What Is Cannabis Receptor GPR55 and How Does It Promote CBD Benefits?

What Is Cannabis Receptor GPR55 and How Does It Promote CBD Benefits?

No, GPR55 was not in Star Wars. It’s not a cousin to R2-D2 or C-3PO. But, given its prominent role in CBD benefits, GPR55 has been getting an increasing amount of attention in the cannabis and science communities. So, what the heck is “GPR55” and why is so important? Actually, it’s an abbreviation for G protein-coupled receptor 55. (In humans, this G protein-coupled receptor is encoded by the GPR55 gene.) Along with GPR119 and GPR18, scientists have identified it as a possible novel cannabinoid receptor. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrating the importance of GPR55 has led more and more scientists to believe GPR55 may be the third most important cannabis receptor after CB1 and CB2 (more on this in the next section). I know, I know… this sounds awfully nerdy and scientific, but I’ll try to break it down in more simple terms in this article. But, first, to truly understand and appreciate GPR55, you’ll need some foundational knowledge about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), your body’s own “natural cannabinoid system.” Crazy, right? Humans (and many animals) have a system that resembles the cannabis plant, in that in this system are endocannabinoids (Endo- means “within,” as in “within the body”) that are identical to phytocannabinoids (Phyto- means “related to plants”) found in the cannabis plant. Now that you know we all have a cannabinoid system (including your pets), let’s dive into what exactly this system is, what it does, and why it’s so important. Ready? Slap on your science hat, and let’s dig in! Background: The Endocannabinoid System   You may or may not know, but the endocannabinoid...
Get Your Munchies On: 5 Cheap Picks for Dining High in Bothell

Get Your Munchies On: 5 Cheap Picks for Dining High in Bothell

Okay, we’re pretty sure you don’t need to be convinced that the munchies are real anymore, right? (Though if you’re at all curious, the science behind eating high is pretty darn fascinating.) Instead, let’s focus on a more immediate question: What are some great places to eat while stoned? We’re not talking about junk food, either. At Have a Heart, we think cannabis is just one element in a healthy, happy and engaged lifestyle. So just like we don’t think lunch should be a bag of chips and a soda, we’re all about treating your body—and your mind—to healthful, fun and nourishing food. Check out 5 of our favorite Bothell places to eat while stoned. 5 Favorite Bothell Places to Eat While Stoned We think eating high can be a deeply stimulating and satisfying experience, so why waste it on empty calories? Here’s a quick rundown of some delicious—and convenient—food options right in our neighborhood! Bamboo House 22910 Bothell Everett Hwy #103A Bothell, WA 98021 (425) 485-6737 This rather generic-looking Vietnamese joint may not look particularly promising, but don’t be deceived. You’ll find zingy, refreshing takes on one of our absolute favorite cuisines here, from rich, aromatic pho—the beef-and-noodle that may be Vietnam’s most famous culinary export—to cooling salads, springy and crunchy rice-paper rolls, and a few surprises. Bamboo House comes highly recommended for the high among us. Korea House 20615 Bothell Everett Hwy B Bothell, WA 98012 (425) 486-8866 If some Asian cuisines—Vietnamese and Japanese, for a start—are notable for their subtlety, Korean is the exact opposite. Think big, bold, smack-you-in-the-face flavors and textures: Soft tofu vs. chewy...
5 Best Strains to Give You An Emotional Lift

5 Best Strains to Give You An Emotional Lift

Although spring is here, it can still be a bit gloomy and cold here yet in Bothell. Luckily, cannabis is here to help. Here are 5 cannabis strains that make you laugh and bring you into a rosy, warm state of being. Welcome spring with a smile and some giggles that will melt away your boredom and blues. Sunset Sherbet Bask in the warm glow of this amazing bud, a potent indica-leaning hybrid of Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie. This strain is known to produce extreme relaxing effects and a strong body buzz almost immediately upon inhaling for the first time. Eventually, you will also experience mindblowing psychedelic effects as the true nature of Sunset Sherbet reveals itself to you and sends your brain on an uplifting cerebral adventure that could last for hours. This is definitely one to try the next time you spot some at a dispensary. Dutch Treat As the name implies, this sweet-smelling hybrid hails from Amsterdam, one of the world’s greatest centers of cannabis culture. Its super sticky bud is known to have a calming impact on those who toke it, which ripples into a happy feeling that encompasses the entire body and instantly lifts your mood. This is a great strain for insomniacs, too, as it will eventually put you to sleep—but not before you raid the fridge to satisfy a mean sensation of munchies. Blue Dream Blue Dream is one of the most famous sativas—and for good reason. This fragrant flower is one of the best-tasting smokes on the market. This is perfect for long days indoors when it’s too cold...
Dabbing & Cannabis Extractions: Is It Safe?

Dabbing & Cannabis Extractions: Is It Safe?

Cannabis extracts are relatively new, but they’re the fastest-growing segment of the retail cannabis industry. And it’s easy to see why they’re so popular; they’re potent and flavorful, they’re exciting, and they’re a great way to sample cannabis. But while you may be familiar with extracts, you might not be so familiar with the potentially dangerous side effects of dabs. A new study highlights the potential side effects of dabs, or concentrates. Namely, the potential for carcinogen exposure with some extracts. Here are some ways you can minimize your potential for harm by selecting the safest, highest-quality products. Trouble with Terpenes? The above-mentioned study is fascinating for several reasons, not least because its purpose was to specifically assess the safety and side effects of dabs, in the hopes of improving outcomes for both medical and recreational users. Its point of inquiry begins with terpenes, the chemical compounds that make each cannabis strain unique. Accurately assessing the medicinal effect of terpenes is difficult, but we can study their “degradation products.” Essentially, we can study what’s left behind when we combust extracts in a dabbing rig or vape pen. What did the study find? In broad terms, they found that the higher the temperature we use to vaporize cannabis extracts, the greater potential for harmful degradation products. Some such products, like methacrolein (MC), are characterized as “noxious irritants.” Others are even worse. Benzene, another harmful degradation product, is a potent carcinogen. It has been called the “largest single known cancer risk” commonly found in our air. Ouch. Luckily, we can still enjoy extracts without experiencing the harmful side effects of dabs....
Cannabis Dosing: How to Find the Optimal Dose

Cannabis Dosing: How to Find the Optimal Dose

If you’ve ever tried smoking in a social setting—say, out at a party with friends—you probably didn’t put a ton of thought into finding the right cannabis dosage. In that kind of a situation, “the right dose” might have been “till I’m super high!” But now that you’re a bit older and a tiny bit wiser about cannabis, perhaps it’s time to circle back and tackle an important but often-ignored question: What’s the right cannabis dosage for me? As you may suspect, the answer depends on many factors, such as your gender, your cannabis history, and your desired outcome. Let’s start with the big questions first and see if we can narrow the answer down from there. Men and Women: Same Marijuana, Different Effects However much we might want to believe that under our skin we’re really all the same, the truth is that physiologically speaking, men and women and different on multiple levels. Given the emerging understanding that even our individual cells are “male” or “female,” it should come as no surprise that many drugs—including cannabis—affect men and women differently. As the authors of a 2010 study noted, some cannabinoids “…have been shown to exert sex-dependent effects also in other physiological and behavioral aspects, such as food intake and energy balance (more evident in males), or anxiety and depression (more evident in females).” Broadly speaking, when men consume cannabis, they’re more likely to: Use higher amounts of cannabis than women. Use cannabis more frequently. Be more susceptible to the “munchies,” or the tendency to crave foods after imbibing. Experience lower sexual desire shortly after consumption. Possibly experience psychosis...
What to Expect When Visiting a Dispensary for the First Time

What to Expect When Visiting a Dispensary for the First Time

Going to a Dispensary for the First time? Here’s What to Expect Going to a dispensary for the first time can be a fun yet intimidating task. Shopping for high-grade cannabis in a completely legal setting sounds like a dream to any marijuana lover, but there are often many questions surrounding etiquette and what to expect. The fact that you’re reading this article shows that you’re at least somewhat interested in learning more about the topic, so here’s to your appetite for preparation and knowledge. 1. Identify Yourself Have your state issued ID at the ready, you’ll need it. Marijuana, like alcohol, is prohibited to sell to anyone under the age of 21. Don’t expect grey hairs or a beard to pass as identification either. Dispensaries tend to be especially strict on identification since marijuana is illegal on a federal level and the new industry is intent on following the law. 2. Expect Security Many dispensaries have some form of security. Cameras, guards, and barred entrances are common practice. There’s no need to be intimidated. Security is present to protect everyone and keep the bad guys out. Be respectful of the dispensaries security measures and you’ll be just fine. 3. Bring Cash The billion-dollar marijuana industry is largely cash-only. Some dispensaries now accept cards, but it remains a complicated issue due to federal regulation regarding cannabis. To be safe, come prepared to pay for the green stuff with green stuff. 4. Know Yourself What are you hoping to obtain from cannabis? Pain relief, sleep aid, boosted creativity? Different cannabis strains offer different benefits. Educate yourself on the differences between...