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Cannabis 101

Why Athletes Are Swapping Out NSAIDs with CBD Oil

Daniel King

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You wake up stiff, sore, and wondering how you’re going to do it all over again today. You turn to your bedside bottle of ibuprofen, but know that you shouldn’t take pain meds too many days in a row…or one day your liver won’t be able to rebound so easily.

As an athlete, there’s no way to avoid overtraining and injury. No matter how well you supplement with BCAAs and protein powders, the saying still holds true: no pain, no gain.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to use over-the-counter drugs to cope with it.

There is a new player in the anti-inflammatory pain game: CBD oil. From pro athletes to weekend warriors, you can find countless stories of athletes using CBD instead of NSAIDs to deal with inflammatory pain.

No matter who you’ve talked to or what stories you’ve heard, you’re likely still left with one, primary question: what does the science have to say? Will it help with pain, and if so, can it do so safely?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about why athletes are turning to CBD oil instead of anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs, and whether you should do so, too.

What Is CBD Oil, Anyways?

First things first: let’s dive in and unravel the mystery of what CBD oil actually is.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabinoids are a kind of compound that impact human health, with researchers the world over digging in to see how humans may benefit from these unique compounds.

Does CBD Get You High?

You’ve no doubt heard of cannabis. Maybe you’re someone who indulges in the occasional hit of weed to help with sleep or stress, or you use it to unwind and have a good time with friends. Or maybe you’d never touch the stuff…not so into mind-altering substances.

No matter which group you relate to, CBD oil might still be for you. Even though CBD comes from the cannabis plant, it’s extracted from industrial hemp varieties of cannabis, rather than marijuana plants.

So, what does this mean for you?

Firstly, it’s not going to get you high. It’s THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a cannabinoid found in high levels in marijuana plants, that is credited with marijuana’s “high.”

Secondly, it’s legal under federal law to buy CBD oil products around the US. This is thanks to the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill which removed hemp-derived extracts, like CBD oil, from the list of class 1 substances.

CBD Oil is Extracted from Industrial Hemp

Every CBD product that you see in the store or online can trace its origins back to an industrial hemp plant. Industrial hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC. When cannabis plants are low in THC, they tend to be high in CBD. This makes industrial hemp plants the ideal place to source CBD from.

In order to get CBD, hemp oil is typically extracted from the parts of the hemp plant that have the highest concentration of cannabinoids and other phytonutrients. This initial extract is known as full spectrum hemp oil, or FSHO.

FSHO is called “full spectrum” because it contains all of the naturally occurring phytonutrients found in the hemp plant. From there, some companies will have all of the THC removed so that there is a product that contains both CBD and other phytonutrients, but with 0% THC. This product is known as broad spectrum CBD oil.

There’s one last type of CBD hemp oil called CBD isolate. These CBD oils are the product of isolating CBD from all of the other nutrients found in the plant, resulting in a nearly 100% CBD extract (before it’s added to carrier oils, that is).

These three categories of CBD, FSHO, broad spectrum hemp oil, and CBD isolate are all varieties of CBD oil that are being used by some athletes to replace their NSAIDS.

Why Replace NSAIDs?

NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are the most commonly used category of drugs for pain relief. This includes chronic pain like arthritis to less severe pain, like delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

If you’ve ever taken an aspirin product like Bayer or Excedrin, an ibuprofen product like Advil or Motrin, or a naproxen sodium product like Aleve, you’ve taken a NSAID. There’s also a laundry list of prescription NSAID drugs that you can find here.

As the name implies, NSAIDs relieve pain through reducing inflammation in the body. While this type of drug is fairly effective at what it does, it doesn’t do so without risks.

Not only are there dangers of an overdose, but for some, NSAID use can increase the risk of chronic health conditions like stroke, heart attack, and ulcers. They can also pose a danger to kidney health with chronic use.  

And the problem with NSAIDs is that most of us learn to use them as a crutch, so when we feel pain, we take them. This becomes a problem if you’re in pain frequently, for example, if you’re an athlete or develop any kind of chronic pain condition.

Is CBD Oil the Answer? Maybe: CBD Oil Reduces Inflammation

Probably one of the most promising effects of CBD is its ability to reduce inflammation. Animal studies and small human studies have found CBD to be helpful in management of chronic inflammatory conditions.

Animal studies have found CBD to exert powerful anti-inflammatory action. In fact, one study on arthritic rats found that topical application of CBD resulted in a reduction of pro-inflammatory biomarkers and pain-related behaviors.

As for human studies, no research has directly examined the effects of CBD on pain. However, there have been some small studies looking into CBD’s impact on chronic inflammatory conditions.

In a small study on a solid-dosage, patented form of CBD by Robson, researchers examined the potential of CBD to help those with the inflammatory condition Crohn’s disease and found an improvement in symptoms. Similar benefits were seen in a small group of patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, with CBD use allowing for the reduction of steroid drug treatment.  

These studies demonstrate the potential of CBD treatment when it comes to a variety of painful inflammatory conditions in humans.

Does That Mean CBD Will Work for Exercise-Induced Pain?

Chances are, if scientists end up coming to the definitive conclusion that CBD oil can help with arthritis and inflammatory conditions like autoimmune diseases and Crohn’s disease, it will also help with pain caused by strenuous training or physical injuries.

The reason? Inflammation itself causes pain. So whether you’re injured, you’ve worked out, or you have a chronic inflammatory condition, the pain itself is caused by a similar process in your body. To combat the pain you must address the source: you want something that combats the inflammation.

When it comes to human studies on CBD and inflammation, we are in the very early stages. What this means is that there have been some published studies, but they consist of small sample sizes. In order to draw definitive conclusions we must wait it out and see what future human clinical trials find.

Final Thoughts

In spite of the research on CBD for pain being in its infancy, CBD demand is soaring. It has far exceeded what would typically be expected at this early stage of research. Why? The reason is simple: consumers are impressed with CBD.

People everywhere are talking about it. You’ll find news stories about it helping kids with previously incurable seizures, retired pro football players using it for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and athletes throwing out their NSAIDs and using CBD oil instead.=

If you want to try CBD for yourself, find a quality CBD oil tincture or CBD oil gel capsule and give it a try today. You might just find yourself jumping on the bandwagon and saying goodbye to your over-the-counter drugs. Or you might not, but there is only one way to find out.

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PBP Corner

How to Deal with a Marijuana Hangover

Jordan Webber

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Marijuana Hangover

The responsible use of medical and recreational marijuana is always recommended not only by medical professionals but also by sensible enthusiasts. However, even seasoned consumers can consume more than they usually do, leading to a cannabis hangover the next day. While some people argue the reality of marijuana hangover, you might experience this after a night of binging on THC-rich products.

Here are the best ways to neutralize a marijuana hangover:

Have a Cup of Ginger Tea

Ginger is known for its nausea-fighting properties. If you are suffering from nausea after a whole night of partying with your fellow cannabis enthusiasts, making some ginger tea can definitely help with the queasy feeling. Just one hot cup can definitely get your blood flowing, not only dispelling nausea but also lethargy and brain fog.

Consume Pure Cannabidiol Products

According to the “hair of the dog” treating alcohol hangover, consuming more alcohol is a way to “cure” it. This method is effective to some extent, but it is also dangerous. However, some individuals say that using CBD to treat your marijuana-induced hangover is viable and effective. However, make sure that you only consume cannabis products that do not contain THC. Remember, THC causes the hangover effect, so it will be counterproductive to do so.

Rehydrate and Replenish

One of the most known symptoms of marijuana hangover is dryness of mouth and eyes, as it slows down saliva production. This is why many consumers feel thirsty after taking in cannabis. Once you wake up feeling hungover, you should make sure that you supply your body with the things it needs to recover. Drinking water and eating fruits and vegetables is a great way to supply your body with proper nutrients for another day.

Get Some Sleep

When you experience the full force of THC hangover, you will likely feel the combined symptoms including headache, lethargy, nausea and brain fog. Imagine trying to proceed with your regular routine while suffering those all at the same time. Because of this, you can definitely benefit from taking things slow and getting more sleep.

To prevent getting bad hangovers, here are some things you can do:

  • Only consume high-quality marijuana products – Consuming a bad batch of cannabis can definitely amplify hangover symptoms. Because of this, you should make sure to avoid suspiciously sourced plants and only replenish your stash from your trusted dispensary.
  • Take it easy on new products – Your enthusiasm for marijuana products can urge you to try new products. However, keep in mind that unfamiliar ones can have different undiscovered effects on your body. Some may be fast-acting, some may have higher dosages and some may contain ingredients you have not tried with cannabis before. Because of this, you should be cautious when trying new products to avoid overconsumption.
  • Slow down on edibles – Aside from exercising caution when trying out new products, you also need to aware of your consumption. Keep in mind that cannabis, when taken orally, can take a few minutes to take effect. In fact, some products can take more than an hour before you feel any effects. The best way to ensure that you do not over-consume is to slow down and wait before consuming more.

Remember that responsible consumption is always the best ways to consume the plant. Nevertheless, if you ever have to deal with marijuana hangover, then following these tips can definitely help relieve the symptoms and even prevent it from happening. By practicing safe intake, you can ensure that consuming cannabis products will be nothing but rewarding, beneficial and even more fun!

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Cannabis News

Israeli College to Offer Undergrad Medical Cannabis Degree

Daniel King

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Medical Cannabis Degree

The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, an academic institution located between the cities of Afula and Nazareth in Israel, announced on Monday it will be offering an undergraduate degree with a specialization in medical cannabis to its students.

According to a report from the High Times, the newly established program is set to be opened in the next academic year and will be offered under the Behavioural Science department. This will allow students to study the growing and production of medical cannabis, medicine, and pharmacology, along with the economics and legal issues concerning medical cannabis.

“The goal of the program is to train graduates in new professions in the field of medical cannabis while academizing the field,” explained Dr. Efrat Barel, head of the new program. “The extensive educational base will enable graduates to understand all required aspects, and their integration into the workforce will bring added value to the sector.”

The program will also enable students to take part in practicum programs, immerse in cannabis growing facilities, and conduct research seminars along with local pharmaceutical companies.

“The cannabis industry today is what the cyber industry was 10 years ago,” said Yezreel Valley College President Prof. Itzhak Harpaz.

“Israel needs and can lead this industry, too. This industry is already characterized by many new ventures and technologies, and it is already clear that its economic potential can reach tens of billions of dollars. We are proud to be the first to develop an academic specialization in the field of medical cannabis,” he added.

The use of medical marijuana has long been legal in the country even before the beginning of the new century. Given its warm climate, Israel is even expected to rise as one of the leaders in the booming cannabis field.

Earlier this year, the Israeli government gave its final approval for the exportation of locally grown cannabis to the global market. This is expected to bring $1.09 billion per year into the government’s annual revenues.

“Considering the significant impact that this industry will have on the Israeli economy in the coming years, skilled professionals are required to enter the field of medical cannabis and progress alongside it,” College President Harpaz noted.

The recent announcement of Max Stern Yezreel Valley College marked Israel’s first-ever college to offer an undergraduate degree with a specialization in medical cannabis. This follows the previous steps taken by several institutions across the globe that are also offering various graduate-degree programs specializing in cannabis.

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Cannabis 101

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Buy in Cannabis Dispensaries

Daniel King

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Cannabis Dispensaries

The legalization of medical marijuana in various U.S. states has launched a multi-billion dollar industry. With many patients wanting to experience the host of benefits of cannabis to their health and wellness, the market has grown exponentially. Among those who benefit from the birth and growth of this new market are dispensaries that sell marijuana and other related products like pure CBD oil.

This article will serve as a guide and a walk-through when you visit a dispensary near your area.

What is a Cannabis Dispensary?

The medical cannabis dispensaries act as retail shops where you can purchase cannabis and cannabis-related products. There are laws governing the dispensaries. As such, most of these dispensaries can be found where medical and recreational marijuana are legal. Unlike in the Netherlands, where the concept of dispensaries comes from, consuming the plant either by smoking or vaping on the site is not allowed.

A dispensary manager runs a typical store. He or she oversees the site’s day-to-day operations. It is also staffed by budtenders, who acts as a pharmacist, store attendant, and cannabis consultant in the store. Just like any retail outlet, it has cashiers, delivery crew, and other personnel.

Dispensaries are different from head shops, which strictly sells paraphernalia such as sell hashish pipes, rolling papers, and vaporizers for consuming marijuana products. Operating head shops is authorized by some states, especially where recreational marijuana is legal.

Buying from dispensaries can give you an edge over buying them online. Aside from having a chance to check the quality of your purchases, you can also seek help from budtenders or other people specializing in this plant.

Medical vs. Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensaries

Dispensaries fall under two categories: medical and adult-use (recreational). Medical cannabis stores only offer cannabis strains and products to patients who have permission or recommendation by doctors and other qualified health professionals. Meanwhile, adult-use cannabis dispensaries sell the products from the plant for relaxation and recreational activities.  Customers in both store types are required by law to submit requirements when purchasing.

Medical Dispensaries

Here are some documents requested by most medical cannabis shops:

  • Doctor’s recommendation and prescription, medical cannabis ID and certification, and other documents required by your state.
  • You must 18 years old and above to qualify for medical authorization. But you can apply for exceptions in some instances, especially if the minor has particularly debilitating conditions.

In most states, medical dispensaries require you to register and submit copies of your medical marijuana documents to keep them on file. They will keep this record for whatever legal and regulatory purposes imposed within the state.

The atmosphere of a medical dispensary typically resembles a clinic or other healthcare facility. After registering and presenting your documents to an attendant, you will be asked to proceed to a waiting room before a budtender will call you for a one-on-one consultation. The budtender will candidly discuss your medical issues and provide recommendations for your health condition based on your doctor’s findings.

In most cases, medical dispensaries track the products you’ve purchased. This procedure can help budtenders and patients monitor the potency of the medicine. The dispensary will also use the results as a live record of producers and their products for future reference.

In some states, medical dispensaries allow you to examine the quality of buds and other products before purchasing.

Adult-Use Dispensaries

Adult-use stores can only sell recreational cannabis to people aged 21 years old and above. You need to prove your age by showing a valid and unexpired state ID. You can use eligible and unexpired passport as an identig

Many outlets have menus and product lists that you can check while you stand in line. Their menus are organized in various ways, such as by product type such as flower, edible, concentrate, topical, and many others. Many also specify the THC content of the products, to give you an idea on the level of intoxication you can experience when consuming the product.

Unlike in medical stores, budtenders in the adult-use dispensaries usually don’t give you a full 20 minutes of their time in giving you advice. Adult-use dispensaries are often designed as a regular store where you can purchase marijuana products with more accessibility and convenience. They only need to check whether you are qualified to buy based on your age.

But this doesn’t mean you can no longer consult with budtenders. These professionals can still educate you or give you honest recommendations on which strain or product to use based on your needs.

Tips for Buying in Dispensaries

Visiting a cannabis dispensary should be an enjoyable and educational experience. These are some things to do when you visit in one of these specialized stores.

  • Do your research

Some websites such as Leafly has a list of dispensaries where you can buy marijuana products (whether medical or recreational) and CBD oil near you. You can check the type (medical or adult-use), address, and the menu of the stores. You can also contact the dispensary on the phone, via email or your social media account to double-check the availability of any product and for consultation.

  • Find out your specific goals for buying marijuana products

The first thing budtenders will do is to ask your reason for purchasing marijuana. Some of the questions they may throw to you revolves around:

  • The way you would like to consume your cannabis
  • Whether you will use marijuana as medicine
  • The level of psychoactive experience you want to experience
  • For how long you will experience the effects
  • How discreet you want your cannabis consumption to be

And you can’t blame budtenders for doing so. Cannabis come in a wide variety of strains (more than 100) with different effects in your body. You can also buy a host of cannabis-related products like CBD oil, THC oil, terpenes, and other substances. They need to know your definite intent for using marijuana to give you the best recommendation for your unique needs.

While visiting the website, you can also check what kind of IDs and other documents you need to show to the dispensary.

  • Prepare to ask the budtender

To be sure that you are buying only the best strain and product, you need to inquire budtenders many questions. Despite its popularity in popular culture, Americans, in general, are still newbies in terms of marijuana use.  Many will consume the plant for the first time. If you’re one of them, you need to check which one suits best for you. As mentioned above, marijuana comes in many variations, with each has a distinct flavor and effect on your body. You can even request the budtender to smell, feel, and taste the flowers and determine the quality of the plant first-hand.

But don’t expect to get authoritative answers from budtenders. The federal government has yet to issue license showing the expertise of these professionals in giving expert advice on the plant. What’s more, there are only a few educational institutions that offer courses about marijuana. So while you can seek their opinion based on their experience, you still need to consult cannabis doctors and other experts in the plant for guidance.

  • Be aware of any health issues that could surface while taking cannabis.

Marijuana consumption can lead to different consequences. Some people are prone to side effects that can impact their health in the long term. A few of the effects only take place after the continuous consumption of marijuana products. Because of this fact, you need to coordinate with the dispensary to help you track the changes in your body while you’re taking marijuana.

Remember, this plant can affect different people in different ways. What can be a medicine to one person can be a cause of mental disease or other health issues to another. It’s better to keep in touch with the store where you purchased the product to make the necessary steps when a health problem arises.

  • Find out what payment modes your chosen dispensary take

Up to this date, the marijuana has not been legalized up to the federal level. Hence, finding a dispensary that accepts credit or debit card can be challenging for you. Many banks or digital payment providers avoid recognizing transactions that involve cannabis or even CBD-infused products. Some people even use cryptocurrencies like Potcoin as their mode of payment for marijuana products. While this currency type is not yet commonly used, you may need to bring cash to secure your purchase.

  • Only buy what you suits you the best or what you feel comfortable with

Virtually all dispensaries impose no return and refund policy in their merchandise. So, make sure you only bring home what feels right for you. It is then important to double-check whether the item you are buying suits you the best to avoid wasting your money. Take your time to research online and ask doctors, budtenders, and other experts on which strain or product to choose.

Buying marijuana products for first-timers can be tricky. While purchasing products online is more convenient, you may need to ensure that you only buy items that will benefit your health. When visiting a dispensary near you, you can seek help from people with experience and expertise in cannabis.

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