthritis are THC and CBD.

Research on Cannabis for Arthritis

While more studies are needed to fully understand the best ways to use cannabis to treat arthritis, what we do know so far looks promising. One study conducted in 2006 found that cannabis-based medicine was able to significantly help patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and allowed them to regain joint movement restricted by pain. The patients also reported reduced pain while at rest and overall better quality of sleep.

Cannabis and arthritis man relaxing

Another study from 2013 showed that medical cannabis could bring pain relief to knee joints in osteoarthritis patients. Joint tissue inflammation is unusually high in people with arthritis, and researchers think that cannabis fights inflammation in the joints by activating pathways called CB2 receptors.

Cannabis for Inflammation

Beyond acting as a powerful pain reliever, cannabis is a potent anti-inflammatory, suggesting that it could work to treat the root cause of arthritis, not just the symptoms. While THC is often the go-to cannabinoid for pain relief, researchers have found that when CBD is metabolized, it can release a compound that packs a similar anti-inflammatory punch as NSAID drugs. CBD is also an excellent option for people who want a natural alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers without the psychoactive effects of THC.

If you or a loved one has been suffering from pain associated with arthritis, it might be time to consider an alternative treatment like cannabis. If you’d like to learn more about how cannabis can work for you, make an appointment today to speak with our knowledgeable staff.

Cannabis 101: Pinene, The Earth’s Most Abundant Terpene

pinene

You probably know by now that we’re big on terpenes. And we’re not alone: Increasingly, savvy cannabis consumers are focusing on these fragrant hydrocarbons—that’s another way of saying “essential oils”—as a way to characterize different strains of cannabis.

Of course, terpenes aren’t the only way to talk about cannabis. We’re not saying you should forget what you’ve learned about cannabinoids. They’re still an extremely useful way to interpret cannabis strains and predict their effects.

But in addition to imparting their own subtle but powerful characteristics, terpenes do a great deal for our bodies and our minds. Today we’re going to focus on pinene, one of the ten most important of the terpenes in cannabis and, beyond that, the most abundant terpene in the natural world.

What Does Pinene Smell and Taste Like?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, pinene has a distinctively piney and resinous aroma. It’s a hint to other natural sources of pinene: Pine trees, rosemary, orange peels, basil, and parsley, among others. Chemically speaking, there are actually two variants of the terpene: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, but the alpha type—commonly shortened to “a-pinene” is more abundant in cannabis. 

pinene pine tree

If you’ve ever tasted a delicious, slightly bracing and resinous hit of fresh-cut conifer tree in cannabis, it’s a fair guess it’s coming from this little powerhouse of a molecule.

What Does Pinene Do For Us?

Pinene has an anti-inflammatory effect on us, especially when it comes to respiratory function. It may sound counterintuitive, but inhaling pinene-rich cannabis—particularly using a vape pen or vaporizer, which doesn’t actually burn any plant matter—may help reduce inflammation in the lungs and airways, such as asthma. A rodent-based study published in 2015 showed that e-pinene exhibited anti-inflammatory effects.

pinene lungs

Many users report that cannabis strains high in pinene heighten focus and alertness. This is borne out to some degree by a study demonstrating that certain terpenes help combat the short-term memory impairment associated with THC. 

How to Get Pinene from Cannabis

A-pinene is often abundant in cannabis. Again, following your nose may be a good way to sense the presence of this powerful terpene, but for more authoritative data, always buy properly handled, lab-tested cannabis (the only kind we sell!). To help guide you, here are a few popular strains that typically contain healthy levels of a-pinene. 

pinene from cannabis

Jack Herer is a legendary strain among medical cannabis users, this strain—named for the legendary cannabis activist and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes—lends a blissful, clear-headed, and inspiring. Again, these qualities are all in accord with a-pinene’s noted focus-enhancing gifts.

Blue Dream is a popular hybrid associated with a gentle euphoria and creative inspiration. If its resinous aromas are often obscured by its strong blueberry nose, this strain typically delivers a potent hit of a-pinene.

One way to tell whether a strain has pinene is to give it a whiff. If it smells like pine trees, you’re in luck!

Ready to try some different strains? Stop by or check out our online menu to see what we have in stock!