WeedLife News Network

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

Ohio medical marijuana: Autism, depression among newly proposed conditions in 2022

Ohio will decide whether people with anxiety, depression and lupus can buy marijuana through the state's medical program. 

The State Medical Board received nine petitions for 10 potential new qualifying conditions in 2021 and is scheduled to meet next month to begin reviewing the requests. A final decision isn't expected until this summer.   

The board accepts submissions for new conditions every year. They must include letters of support from physicians and evidence that marijuana can be used to treat or alleviate the ailment.

Petitioners called on the board to add a variety of other conditions, including degenerative disc disease, bipolar disorder and insomnia. Officials may revisit whether to include autism spectrum disorder after rejecting it last year.

The board will also mull a petition to add opioid use disorder and Gilbert's syndrome, a common liver condition that can lead to yellowish skin. Two of the requests – chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder – are already among Ohio's qualifying conditions.

The petitions come as officials debate legislation that would allow physicians to recommend marijuana for any patient, regardless of condition, as long as they believe it would help alleviate their symptoms. The proposal would also overhaul the program by increasing the number of dispensary licenses and allowing cultivators to expand their facilities, among other changes.

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Marijuana users' risk of deadly complication doubles after rare type of bleeding stroke

Among people with an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) stroke, a type of bleeding stroke, recent marijuana users were more than twice as likely to develop a dangerous complication that can result in death or greater disability, according to new research published today in Stroke, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.

The study is the largest to examine the impact of THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component (change of a person's mental state) of marijuana on complications after an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (a severe form of stroke).
 
In an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, a weakened and bulging part of a blood vessel bursts on the surface of the brain (called a ruptured aneurysm), resulting in bleeding in the space between the brain and the tissue that covers it. This type of stroke can be devastating, resulting in neurological disability in about 66% of people and death (during the follow up period) in about 40%. The immediate treatment of an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage focuses on stopping and preventing further bleeding. However, despite treatment, in the 14 days following an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, many patients may develop worsening symptoms (such as speech problems or difficulty moving). This is caused by blood from the initial stroke irritating blood vessels, causing them to constrict enough to cut off the blood supply to a portion of the brain (called a vasospasm), resulting in more brain damage. This complication, called delayed cerebral ischemia, is a leading cause of death and disability after an aSAH stroke.

"We're all vulnerable to a bleeding stroke or a ruptured aneurysm, however, if you're a routine marijuana user, you may be predisposed to a worse outcome from a stroke after the rupture of that aneurysm," said Michael T. Lawton, M.D., senior author of the study and president and CEO of Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 1,000 patients who had been treated for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage at Barrow Neurological Institute between January 1, 2007 to July 31, 2019. All patients had been treated to stop the bleeding either via 1) open surgery to clip off the base of the aneurysm, or, 2) noninvasively, by threading a slim tube through a blood vessel to the base of the aneurysm and releasing coils that fold to fill in the space and provide a barrier to further bleeding.

Urine toxicology screening was performed on all patients admitted with ruptured aneurysms. The study compared the occurrence of delayed cerebral ischemia in 46 people (average age of 47 years; 41% female) who tested positive for THC (the component of cannabis, also known as marijuana, that induces a high) and 968 people (average age 56 years, 71% female) who tested negative for THC. A positive urine screen for THC reflects cannabis exposure within three days for a single use to within approximately 30 days for frequent heavy use.
 
The recent cannabis users did not have significantly larger aneurysms or worse stroke symptoms when admitted to the hospital, and they were not more likely to have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular risk factors than patients who screened negative for THC. However, recent cannabis users were significantly more likely to have also tested positive for other substances, including cocaine, methamphetamines and tobacco, compared to the patients who screened negative for THC.

Among all participants, 36% developed delayed cerebral ischemia; 50% were left with moderate to severe disability; and 13.5% died.

After adjusting for several patient characteristics as well as recent exposure to other illicit substances, patients who tested positive for THC at last follow up were found to be:

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Is Big Pharma Weed Coming With Pfizer’s Recent Purchase?

Pfizer wants in on the cannabis game. Will you be buying Pharma Weed? Most consumers say absolutely not.

You may not have heard the wonderful news. Our great overlords and global saviors at Pfizer announced their intentions to get into the medical cannabis market via their $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. Of course, the giant pharmaceutical company has a lot of “expendable cash” available due to the pandemic.

However, the news of Pfizer wanting to break into the medical cannabis industry isn’t something new. Every advocate understood that once cannabis is legalized globally, these giant pharmaceutical companies would definitely make their claim to some portion of the marketplace. Whether this is a “good” thing or a “bad” thing is irrelevant; the truth of the matter is that pharma entering into the cannabis industry is an inevitability.

Putting my personal prejudices aside for a moment, along with some of the more atrocious historical facts of the company, perhaps this could be the dawn of the next wave of cannabinoid medicines. While some might cringe at the idea of pharma handling this sacred plant, cannabinoid-based medicines will evolve into more standardized packaging. It will eventually become dose specific and potentially a robust cannabinoid treatment protocol for a large group of conditions.

For that to happen, pharma has to dig their money-hungry hands into the market and begin to do some R&D. In the case of their recent acquisition, we can already see that they are targeting specific conditions and will be creating a medication instead of trying to sell tinctures, whole plant, etc.

Benzinga reported on the acquisition:
 
“The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in Inflammation and Immunology, a Pfizer innovation engine developing potential therapies for patients with debilitating immuno-inflammatory diseases with a need for more effective treatment options,” stated Mike Gladstone, global president & general manager, Pfizer Inflammation and Immunology.
 
“Utilizing Pfizer’s leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases.”
 
Etrasimod is Arena’s drug candidate for the treatment of immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases.

This type of cannabinoid medicine would be able to be obtained via health insurance, meaning that it could make cannabinoid-based medicines widely available for people who may need it.

What’s Some Good That Can Come From This?

While it’s probably easier to pander to the masses and frame Pfizer as the devil incarnate, they too are simply a force of reality that exists and behaves according to its own self-preservation. If they are about making profits, then they will adapt to the market needs and if endocannabinoid-treatment options will become a thing, then their self-preservation would create a net-benefit.

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Killed by a pill bought on Snapchat: the counterfeit drugs poisoning US teens

Accidental deaths soar among young people amid a proliferation of fentanyl-filled pharmaceuticals

Fourteen-year-old Alondra Salinas had set out her new white sneakers and packed her backpack the night before the first day of in-person high school when police say she responded to an offer on Snapchat for blue pills, which turned out to be deadly fentanyl. Her mother couldn’t wake her the next morning.

Seventeen-year-old Zachary Didier was waiting to hear back on his college applications when a fake Percocet killed him. Sammy Berman Chapman, a 16-year-old straight-A student, died in his bedroom after taking what he thought was a single Xanax.

Their tragedies are part of an explosion of drug-related deaths among US high school and college-aged youth, fueled by what experts say is a flood of fentanyl-filled counterfeit pills being sold on social media and sometimes delivered straight to kids’ homes.

National statistics show a huge surge in drug-related deaths during the pandemic, with fatalities leaping to more than 93,000 in 2020, a 32% rise from 2019. But no group has seen a faster rise than youth under 24, according to a Guardian analysis of 2020 federal data. Among this age group, accidental drug deaths increased by 50% in a single year – taking 7,337 young lives in 2020. Experts say a large portion of this increase is due to the vast quantities of fentanyl streaming into the US.

In California, where fentanyl deaths were rare just five years ago, a young person under 24 is now dying every 12 hours, according to a Guardian analysis of state data through June 2021. That’s a 1,000% increase over 2018, according to data from the California department of public health’s drug overdose dashboard.

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Why do people use cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

People who use cannabis during pregnancy and lactation choose it to manage pregnancy-related symptoms and pre-existing conditions, such as nausea and vomiting, mental health problems, insomnia and more, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Cannabis use by pregnant and breastfeeding people appears to be increasing, although there is a lack of evidence on prevalence and the effects of cannabis on offspring. This study provides interesting insights into motivations and the changing nature of reasons for use during different stages of reproduction.

"Our findings have very little resonance with evidence on motivations for cannabis use identified in nonpregnant populations, suggesting that motivations for use during pregnancy and lactation are unique," writes Dr. Meredith Vanstone, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, with coauthors. "The reasons for use provided by our participants more closely match those identified in studies of medical cannabis use, such as for controlling pain, anxiety, depression, muscle spasms, nausea or appetite, and for sleep, with many using cannabis to manage multiple symptoms."

The study included 52 people recruited from across Canada, of whom 51 were women and 1 identified as nonbinary. All had used cannabis before their pregnancy. At the time of the interview, 30 people were pregnant and the remaining 22 were breastfeeding. The reasons that participants gave for using cannabis changed when they became pregnant. Some people stopped out of fear of harm to the fetus when they found out they were pregnant. Other people stopped because of social stigma, guilt and health reasons. Those who kept using cannabis described their motivation as related to managing symptoms of pregnancy and conditions that pre-existed pregnancy. After they gave birth, their motivations for using cannabis changed, more closely resembling the reasons they supplied for using cannabis before becoming pregnant.

These findings have implications for clinical practice, including counseling of pregnant and lactating people on the potential harms of cannabis use and alternative approaches.

"I think it's important for physicians to understand that people who use cannabis during pregnancy are often doing so because they perceive important benefits of cannabis for controlling a variety of symptoms. There's an opportunity here for exploring the benefits that pregnant patients are getting from cannabis and helping them find alternatives that we know are safe for both mom and baby," Dr. Vanstone concludes.

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Marijuana manipulates the immune system, but what does this mean?

Before a person considers taking cannabis as a way of managing disease, it’s important to talk to a doctor.

Cannabis is a multipurpose plant. Depending on moods, method, strain and more, the plant can have different effects. The compounds in cannabis, called cannabinoids, are known as immune-modulators. This refers to them having some kind of influence on the immune system, thus producing a wide variety of effects.

So, for people who are not scientists, what does this mean? There are several possible explanations and they’re all contradictory and complex, so here are some ideas presented in as simple terms as possible.
 
Some research has reported cannabis suppresses the immune system, which is why it may have a powerful impact as an anti-inflammatory agent. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on one’s immune system and what a person is currently going through.
 
When it comes to viruses and infections, inflammation plays an important role in the body, helping to trap them and prevent their spread. Some believe cannabis could stunt the immune response and produce more harm than good. Other studies suggest that the cannabis plant does something else entirely, making the immune system stronger and helping it battle infections. There are reports of this being the case with patients who suffer from cancer or AIDS, where cannabis helps them cope with their symptoms and strengthen their response to the disease.

Research conducted on mice with cancer found that cannabis causes apoptosis, which means that it kills cancerogenous cells. Another study conducted on humans with AIDS/HIV discovered that the patients who consumed cannabis ended up with stronger immune systems and had higher CD4 counts (these are T cells that kill the HIV virus).

When it comes to CBD, much of the research out there continues to reflect these contradictory ideas. Essential Health explains that for a healthy person, CBD can compromise his or her immune system.

For people with an autoimmune disease, where someone’s immune system doesn’t work as intended and may attack the healthy cells in their bodies instead of the infections, CBD can provide some benefits, such as reducing the strength of these symptoms. Autoimmune diseases include HIV, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and more, all of which are difficult to treat.

There’s plenty information out there, but there’s still not enough research to definitively explain cannabis’ role in peoples’ immune systems. Like most things cannabis-related, the way in which it interacts with the body is highly individualized and needs much more research than what is available now.

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Ohio Senate okays medical marijuana for conditions including arthritis, autism and migraines

 

Senators overwhelmingly approved a bill to expand Ohio’s medical marijuana program to other conditions, some of which were rejected for medical pot by state regulators in the past.

“We’re here, and the last bill before our Christmas break and we can end on a high note," said Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), as laughter broke out in the chamber.

Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights), a longtime medical marijuana advocate, got in on the joke too, saying when he wanted to propose the idea when he first arrived in the legislature, "all I heard was, 'Hey, Yuko, how many joint sponsors have you got?'"

The bill would allow medical marijuana to be recommended for arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, chronic muscle spasms, migraines, opioid use disorder and for people in hospice care or with terminal illnesses. The Ohio State Medical Board has twice rejected adding autism to the list of conditions.

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Chronic cannabis use by mothers heightens risk of their young adult offspring using marijuana and tobacco: study

Women were interviewed 10 times over the course of study, while offspring were surveyed at age 22 to measure any drug dependence.

A new U.S. study suggests that women who regularly use cannabis during and after pregnancy may increase the likelihood that their adult offspring smoke cannabis and tobacco.

 

“Chronic maternal cannabis use is a risk factor for regular and dependent cannabis use and for dependent tobacco use among young adult offspring,” conclude authors of the study, published this week in Addictive Behaviors.
 
 
Another study in 2015 indicated that 18.1 per cent of pregnant and 11.4 per cent of non-pregnant women met the criteria for marijuana abuse and/or dependence.

 

 

Chronic maternal use is a concern, authors of the latest study suggest, since the findings show this may predict adult cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD) in their adult offspring.

Per information from Alberta’s health department, CUD occurs when people have become dependent on cannabis. Among others, they may experience extreme changes in mood, trouble concentrating and memory problems.

To find out if maternal weed use affected offspring substance use at age 22, they reviewed information from a year pre-pregnancy to 16 years postpartum.

Offspring measured for both substance use and dependence

 

Recruited from a prenatal clinic between 1982 and 1984, the women were surveyed by trained interviewers twice during pregnancy, at delivery, eight and 18 months following birth and at three, six, 10, 14 and 16 years postpartum. Offspring were measured for substance use and dependence at age 22.

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Cannabis Treatment For Aches & Pains

Dr. Mikhail Kogan's cannabis recommendations for treating chronic pain.

Pain is the most common malady to afflict humankind and the major reason people seek medical care. The annual healthcare costs related to pain are over $300 billion, which is greater than the costs of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. According to a landmark report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”

Cannabis products have been used since ancient times for such conditions as joint pain, migraine headaches, neuropathic pain, and even convulsions, to name but a few. And modern science backs up what our ancestors knew. The recently discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls inflammation – a major source of pain – as well as pain from other causes. By activating certain receptors in the ECS, cannabis can help reduce pain and inflammation.

PHARMACEUTICAL CANNABINOIDS

The FDA has approved two synthetic forms of THC – Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone) – which are only available by prescription, usually in pill form. Both are approved for treatment of chemo-related nausea, and Marinol has been approved as an appetite stimulant for HIV patients but not cancer patients. Unfortunately, these drugs haven’t been very effective for treating chronic pain. Nor have they been very popular with patients.

Another pharmaceutical cannabinoid product, Sativex (nabiximols), is a natural, plant-derived tincture from cannabis that contains both THC and CBD, the nonintoxicating component of the cannabis plant. Although it’s been successfully used as an oral spray in England, Canada, and other countries for multiple sclerosis pain and spasticity, as well as neuropathic (nerve) pain, Sativex has not yet been approved for use in the United States.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR PAIN

Recent surveys estimate that more than 90 percent of medical marijuana consumers have used it for pain relief. Chronic pain sufferers generally prefer the good old-fashioned natural cannabis flower to the more modern, man-made marijuana, according to a recent review article. And those who do use synthetic cannabinoids tend to quit using them because of their ineffectiveness and/or side effects.

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Cannabis Users May Risk Harmful Drug Interactions

A recent survey found that nearly half of American adults (49%), have tried marijuana, a figure that has risen steadily in recent years as more states legalize medical and recreational cannabis. While the Gallup poll didn’t ask why people use marijuana, it’s fair to say many are experimenting with cannabis products – and cannabidiol (CBD) in particular – as alternatives to mainstream medical treatment.

And that could be a problem for people with chronic pain and other illnesses, according to researchers at Washington State University, who found that CBD interferes with two families of enzymes that help metabolize pain relievers and other drugs prescribed for a variety of medical conditions. As a result, the medications’ positive effects might decrease or the drugs could build up in the body and become toxic.

“Physicians need to be aware of the possibility of toxicity or lack of response when patients are using cannabinoids,” said Philip Lazarus, PhD, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and senior author of two new studies appearing in in the journal Drug Metabolism and Disposition.

“It’s one thing if you’re young and healthy and smoke cannabis once in a while, but for older people who are using medications, taking CBD or medicinal marijuana may negatively impact their treatment.”

One study focused on enzymes known as cytochrome P450s (CYPs), while the second study looked at enyzymes called UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). Together, the two enzyme families help metabolize and eliminate more than 70 percent of the most commonly used drugs from the body.

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Is Mixing Cannabis And Prescription Drugs A Good Idea?

Taking CBD or marijuana might help your pain, but could be making the other drug(s) you’re taking more toxic.

It is widely known that cannabis has many medicinal benefits, with managing chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety and treating the symptoms of PTSD among them.

However, in the case of cannabinoids, a group of substances found in the cannabis plant, there is a risk that combining it with other prescription drugs could pose harmful drug-drug interactions, suggests new research undertaken by scientists at Washington State University (WSU).

The researchers looked at cannabinoids and their major metabolites found in cannabis users’ blood and found that they interfere with two families of enzymes that help metabolize a wide range of drugs prescribed for a variety of conditions. As a result, either the drugs’ positive effects might decrease or their negative effects might increase with too much building up in the body, causing unintended side effects such as toxicity or accidental overdose.

The findings examined the interaction between three of the most abundant cannabinoids – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN).

While more research is essential, the authors suggested that caution should be taken when using cannabis with prescription drugs.

“Physicians need to be aware of the possibility of toxicity or lack of response when patients are using cannabinoids,” said Philip Lazarus, senior author on the paper and Boeing distinguished professor of pharmaceutical sciences. “It’s one thing if you’re young and healthy and smoke cannabis once in a while, but for older people who are using medications, taking CBD or medicinal marijuana may negatively impact their treatment.”

Lazarus added, “It’s one thing if you’re young and healthy and smoke cannabis once in a while, but for older people who are using medications, taking CBD or medicinal marijuana may negatively impact their treatment.”

 

The Findings

Researchers used manipulated human kidney cells and confirmed their results in human liver and kidney specimens in which enzymes were present.

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Why Marijuana Is Effective For Opioid Recovery

The best way to determine whether or not marijuana can play a role in helping patients overcoming opioid addiction is by continuing to closely study the relationship between the two.

The devastation the opioid crisis has wrought upon communities throughout the country, especially throughout the pandemic, is immense. Deaths from opioid overdoses amassed the threshold of 93,000 in 2020, and relief is nowhere in sight.

That’s why now, more than ever, governing bodies and the medical community benefit from pulling out all the stops to get a handle on the situation.

Part of leaving no stone unturned in the fight against opioid addiction is studying the effects marijuana can have on people currently dealing with an addiction to opioids. Fortunately, recent moves made from the Biden Administration have made researching marijuana easier than it ever has since current research on the impact of marijuana on opioid addiction recovery is limited. 

Here are a few things research has already concluded about marijuana and opioid addiction.

Marijuana Helps Ease The Symptoms of Withdrawal

The journey of opioid recovery is intimidating to lots of people currently in the throes of opioid addiction because of how daunting withdrawal can be. The long process of overcoming an addiction to opioids can consist of a variety of undesirable side effects, including anxiety, nausea, chronic pain, insomnia and chronic pain. Fortunately for people undergoing the process of opioid withdrawal, marijuana has shown evidence of being an adequate resource in helping patients to overcome withdrawal symptoms.

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ASUI talks medical marijuana and sexist comments

ASUI passed resolutions on medical marijuana and Boise State Professor Scott Yenor

ASUI passed a slew of legislation Wednesday and held its first meeting for spring semester senators, including supporting Boise State University countering sexism and legalizing medical marijuana. 

ASUI introduced and passed a resolution supporting Boise State University students and their petition to investigate Professor Scott Yenor for sexist comments. 

The petition comes after a video from the National Conservatism Conference in Florida surfaced in which Yenor commented that women should not be recruited into the fields of engineering, medicine and law as well as trade occupations. 

Following the video’s surfacing, Yenor has since taken to Twitter. saying that there should be no “special efforts to recruit women into fields where they don’t seem to want to be.” 

“BSU students are currently petitioning and protesting actively to have (Yenor) investigated for sexist grading and sexist evaluations of fellow faculty and staff,” Director of Safety, Health and Wellness Abbey Rode said.  

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How Does CBD Oil Help With Post Cancer Recovery

Cannabinoids (CBD) can reduce tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion and can also increase the potency of certain drugs used to treat Cancer.

The popularity of Cannabinoids (CBD) is growing at a rapid speed that by now, you have probably heard of CBD or other CBD-infused products in treating chronic conditions like pain, anxiety, depression, joint pain. Some studies have noted that consumption of CBD may treat major diseases such as Schizophrenia and Cancer.  

If you are searching whether the usage of CBD oil can help with post Cancer recovery then you are probably aware of what CBD is. For the uninitiated, CBD also known as Cannabidiol is one of the many active compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Out of the several compounds, CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most well-known. Many people out there also confuse CBD with giving a 'high' feeling but it is the THC that has psychoactive properties in it and causes you to feel high. CBD on the other hand is non-psychoactive and doesn’t have mind-altering effects like THC but has the same number of medical benefits as THC. Meaning, if you buy CBD oil from a credible brand that guarantees their product doesn’t have a substantial amount of THC, you can take advantage of the therapeutic CBD oil benefits where it will help you ease pain, anxiety and sleep issues without making you feel 'stoned' which is associated with THC. 

Can CBD help with post Cancer recovery?

We all know Cancer is the growth and spread of abnormal cells and they are so malignant that they can destroy body tissue by invading and spreading. It is noted that one out of every six deaths is attributed to cancer. Due to this, effective Cancer treatment is of the utmost importance. To understand the impact of CBD oil on Cancer, scientists have studied the relationship involving mice or human cells in the lab. Thus, the research is still in the initial stages and more studies are needed before conclusive claims can be made. 

What is the correlation between CBD and cancer recovery?

There is solid evidence supporting the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion and can also increase the potency of certain drugs used to treat Cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation, part of cancer treatment, can produce an array of side effects such as loss of appetite and nausea and research suggests that cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain and nausea. CBD is also thought to have anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties that can greatly help those recovering from Cancer treatments. 

So, how can CBD help with post-cancer recovery?

Consumption of CBD can help people with post-Cancer recovery in the following ways but to see these benefits and more do ensure you buy CBD oil from a credible manufacturer such as Hempstrol who source CBD Oil India from the world's best NON-GMO Hemp Farms from Colorado, the USA which is rich in Cannabinoids and has therapeutic qualities.

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NM Medical Cannabis Company Donates to Cancer Fund

Pecos Valley Production (PVP), a New Mexico medical cannabis company, has announced that their most recent fundraiser and partnership with the Anita Salas Memorial Fund generated an unexpected and philanthropic amount of money. During the month of October, PVP focused on raising money by educating their medical cannabis patients and ultimately asking them for a donation at checkout. Patients received entries into raffle baskets and mystery bags for their contribution efforts.

Additionally, PVP ran an internal contest throughout their stores to see which store could raise the most money. The reward for the winning store was $500 and was spread throughout the employees at the victorious location.

Because of PVP’s efforts during the fundraising campaigns, the Anita Salas Memorial Fund received a $12,000 check from them that is sure to help this longtime organization focus on education, awareness and fundraising.

The Anita Salas Memorial Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)3, that helps pay for women’s breast or cervical cancer treatment, or related bills such as transportation, lodging or medications for treatment.

The women the fund supports are moderate to low income, underinsured or uninsured. The funds go directly to the bills, not the women. There is only a 5 percent administration fee. So 95 percent is used for direct breast and cervical cancer services for women in New Mexico; with nominal amounts going toward more fundraising.

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Americans’ Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic has been associated with an increase in public health spending, rising mental health issues and a record number of overdose deaths, according to a report from the philanthropic arm of UnitedHealth Group.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact in Americans’ health. But the picture is nuanced and complex, impacting racial and ethnic groups and certain geographic areas differently, according to UnitedHealth Foundation’s 2021 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report.

“In this year’s report — which provides a comprehensive look at our nation’s overall health — we begin to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has had both direct and indirect impacts on health and health trends,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., executive vice president and chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual, part of UnitedHealth Group, said in a statement.

The UnitedHealth Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the UnitedHealth Group.

The 2021 annual report examines 81 measures from 30 data sources to understand the impact that social, economic, environmental and other factors have on health. The report also includes a state-by-state analysis of the nation’s health.

The nation experienced a 17% increase in the overall U.S. death rate between 2019 and 2020, according to the CDC. The most recent data for 2021 data shows an even larger increase of 21% from pre-pandemic levels. COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in the country in 2020.

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Large Study Links Cannabis Use to Sleep Disruption, Especially Among Heavy Users

Getting roughly eight hours of sleep is crucial for most of us to avoid feeling like a zombie at work the next day. While some people use caffeine to keep alert during the day, others have turned to cannabis as a sleep aid.

Now, a large-scale study on the effects of cannabis on sleep duration and quality has called into question the drug's reputation as a beneficial pre-slumber choice. 

Data on cannabis use and sleep duration for 21,729 adults were obtained from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a cross-sectional survey designed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The authors of the new study, led by researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada, wanted to determine the relationship between recent cannabis use and sleep duration in a nationally representative sample from the US. Participants were required to report their age range, race, sex, education post high school, average hours worked per week, and other health-related variables. 

Sleep duration was categorized as short, optimal, or long, with short sleep defined as less than 6 hours, and long sleep defined as more than 9 hours on average weeknights or worknights.

Sleep quality measures were also part of the survey, with questions relating to difficulty falling asleep, ability to stay asleep, sleeping too much in the past two weeks, and whether participants had consulted a physician about sleeping issues. 

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Cramps & A Bad Time? 4 Cannabis Products To Help You Cope With Your Period

Cannabis has become an unlikely source of relief for many suffering from PMS. Here are some products that could ease the discomfort.

Periods affect women in unpredictable ways. While some may feel a general sense of grumpiness and discomfort, a significant group of women experience rough menstrual periods, where they are faced with crippling pain and symptoms such as nausea, muscle aches, abdominal pressure and more. While women have turned to all sorts of medications and practices for relief, marijuana has become an option to alleviate a variety of symptoms. The cannabis industry has capitalized on this need, creating products to treat these symptoms, such as cannabis suppositories and tampons, which provide localized and fast relief. But there’s also soaks and bath salts to relax your entire body while targeting other symptoms aside from the pain in your uterus. Here are four of the best cannabis menstruation products you can find.

Suppositories

Cannabis suppositories are meant to provide fast-acting pain relief.  Taking around 15 – 20 minutes to kick in, cannabis suppositories affect your pelvis region, relaxing your muscles and uterus. Depending on the brand, suppositories can contain more or less THC, with there being CBD options as well.

While cannabis suppositories are mostly mentioned when discussing periods, they can treat a wide range of ailments. They can make sex less painful, treat constipation and hemorrhoids, and more. The most popular of these products is made by Foria, a company that also makes cannabis lubricants and oils.

 

Soaks and bath salts

A good remedy against pain and period cramps is relaxation, which can be facilitated with a nice long bath and some fancy bath salts. These can be effective and powerful, providing relief for up to 5 hours, and maybe leaving you a little loopy after your bath. Use with care. There’s a variety of brands making these products, including Vertly, Happy Dance, and more.

CBD Tinctures

Tinctures are very concentrated and strong, healing your pain with just a few drops if you can stomach the powerful and oily taste. They’re placed under your tongue, and they act fast, within 10 minutes you’ll experience effects, hopefully getting some much-needed relief for your cramps. Tinctures are also a great and safe option for consuming during the daytime, because they won’t make you feel high at all. 

Skin Balms & Creams

Cannabis balms can be used anywhere on the body, providing analgesic effects. Products like Love Your Lady Parts allow you to scoop a spoonful of product and apply it, providing an effective, if a bit messy, option for pain and cramp relief. Wear your least favorite underwear.

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Office of Medical Cannabis hosting patient sign up Dec. 7 in Princeton

West Virginia residents with qualifying medical conditions will have an opportunity Dec. 7 in Mercer County to sign up for access to medical cannabis products that will be sold by a company planning to open dispensaries in southern West Virginia.

The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) will host a public sign up event for medical cannabis patients from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7 at Country Inn & Suites along 111 Halls Ridge Road near Princeton, according to an announcement from the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

Jason Frame, director of the state OMC, said that he knew of plans for a cannabis dispensary in the Princeton area.

A billboard near the intersection of U.S. Route 460 and Courthouse Road outside of Princeton has announced that a company called Greenlight Dispensary is planning to open an outlet there. The company’s website also announced future dispensaries in Beckley, Logan, Lewisburg and Strollings, but did not provide any opening dates. The company has outlets in Arkansas, the Kansas City region, Missouri and Illinois. Company officials were unavailable Thursday.

“There are two dispensaries in the state now, and we expect that number to grow quickly in 2021 and into 2022,” Frame told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

The dispensaries are in Morgantown and Weston. Dispensaries are not for selling recreational cannabis products, he said.

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Connecticut raises mold levels for medical marijuana at one lab, emails show

Connecticut approved an increased limit of mold and yeast allowed in medical marijuana at one of the state’s two cannabis testing labs through private emails last year, documents show.

At the request of AltaSci Labs, the state Department of Consumer Protection agreed to raise the total passing level of yeast and mold from 10,000 colony forming units per gram to 1 million per gram for the lab, according to August 2020 emails obtained via a Hearst Connecticut Media Group public records request.

The request, which also included the addition of testing for a specific genus of mold, was the result of a 2015 study and changes from other states, officials said. Meanwhile, at Northeast Laboratories, the state’s other cannabis testing facility, the passing limit remains 10,000 CFU per gram.
Connecticut, which is in the throes of launching its adult-use recreational program, has about 54,000 medical marijuana patients who were not notified about the change in mold and yeast levels.

State regulators argue that the looser restrictions paired with the addition of testing for the Aspergillus mold genus makes the product safer.

Not all states have set requirements for testing medical marijuana. The result: A patchwork set of regulations that varies widely from state to state, and in Connecticut’s case, from lab to lab.

The testing standards evolve often with new research. Without federal standards, it’s a learning process, said Rodrick Marriott, the department’s Drug Control Division director.

“This program, and especially the microbiology portions of it, evolves over time based on things that other states learn, and that we learn, going through all of this, and really, you know, I don't think there's any true perfect system for this and no kind of like magic bullet to say what's exactly perfect,” Marriott said. “We continue to learn from our peers.”

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