Study: Cannabinoids May Prevent Depressive and PTSD-Like Symptoms Following Severe Stress

Cannabinoids may prevent both depressive and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress, according to a new study being published by the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.

“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition highly comorbid with depression”, begins the abstract of the study, which was also published by the U.S. National Institute of Health. “The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are suggestively involved in both disorders.” For the study, researchers “examined whether cannabinoids can prevent the long-term depressive-like symptoms induced by exposure to the shock and situational reminders (SRs) model of PTSD.”

Researchers administered a compound meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids in rats two hours after a severe shock. “Cannabinoids prevented the shock/SRs-induced alterations in social recognition memory, locomotion, passive coping, anxiety-like behavior, anhedonia, fear retrieval, fear extinction and startle response as well as the decrease in BDNF levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC)”, states the study. “Furthermore, significant correlations were found between depressive-like behaviors and BDNF levels in the brain.”

The study concludes; “The findings suggest that cannabinoids may prevent both depressive- and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress and that alterations in BDNF levels in the brains’ fear circuit are involved in these effects.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at The Academic College Tel-Aviv-Yaffo and the University of Haifa (both in Israel), can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Smokin Js – Activism, Family, Culture

By Aaron A.

Cubicle life wasn’t what a young Jay Fratt saw for himself in 1997.  Production deadlines and endless engineering meetings did not fulfill his desire to be a part of the ever-evolving, independent alternative culture blossoming in the 90s.  He decided the monotony and repetition of the robotic corporate grind, was not for him.  So, Jay quit his 9-5 job in the plastics industry in order to create a different future, one in which he openly and actively pursued his greatest passion, the legalization of industrial hemp.  Thus was born the small hemp themed clothing store which over 20 years would grow and evolve into the oldest alternative pipe & tobacco store in SW Washington State … Smokin Js.

What a long strange trip it’s been!  Smokin Js has grown up as a business during substantial cultural changes in Washington State.  From medical cannabis legalization in 1998 to full recreational cannabis legalization in 2012, Smokin Js has participated in cannabis activism and education in Washington State the entire way.

Free Glass and Promotional Fun

The founder of Smokin Js grew up during the birth of the Internet.  Back then you were expected to contribute something to the Internet in trade for asking for something.  Jay has taken this idealistic philosophy to the advertising methods of Smokin Js.

  • Email List Promotion  

Smokin Js has an email list!  Like duh, but they do things a little differently than most.  With each email they send they give something away for free to a random person who opens the email.  Typically during the Christmas and 420 months the prize is sick, or should I say dope af.

Sign up Here

  • Instagram Photo Contest

Yeah Smokin Js is on Instagram.  Proud to have never paid for a service or bought a single follower, Smokin Js is legitimately connected to each person following the company feed.  One of the coolest promotions the company has ever created centers around the Instagram universe:  #JsSmokeSpot.  The hash tag promotion is a monthly 420 photography contest.  Each month the best smoke spot photo tagged on Instagram with #JsSmokeSpot wins a cool smoking prize pack for free.  The Smokin Js founder has been traipsing around the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years looking for cool smoke spots, and now he has created a way for other smokers to share their cool discoveries.  The promotion even has a website where every #JsSmokeSpot submission is displayed.

  • Street Team

Do you ever get annoyed at paid celebrity endorsements?  Like does Snoop Dogg really enjoy and use that crappy Chinese vape pen, or he is just counting duckets?  The Smokin Js Sreet Team was created by actual Smokin Js customers.  They wanted to know how they could get more involved with the company and participate in the cultural community Jay created.  So he created one of the most innovative word-of-mouth programs in the industry.  Smokin Js Street Team members compete for big prizes with special events during the year.  The goal is to have fun and spread the positive vibes of Smokin Js.  And membership does include added benefits!  Contributing street team members have access to the Smokin Js Grant Program.  From concert tickets to airfare, the Grant Program gives Smokin Js Street Team members the opportunity to customize their rewards.  The street team program helped “Tecate” go from an amateur downhill bomber to a professional skateboarder.  Yeah, pretty cool.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Bill Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry Passes WA Senate Committee, Already Passed Full House

Legislation to explicitly give permission to financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the Washington State Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

The committee voted 5 to 1 today to pass House Bill 2098, which was filed by Representative David Sawyer (D) and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Bick (R), Steve Kirby (D) and Cary Condotta (R). The measure, which passed the full House of Representatives last month in an 82 to 12 vote, would provide “immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws.”

For purposes of the bill, “financial institution” is defined as “a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business and accept deposits in Washington under state or federal law. Financial institutions are generally regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions.”

The full text of House Bill 2098 can be found by clicking here. It must now be passed by the full Senate before it can be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for final consideration.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Israel Committee Gives Approval to Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved a proposal that would decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana.

The measure, put forth by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), would make the possession of marijuana for personal use a maximum fine of 1,000 shekels ($282) for someone’s first offense. For a second offense, the fine would be doubled. For a third offense, individuals would be put on a mandatory probation period. A fourth offense would remain punishable by potential jail time. Consuming marijuana in public – as well as distributing the plant – would remain a crime for someone’s first offense.

“When we started our struggle, people disrespected us, but the Ministerial Committee’s decision today is proof that a real, persistent struggle succeeds in the end”, says MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), who heads the Knesset Committee on Drug and Alcohol abuse and supports legalization. “This bill is far from being perfect, but it is a foot in the door on the way to full legalization.”

The legislation must now go through Israel’s full Knesset (parliament) before it can become law.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Top 7 Useful Tips for Vaping Beginners

Here’s a useful list of the top 7 useful tips for vaping beginners

By Barbara M.

Vaporizers are one of the fastest growing entities in the world today. Popularity is accumulating swiftly, and the green rush has certainly contributed. By introducing a new, modern and healthier means of enjoying your Cannabis, vaporizers were bound to succeed. From the Volcano all those years ago to the newest high tech models like the Pax 3, vaporizers continue to blow us away. While I could spend all day telling you how brilliant vapes are, I will instead guide you from vaping newbie to expert.

Don’t Rush into Purchasing – Read Reviews

First off, you must decide on what vaporizer you plan to purchase. While the selection is continually growing, there are predominantly two kinds of vape available, Portable & Desktop. Desktop vapes are mains powered bulkier units which are known for their high quality vapor whereas portable vapes are usually battery powered devices designed for easy transportability and discretion. It is highly recommended to read reviews to make the decision process that little bit easier. Each vape has its pros and cons so weigh them up and make the call, you won’t be long forgetting the bongs or blunts and the smoke that accompanies them. After much deliberation, I found the Crafty to be my favorite portable vape while I found the Plenty to be top desktop.

Always sterilize your Unit before Use

It is extremely important when you purchase your vaporizer, that you sterilize it before you use it. While this may sound daunting, it isn’t. Simply turn your unit on to the highest heating setting and allow it a few minutes to do its thing. During manufacture, oils and residues can be left behind. By sterilizing your unit before use you allow the unit to evaporate these toxins away, ensuring only the cleanest, tastiest vapor reaches your mouth. The flavors produced are one of the biggest benefits to vaping, don’t jeopardise them by ignoring this simple step.

Ensure you Grind your Green Sufficiently

Each Vaporizer works to its best under different circumstances. One of these circumstances is how finely you grind your green. While some portable vaporizers appreciate a bulkier grind, others require a fine sand like texture for optimum vapor production. Grab yourself a good quality grinder and work according to what your vaporizer requires. As we all know, Marijuana can come in with different characteristics, some is dry, some is damp. There is numerous reliable articles online about vaping temperatures for cannabis consistency. Have a look or have a play around and find out for yourself.

Long, Slow Draws – Best Results

While you may be used to the fast, powerful hits from your favorite bong, vaporizers are very different. To achieve the greatest results from your vaporizer try to take long, exaggerated draws. By doing this, you prevent the temperature in the chamber from dropping, allow the vapor production to be at its maximum while also preventing yourself from inhaling any break away fragments of weed through your mouthpiece. While this technique may take some practice getting used to, once you’ve mastered it you will quickly realise why it is such an important aspect of vaping.

Be Patient – Rome wasn’t Built in a Day

Like with most good things, vaping takes getting used to. Try not to revert straight back to your unhealthy smoking habits, as things will get easier. We all know the saying Rome wasn’t built in a day, the same applies to vaping. While it can be frustrating at times trying new things, vaping is certain to pay off. Some vaporizers like the Crafty, have mobile Apps for all its settings. Once you find your favorites temperature and settings it only leaves you finding your favorite chair! Since vaporizers can activate up to 20% more THC than smoking, you might get stuck there.

Take Good Care of your Vaporizer

Probably the most important tip I can give you is to take good care of your vaporizer. Like anything else, it is imperative to keep your vaporizer clean. Over time residue will begin to build up, leaving the vaporpath and unit itself tainted. While this can lead to short term problems such as poor quality flavors or vapor it is the long term issues which are the real trouble. By ignoring the upkeep or cleanliness of your vape you threaten the longevity of the device. If choosing a device like the Crafty or Plenty, you are sure to have a vape for life if you look after it. Storz & Bickel are world renowned for their high quality products, and for good reason.

While vaping may not be as straightforward as a click of a lighter or the strike of a match, the benefits are unquestionable. While you will use significantly less weed, you will be getting clearer, cleaner highs and big money savings to match. The constant introduction of new vapes to the market is ensuring that the once too expensive units are now readily affordable. Like I said earlier, the vapes I would recommend are the Crafty & Plenty, however, it is up to you to decide what vaporizer ticks the most boxes for you.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Virginia Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Allow Medical Use of CBD and THC-A Oil

A proposal to allow for the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and tetrahydrocannabinol-acid (THC-A) oil for any medical condition deemed appropriate by a practitioner has been passed unanimously by Virginia’s Senate.

photosource420magazineHouse Bill 1251 was approved today 40 to 0 by Virginia’s Senate, a little over two weeks it was passed 98 to 0 by the state’s House of Representatives.

According to its official summary, the measure; “Provides that a practitioner may issue a written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use.” Under current law, “a practitioner may only issue such certification for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of intractable epilepsy.” The bill also “increases the supply of CBD oil or THC-A oil a pharmaceutical processor may dispense from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply”, and “reduces the minimum amount of cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol acid per milliliter for a dilution of the Cannabis plant to fall under the definition of CBD oil or THC-A oil, respectively.”

The full text of House Bill 1251, filed by Delegate Benjamin Cline, can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Alaska House Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp

Alaska’s House of Representatives has given approval to a bill that would legalize industrial hemp. 

Senate Bill 6 was passed today by the House of Representatives in a unanimous 36 to 0 vote. Filed by Senator Shelley Hughes, the proposal would separate hemp from the definition of marijuana, removing it entirely from the Alaska list of controlled substances. This would legalize the plant, allowing it to be grown an agricultural commodity. The measure has already unanimously passed the state’s full Senate, but needs to go back for a final concurrence vote before it can be sent to Governor Bill Walker for consideration.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with today’s vote, and I thank the House of Representatives for their strong support”, Senator Hughes said following the House’s vote. “As an agricultural crop, hemp has significant economic potential for Alaska as its uses are widespread and varied. It is also quite appropriate that this bill passed on Presidents’ Day. Many of our founding fathers, including Presidents’ George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, grew hemp.”

Senate Bill 6 also clarified that “cannabidiol oil is not included in the definition of “hashish oil””,and clarifies that “adding industrial hemp to food does not create an adulterated food product”.

The full text of Senate Bill 6 can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Study: CBD May Help Treat, and Cause the Death of, Endometrial Cancer

CBD (cannabidiol) and CBD-rich extracts may provide a potential treatment option for endometrial cancer, according to a new study published by the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

Endometrial cancer,

“Among a variety of phytocannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most promising therapeutic compounds”, begins the study’s abstract. “Besides the well-known palliative effects in cancer patientscannabinoids have been shown to inhibit in vitro growth of tumor cells. Likewise, the major endocannabinoids (eCBs), anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), induce tumor cell death.”

The purpose of the present study “was to characterize cannabinoid elements and evaluate the effect of cannabinoids in endometrial cancer cell viability.” Endometrial cancer is a variety of cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus.

After conducted a series of tests, researchers found that “these data indicate that cannabinoids modulate endometrial cancer cell death. Selective targeting of TPRV1 by AEA, CBD, or other stable analogues may be an attractive research area for the treatment of estrogen-dependent endometrial carcinoma.”

They conclude by stating that; “Our data further support the evaluation of CBD and CBD-rich extracts for the potential treatment of endometrial cancer, particularly, that has become non-responsive to common therapies.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at the Universidade do Porto in Portugal, can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Legal Marijuana Sales Delayed in Canada

Despite Canada’s longstanding plan to begin legal marijuana sales in July, a Canadian official has conceded that they won’t actually begin until August, maybe a little later.

As recently as last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was insistent that it was still on track to begin legalization in July, which has been the plan for quite a while now. However,  Health Minister Ginette Petitpas said Thursday that this simply won’t happen, and sales aren’t going to begin in July. Instead, sales are likely to begin in August, or potentially shortly thereafter. The change in time-frame is based on the Senate’s updated timetable for considering the issue, which has already been passed by the House of Commons.

Petitpas Taylor says that provincial and territorial governments need eight to 12 weeks following senate passage and royal assent (final approval) to prepare for legal marijuana sales. This means that there won’t be enough time to begin sales in July. However, it looks as if September should be the latest that sales start, unless things are pushed back once again.

Once Canada’s legalization law takes effect, Canada will become just the second nation to allow recreational marijuana sales following Uruguay.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Netflix Cancels Disjointed, Exemplifying that People Are Over Stoner Stereotypes

The marijuana-focused Netflix series Disjointed has been cancelled, and it only has itself to blame.

Disjointed had everything going for it. It’s a marijuana-themed show in an era where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational purposes in dozens of states, and its usage is quickly losing its stigma and becoming more and more mainstream. It had Netflix as a platform, which allows for more creative freedom than most cable networks. It was created by Chuck Lorre, who always created The Big Bang Theory (which has been one of the most popular shows for years), and David Javerbaum, a former head writer for the Daily Show. To top it all off, the show was able to cast Kathy Bates in the lead role as an LA-based dispensary owner; Bates has won two Emmy Awards, and has been nominated over a dozen times dating back to 1996.

Despite having all this going for it, the show failed to make it past season 1. Netflix recently announced that the show has been cancelled after a 20-episode initial run (10 episodes released in August, followed by 10 more in January). Given Netflix doesn’t release viewer counts for their shows, there’s no way of  knowing if it was cancelled more for a lack of viewers, or for its poor critical reception (it has a score of 43 on Metacritic an 23% on Rotten Tomatoes). What is clear, is that there simply wasn’t a large enough appetite for the type of comedy that Disjointed offered, which too often relied on the “dumb stoner stereotype”.

Disjointed could have taken a more intellectual approach to the show’s subject matter (and being focused on a dispensary gave them the perfect setup), but instead they harkened back to the days of Cheech & Chong. Though this may have worked a decade or two ago, people are looking for a more nuanced approach to marijuana use. Most cannabis consumers simply don’t find this type of comedy funny – and some find it offensive or simply ignorant – and those who don’t consume it are either bored by it (it’s oh-so been-there done-that), or understand that playing into a decades-long and incredibly unhelpful stereotypes doesn’t make for good television .

This isn’t to say that Disjointed was necessarily an awful show, and that it didn’t have its funny or clever moments, it just had very few of them, and didn’t do enough to offer a new or modern brand of cannabis comedy that people desire. As such, it failed to retain its presence in popular culture. Hopefully future shows that have a cannabis theme will learn from their mistakes.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.