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Cannabis and Alcohol

December 16th, 2022 by The Starseed Team

It’s generally not a good idea to mix alcohol with virtually any drug. In fact, combining it with other medications—especially opioids and pharmaceuticals that depress the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines and sleep aids—can be fatal.

But, what about alcohol and cannabis?

The available evidence can be confusing because some studies argue that cannabis use reduces alcohol consumption while others argue that cannabis use raises blood THC levels. This increase in THC can cause a range of unpleasant physical symptoms including sweating, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.

Preclinical research shows that CBD may be able to lower alcohol consumption and possibly offer protection from the negative effects of alcohol, such as liver and brain damage1. How? It’s believed that CBD’s calming and anti-anxiety properties lessen the desire and need for alcohol. In addition, CBD reduces unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like nausea, seizures, and anxiety without causing sedation.



AVOID mixing THC and alcohol.

If you are looking to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume, CBD-dominant products are proving to be useful tools in reducing alcohol intake and minimizing withdrawal symptoms.

Please contact your healthcare practitioner or visit Alcoholic Anonymous if you find yourself dealing with concerns about substance use.

[1] Non, C.N., Hendershot, C.S., & LeFoll, B. (2019). Effects of cannabidiol on alcohol-related outcomes: a review of preclinical and human research. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol, 17(6), 685-690.

Previous Article
CBG and it’s potential therapeutic effects on the Chronic Pain Triad
Similar to cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-intoxicating (no high) cannabinoid that can be used as an alternative, or supplement to CBD- and THC-based cannabis products. The Entourage Effect, also known as the sum of all parts leading to the unique qualities of cannabis, is a mechanism that has been known to researchers for a long time. It is a synergistic interaction of whole plant compounds (such CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN) that produces this effect.1 What is CBG? CBG (Cannabigerol) is a type of cannabinoid obtained from the cannabis plant. It’s often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids and is a remarkably versatile compound with significant therapeutic promise. Cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A), which is its acidic form, serves as the foundation for many other major and minor cannabinoids.2 CBG-A is the acidic chemical precursor of three primary compounds: 1. THC-A 2. CBD-A 3. CBC-A The CBG Discovery Discovered in 1964, Raphael Mechoulam called CBG "the missing link in the plant synthesis of cannabinoid compounds" when it was found the same year as THC.3 Scientists were able to create CBG biosynthetically (from scratch) in 1971 after years of research on the novel cannabinoid. Scientists started to understand CBG's possible medical benefits in 1975. First, it was discovered to be a "GABA uptake inhibitor," which may explain a few of CBG's effects as a muscle relaxant and an anti-anxiety agent. Later, CBG's potential as an antibiotic, cytotoxin, antidepressant, analgesic, and antifungal was explored. Even though the study results are still not definitive, researchers are encouraged to find out more about how CBG's potential therapeutic effects might be applied to human studies, specifically on treating the Chronic Pain Triad. The Pain Triad Chronic pain is rarely isolated; it is frequently linked with sleep disturbances and emotional distress, forming the well-known “Pain Triad”. These three interconnected ailments can affect a person’s quality of life. How is CBG used today? Let's explore some of the products provided by Starseed Medicinal to learn more about the Entourage Effect. The CBD, CBN, and CBG in the Night Night Full Spectrum CBN + CBD Vape work together to produce the following therapeutic effects: • Inhaled CBD can provide rapid relief from anxiety and panic attacks. • CBN is a sedative that has a low risk of intoxication (no high), making it ideal for use as an inhaled sleep aid (i.e., sleep induction). • CBG is starting to demonstrate benefits in treating the chronic pain triad's symptoms. In addition to the CBD and CBN, the CBG in this product will offer further assistance for pain, sleep, and anxiety. The Night Night Full Spectrum CBN + CBD Vape can be used as an adjunct to other products such as Prime CBD oral spray. For chronic pain and/or anxiety, the Prime CBD oral spray will offer long-acting relief throughout the day, and the Night Night Full Spectrum CBN + CBD Vape will offer fast-acting relief at bedtime. Recently, a team of American scientists examined the possible therapeutic effects of consuming CBG-dominant products in humans 4 (See Figure 1 below). Anxiety (51.2%), chronic pain (40.9%), depression (33.1%), and insomnia (30.7%) were the most frequent medical conditions reported to show efficacy. In addition, a significant proportion of people reported stopping taking the top three drug classes—antidepressants, non-opioid analgesics, and proton pump inhibitors. The most frequent side effects were dry eyes, dry mouth, sleepiness, and increased appetite. Both CBG and CBD have the potential to alleviate pain, anxiety, and sleep issues (the Chronic Pain Triad), but CBG appears to be more potent than CBD, requiring less mg to be effective. For instance, 100mg of CBD may be needed to provide anti-anxiety benefits, whereas 10 to 20mg of CBG appear to be effective2. By enhancing the effects of THC chemovars on pain, sleep, and mood, CBG has promise as a useful adjunct. The therapeutic index of THC may be noticeably enhanced by the anti-anxiety properties of CBG. Why is CBG so exciting? To treat anxiety, we need a medication that is safe, non-sedating, and non-addictive. Some anti-anxiety drugs, like benzodiazepines, are not very well accepted and can have negative health consequences such as addiction, memory loss, etc. Can CBG be an alternative for anxiety? It is certainly a desirable addition to other cannabis-based treatments due to its safety and versatility. [1] Russo, E. (2019). The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: no “strain,” no gain. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9 (1969), 1-8.  [2] Russo, E. (2021, November 4). CBG: The Up & Coming Cannabinoid [Webinar]. CReDO Science. [3] (Gaoni & Mechoulam, 1964) [4] Russo, E.B., Cuttler C., Cooper, Z.D., Stueber, A., Whiteley, V.L., & Sexton, M. (2022). Survey of patients employing cannabigerol-predominant cannabis preparations: perceived medical effects, adverse events, and withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 7 (5), 706-716.
Next Article
Talking about Cannabis with your Friends and Family Members
You'll probably be spending more time with your family, friends, and loved ones now that the holidays are approaching. The reality of these lifelong relationships is that occasionally our personal beliefs and opinions may start to diverge from those of some of the people we value most. Cannabis tends to be one of these hot topics, so we have put together some talking points on how to bring up cannabis with people in your life who might not share your knowledge and beliefs regarding cannabis-based medicine. Why is it hard to talk about cannabis? Cannabis has a turbulent history, and in the 1930s, American politicians stigmatized cannabis for a variety of reasons, some of which were just racist. Politicians told Congress that "marijuana is an addictive drug which produced in its user's insanity, criminality, and death" while having no medical or scientific evidence to support their claims. Cannabis was misunderstood and vilified for a very long time. It was sometimes referred to be a "gateway drug" to stronger drugs. Cannabis is currently, however, is demonstrated by researchers to be an "exit drug" and a potentially effective tool in the fight against the opioid crisis. At the very least, we can replace a medicine that has the potential to kill people (opioids) with one that does not (cannabis). According to data from the United States, medical cannabis laws have lowered opioid prescribing in every state where they have been implemented1. Cannabis is now legal in Canada In Canada, laws and regulations have advanced significantly. Canada is the first major industrialized country to legalize access to cannabis for both medical and non-medical uses, and it is widely available for purchase. How do you access legal medical cannabis? A medical cannabis clinic like North Stars Wellness or HelloMD provides access to a medical professional who assesses and then authorizes medical cannabis for purchase from a licensed producer (like Starseed Medicinal) and provides medical cannabis education and tailored treatment plans. With medical authorization, a patient can deduct the cost of medical cannabis from their taxes and, if their insurance policy covers it, use its benefits for medical cannabis. The provincial government regulates adult-use (i.e., recreational) cannabis that is sold in retail cannabis stores from licensed producers. However, there are many restrictions on what sales representatives (i.e., budtenders) in cannabis retail stores are allowed to say. For instance, they are not allowed to make any health claims or imply a health or cosmetic benefit. People should speak with a healthcare professional about the potential medical benefits of cannabis for this reason. The Cannabis Act, which is enforced by Health Canada and includes stringent controls and quality assurance testing, governs all licensed producers of cannabis for both medical and non-medical use. How to talk about medical cannabis 1.     Choose a comfortable and safe setting and approach Talking to people one-on-one is frequently preferable. When you plan this conversation, keep in mind to do it in a relaxed environment where you and your loved one can effectively discuss your cannabis therapy and their concerns. Do not minimize their concerns and encourage them to openly ask questions. Take your approach to science, a subject where they have less room to disagree, rather than becoming frustrated or defensive. 2.     Highlight scientific research and the benefits to your quality of life Being prepared with research is one of the best things you can do when discussing your experience as a medical cannabis patient. You might start by giving them a general overview of the plant, comparing THC with CBD, and discussing the many formulations (oils and topicals), or you could just get right to tell them how it has specifically helped you. If you’re diagnosed with a condition like chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disturbances, or arthritis, for example, use scientific studies to back up your reason for turning to medical cannabis. 3.     Dispel the myths that cannabis is all about getting you high and smoking joints Fact: Cannabis contains more than 150 active compounds, 2 of which are CBD and THC – the prime compounds that are used in medical cannabis. THC is responsible for the psychoactive intoxicating effects, a.k.a the feeling of being “high”. CBD is non-intoxicating and doesn’t produce any “mind-altering” effects. Starseed patients can opt to use CBD-dominant products with little or no THC to avoid the intoxicating effects. Fact: Medical cannabis can be consumed in multiple ways besides smoking, such as ingestion or skin application. Although inhaling cannabis has a rapid onset and shorter duration of action, smoking (or burning) cannabis is not advised due to the toxic by-products of smoke, such as ammonia, nitrous oxide, and compounds known as PAHs, which are all potentially carcinogenic. Furthermore, not only can burnt plant products and paper irritate your lungs and cause you to cough, but much of the medicine burns up too quickly. 4.     Talk about your treatment plan Your medical cannabis treatment plan acts like a prescription and offers the specific dosage instructions and product recommendations made by your healthcare practitioner, enabling you to follow a safe and responsible medical cannabis regimen with confidence. 5.     Talking to kids about cannabis It might be difficult to know how to communicate with kids about cannabis. You should use Drug-Free Kids Canada as a great resource for having these difficult conversations. If you have any other questions about cannabis, registration or booking an appointment with a Healthcare Practitioner, please contact our Client Care Team at 1-844-756-7333 or [1] Bradford, A. C., Bradford, W. D. Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use In Medicare Part D. Health Aff (Millwood) 35, 1230–1236 (2016) Bradford, A. C., Bradford, W. D., Abraham, A. & Adams, G. B. Association Between US State Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescribing in the Medicare Part D Population. JAMA Intern Med (2018) Wen, H. & Hockenberry, J. M. Association of Medical and Adult-Use Marijuana Laws With Opioid Prescribing for Medicaid Enrollees. JAMA Intern Med (2018)