Alcoholism is a horrifying disease that kills nearly 100,000 Americans each year. Alcohol abuse can permanently damage much of the body including the heart, brain, and liver. According to the National Institute of Health, “Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.”

For many alcoholics, the only choice in battling their addiction is to quit drinking alcohol entirely. Quitting cold turkey is not easy for alcoholics and withdrawal can be a life-threatening ordeal. Doctors often prescribe addictive painkillers like benzodiazepines to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Traditional models of treatment have very low success rates. In fact these traditional treatments only have a success rate of 50%. People often end up relapsing within six months. Recent studies have shown how effective cannabis treatment for alcoholism can be.

Marijuana maintenance is the term associated with using cannabis to treat alcohol abuse. When someone is using marijuana maintenance, they replace alcohol with marijuana and either continue to use cannabis or ween off of cannabis once their alcoholism withdrawal symptoms are relieved. According to those who believe in the idea’s efficacy, cannabis can be consumed when a craving for alcohol arises. It can also be used as a less-harmful and natural alternative replacement for prescription medications for alcoholics.

There is of course the argument that marijuana maintenance may just be replacing people’s alcohol addiction with a cannabis addiction. While this is a concern for some, evidence suggests that cannabis is not nearly as addictive as alcohol. Also, using cannabis during a marijuana maintenance program is intended to be limited, responsible, and monitored by a treatment professional. Marijuana maintenance programs are typically accompanied by the traditional non-medical forms of treatment- like the 12-step program.

At this time, there is not enough scientific evidence to conclusively prove that using cannabis will make quitting alcohol an easier ordeal. However, there are many anecdotal accounts of marijuana maintenance programs working well. No matter what, it is clear that using cannabis as a replacement for the dangerous prescriptions and addictive painkillers often given to alcoholics is a safer and healthier alternative.



The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of molecules “cannabinoids” as well as the cannabinoid receptors that the cannabinoids bind to.

Although marijuana is a source of over 60 cannabinoids (including THC and CBD), the human body produces a number of cannabinoids as well which make up what is known as the Endocannabinoid System. These endogenous cannabinoids include anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and are present in all human beings.

Decades of scientific research on the endocannabinoid system has resulted in the discovery of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in various parts of the body, but are most prominent in the brain and immune system.

Cannabinoid receptors act as binding sites for endogenous cannabinoids as well as cannabinoids found in marijuana. When cannabinoids bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors, they act to change the way the body functions.

While cannabinoid receptors are primarily expressed in the brain and immune system, researchers have identified cannabinoid receptors in a variety of other places as well, including the peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Cannabinoid receptors continue to be identified in unique parts of the body as research on the endocannabinoid system progresses.


Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system is not unique to the human species. Rather, research has shown that this system is common to all humans and vertebrate animals – and even some invertebrate animals – suggesting its significance in the process of evolution. Experts believe that natural selection has conserved the endocannabinoid system in living organisms for 500 million years.

Although the endocannabinoid system affects a wide variety of biological processes (such as appetite and sleep), experts believethat its overall function is to regulate homeostasis.

Homeostasis is a key element in the biology of all living things and is best described as the ability to maintain stable internal conditions that are necessary for survival. Disease is simply a result of some aspect of failure in achieving homeostasis, making the endocannabinoid system a unique target for medical applications.



Cannabinoids work best together. For example, CBD can actually help mitigate the effects of THC thus reducing the odds of a panic attack.

A primary example of

the endocannabinoid system’s role in homeostasis comes from research that has identified an overexpression of cannabinoid receptors in the tumor cells of various cancer diseases, including lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Research has also shown that tumor growth can be inhibited and even reversed when cannabinoids such as THC are administered.

Experts believe that the overexpression of cannabinoid receptors is an indicator of the endocannabinoid system’s role as a biological defence system, providing strong support for the use of medical marijuana.

Human Endocannabinoid System

Downloadable Graphic

Research suggests that this defense system is not only useful in treating cancer, but may also be beneficial in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. Current evidence points to the endocannabinoid system as being a potential therapeutic target for the following list of disorders:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • And many more


In recent years, researchers from all parts of the world have come to acknowledge the vast medical potential of the endocannabinoid system. Summarized in a 2006 review by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

“In the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs… modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few…”

Excerpt from Pacher P., Batkai S., Kunos G. (2006). The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy. Pharmacol. Rev. 58, 389–462. doi: 10.1124/pr.58.3.2.


Ever wonder why Orange Kush smells so citrisy or why Blueberry actually tastes like blueberries? The unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains are a result of compounds known as terpenes.

Smell and taste happen to be two of the most distinctive features of many cannabis varieties, yet neither has anything to do with their cannabinoid content. As it turns out, the unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains are a result of compounds known as terpenes.

But terpenes are not just good at stimulating your senses. In fact, terpenes are common to many dietary plants and have been linked to a wide variety of health benefits as well.



Terpenes make up 10% of trichomes

Terpenes (also known as terpenoids) are the largest group of chemicals found in the plant kingdom and are best known for being strongly scented.

Terpenes are found in a wide variety of aromatic herbs, spices and food plants, ranging from cinnamon and ginger to eucalyptus and pine tree oils. Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, and vitamin E are all examples of well-known dietary terpenes.

Terpenes also play a role in aromatherapy, as they are the primary component of essential oils and are known to possess numerous health benefits, which is why some are even used as food additives.

The terpenes found in cannabis are important from a health perspective. Not only do they offer unique benefits on their own, but terpenes are believed to alter certain effects of cannabinoids.

What’s more, studies show that terpenes can even bind to the same receptors as cannabinoids, which makes them the only ‘dietary’ cannabinoids to ever be discovered (although cannabis can be eaten as well).



Besides cannabinoids, terpenes are the second most common class of compounds found in cannabis. Terpenes tend to make up only 1% of the whole plant weight, but around 10% of trichomes.

Over 200 different terpenes have been identified in the essential oils of cannabis, although some are found at much higher concentrations than others. The production of terpenes depends on a plant’s genetic make-up, meaning that different strains of cannabis are likely to have different terpene profiles.

Growing conditions – such as lighting and soil – are also believed to influence terpene production.


Myrcene (or β-myrcene) is typically the most concentrated terpene in cannabis. Myrcene is used as a sleep aid in some countries and is believed to contribute to the ‘couch-lock’ effect that is usually associated with THC.

Myrcene is widely used in the perfume industry due to its pleasant smell, but can also be found in hops preparations.

Effects of Myrcene

• Anti-inflammatory
• Sedative/hypnotic
• Analgesic (Painkiller)
• Muscle relaxant


Caryophyllene (or β-caryophyllene) is another highly concentrated terpene found in cannabis. Caryophyllene is also one of the only terpenes that is known to act on the endocannabinoid system. Research shows that caryophyllene tends to bind to CB2 receptors but not CB1 receptors, suggesting that it lacks psychoactive properties.

Caryophyllene is also found in black pepper and is believed to contribute to its spiciness.

Effects of Caryophyllene

• Anti-inflammatory
• Analgesic
• Gastrointestinal protection
• Fights malaria



α-Pinene is found in cannabis in smaller amounts but happens to be the most widely encountered terpene in nature. Research suggests that α-Pinene is good for memory and may even counteract THC’s impairment of short-term memory.

α-Pinene is found in many species of coniferous trees, including pine trees.

Effects of α-Pinene

• Anti-inflammatory
• Bronchodilator (at low levels)
• Antibiotic
• Aids memory


Limonene is another terpene present in lower concentrations, but is the second most widely encountered terpene in nature. Limonene is found in lemons and other citrus fruits.

Limonene is also a common ingredient in cosmetics as well as natural health products, most commonly for heart burn and acid reflux relief.

Effects of Limonene

• Anxiolytic (fights anxiety)
• Anti-depressant
• Anti-oxidant
• Treats acid reflux and heart burn
• Fights acne

Source: (Russo, 2011)

Los Angeles Has a New Marijuana Czar, and Her Name Is Cat Packer

At precisely 4:20 p.m. yesterday the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti sent out an email announcing that the city has its first marijuana czar.



Garcetti appointed Cat Packer as the executive director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation, which is tasked with ensuring that dispensaries, producers and growers are following city rules being finalized this year. The proposed regulations include licensing for shops and other weed businesses, although it’s still not clear how many retailers will be allowed.

Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality In Trauma Patients

Trauma patients who test positive for marijuana upon their admission to the intensive care unit are less likely to die during hospitalization than are age-matched controls, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona analyzed the in-hospital mortality rates of adults admitted into the ICU over a five-year period, of which 2,678 were matched (1,339: marijuana positive, 1,339 marijuana negative).

Authors concluded: “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen. … Prospective studies with long-term follow up will be useful in answering many of the remaining questions surrounding the specific impact of marijuana on outcomes after trauma.”

Prior studies have similarly reported greater survival rates among marijuana-positive patients hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries and heart attacks as compared to matched controls.

An abstract of the study, “How does marijuana effect outcomes after trauma in ICU patients? A propensity matched analysis,” appears online here.

by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy DirectorAugust 10, 2017

L’Uso di Cannabinoidi nell’Adolescenza non influenza la memoria in età adulta – BeLeaf

“La cannabis è una sostanza illecita prevalentemente utilizzata dagli adolescenti, e diversi studi hanno indicato che l’uso negli adolescenti può portare a deficit cognitivi a lungo termine, compresi problemi con attenzione e memoria”, inizia l’astratto dello studio. “Tuttavia, gli studi su animali preclinici che osservano i deficit cognitivi dopo l’ esposizione al cannabinoide durante l’adolescenza utilizzano la somministrazione di sperimentatori di dosi di cannabinoidi che possono superare quelle che un organismo sceglie di prendere normalmente, suggerendo che la contingenza e la dose sono fattori critici che devono essere affrontati nei modelli di traslazione e nelle conseguenze dell’esposizione del cannabinoide “.

I Ricercatori “hanno recentemente sviluppato un paradigma di autoadministrazioni di cannabinoide negli adolescenti nei ratti maschi ed hanno scoperto che la precedente autoregolamentazione adolescente del recettore cannabinoide agonista WIN55,212-2 (WIN) [intesa a imitare gli effetti dei cannabinoidi] ha determinato una migliore memoria di lavoro nella Performance in età adulta “.

Sorgente: L’Uso di Cannabinoidi nell’Adolescenza non influenza la memoria in età adulta – BeLeaf

Cannabis: a Trento l’azienda sanitaria rimborserà i farmacisti

In Trentino Alto Adige non c’è una legge regionale che disciplini la disperazione di cannabis a livello medico: l’unico provvedimento è una delibera della provincia autonoma di Trento del 31 maggio 2016 che prevede la prescrizione a carico del servizio sanitario provinciale per 3 condizioni mediche: “analgesia nella spasticità associata a dolore nella sclerosi multipla resistente ad altri trattamenti e nelle lesioni midollari e l’analgesia nel dolore neuropatico o nel dolore oncologico terminale”.

A giugno una mozione del Movimento 5 Stelle chiedeva che le farmacie comunali potessero fare informazione sull’accesso allle terapie con cannabis, che attualmente non si trova nei negozi gestiti dalla spa gestita per oltre il 95% dal Comune di Trento, malgrado la mission sociale sia chiara: “erogare un servizio pubblico”. La vicenda era nata dal fatto che recentemente la Cassazione ha respinto il ricorso presentato da un uomo, processato a Trento, per coltivazione di piante di cannabis, cui la Corte d’appello non aveva riconosciuto il diritto all’assunzione di cannabis terapeutica. L’avvocato e militante radicale, Fabio Valcanover, che sostiene la mozione del M5S, aveva deciso di presentare ricorso per vedere riconosciuto il suo diritto alla salute e poche settimane fa aveva anche reso nota la difficoltà a reperire la cannabis terapeutica nelle farmacie comunali del capoluogo.

Intanto, secondo, sono 52 i pazienti della città a cui è garantita la fornitura di preparazioni a base di cannabis per uso medico. Un numero che potrebbe aumentare, ampliando la concedibilità a titolo gratuito delle preparazioni.

La situazione è emersa dalla risposta che l’assessore provinciale alla Salute, Luca Zeni, ha dato ad una interrogazione del consigliere Maurizio Fugatti (Lega Nord), il quale aveva sollecitato la Giunta ad intervenire sul prezzo di vendita al pubblico fissato per la cosiddetta cannabis terapeutica, stabilito dal ministero della Salute con il Decreto pubblicato lo scorso 3 giugno. Una situazione che penalizzava i farmacisti, oltre che i pazienti, perché il prezzo della cannabis alla vendita è inferiore a quello richiesto dai distributori per la sostanza. Il costo della cannabis sul mercato si aggira sui 12 euro al grammo, al quale va aggiunto il costo del lavoro di preparazione, mentre il costo fissato dal ministero per la vendita in farmacia è di 9 euro al grammo, obbligando le farmacie a lavorare in perdita con la conseguenza che molte stanno smettendo di distribuirla.

Zeni ha rassicurato tutti precisando che l’Azienda provinciale per i servizi sanitari è stata autorizzata a rimborsare ai farmacisti il prezzo di acquisto della cannabis, per un importo superiore a quello stabilito dal ministero, comprensivo di onorario professionale e diritto addzionale per gli stupefacenti.

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State Legislatures Want to End Federal Cannabis Prohibition

On the heels of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introducing the “Marijuana Justice Act” to repeal cannabis prohibition, the National Conference of State Legislatures has joined the call for legalization, urging the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances. This is the second year in a row that the NCSL has passed such a resolution. It is a sign of the growing support for legalization and the fact that state governments are facing serious complications fully following the will of their voters due to federal law. The people and state legislatures want to end cannabis prohibition, when will Congress act on the needs of their constituents.

Poll after poll shows that the number of marijuana prohibitionists are shrinking greatly in our nation. A majority of voters want to legalize cannabis for all adults, while a supermajority of voters support medical use and want the federal government to allow states to implement their own cannabis laws. Unfortunately, by keeping marijuana as a Schedule I substance, Uncle Sam puts our communities at greater risk by forcing cannabis businesses to keep too much cash on hand by denying banking access while placing too many obstacles in front of researchers hoping to fully unlock the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.

Despite elected officials lagging behind voters, the cannabis community has made positive strides in recent years at the federal level. The provision prohibiting the use of federal funds to prosecute state-legal medical cannabis providers, now known as the Rohrbacher-Blumenauer Amendment, first passed back in 2014 and a similar proposal for recreational busin

Drug Medicine Plant Hemp Cannabis Weed Marijuana

esses as well, failed to pass by just a handful of votes last year.

While it is very unlikely that Booker’s legalization bill will pass this legislative session (especially if Jeff Session remains Donald Trump’s Attorney General), we have seen support and progress for sensible cannabis laws only increase, at both the state and federal levels. I look forward into discussing the present and future of cannabis laws at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Hawaii this December as advocates from across the nation, and globe, will converge upon beautiful Kauai. The ICBC will have those that have been on the front lines of business and politics, with experienced legislators, lawyers, lobbyists and policymakers to discuss how best to succeed in business, and most importantly, best continue our momentum to end federal cannabis prohibition.

Sorgente: State Legislatures Want to End Federal Cannabis Prohibition



Much about Parkinson’s Disease remains unclear. Nobody knows the true cause of the disease and scientists are still searching for a cure. What  we do know is that Parkinson’s is a degenerative condition that depletes dopamine centers within the brain.

The loss of dopamine causes these common symptoms: body tremors, muscle spasms, loss of balance, insomnia, memory loss and dementia. What is most frightening about Parkinson’s Disease is the fact that it is progressive. What may start out as the occasional finger twitch can lead to the inability to freely move certain muscles. These symptoms of Parkinson’s makes  it extremely difficult to accomplish daily tasks.

The root causes of Parkinson’s Disease are unknown and current medications only dull its symptoms.Over time, many patients build up a tolerance to these treatments , which cause their symptoms to eventually return. Some Parkinson’s patients are now finding relief through medical cannabis treatments.


Recent research has shown positive results when utilizing cannabis for Parkinson’s Disease treatment.


Recent scientific research into how Parkinson’s affects our neurological structure has uncovered how the disease attacks the dopamine centers within the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia helps control muscle mobility and is one of the key regions in the brain that Parkinson’s attacks. The basal ganglia has a surprisingly high amount of endocannabinoid receptors that consist mostly of CB1 receptors; the receptors where endogenous THC is activated when it reaches the brain.

Cannabis’ ability to be a neuroprotector has been discussed and researched for decades. A study conducted nearly twenty years ago researched whether or not cannabis had neuroprotective qualities. Researchers injected rats with a neurotoxic chemical that typically severely decays the brain. When given cannabis extracts, the rat’s brains were protected from the chemical. The groundbreaking study proved that cannabis has inherent neuroprotective qualities.


A reliable neuroprotectant that could treat Parkinson’s would be very welcome. While the research proving cannabis is a reliable neuroprotectant is promising, it is scarce. There is not enough cannabis research to prove definitively that cannabis can effectively treat Parkinson’s disease, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.

According to multiple firsthand accounts, patients can find relief by using medical cannabis. In states where medical marijuana is legal, those with Parkinson’s have began exploring alternate treatments with medical cannabis. As more states continue to legalize marijuana use, more patients will have the ability to discover the medicinal qualities of cannabis for Parkinson’s disease.


Katerina Venderova

Katerina Venderova  from  Movement Disorders Journal conducted a survey of Parkinson’s disease patients using medial cannabis and reported that “39 patients (45.9%) described mild or substantial alleviation of their PD symptoms in general, 26 (30.6%) showed improvement of rest tremor, 38 (44.7%) had improvement in bradykinesia, 32 (37.7%) had alleviation of muscle rigidity, and 12 (14.1%) had improvement of L-dopa-induced dyskinesias. Only 4 patients in this survey (4.7%) reported that cannabis actually worsened their symptoms.


“Patients using cannabis for at least 3 months reported significantly more alleviation of their Parkinson’s disease symptoms in general.”



David, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been using medical marijuana to help improve his quality of life.


From Ride with Larry – Patient Story- Larry doesn’t just live with Parkinson’s, He rises above it. After a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s, Larry has exhausted every conventional method of treatment, every drug, and even brain surgery. Refusing to give up, he seeks alternatives, discovering the untapped benefits of exercise and medical marijuana. Now Larry will attempt the unthinkable, a 300-mile bike ride across South Dakota, a journey of hope for anyone facing a life altering illness. In this intimate portrait of courage, love, and community, Larry Smith refuses to give up, proving that if you love life, you’ll fight for it.

This clip is from the feature documentary “Ride with Larry.” With his Parkinson’s symptoms worsening and options for new medications unavailable, retired police captain Larry S. is getting tested for his medical marijuana card. The final results in Part 3 show, unedited, the effect of cannabis on his Parkinson’s tremor, dyskinesia, and voice.


This clip is from the feature documentary “Ride with Larry” and shows retired police captain Larry going through the process to purchase medical marijuana for the first time.


See the effects of cannabis first hand, unedited, on Parkinson’s tremor dyskinesia, and voice.

This clip is from the feature documentary “Ride with Larry” and shows retired police captain Larry trying medical marijuana for the first time.