WASHINGTON: As the legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use spreads across North America, researchers from the University of South Carolina report the very real potential for marijuana to treat autoimmune diseases in which chronic inflammation plays a pivotal role.
Some of these diseases include arthritis, lupus, colitis, Type II diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry says marijuana’s potential key role in fighting disease lies in its capacity to suppress certain immune functions, notably inflammation. According to WebMD,
Inflammation occurs when your cells and substances they produce protect you from infection against things like viruses and foreign bacteria.
With a disease like arthritis, the body’s defense system triggers inflammation despite the fact that there are no foreign invaders, like a virus, to fight off. The autoimmune disease then causes damages to the body’s own tissue as the inflammation thinks that it is fighting off an intruder when there isn’t one there.
We are not doctors
Before you begin any medical program, consult your doctor. That said, for medical marijuana users, knowledgable doctors are few, as most prefer Western styles of medicine. That said, you will find knowledgable “budtenders” in most medical marijuana dispensaries, who, while not doctors, can help you determine which strains may be most helpful to you.
However, like any holistic product use, it requires you do some homework and understand how medical marijuana can deliver the relief you seek. Understand that new users will have a lower tolerance to THC. If you stick to the CBD strains you will not have that concern. CBD contains no psychoactive cannabinoids, only healthy immune system building ones. Are CBD strains preferred to THC strains that create a “high” effect? That is a personal preference.
The following is offered as information readily findable (and cited as appropriate) on the web.
Marijuana terms to know
Cannabinoids is a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors that affect the users appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. – Wikipedia
THC is the cannabinoid found in the hemp plant that creates a “high” feeling. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. However, when the hemp plant is classified as CBD, the TCH has been bred from the plant and while the health benefits remain, the high is not present.
At least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, have been identified. Each exhibiting varied effects.
TERPENES: What makes Medical Marijuana work
It is not so much that Medical Marijuana is ‘different’ from street grade, it’s being able to know what you are buying.
Terpenes are the oils secreted by plant glands. Terpene, as discussed in detail below, are found in all plants. There are over 100 terpenes that have been identified each with its own unique flavor, smell, and medicinal properties. Like wine drinkers, marijuana users become familiar with the terpenes that best meet their needs ranging from the taste to the effect of the plant strain
Medicinal marijuana’s most effective terpenes are those that exert anti-inflammatory properties by reducing the activity of the pathway most important to the inflammation process.
Beta-carophyllene and myrcene are two terpenes that are most often used to reduce inflammation.
Terpenes to look for are:
Honest Marijuana offers the following descriptions of some of the most common Terepinee.
As its name suggests, this terpene is a zesty citrus twist of flavors. It is found in tropical marijuana varieties like Pineapple Express and Jack Herer. Both these citrus strains are known for their depression-fighting qualities because of their high limonene count.
This terpene can also treat bronchitis, combat cancer, and assist with weight loss. Limonene is a typical terp used in medical creams and skin ointments. If you’re looking for a magical drop of marijuana medicine, this is the terp to keep an out eye for.
If you’ve ever fallen asleep after smoking marijuana, then you’ve been lullabied by Myrcene. This terpene is well known as an anti-insomnia warrior. In fact, it is anti- a lot of things: antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and anti-spasmodic.
Unsurprisingly, because of its sedating side effects, this terp makes a perfect marijuana pain reliever. Mother Nature manufactures myrcene in mangos, bay, thyme, parsley, sweet basil, and hops.
An urban legend is that eating a mango before smoking increases the high. This terpene is responsible for that popular pothead tale.
Along with Myrcene and alpha-humulene, beta-pinene is one of the terpenes that make beer and weed such a perfect pairing. Taking a puff full of its deep pine-like pungency will complement the taste of your favorite ale or lager.
To imagine the flavor, think of a winter’s stroll through the woods on a drizzly late afternoon. The scent that comes to mind is the same smell that’ll scintillate your olfactories when smoking this terpene.
But more than just pleasing your nose and palate, this terpene also has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and asthma-combatting properties.
Delta 3 Carene
In need of an anti-inflammatory? Keep the medicine cabinet closed and pack a bowl of wholesome self-medication instead. Delta 3 Carene is a terp known for its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’ve hurt yourself to the extent of an involuntary tear or two, don’t worry.
Delta 3 Carene dries tears (and other body fluids) right up — taking just one hit will have you manned up in no time.
Other than in a variety of cannabis strains, this earthy-flavored terp can also be found naturally in rosemary.
Looking to up your Bear Grylls skills? Then Alpha Bisabolol, with its wound-healing abilities and natural deodorant replacement capabilities, is the terpene for you.
Surprisingly, this is also the floral, herb-like terp that gives chamomile its soft, fragrant flavor. But if, come 4:20 tea time, you prefer a bowl to a cup, then delight your senses as you light up a Alpha Bisabolol scented strain, such as Master Kush, Pink Kush, and Rockstar.
This terpene fights bacteria, heals wounds, and soothes inflammation.
Picture yourself with sticky chin and sugary fingers as you delightfully devour a pillow of cotton candy while standing in a field of endless purple lavender. This florally sweet sense sensation is what you can expect from Linalool.
Not only can this sugar-and-spice-flavored terpene be found in your favorite weed, it is also in certain species of fungi, mint, flowers, and cinnamon.
Feeling a little blue or frazzled around the edges? The chilled effect of Linalool is great for treating anxiety and depression.
It can also clear up acne — that’s a win for your sense of wellbeing and your skin too.
Body going through the wars? Then take a time out and settle down for some serious couch-lock time with Borneol.
This terpene is known to act as an effective pain reliever and bronchodilator, as well as having antiseptic and anti-insomnia qualities.
Dose yourself with the strain K13, which contains high levels of this minty, camphor-like terpene. Interestingly, this terp is also what is commonly used in acupuncture practices.
To imagine what hops-flavored Caryophyllene tastes like, bring to mind your favorite brand of beer and brew mentally on that for a while.
This terpene is found in full power in popular pot strains.
Because of this particular strain’s sky-high levels of Caryophyllene, it is a marijuana magic worker for depression, PTSD, anxiety, migraines, muscle and joint stress, and nausea.
This is one potent medicinal terpene as prescribed by Dr. Mary Jane herself.
Ever found yourself wondering why koala bears always look so dopey and pondered where you could get some of that? Their lazy nature is a direct result of their eucalyptus-rich diet.
Eucalyptol is the primary terpene found in the eucalyptus leaves that koala bears are so fond of munching all day long.
This spicy terpene is more often used in cooking, but medicinally it can also be applied to gums or skin and can be found in cough suppressants and mouthwashes. To get your own dose of eucalyptol, light up a joint of Silver Haze.
This forest-fragranced terp smells like an earthy mix of pines and cloves. It’s often found in soaps and perfumes because of its olfactory-pleasing sensation.
Not surprisingly then, its woody scent appeals also to the seasoned pot smoker and can be savored when smoking varieties such as Jack Herer and other Jack crossbreeds.
Studies have found cannabis-extracted terpineol to have antioxidant properties that carry an array of health benefits as well as being a trusted cancer-fighting ally.
In need of a bit of brain stimulation, or just an extracerebral zing? Cineole is the terpene for the job.
This luscious mix of spice and mint will get your neurons up and firing while possibly sparking memories of your pop’s Old Spice aftershave in the background.
Another source of Terpene information is Mary Janes Diary
INDICA, SATIVA, HYBRED
All marijuana is not the same. A plant designated as a sativa delivers a more woken experience, good for microdosing or using safely during the day. A sativa works without the head heavy effects of an indica, which are indicated for at home only use as it causes drowsiness. Like a good dose of nighttime cold medicine. But without all the chemicals.
A hybrid strain is one where the grower has taken a strain of Indica and a strain of Sativa to create a wholly new plant.
Every user will have a different effect.
It is important that new users are educated as to effects and that they use medical marijuana safely. One step to protect yourself is education and purchasing through legitimate dispensaries. Check out Leafly to find dispensaries near you. The site also includes information as to strains and various types of product available.
Visitors will see that that there are salves, patches, sublingual drops and vape pens or carts, like an e-cigarette, in addition to the more traditional smokeable flower.
Marijuana Break reports that the five best strains of marijuana are
#1 – ACDC Cannabis Strain
ACDC is one of those Sativa Dominant cannabis strains which tend to combat everything. It originates from Cannatonic and is used to treat a variety of medical conditions due to its high CBD percentage. This strain is so remarkable that it stands out for its low-THC-high-CBD ratio (about 1:20), which means it can produce strong pain relieving effects without any psychoactive effects at all
#2 – Harlequin Cannabis Strain
This Sativa-dominant cannabis strain usually has CBD:THC ratio of about 5:2, which makes it a good option for those looking to treat arthritis pain while staying alert and avoiding the paranoia that sometimes accompanies high-THC strains. It’s perfect for depression, headaches, inflammation, pain and stress.
#3 – Cannatonic Cannabis Strain
Cannatonic is an excellent marijuana strain for its medicinal properties and is known for its high CBD levels. Cannatonic is an extremely popular cannabis strain used by patients to treat and prevent inflammation as well as pain, seizures, and epilepsy. This hybrid strain has low THC, high CBD content, which produces a mellow high that is typically short-lived.
#4 – Girl Scout Cookies Cannabis Strain
It would have been a sin if we wouldn’t have left this strain off the list. This popular hybrid cannabis strain is known for its high-THC content that produces powerful, full-body pain relief. Girl Scout Cookies strain may not necessarily combat inflammation, but rather help with the pain associated with inflammation. GSC is known for having THC levels as high as 28% and CBD of around 0.09%-0.2%.
#5 Charlotte’s Web Cannabis Strain
This marijuana strain has a lot of history around it as it was first developed to treat an epileptic girl named Charlotte. Charlotte’s web is known for treating a variety of medical conditions, including inflammation. It contains only around 0.3% THC but makes up for it with its high CBD. This strain is perfect for medical purposes as it has little to no psychoactive properties.
Recipe: Cherry, Green Tea, and CBD Gummy Bears
Start to finish: 45 minutes (active: 30 minutes)
Yields: 50 gummy bears
Approximate dosage: 5mg CBD and 1mg THC per gummy bear* This recipe calls for CBD grade tincture. However, it can be made with THC grade as well. Either way, this looks and tastes like candy. Personal opinion is that they are not for homes with children.
*Note: Potency may vary widely depending on your tincture, the liquid created with the marijuana plant.
- Food-grade condiment bottle
- Food-grade silicon gummy bear molds
- Measuring cup
- 1 oz CBD tincture (I used Ethos 250mg CBD Tincture—if you use a tincture with more or less CBD, divide the total milligrams in your tincture by 50 to calculate the approximate dosage of each bear)
- 2 green tea bags
- 3 tablespoons creamed honey
- ½ cup coconut water
- ¾ cup tart cherry juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons agar-agar powder or gelatin
- ⅛ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- Pour coconut water into small saucepan. Bring to boil, then steep green tea bags in coconut water for up to 10 minutes (but no less than 4 minutes). Compost tea bags.
- Add cherry juice, salt, and creamed honey to saucepan. Stir gently until mixture is homogenous. Return mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
- Add agar-agar powder and whisk constantly for 3–4 minutes. (Note: The texture of agar-agar can be unsatisfying for folks used to the gelatin-based gummy bears. You can replace with gelatin, if you’d like.)
- Add your desired dosage of CBD tincture (alcohol, coconut oil, or glycerin tinctures are all fine) and whisk thoroughly until fully incorporated.
- Turn off stovetop and place funnel in condiment bottle.
- Transfer gummy bear liquid to condiment bottle. Be careful! This liquid is crazy hot and you will need to work quickly.
- Using oven mitt or hot pad, hold bottle and squeeze liquid into gummy bear mold.
- Transfer mold to refrigerator and let set for 15 minutes.
- Remove bears from tray and store in airtight container.
- Enjoy one or two at a time in 30 minute intervals until effective dosage is reached
Please: Always be responsible. Do not use any THC product before driving, taking care of children, or doing any hazardous activity.