Over the past few months we have been putting together a brand new series designed to give you an insight into some of the activists working towards legalisation in the UK cannabis industry.
Our first episode features Sy Dignam from Hampshire Cannabis Community. For the past few years we have met Sy at several events and always see him flying the Hampshire Cannabis Community banner loud and proud!
We sat down with Sy this week to see what drives him, and what his aims and ideas are around the blossoming cannabis industry that we can expect with legalisation in the UK.
Arizer is brand based in Canada. Their previous releases include the Solo 2 and the Extreme Q, and the Arizer Air 2 (Arizer Air II) is their latest portable vaporizer to hit the market.
Using digital temperature controls (without the need for an app), the Arizer Air 2 also features micro USB charging, better battery life, and both convection + conduction heating for better flavour and performance.
The week we are talking about Grapefruit Diesel, an indica-dominant hybrid strain which combines Grapefruit and NYC Diesel in its genetics.
Grapefruit Diesel delivers around 15-20% THC on average and has a notably different high to what is expected from the indica-led genetics.
In fact, consumers often report a creative buzz/ uplift that’s more akin to the high experienced from a good, clear-headed sativa strain, as opposed to one which is 85% indica. Have no fear though, the indica properties in this one mean it can still be enjoyed by those who wish to experience the medicinal benefits of an indica strain.
Last night ITV (That’s channel 3 in the UK) broadcast what can only be described as a positive programme about the benefits of cannabis.
In part 1 of Gone To Pot, we saw Birds of a Feather actress and Loose Women panelist Linda Robson, ex-EastEnders actress Pam St Clement, actor Christopher Biggins, retired footballer and TV presenter John Fashanu and darts supremo Bobby George travelling to the state of California where cannabis access is now ubiquitous with general life, to see how cannabis can benefit them.
We all know that it’s safer to vape than to smoke because when vaping you aren’t combusting any plant material. So today we want to take a look at the benefits of vaping cannabis as a consumption method.
Smoking cannabis is one traditional way to consume it. People also eat (edibles) or apply cannabis topically for medical benefit. Due to the advent of better technology, in recent years there have been several great vaporizers to hit the market, and the benefits of vaping cannabis are more apparent – it is now easier than ever to vape cannabis safely and effectively.
There are several benefits to picking up a vaporizer over smoking, so let’s discuss them here.
This week we’re taking a look at a rare variety of cannabis from the North of England. The Blues Cannabis Strain is also known as “Livers”, and was originally bred around the Sheffield Area of the UK.
Starting its life as a Skunk No.1 phenotype in the late 1980s, the Blues cannabis strain has since cemented itself as a favourite of many experienced growers – it won the Dopefiend Cup in 2014 and the cutting that provided this sample was gifted to Kush Family Collective that year.
I’ve been lucky enough to pick up Blues three or four times since I first tried it, and I have never been disappointed. It’s a hybrid strain, maybe a bit more on the sativa-dom side, and comes in at under 20% THC, making this one a medium-strength strain.
The donation of blood is a selfless, kind act that has the potential to save someone’s life. Give Blood UK say they need around 200,000 new blood donors every single year.
With over 50% of donors being over 45 years old it’s younger donors they need. Most people between the ages of 17-70 are able to become blood donors. Members of the UK cannabis community may be surprised to learn that cannabis use doesn’t rule you out in becoming a donor.
We spoke to Raymond Miller, corporate communication manager for NHS Blood & Transplant to clarify a few things.
Firstly there are other health and eligibility requirements a potential donor must pass before being accepted to make a donation.
“The safety of our patients, as well as our donors, is number one priority which is why we carry out a donor health check for each donation.”
He states clearly though to the cannabis community that
” We do not test blood for THC“
He was also clear in mentioning that
” Give Blood UK would never accept a blood donation from anyone who tells them they are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.”
Miller went on to add that
” Blood donation is an altruistic act and we thank all donors for their commitment.“
What does donating involve?
The first step in becoming a donor is to visit the Give Blood UK website to check that you first meet all the donor requirements. Provided that the criteria is met you will then be able to register online and make your first local appointment. Women are able to donate blood every 16 weeks whereas men can donate every 12 weeks.
Upon arrival for your first donation, you will first be asked a few health questions. You will then have your iron levels checked by providing a small blood sample.
The Donation process
Provided all is well the next stage will be the donation process, as soon as available you will be asked to sit down in a chair that’s perfectly set up to efficiently take the donation.
Blood will be taken from your chosen arm and a clean sterile needle will be inserted into a vein. A collection bag is then connected up it will then usually takes around 5-10 minutes to donate the required 470ml of blood.
Once you’ve given the donation you’ll have your donating arm fully cleaned and dressed and will be asked to rest.
You’ll need to take a few minutes out to relax as you’ve just lost some of your blood supply. You will be sat down and offered a hot or cold drink and a selection of biscuits, crisps and snacks.
After around ten to 15 mins, provided you are in good health and have had your fill of biscuits you will be free to leave. You can also make your next blood donation appointment too before you go. You’ll also be advised not do anything too strenuous for the next few hours.
What happens to the blood donations?
Donated blood or components are given to a patient in a blood transfusion. Blood transfusions are given via an intravenous line into a blood vessel.
How blood was used in 2014, according to hospital usage:
67% was used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders
27% was used in surgery, including cardiac surgery and emergency surgery
6% was used to treat blood loss after childbirth
Usage varies between hospitals depending on their particular specialities.
So, to sum-up, you can indeed give blood as a cannabis consumer.
If you want to give blood you can call 0300 123 23 23 or visit https://blood.co.uk to find out more
There is a lot of info online about CBD in the UK, most of it coming from CBD companies providing a variety of products to consumers.
Because of this, it can be difficult to navigate this market of products containing CBD in the UK, and so we have put together some info about this wonderfully beneficial cannabinoid.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural, non-psychoactive cannabinoid, a compound which is found in cannabis. It’s one of over 110 such cannabinoids that are currently known to science.
In fact, CBD is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the most commonly occurring and well cannabinoid which is responsible for the “high” that is traditionally associated with consumption.
CBD doesn’t get you “stoned” in the same way as THC does but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful in many other ways.
All Humans and mammals have what is called an Endocannabinoid system, (ECS) a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems that interact with cannabinoids.
Recent studies have found that utilising this internal system CBD can act as an:
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reclassified CBD in the UK as of January 2017 meaning as far as the British government is concerned CBD is a medicine. MHRA Issuing the following statement in October 2016:
“We have come to the opinion that products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. Medicinal products must have a product licence (marketing authorisation) before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK, unless exempt. Licensed medicinal products have to meet safety, quality and efficacy standards to protect public health” ((https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-statement-on-products-containing-cannabidiol-cbd))
This meant that as of the start of 2017 CBD in the UK could only be sold as a medicine under license and under strict regulatory controls. There was, however, a legal grey area created by this reclassification. CBD in the UK cannot be sold as a MEDICINE without a license, but it can be sold as a food supplement as long as the proprietor doesn’t make any medical claims about the product or imply that it will do X or treat condition Y when there are no “approved” studies of CBD’s efficacy in the UK. (The same bullshit argument that is made in general around the legal status of cannabis in the UK despite the mountains of international research showing cannabis’ efficacy)
This grey area means that patients and consumers are left in the dark about how CBD could benefit their particular ailments, illnesses and conditions or simply how regular ingestion of cannabinoids could help to improve their general health and well being.
This legal grey area is a continued indictment of the failures of successive governments to acknowledge the truth about Cannabis and a constant reminder why it desperately needs relegalising in the UK and globally!
The restrictions on advertising and publicising the medicinal effects of CBD in the UK is being negated by the sheer volume of international studies and trials taking place around the globe.
Research and that most invaluable of communication tools, the internet is revolutionising the way the world views cannabinoids/cannabis in general and the way it accesses information about it.
This allows even the most hardened prohibitionist instantaneous access to valid scientific information which is slowly eroding the foundations of reefer madness and the failed war on drugs.
A Patient or consumer can now within 30 seconds look up all of the potential benefits of CBD for their condition and purchase a plethora of preparations online legally and increasingly in high street locations too, as companies scramble to capitalise on the recent commodification of this cannabis compound.
Companies currently cannot legally confirm, deny or comment on the potential medicinal application or benefits of CBD. The recent reclassification means it has to be marketed strictly as a food supplement, as Holland and Barrett have done recently and many new companies are popping up intent on following suit.
Consumers are left to experiment with it, titrating dosages and varying ingestion methods seeking to optimise their consumption. They’re also free to swap notes on their condition and how CBD affects it with other consumers creating community consensus on some conditions.
Cannabidiol is non-toxic, non-psychoactive and as with all Cannabinoids, non-addictive so there really is no risk to including CBD into your health regiment or into your diet as a nutritional additive.
Cannabis is, after all, one of the oldest medicines and most studied plants on the planet. As we’ve discussed previously in ISMOKE Magazine, cannabis has been cultivated and utilised by humans for at least 5,000 years, with evidence of its use in nearly every culture on Earth.
There is a growing issue around the sale and use of single cannabinoid medications. Again as with THC oils, there are a large number of “snake oil salesman” and conmen seeking to cash in on the government’s failures and charm sell useless and inferior products to too often the most vulnerable in our community.
There are also companies providing Synthetic, Hemp based or Cannabinoid only preparations and medications which do not benefit from the entourage effect and may, therefore, leave consumers with products that aren’t as beneficial as their full-spectrum counterparts.
Indeed, whole plant extracted products are most effective because they keep all the chemical compounds found in cannabis such as 100+ cannabinoids, The plethora of Terpenes and Flavoroids and many other chemical constituents that all combine to become greater than the sum of their parts, working together synergistically to maximise the benefits of each compound.
Terpenes have been discovered to work in tandem with cannabinoids. Myrcene one of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis has been found to reduce resistance in the blood-brain barrier, enabling easier passage of other beneficial chemicals to the brain.
Pinene another commonly occurring terpene has been found to help negate some of the cognitive impairing effects of excessive THC consumption and a combination of Linalool and Limonene with CBD is being examined as a possible anti-acne treatment ((https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/cannabis-entourage-effect-why-thc-and-cbd-only-medicines-arent-g))
This just goes to show the importance of the entourage effect and utilising the whole plant in extractions for preparations and medications. It further highlights the urgent need for further unbridled research into the 10,000+ strains and hundreds of thousands of potential combinations of chemical compositions for future treatments of conditions we cannot yet even imagine.
The recent bill proposed by Paul Flynn, unfortunately, seems like a push by pharmaceutical companies to gain easier access to research cannabinoids to produce patented profitable drugs that they can make billions on continuing their domination and monopolisation of the legal UK cannabis market.
The new bill would seek to put Cannabis in schedule 2, alongside such dangerous drugs as, Amphetamines, Cocaine and Benzodiazepines. This is spitting in the face of cannabis consumers regardless of their reasons for consumption and means that the general population continues to be persecuted and criminalised for growing or utilising cannabis, one of the safest plant medicines on the planet.
It is also worth noting that the largest survey on CBD usage to date found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medications. ((https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/08/02/people-who-use-cannabis-cbd-products-stop-taking-traditional-medicines/#773035722817)) This is another motivator for big pharma to seek to control the inevitable classification of cannabis.
It is a disgrace that in the twenty-first century we’re still having to fight our own elected officials for access to a substance that has not and never will kill a single consumer.