Cancer Institute Finally Admits Marijuana Kills Cancer

Cancer kills nearly 600,000 Americans per year. And this year alone, over 1.6 million people will be diagnosed. So much time and research has gone into the cure of cancer in the last few decades. Yet, because of the stigma associated with marijuana, this wonder plant has been largely ignored by governments and researchers as a potential cure – or a key piece to a cure at least.

The Admission

In August 2015, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released a report on their website which stated, “Marijuana kills cancer”. Yes, you read that right – marijuana kills cancer.

We know that cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes to relieve symptoms of many chronic illnesses. In fact, marijuana has actually been used for medicinal purposes for over 3000 years.

The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer (and other chronic illness) include:

Anti-nausea
Appetite stimulation
Pain relief
Improved sleep
So, how does cannabis kill cancer?

There are 21 chemical components found in marijuana called cannabinoids. These chemicals activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects in the central nervous system and the immune system. This is the physiological and biochemical changes in the body produced by a drug in therapeutic concentration.

THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. However, there are other compounds such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabivarin(THCv), and delta-8-THC that can have pharmacologic effects. For example, CBD is known to have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity without the high that THC produces.

During a 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by tube feeding. Tests were also done of a variety of cancerous cells.

Here is what they found:

Cannabinoids may reduce tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed to grow tumors.
Lab tests on animals have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.
Cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.
A laboratory study of THC in liver cancer cells showed it damaged or killed the cancer cells.
The same study of THC in models of liver cancer showed that it had anti-tumor effects.
CBD may make chemotherapy more effective
Source: National Cancer Institute

A Men’s Health Study proves that cannabis can potentially kill cancer: An analysis of 84,170 participants looked at the association between cannabis use and the occurrence of bladder cancer. Over 16 years, they found 89 Cannabis users developed bladder cancer compared with 190 of the men who did not report cannabis use. After dividing the study up by age, race, ethnicity, and body mass index, cannabis use was associated with a 45% reduction in bladder cancer incidence.

In conclusion, many studies have shown the potential of cannabis being able to kill cancer cells. However, little of these studies have been tested on humans. Only a handful of clinical trials have been held with humans, so it is too soon to say if the effects will work as well in humans. The good news is work is being done, and the topic is gaining interest among researchers.

8 things everyone gets wrong about CBD

The past year has seen a surge of interest in marijuana’s CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with significant therapeutic properties. Numerous commercial start-ups and internet retailers have jumped on the CBD bandwagon, touting CBD derived from industrial hemp as the next big thing, a miracle oil that can shrink tumors, quell seizures, and ease
chronic pain — without making people feel “stoned.” But along with a growing awareness of cannabidiol as a potential health aid, there has been a proliferation of misconceptions about CBD

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The Science Behind Giving CBD & Cannabis to Cats and Dogs

A growing number of pet owners are using cannabis-derived products containing high doses of cannabidiol (CBD) and low or negligible doses of THC to alleviate pain, seizures, and other conditions. But what’s known about the science of cannabinoid medicine and pets?

There isn’t a lot of peer-reviewed research, but a recent Cornell University study found extremely promising results.
Unfortunately, not a lot. But there are a few things to be learned from the science of cannabis and dogs and cats, even as the field emerges from decades of neglect.

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Cannabis Oil (THC, CBD) kills Cancer Cells, Leaving Healthy Cells in Perfect Harmony

https://youtu.be/6OhUtL6T6BE

Cannabis is without any doubt a miracle treatment for illnesses of all kinds. This is still an important thing to spread awareness of, because the shock waves produced by American enforced prohibition, decades of the drug war, are still being felt around the planet despite states legalizing it.

It is capable of causing cancer cells to die, while leaving normal cells working in perfect harmony.

This video gained a lot of traction online about 4 years ago.

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How Hemp Could Free Us From Oil Dependence, Prevent Deforestation, and Help Treat Cancer

Many Americans remain woefully ignorant of their own country’s history, including the prominent role that hemp once played in supporting the national economy. Old commercials and company documents from the Ford Motor Company, for instance, reveal that some of Henry Ford’s first cars were actually made from hemp, just a few years before the federal government instituted a policy of prohibition against all things cannabis.

In this 1941 commercial narrated by Jack Thompson, images of a “plastic” car created by Henry Food reveal the incredible strength and durability of hemp fiber. This vehicle, which was never actually branded and sold commercially, was a legitimate “green” car made not from petroleum-based plastics as we know them today, but rather from a special blend of hemp, flax, field straw, and other natural materials with incredible strength.

“Amongst the thousands of products made from hemp, one of the most extraordinary is Henry Ford’s ‘plastic’ car,” explains the commercial. “Built in 1941, it contains cellulose fibers derived from hemp, sisal, and wheat straw. The plastic was lighter than steel, yet could sustain 10 times the impact without denting” it adds, alongside footage of Henry Ford himself attempting to smash the vehicle with a large sledgehammer, to no avail.

As it turns out, hemp is an extremely durable material that is actually far stronger than steel. It is also much lighter than steel and many other metals — not to mention infinitely more renewable — making it the most versatile and environmentally-friendly type of fiber known to man.
Chemical, drug, and oil interests responsible for prohibition of all-natural hemp and cannabis

If it wasn’t for the government’s continued prohibition of the natural hemp plant, along with its cannabis cousin, Americans today could be reaping the benefits of domestically-grown hemp. But as it currently stands, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which annually incarcerates thousands for possession and use of cannabis, continues to illicitly regard non-psychoactive hemp as a Schedule I “drug” with no beneficial use for humans.

Much of this is due to heavy influence from both pharmaceutical and petrochemical companies following World War II, which together worked to demonize hemp along with cannabis to promote its own toxic agenda. The federal government took the bait, enacting a policy of prohibition just years later that still continues to this day, despite duplicitous public policy that allows for the legal import of hemp-based products and fibers from other countries, as long as it is not grown in the U.S.

“Shortly before marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, new technologies were developed that made hemp a potential competitor with the newly-founded synthetic fiber and plastics industries,” explains HempCar.org, noting that the liquor industry also helped fund campaigns such as the phony “Reefer Madness” film that illegitimately portrayed cannabis and hemp as being dangerous.

“Hemp’s potential for producing paper also posed a threat to the timber industry. Evidence suggests that commercial interests having much to lose from hemp competition helped propagate reefer madness hysteria, and used their influence to lobby for Marijuana Prohibition.”

It is important to note that, prior to the 1930s, all forms of hemp and cannabis were completely legal in the United States. Many of America’s founding fathers, in fact, including prominent figures like George Washington, both grew hemp and used cannabis, according to historical records.

“George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp and puzzled over the best ways to process it for clothing and rope,” explains a recent report by NBC News. “Indeed, cannabis has been grown in America since soon after the British arrived.”

SHOULD YOU USE CANNABIS TO PREVENT ILLNESS

Our bodies consist of many unique physiologic systems whose sole purpose is to maintain an internal balance called homeostasis. We know the pancreas releases insulin to balance glucose levels between the bloodstream and cells. The thyroid gland releases thyroid hormone, which regulates vital bodily functions related to metabolism, body temperature and much more. Simply put, our bodies are working constantly to stay balanced in response to our external environment.

In the quest to understand how THC causes its well-known intoxicating effects, scientists discovered that we have yet another regulatory physiologic system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), whose role is to maintain homeostasis of the messages sent between our cells. Further research has shown that sickness, inflammation, and injury will trigger the ECS to take action, working to reset our internal environment back to homeostasis. This system has been described as being protective and necessary for life. What if we could target this system to prevent illness and maintain better health?

The ECS is the most widespread receptor system in the human body. It is made up of three main parts: cannabinoid receptors; compounds called endocannabinoids; and the enzymes that make and break down the endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids, often referred to as our “inner cannabis,” are synthesized on demand from healthy sources of dietary fat. Cannabinoid receptors sit on the membranes of cells in certain parts of the brain and body, namely areas in the brain that control pain, memory, emotion, motor control, nausea, and appetite, as well as the gut, immune system, and peripheral nervous system. When there is a trigger that causes an imbalance, such as an injury or illness, endocannabinoids are released, acting as “keys” that bind to the receptors, which act as “locks” on our cells. Once the receptor is activated, a chemical reaction takes place in the cell, telling the cell to change its message.

ECS functioning depends on many factors, including genetics, age, stress levels, diet, and overall level of health. There can be variants in the genes that code for the ECS which can lead to propensities for certain conditions, such as ADHD and PTSD. Additionally, chronic illness, chronic stress and/or chronic sleep deprivation may lead to depletion of the endocannabinoids. These disruptions in the normal functioning of the ECS interfere with its ability to regulate cellular imbalances and achieve homeostasis.

In 2004, Ethan Russo, a neurologist and research scientist, published Clinical endocannabinoids Deficiency (CECD): Can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters. Russo theorized that certain individuals with the listed conditions responded to cannabis-based treatments because they had endocannabinoid deficiencies that allowed the condition to manifest in the first place.

Subsequent research has demonstrated that endocannabinoid deficiency plays a role in autoimmune diseases, epilepsy, complex regional pain syndrome, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, nausea, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, menstrual symptoms, failure to thrive in newborns, and other difficult-to-treat conditions.

The cannabis plant produces over 100 phytocannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds mimic the endocannabinoids by interacting with the ECS and restoring homeostasis. Rather than wait until illness is present, there are many ways to take good care of your ECS, which will allow it to function properly, avoid deficiencies and maintain homeostasis.

It’s common knowledge that a healthy, balanced diet is necessary for emotional and physical well-being. Our bodies rely on our diet to produce the right amount of endocannabinoids to function at optimal capacity. Cannabinoids are synthesized from the fatty acids in our diets and require a specific balance of omega-6 and omega-3 in order to be produced in the right quantities.

For maximum bioavailability, the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids from food is between 5:1 and 1:1, the lower the better for those with chronic illness. Western diets routinely consist of ratios of 20:1, mainly due to the overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids which come from vegetable oils in many packaged foods. Western diets with higher ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids results in a reduction of endocannabinoids, leading to the inability to maintain homeostasis.

Another factor that promotes well being of the ECS is aerobic exercise. Animal studies report that voluntary wheel running increases cannabinoid receptors in the brain and increases the sensitivity of the receptors to endocannabinoids. Human studies have shown that exercise such as running, biking and hiking enhance endocannabinoid levels in the bloodstream. In fact, endocannabinoids are likely responsible for the phenomenon described as the “runner’s high.”

Probiotics may also benefit the ECS. Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut, was shown to induce the expression of cannabinoid receptors in the gut, promoting intestinal homeostasis.

Both acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation enhance the ECS. Yoga and meditation elicit the “relaxation response,” a physiological phenomenon whereby one can consciously engage in behavior that promotes mental and physical wellness; although no studies have been done to date, most experts suspect these stress management modalities enhance the ECS thereby promoting homeostasis.

Lastly, what about the ability of cannabis to prevent illness? Plant cannabinoids are well-known to be very safe and to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. In cases of endocannabinoid deficiency, cannabis use may be the correcting compound, eliminating the symptoms of the condition. Regular cannabis use can decrease chronic inflammation and buildup of free radicals, both of which are thought to be the root causes of many conditions, including autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders.

Cannabis is associated with lower fasting insulin levels and lower insulin resistance, suggesting protection against the development of diabetes. Early this year, German scientists found that chronic low doses of THCreversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance in old mice.

Additionally, research has documented the significant reduction of the use of prescription medications in states with medical cannabis laws, resulting in about a one quarter reduction in opiate deaths.

Many patients report that cannabis use enhances their overall health by promoting quality sleep, reducing anxiety and depression, and lessening pain and inflammation so that they can continue to be active participants in their lives. Although exact doses and cannabinoid combinations for preventive indications have not been researched, it is likely that low intermittent doses that include both THC and CBD will augment the ECS without causing adverse effects. A healthy diet (including fatty acids in the correct balance), aerobic exercise and stress management will help your ECS to maintain homeostasis.

Take care of your endocannabinoid system and it will take care of you.

Dr. Bonni Goldstein, a Los Angeles-based physician, is the author of Cannabis Revealed and the medical director of Canna-Centers, which offers educational seminars and webinars on cannabis therapeutics.

First of Its Kind Study Finds Virtually No Driving Impairment Under the Influence of Marijuana

When taken in moderate amounts, cannabis seems to cause no significant driving impairment.

As cannabis prohibition laws crumble seemingly by the day, it’s allowing

more research to be performed on this psychoactive substance that has long been a part of the human experience.

The first study to analyze the effects of cannabis on driving performancefound that it caused almost no impairment. The impairment that it did cause was similar to that observed under the influence of a legal alcohol limit.

Researchers at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator carried out the study, sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy

SPONSORED

“Once in the simulator—a 1996 Malibu sedan mounted in a 24-feet diameter dome—the drivers were assessed on weaving within the lane, how often the car left the lane, and the speed of the weaving. Drivers with only alcohol in their systems showed impairment in all three areas while those strictly under the influence of vaporized cannabis only demonstrated problems weaving within the lane.

Drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, showed increased weaving that was similar to those with a .08 breath alcohol concentration, the legal limit in most states. The legal limit for THC in Washington and Colorado is 5 ug/L, the same amount other states have considered.”

As expected, there was impairment in all areas when alcohol and cannabis were mixed. But cannabis itself, when taken in moderate amounts, seems to cause no significant driving impairment.

In fact, some would argue that it makes them drive safer or slower.

The study’s findings further illuminate the fact that alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than cannabis, and somehow the former is legal while the latter is not.

How CBD has become the USA’s coolest food and drink ingredient

The latest “it” ingredient to hit menus is CBD, short for cannabidiol, one of over 60 cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant (more commonly known as marijuana).

Unlike THC, the most well-known cannabinoid, CBD has no psychoactive effects. So, while it won’t get you high, its reported therapeutic properties have driven CBD sales and popularity in the wellness industry.

While researchers are still trying to determine CBD’s effects, some studies suggest it can help treat inflammation, pain, anxiety and seizures.

The controversy around this superfood stems from inconsistent cannabis regulation at the federal and state level. Despite growing legalization, the DEA still considers cannabis — including CBD, unless sourced from industrial hemp — an illegal drug.

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To date, the FDA hasn’t approved any CBD products apart from an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex. State laws vary and are changing all the time.

Take California, a state with legalized recreational cannabis and a famously vibrant cannabis cuisine scene: Just this summer, the California Department of Public Health stopped the sale of CBD additives in food and drink until it receives full FDA approval.

This left restaurants such as Gracias Madre and Superba Food + Bread scrambling to change their menus to accommodate the rule.

With the Golden State out of the culinary cannabis spotlight at the moment, it’s time to highlight some other less celebrated locations where you can find CBD-infused treats out in the wild.

From a sleek, wellness compound in Miami to a Portland dive bar known for late-night hot dogs, here are the coolest spots to find CBD on the menu (for now).

Adriaen Block, Queens, NY

Adriaen Block’s CBD Negroni.

Lily Brown/Adriaen Block

This newly opened Queens cocktail bar and restaurant is a CBD mecca, showcasing the ingredient front and center.

For the uninitiated, the menu offers a word of advice: “CBD will not get you high, but you may experience a calming sensation.”

The infused drinks include the Stoney Negroni, Rolled Fashioned, and the Bakin’ & Eggs, which is made with Pineau des Charente, Lillet Blanc, blood orange bitters, egg white, and garnished with crisped bacon.

Teetotalers can get in on the action too, thanks to an equally thoughtful selection of CBD mocktails made with Seedlip, a swanky, non-alcoholic distilled spirit. Not thirsty? Also on offer are entrees with a side of AB CBD sauce or a pillowy blob of CBD-infused whipped cream to top off dessert.

Adriaen Block, 19-33 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105, +1 (718) 686-1391

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Broomwagon, Lexington, KY

A community mecca for bike culture, this bicycle shop is also a beer garden and café serving up locally-sourced coffee, creative comfort food and ice-cold crafts and drafts.

Customers bringing in their bike for repairs can enjoy a snack by the mechanic’s work area while they wait, or check out the latest wheels and accessories. (New pannier bag, anyone?)

They’ll add a dose of CBD to any beverage for $2, or you can order a specialty drink like the Sage Advice Latte, with maple and sage-infused syrup, espresso, steamed milk and CBD.

Broomwagon Coffee + Bikes, 800 N. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40505, +1 (859) 554-6938

Koku, Brooklyn, NY

This Kokus Zen bowl delivers on its name.

Courtesy Kokus

Think of the Zen Bowl as an ice cream sundae for the Goop set — dairy-free, probiotic-enriched coconut soft-serve heaped with colorful superfood toppings like antioxidant blueberries, nutritious black sesame granola and CBD cacao magic shell.

Available April through October at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg on Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park, it’s allergy-free and utterly Instagrammable.

You can also find the frozen treat at sporadic pop-ups (check their website for upcoming events), but stay tuned: A brick and mortar location is in the works for next year.

Koku, multiple locations

Donnie Vegas, Portland, OR

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The coolest downtown Las Vegas dive bar is actually located in Northeast Portland, serving cocktails on tap and cheap, creative hot dogs like the Seoul Dog (kimchi, sambal aioli, scallion) and Tijuana Dog (cream cheese, pico de gallo, jalepeno) until 2:30 am.

They offer Jell-O shots and wine in a can, and a slushee with a hemp-derived twist — the Prickly Pear CBD Margaweeda, made with fresh lime juice, triple sec, silver tequila and prickly pear puree.

Donnie Vegas, 1203 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, +1 (503) 477-7244

Green Goddess Cafe, Stowe, VT

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This homey café, a neighborhood go-to for fresh-pressed juices and tasty breakfast scrambles, was one the first in Vermont to put the wellness ingredient on the menu after “we experienced the benefits of CBD firsthand with our son, who has autism and a tumor disorder,” owner Athena Scheidet says.

One of their most popular specialty drinks is the Jamaican Me Shake, a CBD smoothie with tropical fruit, spinach, avocado, organic apple juice and whipped cream.

Green Goddess Cafe, 618 S Main St, Stowe, VT 05672, +1 (802) 253-5255

The James New York NoMad, New York City

The James NoMad brings CBD to R-n-R.

Courtesy The James Nomad

Travelers who want a break from Manhattan’s hectic pace don’t even need to leave their boutique hotel room for the latest way to unwind — CBD-infused room service from notable cannabis chef Annabel Drummer.

The in-room dining menu includes spicy meatballs, gorgonzola salad with walnuts and pear, and house tater tots. Or, you can pick a prepackaged CBD-infused treat like Chef For Higher Gummies, Grön Chocolate bars, and even Bark Avenue dog treats for stressed pets.

The James NoMad, 22 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016, +1 (212) 532-4100

VegeNation, Las Vegas

Stay hydrated in Vegas with this whiskey CBD tea.

Courtesy Vege Nation

Downtown Las Vegas’s Fremont East area has become an artsy hub for plant-based eats and health-conscious cocktails — the antithesis of the Strip’s bottle service and Champagne-shower decadence.

Affordable global street food at VegeNation is locally grown and plant-based, and even the cocktails have a positive spin — particularly The Changemaker, a refreshing, infused whiskey tea made with local distilled liquor and tea from Bloomin’ Desert Herb Farm, a brew of rosemary, ginger, holy basil, red clover, nettle, peppermint, clove and raw CBD oil in purified water.

VegeNation, 616 Carson Ave #120, Las Vegas, NV 89101, +1 (702) 366-8515

Plant Miami, Miami

The secret ingredient in Plant Miami’s drink isn’t so secret.

Courtesy Plant Miami

Miami isn’t all neon lights, and pumping basslines. When the South Beach scene feels like it’s all too much, find your Zen at Sacred Space Miami.

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The minimalist oasis in once-gritty Wynwood features a lush meditation garden, yoga and wellness classes, and Plant Miami, an organic, vegan farm-to-table restaurant.

The tropical Plant Medicine cocktail — with fresh pineapple, house coconut milk, dark rum, and a dose of CBD oil — is the perfect blend of Miami vibes and mindfulness.

Plant Miami, 105 Northeast 24th St, Miami, FL, 33137, +1 786 621 5006

River and Woods, Boulder

The comfort food at this historic cottage includes community-sourced dishes like Aunt Penny’s Mac & Cheese with mushrooms and onion-potato crunch and John’s Gnocchi Verde with spinach, Reggiano cream, and lemon zest.

There are family-friendly picnic tables in back, as well as an adult-centric Airstream that serves as an outdoor bar, where you can add a dose of CBD to cocktails like the Sloe Descent, with Luxardo amaretto, Spirit Works sloe gin, orange and pomegranate juice.

(They’re in the process of formulating a dedicated CBD-infused wellness cocktail, too.)

River and Woods, 2328 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302, (303) 993-6301

Coalition Brewing, Portland, OR

IPA + CBD = Coalition Brewing’s Two Flowers brew.

Courtesy Coalition Brewing

This brewery changed the game with Oregon’s first commercially produced CBD-infused beer, Two Flowers IPA, highlighting the kinship between cannabis and hops with an aromatic, grassy flavor.

The beer has become so popular that you can find it all over town at establishments like EastBurn Public House and Dot’s Café, though it’s worth a visit to the tasting room’s new patio where you can enjoy it in its original birthplace.

Coalition Brewing, 2705 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214, +1 (503) 894-8080

Zenbarn, Waterbury, VT 05676

Yes, even your burger can help you chill.

Courtesy ZenBarn

You haven’t reached peak Vermont until you’ve visited this rustic barn-turned-restaurant’s periodic “Hemp and Hops” dinners, where five-course meals are infused with CBD and paired with local craft beers.

It’s a community-focused space, with a yoga studio upstairs and live music at night. (Be prepared to hear Grateful Dead covers.)

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The daily menu offers CBD-spiked aioli for their burgers, including the vegetarian Zen Burger, a local black bean patty piled with cheddar, chipotle crema, avocado, lettuce, and crispy onion.

There’s also CBD honey vinaigrette for salad, a CBD brownie sundae with house-made CBD caramel, and clever CBD cocktails with names like Gin and Chronic, Le Verde and Up in Smoke.

Zenbarn, 179 Guptil Rd, Waterbury Center, VT 05677, +1 (802) 244-8134

Grön Cafe Portland, OR

Grön serves its CBD on the sweet side.

Courtesy Gron

If there was a Willy Wonka of cannabidiol, it would Christine Smith, founder of craft chocolate company GrönCBD.

The manufactory’s confections contain CBD extracted from a hemp alternative — evergreen tree bark combined with citrus peels.

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The front of house is a drop-in cafe, where you can order CBD Drinking Chocolate served with whipped cream and a shortbread cookie, as well as infused chocolate lattes, steamers, iced chocolate drinks, chocolate-filled croissants, and truffles.

They’ll indulge your curiosity and your sweet tooth — visitors are encouraged to ask questions or sample the CBD caramel and chocolate sauces, chocolate bars, tinctures and body products.

Grön, 960 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214, +1 (971) 279-4754

Meirav Devash is a writer based in New York covering beauty, style and wellness. Her work has appeared in Allure, The New York Times, Women’s Health and more.

PROJECT CBD RELEASES EDUCATIONAL PRIMER ON CANNABINOID-DRUG INTERACTIONS

Given the increasing acceptance and prevalence of cannabis as a therapeutic option, it’s important for physicians and patients to understand how various cannabis components interact with commonly consumed pharmaceuticals.

BY PROJECT CBD ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

Special Report Published by Project CBD

Project CBD, a California-based educational non-profit, has published an in-depth primer on Cannabinoid-Drug Interactions for health professionals, patients, and public policy-makers. The 33-page report, summarized below, is available for free download at the bottom of the page.

Drug interactions are a significant consideration in modern medicine. More than half of U.S. adults regularly take prescription meds and at least 75 percent of Americans take at least one over-the-counter drug. Many people, including most seniors (the fastest growing demographic of cannabis users), take multiple drugs, and these compounds can interact and affect the metabolism of each other.

Cannabis is one of the most widely consumed substances in the United States and throughout the world, and a huge number of cannabis users also consume pharmaceutical products. Given the increasing acceptance and prevalence of cannabis as a therapeutic option, it’s important for physicians and patients to understand how various cannabis components, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major phytocannabinoids, may interact with commonly consumed pharmaceuticals.

But pertinent information about cannabinoid-drug interactions is difficult to obtain because of marijuana prohibition and consequent restrictions on clinically relevant research. Hence the need for Project CBD’s primer, which was written not only to help health professionals and patients anticipate and avoid problematic outcomes but also to take advantage of situations where cannabis and pharmaceuticals can act synergistically in a positive way.

A complicated issue

“It’s a complicated issue,” says research chemist Adrian Devitt-Lee, the author of the Project CBD primer. “Although drug interactions are rarely so dangerous as to entirely preclude the use of a medication, they can have serious impacts on a patient’s treatment and wellbeing.”

The Project CBD primer includes a discussion of various “substrates” or drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450, a large family of non-specific enzymes that are involved in breaking down an estimated 60 to 80 percent of all pharmaceuticals. Cytochrome P450 enzymes may be inhibited or amplified by CBD, THC and other plant cannabinoids, thereby reducing or prolonging the activity of another drug.

By suppressing or inducing specific cytochrome P450 enzymes, CBD and THC can alter how one metabolizes a wide range of substances. Much depends on the particular substrate involved in the drug interaction. Some pharmaceuticals, known as “prodrugs,” don’t become functional until they are metabolized into an active component. If CBD or THC inhibits the breakdown of a prodrug, the latter will remain inactive – whereas inhibiting the metabolism of a regular drug will result in higher blood levels of the active substance.

Several variables make precise predictions about drug interactions difficult, even for practiced physicians. “It is much easier to assess whether drug interactions are likely than to predict their exact effect,” the Project CBD primer asserts.

The CBD paradox

Thus far, based on observations regarding the widespread use of raw cannabis flower and full-spectrum cannabis oil, it does not appear that there have been many problems because of cannabinoid-drug interactions. The clinical use of Sativex (a 1:1 CBD:THC sublingual tincture) and Marinol (a pure, synthetic THC pill) has resulted in few, if any, reported adverse events attributable specifically to interactions with pharmaceuticals.

To the extent that there have been problematic drug interactions with cannabinoids, these have involved high doses of nearly pure CBD isolates, not cannabis in general. Even though THC is an intoxicant and CBD is not, the fact that people tend to use much higher doses of pure CBD makes it a much riskier player in metabolic drug interactions.

Consider the numbers: Ten milligrams of THC in a cannabis product is a hefty dose for a naïve patient and sufficiently psychoactive for the occasional recreational user. Ten mgs of THC combined with an equal amount of CBD in a Sativex tincture hit the analgesic sweet spot in clinical trials. These are moderate doses compared to the amount of single-molecule CBD administered to epileptic children in clinical trials – up to 50 mg per kilogram – with CBD doses as high as 2000 mg not uncommon among patients who obtain CBDisolates from internet storefronts and other unregulated sources.

THC has its own built-in guard rails – consume too much and you’ll know you’ve hit your limit. With CBD, there are no guard rails, no dysphoric feedback loop that says you’ve had enough. CBD is intrinsically safe, but when extracted from the plant and concentrated as an isolate, high doses are necessary for therapeutic efficacy – unlike whole plant CBD-rich extracts, which have a broader therapeutic window and are effective at lower doses than single-molecule CBD.

Drug interactions are much more likely with high dose CBD therapy than other forms of cannabis consumption. Physicians and patients should be concerned about this, given that the current regulatory regime privileges CBD isolates over artisanal, plant-derived, multicomponent formulations.

Mode & sequence of administration

The way cannabinoids are administered (smoking, eating, etc.) also has a major impact on whether or not drug interactions occur. Interactions are far more likely when both drugs are taken orally and processed by the liver before being distributed through the body. Cannabinoids are absorbed more if ingested on a full stomach. Ingested cannabinoids will have higher peak liver concentrations than inhaled cannabinoids, so ingested cannabinoids should have more potent drug interactions.

The Project CBD primer notes that the sequence as well as the route of administering cannabidiol can influence how another drug is metabolized. One study disclosed that CBD has a stronger inhibitory impact on a particular cytochrome P450 enzyme if it’s administered 20 minutes before the second drug.

CBD also interacts with THC. By taking CBD and THC together, individuals may find that the effects of THCare tempered but prolonged slightly. It is known that 11-OH-THC, a THC breakdown component, is more potent than THC at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, which mediates psychoactivity. 11-COOH-THC, another THC metabolite, has anti-inflammatory effects without causing a high.

Some people can hardly tolerate any THC. The wide range of reactions to THC-rich cannabis may be influenced by genetic factors.  A common polymorphism (or variant) of a gene that encodes a particular cytochrome P450 enzyme alters how one metabolizes THC so it breaks down more slowly and stays active longer, resulting in hypersensitivity to THC’s psychoactive effects.

That may be one of the reasons why some people find THC-rich cannabis to be unpleasant, while hundreds of millions smoke it to relax. This genetic variant exists among 20% in European & Middle Eastern populations, meaning one in five Caucasians are THC-averse. Less than 10% of Africans have this genetic variant and among Asians it’s less than 5%.

Positive synergies

Other noteworthy findings in the Project CBD primer:

  • THC v. lung cancer.  When cannabis is smoked, cytochrome P450 enzymes in the lungs convert inhaled ash into potent carcinogens, including highly toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). But THCmay protect against lung cancer by inhibiting the same metabolic enzymes that PAHs induce.

  • Cannabinoid-opiate interactions. Supplementing an opioid-based pain-management regimen with cannabis could result in lower doses of opioids required for adequate analgesia. Lower doses of opioids will reduce the number of overdose deaths. This is an example of a potentially beneficial cannabinoid-drug interaction.

  • CBD, THC & chemotherapy. Limited preclinical research indicates that administering CBD and/or THC in conjunction with first-line chemotherapy drugs could potentiate the latter, thereby reducing the dosage of highly toxic chemo necessary to treat the cancer. If this translates to human experience, it would be a huge benefit. But if pure CBD delays chemo metabolism, dangerously high levels of a toxic drug could accumulate unless the dose of chemotherapy is reduced and properly managed. The fact that cannabinoids make radiation and chemotherapy both more tolerable and seemingly more effective is an area worth studying.

  • Blood thinners. Both THC and CBD delay the metabolism of warfarin, a widely prescribed blood thinner. Mis-dosing warfarin causes tens of thousands of ER visits every year because of excessive bleeding. The Project CBD primer reviews a recent case study as an example of how physicians can successfully adjust the dose of warfarin for a patient who is also taking a CBD isolate.

Research barriers

The information presented in the Project CBD primer is intended to help doctors and patients understand if and when drug interactions with cannabis or cannabinoids are likely. “It is not meant to stoke fears about drug interactions or add to decades of ill-advised, anti-marijuana hysteria,” the author emphasizes.

How dangerous are cannabinoid-drug interactions? As dangerous as mis-dosing the other drug(s) that a patient is taking. Problems are more likely to arise when a patient combines a high dose of an otherwise benign CBD isolate with a pharmaceutical that has a very narrow window between its therapeutic and toxic levels.

In GW Pharmaceuticals’ clinical trials of Epidiolex, an almost pure CBD compound, there were potentially dangerous interactions with Clobazam, an anti-epilpetic drug, which necessitated a dosage adjustment of the latter. The FDA recently approved Epidiolex as a medication for children with refractory seizure disorders. And the DEA classified Epidiolex as a schedule V substance in September 2018.

Epidiolex will surely command a lot of “off label” attention. And just as surely a huge unregulated market for hemp-derived CBD isolates will continue to flourish in a tenuous legal environment. An already massive consumer demand for CBD products has far outpaced the gathering of clinical data on cannabinoid interactions with pharmaceuticals for pain, cancer, autism, heart disease and many other chronic ailments.

The longstanding barrier to requisite research is the Schedule I status of cannabis, a category reserved for dangerous substances with no medical value, according to federal law. But the paucity of federally sanctioned clinical research, a consequence of cannabis prohibition, should not be an excuse for physicians or patients to shun nonlethal cannabinoid therapies, which show promise for a wide range of conditions.

Project CBD hopes that “as cannabis therapeutics continues to gain acceptance among physicians and patients, adequate resources will become available for clinical studies involving drug interactions with CBD, THC and other plant cannabinoids.”

To download Project CBD’s Primer on Cannabinoid-Drug Interactions, click here.

What is CBD? And why is the cannabis-derived ingredient on the rise for wellness products?

CBD, one of the more than 100 chemicals in cannabis, is emerging as a popular wellness ingredient. The plant extract, often consumed as an oil under the tongue, is now the featured ingredient in high-end products including coconut oil, body lotion, face serum, olive oil, jam, bath scrub, cold brew coffee, sports salve, lip balm, infused water, gummy snacks and dog treats. Products’ prices vary but may cost about triple what their CBD-less counterparts do.

There are still plenty of unknowns when it comes to CBD. The FDA has only approved the use of CBD oil in specific cases of epilepsy. Epidiolex, the FDA-approved CBD drug, was placed in the “least restrictive” category of controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency, meaning it’s in the same category with cough medicine Robitussin AC.

More: FDA approves first marijuana-based epilepsy drug: CBD oil

Laws surrounding the sale of hemp CBD are murky at best; products made with the cannabinoid are not legal in all 50 states, though the oil is legal in more states than medicinal marijuana.

Even in California, where recreational marijuana consumption is legal for adults 21 and older, there are complicated rules. And yet, even with new guidance on CBD use in food products in the state, the industry continues to grow.

The appeal and drawbacks of CBD

The FDA has approved of the use of CBD to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two forms of epilepsy. So what’s the draw of the chemical compound for everyone else?

Pro skateboarder Matt Miller, who started CBD brand Miller Healer, turns to CBD sports salve and patches as his primary medicine. Stacy Verbiest, who founded therapeutic women’s cannabis line Wink with creams and tinctures, says CBD helped her friend manage the pain of cancer treatments. Pet owners buy cat and dog treats with the hopes of helping their best friend feel happier and more comfortable.

Experts, including those with the World Health Organization, note that there’s some potential for treatment beyond epilepsy, but research isn’t as advanced.

Greg Avetisyan is co-founder of the CBD store Topikal Everything Hemp, which just opened a second California location this year. “Though not medically proven, CBD’s main purpose is to help alleviate inflammation,” he said. “So when people use CBD by itself, they’re getting the medicinal benefits of the plant without the psychoactive effects. It treats a lot of different anxieties and pains.”

THC, meanwhile, helps with “pain relief, sleep and opening up the appetite,” Avetisyan says. He and his brother opened Topikal because they prefer treating their conditions — he has rheumatoid arthritis and his brother has anxiety — with just CBD. For them, THC induces paranoia.

Dr. Leeta Jussila, a practitioner of Oriental medicine who specializes in cannabis, says that everyone’s system is different, so the way people absorb CBD differs. She recommends new users consult with healthcare providers and closely track how small doses of the chemical effect them.

“They could get a headache. Sometimes people say, ‘I feel funny,’ but you’ll never overdose on cannabis. You’ll just start to detox,” she said. “CBD is an oil, fat, lipid. Some people might get diarrhea. I’ve had one person get nausea, dry mouth or dizziness. But it depends on the quality of the product.”

Marijuana research firm Greenwave Advisors anticipates that the CBD industry could reach $3 billion by 2021 and eventually well over $200 billion in the U.S., if the so-called Farm Bill legalizing hemp as a crop passes.

Jonathan Eppers, creator of a CBD beverage company, sees the plant supplement as good for his wellbeing and good for business. CBD “gave me a purpose again in my life,” he said.

After going through “debilitating anxiety” while stepping down as CEO from embattled rental housing startup RadPad about two years ago, he turned to CBD oil on the recommendation of a friend. He was wary of buying a product from a natural food store that, at the time, was kept in a locked box.

However, “in three days, I just felt calmer.”

Excited to introduce others to CBD, Eppers watched market trends, talked to hemp farmers and decided to launch a brand-new company featuring his favorite chemical, drink brand Vybes.

The California-based hemp CBD beverage went on the market this January. Eppers projects Vybes will produce 1-1.5 million bottles this year and already has hundreds of retailers selling drinks across the country.

As Eppers has seen, the CBD foods market is quickly growing.

More: Coca-Cola: We’re ‘closely watching’ the market for drinks infused with cannabis extract

As for Coca-Cola’s possible CBD drink? “Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” the company said in a statement in September. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”

Originally Published 9:54 am EDT October 5, 2018