Cannabis Oil Massages – A New Touch

Receiving a massage from a professional is one of the most relaxing therapeutic activities a person can partake in. If you are interested in taking your next visit to the masseuse to a higher level, consider integrating a cannabinoid rich oil or topical cream into your next massage. You may have to visit a new spa, as not every business on the block has had time to catch up with the ongoing green rush. Both the SunTimes and WGN recently featured a local spa offering everyone-legal CBD massages to the public. Chicago is a bit behind the curve, as Allure highlighted this new craze in Colorado a year ago, and the Denver Post did so again recently.

Great news for everyone, the massages in Chicagoland use hemp derived CBD oil which is legal for everyone, including those who are currently not legal medical cannabis patients. This is because hemp derived CBD oil is legal under the law, similar to hemp seeds, as the product contains no THC. Be cautious of which hemp derived products you purchase, as there are a lot of imposters in the market. Even if the product contained THC, you would not feel the high or euphoric effects when the product is applied to your skin. This is because the chemicals are insulated from your bloodstream, and can only act upon the endocannabinoid receptors in located in the layers of your skin. So the short answer is no, you will not be getting high from your cannabis massage even if you’re a medical cannabis patient and you are using THC infused products with your at-home massage. Allure magazine noted the effects as “[…]something between a runner’s high and post-coital bliss.” The DP detailed the resulting feeling as “[…]the physiological equivalent of a Washed Out jam or Sigur Ros ballad,” and described the overall result as “[…]centered and straightened, corrected and focused.”

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Both Allure and the DP noted that the cannabinoids present during the massage simply allowed the masseuse to do their job to a better extent. DP detailed the effects saying, “[…]this THC-infused lotion is not a miracle potion. But it’s superior to any other lotion or oil I’ve encountered in previous massages. It felt like it enabled my massage therapist to do the work she was trying to do.” Allure echoed the same sentiment, “[…]it relaxes muscles so the therapist can go deeper without causing pain.” The pain relief of topical cannabinoids was reported in the SunTimes who spoke with some local recipients of CBD-massages. A construction worker interviewed noted the effectiveness of oil, “The CBD works great. Even though I don’t get massages all the time, I use the CBD topical ointment I bought at the spa. My hands and wrists get really sore as a drummer, and CBD works well for that.” The owner of the spa noted that she “[…]discovered the benefits of CBD after years of severe arthritis,” which affected her hands severely and she said she could “[…]barely bend my fingers.” When she was asked about the results of applying the oil to her hands she said “the results were fantastic.”

Have you used topical cannabinoid treatments? What were your results? Tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook!

Cresco Labs offers cannabinoid infused topical treatments in dispensaries across the state. Click here now to locate the dispensary nearest to you!

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Infant Reduces Seizures Using Cannabis Oil After All Else Fails

An infant from Albuquerque, NM named Amylea Faith Nuñez recently returned home from the hospital. Not only did she return from the hospital, but she returned from the brink of death. Her seizures, some lasting as long as an hour, severely damaged her body leaving her unable to eat normally. Amylea suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, unable to be quelled by the entire arsenal of modern western medicine. Amylea’s mother was interviewed by local station KRQE News 13, to whom she detailed that doctors explained to her “that she [Amylea] was going to be in a wheelchair… that she would pretty much be a vegetable and never really lift up her head…and her seizures were just going to be something that I was going to have to get used to”. A prognosis like that hardly leaves room for hope.

Doctors had leveraged all their medical experience, putting to work all the medicines they had available to them, prescribing eight medications to all be taken together, and were unsuccessful in reducing the frequency of her seizures. Amylea’s doctors were left with no option but to tell her mother they could not help her, and to go home. Undeterred, her parents fought for Amylea to be treated with a controversial cannabis oil. They were likely drawing on the many anecdotal examples throughout the internet, like Charlotte Figi who was featured in CNN’s documentary Weed. Furthermore the diamond-hard evidence that GW Pharmaceuticals shared with the world recently. GW proved through a FDA blessed double-blind placebo controlled trial, known as the gold standard in disease research, that Epidiolex, their whole-plant cannabis medicine featuring CBD, is an effective treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy. The study found that the frequency of compulsive seizures was reduced an average of 39%, compared to 13% with placebo. These findings were collaborated by Lurie Children’s Hospital, a local Chicago hospital, along with hospitals across the county. If you would like to learn more about using CBD to treat epilepsy in children watch this documentary by National Geographic, this one by Vice, or go to the Epilepsy Foundations’s website.

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Image Courtsey of WDJT Milwaukee.

After just three months of treatment with a hemp oil called Haleigh’s Hope, Amylea proudly raised her head in defiance of her doctors’ prognosis. Her mother told reporters, “It was kind of like I could tell the doctors, ‘Look what she’s capable of’ compared to them saying she’s never going to be able to hold up her head.” KRQE reported that “according to the family, at 2-months old, Amylea was the first and the youngest patient to receive this type of treatment at the hospital.” The hospital which was treating Amylea was likely open to allowing this treatment, even though it is not blessed by the FDA, because at least cannabis’s legal status is officially legal in Colorado. Doctors in Colorado were not allowed to administer the treatment themselves due to legal issues which would put them at odds with both the DEA and their malpractice insurance, but allowed her parents to administer the medicine. Cannabis grown on an industrial scale which contains less than 0.3% THC, known colloquially as hemp, can be used to manufacture products which can be sold legally inside the US. Cannabis definitely suffers from quite a quagmire of cloudy laws. Since Haleigh’s Hope has less than 0.3% THC, it is classified as hemp not cannabis, and therefore it can be shipped across state lines legally. If you are interested to learn more about the manufacturing of Haleigh’s hope oil, watch a video from them here.

Amylea is a brave pioneer, and needs the support of kind strangers to make trips from her home in Albuquerque, NM to her hospital in Aurora, Colorado for checkups. Please support Amylea and her family if you can!

Do you think doctors should be using cannabis as part of their medical arsenal? Tells us what you think on Facebook or in the comments below!

 

Title feature image courtesy of Instagram.

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CBD is THC’s partner in success

If you are a medical patient, the strain with the highest THC may not be your ideal strain, and if you ignore CBD, you are missing half the picture. Most everyone who is familiar with cannabis, is also probably familiar with THC, jokingly called “the high causer”, formally known by its full name as Tetrahydrocannabinol. In contrast, most of those same people are not likely to be familiar with CBD, whose formal full name is cannabidiol. Martin A. Lee puts it perfectly in his book Smoke Signals, writing “CBD is the yin of THC’s yang.” THC and CBD are typically the two most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis. Many familiar with the pharmacological history of cannabis know about Marinol, the synthetic THC-only pill born in the mid-80’s. Marinol is widely known for being ineffective, and for commonly having a side-effect of an overwhelming-high. This type of overwhelming-high is too much for patients to handle, leading them to be anxious and uncomfortable. This side-effect can also be noted it some patients when medicating with high-THC/low-CBD strains of cannabis.

One important thing to note about CBD is it does not cause the patient to get “high”, known in the medical world as euphoria. This can lead some to a knee-jerk reaction to beleive THC is an intoxicant and CBD is a healer, however to be clear this is not correct. As Steve DeAngelo discusses in his book The Cannabis Manifesto, we should have the perspective that cannabis is a wellness product and not an intoxicant, including and especially THC. Dr. Tod Mikuriya is quoted in Smoke Signals perfectly summing up how reality is perspective by explaining “we should be thinking of cannabis as a medicine first, that happens to have some psychoactive properties, as many medicines do, rather than as an intoxicant that happens to have a few therapeutic properties.” Don’t believe there are currently medications which cause psychoactivity? Watch some YouTube videos of children returning home from the dentist. Cannabis is a wellness product not an intoxicant, and all cannabinoids have therapeutic healing properties, including both CBD and THC. To be clear, going an only-CBD route will reduce the effectiveness of the medicine, and lessen the beneficial results. It would be better to go with a 20:1 CBD:THC ratio than a 100% CBD-only option. Generally speaking being sick can be emotionally trying, especially in the long term, so it is bewildering to most that the emotional uplifting side-effect of cannabis is looked at in a negative light. For most patients a medicine which treats both the body and the spirit would be hugely beneficial dual-pronged approach. Ensure your medicine is a whole plant extract including all cannabinoids and terpenes, not just a CBD only formulation.

As discussed on ProjectCBD, high CBD formulations can be useful in treating diseases “including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders.” One of the most well known applications of CBD is in the treatment of seizures, as we can read in written historical records going back to the 15th century, through today. GW Pharmaceuticals recently proved this fact officially in the medical world through their successful FDA blessed clinical trial. In addition to being an excellent anti-seizure agent, CBD is also anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-cancer, and analgesic. Even the United States Federal Government’s research arm, the National Cancer Institute, proclaims on their website “Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.” These studies have not been carried through into human trials due to political, not scientific roadblocks. Patients can medicate with CBD-high or CBD-dominant strains and receive true relief and healing. By keeping the correct ratio of CBD to THC, patients can medicate with a light, or completely absent mental high, while still receiving the beneficial medical effects of the cannabinoids.

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THC and CBD, along with the one hundred or so other cannabinoids found in cannabis, all have synergistic healing properties with the human body, working to help the body rebalance its endocannabinoid system. Research has shown that CBD works to mitigate the body’s intake of THC on a molecular level, preventing a Marinol-like result. Furthermore, each strain of cannabis has its own unique fingerprint of smells (terpenes) and flavors (flavonoids), which play an influencing role in the body’s interaction with the cannabinoid group, and also interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system directly. It is important for each patient to find the strain of cannabis which embodies the ideal ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes for their unique body. When a patient finds their ideal ratio and dosage, they are able to medicate in the best way: rebalancing their endocannabinoid system properly without sending it off balance in a different direction.

Many in the illegal market lust after strains with high THC and barely detectable CBD, as their impetus is simply the psychoactive high. Medical cannabis patients whose deepest innermost motivations are centered on healing would not hesitate to medicate with a strain that has a higher CBD than THC content. Patients completely new to cannabis, especially those who harbor some anxiety about being able to handle being high, should medicate with strains high in CBD. The CBD will help prevent patients from getting into and anxiety state as a result of over-intake of THC.

As discussed in a previous blog post, cannabis is like a symphony orchestra, each chemical contributing to the overall synergistic effect, known in the cannabis world as the entourage effect. Medical cannabis patients are metaphorically using band members from the cannabis troupe as stand-ins in their own internal musical symphony. When a patient’s musical harmony regains its balance, it restores their ability to make beautiful music again, or in more literal terms, be balanced and healthy.

Cresco Labs offers our Remedi line including several CBD high formulations in various ingestion methods. Currently offered strains like Channel 2 and Harlequin are available in classic flower have a ratio of higher CBD to THC. In addition to flower, high CBD formulations derived from the Harlequin strain can also be ingested in capsule form, and also vaporized from a vapor cartridge or disposable pen. Remedi high-CBD Tinctures will also be added soon!

An Illinois medical cannabis patient recently commented on Facebook writing, “I used to think critical mass cbd was my mixer for fibromyalgia pain, but Harlequin has changed my mind. Might be lower content, but she works fast and amazing!.” This patient has found their ideal ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes in Harlequin!

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Be sure to purchase your medical CBD products from registered dispensaries, and not from online sellers. CBD formulations found on the internet are widely known to be of poor quality, and most miss the mark on their reported levels of CBD. The FDA recently sent out warnings to many in the industry ordering some suppliers to stop selling their products. The legal status of these CBD products found outside dispensaries is grounded in the fact that the product is extracted from hemp grown outside the United States. Hemp, is in reality, the same plant as cannabis, only difference being that hemp must have less than 0.3% THC. Also keep in mind that since industrial hemp is bred to be low-resin, large amounts of hemp must be processed to extract the CBD, which is at a low percentage in hemp. The large volume of material may be a critical flaw in this avenue, as cannabis is a bio-accumulator (meaning it draws chemicals out of the soil), so the extract may inadvertently contain toxins from the soil. Furthermore there is the question of what extraction method was used, and weather the over-the-internet, untested, unlabeled product, contains any residual solvents.

Registered Illinois medical cannabis patients are now able to legally obtain high-quality lab tested high CBD formulations from Cresco Labs through a wealth of dispensaries found across the state. Click here to find the dispensary closest to you!

Posted In: Science

The Core Five Compounds Found in Cannabis

10, or even five years ago, marijuana was synonymous with “getting high.” But since then, research has begun to scratch the surface and emit some notable, empirical results proving the cannabis plant’s medical power. Now, we know there are at least 483 different chemical compounds in marijuana, but the effects of most are still a mystery. Yet thanks to testing results and studies, we know the most important and frequently found chemicals in cannabis–and they’re end effect on the user. The most common and prevalent of these compounds, THC, produces that psychoactive high. The rest differ and are often barely found in many strains. But when found and studied, these compounds have some superlative powers that can help a wide array of maladies now and in the future.

When you walk into a licensed medical marijuana dispensary, you will most often find these five compounds and their percentages accompanying a strain as most medical states now require testings that produce percentages of these chemical compounds. Here’s what those compounds are, what those percentages mean,  how they will impact your mind and body, and which compounds are best for your condition (s).

1. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC delivers the high, stoney effect in almost all marijuana strains.  THC’s psychoactive quality occurs when the compound is activated (lit with fie) from THCV (THC in stagnant form). The compound then binds to the cannabinoid receptors producing the common high–which is also synonymous with a runner’s high
Most modern strains range anywhere from 10-30% in THC (15-20% is industry standard), but some strains check in as low as 5% and testing numbers have been reported near 35% for strains like Alien Dawg (Alien OG x Chem Dog). If you suffer from anxiety and prefer a lighter smoke, veer towards certain strains, like Purple Kush (and the purp family) with lower THC counts and lighter impact. If you’re a frequent smoker with a high tolerance, strains with higher potency, like OGs, will be more your speed. The higher the THC percentages, the more psychoactive the strain will likely be. In addition to its high THC is an appetite suppressant with a variety of medical benefits. Some known benefits of THC are that helps fight glaucoma, forms of cancer (particularly in treatment), insomnia, PTSD, and anxiety disorders.

Strains with THC in it: nearly all.

2) CBD (Cannabidiol)


The seizure stopper and the Sorcerer’s Stone of the cannabis sphere, CBD is pure medicine. CBD has a wide range of proven medical effects, chief among them preventing seizures in epileptic children. The compound has been featured on CNN and its oils are actually legal in over 30 states. Some strains of hemp with almost zero trace of THC within are very rich in CBD. Percentages of CBD in strains range from as low as 1% (in THC-heavy strains) to as high as 25%. Strains on the lower spectrum of CBD percentage are often overshadowed by THC. Typical ratios of CBD to THC in major CBD-heavy strains are 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1. To increase these ratios and purify CBD, flowers are frequently extracted to make oils which are then in turn used to make edibles and tinctures. Oftentimes, CBD comes with a distinct, cherry flavor that’s reminiscent of cough syrup’s flavor profile. Since CBD is not psychoactive, those without ailments may find little to no effect from CBD.

Common CBD-Rich Strains: Charlotte’s Web, Cannatonic, ACDC, Harlequin, Pennywise and Spectrum

3) THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)

Considered the caffeine of cannabis. THCV supplies a racy, instant jolt that shines through in certain, often Sativa strains of marijuana. Unlike cannabis’ other core compounds, THCV is actually an appetite suppressant. Like THC, THCV is psychoactive and carries trippy, elated effect. THCV must reach 428 degrees Fahrenheit to reach its activation. Amongst its medical benefits, THCV stimulates bone growth and helps Diabetes as it aids in maintaining blood sugar levels. If you want a high energy strain, look for THCV strains or ask your medical dispensary which strains may be high in it. Likewise, if you get anxious and prefer Indicas, steer clear of this compound.

THCV heavy strains include: African Hazes, Lemon G, Durban Poison, Skunk, Dutch Treat

4) CBN (Cannabinol)

A compound with less available studies and viable information, think of CBN as your CBD Light. CBN is thought to share characteristics and benefits of CBD, mainly sleep aid. The calming chemical also has shown promise as an MRSA topical. Since CBN is converted from THC, there are usually very (if any) trace amounts in most strains, typically hovering in the 1% range. But, when present, CBN values tend to appreciate over time as the longer cannabis sits around the more CBN it’s likely to produce. Thanks to modern extraction methods, scientists are fast discovering how to isolate CBN (much like CBD), making it the healthy sleep aid of the future.

5) CBG (Cannabigerol) 


The up-and-coming compound to keep an eye on, CBG has powerful potential as a recent discovery indicates that CBG may well be the parent for both THC and CBD compounds. That means we wouldn’t have THC and CBD without CBG, which eventually turns into those compounds. Like CBD, CBG has known relaxing benefits. Now being coined the “stem cell” for all other cannabinoids, CBG functions by blocking GABA and relaxing muscles.

If you don’t want to get high and are strictly using cannabis for its medical benefits, then you should look for strains with under 1% THC and only CBD, CBG, and CBN. Some hemp strains of cannabis have under .3% –which qualifies it as hemp, and is not “cannabis.”

As noted, isolating these compounds has begun in some advanced circles, and the knowledge on cannabis’ core properties and the other many compounds within should continue to broaden in the coming years!

Posted In: Science