Treating Cancer with Cannabis

According to a 2012 study, an estimated number of about 14.1 million people were newly diagnosed with cancer worldwide. By the year 2030, new cases of cancer will increase worldwide by about 23.6 million yearly. Now, these are scary numbers!

Cancer is considered as one of the killer diseases and has already claimed the lives of millions of individuals. While drugs help to control its growth and ability to spread, they also have adverse side effects that can make the patient feel sicker. Chemotherapy, while it can destroy cancer cells and prolong life, also kills healthy cells.

 Understanding Cancer

Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells, forming lumps of tissues which then grow into a tumor. The tumor increases in size that it begins to negatively impact the surrounding tissues, affecting the way they normally function.

While tumor growths are typically limited and only affect one location, some tumors though continue to increase in size and invade the healthier tissues. They also grow blood vessels which feed them the nutrients and oxygenated blood they need to continue growing and developing. These blood vessels also allow them to travel to another location where they spread and invade other regions of the body. Cancer metastasis is harder to control and treat. It is also deadlier.

 Cancer and Cannabis

The effects of cannabis on cancer are very fascinating. Not only can it address all the issues that make cancer deadly, but it’s also safer than chemotherapy with fewer side effects. Below are the ways that cannabis can help beat cancer.

It kills cancer cells. The cannabinoids found in cannabis has the ability to kill cancer cells and prevent their growth by inducing their death through a process called apoptosis. It’s fascinating to note though that cannabinoids only induce cell death of the cancer cells and don’t affect the healthy ones.

  • It prevents blood vessels from growing in the cancer cells. This is yet another fascinating effect of cannabinoids. They can prevent the growth of blood vessels that supply the cancer cells, and without their nutrient and oxygen supply, growth of the cancer cells is inhibited.
  • It prevents metastasis. Without the blood vessels giving the cancer cells the ability to travel and migrate, cancer metastasis can be prevented.
  • It has fewer side effects and, in fact, can even control the adverse side effects associated with chemotherapy. Some of the side effects of chemotherapy include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and pain. Now, cannabinoids have the ability to control chemotherapy side effects. Cannabinoids have anti-emetic and analgesic effects, and they are also known to stimulate appetite.
  • It reduces stress and anxiety and helps ease depression. It’s not uncommon for cancer patients to develop depression caused by too much stress and anxiety regarding their medical condition. If these aren’t controlled, it can negatively affect their condition and hinder their recovery. Now, cannabinoids are known to produce calming effects. They are also known to improve depression.

Numerous studies have been done on cannabis’ effects on several types of cancers like leukemia as well as breast, brain, cervical, prostate, and lung cancers; and they have shown promising results. These studies show that cannabis can not only help treat cancer but can also be a good addition to chemotherapy.

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Ingesting Cannabis Edibles Versus Smoking Cannabis – What’s the Difference?

If someone tells you that eating cannabis edibles is relatively the same as smoking cannabis, think again. There are actually huge differences between the two, and knowing these differences just may save you from some unwanted and unexpected side effects.

 Rate of Absorption

Ever wondered why you suddenly feel the effects of cannabis as soon as you smoked it? That’s because THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, goes straight to your brain to produce its psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects.

Ingesting edibles, on the other hand, will take some time before you feel its full effects. It has to go through your digestive system first and then your liver where the cannabinoids will be metabolized and broken down into its smaller form called the metabolites. The whole process can take anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours, so there will be some delay before effects finally kick in.

 Duration of the Effects

The effects of smoking cannabis come on strong and fast. However, they also diminish quickly after a few hours or so.

This isn’t the case with edibles though. Ingesting cannabis edibles gives you more powerful and longer-lasting effects since THC metabolites are far more potent than THC. They also stay longer in the bloodstream and take some time before they’re excreted from your body.

 Control of Dosing

Smoking cannabis gives you some control over the amount of THC you’re consuming. You can easily stop as soon as you feel the effects.

The time delay in ingesting cannabis edibles, on the other hand, makes it a bit harder to gauge the amount of THC in your body. Someone who’s new to cannabis edibles can easily overdose on it since the effects are delayed. He could easily make the mistake of eating more to quickly feel the effects, only to regret it later when the strong effects finally kick in.

 Which is Healthier?

There is something very relaxing about rolling a joint. The ritualistic, almost meditative, process of rolling a joint can help relax the mind and calm the nerves. However, there are some health concerns to inhaling the byproducts of smoking a joint. Some say that the combustion process and its byproducts can harm the lungs and increase the risk of developing cancers.

These health concerns make ingesting cannabis edibles the preferred method of cannabinoid administration for many medical patients. The cannabinoids are delivered safely into the system without the risk of the inhaling any harmful byproducts.

Of note, if you want to switch from smoking cannabis to ingesting cannabis edibles, start at a low dose (a few nibbles of pot brownie, for example, not whole pieces!), wait for the effects, and then adjust the amount accordingly. You get to avoid unwanted side effects this way.

How to Make Pot Brownies from Scratch

If you don’t like the dry and sometimes bland taste of pre-made brownie mix for your pot brownies, you can try making your own. The recipe is really not that hard to follow, and you can even easily adjust the taste if you want your brownies to be sweeter and more chocolate-y.

Below is an easy-to-follow homemade brownie recipe that is rich, chewy, and wickedly delicious.

 What You Need

The ingredients you need for your sweet and delectable pot brownies are:

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar.
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate chips.
  • 1/3 cup of chopped cashews or walnuts.

For the wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your homemade cannabutter.
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • 2 eggs.

For the materials, you will need:

  • Baking sheet.
  • Baking pan.
  • Double boiler.
  • Saucepan.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350-degree Fahrenheit.

In a double boiler over medium-low heat, melt your cannabutter. Once the butter has melted, remove it from heat and add in the wet ingredients (vanilla extract and eggs) and the white and brown sugar. Mix well.

In another saucepan, add in all the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt), except the nuts and chocolate chips. Once done, add them into the mixture and mix until they are thoroughly combined. Now, add the nuts and the chocolate chips and gently fold them into the batter.

Line your baking pan with the baking sheet and pour in the batter, spreading it evenly before baking it in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

Do not overbake your brownies. You want them to come out moist and chewy, not dry and crumbly. To make sure that your pot brownies will come out perfect, you can check with a toothpick. Insert it in the middle of brownies about five minutes before the suggested time, and if it comes out with a few moist crumbs, then they’re almost done.

While you can use premade brownie mixes that come in a box, pot brownies can be best enjoyed if you make them from scratch. In time and as you master this recipe, you will soon create a pot brownie recipe that’s uniquely yours.

 

How to Make Pot Brownies

You don’t have to be an expert on baking to be able to make your own pot brownies. You don’t even have to make them from scratch!

What You Need

The ingredients and materials you will need for pot brownies are:

  • A box of your favorite brownie mix.
  • 1 cup of homemade cannabutter.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, optional.
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or cashew nuts, optional.
  • Baking sheet.
  • Baking pan.
  • Double boiler.

Directions

The first step is preparing your oven, so preheat it to 350 degrees.

Next, melt your cannabutter in a double boiler. Once melted, remove from heat and slowly add the eggs and vanilla. Pour the brownie mix into the mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix.

Line your baking pan with the baking sheet and pour in the batter, spreading the batter evenly. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

You’ll know your pot brownies are done when the sides begin to pull away from the pan. You can also check by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the brownies. If it comes out clean, then it’s done.

Important Things to Remember

When storing your pot brownies, don’t forget to label the container as “special.” It’s also important that you store them out of your children’s reach.

Finally, remember that it will take some time before you feel the effects of your pot brownies since it has to pass through your digestive system. So be cautious to avoid overdosing, especially if you’re a first-timer. Cut the brownies into very small bite-size pieces and just take one. Assess the effects after about two to three hours and then adjust accordingly.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Title: Full Spectrum CBD Oil 1000 mg

URL: https://cbdtherapeutics.ca/product/full-spectrum-cbd-oil-1000mg/

Summary: Full Spectrum CBD Oil is made from full-spectrum cannabis extract to get the maximum terpene and cannabinoid content. It uses 100% natural and organic MCT oil for suspension. This 30-ml Full Spectrum CBD Oil bottle contains 1000 mg of CBD.

Description: Bottle weight is 70 g with dimensions of 3 x 3 x 10. Ingredients include full-spectrum CBD extract in a pure and organic MCT oil suspension.

Using only organic cannabis free from synthetic fertilizers, CBD was extracted from the starting material through a supercritical CO2 extraction process. No solvents were used in the extraction process to minimize toxic residues. Suspension used for this product is 100% pure and natural Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil.

Third-party certified and licensed Canadian laboratories analyzed Full Spectrum CBD Oil for its terpene and cannabinoid profile. This product was found to contain 1000 mg CBD, <1% CBG, <1% CBV, and <1% THC. No residual solvents, mold, bacteria, or pesticides were detected.

Formulated to have the highest CBD bioavailability, Full Spectrum CBD Oil 1000 mg can be used for both daytime and nighttime dosing. This product is for oral application and the drops can be placed under the tongue.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil can be used for medical conditions such as chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Always check with your physician before use of any supplementary product.

Get to Know Two Cannabinoids That Make Marijuana a Powerful Plant

THC and CBD – Two major cannabinoids found in cannabis.

The cannabis plant has different types of cannabinoids, and the main cannabinoid that gives cannabis a bad rep is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

But not all the effects of THC are bad.

Take away their psychoactive effects and you have a compound so powerful it can inhibit the inflammatory process.

Inflammation is good. It’s normal. It’s how our body fights diseases.

But did you know that inflammation is one of the causative factors that worsen many diseases?

  • Epilepsy is worsened by neuroinflammation and release of excitatory neurotransmitters.
  • Multiple sclerosis, a disease that destroys the myelin sheath of axons, starts from an abnormal immune response to the axon’s myelin.
  • Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis – the culprit is an abnormal immune response.

THC inhibits the pro-inflammatory process by stopping the recruitment of more immune cells and inducing immune cell death.

Other effects of THC include modulation of physiological processes responsible for mood, sleep, appetite, memory, anxiety, etc.

But THC, when it stimulates the CB1 receptors, produces psychedelic effects and is responsible for the “high” and addiction associated with marijuana use. It is precisely because of these effects that our legislators demonized marijuana and deemed marijuana use illegal…and why some of them still hesitate legalizing medical cannabis.

Enter Cannabidiol. CBD.

You will fall in love with this cannabinoid just like I did.

I’d like to think that CBD is THC’s gentle sister, but I would be doing THC an injustice because THC, though it has side effects, has so many medicinal potentials. Together, and with the right proportions, CBD can even boost THC’s benefits while counteracting its negative effects.

I’ll tell you more about how CBD does that in a while.

CBD offers the same benefits that THC has, but it does not produce the ‘high” and it is not addictive. It has little binding affinity with the endocannabinoid CB1 receptors like THC does to produce psychoactive effects.

But CBD says “If I can’t directly activate the CB1 active receptors, I’ll bind with other receptors and influence them!”

Because that’s what CBD does. It binds with other receptors and stimulates them.

  • In pain? Here…let me stimulate your capsaicin receptors. Let me overstimulate them so desensitization happens sooner. Think of applying a capsaicin ointment on your skin. You’ll first feel a painful, burning sensation…then blessed pain-free numbness.
  • Anxious? Here…let me tell your serotonin receptors to slow down its reabsorption of serotonin. With more serotonin in your system, you’ll feel better soon. Oh, and I can also help your depression by keeping your serotonin level up.
  • Stressed? Relax. Breathe. Hey, GABA receptors, let me help you by enhancing your affinity with GABA. With this inhibitory neurotransmitter activating more of you, you’ll soon calm down.
  • Spastic? Here…let me calm your motor activities down. Glutamate receptors, speed up your reuptake of glutamate already! Too much of this excitatory neurotransmitter in the synapses worsen spasticity.
  • Cancer? I’m sorry. Hey, orphan receptors, please tell the cancer cells to stop proliferating. Oh, and PPARs? Could you please help the orphan receptors and do your thing to stop cancer cells from growing. And epithelial cells, stop giving life to cancer growth. Don’t proliferate and build them blood vessels.
  • Alzheimer’s? PPARs, activate! Inhibit neuroinflammation. Block amyloid-beta from building plaques!

The best thing about CBD, in addition to influencing so many receptors, is that it protects healthy and non-transformed cells.  This means that while CBD works its magic, it’s protecting the healthy cells…which makes it the perfect add-on treatment for chemotherapy. It does not kill the normal cells like chemotherapy does but protects them.

Want more?

CBD also stops the side effects associated with chemotherapy. It can control pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Inflammation? Oh my dear overactive immune cells. Let me stimulate your CB2 receptors and induce caspase signaling to start your programmed cell death. Don’t worry, I’m not hurting all immune cells. Only those of you who worsen the inflammatory process. With these gone, the tissues will have more time to heal.

Oh, I nearly forgot!

Inflammation, when it worsens that it can no longer be controlled by the immune cells that regulate the proinflammatory response, damages healthy tissues. The proinflammatory cells are left to recruit more immune cells to the area. More immune cells mean more cytokine production. Because cytokines send signals to recruit more immune cells, this will ultimately lead to tissue necrosis because the damaged cells also leak destructive enzymes and proteins that destroy neighboring cells, even the healthy ones. Because the cells are damaged…yeah, you get the drift. More immune cells.

CBD also induces cell death, but through a process called apoptosis or programmed cell death. Here, only the damaged cell itself is affected, so it will not leak destructive enzymes and proteins. Once it’s dead, the macrophages will come and get rid of it.

The beauty of CBD is that it induces apoptosis of proinflammatory cells, the immune cells that produce cytokines. It can stop inflammation from worsening.

Okay. Let’s now go to CBD and THC and how they can work together.

For THC to produce its medicinal effects, it has to activate the CB1 receptors. But activating these receptors will make you “high.”

How then can CBD stop the psychedelic effects of THC when it has little affinity with the CB1 receptors and has no way of influencing it?

Here’s how CBD becomes sneaky.

Listen carefully because this is one of my favorite CBD effects…and I bet you’ll love it, too.

CBD can bind with CB1 receptors, but not with the receptor’s active site which THC binds with. CBD – this sneaky, beautiful cannabinoid – binds with the receptor’s allosteric site. And when it does this, it changes the size and shape of the active site, making it difficult for THC to fit into it. Nice, eh?

Here’s another way how CBD stops THC’s bad effects. THC, to produce its hallucinogenic effects, has to be degraded into its metabolite form by the cytochrome p450 enzymes of the liver.  In its metabolite form, THC becomes an even more potent hallucinogenic compound.

But what CBD does is to compete with THC by binding with the cytochrome p450 enzymes and then deactivate them. With fewer cytochrome p450 enzymes to bind with, THC isn’t broken down into its metabolite form. It can create its wonders but produce less psychoactive effects.

Want to know CBD more?

It can help your endocannabinoids stay longer in your system!

How?

It stops the transport of endocannabinoids toward the enzymes that break it down by binding with the transporters themselves. With these inhibited, there will be more endogenous cannabinoids doing their thing!

There are other cannabinoids worth mentioning, but for now, let’s focus on these two. They are, after all, the most studied.

Medical cannabis can do wonders to people who are suffering from diseases and disorders. Maybe even better than the medications they have right now, which, let’s be honest, sometimes don’t work and have very serious side effects. Cannabis has a very good safety profile, effective, and is very well-tolerated by patients.

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/herbalhemp-6915040/

Our body produces marijuana-like compounds, and no, it doesn’t make you an addict.

Surprised?

I completely understand how you feel.

First time I read about it, I was suprised, too.

Now, listen, because what I’m going to tell you is a fact, and not just some weird thing I read.

You know that marijuana, in the ancient times, has been used to treat diseases – infection, inflammation, seizures, obesity, pain, arthritis, muscle spasticity, etc. It only became illegal because of racism.

And greed. Oh, how pharmaceutical companies would love to dominate the health market!

Anyway, back to the human body.

It was discovered in the 1990s that there are special systems in our cells that play a vital role in promoting balance and homeostasis. These systems are primarily found in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord as well as the cells of the organs and especially immune system. They’re found all over the body, really! Each system has receptors, two of which became the focus of medical research.

It was also discovered that our body produces special (very, very special) compounds or molecules that bind to these receptors, activating them to produce their beneficial effects.

These molecules, they found out, are very similar to the compounds (phytocannabinoids) found in cannabis. So they called them endocannabinoids, which means endogenous cannabinoids or cannabinoids produced by the human body. The special systems were called the endocannabinoid system and their receptors CB1 and CB2.

Endocannabinoids are fascinating. While neurotransmitters are produced and released by the presynaptic cells upon a stimulus and travel to the postsynaptic cells to transmit the signal, endocannabinoids are produced by the postsynaptic cells and travel to the presynaptic cells.

In a nutshell, the neurotransmitters travel in a forward direction, carrying the signal to the next cell. Endocannabinoids, on the other hand, travel in a backward direction.

So why is this important?

Here is how endocannabinoids get even more interesting.

Since it travels in a backward direction, it can influence how the presynaptic cells perceive and transmit the signal.

Still with me?

Let’s say the stimulus is pain. Neurotransmitters responsible for pain perception will be produced, and they will carry the signal for pain to the next cell, and on, and on till it reaches the part of the brain that tells your body how to react.

Now, endocannabinoids are also produced and released into the synapses in response to the stimulus. Because it stimulates the presynaptic cells’ endocannabinoid receptors, it tells them “Hey, calm down. Balance and homeostasis, remember?”

And the response?

The presynaptic cells reduce their release of neurotransmitters for pain, effectively reducing the pain you feel.

Activation of the cannabinoid receptors modulates the release of neurotransmitters and influence the body’s physiological response to a variety of stimulus to promote homeostasis within the body.

So now you’re wondering…why do we still need marijuana when our own body produces its own marijuana-like chemicals?

Because, my dears, even before our endocannabinoids produce their widespread beneficial effects, enzymes are already breaking them down for reabsorption back into the cells.

So their effects are short-lived.

And so marijuana’s phytocannabinoids has the potential to help our endocannabinoid system bring homeostasis back within the body.

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/slon_dot_pics-5203613/