Cannabinoids: Dermatological Skin Care and Anti-aging - Michael King

Cannabinoids: the Next Generation of Dermatological Skin Care and Anti-aging

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The studies of the effects of THC and CBD continue to shed light on its many beneficial health properties, and one such industry to start dipping its toes into cannabis is beauty, dermatology and skin care.

The medical marijuana business in the United States is worth some $2 billion annually, whereas the skin care segment in the beauty industry is worth $11 billion in the U.S. alone (globally it’s a $120 billion industry). Could we say that this might be yet another incredible opportunity to do business and help people with cannabis? Let’s weigh it out…

When it comes to skin care, many people do not realize that marijuana is a viable ingredient. The two most popular types of cannabis you will see in skin care is hemp seed oil and CBD. Hemp skin care products have been available commercially for some time now, but it’s typically marketed for the body as cleansers or moisturizers. With strong antioxidant and antibacterial properties, Cannabidiol is the ingredient that is going to make the difference in skin care with important health benefits.

Cannabidiol is proven to reduce inflammation of the skin, and inflammation is the number one cause of premature aging from the inside out. While some inflammation is healthy and necessary to protect the body against infection and repair it when injured, chronic inflammation causes more harm than good. Chronically inflamed skin can lead to rosacea, some types of acne and premature aging including fine lines, wrinkles, and psoriasis. Cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that naturally helps improve irritating skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

CBD topicals may also remedy the effects of aging and repair genetic damage at the cellular level because it is jam-packed with even more antioxidants than vitamins E, C and A. Further validating the therapeutic relevance of cannabinoid treatment, cannabis topicals containing both THC and CBD have been proven to decrease melanoma cell survival. While at first glance joining marijuana and skin care may seem like a stretch, cannabinoid infused topicals can actually do the skin and body a world of good.

Could cannabidiol someday be touted as the new super beauty ingredient? Will it become a huge breakthrough in skin care harnessed in topical lotions, creams, oils, and tinctures? The powerful, natural healing components of cannabis oil trend toward yes.

About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Marijuana Dispensary Openings Decline in Opioid Abuse - Michael King

Study: Marijuana Dispensaries Associated With Declining Rates Of Painkiller Abuse

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Athens, GA: Cannabis dispensaries are associated with reduced levels of opioid-related treatment admissions and overall drug mortality, according to a study published online on

A University of Georgia economics professor assessed the relationship between the opening of medical cannabis dispensaries and drug treatment admissions.

Marijuana Dispensary openings are associated with “a 20 percentage point relative decrease in painkiller treatment over the first two-years of dispensary operations,” the study reported. This correlation was strongest among non-Hispanic white males in their thirties.

Marijuana Dispensary openings also resulted in fewer drug-related mortalities per 100,000 people.

The author concludes, “[T]he unintended beneficial effects of allowing for marijuana dispensary operations should be considered by policymakers as they aim to curtail narcotic abuse and limit the impact of the opioid epidemic.”

The paper’s findings are similar to prior studies reporting that states permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid abuse and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “The effect of medical marijuana dispensaries on adverse opioid outcomes,” appears online.

About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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“Active” Mormons Support Medical Marijuana - Michael King

Majority of Utah’s “Active” Mormons Support Medical Marijuana

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Apparently, Jon Huntsman Sr. is not alone in his devout beliefs or his support of medical marijuana. According to a new poll, a majority of Utah’s “active” members of the Mormon church are joining Huntsman in his support of the medicinal herb.

Organized by and tallied by Dan Jones & Associates, the survey was conducted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, 2017, and queried 608 registered voters.

The results from the poll showed 63 percent of Utah’s “active” members of the Mormon church support medical marijuana.

Even a majority of voters who consider themselves “very conservative” support the legalization of medical marijuana in Utah.

Historically resistant to all things cannabis, leaders of the Mormon faith have systematically fought any attempt to legalize medical marijuana in Utah over the past several years. On course for a philosophical showdown in 2018, the church has opposed an initiative to legalize medical marijuana that is now gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

Utah Medical Marijuana Support by the Numbers

*Utah Republican Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 61-35%
*Utah Democrats Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 93-7%
*Utah Independents Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 87-13%
*“Very Active” Mormons Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 63%
*“Somewhat Active” Mormons Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 80-20%
*“Very Conservative” Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 51-42%
*“Somewhat Conservative” Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 71-25%
*“Moderates” Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 84-14%
*“Somewhat Liberal” Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 92-8%
*“Very Liberal” Support for 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative: 97-2%

Rejecting the overtly “cautious approach” advised by Utah’s Mormon leaders, the overwhelming majority of Utahns support the 2018 marijuana initiative.

As summarized by the Utah Patients Coalition, the 2018 initiative would create a system of medical marijuana dispensaries similar to pharmacies but dedicated to the distribution of marijuana’s medicinal cannabinoids in a smokeless form. If passed, the petition would maintain prohibitions against home cultivation (until 2021), and prohibit any public smoking or driving under the influence of medical marijuana. After Jan. 1, 2021, Utah’s patients living more than 100 miles from a dispensary would be allowed to cultivate cannabis, provided certain conditions are met.

In the below YouTube video, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a devout Mormon, introduced new legislation that seeks to improve and streamline the process for conducting scientific research on marijuana.

About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Peppers and Cannabis Could Be The Answer To Gut Disorders - Michael King

Study: Chili Peppers and Cannabis Could Be The Answer To Gut Disorders

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Patients with special dietary needs or those with diseases of the gut/pancreas often find themselves frustrated and in tremendous pain. Figuring out how to calm down the immunological response of the gut may make it possible to create a treatment for gastro diseases and disorders, and it turns out part of the solution may be found in both chili peppers and cannabis.

You wouldn’t think chili peppers and cannabis have much in common; but researchers have now found that the chemical that gives chili peppers their heat targets a receptor in the gut that produces a compound called anandamide, which is chemically similar to some of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, and one which our body already produces.

The Hot Pepper Study

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) connects the nervous system to the maintenance of an immune-tolerant environment in the gut, one of the most fundamental properties of the immune system. In other words, your nervous system is not only responsible for sensing exogenous cannabinoids (such as those found in cannabis) and endocannabinoids (found in your body), but it is also one of the main drivers for keeping your gut healthy.

Earlier experiments had proven that immune cells became highly activated when exposed to hot temperatures, causing the immune cells to get to work and do their job. Studies have shown that fevers can help immune cells work better, but why? If physically hot temperatures activate the immune cells, would the chemical that makes chili peppers feel hot do the same?

You barely need to touch a chili pepper to your lips before your brain begins to sense its heat. This is because the pungent molecule in chili peppers, known as capsaicin (CP), binds to a receptor that triggers a nerve to fire off a signal to your brain letting you know that it is hot.

To answer their questions, a group of UConn researchers led by Pramod Srivastava, professor of immunology and medicine at the UConn Health School of Medicine, fed capsaicin (as found in chili pepper) to mice with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, like other gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel disorder, stems from autoimmune inflammation.

Because heat and capsaicin (CP) tend to make immune cells more active, the mice fed CP should have developed more diabetes than the control group. However, the opposite occurred. The CP didn’t ramp up the immune cells in the guts of the mice, but instead chilled them out and the inflammation in their guts lessened. Even more amazing, the CP-fed mice were no longer diabetic; the CP seemed to stimulate their bodies’ natural production of anandamide.

Researchers observed that anandamide (AEA), an endogenous intestinal cannabinoid that controls appetite and energy balance by engagement of the enteric nervous system through cannabinoid receptors actually helped calm down the immune system in the guts of mice. These results give promise that AEA could eventually help in maintaining immunological health in the human gut, but research is limited.

Exogenous cannabinoids such as those found in cannabis exert their influence through cannabinoid receptors. Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) such as AEA function through the same receptors. These results uncover a major conversation between the immune and nervous systems. “This allows you to imagine ways the immune system and the brain might talk to each other. They share a common language,” said Prof Pramod Srivastava — AEA is the one thing they have in common.

Srivastava and his research colleagues aren’t sure how or why AEA might relay messages between the immune system and the brain, but they have figured out how it heals the gut.

Oral Administration of AEA Mimics Results of Consuming CP

Unlike the rest of our body, the immune system in the gut actively tolerates foreign toxins and substances as opposed to seeking them out and destroying them. Tasked with the responsibility of fueling our body, the stomach cannot afford to discriminate and welcomes these foreign invaders in the form of food. But when our gut’s immune system starts acting more like that of the rest of the body, it gets inflamed and starts attacking itself, resulting in illness.

The UConn study showed that AEA and its receptor, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), assisted in the regulation of immune tolerance in the gut and pancreas, and contributed to this critical process by promoting the presence of a special kind of immune cell, CX3CR1.

When they looked carefully at what was happening at a molecular level, the researchers saw that CP has a similar effect as AEA; however, it was binding to the vanilloid receptor TRPV1, which is found on specialized cells throughout the gastrointestinal tract. When CP binds to it, TRPV1 causes cells to make AEA, which acts through CB2.

They also discovered that a special kind of immune cell, known as CX3CR1, was activated in the CP-fed mice. CX3CR1 tends to suppress immune responses in the gut and recruits a type of macrophage, a large phagocytic cell found in stationary form in the tissues or as a mobile white blood cell, especially at sites of infection, that reduces inflammation.

But since most of us cannot tolerate eating chili peppers to get the benefits of CP, the researchers sought out other sources that may bind to the same calcium channel as CP. They discovered that oral administration of AEA did just this.

The Incredible Healing Power of Anandamide

Anandamide, also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, was discovered in the 80s. AEA is an endogenous analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). AEA has an effect on both the CB1 receptors (more in the central nervous system) and CB2 receptors (more in the periphery).

The UConn researchers then orally administered AEA to the mice and the results were amazing. The AEA-fed mice experienced incredible healing effects, namely stretching from the esophagus down through the stomach, the same as the CP-fed mice fed. In both cases, it was ultimately the AEA that was healing the gut, which suggests that other cannabinoids like those found in cannabis might have a similar effect in the gut.

Next Step: Human Trials

As with all cannabis-related studies, there are limitations. Although the present study was performed using mice instead of humans, the results suggest interesting possibilities.

AEA is a heavily regulated substance. As a result, researchers hope to work with public health authorities in Colorado to see if legalization has led to any improvement in colitis patients who consume edibles. If it has, such evidence could help make the case for a study that repeats the experiment in human patients to show that anandamide or other cannabinoids such as they found in cannabis could be used as therapeutic drugs to treat certain disorders of the stomach, pancreas, intestines, and colon.


Human cells aren’t exposed to capsaicin directly, so hold off on eating massive amounts of hot peppers or chugging hot sauce as a way to boost your body’s AEA production. Spices typically increase acid secretion in the gut and reduce the strength of the gastritis mucosal barrier. But if you have access to legal cannabis, you may want to experiment to see if ingesting it can help with gut problems.

Citations & References

  1. Acharya, Nandini, Sasi Penukonda, Tatiana Shcheglova, Adam T. Hagymasi, Sreyashi Basu, and Pramod K. Srivastava. “Endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator of immune homeostasis in the gut.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.19 (2017): 5005-010. Web.
  2. Nevius, E., P. K. Srivastava, and S. Basu. “Oral ingestion of Capsaicin, the pungent component of chili pepper, enhances a discreet population of macrophages and confers protection from autoimmune diabetes.” Mucosal Immunology 5.1 (2011): 76-86. Web.
  3. Basu, S., and P. Srivastava. “Immunological role of neuronal receptor vanilloid receptor 1 expressed on dendritic cells.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102.14 (2005): 5120-125. Web.
  4. Chen, Jie, Angelika Varga, Srikumaran Selvarajah, Agnes Jenes, Beatrix Dienes, Joao Sousa-Valente, Akos Kulik, Gabor Veress, Susan D. Brain, David Baker, Laszlo Urban, Ken Mackie, and Istvan Nagy. “Spatial Distribution of the Cannabinoid Type 1 and Capsaicin Receptors May Contribute to the Complexity of Their Crosstalk.” Scientific Reports 6.1 (2016): n. pag. Web.

About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Legal and Medical Cannabis Investment on the Rise - Michael King

Legal and Medical Cannabis Market Investments on the Rise

Article originally published by Markets Insider

According to a report by New Frontier Data, medical cannabis sales are forecast to grow to $5.3 billion in 2017, or accounting for 67% of total cannabis sales. By 2025, medical sales in currently legal states are forecast to grow to $13.2 billion and will account for 55% of all sales. Comparatively, adult-use sales in 2017 are forecast to reach $2.6 billion, or rising to $10.9 billion by 2025. This puts emphasis on the state of California, which offers the perfect example of why it is so important to understand trends in consumer behavior. The state’s legal industry is forecast to grow from $2.8 billion in 2017, to $5.6 billion in 2020. AmeriCann Inc. (OTC: ACAN), Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP), Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTC: AXIM).

New Frontier also commented on the growth in cannabis investing over the past two years, including how the investment community has responded to the 2016 general elections. Cannabis stocks have seen significant growth in recent years, with the Viridian Cannabis Stock Index growing 236.1% in 2016 alone.

“Cannabis stocks significantly outperformed major indexes in 2016, fueled by speculative investment based on anticipated expansion of new legal markets.

In the run up to the election, stocks increased by 207.8% and continued to rise, even with an uncertain future under the new administration. While recent comments by the Trump administration did have an initial dampening effect on the market, we have seen continued growth relative to Q4 2016 whereby cannabis stocks are still outperforming other sectors,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Data.

AmeriCann Inc. (OTCQX: ACAN) an Agricultural-Technology company that is developing the next generation of sustainable, state-of-the-art medical cannabis cultivation properties, announced earlier today that it has secured an equity investment commitment of $10,000,000 from Mountain States Capital, LLC (“MSC”).

The majority of the investment from MSC will be utilized to develop the first phase of AmeriCann’s flagship project, the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center (“MMCC”.) This state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and processing development project is 47 miles from Boston in the midst of the rapidly growing Massachusetts medical cannabis market.

Mountain States Capital released a statement that, “AmeriCann is well positioned to benefit from the recent implementation of the landmark adult-use cannabis program in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth, and the country, needs the sophisticated, technologically advanced facilities that AmeriCann is delivering.”

The MMCC project is approved for 1 million square feet, which will be developed in phases and is expected to be one of the most technologically advanced cultivation facilities in the nation.

Massachusetts is one of the most dynamic developing cannabis markets in the United States,” stated AmeriCann CEO Tim Keogh. “Our MMCC project will become a center of excellence for quality, consistency and efficiency and play an important role in helping to provide the cannabis infrastructure the Commonwealth requires.”

The project’s first phase will consist of a 30,000 square foot greenhouse, laboratory and research center. AmeriCann has agreements with Coastal Compassion, Inc., one of a limited number of licensed operators in the Massachusetts cannabis market. Coastal Compassion, Inc. will lease 100% of the first phase of MMCC upon completion. In addition to funding the initial 30,000 square foot facility, the balance of the equity is expected to be utilized to prepare for projects in other regulated markets.

About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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The science of cannabis: UC Davis offering physiology course - Michael King

The science of cannabis: UC Davis offering physiology course

Originally posted on , by Lisa M. Krieger

As California prepares for expanded use of cannabis, UC Davis is offering courses in the science of the drug to boost awareness of its affect on the body.

The courses, called “Physiology of Cannabis,” are believed to be the first of their type in the University of California system. They join a small but growing number of weed-focused studies around the nation, reflecting the country’s changing attitude toward the drug.

“We feel it is important at this moment to educate students about the physiology and medical indications of cannabis and cannabinoids,” said instructor Yu-Fung Lin, an associate professor of physiology and membrane biology at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

UC Davis already has a longstanding Weed Research & Information Center. But that focuses on plants other than cannabis, such as crabgrass, clover and dandelions.

The new undergraduate-level course, launched in early April, can be used by undergraduates to fulfill the “Science and Engineering” general educational requirement to graduate. A more advanced class will be offered next year to medical students at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

A course for the general public also is planned in the future, allowing civic leaders, law enforcement and other people to learn more about the drug.

Education has been hampered by a lack of access to good information, as well as high-quality research.

Passage of Proposition 64 last November means it’s now legal to possess recreational marijuana in California. Possession of medical marijuana has been legal since 1996. But the state has until January 1, 2018, to figure out how to license commercial businesses — so it can’t be bought or sold until then.

After that, experts expect it may be tried by many Californians who steered clear during its prohibition. But be warned: It remains classified by the federal government as an illegal Schedule I drug, defined as having a potential for abuse and addiction and no medical value, so there is still risk of arrest.

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for a variety of medical uses. Recreational use for people over the age of 21 is allowed in eight of those states, as well as the District. The percentage of American adults living in states where marijuana use is legal for adults is above 20 percent; before Election Day, it was 5 percent.

The course will cover the chemicals found in the plant; the medical chemistry of THC and cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the drug; the body’s own endocannabinoid system, with two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2, that bind to different components in marijuana; emerging therapeutic applications and the health risks of the drug.

“Cannabis is not my research background,” said Lin, who studies the molecular level-functioning of “ion channels,” proteins in the cell that convert chemical or mechanical messages into electrical signals, transmitting signals in the nervous system, for instance.

Oakland’s Oaksterdam University, the nation’s only cannabis-specific campus, has long offered courses.

The medical school at the University of Vermont offers a course, as does Harvard Law School, Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, and Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law. The Massachusetts Medical Society offers an online courses, including one on pharmacology.

Lin and Luis Fernando Santana, professor and chair of physiology and membrane biology at the UC Davis School of Medicine, hope the UC Davis courses will be a blueprint for additional cannabis studies.

“The timing could not be better to give students the opportunity to have a profound understanding about the physiology and medical implications of cannabis use,” said Santana, in a prepared statement.

About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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