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11/Feb/2018

As the legalization of recreational and medical cannabis continues to spread, so is awareness for its many healing properties. And though active compounds known as cannabinoids have been hogging the limelight, there’s another category of compounds that are yet to be similarly appreciated by consumers and chemists alike.

Terpenes are a family of cannabinoid-like compounds that are often associated with pungent scents, which serve to protect plants from predators, among other things. Among the 20,000 different terpenes that have so far been identified in nature, 200 have been found within the cannabis plant. Terpenes are forged, along with cannabinoids, in the minute chemical factories known as trichomes that occupy the flowers and leaves of the plant.

Along with the strong aroma cannabis is associated with, terpenes also play a role in the plant’s myriad healing properties. Indeed, studies are revealing they provide quite the banquet of therapeutic services, as well as being a building block within the cannabis plant. Terpenes aid in the production of vitamins, hormones, and resins in the herb, as well as contributing to the construction of the prized and precious cannabinoid compounds.

Of all of the terpenes present in cannabis, one in particular stands out due to its vast medical potential. A 1997 study conducted at the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, which analyzed the contents of steam distilled cannabis essential oil, identified myrcene as the most abundant terpene.

Myrcene is also found in fresh mango fruit, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and numerous other plants.  As a monoterpene, it also serves as a precursor for the manufacture of other terpenes. In cannabis, myrcene levels tend to dictate whether a particular strain will bare sativa or indica effects upon administration. Sativa effects are for the most part uplifting and stimulate creativity, whereas indica effects are more sedating and relaxing. Myrcene levels of above 0.5 percent will result in indica sensations, while sativa strains usually contain less than 0.5 percent levels of the terpene.

Interestingly, the consumption of fresh mango 45 minutes before inhaling cannabis will result in a faster onset and greater intensity of the psychoactive effects. This is because the myrcene in the fruit allows certain chemicals, such as THC, to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily. Myrcene has also been shown to increase the maximum saturation level of the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor.

The consumption of fresh mango 45 minutes before inhaling cannabis will result in a faster onset and greater intensity of the psychoactive effects.

Reset contacted biochemist Dennis Hill, who provided a summary of the medicinal qualities of myrcene.

“Myrcene, the most studied terpene in the cannabis plant, has many benefits in the human body; it is an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogen, and regulates permeability of cell membranes. Myrcene is a powerful analgesic, muscle relaxant, and sedative. And within the entourage effects, contributes substantially to treating diabetes, insomnia, stress, inflammation, and cancer.” 

A scientific review, entitled Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phycannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effectspublished by the British Journal of Pharmacology lists a wide range of benefits that myrcene offers. Among other things, the researchers note that myrcene relaxed muscles in mice models, acted as a sleep aid in higher doses, and augmented the medicinal effects of certain cannabinoids.

Furthermore, the authors identified how myrcene can enhance the medicinal properties of certain cannabinoids. They found myrcene in combination with CBD decreased inflammation, reduced pain, and had anti-cancer properties. When combined with THC,  myrcene reduced pain, relaxed muscles, and proved to have sedative effects. And in combination with CBG, myrcene was effective at combatting cancer.

Myrcene has also been shown to have powerful pain relieving properties, by influencing the endogenous opioid system, as documented in a paper which summarized a study conducted at the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil. In it, the authors state that, “The results suggest that myrcene is capable of inducing antinociception [the process of blocking the detection of pain stimuli] in mice…”

Additionally, another Brazilian study highlighted the powerful pain reducing action of myrcene to the degree that the authors concluded, “Terpenes such as myrcene may constitute a lead for the development of new peripheral analgesics with a profile of action different from that of the aspirin-like drugs.”

Lemongrass also contains a large amount of myrcene.

As research continues and cannabis laws become more relaxed, it’s exciting to entertain the idea that more cannabis-derived medicines could replace potentially dangerous and addictive drugs that our current medical paradigm is so dependent upon.

According to The Leaf Online, a 2007 study from the University of Jordan set out to scientifically explore myrcene’s use as a folk remedy for diabetes. The researchers found that myrcene, hand in hand with another terpene named thujone, mitigated the effects of diabetes in a pilot study conducted on mice.

To reap the benefits of myrcene, it is advisable to select cannabis strains with profile high in the terpene. Lemongrass also holds a large amount of myrcene, which is believed to contribute to some of the herb’s therapeutic properties.

 


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12/Oct/2017

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. – An elderly woman suffering from Parkinson’s Disease who was prescribed medical marijuana by her physician was denied her medication by the staff of her nursing home. Charlotte Simpson, who is in a wheelchair, lives at the Zephyrhills Health and Rehab Center which is owned by Florida Hospital.

Her son, Bert Green said that his mother had applied for a compassionate use permit after suffering from excruciating pain and severe shaking that was uncontrollable. He stated that the nursing home gave him the medical marijuana once it was delivered and advised him that they would not administer the drug to Simpson. They told him that he would have to take the medicine home with him.

The news has sparked a discussion about how Florida health professionals will handle medical marijuana in nursing homes and rehab facilities. A spokesperson from the nursing homes said that they have to balance the state law with federal laws.

The Vice President of the University of South Florida Healthcare Jay Wolfson says that even the law allows medical marijuana therapy, the nursing home doesn’t have to permit it and that it may take time to figure out a solution.

In the meantime, Greene says that his mother was devastated by the news that the nursing home will not give her the marijuana. She thought she was finally going to get some relief from her painful symptoms. He says that his mother is in bad condition and that she also suffers from arthritis and several other illnesses.

A 2014 study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that 30 minutes after smoking cannabis, patients with Parkinson’s Disease showed significant relief from symptoms with no adverse side effects. Prescription drugs for Parkinson’s Disease include blurred vision, heartburn, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, muscle pain and cold symptoms


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21/Aug/2017

How Do I Qualify to Be a Medical Marijuana Patient?

Any individual suffering from a serious or chronic medical condition in which other traditional measures and medicines have not been effective can see a qualifying health care professional who can write a recommendation for medical marijuana as part of ongoing treatment of the patient’s terminal or debilitating condition. You can get a recommendation for California at www.ReleafMD.com The physician, after completing a physical examination and documenting the medical condition in the patient’s record, will provide a written recommendation stating the patient would benefit from treatment using medical marijuana.

A recommendation is different than a doctor’s prescription that could be filled at a pharmacy. Cannabis is classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug and therefore doctors are not allowed to prescribe it, but they can supply patients with medical marijuana recommendations that comply with state law, allowing patients to either buy from a dispensary or supplier or grow themselves, in specified quantities.

Besides having a medical marijuana recommendation by a state licensed health care professional, some states also require that you show proof of residency and be 18 years or older. If you are under 18, a parent or guardian must accompany you.


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15/Jun/2017

This guide is intended to help patients who are new to using cannabis therapeutically to treat a medical condition. Topics covered include the following:

  • Qualifications to become a medical marijuana patient
  • Conditions treatable with medical marijuana
  • Health care providers who can legally recommend marijuana
  • Steps to take after receiving a cannabis recommendation
  • What is a medical marijuana card
  • Why you should get a medical marijuana card

For starters, it’s important to know that many terms are used for cannabis, yet all generally mean the same thing: marijuana (used interchangeably with cannabis throughout this article and the United Patients Group site), weed, pot, ganja, and herb, just to name a few.

If you have a medical condition that is not being effectively treated with traditional drugs or therapeutic interventions, your doctor may recommend or you may be considering using cannabis for pain and symptom relief. Many questions come up for new patients. Here we will cover all of the basic ones. If you still have questions, check out the resource section of our website or feel free to contact us directly.

How Do I Qualify to Be a Medical Marijuana Patient?

Any individual suffering from a serious or chronic medical condition in which other traditional measures and medicines have not been effective can see a qualifying health care professional who can write a recommendation for medical marijuana as part of ongoing treatment of the patient’s terminal or debilitating condition. The physician, after completing a physical examination and documenting the medical condition in the patient’s record, will provide a written recommendation stating the patient would benefit from treatment using medical marijuana.

A recommendation is different than a doctor’s prescription that could be filled at a pharmacy. Cannabis is classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug and therefore doctors are not allowed to prescribe it, but they can supply patients with medical marijuana recommendations that comply with state law, allowing patients to either buy from a dispensary or supplier or grow themselves, in specified quantities.

Besides having a medical marijuana recommendation by a state licensed health care professional, some states also require that you show proof of residency and be 18 years or older. If you are under 18, a parent or guardian must accompany you.


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ReleafMD’s medical marijuana doctors expedites recommendations across Florida. Call 1 (844) 735-3231 to schedule an evaluation appointment. Dr. Kelly Ennix King is a licensed medical cannabis physician in Florida, California and New York.

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