Those Pungent Smells Oozing Out of Marijuana Buds Are Actually Giving You Clues About What Their Effects Will Be Like
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Scientists are now formally acknowledging something that Cannabis consumers have long taken for granted: aroma is associated with effect.
Plant cannabinoids —21-carbon molecules found only in Cannabis— are odorless. It’s the terpenoids —components of the plant’s “essential oils”— that create the fragrance. Terpenoids contain repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule called isoprene and are prevalent in smelly herbs such as mints and sage, citrus peel, some flowers, aromatic barks and woods.
The aroma of a given plant depends on which terpenoids predominate. They tend to be volatile molecules that readily evaporate, and they’re very potent —all it takes is a few reaching the nose to announce their presence.
Evidence that “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid interactions” enhance the therapeutic effects of cannabis was presented by Ethan Russo, MD, at a conference in Israel in 2010 and published in the August 2011 British Journal of Pharmacology. Russo, a neurologist and ethnobotanist, is senior medical adviser at GW Pharmaceuticals.
Both terpenoids and cannabinoids are secreted inside the Cannabis plant’s glandular trichomes, and they have a parent compound in common (geranyl pyrophosphate). More than 200 terpenoids have been identified in Cannabis. The most common and most studied include limonene, myrcene, alpha-pinene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol and phytol. Anecdotal evidence suggests that pinene is alerting, limonene “sunshine-y,” and myrcene sedating.
The fact that most terpenoid compounds are common components of the human diet and “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration has made research possible, and scientists employed by flavor and fragrances manufacturers have investigated their properties over the years. But the terpenoids “remain understudied” in terms of therapeutic potential, according to Russo.
His paper mustered all the evidence —proof in some cases, hints in others— that cannabinoids and terpenoids can work in concert to abate symptoms of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, which kills more Americans nowadays than AIDS) and other illnesses.
Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, president of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, who heard Russo’s presentation in Israel, expects its publication to “generate great interest in terpenes among medical cannabis users as well as physicians.” The SCC recently began collecting data on patients’ responses to CBD-rich Cannabis. Future surveys will seek to document which other cannabinoids and which terpenoids are associated with which effects.
The “Entourage Effect”
The conference at which Russo presented his paper was held at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where Raphael Mechoulam directs a lab, in honor of Mechoulam’s 80th birthday.
In 1999 Mechoulam co-authored a paper with Shimon Ben-Shabat suggesting that cannabinoids made in the body work by means of an “entourage effect.” They had found that the endocannabinoid 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol), when administered with two related compounds, would bind more readily at the cannabinoid receptors and exert more pronounced behavioral effect on mice.
To pharmacologists who customarily designed experiments aimed at finding the active ingredient, this had heavy implications. Mechoulam spelled them out: “Biochemically active natural products, from either plant or animal origin, are in many instances accompanied by chemically related though biologically inactive constituents. Very seldom is the biological activity of the active constituent assayed together with inactive ‘entourage’ compounds. Investigations of the effect of the active component in the presence of its ‘entourage’ compounds may lead to results that differ from those observed with the active component only.”
In 2001 John McPartland and Russo published a paper in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics applying the “entourage” concept to the plant itself. “Good evidence shows that secondary compounds in cannabis may enhance the beneficial effects of THC… and reduce THC-induced anxiety, cholinergic deficits, and immunosuppresion,” they wrote. “Cannabis terpenoids and flavonoids may also increase cerebral blood flow, enhance cortical activity, kill respiratory pathogens, and provide anti-inflammatory activity.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered ministers to limit all but diplomatic and security contact with their Palestinian counterparts, an official said Wednesday, dealing another blow to faltering peace talks. The move comes a day after…
Yousef al-Shawamrah, 14, was shot in the back and hip with live ammunition near his village of Deir al-Asal al-Fawqa, which sits alongside Israel’s separation barrier, on March 19.
Shawamrah left home around 6:30 a.m. to forage for wild thistle, used in Palestinian cooking, along with two friends, 12-year-old Zahi and 17-year-old Muntaser. The boys planned to look for thistle in an area of land belonging to the village that now sits on the other side of the separation barrier.
As they crossed the barrier soldiers fired three shots without warning, Muntaser told DCI-Palestine in a sworn testimony. Another two bullets were fired, which hit Shawamrah in the hip and back as he tried to return through the barrier. Six soldiers, dressed in black fatigues and black face masks, then emerged from a group of olive trees less than 70 meters away, according to Muntaser.
An Israeli army spokesperson speaking to Ma’an News Agency alleged that the boys were attempting to sabotage Israel’s separation barrier, and “soldiers at the scene called them to distance themselves” before firing at their lower extremities. The Israeli military has yet to return Shawamrah’s body.
Eighty-five percent of the separation barrier and its planned route is located within the occupied West Bank and not along the Green Line, according to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization. It results in grave violations of Palestinian rights by severely restricting freedom of movement, restricting access to private land and crucial services.
Shawamrah is the second Palestinian child killed from live ammunition fired by Israeli forces this year, according to data collected by DCI-Palestine. Over 1,400 Palestinian children have been killed as a result of Israeli military and settler presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2000.
“According to the Israeli army’s own regulations, the use of live ammunition is only justified in circumstance of mortal danger,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine.
“When a 14-year-old is shot with two live bullets from a distance of less than 100 meters, it must be presumed that the standard has not been met and the perpetrator must be held accountable.”
Shawamrah’s companions were detained briefly by the Israeli military and claim they were subject to ill-treatment. Muntaser told DCI-Palestine that he and Zahi were handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to a nearby Israeli settlement, where they were beaten after failing to respond to questions posed in Hebrew, which neither speaks.
They were transferred to an Israeli police station in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba where they were interrogated, fingerprinted and had their pictures taken by Israeli authorities. At 5:00 p.m., 11 hours after they set out to pick thistle, they were dropped off at the Ramadin checkpoint, about seven kilometers (over four miles) from their homes.
Rifat Kassis added: “Once again, we are seeing the deadly consequences connected to the hyper-militarized environment of Israel’s prolonged occupation, in which children being children is enough to get them killed.”
To date, this shocking incident has not been covered by the BBC. In contrast, in the week prior to Yousef’s killing, BBC Online reported extensively on rockets fired out of Gaza, which resulted in no fatalities.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) wrote to BBC Online to ask why it had not even mentioned Israel’s killing of a Palestinian child, let alone report on it fully. We were told: “There is no mandate to report every killing.”
Once more, the BBC appears to be taking the position that the life of a Palestinian is worth less than that of an Israeli.
Israel’s prime minister pledged Sunday to resist “pressures” as he left for Washington on a visit expected to centre on peace talks with the Palestinians and the Iranian nuclear dispute. “I am now leaving on an important trip to the US where I will…
Authorities were on Monday investigating a fatal shooting in an Israeli prison after a US-Israeli inmate was gunned down by guards after opening fire with a smuggled weapon. The Israel Prison Services said it was looking into Sunday’s incident, during…
Israel attacks America to cover-up its War Crimes
Due to the fact that the entire mainstream media (MSM) is owned by the Israeli zionists, the American public is not aware that Israel is the biggest threat to American national security, and many believe that Israel is in fact at war with America and has colonized and occupied it just like the Palestine. The apartheid state of Israel’s unprovoked attack on The USS Liberty, the assassination of a true human rights & peace activist, the honorable Rachel Corrie are just a few examples of Israel’s war against America.
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Amid a growing international boycott campaign against Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has labeled boycotters as anti-Semites.
“In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of” Israel, Netanyahu said on Monday.
The Palestinian-led movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has generated increasing concerns in Israel. The boycott has been growing recently, mainly in Europe, where some businesses and pension funds have cut investments or trade with Israeli firms they say are connected to the West Bank settlements, Ynetnews, the website for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, reported.
Earlier in the month, US Secretary of State John Kerry pointed to “an increasing de-legitimization” campaign building up against Israel internationally and “talk of boycotts” if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not end.
The Israeli prime minister also said, “I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb.”