For years now THC has been the most popular and widely researched cannabinoid in cannabis science. However, nowadays like CBD has stolen the spotlight given its ability to provide therapeutic relief to children suffering from various epileptic disorders, while lacking the psychotropic effects (i.e. high) of THC. It’s even gotten to the point that state legislature are passing laws “CBD-only” medical marijuana legislation.

Given all of this, it is easy to see how CBD and THC can be viewed as being in competition. But the reality is that both compounds, along with as many as 66 other cannabinoids, play important roles in providing the therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis therapy. They work in conjunction with approximately 420 additional compounds (terpenoids flavonoids, etc.) to give cannabis its versatility in treating a multitude of medical ailments.

As good students of the Cannabis Classroom, you are probably familiar with the previous pieces which featured what can simply be described as the Big Six cannabinoids: THC, CBD, CBN,CBC and THCV. Each cannabis plant contains these and many other cannabinoids at various percentages as part of the plant’s total chemical profile.

“The chemical profile of the cannabis plant contains other compounds like terpenoids, amino acids, proteins, sugars, enzymes, fatty acids, esters, and flavonoids…”

In addition to cannabinoids, the chemical profile of the cannabis plant contains other compounds like terpenoids amino acids, proteins, sugars, enzymes, fatty acids, esters, and flavonoids, just to name a few.
Naturally, you consume all of these compounds when medicating with cannabis. The question is how do all of these compounds work together to provide therapeutic relief? The answer can be found in a concept called the “entourage effect.”

The Entourage Effect: Chemical Teamwork

First described in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Rapahael Mechoulam, the basic idea of the entourage effect is that cannabinoids within the cannabis plant work together, or possess synergy, and affect the body in a mechanism similar to the body’s own endocannabinoid system.
This theory serves as the foundation for a relatively controversial idea within pharmacology community, that in certain cases whole plant extractions serve as better therapeutic agents than individual cannabinoid extractions. The entourage effect theory has been expanded in recent times byWagner and Ulrich-Merenich, who define the four basic mechanisms of whole plant extract synergy as follows:

-Ability to affect multiple targets within the body
-Ability to improve the absorption of active ingredients
-Ability to overcome bacterial defence mechanisms
-Ability to minimise adverse side effects.

Affecting Multiple Targets

Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cannabis as a therapeutic agent for muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. A study conducted by Wilkinson et al. determined that whole-plant extracts were more effective than THC alone.
Researchers compared 1 mg THC vs. 5 mg/kg cannabis extract with the equivalent amount of THC, and found the whole plant extract to have significantly more anti spastic effect.

The researchers attributed this result to the presence of cannabidiol (CBD) within the cannabis extract, which helps to facilitate the activity of the body’s endocannbinoid system.

Improving Absorption Of Active Ingredients

The entourage effect can also work to improve the absorption of cannabis extracts. Cannabinoids are chemically polar compounds, which makes them at times makes them difficult for the body to absorb in isolation.

“With the assistance of terpenoids like caryophyllene, absorption of cannabinoids can be increased.”

Absorption of topicals provides a prototypical example of this problem. The skin is made up of two layers, also known as a bi-layer, which makes it difficult for for very polar molecules like water and cannabioids to pass through. With the assistance of terpenoids like caryophyllene, absorption of cannabinoids can be increased and therapeutic benefits achieved.

Overcoming Bacterial Defence Mechanisms

The entourage effect also accounts for cannabis extracts to be effective in treating various bacterial infections. There are a number of studies which show the antibacterial properties of cannabinoids.

“Whole-plant cannabis extracts have non-cannabinoid constituents which also have antibacterial properties.”

However, bacteria develop defence mechanisms over time to combat the effects of antibiotics ultimately allowing them to become resistant to therapies which were previously effective. Thus, it is beneficial that whole-plant cannabis extracts have non-cannabinoid consituents that also have antibacterial properties. These molecules attack bacteria through pathways which differ from cannabinoid pathways. Given the attack on multiple fronts, the development of bacterial resistance is limited.

Minimising Adverse Side Effects

Finally, the entourage effect allows certain cannabinoids to modulate the negative side effects of other cannabinoids. The most fitting example of this is CBD’s ability to modulate the perceived negative effects of THC.
Many patients have heard about (or experienced) the increased anxiety and paranoia sometimes associated with cannabis consumption. Thanks to the entourage effect, research has shown that CBD can be effective in minimising the anxiety associated with THC, lowering users’ feelings of paranoia.

As you can see, THC, CBD, and the remaining cannabinoids don’t have to compete with one another – they can work in tandem alongside the other components of cannabis extracts to provide therapeutic relief for a wide variety of ailments.

Source: August 15 – Medical Jane

“The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.” Dr. Dustin Sulak

It’s becoming increasingly clear that stimulating and supporting your endocannabinoid system is another way to improve your brain and mental health. But you don’t need to smoke marijuana to do this. There are a number of other options, and this articles explore them.

–  But first, what exactly is your endocannabinoid system?
Well, your body actually creates its own cannabinoids, similar to those found in cannabis. And these naturally-occurring cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors within your body and brain. You can think of these receptors like little “locks”, and your body’s cannabinoids fit naturally into these locks like “keys”. Together, they make up your endocannabinoid system, which can influence your appetite, pain, inflammation, sleep, stress responses, mood, memory, motivation, reward, etc.

There are two main cannabinoid receptors – cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2).
CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and impact a number of neurotransmitters, including GABA, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mostly found within the immune system and blood cells. However, it’s important to note that some CB1 receptors are still located outside the brain, and some CB2 receptors can be found within the brain. So, there is some overlap.

According to Martin A Lee (from cbd project) cannabinoid receptors are more abundant in the brain than any other type of neurotransmitter receptor.

There are three different types of cannabinoids that can activate these receptors in your body:
-Phytocannabinoids – plant-derived cannabinoids (eg THC & CBD)
-Endocannabinoids – these cannabinoids are produced naturally within the body. Anandamide is the main endocannabinoid in your body. It can be found in humans, but also many other animals and plants. It binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors and has similar effects as THC. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is another critical endocannabinoid in your body that also binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
-Synthetic cannabinoids – made in a lab

Some researchers are convinced that when your body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), you’re more likely to develop these diseases. They’ve even coined the term “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency” to describe the problem

You can stimulate and support your endocannabinoid system naturally, which can lead to a number of brain and mental health benefits:

Less stress and anxiety
Improved mood and increased feelings of pleasure and optimism
Better focus and concentration
Less hyperactivity
Deeper sleep
Fewer headaches and migraines
Reduced inflammation

So without further ado, here are different ways to stimulate and support your endocannabinoid system naturally;

-Cold exposure has been shown to increase endocannabinoid levels. Researchers have also found that cold exposure significantly increases the density of CB1 neurons.

-Male and female sex hormones also stimulate and support the endocannabinoid system. Both testosterone and estradiol have been shown to up regulate CB1 receptors. Estradiol also increases the synthesis and release of the endocannabinoids (anandamide), which activates CB1 receptors.

-Drinking coffee is another way to stimulate and support your endocannabinoid system. Researchers believe that the cannabinoid system is involved in the psychoactive properties of caffeine. Regular caffeine consumption has been shown to enhance the activation of CB1 receptors by endocannabinoids.

-Olive oil has numerous health benefits, particularly because of its strong anti-inflammatory effects. It’s also been shown to upregulate CB1 receptors.

-Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active cannabinoids in cannabis. It is not psychoactive but has a wide range of medical applications. Research shows that CBD enhances the expression of CB1 receptors in the brain. It also increases levels of 2-AG by preventing it from breaking down.

-Most people know dark chocolate is rich in multiple antioxidants, such as flavonols and polyphenols, which reduce oxidative stress. And it includes other compounds that slow down the breakdown of anandamide, increasing the amount of anandamide that stimulates your endocannabinoid system.

As you can see, there are many different ways to stimulate your endocannabinoid system besides smoking cannabis. And supporting this important system can lead to a number of brain and mental health benefits.                                                              (Source: Jordan Fallis)

Source 20 July:

How much weed is too much weed? The answer is largely dependent on who you ask. Terms like ‘greening out’ are floating around to describe the reaction that a number of people may have from smoking too much weed. But some say you can never have enough of the stuff. However, a recently conducted academic study published by the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Dependence claims to have the answer.

According to the Journal, 7.5 mg of THC is optimal in keeping one relaxed and providing stress-relieving results. Beyond that, researchers say, carries a greater likelihood of having a negative impact on overall mood.

Clinicians took 42 healthy volunteers and placed each of them in a stressful situation, then gave them a non-stressful task. The subjects were split into a placebo group, a 7.5 mg of THC group, and a 12.5 mg of THC group. After measuring subjective mood, vital signs and cortisol levels the findings revealed,

7.5mg THC significantly reduced self-reported subjective distress after the TSST (Trier Social Stress Test) and attenuated post-task appraisals of the TSST as threatening and challenging.

The 12.5 mg THC subjects had different results,

By contrast, 12.5 mg THC increased negative mood overall i.e., both before and throughout the tasks. It also impaired TSST performance and attenuated blood pressure reactivity to the stressor.

One major hurdle in the fight to legalise cannabis is in finding the optimum dosing requirements to find the desired effects. Federal agencies have often cited these issues when denouncing the use of cannabis in general. But while it’s a start, 7.5 mg of THC is a relatively small dose, as is 12.5 mg when compared to the THC sold in dispensaries.

According to NBC News, “in Colorado’s legal bud, the average THC level is 18.7 percent, and some retail pot contains 30 percent THC or more.” This means that just a puff or two of weed could soar beyond the 12.5 mg negative mood inducing dose that the study points out.

High Times also remarked on the study’s glaring issues; Study participants were dosed with THC Capsules-meaning pure THC, no other cannabinoids, no terpenes. As has been demonstrated time and again, cannabis’ net effect on the body and brain has everything to do with the other constituent cannabinoids present, as well as the strain’s terpene content.

The study also fails to take into account users with high tolerances. For them, 7.5 mg of THC just ain’t getting it done.

All-in-all, when it comes down to how much weed is too much, different strokes for different folks. Women, for instance, become high more quickly than men do. Women also develop tolerances faster than men. This most likely has to do with the fact that women have a higher body fat content to store and absorb more THC.

Individual metabolic levels are also key when attempting to understand which THC levels are optimal. So for now, only you know how much weed is best for your unique needs. If not, have lots of fun while finding out.

See more at the Journal reference:

Source: June 25 –

Thanks to the success of medical cannabis in humans, pet owners are becoming more interested how medical cannabis can improve the quality of life for their furry family members.

The extension from human to pets may be influenced by cannabis legalisation, but many medications for dogs and cats are also given to humans. Substances like muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications, steroids and opioid painkillers are all administered to pets, but in smaller doses. Logic dictates that a medicine that would help treat arthritis in a human would also treat it in another mammal, but there are some differences.

When it comes to cannabis, dogs are more susceptible to the effects of THC than humans. Research shows that dogs have a higher amount of CB1 receptors throughout their brains. Even if a dog weighed as much as a human, THC would ultimately have a stronger effect on a canine than a human thanks to these receptors. Because of this, it is recommended that any cannabis treatment for a pet be significantly higher in cannabidiol (CBD) rather than THC. In cats, THC also exhibits the same relaxing and sedative qualities, but about 25 percent of cats showed increased agitation and restlessness.

While cannabis may have a stronger effect in pets, the ailments that cannabis seems to help in humans is also true in dogs. Epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues, cancer and arthritis have been treated with cannabis in people as well as dogs and cats. While much of the evidence supporting this is anecdotal, veterinarians are starting to take notice.

Source: June 21 –

The United Communist Party (VCP) in the municipality of Oldambt wants to regulate the home growing of medicinal cannabis through a convenient like in the city of Tilburg.

The VCP requested at a political meeting on Monday night that the mayor will inform with the local prosecution office and the police how to regulate the home growing of medicinal cannabis within the municipality-borders. The VCP directs towards the example in Tilburg where the mayor initiated a covenant before.

According to the VCP medicinal cannabis has gained acceptance. ‘Many people benefit form it, like in the form of weed oil. The use of this has had explosive increase lately’, the VCP stated.

The VCP finds it unexplainable that health insurances don’t cover medicinal cannabis, while there has been many scientific studies who show the efficacy of cannabis as medicine. ‘The herb is in fact a medicine. It’s a nature’s product which everybody should use.’ The VCP stated that medicinal cannabis is not to  be compared with weed form the coffeeshop, cause medical cannabis won’t get you that high and is not addictive. People with chronic pain can function better when using cannabis and saves costs for society as well, which is a pre in an expensive care-society.

It’s totally unheard of that people who grow cannabis at home for medicinal reasons are harassed by the police, who could do other things instead cause other police work is left behind.

The VCP things it’s time that the municipality regulated the home growing of medicinal cannabis on a save way looking at the quality as well. ‘We have to listen to experiences of doctors and the call of the people who benefit from cannabis as medicine, and have proof of the efficacy. We should regulate that within the municipality borders’ Mayor Smit promised to elaborate a vision on medicinal home grow policy for the municipality of Oldambt in a statement. Thus, to be continued…

Source: 30 may:

M. Hutten of the Foundation PGMCG (patient group medicinal cannabis users) in Tilburg received a letter from Mayor Noordanus in September 2016 detailing the terms on which it would be allowed to cultivate cannabis at home for medicinal purposes. This followed after a request from Mr. Hutten and S. de Bruijn for allowing the home cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes from an administrative framework. Also thanks to the advice questions that the group Smolders asked in the city council of Tilburg on medical cannabis cultivation at home and in the context of self-medication.

For many patients, the efficacy of the available selections from Bedrocan on prescription from the pharmacy through the Office for Medicinal Cannabis (BMC) is not sufficient. Moreover, there is often a maximum payment to the insurer so the pharmacy cannabis is to expensive for many patients. A recent survey shows three-quarters of the patients are compelled to involve cannabis from a source other than pharmacies, including through home cultivation of cannabis for personal use, or possibly through a collective for people who are unable itself to grow medicinal cannabis because of their disability.

This peculiar terminal initiative of Mayor Noordanus following coordination in the local triumvirate, has led to the scheduling of home-grow cannabis for medicinal use under a covenant in the municipalities of Bergen op Zoom, Arnhem, Hof van Twente and Heerlen. Also parliamentary questions we asked in the Tweede Kamer by the labour party about this, where the Minister of Health states that mayors have their own disciplinary discretion, but actually if cannabis is not grown under standardised conditions it should not be considered medicinal according to the Minister. Uptill now the PGMCG have about 14 patients providing in their own medicinal cannabis needs. Possibly the amendement of the green party on the billed weedlaw about homegrowing for patients will give another boost in The Netherlands for the perspective of ‘cannabis as selfmedication’.

Source: may 21:

Daily dose of cannabis could reverse brain’s decline in old age, according to a study at the University of Bonn.

Regular low doses of THC dramatically boosted memory and learning in older mice. The discovery has raised hopes for a treatment that improves brain function in old age without inducing the behavioural effects well known to recreational users of the drug. To investigate whether it works in humans, the scientists plan to launch a clinical trial later this year.

Research on cannabis use by adolescents has found compelling evidence that regular, heavy use can impair the memory. But the impact of the drug on older people’s brains has been far less well studied. The boost in brain function in the German study was linked to an apparent restoration of gene expression in the brain to more youthful levels.

The German researchers believe that the drug works by stimulating what is known as the endocannabinoid system, a biochemical pathway that becomes less active with age in mice, humans and other animals. The discovery opens up a whole new scope for chemistry of the endocannabinoid system, as a potential target for new avenues of research, which could include illnesses like dementia.

Source may 8: