Essence Blog

Cannabis for Chronic Pains

What is Diabetes?

Let’s make this super easy. Basically, diabetes is when your metabolism just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. There’s more than one type of diabetes, but in general, it’s characterized by high blood sugar levels.

When we eat something, our body breaks down the food into glucose, which is a form of sugar. And when it gets into the bloodstream, our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. But it can’t be used unless there is a hormone called insulin available in the body. A person with diabetes doesn’t make enough insulin or just doesn’t make any insulin at all! And when the glucose levels in the blood get too high – something called hyperglycemia – the cells don’t get the energy they need to grow or repair.

Symptoms

What happens when you’ve got diabetes? Well, the most common symptoms are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Intense thirst and hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Bruises and cuts that don’t heal
  • Male impotence

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1: This where the body doesn’t produce insulin at all. People with this type need to inject insulin (into their body) for the rest of their life. They also need to follow a special diet and do regular blood tests. About 10% of all diabetics are Type 1 and they usually develop it before they’re 40.
  • Type 2: This is where body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body don’t react to insulin, which is called insulin resistance. To manage the symptoms, people need to follow a healthy diet, exercise, keep their weight low and monitor blood sugar levels. About 90% of all diabetics are Type 2. Overweight and/or obese people have a higher risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This is because there is more pressure on their body’s ability to use insulin to properly control blood sugar levels.
  • Gestational: This affects females during pregnancy. When they have high blood sugar levels and can’t produce enough insulin, they can be diagnosed with this type of diabetes. It can be managed with exercise and diet. But if not managed, it can make childbirth more complicated.

How Can Cannabis Help?

The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) states that cannabis can help people with diabetes

It’s powerful stuff!

  • Anti-inflammatory action! This calms down the inflammation of the arteries found in people with diabetes.
  • Neuroprotective. That sounds like a superpower doesn’t it? And it kind of is. Cannabis can help stop the inflammation of nerves and lessens neuropathy.
  • Anti-spasmodic agents. These sound like villains… except they’re anything but! Cannabis can calm muscle cramps and lessen the pain of gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Vasodilator. Cannabis helps to keep the blood vessels open and improves circulation.
  • Low blood pressure. Over time, cannabis can help to lower blood pressure; vital for diabetics!
  • Calming. Cannabis helps to calm the “restless leg syndrome” which can help diabetics sleep better.

How Can I Use Cannabis?

There are many ways to use cannabis. They all have pros and cons.

  • Vaporizing: This method eases pain quickly and slows the nerve damage of neuropathy.
  • Capsules: Use capsules with CBD. This cannabis compound has been found to have neuroprotective qualities, improve glucose tolerance and increase insulin sensitivity for type 1 diabetics.
  • Edibles: If you suffer from “restless leg syndrome,” using an edible can definitely help you get the rest you deserve!
  • Topicals: Some diabetics suffer from neuropathy – which is pain, numbness and tingling of certain parts of the body. Rubbing cream or lotions on the affected areas can help reduce the effects!

What Strains Should I Use?

Every person is different. But to get a head start, we recommend strains with high levels of CBD or THCV. Strains high in CBD will reduce inflammation without the high associated with cannabis. Strains high in THCV can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.

 

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Perrault Vault Podcast Episode 10 Guest: Armen Yemenidjian, CEO of Essence Vegas

Matt Perrault, host of “Game Night with Matt Perrault” on SB Nation Radio and Armen Yemenidjian, CEO and owner of Essence Cannabis Dispensary discuss the current landscape of the cannabis industry and what’s to come in the future with recreational marijuana on the horizon.

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May Job Fair!

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Leafly Names Essence #1 Dispensary in Nevada

Leafly Names Essence #1 Dispensary in Nevada and #3 Dispensary in the Nation for the Spring 2017 List.

Thanks to you, the customers, Essence has been named the top dispensary in the state of Nevada for the spring 2017 Leafly List.

According to Leafly, a publication which rates dispensaries each quarter based on customer feedback metrics, Essence Vegas had the highest rating of all medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. The rating is based entirely on customer feedback, so good service is the only way to score points.

Leafly gave Essence a score of 95.47, which is also good for the #3 dispensary in the nation when compared to scores from other regions.

We strive to give our customers the best experience possible at Essence, and we’re proud to have left a great impression. We’ll continue to serve the Las Vegas community with our same passion for service, and we look forward to helping you with any of your medical marijuana needs!

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How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering from Lupus?

Based on information from the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans are suffering from some form of lupus But, what is it really?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system goes into overdrive and is unable to tell the difference between healthy tissue and germs, bacteria, and viruses. This causes your immune system to create antibodies that attack and kill healthy tissue.

Symptoms of Lupus

Because it is chronic, lupus is characterized by flares and remissions ie when symptoms worsen and subside. Symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling in the wrists, knees, fingers, and hands
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Anemia
  • Hair Loss

Types of Lupus

The most common type of lupus is called systemic lupus erythematosus and it attacks the organs. Other types include:

  • Drug-induced lupus: Caused by any one of over 400 prescription drugs
  • Cutaneous lupus: Attacks the skin and presents as a scaly rash
  • Lupus nephritis: Attacks the kidneys
  • Neonatal lupus: Happens in babies with moms who have lupus

Treating Lupus

There is no cure for lupus so treatment is mainly focused on managing flare-ups. This is usually done with prescriptions drugs that suppress the immune system.

The problem is, many of these medications come with side effects that are arguably worse than the symptoms associated with lupus itself. For instance, hydroxychloroquine was used to treat lupus for years, but it also was toxic to the eyes.

Thankfully, there is another way out. There are some who say that lupus can be treated naturally through the use of cannabis. Take Mylea for example:

This lupus sufferer was originally diagnosed in 2010. But, she didn’t like all the medications (or their side effects) that she had to take. In fact, at one point, she was on 16 different medications at once.

When she first heard about cannabis, she was hesitant to try it. But with all the side effects from the opiates, steroids, etc., what did she have to lose?

Since taking the leap, Mylea has been thriving and says that she will never go back to taking the medications. Two years ago she was barely surviving and with cannabis’ help, she’s getting her life back.

How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering from Lupus?

Inflammation and pain are two common symptoms associated with lupus and cannabis has the ability to alleviate both. Additional benefits include:

  • Some studies say that cannabis activates our myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which may help those suffering from hyperactive immune systems.
  • No nasty side effects like those seen with prescription medications.
  • Cannabis helps treat side effects of prescription lupus medications lie like abdominal cramping and nausea

How can I Treat Lupus with Cannabis?

The best strains for treating lupus have high levels of CBD. But, the form of cannabis you should use is dependent on your individual need:

  • Not ready to stop taking your prescription meds? Vaporizing cannabis is an excellent way to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and reduce the side effects of prescription drugs.
  • Want to make the switch from prescription meds to cannibals exclusively? Consider taking cannabis oil on a daily basis. It’s available in capsule form as well.
  • Lupus affecting your sleep? Eating a candy or an edible at night can help.
  • Want something topical to help with swelling and joint pain? There are cannabis-infused lotions and creams available.

Like other conditions that can be treated with cannabis, there’s a frustrating lack of research about lupus and this helpful herb. Thankfully there are some great personal testimonies that prove that hope is out there.

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How to Roll a Joint

Rolling a joint is perhaps the most traditional (and iconic) way of consuming cannabis. But, perhaps the best thing about a joint is that it gives you the opportunity to really enjoy the flower’s favor. For this and other reasons, rolling a joint should be a part of every smoker’s repertoire.

Have no idea where to begin? To ensure that your creation burns evenly and smoothly, check out the video and steps below.

What You Will Need to Roll a Joint:

  • Grinder
  • Good quality cannabis
  • Rolling papers
  • Pen

4 Steps to of Getting the Perfect Joint

Step 1: Pulverize the Cannabis

  • Place your chosen bud (1/2 gram to 1 gram should be sufficient) on a flat surface and break it down into shake. If it’s been dried well, this should be a relatively easy task.
  • Take out your grinder and place broke up pieces of cannabis in the top compartment. Close the lid of the grinder and rotate it several times.
  • Once the cannabis has been pulverized, retrieve the cannabis from the bottom.
  • Place the cannabis in the joint paper.

Pro Tip: Going Manual

If a grinder is not available, you can pulverize the cannabis with scissors or by hand.

Step 2: Shaping and Forming the Joint

Use your fingers and even out the cannabis so that the size is generally uniform throughout. Grasp the joint paper between your fingertips and roll it backward and forward.

To make a cone joint, simply put more cannabis towards the end of the joint and less as you get to the side that you plan to smoke out of.

Pro Tip: Making A Crutch

A crutch is simply a handmade filter. It’s a small rolled up piece of joint paper that you put on the side that you plan to smoke out of.

  • Cut a small, rectangular piece of joint paper, roughly 1/2 an inch by 2-3 inches.
  • Grasp one end with your fingertips and roll it widthwise from one side to the other.
  • Put the crutch in the joint

Step 3: Rolling the Joint

This is the most important step, as it can make or break your joint’s quality.

  • Tuck the paper (the side without the glue) under and begin to roll it.
  • Lick one end of the glued side of joint paper and seal it.
  • Once it’s stuck, work your way down the rest of the seam by tucking and sealing the joint from one end to the other.

Step 4: Finishing Up

To ensure an even burn, use a pen (or similarly sized and shaped object) to pack the end of the joint. Also, if you’re rolling the joint for later use, twist the tip closed.

Congrats. You just rolled your first joint. Now all you have to do is grab your favorite snacks, put your favorite movie on, place the joint to your mouth and light it. Take a deep inhale and relax.

There a virtually endless ways to roll up a joint, whether big or small. You are literally limited to your own imagination. In fact there are some people that have turned it into art, a type of functional origami. Still, there’s nothing better than the classic variety. Enjoy.

Did you find this guide to be helpful? Share your results in the comments below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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How Cannabis Helps Treating Anxiety, PTSD, and Depressive Disorders

It’s normal to feel down, scared, confused, angry, or anxious from time to time. But, if these feelings don’t go away, they can become very disruptive to your daily life. While this may sound far-fetched to some, to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other depressive disorders, it is like being held in a prison of your own thoughts.

Treating Anxiety, PTSD, and Depressive Disorders

Those seeking solace from the negative feelings associated with the aforementioned ailments are usually prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants. And, while these medications do work for some, it can make things worse for others. For instance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (which increase serotonin levels in the brain) can also produce suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Other side effects associated with these types of medications include:

  • Sexual problems
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of bladder control

Cannabis and Depressive Disorders

For those who don’t want to use prescription meds, there are many who tout the benefits of cannabis. Take Cody, for example.

When Cody got out of the military, he wasn’t in the best shape. He had two herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, PTSD with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and depression with suicidal ideations and tendencies.

When things became too much for him to handle, Cody began researching alternative options to help him deal with his symptoms. Time after time, he came upon articles about cannabis but, initially, he rejected the idea that it could help.

Out of desperation, he finally decided to give it a try. Almost immediately, the cannabis began alleviating his problems. Within 6 weeks, he’d significantly decreased his use of cigarettes. Within 6 months, he’d lost 30 pounds, started sleeping and eating better, and stopped taking all his medications.

How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering From Mental Health Disorders?

The feelings of fear, worry, hopelessness, and anxiety associated with the above disorders cannot be fully eliminated. But, for some, cannabis provides a respite sans all the debilitating effects of prescriptions. Still, it’s important to note that, the results are dependent on the type of cannabis you are using.

For instance, cannabis contains two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD. THC is the more popular of the two because it’s associated with feelings of euphoria. But, because it activates the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for fear), it’s also linked to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive () compound that can counteract these feelings. In fact, there are studies that show that taking it on its own can reduce or even eliminate anxiety. Read more about the differences here.

Using Cannabis to Treat PTSD, Anxiety, and Depressive Disorders

Did you know that cannabis has been used for centuries to treat depression and other medical conditions in Eastern countries like India? And, new research is finally catching up. In fact, there are some studies that show that cannabis may hold significant benefits for people suffering a variety of mental and physical health conditions.

How does this work? It’s quite simple really. Cannabis has the ability to improve the mood while simultaneously addressing the primary symptoms associated with depressive disorders. For instance, cannabis can help slow down negative cyclical thought patterns that cause so much grief and pain. And, if you take a canna-brownie or cookie about an hour before bed, a good night’s sleep is ensured.

The Bottom Line

As of right now, the information available on the benefits of cannabis for depressive disorders is mostly anecdotal. But, forward momentum is building as more people are learning about the healing properties of this healthful herb. Think about it, wouldn’t it be cool if a joint a day could keep the psychiatrist away?

 

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Cannabis Infused Edibles? What You Should Know.

Edibles are a great alternative for those who don’t want to smoke cannabis.

If you are a beginner, no problem! – this concise (and comprehensive) guide aims to help you clear up some of your questions:

What are Edibles?

Edibles is an all-encompassing term that describes cannabis that is ingested instead of inhaled. This is typically achieved in one of two ways:

  • Through the saliva (sublingual)
  • Through the stomach (gastrointestinal)

Sublingual edibles (lozenges) enable the cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream through the tissues in your mouth. This results with the effects sometimes being felt within a couple of minutes, much like smoking. The catch is, their effects typically wear off within a couple of hours.

When you ingest gastrointestinal edibles (brownies, gummies, chocolates, etc.), you might not  “feel anything” for quite a while. But, when you do, the feeling typically lasts a lot longer. For instance, if you eat a cannabis infused cookie, it may take up to two hours for you to feel the effects. But, you may feel them for up to eight hours afterward.

What Happens When You Eat Edibles?

Typically, you feel the effects of edibles for about five hours, with the peak happening about 2 1/2 hours after ingesting the cannabis. One of the reasons for this intensity is that ingesting cannabis allows the cannabinoids to be released in waves. But, truth be told, the exact effect is dependent on a number of factors:

  • Potency
  • Type of edible consumed
  • Your personal tolerance
  • Body chemistry
  • How much non-medicated food you’ve eaten recently

Start Low and Go Slow

Edibles are surprisingly delicious so, it’s relatively easy to eat more than you should. But, you must keep in mind that it’s always wise to start low and go slow. In other words, eat a small amount, wait, and eat more should you want to feel strong effects.

Although these amounts seem conservative, they’re actually not. In fact, it’s possible to feel the effects from taking a single bite of a brownie or eating one candy., Prior to medicating with edibles, consider these few tips:

  • Read the label thoroughly to make sure that you are taking the right dosage for your unique needs & body.
  • Take notes while medicating so you can remember the dosage you consumed and how you felt (you can reword this)

In Case of Overindulgence

If you happen to consume more than you should, paranoid and anxiety-filled thoughts may start to creep into your head. But, it’s important to remember one thing – you are going to be OK. So stay calm, relax, breathe normally, and give your body enough time to let the cannabis pass through your system. In addition:

  • Keep note of how much you consumed
  • Find a calm place where you can relax.
    • Distract yourself by playing some music or watching TV, playing a game on your phone, etc.
    • If you are with friends or in public, inform someone you trust about the situation and plan a safe exit, like hiring an Uber, Lyft or a Cab. Never drive while intoxicated.

All in All

Edibles offer users a discrete  and convenient method of consuming cannabis. But, when first venturing into this delicious world, you may have lots of questions. . Thankfully, through medicating and taking careful notes (you can reword) and research, you will find what’s best for you. And remember to start low and go slow.

 

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THC vs CBD – What’s the Difference?

When most people think of marijuana, they probably jump right to the psychoactive effects of using the flower. While marijuana is most commonly known for its mind-altering effects, there are other chemicals in the plant that cause different, and sometimes opposite, effects than most people would expect.

In fact, there are dozens of chemicals in cannabis flowers that have very different effects on people. While some have no real effect, others can change the way you use medical marijuana.

For many patients, it all comes down to are two different chemicals that are naturally occurring in cannabis: THC and CBD. While they are found in the same plant, the two chemicals can have some very different effects on individuals.

The discovery and understanding of CBD’s medical properties are causing it to become a more popular option among many patients. Switching your medical marijuana doses to strictly CBD could be the change you need.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical that has made pot both famous and illegal. It produces the mind-altering effects that commonly go with marijuana, as well as other beneficial side effects.

While it does alter the user’s state of mind, THC is also said to help with a number of ailments, such as cancer and tumor growth. This could be the reason why medical marijuana is legal in most of the United States.

There are also other traits of THC that aren’t found in CBD. THC can act as a sleep aid while CBD could potentially have the opposite effect.

Understandably, THC gets the most attention when discussing marijuana. But CBD might offer better benefits for some.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another main chemical found in cannabis, but it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as THC. This is because CBD doesn’t affect the mind the same way THC does.

In reality, CBD doesn’t produce the psychoactive side effects of THC, or any mind-altering side effects for that matter.

CBD helps with cancer, inflammation, nausea, and pain relief, much like THC. However, CBD can also fight anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. This is one of the main reasons patients opt for CBD over THC. Depending on your individual needs, CBD could offer more benefits of marijuana that you’re looking for.

Also, CBD is known to reduce the side effects of THC. Taking the two together can yield the medicinal value of THC with dulled psychoactive side effects.

Thanks to advancements in the field of medical marijuana, CBD is available in different forms. For example, we carry CBD capsules, trokies, oil, lotions and flowers at Essence Cannabis Dispensaries in Las Vegas.

 

Should I Use THC Or CBD?

When you are deciding which product to use to treat your illness, there are a lot of factors to consider.

As far as medical use goes, both THC and CBD are legal in the state of Nevada. So, if you prefer one to the other, you’ll have no problem finding the product you need.

But the two chemicals can have very distinct effects on your body, both mentally and physically. The best way to find out which chemical works best for you is to try out different products and take notes. CBD oil is going to produce a different effect than CBD flowers, just as you would expect THC oil to be different from THC flowers.

You should also keep in mind that you can get both THC and CBD from most types of medical marijuana. Unless you are using a product that is purely THC or CBD, the two chemicals naturally occur together. From there, all you need to do is find a product that offers the perfect balance of THC and CBD for you.

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Nevadans Voted Yes On Question 2 – Now What?

On November 8th, the Question 2 ballot initiative was passed, making recreational cannabis use legal in Nevada.

But, boy did it take a long time to get to this point. The ballot to legalize medical cannabis was passed way back in 2000. And, it wasn’t until 13 years later that the state legislature made it legal for dispensaries to operate.

lasvegasAfter that, things began to move a bit quicker. In fact, about a year later, Nevada State Secretary Ross Miller announced that the recreational cannabis initiative had received enough signatures for it to be placed on the November 2016 ballot.

And now, we’re here. But, what does it all mean? We aim to answer those questions for you below:

Recreational Cannabis Legislation

Although cannabis will be legalized for recreational use soon, it will take some time for it to become legal to sell or buy marijuana. In fact, it’s expected that it may take as many as 18 months for the state to iron out all the details in this new industry. What is known, however, is:

  • Once the new rules are put into place, dispensaries will be able to apply for recreational licenses to sell cannabis. The application process itself is expected to take anywhere from 6-12 months.
  • The path to regulation is expected to be easier because medical marijuana is already legal in the state and lawmakers can use other states who have legalized recreational marijuana use as examples. Furthermore, since Nevada already has experience regulating unique industries, like gambling.
  • Recreational cannabis will be regulated similarly to alcohol. In other words, the Department of Taxation will be left with the task of monitoring cannabis sales and revenue. The cities and counties will handle business regulations and enforcements on a local level.
  • The number of shops will be limited to the population of the county in which you reside. For instance, Clark County will have 80, Washoe County will have 20, Carson City will have four, and counties with less than 55,000 residents can have two.
  • There will be a 15% excise tax added to wholesale cannabis transactions only. Therefore, customers visiting a retail shop should expect to pay the standard state sales tax.
  • The tax revenue generated from the sale of recreational cannabis will be deposited into Nevada’s general tax fund. From there, it will be used to support both education in Nevada and to enforce its adult cannabis use program.

Recreational Marijuana Laws in Nevada

Now that we’ve gotten all the political stuff out of the way, it’s time to get down to what you really want to know. What does legalization mean for people who want to partake? Here are some rules that you should be aware of:

  • Although approved in November, the law that legalizes recreational marijuana use doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2017. So, until that time, officers will enforce the current law i.e. no possession of recreational marijuana
  • The new law permits adults (aged 21 and over) to have up to 1 ounce of cannabis or 1/8 of an ounce of cannabis concentrate in their possession at a time
  • Driving while intoxicated is still a crime
  • Smoking will only be allowed in private homes. That means no smoking in hotel rooms, bars, or casinos
  • Even if it’s legal to possess cannabis in Vegas, crossing over state lines with this flower is still illegal
  • You cannot sell or distribute cannabis to anyone under the age of 21.
  • You cannot smoke in a public place i.e. sidewalks, parks, community centers, etc. If you do, you may face a $600 fine.

The Statewide Economics – What is Expected

Legalization of recreational cannabis is estimated to generate close to $400 million for the state in 2018 alone to balloon up to $1.1 billion by 2024 – especially when you consider the influx in cannabis-specific tourism. People all over the country will come to Vegas, not only for the casinos, premiere venues, or great eats but, the simple pleasure of legally taking a hit or two in a city already known for its indulgences.   And, that’s not all – this new industry is expected to create at least 6,000 new jobs.

Just a couple decades ago, cannabis legalization was a pipe dream that many thought would never come true.

But, with joint efforts, times are a’changin’! Happy Smoking!

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