LEARN MORE ABOUT CANNABIS AND THE FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
The legalization of cannabis for medical, and/or recreational uses in most states in the USA has been a source of hope for those who almost lost their lives because of certain ailments. While the potency of this plant is unique as its strains, its medicinal prowess is grabbing headings and for the right reasons. With that said, and in order to understand how far this plant has come, sandwiched with its healing attributes are all worth mentioning for all to see.
WHAT IS CANNABIS?
The cannabis plant fan leaf, is arguably one of the most recognizable of plants because of its permeation of pop culture. Also cannabis has been around for eons of years and humans have always had a relationship with the plant. A healthy cannabis plant leaf can be found in variable shade of green, depending on the strain with its customary ridges.
CANNABIS VARIETY: SATIVA
The Cannabis Sativa leaf is more slender than other varieties of cannabis, longer and more protruding in length and a brighter green in color. The buds associated with sativa plants tend to be extended, longer, more wispy and contain bright colors such as red and orange.
Cannabis Sativa has very high THC content and is considered invigorating, arousing, and an imagination booster with very low CBD levels. For this reason, Sativa is best used for daytime use. Cannabis Sativa plants can grow very tall when properly grown outdoors, reaching up to 20 feet tall
Fan leaves are bright green, slender and “narrow leafed. Buds associated with sativa plants are bright red or orange, are longer and wispy. Buds are less dense and can feel feathery. Sativa Dominant strains contain the highest psychoactive cannabinoids (THC Dominant). Contains lowest non-psychoactive cannabinoids
The effects of ingestion: feeling more energetic and euphoric, hallucinogenic, head high, cerebral feeling. It is recommended for day time use;
CANNABIS VARIETY: INDICA
Cannabis Indica leaves are more broad, wide, extensive and the color tends to be deeper and richer greens. Cannabis Indica buds are thick, densely packed very tightly with darker colors, such as purple.
Fan leaves are shorter, darker green, with wide leaves that are more broad, thicker in appearance. Buds associated with indica strains are darker, purple. Indica dominant strains contains buds that are quite dense. Indica dominant strains contains the lowest psychoactive component of cannabis (THC) (CBD Dominant). Indica strains contain the highest non-psychoactive component CBD.
Cannabis Indica strains are THC dominant containing moderate THC levels, with varying low levels of CBD. Indica strains are considered calming, soothing, easing. Due to this fact, it is best to consume at night or in the evening time. Consuming this strain leads to what some refer to as “couch lock.” This is when you literally do not want to move, you want to relax and enjoy the high you have attained. Cannabis Indica strains can grow up to 15 feet tall with proper maintenance and grown outdoors.
CANNABIS VARIETY: HYBRIDS
Hybrids are man made via crossbreeding for various effects. They can either be Indica dominant or Sativa dominant.
They can contain 4 types of strains: sativa x sativa (2 sativa strains bred together), indica x indica (2 Indica strains bred), sativa x indica (sativa dominant characteristics), indica x sativa (Indica dominant characteristics).
Depending upon which strain is consumed will depend on the effects experienced by user. Sativa dominant strains will leave users with a more cerebral high that is energetic, euphoric and invigorating.
Indica dominant strains will have users experience a more body high, that is soothing, calming and relaxing.
Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the first cannabis compounds to be isolated and identified by scientists at the end of the 19th Century. Despite this early find, there is very little information to date about this compound. What we know for sure is that it is a natural ingredient in cannabis sativa, being found in cannabis that has matured. It is not readily available in freshly harvested cannabis, making its availability scant or even zero, in those plants. Once cannabis is aged and the THC component is oxidized, only then is CBN created—making it much more abundant in the aged or cured form of cannabis.
CBN is also non-psychoactive, unlike its more youthful predecessor THC. Pharmacodynamics of CBN is that this component comprises both a two-fold lower affinity for CB1 receptors and a three-fold higher affinity for CB2 receptors when comparing to its predecessor the psychotropic version , THC .
There are varying reports on the ability of this compounds capabilities. Some believe that CBN is sedating and is good to use to help fall asleep or relax, as Dean Eddington noted the sedating properties in this week’s lecture, other avid reviewers believe differently in that CBN is only sedating when coupled with THC and terpenes. Touting that they have used isolated CBN compounds have not had the relaxing feeling they initially thought with their nightly sleep remedies. For some users looking to combat insomnia with CBN solely, they may not find that CBN is enough and other insomnia warriors such as THC, terpenes, and flavonoids may be needed to fully find the full herbal tincture and insomnia remedy to rest at night. CBN alone is simply not enough.
Dean Eddington has noted in previous lectures that CBN is currently being evaluated for its abilities for neuroprotection, appetite stimulant, glaucoma and anti-inflammatory properties. Other cannabinoid based therapeutic treatments for CBN is spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients, cancer therapy hyperemesis, HIV therapy hyperemesis, and inflammatory bowel disease. CBN is a known anti-bacterial in resting formidable bacteria such as MRSA, is sedating in the presence of terpenes, and CBN can increase euphoric effects of THC.
It is fair to note that CBN has a defined place in the cannabis world; albeit, it is not a showrunner. It is a strong supporting actor with a long and very strong reputation, quietly taking second place behind THC, yet associating closely with terpenes and flavonoids. It has strong potential to strike out on its own with its anti-bacterial potential, yet more research must be done.
Routes of administration is common practice in drug delivery in many types of medicines, whether osteopathic or allopathic. Cannabis is no different. It is administered a few different ways: orally, sublingually, vaporized/inhaled, and rectally with suppositories. These routes of administration are determined using the same criterion from a patient variable perspective, as well, patient characteristic. This is similar to other allopathic medicines and their consideration for treatment modalities. Allopathic medicine at its finest has stringent protocols in place to monitor medicines from plant to person. This is to ensure we have proper knowledge of their “mode of action, potential adverse reactions, contraindications, and interactions with existing orthodox pharmaceuticals and functional foods to promote both safe and rational use of these agents.” Public health is of vital concern for regulatory authorities, if these medicines are going to be used for medications, surgeries, radiations and treatments.
Cannabis dosing differs in that there are not as many studies on this plant to consider the fullest potential of its varying cannabinoid profiles, or chemvars to best discover all of its potential healing modalities for specific administrations. Without having sufficient data from numerous studies over many years to point to various success models, we use information that we know to be generally true for cannabis. It works. The studies we have seen, the information we do have points to historical success, even if science is just catching up with the legislation challenges currently in place. We know it works. From this perspective, cannabis differs from allopathic medicines. It is true that cannabis is “recommended” versus “prescribed” as physicians struggle to stay within the confines of the law of this still labeled Schedule 1 Drug. Cannabis is best recommended from a micro-dosing perspective as industry insiders recommend dosing “low and slow” due to the highly individualized experiential outcomes.
Characteristics such as patient related variables are similar components that must be considered in allopathic medicine dosing and administration. Also, cannabis’ effects should be monitored over the course of time because it is herbal, allopathic medicines are pharmaceutical, not needing this element of time consideration. The other positive factor of cannabis is that it works in positive sync with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. When cannabis is recommended as a treatment modality, it is given the same dosing/administration requirements as other medicines: frequency, administration, with side effects and contraindications to be aware of.
More studies are needed to continue to analyze data associated with cannabis usage. With more studies comes more opportunities to grow, cultivate and process cannabis. The obvious challenge is the varying outcomes of cannabis with each batch. With certain cannabis components, such as CBD, we can find third party companies providing a certificate of analysis verifying the shelf life, stability, purity and compliance of the product and company providing the merchandise. This is another level of safety that can be used to give consumers and manufacturers alike peace of mind in using their products. We know how positively cannabis performs against formidable diseases such as cancer, MS, and Parkinson’s. I would like to see more research examining cannabis against various disorders such as insomnia, mood, schizophrenia, dementia, and eating disorders. Having a compiled journal of statistical data of cannabis’ performance on diseases and disorders can begin a playbook of dosing regulation and administration. This is the type of information we need in the 21st century as we build on the knowledge of cannabis and its intersection with humanity.