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Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Medical cannabis trials in France show promise

The first results of a trial into using medical cannabis for pain relief that began in a hospital in central France in March are looking promising. 

Psychiatrist Dr Nicolas Authier, Chair of the Scientific Committee on Medical Cannabis, is in charge of the experiment being conducted at the University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand. He had identified 20 patients as being suitable for participation.

One patient Mounir, 47, who suffered a stroke aged 21 and consequently struggled with painkiller addiction in trying to manage his neuropathic pain, told France 3: “I'm not yet completely relieved of the pain. There is some still, but it is nothing like what I felt before.”

The trial is part of a two-year nationwide experiment primarily designed to evaluate the best conditions of access to medical cannabis.

Dr Authier hopes that medical cannabis will then be legalised for patients whose suffering is poorly relieved by conventional treatments. 

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Why Medicinal Cannabis Could Signal the End of the Opioid Crisis

It may not come as a surprise to hear there is a global opioid crisis happening right now. Outside the UK and US, countries like Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Estonia are also experiencing opioid overuse and addiction. Carl Esprey look’s at why the humble marijuana plant used to create medicinal cannabis could signal the end of the opioid crisis.

In clinical trials, over 85% of UK patients reported that they found medicinal cannabis to be more effective in treating pain than opioids and other pain medicine, suggesting that prescribing cannabis for medical use could help resolve the global opioid crisis.

The Fight Against Chronic Pain

Millions of people across the world suffer from chronic pain in one form or another every day. Chronic pain lasts three months or longer and has a significant negative impact on a person quality of life. The Covid-19 pandemic has left many more people suffering from musculoskeletal pain after coming down with the virus and has reportedly caused those already experiencing chronic pain to suffer from more significant pain with what is now known as long-Covid.

According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), “chronic pain affects between one-third and one-half of the population of the UK, corresponding to just under 28 million adults, based on data from the best available published studies. This figure is likely to increase further in line with an ageing population.” Science Daily says, “Researchers report that 50.2 million (20.5 per cent) U.S. adults experience chronic pain based on analysis of the new NHIS data. They estimated the total value of lost productivity due to chronic pain to be nearly $300 billion annually.”

Traditionally, certainly since the 90s, opioids have been the go-to for physicians to prescribe for pain symptoms. The unfortunate reality is that opioids are highly addictive, which has led to people taking more than the recommended dose, taking them too frequently and in some cases overdose, leading to death! For this reason, even the UN is looking into the global opioid crisis and considering how it is best managed.

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Can Cannabis Help My Seasonal Depression?

The weather and foliage on the trees aren’t the only things that are changing around this time of year. As the sun starts to set earlier and earlier, peoples moods can be affected by the decrease in sunlight. This is often known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and it can make the winter months miserable for lots of people.

Fortunately for those that do suffer from SAD, there are numerous remedies that can make this time of year more bearable. Exercise, vitamin supplements and even cannabis can have an enormous impact on fighting against the disorder. While there are resources for offsetting the disorder, getting a full understanding of the problem is paramount in being able to overcome it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

One of the most crucial steps in combating SAD is properly identifying its symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

AnxietySocial withdrawalSleepiness and fatigueWeight gainSuicidal thoughtsAnd several others

Those who are suffering from any of these symptoms should refrain from self-diagnosis and seek professional assistance. That professional assistance could lead to more resources to fight the disorder such as an antidepressant prescription.

 

How Common is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

In recent years, more and more people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder have begun opening up about their struggles. An estimated 10 million Americans are said to be currently dealing from SAD. Additional research shows women are four times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than men. SAD also appears to be more prevalent among people with pre-existing mental health conditions like bipolar disorder.

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CBD usage in the animal sector continues to grow. Here's why.

In the United States, CBD usage is increasing, both among pet owners and manufacturers of CBD products. In fact, according to market research by Packaged Facts carried out in August 2018, among those who said they had bought CBD products, the proportion of dog owners who said they had done so increased by 36 percent compared to 24 percent for cat owners.
 
The increased usage is mainly due to the widespread availability of CBD-based products marketed for animals now more than ever before, including treats and supplements that feature patented product technology.
 
Many pet owners seek CBD products for their beloved pets because of perceived benefits, even though there is still a lack of hard scientific evidence that CBD-based effects are beneficial to animals.
 

The Blossoming Hemp Trend

One trend gaining traction in the U.S. is hemp production, which has become legal at the federal level, but with complicated state-by-state regulations that vary depending on whether or not the plant being produced is marijuana or hemp. CBD products are typically derived from hemp, but it is important to note that under current federal laws, CBD can only come from hemp acquired through legal means.
 
In addition to being marketed for their natural calming qualities, CBD pet treats have been promoted as helping with muscle and joint pain. They provide relief from arthritis and other ailments common among older pets or those who put on more pounds than they can easily manage. A growing number of CBD products are also marketed to relieve anxiety, especially around events like fireworks.
 
The 2016 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that one in five U.S. pet owners used either a dog or cat supplement that featured CBD oil and other cannabinoids and terpenes, up from just one in ten in 2015.
 
Nearly half of all CBD-related products were marketed as solutions to ease anxiety.
 
The Packaged Facts report also found that CBD-containing pet supplements were the most popular (salves, treats, and oils) and, with nearly 60 percent of those surveyed who bought these products saying they'd used them on their dogs. Only 12 percent had used them on cats, but because there are so many more cats than dogs in the country, that amounted to a significant number.
 

Effects of CBD on Pets: Unravelling Facts from Fiction

But what do we know about how and whether CBD affects the health and behavior of our pets?
According to some veterinarians, positive anecdotes are not enough. They urge pet owners to seek out veterinary guidance if they are considering using CBD on their animals. Veterinarians say that there is not enough research to show how CBD might affect animals — and they warn that sometimes the products might be harmful.
 
The FDA has not approved any product containing CBD for use in pets, and it cautions pet owners to make sure their veterinarians agree of any such products before trying them out on an animal in their care.
"Veterinarians must be cognizant that there are potential risks associated with the use of CBD in dogs, especially if these products have other active ingredients or additives that can cause side effects," said Dr. Jerry Klein, a veterinarian with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
"While it is true that pets experience many of the same medical conditions as people, they may also have other underlying diseases that alter the way their bodies respond to treatment," Klein said. "We recommend pet owners work closely with their veterinarians when considering CBD for their pets."
Many vets don't know enough about CBD yet, and some are still uncomfortable with its use in pets. Others say they don't want to put their patients on a new medication without first understanding how it might interact with other drugs the animal is taking.
 

Moving Forward

Still, some veterinarians are turning to CBD products, including Colorado-based veterinarian Dr. Debbie Benson, who has switched her dog over to a daily CBD regimen. Benson said that she had seen positive results in several of her veterinary clients' pets since they began giving their animals CBD oil on top of other conventional treatments; they've been able to lower their pets' dose of pain medications or anti-anxiety meds.
In addition, some pet owners have reported CBD helped ease the side effects of chemotherapy in animals with cancer.
Some pet owners also use a hemp extract called Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO), rich in CBD but much lower in THC. This extract has a known safety profile and is available by prescription from veterinarians.
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The Unintended Consequences of Ever-Increasing Marijuana Potency

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. 

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Marijuana For Motion Sickness?

 

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.

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Cannabis use in colorectal cancer survivors

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.”

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute.
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Customers Got High After Cannabis Firm Mixed up CBD and THC Say Regulators

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.

 
 
The OLCC report said the recall came into effect "after consumers reported using a hemp tincture sold by Cura that was making them 'high' even though it was labeled and packaged as not containing any detectable THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis."

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."

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Clever Leaves is Advancing Research into Cannabis for Chronic Disease Treatment with "Project Change Lives"

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.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids may be beneficial in fighting cancer, while chemicals found in the cannabis plant are also under investigation as possible treatments for immune system diseases, including HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS), and lupus.

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.

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A closer look at the fine print of cannabis

 

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."

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Does Cannabis Make You More Empathetic?

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’.

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More Women Turning to Marijuana Products to Help With Menopause

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).

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Hemp In Animal Feed: AAFCO Says More Research Needed

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.

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There's New Science Linking Marijuana to Uncontrollable Vomiting

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.

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Cannabis Edibles are Leading to More Negative Outcomes in Cannabis Users

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). 

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Scotland’s First Patients Prescribed Legal Cannabis — Finally!

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.

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From alcohol to pain-relieving pot, Prohibition runs deep in Kansas

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.”

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Missouri veterans fund receives $6.8M from medical marijuana

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.

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Hospitalizations Cause FDA To Issue Warning On Delta-8

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.

In addition to that, the FDA said that the national poison control centers received 661 exposure cases of delta-8 THC products between January 2018 and July 31, 2021, 660 of which occurred between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. Of the 661 exposure cases:
 
41% involved unintentional exposure to delta-8 THC and 77% of these unintentional exposures affected pediatric patients less than 18 years of age.39% involved pediatric patients less than 18 years of age18% required hospitalizations, including children who required intensive care unit (ICU) admission following exposure to these products.

Added Chemicals

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.

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Is all cannabis the same? How do its variations impact us?

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.

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