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Holiday Stress & Cannabis

The holiday season is notorious for being a stressful time. High expectations of numerous holiday gatherings, family visits, gift giving, and travel can lead to 62% of people considering the holidays stressful, as stated by Healthline.

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays burn you down.

Cannabis, alongside a healthy lifestyle, can be a powerful tool for stress relief.

From getting a better night’s sleep to tasty cannabis teas, here are 4 ways cannabis can relieve holiday stress.

Sleep

Stress doesn’t only impact our waking lives; it also impacts our sleep.

Sleep deprivation and stress go hand in hand. Sleep deprivation is associated with a number of negative effects on our health like reduced immunity, brain fog, weight gain, lower energy levels, and you guessed it – more stress!

THC is shown to be a safe and effective sleep aid. To get the most benefits of cannabis for sleep assitance, consider keeping a sleep journal to keep track of what’s working and what’s not (dosage amount, strain variety, consumption method, etc.).

Also consider cannabis products high in the cannabinoid CBN, which is noted for its sedative properties.

Hot Tea for Healing

What’s better than sipping on a hot, soothing cup of tea during the holiday hustle?

Teas are known to be rich in antioxidants, have less caffeine than coffee, promote weight loss, and boost your immune system. Add the option of CBD infused tea and we’ve doubled the benefits. 

When you drink cannabis tea, your body receives an instant dose of cannabinoids like THC and CBD to help alleviate stress, pain and inflammation.

Meditation and Medication

When the world keeps spinning and spinning faster during the Holiday season, taking a moment to pause and breathe can be a huge relief. Meditation and mindfulness can bring us back to focus and calm our inner spinning. Combined with mindful cannabis consumption; the health benefits of each practice are amplified.

Cannabis Foods – Nutritious and Calming

The holidays are synonymous with food. And if you’re feeling stressed…

The desire to grab a sugar-loaded dessert can be all too tempting.We dive in and found ourselves in full force emotional eating.  One way to combat emotional eating is by nourishing our body with the right foods.

Cannabis is a superfood with tremendous nutritional value.

When we feel full, satisfied, and energized – we’re less likely to be tempted by nutritionally empty treats.

Cannabis infused cuisine has evolved well beyond the days of baked brownies. You can juice raw cannabis to absorb raw cannabinoids (also non-psychoactive) or incorporate cannabis infused coconut oil into your favorite dishes and bake a delicious calming dessert. 

To get through this Holiday Season, be mindful and stay focused in a healthy and natural way. Cheers to enjoying more and stressing less.

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Anxiety and Cannabis

What makes Cannabis help with anxiety for some and heighten it for others? Knowing the details of the cannabis you are using will help steer you into being helped rather than heighten with anxiety.

What to Know

There are two strains of Cannabis to be familiar with:

THC strains are known to produce the euphoric high associated with cannabis. While some find THC’s intoxicating effects to be relaxing, others may be sensitive to them and find that they actually worsen the anxiousness.

CBD strains are highly recommended for anxiety relief. These strains lack the psychotropic components of THC.

The next component to factor in for anxiety reduction are the terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in cannabis that give each strain a unique scent and possibly, to some extent, effects. Some terpenes might promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others potentially promote focus and acuity.

Common cannabis terpenes are represented by different colors, which you can explore in this guide.

Getting the right blend of THC, CBD, and anxiety-busting terpenes is key to having a positive experience with cannabis.

Other Considerations for Anxiety Busting

Control your consumption and take it slow. There are a lot of ways to consume cannabis, but edibles are highly popular and readily available. This method especially takes time. Don’t over eat and wait it out. The medicine needs to circulate through the digestive process for full effect.

Know what you are using. Educate yourself and talk with a knowledgeable professional. Not all strains are created equal. It pays to know the details.

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Edibles: Trick or Treat

Edibles: Trick or Treat

Are edibles Trick or Treat? We’ve all heard the movie reference of the “special brownies”, but today, thanks to advances in the cannabis culinary arts and the emergence of distillate, you can find a wide selection of high-quality baked goods, brownie mixes, beverages, cooking oil, and treats such as CBD mints and THC gummies that provide the desired effects of cannabis. Edible forms of cannabis, including food products, lozenges, and capsules, can produce effective, long-lasting, and safe effects.

How to use and abuse these treats.

Many of us new to cannabis-infused foods fall victim to the same mistake: we eat too much. Edibles are a great choice when consumed responsibly; they’re potent and body-focused, meaning they’re perfect for people who suffer from pain, nausea, or lack of appetite.

Rule 1 – Give it time. Ingesting cannabis infused foods needs to metabolized through liver. This process takes time. So consuming an entire pack of infused mints may not be the best idea because you may not feel the effects for an hour or so. Metabolism of each person is different so you and your spouse may feel the effects at different times.

Rule 2 – More is not better. Ingesting too much cannabis can mean that what was once a pleasant evening can turn into a pretty bad time.

Some of the negative side effects of high-dose edible cannabis products include:

  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Skewed sense of time
  • Slowed movement
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth

Eating the entire cannabis-infused cookie may seem like a good idea, but many times a single product may actually be considered two or more doses. If you do experience too high of a dose, don’t panic. Calmly and safely wait it out.

Dosing recommendations:

Rule 3 – Not All products are created equally.  Keep in mind that these products are not FDA regulated. So dosing in one will likely not be the same as another. Be informed. Look for products that clearly label and package their items. Support companies that have taken the initiative to create clearly labeled, quality packaging for their products, as they’re taking extra steps to ensure their products are consistent, safe, and honest.

Treats

When you venture in to shop Cannabis Edibles remember that the best experience and outcomes will come from you being an informed consumer and the product knowledge you have. Eat responsibly and for good health.

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Wasting Medicine, You’re Inhaling Cannabis Wrong

Wasting Medicine, You’re Inhaling Cannabis Wrong.

We’ve seen it in the movies, with our circle of friends, and have performed it ourselves. That long drawn out toke of the pipe. Inhale and hold it. Seemingly trying to capture every ounce of cannabinoid goodness that is hidden in that smoke.

Unfortunately, that approach is actually just a wasted breath. We aren’t gaining any more benefit from holding that inhale. We aren’t increasing the effect or bettering the high. If anything, we are just perfecting how long we can hold our breath. To understand, we have to look at how the lungs work.

How it Works.

Lets travel with the inhale to see the journey it goes on. When we inhale, cannabinoids like THC or CBD pass through the mouth toward the trachea before entering the lungs. Once in the lungs the cannabinoids then pass into the bloodstream, connecting through the heart, and then passed on to the brain.

Key to note here, is that there is no absorption in the mouth or trachea. So holding smoke in, isn’t pushing it to absorb anywhere where the impact will be greater. No benefit unless you were working up to creating amazing smoke rings upon exhaling.

Where does the Magic Happen?

Your lungs are key to this process. They are made up of densely folded, intricate tissue layers. These layers pull in and disperse gas throughout the body. The filter and absorb gas in fractions of a second. In fact, the absorption of THC is within milliseconds of inhaling. So for us it is almost instantaneous upon inhaling.

From the moment of inhalation, it can take the cannabinoids under a minute to reach the brain where they will permeate, or jump, the blood-brain barrier. This process is special because other molecules are not able to permeate the brain in such a way. These medicinal molecules seek out the CB1 receptors. THC molecule has a high binding affinity for CB1 receptors. The two fit perfectly together and are an essential aspect of cannabinoid signaling for the endocannabinoid system.

Because THC and other cannabinoids aren’t absorbed above the first bronchial split, any smoke or vapor that exceeds the capacity of the lungs will naturally fill the trachea and possibly the mouth and nasal passages. No magic happening in anything beyond the lung capacity.

Inhaling Cannabis, How To

If you are working on a new technique, try out this suggestion. Think of the air going in as needing assistance in being pushed down further into the lungs. To do that the lungs need to fill with air to open the airways and concurrently need to have the smoke pushed in. To do this think of an invisible plunger. Take a need breath prior to inhaling. This opens the lungs. Then inhale the medicinal smoke or vapor. Remember the instantaneous absorption. And then take another deep breath to work as the plunger. Pushing the vapors fully into the lungs.

No more clouds being held in your mouth. Be mindful of your inhale.

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What’s In A Name? Indica? Sativa?

As one of the oldest agricultural and economic crops, cannabis has been a part of human life for thousands of years. Over time and with human migration around the globe, the plant has been used in multifaceted ways and has taken on two different names: Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa.

The term “indica” is generally used by pop society to describe strains with a sedative, drowsy effect. The term “sativa” are expected to be the opposite, providing clear-headed mental stimulation and energy. Prior to the late 1900s, hemp and fiber varieties of cannabis were often referred to as Cannabis sativa while intoxicating “drug” varieties were labeled Cannabis indica.   

Unfortunately, the idea that these two varieties produce distinct effects may be wrong. Recent research suggests that the indica-sativa denomination may have little to no bearing on the actual effect of a particular cannabis strain.

Strains are distinguished by their individual cannabinoid and terpene content. These compounds are believed to truly determine the strain’s overall effects.

The Cannabis plant is made up of numerous compounds, each giving an impact for use and effect. Here are a few of the most known components.

  • THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. It’s responsible for the “high” or state of euphoria associated with cannabis use. Levels of THC have been increasing as growers try to create hybrids with a greater concentration of the compound.
  • CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive. It doesn’t cause a “high.” However, it may produce many physical benefits, such as reducing pain and nausea, preventing seizures, and easing migraine.
  • CBN. Cannabinol (CBN) is used to ease symptoms and side effects of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, seizures, and uncontrollable muscle stiffness.
  • THCA. Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) is similar to THC, but it doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects. Its potential benefits include reducing inflammation from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It may also help reduce symptoms of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and ALS.
  • CBG. Cannabigerol (CBG) is thought to help reduce anxiety and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

Terpenes are another naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant. The terpenes present directly affect the plant’s smell. They may also influence the effects produced by specific strains.

According to Leafly, common terpenes include:

  • Bisabolol. With notes of chamomile and tea tree oil, the terpene bisabolol is thought to reduce inflammation and irritation. It may also have microbial and pain-reducing effects.
  • Caryophyllene. The peppery, spicy molecule may reduce anxiety, ease symptoms of depression, and improve ulcers.
  • Linalool. Linalool is said to help improve relaxation and boost mood with its floral notes.
  • Myrcene. The most common terpene, this earthy, herbal molecule may help reduce anxiety and insomnia so you can sleep better.
  • Ocimene. This terpene produces notes of basil, mango, and parsley. Its primary effects may include easing congestion and warding off viruses and bacteria.
  • Pinene. As the name suggests, this terpene produces an intense pine aroma. It may help boost memory, reduce pain, and ease some of the not-so-pleasant symptoms of THC, such as nausea and coordination problems.
  • Terpinolene. Cannabis with this compound may smell like apples, cumin, and conifers. It may have sedative, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
  • Limonene. Bright, zippy citrus notes come from this terpene. It’s said to improve mood and reduce stress.
  • Humulene. This terpene is deeply earthy and woody, like hops or cloves. Cannabis strains with this molecule may reduce inflammation.
  • Eucalyptol. With notes of eucalyptus and tea tree oil, this molecule is refreshing and invigorating. It may also reduce inflammation and fight bacteria.

Based on this understanding, the intricate synergy of these molecules is what gives each cannabis strain its unique personality, not its indica or sativa status. 

So, there is a lot more to a name. Continue to learn about the many details of cannabis and how it can help in you life. Reach out to us for more information and guidance.

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The Danger and Risk of Synthetic Cannabinoids

The Danger and Risk of Synthetic Cannabinoids

What are Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. These products are also known as herbal or liquid incense.

Synthetic cannabis is marketed under different brand names since 2004. Spice was the earliest in a series of synthetic cannabis products sold in many European countries. Since then a number of similar products have been developed, such as Kronic, Northern Lights, Mojo, Lightning Gold, Blue Lotus and Godfather. 

Developed by coating bulk plant material with man-made molecules designed to activate the same cell receptor sites as the cannabis plant, it is difficult to tell exactly from what synthetic marijuana is made without lab testing.

The mystery molecules are anything but a mystery when it comes to knowing what is wreaking havoc on your body and creating potentially fatal results. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, hospitalizations and poisonings caused by synthetic marijuana increased significantly between 2010 and 2015.

Depending on the molecule used in the synthetic, they may not only be more potent but may also affect parts of the body that traditional THC does not sending your body into a state it cannot recover from.

The list of potentially fatal outcomes from synthetic cannabis  include stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, seizures, and internal bleeding. 

Like anything in our current world, we should be evaluating consumption of items based on their wholeness and natural make-up. Be informed and be educated about your cannabis options.

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Items You Use Everyday That Can Be More Dangerous Than Cannabis

Surprisingly there are items that we use in our daily routines that have scientific evidence showing their dangerous effects. Yet we continue to use them because they are FDA approved and a part of our normal.

In the 1930s cannabis prohibition began and was based off of zero science-based evidence. 

Today there is plenty of science backed evidence highlighting the dangers of some of our most used daily substances. Cannabis is not on this list. 

Some of the top 5 offenders are:

 

ADDED SUGAR

Yes sugar is in the majority of foods we consume. Fruits and whole grains, which are on the “good list” have plenty of them. But it’s the “added” extra sugars that are proving to be detrimental. 

Excess sugar intake leads to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. This illness may seem “regular” by our current acceptance of them. But they cause over 650 million people to suffer in pain. The obesity crisis alone costs over $147 billion annually in medical costs. 

Well you may be saying, “but sugar is not a drug”. Is it not? Sugar has been found to create a dependency response in the brain that is comparable to some of the most addictive substances. It’s a tough habit to kick. 

 

CAFFEINE

We know caffeine has most of us “hooked”. It’s how we start our day. It’s how we stay awake. What we turn to when we need to power through that 12 hour shift or study for that exam. It’s everywhere and people can overdose on it. Think energy drinks, caffeine-infused foods, and caffeine powders. 

While the lethal dose of caffeine will vary from person to person, a study estimated that approximately 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight can kill you. A person weighing 160lbs would have to consume 150 cups of coffee. Coffee has approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine per 8ounces.

In contrast, the same person could smoke over three pounds of cannabis at one time and still not die of a fatal overdose. 

 

TOBACCO

Closeup of hand holding cigarette

Closeup of hand holding cigarette

This one we know. It is well known around the world that tobacco contributes to cancer. Yet this legal substance is marketed, promoted and sold easily at every and any convenience store. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 different chemical compounds. 70 are know to cause cancer in humans and animals. 

Tobacco is a plant and it is legal.

The risks of chronic long term cannabis smoking has yet to be fully evaluated, the research out there does not find the same cancer risks. 

 

ALCOHOL

beer bottles and glasses

beer bottles and glasses

Another familiar item. This is the thing of parties and social gatherings, celebrations and casual Sunday sports watching. Grab a

seat and grab a drink. 

Alcohol contributes to 2.5 million deaths a year. Again, cannabis has yet to be found as the single culprit to even one death. 

Alcohol is truly a gateway drug. It inspires higher addiction rates than cannabis and leads to increase dangerous lifestyle living. 

 

PARABENS

Parabens are synthetic preservatives found in everything from cosmetics, deodorants, shampoos, skincare products, foods, and beverages. Our lives are ladden with paraben exposure.

Of particular concern are the effects of parabens on hormones and the immune system.

Breast cancer is one of the biggest connections between paraben use and disease. The deodorant debate runs strong

Legal doesn’t necessarily mean good or healthy for you. 

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Cannabis Root Medicinal Powers

Like a lot of plants, the makeup of the plant can all hold different properties, potencies and purpose. Flowers and seeds aren’t the only parts that hold the magic. 

The roots of the cannabis plant has a long history of medical use stretching back back to 2700 BC. One of the first mentions of the medical use of cannabis root was by the Roman historian in the 17th century, who wrote that boiling the plant roots could create a liquid that could alleviate joint stiffness, gout, and related illnesses. After this time, herbalists and physicians were utilizing cannabis root to treat fever, arthritis, hard tumors. Despite the long history of cannabis root medicinal properties, we have largely ignored its powerful impacts in our current cannabis research resurgence. 

 

Anti-Cancer Properties

It is reported that chemicals within the roots may play a role in protecting the liver and colon. A compound called friedelin when isolated from the roots is considered to be a free radical scavenger with protective properties.

Other compounds isolated from the roots of the cannabis plant named pentacyclic triterpene ketones are associated with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

The cannabis root has been linked to apoptosis, the phenomenon where cells stop growing, and of halting the growth of colon cancer cells in laboratory studies. 

 

Nutrient Rich

Cannabis roots also contain small amounts of choline. Choline is a macronutrient that is involved in numerous biological processes, including nerve function, boosting energy levels, and brain development.

Cannabis root can be infused into creating a restorative tea or into a tincture. It has also been made into a balms and pastes to heal wounds, burns, rashes, and hemorrhaging. 

The Cannabis plant is proving to us that it holds a great deal of history, uses, and medicinal properties. 

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Opioids, Overdoses and Medical Marijuana

Opioids, Overdoses and Medical Marijuana

In the past two decades, the number of drug prescriptions has increased by 85 percent. According to a nationally representative Consumer Reports, more than half of us are regularly taking prescription medications. With that increase and reliance on FDA approved drugs also comes an increase in dangerous addictions and cases of overdose.

In 2013, an estimated 128,000+ prescription drug takers died from adverse drug reactions.

This means that even though casualties from heart attacks, cancer and HIV are seeing a decline, the death rate is on the rise partly because of drug overdoses. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, the national overdose deaths involving opioids went from 8,048 in 1999 to 47,600 in 2017. 

Most Used and Abused

Of course, only you and your medical professional can discuss and decide on the medications that are right for you and your health needs. But what is the most prominently prescribed medication out there right now?

Opioid Painkillers. 

The opioid epidemic is well-publicized by the media and is the stuff of national debates, yet opioid painkillers are among the top 25 most prescribed drugs. It is estimated that the epidemic, kills an estimated 130 Americans every day. 

To restate this, 130 people die in the US every day from a legal and overly prescribed medication. The cycle of abuse is strong within this class of medications. Chronic pain is the most prominent cause of being prescribed opioids, especially OxyContin.

The Medical Marijuana Comparison

Some argue that increased access to cannabis could reduce this devastating toll of opioid abuse. Part of their reasoning? An article published in JAMA Internal Medicine reported lower opioid overdose death rates in states with laws supporting medical marijuana use. 

However, since these studies were conducted there have been more investigation into the correlation between opioid-related deaths and states supporting medical marijuana. The new research finds that the trend has reversed in recent years, with those states now seeing increased deaths. The study’s authors suggest the initial results may now only prove to be loosely related. If nothinging else, the correlation and changes in the legal landscape should push more studies to occur.

Medical Marijuana as the Alternative

A study at Depaul and Rush universities reported that participants said marijuana worked faster to relieve their pain than other prescription medication and had fewer side effects.

Most commonly, marijuana is used as an alternative to opioids but patients also reported cutting down on other medications. Cannabis is showing strong properties in being an alternative to many medications. Check out our Components of Cannabis article to learn more and see the possibilities. 

 

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WHAT IS CBD?

WHAT IS CBD?

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a natural occurring molecule compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is only one, of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and create its robust therapeutic profile.

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t have a strong effect on cognitive brain activity and doesn’t cause the “high” associated with marijuana. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound that creates the “high” that is typically associated with the plants use history. These two are the most notable and studied cannabinoid compounds of the plant but every variety of the cannabis family produces cannabinoids, including hemp.

HOW IT WORKS

The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own and has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are mostly in the peripheral organs and associated with the immune system. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system. Discovery of this system has significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease. 

CBD and THC impact us by mimicking and augmenting these compounds in our bodies. They match, enhance and heal dysfunction of endocannabinoid system.

OPTIMIZING USE

Figuring out how to optimize the therapeutic use of cannabis is the driving force behind the debates, research and hype surrounding medical marijuana that’s been unfolding in recent years. It’s no longer a matter of debating whether cannabis has merit as an herbal medication – today the key challenge is discerning how to utilize cannabis for maximum therapeutic benefit.

Most health professionals know little and are still learning about CBD and cannabis therapeutics. Most lack a sufficient expertise to adequately counsel patients on use, dosage, risk and benefits. Luckily there are a few medical professionals who are filling the gap and leading the charge to focus on CBD therapeutics. 

Find your answers and a consultant with Cannaleaf Health

 

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