by KOR Medical

history-of-cannabis

Today, cannabidiol (CBD) products derived from hemp are widely available across the United States. More states are legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use year after year. Despite an ongoing culture war over cannabis and hemp, more and more people are realizing the benefits of cannabinoid therapy. 

According to a 2021 poll by the Pew Research Center, 91% of Americans believe cannabis should be legal for either medical or recreational use. Between 2000 and 2019, the portion of Americans who believe cannabis should be legal more than doubled. But how did this shift happen? Let’s dive into the history of cannabis for a better understanding. 

Marijuana vs. Hemp: CBD 101

Before we explore the historical context, let’s clarify a few terms and learn some CBD 101. Both marijuana and hemp are plants that belong to the Cannabis sativa family. The main difference between the two is this: Hemp contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while marijuana contains higher concentrations of the cannabinoid. 

Essentially, marijuana will get you high, but hemp won’t. In most cases, “cannabis” refers to psychoactive marijuana. However, it is sometimes used as an umbrella term for both members of the Cannabis sativa family.

History of Cannabis

Before the 1900s, marijuana and hemp were widely utilized for pharmaceutical and agricultural purposes. While marijuana was popular as a medicinal herb, hemp was primarily used industrially. Both plants were widely regarded as beneficial to the human experience. 

A Deep-Rooted History

The history of medicinal marijuana traces back thousands of years. In 2727 B.C., Chinese Emperor Shen Nung believed cannabis worked as a medical treatment for rheumatism, gout, malaria and menstrual pain. 

Cannabis plants were likely brought to the U.S. in the 1500s by the Spanish. Hemp quickly became one of the most popular materials used to create rope, twine and paper.

What Happened in the 1900s?

Throughout the twentieth century, things started to change. Stigmas around cannabis grew, and governments began to outlaw it. By 1931, 29 states banned marijuana. The stigmatization was largely fueled by racially charged anti-drug campaigns.

In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act placed hefty excise taxes on the sale, transportation or possession of hemp. In 1970, the “War on Drugs” began with the Controlled Substances Act, which categorized cannabis as a Schedule I drug — the same status as that comprising cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Shortly after, President Richard Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1973.  

After cannabis underwent a harsh period of prohibition, and after those possessing the drug suffered arrests and incarceration, the United States is now experiencing a new era, as attitudes about cannabis and hemp are beginning to shift. However, there’s still a long way to go until we can say we live in a post-prohibition era. As of June 2020, there were still 40,000 U.S. citizens in jail or prison for marijuana offenses.

History of Cannabis Laws in America

The paradigm shift we are experiencing today began in California in 1996. That year, California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use by patients suffering from chronic illnesses, including cancer, chronic pain, AIDS, anorexia, glaucoma, arthritis and migraines. Many states shortly followed with their own medical marijuana laws. 

Washington and Vermont became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. Today, 39 states allow marijuana for either medical or recreational use. 

In 2018, the U.S. enacted the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing hemp nationwide. While hemp remains highly regulated, this allows for CBD products to be widely available across the country. 

The Remaining Divisions

Although cannabis is more culturally accepted today, we are still grappling with the issue of its legality as a country. While thousands of people remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses, companies and governments are profiting from the plant. Additionally, cannabis and hemp businesses face high taxes, creating a burden for businesses and consumers alike. This allows the black market to thrive.

How do we ignore prisoners while others profit? How do we ensure safe, legal and affordable products reach the consumer? How do we erase the stigma? These questions are being asked among the populace, and only time will tell how these issues get addressed on state and federal levels.

CBD 101: Personalized Medicine

Thanks to the increasing legalization of hemp and marijuana, we are learning more valuable information as scientists study the plants and their many compounds. The most noteworthy cannabis-related advancement in the medical community took place in 2018, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD medication for rare and severe forms of epilepsy. Scientific studies of CBD suggest the compound may be beneficial in treating insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety and drug addiction. 

Here at KOR Medical, we believe in the power of cannabinoids. We started with a vision to optimize physical and mental wellness, reduce suffering, and confront the nation’s opioid crisis by delivering expert products with an individualized approach. All of our products are hemp-derived, lab-verified, and manufactured in facilities registered with the FDA.

Kasey Donovan is a copywriter, music lover, and cannabis enthusiast. In his free time, he is having fun with his son Atticus, wife Jesse, and two corgi-mixes, Zira and Ellie.

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by Deb Powers

full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum

Broad spectrum, full spectrum, CBD isolate — these are terms you’ll encounter as you search for the best CBD products to support your overall health and wellness. These are more than just industry buzz words. They tell you about how the cannabinoids were extracted from the original plant and how much of the original plant profile is in the finished product. Knowing the difference between full spectrum versus broad spectrum versus CBD isolate can help you decide which CBD products will best support your particular needs and goals.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate — What They Mean

There are three major types of CBD extracts — full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. While CBD — cannabidiol — is the best known, the hemp plant actually contains more than 100 different cannabinoids, as well as other plant-based chemicals, called phytochemicals. The difference between the three types of CBD starts with the extraction process.

CBD Extraction Process

In order to get the CBD into a form that can be used in other products, the plant has to go through an extraction process to break down the plant material, pulling out the various cannabinoids and phytochemicals. A simple way to understand extraction is to think of making a cup of tea — you soak dried leaves in water, which dissolves some of the bonds and releases the flavors into the water. The CBD extraction process is more complicated, but operates on the same basic principle — the raw cannabis plant goes through a series of processes that strip the chemicals from the vegetative materials and separate them into various elements, which can then be combined and refined to come up with a finished CBD extract or oil. The result is one of three types of CBD extract:

Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD offers the full benefits of all the constituents of cannabis, including, as noted, THC. The amount of THC, however, is very low — below .3%, as required by law. That means it is very unlikely you would “get high” using full spectrum CBD. There is not enough concentration to be intoxicating. In addition, there’s evidence that CBD modulates the effects of THC, reducing possible undesirable side effects and enhancing the beneficial effects. It’s important to note that even small amounts of THC may build up in your system over time, and show up in drug testing. This can be a consideration if, for example, you’re subject to random drug testing. 

Full spectrum CBD extract also retains the many other cannabinoids and phytochemicals present in the cannabis plant. They include the following:

Broad Spectrum CBD

Like full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum extract retains the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the original plant, with one exception: It has been further processed to remove all traces of THC. This can be important for people who are especially sensitive to its intoxicating effects or who want no exposure to THC at all. It may also be a good choice for topical uses, such as balms and creams.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate, often called “pure CBD,” is exactly that — nothing but cannabidiol. It has none of the other cannabinoids, terpenes or other phytochemicals found in the original plant. Because of this, it doesn’t offer any of the benefits associated with other cannabinoids, or that may be enhanced by their presence. 

Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum — Why It Matters

The various cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate many bodily processes. Researchers believe that cannabinoids and other phytochemicals may work synergistically together in a process called the entourage effect. Essentially, the reasoning behind the entourage effect is that the combination of two or more cannabinoids or phytochemicals may have an effect that neither of them has on its own.

full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum2

While the research on full spectrum versus broad spectrum CBD is still emerging, another recent study reviewed full spectrum hemp oil with relatively low levels of THC improved mechanical pressure pain in an animal model. There is also research suggesting that the various terpenes and flavonoids, which give cannabis strains their distinctive flavors and aromas, may also bring along associated health benefits. In short, a growing body of research supports the existence of the entourage effect, and the possible benefits of full spectrum CBD and broad spectrum CBD products that should be further explored. 

The Bottom Line

The way that your body interacts with cannabinoids is dependent on your endocannabinoid system, and on its unique needs. Choosing the right CBD products to support your wellness will depend on your circumstances and your needs. For that reason, KOR Medical offers personalized support to help you choose the products that fit your needs and lifestyle.  

All of our products are manufactured in FDA-registered facilities, and are verified by third-party labs so that you can be sure that you’re getting exactly what’s on the label. Our CBD product offerings include KOR Relief, a topical cream with CBD and CBG for targeting discomforts and sore muscles,, as well as KOR Sleep Strips and Sublingual Spray Calm sublingual spray to promote balance, and Health sublingual spray for immune support.

All KOR products reflect the high-quality standards developed through years of research, science, patient experience and customer service. Learn more about how KOR can help support your wellness with our personalized guidance to help you choose the best products for your needs.

Deb Powers is a freelance writer who has been writing about cannabis and related wellness topics for nearly 20 years. Her work has appeared on Civilized.Life and numerous industry websites and publications.

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by Dan Ketchum

cannabis-stigma

Cannabis has been used as a natural therapeutic by Americans since the 1600s, and while many of its most basic health-related applications were established early on, the plant’s place in the zeitgeist — including a persistent cannabis stigma — has been nothing if not turbulent. We’re fortunate to live in times when that stigma is largely waning, but there’s still plenty of work to do in that regard, and it’s work well worth doing, too. 

A History of Cannabis Stigma

According to PBS and Ohio State University, the production of hemp (cannabis that contains only a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the plant’s key psychoactive ingredient) was actively encouraged by the American government in the 17th century — in fact, the 1619 Virginia Assembly required that every farmer grow hemp, and the plant was even used as legal tender in some states. By the late 1800s, marijuana became a common ingredient in off-the-shelf medicinal products.

Shifting Attitudes

The shift toward the cannabis stigma is complex, but it can be traced to a few key events, revealing that its foundation largely lies in racism and classism. Following the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexican immigrants widely introduced recreational marijuana use to the States, entangling cannabis with the fear and prejudice expressed toward said immigrants, and leading to the first widespread anti-cannabis campaigns. These attitudes, as well as the xenophobic views that motivated them, continued to escalate through the Great Depression of the 1930s. This saw the rise of policies, such as the Uniform State Narcotic Act, as well as numerous fear-mongering studies and anti-cannabis propaganda, like the infamous film, Reefer Madness.  

Federal laws first set mandatory sentences for marijuana-related offenses in the 1950s, but by the 1960s, the ascent of American counterculture began to soften views on cannabis once again, and more up-to-date research disproved much of the propaganda of the ’30s. However, conservative government policy did not necessarily reflect cultural attitudes, as legislation under presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush, assisted by action from conservative parent groups, eventually culminated in the “War on Drugs” of the 1980s and 1990s. 

Changing the Narrative

Yet another sea change began in 1996, when the state of California’s Proposition 215 legalized the sale of and medical use of cannabis for the treatment of numerous diseases, a shift that triggered the chain of events eventually leading to the legalization of recreational marijauna in the state — and the many states following its lead — in 2016. 

Despite legalization, the cannabis stigma didn’t disappear overnight; while the industry continues to grow rapidly, there is still decades, if not centuries, worth of moral panic to overcome. In their systemic review “Waiting to Inhale: Reducing Stigma in the Cannabis Industry,” written for Administrative Science Quarterly, Kisha Lashley and Timothy G. Pollock offer some essential methods for breaking through cannabis stigma: Reset the moral agenda based on broadly acceptable values, disidentify with current stigmatized stereotypes and infuse new moral values among the cannabis-using audience through new languages and practices. In the case of cannabis, this process includes disidentifying with the illegal black market, purely recreational use, and the stereotypical “stoner” culture popularized across the media.

Change from the Inside

Much of leaving the cannabis stigma behind falls to the cannabis industry itself. Research cited in the ASQ piece finds that the collective actions of professionalization, political activism, and certification by respected actors can serve to ease existing stigmas. At KOR Medical, for instance, we contribute to changing the old narrative by manufacturing all of our products in GMP-compliant facilities that are registered with the FDA, and by testing each one in third-party labs with an accredited Certificate of Analysis.

Writing for Psychology Today, Rob Whitley, Ph.D., also stresses the importance of education in the dissemination of toxic views on cannabis: “Ultimately, we hope that this grassroots process of […] dissemination will help destigmatize cannabis use for mental and bodily health reasons, thus bringing this misunderstood issue out of the shadows. This can help create a climate of acceptance and inclusion for the growing number of people who use cannabis therapeutically.”

Why It Matters

Lashley and Pollock write, “When a new industry category is predicated on a product or activity subject to ‘core’ stigma — meaning its very nature is stigmatized — the actors trying to establish it may struggle to gain the resources they need to survive and grow.” Changing that narrative in the cannabis industry is particularly important, because in so many cases, individual health is at stake. As we forge through the ’20s, the focus must lie on healthy conversation for healthful outcomes.

When we identify cannabis with healing — and as Johson & Wales University notes, the research-backed benefits of cannabinoids, including CBD, we create a cognitive and emotional link that welcomes others into the cannabis community, encouraging them to see their own values in its application. The good news is, as a study from the journal Health, Risk & Society points out, the narrative is naturally shifting toward the positive as cannabis use grows in prevalence, more data about its therapeutic benefits enters the mainstream, and more people are informed of the low risk of use. Essentially, this cycle of healthy usage begets a positive image, which leaves more room for cannabis to do what we believe it does best: enrich lives.   

Dan Ketchum is an LA-based freelance lifestyle, fashion, health and food writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Livestrong, Reign Together, Out East Rosé, SFGate, The Seattle Times and more.

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By Michelle Lievense

There are a number of CBD delivery methods. Some fall in and out of popularity as CBD gains traction in the wake of mounting scientific evidence about its effectiveness. But what is the best delivery method and why? Find out why the sublingual CBDs can be a reliable and effective way to optimize your cannabinoid experience. 

Not All Delivery Methods Are Equal

Why do you need a guide to the sublingual administration of CBD? Because it’s a fast absorption method that reliably delivers consistent doses of CBD.

Sublingual Administration

The sublingual delivery method is a common way many drugs, supplements and remedies are administered to ensure maximum and fast absorption. It can take the form of a liquid, fast-dissolving tablet, or a very thin paper-like strip. When placed under the tongue, they quickly dissolve, permeate the mucosal lining under the tongue, and are absorbed by the sublingual vein — directly into the bloodstream. 

The main benefit is that the remedy bypasses the first-pass digestive system. Other delivery methods, such as edibles, have to pass through the gut and liver, which significantly limits absorption. That means doses are less reliable, and what does make it to the bloodstream can take time. 

The sublingual method is also painless and doesn’t require a trained professional, unlike injections with a needle — one of the other ways drugs and supplements are delivered directly to the bloodstream. 

This method may be more effective than vaping or smoking because even though there is a high absorption rate, more research is still required to determine whether vaping, in particular, is safe. In addition, vaping requires the purchase of additional hardware in order to take CBD. 

Similarly, creams and lotions, while the next best CBD delivery method, can also lead to unreliable doses. However, this method is more reliable because CBD interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system, the body’s natural ability to break down and disperse cannabinoids. 

When CBD is delivered via the sublingual method, an exact dose is dissolved and absorbed, whether as a measured liquid with an eyedropper, a spray, a precise strip or a tablet. 

Sublingual Absorption

What happens next when an exact dose is absorbed via the sublingual method? CB1 and CB2 receptors, located throughout the body, are activated. The receptors bind with the CBD molecules, signaling the endocannabinoid system to take action, whether it is meant to boost energy, calm the nervous system, help you focus, aid in a restful night’s sleep, or any number of reasons cannabinoids are used. 

Taking CBD under the tongue means the effects are felt within minutes. On average, sublingual results take 10–15 minutes. This rapid onset without the risk of degradation from the digestive system is why sublingual administration is so reliable and effective. Other methods, particularly those that have to pass through the digestive system, can take much longer on top of running the risk of significant interference from the gut and liver. In some cases, edibles can take a few hours to take full effect, depending upon the metabolic health of the recipient and the type of edible.  

Compared to other methods of administration, sublingual has an impressively high absorption rate. Some claims place the absorption rate at 10% to 15%, while other studies found that CBD absorbs at a rate as high as 35%. The remaining CBD is metabolized, meaning it isn’t available for use by the body. When CBD is orally ingested, it is less bioavailable, and the absorption rate drops to as low as 3% to 6%. Vaping CBD boasts a 30% absorption rate, making it competitive with sublingual dosing; however, keep in mind that there are concerns about safety and long-term health impacts, that additional vaping equipment is required, and that vaping isn’t for everyone. 

Final Thoughts

When equipped with a better understanding of sublingual CBD delivery and an understanding of the comparative methods of dosing, it becomes easy to see just how effective and potent the cannabinoid experience can be. Many uncertainties, such as dosage and absorption, drop away. 

For those who want a custom experience that takes all the guesswork out of the best CBD dose for your body, the best method, and the best timing for the intake of CBD, consider KOR Medical’s personalized approach. We have partnered with Leaf411, a non-profit organization with trained cannabis RN’s to answer any of your clinical questions via a simple phone call or online chat.

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By Michelle Lievense

Whether you are taking cannabinoids daily or on an as-needed basis, knowing the best time to take CBD and other cannabinoids isn’t always as easy as checking the directions on the label. The reason one might choose cannabinoid products varies greatly, which can affect the optimal dosage. 

Plus, cannabinoids interact with and modulate the endocannabinoid system. Keeping a balance with this regulatory network and vital biological functions means timing, dose, quality, and delivery method have an impact on the experience and outcomes. 

Factors to Consider That Impact Optimal Timing

The reasons people choose cannabinoids are wide-ranging, which means optimal timing also varies. Whether taken for occasional stress,  sleep, achy muscles or even as an addition to your wellness repertoire — timing plays a crucial role. 

Purpose

The versatility of cannabinoids means the recipient needs to consider their ideal outcomes. If taking cannabinoids to add to your general wellness regimen, then the morning is often recommended, preferably with a meal, to optimize absorption and how the cannabinioid is metabolized. Taking it to help with restful sleep means working the dose into an evening sleep hygiene routine. 

Others who take it on an as-needed basis for acute ailments, will need to practice mindfulness to detect when they might need to take their cannabinoid remedy.

It may sound obvious, but not everyone gives the purpose of their cannabinoids the consideration it needs to optimize timing.  

Dosage

Acquiring a CBD or another cannabinoid product with a reliable dosage can be challenging for a few reasons. It can take some experimentation because cannabinoids interact differently with different people based on the delivery method, their metabolism, body weight, and the intended purpose of the cannabinoid. 

Those with a larger build may require a higher dose than others. Bodyweight, fat percentage, and an individual’s unique genetics can play a role in how fast their CBD product is absorbed, as well as how long it remains in circulation. An athlete may find they metabolize their CBD much faster than someone who is less active.

Even if you don’t know your body’s specific metabolic genetics, this serves to illustrate the need for a little experimentation to better understand whether someone requires a larger dose, two smaller doses, or some other combination.

Delivery Method

Delivery method is one of the most significant factors when deciding dosage and the best time to take cannabinoids. Choosing an edible, for example, means cannabinoids are passing through the digestive system, which has a large impact on absorption. A method such as smoking or vaping bypasses the digestive system but often makes cannabinoids less bioavailable than other methods. 

Dosage reliability, absorption, and bioavailability matter when utilizing cannabinoids to improve your wellness routine. They significantly impact the consistency of the cannabinoid experience and affect the ability of the recipient to gauge the dosage and helpfulness of their cannabinoid product. 

For these reasons, sublingual sprays and strips are considered the highest integrity delivery method. They deliver cannabinoids directly under the tongue, bypassing the digestive system and gaining fast absorption to the bloodstream. Similarly, high-quality cannabinoid creams can be highly effective because they also absorb quickly, using the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, and directly interacting with the endocannabinoid system. 

Before or After a Meal

Most people make the decision to take something with or without a meal based on how they feel. However, taking CBD before or after eating does matter. The general rule of thumb is to take CBD after eating a meal because of the effect on absorption. However, the meal itself has an impact. 

Eating foods that contain medium- and long-chain fatty acids assist first-pass metabolism and increase bioavailability. Milk fat, coconut oil, and vegetable oils, such as macadamia nut and olive oil, are examples of quality fatty acids that will bind to cannabinoids and assist them through the liver. 

Of course, if the delivery method, such as a tincture, skips the first-pass digestive tract and liver, taking CBD without a meal can be an option, as it experiences absorption without the first-pass metabolic processes. 

Personal Responsiveness

While cannabinoid therapeutics may be beneficial for a variety of ailments in study after study, people do absorb and react differently to various dosages, depending on the purpose and delivery methods. This is why it’s so important to consider a personalized and scientific approach to plant-based alternatives. Experimenting with dosage, high-integrity delivery methods, and paying attention to the speed of absorption and the time it takes to feel the effects are all ways to dial in a cannabinoid routine. 

Timing Considerations: Day versus Night 

Concerns, such as dosage, play into the best times to take cannabinoids. For example, we discussed whether one would need one dose or two split doses to help determine the best time to take their CBD and optimize their experience. Most of the time, the best time to take CBD and other cannabinoids is broken down into daytime versus nighttime intake. 

Daytime 

When thinking about daytime versus nighttime cannabinoids and optimizing effectiveness, it’s useful to think about the desired outcome. For example, if the immediate desired result is a boost to your productivity, mood, or a more effective workout, daytime intake makes sense. 

Reasons like coping with stress and enhancing focus mean not only taking cannabinoids during the day but probably taking it in the morning with breakfast. If there are specific timing concerns, such as applying CBD for more clarity and focus, consider taking CBD 30 minutes before the task or tasks that require your attention. 

Of course, the delivery method does have an impact, so if you choose high-integrity methods, such as sublinguals, less than 30 minutes may prove useful. If you choose edibles, remember these can take an hour or more for full impact, so planning ahead is crucial. 

Nighttime 

Taking cannabinoids like CBD to calm the mind and body is often useful during the day when coping with stress. However, if the purpose is to relax the body, calm an overactive mind, and regulate stress hormones, one might choose to take cannabinoids like CBN before bed. 

CBD and CBN may also promote better sleep hygiene for a more restful night, making evening and nighttime doses highly advisable. If the purpose is to reduce discomforts that keep you awake or prevent quality sleep, dosing at bedtime, and maybe even taking a small dose when you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, can help to support healthy sleep habits. 

Final Thoughts about the Best Times to Take Cannabinoids

While there is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to the best time of day to take cannabinoids, there are a few rules of thumb and important factors that will influence timing. The purpose for taking the cannabinoid product, dosage, meals, daytime versus nighttime, and delivery methods are vital to take into account. 

Above all, approaching cannabinoids as a bit of an experiment while one patiently discovers the impact of these factors and their interplay with the body is the best mindset. 

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by Dan Ketchum

At its core, the entourage effect is the theory that when multiple compounds that naturally occur in the cannabis plant are used together, that interaction will have a more impactful effect on the body. Of course — as is often the case as we continually expand our knowledge of cannabis and its vast potential —the iceberg goes far deeper, and cannabidiol (or CBD) may play an important role in the entourage effect experience, alongside various other naturally occurring cannabinoids. 

The Entourage Effect : Basics

While tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gives cannabis its psychoactive properties, the hundreds of other natural chemicals, terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids that the plant contains are essentially what give cannabis its character — and they’re what give all of the plant’s diverse strains their own unique character, too. As the journal Current Neuropharmacology points out, what we call “cannabis” “is not a single compound product, but is known for its complicated molecular profile.” This diverse spectrum of cannabinoids is an essential factor in exercising the entourage effect’s potential, as well.   

How It Works

The basis of the entourage effect theory lies in the notion that even non-THC cannabinoids, such as the non-intoxicating cannabidiol (or CBD), express neurochemical actions. As such, all of these diverse cannabinoids affect the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies in a variety of ways. For instance, in studies involving medical cannabis, researchers have found that cannabis-based medications that contain only THC exert notably different effects on users than those that contain both different types of cannabinoids in equal parts, a result that indicates a synergistic effect between the two cannabinoids.Similarly, when various cannabinoids interact with different terpenes — compounds that give cannabis plants their distinct scent and flavor profiles, such as piney or citrusy — that synergy results in different effects. For users, these effects may be the difference between a cannabis product making you feel energetic and creative or one that helps you de-stress after a long day’s work.  

The Research: Cannabinoids and Synergy

As legalization expands and the cannabis user base continues to broaden, scientific research on the entourage effect — a theory that relies heavily on anecdotal evidence — continues to grow, as well. The concept of the entourage effect dates back to at least 1998, when Raphael Mechoulam’s and Shimon Ben-Shabat’s findings in the European Journal of Pharmacology observed that numerous “inactive” metabolites in cannabis markedly increased the activity of primary endogenous cannabinoids.  

Another fundamental piece of research is a 2016 study from the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology, which confirms that non-THC cannabinoids exercise neurochemical effects and affect the central nervous system in different ways. More recently, the aforementioned Current Neuropharmacology study from 2020 concludes that while more research is warranted, “The value of […] entourage effects, enhancing the beneficial influence of cannabis, is very high,” noting in particular a significant synergistic effect between cannabinoids and terpenes. 

Significant research on the entourage effect occurs among cannabis growers, who seek to breed strains that specifically leverage its benefits. Speaking to Scientific American, geneticist Mowgli Holmes says, “We have a huge set of cannabis genomic data that will, hopefully, allow us to ID genetic markers associated with chemical results and certain patient outcomes. We’re just getting started.”

More to Discover

As a Weedmaps research review notes, there’s still plenty to discover regarding the potential synergy of cannabinoids. It’s speculated that yet another factor contributing to the entourage effect is that cannabinoids and terpenes essentially “hit” different targets (or receptors in the body’s physiological systems) in the endocannabinoid system – our body’s built-in cell-signaling system – and that this combined activity at those receptors results in better outcomes. So, in practice, if a variety of cannabinoids target inflammation at a variety of the problem’s sources, a greater effect can be achieved. Per Weedmaps, “It’s also plausible that terpenes could enhance our bodies’ ability to absorb or process cannabinoids.”

The Entourage Effect and CBD

In the aforementioned  Scientific American writeup, Phytecs medical director and cannabis researcher Ethan Russo puts it plainly: among the wide spectrum of cannabinoids, it’s possible that “the biggest influence [in the entourage effect] is CBD.” 

According to Healthline, research suggests that taking cannabidiol and THC products together may be more effective, or at least may exert different effects, than taking either one alone. However, the entourage effect’s influence also applies to cannabidiol when taken by itself, as various types of CBD feature different terpenes and other non-THC cannabis compounds and cannabinoids. 

For instance, certain flavonoids and terpenes can potentially enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. These differing interactions among diverse cannabinoid profiles are part of the reason why cannabidiol products like KOR Health encourage everyday stress reduction and immunity support while KOR Sleep promotes restfulness, to use a real-world example.   

Applying the Knowledge

As a consumer, purchasing cannabidiol from trusted manufacturers like KOR Medical helps ensure that each compound that plays a role in the entourage effect is safe, effective and up to spec. As you shop, seek third-party lab-tested products that are manufactured in facilities that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards and that are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Likewise, knowing these common labels can help you understand exactly what sort of cannabinoids and other compounds your CBD contains:

As Frontiers in Plant Science puts it, “The data supporting the existence of cannabis synergy and the astounding plasticity of the cannabis genome suggests a reality that obviates the need for alternative hosts, or even genetic engineering of Cannabis sativa, thus proving that, ‘The plant does it better.’” But while there’s plenty of plant potential to get excited about, the experience of the entourage effect may differ per individual, so it’s important to keep in mind an old and wise cannabis credo when trying new types of cannabis therapeutics: Start low and go slow for the best result. 

Dan Ketchum is an LA-based freelance lifestyle, fashion, health and food writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Livestrong, Reign Together, Out East Rosé, SFGate, The Seattle Times and more.

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by Kimberly Game

Can you use CBD while pregnant or nursing? Perhaps the biggest catch twenty-two within the cannabinoids industry is how helpful its products can be for some of the most uncomfortable symptoms pregnant women experience. It’s no surprise, then, that women are considering this as a potential avenue for coping. However, it’s a bit of a complicated decision.

Doctors do not typically recommend pregnant or breastfeeding women take cannabinoids. This might be surprising for some people. After all, the CBD industry has blown up in recent years upon its legalization in the U.S. in 2018. Anyone can get ahold of these products nowadays, and their use grows ever more popular. Nonetheless, there are pros and cons for the use of cannabinoids in certain circumstances.

Potential Benefits of Using Cannabinoids 

There is lots of growing research that looks into how cannabinoids may benefit one’s health. For example, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says that CBD has numerous wellness benefits in sleep, stress, relief and more. These pros obviously appeal to many people, and pregnant women are a part of that crowd. Restlessness is a prominent side-effect that can be experienced in many pregnant women, as is joint aches, fatigue and more symptoms resulting from inflammation. One study even found that CBD may help fight poor mood, a lesser-known symptom that can rear its ugly head pre-birth. Nonetheless, it affects many moms-to-be.

Of course, there is also that infamous first-trimester symptom you’ve seen in almost every movie ever made, depicting that a woman has realized she is pregnant. You guessed it: nausea. Some women don’t experience nausea at all, while others bear that burden throughout the second trimester. Researchers have been looking into if cannabinoid products may take the edge off of that unpleasant feeling as well.

The Risks of Using CBD in Pregnancy 

The risks lie mostly with the unknown. There haven’t been enough women and babies studied while taking cannabinoid therapeutics. Therefore, taking these products automatically falls within the danger zone. This is obviously not what you’d want to hear, since CBD products can be so helpful for taking the edge off, but safety comes before comfort!

Reasons for this lack of research you might be wondering why there is such limited research surrounding this issue. There are a few reasons for this, according to CBD Clinicals. One reason is that it’s not easy getting research approved for pregnant patients. This would require approval through an ethics board, which is understandably strict about studies completed on pregnant women 

Another reason this issue remains in a gray area is that pregnancy in itself is such a complicated bodily process. There are so many chemical changes happening inside a woman’s body while she is creating that new little person in the womb. That makes it quite difficult to isolate the effects of any other factor introduced into that equation. Therefore, it’s simply too hard to get solid answers from any existing studies.

Can You Use CBD while Pregnant?

So, let’s get down to it. Can you use CBD while pregnant or nursing? The short answer is no, unfortunately. There isn’t enough research exploring the effects these products may have on the growing fetus. Therefore, many doctors don’t feel safe giving the green light on these products just yet.

Since there is no hard evidence on the safety of women taking CBD while pregnant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would have negative effects. It just means there is not enough solid research either way. With that being said, we encourage you to always consult your doctor before taking any cannabinoid therapeutic products while pregnant or breastfeeding. They can give you the best possible advice on what will be the safest option for you and your baby.

The Bottom Line 

Cannabinoids could have the power to alleviate some of the most persistent and uncomfortable symptoms that pregnancy can bring. However, more research is necessary to conclude that such products are safe to use while pregnant. Above all, always talk to your doctor before taking anything you’re unsure about, especially while pregnant or nursing. In the meantime, try to enjoy the wonders of this special life experience, and continue your exploration of other natural ways to alleviate any discomforts. 

Kimberly Game is a freelance writer from Atlanta, GA. She has always had a love for writing, and started a freelance writing company in 2016 after graduating with a B.B.A. from Kennesaw State University. Having focused her studies in Marketing, she enjoys using wordly art to help businesses attract leads and ultimately influence those leads to take action. She is also an internationally certified yoga instructor, and teaches in her spare time.

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by Deb Powers

Why can’t I relax? If you find yourself stressing about not being able to relax, it’s not just you. When the usual remedies for stress and anxiety don’t seem to work for you, one of these unusual relaxing things to do may be just what you need to take the edge off your stress.

Why can’t I relax? If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety, you’re not alone. We’re living in a connected world where it’s almost impossible to escape a constant stream of daily stressors. From the very personal — that looming deadline or the argument with your boss — to the universal, like the growing threat of climate change, there’s no shortage of things to keep you stressed all day and awake worrying all night. Many people turn to mindfulness, yoga, or meditation, but these strategies are not successful for everyone. If you’re one of those people who can’t relax enough to meditate, here are 10 ideas for relaxing things you can do when you’re trying to beat stress.

Five Relaxing Things to Do at Home

Dealing with stress at home gives you a lot of options that you may not have in other circumstances. You have access to your kitchen, your bathtub, and your bed, for example, and if you’re lucky, you either have solitude or live with people who won’t look at you too strangely if you decide to throw a solitary dance party in the middle of the afternoon. Here are five relaxing things to do at home when you need to reduce stress.

1. Take a Bath or Shower

Water is such a well-documented soother that there are entire sleep and relaxation apps based around the sounds of ocean waves and falling rain. Showers and baths can both help you relax, but a recent Japanese study found that a warm bath — about 104 degrees Fahrenheit — significantly improves stress, anxiety, depression and anger. If you can’t take a bath, though, the very act of taking a shower can reduce stressful thoughts as you focus on the tasks of washing and getting clean. As an added bonus, a warm shower an hour or two before bedtime can help you get to sleep more easily, and a good night’s sleep can help manage stress and anxiety levels the next day, too.

2. Bake a Cake

Or make your grandmother’s famous lasagna, or just try a new recipe. Getting into cooking mode takes the focus off anxiety-producing stimuli and forces you to focus on following a recipe. Baking is a form of mindfulness, according to Julie Ohana, a culinary art therapist. When you’re baking, you’re following the steps in the here and now, as well as thinking about the process as a whole. It’s a good way to develop the balance between the moment and the bigger picture, which can help relieve stress and anxiety. Filling the house with soothing scents like vanilla, chocolate and spices doesn’t hurt, either. 

3. Watch a Movie that Makes You Cry

Tears are more than just water leaking from your eyes. Crying is an important safety valve and tension reliever. Emotional tears flush stress hormones out of your system and trigger the release of oxytocin and endorphins, which help to relieve physical and emotional pain. So bring up Netflix or your favorite streaming service and settle in with a box of tissues.

4. Take a Social Media Break

When your life feels out of control, looking at all those perfectly posed and staged Instagram photos can be like rubbing salt in the wound. While social media apps — and connectedness in general — offer a lot of positive effects, they also can lead people into a spiral of self-doubt, depression, stress and anxiety. In a recent study, undergraduates who limited their social media time to 30 minutes per day showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over the course of three weeks. Interestingly, even the group that used their social media apps as usual showed significant reductions in anxiety and fear of missing out, leading the investigators to speculate that simply being more mindful of your use may help.

5. Get Moving

Quick bursts of physical activity get your heart rate up and activate a series of neurotransmitters that will help cushion the stress, according to Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Sports Health. It doesn’t have to be long — as little as 30 seconds of running in place or a set of 20 jumping jacks can be enough to do the trick.

Five Relaxing Things to Do in Public

Being in public, whether at the office or just out and about, limits your options for stress-busting tactics, but there are still things you can do to help center yourself and relax.

6. Do Something Tactile

When you’re feeling stressed, doing something that involves your senses can help get you out of your head and into the moment. It’s one of the reasons for the popularity of fidget spinners — they provide sensory input that can help soothe anxiety. A stress ball, bubble wrap, or a cool desk toy that can absorb you for a few minutes can help bring down the immediate stress levels so you can refocus.

7. Support Your Body’s Stress Response

Sometimes your body needs a little extra help to deal with occasional stress. Cannabidiol, or CBD, may have the potential to affect cortisol secretion from your adrenal glands according to a recent study. As a result, many have started to look to CBD sublingual sprays to help calm the signs of occasional stress.  These sprays are discreet and easy to use just about anywhere.

8. Do a Crossword Puzzle

Or do sudoku, or word searches. Concentrating on a brain puzzle can reduce the “noise” in your brain that contributes to stress. Download your favorite puzzle apps and keep them handy for when you need a couple of minutes to destress.

do-a-crossword-puzzle
9. Knit

You can knit at home, of course, but carrying along a small project can help keep stress at bay when you’re waiting in line or commuting. Surprisingly, there’s considerable research pointing to the health benefits of knitting, which include reducing blood pressure, slowing the heart rate and inducing relaxation. 

10. Enjoy a Good Story

Whether you read, download an audiobook, or binge watch an absorbing series, getting lost in a good story is a good way to get out of your own head and anchor your attention somewhere else. Making a conscious choice to disconnect from the source of your stress is a positive step that can help you relax and refresh yourself.

Learning to relax can take time, consistency and practice, but there are things you can do that bring immediate relief. Incorporating one or more of these strategies into your daily routine can help you reduce daily stress and relax so that you can enjoy yourself and live your best life.

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by Kasey Donovan

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound derived from the resinous flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has an extensive history as a medicinal substance dating back thousands of years. The earliest data we have of medical cannabis is from 2737 B.C. In ancient China, Emperor Shen Neng recommended cannabis tea to treat gout, malaria, rheumatism and poor memory. Today, scientists and doctors are studying the therapeutic properties of cannabis. 

In 2020, the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research conducted a review of 25 studies that took place between 2000 and 2019.

The popularity of CBD is increasing. This 2019 Gallup poll claims 14% of Americans use CBD products. Of these respondents, 40% use it for pain, 20% for anxiety, and 11% for insomnia. It’s estimated that the global CBD market will reach $13.4 billion in 2028.

If you’re interested in trying CBD, you’re certainly not alone. But with a myriad of CBD products on the market, it can be confusing to know where to start. KOR Medical wants to demystify CBD for you — check out our guide to CBD for beginners below. 

Common Questions and Concerns About CBD for Beginners

Most newcomers to CBD have the following two questions:

  1. Is it legal? (Yes)
  2. Will it get me high? (No)

Hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is legal across the United States. Since this type of CBD contains little to no THC, you don’t have to worry about getting high from it. CBD is non-intoxicating, so you won’t feel “stoned” after consuming it.

Can CBD Help With My Specific Ailment?

While CBD hasn’t been approved as a medical treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is a lot of research being done about its potential benefits. If you’re curious whether CBD is right for your ailment, we’re here to help. You can contact a Leaf411 nurse here for free, personalized advice on the safe and legal use of CBD. We also encourage you to talk with your doctor about using CBD and its possible benefits for your lifestyle.

How Should I Consume CBD?

CBD products are beginning to be widely available in vitamin stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and online stores. These products include oils, balms, pills, edibles and vaping devices. How do you decide which form to use? There are benefits and drawbacks to each consumption method, and choosing the right one may require a mixture of research and trial and error. 

Sublingual CBD (Droppers, Strips, and Sprays)

CBD taken sublingually can be available as droppers, strips, and sprays. These types of products are created by extracting CBD from hemp or marijuana plants with CO2 or an alcohol-based solvent. 

Benefits of CBD Extracts

Aside from smoking or vaping, sublinguals can be one of the quickest absorption methods. After consuming CBD sublingually, the onset takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes. Sublingual absorption speeds up the activation process by allowing the product to enter more directly into the bloodstream. If you place the product on top of your tongue, it will likely be swallowed and absorbed by the digestive tract. CBD is absorbed more slowly by the digestive system. The fast-acting effects make it useful for those who are addressing acute ailments and do not want to inhale something into the lungs. 

To get the highest-quality CBD, look for a product that has a certificate of analysis (COA). This means a third party has analyzed and tested the product. Some COA’s can be accessed by scanning the QR code on the label with your phone. 

Additionally, look at the ingredients list and be mindful of similar-sounding products that don’t contain CBD. It is common to mix up hemp seed oil with hemp oil. Hemps seed oil does not contain active cannabinoids and is generally used for culinary purposes. Hemp oil contains the full plant extract including CBD.

Ingestibles (Edibles and Capsules)

Eating CBD-infused food or swallowing a CBD pill is a discreet and convenient method of consumption. Some edibles may have a distinct cannabis taste, but some flavors overpower the taste, which is not as noticeable. Most capsules are flavorless. 

If you are looking for fast-acting effects, edibles are not the ideal choice. Edibles take at least 30 minutes, and sometimes up to 2 hours, to process through the digestive system. One upside to capsules is that the dosing per pill can be more accurate than other forms. 

Topicals (Balms and Lotions)

CBD is available in various topical products that can be applied directly to sore joints or muscles. Most CBD topicals are created by mixing the extract into coconut oil or beeswax. This method is useful for relieving local discomfort, but will not provide full-body or mental effects.

Inhalable Methods (Vapes and Flower)

The fastest way to reap the benefits of CBD is by inhaling it into the lungs. When inhaled, CBD can enter the bloodstream in as quickly as 30 seconds. This can be achieved by vaporizing concentrated CBD oil or smoking raw hemp flower. Concentrated CBD oil is typically consumed through a vape pen, while flower can be smoked through glass pipes or rolled cigarettes. Some vape pens contain irritating additives, so you should look for solvent-free options whenever possible.

Optimizing the Amount of Cannabinoids

Another challenge with CBD for beginners is figuring out the ideal amount that works for a specific lifestyle. Here at KOR Medical, we are passionate about providing individuals with personalized support to help optimize their mental and physical wellness. Learn more about KOR Medical’s commitment to providing free, personalized support to customers via the Leaf411 Nurse Network.

Kasey Donovan is a copywriting and SEO specialist, music lover and cannabis enthusiast. In his free time, he’s having fun with his son Atticus, wife Jesse and two corgi-mixes, Zira and Ellie.

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by Deb Powers

Can CBD help your body in getting through the virus season? As flu season rolls around, many people turn to CBD products for immune support. Here’s what we know about how CBD may interact with the immune system.

When Is Flu Season?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season in the United States roughly coincides with the fall and winter months. While flu viruses spread year-round, the number of cases usually begins to rise in October, peaking between December and February, and begins to decrease in the spring, though there is often some flu activity as late as May. 

The flu can take a major toll on your body. Each year, the fall and winter months are accompanied by an increase in reported cases of “the flu,” an umbrella term used to describe contagious respiratory illnesses that are caused by one of the influenza viruses. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu vaccine to help prevent the worst symptoms of the flu, as well as taking precautions to help prevent the spread of flu. In addition, taking steps to strengthen your immune system may help you fight off the flu and other seasonal illnesses.

How Does CBD Influence Immunity?

Before you can understand how CBD has the potential to support your immune system, it’s important to understand what the immune system is, what it does, and how it works. 

How the Immune System Works

Unlike the body’s other systems, which are usually associated with one or more major organs — the lungs to the respiratory system, for example, and the heart to the circulatory system — much of your immune system is scattered throughout your body. It encompasses a  group of organs and cells that work together to protect our bodies from infection by identifying, targeting, and destroying cells and organisms that pose a threat to our health. 

In simple terms, when your immune system detects something in your body that doesn’t belong there — bacteria, a virus, a foreign body — it triggers a series of responses that help isolate and destroy the intruder. Many of these responses are facilitated and managed by the endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that is dispersed throughout your brain and body. The role of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis — the proper balance of conditions in your cells. It plays an important part in many bodily functions, including the way your body reacts to infection and cell damage. 

The study of the ECS is still a relatively young field — it was only discovered in the 1990s — so the research into how it actually works is still evolving. However, we do know that the body produces chemicals, enzymes and neurotransmitters that are very similar to the major cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD. Because of the similarity, the body tends to react to the presence of plant-based cannabinoids — phytocannabinoids — the same way it does to the endocannabinoids that the body itself produces. 

CBD and Your Immune System

Scientists are still unlocking exactly how CBD can help the immune system, but they have learned that through the balancing role of the endocannabinoid system, CBD may both suppress your body’s response to illness and activate it when it’s not active enough.

Response to Infections and CBD

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to infection. It happens when the immune system signals the need for certain enzymes to isolate and fight infection. Ideally, once the infection is neutralized, the ECS sends a signal to switch off production of those enzymes and destroy them. If that doesn’t happen, the immune system can become overactive, resulting in a situation where inflammation taxes your immune system and damages your body. CBD as with other cannabinoids may help shift your body back into balance, supporting your body’s natural immune response.

CBD Immune Boost Potential 

A healthy immune system is vital to helping you get through flu season, but everyday life takes a toll on your immune system. Stress, pain, and lack of sleep all can reduce your body’s ability to fight off illness. A healthy diet, good hygiene, reducing stress and getting enough sleep can help strengthen your immunity. In addition, CBD may give your body that added boost to ward off those bad germs. Full- spectrum CBD products that contain potent antioxidants and vitamins can be an important part of your toolkit to strengthen your immune system, not only during flu season, but year-round.

Have additional questions? 

KOR Medical has partnered with Leaf411™ to provide free, personalized support to customers. Speak or chat directly with a cannabis-trained registered nurse on cannabinoid use and applications for free, today. 

Deb Powers is a freelance writer who has been writing about cannabis and general wellness topics for nearly two decades. Her work has appeared in Civilized.Life, and on various industry websites and publications.

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