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High-CBD Hemp Oil and Acne: A Review

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High-CBD Hemp Oil and Acne: A Review.

In a post published in July, I discussed research suggesting that CBD-rich hemp extracts could be a great topical treatment for acne. But when I started taking Elixinol’s liposomal extract, initially for inflammation and depressive tendencies, I found that it was also an internal treatment for acne, at least in my case.

Ever since I was 10 years old, just beginning to enter womanhood, I have always had mild acne. There would always be many tiny spots on my face, and at least one or two painful, red cystic spots. The reason why it was so persistent – for the majority of my life – was that nothing seemed to work. Not wearing makeup, or changing the brand, did not work. Creams containing benzoyl peroxide and various cleansers, natural or not, had very little benefit, with the greatest temporary benefit coming from a diatomaceous clay mask I bought in Germany. A friend recommended that I mix zinc and vitamin C powder into cream, and put it on my face. My face looked better in a general sense, but not in the sense of acne. Abandoning gluten helped me in a neurological sense, but my skin did not improve. Limiting milk and yellow cheese has reduced the number of cystic spots on my face, but the greatest reduction in acne for me has been from taking a daily dose of liposomal hemp extract.

Within a week, I stopped getting any more new cystic acne spots, and the number of tiny spots is continually decreasing. Additionally, the dark circles under my eyes are fading more than what they did when I stopped eating gluten. This is often a sign of inflammation. My brother, my fraternal twin, has also suffered from acne since puberty, although his is much more severe, which is at least partly because of his higher dairy intake. I am glad I did not write it off as “genetic”, even though I only found that internal use of hemp oil could clear my skin by accident.

So how does it work? As I wrote in my previous post, CBD and some of the terpenes in hemp may have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and sebum-reducing properties that could work together to fight acne. CBD can increase the levels of our own cannabinoids, such as AEA, by stopping them from breaking down. AEA, at high levels, has been found to reduce the production of sebum. Sebum keeps our skin in good condition at normal levels, but in excess it blocks the pores of our skin and can cause acne. The terpenes known as pinene, limonene and linalool, which are found in hemp, have show antibacterial effects against Propionibacterium acnes, the most common bacterial cause of acne. Limonene and linalool also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, which is handy too in cases of infective acne because P. acnes produces the inflammatory substance known as TNF-alpha.

While I am just one person, and I would like to see clinical trials on topical or internal hemp oil and acne, my verdict is that, if you are suffering from acne, hemp oil is worth a try. Particularly if you want to use it topically, liposomal hemp oil looks like the best option in terms of absorption.

Could Hemp and Cannabinoids Help With Autism?

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Research into high-cannabidiol (CBD) hemp extracts continues to march on in Israel, with a paediatrician launching a clinical trial to test the extract on autistic children and adults1. Dr Adi Eran is now obtaining permits from the Israeli Ministry of Health for the trial, which will involve 120 low to medium-functioning autistic people aged 4 to 30. The study will focus on changes in behavioural symptoms such as physical aggression and anxiety. Despite autism not being on the country’s list of “qualifying” conditions for medical cannabis, several Israelis have obtained permits to treat their autism with the plant. However, cannabis has been approved in Israel since 2014 for children and adults with drug-resistant epilepsy. It was while treating patients with both epilepsy and autism that improvements in behavioural symptoms were observed.

Autism Awareness Ribbon.

Source: Melesse


Autism is a disorder characterised by problems with communication and social interaction, as well as repetitive behaviours2. Immune system dysfunction has been seen in children with the condition, including altered responses by a certain type of immune cell called “peripheral blood mono-nuclear cells” (PBMCs). Like many cells in the body, these have cannabinoid receptors, both CB1 and CB2, because we produce our own cannabinoids. A study on the PBMCs of autistic children found that activity of the CB2 receptors was 500% higher – six times higher – compared to those of children without autism. When the body increases levels of certain receptors, it is often an attempt to bring things back into balance. It could also mean that there is not enough of the hormone or other chemical that interacts with it. For example, a rapid rise in our own cannabinoids appears after inflammation in order to control the immune response. Autism is related to inflammation, so this may be why these children’s immune cells needed more cannabinoids. A news report3 from 2015 details the story of Kalel Santiago, a boy who only began to speak at the age of nine after taking high-CBD hemp oil. At the time of reporting, he was beginning to add new words to his vocabulary and make eye contact, things that his psychologist could not achieve. His other treatment involved a surf-therapy program, run by the psychologist.

So how does hemp oil work? CBD is able to both reduce uptake of AEA, one of the body’s cannabinoids, and slow its breakdown4. Other cannabinoids may also benefit people with autism. Cannabichromene (CBC) has demonstrated its own ability to reduce AEA uptake into cells.  Cannabigerol (CBG) has also shown this ability. One of the terpenes in hemp, known as beta-caryophyllene, has been found to stimulate CB2 receptors, and so may produce anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Both CBC and CBG may be anti-inflammatory too. Some terpenes, such as limonene and linalool, may have a calming effect and improve mood. Alpha-pinene, which is another terpene, could be another anti-inflammatory phytochemical in hemp. Interestingly, it may be a base for the body to produce some types of substances which act on the CB2 receptors. Overall, hemp extracts look like a promising natural treatment for autism, but this clinical trial is necessary to confirm efficacy and maybe even help tailor treatments to the individual.


1: http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2016/08/30/israeli-doctor-to-use-medical-cannabis-to-treat-autism-in-first-of-its-kind-study-report/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23585028

3: https://www.yahoo.com/news/controversial-cannabis-treatment-helps-9-year-old-120157532312.html

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

Elixinol Earns the Realm of Caring Seal of Approval!

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Elixinol Earns the Realm of Caring Seal of Approval! Elixinol has become the first company to receive the seal of approval for its high-cannabidiol (CBD) products from Realm of Caring, a non-profit group that provides support for those who need hemp and cannabis medicines1. This is two firsts in one, as the Realm of Caring’s seal of approval is the first of its kind in the hemp industry. It is awarded to companies after a long, independent review of manufacturing and sourcing practices, and provides hemp extract users with a way of identifying the highest quality products.

The seal will be included on all Elixinol products from October 1, 2016. Paul Benhaim, CEO of Elixinol, responded:

“We’re honored to have our organic, whole-plant CBD be the first awarded this prestigious recognition of high quality CBD by Realm of Caring, an industry leader and educator. We know it’s important for those using CBD to be able to trust the product. To see our efforts, which are setting the global standard for the CBD industry, recognized is truly rewarding”

Elixinol is now partnering with Realm of Caring clients in CBD research conducted at the John Hopkins URealm-of-caring-approvedniversity. This includes those affected by epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other diseases. As the Realm of Caring serves over 25,000 clients and counting, and are known by many more, their seal of approval means a lot. In fact, their advocacy work has been featured in Time, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, on NBC and on two CNN specials by Dr Sanjay Gupta.

The Realm of Caring was founded by the Stanley brothers, Paige Figi and Heather Jackson2. In 2012, Paige’s daughter, Charlotte Figi, along with Heather’s son, Zaki, were the first success stories from the Charlotte’s Web strain of hemp. Charlotte Figi’s story is one of the most famous success stories3 After years of suffering from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome, her condition got to a point where she couldn’t walk, talk or feed herself. Her mother then learnt of the Stanley brothers, who were cross-breeding strains of cannabis to produce one with high levels of CBD and low THC. After Charlotte started taking twice daily doses of oil from this strain, she began to “thrive” – finally, over time, able to walk, talk, feed herself and ride a bicycle. Her father said that he could see her brain making connections that hadn’t been made in years. Her mother said that she had not heard Charlotte laugh for six months, not hearing her voice at all. Today, Paige Figi is serving as the Executive Director of the organization Coalition for Access Now, which is dedicated to education on the health benefits linked with natural hemp medicines. The Stanley brothers are now focusing on manufacturing and the development of new products. Heather Jackson, however, is still a part of the Realm of Caring – as the CEO. As the Realm of Caring and Elixinol continue their work, even more children and adults could benefit from high-CBD hemp oil.


1: https://www.newcannabisventures.com/elixinol-cbd-products-first-to-earn-realm-of-caring-seal-of-approval/

2: https://www.theroc.us/

3: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/07/health/charlotte-child-medical-marijuana/

Cannabinoids Could Help Migraine Sufferers Find Relief

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Cannabinoids Could Help Migraine Sufferers Find Relief. In the USA alone, over 37 million people suffer from migraines, with an estimated 2-3 million experiencing chronic migraines1. Around 5 million have at least one migraine per month, and 11 million say that it causes them moderate to severe disability. Over 90% say that it interferes with work or everyday functioning, and most say that their migraines cause relationship problems. But a migraine is just a headache, right? Actually, migraines can involve severe, painful headaches, over-sensitivity to light, nausea, vision impairment, disorientation and problems with co-ordination – much more than just feeling uncomfortable2. Sometimes, these symptoms can last for several days.


So how could cannabidiol (CBD) and the other cannabinoids help? If cannabinoids could help migraine sufferers find relief how would it work? The human body produces its own cannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG); together with the cannabinoid receptors, they make the endocannabinoid system. This regulates many processes in the body, such as blood vessel dilation. When cannabinoids interact with their receptors, they reduce blood vessel dilation, which is important in migraines because the expansion of blood vessels in an area with no extra space (ie the brain) creates pressure, and therefore pain. The endocannabinoid receptors known as CB1 receptors are also present in higher than usual levels in an area of the brain strongly associated with migraines3. While our own cannabinoids regulate our bodies in ways that prevent migraines, levels of AEA have been found to be lower in people who suffer from migraines4. Also, women with migraines may have


higher levels of the enzyme that degrades AEA.


Cannabinoids such as CBD may also directly relieve the pain seen in migraines. The stimulating neurotransmitter known as glutamate is responsible for the secondary and tertiary (horrible) pain in both migraines and fibromyalgia5, but cannabinoids can block the release of glutamate from nerve cells. Cannabinoids may also stabilize the platelets, which are responsible for blood clots, and inhibit serotonin release, which in excess can amplify pain4.

Although the scientific evidence behind the use of hemp and cannabinoids to relieve migraines is largely lab studies, hemp medicines have a long history in migraine treatment4. Dr Clendinning in London was the first Western physician to prescribe cannabis (which had a much lower THC content back then) for migraines in the 1840s. In the 1870s, another doctor, Dr R. Greene, was recommending daily doses of cannabis to prevent migraines. In 1890, Sir John Russell Reynolds, physician to the British royal family, highlighted migraines as an indication for the prescription of cannabis in a review of his 30 years of clinical experience. In more modern times4, a case was reported where a patient suffering from migraines found relief in small doses of smoked cannabis, after failing conventional therapies. The author had previously encountered multiple patients with migraines who had failed pharmaceutical drugs, but responded positively to cannabis. Other case reports described patients finding relief from other types of chronic headache. Overall, the evidence behind using CBD-rich hemp oil to manage migraines is in need of clinical trials, but laboratory studies, historical use and case reports do show a potential benefit.


1: https://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/

2: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-migraine-treatment/

3: http://theroc.us/images/Clinical%20endocannabinoid%20deficiency%20(CECD)%20revisited%20Can%20this%20concept%20explain%20the%20therapeutic%20benefits%20of%20cannabis%20in%20migraine,%20fibromyalgia,%20irritable%20bowel%20syndrome%20and%20other%20treatment-resistant%20conditions.pdf

4: http://theroc.us/images/Comprehensive%20Review%20of%20Medicinal%20Marijuana,%20Cannabinoids,%20and%20Therapeutic%20Implications%20in%20Medicine%20and%20Headache-%20What%20a%20Long%20Strange%20Trip%20It%E2%80%99s%20Been.pdf

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

Could Hemp Oil Help With Glaucoma?

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 Could Hemp Oil Help With Glaucoma? Although we depend on our eyes every day for almost everything that we need or want to do, we often take them for granted – until we are threatened with loss of vision. Glaucoma is one such threat, which often causes optic nerve damage and may lead to blindness if left untreated1. It affects over three million Americans, and around 60 million worldwide; it is one of the leading causes of permanent blindness. So, could Hemp Oil Help With Glaucoma? While surgical and pharmaceutical treatments have halved the risk of blindness over the years, could hemp and cannabinoids be a less invasive, more natural approach?
A depiction of advanced glaucoma.

A depiction of advanced glaucoma.

Most US states where cannabis is legal for medical use include glaucoma, especially in its advanced stages, on the lists of permitted conditions. The damage that glaucoma does to vision is caused by the increased int
raocular pressure (IOP), which means the pressure inside the eye. A small study performed in 1971 found that smoking cannabis was able to reduce IOP by 25-30%, thus sparing their eyes from damage. However, this effect lasted for only 3-4 hours, meaning that you would have to smoke cannabis 6-8 times every day. This would be understandably unpleasant to most people because of the psychoactive effects of THC and risk of dependence.


Fortunately other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), can reduce IOP without getting a patient “high”2. They could be effective either systemically or applied directly to the eye, which would bypass many issues with absorption. The remaining problem with absorption that has been reported in research is the poor ability of cannabinoids to mix with water, which resulted in less than 5% of one medication actually reaching the inside of the eyes. Use of liposomes, which increase absorption through watery areas and fatty tissues, may be a way to get around this. In a study on cats, CBG3 was found to have a mild effect on IOP after the first dose, but this became much more significant with long-term use. Unlike the cannabinol that was also tested, CBG did not cause eye redness. Cannabichromene (CBC) may also4 be able to reduce IOP without causing redness in the eye, while THC carries this negative effect.

So how do cannabinoids relieve the raised IOP seen in glaucoma? While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, there are several ways2 that cannabinoids seem to work to relieve pressure. Some studies have found that they can reduce production of the fluid inside our eyes, and may even increase the outflow of this fluid. Cannabinoids, particularly CBD, can also act as antioxidants, directly protecting the nerves from damage. Another way that they may protect the nerve cells is by reducing production of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that can over-stimulate the cells in excess. Additionally, the blood vessel-dilating properties of some cannabinoids may help to relieve excess IOP. While the ability of THC-containing cannabis to relieve the symptoms of glaucoma has been well-documented and recognized, clinical trials are needed to test the abilities of high-CBD, low-THC hemp, and whether the whole extract or only certain cannabinoids could be used to prevent irritation by some components such as terpenes.


1: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-for-glaucoma-treatment/

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772142/

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6499952/

4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6323206/

Why Does CBD Have So Many Potential Uses?

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Why Does CBD Have So Many Potential Uses? Here at Elixinol, we have covered a wide range of potential therapeutic uses for cannabidiol (CBD), other cannabinoids and hemp oil. From epilepsy to PTSD, it can all sound too good to be true. So how could one plant have so many benefits?

Besides being the second most abundant cannabinoid in the Cannabis genus, and the most in hemp, CBD is now well-known for the sheer number of possible therapeutic uses1. Each use has different levels of evidence, from clinical trials where we see how effective it is in humans, to in vitro lab studies where we can see how it may work. The presence of endocannabinoid receptors in a range of tissues and organs help to explain CBD’s broad applications. However, it can also interact with other types of receptors in the body and brain. Endocannabinoid-CBD-PTSD

The brain is made up of billions of highly specialised cells called neurons, along with several types of supporting cell2. Each neuron communicates with many other neurons by the synapses. Synapses are where two tiny bulbs on the ends of projections from the neuron cell come to meet. Neurons communicate with these by using chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Whether or not a neuron can “understand” the use of a certain neurotransmitter depends on if it has a receptor for that chemical. These receptors can respond to other chemicals too, such as the cannabinoids.

CBD, unlike THC, does not directly interact with the cannabinoid receptors, but instead works to increase the levels of our own cannabinoids. It also indirectly affects the signaling of these receptors. One of the non-cannabinoid receptors that CBD can influence is the dopamine receptors. Dopamine is involved with motivation and reward, as well as other cognitive and motor functions. This may be behind how CBD could help to fight cigarette cravings. In a study of 24 cigarette smokers, volunteers were given either an inhaler with CBD, or a placebo inhaler, and instructed to use it whenever they craved a cigarette3. The number of cigarettes smoked in the CBD group dropped significantly during the week, but not for the placebo group.

Animal studies have also shown that CBD can interact with some types of serotonin receptors, which may explain its effects on depression and anxiety. Its ability to interact with the serotonin 1A receptor may explain the documented effects of CBD on neuropathic pain, opioid dependence, and nausea and vomiting. There have been many anecdotal reports of hemp oil relieving nausea, even in severe vomiting caused by pharmaceuticals used for cancer. In addition, a study on shrews showed an effect of CBD on the serotonin 1A receptors which significantly reduced nausea and vomiting4. Its non-heated form, CBDA, had the same effect, but at a much lower dose.

Supporting the wide-ranging effects of CBD are the other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBC, terpenes and other phytochemicals. These have shown anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and other effects. The number of potential benefits of hemp oil and CBD aren’t exactly “too good to be true”, but clinical trials are needed to confirm many of them.


1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-does-cbd-do

2: Tortora & Derrickson, 2012, Principles of Anatomy & Physiology, 12th edn, Wiley

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960260/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

Are CBD and Hemp Oil Safe During Pregnancy?

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Many mothers consider turning to hemp or cannabis products during pregnancy, in order to control nausea, stress and other unpleasant symptoms. But as medical professionals do not recommend the use of cannabis during pregnancy, is hemp oil safe?

The perceived “blanket ban” on plants of the Cannabis genus (which hemp belongs to, as it is a non-psychoactive cousin of cannabis) may just relate to THC. A 2014 study suggested that THC exposure during pregnancy negatively affects brain development in both humans and mice1. As fetal development involves many specifically-timed signals and processes, THC may impair it in some ways. Cannabis use has also been linked with low birth weight and premature deliveries. However, a review of research found that there was no significant risk of these when results were adjusted for factors such as tobacco smoking2.

Contradicting the 2014 study is a six-year, controlled study on Jamaican mothers and their children3. This found that the mothers using cannabis had babies who were not only free of impairment, but deemed “superior”. They were more socially responsive, less irritable, and more alert and autonomically stable. However, these better scores wAn 8-cell embryo, a couple of days after pregnancy begins. ere caused by higher educational attainment and financial independence among users. Nineteen of the 33 users reported that it relieved nausea and improved appetite; 15 said that it reduced fatigue. Participants also stated that they found relief from depression and feelings of desperation, associated with raising children in poverty. Follow-up research4 conducted in California also found no developmental problems in the babies of mothers who used cannabis. In addition, three women previously thought to be sterile conceived; mothers were 8 times more likely to breastfeed for at least a year; and all gave birth naturally.

The endocannabinoid system, a system of chemicals produced by our own bodies similar to cannabinoids and the receptors that respond to both, is present from the early embryonic stage. Even when an embryo is only two cells, it still has cannabinoid receptors5. In a study on mouse embryos, THC, but not CBD, stopped the development of embryos that were less than 8 cells. However, one of our own cannabinoids, anandamide, also stopped early embryos from developing. CBD exerts some of its effects by increasing levels of anandamide, so it may have negative effects on embryonic development. It must be remembered that this was a 1995 study on mice, so it may not translate to humans. On the other hand, many of the Jamaican women in the study above were “root’s daughters” who smoked cannabis every day, including the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

In conclusion, cannabinoids have been consumed by many pregnant women over the years to relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea. However, using only non-psychoactive hemp is advisable to avoid addiction. It is also important to only use hemp extracts, as well as other herbs and supplements, during pregnancy and pre-conception if it is necessary, and to use them under the advice of a health professional.

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1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cannabis-safety-while-pregnant

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27607879

3: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/medical/can-babies.htm

4: http://www.academia.edu/24964395/The_Wellness_Revolution_Hemp_and_Cannabinoids_Introduction_281_Words

5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7568154

Hemp Oil, Cannabinoids and Arthritis

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Aging may be a universal complaint, but what a complaint it is! One of the most common, and sometimes one of the most crippling, problems that aging can cause is arthritis1. According to the CDC, there are 53 million Americans who suffer from a form of arthritis, which is most common in seniors but can strike at any age. “Arthritis” is an umbrella term describing around 200 different diseases, all of which damage the joints and surrounding tissues by inflammation. It is the most common cause of disability in the United States, and can take away the ability to work or perform daily tasks. On the other hand, legal medical cannabis is linked with a 9.4% increase in workforce participation among those over 50, which may partly be caused by an effect on arthritis. This idea is not new. Hemp has been described as a useful way to relieve the pain of arthritis as early as 2800 BC. More recently, anecdotal reports have described the benefits of hemp extracts on both humans and animals with arthritis.


So how could hemp oil and cannabinoids help? Components of hemp, such as cannabidiol (CBD), may relieve the pain and inflammation associated with these diseases3. In a study of 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a cannabis extract mostly containing THC and CBD was tested against a placebo over 5 weeks of treatment. After 5 weeks, there were significant improvements in both pain on movement and rest, as well as quality of sleep and DAS28 scores. The DAS28 measures the severity of rheumatoid arthritis using the number of tender joints, the number of swoll

Rheumatoid arthritis X-ray

Source: Bernd Braegelmann

en joints, the blood level of inflammatory markers and the patient’s subjective assessment of their health. An earlier study on mice demonstrated the exact effects of CBD5. Administration of CBD resulted in reduced production and function of inflammatory chemicals, and reduced the growth in numbers of immune cells involved in arthritis. In addition to inflammation, cannabinoids such as CBD can also relieve pain1. One researcher states that they can control the transmission of pain signals to the brain by binding to nerve receptors.


Apart from CBD, there are other components of hemp that may help to fight arthritis6. Cannabichromene (CBC) has shown both analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. “Analgesic” means that it relieves pain without affecting cognition or consciousness. Cannabigerol (CBG) is also analgesic, and may be anti-inflammatory by blocking the often nasty lipoxygenase pathway. These abilities have even been described as superior to THC, which, though psychoactive, is the most researched cannabinoid.

The terpenes could offer valuable contributions to arthritis relief too. Beta-myrcene could be anti-inflammatory by blocking the key inflammatory pathway controlled by prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). It may also be analgesic and is part of hops, a herbal medicine recognised to aid sleep in Germany. Alpha-pinene is anti-inflammatory by the PGE1 pathway, and so is beta-caryophyllene. In fact, beta-caryophyllene has shown equal effects to some types of toxic drugs, but without the potential dangers. In conclusion, hemp may be just the thing for arthritis, though more clinical trials on non-psychoactive strains could be advisable.


1: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-arthritis

2: http://norml.org/news/2016/10/06/study-medical-marijuana-laws-associated-with-greater-workforce-participation-among-older-americans

3: http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/45/1/50.long

4: http://www.nras.org.uk/the-das28-score

5: http://www.pnas.org/content/97/17/9561.abstract?ijkey=5b08f3cdfabd05b8d22eeca1dd2585888e26714e&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

6: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21749363

Why Doesn’t Cannabidiol Make You High?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Elixinol product reviews, Health effects of cannabinoids, Hemp Seed Benefits, Uncategorized | No Comments

Why Doesn’t Cannabidiol Make You High?

If you have heard of CBD that stands for Cannabidiol. But what are the differences between CBD and THC? What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? One of the reasons why many people prefer high-CBD hemp extracts that contain little to no THC is that they aren’t psychoactive – they won’t get you “high”. But why is this the case? If both THC and CBD act on the brain, using the cannabinoid receptors, and are closely related, why is CBD so different?

The “high” caused by THC involves the CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and nervous system1. While both THC and CBD can interact with the CB1 receptors, THC binds very well with them, but CBD only has a weak affinity. If you think of THC as an electric plug and the CB1 receptor as a socket, the THC is a perfect fit. CBD would be an ill-fitting plug that obstructs the THC plug when in the way. Therefore, CBD is thought of as an antagonist of substances that activate CB1 receptors.

You may remember the infamous drug Rimonabant, which is a CB1 antagonist and had its clinical trials stopped due to severe side effects. CBD is more like a modulator of the receptors’ effects, so it won’t completely stop them from working. The most common effects of CB1 receptors are relaxation and euphoria (a happy high), but also anxiety and short-term memory impairment, especially in large amounts. When those who partake in recreational cannabis use strains with higher levels of CBD, they often report fewer negative effects. However, many recreational strains have been bred to produce less CBD, in order to maximise the “high”. This would also significantly impair many therapeutic effects. In one study, participants who were given CBD before THC were much less likely to suffer from psychotic symptoms and paranoia2. They were also largely spared from episodic memory impairment, another common side effect of THC. Episodic memory is our memories of specific events, such as what you were doing last night at that party.


Along with CBD, the other cannabinoids in hemp are not psychoactive either, despite being related to THC3. Cannabichromene (CBC) is another cannabinoid, which may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) abilities. In mice, it was also found to reduce THC toxicity. Therefore, like CBD, there is no reason to condemn CBC on moral grounds. It works in a similar way to CBD, by increasing the available levels of our own cannabinoids, which may have a more balancing effect than a possible over-stimulating one. Cannabigerol (CBG) seems to also work this way, and could also have anti-depressant properties by acting on the serotonin receptors. CBD has been found to act on the serotonin receptors too, as a stimulant4. This could help to relieve nausea, depression, anxiety and even psychotic symptoms. Additionally, it has also shown effects on the dopamine receptors. Dopamine plays a critical role in aspects of cognition such as motivation and reward, as well as affecting co-ordination. With all of these potential therapeutic effects, CBD doesn’t need to stimulate the CB1 receptors directly.


1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cbd-vs-thc-cbd-not-psychoactive

2: http://jop.sagepub.com/content/27/1/19.short

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

4: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-does-cbd-do

And the Winner of the 2016 US Election Is…

By | Cannabis Legislation, Uncategorized | No Comments

Millions of people, not only in the USA but also around the world, watched the 2016 US presidential election with bated breath. The vast majority were anxious to see whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would become the next US president, but some were waiting for a different sort of victory.

On November 8, some Americans were voting for something else besides who would be the next president. California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and possibly Maine were deciding on whether or not cannabis should be fully legal, allowing it for recreational use1. Florida, Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas were deciding on whether it should be used for medical use only. All four states with proposed medical use-only legalisation voted in favour of the herb; while all states voting on recreational use approved their measures except for Arizona.

So what does this mean for each state where cannabis “won” the election, considering that their laws are different? In California2, as in others, different aspects of the new cannabis laws come into effect at different times. Since November 9, the day after the vote, residents have since been able to legally grow up to six plants for personal use, possess and give away up to 28.6 grams of flower or 8 grams of concentrate, and consume these privately. Commercial licenses will begin to be issued from January, 2018. However, public use, possession with the intent to sell and underage (under 21) consumption will stay illegal.

Like California, possession, private use and home-growing will be the first things to become legal in

Legality of cannabis by country, before US Election

A few changes will need to be made to this map.

Nevada3, but this will not come into effect until January 2017. Residents of Nevada are limited to possession of up to 1 ounce of flower and up to 1/8 of an ounce (3.5 grams) of concentrate, but are allowed up to 12 plants (6 per person) in each house. The first commercial licenses will also be given in January 2018.


The law in Massachusetts4 begins to take effect on December 15. From then, adults over the age of 21 are able to possess up to 10 ounces of flowers at home, and one ounce in public, as well as 5 ounces of concentrates at home. However, public consumption will be forbidden, like other states. Each household is also able to grow up to 6 plants each. License applications for dispensaries and other establishments will be accepted until October.

Maine5 is less certain, with their measure only getting the majority of votes by a fraction and opponents pushing for a recount. If it is approved, those living in Maine will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces/70 grams of cannabis, and grow up to 6 flowering plants, 12 immature plants and any number of seedlings (which will all need to carry the person’s name and driver’s license number). They will also be able to give away cannabis and plants, and consume the herb in private places. Retail stores would open from mid-2017 at the earliest.

What does this mean for Elixinol, where we only sell extracts made from hemp, which does not contain psychoactive levels of THC? Although legal in all 50 states, the legalisation of even psychoactive cannabis may improve perceived accessibility of our extracts. Some people under prohibition may fear seizure or arrest if they even attempt to order hemp products because of misunderstandings. And besides, and end to cannabis prohibition is a win for personal freedom.

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1: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/election-2016-live-cannabis-news-coverage

2: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/california-just-legalized-cannabis-now-comes-hard-part

3: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/legalization-nevada-heres-happens-next

4: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/massachusetts-just-legalized-now

5: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/ayuh-maine-probably-just-legalized-cannabis-now-what-happens