3 Types of Chemicals to Avoid When Buying Cannabis Topicals

Ten years ago, it was hard to find cannabis topicals of any kind. Today, we have more choice than ever before — which means we can be more discerning, as well. It’s become easier than ever to find high-quality products that are made with natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals, and when it comes to cannabis topicals, it’s worth being choosy.

Many of us have become accustomed to reading labels on the food we eat. This shift in awareness is now moving into body care products. In the past, if a bottle of lotion or face cream had an informative, visually appealing label, then chances were good that you, the customer, would have no intention of checking the ingredients list. That’s starting to change, and since our skin is our largest organ (and capable of absorbing whatever we apply to it) it’s important that ingredients be pure, chemical- and cruelty-free, and as organic as they can possibly be.

It is important to remember that there are varying stages of “organic.” Items can be anywhere from 70-95 percent organic when they are certified. The certification is costly and small batch manufacturers often choose not to receive certification. You will note when purchasing organic products the price is generally higher. This is because organic ingredients cost more to produce, whether in terms of human labor, raw materials, or otherwise. On the bright side, you are supporting organic farmers and the environment with every purchase you make.

Organic Alternatives to Artificial Chemicals in Cannabis Topicals

When shopping for cannabis topicals and skin care products there are a few ingredients you should do your best to avoid. Whether you’re looking to treat arthritis symptoms, reduce neuropathic pain, or just to relax and indulge your skin a bit, it’s better to seek more natural options. Check out this list below for the top three ingredients to avoid, along with their organic alternatives.

See the full list of ingredients to avoid on CannabisMD

Neuropathy Is Chronic and Painful — But Cannabis Topicals May Help

Neuropathy is a condition that affects over three million people a year in the United States alone. Also known as peripheral neuropathy, its symptoms include numbness, weakness, lack of coordination or frequent falls, extreme sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness or paralysis, and stabbing or burning pain in the hands and feet. All of these can have a severe impact on a person’s quality of life, and finding an effective, side effect-free way to manage them can be a challenge. However, recent scientific studies have found that cannabis topicals might be well-suited for the job.

Neuropathy is a result of trauma to the peripheral nerves, which are located outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves connect the central nervous system (CNS) to our sensory organs. If one or more of them become damaged, peripheral neuropathy ensues.

Nerves can be damaged by various conditions including alcoholism and diabetes, cancer (and the chemotherapy used to treat it), vitamin B deficiency, autoimmune diseases, toxicity, drug interactions, and even occupational hazards such as strenuous physical exertion over a long period of time. When the peripheral nerves are damaged, they begin to send faulty signals to the brain.

Unlike nociceptive pain (the kind caused by pricking your finger or hitting your knee on the table), neuropathic pain does not start abruptly or dissipate quickly — nor is it as responsive to typical pain medications. It’s a chronic condition, and people diagnosed with it live in a constant state of pain. The severity can increase or decrease throughout the day, depending on various factors.

Continue Reading on CannabisMD

Ask an Expert: Treating Arthritis With Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis topicals might not sound like the most intuitive treatment for arthritis. However, recent research — and years of my own work as a nurse and massage therapist — show that the plant has much to offer people who are living with this condition.

Arthritis is a disorder of the joints in the body that causes painful inflammation. The neck, shoulders, hands, spinal column, hips, knees, and ankles are some of our most notable joints — and they’re all common sources of pain. Arthritis is neither age nor gender specific. The inflammation caused by arthritis results in joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and the area can often be warm to the touch. 100 types of arthritis have now been identified and over 300 million people worldwide are plagued daily by this type of pain.

Clinical research studies regarding cannabis topicals and arthritis are still in their infancy. Recent findings show cannabinoids exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by activating cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2.) These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system. Our endocannabinoid systems’ primary goal is cellular homeostasis, or balance. Our bodies naturally produce chemicals called endocannabinoids (which are nearly identical to chemicals produced in the cannabis plant, called cannabinoids) in an effort to activate these receptors. When a cannabis topical is applied to an inflamed area where CB2 receptors are present, the cannabinoids stimulate an anti-inflammatory response.

This is the science behind using cannabis topicals to treat arthritis, but the anecdotal evidence can be just as compelling. Throughout my career, I’ve seen firsthand the ways in which they can transform people’s lives. I’ve also had to answer a lot of questions about how and why they work — here are some of the most common ones.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Cannabis Topicals for Arthritis

What’s the first question most arthritis patients have about medicinal cannabis topicals?

To see the answer and more questions about cannabis and arthritis please see here: CannabisMD

How Cannabis Helped Me Quit Prescription Drugs

I have been a nurse for almost 20 years, and this is the story of how cannabis saved my life.

In 2010, I fell seriously ill — for reasons that doctors were unable to understand, I began to experience excruciating pain, which hampered my mobility and caused intense mental distress. Their response was to prescribe a pill for every symptom I exhibited, and it didn’t take long for me to tire of the toll they were taking on me. Soon, I was barely surviving. I became so desperate that I was willing to move 2,000 miles from where I was born in hopes of finding something that would save my life. Today, I’m sharing this journey because I want people who are experiencing similar mental and physical pain to believe a better, healthier future is possible.

My Introduction to Prescription Drugs

I’d been in pain for a long, long time before I had my first surgery. This one was to remove my gallbladder. During the procedure, they found a large tumor on my liver that they deemed inoperable. It was an estrogen- and blood-filled mass, most likely caused by years of taking the birth control pill, which I’d used to regulate my intense menstrual cycle. Needless to say, this was an unexpected side effect.

A few weeks after the operation, I woke up and my entire body was puffy. The pain in my right side had only worsened, and the nausea was more unbearable than ever.

To continue reading please see here: CannabisMD

Reiki- a way to strengthen mind, body and soul

Reiki is a Japanese modality that made it’s way to the United States in the 1900s. Translated, rei- means universal life and -ki means energy. It’s a healing therapy using symbols to channel universal energy; a gentle force with little to no touch yet powerful results.

To be honest, everyone has the ability to conjure universal energy and I frequently did as an intuitive healer during massage sessions. Reiki training introduced tools to effectively channel that force with intention and focused attention. Reiki empowers us to heal ourselves and improve the physical, emotional and mental level.

After learning the history and my lineage to usuiReiki, I received the attunement which is a process where the Reiki Master opens channels in the hands and chakras to allow a direct connection to reiki energy. I concentrated on my heart and envisioned a lotus flower in it’s place opening like a time lapse video on repeat with each bloom receiving luminous magic. I was going to use this magic for an acute episode of low back pain that I assumed manifested as a practice tool. After a short session I noticed the pain intensified and then subsided to a subtle annoyance.

The tools I learned in Reiki II were three symbols aimed at healing the physical, spiritual, and distant body. The distance symbol is likened to prayer and healing can be sent across any distance as well as through time to previous or future events. For example in practice, using reiki on surgical scars or sending reiki to an upcoming travel engagement. I heard an anecdote in massage school about a therapist used distance healing and they astonishingly felt when the patient momentarily left the table and when they returned. This was across the country!

In the end, reiki energy flows where it needs to go. Similar to plant medicine, reiki quiets the mind and strengthens the connection between ourselves and the energy to create harmony. It’s is offered as a complementary therapy in hospitals and easily integrates with massage.

Sources: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/integrative_medicine_digestive_center/services/reiki.html

Contributed by our COO – Priscilla Solis

Add Reiki to your next Cannabis Massage Treatment session. Click the book now button and let Priscilla take you to the next level.

Journey to Health

Moving to Colorado eight years I was on a journey to health but at the time I was willing to accept death as long as it was more pain free than the life I was living. When you feel that way, you are no longer living. You are surviving at best. I wanted to thrive. My will to survive and choices are the reason I am here today. I receive so many questions from patients and students so I thought I would write my journey out in an effort to help anyone and everyone on their own journey back to health.

My pain started in my right side, just under my rib cage. Being a Nurse I of course made several attempts to self diagnose. I ignored the pain for a year. I blamed it on a million different things. I tried to treat myself for a few various conditions and even created a psychosomatic and psychological response to the pain in an effort to drown it out. It provided temporary relief but eventually I found myself on five pharmaceutical drugs for competing symptoms. The primary issue was that none of them were helping. The pain would come and go with no warning. It would take over my entire body with nausea and sharp stabbing pains to my right rib cage.

Finally I decided enough self diagnosing was enough and I began seeking testing.  I just wanted my health back. To spare you the gory details just know they looked everywhere. In and out of every orifice they could. It was as though each place they sought something they found something they weren’t even looking for. None of the results explained the increasing pain in my right side. Eventually one test showed that my gallbladder was no long functioning and they decided it must have been the cause of my pain and that it needed to be removed.  I was scheduled for surgery the following week.

The surgery began successful until they discovered the reason the gallbladder had stopped functioning. I had a massive blood filled tumor sitting on my liver bisecting the hepatic vein and artery.  They took a biopsy and assumed I would be dead in a month.  The biopsy results showed otherwise, thank god. The tumor was benign. It was not cancer. Instead it was a blood and estrogen filled mass called a Focal Nodular Hyperplasia most likely caused by the birth control pill. The surgeon explained that due to its location on my liver the tumor was inoperable.

By the time I received this diagnosis the pain in my right side was absolutely unbearable and coming in waves every day. The only thing that was providing me any relief was cannabis. I was smoking before and after every single activity I was capable of and by this time which was no more than doing laundry. I had stopped work for the surgery but I was getting worse instead of better. I began using cannabis candies that I had illegally sent to me and they began providing more relief than any of the now thirteen pharmaceuticals I had prescribed.

I woke up a few weeks post op in extreme pain and felt as if I was dying. My skin was so puffy my rings that were normally loose and spun around my fingers were now so stuck in position I could not take them off.  My skin was a yellowish grey and the energy and will to live were quickly leaving my body. My Mother lived in Colorado. I knew that they had a medical marijuana program and I wondered if I could qualify for a card because of the pain I was in and my new surgical record.  I called her out of desperation and explained how I felt. She told me if I really felt that way that I should board the next flight and leave everything behind.

So that’s what I did. I left my relationship, dog, car, clothing, and possessions. None of those things mattered, only life mattered. I had not lived with my Mom since I was six years old so making the move was complicated on so many levels. One of the first conversations I had with my Mom she told me she would pay for my food, which was to be mostly raw and organic vegetarian, my pharmaceuticals and doctors appointments but that she would not help pay for my cannabis. The weed is why I moved. She didn’t get it, and that was okay. I did what I had to. I sold jewelry, applied for government assistance and did massages when my body would allow.

I applied for my medical marijuana card the first week I lived in Colorado. My first time into a medical dispensary in 2010 was  a dream full of legal marijuana products come true. I began ingesting cannabis in every form I could. I ate it, drank it, smoked it, and rubbed it on my scars. I quickly understood what this plant was capable of. One at a time I began taking myself off the pharmaceuticals I had been prescribed. This is not something I recommend anyone to do. I utilized my years as a Nurse and intuition to make that very personal decision. That decision would end up changing my life forever.

About two weeks into living in Colorado I ended up in the emergency room. The pain that had been stabbing my ribs for over a year came so strong one night that I ended up in the emergency room. The source of the excruciating pain and nausea was discovered. I had a 9mm kidney stone obstructing my kidney and I was septic. When they went to perform the surgery for removal they discovered I had a congenital anomaly of having two ureters on my kidney instead of one. The tests showed the stone was stuck in a Y type connection at the top of the ureter just as it branched off the kidney. Instead of being able to remove the stone the doctor had to place two stents in my kidney in hopes the stone would pick one and move out naturally.

It didn’t. After weeks of having these stents poke my back I had another surgery to remove them and the stone. As soon as I woke up the pain was gone. I instantly knew that the source of my pain the whole time had been my kidney and never my gallbladder or my liver. I thought that was the end of pain and the start to a whole new version of me. Sadly, I was mistaken.

I had been working for a physician in Canon City, Colorado briefly when pain began to take over my body once again. This time it was an exacerbation of conditions I had been diagnosed with years prior.  Polycystic ovaries were a treacherous part of my life for years. They would send me to the hospital often. Each time leaving with the same diagnosis and conclusion, a cyst having burst in my fallopian tubes. The doctor I worked for wanted to help me so badly but my options for treatment were limited. I took the birth control pill from age 14-24 and my body could no longer receive that type of excess estrogen due to the tumor on my liver. I tried a patch of progesterone and it made me ill so they had no choice, I had no choice.

Signing over my rights to have children was and is one of the hardest moments in my journey. I was barely 30 and in the state of Colorado you have to sign a statement stating you are fully aware of what you are doing. It was the last thing I wanted to do. There was this whole part of my life I saw myself being a Mom. I was so sick the decision was necessary. I just wanted to live a life without pain. One full of health. A life where I could thrive, not just survive.

When I woke up from my total abdominal hysterectomy I was in a severe hot flash. I remember shouting loudly that “I needed a fan.” One was brought to me. I was in surgical menopause from the time I opened my eyes. I experienced this endless wave of heat that came from my core and nothing cooled me down. Due to the tumor on my liver taking Estrogen supplements was out of the question.  I remember being in the hospital and telling the nurse I was having a hard time urinating and they assured me this was a normal part of the process.

I was discharged after four days and was back in the E.R. days later. The nausea I was experiencing was unbearable. They had me on more pharmaceuticals then should ever be needed for a post-op patient. All along telling me that all the symptoms I was experiencing were considered “normal.” I had never felt more crazy in my life. No one believed what I was feeling. I had lost total control of my health. The people I was closest to thought I was lying for attention, if you can even imagine. This insanity went on for four weeks after the hysterectomy until the day of the four week follow up appointment. The morning of that appointment I began experiencing the same pain I had suffered from for years prior, stabbing under my right rib cage. This sensation made me feel even crazier because I knew there was no way possible that I had another kidney stone.

I was sent for emergency surgery for a Nephrostomy tube several hours after that follow up appointment.  At some point during the hysterectomy the doctor sutured my ureter down causing a total occlusion and urine had been unable to flow to my bladder from my kidney for four weeks. I was close to septic once again. I was on antibiotic therapies for months. Due to the severity of the situation I sought out the same Urologist that saved my life the first time. Under her recommendation I had to wear this tube draining urine to a bag strapped to my thigh for 6 1/2 months.  It was such a hot summer in Colorado. I was unable to wear shorts or anything above the knee or my spicket would stick out.

During that time major depression took over my body along with the tubes and increasing number of scars. I went down to 98 lbs. I no longer knew what health was. There was no amount of cannabis or pharmaceutical treatment that touched what I felt. I questioned my journey to health.  I wondered if it would ever exist. I read a lot, I took online classes in spiritualism and healing from the inside, I sought the love of my friends and family from a distance. I was never more alone then during that time. It was a journey I had to suffer alone. I was too much for anyone to process including myself.

The non-refluxing urethral transplant was done and I woke up on a Dilaudid pump. By this juncture I had received so many medications my tolerance was so far surpassed my size the nurses and doctors would triple check my orders.  During the surgery they moved my ureter to a new location on my bladder and moved my bladder up and over in an effort to accommodate the new ureters location. They inserted a stent that was to keep this new ureter patent, or open and flowing. The surgeon said the stent would be present for six weeks and I would come back in for the removal. After 7 days in the hospital post-op I was still no better. I could not keep food down or anything for that matter.

I am discharged from the hospital and my step dad drives me over 60 miles back home to the mountains only to be driven back less than six hours later. I was admitted for another six days. In the middle of the night my Surgeon appeared and informed me we would need to remove the stent. The stent that needed to be in place for six weeks and she wanted to remove it after less than two. It was awful in so many ways. As I write this I remember so many little details but I will spare you the goriest parts. Long story short, the doctor saved my life once again.  I was discharged the next morning.

As I layed in bed healing from yet another major surgery the depression began to lessen and the amount of cannabis continued to increase. I began to have these ephinoies that the magnitude of things that were happening to me had to have a bigger purpose. I would think to myself, “there is no way there’s not a purpose for this, how could all of these things happen and not have some gigantic purpose, I am still alive after all of this, there just has to be a reason.” My personal journey from sickness to health was so long yet so quick I just wanted to be well and move on with my life.

Believing that I was well on my road to recovery and that I could begin putting a cycle of surgeries behind me, I moved to Denver, full of hope.  I was staying with a friend for only a few weeks when I received a phone call from the Porter Hospital.  I was called in for some repeat tests for the tumor on my liver. Although it was benign and I gave up soy and any artificial means of estrogen the tumor continued to grow in size. I had seen two other hepatologists previously and was told due to the location the tumor was inoperable. That was until the day I met the angel of a surgeon Dr. Thomas Heffron.

I was scheduled for surgery on December 12, 2012. The operation was done laparoscopically and took 7.5 hours. From the moment I woke up, I felt different.  The tumor and a chunk of my liver were removed and while I was still in the hospital recovering my liver began to regenerate like a starfish. This recovery was different than the others. My body felt as if it was repairing faster. As soon as I was discharged I came off of every pharmaceutical and used cannabis only. I used it for any pain or discomfort I experienced as well as using topicals on my incisions. My journey to health was finally beginning! I was starting to feel better than I ever had before.

Eight weeks post-op I attempted to go back to working as a Massage Therapist. I felt so incredible and had spent 2.5 years not working and having surgeries. Alas it was far too soon for me to go back to doing that type of strenuous bodywork and I ended up taking a few steps back. Allowing myself more time to heal proved very fruitful. I continued researching cannabis as medicine and I began making various preparations of plant medicine. I ended up being offered a job at a medical marijuana dispensary and dove in face first to the life of the cannabis industry.

My journey to health led to me to plant medicine. It made me the person I am today and the healer I am today.  I wanted to share my journey with anyone that it may inspire to never give up on your own voyage. If I would not have stayed resilient I would not be here today. I read, researched and insisted on tests and treatments even when they didn’t want to perform them. I was relentless in the pursuit of my health. I never gave up no matter how much I wanted to.  I now look back on those years and I am able to see them as a bump in the road of life. I am a survivor. I am a starfish.

Tribute to Life for the 5 year anniversary of my liver resection.
Starfish Mandala with THC molecules

Interactive Guide To Terpenes

Please enjoy this interactive and comprehensive guide to terpene science. Greencamp researched and analyzed the origin of 15 most common terpenes in cannabis, all of which play an important role in the plant’s healing properties.

 

greencamp.com

Best Stress Relief, Relaxation, and Meditation Blogs (we made the list!)

Primal Therapeutics is excited and proud to have made this list for best stress relief and relaxation blogs! We hope to encourage everyone that comes into contact with us how to relax. Many thanks to the author, Sara Lopez!

“Top Stress Relief, Relaxation & Meditation Blogs”

“Being a Psychologist and an avid reader of content related to stress relief, meditation and the like, I browsed for such blogs and discovered various sites. After a thorough research, I found some of the sites that one cannot resist lingering on.

So, if you are looking for some mental tranquility through help and guidance, you are definitely at the right spot. Here is a detailed list of the “Best Stress Relief, Relaxation and Meditation Blogs” that have got it all covered for you. So, read it through and thank me later!”
– Sara Lopez

To read all of the blogs recommended click here.

What is 4/20?

What is 420? The Meaning Behind the Marijuana Celebration Day

Written By Travis

Photo from: Liveurbandenver.com

The story of how 420 became the popular marijuana smoking day is intertwined with many myths, stories, and truths. For just about anyone who smokes marijuana on a regular basis, 420 is a sacred date and time of day. Ask a smoker about the origin of 420 however, and the origin can be as cloudy as the haze surrounding their heads. Ask a dozen stoners where the term 420 originated, and you get a dozen stories that have some basis in truth but are all over the place.

The truth about how 420 originated comes right from the kids who thought of the term. These five high schoolers developed a way to communicate secretly about weed long before it was as popular as it has become today. This is the true story of the beginnings of 420 and national weed day.

What’s 420 and Where Did It Originally Come From?

There are people around the world who are convinced that the term 420 was a California police code for “marijuana smoking in progress”. Then there are those who swear that Bob Marley died on 420 and this weed celebration day is a tribute to the legend himself. The story of 420 dates back to the early 1970’s in San Rafael, California. A group of stoners in high school called themselves the Waldos because they would get stoned after school behind a huge wall near the school property.

Photo from: Ariousentertainmentgroup.com

Now where the story gets hazy for many is that they think the Waldos would meet at exactly 4:20 each afternoon to get high. According to those in the group who went on the recall what actually happened, they group members would whisper 420-Louis to one another as code they wanted to schedule a meeting or a time to smoke. Eventually, they would go on to drop the Louis part and the 420 would basically signify anything related to marijuana. So they could easily tell one another where they wanted to 420, or what time they were going to 420, and no one in school would be any the wiser.

How Did 420 Spread From a High School to the World?

The term 420 would have only been something this small group of stoners shared, but it took the help of a popular band to give the term global recognition. When the Grateful Dead decided to set up camp in Marin County, a few miles from the high school where the Waldos gathered, it was a chance meeting that would explode the popularity of the term 420. The Waldo’s would hang outside where the Dead were rehearsing, smoking week and getting stoned, and eventually roadies would hang and get high with the Waldo’s too. The roadies and the Waldo’s would hang, get high, and listen to the Dead rehearse every day.

So from the mouths of the Waldo’s, to the ears of the roadies, the term 420 eventually made it to the bearded men in members of the Grateful Dead. The term 420 just stuck, and it was spread to concert goers around the world until it became what it is today. The Dead would use the term so frequently at the shows that the weed culture just took to it. Each year the Dead toured, the read of 420 would find a new audience. Once High Times magazine picked up the term when they wrote a story on the Grateful Dead, it was permanently a part of the weed culture. To honor the Waldo’s, and celebrate the freedom of smoking weed, on every April 20th, stoners party by throwing some incredible celebrations.

The Annual Marijuana Celebration Day

Each year, the day of celebration on April 20th gets bigger and more global attention. While some people love gathering and telling tales of the latest strains they have developed, others take a more casual approach. One of the growing trends is pampering yourself with a cannabis massage, a way to honor the marijuana celebration in your own little way. Similar to a regular full body massage, the masseur uses salves and oils packed with CBD and THC goodness, providing a therapeutic massage that has numerous medical benefits.

Photo from: Press.fourseasons.com

As 420 fast approaches, now is the time to plan how you are going to spend that day honoring everything marijuana. While there will certainly be major rallies in Washington, Colorado, and even Washington DC, rallies of smaller size are popping up in just about every state as more efforts are made to push for the legalization of marijuana in more states.