Archive for July, 2014

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online, Cannabinoid Profile – CBDa!

Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.2144 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 120+ °C (248 °F)

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 5,000mg/kg for rats, Inhalation TCLO (human): 15,000 mg/m3 mg/kg (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg),

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) is one of the four possible outcomes of Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) being processed into cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromic acid (CBCa), Tetrahydrocannabibolic acid (THCa), and CBDa. CBGa is processed into other cannabinoids by synthase enzymes, the CBDa synthase was first purified and isolated in 1996. Coincidentally, this was the same year California passed Prop 215 and became the first medical cannabis state.

Until recently, CBDa was thought to be a minor cannabinoid and only be a small part of the overall cannabinoid profile. Higher amounts have been seen in ruderalis strains and recent hybrids like Cannatonic C-6 and ACDC have elevated levels of CBDa, potentially more than THCa. Just like THCa, when heated up CBDa becomes CBD. Like CBD, CBDa is not psychoactive. While there hasn’t been much research done on CBDa yet, the research that has been done is quite promising. It appears to have anti-emetic effects as well as anti-proliferative effects, making it ideal for fighting cancer.It also has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory and to possess anti-bacterial properties.

Therapeutic Uses

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Anti-Bacterial: Leizer et al (2000) mention a strong correlation between the levels of CBDa in a plant and the CBD levels of the plant after synthase. They also mention that more CBDa present will mean greater antimicrobial potency in the resutling CBD. They do not explain the mechanisms at work.

Anti-Emetic: A 2013 study shows that CBDa reduces vomiting and nausea by increasing activity at the 5-HT1A receptor. This means that CBDa can be used as a non-psychoactive alternative to THC to prevent vomiting and nausea. This isn’t the first study to show this, a 2011 study found that CBDa functioned as an anti-emetic but did not pin the relation to the 5-HT1A receptor. More research should be done to properly explore this exciting new medicinal use for CBDa.

Anticipatory Nausea: Anticipatory Nausea (AN) is a condition where someone vomits due to neutral stimuli, before they are actually nauseous. AN is very common in patients receiving chemotherapy, roughly 29% will develop it. AN appears to be the result of classical conditioning; given enough exposures to neutral stimuli, like the smells of the chemotherapy room, a susceptible person will begin to vomit before even receiving treatment. In a 2014 study, CBDa was shown to be a very effective treatment for sufferers of AN. In 2013, the same group of researchers found that  CBDa was an effective treatment for acute nausea in chemotherapy patients.

Cancer: In 2012 CBDa joined THC, CBD, and numerous other cannabinoids that are anti-proliferatives. These cannabinoids control the growth of cancerous tumors. Takeda et al (2012) found that CBDa could inhibit the migration of human breast cancer cells. This government funded study recognized CBDa’s potential to mitigate the effects of cancer, even aggressive ones.”The data presented in this report suggest for the first time that [a] component in the cannabis plant, CBDA offers potential therapeutic modality in the abrogation of cancer cell migration, including aggressive breast cancers.”

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

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As stressed in previous posts on the topic, Burning Man is whatever you make of it. It is a place to lose yourself and find new selves amongst the dust and ashes. Some people go for the music and dancing, a few brave souls are there to fight in the Thunderdome, others go for spiritual reasons. I go for a mixture of the above and the below. This post is going to be about finding spirituality in the dust of the Black Rock playa. This year’s Caravansary is going to be ripe with opportunities for growth, as long as you are open to them. To begin I would like to borrow from Ron Feldman, Ph.D., a religious scholar and writer I met at a previous Burning Man. Quoting from his piece Sleeping in the Dust at Burning Man,

“The Talmud says, ‘Three things are a foretaste of the world-that-is-coming: Sabbath, sunshine, and sexual intercourse’ (Talmud Berakhot 57b). In various ways, all three of these tastes of the messianic era are to be had at Burning Man, the weeklong festival that takes place in late August near Reno, Nevada.”

Burning Man definitely has the sunshine covered. Not just the sun, but also the moon. Both sun and moonrise are very dramatic on the playa due to the natural geographic features, it tends to extend twilight a bit and give things and otherworldly light. The surreal feeling is only made more intense by the ritualistic howling at the moon upon nightfall, a time honored Burning Man tradition increasingly forgotten. As the sun and moon are both important symbol for numerous faiths and spiritual practices this is a major plus no matter what your beliefs are. Sexual intercourse has its own important role in spirituality, most notably in tantric meditation and yoga practices. It would seem, after reading Ron’s piece, that all of Burning Man itself is a Sabbath, a separate place in time and space for the sacred to happen, outside of the everyday world. The Playa isn’t just a Sabbath for Jews and other followers of the Abrahamic faiths, it’s a sacred place for everyone of all faiths or lack there of (it can also be a great place to find your faith, in self or something higher than).

I was raised as a Nichiren Buddhist, but now I primarily identify as someone poly-spiritual, embracing many faiths. A major component of my current spirituality is the belief that spontaneity and serendipity work together to bring us omens and gifts from the universe (possibly through quantum entanglement on the sub-atomic level…a topic for another post). My first burn I camped with a coffee camp, one morning while serving coffee I happened to meet three people from a Nichiren Buddhist camp. Burning Man is a crucible for serendipity, it loves to bring people together who need to meet. Last Burn I met two brothers I grew up with from my time as a Nichiren Buddhist, we haven’t talked in years and  they just happened to camp across the road from my friends. That small thing, a choice in a camp site, has now rekindled a friendship.

Another major component of my spirituality these days is alchemy, and there is a whole village dedicated to it, Sacred Spaces. This camp hosts classes on alchemy, yoga, tantra, sacred dance, and more. The alchemy village also has some pretty awesome music going on every night, generally with a bit more of a tribal sound than the generic wubwub dubstep you hear broadly across the Burn.  I am definitely a fan.

So whether you are out there for the music, out there for the Sabbath, or just to talk to people about God Burning Man has a place for you. The Playa is a big enough desert for everyone to coexist without even needing a bumper sticker to tell them so. And really, we’re better off for it. The world could do with less Priuses driving around sporting more bumper stickers than the number failed Nader presidential campaigns. Burning Man is certainly great for the lack of cars, which also adds to the spiritual element. Everywhere you go out there feels like a pilgrimage, especially in a bad dust storm. You are living in the present, in the scene, without barriers like cars or cellphones to keep you distracted. Nothing cultivates a deep sense of spirituality faster than dwelling in these Zen moments where you are connected to what is happening around you.

For many westerners that may be as close as we ever get to meditating in our daily lives. Burning Man can be a time to meditate on life in very active ways, it all is a matter of what you welcome and allow into you while there. You will certainly be welcoming a barrage of dust onto your person and into your being; otherwise it will be a rough Burn. Speaking as someone very OCD about dirt, it is easier than you think to be at one with the dust. Embrace it, do a dust angel in it, do whatever you need to be okay with it. Like in Dune, know that the dust permeates all things out there, you will sleep in it, eat it, and breath it.

You will become the dust. The phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” comes to mind. We all will become dust together, Burning Man just serves to bring the transient nature of all things to the surface of our consciousness through the physical act of burning things. Once Burned the Man, Temple, and other art pieces are gone forever; just like the artists who made them will be gone to dust in time. Just like the cities they hailed from, and our very planet on a long enough time scale. Like mediation, this idea of all things coming to an end may be hard for westerners to handle. Many of them come from a religion that tells them their soul is eternal and will live on in Heaven, or they may embrace a materialistic culture that teaches them to ignore death to consume more in the present. The Sabbath at Burning Man helps undo these wrongs that have been done to the collective human conscious.

Stay tuned for another upcoming post on spirituality at Burning Man, reviewing the book The Electric Jesus.

Hey readers,

While I am working on some more meaningful posts to get on here, some Burning Man oriented ones to get people ready for the impending Burn, I wanted to add a short personal post.

As most of you are not aware I was just given a paid position as a writer for The Leaf Online, a very excellent online cannabis newspaper. You can find all my posts here, including many of my cannabinoid profiles from this blog. I am trying to find a way to cross post all my Leaf articles to this blog, but haven’t quite figured out a good way yet. Until then you’ll all need to go over there to read my cannabis posts (though some will still end up here, such as my cannabinoid profile on CBN).

I’m ever grateful for the opportunity and support The Leaf has given me, but never fear, Well Suited For Life will not be forgotten either. I’d love it if you read over and share around my Leaf posts, especially this one about the much-discussed cannabis strain Charlotte’s Web.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – CBN!

Formula: C21H26O2
Molecular Mass: 310.4319 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 77 °C (171 °F)

Boiling Point: 185 °C (365 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 13500mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

Cannabinol (CBN) is what tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will break down into over time due to exposure to oxygen and heat. CBN is a mild psychoactive, much less intense than when it was THC. CBN is the strongest cannabinoid identified for promoting sleep, this makes cannabis rich in CBN an ideal treatment for insomnia. Indica strains appear to have more CBN than sativa strains, this would explain the commonly held belief that indicas make you sleepy and give you a body high. CBN is a CB2 and CB1 receptor agonist and may inhibit immune cell functionality.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Appetite Stimulant – CBN appears to be a mild appetite stimulant.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth by stimulating osteocytes.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

 

 

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: Both THC and CBN have been identified as pain killers, though THC is far more powerful. A 2002 study identified that both THC and CBN cause a release of certain gene-related peptides from sensory nerves and they are the only identified cannabinoids to use this mechanism.

Appetite Stimulant: Everyone knows that THC stimulates the appetite, giving users the  ‘munchies’ that many people describe. It was only in 2012 that it was discovered that CBN also stimulates the appetite, though it appears to be not as strong as THC.

Cancer: A 2006 study revealed that CBN joins THC and numerous other cannabinoids in having the ability to control the growth of cancer cells. CBN specifically was found to control a type of lung tumor known as a Lewis carcinoma.

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat or exposure to sunlight.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – THCa!

Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.4733 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: ???

Boiling Point: 105 °C (220 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 5628mg/kg for rats (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

 

Found in the trichomes, Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is the acidic precursor to THC, which actually exists in only minute quantities in the living plant. In living cannabis, THCa is the most abundant cannabinoid and terpenoid, potentially reaching over 30% of the dry weigh of the cannabis. Once the plant is harvested it begins a clock where, over time, the THCa begins to be converted into THC, a process quickened by exposure to heat and sunlight. One main reason cannabis is cured is to convert the THCa into THC, as well as drying it out to make it easier to burn, thus releasing the remaining THCa as THC. Knowing about decarboxylating cannabis is crucial in making edibles, where one pre-cooks the bud  before making it into butter to raise the potency by converting THCa into THC.

Like all cannabinoids that exist in the living cannabis plant, THCa is non-psychoactive, though it still stimulates the appetite like THC. It also is a powerful anti-inflammatory, helps fight cancer and other tumors, aids with sleep, and more. Also like THC, an oral test has already been developed to detect THCa. While some sources show THCa to be a stable compound, Aphios research chemicals claims that it is very unstable and will breakdown into THC within weeks. It may have to do with the preparation of synthesized THCa used in their laboratory versus an active live-plant based THCa, but without further research the stability of THCa and how quickly it converts to THC is unknown.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Antispasmodic –  Suppresses muscle spasms.

Modulates Immune System – THCa has been shown to both improve and potentially suppress the immune system functions.

Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

 

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Anti-Emetic: THC has long been recognized as a valuable tool in combating nausea, but research done in 2013 found that THCa may be even more effective at preventing nausea and vomiting than THC. This means that patients suffering from nausea who do not want the psychoactive effects of THC should consider THCa.

Cancer: Many sources online claim that THCa helps fight cancer, but few studies have been done examining the cancer-fighting properties of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid. This 2011 study hints at the anti-tumor properties of THCa but its main focus was on the interaction of various cannabinoids and the TRP protein receptor channel. A 2013 study looking at prostate cancer also found THCa to be effective but did not elaborate on the mechanisms used or recommend further study.

Lupus: While no formalized studies are being done on THCa and Lupus, Dr. William Courtney and his wife Kristen have anecdotally demonstrated that fresh juiced cannabis high in THCa can control Lupus. As Kristen is still alive and managing her Lupus this study is ongoing, and still a success.

Neuroprotective: A 2012 study done on cell cultures shows that THCa may be a mild neuroprotective compounds for certain classes of brain cells, preventing unwanted cell death. These effects do not seem as notable as the neuroprotective qualities of THC and CBD but they are certainly worth more research.

The THCa/CBGa Process: Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), CBG, THCa, THC, CBD, and CBC are all related compounds formed from the same chemical processes. CBGa and THCa are the originator compounds that appear to morph into the others. This linkage was explored in this 2012 study but needs further research to fully understand the mechanisms it works through.

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat or exposure to sunlight.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – CBC!

Cannabichromene

Formula: C21H30O(Same as CBD but configured differently)

Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ???

Boiling Point: 220°C (428°F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 270mg/kg for monkeys (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

 

Cannabichromene is a little understood non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has recently been seeing a lot more research. Like THC and CBD, CBC is an end product of CBG being processed into CBGa, and then into new cannabinoids. As a result, CBC has the same chemical formula and weight as CBD and THC but they all have a different configuration of the molecules. The lack of research hasn’t stopped it from being patented for various uses, recognizing its wide range of medical uses. CBC is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, like THC and CBD though less potent. CBC is anti bacterial and CBCa has been shown to be an antifungal agent. Like CBD, cannabichomene is both a bone stimulant and neurogenic compound, helping grow both body and mind. Perhaps its most important use is as an anti-proliferative, slowing tumor growth and combating cancer, just like CBD and THC. CBC has also been shown to be ten time as powerful as CBD at reducing anxiety and stress.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.

Antifungal  Inhibits the growth of fungus.

Anxiolitic – Relieves anxiety.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.

Neurogenesis – Promotes the growth of new brain cells.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: While only a study on rats, CBC was been shown to have great promise as an analgesic painkiller, perhaps as good as CBD.

Antidepressant: In this 2010 study, both THC and CBC were shown to display significant antidepressant qualities and “contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.”

Anti-Inflammatory: In two other recent studies on rats CBC was shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Interestingly it was found that the mechanism of action did not involve CB1, CB2, or the TRPA1 receptors, like with THC and CBD; this is certainly worth more research as it could imply another type of receptor site is present.

Neurogenesis: study done last year confirms that CBC stimulates bone growth. As neurogenic compounds are very rare this makes CBC a very important cannabinoid worth significant research. This could make CBC useful in treating the Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative conditions, but that will need more research.

 

References:

  1. Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide; http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
  2. Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info; http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
  3. SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://www.scanalytical.com/the-cannabinoids.html

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.