Does Cannabis Help Treat Chronic Kidney Disease?

The little research available suggests that some parts of cannabis may be more helpful than others for treating chronic kidney disease.



Chronic Kidney Disease
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Medical cannabis is more popular than ever, but while the herb has proven itself to be a miracle worker in some cases, its potential healing powers may be more subtle in others. In the case of cannabis for chronic kidney disease, the little research available hints that some parts of the plant may be more helpful than others.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to the slow and prolonged loss of kidney function over time. While the onset of CKD may be slow, the condition is a serious one. The kidneys are essential parts of the body’s detoxification system, filtering toxins and unnecessary waste from the blood.

When kidney function is impaired, that means that the body can no longer properly filter out excess debris. The result is a harmful buildup of waste inside the body, potentially leading to organ failure and damage to the heart, which circulates blood to all other organs.

Even in its early stages, kidney disease can still cause severe symptoms of pain, sleeplessness, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, and many other ailments. Finding ways to further ease symptoms and slow the progression of kidney disease is vital for long-term patient care.

Does Cannabis Help Chronic Kidney Disease?

Cannabis and the kidneys haven’t always seemed like a good match. While a 2017 study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that consuming the herb was not associated with kidney trouble, when it comes to promoting kidney health, some cannabis compounds may be more valuable than others.

To be clear, there have been no human trials of cannabis or any chemicals that it creates as a treatment for chronic kidney disease. However, in an effort to explore how the plant might affect these vital organs, scientists have tested various cannabis chemicals in experimental models of kidney disease. The verdict thus far? CBD appears to be more helpful than THC.

Unlike any other known plant on the planet, cannabis possesses unique chemical properties that give the herb both therapeutic and recreational effects. Two of the most prevalent chemical compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is the molecule responsible for the euphoric “high” that has made the herb famous. Yet, while the psychoactive is often touted as a panacea, early evidence suggests that this molecule may be more aggravating than helpful to those with kidney damage.

Unfortunately, however, arguably very little research has been conducted on cannabis for kidney disease. Based on the information available right now, it is only possible to make assumptions based on a limited number of early experiments. Many of these early experiments did not use THC properly, but may still provide information on what the phytochemical may do in diseased kidneys.

Exactly why THC may not be the best option for those with CKD is due to how the molecule functions in the human body. The psychoactive works its magic in the human body thanks to its ability to engage specific cell receptors, or landing sites, that are found on the surface of cells. When THC interacts with these cell receptors, it activates them and causes a cascade of chemical reactions within and between different cells.

While research is still in experimental phases, early science suggests that putting a halt this activation seems to reduce inflammation and protect kidney cells from further damage. Since THC activates these cell receptors instead of blocks them, it is logical to assume that THC may not be the best choice for patients with CKD.

CBD for Chronic Kidney Disease

Yet, while THC may not be the answer in CKD, experimental research suggests that another cannabis product may ease damage and reduce inflammation in diseased kidneys. CBD is perhaps the second most abundant medicinal compound produced by the cannabis plant.

Unlike THC, however, this natural medicine does not produce intoxicating effects. Instead, CBD is expected to have anxiety and stress-fighting properties without causing a change in cognition. As it turns out, this calming molecule is a product of interest in kidney-disease research.

Back in 2009, researchers at the Chinese Zhejiang University found that CBD seemed to reduce kidney inflammation caused by a common chemotherapy drug, cisplatin. While cisplatin is highly effective against certain types of cancer, kidney damage is one of the severe side effects of the drug. Since the medicine is known to contribute to kidney failure, it is given to rodents to create an experimental model of chronic kidney diease.

In rodents, CBD seemed to reduce stress on the kidneys, prevent the death of cells, and ease inflammation. As a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic, some experts speculate that cannabis compounds like CBD may also be able to reduce pain, improve sleep, and ease nausea and vomiting associated with the disease. Yet, while the striking therapeutic potential of CBD may inspire patients to experiment, the molecule still hasn’t been put to the test in humans.

More amazingly, CBD is not the only chemical in the cannabis plant that can successfully ease inflammation and improve outcome in models of kidney disease. As it turns out, one of the molecules that gives some cannabis plants a sharp, spicy fragrance may also be a potent natural remedy.

In early experiments, the phytochemical beta-caryophene (BCP) reduced stress-related damage and prevented the death of kidney cells. This punchy fragrance is the same molecule that gives black pepper its powerful kick.

When it comes to the science of cannabis for chronic kidney disease, quality research is still few and far between. Yet, if the early evidence is any indication, the anti-inflammatory powers of CBD may one day prove beneficial to those with CKD.

Psychoactive THC, on the other hand, may not be the best option for patients hoping to give their kidneys as much rest and relaxation as possible. Of course, without quality trials, there is no way of knowing exactly what impact the medicinal herb has on damaged kidneys.

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Cannabis Classification System Announced for 2022 Emerald Cup Awards



Cannabis Classification System

One of the factors that make the Emerald Cup so important to California’s cannabis market is its continued strive for excellence and innovation. For the 2022 awards, the judging process is undergoing a transformation and with it comes a new cannabis classification system that will classify entries based on terpenes, flavour, and effects for anybody — from customers to budtenders, dispensaries, judges, and cultivators.

Cannabis Is More Than Just THC

The days of just searching out the highest THC totals are rapidly receding as research has now proven that terpenes are at the base of the entourage effect that customers desire are rapidly fading.

Terpenes, on the other hand, have mostly added to the consumer confusion already caused by overly broad Indica/Sativa/Hybrid terminology, whimsical strain names, irrelevant THC/CBD percentages, and other ambiguous factors that make selecting the best or correct strain a less-than-satisfying ordeal for even the most experienced cannabis connoisseurs.

The Emerald Cup competition will serve as a testbed for a new classification system for cannabis flowers. The event organisers and their testing partners at SC Labs decided to further break down the flower categories based on the chemometrics of each cultivar (better known as “chemovar” — the evolution of the term “dominant terpene”) evolving beyond last year’s flower category sorting by primary terpene content, in order to level the playing field and eliminate as much bias as possible in the blind/anonymous sampling done by Emerald Cup judges each year.

This paradigm-shifting insight sparked months of additional research and discussion, culminating in the Emerald Cup Cannabis Classification System based on PhytoFacts® powered by SC Labs.

The all-new classification system builds on last year’s approach of sorting flower entries by primary terpene content, leveraging a decade of Cannabis phytochemistry research between PhytoFacts®, developed by Napro Research in 2013, and a powerful database of over 250,000 terpene tests aggregated by SC Labs, dating back to their launch of terpene testing on Cannabis in 2013. The key class names were chosen to represent current terminology, are widely used in the business and are familiar to dispensaries and consumers. Each class is further explained using taste notes, effects, and popular strains or cultivars to promote understanding and acceptance.

The New Cannabis Classification System

The classes of the Emerald Cup Cannabis Classification Based on PhytoFacts® powered by SC Labs include:

“Jacks + Haze” Class

  • Mostly ‘Sativa’-leaning varietals
  • Tasting notes – Fruity, Pinesol, Haze
  • Effects – Energizing, Cerebral, Artistically Inspiring
  • Common Cultivars – Classic Trainwreck, Jack Herer, Durban Poison, Super Lemon Haze
  • Terpenes Profile: Terpinolene, Caryophyllene, Myrcene

“Tropical + Floral” Class

  • Mostly ‘Indica’-leaning varietals
  • Tasting notes – Sweet, Floral, Tropical Fruit
  • Effects – Calming, Soothing, Relaxing
  • Common Cultivars – Super Skunk, Hawaiian, In the Pines, Dream Queen
  • Terpenes Profile: Ocimene, Myrcene

“Sweets + Dreams” Class

  • Mostly ‘Indica’-leaning varietals
  • Tasting Notes – Fruity, Sweet, Woody, Hoppy, Herbaceous
  • Effects – Relaxation, Couch Lock, Analgesic
  • Common Cultivars – Blue Dream, Tangie, Forbidden fruit, Grandaddy Purple, Purple Urkel, Grape Ape, Cherry AK, God’s Gift, Purple Punch
  • Terpenes Profile: Myrcene, Pinene, Caryophyllene

“OGs + Gas” Class

  • True ‘Hybrid’ varietals
  • Tasting Notes – Gas, Fuel, Sweet, Citrus, and Pepper
  • Effect – Uplifting, Stimulating, Analgesic, Relaxation
  • Common Cultivars – Classic OG Kush, ChemDawg, Sour Diesel, Gorilla Glue
  • Terpenes Profile: Any combination or shifting codominance of Caryophyllene, Limonene, Myrcene

‘”Desserts” Class

  • True ‘Hybrid’ varietals
  • Tasting Notes – Deserts, Doughs, Citrusy & Spicy
  • Effects – Stimulating, Racy, Uplifting, Comforting
  • Common Cultivars – Classic Bubba Kush, GSC, Gelatos, Cakes
  • Any shift in codominance of Caryophyllene & Limonene

“Exotics” (Rare Terpene Combinations) Class

  • True ‘Hybrid’ varietals
  • Tasting notes – varied based on chemistry of entry
  • Effect – varied based on chemistry of entry
  • Common Cultivars – rarest terpene profiles entered into the Emerald Cup Competition

This game-changing development in cannabis classification levels the playing ground for the 2022 Cup as well as market competitiveness amongst brands. The system seeks to become an open-source, globally recognised grading solution for Cannabis, with six simple classes/names/descriptions. In the same way that a Chardonnay would not be tested against a Merlot in the wine business, this new system permits strains with comparable profiles to be judged against each other. This new classification system will also be used at the California State Fair Cannabis Awards in July 2022.

The 2022 Emerald Cup Awards will be presented live on stage on May 14th at the Green Street Festival in Downtown Los Angeles, California.

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The Sativa Preservation Society Project Will Protect Rare Haze Genetics



Sativa Preservation Society Project

Space Coyote, the totally cosmic cannabis company, has launched the Sativa Preservation Society Project — a movement that protects Haze genetics while paying homage to the custodians and cultivators who kept the seeds alive.

Celebrators of the cannabis culture’s stoner heritage, Space Coyote’s aesthetic and ethos embraces the vibes and psychedelic Seventies scene, where the creativity and community of cannabis intersect.

Co-founder and self-confessed ‘Sativa Diva’ Libby Cooper calls it the “ultimate passion project”. 

“We’re truly passionate about saving these genetics that are the actual grandmothers of every modern-day sativa strains that people love — all of these desert strains, all of the fruity strains,” Cooper tells me from the Space Coyote van en route to Hall of Flowers.

Founding the Sativa Preservation Society Project

The concept of the Sativa Preservation Society Project was years in incubation as the Space Coyote team deliberated over how to bring it to life. It was important for them to give back to the community while helping to educate about the history of cannabis culture.

The stars aligned earlier this year when the team met Bam Vachher-Gnanathurai, nursery and plant breeding manager from the Posibl Project in Salina. A mutual love of the unique effects of Haze genetics made for a truly cosmic outcome.

“Bam is super passionate about sativa,” said Cooper. “When we went and met up with Bam for the very first time, he rolled a blunt from Cuban Black. It was such an amazing experience to smoke that flower.” 

“The initial conversation of the Sativa Preservation Society coming to life happened during that smoke session. It was like, ‘holy shit, we could actually do this.’”

The Haze Experience

The Sativa Preservation Society Project is launching with three incredibly rare cultivars — Cuban Black Haze, Uptown Haze (also known as A5 Haze), and C5 Haze — all of which were originally cultivated in the 1980s by legendary grower Neville Schoenmaker. The flower will be available as bagged eighths and as infused prerolls.

Cooper likens the Haze experience to being “a bit like mushrooms” — colors are brighter, your smell is enhanced and your hearing is sharper.

“It’s really like a cup of coffee without any jitteriness or anxiety usually associated with sativas. This is pure energy without any sort of adverse effects,” explains Cooper. “You really feel as if your eyelids are getting peeled back — you’re awake, you’re uplifted. Basically, I smoke it and I immediately start stretching.”

“Many sativa genetics are dying out due to a number of reasons,” says Cooper. “Typically, they are more difficult to grow, have a longer curing time, and the fluffy buds are easily crushed in transit.” All of which makes sativas less cost-effective in California’s highly competitive legal market.

“This truly is the first time these original sativa strains are going to be commercially grown,” says Cooper. “It really wouldn’t have been possible, funnily enough, without this group named Posibl.”

Learn more about the Sativa Preservation Society Project in the video above. While you’re at it, find your nearest Space Coyote here.

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Peach Oz: This Sweet And Juicy Cultivar Will Stimulate Your Creativity




If you’re looking for a premium cultivar with legendary genetics and a euphoric high, look no further than Peach Oz, the latest addition to Wonderbrett’s stellar strain menu.

A cross of Peach Rings with OZ Kush and a descendent of Zkittlez, the sweet, stimulating citrus taste profile of Peach Oz will get your creative juices flowing.

While the cultivar may be new to the public, according to Wonderbrett Co-Founder and famed Breeder Brett Feldman, it’s five-years-old in the world of genetics.

“There’s only a small handful of heady smokers who follow these things,” says Feldman. “I wanted to bring it to the masses to share the experience with everybody. That’s where my passion comes from with this strain. Similar to an amazing dish at a restaurant, you want to share it with your friends.”

Grown in small-batches at scale from the company’s state-of-the-art Long Beach cultivation facility, the strain was first created by Dying Breed Seeds, then perfected by Cannabis By Corey, before making its way to Feldman.

Wonderbrett’s grow room | PHOTO: Courtesy Wonderbrett

Bursting with flavors and aromas that bring to mind the sweet ocean breeze and fragrant fruit orchards of the California sunshine state, Peach OZ’s four dominant terpenes: Caryophyllene, Linalool, Limonene and Humulene, create a distinct sweet taste of ripe peaches, citrus candy and cream.  

“When any strain has that unique, recognizable consistency in its flavor, whether that be peach, lemon or orange, that’s what myself and other breeders appreciate most and look for when bringing a genetic like this to market. It’s mind-blowing what Peach OZ can do that, translating a fruit flavor to a smoking experience,” explained Feldman.

Peach OZ is available at select dispensary and at Wonderbrett’s flagship dispensary in L.A.

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