WeedLife News Network

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

Cannabis is advertised, sometimes haphazardly, as a cure-all for seemingly endless conditions and health problems these days. According to a recent survey, however, marijuana really is helping many women cope with their menopause symptoms.

The arrival of menopause is associated with a number of adverse symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats. Now, this new research shows more and more women are using marijuana, or at least want to use it, to help alleviate symptoms.

In all, 232 women (average age 56 years old) living in Northern California participated in this research. Over half report dealing with hot flashes and night sweats regularly (54%), while others deal with insomnia (27%) or genitourinary symptoms frequently (69%).

Results show over a quarter of women say they have used, or are currently using, marijuana to help battle menopause symptoms. Another 10% say they are interested in trying cannabis in the future for their menopause problems.

Perhaps just as interesting, only 19% report using a more traditional form of menopause symptom management like hormone treatment. So, it seems marijuana for menopause is more widespread than even some conventional approaches.

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Scientific evidence regarding the role of the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of autoimmune diseases is just emerging, but cannabis seems to be a viable treatment. 

Project CBD defines autoimmune diseases as “diseases in which your body’s defense system triggers an abnormal inflammatory response that causes damage to the body’s own tissues. Many conditions fall into this category, including multiple sclerosisCrohn’s disease, lupus, and celiac disease.

Symptoms may include fatigue, pain, swelling, fever, nausea, numbness, rashes, or hair loss.” These conditions are widespread with about 20% of the populations suffering from some sort of autoimmune disease, the majority of whom are female.

Researchers behind a 2010 study published in the journal Immunobiology point to the possibilities of cannabis as a viable treatment for autoimmune diseases: “Cannabinoids have been shown to act as potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory agents and have been shown to mediate beneficial effects in a wide range of immune-mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, septic shock, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic asthma.” 

Photo by Benjamin Combs via Unsplash

chronic fatigue syndrome

New research from Israel found no significant effects of medical cannabis on cognitive function among middle-aged and older chronic pain patients. 

As the use of medical cannabis becomes more prevalent in a number of countries, the study’s authors set out to explore the possible detrimental effects of marijuana among patients aged 50 and over who use weed to treat chronic pain. 

The authors point out that multiple studies examining this relationship have been conducted for different age groups, however, the bulk of research has focused on the effects of cannabis on younger and developing brains.

As the brain in older adults has already undergone many changes, the possible effects of medical marijuana need to be studied separately among older patients, they added. 

Participants in the study were recruited from the Rambam Institute for Pain Medicine in Haifa, Israel. Marijuana for medical use has been legal in Israel since the 1990s.

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Despite being signed into law in July 2019, many of the improvements touted by Jake Honig’s Law, which expanded the state’s medical marijuana program, have yet to be implemented, frustrating physicians, healthcare professionals and attorneys operating in the healthcare space.

With more than 86,000 patients signed up for the medical marijuana program in New Jersey, and a ballot question asking voters to decide whether or not to legalize recreational cannabis, health care experts say many in their industry remain under informed about the medicinal value of cannabis and when or how to prescribe it.

Dr. David Nathan, founder and president of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, said there were numerous issues the medical cannabis program still needed to address in order streamline the program including the sign-up process for patients and physicians, increasing the number of dispensaries, delivery, home cultivation and allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend cannabis.

“My feeling is that anybody who is eligible to prescribe medication in the state of New Jersey should be eligible to recommend cannabis,” Nathan said.

Sheila Mints, a healthcare attorney with Capehart Scathard, said Jake Honig’s Law authorized nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to register patients for the medical marijuana program but, in practice, that change has yet to take effect.

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Results of a recent survey indicate 30 percent of migraine sufferers in the U.S. and Canada have used cannabis to relieve migraine pain – and most found it useful.

Healthcare technology provider Healint surveyed 9,885 users of Migraine Buddy; the company’s global migraine tracking app. Of those who used cannabis, Healint says 82 percent  found it useful for reducing pain levels.

“Cannabis is becoming a prominent treatment option for chronic pain patients, especially for migraineurs,” said Healint CEO and co-founder Francois Cadiou. “With more and more states across the United States legalizing medical marijuana, migraine patients are becoming acquainted with cannabis as a natural remedy that can help alleviate migraines and even prevent them.”

Among other aspects, the Migraine Buddy app enables users to record information about the duration, frequency, and intensity of their attacks – and medication use.

It’s not the first time evidence of this nature has been presented.

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Everyone loves a little self-care, and right now, we probably all need to devote some extra time to ourselves to de-stress.

CBD (cannabidiol) and self-care seem like a match made in heaven. There are claims galore assuring you that adding CBD to your self-care routine will not only chill you out but it’ll do wonders for your anxiety. But what does the science say?

There are a plethora of CBD self-care products available to buy; from earthy deodorants, sumptuous body creams and dewy facial serums, to oils for pulse points, tension and pain relief. You can ingest CBD drops or you can soak in some hemp bath salts. All of these activities on their own are soothing and can do wonders for your anxiety when you take the time out to do them, however, there is some actual science to back up the claims that incorporating cannabidiol could lower your anxiety.

We know that CBD is currently used to treat insomnia and the chronic pain that is associated with various diseases. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which soothe physical pain and they also suggest that CBD helps people to fall and stay asleep. Both are important factors for physically relaxing your body.

But if you’re looking to address anxiety with your self-care products (which should never replace the advice or medication given by a medical practitioner), studies indicate that CBD decreases anxiety and social phobias by producing an anxiolytic effect in both animals and humans. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to help restore homeostasis, meaning it helps to create a stable equilibrium within the human body and mind. In fact, CBD interacts with several receptors in the body that regulate anxiety and it’s manifesting behaviours.

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Another study pointing to the adverse reactions that smoking cannabis during pregnancy might have on children was released this week.

This one claims the habit could lead to an increased risk of psychotic-like behaviors, as well as weaker cognitive abilities and other issues, during middle childhood.  

Published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, the research was based on data on 11,489 children aged 9 to 10 years over the course of a decade and obtained through the national Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development survey. A total of 655 of the children included in the research were exposed to marijuana prior to birth, as reported by their mothers. 

According to the results, children exposed to cannabis while in utero were more likely to experience psychopathology during childhood compared to the 10,834 children with no prenatal marijuana exposure. The children participating in the study were evaluated around the age of 9.

The researchers from Washington University in St. Louis also found more frequent instances of other types of issues such as depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances among the children that were exposed to the drug while in the womb. 

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Cannabis and sleep go great together. Here’s a few things you should keep in mind when using the herb to help you rest.

Marijuana can be a great tool for sleep. Just talk to any friend who smokes weed at night or who found themselves nodding off in the middle of a party because the herb they smoked was a little too relaxing.

Anecdotal evidence from people with varying degrees of insomnia shows how effective marijuana can be for sleep by helping users feel relaxed and allowing them to achieve hours of uninterrupted rest.

Despite marijuana’s powerful sleep inducing effects, it’s important to understand that the relationship between cannabis and sleep isn’t as clear cut as so many believe it is.

Here are 5 things you should keep in mind when using marijuana as a sleep aid:

Weed Edibles Have Sold Really Well During The Pandemic

Chronically ill Australians desperately trying to access medicinal cannabis could soon be given a helping hand.

Melbourne-based medicinal cannabis company Montu has created a nationwide network of doctors who support the use of controversial cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment and can help more than half a million patients access the drug for a range of medical conditions, regardless of their location.

It will come as a welcome relief for thousands of Australians including Melbourne mother Annee Angell, whose daughter Lindsey has epilepsy.

Ms Angell said it had been an ongoing battle to find the right treatment for her 40-year-old, blind and non-verbal daughter, who would feel the debilitating effects of seizures for days after an episode.

Speaking to NCA NewsWire, Ms Angell said she discovered CBD four years ago, but she was forced to seek out a “backdoor supplier” in a bid to treat her daughter’s lifelong and “unpredictable” condition because the product was illegal.

Annee Angell with her daughter Lindsey who has epilepsy.

If you’re a cannabis consumer who suffers a brain injury, you might recover faster than those who abstain from the plant, according to a study published in the Journal of Surgical Research.

“Although preinjury use of marijuana does not improve survival in trauma patients, it may provide some improvement in outcomes in patients with traumatic brain injury and those that are more severely injured,” reads the study’s abstract.

The researchers looked at in-hospital mortality and hospital length of stay data as the primary outcome measures and reviewed data from two large regional trauma centers in the U.S. from 2014 to 2018. Both institutions served a similar geographic region, the study notes, with similar population demographics.

Patients who were under 18 years of age, did not have level I or II trauma activations, were not drug tested, or who tested positive for other drugs, were omitted from the study.

Researchers found that the “marijuana-positive group” had significantly shorter hospital stays overall and also spent less time in the intensive care unit. But the cannabis consuming patients were also significantly younger than the other patient groups, which may play a factor in their faster recovery times.

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New research out this month suggests that medical cannabis is extremely prevalent among patients looking to treat symptoms for a serious tissue disorder.

The study, which will be published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, found that more than one-third of patients diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) have used marijuana to manage symptoms.

NORML, which reported on the study last week, said that the researchers found that 37 percent “reported having used cannabis therapeutically,” with cannabis use particularly prevalent “among patients who reported experiencing either moderate or severe pain.”

“Of all of the traditional and complementary therapies used by respondents, ‘marijuana was self-rated as most effective,’” NORML noted in its write-up.

What is EDS?

The National Institute of Health defines Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as “a group of disorders that affect connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues,” the outlook for which can “range from mildly loose joints to life-threatening complications.” The hallmark symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are extremely flexible joints and elastic-like skin that is susceptible to bruising.

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The Malta Medicines Authority is steering standards of good practice into day-to-day excellence, regulating medicinal cannabis through an approach that upholds scientific quality, innovative research and stakeholder engagement.

As a regulatory body, the Malta Medicines Authority (MMA) provides an infrastructure that supports research and development as well as the accessibility of quality medicinal cannabis. Through guidance, technical reviews and scientific evaluations, the MMA enables controlled sourcing of cannabis-based products for the Maltese market and oversees prospective operations of local manufacturing facilities, alongside educational endeavours tailored to the evolving needs of stakeholders.

What are the main developments in Malta relevant to cannabis for medicinal and research purposes?

Medicinal cannabis gained momentum in Malta particularly over the past three years, recognising the opportunity to get policy decisions right and implement practical regulation. The 2018 amendments to the Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act (Chapter 537 of the Laws of Malta) enable licensed medical practitioners to prescribe not only cannabis-based products which hold a Marketing Authorisation, but also other products which are manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

The first product was made accessible to patients in Malta by May 2018, following a notification of approval issued by the Superintendence of Public Health on the recommendation of the Medicines Authority. All individual packs of the four products approved to date are serialised with tamper-evident labels upon sourcing to Malta, for traceability purposes. The product portfolios are followed up and any adverse reaction reports managed through a set procedure.

The enactment of Chapter 578 of the Laws of Malta and its subsidiary legislation, also in 2018, portended the legal provisions relevant to the production of cannabis for medicinal and research purposes. The Advanced Scientific Initiatives Directorate within the MMA developed a regulatory framework, including guidance documents which provide an overview of specific procedures such as cannabis cultivation, production, analytical considerations, licensing, security and reporting measures, enabling the implementation of a transparent system throughout all processes, including due diligence and certifications relevant to manufacturing, as well as monitoring and control.

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Much research has looked at sleep and cannabis, as indica strains and CBD companies everywhere promote that cannabis can help with sleep. However, not much of this research has looked into sleep patterns in seniors until now. 

According to a new study, the daily use of cannabis by older adults is associated with improved sleep duration, as sleep is a major issue that patients medicate for. This new study from the University of California at San Diego is unique because it looks at cannabis use and how it can help sleep for seniors both with and without HIV.

“Researchers with the University of California at San Diego assessed the relationship between daily cannabis use and sleep quality over a 14-day period in a cohort of older adults (ages 50 to 70) with and without HIV,” the study explains when giving an overview of procedures used and the setting of the study. “Participants wore actigraphy watches during the study period to objectively assess their quality of sleep.”

The Results of The Study

The researchers found that overall, cannabis helped seniors get, on average, an 30 extra minutes of sleep. Those being studied used smartphones and actigraphy watches to log their sleep patterns, similar to the way sleep patterns are logged by smartwatch devices. The patients recorded when they fell asleep and woke up and if they took the watches off.

Currently, there are mixed findings on how cannabis impacts sleep quality when all the research is compared. This probably depends on things like frequency and amount of use, type of cannabis, and reasons for use.

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Hill Dickinson Senior Associate Rohit Fogla explores the UK’s regulatory landscape concerning cannabis finance.

As policy on cannabis in the UK and Europe continues to evolve, Rohit Fogla, Senior Associate at Hill Dickinson LLP, outlines the current regulatory regime for medical cannabis, capital raising and investment options for enterprises and investors operating in this sector.

Medical cannabis in the UK

In November 2018, the UK government changed the law to make it possible for ‘cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans’ (CBPMs) to be ordered and prescribed by specialist practitioners without a controlled drugs licence. At the time, it was thought this might be the gateway to further liberalisation of the restrictions on cannabis in the UK, which would foster the development of a UK medical cannabis industry.

However, due to restrictions put in place around the reforms that were introduced, only a very small number of patients with a limited range of conditions have been able to access treatment within the NHS, meaning that medical cannabis remains inaccessible for many of the patients in need.

One of the main barriers to access has been doctors’ inability or unwillingness to prescribe medicinal cannabis. This is partly due to the lack of education around cannabis available to doctors, but also due to the responsibility placed on doctors who elect to pursue this form of treatment. This has meant that those people that cannot access medical cannabis on the NHS or privately, which some estimates suggest run to the millions, are forced to purchase cannabis on the black market.

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Users report that cannabis aids in alleviating symptoms of cramping, abdominal pain, nausea, and poor appetite associated with IBD.

Cannabis has been utilized in the treatment of gastrointestinal issues for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Even before the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the human body, the use of cannabis has been shown to alleviate symptoms of gastric distress.1 Could cannabis play a role in improving quality of life and providing symptomatic relief of inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a challenging, long-term disorder typically characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. IBD is further subdivided into ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and sores within the lining of the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease is identified by a more generalized, deeper inflammation of the entire digestive system. Both classifications may involve weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. In some cases, IBD can lead to life-threatening complications.2 Additionally in younger patients, delays in puberty and growth failure may occur.3

The cause of IBD is not completely established, though it is likely that genetics coupled with a dysregulated immune system may result in an inappropriate inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract. Current pharmacologic interventions focus on immune suppression and may include antibiotics, corticosteroids, aminosalicylates, and biological therapy. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.4

Photo by Tharakorn/Getty Images

Using animal and human cell lines in experiments, it has been theorized that a lack of naturally produced endocannabinoids in some people may result in the body being unable to control the inflammatory process in the gastrointestinal tract. Consumers of cannabis report that it aids in alleviating symptoms of cramping, abdominal pain, nausea, and poor appetite. It is believed that supplementing an under-producing endocannabinoid system results in improved quality of life and reduction in symptoms.5

Study: Marijuana Can Eradicate Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Before giving CBD oil to your ailing dog or cat, you should know something.

It’s not legal to give your pet CBD oil, a popular treatment for humans looking for help with arthritis and a host of other problems.

When the Cannabis Act was passed by the federal government and updated later to include edibles, its use for pets was not included.

“Veterinarians are not permitted to authorize medical cannabis nor are there are any products that contain cannabinoids that are approved for use in animals,” said Sarah Silcox, president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine.

“So the most promising step is the government has last year proposed a new class that they have termed cannabis health products, but they would be approved by Health Canada for both human products as well as animal products,” added Silcox, who predicted that change is at least a year away.

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Well-known organizations like the American Cancer Society have already had frank discussions about the benefits of CBD and cannabis during cancer treatment. 

A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. From the confusion of understanding the road ahead to the hectic schedule of treatment protocols and never-ending appointments, many individuals struggle through treatment and beyond.

Amy S., a native of Milwaukee, shared that her breast cancer treatment took a toll not only on her body, but relationships as well.  “Exhaustion was an understatement. I didn’t have the brain power or the patience to give to my children, or my husband.” Amy went on to explain that during particularly difficult chemotherapy sessions, while they were targeting her left breast, she had continuous nausea and insomnia. One bright spot, Amy shared, was that a friend passed her some CBD oil. 

After discussing combining the oil with her other treatment, she found relief in small doses. “It didn’t fix the fear, but it gave me a little bit of my life back, between vomiting and overthinking.” Amy credits CBD oil with helping her deal with anxiety and pain during treatment. And, she’s not alone. 

Well-known organizations like the American Cancer Society have already had frank discussions about the benefits of CBD and cannabis during cancer treatment. 

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Arthritis often causes a dramatic lifestyle change that’s accompanied by depression and/or anxiety. But that doesn’t have to be the case. 

One-and-a-half million people in the United States suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In fact, The Arthritis Foundation estimates that three times as many women as men have the disease and it affects individuals of all ages, but primarily women ages 30 to 60. 

Commonly affecting the hands and feet of the body, RA is considered an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks joints, leading to inflammation and pain as well as a loss of motion. With a diagnosis comes a rapidly-changing lifestyle, often causing activities and hobbies that were once loved and now off-limits.

Through stories on the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society website, many individuals have shared that arthritis has caused a dramatic lifestyle change that’s often accompanied by depression and anxiety. But that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Changing perceptions around cannabis with arthritis 

With patients young and old experiencing the debilitating effects of rheumatoid arthritis, individuals like Pearl Schomburg are advocating for doctors to mention the effects of cannabis in office. Pearl explained to Newshub, “Cannabis balm was the first thing I discovered and was shocked by how well it worked.”

Cannabis Topicals

Though opioids can be useful medications that provide strong relief, their negative side effects can outweigh their positives, contributing to opioid addiction. Unlike opioids, though, a new study out of B.C. found cannabis doesn’t increase pain sensitivity when used over long periods of time.

The study was conducted by the psychology department of University of British Columbia, Okanagan and sought to highlight the differences in pain tolerance that exist between people who useCannabis has long been used as medicine for pain. In recent years, data has shown that pain management is one of the principal reasons why people consume medicinal cannabis.

“This study should come as good news to patients who are already using cannabis to treat pain,” explains Zach Walsh, a study co-author. “Increases in pain sensitivity with opioids can really complicate an already tough situation; given increasing uptake of cannabis-based pain medications, it’s a relief that we didn’t identify a similar pattern with cannabinoids.”

Authors of the study initially speculated that frequent cannabis users would demonstrate greater pain sensitivity, but this wasn’t the case.

Frequent opioid users run the risk of developing hyperalgesia. / Photo: Igor Vershinsky / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Photo: Igor Vershinsky / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Celebrations for medical cannabis access being added to Nebraska’s ballot in November turned out to be very short-lived. But the fight goes on.

There is no medical marijuana program in Nebraska currently and no other allowances for patients. That may have changed after the November election.

Late last month we reported Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana had announced its amendment supporting patient access to medical marijuana would appear on the November ballot. More than 182,000 petition signatures were delivered to support the initiative. However, the group expected a legal fight to keep it there and certainly got one.

Late last week, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued an opinion to remove the constitutional amendment from the ballot. Five judges ruled against the amendment’s inclusion and two supported it.

The amendment being dropped was based on a constitutional requirement that all proposed initiatives must be a “single subject”, to avoid voter confusion and attempts to have two separate and different issues being rolled into one to get something over the line. It appears the amendment was viewed to have multiple subjects, the right to access medical marijuana for medical purposes – and supply. But you can’t really have one without the other.

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