On the Cover / Chelsea Leyland
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NYC based, British DJ, Chelsea Leyland, is not going to let her condition define her. After being diagnosed with a form of epilepsy in her early teens and recently ending a tumultuous relationship with western medicine in exchange for CBD oil, Chelsea has become an activist in the Cannabis community and an advocate for epilepsy and medical marijuana use.  Fueled by a lust for life and determination to bring her sister, who suffers from a more severe form of epilepsy, access to Cannabis treatment in the UK, Chelsea is using her platform in the fashion and art world to speak out and raise awareness of the benefits of treating neurological disorders with CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in Cannabis. 

 “I was 15 years old when I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy,” Chelsea told MJ.  “I was away at a boarding school in England. I had been extremely over-tired and was experiencing light brain blackouts and hand jerks. It was a difficult moment because my doctor wasn’t able to identify the epilepsy at first. My older sister has a severe type of epilepsy that requires full-time care, so the doctor assumed my symptoms were psychosomatic, stemming from my sister’s condition and the anxiety that I had surrounding that.  I was then referred to a neurologist who within five minutes diagnosed me with JME.

Being a teen is hard enough as it is with everything you’re learning about yourself and trying to fit in, and then being diagnosed—that was very difficult.”

JME or Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy is an idiopathic generalized epileptic syndrome characterized by myoclonic jerks, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and sometimes absence seizures (brief, sudden lapses of consciousness). 

Chelsea was put on various anticonvulsant medications for 16 years before discovering CBD oil.  The pharmaceuticals she had been prescribed, like Keppra, an AED (anti-epileptic drug), would target one issue while resulting in a slew of other serious side effects.

“For people diagnosed with epilepsy you are prescribed these medications and you don’t have a choice. You either risk hurting yourself or you take the medication, and that is how it is presented to you,” said Chelsea. “I struggled with many side effects from these medications ranging from severe anxiety, rage, and heart palpitations to depression and thoughts of suicide. I was emotionally unstable and had trouble focusing. My parents told me that my personality changed after taking the anticonvulsant drugs and I became very aggressive. It was hard to see at the time what was the medicine and what was me.." 

Follow Chelsea’s journey on Instagram @chelsealeyland and be on the lookout for more information regarding her upcoming documentary, @CBD4epilepsy “Separating The Strains.” 

By Brittney Mesica

Creative Direction Dane Diseth

Photography Amanda Bjorn

Styling  Naomi Zinns

The Weed Blog - Can marijuana effectively treat migraines?
 CBD Medicinal Vaporizer by  Constance Therapeutics

CBD Medicinal Vaporizer by Constance Therapeutics

Marijuana can be used to treat migraine headaches, and there are several pros to using it instead of traditional meds.

Did you know that marijuana has been used to treat migraines for centuries? In fact, the first recorded use of cannabis for treatment was in 1874!

The combination of migraine and marijuana has made a great pair for a long time. However, there are still some skeptics out there that doubt the healing powers of cannabis. Some people still use traditional medication to treat their headaches.

We’ve written this article to explore each treatment for migraines. Let’s take a closer look.

What is a Migraine?

The simplest explanation is a severe headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting. However, if we look at the facts, we can see that it’s not so simple at all:

  • About 10% of Americans suffer from migraines. This is over 30 million people!
  • Migraines are a severely disabling disease and a leading cause of disability.
  • There’s no known cure and they are difficult to treat.
  • Migraine sufferers spend about 5% of their lives afflicted with a headache.

Marijuana for Migraines

The use of medical marijuana can not only help prevent migraines, but it can also stop migraines that have already begun.

A recent clinical study suggests that marijuana can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches. This 2016 study found that the frequency of migraine headaches decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month when the subjects used medical marijuana. Furthermore, over 85% of study participants experienced symptom relief.

How Does Marijuana Help?

The symptoms of migraines include severe pain and nausea. Marijuana is a powerful pain reliever and it can also help combat vomiting and nausea. Besides its analgesic properties, marijuana has anti-inflammatory qualities that can treat the chronic inflammation known to trigger migraine headaches. Finally, marijuana helps to offset the harmful effects of stress, that can worsen or induce migraines

Marijuana for Migraines Pros

Let’s take a look at some of the pros of using marijuana to combat migraines:

  • Immediate relief with smoking or vaporizing.
  • Easy to control dosing.
  • Few long-term side effects.
  • Fewer drug interactions
  • Reduced risk of addiction.

Marijuana Versus Traditional Medications

While there are some traditional treatments for migraines, there are some things to weigh them against. For example:

  • Overdose Risk
  • Drug Interactions
  • Cardiac Side Effects
  • Kidney and Liver Damage
  • Risk of Stroke
  • Stomach Ulcer and Pain

These are just some of the warnings you can find on traditional medications!

Marijuana Strains for Migraines

Let’s start this out by saying that every strain will affect everybody differently. We suggest you visit your medical marijuana shop and consult with the budtenders there. That being said, the following strains have been known to help diminish migraine symptoms or stop them altogether:

Bubba Kush

Your medical marijuana shop may have more information on the qualities of each strain.

Conclusion

We know that migraines can be a terrible burden to bear. We wrote this article to provide you with the pros and cons of using marijuana vs traditional medication.

  • When you use cannabis, it can help to reduce or even eliminate the need for traditional migraine medications. There are clinical studies that have proven it can work. And marijuana avoids some of the nasty side effects of traditional medication.

Have you ever used marijuana to treat a migraine? Let us know in the comments!

Author Bio: Bjorn Wallman is the co-founder and CEO at Hazy Marketing, a specialized marketing agency catering to the cannabis industry. Founder and CEO at Once Interactive as well, he has 8+ years of experience in transforming businesses to digital. Also a designer, crossfitter, Liverpool FC fan and a tech geek.

WELLNESSSumi Comments
The way you make me feel
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We explored the ways we as women, use Cannabis to enhance and enrich our lives in every day practices and how it helps heal us— from Intention Setting, Meditation & Moon Cycle Support to Creativity, Adventuring & Intimacy. Please enjoy this dreamy elevated intimate journal by Inda Creations.

Intimate Photo Journal of Model Alexandra Tabas 

Photographed by Julia Corbett and Styled & Story by Creator of Inda Creations, Caroline Mauro.

Cannabi-wha?

If you are new to Cannabis, one of the first things you'll notice is that there are a lot of funny words to master.  They all sound the same but they describe very different things and they are next to impossible to pronounce. The Sativa Science Club kindly gives us an intro to the compounds of Cannabis, to gain a deeper knowledge of Cannabis visit The Sativa Science Club online!

There are three different kinds of cannabinoid compounds to note:

1. Endocannabinoids – fatty-acid cannabinoids produced naturally in the body
2. Phytocannabinoids – found in the oily resin of plants such as cannabis (THC and CBD)
3. Synthetic cannabinoids – manufactured by artificial means

The cannabis plant is host to over 113 phytocannabinoids that science is aware of, each with their own unique effects.  Here are just a few of my favorites to get you started: 

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) (Ca-Na-Bi-Di-Ol)—Unlike THC, CBD produces no psychoactive properties. Instead, it acts a low affinity binding agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.  This means that while CBD does not cause you to feel ‘high’ it can fine tune or tweak the way that your body experiences the accompanying compounds.  This is particularly true when the correct ratio of CBD to THC is used to treat an ailment. CBD changes the way that the body experiences THC once ingested.  We call this a ‘Synergistic Effect’.  But that's not all it's good for.  Pre-clinical trials over the past four decades have found that on it’s own CBD shows promise as an:

  • anti-inflammatory

  • antioxidant

  • neuroprotectant

  • anxiolytic

  • antidepressant

  • analgesic

  • anti-tumoral agent

  • anti-psychotic

Just to name a few.  Today, CBD derived from agricultural hemp is available worldwide while CBD derived from plants with a significant accompanying THC content are considered to be 'recreational cannabis'. 

 

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)(Ca-Na-Bi-Di-Olic Acid)—Inside of the cannabis plant certain phytocannabinoids are accompanied by an extra carboxyl ring group or acid that likes to follow the compound around.  This is certainly true in the case of CBDA or CBD-Acid.  In order to make the compound work as successfully as CBD inside of the body the accompanying acid must be removed from the compound via a process called decarboxylation.  This is where the plant material is heated at a low temperature, thus oxidizing the acid to convert CBDA into CBD.

 

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) (Ca-Na-Bid-I-verin)—CBDV differs from CBD only by the substitution of a pentyl (5 carbon) for a propyl (3 carbon) sidechain.  Although medical research is limited, recent studies have shown CBDV to provide anti-convulsive support.  This is likely due to its action at TRPV1 receptors and its ability to modulate gene expression.  A company by the name of  GW Pharmaceuticals has begun a phase 2 trial for adult epilepsy treatment using the CBDV compound.

 

Cannabichromene (CBC) (Ca-Na-Bi-Crow-Mene)—Studies suggest that CBC may work synergistically with CBD and THC to produce an antidepressant effect but not in a straight forward way.  CBC does not directly activate the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it has been shown to interact with a number of other receptors in the body.  In doing so CBC can increase the levels of endocannabinoids we produce naturally.  So CBC can help to activate cannabinoid receptors by enhancing their receptor activity.  

 

Cannabigerol (CBG) (Ca-Na-Ba-Ger-Ol)—Testing of agricultural hemp has found much higher levels of CBG than most strains of cannabis.  Although pharmacological activity at the CB2 receptor is currently unknown, it has been classified as a low-affinity antagonist of the CB1-receptor tipping it towards the mellow end of the spectrum.  CBG is believed to; partially counteract the paranoid 'heady' high typically associated with THC, kill or slow bacteria, reduce inflammation, and inhibit cell growth in tumor and cancer cells.

 

Cannabinol (CBN) (Ca-Na-Bi-Nol)—CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that happens more often than not, by accident.  There is usually little to no CBN in a fresh plant.  Instead, it is a by-product of the degradation of cannabinoid compounds after the plant has been harvested.  Research has shown that CBN acts with greater affinity for CB2 receptors than CB1 and is described as creating a sedative effect.  In fact, the folks over at Steep Hill Labs assert that 5mg of CBN could be as effective as 10mg dose of diazepam, a mild pharmaceutical relaxant. 

 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Tet-Tra-Hydro-Ka-Nab-I-Nol)—Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid with a following. THC (the decarboxylated form of THCA) is responsible for the psychoactive effects typical of cannabis.  When consumed THC elicits feelings of relaxation, pain relief, increased energy, and 'Couch-lock,' to name a few favorites.  Research continues to gain traction with the advancement of legalization.  So far we have enough supporting evidence to confidently say that THC may help patients cope with PTSD, neuropathic and chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and much much more.

 

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) (Tet-Tra-Hydro-Ka-Nab-In-Olic acid)—THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in maturing cannabis plants.  Once the plant is harvested and begins to dry, THCA slowly converts to THC.  Inside of the plant THCA contributes to the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis.  There is some evidence to suggest that it may have some healing ability in the body as well though more research is needed to say with any certainty.  When burned, vaporized, or heated at a low temperature over a period of time THCA converts into Δ9-THC via the process of decarboxylation.

 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) (Tet-Tra-Hydro-Ca-Na-Bi-Varin)—THCV is a minor phytocannabinoid found in certain forms of cannabis (especially sativa landrace strains). Much like CBDV, THCV differs from THC only by the substitution of a pentyl (5 carbon) for a propyl (3 carbon) sidechain.  This minor difference causes it to work like a built in antidote that has the potential to counteract the negative side effects associated with THC such as paranoia.  There is some research to suggest that THCV may also aid in the growth of healthy bones.

New research emerges every day, but we still know very little about these amazing compounds and their therapeutic abilities.  Sign up for my newsletter for your weekly step by step guide to cannabis education from the Sativa Science Club

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Meet Mary J. Poppins, a name lovingly bestowedupon her for her creative and unorthodox approach to schoolwork and lesson plans, founder of the Sativa Science Club. As a freelance Curriculum Specialist with a background in Community Health Education and socially conscious Business Management, Mary helped professionals take complex information and turn it into an easily accessible and engaging training program. What began as an intimate gathering of plant nerds in the back room of a local herb shop quickly grew into a network of thousands of engaged followers and students worldwide.  She established the Sativa Science Club in early 2017 to take her passion one step farther adding third party peer review, curriculum publishing, and turnkey community education events.

“I firmly believe that treating education as a product or commodity is a slippery slope. Rather than encourage privatized education or focus our efforts exclusively on certification programs, SSC is taking the first steps towards leading our community in a new direction,” Mary explains. 

Businesses nationwide can take their marketing efforts to the next level with Sativa Science Club Publishing. In lieu of expending the time and energy to create an education program in-house (a process which is often costly and ill received), SSC invites businesses to sponsor a third party, peer-reviewed community lesson. This allows their team to create low cost high quality E-books, audiobooks, webinars, and in-person lesson plans distributed anywhere for a very low cost online. 100% of the resulting proceeds from these items goes towards scholarships, research, and education initiatives with partnering Universities worldwide.  The Sativa Science Club publications will be available on Amazon, Audible, and Kindle online.

Original Article 

UMM.. Synthetic? No thanks!

Big Pharma continues to create synthetic versions of cannabis. Is this a better method since its FDA approved?  Would you dare consider eating synthetic greens?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware that cannabis and cannabis derived products are being used for a number of medical conditions, such as AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, cancer, and nausea. However, they are not approving a marketing application for any product that is derived from the Marijuana plant. What they HAVE done is approved for Big Pharma to distribute synthetic version of THC, which is called Dronabinol. This active ingredient is an oil that is derived from sesame oil. Researches have found that only 10-20% of a pill that contains dronabinol reaches its target in the body. This is because the liver sees dronabinol as a contaminant and gets rid of it immediately. 

What side effects do patients who take synthetic cannabinoid medications experience?

•       Weakness

•       Sudden feeling of warmth

•       Stomach pain

•       Nausea or vomiting

•       Memory loss

•       Anxiety

•       Confusion

•       Dizziness

Wait….what? vomiting and nausea?

Marinol is a prescription drug that contains the active ingredient Dronabinol. Patients with AIDS, cancer, or neurological conditions were initially prescribed this drug to help cope with their nausea and vomiting. Not only did it contradict is actual reasoning of use, but Marinol also worsened mood symptoms and often caused depression, or anxiety. It really makes me infuriated to think that a drug that was initially prescribed for nausea and vomiting, causes the same side effects and even more! At most U.S pharmacies, a supply of 60 capsules (2 month supply) costs around $700 U.S dollars. To add on, patients who are using these drugs are usually experiencing major health issues and have other medications to pay for as well. Don’t forget about doctor visits! Although insurance helps some individuals, many are left with expensive bills to pay off.

Since the marijuana plant naturally produces THC, its form is more therapeutic and can be home grown for self-medication. Marinol is man made and creates life threatening side effects. So why is one approved and not the other?

Dronabinol has been studied for neuropathic pain and was not found to be any placebo. For chronic non-cancer pain, it was shown to be slightly better than the placebo. Since many studies are government regulated, there hasn’t been much done for the marijuana plant. In all, marijuana was found to be better than the placebo relieving pain. While there might not be a lot of research taking place here in the United States, The Marijuana Business Daily reported that we can finally welcome the launch of a new research in the Czech Republic. The International cannabis and cannabinoid research center could provide an immense amount of information on how medical cannabis can help increase our quality of life. With more research being done, society is questioning this stigma that has been held on marijuana for years now. Medical Marijuana hasn’t just become a big industry in the United States, but is becoming a phenomenom that has captured the interest of people all over the world!