Study: Cannabinoids Attenuate Hyperactivity and Weight Loss in Anorexia

According to a new study, cannabinoids can attenuate (reduce the effects of) hyperactivity and body weight loss in activity-based anorexia.

The study, published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, was epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric condition characterized by excessive body weight loss and disturbed perceptions of body shape and size, often associated with excessive physical activity”, states the study’s abstract. “There is currently no effective drug-related therapy of this disease and this leads to high relapse rate. Clinical data suggest that a promising therapy to treat and reduce reoccurrence of AN may be based on the use of drugs that target the endocannabinoid (EC) system [such as cannabinoids], which appears dysregulated in AN patients.”

With this in mind, the study “investigated whether cannabinoid agonists can effectively modify anorexic-like behaviors and neuroendocrine changes in rats subjected to a repeated ABA regime in order to mimic the human condition in which patients repeatedly undergo recovery and illness cycle.”

According to researchers; “Our data show that subchronic treatment with both the CB1/CB2 receptor natural agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the synthetic CB1/CB2 receptor agonist CP-55,940 significantly reduced body weight loss and running wheel activity in ABA rats. These behavioral effects were accompanied by an increase in leptin signaling and a decrease in plasma levels of corticosterone.”

The study concludes by stating that; “Taken together, our results further demonstrate EC system involvement in AN pathophysiology and that strategies which modulate EC signaling are useful to treat this disorder, specifically in patients where physical hyperactivity plays a central role in its progression and maintenance.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cagliari in Italy, can be found by clicking here.

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Marijuana Shelf Life: How Long Do Cannabis Flowers Last?

By Dianna Benjamin,

Cannabis is a consumable, and per the standard of such goods, its quality degrades over time. The moment that cannabis is harvested, that process begins. The speed at which degradation occurs, however, is highly dependent on several variables including light, humidity, temperature, oxygen, and storage method.

Light and Marijuana Shelf Life

Cannabis storage guide after storage guide will instruct consumers to place cannabis in a dark place, but research supporting this recommendation is surprisingly scarce. In fact, if such a guide does cite any evidence, it cites one study… from 1979.

The study found that cannabis exposure to UV during storage facilitated the degradation of THC to CBN, a cannabinoid that does not naturally occur within the plant and is purely a symptom of degradation. While psychoactive, CBN is much less potent than THC and causes a different sensation.

What remains unclear is how drastic THC/CBN degradation occurs and at what levels of light exposure. Anecdotal evidence suggests that any THC/CBN degradation due to UVB exposure is negligible.

The bottom line is that, although to what extent is unknown, light exposure can affect cannabis potency, so keeping your dried cannabis flowers in a dark location may prolong shelf life.

Humidity and Cannabis Flowers

Mold is more common and far more insidious than laced marijuana. Ingesting moldy pot can lead to a lot of nasty reactions including diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory difficulties, heart palpitations, headaches, pneumonitis, and, my personal favorite, aspergilloma (moldy lungs).

This is why humidity is such a big deal when it comes to marijuana quality. Laboratory studies indicate that cannabis is best stored between 59% and 63% relative humidity (RH). When flowers are stored in overly humid conditions, they become susceptible to mold. When humidity is too low, the flowers become brittle and dry resulting in detached trichomes and a harsher smoke.

Cannabis stored in proper humidity can last up to three years. But if the flowers are exposed to too much water, they can quickly become breeding grounds for mold and too dangerous to consume.

Temperature Affects Marijuana Shelf Life

In addition to humidity, mold and mildew love high temperatures (between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit). But mold isn’t the only potential consequence of overheating cannabis;

Heat can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes that give flowers their potency.

Despite the danger of heat, it isn’t a good idea to store cannabis in a refrigerator because the constant and opening and closing of refrigerators usually mean a significantly high humidity level and an even greater chance for mold. While some choose to store their cannabis in the freezer, this risks damaging the trichomes and consequently reducing potency.

Oxygen and Cannabis

Although inevitable, exposing cannabis to air can also decrease its shelf life. Every time a mason jar of cannabis is opened, it loses some of its flavor, scent, and potency. This is why properly stored cannabis will last longer than cannabis flowers sitting in the open air for an extended period of time.

How to Properly Store Cannabis

Now that you know the factors that influence the shelf life of cannabis flowers, you are better equipped to properly store them. Here are a few tips:

Store cannabis flowers in a cool, dry place. Although light degradation may be minimal, why lose THC potency at all? Keep your cannabis flowers in a location shielded from the light such as a closet. Since heat rises, avoid placing your cannabis above heat producing appliances like a stove. While it may be tempting to store your flowers in a fridge or freezer; remember that refrigerators are incredibly humid environments and freezers can damage the plant’s physical integrity. If the indoor temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit; you’ll probably be fine keeping it in a closet or low cabinet.

Invest in a humidity-control packaging product. Since mold is such a common and dangerous threat, it may be a good idea to invest in a product like Boveda’s 2-way humidity control packets.

Keep flowers sealed in an airtight container. If you aren’t going to go with a special humidity-controlling product, try to keep your cannabis airtight for as long as possible. Glass mason jars work well, but make sure that you don’t pack your cannabis too tightly or leave too much space.

How can you know if your cannabis flowers are still viable?

Since the method of storage plays such a big role in the longevity of shelf life, you may have to do some careful investigating to ensure that the cannabis you want to consume is still fresh. Here’s how you can do that.

Start with the Source—If you’re growing your cannabis, you will know how recently your product has been harvested and what environmental factors it has been exposed to.

If you are purchasing your cannabis from a dispensary, it doesn’t hurt to cannabis shelf lifeask how long a batch of cannabis has been sitting on the shelf. Take note of how budtenders retrieve cannabis from their storage. Do they use their hands, or do they use something more delicate like chop sticks? The way that the cannabis flowers are handled should give you insight into how in tact the trichomes may be.

Take a Closer Look

Do the flowers look brittle and old? Is mold visible? To check for mold, pull apart the bud and look for black spots, grey, brown, white, or yellow fuzz. If anything looks suspicious to you, ingesting the cannabis may not be worth it. Remember, mold can be dangerous, especially for consumers with compromised immune systems.

Sniff Test—If you notice a musty or urine like scent, you may have mold on your hands. If you smell chemicals, you may be detecting pesticides or some inorganic substance you probably don’t want to ingest.

If you don’t smell anything at all, the cannabis may have lost its potency.

Use Your Hands—How does the cannabis feel? Does it easily crumble? If so, it may be too dry. The trichomes, oils, and terpenes may be significantly reduced. If it feels moist, you may want to take a closer look for mold. The flowers should be dry, but springy and sticky.

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Poll: 73% of Utah Voters Support Initiative to Legalize Medical Marijuana

A new poll of Utah voters has found overwhelming support for legalizing medical marijuana.

According to the poll, conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), 73% of Utah voters support a recently announced ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana throughout the state, including 64% of Republicans and 63% of active LDS voters. Just 20% of voters overall opposed to the initiative, with 7% undecided. The poll found that support ‘cuts across all major demographic subgroups of the electorate.”

“The poll results show overwhelming and broad support for medical cannabis in Utah,” says DJ Schanz, director of Utah Patients Coalition (UPC). “Voters believe that patients should be able to safely and legally access the medicine they need.”

Schanz makes note of a 2014 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which “found that, between 1999 and 2010, states with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower rate of opioid overdose deaths than states without medical cannabis laws.”

“The opioid epidemic has already taken too many lives in our state,” said Christine Stenquist, a campaign spokesperson for UPC. “We should allow medical cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain for two urgent reasons. First, medical cannabis is a more effective treatment for many patients. And second, it can potentially play a significant role in reducing the rate of opioid overdose deaths in Utah.”

The poll was commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.

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