Cannabinol in 3D

Lesser-Known Cannabinoids: CBN

As you may know, many of the effects of the cannabis plant are due to the chemical compounds it secretes, called cannabinoids. While almost everyone is familiar with the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, there are actually over 100 cannabinoids. Recent popular and scientific interest in the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol, or CBD, has brought long-overdue attention to some of these other, lesser-known cannabinoids. Today, we’ll be taking a look at one of them: cannabinol, or CBN.

Where does it come from?

Cannabinol is a product of degradation. When cannabis oxidizes, THCA, the precursor to THC, degrades and forms CBNA. Oxidation occurs naturally with time, or with exposure to the air.

For this reason, poorly-cared for and older bud will often have higher concentrations of CBNA. Upon exposure to heat or UV rays — that is, when you smoke it or leave it in the sun –, CBNA then becomes CBN.

CBN and sleep

CBN and CBN-rich strains are known for inducing sleep. For those of you with insomnia or other sleep-related problems, CBN-heavy bud could be a good solution.

Indica and indica-dominant strains are also known for their sleep-inducing qualities. Researchers believe that this may be due in part to their tendency to have higher concentrations of CBN.

As we explored in our last post, some non-cannabis plants may also be beneficial for the endocannabinoid system. Some may also act synergistically with cannabis and cannabinoids. CBN, for example, tends to be a more effective sleep aid when consumed alongside hops, lavender, and chamomile.

Other therapeutic effects

CBN is also known to be anti-bacterial. Studies have shown its potential use as a topical in treating MRSA, an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that has developed resistance to many traditional antibiotics.

It may also aid in bone-growth. Further research is needed, but it has demonstrated potential to help treat osteoporosis and aid the recovery of broken bones.

As the body of research on cannabis grows, we will likely continue to discover therapeutic benefits of CBN and other cannabinoids. Here at Substance, we hope to continue to seeing roadblocks to this kind of meaningful cannabis research removed.

Stop the Marijuana Witch Hunt

A letter to the editor of the Bend Bulletin, as penned by our very own Jeremy Kwit.


10/29/14

Stop pot witch hunt

I write with human rights, sensible social policy and balanced criminal justice in mind. Nineteenth-century philosopher, political economist and social servant John Stuart Mill argued we are each our own sovereign nation. Individuals are rational enough to make decisions about their well-being. If adults of sound mind want to drink alcohol or consume cannabis, they should be able to do so.

In our time of increased libertarianism, I’m surprised so many people want to waste precious state resources creating a crime where none exists. Cannabis consumers cause little, if any, harm to themselves or to society. Squandering police, court and jail resources citing and arresting nonviolent, nonharming cannabis consumers is borderline ridiculous. Perpetuating prohibitionist policy serves only to perpetuate fear and hysteria.

Doing so obscures the lack of evidence or valid reasoning supporting the stated conclusion. Believing that marijuana is harmful for adults because marijuana is illegal is like concluding water should be illegal because someone once drowned in a lake.

Let’s consider facts. Let’s recognize and use data to support our public policy creation. Let’s stop the witch hunt.

I would prefer our schools to be adequately funded. I would prefer that prevention and rehabilitation services be available to individuals with addiction issues. I would prefer that our police have the guidance and resources to focus on violent criminal actors. I would prefer that we not clog our courts or jails with individuals choosing to use a botanical product for their own relaxation, stress-reductionor enjoyment.

Jeremy Kwit

Bend


For the full Bend Bulletin article, please click here.

How to Talk to Your Doctor or Health Care Provider About Cannabis

While medical cannabis has had a rocky history for the past century, as more people are becoming comfortable with it, each year more places have been legalizing cannabis for medical use. It can be difficult, however, to navigate all of the information out there. So, how do you know that medical cannabis is right for you? The first step is to ask your doctor. It is only through close work with your healthcare provider that you can decide whether or not cannabis will be helpful to you.

We know that talking about medical cannabis can be intimidating and confusing. Our goal is to remove the stigma surrounding this industry and empower patients to ask the right questions so they can get the treatment they need. Here’s a list of questions you can ask your healthcare provider to determine if medical cannabis is an option for you and, if so, what your next steps should be. These basic questions will help start the conversation between you and your healthcare provider. However, it may also be beneficial to write down a few questions that are specific to you and your medical history. Use this conversation as a way to debunk myths about cannabis use and figure out the facts.

 

  1. What are the health risks associated with cannabis use?
  2. What types of ailments can be treated with cannabis? Does cannabis seem like a good option for my ailments?
  3. What is your suggested cannabis consumption method? Should I smoke it, use medibles, or what about vaporizers?
  4. Does medicinal cannabis seem like a good option for my lifestyle?
  5. Where can I find more information on medicinal cannabis?
  6. Will I be able to perform my everyday duties while using medicinal cannabis?
  7. As a parent, will I be able to use my medicinal cannabis around my children?
  8. How do I stay safe while using medicinal cannabis?
  9. Will cannabis interact with my other medications?

 

In addition to asking your healthcare provider questions about medical cannabis, we encourage you to check out the Leafly Knowledge Center and our other blog posts on this site to educate yourself about the medical cannabis industry. If you do some research before you meet with your doctor, you can ask specific questions and will be better prepared to have a thoughtful conversation with your healthcare provider.

For more information on cannabis doctors in the Central Oregon area, check out our page here. To learn more about the general process of getting your OMMP card, please refer to our page right here.

The Benefits of Juicing Cannabis

As we all know, there are a wide variety of ways to ingest cannabis. You can find many of these on our page highlighting some of the more common methods of marijuana consumption right here. Recently. there has been a lot of talk about a relatively new method of cannabis ingestion; juicing. Why has it become popularized, and what makes juicing cannabis better than other methods of consumption?

Well, the parts of the cannabis plant used in juicing are the fan leaves or the cannabis bud itself. These parts of the plant contain not only over a hundred healing cannabinoids, but also contain photo-nutrients such as chlorophyll and chloroplast, which provide some of the best plant-based energy nutrients. Cannabis is rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients that our bodies do not produce independently, so we must find them through the foods we consume. Cannabis has all of the essential amino acids we need, making juicing it a super nutritious option.

Juicing cannabis provides an excellent method of medicinal consumption of the healing cannabinoids present in cannabis. You can get these healing benefits from smoking cannabis, but this will also decarboxalyze the THC, inducing a psychoactive effect. While this may be beneficial for some, the non-psychoactive relief provided by the digestive absorption of cannabis juice may be more desirable for other folks. To put this in different terms, taking a hit of cannabis is comparable to taking a shot of medicine. Juicing cannabis is like drinking the bottle.

While drinking raw cannabis straight may not be so tasty, adding fruits and vegetables such as carrots, ginger and pomegranate can help out a lot with the flavor. Any fruit or vegetable juicer works for the process, but we recommend using a wheat-grass juicer for best results. Cannabis juice is best ingested fresh, in order to provide all of the medicinal benefits to patients. This means that juicing are best when they are homemade and 110% fresh.

Not only does juicing provide patients with non-psychoactive relief, but it also encourages us to use the entire plant and avoid being wasteful. Besides, the parts of the cannabis plant generally considered to be without use, such as the leaves and stems, can have their own medicinal benefit that we may not be completely aware of yet. Not only does cannabis juice provide medicinal patients with significant relief, but it also acts as a wonderful nutritional and healthy food option for many folks.

The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis

While research in the United States has been sharply restricted by the federal prohibition on cannabis in the past, recent discoveries have increased interest among scientists in the more than 100 different cannabinoids so far identified in the cannabis plant. The International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) was formally incorporated as a scientific research organization in 1991, and since its incorporation the membership has more than tripled. The International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM), founded in 2000, publishes a bi-weekly newsletter and holds a bi-annual symposium to highlight emerging clinical research concerning cannabis therapeutics. The University of California established the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) in 2001 to conduct scientific studies to ascertain the general medical safety and efficacy of cannabis products and examine alternative forms of cannabis administration. In 2010, the CMCR issued a report on the 14 clinical studies it has conducted, most of which were FDA-approved, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies that have demonstrated that cannabis can control pain, in some cases better than the available alternatives.

To date, more than 15,000 modern peer-reviewed scientific articles on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis and cannabinoids have been published, as well as more than 2,000 articles on the body’s natural endocannabinoids. In recent years, more placebo-controlled human trials have also been conducted.

A 2009 review of clinical studies conducted over a 38-year period, found that “nearly all of the 33 published controlled clinical trials conducted in the United States have shown significant and measurable benefits in subjects receiving the treatment.” The review’s authors note that cannabinoids have the capacity for analgesia through neuromodulation in ascending and descending pain pathways, neuroprotection, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms—all of which indicates that the cannabinoids found in cannabis have applications in managing chronic pain, muscle spasticity, cachexia, and other debilitating conditions.

Currently, cannabis is most often recommended as complementary or adjunct medicine. But there is a substantial consensus among experts in the relevant disciplines, including the American College of Physicians, that cannabis and cannabis-based medicines have therapeutic properties that could potentially treat a variety of serious and chronic illness.

What Are Cannabinoids?

The Cannabis Sativa plant is known to produce over 480 chemical compounds. This includes over 100 known phytocannabinoids, commonly referred to as cannabinoids, that have not been found in any other plant. Cannabinoids can be used to treat a variety of ailments, long-term illnesses and diseases. They are known to mitigate the side-effects of heavy prescription drug use.

THC, CBD and CBN are the most tested and researched cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant.

THC: Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis.

– How can it help me?  THC moderates pain, stimulates appetite, and reduces vomiting and nausea. It alleviates contractions in the lower intestine and suppresses muscle spasms.

CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a primarily non-psychoactive cannabinoid.

– How can it help me? CBD, in addition to alleviating the symptoms listed above, treats psoriasis, reduces risk of artery blockage, slows bacterial growth, and relieves neuropathic pain in patients. Research now shows it can inhibit cancer growth.

CBN: Cannabinol (CBN) is a product of THC oxidation and forms after the harvested plant is exposed to oxygen.

– How can it help me? CBN is known to help alleviate insomnia and muscle spasms, as well as relieve pain.

While the aforementioned cannabinoids are currently the most researched, they are not necessarily the most important. Other cannabinoids, such as Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabichromene (CBC) work with the other cannabinoids to provide overall synergy and to optimize the health benefits of cannabis itself.