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Can Microdosing Marijuana Help You

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Most people think of marijuana in a fun, recreational way – but it can help medically – and for those with anxiety….and microdosing can make a difference.

The imagine of people getting stoned is how most people thing of marijuana, but cannabis offers medical benefits which can change a patients life. From chronic pain to anxiety, it can provide a relief.  And it is one of the reasons the American Medical Association and Health and Human Services support rescheduling. But can microdosing marijuana help you?

RELATED: How To Microdose Marijuana

The answer is probably yes, but you should talk to your health professional. The most common reasons including chronic pain and anxiety.  More complex reasons include treatment of cognitive deficits, mental illnesses, and many diseases considered incurable.   But to understand the benefits, you have to understand your situation and microdosing.

Microdosing is taking from 2.5-5 mg to “take off the edge” without getting really high.  It is a point to activate within your system to allow the medical properties to have effect and still allow full functioning abilities. You may do it for a day or longer term depending on how you react and also what your healthcare professional suggests.  Roughly 75% of people have a fear of speaking (glossophobia), you may do it for a day where you have to speak to large crowds, or longer if you anxiety is ongoing concern.

While depression and anxiety treatments have improved dramatically over the course of the past decade, medication and counseling are not equally effective for everyone. In fact, according to NCBI, antidepressants proved just 40-60% effective at managing symptoms. Medical cannabis is now consider a valid treatment option with microdosing being effective.

In regards to chronic pain, medical marijuana has been proven to be much, much less addictive than prescribed painkillers, especially opioids. Microsdoing can help you through post surgery, stomach pains, or other ongoing illness which can have a significant impact on day to day life.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

Gummies and vapes are the easiest way to microdose.  Very controlled small amounts in an easily portable vehicle makes it convenient to use when needed. Since gummies are absorbing differently in the body, it takes longer for them to kick in.  Vaping can hit in within 5-10 minutes. While there could be a hint of initial smell, it quickly fades and doesn’t leave an odor on clothes.

If you or someone you know has anxiety, pain or other issue which alters your daily life, talk to a professional and see if microdosing marijuana help you.

 



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Does Francis Ford Coppola Consume Weed

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His talent created Apocalypse Now, the Godfather movies and now Megalopolis – but does he consume marijuana?

He is a legend in the film industry and directed Apocalypse Now and the Godfather. He burst on onto the scene in the 1960s and 70s and brought in a new generation of movies. Known as one of the greatest directors of all time, he also went on to make a name in the wine industry. Displayed at one of the wineries are some of his five Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Palmes d’Or, and his British Academy Film Award (BAFTA). With all the creativity and pressure, does Francis Ford Coppola consume weed?

RELATED: Vinyls and Marijuana Go Together

The 60s and 70s were when weed came out of the closet and from New York to LA creatives, artists, celebrities and every day people tried a little. “Turn on, tune in, drop out” was the counterculture-era phrase popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966. The talented director was able to reflect the past and embrace the new with his film.  It was one of his early successes, Apocalypse Now, which  marijuana burst into the open. There are great clips of Dennis Hopper stoned on set.

Megalopolis could be the last major project film for the director, and it has taken him 40 years to get it made.  His unique approach is again make headlines with the team sharing he has spent hours on end smoking plenty of cannabis while everybody waited.

“I never took any drugs in my life at all except for some grass,” Coppola said. “I found that the effect that the grass would have on me is interesting. One, it would make me extremely focused, so if I was trying to evaluate a script or write a script, I wasn’t thinking of all the things where my feelings were hurt about this or I was worried about that.”

He added, “I’m sure grass affects different people in different ways. For me, I tended to be very focused. If I smoked a joint, I couldn’t fall asleep. I’d want to work. And often, I stayed up all night trying to rewrite a script.”

RELATED: How To Microdose Marijuana

A savoy businessman, he turns his passion into money. His love of wine had made him money with two wineries, his love of beauty and travel has brought him a luxury hotels and his love of cannabis has brought him into the industry. Coppola launched Sana Company in partnership with Humboldt Brothers in 2018 and released the brand known as The Grower’s Series.

 



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Can lemon-smelling weed cause less anxiety than others?

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Top study takeaways:

  • Ever eat mangos to help you get higher? Maybe pound some lemonade to prevent anxiety
  • Test subjects who vaped lots of the terpene limonene with their weed reported lower anxiety in a small study

Leafly Ph.D Nick Jikomes dissects the hype new study on the smell molecule limonene below. Report your findings in the comments section.

The “entourage effect” is the idea that the psychoactive effects of cannabis result from a combination of different plant molecules. The idea is widely used in the cannabis industry to help explain the distinct effects that cannabis strains are reported to have–each one contains a different combination of THC, terpenes, and other compounds. These claims have been largely theoretical, with limited empirical evidence to show that specific combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes reliably induce measurably different effects in humans.

A new study, however, investigates whether the common cannabis terpene limonene, when consumed together with THC, results in different effects compared to THC on its own.

A bit of limonene is in many weed varieties

Limonene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in commercial cannabis. Cannabis strains with the highest limonene levels typically contain between 1 to 3% limonene by weight. Commercial THC-dominant cannabis flower today often has THC content in the 20-25% range, meaning that the most limonene-rich strains will have a roughly 20:1 ratio of THC to limonene. 

Limonene is found naturally in many citrus fruits. On its own, it has a pleasant, citrus aroma. A limited number of animal studies have observed anti-anxiety effects in rodents given limonene. Similar observations have been made in human studies, although they had small sample sizes or lacked important controls. Given that anxiety is a common side effect of THC—especially when relatively large doses are consumed—it has been hypothesized that limonene may be able to mitigate these effects. If true, this would suggest the possibility that THC-dominant strains high in limonene might be less likely to elicit anxiety than those with lower limonene content. 

Vaping limonene and THC—for science!

A robust terpene profile in weed adds to the flavour and overall experience. (MysteryShot/Adobe Stock)
(MysteryShot/Adobe Stock)

In this new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins administered different combinations of THC, limonene, and a placebo of distilled water to twenty human subjects in a double-blind trial. Each person participated in several separate vape sessions where they received one of the following:

  • Limonene alone (1mg or 5mg)
  • THC alone (15 mg or 30 mg)
  • THC + limonene together (15 or 30 mg THC + 1 mg limonene)
  • THC + limonene together (15 or 30 mg THC + 5 mg limonene)
  • THC + limonene together (30 mg THC + 15 mg limonene)
  • Placebo (distilled water)

The subjects were healthy adults who used cannabis intermittently. A hand-held Might Medic vaporizer (made by Storz and Bickel) was used for administration. Subjects consumed 15 and 30 mg doses of THC because, based on previous research, those doses often trigger small (15 mg THC) to moderate/large (30 mg THC) psychoactive effects, with the larger dose expected to trigger more side effects like anxiety. Researchers assessed participants using standardized questionnaires. One of these, the “Drug Effect Questionnaire,” asks subjects to rate various subjective drug effects on a 0-100 scale. Another, the “State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S),” assessed their anxiety/distress levels before and after drug administration. Researchers also tracked heart rate, blood pressure, and plasma levels of THC and limonene. (For more details on the study methods, including the standardized procedures, check out the paper itself.)

What did they find? Did the presence of limonene affect the subjective effects of THC, or reduce side effects like anxiety and paranoia?

Three limonene-dominant hype strains

A photo of Connected Gelonade — Lemon Tree and Gelato. (David Downs/Leafly)
Gelonade. (David Downs/Leafly)

And the results come in

I recently spoke with the lead author of the study, Dr. Ryan Vandrey of Johns Hopkins University, about how his team designed the study and built in important controls. For one: test subjects received the real deal molecules, not some burned-up version.

“We made sure that when we heated it at this temperature, this device, we didn’t convert these things into something else,” Dr. Vandrey explained. “So we were very careful to get our dosing methods secure, and to work with this. We opted for inhalation and vaporization in particular, so we know that our doses are being delivered fully and completely.”

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Consumption of THC went as planned. The control placebo containing 0 mg THC did not cause substantial subjective effects, anxiety or paranoia, or changes in heart rate. Consumption of 15 or 30 mg of THC did trigger these changes, with the higher dose producing larger effects on average.

“We picked two doses of THC, 15 milligrams and 30 milligrams, which to the occasional cannabis user will get people moderately high at pretty dang high,”

Dr. Ryan Vandrey, Johns Hopkins University

Related

How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

But did consumption of limonene together with THC lead to different effects compared to the same dose of THC alone? Yes—if you’re limonene-maxing.

When limonene was administered alone, without THC, its effects did not differ compared to the placebo.

But with co-administration of THC and limonene, however, the team saw differences compared to THC alone, but only at the highest dose of limonene (15 mg).

Compared to 30 mg of THC alone, consumption of 30 mg THC + 15 mg limonene resulted in lower subjective ratings for “anxious,” “paranoid,” and “unpleasant drug effect.”

Subjective ratings of “anxious” and “paranoid” were less than half of those seen with 0 mg limonene.

Subjective ratings of “anxious” and “paranoid” were less than half of those seen with 0 mg limonene.

Although the result was statistically significant at the highest limonene dose (20 mg), the sample size (n=20) was small and it’s not clear if most subjects saw this effect, or a small minority experienced large differences.

The presence of limonene did not influence physiological measures like heart rate, nor did it lead to differences in the intensity of THC’s subjective effects or blood levels of THC.

“That’s important… because it suggests that limonene isn’t somehow interfering with THC absorption. It’s not somehow changing the pharmacology. It’s not blocking THC’s ability to bind to the cannabinoid receptor,” Dr. Vandrey told me.

Did test subjects detect any lemon?

image-of-cannabis-judge-smelling-weed
(AdobeStock)

Because limonene has a taste, smell, and influences vapor quality, blinding may have been an issue, especially at higher doses of limonene.

Put another way, if subjects could taste or smell this terpene, or noticed that the vapor felt different, it could have colored their experience.

According to Dr. Vandrey, however, the team’s drug delivery design minimized the subjects’ ability to discern what they were consuming via taste or sight.

“We did everything to maintain the blind in this study,” he said. “The drugs were sealed inside of the vaporizer, but they couldn’t see it, they couldn’t smell it or anything like that.”

Weed’s entourage effects remain hard to pin down

While the results of Vandrey’s study proved statistically significant, the size of the effect was quite modest. Co-administering THC with 15 mg of limonene resulted in decreases of anxiety, but not 1 mg or 5 mg of limonene.

It’s important to note a key caveat: Subjects were not consuming whole-plant cannabis products like those we can buy in dispensaries. They were only consuming specific combinations of THC and/or limonene.

The modest effects they saw were only seen with 30 mg of THC with 15 mg limonene, which is a 2:1 THC:limonene ratio. This is not a combination found in commercial cannabis flower. Expect a roughly 20:1 THC:limonene ratio for even the most limonene-rich strains.

Taken at face value, the results of the Johns Hopkins study indicates maxing out on limonene may reduce The Fear.

However, they do not demonstrate that limonene-rich, THC-dominant cannabis purchased from a dispensary contains enough limonene to accomplish the same goal.

If limonene or other cannabis terpenes can indeed reliably modulate the effects of THC in commercially-available cannabis products, future research will have to focus on them. Such products contain more complex mixtures of THC and a variety of terpenes and other molecules, many of which are present at low levels. Does the “entourage effect” really explain all the effects of weed? Researchers will need to carefully measure the effects of real-world stuff to know for sure.

For more detail on this study, listen to my full conversation with Dr. Ryan Vandrey. Mind & Matter is a science column by Nick Jikomes, PhD focuses on how psychoactive drugs influence the mind & body. It is inspired by the long-form science podcast, Mind & Matter.

What do limonene strains do to you? Sound off in the comments below.



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An Ancient Practice for Anxiety Relief

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The ancient practice of labyrinth walking is gaining renewed interest as a potential tool for managing anxiety and promoting mental well-being. This meditative walking experience offers a unique way to quiet the mind, reduce stress, and find inner peace.

Beyond Meditation: Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Labyrinth Walking

Labyrinths, featuring intricate pathways that lead to a central point, have served various cultures for centuries, facilitating spiritual and contemplative practices. Unlike mazes, which aim to challenge and confuse, labyrinths provide a clear, single path that symbolizes a journey of self-discovery and inner reflection.

The symbolism of the labyrinth resonates across cultures and spiritual traditions, representing a journey to inner wisdom and highlighting the interconnectedness of all life. Walking the labyrinth can be a deeply personal experience, offering a space for reflection, healing, and transformation.

The practice of labyrinth walking involves slowly and deliberately tracing the path to the center and back. This act can significantly affect both mind and body by promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and a tranquil state of being.

The repetitive motion of labyrinth walking encourages the mind to quieten and reach a meditative state. As daily stresses and anxieties are set aside, individuals often find clarity, inner peace, and a connection to a greater whole.

Contemporary research supports the mental health benefits of labyrinth walking, especially for anxiety and stress management. Studies indicate that walking a labyrinth can decrease cortisol levels—the hormone linked to stress—and enhance feelings of relaxation and well-being. Moreover, the meditative aspect of the practice can enhance self-awareness and emotional regulation.

Labyrinths are increasingly available in public spaces such as parks, gardens, and retreat centers, allowing individuals to engage in this reflective activity at their own pace and derive personal meaning from the experience.

Why It Matters

In our fast-paced, high-stress modern world, effective strategies for managing anxiety and enhancing mental well-being are more crucial than ever. Labyrinth walking offers a straightforward yet profound tool that individuals can integrate into their lives, providing a sanctuary for reflection, stress reduction, and self-discovery.

Potential Implications

The rising interest in labyrinth walking reflects a broader acknowledgment of the mind-body connection and the significance of holistic approaches to mental health. As the benefits of this ancient practice become more widely recognized, it could be incorporated into therapeutic settings, wellness programs, and community spaces, serving as a valuable resource for fostering mental and emotional health.

Source: BBC Travel



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