Posts tagged with "Medicine"

Reducing Side Effects from Cannabis with a Smartphone App

Have you ever experienced side effects from cannabis? Common cannabis side effects include paranoia, dizziness, red eyes, cottonmouth, and more. In this article, we will discuss side effects from cannabis and explore how you can use the Jointly app to mitigate or eliminate them.

Purposefully Consume Cannabis to Eliminate Side Effects

Weed is about more than getting high. For example, have you ever used cannabis to help you sleep at night? What about to stimulate your appetite?

The cannabis plant produces a variety of compounds that you can help you achieve your wellness goals. Whether you want to sleep better, eat more, replace other substances, melt into your couch at the end of a long day, or energize and uplift your mind, there is a cannabis product that is perfect for that goal. And the Jointly app can help you find it.

Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps people discover purposeful cannabis consumption so they can achieve their wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize your cannabis consumption so that you can enjoy your ideal experience every time.

To enjoy your ideal experience every time, you need to figure out how to eliminate or mitigate adverse side effects from cannabis.

How the Jointly App Improves Your Cannabis Experience

Have you ever noticed that the same cannabis product can produce different effects (or side effects) from one day to the next? Or that a weed strain that consistently stimulates your mind has a sedating effect on your friend? How is it possible that the same product has such varied effects?

Cannabis experts believe that there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These factors include your dose, your hydration level, how much sleep you got the night before, whether you are alone or with friends, whether you are using cannabis in the morning or at night, and more.

When you track your cannabis consumption on the Jointly app, you can report on these 15 factors to determine how each factor impacts your experience. Over time, the Jointly app will use your reports to make suggestions that will help you get more consistent results and eliminate adverse side effects from cannabis.

Common Side Effects of Weed

Marijuana side effects include:

Click for a deep dive into each side effect, the science of what causes this side effect, and special tips on how to eliminate it or mitigate it.

How Does the Jointly App Help You Eliminate Marijuana Side Effects?

Cannabis can help you sleep better, eat more, relax after a long day at work, stimulate and uplift your mind, enhance your creativity and focus, and reduce mild daily stress. Purposeful cannabis consumption is a highly effective wellness tool that can help people improve their health and wellbeing.

However, some people might experience adverse side effects when using cannabis to achieve their wellness goals. The Jointly app can help you mitigate these side effects by teaching you how to turn the dials on the 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience.

For example, perhaps you will notice that when you consume cannabis after a night of poor sleep, you are more likely to experience anxiety and paranoia from weed. Or you may find that when you exercise before, during, or after consuming cannabis, you don’t experience any disorientation or coordination issues from weed.

Does Smoking Weed Have Side Effects? Do Edibles Have Side Effects?

Most marijuana side effects are caused by THC. So, any cannabis product that contains THC may cause these side effects.

However, different weed ingestion methods have different pharmacokinetics, meaning that different ingestion methods can produce distinct effects and side effects, and even objective measures like levels of THC in the blood.

When you eat an edible, you digest it. As a result, the THC goes through first-pass metabolism in your liver, where it is converted into a more potent compound: 11-OH-THC. This metabolite has greater and longer-lasting psychoactive effects, which may cause you to experience greater or longer lasting side effects.

In short, different ingestion methods may produce different side effects, but any product with THC has the potential to cause adverse side effects for some individuals. You should choose the ingestion method that is best suited for your wellness goals.

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

While the side effects of CBD are much milder than marijuana side effects, there are still some potential side effects to watch out for. Some people have reported experiencing gastrointestinal distress, dry mouth, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue after using CBD.

How to Mitigate Side Effects from Cannabis

Here are some general suggestions on how to mitigate side effects from cannabis, and then we will explore some specific suggestions about how to fix cottonmouth.

Try a new product

Different cannabis products will contain different chemical compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes, which may exert distinct effects. Use Jointly’s Product Finder to discover new top-rated products.

Try a new ingestion method

Additionally, the way you ingest a product will change how it affects you. Smoking a joint of cannabis flower may produce slightly different effects from vaporizing it, although both ingestion methods involve heating cannabis and inhaling the active compounds.

Each ingestion method has its own advantages and may produce different effects or side effects. To learn how different weed ingestion methods produce different effects, read our article The Best Way to Take Cannabis for Wellness Purposes.

Add in a companion food

Did you know that weed companion foods can enhance your cannabis experience in different ways? Mangoes, dark chocolate, green tea, and thyme are all weed companion foods. Chemical compounds in these foods may alter your cannabis experience, and potentially mitigate adverse side effects like drowsiness.

To learn about these foods and how to add them into your cannabis wellness routine, check out our article Do These Foods Get You Higher?

Find your minimum effective dose

Most adverse side effects from cannabis are caused by ingesting too high of a dose of THC. While you cannot die from ingesting too much cannabis, a THC overdose is a real risk. The single most effective way to mitigate side effects is to microdose and titrate up your dose until you find the minimum effective dose of cannabis to get the effect you want.

Turn the dials on 15 factors

According to cannabis experts, there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience and play a major role in whether a cannabis product is giving you the feeling you want, or producing adverse side effects like cottonmouth. These 15 factors include your dose, the time of day you ingest, how much sleep you got the night before, and more.

The Jointly app lets you to track the 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. As you optimize how you consume cannabis, your favorite cannabis products will perform better for you.

Get Started on Your Cannabis Wellness Journey

Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps people discover purposeful cannabis consumption so they can achieve their wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize your cannabis consumption so that you can enjoy your ideal experience every time.

Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey today.

 

 

 

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Dr. Ahron Friedberg – Through a Screen Darkly

Through A Screen Darkly Details Pandemic Mental Health Struggles

Dr. Ahron Friedberg’s Book Offers Context on CDC & KFF Data 

In his latest book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, New York City psychiatrist Dr. Ahron Friedberg portrays a range of individuals dealing with mental health issues related to the pandemic, providing context for these harrowing recent statistics:

The average share of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depression almost quadrupled from January 2019 to June 2021

  • 36% of adults report difficulty sleeping, 32% cited eating problems, and 12% reported increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Communities of color and essential workers are suffering disproportionately
  • Young adults, more likely to lose jobs and / or be in lockdowns, are also suffering disproportionately
  • Suspected suicide attempts have increased in teenagers, especially girls

Commenting on the statistics, Dr. Friedberg stated: Stress has physical as well as mental consequences. It weakens the immune system and increases the incidence of major depression as well cardiac and pulmonary issues.

Friedberg continues: I coined the term Post-COVID Re-entry Syndrome to describe the stress that people suffer as they re-enter the workforce, reconnect with friends and family, and attempt to resume some semblance of a normal life.

To manage this anxiety, Dr. Friedberg recommends: 

  • Taking a walk outdoors
  • Connecting with friends and family – safely
  • Self- Reflection

If symptoms become severe, he recommends consulting a trained mental health professional. Primary care physicians and clergy can also provide resource and emotional support.

The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience, states Dr. Friedberg. In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.

Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg wrote Psychotherapy and Personal Change: Two Minds in a Mirror with Dr. Sandra Sherman. With Dr. Jack Hirschowitz, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, he wrote Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading. With his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, he wrote Between Us, A Father and Son Speak. 

Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

ABOUT DR. AHRON FRIEDBERG: 

Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the Symposium, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.

Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychoanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

For more information on Dr. Ahron Friedberg, visit his site.

illustration for use by 360 Magazine

ROSELAND COMMUNITY HOSPITAL SERVES CHICAGO’S SOUTH SIDE

With a rich and storied history in the Greater Roseland Area, Roseland Community Hospital demonstrates a stellar example of a community hospital that is both owned and operated by the people that it serves  

Since opening in 1924, the Roseland Community Hospital, or RCH for short, has been offering comprehensive healthcare services to residents of Chicago’s far South Side neighborhoods, including outpatient services, a well-known Obstetrics Unit, behavioral health services, and most recently plays host to a COVID-19 clinic. The Hospital, which is located in the Greater Roseland Area at 45 W. 111th St., is open 24-hours, and strives to satisfy the community and offer quality resources to each individual, a mission it has maintained since its inception. At the forefront, professional caregivers provide valuable services to patient’s recovery and overall wellness. Throughout the myriad of social, economic and political changes that have dramatically affected the neighborhoods, the Hospital has maintained a strategic focus to help those they serve. Throughout the calendar year, the team at the Roseland Hospital has created special programming as a way to give back to its surrounding community, with various activations scheduled including a Back to School celebration, an annual coat drive, a Giving Tuesday and Toy Drive initiative and much more.

“Our vision has been, and continues to be, to develop quality hospital programs and services that enable our community residents to grow and live healthy lifestyles,” said Tim Egan, President and CEO of the Roseland Community Hospital. “We see ourselves as a major lifeline to many in the surrounding communities, and will continue to strive and satisfy this community we call home.”

Due to the rich history in the Greater Roseland Area, the neighborhood surrounding the hospital has continually evolved beginning with a Dutch settlement in 1840. Since then, most importantly, “The Great Migration” played a major role in immigrants and thousands of African Americans pouring into the community in search of employment opportunities. Today, African Americans comprise of ninety-nine percent of Roseland Community Hospital’s patients; and seventy-five percent of RCH’s administrators, doctors, nurses and staff. Increasingly, the community has also been seeing a rising percentage of Latino residents to the area.

The Hospital provides a wide range of services including an Obstetrics Unit, Behavioral Health Services, a Medical Stabilization Unit, Outpatient Services, a Mobile Dental Clinic, a COVID-19 Clinic and a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Roseland Community Hospital has experienced the privilege of providing healthcare services for the people who currently call Roseland their home.

To learn more about Roseland Community Hospital and all the services they have to offer, please click HERE.

Mariah Pearson via Trice Browning for use by 360 Magazine

Interview with Mariah Pearson

By: Skyler Johnson

On July 5th, 2021, the Revlon Creme of Nature “Legacy to Leadership” scholarship inaugural winners were announced. The scholarship was meant to provide funding to students attending HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities. I had the privilege of interviewing one of the students who received the scholarship: Mariah Pearson, who’s currently attending North Carolina A&T State University

How important is it for you to attend an HBCU?

It was personally extremely important for me because I feel as though a lot of times, in society, people of color, don’t exactly get the opportunities as other people would and I feel that at my HBCU and at other HBCUs across the country were given those opportunities. We’re given resources to better navigate, better operate in the real world… in corporate America and professional settings. It also provided me with a community of people who have similar backgrounds as me and similar interests as me. It’s awesome to go to one. 

What is your favorite thing about college thus far?

So far my favorite thing about college would probably be the environment, the way my school feels like a family, and how you can meet new people and it doesn’t feel awkward to introduce yourself. [Talking to a stranger at school] kind of feels like you’re talking to someone you’ve known forever. That’s probably my favorite part, just feeling like I’m at home when I’m not at home. 

Briefly, can you go over what you expect to gain out of college? 

Of course to get a degree. And learn how to operate in professional settings, but also just for personal development. I feel that going to college has opened a bunch of doors and there’s a bunch of opportunities for new experiences that you might not get if you don’t go to college. Knowing who I am and what I like, who I want to be, how I want to grow, the direction I want to grow in. I definitely feel that college helps you figure that out really quickly. 

What’re the most important lessons you’ve learned thus far?

There’s a couple. One of them is definitely: always be on your Ps and Qs, because somebody’s always watching, and you don’t know who’s watching or when, but… somebody’s always seeing you. That’s one of them. Another one is always try and surround yourself with people who you want to see yourself as. You can’t become a winner if you’re not in a group of winners. You can’t be a leader if you’re not in a group of leaders. So it’s important that you surround yourself with people who feed into you positively and of course hold you to a standard that you would hold yourself to. I think those are the main lessons that I’ve learned so far, and I’m sure there are plenty more to come. 

What made you want to get into health care?

So I’m going into physical therapy, and when I was first trying to figure out where I was going to go to school and what I was going to go for I… [didn’t] really know… But as an athlete, who had to experience going through physical therapy, I was like, “I kinda like sports, I kinda like helping people, so let’s find a way to mix the two.” And physical therapy is what came up… I later began to grow a love for it through learning how the healthcare system operates, and of course how it treats different people. Because I personally know that being a black woman I’m going to experience a different type of healthcare than anyone else would. Especially since I had family [members] who had gone through physical therapy and had different medical procedures done and they felt that they hadn’t been treated the way they should’ve been, or wanted, to be treated. [Which is why] one of my goals as a health care professional in the future would definitely be to make people feel more comfortable and cared for and appreciated as a patient.

Do you expect to change the world? 

Yes, I do. In some way, shape, or form I will [change the world], because another one of my goals as a physical therapist is to establish a [holistic] health care system. [I would not just] tap into the physical but also into the mental state, [asking] how [a patient’s] feeling, [if they were] eating, [if they were] exercising. I’m going to establish a facility where I take care of the whole person and not just say, “oh you’re sick, here’s some medicine.” Personally I’m not a big fan of medication which is why I chose physical therapy, because you’re essentially healing your own body by yourself. There’s no needles, there’s no medicine. It’s purely you moving your body and [exploring] how movement can essentially create a better lifestyle for you. 

How excited were you when you received the Revlon HBCU scholarship?

I cried, when I found out, I was so… thankful to Creme of Nature for this scholarship. It’s something that I definitely needed at the time. When I went through the process of figuring out what scholarship I was gonna apply for, and what bubble I fit in, with the scholarship world, they popped up and I [was] like, “this is perfect, this is awesome,” because I [could] make a video explaining who I [was] and what I [wanted] to do and what I [was] passionate about… It [was] purely me telling them about how I really feel about where I want to be in life, and my profession… so it was incredible. I cried. I called my mom. I called everybody.

Art by Maria Solomon for use by 360 Magazine

Traveling in a time of COVID – How Parnell Pharmaceuticals nasal spray can help protect travelers 

Traveling in a time of COVID – How Parnell Pharmaceuticals nasal spray can help protect travelers. 

As many are starting to venture out on vacations and air travel the must have items to take include hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes but recent research has shown that nasal sprays can help protect against some viruses. Especially during this critical time when many are still hesitant to be vaccinated, consumers will look to products such as these to provide an extra layer of protection.

A successful ENT specialist and a board-certified dermatologist took their talents to develop, manufacture, and market prescription and OTC products that maintain and restore mucosal and skin integrity. These nasal sprays, mouth sprays and wipes are the must have products for consumers to arm themselves to combat viruses, bacteria and provide another layer of protection against COVID-19.

Dr. Francis Parnell, a practicing Otolaryngology-Head and Neck (ENT) Surgeon for over 30 years is Chairman and C.E.O. of Parnell Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical company he co-founded. In 1986 with his wife Dr. Diana Parnell. Diana Parnell is a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience and expertise in cosmetic and laser surgery as well as general dermatology and head of Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Institute, Kentfield, CA. Together the couple bring years of consumer health experience, treating patients and developing oral, nasal and personal care products so that consumers could have options to protect themselves.

Parnell Pharmaceuticals announced the development of the topical nasal spray called Nomovid. Nomovid is based upon a substance licensed by Parnell from New Mexico Tech University to treat drug-resistant bacteria and fungi such as MRSA and Candida auris.

Our products provide an extra layer of antiseptic protection which is so helpful especially for those who travel frequently. Since it breaks down lipids in the viral envelope, we tested the nasal spray against the novel coronavirus, says Parnell. An independent, outside laboratory has confirmed our findings and found it to be greater than 99.7 % effective in vitro within five minutes against the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.

Parnell’s newest patented product, Mouth Kote-MD Mouth Spray, contains MycoDelens and Natural Yerba Santa and has been shown with in vitro laboratory testing to be an effective antiseptic against Antimicrobial Resistant (AMR) pathogens including bacteria, fungi, and coronaviruses such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Mouth Kote-MD is an excellent pre-rinse before dental exams to help prevent COVID-19 and, in addition, it helps dry mouth and restores enamel. It has also been shown to be effective as well against Streptococcus mutans, a major cause of dental caries (cavities) and Candida albicans (yeast).

For the convenience of travel, individually packaged DermSol-MD® Antiseptic Face & Body wipes were developed specifically for topically decontaminating dangerous viruses like Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Antimicrobial Resistant (AMR) bacteria like MRSA. They moisturize the skin and contain natural Yerba santa. Unlike standard wipes and sanitizers, DermSol-MD® is free from alcohol, biocides, and other toxic chemicals and it does not cause skin irritation and destroy skin cells.  Conveniently packaged and individually wrapped they are perfect for on the go.

For more information about the product please visit  Parnell’s website.

In addition, as viral infections tend to start in the nasal passages, keeping the nose healthy can protect against colds, flu and respiratory issues. Parnell offers the following travel tips:

  1. Especially during this challenging time….if required, always wear your mask to cover your nose and mouth. As airplane and summer travel season picks up, have a travel kit ready before you board or head out on an adventure – extra masks, sanitizing wipes and nasal spray
  2. Keep nasal passages moist – Parnell’s Pretz-MD/Nomovid Saline Nasal Spray adds an extra layer of protection even if you are vaccinated
  3. Drink water, stay hydrated – always so important when it comes to cold/flu season. Fluids can help avoid dehydration especially with air travel.
  4. Many medications (e.g. decongestants) can contribute to nasal dryness.
  5. Humidifiers are great in the home to keep the air moist and nasal passages healthy  There are some travel sized ones that are perfect to take along with you on your trip.

Parnell Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a closely held, private pharmaceutical company founded in 1986 and headquartered in San Rafael, California with an office in Dublin, Ireland. The company develops, manufactures, and markets prescription and OTC drug products that maintain and restore mucosal and skin integrity. The products are natural-based and patented for oral and nasal care, personal care, and anti-infective use. Parnell products are marketed and distributed in North America and Europe. For more information, visit their website.

Mouth kote courtesy of AMS Communications for use by 360 Magazine
Courtesy of AMS Communications for use by 360 Magazine
CBD Health illustration for 360 Magazine

Best CBD Oil Companies

Top Brands to Try in 2021

CBD oil is currently the go-to alternative for people dealing with physical and mental health issues. The organic compound that’s found in the cannabis plant helps to effectively promote wellness. It works naturally with the endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis. Due to its versatility, companies use CBD to make a wide range of products, including CBD oil. In this review guide, we analyze the best CBD oil brands in the market currently.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is the second most prevalent compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s an essential component of the formulation of medical marijuana since it has a wide range of medicinal properties.

CBD oil is usually made after extracting the cannabidiol compound from the cannabis plant. The extract is then diluted with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil, to create CBD oil.  The use of CBD oil is quickly gaining more momentum in the health and wellness sector thanks to its many health benefits.

Its flexible nature means that you can find it in several variations. So, in the next section, we look at the main types of CBD oil.

Top 5 CBD Oil Brands:

How The CBD Oil Brands Made It To The List

As a buyer, you should always exercise caution when buying CBD oil online. This is because while there are many brands that give you lots of options, the quality of the products isn’t the same. There are some brands that are only interested in making coins without catering to the needs of the consumers.

To come up with our top five picks of the best CBD oil brands, we did comprehensive research. The specific parameters and criteria we implemented will give you the clarity that you need in order to make the correct purchasing decisions. They include:

  • The source of the hemp plant
  • The method of extraction
  • Potency and flavors
  • Independent third-party lab tests
  • Price
  • Brand reputation

The Source of the Hemp Plant

The source of the hemp extract is important because hemp plants are bio accumulators. They normally absorb the elements found in its surroundings.  Hemp that comes from farms that use pesticides and other toxic chemicals are usually contaminated.

The best sources of hemp are from brands that use organic sources. The best thing about domestically sourced hemp plants is that most industrial hemp farmers usually follow the required laws and standards. So, you are guaranteed product safety in the end.

The Method of Extraction

There are several modes of extracting CBD hemp oil from the plant extract. However, not all of them are effective. Most brands that want to save on production costs normally use cheap solvent extraction techniques. However, the end product is usually contaminated and of low quality.

The best CBD oil products come from brands that use theCO2 extraction method. This is now what is considered as the industry standard because it’s effective, safe, and clean.

Type of CBD Oil

All types of CBD oils are usually extracted using the same method. However, the filtration process is what determines the contents of the end product. The best brands on the market mainly offer these three types of CBD oil products:

  • Full-spectrum: it contains CBD, terpenes, trace THC content, phytonutrients, and other health-boosting cannabinoids. However, the THC content is usually less than 0.3%.
  • Broad-spectrum: it’s pretty similar to full-spectrum CBD and its compounds except that it doesn’t contain any trace amount of THC.
  • CBD isolate: it’s an isolated CBD product that contains over 99% CBD content.

Potency and Flavors

Different medical conditions require different types of CBD oil strength. For instance, a mild everyday condition, such as a muscle sprain, will need a low concentrated CBD. On the other hand, chronic and severe medical conditions–such as arthritis–will require a CBD oil product with a higher concentration.

The best brands usually offer multiple potency options for the customers to choose from. Besides that, they also offer several flavor options to cater to different individual taste preferences.

Independent Third Party Lab Tests

With the medical cannabis industry being widely unregulated, it’s upon the manufacturer to ensure that they are selling quality products to consumers.

Reviewed brands usually subject all their product batches to independent third-party lab tests. You can find the relevant information from the certificate of analysis about the products’ purity, quality, and potency.

Price

While you might think that expensive is usually the best, cheaper can always be good as well. The best CBD brands in the market usually customize their prices to offer value for money. They are affordable products but ultimately, you will get what you pay for in the end.

The Brand’s Reputation

There are many brands that continue to market themselves as the best in the market. However, this isn’t truly the case. We did a comprehensive analysis to determine our reviewed brands’ legitimacy.

These brands are highly transparent about what they offer, including their source of hemp plants and the mode of extraction. Besides that, they have verifiable contacts, active websites, and physical addresses. Customer reviews also indicate that they sell high quality and effective products.

5 Best CBD Oil Brands of 2021

Picking the best CBD oil in the market isn’t an easy process, especially with the broad range of options. However, we have simplified the whole process for you. Here is a review of the top 5 CBD oil brands with quality products.

#1 Fab CBD Oil – Best Effective & High Quality

What makes Fab CBD Oil stand out is its effectiveness and taste. Consumer reviews show that Fab CBD is one of the best CBD brands with quality products.  You can rely on their premium, plant-based CBD product’s lasting health benefits.

Their pure oil drops are simply great additions to any wellness routine. According to the manufacturer, the award-winning selection of CBD oil comes in different flavors and they include:

  • Mint
  • Citrus
  • Berry
  • Vanilla
  • Natural

For safety and effectiveness, this company uses organic and domestic plant products to make its CBD hemp oil for sale. Made with full-spectrum CBD, this blend helps to support your body against normal, everyday stress. This includes aiding a healthy post-workout recovery, pain, and inflammation. Fab CBD is listed as #1 best CBD oil brand for pain.  Also, their CBD oil can help with mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, and sleep.

Key Ingredients

  • Full-spectrum cannabinoid blend
  • Organically grown hemp extract
  • Terpenes
  • MCT
  • Flavoring from natural sources.

Pros

  • Ideal for a wide array of use
  • Organic and safe to use
  • Comes in five distinct flavors

Cons

  • FAB does not ship to the UK or Canada
  • No auto-ship or subscription options 

#2 Nuleaf Naturals – Most Potent

Nuleaf Natural’s CBD oil is made with high-quality natural hemp. It’s one of the best CBD oil products for managing mild to chronic discomfort. This is because it packs heavy amounts of the synergistic full-spectrum cannabinoids and terpenes.

The blend of high-potency formula effectively delivers around 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD per 1 ml. It’s also worth noting that this dose is consistent, regardless of the potency option you choose. This makes it easy to dose Nuleaf Natural’s CBD oil to align with your needs.

To cater to different types of pain levels, you can find Nuleaf Naturals CBD oil in potencies ranging between 300 mg and 6,000 mg bottles. Furthermore, organic hemp oil is free of toxins, flavorings, chemicals, and heavy metals.

This brand uses CO2 extraction for toxin and contaminant-free products. In addition to that, your safety is enhanced with the availability of the independent 3rd-party lab results that are normally conducted by ProVerde Laboratories.

Key Ingredients

  • Full-spectrum hemp extract and organic virgin hemp seed oil

Pros

  • High-quality CBD oil
  • The oil is made with just two ingredients
  • Ideal for all types of pain

Cons

  • There are no flavor options available
  • The CBD oil is quite expensive

#3 Medterra CBD – Best Value

For CBD oil lovers who want 100% THC-free products, Medterra is one of the few brands that sell quality CBD isolates. There are some occupations where taking a CBD product with even trace amounts of THC may be a serious risk. But you no longer have to worry about thar Medterra’s CBD is THC-free.

You can rely on the effectiveness of these products by using them for your daily wellness regimen. Medterra usually derives these products from domestically sourced Kentucky hemp. It then extracts almost 99% of pure CBD extract to make products for consumers.

You can find this CBD oil in concentrations of 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 3000 mg. According to the manufacturer, this CBD oil is not only safe and affordable, but also is easy to use. You can enjoy each serving sublingually, day or night.

Key Ingredients

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Coconut-derived MCT oil

Pros

  • Safe, organic CBD products
  • THC-free
  • Third-party tested

Con

  • The brand doesn’t offer whole-plant extract options

#4 CBDPure – Best Guarantees

CBDPure has been gaining a massive following on social platforms due to its effectiveness in promoting overall wellness. Apart from the flavor options, you get to experience a significant boost to your immune functions.

CBDPure is a proud member of the Hemp Industries Association. They offer the purest full-spectrum CBD extract oil. You can pick varieties of strength for promoting sleep aid, treating pain, and lessening discomfort. CBDPure uses a blend of organic ingredients that helps to promote overall wellness.

You can find these high-quality CBD oils in concentrations of 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1000 mg. To maintain high product purity, CBDPure commonly uses CO2 extraction. The brand doesn’t also use artificial flavorings.

The fan-favorite CBD oil can be found at affordable prices, with prices as low as $29.99 for a 300 mg CBD oil product. If you are a hardcore CBD oil fan, you can consistently incorporate this organic CBD into your wellness regimen.

Key Ingredients

Full-spectrum CBD oil extract & Less than 0.3% THC. Other carrier oils were not specified.

Pros

  • Pure CBD with quality results
  • Doesn’t contain artificial flavors
  • Provides lasting results

Con

  • Lacks flavor

#5 Joy Organics – Most Versatile

Joy Organics is known to sell the best CBD oil in a wide range of options. Joy Organics has capitalized effectively on versatility, and that’s why its CBD oil products stand out from the crowd. You can find its CBD oil in the form of broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD.

These quality CBD oil products are available in standard potency and high potency. You can make your product selection options by choosing from concentrations such as 450 mg, 900 mg, 1350 mg and 2250 mg.

These CBD oil products contain a natural blend of Phyto cannabinoid-rich hemp extract with some notes of specific essential oils. This natural blend makes Joy Organic’s CBD ideal for treating a broad range of conditions. This is why Joy Organics has the best CBD drops for anxiety, pain, stress, and sleep problems. They are listed on Westword as one of the best CBD oil brands for anxiety.

To cater to different user preferences, you can find Joy Organics CBD oil in these flavors:

  • Fresh Lime
  • Tranquil Mint
  • Orange Bliss
  • Summer Lemon
  • Unflavored

It’s worth noting that this is one of the best CBD oil brands that emphasize product quality and effectiveness. Joy Organics normally uses Ethanol extraction to ensure that consumers end up with quality and safe CBD products. Additionally, each product batch is usually subjected to independent third-party testing. You can conveniently find the lab reports directly on the manufacturer’s website.

Key Ingredients

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil: organic coconut MCT oil, full-spectrum hemp extract, and natural flavors
  • CBD Broad Spectrums: Broad Spectrum CBD extract and fractionated essential oils

Pros

  • Quality and natural CBD oil products
  • Multiple product options to choose from
  • Perfect addition to any wellness regimen

Cons

  • The oil tends to leave a lingering taste in the mouth
  • The brand only ships its CBD products within the USA.

Types of CBD Oil and Which One is Actually The Best

The difference between isolate CBD, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum CBD simply depends on the type of chemical compounds found in each of the products.

CBD Isolate

It’s sometimes referred to as true CBD. CBD isolate contains only CBD (i.e. cannabidiol compound) and it’s commonly used to make vaping products. It doesn’t have cannabinoids, healthy fatty acids, or terpenes from the hemp plant.

Full-spectrum CBD

It contains CBD as well as THC, terpenes, fatty acids, and other cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD oil is also known as whole-plant or full-plant extract.  It’s ideal for treating a wide array of medical conditions since it is synergistic and produces the entourage effect.

Broad-spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD has all the hemp plant cannabinoids and chemicals that are found in full-spectrum CBD, except for THC content.  It also produces the beneficial entourage effect.

Determining the best CBD oil among the three isn’t easy since each comes with its own benefits.  In terms of strength, both full- and broad-spectrum CBD oils are quite strong and more effective as compared to CBD isolate. This could be due to the presence of additional cannabis compounds that produce the entourage effect.

Benefits of CBD Oil

CBD oil is proving to be the most ideal source of alternative medicine. Its organic nature, in addition to health properties, makes it effective in promoting good health. So, some of the benefits that you can gain by using such a product include:

How to Use CBD Oil

So, you have found the type of CBD oil that you need. But how are going to use it? You can use CBD oil products in two main ways:

  • Take it as a sublingual: this means that you place the oil drops under your tongue. Wait for a couple of minutes before spitting the oil. The CBD compound will be sublingually absorbed into the bloodstream. This technique normally provides faster effects.
  • Oral ingestion: you can consume the oil drops orally with food and drinks. Simply place the required amount of CBD oil content into the edible and then consume it. However, the effects normally take longer to kickstart. This is because the CBD compound has to undergo the process of digestion before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream.

The dosage of CBD oil you take depends on factors:

  • The severity of your medical condition
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Sex

Note: For safety purposes, it’s usually advisable that you start with a small amount of CBD oil. This is to give your body enough time to adjust to the introduction of CBD content into the body. Besides that, small doses are perfect for estimating the type of CBD oil dosage that suits you. Thereafter, you can increase the amount gradually to find out what works for you.

Can You Trust CBD Oils That Are Cheap?

Are cheap CBD oil products safe? Well, you should first understand that the medical cannabis market isn’t as regulated as other prescription medications. Generally, there isn’t a guarantee that the product you are buying is 100% safe.

It’s not a guarantee that expensive CBD products are the best. On the other hand, it’s not obvious that cheap CBD products are less potent. All you have to ensure is the quality of ingredients used. Ensure that the ingredients are safe and offer value for the money spent.

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil

There is already a wide array of CBD oil brands on the market. So, you need to be careful when choosing where to buy your CBD oil products. To ensure that you choose a product that suits your needs you can this website to check unbiased reviews on different CBD Brands. Here are some of the key factors to look out for when choosing a seller:

High-Quality Products

How do you know that a retailer has high-quality CBD products?  It mainly depends on the extraction method used, as well as the formula used to make the CBD oil. These factors determine the difference ranges between legitimate and fake retailers.

You will find that legitimate retailers have full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate CBD, or a combination of these products. The type of CBD will be well-labeled on the product package or container to avoid confusion.

THC-Free

While CBD is legal, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. The best CBD oil brands on the market normally produce THC-free products. This means that it can be full or broad-spectrum CBD oil, or simply CBD isolate.

Product Consistency

All legitimate brands normally produce the same, or improved, products consistently. Their formulations, as well as the amount of CBD in every product package, are usually almost the same. If you are interested in buying CBD oil online, look for a brand that has consistent formulations from one product batch to the next.

Variety of CBD Products

The variety can be in terms of CBD oil strengths, type of CBD, or flavors. We all have different taste preferences, as well as different needs. So, a good brand should offer you multiple alternatives to cater to your needs.

Logical Pricing

Due to the lack of regulations, it’s mostly up to the brand to come up with their own product pricing. This means that there may be a significant variation between similar products in terms of cost.

The best way to determine if you are getting value for your money is to look at the company’s product line (i.e. product weight and the cost). The product line should match the target audience’s needs.

The Company’s Policies

Choose a company that fits your standards. The best CBD oil brands on the market manufacture and sell organic products. Besides that, the use environmentally friendly packaging is one of the biggest policy indicators of a brand that aligns with current world needs.

Great Customer Care

As much as a high-quality product is important, service delivery is also critical. Retailers who don’t take their services seriously are most likely selling cheap or contaminated products.

A high-quality brand should have a well-structured communication system. This provides customers with the perfect way to make inquiries or post complaints.

Mistakes, mishaps, and delays are always going to happen due to unprecedented events. However, how a brand handles mistakes is what sets them apart and shows a true commitment to their customers. Customer support systems may include FAQs as well as product brochures that ensure you are familiar with what you’re purchasing.

Where to Buy CBD Oil?

The CBD market is growing at a rapid rate. That’s why you can now find CBD almost anywhere. New brands are constantly coming up and the existing ones are trying to competitively stand out. So, where is the best place to buy CBD oil?

Well, you can buy CBD oil online or in brick-and-mortar stores. However, due to the lack of regulations and a specific governing body, lots of products found in the market are of low quality due to contamination or inadequate CBD content.

To buy CBD oil, you have to do your own research and identify reputable brands, like the ones in this article review. Besides that, customers should always place your order directly from the manufacturer’s website.

The Legality of CBD

The sudden popularity of CBD oil’s use has taken years of legal campaigns to push for the legality of cannabis-based products. So, is CBD legal in America, and can you legally use it in your state?

Well, after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, it became legal for companies to produce and sell hemp and its extracts. It’s worth noting that CBD products from industrial hemp that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal federally.

Anything that contains more than 0.3% THC is classified as a schedule 1 drug since it contains psychoactive content. You should understand that different states have different cannabis rules. So, before you consider buying and using CBD, make sure that you understand your state’s laws.

There is no doubt that we are making significant strides regarding the legality of CBD and hemp products. But currently, there is only one CBD-based product that has been approved for use clinically. Epidiolex is a CBD drug for seizures that can be administered as a prescription drug.

The Bottom Line

CBD oil can help to treat a wide range of conditions. It’s ideal for promoting physical wellness and aiding mental health. CBD Oil is normally used in many forms, but oral intake is one of the most common techniques.

The above-reviewed CBD oil brands are among the best on the market. They consistently produce high-quality CBD oil in different flavors and concentrations. Besides that, these brands normally source from organic hemp plants. As such, you can depend on these brands for safe and vegan-friendly CBD oil. However, make sure that you exercise caution. Speak to your doctor first before using CBD medical oil.

Marijuana illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cultural history of marijuana 

One of the most controversial and talked about topics over the course of recent human history has been marijuana and its consumption. It has been the topic of debate for a number of years now as it was always considered a drug that could be potentially dangerous to a person’s health, much like any chemical drug might do. 

All of this controversy led to the recreational use of marijuana being banned practically worldwide, and the medicinal use only available to those who were absolutely desperate for it. Today, many states in America have legalised both just the medicinal use and even the recreational use as well, making the market grow insanely and be massively successful. This has led to exciting new inventions for those with an interest in the marijuana culture, like vaporizers, electric grinders, or even electric dab rigs. While people may know these basic facts, they might not know the actual cultural history that comes surrounding marijuana, so if you want to learn more, here is some information about the cultural history of marijuana. 

Ancient times

Marijuana, also known as weed, cannabis, or pot, has an incredibly long history that could consider it to be an ancient drug. Most countries and cultures didn’t intend to grow the plant and make use of it in order to feel a high, but rather for medicinal purposes. It is said that it was most likely to have been discovered somewhere in Asia all the way around 500 BC. 

Earlier hemp plants are known to be native to Asia and are slightly different to the cannabis plants that we make use of today that have been specially grown with different strains to feel different and more intense highs. Typically, beyond its medicinal use, hemp fibre was used to make paper, clothes, and ropes and even provide food from the seeds. 

It has also been seen to have been used ceremonially with the graves of shamans in both Siberia and china having burned cannabis seeds in them, dating all the way back to 500BC

The 19th century

Moving forward with technology and research, in the early 1800s an Irish doctor who was studding in India discovered that marijuana extracts would help people with severe stomach pain and nausea who were likely suffering from cholera. Throughout the 1800s these extracts were sold by doctors and pharmacies all over Europe and the USA as treatment but there were problems that had been noticed. 

Through further research is was discovered that the source of the problems was THC, a chemical compound within the marijuana plant that has psychoactive properties. Before this discovery, marijuana was considered a miracle plant that as curing people of all sorts of ailments. 

The 20th century

Moving in to the 20th century, this is when things started going downhill for the marijuana industry with the Marijuana tax Act being imposed in 1937 as a way to heavily tax those who sell, are in possession, or use marijuana and ultimately ban the product. Later on in the 1900s there was a big stigma placed around the use of marijuana classifying it as a drug in the same category as that of heroine, LSD, and cocaine, all of which are chemical that can be harmful to the body. 

With every single part of the marijuana plant now being illegal, some people lost their means of natural medication and had to go through a lengthy process and fight in order to get the right to at least have marijuana for medicinal purposes. To this day, some places will still only allow people to buy marijuana from dedicated dispensaries and only if they have a medical marijuana card allowing them to do so. 

2021

2021 has seen the insane growth of the marijuana market practically worldwide. Today, there are states all over the US and countries around the world that have started to legalise the recreational use of marijuana. Now, because we are living in a time where technology is ever evolving and research is more easily done than ever, there are so many new and innovative ways to consume marijuana and so many different accessories available on the market for cannabis lovers to make use of and try out. 

There are many different methods of delivery from oral, to inhalation, to even topical. With all this, there are more and more health benefits being discovered almost daily making marijuana a great alternative to modern medicine and for those who would rather be using something more natural. 

Green covid by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Tuberculosis Bacteria Paradox

TB-causing bacteria remember prior stress, react quickly to new stress

Tuberculosis bacteria have evolved to remember stressful encounters and react quickly to future stress, according to a study by computational bioengineers at Rice University and infectious disease experts at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS).

Published online in the open-access journal mSystems, the research identifies a genetic mechanism that allows the TB-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to respond to stress rapidly and in manner that is “history-dependent,” said corresponding author Oleg Igoshin, a professor of bioengineering at Rice.

Researchers have long suspected that the ability of TB bacteria to remain dormant, sometimes for decades, stems from their ability to behave based upon past experience.

Latent TB is an enormous global problem. While TB kills about 1.5 million people each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 2-3 billion people are infected with a dormant form of the TB bacterium.

“There’s some sort of peace treaty between the immune system and bacteria,” Igoshin said. “The bacteria don’t grow, and the immune system doesn’t kill them. But if people get immunocompromised due to malnutrition or AIDS, the bacteria can be reactivated.”

One of the most likely candidates for a genetic switch that can toggle TB bacteria into a dormant state is a regulatory network that is activated by the stress caused by immune cell attacks. The network responds by activating several dozen genes the bacteria use to survive the stress. Based on a Rice computational model, Igoshin and his longtime Rutgers NJMS collaborator Maria Laura Gennaro and colleagues predicted just such a switch in 2010. According to the theory, the switch contained an ultrasensitive control mechanism that worked in combination with multiple feedback loops to allow hysteresis, or history-dependent behavior.

“The idea is that if we expose cells to intermediate values of stress, starting from their happy state, they don’t have that much of a response,” Igoshin explained. “But if you stress them enough to stop their growth, and then reduce the stress level back to an intermediate level, they remain stressed. And even if you fully remove the stress, the gene expression pathway stays active, maintaining a base level of activity in case the stress comes back.”

In later experiments, Gennaro’s team found no evidence of the predicted control mechanism in Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close relative of the TB bacterium. Since both organisms use the same regulatory network, it looked like the prediction was wrong. Finding out why took years of follow-up studies. Gennaro and Igoshin’s teams found that the TB bacterium, unlike their noninfectious cousins, had the hysteresis control mechanism, but it didn’t behave as expected.

“Hysteretic switches are known to be very slow, and this wasn’t,” Igoshin said. “There was hysteresis, a history-dependent response, to intermediate levels of stress. But when stress went from low to high or from high to low, the response was relatively fast. For this paper, we were trying to understand these somewhat contradictory results. ”

Igoshin and study co-author Satyajit Rao, a Rice doctoral student who graduated last year, revisited the 2010 model and considered how it might be modified to explain the paradox. Studies within the past decade had found a protein called DnaK played a role in activating the stress-response network. Based on what was known about DnaK, Igoshin and Rao added it to their model of the dormant-active switch.

“We didn’t discover it, but we proposed a particular mechanism for it that could explain the rapid, history-dependent switching we’d observed,” Igoshin said. “What happens is, when cells are stressed, their membranes get damaged, and they start accumulating unfolded proteins. Those unfolded proteins start competing for DnaK.”

DnaK was known to play the role of chaperone in helping rid cells of unfolded proteins, but it plays an additional role in the stress-response network by keeping its sensor protein in an inactive state.

“When there are too many unfolded proteins, DnaK has to let go of the sensor protein, which is an activation input for our network,” Igoshin said. “So once there are enough unfolded proteins to ‘distract’ DnaK, the organism responds to the stress.”

Gennaro and co-author Pratik Datta conducted experiments at NJMS to confirm DnaK behaved as predicted. But Igoshin said it is not clear how the findings might impact TB treatment or control strategies. For example, the switch responds to short-term biochemical changes inside the cell, and it’s unclear what connection, if any, it may have with long-term behaviors like TB latency, he said.

“The immediate first step is to really try and see whether this hysteresis is important during the infection,” Igoshin said. “Is it just a peculiar thing we see in our experiments, or is it really important for patient outcomes? Given that it is not seen in the noninfectious cousin of the TB bacterium, it is tempting to speculate it is related to survival inside the host.”

Gennaro is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Igoshin is a senior investigator at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.

The research was supported by the Welch Foundation (C-1995) and the National Institutes of Health (GM096189, AI122309, AI104615, HL149450).

Frontliners by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

AHCA/NCAL Urges Guidance from CDC

In a letter addressed to Rochelle P. Walensky, the Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is requesting further guidance, data-sharing, and urgency into researching the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination, especially in regard to the elderly population. The AHCA/NCAL, represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year.


The AHCA/NCAL reports: “need for urgency on this matter is painfully evident. For nearly a year, long term care residents have been unable to visit with their loved ones in-person or participate in enriching social activities. Despite our staff’s heroic efforts to keep residents engaged and fill the void of family members, we are deeply concerned that the prolonged isolation of our residents is impacting their health and wellbeing. Prioritizing research on the vaccines’ effectiveness among our population would help ensure these facilities can swiftly and safely reopen, improving the lives of our vulnerable seniors.”

While earlier guidance from the CDC urged nursing homes to restrict group activities and visitors, the vaccination has now been administered millions of nursing home residents. As a result of this, the AHCA/NCAL hopes to see changes in the guidance previously administered by the CDC in order to improve the quality of life for their residents under these new conditions.

To achieve this goal, the NHCA/NCAL is asking for CDC’s support to rapidly evaluate the vaccines’ effectiveness among the long term care population in both preventing spread and in reducing morbidity and mortality. The NHCA reports that the organization understands that clinical trials only evaluated the effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease and severe illness, and participants did not include long term care residents. Therefore, they are requesting further study regarding the vaccines’ impact on transmission and the elderly population before revising guidance to long term care settings. The NHCA/NCAL asks that the CDC expedite this evaluation of the vaccines in order to bring clarity to states, providers, residents and family members as soon as possible.

Fortunately, preliminary analysis by AHCA/NCAL reports that the vaccines may be as effective as hoped. Their research division, the Center for Health Policy Evaluation in Long Term Care (CHPE), found that COVID-19 cases decreased at a faster rate among nursing homes that had completed their first vaccine clinic, compared to nearby nursing homes that had not yet administered the vaccine. More specifically, the CHPE analysis reports:

  • Vaccinated nursing homes experienced a 48% decline in new resident cases three weeks after the first clinic, compared to a 21% decline among non-vaccinated nursing homes located in the same county.
  • Similarly, new staff cases declined by 33% in vaccinated nursing homes compared to 18% in non-vaccinated facilities.

While encouraging, further study is needed to determine if these trends will continue in subsequent clinics or after the second dose of the vaccine. The AHCA/NCAL requests that data and funding be made available to the research community to expedite this ongoing analysis. Both organizations are willing to assist the CDC in this effort through facilitating data sharing between providers and researchers, as well as connecting with experts from the public and private sector to assist with data waiting to be evaluated.

As the CDC has taken great effort to administer residents and staff their second dose of the vaccine, many states have started planning reopening strategies. The AHCA/NCAL reports on the reopenings: “State governments play a vital role in contributing to the protection of our residents and staff during this time. However, in this situation, we believe that cohesion is needed to ensure effective outcomes. Without guidance from the federal government, states may create confusing or inconsistent practices.”

In hope of creating consistent practices surrounding reopening, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living is requesting that the CDC reiterate their most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19 safety practices. Since the effectiveness of the vaccine isn’t fully determined, the AHCA/NCAL emphasizes the importance of clear communication with stakeholders to make sure that everyone understands the stressed importance and vigilance of vaccination efforts.

Dentistry illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Cold Sore Flareup Triggers

Virus Highjacks Important Immune Response, UVA Discovery Reveals

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have shed light on what causes herpes simplex virus to flare up, explaining how stress, illness and even sunburn can trigger unwanted outbreaks.

The discovery could lead to new ways to prevent cold sores and recurrent herpes-related eye disease from reoccurring, the researchers report.

“Herpes simplex recurrence has long been associated with stress, fever and sunburn,” said researcher Anna R. Cliffe, PhD, of UVA’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. “This study sheds light on how all these triggers can lead to herpes simplex-associated disease.”

About Herpes Simplex Recurrence

Once you’re infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) – and more half of Americans are – the virus never really goes away. Instead, it lurks inside neurons, waiting for the right moment to strike again, a process known as reactivation.

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are one of the most common symptoms of HSV reactivation. Recurrent reactivation in the eye leads to herpes keratitis, which, if left untreated, can result in blindness. HSV infection has also been linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recurrences of HSV are typically associated with stress, illness or sunburn, but doctors have been uncertain exactly what causes the virus to reactivate. Cliffe and her collaborators found that when neurons harboring the virus were exposed to stimuli that induce “neuronal hyperexcitation,” the virus senses this particular change and seizes its opportunity to reactivate.

Working in a model developed by the Cliffe lab using mouse neurons infected with HSV, the researchers determined that the virus highjacks an important immune response within the body. In response to prolonged periods of inflammation or stress, the immune system releases a particular cytokine, Interleukin 1 beta. This cytokine is also present in epithelial cells in the skin and eye and is released when these cells are damaged by ultraviolet light.

Interleukin 1 beta then increases the excitability in the affected neurons, setting the stage for HSV to flare up, the UVA researchers discovered.

“It is really remarkable that the virus has hijacked this pathway that is part of our body’s immune response,” Cliffe said. “it highlights how some viruses have evolved to take advantage of what should be part of our infection-fighting machinery.”

The scientists say that more research will need to be done to fully understand the potential factors which play into herpes simplex disease. It may vary depending on the virus strain or the type of neuron infected, even. And it is still unknown if the virus alters how neurons respond to cytokines such as Interleukin 1 beta. But the new insights help doctors better understand what is happening in neurons and the immune system, and that could lead to ways to prevent unwanted outbreaks, the researchers hope.

“A better understanding of what causes HSV to reactivate in response to a stimulus is needed to develop novel therapeutics,” Cliffe said. “Ultimately, what we hope to do is target the latent virus itself and make it unresponsive to stimuli such as Interleukin 1 beta.”

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal eLife. The research team consisted of Sean R. Cuddy, Austin R. Schinlever, Sara Dochnal, Philip V. Seegren, Jon Suzich, Parijat Kundu, Taylor K. Downs, Mina Farah, Bimal N. Desai, Chris Boutell and Cliffe.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke, grant R01NS105630; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, grant T32AI007046; the National Eye Institute, grant F30EY030397; the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, grants T32GM008136, T32GM007267, GM108989 and GM007055and Medical Research Council grant MC_UU_12014/5.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.