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Effects of Drinking & Smoking Weed

Effects of Drinking & Smoking Weed

Poly-drug use is considered to be the use of two or more drugs (often psychoactive) at one time. The reason why people often use a combination of drugs is to either increase the effects of the primary drug taken, or to increase overall intoxication.

Often poly-drug use takes place when an individual is already intoxicated and not making rational decisions. According to the “Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute” of the University of Washington, not counting tobacco, the most most common form of poly-drug use is alcohol and marijuana.1

On the streets, this act is known as “getting crunk” or “cross-fading”. The issue is, the effects of either drug, especially in combination, may be more powerful than anyone can anticipate and can be highly dangerous!

As we have underlined in our previous articles, depending on your biochemistry at the moment (as it fluctuates depending on what you eat, hydration, stress levels, exhaustion etc), the effects of either drug may be more powerful, and the combination may produce different and unpredictable reactions. 1

kermit-1653827_960_720Evidence from several research projects indicate that having alcohol in your blood system causes for the faster absorption of THC (a cannabinoid which for some causes unwanted psychoactive or sedative effects). 1 This can result in having an individual “green out” – something that has been noted to happen more often when one consumes alcohol prior to consuming marijuana, rather than the other way around.

Although “greening out” is not life-threatening, nor has anyone died from it, the effect of over-consuming alcohol beyond an individual tolerance- alcohol poisoning – has killed people.

“According to Northeastern University, marijuana has an antiemetic effect, meaning that it makes it more difficult for the body to vomit. Normally this side effect is non-consequential, and it can even be beneficial in cancer patients who use medical marijuana because they have trouble keeping food down. However, in the case of alcohol poisoning, vomiting is the body’s way of expelling the excess alcohol. If a person is unable to properly vomit, they are more likely to choke on their vomit or succumb to the effects of alcohol poisoning.”2

Scott Lukas, a professor at Harvard Medical School, investigated what happens in the brain when “cross-faded”.3 THC and alcohol are two psychoactive substances; THC acts on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors and cognitive effects, while Alcohol depresses the nervous system in a different way, often resulting in a decrease in motor-skills (ex. walking in a straight line). 3 4 With the complex individuality of one’s neurochemistry, Lukas found that not only did the two drug effects individuals differently each time, but in some instances, the effects of each substance were amplified to “unreasonable” amounts. In his study, those that smoked a joint and drank three shots of alcohol had 2x the amount of THC in their bloodstream vs. those who smoked a joint and didn’t have three shots. 3

What is interesting is that it is not clear yet WHY this happens. We at SoCo hypothesize that this is due to THC traveling to the brain a lot faster, via the bloodstream. Since  alcohol is a vasodilator, this changes how quickly blood vessels in your lunges absorb inhaled THC.

Common Effects of Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol:  1 2 3 4 5

  • nausea and/or vomitingmadness-1608707_960_720
  • increased heart rate
  • increase in anxiety, paranoia and panic
  • difficulty breathing
  • sudden headache
  • extreme vertigo , “the spins”
  • sensory/motor skill deprivation (Ex.impaired seeing, hearing)
  • twitching, muscular lethargy and/or spasm (this can result in cramping/ pain)

Health & Saftey Risks: 1 2 3 4 5

  • Impaired judgement and the sudden decrease in environmental awareness and control of surroundings
    •  Note: this places an individual at a greater risk of making improper and unsafe decisions. Reports have included the loss or stealing of belongings, negotiation of safe and consensual sex, and increase in injury due to falling
  • Greater impairment of hand eye coordination
    • Note: the negative effects of driving while intoxicated is well documented. Marijuana has been noted to cause a reduction in concentration and reaction time. This further adds to impaired driving and puts the individual and anyone else on the road/in the car at risk
  • Those who are vulnerable to psychotic symptoms have an increased chance of exacerbating such.
    • Note: increased anger and agitation leads to fights, a manic stage can lead to actions where zero consequences are considered, hallucinations can take place when psychosis is present etc.
  • One should consider  that an individual may be turning towards poly-drug use to achieve intoxication, due to an underlining addiction, improper coping of a mental illness or personal crisis.

 

It is important to be mindful of your choices, those of others around you, and promote safety and wellness.

 

DUIs & Driving

In 2008, leading experts released data on the different effects of drugs on driving, summarizing the scientific evidence from the viewpoints of physicians, psychiatrists and pharmacists. In their publication “Drugs, Driving & Traffic Saftey”, they declare that their studies are inconclusive as to how much THC is responsible for impaired driving crashes, vs. drunk driving. 5  While “ethanol (alcohol) is clearly the most significant substance used by drivers”, people who were involved in motor vehicle accidents (accident-297191_960_720MVA), tested positive 50-80% of the time for both alcohol and THC. 5  Therefore, it is the conclusion of this research that “the combination of THC and alcohol poses a bigger risk potential than those of either drug alone.” 5

For Future Sake:

In Colorado (U.S.A), state patrol data shows that the total DUI citations, in 2016 thus far, has rose to 398, compared with 316 for the same period in 2015.6 Many people were pulled over for having bloodshot eyes and/or smelling of marijuana. Even though some proclaimed to not be high (and were not at the time “stoned”), the state blood test were often positive for THC. 6 The issue here is that THC is stored in your fat and is not water soluble like ethanol. A THC positive blood test does NOT , nor is it enough evidence, to charge someone with a DUI.

The state has concluded that measuring a person’s THC level is actually a poor indicator for intoxication, yet they have imposed this ideology that a 5 nanogram of THC per millilitre of blood is “intoxication”. 6

Unlike alcohol, which has a generally linear relationship between the amount of alcohol you consume, your breath alcohol content and driving performance, the THC route of metabolism is very different,” says Thomas Marcotte, co-director of the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego. 6  

Hence why adapting drunk driving laws to marijuana makes for bad policy. 

There should, ideally, be a ZERO drinking and driving policy. Even if they invented a nanogram detector for breathalyzers tomorrow, which could indicate both THC & alcohol content, it all comes down to the individual at hand: their BMI, what their bio-chemistry is at the moment, and of course the eligibility of documentations for prescriptions and permits.

What we can say here is: it is never a good idea to drink and drive, nor “crunk” and drive. If you find that marijuana is causing unwanted psychoactive or sedative effects, do not handle any sort of heavy machinery and be mindful, safe and calm.

 


1.
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute U of W. Alcohol and Marijuana. learnaboutmarijuanawa.org. http://learnaboutmarijuanawa.org/factsheets/alcohol.htm. Published June 2013. Accessed October 17, 2016.
2.
Dovey D. Drunk And High: Science Explains Some Of The Side Effects That Come From Mixing Alcohol And Marijuana. Medical Daily. http://www.medicaldaily.com/drunk-and-high-science-explains-some-side-effects-come-mixing-alcohol-and-marijuana-278486. Published April 23, 2014. Accessed October 17, 2016.
3.
PUIU T. What happens inside your brain when you mix marijuana and alcohol. ZME Science. http://www.zmescience.com/science/mixing-pot-and-alcohol-brain-423432/. Published September 1, 2014. Accessed October 15, 2016.
4.
Scharff Ph. D. C. The Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Marijuana. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ending-addiction-good/201405/the-dangers-combining-alcohol-and-marijuana. Published May 6, 2014. Accessed October 18, 2016.
5.
Verster J, Pandi-Perumal SR, Ramaekers JG, de Gier JJ, eds. Drugs, Driving and Traffic Safety. Vol 2. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media; 2009.
6.
Will legal marijuana mean more stoned drivers? Whittier Daily News & Partnership w/ Colorado Public Radio, KPCC, NPR and Kaiser Health News. http://www.whittierdailynews.com/general-news/20161008/will-legal-marijuana-mean-more-stoned-drivers. Published October 8, 2016. Accessed October 18, 2016.
The Aromatherapy of Cannabis

The Aromatherapy of Cannabis

The most common class of chemical compounds found in essential oils, used for aromatherapy in such places as spas, are called terpenes (pronounced TUR-peen).

Terpenes are the main component of any plant resin/oils and play many important roles in the plant kingdom- “from deterring insect predation, protection from environmental stresses and vitally, and act as chemical building blocks for more complex molecules, like cannabinoids.”1

Terpenes are a large and varied class of hydrocarbons (hydrogen + carbon atoms), produced by plants and also, some insects; they are  referred to asball-1055956_960_720 terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (like being dried and cured). 1  

Terpenoids contribute to scent, flavour and pigments: the scent of eucalyptus, the flavours of cinnamon, cloves, and lavender, as well as the colour of yellow flowers. 1

When you smell that distinct aroma of a particular strain of cannabis, you’re smelling the result of a specific blend of terpenes. Like cannabinoids such as THC & CBD, terpenes are secreted from the plant’s tiny crystal-looking hairs (trichomes) that cover the bud.2 It is important to remember that creation of terpenes in cannabis is influenced by multiple external factors, including soil and climate. 2

Oh what a “Riot of perfumes” as the poet and hash loving Arthur Rimbaud once said.

There are at least 140 different types of terpene in a cannabis plant, while a more “traditional” oil, like eucalyptus, produces a high number of one type of terpene only.3  Some cannabis strains have terpenes in only trace amounts, while others in double-digit percentage.4 Being able to measure these volatile compounds before and after breeding/hybridzation experiments will offer the cannabis community with endless opportunities for developing new flavours by basing breeding decisions on real analytical data. 4

terpenes21

 

Cannabis essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and upper leaves of cannabis plants. 2 It is green in colour, highly volatile, and its component parts “are very powerful..highly active organic compounds”.

 

The 9 Primary Terpenes of  “Cannabis Aromatherapy”:

(The most common, higher dosed, terpenes found in common cannabis strains) 1 2 4 5

1.) Alpha Bisabolol violet-292367_960_720

Flavour & Aroma: Sweet / Berry/ Mild floral

Medicinal Benefits: May help fight bacteria, heal wounds and treat inflammation

Effects: Known as an anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant and anti-microbial. Smooth and tasty.

Soco Strain: CBD Blue OG,  Big Grape

2.) Alpha-Pinene/ Beta-Pinene 

Flavour & Aroma: Pinepine-1559085_960_720

Medicinal Benefits: May help with memory retention, increases alertness and counteracts cognitive fatigue. Like Sage, it aids as an anti-congestgent, anti-mucus, and bronchodilator – ergo it is great for coughs and respiratory difficulties.  

Effects: Known as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic.

*Note, this terpene counteracts the effects of THC, ergo you wont get as much “brain fog” as you would with other strains. “Skunk” smelling strains have high levels of pinene. 

 

4.) Borneol aroma-906137_960_720

Flavour & Aroma: Earthy, mint, camphor

Medical Benefits: May help with fatigue, stress, relaxation and boosting your immune system. Often used heavily in Chinese medicine.

Effects: Known as an analgesic, anti-insomnia and bronchodilator.

5.) Caryophyllene

spices-541974_960_720Flavour & Aroma: Woody and spicy, notes of pepper

Medical Benefits: May help with inflammation, autoimmune disorders and gastrointestinal ailments. Anti-fungal/bacterial properties; said to be great for a toothache! 

Effects: Known as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This is one of the most common terpene found in cannabis.

Cool Fact: “Studies show that this terpene, also found in other legal herbs, spices and food plants (it contributes to the spiciness of  black pepper), activates the CB2 receptor and acts as a non-psychoactive anti-inflammatory.  Because it binds to a cannabinoid receptor, it is considered a cannabinoid and since the widespread natural plant product beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive and ingested daily with food, it is the first dietary cannabinoid” 1

Soco Flower: Kings Kush

 

6.) Humulenewoods-18989_960_720

Flavour & Aroma: Woody and earthy

Medical Benefits: May help with inflammatory diseases and pain relief. 

Effects: Known to suppress appetite, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Suppression of appetite may be required when dealing with G.I issues or if you want to avoid the munchies!

Soco Flower: Washing Machine

 

7.) Limonenelemons-1149003_960_720

Flavour & Aroma: Citrus 

Medical Benefits: May help inflammation, gastrointestinal ailments, heartburn and depression. Has anti-fungal and bacterial properties, like oregano, and has even shown to have anti-carcinogenic effects. It is said to protect against mold and carcinogens present in smoke! 

Effects: Shown to help elevate mood and provide stress relief. If added more is added to a strain, one would have a more stimulating herb. Participants in studies have repeatedly reported experienced an increase inattention, mental focus, well-being and even sex drive! Often the culprit for such difficulties is depression and anxiety, therefore it does have SSRI properties. Used by plants to ward off predators, it is said to repel like an insecticide. 1

Soco Flower: Alan Young

 

8.) Linaloollavender-1537694_960_720

Flavour & Aroma: Floral and sweet with a touch of spice, like lavender. 

Medical Benefits: May help with anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy and depression

Effects: Known for anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, antidepressant and sedation properties. If more is added to a strain, one would have a more sedative. In mice, it was discovered to decrease their activity and induce sleep by 75%. 1  

SoCo Flower: High CBD Strains

 

9.) Myercene cloves-1049598_960_720

Flavour & Aroma: Most similar to cloves. Earthy, musky and herbal with a hint of fruit and citrus. 

Medical Benefits: May help with pain, insomnia, muscle tension and depression. 

Effects: Shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory, astringent, sedative and muscle relaxer. Considered “the most common” terpene (up to 60% of the essential oils of certain varieties); acting in synergy with THC, myercene increases its psychoactive potential. 1

Soco Flower: Scotts OG

It’s the unique and varying combination of these terpenes, found in each strain, that creates a distinctively specific aroma and flavour, along with an individualized set of health benefits and symptom relief.

aroma-507902_960_720

“Terpenes work synergistically with other cannabis compounds called cannabinoids (i.e. THC, CBD, etc.) to magnify therapeutic benefits…They work together with cannabinoids to create a specific and targeted result. Some terpenes have been found to buffer the psychoactive effects of THC, while amplifying the healing effects of cannabinoids. Others may eliminate some of the anxiety brought on by higher THC levels. And some terpenes can dilate lung capillaries, helping the cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream quicker for a faster onset of symptom relief.” 2

 

Cannabis as an aromatic plant goes often unnoticed and unsaid.  Cannabis is so complex from this point of view that the possible terpene combinations are endless, creating a broad spectrum of possible aromas and flavours. 1

“Scientists are researching to learn more about the benefits of terpenes. With every study more is being discovered on the massive potential of these plant compounds. We know now that terpenes bind to the receptors sent to the brain to affect dopamine and serotonin levels. According to highly regarded neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher Dr. Ethan Russo, terpenes “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.’’ Understanding the role of certain terpenes will allow scientists to manipulate cannabinoids to desired ratios.  Some terpenes are said to modulate the physiological and psychoactive effects of cannabis. 1  

 

What is key to terpenes – synergy.

“Synergy has a scientific basis in our body’s endocannabinoid system. THC binds to receptors concentrated most heavily in the brain where psychoactive effects take place. Terpenes also bind to these receptor sites and affect their chemical output. They can also modify how much THC passes through the blood-brain barrier.” 2

 

BIGGEST GAIN:

 

Considering that this oil is so powerful, “very small amounts are necessary for it to have an effect.” 2 This means that cannabis oil is not only highly beneficial (for mind, body and soul), but also a frugal and an organic approach to your health and wellness!

We must not forget, terpenes can add great depth to the horticultural art and connoisseurship of cannabis; combining “left & right brain values”, we should move forward and onward, through all our senses, as we mediate our body’s interaction with therapeutic cannabinoids.

 

green-1648353_960_720

Warning: Although this article’s data clearly shows that cannabis essential oil can be an effective remedy for many health conditions, it is still a potent chemical substance extracted from a plant with psychotropic substances. Speak to a healthcare professional about mixing essential oils and present medications before adding any new to your health regimen. Remember to always “Start Low, Go Slow.”


1.
Healing with Terpenes – Cannabis Aromatherapy. Autoflower Portal. https://autoflower-portal.net/healing-terpenes-cannabis-aromatherapy/#prettyPhoto. Published July 18, 2014. Accessed October 13, 2016.
2.
Health Benefits of Cannabis Essential Oil. Organic Facts. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/cannabis-essential-oil.html. Published 2015. Accessed October 12, 2016.
3.
Kohr A. The Legal Way of Combining Cannabis With Aromatherapy . yoganonymous.com. http://yoganonymous.com/the-company-combining-cannabis-with-aromatherapy. Published June 25, 2016. Accessed October 14, 2016.
4.
TERPENES, TERPENOIDS AND CANNABIS. Berkley Patient Care Collective. http://berkeleypatientscare.com/2010/10/08/terpenes-terpenoids-and-cannabis/. Published 2010. Accessed October 14, 2016.
5.
Marijuana terpenes and their effects. Alchimia. https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/marijuana-terpenes-effects/. Published June 24, 2014. Accessed October 14, 2016.
Indica, Sativa & Hybrids

Indica, Sativa & Hybrids

When entering a dispensary, most people are asked:  “Indica, sativa or hybrid?”

 

To new patients, this may be just as confusing as being approached by a flamingo. 

Before we start divulging into the differences, it is important to note one of the greatest Cannabis myths:

“Indica is a body high. Sativa is a mind high.” WRONG

Both indica and sativa have mood elevating and sedative effects. The ingestion of cannabis is an individual and unassuming one; a strain may be just right or too much. What’s amazing is that this is a plant, with at least a 12,000-year history, spent “evolving alongside humankind”1

Questions to consider as a consumer are: How do you want to feel? What flavours do you like? What is your medical condition?

“Everyone’s biochemistry will vary. The individual’s tolerance, the amount consumed, how it is consumed, and the items the individual consumes prior to taking cannabis (food, water, alcohol, etc.) will all alter the effect of any given strain.” 2

History & Origin of Strains 

Indica is the classical Greek and Latin word for “India”, the region of Earth where resin-heavy, psychotropic cannabis is thought to have originated from.3 Sativa simply means “cultivated”, which it has been for many years in the form of hemp.

In 1753, a biologist  Carl Linnaeus identified Cannabis sativa as a single species; in 1785, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck found a second species from India.3  Because its characteristics were unlike Cannabis sativa, he named the new species Cannabis indica. 3

Today, sativa and indica are accepted as the two major subtypes of cannabis. If we are going to technocrats, it’s far more scientifically accurate, and will improve both the ongoing conversation and long-term research, by classifying both Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa into four distinct categories 1 :alice-in-wonderland-29768_960_720

Broad-Leaf Drug Producing (BLD) (a Cannabis indica, psychoactive, broad leaves)
Narrow-Leaf Drug Producing (NLD) (a Cannabis indica, psychoactive, narrow leaves)
Broad-Leaf Hemp Producing (BLH) (a Cannabis indica, non-psychoactive, broad leaves)
Narrow-Leaf Hemp Producing (NLH) (a Cannabis sativa, non-psychoactive, narrow leaves)

The first two are classified as “drugs” (with psychoactive properties), the first three are all part of the indica family, and the last two are classified as “hemp” (for food/industrial use). What researchers suggest is that all cannabis received a portion of its genetics from the “Broad Leaf Drug/ Cannabis indica gene pool”. 1

Geographically, strains grow in distinct climates with specific sun and oxygen exposure:

Indica –  Ex. Hindu Kush region of the Middle East –  Turkey, Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan – thrives in cooler and higher altitude climates

Sativa – Ex. Grown near the equator – Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, Southeast Asia – thrives in warm climates

Lesser known and somewhat insignificant is Cannabis ruderalis, originating from central Russia. As SoCo’s founder, Marek Stupak explains, “[It’s an] Eastern European hemp strain used to mix into our local strains to create a hybrid we refer to as Auto-flower.”4 Cannabis ruderalis is often feral/wild, with a variable morphology depending on its environment.5

The Leaf Online has even suggested adopting another nomenclature for Cannabis:

 Cannabis Indica (Formerly sativa)

Cannabis Afghanica (Formerly indica)

Cannabis Sativa (Formerly ruderalis)

They claim that this approach is more “grounded in the actual genetics of the plant, and scientifically sound”. 5

Hybrids

Hybrids are known as the offspring of two different plants- the crossbreeds between sativa and indica.By genetically combining the plants, growers mutate the potential cannabinoid presence. The achievement is to grow a plant that offers the effects of the two “parent” plants.For example, some hybrids are 50% indica, 50% sativa, typically providing an “all over head and body high”. 3

“Hybrid strains are equally as common however, with mixes typically being 80/20, 70/30 or 50/50 in all combinations possible. The hybrid strains that dispensaries and growers are constantly experimenting with in interesting and creative ways produce a variety of effects of flavour, taste and profiles of cannabinoids and terpenes to achieve a desired “high” or treat a specific physical condition.” 2

Ergo, sativa-dominant hybrids might provide a stimulating cerebral high while still relaxing the body; an indica-dominant hybrid might provide a sedated high without actually inducing sleep. 3 Again, it is important to remember that hybrid strains vary and each user’s biochemistry determines how they will individually react.

Here are some examples of SoCo Hybrid strains:

Sativa dominant: Washing Machine, Alan Young

Indica dominant: Cornbread, King Louis

50/50: Green Crack, Sour OG

Strain Characteristics

The most accurate way to identifying whether a plant is sativa or indica is by observing its physical appearance. Hybrid strains may exhibit either characteristics of each primary strains: 3 5 6 7

Indica:leaf-308038_960_720

  • sometimes referred to as “kush”
  • broad, fatter leaf
  • darker green colour, compared to sativa
  • typically grows 3-4 ft
  • more ideal for indoor growing / smaller grow spaces
  • dense branches with much denser buds/flowers
  • flower time ~ 8-12 weeks
  • good frost tolerance
  • high resin production
  • yield size typically 1-3 ounces per plant
  • have a more variable THC vs. CBD content. (THC is often still more predominant but some strains have 1:1, and others high CBD)
  • Soco Flower: Scotts OG, Tahoe OG

*Notes: Strains like Afghanica can be susceptible to mold due to how dense the buds and branches are.

Sativa:cannabis-1416052_960_720

  • sometimes refered to as “haze”
  • slender, pointy leaf
  • lighter green colour, compared to indica
  • typically can grow up to 20 ft!
  • ideal for outdoor growing
  • sparser branches with less dense buds/flowers
  • flowering time ~ 10-16 weeks
  • minimal frost tolerance
  • moderate production of resin
  • yield size typically ~3 ounces – 1lb per plant
  • higher contents of THC cannabinoid than CBD.
  • Soco Flower: Jack the Ripper

*Note: THC & CBD effect people in different ways. You can experience opposite effects than what is reported by the masses.

Psychoactive & Medicinal Use

  • Indica is known to induce sedative psychoactivity, typically leading to the “body high” many users report. After ingestion, most patients feel a sense of full body relaxation, calming of there central and peripheral nervous system, creating a “chill out” sensorium for the user. Some people remember the effects of indica by comparing it to “in da’ couch” for it provides a “couch-lock” effect. Cognitively, this strain tends to be more anti-social given that, for the majority, it enhances introspection and a sense/comfortability with “alone time”. Some people find this strain to be a great stress reliever and sleeping aid.
  • Sativa is known to induce stimulating psychoactivity, typically leading to the “head high” many users report. After ingestion, most users report feeling energized and cerebral high. This is more uplifting for the patient, allowing them to be more active and social. Some people find an enhancement in creativity and productivity as well.

Symptom Relief really depends on the individual. Both strains have been successful at relieving major aggravators like pain, nausea and loss of appetite (often experienced by those suffering from cancer and chronic illness).

adam-and-eve-1687782_960_720

What we can say is that the majority of people find indica & sativa to have the following medicinal values :

  • Indica: Insomnia, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Sleep Apnea.
  • Sativa: Fatigue, Depression (and other Mood Disorders), known to maintain a Clear Head/ Cerebral effect.

Indicas have a higher level of THC, which gives this strain its sedative properties (ideal for the evening). 3 Most people’s nervous systems are calmed by this strain, therefore it has the potential to decrease such things as muscle spasms, headaches and nausea. Patients who prefer and benefit the most from indica strains include those suffering from fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune disorders like lupus, colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Sativas tends to have a high CBD:THC ratio. Due to the high CBD, sativas tend to stimulate, improve alertness and optimism, which can be maximized during the day. 3 As mentioned above, sativa is commonly prescribed to treat mental and behavioural issues like ADHD, but also as a stimulant can help encourage appetite in patients who suffer from certain types of cancer to anorexia. 3

Hybrids provide different symptom reliefs of their own:  6

Sativa-dominant Hybrids: Typically offered a cerebral high with a relaxing body effect. Provides physical and mental relief. (Soco Flower: Washing Machine, Alan Young)

Even Hybrids (50/50): Ideal strains for people seeking a perfect balance of effects for “head and body. (Soco Flower: Green Crack, Sour OG)

Indica-dominant Hybrids: These strains provide a full-body pain relief, with a relaxing head high. Recommended for nighttime use to go to sleep, or daytime relief from minor pain. These strains are considered ideal for patients who suffer from various autoimmune diseases as well as insomnia and depression. (Soco Flower: Cornbread, King Louis)

It is important to recognize that  in Cannabis’ evolutionary history, there are now thousands of strains, each containing various levels of the known ~400 cannabinols.4 Therefore, the possibility for hybrids and genetic combination is endless. 4

Smell & Tasteface-1370958_960_720

The creativity of growers has opened the doors to an array of flavours and smells of Cannabis.

Overall, sativa plants are thought to be extremely pungent smelling and can range quite drastically. The well known sativa, “Green Crack”,  is described as having a peppery sweet smell, something more “classic” and familiar to this strain. 6

The flavours and smells of indica also has a wide range. Most associate a sweet and sugary fruit flavour. Indica is thought carry a more “pungent skunk” smell/taste, similar to hash. 6

Conclusion

A study, by researchers at the University of British Columbia, is underway to indicate and paint a clear picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis and its strains. 7 Canadian researches believe that this is a pivotal step that could have medical and legal implications for this highly valuable plant.

“Even though hemp and marijuana are important crops, knowledge about cannabis is lacking because of its status as a controlled drug,” said Jonathan Page, a University of British Columbia botanist who co-led the first large-scale study of the genetic diversity of cannabis. 7

In his research, Page found that most strains found in dispensaries are often incorrectly labeled. There are inconsistencies between the strains reported by breeders and the ancestry inferred from the plants actual DNA. 7 An example strain, Jamaican Lambs Bread, which has been thought to be a pure sativa, genetically is identical to an indica strain from Afghanistan.

As we continue to stress- the effects of sativa and indica vary widely, and medical cannabis is not a realm one can assume. It is an individual experience which requires consistent observation and navigation via patient preference.

Here at SoCo we encourage our members to explore our different strains in a safe and informative environment. Our staff is equipped to help you determine, without feeling overwhelmed:

What symptom relief you are hoping for? What flavours do you like? How do you want to feel?

dualism-1197153_960_720


1.
Debunking the Sativa Versus Indica Classification of Cannabis. MERRY JANE. https://www.merryjane.com/health/sativa-indica-cannabis-classification. Published September 27, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2016.
2.
Aaron HB. Indica vs. Sativa. Summit Daily. http://www.summitdaily.com/magazines/explore-summit-magazine/indica-vs-sativa-sponsored/. Published August 11, 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016.
3.
N.A truthonpot. or. Indica vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference? Truth on Pot. http://www.truthonpot.com/2016/03/14/indica-vs-sativa-whats-the-difference/. Published March 14, 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016.
4.
Stupak M. C. Ruderalis. In: Online ; 2016.
5.
Colbert M. Indica, Sativa, Ruderalis – Did We Get It All Wrong? The Leaf Online. http://theleafonline.com/c/science/2015/01/indica-sativa-ruderalis-get-wrong/. Published January 26, 2015. Accessed October 7, 2016.
6.
Reichard Z. Indica vs. Sativa Medical Marijuana Strain Differences. Medical Jane. https://www.medicaljane.com/2013/06/28/cannabis-indica-vs-cannabis-sativa-differences/. Published 2014. Accessed October 6, 2016.
7.
Botanists conduct first large-scale genetic study of marijuana, hemp. http://ubc.ca. http://news.ubc.ca/2015/08/26/botanists-conduct-first-large-scale-genetic-study-of-marijuana-hemp/. Published August 26, 2015. Accessed October 6, 2016.
“Greening Out” & What To Do?

“Greening Out” & What To Do?

According to Health Canada, the primary adverse side effects of Cannabis/Marihuana/Marijuana are1:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, feeling faint or lightheaded, fatigue, headache;
  •  impaired memory and disturbances in attention, concentration and ability to think and make decisions;
  • disorientation, confusion, feeling drunk, feeling abnormal or having abnormal thoughts, feeling “too high”, feelings of unreality, feeling an extreme slowing of time;
  • suspiciousness, nervousness, episodes of anxiety resembling a panic attack, paranoia (loss of contact with reality), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist);
  • impairments in motor skills and perception, altered bodily perceptions, loss of full control of bodily movements, falls;
  • dry mouth, throat irritation, coughing;
  • worsening of seizures;
  • hypersensitivity reactions (contact dermatitis/hives);
  • higher or lower blood levels of certain medications;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • fast heartbeat

WAIT. The above adverse side effects also resemble those of a Panic Attack. It is common, after ingesting Cannabis, to recognize a change in ones motor abilities,  psychological perception (time, light, space etc.), alteration of physical sensation etc.. While these adverse effects can take place and be alarming, the same can occur with over the counter analgesic pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol and anti-nausea medications like Gravol.

Remember: “Greening Out” should NOT veer one away from using Cannabis as a form of medication. NO ONE has ever died from being too high. While what your feeling may be unpleasant – it is not dangerous.

If you find yourself “Greening Out”:

1.)  Relax

  • frogs-1644927_960_720Sit down (we recommend you do not stand up and pace, nor lay down if this increases your sense of vertigo and/or nausea) If you are tired, “sleeping it off” can be the solution to feeling TOO high.
  • Know with certainly that the intense feeling you are encountering will pass. Again, NO ONE has ever died from being too high. While the sensation may be unpleasant – it is not dangerous. 
  • Breathe: In 4 Seconds, Hold 7 Seconds, Out 8 Seconds. Remember to maintain slow, full breaths at a a consistent, comfortable pace.     

2.)  Hydrate

  • Water, juice, cold/hot; hydration is key! Having a drink on hand will combat adverse effects such as dry mouth, and is a basic familiar act to focus on. “Greening Out” is like getting the hiccups – deep breaths, slow sips = decrease in spasm and good distraction.
  • Citrus drinks with Limonene disables and inhibits the effects of Cannabis. If you’re “Greening Out”, lemon juice, the zest from a lime, or a glass of grapefruit juice will do wonders. (Read here to learn more about Citrus and Cannabis)
  • DO NOT combine alcoholic beverages with Cannabis. Alcohol has been proven to significantly increase THC blood concentrations and can significantly further decrease your motor-visual skills (ergo, your ability to drive a vehicle or handle large machinery).2,3

3.) Distractions

  • Fresh Air: Some people find that their mind begins to race and they can’t “turn my brain off”. A change of scenery, still within a realm of familiarity, is a great way to distract yourself and possibly enjoy some of the effects of Cannabis. Fresh air, along with an increase in blood circulation, can also help boost your energy from any lethargic side effects brought on by Cannabis. *DO NOT venture off if you are
    feeling too anxious/paranoid, and refrain from leaving your home if you are experiencing increased light-headedness and/or feeling faint. Fresh Air can be accomplished by opening a window as well!frogs-897981_960_720
  • Art & Entertainment: You can calm your Central Nervous System (responsible for relaying the negative physical & psychological effects of Cannabis) by enjoying familiar forms of recreation that stimulate happy neurological responses. We do not recommend you partake in a new activity that may trigger further panic (Ex. Do not watch a scary movie if you don’t like being scared!) Some examples include, but are not limited to : watching a funny T.V show/movie, listening to music, playing a board/video/computer game, partaking in common meditative practices such as knitting, adult colouring books, other arts and crafts of interest, reading, etc.
  • Black Pepper : Who would of thought? Indeed though, pain is a great way to distract yourself from “Greening Out”. Neil Young swears that crunching down on a couple black pepper corns distracts him from any Cannabis induced paranoia or anxiety 5. When it comes down to the chemicals in the brain, according to a scientific review published by Ethan Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology, cannabis and pepper have very similar chemical traits; combining the terpenoids (such as beta-caryophyllene) in pepper, with the tetrahydrocannabinol in Cannabis, has a synergistic chemical reaction on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Therefore, when combined, Cannabis and black pepper have a therapeutic calming effect 4. So, grind a few peppercorns and take a whiff; sneezing may occur.

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4.)  Eat Something

  • When you eat food, there will be a decrease in the net biophysical effect of THC-enriched blood in your brain. This is because the blood in your body is rushing to your stomach and digestive track for digestion and absorption of what you are now consuming. In turn, you will have a decrease in the psychological effects of THC and the duration of the your high will decrease.
  • If the act of cooking is familiar and something you take pleasure in, then this could be the ultimate solution for you! Relax and indulge in the munchies.                           

5.)  Be In Good Company

  • If you know anyone who is familiar with the effects of Cannabis and is a good frog-1498909_960_720friend, reach out! Sharing your “Greening Out”experience, along with having company of someone else during your unfamiliar/unwanted “high”, can be reassuring to your nerves and reduce unwanted psychological/social side effects.
  • Remember to ask: what you need, what you don’t want/need, what you think will help. Some patients have been fortunate enough to have friends who will call every half hour until the adverse side effects ware off. Asking for reassurance is OK!

 

Things To Remember:

  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race: take your time between each dose. Different strains of Cannabis can have effects surface slowly or hit you hard and heavy; pace yourself and do not rush your consumption sessions. Packing in too much THC in a short period of time usually is the culprit to that uncomfortable feeling of “Greening Out”.
  • Proper Time & Place: if you do not know how Cannabis effects you and/or are not fully aware of your surroundings and company, we suggest you consume this medication in a safe and known environment. We do not want you feeling effects such as sudden fatigue or anxiety in an environment you do not know, surrounded by people you are not familiar with. We suggest you dose in your home, during a time when you have few demands on yourself.
  • Become Familiar with Your Limits: edibles can begin to take effect anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion! Gaining insight and understanding your own tolerance for active cannabinoids is something that takes time. So again, back to time, place and pacing yourself. With edibles, best start off with a quarter, then half, and increase doses slowly.
  • Know When to Stop! Everyone has a different tolerance and social environments can sometimes make you lose track of how much you are consuming. Do not forget that each individual has a different threshold, feels the onset of effects at different times, and are consuming for different reasons and symptom relief. What you eat, how hydrated you are, what mood you are in, how much sleep you’ve had – these ALL have an effect on how you will feel and how Cannabis will effect you.

To Mary Jane & The Avoidance of Feeling Green

 

1http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/alt_formats/pdf/marihuana/info/cons-eng.pdf

2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11543984

3http://time.com/3899426/cannabis-alcohol-thc-car-crash-drug-safety-driving/

4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

5http://www.therooster.com/blog/keep-calm-and-listen-neil-youngs-advice-how-cure-weed-paranoia

6http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/phobias-and-panic-disorders/#.V-lNhaIrJFQ

7http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/panic-attacks-and-panic-disorders.htm

8http://www.anxietymagic.com/symptoms-of-a-panic-attack

International Peace Day, Cannabis & Oxytocin

International Peace Day, Cannabis & Oxytocin

 

“When speaking with a Life-Long Cannabis user, I was told the story of a childhood where tea brewed on the stove. The pot’s contents was green , filled with leaves and Cannabis flowers floating atop. It was custom that the maids, cooks, gardeners, grumpy elders, and wrestling children would sip throughout the day from this brewing pot. The sensorium of this presented childhood was one of peace, one of mellow pace, one that encouraged progress through patience, kindness and the power of mother earth. There was no aggression, there was no pain, and all seemed to be peaceful within itself, as one. This lifestyle is “illegal” in Canada.” – Lucy Vera

 

Several research studies from the University of California have found that oxytocin is able to produce pure euphoria via the “love hormone”; promoting the brain’s cannabinoid neurotransmitters, increasing the formation of anandamide.4 The effects of anandamide are mediated primarily by the cannabinoid receptors in our central nervous system. These cannabinoid receptors are what makes us sensitive to the THC found in cannabis.

Oxytocin is chemically known as C43H66N12O12S2and is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland in our brain. Known commonly as the “love hormone”, it plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both men and women, and is released in great amounts by mothers during and after childbirth.1

Physically, Oxytocin is thought to modulate inflammation by decreasing certain cytokines (small proteins) which can increase due to injury, autoimmune disorders, malignancy etc..2 This means that in turn, Oxytocin in cahoots with positive social interactions, has the potential to improve wound healing and proper regeneration.

Mentally, Oxytocin has been studied to modulate cortisol levels and hormones released by the adrenal gland during high levels of stress. This suggests Oxytocin may be important for the inhibition of the brain regions associated with behavioural control, fear and anxiety…… thus allowing things such as orgasms to occur!  Research has also demonstrated that Oxytocin can protect against stress, particularly in combination with social support.3 This is highly valuable to those struggling with phobias, acute stress disorder, PTSD, etc. 

That’s right, concentration and bliss together leads to great things.

From these ongoing studies, one can conclude that the ingestion of Cannabis blocks the deterioration of anandamide and increases one’s neural Oxytocin levels. This reaction would benefit greatly to those struggling severe forms of social anxiety such as Autism, and can lead to an increase in self-esteem, self-control, empathy, altruism, and overall awareness of life and beauty.

So everyone, pharmacologically speaking, Viagra, SSRIs (Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) NO LONGER need to be in your medicine cabinet, nor MDMA in your recreational pocket.

Instead, have some weed butter and cuddle with a buddy. Better yet, get full PETAL POWER by creating your own healing garden and growing your own medicinal plants.

 

 

 

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Source List:

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045544/

2 http://www.eurekaselect.com/80030/article

3 http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(03)00465-7/abstract

4 http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/

Grapefruit & Ganja

Grapefruit & Ganja

We’ve come across an article on Project CBD’s website which may help further our patient’s understanding of CBD

Do not forget that WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN all has an influence on your body’s reaction and absorption of THC & CBD:

 

“Lester Bornheim, a research pharmacologist at the University of California in San Francisco, was among the first scientists to study the metabolism of CBD. ….. a team of Canadian scientists identified certain compounds in grapefruit that inhibit the expression of some cytochrome P450 enzymes—which is why physicians often warn patients not to eat grapefruit before taking their meds. CBD, it turns out, is a more potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 enzymes than the grapefruit compound Bergapten (the strongest of several grapefruit components that inhibit CYPs)”

THEREFORE:

Reduce Grapefruit intake to Increase CBD Metabolism and Efficiency and remember that our bodies are a whole. Anything we ingest interacts with pros and cons. If you are taking any prescriptions that require you not to ingest Calcium or Dairy products within 1-2 hours of your medication, then we suggest apply the same dosage schedule/precautions with your Cannabis intake.

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