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CBD for Animals

As a Holistic Clinical Pharmacist, I am always looking for holistic and natural approaches to health for people and pets. CBD or Cannabidiol is the perfect natural cannabinoid supplement to compliment good lifestyle choices and the desire for quality of life.

CBD hemp oils have become more common and as mainstream products are being marketed to pet owners, you may ask, “Should I give my Pet CBD oil?”

My answer is a definite “Yes!!! …but” because not all products are created equally and there are some things consumers should be aware of before purchasing a CBD product.

The good news is pets can benefit from CBD in much the same way humans do. Our furry friends, as well as most animals, have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance within the body – including regulation of the communication between cells, the body’s immune response, and autonomic functions like appetite, sleep, and metabolism. Basically, the ECS helps the body maintain itself.

Cannabinoid supplements interreact with this system meaning that your pet will potentially derive benefits from CBD in similar ways to their human “parents” do. CBD’s benefits come from its ability to affect the body’s naturally occurring regulatory processes by interacting with the Endocannabinoid System. This chemical communication system includes CB1 receptors, mostly found in the brain, and CB2 receptors found all over the body, including in the gut and immune cells.

Because of this similarity between this system in humans and other animals, many owners have started taking advantage of the availability of CBD products in hopes of treating their pet’s Arthritis, Anxiety, fear of people, fear of loud noises, traveling stress, seizure disorders, GI disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and even cancer. Animals, however, can be very sensitive to cannabinoids.

One of the leading experts and writer of Medical Marijuana and Your Pet, Dr. Robert Silver, DVM, MS, CVA, writes “Studies on dogs, conducted in the 1970’s, helped us to understand the working of the endocannabinoid system,” and “ it was determined that dogs, as compared to all of the other species studied, have the greatest number of endocannabinoid receptors in their cerebellum and brain stem, which govern coordination and other basic necessary functions like breathing and heart rate. Due to this high density of endocannabinoid receptors in its brain, dogs are extremely sensitive to THC.”

This extreme sensitivity to THC in dogs limits the ability to use traditional medicinal marijuana in our pets, which would quickly turn them into furry THC-zombies. This also means consumers must be very careful that the CBD products they buy DO NOT contain THC. Legally products can be marketed as “THC-Free” so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC which still may be far too high for our THC-sensitive furry friends.

Dogs can easily overdose on THC and have a severe negative reaction called Static Ataxia, which includes: glazed eyes, excessive drooling, loss of bowel and bladder control, rapid breathing, falling over, and an inability to get up again.

CBD has become the cannabinoid of choice for many clients because it is non-toxic and well tolerated in animals, but the dangers of THC are less widely known.

Now you may ask, “How do I choose a CBD Hemp Oil product for my pet?”

First and foremost, you must buy the product from a reputable source. A reputable source is one that does third party lab testing on their finished products and can produce a Certificate of Analysis to prove that the products actually contain what is on the product labels. Since 2015 the FDA has sent warning letters to CBD manufacturers who claim there is more CBD in the bottle than there actually is. Up to 75% of CBD products were found in one study to be mislabeled and misbranded.1

Our LabNaturals PCR Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Oils have proven ZERO THC per third party testing, which makes them an excellent choice, especially dogs who are naturally much more sensitive to THC’s psychotropic effects.

Since LabNaturals PCR products are third party tested for potency, purity, and consistency, you can rest assured that our CBD hemp oils are consistent with their labeled strengths. We have Certificates of Analysis available upon request for each of our products. Our oils are free from contaminants – like mold, mildew, and microbes, and are grown without chemicals or pesticides, and are free of heavy metals – protecting your pet’s health and safety over the long-term use of these products.

Second, make sure to purchase CBD oil from a business with professional expertise in health, wellness, and supplementation. It is also important to have someone check your animal’s medications for potential interactions. Finding a pharmacist well versed in both CBD and pet medications is best to be sure that all information is accurate. Our LabNaturals PCR is not your vape shop’s CBD! LabNaturals PCR CBD products contain full spectrum hemp oil creating an entourage effect where the cannabinoids work together for greater potential benefits. They are also derived from the whole medicinal industrial hemp plant grown, processed, and produced in accordance with the 2014 FARM BILL, Section 7606.

Third, we use a “Low and Slow” “micro-serving” process of building up the serving size in our clients which applies to both humans and animals. This allows us to find the right serving size for the client’s needs. We also consider the pet’s size, species, and weight starting at a serving of 0.25-0.5mg of CBD/kg/day and this serving may be increased on a weekly basis until desired benefits are achieved.

You should feel confident that my 37 years of clinical pharmacy experience is reflected in every handpicked product in my pharmacy, Murray Avenue Apothecary, including our only brand of CBD products LabNaturals PCR Full Spectrum Plant Oils. This new brand of CBD builds on our already popular LabNaturals Skin Care line which provides affordable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly anti-aging and acne products.

At Murray Avenue Apothecary we are pharmacists for humans and our furry family members and we have done our research into the exciting new world of CBD and cannabinoid supplementation. If you have questions we will always do our best to answer them as completely as possible. We ensure the purity, consistency, and safety of all our products and compounds because that is exactly what you and your pets deserve.

Discover more about LabNaturalsPCR products by visiting our LabNaturalsPCR.com

Lab Naturals PCR Pet Testimonial:

"Our Bullmastiff/German Shepherd rescue, Hardy, came to us with a host of lovable quirks, but his anxiety made it difficult for him to enjoy life to the fullest. We tried an expensive prescription separation anxiety medication, but the results were just fair. We switched to LabNaturals PCR and it has made a world of difference! He no longer anxiously follows us from room to room or paces around our home, we've been able to trim his nails, and he is overall a more relaxed and happy dog.

What I appreciate most is that he does not seem "sedated," his fun and sweet personality still shines through. Using LabNaturals' product has allowed us to get Hardy's anxiety level diminished to the point of being able to start working on the behavioral modification techniques needed to treat the root of his anxious processes."

– C.F.

References:

1. Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708–1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909


Cannabidiol (CBD) and Your Brain

In recent years, CBD or Cannabidiol has become a very popular dietary supplement. Not only is it being reported on in the media but among our clients at Murray Avenue Apothecary it has become a staple on their journey to health and wellness.

Many of our clients are using CBD as a supplement to manage their mental and emotional health. One our clients wrote,

“Ever since taking the PCR about a month ago, I have felt a MILLION times better. I seriously feel like a whole different person – my anxiety and depression has almost disappeared. Even my family has noticed a difference in my personality. I’m more optimistic and upbeat. It feels so much better to be back to my normal self again. It’s amazing what a natural supplement can do!" – K.S.

Another client suffering from anxiety wrote,

“I have been using CBD oil for about a year now. I have been dealing with Anxiety all my life but now I can say it has been cured. I am thankful every day I tried this… I have not felt anxious for months. Thank you!” - M.T.

Stories like these are very encouraging for the use of CBD supplements but many clients have questions about “How exactly does CBD work?” I have found a great collection of resources on cbdhealthandwellness.net that I have copied below and annotated with my own clinical experience and research from the last several years.

How CBD Affects the Brain? By Rudy Hatfield

Cannabidiol exerts its effects through numerous chemical pathways. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is not believed to actually bind with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain (although it does affect them), but acts through different receptors. CBD modulates the binding of protein-coupled neurons and affects numerous neuropathways in the brain. Some of the major effects of CBD include:

  • CBD has an affinity for the serotonin 1A receptor1. This affinity to serotonin accounts for many of its medicinal properties. By modulating serotonin release CBD also affects the release of hormones such as oxytocin (which affects prosocial behaviors) and cortisol (which is released during the perception of stress). This allows CBD to influence issues with mood, sociability, and even thinking. By affecting serotonin perception by neurons in the brain, CBD can be used to treat many issues including pain, depression, nausea from chemotherapy, and severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia2.
  • CBD appears to also affect the neurotransmitter anandamide (sometimes referred to as AEA [N-arachidonoylethanolamine]). This neurotransmitter has been recently shown to be important in people that have chronic issues with depression and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. CBD appears to inhibit the breakdown and reuptake of AEA and this has led to the belief that CBD can be useful in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia through this mechanism as well as through the modulation of serotonin3. CBD’s effects on AEA may also contribute to its ability to control seizures.
  • CBD reduces blood flow in areas of the brain associated with anxiety disorders4. Thus, CBD can be used to reduce issues with anxiety and even issues with severe anxiety such as panic attacks or the anxiety associated with individuals who are diagnosed with PTSD.
  • CBD lowers the degree of excessive neuronal stimulation (excitotoxicity), which reduces seizures in individuals with epilepsy5.
  • CBD appears to reduce the oxidation stress which may be at least partially responsible for the brain damage that occurs in individuals with Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s disease. CBD appears to minimize oxidative stress by working through both the CB1 and CB2 receptors6. While not fully demonstrated to be preventative or curative, CBD appears to at least be helpful in treating individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • CBD binds to the TRPV1 receptors that are located in both the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (outside the brain and spinal cord)7. These receptors are also known as the vanilloid and capsaicin receptors. They play an important role in maintaining homeostasis, perception of pain, and inflammation in their tissues. By binding to these receptors, CBD appears to have the potential to treat inflammation, pain, and even anxiety and depression.

These are just a few of the potential therapeutic effects that CBD may have through its actions in the body. There are numerous other potential benefits to the use of CBD that affect numerous other neural pathways and specific receptor sites.”

Notes about Drug Interactions with CBD:

More than half of U.S. adults regularly take prescription medications and at least 75% take at least one Over-the-Counter supplement. 60-80% of all pharmaceuticals are broken down in the body by the Cytochrome P450-non-specific enzyme family. Both THC and CBD can inhibit OR amplify the CYP450 enzyme reactions.

Interactions are more common when both (CBD and prescription drugs) are taken orally and processed through the liver. Changes in drug metabolism are usually seen with high doses of pure CBD isolates. Broad Spectrum CBD products preserve the synergistic interactions between CBD and dozens of minor phytocannabinoids and hundreds of non-cannabinoid plant compounds. This synergy leads to no clinically relevant drug interactions. We have no clinical experience of serious side effects after two years of using Broad Spectrum CBD in clients at Murray Avenue Apothecary.

Cannabinoids are better absorbed if ingested on a full stomach. Ingested cannabinoids will have higher peak liver concentration than inhaled cannabinoids. By taking CBD and THC together, as many medical marijuana products suggest, people may find that the effects of the THC are tempered by the CBD but may be prolonged slightly because of the CYP450 interaction. In people on multiple prescription medications and decreased liver function, THC sensitivity may occur.

The research into Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids is still in its infancy. As more research is done, we will gain more insights into exactly how these natural substances affect the body and improve our natural balance.

Learn more about CBD, read testimonials, and shop online 24/7 at www.LabNaturalsPCR.com

References from https://cbdhealthandwellness.net/2018/07/18/how-cbd-affects-the-brain

  1. Saleset al.(2018). Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.
  2. Crippa et al (2018). 17.4 Possible Mechanisms Involved In The Antipsychotic Effects Of Cannabidiol (cbd). Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44(Suppl 1), S28.
  3. Deutsch (2016). A personal retrospective: elevating anandamide (AEA) by targeting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and the fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs). Frontiers in pharmacology, 7, 370.
  4. Crippa et (2011). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121-130.
  5. Devinsky et al (2014). Cannabidiol: pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia, 55(6), 791-802.
  6. Campbell&Gowran(2007). Alzheimer’s disease; taking the edge off with cannabinoids?. British journal of pharmacology, 152(5), 655-662.
  7. Iannotti et al (2014). Nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoids, cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabidiol (CBD), activate and desensitize transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels in vitro: potential for the treatment of neuronal hyperexcitability. ACS chemical neuroscience, 5(11), 1131-1141.

Little-known facts about cannabidiol and CBD oil

Cannabidiol and CBD oil seem to be everywhere these days, despite the confusing legal status of this prolific compound. But how much do we actually know about CBD?

CBD became illegal before it was discovered.

Cannabis was effectively outlawed by the federal government in 1937 with the passage and implementation of the Marihuana Tax Act. The Act explicitly stated that cannabis resin or any extract from the resin was considered to be “marihuana” (i.e. the Evil Weed). Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in the resin, nowhere else in the plant. (Tetrahydrocannabinol – THC, aka The High Causer – is also concentrated in the resin along with a slew of other therapeutic compounds.) In effect, CBD, a nonintoxicating cannabis component, was prohibited by federal law before anyone actually knew that CBD existed.

It wasn’t until 1940 that Roger Adams, a University of Illinois chemist, first identified and synthesized CBD. Two years later, he was awarded a patent for his unique method of isolating CBD. Adams observed that CBD had pain-killing properties and he contributed to the 1944 La Guardia Report on the Marihuana Problem, which debunked many of the scaremongering reefer madness claims promoted by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. By the time Adams retired in 1957, he had published 27 studies on CBD and other plant cannabinoids. He was subsequently honored by the American Chemical Society, which established the prestigious Roger Adams Award in recognition of his life’s work. Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam picked up where Adams left off and elucidated the precise molecular structure of CBD in 1963. And he did the same for THC in 1964.

CBD oil makes brain cells grow.

Cannabidiol (CBD) not only protects brain cells – it also stimulates the growth of new brain cells, a process known as “neurogenesis.” New neurons are continually being created in two areas of the hippocampus: the subgranular zone of dentate gyrus and subventricular zone of lateral ventricles. These brain regions are densely populated with cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. Activation of CB1 receptors stimulates the creation of new neurons, a process that underscores the central role of endocannabinoid system the in embryonic and adult neurogenesis, according to a 2019 study by a team of Brazilian scientists.

CBD and THC both promote neurogenesis.

Whereas THC binds directly to CB1, CBD boosts CB1 signaling through other pathways. Both CBD and THC are “neurogenic” substances that promote neurogenesis. “The pro-neurogeneic effects of CBD might explain some of the positive therapeutic features of CBD-based compounds,” German scientists reported in 2010. The antidepressant properties of CBD, THC and several other compounds are contingent on enhanced neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, the ability to adapt to stress and injury – unlike “chronic alcohol exposure [which] reduces endocannabinoid activity and disrupts adult neurogenesis,” Spanish researchers disclosed in 2015. It’s worth noting that preclinical research shows that a low dose of CBD increases neurogenesis, but higher doses decrease neurogenesis.

CBD oil is not intoxicating, but it is psychoactive.

When Project CBD formed 10 years ago to educate the medical marijuana community and the public at large about cannabidiol, we typically referred to CBD as “non-psychoactive,” and it subsequently became the mantra of the upstart CBD industry. “CBD is not psychoactive, it doesn’t get you high” – that’s always been a key selling point about CBD. According to politically correct drug war dogma, the cannabis high is a bad side effect. At Project CBD, we’ve since come to an understanding that while CBD most certainly is not an intoxicant, it’s misleading to call it non-psychoactive. When a clinically depressed patient or a PTSD sufferer consumes a CBD-rich tincture and has a very good day for the first time in a long while, it’s apparent that CBD is a powerful mood-altering molecule. Cannabidiol won’t make a person feel euphoric or dysphoric like THC does, but CBD can impact the psyche in positive ways.

Best of all, when combined THC and CBD confer a greater-than-additive therapeutic effect. Accordingly, it makes sense to medicate using a CBD-rich remedy with as much THC as a person is comfortable with. For some people that means as little THC as possible. Those who are very sensitive to cannabis may have a genetic variant that impedes their ability to metabolize THC, which stays active in their system longer. About 20 percent of Caucasians express a polymorphism of the gene that encodes the cytochrome P450 isoform that breaks down THC. About ten percent of those of African descent and five percent of Asians also have this genetic anomoly, which makes them supersensitive to THC. Those who don’t like to get high have the option of utilizing a non-intoxicating CBD-rich product with a minuscule amount of THC.

CBD and THC bring out the best in each other.

CBD oil companies often tout cannabidiol for its ability to neutralize THC’s psychoactive effects. But this emphasis distracts attention from one of CBD’s greatest gifts: It enables a person to manage marijuana’s tricky psychoactivity in a way that suits one’s particular needs and sensitivities. That might mean reducing the high without eliminating it entirely. Finding the optimal balance between CBD and THC is a key challenge of cannabis therapeutics. CBD and THC are the power couple of the cannabis plant; they work best together.

“CBD increased some effects of an ineffective THC dose to the level of an effective one.”

Extensive clinical research has demonstrated that CBD combined with THC is more beneficial for neuropathic pain than either compound as a single molecule. Scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that a CBD-THC combo has a more potent anti-tumoral effect than either compound alone when tested on brain cancer and breast cancer cell lines. And according to a 2010 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology, CBD potentiates THC’s anti-inflammatory properties in an animal model of colitis: “CBD increased some effects of an ineffective THC dose to the level of an effective one.” In other words, a low, non-intoxicating dose of THC on its own might not be effective therapeutically. However, when combined with CBD a non-intoxicating dose of THC may result in a desired therapeutic outcome. That’s great news for those seeking the medical benefits of cannabis without the buzz.

CBD is a promiscuous compound.

The canonical endocannbinoid system consists of two cannabinoid receptor subtypes (CB1 and CB2); two principal endocannabinoid ligands (anandamide and 2-AG) that activate these receptors; and various proteins that regulate the biosynthesis, transport, and metabolic breakdown of our endogenous cannabinoids. CBD, it turns out, has little binding affinity for either cannabinoid receptor, but instead conveys effects through a bewildering array of molecular pathways. According to Mayo Clinic neurologist Eugene L. Scharf (writing in 2017), the scientific literature has identified more than 65 molecular targets of CBD, including various G-protein coupled receptors that activate or inhibit serotonin, adenosine and opioid signaling. CBD binds to several so-called orphan receptors (GPR3, GPR6, GPR12, GPR18, GPR55 …) and also interacts with GABAa receptors; nuclear receptors (PPARs); several members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family of ionotropic receptors; and various ligand-gated ion channels, such as glycine (GlyR), nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh), and sodium channels (NaV).

That’s a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo for a little molecule, but there’s more. CBD functions as a negative allosteric CB1 receptor modulator, which means that CBDinterferes with THC’s ability to signal through CB1 without entirely blocking it. This appears to be one of the ways that CBD lowers the ceiling on THC’s intoxicating effect. In addition, CBD acts through various receptor-independent conduits to confer therapeutic outcomes. As Paula Morales and Patricia H. Reggio report in Medicinal Chemistry, CBD’s promiscuous nature “offers novel prospects for the treatment of neurological, oncological, and inflammatory diseases.”

source: Project CBD


The Opioid Epidemic… One Pharmacist Making a Difference

Dear Friends,

The Opioid Epidemic is everywhere and even though it is no longer dominating the TV news cycle doesn’t mean it has gone away. It is affecting our friends, families, and our neighbors every single day.

Let’s revisit this important topic and enhance our commitment to take part in the solution to this national health emergency.

In over 37 years of pharmacy practice I have witnessed many people afflicted with chronic pain and neuropathic pain who have turned to and have been prescribed dangerous and addictive opioids.

While not everyone who takes a prescription opioid will wind up an addict, the risk is all too real. The health risks associated with these drugs are great, and addiction and overdoses are a daily occurrence. It is particularly important for you to avoid opioids when trying to address long-term and chronic pain, as your body will create a tolerance to the drug. Over time you’ll require greater and greater doses at more frequent intervals to achieve the same pain relief; this is how the addiction process begins. This is the recipe for the disaster that is the Opioid Epidemic and could have lethal consequences for you or a loved one. Please don’t risk it!

Please continue reading to find out about CBD – the “green” light in the darkness of opioid addiction – because by replacing addictive, toxic, and dangerous opioid use with natural, non-toxic CBD oil we can attempt to make a major difference in the Opioid Epidemic, both here in western Pennsylvania and across the nation.

“In 2012, paramedics responded to about 900 calls for overdoses in the city [of Pittsburgh]; in 2016, it was 2,300… During 2016, 613 people died from overdoses in Allegheny County, compared with 424 in 2015...” and only 290 in 2012. (1)

Nationwide the numbers are even more startling. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, on an average day in the U.S. more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed (2) and 78 people die from an opioid-related overdose. This includes overdoses involving prescription opioids and illicit opioids such as heroin. (3)

The economic impact is estimated in the billions with 55 billion dollars spent on health and social costs related to prescription opioid abuse each year (5) and 20 billion dollars in emergency department and inpatient care for opioid poisonings. (6) These numbers are growing every day.

To prevent you or someone you love from becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, or worse, becoming another potential victim of an opioid overdose, you must get educated today!

Let’s take a closer look at the nationwide Opioid Epidemic, opioid abuse, and offer a groundbreaking healthy alternative to help manage pain.

What is an Opioid?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the legally prescribed pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others. Opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain. (4)

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a primary, chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.” It is important to remember that opioid addictions are physical. With every use the brain craves more stimulation of the opioid (Mu) receptors and the body becomes physically dependent on that simulation to continue functioning properly. If a heavy user stops suddenly the withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening.

This physical addiction means that the opioid user needs these drugs and when their prescriptions run out or become too expensive, they may turn to cheaper, more accessible, street drugs like heroin.

“There’s very little difference between oxycodone, morphine and heroin,” says Dr. Deeni Bassam, board-certified anesthesiologist, pain specialist and medical director of the Virginia-based Spine Care Center. “It’s just that one comes in a prescription bottle and another one comes in a plastic bag.” (7)

Heroin is often cheaper and easier to obtain than opioids and so has become a popular alternative. Chemically, Heroin and OxyContin are very similar and provide a similar kind of high. OxyContin is as dangerous and equally as addictive as pure heroin. More often than not though, drug dealers cut heroin with other drugs and the results can be deadly.

One of the most popular drugs to spike heroin with is Fentanyl, a drug originally developed as an elephant tranquilizer. Cut into heroin, it was meant to deliver a stronger and more extended high, but as Dr. Karen Hacker, the director of the Allegheny Health Department said, “Fentanyl is like a whole new ballgame. People are dying the first time they try it.” (8)

Most heroin sold on the streets now contains some Fentanyl and some stamp bags now contain mostly Fentanyl, which can be 100 times stronger than heroin and 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than morphine. (8,9)

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic of overdoses, with 20,101 deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015. (10) It is estimated that in 2015, 2 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin. (11)

Dr. Robert Califf, who at the time was commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said, “The public-health crisis of opioid misuse, addiction and overdose is one of the most challenging issues [the FDA] has faced during my time as commissioner. Solving this issue is critical to our future. It’s time to put more resources into the development of non-opioid, non-addictive medications to help people who are in serious, debilitating pain.” (12)

At Murray Avenue Apothecary, we are always looking for holistic and natural approaches to pain management. In light of the Opioid Epidemic we redoubled our efforts to find safe and effective solutions for our clients. Almost two years ago during a phone call with my physician-friend she told me she could not take Dilaudid for post-op neck surgery pain. She said she had found a non-opioid solution and I was intrigued.

The solution? CBD Hemp Oil!

This led me, and my staff, into exhaustive research about medical marijuana, state drug laws, and CBD manufacturers.

What is CBD? How does it work? And most importantly, how can we provide it to the people who need it most!?

There are many different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp, sometimes called industrial hemp, refers to the non-psychoactive (less than 0.3% THC) varieties of Cannabis sativa L. Both hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis species but are genetically distinct and are further distinguished by use, chemical makeup, and cultivation methods.

CBD or Cannabidiol (Canna-Bi-Diol) is a naturally occurring compound in the hemp plant and is one of a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid that produces the euphoric and psychotropic effects of Marijuana. Typically, hemp has very little THC naturally. CBD is non-psychoactive and does not cause intoxication. CBD contains ZERO THC.

Our bodies, and those of almost all animals, have an endocannabinoid system with hundreds of CB receptors. It is the greatest system you’ve never heard about. These CB receptors are located all over your body including in the brain, skin, connective tissue, glands, immune cells, digestive tract, and reproductive organs. They play an important role in human health and homeostasis or balance. THC has a strong affinity for CB1 receptors found in high concentrations in the brain and therefore cause the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

The endocannabinoid system strongly suggests that the human organism is actually designed to make good use of the cannabis plant. In other words, the phytocannabinioids in the cannabis plant triggers something that's been inside us since the dawn of mankind. The endocannabinoid system exists in other mammals, reptiles, fishes, and more, suggesting it is truly an ancient biological system.

Dr. Margaret Gedde, a Stanford-trained pathologist and award-winning researcher, said, "When I started hearing the results patients were getting, I realized that the reason why [marijuana] could do so many different things in the body without being toxic is because it is acting through this natural endocannabinoid system in our bodies. That's when I said 'Wow. This is huge. There's nothing like this in medicine. There's nothing that I can prescribe that comes close to what this can do for people.’” (13)

“Although the endocannabinoid system has been known to interact with other systems…its interaction with the opioid system is now well established. These two systems share neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and pharmacological characteristics.” (14,15) This means the same receptors all over your body that interact with opioid chemicals also interact with the CBD. This important connection means that not only does CBD offer potential potent pain relief, it may also be used to wean patients off of their Opioids.

We have developed an Opiate Weaning Protocol at Murray Avenue Apothecary that works closely between the patient, physician, and pharmacist to safely and effectively achieve the desired results. Please have your Physician contact our Pharmacists to work together as a team to help with your opioid prescription weaning protocol. We are here for you!

“PEOPLE NEED CBD!”

Gedde added, “So many pain medications are damaging to the stomach, to the gut. The cannabis doesn't hurt the gut. It helps heal the gut. People are so relieved … There's nothing else that does that. It won't hurt the organs. It won't hurt the liver. It won't hurt the kidneys. Ibuprofen… people can't stay on that for months and years. They can stay on cannabis. As we know as well, there is no known lethal dose for cannabis, whether it's THC or CBD. A person couldn't die from it even if they were trying really, really hard. There's nothing you can say that about. It offers so much to people on a medical level."

LabNaturals PCR – Hemp derived CBD

At Murray Avenue Apothecary we carry our own brand of CBD products called LabNaturals Broad Spectrum PCR Plant Oil. PCR stands for “Phytocannabinoid Rich” and describes an oil containing CBD and other cannabinoids. Our plant oil products are derived from the whole hemp plant grown, processed, and produced in accordance with the 2014 FARM BILL, Section 7606. These products deliver healthful benefits, without the psychoactive or “high” effect associated with this type of botanical. There is no detectable THC in our LabNaturals PCR products so urine drug test screens should be negative, however we cannot guarantee this because not all tests are THC specific and all cannabinoids are molecularly similar. You should be aware of your employer’s drug testing policy.

Every LabNaturals PCR CBD product is third party tested to ensure purity, potency, and consistency. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 84 commercially available CBD products on the internet were chemically analyzed by an independent lab. The researchers found that ONLY 31% of the products tested contained the precise amount of CBD advertised on the label!

Without third party testing there is no way to ensure quality and consistency or that a product is correctly labeled and does not contain toxic chemicals and residues. We provide Certificates of Analysis with proof of nondetectable THC, solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals for each product. These Certificates of Analysis also confirm the actual amount of CBD in the bottle to be sure our labeling is accurate. This makes LabNaturals PCR an appealing and trustworthy option for people looking for potential relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, depression, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.

There are over 40 examples of health conditions we found that may show benefit from CBD use including ADHD, Arthritis, Diabetes, Alcoholism, MS, Chronic Pain, PTSD, Depression, Osteoporosis, Epilepsy, and more. (19) CBD has been studied for its antiemetic, analgesic, antiepileptic, and immunomodulatory effects. CBD has also been studied in settings of mood disorders(16,17,18). CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United states and around the world. (19)

Our LabNaturals PCR Broad Spectrum Plant Oil comes in a variety of products including liquids, topicals, and capsules. Pets need pain relief too and we have created PCR CBD Liquids just for our furry family members!

All of our LabNaturals PCR CBD Plant Oil products are available Over-the-Counter (OTC) and do not require a Medical Marijuana card.

We are now carrying several OTC products including:

PCR Broad Spectrum Plant Oils - Light, oily liquids that are to be delivered orally by dropper and come in a variety of strengths. Place under the tongue, hold for 2-3 minutes for enhanced absorption, and swallow.
PCR Broad Spectrum Plant Oil Capsules - 10mg or 25mg - Small water-soluble softgel capsules that are taken orally.
PCR Broad Spectrum Plant Oil Pain Balm - 500mg per Jar - A smooth and spreadable balm applied topically to painful areas like arthritic joints and painful damaged nerve areas.
PCR Broad Spectrum Plant Oils for Pets - Light, oily liquids that are to be delivered orally on treats or food and are perfectly sized for our furry family members.
CBD Chewing Gum -10mg per Piece - Sugar-free gum that delivers CBD through the oral mucosa by chewing each piece for ten minutes. Many of our arthritic clients love this gum!
CBD Water -10mg per Bottle - 500mL of H2O with electrolytes and CBD. Also available by the case at a lower price.

Our General Serving Guidelines are to Start LOW & Go SLOW!

Everyone is different and everyone’s internal balance system is different. Some people are only a little “out of balance” and other people are way “out of balance.” Some people are very sensitive to substances and others are less responsive. There is no magic number, no formula, and no test to determine how “out of balance” you are. The good news is we have a great method to discover your “happy place” or “optimal dose.” We call this process “micro-servings.”

Many people need less CBD than they think they do, and more is not always better. By starting low and slowly increasing until you find your personal perfect balance you may get optimal benefits without wasting money on excess CBD.

Please Note: The amount of body fat, duration and severity of condition, GI/Liver function, individual biochemical makeup, and endocannabinoid balance may affect outcome. Some clients feel an immediate response, others take more time. Be patient, it may take months to fully rebalance your Endocannabinoid system.

Some Potential Minimal Side Effects include a temporary headache, potential feelings similar to dizziness and fatigue.

Many people feel more mentally alert and focused with CBD so we suggest starting it in the AM.

ATTENTION: Some medications may interact or impact serving size. Please call 412-421-4996 or 412-586-4678 to speak to a Pharmacist about any medications you are taking or visit us at 4227 Murray Avenue.

CBD products are not recommended for use in pregnant women because of the role the Endocannabinoid system plays in reproduction and infant development.

For all these reasons, it makes sense to buy CBD from a pharmacy and a pharmacist with 37 years of experience and expertise instead of from a random website or vape shop. I’ve done the research, I know biochemistry, and I know how to balance it!

Why did we choose our LabNaturals Broad Spectrum Plant Oil over other brands?

• No Detectable THC
• No Detectable Solvents
• No Detectable Pesticides
• No Detectable Heavy Metals
• Non-GMO
• Organically Farmed in accordance with Industrial Regulations (Reg. #69763)
• Broad Spectrum Entourage Effect
• Available over-the-counter (OTC) – no card or prescription needed
• Products are tested both internally and independently for potency, purity, and consistency.
• Hydrogenated Water Extraction Process and Supercritical CO2

The Opioid Epidemic has reached unfathomable proportions and is killing our family members, friends, and neighbors every day! Natural therapies, including CBD supplementation, may provide an alternative, non-toxic treatment to Opioid addiction.

What do you have to lose?

Please share this article with those who need it most and please stop by Murray Avenue Apothecary to speak with our CBD specialists. You can also learn more about our products and view a price list at www.LabNaturalsPCR.com

To Your Health and Healing,

Susan Merenstein, RPh/Owner

For More Information on CBD Please Consult the Following Paper from The National Institutes of Health: PACHER P, BÁTKAI S, KUNOS G. The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy. Pharmacological reviews. 2006;58(3):389-462. doi:10.1124/pr.58.3.2.


CBD for Animals

Dear Friends,

As a Holistic Clinical Pharmacist, I am always looking for holistic and natural approaches to health for people and pets. CBD or Cannabidiol is the perfect natural cannabinoid supplement to compliment good lifestyle choices and the desire for quality of life.

CBD hemp oils have become more common and as mainstream products are being marketed to pet owners, you may ask, “Should I give my Pet CBD oil?”

My answer is a definite “Yes!!! …but” because not all products are created equally and there are some things consumers should be aware of before purchasing a CBD product.

The good news is pets can benefit from CBD in much the same way humans do. Our furry friends, as well as most animals, have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance within the body – including regulation of the communication between cells, the body’s immune response, and autonomic functions like appetite, sleep, and metabolism. Basically, the ECS helps the body maintain itself.

Cannabinoid supplements interreact with this system meaning that your pet will potentially derive benefits from CBD in similar ways to their human “parents” do. CBD’s benefits come from its ability to affect the body’s naturally occurring regulatory processes by interacting with the Endocannabinoid System. This chemical communication system includes CB1 receptors, mostly found in the brain, and CB2 receptors found all over the body, including in the gut and immune cells.

Because of this similarity between this system in humans and other animals, many owners have started taking advantage of the availability of CBD products in hopes of treating their pet’s Arthritis, Anxiety, fear of people, fear of loud noises, traveling stress, seizure disorders, GI disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and even cancer. Animals, however, can be very sensitive to cannabinoids.

One of the leading experts and writer of Medical Marijuana and Your Pet, Dr. Robert Silver, DVM, MS, CVA, writes “Studies on dogs, conducted in the 1970’s, helped us to understand the working of the endocannabinoid system,” and “ it was determined that dogs, as compared to all of the other species studied, have the greatest number of endocannabinoid receptors in their cerebellum and brain stem, which govern coordination and other basic necessary functions like breathing and heart rate. Due to this high density of endocannabinoid receptors in its brain, dogs are extremely sensitive to THC.”

This extreme sensitivity to THC in dogs limits the ability to use traditional medicinal marijuana in our pets, which would quickly turn them into furry THC-zombies. This also means consumers must be very careful that the CBD products they buy DO NOT contain THC. Legally products can be marketed as “THC-Free” so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC which still may be far too high for our THC-sensitive furry friends.

Dogs can easily overdose on THC and have a severe negative reaction called Static Ataxia, which includes: glazed eyes, excessive drooling, loss of bowel and bladder control, rapid breathing, falling over, and an inability to get up again.

CBD has become the cannabinoid of choice for many clients because it is non-toxic and well tolerated in animals, but the dangers of THC are less widely known.

Now you may ask, “How do I choose a CBD Hemp Oil product for my pet?”

First and foremost, you must buy the product from a reputable source. A reputable source is one that does third party lab testing on their finished products and can produce a Certificate of Analysis to prove that the products actually contain what is on the product labels. Since 2015 the FDA has sent warning letters to CBD manufacturers who claim there is more CBD in the bottle than there actually is. Up to 75% of CBD products were found in one study to be mislabeled and misbranded.1

Our LabNaturals PCR Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Oils have proven ZERO THC per third party testing, which makes them an excellent choice, especially dogs who are naturally much more sensitive to THC’s psychotropic effects.

Since LabNaturals PCR products are third party tested for potency, purity, and consistency, you can rest assured that our CBD hemp oils are consistent with their labeled strengths. We have Certificates of Analysis available upon request for each of our products. Our oils are free from contaminants – like mold, mildew, and microbes, and are grown without chemicals or pesticides, and are free of heavy metals – protecting your pet’s health and safety over the long-term use of these products.

Second, make sure to purchase CBD oil from a business with professional expertise in health, wellness, and supplementation. It is also important to have someone check your animal’s medications for potential interactions. Finding a pharmacist well versed in both CBD and pet medications is best to be sure that all information is accurate. Our LabNaturals PCR is not your vape shop’s CBD! LabNaturals PCR CBD products contain full spectrum hemp oil creating an entourage effect where the cannabinoids work together for greater potential benefits. They are also derived from the whole medicinal industrial hemp plant grown, processed, and produced in accordance with the 2014 FARM BILL, Section 7606.

Third, we use a “Low and Slow” “micro-serving” process of building up the serving size in our clients which applies to both humans and animals. This allows us to find the right serving size for the client’s needs. We also consider the pet’s size, species, and weight starting at a serving of 0.25-0.5mg of CBD/kg/day and this serving may be increased on a weekly basis until desired benefits are achieved.

You should feel confident that my 37 years of clinical pharmacy experience is reflected in every handpicked product in my pharmacy, Murray Avenue Apothecary, including our only brand of CBD products LabNaturals PCR Full Spectrum Plant Oils. This new brand of CBD builds on our already popular LabNaturals Skin Care line which provides affordable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly anti-aging and acne products.

At Murray Avenue Apothecary we are pharmacists for humans and our furry family members and we have done our research into the exciting new world of CBD and cannabinoid supplementation. If you have questions we will always do our best to answer them as completely as possible. We ensure the purity, consistency, and safety of all our products and compounds because that is exactly what you and your pets deserve.

Discover more about LabNaturalsPCR products by visiting our LabNaturalsPCR.com

To Animal and Human Health,

Susan Merenstein, Pharmacist/Owner
LabNaturalsPCR Broad Spectrum Plant Oil

Lab Naturals PCR Pet Testimonial:

"Our Bullmastiff/German Shepherd rescue, Hardy, came to us with a host of lovable quirks, but his anxiety made it difficult for him to enjoy life to the fullest. We tried an expensive prescription separation anxiety medication, but the results were just fair. We switched to LabNaturals PCR and it has made a world of difference! He no longer anxiously follows us from room to room or paces around our home, we've been able to trim his nails, and he is overall a more relaxed and happy dog.

What I appreciate most is that he does not seem "sedated," his fun and sweet personality still shines through. Using LabNaturals' product has allowed us to get Hardy's anxiety level diminished to the point of being able to start working on the behavioral modification techniques needed to treat the root of his anxious processes."

– C.F.

References:

1. Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708–1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909