There are over 20,000 studies on cannabinoids in the pubmed database, and few scientists who concentrate their work around cannabinoids can deny the tremendous therapeutic potential of cannabis. In fact, Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Compultense University in Madrid Spain, has completed extensive research which led to one of the first discoveries that THC does indeed kill cancer cells.
Delegate Mike Pushkin (D) filed House Bill 2677, and Senator Richard Ojeda (D) filed Senate Bill 386. Both would legalize medical cannabis, albeit in different manners. HB 2688 has no cosponsors, whereas SB 386 is cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of nine senators.
HB 2677 would legalize the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to 12 plants, for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include:
(A) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction to opiates or amphetamines or the treatment of these conditions;
(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
(C) Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department, as provided in section six of this article.
The proposal would established a system of licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, as a means of safe access to the medicine.
SB 386 would also legalize medical cannabis – including license dispensaries – but in a more limited way. Qualifying conditions include:
(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or
(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:
(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;
(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;
(iii) Severe nausea;
(iv) Seizures; or
(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms.
HB 2677 has been assigned to the House Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee. SB 386 has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Resources.
New research has found that adolescents with high academic scores are considerably more likely to consume cannabis than those with low scores.
The study was published by the British Medical Journal. According to its abstract, the study’s aim “was to determine the association between childhood academic ability and the onset and persistence of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use across adolescence in a representative sample of English schools pupils.” Researchers wanted to conduct the study because “Previous research has produced conflicting findings.”
For the study, data from “7 years of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE)” was used; in total there were 6,059 participants “with information on academic ability around age 11 and health behaviours from age 13/14 to 16/17 (early adolescence) and from age 18/19 to 19/20 (late adolescence).” Researchers used “Self-completion questionnaires during home visits, face-to-face interviews and web-based questionnaires” to determine the results. […]
New Hampshire’s House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis and hash possession.
House Bill 640 was approved with an overwhelming 14 to 2 vote. The measure would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and up to five grams of hash, for those 21 and older.
If police do catch someone possessing cannabis or hash within those limits, it would be “a fine of $100 for a first offense under this paragraph, a fine of $200 for a second offense within three years of the first offense, or a fine of $350 for a third or subsequent offense within 3 years of 2 other offenses.” Under current law the possession of even a minuscule amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
House Bill 640 is sponsored by a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of a dozen lawmakers including Representatives Robert Cushing (D), Keith Murphy (R), Frank Sapareto (R), William Pearson (D), Carol McGuire (R), Chuck Grassie (D), Daniel Eaton (D), Patricia Lovejoy (D), as well as Senators Martha Clark, John Reagan, Daniel Innis.
Last year New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives passed a similar bill with a 289 to 58 vote, but it failed to pass the Senate.
According to a WMUR Granite State Poll released July of last year, 61% of New Hampshire voters support legalizing cannabis.
Have you ever wondered how THC works? Well, it just-so-happens to be a similar shape to a compound our bodies create naturally. Thanks to its shape, THC is able to tap into a network in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system. It’s this ability that gives THC it’s psychoactive effects. But, what is the endocannabinoid system and what does it do? To help you understand, we’ve created a handy guide to the endocannabinoid system for dummies.
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) refers to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules. You can think of cell receptors like little locks on the surface of your cells. The keys to these locks are chemical molecules called agonists. Each time an agonist binds to a cell it relays a message, giving your cell specific direction.
The endocannabinoid system is the name for a series of cell receptors that respond to certain kinds of agonists. Two primary cell receptors make up the ECS, Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2). The keys for these receptors are called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are like the body’s natural
Endocannabinoids are like the body’s natural THC. In fact, endocannabinoids got their name from cannabis. Plant cannabinoids were discovered first. Endo means within, and cannabinoid referring to a compound that fits into cannabinoid receptors.
There are two main endocannabinoid molecules, named anandamide and 2-Ag. Funny thing, scientists wouldn’t have discovered anandamide without THC. Psychoactive (THC) was first discovered by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam back in the 1960s. His finding quickly spurred a rush to figure out how THC worked, and whether or not our own bodies produced a similar compound.
More than two decades after the search began, anandamide was found. Yet, once they isolated the chemical, they faced another challenge. What should it be called? They turned to Sanskrit. Anandamide comes from the Sanskrit word Ananda, which means bliss. So, basically, anandamide means bliss molecule.
Cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout the body, giving them a wide variety of functions. However, certain receptors are more concentrated in specific regions. CB1 receptors are abundant in the central nervous system. CB2 receptors are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system.
The diversity of receptor locations shows just how important endocannabinoids are for day-to-day bodily function. They help regulate the following:
Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving and when to stop. They help maintain optimal balance in the body, also known as homeostasis. When the ECS is disrupted, any one of these things can fall out of balance. Dysregulation in the ECS is thought to contribute to a wide variety of conditions, including fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.
The ECS theory of disease is termed “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency“. The idea is simple: when the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses that affect one or several of the functions listed above.
Where do endocannabinoids come from?
If your body cannot produce enough endocannabinoids, you might be in for some trouble. But, where do endocannabinoids come from, anyway? This question has another simple answer: diet.
Your body creates endocannabinoids with the help of fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for this. Recent research in animal models has found a connection between diets low in omega-3s and mood changes caused by poor endocannabinoid regulation.
Fortunately, hemp seeds are a quality source of omgea-3s. However, fish like salmon and sardines produce a form of omega-3s that is easier for your body to put to use.
Beyond cell receptors
Cannabinoid receptors are often what we associate with the endocannabinoid system. But, the ECS is more complicated than that. Enzymes also have a crucial role to play in the process. In a way, enzymes are kind of like Pacman. They gobble up various compounds, change them, and then spit out the parts. In the ECS, enzymes break down leftover endocannabinoids. Enter non-psychoactive CBD.
Enter non-psychoactive CBD. While THC binds with cannabinoid receptors directly, CBD does not. Instead, it works it’s magic on an enzyme. The enzyme in question is called FAAH, and it is responsible for pulling excess anandamide out of circulation.
CBD puts a stop to this. Psychoactive THC works by mimicking the body’s own endocannabinoids. But, CBD increases the amount of endocannabinoids in your system.
CBD stops enzyme FAAH from breaking down all of the anandamide, and therefore makes more of it available for use by your cells. This is why CBD is a natural mood-lifter without psychoactive effects.
This is just a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system. Each year, new studies shed light into what this amazing network does inside our bodies. The discovery of the ECS is what makes medical cannabis such a big deal.
People often joke about the herb’s ability to heal a wide variety of seemingly unrelated conditions. But, we now understand that these conditions are all regulated in part by the ECS. The medical implications of this finding are endless.
Activation of the CB2 (cannabinoid type 2) receptor – something done naturally through the consumption of cannabinoids – may treat persistent inflammatory pain.
This is according to new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.
For the study, researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University examined how a cannabinoid receptor agonist (meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids) effected “persistent inflammation induced by complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)”.
According to researchers; “Our data provide evidence that CB2 receptor function emerges in the RVM [rostral ventromedial medulla; a relay in the descending pain modulatory system and an important site of endocannabinoid modulation of pain] in persistent inflammation and that selective CB2 receptor agonists may be useful for treatment of persistent inflammatory pain.”
According to the study’s significant statement:
“These studies demonstrate that endocannabinoid signaling to CB1 and CB2 receptors in adult rostral ventromedial medulla is altered in persistent inflammation. The emergence of CB2 receptor function in the rostral ventromedial medulla provides additional rationale for the development of CB2 receptor-selective agonists as useful therapeutics for chronic inflammatory pain.
The full text and abstract of this study can be found by clicking here.
This study joins a list of dozens that have shown that cannabinoids can treat and prevent inflammation, including one released just last month in the FASEB Journal which found that cannabis may treat chronic inflammation.
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