Tag: International (page 1 of 8)

The Ultimate Cannabis Reading List: 8 Books for a Solid Cannabis Education

Quality information is helping to drive the cannabis movement forward. However, cannabis literature is often overlooked due to the massive amounts of articles and resources online. This needs to change, because some of the most useful information available to the cannabis community and industry is ink printed on paper.

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The following eight books cover a broad spectrum of the literature that is available today. The authors are some of the most renowned and respected individuals in the cannabis space, and their expertise can help everyone better understand cannabis culture, history, and science.

The Big Book of Buds by Ed Rosenthal (Series)

One of the most well-known cannabis books series is Ed Rosenthal’s The Big Book of Buds (2001). There are currently four volumes with additional manuscripts being prepared for publication as you read this article.

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The Big Book of Buds is an incredible look at the diversity of cannabis varietals, including growing characteristics and insights into the general chemotypical qualities one can expect from their cannabis strains.

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Rosenthal is a cannabis pioneer and has served as a cultivator, an author, and an activist for several decades. He is currently an extremely popular speaker and presenter at cannabis industry events across the country.

The Cannabible by Jason King (Series)

The Cannabible (2001) is another series of books that showers the cannabis plant with love. The author, Jason King, was disappointed by the lack of cannabis varieties being presented to the mainstream enthusiast. The Cannabible series contains three volumes, all packed with photos of strains and their parent genetics.

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An interesting note is that both The Big Book of Buds and The Cannabible have evolved as better cannabis information was made available to the public. While many readers have pointed out discrepancies in the earlier volumes of both series, the information has been the backbone of cannabis genetics since the early 2000s.

Marijuana Horticulture by Jorge Cervantes

Jorge Cervantes, author of Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible, is an incredibly respected cannabis expert. Cervantes has traveled around the world, learning about cannabis strains firsthand from diverse groups of people, and has since recombined all of the techniques to master the art of cannabis cultivation.

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Cervantes has long been a staple in the cannabis competition community as well, and his explanations of evaluating cannabis have been viewed across the web hundreds of thousands of times. Marijuana Horticulture covers everything from grow room setups to fertilizer use, disease and pest prevention as well as hash making.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer

Jack Herer is probably one of the most famous figures from the early days of cannabis. Sensi Seeds has even dedicated a strain to his prolific work for cannabis.

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Herer first published The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy in 1985, and over ten editions have been re-released since that time.

Jack Herer with His Favorite Plant

Jack Herer with His Favorite Plant

The book is one of the oldest and most quoted manuscripts associated with modern cannabis in America. Herer does a fantastic job of documenting the historical uses of cannabis and how they have shaped our evolving society.

Thai Stick by Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter

Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter are certainly qualified to write about the international cannabis trade in the 1970s; they lived it. Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade is the thrilling and often hilarious account of their adventures traversing the cannabis economies from Bangkok to the Hindu Kush mountains.

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Thai Stick does a wonderful job of entertaining readers while simultaneously providing an in-depth look at how landrace strains found their way to California. Genetic strains from places like Thailand, Colombia, and Afghanistan have shaped the thousands of modern cannabis strains available today.

The Cannabis Health Index by Uwe Blesching, PhD

The Cannabis Health Index by Uwe Blesching, PhD, is one of the most comprehensive reviews of clinical cannabis studies available anywhere. Blesching is currently a contributing PhD author for Cannabis Reports, and has amassed hundreds of additional studies for the medical database on our site (which is currently listing 590 studies for 135 conditions between 1971 and 2016).

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Blesching reviews each study as it relates to a particular condition, disease or symptom. Individually, studies are assigned a CHI value that averages the type of study with the key findings to produce a user-friendly reference for the value of evidence provided by the study.

Blesching also includes valuable information that addresses healing beyond just cannabis. Mind-body medicine, holistic attitudes, and nutritional examinations of spices are also included.

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As Blesching loves to say: “Cannabis is not a silver bullet. In order to heal, you need to consciously address all of the things that may have contributed to your getting sick in the first place.”

Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany by Robert C. Clarke and Mark Merlin

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Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany sets a true baseline for cannabis education. Robert C. Clarke and Mark D. Merlin address many of the discrepancies that plague cannabis information today, including but not limited to:

  • Historical Uses of Cannabis
  • The Migration of Cannabis
  • The Cannabis Origin Story
  • Early Cultivation and Selective Breeding
  • Cultural Diffusions of Cannabis
  • Ethnobotanical History and Modern Context
  • Modern Cultivation and Hybridization
  • The Classical and Molecular Taxonomy of Cannabis
  • The Overall Impact of Cannabis and Humanity

Clarke and Merlin back up each of their statements with authoritative references in what is one of the first complete accounts of where cannabis came from and how it got to where it is today.

Handbook of Cannabis, Edited by Roger Pertwee

Handbook of Cannabis is a very serious scientific text. Along with contributing authors Ethan Russo, Marnie Duncan, and Wayne Hall, editor Roger Pertwee addresses cannabinoid science and applications in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and beyond.

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This handbook (read: textbook) is a phenomenal reference guide for any individual or organization that wants to back up their reasons for participating in the cannabis industry. It is certainly not an easy read, but the information combining therapeutic targets and sought-after effects is worth the time for anyone devoted to medical cannabis.

More Cannabis Literature Available

These eight texts provide cultivators, doctors, educators, and enthusiasts with valuable cannabis information, but they are certainly not the only examples. If you would like some guidance exploring a specific type of cannabis genre, be it cultivation techniques, legal history, or endocannabinoid science, the Cannabis Reports team is happy to help.

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For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

A CB2 Activating Cannabinoid is the New Potential Weapon Against Horrific Parasites

This article was originally published on CannabisHealthIndex.com.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitical infection spread by sandflies. It is a significant health problem all over the world. Hundreds of millions of people (as well as animals) in nearly 100 tropical, sub-tropical, and Southern European countries are at risk. Occasional occurrences in the U.S. have been reported from the southern states of Texas and Oklahoma.

It is estimated that more than 10 million people are currently suffering from the disease, and new infection rates are in the 2 million range. Making the situation worse, global warming trends have led to the spread of sandfly territory.

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The disease appears in three distinct forms. Cutaneous leishmaniasis causes open skin sores at the bite site which may spread. The mucosal form produces ulcer formation on mucus membranes such as the mouth, nose, or throat. And, finally the worst form, visceral leishmaniasis affects internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow for example. The third form can be fatal.

Once bitten by an infected sandfly, symptoms of the cutaneous form usually appear with a few weeks to a few months while the visceral version may take years. It may start just like the formation of a pimple that eventually opens and form sores on the skin. Sores tend to stay open and spread. Sores that do heal leave an ugly build-up of scar tissue in its place.

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When sores stay open, they appear similar to a crater with a rugged edge at the circumference. Pain can vary from mild to severe. Lymph nodes tend to be swollen near the ulcer sites. Fever is common. Another key indicator is a very enlarged spleen.

Confirmation of suspected leishmaniasis occurs by taking a careful patient history including past travels and by laboratory blood tests. Infected patients tend to have low red, white, and platelet counts. Furthermore, the parasite can be detected in a drop of blood under the microscope.

Typical prevention measures include bite prevention (mosquito nets, sprays, window screens), sandfly abatement programs using pesticides, healthy water management infrastructures, education and support to high-risk populations.

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The population at most risk are poor people with chronic poor nutrition and suppressed immunity, those living in or near deforested regions, rural areas, and those with no or little access to sanitation or health care. Like many blood-borne diseases it may also be spread through sharing needles and from a mother to a fetus.

Pharmaceutical treatment of infected humans relies on pentavalent antimonials, amphotericin B, or pentamidine which are expensive and carry the risk of severe adverse reactions. In addition, the parasite is quickly developing a resistance to these drugs.

In trying to address the urgent need for new, safe, effective, and affordable remedies against leishmaniasis, two teams investigated novel compounds found in numerous plants including cannabis.

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One team of researchers from Havanna, Cuba, Vienna, Austria, and Alabama, U.S. examined the effects of three biologically active ingredients against the parasite. In this experiment, scientists used the terpenoid carvacrol, the CB2 activating cannabinoid caryophellene (as an oxide), and the terpene ascaridole in varying combinations to determine their effectiveness against leishmaniasis.[1]

Results showed that in both the laboratory phase as well as the animal study (mice), a ratio of 1:4 of ascaridole and carvacrol respectively was the best combination resulting in significant benefits in both the laboratory and the animal phase of the experiment.

The other team from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil conducted a laboratory experiment on various natural compounds which suggests that the CB2 activating beta-caryophellene constitutes a safe and attractive molecule against leishmaniasis.

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Furthermore, the Brazilian researchers indicated that oils standardized for their beta-caryophellene content could provide an affordable treatment for leishmaniasis in areas where the disease is endemic.[2]

The Cannabis Health Index already documents the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids for 129 chronic conditions and stubborn symptoms. With the results from research studies such as these…the sky is the limit.

[1] Jacinta Pastor, Marley García, Silvia Steinbauer, William N. Setzer, Ramón Scull, Lars Gille, Lianet Monzote. Combinations of ascaridole, carvacrol, and caryophyllene oxide against Leishmania. Acta Tropica 145 (2015) 31–38.

[2] Soares DC, Portella NA, Ramos MF, Siani AC, Saraiva EM. Trans-β-Caryophyllene: An Effective Antileishmanial Compound Found in Commercial Copaiba Oil (Copaifera spp.). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:761323.

Uwe Blesching is a medical journalist and regular contributor in the fields of cannabinoid science, mind-body medicine, phytopharmacology, and more. Blesching earned his PhD from the Western Institute for Social Research. Much of the information from his most recent book, The Cannabis Health Index, has been made available on Cannabis Reports as well.

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For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

Promising Treatment for Chagas Disease: Caryophyllene Oxide (A Cannabinoid-Based Preparation)

This article was originally published on CannabisHealthIndex.com.

Chagas disease is a chronic condition caused by a parasite common in the South and Central Americas. The parasite (Trypanosoma cruzi) is primarily transmitted by a blood-feeding bug called “kissing bug” or triatomine (kissing bug because they emerge at night and tend to feed on tissue around the eye and face).

However, transmissions are also possible through contaminated food, contaminated blood transfusions, or it can be passed on from the mother to the fetus.

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Prevention measures include bite prevention methods, education about the of routes of transmission, improving housing and sanitation, insecticides or traps, mosquito nets, blood bank testing, and screening of at risk populations.

It is estimated that approximately 10 million people in Latin America are infected. Symptoms develop depending on the two stages of infestation. In the first stage (first days to eight weeks) after the initial infection symptoms may include redness and swelling at the bite site, fever, swollen eyelid (often with red or purple discolorations), swollen lymphs, abdominal complaints, respiratory difficulties, and headaches for example.

Boy with Chagas (Taken in Panama 1962 by CDC Dr. Mae Melvin)

Boy with Chagas (Taken in Panama 1962 by CDC Dr. Mae Melvin)

In stage two, the condition is considered chronic. Here the parasite has settled in the muscles of the heart and gastrointestinal tract. Over time the parasite can cause degenerative damage to the heart, intestines, and nervous-system. End-stage patients often die of heart failure.

Kissing Bug (Rodnius prolix( by Dr. Erwin Huber, University of Manitoba (200()

Kissing Bug (Rodnius prolixus) by Dr. Erwin Huber, University of Manitoba (2009)

Sadly, current pharmaceutical treatments have a very limited effectiveness in the first stage only. Their effectiveness further decreases as the parasite settles. Drugs include nifurtimox, benznidazole, and sometimes allopurinol. Each of these are toxic drugs with significant adverse effects. Treatment costs depend on country and severity of disease and can be significant.

It wasn’t until recently that scientists brought a ray of hope to an otherwise dismal situation for many of the poorer populations of the Americas. Researchers from Mexico and Boliva tested the synergistic effects of the terpene lupenone and the cannabinoid/terpinoid caryophyllene (at ratios of 1:4 respectively) against the parasite.[1]

Trypanosome cruz (hindgut) by CDC Employee

Trypanosome cruzi (hindgut) by CDC Employee

Results of both the laboratory phase and the animal experiment, showed that the synergistic effect of both plant-based compounds significantly reduced nesting in the heart and skeletal muscles of the test mice. Thus, if confirmed in human trials, we are closer to a new, safe, natural, cannabinoid-based and inexpensive option for the treatment of Chagas disease in the chronic stage.

[1] Glendy Polanco-Hernández, Fabiola Escalante-Erosa, Karlina García-Sosa, et al., “Synergistic Effect of Lupenone and Caryophyllene Oxide against Trypanosoma cruzi.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 435398, 6 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/435398.

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Uwe Blesching is a medical journalist and regular contributor in the fields of cannabinoid science, mind-body medicine, phytopharmacology, and more. Blesching earned his PhD from the Western Institute for Social Research. Much of the information from his most recent book, The Cannabis Health Index, has been made available on Cannabis Reports as well.

For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

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