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Cannabis & Autism

A 2021 systematic review of nine published studies on cannabinoids and autism found that cannabis may have promising effects in the treatment of symptoms related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and may be used as a therapeutic alternative in the relief of those symptoms. In the nine studies, it was possible to observe that cannabis products used were able to improve symptoms related to ASD, including self-mutilation and anger bouts, hyperactivity, sleep problems, anxiety, psychomotor agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, sensory sensitivity, cognition, attention, social interaction, language change, depression, and restlessness.


When considering ASD, there are currently no defined drugs or psychotherapeutic approaches capable of extensively improving the quality of life, social skills, and cognitive functioning of the most severe cases. While the currently available drugs may mitigate certain symptoms, the effectiveness is, reportedly, limited and may have undesirable side effects. To understand the difference of cannabinoid therapy in comparison to the available, conventional treatments it is helpful to first gain an understanding of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) these plant cannabinoids are interacting with.


The ECS and ASD


The ECS is the largest neurotransmitter system in the body, involved in regulating nearly every physiological process. It is composed of two receptors called CB1 and CB2 receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolizing enzymes. Two key endocannabinoids have been identified as Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These endocannabinoids are responsible for activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found throughout our bodies and brains. Once endocannabinoids activate these receptors, physiological actions take place. 


Research has shown that one thing individuals with ASD have in common is observed reduced levels of endocannabinoids, such as AEA, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoethanolamine (OEA). A 2019 published study showed these reduced levels in plasma samples from 93 children with ASD. 


When experiencing a deficiency of endocannabinoids, research suggests the benefit of naturally increasing levels with the modulating cannabis compound, cannabidiol (CBD) or mimicking actions of cannabinoids with the cannabis compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 


CBD and THC for ASD


CBD may modulate different aspects related to cognition, socioemotional responses, susceptibility to seizures, nociception and neuronal plasticity, which are often altered in autism. A 2019 study involving adults living with autism reported that CBD can change the levels of the metabolites glutamate, glutamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These metabolites contribute to the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, both in typical development and in ASD. A 2018 study, looking at CBD-enriched cannabis on 60 children showed behavioral outbreaks were improved in 61%, communication problems in 47%, anxiety in 39%, stress in 33% and disruptive behavior in 33% of the patients. 


Research is slowly collecting on the benefits of THC for ASD as well. Pure THC in studies is uncommon due to the potential euphoric effects of THC at increased amounts, however it is suggested that CBD and THC may be useful in combination, given the ability of CBD to negate intoxicating effects of THC. A 2010 study utilizing Dronabinol (synthetic THC) showed significant improvements for a 6-year old boy, diagnosed with autism, in hyperactivity, lethargy, irritability, stereotypy and inappropriate speech at a 6 month follow-up. The boy was not taking any other medications during the six months. As well, a 2006 published study showed improvement for patients in the management of treatment-resistant self-injurious behavior, following Dronabinol treatment. 


More recently, data that was prospectively collected as part of the treatment program of 188 ASD patients treated with medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017 was analyzed. The majority of patients were treated with cannabis oil containing 30% CBD and 1.5% THC. After 6 months of treatment, 30% reported a significant improvement in symptoms, 53.7% were moderate, 6.4% were slight, and 8.6% had no change in their condition. The study concluded that cannabis for autism appears to be well tolerated, safe, and effective for relieving symptoms associated with ASD. 


Cannabis as a Therapeutic Alternative


We may see cannabis more widely used in the future as an important therapeutic alternative to relieve symptoms of autism, especially bouts of self-mutilation and anger, hyperactivity, sleep problems, anxiety, restlessness, psychomotor agitation, irritability, and aggressiveness; as well as improve sensory sensitivity, cognition, attention, social interaction, language, perseverance, and depression. However, to be more widely used, it must also be more widely researched for its’ benefits, therefore accepted. 


Next Steps


Getting started with cannabinoid therapy can be overwhelming, especially when considering a neurodevelopmental disorder as complex as ASD. Although findings conclude that cannabis is safe and may provide relief for associated symptoms, there is plenty of room for further clinical research to explore the full therapeutic potential of CBD and THC, as well as the ability of other cannabinoids to offer benefit. 


If you are seeking data-driven answers to your questions about cannabinoid therapy and ASD, the RoC Care Team is here to assist. They care a lot about helping you to find success. Reach them by calling (719) 347-5400, emailing, or by scheduling an appointment.


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5 Cannabis Strains to Help You Avoid the Munchies

Many cannabis enthusiasts are familiar with the sudden urge to snack known as “the munchies,” especially after indulging in high THC strains. However, not all strains lead to this insatiable hunger. If you’re looking for therapeutic benefits without an increase in appetite, focusing on high CBD strains might be your solution. We explored what causes the munchies in a previous blog, so this article will serve as a follow-up featuring five such strains that not only offer relief but also help you skip the snack spree.


  1. Cannatonic

Cannatonic is renowned for its low THC and high CBD content, often producing a nearly 1:1 ratio. This makes it an excellent choice for those seeking relief without strong psychoactive effects. Its mild, uplifting effect is perfect for daytime use, helping you stay focused and relaxed without igniting the munchies.


  1. Harlequin

Harlequin is another strain celebrated for its high CBD content and a consistent THC to CBD ratio of 5:2. This strain is particularly effective in combating anxiety and pain while encouraging a clear-headed state of mind. Users appreciate Harlequin for its ability to relax without sedation, making it ideal for those looking to avoid hunger pangs post-consumption.


  1. CBD Black Diesel

CBD Black Diesel stands out for its sweet, citrusy aroma and significant CBD levels. It’s known for its energizing and mood-lifting effects that come without the intense hunger often associated with cannabis. This strain is perfect for social gatherings or creative endeavors, offering therapeutic benefits and a clear mind.


  1. Power Plant

Originating from South Africa, Power Plant is a sativa-dominant strain that offers a unique twist: it’s high in THCV, a compound known to suppress appetite. Its energizing effects make it great for daytime use, helping you stay productive and focused while keeping the munchies at bay.


  1. Red Congolese

Red Congolese is notable for its ability to boost energy and mental clarity. With a high THCV content, this strain is perfect for those looking to enjoy the therapeutic and uplifting benefits of cannabis without the side effect of increased appetite. It’s particularly favored by those needing a creative or motivational push.


Freedom from The Munchies


While cannabis is often associated with increased hunger, these five strains demonstrate that the right choice can provide therapeutic benefits without the munchies. Whether you’re using cannabis for pain relief, anxiety management, or simply to enjoy its effects without compromising your diet, these strains offer a solution. Remember, the key is in the CBD and THCV content, so consider these compounds when choosing your next strain.

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How Cannabis Can Help with Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia

Cannabis, specifically its cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), has been a subject of interest in the medical community for its potential to manage behavioral symptoms associated with dementia. Currently, more than 55 million individuals worldwide are living with dementia, a term for several diseases that affect memory, thinking, and the ability to perform daily activities. There is no cure for dementia, however several therapies exist to help improve the quality of life by limiting associated symptoms. In this blog we will explore studies and trials that look at the effectiveness of cannabis in easing agitation, aggression, and weight loss in patients with dementia.


The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Dementia


To understand why cannabis might help with dementia, it may first help to look at the role of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This widespread signaling system throughout the body and brain is significant for regulating several physiological processes such as feeding behavior, anxiety, and stress response. The ECS consists mainly of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endogenous cannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and synthesizing enzymes. Aging appears to result in decreased binding site availability of CB1 receptors throughout the brain region, leading researchers to further analyze the ECS and how cannabinoid use may benefit neuropsychiatric disorders. 


Endocannabinoid modulation may protect from damage to mitochondria, restore balance, prevent the death of nerve cells, and reduce reactive oxygen species. Both CBD and THC can modulate the ECS, therefore have the potential to provide therapeutic benefits for neurodegenerative diseases. 


In simple terms, cannabis works with our body’s ECS to potentially keep cells healthy, maintain balance, and protect against harmful molecules. There is a possibility of helping people with dementia regain some memory and cognitive abilities. Understanding these basic ideas helps us see how cannabis might offer relief in the challenging situation of dementia.


Efficacy of Dronabinol for Dementia


Dronabinol, also called Marinol, is a man-made version of THC. It received approval by The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985 to help with weight loss from HIV/AIDS and nausea from chemotherapy when other treatments were ineffective. Since then, it has been studied for additional conditions, such as easing nausea in cancer and behavioral issues in dementia. 


Due to FDA approval, Dronabinol is more easily accessible for clinical trials. For further details on the approval and conditions, you can visit the FDA’s official information on Marinol.


Dronabinol for Agitation and Aggressive Behavior (2014 Chart Review)


In 2014, a study with 40 dementia patients at McLean Hospital showed positive results using Dronabinol. Given at 7 milligrams (mg) per day, it led to a notable decrease in agitation, better overall clinical scores, improved sleep, and increased meal consumption. The side effects were mild and did not cause participants to stop the treatment. However, the study lacked a control group, and the benefits were common.


THC in Behavioral Disturbance


In 2016, a study compared a placebo to THC to understand the efficacy and safety of oral THC doses for neuropsychiatric symptoms. Researchers compared findings using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Questionnaire. Findings between the two groups were similar. Although the THC did not show any more improvement than the placebo, it was well tolerated by the vulnerable population observed, which supports future similar studies to take place that provide higher doses of THC. 


Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis Oil


In 2016, a small study in Israel looked at 11 Alzheimer’s patients with severe agitation. They tried medical cannabis oil, and it showed a big drop in scores measuring the severity of symptoms and dementia-related behaviors. Side effects were minimal, suggesting cannabis treatments could be helpful.


Prescription of a THC/CBD-Based Medication


In 2019, a small study in Geneva looked at 10 female dementia patients with dementia and severe behavioral symptoms. They used a THC/CBD medication, which led to a big drop in scores measuring behavioral problems. Caregivers noticed improvements in the patients’ quality of life, suggesting that cannabis treatments could enhance the well-being of people with dementia.


Terpenes: The Aromas of Healing


While CBD and THC get attention, other parts of the cannabis plant, like terpenes, are essential for therapeutic potential. Some terpenes, like B-caryophyllene have anti-inflammatory effects that may protect the brain. With its calming lavender scent, Linalool is being studied for its anti-anxiety and its anti-inflammatory actions are well known. Research has shown linalool’s benefits for depression, insomnia, decreasing neuropathic pain, and having neuroprotective effects. Pinene, responsible for the pine smell, has also been reported to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Research published in 2021 noted “linalool, pinene, and CBD could present a unique opportunity to discover novel medicines to treat psychiatric and neurological illnesses”. 




Research on cannabis and dementia shows promise in handling behavioral symptoms. Positive results from studies, including reviews and trials, suggest cannabinoids may offer therapeutic benefits. As research continues, we expect to learn more about the right doses, forms, and ways to use them for personalized dementia care. Also, a holistic approach involving nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, stimulation, and detox may help address a wider range of symptoms affecting cognitive abilities.


Finding Support 


There is a lot to consider when starting cannabinoid therapy, but, as always, a Realm of Caring care specialist is here to help with free one-on-one support to answer your questions. Contact us today by calling (719) 347-5400 or emailing

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The Significant Role of Women in the History of Cannabis: Celebrating Women’s History Month

Women’s Healing and the Benefits of Cannabis


Throughout history, the portrayal of the cannabis community has been heavily biased towards men, from the earliest times to the current push for legalization. However, this does not reflect the truth. In ancient societies, women played significant roles as both herb gatherers and healers, utilizing cannabis for medicinal purposes.


According to historical and archaeological evidence, the use of the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes dates back to approximately 2900 B.C.E. in China. Early civilizations documented its use for ailments such as rheumatism, gout, malaria, and pain relief. What is less known is that women in these communities also utilized the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. For instance, the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian collection of medical texts from 1550 B.C.E., mentions the use of cannabis for vaginal inflammation. Physical evidence from the 4th century also points to the use of cannabis for easing childbirth. Over time, the use of cannabis spread from the Eastern regions to the Western regions, gaining popularity and becoming somewhat of a sensation.


Women’s Influence in Cannabis


During the 19th century, a time known for its strict social norms, Queen Victoria was prescribed cannabis by her doctor to alleviate menstrual cramps. Throughout this time, the use of cannabis oral extracts and tinctures was described in Western medicine to treat uterine hemorrhage, menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, and gonorrhea, as well as to increase labor contractions. Women’s involvement in cannabis has not only been limited to consumption. Several women directly influenced policy change as they bravely  challenged societal norms, like Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist. She advocated for cannabis legalization in the 20th century and criticized the punitive approach towards adult drug use, which is still prevalent today.


Mary Jane Rathbun, also known as Brownie Mary, notoriously baked nearly 600 cannabis-infused brownies a day to distribute at the San Francisco General Hospital where she was a volunteer in the AIDS ward. She eased the suffering for countless individuals experiencing wasting syndrome and her advocacy marked the beginning of the de facto legalization of medicinal cannabis usage by people who are afflicted with AIDS. 


In 1975, Robert Carl Randall (1948-2001) and his wife, Alice O’Leary Randall, were arrested for cannabis cultivation after discovering the plants’ benefits for Robert’s glaucoma. Together they fought the conviction and Robert became the first individual to gain legal access to medicinal cannabis in 1976. Today, Alice carries the mission on and is leading the charge in preserving the records of truly heroic medical cannabis pioneers. 


Realm of Caring founders Heather Jackson and Paige Figi set out on a mission to help individuals improve their quality of life with plant-based therapies. They opened a free support line, joined forces with leading researchers, and got to work on changing policies for increased, equitable access to cannabis. 


Women have and continue to disrupt the cannabis industry as activists, consumers, and business owners. According to the 2023 report, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Cannabis Industry,” women account for 39% of executives in cannabis.


As a woman-founded and led organization at Realm of Caring, we are proud to contribute to this statistic, relying on the hard work and dedication of these amazing women on our team. To commemorate Women’s History Month, we would like to highlight some incredible women working at the Realm of Caring Foundation and those we work with in this collective space. We asked what inspires their work, keep reading for their impactful responses!


What challenges do you face as a woman in the cannabis industry? How do you overcome those challenges?


Sasha Kalcheff-Korn at Realm of Caring believes the challenges women face in the cannabis industry “echo challenges of several other industries. A low percentage of women are in this industry, let alone leading it. Year after year more women are entering the space, which I see as truly important. Women, mother’s specifically, were the most powerful segment of the movement to federally legalize hemp and are instrumental in bringing the War on Drugs to an end. I am so proud to be in an organization that is woman-founded, which encompasses some of the most fierce advocates for policy change. The best I, personally, can do to overcome challenges is to keep showing up and driving our mission forward so we may continue to close this gap that separates people from the healing properties of a plant.”


Meital Manzuri of Manzuri Law / 420 Attorneys shared that “initially, as a woman in the cannabis industry, I was not aware of the special challenges that I faced because I was just excited to put my business together and help folks in the space.  Several years in, it became apparent that, since I work mostly with men, there was a certain barrier to overcome when it came to trusting me as the expert and allowing me to be the strong leader that I am.  Initially, it helped to surround myself with teammates and allies that were female in order to bolster my firm’s authority and advocate on behalf of women’s place in the space. Overall, I think that our strategy and messaging throughout the years has pushed the envelope in the space and helped shape the increasing trend of powerful women in the space.


Jan Morton at Realm of Caring draws attention to the fact that “the cannabis industry has historically been male-dominated, and stereotypes persist still today. Women face hurdles when offering education on cannabis because many assume that women are less knowledgeable than men in this industry. This was especially seen for me when I operated my own CBD retail store – from customers to suppliers, I truly felt that I had to PROVE my knowledge more than a man would.”


Jennifer Sandoval at Realm of Caring has also faced her fair share of challenges as a woman in the cannabis industry, “with the lack of widespread knowledge about CBD and THC among the general population”. However, she overcomes this by “staying informed, communicating effectively, building relationships, leading by example, and seeking support.” 


Sarah Maestranzi of Make Waves shares roadblocks when it comes to “the general taboo and stigma around cannabis, (which) is definitely difficult to discuss with people who are more set in their ways. I think the best defense is education. Working with various cannabis brands and advocates over the years has taught me so much about the benefits of the cannabis plant, both for recreational and medicinal purposes. I believe anecdotal evidence carries significant weight and can be the key in helping people truly understand the power of the plant.”


What advice do you have for other women looking to make an impact in the cannabis space?


Sandoval’s advice is to “keep taking up space, be bold, and ask questions, while her inspiration comes from helping spread knowledge and improving people’s lives through CBD.”


Morton recommends to “be true to yourself, stand firm in your beliefs & knowledge and don’t be afraid to rock the boat or make waves!”


Maestranzi advises to “educate yourselves! Knowledge is power and there are many resources available to fill yourself with the necessary knowledge to be confident in your stance on cannabis. Advocating about how cannabis personally helps you whether that be for relaxation, focus, or pain relief can strengthen your voice on the topic.”


Manzuri notes that “the cannabis space has changed a lot and having an impact now is more important than ever. As the market changes, we have to continue to push through as leaders. My advice would be authentic, to get out there in the world, leave the computer, leave the phone and connect with others in the space to create long lasting relationships.”


Kalcheff-Korn suggests “deeply understand the prohibitionist paradigm and the consequences that have come of it, as well as the impact women have and continue to have in this space. Your voice absolutely matters and will drive change forward.” 


What inspires you in your work?


Tammy Pettigrew of The Cannabis Cutie shares “My inspiration is the beauty of this plant. I look at it and think about all of the parallels between the historical treatment of this plant and what it’s like to be a woman. We both know what it’s like to be heavily misunderstood, accused of causing men to become dangerous, to be accused of being “witchcraft,” and the reason that society suffers. We both understand what it’s like to be criminalized for things beyond our control, even when there is no victim. Yet we still thrive. We still survive. The truth is we are both misunderstood and healers. We nurture. We are sources of inspiration, and our mere existence helps the world thrive. We help aid others well-being, and when treated with intention we act as the greatest ally. We bring a love to the world that is aligned with spirit and we do it so beautifully.


This plant helps me to be a better woman, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. If the cannabis plant can survive all of the lies told by men decade after decade and still overcome, so can we.” 


Kelly Pintos of Make Waves is inspired by “the countless stories of all the lives that are positively changed by cannabis. From harm reduction to medicinal purposes, even healthy recreational use- cannabis has profoundly helped millions and it feels like an honor to be a part of spreading that message.”


Morton’s “inspiration is knowing that cannabis is legitimate therapy and should be cost effective and legally accessible for everyone, no matter where they live!”


Manzuri is inspired by “the impact that I have daily on businesses and the market overall. I get to be at the forefront of all of the market trends and it’s exciting to learn and watch firsthand what happens to a brand new market because cannabis extends beyond the plant and into so many different people’s lives. I love to learn and analyze and speculate what each new law, trend or regulation means, overall to the space and how that can help my clients in their businesses to anticipate the ever changing world of cannabis laws, rules and regulations.”


“The impact of cannabis on individuals in need serves as a source of inspiration for me,” explains Maestranzi. “Engaging with firsthand accounts and encountering many individuals whose lives have been positively transformed by cannabis is very moving.”


Kalcheff-Korn finds direct inspiration from the “community who Realm of Caring serves. We talk to individuals all over the world, every day, who are in need of support, knowledge, and access to quality products. Their bravery and commitment to finding solutions for their health, or the health of a loved one, motivates me to continue to work towards equitable access.”

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Cannabis, CBD, and Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases

Autoimmune rheumatic diseases are complex. Living with an autoimmune rheumatic disease involves more than physical symptoms, impacting one’s quality of life, mental health, and daily activities. 


The most well known form of rheumatism is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune and inflammatory disease where one’s immune system attacks healthy cells in the body, causing painful inflammation. RA effects mainly the joints and typically many joints at once. The lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to the tissue and long-term chronic pain, loss of balance, and deformity. RA can also affect other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes. 


Childhood arthritis is also known as Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). While children often outgrow it, the early onset of damage can make it hard for a child to do everyday activities such as walking or dressing and may result in a disability. Even with potentially achieving permanent remission, any physical damage to the joint may remain. 


As of today, there is no cure for this autoimmune disease and symptoms are addressed on an individual basis. Recommendations for combination therapies include:


  • Increasing physical activity/muscle strengthening exercises
  • Weight loss
  • OTC pain relievers
  • Crutches/canes
  • Surgery, if all other resources are exhausted
  • And, more recently researched, cannabinoid therapy 


The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and RA


To understand the role of the ECS in RA, Richardson et al. examined the synovial fluid of 32 osteoarthritis patients and 13 rheumatoid arthritis patients following knee arthroplasty. The endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) were present in the synovia of patients with end-stage osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but not in healthy donors. These findings suggest that the ECS is involved in the development of rheumatic diseases. 


Cannabinoids and Pain


A characteristic of rheumatism is chronic pain, where adequate treatments fall short. Therefore, there is a strong need for alternative therapies. Medicinal cannabis extracts on chronic pain have been evaluated across several trials. Statistically significant improvements have been observed with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extracts as well as a combination of cannabinoid (CBD) to THC on RA patients, with only mild side effects. In addition to pain, patients reported improvements for sleep quality. 


A review of clinical trials of pain reduction by cannabis show that cannabis-based medications were most effective as adjunct therapy in multiple sclerosis and in managing chronic rheumatoid pain.


A 2021 analysis of 29,000 patients, where 10,873 were cannabis users concluded that about 20% of patients with rheumatoid diseases who actively consume cannabis self-reported an improvement in pain. 


Cannabinoids for Immunomodulatory Effects


Cannabinoids mediate their therapeutic effects through CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout our brain and body.


The fact that both CB1 and CB2 receptors are expressed by immune cells suggests that cannabinoids play important roles in the regulation of the immune system. Cannabinoids are commonly investigated as pain-relieving agents, but in recent years more evidence has accumulated on their potential immunomodulatory effect, supported by results in animal models of certain rheumatic diseases. 


Many studies point to CBD for its ability to reduce the formation of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide in animal models of inflammation. One study noted CBD to have a “potent capacity to effectively suppress cytokine storms in a mouse model” (Aswad et al., 2022). Further evidence on cannabinoids and the immune system looks to THC and its ability to aid in preventing the activation of inflammatory signaling pathways. 


Cannabinoids as anti-inflammatories


CBD has a wide spectrum of biological activity, including anti-inflammatory activity. This is why its activity in the prevention and treatment of diseases whose development is associated with inflammation has been tested. Clinical studies have confirmed that CBD reduces the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, inhibits T-cell proliferation, induces T-cell apoptosis and reduces migration and adhesion of immune cells. 


In addition, CBD creates a physiological response with several inflammatory mediator receptors within us. These are known as the PPARy, GPR, and Adenosine A2A Receptors. 


The anti-inflammatory contributions of THC are also notable. In 1991, Evans demonstrated that THC has twenty times the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone. 




Cannabinoids show promising results for anti-arthritic properties, notably due to their analgesic, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory actions. However clinical studies for RA specifically and studies focusing on commercially available products are limited. The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds, including various cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Specific strains may benefit some conditions more than others and only further research will build this understanding so patients may have more accurate, targeted therapy. 


To join research, receive updates on cannabis education, or to chat with our care team to discuss anything cannabinoid therapy related one on one, contact Realm of Caring today.


Additionally, following Realm of Caring on social media (Instagram or Facebook) during Autoimmune Awareness Month can provide valuable insights and foster a supportive community for those affected. 


if you want to reach out to our care team to discuss anything cannabinoid therapy related one on one – we are here for you! You can email or call our care team directly or head to our contact us section to schedule an appointment. 


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Multiple Sclerosis and Cannabis

According to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Journal, nearly 1 million Americans are affected by MS,  a number that continues to grow daily, with the majority of those affected being women. MS is an autoimmune disease which affects your body’s nervous system, specifically damaging the insulation that surrounds nerve fibers. The three most common types of MS are:


  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
  • Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)
  • Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)


Once diagnosed, slowing the progression of the disease may require several lifestyle changes such as nutrition, exercise, mental well-being, and therapies. Multidisciplinary approaches are often suggested to help diagnosed individuals live a full life. 


Cannabis has been looked to for its healing properties for millennia. To date, a plethora of diseases such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and MS are either being treated with or have the potential to be treated by cannabinoid antagonists, agonists, and related compounds. 


The efficacy of Cannabis sativa has been assessed for the management of MS at a cellular level but also for symptoms, including spasticity, pain, tremors, ataxia, bladder functions, sleep, and quality of life. Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, have shown through research to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.


Immune Cell Modulation


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been demonstrated through human and animal studies to be key players in MS pathogenesis. Data indicate that THC and CBD can act as TLRs modulating drugs in primary immune cells, offering insight to the cellular targets the phytocannabinoids may have in eliminating inflammation for MS. In one 2022 published study, the anti-inflammatory potential of THC and CBD were compared when delivered alone versus a 1:1 combination. The results highlight that the combination of the phytocannabinoids was more effective in modulating TLR signaling




A main psychoactive compound of the Cannabis sativa plant, THC, was discovered in the 1960s and was shown to have activity on the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in the brain. This has a big impact on the development of cannabinoid therapeutic drugs and their potential to alleviate MS-related spasticity. 


Nabiximols (Sativex) is a cannabinoid based medication available in the United Kingdom. It comes in the form of a mouth spray in a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD. It has been approved for treatment of symptoms of spasticity in adults with MS. A randomized controlled trial published in 2023 reported that nabiximols led to improvement in spasticity that was sustained over the 12-week treatment period. Another study in 2022 evaluated real-world data from the Italian Medicines Agency e-Registry on 1,138 patients with MS. Results showed favorable impacts of nabiximols, resolving a range of MS spasticity-associated symptoms at week 4 and after 18 months for those who continued treatment. 




Pain associated with MS includes central neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, and non-neuropathic pain. Cannabis use for pain can be traced back thousands of years. Observationally in research, the response to pain in individuals has been favorable when compared to baselines or controls. 


A review of literature published through June 2017 examined trials regarding cannabinoid use for pain in patients with neuropathy and malignant diseases. Out of 18 trials, 15 demonstrated a significant analgesic effect of cannabinoids as compared to placebo, the reduction in pain intensity was considered clinically significant. The most commonly reported adverse effects were well tolerated. 


Tremors and Ataxia


MS may cause tremors and ataxia in more than 80% of patients due to how it affects the cerebellum. Despite how common these symptoms may be, the pharmacotherapies are often ineffective, therefore there is a need for new treatments with limited side effects. Although one study in 1982 showed the ability of THC to suppress tremors in two of eight MS patients, another showed acute improvements in 1989 and benefits have been seen in mouse models, current human trials to understand cannabis as an effective therapy for tremors and ataxia are insufficient and still needed. 


Bladder Function


A prevalent symptom in MS patients is lower urinary tract dysfunction, typically appearing in the later stages of the disease. The primary issues are urinary urgency and urge incontinence. 


The diverse effects of CB1 and CB2 receptor systems in the lower urinary tract may be novel targets for cannabinoid therapy. Anecdotal reports suggest cannabis may alleviate lower urinary tract symptoms. An open trial published in 2004 evaluated whole-plant Cannabis sativa extracts for patients with advanced MS and refractory lower urinary tract symptoms. Patients began with a 1:1, THC:CBD ratio for eight weeks and then transitioned to THC only for an additional eight weeks. The 15 who were evaluated showed a significant decrease in incontinence with significant improvements in self-reported pain, spasticity, and quality of sleep. Given the few adverse effects, this study suggested cannabis-based medicinal extracts to be a safe and effective treatment. 




Cannabis Sativa is often used for improved sleep and relaxation, attributed to Indian hemp in the nineteenth century. 


Hemp seeds contain a vitamin B6 content that can trigger the conversion of our body’s tryptophan into serotonin, which can then be converted to melatonin. 


CBD has been researched for its therapeutic potential for sleep disorders through limiting symptoms that may keep us awake at night but also may contribute to an increase in sleep duration and depth, as well as decrease in the anxiety responses induced by sleep disturbance. 


In comparison to CBD, THC has shown in studies as having an effect on mental and physical sedation, even in low amounts. THC also has positive therapeutic benefits that may lead to better sleep.


Cannabinoids CBD, THC, and CBN have been lightly studied for their effects in balancing melatonin production. Cannabinoids are also being studied to better understand the complementary relationship they have with melatonin. Data published in 2022 suggest that a CBD-melatonin formula could be competitive with synthetic-hypnotic drugs (i.e. Ambien, Unisom). The antioxidant activity of melatonin that benefits the brain network coupled with the pain reduction and anti-anxiety effects of CBD promoted a balanced sensation of wellbeing during sleep. 


Quality of Life


MS patients have been found to have a lower health-related quality of life than the general population.


A qualitative analysis published in 2022 paid close attention to the notable quality of life improvements attributed to medicinal cannabis use. The two overarching categories were “enhanced well-being” and “improved daily functioning”. Enhanced well-being includes feelings such as regaining a sense of hope, enjoying family life, and laughing more often.


A review of published studies from 2007 to 2021 on cannabinoid therapy for MS concluded with a moderate certainty of evidence that 1:1 CBD:THC oromucosal spray mixtures as an add-on therapy improved measures of spasticity, pain, and bladder and sleep related quality of life in responders within weeks of starting treatment. 




Cannabis sativa extracts show promise in alleviating associated symptoms of MS for individuals, so much so that countries have approved botanical or synthetic forms as treatment options. Further studies are warranted to investigate long-term outcomes, dosing, and understanding the mechanisms responsible for inhibiting neuroinflammation and enhancing neuroprotection. 


If you or a loved one have questions on how cannabinoid therapy such as how to find a quality product or how to talk with your doctor, the Realm of Caring Care Team is here to help. Reach out, we are here to help


Following Realm of Caring on social media (Instagram or Facebook) during Autoimmune Awareness Month can provide valuable insights and foster a supportive community for those affected.

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Understanding Autoimmune Diseases During Autoimmune Awareness Month: A Focus on Skin Conditions and Cannabis Relief

Autoimmune diseases present a significant challenge to public health, affecting millions worldwide. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that autoimmune diseases impact approximately 10 million people, accounting for about 3% of the population​​. Globally, the issue is even more pronounced, with a rising trend in autoimmunity, especially among specific demographics, including adults 50 years and older and adolescents. This rise is concerning and suggests an urgent need for awareness and understanding​​.


The Impact of Autoimmune Diseases Globally and in the U.S.


Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells, leading to a variety of illnesses. The prevalence of these diseases is increasing, indicating a growing public health concern. The rise in autoimmunity, particularly in the United States, signals a potential increase in future autoimmune diseases, underscoring the importance of Autoimmune Awareness Month as a critical time for education and advocacy​​.


Spotlight on Skin-Related Autoimmune Diseases


Several autoimmune diseases specifically affect the skin, each with unique symptoms and challenges:


  • Psoriasis causes rapid skin cell multiplication, resulting in scales and red patches that can be painful and itchy.
  • Lupus can lead to a distinctive rash on the face, known as a butterfly rash, among other systemic symptoms.
  • Dermatomyositis involves muscle weakness and a distinct skin rash, affecting both the skin and muscle tissues.
  • Vitiligo leads to the loss of skin pigment in patches, affecting the skin’s appearance.
  • Scleroderma results in skin hardening and tightening, impacting mobility and skin texture.


Cannabis and Autoimmune Diseases: Managing Symptoms


Cannabis has emerged as a potential ally in managing symptoms of autoimmune diseases, including those affecting the skin. Its properties can help alleviate inflammation, pain, and discomfort associated with various autoimmune conditions.

A 2019 published study tested the effectiveness of CBD-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin conditions that result in scars. Among those in the study, individuals reported suffering from dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne. After a period of three months, the evaluated skin parameters were significantly improved in all 20 volunteers and none reported any worsening. Specifically, the hydration markers increased by nearly 7%. This study concluded by saying that “topical administration of CBD ointment is a safe and effective non invasive alternative for improving the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially on inflammatory background” (Palmieri, et al.).


Additionally, cannabigerol (CBG) has powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may add benefit to our skin health. Cannabis products offer a promising avenue for symptom management, but with the caveat of professional guidance. If you’re looking for support on how cannabis could help your autoimmune disease, get connected to one of our Care Team specialists.

Following Realm of Caring on social media (Instagram or Facebook) during Autoimmune Awareness Month can provide valuable insights and foster a supportive community for those affected.


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Anti-Cancer Potential of the Cannabis Plant

Research shows that more than 40% of cancer diagnoses and nearly half of cancer-related deaths can be attributed to preventable causes. The American Association for Cancer Prevention states that it remains imperative that we identify strategies to enhance the dissemination and implementation of our current knowledge of cancer prevention. Preventable causes may include smoking cigarettes, excess body weight, physical inactivity, and sun exposure. While research is not pointing to cannabinoids having a direct role in cancer prevention, several studies demonstrate the ability of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids to promote general well-being and to have anti-cancer activity.


Cannabinoids for well-being: smoking cessation


New research shows that compounds found naturally in cannabis plants reverse attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal. The study, published in the National Library of Medicine, shows that treatment with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found naturally in cannabis, may be a promising novel smoking cessation treatment due to its anxiolytic properties, minimal side effects and research showing that it may modify drug cue salience.


Further promising results from preclinical studies suggest that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could be a potential therapeutic strategy for treating nicotine addiction. The possible involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the rewarding effects of nicotine was evaluated by using the conditioned place preference (CPP) in mice.


Cannabinoids for well-being: maintaining a healthy weight


It is well established that the ECS is involved in the regulation of energy balance and the development of obesity. Cannabinoid receptors regulate thermogenesis, food intake, and inflammation. Cannabinoid receptors are also responsible for the browning of white adipose tissue (the process of burning fat in the body). CBD plays a modulatory role in this process as well as promotes lipid metabolism, therefore is considered a promising therapeutic agent for preventing obesity. 


Because the ECS plays a role with our appetite control, from the suppression of appetite to counter over-consumption to the treatment of conditions that involve reduced appetite and weight loss; cannabinoid therapy may be a part of the equation for its potential to support an overall healthy weight.


Cannabinoids for well-being: physical activity


The many reasons for one to choose not to be physically active involves pain, injury, and lack of energy. Cannabinoid therapy has gained a lot of attention in the athletic community recently for good reason. CBD as well as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been researched for their novel anti-inflammatory actions, which enhance recovery time by decreasing muscle tension, soreness, and pain. CBD and THC have also shown beneficial effects for improving bone fracture healing while CBD and cannabigerol (CBG) have shown to ameliorate post-fracture pain as effectively as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are known to potentially inhibit bone repair. Cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, and cannabinol (CBN) as well as terpene blends may also promote enhanced sleep, which can have beneficial effects on one’s ability to maintain daily physical activity. 


Cannabinoids for well-being: skin benefits


Most cases of skin cancer are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can damage skin cells. Among other skin enhancing benefits, CBD has shown that through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and regulation of protein biosynthesis and degradation, that it may protect skin cells against UVA and UVB induced changes. 


Of the cannabinoids researched to date for skin health, CBD is a widespread ingredient in skin care products formulated as body oils, moisturizers, salves, lotions, and balms. THC, and potentially CBN, may also be responsible for skin benefits such as reducing cytokine production and oxidative stress. Additionally, CBG has powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may add benefit to our skin health. 


Anti-Cancer Activity of Cannabinoids


The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has been a target for the treatment of various diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, neuropathic and inflammatory pain, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and more. Cannabinoids have been considered for a long time for alleviating cancer therapy related symptoms, such as controlling nausea and pain, stimulating appetite, and elevating mood. However research findings go beyond symptom relief to include anti-cancer effects. 


Cancer cells proliferate rapidly in an uncontrolled manner, therefore one of the most critical components of an anti-cancer therapy is to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. Cancer cells have the ability to escape cell death, whereas a normal cell undergoes apoptosis (programmed cell death). Cannabinoids have proved to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading to surrounding tissue (anti-proliferative) as well as apoptotic. 


One of the first studies completed to describe the antineoplastic (or acting to prevent, inhibit, or halt the development of a tumor) activity of cannabinoids was published in 1975. Here it was demonstrated that the administration of Delta-9-THC, Delta-8-THC, and or CBN inhibited the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cell growth in vitro (outside a living organism) and in vivo (within a living organism) after oral administration to mice. Since this study, there have been several using animal models to show cannabinoids for their efficacy in inhibiting the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma, lunch, prostate, colon, and breast cancer.


Most existing cancer therapies are not developed to specifically target metastatic progression, despite tumor metastasis accounting for 90% of cancer-related deaths. Breast cancer, in particular, has been noted as typically incurable once clinically apparent metastases develop, therefore there is a need for non-toxic therapeutic interventions to target this progression. There has been compelling evidence of the anti-tumoral activity of cannabinoids in preclinical models of breast cancer, both witnessed in cell culture systems and clinically relevant animal models. It has been proposed in research that targeting both cannabinoid anti-tumor pathways simultaneously, by combining THC and CBD, may lead to enhanced anti-tumor activity.




Terpenes are compounds found in all known life forms, including fruits, trees, herbs, and a range of other plant species that are responsible for determining their distinct scents. There is a complex diversity and varying concentration of terpenes in cannabis plants. Yet, quality research is available in regard to terpene-specific benefits, although not all research is available in living models as of yet. B-Caryophyllene, limonene, pinene, linalool, bisabolol, humulene, terpineol, and nerolidol are among those studied for apoptosis effects. As well, limonene, pinene, linalool, eucalyptol, terpineol, and camphene are associated with reduced tumor growth. 


Flavonoids account for nearly 10 percent of compounds known in cannabis and may represent up to 2.5 percent of cannabis’ leaf and flower dry weight. They are the largest class of polyphenols. Kaempferol, apigenin, cannflavin B, silymarin, and luteolin are among those researched for tumor-reduction abilities. Kaempferol is also associated with reduced metastasis. Orientin, vitexin, and isovitexin have been studied to induce apoptosis. 


Free one on one support


If you want to reach out to us to discuss anything cannabinoid therapy related one on one – we are here for you! From quality product selection in your area to dosing guidance along the way, our care team is available. ​​You can call our free hotline at 719-347-5400, email, or schedule an appointment


Additional Resources to Support Cancer Prevention


American Institute for Cancer Prevention 


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Can CBD Support a Healthy Heart?

This year for American Heart Month, the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) is encouraging all individuals, but women especially, to focus on their cardiovascular health and to speak up to protect their hearts. Women in the United States are experiencing heart-related illnesses and death at avoidable, yet unacceptable rates due to delayed recognition, diagnosis, and treatment for cardiac events. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. 


Heart disease and heart attacks may be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices that normalize your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. These lifestyle choices include healthy food and beverages, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, and abstaining from cigarette smoke. 


Cannabidiol (CBD) has been explored for its many therapeutic health benefits, with heart health being one of the areas of research. Specifically, it is being studied for the ways it may help reduce symptoms or prevent heart disease. 


CBD is one of two major cannabinoids of the cannabis sativa plant that interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is considered the largest neurotransmitter system in the body impacting many functions to include appetite, memory, mood, sleep, and the cardiovascular system. 


The ECS and Cardiovascular Function


Two key endocannabinoids identified in our ECS are Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Their role has been associated with mediating low blood pressure as well as normalizing levels of high blood pressure. In recent years we have seen through research that cannabinoids have profound blood pressure-lowering effects on hypertensive animal models but do not have that effect in non-diseased animal models. This leads to the hypothesis that cannabinoids may be used to target hypertension.


In certain inflammatory conditions, it has been demonstrated that endocannabinoids are released in large amounts by white blood cells and platelets. They subsequently exert their actions on the heart and vascular cells, which leads to vasodilation, blood pressure lowering, and slowing the heart rate.


The role of the ECS has also been studied in metabolic syndrome, a complex and serious health condition that puts individuals at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Insulin resistance is believed to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. For insulin resistance in the setting of increased caloric intake, insulin amounts increase as the muscle is unable to effectively absorb excess glucose, leading to further insulin production. The excess glucose is converted to extra fat in the liver, increasing free fatty acid levels that cause extra fat deposition on the muscles and organs, ultimately leading to a cycle of abnormally increased insulin in the blood, abnormal inflammation, and increased excess fat. All of these obesity associations can increase cardiovascular disease events. The ECS regulates appetite and food intake through activation of the cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1). Studies have shown that introducing CB1 antagonists in overweight or obese individuals may induce significant weight loss and improvement of metabolic alterations. 


CBD for Cardiovascular Improvements


Currently, there are very few natural pharmaceutical solutions available for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. In 2023 researchers published findings analyzing a full-spectrum cannabis oil (CBD:THC, 2:1) to understand the usefulness of cannabis in metabolic syndrome, notably for blood pressure, serum metabolic parameters, and liver damage. Their study showed data that resulted in significant improvements across several metabolic syndrome parameters in animal models fed a sucrose-rich diet. They observed lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, decreased serum levels, improved liver abnormalities, and pain relief. 


Researchers in 2017 reported CBD’s impact on blood pressure in healthy humans following an oral dose of 600mg showing that increased blood pressure levels as a result of stressful situations were weakened. Over time we have seen repeated actions of acute or chronic CBD treatment in reducing the cardiovascular response to models of stress, making it known to be an anxiolytic. 


Regarding heart failure, experimental and clinical evidence shows that inflammation is a critical factor in the development and progression of heart failure. CBD has shown a substantial protective effect from fibrosis and inflammation. In models of oxygen deprivation, CBD has been shown to reduce infarct size and increase blood flow in animal models of stroke. 


Just as observed with endocannabinoids, CBD also influences the survival and death of white blood cells, white blood cell migration, and platelet aggregation, which offers explanation as to how CBD may have the ability to delay or prevent the development of cardiovascular disorders. 


Summary and Next Steps


Cannabinoids are being widely recognized across a wide range of therapeutic effects, to include the cardiovascular system. However promising, we still have a lot to understand as far as cannabinoid dosing and interactions with alternative cardiovascular treatments. If you are in need of resources while considering cannabinoid therapy for you or a loved one, Realm of Caring Care Specialists are here to help with free one on one support. Send us an email to, call us at 719-347-5400, or schedule an appointment online!


Additional Heart Healthy Resources


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How Cannabis Enhances The Love Languages

At Realm of Caring, we believe in the holistic benefits of cannabis and its ability to deepen connections, foster intimacy, and promote wellness. In this guide, we explore how partaking in cannabis together can be quality time, how providing cannabis for your loved one can be an act of service, how cannabis enhances intimacy, and how it facilitates vulnerability and words of affirmation, and provide a list of some of our favorite cannabis brands to give as gifts. So let’s dive in and discover the wonderful world where cannabis meets the love languages! 


Quality Time: Partaking in Cannabis Together


One of the most beautiful ways to connect with your partner or loved one is by sharing moments of quality time. For many, cannabis serves as a catalyst for meaningful experiences and deep conversations. Whether it’s sharing a joint under the stars, enjoying a cannabis-infused meal together, or simply cuddling on the couch with a CBD-infused beverage, the act of partaking in cannabis can create a sense of closeness and connection that transcends words.


Acts of Service: Providing Cannabis for Healing and Wellness


In the realm of love languages, acts of service are gestures that demonstrate care, support, and thoughtfulness. For individuals using cannabis for healing or wellness purposes, providing or prepping cannabis-infused products for your partner can be a powerful act of service. From rolling a joint with precision and care to giving a soothing massage with CBD oil, each gesture communicates love, empathy, and a desire for your loved one’s well-being. Brands like Eossi Beauty and Tonico Small Batch CBD offer a range of high-quality products ideal for pampering your partner and supporting their healing journey.


Physical Touch: Enhancing Intimacy with Cannabis


Cannabis has long been revered for its ability to heighten sensory experiences and deepen physical intimacy. Whether it’s the gentle caress of a partner’s hand, the warmth of a shared embrace, or the heightened sensations during intimate moments, cannabis has the power to amplify connection and pleasure. Incorporating cannabis-infused massage oils, bath bombs, or sensual lubricants can enhance intimacy, promote relaxation, and ignite passion in your relationship.


Words of Affirmation: Opening Up with Cannabis


In matters of the heart, vulnerability and communication are key. Cannabis has a unique ability to lower inhibitions, quiet the mind, and facilitate open-hearted conversations. For individuals who struggle to express their feelings or fears, cannabis can provide a safe space to share words of affirmation, express gratitude, and deepen emotional bonds. Whether it’s whispering sweet nothings under the influence of a relaxing indica strain or expressing profound truths during a heart-to-heart conversation, cannabis can help cultivate a sense of trust, understanding, and love.


Gifts for the Cannabis Enthusiast


For those who appreciate the gesture of receiving gifts, cannabis products offer a thoughtful and meaningful way to express love and appreciation. Consider shopping through one of the brands listed below to support Realm of Caring. Browse through some of these offers and maybe you’ll find the perfect gift for the cannabis enthusiast in your life!



At Realm of Caring, we believe that love knows no bounds, and neither does the healing power of cannabis. By embracing the love languages of quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, and gift giving, you can deepen your connections, nurture your relationships, and cultivate a sense of love and well-being that transcends boundaries.