If you’ve ever taken more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it’s often because more is needed. Maybe you’re suffering from the flu and need to break a fever, or have an especially bad headache. Most painkillers, prescription or over-the-counter, work in this way: more medicine means more relief.
One of the largest learning curves when it comes to cannabidiol is that it’s biphasic: more CBD does not necessarily mean more relief. It means different relief. The science of cannabinoids is still developing and there’s a lot of trial-and-error for patients and caregivers. The ratio of CBD to THC is also important rather than a straight dose of CBD. Researchers are unclear as to why small amounts of THC bring out the benefits of CBD, but they do. I’ve noticed a pattern that suggests the higher the ratio of CBD to THC, the better it works for medical conditions that are difficult to treat.
Multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and Dravet syndrome are diseases CBD can potentially treat when conventional methods have failed. MS an\d fibromyalgia occur often enough in the population that pharmaceutical companies have devoted resources towards developing new treatments, but Dravet syndrome is more rare. It presents in children less than a year old and is devastating to their quality of life. Treatments for epilepsy in general requires heavy doses of tranquilizing drugs, and this can cause long term harm to a growing child. CBD’s potential to treat Dravet syndrome is significant enough that pharmaceutical companies have taken notice and are studying CBD in full scale clinical trials.
I was curious if an 18:1 ratio could work for my seasonal affective disorder. Luckily, southern California has very few cloudy days, but those days can stop me in my tracks. Care by Design’s collection of CBD sprays has been great for my pain and IBS symptoms in lower ratios, but I didn’t notice any antidepressant qualities. During a rainy week, I tried their 18:1 sublingual spray.
Having used Care by Design’s sprays before, I knew 3-4 sprays works well for me. For reference, I’m 5’11” and height and weight should be considered when determining a proper dose. The company suggests 1-2 sprays and that is an excellent place to start for a full grown adult. While I’ve heard patients sometimes mix the spray into a drink or food, I would not recommend this when you’re relying on this medicine for acute conditions. I find the taste of the sprays to be very mild, but “chasing” the spray with water will all but eliminate the cannabis flavor after you’ve used the spray.
On a typical cloudy day, normal tasks require a lot of motivation for me. I have to force myself to get up, make coffee, read my email and so on. Each step feels like my mind and body are saying “NOPE.” After three sprays in the morning, it felt like a totally normal day. Compared to typical antidepressants, I noticed a change rather quickly. I also noticed when it tapered off in the afternoon, so I took 3 more sprays around 4pm. With a week’s worth of El Niño weather, I was able to see what daily use was like. It was a nice feeling to know that the spray works as needed and doesn’t linger in my system. I’m not opposed to long-term therapies at all, but I am opposed to taking something when it’s not necessary. As soon as the sun came back, I wanted to go back to my normal routine. Even when I was using the spray, it felt like my normal routine. I didn’t feel “high” or even a reduced amount of anxiety (there are other ratios and other cannabis products I would use for that effect). I simply was able to function normally without the heaviness that depression brings to the mind and body.
One of the great aspects of CBD, and cannabis in general, is that I experience no withdrawal. While there is anecdotal evidence that suggests marijuana withdrawal exists, I personally have not had that experience, nor have I with any CBD product (in contrast, my caffeine withdrawal symptoms might be the worst withdrawal I’ve ever experienced!). That can’t be said for prescription antidepressants, some of which can lead to seizures and comas when stopped abruptly. Because of this, antidepressants in general require a significant time commitment to see if they work, and more time to taper off should they be ineffective or produce unwanted side effects. For those who experience temporary depressions, this could be an option in dealing with those situations. Depression is a complicated illness with many causes and even more treatment options, and this product is unique among those options.
In choosing a CBD treatment, dosage is critical. Care by Design thoroughly tests their products, and I’m confident that I’m getting what I pay for when I choose their products. CBD products are an investment and Care by Design has taken steps to establish trust with patients by being transparent about their manufacturing process and their testing. I will continue to search for their products when looking for a reliable CBD medication.
If you heard that Jay Leno was driving a cannabis car, you may imagine something like the van from Dumb and Dumber, affixed in plant leaves. However, the truth is that the vehicle in question is a 2017 Revival. The 2017 Revival appears identical to any smoothly curved, fast-running auto of its type. There are no hastily assembled leaves or coiled hemp ropes eclectically fastened on the body of the automobile. Rather, the cannabis in question is a plastics-like product fashioned from woven hemp.
Millions of fibers of industrial hemp, cannabis sativa plants which contain only trace amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, create the elegant plastics design. Recently, former Dell executive Bruce Dietzen introduced and sold Jay Leno on the vehicle in a CNBC segment. The two went through a rigorous testing process while Dietzen described the sporty car. While Dietzen’s idea was innovative, a famous American Industrialist inspired Dietzen. According to CNBC’s piece on the cannabis car,
“Henry Ford manufactured the original hemp car all the way back in 1941. The father of the Model T was an advocate for both producing and fueling cars entirely with plant material.”
Ford advocated using plant-based materials as sources of fuel and structure long before notions of climate change entered the picture. Based on reports, Dietzen crafted “the world’s greenest automobile, a car made of hemp.” While taking the 2017 Revival for a spin, Dietzen gave a nod to Henry Ford, then explained the benefits of the alternative vehicle. As the CNBC broadcast revealed, the average car produces 10 tons of air pollutants. In contrast, the 2017 Revival is a carbon-neutral vehicle that emits no air pollutants. On paper, the 2017 Revival is the top of its class.
Naturally, Leno cruised at high speeds and the engine’s horsepower paralleled that of a standard sports car. While driving, Leno wondered whether the vehicle will produce clouds of marijuana smoke if involved in a fiery crash. Dietzen informed him that the car’s structure had no connection with psychoactive cannabis, aside from its composition.
Following that, Leno questioned the vehicle’s durability. First, Dietzen pounded on the hood of the Revival, demonstrating its strength. Leno followed suit and began clapping the car with some resounding blows. As it turns out, the hemp-based body sculpting material is ten times stronger than fiberglass, according to the information released in the CNBC report. One witnesses the strength by watching the two grown men fail to produce any impact upon the hood of the vehicle. Needless to say, Leno bought the car.
With such a fascinating car on the market, one’s curiosity arises regarding the price tag. The 2017 Revival runs in at $40,000 with the standard model. Leno’s customized car cost $200,000. In terms of the future of the vehicle, the retired Dell executive has a unique marketing plan. He’s looking at reaching the younger generation that’s concerned with their carbon footprint and able to splurge on an automobile that’s the first of its kind. He plans to target young, entrepreneurial types who see the value of the car and a healthier lifestyle.
Dietzen is reported to be less interested in profiteering and seeks to promote an innovation he believes in. He remarked, “‘I’m not going to go out there and get a bunch of people for financing who want to make quarterly numbers, because that’s a good way to sink a company. I’m doing it out of my belief in what needs to be done.'” In other words, Dietzen created the Revival for like-minded individuals who have the future in mind. The car is for the consumers, rather than the shareholders or investors. Or, one could say that the vehicle is ideal for those who want to invest in the planet.
Cannabis legalization is providing open, normalized access to an ingredient ripe for experimentation. Alternative methods of consumption, like vaporized concentrates and edibles, represent one of the fastest growing product segments in the industry. Manufactured edibles that are readily available at dispensaries are often confections or prepackaged baked goods, and have become more reliable in terms of dosing and potency. Part of the reliability comes from innovation, and no one understands processes like fermentation, the maillard reaction, and the chemical reactions that occur during cooking and baking like trained chefs.
The cannabis industry also represents one of the most welcoming opportunities for women, both with established careers and those fresh to the job market. While women represent about 22 percent of senior management across most industries, about 36 percent of executives in the cannabis businesses are women. A number of female chefs are also making the move to cannabis, embracing the demand for a sophisticated cannabis experience that is rewarding for both themselves and their customers. Here are a few female cannabis chefs who are taking edibles and infused meals to the next level.
When Andrea Drummer was asked about her decision to become a cannabis chef, she responded, “People never see it coming. I guess I don’t look the part.” Drummer draws upon her experience as chef-specialist for the Ritz-Carlton’s Club Lounge in Los Angeles and Patina food group, a company that provides fine dining experiences to museums and cultural institutions.
Rather than make traditional cannabis edibles, she infuses strains like Blue Dream into some of her signature dishes, including seared duck with cauliflower, chanterelles, with a blueberry gastrique. Her work with a specialized catering company meant perfecting a reliable cannabutter recipe, and the finished product received rave reviews. “With cooking in general, the creative process still fascinates me,” said Drummer.
“Add to that the complexities of cannabis and the intricate challenges that come along with translating it into a fine dining experience, the fascination quadruples. Working with the product tests my culinary capabilities, and forces me to think even more outside of the box than I would normally. It makes me a better chef.”
Monica Lo realized quickly the obstacles that a home cannabis baker faces when working with cannabis: the scent. “I was living in a very strict building, and found that the sous vide method was perfect for discreet cannabis infusions,” explained Lo.
“A crockpot or the stovetop method just wasn’t going to cut it with my sneaky landlord lurking around.”
Sous vide has become popular among chefs and cooking enthusiasts who take a scientific approach to cooking, since the process ensures an exact cooking temperature in a vacuum-sealed enclosure. “With the sous vide method,” said Lo, “you place your cannabis in a zip-sealed bag with fats for THC to bind to and submerge the bag in a temperature-controlled water bath with a gadget called an immersion circulator. This method ensures optimal THC extraction without the risk of overcooking, stench, or setting your kitchen on fire.”
Lo’s approach cannabis as an alternative ingredient ripe for experimentation, and she brings that philosophy to her new company Sous Weed. They provide recipes, catering, and creative services for those who have also embraced cannabis as a part of a larger culinary experience.
As the co-founder of Flour Child Collective, Gocobachi uses local and organic ingredients to make her gourmet edibles. “It didn’t make sense to me that in San Francisco, a place with such a strong artisan food culture, that the edibles weren’t at the same level,” she said. “It’s become a little bit of my personal mission to raise the standards of quality in the cannabis industry.”
Making cannabis edibles requires a significant amount of plant material, so sometimes lower quality cannabis is used. Gocobachi instead seeks out higher quality cannabis and embraces the flavors rather than disguises them. “A lot of people comment that our edibles ‘don’t really taste like edibles’ or cannabis,” she said. “They do; they just taste like good cannabis.” Since different strains provide different flavor profiles, cannabis offers an extension to the usual herbs and spices used in cooking. It’s a normalized way of looking at cannabis as another opportunity to create something new, with less emphasis on the psychoactive experience.
Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, and state officials are deciding how taxes gathered from cannabis sales will be distributed to public education, health awareness programs, affordable housing, and a new initiative to fight the opioid epidemic.
Last week Governor John Hickenlooper approved a state bill that directs how tax dollars are spent from the “Marijuana Tax Cash Fund.” In FY 2016-2017, Colorado collected $105 million from the sale of cannabis. Most of the money went to public schools, health programs, and the managing of the state’s marijuana program.
Colorado is one of six states, as well as Washington DC, that have legalized recreational cannabis. But the federal government could step in at anytime and cause a full-scale elimination of the cannabis industry. Colorado’s cannabis sales increased 30 percent in the beginning of the year, compared to the first part of 2016. Retailers moved $235 million worth of cannabis goods in total.
The new budget bill allocates $15.3 million worth of cannabis tax revenue towards “permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing assistance for individuals with behavioral health needs, and for individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.” The governor’s office stated that the money is meant to “reduce incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness for many of Colorado’s most vulnerable citizens.” An additional $7.1 million will be marked for “ending the use of jails for holding people who are experiencing a mental health crisis” by increasing access to “more appropriate services outside the criminal justice system.”
In order to fund 150 healthcare professionals that would offer “education, universal screening, referral, and care coordination for students with substance abuse and other behavioral health needs,” $9.7 million will be sent to the Department of Education to support the program. “We want to be able to use these funds to educate youth on the dangers and risks of marijuana use,” said Mark Bolton, an attorney who works in the governor’s office and supervises marijuana policy.
Lastly, a new program to help fight opioid addiction will be funded by an annual $500,000 from cannabis taxes. Colorado has experienced the effects of the opioid epidemic and is understaffed in dealing with the crisis. The money will be used to fund grants and pilot programs that would educate medical professionals on opioid abuse in counties who have the highest rates of abuse and fatal overdoses.
But these programs are in danger of being eliminated or not starting at all due to federal prohibition. While the Obama administration neither supported cannabis legalization nor made an effort to control it, the Trump administration has been threatening to crack down on legal cannabis. In contrast to the GOP’s state’s rights values, the Trump administration is backtracking on a campaign promise to let states decide on legalizing cannabis. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made several comments insinuating that those who use cannabis are “bad,” that medical marijuana is over-hyped, and that the drug poses the same risks as heroin. Sessions is directing federal prosecutors to seek the harshest penalties available for drug crimes, making the move from indifference towards cannabis legalization to outright hostility.
As the state of Maryland tries to initiate its medical marijuana industry, multiple lawsuits have been brought against the Maryland Medicinal Cannabis Commission (MMCC), one claiming that the board did not pursue racial diversity during the process, despite a state law requiring them to do so. Now, it appears one of the members who decides how cannabis grow licenses are awarded is a city police chief accused of overt racism.
Cheverly Police Chief Harry “Buddy” Robshaw III is the target of four lawsuits alleging his role in creating a hostile work environment, racist enforcement policies and sexual assault committed by himself and other officers on multiple occasions.
The list of accusations against Robshaw is extensive. According to the wife of one former police officer, Robshaw sexually assaulted her at a social event. “The chief decided to go behind me, take a pool cue, bring it up inside my skirt between my legs,” said Donna Schmidt, wife of former police officer Frank Schmidt. Another former police officer witnessed the assault and filed an affidavit to support her lawsuit.
In another suit, officers claim Robshaw instructed police officers to target African American citizens for arrests, saying,
“if there is more than one black person in a car there is marijuana present and they should investigate.”
Other officers added that he instructed “his white officers that if they saw a black person outside late at night they were to stop the person and ascertain why they were in the town of Cheverly.”
Robshaw directs the subcommittee that decides how cannabis grow licenses are distributed through an approval process. The fact that there are pending lawsuits regarding a racist decision-making process, overseen by a chief of police that has been accused of multiple crimes further compounds the problems facing the state cannabis commission, not to mention the town of Cheverly.
Robshaw has accused all of the participants in the multiple lawsuits of lying. During a deposition, Frank Schmidt’s lawyer asked, “It’s your contention they’re all lying?” Robshaw responded, “That’s correct.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made an attempt to ensure diversity in the state’s medical marijuana industry. After the board awarded licenses, it was discovered that the majority of businesses were white. The governor wrote to the commission, saying,
“As the issue of promoting diversity is of great importance to me and my administration, your office should begin this process immediately in order to ensure opportunities for minority participation in the industry.”
Lawsuits were later filed against the MMCC, and a judge recently ordered a halt to the licensing process “on the grounds that irreparable harm will result to plaintiff in the form of loss of ability, once all licenses are issued.”
Hogan’s pursuit of diversity is a response to the racist implications of the war on drugs, something that the lawsuits against Robshaw reinforce. According to a report by the ACLU, African Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession compared to a white person, even though there is little correlation between race and drug use.