Know your CBD’s

It’s been nearly a decade since we introduced one of the first Cannabidiol (CBD) rich strains grown by Lawrence Ringo to San Diego County. Back then, we couldn’t give it away. People would buy it and then call us a day or two later telling us it didn’t do anything for them. That’s because they were expecting the usual “high” effect that cannabis rich in THC will induce. As time went on, more and more people found the lingering effects of CBD use had decreased their pain, inflammation and anxiety. They reported an overall sense of calm, focus and wellness. In addition, those who tended toward paranoia with THC, found that it tempered the effects and made their cannabis use more enjoyable.

Fast forward to 2013 when Dr. Sanjay Gupta announced that he was wrong about cannabis and the societal stigma which surrounds it. This was quickly followed by the media coverage of little Charlotte Figi and her seizures and the cannabis strain, Charlotte’s Web, that was named for her. These events launched the CBD discussion and its merits began to be noticed and take hold. Namely that CBD was undoubtedly a powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety remedy, without intoxicating effects.

Today, people are seeing mail and advertisements in all forms touting the benefits of CBD oils. The trouble is that not all CBD is equal and many people are spending hard-earned money on products with little medicinal value. Ultimately, as with anything we put into our bodies—and especially with products being marketed as CBD oil—it’s vital to know what exactly we are buying, where it’s coming from, and what’s in it.

To fully understand the benefits of CBD, it’s necessary to first recognize the difference between hemp oil, hemp and cannabis. As a society, we use the terms interchangeably, thinking they are one in the same. While they may look similar when growing, hemp and cannabis plants are quite different in their phytochemical composition.

Hemp oil is derived from seeds and/or stalks of the hemp plant.
Hemp or Cannabis ruderalis is ideal for making clothing, textiles, paper, biofuel and more. While it does contain CBD, it lacks the additional compounds found in cannabis.
Cannabis or Cannabis sativa/Cannabis indica is rich in cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes; CBD being just one of the naturally occurring compounds.

Hemp seed does not contain any of the compounds found in the hemp or cannabis plant. However, the seeds are very rich in omegas and proteins. From a nutritional perspective, studies have shown hemp seed to have outstanding value for our bodies. Molecule for molecule, Cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp or cannabis (aka marijuana) is exactly the same. What’s important to consider when looking to use CBD for medicinal purposes, are the additional compounds found in cannabis. It is the combination of all compounds such as CBG, THC, CBC and terpenes like beta-caryophyllene that work synergistically to activate our body’s natural endocannabinoid system. This process is commonly referred to as the entourage effect.

Here’s a quick checklist to use when selecting products labelled CBD oil:

Is the main ingredient hemp seed oil or hemp oil? If yes, the product is a nutritional supplement and won’t necessarily help with your medical complaints. Recently a friend showed me a product she purchased online. The ingredients stated it contained 375 milligrams of hemp oil and 15 milligrams of CBD. While the CBD was hemp derived, there is nothing else in the capsules to fully activate the 15 milligrams of CBD.

Is the main ingredient Cannabidiol (CBD)? If yes, is it derived from hemp or cannabis? A challenge for consumers today is lack of transparency as to the origins of the hemp-derived CBD. Where and how the hemp is cultivated is critical. Hemp is used for phytoremediation because it absorbs contaminants and toxins from the soil. While this is fantastic for the planet, it’s not such a good thing when looking to put a derivative of the plant into your body. For the safest and healthiest product, look for CBD that is organically grown in the U.S.

If the CBD is cannabis derived, it will most likely have small levels of THC, terpenes or other cannabinoids listed on the label. You will need a medical marijuana recommendation to purchase these products due to Cannabis’s classification as a Schedule I substance. Again, look for products derived from organically grown cannabis.

What other ingredients are in the oil? Do you really need vegetable glycerin, sugars, polysorbates, sodium benzoate or other chemical ingredients if you are taking CBD to feel better or combat disease?

Finally, don’t confuse Cannabidiol with cannabinoids. All cannabis plants produce cannabinoids, Cannabidiol (CBD), being one of them. Many people say they want the medicinal kind of marijuana, not the kind that gets you high. All cannabis is medicinal, it is simply the levels of cannabinoids, how it is consumed, and how much of it is consumed that will dictate the level of “high” you may experience.

As you begin your CBD journey, read the labels, ask the tough questions, and just be aware of what is in it and how it makes you feel. Whether it’s hemp or cannabis derived CBD, when you find the product in the right ratio for you, the natural relief can be extraordinary.

*The DEA continues to debate the legality of CBD and several lawsuits are in process with large producers of hemp-derived CBD.

Terpene Profile: Humulene

There are hundreds of compounds in a cannabis plant including cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenoids (commonly referred to as terpenes). Many people select their cannabis based strictly on cannabinoid levels, usually THC and more recently CBD. But there is an even more important component to consider: The terpene profile.

Terpenes are a group of essential oils natural occurring in cannabis plants. The terpenes are secondary metabolites biosynthesized in the glandular trichomes of the leaves and flowers and accumulate in the exuded resin. Many terpenes will act synergistically with each other, as well as other compounds in the cannabis plant. It’s these terpenes that are responsible for the characteristic aromas, flavor and effects each strain induces.

Humulene is one such terepene. It is an isomer of b-Caryophyllene, another very therapeutic terpene. This means that these terpenes share the same chemical formula, but differ in structure. Humulene is evident from its strong earthy, woodsy aroma. It is also found naturally in hops, sage and ginseng. Strains rich in Humulene will potentiate the effects of b-caryophyllene on anti-cancer activity. Humulene has very potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Those looking for relief from chronic inflammation or pain should look for this terpene. In addition, those battling fungal infections, cancers or looking to prevent both can benefit from its anti-proliferative properties. See a study from 2007 found here.

The final bonus of Humulene for many, is that it is a natural appetite suppressant. So if you find that cannabis induces your appetite too much, selecting strains rich in Humulene may help curb those cravings.

Selecting strains based on terpenes rather than just cannabinoids brings an entirely new dimension to the cannabis consumer and something we strongly promote. Not only will you find synergistic results for remedying a myriad of conditions such as pain, inflammation, insomnia, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections, you’ll also be able to intelligently select new strains that are best for your body, based on matching up the terpene profile, when your favorite strain is not available

To learn more, see our complete Terpene Chart and Why Terpenes Matter article as published in SKUNK Magazine.

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 Our Member Consultants are here to answer any questions to help you discover your optimal methods and dose.

Talking With Your Parents about Cannabis

Cannabis has been a hot topic for decades. Prop 215, which made use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in California legal, was passed in 1996. The camps for use tout the benefits that have been known for thousands of years. While the camps against, tout the negative consequences that have been spread for the past 80. Separating fact from fiction can be daunting.

Many families and caregivers are asking about cannabis for their loved ones, but know very little about its true medicinal properties or how to go about obtaining and using it. With Prop 64– which makes cannabis for recreational use legal for adults in California– coming online in 2018, it will be even more important than ever that seniors who wish to explore using cannabis medicinally are armed with accurate and responsible information.

Why Talking about Cannabis Matters

Cannabis is a natural plant remedy that has been used around the world bringing relief to humans for hundreds of conditions. In the United States, a growing number of people over 50 are thinking about exploring medicinal cannabis as an alternative option for pain, sleep, arthritis, stress, anxiety, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, cancer, end of life comfort or any other number of medical issues.

In the late 1980’s, scientists discovered the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system that regulates and affects physiological processes including movement, mood, memory, appetite and pain. The ECS is what makes cannabis effective for so many conditions. The therapeutic use of cannabis is supported by 30,000 plus published studies on the ECS and more than 9,000 patient years of clinical trial data documenting successful use of cannabis for pain.

Many seniors have either never used cannabis, or are coming back to it for the first time in 20 or more years. It’s a different world from the 40,s , 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s when your parents may have last used cannabis, if ever. Contrary to popular belief, smoking the herb, or flower as it is now commonly called, is not the only option. Today we are seeing more and more people using cannabis in ways it has been used for thousands of years before.

The reality is that much like the population of the nation, the majority of those who use cannabis are over 50, but most are in the closet because of the stigma. It’s okay to drink alcohol or take dangerous pharmaceuticals, but as a society, there is still a very negative attitude toward cannabis. The good news is that perceptions are beginning to change. Be part of the evolution of medicinal cannabis users by taking steps to educate yourself.

Cannabis Implementation Plan

Learn more about the facts and best practices for implementing medicinal cannabis in an informed, safe and effective manner. Download the pamphlet today –>Talking With Your Parents About Cannabis

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Ten Reasons To Embrace Low THC

Over the past decade, we’ve heard all about how much stronger cannabis strains are today than they were in the 70’s and 80’s. And while we have seen growers produce strains in the 20-30% ranges, the fact remains that on average THC in most plants will range from 12-18%.

As dispensary operators, we see people select strains based on THC levels alone. For some, especially those with long time experience, high thresholds to pain or those who just want a heavier cerebral high, this can be the right approach. But we always educate and advocate for balance of cannabinoids and terpene profiles for medicinal purposes, as we understand how they work symbiotically to achieve maximum effectiveness. We’ve seen strains of 16% or lower be more effective and longer lasting than strains in the 20-30+% range.

Here are 10 reasons to consider a low THC strain:

  1. For those who are just coming back to using Cannabis as medicine, or for those who are just beginning to experiment, low THC strains are a nice option, especially for anyone nervous about “being high”. When you find the right amount of “high”, it’s a good place to be.
  2. Take the edge off pain and anxiety, while keeping a relatively clear head during the day.
    -Lower THC allows for medicating during the day for greater pain relief without being overly sedated, especially when using indica strains, which generally bring more relief to the body.
    -Sativa lovers can enjoy the energy and euphoria without increased risk of paranoia or losing clarity of focus by being too spacey.
  3. Those with high anxiety levels find lower THC, combined with 10mg of CBD daily as a supplement provides very effective and fast relief.
  4. If you are battling depression, many sativa strains can provide the right amount of uplifting euphoria you seek. Delivering it in low doses of THC throughout the day can help stabilize your mood while maintaining a functional pace.
  5. Cannabinoids work symbiotically, putting the right ratios of THC and C-cannabinoids into your system will yield the best results over the long term.
  6. If you don’t enjoy the head high that comes from THC, and CBD isn’t delivering enough relief, a low THC strain is often the right choice.
  7. Combining low THC with high CBD strains, you can create ratios that work best for your unique circumstances (we strongly encourage blending strains, but that’s another topic).
  8. As THC is the main cannabinoid responsible for appetite increase, or “the munchies”, lower THC may produce less of an appetite stimulator, while still inducing the relief you seek.
  9. Low THC strains are ideal for sex or intimacy. That’s because THC not only releases dopamine in the brain — causing the “high” — it actually replicates the effects of a sexy little naturally occurring neurochemical called anandamide. Too much THC can have you contemplating the universe or knock you out. Having just the right amount can enhance your mood and heighten your tactile senses for greater pleasure.
  10. For those who enjoy the ritual of smoking, you can take more inhales without becoming completely annihilated.

No matter what you choose, always start with a small inhale (or sip) and wait 10 minutes to assess how the strain makes you feel. If it is too intense, you’ll be back to normal within an hour. If it isn’t enough, simply take another puff or two. Once you’ve dialed in the dose that’s right for you, you’ve hit the jackpot.

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this article was published in Issue 2 March/April of The Highway California.
Click for a PDF HWYCALI-002-LOW-THC

Boomers and Cannabis

A growing number of people over 50 are discovering or thinking about exploring medicinal cannabis as a viable option for pain, sleep, arthritis, stress, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, cancer or any other number of medical issues. Many have either never used cannabis, or are coming back to it for the first time in 20 or more years. It’s a different world from the 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s when many seniors may have last used cannabis, which was probably mostly recreational in nature.

While medicinal cannabis has been legal in California for two decades, it has been largely unregulated and very often associated with street drug dealers who operate “pot shops” making it challenging to navigate the landscape for a location which is staffed with knowledgeable, professional and caring staff. In addition, the stigma of cannabis use is largely associated with “stoners”, deadbeats and potheads and laziness. The reality is that much like the population of California, the majority of those who use cannabis are over 50, but most are in the closet because of the stigma. It’s okay to drink alcohol or pop pills, but as a society, there is still a very negative attitude toward cannabis. The good news is that perceptions are changing.

Up until the 1940s when cannabis was made fully illegal and removed from the US Pharmacopoeia, it was among the top three prescribed remedies, administered primarily in a tincture form. When cannabis was made illegal primarily for reasons of greed and politics, the American Medical Association was blindsided and eventually forced to find other remedies for the hundreds of maladies for which cannabis has been previously prescribed to treat.

Today, baby boomers looking to re-engage or explore the world of medical cannabis for the first time in their life, face unique challenges. Not the least of which is to find a dispensary that is reputable, educated, offers quality products and, most importantly, has a patient and caring staff. The dispensary your kids or grand-kids use, may not be best suited for you. Here are a few areas to consider when choosing a dispensary:

Location, Location, Location
First and foremost, the location should be safe, clean, professional and easy to access. If you have to enter through the back alley or are not being greeted in a professional and responsible manner, this may not be the best place to obtain medicinal cannabis.

Knowledge and Experience of the Staff
If you are looking to get a good night’s sleep or alleviate chronic pain, having someone in their early twenties describe a product as being “dank” may not be the type of advice you need. Having someone explain the various therapies (smoking is not the only option today), provide guidance about products that have worked for others with similar conditions/complaints, best practices for using the products, as well as proper and clear dosing guidance is paramount to helping you achieve the results you seek.

Product Quality and Labeling
Where are the products coming from? How and where is the cannabis grown, where is it grown? Do the owners of the dispensary have personal relationships with the growers? Is it organicically grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers? Are packaged products, such as edibles or tinctures, wrapped professionally and properly labeled? At the very least, there should be a brand, product name, lab results, cannabinoid ratios and ingredients. If edible, nutritional information should also be listed.

Bringing Along a Family Member or Friend
Make sure you are able to bring a trusted family member or friend with you. From the first visit to the doctor who recommends cannabis to a visit to your first dispensary, the information can be overwhelming. As you navigate this new world, it’s important to have some extra guidance and someone to act as a sounding board. Bringing along a family member or a trusted friend can help you better understand the various therapies and products.

Education and Social Programs
Find out if ancillary programs such as consulting, workshops or general sharing of information among its member base available to you.

Learning about the new therapies, techniques, selecting the best products within a person’s comfort zone, and dosing is key to achieving desired results. All of this requires guidance from those experienced in these areas and who know how to communicate clearly with the baby boomer generation. Take the time to research, read reviews and ask questions before choosing a dispensary. It may take a few visits, but you’ll find the place that is best for you.

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Maximizing CBD

Firefly recently did a nice roundup of experts in the field, including Jessica Peters, the founder of Moxie Meds–one of our favorite CBD rich tinctures– as well as Mary Lynn Mathre, founder of Patients Out Of Time, a personal hero of mine. This article is a nice review of how CBD works in our body and why we need the full plant for the maximum results. While CBD derived from hemp is exactly the same molecule for molecule with its counterpart from cannabis, the benefit is clearly maximized with cannabis derived CBD. It’s something we’ve been preaching for the past five years and it makes us smile to see how many people have been healed by adding CBD to their daily regime.

Ask a consultant for more information about CBD as a supplement on your next visit or call.

Read full article here.

 

A New Kind of RX-C Success: Cannabis and Pets

All vertebrates, from ascidians to humans, have an endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of receptors spread throughout the body. CB1 receptors are responsible for metabolizing THC and allowing the psychoactive effects of THC to be received. CB2 receptors are responsible for anti-inflammatory relief. They are found in immune cells and work to reduce inflammation.  In dogs, the CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain, but also appear in dogs’ salivary glands. Dogs possess a dense amount of CB1 receptors in their brain making them very sensitive to its intoxicating effects. While CB2 receptors are localized in canine skin, immune system, peripheral nervous system and some organs, such as the liver and kidneys.

Just like humans, proper dosing is important to ensure a pleasant experience. This can easily be achieved with a little patience and small, controlled amounts. We have been fortunate to have a retired veterinarian work with us to develop suggested dosing for pets.

In the last few years several of our members and staff have had amazing success:

Pika – Pit Bull mix, 13 years old – Internal cancerous polyp tumors began to inhibit Pika’s breathing and hip dysplasia made it difficult for her to move around. A 5-15mg dose of the CBD helped Pika’s breathing to ease and become more comfortable allowing her to get much needed rest, and it made it possible for her to move more freely. Pika lived happily and comfortably for 11 months longer than expected.

Bootsy –  Terrier mix,  5 years old – Severe anxiety caused by loud noises, mostly the bombings on Camp Pendelton and 4th of July. His owner sprayed  Care By Design 18:1 in his water (6 mg) and witnessed a marked improvement in his overall behavior.

Sammy – Weimareiner/Boxer mix, 10 years old – Cancer survivor of 4 years, underwent surgery to beat it. The muscles in the area where the surgery was performed twitched uncontrollably causing Sammy discomfort. She also used to experience tremors. Sammy is given 2 sprays of the Care by Design 8:1 tincture daily and she no longer experiences either complaint. If for some reason Sammy does not get her CBD, the twitching returns within a week.

Rusty – German Shepherd mix, 14 years old – Chronic pain and stiffness from arthritis throughout the body – Given 2mg of a Sensi Chew CBD Gold edible 2-3x daily, his ability to lay down and stand up improved noticeably. On particularly painful days a dose of 4mg would allow him to find a comfortable position to fall asleep and escape the pain for a few hours at a time.

Cotton – Malti Poo, 2 years old – Chronic digestive problems. Has many food allergies and even with a veterinarian prescribed diet, would throw up daily an hour after eating. Upon the first dose of Care By Design 18:1 (6 mg) Cotton’s vomiting ceased immediately. He now receives one spray in the morning and one in the evening and no longer has any digestive issues.

Whether it’s anxiety or chronic pain bothering your pet, CBD may help them get some rest and slow progress of their conditions. Give us a call today to ask about our newest pet specific product, HL CannaPetMedz Tincture.

Backdoor Medicine: How Cannabis Suppositories Can Save Lives

You want me to put that where?!

This is a common reaction to the suggestion that cannabis can be used as a suppository. Rectal administrations (suppositories) have an unfairly bad reputation in North America, despite the diverse benefits they offer. And we have personally seen countless successes over the years including relief from simple hemorrhoid inflammation to IBS and even dimished size of tumors with prostate and rectal cancers. We can show you how to make your own using FECO oil or you can select ready to insert suppositories from CBD Alive.

This article aims to educate about the advantages associated with the rectal application of cannabis and provide a simple set of guidelines for the effective use of suppositories. Click here to read the full article.

As always, we’re here to guide you through the product selection process. Ask a consultant for more information on your next delivery or visit.

Be Elevated.

One Minute Cannabist

We’re proud to announce the launch of the first in a series of simple to read books for regular people wanting to explore cannabis as a medicinal therapy. The first in the series, “The One Minute Cannabist: A Primer for Medicinal Cannabis Newbies”, is written by seniors for seniors, as a quick and easy to comprehend compilation of the basics. It’s a perfect resource for those new to cannabis or for those wanting a refresher.

The book explores how and why cannabis works, getting past the stigma of its use, therapy options and common sense implementation. Millions of seniors across the nation are getting all natural relief from arthritic, muscle and nerve pain, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, headaches, backaches, menopause systems, detoxing from opiates, sleeping better, increasing libido, decreasing everyday stress and anxiety and more, simply by using medicinal cannabis.

“So many people, especially seniors are interested, but not sure where or how to start. Understanding the physiology of why it works, the therapies available and how to dose for maximum effectiveness is key to success. A common misconception is that you have to smoke cannabis,” said Terry Lynn co-author of The One Minute Cannabist. “It’s a new world for anyone who only used cannabis recreationally in their youth. Today there are many non-inhalation therapies such as tinctures and topicals. We wrote this book to help people understand and navigate the use of cannabis no matter what their choice of ingestion.”

“People 50 and over have unique challenges with medicinal cannabis, many have past experience and some have never tried it in their lives. One of the biggest challenges and most misunderstood is proper use and dosing. A comment we hear frequently is, I don’t want to be high,” said Robbin Lynn co-author of The One Minute Cannabist. “The One Minute Cannabist takes the mystery out of the notion that you have to be stoned and stupid to get the most out of cannabis by demonstrating how to best select the products you use and most importantly, how to properly dose those products.”

The amount of information about medicinal cannabis  or even a specific condition to be treated with this healing herb can be overwhelming. The One Minute Cannabist: A Primer For Medicinal Cannabis Newbies is an ideal place begin and makes a great quick reference for those with experience.

Download your copy today at: oneminutecannabist.com
Members may receive 50% off list. Request a promotional code with your next order.

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All Natural Skincare using Medicated Topicals

Typical over the counter drugs and skincare products tend to agitate both my insides and skin. Since educating myself about why my body is affected so drastically by chemical laden body products and foods, I have become an advocate for chemical free health and skincare. I worked in the beauty industry for several years and am well versed on multiple skin care techniques although taming my own hot spots has always been a challenge.

Taking control of my nutrition, exercise and hygiene routines has been essential to seeing progress but it was not until adding cannabis to my regimen that I started to see a new level of healing and change in my skin. I talk to members so often about my “cannabis skincare regimen” that I decided it was time to sit down and share it with our online audience and those I may not get to speak with directly about these options. I truly believe anyone could benefit from having these items in their bathroom cabinet for everything ranging from acne and cellulite to overnight camping trips.

It is important to note that the delivery method chosen will determine how it affects one’s skin. Carcinogens associated with combustion and smoking the plant may counteract its anti-aging benefits. Vaporizing it at a lower temperature is a more healthful option and less damaging to the skin. Applying it topically is of course, the most beneficial, healthful method for your skin.

One of the most popular articles I’ve written for RX-C was about our Member Consultant Riane’s experience in Cannabis vs. Cellulite. Riane knew that cannabis has natural collagen building properties and decided to try the cream on the back of her upper thighs seeing noticeable results within 3 weeks. She was thrilled and we have since seen many members have their own “beauty successes” in different ways.

I was inspired by another co-worker to try out the CannaCare Massage Cream as a moisturizer. She had been using it for months and was ecstatic with her results so it was only a matter of time until I was going to give it a try. My skin was producing more oil than it knew what to do with this summer and when my hormones peaked during “that time of the month” there was no hiding from big red bumps all over my face. One day I came across a bottle of our Green Dragon Pain Spray in a cabinet I’d forgotten about month’s before. In that moment I had an experience similar to Riane’s when it dawned on me, “hey, this will help my acne!”  That day my new skin care routine was born. I’ve been using this blend for a while now and can only report positive results.

I’m now using grapeseed oil to remove makeup, a charcoal cleanser/exfoliator, the Green Dragon Pain Spray as a toner and CannaCare Massage Cream as my moisturizer. Top that off with a medicated lip balm and I have a full face of cannabis infused potions protecting my skin. As the weather gets more cool and dry, the lip balm becomes my go to for chronic painful, chapped and cracking lips.

All natural, cannabis infused products make life a little more beautiful in more than enough ways to deserve a little recognition.  As always, I look forward to talking to you about your experiences with our topical products.