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What is FECO?

The cannabis plant has over 120 cannabinoids as well as 200+ terpenes and flavonoids. Many of these molecular compounds have medicinal properties. Though each of these compounds have a unique effect on different illnesses, they all work best synergistically. Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) is the essential oils of the cannabis plant distilled into varying ratios to combat an array of illnesses. While other cannabis oils focus on the isolation of a particular molecule ( often THC or CBD); full extract cannabis oil is a tailored, yet all inclusive, distillate uniquely paired to each user. The ratios of compounds in the FECO depends on the illness being treated and the patient's individual needs. FECOs can be vastly different from one another depending on the flower the oil is distilled from. They should however all contain every element of the cannabis plant, even if only trace levels.
FECO Vs. RSO
RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) is one specific type of cannabis oil. Often referred to as “Phoenix Tears”, all the information on RSO can be found at Rick Simpson’s official site Phoenixtears.com. The crucial and primary difference between RSO and FECO is simple. RSO is a 90% THC cannabis oil extracted from an Indica dominant strain; which claims to have a palliative or even curative effects on several illnesses from cancer to autoimmune diseases and diabetes.
FECO starts with the patient, what illness they are combating, other forms of treatment being pursued, age,weight and tolerance to cannabis. These components among several other important factors dictate the specific ratio of cannabinoids , terpenes and flavonoids needed to best help the patient. Given each compound from the cannabis plant offers different medicinal benefits, it is important to distill your FECO from the appropriate strain or combination of strains. While a 90% THC oil distilled from an Indica dominant strain may be best for several types of illnesses, namely skin and blood cancers; it is not the best ratio of compounds for all diseases. For instance, a spastic disorder requires a higher CBD to THC ratio while someone suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury would need a greater influx of CBC and certain terpenes. Furthermore Indica strains may not always be best, a patient needing to stay mentally sharp throughout the day would likely benefit from some sativa influence.

The final differences between RSO and FECO relate to the method of production. Rick Simpson does touch briefly on the safety risks of using a rice cooker to distill oil, however he does not offer adequate or effective safety measures or procedures. OPEN AIR DISTILLATION SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. “Closed loop systems” or stills are the only true safe way to make cannabis oil. Last , yet debatably most important, Rick Simpson promotes Naphtha and Isopropyl-Alcohol as stripping agents. NAPHTHA SHOULD NEVER BE USED, this paint thinner is extremely carcinogenic and does not boil off before reaching temperatures that can damage the cannabinoids. Isopropyl-Alcohol , while safer than naphtha is still not safe for human consumption. Ethanol (Grain Alcohol 95%) is the preferred stripping agent, it will strip all the compounds from the plant faster and with equal efficacy as isopropyl-alcohol. With the plausible chance a novice oil maker does not remove all of the solvent; it stands to reason it is best to use one that is safe for human consumption.

-Zack Nere
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Cannabinoids

Phyto–cannabinoids, also known as cannabinoids or exo–cannabinoids, are differentiated from endo-cannabinoids due to their production from enzymes in a plant opposed to being manufactured in a human, or better yet, a mammal. Cannabinoids come in many shapes and functions. Today, there are many known unique phytocannnabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. Laboratories, like Montana Biotech, are currently assisting in cannabinoid testing. This service can help patients get the most from this ancient plant, cannabis. Some of the more commonly known Phytocannabinoids:

D-9 THC (Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol):
Psychotropic, Suppress muscle spasms,Reduces nausea, Can reduce anxiety, Analgesic, Appetite stimulant, Bronchial dilator, Lowers IOP/glaucoma, anti-inflammatory, anti-metastatic, anti-angiogenic, anti-proliferative.

D-8 THC (Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol):
Psychotropic, Analgesic, Sedative

CBD (Cannabidiol):
Non-psychoactive, Reduces muscle spasms, Muscle relaxant, Analgesic , Antibacterial, Reduces blood sugar levels, Reduces risk of artery blockage, Vasorelaxant, Treats Psoriasis, Promotes bone growth, Nuero-protectant,Reduces seizures and convultions, Reduces anxiety, Apoptotic.

CBG (Cannabigerol):
Non-psychoactive, Sleep inducing, Anti-microbial, Lowers intra-ocular pressure (IOP) Glaucoma, Promotes bone growth, Inhibits cancer cell growth.

CBC (Cannabichromene):
Non-psychoactive, Sedative effect, Moderates effects of THC, Analgesic, Neuro-protectant, Promotes bone growth, Reduces inflammation, Inhibits cancer cell growth. Cannabicyclol (CBL) is what CBC turns into after exposure to light.

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin):
Stronger, faster “high” effect, Appetite suppressant, Euphoria, analgesic, Insulin regulator, Promotes bone growth, Reduces intensity of conculsions and seizures.

CBN (Cannabinol):
Mildly psychoactive, Analgesic, Anti-insomnia, Reduces muscle spasms, Good indication of medications age (after time/oxygen/heat THC will convert to CBN).

Cannibinodiol (CBDL or CBND):
Psychoactive, The fully aromatized derivative of CBD, product of the CBN conversion process.

CBE (Cannabielsoin):
Non-psychoactive, Sedative, Reduces anxiety,anti-depressant, Immune potentiator (after time/oxygen/heat CBD will convert to CBE)

Cannibitriol (CBT):
CBT, is not in anyway a new compound, it was discovered in 1966 by scientists Obata &Ishikawa. There discovery states CBT is very similar structuraly to THC and that there may be up to nine variants of the compound. There does not seem to be any data availble on how CBT effects humans.

Cannabigerol Monoethyl Ether (CBGM):
A newer compound , likley formed by the methylation of Cannabigerolic Acid. There is no data available about CBGM as medicine, nor its efffects on humans in general.

The majority of the above cannabinoids have an acid counter part, such as THCA and CBDA. These acid attached compounds are non-psychoactive and can offer similar medicinal benefits as there decarboxylated brethren. In actuality these acid attached compounds occur in significantly greater amounts in the plant than the decarboxylated version. For example a strain of cannabis that is labled as 20% THC, is in all reality more like 19%THCA and 1% THC. When the THCA compound is exposed to temperatures greater than 257 degrees fahrenheit the acid molecule destabilizes. Thus transfering chemical states and becoming the psychoactive THC. This process is called decarboxylation.

*Trends in Pharmacological Sciences Volume 30, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 515-527

Terpenes & Flavonoids

Terpenes are what give the cannabis plant its aroma. All flora and many different fungi contain terpenes. Some are unique to the cannabis plant while others occur elsewhere, such as Linalool in lavender. There are a vast array of terpenoids that can provide not only specific smells, but a plethora of medicinal benefits as well. The Following are several common terpenes.

Limonene
Flavor / Aroma – Citrus.
Medicinal Uses – Limonene can be used to help promote weight loss, prevent and treat cancer, and treat bronchitis. It can also be used to make ointments and medicinal creams that penetrate the skin better.

Myrcene
Flavor / Aroma – Earthy and musky with a hint of fruity flavors.
Medicinal Uses –  anti-inflammatory, sedative and muscle relaxer. Contributes to the tired/stoney feeling often attributed to indicas.

Linalool
Flavor / Aroma – Floral with a hint of spice. In addition to cannabis, linalool can be found in an array of flowers, mint, cinnamon, and even some fungi.
Medicinal Uses –anti-inflammatory, helps to modulate motor movements, aids in treatment of liver cancer.

Alpha Bisabolol
Flavor / Aroma – Floral. Alpha bisabolol is also found in chamomile.
Medicinal Uses – Can be used to heal wounds, fights bacteria, multi systemic anti-inflammatory, aroma therapeutic stress reliever

Delta 3 Carene
Flavor / Aroma – Piney / earthy.
Medicinal Uses – anti-inflammatory. It is also known to dry fluids like tears, running noses, and menstrual flows.

Borneol
Flavor / Aroma – Earthy and camphor.
Medicinal Uses –analgesic, anti-insomnia, anti-septic, and bronchodilator.

Alpha-Pinene / Beta-Pinene
Flavor / Aroma – Pine. partially where pine trees get their scent from.
Medicinal Uses – Pinene has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Eucalyptol
Flavor / Aroma – Spicy. Eucalyptol is used as a cooking spice and fragrance.
Medicinal Uses –cough suppressants, mouthwash, and body powder.

Terpineol
Flavor / Aroma – Pine, clove.
Medicinal Uses – anti-oxidant, expectorant

Caryophyllene
Flavor / Aroma – Hops, this is the most common terpene in hops(what beer comes from)
Medicinal Uses – anti-anxiety and depression.

Camphene
Flavor / Aroma – Herbal.
Medicinal Uses – anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. 



Flavonoids make tea, wine and chocolate taste divine. Research shows that the 21 known flavonoids in cannabis might help fight cancer, inflammation, diabetes, viral infections, as well as increase cerebral blood flow, and enhance cortical activity. Here are a few major flavors.

Apigenin — a powerful anti-anxiety agent; also found in chamomile; potent anti-inflammatory; cancer inhibitor

Silymarin — impedes replication of hepatitis C virus; anti-oxidant

Luteolin — potential cancer preventative and therapeutic

Queercetin — interrupts cancer cell creation cycle; anti-viral; potent anti-inflammatory

Kaempferol — anti-oxidant; diabetes treatment; heart disease treatment; anti-bacterial; anti-viral

Orientin — antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-cancer agent

Vitexin — anti-cancer properties; could help treat gout

Source: McPartland, Russo, Fundacion CANNA/
11 MARIJUANA TERPENES YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. (2015). Retrieved April 4, 2017, from 
http://maryjanesdiary.com/terpenes/

Cannabis Culture Myths & Contradictions

The world of cannabis is laced with misinformation and a litany of contradictions. They range from laws that constitutional hold no merit to scientific data that has been wildly misrepresented or suppressed. With the western world becoming more open to cannabis as medicine many of the common myths are finally being dispelled. Below are some of the odd realities of the cannabis along with a few truths that may have been overlooked.

-Zack Nere-
  • Myth: Cannabis Kills Brain Cells
    Cannabis kills brain cells, this is beyond inaccurate. The study that was cited for nearly 30 years as evidence that cannabis kills brain cells is completely invalid. The 1974 Dr.Heath of Tulane University study exposed monkeys to roughly 63 joints worth of cannabis smoke over a 5 minute time frame. This alone will yield inaccurate results. The variable that made this study invalid though is even worse. During that 5 minutes the monkeys were completely deprived of oxygen. The lack of oxygen is what caused brain cells to atrophy and die. Not exposure to cannabis smoke. If the above contradiction isn’t enough to disprove this myth, there is a wealth of laboratory evidence to show cannabis actually corrects misfiring synapses and acts as a neuroprotectant.
  • Myth: Cannabis causes cancer!
    This is the myth I personally am most passionate about dispelling. For years high school health classes as well as medical doctors and political figures have unfortunately been permeating this misinformation throughout our society. While inhaling burning plant matter has its drawbacks, the benefits offered by the plethora of compounds being smoked vastly supersede any negatives attributed to it. Also some of the methods used to consume cannabis can be carcinogenic, such as blunts, non-hemp rolling papers and poorly purged concentrates. There are at least 8, and as many 20, compounds from the cannabis plant that have anti-tumoral and anti-cancer properties. Most importantly are THC (which is antimetastatic, antiangiogenic and anti-proliferative) and CBD ( which is apoptotic), while certain terpenoids and flavonoids fight cancer through different mechanisms.
  • Myth: All cannabis today is stronger or more potent than it was decades ago
    This myth is more of a misperception. Today higher THC strains of cannabis are more readily available, coupled with the popularization of concentrates (BHO, hash, rosin,etc) it is easy to see where this belief stemmed from. First, high quality cannabis flower and hash oils have always been available. From the 1970s to the 1930s even as far back as 2500 B.C.E. There is absolutely a greater variety and more easily accessible high THC cannabis products today than years past. Second, often overlooked and a wonderful advancement in the world of medicine, is the intricate breeding processes that have been able to isolate and nurture the production of specific compounds. Though some strains have over 25%THC and will offer a strong psychoactive experience; the opposite exists as well. Strains with over 20% CBD(non-psychoactive) and less than 1%THC. These plants can offer otherwise unachievable levels of comfort as well as pain and spasm relief. Most importantly they can be used to help ill people who cannot tolerate the psychoactive elements of cannabis; such as children, the elderly and pets.
  • Federal Government Contradiction
    The Federal Government has Marijuana listed as a “Class 1 Narcotic” this means it has the highest potential for addiction (more than cocaine & crystal meth) and NO KNOWN MEDICAL VALUE. Yet, in 1996 our Federal Government patented Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant as antioxidants and neuroprotectants(Link to patent http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507). On one hand the US government claims cannabis has no medical value, on the other hand they own it as medicine.
  • Contradiction: Cannabis is a Gateway Drug
    Cannabis is a “Gateway” drug. This one of the more ironic contradictions given any “Gateway” effect, where a cannabis user moves on to harder drugs, is directly caused by cannabis being illegal. There have been numerous studies conducted surrounding this gateway concept, all of which have one identical conclusion. There is absolutely nothing in the cannabis plant that gives a user an urge or desire to pursue harder drug use. The apparent and very clear reason for some cannabis users experiment with other drugs is because of cannabis’ current black market status. Lawful alcohol and tobacco distributors sell only what they are licenced to. I have never been propositioned by the proprietor of a liquor store to buy other harder drugs, like heroin. When an individual purchases cannabis from a black market dealer, said dealer will not discriminate what they are selling; even worse who they sell to.
  • Contradiction
    In 1935 indica variants of the cannabis plant were in nearly 40% of over the counter medications used for analgesic and anti-inflammatory purposes. Hemp was grown by over 70% of farmers and poised to be America’s staple crop. The term Marijuana was non-existent in US culture. In 1937 both medical cannabis and industrial hemp were illegal. Under the new guise of “Marijuana” an easily frightened population was swayed into believing this was a “devil’s weed”. Most citizens were unaware that “Marijuana” was cannabis and hemp. In 1942, briefly hemp was good again, as we needed it for WW2. It was made illegal again by wars end. The contradiction comes in years later when campaigns were launched against the cannabis plant for the exact opposite reason it was made illegal. Fear of the plant pacifying citizens and turning them against the vietnam conflict was the new reason cannabis needed to stay prohibited.
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Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring compound in all mammalian life forms as well as in the cannabis plant. It is quickly becoming accepted as an effective medicine, even in many traditional circles. What this compound has been able to do for a wide array of illnesses is truly astounding.
Relieving extreme pain including neuropathy and phantom pains often untreatable through traditional means as well as offering anticonvulsive effects on an amazing level. While the palliative benefits of CBD range from analgesic to antispasmodic; there is one cellular mechanism activated by cannabidiol that can cause some confusion, Apoptosis. Apoptosis is a process through which an unhealthy or mutated cell rapidly seeks its own death. This is a crucial component of battling most every serious disease. However, the fight does not begin and end with CBD. As with all medicines, the best course of treatment is dictated by the patients respective illness along with complementary needs. How can the “CBD Craze” negatively impact the patient care process? Lack of information can lead an individual down the wrong path of treatment. For example, a cancer patient may hear that CBD kills cancer cells and assume that a high CBD concentrate is the best medicine for combating their cancer. This would be an inaccurate assumption, first CBD does not directly kill cancer; it promotes the mechanism through which an unhealthy cell seeks its own death. Second the apoptotic effect of CBD is arguably less vital than the antimetastatic, antiproliferative and antiangiogenic effects offered by THC. Even some terpenes and flavonoids, though often taking a back seat to THC & CBD, provide anticancer properties of their own. The concluding point about the “CBD Craze” is that the ‘Entourage Effect’ of cannabis will always offer the greatest medical benefits. Even the compounds in cannabis that do not offer direct symptom relief are potentiators of those that do. Finding the best ratio of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids as well as the most effective method of consumption is the place all medical cannabis users should begin.

-Zack Nere-
*The above article does not constitute medical advice*
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The cannabis plant has a very checkered history in the United States, with roughly 160 years of being legal and only 80 illegal; unfortunately we live in latter 80 years. This transition from being a lawful plant to an unlawful drug began in 1937. The reasons why cannabis was made illegal are far too many list and is a topic worth its own in depth explanation.
The purpose of this dissertation is simply to show why the term “Marijuana” should not be used for cannabis. “Marihuana” was introduced to American society as a concept in late 1936, the population was unaware the federal definition of “Marihuana” was cannabis sativa and hemp. The reason for this deception was that most Americans had a positive view of hemp given it was an immeasurably useful crop. Cannabis too was seen as beneficial, being used in a wide array of tinctures and medicines. In order to gain public support in criminalizing the plant a new , emotionally evocative banner was needed. Enter the Mexican “Locoweed”, there had been several reports in the early 1900s of young Mexicans going insane after exposure to this “Locoweed”. The American law makers used this information to spread fear about “Marihuana” which was linked with the Mexican “Locoweed” outbreak. There is one huge issue with these terms being linked as synonyms. Mexican “Locoweed”, what the American lawmakers dubbed ‘Marihuana’, WAS NOT CANNABIS. By all accounts and research into these “Loco Weed” outbreaks, the culprit was Jimsonweed. Jimsonweed, a member of the nightshade family, originated in Mexico and is a known deliriant and hallucinogen. Often used as an anesthetic, during the turn of the century it was being cultivated and worked with commonly in Mexico. Jimsonweed is still commonly referred to as “Locoweed” in Mexico today. The simple and obvious answer as to why we should not use the term “Marijuana” when referring to cannabis is because they are not the same plant. Cannabis is just that, cannabis. “Marihuana” as it was introduced in the 1930s was influenced by Jimsonweed. While the roots of the word “Marihuana” are contested, one thing is for sure. “Marihuana”, and Jimsonweed for that matter, are not synonymous with Cannabis.
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The cannabis plant hosts over 100 phytocannabinoids as well as more than 200 terpenes and flavonoids. Many of these compounds offer medical benefits from anti-inflammatory to antifungal. Some of these compounds seem to have little to no medicinal value, yet they act as potentiators of those that do.
Many who produce cannabis medicine, especially oil makers, are focusing on the isolation of one or two compounds. THC and certain flavorful terpenes are by far the most commonly sought after, CBD as well has become very popular. While isolated concentrates and other cannabis products have there place in the world of recreation, medical cannabis works best in an all-inclusive fashion. This concept is often referred to as “The Entourage Effect”. The term was first coined by Ethan Russo, his full report can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/ . Essentially “The Entourage Effect” is the idea that all of the compounds within cannabis work best synergistically. While it is important to find the appropriate ratio of compounds that will best treat a given illness, including every cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid ensures a more effective medicine. With over one thousand variations or strains of cannabis there are many raw flowers that will have the desired ratio of compounds. In regards to concentrates and infusions, i.e FECO, BHO and Cannabutter, mixing several types of raw flower can often yield a more specific product.

-Zack Nere-
*The above does not constitute medical advice*
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