The Blossoming Hemp Trend
Effects of CBD on Pets: Unravelling Facts from Fiction
The trend of cannabis legalization in the United States has not only vastly increased access to the drug, but it has also resulted in substantial increases in potency. The competition between products in this new market has accelerated an existing trend toward increased THC levels in these products. (As Originally Posted On Benzinga)
One study showed roughly a doubling in the potency of cannabis plants (from 8.9% to 17.1%) between 2008 and 2017. Another factor that can influence the perceived potency of different cannabis strains is the ratio of THC to CBD. CBD can temper or reduce the effects of THC (while independently having its own biological impact), and over the same 2008 to 2017 period the THC:CBD ratio quadrupled from 23 to 104.
A further complication of this story is the recent discovery of a new cannabinoid in marijuana, THCP, approximately 33 times more potent as THC. This molecule has been implicated in some of the apparent differences between cannabis strains with similar THC levels, and now there is the potential with its discovery for breeding far more potent plants.
These factors have led to some government efforts to regulate the potency of cannabis products. Vermont is the only state so far that has an upper cap on THC levels in flower product of 30%, and concentrates are capped at 60%. It has also been debated on the nation level whether federal agency should impose limits on cannabis potency.
Part of the motivation behind limited THC levels in cannabis is some of the downstream costs to society from high potency cannabis. The number of ER visits associated with cannabis has risen steeply over recent years. There were over 1.5 million estimated ER visits associated with cannabis in 2017, approximately 1% of all ER visits that year, and it was growing at an average rate of 13% per year.
One of the conditions that take the fun out of trips and journeys is motion sickness. Whether the journey is by sea, land, or air, motion sickness makes it unbearable for some people. And it can affect persons of any age, as both old and young suffer from it.
Medications exist for motion sickness, but it does not work effectively for everyone. An effective alternative to these medications that a lot of people are unaware of is cannabis.
What is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness occurs when conflicting messages are sent to your central nervous system, resulting in a confused brain. These conflicting messages could come from any of the senses (eyes, ears, nerves) in your body, as a result of the inability to properly detect movement.
Currently, 18 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and 36 states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. Many cancer patients (16-24%) use cannabis to curtail symptoms related to cancer or cancer treatment. Dr. Newcomb, the first author of the publication, stated that “marijuana has some important properties that motivate cancer patients to use it for nausea and vomiting, appetite, pain, fatigue.” Previous studies indicate that cannabis is widely used among cancer patients with late-stage disease or with other poor mental or physical health states. Due to improvements in early detection and cancer treatments, the number of cancer survivors will expand by one million per year, which includes at least 150,000 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Therefore, about 2.7 to 4 million survivors may intentionally use cannabis for symptom management or other reasons. Presently, cannabis use and its side effects are not monitored among cancer patients and survivors. The Newcomb Group, from the Division of Public Health Sciences, evaluated the demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics of cannabis use among colorectal cancer patients from Washington State. CRC has a high prevalence and several treatments with side effects thus, CRC provides a good model for understanding cannabis use among men and women with cancer. This study is published in Cancer Causes & Control.
The participant data was collected from a population-based cancer registry, the Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry (SEER). The registry consists of data from cancer cases in the 13-county Puget Sound SEER region. Patients were contacted by mail at least 3 months post-diagnosis. If interested, participants provided informed consent. The participants completed surveys via telephone interview, online portal, or a paper questionnaire. All cannabis use questions were obtained by close-ended questions. Patients also reported quality of life measures through the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Colon (FACT-C); which asked questions pertaining to physical, functional, social, and emotional wellbeing as well as concerns around colorectal cancer. Tumor location and stage were collected for participants. Logistic regression was utilized to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals to compare the odds of “current cannabis use” in relation to demographics, health behaviors, quality of life assessments, and tumor characteristics.
The analytical study population included 1,433 participants. Current smokers (95% CI=1.21-2.98) were two times as likely to use cannabis than former smokers (95% CI=1.38-2.45). Light-to-moderate and heavy drinkers were more likely to use cannabis compared to non-drinkers and occasional drinkers. Poor quality of life scores was more likely to be associated with current cannabis use (OR=1.52, 95% CI=1.14-2.04). Participants with distant stage CRC had 3-fold greater odds of using cannabis than those with localized CRC (95% CI=2.03-4.17).
In conclusion, comprehensive research is needed to identify various types of cannabis use, their patterns, and reasons for use among cancer survivors. Most CRC patients consumed cannabis by smoking. This act could increase the risk of negative pulmonary outcomes; however, the current research is limited. Dr. Newcomb concluded: “Although this area of research is underfunded, we used this data to motivate the submission of a CCSG pilot study and now I’ve joined with 11 other cancer centers across the US to form a consortium measuring cannabis use in cancer patients.” The results from the present study suggest that cannabis use is used to manage a variety of cancer-related symptoms and treatments. The Newcomb Group concluded that “there is a strong and timely need for additional research to understand the benefits and harms of cancer patients’ cannabis use in order for patients and doctors to make informed, evidence-based decisions about the use of cannabis for symptom management.”
Acannabis regulator has issued a product recall after customers reported getting high after taking cannabidiol (CBD), which they did not realize had psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) instead.
The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) issued a report on Friday that said it had uncovered why customers had gotten high after using CBD products that were supposedly made from hemp.
According to a report released on Friday and seen by Newsweek, THC ended up in a product not meant to have it while it was at Cura Cannabis's Portland manufacturing site.
Regulators became concerned after a customer in Idaho, who purchased the product in Oregon, complained after they had experienced a strange reaction.
OLCC spokesperson Mark Pettinger told The Oregonian when they did test the sample from the bottle, that it came back "hot."
For years, cannabinoids, the chemicals found in the cannabis plant, have been widely known for their therapeutic and medicinal abilities.
Scientists have identified at least 113 different chemicals in the plant — with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — known for treating epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, HIV complications, and a variety of other chronic disease states.
Considering the potential benefits that can be derived from cannabinoids, experts have called for more research to harness its full potential. However, there certainly have been roadblocks to this.
Apart from the lack of available funds and pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids to support high-quality research, another barrier is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) decision to categorize marijuana as a Schedule I drug — the same as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.
Due to this classification by the DEA, researchers and institutions need a special license to study, develop, and harness the possibly enormous untapped benefits of cannabinoids.
Last week, a couple of developments took place at both the state and global levels regarding the regulation of cannabis in regards to it being something that humans put into their bodies.
LABELING GETS SPECIFIC
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued a policy statement last week clarifying the rules surrounding structure or function claims made about cannabis-infused products. Those are essentially claims about what a product does. For example, a bottle of daily multivitamins may say something about maintaining heart health, or a vitamin C supplement could mention that it supports the immune system. What could not be said, however, is that either product is meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
As a matter of fact, when it comes to cannabis, products making structure or function claims — like a CBD tincture formulated for pain relief — must explicitly state on the product's packaging that it is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Any packaging that includes a structure or function claim must include this exact phrase, "this statement has not been evaluated by the State of Washington. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
Cannabis and empathy? You might be wondering, “what does empathy have to do with cannabis? I thought stoners were supposed to be apathetic.” Well, the answer might surprise you.
Studies suggest cannabis actually positively impacts our ability to process emotions. Cannabis opens up the potential to understand others better and be more aware of their feelings, according to experts.
However, we are not saying that you are a joint away from sainthood. As experts point out, such cannabis-induced empathy depends significantly on the cultivar type, user intention, and the amount of cannabis consumed. Take too much, and you may in turn suppress your emotions.
Note that I have used the words “empathy” and “compassion” synonymously for this article. Accordingly, it is essential to note what empathy means and what is its physiological nature.
Our neural networks let us be more receptive to the needs, experiences, and desires of other people. It enables us to appreciate other people’s emotions and feel at one with them, understand their point of view, and understand how and why it differs from ours’.
Sleeplessness. Night sweats. Anxiety. Irritability. Aches and pains.
Would smoking a little pot help women deal with these common symptoms of menopause?
A good number of middle-aged women apparently think so, because they've been turning to marijuana to help handle the change of life, a new study reports.
"Midlife women within the menopause transition period of their life are using cannabis, and they're using it for symptoms that tend to overlap with menopause," said lead researcher Katherine Babyn, a graduate student at the University of Alberta in Canada.
There's just one drawback -- little to no research has proven that pot can effectively treat menopause-related symptoms, said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has provided an update on its position on the use of hemp and hemp byproducts in animal feed, calling for more research.
In the USA, animal feed is regulated at a federal level by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM). AAFCO is a non-regulatory body promoting the uniform regulation of feed throughout the country, working on the recommendations of the FDA.
At a state level, feed is usually regulated by each state’s Department of Agriculture. An example of a state that has allowed some hemp to be used in animal feed is Montana, but livestock (pet and horses only) fed hemp in Montana cannot enter interstate or intrastate commerce as the animals would be considered “adulterated” at a federal level.
Hemp is not yet permitted at a federal level as a stock feed. In its latest position statement, AAFCO says while it understands the enthusiasm for using hemp, stakeholders need to consider “the potential adverse impact” of allowing it in animal food before necessary research is carried out and legal processes observed demonstrating it is safe.
“Rather than unilaterally approving the use of hemp as a feed ingredient, in conflict with AAFCO’s century-old model for animal food ingredient approval, advocates should support continued research and development, and promptly submit applications to AAFCO and the FDA for review and approval on a national level,” says the body.
More people are in the emergency room for uncontrollable vomiting, also known as cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS), following marijuana legalization, according to a new study.
According to the analysis published Friday in JAMA Network Open and sponsored by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Colorado has seen over 800,000 emergency room reports of vomiting between 2013 and 2018, a 29 percent uptick since the state legalized marijuana. The study also found that more than a third of the vomiting cases were in people under the age of 25.
Reviewing 820,778 patients in Colorado emergency departments, this study connected cannabis legalization with an increase in vomiting-related health care visits. This increase was seen primarily in Colorado counties without existing medical dispensaries prior to legalization.
This analysis suggested the vomiting is a symptom of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), a condition marked by uncontrollable vomiting after cannabis use and usually occurs in long-term marijuana users. A 2020 study in Neurogastroenterology and Motility also found that 1 in 5 sufferers of cyclic vomiting syndrome were regular cannabis users.
Marijuana ironically has been used as an anti-nausea aid for those undergoing chemotherapy, where up to 75 percent experiencing it get nausea or vomiting.
The legalization of recreational marijuana use has broadly increased the availability of cannabis and the number of cannabis users. In the latest information (2019) compiled by SAMHSA, an estimated 31.5m individuals over 12 in the US used cannabis in the last month. These rates are growing at approximately 10% per year, with the largest growth in use by adults over 26 (19% growth in 2018-2019). However, growth in the sales of edible cannabis products has outpaced even these trends: sales of edible expanded 60% from 2019 to 2020 for an estimated market of $1.23 billion. (As Originally seen on Benzinga By: Nate Guzowski)
This rise in edible cannabis has had several unintended consequences, in particular a rise in the number of cases of accidental over ingestion. Edibles contain a range of different THC concentrations, including many with several times the average dose for an adult. Also the onset of drug effects for edibles is much longer than for smoked or vaped cannabis products, and this can lead to individuals overconsuming these products under the impression that they have under-dosed.
There is evidence that these cases of over-consumption have lead to an increase in the rates of acute cannabinoid intoxication (ACI) requiring medical attention. Poison control centers have documented a dramatic increase in the number of reports involving edible cannabis, rising from 8.4% to 31.2% of reports from 2017 to 2019.
This report also documented the increased risk to children from edibles, with these products making up 48% of reports involving children under 10, despite being only 11.1% of cannabis sales nationwide. The availability of gummies, cookies, brownies, and other sweets likely exacerbates the issue. ACI is a medical emergency in children and is associated with encephalopathy, coma, severe respiratory depression requiring ventilation, and even death.
New Problems Require New Solutions
Anebulo Pharmaceuticals is developing a treatment to help address the issues of ACI from edibles and other products. The company’s lead compound ANEB-001 is an antagonist of the CB1 receptor responsible for the effects of cannabis and THC intoxication. ANEB-001 works by binding to and blocking these receptors from engaging THC and other cannabinoids (eg. synthetics like K2 or Spice).
A few hundred years ago my Cowan ancestor got on a boat in Scotland and headed west. I have been to Edinburgh in the winter, so I am grateful to him for many reasons.
A report from the BBC reminded me of another reason.
The BBC reported that, “Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic has begun prescribing to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions… The Sapphire Medical Clinic in Stirling was approved by regulators in March and…. provides unlicensed cannabis-based medicines for people with conditions that do not meet the criteria for NHS-prescribed cannabis products… Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018 and doctors are allowed to prescribe it in certain situations.”
“The 2018 law change moved cannabis from schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 – meaning it had no therapeutic value – to schedule 2. It now means doctors can prescribe the drug in certain situations…Many other cannabis products are unlicensed but can still be prescribed privately.”A Healthcare Improvement Scotland spokesperson said unlicensed cannabis-based medical products should be prescribed by specialist clinicians “where there is clear published evidence of benefit” and where there is a “clinical need which cannot be met by licensed medicines and where established medicines have been exhausted“.
In other words, when the patients have suffered enough, they may be allowed to try cannabinoids.
Amy Reid is serious about medical marijuana.
She’s a Wichita registered nurse and president of the Kansas Cannabis Coalition. She describes herself as a cannabis navigator for her patients, and she is all business when it comes to advocating for medical weed. I couldn’t help but chuckle when she told me the name of a sister organization, the Kansas Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. She asked me what was so funny.
Um, the name, I said, guilty as a schoolboy. The hard K, the alliteration, all ending with “chamber of commerce.” It was like no chamber I’d ever heard of, but the only one I might want to join.
It’s not funny, Reid told me. There are people in Kansas who need medical marijuana to relieve their pain, especially from cancer, and it’s far better than using opioids. It was an outrage, she said, that somebody living on the Missouri side of the river in Kansas City had safe and legal access to medical marijuana, while just a couple of blocks away in Kansas the same patients risk a felony conviction.
“We are simply asking our lawmakers to allow Kansas residents access to the therapeutic effects of this amazing plant,” Reid told me. “Three of our four neighboring states allow this, and it’s time Kansas stepped out of the ‘Reefer Madness’ mentality and allowed patients to have a choice.”
In less than a year, medical marijuana has generated more than $113 million in sales in Missouri. And military veterans across the state are benefitting.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the sale and use of medical marijuana in Nov. 2018. A provision in the amendment allows fees and taxes generated by all sales to be transferred to the Missouri Veterans Commission for health care and other services benefiting veterans.
Medical marijuana sold in Missouri is taxed at 4%.
On Thursday, the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) turned more than $6.84 million over to the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC).
The MVC received its first transfer of funds from the medical marijuana program in Sept. 2020, totaling $2.13 million.
On Tuesday, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about delta-8 THC noting that the product hasn’t been evaluated or approved by the agency. Granted, the FDA’s opinion on anything cannabis-related is received with a healthy dose of skepticism. The FDA still hasn’t made any determination on CBD after years of discussion and research.
The 2018 Farm Bill that essentially legalized hemp specifically called out the exclusion of delta-9 THC. Manufacturers seized on that and decided that delta-8 could slip through the loopholes since it wasn’t named in the bill. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant.
It doesn’t pack the punch of a delta-9 high, but consumers say it gives a light buzz. Delta-8 though isn’t easily extracted from the plants, and so it’s typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). As such, the FDA is concerned that these products get labeled as hemp-derived and some consumers may think there are no psychoactive effects like other hemp products. The products are also marketed as having therapeutic qualities, which the FDA notes are unsubstantiated claims.
Adverse Side Effects
What is troubling are the reports of adverse side effects. In the waring notice the FDA said that from December 2020 through July 2021, it had received adverse event reports from both consumers and law enforcement describing 22 patients who consumed delta-8 THC products and 14 who went to a hospital or emergency room for treatment. Nineteen of these patients said they had eaten delta-8 THC food products. The adverse events included vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, and loss of consciousness.
The FDA noted that the natural amount of delta-8 THC in hemp is very low, and also additional chemicals are needed to convert other cannabinoids in hemp, like CBD, into delta-8 THC through a synthetic conversion. The FDA is concerned that some manufacturers may use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make delta-8 THC through this chemical synthesis process.
Are you interested in learning more about the cannabinoids you use? Researchers from Monash University are trying to answer the questions ‘Is all cannabis the same?’ and ‘How do its variations impact us?’ and they are turning to the Northern Rivers community for answers.
‘We wanted to focus on the Northern Rivers region which is more diverse in its cannabinoid profiles than that which can be found in the big cities,’ Says Yann Chye, research fellow on the Cannabis Components Research Study team.
Lead researcher Professor Murat Yücel says that while ‘We know that cannabis is a hugely diverse plant. It has hundreds of chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. Yet, we don’t know much about how they affect us.’
By using state-of the art high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-UV), they hope to quantify the level of cannabinoids present in the cannabis that participants regularly smoke and see whether different cannabinoids interact with participants’ wellbeing.
Early data illustrates the breadth of cannabinoids present in cannabis. It is exactly this profile that highlights the importance of considering the diverse qualities of the cannabis plant, rather than minimising its variance in assuming that all cannabis is equal.
The Alabama Political Reporter spoke at length with Dr. Jan Roberts on Alabama’s pending medical marijuana legalization program. Roberts is an Alabama native and an internationally recognized psychotherapist, educator, and speaker, as well as a founder of Holistic Integrative Psychotherapy, and The Cannabinoid Institute.
APR: Alabama has an epidemic for opioid abuse. Have Alabama doctors been over-prescribing opioids and would medical marijuana make more sense for many of those patients rather than being prescribed opioids or any hard narcotics?
Roberts: “Well you bring us an important point, I know historically just from my own experience with family members down in Alabama. Unfortunately, a relative that passed away from opioid abuse, this has always been something on my radar. I know some of the efforts that the state has made in regulating opioid prescriptions.”
“When you look at medical cannabis, we know a few things around medical cannabis,” Dr. Roberts explained. “We know that cannabis is absolutely effective in treating certain types of pain. We also know that if someone uses cannabinoids appropriately, they can actually reduce the amount of opioids that they consume because there is a synergistic effect that happens with cannabinoids, especially THC, along with opioids. There is this modality, this effort to try to use THC is a way to wean people off opioids.”
“We had this come up in Delaware and actually our research showed that you really have to look at what the regulations are,” Dr. Roberts continued. “So physicians oftentimes right now are holding on to this kind of antiquated notion that cannabis is the same thing and will create a dependency issue the way opioids do. And the data doesn’t really support that. And the data shows that depending on what the laws are of that State as well as the physician buy-in to the products, those are the two key elements that will actually be successful in getting people off of opioids and using a medical cannabis product.”
A Phoenix-area cannabis dispensary chain is giving away free pre-rolled joints to customers who donate a bra in a campaign to support breast cancer awareness while supporting an Arizona nonprofit group. A collaboration between Mint Cannabis and Check for a Lump, the Buds ‘n’ Bras campaign aims to highlight the vital need for breast cancer screenings and raise funds for related support services.
Now through October 15, customers 21 and older who donate a new or gently used bra at any of The Mint’s three greater Phoenix dispensary locations will receive a free pre-roll. Those who donate 10 bras will also receive a free breast cancer awareness T-shirt, with a limit of one joint and one shirt per customer, per day.
The bras will then be given to Check for a Lump, which receives a cash donation for each bra donated. The Mint’s goal for the campaign is to collect 4,200 bras to support the nonprofit. During the seven-week campaign, the Mint will also donate $1 from every pre-roll sale to the nonprofit.
Vital Screenings Delayed by Pandemic
In an era of health screenings delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 6,000 new cases of breast cancer and 900 deaths are expected in Arizona this year, according to a statement from The Mint. A study from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science found that the number of mammograms declined 87 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
To address the issue, the Buds ‘n’ Bras campaign will include breast screening events held at its dispensaries in conjunction with Check for a Lump. Screenings will be conducted aboard the mobile mammography bus (MOM) from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 18 at The Mint’s Phoenix dispensary, and on Saturday, October 9 at the Mesa location. Patients can call (480) 967-3767 to pre-register for a screening.
Every now and then I’ll hear about some new “dangerous aspect” of smoking cannabis, whether it’s your brain shrinking or having more risks of going insane – these reports have been circulating since the dawn of prohibition.
Today we’ll be talking about the latest “SCARE STUDY” where researchers allege that smoking cannabis as young adults nearly doubles your risk of a heart attack.
That’s right. According to this CNN article, the science is clear and if you’re a young adult you may suffer a heart attack. Except, the science isn’t clear, and if you poke this study long enough, it dissolves quite easily.
How the study was done?
This was a “cross-sectional” study meaning it’s an observational study that analyzes data of a particular population at one particular point in time. The major problem with cross-sectional studies is that the way you frame the question vastly influences the results. The parameters you choose to test also plays a major role.
This means with a cross-sectional study, you can literally prove that Heavy Metal can lead to increased suicidal tendencies. You can also frame it so that the opposite is true. This is one of the first points we need to address prior to jumping into the “science” behind the study.