Study: THC May Inhibit Growth of Endometrial Cancer

9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may inhibit the migration of endometrial cancer cells, according to a study published by the journal Oncology Letters and epublished by the National Institute of Health.

“Limited therapeutic interventions are clinically available for treating aggressive endometrial cancer (EC)”, begins the study’s abstract. “Therefore, effective therapies are urgently required.” The present study “investigated the role of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is reported to impact proliferative and migratory activities during impairment of cancer progression.”

In the study, “cell migration in response to THC was measured using transwell assays. Using western blot analysis, the levels of cannabinoid receptors in EC tissues were detected and pathways leading to the inhibition of cell migration by THC on human EC cells were determined.”

Results suggested that “cannabinoid receptors were highly expressed in EC tissues. Furthermore, THC inhibited EC cell viability and motility by inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and downregulating matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) gene expression in aggressive human EC cells.”

Researchers claim that “The results have the potential to promote the development of novel compounds for the treatment of EC metastasis.” They conclude by stating that “The present findings suggest that THC may inhibit human EC cell migration through regulating EMT and MMP-9 pathways.”

A study released earlier this year in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry concludes by stating that; “Our data further support the evaluation of CBD and CBD-rich extracts for the potential treatment of endometrial cancer, particularly, that has become non-responsive to common therapies.”

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Utah’s medical cannabis initiative is officially on the ballot

Great news! Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox officially announced yesterday afternoon that the medical cannabis ballot initiative has qualified for the November ballot. Legal medical cannabis just got one step closer to becoming a reality in Utah.

Our opponents’ attempts to stop our initiative from reaching the ballot have failed. Now the real campaign begins, and anti-cannabis crusaders are ramping up their efforts. Their strategy will be to buy TV ads and flood the airwaves with misinformation about the initiative.

The campaign needs your help to push back against the big donors who want to defeat this initiative. Please make a contribution to help fight back.

Walter J. Plumb III, owner of a pharmaceutical company, just dumped over $100,000 into our opponents’ account. Plumb has a long history of promoting falsehoods about cannabis in Utah, and that’s exactly what the opposition campaigns plan to do with his money.

This is a critical time, and we need all of our supporters to pitch in. The more the campaign can raise now, the less likely it is that our opponents will continue fighting, because they’ll realize they can’t win. Please consider making a donation to send a strong message that you won’t stand by while the opposition attempts to deprive Utah patients of legal and safe access to medical cannabis.

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Victory: Florida judge rules that ban on smokable marijuana is unconstitutional

On May 25, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that patients “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians.”

This is a big win for patient rights in Florida. After voters overwhelmingly approved the medical marijuana constitutional amendment in 2016, the Florida Legislature passed a law to prevent patients from using smokable marijuana. As you may know, for some patients, smoking marijuana is more effective than vaping or using edibles.

People United for Medical Marijuana and Florida for Care, joined by patients Cathy Jordan, who has ALS, and Diana Dodsen, who has AIDS, challenged the legislature’s attempt to restrict patients’ options. Judge Gievers ruled that patients have the right to use medical marijuana in private under the constitution.

Unfortunately, soon after Judge Gievers’ ruling, the Florida Department of Health appealed the decision, resulting in an automatic stay and preventing the decision from going into effect immediately. We are hopeful that the court decision will remain in effect and that patients will soon have the right to use medical marijuana in whatever way that works best for them.

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Illinois: Two medical marijuana improvement bills are on the move

The Illinois House of Representatives may soon vote on SB 336, which would allow those who could be prescribed opioid drugs to qualify for the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Last month, the Senate passed the measure by a wide margin, but its future in the House is less certain.

If you are an Illinois resident, please take a moment to voice your support with your lawmaker today.

While opioids can be highly addictive and dangerous, many seriously ill patients across the country are opting for a safer alternative. Medical cannabis has emerged as an effective option for hundreds of thousands of patients around the U.S. Yet, Illinois’ medical cannabis law does not include pain as a qualifying condition. It’s past time to allow patients to use cannabis instead of opiate-based medications.

Another bill which would also provide patients welcome relief passed both chambers and is now on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk. If signed, HB 4870 would allow students who are registered patients to access medical cannabis at school under certain circumstances. While limited, it is an important improvement to ensure patients do not have to choose between their health and their education. If you are an Illinois resident, call Gov. Rauner at (217) 782-0244 and ask him to sign this important bill into law.


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Louisiana Legislature passes medical marijuana reform this session

This session, the Louisiana Legislature passed two bills to expand the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. HB 579 and HB 627 add a variety of new conditions including autism, PTSD, and intractable pain. These bills are now on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk. If you have a second, call the governor and politely ask him to sign HB 579 and HB 627. His constituent services number is (225) 342-0991.

This is a great step towards Louisiana having a functional medical marijuana program. Next session, we are hopeful the legislature will allow the vaporization of medical marijuana so that patients can finally have real access to the medicine they need.

Many thanks go out to the activists that showed up to the statehouse and contacted their lawmakers in support of these reforms!

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President Trump Signs Right to Try Act Into Law, Opening Door for Medical Marijuana, Ecstasy and Magic Mushrooms

President Trump has signed the federal Right to Try Act into law, which will allow some patients to use some “investigational” drugs that have not yet been approved by the FDA.

President Trump’s signing of the bill follows a 250 to 169 vote in the House of Representatives yesterday, and a unanimous vote in the Senate in August. The new law allows those with a life-threatening disease or condition to use an “eligible investigation drug” that has not received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The term ‘eligible investigational drug’, as defined by the new law, means a drug:

“(A) for which a Phase 1 clinical trial has been completed;

(B) that has not been approved or licensed for any use under section 505 of this Act or section 351 of the Public Health Service Act;

(C) (i) for which an application has been filed under section 505(b) of this Act or section 351(a) of the Public Health Service Act; or

(ii) that is under investigation in a clinical trial that—

(I) is intended to form the primary basis of a claim of effectiveness in support of approval or licensure under section 505 of this Act or section 351 of the Public Health Service Act; and

(II) is the subject of an active investigational new drug application under section 505(i) of this Act or section 351(a)(3) of the Public Health Service Act, as applicable; and

(D) the active development or production of which is ongoing and has not been discontinued by the manufacturer or placed on clinical hold under section 505(i);”

Based on this criteria, not only would marijuana apply, but so would ecstasy (MDMA) and magic mushrooms (psilocybin), which have all had Phase 1 trials completed. In the case of MDMA, they have also gone through Phase 2 trials

“[We] believe that patients with terminal conditions — terminal illness — should have access to experimental …

On Bans and Taxes: California Hits a Few Speed Bumps

Among the nine states that have legalized the adult use of cannabis, California has the largest population and agricultural base. Adding recreational-marijuana sales to the state’s long-legal medical-use industry is expected to generate $3.7 billion in sales by the end of 2018.

Under the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the law enacted by the Proposition 64 ballot initiative in 2016, the state Bureau of Cannabis Control and the Departments of Public Health and Food and Agriculture issued more than 400 temporary licenses to retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, testing labs and event organizers, so cannabis businesses could be ready for commercial sales on January 1.

Five months later, the number of jobs in cannabis-related businesses and government agencies has increased exponentially. California has been issuing an average of 50 cannabis licenses per day, according to Cannabiz Media License Database. The initial licenses went to cultivators, dispensaries, retailers and manufacturers, and 15 companies hold 10% of the total licenses.f the first 1,000 issued. Most of these companies had already been conducting business and were looking to expand.

California State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) wants to allow cannabis deliveries in cities where retail shops are banned.

There are still plenty of hurdles to overcome. Prop 64 gave local governments the authority to regulate or ban commercial cannabis, and more than 20% of California communities have chosen the latter option, including the Central Coast between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, the Central Valley and the rural and desert east. Industry officials say those bans harm patients and deny the will of voters. SB 1302, a bill introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach), would allow cannabis deliveries in communities with local bans.

Canada Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

Legislation to legalize marijuana, which has already been passed by Canada’s House of Commons, has been given approval by a key Senate committee.

The Senate committee passed 40 amendments Monday to Bill C-45, including one that would allow provinces and territories to ban homegrown marijuana. Most of the other amendments were technical in nature and didn’t fundamentally change the measure (29 of the 40 were actually introduced by the bill’s primary sponsor).

Bill C-45 was passed by the House of Commons in November by a vote of 200 to 82. In March the Senate voted 44 to 29 to pass it through its 2nd reading. The measure must now be passed through a third reading in the Senate before it can be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval).

If the measure does become law as Prime Minister Justin Trudea has promised, the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana will become legal for those 18 and older. The measure would establish a system of licensed brick-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets, while also allowing cannabis to be sold online.

During the Senate committee vote members defeated defeated an amendment that would have indefinitely delayed implementation of the legislation until the government reports to both houses of Parliament on the measures it’s taking to deal with the concerns of Indigenous communities. They also defeated an amendment to ban personal cultivation outright.

The committee’s amended version of the bill will now go back to the Senate as a whole, where senators will decide whether to accept or reject the amendments or propose additional changes, reports the Canadian Press.

The various factions in the Senate have agreed to hold a final vote on the bill by June 7, which would allow the Trudeau government to deliver on its promise to have the legal recreational cannabis regime up and running by late summer.

Freedom Leaf Interview: BiotrackTHC’s Patrick Vo

Seed-to-sale tracking is in the news. MJ Freeway has had numerous calamitous hacks to its systems. But MJ Freeway’s chief competitor, BioTrackTHC, which operates in seven states and Puerto Rico, has not. Credit goes to the Fort Lauderdale-based company’s CEO Patrick Vo and his team of software engineers. He received degrees from the University of Arizona and Indiana University before beginning his corporate career at Price Waterhouse Coopers. After moving to Colorado in 2011, Vo dove into the marijuana industry, and soon was hired by BioTrackTHC. This interview was conducted in March.

On Mar. 8, BioTrack announced it was merging with Helix TCS. Why the merger and why with Helix?

Both companies provide ancillary support products and services to the cannabis licensees, and the shareholders and management of both companies believe that the merger will position both teams to excel. Both organizations will remain distinct business units, and leadership will not change for either team. However, we plan to rationalize common business functions and have each team leverage the knowledge, operational and economic resources of the other to create even more value to the customers that rely on us. All in all, we’re very excited for the potential this merger holds for both companies and look forward to what the future holds.

Where you born and raised?

I was born in Muncie, Indiana. I’m a child of Vietnamese immigrants. That starting point shaped who I am. Woven through all of my choices is the idea that I’m “one of the lucky ones.” There are millions of others who were left behind [during and after the Vietnam War] and didn’t make it out. The greatest tragedy of my life would be to waste it by achieving mediocrity.

What led you to enter the marijuana industry?

I was a nerd when I was younger. Cannabis was something the cool kids did in school, so it was not a part of …

Connecticut Democratic Party Makes Marijuana Legalization, Release of Nonviolent Drug Offenders, Party Platforms

The Connecticut Democratic Party has passed a resolution making the legalization of marijuana – and the prison release of nonviolent drug offenders – an official party platform.

The Connecticut Democratic Party logo.

At the Party’s annual convention last week a majority of the over 1,900 delegates in attendance approved making marijuana legalization an official party platform (one of around 30).

The platform reads: “The time for legalization of Marijuana has come. Doing so will raise revenue, which can be used to benefit those suffering from the disease of addiction to prescription pain medications and other opioids.” The resolution states that “Connecticut should follow “Best Practice” for other states to detect and prevent impaired driving. However, this is not enough. We must immediately move towards early release of non-violent drug offenders, starting with the incaracated for Marijuana offenses.”

The entire 2018 party platform for the Connecticut Democratic Party can be found by clicking here.

Earlier this year Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Appropriations voted 27 to 24 to pass House Bill 5394, which would make  marijuana legal for those 21 and older. Unfortunately the measure has failed to advance any further since the vote occured.

poll conducted by Sacred Heart University in October found that 71% of Connecticut residents support legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana for adults.

The post Connecticut Democratic Party Makes Marijuana Legalization, Release of Nonviolent Drug Offenders, Party Platforms appeared first on TheJointBlog.


Judge Rules Florida’s Ban on Smoking Medical Cannabis is Unconstitutional

A Circuit Court judge in Florida has ruled that the state’s ban on smoking medical cannabis – enacted by the legislature – is unconstitutional.

In 2016 Florida voters overwhelmingly passed an initiative that legalized medical cannabis through a constitutional amendment. The law allowed marijuana to be consumed through various methods, including smoking it. However, the following year the legislature enacted a ban on smoking medical cannabis, requiring patients to consume it through other means such as tincutres and topicals.

People United for Medical Marijuana and two patients challenged this ban in court, arguing that the amendment’s language only mentions smoking in public, meaning that patients should be allowed to smoke in private. Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, arguing that the ban is unconstitutional.

John Morgan, who spearheaded the medical cannabis initiative voters approved  in 2016 was among the plaintiffs, and tweeted after the ruling that “truth prevails.”

The post Judge Rules Florida’s Ban on Smoking Medical Cannabis is Unconstitutional appeared first on TheJointBlog.


Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed in North Carolina

Legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana has been filed in North Carolina’s House of Representatives.

Filed by Representative Kelly Alexander Jr. (D), House Bill 944 would allow those 21 and older to legally possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use. The bill would raise the threshold for felony possession from 1.5 ounces to 16 ounces; possessing over four ounces, but less than 16, would be a misdemeanor.

In addition, the measure would also allow those convicted of possessing up to four ounces of marijuana before the law would take effect to petition the court to have the charge expunged (removed) from their criminal record.

The full text of the proposed law can be found by clicking here.

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10 Surprising Benefits Of CBD Gummies

CBD gummies

How about a bit of history before we begin? No, no, no, don’t go away! It’s relevant. We promise. So let’s talk gummies.

The first gummy candy (shaped like bears) was invented in Germany almost 100 years ago. Seventy years later, in the late 1990s, two natural-foods advocates mixed up a batch of gummy vitamins in order to get their kids to take a daily multi.

Now it seems like gummies are everywhere. We’ve got gummy this and gummy that. So it’s really no surprise that sometime in the last five years, some canna-genius was inspired—probably in a haze of joint smoke—to combine CBD and gummy candy into the ultimate medicinal confection: CBD gummies.

At this point, you’re probably asking, “But why do we need another method of consuming cannabis?” Our answer? Because each method offers a number of different benefits.

So why exactly should you take CBD gummies? In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana will show you 10 benefits of this tasty and chewy treat. Some of them might surprise you.

10 Surprising Benefits Of CBD Gummies

CBD comes in many different forms, including:

Add to that some other novel methods of delivery—like pills, lube, and various kinds of bongs—and you’ve got yourself an infinite variety of fun. But with CBD gummies, now you’ve got infinite+1! That’s even more opportunities to get the medicine you need. Who could argue with that?

Let’s look at the top 10 benefits of taking CBD gummies instead of using oils, creams, and dab rigs.

1) Easy To Take

Do you have trouble swallowing pills? Do you feel like the pills will get caught in your throat? Do you think you’re going to choke? If that’s you to a T, CBD gummies will feel like a gift from the canna-gods.

That’s because CBD gummies are super easy to take. All you …

Hemp Legalization Bill Passed by Illinois Legislature, Sent to Governor

Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp, sending it to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.

Senate Bill 2298, filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson, passed the Senate last month in a unanimous 50 to 0 vote. Yesterday it was passed by the House of Representatives 106 to 3. The Senate quickly concurred with a pair of House amendments, sending it to the desk of Governor Rauner.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Act, the legislation would amend state law so that the legal definition of  cannabis doesn’t include industrial hemp. It “Provides that a person desiring to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”

Governor Rauner can now sign it into law, allow it to become law without a signature, or veto it. However, if he vetoes it the legislature can override it with a 2/3rds majority vote.

The full text of Senate Bill 2298 can be found by clicking here.

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CBD Company Says 7-Eleven Will Be Selling Their Products, 7-Eleven Says No, Not Really

In an odd situation, CBD comany Phoenix Tears sent out a press release recently announcing that by the end of the year 4,500 7-Eleven stores will be selling their product, only to be quickly refuted by 7-Eleven who says that isn’t true.

On Tuesday Phoenix Tears sent out a press release stating that hundreds of 7-Eleven stores will “immediately” begin selling their products, with the number rising to 4,500 by the end of the year. However, Stephanie Shaw, director of communications for 7-Eleven, told HuffPost that the purported deal was false.

“We have made no agreement or partnership with this company and do not know why they said that,” Shaw said.

Suzanne Mattaboni, a spokeswoman for Phoenix Tears, said the press release may have misstated some details of the deal.  She says the group is trying “to get to the bottom of this.”

“We are excited that 7-Eleven will bring the Phoenix Tears product line to millions of Americans who can benefit from these all-natural, safe, and market-proven health alternative products,” said Janet Rosendahl-Sweeney, founder of Phoenix Tears, in the apparently inaccurate press release. “In addition, this agreement confirms our belief that CBD’s status as a mainstream wellness option has arrived. We’re eager to usher in a new era of effective, holistic, hemp-based supplements that are now as easy to buy as stopping by the local convenience store.”

We’ll update this story as it progresses.

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13 Questions with Tommy Chong on His 80th Birthday

Stoner icon Tommy Chong turns 80 today, May 24. Here are highlights from interviews Freedom Leaf has conducted with Chong in which he talks about his long partnership with Richard “Cheech” Marin, the ending of Up in Smoke and other subjects from his 65-year-career in entertainment.

When was the first time you smoked pot?

I was 17 years old at a jazz club in Calgary. A Chinese jazz musician brought back a Lenny Bruce album and a couple of joints from California. He gave me the Lenny Bruce record and the joint. We lit his joint up, because I saved mine, and I got high for the first time. It was the first time I ever smoked. It changed my life. The next day I quit school.

How did you meet Cheech?

Cheech & Chong at New York’s Bitter End in 1972 (Photo by Allen Green)

He was a draft dodger from the States. He was the first Mexican I ever met, so I just wanted to touch him. When he met me, he’d never seen anything like me before either. I had real long hair, a Genghis Khan kind of look. He had real short hair, because he was dodging the draft from America in Canada and was trying to blend in. His name was Richard Marin. He never did a Mexican accent.

How did you get the name Cheech & Chong?

We won a battle of the bands without playing a single note! We did 45 minutes of comedy and the crowd loved us. That night we were driving home in the rain. I asked Cheech what his nickname was. He said, “Yeah, it’s Cheech.” Cheech & Chong! Perfect. I was going, “Cheech & Chong, Cheech & Chong,” and that was it.

Cheech & Chong reunited in 2003.

What was it about Cheech that made you guys so special together?

Cheech can imitate practically anybody. He’s one of …

Nevada: $41 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in March, New Monthly Record

Legal marijuana sales in Nevada this March were the highest they’ve ever, according to new data released by the state.

The Nevada Department of Taxation says that throughout the state there was over $41 million in marijuana and marijuana products sold legally in March. This easily surpasses the previous monthly record of $35.8 million set in December.

The roughly $41 million in marijuana sold in March resulted in just over $7 million in taxes for the state. This brings the tax total for the past nine months to almost $50 million, just barely shy of the $50.3 that was projected by the state for the full fiscal year.

In Nevada, those 21 and older are allowed to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, or 1/8th an ounce of marijuana edibles or concentrates, from a licensed marijuana retail outlets. Legal sales officially began on July 1, 2017.

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Arizona Supreme Court Rules Lawmakers Can’t Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that state lawmakers cannot prohibit the access of medical cannabis on college campuses.

In the case of Arizona v Maestas (No. CR-17-0193-PR), the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision which struck down a 2012 law that prohibited medical cannabis access on college campuses. The ruling sets immediate precedent across the state.

NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean, who represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, called the decision a “victory for democracy.”

According to NORML, “Justices opined that the 2012 law was unconstitutional because it impermissibly sought to amend the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which voters passed in 2010.” State law limits the legislature’s ability to amend, repeal, or supersede voter-initiated laws.

“Because the AMMA sets forth a list of locations where the legislature may impose ‘civil, criminal or other penalties’ when a person possesses or uses marijuana, § 36-2802, and because that list does not include college and university campuses (unlike pre-, primary-, and secondary-school grounds), we assume that the voters did not intend to criminalize AMMA-compliant possession or use of marijuana on public college and university campuses,” the court ruled. It further rejected the state’s claim that a campus-wide ban was necessary in order to preserve universities’ federal funding.

“If the State had prevailed, they could then have tampered with any and all ballot initiatives, past, present, and future,” said Dean. “This is a victory for all Arizona voters and especially for medical marijuana patients.”

The ruling sets aside the felony conviction of defendant Andrew Lee Maestas, who was initially charged and found guilty of the possession of 0.4 grams of marijuana despite his status as a state-registered medical cannabis patient.

The post Arizona Supreme Court Rules Lawmakers Can’t

Study: Cannabinoids May Reverse Behavioral Deficits Caused By Repeated Social Defeat

A compound meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids was found to reverse the short and long-term deficits caused by repeated social defeat in a new study published by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Psychosocial stress contributes to the development of psychiatric disorders. Repeated social defeat (RSD) is a murine stressor that causes a release of inflammatory monocytes into circulation. Moreover, RSD-induced anxiety-like behavior is dependent on the recruitment of these monocytes to the brain.

With this in mind, it’s important to note that “Activation of the endocannabinoid (ECB) system [done naturally through the consumtion of cannabinoids] may modulate both neuroendocrine and inflammatory responses mediated by stress”, states the study’s researchers. “Therefore, we hypothesized that a cannabinoid receptor agonist would attenuate RSD-induced inflammation, anxiety, and stress sensitization.”

To test this hypothesis, “mice received an injection of the synthetic cannabinoid1/2 receptor agonist, WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) daily for six consecutive days, 30 min before each exposure to RSD. Anxiety-like behavior, immune activation, neuroinflammation, and microglial reactivity were determined 14 h[ours] after RSD.”

RSD-induced anxiety-like behavior ” was reversed by WIN55,212-2″. Moreover, “WIN55,212-2 reduced the accumulation of inflammatory monocytes in circulation and brain after RSD and attenuated RSD-induced interleukin-1β (IL-1β) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in microglia/macrophages. Increased ex vivo reactivity of microglia/monocytes to lipopolysaccharides (LPS) after RSD was also attenuated by WIN55,212-2.”

Next, “fear expression, extinction, and recall were evaluated 24 and 48 h, respectively, after contextual fear conditioning, which took place 7 days after RSD. Here, RSD caused prolonged fear expression and impaired fear extinction recall, which was associated with increased IL-1β mRNA in the brain.” Moreover, “these stress-induced effects were reversed by WIN55,212-2.”

The study concludes by stating that “activation of cannabinoid receptors limited the immune and neuroinflammatory responses to RSD and reversed the short-term and long-term behavioral deficits associated with RSD.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

Freedom Leaf Recipes: Mexican-Fusion Cuisine, Baja Med-Style

When I visited Mexico’s Baja California peninsula in my youth, the most notable “cuisine” consisted of fish tacos and cerveza. No more. Baja Mediterranean is now a hot culinary trend that’s gaining worldwide recognition.

The explosion in popularity of Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe wine country has undoubtedly helped put “Baja Med” on the map. Besides wines that are racking up international medals, visitors will find world-class olive oils and farm-to-table fare all the way from casual to haute cuisine.

Three elements define the Baja Med diet:

• Mexican influences such as cheeses, chicharrones, chilies and masa
• Mediterranean influences such as olives and olive oil, and herbs and spices.
• Parts of Baja have large Asian populations, so their ingredients and culinary styles have been assimilated into the local cooking.

Jamaica Orange Agua Fresca

Tart hibiscus flowers (called jamaica, pronounced ha-my-ka, in Spanish) are used for popular drinks in Mexico. Like cannabis, jamaica is antioxidant-rich and carries many health benefits. It can be found in Latin grocery stores or health-food markets.

• ¾ cup hibiscus flowers, dried
• 4 cups water
• …

Study: CBD May Treat Epidermolysis Bullosa

Cannabidiol (CBD) was found to be an effective treatment for epidermolysis bullosa in a study published by the journal Pediatric Dermatology.

“Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare blistering skin disorder that is challenging to manage because skin fragility and repeated wound healing cause itching, pain, limited mobility, and recurrent infections”, states the study’s abstract. “Cannabidiol, an active cannabinoid found in cannabis, is postulated to have antiinflammatory and analgesic effects.”

Researchers “report 3 cases of self-initiated topical cannabidiol use in patients with epidermolysis bullosa in an observational study”. One patient “was weaned completely off oral opioid analgesics, and all three “reported faster wound healing, less blistering, and amelioration of pain with cannabidiol use.”

The study states that “Although these results demonstrate promise, further randomized, double-blind clinical trials are necessary to provide scientific evidence of our observed benefits of cannabidiol for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa.”

More information on this study, conducted by researchers at West Virginia University and Standford University, can be found by clicking here.

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Pennsylvania Adds Four New Medical Cannabis Conditions, Including Opioid Use Disorder

Pennsylvania has officially added four new medical conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, including becoming the first state in the nation to allow medical marijuana for opioid-use disorder.

“We have expanded the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine in a recent press release. Pennsylvania is the first state to add opioid-use disorder separately as an approved condition for medical marijuana patients.

“By adding opioid-use disorder as an approved medical condition under the program, we not only give physicians another tool for treatment of this devastating disease, but we allow for research to be conducted on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treatment,” Dr. Levine said. “Only approved conditions under the law can be studied through our research program.”

Other changes include:

  • Revising the serious chronic pain definition to no longer require patients to use opioids before using medical marijuana;
  • Permitting medical marijuana to be dispensed in dry leaf or plant form, for administration by vaporization;
  • Allowing physicians to opt out of the public-facing practitioner list while remaining in the Patient and Caregiver Registry; and
  • Requiring patients to pay the $50 medical marijuana identification card fee once in a 12-month period.


Below is the full list of Pennsylvania’s qualifying medical cannabis conditions:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
  • Autism.
  • Cancer.
  • Crohn’s Disease.
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
  • Huntington’s Disease.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Intractable Seizures.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Neuropathies.
  • Opioid-Use Disorder.
  • Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia.
  • Spastic Movement Disorders.
  • Terminal Illness.

Freedom Leaf Travel: Welcome to Baja California

It’s just 17 miles from San Diego to where Mexico begins and two hours from Long Beach, where I used to live. Last year, I moved to Ensenada in Baja California, which is on the Pacific Ocean about two hours (70 miles) south of the border.

Spanning 745 miles north to south, the Baja peninsula is one of the world’s longest. Halfway down it becomes another state, Baja California Sur, and at the southern tip is the tourist destination Cabo San Lucas.

Before the move, I was bombarded with inaccurate information from well-meaning friends about what to expect. The biggest misconception is that Mexico is dangerous. Yes, five of the country’s 32 states have Level 4 “Do Not Travel” warnings, “due to violent crime and gang activity,” according to the U.S. State Department. But Baja is listed as a Level 2, meaning  “Exercise Increased Caution.” The state’s main tourist hubs— Ensenada, Rosarito and Tijuana—are considered safe (see “Baja California Travel Advisory” below).

It’s just 17 miles from San Diego to the Mexico border, and another 70 to Ensenada.

Americans are easily frightened by sensationalistic media accounts of mass executions and cartel violence. But like the violent crime that occurs in the U.S. every day, these activities rarely affect the average citizen or tourist.

A Brief History of Marihuana in Mexico

Pancho Villa (center) smokes a joint on his ranch in Chihuahua.

Mexico has been key in the worldwide spread of marijuana use and cannabis culture. It was through Mexico that the plant found its way to North America’s jazz vipers, beatniks and hippies. But the absurd policy of attempting to suppress cannabis in the same way as truly dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin is a large part of what has propelled Mexico into a crisis of relentless, nightmarish narco-violence.

The legacy of the 500-year Moorish occupation of Spain was critical in Mexico’s rise as a global cannabis hub. The Moors brought hashish and the Maghrebi tradition of kif-smoking to Spain. It survived in the shadows among the Moriscos (crypto-Moors) even after the 1492 Catholic Reconquista and the Inquisition. Cannabis first entered the New World on Spanish galleons bound for New Spain (Mexico).

It caught on with both peasants and the higher classes in Mexico over the centuries. The iconic anthem of the Mexican Revolution, “La Cucaracha,” is about Pancho Villa’s peasant army getting high (“marihuana que fumar”) as they marched through the desert.