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AGL (monoacylglycerol lipase) is the enzyme primarily responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoid 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol). Recent research shows that the Cox enzymes also break down 2-AG. Researcher Gregory Gerdeman, PhD, elucidates: "The products of 2-AG breakdown by MAGL (a hydrolysis reaction that literally cleaves the molecule) are different from the product of 2-AG breakdown by Cox-2 (an oxidation reaction... not accurately called a 'breakdown,' which is a generic term anyway, but a conversion into a product no longer active at CB receptors. I'm not sure if multiple Cox-2 oxidation products exist. "Cox is not just creating the pain-mediating prostaglandins (which is the rationale for blocking Cox-2 with NSAIDs but at the same time it's breaking down 2-AG. Thus, when someone takes Ibuprofen, part of the pain- and inflammation-reducing effect is likely due to elevating 2-AG to act at the CB1 receptor (on pain-transmitting sensory neurons), or the CB-2 receptor (found on various leukocytes and which subsequently dampen inflammatory immune responses), or both." According to Gerdeman, a study published in Science Nov. 11 by DK Nomura and colleagues, indicates that "endocannabinoids and neuroinflammatory prostaglandins seem to form a physiological axis of neuroprotection to neuroinflammation, which we are only beginning to understand. MAG lipase not only breaks down the protective 2-AG, but in so doing, turns it into a damaging prostaglandin that promotes neurodegenerative disease. "Larry Marnett at Vanderbilt and his former student Kevin Kozak were first to show the oxygenation of 2-AG by COX-2 about 10 years ago. Marnett recently published an important paper describing a new series of synthetic drugs that are 'substrate-specific' blockers of Cox-2, meaning that they block the 2-AG breakdown without affecting other substrates (like arachidonic acid). "This stuff is sure to be getting the pharma folks busy thinking about new and plant-free ways to stimulate CB2 without influencing the central nervous system. Someone should be looking closely to see if CBD and other phytocannabinoids might interact in similar ways with the Cox-2 enzyme. Gerdeman called our attention to an earlier, related article showing that 2-AG can 'inhibit' neuroinflammation mediated by COX-2, by apparently blocking the cellular expression of the enzyme in response to toxic insults. "Such 'inducible expression' is a hallmark of the COX-2 isoenzyme," he notes. "Taken together these studies point to a complex regulation of inflammatory processes by endocannabinoids, with the common downstream effect of neuroprotection. "Could it be that CBD has similar effects?" he asks. "There is considerable evidence of CBD as a neuroprotectant, with multiple possible mechanisms. Chronic neuroinflammation is seen more and more to be an important player in the onset or progression of numerous age-related neurodegenerative diseases. It only makes sense to seriously investigate any non-toxic therapeutic possibilities." Top —O'Shaughnessy's News Service November 24 Patient Testimony from SCC Dr. Stacey Kerr of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians gave us the latest report from a patient of hers who was using CBD for treatment of leg pain: Dr Kerr: This is from a person who used CBD-Rich honey butter before bed, hoping it would help her stay asleep all night and hoping it would help with nerve/leg pain after a severe tibial plateau fracture she had a few years ago." The patient: "The cbd - It was so relaxing. Slept well, woke up with a clear head. And in the waking state, I noticed I barely felt my foot. Can't remember a time I noticed it so little. And there was a sense about my leg, in the knee area that was remarkably different. I will go in to detail when we see each other, but I actually noticed lack of awareness from below the waist to my toes, for the first time since I broke my leg. I am always aware of my right leg, and I could honestly say there was no sensation. Wow." Project CBD will continue to share patient testimonies as we hear them. If you have been using CBD-rich medicine and would like to share your experience, send us an email here.Top November 22 New Lab Testing for Cannabis in Seattle Michele Sexton, PhD, an Associate Research Professor at Bastyr University in Seattle, is director of Phytalytics, a lab that began testing Cannabis samples in October 2011. Sexton has more than 10 years of experience in analytical chemistry and analysis of botanical medicines. What technology are you using? As of when? Phytalytics employs liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and mass spectrometry as an alternative detector for the analysis of Cannabis. Phytalytics began developing this methodology at the beginning of 2011. I spent several months working on the internal validation of the methodology, in association with a contract pharmacological lab in Berkeley, CA. Phytalytics began testing samples in October 2011. What do you test for? We currently test for THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA and CBN. Soon we will be adding CBG, CBGA, CBC and THCV to more accurately fingerprint medicinal quality. What's your turnaround time? One week max, but generally 3-5 days from collection to certificate of analysis. How many samples have you tested to date? We have tested around 100 samples. How many are you testing per week at present? About 20 plant and product samples per week. Do you test —or plan to test— for mold, pesticides, terpenes? Phytalytics is developing assays for mycotoxins, relevant pesticides and a panel of terpenes. Some of these compounds are amenable to HPLC, and for the others we will use GCMS. We will not be using a 'library' to simply screen for these chemicals, but will actually use the standards for positive identification. There seems to be some flippancy in the community with how the pesticide testing is done, as well as the fungal tests. Therefore, Phytalytics has been consulting with toxicologists and plant pathology specialists to determine how to perform these tests in the most relevant and affordable way possible. Phytalytics, in conjunction with Bastyr University, is developing heavy metals testing for arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. Additionally, genetic screening is in the future for us. Do you test edibles and tinctures? We have assays for all preparations, from oils and solid extracts to tinctures and baked items. By what method(s)? Phytatlytics uses LCMS for testing edibles. What is your pricing structure? Our cannabinoid assay is $150 with quantity discounts for contracted customers. Key personnel? Scientific advisors to the company include: Dale Whittington, director of the mass spec center in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Darryl Bornhop, PhD in analytical chemistry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and Kaleb Lund, PhD in Pharmacognacy and lab director at Bastyr University. How can Phytalytics be contacted? Our website is under construction. Phone 206-979-8684 or email us at here. Any aspect of your operation you want us to publicize? My research at Bastyr University included Cannabis in Multiple Sclerosis, Cannabis in Oncology, and Cannabis as a 'gateway herb' to Naturopathic Medicine. I am a technical advisor to the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, which is currently developing a botanical monograph for Cannabis, and co-chair with Jahan Marcu of the multidisciplinary scientific advisory board for Americans for Safe Access. Phytalytics is working to promote the standards for botanical medicine as developed by the American Herbal Products Association (since 1982) to the Cannabis industry in Washington State. These standards include Good Agricultural Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, Standardized Information on Dietary Ingredients for Labeling Purposes and Good Laboratory Practice.Top November 16 Attention All Plant Lovers There's a great piece by Ann Raver in this morning's New York Times about a New Hampshire apple grower named Michael Phillips who's hip to the importance of terpenes (and many other things about how to grow plants). Raver explains: July and August, when the females lay their eggs, Mr. Phillips sprays the trunk with a neem oil solution that contains a compound called azadirachtin, which suppresses molting. If an insect can't shed its skin as it grows, it dies. Neem oil also deters insects from feeding and laying eggs. Chemical companies have isolated the compound to manufacture patented products like Neemix or Ecozin. But those extractions "lose the other constituents of the plant," Mr. Phillips said. For instance, pure neem oil, he said, has terpenoid compounds that help the neem tree combat disease. Apple trees have the same terpenoids, so they respond to the oil. Mr. Phillips sprays his trees at various stages: when the buds are "quarter-inch green," as orchardists say, then when they are pink and then when the petals fall. These are the times when pests like moths and curculios feed on the tender flowers, and when fungal diseases like scab and cedar apple rust settle onto leaves and stems. "By spraying, I'm stimulating the terpenoids in the apple tree," he said. "And boosting its immune system." The lead article in the current issue of O'Shaughnessy's summarizes evidence presented by Ethan Russo, MD, that some of the so-called "minor cannabinoids" and aromatic terpenoids —compounds other than THC— influence the therapeutic effect of Cannabis. Terpenes may be in the early stages of what we call "the Wittgenstein phenomenon." For many decades there were virtually no mentions of the tortured Austrian logician in the popular media. Then, c. 1990, we started seeing them more and more. Now Wittgenstein is almost a household word. Well, maybe not quite.Top October 21 Update on Omrita Rx3 – CBD-Rich Offspring on the Rise Miguel A., cultivator of Omrita Rx3, released clones of his strain to a handful of California collectives in August including WAMM and Harborside. The grower cracked 150 of the original strain backcross, 50 of which differentiated into females. All plants were grown indoors without direct light. For his analytical testing laboratory, Miguel tapped California Botanicals, providing 50 Omrita plant samples in April 2011, to be tested for cannabinoid content by HPLC. Of the 50 Omrita Rx3 samples: 7 plants - CBD-rich (<1% THC) = 14% 18 plants - High THC (<1% CBD) = 6% 10 plants - 1:1 ratio CBD/THC = 20% 15 plants - 2:1 CBD/THC ratio = 30% Omrita Cal Bot test click for larger image Even when a strain is stabilized, there is a varying cannabinoid profile in each seed. Not every seed of a "CBD-rich strain" will produce a CBD-rich offspring, just as not every seed of a "THC-rich strain" will produce THC-rich offspring. These latest results of the Omrita samples show that fully 64% of these plants yielded CBD-rich offspring. This is significantly higher than the 1-in-4 estimate that other CBD-rich strains have been proven to currently produce. This finding represents strong evidence that those genetic breeding programs specifically targeting higher CBD content (such as of Miguel A's) may indeed increase the likelihood of producing CBD-rich offspring. Top September 21 How Accurate Is Cannabis Potency Testing? California NORML and Project CBD release the results of the first "Ring Test" to assess the accuracy of analytical laboratories. Mixed findings show strengths and problems among analytic testing services. In the winter of 2010/11, California NORML and Project CBD initiated a "Ring Test" to assess the accuracy of analytical Cannabis testing laboratories that have recently emerged to serve medical marijuana collectives, breeders, growers and patients. The results of the Ring Test are reported in the Autumn 2011 issue of O'Shaughnessy's, the Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice (September 21, 2011, pp 17-18). Coauthored by California NORML director Dale Gieringer and Dutch scientist Dr. Arno Hazekamp, the full report is available here. "We embarked on a parallel study of Cannabis testing labs to shed light on a significant, unresolved issue within the fledgling medical marijuana industry in California and other states," says Gieringer, "We wanted to know how reliable is the information provided by analytical Cannabis labs? Are they adequately serving the needs of medical marijuana patients and providers?" Ten Cannabis labs in two states agreed to participate in an anonymous, side-by-side study to assess the accuracy and precision of their collective work. The participating labs employed a variety of analytical techniques and instrumentation to conduct their analysis. Six samples drawn from the same sources were tested by each lab: four herbal samples, including one CBD-rich strain, and two tinctures (alcohol extracts). Project CBD Ring Test click for larger image Results of the Ring Test indicate the following: • In most cases, lab results were consistent to within plus or minus 20% of each other on replicate samples (and often within 10%). For example, a sample with 10% average THC content might range from 8% to 12% in different tests. This is similar to the accuracy of the government's potency testing program run by NIDA's lab in Mississippi, as well as comparable government-regulated industries such as environmental testing. Conclusion: The precision and proficiency of a majority of Cannabis testing labs compared favorably to other analytical testing industries. • While a majority of labs performed within acceptable limits, some reported results that deviated substantially from the average, with unacceptable deviations of more than 25% from the mean. Three of the ten labs performed unacceptably on half of the tests. Conclusion: Not all Cannabis testing labs are performing up to par; consumers are well advised to check the reputations and professional experience of labs they work with, and to arrange backup tests from more than one lab where accuracy is essential. • Both gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC) instrumentation yielded accurate results in testing of raw Cannabis samples, with comparable and acceptable repeatability for identical samples. Conclusion: Both GC and LC instrumentation should be considered reliable for Cannabis potency analysis. • In the case of the tinctures (alcohol extracts), there were significant discrepancies in the results found by different labs, with GC generally reporting significantly higher potencies than LC . This made it impossible to reliably estimate the actual potency of the original samples. Conclusion: More work is required to assess the accuracy of current methods for testing Cannabis tinctures, edibles and other extracts. • No analytical testing lab demonstrated precision that supports reporting cannabinoid results to two decimal places. By unnecessarily reporting results to the one-hundredth percentile, some labs created an unrealistic illusion of precision that raises false expectations regarding the degree to which accuracy is possible, given the 20% variation observed. Conclusion: Labs should re-evaluate the precision level at which results are reported. The Project CBD / CA NORML Ring Test report is accompanied by a list of ten questions that patents and providers might want to ask when choosing to work with an analytical testing lab. "Analytical labs provide and important service for the medical marijuana community," says Sarah Russo, Project CBD's outreach coordinator. "We hope that Cannabis labs, while competing for market share, will cooperate to improve their methods and maintain a high performance standard. Medical marijuana patients and providers would be well served by labs that share information and assist each other in a collegial manner." For more information contact: Dale Gieringer at California NORML (510-540-1066) or Project CBD (707-581-1818).Top August 03 The Traveling Cannabinoid Pharmacist Dr. Nick Berry, aka "The Traveling Pharmacist", reports that he has started a service to dispensaries in California that will give a "pharmaceutical grade standard of care in the medical Cannabis industry". Dr. Nick offers workshops to discuss holistic health care approaches with patients in conjunction with their medical Cannabis regimen. In Dr. Berry's workshops, patients can learn about the potential pharmaceutical drug and herb interactions, and examine possible benefits and risks of medical Cannabis. The workshops also teach harm reduction and inform patients about short and long-term use of their medicines. Dr. Nick also educates about the importance of analytical lab testing of Cannabis for molds, bacteria, fungus, pesticides & cannabinoid content. "Many of the clinical studies we have utilized have focused solely on standardized THC content," Dr. Nick explains. "This does not leave us an adequate picture when other lab studies have shown valuable cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) inhibit liver enzymes responsible for breaking down other pharmaceutical drugs. It is currently impossible to engage on the extent of drug interactions without first defining the cannabinoid concentration in all medicine." Using the tools provided in his workshops, The Traveling Pharmacist says that patients will be able to examine their current medications for effectiveness and consult with their primary care physician about any necessary changes. Berry believes that it is highly important to set up a standard of care in the medical Cannabis movement for physicians and patients. He believes that a "lack of adequate gold-standard studies" have caused drug-herb interactions to be left out of many practitioners' practice. In May 2009, Dr. Nick graduated from The University of the Pacific as a CA/FL licensed pharmacist. He spent the summer in Central America as a civilian volunteer pharmacist with the United States government. While Dr. Nick was studying traditional medicine in school, he used Chinese herbs, yoga, and meditation for his own health and currently integrates homeopathy, binaural beats (sound frequency entrainment), color therapy & flower essences to his self-list of holistic care. Dr. Nick Berry's interest in Cannabis came from personal research after graduating. Dr. Nick discovered that Cannabis has varying applications after his father came home from an eye exam and had found relief from intraocular pressure from using Cannabis. This experience increased his curiosity in Cannabis therapeutics. "Our current system for medical Cannabis is not even recognized by mainstream practitioners," Dr. Nick explains. "I hadn't learned about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) until my personal research years after pharmacy school!" Berry is focused on examining pharmaceutical drug interactions with cannabinoids. He emphasizes that there are specific "liver enzymes (cytochrome P450) [that] can be altered based upon the content of different cannabinoids found in Cannabis. The extent of enzyme alteration likely occurs based upon its method of ingestion as certain practices bypass liver metabolism." To paraphrase, smoking or eating Cannabis with known levels of THC, CBD, CBN should have predictable pharmaceutical drug interactions. Being aware of this could reduce harmful reactions and hospital visits. Dr. Nick is currently dedicating two weeks every month to Arts District Healing Center in Los Angeles. He plans on splitting his time between the Bay Area and LA in order to travel and provide his services to a larger geographical range. Dr. Nick is discussing implementation of a larger clinical program with Harborside Health Center and will be assisting additional dispensaries in setting up holistic patient education services & medication reviews. Dr. Nick welcomes collectives who are interested in a part or full-time holistic pharmacologist services to contact him at (619)800-2420 or email directly to Top July 27 Unicorn Sighting in Colorado A new CBD-rich strain, Unicorn, has been identified in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, at Green Medicine Wellness. Unicorn has a slightly higher ratio of CBD than THC. The strain was tested in May by Cannlabs (7.74CBD, 6.82 THC) and Full Spectrum Labs (9.45 CBD, 7.27 THC ) in Denver. Unicorn got its name for its "mythical quality" says the grower. The lineage of this strain hails from Eddy Lepp's Waldo haze clone (male) crossed with Old School New York Sour Diesel (female). The original hybrid was made 10 years ago in Amsterdam. Patients who have used Unicorn say it's helpful for chronic pain and arthritis. Green Medicine Wellness quickly sold out of its first batch of Unicorn, but has taken steps to replenish its stock and suppy this CBD-rich strain on a regular basis. The collective will emphasize Unicorn's usefulness as a remedy for patients with severe chronic pain. Green Medicine Wellness plans on making concentrates with the upcoming harvest of Unicorn. For more information contact For the Full Spectrum Lab report of Unicorn, see here.Top July 22 Patient Report From a patient who did not use any Cannabis before starting daily use of CBD-rich tincture (3.9% CBD / 1.7% THC) for autoimmune disorders: "I am holding off on starting an anti-depressant until I give the Tincture 1-2 months. I have made amazing strides in just a couple weeks with physical strength and overall feeling of wellness. I have Lupus and chronic EBV, which has increased 25-fold over last year. I had lost much of my physical strength. I was stunned at the return of my physical strength through even the first few days of being on CBD Tincture. Also it has lifted my brain fog. Much sharper." Top June 22 Sabotage of Research in Montana - By Sarah Russo The reintroduction of CBD in the Montana supply has been stymied by the state's new medical Cannabis law, SB 423. If the law is followed, efforts to develop a less- or non-psychoactive Cannabis would end abruptly. Opponents called SB 423 "the black market bill," anticipating that its onerous provision would drive many cultivators and distributors underground. It requires, among other things, that all medical Cannabis providers (aka caregivers) bring in the plants from their current grow to be destroyed by local law enforcement before July 1. They would then have to apply for the state program once it resumes on October 1. Those who apply will be subjected to a background check by the FBI, fingerprinting, and an investigation of their financial history. If approved, they would have to begin their breeding development from square one. Other key provisions for cultivation include: zero monetary exchange for growing Cannabis, gardens cannot be combined or shared, and law enforcement will be made aware of the location of MMJ gardens and search anytime during "business hours". For more on the law, see here. How it came to pass is reported here. Will Montana cultivators follow the law and give up their precious "mother plants" in hopes that they will get approved by the state? Many say they will not. R.B., a cultivator in Bozeman who grows Misty (which averages 6% CBD, 10% THC according to Montana Botanical Analytics) says that he won't give up genetics to local authorities willingly. He says that if he follows the new law, he would be forced to give up some of his strains. The new law allows only four plants and 12 seedlings to be grown for up to three patients (including the caregiver if they are growing for themselves). Jolly Roger, the cultivator of Good Medicine (testing at 7.2% CBD, 9.11 THC) says that he is not really on the state's radar since he is "a simple caregiver with no storefront". He says that he has some original seeds of Good Medicine that he has "tucked away" in case it came to starting over. He is hoping that the lawsuit goes through and the new MMJ law is thrown out. Roger says if the injunction doesn't work that he will "go through the hoops and try to conform to the laws as they exist. Because of the zero monetary exchange clause of the new Montana law, analytical labs will have to close. The closure of labs will create a major setback for medical Cannabis in Montana. As Kate Cholewa, board member of Montana Cannabis Industry Association puts it, "it is a loss of collective knowledge bank, not just in Montana, but for the entire Cannabis community". Hiedi Handford, a Montana patient advocate and founder of Montana Connect Magazine says that without analytical labs, cultivators will not be able to breed selectively for CBD or other cannabinoids. "All previous science and data will be null and void. The state is basically allowing Montana patients to get high -NOT to treat themselves" she said. Montana patients will have to buy Cannabis that hasn't been tested for mold, fungus, pesticides, or cannabinoid content. Patients and cultivators will have severely limited strain diversity to work with. There will be zero ability to discover new CBD rich strains in Montana, as you cannot verify cannabinoid content without a test. The four plant limit will dramatically alter the range of phenotypes in a grow. It is highly important that each phenotype of a CBD rich strain is tested. Each one will have varying CBD/THC ratios. If there are no labs to test, then no one will know which phenotypes of a CBD (or other cannabinoid) rich strain they should keep. The medical Cannabis scene in Montana is unique. As R.B. puts it, "the main defining characteristic of Montanans is our flamboyant passion for being independent and retaining our rights. We simply want to grow in peace and be left alone by the government that's supposed to be serving us." Handford says that with the small population of the state allows people to stay better connected and in contact with one another. Montana cultivators work in a relatively cool Zone 4 and they share a unique challenge. Handford believes that local strains are better for Montanans. She uses the example of eating local honey or bee pollen. "California Honey has different qualities and immune support for Californians than any Montana honey would. I believe the same would be true for… native grown Cannabis". She says that plants have to adapt to their environment making them "more of a Montana Native over time". She also mentions that Montana has a higher altitude than other Cannabis states. Katrina Farnum, owner of Garden Mother Herbs, a dispensary in Missoula, says that growing in Montana takes creativity. "We have to teach ourselves how to endure," she says. SB 423 has yet to go into effect, but the consequences of the law have already begun to surface. Cannabis related businesses have started shutting down. Kate Cholewa feels that even if the Montana Cannabis industry recovers, genetic research has already taken a large hit from the federal raids in March. Cholewa worries that if genetic research and development is stopped by the new law, skilled cultivators, lab technicians, and dispensary operators will move to states where they can pursue their careers legally. Montana's legalization of Cannabis for medical use in 2004 created jobs and allowed research and development to flourish. Three analytical testing labs were launched, giving dispensaries the ability to provide lab tested, safe medicine to patients. Two CBD-rich strains were reported to Project CBD —Misty and Good Medicine. The new law will take away "medical" Cannabis and make it the same as going the corner to score your stash. Cholewa expressed her concerns about the future of Cannabis in Montana. She explains that with the old medical Cannabis law being unregulated and full of loopholes, it allowed the industry to be controlled by the people. "Before we were building a sophisticated industry model with science integrated into it that came from the people" she said. "Montana was able to create a delivery system based on the needs of the patients, rather than the state". The old law allowed patients in Montana to essentially guide the Cannabis market. They chose those providers whose services they wanted. Those who provided the best services stayed in business. Cholewa states "the legislature, instead of cleaning up the edges, actually took aim at the best of the system". Randy Leibenguth, owner of MCM Caregivers in Belgrade was one of the dispensaries raided by the federal government earlier this year. His research with CBD rich strains was the most extensive in the state. When the feds came into his shop, they left with between 500 and 700 plants, many of which were CBD rich. Fortunately, not all of the strains were lost, but product development naturally slowed. Leibenguth had been working with salve and soda maker who were creating CBD rich products. Since the supply of materials to make these products was seized, the production nearly stopped. Leibenguth says that Montanans are "a grassroots society". He speaks for the locals when he says Montanans want their products produced close to home and as organic as possible. The MT Cannabis movement was heavily focused on supporting local cultivation. People support one another because of the difficulty of cultivation in the state. Leibenguth has been focusing his genetic research on increasing the CBD content in his grow. The grower says that his philosophy with genetics is that when working with a specific strain, you want to have as many phenotypes as you can. These limitations in the new law make it highly difficult if not impossible to have significant genetic variance. Leibenguth says that if the authorities come to try and take away his genetics he will "bury seeds in the back yard". He has already given a Misty mother over to a patient to take care of. In the case of CBD rich strains, there will be some phenos that have a CBD rich ratio, others will be more of a 50/50, and the rest will be high THC. One phenotype may be beneficial for a specific person, while a different one is better for another. A Montana grower will only be able to cultivate four different strains, or four different phenotypes of the same strain. Those plants you selected would be limited in genetic diversity and have to suffice for all of your patients' needs. Montanans are fortunate to have CBD rich options available, and these prized varieties are making an impact across the state. Patients of MCM Caregivers have been reporting positive results with CBD rich medicine. Leibenguth has been stocking Misty on the shelves and growing out a pheno of White Widow (tested at 5% CBD, 3% THC by Montana Botanical Analytics) along with other strains containing varying CBD levels. His patients have been raving about CBD. A patient of the dispensary was suffering from unmanageable stress headaches. After one time of using Misty capsules, her headache vanished. She ended up buying the remainder of the capsules in stock. A couple of Leibenguth's older patients requested butter made from Misty. The older women suffer from joint inflammation, headaches, and other aches and pains. The women were "blown away" by the pain relief the strain provided. Leinbenguth himself uses a salve made from Misty for back pain. He says that the topical didn't completely take away the pain but made it manageable. For Handford , Misty is the most helpful strain for her muscle spasms. She says that she "can't imagine life sans CBD". Misty has been particularly effective for an older man named John she knows residing in her town of Lincoln. According to Handford, John had been taking up to four oxycotons at 30mg per day and was still suffering from chronic pain. John was given Misty and he was eventually able to get off of oxycoton. The man's wife reports his pain tremors stop within half an hour of smoking. Misty is all that works for John. Handford says that with the new MT law, the man will never be able be able to grow enough to supply his own medicine - and nobody will want to give it to him for free. Good Medicine has been "very well received wherever it has been distributed on an ongoing basis" Jolly Roger says. The strain has been reported to be beneficial for pain control and a variety of intestinal issues. One female patient was only able to eat about 10 types of food, due to her extreme case of food sensitivity. After using the CBD rich GM tincture, the woman was able to have relief from digestive problems and begin eating a wider variety of foods. Roger himself uses the strain for his chronic back pain. He says that by smoking the strain, it doesn't kill the pain but "puts it in a corner so you can forget about it". A handful of people use the tincture of Good Medicine daily which is the main reason Roger says he has to maintain the supply and keep the genetics going. If the cultivation of Cannabis in Montana were severely limited, it would hurt patients across the state. For some, finding a strain that is most beneficial for their ailments requires a series of self-experimentation. If a patient is using Good Medicine or Misty, and suddenly the production is delayed or stops, he or she may not have access to the medicine that works best for them. That patient will then have to go elsewhere and start the self-experimentation all over again, potentially without the same benefits of their previous medication. Undoubtedly, it will be more difficult for them to have access to a less psychoactive medicine. It is unlikely that the black market marijuana vendors will have CBD on hand. R.B. says that his job as a cultivator now has to be done underground if he wants to have any ability to do research in the future. "I would rather work as I used to, within the law, rather than move [out of state] and keep genetics or stay and go to the black market". He feels that being underground is more appealing than consenting to illegal searches and fingerprinting if he was to become a registered Montana provider. He says that most caregivers are currently not registered with the state and that giving up genetics is voluntary. R.B. says that if he and others choose to not turn in their crops, local law enforcement "won't know where we are". Montana was one of the states progressing forward into examining the benefits of CBD in the grassroots supply. Analytical labs were identifying cannabinoids in Montana Cannabis and performing safety screening. Cultivators were growing CBD rich strains, working on increasing CBD content in their crops, and getting new strains tested. Caregivers and dispensaries were able to make CBD medicine available to patients who were examining the effects on their health. If this research continues, it will have to be done on the sly. Cannabidiol is not a crime. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association has put forward legal action with the intent of delaying and/or abolishing SB 423 from going into affect. Hearing on this issue was held on June 20th and 21st in Helena. The judge hearing the case, James Reynolds, says he will issue an order by June 30. However, a full decision may not be reached until a later date. Stay tuned for updates. Top June 15 CBD-Rich Seeds Available from Green Well Green Well in Santa Barbara will now have CBD-rich seeds available to their members. The collective has been experimenting with CBD genetics for over a year. One of the cultivators for the Green Well began growing Downtown Diesel (aka NYC Diesel) years ago. It wasn't until the collective had the medication tested by Friendly Ceuticals (5.44 CBD, 5.42 THC in February of 2010) that they knew they had a CBD-rich strain. The cultivator was able to find one lone seed when a Double Dutch plant unexpectedly popped some male flowers. The seed was planted and luckily turned out to be female. The cultivator calls this new strain Double Diesel. It was tested in the vegetative stage in March of this year by Pure Analytics of Santa Rosa, and found to have a 2:1 CBD/THC ratio. In the current landscape of CBD-rich varieties, in many cases 1 in 4 seeds display a CBD-rich profile with the remaining seeds having varying ratios of CBD and THC content. The lone seed of Double Diesel was was one of the lucky CBD-rich phenotypes. The flowers of both mother, Downtown Diesel, and daughter, Double Diesel, are currently available at Green Well. Green Well's cultivator had also saved a seed of a Sweetooth SFV (a Sweetooth X San Fernando Valley OG, a famous strain from Southern California) from a harvest in the Summer of 2009. This strain tested at 5.45 CBD, 7.03 THC by Steep Hill Labs in May of 2010. The seed was sprouted and tested along side the Downtown Diesel seed in the March 2011 test performed by Pure Analytics. It had a 1:2 CBD/THC ratio. The cultivator crossed the male Sweetooth SFV with the female Downtown Diesel, creating "Sweet Diesel". The final product of the mother plant, Double Diesel, will be tested soon so stay tuned for the cannabinoid content of the finished product. "Determining the CBD/THC ratio of plants in their early vegetative state can be very advantageous," says Samantha Miller, founder of Pure Analytics. "The cultivator is able to learn which phenotypes they want to work with before the breeding cycle has begun… By eliminating the expense and resource time of the unnecessary back-cloning of unknown phenotypes, cultivators are able to devote less time and grow space. Early testing can be a key element in identifying phenotypes for strategic crosses to drive improvements in cannabinoid ratio or content within one plant lifecycle." Green Well's cultivator agrees: "The early testing option in the vegetative state allows me to save a ton of time and resources while working on increasing the CBD profiles of my crops. The early detection has saved me years by not having to wait for each generation to grow out to have the final product tested". He plans on continuing with his research to eventually have a CBD-rich and virtually THC- free option for patients at Green Well. The collective has and will continue to supply 1:1 and 2:1 CBD/THC varieties at their location. The cultivator is currently working on creating other CBD-rich varieties as well. He will harvest pollen from two CBD-rich males he has growing. He says that, "two of these boys have a 1:1 ratio and I plan on crossing them with the Harlequin... as well as with several of my other CBD-rich girls. It is very exciting to have such great genetics to work with. These seeds should be ready in a month or so." Green Well will now be providing seeds of the Sweet Diesel and other upcoming CBD-rich strains to members of their collective. For more information, visit Green Well's website. For more information on early cannabinoid testing, visit Pure Analytics. Top May 30 Do Mold and Fungus Affect Cannabinoid Content? This question was posed to Samantha Miller of Pure Analytics. Her response: "In really severe cases, the mold and fungus can have consumed so much of the plant material that it artificially elevates the potency results. This is because they are reported on a percent by weight basis, so as the plant material is consumed, the sample weighs less overall for the same cannabinoid content." If planning to do a mold and pesticide screening for a sample, Miller recommends keeping the sample in the refrigerator until it is given to the lab. The lab needs to be able to see what the sample would be like if given directly to the patient if mold or fungus was to be found. Top May 26 Learning How CBD Works - By Jahan Marcu Israeli researchers studying the effects of Cannabidiol on the immune system have made a series of breakthroughs (Kozela 2009, Rimmerman 2011, Juknat 2011) and may have discovered the specific genes responsible for some of CBD's therapeutic effects. This team and others had shown previously that CBD —isolated from the plant or in a whole-plant extract— can ameliorate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis in animal models and clinical trials. The effects of CBD on disease progression include decreased inflammation, neuronal protection, and decreased immune cell activity. Their recent research shows that CBD can affect the genes Soat2 and Cyp27a1, which control sterol metabolism. They also found that CBD can increase the level of anandamide and other important lipids. Anandamide (AEA) is a natural compound made by mammals from lipids; in a sense it is the "natural THC" found in our brains and elsewhere in our bodies. Anandamide and THC act through the cannabinoid receptors and have similar effects on pain, appetite, memory, etc., but CBD does not interact directly with cannabinoid receptors. Soat2 and Cyp27a1 are part of a larger group of genes, known as stress genes. THC and anandamide do not appear to have any effect on these genes. Rimmerman et al conclude their paper in Cell Molecular Neurobiology, "In addition, CBD and AEA increase the transcription of Plin2, which is present in lipid droplets, a suggested site for AEA metabolism."Top May 26 Anecdotal Evidence From Dr. Frankel I was sitting on the floor with my legs crossed writing on my lap top when my lower back went into a painful spasm. Many people will know what I am referring to. I have had these in the past and was really upset as it is generally a four-five day process. I had some Rich CBD tincture from a local collective and took 1/8 cc at 9 AM and a repeat dose at around 1 PM. There was no immediate relief, but as the hours passed my entire lower back softened up and the pain is already 60% gone. I have used different medications in the past, including hot-boxing my room and this is by far the best experience I have ever had with Cannabis with respect to pain relief - or any symptom relief for that matter. Thank you, CBD. May 25 Tincture Rapidly Counters Symptoms - By Allan Frankel, MD Over the past several weeks, a local "grow collective" has been using Super Critical CO2 extraction on whole plants to produce Cannabis tinctures. They are Clean Green and certified by The Werc Shop as to cannabinoid levels. Their current tincture measures around 4 mg/cc CBD and 2 mg/cc THC. They request that patients not use the tincture until they are symptomatic —and then to see me ASAP. So patients have been popping into the Greenbridge office with their medication to discuss its use and allow me to observe its effects. I saw a 48 y/o male with a horrible chest sarcoma eating through his chest wall, obtain nearly 100% pain relief. I saw a 55 y/o woman's pelvic pain decrease 75% in 40 minutes. I saw a Tourette's patient's spasms slowly disappear 95% over one hour. An interesting note on this patient, which I have seen many times before: the tincture administration causes the pain/spasm/etc symptoms to decrease, beginning at their heads, going down their neck, shoulders arms and hands. Then, it moves back up to their upper chest and works its magic down the body. So, if you have pain in your foot, it will take the longest to feel better. I have no idea why I keep seeing this phenomenon. I have seen another 10 patients with panic attacks and severe anxiety become virtually perfect within 30 minutes. This is the toughest area with regard to placebo effect, but time will tell more. Many of these patients have prior recs, so I am just helping them learn how to use the tincture when they are experiencing symptoms! This point is very important. If a patient is feeling fine, the tincture has very minimal effects. You must medicate specific symptoms and monitor their changes. It is a new world of non-psychoactivity. Speaking of psychoactivity, I am seeing patients becoming "happier" after they medicate themselves. I don't know if this is mild "euphoria" from the THC in the tincture, or whether they are just much happier with their discomfort gone. Top May 20 What Schedule is CBD on? I have been researching CBD on the DEA's list of schedule drugs and no longer find it listed. Wikipedia says it's listed as a Schedule 1 as #7372 but my review of current DEA list shows this to be missing. Marijuana and THC are still there of course. Can you help me figure out why it is no longer listed and if it means its no longer illegal to have posses or use CBD only (THC free) herbal based medicine? —Gabe M. Project CBD responds: CBD is in Schedule I in the United States. It is included under "Tetrahydrocannabinols," which is a broad category that encompasses all the phytocannabinoids as analogs of THC. Its DEA # is 7372, and it remains illegal. Nothing has changed yet. Top May 14 How CBD Destroys Breast Cancer Cells The journal Molecular Cancer Therapy has published a paper by researchers from the Division of Experimental Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, that sums up their findings in its title: "Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy". Here's the abstract: "Cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psychoactive constituent of Cannabis, is considered an anti-neoplastic agent based on its in vitro and in vivo activity against tumor cells. However, the exact molecular mechanism through which CBD mediates this activity is yet to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrated CBD-induced cell death of breast cancer cells, independent of cannabinoid and vallinoid receptor activation. Electron microscopy revealed morphologies consistent with the co-existence of autophagy and apoptosis. Western blot analysis confirmed these findings. We demonstrated that CBD induces ER stress, and subsequently inhibits AKT and mTOR signaling as shown by decreased levels of phosphorylated mTOR and 4EBP1, and Cyclin D1. Analyzing further the crosstalk between the autophagic and apoptotic signaling pathways, we found that Beclin1 plays a central role in the induction of CBD-mediated apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Namely, while CBD enhances the interaction between Beclin1 and Vps34, it inhibits the association between Beclin1 and Bcl-2. In addition, we showed that CBD reduces mitochondrial membrane potential, triggers the translocation of BID to the mitochondria, the release of cytochrome c to the cytosol, and ultimately, the activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in breast cancer cells. CBD increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ROS inhibition blocked the induction of apoptosis and autophagy. Our study revealed an intricate interplay between apoptosis and autophagy in CBD-treated breast cancer cells and highlights the value of continued investigation into the potential use of CBD as an anti-neoplastic agent. "Top May 12 Can a Vaporizer Separate Cannabinoids? A reader from Mendocino County asserts, in an email, " In theory, with some practice and better technology, you could get a defined and consistent cannabinoid ratio by fractionating using a vaporizer. Capturing the vapors might be a path for patients, doctors, and researchers to establish a repeatable dosage that would (hopefully) satisfy one of the hurdles imposed by NIDA in changing Cannabis from a Schedule I substance." Project CBD responds: Home fractionation is virtually impossible, we've been advised. The boiling point of CBD is the 160-180 Celsius range. THC's is listed at 157 Celsius. In practice, both will sublimate off at lower temperatures. The Volcano provides tolerances of +/- 5 degrees Celsius, and temperature in the chamber is not uniform; within the herbal bolus, one area may be hotter than another. Fractionation requires exposing the herbal material to uniform termperatures. It will be practical only through sophisticated methods, such as centrifugal partition chromatography. Top May 10 Medical Cannabis Severely Restricted in Montana Earlier this week, Governor Schweitzer of Montana gave the go ahead for SB 423 to become law. SB 423 is the "regulations" bill that makes Montana's medical Cannabis law the most restrictive in the country. The governor did this the day after he examined the bill and called it "unconstitutional on its face". Just two weeks before, he had vetoed HB 161 that would have repealed Montana's medical marijuana law completely (see back story here). As of July 1, physicians who recommend Cannabis to more than 25 patients in one year will be subject to investigation by the board of medical examiners. Chronic pain patients will now need to be examined by two separate practitioners, unless they have "proof" of their pain. Given that doctors are only allowed to approve use by 25 patients per year, getting a medical Cannabis recommendation for chronic pain will arguably become very difficult to impossible. Many patients with chronic pain also have mobility issues, and would be deterred by having to travel long distances. (Montana is the fourth largest state in the union.) Those who are unable to get a recommendation will will not stop using their medicine --they will simply use it illegally and risk more in Elsewhere in the News. Top May 08 CBD and Asthma It has been known for many years that smoked Cannabis is a bronchodilator and can be useful in treating asthma. Usually, asthma is a problem with bronchospasm (wheezes) and increased mucous production in the smaller airways of our lungs. There is a large component of anxiety associated with asthma, as who would not be scared when it is difficult to breathe. More anxiety causes worsening bronchospasm, which causes more anxiety. Typical inhalers contain adrenergic (adrenaline-like) stimulants, which work well but tend to heighten anxiety. It would be nice to have more alternatives to treat bronchospasm. Since richer levels of THC can cause increased anxiety, using CBD seems like a reasonable thing to try. Last week a patient came into our office who had obtained some CBD-rich tincture at a local collective and said he felt it was helping his asthma. He was off of his Advair inhaler for a week and wanted to be "checked." We administered a baseline spirometry test and then repeated the test 15 minutes after the patient had taken three drops of his CBD-rich tincture. The graphic shows the result: Spirometry - PRE > >Spirometry - POST CLICK FOR LARGER GRAPHICS FEV1 is forced expiratory volume at one second (when the patient breathes out as hard as s/he can). FVC is forced vital capacity (the amount of air you can blow out after taking a deep breath). PEF is the peak expiratory flow rate at any point during the exhalation. You can see that after a three-drop dose of the tincture taken sublingually, the patient's FEV1 and PEF nearly doubled. This would generally be considered a great response to a typical bronchodilator! —Allan Frankel, MD, and Christine Paoletti, MD, Greenbridge MedicalTop May 06 U.S. Imprisons Mollie Fry, MD, and Dale Schafer Marian "Mollie" Fry, MD, and her husband Dale Schafer, an attorney, turned themselves to U.S. marshals Monday, May 2 and were taken to the Sacramento County jail where they await transfer to federal prisons. They have begun serving five-year terms —ostensibly for the crime of Cannabis cultivation (growing plants), but actually for the crime of political organizing (educating people). Mollie Fry is a founding member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the group organized by Tod Mikuriya, MD, in 2000 to enable doctors entering the field to share and publish findings and observations —and defend themselves against persecution. Law enforcement at the state and federal levels loudly opposed Proposition 215, the measure enacted by voters in 1996, and has curtailed its implementation ever since. Fry, 54, is a breast cancer survivor. She will be going to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, which is in visiting distance for the kids and grandkids. Schafer, who turns 57 this month, will be sent Taft, near Bakersfield. His looming concern is medical care —he's a hemophiliac with severely painful, blood-swollen joints, and is currently taking high doses of morphine and other analgesics. I asked Dale how he was going to be spending his last weekend of freedom. He said, "Hugging my family." more in Elsewhere in the News.Top April 23 CBD for Insomnia? S.B. asks succinctly, "Are CBD-rich strains good for insomnia?" That's a question Project CBD hopes to answer via the Society of Cannabis Clinician survey(s). European researchers tell us that CBD is "alerting, except at very high doses." But our early anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that it helps people sleep. Two possibilities to explain the input from patients (some of whom give CBD-rich Cannabis rave reviews for treating insomnia): 1) The European researchers have it wrong. 2) CBD doesn't have much of an impact on sleep, and other components of the plant are determining whether it will be sedating or alerting when ingested. A terpenoid, myrcene, is reportedly sedating. Maybe myrcene levels are "where it's at" for inducing drowsiness. Please let us know what you find out in your own experimentation with CBD-rich strains. F.G. adds: I'm prone to insomnia, too. No trouble falling asleep, but can't go back to sleep if I wake up. I immediately start worrying about paying the mortgage, the loved one who might need help, how many miles since the timing belt was replaced, etc. My strategy is: reading a book. (I got a gooseneck lamp that takes a 40 watt incandescent bulb. The light is much more soothing than any LED, adequate to read by, and dim enough so it doesn't disturb my wife.)Top April 21 GWP Gets U.S. Patent for Sativex in Cancer Pain GW Pharmaceuticals announced April 20, "The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a patent which protects the use of Sativex as a treatment for cancer pain. "The patent, entitled 'Pharmaceutical Compositions for the Treatment of Pain,' provides an exclusivity period until April 2025. The patent specifically covers a method of treating cancer related pain by administering a combination of the cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the two principal cannabinoids in Sativex®. In addition to this newly granted patent, Sativex® is protected by a number of other patents related to different aspects of the product. "Sativex® is currently in Phase III clinical development as a treatment for cancer pain. Cancer pain represents the lead indication for Sativex® in the United States, where the medicine is partnered with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd." "Dr Geoffrey Guy, GW's Chairman, said, 'The grant of this US patent covering Sativex® as a treatment for cancer pain is part of a broad platform of intellectual property rights which continue to be developed by GW. GW now has 35 patent families as well as other forms of protection such as plant variety rights and proprietary know-how. We believe that this matrix of intellectual property provides GW with a unique position to benefit from the rich promise within the field of cannabinoid therapeutics.' "Sativex® is approved in the UK, Spain, Czech Republic, Canada and New Zealand as a treatment of Multiple Sclerosis spasticity... 'The Phase III cancer pain programme is being performed in conjunction with GW's licensing partner for Sativex® in the US, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The programme, which is fully funded by Otsuka, includes two Phase III randomised placebo-controlled multi-centre multinational trials as well as a long term extension study. Each Phase III trial will include approximately 370 patients and will evaluate the efficacy and safety of Sativex® versus placebo over a 5 week treatment period."Top April 20 CBD: How it Works Martin A. Lee pulls together what medical researchers have learned about how CBD in the following article which will appear, with accompanying graphics, in the Summer 2011 O'Shaughnessy's. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant, has generated significant interest among scientists and physicians in recent years -- but how it exerts its therapeutic impact on a molecular level is still being sorted out. CBD and FAAH CBD has little binding affinity to either the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD indirectly stimulates endogenous cannabinoid signaling by suppressing the enzyme fatty acid amide hydroxylase ("FAAH") -- the enzyme that breaks down anandamide. Whereas the cannabinoid molecules found in Cannabis are considered "exogenous ligands" to the CB receptor family, anandamide is an "endogenous" cannabinoid ligand --meaning it binds to one or more cannabinoid receptors and is found naturally inside the body. Anandamide favors the CB1 receptor, which -- in mammals -- is concentrated in the brain and central nervous system. Because FAAH is responsible for breaking down anandamide, less FAAH means more anandamide remains present in the body for a longer duration. More anandamide means greater CB1 activation. By inhibiting the enzyme that metabolizes and destroys anandamide, CBD enhances the body’s innate protective endocannabinoid response. At the same time, CBD powerfully opposes the action of THC at the CB1 receptor, thereby muting the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD also stimulates the release of 2-AG, another endocannabinoid that activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors -- CB2 receptors are predominant in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system. The Vanilloid Receptor Whereas CBD does not bind to either of the two known cannabinoid receptors with particular affinity, it has been shown to directly interact with other, so-called "G-protein-coupled," receptors to confer its medicinal effect. At very least, CBD binds to the TRPV-1 receptor, which is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature. TRPV is the technical abbreviation for “transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V.” Scientists also refer to it as the “vanilloid receptor,” named after the flavorful vanilla bean. Capsaicin -- the pungent compound in hot chili peppers -- is a well known activator of the TRVP-1 receptor. Vanilla contains eugenol, an essential oil that has antiseptic and analgesic properties, that also helps to unclog blood vessels. Historically, the vanilla bean has been used as a folk cure for headaches. CBD is a TRPV-1 “agonist” or stimulant. This is likely one of the reasons why CBD-rich Cannabis may be a particularly effective treatment for neuropathic pain. The Adenosine Receptor CBD may exert its anti-anxiety effect by activating adenosine receptors. Adenosine receptors play significant roles in cardiovascular function, regulating myocardial oxygen consumption and coronary blood flow. The adenosine (A2A) receptor has broad anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. Adenosine receptors also play a significant role in the brain. They down-regulate the release of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate. The Serotonin Receptor Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and at the King’s College in London have conducted pioneering research into CBD and the neural correlates of anxiety. At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an anti-depressant effect. This receptor is implicated in a range of biological and neurological processes, including, but not necessarily limited to, anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting. 5-HT1A is a member of the family of 5-HT receptors, which are activated by the neurotransmitter serotonin. Found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, 5-HT receptors trigger various intracellular cascades of chemical messages to produce either an excitatory or inhibitory response, depending on the chemical context of the message. CBD triggers an inhibitory response that slows down 5-HT1A signaling. In comparison, LSD, mescaline, magic mushrooms, and several other hallucinogenic drugs activate a different type of 5-HT receptor that produces an excitatory response. GPR55 Whereas cannabidiol activates the TRPV-1 vanilloid receptor and 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, is also functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, another G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55. GPR55 has been dubbed an “orphan receptor” because scientists are still not sure if it belongs to a larger family of receptors. Some researchers postulate that GPR55 may actually be a third cannabinoid receptor type. GPR55 is widely expressed in the brain, especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density. GPR55 promotes osteoclast cell function, which facilitates bone reabsorption. Overactive GPR55 receptor signaling is associated with osteoporosis. GPR55, when activated, also promotes cancer cell proliferation, according to 2010 study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. This receptor is expressed in various types of cancer. CBD is a GPR55 antagonist, as University of Aberdeen scientist Ruth Ross disclosed at the 2010 conference of the International Cannabinoid Research Society in Lund, Sweden. By blocking GPR55 signaling, CBD might act to decrease both bone reabsorption and cancer cell proliferation. This is one of many molecular pathways through which CBD exerts an anti-cancer effect. Combination Most Effective - CBD and THC Synergy Dr. Sean McAllister’s research at the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco indicates that CBD reduces breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis by inhibiting Id-1 gene expression. Best results were obtained when CBD was administered in combination with THC. Several other studies underscore the therapeutic advantages for combining CBD and THC. CBD has been shown to be a potent anti-oxidant that mitigates the negative effects of oxygen free radicals. These highly reactive free radical chemicals are produced when animals use oxygen to burn food for fuel. A great deal of data suggests that many problems associated with aging stem from the inability of an organism to protect itself against free-radical-induced inflammation and oxidative stress. This provides a fertile ground for the development of neurodegenerative and other age-related illnesses. Cardiovascular, autoimmune, neurological disorders, cancers, and the aging process itself are all thought to have free radicals as a causative agent. Further, they are implicated in the formation of protein amyloid plaques -- plaques that can attack neural synapses and prevent normal chemical and electrical signaling. By binding up these free radicals, antioxidants can minimize the plaque formation cycle associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly, several studies have shown that CBD blocks Alzheimer’s plaque formation by a cannabinoid-receptor-independent mechanism. The antioxidant properties of CBD exceed the antioxidant potency of either vitamin C or E. When combined with THC, the antioxidant properties of CBD grow even stronger. Once again, whole-plant Cannabis therapeutics has been shown to be far greater than the sum of the herb’s individual medicinal components.Top April 14 Governor's Veto Saves MMJ in Montana Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has vetoed HB 161, a bill passed by the legislature that would have repealed the state's medical marijuana law. The law was passed by 62% of the voters in 2004. In rejecting HB161, Schweitzer called for an "amendment to serve the original intent — to provide a medicinal option for Montanans ‘to alleviate the symptoms or effects of the patient’s debilitating medical condition.’” We predict that Schweitzer will get about 62% of the vote next time he runs for office. HB 161 was being debated while federal raids occurred throughout the state in mid-March. It would have made Montana the first medical Cannabis state to resurrect Prohibition... Next week another bill, SB 423, will be voted on in both the Montana House and Senate. It is aimed at "regulating" the state's existing law". Opponents call it "repeal in disguise." Stay tuned for updates..Top April 10 Patient Reports Relief with IBS symptoms Using CBD Rich Sour Tsunami "I am a IBD & IBS patient that has been doing the high cbd sour tsunami hemp oil treatment now since march 4th along with my other diet and supplement regiment. Within a few days great relief to spasms, pain, bleeding and bowel incontinence had been seen. Now up to full dosage and a few weeks into treatment I have much greater relief. Down to one Bm a day from 10-20, and stools are now formed and solid. I have fully adjusted to med and now have energy during day, more stamina, and sleep unbelievably well at night. Some nights I can get 8-10 hrs straight of real REM sleep which has helped healing tremendously. The other effects worth noting are the emotional effects. The oil also keeps any stress and anxiety so common with IBD and IBS under control better than any other med out there and totally safe. The high cbd medicine makes it possible to have great relief, healing and still function during the day with no restrictive effects. I can now leave my bathroom and house and get things done and feel human again! So far I can't say enough about the effectiveness of this treatment, I still have a few weeks to go. I will report back with new info........." - H.J, Northern CaliforniaTop April 07 CBD-Rich Strains Make an Appearance at the Denver High Times Medical Cup The High Times Medical Cup took place on April 2-3 in Denver, Colorado. All of the 200 plus strains entered in the contest were tested. The winner in the CBD category was Bubba Kush, submitted by The Clinic in Denver. The strains tested at 12.35% CBD, 7.83% THC, Bubblegum Kush (tested at 9.84% CBD, 6.96% THC) entered by Project Greenergy in Boulder received second place for the CBD-rich category. See past coverage of this strain in CBDiary here. The next High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is set for June 25-26th in San Francisco. For a list of the other Medical Cup strains see the FSL website here. Top April 03 An Interview with Sarah Russo On April 2nd, our very own Sarah Russo was interviewed by WeedTracker. Go Sarah!Top April 01 New CBD-Rich Strain Available in Boulder Project Greenergy in Boulder, Colorado offers a Bubblegum Kush that has been tested at 9.84% CBD, 6.96% THC. Project Greenergy collective carries 100% organic medicine. They grow off the grid, using a diesel generator, and will eventually move to biodiesel. Project Greenergy gets all of their meds tested through Cannlabs. A report of Bubblegum Kush is available here. The grower told Project CBD that Bubblegum Kush is a great seller. It is well regarded by those with serious conditions and professional jobs. Older patients also buy it on a regular basis. A patient from the collective uses the strain to help her with her chronic pain following her double mastectomy. Her testimony (taken from the Project Greenergy website) states, “At last, I found relief. Since I began consuming this medicine, I have not had to take a single narcotic. I’m able to sleep through the night. I even have relief during the day because the effects from the Bubble Gum Kush continue to linger as a baseline to masking the pain.” The collective had been carrying this strain for over a year, but has it first tested just 3 weeks ago. The grower for the collective accidentally bred Bugglegum and OG Kush together and then kept the resulting seeds. He is going to “pop them to get pollen and different phenos.” Next week he plans on using the trim to make a CBD-rich tincture.Top March 31 Dr. Frankel's Bittersweet Victory The Medical Board of California has accepted Administrative Law Judge Susan Formaker's proposed decision In the Matter of the Accusation and Petition to Revoke Probation Against Allan I. Frankel, MD [PDF]. Formaker found that the testimony of the Board's expert witness, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist named Daniel Fast, had been "substantially discredited on cross-examination." Frankel's attorney John Fleer had caught Fast contradicting himself repeatedly. Formaker's comments about Fast jibe with the reports we received from people who attended the four-day hearing in Los Angeles. The board had relied on Fast's assessment, based on one 70-minute interview with Frankel, to establish the latter's unfitness to practice medicine. "In view of Dr. Fast's problematic perceptions," wrote Formaker, "Dr. Fast's admittedly 'inaccurate Cannabis-related diagnoses and GAF scores assigned to Respondent, and the insufficiently supported diagnosis of Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Dr. Fast's conclusions regarding respondent's inability to practice medicine safely cannot be considered convincing." Formaker went on to weigh "the question of whether a physician may violate a probationary order issued by the Board solely through the use of medical marijuana authorized pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act." Her answer was yes —"technically." But in this case, when Frankel and the Board entered into a stipulated settlement in 2009, Frankel agreed to abide by a disciplinary order that did not specifically rule out his using medical Cannabis (which the board knew he was using). "Fundamental principles of due process require," opined Formaker, "before the Petition to Revoke Probation was filed, Respondent should have been notified... that his use of medical Cannabis, in and of itself, constituted a violation... of the Disciplinary Order." We expect that from now on, when Pro-Cannabis MDs (and others) accept terms of probation, the medical board will duly advise them that they are relinquishing the right to use Cannabis as medicine under California law. John Fleer comments: "The decision does give guidance to how this judge thinks the MBC could better prohibit medical Cannabis use by a physician on probation, but I think one could successfully challenge such an attempt as improperly interfering with medical decision-making of the recommending physician. My concern about the decision is that it does not go far enough in getting Dr. Frankel back in practice —it's an open question as to how the MBC will now proceed re his probation status." Frankel says, "Even if nothing else good comes from my victory, it forces the medical board to come out and clearly state to any future docs that giving up Cannabis will be part of their settlement; they won't be able to set the doctors up. Had the Medical Board in fact told me that this were to be a restriction, I would have never settled... Also, the 'negative' is of great value in my opinion. Had I lost, things would be worse for everyone." That is the truth. Best case scenario: Frankel resumes practicing medicine April 23, a year and a day after the medical board forced him to stop.Top March 30 Medical Board Loses Case Against Dr Frankel. But… The Medical Board of California has accepted Administrative Law Judge Susan Formaker’s proposed decision [PDF] In the Matter of the Accusation and Petition to Revoke Probation Against Allan I. Frankel, MD. Formaker found that the Board’s expert witness, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist named Daniel Fast, had been “substantially discredited on cross-examination.” Her comments regarding Fast jibe with the reports we received from people who attended the four-day hearing in Los Angeles. Read on in ELSEWHERE in the NEWS.Top March 29 Update on National Cancer Institute - Website Scrubbed? Remember when we reported on the 24th that the National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health, had finally recognized the antitumor properties of Cannabis?: "The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect." As of today, the NCI reports no such thing. Presently, the amended NCI site states: "The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. Though no relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients who prescribe medicinal Cannabis predominantly do so for symptom management." Keep abreast at the NCI website here. We await an explanation.Top March 28 Note from the SCC Meeting The Society of Cannabis Clinicians —the doctors' group whose data collection effort Project CBD is facilitating— met in Los Angeles March 19. SCC President Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, began the session by passing around a handheld radiation detector made by a company he co-founded and in which he remains a partner. After the reactor accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, reasoning that the government couldn't be counted on to report radiation levels accurately, Hergenrather and a friend named Dan Sythe, a highly skilled and innovative electrician, built and sold detector systems. They successfully pitched two communities located near reactors —Seabrook, NH, and Three Mile Island itself— which still use radiation detectors made by their company, Medcom. Sythe runs the company from Maui, where he devotes much of his time to recording the music/conversation of whales Handheld geiger counters can be ordered from International Medcom. "I'm using both the Radalert, now called the Radalert 100, and the Inspector Alert,” says Hergenrather. “They are both gieger tube based instruments, one with a small mica end window, the other with a much larger tube, and consequently greater sensitivity. They are both designed to measure alpha, beta, gamma, and x-radiation. The Radalert has an alert setting; others have total and timer functions for averaging periods. "Unfortunately, sales are up as the reactors get more out of control." Hergernather says that Sythe will review his tapes to see how the whales responded to —and whether they anticipated— the earthquake and tsunami… Hergenrather referred to the late John Gofman as his "mentor." I'd known Dr. Gofman, too, and admired him greatly. For a sane perspective on nuclear radiation, check out this interview with John Gofman, PhD, MD, a man who didn’t sugar coat the facts.Top March 26 Test Your Medicine in Michigan Lansing is now home to the first Cannabis testing lab in Michigan: Cannalytics. Founder Zach Jarou, a medical student, says that “following the enactment of our state’s medical marijuana law, it only seemed natural to combine my interests in Cannabis activism, plant biochemistry and medicine into an analytical laboratory to serve the people of our state.” Cannalytics, according to Jarou, uses "an internally-validated high pressure liquid chromatography method based upon what has been proposed by the United Nations for use by national drug control laboratories, along with modifications consistent with the current literature available for phytochemical analysis of Cannabis." The lab has tested more than 100 samples to date, relying solely on word-of-mouth referrals. Cannalytics tests for THC, CBD, and CBN content in flowers, tinctures, and edibles. They plan on testing for other plant compounds in the future, as well as for mold and pesticides. Thus far, Cannalytics has yet to test a CBD-rich sample. Jarou believes that as more patients become informed about the healing potential of CBD, they will begin to request CBD-rich strains at their dispensary. Cannalytics has a courier who will pick up samples from anywhere in the state. For more information send an email here.Top March 25 Werc Shop to Test For Terpenes Speaking at the quarterly meeting of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians in Los Angeles last week-end, Jeffrey C. Raber announced that the Werc Shop has ordered a gas chromatograph / mass spectrometer to test for terpenes, the volatile compounds that give Cannabis its smell. The SCC docs applauded the news. They are on exactly the same quest as Raber: to figure out which compounds within the plant are exerting which effects when ingested. The more detailed and precise the doctors' understanding, the more useful they can be to patients. The Werc Shop uses liquid chromatography to test for cannabinoid levels. Gas chromatography involves heating the sample and converting THC-acid and CBD-acid to THC and CBD in their neutral forms, Raber noted. William Courtney, MD, who thinks the acid forms have unique medical benefits and advocates juicing the plant and consuming it raw, nodded approvingly. Also, orally consumable products must be analyzed by liquid chromatography to provide accurate content values. The Werc Shop uses "an optical-based incubator system that can provide mold analysis in 48 hours," Raber said. He is also planning to test for more pesticides. "Which ones?" he was asked. "As soon as you say you're testing for these, they can use others," he said, realistically. "If we cast a big enough net we'll find the major players and through that we can delineate what a regulation should say."Top March 24 BREAKING NEWS - National Cancer Institute Recognizes Cannabis Benefits According to the National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health: "The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect." Read more at the NCI website here. Top March 21 First, Do No Arresting The New York Times Sunday Magazine devoted a full page to a close up of Marcy Dolin, 71, an MS patient, lighting a roach. The photo by Steve LaBadessa is called "Self-Medicator, Rohnert Park, Calif." The caption, a quote from Dolin, includes a significant description of her doctor's attitude: "I'm lying in my bed, smoking a joint. I smoke about eight a day and eat a marijuana cookie before I got to sleep at night. I like the peanut-butter ones. I've been using marijuana for about 35 years, ever since I was diagnosed with MS. It takes the pain and muscle spasms away. Without it, I would be living on morphine and other horrible drugs. I couldn't do that to my family. That's no life, and I would have ended it. That's the truth. I used to take a drug called Neurontin, and I just never stopped crying. I was in a fog, totally depressed. I told my doctor that I was going back to just marijuana; he said he would have me arrested if he could. What are they going to do? I'm 71 years old. Are they going to put me in jail? I'm not hurting anybody. It's just here in my own house." The corporate media defames the medical marijuana movement with pseudo-exposés of doctors who readily issue approvals to patient who claim to have used marijuana beneficially. Reporters and broadcasters never do feature stories on the serious pro-Cannabis MDs who understand the effects of cannabinoids, their mechanism of action, delivery systems, proper dosage, etc. etc. And they never explain that all Cannabis consultants —both the serious specialists and the profit-seeking potdocs— fill a niche created by the medical establishment and law enforcement keeping so many practitioners ignorant and afraid. Marcy Dolin's doctor is all too typical. People go to Cannabis consultants because they're embarrassed or afraid to bring up the subject with their regular doctor. And with good reason.Top March 20 CBD Now Available in San Diego Among the first emails we got at were three or four from frustrated people in the San Diego area who were looking for CBD-rich medicine. They had to drive to LA and take their chances. Now, things have changed. Bella Flora Collective, carries a strain called Ma’s Cheese, tested at Bud Genius, at 7.17% CBD, 6.41% THC. Soothing Solutions Wellness Center, a delivery service recently launched by a husband and wife team, intends to serve patients in nursing homes and hospice centers. Soothing Solutions offers a version of A.T.F. tested by BudGenius at 8.63% CBD, 7.65% THC. Ramona is a caregiver who is growing Pineapple Thai (tested at 5.2% CBD, 3.3%THC by The WercShop) for a son with bipolar disorder and has been using this strain exclusively. He says it helps to focus his mind and relax him; his mother sees positive effects. She is now growing Cannatonic in addition to Pineapple Thai. She has ordered a home test kit from a company called Cannalytics Supply. Supposedly, it will enable her to measure CBD and THC content. A home test kit! Why didn't we think of that? Top March 16 Dispatches of Disappointment To Project CBD: Could you tell me where I can get a CBD-rich strain of Cannabis in Canada? I contacted Resin Seeds three times and no response regarding obtaining some catatonic seeds [sic]. this after sending them a copy of my medical licence which I consider sensitive material. My wife suffers from stage 4 colon cancer and I believe that the high CBD strains would be a better fit for her condition. —Name Withheld Retro message: We have heard from others that Resin Seeds has not filled their orders (yet). Our correspondent in Spain is going to see el maestro on Saturday, and we expect on update on the availability of Cannatonic seeds. In January we got an email from Canada the following tip (which we haven't followed up on): "I ran across this strain of hemp called Suomi Hemp. It says on the site it has very low THC so it won't get you high, but has high CBD... So I thought I should let you know about this strain. good luck with your project." Greetings Project CBD: I just wanted to let someone know that I went to Harborside Health Center to look into the possibility of obtaining some CBD strains, as Harborside is listed on your site as a participant in this project. The had no strains available, and the employee said that they had no knowledge of your project and that Harborside was NOT a participant in Project CBD. —Tom Liberty, Collective Patient Resources (formerly Calaveras Patient Resources) Retro Message: You must have visited Harborside after there had been a run on CBD-rich medicine and encountered a staffer who wasn't aware of their commitment to making it available to patients. Harborside was first to offer CBD medicine and clones and CEO Steve DeAngelo is a leading proponent of CBD's medical potential. We forwarded your email to DeAngelo. His response follows: "I've investigated. With the exception of one day last week, we have had continuous, uninterrupted supply of CBD-rich medicine for the past several weeks, if not months. One day last week, we were out of CBD-rich flowers, and had only a CBD-rich kif available. Today, our CBD-rich variety —on the shelves, I just confirmed it— is Omrita Rx, at 6.78% THC, and 8.25% CBD."Top March 14 Montana Update - Federal Raids Around 11 a.m. Montana Cannabis Ministry was raided by federal agents. This happened while the Montana State Senate Judiciary Committee was deadlocked —in a 6-6 vote— to pass a bill that would have repealed Montana’s medical Cannabis law. MCM is one of the few collectives in the state to be offering CBD-rich medicine to their patients. The dispensary carries Misty (a variety testing at 7% CBD and 10% THC) and actively works to increase the CBD content in their in-house grows. They get almost all of their products tested through Montana Botanical Analysis in Bozeman. Randy Leibenguth, owner of MCM, said, “There is no getting back the genetics we have lost. I guess this is what happens when you do everything by the book.” Just before 2 pm, Montana NORML started getting calls from people around the state about other raids. Agencies involved include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "They're seizing everything - plants, marijuana, grow equipment, files and computers. It's very, very broad in its scope," said Chris Lindsey, a Missoula attorney who focuses on medical marijuana cases. Montana NORML reported that lights, ballasts, and other cultivation equipment are being confiscated. Christopher Williams, the co-owner of Montana Cannabis, stated that all four of their locations in the state have been raided. Williams reported that he had 480 flowering plants that yield about 5 ounces of Cannabis each growing in his Helena location. Each ounce is sold for $190 at his facility, so around $456,000 worth of Cannabis was seized from the Helena collective alone. Patients and Families United, a statewide patient advocacy group, reported that seven dispensaries across the state have been raided — including Big Sky Patient Care, Good Medicine Providers, and Northern Lights Medical. Four Seasons Gardening (a supply store) was also taken down. Zoo Mountain Natural Care in Missoula, MT closed its doors for an hour and sent its employees home, then re-opened. Zoo Mountain’s Logan Dean Head said, “I find it strange that the federal government agencies raided multiple stores right after the repeal hearing on HB 161. It makes me question if they are trying to send a message to Montana’s medical Cannabis industry.” Head added, “Didn’t the Attorney General Eric Holder say that they would stop federal raids?” Holder made an appearance in Montana last month. Speaking at the University of Montana in Missoula, he said: "Today I call on each of you to choose action, to choose compassion." It looks like choosing compassionate care in Montana will get you federally raided. Stay up to date on the raids through the Montana NORML live blog here.Top March 13 Notes from Wisconsin Our man in Madison, Gary Storck, points out that fierce opponents of legalized Cannabis Mary Lazich and Alberta Darling are among the opponents of organized labor who now face recall by voters. Storck reports: In the 2009-2010 session, Lazich and Darling served on the Senate Committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue. At a hearing on the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, they were among our most vocal and hostile foes. Assemblywoman Leah Vukmir, who also demonized medical Cannabis patients at the JRMMA hearing, is now a state Senator but cannot be recalled until she has served a year in office. Committee chair Sen. Jon Erpenbach had been the lead Senate sponsor of the JRMMA. He and two co-sponsors of the pro-Cannabis bill, Sen. Mark Miller and Sen. Lena Taylor, are now leaders in the resistance to Gov. Walker's attack on public sector workers. Darling and Lazich, along with six other Republican state senators, are the subjects of a recall over their support of Walker. Darling narrowly prevailed over former-Rep. Sheldon Wassermann in her last election, and is viewed as very vulnerable. A recall of sitting senators would —if approved by the voters of Wisconsin— remove key medical Cannabis opponents and perhaps map a future route to passage of the JRMMA in Wisconsin.Top March 12 Social Networking To Project CBD: I am very much interested in promoting CBD. I see its effectiveness and also have a personal interest in battling cancer after losing 2 sisters among others. I read in West Coast Cannabis that clones are available. Could you please direct me in finding clone in the Harlequin Strain. I am in the San Francisco Bay area and I am very mobile if necessary. Thank you so very much for spearheading this work. I hope to help and be a part of it. Warm regards, TJ Retro Message: Harborside Health Center in Oakland is presently your best bet for CBD-rich clones. When his Harlequin strain was identified as high in CBD, Wade Laughter made a decision to support the SCC research effort by making clones available. Respect is due Harborside for offering clones instead of trying to hoard the genetics. Dear PCBD: I am in great interest in the therapeutic effects of CBD. I have obtained my Medical Cannabis license, but recently I have had to stop because to put it frankly, I do not wish to become high anymore. It's a distraction and contrary to belief, for some individuals even high CBD strains with low THC quite clearly cause anxiety and psychotic symptoms… These symptoms are much lower with higher CBD strains, but nonetheless even small amounts of THC for some people cause many serious problems. Thus I would like to inquire your team on when pure or virtually pure, naturally extracted CBD oil or any type of CBD extract from Cannabis would be available? This would be literally a life saver substance from its potent anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties, as I suffer from chronic anxiety and constant back and neck pain. Also since it is naturally derived it would be inherently and safer substance in my opinion. Please let me know if you know of any source that provides pure CBD in any form or when you predict it would be available. Thank You, NM Retro message: A strain called "Stinky Pink Purple" tested at about 20:1 CBD-to-THC, but unfortunately the grower hadn't saved a mother plant. She and her friends will grow more from seed this summer and hope to find more plants with this ratio... An offspring of OmritaRx3 had a similar ratio and Miguel confirms that he is growing it out. "Should be ready in two months," he advises.Top March 08 There's no Need to Spin the Truth A self-styled information service is sending around the abstract of a recent Brazilian study —the same study we summarized recently— with the subject heading "CBD Cures Social Anxiety." CBD appears to counter SAD, but it certainly can't be said to cure it. Overstating what Cannabis can do is not in our interests. If you have the truth on your side, there's no need to spin or exaggerate… A lab in LA called BudGenius, run by expert computer programmers, uses made up numbers to (supposedly) indicate the effectiveness of CBD in treating various conditions. They undermine their credibility by doing so. When we posted our SAD item (03.02.11), I (FG) felt like a hypocrite, because "Social Anxiety Disorder" itself is one of many conditions concocted by the psychiatric establishment on behalf of the drug companies to sell their synthetic crap. "Social anxiety" is shyness, not an illness. Shy and brash are at opposite ends of the normal spectrum of human personality. The medical marijuana industry has benefited greatly from the pharmaceutical industry's expanded catchment area for anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs. Accepting Eli Lilly's definition of depression as a medical condition rather than loneliness and insecurity (functions of life in America nowadays) is opportunistic and self-defeating in the long run. O'Shaughnessy's glossed this over when we wrote about Ricky Williams using marijuana for SAD (and finding it "ten times better than Paxil"). [PDF] Top March 07 Sativex Alleviates Spasticity and Spasms in MS Czech investigators led by A. Novotna report [PDF] in the European Journal of Neurology that Sativex reduces overall spasticity and the number and severity of spasms experienced by Multiple Sclerosis patients. (Spasticity is an ongoing increase in muscle tone; spasms are episodes of muscle contraction. They often, but don’t always, go together.) Sativex is an oral spray made from a blend of Cannabis plants containing approximately equal amounts of CBD and THC, plus small amounts of other cannabioids and terpenes. The manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, underwrote the study, which employed an "enriched enrolment design" to exclude MS patients who did not respond to a preliminary four weeks of usage. This study design, the authors point out, reflects the way patients and doctors actually decide on a treatment regimen: "patients who do not respond to a medicine, or who find it intolerable, are unlikely to continue treatment for a prolonged period." Spasticity in MS can be painful, disrupting sleep and reducing mobility. Various medications, including baclofen, benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants, provide minimal relief. The Sativex study by Novotna et al initially enrolled 572 potential subjects. During the first phase subjects continued taking the drugs from which they were getting "insufficient benefit" while adding Sativex. (They thought they might be getting a placebo.) After four weeks, 272 patients reported that the severity of their spasms had been reduced by 20% or more. This group —minus 31 dropped for various reasons— then took part in the 12-week randomized, double-blind study comparing Sativex to placebo. All patients continued taking their regular meds. During the 12-week phase, 74% of the patients on Sativex reported achieving a 30% reduction in spasticity from the initial screening baseline, compared to 51% on placebo. Fifty-six patients on Sativex reported >50% relief, compared with 39 patients on placebo. Sativex was also found to be superior to placebo for reducing spasm frequency and sleep disruption.Top March 06 CBD May Counter the Munchies! The title of a paper published in Neuropsychopharmacology —"Cannabidiol Attenuates the Appetitive Effects of Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Humans Smoking Their Chosen Cannabis"— suggests to us that CBD-rich Cannabis might work as an appetite suppressant [FULL TEXT]. The authors, Celia Morgan and colleagues from University College London, tested 94 subjects on two occasions. The subjects brought and smoked their own Cannabis and "while acutely under the influence" were offered more Cannabis, other drugs, and food. Morgan et al measured the eagerness with which the subjects responded to the offerings, and found that it correlated inversely with the CBD-to-THC ratio of the Cannabis the subjects were smoking. In other words, the higher the proportion of CBD they had ingested, the less desirous they became of more drugs and food. In the great tradition of Prohibitionist science, Morgan et al concluded that "CBD has potential as a treatment for Cannabis dependence" and "possibly... for other addictive disorders." Here's the abstract: Worldwide Cannabis dependence is increasing, as is the concentration of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in street Cannabis. At the same time, the concentration of the second most abundant cannabinoid in street Cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), is decreasing. These two cannabinoids have opposing effects both pharmacologically and behaviorally when administered in the laboratory. No research has yet examined how the ratio of these constituents impacts on the appetitive/reinforcing effects of Cannabis in humans. A total of 94 Cannabis users were tested 7 days apart, once while non-intoxicated and once while acutely under the influence of their own chosen smoked Cannabis on dependence-related measures. Using an unprecedented methodology, a sample of Cannabis (as well as saliva) was collected from each user and analyzed for levels of cannabinoids. On the basis of CBD:THC ratios in the Cannabis, individuals from the top and bottom tertiles were directly compared on indices of the reinforcing effects of drugs, explicit liking, and implicit attentional bias to drug stimuli. When intoxicated, smokers of high CBDCannabis:THC strains showed reduced attentional bias to drug and food stimuli compared with smokers of low CBD:THC. Those smoking higher CBD:THC strains also showed lower self-rated liking of Cannabis stimuli on both test days. Our findings suggest that CBD has potential as a treatment for Cannabis dependence. The acute modulation of the incentive salience of drug cues by CBD may possibly generalize to a treatment for other addictive disorders. We'll look into the appetite-suppressant angle here at Project CBD... In animal studies another compound in the Cannabis plant, THC-V, has been found to suppress food cravings... If you're wondering why Cannabis in the personal stashes of Londoners would have varying CBD levels, it's because hashish from the Middle East and Afghanistan which can be CBD-rich, is widely available.Top March 05 DEA says "Hold the Spice" Five synthetic chemicals that activate the cannabinoid receptors —JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497 and cannabicyclohexanol— were moved to Schedule 1 March by order of the DEA. The now illicit compounds were used to make "Spice" "K2," "Blaze" and other intoxicants marketed as "herbal incense." Read our interview with John W. Huffman —the chemist who created the JWH compounds for research purposes. (Pfizer produced the other two but couldn't market them because they induce euphoria and other effects of THC deemed adverse.) As Spice sales took off, Huffman et al investigated JWH-O18's mechanism of action and published their findings in the British Journal of Pharmacology (2010). The title tells the story: "JWHO18, a common constituent of 'Spice' herbal blends, is a potent and efficacious cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist." [PDF] Top March 04 Add CBD-rich strains: "Hubba Bubba" Will Johnson of Nature's Alternative Solutions, a non-profit 'storefront' collective in Newport Beach, reports that a "very popular" strain called Hubba Bubba —grown by one of their members— was found to contain 7.6% CBD and 8.4% THC by the CannaChemistry lab. We've asked for more details. Top March 03 SPARC of Interest in CBD From Nick Smylgas of San Francisco's SPARC dispensary: "We have Harlequin, Omrita and TBOG right now. Omrita and TBOG are in the process of being packaged right now. They sell so quickly that we cannot keep them on the shelves!" "Patients actually are recommending the high CBD strains to each other for all of their chronic pain conditions. Several folks that are wheelchair bound have taken to our Facebook page to talk about how much they love the Omrita for helping them function on a day-to-day basis. We also have found that our typical patient that is not interested in CBD-rich strains will often gravitate toward TBOGK. Once the patients try it they almost always purchase it again." We've heard some good things about SPARC. They were selling sinsemilla grown outdoors in Mendocino County for $180 an ounce in the months after the harvest. (The price has gone up and may go up some more until the next harvest is in, says SPARC's Dave Grinell.) SPARC staffers talk up the virtues of Cannabis grown in the sunshine, and their slogan is "Taking the profit out of pot."Top March 02 CBD Counters "Social Anxiety Disorder" More evidence that CBD reduces anxiety has been published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology by Jose A.S. Crippa and colleagues at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their paper, "Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients," (PDF) describes a study involving 24 patients diagnosed with SAD and 12 healthy controls. Half the SAD patients received a strong dose of CBD (600 milligrams dissolved in corn oil) and half got placebo. After an hour and 20 minutes the subjects were given two minutes to prepare a four-minute speech on "The public transportation system of your city." Subjects were told that the speech would be recorded on videotape and analyzed by a psychologist. Subjects gave their speeches while observing themselves in a monitor (to maximize self-consciousness). Each speech was interrupted in the middle so that "performance measurements" could be taken. Measurements were also taken before and after the speech. These included both psychological and physiological tests —a Visual Analog Mood Scale, a Self-Statements during Public Speaking scale, a Bodily Symptoms scale, skin conductance, arterial blood pressure and pulse rate. The authors concluded, "Pretreatment of SAD patients significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance... The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort...when compared with the control group... These preliminary results indicate that a single dose of CBD can reduce the anxiety-enhancing effect provoked by SPST in SAD patients, indicating that this cannabinoid inhibits the fear of speaking in public, one of the main symptoms of the disorder." The authors note that "there is only one published report of the anxiolytic effect of CBD in an anxiety disorder (Crippa et al). Dr. Crippa has provided us with a list of "Methods for assessment of mood in people with cognitive and/or communicative impairment. [Methods] [References] Top March 01 Sour Tsunami Stabilized For the first time, a California grower has "stabilized" a Cannabis strain high in Cannabidiol. Lawrence Ringo of the Southern Humboldt Seed Collective is now offering seeds of "Sour Tsunami" that have a one-in-four chance of containing 10-11% CBD (and 6-7% THC)! Ringo click for larger image Ringo, 54, has been dealing with severe back pain since early adolescence. "I have no disk between my lower third and fourth," he told us. "It’s bone on bone. When I was 13 some kids thought it was funny to let me take the weight of this thing we were lifting up. I‘ve been dealing with the pain ever since. I’ve been to every doctor and chiropractor. No one can really help. There’s no way that I’m going to do any drugs, ever. I despise them. And I'm not going to do any back surgery. I'm going to rely on the strains I’ve developed over the years. When my back really hurts I do the the high-CBD kief. Two pipeloads and I can go out and do anything —ride a motorcycle, work in the garden." Ringo started growing at 15. On his way to school one day he found a sapphire gold ring and a snub-nosed .38 and a film can of cocaine. He threw away the coke and returned the ring and the pistol to the local head of the Hell's Angels. "Come on in little brother," said the grateful biker. When asked what he wanted way of thanks, Lawrence pointed to a big Sativa plant he saw growing in the backyard and said, "I want to learn how to grow that!" At age 19 he went to college Solano Community College and learned organic horticulture. He has been crossing plants of interest for many years, with the goal of creating a strain that would lessen his back pain without giving him "a clogged head." He says, "There are certain highs that you can operate on and some that you can't. You smoke three hits and you’re passed out. I don’t like that." "I saved seeds whenever a plant gave me a creative feeling," he explains. "I bought 'New York City Diesel' seeds from Marc Emery. I liked it —great taste and no couch lock. I took the males from that and crossed them onto Sour Diesel female clones. I crossed the NYC Diesel and the Sour Diesel for about four years kept crossing it back to the Sour Diesel clone. Each year I’d save the male and do the dusting and make my seeds. One year a friend popped in with something that had a really nice creamy taste. I thought it was an Indica but it turned out to be 60% Sativa called Ferrari. I’ll never forget that creamy taste. I smoked it and my brain just took off. I’m a musician so I just grabbed a guitar and was going nuts for hours." "It took me about a year to get that Ferrari clone. It was protected by the rednecks — the good old boys who used to be loggers and now they’re pot growers. They have this little clique going, the good old boys network. Very secretive and protective. They weren’t going to give it to us but we got it. I crossed my Sour Diesel —Double Diesel, I called it—to the Ferrari clone five years ago. Two years ago I re-crossed it back onto the Sour Diesel. Before I did that I had this thing called Tsunami. It was the Double Diesel crossed four times to the Sour Diesel then crossed to the Ferrari and then crossed back to the Sour Diesel. That made Sour Tsunami. It's unbelievable. The creamy taste was there. I had no idea what the CBD count was until Samantha Miller [of Pure Analytics] analyzed my stuff and said it was 11.3% CBD. 'And by the way,' she said, 'You have eight other strains with great CBD potential.'" Sour Tsunami click for larger image We asked Miller to elaborate. She explained, "So far we have tested 14 of Ringo's strains and 9 of them have shown at least low, if not moderate-to-high amounts of CBD. This is an indicator of the genotype of the plant, that it possesses the required form of a particular gene needed for CBD synthesis. Seeing this indicator tells us that the sibling seeds of the plants that produced the high CBD also have the potential. What we do not know is: do they have potential for moderate-to-high amounts of CBD? Thus these sibling seeds are good targets for potential high-CBD genetics. It also tells us that if we identify two plants with CBD potential, we may inbreed them with a high likelihood of a predictable 1:2:1 result for high CBD, moderate CBD, and no CBD. Thus the progeny from these plants and in-breeding represent targets with a high statistical probability of being high-CBD- producing plants. I say plants and not strains, intentionally." Top February 28 Harlequin Happening in L.A. PIcasso From Michael Backes of the Cornerstone Research Collective: "There a consistent and reliable source of Harlequin in LA now. Cornerstone is simply purchasing 20 or so cuts every couple of weeks and then giving them away for free to candidate cultivators." We all owe a debt of gratitude to Wade Laughter, who made a decision to provide clones to Oakland's Harborside Health Center, which provided them to member-growers, leading to the current surge in availability. Top February 25 CBD Profile Predictable Early Jeff Raber, PhD, of the WercShop confirms that CBD-rich Cannabis can be identified early in the plant's vegetative stage. Raber tested a Harlequin clone 25 days after planting and found it to contain 2.1% CBD and 1.2% THC, Raber called our attention to the 2008 study by D. Pacifico and colleagues —"Time course of cannabinoid accumulation and chemotype development during the growth of Cannabis sativa," published in the journal Euphytica— that reported early detectability of cannabinoid levels. Here's the abstract. Raber notes, "This type of testing will offer insight into the ratio of CBD/THC but cannot yet predict the end total values." He thanks Allan Frankel, MD, for providing the clone, and Project CBD thanks Wade Laughter for making Harlequin clones widely available to expedite the kind of research now being undertaken. Top February 18 The Prospects of Genotyping As we were building the "Strain Notes" page, our webmaster —who knows his cannabinoids— added the following disclaimer: "Quantitative analysis techniques such as gas chromatography reveal the amount of the various cannabinoids on the plant and simply provides patients with a way to separate one variety from the next. This analysis does not provide the value of genotyping (plant genomic analysis). Genotyping is essential for proper strain identification; quantitative techniques, such as gas chromatography are not. (For example, genotyping can tell you if "Silver Haze" is the same as the other "Silver Haze"). Genotyping removes the guess work in strain identification and is essential for discriminating between different types of Cannabis." We asked, "How far away is the medical Cannabis industry from having this capability?" He responded, "Way far away, from the sound of it. Right now the quantification techniques basically say 'This is beer. It's 90% water, 10% alcohol.' The labs do not have the resources to produce data which says 'This is beer. The hops are from Germany, the water from Hokkaido, the barley from Scotland, etc..."Top February 15 Omrita Rx3 Miguel A. acquired 10 seeds of a strain called Rx from the Vancouver Island Seed Company in late 2009. The VISC catalog described Rx as their "favorite medicinal variety" —a double Indica cross of Romulan Joe with Fucking Incredible. Miguel, 38, lives with severe chronic back pain from a sports injury and has a re-curring fracture in his lower lumbar (L4) vertebrae. He uses the Rx strain for pain management "along with a regimen of traditional Ayurvedic medical practices that include Hatha Yoga, diet, herbs, energy/body work, and meditation." The most prominent feature in the living room of his East Bay bungalow is a massage table on which he receives regular therapy. And he still plays soccer! Omrita Rx3 click for larger image Of the 10 original Rx seeds Miguel planted, he says, "Only three of the RX seeds germinated, which resulted in two females and one male. The females were robust, colorful, and covered with resin so I brought some to Harborside where Rachael decided to give the Rx chance. When the test results came back from Steep Hill Lab, I learned about CBD for the first time. That's when I decided to do my own N-of-1 trial by only strictly medicating with the Rx, and nothing else, for a 7-day more in Strain Notes. Top February 14 Seeds Sought To Project CBD: I'm a small time (personal) grower who helps out a couple of friends with MS. I've been looking for high CBD strains for some time and recently found your excellent site. Although we're well served for seeds in the UK with access to Dutch, Spanish and Swiss genetics, nobody seems to consider CBD content so I'm hoping you can give me a link to suitable strains and the seedbanks that sell them. Thanks, in anticipation, for your help. —Tony B. Retro Message: Resin Seeds in Spain sells Cannatonic.Top February 11 Ma's Cheese A San Diego collective, Bella Flora, reports availability of a CBD-rich strain called "Ma's Cheese." It was tested by HawgsBreath Genetics, a local lab, and the results posted on the BudGenius site, with numbers and check marks supposedly rating its efficacy for various conditions. We asked Bud Genius how the ratings were arrived at, and to explain the meaning of a caption stating, "The above characteristics are considered a scientific baseline." If all these things are known, maybe the Society of Cannabis Clinicians shouldn't be surveying patients, and maybe Project CBD is redundant. We await elucidation from more in Strain Notes. Maz's Cheese click for larger imageTop February 9 Juanita la Lagrimosa A Spanish company, Reggae Seeds, is offering a CBD-rich strain called "Juanita la Lagrimosa," which means "Juanita the Tearful." It has tested at 8.8% CBD, 6.8% THC, according to Canna Research more in Strain Notes. Top February 8 The Situation in Montana There is a chance that the people of Montana will see medical Cannabis become illegal. In 2004, the Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative passed with 62% of the vote. Since then, some 28,000 Montanans have gotten physician approval and registered with the state program. On February 4, 2011, The House Human Services Committee voted 10-5 to repeal the law Montana's voters had enacted. The 10 supporters of the Repeal Bill (all Republicans, the five opponents were Democrats) gave the go-ahead to send House Bill 161 to the Senate. If passed by the Senate, the bill would go to the governor for his signature. If the governor decided to veto the bill, the House may have enough votes to override him; (The Repeal Bill’s sponsor is House Speaker Mike Milburn.) If and when it passes, HB 161 would criminalize medical marijuana and once again put it in the category of a “dangerous drug"... read more in Elsewhere in the NewsTop January 31 The Medical Board of California vs. Allan Frankel, MD The Medical Board of California is trying to revoke the license of a pro-Cannabis doctor —for using Cannabis. A hearing held in Los Angeles in late December is supposed to determine whether or not Allan Frankel, MD, is fit to practice medicine. Frankel is 59, barrel-chested, curly-haired, and jolly —amazingly so, given that his parents were Holocaust survivors. His looks and something about his manner remind me of the comedian Albert Brooks. He is divorced with three grown children -two who are practicing MDs and one with a business degree. (The businessman, Josh Frankel, was the place-kicker for the University of Oregon Ducks. In 1999 he booted the winning field goal against USC in triple-overtime.) Dr. Allan Frankel click for larger image Most of Frankel's career was spent practicing internal medicine. "I had a hotsy-totsy office on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica," he says, and an affiliation with UCLA. In 34 years of practice Frankel never had a problem with the medical board. He used marijuana on rare social occasions, and knew nothing about its medical aspect. In 2001 Frankel underwent disk surgery for intractable back pain. In 2002 a viral infection of the heart almost killed him (he was given a prognosis of one year to live) and left him "in general, permanent discomfort." He was disabled —bedridden for most of the ensuing three years. Relief came when some of the cancer and AIDS patients for whom he had written recommendations urged him to try Cannabis. "My patients did a reverse intervention on me," Frankel recalls. "Cannabis helped me get better. A part of me thinks it saved my more in Elsewhere in the News.Top January 28 Any CBD in Hops? I was wondering if you know of any studies using the CBD from hops flowers... apparently they are related to Cannabis and have a decent amount of CBD in them. Also, they are abundantly available and cheap. --Patti J. Hops click for larger image Project CBD replies: Sorry, Patti, it's hemp, not hops that has CBD. You're right that they're related. The following is from a monograph by Arno Hazekamp, who knows his cannabinoids: "According to current botanical classification, Cannabis belongs, only with Humulus (hops), to the small family of Cannabinaceae (also Cannabaceae or Cannabidaceae). Despite this close relationship, cannabinoids can only be found in Cannabis sativa. In the genus Humulus, even in grafting experiments between Cannabis and Humulus, no cannabinoids have been found, but instead a variety of so-called bitter-acids, such as humulone, adhumulone and cohumulone are produced. The close relationship between both plant species is clearly shown by the fact that the compounds (cannabinoids and bitter-acids, respectively) are both derived from similar biosynthetic pathways. Furthermore, both are excreted as a resinous mixture by glandular hairs, mainly found on female flowers."Top January 28 How Accurate are the Labs' Numbers? When a dispensary displays the cannabinoid content of buds or other products they're selling, there is a misleading implication of pinpoint accuracy. The weak link here, according to sources we trust, is the use of questionable standards. A chemical "standard" is utilized as a benchmark, to which an unknown sample is compared, so that a precise content of a given component can be ascertained. An inaccurate standard will skew results. Commercially available cannabinoid standards are not necessarily reliable, we were surprised to learn. If a testing lab bases its calculations on THC or CBD in methanol purchased from a chemical supply house, and the amount present is less than claimed, a serious over-estimation of cannabinoid potency results. CBD can be crystallized, so it is practical for a lab to create its own 100% pure CBD reference standard. With THC, being a tarry, viscous liquid that sticks to glassware and everything else, it is much more difficult to create an accurate standard. Sampling is also a weak link. From a pound of buds typically delivered by a grower in a turkey bag, the dispensary chooses a few --say, two grams' worth-- to send to the lab. Since location on the plant is a factor in cannabinoid production, if two of the three sample buds are from cola tops, they won't provide a true average for the plant as a whole. European researchers question the likelihood of growers producing buds containing more than 30% THC by weight. We know that state-of-the-art hashish from the best genetics tops out around 50-60% THC (Clarke 1998; Mehmedic, Chandra et al. 2010), which should be comparable to the highest calculated THC content in a trichome. Now, look at photomicrograph of a whole bud. What percentage of a bud do you think is composed of the glandular trichome heads themselves? Let's just say 33% by weight, which may even be a high estimate. [Also present in the trichome are terpenoids, flavonoids, water, squalene, and waxy ballast from the cell walls.] Then 33% of 60% THC in a trichome head should be 20% THC. In fact, that would seem to be a very good benchmark. GW Pharmaceuticals, after years of selective genetic breeding, and advanced research on optimizing cultivation and environmental control techniques produces material with a consistent THC yield in this range (Potter 2004). Documented THC levels above 20% are quite rare, even for sinsemilla (Mehmedic, Chandra et al. 2010). We are not saying "impossible," but "quite rare." Although high numbers might be a selling point from the dispensary's point of view, and a 25% THC bud or product might seem much more desirable than 15% THC, the patient would get the same medical effect from the latter by taking an extra vaporizer inhalation or nibble of a cookie (assuming the proper accompanying terpenoids are present). Adjusting intake to achieve the desired effect is what titration is all about. The pharmacological importance of terpenoids has been stressed by some perspicacious researchers (McPartland and Russo 2001; Fischedick, Hazekamp et al. 2010). Patients who abandon a suitable strain for one with higher THC and/or CBD content may not be getting more relief for their money if the terpenoid profile is significantly different. There is solid science available in the literature on Cannabis components and their proper analysis. Some relevant reading here. Top January 27 A Realistic Perspective on Lab Tests Project CBD has heard from some European scientists expressing skepticism about the high cannabinoid levels being reported in California. Yesterday we heard from one advising us of a blatant error: "This is impossible," he said, referring to a dispensary's claim that they have Sour Tsunami containing 11.32% CBD, 5.19% THC and Sour Tsunami Kief containing 19.58% CBD and 25.69% THC. "The ratio of CBD to THC shouldn't change when you make kief." We asked Samantha Miller, who runs the lab that tested the products, Pure Analytics. "Why should the ratios change when you've just dried and sifted? Was the lab way off?" She explained, "They were not from uniform genetics. Sour tsunami was grown from seed versus clone and thus the plants that were used to make the kief were of mixed phenotypes and some were higher THC. Miller added, "As a research scientist I had time and funding to analyze any sample for a year if it was deemed necessary. This is not the case in fee-for-service testing whether in the context of a regulatory environment or not. This does not mean that a single data point is not accurate, more in LAB NOTES Top January 26 Raber on the CBD "Appearance Rate" Jeff Raber of the WercShop also noticed the seemingly anomalous Sour Tsunami results and wondered if it was a sampling error. Raber says, "We've repeatedly seen the Poison OG at one location re-test at the same ratio, even from multiple harvests, but this last time (just this morning) it turned out to be the reverse. Not sure ithat was a naming, new grower thing or what. Sample picking in an important aspect of providing accurate results. It is time consuming and laborious work, but has to be done right to be any bit close to valid (at least as we understand valid now). Speaking with scientists from the Netherlands this weekend (it was a good conference for providing CBD information and taking some positive medical steps forward too), they have studied these things and note sample picking methods are extremely important as well. We collect samples ourselves and/or train pickers to do this properly. Regarding CBD appearance rates: We have seen the following problem with both Poison OG and Northern Lights (and even Cannatonic from seeds). You have multiple phenotypes within each strain name. Look at the disparities: Cannatonic HPLC click for larger image We tell everyone, not all names are the same, you have to have had it tested to know what you have. You can appreciate that fact as you understand the incredible variability with effects and dose in CBD-rich products. If you were to ask how many strains are known to have CBD and how many are not we would say: 2.5% of the strains we tested have had CBD-rich results. If you were to ask what is the appearance of CBD based on how many individual tests we've seen it in (including the same names of each strain as long as they are different sample lots or harvests) we would say: 4.5% of our unique samples have had CBD present in over 2.5 wt % value of actual flower weight (cured, but not completely dried out by the analysis process). Top January 25 Cannabis Potency in the UK The U.S. Cannabinoid data jibe with a British study published in the Journal of Forensic Science, January 2008. Only hashish imported from Afghanistan and Morocco contained significant levels of CBD, according to David Potter, Peter Clark, and Marc Brown, the authors of "Potency of Delta-9 THC and Other Cannabinoids in Cannabis in England in 2005: Implications for Psychoactivity and Pharmacology." Two of the authors work for GW Pharmaceuticals, which also provided lab and statistical support for the study. GW is marketing Satviex, an extract containing equal amounts of THC and CBD, and has an obvious interest in emphasizing the "anti-psychotic" potential of CBD. Here's the abstract: "Gas chromatography was used to study the cannabinoid content ('potency') of illicit Cannabis seized by police in England in 2004-5. Of the 452 samples, indoor-grown unpollinated female Cannabis ("sinsemilla") was the most frequent form, followed by resin (hashish) and imported outdoor-grown herbal Cannabis (marijuana). The content of herbal Cannabis and resin was 2.1% and 3.5% respectively. The median 13.9% THC content of sinsemilla was significantly higher than that recorded in the UK in 1996-98. In sinsemilla and imported herbal Cannabis, the content of the antipsychotic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) was extremely low. In resin, however, the average CBD content exceeded that of THC, and the relative proportions of the two cannabinoids varied widely between samples. The increases in average THC content and relative popularity of sinsemilla Cannabis, combined with the absence of the anti-psychotic cannabinoid CBD, suggest that the current trends in Cannabis use pose an increasing risk to those users susceptible to the to those users susceptible to the harmful psychological effects associated with high doses."Top January 25 Dearth of CBD Documented "Potency Trends of THC and Other Cannabinoids in Confiscated Cannabis Preparations from 1993 to 2008," a study published in Forensic Sciences, confirms that plant breeders aiming for psychoactive effect have maximized THC levels over the years at the expense of CBD. The only appreciable amounts of CBD were found in imported hashish -and ditched. Mahmoud ElSohly, renowned for supervising the federally-sanctioned grow op the University of Mississippi, also has a lucrative contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to analyze and report on marijuana seized by the DEA in raids. The 46,211 Cannabis samples provided by the DEA over the years were grouped by Team ElSohly into product categories -"marijuana," "sinsemilla," "hashish," "hash oil," "Thai sticks," and "ditchweed." Overall, THC content was found to have increased steadily from a mean of 3.4% in 1993 to 8.8% in 2008. Levels of the so-called "minor cannabinoids" -CBC, CBD, CBN, CBG and THCV- were also monitored. "CBD is the major cannabinoid found in ditchweed," the authors reported," and is present in elevated amounts in intermediate type Cannabis (moderate levels of both (9-THC and CBD) used to make hashish." CB Potency by Year click for larger picture Year-by-year summary of ElSohly's data showing the dearth of Cannabidiol in the U.S. supply was reprinted in "What's New @ Drug War Facts," a recently launched publication that promises to be a very useful resource for concerned citizens. We expect there will be a marked rise in CBD-rich Cannabis confiscations starting right about now. Top January 24 BCBD A. Paul Hornby, PhD, the president of Hedron Analytical Inc. in Vancouver, informed us by email of "a strain here in BC that runs 15 to 17% CBD and roughly 8 to 12% THC. This particular strain has significantly reduced a young girl's grand mal epileptic seizures and is being summarized in a three-year case study." Hornby attached case studies of patients who benefited from using high-THC Cannabis (obtained through the Green Cross Society of BC) in treating MS and severe chronic pain, respectively. We asked for more details about the CBD-rich strain. Hornby described it as "an outdoor strain, that we are currently attempting to grow indoors. It is one pocket of genetics of a strain available here in B.C. I fear that revealing the strain's name would begin a fool's gold rush. We have tested many samples that go by the name of that strain, but no CBD. As stated earlier, it is a pocket of genetics that has the high CBD count. Lending to the mutation concept [of the occasional CBD-rich strain]. We asked Hornby if the island in the Georgia Straits off Vancouver had been named for an ancestor. He replied, "I have often told the gullible that my great grandfather discovered Hornby street in Vancouver just prior to his discovering the island. The island is actually named after a British naval commander, whereas my family was walking the plank."Top January 23 Two More CBD-Rich Strains IDed by Pure Analytics Two strains containing twice as much CBD as THC and new to us were referenced in a report received today from Pure Analytics lab. Both were found through Sacramento dispensaries: "Sweet Diesel" from Unity NPC, and "Purple Dragon" from El Camino Wellness Center. Samantha Miller of Pure Analytics notes that lack of demand from the dispensaries makes testing for terpenes and pesticides unrealistic at this time.Top January 23 Fresh Bud Advocates Get Good News Kristen Peskuski, a patient with a remarkable medical history, and William Courtney, MD, made a joint presentation at a conference Jan. 22 in Laguna Woods. They drove down in their truck with baby Zahalia (another babe is on the way) and stopped at the Werc Shop with samples from 17 Cannatonic plants being grown in Mendocino County as potential "mothers." The test results were very encouraging. “The big news for us,” says Courtney, “was a plant that was 22% CBD Acid by weight, which was reduced upon heating to 19.8% CBD.” That’s three times higher in CBD than the plant from which many of Courtney's patients have been getting clones. “Which means they can use one-third the dose,” says the doctor enthused by the prospect of clones from the new champion being grown out this spring... Another Cannatonic plant grown in Mendoland was found by the Werc Shop to contain 30.1% THC acid, reduced by heating to 26.7%. Question for Dr. Courtney: Does your new champion look like Whitney Eads' Phenotype #3?Top January 21 " Marijuana's Role in the Tucson Shooting" Why is the Huffington Post running propaganda from Joe Califano, a leading strategist for the Prohibitionist Cabal? The above-titled opinion piece ran January 21 on the supposedly liberal website. After blowing politic kisses towards Barack Obama and John Boehner, Califano changes tone to dis "the thousands of pundits, left and right, arguing about the meaning of the tragedy in Arizona," who missed a lesson "as important as any other lesson to come out of this tragedy. It's about the relationship of marijuana use to psychotic illness"... READ MORE Top January 20 Jeff Raber of the Werc Shop has responded to our questionnaire. The Werc Shop opened for business on April 20, 2010 and is still the only lab we know of in Southern California, except for the Farmacy's internal testing operation. Raber reports re availability: "We continue to see PoisonOG show up that is CBD-rich (it can sporadically be found at Reseda Discount Caregivers). We've tested some Cannatonic that has had some phenotypes presenting CBD-rich profiles. We've also seen a CBD-rich 'Trainwreck' (not so sure that was named accordingly), and we've also seen some CBD-rich Northern Lights phenotypes (not all of them) as well. Some of those we've found are from private collectives not currently wishing to be identified." Raber questions one of our questions: "I think the 'number of samples tested' isn't quite that useful in evaluating a laboratory. You could run thousands of tests the wrong way, it doesn't lend credibility. I would strongly encourage you to not include 'number of samples tested to date' in any of your lab comparisons..." Retro Message: Thanks for your thoughtful response. There are other reasons for asking the number of samples tested to date --for example, how else can we determine the rate at which CBD has been popping up? Maybe number of strains tested to date would be a more meaningful question. What would your answer be? The labs are where the resin meets the solvent!Top January 16, 2011 Three new CBD-rich Strains ID'd We previously reported that a Cannatonic plant grown by Whitney Eads, RN, had the highest CBD level of strains submitted at the recent Emerald Cup in Laytonville. Now we've heard from the growers of the three other CBD-rich strains identified by SC Analytics in connection with the cup… Not far behind Eads' Cannatonic (13.5% CBD, 6.9% THC) was "Sour Tsunami" grown by Lawrence Ringo of the Southern Humboldt Seed Collective (12.9% CBD, 6.9% THC). Third was Sugaree x Blue Diesel (11.2% CBD, 6.8% THC), which will soon be available from the CBD-Rich Delivery Service. And next was Ringo's Granny Durkel (10.1% CBD, 6.7% THC)… According to Samantha Miller of PureAnalytics, an astonishing nine strains she tested for Ringo's Southern Humboldt Seed Collective "showed CBD potential."Top January 12, 2011 CBD = Schedule I We have been hearing from misinformed people that CBD is not in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It is. The code number for cannabidiol in Schedule I is 7372. The situation is quite different in other countries. In many, CBD is not controlled. Top January 9, 2011 Using CBD and THC Together To Project CBD: What happens when you smoke a strain that is 5% CBD and 5% THC? Is the psychoactive effect removed? Response: That's one of the things the SCC survey will tell us. Our hypothesis, based on information from sophisticated Europeans, is that CBD will only block THC mental effects if it is taken first, with little or no concomitant THC present. When CBD and THC are used simultaneously, the most likely effects are: 1) Peak high is delayed. This may be experienced as a creeping high ---one that starts slowly. 2) The peak high is blunted slightly over that of THC alone. 3) The effects last longer. Top January 6, 2011 Cannabis Testing in Europe? Dear Project CBD: Are there any analytical chemistry laboratories in Europe that test for cannabinoid content? —Aaron L. Reply: Rudolf Brenneisen in Bern, Switzerland is very capable of doing reliable cannabinoid testing. Top December 29, 2010 Cannabis Analysis Project CBD: You and your readers might be interested in this United Nations publication, "Recommended Methods for the Identification and Analysis of Cannabis and Cannabis Products." The labs probably have copies, but just in case…LINK TO PDF Top December 24, 2010 Harvest Early? Quick question: I found this article online and it is saying you can get higher CBD's if you harvest early... —David Chen Project CBD replies: That article must be quite old. It's been known for 10-15 years that CBD is not the precursor to THC, but rather CBG is. One may (or may not) be able to increase CBG yield by harvesting early, but not CBD. Again, you can't create CBD in a genetic vacuum. It is either there, or it's not. Top December 23, 2010 Correspondence with a Concerned Parent To Project CBD: I am growing/have a limited supply of Pineapple Thai, a high CBD strain. Do you know anyone who has an interest in obtaining some for study? I am in Southern California. I had it tested at the WercShop and is the result: 2.31% THC / 5.21% CBD. Would someone be interested in them? They will be outdoor organic. I am totally legal, licensed. —C.P., San Diego Editors Reply to CP: This site will list "participating dispensaries" that are committed to keeping their patients supplied with CBD-rich medicine. You could contact them directly. We reported in O'Shaughnessy's that Herbal Solutions in Long Beach had made Pineapple Thai available to patients but we keep hearing sad things about Long Beach doing them in, etc. Are they still featuring it? What do you know about the background of your Pineapple Thai? What are the effects that you and others report? How long does it take to grow, etc. etc. If you send us a picture we could run it on our site publicize your efforts. Reply, To Project CBD: I actually got my clones from Herbal Solutions. I had a great crop, Like I said, outdoor organic. I took some clones off them as I didn't know if they would be available again. I think there are only 2 Herbal Solutions left of 4, don't know the reason. I have seen Pineapple Thai offered there, but from what I can see they are not advertising the CBD qualities. It's just listed like the rest of the strains they carry. My son is bipolar and gets social anxiety. I don't really use Cannabis on a regular basis. I got involved because of my son. He uses Cannabis anyway and I researched the strains hence finding out about CBDs. He says it doesn't really make him high, but he is able to focus better instead of a lot of running thoughts, it sort of centers him and reduces anxiety. Sometimes he'll blend it with an og kush or indica for what he calls a "fun factor." Pineapple Thai is a rangy plant, when it flowers, it loses a lot of leaves, leaving just the flowers. I finally harvested in October. I am in San Diego county. This pic was taken in July. Attached are the test results. Thanks for your interest. —C.P. San Diego Top December 20, 2010 Increasing CBD:THC Ratio Nancy Sajben, MD has shared a note from a patient about a CBD-rich strain purchased at Harborside Health Center (after he couldn’t find any CBD-rich Cannabis in Southern California). The patient wrote: “Incredible Romulan, with a little vaping in the oven to remove THC, proved excellent for my chronic insomnia when made into a tincture.” Dr. Sajben wanted to know whether heating Cannabis would indeed remove THC. Project CBD explains: “Just a few comments on the concept of increasing CBD over THC: I am afraid that this is not rational. Firstly, you can’t create CBD when it’s not there to begin with. There are a lot of crazy misconceptions floating around along the lines of raw Cannabis has more CBD; that heating turns THC into CBD; or that you can differentially favor one over the other. None of these are true."Top December 11, 2010 SCC Hears McAllister on Cancer Research Barriers between pro-Cannabis MDs and the medical establishment are falling. Doctors who monitor Cannabis use by patients were bursting with questions yesterday during a talk by Sean McAllister, PhD, who has been studying the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids in the laboratory (on a grant from NIH and with a license from the DEA). The occasion was the winter meeting of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians… read more Top December 1, 2010 Medicine Going to Waste To Project CBD: I read your article Cannabidiol Now! and I wanted to point out something worthy of your attention. In Canada, and other countries where industrial hemp is being cultivated, the buds are typically destroyed and not used. Yet, especially when grown for seed, there are large amounts of cannabinoid-rich flowers produced by the plants. Industrial hemp buds are generally high in CBD and low in THC. In a different legal environment, it would be lucrative for these farmers to be able to harvest their hemp flowers, extract the resinous glands, and produce a CBD-rich hash which could be converted into a variety of medicines. I just thought it worthy to mention that hundreds of thousands of pounds of CBD-rich Cannabis buds are being destroyed each year by Canadian farmers who are growing hemp for seed. —Dana Larsen Ed. note: What a shame! Thanks for the note, Dana.
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