Is The Craze for CBD Oil Justified Or Just Crazy?

“Walk down most high streets in the UK and you’ll recognize many of the familiar sights: betting shops, clothing stores, and fast-food chains.

In the past few years, there’s been a new fixture greeting shoppers: CBD retailers.

There has been an explosion in the mainstream market for products containing the cannabis derivative, ranging from sweets to creams and even sexual lubricants.

With around six million people in the UK having tried CBD bought in shops and online, ITV News delves deeper into the compound craze.

What is CBD and which products does it appear in?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is the non-intoxicating component in marijuana, which means it can’t get you high.

You’ll find it in an array of products, from teas to shampoos, on the high street – often in small businesses selling vapes – and on the internet.

What are the claimed health benefits?

Much of the buzz about CBD comes from recent studies of medical marijuana.

Among the findings from extensive research is the suggestion CBD can have a positive impact on patients with epilepsy.

Earlier this year, the first-ever cannabis clinic in Britain opened on Harley Street in London, treating patients suffering from conditions such as chronic pain, PTSD and epilepsy using medicinal CBD.

While in the US, the federal government’s health branch recently approved its first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for epilepsy conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.

What’s the difference?

The strength of CBD on the high street, its quality and where it is sourced from is vastly different from CBD used in clinical trials.

Patients in clinical research are given much higher doses of CBD compared to what you can get over the counter in shops.

According to the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal (BMJ), the non-medicinal high street products contain around 25 mg (2%) CBD, compared to 150-1500 mg/day in clinical trials, which is often administered orally.

Continue reading at iTV

Can Cannabis Be Normalized?

“One of my favorite quotes from my interview with Chelsea Handler in the current issue of Green Entrepreneur magazine — and there are many — is when she said, “The world is only getting browner, gayer, and higher, so you’d better hop on the bus.” Just four years ago, who could have imagined that today, 12 U.S. states would permit the use of recreational marijuana — with more predicted to decriminalize the plant in 2020?

The legal weed train has left the station, and there’s no turning back. But how the mainstream will marijuana become? I’m writing this note from Los Angeles, the epicenter of the cannabis business, where every street corner has a fancy billboard for a new dispensary or brand. MedMen, which has been called the Apple store of weed, has an expensive ad campaign calling cannabis use “the new normal.” This is a clever phrase, and I want to believe it’s true, but I wonder if some of us are living in a bubble.

Even in so-called progressive communities like Brookline, Mass., residents staged a protest rally when the news dropped of a retail pot shop opening on their streets. The tony Santa Barbara region in California is booming with outdoor grows, but when locals kept complaining that it smelled like a Phish concert, cultivators were forced to find a solution or risk being sued. National fitness industry giants such as Equinox and SoulCycle are carrying CBD lines, but when Ricky Williams and others tried to open a weed gym, called Power Plant Fitness (great name, btw), in San Francisco, regulations made it impossible.

The cannabis movement has made tremendous progress — economically, socially, and legally — but there’s still work to be done. Education is the word on every smart entrepreneur’s lips. The more people understand the benefits of the plant, the more the deep-seated stigma starts to wither away.

That’s why some dispensary owners meet with community members to allay concerns before opening stores. And that’s why Handler will include personal notes with each of her products explaining what dose to take and feeling to expect. If everyone in the business continues to educate, the question won’t be whether cannabis can be normalized; the question will be when.

MySA

What Is the Best CBD Oil in the UK?

“Within less than two years cannabidiol (CBD) has sounded off the tongues of mums, doctors, and internet bloggers as if it was vitamin D, caffeine, or moisturizer cream. Now, the USA’s best CBD companies have finally arrived across the pond in the United Kingdom.

The USA is flooded with reviews of CBD products. There are tons of positive and negative reviews out there. The UK’s delayed entry into the CBD market means that if you want to buy CBD oil in the UK then you don’t need to make the same mistakes as your American friends. We are here to help you in your search for the best CBD oil in the UK.

What are the Best CBD products in the UK?

Although the most popular method of ingesting CBD is in an oil, it’s not the only way. Here are some products you can buy today that contain CBD:

1. CBD Tinctures are often synonymous with CBD oils. These are small bottles with single-serve droppers. You can ingest tinctures, or you can add oil to foods and drinks.
2. CBD Vapes boast fast absorption rates, with effects beginning seconds after inhaling and peaking within ten minutes. They come in a variety of flavors and can be infused with natural essences. You can buy vapes in disposable pens or refillable cartridges.
3. CBD Edibles are popular because they’re so easy — just pop one in your mouth on your way to the office or after a workout. You can buy sweet edibles, like gummies, or savory ones, like granola bars. Companies portion CBD into each serving, so you know exactly how much CBD you’re ingesting.
4. CBD Topicals use your skin as the absorption method, penetrating your muscles and tissues and soothing aches and pains. Topicals come in creams, lotions, or sprays — ideal for joint and back problems.
5. CBD Capsules, like edibles, are ingested. Each pill has a measured serving of CBD mixed with a carrier oil. They’re a perfect option for those looking for fast and precise dosing.

How to Take CBD Oil in the UK

Use the tincture to dispense droplets under your tongue and hold there for 60 seconds before swallowing. This will help the CBD to enter your system and get to work faster

Read more at SFWeekly

Reasons Marijuana Legalization Seems To Be Failing

“When it was first proposed, the concept of marijuana legalization seemed solid enough. Take the world’s most popular illicit substance, establish a taxed and regulated marketplace and watch all of the evil associated with the herb – the criminal activity, the youth consumption –fade away into a footnote of American history. And by all accounts, it was a plan that should have worked.

One of the biggest arguments made by cannabis advocates when trying to sell their spiel to politicians and voters was that legal weed would eliminate the black market. This, they said, would make it more difficult for children to get their hands on pot than in decades past while also generating significant tax revenue for the states. But the underground pot trade hasn’t really gone anywhere. In fact, it is only growing stronger now that criminal organizations have the luxury of being domestically based instead of running distribution from Mexico.

All one needs to do is take a look at California, which legalized the leaf a couple of years ago, to see that this is true.

There is simply no shortage of illicit operations (large and small) trying to capitalize on pot’s forward momentum. It’s a development that continues to benefit the average cannabis consumer, so they’re not really complaining. As I pointed out in a previous column for Forbes, “marijuana legalization breeds a better black market.” It’s a statement that seems to be more accurate with each passing day.

But once again, this is another fail.

Diehard cannabis advocates might argue that all of the black market madness exists because of conflicting federal and state law. There was even a point where I would have been inclined to agree that federal prohibition is the real monster behind all of this ruckus. But I’m not convinced at this juncture, at least not 100 percent. Why? Well, just take a look to the north in Canada, where marijuana has been legal nationwide for the past year. Its black market pot trade is still way stronger than the legal sector.

It could even be said that the push to convince the world that pot users are something they are not might be leading the cannabis trade to ruins. While the growing and selling of marijuana was once touted as a great job creator, many leading cannabis firms have been laying off hundreds of employees as of late. Canadian-based producer Hexo is slashing 200 jobs, while CannaTrust is cutting 140. In the United States, Eaze recently announced that it was eliminating 36 positions. The popular Weedmaps is also trimming the fat. The company says it will get rid of 100 employees.

Read more at Forbes

New Drugs And Precursors Emerge In Vietnam

“In 2015, 292 types of narcotics and precursors were found in Vietnam. Three years later, this number was 559.

Synthetic drugs like ecstasy, bath salt, LSD, heaven leaf are already popular but some new substances yet to be listed trigger high levels of hallucination, and are easily available. They can also be addictive.

In 2017, there were approximately 223,000 people using narcotics in Vietnam, 12,000 more than the previous year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Each year, about 1,600 people die of a drug overdose in Vietnam. A staggering $93.7 million is spent on buying drugs and $44.6 million on running rehab facilities.

In the first half of 2018, arrests were made in approximately 13,000 drug-related cases, in which 18,500 people were detained, and 880 kilograms of heroin, 500,000 ecstasy pills, 1.3 tons of cannabis and 2.5 tons of Catha edulis leaves were seized.

The first six months of 2018 saw 3,500 people test positive for HIV, down 3 percent from the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control, Ministry of Health.

However, experts worry that the number of people contracting HIV through unprotected sex when using synthetic drugs can increase among the youth.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics despite having some of the world’s toughest drug laws.

VNE Express

New Drugs And Precursors Emerge In Vietnam

In 2015, 292 types of narcotics and precursors were found in Vietnam. Three years later, this number was 559.

Synthetic drugs like ecstasy, bath salt, LSD, heaven leaf are already popular but some new substances yet to be listed trigger high levels of hallucination, and are easily available. They can also be addictive.

In 2017, there were approximately 223,000 people using narcotics in Vietnam, 12,000 more than the previous year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Each year, about 1,600 people die of a drug overdose in Vietnam. A staggering $93.7 million is spent on buying drugs and $44.6 million on running rehab facilities.

In the first half of 2018, arrests were made in approximately 13,000 drug-related cases, in which 18,500 people were detained, and 880 kilograms of heroin, 500,000 ecstasy pills, 1.3 tons of cannabis and 2.5 tons of Catha edulis leaves were seized.

The first six months of 2018 saw 3,500 people test positive for HIV, down 3 percent from the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control, Ministry of Health.

However, experts worry that the number of people contracting HIV through unprotected sex when using synthetic drugs can increase among the youth.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics despite having some of the world’s toughest drug laws.

VNE Express

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

“The CBD industry is flourishing, conservatively projected to hit $16 billion in the United States by 2025. Already, the plant extract is being added to cheeseburgers, toothpicks and breath sprays. More than 60 percent of CBD users have taken it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people, conducted by the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm. Chronic pain, insomnia, and depression follow behind. Kim Kardashian West, for example, turned to the product when “freaking out” over the birth of her fourth baby. The professional golfer Bubba Watson drifts off to sleep with it. And Martha Stewart’s French bulldog partakes, too.

What are the claims?

CBD is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also marketed to promote sleep. Part of CBD’s popularity is that it purports to be “nonpsychoactive,” and that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the high (or the midnight pizza munchies).

Just as hemp seedlings are sprouting up across the United States, so is the marketing. From oils and nasal sprays to lollipops and suppositories, it seems no place is too sacred for CBD. “It’s the monster that has taken over the room,” Dr. Brad Ingram, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said about all the wild uses for CBD now. He is leading a clinical trial into administering CBD to children and teenagers with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Does CBD work?

Last year, the F.D.A. approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years or older after three randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that showed the drug, taken along with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These types of studies are the gold standard in medicine, in which participants are divided by chance, and neither the subject nor the investigator knows which group is taking the placebo or the medication.

Continue reading at The New York Times

Vaping CBD Carries Unique Risks

“People like vaping because it’s a smokeless, convenient, and fast-acting way to consume pleasure-inducing chemicals including THC and nicotine. It’s also potentially quite dangerous—and that’s also true when it comes to vaping cannabidiol, the popular cannabis-derived compound known as CBD. In fact, thanks to a regulatory no-man’s-land, a consumer craze, and manufacturers who dilute extract with oils better suited for salad dressings, CBD vapes are uniquely risky.

As of Oct. 10, more than 1,200 cases of a mysterious vaping-related illness, and 26 related deaths had been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is advising consumers to “consider refraining” from vaping altogether. Of the 771 patients the CDC previously reported data on, the majority reported vaping THC and/or nicotine. Only about 17% reported having vaped a CBD product, but there is still good reason for CBD enthusiasts to take note—and even to be especially cautious.

While no single brand, product, or ingredient has been identified as the cause of the 1,000-plus cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injury—first called VAPI and now renamed EVALI—we do know that many of the affected patients were vaping illicit, and therefore unregulated, THC products. Tests showed many of those contained vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from vitamin E—which is considered safe for skincare but not for inhalation.

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been struggling to research and regulate both CBD and vaping separately, the agency has allowed manufacturers to flood the market with both types of products. In the FDA’s eyes, none of these products are legal, as they have not been evaluated or regulated for their safety. And where these two categories overlap in CBD vapes is a grey area that’s ripe for exploitation at the risk of consumers’ health. According to analysts at Cowen and Company, that grey area was worth an estimated $40 million in sales in 2018.

In May of this year, the FDA held a public hearing where more than 100 stakeholders—patients, manufacturers, and researchers among them—testified about their experiences with CBD. Now, the industry is waiting for a timeline for regulation, which was expected this autumn, but has yet to appear. In the meantime, the FDA considers an interstate sale of CBD as a food additive or nutritional supplement (ie., all those candies, canned sodas, and tinctures) to be illegal. But it’s not enforcing the law so long as operators in the estimated $590 million market for hemp-derived CBD adhere to the broader rules for the categories they fall in, whether that’s food, supplements, or cosmetics.

Read the complete article at Quartz

The Miracle That Is CBD, Might Help Breast Cancer Patients Too

“CBD is in our lattes, moisturizers, and chocolates, but what about its use in a hospital setting instead of your local café or beauty store? Although more study is needed, research suggests that CBD may have the potential to help relieve certain side effects of chemotherapy.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of the many compounds found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s non-psychoactive. Manufacturers have found a way to separate CBD from the plants, and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the Farm Bill) legalized hemp-derived CBD that contains no more than 0.3% THC and is made from hemp grown by licensed producers. (That’s why you’ve seen so many CBD products recently.) But so far, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved one form of CBD: Epidiolex, a drug containing a purified marijuana-derived form of CBD, which is used for preventing seizures caused by rare forms of epilepsy.

A 2016 review of medical marijuana’s use in oncology, published by the American Medical Association journal JAMA Oncology, notes, “Marijuana in oncology may have potential for use as an antiemetic [relieving nausea and vomiting], for refractory cancer pain, and as an antitumor agent. However, much of the data are based on animal data, small trials, or are outdated.” The authors concluded that more research is needed for medical marijuana’s therapeutic use for cancer patients.

There is even less research into CBD’s potential benefits for cancer patients. But still, some studies have been conducted. According to the National Cancer Institute, research indicates that CBD may slow the growth or reduce the risk of recurrence of certain kinds of cancers, including breast cancer; enhance the potency of certain medications; and reduce chemotherapy side effects including vomiting, nausea, and anxiety. However, all these studies are limited, and experts agree that further research is needed to understand just how CBD affects humans.

The American Cancer Society stresses that cannabis in any form should never be used as a sole form of cancer treatment. In a statement, they urge for more research into the use of cannabinoids for cancer patients and add, “Medical decisions about pain and symptom management should be made between the patient and his or her doctor, balancing evidence of benefit and harm to the patient, the patient’s preferences and values, and any laws and regulations that may apply.”

Refinery

Texas Officials Suddenly Shut Down Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Process

“A week into opening the application process for medical cannabis dispensaries to apply for permits in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety — without warning — suspended the process.

“The Department’s Compassionate Use Program is not accepting applications at this time,” it says on the department’s website. The sudden announcement comes nearly a month after the state said it would keep the application process open for a month, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1.

The move by the state agency came as a shock to advocacy groups who were eager for the state to move forward on medical cannabis expansion months after the Legislature expanded the list of conditions that qualify for the medicine under the Compassionate Use Program to include seizure disorders; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; terminal cancer and autism. Previously, the medicine was only available to people with intractable epilepsy who met certain requirements.

The move by the state agency came as a shock to advocacy groups who were eager for the state to move forward on medical cannabis expansion months after the Legislature expanded the list of conditions that qualify for the medicine under the Compassionate Use Program to include seizure disorders; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; terminal cancer and autism. Previously, the medicine was only available to people with intractable epilepsy who met certain requirements.

In September, the Texas Department of State Health Services held a public hearing to help determine which incurable neurodegenerative disorders would qualify for the medicine under the new bill. Until those conditions are officially determined — a process that could take months, she said — and the state has an accurate patient count, the DPS might have to stop accepting applications for new dispensaries.

Marijuana Moment

Jamaica Launches The World Magic Mushroom Center

“The University of the West Indies in Mona is launching the world’s first research facility to focus on psychedelic lifeforms. Researchers will study what makes so-called “magic mushrooms” psychedelic, for example. Funded in total by a Canadian psychedelic firm called Field Trip Ventures, the goal is to put research findings toward creating profitable products and services.; The announcement of the new psychedelic research facility came a few weeks after Johns Hopkins became the largest such center in the world.

According to Field Trip Ventures’ co-founder Ronan Levy, two potential business targets have been identified. One involves the establishment of ways to measure the mushrooms’ psychedelic properties in order to provide clearer expectations of their effects on humans. The other is to identify intellectual property that could be patented, as the firm will retain the rights to all discoveries made at the facility. Levy did not disclose how much his company is investing in the project, saying there was no set limit to the number of funds that will be provided to the Jamaican research center.

Ten scientists will be employed at the center with more staff to be added in the future. Some of the scientists will be employees of Field Trip Ventures, while others will be from the University of the West Indies.

Field Trip Ventures is in the process of constructing psychedelic clinics throughout North America, including in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto, In the hope that new psychedelic drugs will be found to have therapeutic properties. Currently, only ketamine is legal for such use. The company has not yet identified any new psychedelic molecules, however.

Jamaican.com

Bloomington’s Cannabis Task Force To Begin Its Work Thursday

“(WJBC) — Bloomington’s cannabis task force will meet for the first time Thursday night aiming to gather information and recommend whether the city council should allow the sale of recreational marijuana in the city.

Our news partner WJBC reports, the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Miller Park Pavilion, is being held just three days after the city council in nearby Decatur decided to prohibit cannabis sales despite a new state law allowing recreational marijuana use.

If the council legalizes marijuana sales, elected leaders would also decide whether to collect taxes on the purchases and if specific areas of Bloomington should be zoned for cannabis dispensaries.

Last week, the Bloomington council approved Mayor Tari Renner’s slate of 10 task force members despite criticism from council member Kimberly Bray. She claimed Renner’s picks were biased in favor of allowing cannabis sales.

Also serving on the task force are Downtown Bloomington business owners Jan Lancaster and De Urban, addiction specialist Deb Carter, John Walsh of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Illinois State University Instructional Assistant Professor and Black Lives Matter activist Olivia Butts, President of the Bloomington-Normal Chapter of the NAACP Linda Foster, Bloomington Assistant Police Chief Greg Scott and Police Sgt. Aaron Veerman.

Week.com

CBD Oil Side Effects To Watch Out For

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a widely used marijuana ingredient in U.S. products. Manufacturers have been adding the chemical to cosmetic products, food, dietary supplements and medications for added health benefits.

Despite the lack of scientific backing, the CBD market in the U.S. has been growing. Estimates showed that it could grow to more than $20 billion by 2022 and the figure may continue to increase in the following years, according to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research.

Companies and advocates said using CBD oil in products is safe and has fewer side effects compared to other common medications. The chemical is also known for not causing behavioral and psychological side effects.

Side Effects of CBD

Problems With Digestion

There have been reports that some supplements that contain CBD could cause digestive issues. The drugs, including the FDA-approved Epidiolex, have been linked to nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and changes in appetite, according to SelfHacked.

Dry Mouth

Marijuana products are known for causing dry mouth. In a survey with 1,500 people, researchers found nearly 12 percent of respondents experienced the condition after using CBD. The chemical potentially caused a decrease in saliva secretion after exposure.

Fatigue

This side effect of CBD oil was found in studies that tried to explore the chemical’s effects on sleep. Exposure to high doses of CBD helped people increase sleeping time, while lower amounts promote wakefulness.

However, some people reported feeling tired after exposure. Experts recommend not taking CBD before or while driving or using heavy machinery.

Liver Damage

In studies aimed at finding the link between CBD and seizures, researchers found that the chemical could contribute to liver damage. The risk of liver injury increased depending on the dose of drug and combination with anti-seizure drug valproate.

Read the full article at MSN

Should You Buy or Sell Aurora Cannabis Right Now?

“he past couple of months have seen some of Wall Street’s top cannabis stocks fall from grace. Perhaps the first company to come to mind is Canopy Growth, the world’s biggest pot stock by market cap, which saw its shares decline substantially when it reported a surprising $1 billion financial loss in its recent quarterly results. Investors quickly began to fear that other well-established cannabis stocks could witness a similar decline in the weeks to come.

That’s exactly what has happened with Aurora Cannabis. In its recent financial results, the company not only failed to see a profit once again but also warned investors that it likely won’t be profitable until 2020, which was a major disappointment to analysts and investors alike.

Looking at the financials

Despite selling more cannabis in Canada than its rival Canopy did during the quarter and growing its revenues by 52% from the previous quarter, Aurora Cannabis ended up embarrassing itself when its revenue figures still missed its own unaudited guidance it had released just a month prior. The company sold $43 million worth of cannabis in the adult market compared to the $30 million reported last quarter. However, Aurora Cannabis wasn’t able to sell all of this pot through direct distribution channels, instead of having to dump $20 million worth of marijuana into the wholesale market at a lower margin. Overall, earnings came in at a loss of $11 million for the quarter.

Analyst opinions

Aurora Cannabis used to be one of Wall Street’s favorite marijuana stocks, with Cowen & Co. analyst Vivien Azer singling the company out as her top sector pick earlier in 2019. Now that the stock has fallen by 50.4% since reaching its 2019 high point in mid-March, financial experts are starting to change their tune.

Another major sell-off came last week when Stifel Nicolaus analyst Andrew Carter issued a sell rating for Aurora Cannabis just months after he started covering the company. Assigning a new price target of just 5 Canadian dollars, or 30% lower than its current price, Carter argued that this recent financial disappointment will be the beginning of a larger, much more worrying trend. Eventually, he expects Aurora will need to return to the capital markets in order to drum up more financing.

Read more at The Motley Fool

Enhancing Athletic Performance With Cannabis

“Anna Symonds, education manager for East Fork Cultivars, has been a rugby player for 18 years and attributes a lot of her longevity as a professional athlete to cannabis.

While she experimented with cannabis as a teenager, she discontinued this practice when she got more serious about sports. After she smoked with some teammates after a game, she experienced immediate healing and muscle relaxation. “I started to have this mental shift to seeing cannabis as medicine.” After a back injury five years ago, cannabis proved to be the only thing that would provide her with pain relief and muscle relaxation while increasing her functionality without the side effects of other medications.

By microdosing before practice with a 1.1 full spectrum chocolate edible containing 1 mg THC, Symonds found the sweet spot where her pain would reduce and her mind gets into a flow state where she was fully present and performing fully optimally.

Cannabis as an aid for performance and recovery

While Antonio DeRose, head of Green House Healthy, has used cannabis recreationally for more than 15 years, he didn’t begin using this plant to help with his performance and recovery as a trail runner until about five to six years ago. He describes himself as a “wake and bakes” person. “When I wake up in the morning, I use cannabis to recharge my endocannabinoid system. Then I do some sort of physical activity.”

DeRose prefers a high-dose edible followed by some flower before he runs. “Cannabis is a bronchodilator, so it allows me to absorb more oxygen with each breath.” He finds cannabis aids in recovery in calming down his nervous system and reducing inflammation. Topicals work well for isolated areas where he has specific pain. Also, he uses hemp as a nutritional supplement, noting that as the body regenerates bones every 10 years, technically he’s made of hemp.

Chicago Tribune

Fueling The Scientifically-Driven Approach In A Crowded CBD Market

“The rise of new holistic treatments and remedies in popular culture are, unfortunately, typically accompanied by snake oil salesmen pitches and an emerging market rife of false advertising and capricious product origins. Welcome to the contemporary demand for CBD-infused products.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the natural oil cannabinoid extract of the cannabis plant, a molecule of the plant that has shown therapeutic promise without the “high,” has been at the center of an unprecedented race among competing startups offering a “panacea” to everything from anxiety to arthritis pain. Fueling a reported market for CBD oil products projected to reach $3.86 billion by 2025, growing by a CAGR of 39.5 percent since 2018, it is easy to see why there is so much hype around the once overlooked component of the cannabis plant famous for its sister constituent — THC.

However, despite the early warning signs that the CBD mania is on a trajectory for too much speculation followed by underperformance, there are some intriguing signs that tangible applications of the extract may make their way into modern medical pathways.

“There is an overall lack of formalized studies and clinical pathways to the actualization of legitimate CBD products in the commercial market,” details Layne Beal, CEO of Viridian Pharmaceuticals, a firm focused on developing safe and effective delivery of natural therapeutics through the skin using topical creams. “To help legitimize the science of this molecule, we are investigating how our proprietary delivery technology coupled with CBD works for specific indications in our planned clinical trials.”

Imbuing Credibility Into The World of CBD & Beyond

It may appear that CBD has gained sufficient credibility with the likes of Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS announcing the sale of CBD products in their retail locations earlier this year, but the truth is much more nuanced. The FDA has come under growing pressure to regulate CBD products, which came on the heels of a liver damage scare following some studies into the potential adverse side effects of the extract.

Viridian’s topical cream, called Notion, is based on the company’s proprietary technology that has been funneled through efficacy tests in pharmacokinetics and bioavailability studies to optimize its delivery impact. Importantly, they have laid the groundwork for a formalized clinical roadmap, including treatments for chronic migraine and osteoarthritis based on existing medical literature using CBD.

“The science is evolving in the CBD space, and there aren’t a lot of specific dosing guidelines aside from the first FDA-approved drug, Epidiolex,” says Beal. “We spent a significant amount of time learning from our in-home trial users about the amount of CBD that seems to have positive results for most, which brought us to the CBD concentration in our first product, which is 750mg per 30mL jar.”

Read more at Forbes

Magic Mushrooms As Medicine? Johns Hopkins Scientists Says Psychedelics Could Treat Alzheimer’s, Depression And Addiction.

“Just a few decades ago, the approach would have been unfathomable to many. Using psychedelic drugs to treat people with PTSD? Depression? Addiction? To make them stop smoking? To perhaps treat Alzheimer’s? Wow. Just say no. Weren’t these the drugs we were told growing up gave you emotional disorders? But times have changed, and today, as with so many other cultural shifts, people are taking a second look at some of the things considered taboo not so long ago. And it just could be that the same generation that popularized the drugs could benefit from their therapeutic potential.

Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., a psychopharmacologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in an interview that the approach could offer “an entirely new paradigm for treating psychiatric disorders.”

He should know. Griffiths initiated the psilocybin research program at Johns Hopkins almost 20 years ago and led studies investigating the effects of its use by healthy volunteers. His research group at Johns Hopkins was the first to obtain regulatory approval in the U.S. to re-initiate research with psychedelics in psychedelic-naïve healthy volunteers in 2000. Griffiths said his group’s 2006 publication in the journal Psychopharmacology on psilocybin is widely considered the landmark study that sparked a renewal of psychedelic research worldwide.

Griffiths will head up the new Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine. The first of its kind in the U.S. and the largest research center of its kind in the world, the center is being funded initially by a $17 million donation from a group of private donors to advance the emerging field of psychedelics for therapies and wellness. The center will house a team of six faculty neuroscientists, experimental psychologists, and clinicians with expertise in psychedelic science, as well as five postdoctoral scientists. Graduate and medical students who want to work in psychedelic science, but have had few avenues to study in such a field, will be trained at the center.

Psychedelics are a class of pharmacological compounds that produce unique and profound changes of consciousness. The most common psychedelics are psilocybin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), DMT (dimethyltryptamine), and mescaline. Much of Griffiths’ work is focused on psilocybin, the chemical found in so-called magic mushrooms.

Although research with these compounds began in the 1950s and 1960s in America, Griffiths said it was the “cultural trauma” of the psychedelic 60s—which included some adverse effects of the compounds—that ended it in the early 1970s. The unfavorable media coverage that ensued resulted in misperceptions of the risks of the drugs and highly restrictive regulations.

Continue reading at Forbes

CBD for Type 2 Diabetes: What Are the Benefits and Risks?

“You probably don’t have to look farther than your local drugstore or beauty product supplier to know CBD has taken a starring role in everything from sparkling water and gummies to tincture oils and lotions. Some may even say that CBD is the “it” ingredient of this day and age.

You’ve probably also heard that CBD — which is an abbreviation for cannabidiol — can help with stress, anxiety, and pain. “When people are in pain, they have a stress response, which causes an increase in cortisol and an increase in blood sugar,” says Veronica J. Brady, Ph.D., CDE, a registered nurse and an assistant professor at the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas in Houston. Relieving pain can help alleviate the stress response and improve blood sugar levels, as well as improve sleep, she adds.

If you’re managing type 2 diabetes, it’s natural to be curious about whether CBD might help you manage those symptoms, too, to help stabilize your blood sugar. Some healthcare professionals say CBD may play a role in treating diabetes, but it’s important to understand that the only health condition CBD has proved effective for is epilepsy in kids. The jury is unfortunately still out, because of a lack of comprehensive research on CBD and type 2 diabetes.

Scientific Studies on CBD and Type 2 Diabetes, and Barriers to Research

Despite interest among people with type 2 diabetes, large, rigorous studies showing how CBD may affect type 2 diabetes are lacking, says Y. Tony Yang, MPH, a doctor of science in health policy and management and a professor at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Specifically absent are randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard of medical research, per a June 2016 article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But early research may suggest the two are worth studying further. For example, a small study published in October 2016 in Diabetes Care in the United Kingdom of 62 people with type 2 diabetes found that CBD did not lower blood glucose. Participants were not on insulin, nor were they on any diabetes drugs, and they were randomly assigned to five different treatment groups for 15 weeks: 100 milligrams (mg) of CBD twice daily; 5 mg of THCV (another chemical in cannabis) twice daily; 5 mg CBD and 5 mg THCV together twice daily; 100 mg CBD and 5 mg of THCV together twice daily; or placebo. According to the authors, THCV (but not CBD) significantly improved blood glucose control.

A Canadian study published in Pain of 37 people with diabetes found that a synthetic cannabinoid called nabilone improved nerve pain. “We also found patients had better sleep measures, so their sleep was more complete. Anxiety levels improved to a smaller amount,” says Dr. Toth, who led the study.

Historically, cannabinoids (a group of chemicals in the cannabis plant) have been lumped together, including CBD, THC, and more than 100 others. In the past decade, growers and manufacturers have been able to isolate CBD, mainly by cultivating industrial hemp that is high in CBD and very low in THC, says Jackson. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the controlled substances list, clearing the way for more production and research of hemp and thus CBD.

Continue reading at Everyday Health

Cannabis 2.0 Legalization: Canada Is Ready

“Federally, cannabis legalization saw daylight in Canada in 2018. The Cannabis Act legalized recreational marijuana in October 2018. Now, the country is all set for the second wave of legalization, Cannabis 2.0, which includes cannabis edibles, cannabis-infused beverages, extracts, and various other products. Let’s dig into this more.

Canada’s second wave of legalization

Next month, Canada will legalize cannabis-infused edibles for recreational use. The Canadian market will see a limited selection of products in retail outlets and online stores after the legalization, but not earlier than mid-December.

Canada legalized medical and recreational marijuana. However, the country has been very careful to ensure that public health safety is also taken into account. Keeping in mind how the edibles market could attract young people, Health Canada implemented a strict legal framework for cannabis. The amendments to Canada’s regulations in June will ensure legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals.

Why regulations are important

Gummies look like the favorite choice in edibles. However, Health Canada will be careful with product labels and marketing. Since gummies are a popular product among children and youth, officials want to ensure that marketing strategies don’t influence them.

Health Canada ensured that there are stricter regulations and guideline for the products. Notably, Health Canada released a new set of guidelines on June 14 for edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals. The regulations include marijuana and industrial hemp regulations.

Canada’s cannabis industry

What fascinates me about Canada’s approach to legalization is its model. The Canadian government made efforts to pass legislation. Notably, the legislation controls marijuana use and sales even though it’s legalized. By allowing marijuana to be sold only by government-licensed retailers and grown only by licensed producers, Canada can keep illicit activities in check. Illicit activities are a major concern in the cannabis industry.

Recently, I discussed how California is on the path to become marijuana’s biggest black market. Read Marijuana Policy: Can California Shape It for the US? to learn more.

More black market sales would impact cannabis companies with exposure to the California market. A Forbes article in March discussed how higher taxes, opposition from local officials, and clumsy regulations are making the black market popular. Also, getting a license, renewing licenses annually, and other operating costs make dealing with legal cannabis expensive.

Read the full article at Market Realist

CBD Tinctures: 5 Things Every Consumer Should Know

“It’s no longer surprising that CBD is gaining popularity, as its purported health benefits are almost mind-blowing, with some derivatives even thought to help ease cancer-related symptoms.

But just because tinctures are gaining popularity doesn’t mean you should rush to the store and get a bottle for yourself. There are some key things you need to know before considering them, starting with these five essentials.

1. CBD tincture is not CBD oil.

In simple terms, a tincture is derived by soaking the cannabis plant in an alcohol and water solution, while to concoct CBD oil, plant extracts are infused in a carrier oil, like coconut, olive or hemp seed.

2. Always check the label before purchasing a CBD tincture.

An interesting study by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that only 30 percent of CBD products are accurately labeled. That means you need to be extra careful when buying your tincture. One of the things to look out for is the Certificate of Analysis, or COA, which indicates the tincture’s level of cannabinoid and its overall purity.

3. Tinctures need to be taken in small doses.

Tinctures are extremely concentrated, so it’s vital that you take them in small doses. Although you can’t overdose on a tincture, it’s better to stay safe and restrict yourself.

4. Potent tinctures contain terpenes.

The cannabis plant contains medicinal constituents called terpenes that provide the tincture’s aroma and flavor. To boost its medicinal value, terpenes from other plants or herbs are often added to it. Since tinctures are usually taken to help ease a specific ailment, the kind of terpenes added is targeted to those particular symptoms.

5. Don’t be misled by the cheaper price.

Without a doubt, CBD tinctures have powerful benefits but don’t be seduced by lower price points. Higher-quality CBD tinctures are necessarily expensive.

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