CBD (Cannabidiol) Explained – The Real Benefits of this Trendy Cannabinoid

While a fringe, alternative treatment option only a decade ago, today, CBD is everywhere you look – in wellness supplements, beauty and hygiene products, FDA-approved prescription medications, food and beverages, dental products, and even pillows, mattresses, and other random household goods.

As far as cannabinoids go, CBD, or cannabidiol) is the most widely accepted. Not only is there a growing body of clinical research to support its benefits, but it is non-intoxicating which makes it much more likely for laws to be passed in its favor – as is evidenced by the fact that CBD is federally legal in the US and many other countries, while THC still is not. But when it comes to CBD, what are some actual legitimate uses for this compound, and which ones are just marketing gimmicks? Let’s take a look at some of the real, science-backed benefits of CBD.

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What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the most prominent, non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants. When most people think of cannabis, they’re thinking about marijuana, which is the type so cannabis that is high in THC and associated with feelings of being “stoned”. Some types of cannabis, hemp for example, are high in CBD and contain only trace amounts of THC, meaning these plants can be considered non-intoxicating, by all accounts.

CBD is gaining popularity as a safe, non-toxic, non-addictive, natural treatment option for many different chronic and debilitating ailments; both mental and physical. Not only is CBD itself non-psychoactive, but when taken in combination with compounds that are, like tetrahydrocannabinol for instance, CBD can minimize the likelihood of negative side effects such as paranoia and anxiety that are occasionally associated with THC use.

The reason CBD (or any cannabinoid for that matter) works in the human body at all is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – a complex signaling system made up of numerous receptors, as well as some naturally produced endocannabinoids, that exists in the bodies of nearly all animals (except insects). Researchers have discovered two different endocannabinoids so far, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA), plus the two most studied receptors, CB1 and CB2. This quad makes up the majority of existing cannabis research.

As a whole, the ECS regulates numerous different functions and processes in our bodies and maintains internal balance and homeostasis. Many cannabinoids engage directly with the ECS receptors. Others, like CBD, have indirect connections by activating other receptors that will then interact with the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, CBD activates the TRVP1 receptors, which in turn activate receptors in the ECS and also function as ion channels.

CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory

One of the most common uses for CBD is to treat inflammation, which is the body’s process of fighting against pathogens and other hazards, such as infections, injuries, and toxins. When something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals that trigger a response from your immune system, thus causing inflammation.

The phrase “too much of a good thing” really applies in the case of inflammation. When this inflammatory response lingers after your body is done fighting the infection or whatever it is trying to overcome, this leaves your body in a constant state of stress and unrest. Chronic inflammation can have devastating effects on the tissues and organs and research indicates that it’s the root cause of many ailments including arthritis, contact dermatitis, acne, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes, asthma, and cancer.

Cannabidiol is becoming a very popular alternative for standard NSAID (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) drugs like Aspirin. Long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to various health problems such as heartburn, stomach pain, ulcers, headaches, dizziness, and even damage to the liver and kidneys.

CBD to Manage Anxiety

Anxiety is another condition that’s been researched extensively to determine how well it responds to cannabis therapies. Cannabidiol targets cell receptors in the body and brain that regulate your mood. Many mood disorders, including anxiety and depression, have a few things in common, including a lack of naturally produced endocannabinoids.

Treating mood disorders with CBD is becoming more widespread is among the top-rated treatment options for young adults ages 25-40. According to a study conducted a couple of years ago, thirty-four percent of millennials prefer to manage their mental health with natural and holistic remedies, and 50 percent of millennials believe CBD oil is the best way to do this; and this number continues to grow.

The main reason cited was a fear of being prescribed a medication that is too potent for their level of symptoms. Because CBD doesn’t have the mind-numbing and other unwanted side effects of prescription drugs, nor is it psychoactive like THC, it can be used all day like any other medication or supplement.

CBD for Controlling Seizures

One of the first, medically-accepted, modern-day uses for CBD was to treat epilepsy. There are many studies out there researching its effectiveness. As a matter of fact, there is even an FDA-approved, cannabidiol-based medication, Epidiolex, that’s used to treat two rare and severe forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS).

Epidiolex is currently being prescribed in the United States, many countries in Europe, and Japan. Epilepsy medications can have some very serious side effects, and that’s why more natural alternatives are becoming the go-to ­­way to treat children and younger adult patients who suffer from epilepsy.

CBD for Pain Management

Although not common, many patients turn to a CAM, or complementary alternative medicine approach, to manage chronic pain. CBD is at the top of the list for those looking for natural, yet effective, alternative remedies. Because inflammation is the root cause of so many conditions that cause chronic pain, it makes sense how CBD eliminates pain.

Numerous different studies have found that cannabinoids like CBD can help with chronic pain from multiple sclerosis, cancer, and neuropathy. CBD and CBD topicals help with pain — if you suffer from chronic pain, CBD oil may help, as well. Chronic pain can be the main source of a diminished quality of life — CBD may give you hope for getting pain-free, or at the very least, reduced pain, and anything is worth a try.

CBD for Skin Conditions

Studies have shown that CBD can provide relief for the symptoms of various skin disorders, such as eczema and allergic reactions. Reverting back to ​inflammation, we know that cannabidiol can be used internally inflammatory conditions, and now we also know that it does the same when applied topically.

Topical creams containing CBD have been shown to ​or greatly reduce and sometimes even completely eliminate itching and dryness​ ​in sufferers of eczema. The chemical ‘histamine’, which is largely responsible for the irritating itches we experience, has been shown to react well to topical cannabinoid therapy. One study​ ​found that in almost 59% of its participants, their dry and scaly skin significantly reduced with the regular use of a cannabinoid cream, which reduced itching and as a result lead to less sleep loss.

Final Thoughts on Cannabidiol Benefits

Simply put, cannabidiol is an incredible compound. It’s non-psychoactive, non-toxic, and non-addictive; and it can be used to treat dozens of different health conditions. The ones covered in this list are the most common uses for CBD, but it can be utilized for many other ailments as well. Do you use CBD? And if so, what do you use it for? Drop us a line in the comment section below!

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. To learn more about weed, and for exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, topicals, and other products, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter.

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A New Clinical Study To Evaluate The Effects of Cannabo-Nerve Combination On Chronic Neuropathic Pain

*** PRESS RELEASE *** San Francisco, CA – Herzliya, Israel, August 17, 2021 – Cannformatics, an early-stage biotechnology startup focused on the identification and application of saliva-based Cannabis-Responsive TM biomarkers and Cannabotech, a biomedical company developing medical solutions based on botanical combinations of cannabis extracts and functional mushrooms, today announced that Cannabotech has commissioned Cannformatics to conduct a study to evaluate the effects of Cannabotech’s Cannabo-Nerve combination on human patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain. This study will also compare “MycoCann NeuroPain” to other leading off-the-shelf medical cannabis pain relievers that are currently being sold in the state of CA.

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“We are honored that Cannabotech chose Cannformatics to scientifically evaluate the impact of “MycoCann NeuroPain”. Pharmacometabolomic data in combination with study participant pain assessments are unique in their ability to provide insights into a product’s physiological mechanism of action and ability to manage chronic pain,” said Cannformatics CEO and Cofounder, Dr. Itzhak Kurek. “This is an exciting opportunity to support Cannabotech in bringing new hope to patients suffering with chronic neuropathic pain and deepen our understanding of pain related Cannabis-Responsive biomarkers.”

The study will be conducted under the supervision of an FDA regulated Institutional Review Board (IRB) in conjunction with Cannformatics’ Advisory Board members Dr. Donald Abrams and Dr. Bonni Goldstein. Subject to receiving IRB approval, Cannformatics will begin recruiting participants for the study. People interested in participating the study may sign up for study updates HERE.

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Elchanan Shaked, CEO and Chairman of Cannabotech, said: “For the past two-years Cannabotech has built a rigorous scientific pipeline for the development of cannabis- and mushroom-based products. The unique formulation that will be tested combines an exact composition of 13 cannabinoids and terpenes with mushroom extracts for the purpose of reducing chronic neuropathic pain without THC-related psychoactive effects. Cannformatics’ technology will provide novel insights obtained in a real-world setting, adding an important layer to the high- quality scientific evidence necessary to gain the support of the medical community ahead of a planned launching of “MycoCann NeuroPain” in the second half of 2022.”

About Cannformatics, Inc:
Cannformatics is an early-stage biotechnology startup focused on the personalization of medical cannabis treatment through the identification and application of Cannabis- Responsive biomarkers found in saliva. The company’s mission is to deliver recommendations for predictable and repeatable science-based medical cannabis treatment to improve health and quality of life. The company is now pursuing identifying Cannabis-ResponsiveTM biomarkers related to autism spectrum disorder in children.
Cannformatics is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

About Cannabotech, Inc:
Cannabotech is an Israeli biomedical company developing botanical solutions for preventive & integrative medicine. These solutions are based on combinations of active ingredients from the cannabis plant and medicinal mushrooms focusing on two main systems in the human body: the endocannabinoid (ECS) system and the immune system. The Company’s goal is to develop products that can be integrated into existing oncology treatment protocols. Cannabotech is developing a series of eight formulas designed to help patients suffering from five cancer types (Pancreatic, Colorectal, Breast, Lung & Prostate), and minimize chemotherapy-induced chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP) and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).
Cannabotech is headquartered in Herzliya, Israel.

*** END OF PRESS RELEASE ***

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Cannabis Terpenes For Pain: How It Works and Which Ones Are Best?

Terpenes are compounds found in most plants that produce their distinct flavors and aromas. For example, they give lavender its powerful floral scent, and they are the reason pepper smells so crisp and spicy. Terpenes are also abundant in cannabis, which is why weed has such a wonderful, intoxicating aroma. Lesser known is that terps also contribute to the effects we feel when we use cannabis. There’s a heavy focus on cannabinoids in consumer products, but if it wasn’t for terpenes, cannabis would not get us as high the way it does, nor would we experience all of the numerous health benefits the plant is known for.

Cannabis is one of the best and safest ways to manage pain. It’s all-natural and there are many different compounds within the plant, like cannabinoids and terpenes, that help reduce symptoms of pain in different ways. To learn more about cannabis therapeutics, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter. Or check out The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for exclusive deals on Delta 8, Delta 10, THCV & THC-O.


More about Terpenes

Terpenes are a very large and diverse class of organic compounds that are produced by a wide variety of plants including herbs, trees, flowers, and fruit. In cannabis, they are secreted by the same glands that produce some of the most prominent cannabinoids including THC and CBD; but their role and effects are vastly different. Terpenes are aromatic plant oils that, when combined with other plant compounds, create a limitless palate of scents and flavors. In nature, terps serve as a defense mechanism by deterring herbivores who are turned away by the smells, and by attracting predators and parasites that attack herbivores.

Chemically, terpenes are hydrocarbon and they are the major component of rosin, a waxy type of sap that is produced and developed throughout the life cycle of the cannabis plant. There are curing processes that can improve the final quality and content of the terpenes, but other factors that impact their development are climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and light cycles.

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As far as cannabis goes, terpenes – not classification (sativa/indica) – are the key to differentiating the effects and flavor of a strain. Some terpenes are relaxing, like those found in lavender, while others are energizing, like the terps abundant in citrus fruit. Some smell fruity, some are piney, and others are musky. The possible variations are endless. So far, over 100 different terpenes have been discovered in cannabis plants alone, and each strain typically has its own unique blend and composition.

Terpenes have long been known to hold great therapeutic value, and some of the more common ones – like limonene, pinene, and caryophyllene – have been studied more extensively since they’re found in many different types of legal plants. More research is needed to determine the extent of their medicinal effects when combined with other cannabis plant compounds.

The Research

There are numerous studies on this subject, but the most recent is a paper titled “Cannabis sativa terpenes are cannabimimetic and selectively enhance cannabinoid activity,” published in Scientific Reports in April of this year. Researchers found that cannabis terpenes were effective at relieving pain without an increase in negative side effects. And that applied when they were used alone and alongside other cannabinoids.  

“It was unexpected, in a way,” said study lead and Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Dr. John A. Streicher. “It was our initial hypothesis, but we didn’t necessarily expect terpenes, these simple compounds that are found in multiple plants, to produce cannabinoid-like effects.”

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Behavioral analysis of the mice revealed that numerous different terpenes, either administered individually and combined with cannabinoids, were able to reduce pain sensation and lower body temperature. According to the study, “When terpenes were combined with WIN55,212-2, researchers saw a greater reduction in pain sensation compared with either the terpene or WIN55,212-2 alone, demonstrating a terpene/cannabinoid interaction in controlling pain.”

Dr. Streicher’s research is heavily focused on the effects of combining terpenes with opioids for cancer-related pain. His long-term goal is to “develop a dose-reduction strategy that uses terpenes – generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – in combination with cannabinoids or opioids to achieve the same levels of pain relief with lower doses of drugs and fewer side effects.”

Best Terpenes for Pain Relief

All plant terpenes have their benefits, but some are less effective at treating pain than others. If you’re looking for pain relief, aim for products and flower strains that are high in the following terps:

Caryophyllene – Known as the spicy terpene, it’s the dominant flavor compound found in pepper, cloves, and other spices. It gives cannabis a bold, earthy, tangy flavor and is found in many common strains like bubba kush, sour diesel, and chemdog. In studies conducted on mice, caryophyllene successfully reduced feelings of pain via activation of the CB2 receptors. Additionally, caryophyllene was found to a very effective anti-inflammatory. Caryophyllene products are best vaped at around 266 ºF, or 130ºC.

Myrcene – This musky, herbal terpene is the most common one found in cannabis plants. Roughly 40% of strains on the market today have relatively high levels of the myrcene terpene. Myrcene has a myriad of health benefits, one of the most promising being pain relief. Early animal studies have found that it can reduce inflammation as well as work as a potent muscle relaxant. Myrcene can be found in many different products and vaporizes at 332ºF, or 167ºC. s

Limonene – This is one of more popular terpene that exists. As the name suggests, it’s the dominant flavor compound in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and limes. It’s the terp that gives certain strains that sweet, fruity flavor that many consumers are quite fond of. Limonene is well studied and is a known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial. Numerous studies have also found that limonene functions as an antihyperalgesic, making it a suitable treatment option for neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. Limonene vaporizes at 348ºF (176ºC).

Linalool – Floral, tangy, and fresh, linalool-dominant strains have a unique and very pleasant flavor. Linalool is said to be sedating and relaxing, which can be helpful for pain, along with depression and anxiety that may stem from it. This terpene is a bit less researched than others, but existing studies suggest that it also has anti-inflammatory. Linalool vaporizes at 388ºF or (198ºC). Additionally, it has been discovered to have anesthetic properties due to reducing excitability of cells in the spinal cord

Inflammation and Pain

In case you didn’t notice, the common thread here is that terpenes help manage pain largely by way of their anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is one of the body’s many existing mechanisms in place to help fight against harm. Various immune irritants can trigger inflammation such as injuries, pathogens, and damaged cells. People often confuse the symptoms of inflammation with infection, when in reality, inflammation is the body’s response to infection.

“The saying too much of a good thing applies to much of life, but especially to inflammation,” says Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, medical editor of Understanding Inflammation from Harvard Health Publishing and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“People think inflammation needs to be stomped out at all times, but it plays an essential role in healing and injury repair to keep your body safe and healthy. Some inflammation is good. Too much is often bad. The goal is to recognize when inflammation is simply doing its job, and when it can potentially cause problems.”

Pain is one of the most common symptoms of inflammation. Both chronic and acute inflammation can cause pain of varying types and severity. It can be constant and steady, sharp and intense, throbbing, pulsating, stabbing, or pinching; and it can occur all over the body. That is why, when dealing with pain, one of the best ways to find relief is often to treat the inflammation, which then eliminates the pain.

Terpenes & Pain – Final Thoughts

Terpenes are incredible. If it weren’t for these flavorful, aromatic compounds, let’s face it, weed would be straight up boring. Not only do terps give cannabis its irresistible taste, but thanks to the entourage effect, they work synergistically with cannabinoids in the plant to offer us a better high and multitude of therapeutic benefits. If you’re suffering from pain and your current regimen just isn’t cutting it, see if some different cannabinoid and terpene combinations can do the trick.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. Remember to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one, or check out The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

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30% Death Increase! Is Cannabis the Answer to Massive Opioid Epidemic?

2020 wasn’t a good year for anyone but the companies operating during the pandemic. And this is now reflected in the massive increase in opioid use throughout the US. What was already a huge problem, is now skyrocketing out of control, thanks, in part to quarantine. Is cannabis the answer to this growing opioid epidemic?

There are tons of reasons to use cannabis, and one of them is for pain. In fact, cannabis could be the best answer for the massive, and growing, opioid epidemic in the US. Whether you’re interested in it as a pain remedy, for some other medical purpose, or just to feel good, the important thing is to get the right product. One of the best medical AND recreational options, is delta-8 THC. This alternate version of THC causes less anxiety, less couch locking, and slightly less psychoactive effect, which leaves the user with more energy. If this sounds good to you, check out our array of delta-8 THC deals, and pick your favorite product.

Where were we before this year?

Prior to 2020, and the start of corona and forced quarantine measures, there was already an opioid issue in the US, and not a small one. Different sources have different numbers, but despite discrepancies, the one clear fact, is that this is a massive problem. For example, whether you go with hhs.gov, which puts overdoses in 2019 at close to 71,000, or drugabuse.gov, which puts it at 50,000, a lot of Americans died that year because of these drugs. Since hhs.gov gives more statistics, we’ll use this site to get an idea of what we’re dealing with numbers-wise. In the year 2019, these things happened:

  • Opioid overdoses – 70,630
  • People who used heroin – 745,000
  • People who used heroin for the first time – 50,000
  • Heroin-related overdoses – 14,480
  • Misuse of prescription painkillers for 1st time – 1.6 million
  • Misuse of painkillers in general – 10.1 million
  • Synthetic opioid deaths – 48,000

And a few more facts:

cannabis an answer to opioid epidemic

In 2017, more than 191 opioid prescriptions were handed out. That means 58.7 prescriptions written for every 100 people. Primary care physicians – who were not supposed to be doling out opioid prescriptions as a first approach, were doing so at the rate of 45% of all prescriptions written. And the economic burden from all of the health care, emergency care, addiction treatment, lost productivity, and criminal justice response, costs approximately $78.5 billion a year. What a waste of money!

These numbers might not be completely accurate, but they tell a compelling story. For one thing, over 70,000 people dying in one year of overdoses is insane, considering how many of these people were prescribed the drugs they overdosed on. We are not dealing with a street drug issue, and this should be clear from the numbers. We’re dealing with a pharmaceutically funded, physician-pushed, crisis. The fact that heroin use paled in comparison to prescription painkiller use by such massive margins, is astonishing.

Furthermore, the idea that the term ‘misuse’ is used in the case of prescription drugs, with such large numbers attached, goes to show that the powers that be, want to put the onus of this, on the drug users themselves. This, despite that fact that the numbers show it can’t be expected that people will be able to use such drugs correctly. Probably because of their incredibly strong addictive properties. It is not for patients to determine if a drug is safe for how its prescribed. That’s for doctors. The information above shows that trained medical professionals often do not ask the right questions, do not understand what they’re working with, and do not know how to find information for themselves.

What happened in 2020?

2020 really wasn’t a good year for most people. A lot of jobs were lost, a lot of plans broken, a lot of life, completely stalled. And this involved forced quarantines whereby the population was made to stay at home, even as paychecks ran out, and the ability to put food on the table was diminished. People eschewed seeing friends and family, and even getting basic exercise, at the behest of the government.

While this is still a touchy subject for many, I would be remiss if I did not point out, that many of the same pharmaceutical companies profiting off the opioid epidemic, are the same ones pushing people to get corona vaccines. And the same doctors who could not think for themselves, and prescribed those opiates, are the same ones telling people they should get vaccinated. If ever there was a time to question something in life, this is that time.

But this article isn’t about corona vaccines, and that’s a different subject. For our current purposes, we want to see how the events of the past year affected opioid use. And the answer isn’t a pretty one. According to Marketwatch, and preliminary data from the CDC, opioid overdoses went up a full 30% in 2020, fueled mainly by stress and isolation. Whereas there is a discrepancy for numbers for 2019 – 50,000 and 70,000, the number for 2020, is 93,331, well above either estimate for 2019. This is the sharpest increase in three decades.

The main culprit? Not heroin, but fentanyl. One of the pharmaceutical versions to make it big. Fentanyl was already on the rise starting in 2019 – once again, probably because it’s a highly addictive drug that got prescribed by doctors not able to think for themselves – and picked up speed in March 2020 when lockdowns started. Not only is this an example of doctors unable to do their jobs properly, but of pharmaceutical greed, and the idea of ancillary damage. These deaths were not caused by the corona virus, but the reaction to it. These deaths can be put with those that will come from the increase in poverty, and lack of government resources.

prescription opioids

Treating pain

I think it would be massively insensitive, and fundamentally wrong, to say that cannabis can do exactly what opiates can, it cannot. Opiates are literally numbing, which is why they’re so good for pain. They attach to receptors in the body that block pain messages from getting to the brain, so you literally won’t feel the pain you’re actually meant to feel. On the other hand cannabis treats different kinds of pain in different ways. Cannabis treats physical pain (nociceptive), by reducing inflammation – since pain is a result of inflammation due to injury.

This happens by reducing inflammation, and blocking the inflammation pain signal to the brain. Cannabis also treats neuropathic pain – or damage to the nervous system. This pain is more difficult to treat since its not inflammation based, but results from damage to nerve cells. This can be done through activating serotonin receptors, or the activation of CB1 receptors. Cannabis can even treat difficult unclassified pain, like fibromyalgia, although admittedly, it is not well understood how.

The idea that we might need to experience a little pain in life, is uncomfortable, but realistic. However, we’ve gotten to the point where basic pain isn’t accepted anymore. Take childbirth, for example. No one used to have epidurals. Women gave birth for millennia without the use of drugs. Do you know any woman now who accepts the idea of childbirth without an epidural? It’s the same concept with other types of pain. Have a minor headache? Pop a Tylenol. Got a scratch? Take Ibuprofen. Twist your ankle a bit? Well surely you need something super heavy like opiates.

Cannabis as an answer to the opioid epidemic

Backing up that cannabis can be an answer to the opioid epidemic, this 2020 systematic review came out highlighting how cannabis use can reduce opioid dosages when used in tandem: Medical cannabis for the reduction of opioid dosage in the treatment of non-cancer chronic pain: a systematic review. The review shows an overall reduction in opioid use of 64-75%. These studies specifically did not deal with cancer-related pain, but do show that 32-59.3% of the non-cancer opioid users studied, were at least partially substituting opioid use with medical cannabis use to control their pain.

It is true that not a huge amount of research has been done on this topic, but other systematic reviews, like this one, also show positive results for cannabis use for pain: Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. As more research is done, more specifics can be put out there for what kinds of pain exactly it can treat. What should be remembered, is that, even if it doesn’t numb pain quite as well as opiates, it also doesn’t come with a risk of death.

Perhaps our own training in dealing with pain is partly to blame. We have been groomed to not feel things, and opiates play into this. Cannabis can help with pain, but not in the same way. In a realistic and manageable way, yes. In a completely-numb-you-out-and-feel-nothing-way? No. And maybe that’s good. Maybe its better to take the edge off of something manageable, than to numb ourselves to the point of addiction. If cannabis had been used over opiates in all but the most extreme of cases, the country would be filled with stoners, not opiate addicts waiting to overdose.

cannabis answer opioid epidemic

Cannabis use for pain is seen both inside and outside of America. According to a Gallup poll from a few years ago, 40% of respondents specifically said they use CBD to treat their pain. Go across to Europe, and apparently 3/4 of the cannabis prescriptions written in Germany, are for pain.

How did this problem start?

In questioning whether cannabis is an answer to the opioid epidemic, perhaps we should ask, how did the whole problem start? Though the government is willing to give us plenty of information to back up a problem, what the government isn’t quite as loud about, is that it allowed this to happen. As in, the body meant to regulate and protect our country, allowed pharmaceutical companies to produce these medications, and for doctors to distribute them at will. This issue exists because the government allowed it to.

The CDC likes to try to break it down in a way that doesn’t put all the blame on government. The organization highlights three different waves of opioid deaths, starting in the 90’s. It started because of opioid prescriptions being given out at that time. Now, lets remember, heroin has been used for centuries, and there were plenty of junkies prior to pharmaceutical companies getting in on it in the 90s, yet somehow it wasn’t considered an epidemic until pharmaceutical companies intervened. That says an awful lot. The CDC claims the second wave came around 2010 with an increased use of heroin, and a third wave beginning in 2013 because of synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Sounds like the CDC manufactured the second wave to try to make it seem like this wasn’t a pharmaceutical issue, when in reality, it makes very little sense for there to be a spike in heroin use, in between two waves of pharmaceutical opioid growth. In fact, I don’t see other publications making the same statement, and if they do mention any kind of rise in heroin overdoses, its related to poisonings, like cutting fentanyl with heroin, or because of not getting access to the pharmaceuticals. Which roundly puts this issue in the pharmaceutical/government court for blame. This is NOT a heroin issue, this is a pharmaceutical opioid issue.

How were so many doctors willing to ignore their training and prescribe these drugs? Excellent question. And while I can’t speak for what would allow a medical professional to be that bad at critical thinking, I will say that this should be remembered at times (like now) when drugs being put out by the same corporations, are being so heavily pushed by the same doctors who couldn’t establish in their own minds, that prescribing highly addictive drugs might cause a problem.

Cannabis an an answer to the opioid epidemic – Conclusion

No one ever said cannabis can do everything, and no one ever said it would take away all the pain a person has. But it can give a realistic alternative. So much so that the NFL wants CBD to treat the pain of its players. Maybe its not bad to experience a little pain in life. Maybe cannabis is a great answer to the opioid epidemic, so long as people are reasonable and realistic about what to expect. And maybe, just maybe, if people aren’t put on opiates as much in the future, we won’t have to continue having this discussion.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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New Study Shows Specific Cannabis Compounds Kill Cancer

We talk about cannabis being good for lots of medical issues, like spastic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, wasting away disorders, anxiety, microbial diseases, sleep disorders, blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, and so on. One of the more interesting points of research is with cancer, with a recent study coming out to show that specific cannabis compounds can kill cancer cells.

Marijuana is a powerful tool, both medically and recreationally. Whether you’re using the right mixture of cannabis compounds to kill cancer, or just taking it easy after a long day at work, having your product of choice is important. For many, using delta-8 THC is preferable to delta-9, since it comes with less psychoactive effect, and less anxiety and couch locking. For those trying to treat a problem, delta-8 is therefore often the primary choice. We support this newer brand of THC, and have a selection of delta-8 THC deals to get you started, whether you’re a medical patient, or just want to kick back.

New research into cannabis and cancer

The idea of cannabis as a medicine to treat cancer has been relevant for quite some time, but the world often moves slow in acceptance. As such, the case for cannabis against cancer has been built over many years, with a recent study showing the ability for specific parts of the cannabis plant to kill cancer cells. Though this doesn’t make it a medical rule just yet, this last study is powerful ammunition in the general debate about cannabis and cancer.

In March, 2021, this study was published: Specific Compositions of Cannabis sativa Compounds Have Cytotoxic Activity and Inhibit Motility and Colony Formation of Human Glioblastoma Cells In Vitro. The study looks at the effects of specific cannabinoid fraction combinations to fight glioblastoma multiforme cells (GBM), a type of brain cancer. While it has been established that certain phytocannabinoids can trigger the death of these cells, finding the exact configuration of cannabinoids for optimal effects, is a bit harder, and thus, being explored now.

The reason the term ‘phytocannabinoids’ is used here, and not ‘cannabinoids’, is that this study is specifically looking at the compounds directly out of non-decarboxylated plant material. Decarboxylation is the chemical process (generally accessed through heat) which makes a compound lose a carboxyl group, and shift to another compound. The version we are most familiar with, is the decarboxylation of THCA to THC. THC is a cannabinoid, THCA is a phytocannabinoid.

brain cancer

In this particular study put out in March, the study investigators identified certain fractions of a cannabis strain that are particularly good at reducing viability and motility of GBM cells in humans. The translation being that they reduce cancer cell ability to survive and move. Not only did the specific cannabinoid fractions inhibit viability and motility, they also decreased the ability for the cancer cells to form colonies in both two- and three-dimensional models.

These colonies are associated with a higher resistance to current available medical treatments, and according to this research, cannabis treatments might be able to inhibit the formation of these GBM neurospheres, thereby making treatment that much more possible. Think of the colonies formed by bacteria like MRSA, and how difficult they are to fight because of biofilms. Well, this is a similar concept, making these cells just as hard to get to.

Apart from what was just gone over, the same compounds were able to kill glioma stem cells taken from tumor specimens, reinforcing the ability of cannabis compounds to kill cancer cells. According to the study investigators: “The effectiveness of the fractions and combinations of cannabis compounds should be examined in GBM pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.” This study highlights the importance of using the correct part of the plant to fight cancer.

Is GBM, like, really bad?

Yeah, it really is. This specific class of cancer, glioblastoma, are the most common form of malignant brain tumors, accounting for 47.7% of cases. Glioblastoma incidences are 3.2 out of every 100,000, and these brain tumors are very aggressive and grow very quickly. While this cancer generally won’t spread to distant organs, it does invade nearby brain tissue. GBM requires immediate attention, as it can kill a person in under six months if left untreated.

These tumors are specifically difficult to treat for the following reasons: localized locations that are difficult to get to, resistance to standard treatments, inability of the brain to adequately repair itself, damage of adjacent brain tissue, tumor leakage which results in fluid around the tumor and intracranial hypertension, the disrupted blood supply on account of the tumor which makes treating it more difficult, seizures induced by the cancer, and neurotoxicity of current treatment options.

These are not easy-to-survive cancers, with an unfortunate death toll associated. Generally, about 40% survive the first year after diagnosis, and only 17% survive the second. The tumors can be diagnosed via different kinds of MRIs, and the cancers are generally treated through a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Since the tumor cells infiltrate nearby cells, its nearly impossible to actually remove the whole tumor during surgery, leading to a need for radiation and chemotherapy. The surgery is usually done as a craniotomy, which means opening up the skull, and since doctors need to be sure not to remove parts that can damage the brain further, this is sometimes done with the patient awake.

cannabis kill cancer

When the wound of surgery is healed, the next step of regular treatment is radiation, meant to target whatever tumor cells are still living in the brain. This causes damage to both the cancer cells, the damaged brain cells, and to healthy brain cells too. It should be pointed out that one of the predictive factors for developing a glioblastoma, is prior therapeutic radiation, meaning the treatment for the cancer, can cause the same cancer, and that radiation from other cancer treatments, can cause a glioblastoma. Creates a bit of a quandary when looking at how to deal with it.

Some patients undergo chemotherapy as well, in the form of the drug temozolomide. This medication is given during radiation treatment, and for six cycles after treatment, with each cycle lasting 28 days. To give an idea of how extreme this medication is, the drug is only actually given for the first five days of a cycle, followed by 23 days to rest.

Should we expect cannabis to kill cancer?

Some of the most important medical findings involving cannabis, relate to its ability to help with cancer, and this can be done in different ways. Killing cancer cells is one thing, another is to help with the wasting associated with cancer treatments (as well as HIV and other disorders or treatments that effect a person’s appetite and ability to eat). It can help with the nausea and vomiting that come along with cancer or the treatment of it, plus, it’s also associated with helping ease the pain caused by different kinds of cancer or their treatments. Lastly, it can help the body deal with, and heal from, the damage of these illnesses and treatments.

Obviously, the most important of these is the sheer ability to safely, and with less damage, actually kill the cancer cells. And when looking at cannabis and cancer in general, we have reason to believe that cannabis can be good at killing many different kinds of cancer cells. Take GBM for example, these are aggressive brain tumors that now show a good response to a specific cannabinoid concoction. But we already have evidence of other cancers where cannabis might be useful. In fact, there is plenty of reason to believe that nearly any cancer could be responsive to the right cannabis treatment, and this has been shown in the cited research.

Specific areas of cancer and cannabis study involve skin cancer, where it has been shown to be effective for specific kinds, as well as the pain associated with these cancers. Brain cancer, in both children and adults, for which millions of dollars have now been earmarked for research given the growing body of research to support the effectiveness. It has also been shown effective with melanoma patients, leading the company Cannabics Pharmaceuticals to develop specific anti-tumor treatments for melanoma patients.

Cannabics has gone further than this though, also announcing this year the release of study results for the RCC-33 drug, which the company developed as a treatment for colorectal cancer. To give an idea of how much Cannabics believes cannabis can be used to fight different cancers, the company recently filed patent applications for exclusive treatments for several different kinds of cancer.

medical cannabis

While I could write about 10 articles just on the research into cannabis and cancer, I’ll end this section with a pull to the heartstrings, that exemplifies the necessity of these medications. Back a few years ago, it was reported that Dr. William Courtney, of the Cannabis International Foundation, helped a father cure his eight-month-old’s cancer via CBD oil on the pacifier. Courtney commented on it, “this child…is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation.”

Conclusion

While we don’t often make statements in the medical community, I feel like the statement ‘cannabis helps with cancer’, is one that can be said more freely at this point. Regardless of how long it takes for this to become common knowledge, the amount of time it takes, does nothing to detract from the abilities of the plant when it comes to cancer. Let’s hope acceptance starts moving faster, since there are a lot of people who could use this help.

Research into the topic is very much gaining, and with more and more patients seeing positive results from cannabis medicines, it’s hoped that with just a little more R&D, they might soon be the first medicines offered to cancer patients. Maybe medical statements can’t be made, but it sure does seem like cannabis can kill cancer.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post New Study Shows Specific Cannabis Compounds Kill Cancer appeared first on CBD Testers.

The NFL Wants CBD for Pain Treatment

When looking at the effects of cannabis on pain, the athletic community is often a great place to gain a lot of useful and relevant information, since professional athletes, particularly in sports like football, are known for their extreme injuries. Recently, the NFL has showed a growing interest in CBD for pain treatment.

It’s great that NFL players can use CBD for their pain, and that the NFL is further studying cannabis for this purpose. Lucky for you, there is already plenty of research on the positive benefits of cannabis, whether you’re an athlete or not. And one product that might be good for both groups is delta-8 THC. This alternate form of THC is great for anxiety, and doesn’t couchlock a person, while keeping their head clear – all great attributes for athletes, or really, anyone else. We’ve got a great selection of Delta-8 THC products, so give our catalogue a look-thru, and find the products perfect for you.

NFL wants CBD for pain treatment of athletes

For years, the idea of cannabis used for athletes was a sharp no-no in the NFL, with players being suspended if they tested positive more than once for marijuana. That began changing a couple years ago. Back in 2019, it was reported that the NFL had agreed to be a part of two committees meant for investigating CBD for use with athletes. At the time, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Allen Sills, stated “I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way”. Part of the reason for this turnaround, was because of the problems athletes were having using opioids to deal with their extreme pain issues.

The logic of the situation was made clear by former Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe, who stated in 2017 in an interview for Rolling Stone, “We don’t see the NFL trying to control players’ alcohol consumption or tobacco consumption. In fact, the NFL advertises those things. Cannabis is less damaging, less dangerous, less addictive than both of those. However, we see those being celebrated. The NFL is even expanding its hard liquor advertisement.”

Now, two years later, things have slowly moved forward. On June 8th, 2021, it was reported that the NFL and NFLPA (player’s association), are offering a combined $1 million for researchers who can help with the research and development of cannabis alternatives to opioid treatments. Dr. Allen Sills made an appearance again on the topic, saying, “Players are always looking to find treatments that are going to improve their quality of life… But at the same time, players are significantly concerned about the impact on performance.”

CBD for pain

The two questions looking to be researched, are the two basic questions in this arena: is it safe, and does it work? The current goal for the NFL, is to issue 1-5 grants in December, to whichever researchers win the bid, totaling the $1 million offered. None of this changes the NFL’s current policy on cannabis, but the policy itself has been modified recently to be easier on players.

In the Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2020, it was decided that players will no longer be suspended for marijuana use (testing positive), and testing can only be administered during a two week window each year during training camp, which is a major reduction from the four-month testing period from before. A new threshold was also put in place for positive tests, requiring 150 nanograms of THC, up from 35. Plus, those that do test positive, go in front of a medical board for review, which decides if the player needs treatment. This board is approved by both the league and the players. The new goal is to provide help, rather than punishment.

It should be noted, that since the testing is relevant to THC, and since punishments have been removed, this has now allowed NFL athletes to enjoy the benefits of CBD on their own. I expect the reason for this is that CBD has been globally rescheduled to be legal for medical purposes by the UN, which would make it difficult for the NFL (and the US in general) to continue disallowing it. The World Anti-Doping Agency, has also concluded that CBD is not prohibited, likely for the same reason.

Cannabis and athletics in general

In order to understand why the NFL might be looking to the cannabis plant – and specifically CBD – to help its players with their pain management issues, let’s take a quick look at how cannabis and athletics go together. Research into cannabis use with sports is still in its infancy. Most research in the past was done on terminal populations, or to shine a light on any negative attributes, with way less funding for topics like how cannabis effects athletes. However, we still know a lot, and as the world changes, more research on this particular topic has come out.

Here are some things we already know about cannabis, as it pertains to athletics. We know there’s a lot of evidence that it can be used for at least some kinds of pain management. This is one of the more studied attributes of the plant right now, which is partly because it offers a fantastic alternative to opiates which have been causing massive issues with addictions and overdoses in the US, and worldwide. We know it’s a good remedy for muscle spasms because one of the pre-eminent uses is for spastic disorders like epilepsy.

We know that depending on the specific products (not all cannabis is included here) it has been shown to help with mental acuity. We also know it can help with sleep, which is highly important when constantly stressing out the body. Last, but certainly not least, we know cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, which is incredibly useful for athletes who are pulling muscles, putting a lot of pressure on joints, and generally putting their bodies under huge amounts of stress.

cannabis with athletics

Apart from how it can physically help with injuries, cannabis has been shown in studies to help mentally, by improving exercise experiences. Those who smoke regularly consistently show more motivation to exercise, more enjoyment of the exercise, and more satisfaction afterwards. Furthermore, research also shows a lack of general detriment associated with cannabis use and athletic performance.

In fact, studies like this systematic review – Chronic cannabis consumption and physical exercise performance in healthy adults: a systematic review, have shown no difference between heavy cannabis users, and non-users, on measurements like peak workout ability, cardiorespiratory fitness, strength and endurance, resting heartrate, pulmonary measures, blood pressure, and perceived exertion. (Resting heartrate was the only measure where there might have been an inconsistency, though even this inconsistency, was inconsistent among studies).

Is cannabis legal to use in athletic competitions?

This is a good question, because even if a drug has been found to be useful, it doesn’t actually mean it’s legal to use, and the world of sporting and sporting events has its own rules for drug use. On this topic, the first thing to know about cannabis, is that as of 2004 it’s been on the prohibited substances for sports competitions list, by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which itself was instituted in 1999.

WADA’s job is to regulate and police what substances are allowed in official sports competitions, and which are not. In order to do this, WADA came up with the World Anti-Doping Code, which lists three criteria that can get a drug banned from use in competitive sports, although how much relevance they provide is very much debatable. Banned drugs, are drugs that:

  • Enhance performance
  • Pose a risk to athlete health
  • Violate the spirit of sport

If you’re like me, and wondering what the ‘spirit of sport’ could possibly mean, well, here’s the definition: “The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is reflected in values we find in and through sport, including Ethics, fairplay and honesty; health; excellence in performance; character and education; fun and joy; teamwork; dedication and commitment; respect for rules and laws; respect for self and other Participants; courage; community and solidarity.”

Let’s break this down. In terms of the first bullet point, while cannabis has shown to increase motivation and enjoyment of exercise, it has specifically been cited as not being a performance enhancer, and really, no one ever indicated it was, at least not that I’ve ever seen. I, myself, am an athlete, and never have I ever experienced cannabis to increase my own performance. It’s also hard to imagine that simply helping with mental acuity on a non-superhero level, would constitute performance-enhancing either.

cannabis over opiates

In terms of the second bullet point, vaping and edibles were not big in 2004 when cannabis was ruled out, making smoking it the primary method of ingestion (which it still is). Smoking anything is bad, and we know this, so yeah, if that was the only means of ingestion, the argument could be made, but it would still be a paltry one considering studies on performance did deal with athletes lighting up, and there still wasn’t a negative in comparison to non-smoker performance.

Since vaping so incredibly lowers the number of smoking injuries and deaths (like by such massive margins its silly to argue over), once lighting up is taken out of the mix, there isn’t much out there to imply, or outright state, that cannabis is negative for health. If anything, its health benefits are spoken about more and more, with often very little negative mentioned, especially when looking at the fact that no one has ever died from cannabis. Add onto that, that vaping injuries were related to additives, and not the actual plant material, and there’s very little to say that cannabis poses risks to health.

In terms of the third bullet point, sounds like the kind of BS used to make a blanket statement to fit whatever cause is relevant, in this case, banning cannabis. The ‘respect for rules and laws’ part does have some value, I suppose, since using an illegal substance does constitute breaking the law, but so does not paying a parking ticket, and I’d wager a bet that there are plenty of professional athletes with unpaid tickets. Which means, how exactly cannabis ever made the cut here, is truly a mystery.

Conclusion

It’s a slow process no doubt. Two years ago the NFL started talking about an interest in CBD for pain management, and now two whole years later, the farthest it got was a decision to research it. Regardless, the NFL does now technically allow CBD for use with pain, or other issues among athletes. And with money going into research, its quite possible the NFL might be very useful in spearheading the production of better overall cannabis pain medications for everyone, not just athletes.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post The NFL Wants CBD for Pain Treatment appeared first on CBD Testers.

CBD Oil for Cats With Anxiety — Does It Really Work?

If you are a concerned pet owner, you might have heard about CBD. Many people around the world use this non-psychoactive substance to keep their pets happy and healthy. However, you might not know that CBD oil can also help your cat cope with anxiety and some other issues. If your cat is aggressive, hides […]

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The Benefits of Treating Arthritis With Cannabis Topicals

Arthritis is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition characterized by joint swelling, pain, and stiffness, along with a decreased range of motion.

As a consultant for cannabis patients, I often work with those who are suffering from arthritis and looking for alternative ways to manage the painful condition. Often these patients come to me when they have exhausted the conventional options.

When arthritis gets severe, painkillers (such as opiates) are usually the primary treatment that these patients are receiving. But opiates have their limits. Patients adjust to their dose and it has to be continually increased. In some cases, opiates can actually increase sensitivity to pain. Many have already reached the highest allowable dose and will receive less and less relief from the drug as time goes on. Patients who have been relying on that pain relief are suddenly left without any recourse.

Thankfully, cannabis offers new hope for safely and effectively managing arthritis. As a potent painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent, cannabis has helped many with their arthritic symptoms. It can also be used safely in conjunction with opiates, so patients who are still using opiates, or tapering off of them, don’t have to worry about dangerous interactions. Research shows that cannabis use actually allows patients to decrease their opiate use, and in states where cannabis is legally accessible, opiate-related deaths have gone down by 25 percent.

In addition, research suggests that cannabis can do more than just ameliorate the symptoms of the condition, it may also be able to reverse it, leading to increasing improvements in mobility, inflammation and pain. Research shows that arthritis patients actually have a higher level of CB2 receptors in their damaged joints, than most.

One study, conducted in Canada, researched the effects of topical applications of cannabis on rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers behind it believed that saturating the patients CB2 receptors with cannabinoids will not only aid with pain relief but may actually repair the joint damage that has already been done.

Treating Arthritis with cannabis topicals

In my own experience with arthritis patients, topical applications of cannabis have been extremely helpful. Patients often complain that the topical isn’t doing much at first, but with regular saturation, they experience a gradual but significant change in their pain and mobility.

Those looking to try treating arthritis with cannabis topicals should start by finding a topical cannabis product that they can regularly apply. For patients with mild arthritis, you might start with a regular strength topical. I am a big fan of Leafy Botanicals’ hard lotion balm, as well as their massage oil. These topicals not only work well, but they smell delicious, with hints of lavender and rosemary.

For those with more severe arthritis, I recommend Fleurish Farm’s extra strength balm. This incredibly potent product was designed specifically with arthritis sufferers in mind, and I have seen it deliver immediate pain relief to some of the most severe arthritis patients I have worked with. This whipped balm is unscented and made entirely of oils that score a zero on the pore clogging scale, so it is light and hypo-allergenic enough for even the most sensitive skin. It’s also infused with high-quality rosin, a solventless cannabis concentrate, which contains powerful terpenes in addition to the cannabinoids found in most topicals.

Whether you are using topicals, edibles or inhaling it, cannabis can help ease the pain of arthritis and may even lead to long lasting improvements in joint health. If you are one of the 50 million people struggling with daily arthritis pain, cannabis just might be the perfect solution. Talk to an MD who specializes in cannabis to find out if it is right for you.

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CBDH, a new cannabinoid for pain, has been found in cannabis

We reported on the much-discussed scientific discovery of a THC analog thirty times more efficacious than the infamous D9-THC. An earlier study found THCP, as well as CBDP, which are larger forms of THC and CBD, respectively. Now, the same team of researchers from Italy bridged a gap between regular CBD and CBDP. They found […]

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