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Treat yourself! Introduction to therapy: Why cannabis helps

Cannabinoid close-up: The THC boogeyman

Veterinary medicine: Try CBD instead

Therapeutic vaping: Step-by-step guide


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Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Editorial

A Story of Miracles

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ne year ago, three friends sat on a porch somewhere in the picturesque hills of Bohemia and decided it was high time to launch a cannabis magazine dedicated purely to the medical aspects of this plant. They had behind them many years of experience in publishing, in fact they were the core of the editorial team of Legalizace magazine based in Prague, Czech Republic, founded in 2010. In order to materialize their new vision, they hired renowned professionals, approached local as well as international experts, and within three months, a printed bimonthly came into existence: Konopí [Cannabis]. It was an immediate success. Cannabis patients of all generations appreciated the informed way they were introduced to a broad range of medical themes, and today, there are thousands of doctors, nurses and medical students in the country who wish to educate themselves in the blossoming field of cannabis treatment and who receive free copies. A miracle! In fact, the original reason these three friends – long-term cannabis patients themselves – decided that the time was ripe for such an endeavor was they noticed a major shift in the attitude of health-care professionals of various specialties. Even two or three years ago, it was unthinkable that a specialist would reply in the media to a simple question concerning any kind of cannabis treatment; doctors often claimed there was no scientific evidence for the efficacy of cannabis therapy, and some of them were concerned their engagement in the cannabis media might be frowned upon by the medical community. Nevertheless, the hopeful trickle of new studies and research presently became a steady flow. Now there are interesting findings from cannabis research being published literally every day. A miracle! In 2019, these three friends – Robert Veverka, Lukas Hurt and Bob Hýsek – decided to advance their tried and tested project to another stage and to introduce their magazine to the global audience, since there was no such English

periodical in the world that would summarize the available medical knowledge in a comprehensible and attractive way. Scientific journals (such as Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, Journal of Cannabis Research and Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids) are too scientific for ordinary patients who need to be introduced to the basic facts – and the rest of the cannabis magazines, quite naturally, choose to focus mainly on lifestyle, business and growing. Let’s become Number One, they said! And miraculously enough, their efforts soon brought forth this digital version of a cannabis magazine that aspires to become a worldwide bridge between medical users and experts. Of course, one ought to highlight the role of their advertising partners, whose support made it possible to publish this selection of articles free of charge. No, cannabis is not a miraculous cure-all, we never make such a claim. It is a medicinal plant with incredibly complex beneficial effects, and the mechanisms of how its countless active substances affect our minds and bodies are too intricate to be synthesized into one formula for all. The miracle, however, is that cannabis makes today’s medicine not only more effective, but also more humane, more personalized – and that there are never-ending horizons waiting to be explored now. Once a stigmatized drug, today a respected medicine – what do you call that? Please enjoy the magazine and feel free to share the link with your friends and family. Bob Hýsek | Editor-in-Chief office@cannathemag.com www.cannathemag.com

www.cannathemag.com   @CannaTheMag   @CannaTheMag   @CannaTheMag   office@cannathemag.com


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Contents

Cannabis Therapy Magazine #1 22

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News: Research Reports Latest findings from scientific studies.

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Cannabinoids Close-Up: The THC Boogeyman What do science and medicine have to say regarding THC?

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Advice for Patients: The Doctor Is In Are you afraid to ask your doctor? Ask ours!

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Infographic: Versatile Uses of Cannabis Countless products are made from this plant in various industries.

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Pharmacopoiea: The Antibacterial Effects of Cannabis Reasons for the renaissance in the use of herbal substances.

Feature: Introduction to Cannabis Therapy Answers to your most frequent questions.

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One Patient’s Story: Quick and Effective Relief

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When standard treatments failed, cannabis came to the rescue.

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News: Harvested from Around the World Capturing changes in society and politics.

CANNABIS THERAPY Magazine #1, published online on July 12, 2019. Next issue will be published in October 2019. Editor-in-chief: Bob Hýsek Deputy editor: Lukas Hurt Editor and translator: Matthew Sweney Editorial board: Daniel Bárta, Barbora Bláhová, Michaela Blumtritt, Martin Helcman, Jana Jesenská, Veronika Krejzová, Michal Ruman, Robert Veverka  Graphic editors: Jan Buble and Matěj Kočka Photography: Tereza Jirásková Illustrations: Lucie Muchovičová and Zuzana Aligerová

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Contents

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Vapes Corner: Vaporizing as a Therapeutic Method A complete, step-by-step guide to vaporization.

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Life with Cannabis: States of Anxiety How to decrease the possibility of negative experience.

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Made at Home: Therapeutic Hemp Root Buried treasure.

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Veterinary Medicine: Put Kitty to Sleep? We Tried Cannabis Instead Interview with Canadian veterinarian Katherine Kramer.

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Veterinary Medicine: Medical Effects of CBD in Dogs with Osteoarthritis How to break the vicious circle of pain and inactivity.

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Medical Strains: CBD Crew

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Recipe: Cannabis Cream and Strawberry Cup Cannabis with coconut cream and strawberries for hot days.

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Leaves of Grass: The Evil and Good That Men Do We humans are a special breed.

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New strains with higher CBD and lower THC content.

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Interview: Radovan Hřib, MD Doctor on the front line of modern pain treatment.

Advertisements: Please contact office@cannathemag.com Telephone: +420 737 300 375 Publisher: Green Publishing s.r.o., Na Folimance 2155/15, Vinohrady, CZ-120 00 Prague 2, Czech Republic Website: www.cannathemag.com Adult content: Intended only for persons aged 18+. Reproduction of this material without the written consent of the publisher is prohibited, although please contact us if interested in authorized re-use. The publisher assumes no liability for the content of nor replies to advertisements. © 2019 Green Publishing s.r.o.

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Infographic

Versatile uses of cannabis No wonder mankind has been using cannabis for thousands of years. Even today, countless products are made from this most versatile crop – in a wide range of industries, because the plant can be used in its entirety. The fibers or hurds of the stems, the oil contained in the seeds, the resin in the flowers: all have irreplaceable roles – not only in the food, cosmetic and clothing industries, but also in the construction, livestock, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

FEMALE FLOWERS - Substances with potential medicinal benefits •• •• •• ••

cannabinoids terpenes flavonoids steroids, and many more

- Primary or complementary treatment •• •• •• •• ••

skin diseases neurological disorders digestive disorders locomotor system disorders cancer, and more

STEMS

- Medical products •• •• •• •• ••

- Textiles •• •• •• ••

clothing shoes utility fabrics bags

dried flowers extracts (in oil) body care products tinctures suppositories, etc.

- Paper

•• banknotes •• writing paper •• packaging

SEEDS

- Construction materials

- Food industry

•• insulation •• hempcrete

•• food •• cooking oil •• protein

- Industry •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

rope canvas netting biofuel car bodyworks car seats and upholstery animal bedding

- Cosmetics •• •• •• ••

shampoos soaps lotions ointments and creams

- Industrial uses •• •• •• •• ••

ROOTS - Therapy (arthritis, eczema, gout, inflammation) - Soil cleansing and cultivation

paint varnish fuel preservative fodder

Illustration: Zuzana Aligerová

Cannabis Therapy Magazine


Universal Cannabis Drops Pure natural hemp drops without dyes nor additives, with natural extracts of chilli, cinnamon or mint. Suitable for vegans and gluten-free diets.

       

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Prepared in the following blends: CBD 1 % CBD 3 % CBD 3 % CBD 3 % CBD 3 % CBD 5 % CBD 10 %

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Feature

INTRODUCTION TO CANNABIS THERAPY Aren’t there dangers in using cannabis? Could it really help me with my health problems? How much should I take, and in what form? Should I consult a doctor? Read on, and you’ll find the answers to the most frequent questions shared by all patients considering cannabis therapy.

The endocannabinoid system and cannabis

text

Lukas Hurt

The endocannabinoid receptor system (or endocannabinoid system) was discovered in the human body in 1988 by Allyn Howlett and William Devane from St. Louis University. Since then, scientists and doctors have discovered more and more evidence of how profound an influence this system of receptors – distributed throughout the entire body from the brain down to the internal organs, through to the skin and the immune system – has on the function of our body and maintaining its healthy equilibrium (homeostasis).

The discovery of cannabinoid receptors which react pharmacologically with the substances contained in cannabis (from which, cannabinoids) explains why cannabis has such versatile effects on human health. In 1992 came another interesting discovery from Israel – chemist Lumír Hanuš and molecular biologist William Devane working in a team headed by organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam discovered the first endocannabinoid in the human body. They named it “anandamide”, after the Sanskrit word ānanda, which means “supreme bliss”, i.e. the state of inner happiness. Subsequently,

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Photo: Shutterstock

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it was confirmed that anandamide bonds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain like a key, just like the most well-known cannabinoid contained in cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

The connection between cannabis and the human body

Scientifically, it has been repeatedly proven that cannabinoids and other substances found in cannabis have a positive influence on a number of physiological functions throughout the entire body. The popular claims of some patients that cannabis is a panacea or wonder drug thus is not

Cannabis is a safe, non-toxic and effective medicine.

so far-fetched as it might seem at first glance. On the other hand, one should consider what Dr. Hanuš repeats in all his lectures and interviews: “Cannabis does not help always – not with everybody, not with every disease, and not in every stage.” For this reason, there has been an ongoing debate about the need for “individualized” cannabis therapy. This means that every patient should be treated on an individual basis, regarding both the content of individual cannabinoids

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and their relative proportions in the form of medicine being considered, and the method of administration. The most recent research indicates that the overall therapeutic effect of cannabis is not only due to the cannabinoids, but also to the aromatic substances called terpenes, flavonoids and others. Scientists and doctors still have many challenges in front of them before they will be able to say exactly in what form and in what amount cannabis medicine is suitable for this patient or the other. Watch these pages for new discoveries in the field!

Where cannabis has been proven to help

It might seem from the previous sentences that the only thing we know about cannabis is that we still have a lot to learn. The reality is that we already have today an adequate number of scientific studies on animals, cell cultures and on people, and from the scientific evidence it is clear that cannabis is a safe, non-toxic and effective medicine on a number of diseases and conditions. Below, you will find a brief overview of the most common health problems for which cannabis can be an effective medicine. We will dedicate space in upcoming issues of Cannabis Therapy Magazine to individual conditions and diagnoses in more depth.

Source: internet

Pain Pain (especially chronic pain) is one of the most common reasons for the medical use of cannabis. Research and patient experience indicate that the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids are best shown on neuropathic pain. This type occurs for instance in those who suffer from multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.

Recent studies have shown that cannabis treatment helps reduce the need for dangerous opioid medicines (i.e. medications for pain manufactured from opiates). In countries where the use of cannabis in medicine is legal, a lower incidence of deaths and hospitalizations due to opioid overdose has been noted. Diabetes Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of autoimmune illnesses characterized by disruptions in insulin production, which leads to hyperglycemia (an abnormally high concentration of glucose in the blood). Preclinical studies indicate that cannabinoids can slow the progress of diabetes and even alleviate a  number of its symptoms. Recently several studies have emerged where people using cannabis have a greater reduced risk of type 2 diabetes than people not taking cannabis. Gastrointestinal disorders Gastrointestinal disorders, including diseases of the intestinal tract’s function (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) and chronic inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), are affecting increasing numbers of people in the civilized world, especially younger women. The main symptoms of digestive tract diseases include cramps, stomach aches, inflammation of the large and small intestinal lining, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding and weight loss. Patients with these diseases often report using cannabis for medical reasons. Many professionals today are convinced that cannabinoids represent a promising direction in the treatment of many digestive tract diseases.

Scientifically, it has been repeatedly proven that cannabinoids and other substances in cannabis have a positive influence on a number of physiological functions throughout the entire body. Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Source: internet

Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids Cannabinoids are active substances found naturally in high quantities only in cannabis. There have been more than one hundred found to date and their number is gradually rising. The most well-known is psychoactive THC, although greater attention in recent years has been focused on the second most often occurring cannabinoid – CBD (cannabidiol), which has no intoxicating effects, but like THC, it has significant therapeutic potential. Other cannabinoids which are targets for researchers at present are CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) and others. Endogenous cannabinoids, a/k/a endocannabinoids, are not found in plants, but as the name suggests, they are cannabinoids found only in the body. The body produces them itself in order to stimulate the endocannabinoid system and maintain a healthy equilibrium in the body. The most well-known endocannabinoid in addition to anandamide is 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

Every patient should be treated on an individual basis.

\ Description of cannabis in an ancient herbal. 4 Gel capsules made from cannabis extract.

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite Cannabis has a significant effect on nausea and vomiting in patients with hepatitis C and HIV/ AIDS, and it mitigates the side effects in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Since 1986, synthetically isolated THC – under the brand name Marinol – has been available for doctors treating loss of appetite connected with weight loss in patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. One of the well-known effects of cannabis is a marked increase in appetite. Eating calorie-rich foods can boost weight gain and the supply of nutrients, which can be crucial in the fight against several diseases, such as wasting syndrome. In treating nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite, other medicines are also available, but cannabis has a combined effect on all these symptoms, making it an exceptionally effective remedy. Oncological diseases Cannabinoids are used by cancer patients in palliative (supportive) treatment because – as has been said – it suppresses nausea, vomiting

and pain, it promotes a healthy appetite and improves the quality of sleep. In addition to palliative effects, studies on animals and cancer cells show that cannabinoids in certain conditions are able to slow and even stop the spread of cancer cells. However at present, despite ongoing development of research, we do not have reliable evidence on the basis of tests on human subjects that would confirm this claim. Multiple sclerosis Many patients around the world use cannabis to reduce the pain and muscle cramps associated with multiple sclerosis. This is one of the diagnoses for which there have been major clinical trials using cannabis. These have confirmed the experience of patients the world over that cannabis is able to effectively relieve pain, reduce cramps and improve other symptoms of this incurable disease. Some results even indicate that the substances contained in cannabis have the potential to slow or even arrest the disease’s progression. Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s  disease is a  neurological disease characterized by progressive loss of both memory and learned behavior. It is estimated that around 30 million people are affected by it worldwide, and while at present there is no known effective treatment which can stop •

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Photo: iStock

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The discovery of cannabinoid receptors in the body explains why cannabis has such versatile effects on human health. \ A good gardener is never far from their crops.

its progress, there are several pharmaceutical drugs which are able to treat its symptoms. Recent research has shown that cannabinoid therapy is able to not only alleviate symptoms of the disease in Alzheimer’s patients, but also slow its progress. Parkinson’s disease Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the central nervous system, resulting in tremors (the “shakes”), slowed movement and muscle stiffness. At present there is no cure for it, and conventional medicine is only able to treat its symptoms. Data from surveys show that patients suffering from Parkinson’s consider cannabis to be a highly effective substance which mitigates the symptoms of the disease, especially in treating motor symptoms. These claims have also been supported by observational research. Even individual cannabinoids likely

have an effect on different symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. According to a series of case histories published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, daily treatment with cannabidiol (CBD) reduced the symptoms of sleep disorder in the REM phase for patients with Parkinson’s. Epilepsy While current drugs allow for relative control of the symptoms of epilepsy, up to 30% of patients do not have sufficient control over their symptoms. In more serious forms of epilepsy, an operation is possible, but this represents a very delicate and complicated procedure with a risk of serious brain damage. For these types of patients, cannabis could mean a first-choice medicine. Already in 1979, studies carried out on laboratory rats have proven the anticonvulsive effects of CBD.

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Most common delivery methods

For what other diseases and conditions is there ongoing research in the medical potential of cannabis?

Cannabis can be taken by various methods as a medicine. The most common include: • Inhalation of smoke (smoking: not doctorrecommended!) • Inhalation of vapor (vaporizing) • Oral ingestion (via foods or capsules) • Sublingual administration (i.e. under the tongue, of extracts usually dissolved in oil or alcohol) • Skin preparations (ointments, liniments, sprays, patches) • Rectally or vaginally (suppositories)

• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) • Dystonia • Fibromyalgia • HIV/AIDS • Huntington’s disease (Huntington’s chorea) • Hypertension • Incontinence • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) • Osteoporosis • Rheumatoid arthritis • Sleep apnea • Itching (pruritis) • Tourette’s syndrome • Hepatitis C and others

Psychiatric disorders and traumatic experiences The use of cannabinoids during the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety and bipolar disorder is another hopeful area, although at present one of limited research. While long-term use of high doses of THC has been indicated as a risk factor potentially triggering these types of psychiatric diseases in genetically predisposed individuals, it seems that other cannabinoids may have exactly the opposite effect. In this respect CBD has big potential; nevertheless, people for instance with traumatic experiences after an accident, violence or being in a war situation often state that what helps best is cannabis with a high THC content.

pressure. Patients in whom heart disease or disorders have been found, or who are taking any kind of medicine for the heart, should use cannabis only under a doctor’s supervision.

Risk factors

In closing, we should briefly mention the main risk connected with the use of cannabis – whether medicinally or recreationally. Heart disorders Cannabinoids can have a temporary, although quite powerful effect on pulse rate and blood

Psychosis In rare cases, cannabis can trigger psychosis – however not in everyone, just in individuals with a certain genetic disposition. Patients for whom psychiatric disorders run in the family, especially schizophrenia or bipolar disease, should consult their doctor about the suitability of cannabis treatment. Psychological addiction There seems to be no risk of physical addiction in using cannabis as medicine. The recommended daily dose for medicinal purposes is usually lower than that of recreational use, and the patient is monitored for the entire period of treatment by a doctor. Large doses taken over the long-run can lead to the onset of psychological addiction. In quite rare cases, patients might exhibit withdrawal symptoms such as minor forms of anxiety, irritation and insomnia. •

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One Patient’s Story

Quick and Effective Relief Martin’s health problems are rather unique, especially their extent. He’s 36, and has suffered since childhood from being overweight, which has gradually led to the development of many other diseases. Cannabis provides him quick and effective relief from a number of his symptoms, indicating the versatility of this natural remedy. In addition, it is significantly improving the quality of life of his mother, who has had a stroke. illustration  

text

Lukas Hurt

Lucie Muchovičová

Could you describe your health problems for us? Ever since I was little, I’ve suffered from being overweight, and when I was fourteen I was diagnosed with anorexia, which plagued me until I was twenty (my record was 38 days without eating). I thought that I had all that behind me, thanks also to cannabis, but after my mom ended up in the hospital last year after having suffered a stroke, even while vaporizing I stopped eating for ten days. I also have Pickwickian syndrome (obesity hyperventilation) and sleep apnea, 3rd degree hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, blood vessel obstructions and varicose ulcers. My mental state is not the best, thanks to all this. It almost sounds as if you were a collector of diseases.... Yeah, but that’s  not all. Probably because of inflammation, I  have chronic blocked sinuses, permanently increasing my temperature to 37.6–37.8 °C (100 ºF), giving me headaches. And when it travels to my nose, then I can’t breathe. When it travels to my throat, I can’t speak. When it travels to my lungs, then my temperature hits 39 °C (102 °F) and I have fluorescent colored phlegm. And when it travels lower, then I vomit and have so much diarrhea that I have to get up 50 times a night to go to the toilet. The first

time it happened, I was so dehydrated they had to take me by ambulance and put me on an IV drip. The best thing for it is chili pepper – that helps to get the crap out. Then I take cannabis and everything dries out, is disinfected, and finally I can breathe freely. How was conventional therapy for you? They’ve been treating me with everything under the sun since I was little, and for pain I even took opiates, but you can’t keep taking them because they damage the liver and kidneys. And my blood pressure increased, but nothing was as effective as cannabis. I’m also allergic to penicillin and ampicillin, so since early childhood they’ve been giving me fine-tuned wide spectrum antibiotics. That’s why today the only thing that works are double doses, but still not completely. That’s another reason why cannabis is great, because as a natural antibiotic, I can take it all the time, without its effectiveness dropping and without side effects.

When did you first try cannabis for your health problems, and how did it affect you?

I first tried cannabis when I was a teenager, at the time when I “only” had anorexia. But it was just for fun and I stopped after a while. After military service I started to work on having lunch

Cannabis Therapy Magazine


One Patient’s Story

4 Martin uses a pressure mask for his sleep apnea.

and tried to eat normally, but since my body was used to a starvation regime, it started storing everything and I began to quickly put on weight – and that is where my problems and diagnoses started. I even stopped drinking and smoking, but obviously that wasn’t enough. Years later when I tried cannabis again, this time as medicine, lots of things got better: blood sugar, blood pressure, my pain disappeared, and I felt better psychologically. I gradually got off the “chemicals” as I call conventional medicine. Instead of ten pills a day I only take six now. My overall improvement is indescribable.

Thanks to the regular use of cannabis I’m now taking one less medicine for blood sugar, I’m only taking one diuretic, and I’ve stopped taking all pills for depression and pain.

How much cannabis do you take monthly, and in what form? As regards form, me and my mom use ointments, a vaporizer, and sometimes even a bong. We use about twenty to thirty grams of dried buds for ointments, which lasts about ten days, and we vape somewhere between two to five grams daily. Our consumption varies according to the pain or symptoms. I’ve even baked cookies, which wasn’t bad, they have a longer effect, but you also have to wait longer, and we often need immediate relief. We’ve also tried capsules, but like the cookies that took two hours to have any effect. When I’m in pain and my blood pressure goes up, then the vaporizer is ideal – it’s like nitro on pain. I inhale every three minutes until the pressure level goes back down to normal. You can’t even get an ambulance that fast. And if I could get it legally, I’d also really like to try cannabis extract – the “Phoenix tears”. Could you tell us other specific ways in which cannabis has helped you treat your range of health disorders? Cannabis has helped me even in such “mundane” ways as keeping cool in hot weather – it immediately helps my breathing. Normally thanks to cannabis I don’t suffer from pain, my blood sugar has leveled (from 22 to 5–7, while medication only brought it down to 14), not to mention healing open sores and varicose ulcers. It’s also helped me with sleep apnea, it’s greatly improved my quality of sleep, and it works like a natural anti-emetic when I vomit phlegm on account of the blocked sinuses I mentioned. Thanks to the regular use of cannabis I’m now taking one less medicine for blood sugar, I’m only taking one diuretic, and I’ve stopped taking all pills for depression and pain. Last but not least, I’ve stopped being stressed and started eating normally, which has helped improve my digestion. •

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One Patient’s Story

5 Martin's mom trims the harvested buds.

When did your doctor start prescribing cannabis? My mother is the one who has a prescription for medical cannabis. I could also get one – and not just for only one diagnosis – but I don’t have such great experience with doctors. In any case, we grow and process it ourselves. Could you briefly tell us which symptoms your mother treats with cannabis? Just before she turned 74 this year, she had a stroke which paralyzed the left side of her body. Thanks to cannabis we’ve seen incredible progress and regeneration, such as in the way she began regaining feeling in her arm, which was curled under her neck and which doctors said would probably never straighten out – and in three months it improved a lot. It started to free up immediately, we could literally see the improvement. Even the nurse in rehabilitation therapy was amazed that such progress could be made in just a few days – on such heavy and irreversible damage she said it was impossible. Her chin hit the floor. But I believe it’s all due to our green gold – me and my mom describe it in terms of nanorobots and repairmen, with lots and lots of work to do in our bodies. From her doctor she has prescriptions for cannabis for pain connected to fourth degree osteoarthritis and scoliosis. Do you have any interesting experience you’d like to share with our readers? When my mom had just had her stroke and was in the hospital, I brought her a vaporizer, due to which they wanted me to stop visiting her immediately and the doctor really made a scene, saying that my mom had all the proper medicine she needs. He couldn’t care less about the fact that she was screaming in pain that their medicine couldn’t cure. They kept her so doped up on opiates, Tramadol and other crap, that even after coming home she still had hallucinations for a week, seeing mice on the ceiling. Finally they allowed the ointment, but then came another shift which took it away and gave her more pills. When she was crying all night from the pain, I started yelling at them, how in the world do you think you can rehabilitate her when she can’t sleep from the pain? And why in the world can’t she at least apply salves? It was a real fight, but since February I’ve got her home – and like I said – she’s much, much better. •

When I tried cannabis, lots of things improved: blood sugar, blood pressure, my pain disappeared, and I felt better psychologically.

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Online magazine with exclusive focus on the medical use of cannabis. Launched July 2019. Next issue comes out in October 2019.

Are you a cannabis patient who would love to share your story? Please send us an e-mail! Are you a physician, nurse, researcher or pharmacologist who works with cannabis? Would you like to share your experience and expertise with our readers? Please do contact us! office@cannathemag.com +420 737 300 375

www.cannathemag.com  @CannaTheMag    @CannaTheMag    @CannaTheMag Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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News

Harvested from around the world

Source: internet

California permits cannabis treatments for animals

The most populous US state was the first to legalize cannabis for medical use, back in 1996. It now appears to also be the first state to legalize medical treatments with cannabis for pets. The bill was unanimously adopted at the end of May by the state senate and backed by the California Veterinary Medical Board, so it is generally expected to be passed in California’s state legislature and signed into law. Veterinarians who want to carry out cannabis treatments will first have to take a specialized course on the subject to qualify for protection under the law.

In June, the journal Science Advances reported about an archeological discovery in western China that showed that our ancestors had long ago used potent cannabis for THC-induced intoxication. In the Jirzankal burial ground in the Chinese part of the Pamir Mountains, a bowl was discovered containing stones and burned cannabis residues with a relatively high content of CBN (cannabinol), which is the cannabinoid to which THC is converted by oxidation. “The discovery at Jirzankal provides the first direct evidence that humans inhaled combusted cannabis plants in order to obtain their psychoactive effects,” commented Robert Spengler of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

Source: internet

Humans have been smoking cannabis for 2,500 years

More than 150 current and former athletes have signed a letter sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), asking them to remove cannabis from its list of prohibited substances. The respected athletes, including such champions as boxer Mike Tyson and cyclist Floyd Landis, and retired NFL players Jake Plummer and Ricky Williams, specifically ask for the removal of THC from the list because it has significant therapeutic and wellness benefits without any potential to enhance sport performance (CBD was removed in 2017). The current WADA threshold for THC is 150 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

Access to medical cannabis in more compassionate Ireland

A five-year pilot program allowing access to cannabis-based products for medical use has been launched by the Irish Minister for Health, Simon Harris, who signed the legislation giving the go-ahead in June, saying the aim was to “facilitate compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons, where conventional treatment has failed”. Cannabis-based products should be made available to some patients with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, and people suffering from nausea due to chemotherapy. Currently, there are no such products available in Ireland, and less than two dozen patients receive medical cannabis by import license agreement, which compels them to travel abroad, mainly to the Netherlands, every three months. Cannabis Therapy Magazine

Source: internet

Source: internet

Athletes call for the end of cannabis prohibition in sports


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text :

Michael Trübauer

In May, the French Senate gave medical cannabis the green light to a two-year trial, pending the approval of the country’s health ministry. The use of imported medical cannabis will be strictly controlled. Doctors will be permitted to prescribe it only as “a last resort, after trying other available therapeutic treatments”, said Professor of Pharmacology Nicolas Authier. The scope of eligible illnesses (such as cancer, certain types of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, palliative care, and pain that does not respond to usual treatments) will probably need to widen. “Therapeutic cannabis is not a drug, it is medication,” added Authier. “The question of legalization won’t come up before 2021, and only following this experiment.”

Source:  Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

France to launch medical cannabis experiment

Source:  GoToVan on Flickr

Cannabis use jumped 40% in Canada, though declined among the young

The United Nations’ latest world drug report shows more Canadians started using cannabis each year in the lead-up to the drug’s legalization for recreational use in October 2017. The report says there was a 40 per cent increase in usage of the drug between 2013 and 2017, which it attributes to a decrease in the perception of risk around cannabis use and the national debate about legalization. It says the in­crease in Canada during this time was more pronounced in adults aged 20 or older, while it declined among young people aged 19 or younger. According to the UN, cannabis use overall is still higher among people between the ages of 15 and 24 than people 25 and older.

Illinois became the 11th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use and the first state in the nation to legalize it through legislation rather than a ballot referendum. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill in June after it was approved by the Illinois House and Senate. Illinois residents 21 and older will be allowed to possess and purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis starting January 1, 2020 (the limits are half that for non-residents). A regulated sales system for cultivators, processors and retail stores will be created and medical cannabis patients will be able to grow up to five plants at home. On-site cannabis consumption (cannabis cafés) will be allowed or prohibited according to local ordinances.

Source:  Luke McKeown on Unsplash

Empowering a marginalized community in New Zealand

The first company in New Zealand to receive a medical cannabis cultivation license, Hikurangi Cannabis, is allowing individuals with past drug offenses to be able to be part of the legal cannabis industry. People who identify as Maori make up roughly 15 percent of New Zealand’s total population, but over half of its prison population. Of those who are incarcerated, 40 percent are convicted on drug charges. The most disadvantaged communities, however, are home to “some of the best growers in the country,” explains co-founder Panapa Ehau. In 2020, the country will hold a referendum on whether recreational cannabis should be legalized. Cannabis Therapy Magazine

Source: Wikipedia

No.11 in the USA: Illinois legalized cannabis


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News

Findings and results from the most interesting research and studies in the field of cannabis treatment today. text  

Michael Trübauer

Research Reports 01 Cannabis terpenoids exhibit antiinflammatory activity “Cannabinoids are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects in mammalians; however, the Cannabis plant also contains other compounds such as terpenoids, whose biological effects have not yet been characterized”, states the abstract of a new study published by the American National Institute of Health, conducted by researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The aim of this study was to “compare the anti-inflammatory properties of terpenoids with those of cannabidiol (CBD).” For the study, essential oils prepared from three non-psychoactive chemotypes of cannabis were analyzed for their terpenoid content and subsequently studied pharmacologically for their anti-inflammatory properties. In their conclusion, the researchers stated that “the different Cannabis chemotypes showed distinct compositions of terpenoids. The terpenoid-rich essential oils exert anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive [pain-reducing] activities in vitro and in vivo, which vary according to their composition.” Despite the apparent effectiveness of terpenoids, it was noted that none of the essential oils were as effective as purified CBD: “In contrast to CBD that exerts prolonged immunosuppression and might be used in chronic inflammation, the terpenoids showed only a transient immunosuppression and might thus be used to relieve acute inflammation.”

02  Cannabis treatment reduces symptoms of autism in children Parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have long reported the beneficial effects of cannabis on behavioral outbreaks, communication problems, anxiety and stress; however these anecdotal reports have not been supported by real-life studies. The aim of this recent study from Israel was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of such therapy in 188 ASD patients treated with CBD enriched cannabis between 2015 and 2017. Most patients consumed oil with a content of 30% CBD and 1.5% THC, applied under the tongue, three times a day. After six months of treatment, 30.1% patients reported a significant improvement, 53.7% moderate, 6.4% slight and 8.6% had no change in their condition. After 6 months roughly 90% of patients reporting disappearances or improvement of symptoms such as seizures, restlessness, tics, depression or rage attacks. Good quality of life was reported by more than 30% of patients prior to treatment initiation, while at 6 months good quality of life was reported by 67%. Positive moods and the ability to dress and shower independently were significantly improved, as well as good sleep and good concentration. “Cannabis in ASD patients appears to be a well-tolerated, safe and effective option to relieve symptoms associated with ASD,” concluded the study’s authors, Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, Raphael Mechoulam, Naama Saban, Gal Meiri and Victor Novack, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center. The researchers have noted that the exact mechanism of the cannabis effects in patients with ASD has not yet been fully elucidated. Also, the reports by parents on the patients’ improved quality of life, mood and general effects may be biased. However, less than 5% stopped the treatment due to side effects (such as sleepiness, restlessness, psychoactive effect or increased appetite) and more than 80% complied with the treatment, which suggests that cannabis treatment is safe and can mitigate ASD symptoms and improve the quality of life in ASD patients.

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Source: Flicker

News

03  Legalization of cannabis with higher CBD content leads to a decrease in the use of pharmaceuticals Researchers from Italy and the UK have decided to focus on the phenomenon of “cannabis light” in Italy. A rather peculiar interpretation of the law has resulted in the opening of hundreds of shops across the country selling cannabis with a THC content of 0.5 percent and a higher CBD content (usually between five and twenty percent). The authors of the new study decided to explore the possible relationship between the existence of these retailers and the use of pharmaceuticals in all 106 Italian provinces between January 2016 and February last year. The results showed that after the unintended liberalization of light cannabis, the sales of prescription drugs decreased by 1.6 percent. The most significant decrease was seen in the use of medications against diagnoses where CBD should have positive effects – about 11.5 percent in anxiety drugs, 10 percent in sedatives, and 4.8 percent in antipsychotics. In addition, the number of dispensed packets of anti-epileptic (1.5 percent), anti-depressive (1.2 percent), opioid (1.2 percent) and anti-migraine (1 percent) drugs were also reduced. According to the authors of the work, published this May at the University of York, their results indicate that “even a mild form of liberalization may generate a significant spillover effect on the market for pharmaceuticals.”

04  Swiss study demonstrates the efficacy of cannabis extract in patients with severe dementia The staff of the Geneva University Hospitals published the results of their pilot study in April, targeting ten female patients with severe dementia and treating them with a cannabis extract containing CBD and THC at a ratio of 2:1. The patients initially used small doses that were gradually increased by the attending physician to about 20 mg CBD and 10 mg THC per day. These doses were higher than in earlier similar studies. The extract dissolved in oil was applied to chocolate cakes commonly served to the patients to facilitate consumption, and the daily amount was distributed over three doses. After two months, the authors of the study found that half of the subjects significantly reduced or even stopped taking other psychotropic medications, including morphine, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. This decline, according to the researchers, “coupled with cannabinoid action to dramatically reduce behavioral problems and muscle stiffness accompanying dementia.” Senior patients taking the extract were monitored for five months, with positive effects persisting after this period. In conclusion, the hospital staff appreciated the decrease in rigidity, making daily care and transfers easier, as well as the improved direct contact with patients, the improvement in behavior, and the decrease in constipation due to lower opioid consumption. Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Events

Respectable researchers, scientists, ag-tech, pharma experts, regulators, investors, entrepreneurs and 80 exhibitors will share their knowledge about the flourishing medicinal cannabis industry at Europe CBD Expo, Britain's first-ever international Medicinal Cannabis and Cannabinoids Trade Show and Conference.

UK’s First Ever Medicinal Cannabis Trade Show London, July 12–13

Source: internet

Cannabis levels, full unique terpene profile and test for microbiological contamination, heavy metals and pesticides, as well as reputational and ethical criteria. The Conference will focus on discussions by the world’s leading names and industry experts in the cannabis and cannabinoids spheres.

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Kristina Spionjak / London Canna Group

Emphasis on education

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he B2B event will take place on Friday, 12th July at The ExCeL London, followed by consumer day on 13th July. The cannabis economy is the world's fastest growing industry, with a UN report revealing that Britain is the biggest producer and exporter of legal cannabis in the world. Companies, entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, clinicians, nurses, consumers, will meet at Europe CBD Expo to connect and learn about opportunities in the booming medical cannabis market as well as show the latest products, technologies and research in the field and the latest in regulatory development across the legal cannabis markets. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in panel discussions from experts in the research, development, and distribution of cannabinoids and medicinal cannabis products.

Trade show and conference

The Trade Show will feature 80 hand selected companies that have met the Expo’s strict participation criteria, an independent laboratory testing of Cannabinoids and Medicinal

Explaining why Europe CBD Expo has put so much emphasis on education at the trade show, Sal Noble, Founder & CEO of London Canna Group – the organiser of Europe CBD Expo said, “We have seen in other countries that the the biggest drivers towards influence of policy, change of perception and better access for patients are transparency, education and understanding of the matter. By bringing in the top international experts in the field we hope to remove the stigma surrounding the cannabis sphere.” •

“By bringing in the top international experts we hope to remove the stigma surrounding the cannabis sphere.”

Tickets and updates To learn more about the Europe CBD Expo, purchase tickets and subscribe to event updates and speakers lists click here. To learn about London Canna Group, the event organizers, click here for the LCG's website.

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Events

This month, the first ever CBD awards – the World CBD Awards 2019 – will host industry leaders from across the globe as they meet at the exclusive ceremony. The prestigious three-day event aims to identify and recognize CBD brands that strive to stand out as clean, ethical and innovative.

World’s First CBD Awards to Launch in Spain Barcelona, July 17–19 text

James Cummiskey / World CBD Awards

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his inaugural event is the first of its kind and CBD brands from around the world are clamoring to get their hands on this year’s coveted prizes. All three days are filled with seminars, talks, meet and greets, celebrations and of course, the award ceremony. We’re proud to introduce some key sponsors to this watershed moment. Our presenting sponsor is Relyf, an educational health brand focused on providing high-quality CBD products along with education on the benefits and uses of CBD. We are also pleased to have several Gold Sponsors in the form of Harmony, CanEx Jamaica, Eco Equity and Yah Man!

Need for standards

The CBD industry has soared in recent years and could be worth as much as $16 billion by 2025 according to New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co., whereas cannabis industry analysts the Brightfield Group says the industry is on track to reach $22 billion by 2022. Despite this, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not set standards for quality, content and marketing, leaving consumers to do their own research. This is dangerous as without regulation there is more risk of cost-cutting and a loss of integrity. Low-quality CBD oils can be harmful, and in some cases, products have been found to not have any CBD in them at all. It was therefore important that an organization stepped up to guide

The CBD Awards will act as the gold standard of the industry.

Thirteen categories for this year’s awards Best Clinically Proven Brand, Best Social Media Campaign, Product Safety Award, Most Charitable Company, Industry Recognition Award, CBD Innovation Award, Best CBD Flower, Best Pet Range, Best Cream/Balm, Best Vape, Best Tincture, Best Edible Product and Most Loved Brand.

consumers, making them aware of high-quality CBD products. The World CBD Awards aims to do exactly that through robust lab testing and careful evaluation. James Cummiskey, Group CEO of the World CBD Awards, said: “The CBD Awards will act as the gold standard of the industry. We want brands and consumers to know that if a company has been credited with one of our prestigious awards, they have been recognized as the best of the best in their sector.”

Exclusive venue

The event will be held at the exclusive Five Star Pullman Skipper Barcelona Hotel. Over the three days there will be a number of guest speakers, a gala dinner and several networking opportunities. This lavish event will be filled with all the movers, shakers and innovators of the health and wellbeing industry. Ticket packages are available here. For more information, please visit www.worldcbdawards.com or contact Emil Ougendal via Emil@fifteen.co.uk. •

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Cannabinoid Close-Up

The THC Boogeyman Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known by its acronym THC, is perceived as the symbol of everything bad which the majority of society associates with cannabis: It causes stupor, drowsiness, impairment of short-term memory, and an insatiable hunger which is certain to empty your home fridge.

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he psychoactive effects of THC are the only reason why cannabis was banned throughout the world in the previous century. Putting aside ideologies and politics, what do science and medicine have to say about this cannabinoid?

Michaela Blumtritt

An old friend

Of the more than one hundred cannabinoids which have been identified in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol is the most well-known, and the one which has been studied in the most detail. The majority of cannabis strains contain more THC than any other cannabinoid. “Outdoor” cannabis usually contains between five and ten percent THC (i.e. one gram of cannabis would contain 0.05 to 0.1 of a gram of THC). Then there is cannabis grown under artificial light, known as “indoor” cannabis; its THC content varies between ten and twenty percent. Other cannabinoids are found in most strains in amounts numbering tenths of a percent up to one to five percent. The exceptions are “CBD” strains, which contain more cannabidiol (CBD) than THC, and also “industrial hemp”. The latter name is given to certified strains which can be grown legally, because they contain state-allowed minute amounts of THC. In Czechia, the legal limit of THC

Source: Flicker

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in industrial hemp is set at 0.3 percent, while in the majority of European countries it is 0.2 percent – with the exceptions of Italy (0.6 percent) and Switzerland (1 percent).

Should we be afraid of its psychoactive effects?

According to the information provided for doctors and patients entitled Cannabis Safety, developed by the association Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the short-term effects from herbal cannabis may include “coughing or wheezing

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Cannabinoid Close-Up

How THC helps PAIN RELIEF – THC acts on the central nervous system, activating the CB1 receptors 01 

in the brain, which affect pain perception. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also able to reduce pain locally, for example burns and abrasions.

INCREASED APPETITE – countless studies and patient testimonials have proven 02  that THC increases one’s appetite, which is an essential precondition for recovery with cancer patients and persons suffering from HIV/AIDS or eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia).

REDUCTION OF NAUSEA AND VOMIT SUPPRESSION – cancer patients in particular 03  receiving conventional forms of therapy (chemotherapy, radiation treatment) are helped by THC in that it works as a highly effective anti-emetic.

ANTISPASMODIC – countless studies have shown that THC significantly alleviates 04 

the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other diseases which are characterized by muscle spasms.

ANTIBACTERIAL QUALITIES – not only THC, but also other cannabinoids have been 05  repeatedly shown to have antibacterial effects even on bacteria resistant to ordinary antibiotics, for example methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

BETTER SLEEP – while some studies have shown that THC can have adverse effects 06 

on the sleep of chronic users, the majority of patients using THC state that it helps them to fall asleep and improves the quality of their sleep. Studies have shown that THC has the ability to decrease sleep “latency”, which is the time it takes for the transition of states from being awake until the first sleep phase.

HEALING MENTAL TRAUMA – studies have shown that using cannabis with a high 07 

THC content can reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety.

if inhaling (Ed. note: smoking or vaporizing), euphoria, dry mouth, reddening of the eyes, increased appetite, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, delayed motor reactions, sedation, and anxiety. Many of the psychoactive effects will decrease with prolonged use. In most cases, side effects are mild, well tolerated, and can be controlled with careful titration or dose management.” The intensity and tolerability of the psychoactive effects for which THC is responsible are influenced by several factors: the prior experience of the user, the amount of THC consumed, the method of its ingestion (inhalation, in edibles, in tincture or extract), one’s mental state before use, and last but not least, the environment in which the user is located. It is especially important with inexperienced users that they consume cannabis in a well-known and friendly environment, ideally under the supervision of an experienced individual.

Number of deaths from overdose: 0

Inexperienced users should consume cannabis in a wellknown and friendly environment.

If you are a beginner, or using cannabis with a higher THC content, it is possible that you might experience bouts of anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, and/ or have the feeling that something bad is happening to you. It is not. The professional literature, medical institutions and thousands of years of practical experiences are all clear on this: it is impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis (more specifically, THC). It is stated that a person who weighs 70 kg (155 lbs) would have to take 70 grams of pure THC in order to put their life in danger. If we are talking about dried flowers (buds) with an average content of ten percent THC, then one would have to consume 700 grams of flowers within a very short time period, which is practically impossible. •

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Source: Flicker

Cannabinoid Close-Up

Harvard psychiatrist Lester Grinspoon, a world-famous expert on the effects of cannabis, said this on its toxicity: “There is no known lethal dose. On the basis of animal models, the ratio of lethal to effective dose is estimated at 40,000 to 1. By comparison, the ratio is between 4 and 10 for ethanol (Ed. note: alcohol, which is legal).”

Psychological addiction

Regarding the possibility of addiction, Grinspoon writes that cannabis is far less addictive and subject to abuse than many drugs prescribed today. We should add that in terms of addiction, Dr. Grinspoon is referring to psychological, not physical addiction. The reason is that when stopping the use of cannabis, the vast majority of users experience only slight and short-term withdrawal symptoms (if any) which cannot be compared to breaking the habit of “hard” drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine, not to mention alcohol and tobacco.

What to look out for

Tetrahydrocannabinol, according to some studies, may pose a risk regarding brain development in adolescents. This is the main reason why in all countries in which recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in the past few years, it has been limited to persons at least 18 or 21 years-old. Studies also show that THC can aggravate psychiatric disorders in persons suffering

from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. On the other hand, the favored argument of cannabis opponents that it can bring on the onset of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders in healthy individuals has never been confirmed scientifically. All the recent research indicates solely that THC may contribute to “inducing” schizophrenia in people who are already genetically predisposed to it or have other preconditions. For this reason, cannabis with a high THC content is not recommended to anyone who suffers from, or is predisposed to, mental illness.

From the patient’s perspective

Nothing is as simple as it first seems. In the infographic on the preceding page, one can see that a number of alleged bad properties of THC can actually be beneficial for many patients (e.g. increased appetite or better sleep), and THC can even help patients who have had traumatic experiences return to a normal life. It all depends on the given person and the reason for use; nevertheless, it is crystal clear that THC is no “bad guy”. •

It is impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis.

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Advice for Patients

THE DOCTOR IS IN LOSING CONSCIOUSNESS

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Daniel Bárta, MD

I suffer from Crohn’s disease, and use cannabis to treat it. I’ve been a regular user for fifteen years, but not a heavy one. One night a few weeks ago I had a joint and a couple of beers, and right after finishing the joint I went to pee and started to see stars, and when I left the toilet I lost consciousness for two seconds and fell down, hitting my head. What could have caused this? I had tests done (head, heart, blood pressure) and the results were ok…? Hello. From your description, it seems that you underwent a short episode of low blood pressure, with momentary insufficient blood pressure to the brain. These episodes usually last from a few seconds to half a minute and without resulting symptoms (unless a person is injured when falling). There could be several causes. Combining cannabis with alcohol certainly has a “stronger” effect than cannabis alone, because its effects are multiplied. Also the THC content in cannabis which is smoked can vary from plant to plant, so the effects are varied. Other factors which could come into play are the body’s overall physical fatigue, psychological frame of mind, or not keeping one’s liquids up (alcohol is a dehydrator). Also, regarding Crohn’s disease: cannabis certainly can help autoimmune diseases, but smoking is not the most suitable method of ingestion for treatment. I rather recommend vaporizing or oral consumption – cannabis extract in oil, in capsules – or even suppositories.

GRANDMOTHER IN PAIN I’m writing to you with a favor regarding my sick grandmother, who is 77 and has spinal deformation. One of her legs is more than an inch shorter than the other, which she never realized before. It’s too late for an operation and she can barely walk on account of the pain, which is severely affecting her independence. My question is whether she could use cannabis – and in what form? Just medicines with CBD? What about medical marihuana – which doctors can write prescriptions for it? My grandma has asthma so I’m not sure whether or not she could use a vaporizer. While vaporizing cannabinoids leads to suppression of the inflammatory component of asthma and to bronchodilation, it is not necessarily the method of choice for non-smokers. Cannabis drops might be a more acceptable option for your grandmother as they can be more precisely dosed. Cannabis drops should have a higher CBD content (ideally, at least 20%), and if they contain a smaller amount of THC (let’s say, 1–3%), they will not make your granny “high”. Overthe-counter “CBD oil” however usually contains a maximum of 10% CBD and is not a cheap option. For more severe pain, cannabis suppositories are better tolerated, including a higher THC content which helps suppress pain but does not induce any psychotropic effects.

Dr. Daniel Bárta, MD (38) a.k.a. “Happy Doctor CZ” is a general practitioner from the Czech Republic. After finishing his degree in medicine, he worked for several years as a doctor in Malta, Nepal and the Philippines. In Malta, he took part in semi-official research on the effects of cannabis extract on leukemia cells and has wide experience with patients who use cannabis as part of their treatment. Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Advice for Patients

Do you have any questions about cannabis, but are afraid to ask your doctor? Ask ours! Just send an e-mail to office@cannathemag.com and put “Ask Happy Doctor” as the subject.

BAD SLEEP AFTER QUITTING I’ve been smoking pot for over two years (every day, and a lot), and recently I’ve decided to quit. It’s the first time I’ve quit and I don’t feel the need to light up, but unfortunately I’m now suffering from insomnia. I can’t sleep the entire night, try as I may, and get tired only around five or six a.m. How long will it take for my sleep to get back to normal? When I can go to bed at night with the feeling that I’ll soon be asleep? Insomnia and headaches are the two main symptoms of people who have stopped smoking cannabis after previous daily use. They might last from one to three weeks; it is individual, depending on the time one has been smoking and one’s previous daily intake. It’s also necessary to take a look at other possible causes of insomnia (like psychological stress from work, stressful family situation, or a difficult period in one’s life) which in a state of “being high” one might not feel so intensely. To return to a regular sleep routine it’s a good idea to improve one’s habits – for example not watching an action film less than half an hour before going to bed, not putting on loud music, not trying to resolve work (or other) obligations. Also recommended are various meditation techniques or autogenic training. Sleep is deepest after physical exertion through sports, manual work, or sex. Unfortunately, you did not state how many days you’ve been suffering from insomnia in order for me to objectively evaluate the seriousness of your condition.

INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE My son (25 y.o.) was diagnosed six months ago with acute inflammation of the prostate. He’s been taking antibiotics for some time now, nevertheless he is still suffering from urinal tract pain and it has also severely affected his moods. Do you think this might be a situation where he could use cannabis medications? We do not know whom to ask for advice and help. Our doctor thinks that it might be incurable. Chronic prostate inflammation is tough on the patient, and a tough one to cure, but I wouldn’t say it’s incurable. Official medicine offers only antibiotics for treatment, but one can try other options. Regarding cannabis treatment, in his case I  would recommend the oral use of medicines with a higher CBD content (ideally, at least 20%) and the lowest possible THC content. CBD has excellent anti-inflammatory effects and in synergy with THC both cannabinoids work more effectively, and due to a lower THC content your son will not feel any psychoactive effects. He could also try cannabis suppositories with a slightly higher THC content, where he shouldn’t be troubled by psychoactive effects, due to the location of their application. One must of course take caution when driving a motor vehicle or on the job – if tested for the presence of THC, your son might test positive. Acupuncture would be another alternative treatment method. •

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Source: BCBubbleman

Pharmacopoeia

Plants of the genus Cannabis have been used since time immemorial for the treatment of infectious diseases – not only of bacterial origin, but also of viral or yeast origin. This is particularly true regarding local application in the form of ointments or tinctures on the skin or mucous membranes; however there are also found recipes for its internal use in old pharmacopoeias.

The Antibacterial Effects of Cannabis and Its Active Substances Cannabis as a medicine

Probably the most complex research into the antibacterial and other therapeutic qualities of cannabis was carried out in the 1950s by researchers at Palacký University Olomouc, in today’s Czech Republic, under professors Šantavý and Kabelík. The two experimented with the use of extracts from different parts of the cannabis plant and the conclusions of their research were subsequently published in proceedings from the conference Cannabis as a Medicine [Konopí jako lék], which mention for example successes with applications in dentistry, chronic inflammation of the middle ear and sinuses, and even in the treatment of tuberculosis. These therapeutic effects known to folk medicine were of great

value, especially before the discovery of antibiotics. And at present, due to the higher incidence of bacteria resistant to standard therapies, there has been a renaissance in the use of herbal substances with antibacterial effects, as bacteria usually have no resistance to them.

Cannabis vs. MRSA

Of especial interest in this connection are the activities of cannabis extracts and cannabinoids against MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin is a type of penicillin which was used effectively against this infection in the past). MRSA occurs primarily in hospitals, where it mainly affects long-term hospitalized patients – for whom this infection is often fatal.

Cannabis Therapy Magazine

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Martin Helcman


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Pharmacopoeia

Cannabinoid acids

In the unprocessed cannabis plant, the majority of cannabinoids are found in the form of acids. These are without exception non-psychoactive (even psychoactive THC is derived from a specific acid only after treating the plant with heat), however their antibacterial effects are the same as with cannabinoids, or even greater. 0 The trichome, or resin gland, is located on the flowers and petals and contains the highest amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes.

In the United States alone, more patients die annually as a result of this infection than from AIDS. At present, several cannabinoids are being tested for use against MRSA, especially non-psychoactive CBD and CBG (cannabigerol); psychoactive THC as well as several synthetic cannabinoids have also shown good results against it. Hopefully these substances could be used against skin infections from MRSA, as well as in the disinfection of hospital premises and equipment, where the substances found in cannabis could replace synthetic disinfectants (with uncertain effectiveness and problematic health hazards) used at present.

Resistant tuberculosis

Another highly-resistant bacterium against which cannabinoids are being tested at present is XTRD, a strain of tuberculosis extremely resistant to the majority of current antibiotics. Moreover, the above-mentioned evidence of the successful use of cannabis extract in treating tuberculosis is testimony to the presence of substances highly effective against these types of bacteria. In addition to using it against resistant strains of bacteria, recently there have also been discovered other hopeful indications for cannabis and the substances contained within it. One such case is that of Clostridium difficile: especially after long-term treatment with antibiotics, there is often an accompanying significant disruption in intestinal microflora and consequent attack on the intestines by hostile bacteria. Clostridium difficile, causing diarrhea and intestinal inflammation, is especially dangerous, as it is difficult to treat therapeutically and often has serious, even fatal consequences. Here the active substances in cannabis might be extraordinarily helpful, not only because of their antibacterial properties, but also their anti-inflammatory properties.

Whom to thank?

It is still unclear as to exactly which substances are responsible for the efficacy of cannabis extracts against bacteria. The most likely candidates would seem to be the cannabinoids,

especially THC, CBD, CBN (cannabinol) and CBG. Cannabigerol is also found in other plants – for instance, in the South African perennial Helichrysum umbraculigerum it is found in concentrations much higher than that of cannabis, and the use of this plant for the treatment of many infections is well documented.

Terpenes on the scene

Another important group of substances which contribute to these qualities of cannabis are terpenes. These are the essential oils responsible for its characteristic aroma and flavor. Cannabis has an extremely wide spectrum of these substances; for some strains the typical essential oils are limonene or citral, which confer a citrus scent, or linalool, which has a lavender aroma. The most common terpene found is caryophyllene, which is also present in cloves. All of these substances have been shown to have significant antibacterial activity, not only in killing bacteria or preventing their growth, but also in reducing their aggressiveness (which leads to the infection not developing completely and so it is easier to treat both the immune system and its pathogen).

Synergy in first place

For the overall effectiveness of cannabis extracts (not just their anti-bacterial effects, but also against inflammation and cancer), the concept of synergy or the entourage effect likely plays an important role. In short, this has to do with the interaction of substances of various types – here primarily cannabinoids and terpenes – through which the overall effect exceeds the sum of the effects of the individual components. Because there is a huge number of known (and perhaps even yet unknown) substances in cannabis, it is practically impossible to manufacture a preparation with the proper synergistic effect merely by mixing ingredients in a laboratory. With respect to that, and to the significantly lower price compared to cannabinoids prepared in a laboratory, the use of standardized extracts produced from the entire plant appears likely to be one of the simplest and most promising options in the future treatment of infectious diseases. However, thanks to their antibacterial properties (and their low price), this is not the only area in which cannabis products could be used to good effect. In addition to adding them to disinfectants mentioned above, they could also find use in the food and cosmetic industries as preservatives. •

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The author is a pharmacist.


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Veterinary Medicine

It was an experiment, confirmed. Eight years ago, she had no idea that cannabis could be used in treating animals – but now, after many trials, she is convinced that under specific regimes cannabinoids can significantly help cats, dogs, and other animals in pain. According to Canadian veterinarian Katherine Kramer, cannabis has huge potential in treating animals. The road to using it in the animal kingdom, however, might be a very long one.

Put Kitty to Sleep? We Tried Cannabis Instead

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Matěj Skalický

You state in newspaper interviews that treating pets with cannabis might be safe and effective. Could you tell us how that works, and what personal experiences you have had with it? I first came across using cannabis seven or eight years ago, when I had a seriously ill cat as a patient and we considered putting it to sleep. However, the cat’s owner, who had had experience with cannabis, wanted to try using cannabis with a high cannabidiol (CBD) content. At that time I had no idea what that treatment was or how it might work, so it was a pure experiment. But the cat’s condition improved so much that it forced me to consider cannabis as an alternative for several other animal patients. In my practice, I make use of alternative medicine and I often get geriatric patients with cancer and other grave diseases. And in the last seven years I have seen a number of cases in which the use of cannabis has had amazing results. When we speak of cannabis however, we must remember one important thing: there are many various strains and preparations. In the case of pets, we aim especially at products with a high CBD content and a very low content of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Ordinarily available cannabis usually has a high THC content, which can be toxic for some animals. If we concentrate on products which mainly contain CBD, then the treatment is quite safe. You mentioned cats. What other pets can be helped? Are we speaking only of mammals, or other types? We know that cannabis affects the endoc­ annabinoid system, which all mammals share.

Theoretically cannabis should be of clinical use to any mammal. I work solely with cats and dogs, so I can only speak from experience about them. It is however true that I’ve spoken with several veterinarians who have used cannabis products on horses and have had very good results. This is why I think that cannabis products could be very useful in treating basically any animal. You’ve mentioned the role of cannabis in cancer treatment… what other illnesses can cannabis help with? From what I’ve seen in my work, cannabis is exceptionally effective in treating all types of chronic pain. It’s also effective in treating arthritis and seizures. It definitely helps in these cases, and I would guess that about all of my animal patients with seizures are taking some kind of cannabis. It’s also very useful for palliative treatment of pets with cancer, where it relieves the side effects of chemotherapy; it is useful in treating diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, Crohn’s disease and others. The more we learn about the endocannabinoid system, the more it is clear that it has an influence on basically all physiological processes, so when we’re talking about a list of potential indications and conditions where cannabis can help treat animals, that list seems practically endless these days. What about cannabis with a high THC content? How big a problem is it when animals overdose? How does it happen, and how often do you encounter it in Vancouver? Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Cannabis is everywhere in Vancouver and so we have lots of accidental overdoses when, say, a dog finds

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Photo: Shutterstock

Veterinary Medicine

0  Your pet should definitely not have free access to cannabis.

Katherine Kramer Veterinarian Katherine Kramer has long been a supporter of the research and practical use of cannabis on animals. She has been practising veterinary medicine for sixteen years, and at present works as the director of an animal clinic in Vancouver, Canada. In her practice, she has had success in combining treatment of Western medicine with herbal remedies and acupuncture. a cannabis snack wrapper in the park. Animals are very sensitive to all forms of cannabis. I think that in Canada, and other countries where recreational cannabis will be legalized, we’re going to come across the problem that cannabis products will be everywhere and lots of people will say, “I use it, it makes me feel great, it helps my health problems… so it should also work on my pets.” One must remember that dogs and cats are very different creatures from us humans, they process various and sundry substances differently than we do, and substances have different effects on them. And they are very sensitive to products with a higher content of THC. I saw it written in the Globe and Mail that members of the Canadian veterinarian community have been talking more and more recently about the therapeutic uses of cannabis. Could you comment on that? When I started to become interested in the potential use of cannabis in veterinary medicine, many veterinarians said that it’s illegal, so we shouldn’t even talk about it, or that I’m doing something bad. That’s  what they said in the open… but then they would call me all the time and ask how to use it, and how do I talk about

it with people, or how do I lecture about it at the local university, or how do I justify its use legally with the authorities. We’ve seen a major shift this year, in that both the Canadian and the American veterinary associations have opened the discussion and recognised that there is huge clinical potential here and that cannabis treatment is something with an immediate impact on our profession. Currently we are dealing with how to safely prescribe and on which conditions to recommend cannabis products. But we still have a long way to go regarding talks with the ministry of health and the government; it’s necessary to think about how to do all this. It’s also necessary to carry out research on animals. But one of the positive things about legalization (on 17 October 2018, prohibition of cannabis was ended in Canada – Ed.) for all adults is that it opens the door to research: research will help us determine which preparations work best, how they are best processed in the body, what the proper dosages are. We have to find the answers to all these questions. But it’s great to see how many veterinarians are demanding more information, how many want to learn more about it. At the same time, government agencies are open to the issue. •

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Veterinary Medicine

More dogs than you might think are suffering from a disease called osteoarthritis. This chronic joint disease is characterized by increasing destruction and loss of joint cartilage. The dog is in pain when the joint is loaded or moved. Knees, elbows, forefoot, vertebrae and hips are most commonly affected.

Medical Effects of CBD in Dogs with Osteoarthritis

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steoarthritis is the result of previous joint damage such as injuries, torn ligaments, overloading and malalignments. The further the disease progresses, the more the quality of life of the dog is reduced.

Source:  Jon Grogan on Unsplash

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Alica Ücdemir / CannaVets

Dogs cannot break out of the vicious circle

A big problem with osteoarthritis is the vicious circle that occurs when a dog suffers from the symptoms of the disease. The pain in the joints leads to reduced activity which can stiffen them even more if they are not moved regularly. This worsens the pain and makes the dog even less active. Therefore, the aim of osteoarthritis treatment is to restore or improve the dog’s mobility and thereby its quality of life. Today the traditional treatment of arthritis in dogs is mainly based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics. However, the problem with taking this type of medicine is the damage it does to the kidneys and digestive system. Since long-term therapy is often indicated, the drugs must not only be effective, but also well tolerated in long-term use.

Could CBD be the solution? It is already known that CBD has relaxing, anxiolytic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The analgesic effect of CBD in dogs with osteoarthritis could help to break the vicious circle of pain and movement inactivity.

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Veterinary Medicine

CannaVets More and more veterinarians are identifying these and other beneficial properties of CBD for the treatment of dogs, cats and other pets with various complaints. The start-up CannaVets, founded by interdisciplinary veterinarians in Barcelona, has had success in treating pets with CBD for more than one year now. In more than 80% of their treated cases, they observed a clinical improvement of the affected pets. CannaVets’ veterinarians use co-adjuvant therapies, which means that conventional medication is supported by CBD treatment. Within the guided and continued treatment, the veterinarians rely on oral application of a pet friendly CBD oil. According to them, the application of CBD is beneficial in those cases in which common medication does not have the expected therapeutic potency. Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) can be used as a natural treatment to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. In a trial conducted by a research team from Cornell University, the analgesic efficacy and safety of cannabidiol treatment in dogs with osteoarthritis was investigated. Two groups of dogs were treated with CBD oil or a placebo oil every 12 hours for 4 weeks. Both the attending physicians and the owners of the dogs found pain relief and an increase in physical activity with the use of CBD oil. No side effects were reported.

It was shown that CBD is potentially a safe alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Due to the reduced pain, the dog will be able to move more by itself and thus stimulate the alleviation of symptoms and break out of the circle. It can be concluded that CBD offers a great opportunity of treating osteoarthritis in a natural way by promoting the mobility of muscles and joints painlessly. The success of the above-mentioned CBD therapies and the conducted studies give many pet owners hope to increase the quality of life of their pets. • ADVERTISEMENT  ]

UNIQUE 1:1 RATIO CBD:CBN FOR HELP WITH INSOMNIA AND ANXIETY Cloud 9 Switzerland LLC – E-mail: info@cloud9ch.com – Website: www.cloud9switzerland.com Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Medical Strains

CBD Crew is a seed bank co-owned by the legendary Australian breeder Scott Blakey, a/k/a Shantibaba. In recent years, his focus has been on the production of the highest quality genetics for medicinal use with higher concentrations of CBD and balanced or lower contents of THC.

Photo:  CBD Crew (2×)

CBD Crew

Genetics:

50% Indica / 50% Sativa

Flowering Time:

8–9 weeks

Sex:

Feminized

THC:

THC:

cca 0.5 %

CBD: 8.32 %

CBD:

cca 8–10 %

CBG:

THC/CBD

1 : 20

Analysis Report:

0.35 % 0.27 %

Analysis by: Fundación CANNA

Genetics:

80% Indica / 20% Sativa

Flowering Time:

8 weeks

Sex:

Feminized

THC:

THC:

5–10 %

CBD: 8.13 %

CBD:

5–10 %

CBN: 0.02 %

THC/CBD

1 : 1 to 1 : 2

Analysis Report:

5.49 %

Analysis by: Fundación CANNA

CBD Therapy Long-awaited low THC and high CBD strain! CBD Therapy will be revolutionary in treating people who do not wish to experience the psychoactive effects of high THC content, such as those suffering with Dravet syndrome, MS, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, inflammation, anxiety, depression or epilepsy. CBD Therapy can be used in production of medical extractions suited for a variety of illnesses and conditions. We do recommend getting your cannabis lab-tested if possible. The ratio between the two main cannabinoids can vary from 20 : 1 to 2 : 1. While growing indoors might increase the THC content a little, the plants will still be very low in THC compared to other cannabis strains. The aroma ranges from the sweetness of fruits to truffle earthiness. Warning: This is NOT hemp and cannot be grown as hemp, on account of the risk of higher THC content due to its genetics.

CBD Critical Mass Grows like a sativa, but flowers like an indica! The CBD-enriched version of the popular Critical Mass yields heavy, dense, indica-like flowers. The aroma of CBD Critical Mass is dominated by a rich honey sweetness with deep and strong complex undertones. A nice plant, easy to grow. The plant tends to stretch a lot when it is too hot or when it grows too close to other plants. Better results are achieved when using a metal-halide lamp in the first 2 weeks of flowering, then switching to high-pressure sodium lights. The flowering time is short, less than 60 days. Its buds can get so heavy during flowering that it might be a good idea to support them to avoid snapping. The effects are mild and active, no paranoia; it is also good against insomnia. This is a medical strain for those who need a more balanced ratio of THC and CBD, or increased CBD levels.

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Photo:  Laura Kovanska

Interview

RADOVAN HŘIB Where there’s a will, there’s a way Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Interview

St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno is proud of an interesting fact: It’s number one in the country in terms of how many patients they treat legally with medical cannabis. Credit for this goes mainly to Dr. Radovan Hřib, head doctor at the hospital’s Center for Pain Treatment, who does not only prescribe cannabis to patients suffering from pain, but is also a tireless lecturer on the subject, helping to educate other health workers.

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Lukas Hurt

What is the range of your patients in terms of age and diagnosis? Very broad. Our youngest patient is twenty years old, and on the opposite spectrum I treat many seniors of advanced age. In terms of diagnoses and conditions, roughly ten percent of our patients are cancer patients, then comes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In cooperation with a gastroenterologist, we also help a lot of patients – at present about twenty – with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These patients often suffer from painful joints and ligaments, on which they cannot use standard anti-arthritis treatments.

to treatment I therefore advise patients to buy some kind of commercial hemp ointments in the pharmacy, if they are not able to make their own at home. I often learn a lot from my patients in such cases.

Under current laws you’re not allowed to prescribe cannabis for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is that right? No, we’re not. We treat those patients for pain. Their doctors from gastroenterology send them to us because they have problems with mitigating the above-described pain, which often moves around the body, wherever the disease manifests itself. And cannabis does a very good job on such pain.

How popular is the vaporization station you opened last spring, in comparison to oral capsule use? The capsules are very popular, which is the reason why the number of patients in the vaporization station is lower at present than we had expected. It’s also a question of when the insurance companies are going to at least partially subsidize vaporizers – once that happens, people would be interested in trying something new. But we’ve all been quite surprised how effective and popular the oral form has been.

Salves should work well on joint pain, but you can’t find ones with high cannabinoid content in pharmacies, unlike capsules. The problem with salves in this country is that at present they can’t be prepared properly, since we do not have extract at our disposal. By the time we macerate cannabis buds for example in lard or Vaseline, the prescription has just about expired. In other words, it’s not possible to make good salves in two weeks. As a supplement

Are most of your patients new to cannabis, or have they had prior experience? My guess is that nine out of ten new patients are virgins when it comes to cannabis. In fact, many of them have deeply rooted “cannaphobia”. The rest have had some kind of therapeutic experience; with the younger generation, sometimes even recreational use.

What has been your experience with the psychoactivity of the oral capsules which the hospital pharmacy prepares for your patients? The 19% THC content could be quite strong for some. It can be a problem sometimes for older people, but they’re not that psychoactive – I’d compare them to getting a bit tipsy on alcohol. We’ve •

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Photo:  Tomáš Michna

Interview

in pharmacies. That’s a more exact term than “medical cannabis”, although it’s one and the same plant. “Medical cannabis” is a kind of artificial concept, is that right? I suppose it has to be categorized that way, but I don’t consider that phrase as the best solution.

[ Cannabis for patients is stored in the refrigerator.

had rare reports of hallucinations and such. When we started, we gave the first patient a quarter-gram, which hit him hard, so now we start with a sixteenth of a gram or even smaller amounts. Do you have the support of the hospital administration for cannabis treatment? Our director, Dr. Pavlík, has been very open from the start regarding cannabis treatment, and still is. In that respect I truly have maximum support. Are you afraid of negative coverage from the media? Not at all. I do keep an eye out personally for one thing – that I  never express anything in public about the recreational use of cannabis, because I don’t want people to confuse the two. Also, I’m not an expert in addictology nor other social sciences. As a private citizen, of course I do have an opinion – just like I don’t have a problem with recreational use of alcohol, I also don’t have a problem with recreational use of cannabis – but I’m not going to make a big fuss about it in the newspapers, because I don’t want it to interfere with medical cannabis. That is to say, cannabis intended for medical treatment, which is sold

Cannabis and opioids can work very well together to help patients with pain.

You’ve co-authored a chapter on cannabis treatment in the new book Opioids. Do you have any practical experience with the simultaneous prescription of these drugs against pain compared to cannabis? We prescribe them both together, without a problem, although the majority of patients who are starting with cannabis have already been using opioids. Thanks to having a  constant supply of cannabis and not being threatened with shortages as in the past, I’ve recently begun to reduce the dosages of opioids for several patients. At present I don’t have any data, because these patients haven’t yet come in for a check-up. Nevertheless, what is important is that I don’t have any negative data – because if patients had experienced discomfort, they would have called. None of the patients in the group has called yet. So what is your opinion now on mutually supplementing the effects of cannabis and opioids on pain – and the future of this treatment? Absolutely positive. I think that cannabis and opioids can work well together to benefit patients in pain. And what about cancer treatment and cannabis? It’s not your field, but you must at least be following this area. In this country cannabis can be prescribed for suppressing the effects of nausea as a result of chemotherapy, where nausea is quite often the reason for ending classic oncological therapy, because patients simply cannot go through with it. If cannabis helps reduce these kinds of states, allowing the patient to withstand the entire chemotherapy treatment, then why not? Chemotherapy is unhealthy for the body itself; luckily in most cases it kills more tumorous cells than nontumorous ones. What about the direct, curative effects of cannabis on cancer patients? For example in Spain there is ongoing research which seems to indicate that cannabinoids in

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Photo:  Tomáš Michna

Interview

We’ve all been quite surprised at how effective and popular the capsules have been. [ The production of cannabis capsules requires time and diligence.

combination with chemotherapy have more significant anti-cancer activity than when administered independently. That sounds very promising.

International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI), we’re preparing a series of lectures for regional hospitals which should take place this year.

I’ve heard that you take part in organizing seminars and workshops for health care workers. That’s true, I do lectures which for the most part take place in hospitals and at present are run by the firm Spectrum Cannabis, which supplies our pharmacies with cannabis from Canada. Several lectures have also been organized by Elkoplast, but it’s quite a demanding activity economically. Four courses have already taken place within our national Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education, where there was great interest. They are taking place under the auspices of the sub-department of Palliative Medicine and the main organizer is Dr. Ondřej Sláma, a palliative medicine doctor and oncologist at the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute in Brno.

Do you think general practitioners in your country should have the ability to prescribe cannabis? At present they cannot do this legally. Why not? If there is interest in doing so, then they ought to be able to prescribe it. A general practitioner is an expert like anyone else and they also have to obey laws and regulations like anybody else. I don’t think that in the case of using cannabis in medicine it is necessary to limit it only to certain specialties within which it can be used.

That sounds very positive. In addition to those, in cooperation with the company Spectrum Cannabis and the Prague

What is your opinion on the fact that in your country, cannabis cannot be used to treat patients less than eighteen years old? While I don’t have any personal official or unofficial experience with cannabis and youths, on the other hand I have been following for instance how in the Food and Drug Administration in the USA has recently approved medical CBD cannabis for treating children with epilepsy. •

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Photo:  Tomáš Michna

Interview

0 Blending decarboxylated cannabis and starch.

There are lots of revolutionaries around cannabis who’d like everything now, but some changes take time.

Last November at the Cannafest trade fair in Prague I also spoke with the parents of a young girl who suffers from a grave illness called Patau syndrome, and for whom after using extract with a high CBD content, the number of her seizures significantly decreased. Personally, I am happy that at least treatment for adults is finally being developed now in this country. And once it’s truly established, then we can begin to think about where it should be taken further. There are lots of revolutionaries around cannabis these days, who’d like to wave a magic wand and have it all now, and I know I might sometimes sound like a member of Jaroslav Hašek’s (Ed. note: author of the Good Soldier Švejk) satirical “Party of Moderate Progress within the Bounds of the Law”. Nevertheless, I’ve been in medicine for quite a while, so I know that some changes take time. I was asking because in most countries where medical cannabis is legal, there is no patient age limit for treatment. I suppose in this country the law is not worded well, but I also believe that when work starts on revisions in the law, we’ll have statistics from those countries at hand, and then prescribing cannabis for child patients with certain indications will be allowed. What other challenges does the development of cannabis treatment face in the Czech Republic? I see one of the main problems today in the pharmacies, where although the majority don’t mind issuing cannabis, they often balk when it comes to preparing capsules, because it’s more work. So if I were a doctor and wanted to prescribe my patients cannabis, I’d need

a gentleman’s agreement with a willing pharmacy who could make preparations from it for me? If most of your patients vaporized, then it would be simple for the pharmacy. Only with that form of administration we come to a hurdle in the form of the high purchase price of vaporizers, which is one of the main reasons why my patients prefer capsules. And the pharmacies don’t want to prepare them. During my lectures around the country I’ve heard lots of different arguments by pharmacists why it doesn’t work at their pharmacy, but the truth remains that most of them simply don’t want it. As the Czech actor and personality Jan Werich once said: “If there’s a will, there’s a way. He who ain’t willing, finds an excuse.” •

MUDr. Radovan Hřib (b. 1970) He graduated in general medicine from the Masaryk University Faculty of Medicine in Brno. Since 1996 he has been working at the Anesthesiology and Resuscitation Department of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno, now in the position of head doctor at the Center for Pain Treatment. He specializes in treating chronic and acute pain, both oncological and nononcological, in the wide spectrum of possibilities: from basic and advanced pharmacological treatment to rehabilitative treatment after implantation of highly sophisticated neuro-modular equipment. In recent years he has concerned himself with practical questions of using cannabis in medicine. He combines this natural form of treatment with classical medicine to take advantage of the best of what both have to offer. Especially due to his efforts, St. Anne’s University Hospital became the first state healthcare facility in the Czech Republic where doctors began to prescribe cannabis for medical use.

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FIRST CANNABIS STORE

CBD – CLUB Prague

www.cbd-club.cz

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Photo: iStock

Vaporizační koutek

1 Vaporizing Cannabis

as a Therapeutic Method Vaporizing (or vaping) is a modern and gentle method of efficiently obtaining the active substances from herbs. In this regular series, we will provide you with a complete, step-by-step guide to vaporizing: how it works, the process and effects of vaporization, which herbs to vaporize, and so much more. Today, we’ll take a look into its history and explain the basic principles.

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Jana Jesenská

he words vaporizing and vaporizer come from the Latin word vapor, which means steam. From the physical point of view, it’s the process of transforming substances from solid or liquid states to a gaseous state. A device called a vaporizer allows one to control the heating process (never burning), allowing inhalation to be virtually free of harmful substances.

Versatile possibilities of use

Thanks to advances in science, today we know the precise boiling points of the individual cannabinoids and terpenes contained in cannabis, and so we can use quality vaporizers to establish individual treatment therapies for various

health problems. The most common indications for vaporizing cannabis are all types of pain and cramps, insomnia and loss of appetite. Vaporizers are also suitable as a means for quitting smoking (tobacco or cannabis). As opposed to electronic cigarettes, where a person inhales a mixture of chemical fragrances and propylene glycol in addition to nicotine, when vaporizing, a person inhales only healthy active substances. As a supplementary treatment, vaporizing herbs can be used for almost all acute and chronic conditions. This modern therapeutic method not only poses no risks to a patient’s health, but it is also very effective and easy to use.

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Vapes Corner

Therefore, in our series you will learn everything you need to know, from the use of vaping in practice to the differences between individual vaporizers. First however, let us return to its very beginnings – who discovered vaping and why? What did vaporizers look like thirty years ago, and what kind of instruments do we have at our disposal today?

The history of vaporizing

The very beginning of vaporizing is connected to a Native American, the legendary cannabis activist Eagle Bill Amato (1942–2005). In the 1980s, he was the first to test a new method of inhaling cannabis: he placed dried flowers into a huge glass flask, which he then gently heated with a hot air pistol. The full flavor, and absence of smoke, completely captivated Bill. He then began promoting his method as a healthy alternative to smoking. In time, Bill’s original flask was transformed into an almost pocket­ sized device which was heated by a lighter and began to be sold in smoke shops around the world. In the 1990s, the first simple electric devices appeared on the market, which vaporized the active ingredients in herbs in a kind of small pan. Into this pan (or metal chamber, if you prefer), ground, dried herbs were placed, which then were lightly “toasted” but not burned. The resulting vapor went into a glass flask and was then inhaled through a stem. This homemade prototype however lacked a temperature control and off-switch; it was simply plugged into a socket. The user thus had to be constantly on guard to avoid unwanted burning of the plant material.

We speak of real vaporization only when there is no incineration.

In 1996, the German firm Aromed introduced the first tabletop device which allowed regulation of heat and temperature control via a digital display. And laboratory glass was also used for the first time to preserve the vapor’s taste. A ground-breaking step into the world of medicine came four years later with the tabletop model vaporizer Volcano Classic from the German firm Storz & Bickel. This unit introduced a completely new way of capturing vapor, into a large bag. During the course of vaporizing herbs, hot air was produced, which was then blown into the bag by a fan. From the bag, vapor was inhaled via a patented valve – thanks to which the vapor was wonderfully cool, and the “balloon” could be “stored” for up to several hours. Soon the same firm came up with the Volcano Digit model, which worked on the same principle as the analog model but offered precise temperature regulation control via an LED display.

Photo:  Storz & Bickel

First vaporizers for therapeutic use

Advantages of vaporizing • • • • •

rapid effect easy dosing savings when it comes to herbs better access to the active substances minimal presence of harmful substances

\ The Volcano™ vaporizer, with its special "balloon" for capturing vapor.

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Photo: iStock

Vapes Corner

Storz & Bickel vaporizers are used today as officially approved medical aids in an increasing number of hospitals throughout the world.

Vaporizers on the road

Another crucial moment in history was the introduction of the first truly portable vaporizer in 2008 – the butane-heated Iolite from Ireland. This vaporizer is still one of the lightest around, it requires no source of electricity, and has a fixed preset maximum heating temperature which when reached, automatically switches the device off. Especially due to the freeing up of the American medical cannabis market, vaporizing has undergone a  huge popularization in the past decade. The development of digital pocket vaporizers has also been helped by new technologies and increasing miniaturization of all components.

Vaporizing and smoking

One more point: A person is vaporizing even when smoking. Hot air from the ignited end of a  smoking device penetrates the non-burning plant material and the active ingredients in it are vaporized via heat at this moment. Unfortunately, we inhale a much greater amount of substances which are burned, and these can be very harmful. Thus we speak of real vaporization only when there is no incineration. Vaporizing does not produce any smoke nor ash, because we inhale and exhale vapor, which is almost invisible. Nothing to irritate the throat, people usually do

not cough (dry vapor can slightly irritate some), and we feel the effects within five minutes. For those who want to switch from smoking to vaporizing, I recommend they stop smoking at least one or two days before, and only start vaporizing after that pause. Nonsmokers have it easier in this respect, because for the most part they are able to recognize the effects of inhalation from their first toke. The truth is, vaporization is much more effective than smoking. •

Herb vaporization can be used for almost all acute and chronic conditions.

In the next installment, we’ll learn everything there is to know about the right way to start vaporizing.

About the author

Jana Jesenská has been interested in cannabis since 1993, when she began to treat her atopic eczema with cannabis salves and started using cannabis tincture instead of pills for pain. Thanks to vaporizing, she later completely rid herself of her nicotine habit and began to promote this healthy method of using cannabis. She founded the internet pages www. vaporizer-club.cz, which function as an advice center for those interested in vaping all medicinal herbs. Over roughly the past decade, she has met with dozens and dozens of patients and applied the method of inhalation through the help of vaporizers on the most diverse problems. She regularly lectures on vaporizing at the Prague trade fair Cannafest.

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STOCKERS.com

seedstockers.com Cannabis Therapy Magazine


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Feelings of being tense, fear, nausea, anxiety about managing basic tasks, inner trepidation that keeps you up nights. If you’ve never experienced states of anxiety, then you can hardly imagine how difficult they can be. For many people, cannabis is an invaluable aid in managing such states. However, it does sometimes happen that those who might profit best from its relaxing effects experience just the opposite. Why is that, and what could have an influence on the relationship between cannabis and anxiety?

Photo: Shutterstock

Life with Cannabis

Cannabis Paradox: States of Anxiety

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atient studies in recent years indicate that relief from anxiety and stress is the second most common reason – after pain relief – why people use cannabis as medicine. Even though we still lack relevant research which would describe the workings of various strains of cannabis in persons with specific types of anxiety disorders, the positive testimony of patients is a huge motivation for further research.

Natural alternative

“Immediately after my first puff from a vaporizer, the tightness in my chest left and I could breathe freely,” describes Alexandra, who has suffered from severe anxiety since childhood. Until she tried cannabis for the first time, she was victim to serious memory loss due to the high dosages of benzodiazepines which were the only medicine that helped reduce such uncomfortable states. “The best for me are strains with a high CBD content, via a vaporizer, which I  have with me at all times. And a  few drops of CBD extract in my tea helps me manage the whole morning at work, without pills.” States of anxiety are usually treated with prescription drugs, which have a number of uncomfortable side effects and whose active effects take up to half an hour to work – quite a long time in

the case of a panic attack. Cannabis is thus attractive as a safe, natural alternative, one which starts working almost immediately after inhaling. Of course, it too has its drawbacks.

Relief or nightmare?

It’s paradoxical that a feeling of anxiety is described as one of the notoriously unwanted effects which some “recreational” users of cannabis experience. “My heart started pounding, I couldn’t breathe, I was scared for no reason. Thoughts came flying out at me from every direction, giving me the feeling that everyone around me must be conscious of the fact that I had taken cannabis,” described one student of economics about her anxious state, in answer to a question of mine about why she has been avoiding the herb of late. “I felt that whatever I said or did only betrayed my incapacity, and everyone around me was judging me,” she added, giving a description of her paranoid states, which were accompanied by physical nausea. While these experiences are not typical, they can happen, usually as a result of first-timers using a strain with a high THC content. The unfamiliar feeling of altered consciousness and losing control over a situation can evoke inner panic in sensitive people.

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Barbora Bláhová


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Life with Cannabis

not create enough endocannabinoids, especially anandamide. Therefore, it is likely their cannabis supplements will bring the body back into balance, and the patient will feel better. This is obviously a simplified explanation, but it has been confirmed repeatedly by the testimonies of many patients. They say that when using cannabis they do not perceive any fundamental psychological changes, but rather return to an ordinary state of perception, where they can “manage things normally”. However in the case of the normally functioning endocannabinoid system, intake of a large amount of cannabinoids can lead to deviation from equilibrium, which expresses itself as a too-intense reaction. This could explain the negative anxious states of some users.

2. Ratio of THC:CBD

CBD has the potential to significantly reduce states of anxiety. Therefore, a  very important component of one’s first experiences with cannabis therapy is the knowledge of how to prepare it, and the proper dosage.

What causes anxiety?

How then to predict how cannabis will work on you, specifically? Unfortunately, science has no ready answers. However, one can infer several basic principles from available sources which could help estimate the risk of anxiety and lower the possibility of negative states to a minimum.

1. Endocannabinoid system condition

For example, we already know that a sick person, whose endocannabinoid system is not working optimally, will experience cannabis differently from a person who is healthy. Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system in people who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or have experienced great stress does

You probably already know that these two cannabinoids prevalent in cannabis are something like yin and yang, and their ratio strongly influences the effects of the herb. If the strain does not have enough CBD, then the psychoactive properties of THC might be too much. You should always find out what the ratio of CBD to THC is in your cannabis, especially if you are sensitive to consciousness-altering substances, or if you have trouble with anxiety or have nervous tendencies. This information should be listed by the producers on the seed packet. Have you ever had anxiety after too strong a cup of coffee or tea? Then be really cautious with THC. It’s best to start with strains which boast a  ratio of CBD to THC of 2:1 or higher. Strains and extracts with THC in the majority are best avoided by beginners until you find out how you react to them. Some studies show that the use of pure THC can lead directly to increased anxiety, while CBD has the potential to decrease it. It would definitely be a good idea for your first experiments with cannabis to have a cannabis preparation with a higher CBD content and a THC content of maximum 0.3 percent close at hand: it can be used as “first aid” to balance your mental state in the case of uncomfortable feelings. If you’d like to try cannabis, but don’t want to risk possible changes in consciousness as a beginner, you can try taking CBD oil for example, by itself, before bedtime. With respect to the huge differences in the quality of products on the market, always determine the precise CBD content in a given preparation. Also make sure that the producer uses pure (or purified or crystalized) CBD – or extract from •

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Photo: Shutterstock

Life with Cannabis

the entire plant, which is more effective on account of the synergy, or coaction, of all the substances contained in the plant. At the same time, you should find out whether the product has been tested for the presence of heavy metals, pesticide residues, and other toxic substances.

3. Microdosing

While at present the emphasis seems to be on extreme experiences, we should never forget that sometimes less is more. With CBD and THC it appears that the amount of the dosage fundamentally influences the effect: while a small dose of THC can alleviate anxiety, a larger dose can induce it. The trend of using very small doses (“microdosing”) is becoming popular for the treatment of anxiety, and according to some users it can really help. “I  started microdosing in the time when I  could not even leave my house without being accompanied by feelings of unbearable fear. A day after I had some cannabis candy with 5 milligrams of THC, I went to the library, and already on my way there I felt differently than usual: my hands weren’t sweating, my stomach didn’t hurt, I didn’t have the feeling of having a lump in my throat,” said Michael from the USA on an internet discussion forum on anxiety, who alleges that cannabis changed his life for the better. In countries where cannabis has been legalized, snacks with various concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes are available, in doses which run from microscopic traces to high concentrations. Their effects are generally more long-lasting, which may suit some patients (e.g. with chronic pain or insomnia). However, if

you are not sure of the cannabinoid content, it is probably better to steer clear of home-made snacks – it’s not easy to estimate the dosage and the effects of eating cannabis last much longer than when inhaled.

4. Mindset: inner mood and psychological state

One’s inner mindset is an important factor which influences reactions to cannabis: one’s personality, current mood, previous experiences, perception of treatment, and the attitudes toward it in one’s environment. One’s overall psychological state is very important, because cannabis has a tendency to intensify experiences. If you are too afraid beforehand and have doubts, cannabis can increase them. That’s why it’s important to know as much as you can about the plant before its use. Touch it, smell it, look up all the relevant information which interests you, talk to a doctor or a friend with experience. All of the above will calm you down and give you a feeling of control over the situation. With respect that many patients still treat themselves illegally, it’s worth noting that the fear of breaking the law is itself a frequent source of uncomfortable states, especially fear of being watched, discovered or arrested. It’s  important to keep in mind that where cannabis treatment is legal, there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to it. You have the full right to ask your doctor for

Cannabis Therapy Magazine

While a small dose of THC can relieve anxiety, a larger dose can increase it.


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Life with Cannabis

What happens in the brain

If you dose cannabis very cautiously, the risk of negative experience is minimal.

Anxiety sometimes also happens to experienced users. According to James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University, there can be another explanation. “When using cannabis, THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It helps release dopamine, serotonin and the GABA neurotransmitter, which influences neuron activity. Increasing GABA and serotonin levels blocks the production of noradrenalin (which influences alertness and anxiety), relaxing most people,” Giordano explains. But in some cases, the effect can be different. Lowering the level of noradrenalin can stimulate activity in the brainstem’s locus coeruleus and limbic forebrain, which can lead to an overload in the sympathetic nervous system and higher production of cortisol, experienced as anxiety. Feelings of paranoia, which sometimes accompany this state, then combine with increased dopamine in the limbic fore-brain, which in some people can evoke a feeling that others are judging or following them. (Source: Vice.com)

a prescription for official cannabis from a pharmacy, for which you cannot be harmed by law. In such cases, you have the right to use this herb, which can improve your health and make you feel better, no matter what the prejudices are in your environment. When using, remember the fact that you have control over your condition and can regulate it. If you proceed very cautiously, dosing the cannabis gradually (ideally via a vaporizer) and using a suitable strain, the risk of negative states is minimal. Combine cannabis use with meditation or yoga, feel the therapy positively and trust it – the same way you should trust yourself and your own thoughts. If you’ve ever experienced states connected with psychosis in the past, or if you have a family history of psychological disorders, it is advisable to discuss the use of cannabis first with a doctor and not try it on your own. In the meantime, you can still incline toward CBD products, which may work positively in the treatment of psychosis.

5. Setting: external conditions and environment

Just as important as one’s inner mood is the environment you’re in and what activities you’re involved with at the time. For instance, if you take cannabis before a job interview, the experience will be quite different than using a vaporizer at home on the weekend. For your first trials with cannabis, eliminate all factors that could stress you out, and make time for yourself. Don’t plan anything else for the day, and ideally nothing demanding for the day after which might amplify anxiety or

worries. Send the kids to day camp, take a day off work, put off all pressing social situations. Create a pleasant environment where nothing will interrupt you and you’ve got everything you need. Make sure you feel safe and comfortable. Try dimming the lights, putting on some quiet music, sharing the company of someone you trust and who will share the experience with you – ideally someone who has had positive experience with cannabis in the past. Others might be more comfortable being alone in the beginning, and without sharing a new mental state with anyone else. Both are fine, it’s just a question of what suits you best. If you are trying cannabis on your own, it’s  good to have a  “back-up” in the form of a  friend whom you can reach out to via telephone and who knows about your experiment – this can help to calm you down and support feelings of safety. Anxiety today is a quite a common problem. It’s often connected to the risky overuse of antidepressants, therefore we ought to be looking for an alternative therapeutic solution for managing anxiety. It’s astonishing that in many countries where cannabis therapy is legal, there is still such a lack of needed psychotherapy which could integrate cannabis as a support substance. And at the same time, we are witness to the development of assisted psychotherapies with powerful psychoactive substances such as MDMA (the active substance in the dance drug ecstasy) or psilocybin (the active substance in psychedelic mushrooms). How long do we still have to wait until these services become normal components of legal medical treatment? •

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Advertorial

The beneficial effects of cannabis come from cannabinoids as well as from essential oils, which include terpenes and other substances found in the plant. Terpenes are also responsible for the characteristic flavor and aroma of this medicinal herb, for cannabinoids themselves are odorless and flavorless.

Holy Essential Oil: Explore the magic of cannabis terpenes text

Svatý Sedláček

T

erpenes are a large group of volatile organic compounds present in many plants, and even in some animals. Most of them have a specific aroma and are primarily used as protection against predators. Certain cannabis varieties are characterized by their high content of some terpenes which are being increasingly discussed in the medical community with regard to their potentially significant therapeutic effects.

Cannabis essential oil

Essential oil (or volatile or ethereal oil) made from hemp contains no THC, so it has no psychoactive effects, but it boasts a wide range of terpenes. It blends well with other essential oils, adding depth. Cannabis essential oil can also be added to regular cosmetics made from petroleum products. It can be used to enrich CBD oils made from purified CBD. Up to one ton of hemp is needed to distil one liter of essential oil, which is one of the reasons why it is usually quite costly and hard to get.

Up to one ton of hemp is needed to distil one liter of essential oil.

The entourage effect: Terpenes + cannabinoids

The study “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects”, by one of the world’s leading

Multiple uses

Cannabis essential oil has its place as an aromatic ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and candles. It is also used as a flavoring ingredient in foods, especially confectionery and beverages. The typical home use of this fragrant essence includes aromatherapy, steam baths, inhalations and massages (add just a few drops to the massage emulsion). It can be applied on the chest to treat respiratory problems, and it could be used even as a laxative, which should be appreciated by patients who treat their chronic pain with opioids and therefore suffer from constipation.

experts in cannabis pharmacology, neurologist Ethan B. Russo, states that terpenes are quite potent and affect animal and even human behavior even in very low concentrations, and that “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid interactions could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections (including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – MRSA).” One of the most well-known terpenes present in cannabis, beta-caryophyllene (found also in black pepper, oregano and other plants), is recognized by scientists as a cannabinoid-mimetic with great medical potential due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-epileptic properties.


Photo:  Tereza Jirásková

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Anti-fungal properties

Cannabis essential oil is known to have strong antifungal properties. It can thus be used to treat fungal infections on the toenails or any kind of persistent itching. It is also known as an excellent insect repellent, which is especially good news at a time when cases of borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis are on the rise.

Anti-bacterial properties

Thanks to its antibacterial properties, cannabis essential oil has been shown to slow down the growth of various forms of microorganisms and harmful bacteria present in both food and the human digestive tract.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Regular use of essential oil, due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, can eliminate allergic reactions and skin irritation. It also reduces swelling. It is excellent as a supplemental treatment for eczema; it can also be used beneficially by those who suffer from asthma, sinusitis and hay fever.

Relaxing properties

With its relaxing properties, cannabis essential oil induces a sense of calm and reduces stress. It also has anti-spasmodic effects, so it can alleviate cramps and various muscle problems. Not only will it relax and calm you down, it will also energize you. Holy Essential Oil, due to its complex composition, is excellent for overall body and mind relaxation. It helps regulate hormonal imbalance and improves sleep quality, helping to fight nervousness, fear and anxiety. •

CURIOSITY: Did you know that the words “holy”

and “whole” are of the same origin? Metaphorically speaking, only such essential oils that contain the whole range of natural active substances are holy! The name of the brand however originates from the name of the company’s founder, Leopold Svatý, whose surname means “saint” or “holy”.

NOTICE: This essential oil is so concentrated that just a few drops suffice. It should only be used undiluted rather rarely, for example in relieving insect bites.

Holy Essential Oil composition

Few manufacturers can boast of having their products analyzed from several independent sources. The producer of Holy Essential Oil, the Czech company Svatý Sedláček, tested the composition of their oil in the laboratory of Prof. Lumír Hanuš in Jerusalem. Prof. Hanuš has confirmed that Holy Essential Oil contained almost 20% beta-myrcene, 19% beta-caryophyllene, 14% terpinolene, 9% beta-ocimene, 7.5% alpha-pinene, 2.5% beta‑pinene, 2.5% beta-bergamotene – and forty other fragrant terpenes and terpenoids. All of these active substances contribute to the complex entourage effect – the synergy of all elements. You can review the complete analysis by Prof. Hanuš at www.holyessential.com in the Information section.

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Made at Home

Therapeutic Hemp Root While at present cannabis treatment has taken into account only the effects of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis flowers (buds), it is often overlooked that the power of the entire plant comes from its roots, which hold many surprises. When reaping your harvest this year, do not forget the roots – and be sure to carefully preserve this underground treasure.

illustrations  

Lucie Muchovičová

Back to the roots

text

Barbora Bláhová

In the oldest Chinese herbal atlas, attributed to the mythical sage Shennong, hemp root is praised as an effect painkiller, and it is said to have been used already in the 3rd millennium BCE. In the form of dried powder, it can be mixed with fresh juice from the leaves of the same plant into a paste which is used to treat fractures. The root extract was a favorite of midwives, for it helps stanch the bleeding during difficult births and also regulates the hormonal cycle. The ancient Romans used an infusion of the underground portion of the plant internally to relieve cramps, joint pain, and inflammatory arthritis. For centuries in European medicine, it was recommended especially for musculoskeletal pain, and for gout and rheumatism. It was used in treating sexually transmitted diseases, digestive problems and infections. In India, applying an infusion of hemp root and leaves is still a popular remedy for burns, skin inflammations, eczema, and hemorrhoids.

several scientific studies. It also contains pentacyclic triterpenoids (PCTs), which support the apoptosis process (targeted cell death) of cancer cells and also fight inflammation. Friedelin also reduces pains and fevers. There are also trace amounts of alkaloids – especially choline, which can help with menopause, and atropine, which can relieve breathing problems. Hemp root contains only a minimal amount of cannabinoids, not enough to alter one’s mental state, so the preparations can be safely taken at any time during the day.

How to prepare hemp root

After harvesting the plants, carefully remove the roots from the still damp and loose soil with a trowel, trying not to damage them. If the soil is hard, water it several hours prior to removal. Then shake the largest pieces of soil from the roots and cut the stem about 3cm (1¼ in.) from the start of the roots, so as to keep them as one whole. Thoroughly wash the entire root system with lukewarm (never boiling hot nor icy) water. Place the hemp root in a dry and dark place and let it dry out for about a week. Then delicately clean the dried roots of their last dirt with a toothbrush and finely chop them or pulverize them in an electric herb mill. Store your hemp root in an airtight container in a dark, dry place. •

Against pain and cancer

In addition to other substances, hemp root contains friedelin and epifriedelanol, which have exhibited promising anticancer effects in Cannabis Therapy Magazine

TIP: Always use plants that have not had chemical fertilizers added to them. These could be freed when added to preparations, which could then become toxic.


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Made at Home

Hemp root tea 500 ml (2 cups) water 1 teaspoon crushed hemp root 1 teaspoon organic ghee or coconut oil ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper honey or agave syrup for flavoring Take finely chopped fresh or dry roots and add them to cold water, add the ghee or oil and pepper and boil for 20 minutes on low heat. Strain, add honey, and it’s ready to drink! Two cups daily will relieve acute pain, relax tense muscles and joints, cleanse the body of unwanted elements and help encourage sluggish digestion. Always use fresh tea.

Coconut lip balm 100 ml (1/3 cup) coconut oil 60 g (3 tablespoons; or ¼ cup) coconut butter 2 teaspoons crushed hemp root 30 g (1 oz.; or 2 tablespoons) beeswax or Candelilla wax essential oils of your choice 15 × 10-ml tubs Heat the hemp root in the coconut oil in a double boiler and let simmer for about 30 minutes, while keep stirring occasionally. It is important to keep the temperature low so that the oil does not overheat, “frying” the hemp root. For a stronger effect, let the mixture cool and macerate overnight, and then reheat it the next day and finally strain it through a clean cheesecloth. Add grated wax, coconut butter and essential oil(s) to the warm oil. Once everything is melted, stir well, then quickly pour into your prepared tubs. This nourishing balm will soothe and regenerate chapped lips.

Hemp root rubbing alcohol 500 ml (2 cups) rubbing alcohol finely chopped hemp root canning jar Place fresh or dried hemp root into a canning jar, pour the rubbing alcohol over it, seal the jar and store for at least one month in a dark place. During the first week, thoroughly shake the jar every day; then afterwards once a week. The leftover solution can be replenished with fresh rubbing alcohol. And you can also add a few dried buds to the jar in order to increase its potency. This is a proven homemade liniment which can be used on sore tendons, joints and muscles. Do not use on open wounds nor sensitive skin.

TIP: You can add dried hemp root to cannabis cremes and tinctures in order to increase their effects.

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Recipe

Cannabis Cream text

Veronika KrejzovĂĄ

Coconut cream is wonderful for decorating desserts, as well as being one of the main ingredients in preparing sweet dishes. Since it contains a large amount of vegetable fat, it is suitable as a carrier for active THC. Ideally, we should be able to establish the ratio of THC when we prepare the cream, and according to this ratio it can be added to other foods or to a THC-free cream. Coconut cream itself is commonly available in supermarkets, so you should be able to find it easily.

Ingredients: 7 grams decarboxylated and ground cannabis flower 1 cup coconut cream

1

Kitchen utensils:

2

larger and smaller pot (double boiler) strainer canvas or cheesecloth

3 4 5

 Instructions: Fill the larger pot with water and bring to a boil. To create a double boiler, put the smaller pot inside the larger one, immersed in boiling water. Put the coconut cream with cannabis into the smaller pot and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After that period, take the pot from the cooker and let it cool down (do not put it in the fridge, because the cream would completely solidify; the liquid form is fine now). Put the canvas or cheesecloth over the sieve and strain the cream. Plant residues should be squeezed properly and then discarded or used in another dish. This cannabis-infused coconut cream can be used immediately or stored in a sealable container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days. In the following procedure, we will use part of the cream to prepare a strawberry refreshment for hot summer days.

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Recipe

Strawberry Cup SERVES 2

Source: Shutterstock

Egg cup holders have proven useful when serving this dessert. If you have the cannabis-enriched coconut cream prepared already, then making this dessert will be a snap!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

2 handfuls frozen strawberries 2½ teaspoons cannabis coconut cream ½ cup coconut cream 1 teaspoon water or milk (vegetable for vegans) for better blender performance

Put the ingredients into the mixer, following the steps recommended for the mixer (consult the manual). Blend until smooth, making sure all ingredients, including the cannabis-enriched cream, are mixed evenly. The resulting cream will not have a completely solid structure immediately after blending – that will only be achieved after we put the dessert in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Kitchen appliance: a powerful blender that blends frozen fruit (i.e. a smoothie blender)

Note: The THC effect will come in sixty to ninety minutes, so remember to start with just one small portion. You can always refill your cup later!

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Leaves of Grass

In life you come across situations when a person with normal thoughts and feelings is only barely able to understand the actions of other people – people who are indifferent to the suffering of those around them. Because I have to break the inane laws of this country every year, I keep meeting both types – especially in autumn, at harvest time.

Photo:  Author's archives

The Evil and Good That Men Do

B

ecause I have a daughter who suffers from a serious disease, I grow cannabis with a high content of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and a medium content of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and every year I need to raise enough so that the harvest will reach a minimum of two kilograms of quality dry material. Then I “process” it: I roll 2,200 joints for my daughter, I grind one kilogram of cannabis to go into her food, at least half a kilo into liniments and cremes, and if there’s anything left over, then another liter of alcohol tincture.

Getting high is not on the agenda

I don’t do it to get my daughter Martina “high” year-round. Believe it or not, although she smokes an average of six joints a day and supplements her food with another three grams of dried, ground buds, she does not get high. Her

body takes from cannabis what it needs and thanks to it, she can live another day as a normal person. Without the unbearable cramps, without suffocating, without debilitating pain, and as a bonus she can even relieve herself normally. I know I’m breaking the laws of this country. And I know that in my case it is not even a misdemeanor, but a felony. A crime, for which I can spend up to five years in jail. But I don’t grow cannabis to make money, or to “spread toxicomania” (which is the definition in the Czech statute). I grow it because there’s nothing else I can do. There is simply no other medicine made anywhere on this planet which can help my daughter.

Hyenas and humanitarians

For a few years, everything went well, but then somehow it went to pieces. Somebody found

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text

Zdeněk Majzlík


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Leaves of Grass

out where we planted it and kept their eye on it. A week before the buds would have been at their peak, they harvested it. We were devastated and had no idea how to solve our problem. None of our friends at the time grew cannabis. And so I wrote about it on Facebook. My reason for doing so was not that I  expected someone to take pity on us and give us a portion of their hardearned harvest. Not in the least. I  was just looking for a towel to cry into. Into which I could release my anger and rage at a system which forces people to overstep the law just because they need treatment, and at the same time to post my thoughts to the cold bastards who could steal from us in our situation, without any repercussions whatsoever. Then something happened which I truly never expected. Loads of people started writing and

No other medicine made anywhere on this planet is able to help my daughter.

calling – friends and strangers. Some who just wanted to commiserate with me, and some who wanted to share that they were in the same situation and were glad that somebody finally raised their voice about it in public. Others wanted to know our address…. And then the packages started coming in. Sometimes an envelope, sometimes a shoebox. The names on the return addresses made me laugh: Frank Gardner, Joe Farmer, L.A. Cucaracha and so on. My biggest surprise came when I gave a talk in Prague and a group of young people from Slovakia showed up. They asked me to come out to their car. Behind the motor was a concealed package which they had been afraid to send, because the penalties are severe in Slovakia. And so they embarked on a really dangerous road trip all the way to Prague… just for us. We humans are a special breed. Some have absolutely no scruples and will outright steal from the weakest of the weak, while others will risk their own liberty just to help a person they’ve never even laid eyes on before. •

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Cannabis Therapy Magazine Vol. 1  

Cannabis Therapy Magazine is a brand new periodical focusing almost exclusively on cannabis treatment. It brings readers up-to-the-minute ne...

Cannabis Therapy Magazine Vol. 1  

Cannabis Therapy Magazine is a brand new periodical focusing almost exclusively on cannabis treatment. It brings readers up-to-the-minute ne...

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