Medical Marijuana (4): Botanical Chemistry

I am going to guess that just about everyone knows the active ingredient in marijuana is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). That's what gets you high. But like so many other plants, chemical compounds, prescription medications, herbal remedies and drugs -- that's not all that's going on chemically when we introduce marijuana into our system.

I have already written about the two sub-species of marijuana (indica and sativa) but there are other properties to be considered. The one I want to discuss today is CBD or cannabidiol. Often the strength of pot is measured by its THC percentage but that is only one of several cannabanoids that are present in most marijuana. CBD is one of those 'others' and has some remarkable qualities including reducing what some refer to as the social isolation or 'anti-social' qualities of prolonged marijuana use. 

CBD has also been shown to be a primary factor in treating nausea, anxiety and inflammation. Even more interesting is that as some growers hybridize for more CBD, they are discovering pot that provides various medical benefits while inhibiting the typical marijuana high.

High CBD extractions have also shown early promise in lowering the aggressiveness of breast cancer cells and limiting their invasiveness. Note to dispensaries, labeling that includes CBD testing results will draw customers.

As entrepreneurial growers are given more and more incentives to produce a wider range of products, the trend towards unique blends should provide higher and higher CBD potent strains, which may provide easily stoned patients like myself the ability to gain the medical benefits of marijuana without the associated intoxication.

PRODUCT REPORT: Suckers & Hard Candy

I will preface this report with the stipulation that I am not a big hard candy guy. In addition, it is very difficult to regulate your consumption when you are sucking on a marijuana lollipop. I suppose if you want to sit at your desk and get high with a piece of candy this would work, but as a delivery vehicle for a medically titrated dose, well these suck. Also, it amazes me with all the sweet sticky sugar base used in these treats, candy makers seem unable to make them taste like anything but a vaguely disguised garden compose heap. My advice, go with cookies, pies, cakes; they easily cover the bitter green flavor of the plant, particularly the chocolate based products.

That being said - the Lolle-zing suckers can and do deliver a large dose of THC (56 mg) per pop. They are publicly unobtrusive if that is an issue for you. However, despite the alleged flavors (I tried lemon and pomegranate) they taste like old, moldy grass.

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