Tag Archive: cannabis

  1. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

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    You wince in pain when a light breeze hits your neck or the fabric from loose clothing brushes against your leg. No matter how much you sleep, you wake up feeling exhausted – sometimes your skin feels like it’s sunburned and other times you feel a deep, debilitating ache that makes the smallest tasks an impossible feat. This is fibromyalgia.


    Individuals living with it know all too well how life altering this condition can be. If your doctor has diagnosed you or someone you know with fibromyalgia, you should learn more about this condition and whether cannabis can help.  



    What Is Fibromyalgia?


    Fibromyalgia affects the brain’s reaction to nerve signals that indicate pain. People experience lasting, widespread pain, especially in the muscles, tendons and joints. That pain can also cause fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty remembering certain things, and problems with mood stability.


    While people with fibromyalgia may experience pain differently, the most common reports of pain include increased sensitivity in the neck and shoulders, arms, back, hips and various points along the legs.


    What Causes Fibromyalgia?


    Fibromyalgia often sets in after severe distress on the body, including psychological trauma, but the exact cause is currently unknown. Prolonged stress and tension are thought to play a role, as symptoms typically set in after distress has set off other physical reactions to ongoing stress.


    However, other people develop fibromyalgia after a severe illness or infection. Still, there are others who develop this condition without any apparent traumatic cause.


    Fibromyalgia might be hereditary, but further genetic research is ongoing. Studies also suggest that women may be more likely to develop it than men, especially during the middle-age years. Still, this condition can affect anyone at just about any life stage.


    Individuals with existing osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis that affects the spine) may have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia, though it’s not considered an autoimmune or inflammation-centric condition.


    If the doctor believes you may have fibromyalgia, he or she will perform several tests to check and rule out other conditions. He or she will ask about is whether you’ve experienced widespread pain that has persisted for at least three months. Your doctor may also order one or more blood tests to make sure you don’t have another condition with overlapping symptoms.


    How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?


    There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, but your doctor may recommend certain medications to help manage the symptoms. Medications frequently recommended to fibromyalgia patients include pain medications (over-the-counter like acetaminophen and prescription non-narcotic pain relievers), antidepressants, and sleep aids.


    In addition to over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals, some sufferers also turn to cannabis to manage some of their symptoms.


    Which States Allow Cannabis for Fibromyalgia Treatment?


    Though a number of states allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis for chronic pain symptoms, only a handful explicitly consider fibromyalgia to be a qualifying condition. This includes the following states:

    • Arkansas
    • Connecticut
    • Illinois
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio


    If you live in one of these five and your doctor has diagnosed you with fibromyalgia, you may be eligible for medical cannabis – but you’ll need a written recommendation first. You may also be eligible if you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and live in a state that considers chronic pain to be a qualifying condition. Talk to your doctor about using cannabis as a part of your ongoing fibromyalgia treatment plan and discover if it’s right for you.


    Current Research on Cannabis and Fibromyalgia


    Relieving pain, coping with stress and sleeping well are important for fibromyalgia patients as these factors tend compliment fatigue, cognitive struggles, anxiety and depression.


    Though the medical community remains divided on cannabis’ medical efficacy, several select studies offer optimistic results. A 2016 report by German researchers suggests that naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis may help fibromyalgia patients cope with pain, inflammation and stress. This is an important consideration, as some medical experts believe prolonged stress may contribute to developing fibromyalgia in some individuals.


    Studies also suggest that cannabis may be able to help fibromyalgia patients experience less stiffness, better sleep, and a general improvement in well being. Periods of relaxation appear to be an important component to manage overall wellness and improve flaring up symptoms.


    Another study that tracked cannabis use across a sample pool of 26 fibromyalgia patients found all participants experienced significant improvements in symptom management and overall quality of life. Half of the participants stopped taking their prescribed pharmaceutical medications altogether due cannabis’ relief. However, further large-scale clinical studies are required.


    How Can I Find the Best Cannabis to Meet My Needs?


    If your state considers fibromyalgia or its symptoms to be a qualifying condition and your doctor has recommended it, Nugg can help with the rest. Our specialized Cannabis Concierge service can share their extensive knowledge with you to help choose the cannabis products that are right for you. Their experts can even help locate dispensaries in your area! Let Nugg’s team of experts help find the relief you need today!

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Never solely rely on the information in this or any post on our site or affiliated sites for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.


  2. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Seizure Disorders (Epileptic & Non-Epileptic)

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    Imagine walking down the aisle of your local grocery store comparing cereal boxes when you suddenly see bright, flashing lights everywhere. You try to look away but feel like you’re spinning in circles, causing a sour stomach. As you come to, you’re surrounded by bystanders who watch an EMT race you to the ambulance parked outside.


    This frightening experience is all too familiar for the 2% of adults worldwide who experience seizures. They’re frequently associated with whole-body convulsions, but not every seizure takes this highly visible form. Those susceptible to seizures need to make drastic lifestyle changes to remain safe if and when another occurs.



    What Are Seizures?


    seizure is the body’s physical response to abnormal electrical activity that takes place in one or more regions of the brain. But not everyone who has a seizure is an epileptic. In fact, many people who suffer from a seizure do not experience repeat occurrences. There are focal seizures, which occur in one specific part of the brain, and generalized seizures, which seem to affect multiple regions. Not all seizures result in convulsions or lack of consciousness, though some do.


    The following list details the most common generalized seizures:

    • Absence seizures: common in children, they’re defined by a blank stare and/or small, uncontrollable body movements.
    • Clonic seizures: characterized by repetitive muscle movements, especially the arms and face.
    • Myoclonic seizures: defined by the rapid onset of minor twitches or jerking of the limbs.
    • Tonic seizures: characterized by stiffened muscles, especially in the back and limbs. Because this type can affect the legs and back, there’s an increased risk of falling.
    • Atonic seizures: also know as “drop seizures,” they’re marked by a sudden loss of muscle control, which also boosts the chances of falling.
    • Tonic-clonic seizures: previously known as grand mal seizures, they’re associated with loss of consciousness and convulsing that can cause a bitten tongue. They typically consist of a tonic phase, which lasts for less than 30 seconds, and a clonic phase, which can last up to two minutes.


    What About Epilepsy?


    Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that affects the central nervous system. Epileptic seizures are still caused by abnormal electrical brain activity, yet individuals with epilepsy are at risk of having recurring seizures because that abnormal brain activity is an ongoing condition.


    In order to be diagnosed with epilepsy, you must have at least two or more unprovoked seizures, meaning it wasn’t triggered by external factors like low blood sugar, drug use or alcohol withdrawal.


    What Causes a Seizure?


    Because there are numerous types, there is no single cause. The three major are:

    • Nonepileptic seizures mimic the symptoms of a seizure without the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that characterizes a “true” seizure. Can be caused by muscle disorders, certain psychological conditions or fainting.
    • Epileptic seizures may be caused by brain injury, a brain tumor, or genetic predisposition. Not every case of epilepsy has a clearly defined cause.
    • Provoked seizures are true seizures caused by abnormal brain activity, though not caused by continuous or recurring brain abnormalities and therefore aren’t related to epilepsy. Some factors that can prompt one include illicit drug abuse, substance withdrawal, or sudden internal variations in equilibrium (a drop in blood sugar).


    These are the primary reasons for seizures, but the cause is different from a trigger. A seizure trigger is any event or occurrence that sets off abnormal electrical activity in the brain of an epileptic, which, in turn, activates a seizure.


    Common triggers for epileptic seizures include (but aren’t limited to):

    • Failing to take medication (or taking it improperly)
    • Lack of sleep
    • Alcohol (this includes dehydration or hangover the day after drinking)
    • Illicit drugs
    • Flashing or flickering lights
    • Music


    How Are Seizures Treated?


    The way your doctor treats a seizure will depend on the underlying cause of that seizure. First, he or she will perform a variety of tests to determine why you experienced a seizure. This may include a review of your family’s medical history, a panel of blood tests, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity, and imaging tests like a CT scan or an MRI. In cases where an infection is the suspected cause, the doc might order a lumbar puncture to test your cerebrospinal fluid.


    If you experienced a provoked seizure or a nonepileptic seizure, the doctor will need to treat the underlying condition or circumstances that caused it. This may include medications, lifestyle changes, or detoxing/rehabilitation (in cases where seizures were caused by illicit drug use or alcohol withdrawal).


    If your doctor diagnoses you with epilepsy, he or she may recommend certain medications to help control your seizures. Some people benefit from nerve stimulation treatments while, in extreme cases, doctors recommend surgery. However, the majority of epileptics can control their seizures with prescription medication and lifestyle changes.


    While cannabis probably won’t help individuals who’ve experienced a provoked seizure, some who live with epilepsy use it to help manage their symptoms.


    Which States Allow Cannabis for Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders?


    Cannabis laws significantly vary from state-to-state. However, the majority that allow medical cannabis recognize that citizens with seizure disorders may find relief by using cannabis.


    Some states allow marijuana use for a variety of seizure disorders while others only authorize it for epileptics. Many states allow qualified patients to use a variety of cannabis products, including smokable flower, but some only permit patients to use non-psychotropic CBD oil that won’t make you feel “high.” Check your state’s laws to better understand what, if any, forms of cannabis you may be permitted to consume for your condition.


    The following states allow doctors to recommend the use of cannabis to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders:

    • Alaska
    • Arizona
    • Arkansas
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia (low-THC oil only)
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Indiana (CBD oil only)
    • Iowa (low-THC oil only, restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi (CBD oil only)
    • Missouri (CBD oil only, restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • Montana
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico (restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • New York
    • North Carolina (restricted to patients with epilepsy)
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • Oklahoma (CBD oil only)
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina (CBD oil only)
    • Tennessee (CBD oil only)
    • Texas (CBD oil only, restricted to epileptic patients)
    • Utah (CBD oil only, restricted to epileptic patients)
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • West Virginia (effective September 15, 2018)
    • Wisconsin (CBD oil only)
    • Wyoming (CBD oil only, restricted to epileptic patients)


    Current Research on Cannabis and Seizure Disorders


    A number of studies have examined whether cannabinoids like THC and CBD can help manage seizure disorder symptoms. Some researchers point out the fact that cannabis has reportedly been used to treat epilepsy and seizure disorders for hundreds of years.


    While many studies and anecdotal reports produce positive results, further research is needed. Among cannabis treatment options, studies suggest that strains and oils high in CBD may offer promising results for some individuals. This is why a number of states permit CBD oil but not smokable cannabis or extracts high in THC. Some researchers found that whole plant extracts may be more effective than synthetic pharmaceutical CBD.


    How Do I Find the Best Cannabis for My Needs?

    The first thing you’ll need to do is work with your doctor. He or she will know your medical history and is the only person who can safely determine whether cannabis is right for you. If you’re diagnosed with epilepsy or any seizure disorder and live in a MMJ state, your doctor may recommend cannabis if he or she believes it can help.


    When it comes to medical cannabis, there’s a lot to consider. Once your doctor has written an MMJ recommendation, Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge team will help you get started! We have knowledgeable experts who’ll provide information on different cannabis products, recommend some to suit your condition, and show you where to get them. Reach out to Nugg’s free concierge service today and learn more about the wonders of medical cannabis.

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Therefore, never solely rely on the information in this, or any other post on our site or affiliated sites, for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.


  3. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Chronic Pain

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    Any time you touch a hot frying pan, stub your toe or experience any other painful sensation, your body sends messages through your nervous system between the brain and the injured appendage.


    The ability to feel pain is vital to our survival; it’s why we learn at a young age to recoil from something that’s hot to the touch. This type of pain experience is called acute pain: a typically short-lived sensation limited to a specific location on or within the body. Acute pain is generally treated with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and it usually tapers off after a few minutes, hours, or days.


    Chronic pain and neuropathy are different. People experiencing chronic pain struggle to find relief, even after several weeks or months of rest and rehab. Individuals living with neuropathy are also at risk of further injury as certain digits or limbs lose sensation; it becomes increasingly easy to fall, suffer external burns, and experience other types of trauma due to neurological numbness.



    What Is Chronic Pain?


    Chronic pain is a continuous sensation that does not involve a constant external stimulus. In order to qualify as chronic pain, the sensation must persist for over 12 weeks. Often times, chronic pain is the lingering result of an old injury – the initial wound or sprain has healed, but there’s lasting pain that can persist for months or years.


    There are four main categories of chronic pain:

    • Mechanical/compressive pain: pain experienced while stretching or touching affected parts of the body. If you have a tumor or a fractured bone, you may experience mechanical pain when you touch the affected area.
    • Inflammatory pain: due to internal inflammation caused by arthritis, injury or infection.
    • Muscle pain: injury or frequently repeated movement can cause chronic muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, hips or legs.
    • Neuropathic pain: primarily affects the nervous system and may be caused by several factors.


    Most forms of chronic pain vary in terms of how patients experience pain: it may be dull or sharp, achy or burning, constant or intermittent. Neuropathy, on the other hand, is typically experienced as a burning, shooting or stabbing sensation often accompanied by tingling or “pins and needles.” It may also include an intense sensitivity to touch or temperature.


    What Causes Chronic Pain and Neuropathy?


    Chronic pain is frequently caused by the following:

    • Injuries
    • Arthritis  
    • Back problems  
    • Illness (including cancer)


    Chronic pain can also be caused by other conditions. It can even appear without any clear external injury or illness.


    Some common causes of neuropathy include, but are not limited to:

    • Diabetes
    • Traumatic injuries (car accidents, athletic injuries, etc)
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Infections
    • Organ or thyroid complications
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Alcoholism
    • Tumor growth
    • Sciatic nerve complications
    • Certain pharmaceutical medications, including medications used in chemotherapy


    Only your doctor can properly diagnose whether you have chronic pain or neuropathy. He or she will evaluate your symptoms and may perform blood work, imaging examinations (like an MRI or a CT scan), nerve function evaluations, or biopsies.


    How Are Chronic Pain and Neuropathy Treated?


    If chronic pain is caused by an injury, infection or illness, your doctor will need to treat those underlying ailments in to reduce your pain. In other cases of chronic pain, medication and lifestyle changes (acupuncture, exercise, massage, etc.) may be recommended. There is no single course of action for treating chronic pain, and your doctor will determine what treatment plan is best for you.


    Some common medications to treat chronic pain include:

    • NSAIDs
    • Opioid/Narcotic pharmaceutical medications
    • Topical treatments (balms, creams, patches)
    • Antidepressants (if the chronic pain is causing depression)
    • Sedatives, anxiolytics, and sleep medications (if the pain is causing trouble sleeping)
    • Corticosteroids


    Doctors treating neuropathic pain may recommend any of the following treatments:

    • NSAIDs
    • Opioid medications
    • Anti-seizure medications
    • Antidepressants
    • Creams, balms, or salves for topical use


    Your neurologist may also recommend physical therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, plasma exchange or surgery, depending on the cause of your neuropathy. In addition to these options, some individuals with chronic pain or neuropathy turn to cannabis for symptom relief.


    Which States Allow Cannabis for Chronic Pain and Neuropathy?


    Many states allow doctors to recommend MMJ to treat chronic pain. Other states have laws governing medical cannabis use specifically for patients with neuropathy. States that legalize cannabis for all chronic pain include:

    • Alaska
    • Arizona
    • Arkansas
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Montana
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • West Virginia


    Of those states, the following permit medical cannabis specifically for neuropathy:

    • Arkansas
    • Connecticut
    • Illinois
    • Montana
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Dakota
    • Pennsylvania
    • West Virginia


    Current Research About Cannabis and Chronic Pain/Neuropathy


    Generally speaking, there haven’t been enough conclusive clinical trials for the medical community to universally accept cannabis as a legitimate treatment option. However, a number of individual studies have shown promise.


    One research study found that cannabis produced some neuropathic pain relief for a number of people with neuropathy caused by HIV. Some chronic pain studies found that cannabis helped patients reduce pain, with one study also concluding that some individuals reported greater quality of life scores as a result of their pain relief.


    Other studies found that cannabis treatments reduced opioid use/dependence. One report found a 64% reduction in opioid use for chronic pain patients who used cannabis. This aspect of chronic pain treatment may be particularly significant, as opioid use has the potential to cause dependence, addiction, overdose, slowed respiration, lowered heart rate and death. By contrast, cannabis use may lead to dependence in some, but it doesn’t pose the severe, potentially fatal risks that opiates do.


    How Do I Find the Best Cannabis for My Needs?


    First, get a diagnosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic pain or neuropathy, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan and find out if cannabis would help your symptoms. Live in a medical cannabis state? You may qualify for a cannabis rec. If you live in a state with legal recreational marijuana, you can easily access numerous treatment options with or without a doctor.


    If you qualify for medical cannabis in your state, learn more from Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge service. The Nugg team can help you find dispensaries and can provide information about individual strains, edibles, topicals and other cannabis products. Reach out to these experts to learn more about how you can use cannabis to treat your condition.

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Therefore, never solely rely on the information in this, or any other post on our site or affiliated sites, for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.


  4. How Cannabis Is Meeting the Needs of Today’s Consumer

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    With brands like Grubhub and Blue Apron becoming household names, our cultural shift towards online shopping and home delivery is nothing new. Now that legal cannabis has exploded onto the mainstream scene, let’s look at how this formerly underground industry is developing to meet the needs of the modern consumer.


    What you'll learn in this article:

    [Click any of the section titles below to jump there]


    Convenience Is King


    The booming on-demand economy thrives on the fact that people value convenience above all else. In fact, convenience is a commodity people are willing to pay a little extra for.


    The popularity of meal delivery kits is a perfect example. Blue Apron founder and CEO Matt Salzberg recently told CNBC, “Every other retail category has been disrupted by e-commerce, and the same is now happening with food. It’s interesting to see all of this innovation happening.”


    Similar to food and other consumable commodities, on-demand cannabis delivery services offer the same convenience in states where recreational marijuana is legal. If you think avoiding the grocery store is convenient, imagine how nice it feels to bypass a crowded dispensary. Since only a few customers are allowed inside a dispensary at once, you never know how long you’ll be waiting.


    Here at Nugg, we want to make life easier for you! Designed to deliver exactly what you want, we consider ourselves the “Grubhub of cannabis.”


    Our model saves you time and a trip to the dispensary without giving up the expertise of a professional budtender. Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Before purchasing you can ask an expert about different products, dosages and effects from the comfort and privacy of home.


    Time Is Money


    America’s legal cannabis market is projected to grow to $24 billion by 2025, and those dollars aren’t coming from the deep recesses of your stereotype stoner’s couch cushions. Today’s upscale cannabis consumers are CEOs, healthcare providers, and busy parents striving to juggle the demands of a fast-paced life.


    Streamlining service for cannabis consumers offers the same efficient experience as grocery delivery and other helpful online businesses. Not only does Nugg save you the time traveling to and from a dispensary, a quick chat with our Cannabis Concierge reduces your overall time spent shopping. That leaves you with more precious minutes to spend as you wish.


    We Like Options


    One of the major benefits of meal kits and grocery delivery services is the variety they introduce to your dinner table without the hassle of hunting down obscure ingredients. These services make a wide assortment of options available to consumers, no matter where they live.


    For people with limited choices in nearby grocery stores, food delivery may be more of a necessity than a luxury. Similarly, cannabis delivery services allow patients and recreational consumers to sample a diverse array of products from various dispensaries.


    Personalization Is Crucial


    In addition to changes in the way we acquire goods, the shopping experience as a whole is evolving to satisfy consumers’ individual tastes. 


    Take, for example, the monthly wine subscription expertly curated based on your personal palate, or a fashion box full of clothes someone selected to suit your unique style.  


    Even your dog can get a regular delivery of his favorite treats and goodies. Isn’t it only natural to expect the same personalized service with pot?


    This white paper on The State of Retail states, “In the US, 59% of consumers want real-time personal offers designed especially for them.” Even more than that, though, they want expertise. “78% feel sales associates should have a deep knowledge of the entire product range.”


    Full-Service Cannabis


    At Nugg, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we’re proud to offer the industry’s first full-service cannabis experience.


    A Cannabis Concierge is there for you, at any hour, to help find the most effective products for your needs. Have medical or legal questions? These tried-and-tested experts can answer anything marijuana related so you can use it with complete confidence.


    Now that scientific research is available to explain the various effects of different cannabinoids and terpenes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Nugg’s friendly, knowledgeable Cannabis Concierges are ready to share current cannabis information and apply their expertise to meet your needs.


    Our Cannabis Concierge isn’t a sales team and never pressures you to buy a product, they only provide facts to empower you to make the best decision. We only partner with dispensaries that adhere to the highest quality customer service, always ensuring an easy and pleasant experience.


  5. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)

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    Imagine planning your day around a restroom. The painful, urgent need to have a bowel movement can come at any time, seemingly out of nowhere. It can have a detrimental impact on your work and social life. Bloody stool may cause alarm, and at times the painful complications of this condition may even cause hospitalization.


    You’ve probably experienced indigestion and other stomach ailments after a big meal. But unless you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you’ve never had problems like this.



    What Is IBD?


    IBD is a category of bowel diseases that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both bear similar symptoms. The most common symptoms of IBD are debilitating pain, abdominal cramping, diarrhea (sometimes with blood), nausea, exhaustion, and sudden (unintentional) weight loss.


    The symptoms of IBD are due to inflammation of the GI tract. Sores along your GI tract may develop during flare-ups, which is why bloody stool is commonly-reported. Ulcerative colitis typically develops on the surface of the tissue along the large intestine, while Crohn’s disease affects deeper tissue layers at any point along the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus.


    Although IBD is not fatal, it can cause serious complications. Ulcerative colitis can cause extreme dehydration, colon perforation and swelling (“toxic megacolon”). Crohn’s disease may lead to malnutrition, ulcers, fistulas around the anus, a tear/fissure in the anus, and a swollen obstruction of the bowels that may need surgical removal.


    What Causes IBD?


    Doctors don’t completely understand the causes of IBD. Some researchers suspect it may be the result of a malfunction in the body’s immune system as the GI tract is attacked instead of (or in addition to) foreign microbes.


    A number of other factors may determine whether IBD develops, including environmental issues, but studies suggest that family history of IBD is one of the most significant predictors. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also cause IBD to develop, and it has been shown to trigger flare-ups in people with existing IBD. Many with IBD also find that stress may occasionally cause flare-ups.


    How Is IBD Treated?


    Your doctor will need to confirm you have either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease before treatment. Both are typically identified via blood tests, imaging (X-rays, CT scan, or MRI), an endoscopy, or a colonoscopy.


    If the doctor has confirmed that you have IBD, he or she may recommend taking prescription-strength anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and/or anti-diarrheal drugs. Your doc may also suggest taking over-the-counter pain medication to help manage the discomfort and cramping associated, but some pain medications like ibuprofen may worsen the IBD symptoms.


    In addition to these medications, some people also use cannabis to help treat the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.


    Which States Allow Cannabis Treatment For IBD?


    A number of states authorize cannabis use for any IBD diagnosis, while others require a specific diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. As you can see from the lists below, there’s some overlap, but Crohn’s disease seems to be a more broadly-covered qualifying condition across the United States.


    New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all consider the umbrella diagnosis of IBD to be a qualifying condition for medicinal cannabis use. Several states have authorized the use of cannabis specifically for ulcerative colitis, including Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Ohio.


    The following states have listed Crohn’s disease as a qualifying condition:

    • Arizona
    • Arkansas (also lists ulcerative colitis)
    • Connecticut (also lists ulcerative colitis)
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Louisiana
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Montana
    • New Hampshire (also lists ulcerative colitis)
    • New Jersey (also lists IBD)
    • New Mexico (also lists ulcerative colitis)
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio (also lists IBD and ulcerative colitis)
    • Pennsylvania (also lists IBD)
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • West Virginia


    Current Research About Cannabis and IBD


    Studies indicate cannabis use is statistically common among individuals with both forms of IBD. There’s been a lack of long-term, clinical trials involving cannabis and IBD, but the conducted studies suggest that cannabis may bring symptom relief for some patients.


    One study found that 10 out of 11 patients with Crohn’s disease achieved significant, clinically-measured relief of their symptoms after an eight-week trial period. Another study found that patients living with IBD experienced a significant reduction in both pain and diarrhea, though the authors cautioned that increased cannabis use may overlap with a higher risk of surgery in patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.


    Dose and Ratio Matter


    While some researchers have found that THC may be helpful in IBD patients treating pain and diarrhea symptoms, patients should not overlook the potential benefits of CBD. In one study, researchers induced colitis in laboratory mice and found that non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD) actually prevented colon inflammation! Talk to your doctor to find out if cannabis may help relieve some of your unpleasant IBD symptoms.


    How Do I Find the Best Cannabis for My Needs?


    First, talk to your doctor to determine whether cannabis may be right for you. If you live in a state where IBD, Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis is considered a qualifying condition, you might be eligible to use your state’s medical cannabis program.


    Once you qualify for medical cannabis, Nugg’s Concierge service can help you find the information you need on specific strains, cannabis products, and where to find those strains/products so you can start treating the symptoms of IBD.

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Therefore, never solely rely on the information in this, or any other post on our site or affiliated sites, for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.

  6. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Migraines

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    The lights in your apartment or office feel as intense as spotlights. You can’t look at your computer screen or TV. Even your smartphone seems blindingly bright. You sit quietly in the dark and try to remain calm, but can still feel your temples throbbing.


    Keeping your eyes closed and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever usually works for most people, but for those with chronic migraines, debilitating pain is a recurring symptom.



    What Are Migraines?


    You may have heard the terms “headache” and “migraine” used interchangeably, but these are two very different experiences – migraines involve headaches, but not all headaches are migraines.


    A headache is simply the symptom of pain in some region of the head. Headaches are caused by a number of factors and tend to pass within a few hours, though some extreme headaches may last several days.


    By contrast, a migraine is typically characterized by intense pain, a throbbing sensation around one or both temples, and secondary symptoms including photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), sensitivity to sound, nausea, vomiting, body tingling and difficulty speaking. Some people also experience visual distortions, called an aura, before or during a migraine. Auras can be blobs of light, sparks, zigzags or dots that typically last under an hour, though not everyone experiences them.


    Some migraines come on suddenly, while others may develop over a period of one to two days. Warning signs often include rapid changes in mood, constipation, muscle tightness, and a dramatic increase in thirst and urination.


    The headaches associated with a migraine can last up to 72 hours, though treatment usually helps reduce their duration. Some migraines pass within a couple of hours. As the migraine recedes, common after-effects include dizziness, disorientation, irritability, fatigue/weakness, continued light and sound sensitivity.


    Your doctor may perform a variety of tests before diagnosing you with migraines. These may be simple blood tests, imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan, or a lumbar puncture to analyze your spinal fluid.


    What Causes a Migraine?


    Migraines are commonly caused by a nonfatal genetic abnormality in the brain. That abnormality involves an overactive cluster of nerves that cause the surrounding blood vessels to expand and release serotonin and other chemicals, which in turn causes inflammation in the affected area(s).


    A number of factors determine who gets migraines. Individuals with a family history of migraines may be more likely to experience this debilitating condition. In fact, some studies suggest that if a parent has migraines their children have a 50% likelihood of developing them too.


    Age may also be a factor, as most people experience peak migraine symptoms during their early- to late-30s. Women are more prone to migraines than men, and some researchers have suggested that migraines may correspond with hormonal shifts associated with the menstrual cycle and/or pregnancy. They tend to get worse during pregnancy and taper off after menopause.


    If you’re prone to migraines, certain factors may worsen the symptoms of an attack or even induce one. Some common triggers for migraines include:

    • Skipping meals
    • Eating salty or processed foods
    • Eating aged cheese
    • Drinking alcohol or caffeine
    • Stress
    • Bright lights (hence the sensitivity to light) as well as powerful aromas
    • Strenuous physical activities
    • A change in atmospheric pressure
    • Certain medications, including blood pressure medicines and oral contraceptives


    How Are Migraines Treated?


    There’s no cure for migraines, but medications and lifestyle changes may help control the frequency and intensity of attacks. Only your doctor can diagnose you with migraines and advise you on how to treat symptoms.


    Many people with migraines rely on over-the-counter pain relievers, including acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen. Some also take anti-nausea medications to help manage the vomiting and/or nausea that often accompanies migraines.


    Your doctor may recommend a prescription medication if over-the-counter medications are inefficient or cause significant side effects. Some common medications used to treat or prevent migraines include:

    • Triptans (serotonin receptor agonists)  
    • Ergots (often combined with caffeine)
    • Nausea medications
    • Glucocorticoids
    • Opioid pain relievers: typically prescribed as a last resort when other treatment options have failed
    • Beta blockers: prescribed as a preventative treatment
    • Antidepressants: prevent migraines by regulating serotonin levels and other neurotransmitters
    • Seizure prevention medications: used to curb the frequency at which migraines take place
    • Botox injections
    • Erenumab-aooe injections


    In addition to prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, some individuals use cannabis to help treat the symptoms of migraines.


    Which States Allow Cannabis Treatment for Migraines?


    The number of states that explicitly consider migraines as a qualifying condition are limited to California, Connecticut, and New Jersey. As more states adopt medical cannabis laws and expand existing qualifying condition lists, it’s possible that other states will allow patients to use cannabis for migraines in the future.


    Current Research About Cannabis and Migraines


    Studies show that lab rats with induced migraine symptoms experienced significant relief from THC administered in a controlled dose and schedule. Other studies surrounding human cannabis use suggest that cannabis may be an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for some individuals, which may be a promising discovery given the role inflammation appears to play in migraine attacks.


    However, other researchers believe that cannabis use may actually cause headaches in some people. Further research is needed. So if you suffer from migraines, ask your doctor whether cannabis could help treat your symptoms and what (if any) side effects you might experience.


    Dose and Ratio Matter


    Some studies propose that balanced, measured THC/CBD treatments may help with migraines. Cannabis has been used to treat migraine symptoms for hundreds of years–especially indica strains–and researchers note that smoking cannabis offers quick pain and nausea relief associated with them. However, those same researchers also raised concerns that cannabis may cause a risk of dependence in some individuals.


    In addition to treating the symptoms of an existing migraine attack, some researchers found that cannabis use between attacks may help prevent future migraines.


    How Do I Find the Best Cannabis for My Needs?


    Before you begin using cannabis for migraines or any other ailment, you should talk to your doctor to determine whether cannabis is right for you. He or she should be familiar with your medical history to make recommendations for or against cannabis.


    If your doctor has recommended cannabis and you’re not sure where to begin, Nugg’s concierge service will give the help you need. Their Cannabis Concierge team at Nugg can provide you with information on specific cannabis flower, vapes, edibles and other products plus where to get them if you live in a state that allows MMJ for migraines.

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Therefore, never solely rely on the information in this, or any other post on our site or affiliated sites, for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.

  7. Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and PTSD

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    Imagine walking around your neighborhood on a warm, sunny afternoon. Without warning, a firecracker shoots off. Logically you know it’s just a harmless bang, but it sounds enough like gunfire that you involuntarily duck for cover. If you have a history of trauma, you might experience vivid flashbacks of a time under duress, seeing every detail and feeling time slow like you’re living two timelines at once. Worst of all, you feel unable to quell the anxiety building up.


    Almost everyone has had an unpleasant experience that was difficult to let go of and grow past, but for those living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, this immersive experience is a daily struggle. These individuals must repeatedly relive their traumatic event(s), never knowing what benign interactions may suddenly trigger an intrusive memory or flashback, causing full-on panic.



    What Is PTSD?


    PTSD is a mental health condition that can affect anyone who has survived a traumatic or life-threatening experience. PTSD often afflicts individuals who have been involved in military combat, survived a terrorist attack, experienced a severe accident or natural disaster, or been the victim of assault, though other traumatic events can also lead to PTSD.


    Individuals living with PTSD typically exhibit recurring symptoms from each of the following categories for at least one month:

    • Re-experiencing the event through intrusive memories, flashbacks, and/or vivid nightmares.
    • Avoiding discussion of the incident and/or avoiding places or things that trigger re-experiencing symptoms.
    • Feeling tense, being easily upset or startled, and/or experiencing unpredictable moments of rage or terror (often called “hyperarousal”).
    • Blocking memories of the event and/or experiencing the symptoms of severe depression (guilt/blame, withdrawal, low self-esteem).


    Currently, there’s no known cure for PTSD, but therapy and other treatments can help manage symptoms, making it easier to cope with daily life. Experts recommend trauma-centered psychotherapy, prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.


    In addition, some emerging research suggests that many individuals with PTSD use cannabis to manage their anxiety during the day and to sleep more easily at night.


    Which States Allow Cannabis Treatment for PTSD?


    While qualifying symptoms for medical cannabis treatments vary from state to state, PTSD is a common symptom across many states that have approved medical cannabis use. As of 2018, the following states have recognized PTSD as a qualifying condition for MMJ treatments:

    • Arizona
    • Arkansas
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia (CBD only)
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Louisiana (non-smokable cannabis products only)
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Montana
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York (non-smokable cannabis products only)
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania (flower is permitted but must be vaporized, not smoked)
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • West Virginia (non-smokable cannabis products only)


    Current Research About Cannabis and PTSD


    There’s been substantial research on cannabis and PTSD. So far, though, that research has mostly involved observational studies or correlative reports. Much of the existing research to date hasn’t included large-scale, long-term, randomized control studies measuring the cannabis’ efficacy as a PTSD treatment option.


    How Some Patients Use Cannabis for PTSD


    Even though there’s a lack of large-scale clinical studies, researchers are investigating whether cannabis can help PTSD sufferers improve their sleep quality, reduce nightmares, and manage hyperarousal/anxiety symptoms.


    Studies have also sought to determine whether cannabis may help control neurotransmitter functions, alter the memory process, and improve overall mood. Further research (including clinical, reproducible results) is necessary to better understand the role cannabis may play in treating the symptoms of PTSD.


    Potential Side Effects of Using Cannabis for PTSD


    Some studies suggest that cannabis use may be problematic among people with PTSD. Researchers have expressed concerns about possible dependence and withdrawal symptoms in some patients.


    In addition to these concerns, it’s worth remembering that researchers don’t fully understand the relationship between cannabis and anxiety. Because PTSD often causes anxiety and hyperarousal of panic in many, anyone considering using medicinal cannabis should proceed with caution. If you have PTSD and are prone to anxious reactions, talk to your primary physician about these and other potential risks associated with using cannabis.


    Dose and Ratio Matter


    Recreational cannabis customers often choose strains or edibles with the highest THC content. However, high doses of THC may not always be best for someone with serious medical needs, including patients with PTSD.


    Instead of a high-THC product, ask your budtender about a high-CBD option. Researchers are investigating whether CBD may offer potential health benefits that include managing the symptoms of generalized anxiety, which could have implications for patients living with PTSD. Some cannabis strains with high CBD include Charlotte’s Web, ACDC and Ringo’s Gift. There are also many high-CBD/low-THC concentrates, edibles, tinctures, and sublingual sprays.


    Also check which terpenes, the aromatic hydrocarbons that give cannabis its unique smell and taste, are in your flower or concentrates. Terpenes may offer their own additional therapeutic benefits, which is nothing new. Multiple studies indicate that linalool, found in lavender and numerous cannabis strains, may offer anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects in some. However, aromatherapy isn’t recognized as a legitimate treatment option and more research is needed.


    Try keeping a written record of which strains/concentrates/tinctures you’ve tried, how you were feeling before and after, and any overall impressions you had. This will help identify which strains and products work best for you.


    How Do I Find the Best Cannabis for My Needs?


    Start by talking to your doctor about your needs as a PTSD patient. He or she may advise you to avoid cannabis altogether or may have some recommendations, like sticking with CBD. No one besides your doctor can determine whether cannabis can help or worsen your symptoms.


    Where to Go for Help


    We understand you may have more questions, and we’re here to help. Nugg’s cannabis concierge service connects you with a team of experts who can address your questions or concerns. Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge can also share product information as well as overall emerging industry knowledge. Trust Nugg to help you meet your needs and give you the answers you want and talk to your doctor about treating your PTSD symptoms.

    Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. While the content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, the author is not a medical professional. There may be omissions, errors, and mistakes. Therefore, never solely rely on the information in this, or any other post on our site or affiliated sites, for medical advice. This post does not create a physician/patient relationship with any of Nugg or NuggMD’s affiliated staff or physicians.

  8. Cannabis and Sex: Answers, Strains and Other Products for Bedroom Bliss

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    The claim that cannabis works as an aphrodisiac is a common one, dating as far back as 3,000 years ago. Ancient texts and cultures viewed cannabis as a treatment for sexual dysfunction.


    But what does modern science say? Like many unknowns when it comes to the science behind cannabis, more research must be done.


    There’s a lot of misinformation about cannabis and sex. Let’s break it down as well as suggest some strains and products sure to spice up your romantic life.


    What you'll learn in this article:

    [Click any of the section titles below to jump there]


    Cannabis and Sex 101



    Here we’ll address the most common, and sometimes troubling, cannabis and sex questions that can affect your most intimate moments.


    Is cannabis really an aphrodisiac?

    Next time you’re trying to get in the mood, light up a joint instead of eating a bowl of oysters. According to research published in Pharmacological Research Journal, roughly half of subjects, both male and female, reported feeling aroused from cannabis.


    So what causes this? Research isn’t conclusive, but psychiatrist Dr. Lester Grinspoon told High Times, “There’s no doubt that when people are high, they are more sensitive to their sexual feelings and urges.”  


    But you know what they say about too much of a good thing…the same goes for cannabis before sex. When the optimal dose is consumed, cannabis can act as an powerful aphrodisiac, helping you get aroused and maintain it.


    If too much is ingested, it can actually have the exact opposite effect. Know your tolerance level before you try mixing cannabis and sex.


    Does cannabis make orgasms better?

    It’s no secret that the average female has more trouble reaching sexual climax than the average male. For the 1 in 3 women struggling to achieve orgasm during sex, marijuana can be a real savior.


    According to this study, regular cannabis consumers have a heightened sense of pleasure and sensation, which can lead to better and more intense orgasms.


    What’s the science behind pot and increase pleasure and stimulation?


    For one, it increases your heart rate, which in turn increases blood circulation, including blood flow to erogenous zones.


    Secondly, it has to do with CB1 receptors, which are part of the endocannabinoid system and found all throughout our body. These receptors influence functions like cognition, memory, motor behavior, and sensory experience. When we consume THC it bonds with our CB1 receptors, creating a sense of euphoria and heightened sensitivity.


    Heightened sexual sensitivity can have its downsides too. The same increased responsiveness that can help women orgasm can also make men orgasm faster than they wanted, a bummer for both parties. Combine this with cannabis’ skewed sense of time and a man may climax well before intended.


    Can cannabis help you feel more relaxed before and during sex?

    Cannabis has been used to treat anxiety successfully for quite some time. A recent study by the University of Haifa in Israel has helped validate this claim, stating “cannabinoid system activation could represent a novel approach to the treatment of cognitive deficits that accompany a variety of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.”


    What does this mean for your sex life? If you tend to be anxious when it comes to lovemaking, marijuana might be just what you need. Odds are you’ll perform better when you aren’t so worried or intimidated about pleasing your partner. Take a few puffs before getting down to business and you’ll feel more at ease.


    Does cannabis make your vagina dry?

    We all know about cotton mouth, but the same phenomenon can happen to other places on a woman’s body too.


    Cotton mouth, and “cotton vagina” as the internet has so creatively named it, is caused by the same problem: drying mucus membranes. The science on why this happens is pretty sparse, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from women who say they’ve experienced it. Birth control pills can also interrupt vaginal wetness, which is only exacerbated by certain types of weed.


    The good news? There are plenty of strains that won’t give you cotton-anything. It’s all about finding those that work best for you and avoiding the ones that don’t.  


    Does cannabis lower testosterone levels?

    Testosterone is the steroid hormone associated with human’s sexual drive. It’s mostly found in men, made in their testes, but women have some too, produced by their ovaries.


    Research by the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation and the Missouri Clinical and Biochemical Laboratory suggests high levels of THC can cause the body to produce less testosterone. But the decrease is pretty minimal, and probably not medically significant.


    Even if your cannabis use is affecting your testosterone production, don’t worry: it’s not permanent. If you stop consuming cannabis, your testosterone level should even out.


    Will cannabis make it harder to get pregnant?

    While cannabis shouldn’t be treated like birth control, research suggests it may make it more difficult to get pregnant in two ways.


    Some research claims that THC has an effect on sperm swimming habits. Because sperm are too tiny to make the entire trip up the vaginal canal, they instead ride the current for a while then kick it into high gear when approaching the egg. This is called “Hyperactivation.” THC may cause sperm to start swimming immediately, wasting too much energy to reach the egg.


    If the sperm does reach its destination, THC can stop its journey in another way. For sperm to permeate the egg’s wall, it needs to release a specific enzyme. In one study, researchers found that 30% of sperm treated with THC didn’t release the enzyme needed, and therefore couldn’t  fertilize the egg.


    Best Cannabis Strains for Sex



    Strawberry Cough

    This upbeat sativa dominant strain is the real deal. Perfect for a cerebral experience with just a bit of body high to make you feel relaxed, Strawberry Cough is a perfect for a fun date night. Take advantage of its anti-anxiety benefits and uplifting high when trying something new in the bedroom.


    Grandaddy Purple

    A true classic, this indica dominant strain’s constant relevance has to do with its ability to produce great sex. Grandaddy Purple packs a seriously relaxed high ideal for treating chronic pain, insomnia, and stress. If you’re looking for something to put you in a sensuous mood, try this beforehand—only don’t smoke too much! This flower will have you feeling sleepy.


    Sour Dream

    While Sour Dream is technically a sativa, it really acts more as a hybrid. It’s derived from a cross between Blue Dream and Sour Diesel, two of the most popular strains in the world. Take a few puffs before sex and feel all of your precoital anxieties melt away.



    Available throughout California, as the name suggests it’s a must-try for intimate relations. With high CBD and low THC, this strain is intended to give you a euphoric high without feeling overwhelmed. If you’re mixing cannabis and sex for the first time, Sexxpot is your go-to option.


    Best Cannabis Products for Sex


    Pleasure Spray by Foria

    Ladies, this one’s for you! You’ve probably read about this lube at least once; a woman drank a whole bottle and was high for three days.


    From the same company that created cannabis-infused tampons comes a 150mg THC spray that’ll take sex to the next level without the high. To apply, spritz 1-4 times directly on your vagina and keep in mind applying it inside provides the highest absorption. A 10ml bottle costs $38.


    Amoré by Sensi Chew

    cannabis and sex

    This 50mg edible (broken into two 25mg pieces) claims to increase testosterone in both men and women and helps boost sexual desire. How? It’s made with cannabis and 80mg of Tongkat Ali, another natural aphrodisiac. Go slow with this one if you aren’t sure of your tolerance. One 50mg Amoré sells for about $12.


    Hemp Stay Erect Cream by Pipe Dream

    Now this one’s for the guys! If you need a little help keeping up, try this hemp-based cream to get more blood pumping to the right place. Since this product is made from hemp and contains no THC, you can order it directly from Amazon for less than $10.


    Love Potion #420 Tincture by Yummy Karma

    cannabis and sex love potion

    This tincture is made with 150mg THC and 60mg CBD, MCT oil, ginseng extract, maca root extract, turmeric, and other natural aphrodisiacs. Squeeze a couple drops under your tongue to help ease into your tantric mood. This marijuana love concoction will run you about $35.


    There you have it. Hopefully we’ve answered some important cannabis and sex concerns as well as guided you towards the appropriate mmj products to help create a pleasurable and memorable sexual experience. Enjoy! 

  9. Politics, Pot and Perk with Dr. Craig Leivent

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    Nugg talks politics, pot and perk with Flower Power Coffee Company’s Dr. Craig Leivent. He whips up a pretty mean cup o’ CBD coffee, and some food for thought too.


    It’s a rare treat to talk to someone who’s as passionate about cannabis as we are. Botanist and pharmacist Dr. Craig Leivent believes that everyone should be able to benefit from the perks this plant has to offer and does everything he can to share them. So if you’re in love with coffee and cannabis, you’ll find you have a lot in common with the doctor.


    Find out how Flower Power Coffee Company hopes to make the world a better place with the potent power of CBDs.



    Dr. Leivent’s Background and How Cannabis Became a Part of His Life


    Nugg: “When did you first start learning about the potential health benefits of cannabis?”


    Dr. Leivent: “So I grew up around cannabis. I lost my dad when I was eight, and my mom worked three jobs. She needed the right path. So, she took cannabis and that helped her. I grew up seeing this. I also grew up being ridiculed and criticized by my friends and by their parents who were mostly heavily medicated and/or alcoholics. And meanwhile she came home from work after a long day, or maybe she was on her way to her next job, she was medicating herself in a way that she was able to go about her daily life. That’s what I saw.”


    “It was hard sometimes. It was something we had to deal with because, a lot of my friends, their parents wouldn’t let them come over. But then I began to realize, even when I was in high school, that this was her way of coping instead of being on Xanax and Zoloft or Prozac or multiple other things, she was utilizing cannabis. And this got me to thinking of cannabis as more of an exit drug, and not an entrance drug, and as a tool that can be used for health.”


    Nugg: “So how did cannabis become a part of your adult life too?”


    Dr. Leivent: “I’ve always loved plants, so I went into botany thinking I was also going to be a doctor. But then the accident happened and I broke my jaw and my orbital, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do that. I was doing therapy over the next 6 to 8 months, after my accident, and the doctors wanted to put me on barbiturates, benzos and anti-depression meds. I was almost like a guinea pig at one point. I was almost comatose. I was like a zombie and I couldn’t even live my life.”


    “So, I tried some cannabis too, and I realized, wow! I didn’t need the benzos or the barbiturates or the anti-depressants that they had me on – the pills that made me a zombie. I was able to consume a little cannabis and get on with my daily living. My reading and writing came back. I wasn’t as proficient as I was before the accident, but I noticed that the cannabis had a healing property on me. I mean, I had 186 stitches on my face. My lips were ripped off. My jaw was broken. My orbital was crushed in. My eyelash was ripped off over my right eye. It wasn’t pretty.”


    But Dr. Leivent didn’t let the accident stop him. He finished college and applied to pharmacy school. Dr. Leivent wanted to make cannabis available to help others the way it helped him. He then opened a medical dispensary in Oregon, Lincoln City Collective. Now he’s also on the East Coast, trying to get cannabis into people’s lives through his CBD-infused yummies.


    The Story Behind Flower Power Coffee


    Dr. Leivent: “I needed a way to get cannabinoids into everyday life. I was thinking and thinking, ‘could we put CBD into something that more than 80% of the population uses?’ And I looked in my hand and saw my coffee and thought, there it is!


    “That’s when I reached out to Chef Leighton Knowles who was doing some amazing things in the cannabis sector on the East Coast. We went over some products that were available and were not happy with what we found at the time. So we started going over different formulations, a scientist and a chef another perfect match, but the one thing we knew is we didn’t want an oily brew.”


    “I’m not poo-pooing other companies who make CBD coffee. I just don’t see how you can put CBD oil, on a bean, and then grind that bean, and then percolate that bean, and have a consistent measurement of CBD. Because each bean is not getting the same amount of CBD if it’s not being ground right away to get your measurements. So if they’re just leaving it as a whole bean and saying that its 350 mg per bag, that’s great, but how much is it per a serving? Because, if its an oil based thing, is that oil going to come through my water? Am I actually going to be able to get that in my coffee cup? Water and oil don’t like each other. They’d separate.”


    “So we searched out a custom-formulated CBD isolate, which is pure CBD – completely THC free. Then we went a little further and we thought, let’s get the best possible coffee that we can get and let’s put it with the best possible isolate that we can get. So we have this amazing CBD isolate with this fantastic coffee that’s been roasting in Brooklyn for the last 70 years. It’s been on Oprah and Seinfeld.”


    “We have the best coffee, with the best CBD, and the slight bitterness that the CBD might have is completely masked by the coffee. It’s like a match made in heaven. And it has its own entourage effect, because you’re going to get your energy through your coffee – you’re going to get your focus – but you’re not going to get those jitters and you’re not going to get the anxiety that caffeine usually brings. At least not in moderation.”


    “There were studies recently with CBD and coffee that didn’t show that, but these people were drinking eight to 10 cups of the stuff. You’re going to be jittery and have anxiety if you consume that much coffee. So moderation is important. But when people take our coffee and drink it, and they come back and tell us how they feel, it’s undeniable. That’s how the coffee came around. A lot of people describe drinking the coffee as being similar to the sensation they get when they put their hand on an air hockey table. They feel that light buzz going through their body and on their skin. That’s a great feeling.”


    “A lot of people don’t realize that their everyday life is stressful. You wake up, and suddenly you’re bombarded with stuff. Our brain doesn’t even let us realize all the stuff that’s going on around us all day or we’d go crazy. I serve this coffee at large events, and I tell people, ‘you’re going to drink this coffee and you’re going to feel great and be able to walk around all day.’ And they come back later and say ‘yeah! I feel great! I walked around all day. I usually can’t do that.’ Or they might have some anxiety with crowds, but they’ll come back to me three hours later and say, ‘you know, the crowds didn’t bother me.'”


    Feelings About Cannabinoids and Terpenes


    Nugg: “What are your feelings about high THC products with no CBD?


    Dr. Leivant: “Well now THC is amazing by itself. I also think it depends on the time of day for particular products. I think a balanced product – especially because of the synergistic effects between THC and CBD – is usually the best option. But the cannabis patients in New York don’t have access to the specific strains and varieties that you do in California.”


    Nugg: “It’s so strange to see a state that doesn’t allow flower.”


    Dr. Leivant: (laughs) “Yeah, it’s because New York is a smoke-free state, so vaping is considered non-smoking. You can consume your capsules or have a vape pen, but no smoking of flower.”


    Nugg: “Do you feel like they are missing out on the other benefits that you would find in natural flower like the CBNs and the terpenes?”


    Dr. Leivant: “Oh yes! They definitely might be missing out. CBN, CBG, you know, the other tiny cannabinoids that get pushed out with high THC breeding too. I mean, a plant can only contain so much THC before it can’t grow anymore. So it happens to the flower too. A lot of those natural cannabinoids that cause the entourage effect are being bred out. It’s extreme. I’ve seen 31% THC, so, when you think about it, 30% of that plant is just THC (the buds). So you’re losing a lot of those other finite cannabinoids that have those other wonderful synergistic effects that might give you a better effect from that THC. So, I don’t like THC with no CBD in it. But I also do like higher THC strains too. I’m a hyperactive guy and I have a lot of energy, almost too much energy.”


    “This is something I feel very passionate about. I realized everyone needs to consume some type of cannabinoid in some type of way. Like THCA, it won’t get you high, it has more antioxidants and Omega 3,6 and 9, than almost any other plant and most fish. Cannabis is a superfood! If we were to consume cannabis itself as a food, I don’t know how many diseases or conditions we’d improve or even eliminate. You’re in California! You should be consuming raw cannabis every day. Juice it, any way you can get it in there. You can’t deny the benefits. But we’re giving out opium. We’re giving out synthetic fentanyl. I would take my patients down the herb aisles and I would have to say you have to be careful taking this because your kidneys might fail, if you take too much of this your liver will fail, if you take too much of this you’ll get an ulcer. But you can consume your body weight in cannabis and feel great. It’s crazy. The only way you can get hurt from cannabis is if you drop 2,000 pounds on your head.”


    Nugg: “It seems so backward.”


    Dr. Leivent: “Yeah. We’re not even being taught about the endocannabinoid system. My friends that went through medical school weren’t taught about it. My students in pharmacy school aren’t taught about it. They do have an elective course at LIU, but at St. John’s, a Catholic school, there’s no mention of it. Before, what was it, 1938? There were some 2,000 pharmaceutical products with medical cannabis in them. It was just a great medicine! Now we don’t even feed hemp to our livestock. We’ve taken so many of these cannabinoids out of our daily life. Who knows how many of our current diseases or mental health problems could be attributed to this? I personally believe that. When you see someone who is cannabinoid naive, and you give them CBDs or low dose THCs and you see the effects, it’s undeniable. The reports that we get from people saying they’ve stopped shaking from their Tourette syndrome or they slept all the way through the night for the first time in years – it’s just undeniable. It’s just great to hear these things. We should be utilizing it as much as possible, and instead, we are being handcuffed.”


    The Importance of Taking Legal Action to Help Enable Legalization in New York


    Of course, with the tenuous ground that CBDs stand upon, the conversation took a natural turn toward the politics of pot. Dr. Leivent isn’t just passionate about his coffee. He knows that his company’s and his customers’ futures depend on the direction of current legislation.


    Now that Epidiolex is America’s first FDA-approved CBD-based medication, it’s impossible for the DEA to continue to deny that cannabis has no medical benefit. The DEA must make a decision to reschedule Epidiolex, and it’s still being debated whether this rescheduling will include all CBDs. Some activists are very worried about this decision because if all CBDs are rescheduled to Schedule 2 or Schedule 3, production could become more complicated, not less.


    Dr. Leivent: “I don’t think enough people realize what the big issues are. They think any step toward legalization is great. They don’t realize the intricacies of the situation. If we deschedule, we’ll be able to utilize this as a superfood, and as the plant-based medicine it is. If we reschedule, we will be putting cannabis completely in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. Call your congressman, call your representatives. Everyone, everyone should be calling. Every dispensary should display their congressperson’s phone number.”


    The nation got a glimpse of what such a Schedule 2 or 3 world would look like in mid-August when it was discovered that Epidiolex, which is being produced by GW Pharma, could cost as much as $32,000 per year.


    That pill may be a little hard to swallow since current compassionate care providers in legal states can make similar CBD tinctures and concoctions for just a couple hundred dollars a month. They often even provide these CBD tinctures for low or no-cost, utilizing the profits from legal cannabis sales to cover the relatively minimal production costs.


    Nugg: “Do you think there’s enough public interest now to stop this from happening?”


    Dr. Leivent: “Absolutely! Just look at the demographics that this crosses. You have every walk of life – every creed, every color, every age group. There are so many people who have seen benefits. Look at all the people who want to relax or treat pain, so they drink or pop a Xanax – but then they poo-poo cannabis. So they go home and they have a drink or get drunk and then they look terrible the next day. Or they take their Xanax and they’re totally out of it. Why would you want to do that when you can come home and smoke a joint or eat an edible and feel a lot better and be a better person to everyone else? There are no ill-effects…well, maybe a pizza or two.”


    Find Flower Power Coffee Company’s coffee at these locations, and learn more about coffee and cannabis from Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge team. We’re always here to help.