The use of topical cannabis products to treat symptoms of psoriasis and arthritis, or to help reduce localized pain and inflammation is a relatively new concept in modern medicine. Those among the medical cannabis community will not be surprised to learn, however, that a homemade cannabis salve is currently providing relief to a toddler suffering in Nevada when doctors and pharmaceuticals could not.
When Carter Grey Padelford entered the world on November 26, 2016, he did not look like most newborn babies. Carter’s skin was bright red, and pulled so tight that it was impossible for his eyelids to close all the way. “He was very…almost swollen,” said Shai Sifford, Carter’s mother. “Bright red–like fire engine red. And his skin was just extremely, extremely tight.”
These symptoms are caused by a rare skin disorder called lamellar ichthyosis. Affecting only one out of every 100,000 babies born in the United States, few doctors are familiar with lamellar ichthyosis, and even fewer understand how to treat the symptoms. “Doctors didn’t offer us much advice or help. I feel they neglected us because they didn’t know what was going on,” Shai said. “They told me to keep him covered and to avoid baths and to come back in two years when he was two.”
What is lamellar ichthyosis?
Affecting the skin, lamellar ichthyosis is a genetic condition that displays slightly different symptoms depending on the person. In Carter’s case, it causes his skin to grow up to 14 times faster than normal. His body cannot keep up with shedding the dead skin cells at that rate. As a result, the dead skin cells build up into dry, itchy, and painful scales which cause his skin to be pulled so tightly that it limits his mobility and causes bloody sores. His parents have to give him multiple oatmeal baths each day to moisturize his skin and scrub the scales off. As he grows rapidly, like toddlers do, this is overwhelming for Carter and his parents.
Very little is known about this rare genetic disorder, and Carter’s parents were desperate to do anything to help their little boy live a normal life. Posting about Carter’s experience on popular social media sites brought them a tip from a helpful stranger who found relief using cannabis infused shampoo.
Topical Cannabis to Treat Lamellar Ichthyosis Symptoms
Lucky to be living in Nevada, a state where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use, Carter’s grandmother learned how to make a salve at home using cannabis oil and other essential oils. Now, Shai covers him in the topical cannabis from head to toe multiple times each day, and it has produced dramatic results. “His progress has been insane,” Shai posted on social media. “His eyes could never really close completely, but since I’ve been using the cannabis oil on his eyelids, they are almost closing all the way.”
Like in the brain, immune system, and nervous system, endocannabinoid receptors are also found in skin cells. The cannabinoids in cannabis, like CBD, bind directly to those receptors in the skin when applied topically, delivering help directly where it is most needed. The psychoactive properties of cannabis are not translated through topical application, so Carter is not getting high or experiencing any negative side effects from this treatment method. It is simply helping his body work to heal itself naturally.
Carter’s parents understand that many people in the United States are not yet aware of the medical efficacy of cannabis. “I know there is a lot of controversy about cannabis use with kids, and I’m sure I’ll receive some backlash for choosing this method,” Shai said. “But cannabis has been literally changing his life, and I’m so excited I could burst.”
Photos courtesy of: KTNV Nevada
States where people can legally access marijuana through dispensaries see dramatically reduced opioid overdose death rates, new federally funded research shows.
“In short, our findings that legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms suggests that some individuals may be substituting towards marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether,” the study concludes. “Marijuana is a far less addictive substance than opioids and the potential for overdosing is nearly zero.”
While previous research has shown that medical marijuana laws are associated with lower opioid overdose rates, the new analysis distinguished between states where medical cannabis is simply legal and states that actually allow streamlined patient access to marijuana through active dispensaries.
“Because legal protection of retail dispensaries does not mean dispensaries are operational, we construct our policy measure to identify the state/year in which dispensaries are both legally protected and open for business,” researchers from the RAND Corporation, the National Bureau of Economic Research and the University of California, Irvine wrote. “Dispensaries – retail outlets that sell marijuana to qualified patients – contribute to the decline in opioid overdose death rates.”
To be more specific:
“Using data from just the early period of these laws 1999–2010, dispensaries reduce opioid mortality rates by about 40%, above and beyond the reduction from marijuana laws alone. The total effect is estimated to be even larger. When we consider the full time period (1999–2013), the estimates imply that dispensaries reduce opioid mortality rates by about 20% while the main effect of having a law is relatively small in magnitude, implying declines of about 5%, and not statistically distinguishable from zero. Importantly, together – a marijuana law with a legal, operational dispensary provision – the estimates imply a statistically significant (at the 5% level) decline in overdose death rates of about 25%.”
“It is clear that operational dispensaries are critical,” the study, published online over the weekend by the Journal of Health Economics, concluded. “This evidence is consistent with the need for a clear and legal supply chain for medical marijuana policy to have an effect.”
Going a step further, the study, which was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that examining data from after 2010, “a period when states began opening more tightly regulated medical marijuana retail systems,” apparently in response to federal enforcement guidance, weakens the effect.
“The effect of medical marijuana policies on opioid related harm diminishes over time, particularly after 2010, which might be due to the regulatory tightening of medical marijuana dispensaries, the major marijuana policy feature behind the reduced harm in the earlier period,” the data suggests.
Nonetheless, the researchers concluded that “our results suggest a potential overlooked positive effect of medical marijuana laws that support meaningful retail sales.”
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Save Lives, Study Finds
States laws that allow people with doctor’s recommendations to legally use medical cannabis don’t lead to increased teen use of marijuana, a new large-scale meta-analysis finds.
“Synthesis of the current evidence does not support the hypothesis that US medical marijuana laws (MMLs) until 2014 have led to increases in adolescent marijuana use prevalence,” the new study, published on Thursday in the journal Addiction, concludes.
Researchers at Columbia University and other institutions examined the results of 11 previously published studies looking at youth marijuana consumption prior to and after the enactment of medical cannabis laws in comparison with usage rates in states that do not allow any legal use of marijuana.
“For now, there appears to be no basis for the argument that legalizing medical marijuana has increased teens’ use of the drug,” Deborah Hasin, professor of Epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School and senior author of the study, said in a press release.
“Of the 11 studies included in the meta-analysis, none found significant (P < 0.05) changes in past-month marijuana use following MML passage within MML states (compared to comparable changes in non-MML states),” Hasin and co-authors wrote in the new study.
Hasin cautions that evolving medical cannabis programs and broader legalization of recreational marijuana could end up having an effect on teen use rates.
“However, we may find that the situation changes as commercialized markets for medical marijuana develop and expand, and as states legalize recreational marijuana use,” she said. “The $8 billion cannabis industry anticipates tripling by 2025. Obtaining a solid evidence base about harmful as well as beneficial effects of medical and recreational marijuana laws on adults is crucial given the intense economic pressures to expand cannabis markets”.
For now, though, the large-scale analysis shows that existing commercial access to marijuana through medical cannabis programs has not enticed more teens to use the drug.
“In summary, current evidence does not support the hypothesis that MML passage is associated with increased marijuana use prevalence among adolescents in states that have passed such laws up until 2014,” the study concludes.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Medical Cannabis Laws Don’t Increase Teen Marijuana Use, Another Study Finds
If you haven’t been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve probably noticed the massive popularity that vape pens have been gaining as an alternative to smoking herb. Since most are now designed to fit in your palm or pocket, the vape pen of today is a much more portable, discreet, and stylish way to vape than the vaporizers of the past.
The use of personal vaporizers as a means of enjoying or medicating with marijuana has become so commonplace that the word “vape” was recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and was even named as their word of the year in 2014.
These portable vaporizers are designed to heat the cannabis product to a temperature just below that of combustion, producing a tasty, smooth vapor to be inhaled instead of smoke.
Vaping is a popular alternative method of THC delivery among medical marijuana patients who may be unable to smoke because of their condition, and is gaining popularity in the recreational market because they provide a much less obvious way to use cannabis in public or at home. A small amount of vapor is less visible and has a more subtle odor than a cloud of, say, bong smoke.
Vape pens are also an easier tool with which to travel. If you do travel with your personal vaporizer, we recommend keeping it out of sight and protected with something like a slim and smell proof vape case. They help keep your vape pen safe and away from prying eyes — and noses.
Besides that, a vape case is a handy place to store additional vape pen accessories such as chargers, vape oil cartridges, or your wax oil concentrate container so you can bring your necessary vaporizer supplies on the go.
There are many different types of vape pens. Some are made to be used with dry herb, some with hash or vape wax, and some are made to be used with vape pen oil cartridges, which we will look at a little later on.
But first, let’s take a look at the history of the vaporizer and its evolution into the modern-day vape pen.
The Evolution of the Vape Pen
There is some controversy around when the vaporizer was first created, however sometime during the 1960s the first patented e-cigarette was designed as an electronic device to consume nicotine vapor.
Though it closely resembled the e-cigarettes of today, this ancestor of the modern vape pen never officially went on the market. It wouldn’t be until decades later that cigarette smokers, who wanted to quit smoking and learned about the potential harm reduction that inhaling vapor provided over smoking standard cigarettes, started adopting the practice.
Fast-forward to the late 90s, and we have the birth of what is perhaps the world’s most iconic and recognizable desktop vaporizer specifically designed for cannabis, the Volcano.
Apart from its classic stainless steel design, what made the Volcano kit unique was its patented detachable balloon chamber. The balloon chamber provided a way for the user to comfortably and safely consume the herb vapor, without coming into contact with the heating element, by using a fan to blow the vapor into a bag to be inhaled.
The Volcano is considered to be the first commercially successful modern vaporizer designed for consuming dry herb vapor, and dominated the vapor industry before the advent of portable vape pens. There were various attempted knockoffs of the Volcano’s design, however due to their inferior engineering they were never able to usurp the throne from the German-engineered product.
The modern day era of the vape pen as we know it began around the end of the 2000s, when the first compact vape pens began appearing.
The first modern vape pen was actually designed by a Chinese pharmacist and inventor and was intended for consuming nicotine vapor. Modern herb vapor pens have generally imitated the design and functionality of this first vape pen, with modifications so that they can be used in conjunction with either dry herb, wax, or oil cartridges.
Ten years ago the idea of “vaping” herb was a bit of a novelty, but today it has become a widely accepted practice for both medicinal and recreational marijuana users. With the countless varieties available on the market, there is a vape pen suited to everyone’s tastes and budget.
The Three Types of Vape Pen Explained
A dry herb pen vaporizer is generally the least expensive and simplest type of vape pen available.
This type of vape pen functions by heating up the dry cannabis flowers to the point that the active ingredients are released as a vapor without burning the herb (from 310-430 DegF). These are basically pocket-sized versions of the classic herb vaporizers.
A dab pen is the vape pen alternative to a dab rig, they are designed to work with wax and concentrates such as hash or shatter, rather than actual herb. Many people prefer wax vapor to herb vapor as it is a more concentrated and purer form of THC.
There are basically two types of dab pens, those that use a wick and coil combination that heats up the wax quickly, and those that use a coilless chamber that heats up and produces the vapor at a relatively slower rate.
The third type of vape pen out there is the kind designed to be used with oil cartridges that come pre-loaded with THC oils, also known as vape juice.
Like other vape pens, these heat up the oil with a tiny heater, powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery, to the point that it becomes vapor ready to inhale. The main difference in the components of this type of vape pen is that instead of having a refillable chamber, the cartridges are replaced once the cannabis oils are used up.
In addition to the three types of vape pen mentioned above, there are some vape pens that are designed to function with more than one variety of cannabis product. For instance the Pax 3 gives the user the ability to vape both dry herb and concentrates right at their fingertips.
Combo vapes like the Pax 3 are a great option for people who enjoy switching between cannabis flowers and wax. The removable concentrate inserts are easy to take in and out depending on what your session calls for, allowing for a versatile vaping experience.
Marijuana Oil Cartridges for Vaporizer Pens Analyzed
The vape pens used with dry herb and concentrates like hash or wax require a person to load the THC product into the vape pen’s heating chamber. This means that the person using the vaporizer pen knows exactly what is being loaded into it.
The vape pens designed to be used with oil cartridges are a little bit trickier because the vape juice cartridges are most often purchased pre-filled with the marijuana concentrate liquid.
With the recent discovery that many medical marijuana products in California were improperly labeled with incorrect lab test results, the good people at O’Shaughnessy’s decided to investigate some of the most widely purchased vape pen oil cartridges on the market. They used lab test results from SC Labs in Santa Cruz, CA to provide an analyzed, side-by-side comparison of 19 different vaporizer pen oil cartridges.
The graph below shows the lab test results for the THC content in each of the 19 oil cartridges. They are ranked in order of THC content with the highest tested product at the top. The calculations were provided by O’Shaughnessy’s:
The vaporizer cartridges that tested highest for THC content were Pure Cure (71%) and Absolute Xtracts(70%). Some vapor pen oil cartridges from the line created by Absolute Xtracts are even strain specific. None of the other oil cartridge brands tested in this sample named which strain of cannabis was used to make the oil.
Just as the THC content in each cannabis oil cartridge is different, so are the mixing agents used. Some are cut with additives like propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, and some are not. The Pure Cure and Absolute Xtracts brand vape pen cartridge test results show that these products do not contain any type of additive. The rest of the cartridges tested in this sample did test as having been cut with some type of additive.
The graph below uses the lab tested percent of THC and the amount of liquid in each vape pen cartridge to determine how many milligrams of THC are in each concentrate cartridge. This information can be used to calculate the average price per milligram of THC, depending on how much the cartridge costs at each retailer. The calculations were provided by O’Shaughnessy’s, and the “size” is measured in milligrams:
To determine your cost per milligram of THC, divide the price you pay for the concentrate cartridge by the milligram of THC (provided in the right column of the graph above).
Price paid for oil cartridge ÷ MG of THC = cost per milligram of THC
Based on O’Shaughnessy’s calculations, Absolute Extracts, Pure Cure, and Eureka oil cartridges provide users the best value of the 19 concentrate cartridges that were analyzed in this particular sample.
Whether you’ve been vaping for years and are an old pro, or you’re new to the concept and just looking to get your foot in the door with your first vape pen, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest data and trends in this relatively new and rapidly evolving area of the legal bud industry. Keeping informed will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your money and always know what you are putting in your vape pen, so that you can enjoy vaping to its full potential!
Originally Published: February 6th, 2017.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis which react with the cannabinoid receptors in the human brain and body. Different cannabinoids produce different reactions and effects, many of which provide relief to a variety of symptoms and medical conditions.
There are more than 80 different cannabinoids found in marijuana, yet we know very little about 90 percent of them. The two most widely studied are also the most commonly known by consumers, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC works effectively as an:
- Appetite stimulant
- Anti-sleep apnea
- Anti-intraocular eye pressure (glaucoma)
CBD works effectively to:
- Relieve anxiety
- Suppress epileptic fits
- Reduce psychotic behavior
- Protect against neurodegenerative diseases
- Fight against bacterial infections
- Reduce diabetic symptoms
- Stimulate bone growth
- Reduce psoriasis
- Reduce risk of artery blockage
Both THC and CBD work effectively to:
- Relive pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Curb symptoms of depression
- Reduce spasms
- Reduce nausea
- Inhibit tumor cell growth
The CB Scientific Personal Analytics detection kit provides an easy and affordable way, for medical patients and recreational consumers alike, to test marijuana flowers for two different cannabinoids from the comfort home. At this time, the test kits are only available for the two most commonly known cannabinoids — THC or CBD. For the purpose of this experiment, we used the THC detection kit.
The strain used for this example, Kosher Kush, was purchased at the Clinic Colorado’s original Capitol Hill location before it closed doors for relocation. We used this strain because The Clinic provides lab tested cannabinoid information, including the THC content, which was right at about 20 percent for the Kosher Kush strain.
The CB Scientific THC detection kit was easy to use, and gave us results in just 10 minutes. It starts with placing minimal amounts of cannabis into the provided snap top vials. Next, the solutions are added to the vials, which are then shaken.
After 10 minutes, the solutions react with the THC in the cannabis that is being tested. A color chart is provided with the detection kit, so that the color of the solution in the vial can be compared with the colors on the chart. The scale starts with a very pale red to white area which corresponds with 0 percent THC. On the other end of the spectrum is a very dark red color which corresponds with 20 percent THC or higher.
We found the results of the THC detection kit to match with the lab test results reported by The Clinic. The solution turned a deep red color, confirming that this Kosher Kush definitely contained at least 20 percent THC.
Even though knowing the cannabinoid content of dried marijuana flowers would be beneficial, especially to those seeking specific symptom relief, that information is not always available. This THC detection kit, and the CBD kit, will be very helpful for patients who want to verify the cannabinoid content of their medicine, as well as for curious recreational users. Home cultivators would also find this kit useful for testing home grown strains.