The cannabis market is not limited to just smokers and medical users. Lately, the healing properties of marijuana have begun expanding their way into new forms, including topical creams and dermal patches. Marijuana is reaching an entirely new audience of people who are looking for pain relief without the intoxicating effects.
What are cannabis topicals?
Cannabis topicals can be lotions, balms, or oils that can be absorbed through the skin to provide relief for conditions such as pain and inflammation. Such topicals are designed to maximize the medicinal benefits of cannabis rather than the psychoactive ones.
How do topicals work?
Throughout the body, there is a vast network of cannabinoid receptors that respond to both naturally-produced endocannabinoids and cannabinoids from cannabis that make their way in from the outside. Cannabis-infused topicals are able to bind to these receptors in order to bring pain relief to the applied area. The good news is that you won’t get high from using the topical — even if there is active THC in it, it will not cross through into your bloodstream. Instead, the cannabinoids will only provide surface-level relief. Furthermore, most cannabis-infused creams and salves contain THCA instead of active THC, which is the acid form of THC. A handful of studies have been performed exploring the extent of THCA’s medical benefits on patients with various conditions. In particular, some findings that stood out included anti-inflammatory properties (for arthritis and lupus, specifically), anti-seizure and anti-epileptic properties, protection from neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia), relief from appetite-related conditions like nausea or appetite loss, and properties that helped slow down the progression of different diseases and cancer. For topical forms of cannabis that penetrate the bloodstream with active THC, try using a transdermal patch.
What can topicals treat?
Topicals are best for symptoms like inflammation, muscle pain, joint pain, stiffness, or soreness. They’re the perfect remedy for post-workout aches and arthritic pain. A lot of products on the market contain menthol and peppermint, which provide a cool tingling to the painful area. In addition, topicals have been reported to help other symptoms like headaches, cramps, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Some topicals are created to mimic a specific strain of marijuana. The producer will try to create a terpene and cannabinoid profile that matches the desired strain, resulting in different ratios of THC, CBD, THCA, and other cannabinoids. CBD and THCA in particular are utilized for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Depending on the ingredients and cannabinoid profiles of various topicals, products may have slightly different effects on the body. The best way to figure out which topical is best for you is to try a few different salves and creams and take note of their effects on your symptoms. There is a growing market for medicinal cannabis, and as more studies are conducted on the topic, consumers will likely see an increase in non-psychoactive uses for marijuana.
A lot of unorthodox workout trends have risen to popularity in the recent past. For example, goat yoga — yoga in which participants mingle with cute goats who use them like climbing playgrounds as they flow through various poses. Or paddleboat yoga, in which people practice yoga atop paddle boards in the water. On the more controversial side are activities such as ganja yoga and going to weed gyms.
Ganja yoga is the practice of using cannabis before a yoga session to heighten one's experience. Marijuana and yoga go hand-in-hand for a lot of reasons. Yoga places heavy emphasis on mindfulness, mental connections, conscious breath, music, and being in the present moment. Smoking weed before yoga could help enhance all of these individual aspects. The relaxed state and clear-headedness that weed induces helps the user focus on mind-body connections and perform a mental inventory of their subtlest sensations and breathing rhythm. Furthermore, when time starts to slow down after taking cannabis, users can really immerse themselves in the music and savor each present moment. People who have participated in ganja yoga often reported feeling ultra-connected to their surroundings, as well as appreciative of everything their heightened senses picked up — including silence.
When Power Plant Fitness opened, it was the first of its kind — a gym that blended cannabis with working out. Its motivation? To "integrate cannabis into one's daily routine of wellness," both before and after a workout, and dispel any negative stereotypes about the "evils" of marijuana. It even helps its members create weed-assisted fitness plans and offers a line of athletic edibles "for pre-workout focus and post-workout recovery." Given that a large percentage of cannabis users like to get high before working out for the sense of relaxation and focus that is induced, Power Plant Fitness targeted exactly that clientele with the intent of promoting more motivated, weed-friendly workouts.
However, you don't have to do ganja yoga or go to a weed gym to have a great weed workout. If you're looking for a different vibe while you exercise — a mood booster, less mental tension, or greater mind-body connection — try adding some cannabis to your routine! As always, stay mindful of dosage and the effects that weed has on your body if trying this for the first time.
Many of the anti-inflammatory steroids and medications currently on the market come with a long list of side effects, some of which you probably won’t experience, but are enough to scare you just from reading the label. If you’re looking for another form of treatment for inflammation you may be experiencing, cannabis is a good alternative. It’s not a new form of treatment either, despite its increasing popularity for medicinal benefits in recent decades. Using marijuana as an anti-inflammatory has been around for thousands of years across multiple cultures.
Compared to the medications you can get at a pharmacy, cannabis has relatively fewer side effects. Other steroids may cause symptoms such as decreased immune strength and muscle weakness. Cannabis, on the other hand, has minor side effects such as dry mouth and an increase in appetite. For this reason, it is a popular recommendation for patients with cancer and other conditions in which inflammation is prevalent, especially because it contains cannabidiol (CBD). In multiple studies tested on both human and animal subjects, CBD was found to suppress cytokine production. Cytokines are signaling proteins released by the immune system that trigger inflammation in the body. CBD’s ability to decrease cytokine production is helpful for individuals suffering from conditions like dermatitis and arthritis.
If you’re uncomfortable with smoking a joint, there are plenty of other methods of taking marijuana. Vaping has a smaller footprint since you are just inhaling vapors, and edibles won’t affect your lungs at all. In addition, cannabis topicals in the form of salves, lotions, and transdermal patches are growing in popularity for their anti-inflammatory properties that can be applied directly to the skin, often without the psychoactive high effect. Cannabis-infused topicals are able to bind to endocannabinoid receptors (which respond to cannabinoids such as THC and CBD) in the body in order to bring pain relief to the applied area.
The benefits of cannabis as an anti-inflammatory are both significant and abundant. The side effects are minimal, and there are a wide range of methods to try if you’re not comfortable with smoking. The next time you’re on the way to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription of steroid cream, consider trying something else first, maybe at your local dispensary (or, if you live in a non-recreationally legal state, consider asking for a medical marijuana prescription).
Vape pens, the ultimate way to consume cannabis discreetly, are incredibly convenient for a number of reasons. They don't carry the same conspicuous odor as a joint, they can easily fit into pockets and bags, and instead of exhaling smoke, you exhale vapor. Standard vape pens have cartridges of cannabis oil that is vaporized upon use. Decarboxylation — the process in which the cannabinoids THC and CBD are activated through high heating — happens almost instantaneously when using a vape pen, either by pressing a small button or in other models, just by inhaling.
What's going on under the surface of your vape pen?
Here are a few details on how such a small device helps deliver such a successful high.
The mouthpiece is located at the front end of a vape pen and is the part through which you inhale. Mouthpieces can be made from glass, silicone, or plastic, and are available in several shapes and variations. A mouthpiece is also sometimes called a "drip tip," because vape juices would drip through it in older models of vape tanks. The name "drip tip" still remained even after the introduction of non-dripper vape tanks.
This is the part of the pen that holds the cannabis oil. Although the names are relatively the same, a tank is usually an empty compartment with a marked fill-line that can be filled with oil manually, while a cartridge is a compartment that is already filled with oil by a cannabis manufacturer and then inserted into the pen.
The atomizer is a small heating unit that turns the oil to vapor droplets and activates the THC or CBD in the process. The most common types of atomizers are cotton wick, quartz, and ceramic. The ceramic version is the most resilient of the three because it retains heat well and holds up to higher voltages. Quartz atomizers are also pretty reliable but don't retain heat at the same level as the ceramic versions. Cotton wick atomizers are the most sensitive, as they are prone to overheating and burning at higher voltages, and need to be replaced more frequently than ceramic or quartz ones.
The Activation Trigger
A vape pen can either be activated with a power button or with a sensor that turns the device on when you inhale. Button-activated pens usually have a safety catch that requires you to click five times in a row to turn on the device, which helps prevent accidental activation. You can also adjust temperatures with the button.
The battery takes up most of the vape pen's total volume. It is usually a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It can be charged through a charger that screws onto the back end of the pen and has a USB port. Your device can be easily charged by a computer, in the car, or anywhere else with a convenient outlet and USB adapter.
The next time you use a vape pen, your understanding of the whole process will be much deeper, and you might even find yourself appreciating the small details you'd never noticed before in your vaping experience.
In a previous post we talked about terpenes in protabs and how they work with cannabinoids to enhance the strain’s/cultivar’s effects. Many are unfamiliar with terpenes, although they are all around us. There are more than 30,000 terpenes found in plants all over the world. In cannabis, there are over 200 terpenes. Rather than discuss terpenes as a whole, we’ll take a look at individual terpenes so that our community can understand which cultivars are right for them. The terpene we’ll focus on today is beta-caryophyllene (BCP).
A Look into Beta-Caryophyllene
BCP’s medical benefits have been know for some time now. A 2008 study found a positive correlation between BCP and therapeutic treatments. Many spices and ingredients such as basil, oregano, lavender, rosemary, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves contain the essential oil. This led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve BCP as a food additive because of its ability to activate the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System at a Glance
The ECS is found throughout our body. There are two cannabinoid receptors appropriately named cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). BCP binds to the CB2, which are located on white blood cells. CB2 differs than that of CB1 as no psychoactive effects are produced. Beta-caryophyllene can help regulate the immune and nervous system by providing aid/relief from pain, inflammation, digestion, depression, anxiety, insomnia, cancer development, weight loss, and many more.
Strains High in BCP
Many well know strains contain high levels of BCP such as Bubba Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush, Pineapple Express, Super Sour Diesel, Trainwreck, Candyland, Cookies and Cream, Gorilla Glue #4, Super Silver Haze, Wedding Cake, and so much more. At the moment, our high BCP strains include Mimosa, Orange Cream Cake. We used to carry Pre-98 Bubba Kush. Many from the Bento Family purchased that strain because the effects were exactly what they were looking far. As time goes on, our menu changes so be sure to keep a look out for any of these strains and many others high in beta-caryophyllene!
We hope this discussion was informative. If you learned something new, let us know! Are there any cultivars you want us to carry, any terpenes you want us to cover, questions you have, suggestions for topics or improvement for Bento in general let us know by emailing us at email@example.com or by commenting below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and further the conversation.
With more and more people trying cannabis each day, we thought it’d be a great idea to discuss the differences between being recreational vs a medical patient in California.
A Look into California Cannabis Law
To start, we’ll briefly mention the laws that allowed each in California. Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, allowed physicians to recommend cannabis for severely ill Californians to provide relief and treatment. Fast forward to 2016, Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, passed which allowed the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older.
It wasn’t until January 1, 2018 when recreational use was legalized. That’s when the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) went into law. The MAUCRSA established the regulatory and commercial framework for California’s medical and adult-use cannabis market.
What Does This Mean For You?
Besides the heavy taxes, the law outlines what recreational users and medical patients can buy and possess. Medical patients can be 18 and older. They can buy and possess up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis or concentrates. Recreational users are 21 years or older and are limited to 1 ounce of dried flower and eight grams of concentrates. Although, there’s no limit on the amount of CBD products anyone can buy.
Understanding the legal, California cannabis rules can help in making purchasing decisions as well as deciding whether to seek a doctor’s recommendation for medical use. We hope you learned something new and if there’s something unclear or you want to know more about please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting below. We enjoy hearing your thoughts!
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