Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.
The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.
Medical marijuana is used to treat a number of different conditions, including:
Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
Your first visit to a collective can be overwhelming. At From the Earth, we have an educational and resource center, to help patients overcome some of the negative stigmas that medical marijuana may have. We want your experience to be personal, intimate, informative, and, most importantly, we want you find the the right medicine for you. From the Earth sales consultants are available in person at our location every day from 10am – 8pm (Monday to Saturday) and 11am-7pm (Sunday) to answer any of your questions, or feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for help choosing the right cannabis product for your needs.
Some resources to find out about certain strains can be found on sites such as:
If you are wondering what strain or combination of strains is important to speak with a sales consultant at From the Earth. In addition, it is important to remember that not all dosages are therapeutic. In order to find your optimal therapeutic dose, you will need to weigh the benefits and side-effects and evaluate the impact of the treatment overall and make adjustments accordingly.
At the end of the day, medical cannabis may or may not be the right medicine for you, at From the Earth our sales consultants are here to provide as much information and resources for you to make the right choice for your medical needs.
By Jeremy Kossen
While we don’t normally think of anxiety as desirable, it’s actually a critical adaptive response that can help us cope with threats to our (or a loved one’s) safety and welfare. These responses help us recognize and avert potential threats; they can also help motivate us to take action to better our situation (work harder, pay bills, improve relationships, etc.). However, when we don’t manage these natural responses effectively, they can become maladaptive and impact our work and relationships. This can lead to clinically diagnosable anxiety-related disorders. We’ve all heard the saying, “stress kills.” It’s true!
Anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population — 40 million adults (18%) in the United States age 18 and older. In response, Big Pharma has developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders, from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft to tranquilizers (the most popular class being benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax).
While these drugs can be effective for many patients, some don’t respond favorably. Certain patients don’t see much improvement, or they can’t tolerate the side effects. Moreover, tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax can be highly addictive. Clearly, alternative treatments are warranted. Could cannabidiol (CBD), the most prominent non-psychoactive constituent in cannabis, provide a viable alternative for currently available anxiety medications? Quite possibly!
In recent years, CBD has generated a tremendous amount of interest among consumers, clinicians, and scientists. Why? Not only does evidence suggest CBD counteracts many of THC’s adverse effects, but numerous animal studies and accumulating evidence from human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggest CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Administered acutely (“as needed”), it appears safe, well-tolerated, and may be beneficial to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders, including:
CBD exerts several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective in treating anxiety. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most research describing how CBD works is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men” — and, results from animal studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide insights that move us in the right direction:
5-HT1A agonist: 5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor, which is important because anxiety and depression can sometimes be treated with medications that target the serotonin system. This is why drug companies developed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs work by blocking reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases availability of serotonin in the synaptic space. This helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals, which can reduce anxiety and boost mood in certain cases (although the full biological basis for this is more complicated and not fully understood).
Similar to SSRIs, CBD may boost signaling through serotonin receptors. In an animal study, Spanish researchers found that CBD enhances 5-HT1A transmission and may affect serotonin faster than SSRIs. Researchers noted:
“The fast onset of antidepressant action of CBD and the simultaneous anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect would solve some of the main limitations of current antidepressant therapies.”
Hippocampal neurogenesis: The hippocampus is a major brain area, and plays a critical role in a variety of brain functions. It’s most famous for its role in memory formation and cognition. Brain scans of patients suffering from depression or anxiety often show a smaller hippocampus, and successful treatment of depression is associated with the birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the hippocampus.
An animal study using mice found repeated administration of CBD may help the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which could be useful for treating anxiety or depression. Research shows both SSRIs and CBD may promote neurogenesis. This is significant, because evidence suggests that severely impaired neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior. Future research comparing CBD and SSRIs effect on neurogenesis could open up promising new avenues in how we understand depression and how to most effectively treat it.
Building on the foundation of animal studies, human studies are starting to provide evidence to demonstrate that CBD can improve many commonly reported anxiety-disorder symptoms, including acute stress and anxiety.
Human Studies Show How CBD Reduces Anxiety
Brazilian researchers conducted a small double-blind study of patients afflicted with generalized social anxiety. After consuming CBD, participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety. Researchers validated patients’ subjective reports by performing brain scans showing cerebral blood flow patterns consistent with an anti-anxiety effect.
In another small study, researchers had patients suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder perform a simulated public speaking test. Participants reported significantly less anxiety, findings supported by objective anxiety indicators like heart rate and blood pressure.
Researchers concluded, “[CBD] significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance,” whereas the placebo group experienced “higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, [and] discomfort.”
Evidence from animal studies have begun to characterize the details of how CBD acts in the brain, and human studies of patients with and without anxiety disorders are starting to validate CBD’s efficacy as an anti-anxiety treatment. Given the huge social and financial costs of anxiety disorders in the U.S., CBD has the potential to play a significant role in treating a myriad of anxiety-related disorders.
While more research, including large randomized-control trials (RCTs), is clearly warranted to examine the long-term effects and potential for CBD, its demonstrated efficacy and highly favorable safety profile (particularly when compared to currently available drugs) make it a viable alternative or adjunct to currently available pharmaceuticals.
Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-36.PDF
Malberg JE, Eisch AJ, Nestler EJ, Duman RS. Chronic antidepressant treatment increases neurogenesis in adult rat hippocampus. J Neurosci. 2000;20(24):9104-10.PDF
Zlebnik NE, Cheer JF. Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016;39:1-17.PDF
Phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) are a subclass of cannabinoids derived from plants, typically hemp. In the 1800s, hemp plants were widely cultivated as a fiber source and food in the form of seed oil. Even George Washington grew hemp on his farm in Mount Vernon. Today, worldwide uses of hemp encompass hundreds of consumer products, including ropes, fabrics, paper, plastics and construction materials, and even serve as a source of protein. These same hemp plants are also the major source of commercial CBD extracts, which today are being used to attenuate fear and anxiety and promote a healthy stress response.
Cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2, TRPV1, GP55 and others) and the biochemical machinery necessary to synthesize and generate cannabinoids are present within areas of the brain known to control emotional behavior, mood, sleep, stress, irritability, fear and even the sensation of “craving.” These structures include the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and periaqueductal gray (PAG) of the midbrain. Several lines of evidence in mice and other animals have clearly demonstrated that activation of cannabinoid receptors within the brain lowers heart rate and blood pressure responses to stress and reduces panic and anxiety behavior. Put simply, hemp-derived CBD administration appears to attenuate the well-known “fight or flight” phenomenon to physical and mental stress. Other studies using similar models in animals have shown that CBD administration decreases fear-avoidant and conditioned responses to pain or punishment.
In humans, one of the earliest studies to document the beneficial effects of CBD on anxiety was published in 1982 (1). Using a double-blind, cross-over design where each subject served as their own control, eight healthy volunteers were given either 0.5 mg/kg tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 1 mg/kg CBD, a mixture containing 0.5 mg/kg THC and 1 mg/kg CBD, or diazepam (Valium) as a control. The results showed that CBD blocked the anxiety promoted by THC, indicating antagonism between the two cannabinoids.
In another study using a simulated public speaking test to induce stress, a 300-milligram dose of CBD reduced symptoms of self-rated anxiety (2). Follow-up studies have confirmed and extended these results by reporting significant decreases in cognitive impairment and speech performance in subjects submitted to anxiety induced by several different procedures.
Other more elegant studies have used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine changes in regional blood flow and neural correlates of brain activity in response to CBD administration (3,4). Results from these studies, using doses of between 400 and 600 milligrams of CBD, indicate increases in brain activity in the left parahippocampal gyrus and decreases in the left amygdala-hippocampus complex, along with attenuated responses during the recognition of fearful facial expressions in the amygdala and the anterior cingulate. Collectively, these patterns of SPECT and fMRI results are consistent with effects on alleviating anxiety, irritability, fear and stress responses from hemp-derived CBD administration.
Interestingly, a case report was published by Shannon S et al. in the journal Integrative Medicine, on hemp-derived CBD oil for decreasing the habitual use of marijuana (5). This case describes the gradual decrease in anxiety (as measured by HAM-A: Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale) and feelings of stress and irritability from the marijuana non-use, while maintaining normal sleep quality. According to the authors, the use of hemp-derived CBD oil helped in transitioning this patient away from habitual marijuana use while avoiding negative stress responses. The neuronal circuits within the brain that control many of these behaviors and emotions appear to be positively modulated by CBD.
Given the ongoing, emerging human clinical data supporting the use of a hemp-derived CBD-rich extracts for modulating fear, anxiety and a healthy stress response, it looks like good old George Washington was a bona fide hemp pioneer.
Cannabis isn’t thought of as the most stimulating substance in the world, but it may be time to reconsider the lazy stoner stereotype. As it turns out, cannabis and exercise have quite the involved relationship. The Leafly team did some research to find out just how much getting stoned and getting ripped have in common.
Here’s what we found out:
It’s not news to the medical community that the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive in cannabis, in fat. However, a study put out this August in Drug and Alcohol Dependence has shown that this storage process can give exercisers an extra boost, even up to 28 days after consumption.
As the body begins to burn off fat, small amounts of THC are released back into the bloodstream, producing an effect similar to consuming a small amount of cannabis. THC blood levels increased by approximately 15% immediately after moderate exercise, yet this increase was no longer present two hours after the workout.
This study also showed a correlation between THC release and BMI. The greater the BMI, the greater the increase in THC reintroduced to the body.
We all know that exercise is good for you. Not only is it key to preventing obesity, which causes heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses, exercise is also linked to the creation of new brain cells and decreases in stress.
Yet, contrary to popular thought, it’s not just the endorphins (the compounds which make you feel excited after activities such as exercise and sex) that make physical activity so great. A 2003 study found that exercise actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way that the cannabis plant does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body. It’s responsible for easing pain, controlling appetite, and influences mood and memory.
Moderate exercise is helpful for burning off that scone you grabbed along with your latte this morning. But calories burned with exercise isn’t the only thing that helps you lose weight.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine has found that regular cannabis consumers have fasting insulin (insulin in your body before eating) levels 16% lower than non-consumers. The study also found that cannabis consumers had 17% lower insulin resistance levels and lower average waist circumferences.
Insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to take in sugar (glucose) to use for energy. If you have too much unused sugar in your cells, you will gain weight. If your body isn’t handling insulin properly, you may also gain weight. The study’s findings show that the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant help facilitate metabolic function.
Coupled with the pain-relieving effects of both plant and human-derived cannabinoids, cannabis and exercise seem to go hand in hand if you’re looking to improve your physical health. (Just be sure to cut back on the Taco Bell.)
Rosin refers to an extraction process that utilizes a combination of heat and pressure to nearly instantaneously squeeze resinous sap from your initial starting material. The term “rosin” originated as a method of making a product used to lubricate violin bows. With cannabis, this method is incredibly versatile in that it can either be used with flowers or to clean up hash and kief into a full-melt hash oil. The result is a translucent, sappy, and sometimes shatter-like product. If executed correctly, rosin can rival the flavor, potency, and yield of other solvent-based extraction products.
One reason for rosin’s newfound popularity is that it’s a solventless technique, meaning the process does not require use of any foreign substances. Instead, rosin uses a mechanical process involving heat and pressure to extract the resin from the plant. Other extraction methods utilize light hydrocarbons such as butane and/or propane. Often, these complex and mechanical systems require a lengthy purge to safely remove most, if not all of the residual solvents from the final product.
Rosin, on the other hand, simply uses heat and pressure and does not require any additional cleaning, so your final product is clean and ready in just minutes. When compared to BHO (butane hash oil), the two are aesthetically indistinguishable. Rosin, when made properly, retains just as many valuable terpenes that account for aroma and flavor. However, in a lab test, rosin will never contain a single parts per million (PPM) of residual hydrocarbon. In other words, you are essentially getting shatter without any solvents when using this process.
Perhaps the most important reason why rosin has been so widely adopted is the sheer simplicity of this technology, allowing enthusiasts with no background in chemistry or botanical extractions to try it out for themselves with minimal risk.
Rosin can be made almost anywhere, and requires nothing more than the following items:
That’s it! Nothing more is required, and this process takes only a few minutes to complete. Compared to the days it takes to safely make BHO products, you can see why rosin is the latest trend in cannabis culture.
The significance of this discovery is paramount. Never before has there been an arguably more versatile, efficient, and safer method of achieving a high-grade solventless hash oil than rosin. Innovators are already creating industrial-sized presses that are capable of processing large amounts of hash oil within seconds. These machines scale up to multiple tons of pressure to extract at extremely low temperatures, thus preserving valuable terpenes. Many dispensaries are now utilizing this technology and stocking their shelves with rosin. Today you can find it in almost every legal market. The horizon is bright for rosin, and this product will surely continue to make waves in the cannabis industry.