Cannabis heals psoriasis

We made this blog post to answer a recent question from one of our readers, Frances. Hope this helps! Please leave any  questions in the comments area, and we’ll try to find an answer.

I am a senior, 77 yr. I have psoriasis very bad on feet,lots of days the pain is too bad to stand on feet. I also have psoriasis on arms, legs and my back. Will cannabis help east this terrible disease? Can I make cannabis oil and salve, if so, how to make and how to use the oil and salve? I don’t have any other medical problems, only this terrible itch and pain when feet crack, peel and bleed.

See also: Topical Cannabis Healing Salve


Researchers have barely studied medical marijuana as a treatment for psoriatic disease. One study, published in 2007, showed that cannabis — the chemical compound in marijuana considered responsible for the pain-relieving effects — can inhibit the rapid growth of skin cells that leads to psoriasis lesions.

Scientists have researched marijuana as a treatment more for arthritis pain — though, not necessarily psoriatic arthritis pain. In 2013, a Chinese research team showed that cannabis was an effective treatment for the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading

New DEA Rule Says CBD Oil is Really, Truly, No-Joke Illegal

Via Leafly

Note: This article contains an update on the legal status of CBD products, below the original text. 

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made CBD oil a little more federally illegal in a little-noticed bureaucratic maneuver this morning.

Today’s Federal Register (Dec. 14, 2016) contains an item (21 CFR Part 1308) that establishes a new drug code for “marihuana extract.”
“This code,” wrote DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, “will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marihuana.” The move, the Register entry explained, is meant to bring the US into compliance with international drug-control treaties.
There is no major change in law brought about by the Register item. Rather, it serves to clarify and reinforce the DEA’s position on all cannabis extracts, including CBD oil. That position is: They are all federally illegal Schedule I substances. “Extracts of marihuana will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances,” the notice says.
CBD oil derived from hemp is now commonly available nationwide via web sites and mail order services. Those operations survive on the assumption that cannabidiol products below the legal threshold for THC percentage in hemp (0.3 percent or less) are technically legal.
Not so, says the DEA.
In the DEA comment on the entry, Rosenberg directly addressed the question: What if it’s only cannabidiol (CBD) and no other cannabinoids? The agency’s response: “For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code” and therefore remain federally illegal. In other words: The DEA is confident that it can find enough traces of other cannabinoids in your CBD oil to arrest and prosecute. And if they can’t, they still have the option of arresting and prosecuting based on the CBD oil itself.
Is your CBD derived from hemp? Doesn’t matter to the DEA. The new extracts classification applies to all “extracts that have been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis and which contain cannabinols and cannabidiols.” Hemp is not a separate genus. (Although it may be a separate species; lot of debate on that point.) Legally speaking, hemp is simply cannabis with no more than 0.3 percent THC content.
The new rule seems to clarify the DEA’s position on hemp-derived CBD, which entered a legal gray area following Congress’ passage of the 2014 farm bill. That legislation allowed certain states to grow hemp in pilot projects, and blocked federal law enforcement authorities (ie, the DEA) from interfering with state agencies, hemp growers, and agricultural research.
What DEA Administrator Rosenberg seems to be saying with this clarification is: You may be able to grow hemp. But if you try to extract CBD oil from it, the DEA considers that a federal crime.
The rule did not contain any hint as to when the DEA will step into the 21st century and stop using the archaic version of the word “marihuana.”

12/14/2016, 2:20pm PST

Although the DEA considers CBD oil to be a federally illegal Schedule I drug, there are temporary safeguards in place that protect patients in many states from federal prosecution over possession of the oil.
The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment is the most important of those protections. Originally passed in 2014, the amendment to a Congressional appropriations bill prohibits the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws. (It is silent on adult-use laws.) In August, the federal 9th US Circuit Court upheld Rohrabacher-Farr in the face of a challenge brought by federal prosecutors. Leafly has an explanation of that case here.
The amendment is the chief piece of legislation preventing federal law enforcement officials from prosecuting patients for possessing CBD products in the 28 legal medical cannabis states, and the District of Columbia. In addition, 16 states have passed so-called CBD-only laws that allow patients and caregivers to possess non-psychoactive CBD products. Those CBD-only laws usually allow no legal avenue to produce or obtain the products, however.
Rohrabacher-Farr must be renewed every year. If it’s not, its safeguards disappear. The amendment was most recently renewed last Friday, Dec. 9, as part of the continuing House resolution known as HR 2028, which funds the federal government through April 28, 2017. When that resolution expires next April, so does the protections afforded by Rohrabacher-Farr. Unless it’s renewed once again.
Experts and industry react
It’s unclear whether today’s action is a signal from the DEA to the incoming Trump administration, or just a bit of shelf-clearing before DEA Administrator Rosenberg rides into the sunset with the rest of the Obama administration. This rule, after all, finalizes a proposed rulemaking notice that first appeared more than five years ago, on July 5, 2011.
Robert Hoban, a Colorado cannabis attorney and adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver, raised the notion that the rule itself may not be lawful. “This action is beyond the DEA’s authority,” Hoban told Leafly in an interview late this afternoon. “The DEA can only carry out the law, they cannot create it. Here they’re purporting to create an entirely new category called ‘marijuana extracts,’ and by doing so wrest control over all cannabinoids. They want to call all cannabinoids illegal. But they don’t have the authority to do that.”
The new DEA rule, Hoban said, may threaten hundreds, possibly thousands, of jobs and growing businesses. Those business owners based their investments and careers on previous definitions of hemp and cannabidiol in the Controlled Substances Act and modified by federal courts. And that’s where this latest turn of events could end up. “We will see the federal government in court,” Hoban said.

A cannabis marketing company is bringing pot parties to the elderly

usa-marijuana-banksVia Quartz

In April 2015, Carrie Tice was despairing over her 80-year-old mother’s advancing Alzheimer’s when a caregiver at her senior center in California recommended giving her a topical dose of marijuana. Many other drugs had failed, but the marijuana made her feel better immediately. She was more alert, more active and looked younger. By October last year, she had moved out of the senior center, and this year she moved in with her daughter in Mill Valley.

“The change in my mom was so remarkable that I wanted to shout it from the mountaintops,” Tice said. “She seemed 10 years younger after 20 minutes, and was happy.”

The experience inspired Tice to quit her job of 20 years at video game software maker Ubisoft and found a company that would supply marijuana to seniors, helping them navigate the state’s intimidating medical marijuana system. Since April 2015, Octavia, as the company was first called, has helped older seniors get doctor recommendations online and order weed products to ease their pain and help them sleep.

The service is needed because seniors often aren’t familiar with the many varieties of weed that can be used. Pot is for sale in many forms: flowers, edibles, oils, vaporizers, concentrates, tinctures, sprays, ointments, and more. “One time mom told me she preferred a tincture because it didn’t burn her eyes and I freaked out! She was supposed to put the stuff on her tongue!” Tice said.

In 2016, the company merged with a marijuana sales party company called Viva to form Octavia Wellness. The merged company in July began a pilot program at four elder care facilities in the Bay Area, holding gatherings to help residents with their weed needs. In one facility that Octavia Wellness serves, a secret cannabis club with 10 members had clandestinely smoked joints out on the adjoining golf course at night. Now, gatherings are officially sanctioned and standing-room-only, with 190 residents in attendance. The company also has clients from centers that allow brochures but not meetings. Next year it will sell products packaged especially for the elderly, with large type and extra instructions.

The weed needs of the elderly are unique, Tice said. “There are some old rockers at a senior center in Mill Valley who like to get high and buy pre-rolled joints. But most want pain relief, to sleep better and stop fretting. They’re on opiates, constipated, and can’t function on their pills, so once they discover marijuana helps them, stigma’s not an issue.”

Octavia raised $300,000 from investors in this year’s second quarter, and has had 10% weekly sales growth since then. It aims to raise $1 million by the first quarter of next year; so far, $300,000 has been committed. Approval last month of California’s Proposition 64, legalizing recreational marijuana, is spurring interest from more investors.

Revenue from California’s cannabis industry is projected to grow to $6.5 billion by 2020 from $2.8 billion in 2015, the Cannabist reports. The national market is projected to generate $20 billion in sales by 2020 according to market research commissioned by Arcview Group, a marijuana industry incubator. According to another market research report, by analysts from Cowen & Co., the national cannabis industry could reach $50 billion by 2026.

Octavia Wellness, with its niche clientele, may thrive. Now it’s still a startup, and Tice says she’s working 80-hour weeks. “Do I miss steady paychecks,” she asks rhetorically. “Sure. But I love working with seniors, more than anything I’ve ever done. This is the least-served community, and it has the greatest need for cannabis.”

Deadly Opioid Addiction Solved By Medical Cannabis?

From Weed News

That is by no means a definitive statement, but several new scientific studies and one in particular from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health just introduced a new science based angle. According to The Washington Post, researchers tracked fatal car crashes over 14 years in 18 states, analyzing the drugs-medical medical cannabis or opioids-found in the systems of those killed. They found that states, like New Mexico, with legal medical cannabis programs had lower rates of crash victims with opioids in their systems, especially among victims ages 21 to 40 or, the age group most likely to use medical cannabis. As the study authors cited new found evidence : “In states with medical cannabis laws, fewer individuals are using opioids and dying.”

“This isn’t Detroit. It isn’t Compton, Calif. We don’t have overcrowded and crumbling inner cities. But when the Centers for Disease Control last November (2012) announced that death rates for prescription drugs had reached epidemic proportions nationally, New Mexico was at the top of the list. Our death rate from prescription drug overdoses surpassed even our traditionally tops-in-the-nation death rate from heroin overdoses.” – Albuquerque Journal, August 12th 2012

A state advisory board that makes recommendations to the Health Department on New Mexico’s rapidly expanding Medical Cannabis Program voted 5-1 on Friday, November 4th 2016, in favor of adding “opiate use disorder” to the list of conditions that qualify, a move one health professional said could transform the state’s landscape of addiction. Anita Briscoe, an Albuquerque-based advanced practice registered nurse who proposed allowing people to use cannabis as an opiate addiction treatment, said the effort could help change that statistic.

Today, according to the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico’s drug overdose rate in 2014 was still twice that of the national average, the #1 cause of unintentional injury or death in New Mexico – 3 of 4 of those drug overdose deaths involved opioids or heroin. During the time period of 2001 – 2014, medical prescription sales of opioids increased 236% in New Mexico – killing and average of 10 New Mexicans per week. Yet the Presbyterian health system in New Mexico has a policy, to not allow their doctors to recommend medical cannabis in the state’s medical cannabis program, but have no problem prescribing those deadly pills.

“Research suggests that people are using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication,” says the study’s lead investigator Zach Walsh, a professor of psychology at University of British Columbia.

Briscoe, a native of Española, New Mexico, said about 25 percent of her patients struggling with opioid use disorder have told her that cannabis soothes their cravings, relieves their pain and helps them stay off opiates. Three of her colleagues who certify patients for medical marijuana cards estimated that together, they’ve seen about 400 patients successfully kick opioid addictions with the help of cannabis.

Briscoe said she’s seen firsthand how addiction to heroin and pain pills has “destroyed, decayed and desiccated” her hometown.

She submitted 21 pages of research to back up her belief that cannabis can be beneficial in treating opiate addiction, including articles from the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Addiction.
“Just imagine if people struggling with opioid addiction had access to cannabis and were able to kick their habits, how our state would change for the better,” she said. “Crime would go down, health care costs would diminish, overdose deaths would fall, and it would help our economy to flourish. Without the familial crisis of opiate dependence, New Mexico’s children would also be safer, families would be more stable.”

State Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Deborah Armstrong, D-Albuquerque, wrote letters supporting the proposal.

New Mexico saw a statistically significant increase from 2013-2014 in overdose deaths caused by opioids, according to CDC state data. New Mexico saw a drastic increase of 20.8% in opioid overdose deaths. This not to say medical cannabis is a direct cure to the opiate crisis. But there is more than just a connection here, a true scientific correlation for medical cannabis as an addiction treatment for this current opioid crisis New Mexico faces. Though opioids and cannabis have vastly different effects on a user’s body and vastly different consequences as they both ease pain. Opioids were responsible for 28,000 overdoses in 2014 nationwide. Cannabis was responsible for zero.

Medical cannabis is legal in 28 states and D.C. Still, the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin. US Patent No. 6630507, held by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, covers the use of cannabinoids (medical cannabis) for treating a wide range of diseases. Yet under U.S. federal law, cannabis is defined as having no medical use. So it might come as a surprise to hear that the government owns one of the only patents on cannabis as a medicine. The patent (US6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” and was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003. It was filed four years earlier, in 1999, by a group of scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

If state Health Secretary-designate Lynn Gallagher adopts the new recommendations — she has the final word — thousands more New Mexicans will become eligible for the already exploding medical marijuana program. Officials say it has grown over the past year by 76 percent, to nearly 33,000 patients from 18,600.

The opioid epidemic in America began hitting crisis levels in 2013 and now has cost to many New Mexicans their life since the epidemic starting ramping up here in 2001. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isn’t a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed according the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The evidence is clear and the New Mexico Department of Health needs to make addiction treatment of opioids and heroin- a qualifying health condition to be included into the state’s medical cannabis program and allow that program to continue to help even more New Mexican’s. Patient advocates, addiction specialists and state lawmakers all have lent their support for the decision, which is now in the hands of the New Mexico Department of Health. Should the state decide to go with the medical cannabis advisory board’s recommendations, medical cannabis could be used as a tool to combat opiate addiction, bringing the Land of Enchantment to the forefront in the harm reduction model of addiction treatment in the United States.

Using a Vaporizer is the Best Way to Avoid Terpene Destruction

By MJT Story Team on Dec 09, 2016 11:11 am

With regards to the medical benefits of marijuana, the most attention has been placed on the effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), with little to no emphasis placed on terpenes. Although we know very little about terpenes, they are commonly found in our society. In fact, many of the essential oils available to us in stores contain terpenes.

Terpenes make up an extensive class of aromatic organic compounds detected in plants and animals, and they have been found to have properties that can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Studies reveal that the euphoric experience and the strong aroma that some plants produce can also be attributed to terpenes.1,2

Cannabis is one of the plants that has a strong terpene presence. Terpenes are responsible for the distinct smells of the different cannabis strains. So far, experts have found that there are 120 compounds in the cannabis plant.3 Of these, terpenes are among the major components, along with THC and CBD. Some popular terpenes are Pinene, Myrcene and Lemonene.

The potential medical applications of cannabis terpenes are now being explored by scientists who are discovering that they have greater uses than just warding off herbivores, as was previously thought. Although terpenes account mainly for the extremely potent scent of the herb, studies have revealed that there is great potential for them in the use of treatments for conditions like anxiety, sleeping disorders, and acne.1

Studies Show Importance of Cannabis Terpenes for Medicinal Use

With the growing interest in the properties of cannabis terpenes, there is no doubt that much more is in store for these aromatic compounds in the medical marijuana industry. Researchers have uncovered that the reaction terpenes have with cannabinoids makes the plant much more useful when it comes to treating several health conditions.

One study, titled Taming THC1 and carried out by Ethan B. Russo of GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK, revealed that due to the synergistic interaction of terpenes and cannabinoids the plant can be used to successfully treat undesirable medical conditions like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureu (MRSA) and depression. As a result of his study, Russo urges cannabis cultivators to pay more attention to terpenes in their cannabis crops as they breed new plants.

Currently, there are already cannabis cultivators that are putting more emphasis on the terpenes in their plants, such as Green House Seeds4 in the Netherlands. As terpenes gain more popularity and the demand for them rises, we can expect that more cultivators will start breeding terpene-rich cannabis plants.

Terpenes also show promise for treating other conditions, such as:

  • Gastric reflux
  • Obesity
  • Nausea
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Tumors
  • Acne
  • Psychosis
  • Pain

To get the most terpenes from the buds of the cannabis plant, it is recommended that persons opt to use a vaporizer rather than smoking, as terpenes are easily destroyed by the direct heat. Vaporizers are seen as much more effective for maintaining the terpene levels as well as the raw flavor and aroma of the herb.References


11 mind-blowing facts about your body’s endocannabinoid system

From Green Flower

human body graphic

How is it that one plant – cannabis – can treat so many different illnesses?

It’s a great question and luckily there is a great answer based on scientific research.

The answer lies in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Most people have yet to hear about the ECS, but as the world comes to better understand this crucial system, we continue to unlock the secrets of cannabis as medicine while understanding more about human health in general.

Here are some quick facts to get you up to speed – some of them might shock you!

#1) The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the late 1980s when researchers were studying how THC interacted with the body. For reasons we’ll get into, the ECS would soon be considered more significant than all other neuroscience discoveries combined.

#2) In the early 1990s another amazing discovery was made when researchers found two endogenous compounds that bind just like THC with the ECS. These THC-like cannabinoids, produced by our own bodies, are respectively called anandamide and AG-2.

#3) It eventually became clear that the receptors which comprised the ECS were the most prevalent neurotransmitters throughout the brain and also found in the organs, bones, and skin.

endocannabinoid system chart

#4) Scientists have learned that the ECS plays a direct role in homeostasis, which means that it regulates every metabolic process in the body to keep things running as they should.

As Dr. Sunil Aggarwal pointed out during the Cannabis Health Summit, the ECS plays a role in processes such as:

  • Mood regulation
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Inflammation
  • Pain perception
  • Muscle tone and movement
  • Extinction of traumatic memory
  • Protection of nerves and brain tissue
  • Bone growth
  • Tumor regulation
  • Baby breast-feeding reward
  • Stress management
  • Eye pressure
  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Seizure activity
  • And many others

#5) When we don’t have enough endocannabinoids in our body, we call this clinical endocannabinoid deficiency – which medical researchers are connecting to a number of ailments including previously untreatable illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia or migraines. When the ECS isn’t healthy, any number of things can go wrong. The cannabinoids in cannabis can helps us bolster the ECS, which is why the herb is so effective for so many different ailments.

#6) In addition to endogenous and plant-based cannabinoids, attempts have been made to stimulate the ECS with synthetic cannabinoids such as Marinol, which is the synthetic version of THC. While some patients continue to benefit from this FDA-approved drug, the side effects can be very unpleasant for others.

#7) Despite knowledge of the ECS and its relationship with cannabis, governments have maintained severe restrictions on the study and legal access of this plant.

In 2014 alone the U.S. government locked up 700,000 people for cannabis all the while knowing the importance of this plant acting on the ECS.

#8) Pharmaceutical companies meanwhile are permitted to attempt cracking the ECS in other ways, creating chemical concoctions with often times ineffective, harsh or even fatal results.

For example, between 1999 and 2014 the number of opioid prescriptions quadrupled. The number of opioid-related deaths also quadrupled during that time span according to the CDC.

#9) People have been using cannabis for over 10,000 years (without a single fatal overdose ever being recorded), and some estimates have the ECS first developing at about 500 million years ago!

#10) Many medicals school continue to overlook the ECS, however this is starting to change now that we have the first science-based medical cannabis textbook.

#11) Almost every animal, with the exception of insects, has an endocannabinoid system.

Incredible discoveries await in the field of endocannabinoid science. We hope that medical schools across the globe introduce the subject into their core curriculum so that doctors can start learning about one of the most important systems in our body.

Is Cannabis The New Wonder Drug?