Why Vaping is the Optimal Way for Medical Marijuana Patients to Get Their Dose On

Why Vaping is the Optimal Way for Medical Marijuana Patients to Get Their Dose On

Vaporizing—or vaping as it’s commonly known—refers to the process of heating dried cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature below the combustion point (roughly 350°F to 440°F). This releases the desired cannabinoids and terpenes, but doesn’t create the harmful tar, carbon monoxide and other byproducts associated with combustion.

Igniting cannabis in a joint or a pipe heats the material and smoke up to a high temperature, which can be harsh on the lungs (hence, the coughing). Vaping heats cannabis oil and flower at much lower temperatures, releasing the active ingredients into a fine vapor mist.

Although research shows cannabis smoke is less toxic than cigarette smoke, it can still cause lung irritation and respiratory distress—particularly in immunocompromised patients. Burning cannabis produces over 100 chemicals and compounds, several of them known to be toxic.

The effects of vaping cannabis are similar to those of smoking, with similar onset time and duration, and many patients feel vaping is a healthier option for them. Vaping doesn’t ignite the cannabis material, and thus, releases no smoke or carcinogens. That means most of the potentially harmful respiratory effects from smoking cannabis can be avoided.

Research on vaping health risks has found people who use vaporizers report fewer respiratory problems than those who smoke cannabis. The health benefits of vaping cannabinoids can be especially significant for medical cannabis patients, who often consume more cannabis on a regular basis than casual or recreational users.

Vaping also provides the added benefit of producing a virtually odorless vapor. That means it can be done discreetly and without lingering smells.

All vaporizers have a heating source and a delivery system, but there are numerous styles of vaporizers on the market today, including stationary tabletop models, boxy portable vaporizers and pen-style vapes.

Many people find pen vapes with pre-filled cartridges of high-quality oil distillates, like those made by The Clear, are the easiest types of vaporizers to use. The Clear product line features the cleanest and purest THC and CBD products on the market. Quality pen vapes are highly effective and discreet. They’re also the easiest for using on the go.

Pre-loaded vape pens also allow for precise dosing, which is particularly important for patients who are new to concentrates. Pen vapes give users the ability to control exactly how much or how little they want to consume, without wasting any oil.

Distillates—a highly pure form of cannabis oil—offer added advantages for medical cannabis patients looking to benefit from cannabinoids without exposing themselves to any impurities. Many patients prefer vaporizing this type of highly purified oil because it provides strong, specific cannabinoid and terpene formulations designed for specific purposes.

 

Made for Each Other: The Human Endocannabinoid System is Naturally Designed for Consuming Cannabis

Made for Each Other: The Human Endocannabinoid System is Naturally Designed for Consuming Cannabis

The reason cannabis produces therapeutic and psychoactive effects in people is because our bodies are literally hardwired to react to cannabinoids, the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant.

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS), named after the cannabis plant, is a major molecular system that works to help maintain homeostasis—or balance—within the body. The ECS plays an important role in a number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs.

The ECS is actually found in all vertebrate species, and it includes three main components: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids and metabolic enzymes. It is activated by endocannabinoids produced by the body and cannabinoids introduced from external sources.

Cannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells throughout the body tell the inside of the cells what’s going on outside, and that information activates certain cellular responses. The two main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found at high levels in several brain regions and in lower levels throughout the body. These receptors are responsible for mediating the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CB2 receptors are found primarily in immune cells, but are also found at lower levels throughout the body.

Endocannabinoids are small molecules that bind to and activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors. The body synthesizes endocannabinoids the same way it synthesizes cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The main difference is that endocannabinoids are produced naturally within the body. The two main endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG.

Metabolic enzymes in the ECS break down the endocannabinoids after they’ve been used by cells. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is the key enzyme that breaks down anandamide, and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) is the key enzyme that breaks down 2-AG. These metabolic enzymes serve the purpose of making sure endocannabinoids are used when the body needs them and prevents the body from storing them for later use.

Emerging cannabinoid research indicates that modulating the activity of the ECS may present effective therapeutic treatment options for a wide range of diseases and pathological conditions, including mood disorders, spasticity, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, cancer, glaucoma, osteoporosis and more.

Because the ECS plays such a large and wide-ranging role in promoting homeostasis within the body, cannabinoid-based treatments may hold tremendous promise for patients with diseases and conditions that don’t respond well to traditional treatment options. A growing number of preclinical studies and clinical trials are already uncovering novel therapeutic approaches for such cannabinoid-based treatments.

Want to activate your ECS? The Clear™ has you covered with the cleanest concentrates on the market. Learn about The Clear™’s ultra-pure THC distillate and hemp-derived CBD products for wellness-minded consumers.

Image source: Pixabay

What Are Terpenes, and Why Are They Important?

What Are Terpenes, and Why Are They Important?

Terpenes are the chemical calling cards of the natural world.

They are the volatile organic molecules secreted by flowers that shout “visit me!” to bees buzzing in your garden, they are the carriers of the pitch-perfect fragrance you catch when hiking through a pine forest, they are the carriers of that concentrated scent you inhale when the budtender whips the lid off a container of cannabis at a dispensary, and when herbalists tout the power of aromatherapy through “essential oils” from herbs and plants, they’re talking terpenes.

If there were such a thing as smell-o-vision, terpenes would be its A-list stars.

Terpenes scintillate (or scare) for a good reason. Many creatures navigate the world with their noses, and smell—along with its close cousin, taste—unite memory and learning centers of the brain. Even nasally challenged humans associate particular aromas with happy or comforting experiences, like that cinnamon thing mom had going for the holidays. However, they also can serve as warning signs: the stink in stink (or shield) bugs is their terpene reminder, “Don’t tread on me.”

Many terpenes are sticky and odorous to protect the plant that secretes them. Hence, the ubiquitous funky fragrance of cannabis sativa.

Upwards of 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis, and this aromatic advance guard can help you distinguish between various strains and their effects.

For instance, myrcene, which smells musky or earthy, is associated with a sedative effect; myrcene-heavy indica strains make you collapse in-da-couch. The citrusy scents of a limonene in a strain, on the other hand, signal an opportunity to brighten your mood and ’tude. Strains that contain the aptly named pinene are said to boost alertness and memory, and peppery caryophyllales often waft from CBD-heavy strains than can help ease a variety of ailments.

There are dozens more scents and sensibilities to explore. Just like a honeybee seeking out its favorite terpene-laden flower, you can sidestep confusing strain names and learn to select cannabis by associating the effect you’re after with the fragrance of the associated terpene. Let terpenes be your guideposts along the cannabis trail: They can help you follow your nose to your preferred destination. This cannabis color-wheel graphic from strain database Leafly associates the major terpene fragrances with their therapeutic and psychotropic effects.

And cannabis terpenes are not just another pretty or putrid smell. The psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and anti-inflammatory qualities of cannabidiol (CBD) get all the credit for the potency of pot, but there is more emerging evidence for what is called the “entourage effect,” in which terpenes enable, enhance or moderate the high—and the health effects—of cannabis.

The landmark study Taming THC, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, details how various terpenes can limit the downsides of cannabis (dopiness, anxiety) and amp the good (memory, concentration, joy). So if you’re not making terpenes part of your cannabis experience, you’re probably missing out on important information about brain and body benefits.

Which strains work best for you? There’s only one sure way to find out: See if they pass your sniff test.

Image source: Pixabay

The Clear’s Secret to Amazing Natural Flavors for Our Many Award-Winning Concentrates

The Clear’s Secret to Amazing Natural Flavors for Our Many Award-Winning Concentrates

Let’s talk terps—and other magical molecules that plants produce.

We’ve already shared with you the secrets behind The Clear™’s cultivation and extraction techniques that yield the purest concentrate on the market. But what happens once we’ve made our ultra-clean, golden extract? How does our obsession with quality impact the array of luscious flavors our discerning customers seek out?

To bring our true-to-life flavors into The Clear™, we use naturally-derived terpenes and flavonoids. And our advanced vape hardware elevates taste to the next level.

Bring Out the Funk, and the Fruity Flavors, Too

While terpenes are what give cannabis strains their singular flavors and fragrances, they can be found throughout the plant kingdom—the immediately identifiable scents and flavors found in tart lemons, icy mint, savory thyme, spicy pepper and many more herbs, spices and fruits.

Flavonoids give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. Both types of compounds have been shown to have many health benefits.

So far, scientists have discovered more than 200 terpenes and over 20 flavonoids in cannabis plants alone, ranging from classic skunky scents to sweet, fruity notes.

Many other companies inject synthetic terpenes into their extracts. But our award-winning flavors come from natural plant sources, not a factory. And just as our extraction process distills our oil to its purest form, our terpene and flavonoid extraction process also draws out the best, most concentrated form of natural flavor.  

We use steam distillation to isolate and collect the terpenes and flavonoids—no synthetic or non-organic materials are used in any of our extraordinary, hand-crafted flavors. All of the plant material and compounds used in the process are organic, non-GMO and FDA-certified as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). As always, our customers can count on a pure, clean experience.

As a result, the delectable flavors are true to the strains and fruits they are drawn from. Everyone’s taste buds are different, so we’ve created a dozen fruit flavors to please every palate, as well as five special flavors that pay tribute to some of the most popular cannabis strains around.

Our award-winning concentrate array starts with the cannabis flavor line, which runs the gamut from sweet-and-piney XJ-13, to pungently sour, salty and sweet OG, peppery Golden Goat, the citrus-minded Lemon Haze (also available in Clear™ CBD) and the terpene-free neutral Lobster Butter, which is an ideal option for edible applications.

Tantalizing fruit flavors:

  • Blue Raz is tart, yet sweet and mouth-watering, like cotton candy or a lollipop.
  • Red Apple combines the full bouquet of the orchard with a long, sweet finish.
  • Pure Pear’s soft sweetness tastes fresh-picked.

And the list goes on (*-also featured in our Clear™ CBD lineup):

Juicy Potent Pineapple*; ripe, sweet Blueberry*; tangy, sweet Lime Sorbet and Lemon Lime*; bright, rich Orange Cream*; juicy, soda-inspired Grapevine; super-ripe and deep Strawberry*; balanced, smooth Banana Cream; and the complex and satisfying Strawberry Banana.

The Clear’s Stellar, Straightforward Vape Tech  

When it comes time to consume, our vaporizer again exemplifies our desire to be straightforward and transparent, while implementing the most advanced technology. Our vape hardware is precision-made from medical-grade stainless steel, ceramic and glass. That’s it. No fibers, glues or chemicals.

We go to great lengths to make sure that when our customers pick up a Clear™ vape, they can tell right away that they’re getting the cleanest experience on the market. There’s no itchiness in the throat or lungs—just a smooth experience with consistent, flavorful and supremely effective results.

As it should be.

CBD Science: What Research has Revealed About Cannabidiol and Health

CBD Science: What Research has Revealed About Cannabidiol and Health

It’s tempting to think of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, as an herbal panacea. After all, it’s being touted as a potential treatment for asthma, obesity, drug addiction, acne, Alzheimer’s, migraines, PTSD and insomnia, just to name a few conditions.

But research into CBD’s healthful properties has largely been stifled in the United States, until recently. So, much of the evidence is either historical (“Napoleon’s troops probably used it!”), anecdotal (“My aunt swears by it!”) or based on lab studies of animals (the rat was unavailable for comment).

However, times are changing. The June 2018 decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve a cannabis-derived CBD drug called Epidiolex for treating certain forms of epilepsy is a positive sign that barriers to cannabis research could soon be a thing of the past. When you consider 30 states plus the District of Columbia have approved some form of medical cannabis, the need for answers and more CBD research is obvious.

We do know that cannabidiol is a key chemical messenger in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and other functions from head to toe. (And there are claims CBD topicals can help with dandruff, athlete’s foot and everything in between).

There is a growing body of CBD research exploring the anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-cancer, anti-you-name-it properties of cannabidiol. There are few definitive results yet. But urgent health needs, plus hundreds of CBD products trying to answer them, have a way of putting public demand ahead of the research curve.

How might it help you? Here are just a few of the applications that show promise.

CBD and convulsive disorders: The medical journal Epilepsia notes that cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy for centuries. Even as research continues, patients are using CBD to limit or eliminate seizures—as seen in numerous reports, most famously CNN’s docu-series Weed.

CBD and cancer: Some of the strongest support for medical applications of cannabis comes from cancer research, as reported by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in its sweeping 2017 review of 10,000 scientific abstracts. Cannabinoids are helping cancer patients deal with pain, general wasting and the nausea and vomiting that come with chemotherapy, according to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Studies suggest CBD and other cannabinoids may also play a role in limiting tumor growth.

CBD and acne: A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation cites its effectiveness in corralling over productive sebaceous (oil) glands, and limiting the inflammation that causes “acne vulgaris.”

CBD and anxiety: In a research review published in the journal Neurotherapeutics, researchers said there is “considerable potential” for CBD as a balm for a wide range of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic disorders.

CBD and addiction: Another Neurotherapeutics study makes the case for using CBD to limit “drug-seeking behaviors,” which is ironic, given how many times cannabis has been cited as a gateway to more dangerous drugs.  Now, it’s being seriously considered as an “exit drug.”

CBD and smoking cessation: An Addictive Behavior study showed that tapping a CBD inhaler decreased the number of cigarettes users smoked by 40 percent.

CBD and pain: The Journal of Experimental Medicine reported that CBD therapy soothed both chronic inflammatory and neurophathic (nerve) pain. It’s important to note it was a rat study. But rats have feelings, too.

One cannabinoid quirk: Often the effects of cannabis are enhanced by what is known as the entourage effect—combining, say, CBD with THC and terpenes, the volatile organic compounds that give cannabis its distinctive fragrance. If you want the whole effect, you may need the whole plant.

Based on current and future findings, there may be a wave of CBD-related therapies coming soon … or even this afternoon, depending on the advice you get at a dispensary. Given the limits of current science, you’ll have to be your own research scientist and lab rat. But it beats waiting for the next issue of Neurotherapeutics to hit your mailbox.

Image source: Gotgot44 / Wikimedia Commons

What’s in Your Concentrate? How a Cannabis Plant Becomes The Clear

What’s in Your Concentrate? How a Cannabis Plant Becomes The Clear

The Clear™ is known for being the purest cannabis concentrate on the planet. But to get from plant to purified concentrate takes a number of pivotal steps and a lot industry-leading technology.

At The Clear™, we take the extra time and go further to ensure the cleanest concentrate, free from plant-matter byproducts and other residuals. We’ve purchased top-of-the-line equipment and modified it to be even better. And we’ve invested in research to make sure the final product that emerges from the extraction and distillation process is as pure as scientifically possible.

Step 1: Start With the Best Plants

Many companies start with leftover plant material, but only the highest-quality plants go into our exclusive machines. Put simply, we don’t use material that doesn’t meet our standards. It’s an expensive choice, but our product is worth it, and our customers understand that.

Step 2: Extraction

In many states we use a CO2 extraction process and a proprietary distillation process that involves no hydrocarbon solvents and no harmful chemicals.

Many concentrate makers consider the process finished once the solvents have been removed, and at this point they package their BHO and send it to the dispensary. But at The Clear™, we’re just getting started.

Step 3: Chill and Purify

First we “winterize” the mixture to freeze the plant-based fats out of the solution. The liquid we use to super-chill the extract is a natural, corn-derived ethanol. In this separation process, we use different temperatures and vacuum pressure to separate out the plant compounds—a.k.a. cannabinoids like THC—that we want to keep and get rid of the ones we don’t. If the resulting product is anything less than 85 percent THC, we run it through the process again, to obtain the purest product possible.

Step 4: Filter

Then we use a proprietary filter press that ultra-refines the oil. At this point, you could drink the resulting cannabis oil and it would not get you high. Just like you have to apply flame to a bowl of cannabis flower or heat to cannabutter to trigger its intoxicating properties, we have to add heat to “activate” the naturally occuring acid form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-A) to convert it to THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. This process, known as decarboxylation, is performed at precise temperatures to ensure the cannabinoids don’t degrade.

Step 5: Evaporate Again

We use another piece of proprietary equipment, an evaporator machine, to remove any remaining plant material and undesirable compounds, and obtain incredibly pure and potent THC distillate. We created our own machinery for this step that is specially built for cannabis and hemp.

Step 6: Achieve Maximum Purity

Where other manufacturers stop, The Clear™ takes one last special step that puts it ahead of everyone else. We put the first round of distillate into our house-designed and manufactured “still,” which takes the cannabis extract and makes it The Clear™.

Why The Clear is Hands-Down the World’s Best Cannabis Concentrate

There’s a reason we call our product The Clear™: It’s the cleanest, clearest oil out there. We guarantee it’s at the very least 85 percent THC, but it is often even purer.

We’ve patented the processes and equipment that we’ve developed to make the world’s purest extracts. But we’re still not satisfied: We’ll keep innovating and fine-tuning our refining techniques, using the latest technology to make the Clear™ better all the time, and to bring new products to the market.