Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, CDN is an Integrative Clinical Nutritionist based in New Jersey. She has advanced training in functional medicine, which has her positioned her to become one of the first certified RDNs with the Institute of Functional Medicine. Boasting years of experience in food, nutrition + wellness communications, as well as in health curricula and continuing medical education development, Laura possesses a unique combination of science and communications savvy.

Laura is co-founder of the

Holistic Cannabis Summit:

Key Takeaways:

07:06 Cannabis Stigma: The cannabis plant has been bred by farmers to be high in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component. The plant originally has a much lower THC content. It is a complex plant with many compounds and many cannabinoids that produce different effects. CBD (cannabidiol) modulates the THC effect. Consuming the plant with all of its compounds is beneficial. It does not need to be smoked. It can be as a tincture, as an oil, an alcohol base, in an edible, as a patch, or as a topical.

09:42 The Endocannabinoid System: This is a system of receptors throughout our bodies, called CB1 and CB2 receptors and others. They sit on the cells in our body within various systems. These receptors are in our brain, our gut, our immune system and other places. There are zero deaths from cannabis overdose because we do not have these receptors in our brainstem. You may react to an overdose in some other way, depending upon your genetics.

13:16 Cannabis Seizure Treatments: Cannabis has application for seizure disorders. The ratio of CBD to THC for people with seizures depends upon the person. It gives the patient the ability to titrate. Most of the time for the effects of cannabis, less is more.

17:36 Health Benefits of Daily Cannabis Consumption: The endocannabinoid system exists in all humans and animals all the way down to sea squirts. This can be upregulated by cannabinoids and other lifestyle behaviors like exercise, sex or for babies, breastfeeding. Cannabinoids are adaptogenic.

23:12 The Benefits of THC: There are different levels of THC from hemp to cannabis, from strain to strain and plant to plant. THC can modulate many effects in the body, including immune function. The THC component is important for treating seizures.

27:12 Influences upon Our Body’s Endocannabinoid System: Besides exercise, sex, and meditation, there may be other ways to influence it as well. However, we are unable to measure the endocannabinoid system. There is much research to be done. Most of the research has been done outside the US, particularly in Israel, where it is not federally illegal.

29:23 The Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Modulatory Effects: The federal government deems cannabis as a schedule one drug, meaning that it has not benefit. The federal government has a patent on cannabis as an antioxidant. Cannabis is an incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Cannabis helps to tighten the junctures in leaky gut and calms the digestive system. Cannabis is being used as an exit drug from addiction to alcohol, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines.

32:50 Cannabis and Mitochondria: There is research upon the use of cannabis and mitochondrial disorders. It is already being seen as effective with those of us with MS and ALS, mitochondrial disorders.

34:49 Contaminants: By consuming the cannabis plant, you receive the benefits of the entourage compounds. However, some states require that the plant not be smoked. Extractions could involve butane or CO2 and other things could be added. During one water extraction, researchers found high levels of alcohol and butane. This turned out to be residue from equipment cleaning. In addition, there are no guidelines for organic cannabis.

37:11 The Best Delivery Method: Laura thinks that all formats can be valuable. Most practitioners would recommend vaporizing, rather than smoking. Within 3 seconds to a minute after smoked cannabis hits your lungs, your blood levels will be in full cannabinoid effect. Most edibles, cannabis infused food, are sugar laden junk food. It will take from 45 minutes to 2 hours to reach effect. For edibles, go low and start slow. Oils work well for children with seizures. You need to make sure it is quality oil.

42:58 Better Strains: Sativa is the more calming strain and Inica is the more uplifting strain. The strain for seizure disorder would have a higher level of CBD and lower THC. The strain for ADHD might have a CBD derived from cannabis and very little THC. Durban Poison strain is popular for ADD. It has a higher THC content, so the dosage is very low.


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