Cannabis Colors: Why So Many? What Do They Mean?

Photo by Vortex Farmacy.

Anyone who has had the good fortune to attend a HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, a similar event or a good dispensary will have noticed the wide palette of colors to be found in the various strains of weed.

If you regularly visit a grow site, you’ll see that some strains change color as they flower.

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Study: Low-Dose THC Can Relieve Stress, but Too Much May Do the Opposite

The popular claim that cannabis relieves stress and helps one relax has just been confirmed in a new study.

However, don’t bogart that joint, my friend.

Researchers found that weed’s stress-relieving properties are most effective when micro-dosed. But too much can have the opposite effect.

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Addiction Vaccines Are Coming, But Not for Cannabis

Despite countless attempts made to incarcerate, rehabilitate and resuscitate our way out of our nation’s addiction crisis, all efforts have ultimately proven to be futile. A new solution being explored by researchers could hold promise for those struggling with substance addiction — but not for those with “cannabis use” disorders.

The opioid epidemic killed more than 560,000 people between 1999 and 2015 — drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.  In 2015, accidental overdose killed 52,404 people; 20,101 of them died because of prescription pain killers, with 12,990 dying from heroin.

But researchers say they may have a new trick up their sleeves when it comes to helping people with addiction issues — injecting them with vaccines designed to eliminate their urge to abuse drugs.

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Review Identifies 140 Controlled Clinical Trials Related to Cannabis

Scientists have conducted over 140 controlled clinical trials since 1975 assessing the safety and efficacy of whole-plant cannabis or specific cannabinoids, according to a new literature review published in the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.

A team of German researchers identified 140 clinical trials involving an estimated 8,000 participants. Of these, the largest body of literature focused on the use of cannabis or cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic or neuropathic pain. Authors identified 35 controlled studies, involving 2,046 subjects, assessing the use of marijuana in pain treatment. In January, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive review acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain.

Cannabinoids have also been well studied as anti-emetic agents and as appetite stimulants. Researchers identified 43 trials evaluating marijuana or its components for these purposes, involving total 2,498 patients. They also identified an additional 14 trials examining the role of cannabis or cannabis-derived extracts in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Read more at NORML

Positive Effects of Medical Marijuana on Alzheimer’s Prevention

A preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that very small doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can slow the production of toxic clumps of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain, which are thought to kick start the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, the fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaques.

The study supports the results of previous research that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

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GW Pharmaceuticals Files for FDA Approval After Report Confirms Success in Treating Epilepsy

GW Pharmaceuticals has chosen the perfect moment to file its cannabis-derived therapy, Epidiolex, with U.S. regulators.

The New England Journal of Medicine just published results from a Phase III study showing that GW’s Epidiolex (derived from cannabidiol) significantly reduced monthly convulsive seizures, especially in children with Dravet syndrome, one of the most difficult types of epilepsy to treat. Children can have dozens, even hundreds, of seizures per month.

GW Pharmaceuticals first reported in March 2016 that CBD-derived Epidiolex cut monthly convulsive seizures by 39 percent in children with Dravet syndrome, but full results of the 120-patient study were only published last week.

Read more at High Times

GMO Cannabis? Not in My Backyard

Photo by Vortex Farmacy.

The idea of genetically modified marijuana gives me the creeps. It conjures up visions of greedy agricultural giants like Monsanto creating a secret, enhanced strain from seeds they developed in an underground deep frozen bunker.

Genetically altered strains have not yet made their way onto the marketplace; however, some agricultural experts like Dr. Reggie Gaudino of the Berkeley-based Steep Hill cannabis laboratory say it’s only a matter of time.

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Prominent Researcher Says Cannabinoids Can Help Heal Brain Trauma

Dr. Esther Shohami is one of the world’s foremost cannabinoid researchers. Her research is focused on the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on cognitive functions, and the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in rehabilitation after TBI. She is also involved in developing new cannabinoid-like drugs to treat TBI. Dr. Shohami is a neuropharmacologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ramona Rubin of Doc Green’s Healing Collective had the opportunity to catch up with Dr. Shohami at the recent Patients Out of Time conference in Berkeley, California.

HT: Welcome to Berkeley. I understand this is not your first visit to California?

ES: I spent a summer here in Berkeley with a colleague at the UC in 2003. It’s wonderful weather, wonderful location, I am enjoying the sun and the company. Patients Out Of Time is a very interesting meeting with a blend of people that I don’t usually see represented at scientific meetings.

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The THC Test Lab in the Palm of Your Hand

Making your own infused oils and tinctures for use in edibles can be a tricky business. The potency of the herb you’re using can vary, and different oils will extract cannabinoids at different rates. Not knowing the strength of your recipe makes proper dosing of the final product a difficult endeavor.

Taking away that mystery was the goal of the founders of Engineered Medical Technologies, a small tech company in Northern California.

Bringing together expertise in medicine and technology, they set out to help a friend with a neurological disorder. She had been having challenges creating edible medical marijuana therapies with a dose strong enough to provide relief, without being too strong and causing undesired side effects. She needed a way to know just how strong each batch of infusion was.

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What’s Ahead for Laboratory Regs & Compliance in California?

An in-depth look at changes in laboratory regulations and cannabis testing as California implements the first medical cannabis reforms in 20 years.

On May 5, the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis released proposed regulations for medical cannabis testing laboratories. Despite being the first market in the nation to offer cannabis tested for potency and contamination, California has no statewide mandatory testing requirements; it is left up to individual localities (such as Berkeley) or, more commonly, the dispensaries. Meanwhile, other states have enacted rules requiring analysis as part of their medical or recreational cannabis laws. These requirements often mirror regulatory rules used for other industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and environmental testing and, as such, are far more strict than those that the California market has dictated. From lower detection limits on pesticide contaminants to tighter method validations and meticulous documentation, the standards of quality upon which every other consumer product is graded are coming to the nation’s largest cannabis market. And while for some businesses this may mean big changes in workflow, staying informed and proactive will help minimize any loss in productivity during this transition.

At a Glance

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