A Tenderfoots’ Trip to Sal-ida

Tenderfoot Health collective Salida

I let my MMJ card lapse this year. Which means that I have fully completed the transition to consumer. This gives me the opportunity to look at the rec shops in the state. Word on the street is that most medical cannabis spots want to become recreational so that they can make larger profits. The State likes it too because they can get all of that tax money. I’m excited to see whether these shops can actually grow good weed or if it is crap like everyone else. Which brings me to Tenderfoot Health Collective in the collegiate peaks region of Colorado.

Tenderfoot Health Collective is in a great location. It is on the corner of Highway 291 and US 50. It is almost the last building in town (or first, depending on your perspective). The Sangre de Cristo range dominate the view to the south. It is quite amazing to behold, especially this time of year, as the mountains get their first dusting of snow that compliments their fiery collars of autumn aspen and evergreen trees.

The interiors Tenderfoot Health Collective is cavernous (like so many of these ganja shops) and has a nice waiting area with couches and chairs that is always empty, at least when I visit. It is warm and welcoming and comfortable. It is clear that Tenderfoot is owned by a woman. It has that vibe. It screams “woman’s touch”. Also, I have never seen a male working there.

The weed is good, there is a wide variety to choose from, and there is always something on sale. Tax is included in the prices already too, so you can have a surprise-free experience at the register. Their full price is not bad either. It brings an ⅛ to under $50, which is reasonable for top-shelf.

But is the herb at Tenderfoot top shelf? The weed I got was Alien Rock, a heavy Indica. It has nice, strong aroma, and is a nice, clean smoke. It is well flushed and a couple of hits are good. The buds are well coated in crystals and hairs. They were also a bit small, but that could be the fault of the trimmers as much as the bud. It’s not leafy. Instead the buds are nice and dense. They are solid to squeeze and do not give under a pinch.

While not quite to my level of excellence, Tenderfoot can grow some damn good buds. They can’t be beat at the price they are charging, however. It is well worth it. Now, back to those mountains!

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14er is a Crystal Ball of the Cannabis Community

If you wanna know where the herb game is going, look no further than the 14er in Boulder. They got it going on for a few reasons. First, their growers grow weed better than everybody else and, second, their marketing team knows the ganja community better than the competition.

Best Weed

The 14er has such good weed that they can’t keep it on the shelf. It is stinky. Inky inky. They decided to restrict their product on the medical side to members-only. They have also added a recreational shop since my last visit, a couple of years ago. Despite the high demand for their product, they still lowered prices since then.

Supply and demand would tell me to raise the prices until the balance between demand and supply gave me the most profit. I am happy in am not in charge! They get all of this increased business, they manage to keep the quality high, and they lowered prices.  Life is good.

The flowers from The 14err have the rare distinction of being really quite stinky. A good bowl, I mean a really good bowl of herb is like a fresh bite of sashimi tuna. Or an amazing whiskey steak that melts in your mouth. Really good herb makes you want to stop and savor the all-around flavor. The farm of The 14er certainly knows how to produce these features..

Tapped in

Another indicator that the 14er is looking at the industry from a unique lens is that their container game is on lock. Product design is obviously important to the success of a company. Some companies, like Apple, see design as a fundamental part of the product. The generic pill bottle design is outdated and impractical. It is practical for pills, but that was what they were made for. Fresh herbs are different than pills. They don’t work in a pill bottle.

The 14er considered this and made fantastic little containers that fit their nugs ergonomically. They are shaped like hockey pucks or (shudder- tobacco reference!) a chewing tobacco container. It doesn’t make much sense to get a fat chew out of a pill bottle does it? Then why would another dry plant be a good idea?

There will be many takes on the concept in the coming years. The access to the herbs for the consumer is as important as a decanter for wine. consumer much easier access to the herbs.  You don’t have to crush them trying to get them out of the container. It is simple and something that indicates the industry is run from the spreadsheet more than from the community. Personally, I hope there comes a day when the customer can bring his/her jar in. That wont happen until Americans are as comfortable with a container of weed on the table as they are with a pack of cigarettes.

There is, unfortunately, one unintended consequence of the design. Inside the lid is a tin pop-top reminiscent of a can of wet cat food. I ripped the top tab off and the mangled metal lid stayed on the tin. They were careful to make it “childproof” and therefore legal and accidentally built in a more dangerous mechanism.

I’m not even sure what the use is of the metal finger-cutter in the first place. The weed was incredibly dry, so it wasn’t there to keep the herbs fresh. In fact, the biggest problem with the new “potent” weed of today is that the flowers are never fresh. For this reason alone, we need the corporate beasts to hurry up and start eating each other so that we can clear the way for a truly dank independent café. I am sure the folks at the helm of The 14er will be close to the epicenter on that day.

 

 

The Truth has set Cannabis Free.

Cannabis has just been rescheduled! Or is it descheduled? Whatever it is, it is great news! Epidiolex has been in trials for at least 7 years, and the FDA finally relented and gave their stamp of approval on valid, medical cannabis.

Give thanks that science has finally freed the plant. Humanity is going to benefit greatly, starting with those suffering from Dravet Symdrome

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2018/06/25/fda-approves-first-ever-medication-containing-ingredient-directly-purified-from-cannabis/amp/

Busy, busy, busy days. But I’m still making brainwaves. Be back soon with more to say.

Muggle life has been crazy busy for me lately. As I settle into minimum wage and the car payment fixes itself to my income, the daily barrage of futility music of Adele and company has invaded my soul. I don’t have time to chase dreams, let alone make them reality.

My “sovereignty” is now that of the new American- a serf who owes my livelihood to my corporate lord. In this case, it is the grocery industry. Even the housing here is provided by the company, because I sure as shit can’t afford to live here. Neither can the rest of their employees.

in honor of getting my albums back, I’m gonna share a little fela kuti. It’s his floor…

https://youtu.be/HwLYHCCwGT0

Thank You for Buying Danktownes Phinest. Please Have Your Exit Bags Ready Before You Leave the Store.

March 2, 2018

exit bag 4

About 7 years ago, the newly-appointed director of the freshly rebranded San Diego NORML gave me a present as a gesture of gratitude. It was a black, smelly-proof backpack that he acquired from a client of his. I could think of a million times in the 90’s and early oughts that this bag would have been a lifesaver. By 2011, however, cannabis was my cologne. My car always smelled like it, my clothes always smelled like it, and I even developed an alter ego that shortened to Dan K. I was completely “out” as a stoner. And it felt great.

Then 2012 hit, and Colorado legalized recreational cannabis. The new law here in Colorado was full of padding and statements that minimal inappropriate impact in the community would come from these cannabusinesses. The exit bag was one of those statements. I was greatly annoyed when I bought my first bag in 2013 and had to buy an exit bag. It was usually a cheap piece of plastic that had a locking zipper on it. Extraordinary measures were taken to appease the suburban voter who actually counts by putting things like this mild headache in Amendment 64.

I was also aware that our tribe was walking a thin line; by legalizing herbs, Colorado was blatantly and aggressively weakening its drug laws in the face of the federal government. The generations of children who grew up under the clearly flawed rhetoric of the War on Drugs are locked in a battle of the educated elite vs the gun-toting white southerner. This is not something sacred and wholesome like a gun. No, this was a bonafide drug. And it was soon to be sold legally around kids. The KIDS!

exit bagSo I bought my exit bag for $10 or whatever. Everywhere I went, they dropped the hammer about the exit bag. It’s not like I can just go on craigslist and buy an AR-15. In fact, it is very much the opposite. These shops stick to the law like gorilla glue sticks to the linoleum. Some places even added their own little laws and said they could only allow their weed to leave in an exit bag that has their brand name on it. Other places were cool and just gave me one. (I have a ton of exit bags, as you can guess).

These bags also came in couple of styles. There were bags that looked like the Post Office Express Mail envelopes. There were others that looked like canvas wine totes. And then there was me, from the old school, with my empty Totino’s salsa jar that is ready for a refill. Cannabis is a consumer product now. The same people who brought you “meat is murder” are now shoveling petroleum products out the door (but that is a different story).

Things change fast in this new ganja game. They stick to the rules like they are the TSA, but the rules seem to change faster than the honest opinion of our President. I got some herbs yesterday, and my exit bag is now a brown paper bag with a staple in it. Maybe tomorrow I can bring my reusable jars. At least give me the same standards as an AR-15.

A hidden Gem Stashed and Surviving in the ‘Burbs.

Kosher Kush

Colorado Cannabis Connection
4550 S. Kipling St.
Denver, CO 80127

B

It has been a long time since I reviewed any of the Denver shops because it has been a long time since I have shopped in the city. Recently, I went to my local spot in Littleton called The Colorado Cannabis Connection to see what they got. It is close to my house, which is good. It is also in a strip mall, which I think is the ugliest example of American Capitalism and an absolute blight on the land.

But, I do live in the suburbs, and the vanilla of the neighborhood reflects the blandness to support suburban sprawl in the mini mall. Colorado Cannabis Connection cannot be faulted for the location; they have no choice. This is the ‘burbs. It is a planned community where Wal-Mart and King Soopers are the only businesses courted in the development.

Big Box stores and little box stores pock the landscape and their parking lots hold the long-antiquated petrol transport vehicles in their stalls. Those lines demarcate order in this chaotic world and are indicative of the vilest rule in corporate culture: Stay in your lane, worker.

Because of this, I have avoided the Colorado Cannabis Connection. I figured it was just another Starbucks of weed and that they had 1,000 (figurative, not literal) stores in the state. This is the only one, however, which makes it acceptable. When I went inside, the intake receptionist was answering questions that a customer had about some specifics of the plant.

He seemed to know what he was talking about, and I was even more reassured of the Colorado Cannabis Connection. They had a good assortment to choose from across the flower spectrum. They grew dense buds that were trimmed tight.  There was a nice, healthy odor to them, but it wasn’t too strong.

I got the Kosher Kush. It hit smooth, and the budtender was right; they do know how to cure their herbs. It is mild. It does not overpower and create couch-lock, but it does stick around just under the surface. Quality.

 

 

The South is Like a Burr in my Socks.

Donald Trump’s campaign started with his ad hominem birtherism attacks on Obama years ago ad nauseum. That gave him his footing in The Dixie South, which quickly became his stronghold. (Virginia was the only state in The South to vote against Trump, but they always vote blue.) He got 45% of his needed electoral votes (122) in The South.

The South sticks together, and cannabis prohibition is a component of the glue. This is the land where rum smugglers of old venerate the constant left turns of NASCAR. This land is littered with dry counties where moonshine is readily available. States’ Rights are at the tips of all of their lips, but only when buying and selling individual members of a family to work their cotton fields.

Attorney General Sessions got into the US Senate partially thanks to a different southern crop, tobacco. In fact, he had to return $2000 to the RJ Reynolds PAC in 1997[i] because they gave him more money than he could legally accept during the campaign.[ii] I can only assume these are the good people he is talking about when he says “good people don’t smoke marijuana”.[iii]

Who are these “good people”?

They are defenders of 40 years’ worth of more than “800 claims against cigarette manufacturers for damages related to the effects of smoking”.[iv] They lied to their own people so much that their own had bring lawsuits to recoup past Medicare fees that we all had to pay.

Mississippi was the first state to begin these Medicare related lawsuits against Big Tobacco starting in 1994. Other states quickly followed and Big Tobacco was quickly inundated with legal attacks from various states over the next three years. In 1997, after losing smartly, Big Tobacco joined with the states to ask Congress to settle the case. Senator Sessions was their man.[v]

These good people primarily hail from North Carolina. North Carolina, is by far the largest tobacco growing state in the United States.[vi] Their lawyers argued for decades that their cigarettes were perfectly acceptable for human consumption. Why, then, should they be so disinterested in another agrarian crop? What is it about The South that insists that cannabis be embargoed?

Who cares? Frankly, it doesn’t matter. This cat is not going back in the bag. Before 2016, there were zero states in The South that endorsed medical cannabis. Now there are three. Those states are Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida. Florida is a big deal because 71% of the voters overcame the manadated 2/3 citizen vote.[vii] Yet, the Legislature took it upon themselves to write the law to exclude smoking cannabis.[viii] [1]  As it stands now, none of the southern states have legal access to cannabis flower. Instead, they dance around their beliefs that a smoked plant is bad for, I guess, their “white women”.[ix]

This most recent election pushed the number of senators representing cannabis states (I will call them cannasenators) over the halfway mark. There are now more states representing cannabis in Congress than there are  opposing the herb. 217 is the median. Of the 435 Senators, 262 sitting senators now represent medical marijuana in congress. It has been steadily increasing since 2005.

 

Cannasenators by Congressional Session.png

Cannasenators by Congressional Session, 1995-2015

As Alabama raced to protect their proud lynching heritage, their native son, the Attorney General, reminds four free states that the federal government is in charge and states’ rights mean nothing. His genteel threat to the governors of these four free states:

      “…would note the concluding paragraph: ?{sic}nothing herein [in the Cole Memorandum] precludes investigation or prosecution, even in the absence of any one of the factors listed above,in particular circumstances where investigation and prosecution otherwise serves an importantfederal interest.? {sic} Thus, the memorandum ? {sic}does not alter in any way the Department? {sic}s authority to enforce federal law, including federal laws relating to marijuana, regardless of state law.”[x]

Sessions is now the top lawman in the country, and the cannabis industry is one of the primary categories of American life that he wants to destroy. In California, his attack dogs are poking holes in Attorney-Client privilege as they search for a way to topple this pillar of justice[xi]. In D.C., he is trying to build a set of prosecutors who will work outside of the skeptical confines of the Justice Department and well within the polarized realm of the DEA.[xii]

Despite all of this, the industry is gaining influence in Congress every election cycle.  Congress has repeatedly cut funding off for the Justice Department to investigate legal cannabis businesses in recent years. The Cole memorandum was some much-needed clarification that has been DOJ policy since 2013.

The serious about-face of the new administration has sent ripples through the halls of Congress. But it is not anything new for the cannabis industry. We survived G.W. Bush. In his first term, we got two senators from 2001-2005. He attacked us hard. He put the pink jail in Humboldt County on the map. He even put Tommy Chong in prison. They tried poking so many holes into Prop 215 that it would fall apart. Yet, we got 21 more senators from 2005-2007. And another 21 in the next two years. That’s 42 senators in the last 6 years of his presidency.

It does not matter that impotent Republicans who fear for their seat in The House recently failed to vote for the popular Rohrbacher-Farr amendment, removing certain cannabusiness protections for those legal states.[xiii]. We will vote them out and put our own congresspeople in their seats.

Fortunately, the Senate did what they are best at and kicked the can down the line when they voted for the Rohrbacher- Blumenthal amendment in their emergency debt limit budget.[xiv] Legal cannabis states are protected- for another three months. Great.

Congress knows that something needs to be done about this. Congresspeople have grown bolder in their legislation, and new bills are constantly introduced that would reschedule, if not deschedule cannabis within the Controlled Substances Act. The latest has been brought forth by Senator Cory Booker. It is called the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017.

The following is a press release taken from the website of Senator Cory Booker:

“The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse these troubling trends and fix our broken marijuana laws.

Specifically, the Marijuana Justice Act will:

  • Remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level;
  • Incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marijuana in the state is illegal and the state disproportionately arrests or incarcerates low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana-related offenses;
  • Automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes;
  • Allow an individual currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana use or possession crimes to petition a court for a resentencing;
  • Create a community reinvestment fund to reinvest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and allow those funds to be invested in the following programs:

o   Job training;

o   Reentry services;

o   Expenses related to the expungement of convictions;

o   Public libraries;

o   Community centers;

o   Programs and opportunities dedicated to youth; and

o   Health education programs.”[xv]

There have been many bills that have come through that tried to deschedule cannabis. None have made it. Will this one? Time and civic activism will tell. The fight against fake laws is not yet over, and it is up to us, the voter, to remind the men and women of Congress that they represent the will of the people. If we don’t say anything, then they have no reason to respond. The lobbyists give them hundreds of millions of reasons to respond. We have only one: the ballot box. Tell your representative what you think of this bill. Remind them of the upcoming vote, and where you stand. Call them constantly.

Link to find your representative: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/

 

 

 



[1] Many of the cannalaws in the last 20 years have been amendments because the authors are acutely aware that many legislatures will do all they can to hijack these laws.

[i] https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/jeff-sessions-anti-weed-crusader-was-a-shill-for-big-1792831457?utm_medium=sharefromsite&utm_source=Paleofuture_twitter

[ii] https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/jeff-sessions-anti-weed-crusader-was-a-shill-for-big-1792831457

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/18/trumps-pick-for-attorney-general-good-people-dont-smoke-marijuana/?utm_term=.d901e7e811e0

[iv] http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/resources/tclc-fs-msa-overview-2015.pdf

[v] https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/#id=mrxb0009

[vi] https://www.statista.com/statistics/192022/top-10-tobacco-producing-us-states/

[vii] https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Medical_Marijuana_Legalization,_Amendment_2_(2016)

[viii] http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/06/12/florida-medical-marijuana-law-suit/81313/

[ix] http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote/harry_anslinger_quote_846a

[x] http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/08/17/jeff-sessions-letters-marijuana-policy-alaska-colorado-oregon-washington/86246/

[xi] http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-medwest-charges-20170615-story.html

[xii] http://www.npr.org/2017/05/04/526784152/dea-seeks-prosecutors-to-fight-opioid-crisis-critics-fear-return-to-war-on-drugs

[xiii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/20/federal-court-tells-the-dea-to-stop-harassing-medical-marijuana-providers/?utm_term=.95ae7047f2f4

[xiv] http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/09/08/rohrabacher-blumenauer-medical-marijuana-states/87647/

[xv] https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=638

Much ado about the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is all about homeostasis. Yin and yang are all about balance. Whole-system treatment may be common in Chinese Medicine, but the idea was completely foreign to European-based medicine. It took an American, Walter Cannon, to introduce homeostasis in the medical lexicon in 1930.[i]

A handful of biological systems work together to achieve the many complex tasks we need to make it through a day. These systems are “made up of many networks that are integrated at and communicating on multiple scales.”[ii] An example is the skeletal system, which consists of all of the bones, joints, cartilage, tendons and ligaments in the body.[iii] It is mainly used for “locomotion, support of the body, and the protection of internal organs.”[iv]

Homeostasis means “same” and “steady”. “Homeostasis is the ability of an organism to maintain a stable, constant internal environment, even when the external environment changes”[v]. A common example of this is when the human body sweats to cool down. The water on the skin absorbs body heat as it evaporates off of the body.[vi]

Homeostasis works the same at the cellular level. The cells seek to maintain an equilibrium inside the cell walls as they live in their respective dynamic environments. Through homeostasis, these cells can do a variety of things. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is on organs throughout the body and is used to maintain the health of these cells.

The brain, nervous system, liver, kidneys, and immune cells are among the organs that contain the ECS. The system is made of primarily of two receptors, CB1 and CB2. The existence of the ECS in Western (Eastern to me) medicine was discovered in rat brains in 1988 by Allyn Howlett, PhD.[vii]

Then, in 1990 the National Institute of Mental Health published a letter to Nature Magazine that documented the discovery of CB1 receptors in the cerebral cortex of rats. A few years later, in 1993, cannabis receptors were found in the spleen. Now that the CB2 receptor was found, Eastern (Western to most) science took off on researching the ECS.

There are exogenous cannabinoids and there are endogenous cannabinoids that interact with these receptors. Exogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBDs, THCs, and other cannabinoids are examples of exogenous cannabinoids. Endogenous cannabinoids occur naturally in the human body. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are examples of endogenous cannabinoids. There is a third cannabinoid category too. It is the scary stuff; lab-made cannabinoids, or synthetic cannabinoids. Spice (HU-210) and Marinol (dronabinol) are two types of synthetic cannabinoids.

Endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids(ECs), “act as hydrophobic lipid messengers”[viii]. In the CNS, they act as “receptive messengers or synaptic modulators”[ix] and are “produced on demand”[x]. This is unique in the ECS. Other neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine and dopamine, are already synthesized and stored for later use. [xi]

Lipid messengers are important because they bind to receptors in the cell and use that location for cell signaling. Cell signaling is important because it is how the cell stays healthy. Cells need to “perceive and correctly respond to their microenvoronment”.[xii] Things like tissue repair, homestasis, and immunity must happen in the cell. Otherwise, diseases like cancer and diabetes can set in.[xiii] The ECS a part of the G-coupled protein receptor family, the largest of the cell surface receptors.[xiv]

According to lipidhome, a resource for understanding the chemistry of lipids, “Endocannabinoids exist in dynamic equilibria with many other lipid-derived mediators, including eicosanoids and other oxylipins (oxygenated natural products which are formed from fatty acids by pathways involving at least one step of dioxygen dependent oxidation; many of them have physiological importance)[xv], as part of a versatile system involved in fine-tuning different physiological and metabolic processes, including inflammation, in a tissue- or cell-specific manner.”[xvi]

 

Endocannabinoids

The endocannabinoid AEA is “produced by immune cells and neurons, and is more selective for CB1R than CB2R. It is found in the brain, spleen, skin, kidney, and uterus”.[xvii] It was dubbed “the bliss molecule” because it “mimics the behavioral actions of exogenous compound”[xviii] THC. According to Dr. Mechoulam, who discovered AEA with Drs. William Devane and Lumir Hanus, in 1992, “THC is an aromatic compound, while AEA is a fatty acid derivative”[xix].

AEA is produced on demand and has many anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.[xx] It has benefits to the cardiovascular system. It can help lower blood pressure. AEA also affects metabolism by increasing the amount of food consumed. Macrophage-defined AEA has “anti-inflammatory effects both in the peripheral and central nervous system”.[xxi] AEA is also a key player in apoptosis (programed cell death) of many different cell types in the body.

It took three short years for the next endocannabinoid to be discovered. Dr. Mechoulam et al discovered 2-AG in 1995. These endocannabinoids were first found in the brain, but they have been found in other places since. These are also made-on-demand. These seem to be the more important ligands for the CBRs in the body. They are full-agonist ligands, as opposed to the partial-agonist nature of AEA.[xxii]

Full-agonist ligands will fully activate the cell, while partial-agonist ligands will partially activate the cell.[xxiii]

These endocannabinoids interact with cells through receptors throughout the body. CB1and CB2 receptors are part of the G-coupled protein receptor (GCPR) superfamily[xxiv], and the passive member of the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family, the Vanniloid Receptor (TRPV1) are a few of the cannabinoid receptors that have been discovered.

 

CB Receptors

CB1 receptors express themselves primarily in the brain and central nervous system (CNS). They are not limited to the CNS, however, and are found in organs like the liver and the prostate. These receptors are associated with energy balance and may also “play a role in synaptic plasticity”[xxv]. Synaptic plasticity means that synapses are “able to change their strength as a result of either their own activity or through activity in another pathway”[xxvi].

CB2 receptors are primarily expressed in the immune system. There are small amounts in “human B cells, NK cells, monocytes, polymorphonuclear neutrophils and T cells”[xxvii] CB2Rs are also expressed in the thymus and spleen. The exciting thing about CB2R’s, however, is that they show up in dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are antigen-presenting cells (APC) that are key regulators of the immune system.[xxviii]

CB2Rs have also been found in “astrocytes, microglia, neural subpopulations and oligodendroglial progenitors in healthy brains”.[xxix] Microglia are “resident immune cells of the central nervous system” and “are critical players in the development of pain hypersensitivities that characterize chronic pain”[xxx].

TRPV1 Receptors were discovered in 1997 by Dr. David Julius et al. They are located in many organs of the gut, including kidneys, spleen, bladder, and lungs. TRPV1 receptors can also be found in the Central Nervous System[xxxi]. A wide variety of spices can activate these receptors. The most prominent spice is capsaicin, the component that makes chilies hot. Capsaicin has also been found in black pepper, garlic, ginger, horseradish, and cinnamon.

 

The Gut

The gut is a constantly under attack from antigens. Therefore, we have a wide variety of defenses in our guts to fight these invading antigens. Phagocytes (cells that eat bacteria and other small cells) and dendritic cells (“professional antigen presenting cell, capable of activating naïve T cells and stimulating the growth and differentiation of B cells”)[xxxii], “which are present abundantly in the small intestine lamina propia (siLP), play an instrumental role in maintaining this exquisite balance between inflammation and tolerance.”[xxxiii]

A recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences found that AEA and ECBS in the gut is largely responsible for “maintaining tolerance in the gut”[xxxiv]. Tolerance is important because it suppresses the production of cytokines and the proliferation of t-cells in the gut.[xxxv] The study broke the maintenance down to two steps:

1: “through maintenance/differentiation of the well-known immune regulatory CX3CR1”[xxxvi] macrophage population.

2: “mediating the expansion of regulatory T cells called Tr1 cells.”[xxxvii]

The study also found that these immune-regulatory macrophages expressed themselves the most on the CB2 and TRPV1 receptors. Also, for both CB1R and CB2R, different conformations correspond to different agonists stimuli, consequently activating different signaling pathways (functional selectivity).

 

The Brain and Central Nervous system

 

The brain and central nervous system are full of CB1 receptors. These receptors have been found in the mitochondria of some astrocytes (large star-shaped cells of the glia[xxxviii] (supporting tissue intermingled with the essential elements of nervous tissue especially in the brain, spinal cord, and ganglia)[xxxix]), leading some to believe that CB1 receptors can be involved in synaptic plasticity (important for memory use) and energy balance.[xl]

The list comes from “Distribution of the Endocannabinoid System in the Central Nervous System”

[xli]

  • Retinas- amacrine cells, horizontal cells, densely expressed in the inner plexiform layer, rod and cone photoreceptor terminals.
  • Cerebral Cortex- “CB1 receptors are densely expressed in all regions of the cortex”.[xlii] These regions include the cingulate gyrus, frontal cortex, secondary somatosensory, and motor cortex.
  • Olfactory-in descending orderàhighest in the inner granular cell layer, then the inner piniform layer, less in the external plexiform layer, glomerular layer, and the accessory olfactory bulb
  • Hippocampus- “high levels of CB1 receptors on large CCK-positive basket and Schaffer collateral- associated interneurons in the hippocampal pyramid cell layer.”[xliii] CB1 is also highly expressed in the molecular layer and the granule cell layer in the dentate gyrus.
  • Cortical subplate- mainly expressed in the CCK-positive GABAergic basket cells in high levels.
  • Subcortical Nuclei- basal ganglia has the highest amount of CB1 expression.
  • Striatum-low-to- moderate level expression in the nucleus accumbens. “However, CB1 receptors seem to be absent in the dopaminergic terminals projecting from the ventral tegmental area(VTA) to the accumbens”[xliv]
  • Striatum Medial- basal forebrain, medial and lateral septum and the nucleus of the diagonal band has moderate levels of CB1 receptors
  • Cerebellum-The authors called the CB1 expression patterns “striking”. “CB1 receptors are mainly expressed in the terminals of the climbing fibers, parallel fibers, and (some)basket cells, suggesting a prominent presynaptic localization of CB1 receptors, mediating modulatory effects of (endo)cannabinoids at glutamatergiv and GABAergic inputs onto Purkinje neurons.”[xlv]
  • Deep Cerebellar Nuclei-Medial, lateral, and interposed nuclei have weak Cb1 immunoreactivity throughout the neuropil.
  • Brainstem- Thalamus has low Cb1 expression in most parts. CB1 is strong in the lateral habenular nucleus, the anterior dorsal thalamic nucleus, and the reticular thalamic nucleus.
  • Hypothalamus- much CB1 expression in the arcuate, paraventricular, ventromedial, dorsomedial nuclei, the external zone of the median eminence, infundibular stem, and lateral hypothalamic area.
  • Mesencephalon- extremely high levels of CB1 in the substantia nigra (SN) pars reticulate and low levels in the exact same place. This suggests that “the high levels of CB1 protein are restricted to incoming axonal projections from other brain regions[xlvi].”
    • Ventral Tegmental Area- dense CB1 neuropil labeling.
    • Periaqueductal Gray- There are low to moderate expressions of CB1 receptors found in the Periaqueductal Gray. This is “where the ECS is involved in the control of pain sensation, including stress-induced analgesia”.[xlvii]
  • Hindbrain-low CB1 expression in the medullary respiratory control centers. This is in contrast to the opioid receptors, which “likely explains the low mortality caused by cannabinoid intoxication.”[xlviii]
  • Spinal Cord-spinal dorsal horn. Scientists believe that this is where the “application of cannabinoids has been found to suppress pain…)”.[xlix]

The endocannabinoid system has led to many discoveries within the scientific community. A handful of pharmaceutical companies have already set out to create cannabis-derived medicines to remedy rare diseases, like Dravet Syndrome. Some companies have since returned positive results while others made fatal mistakes in the drug development process.

The most notable company to successfully bring a CBD-derived drug to market is GW Pharmaceutical, in Britain. Their oral spray, Sativex, is used to help people with multiple sclerosis. They are working on another drug called Epidiolex. This orally-administered, CBD-derived medicine has shown amazing results in its clinical trials with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Positive FDA results in this final set of trial runs could be a game-changer for the official Federal stance on the cannabis plant moving forward. The giant ideological wall that is the current Trump administration, however, is a different story. The sitting Attorney General will never accept FDA findings that prove that cannabis must be descheduled. It will instantly be disregarded as “fake!”. A smear campaign will follow, and the men and women of the FDA will be in its crosshairs. And we will continue to move on in two diverging roads, with many Americans continuing down a different road than our government is paving.

 

References:

https://Mechoulam.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/

http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system

https://agelessherbs.com/yin-yang-theory/

http://Mechoulam.orientalmedicine.com/yin-yang

https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2993256/pdf/zpg588.pdf

https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775668/pdf/nihms510207.pdf

https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21079038

https://Mechoulam.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-homeostasis/

https://Mechoulam.reference.com/science/concept-homeostasis-112a53029f85f5c4

https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2848184

https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768535/pdf/nihms99606.pdf

http://www.yourdictionary.com/oxylipin

http://lipidhome.co.uk/lipids/simple/endocan/index.htm

https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/41427483_Cannabinoids_and_the_immune_system_An_overview

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/pdf/nihms155268.pdf

http://druglibrary.net/olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha01113.html

“Distribution of the Endocannabinoid system in the Central Nervous System.” Sherry Shu-Jung Hu and Ken Mackie. Sept 2015 Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology

http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu/s1/chapter07.html

https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/41427483_Cannabinoids_and_the_immune_system_An_overview

http://Mechoulam.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19035

https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/307511132_Topography_of_microglial_activation_in_sensory-_and_affect-related_brain_regions_in_chronic_pain

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802457/pdf/nihms131900.pdf

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/18/1612177114

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4292724/

“Endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator of immune homeostasis in the gut”. Department of Immunology and Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030; and Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Farmington, CT 06032. Nandini Acharya, Sasi Penukonda, Tatiana Shcheglova, Adam T. Hagymasi, Sreyashi Basua,

and Pramod K. Srivastava. March 20, 2017

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19035

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glia

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astrocyte

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

 

 

[i] https://Mechoulam.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-homeostasis/

[ii] https://www.systemsbiology.org/about/what-is-systems-biology/

[iii] https://www.systemsbiology.org/about/what-is-systems-biology/

[iv] https://www.systemsbiology.org/about/what-is-systems-biology/

[v] https://Mechoulam.reference.com/science/concept-homeostasis-112a53029f85f5c4

[vi] https://Mechoulam.reference.com/science/concept-homeostasis-112a53029f85f5c4

[vii] https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2848184

[viii] https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768535/pdf/nihms99606.pdf

[ix] https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768535/pdf/nihms99606.pdf

[x] https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768535/pdf/nihms99606.pdf

[xi] http://dictionary.sensagent.com/Cell%20signaling/en-en/

[xii] http://dictionary.sensagent.com/Cell%20signaling/en-en/

[xiii] http://dictionary.sensagent.com/Cell%20signaling/en-en/

[xiv] http://dictionary.sensagent.com/G-protein%20coupled%20receptors/en-en/

[xv] http://www.yourdictionary.com/oxylipin

[xvi] http://lipidhome.co.uk/lipids/simple/endocan/index.htm

[xvii]https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/41427483_Cannabinoids_and_the_immune_system_An_overview

[xviii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/pdf/nihms155268.pdf

[xix] http://druglibrary.net/olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha01113.html

[xx] http://lipidhome.co.uk/lipids/simple/endocan/index.htm

[xxi] http://lipidhome.co.uk/lipids/simple/endocan/index.htm

[xxii] http://lipidhome.co.uk/lipids/simple/endocan/index.htm

[xxiii] http://membranereceptors.com/membrane-receptors/agonists-and-antagonists/

[xxiv]  https://Mechoulam.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21079038

[xxv] Distribution of the Endocannabinoid system in the Central Nervous System. Sherry Shu-Jung Hu and Ken Mackie. Sept 2015 Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology

[xxvi] http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu/s1/chapter07.html

[xxvii]https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/41427483_Cannabinoids_and_the_immune_system_An_overview

[xxviii] http://Mechoulam.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19035

[xxix]https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/41427483_Cannabinoids_and_the_immune_system_An_overview

[xxx]https://Mechoulam.researchgate.net/publication/307511132_Topography_of_microglial_activation_in_sensory-_and_affect-related_brain_regions_in_chronic_pain

[xxxi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802457/pdf/nihms131900.pdf

[xxxii] http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19035

[xxxiii] “Endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator of immune homeostasis in the gut”. Department of Immunology and Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030; and Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Farmington, CT 06032. Nandini Acharya, Sasi Penukonda, Tatiana Shcheglova, Adam T. Hagymasi, Sreyashi Basua,

and Pramod K. Srivastava. March 20, 2017

[xxxiv] http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/18/1612177114

[xxxv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4292724/

[xxxvi] http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/18/1612177114

[xxxvii] http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/18/1612177114

[xxxviii] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astrocyte

[xxxix] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glia

[xl] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astrocyte

[xli]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xlii]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xliii] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xliv] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xlv] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xlvi] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xlvii] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xlviii] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

[xlix] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282244852_Distribution_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Central_Nervous_System

Glenwood’s Phinest Reprazent

Martins

216 16th St.
Glenwood Springs, Co 81601

303 Kush
Grade: A-
Rec only

Some areas of Colorado simply don’t allow you to be too choosy about where to buy cannabis. They are rec only- if they have anything at all. Glenwood Springs is one of those places. It is squarely in the middle of Glenwood canyon along the majestic Colorado river. It is crammed with six lanes of interstate and as much civilization as humanity can fit in 400 sq ft. of available canyon floor. Just off of one of the crazy, clustered roads, right in the heart of the clusterfuck is Martin’s.

Martin’s is a rec only spot that almost feels like a smoker’s club. The vibe was relaxed and welcoming, fitting of the name choice. It is like you are actually going into visit with your buddy Martin. When I walked in, the younger budtender was educating the older hippie budtender on conscious hip-hop (most hip-hop is not bitches and hoes), something the hippie had never heard of. They had a few varieties of shrubs. They all looked great. Although they were rec only, their prices were competitive enough to keep me there.

I ended up walking out with some 303 kush. It looked ridankulous and smelled just as great. The herbs are mountain grown and come from all over. Martins is a third-party shop that does not grow their own herbs. Instead, they have an intrepid entrepreneur who buys from growers and sells them to you. The classic All-American middle man. And based on the selection at Martin’s, he has some good connections too. The 303 kush did not disappoint. It was flavorful and smooth. The prices were competitive with medical shops, which made me feel even better about my purchase.

The best thing about Glenwood Springs to me is not the two-block-long hot-spring pool or the escape room, but the nature of the world all around these springs. Out there, a mile can be a 1000 ft incline that is dominated by crystal clear rushing waters turned blue in their agitation. Trails are in the middle of streams out here. Massive misplaced boulders stand, waiting for Mother Nature to unleash her wrath on them and send them to their next resting place somewhere downstream.

These lands are still wild yet incredibly confined. Everything looks pristine and untouched from afar, but mailboxes and gates are as common as packed trails and lots of cars. People come here to experience the wild, untamed world. The world is quite tame, though. There are few rocks unturned here, and our presence is etching into the canyon more and more every day.

martins 2017-07-09 at 10.21.02 AM