West Haven, Connecticut is normally a sleepy town, with a low crime rate and friendly citizens. That is why police and neighbors were shocked when a grow operation with more than 600 cannabis plants were discovered in the backyard of an at-home daycare center. The homeowners and day care operators, who have not been named, are said to be quiet and keep to themselves but were not without their strange habits.
Police in West Haven, Connecticut discovered over $1 million in cannabis crops located directly behind a small, at-home day care center. Some plants were over ten feet tall, yet went undetected by surrounding neighbors and passersby for an undetermined amount of time.
Robson Antoine, who lives close to the couple, is in disbelief over the entire situation,
I should have smelled that. That’s crazy. I didn’t expect that. And they have a daycare? Not good.
Stranger still, one neighbor, Frankie Torres, even mentions seeing the couple building something in the backyard. Despite what seem like suspicions, no one ever came forward with any concerns about the couple’s actions, so they must not have been too peculiar.
I saw them building like something in the back, in the yard, for months. So, it’s kind of like a fort back there. I just thought it was a regular fence.
According to county records, since 1995, the couple who owns the home, and most likely the grow operation, has been caring for at least six children on a regular basis in their at-home daycare. While we might all agree, growing cannabis should be legalized, there are fine lines where children are involved.
If the children were exposed to the cannabis, parents have every right to prosecute the couple, as it is no one’s place to expose children to drugs of any form, natural or otherwise, without a parent’s consent.
As of now, no charges have been filed against the couple and they have not been arrested, as investigations are ongoing. However, if charged with the grow operation the couple could be facing multiple felony charges, including the risk of injury to a minor and operating a drug factory.
Do you believe this couple is in the wrong? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section below.
During a cannabis convention in Los Angeles this week, everyone’s favorite talk show host, Montel Williams, announced the creation of his own line of cannabis products. While this might seem like a surprise, it shouldn’t be. As California prepares to vote for recreational cannabis legalization this November, more and more celebrities are coming forward in support of Proposition 64. Not only does Williams support legalization, he plans to make a pretty penny off the deal.
Montel Williams has personal reasons for the launch
When starting a new company, it’s important to have a personal connection to the product. Williams, who has been a long-time advocate for cannabis legalization, suffers from multiple sclerosis and is in debilitating pain most of the time.
Since being diagnosed in 1999, he has learned first-hand how effective cannabis is at relieving pain and helping to combat his MS symptoms.
I experience neuropathic pain 24 hours a day because of my MS. My physicians recommended cannabis as part of my treatment seventeen years ago, and I’ve used it ever since. Only someone suffering from a debilitating disease can understand cannabis’s therapeutic value.
To help other suffering patients, Williams has decided to create his own line of cannabis products, geared towards the medical arena. However, come November, it’s likely the entire state of California will be given access to his products.
Launching a lifestyle
Williams will launch his products on Tuesday at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition on Tuesday.
LenitivLabs is the name of his newly founded business, and while he is excited about the potential for recreational cannabis legalization, he plans to stay focused on the medical side and aid patients who truly need the medication to survive and function normally.
While it remains unclear what exactly LenitivLabs will carry, it’s safe to say the majority of Williams’ products will be made specifically for medicinal purposes. As more and more celebrities come forward in support of recreational legalization, it’s inspiring that Williams has chosen to focus on the most important aspect of cannabis, the medical properties.
With the issue of full legalization dominating the conversation, it’s critical not to forget patient who have specific needs with respect to cannabis, including strains that might be less profitable in the marketplace.
Potential recreational repercussions
Williams’ isn’t alone in fearing what recreational cannabis could do to the medical cannabis market. True health advocates, like Williams, worry about the potential of running out of quality products.
Once recreational is legalized, the masses will flock to dispensaries to get their hands on whatever legal cannabis they can. This can create a problem for those who need medical access to specific strains and products that will have been bought out by the recreational users.
LenitivLabs hopes to avoid these issues by creating products specifically geared towards medical cannabis patients. While this might detract from the recreational users’ interest, Williams is okay with that and is confident his products will help those who truly need help.
Nowadays, it’s fairly common knowledge that cannabis can successfully treat some forms of epilepsy. Yet, what about epilepsy that’s brought on by head trauma? Post-traumatic epilepsy has a different cause than other forms of the condition. It happens after a severe brain injury. Yet, recent research shows that the herb may be able to help. Here’s how cannabis may help those with traumatic brain injury.
There are several different types of epilepsy, all caused by different mechanisms. One type, however, happens after a traumatic brain injury.
If you have suffered a major head trauma, it’s not uncommon to have a seizure with a week after the accident. Yet, some seizures are recurrent and begin within the first two years. These recurrent seizures are classified as post-traumatic epilepsy.
The severity and type of seizures you have largely depend on the site and extent of the injury. If you have multiple injury sites, you may experience various kinds of seizures. Unlike other forms of epilepsy, it is easier for doctors to locate the exact source of seizure from traumatic injury.
Cannabis and traumatic brain injury
Cannabis shows a significant amount of promise in treating traumatic brain injury. As just mentioned, traumatic brain injury can cause epileptic seizures. Yet, it can also cause fluid build-up, nerve damage, and trouble with movement, cognitive abilities, and communication.
The cannabinoids [in cannabis] are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.
Crazy thing? This government research was published back in the 1990s. In the near two decades since their initial investigation, the research on cannabis and head trauma has only become stronger.
Recent research into head trauma
2001 research has shown that our bodies own endocannabinoids limit the release of pro-inflammatory proteins that cause further damage after brain injury.
Endocannabinoids are like the body’s own marijuana. THC and other compounds in cannabis interact with the same cell sites as the body’s own endocannabinoids. A 2004 study found that cannabinoids decreased neuron death in experimental models.
But, that’s not all. A 2013 study suggested that cannabinoid treatment may be useful to newborns who experienced a perinatal brain injury. Another 2013 study tested non-psychoactive CBD in newborn piglets that had suffered hypoxic-ischemia, a condition in which the brain is deprived of oxygen.
This oxygen deprivation caused brain damage. Researchers found that the cannabinoid successfully reduced excitotoxicity, which is the overstimulation of nerve cells. CBD also reduced inflammation and oxidative stress. These findings led the study authors to conclude that CBD has “robust neuroprotective effects”.
These neuroprotective effects have already been tested by one pharmaceutical company. The research focused on epilepsy, though not post-traumatic epilepsy in particular.
British GW Pharmaceuticals is well on it’s way to releasing it’s first cannabis-based epilepsy drug, Epidiolex. The drug is a purified form of CBD. In human clinical trials, Epidiolex effectively reduced seizures in 40% of patients. That’s about the same success rate as with common prescription anti-epileptics.
Can cannabis prevent damage before it starts?
You can never predict whether or not you will have an accident or experience some sort of head trauma. Yet, some studies show that cannabis may lessen the extent of damage prior to the event.
Research completed in 2014 found that brain injury patients with detectable levels of psychoactive THC in their systems at the time of the accident were less likely to die from the trauma.
Back in 2001, a group of researchers treated rats with a compound that produced excitotoxicity. Some of the rodents were treated with psychoactive THC 30 minutes prior to toxin injection. Other rats were used as controls. They then used magnetic resonance imaging to look at their brains.
Shockingly, after 7 days, the rats treated with THC had 36% less neuronal damage than controls.
Though this study was done in rodents and not humans, 36% is a significant number. The cannabinoid reduced brain damage by over one third. Excitotoxicity is one of the major symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Nerve cells become damaged and overstimulated, the result is a variety of symptoms including seizure.
Further, seizures themselves can cause excitotoxicity as they continue to damage brain cells.
So, these studies suggest that cannabinoid treatments may be helpful as a preventative medicine and may also be helpful in those with conditions that cause repeated brain damage, like epilepsy. Though, we’ll need large-scale human trials to be sure.
Debbie Wilson’s miraculous story
Debbie Wilson lived through a nightmare. After 23 years of incurable epilepsy, her lungs failed and her heart stopped. Wilson was put on life support. Paralyzed in a hospital bed, Wilson’s body was unresponsive, yet her brain still had an inkling of life.
She listened as her doctor explained to her son that by many common measures, she was dead.
The brain is the last to die, and I was able to hear the ER doctor say my eyes were fixed and dialated, and I knew that meant I was dead. He said that I had coded, I also knew that meant I had died. And I remembered the overall feeling of peace that I had, and that was my second near-death experience.
Wilson’s seizures began after a traumatic brain she experienced in 1989. After lunch on an early July afternoon, Wilson was hit by a pick-up truck. Thus began a now over two decades long battle for survival.
After her seizures started, Wilson cycled through 19 different anti-epileptic drugs without success. Even worse, the high doses of medication caused her to lose her teeth, and her gallbladder and entire large intestine had to be removed. Something had to give.
Wilson’s herbal healing
After her second near-death experience at a hospital in Florida, Wilson risked it all and got on a plane to Oregon. A high school friend was waiting for her there, and so was medical marijuana.
In an interview with Dope magazine, Wilson explains:
At first, I did it for my post-traumatic headaches. We didn’t even know it would help the epilepsy, [we] had no idea what it would do for the seizures. I have never had such relief in my life. I went from four grand mal seizures a week – that’s 16 a month – to four seizures… that first year.
After her move to Oregon, it took a few years before Wilson got her seizures completely under control. In the first year of cannabis treatment, her grand mal seizures reduced by 1000%. A grand mal seizure is what most people think about when they picture a seizure, a loss of consciousness and body convulsions.
But, it took another three years or so before she gained control over her life-threatening, cluster status seizures. These seizures occur in continuous groups, one right after the other. She had her first normal EEG in early 2014 after over two decades of brain trauma. Wilson couldn’t be more grateful for what the plant has done for her life.
Do be out of diapers, to be out of a helmet, is a quality of life that nobody can put into words.
All thanks to a herb.
What kind of cannabis does Wilson use?
Wilson’s story is nothing short of amazing. Not only is her epilepsy under control, but she is “doing amazing” as a participant in a unique study on cannabis and dementia.
The herb has benefited a wide variety of other symptoms as well. Wilson explains that her high blood pressure, chronic wasting disease, post-traumatic headaches, five different types of seizures, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
To manage such complicated symptoms, Wilson is quite specific with how she uses cannabis. While part of her story is shared here, this simple write up is far from a complete picture of Wilson’s health.
So, while this incredible woman has figured out a cannabis regimen that works for her, every person will respond differently to the herb.
Though many credit CBD as the ultimate epilepsy treatment. Wilson’s grand mal seizures are better controlled with THC. Yet, for her partial complex cluster seizures, she needs high doses of CBD.
Wilson has found success with ACDC, a strain which consistently produces over 20% CBD while THC is under 1%. She consumes her cannabis in gel capsules. The capsules were made with the help of a pharmaceutical company, as Wilson is missing her gallbladder and large intestine.
Twice a day I take an epilepsy medicine and twice a day I take raw cannabis in a capsule as my neuroenhancer. And that allows me to think, to be able to have memory, to concentrate, to focus, to walk without a gate.
Debbie Wilson is just one patient. But, though her circumstances are unique, her story alone is one of the most moving and hard-hitting examples of the power of cannabis as medicine.
Using raw cannabis oil extracts, Wilson was able to get her life back. While she was once nearly pronounced dead on a hospital bed, she is now vibrant, alive, and filled with passion. Coupled with early research on the subject, who wouldn’t want to give this a try?
Has cannabis helped you or someone you know recover from a head trauma? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
When purchasing a new piece of furniture, it’s important to consider the practical use the piece will get. A Norwegian man, Claus Jorstad, forgot this crucial rule while purchasing a new shower chair, to help aid in his knee recovery. The man got much more than he bargained for while using the chair in the shower when his tentacles became trapped in the seat.
Not the intended use for the IKEA chair
Claus Jorstad just wanted a simple stool he could place in the shower to relieve tension from his healing knee. After suffering an injury, Jorstad was finding it difficult to stand for a long enough time to shower completely.
Like most of us would, he visited the local IKEA store, positive they would have just what he was looking for.
When Jorstad came across the simple red stool, he was pleased and quickly purchased the seat he believed would end his showering struggles.
Boy, was he wrong.
If you look closely at the chair, there are tiny holes that form a decorative circle lining the actual seat. Jorstad never saw these as a problem, simply believing they would help the chair dry after each shower.
Sitting there and noticing the accident, I bent down to see what the f*ck happened, I realized the little nutter has got stuck. And as I couldn’t move, I started pondering how the hell I was gonna get outta the mess. After a lot of pondering forth and back, I realized I had no bloody ideas.
The hot, steamy showered had caused Jorstad’s testicles to swell, filling in the whole completely and leaving him no wiggle room to free his member.
As panic set in, Jorstad remained unsure of what he should. While sitting there, trying to formulate a plan, the stream of water began to cool down. Eventually, good old science took over, and the cold water caused enough shrinkage for Jorstad to free his testicles.
After escaping the terrifying encounter with the chair, Jorstad took to Facebook to share his experience on the IKEA page. In his post, he referred to his testicle and penis as, “the skipper and two sailors.” When translated from Norwegian to English, this statement reads, “Popeye and the two boatsmen.”
His Post gained over 10,000 comments, some of which were unbelievably hilarious. IKEA even responded with their own personal message to Jorstad, keeping in touch with his nautical references.
Hey Claus. We recommend that you take the stool out of the shower… if you choose to keep it in the shower, make sure you are well dressed for your next sea excursion.
Despite the many jokes, Jorstad did reach a conclusion. He simply draped a washcloth over the holey chair and nicknamed it “Wiener monkey.”
Where is the strangest place you’ve ever been stuck? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section below.
It’s no secret that big pharmaceutical companies don’t want cannabis legalized. Researchers are well aware of the benefits offered by the naturally occurring plant and fear their chemical-based drugs will be replaced with the healthier, more holistic option. Skeptics might remain unsure of cannabis’ potential, but scientists aren’t. These five diseases have been proven to respond better to cannabis treatment, than any prescription drugs on the market, without the severe side effects.
Not only does cannabis actually kill cancer cells, it inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors from the start. Cannabinoids actively attack these diseased cells, protecting users from experiencing more and more complications due to the illness.
Research has discovered that cannabis can actually deactivate the gene responsible for metastasizing cells into cancer, effectively ending the need for harsh radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
While cannabis might not be an end-all solution to cancer, scientists are positive its proactive properties slow and deteriorate any abnormal growths.
The side effects of commonly prescribed epilepsy medications are enough to cause concern and seek alternative treatment.
New studies are even revealing links between these prescriptions and psychoses. Cannabis, however, can increase deteriorating appetites and aid restless users.
Also, depression is one of the commonly treated conditions cannabis is known to enhance, so there’s lesser fear of increased risks.
3. Fibromyalgia (FM)
Cannabis has been found to be more effective at relieving Fibromyalgia symptoms than all of the leading prescription drugs.
In a study conducted by The National Pain Foundation and NationalPainReport.com, 1,300 FM patients were asked about their medical treatments. 379 participants admitted to using cannabis therapy, and of that 379, 62% said the medication was “very effective” at reducing symptoms.
Compare that to the 10% of “very effective” results from Lyrica and Savella, and just 8% from Cymbalta.
4. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Prescription drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis are increasingly dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement to patients using the drug Gilenya, stating that the medication led to a substantially increased risk of brain infection.
The problem with many MS treatments is they are designed to block white blood cells from attacking nerves. Normally, white blood cells protect the body from infection and disease.
When they are being blocked by these prescription drugs, they leave users at a much higher risk of developing serious illnesses that could ultimately cause more damage than the MS.
A 50/50 mixture of CBD and THC extracts has been approved in the UK and more than 20 other countries as a safer, more effective treatment of the spasticity and pain associated with MS.
Adderall and Ritalin are commonly sold on the street as alternative forms of speed. If users do not truly need the medication, it gives them a jolt of energy that can last anywhere from six to eight hours.
Aside from the potential for abuse, these stimulant drugs have shown an increased risk of psychosis, including hallucinations. Cannabis can help to free up excess dopamine that causes the brain to be overstimulated, resulting in the ADHD/ADD diagnosis, without any harmful side effects or the potential for abuse.
What medical conditions do you treat with cannabis? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section below.
It is official: Giant Panda Bears are no longer part of the endangered species list! The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced September 4, panda numbers are increasing, according to China’s forestry agencies. The panda population has gained more than 500 new members over the last year, thanks in large part to the regrowth and replanting of China’s forests. In celebration of this fantastic news, why not celebrate with two Panda-inspired cannabis strains? These specialties will leave you higher than a bear in a bamboo forest, and just as hungry.
This sativa-dominant hybrid is quite the treat. Made specifically by Grow Ops Farm for their Phat Panda line, Panda OG has a tangy, pungent, earthy smell that is distinct to the strain.
A combination of the OG Chem strain and the Berry Sour Cream stain, it’s no wonder where the strong, spicy stink comes from. Both of these sativa-dominant strains also carry a punchy smell.
Each hit leaves a sour taste behind, which tends to linger on the tongue. Sweet undertones of berry help elevate the flavor and leave users with an all-around delightful experience.
Panda OG has powerful medical effects. The strain offers users a long-lasting head buzz, while still offering the relaxing body high we all love. This truly unique hybrid might be sativa-dominant, but it definitely has some indica traits.
When experiencing a stressful situation, Panda OG is great at calming anxieties and fears. If hunger needs to be increased, this strain will certainly live up to the name and leave users with a Panda-sized appetite.
Sleeping is another of the Giant Panda’s favorite activities. So, naturally, the strain can help patients suffering from insomnia, too.
Another sativa-dominant strain, but with some very different qualities, is Golden Panda. These beautiful buds have some pretty spectacular properties that even real pandas might be jealous of. A cross-breed of the coveted Golden Pineapple strain and the delectable Gold Nugget strain, Golden Panda is a truly exquisite love child.
It shares the same earthiness, with an unmistakable aroma and beautifully formed trichomes. Users should prepare for an ultra-intense high that lasts and lasts.
The cannabis strain is almost neon in color, with fluffy, full flowers. It tastes fruity and spicy, with lingering flavors. Golden Panda is part of the Kush family, so its medicinal properties are strong and long-lasting.
Conditions like physical discomfort or pain, loss of appetite and decreased energy can be improved with the use of this miraculous strain. Users will experience a heavy, full-body high, but remain uplifted and stimulated mentally.
As the Giant Panda populations continue to increase, the cause for celebration is ongoing. Finally, conservation efforts are paying off and revealing the truly life-saving benefits a little extra effort can have on the environment as a whole.
Smoke up in honor of the Giant Pandas today and never forget the impact you, yourself, can have on wildlife.
What are your favorite animal-inspired strains? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section below.
This November, several states will vote whether to legalize marijuana use, joining more than 20 states that already allow some form of cannabis use. This has prompted a need for effective tools for police to determine on the spot whether people are driving under the influence.
Stanford engineers are developing a portable device that measures THC levels in saliva, a step toward creating a roadside test for driving under the influence of marijuana.
Stanford researchers have devised a potential solution, applying magnetic nanotechnology, previously used as a cancer screen, to create what could be the first practical roadside test for marijuana intoxication.
While police are trying out potential tools, no device currently on the market has been shown to quickly provide a precise measurement of a driver’s marijuana intoxication as effectively as a breathalyzer gauges alcohol intoxication. THC, the drug’s most potent psychoactive agent, is commonly screened for in laboratory blood or urine tests – not very helpful for an officer in the field. [Read more at Standford News]
The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal Wednesday to attorneys for the MI Legalize group, making it all but certain that November ballots in Michigan won’t include a marijuana question.
The state Supreme Court refused to accept the emergency appeal by Lansing lawyer Jeff Hank, in effect affirming rulings by lower courts that blocked the petition drive of MI Legalize, a group of activists who want marijuana to be made legal in Michigan.
The group waged a yearlong, $1-million campaign to get its marijuana question on fall ballots. But state election officials declared in June that at least 200,000 of the signatures MI Legalize submitted were “stale.” That means they had been gathered outside of the state’s 180-day window for signatures, imposed in the 1980s on those conducting referendum petition drives. [Read more at Detroit Free Press]
<![CDATA[Editor’s note: The CARERS Act is the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill introduced in Congress. Cannabis Business Times has covered its history and potential impact both here and here.
Three new co-sponsors signed onto the CARERS Act of 2015 (H.R. 1538), reaching a total number of 41 co-sponsors as of Sept. 6, including 27 Democrats and 14 Republicans.
The new co-sponsors are Rep. David Scott (D-GA13), Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA2) and Rep. Charlie Pingree (D-ME1).
The bill, which would reclassify cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug, has picked up 12 new co-sponsors so far in 2016, beginning the year with 29. The original bill was sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN9).
Cannabis Business Times Editor Noelle Skodzinski interviewed Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies of The Marijuana Policy Project, about the future of the CARERS Act and its chances of passing in the May/June print edition of CBT. Read the full interview here.
After a long and steady fight to legalize the use of medical marijuana across the state, the Senate committee has made some major regulatory strides in their cannabis system, aiming to provide their citizens with better regulations through a new package of freshly passed bills.
On Thursday, members of the Michigan Senate voted with three-fourths majority to pass four bills that will help the state better regulate their medical marijuana system.
HB 4209-4210, 4827, SB 141, and SB 101 will give local communities more control over how many dispensaries they will allow as well as where they’ll be located. Additionally, the newly passed bills will create a more viable system to provide proper licensing for growers, dispensaries, patients, caregivers, and transporters.