Food and cannabis can be the perfect match. But, let’s be real here: certain kinds of food tend to rule them all—chocolate and hazelnuts being at the top. Nutty, chocolate-packed, and infinitely decadent, adding cannabis to your cocoa hazelnut spread is one of the greatest pairings to be discovered since PB&J. It’s versatile enough to go on just about everything (ice cream, cookies, cake, crackers, you name it), improves even the worst days in mere seconds, and can be eaten straight out of the jar.
Because this delectable spread is so delicious, I highly recommend using a low dose of THC for your oil—you may end up eating the jar much more quickly than anticipated.
4-5 tablespoons milk (plant-based milks are also fine)
1. Preheat oven to 350° Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
2. Place a towel over the hazelnuts and roll to create friction, removing the skins. Set aside.
3. Melt chocolate (ideally over a double boiler) until shiny and smooth. Add oil and vanilla then mix to combine.
4. Add hazelnuts to a food processor with salt, cocoa, and powdered sugar. Pulse for 2-3 minutes until the mixture resembles a paste.
5. Slowly drizzle in the chocolate mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
6. Add milk until the mixture is desired consistency. Store in a jar at room temperature for up to two weeks.
*Note: The amount of cannaoil specified in this recipe is a very loose suggestion; the actual amount you use should be modified based on the strength of your butter and the potency you desire. Dosing homemade edibles can be tricky (click here to learn why), so the best way to test for potency is to start with one portion of a serving, wait one to two hours, then make an informed decision on whether to consume more. Always dose carefully and listen to your body, and never drive under the influence of cannabis.
Pain is the number one reason people seek medical care—and quite possibly medical cannabis—and it affects more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. In the clinic, pain is often treated with opioid drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and Fentanyl. This has traditionally been a first-line treatment approach because they work—at first.
On their own, low doses of cannabis or opioids do not relieve pain, but in combination, they do.
But opioid use has spiraled out of control and we find ourselves amidst an opioid epidemic that cost the U.S. $504 billion in 2015 alone, claims the lives of over 30,000 annually, and damages the quality of life of countless others. Clearly, we must do something to curb the growing opioid epidemic, but unfortunately, it appears that the federal government is ignoring one of its strongest solutions: cannabis.
We know that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain. We understand its ability to effectivelysubstitute for opioid medication, and that CBD can combat opioid abuse by reducing its rewarding effects. Here, we’ll take a look at how cannabis enhances the effects of opioids—an interaction worth exploring in an era plagued by opioid dependence and overdose.
CB1 Receptors Are Important for the Effects of Opioids
The original natural painkiller, opium, dates back to 3,400 B.C. in Southwestern Asia. Cannabis followed a half a century later. It’s unclear if they were ever used together to treat pain, but consumers would have found profound pain relief from low doses of both drugs when used together.Science is revealing that the cannabinoid and opioid systems can work synergistically to achieve greater pain relief. This interaction becomes clear when you consume super low-doses of THC or opioids; on their own, these low doses do not relieve pain, but in combination, they do.
For instance, a recent double-blinded, placebo-controlled study (the gold-standard in clinical research) investigated the effects of low-dose cannabis (5.6% THC) and the opioid drug, oxycodone (2.5 mg) on pain thresholds in human subjects. Neither THC nor oxycodone independently affected pain, but when used in combination, participants were able to withstand higher levels of painful stimuli consistent with substantial pain reductions.To achieve these pain-relieving effects, could THC’s primary target, cannabinoid type I (CB1) receptors, and opioid receptors be working together? There’s evidence that they do.Take mice that have been genetically engineered to not express CB1 receptors (that’s right, you can create mice without CB1 receptors!). These mice enjoy nicotine, amphetamines, cocaine, and they’ll eagerly press a lever to self-administer these drugs. But they won’t do it for the opioid drug, heroin. Normal mice do, but not the mice without CB1 receptors. This tells us that CB1 receptors are important in the euphoric effects of heroin. Extending these findings to pain, blocking the activity of CB1 receptors weakensmorphine’s ability to reduce pain.
So CB1 receptors are important in opioid drugs’ ability to make you feel good and reduce pain.These are two critical elements driving the opioid epidemic and an integral component of the pain experience. After all, pain is subjective. The severity of pain is determined by numerous factors including:
Incoming signals from an injured area (e.g., knee inflammation)
Cognitive factors (e.g., attention to injury)
Contextual factors (e.g., do you expect it to be painful?)
Mood factors (e.g., are you already depressed or anxious?)
Chemical factors (e.g., endocannabinoid or opioid system function)
Genetics (e.g., are you predisposed to have low opioid levels?).
Opioid medications predominately target two of these factors. First, they weaken the strength of the pain signals from the site of injury to your brain, and second, they improve your mood by boosting levels of the pleasurable dopamine chemical.
These dual effects make stopping opioid use difficult, especially when repeated opioid use leads to long-term brain changes that reduce the number of opioid receptors in the brain and body. Lower numbers of opioid receptors enable stronger pain signals to enter your brain and reduces the levels of mood-boosting dopamine. This is the phenomenon of tolerance, which leads to increased opioid consumption, the transition to stronger drugs, and increased risk for overdose and death.
CB1 and Opioid Receptors Interact
Pain signals begin at the site of injury, then make their way into the spinal cord and travel up to the brain. After exiting the spinal cord, they activate brain cells in critical pain processing regions including the periaqueductal gray, thalamus, and cortex. If you were to design a pain medication, you’d try to (a) weaken pain signals as they enter and exit the spinal cord and (b) dampen their effect in the brain.CB1 receptors and opioid receptors, specifically the µ-opioid receptors that modulate pain, are found expressed together in the spinal cord, the periaqueductal gray, and the brain’s reward centers. That is, you find these two receptors together in all the places that are important in pain relief.
Once activated by either opioids or cannabinoids, they share many common downstream signaling features. In fact, if you activate one receptor, it affects how the other one responds. This has led many to believe that the CB1 and µ-opioid receptors physicallyinteract. The consequence of this interaction depends on where in the brain they’re found, but in some cases, it means that their co-activation by low amounts of drug leads to a stronger effect than what would be predicted by activating either CB1 or opioid receptors on their own.While the physical interaction between CB1 and opioid receptors is likely important for the pain-relieving effects of cannabis and opioids, cannabis can enhance the effect of opioids by also increasing the body’s endogenous opioid levels, themselves. The effect is reciprocal; THC can increase opioid levels to help relieve pain, and using drugs to boost the body’s own opioid levels enhances THC’s pain-relieving effects.
So, taken together, cannabis can increase opioid’s pain-relieving effects by modulating opioid-receptor signaling directly through physical interaction between CB1 and opioid receptors, and by increasing the body’s own opioid levels.
Chronic pain can be an incredibly debilitating condition. For many who live with it on a daily or near daily basis, the condition can be so oppressive, it affects other parts of their lives, impacting their mood, health, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, many treatment options are only nominally effective. Worse, commonly prescribed drugs like opioids are highly addictive and potentially toxic; 28,000 people died from an opioid overdose in 2014, more than any other year in history. No wonder a growing number of the estimated one in five Americans who suffer from chronic pain are turning to cannabis as an alternative.
While many people believe cannabis to be an effective treatment, what does the science say? Is it really more effective and safer than other drugs? Fortunately, when it comes to cannabis and cannabinoid-based formulations, chronic pain is one of the best studied conditions. However, the causes of chronic pain are diverse. Moreover, chronic pain can be nociceptive or neuropathic. Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation. Neuropathic pain is caused by nervous system damage or malfunction.
Everyone’s biology is unique and will respond differently to cannabis depending on a number of variables, including what type of chronic pain they experience, dosage, strain, and administration method (vaping, edibles, tinctures, etc.).
How Effective is Cannabis for Chronic Pain Relief?
In a comprehensive, Harvard-led systematic review of 28 studies examining the efficacy of exo-cannabinoids (e.g. synthetic formulations or cannabinoids from the plant) to treat various pain and medical issues, the author concluded, “Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high quality evidence.”Of the studies reviewed, six out of six general chronic pain studies and five out of five neuropathic pain studies found a significant improvement in symptoms among patients. Notably, while most of the studies were limited to synthetic preparations of cannabinoids, three of the five neuropathic pain studies investigated “smoked” cannabis, while two examined an oral spray preparation.
Dr. Donald Abrams, a professor and Chief of Hematology/Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, supports cannabis to treat chronic pain, suggesting the following:
“Given the safety profile of cannabis compared to opioids, cannabis appears to be far safer. However, if a patient is already using opioids, I would urge them not to make any drastic changes to their treatment protocol without close supervision by their physician.”
Both THC and CBD in cannabis are known to elicit analgesic effects, especially when used together due to their congruent chemical synergies.
Cannabis vs. Opioids
North America has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Prescriptions have increased 400% percent since 1999, and with this trend a shocking increase in fatal overdoses has followed. Every day, 40 people now die from prescription narcotic overdoses. Many also move on to heroin because it is cheaper, easier to find, and more potent.Could cannabis be part of the solution? Quite possibly. An increasing number of studies provide evidence that many patients can use cannabis instead of opioids to treat their pain, or they can significantly reduce their reliance on opioids.
A University of Michigan March 2016 study published in the Journal of Pain provides some compelling data. They found that cannabis:
Decreased side effects from other medications
Improved quality of life
Reduced use of opioids (on average) by 64%
“We are learning that the higher the dose of opioids people are taking, the higher the risk of death from overdose,” said Dr. Daniel Clauw, one of the study’s researchers and a professor of pain management anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “[The] magnitude of reduction in our study is significant enough to affect an individual’s risk of accidental death from overdose.”Kevin Ameling, a chronic pain patient who now works for a Colorado-based non-profit cannabis research advocacy group called the IMPACT Network, is a success story. Ameling believes cannabis saved him from a life of dependency on prescription drugs. In 2007, he suffered a severe fall and was prescribed a cocktail of prescription drugs that included OxyContin, Tramadol, Clonazepam, and Lexapro. The pain became so severe that he had to progressively increase dosage while the OxyContin became less and less effective.
Living in Colorado, he decided to try medical marijuana in 2013. He claims he achieved results immediately and was able to significantly reduce his prescription intake. He cut his OxyContin dosage by 50%, reduced Clonazepam from 3 mg to 0.5 mg, Lexapro from 30 mg to 5 mg, and Tramadol from 300 mg to 75 mg.“It’s hard to express in words what a life changer medical marijuana has been for me,” said Ameling. “I was becoming increasingly worried about having to take higher doses of prescription drugs that can be highly addictive and toxic. Not only was I able to cut back significantly, with cannabis I can often skip the OxyContin with no adverse effects, something I couldn’t do before.”
Cannabis Can Take a Bit of Trial and Error
Ameling added, “Everyone will respond differently. For me, I found smoking can worsen my symptoms, while low dose edibles work the best.”No doubt, the chemical composition of the strain you choose and how you consume will affect the outcome. It may take a little trial and error before you find the most effective cannabis strain, dose, and preferred method of administration for your pain. Most importantly, if you are currently using opioids, exercise extreme caution. A change in treatment protocol should be done under medical supervision.
And, finally, heed the advice of Dr. Michael Hart, head physician at Marijuana for Trauma in Canada: “When considering cannabis to treat chronic pain, the adage ‘less is more’ rings true. Patients seem to find more relief in indica strains which are higher in THC than most sativa or hybridstrains. What we’ve found is that these strains can be highly effective in low to moderate doses, but could actually make pain worse in higher doses. So it’s important to start low, and titrate up as appropriate.”https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-for-chronic-pain-vs-opioids
Pop quiz: which of the following most closely matches your opinion of December?a. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.b. It’s the most stressful time of the year.c. It’s the best time of the year for cookies.d. All of the above.If you selected a), b), c), or d), you’re in luck! We have the perfect cookie recipe for relishing and relaxing at once. The holidays are a whirlwind of shopping, socializing, and spending time with friends and family, and while that’s all a ton of fun, it can leave anyone feeling a little drained as the season reaches its peak.The solution? Bake up a batch of these classic sugar cookies infused with a healthy dose of cannabutter. They’re easy, festive, delicious, and perfect for delivering a relaxing body high at a busy time of year. Whether you bring a box to your next cannabis-friendly gathering or keep them at home to pair with a mug of cocoa by the fire, they’re guaranteed to please. Pro tip: use the fun and funny cannabis-inspired cookie cutters below so your friends know what kind of cookies they’re getting into!
Cannabis-Themed Cookie Cutters
The perfect way to shape your baked goods? Cannabis-inspired cookie cutters, of course. Check out a few of our favorites for inspiration:Marijuana Leaf Cookie Cutter — It’s classic but incontrovertibly iconic, and the clearest indicator of what’s in the cookie jar.Stash Jar Cookie Cutter — Okay, it’s technically sold as a Mason jar cookie cutter, but we think it could go either way.Legal State Cookie Cutters — Celebrate legalization, or exciting steps in that direction (such as California’s latest news) with state-shaped cookie cutters.B-A-K-E-D Cookie Cutters — Sure, you can spell out anything you want with alphabet cookie cutters, but words with double meanings are more fun.
Recipe for Cannabis-Infused Sugar Cookies
Start to finish: 45 minutesYield: 24 cookiesApproximate dosage: 10mg THC per cookieIngredients2 ½ cups flour, plus more for rolling1 cup sugar1 cup of 240mg cannabutter*1 egg1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon vanilla1 teaspoon saltOptional: Powdered sugar and milk, for frosting*For less potent cookies, switch out any portion of the cannabutter and replace with standard butter as desired.
Recipe: How To Make Basic Cannabis-Infused Butter
Beat cannabutter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to cannabutter mixture a little at a time, stirring until all ingredients are incorporated.
Cover dough and refrigerate for an hour or longer.
Remove dough from refrigerator and preheat oven to 375°F.
Roll dough on a generously floured surface to approximately ⅓” thick. Cut cookies (see below for thematic cookie cutter suggestions) and transfer to ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden in color.
Remove from oven, transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.
To frost: Combine powdered sugar with milk and stir until desired consistency is reached, then add food coloring as desired. If you like, add a teaspoon or two of cannabutter to thicken the frosting and add an extra kick of potency.Note: The amount of cannabis butter specified in this recipe is a very loose suggestion; the actual amount you use should be modified based on the strength of your cannabutter and the potency you desire. Dosing homemade edibles can be tricky (click here to learn why), so the best way to test for potency is to start with one portion of a serving, wait one to two hours, then make an informed decision on whether to consume more. Always dose carefully and listen to your body, and never drive under the influence of cannabis.
We are proud to be a Part of and sponsor the ultimate Kids challenge
Quad Kids is an exciting chance for young, aspiring athletes to be a part of the
Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon.
Boys and girls, from the ages of 3 to 12 years old, compete in a bike and run duathlon on a separate course.
By participating in Quad Kids, children get to feel the excitement of finishing their own challenge, preparing them to grow up and take on the Quad.
Check out mttaylorquad.org for more info on Quad Kids and the 36th Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon.
THE WINTER QUADRATHLON
Challenge: To confront or boldly defy.
The Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon is challenging. This epic race begins with a 13-mile bike ride meandering through town, then away buildings to sights of high desert cacti and ponderosa pines, continuing to the end of the pavement on Mt.Taylor, an 1,800 ft. climb.
Then, the race continues on foot with a 5-mile run on a gravel path that gives way to packed snow, while rising 1,200 ft. in elevation.
The next 1,200 ft. climb is tackled on skis, during a 2-mile portion of the race that includes Heartbreak Hill, a barren and exposed part of the mountain, which comes at the end of this leg - making it that much more intense.
The 11,301 ft. summit of Mt. Taylor is finally reached via snowshoe, after gaining 600 ft in elevation over a mile. There, competitors will come upon a vast and majestic view, where you can see for over 100 miles on a clear day, before turning around and snowshoeing, skiing, running, and cycling back to town.
At the completion of the Ultimate Challenge, you will have conquered 4,900 ft of elevation gain, and 43 miles and some change in exhilarating and agonizing bliss.
A state District Court judge has ruled that the state Department of Health’s 450-plant limit on medical marijuana dispensaries is arbitrary and capricious and has no factual basis.
Judge David Thomson issued his 60-page ruling Thursday and is giving the DOH 120 days to come up with a new rule on plant limits. He wrote that the department has been “impeding the purpose” of New Mexico’s medical pot statute.Bernalillo County resident Nicole Sena filed a lawsuit against the DOH in 2016 because she couldn’t find CBD oil, which requires several marijuana plants to produce, that she needed to treat her young daughter’s medical condition. She said she had to move to a “neighboring state” in order to get the oil.
Marijuana producer Duke Rodriguez, CEO of Ultra Health, later became a plaintiff in the suit. A bench trial concluded in August 2017.Sena and Rodriguez were represented by Brian Egolf, a state representative and speaker of the House who also has a law firm in Santa Fe.DOH spokesman Paul Rhien said in a text message Thursday: “The Department has received the judge’s decision and we are considering our next steps. Our focus will always be on ensuring that patients have safe access to medicine.”
Thomson ruled that the state Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, which governs the medical marijuana program, gives the DOH discretion to develop a distribution system, come up with requirements for producers and set procedures for obtaining a license. But the judge found that the statute doesn’t allow to department to “limit the production of medicinal cannabis that has no articulated fact-based correlation between the 450 plant limit and what meets the adequate supply needs of patients.”
“In essence, DOH is using its regulatory authority in a manner and with an end toward impeding the purpose of the Act,” Thomson wrote.
“Further, its regulatory mandate of 450 plants is not based on fact or reliable data and is not rationally related to its regulatory authority. More importantly, it impedes the ability to assure medical patients have an adequate supply.”The DOH moved the plant limit from 150 to 450 after a 2013 survey of medical marijuana patients, but Thomson ruled that the survey didn’t account for future growth of the program and noted that the department has not conducted another survey since. There were 9,760 patients in 2013, and as of September there are 58,782 patients in the program, according to DOH data.
Endocannabinoids are molecules that, like the plant cannabinoid THC, bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors. However, unlike THC, endocannabinoids are produced naturally by cells in the human body (“endo” means “within,” as in within the body).There are two major endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG. These endocannabinoids are made from fat-like molecules within cell membranes, and are synthesized on-demand. This means that they get made and used exactly when they’re needed, rather than packaged and stored for later use like many other biological molecules.https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system
Today at our Grants location you can enjoy these strains at a discounted price!AK-47 (sativa hybrid) $7.00 (tax not included): Don't let its intense name fool you: AK-47 will leave you relaxed and mellow. This sativa-dominant hybrid delivers a steady and long-lasting cerebral buzz that keeps you mentally alert and engaged in creative or social activities. AK-47 mixes Colombian, Mexican, Thai, and Afghani varieties, bringing together a complex blend of flavors and effects. While AK-47’s scent is sour and earthy, its sweet floral notes can only be fully realized in the taste.Critical Mass (sativa hybrid) $7.00 (tax not included): Critical Mass is often used to treat chronic pain from illnesses, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, as well as anxiety and panic disorders. With a sweet and earthy smell and an herbal taste, Critical Mass is popular among new users and long-term users alike. Smoking small amounts leads to feelings of creativity and euphoria, followed by laziness, couch-lock, and sleepiness. This strain would be ideal to smoke during a lazy afternoon where you want to relax, but still need to be functional.Blueberry Bubblegum (50/50 hybrid) $7.00 (tax not included): Blueberry Gum is a 50/50 hybrid child of Blueberry and Bubblegum Kush. Feel the quick setting, creative vibe and enjoy a relaxing body high that leaves you inspired without the anxiety of many sativa strains. You will be easily amused and comfortable in your own skin. Its fruity and citrus aroma is truly mouth watering. The effect is strong, hard hitting and is affecting body and mind at the same time.Head Cheese (hybrid sativa) $8.00 (tax not included): Head Cheese is a Sativa dominant hybrid that has an intense cheesy fragrance and flavor that transforms into diesel and kush. Induces uplifting cerebral euphoria followed by relaxing physical high, improves mood, boosts appetite, increases energy, prompts laughter, stimulates thoughts, may cause drowsiness
Come on in and see the new strains available at our San Mateo locaiton!Blueberry Bubblegum #2 (50/50 hybrid) 20.31%: This strain has a quick setting creative vibe with a relaxing body high. This will leave feeling inspired without the anxiety of many sativa strains.Sativa Diva (sativa) 23.24%: This a true sativa. You will have a clear headed, euphoric sensation that will allow you to face the day without the anxiety of most sativas.Sugar Black Rose (indica) 14.32%: Sugar Black Rose is a cross of Critical Mass and Black Domina. An indica-dominant hybrid, Sugar Black Rose has a sweet taste with hints of fruit and fresh flowers. The aroma takes on a pungent, earthy musk that resembles exotic hash imported from overseas, and brings with it a relaxing body buzz that helps keep nausea, anxiety, and muscle pains at bay.White Widow (sativa hybrid) 20.89%: Patients will opt for White Widow if they're seeking a strain that allows them to unwind and relax while still maintaining a sense of mental awareness. This strain is especially good for depression, stress, pain, and PTSD. White Widow gets its name from the fact that it is literally blanketed in white crystals. Beware though, this sweet sugary smoke starts out light but expands dramatically which can lead to heavy coughing; especially if you're a novice smoker. When it comes to smell, you can expect a citrus and peppery scent that is accompanied by a lemony aftertaste. This strain is perfect for outdoor activities like hanging out at the beach or taking a nice walk.
Our true sativa strain "Sativa Diva" is now available at our San Mateo location as well as at our Grants store.Come in and try this uplifting and clear headed sativa. Patients report nice body relaxation to relieve pain yet relatively clear headed to keep them motivated throughout the day with no anxiety.This strain is good for relieving nausea, anxiety, depression and fatigue.26.12% THC
Today you can enjoy our hybrid strain Head Cheese at only $8.65 per gram.Head cheese is great for relieving pain, migraines,inflammation, spasms, sleeplessness and appetite loss.Come in for the head cheese and try out some of the other wonderful strains we have available.
Blueberry Gum is a 50/50 hybrid child of Blueberry and Bubblegum Kush. Feel the quick setting, creative vibe and enjoy a relaxing body high that leaves you inspired without the anxiety of many sativa strains. You will be easily amused and comfortable in your own skin. Its fruity and citrus aroma is truly mouth watering. The effect is strong, hard hitting and is affecting body and mind at the same time.