Can Cannabis Lower Blood Pressure?

Can Cannabis Lower Blood Pressure?

When marijuana was first gaining major publicity for its medical benefits, one of the first public proponents was baseball Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett, who used it to treat his glaucoma. From there, it was only a matter of time before medical research proved that CBD reduces blood pressure. In glaucoma, the pressure of fluid within the eyeball increases, putting pressure on the optic nerve. Eventually, the pressure becomes so great that the optic nerve is pinched off and the patient loses his or her sight. Cannabis lowers the fluid pressure, relieving the optic nerve and restoring eyesight. So if cannabis can lower fluid in your eyeball, what about fluid pressure in the rest of your body? Could cannabis lower blood pressure? Cannabinoids and Blood Pressure Until recently, evidence has been (more or less) inconclusive, with findings going both ways. These studies, however, had been investigating cannabis flower with no control for strain, cannabinoid profile, or route of ingestion. Different cannabinoids have different effects and attenuate the endocannabinoid system in different directions. It’s well known, for example, that THC and CBD have inverse effects to a degree. Finally, one recent study, which specifically investigated whether CBD reduces blood pressure in human trials, put a rest to the controversy: “Our data show that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress.” Cannabis and Cardiovascular Disease These findings build upon previous research that shows CBD is a vasodilator, which means it makes your arteries and blood vessels wider, allowing for greater blood flow with less pressure. There is a growing body of medical research showing...
Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Increase Teen Use

Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Increase Teen Use

When the debate over legalizing cannabis in Washington State was raging back in 2012, one of the main concerns of opponents to decriminalization was that decriminalizing weed would lead to an increase in use by teens. But is there really a connection between legal marijuana and teen use? While cannabis policy is very much in flux—as of this writing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced a crackdown—early indications are that legal marijuana and teen use are having beneficial effects. Not only here in Washington State but nationally, increased access to marijuana is leading to declines in negative outcomes such as abuse or dependency. The next few years will provide a better idea of developing trends, but we’re hopeful that legalization will continue to have positive effects on healthcare, public policy, and the criminal justice system. Legal Marijuana and Teen Use: The Numbers Don’t Lie As far as cannabis use by teens goes, the most recent data from the Center for Disease Control is positive. As the Washington Post reported and elsewhere, an increase in access to marijuana has not led an increase in its abuse. This bolsters the findings of an older study which came to much the same conclusion. What’s more, the declines in both abuse and dependency were most dramatic in teens and young adults. Does this mean that more teens are using cannabis, but using it responsibly? Apparently not: Cannabis legalization in Washington State hasn’t led to a noticeable increase in its use by teenagers. Opponents of legalization warn that the expected drop in cannabis prices over the next few years, coupled with its increased visibility...
Home Grown: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Home Grown: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

In the continuing celebration over the legalization of cannabis in Washington State, there’s one little detail that escapes most people’s notice: of all the states that allow recreational cannabis, Washington is the only one that prohibits growing cannabis indoors for individuals. Still, there’s some hope that Washington State will amend its policy towards home growers. The right to grow your own marijuana has been enshrined in cannabis culture from its very earliest days. At its roots—no pun intended—cannabis is, of course, merely a plant; a completely natural product requiring minimal processing to be medically or recreationally viable. Now it seems that’s all up in the air…or is it? While many observers agree that federal decriminalization is only a matter of time, it’s impossible to predict whether that’s a short-term, middle-term, or long-term forecast. And that uncertainty has much to do with why Washington finds itself the only cannabis-legal state that prohibits its citizens from growing cannabis indoors. How did we come to this state of affairs, and—more importantly—is there really hope this will change anytime soon? The Cole Memo: A Shaky Foundation for a Legal-Weed America In considering whether or not to decriminalize at all, most states referred to the Cole Memo, a 2013 document outlining a cautious, legally nuanced approach for states to determine their destiny when it comes to cannabis. Now the Attorney General has officially abandoned the Cole Memo. Still, no one is certain what that will mean for cannabis-legal states. The Cole Memo was really just a tentative first step in the legalization process. As we’re seeing under the current administration, it offers states no real...
Can Marijuana Improve Your Workout?

Can Marijuana Improve Your Workout?

Media often portrays cannabis consumers as being lazy and junk-food craving individuals. It’s about time that the narrative on marijuana begins to shift away from stereotypes and toward the facts. Regardless, even those who are educated on the benefits of cannabis may be surprised to find that it has something to offer everyone, from the average Joe looking to get fit to professional athletes. Here are some reasons that smoking weed and working out is just as realistic a combo as those other, more popular stereotypes. Pain Management If you dread working out because of the pain that inevitably ensues on a long run or during a heavy lifting session, you may want to try toking beforehand. Marijuana appears to manage pain by distracting you from it. A study conducted by the journal Pain found that though weed doesn’t appear to actually kill pain, it makes it more bearable. Cancer and AIDS patients have used marijuana as an alternative to opioids to treat chronic pain and this has been one of the leading arguments for its legalization. Federal hurdles still remain, however, making further research on cannabis incredibly difficult to conduct. Reduced Anxiety Some people may have the motivation to go to the gym but end up not going because of the anxiety of lifting weights or running in a room full of sweaty and athletic people. Studies have shown that cannabis strains that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) have powerful anxiety-reducing effects. CBD works by counteracting the adverse effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component in cannabis. The sounds of other people’s thoughts could be drowned out by...
How Cannabidiol (CBD) Can Help Save Lives in the Opioid Epidemic

How Cannabidiol (CBD) Can Help Save Lives in the Opioid Epidemic

We don’t have to tell you that opioid overdoses have become a public health crisis. To put in perspective on how bad things are: three times as many people in the U.S. die each year from opioid overdoses than from gun-related homicides (according to the CDC, 33,000 opioid-related deaths vs. 11,000 gun-related homicides). In the last 12 years, deaths from opioid overdoses have skyrocketed over 400%. Last year alone nearly 19,000 Americans died from opioids. That works out to about 52 people per day– the equivalent of two 747s full of people crashing and burning every single week. Even President Trump has officially declared it a health emergency. Fortunately, there is a natural solution that can help break the power of opiate addiction and help restore people to their natural life. New studies show that cannabis may be our best answer to this crisis, and one solution looks particularly promising. Read on for more info on using the cannabinoid cannabidiol for opiate withdrawal. Cannabis, Opioids, and Chronic Pain Chronic pain lies at the source of the opioid crisis. Because the chronic pain is, well, chronic, it requires consistent medication. The problem of turning to opioids for chronic pain treatment is that they are extremely addictive. Opioids are a godsend for acute pain like recovering from surgery, but a small consistent dose over a long period of time gets the patient hooked. And when the prescription finally runs out, they can slam into a brick wall of withdrawal. If the doctor won’t continue to supply them, many people find other ways to procure them—and the addiction becomes more dangerous. Cannabis offers...
Here’s How to Talk to Your Budtender to Get What You Want

Here’s How to Talk to Your Budtender to Get What You Want

Legalization has brought many opportunities, both professional and personal. But we’d rank the opportunity for learning at the forefront. Here at Have a Heart, we pride ourselves on our huge selection of Washington’s best cannabis products. But we’re just as proud of our staff of our professional budtender staff. “First thing? Please don’t be afraid to be honest. Interested in sensual topicals? So are a lot of our customers. And we have the info on how they work and best practices.” We hire people who know their stuff and are totally passionate about cannabis: from fun topicals to the healing powers of CBD. Our goal is not just to sell weed, but to educate. So please, ask questions! If you’re new to buying weed at a pot shop, we understand that it can be a little intimidating. But just remember: We’re here to serve you. Here at Have a Heart, we value curiosity. No question is a dumb question. No question is too broad or too specific. And please don’t be afraid to be honest. Interested in sensual topicals? So are a lot of our customers. And we have the info on how they work and best practices. (The key word here is recreational, and there’s no shame in that.) Do you really just want the cheapest weed available? That’s cool too! There’s nothing wrong with being thrifty, and we happen to have some great deals on dank buds, pre-rolled joints, vape cartridges, pot cookies, THC candies, and other cannabis edibles. Talk to our budtenders about the strains and products that’ll give you the most bang for your buck. So...