Categories
Education

The Effects of Cannabis on the Immune System

Cannabis’ medical benefits range from the psychological to the physical, with patients reporting relief from ailments as different as depression and lower back pain. But did you know that cannabis can also act on the body’s own immune system response — and in the process, possibly even work against painful autoimmune conditions?

Let’s learn about cannabis and the immune system to get a better understanding of how this potent medicine interacts with the human body’s natural defenses.

What Is the Immune System?

The immune system is what allows humans to move through the world without succumbing to infection from harmful external threats. It consists of interconnected cells and tissues that communicate with one another to identify and control foreign bodies that might enter the body.

cannabis and the immune system

The portion of the immune system that you can actually see is called the innate defense system — this includes the skin as well as the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, ears, and mouth. These frontline defenders block and filter out pathogens and damaging bacteria.

Less visible is the adaptive defense system, a more specialized portion of the immune system that goes after threats that may have worked their way into the body. Organs that comprise the adaptive immune system include the spleen (located in the abdomen) and the thymus (located in the chest, just in front of the heart), both of which produce disease-fighting white blood cells. Marrow, the tissue inside bones, also plays an important role in generating these cells.

Autoimmune Diseases

You know the feverish, ache-y feeling you can develop when you first catch a cold? That’s the adaptive immune system at work, raising the body’s temperature to kill off foreign bodies and inflaming the mucous membranes as white blood cells get to work at the site of infection.

For the most part, these uncomfortable side effects of immune response are a small price to pay in exchange for freedom from long-term illness and infection. In some cases, though, the immune system may be unable to distinguish between external dangers and the body’s own natural, innocuous cells and processes.

cannabis and the immune system autoimmune illness.jpg

Such reactions result in what we call “autoimmune” diseases. These include sickle cell disease, the chronic pain condition lupus, and intestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Now, let take a look at how cannabis and the immune system interact with one another — and how THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids might offer hope for those with autoimmune diseases.

Cannabis and the Immune System

The endocannabinoid system is the network of neuroreceptors that process the chemical compounds in cannabis, ultimately causing the consumer to feel “high,” relaxed, hungry, or sleepy, depending on the circumstances.

As it turns out, the endocannabinoid system (or ECS) may also regulate immune response.

For one, the cannabinoids in whole-plant cannabis can decrease immuno-related inflammatory responses by suppressing signaling proteins called cytokines. This can help minimize any excessive discomfort due to a triggered immune system; it may also reduce the dangerous neurological inflammation that the immune system may introduce in the case of a stroke.

Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that anandamide, a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the human body, can mimic the effects of a fever by healing irritated tissue in the stomachs of mice. This may hold some promise for those afflicted by digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

cannabis and the immune system wellness meditating

Whether you’re looking for medical cannabis to give your immune system a boost or to simply incorporate it into your wellness regiment, come visit our Oakland dispensary. Our in-store Experience Guides are eager to help! Already know what you want? Use our online dispensary menu to order now!

Categories
Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Geraniol, a Floral Anti-Bacterial Powerhouse from Cannabis

If you’ve visited our beautiful Oakland dispensary, you’re probably well aware that we’re big on the subject of terpenes, those fragrant hydrocarbons—or “essential oils”—that give cannabis strains their distinctive and characteristic flavors and aromas.

What’s the big deal? For one, we think that describing a cannabis plant’s terpene makeup is a fantastic way to determine its attributes — one that ultimately provides the end user (that’s you) with more descriptive and actionable information.

Geraniol geraniums and vials

Plus, terpenes contribute a lot more than odors and flavors. Although practitioners of “folk medicine” have known it for thousands of years, terpenes elicit specific responses in our bodies. The linalool in lavender has been used as a natural stress-reducer for eons; eucalyptol has eased respiratory symptoms since we humans first inhaled its cooling, menthol aroma.

Terpenes occur everywhere in the natural world, giving many plants and other beings their characteristic odors and flavors. But today we’re going to focus in on a single terpene—geraniol—and the qualities it gives our favorite all-natural product: The cannabis plant!

What Does Geraniol Do For Us?

As you might have guessed, geraniol is commonly associated with the geranium flower and its distinctive, delicate scent, which some describe as a cross between roses and fresh green leaves. It’s also found in the tobacco plant and in lemons (geraniol sometimes goes by “lemonol,” not to be confused with limonene.

Whatever you call it, one of this terpene’s primary uses is as an all-natural repellent for insects and certain parasites. But inside our bodies, research suggests that geraniol helps fight Candida, a fungus responsible for yeast infections and thrush.

But there’s more. According to one study, geraniol can also help fight some truly nasty intestinal bugs, including Campylobacter, E. coli, and Salmonella. This is potentially a huge deal, as these food-borne bacteria can cause very serious illness or even death. In our book, any all-natural remedy that helps boost our resistance to these pathogens is worth investing more research and study in.

Other studies point to powerful anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant and even anti-tumor effects, suggesting that there’s much more to learn about this lovely and floral terpene.

A note of caution: Be aware that high levels of geraniol in topicals like skin creams are associated with skin irritation for some users; research thoroughly before using any such products that may have a high concentration of this terpene.

geraniol anti-inflammatory

How to Get Geraniol from Cannabis

Geraniol is considered one of the “primary terpenes,” so it’s reasonably common in many cannabis strains.

When you stop by our Oakland dispensary, our Experience Guides can help you find the perfect strain or cannabis product to help you achieve your desired effects. Let your guide know that you’re looking for cannabis strains high in geraniol or which have inflammatory effects and she’ll point you in the right direction!

Already know what you want? Our online dispensary menu makes ordering easy! Quickly find your desired product , then swing by our Oakland dispensary to pick it up!

Categories
Education Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Camphene, Cannabis’s Unique Heart-Health Booster

If you’ve spent any time at all perusing our website or our blog (or, better yet, visited our beautiful Oakland dispensary), you know that we approach cannabis a little bit differently than most. We’re of the opinion that a particular cannabis plant’s terpene profile determines its qualities, not only in terms of flavor or aroma but more importantly, its effect on our bodies.

How? Simple, really: Terpenes are a class of fragrant hydrocarbons (that’s “essential oils” for the non-scientific). They occur in huge abundance in the natural world, giving plant products like fruits, herbs, and spices their specific characteristics.

Camphene tinctures

We humans have known for eons that specific terpenes elicit particular effects. Since time immemorial, Chinese doctors have used borneol as a digestive aid and treatment for respiratory issues; limonene has imparted a general sense of uplift and mood enhancement since humans first cultivated the lemon.

Nor is this “mere” folk medicine. Whether or not you believe we have something to learn for thousands of years of medical wisdom, modern research is validating many of our hunches about plant-based medicines like terpenes. And that brings us to the star of today’s blog: Camphene, a musky and pungent terpene with some very potent implications for improved heart health.

What Does Camphene Do For Us?

As the name suggests, camphene has a strong camphor-like odor. Some compare its aroma with fir or other evergreen needles, and musky, damp earth. In this regard, it’s superficially similar to myrcene, the most abundant terpene in cannabis. However, camphene is typically present in far smaller concentrations, if at all.

If camphene isn’t that common in cannabis, it makes up for it in medical promise. A 2011 study on rodent models found that it reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, two major factors in heart disease and stroke. Interestingly, the study was designed to compare the effects of terpenes; it found that camphene exhibited beneficial effects above many more common terpenes.

Camphene Heart in Flower

Another study in 2012 bolstered these findings, also finding that camphene reduced some types of pain. It could be used as an alternative to statins, currently one of the most common classes of cholesterol-lowering drugs. While they’re effective, they come with a host of serious side effects that can limit their long-term use.

How to Get Camphene from Cannabis

Camphene isn’t one of the “primary terpenes,” so finding it in concentrated doses here can be a challenge. A complicating feature is that the smoke produced by burning camphene can be acrid and irritating. We recommend that if you seek out camphene-rich cannabis strains, you try to obtain them in tinctures or some other form that doesn’t involve heating the material to high temperatures.

Camphene Ghost OG

Ghost OG: Derived from the popular OG Kush strain, its fans describe a balanced body / mind effect, and a marked ability to cut through pain, insomnia and anxiety.

Camphene Mendocino Purps

Mendocino Purps: With a “woodsy pine” aroma characteristic of camphene, this award-winning variety is linked with pain and insomnia relief. Be careful; some users report it has a heavy and immediate sedative effect.

Camphene Strawberry Banana

Strawberry Banana: A resinous and THC-heavy strain, this sweet-tasting variety is known for inspiring “happy, peaceful” effects and enhanced sensory awareness.

Stop by our Oakland dispensary to get help choosing the strain that’s right for you. Know what you want? Order online and skip the wait!

Categories
News

ECO Cannabis: New Oakland Dispensary Now Open!

ECO Cannabis, the producer of some of the Bay Area’s most popular premium, sustainably grown cannabis flower, is proud and excited to announce the grand opening of its Oakland dispensary. Located in Uptown Oakland, CA, the spa-like dispensary is intended to provide a seamless, inspiring, and captivating customer experience.

Cannabis consumers in the Oakland area (including San Francisco, Berkeley, Piedmont, Temescal, and Uptown Oakland) now have a dispensary geared towards those who want to incorporate cannabis into their wellness routine and lifestyle. In addition to ECO’s own premium flower, customers will find a wide variety of other products, including a carefully curated selection of extracts, tinctures, topicals, and edibles that meet the high standards of the ECO Cannabis team.

ECO Cannabis New Oakland Dispensary Now Open

Visitors will also find a number of unusual lifestyle products designed for both the cannaisseur and the canna-curious: Infusion devices, cannabis-centric cookbooks, and more.

What makes ECO truly unique is the way they have expedited the purchasing process though express-style online orders and a self-service in-store check-out option, allowing customers to avoid long lines while still ensuring excellent customer service.

This balance is achieved through the use of ECO’s highly trained “Experience Guides.” Each “Experience Guide” is assigned a customer for a personalized in-store consultation with every visit. This one-on-one staff interaction ensures that every customer gets exactly what they came in for, whether it be a sleep-aid, pain, and inflammation relief, or just something to help them relax at the end of a tough day.

In addition to elevating the cannabis buying experience, ECO Cannabis is dedicated to neighborhood beautification programs and employing individuals with previous cannabis convictions; ECO’s impact extends well beyond its doors. They have also supported 8 different equity businesses by providing them with free rent at their campus for a 3-year period, thus allowing them to get set up for success.

According to Bronwyn Kopacek, Chief Marketing Officer:

“We are excited for what this new space means for those local to Oakland and the Bay Area, adding to the fabric of this vibrant city; in the opportune jobs that we have created for those with prior cannabis convictions, the impact of the Oakland Equity Program and also through the wellness products we offer. Our mission at ECO is to become the social equity standard for the cannabis industry.”

ECO Cannabis has built a reputation in the Bay Area for offering the finest cannabis flower. Now consumers will be able to partake in a very unique and forward-looking brand-offering in the heart of Uptown Oakland.

ECO Cannabis Products

ECO Cannabis New Oakland Dispensary Now Open - ECO Cannabis Products

ECO is proud of its premium cannabis flower, grown in 100% organic soil and already highly regarded around the Bay Area. In addition, our selection of premium concentrates, edibles, pre-rolls, and topicals are sourced from local growers and producers who are both passionate about their products and share our values.

ECO Cannabis: Oakland, CA, Cannabis Dispensary Location Details

ECO Cannabis is located at:

2435 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: (510) 338-3001

The new ECO Cannabis Oakland dispensary is located in Uptown Oakland near the intersection of Telegraph and W. Grand Avenues. It’s convenient to the heart of Oakland, Berkeley, and the surrounding areas. Its free parking makes it especially handy for those coming from the CA-24 / I-980 / I-580 corridors.

The neighborhood is a dense pedestrian area, offering a bounty of local amenities: Vibrant Jamaican restaurant Kingston 11, trendy Telegraph bar and grille, and dosa by DOSA, a stylish purveyor of Indian street snacks.

For directions from San Francisco or the East Bay, visit our Oakland location page. For personalized directions, visit Google Maps.