WeedLife News Network
On episode 42 of the award-winning Cannabis Tech Talks podcast, Cannabis & Tech Today Editor-in-Chief and Army veteran Charles Warner spoke to two ex-Marine Raiders about an issue close to his heart: solving the challenges veterans face after transitioning from the battlefield to home.
Bryan Buckley, CEO/Founder, and Matt Curran, CoFounder and COO, are disabled veterans who created the Helmand Valley Growers Company.
HVGC was created with the goal of exploring the benefits of medical marijuana and ending the opioid and suicide epidemic wreaking havoc on the veteran community.
Before the HVGC was founded, Curran and Buckley created the Battle Brothers Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that strives to help veterans fully transition into civilian life by prioritizing their personal, medical, and economic needs.
It was through this experience of talking with veterans, that they started noticing the positive impacts medical cannabis was having on the veteran community.
Data shows that while cannabis is beneficial for chronic pain, that might not be the case when it comes to surgery-induced pain.
New research indicates that the use of marijuana before surgery may impact patients’ recovery process, causing their pain level to significantly worse. The data goes against most of what we know about medicinal cannabis, a compound that’s been hailed as a pain reliever of all sorts.
“There is some evidence that cannabis may be beneficial for chronic and nerve pain. However, early research suggests that this is not the case for acute pain such as for surgery of a broken leg,” said lead study author Dr. Ian Holmen.
Data shows that people who used marijuana before going into surgery reported more pain while recovering, requiring the need for more opioids. They also needed more anesthesia during surgery. Cases like this highlight how important patients’ honesty is when it comes to answering pre-op questions; these details can inform doctors on their patients’ drug use and influence the patient’s surgery and recovery plan.
Researchers compared patients who had consumed cannabis before recovering from a broken leg, and patients who had not. The study has some caveats since there’s no clarity on the type of cannabis that was used, the form in which it was ingested, or how often
Menopause can be a complex time for a woman. It is the time that marks the end of one's menstrual cycle for good. It is a natural biological process which is determined once a woman goes a whole year without menstruating. It is accompanied by hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and can be quite excruciating for a woman, physically as well as mentally.
To manage these extremely bothersome menopause symptoms, a study has concluded that a growing number of women are either using cannabis or want to use it. The study's results will be presented during the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
In a sample of 232 women (mean age, 55.95 y) in Northern California who participated in the Midlife Women Veterans Health Survey, more than half reported such symptoms as hot flashes and night sweats (54 per cent), insomnia (27 per cent), and genitourinary symptoms (69 per cent).
Approximately 27 percent reported having used or were presently using cannabis to manage their symptoms. 10 percent of the participants said they were interested in trying cannabis to manage menopause symptoms in the future.
The reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that asthma affects 339 million people worldwide. It has definitely earned a spot as one of the chronic ailments that could use an effective, natural treatment.
With CBD becoming more and more popular, some asthmatics have decided to give it a leap of faith. Many people, however, are concerned whether CBD and asthma are actually a good match.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-intoxicating compound of hemp or marijuana plants. It has created the latest gold-rush in the wellness industry thanks to its versatility and an excellent safety profile.
Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states under the 2018 Farm Bill. You can find it over the counter in health retail outlets, dispensaries, and vape shops. It comes in tinctures, capsules, edibles, topicals, vapes, and even pet products.
But can CBD actually help asthma sufferers reduce the symptoms of their illness?
We know that COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system and is more dangerous for people with additional health issues. But what you may not know is that medical experts are advising that people refrain from smoking as a prevention method.
Has there been any change in your consumption? Are you smoking less or more? Have you stopped altogether? Have you used other methods such as using edibles and tinctures during this time? We’ve highlighted several emerging brands in the industry that are making smokeless cannabis products as a alternative for your enjoyment.
ALT (Advanced Liquid Technology) is one of the few premium liquid- soluble cannabis product in the market. Using their pharmaceutical-grade technology, ALT has created a pure THC liquid that is clear, flavorless, odorless, discreet, convenient, all-natural and fast-acting. ALT can be added to enhance any beverage and delivers a consistent cannabis experience to the consumer.
ALT allows users to safely and easily integrate cannabis into their daily routine, whether microdosing a morning coffee, mixing with sparkling water over lunch, or enhancing a cocktail to wind down at the end of the day. The vials were designed for single or multi-use, depending on the experience you want to have. The easy-to-use, pre-measured markings on the sides of the vials ensure targeted, precision dosing control, making it straightforward for the consumer to know exactly how many milligrams of THC or CBD they are getting per ml of liquid.
ALT’s liquid delivery method allows for faster onset and offset through the salivary glands, before traveling through the digestive track. Using nanotechnology, the particle size of cannabis is decreased, leading to faster and more effective absorption into the body. The initial onset time is between 5-15 minutes on average, a very appealing advantage over most beverage or edible experiences, which can take up to an hour or more to take effect.
People suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, which leads to chronic inflammation, are on the fast track to colon cancer, but prevention might begin with cannabis.
Young adults typically brush off the risk of colon cancer as an old man’s disease, yet the illness is becoming increasingly common in people under the age of 50. Consider the tragic outcome of Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, who died at age 43 after a heroic battle with colon cancer—despite his otherwise impeccable physique and health.
A class of conditions exhibiting variable levels of severity are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—difficult-to-treat conditions ranging from ulcerative colitis to Crohn’s disease. IBD can lead to chronic inflammation, which can lead to oncogenesis, or progress into cancer. Colon cancer, in particular, is a disease with relatively grim survival rates and only a handful of viable options for treatment. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 1.3% of all U.S. adults reported receiving a diagnosis for IBD, and the condition usually creates a domino effect of other symptoms.
New research, however, suggests that cannabis’ psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could help prevent colitis-associated colon cancer in mice.
A team of researchers associated with the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia observed the effects of THC in mouse models to evaluate the potential efficacy of the compound in preventing colon cancer in humans. The team’s research was published last month in an issue of iScience.
One issue that’s unanimous by numerous doctors and researchers is the importance of disclosing cannabis consumption patterns with a physician.
Cannabis is so much more than a plant that can get consumers high. It’s an alternative medicine, a natural remedy, and a difference-making plant that can improve lives. Although cannabis has numerous therapeutic and medicinal properties, when it’s consumed along with prescribed or non-prescribed medications, adverse side effects can occur, which can be harmful to one’s health. Even though nobody has died from a cannabis overdose so far, there are concerns about combining cannabis products with various medications.
Here’s why it’s crucial to discuss cannabis consumption patterns with a doctor or healthcare provider.
Concerns & Lack of Research Findings
As time goes on, more of cannabis’s health benefits are being discovered. However, limited research exists on the effects caused from combining cannabis with different pharmaceutical medications or over-the-counter meds. Just like with other drugs, when cannabis is combined with different medications, certain side effects can arise, which may be negative and detrimental to one’s health and well-being.
For years, researchers have tried determining how prescribed and non-prescribed medications interact with different cannabinoids. Despite the variety of studies that are underway about this topic, do you know how complex the cannabis plant is? It contains more than 400 already discovered chemicals and over sixty cannabinoids! But, there’s still much to learn about other cannabinoids, their safety profiles, and their effects
Researchers at the University of South Carolina say that THC might be an effective way to treat some potentially lethal COVID-19 complications. The researchers recently published the preliminary results of their study in a report in Frontiers in Pharmacology.
In the study, which was performed on mice, researchers found that THC could prevent the harmful immune response that causes Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and its enterotoxin, SEB. They also think that it could cause a significant increase in healthy lung bacteria.
ARDS can potentially be fatal, and those the survive it will often have lasting pulmonary scarring.
Essentially, with ARDS your body’s immune system starts to overload and destroy your lungs and other organs as well as the disease it’s actually trying to fight. When you aren’t able to stop that organ destruction, then it can lead to a fatality.
While the researchers saw enough of a positive response in mice they’re recommending health professionals begin human trials of the treatment, they’re also not advocating for recreational use of cannabis nor for patients to self-medicate should they have an active COVID infection.
A partnership between Ilera Holistic Healthcare and Southern has paved the way for the release of two new cannabis tinctures in Louisiana designed to reduce autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms, regardless of age.
Touted as the first medical marijuana (MMJ) product in the state, its release was made possible by scientific research, according to Louisiana-based Ilera Holistic.
The research shows that cannabis is “safe and effective on patients (including children) to treat ASD,” the company statement notes. Patients who use cannabis have reported significant improvement in quality of life, mood and sleep, as well as less reliance on other medications, it adds.
Louisiana exceeds “the national percentage of autism diagnoses, while at-risk and under-served patients still struggle to receive safe and effective healthcare,” Dr. Chanda Macias, Ilera Holistic CEO, notes in the statement.
Called HOPE, the product was formulated by Zelira Therapeutics and will be available through state-licensed MMJ pharmacies to patients and families who have a doctor’s prescription. The product is gluten-, dairy-, soy- and nut-free, pesticide-free and lab-tested. It will be available in a 1:1 THC:CBD tincture and a 5:1 THC:CBD tincture.
A St. Louis County lab's approval to start testing samples of marijuana means that commercial marijuana for medical use could be on the shelves this month.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that EKG Labs in Maryland Heights on Sept. 26 became the first of 10 licensed medical marijuana testers to start operations after passing a state inspection.
As a result, marijuana being grown by commercial cultivators may undergo state-required testing for safety and potency. Once approved, it can be sold at dispensaries.
EKG's director of operations, Natalie Brown, said testing could begin in the upcoming week.
“We’re hopeful that there will be product on the shelves and dispensaries by early- to mid-October for the patients,” Brown said.
The Arkansas Department of Health’s website reports that there are 83,779 active medical marijuana cards in the state, but dispensaries and patients are seeing an unprecedented amount of shortages.
“We had to raise our prices because we had just too many people coming through the shop,” Owner of Green Springs Medical marijuana dispensary in Hot Springs, Dragan Vicentic, said. He said he’s seen the shortage at his dispensary since June. They have a list of 75 different strands of marijuana and he was out a dozen this week. He said the shortage is growing each week and it’s impacting patient’s health.
“It’s more expensive, they’re having to go back to the streets possibly to get it from the people on the black market which is a terrible idea,” Vicentic said.
Vicentic says a lot of doctors turned patients away from opioids to marijuana.
“They can’t go back to their doctors and get their prescriptions for opioids again because the doctors won't give them to them so it’s a huge deal for the patients,” Vicentic said.
Looking to increase availability to underserved areas of Delaware, a Request for Applications was issued by the state’s Medical Marijuana Program that would open four new compassion centers.
Delaware Office of Medical Marijuana Director Paul Hyland said more centers are needed because the program continues to expand.
According to data from the Division of Public Health, as of Sept. 3, there were 10,587 medical marijuana patients in Delaware. That’s roughly a 29 percent increase in patients since Columbia Care opened its Rehoboth dispensary in October 2019, and about a 278 percent increase since First State Compassion opened its Lewes dispensary in May 2017.
At the time of each opening, DPH provided the Cape Gazette with patient number information – there were 8,211 when Columbia Care opened and 2,802 when First State opened.
In an email Sept. 4, Hyland said the most common concern among cardholders is the lack of selection. Counting all the vendors together, he said, Delaware has about 34 different strains of marijuana. However, he continued, some patients desire a more varied selection.
Ohio medical marijuana regulators have issued a mandatory recall on marijuana-infused chocolate products after they found higher than allowed levels of heavy metal cadmium.
The Encore Edibles (dark chocolate indica) from Canton processor Mother Grows Best didn't pass all the required tests before being sold at eight dispensaries across the state, the Ohio Department of Commerce announced in a Thursday recall message. The products were sold between Aug. 17 and Oct. 1.
The Ohio Department of Commerce did not say Friday how the issue was identified but has launched an investigation that includes testing product samples. Ohio medical marijuana products must undergo a battery of tests for contaminants including heavy metals before sale.
Regulators found the edibles exceeded state thresholds for cadmium, a heavy metal and carcinogen found in soil and water that can be absorbed by plants and end up in plant-based food products. Ohio set a low threshold for cadmium, based on the average weight of a 10-year-old child, because daily exposure to cadmium can pose health risks.
All medical marijuana is tracked from the time it's a baby plant until it is sold in a dispensary. State regulators can immediately block sales of recalled products.
The health benefits of medical marijuana are recognized in the United States. This once-illegal plant-based medicine is legal for medical and recreational use in 33 states and counting. Many medical experts recommend its use for several health conditions, including cancer.
This quick guide is useful for cancer patients looking to manage pain and other symptoms using therapeutic cannabis.
What Is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is a type of herbal medication from the flowering plant Cannabis. There are three distinct plant varieties, including Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Hybrids of Sativa and Indica are mostly used today, and there are thousands of strains available on the market from these three varieties.
There are many compounds in cannabis, but two of the most active and familiar ones are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). THC is a mind-altering ingredient that makes users go "high" while CBD is known for its health benefits and mainly used for medical cannabis.
CBD and THC have, more or less, the same medical benefits, but the latter can cause euphoric side effects. More specifically, CBD has been found to improve nausea, migraines, inflammation, anxiety, and helps relieve convulsions. THC, on the other hand, can help conditions including glaucoma, pain, insomnia, and low appetite.
Buying CBD products can be confusing to say the least. One thing that often perplexes CBD consumers is the difference between broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD.
With thousands of CBD products on the market, different brands are struggling to stand out. One major difference between CBD oil tinctures is whether they contain broad spectrum or full-spectrum CBD. It doesn’t help that products are also frequently mislabeled, too.
In brief, the hemp plants has hundreds of natural chemicals in it, including the “cannabinoids” that cause its beneficial effects. The most well known cannabinoids are CBD, the popular supplement, and THC, which is the main “active” ingredient in psychoactive cannabis (a.k.a. “marijuana”). But many other cannabinoids exist.
Both broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD products contain a variety of these natural cannabinoids, but differ in one key ingredient. While neither type of CBD will make you “feel high,” full spectrum CBD has tiny amounts of THC in it while broad spectrum doesn’t have any at all.
But there’s a lot more to learn, so read on to understand more about the different types of CBD oil and why it could matter to you.
Cannabis has a long history of being one of the oldest medicines; the term 'medical cannabis' is a term used for obtaining the derivatives from the cannabis plant. The Sativa which is found in the plant contains many compounds which are used to treat and relieve severe and chronic symptoms. Cannabis has been used by human beings as early as 12,000 years go; It has been used for thousands of years for medical, spiritual and social purposes. Records also show that cannabis grains were once considered a crucial food source in ancient China, the seeds were eaten as a highly nutritious "A Chinese medical text (1578 AD) [Bencao Gangmu Materia Medica, by Li Shizhen] describes the use of marijuana to treat vomiting, parasitic infections, and haemorrhage. Marijuana continues to be used in China as a folk remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery and to stimulate the appetite." However, today's medical cannabis' is used for a broad range of illnesses and the movement to revive it for medical reasons is directed by various factors, many beyond the realm of science.
As the legal use of cannabis products grew in many different countries, consumers were becoming more curious about their options; these include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both have very different side effects when both compounds interact with the bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system was discovered in The 1990s, it was learnt that we all had our very own unique endocannabinoid receptor system in our bodies. In research studies, it was shown that this system was accountable for our crucial body functions, such as controlling mood, appetite, pain and inflammation. In the brain the endocannabinoids and their receptors play a fundamental role in regulating memory, smell, touch, pleasure, hearing, concentration, awareness of time, hearing, and sight) and brain development. Through-out the body within the endocannabinoid system, there are two receptors; CB1 and CBD2 these are neurons that form a lock, and the cannabinoids are the key. In the brain, there are a high number of CB1 receptors, especially in the Hypothalamus, Hippocampus and Amygdala. CB2 receptors are most commonly found in the tonsils, spleen and immune cells.
The two primary cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) both share similarities, but where tetrahydrocannabinol may not be acceptable, cannabidiol is a viable therapeutic option. Cannabidiol is not from the cannabis you may think, and it does not give the psychoactive feeling (high) that cannabis/marijuana stigma that people associate it with. Cannabidiol products are derived from the industrial hemp plant, which is grown by thousands of farmers across Europe. These crops are approved by the European Union and contain less than 0.2 per cent of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compounds that are found in cannabis which is psychoactive and considered illegal.
Cannabis has become extremely popular in the health industry recently due to the increased claimed health benefits from cannabis oil (CBD), which is sold as a food supplement in many health stores in the high street. The centre for medical cannabis (CMC) has revealed that the "UK CBD market is worth over £300 million and is expected to reach over £1 billion by 2025". This shows that natural health supplements are becoming more popular with the public rather than prescription drugs. Now more people are open to cannabis oil due to the positive effects found through the CBD food supplements, and this has opened more research into medical cannabis. However, very few people in the UK will be approved for a prescription for medical cannabis.
Currently, the NHS will only prescribe medical cannabis for conditions such as rare and severe forms of epilepsy; nausea caused by chemotherapy and people with extreme muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). This would only be considered when all other treatments had been exhausted, or they were not suitable. Recently it has been discovered that cannabis has shown positive effects for people who suffer from depression, pain and epilepsy. The NHS has approved and prescribed medical cannabis as a treatment for severe life-threatening epilepsy for children and adults. During 2018 a relaxation in the rules allowed specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis-derived medicines in limited circumstances.
Nearly 30% of middle-aged women have used cannabis to treat symptoms of menopause, according to a new study conducted among veterans in Northern California.
As part of the Midlife Women Veterans Health Survey, researchers looked at data from 232 women with a mean age of 56.
Roughly half of the women reported experiencing menopause symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia, out of which 27% said they have either used or currently use marijuana products to treat these symptoms. An additional 10% of the respondents said they would be interested in trying cannabis to manage menopause symptoms.
On the other hand, 19% said they have been managing symptoms via more traditional methods, including menopausal hormone therapy, indicating cannabis is a more popular means of treating the effects of menopause than conventional approaches.
Although genitourinary symptoms were the most frequently reported symptom of menopause among the women surveyed, a majority of those that turned to cannabis did so to alleviate hot flashes and insomnia specifically.
Asian countries have not been known for their acceptance of cannabis either as a recreational drug, or for its medicinal value. Thailand is the first Asian country to break stride, legalizing medicinal cannabis, and opening up a global export market.
Change doesn’t always come quick, and Asian countries like China and Japan have been notoriously tough with their drug laws, even cannabis. This is true as well for countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. In fact, getting caught with minor possession in such countries can earn a person a lifetime in prison, or even a death sentence.
So it’s no small feat that in 2018, Thailand’s military appointed National Legislative Assembly voted 166-0 to legalize medicinal marijuana. Before a law goes into force in Thailand, it also must be approved by Thailand’s reigning monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The legislation went into effect in 2019.
Thailand and cannabis
The legalization of medicinal cannabis, and the opening of a global export market did nothing to change the laws around recreational cannabis in Thailand. Cannabis still remains a category 5 narcotic under Thai drug laws and illegal possession of the plant can garner a person up to 15 years in prison, and approximately a 1.5 million baht fine (about $48,000). If a person is caught trafficking, they could face life in prison, or even the death sentence. The change in laws was covered under the Narcotics Act of 2019, which is a modified version of the Narcotics Act of 1979.
The medicinal legalization is strictly for those authorized by the government to cultivate and use the plant. Users are required to have a doctor’s prescription and a marijuana identification card.
The laws that originally legalized medical cannabis in 2018, are likely to be updated in 2020. The cabinet approved a Public Health Ministry proposal to expand the existing laws to allow patients, medical practitioners, and traditional medicine healers to cultivate cannabis. This authorization, should it pass, would allow a greater number of people to legally grow, including folk healers.
Independent consultancy NNE and venture advisory firm Volvér showcase the significance of science and risk in devising a manufacturing facility.
How can cannabis producers bring a high quality, reliable product onto the market? Morten Allesoe, Principal Consultant and Christian Carlsen, Venture Partner at independent consulting firm NNE, tell MCN about the importance of factoring in scientific evidence and risk awareness.
“We have previously discussed various steps in the journey from having an idea as an investor or entrepreneur, to creating and delivering the product to the patient and the processes that take place within the body once the patient consumes the product – but we are still missing some of the steps between the initial idea and the launch of an operational facility,” explains Business Director Christian Carlsen.
“We advise our customers to take the science- and risk-based approach with a heavy patient focus, but this is a factor that migrates into the broader strategy on how to qualify the facility and the equipment,” says Principal Consultant Morten Allesoe.
How can a focus on science and risk help solve the challenges faced by medical cannabis producers in an emerging market?
Pharmaceutical engineering and consulting company NNE has provided advice and support to an increasing number of medical cannabis clients in recent years. As the nascent medical cannabis industry has grown and developed, both in Europe and elsewhere, Carlsen has identified some key differences between the field of medical cannabis and the traditional pharmaceutical sector.
On a back country road in northern NSW, up a nondescript dirt driveway, sits a highly secret facility.
Surrounded by strict security, thousands of cannabis plants are being carefully cultivated in state-of-the-art greenhouses for the medicinal cannabis market.
Australian Natural Therapeutics Group CEO, Matthew Cantelo, surrounded by cannabis that is about to be harvested.CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT
The Australian Natural Therapeutics Group facility, near Armidale, is about to start producing medicinal cannabis oil on a commercial scale – the first such manufacturing licence granted in the state.
The company's chief executive Matthew Cantelo said he had noticed quite a large increase of approvals under the Special Access Scheme, as well as a rise in the number of authorised prescribers.