Cannabis Education

Why Choose Cannabis with High THC Content?

If you’re hoping to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis, then THC-rich cannabis is the smart choice for you. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary cannabinoid that makes people feel high after consuming cannabis. The chemical is metabolized and enters your bloodstream, binding to cannabinoid receptors in your brain and Central Nervous System to produce a euphoric effect. In some ways, THC is considered the plant-based equivalent of the neurotransmitter called anandamide, which impacts feelings of bliss, memory, pain, appetite, and more.

Why do people want high THC content?

Many cannabis patients use THC-rich cannabis for its positive medicinal effects. They consume it for relief from various health problems, such as chronic pain. It’s also helpful for bringing back lost appetites and maintaining healthy body weight. Other consumers use THC-rich cannabis to beat insomnia, or they might appreciate its anti-inflammatory effects — many elder patients, in fact, consume cannabis to help alleviate their arthritis symptoms. People also argue that THC acts as an antioxidant that protects the skin. Moreover, THC is sometimes even used to combat seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Be careful with potent strains

High-grade marijuana has been known to carry some paradoxical effects, and each person can experience the effects of THC differently. Anecdotal evidence suggests that THC can elicit opposite effects at high doses versus low doses — for example, when someone treats their anxiety with a low dose of THC to help them relax, it works. On the other hand, high THC concentrations can trigger panic attacks in some consumers and semi-frequently results in paranoia. Some people have even reported that high doses of THC can lead to depression.

The same notion of THC having potentially paradoxical effects has been noted in the human vascular system, as well: while low THC content cannabis has been shown to increase blood flow, high THC content cannabis can lead to vasoconstriction and decrease blood flow. Lastly, while THC is frequently used to help treat nausea in cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, there are rare cases where patients consuming high THC content cannabis can’t stop vomiting and experience intense abdominal pain. This health condition is called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and, currently, the only known way of dealing with it is stopping all cannabis use — this is especially unfortunate for patients who rely on cannabis for relief from other conditions.

Doctors and scientists believe that some people are more vulnerable than others to any potential negative effects of THC-rich cannabis. Adolescents and young adults in particular are susceptible because their brains are still developing. Studies have suggested that cannabis use among adolescents affects memory and executive functions that are important for mental flexibility and the ability to alter our behavior.

Notably, most major studies into the medicinal properties of cannabis have involved low doses of THC due to the low-quality nature of the marijuana crops approved by the federal government for research purposes. Therefore, if you choose highly potent cannabis products in the legal market, know that you may face unexpected or unwelcome effects.
The only way to identify a cannabis product as being rich with THC is through lab testing or personal consumption.

Top THC-rich strains

The following is a list of some of the most popular cannabis strains that tend to be particularly high in THC content.

Cookies Gelato
Cookies Gelato is frequently one of the most potent cannabis strains with THC levels of around 28%. It combines the sugary sensations of cookies and gelato and sports a sweet aroma. This hybrid strain can bring about a euphoric rush with a relaxing touch. Cookies Gelato is not for novice smokers, however, but for those with a bit of tolerance.

Royal Gorilla
Royal Gorilla is a knockout strain known to reach 26% THC content. This balanced hybrid produces an incredibly euphoric high and comes with mouth-watering citrus flavors with pine tones. Royal Gorilla provides a beautiful, euphoric, couch-locking experience and can be suitable for therapeutic use.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner is a heavy-duty hybrid with an average THC content of 23%. It won the Denver Cannabis Cup in 2013 and was rated the strongest strain by High Times in 2014. Since then, Bruce Banner has carved itself out quite the reputation. This strain delivers a dizzying euphoria that anchors your body in deep relaxation.

Green Gelato
Green Gelato is a must-try for any cannabis fan with a sweet tooth. It has a sweet flavor with a mix of fruity tones, sharp mint, spicy kush, and warm cookie flavor. Green Gelato gives a strong high that chills your body out because of its average THC content of about 27%.

Hulkberry is one of the most impressive hybrids with THC content frequently surpassing 27%. This 65% Sativa-dominant strain is heavily advised for experienced smokers. Hulkberry keeps the high focus only in the brain and gives a clear and energetic feeling. Additionally, Hulkberry has a delicious fruity taste.

Triple G
Triple G is an Indica-dominant strain that can make you fly away. It contains 26–28% THC and can be used to treat insomnia, chronic pain, or appetite loss. Triple G can calm the nerves, relieve psychological stress, and allow the mind to rest from the thoughts that keep us up at night. If you decide to try Triple G, pay attention to the taste of berries, candy, and chocolate.

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Cannabis Education

University of Cincinnati Offering Cannabis Studies Certificate Program

Ohio’s University of Cincinnati is launching a cannabis studies certificate which includes history, culture, society, and regulatory topics, the News Record reports.

Sue Trusty, a horticulture program professor in the College of Design, Art, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), had already been teaching Introduction to Hemp and Medical Cannabis when school officials approached her about expanding the offerings to a certificate program.

“It really was these other UC professors saying, ‘I have a class that if you were to offer this as a certificate, that would work,’” she said in the report. “That was the stimulus to put this certificate together.”

She explained that false information on the Internet was a driving force behind launching the program. Trusty’s class already includes UC professors from a variety of departments serving as guest speakers.

“Because it is illegal, a lot of the information on it is just garbage and faux. There is not a lot of research-based information. The government and universities have avoided doing that kind of research because it’s illegal.” – Trusty to the News Record

The two-year program includes five 3-credit courses, according to the university website, including Trusty’s hemp and medical cannabis course, a hands-on Hops and Hemp Field Experience course, and three courses chosen “from a menu of possible classes based on the student’s interest or job preference.”

“For example, a student who is interested in cultivation will focus on the horticulture and biology classes,” the program description states. “One who would work at a dispensary will be most interested in the classes related to public health, substance abuse, and public policy. A student interested in cannabis processing would be likely to choose plant chemistry classes as well as those dealing with the effects of cannabis on the body.”

Last year, the Cincinnati City Council voted to decriminalize cannabis possession up to 100 grams within the city limits. Medical cannabis is legal in the state.

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Cannabis Education

The designated driver role gets a modern update, covering dangers from COVID-19 to social media

The designated driver (DD) is a successful public health strategy dating back to the late 1980s. To better reflect the realities of today’s society, now is a good time to evolve the initiative to help mitigate the harms tied to broader substance use and beyond drinking and driving.

The promotion of “buddy circles,” as an expanded harm reduction strategy, is one possible way to achieve these ends. Similar to the DD, the aim of the proposed buddy circle initiative is to challenge norms and promote behaviour change in order to reduce harm.

The buddy circle concept, however, expands on that of the designated driver, taking into account other substances and risks — including COVID-19 and social media — in order to build a more comprehensive harm mitigation strategy for the 21st century.

The designated driver and beyond

In North America the concept of designated driving began in 1988 as part of Harvard University’s School of Public Health’s Alcohol Project. The project involved a partnership with major television networks and Hollywood studios. Over the past 30 years this program has achieved its goals, integrating the DD into our language and culture.

According to Jay Winsten, founding director of the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, there were two crucial elements involved in the successful promotion of the DD to the public. The first was that it was framed as a positive message, one that “lent social legitimacy to the option of refraining from drinking and created social pressure to conform.” The second was that the DD “needed to be viewed as an integral part of the evening’s fun and not as a bystander.”

Since its inception, the DD has been associated with alcohol consumption. That original focus still dominates our popular understanding of the program (for example see the online dictionary definition of DD).

Today, as an increasing number of countries explore relaxing their drug polices in response to and/or as a result of greater awareness of drug using behaviours and the harms associated with prohibitionist policies and practices, including Canada where recreational cannabis was legalized in 2018 and there is increasing pressure to decriminalize possession of all drugs — similar to Portugal, a broader approach to substance use behaviour and its associated risks is needed.

Program expansion

There are a variety of potential risks or harms that a buddy circle initiative may address. Four are highlighted here:

  • overconsumption of substances
  • unintended or non-consensual consumption of substances
  • social media exposure
  • COVID-19

The harms associated with over-consumption of substances include overdosing, passing out, vomiting, choking on vomit, sexual or physical assault or engaging in dangerous and/or embarrassing behaviour.

There is also a danger of unintended consumption, such as having a drink or other substance spiked by a more potent drug (for example, fentanyl-laced heroin) or via “date-rape” drugs (e.g., GHB and rohypnol).

Another area of risk in the 21st century is associated with smart phones and social media. Taking and posting photographs of oneself and one’s friends is an everyday occurrence. These include photos of intoxicated individuals, that can be (and often are) posted to social media sites by friends or by strangers.

Despite laws protecting privacy rights, such posts can have severe negative consequences for individuals. Elements of one’s social media behaviour that are viewed as evidence of questionable “honesty, maturity or moral character” can result in loss of jobs or job offers, loss of scholarships, rescinding of offers for school admission or other lost opportunities.

Now in 2020, COVID-19 adds an additional layer to evolving substance-use harm-mitigation strategies. As communities lift COVID-19 restrictions, we see young people in particular participating in social gatherings on beaches, at house partieson and off college campuses, and at bars, typically engaging in substance consumption and related behaviours that can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Buddy circles

The promotion of buddy circles as a harm reduction strategy can address these concerns. The idea builds on the successes of the DD, re-imagining how lessons learned can be applied to enhance the norms tied to socially responsible substance use behaviour. It also incorporates familiar elements from the more recent COVID-19 “social circle” campaigns, such as limiting our exposure to others to reduce risk.

Buddy circles are small groups of individuals who get together socially and look out for each others’ well-being. Buddy circles can work whether the group is staying in or going out, attending parties (small or large, indoors or outdoors), or going to bars or other indoor public venues.

On successive social occasions, members of the circle take turns playing the integral role of “buddy guard” (similar to the DD) — abstaining from substance use and taking the lead in encouraging the group to watch out for each other in order to mitigate harm. This can include reminding members to: stay together, maintain social distance, wear masks, clean their hands and avoid taking and sharing inappropriate photos of members. The buddy guard can also get help when needed and make sure that everyone arrives home safely at the end of the night, whatever the mode of transportation.

By Jacqueline Lewis, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Windsor

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Cannabis Education

Misinformation about illicit drugs is spreading on social media – and the consequences could be dangerous

We’re all familiar with the term “fake news” and have probably witnessed the speed at which these stories can circulate on social media. Fake news stories can be about almost any topic, but increasingly misinformation about illicit drugs is becoming common. But the consequences of such false information can be dangerous – even deadly.

There tends to be a high level of interest about drug use myths on social media, driven in part by curiosity, but also fear of the unknown as some new and bizarre threat is reported – but often without any evidence to back up the hysteria. Some of this interest will be amplified by algorithms used by social media platforms, which tailor content based on user search history.

However, this misinformation is also further spread by mainstream media news outlets that pick up on the popularity and publish stories repeating the false information. Misinformation on social media is also easy to access, engaging, and may be shared by friends and family, making it appear more trustworthy. And, for many people, social media is the only place they get their news.

Dangerous synthetic drugs are common subjects of misleading “fake” news spread on social media. Given their potential dangers, it’s understandable that many people are concerned. This misinformation could be harmful, especially to those who may take the drug.

One such example is the deadly drug fentanyl, an opiate that can be anywhere between 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. A myth that you can overdose even by touching a small amount of this drug spread on social media – and was even perpetuated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, which claimed that touching or inhaling airborne fentanyl could be deadly. As this warning was issued by a government department, many people took this misinformation seriously. It spread quickly and widely on social media even after the medical community agreed that overdose due to fentanyl skin contact is impossible.

Researchers tracked the spread of information about fentanyl between 2015 and 2019 by using a media analysis tool which was able to track the number of fake news articles created on and spread by social media, and could also track the number of potential views by looking at article shares. They found that erroneous information had a reach 15 times greater than correct information. Some of this included the myth about how touching the drug could be toxic. Most of this misinformation about fentanyl originated from Facebook posts created in Texas and Pennsylvania, and potentially reached 67 million people.

While fentanyl use might not be common, this sort of misinformation could have dangerous consequences. For example, a person might not help someone who has overdosed if they believe any physical contract with them – even to administer chest compressions – could cause them harm, too.

Other synthetic drugs, including Krokodyl and “spice” (a type of synthetic cannabis) have also triggered widespread misinformation. Krokodyl has been portrayed on social media as a chemical which can eat your flesh, even after only one use. Spice, on the other hand, has been described in the media as a drug that causes users to rip off their clothes as if it’s given them “superhuman” strength.

While it’s unlikely someone would take a drug knowing it causes severe damage, the idea of using something to gain extraordinary physical strength might entice potential users. In both instances, this information was wrong, but that didn’t stop them from going viral on social media.

It is often the young or naive that are victims of misinformation about some new drug or using a drug to achieve an effect. This is illustrated in a recent case when information about the antihistamine Benadryl was circulated on social media. Users reported that consuming this drug caused hallucinations and would challenge each other to take the drug, sadly at least one person died as a result.

Beyond these extreme examples, it’s also becoming routine to see misinformation on social media about drugs such as cannabis. In particular, claims being made about cannabis-based medicinal products, which suggest that everything from pain to terminal cancer can be cured. These are made despite the lack of research and evidence that support these assertions. Tragically this type of misinformation offers false hope to people who are often at a very vulnerable point in their life. These false claims are harmful in themselves, but could be really damaging if people choose to stop traditional medical intervention and use these products in the belief that their health will improve.

Misinformation about illicit drugs may also make them sound more appealing to people who aren’t risk adverse. For them the appeal is in the risk that the drug poses. Widely circulated fake news may even be the reason they try these types of drugs to begin with.

Finding ways of reducing this type of misinformation is important to prevent any dangerous consequences. Social media platforms have an important role to play in regulating information – should they choose to. Educating people in how to spot fake news, and better education for young people in schools about drugs may also prevent the further spread of such harmful misinformation.

We need to accept that there will always be interest in drugs and that false information about them will accompany that curiosity. Social media platforms have the ability to mitigate misinformation, but they may not have the will if an action threatens their commercial interests. So young people and their families are left to separate fact from fiction as they try to reduce the potential risks some drugs pose.

By Ian Hamilton, Associate Professor of Addiction., University of York and Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, Professor of Psychiatry, Washington University in St Louis

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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The Conversation US arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse — and recognition of the vital role that academic experts can play in the public arena.

The Conversation’s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to unlock their knowledge for the broad public.

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Cannabis Education

Does cannabis really affect memory? Here’s what research currently says

Cannabis use has long been associated with memory loss. But until now, this notion was largely anecdotal. As researchers begin to look into cannabis and the effect that it has on human health, they’re beginning to better understand the effect it has on the human brain – and whether cannabis really does impair memory.

Memory is divided into both short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory is where immediate events are temporarily stored, whereas long-term memory is where information is stored indefinitely.

Current evidence shows that cannabis intoxication may temporarily alter or distort short-term memory processing. This seems to be caused by compounds in cannabis that disrupt neural signalling when binding to receptors responsible for memory in the brain. Interrupted short-term memory can indeed impact on learning, and may also cause loss of interest or problems with concentration.

However, early research also shows that cannabis could have a positive impact on neurodegenerative diseases that affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington Chorea, and epilepsy. In mainly animal studies, when researchers used components found in cannabis, they found it could slow or even prevent the advance of these diseases – essentially through the creation of neurons.

These apparently paradoxical effects from the same drug are best explained by two chemicals found in cannabis. Namely delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). We all have naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in our brains. THC is able to effectively bind to these receptors, creating euphoric effects. However CBD can interfere with this binding process, which dampens the feeling of euphoria.

Different ratios of these two chemicals are found in various types of cannabis. Consuming a cannabis product with THC but no CBD increases the risk of developing mental health problems, such as psychosis. However, CBD could actually be used to treat psychosis.

Cannabis with higher levels of THC and lower, or negligible, amounts of CBD appear to have a detrimental effect on short-term memory, particularly in adolescents. The main problem is their ability to retain and recall information. Fortunately this is not permanent.

But these recent discoveries about the role of THC and CBD in cannabis show that we can no longer simply say cannabis itself causes psychosis, or is detrimental to memory. Rather, it might be the type of cannabis, and the compounds it contains, that may have specific risks or benefits.

And while there’s little doubt that some people who use cannabis do experience impaired memory, establishing that cannabis is the cause is tricky. One reason for this is because it’s difficult to rule out the impact of other drugs that people may have used – and whether these drugs contributed to this memory impairment. For example, alcohol misuse can also cause brain damage and memory loss. Another obvious problem when researching this is when asking people with impaired memory to recall their past drug use and any associated problems. Their ability to recall these details could be compromised.

Recent research even suggests that any memory impairment associated with using cannabis can be reversed when people stop using cannabis. This effect was seen mainly in those who used cannabis at least once a week.

Just as higher doses of alcohol can potentially cause brain damage, higher doses or more frequent use of cannabis may also cause long-term memory problems – the ability to learn effectively and the ability to concentrate on a task for example. Some people will use both alcohol and cannabis, often at the same time, which may both worsen the potential impact on memory.

New research also suggests that it’s cannabis, rather than alcohol, that’s responsible for damage to developing teen brains. Though alcohol can destroy or severely damage brain neurons and their signalling functions, this study showed cannabis actually changes the neural brain tissue responsible for memory. But this change can be reversed within a matter of weeks if a person abstains. Though surveys suggest fewer young people are using both cannabis and alcohol, those teenagers that do use cannabis use it twice as frequently.

Research shows that young, frequent users of cannabis have thinner temporal and frontal cortices, which are both areas that help process memory functioning. Memory is a critical aid to learning and study – but cannabis doesn’t just effect memory, it can also reduce motivation to learn. This dual influence reduces a young person’s engagement in education and their ability to perform.

However, using cannabis later in life (age 50 and over) appears to have only a moderate impact on cognitive functioning, including on memory. These modest declines are not fully understood, and there is a lack of high quality research in this area. That will need to change as it’s not just young people that use cannabis. As more countries legalise cannabis, older people might also want to try it.

While there is likely to be no great harm to a person’s memory if they experiment with cannabis, current research seems to agree that the more frequent the use, the greater the risk. Though there is still a lot that researchers don’t yet know about cannabis use on memory, current evidence suggests that any memory impairment can be reversed if a person abstains from use.

By Ian Hamilton, Associate Professor of Addiction., University of York and Elizabeth Hughes, Professor of Mental Health, University of Leeds.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The Conversation

News Agency

The Conversation US arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse — and recognition of the vital role that academic experts can play in the public arena.

The Conversation’s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to unlock their knowledge for the broad public.

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Cannabis Education

Cannabis use after work doesn’t affect productivity – new research

Musicians and artists have long used cannabis to enhance their creativity. But how does the drug affect more conventional nine-to-five jobs? With cannabis now legal in more places, including Canada and several US states, research is being carried out into how it affects people’s productivity at work.

recent paper found that using the drug after work did not hurt people’s performance or productivity the next day. The research explored how using cannabis at different times of the day affected people’s ability to complete assignments and meet their job requirements, as well as their behaviour toward colleagues and attitude toward their work.

Cannabis use after work did not affect any of the measures of workplace performance. Perhaps predictably, however, when people used cannabis before and during work, they did not fare so well.

The drug interfered with their ability to carry out tasks, affected their concentration and reduced their ability to solve problems. It had a negative effect on people’s “citizenship behaviour” – how likely they were to help colleagues or work in a team. And it also increased people’s propensity for counterproductive behaviour, such as daydreaming on the job and taking excessive time to perform a task.

Better than alcohol?

As with alcohol – where consuming a spirit compared to a beer will not only affect the speed of intoxication but the impact this has on functioning – the effect of cannabis will vary by product.

The study does not provide much detail about how much cannabis the participants consumed – just that they used it before, during or after work. So we know little about the point that cannabis consumption begins to negatively affect work performance. Nonetheless, it challenges stereotypes of cannabis users as lazy and unmotivated.

Research into the effects of alcohol on work performance is much more extensive. It shows how drinking after work and heavy drinking in particular negatively affects work in lots of ways. These include reduced productivity, greater levels of absenteeism, inappropriate behaviour and poorer relationships with work colleagues.

This new research on cannabis and productivity, while limited, is an important step forward into investigating the effects of the drug on society. It goes beyond the historically crude assessments of cannabis use, which would simply ask participants whether they had ever used cannabis or not then draw conclusions based on this simplistic grouping. This clearly missed the various doses and frequency of use.

Research in this area is tricky, however, as people that use cannabis are likely to also use or have a history of using other substances, such as alcohol. So untangling which substance is associated with an effect on performance is difficult, if not impossible in some cases.

Implications for drug testing

Cannabis use is not a niche activity. An estimated 20% of Americans are thought to have used the drug, while in Europe cannabis remains the most popular drug after alcohol, whether legal or not. Cannabis is well known to reduce stress and help people relax so it is likely to be an attractive antidote to a stressful day at work.

If companies have drug-related policies, they should be based on evidence and specific to the needs of the job. The effects of cannabis on coordination is one area that is more problematic. Like alcohol, the drug reduces people’s motor skills, reaction times and hand-eye coordination.

Unlike alcohol, there do not appear to be residual negative effects on coordination the day after using cannabis – unlike alcohol. But another study from earlier this year found that chronic, heavy cannabis use was associated with worse driving performance in non-intoxicated drivers. This is because the drug can impair the motor skills necessary for safe driving in the long term.

This evolving field of evidence makes it difficult for employers that do have drug-testing policies for their employees. Because most drugs break down very quickly in the body, tests are designed to identify chemicals called metabolites, which remain after the drug breaks down and can be detected weeks after use.

Verywell Mind

This means that an employee could have consumed cannabis on holiday, for example, then be subject to a work-based drug test weeks later and face disciplinary action when the test shows a positive result – even though the drug is not affecting their performance.

To fill this gap, there are apps that provide an alternative method of assessing impairment by measuring changes in task performance. This may prove to be a more reliable and efficient way to check if cannabis and other drugs are actually hurting someone’s work performance. Expecting an entire workforce to abstain is unrealistic and will restrict the talent pool from which employers can recruit.

By Ian Hamilton, Associate Professor of Addiction., University of York

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The Conversation

News Agency

The Conversation US arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse — and recognition of the vital role that academic experts can play in the public arena.

The Conversation’s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to unlock their knowledge for the broad public.

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Cannabis Education

Delta 8-THC: What Do We Know About It?

Delta 8-THC has been growing in popularity for its touted array of benefits similar to our well-known friend Delta 9-THC, but with less intense side effects. Researchers are discovering more about minor cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and their potential role in producing the unique intoxicating sensations from consuming different cannabis strains. Could it be that we have found a molecule with all the good of Delta 9-THC and less potential for the paranoia or anxiety that can come from getting too high?

Delta (∆) 8-THC exists in the cannabis plant alongside other molecules like CBG, CBN, and various aromatic terpenes. Delta-8 THC is more stable than Delta-9 THC, but less potent. Like ∆-9, it binds to CB1 receptors but has a lower affinity for them, which may account for this lessened effect. Also, it does not exist naturally in large quantities in the plant, so it must be extracted from the plant or synthesized.
Hemp-derived cannabinoids were legalized under the 2018 federal farm bill.

Some benefits of ∆ 8-THC include stimulating appetite and abetting pain and inflammation. With ∆-9 only recently legal in very small quantities, there is even less research on ∆ 8-THC’s effects. However, the research that does exist shows results of eliminating nausea in cancer patients, increasing appetite in a mouse model, and successful conversion from other cannabinoids like CBD.

This praised cannabinoid has created a market for new product lines claiming to help with anxiety, nausea, or just to provide a nice experience for recreational use. Just like ∆-9, you can purchase edible gummies, vape pens, and extracts from different strains. The company LiftedMade recently released a Delta 8-THC hemp-derived tincture, containing 333mg of the cannabinoid per one-ounce bottle. These “nano drops” can also be enjoyed as a beverage additive, available in three flavors. Despite these exciting findings, because the molecule activates CB1 receptors similar to ∆-9, it is always a good idea to be careful with your consumption habits and to start low and slow if you are worried about anxiety being a possible side effect.

The DEA recently published an addendum to the 2018 Farm bill specifying some of its conditions. Initially, the bill stated hemp products were legal if they contained less than 0.3% Delta 9-THC. This led people to believe that because Delta 8-THC was not specified here, and is considered a minor cannabinoid, it is legal in any concentration. This DEA document now attempts to redefine “tetrahydracannabinols” in the eyes of the law, stating that any synthetically produced THCs are illegal: “For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of Δ 9-THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.”

We know ∆ 8-THC only exists in the cannabis plant in small concentrations and in order to achieve more of an intoxicating effect, it must be extracted. If hemp-derived cannabinoids (remember, “hemp” is just cannabis that contains less than 0.3% ∆ 9-THC) are legal because they are “natural,” does this make ∆ 8-THC legal because it technically comes from the same plant? Or does the process of extracting it automatically make it synthetic? These are all good questions to be asking, and the consensus seems to be that as long as it is derived from the hemp plant, which follows the bill’s conditions of ∆ 9-THC content, it is federally legal. Keep in mind this is always subject to change as policy adapts to changes in our society.

New light shed on ∆ 8-THC has reminded us of the many working components of the cannabis plant that interact to create the positive effects we see for so many individuals. This minor molecule holds promise for treating a variety of conditions in ways that do not carry as many intense side effects as Delta 9, and we should keep an eye on policies as they adapt to shifts in demand and legality.

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Wisconsin University Offering State’s First Cannabis Certificate Program

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Continuing Education Institute is offering the state’s first cannabis industry certificate programs, including Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Law and Policy, and Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine.

The program – a partnership with cannabis education company Green Flower – is set to launch next month.

Kerie Wedige, executive director of the Continuing Education Institute of UW-Platteville, told the Shepard Express that she expects the cannabis industry to “grow very quickly” over the next decade.

“One of the nice parts about the cannabis industry, there’s so many different areas that somebody can be involved with. There is the agricultural aspect from seed to sale, the medical and health care, the business, law and policy… There are so many different places where you can insert yourself into the industry, and these programs give a broad instruction that helps you build your knowledge and see how you’d be a good fit in the industry.” – Wedige to the Express

Max Simon, CEO and founder of Green Flower, said the demand for cannabis education programming “is off the charts.”

“As the industry continues to grow, we are extremely confident that this partnership will be beneficial to the university and to those seeking a way to enter a new career or enhance what they currently do,” he said in a statement.

Each certificate program is non-credit – which means enrollees don’t have to be UW-Platteville students – and contain three eight-week courses. Tuition for each program is $2,500.

According to a Leafly report, the legal cannabis industry supports 243,700 jobs nationwide, which represents a 15 percent growth rate.

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Delaware State University Receives Federal Grant for Hemp Research

Delaware State University has received a $591,628 grant from the National Science Foundation for hemp research. The endowment will allow undergraduates to participate in the university’s College of Agriculture, Science and Technology hemp research program.

The project, called the “Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) Hemp Initiative Project,” will be interdisciplinary, involving university science disciplines.

According to the university, chemistry students participating in the program will investigate extraction techniques for the desired end-use of hemp products and biofuel feedstock. Biological sciences students will be engaged in cancer research, investigating the conditions under which CBD induces cell death versus when cells are protected against cell-damaging stressors.

Food science students will research different methods of extraction of food protein from hemp seed protein powder and hemp seed oil and test the methods’ effectiveness. Animal science students will look at the effects of hemp extract on parasitic larvae in light of the increased drug resistance of parasites.

Dr. Kimberly Milligan, visiting assistant professor of chemistry and principal investigator of the grant, said that students “have a greater connection to their discoveries and learning when they can visualize the link between what they are learning in lab and real-world applications.”

“Research has shown that students who engage in research benefit from a wide range of outcomes, including more confidence in their abilities to do science, a greater connection with the scientific community, and increased persistence in science.” – Milligan, in a statement

DSU was tabbed by the state to be the lead research entity in its Hemp Research Pilot Project, which was included in the state’s hemp legalization bill. DSU has partnered with Kentucky State University on the project.

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Cannabis Education

Cannabis for Relaxation – Cannabis Magazine

Stress is more than just an inconvenience. It can cause serious mental and physical health problems. That includes things like heart disease, lung issues, and even certain types of cancer. In the current state of the world, it’s undeniable that stress and worry are more prevalent than ever. 

So, it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to relax, unwind, and destress as much as possible. Research has already shown that the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could be overwhelming in the coming months and years. But, not everyone wants to take prescription medications for issues like anxiety or depression. 

While you should always follow your doctor’s orders, there are other ways to de-stress and find some peace in the comfort of your own home. Using cannabis for relaxation is a great place to start, and it can be included in your “de-stress” routine. 

Let’s look at how cannabis can be used for relaxation, why it’s so effective, and ways you can use it in your daily life to unwind. 

Why is Cannabis Effective at Reducing Stress?

Cannabis is well-known for helping with many health issues, including anxiety. Many people use it for simple daily wellness, and women can use it for things like: 

  • Menstrual health
  • Vaginal health
  • Breast health

But, why is it so effective at reducing your stress levels and helping you to relax? First, it’s important to note that plants, in general, have been shown to reduce stress. According to the US National Library of Medicine, interaction with plants can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the body’s natural responses to stress. Additionally, many plants can help to boost your mood and even improve your sleep quality, including lavender and chamomile. 

Cannabis, despite its growing popularity, is still relatively new to many people. That’s especially true when it comes to healthcare settings. While more research needs to be done, studies have already shown that small doses of THC are incredibly effective at reducing stress. The effects of cannabis help to subdue feelings of stress and anxiety for a period of time. That can help with everything from lowering blood pressure to improving focus and productivity. While those effects aren’t permanent, they can be used as a part of your daily routine to promote more peace and tranquility. 

Less Stress Starts With Better Sleep 

So many people deal with “racing minds” at night. It’s when all of your stressful thoughts from the day might start to creep in, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. 

If you can’t relax when you’re trying to go to bed, cannabis can help. Small doses of CBD before bed can help to reduce levels of anxiety, calm any negative thoughts, and lull you off to sleep peacefully. The best way to use it is to include it in your nightly sleep routine. Set yourself up for sleep success by trying the following: 

  • Turn off your phone a few hours before bed
  • Take a relaxing bath and use a cannabis-infused bath bomb or essential oils for more of a spa-like experience. Just be careful with that the bath bombs don’t clog your pipes!
  • Create a calming space in your bedroom, free of clutter and distractions
  • Investing in bedding that makes you comfortable and cozy

Additionally, you can follow a wellness routine before you go to bed each night. Try a few minutes of meditation or mindfulness to get yourself into a more relaxed state. Again, CBD or cannabis-infused products can help you to clear your head and relax enough to focus on your breathing while letting other thoughts come and go freely. 

Cannabis As Part of Your Relaxation Routine

There are still so many stereotypes about cannabis, THC, and marijuana use when it comes to relaxation. Don’t let the images of a typical “stoner” keep you from confirming what research has already shown; cannabis can, indeed, help to reduce stress levels. The best part? Smaller doses of it seem to be more effective than larger amounts. So, a little will go a long way as part of your relaxation routine. 

Other studies have started to show that different strains of cannabis can be more impactful than others. The more research that is done on those particular strains, the easier it will eventually be to find the best possible cannabis and CBD products for relaxation. 

For now, don’t be afraid to try different products to find what works for you when it comes to your relaxation routine. Even if you’re new to the world of cannabis, experimenting with different products is a safe and effective way to lower your stress naturally. If you’re really struggling with anxiety, one of the best things you can do is to talk to a mental health professional. But, if you’re just looking for more ways to relax at home or unwind after a long day, cannabis should absolutely be a part of your routine. 

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