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Medicinal cannabis is changing the face of clinical medicine.  We are the leaders of that change.

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At CED Clinic, we aim to create a welcoming and professional environment in which patients and clinicians can openly discuss the benefits of medical cannabis.

Our Services

  • Massachusetts Medical Card Certifications
    • Adult Cannabis Care
    • Pediatric Cannabis Care
  • In-Depth Consultations & Care Plans
    • Concierge Care
    • EO Care
    • Medical Second Opinions
    • Talk Therapy

Our Mission

  • To Heal
  • To Educate
  • To Listen

Our Team

Benjamin Caplan, MD
Erin Caplan, NP

Benjamin Caplan, MD, stands at the forefront of medical cannabis care as the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of CED Clinic and CED Foundation. His entrepreneurial journey further extends as the Founder of multiple medical cannabis technology and educational platforms and as a medical advisor to the prestigious cannabis investment fund, GreenAXS Capital. Within digital healthcare, Dr. Caplan co-founded EO Care, Inc, a pioneering digital therapeutic and telemedicine platform, offering personalized cannabis care and product plans and continuous clinical guidance to a global clientele seeking a reliable, evidence-based cannabis care partner. Adding to his repertoire of contributions to the medical cannabis arena, Dr. Caplan has recently published “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook,” an industry-first resource empowering readers with the full scope of the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Through his multifaceted involvement, Dr. Caplan continuously strives to bridge the gap between traditional medicine and cannabis care, making a significant impact in evolving holistic healthcare.

Erin Caplan, NP is a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a master’s-level medical education from Simmons. Her extensive clinical journey has been enriched through roles at Massachusetts General Hospital, Hyde Park Pediatrics, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she has provided both inpatient and outpatient primary care to some of the most fragile and challenging pediatric patients. A registered cannabis care provider licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, Erin seamlessly blends her pediatric expertise with the nuance and adaptability required for personalized cannabis care. A community leader, avid athlete, and dedicated mother of four, Erin’s compassionate bedside manner and steadfast commitment to evidence-based practice have earned her the trust and appreciation of patients and families, showcasing her as a harmonious blend of clinical excellence with a personal touch.

Patient Stories

Happy customer!

My visit to CED Clinic was absolutely amazing, and it all started with Kim. She was so friendly and helpful right from the get-go, making the whole scheduling thing a breeze – a real breath of fresh air! Then there was Dr. Caplan. Honestly, chatting with him felt more like catching up with an old friend than a typical doctor’s visit. He didn’t seem to be watching the clock at all; he was all in, really getting to grips with what I’ve been going through, and dishing out advice that hit the nail on the head. And get this – he’s even written a book about it all! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. The whole experience at CED Clinic was just so warm and genuine. They’ve got something special going on over there, for sure.

Amanda Kimmel

I’m Free: My Journey Beyond Chronic Pain!

I felt trapped in a cycle of chronic pain, where prescription and over-the-counter meds were just dead ends. Then I found Dr. Caplan. His blend of medical expertise and cannabis knowledge opened a door I didn’t know existed. I read ‘The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook’ and it was/is a turning point—packed with research and actionable advice, it guided me to a pain management plan that actually worked. Thanks to Dr. Caplan, I’m living with less pain and more hope. Highly recommend for anyone stuck in the pain cycle.

Emily Brasston

From Frayed Edges to Balance: Found My Center with Cannabis

Let me paint you a picture of my life not too long ago: a job that never hit ‘pause,’ kids that always needed me in a hundred different ways, and a level of work stress that had me teetering on the edge. I was juggling more plates than I had hands for, and it felt like I was one strong breeze away from watching them all come crashing down. Sleep was a luxury I couldn’t afford, and ‘me time’ was a concept so foreign it might as well have been from another planet.

Enter Dr. Benjamin Caplan and his life-altering approach to managing stress through cannabis medicine. At first, I was skeptical—could this really be the answer I’d been searching for? But from the moment we began, it was clear Dr. Caplan wasn’t just any doctor. His blend of traditional medical insight and innovative cannabis expertise was like a breath of fresh air.

What truly transformed my journey, though, was diving into ‘The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.’ This wasn’t just another self-help book; it was a treasure trove of evidence-based research, clinical wisdom, and, most importantly, actionable advice that felt like it was written just for me. It became my North Star, guiding me through the haze of stress and sleepless nights to a place of understanding and balance.

Thanks to the personalized strategy Dr. Caplan crafted with me, I’ve been able to reclaim control over my stress and find a sense of equilibrium I didn’t think was possible. My work no longer feels like a constant battle, and I’ve found more joy and presence in the time I spend with my kids. The difference is night and day.

I’m beyond grateful to Dr. Caplan and the invaluable lessons from his handbook. For anyone feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, and everything in between, Dr. Caplan’s compassionate, evidence-based approach might just be the lifeline you need. I can’t recommend him enough.

Sam Dexter

My Journey to Conquering Chronic Insomnia with Dr. Caplan and Cannabis Medicine

I’ve been in this battle with chronic insomnia for what feels like forever. I hit a point where I felt completely out of options. I mean, you name it, I tried it—all those over-the-counter fixes, prescriptions from my doctors, and I even got creative mixing up my own cannabinoid solutions. But nothing worked. Those endless nights of tossing and turning weren’t just annoying; they were wrecking my health and my spirits.

Then, almost out of nowhere, I stumbled upon Dr. Benjamin Caplan and his work in the world of cannabis medicine. From the moment we started talking, I knew this was different. He’s got this unique blend of traditional medical wisdom and cutting-edge cannabis knowledge. It’s like he sees the whole picture in a way no one else had shown me before.

But here’s the real game-changer: “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.” That book blew my mind. It’s packed with solid science and real-deal clinical insights on how cannabis can tackle not just insomnia but a whole list of issues. More than that, it gave me straightforward, practical steps tailored just for me. It turned into my guide on this journey to use cannabis safely and super effectively.

I owe so much to Dr. Caplan and the wisdom packed into that book. I’ve finally found some peace from my insomnia—a relief I thought was off the table for me. My sleep’s way better, and my days? They’ve transformed. I can’t thank Dr. Caplan enough. And seriously, if you’re hitting a wall with insomnia or any health problem that just won’t budge with the usual treatments, Dr. Caplan’s approach could be the breakthrough you’re looking for. Certainly was for me.

 

My Journey to Conquering Chronic Insomnia with Dr. Caplan and Cannabis Medicine

Used as a Human Target as a Kid, Medical Cannabis is the answer.

I’m totally blind. I live in a rural area. So when I was 12, same-age peers thought zapping the blind girl’s eyes with laser pointers would be a great idea. It got bad enough that my paraprofessional had to have the devices banned from the school for my safety. Shortly after, I began having intense eye aches. I differentiate them from headaches because even a 12 year old can tell the difference. Doctors told my parents and I they were migraines. It wasn’t until later in life that I began realizing there was something else going on here. Really studying migraines, studying the eye, studying neurology and understanding not all was as it seemed. I began developing my own theories as to what these “migraines” were. I take migraine meds, but they don’t treat the eye aches. They treat the other migraine symptoms just fine. My younger brother suggested I try edibles last year. Because by this point, I was in enough pain where I believed I’d have to have my eyes removed. None of us wanted to see that happen. So he took me to a dispensary, (he had spoken with someone he knew there about me prior, and they’d come up with a regimen they thought would work.) The first clue I had that we were on the right track, was that I slept for 14 hours. So I kept a calendar and a spreadsheet full of virtual sticky notes, and 2 weeks later came to Dr. Caplan for my medical card, crazy theories about optic neuropathy in underdeveloped optic nerves and all. A year later, I’m studying cybersecurity, because that’s something I found I’m passionate about, and I can do it now!

Krista Pennell

To sleep well again is life-changing

Dr. Caplan was coincidentally recommended by both my dentist and a close friend. I was concerned about finding a high level, knowledgeable, physician in a professional setting who understood using cannabis in a safe and effective manner. I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan more highly. His knowledge is vast and I am grateful for his expertise, care and compassion. To sleep well again is life-changing. Very few things literally change someone’s life. Dr. Caplan’s knowledge and guidance on cannabis did that for me.

Barbara M.

Not once did I feel rushed or embarrassed, in fact I felt like he really does care about my circumstances, and wanted for me to feel confident and prepared

Honestly, I was hesitant to try cannabis. I have debilitating menstrual cramps and my OB/GYN recommended Dr. Caplan. I was more than a little hesitant to try cannibas because all I really knew about it was that people used it to get “high” – and that was not something I was interested in. This perspective totally changed when I actually came in and met with Dr. Caplan. He was incredibly understanding and really took the time to ease my mind about the whole process, what kind of options there were to choose from, what they might do, and what would probably appeal to me. He spent a lot of time answering all my questions (and I had a lot!). Not once did I feel rushed or embarrassed, in fact I felt like he really does care about my circumstances, and wanted for me to feel confident and prepared.

Mark L.

Dr. Caplan was thorough in his evaluation and friendly and accessible in his approach

Dr. Caplan was thorough in his evaluation and friendly and accessible in his approach. He provided in depth information and step by step guidance for beginning the process of utilizing cannabis therapies. He is available to his patients by email and phone. I highly recommend an appointment with him if you are even remotely considering medicinal use. I was hesitant about this approach before my appointment but now, after talking with Dr. Caplan and learning a little bit more about the science, I am eager to explore and I feel better already!

Rachel M.

I saw Dr Caplan a few months ago, and from even before I met him, he has made himself available to me over email, for questions, more than even my regular doctor

I came into marijuana medicine with zero experience. I must say, I’ve been learning a ton, and I would recommend it to anyone with terrible anxiety and depression. I saw Dr Caplan a few months ago, and from even before I met him, he has made himself available to me over email, for questions, more than even my regular doctor. A friend told me that I should see Dr Caplan, but I was still unsure about becoming a medical marijuana patient. I called and was able to speak with Dr Caplan directly. He took time, on the phone, even before he had met me, to explain the whole process, which helped me feel more comfortable putting a voice and personality to the process. Later, when I finally came in, during the visit, he spent almost 40 minutes with me, walking me through how cannabis might fit in with some of the other treatments I currently use. We have kept in touch over email since, like 3 or 4 random questions, and has always responded promptly. I think he is a truly special doctor, and from what I’ve read on Twitter, has a passion for educating and helping improve the perception of cannabis.

Alan T.

I had an enjoyable visit with clear information and education about medical marijuana and the dispensaries

Full stars. I appreciate the great parking and simple scheduling system. I had an enjoyable visit with clear information and education about medical marijuana and the dispensaries. No fancy language, no time wasted. Works for me.

Michael J.

I am a survivor of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers, and Dr Caplan of CED Clinic is, hands down, the favorite voice of support and cannabis education for our hospital list-serv care group

I am a survivor of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers, and Dr Caplan of CED Clinic is, hands down, the favorite voice of support and cannabis education for our hospital list-serv care group. I have seen him speak publicly, and on TV, and of course he is also my doctor. In spite of having what seems to be a crowd of patients who are mostly in terrible pain or have a generous helping of emotional/mental issues, I see him work tirelessly for his patients and for the cause, in general. I appreciate his leadership in the cannabis field. He is one in a million.

Stephanie W.

Dr. Caplan is an extremely knowledgeable doctor in his field and very easy to speak with about any questions and concerns you may have

Dr. Caplan is an extremely knowledgeable doctor in his field and very easy to speak with about any questions and concerns you may have. As a person that suffers from anxiety, upon arriving at the office I felt welcomed and relaxed because the doctor is compassionate and kind. The office atmosphere is not what I expected at all and was very peaceful and relaxing, also there were snacks and beverages which I have never seen before in a doctor’s office. I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan because he will take the time to answer every question that you may have about treatment. I made an appointment on a Saturday and was seen right away on the same day! Very easy process and very responsive. I am happy I chose Dr. Caplan!

Joshua C.

This is our second visit to Dr. Caplan in a year, and on both occasions, we were just blown away by his caring and compassion

This is our second visit to Dr. Caplan in a year, and on both occasions, we were just blown away by his caring and compassion. He is a true healer, with a great heart, enormous patience, and extraordinary expertise. My wife and I were amazed to find a physician who truly puts his patients first, and who is passionate about figuring out the best way to help us with our chronic pain. In our 60+ years of experience with health care providers, Dr. Caplan is among the most committed, generous, and caring healers we have ever met.

Heather F.

I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan highly enough

I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan highly enough. This was my third medical marijuana certification review (original plus two renewals), and the previous two doctors were just perfunctory form-fillers in shabby offices in remote office parks. Dr. Caplan is a REAL cannabis doctor who’s deeply knowledgeable about medical marijuana and clearly explains EXACTLY how to use it for YOUR specific conditions. He also has a real doctor’s office in a real medical building right on Boylston Street (Route 9) in Chestnut Hill ( not far from NETA Brookline, my dispensary of choice.) AND THE VISIT IS COVERED BY MEDICAL INSURANCE! I’ve become somewhat knowledgeable about what works for my primary complaint (chronic pain from spinal stenosis w/ radiculopathy) and what to avoid, but he gave me brand new ways to deal with my insomnia (including how and when to use edibles, which hadn’t worked for me before b/c I didn’t really know what I was doing) and arthritis in my hands (including a simple recipe to make topical lotion that’s stronger and cheaper than the commercial products). I interrupted him with frequent questions, which he answered at whatever level of detail and technical information I wanted. I had been deeply dissatisfied with the cannabis doctors I went to before, but Dr. Caplan is an outstanding DOCTOR who happens to specialize in medical marijuana because he cares about helping patients for whom traditional medicine hasn’t fully met their needs. You can book appointments on his web site, although my wait time was more than 10 minutes (during which I filled out his online patient questionnaire on my phone and ate all the Kit Kats in his candy basket), it was well worth it. This is a relatively new practice, I believe, and it’s going to get a lot busier as word spreads. But just do yourself a favor and go: this is what state-of-the-art medical marijuana care is supposed to be like.

Steve G.

Dr. Caplan patiently explained how there are so many options to chose from and exactly what each was helpful for

I recently had my first appointment with Dr. Caplan after reading negative reviews of so many other medical marijuana certification “places”. I can’t say enough good things about my visit with him. To start with he’s a very compassionate, caring doctor. I’m a 63 yr old woman and had never used marijuana or “street drugs”, so I was feeling nervous about trying it. I recently started chemo therapy at Dana-Farber and the side effects have been difficult to deal with. In particular, insomnia and a bit of evening anxiety. He is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of medical marijuana. Dr. Caplan patiently explained how there are so many options to chose from and exactly what each was helpful for. With that said, he suggested several products for me to try. I now know what helps me, but each person has to use the information he gives and then try different products from a reputable medical dispensary. I plan to have a 2nd appt. with him in a few months just to get his feedback on my experiences and possibly more recommendations. It’s not necessary to go back to him after getting your certification, but he truly knows so much about the medicinal benefits that I’d like to learn even more. I highly recommend him.

Nancy O.

I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan because he will take the time to answer every question that you may have about treatment

Dr. Caplan is an extremely knowledgeable doctor in his field and very easy to speak with about any questions and concerns you may have. As a person that suffers from anxiety, upon arriving at the office I felt welcomed and relaxed because the doctor is compassionate and kind. The office atmosphere is not what I expected at all and was very peaceful and relaxing, also there were snacks and beverages which I have never seen before in a doctor’s office. I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan because he will take the time to answer every question that you may have about treatment. I made an appointment on a Saturday and was seen right away on the same day! Very easy process and very responsive. I am happy I chose Dr. Caplan!

Robert M.

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate. He answered all of my questions and gave me a great deal of useful information (while emphasizing that I didn’t have to absorb all of it right away). He encouraged me to contact him with any more questions I might have after the appointment, and began the process of registering me immediately after I left. I had an email from the Commonwealth of MA before I got home, and completed the application online within a few minutes. It couldn’t have been an easier or more stress-free experience. Dr. Caplan truly believes in the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicinal tool, and is committed to making it more widely available for that purpose and in dispelling the ocean of ignorance that has unfortunately been created around it in our society. I can’t recommend him highly enough.

Justice S.

Excellent Experience, top to bottom

Excellent Experience, top to bottom. I scheduled my appointment on CED clinic website, got in the next day – and visit was informative, and doc was kind, compassionate, and amazingly knowledgeable. I intend to follow him as a permanent addition to my healthcare and would recommend widely.

Ellison M.

I’m shy but felt comfortable and supported

Awesome doctor. Super easy to talk to. I’m shy but felt comfortable and supported. Great teacher too. I had no idea there was so much to know!

Sara E.

I learned about different options and lots of choices, and received handouts to learn even more

First heard of Dr Caplan on /r/BostonTrees subreddit. Made my appointment online, for the next day, and did all paperwork online before I came in. Building is very professional and comfortable, with great parking, and close to where I live. As I expected, doc was kind, thorough, and efficient. We reviewed my medical history, talked about what I had been doing in the past, and discussed a host of treatment ideas, and not just marijuana. I learned about different options and lots of choices, and received handouts to learn even more. I plan to follow up in a few months, and I look forward to it.

Ryan H.

Every time I come in, I learn something new and amazing.

I followed Dr Caplan from his position as the Medical Director of Canna Care Docs to CED Clinic – and would follow him again. I have had years of back pain and arthritis – my wrists and knees and hips. Dr Caplan has helped me understand much more about marijuana, and I have to say, it has been a wonderful improvement for me. Every time I come in, I learn something new and amazing. It’s a new industry for me, and I feel very well supported.

Elizabeth P.

My visit with Dr. Caplan made it comforting to know that someone was on my side

My visit with Dr. Caplan made it comforting to know that someone was on my side. I was surprised to find that Dr. Caplan does more than just write scripts for people to take to dispensaries. He sees some of his patients on a regular basis to personalize treatment plans and it’s clear he cares about education and the destigmatization of medical cannabinoids. He goes to assisted living centers, medical expos, wellness centers, and more to speak with people on the matter. This is his passion!

Benjamin T.

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate. He answered all of my questions and gave me a great deal of useful information (while emphasizing that I didnâ€t have to absorb all of it right away). He encouraged me to contact him with any more questions I might have after the appointment, and began the process of registering me immediately after I left. I had an email from the Commonwealth of MA before I got home, and completed the application online within a few minutes. It couldn’t have been an easier or more stress-free experience.†“— Dr. Caplan truly believes in the effectiveness of cannabis as a medicinal tool, and is committed to making it more widely available for that purpose and in dispelling the ocean of ignorance that has unfortunately been created around it in our society. I can€t recommend him highly enough.

Jeff E.

Very knowledgeable and compassionate

Very knowledgeable and compassionate.

Irene C.

I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the initial appointment.  It was informative, educational and an overall great experience!  Dr. Caplan is easy-going, kind, and gave clear, detailed information about medical cannabis and MA medical dispensaries.  I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan.  His clinic and his knowledge are certainly worth 5-star reviews!

Ashley S.

I had such a good experience with Dr. Caplan of CED Clinic.  

I had such a good experience with Dr. Caplan of CED Clinic.

Medical: I had a lot of worries going in, and Dr. Caplan put me at ease with his knowledge and calm manner.  As a family doctor, he asked good questions about my extensive medical background, in a supportive way.  He used normal people words instead of medical gobbledygook!  (I had just an hour before been at an appointment with a medical person who thought I should understand when he talked about my distal iliolumbar neuropathy – or something like that, I had no idea what he was talking about – so I especially noticed when Dr. Caplan used normal words that any person would know.)

Educational: He provided excellent information for total newbies, showed some devices, talked about legal stuff, and gave great info about local clinics and huge discounts available.  I’m used to doctors providing pretty poor education materials, but Dr. Caplan’s infographics and handouts were a thing of beauty – informative, easy to read, and visually simple.  I hope Dr. Caplan writes a book because I will buy it.

Logistics: This is such a streamlined practice, it is easy to get in soon, and respectful of your time.  I got an appointment within less than 2 days, scheduled online, filled out my info online beforehand, found parking easily, was in and out quickly, and received the email with next steps instructions and application activation code in 1.5 hour!  Can’t possibly be easier than this.

Laura M.

Dr. Caplan was very friendly, extremely helpful and knowledgeable

Dr. Caplan was very friendly, extremely helpful and knowledgeable.  I would definitely recommend and I am looking forward to having him as a health resource.

Timothy Y.

I’ve switched 100% to cannabis as my go-to medicine

I’ve switched 100% to cannabis as my go-to medicine.  I’m sick of pharmaceuticals; the weight gain, the weird feelings like I’m a zombie, the miserable sleep…sorry, but hard pass.  Weed helps take the edge off and I’m still fully functional.

Anonoymous

The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook

"A wealth of information and a huge dose of compassion and clarity."

Melissa Etheridge

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CED Clinic Blog
March 25, 2024Cannabis and Cardiovascular Health 2024: Understanding The Limitations of  “Association of Cannabis Use With Cardiovascular Outcomes Among US Adults” by Jeffers et al., published in JAMA  and Pathways for Future Research In a landscape where the intersection of cannabis use and health outcomes is increasingly scrutinized, the study “Association of Cannabis Use With Cardiovascular Outcomes Among US Adults” by Jeffers et al., published in JAMA, ignites a complex debate and introduces fresh perspectives on this contentious subject. As a family physician deeply embedded in the exploration of cannabis and its health implications, I read this study as both intriguing and problematic, offering critical insights while simultaneously raising some questions about its findings. Its publication marked a media frenzy, and at a crucial moment in the history of cannabis legalization (which rumors seem to suggest may be coming, in some form, quite soon), spotlighting the need for a deeper, more nuanced understanding of cannabis’s role in health and disease. However, this paper unleashes a series of potential flaws and meaningful limitations that merit a closer, second look. Through this lens, the paper not only contributes to the ongoing dialogue within both the scientific and wider communities but also underscores the indispensable need for further investigation to unravel the complexities of cannabis use and its true impact on cardiovascular health. Understanding the Impact of Confounding Variables in Cannabis and Cardiovascular Outcome Studies The Issue of Confounding Variables Definition: Factors associated with both cannabis use (exposure) and cardiovascular events (outcome), potentially distorting their observed relationship. Impact: Can lead to incorrect conclusions about causality between cannabis use and cardiovascular health. Potential Confounders in This Study Unmeasured Confounders: Socioeconomic status, dietary habits, genetic predispositions, and other lifestyle factors possibly overlooked. Medication Use: Lack of account for medications affecting cardiovascular health (e.g., hypertension, diabetes medications). Duration and Timing of Cannabis Use: Study possibly missed capturing varying durations or timing of cannabis use, affecting cardiovascular event risks. Underlying Health Conditions: Possible failure to control for pre-existing heart conditions or inflammatory disorders beyond assessed risk factors. Importance of Addressing Confounders Ensuring that observed associations are genuinely due to the exposure of interest, not external factors. Failure to address confounders introduces bias, compromising study conclusions. Suggests further exploration and sensitivity analyses to enhance study validity and reliability. What does this all mean? Here are some Simple Analogies To Highlight The Main Concepts and Challenges: Dietary Supplements and Health Outcomes: Similar limitations due to potential confounding factors, recall bias, and lack of longitudinal data. Explained: Studies on dietary supplements often face the challenge of distinguishing the effects of the supplements from those of overall diet, lifestyle, and unreported health practices, with participants possibly forgetting or misstating their supplement intake and health outcomes over time. Screen Time and Cognitive Development: Challenges in establishing causal links and addressing confounding factors, such as parenting practices. Explained: Research into how screen time affects children’s brains must consider not just the hours spent in front of screens but also the quality of content, the educational or entertainment value, and how parental involvement moderates these effects, making it difficult to isolate screen time as the sole factor in cognitive development Exercise Frequency and Weight Loss: Importance of longitudinal data and addressing confounding factors for reliable conclusions. Explained: Long-term studies tracking the exercise habits of individuals are necessary to accurately determine how variations in exercise frequency impact weight loss, taking into account dietary habits, genetic predispositions, and lifestyle changes over time to avoid misattributing weight changes solely to exercise frequency. Social Media Use and Mental Health: Need for rigorous study designs to accurately assess impacts, considering potential confounding factors. Explained: Evaluating the mental health effects of social media usage requires carefully designed studies that account for users’ baseline mental health, types of social media interactions (passive vs. active), and individual differences in resilience and social support, to discern true psychological impacts from mere associations. Significance of Screen Time Analogy Relatable and impactful, underscoring the seriousness of addressing confounding factors in research. This emphasizes the necessity of utilizing longitudinal data and ensuring accurate self-reported information. Explained: Research into how screen time affects children’s brains must consider not just the hours spent in front of screens but also the quality of content, the educational or entertainment value, and how parental involvement moderates these effects, making it difficult to isolate screen time as the sole factor in cognitive development. 1) The Challenge of Cross-Sectional Design Jeffers et al.’s study, relying on correlational data, underscores the need for longitudinal research to establish causality between cannabis use and cardiovascular health. This cross-sectional design highlights the complexity of interpreting cannabis’s health impacts and calls for future studies to provide a more dynamic understanding of this relationship. The study by Jeffers et al., focusing on correlations, really puts the spotlight on why we desperately need longitudinal research to make sense of how cannabis use might affect heart health over time. Just using cross-sectional data, like in this study, kind of leaves us guessing about a few crucial things: Cause and Effect: We’re stuck wondering whether cannabis use leads to heart issues, or if perhaps people with certain heart conditions might be more inclined to use cannabis. Time’s Influence: Without following individuals over years, we can’t see how cannabis use and cardiovascular health change together, making it hard to draw solid conclusions from just a single point in time. Need for Depth: Cross-sectional studies give us a snapshot, which is helpful, but not enough. We need the full movie — seeing how things unfold over the long haul gives us a clearer picture of the relationship between cannabis and heart health. So, essentially, while Jeffers et al.’s work adds an important piece to the puzzle, it also rings the bell for the kind of research we need next. By moving towards studies that watch how people’s cannabis use and heart health evolve together, we can start to piece together whether there’s a real cause-and-effect relationship. It’s about getting the full story, not just a glimpse, to truly understand how cannabis affects our hearts and guide safer use. 2) The Complexity of Self-reported Data The whole issue with depending on folks to just tell us how much cannabis they use gets pretty tricky. Why? Well, because people might not always give the straight scoop due to the whole stigma thing or even legal worries about admitting to using cannabis. Here’s what this boils down to: Trust Issues: It’s hard to take everything at face value when people might hold back or alter the truth about their cannabis use. The Stigma Factor: Let’s be real, the judgment and legal grey areas around cannabis can make people think twice about being open. Objective Measures Needed: This is a big shoutout for future research to start using methods that don’t rely solely on trust. Think blood tests or other clinical ways to check cannabis levels. In short, if we really want to get a clear picture of how cannabis is being used and its effects, we’ve got to mix in some concrete, scientific ways of measuring it alongside just asking folks. This approach could give us a fuller, more accurate story of cannabis consumption patterns, cutting through the hesitancy and getting down to the facts. 3) Addressing Confounders Jeffers et al. really did put in the work to factor in various influences that could throw off their findings, but here’s the thing: health is complicated. It’s not just about one or two things; it’s about how your genes, your daily habits, and even where you live all tangle together. So, when we’re looking into how cannabis affects us, we’ve got to get even smarter about how we study it. Here’s the lowdown: Genes: Your DNA can play a big part in how your body reacts to cannabis, and we’re just scratching the surface here. Lifestyle Choices: What you eat, how much you move, and even your stress levels can influence how cannabis impacts your health. Where You Live: Believe it or not, your environment – like air quality and access to green spaces – can also affect the health outcomes of cannabis use. To really get a handle on this, future research needs to level up, using models that can juggle all these factors at once. This way, we can get a truer picture of how cannabis fits into the larger health puzzle, reflecting the real-world complexity of our lives. 4) Tobacco and Cannabis: Unraveling Their Collective Impact The study takes a peek at how smoking tobacco and cannabis together might play out for heart health, but honestly, we’re just dipping our toes in the water here. To really understand what’s going on, we need to dive deeper. Here’s what’s on the agenda: Mixing Matters: It’s not just about tobacco or cannabis alone; it’s how they team up and impact the heart that’s intriguing. Synergy or Storm?: There’s a chance these substances could interact in ways that amplify their effects, for better or worse. Guiding Health Choices: Unpacking these interactions could lead us to smarter advice for folks about the risks of using both. Shaping Policies: And it’s not just personal choices; this kind of knowledge could help tweak public health policies to better protect hearts. Bottom line: The way tobacco and cannabis use together affects cardiovascular health is a big question mark that future research needs to tackle. Getting to the heart of this matter could open up new paths for preventing heart issues and crafting health policies that genuinely reflect the nuances of substance use. 5) Consumption Methods and Their Health Impacts The study kind of glosses over a pretty key point: how you use cannabis can make a big difference in its health effects. Whether you’re lighting up, vaping, or munching on an edible, each method packs its own unique punch when it comes to your health. Here’s why this matters: Different Strokes: Smoking vs. vaping vs. edibles – each one hits your body in its own way, and we need to understand these differences better. Clearer Advice: Knowing more about these methods can help us give spot-on recommendations to keep people safer. Public Health Policies: And it’s not just about individual choices. Solid data on these consumption methods could guide public health policies, making sure they’re actually based on how people are using cannabis. So, the big takeaway? Future studies should really zero in on the impact of different cannabis consumption methods. This could clear up a lot of confusion and help tailor advice and policies that match real-world habits.   Moving Forward: The Imperative for Comprehensive Research Enhanced Research Designs: Future studies should employ longitudinal designs and randomized controlled trials to better establish causality and the long-term effects of cannabis use. Comprehensive Data Collection: Incorporating biochemical validation of self-reported cannabis use and expanding data collection to include cannabis strains, consumption methods, and dosages will offer a more accurate picture of consumption patterns. Broadened Analytical Approaches: Analyses must account for a wide range of potential confounders, including genetic predispositions, lifestyle factors, and environmental influences, to ensure findings accurately reflect the complex reality of cannabis use. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Leveraging expertise from various fields, including pharmacology, genetics, epidemiology, and social sciences, can enhance study designs and analytical frameworks, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand. Public and Policy Engagement: Researchers should work closely with policymakers and the public to ensure that findings are translated into effective public health strategies and policies that reflect the nuanced understanding of cannabis’s health implications. In essence, the study by Jeffers et al. represents an important step in the ongoing journey to understand the relationship between cannabis use and cardiovascular health. However, it also underscores the substantial work still needed in this field. By embracing these challenges as opportunities for growth and refinement, the scientific community can contribute to a body of evidence that supports safe cannabis use and informs public health policy in a meaningful way. The study “Association of Cannabis Use With Cardiovascular Outcomes Among US Adults” by Jeffers et al. serves as an important stepping stone for future research into how cannabis use might affect heart health. It brings to light the necessity for more detailed studies, particularly longitudinal ones, that can look at how things change over time. This kind of research is key for a couple of reasons: it helps us figure out if there’s a direct link between using cannabis and having heart problems, and it provides valuable information that can help shape public health policies. The call for these longer-term studies is a reflection of our growing need to understand cannabis’s impact better as its use becomes more widespread legally and socially. With more people using cannabis, either for medical reasons or recreationally, getting clear answers about its long-term effects is increasingly important. This information is critical not just for the sake of adding to our scientific knowledge but also for guiding public health decisions that affect lots of people. While the research by Jeffers et al. opens up new questions, it also points us toward the kind of research that could provide answers. By following the paths it suggests, we can work towards a more informed understanding of cannabis use and its implications for cardiovascular health, which in turn can help in developing more informed guidelines and policies. This effort aligns with the broader goal of ensuring public health strategies are based on solid evidence. Conclusion: Navigating the Complexities of Cannabis Research The scientific examination of cannabis’s impact on health is a complex, evolving field. The study by Jeffers et al. is a critical step forward, yet it also serves as a reminder of the ongoing need for rigorous, nuanced research. As we continue to explore cannabis’s health implications, let us do so with an unwavering commitment to scientific integrity and the quest for knowledge. Comprehensive Summary of limitations: Cross-sectional Study Design: Limits on establishing causality between cannabis use and cardiovascular outcomes. Self-reported Cannabis Use: Potential for underreporting or misreporting due to stigma or recall bias. Adjustment for Confounders: Questions whether all relevant confounders, especially lifestyle, diet, or genetics, were considered. Tobacco Use as a Confounder: The need for more nuanced analysis on the interaction between tobacco and cannabis use. Lack of Information on Cannabis Dosage and Consumption Method: No detailed data on the dosage, potency, and method of cannabis consumption. Generalizability of Findings: Concerns about the applicability of findings across different populations. Cardiovascular Outcomes Measurement: Use of self-reports for diagnosing cardiovascular outcomes could introduce bias. Potential for Residual Confounding: Despite adjustments, the possibility of unaccounted influencing factors remains. Physiological Mechanisms: The study might not fully delve into how cannabis use leads to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Correlation vs. Causation: The study does not clearly distinguish between the two, complicating the interpretation of findings. Specificity of Cardiovascular Outcomes: Lack of differentiation in cardiovascular outcomes might overlook nuanced effects. Lack of Longitudinal Follow-up: The absence of data over time to observe the progression of cardiovascular health. Inadequate Consideration of Cannabis Strains: No differentiation between cannabis strains with potentially different effects. Missing Data on Other Medications: Potential drug-cannabis interaction effects are not explored. Control Group Selection: Possible issues with how the control group was matched to cannabis users. Sample Representativeness: The sample may not reflect the general population accurately. Potential Reporting Bias: Reliance on self-reports and medical records could introduce bias. Exclusion of Acute Effects: The study focuses on long-term outcomes, possibly overlooking immediate cardiovascular effects. Environmental and Social Factors: Omission of factors like socioeconomic status and stress levels that could affect outcomes. Ethical Considerations: The study may not fully consider the ethical implications of cannabis use. Variability in Cannabis Quality and Sources: Not accounted for, which can significantly affect health outcomes. Psychosocial Factors: The impact of stress, social support, and mental health on cardiovascular outcomes might be overlooked. Dose-Response Relationship: Absence of detailed analysis on the relationship between cannabis use intensity and cardiovascular risk. Comparison with Other Substances: The study does not compare cannabis use effects with those of other substances like alcohol. Mechanisms of Action: Limited exploration of the biological mechanisms through which cannabis affects the cardiovascular system. Subgroup Analyses: Lack of detailed analyses that could reveal differential effects across various populations. Long-term vs. Short-term Use: No clear distinction between the impacts of long-term versus short-term cannabis use. Clinical Endpoints: Focus might be on surrogate endpoints rather than on outcomes directly relevant to patients. Legal and Regulatory Implications: Consideration of legal and regulatory contexts affecting cannabis use is missing. Future Research Directions: Insufficient guidance on specific areas needing further investigation for a deeper understanding of cannabis and cardiovascular health These reservations collectively point to a broader issue within cannabis research: the need for a holistic approach that considers a myriad of factors influencing both cannabis consumption and its health outcomes. The nuanced nature of cannabis’s interaction with cardiovascular health demands a multifaceted research strategy that goes beyond what any single study can provide. Addressing these limitations will not only refine our current understanding but also pave the way for targeted interventions that could mitigate potential risks associated with cannabis use. [...] Read more...
March 18, 2024The Essential Role of Physician Guidance in the Cannabis Industry The essential role of physician guidance in the cannabis industry has become increasingly crucial as the sector experiences remarkable growth and gains mainstream acceptance. The integration of medical expertise is paramount for the industry’s success, ensuring safe, effective, and personalized patient care. This necessity stems from the rapidly expanding landscape of cannabis use for medical purposes, where the guidance of healthcare professionals becomes indispensable to navigate the complexities and ensure the optimal utilization of cannabis for therapeutic benefits. The involvement of physicians and medical experts in the cannabis industry is not just an added value but a critical component in shaping the future of cannabis as a legitimate and effective therapeutic option. Their expertise ensures that the cannabis industry moves forward with a strong foundation in science and patient care, prioritizing health outcomes and patient safety above all. The Frontline of Patient Care Physician guidance in the cannabis industry is foundational, addressing patients’ needs across various conditions, from chronic pain and anxiety to insomnia and neurodegenerative diseases. The vast therapeutic potential of cannabis, paired with the complexities of its use, necessitates expert medical oversight. Healthcare providers specializing in cannabis medicine offer personalized care, guiding patients through treatment with advice on dosing, administration, and side effects management, thus enhancing patient safety and satisfaction while also optimizing healthcare costs. This personalized approach to cannabis medicine allows for a more nuanced understanding of how different strains and dosages can affect individuals, taking into account their unique medical histories and current health status. By doing so, physicians play a critical role in not only mitigating potential risks associated with cannabis use but also in maximizing its therapeutic benefits. The expertise of these healthcare professionals ensures that patients navigating the cannabis landscape do so with an informed and cautious approach, thereby significantly improving the overall efficacy of cannabis as a treatment option and enhancing patient outcomes. A Holistic Approach to Patient Care Effective physician-guided cannabis therapy extends beyond treating primary conditions, potentially reducing dependency on opioids for pain management and improving mental health and quality of life for those with anxiety and depression. Furthermore, improved sleep quality through cannabis can lead to better overall health outcomes. This holistic approach to patient care, facilitated by physician guidance, encompasses a comprehensive view of the patient’s health, considering not just the symptoms of a condition but the overall well-being of the individual. By focusing on the broader implications of cannabis therapy, physicians can address multiple facets of a patient’s health, offering solutions that contribute to their long-term health and wellness. This multifaceted approach not only helps in managing specific medical conditions more effectively but also promotes a general sense of well-being among patients, contributing to improved lifestyle choices and a reduction in the use of conventional medications that may have more severe side effects. The Importance of Evidence-Based Practices Adopting an evidence-based approach under physician guidance in the cannabis industry ensures treatments are grounded in scientific research and clinical data, enhancing the credibility of cannabis therapy and fostering further innovation and development. This commitment to evidence-based medicine is essential in navigating the emerging challenges and opportunities within the cannabis industry. By relying on solid scientific evidence and ongoing research, physicians can provide recommendations that are not only effective but also safe for their patients. This approach ensures that the integration of cannabis into medical practice is based on a rigorous understanding of its benefits and risks, paving the way for innovative treatments that can offer new hope to patients with complex medical conditions. Furthermore, the emphasis on evidence-based practices encourages continuous learning and adaptation within the healthcare community, ensuring that patient care evolves with the latest scientific findings. The Systemic Impact of Physician Involvement Beyond individual care, physician involvement in the cannabis industry offers broad economic and systemic advantages. Effective cannabis therapy can reduce the need for expensive medical interventions, alleviating the economic burden of untreated conditions. Properly managed cannabis therapy can prevent overutilization of healthcare resources, enabling more efficient care delivery. Physician expertise aids in the development of targeted cannabis products, ensuring efficient resource use and meeting specific therapeutic needs. Physicians’ influence on regulatory frameworks promotes responsible practices, crucial for sustainable economic growth and consumer trust in the cannabis industry. These systemic benefits underscore the transformative potential of physician involvement in the cannabis industry, not just in enhancing patient outcomes but in driving forward a more sustainable, efficient, and patient-centered healthcare system. Cost Savings Through Preventative Care: Effective cannabis therapy can reduce the need for expensive medical interventions, alleviating the economic burden of untreated conditions. Reduced Strain on Healthcare Systems: Properly managed cannabis therapy can prevent overutilization of healthcare resources, enabling more efficient care delivery. Optimized Resource Allocation within the Industry: Physician expertise aids in the development of targeted cannabis products, ensuring efficient resource use and meeting specific therapeutic needs. Economic Benefits of Responsible Industry Practices: Physicians’ influence on regulatory frameworks promotes responsible practices, crucial for sustainable economic growth and consumer trust in the cannabis industry. Conclusion Physician guidance in the cannabis industry is indispensable for ensuring patient safety, enhancing treatment efficacy, and supporting the industry’s economic viability. As the cannabis sector evolves, leveraging medical expertise will be key to unlocking its therapeutic potential and integrating cannabis into mainstream healthcare practices. This integration not only promises to improve the quality of care for patients but also to foster a more informed, responsible, and sustainable approach to cannabis use in medical practice. The collaboration between the cannabis industry and medical professionals holds the promise of advancing healthcare outcomes, promoting innovation, and ensuring that the benefits of cannabis are realized fully and responsibly, with patient safety and well-being at the forefront. References: Boehnke, K. F., Litinas, E., & Clauw, D. J. (2019). Medical cannabis use is associated with decreased opiate medication use in a retrospective cross-sectional survey of patients with chronic pain. The Journal of Pain, 20(6), 739-744. Lowe, D. J., Sasiadek, J. D., Coles, A. S., & George, T. P. (2019). Cannabis and mental illness: a review. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 269(1), 107-120. Kuhathasan, N., Dufort, A., MacKillop, J., Gottschalk, R., Minuzzi, L., & Frey, B. N. (2019). The use of cannabinoids for sleep: a critical review on clinical trials. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 27(4), 383-401. Kosiba, J., Kiranmala, N., & Wiese, T. J. (2019). Impact of medical cannabis on health care utilization. Evidence to Date. Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Adams, I. M., & Reeve, A. P. (2017). Associations between medical cannabis and prescription opioid use in chronic pain patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Systematic Reviews, 6(1), 1-12. Alvarez, J., Kalechstein, A., & Froh, J. (2021). The economic implications of cannabis in the United States. Missouri Medicine, 118(1), 48–54. Klieger, S. B., Gutman, A., Allen, L., Pacula, R. L., Ibrahim, J. K., & Burris, S. (2017). Mapping medical cannabis: state laws regulating patients, product safety, supply chains and dispensaries, 2017. Addiction, 112(12), 2206-2216. [...] Read more...
November 6, 2023Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk: Navigating the Nuances in Media and Medicine The spotlight on “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” has intensified, notably with a recent CNN article by a journalist hailing from Georgia, Sandee LaMotte, sketching a picture that points to potential risks linked with marijuana use. Unfortunately, this sort of impulsive, one-sided journalism prompts an important second look at the media’s role in scientific discourse and the nuanced reality of such health risks. The Intricacies of Cannabis and Cardiovascular Health Cannabis and cardiovascular health share a complex relationship. The interplay of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, with the cardiovascular system is a subject of critical research. Studies highlight that while nitric oxide (NO) serves a protective role in vascular health, THC may impede its beneficial effects, indicating the need for a nuanced understanding of these findings. Considering the ying-yang nature of CBD and THC, this also reminds of the importance of cannabis care that is guided by experts who can help inform patients what the real risks are, and which substances may present a reality that is not only low risk, but may even pose potential benefits in cardiovascular health. Comprehensive Perspectives Beyond THC (A narrow viewpoint) Broadening the conversation on “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” requires consideration of, and the roles played by other cannabis constituents, including CBD, other minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The method of cannabis consumption, from smoking or vaping to topicals, edibles, and other forms of delivery, is another important area that demands deeper discussion into their potential impacts on heart health. Ignoring the nuances of the wide range of constituents within cannabis, and demonizing it all, regardless of form, delivery, or patient, stinks worse than a skunk at a perfume factory, but perhaps not on account of the cannabis. Fast aside, did you know that, when threatened, skunks spray a potent and pungent liquid from their glands as a defense mechanism? The smell is notoriously difficult to remove and can linger for a long time.  … just saying. The Importance of Balanced Reporting in Science (Biased Science and Reporting) The tendency of health science reporting to sensationalize findings has become increasingly common, as seen in the CNN article. However, such reports must strive to mirror the spectrum of scientific research, encompassing not just the risks but also the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis. As with any reporting and all science, wise readers should consider the scientific sources underpinning published work, as well as the qualifications and historical perspectives/biases of experts that support the reporting and sharing of views.  Do the papers themselves pose the risks about which the journalism reports?  Are the experts qualified and experienced in the domain of discussion? Have those experts shown themselves to be repeatedly bull-horning one particular viewpoint? Does the perspective appear like a solo, unending tiki-torch march against cannabis? Or, does scientific commentary present itself evenly on both sides of the discussion topic, from which the reader may derive their own conclusions?  Do you like your reporting to make your decisions for you? or do these nuances matter to YOU as the reader?  All important questions! ….If the reporting is pushing you to come to their conclusion, you should beware that, chances are, you’re not getting a full picture or the whole story.   Beware Causation vs Association!  Baking Cookies (Causation): Imagine you’re baking cookies. You add sugar to the cookie dough. The sugar directly causes the cookies to taste sweet. This is causation: you do something (add sugar), and it directly causes a result (sweetness in cookies). Roosters Crow and the Sun Rises (Association): Now, think about a rooster crowing at sunrise. The rooster crows every morning as the sun rises. However, the rooster’s crowing doesn’t cause the sun to rise. They’re associated because they happen at the same time, but one does not cause the other. So, in causation, like adding sugar to cookies, there’s a direct cause and effect. In association, like the rooster crowing and the sunrise, two things are linked by timing or circumstance, but one doesn’t directly cause the other.   A Call for Rigorous Scientific Inquiry (Quality of Data) Recognizing that each study enriches the collective understanding, it is essentially for ongoing investigations to add more rigorous evaluations. Self-reports, lackluster patient selection, a disregard of patient environmental, socioeconomic, and a patent disregard for the medical backgrounds, ongoing treatment, or personal experience with cannabis is no longer acceptable for quality, peer-reviewed study,  The half-baked attitude supporting the current research should be cause for hesitation and doubt about the nature of relevant scientific knowledge about the interplay of cannabis and cardiovascular risk. (see references below, which highlight available good quality research that draws intrinsically opposing conclusions about the effects of cannabinoid-based phenomena on cardiovascular effect. For journalist claiming to make evidence-based conclusions, or for readers expecting to derive insights about the real world, the details matter! The Media’s Role in Scientific Discourse (limitations of the media) Journalists have a critical role in guiding the public discourse and in shaping the direction of health and science is shaped. The importance of how information is communicated cannot be overstated. Journalists should aim to convey research findings with accuracy, ensuring complex issues are not oversimplified. For the opinions or perspectives that belong in a domain of expertise beyond the reporter, appropriate expertise, on both sides of a debate, should be included to empower readers with a balanced offering of facts  The recent CNN report underscores the influence of the media and the need for precise and comprehensive communication, and unfortunately, precisely how information can be dangerously misleading or come out so one-sided as to be outright deceitful, from a scientific point of view.   Why do Journalists Do This ?  1. Overly Simple and Catchy News: Sometimes, reporters make complex science sound simpler so more people will understand it, but this can change the meaning. Headlines that say one thing causes another are more eye-catching than headlines that just show a connection, which can be misleading. 2. Getting the Science Wrong: Reporters might not always get the science right, especially if they don’t fully get the research methods or the numbers. They often use summaries or press releases that don’t give the whole story, which can lead to wrong ideas about what the research actually says. 3. Rushed Reporting and Using Secondhand Info: News moves fast, and the rush to get stories out can mean not enough time is spent checking facts, which can lead to mistakes or oversimplifications. Reporters also might rely on other articles instead of the original research, which can add to the chances of getting things wrong. What can consumers of information do to protect themselves? 1. Seek Comprehensive Understanding: Dive deeper than headlines by reading full articles to grasp the context of scientific findings. Enhance your critical thinking by educating yourself on basic scientific principles, such as distinguishing causation from correlation. This foundational knowledge aids in evaluating the credibility of news reports. 2. Cross-Reference Information: Verify news by consulting multiple reputable sources, including the original research studies when available. Accessing abstracts and conclusions can offer more direct insights, providing a broader perspective on the subject matter and helping to identify whether certain interpretations are commonly accepted or outliers. 3. Approach with Critical Analysis: Exercise healthy skepticism and be cautious of oversimplifications in science reporting. Recognize the limitations of journalism in conveying complex scientific data, and consider using fact-checking websites to validate claims. Engage with science communicators who can effectively distill intricate concepts for wider audiences. Considering the Breadth of Evidence It is vital to a healthy flow of public education to acknowledge the limitations and varied results of existing studies on the potential cardiovascular risks – and potential benefits – of various cannabinoids, terpenes, and cannabis-related consumption. Journalists have a moral obligation to ensure that the public and healthcare providers receive reliable information for informed decision-making. Unless journalists are broadcasting through channels that are openly based on personal opinion, where bias and a lack of rigorous standards in research, analysis, or message broadcasting are self-evident, it is irresponsible to disseminate questionable scientific information to sway readers toward one perspective or another. Navigating the Complex Landscape of Cannabis Research The impact of cannabis on heart health is multifaceted, laden with complexities, and marked by many unknowns. Comprehending how cannabinoids may influence cardiovascular function—including the production, release, and degradation of Nitric Oxide, as well as determining their potential risks or benefits—is a critical area of ongoing research that is far from being fully understood Moving the Discussion on Cannabis and Heart Health In light of the recent media attention, it is imperative that the conversation surrounding ‘Cannabis and Cardiovascular Risk’ progresses in tandem with scientific discovery, adopting a perspective that is both open-minded and rigorously analytical. Research must delve into the complex and dynamic nature of cannabis, recognizing it as a multifactorial substance. Much like how food is not a monolith but rather a vast array of types, varieties, and flavors, each with its own nutritional profile and culinary role, cannabis too is a tapestry of diverse elements, each with distinct properties and effects Final Reflections on Media and Medical Responsibility Considering the potential cardiovascular risks associated with cannabis use, it is essential to foster a media environment that promotes evidence-based discussions. Simplified narratives risk obscuring the intricate reality of cannabis research and its implications for health. This underscores the shared responsibility of scientists and journalists to cultivate a dialogue that is both knowledgeable and reflective of the dynamic pursuit of scientific understanding Simplifying Nitric Oxide’s Role in Cardiovascular Health As a brief primer on the significance of nitric oxide (NO) in cardiovascular health: Nitric oxide is fundamental to the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. It aids in the relaxation of blood vessels, which is essential for the regulation of blood flow. Grasping the fundamental role of NO in vascular dilation, its influence on blood pressure, and its critical role in tissue oxygenation is vital. This understanding is particularly important when considering clinical outcomes, especially in the context of heart attacks and strokes, where NO’s role becomes prominently significant. The Connection Between Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Risk The interaction between nitric oxide (NO) and cardiovascular health adds a significant layer of complexity to discussions about cannabis. NO is a critical mediator in cardiovascular physiology, influencing vasodilation and thereby impacting blood pressure and flow. It is through these mechanisms that NO can affect the likelihood of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. For instance, reduced NO availability can lead to vasoconstriction, increased vascular resistance, and subsequent hypertension, all of which are risk factors for heart attacks. Conversely, optimal levels of NO can promote vasodilation, improve blood flow, and potentially mitigate these risks. In practice, if cannabis were found to enhance NO production, it could theoretically support vascular health by helping maintain adequate vessel dilation and blood flow. However, should cannabis interfere with NO production or function, it might exacerbate cardiovascular risks by promoting vasoconstriction and hypertension. Understanding how cannabis compounds interact with the NO pathway is therefore essential, as it could inform both clinical practice and individual decision-making regarding cannabis use, especially for those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. As we conclude the conversation on how “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” is represented in the media, it is clear that both journalists and medical professionals must work together to ensure that public discussions accurately reflect the complex and developing nature of scientific research. This collaboration is essential for preserving the integrity of scientific study and patient education, allowing for well-informed healthcare choices and ensuring the accuracy of the information provided to the community.   Listen to Dr Caplan speaking with Dr Riley Kirk, PhD about this topic, here, on her podcast References Papers on Nitric Oxide 2 papers that describe cannabinoid-based Nitric Oxide support and protective effects https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nHxR5xv2bNbt0NNmEh1YsTqpFaRlMyFf/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MihQGU1I3yzDQNb1RgsZH37NtFhegM5l/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ERPC2n7U5taHYrJhhmbnlO6RlsfAutpR/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mCoEMyLyBUA1TBRI1LwOxZg4031vuSh2 THC as problematic, showing inhibition of NO: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nm_TKPyGIC3MSHuQ55EJo3-nZo0_Tfbu/ Some evidence that there is direct+indirect impact with the coupling: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q3aWLbAvZVasZToTdArw7L9D7ugEa6tl/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W9HTapsWBr232fRhGDYNOm-ZRG3kRWOH/ Confounding of tobacco flavorings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nd44QufxCiN_EriqVgFcGFLY0k66NaKK/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tyXdXgeM-aJgXe4oaR3aT9z46r5dJT6d/view?usp=sharing Terpenes also have an impact: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tyXdXgeM-aJgXe4oaR3aT9z46r5dJT6d/ [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023A Fresh Perspective on an Intriguing Cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCV, popularly known as the “sports car of weed,” is a compound that’s attracting increasing attention, especially in California. It’s unique not just for its rarity but also for its purported effects—less munchies and more energy. In a cultural and medical landscape that has often stigmatized cannabis for making people “stoned” and “lazy,” THCV could be a game-changer. But what does science tell us about this intriguing cannabinoid? How do its actions differ from other, more well-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD? The Complex World of Cannabinoids: Diverse Effects, Varied Applications The nuanced effects of cannabinoids on the human body are mediated by their interactions with a complex network of receptors. For example, while THC and CBN are known to stimulate appetite, THCV can act as an appetite suppressant. The contrasting physiological impacts underscore the importance of understanding the science behind each cannabinoid, especially as the medical applications of cannabis continue to expand. The Complex World of Cannabinoids and Their Diverse Effects on the Body Cannabis is a highly complex plant that contains a plethora of biologically active compounds. Among these are cannabinoids, a class of compounds that engage with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to produce a wide range of effects. Importantly, not all cannabinoids are created equal; they can have vastly different impacts on physiological and psychological processes. For example, the two most well-known cannabinoids, THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol), have strikingly different effects: THC is psychoactive and can induce feelings of euphoria, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects in treating conditions like anxiety and epilepsy. Even cannabinoids that sound similar can have contrasting effects on the body. Take, for instance, THC, CBN (Cannabinol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin). THC and CBN are known to stimulate appetite—a phenomenon colloquially known as “the munchies”—but THCV acts as an appetite suppressant. This diversity of effects is mediated by these cannabinoids interacting with different receptors or the same receptors in varying ways, leading to distinct physiological outcomes. Understanding these nuances is crucial for both clinicians and patients looking to harness the therapeutic potential of cannabis, particularly as research into its medical applications continues to expand. THCV and Pancreatic Beta-Islet Cells: Simple Science THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) can interact with TRPV (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid) receptors on the beta-islet cells of the pancreas. In simple terms, this interaction can regulate the release of insulin, which is vital for glucose metabolism. By modulating insulin levels, THCV might affect how our bodies process sugar and influence metabolic rate, although the evidence is still emerging. The Multifaceted Effects of THCV: Glucose Processing and Metabolism THCV may have a role in glucose processing and in metabolic rate beyond its influence on pancreatic function. Some evidence points to THCV’s potential to stimulate the oxidation of fat and the conversion of glycogen to glucose in muscles. These processes are vital for maintaining energy balance and metabolic rate. Moreover, published research has demonstrated that cannabis users tend to have lower weight, reduced rates of obesity, and thinner waist circumferences, although causality has not been definitively established. A 2013 study in the “Nutrition & Diabetes” journal indicated that THCV reduced glucose intolerance in obese mice, and another study in the “British Journal of Pharmacology” suggested that it could improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic models. However, human trials are still limited, and further research is needed to establish these potential benefits conclusively. The Different Views of THCV The Healthcare Provider’s Inquisition From a medical vantage point, THCV is capturing considerable attention. Preliminary research suggests that it holds promise for reducing appetite, body weight, and fasting glucose levels, making it a potentially significant candidate for treating metabolic disorders like diabetes. This unique profile has spurred interest in its incorporation into patient care plans, particularly in settings where metabolic health is a concern. Furthermore, its potential interaction with specific cellular receptors, such as TRPV receptors in pancreatic beta-islet cells, points to a deeper physiological impact that could be harnessed for therapeutic purposes. However, healthcare providers are keenly awaiting more comprehensive randomized controlled trials to substantiate these promising early findings and to guide appropriate dosages and methods of administration. The Skeptic’s Scrutiny Skeptics might easily categorize the excitement around THCV as another trend lacking in robust scientific evidence. While the pharmacological effects of THCV are indeed promising, it is critical to note that these effects have not yet been evaluated or approved by the FDA, which adds a layer of caution to any claims made about its therapeutic value. Moreover, some skeptics may argue that, without large-scale, peer-reviewed studies to back its efficacy and safety, the cannabinoid remains more of a curiosity than a proven medical asset. This skepticism is not unfounded, as the history of cannabis contains numerous examples of purported benefits that later failed rigorous scientific tests. Ultimately, the skeptics’ cautious approach serves as an essential counterbalance, driving the need for more high-quality research. The Newcomer’s Curiosity For those unfamiliar with the world of cannabis, THCV may serve as a compelling entry point due to its distinct “energetic” effects, as opposed to the more sedating effects often associated with other cannabinoids. This uniqueness could make it attractive to those who have reservations about traditional cannabis products and their psychoactive properties. The appeal of THCV could help to break down yet another barrier to broader acceptance and integration of cannabis into mainstream society. Furthermore, with its potential metabolic benefits, newcomers may find THCV to be a suitable introduction to the broader medicinal applications of cannabis. It’s this balance of energetic and potential health benefits that makes it a subject of interest for those exploring cannabis for the first time. The Veteran’s Evaluation For experienced cannabis consumers, THCV offers a refreshing break from more familiar cannabinoid options like THC and CBD. Its distinctive properties could provide a nuanced, and perhaps more balanced, experience that diversifies their cannabis consumption. Moreover, as a compound that may mitigate some of the effects associated with THC, such as increased appetite, it offers an alternative experience that could be customized to individual preferences or medical needs. Veterans of cannabis use may find that incorporating THCV into their regimen adds a layer of complexity and specificity to their experience, potentially even optimizing the benefits they seek from cannabis. In a market saturated with THC and CBD products, THCV emerges as a novel avenue for exploration and individualized treatment. Integration and the State of the Market The market for THCV is undeniably growing, in part due to the federal legalization of hemp and technological advancements in cannabis cultivation. These factors have made it more accessible than ever before. However, accessibility does not necessarily equate to affordability. Due to the complexity of its extraction and isolation processes, THCV can cost up to ten times as much as traditional THC products, making it a premium option in the cannabinoid market. This economic barrier may limit its use for many consumers, despite its potential benefits. Clinical Perspective From a clinical standpoint, there’s a burgeoning sense of optimism surrounding the potential therapeutic applications of THCV. Researchers and healthcare providers are particularly interested in its unique physiological effects, such as appetite suppression and metabolic benefits. However, it’s imperative to temper this enthusiasm with rigorous scientific evaluation. Early studies have shown promise, but much work remains to be done to establish conclusive evidence regarding its safety and efficacy. Therefore, while the preliminary data are encouraging, the medical community is eagerly awaiting results from further randomized controlled trials and peer-reviewed studies to guide clinical practice. Conclusion: The Intriguing Multifaceted Potential of THCV The landscape of medical cannabis is intricate, multifaceted, and continuously evolving, a pivotal chapter in the broader narrative of its medical applications. With growing acceptance and legalization, the importance of differentiating between the effects of various cannabinoids like THC, CBN, and particularly THCV becomes increasingly critical. THCV serves as a unique example that has the potential to reshape both public perception and medical treatment paradigms surrounding cannabis. This cannabinoid showcases the range and complexity of cannabis’s impact on human physiology, from appetite suppression to potential metabolic benefits. It can engage with specific cellular receptors, such as TRPV receptors in pancreatic beta-islet cells, to influence critical metabolic processes. Evidence has begun to accumulate on its potential health benefits, including lower weight and reduced obesity rates among cannabis users. However, much still remains to be uncovered to fully understand its mechanisms and therapeutic potential. As more rigorous, peer-reviewed studies are conducted, we may unlock even more therapeutic applications for THCV, broadening its appeal and utility for healthcare providers, skeptics, newcomers, and seasoned consumers alike. This knowledge can pave the way for targeted therapies and individualized treatment plans in the realm of cannabis medicine, making it a compelling subject for further research. Some recent articles on the topic: Here References: Wargent, E. T., Zaibi, M. S., Silvestri, C., Hislop, D. C., Stocker, C. J., Stott, C. G., … & Cawthorne, M. A. (2013). The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity. Nutrition & Diabetes, 3(5), e68. Jadoon, K. A., Ratcliffe, S. H., Barrett, D. A., Thomas, E. L., Stott, C., Bell, J. D., … & Tan, G. D. (2016). Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(3), 1344-1354. Pertwee, R. G. (2008). The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin. British Journal of Pharmacology, 153(2), 199-215. Riedel, G., Fadda, P., McKillop-Smith, S., Pertwee, R. G., Platt, B., & Robinson, L. (2009). Synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non-fasted mice. British Journal of Pharmacology, 156(7), 1154-1166. McPartland, J. M., Duncan, M., Di Marzo, V., & Pertwee, R. G. (2015). Are cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin negative modulators of the endocannabinoid system? A systematic review. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(3), 737-753.   [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Today, discussion is the fascinating world of cannabis and mental health. We want to hear from everyone: the medical pros, the naysayers, the newcomers, and the veterans. And let’s not forget science—because numbers don’t lie, right? Ready for the deep dive? Here we go! Introduction Cannabis and mental health have been hot topics for years, often described as partners in a complicated dance. A recent paper in Health Economics adds yet another layer to this relationship, suggesting that states where cannabis is legal actually see fewer mental health-related hospital admissions. Intriguing, isn’t it? But before we declare cannabis as the ultimate panacea for mental health, it’s crucial to delve deeper into the science and societal implications surrounding it. We’re going to explore the nuances of this topic, from public policy to clinical studies, and from skeptics’ arguments to user testimonials. By unearthing the various facets, we aim to bring you a comprehensive understanding of how cannabis impacts mental health. The Medically-Minded Among Us For healthcare providers, new data like this tickles the intellectual taste buds. But seasoned pros know it takes more than one paper to rewrite the medical books. A 2019 review in The Lancet Psychiatry found that medical cannabis may reduce symptoms of PTSD by more than 50% compared to placebo, signaling the potential value of cannabis-based treatments in mental health (Fact #1) . Clinical Efficacy: According to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, medical cannabis has shown promise in reducing symptoms of social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD . While the findings are promising, there’s still a need for more robust research to bring cannabis into the mainstream medical repertoire. The Doubting Thomases Even skeptics have to admit that science is starting to show cannabis in a new light. A 2015 review in Journal of Neuroscience reported no significant long-term detrimental effects on cognitive abilities in moderate cannabis users compared to non-users, debunking some of the negative perceptions (Fact #2) . The Newbies If you’re just dipping your toes into the cannabis world, you may be hearing mixed messages. A review article in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggested that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, could be an effective treatment for psychiatric disorders, providing a potential alternative to existing medications (Fact #3) . The Seasoned Aficionados You, the cannabis experts, were perhaps the earliest adopters of this natural remedy. Did you know a 2020 review in The American Journal of Psychiatry reported that cannabis-based medications were effective in treating a variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression? Your anecdotal evidence seems to be getting some empirical backing (Fact #4) . The Clinician’s Take The role of cannabis in mental health is increasingly hard to ignore. Given that a 2018 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with medical cannabis laws had 24.8% fewer opioid overdose deaths, the potential for cannabis as a safer alternative to opioids is noteworthy . Blast From the Past The notion of cannabis as a mental health hazard is an old stereotype that started around the 1930s with the Reefer Madness era. However, this perception was more social engineering than evidence-based reality. Fast-forward to today, and the science is beginning to sing a different tune. Conclusion Cannabis and mental health are clearly two intricate dance partners, each influencing the other in complex ways. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing is certain: the science is compelling, and the conversation is far from over. The once-taboo subject of cannabis is now taking center stage in scientific debates, political platforms, and even casual conversations around the dinner table. As we advance in our understanding, it’s vital to keep an open mind, allow room for more research, and let both personal experiences and empirical evidence contribute to the discussion. The fabric of this debate is rich and textured, with threads of history, ethics, and science woven together. The end result? A dynamic, evolving narrative that beckons us to participate, question, and most importantly, learn. References Walsh, Z., et al. “Medical cannabis and mental health: A guided systematic review.” The Lancet Psychiatry (2019). Black, N., et al. “Cannabis use and mental health: A review of recent epidemiological research.” Journal of Clinical Psychology (2019). Schreiner, A. M., & Dunn, M. E. “Residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive performance after prolonged abstinence: A meta-analysis.” Journal of Neuroscience (2015). Zuardi, A. W., et al. “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug.” Frontiers in Pharmacology (2017). Bhattacharyya, S., et al. “Cannabis use and the development of tolerance: A systematic review of human evidence.” The American Journal of Psychiatry (2020). Bachhuber, M., et al. “Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999-2010.” JAMA Internal Medicine (2014). [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Introduction: The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card and the Quest for Reciprocity Obtaining a medical marijuana card often symbolizes a cornerstone moment in the health journey of many patients. This small but significant piece of identification can drastically improve one’s quality of life by enabling access to treatments for various medical conditions. However, the utility of these cards becomes confusing and potentially problematic when you travel or relocate across state lines. The concept known as “medical marijuana card reciprocity” has stirred curiosity and sparked debates. Is your card valid wherever you go? In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect the complexities surrounding medical marijuana card reciprocity through the lens of medical healthcare providers, skeptics of the cannabis movement, newcomers to medicinal cannabis, and those who have long relied on it. The Medical Quandary: A Healthcare Provider’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For medical professionals deeply embedded in the field of cannabis-based treatments, navigating through a labyrinth of differing state laws and regulations can be particularly challenging. Although meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials point towards the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, such as the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy1, the myriad of laws across different states complicates matters for physicians and patients alike. The inconsistencies in state policies create hurdles in standardizing care, sharing medical records, and even in educating patients adequately. Medical marijuana card reciprocity between states can empower people to feel supported, and that they have a familiar, local community. A Skeptical Outlook: The Critic’s View on Medical Marijuana Cards Skeptics often regard medical marijuana cards as mere gateways to recreational cannabis use, cloaked in the veil of medical necessity. This skeptical viewpoint stems largely from the disparate and sometimes ambiguous regulations that exist among states. Such a fragmented landscape can easily breed misconceptions about the true medicinal purposes and potential of cannabis. This outlook often overlooks the substantial body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and distracts from the issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care. First Steps: The Newbie Experience and the Complexities of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For those newly initiated into the realm of medical cannabis, the possibility of using a medical marijuana card across state lines can seem both promising and daunting. Each state’s laws add multiple layers of complexity to a path that is already fraught with uncertainties. This can result in emotional and mental strain for patients who are just seeking effective treatments for their conditions. Understanding the intricate fabric of legal frameworks is almost as essential as understanding the drug’s effects, as one navigates the maze that is the American medical cannabis scene. Tested and True: Seasoned Users Weigh in on the Value and Limitations of Their Medical Marijuana Cards Individuals who have been using medical cannabis for an extended period find their cards indispensable for managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. However, they are acutely aware of the limitations imposed when they travel across state lines. Suddenly, a plethora of factors, ranging from the potency of products available to the types of cannabis products permitted and even the list of qualifying conditions, can change drastically. Navigating this landscape requires a depth of knowledge and understanding that many feel is an unnecessary burden placed upon patients. The Reality Check: Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity is Not Universal The ultimate message here is that medical marijuana card reciprocity is not a straightforward or universal solution; rather, it’s a nuanced, state-dependent issue. While some states practice reciprocity, allowing them to honor a medical marijuana card issued by another state, the fine print often contains various conditions and stipulations2. The Road Ahead: The Clinical Future of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity Despite the numerous obstacles and inconsistencies, there’s a silver lining. Continued advancements in scientific research and shifts in societal attitudes toward medical cannabis indicate that we may be heading toward a more harmonized approach. Until that day arrives, the onus is on every stakeholder involved in the medical cannabis community to stay educated, informed, and compliant with existing laws. Footnotes Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31. [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Review of Pain relief with THC In the world of medical cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stands out for its potent therapeutic potential. Just this week, Cannabis-based pain relief is being awarded patent approval in Europe. This post explores some of the therapeutic benefits of THC, focusing on its effectiveness in treating pain, insomnia, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). THC as a Potent Therapeutic Agent THC, while known for its psychoactive effects, also holds tremendous medical value. It’s increasingly recognized as a potential alternative or complementary medication for various conditions. Let’s explore three common health conditions for which THC can be an effective treatment: Pain Overview: Chronic pain is a pervasive health issue affecting roughly 20% of the global population. Traditional treatment options such as narcotics and opioids carry substantial risks, including addiction and other adverse side effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, offers an alternative avenue for pain management. Research Insights: Research in this area indicates that THC’s efficacy in pain management stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, THC activates CB1 and CB2 receptors found in nerve and immune cells, thereby modulating pain signals and producing analgesic effects. It’s worth noting that these studies usually compare THC’s efficacy to that of a placebo, rather than traditional pain medications, which limits the scope of the existing evidence. Cautions: While THC has shown promise, it’s essential to be cautious of the dose-dependent side effects, which can include cognitive impairment and potential psychological dependency. Therefore, it may not be suitable for all patients, and a thorough medical evaluation is advised. Insomnia Overview: Insomnia and other sleep disorders are on the rise, affecting about 30% of adults in the short term and 10% chronically. Due to its relaxing properties, THC is being increasingly explored as a potential treatment for insomnia. Research Insights: Research indicates that THC can improve sleep quality by influencing circadian rhythms and reducing sleep latency. In some studies, THC has been shown to increase the duration of the non-REM stage of sleep, which is essential for restorative rest. Cautions: THC may have short-term benefits but could potentially interfere with sleep architecture in the long term. The compound can also cause next-day drowsiness in some individuals. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Overview: IBD, affecting about 1.3% of adults in the U.S, is a chronic condition with limited treatment options. THC has been researched for its anti-inflammatory properties and potential utility in treating IBD symptoms. Research Insights: Multiple studies have suggested that THC can reduce inflammation in the gut by acting on cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract. Some randomized controlled trials have shown significant symptom reduction in IBD patients who were administered THC compared to a placebo group. Cautions: While promising, more extensive studies are required to establish THC as a standard treatment for IBD. Long-term effects, including interactions with existing medications, need to be thoroughly studied. Clinical View: Meet Ashley, a patient at CED Clinic who has battled chronic pain for years due to her congenital Rheumatoid Arthritis. For a long time, she relied on a regimen of anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and opioids to manage her symptoms. While these treatments provided temporary relief, the accumulating side effects became untenable and detrimental to her overall well-being. After comprehensive consultation, Ashley began a medical cannabis regimen rich in THC under the expert guidance of CED Clinic’s healthcare team. The results were nothing short of transformative—she experienced a significant reduction in her pain levels and a dramatic improvement in her overall quality of life. Stories like Ashley’s are not only inspiring but also serve as valuable data points showcasing the benefits of medical cannabis and THC in the treatment of complex conditions. If you’re intrigued by the medical potential of cannabis, I delve deeper into the science, the evidence, and transformative patient stories like Ashley’s in my new book, the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook,” available now on Amazon. Check out More on Pain at CaplanCannabis.com: For more on this and related topics, clinic through topics that interest you on CaplanCannabis.com 📗 Note: The diagram’s your prelude. The magnum opus? That’s inked in the book. Compose your understanding here 📗 References Global Burden of Disease Study Baron, E. P. (2018). Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 58(7), 1139–1186. American Academy of Sleep Medicine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lahat, A., Lang, A., & Ben-Horin, S. (2012). Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion, 85(1), 1–8. Gorelick, D. A., Goodwin, R. S., Schwilke, E., Schwope, D. M., Darwin, W. D., Kelly, D. L., … Huestis, M. A. (2013). Around-the-clock oral THC effects on sleep in male chronic daily cannabis smokers. The American Journal on Addictions, 22(5), 510–514.  Goldberg, D. S., & McGee, S. J. (2011). Pain as a global public health priority. BMC public health, 11, 770. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-770 Woodhams, S. G., Chapman, V., Finn, D. P., Hohmann, A. G., & Neugebauer, V. (2017). The cannabinoid system and pain. Neuropharmacology, 124, 105–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.06.015 Roth, T. (2007). Insomnia: definition, prevalence, etiology, and consequences. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 3(5 Suppl), S7–S10. Dahlhamer, J. M., Zammitti, E. P., Ward, B. W., Wheaton, A. G., & Croft, J. B. (2016). Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years – United States, 2015. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 65(42), 1166–1169. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6542a3 Hasenoehrl, C., Storr, M., & Schicho, R. (2018). Cannabinoids for treating inflammatory bowel diseases: where are we and where do we go? Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology, 11(4), 329–337. https://doi.org/10.1080/17474124.2017.1416148 [...] Read more...
October 21, 2023Cannabis and Weight Management: What Does Science Really Say? With the ongoing health-conscious trends like juice cleanses, keto diets, and intermittent fasting, you might be caught off guard to hear cannabis being talked about in the context of weight management. Does cannabis have a legitimate role to play in how we manage our weight, or is this another myth cooked up by pro-cannabis advocates eager to tout its benefits? This recent article was published on the topic by The Fresh Toast  The Fundamental Science Behind Cannabis and Weight Cannabis exerts its effects primarily through the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors in our bodies. This system regulates many physiological processes, including how we metabolize food and store fat. One interesting revelation comes from a study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology, which found that cannabis use was associated with a lower rate of obesity. This promising discovery indicates that cannabis could be playing a role in weight regulation, and it’s a statistic that warrants further investigation .   Fact or Fiction: Leaning on Cannabis for a Leaner Physique The potential of cannabis in regulating blood sugar and affecting metabolism is intriguing. But does this mean it can help us lose weight? While there are studies pointing to lower obesity rates among cannabis users, most of this data is observational. Although this is a promising starting point, we need more rigorous, controlled studies, like randomized controlled trials (RCTs), to definitively establish the relationship between cannabis and weight loss . Medical Perspective: A Double-Edged Sword? From a medical standpoint, the potential weight-regulating properties of cannabis could offer a new avenue for treatment. Weight imbalances are linked to numerous health issues, from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to poor mental health. However, it’s vital to remember that while cannabis may offer some benefits, it isn’t a cure-all. Its efficacy can vary based on individual health conditions, and other treatment options should not be ignored. Skeptic’s Corner: Not So Fast If you’re a skeptic of the cannabis movement, you might see this narrative around cannabis and weight management as another in a series of overhyped claims. Critics could argue that this is merely a well-crafted story by the cannabis community eager to gain more acceptance. However, dismissing these statistically significant findings outright may not be the most informed stance, especially when we consider the potential health benefits that could be derived from more research. New to Cannabis? Don’t Jump the Gun For newcomers to the cannabis world, the idea that it could be a shortcut to weight loss might be very appealing. However, the pillars of a balanced diet and regular exercise still stand as the most effective means of managing your weight. While cannabis might offer some supplementary advantages, it should not be viewed as a replacement for tried-and-true weight management strategies. Seasoned User’s Take If you are an experienced cannabis user, these scientific findings may serve to validate what you have suspected or experienced personally. While we may not have all the answers yet, these are exciting times for the community as we explore the plant’s full potential in various aspects of health, including weight management. Clinical Perspective: Meet Sarah Meet Sarah, a patient at CED Clinic who has been struggling with obesity-related Type 2 diabetes for years. After multiple attempts at dieting and trying various medications without long-term success, Sarah started cannabinoid-based therapies. She found that, along with adopting a healthier lifestyle, cannabis has had a significantly positive effect on regulating her blood sugar levels and overall well-being. Cases like Sarah’s are part of the ongoing dialogue in my forthcoming book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, which explores this subject in greater depth. Citations “Cannabis use is associated with lower rates of obesity” – The American Journal of Epidemiology “Cannabis and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for weight loss?” – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology [...] Read more...
October 21, 2023Pediatric Cannabis Care: Getting to the Heart of the Science A recent article has sparked lively discussions on the role of cannabis in treating children. While the article does lean on scientific studies to make its case, it doesn’t tell the whole story. This leaves room for misunderstanding. That’s where this blog comes in. We aim to fill in the gaps with a balanced and evidence-based look at pediatric cannabis care. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects What the Article Says The article shines a light on studies that point to possible short-term downsides of cannabis use in children, mainly focusing on issues like cognitive decline and increased risk for mental health problems. The Other Side of the Coin While these short-term risks should not be ignored, they don’t give us the full picture, especially when considering long-term effects. Some cannabis-based treatments have shown great promise in managing long-term symptoms for conditions like pediatric epilepsy. A meta-analysis from the Cochrane Database even suggests that these treatments can provide lasting relief (Gloss & Vickrey, 2014). The Importance of Specific Compounds What the Article Says The article takes a one-size-fits-all approach to cannabis, glossing over the different compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes that make up the plant. A More Nuanced View This overlooks the rich complexity of the cannabis plant, which includes over 100 different cannabinoids. Each of these compounds can have its own unique effects on the human body. For instance, while THC is known for its mind-altering properties, CBD has been shown to offer therapeutic benefits without making users feel “high” (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017). Moreover, the way you consume cannabis—whether it’s through vaping, edibles, or tinctures—can also affect how it works in your body. Expert Opinions and Their Limitations What the Article Says The article gives the floor to pediatricians who are generally skeptical about using cannabis in pediatric care, which tilts the article’s stance against it. Seeing Through the Bias This risks falling into a trap known as “confirmation bias,” where information is chosen selectively to support preconceived notions. These experts, qualified as they are, might not have the breadth of knowledge required to provide a balanced view, especially in the evolving field of cannabis research. Why Quality Evidence Matters It’s crucial to rely on top-notch scientific evidence like randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and peer-reviewed journals. Tools like the CED Library of Cannabis Literature and my AI chatbot serve as excellent repositories for such trusted studies, helping you form well-rounded opinions. Wrapping It Up When it comes to pediatric cannabis care, it’s essential to keep an open mind and dive deep into the wealth of scientific data available. For those who want to delve further into this multifaceted issue, resources like the CED Clinic website and “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” offer valuable insights. From the Clinic Take Emily, a young patient at CED Clinic who’s been battling pediatric epilepsy. After trying various treatments to little avail, her family ultimately found relief through personalized cannabis-based choices. Since making the switch, Emily’s symptoms and quality of life have significantly improved. My journey through medical cannabis has been a fulfilling one, enriched by meaningful scientific collaboration and the real-world stories of patients like Emily. These invaluable experiences will be shared in my upcoming book, “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.” Please consider a read! References Gloss, D., & Vickrey, B. (2014). Cannabinoids for epilepsy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3). Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 139–154.   The original article: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/marijuana-in-ohio/how-can-marijuana-affect-a-developing-brain [...] Read more...
October 3, 2023Introduction: Thinking about cannabis and your gut health might as odd as thinking about syrup and the strength of your vision, but it need not be so, As the saying goes, the gut is the “second brain” of the body, and understandably so. From digestion to immune function, the gut plays a pivotal role. What you may find surprising is the emerging role of cannabis in the gut health narrative. From skeptical views to scientific studies, this blog aims to shed light on the evolving dialogue surrounding cannabis and gut health. If you are looking for explanations, definitions, and charts that explain the significance of gut health and many aspects of health and wellness that play into a healthy microbiome, please check out this page on CaplanCannabis.com:  https://caplancannabis.com/cannabis-and-the-gut-microbiome-a-comprehensive-guide The Many Facets of Cannabis & Gut Health Firstly, it’s essential to recognize the existing skepticism around cannabis. Critics often question its medical applications and sometimes categorize it as a mere recreational tool. However, this perspective tends to ignore the growing body of evidence-based research that has begun to illuminate cannabis’ potential benefits, particularly when it comes to gut health. For instance, studies suggest that cannabinoids like CBD can act as bacteriostatic agents, which inhibit bacterial growth, providing potential relief in conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (Nagarkatti et al., 2009). Then comes the newcomer, full of curiosity and a bit hesitant. You’ve heard about prebiotics in oatmeal and probiotics in yogurt, but cannabis? Interestingly, cannabis compounds like CBD and THC have shown promise in modulating the gut microbiome, potentially leading to anti-inflammatory effects (Alhouayek & Muccioli, 2012). Whether you’re just looking to ease digestive discomfort or manage a chronic condition, the possibilities are intriguing. For those seasoned in using cannabis for medicinal purposes, understanding its role in gut health can be an enlightening experience. Perhaps you’ve already felt some gut-related benefits, an experience that aligns with the evidence suggesting cannabis’ role as a bactericidal antibiotic (Appendino et al., 2008). This could represent a new frontier in battling antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. As a healthcare provider, one cannot overlook the nuanced and multifaceted nature of cannabis in medical care. While there’s promise, there’s also a call for more robust, large-scale studies to better understand both the benefits and potential drawbacks, including how cannabis interacts with the microbiome to affect conditions like IBS and IBD. Clinical Perspective: With compassion at the core of medical practice, it’s vital to recognize the potential cannabis holds, not only as a complementary treatment but perhaps even as a cornerstone in gut health management. The growing body of evidence offers optimism about the versatile utility of cannabis—from bacteriostatic to bactericidal properties. It’s a call to integrate this burgeoning knowledge into practice cautiously and judiciously. Who are the people who tend to have gut microbiome issues? Individuals with specific dietary patterns or lifestyle choices often face disruptions in their gut microbiome. For example, a diet rich in processed foods, sugars, and saturated fats but low in fiber can significantly alter gut bacteria, making the individual more susceptible to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. Similarly, those with excessive alcohol consumption or high-stress lifestyles often report an imbalance in their gut flora. Vegans and vegetarians might face certain deficiencies in gut microbiome diversity due to the absence of animal-based probiotics. Prescription medications, especially antibiotics, can also wreak havoc on the microbiome, wiping out both bad and beneficial bacteria. It’s a complex landscape, where one’s diet, lifestyle, and even mental well-being can significantly influence gut health. Additional Evidence & Citations: Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. Alhouayek, M., & Muccioli, G. G. (2012). The endocannabinoid system in inflammatory bowel diseases: from pathophysiology to therapeutic opportunity. Trends in molecular medicine, 18(10), 615–625. Conclusion: Cannabis and gut health—an intricate relationship, indeed. Whether you’re skeptical, new to cannabis, a healthcare provider, or an experienced user, the conversation around cannabis is getting more nuanced and evidence-based by the day. As we understand this fascinating plant better, we can hope to harness its full potential for the betterment of gut health. 📗 Note: This page is your first coffee of the day; the book’s your whole artisan coffee shop. Get brewing here 📗 [...] Read more...
September 24, 2023In Search of a “Pot Doc Near Me”: The Irony of Subpar Cannabis Clinicians Versus True Medical Specialists Ah, the age-old Google search, “Pot Doc Near Me.” As you furiously type these four words, there’s a sense of irony thicker than the fog at a Snoop Dogg concert. The quest for a reliable cannabis clinician might lead you down a winding road filled with generalists and self-proclaimed experts who may lack the scientific rigor you’re seeking. Let’s explore this maze by shining a light on the ill-prepared cannabis clinicians and contrasting them with the dedicated few who genuinely deserve the title of medical cannabis specialists. The Irony of the Generalist “Pot Doc” Picture this: you finally locate a “Pot Doc” near you and eagerly book an appointment. You enter the clinic, and what do you get? A 15-minute session (if that?) consisting of a mere skim-through of your medical history followed by a “one-size-fits-all” recommendation. The irony? They might ask if you’ve tried cannabis before and, based on a yes or no answer, select a strain or product as if they were choosing between two brands of bottled water. Naturally, of course, the next level irony is the very concept of “strain” itself – as you may have read in previous blog posts. Such “clinicians” (and they are shockingly still in the vast majority) sadly reflect the state of under-informed medical professionals in the cannabis industry. This isn’t merely anecdotal. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that while 80% of oncologists discuss medical cannabis with their patients, less than 30% felt knowledgeable enough to make recommendations1. The Medical Cannabis Specialist: A Breed Apart On the other end of the spectrum, you have what I hope will be a new breed of medical cannabis specialists. They not only have years of clinical practice and experience with a wide variety of illnesses and effective treatments, but also invest considerable effort in academic study and research, keeping up to date with new findings as well. Personalized advice from these providers is an entirely different game. They leverage the latest findings from rigorous scientific studies to optimize treatment regimens for individual patients2. Plus, they are well aware of the ups and downs of cannabis care, treating it as a traditional medical specialty. But what sets such a specialist apart? The key lies in their approach to personalized medicine. Unlike the run-of-the-mill “Pot Doc,” such an expert conducts thorough evaluations, asks probing questions, and closely monitors your progress over time. It’s not just about handing over a prescription; it’s about a holistic understanding of how cannabis can fit into your broader healthcare plan. This is the essence of CED Clinic. We strive to set the standard in cannabis care. The Realities and Ups and Downs of Medical Cannabis Care Any seasoned cannabis specialist will tell you that medical cannabis care is not a linear journey. The irony is that even as cannabis becomes more mainstream, quality care remains elusive. The experienced providers understand this. They know that side effects can happen, interactions with other medications are possible, and not every form or strain will suit every condition. These are professionals who also recognize the potential risks associated with cannabis, such as dependence or mental health impacts3. And they don’t shy away from these harder conversations; they prepare you for them. Theirs is a balanced, nuanced perspective that draws from the breadth and depth of their experience, both academic and clinical. The Value of True Expertise The irony in the search for a “Pot Doc Near Me” is that while finding a cannabis clinician is easier than ever, finding a knowledgeable one is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. And the stakes are high. Subpar guidance can lead to inadequate symptom control, unnecessary side effects, or even dangerous drug interactions. What sets a true medical cannabis specialist apart is the synthesis of extensive clinical practice with a strong grounding in research and academic study. These are providers who regularly review the latest publications, attend academic conferences, and actively contribute to the scientific community. The advice they offer is not just personalized; it’s backed by robust evidence and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of medical cannabis care. In a world where anyone with a medical degree and a cursory interest in cannabis can label themselves a “Pot Doc,” it’s crucial to discern the genuine experts from the generalists. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less. Please don’t take our word for it.  See for yourself.  Book an appointment today! References: Footnotes Braun, I. M., Wright, A., Peteet, J., Meyer, F. L., Yuppa, D. P., Bolcic-Jankovic, D., … & Prigerson, H. G. (2018). Medical Oncologists’ Beliefs, Practices, and Knowledge Regarding Marijuana Used Therapeutically: A Nationally Representative Survey Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36(19), 1957-1962. Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. B. (2014). Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370, 2219-2227. [...] Read more...
September 24, 2023Introduction: The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card Receiprocity and the Quest for Community Obtaining a medical marijuana card often symbolizes a cornerstone moment in the health journey of many patients. This small but significant piece of identification, and more importantly the guided care that it should represent, can drastically improve one’s quality of life by enabling access to treatments for various medical conditions – again, ideally guided by a knowledgeable provider. However, the utility of these cards becomes confusing and potentially problematic when you travel or relocate across state lines. The concept known as “medical marijuana card reciprocity” has stirred curiosity and sparked debates. Is your card valid wherever you go? In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect the complexities surrounding medical marijuana card reciprocity through the lens of medical healthcare providers, skeptics of the cannabis movement, newcomers to medicinal cannabis, and those who have long relied on it. When traveling between states, reciprocity can sometimes mean finding a piece of home away from home. The Medical Quandary: A Healthcare Provider’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For medical professionals deeply embedded in the field of cannabis-based treatments, navigating through a labyrinth of differing state laws and regulations can be particularly challenging. Although meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials point towards the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, such as the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy1, the myriad of laws across different states complicates matters for physicians and patients alike. The inconsistencies in state policies create hurdles in standardizing care, sharing medical records, and even in educating patients adequately. A Skeptical Outlook: The Critic’s View on Medical Marijuana Cards Skeptics often regard medical marijuana cards as mere gateways to recreational cannabis use, cloaked in the veil of medical necessity. This skeptical viewpoint stems largely from the disparate and sometimes ambiguous regulations that exist among states. Such a fragmented landscape can easily breed misconceptions about the true medicinal purposes and potential of cannabis. This outlook often overlooks the substantial body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and distracts from the issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care. First Steps: The Newbie Experience and the Complexities of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For those newly initiated into the realm of medical cannabis, the possibility of using a medical marijuana card across state lines can seem both promising and daunting. Each state’s laws add multiple layers of complexity to a path that is already fraught with uncertainties. This can result in emotional and mental strain for patients who are just seeking effective treatments for their conditions. Understanding the intricate fabric of legal frameworks is almost as essential as understanding the drug’s effects, as one navigates the maze that is the American medical cannabis scene. Tested and True: Seasoned Users Weigh in on the Value and Limitations of Their Medical Marijuana Cards Individuals who have been using medical cannabis for an extended period find their cards indispensable for managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. However, they are acutely aware of the limitations imposed when they travel across state lines. Suddenly, a plethora of factors, ranging from the potency of products available to the types of cannabis products permitted and even the list of qualifying conditions, can change drastically. Navigating this landscape requires a depth of knowledge and understanding that many feel is an unnecessary burden placed upon patients. The Reality Check: Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity is Not Universal The ultimate message here is that medical marijuana card reciprocity is not a straightforward or universal solution; rather, it’s a nuanced, state-dependent issue. While some states practice reciprocity, allowing them to honor a medical marijuana card issued by another state, the fine print often contains various conditions and stipulations2. The Road Ahead: The Clinical Future of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity Despite the numerous obstacles and inconsistencies, there’s a silver lining. Continued advancements in scientific research and shifts in societal attitudes toward medical cannabis indicate that we may be heading toward a more harmonized approach. Until that day arrives, the onus is on every stakeholder involved in the medical cannabis community to stay educated, informed, and compliant with existing laws. References Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31.     Questions You Might Be Asking About Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a myriad of questions on the subject of medical marijuana card reciprocity. We welcome you to ask them in the comments section below. Some questions you might be considering include: What states accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards? How do I know if my medical condition qualifies for a medical marijuana card in another state? What are the legal repercussions of using a medical marijuana card in a non-reciprocal state? Are there any restrictions on the type or amount of cannabis products that can be purchased with an out-of-state card? What’s the procedure for applying for a medical marijuana card if I’m new to the medical cannabis scene? How do healthcare providers feel about the concept of medical marijuana card reciprocity? Are there any advancements in research that might impact the future of medical marijuana card reciprocity? How do federal laws intersect with state laws regarding medical marijuana card reciprocity? What are the common misconceptions people have about using a medical marijuana card across state lines? Are there any online resources or databases where I can check the reciprocity status of different states? Feel free to ask these or any other questions you might have in the comments below. Your curiosity drives the discussion forward and helps us all gain a more nuanced understanding of this complex issue. [...] Read more...
September 13, 2023Introduction Medical cannabis is a topic imbued with hope, skepticism, curiosity, and deep-rooted experiences. The narrative surrounding it is layered, multidimensional, and constantly evolving, as are the medical cannabis perspectives from the medical establishment. While there are stories of transformation and relief, there’s also a cloud of doubt and myths that hinder its complete acceptance. Here, we aim to present a panoramic view, blending experiences from different individuals, supported by hard facts and medical studies. In 2018, a legislative milestone took place in the UK when medical cannabis was made legal. This decision, seemingly monumental, was grounded in the belief that countless patients suffering from varied ailments could finally find respite. Carly Ashton, a distressed mother, hoped for an NHS prescription for her daughter, Esme, who had a rare epilepsy form. Yet, despite the legislation, Esme’s relief remains a distant dream1. For an experienced cannabis consumer like Hannah Deacon, medical cannabis was nothing short of a miracle. Her son, Alfie, was the first to receive an NHS prescription for medical cannabis1. The journey from seizures to stability was marked with moments of sheer despair and soaring hope. Alfie’s story is a testament to the potential of medical cannabis. But what about those unfamiliar with the world of medical cannabis? Like Jasper, another child suffering from a rare epilepsy form. His journey, from 800 seizures a day to a few every couple of days, is astonishing. His parents describe the effect of whole-cannabis oil as “jaw-dropping”1. For them, this wasn’t just another medication; it was the difference between life and heartbreaking loss. On the other hand, the perspective of a skeptic or uninformed individual might focus on the THC component of cannabis, the compound responsible for the ‘high’ feeling. Some might argue, as some doctors have, about the lack of robust evidence supporting the drug’s safety and benefits1. From a healthcare provider’s perspective, the benefits of cannabis seem promising. Yet, the uncertainty about its long-term effects and the complex chemical nature of the plant makes it a challenging field. Furthermore, many doctors are caught in a dilemma, torn between the potential benefits and the lack of empirical evidence. Clinical Perspective on Cannabis for Treating Epilepsy In clinical settings, one of the most intriguing areas of research has been the potential use of cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy. While traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) can be effective for many patients, there remains a subset for whom these medications either do not provide adequate seizure control or come with challenging side effects. Given this, the search for alternative treatments is crucial. Recent research has shed light on the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), in epilepsy management. Preliminary findings suggest that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, might play a role in reducing seizure frequency and severity in some individuals. Furthermore, for those with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, the introduction of CBD-based treatments has been particularly promising. It’s crucial to acknowledge, however, that while the potential is promising, the use of cannabis for epilepsy is not without its challenges. Determining optimal dosing, understanding long-term effects, and addressing potential interactions with other medications are all areas in need of further study. Moreover, while anecdotal evidence abounds, rigorous, controlled trials are essential to establish the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy. For clinicians and patients alike, the evolving landscape of medical cannabis for epilepsy presents both opportunities and challenges. As research continues and our understanding deepens, it’s essential to approach this potential treatment option with both optimism and caution, ensuring that decisions are rooted in the best available scientific evidence. Conclusion Medical cannabis, as with many other treatments, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But its potential is undeniable. Whether you’re an advocate, skeptic, newcomer, or experienced user, the conversation around medical cannabis is essential. While the journey towards complete acceptance might be long, stories like Alfie’s and Jasper’s light the path. References: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66784170 Devinsky, O., Marsh, E., Friedman, D., Thiele, E., Laux, L., Sullivan, J., … & Cilio, M. R. (2016). Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial. The Lancet Neurology, 15(3), 270-278.  This trial investigates the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, showing positive results for a subset of patients. Stockings, E., Zagic, D., Campbell, G., Weier, M., Hall, W. D., Nielsen, S., … & Degenhardt, L. (2018). Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 89(7), 741-753. A comprehensive review that presents both controlled and observational evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in treating epilepsy. Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The endocannabinoid system and the brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 21-47. This review offers insights into how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the brain and potential therapeutic applications, including in epilepsy and other neurologic conditions. O’Connell, B. K., Gloss, D., & Devinsky, O. (2017). Cannabinoids in treatment-resistant epilepsy: A review. Epilepsy & Behavior, 70, 341-348. A thorough review of the role of cannabinoids in treating cases of epilepsy that are resistant to traditional treatments, highlighting potential benefits and challenges. Perucca, E. (2017). Cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy: Hard evidence at last? Journal of Epilepsy Research, 7(2), 61-76. This article discusses the solid evidence emerging regarding the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy treatment, emphasizing the need for more clinical trials and understanding of its mechanisms. [...] Read more...
September 13, 2023The Medical Cannabis Paradox: Canada’s Strange Stance Explored With the legalization wave sweeping across nations, medical cannabis has been thrust into the spotlight, garnering global attention. Particularly in Canada, the division between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis is becoming a topic of great debate. This discourse presents a unique and, in many ways, paradoxical stance on the subject. Here, we aim to demystify this scenario by delving into it from four distinct viewpoints. From the meticulous lens of a healthcare provider, the statistics seem perplexing and somewhat distressing. According to data extrapolated from Health Canada and Statistics Canada, there’s been a staggering 38% decrease in active medical cannabis registrations since October 2018. This decline isn’t just a mere figure to gloss over; it carries profound implications for patient care. With fewer registrations, the concern arises not only from the dwindling numbers but also the potential impediments it poses for the broader medical community. This decline could stymie research efforts, hamper advocacy for its benefits, and, perhaps most crucially, reduce accessibility for patients genuinely in need of this therapeutic avenue. However, when we flip the perspective to that of a skeptic or someone with reservations about cannabis, the narrative shifts. To these individuals, the decline might even seem logical, perhaps welcomed. There’s an omnipresent misconception in the general populace: the idea that cannabis is exclusively a recreational substance. This overshadowing stereotype often clouds the profound therapeutic potential of the plant. Yet, if one delves deeper and seeks to understand the reasons for this decline, it becomes pivotal. Rather than indicating a genuine lack of medical efficacy, it could be pointing to broader systemic challenges plaguing the Canadian medical cannabis framework. Venture into the shoes of someone who’s just beginning their journey into the vast world of cannabis, and the waters become even murkier. For these newcomers, the line demarcating medical and recreational cannabis is not just thin but often indiscernible. Adding to the confusion is the Canadian government’s taxation policy. Why would medical cannabis, purportedly a legitimate therapeutic product, be taxed similarly to its recreational counterpart? The message sent is convoluted. Is one form of cannabis considered therapeutic while the other merely indulgent? Or do both possess healing properties? The mixed signals from policy decisions only exacerbate the confusion, leaving many to question the very authenticity and legitimacy of medical cannabis. Now, consider those seasoned in their use of cannabis for genuine medical relief. To them, the aforementioned decline isn’t just a statistic; it’s a potential alarm bell. What could be driving this downturn? Is it a matter of diminished access or skyrocketing costs? Perhaps it’s an eroding trust in the medical system. Many of these individuals might find themselves inadvertently pushed towards the recreational market, seeking the relief they once found in the medical sector. Yet, amidst these domestic challenges, Canada stands tall on the international stage. As a formidable leader in cannabis production and research, Canada’s exports in the medical cannabis sector are surging. The juxtaposition is intriguing. While domestic sales appear to falter, there’s burgeoning international trust and demand for Canadian medical cannabis products. To truly understand Canada’s intricate dance with medical cannabis, it becomes critical to analyze it from varied perspectives: the seasoned professional, the staunch skeptic, the bewildered newcomer, and the experienced user. Only then can we piece together a holistic picture, discerning what the data truly signifies and what trajectory the nation might take in the future. Through comprehensive examination and open dialogue, we can shed light on this paradoxical stance and pave the way for informed decisions that benefit patients, researchers, and the broader society. Let us embark on this journey of understanding together. References: Health Canada and Statistics Canada. [...] Read more...
September 5, 2023Deep Reading: A Cultural Shift? It’s an unsettling reality to consider, but more and more, it seems like we live in an era where the ties to deep, reflective reading are unraveling. The allure of digital distractions and the siren call of “doomscrolling” screens now comes, like everything in modern life – in Tall, Grande, and Vente. Few seem to contest that the draw of our e-devices is overpowering the allure of turning pages. According to a report from the Pew Research Center, although a promising 72% of American adults reported reading a book in the past year, the median number of books consumed stood at a mere four. The startling fact isn’t the number itself, but what this decline suggests about our evolving cultural values and priorities. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has echoed similar concerns, pointing to a significant wane in literary reading, particularly among the youth. This isn’t merely a trend in leisure activities. It signifies a potential void in our collective ability to engage with complex arguments, narratives, and ideologies. The Double-Edged Sword of Short-Form Content Platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram have become monumental pillars in the world of information dissemination. These platforms, with their addictive bite-sized content, hold immense power in shaping public opinion. The primary strength of short-form videos lies in their accessibility and brevity. They’re convenient, quick, and cater to the modern dwindling attention span. However, their brief nature also stands as their inherent weakness. Dr. Maryanne Wolf of UCLA aptly warns, “The superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing.” The challenges posed by this format aren’t merely about retention. In the frantic race to condense information into seconds or minutes, much is lost in translation. Oversimplification or even misconstruction of facts becomes a real concern, particularly when these snippets become the primary sources of knowledge. Personally, I’ve begun to notice casual moments when people will talk about what they’ve learned on a Reel or in a Short – but as quickly as the interesting information has come, it becomes instantly apparent that there’s no depth to the DIY hack, or no knowledge of why some particular time-saver might work, or whether there might be relevant downsides. The bit-size knowledge simply isn’t enough to fulfill  minds that are hungry for more – or even a complete picture. Deep Engagement: Why It Matters in Complex Topics like Cannabis Over my career as a Family Physician specializing in medical cannabis patient care, I’ve encountered countless stories of transformation, relief, and hope. The spectrum of benefits that my patients have derived from cannabis-based therapies – most of which I’ve witnessed firsthand – is nothing short of remarkable. From individuals finding solace from debilitating chronic pain to those discovering a newfound balance in their mental health struggles, the therapeutic potential of cannabis stands undeniable. Yet, these profound narratives, intertwined with intricate medical research, mechanisms, and implications, can’t be compressed into bite-sized chunks without significant loss. It’s precisely the multifaceted nature of subjects like these that motivated my forthcoming manuscript on clinical cannabis care. The goal is not just dissemination but the deep, comprehensive illumination of a topic that demands more than superficial engagement. Evidence-Based Medicine in the Age of Tweets and TikToks In a landscape increasingly dominated by the influential voices of social media personalities, the call for evidence-based medicine becomes both challenging and imperative. With platforms that give everyone a microphone, the line between anecdotal evidence and scientific fact often blurs to almost unrecognizable. Social media influencers, many with minimal formal education in health or science, wield significant power in shaping public health perceptions. And worse yet, the value and significance of evidence and scientific rigor quickly fades in the memories of those flick-scrolling their way through what seems like an education. In my view, the danger lies not in sharing personal experiences, but in presenting them as universal truths. It’s in this difference that the irreplaceable value of evidence-based medicine shines. Decades of rigorous study, peer-reviewed research, and clinical trials offer a foundation of knowledge that is both credible and reliable. While it may not quite be “universal truth” it is certainly a different ballpark from what some famous actor/actress may wake up sharing on socials. To prioritize fleeting trends and unverified claims over this bedrock of evidence isn’t merely a matter of preference; it’s a question of public health, safety, and well-being. Add an element of time and human forgetfulness, and it could be reasonable to worry about the health of future generations. Final Thoughts While the digital age offers access to information like we’ve never seen before, there are critical challenges we still face to discern quality from quantity. Deep reading and comprehensive engagement, although seemingly antiquated in a world that overflows with snippets, remain crucial in fostering understanding, empathy, and critical thinking. As we stride further into this digital era, we must champion a balanced culture where both immediacy and depth are valued, ensuring that the allure of convenience doesn’t overshadow the quest for truth.   Citations: Pew Research Center. (2019). Who doesn’t read books in America? National Endowment for the Arts. (2007). To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence. Wolf, M. (2018). Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.   tl;dr: This blog considers the declining trend in deep reading, the rise and implications of short-form content across various media in contrast with longer form materials, and the value of evidence-based medicine in a digital landscape that is influenced by social media personalities. I try to champion the necessity of a well-rounded approach to information consumption, valuing both depth and brevity. And, hopefully anyone reading this will be that much more tempted to consider reading my own long-form book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook [...] Read more...
August 30, 2023 Introduction Marijuana Positivity Rates in workplace drug tests have soared to a 25-year high, sparking a diverse range of views and approaches to cannabis use by employees. Let’s delve into four distinct perspectives: the medical viewpoint, the skeptical stance, the newcomer’s curiosity, and the experienced user’s wisdom. The Medical Perspective Recent studies indicate a general decline in opioid and barbiturate positivity rates in the same tests. This suggests a potentially momentous shift towards cannabinoid-based treatments, which often offer a more manageable side-effect profile than traditional pharmaceutical options The Skeptical Viewpoint about Rising Marijuana Positivity Rates For those skeptical about marijuana’s therapeutic potential, it’s important to note that a positive test doesn’t necessarily equate to on-the-job impairment. Drug screens can detect usage from as far back as a month. Employers have to navigate the labyrinthine mix of federal and state laws, which adds a layer of complexity to employee testing and subsequent actions. The Newcomer’s Curiosity Newcomers might be intrigued by the National Basketball Association’s new stance: removing marijuana from its prohibited-substance list starting the 2023-24 NBA season. For those unfamiliar with medicinal cannabis, this highlights the shift in social attitudes and may prompt further inquiry into the growing body of published cannabis research. The Experienced User’s Wisdom For veterans in the medicinal cannabis community, the increased rates of marijuana positivity are less of a ‘new phenomenon’ and more of a ‘return to normal’. Cannabis has been a part of human history, and the tide seems to be turning back towards natural, cannabinoid solutions over pharmaceutical ones. Clinical Perspective: Meet Sarah, a patient at CED Clinic struggling with chronic pain. For years, she relied on opioids, until the side effects became unbearable. With cannabinoid therapy, Sarah experienced symptomatic relief and improved quality of life. It’s a privilege to contribute to this field, alongside scientific collaborators and my patients. My forthcoming book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, aims to address these very issues.  Read Sarah’s story on page 249 of the book! Order here: https://a.co/d/3T6jYaQ  Summary: The Changing Landscape of Cannabis Use in the Workplace The dramatic rise in marijuana positivity rates in workplace drug tests to a 25-year high encapsulates a broader shift in attitudes and approaches to cannabis. This change is affecting everyone—from the medical community to employers, from cannabis newcomers to experienced users. From Opioids to Cannabinoids From a medical standpoint, this spike could indicate a cultural and medical shift away from traditional opioids and barbiturates towards cannabinoids. Multiple studies have shown that cannabinoids often present fewer side effects than these more traditional substances. Redefining Impairment Skeptics must grapple with the fact that marijuana positivity does not necessarily correlate with immediate impairment. Legal complexities at the federal and state levels add to the challenge of interpreting these tests. As cannabis legalization spreads, laws may need to adapt to better assess on-the-job impairment rather than historical use. Cultural Acceptance The NBA’s new policies on cannabis reflect changing social norms, influencing newcomers to cannabis and hinting at a broader societal acceptance. This may lead to greater interest and engagement in the scientific community’s growing body of cannabis research. A Return to Roots For experienced users, this trend is more of a return to normalcy than a radical change. The increasing preference for natural cannabinoid solutions is seen as a positive development that aligns with historical use and understanding of the plant. Bridging Gaps in Clinical Practice From a clinical perspective, the stories of patients like Sarah highlight the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis. Through published research, clinical experience, and educational resources like The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, healthcare providers and patients alike can make more informed decisions about cannabinoid therapies. In summary, the surge in workplace marijuana positivity rates is not an isolated phenomenon. Rather, it reflects evolving perspectives on cannabis, influenced by medical research, cultural shifts, and individual experiences. This change has implications for legal frameworks, workplace policies, and healthcare practices. References 1: “Decline in opioid and barbiturate positivity rates in workplace drug tests,” Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2021. 2: Moeller, K. E., Lee, K. C., & Kissack, J. C. (2008). Urine drug screening: Practical guide for clinicians. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 3: Caplan, B. The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, 2023. 4: Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 5: “Marijuana Legalization and Workplace Safety: A Short Review of the Literature,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2018. 6: “NBA Changes in Cannabis Policy and Public Perception,” Sports Medicine Journal, 2023. 7: Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. To find these articles: https://cedclinic.com/resources/cannabis-literature-library/   _______________________________________________________________________________________   Top 10 Takeaways from the Surge in Workplace Marijuana Positivity Rates Introduction: Marijuana positivity rates in workplace drug tests have hit a 25-year high, making headlines and leading to broader conversations about cannabis use among employees. Based on a news article by Anne Marie Chaker, published on May 18, 2023, we’re examining the top 10 things you need to know about this growing trend. 1. Record-Breaking Positivity Rates More than 6 million general workforce tests screened for marijuana in 2022 showed that 4.3% came back positive, which is the highest rate since 1997. 2. Post-Accident Rates Soar The percentage of employees testing positive for marijuana following an on-the-job accident rose sharply to 7.3% in 2022. 3. Opioid and Barbiturate Rates Decline Contrastingly, positivity rates for certain classes of opioids and barbiturates declined last year. 4. Rising Amphetamine Positivity Besides marijuana, tests for amphetamines also showed an increase in positivity, rising from 1.3% in 2021 to 1.5% in 2022. 5. State Vs. Federal Law Complications The growing number of U.S. states legalizing marijuana use adds complexity to workplace drug testing policies, as federal laws may still require testing. 6. Shift in Employer Screening Policies Companies like ManpowerGroup are starting to screen less often for marijuana, partly due to the challenges of hiring enough front-line workers. 7. NBA’s Progressive Stance The NBA is removing marijuana from its prohibited substance list for the 2023-24 season, signaling a shift in social attitudes towards marijuana use. 8. Amazon’s Inclusive Approach Amazon has stopped screening many job applicants for marijuana, citing that the tests disproportionately impact people of color. 9. Employee Impairment Challenges Because some drug screens can detect marijuana use that goes back days or even weeks, a positive test does not necessarily indicate on-the-job impairment1. 10. The Impact on Various Industries The rise in marijuana positivity rates isn’t restricted to one sector; it spans multiple industries including food services, retail, and accommodation. Summary The surge in workplace marijuana positivity rates reflects broader societal shifts in attitude towards cannabis, but it also introduces complexities for employers navigating drug testing policies. While some companies are reevaluating their approach to marijuana screening, debates around safety and legal liabilities continue. Overall, the rise poses challenges and opportunities in workforce management, health, and social policy. Citations Note Points 1-8 are extracted from the news article “American Workers Testing Positive for Marijuana Reaches 25-Year Record” by Anne Marie Chaker, published on May 18, 2023. Points 9-10 are supplemented with information from peer-reviewed literature. Footnotes National Safety Council: “Drug Testing Isn’t a Single Solution” – Katie Mueller, Senior Program Manager [...] Read more...
August 21, 2023Discover the potential of cannabinoids in pain management. Explore medical insights, opposition viewpoints, and real experiences. Learn how cannabinoids could reshape the future of pain treatment. Introduction: The opioid crisis has become a public health emergency in the United States, with over 130 people dying every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. As the medical community grapples with this crisis, a new frontier in pain management is emerging: cannabinoids. Recent research suggests that medicinal cannabis may offer a promising alternative to opioids for pain relief. This blog post will explore the medical perspective on cannabinoids, address common misconceptions, and consider the viewpoints of both new and experienced users of medicinal cannabis. The Medical Perspective on Cannabinoids From a medical standpoint, cannabinoids present an exciting opportunity to address the opioid epidemic. Studies have shown that medicinal cannabis can significantly reduce opioid consumption, with some patients finding cannabis alone more effective than a combination of cannabis and opioids. However, the integration of cannabinoids into medical practice requires careful consideration of dosing, legal regulations, and patient education. Continued research and development of prescribing guidelines are essential to ensure safe and effective treatment. The opioid crisis has led to a search for alternatives, and cannabinoids present a promising solution. Research supports the use of medicinal cannabis to reduce opioid consumption and provide effective pain relief. The medical community is urged to consider this option, recognizing the need for proper guidelines and continued research. Misconceptions and Opposition to Medical Cannabis Despite the promising evidence, some individuals remain opposed to medicinal cannabis. Common misconceptions include fears about its psychoactive effects, potential for abuse, and lack of regulation. Clear, evidence-based communication is vital to dispel these myths and provide accurate information about the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis. Addressing legal and ethical concerns also requires collaboration between lawmakers, healthcare providers, and the community. Some individuals remain skeptical of medicinal cannabis, often due to misunderstandings about its effects and potential for abuse. Education and transparent communication about the scientific evidence supporting cannabis as a treatment option are essential to address these concerns. The Experience of New and Seasoned Cannabis Users For those new to medicinal cannabis, initial apprehensions may include concerns about side effects, social stigma, and legal issues. Comprehensive education and support can help alleviate these concerns. On the other hand, individuals experienced with medicinal cannabis often report significant benefits, including reduced opioid consumption and improved quality of life. Their insights and advocacy can foster acceptance and understanding within the broader community. Policy and Regulatory Considerations The legal status of medicinal cannabis varies across states, creating a complex regulatory environment. Developing consistent, evidence-based regulations is crucial to ensure safe and equitable access to this treatment option. Engaging with various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, researchers, policymakers, and patients, is essential to create a regulatory framework that supports responsible use.   The exploration of cannabinoids as an alternative to opioids for pain management is a multifaceted issue that requires a nuanced approach. By considering various perspectives and engaging in open dialogue, we can work towards a future where pain management is more effective, compassionate, and personalized. The potential of cannabinoids in reshaping pain treatment is promising, but realizing its full potential requires collaboration, education, research, and empathy.     This blog post delves into the medical viewpoint, opposition to medical cannabis, and the experiences of both new and seasoned medicinal cannabis users, but check out The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook for this and more: https://amzn.to/3QFToba          [...] Read more...
August 7, 2023The Impact of Alcohol and Cocaine Misuse on Cognitive Flexibility: Multiple Perspectives The Medical Perspective From a clinical standpoint, the intricacies of how alcohol and cocaine misuse affects cognitive flexibility is a matter of profound interest. The brain is a complex organ, with multiple pathways and neural connections that control not only our physical actions but also our thoughts, decisions, and emotions. The recent study provides a compelling look at the neural pathways, such as the impact on striatal cholinergic interneurons and the activity of direct-pathway medium spiny neurons, which are altered by these substances. Medical professionals are particularly interested in these findings as they can guide the development of therapeutics to treat substance use disorders. Furthermore, understanding the decline in cognitive flexibility can assist clinicians in devising therapeutic interventions, which might include cognitive-behavioral strategies, medications, or even neurofeedback sessions, to boost or restore this vital cognitive function. The Skeptical Perspective Some individuals remain wary of the current science, often comparing the misuse of substances like alcohol and cocaine to medical cannabis. This skepticism usually stems from preconceived notions, past experiences, or misinformation. They might argue that drawing conclusions from a rodent study might not translate effectively to humans, making such studies less definitive. In comparing it to medical cannabis, these individuals often point out the lack of long-term studies or the possible risks of misuse and addiction, even if used for medical purposes. While their concerns cannot be entirely dismissed, it’s essential to differentiate between misuse and medical application, and to stay updated with evolving scientific research. Newbie’s Perspective For someone new to cannabis or the broader discourse on substance misuse, the intricate details of how alcohol and cocaine affect the brain might be overwhelming. They might wonder: “How does this relate to cannabis? Is it equally harmful, or does it offer medicinal benefits?” These individuals often seek rudimentary understanding. They might find the concept of cognitive flexibility intriguing, especially if they can relate it to their daily life experiences. Perhaps they’ve noticed changes in their behavior or thought patterns after consuming alcohol or know someone battling cocaine addiction. Being new to the subject, they’re open to learning but might be vulnerable to misconceptions or biases, making it crucial to present them with clear, accurate, and digestible information. Experienced Cannabis User’s Perspective For those who consume cannabis for medical purposes, such a study on alcohol and cocaine might provide a dual reaction. On the one hand, they might be curious about how different substances can influence the brain in varied ways. On the other, they might feel defensive, anticipating that detractors could lump medical cannabis into the same category as alcohol and cocaine. These individuals have firsthand experience of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. They know that when used judiciously and under medical supervision, cannabis can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and various other ailments. When juxtaposing their experience against the backdrop of the study on alcohol and cocaine, they might assert the importance of distinguishing between “use” and “misuse”. For them, the underlying theme remains: everything in moderation, and under the right guidance. Conclusion:   the subject of substance misuse, brain health, and cognitive flexibility is multi-faceted. By looking at it from various perspectives, we can appreciate the nuances and complexities of this vital topic. Every viewpoint offers a piece of the larger puzzle, emphasizing the importance of open dialogue and continuous research. [...] Read more...
August 1, 2023In a surprising turn of events, more than a third of people aged 65 or older have tried marijuana, a figure that’s tripled since 2009. This trend is explored in depth in a recent article from The Washington Post, which also delves into the question of whether these older cannabis users are more likely to be NPR listeners. The article provides a wealth of information on the topic, including data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and insights from researchers and experts in the field. It also highlights the potential influence of legalization on the increased use of cannabis among older adults. What are your thoughts on this trend? Are you surprised to see the older generation embracing cannabis? And do you know any NPR-listening, cannabis-loving seniors? Read the full article here: https://wapo.st/3Kc4QXO [...] Read more...
July 31, 2023Introduction The name Shawn Collins may not have been a household name a decade ago, but in recent years, it has become synonymous with the burgeoning Massachusetts cannabis industry. As the Executive Director of the Cannabis Control Commission, Collins has played an instrumental role in the development and regulation of the industry, drawing both praise and criticism from various quarters. In this blog, we delve deeper into the impact of Shawn Collins’ work, examining it from the perspectives of medical professionals, typical customers, and those indifferent or new to cannabis. Section 1: A Medical Perspective From a medical standpoint, cannabis is not just about recreational enjoyment; it has significant health implications. Many health professionals have praised Collins’ efforts to regulate the industry, which have made it possible for patients to have access to safe, tested, and reliable cannabis products for therapeutic use. Under Collins’ leadership, the Commission has ensured the strict regulation of product quality, offering a degree of certainty that was previously lacking. For conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, cannabis has shown considerable promise. Thus, having a well-regulated supply chain has been crucial in patient care. However, not all feedback from the medical community has been positive. Some health professionals argue that the commission’s focus on commercial and recreational use might overshadow the importance of medical cannabis, pushing patients’ needs to the backburner. Section 2: The Customer’s Lens For the average customer, the rise of the cannabis industry under Collins’ watch has been a welcome change. The most obvious benefit has been the availability of a wider range of products. Consumers now have access to a variety of cannabis strains and related products, from edibles and tinctures to topicals and concentrates. Furthermore, rigorous quality checks mean that customers can trust the products they buy. Another important aspect from the customer’s perspective is the economic impact. The cannabis industry has generated significant revenue and created numerous jobs. Many customers appreciate that their purchases are contributing to local economic growth and job creation. Section 3: The View from the Sidelines Not everyone is a fan or user of cannabis, and for these people, the growing prominence of the industry can be a source of indifference or even resentment. Some fear that easy access to cannabis might lead to increased misuse, particularly among younger users. However, many recognize that regulation is preferable to prohibition. Having clear laws and regulations in place is seen as a way to control misuse while allowing adults who wish to use cannabis responsibly to do so. In this context, Collins’ work is acknowledged as necessary, even by those who might not personally support cannabis use. Conclusion Shawn Collins’ impact on the Massachusetts cannabis industry is undeniably substantial. His efforts have helped create a well-regulated, economically vibrant sector that caters to both medical patients and recreational consumers. While some criticism and challenges are inevitable, the industry’s growth is a testament to Collins’ dedication and the comprehensive framework the Commission has put in place. It remains to be seen how the industry will evolve in the coming years, but for now, Massachusetts seems to be on the right track. [...] Read more...
July 25, 2023The recent fluctuations in the market have sent ripples across industries, and one sector that has especially caught our attention is the cannabis industry. The intriguing part? Unlike the majority of stocks that are riding the upward wave, cannabis stocks are demonstrating a distinct trend, diving when others are soaring. This unexpected behavior, as perplexing as it is, offers us an opportunity to delve deeper into the complex world of the cannabis industry and its stock market performance. Why Cannabis Stocks Are Falling When discussing stock market trends, it’s important to understand that these trends are reflections of a multitude of factors, both tangible and intangible. In the case of cannabis stocks, these factors are as diverse as the products the industry produces. Firstly, let’s discuss the elephants in the room – regulatory barriers. Cannabis, despite its increasing acceptance, still finds itself tangled in a web of legal constraints. The varying laws from state to state and the federal illegality of cannabis in the US pose serious challenges for the industry. These uncertainties can make investors uneasy and lead to volatility in cannabis stocks. Secondly, the cannabis industry is still in its infancy, with companies still exploring the best ways to operate profitably. Many cannabis companies are focusing heavily on scaling their operations, often prioritizing growth over profitability. This can result in inflated valuations that are not backed by strong financials, making the stocks more susceptible to market downturns. Tilray: A Case Study Take Tilray, for example, a cannabis company that also has stakes in pharmaceutical distribution and alcohol businesses. Despite its diversified portfolio, Tilray has not been immune to the current downturn in cannabis stocks. Its stock has seen a significant dip in 2023, a worrying indication ahead of their Q4 report. This illustrates that the industry’s challenges can impact even the biggest players, regardless of their diversification strategies. Looking Ahead: What Could Potentially Turn Things Around? Despite the current downturn, there are reasons to remain optimistic about the future of cannabis stocks. One such reason is the potential for regulatory reform. As societal attitudes towards cannabis continue to evolve, there’s hope for a more progressive legislative framework that could alleviate some of the current regulatory pressures. Moreover, as the industry matures, we can expect to see companies beginning to focus more on profitability rather than just growth. This shift could lead to more robust financials, thereby making cannabis stocks more attractive to investors. Ultimately, the future of cannabis stocks remains uncertain. Investors and stakeholders must stay informed, adaptable, and open to new perspectives. With a thorough understanding of the industry’s fundamentals and a close eye on market trends, it’s possible to navigate through this uncertain terrain and make informed investment decisions. [...] Read more...
July 19, 2023I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you the upcoming launch of my very own “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook”. This has been a labour of love, the fruit of years of intense research, and a quest to bring forth the multifaceted benefits of this incredible plant – cannabis. Yes, you heard that right. My mission is not just to shed light on the often misunderstood world of cannabis, but to challenge our prevailing perceptions, and spark an informed conversation about its potential. Click to check out the amazing endorsements and to order: https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Approved-Cannabis-Handbook-Wellness-Marijuana-ebook/dp/B0BSKRN1M7 Can you believe that over the last decade, cannabis has undergone such a remarkable transformation? It’s moved from being a largely taboo topic to becoming a potential game-changing therapeutic tool within our medical community. This transition is undoubtedly encouraging, yet it has been clouded by widespread misinformation and a whole lot of uncertainty. To address this, I’ve written an all-inclusive guide that seeks to demystify the medical applications of cannabis. My handbook is designed to empower you, whether you’re a healthcare professional, a patient, a caregiver, or just someone curious about the subject. In Part 1 of the book, I take you through a guided tour around the cannabis plant, explaining its intricacies, and discussing the various products you can buy off the market. But that’s not all. I even delve into how you can DIY cannabis edibles and topicals, opening up an exciting world of homemade therapeutic treatments. As we move into Part 2 of the book, we dive deeper into the clinical uses of cannabis. Every single claim made is backed by an indexed, evidence-based, peer-reviewed reference. Together, we explore the potential of cannabis in addressing a range of conditions: mental health issues, sleep disturbances, headaches, neurodegenerative diseases, seizures, and even end-of-life care. But the journey doesn’t end there. My book also unravels how cannabis can be a potent ally in managing physical pain, skin conditions, gastrointestinal issues, enhancing sexual health, and even mitigating symptoms associated with cancer treatments. You see, the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” is not just another medical guide on the shelf. It’s a testament to the REAL opportunity that holistic, patient-centered healthcare presents. In a world that’s largely dominated by pharmaceutical models, I’m hoping (and trying my best!) to bring alternative approaches to the forefront. Can you imagine what it would mean if a cannabis-positive book made it to a best-seller list? It would not only command attention but also bring much-needed respect to an industry that has often been run over. More importantly, it could bring hope to millions of people who have suffered unnecessarily because of a lack of access to this information! As we embark on this path, we do recognize the challenges we face. Societal prejudices, regulatory complexities, and even the frustrating “algorithm” which often auto-cancels cannabis. But with informed knowledge and a shared understanding, we can overcome these hurdles together. After all, every paradigm shift begins with a single, daring step. So join me in this journey to redefine wellness. Pre-order your copy of the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” today, and together, let’s command attention, respect, and inspire a change that could potentially save lives for the better. [...] Read more...
July 13, 2023The use of cannabis for self-medication is a growing trend, particularly among neurodivergent individuals. A recent poll found that 1.8 million people in the UK are using cannabis to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life, a 29% increase from 2019. This trend highlights the unique intersection of physical and psychological phenomena that cannabis research is uncovering. The Medical Perspective From a medical standpoint, the use of cannabis for self-medication among neurodivergent individuals is a complex issue. On one hand, cannabis has been shown to help improve attention, emotion regulation, concentration, and executive functioning, while also reducing anxiety and sleep problems. These are common symptoms among neurodiverse individuals, making cannabis an attractive option for self-medication. However, the medical community also recognizes the potential risks associated with self-medication, particularly when it comes to unregulated substances. Without proper regulation and oversight, individuals may be at risk of consuming cannabis with high levels of THC, which could induce paranoia, anxiety, or psychosis. The Viewpoint of Someone Against Medical Cannabis Those against the use of medical cannabis often cite the potential for abuse and the lack of comprehensive research as reasons for their opposition. They argue that while cannabis may provide temporary relief for some symptoms, it does not address the underlying causes of these symptoms. Additionally, they express concern about the potential for dependency and the long-term effects of cannabis use. The Perspective of Someone New to Cannabis For someone new to cannabis, the idea of using it for self-medication can be both intriguing and intimidating. The stigma associated with cannabis use can be a significant barrier, as can the legal implications. However, the potential benefits of cannabis for managing symptoms of neurodivergence can also be very appealing. The Perspective of Someone Experienced with Cannabis Consumption for Medical Purposes Those who have experience with using cannabis for medical purposes often have a more nuanced perspective. They understand the potential benefits of cannabis, but also recognize the importance of using it responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They may also have firsthand experience with the challenges of obtaining cannabis for medical use, particularly in regions where it is not yet legal. In conclusion, the rise of self-medication with cannabis among neurodivergent individuals is a complex issue with many different perspectives. As our understanding of both neurodivergence and the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis continues to evolve, it is crucial to continue the conversation and explore all angles of this important topic. [...] Read more...
July 11, 2023In the dynamic world of cannabis, THC-O-acetate has recently emerged as the new player on the field, largely due to bold claims of it providing a ‘psychedelic’ experience. But what does the science actually say? A new study led by UB has delved into these claims and found that the effects of THC-O-acetate are more aligned with inducing relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief rather than a psychedelic experience. This contradicts the current narrative floating around the cannabis community. Moreover, the study raises an important point of concern. The cannabis market, as it currently stands, is largely unregulated. This can result in product contamination, potentially causing unexpected and undesirable effects. Hence, it emphasizes the importance of being cautious in this seemingly Wild West market. As consumers, it’s crucial to be vigilant and rely more on scientific evidence rather than simply accepting manufacturer claims. In the rapidly expanding world of cannabinoids, safety should always be paramount. Dive deeper into the study here: https://bit.ly/46KsuEv [...] Read more...
March 14, 2023Whether you have tried other forms of treatment and failed to find relief, or you just prefer a holistic alternative, you may be wondering if medical cannabis is right for you. As a whole, over the last several decades we have learned so much about the benefits of cannabis and how this plant can help you find relief. However, we’re learning each day that the plant is complex in how it works with our bodies. No matter your symptoms or type of relief you’re seeking, it’s important to learn how to know if medical cannabis is right for you. History of Medical Cannabis Patients have touted the benefits of medical cannabis for not only years, and decades, but also through the centuries. Evidence suggests that cannabis was used extensively in what is now Romania, more than 5,000 years ago. And before that, archeological evidence has found cannabis in human culture as far back as 12,000 years ago.  In the U.S., cannabis was widely utilized as a patent medicine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, described in the United States Pharmacopoeia for the first time in 1850. In the grand scheme of things, cannabis prohibition only existed for a handful of recent years, as opposed to centuries of acceptance. Over the last several decades, many states, including Massachusetts have recognized the need and legalized cannabis in some capacity. Massachusetts now allows both recreational and medical cannabis use, but there are still a number of benefits to obtaining a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. How Does Cannabis Work? Every creature with vertebrae has an endocannabinoid system. A series of receptors exists throughout the body and serves the purpose of restoring and maintaining balance (homeostasis), as well as other multiple forms of neurological communication. Cannabinoids (cannabis molecules) interact with these receptors in different ways depending on their molecular structure. Some major cannabinoids include THC and CBD. Others you may have heard of include CBN, CBG, CBC many more (over 100 more, actually). There are a plethora of cannabis strains to choose from. Just like there are countless varieties and hybrids of roses, the same can be said for cannabis strains. Like any other plant, they can be cultivated to have specific properties like a higher ratio of CBD, or other plant compounds like terpenes, fatty acids, and proteins. Different combinations of cannabinoids and plant compounds may affect the body in slightly different ways. For example, the terpene linalool is also found in lavender and is known to have a calming effect, so strains with more linalool may be encouraged for those who are anxious or stressed. What Are The Benefits of Medical Cannabis? There are countless benefits of consuming medical cannabis, though it is important to note that your experience may not be exactly the same as someone else’s. In general, some of the primary ways medical cannabis can help you find relief is through:        • pain relief,        • decreased stress, anxiety, or worry        • better sleep habits and sleep patterns        • along with other more specific benefits depending on your specific need Qualified Conditions For a Massachusetts Medical Card In answering the question, “how do you know if medical cannabis is right for you,” it’s important to note how the condition you are seeking treatment for is certainly relevant. In order to obtain a medical cannabis certification, the state requires that you have a qualifying condition. Patients 18 and older with a Massachusetts medical cannabis card can buy larger quantities of cannabis than those who purchase recreational cannabis. Some of these qualifying conditions in a medical cannabis evaluation include:        • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)        • Cancer        • Crohn’s disease        • Glaucoma        • HIV/AIDS        • Hepatitis C        • Multiple Sclerosis        • Parkinson’s disease These conditions are governed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for medical marijuana doctors and patients and are continually updated as additional conditions are evaluated. The diagnosis of any of these qualifying conditions must be verified by a medical doctor, and the patient must go through an application process. If your exact condition is not listed above, do not let that be a deterrent. Dr Caplan has the ability to determine what conditions may benefit from medical cannabis and has the authority to issue cards for any condition where it is medically appropriate. How Do You Know If Medical Cannabis Is Right For You? Many people, with and without a medical condition can benefit from cannabis use. CED champions a holistic approach to healthcare and wellness that includes medicinal cannabis. Meet with our team of marijuana doctors in Massachusetts to discuss your medical marijuana card needs – through a cannabis evaluation, we’ll review your medical history, answer all your questions, address your symptoms and discuss how cannabis could better your health. If you think getting a Massachusetts medical marijuana card could be right for you, request an appointment online at your preferred time or call us to schedule one at (617) 500-3595 and we will be more than happy to guide you through the process. [...] Read more...
March 7, 2023Medical cannabis use was approved in 2006 for Rhode Island residents with a qualifying condition. The Rhode Island Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program administers all aspects of the state Medical Marijuana Act and all regulations for patients and certifying practitioners. This includes who is eligible to receive a Rhode Island medical marijuana card, based on their qualifying health or medical condition. Medical Cannabis Use in the United States Over the past few decades, the benefits of medical cannabis have become increasingly accepted. One survey showed that 86 percent of respondents believe in the positive benefits of cannabis for medical conditions. There are nearly 20,000 medical marijuana cardholders in Rhode Island. Because marijuana is not federally-regulated, each state that has a legal medical marijuana program has its own set of laws. Medical marijuana is available in Rhode Island for a variety of conditions. First, a patient must obtain a formal diagnosis in a medical cannabis evaluation to apply for their Rhode Island medical marijuana card. Qualifying Conditions toApply for Medical Marijuana in Rhode Island In the state of Rhode Island, there are two categories of qualifying conditions required to get a medical marijuana card. The first category lists specific health diseases or illnesses. Cannabis is also authorized to help with symptoms derived from the treatment of these conditions. • Cancer • Glaucoma • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) • Hepatitis C The second category of qualifying conditions can relate to a chronic or debilitating disease,medical condition, or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: • Cachexia or wasting syndrome • Severe, debilitating, chronic pain • Severe nausea • Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease • Agitation related to Alzheimer’s Disease Determining the Diagnosis of Your Qualifying Condition CED Clinic provides medical cannabis services for those seeking treatment for Rhode Island’s qualifying conditions. At CED Clinic, our cannabis doctors and physicians focus on individual patient care for specific needs. Our clinicians will review your health history in a medical cannabis evaluation to better assess the benefits for your medical concerns. During this cannabis clinic visit, it is important to talk to your doctor about all of the symptoms you are experiencing. Some chronic symptoms that do not respond to general medical treatment may qualify you for Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program – even if they are not in one of the two explicit categories. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not on the list of qualifying conditions but may be considered for a medical marijuana prescription. Applying for a Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Card The first step in the medical cannabis application process is to be formally diagnosed. CED Clinic offers telehealth options across multiple states, including Rhode Island. You can expedite the process by scheduling your appointment and filling out the intake form. Our cannabis clinicians will evaluate your health history and Rhode Island qualifying conditions for a cannabis medical card. We are here to walk you through the medical marijuana card application process and look forward to helping you feel empowered and educated about your cannabis choices. [...] Read more...
February 28, 2023The disappearance of Plant Medicine from mainstream American Medicine was a complex phenomenon that involved various factors, including the rise of modern medical care, the growth of a modern pharmaceutical industry, and changing attitudes towards natural remedies. One of the key events that contributed to the disappearance of plant medicine was the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. This legislation required manufacturers to accurately label their products and disclose any harmful or addictive ingredients. While this was a step forward for consumer protection, it also created an environment in which synthetic drugs could plant a foothold in the consumer market, as medicines/formulations could be patented and sold exclusively by their manufacturers, at great financial benefit. At the same time, the medical profession was undergoing a transformation, with doctors increasingly turning to scientific research and laboratory testing to guide their practice. This shift away from traditional remedies was fueled by the belief that science could provide more effective treatments for disease than natural remedies, which were more challenging to study. The Flexner Report, published in 1910, played a significant role in this transformation, as it called for medical schools to adopt a more scientific and rigorous approach to education and research. The rise of the pharmaceutical industry also played a crucial role in the disappearance of plant medicine. Pharmaceutical companies were able to invest heavily in research and development – and political lobbying efforts – and they could patent and market their products directly to doctors and patients. As a result, synthetic drugs began to replace natural remedies, which were often difficult to standardize and lacked the financial incentives of patented drugs. At the same time as the pharmaceutical industry blossomed and a more sterile system of ingredients and methods of study evolved, changing attitudes towards natural remedies also contributed to the disappearance of plant medicine. As modern medicine became more dominant, natural remedies were often seen as outdated and unscientific. This attitude was reinforced by the media, which often portrayed natural remedies as ineffective or even dangerous, relative to the more machined alternatives. The disappearance of plant medicine from mainstream American medicine was a complex phenomenon that involved a wide variety of interconnected factors, including the rise of the modern medical approach, birth and growth of the pharmaceutical industry, and evolving attitudes towards natural remedies by experts and professionals. While plant medicine is still used today by some healthcare providers, its disappearance from mainstream medical care was largely due to the emergence of synthetic drugs and the transformation of the medical profession towards a more scientific approach to treatment. [...] Read more...
February 8, 2023Once you have your medical marijuana card, it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own. Unfortunately, there is a trend among cannabis clinics of providing exceptional service until clients have their medical marijuana certifications, and then rushing them out the door. That’s not the case at CED Clinic. Current cannabis cardholders — not just those hoping to become patients — are welcome to make telemedicine appointments at any time with their medical cannabis doctor. Our Massachusetts cannabis doctors are here to provide holistic, cannabis-centered care throughout the duration of your treatment. These are just some of the reasons you might schedule a follow-up. 1. Your medical needs have changed. Life is dynamic. Whether you obtained your medical cannabis card last week or two years ago, your overall wellness may have changed since. The following are some examples of updates you may want to communicate to your cannabis doctor: New diagnosis Upcoming medical procedures Changing or worsening symptoms Dramatically improved symptoms Your cannabis doctor can answer questions, provide professional insight, and recommend any necessary adjustments to your medical marijuana prescription. 2. Your cannabis prescription isn’t working out the way you’d hoped. Perhaps you’re not seeing the results you wanted from cannabis use. This could mean you’re not feeling relief from your symptoms or the effect is minimal. Perhaps cannabis use is helping, but with other undesired effects. It’s important to remember that these issues occur with prescription medications, and you can consider a follow-up at our cannabis clinic the same way you would with your primary care provider. The truth is, there are myriad reasons why cannabis might not be delivering the desired benefits: it could be related to your dosage, the products you’re using, the method of consumption, or even other aspects of your routine or treatment regimen. By raising your concerns, you allow your canna-doctor to identify potential causes and make informed recommendations. 3. Your treatment used to work, and is now no longer effective. Sometimes cannabis loses its effectiveness — even when you’ve been using the same strain from the same company for an extended period of time. Trust us, you’re not crazy. There are several potential causes: Lack of consistency in medical cannabis products (which is a well-known problem in the industry) You’re building up a tolerance Changes in your medications, routine, or diet During your appointment, your cannabis doctor can shed some light on the issue, and offer suggestions on how to combat it. 4. There are updates to share with your cannabis doctor about your journey. When you have a traditional check-up, it helps your PCP stay informed of your wellbeing, monitor your progress with various treatments, and learn of any changes in your health. Our goal is for you to think of your care at CED Clinic the same way. Consider this: you want a medical professional to keep tabs on your overall well being, your prescriptions and whether they’re helping your symptoms; why wouldn’t you want the same as a medical marijuana patient? 5. You need a medical liaison to represent your cannabis treatment. Whether you have a regular doctor’s appointment approaching, are seeing a new specialist or have an upcoming medical procedure, your cannabis use may be relevant information. These are all opportunities for your cannabis doctor to offer support. Dr. Caplan can communicate directly with the providers involved, acting as a go-between or liaison for your medical needs. Further, receiving updated medical details allows him to make recommendations for your cannabis care routine if necessary — for example, increasing your dosage after a procedure, or altering usage to prevent adverse reactions with new medications. 6. You’re curious about new developments in the medical cannabis industry. Maybe you’ve heard about new cannabis products or formulations, or while conducting your own research, stumbled across new potential use cases, studies or data. As a result, you wonder, “How does this affect me, and what does it mean for my cannabis treatment? Should I alter my approach?” Luckily, you’re in the right place for this conversation. Dr. Caplan is not only the founder of other cannabis businesses (such as EO Care, Inc, a new digital therapeutics company that is changing the future of cannabis care), but shares access to the CED Clinic Library, (which is the world’s largest digital library of free medical cannabis research). By sharing free research with his medical cannabis patients, there are no barriers to learning cannabis health for all. You’re welcome to make an appointment to gain his professional insight and to discuss this research or other cannabis-related developments. 7. You want to learn how cannabis interacts with your medications, diet and more. If you’ve been experiencing altered effects in your cannabis use, have you noticed they correlated with changes in your health and wellness routine? If so, you could be onto something. The way that cannabis affects your body — specifically, how cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system — is directly connected with things like food, exercise habits, sleep patterns and much more. If you’re seeking information about the potential interactions of cannabis and related effects (especially if you’re starting a new medication), Dr. Caplan would be happy to address this with you. Remember: cannabis knowledge is power over your own health. Ready to schedule your appointment Just visit our website and request an appointment online for a medical cannabis evaluation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you! [...] Read more...
January 31, 2023The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has long been associated with how we process emotions, including stress and fear. Anandamide, the very first discovered, and likely most well-understood endogenous cannabinoid, functions as a neurotransmitter that actively combats the feelings of stress and fear. In the body, Anandamide is degraded by the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), so blocking FAAH activity can effectively increase anandamide in our bodies, much like how preventing a faucet from closing will set up for a flood of extra water. Fear extinction is one of the core known functions of the anandamide molecule. When a stimulus is un-coupled from a fear response in the body, this is a process governed by anandamide. For example, mice can be trained to associate a certain noise with a shock (fear training) and then dissociate the noise from the shock when they are presented with the noise by itself (fear extinction training). Research about the endocannabinoid system and fear In astudy published in Molecular Psychiatry, administration of an FAAH inhibitor in mice decreased fear when it was paired with a fear extinction training. Interestingly, however, the FAAH inhibitor did not impact fear if no extinction training occurred. Of particular interest, anandamide levels in the amygdala, another memory organ in the body, were increased, after fear extinction training, an effect that was increased further in the presence of a FAAH inhibitor. Considering these findings, the researchers speculate that variations in the FAAH gene, and therefore one’s expected level of anandamide breakdown, may be a relevant chemistry dynamic that underlies differences in one person’s ability to detect fear or cope with stress, from another’s. Consider, for example, a young boy who is afraid of a spider. When he notices the spider, consciously or not, his body immediately responds with a flight or fight response. This process happens in a synchronized way across multiple organs, including the amygdala, the adrenal glands, and traversing blood vessels throughout the body and brain. What does this mean for me? Toward a goal of minimizing the impact of fear, the natural response can be subdued in the presence of anandamide, perhaps aided and amplified by the actions or inactions of FAAH. Should someone have a gene which builds for them a very weak FAAH system, it is likely that they will have a much easier time recovering from fearful stimuli, because there will be less breakdown of anandamide. On the other hand, someone who has a very strong FAAH system would degrade their natural levels of anandamide and may have more persistent fear responses. In a world flush with fear, anxiety, and aggression, it is easy to imagine the relevance of a body system that helps to quell these negative emotions. Or, the contrary, it becomes simple to see the opportunity presented by a system of introducing molecular copy-cat molecules to some of the substances. To learn more about the endocannabinoid system and existing research about cannabinoids, explore the CED blog for our insights.   [...] Read more...
January 30, 2023Why is industrial hemp growth coming from the Cannabis Sativa L. strain of cannabis is restricted in many countries? Because it’s often confused with marijuana. But this lower THC strain has very little psychoactive properties, and is more often used for textile purposes. Also, essential oils from this low THC cannabis strain may have hidden benefits: antimicrobial activity. Can Hemp Oil Fight Bacteria? This essential oils of industrial hemp study looked at the antimicrobial properties of hemp oils against different types of bacteria. They looked at three different hemp oils (Carmagnola, Fibranova, and Futura) and found the oils might be most effective at fighting off gram positive bacteria (i.e. strep or staph infections). Futura Oil Fought Best Out of three different varieties of industrial hemp, oils from the Futura plant were the best at fighting a broader range of bacteria including food-born pathogens. Futura oils were virtually identical in composition to the other two essential oils, with the exception of a twofold increase in terpinolene compared to Carmagnola and Fibranova. The Key is Terpinolene Concentration Therefore, the higher terpinolene concentration is likely the cause of the increased antimicrobial activity. This effect is particularly applicable in the context of rising antibiotic resistance, where diseases such as MRSA become resistant to our current antibiotics. Topical hemp oils with antimicrobial effects could provide an alternative method of fighting off bacteria. Curious About Hemp and Cannabis as an Alternative to Antibiotics? To learn how the essential oils of hemp and cannabis could be used to help fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595). Dr. Caplan and his team at The CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you! Social Media Post This study finds yet another use for industrial Hemp – antimicrobial activity. The researchers here tested essential oils from three different types of industrial hemp plant (Carmagnola, Fibranova, and Futura) against bacteria. They found that Futura oils had the broadest and most pronounced antimicrobial activities compared to the other two hemp varieties. Futura oils had a higher concentration of the compound terpinolene compared to Carmagnola and Fibranova oils, which likely explains their higher antimicrobial activity. Hemp oils might be a beneficial alternative to fight bacteria, particularly in the context of increasing antibiotic resistance. Tweet Hemp oils have antimicrobial properties and could be used to help fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Infographic/Question Would you trust hemp oils over other antibiotic treatments such as neosporin? [...] Read more...
Cannabis News
April 16, 2024Cannabis News​ The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) recently published an announcement regarding recent cannabis taskforce seizures. As of April 11, the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) seized over $53,620,600 in illegal cannabis during the first quarter of 2024 (spanning between January 1, 2024-March 31, 2024). Law enforcement seized 331,866 pounds of unlicensed cannabis product, destroyed 54,137 cannabis plants, and seized $34,858 in total cash, in addition to confiscating 11 firearms and arresting four people. California Gov. Gavin Newsom released a press statement regarding the Q1 seizures. “California is home to the largest legal cannabis market in the world,” said Newsom. “As we continue to cultivate a legal marketplace, we’re taking aggressive action to crack down on those still operating in the shadows—shutting down illegal operations linked to organized crime, human trafficking, and the proliferation of illegal products that harm the environment and public health.” UCETF acting chief, Nathaniel Arnold, praised the agency for continuing to provide results as it tackles the state’s illegal cannabis industry. “UCETF continues to strengthen its momentum by focusing on priority targets and strategically removing operations having a significant impact on the illegal cannabis supply chain,” Arnold said. “We are utilizing all the available resources from our partner agencies and are committed more than ever to providing public safety, protecting the environment, and helping the regulated market succeed and thrive.” The DCC’s Law Enforcement Division Chief Bill Jones noted that UCETF’s success so far has been a group effort between numerous agencies. “A key to UCETF’s success is a collaborative approach relying on intelligence gathering, targeted investigations and leveraging the expertise of our members,” Jones said. “The Taskforce continues to play a crucial role in protecting the legal cannabis market while eliminating the often-dangerous activities associated with unlicensed cannabis operations.” The UCETF works with the following agencies to investigate and act on illegal activity: “Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Department of Cannabis Control, Employment Development Department, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, California State Parks, and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration,” with the addition of other “federal and local partners.” Eighteen search warrants were conducted in Q1 2024, including two in Alameda County, one in Fresno County, five in Kern County, one in Los Angeles County, two in Riverside County, one in San Joaquin County, and six in Orange County. The UCETF was created by Newsom in October 2022, and since then it has seized $371,199,431 in unlicensed cannabis product from a total of 236 warrants. Within the first month of operation, UCETF conducted 13 search warrants in Los Angeles. It eradicated 7,503 plants and 936 pounds of cannabis flower over the course of two days. After that initial announcement, UCETF released numbers by quarter, as seen below. Q4 2022 Warrants Served: 30 Cannabis Seized: 19,401 pounds Plants Eradicated: 29,687 Retail Value Seized: $32,012,854.50 Q1 2023 Warrants Served: 21 Cannabis Seized: 31,912 pounds Plants Eradicated: 52,529 Retail Value Seized: $52,644,020.50 Q2 2023 Warrants Served: 92 Cannabis Seized: 66,315 pounds Plants Eradicated: 120,970 Retail Value Seized: $109,277,688 Q3 2023 Warrants Served: 60 Cannabis Seized: 61,415 pounds Plants Eradicated: 98,054 Retail Value Seized: $101,349,657 Q4 2023 Warrants Served: 24 Cannabis Seized: 13,393 pounds Plants Eradicated: 20,320 Retail Value Seized: $22,294,571 Q1 2024 Warrants Served: 18 Cannabis Seized: 31,866 pounds Plants Eradicated: 54,858 Retail Value Seized: $53,620,600 UCETF Totals So Far (Q4 2022-Q1 2024) Warrants Served: 236 Cannabis Seized: ~234,588 pounds Plants Eradicated: 401,458 Retail Value Seized: $371,199,431 So far, the UCETF’s seizures peaked in Q2 2023, and have since been reduced significantly. The DCC did not address what the reason might be for the reduction in warrants and plant/product seizures overall. Regardless, the DCC is committed to its efforts to protect the legal cannabis industry. “California is effectively decreasing the illegal cannabis market by leveraging the strengths and knowledge of over 20 state agencies and departments alongside our local and federal partners. The UCETF’s progress in 2023 reflects California’s ongoing commitment to disrupting  and dismantling illegal cannabis activity,” said DCC director Nicole Elliott in January. “I look forward to working with all our partners in 2024 to build on this progress.” Last year in September, there was a raid on a legal cannabis business called Se7venleaf in Costa Mesa, which at the time was thought to be conducting business illegally. Law enforcement seized 100 pounds of cannabis flower, various boxes of cartridges and vaporizers, among many other business-related items (security cameras, devices, and documents). In late March, the Costa Mesa police were forced to return all of the seized items. “They didn’t like that they had to return the stuff,” said Se7venleaf co-owner Matteo Tabib. “They didn’t like that they were wrong, and they didn’t like that they were embarrassed and that nobody was charged. They gave no consideration that me and Michael and our employees’ lives are not in a good place right now.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 16, 2024Cannabis News​ The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted last week to approve a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, marking the second time the chamber has passed the legislation. Members of the House voted 239-136 on Thursday to pass the measure, House Bill 1633 (HB1633), which would legalize pot for adults and set the stage for tightly regulated cannabis sales. Bills with financial elements must be passed twice under New Hampshire state law. The first time the marijuana legalization measure was up for a vote in February, the chamber advanced the bill by a vote of 239-14. The bill was then sent to the House Financial Committee so the panel could consider the financial elements of the proposal. On April 2, the Financial Committee voted 19-6 to recommend passage of a revised version of the legislation. Democratic Representative Chuck Grassie wrote a statement in support of the bill. “The legalization of cannabis will move production and sales from the underground, sometimes dangerous, illicit market to legal businesses, allowing for appropriate regulations and control,” he said at the time, the Concord Monitor reported. Before the vote on Thursday, Republican state Representative Erica Layon, the sponsor of the measure, called on her colleagues in the House to pass the bill. She argued that many people in New Hampshire already have access to marijuana, either by growing their own, purchasing it in other states, or buying weed from the unregulated market. New Hampshire is an outlier in New England, being the only state in the region that has not yet legalized cannabis for adults. “What this bill would change is that you could have regulated, tested products that are free of contaminants and are not mixed with other drugs,” Layon said, according to a separate report from the Concord Monitor. If passed by the state Senate and signed into law by Republican Governor Chris Sununu, the bill would legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 and older, who would be permitted to possess up to four ounces of weed. The measure also legalizes the commercial production and sale of cannabis products under a tightly regulated model overseen by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. The bill only allows for 15 retail cannabis dispensaries to operate statewide to serve a population of nearly 1.4 million people. Opponents of the bill argued that marijuana legalization would harm young people, pose a safety risk on the state’s roadways and would not reduce unregulated sales of weed. Supporters of the arguments countered that such outcomes have not been documented in states that have legalized recreational weed. Republican Representative Kenneth Weyler encouraged his fellow representatives to vote “no” on the bill, saying that other states that have legalized cannabis have had public safety issues after the reforms were enacted. “We now have the examples of many other states that have legalized this substance over the past few years,” he said. “Have any of them bragged about how much money they made? Have any of them seen a reduction in petty crime?” Following its passage in the House last week, HB 1633 now heads to the New Hampshire Senate for consideration by a legislative committee and the full body. If the Senate passes the bill, it will head to Sununu for consideration.  After years of opposition to legalizing recreational weed, the governor said last year he would sign a bill that does so in a tightly controlled manner. However, the legislation does not fulfill the conditions he set at the time, including a proposal that would only allow cannabis sales at state-run dispensaries. If Sununu gets the bill, he will have the option of vetoing the legislation or signing it into law. Cannabis policy advocates hailed the House’s passage of the recreational marijuana bill by lawmakers in the Granite State. Jen Flanagan, director of regulatory policy for cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente LLP, said she gives “the New Hampshire House of Representatives a lot of credit for their hard work in passing the adult-use cannabis legalization legislation.” “As with every other state that has legalized cannabis, New Hampshire must work out the details that work for their state and I hope the Senate takes this opportunity to see that safe and legal products are best for the public health and public safety of communities,” Flanagan wrote in an email to High Times.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 16, 2024Cannabis News​ At Munich, Germany’s Pinakothek der Moderne museum—one of Europe’s finest modern art galleries, showcasing the priceless works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Keith Haring, Max Ernst, and so on—a mysterious painting hung alongside famous paintings by Andy Warhol for eight hours.  It was hours later by the time museum staff realized it was illegally hung by one of their own—an unnamed 51-year-old employee and aspiring guerrilla artist. The museum promptly fired the employee upon learning of his prank, however the only permanent damage he did was drill two holes in the gallery wall. The artist seemed to say to himself, “Why isn’t my art just as good?” and hung his own art without permission. The man hung his art “in the hope of achieving his artistic breakthrough”, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung first reported, citing the police as a source. The Guardian reports that on Tuesday, the southern Germany museum confirmed that it had fired an employee from its technical services team after he was caught hanging his own painting in a part of the gallery that showcases works by Warhol, whom High Times interviewed in the August 1977 issue, as well as other famous modern and contemporary artists. This particular artist says he just wanted people to see his art. “The employee considers himself as an artist and most likely saw his role in the museum’s installation team as a day-job to support his true calling,” a spokesperson for the Pinakothek told the Guardian.  Some things are better left unsaid: Instead of drawing more attention, the museum staff decided to just leave it up there until closing time. “The decision was made to keep the picture on display while the gallery was open and take it down after its closing time at 6:00 pm,” the spokesperson continued. The Pinakothek decided to hide photos of his art from the public in order to discourage copycat pranksters. “All I can say is that we did not receive any positive feedback on the addition from visitors to the gallery,” the spokesperson quipped. The museum is located in Munich’s Kunstareal museum quarter, and it also showcases notable architecture and design works. The New York Times called it a “reverse art heist,”—an act in which the artist hangs his or her own art on the wall of a museum without permission. It’s also called guerrilla art, an art form that was perfected by artists like Banksy. The employee had access to the gallery after opening hours and so he didn’t attract any attention from security staff. He quietly installed his own 60 cm x 120 cm painting on an empty white wall in a passageway in the eastern wing’s first-floor gallery. The incident took place on Feb. 23 but the museum did not go public with it until last Monday.  As for Warhol, when interviewed by High Times, he said many gut-busting, hilarious things, like the fact that when he gets drunk, “I tell everyone they can be on the cover of Interview.” Warhol is credited with transforming the definition of art by introducing his brand of pop art, colorful screen-printed art that could be produced at a more efficient scale, selling them for millions during his own lifetime. The German artist in Munich left an impression, and in Warhol’s words, is getting his own “15 minutes of fame” thanks to his prank that cost him his job. The German man is not alone, and other artists have made a name for themselves via guerrilla art, namely the anonymous artist Banksy. Between October 2003 and May 2005, Banksy walked into some of the most highly regarded and significant museums in London and New-York in order to place some of his artworks.  He or she probably smokes weed. In one prank at The Edwardian Bristol City Art Museum in the U.K., museum-goers enjoyed participating in a game of “spot the Banksy” among the permanent collections. One such piece included a hand-painted, “clearly used hash pipe” inside a piece of pottery but plainly visible. Banksy appears to favor hash resin: In 2003, for instance, the artist illegally hung his own art at the esteemed Tate Britain—formerly called the National Gallery of British Art—in an act he said was inspired by cannabis resin. His self-hung piece was entitled, “Crimewatch UK Has Ruined the Countryside For All of Us,” and was placed next to a 19th century landscape. One could say that all graffiti art is guerrilla art in the sense that it’s illegal without permission. This particular artist was inspired to hang his own work and display it to the world—with or without anyone’s permission.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 12, 2024Cannabis News​ The ritzy, upscale Los Angeles neighborhood Bel Air will welcome a new arrival: a cannabis store, run by rapper Xzibit, who proudly represents the West Coast. It’s the rapper’s latest foray into the cannabis sector after launching a cannabis-themed podcast and a cannabis brand Napalm. Xzibit’s West Coast Cannabis (XWCC) opened its doors last month but operators want to kick off with a bang and some opening ceremonies. The store is located off the 405 freeway on Sepulveda Blvd., on the second floor of a building. The store will celebrate the launch on April 28 with a grand opening and a 4:20 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by a block party. The store opening gives Xzibit the distinction of being the sole adult-use cannabis retail licensee in Bel Air, Benzinga reports. “The West Coast is more than just a term that describes where we live, it stands for the culture of everything that represents us. From entertainment to our beloved sports teams, our car culture, our neighborhoods, and beaches, we are proud citizens of this community and XWCC is a celebration of all of the above,” Xzibit stated. ‘We are honored to be able to open our doors in such a special location and invite everyone to come celebrate the West Coast along with us.” The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is not far from Bel Air, and Xzibit’s new store has a unique approach. In a press release, XWCC announced that UCLA students are invited to try out the new cannabis store, with the promise of a 60% discount on premium cannabis products, which demonstrates XWCC’s commitment to directly helping the local community. If anyone needs a discount, it’s students with the burden of tuition and living expenses—especially students in California. “Nestled in the iconic neighborhood of Bel Air, Los Angeles, XWCC is more than a premium cannabis dispensary—it’s a culmination of a journey marked by passion, commitment, and excellence,” the website reads. “Founded by renowned artist and entrepreneur, Xzibit, XWCC is a reflection of his life’s story—from his humble beginnings to his rise as a West Coast legend in music, entertainment, and cannabis. Xzibit’s career, marked by groundbreaking music and creative ventures, has always been driven by a deep commitment to authenticity and innovation. His journey is infused into the ethos of XWCC.” XWCC represents the best of the West when it comes to quality herb. Recently the rapper also launched Lasagna Ganja, a weekly podcast about the cannabis sector. He co-hosts the podcast, supported by DCP Entertainment, with cannabis advocate and influencer Tammy The Cannabis Cutie. Last year, Flora Arbor LLC, a licensed craft grow based in Elgin, Illinois, announced an exclusive licensing and distribution agreement with Napalm, a premium cannabis brand founded by hip-hop artist, actor, and entertainer Xzibit. (Some people didn’t like the name because it was named after a weapon of war with a dark past.) In the most recent High Times interview with Xzibit, he explained how cannabis can help replace things like liquor. It’s a testament that the rapper’s wilder, earlier days are now balanced with a healthier substitute like cannabis. “I don’t get as shit-faced as I used to,” Xzibit told High Times in 2019. “I don’t bounce back like I used to, so I had to slow that shit down. It gets in the way of your productivity.” The rapper grew up in New Mexico before moving on to the coast in Los Angeles, where he blew up. He was proud to announce the store opening on  “Get ready to elevate your experience! XWCC is opening its doors on March 17th!” Xzibit posted on Instagram last month. “Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or new to the scene, we’ve got something special just for you. Swing by and discover a curated selection of premium products. Mention @935kday and receive a special treat!” As a rapper, Xzibit joined Dr. Dre and others on the “Up in Smoke Tour” and he hosted MTV’s popular Pimp My Ride. It was more or less an all-star lineup of mostly West Coast icons. “It was the first time that my music had been broadcast and pushed on a national or on a global level, alongside iconic acts such as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eminem and Snoop Dogg, and you know, all of us coming up under that 2001 umbrella,” Xzibit said. “I was exposed to millions and millions of people, and now you have the opportunity to showcase your talent at the highest point of the pendulum.” Xzibit’s new foray with his cannabis store in Bel Air shows that he’s not going anywhere and will remain a fixture in the cannabis market.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 12, 2024Cannabis News​ A 73-year-old American man was arrested in Colombia this week for leading “cannabis tours” in his home. Per CBS News, citing Colombian law enforcement, the unidentified man “advertised on social media and a website for foreigners to visit his house in Sabaneta, a town south of the city of Medellín in the northwestern part of the country.” CBS said that the man “distributed flyers advertising ‘Cannabis Farm Tours’ given by ‘Cannabis Jimmy.’”  “The materials said ‘free samples’ would be distributed during the tours. Approximately 2-8 people were on each tour, and reservations were required. The tours lasted 2-3 hours during which the man taught visitors ‘the process of planting, caring for, harvesting, and maintaining this plant,’ police said. He also sold tour-takers marijuana for $20 a gram,” the outlet reported.  “Police said they confiscated 1,380 grams of marijuana during the arrest. They did not identify the man, only saying he is an American.” Medical cannabis and industrial hemp are both legal in Colombia, but the country continues to impose a ban on recreational marijuana.  But as CBS notes, the country has “long struggled to control the trafficking, manufacturing and/or possession of narcotics within its borders.” “Late last year, the Colombian Navy intercepted a shipwrecked boat carrying 33 kilograms of cocaine and 744 kilograms of marijuana,” the network said. “The South American nation is the world’s largest exporter of cocaine – almost 90% of the cocaine sold in the United States each year arrives from Colombia.” Lawmakers in Colombia considered a proposal last year to legalize adult-use marijuana and commercial sales.  But in December, members of the Colombian senate “rejected the proposed legislation aimed to legalize adult-use cannabis in the country,” according to Forbes. “The proposed legislation faced a setback in the Senate on December 12 during the plenary session in its attempt to regulate the adult use and commercialization of cannabis. During the plenary session, a proposal to archive the bill submitted by Senator Karina Espinosa from the Liberal Party right before the formal debate began received 45 positive votes,” Forbes reported at the time. “Following the vote, Senator María José Pizarro, who spearheaded the project, spoke before the plenary session. She vehemently criticized the senators who supported archiving the project, attributing blame to the Senate for enabling organized groups to profit and condemning youth and consumers to the influence of illicit traders and drug traffickers.” A different legalization proposal met the same fate in June, when the Colombian Senate voted down a proposal to allow the sale of weed. Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who was elected in 2022, has spoken in favor of legalizing and commercializing marijuana in the country.  In October, Petro recounted a visit to New York City, where he smelled marijuana burning wherever he went. “Marijuana is sold today in Times Square,” Petro said, as quoted by Marijuana Moment. “It smelled on all the streets, all the way around the corner, and they sold it…like any other product. I suppose they charge taxes and that New York City or the state of New York lives partially from them.” Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president, went on to criticize the United States for its role in the drug war. “That’s where the war on drugs began,” Petro said, according to Marijuana Moment. “How many people have been imprisoned? How many people have died? Because undoubtedly illegality brought violence.” As one of the world’s leading producers of the coca bush, Colombia has long been associated with cocaine trafficking. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated “63,660 of the country’s households were involved in the cultivation of that illicit crop.” “This has led the Government and the international community to design an innovative programme that also addresses security issues. In 2012, the area under coca crop cultivation in Colombia fell by a quarter to 48,000 hectares (ha), down from 64,000 ha in 2011,” the UN said.  “Experience has shown that it is not enough to eradicate illicit drug crops to bring about a lasting solution to the problem. This is why UNODC supports the Government’s efforts to assist farmers who give up cultivating coca bush through alternative development initiatives such as the Forest Warden Families Programme and the Productive Projects Programme. These initiatives ensure that former coca bush farmers have legal and adequate incomes. These rural activities are integrated into broader socio-economic development strategies and benefit rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations.” The United Nations estimates that “the area under coca bush cultivation in Colombia has declined by 15 per cent from 73,000 hectares in 2009 to 62,000 hectares in 2010.”  “During the last decade (2000 to 2010), cultivation levels have been reduced significantly by 62 %. These declines signal an advance of sustainable livelihood programmes and are due mainly to a combination of alternative development and law enforcement measures,” the report said.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 12, 2024Cannabis News​ Researchers in the United Kingdom have detected the presence of the powerful sedative xylazine in cannabis vapes and illicit pills taken to treat pain, insomnia and anxiety, putting people who use the tainted drugs at risk of overdose or other serious health consequences. The prevalence of xylazine has been growing since 2022, according to researchers at Kings College London, when the first overdose death from the drug in the U.K. was identified.  Xylazine, a powerful non-opioid sedative commonly used as a veterinary tranquilizer, has been found in the drug supply in the United States for years. It is frequently mixed with heroin or fentanyl and has been implicated in thousands of overdose deaths nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although it is commonly found in the illicit drug supply, xylazine has not been approved for use in humans by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug is a powerful sedative that can cause overdose and death, often when mixed with other drugs. Additionally, injecting the drug can cause skin ulcers and resulting complications including infections that sometimes necessitate amputation. In the U.K., researchers have found xylazine in THC vapes and counterfeit prescription drugs including codeine, alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium) tablets, according to a study published on Wednesday. The research identified xylazine in samples collected from 16 people in the U.K., including 11 who had died. “Xylazine has already penetrated the U.K. illicit drug market and is not limited to heroin supplies. Urgent action is needed to protect both people who use heroin and the wider population of people who use drugs from its acute and chronic health harms,” the researchers wrote. In nine of the 11 confirmed deaths, xylazine was found in combination with an opioid such as heroin or fentanyl. Researchers say the lack of such a combination in the remaining two deaths suggests that xylazine may have been part of an illicit tablet or vape. “This is cause for alarm as a much wider population of people who use drugs beyond heroin users will be exposed to its harms,” said Dr. Caroline Copeland, senior author of the study, told The Guardian. “We also know that most people who buy heroin will not intend to buy xylazine and this combination increases the risk of overdose,” Copeland added. “Xylazine was designated an ‘emerging threat’ to the United States and this public health threat is a growing concern for the U.K.” Copeland added that the total number of deaths in the U.K. is probably even higher because xylazine stays in the body for only a short time. Since August 2023, the last death covered by the research, “we’ve had several more deaths so it is only continuing and increasing,” the researcher said. Dr. Benjamin Caplan, M.D., the chief medical officer at cannabis consultations provider CED Clinic and the author of The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, says that the “discovery of xylazine in counterfeit codeine, diazepam (Valium) tablets, and recently within THC vapes — particularly those sourced from home-grown suppliers — is particularly troubling.” “These counterfeit products, often look like products sold from reputable sources, and so they may appear safe, but in fact may pose a grave threat to unsuspecting consumers,” Caplan, who was not involved in the U.K. study, wrote in an email to High Times. “My professional experience includes dealing with the aftermath of such substances, including patients who have suffered or even lost loved ones to adulterated products that they purchased outside of regulated dispensaries, which are closely monitored to avoid any such contamination.” A U.K. government spokesperson said that officials “are aware of the threat from xylazine and are determined to protect people from the threat posed by this drug and other illicit synthetic drugs.” “We will not hesitate to act to keep the public safe,” the spokesperson said. “Following advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, we intend to make xylazine a class C drug meaning anyone supplying this substance will face up to 14 years in prison, a fine or both.” But study co-author Dr. Adam Holland, a co-chair of the drugs special interest group at the University of Bristol, said the increase in drug contamination and overdose deaths is a clear sign that punitive drug laws are not working. “We need to expand the range of harm reduction interventions available for people who use drugs, including drug checking and overdose prevention centers, to give them the opportunities they need to stay safe,” Holland said.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 12, 2024Cannabis News​ The Alabama Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee (SACFC) recently passed a bill to finally get the state’s medical cannabis program rolling. Sen. Tim Melson is the legislator who sponsored Senate Bill 46 three years ago, which eventually was passed into law as the Medical Cannabis Act 2021-450 after Gov. Kay Ivey signed it in May 2021. Most recently, Melson introduced Senate Bill 306 on April 9 to push the program forward after years of delays. “We got this done in three years,” Melson said of his legislation. “It’s taken this long to get this to the patients who are out there that need it, and it’s just time to correct this course and get them something to help them in their illness.” According to Alabama Daily News, Melson believes that the program needs to restart in order to correct various issues. “We tried to find a solution to getting a product to market, but this goes back to the old joke: you got one job, and you blew it,” said Melson. “The commission had one mission, and they have not executed it. I think in the best interest of this program, we need to start from scratch, we need to throw every license applicant that received . This bill just wipes the slate clean.” Currently, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) can only license five “integrated facility licenses” to cultivate, process, and sell medical cannabis. According to The Birmingham News, more than 30 companies have applied for a license. If SB-306 is passed, it would create a three-step process to approving licenses. First, a five-member panel (appointed by the Alabama Securities Commission) will decide if an applicant is eligible for a license. This includes basic information such as residency verification, background checks, business plan, and proof of capital. Second, the review panel will determine if the applicant can get cultivation and dispensing operations going within 60 days of receiving a license, and also must be able to dispense cannabis products to five sites within six months of receiving a license. All cannabis must be grown “using artificial light exclusively or as a supplement to natural sunlight,” and cannot be grown outdoors or directly in the ground. Other criteria such as a structure plan and security detail.  And finally, the AMCC will provide scores to rank which applicants are most eligible for a license. Additionally, only applicants that applied for an integrated license prior to December 2022 would be eligible under SB-306. So far within the past 10 months, the AMCC has only awarded three licenses. Part of the reason for this includes procedural problems, as well as ongoing lawsuits that have prevented licenses from being granted. Even still, some cannabis business owners aren’t supportive of Melson’s bill. Specialty Medical Products CEO Ray French told The Birmingham News that SB-306 is a setback. “Once the commission took the time to get to know the candidates and actually vet them, see them and understand who they are, they made a decision based on all of the information given to them and picked who they thought were the best candidates to move this needle forward,” French said. French’s company applied and failed to receive a license during the first two rounds of license awards in June and August 2023, but was approved in December 2023. However, none of the chosen applicants have actually received a license due to the ongoing lawsuits, which have placed license approval on hold. “They picked what they felt like were the most qualified candidates,” said French. “And to start over to favor other candidates for whatever reasons and to take away all the control from the commission members themselves is only a setback. It is an unnecessary do-over and a setback and is going to delay the program to the point where it may never take off.” Attorney Will Somerville, representing Alabama Always, which has not yet been approved for a license, said that his client is more supportive of the idea. “Senator Melson did a remarkable job in 2021 helping Alabamians get access to cannabis for their medical needs,” said Somerville. “The Cannabis Commission has had three years to get this program going and it’s still dead in the water. The Commission did not follow the law and the Courts halted the process. Senator Melson has stepped up again this Session with a Bill that will break the logjam and get this medicine to folks that need it.” Aside from the SACFC approving SB-306, it also approved Senate Bill 276 (introduced by Sen. David Sessions) as well. If passed, it would address various AMCC licensing issues, such as increasing the number of integrated licenses to up to 10. However, The Birmingham Newsreported that those who spoke at the recent meeting opposed SB-276. In response to Melson’s bill, Sessions explained that they both have similar goals. “I know where your heart is and I think we’re aligned,” Sessions commented. “Our main goal is to try and get this out of court and get it up and running.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 12, 2024Cannabis News​ A new decision of an appeal in a trademark dispute, initiated by the RAW Rolling Papers manufacturer, has widespread implications for the rolling paper industry that dismiss the claim that rolling papers are “drug paraphernalia.” It’s also good news for non-cannabis-touching companies that want to protect trademarks. BBK, manufacturer of RAW rolling papers, announced on April 9 that it won an appeal in its trademark dispute with Delaware-based Central Coast Agriculture, Inc. (CCA) as the Court sided with the popular rolling paper brand on its counterclaim. According to the lawsuit, CCA’s employment of the “RAW GARDEN” name for its cannabis products, was an infringement of BBK’s “RAW”  trademark. In the past, several other brands have allegedly attempted to rip off the likeness of the RAW trademark in one way or another. RAW GARDEN applied for a trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), beginning in 2017 with subsequent applications. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued rulings in two decisions on April 1 that could reshape the landscape of trademark law within the cannabis industry: The district court dismissed BBK’s false advertising claim and ruled in favor of CCA on BBK’s trademark claims. But the district court also ruled in favor of BBK on its counterclaim to invalidate several of CCA’s trademark applications and on CCA’s counterclaim to cancel BBK’s trademark applications for unlawful use. “BBK is very pleased with the outcome of this appeal. Setting a precedent for the rolling paper industry, the appeals court rejected the suggestion that rolling papers are ‘drug paraphernalia’ and reaffirmed the trial court’s decision that BBK’s RAW® rolling papers and other RAW® smoking products are not prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act,” a spokesman for BBK said in an April 9 press release. “It is equally important that the appeals court confirmed the trial court correctly invalidated the trademark applications improperly filed by CCA,” the spokesman continued. “After years of pursuing efforts in and out of court to protect consumers from being confused and misled by CCA’s unauthorized use of the RAW® name for CCA’s cannabis products, BBK looks forward to a final resolution after a trial to a jury.” RAW Black rolling papers were voted the best by the Daily High Club, as well as upvoted to the top in the comments on a Reddit thread, “What papers do y’all generally consider the best?” Benzinga reports that the rulings could “reshape the landscape of trademark law within the cannabis industry.” Read the appeal ruling in its full text here. The appellate court’s rulings sent BBK’s trademark infringement claim against CCA back to the district court for a full trial. BBK representatives say the ruling protects consumers from confusion and misleading practices associated with the unauthorized use of the “RAW” name on rolling paper and other cannabis-adjacent products. BBK’s team is preparing to present its case to a jury for a final resolution, however this ruling has widespread implications on how lawsuits in the industry will play out. There are other legal precedents for alleged trademark infringements regarding RAW Rolling Papers. RAW also won a game-changing lawsuit in 2023 when a rolling paper brand Republic Tobacco appeared to rip off RAW’s signature logo design with similarities in color, shape, and so forth. RAW (BBK/HBI) issued a statement about the final resolution of the seven-year court battle with Republic Tobacco which had brought a series of lawsuits against HBI International, the company that owns the RAW brand. The ruling on June 5, 2023 finalizes that jury’s decisions after a weeks-long trial, ruling that Republic Tobacco willfully infringed on RAW’s copyright and trade dress, and awarded to HBI damages of more than $1 million.  When it includes a prejudgment interest award, the Court ordered Republic to pay RAW nearly $1.5 million in total compensation. Today’s conclusion came after both sides agreed on legal fees that RAW will pay to Republic based on only one of Republic’s multitude of claims. In that case, the judge ruled that “Republic requests the disgorgement of every cent of profit from HBI’s RAW brand during that time period… This extraordinary request, however, is not supported by adequate evidence, nor is it appropriate considering the other factors of the case.” RAW has also been involved in advocacy efforts. For instance in August 2023, the brand  announced a donation of $100,000 to The JUSTÜS Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to facilitating the entry of legacy cannabis operators to the legal cannabis market. The RAW Seeds Fellowships aim to provide opportunities to legacy cannabis operators to navigate the legal cannabis market. The new ruling adds another dimension to the protections that RAW Rolling Papers and BBK are entitled to, pending the appeal’s final ruling.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 11, 2024Cannabis News​ Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin introduced Senate Resolution 629 on April 8 which condemns the “arbitrary arrest” of U.S. citizens in Russia, and calls for detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens to be released. The introduction of SR-629 was timed with the one-year anniversary of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal correspondent who was imprisoned in Russia for one year. He was arrested in March 2023 on allegations of espionage. “It is outrageous that Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is holding hostage American citizens. It is the act of a desperate rogue regime, similar to the criminal actions of countries like Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela,” Durbin wrote in the resolution. “Today, I am introducing a resolution condemning Russia’s hostage-taking, calling for the immediate release of these hostages and urging the administration to consider ‘wrongfully detained’ status. And, to those detained and their families, I want you to know you are not forgotten. We will continue to advocate for your release.” In a separate press release, Durbin criticized both Russia and Vladimir Putin. “Putin’s cruelty and cynicism were on full display when he decided that he would invade Ukraine and bring it back into the Soviet orbit,” Durbin stated. “He tried to silence anyone in Russia who might dissent from his strategy, including reporting on any Russians who might have the audacity to suggest there should be democracy or freedom in their country, which is why Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is in jail.” Through SR-269, Durbin and 20 other cosponsors are calling for immediate action. “By introducing this resolution, we’re yet again bringing to light the cruelty of the Russian government.,” Durbin said. “As fellow Americans, we demand the release of all American citizens who face arbitrary arrests by the Russian government.” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is one of the primary cosponsors speaking out for all detained citizens, but especially one who is a resident in his own state. “Russia’s arrests of journalists, many of which are U.S. citizens, are disturbing reminders of the lengths Vladimir Putin will go to in order to suppress peoples’ most basic freedoms,” Kaine said. “I urge the State Department to utilize every tool at our disposal to bring our fellow Americans home, including Virginian Vladimir Kara-Murza.” Vladimir Kara-Murza was detained in Russia in October 2023, and later sentenced to 25 years in a Russian penal colony in April 2024. Durbin worked with Evgenia Kara-Murza, Vladimir’s wife, to showcase the unjust motives of the Russian government. “It was my honor to join Evgenia Kara-Murza to speak out against the detention of her husband Vladimir, a Putin critic who was poisoned twice, and reflect on his fight for democracy,” Durbin wrote on X. Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman is another main cosponsor who provided a statement about Marc Fogel, who was arrested in August 2021 for possessing half an ounce of medical cannabis in his bag. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues today and again call for the immediate release of all Americans arbitrarily detained in Russia, including Marc Fogel, a Pennsylvanian,” Fetterman explained. “Marc is a history teacher who dedicated the last 35 years of his life to teaching young people. When he returned for his 10th and final year teaching in Russia, Marc was detained for carrying a small amount of medical marijuana, which was prescribed by his doctor.” Fetterman calls Fogel’s 14-year large-scale drug trafficking sentence “bogus.” “A fourteen-year sentence is absurd—even by Russian standards,” Fetterman said. “The bottom line is that Marc’s punishment simply does not match the crime. We must bring Marc, and all other unjustly detained Americans, home.” SR-269 also cites many other examples of Russian imprisonment for citizens including Paul Whelan, journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, and Ksenia Khavana. Durbin also criticized the death of Alexei Navalny in February. Navalny had politically opposed Putin for over 10 years, but his recent death is being listed as “sudden death syndrome.” Many of these cases echo that of WNBA athlete Brittney Griner, whose harrowing experience being detained in Russia for being in possession of cannabis vape charges in March 2022 captured nationwide attention. She was later released in December 2022 in a prisoner exchange that freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. One year after Griner’s release, she announced that she made a deal with ESPN Films and Disney to create a documentary about her story. “The last two years have been the most harrowing, transformative and illuminating period of my life, and I am grateful to be in a place now to share my story with the world,” said Griner in December 2023. “I’m proud to partner with ESPN and Disney to share this very personal story because of its incredible potential to inspire hope around the world and their proven ability to do just that.” Griner was supported by other famous athletes such as LeBron James and Dennis Rodman, in addition to many legislators and President Joe Biden as well.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 11, 2024Cannabis News​ A handful of CBD and cannabis companies turned out to be figments of the imagination as a con artist successfully duped investor after investor, but his conning spree has come to an end. A California man pleaded guilty April 5 to a slew of federal criminal charges for swindling investors out of $18.4 million. He conned several investors—all as he was already completing a sentence for prior criminal charges—by inventing companies that he claimed invested in hemp farms and cannabis-infused retail products. He also claimed to run a sham bottling business for CBD-infused products. The bogus businesses turned out to quickly fall apart. People magazine reports that Mark Roy Anderson, 69, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California. Anderson took the plea agreement, and admitted to engaging in two separate schemes that swindled investors. His scheme kicked off right after he was released from federal prison while he was on home confinement and supervised release. Police say Anderson has been conning people since the 1990s but moved into the cannabis sector where there was a lot of loot to be gained. From June 2020 to April 2021, Anderson convinced investors to fund his company Harvest Farm Group, to harvest and process hemp grown on his farm into medical-grade CBD isolate.  “Anderson convinced investors to invest in Harvest Farm Group by falsely representing that, through the company, he owned and operated a hemp farm in Kern County,” the report reads. “He also lied that had already completed successful and profitable harvests of hemp from the farm. He also falsely said he was using his own machinery and equipment to convert the hemp into CBD isolate and Delta 8, a psychoactive substance that, like CBD isolate, could be used in consumer products ranging from olive oil to body cream.” Anderson weaseled his way out of skeptical investors and claimed that past fraud convictions were not in fact him. When investors demanded money, Anderson falsely told them that sales of products derived from hemp grown at the farm had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In another scheme, which ran from April 2021 to May 2023, Anderson duped investors by soliciting money for Bio Pharma and Verta Bottling—two more sham companies—by claiming that these businesses successfully manufactured, bottled, and packaged commercial products. Specifically, he claimed Bio Pharma manufactured and sold infused products such as CBD-infused avocado oil, olive oil, pain cream, gummies, tequila, and chili oil. Anderson also claimed that Verta Bottling manufactured and sold beverages and a variety of food products. “Anderson falsely stated that his bottling companies owned and possessed millions of dollars’ worth of assets, including—in Bio Pharma’s case—hemp biomass, CBD isolate, CBD oil, and—in Verta Bottling’s case—manufacturing equipment and an assignable lease for a warehouse to manufacture and sell its products,” the announcement reads. How did he do this? Anderson carefully fabricated fake legal and business documents, which included fake purchase order contracts that he claimed showed agreements with third-party companies to purchase tens of millions of dollars’ worth of products manufactured by his bottling companies. Anderson also provided victims with fake samples of products he claimed that he manufactured by his bottling companies. Investors have been warned about bogus cannabis companies before. In 2019, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin issued a warning to potential cannabis industry investors to be wary of scams and unscrupulous operators after filing fraud charges against two entrepreneurs in the state. In an alert released by Galvin’s office, the secretary urged investors to approach offers for unregistered securities from unlicensed sellers with caution, noting that the cannabis industry is not monitored by federal regulators or state-chartered banks. “No one regulator can police this marketplace,” Galvin said in the statement. “My Securities Division intends to scrutinize these offerings to proactively prevent investor harm.” Celebrities like Tom Hanks and Sacha Baron Cohen have been targets of fake CBD or cannabis companies, sometimes in the form of fake endorsements or misuse of their likenesses. Sacha Baron Cohen’s massive $9 million lawsuit was filed against a dispensary that ran a billboard ad with his image without permission, but the actor and plaintiff have reached an agreement to drop the lawsuit. According to court documents filed on July 12, 2021, Sacha Baron Cohen filed a $9 million lawsuit against Somerset, Massachusetts-based Solar Therapeutics, a dispensary, for running a billboard ad with his image without his permission. Solar Therapeutics erected a billboard on an interstate highway in Massachusetts that features a picture of Baron Cohen as Borat, with his thumbs up and the words “It’s Nice!,” one of Borat’s catchphrases.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 11, 2024Cannabis News​ Weed is finally legal in Germany, but it may still be verboten at one of the country’s signature events. According to Forbes, the “German federal state of Bavaria is considering the possibility of restricting cannabis use at the famous Oktoberfest following the legalization of cannabis for personal use.” “Bavaria government aims to restrict public spaces for consuming cannabis at events like Oktoberfest by establishing cannabis-free zones, as first reported by DPA (German Press Agency),” Forbes reported. “Oktoberfest in Munich is the world’s largest beer festival, featuring traditional Bavarian music, food, and the consumption of about 6 million litres of beer. The festival spans a two-week period, culminating on the first Sunday in October.” Earlier this month, on the first day of April, German citizens celebrated the end of pot prohibition, which made it the largest country in Europe to pass legalization. It is the third country in the European Union to legalize weed, following Malta and Luxembourg. Under the law, Germans aged 18 and older are legally permitted to have up to 25 grams of weed and public and up to 50 grams at home. The law also permits so-called “cannabis clubs,” which will open for business on July 1. Those clubs will allow up to 500 members to personally grow cannabis, but the law does not permit commercial weed sales. The Associated Press has more background on the new cannabis law: “Individuals would be allowed to buy up to 25 grams per day, or a maximum 50 grams per month — a figure limited to 30 grams for under-21s. Membership in multiple clubs would not be allowed. The clubs’ costs would be covered by membership fees, which would be staggered according to how much marijuana members use. The government plans a ban on advertising or sponsoring cannabis, and the clubs and consumption won’t be allowed in the immediate vicinity of schools, playgrounds and sports facilities. An evaluation of the legislation’s effect on protection of children and youths is to be carried out within 18 months of the legislation taking effect…The plan falls significantly short of the government’s original ambitions, which foresaw allowing the sale of cannabis to adults across the country at licensed outlets. The project was scaled back following talks with the European Union’s executive commission. Parliament’s upper house, which represents Germany’s 16 state governments, could in principle delay the legislation, though it doesn’t formally require the chamber’s approval. Bavaria’s conservative state government has said it would examine whether legal action against the liberalization plan is possible. The legislation is one of several that Scholz’s coalition, which has since become highly unpopular as a result of economic weakness and persistent infighting, pledged when it took office in 2021. It has eased rules on gaining citizenship and ended restrictions on holding dual citizenship. Among other policies, it also plans to make it easier for transgender, intersex and nonbinary people to change their gender and name in official registers.” Lawmakers in Germany approved the measure in February. “We have two goals: to crack down on the black market and improved protection of children and young people,” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said at the time. As Forbes reported, following the launch of legalization on April 1, “states like Bavaria are attempting to restrict consumption in public spaces despite the new legislation allowing consumers to use cannabis following specific rules.” “Although no final decision was made at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, as specified by the Head of Chancellery and State Minister of Bavaria Florian Herrmann, Bavaria’s ministries are currently exploring additional ‘restriction options’ for cannabis. The aim is to make cannabis consumption less appealing, with a decision likely to be made next week,” the outlet said.  “On March 25, one week before cannabis officially became legal for personal use, Bavaria released a catalog of fines related to cannabis consumption in public spaces, as the authorities in the federal states are now responsible for imposing fines for violations of the law, establishing fines of up to €1,000 ($1,085) for consuming cannabis in unauthorized public spaces or in the presence of children or young people, and up to €30,000 ($32,564) for activities related to advertising and distributing cannabis,” the outlet continued. “In addition to Oktoberfest, where beer gardens and outdoor areas of restaurants might be off-limits for cannabis, local authorities are also evaluating implementing this restriction in Englischer Garten (English Garden), one of Germany’s most renowned and largest public parks.” In a post on X on Tuesday, Markus Söder, Minister-President of Bavaria and Leader of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), said that Bavaria would not become a “stoner’s paradise.” Söder opposed cannabis legalization, a view that was shared by conservatives in Germany’s parliament.  “You’re asserting here in all seriousness as health minister … that we will curb consumption among children and young people with the legalization of further drugs,” conservative lawmaker Tino Sorge said to Lauterbach during the debate in parliament earlier this year. “That’s the biggest nonsense I’ve ever heard.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 11, 2024Cannabis News​ The government of the United Kingdom has approved changes to the rules governing industrial hemp licenses designed to make it easier for farmers to grow the crop. The new regulations will support regulated farmers who grow hemp and encourage new investment in the industry while continuing to discourage illegal drug uses of the plant, government officials said this week. In the U.K., industrial hemp (cannabis with less than 0.2% THC) can be legally grown outdoors by licensed farmers for the production of fiber and seed. Under the current rules, initial hemp cultivation licenses are issued for three growing seasons for a fee of £580 (about $727). License renewals cost £326 (approximately $409) and are also good for three years. Under the new rules, which are slated to go into effect for the 2025 growing season, the length of time a hemp license is valid will be extended to six years. The amended regulations also allow farmers to apply for a hemp cultivation license with a deferred start date of up to one year, giving new growers more time to prepare for the new crop. The new rules, which were developed in collaboration with experienced hemp growers, will also allow farmers to grow hemp anywhere on a licensed farm instead of limiting production to specific parcels of land. The change will give growers more flexibility in managing their operations and allow them to implement hemp into a crop rotation plan for their farms. The number of licensed hemp growers in the U.K. has increased significantly over the past 10 years, from only six in 2013 to 136 in 2023. Farming Minister Mark Spencer said in a statement that the new rules will give British farmers more opportunities to succeed by growing hemp. “Industrial hemp has huge potential across the UK to unlock new revenue streams, expand our bioeconomy without permanently removing land from food production, and bring wider environmental benefits,” said Spencer, according to a report from FarmingUK. “The licensing changes recognize industrial hemp as a field-grown agricultural crop and will enable more farmers to add hemp to their crop rotations,” he added. Industrial hemp licenses do not allow farmers to utilize hemp flowers or leaves. Growers who wish to do so can obtain cannabis cultivation licenses, which allow for the indoor production of the plant for medicinal purposes. The dual licensing scheme is designed to allow for the cultivation of cannabis and hemp for permitted purposes while preventing drug misuse and protecting public safety. “This government will always seek to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on businesses so that they can flourish and grow,” said Chris Philp, minister for crime and policing, the Farmers Guide reported on Wednesday. “The changes outlined today will help farmers and manufacturers in the UK to fully realize the economic potential offered through the safe and legal cultivation of hemp.” The adoption of the new rules was supported by groups including the National Farmers Union (NFU). Jamie Burrows, chair of the NFU Combinable Crops Board, said in a statement that hemp agriculture can benefit farmers and the environment. “It is one of the most sustainable crops farmers can grow, is a really good crop for capturing carbon from the atmosphere, has little to no input requirements and also has the ability to diversify farming businesses and crop rotations, especially when other break crops like oilseed rape are becoming more difficult for British farmers to grow due to increased pest pressure,” Burrows said this week. The U.K. government has also requested that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs provide guidance on whether the permissible amount of THC in industrial hemp can be raised from 0.2% to 0.3%, the standard in the United States, Canada, China and the European Union.  The government also noted that it expects the nation’s police to continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to cannabis possession. Under U.K. drug laws, possession of cannabis can be punished by a fine and jail sentence of up to five years, with harsher sentences of up to 14 years behind bars for cannabis distribution convictions.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 11, 2024Cannabis News​ Among the many states currently looking to enact measures to investigate psychedelic regulation and increase psychedelic research, Maine is one of the latest to throw its hat in the ring.  Lawmakers supporting the initial reform bill were hoping to usher in a new era of psychedelic drug regulation for therapeutic use, though the amended bill would pump the breaks and instead set the groundwork to potentially legalize and regulate at a later time. The legislation would establish a commission to study and make recommendations on psychedelic regulation and related services, specifically examining what a legal framework “for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, including but not limited to psilocybin,” may involve,Marijuana Moment first reported. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Janet Mills (D). The legislation, LD 1914, was approved by the House via voice vote on Tuesday just days after the Senate approved it. While the current language focuses on studying the proper pathways to potentially legalize and regulate psychedelics in therapeutic settings, the original legislation would have legalized psilocybin in therapeutic contexts. It’s a disappointing turn of events for those pushing for urgent access to psychedelic medicines and treatments, though Maine lawmakers in favor of psychedelic reform, like Rep. David Boyer (R), still recognized that the bill “represents progress,” albeit not as much as many lawmakers and advocates had hoped for.  In an email exchange with Marijuana Moment, Boyer cited evidence brought to the committee regarding how psilocybin can help a variety of different people with a wide range of conditions and needs. Still, he said it “seemed like” his Republican colleagues, and even many Democrats, were not ready to vote for the previous measure. “Hopefully, they do good work and we have a little bit more of a starting place” for the next session, Boyer said. Lawmakers considered other options to amend the bill, like removing provisions that would have allowed for personal possession outside of the regulated program, though Boyer said that route “seemed to cause more problems than solutions.”  So, if Mills gives the final OK, what exactly would the updated legislation entail? If passed, the bill would create a 13-member panel comprised of legislative appointees, health experts, a military veteran, academics and folks experienced in psychedelics policy.  Similar to other states that have created investigative groups to research psychedelic medicine and regulation, the Maine commission would review “medical, psychological and scientific studies, research and other information on the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating behavioral health conditions.” It would also look to other states and their approaches to psychedelic regulation. Additionally, the commission would be responsible for laying out a plan detailing how Maine could establish its own regulatory framework for psychedelic substances, psilocybin and otherwise in the future. Specifically, the commission would be tasked with developing a “long-term strategic plan for ensuring that psilocybin services will become and remain a safe, accessible, and affordable therapeutic option for all persons who are 21 years of age or older and for whom psilocybin services may be appropriate.” It would also be responsible for advising and making recommendations to the legislature surrounding a legal framework for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. Luckily for psychedelic reform advocates, the turnaround time to report findings is relatively quick, with the commission required to meet six times and deliver its report to the legislature by Nov. 6, 2024. Still, it’s uncertain if and how quickly findings would lead to the regulation of psychedelic assisted therapies in the state. Maine has made related efforts in recent months, including a similar bill that would have originally decriminalized drug possession and invested in treatment resources. It was since amended to create a task force to study the proposed reform measures instead. However, Portland, Maine — the state’s largest city — made waves last year when city council voted to pass a resolution to deprioritize prosecution for possession of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs. It is not a decriminalization measure but rather “sets official city policy to put those crimes at the lowest priority for prosecution.” While the latest bill may not immediately result in therapeutic access for psychedelic medicines in Maine, it represents one of many active bills around the country regarding psychedelic research and reform — a topic that was hardly even mentioned only a few years ago — and serves as another reminder that this momentum surrounding psychedelic access across the U.S. is unlikely to slow any time soon.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 10, 2024Cannabis News​ The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released a report sharing new data on U.S. truck drivers. The report consists of a year-end compilation of data from 2023, as well as data specifically from December 2023, published by the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This includes other data regarding “queries conducted, violations reported, and drivers in the return-to-duty (RTD) process.” The report shows that there has been an increased number of truck drivers with positive drug tests in 2023, as well as a high number of drivers who refused to be screened. The number of registered truck drivers has dropped every year since 2020, landing at the current number of 858,000 in 2023. Trucker drug violations rose between 2022 and 2023, with 67,775 recorded in 2022, followed by 68,229 in 2023. However, the number of trucker drug tests decreased, with 57,597 in 2022 and 54,464 in 2023.  The FMCSA wrote that there were fewer trucker screenings overall because they refused to be tested. “We’ve observed that even though the number of positive drug tests dropped for the first time in relation to the previous calendar year, the number of overall drug violations reported to the Clearinghouse continued to increase.” “The overall rise in drug violations in 2023, even though there are fewer positive tests, is attributed to a nearly 40% increase in reported drug test refusals—9,214 in 2022 versus 12,804 in 2023,” the report stated. “Drug test refusals include employer reported refusals like failing to show up for a random test, or leaving a test collection facility after a test has begun but before it’s complete.” A more complete breakdown shows that in 2020, there were 44,243 positive drug tests (with 7,092 refusals). This was followed by 48,407 positive drug tests in 2021 (with 7,941 refusals), 57,597 positive drug tests in 2022 (with 9,214 refusals), and finally 54,464 positive drug tests in 2023 (with 12,804 refusals). Alcohol drug tests are also conducted for truck drivers, although the rate of positive alcohol tests pales in comparison to positive drug tests. In 2020, 697 truck drivers tested positive for alcohol (with 257 refusals), followed by 859 positive tests in 2021 (with 305 refusals), 904 positive alcohol tests in 2022 (with 330 refusals), and finally 1,036 positive alcohol tests in 2023 (with 315 refusals). Overall, drug tests had decreased over time for all major substances. This includes cannabis (40,916 positive tests in 2022 versus 37,657 in 2023), cocaine (10,953 in 2022 versus 10,326 in 2023), methamphetamine (5,569 in 2022 versus 4,515 in 2023), and amphetamine (5,349 in 2022 versus 4,222 in 2023). The news outlet Transport Topics discussed the newest data from the report. The article points out that the one thing that hasn’t changed is that drivers who previously tested positive for one of the aforementioned drugs, a majority of them did not return to driving. “Of the 226,598 CDL/CLP [commercial driver’s license/commercial learner’s permit] drivers who tested positive for at least one drug since the Clearinghouse opened in January 2020, 158,330 remain in ‘prohibited driving status,’” Transport Topics wrote. “A total of 68,268 drivers with at least one violation are currently in ‘not-prohibited status,’ and 15,699 drivers have successfully completed follow-up testing.” American Trucking Associations (ATA) senior vice president of regulatory affairs and safety policy, Dan Horvath, explained that the Clearinghouse system is the leading cause of a decrease in positive drug tests for truckers. “While there could be a few unknown variables that are impacting the decline, I’m cautiously optimistic that the decline in the number of positives is simply because the Clearinghouse is working,” Horvath told Transport Topics. “We are now more than four years into having an active Clearinghouse system, and I’m hopeful that the message is out there that illegal drug use will be detected.” Horvath also added that this data shows the increase in education for truckers, and knowledge about the consequences of receiving a positive drug test. “Motor carriers have increased the education they provide to drivers to ensure they are aware of the consequences of testing positive. Now, we must ensure that oral fluid testing labs are approved so that carriers can begin using that testing method if they choose,” Horvath said. “ATA has also reiterated the need to correct and finalize the long-overdue hair testing guidelines that have been in Office of Management and Budget review for over a year now.” American Transportation Research Institute senior vice president, Dan Murray, also provided a comment about the drug test changes seen in 2023 data. “2023 was a really bad year for the trucking industry.” We were technically in a recession,” said Murray. “So I think the number of people entering the industry was considerably smaller than the previous years.” Murray believes that truckers are leaving the industry before they get drug tested, knowing what will happen. “So I think some people are proactively thinking ‘Well, before I get caught, I’m outta here,’” Murray explained. Additionally, he thinks that another portion of drivers don’t want to risk their jobs. “They say, ‘It’s not worth it to push my luck. If I use, I’m going to get tested. If I get tested I’m going to lose my job. So it’s time to clean up my act.’”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 10, 2024Cannabis News​ A 75-year-old man in New Zealand was recently discovered to have been growing 250 cannabis plants by local law enforcement. The Central District Organised Crime Unit, which worked with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, received a warrant to investigate an isolated part of the Whanganui River. According to Whanganui Chronicle, the owner of the property had previously submitted an application to grow hemp in that region. The investigation is part of an ongoing project called “Operation Emerald” that includes law enforcement targeting illegal large-scale cultivation of drugs in New Zealand. This particular location required traversing an isolated area near the small town of Raetihi and the Whanganui River, but not a destination where vehicles can be driven. Due to the remote location, the Air Force dropped officers in on March 26 to investigate. Detective Inspector Paul Baskett told the news outlet that the targeted illegal cultivation site previously owned a license to grow hemp, but it had expired in 2021. “The team were able to establish good cause to suspect that cannabis was being grown up there in large tunnel houses,” Baskett said.  Police found 250 cannabis plants growing in “tunnel houses,” or greenhouses, alongside a shed containing dried cannabis as well, although reports do not specify if it was only dried cannabis flower, or an assortment of dried cannabis plant material. Currently, the unnamed 75-year-old man has been charged with illegal cannabis cultivation and was scheduled for a court hearing in the Whanganui District Court. Operation Emerald also acted on search warrants recently in Bay of Plenty, located on the northeast side of the country. A total of 39 search warrants were conducted over the course of five days throughout the surrounding area, with 25 people arrested with a variety of charges. “Police have laid a number of drug and firearm-related charges, and further charges and arrests are expected as enquiries progress,” said District Commander Superintendent Tim Anderson about the warrants in Bay of Plenty. “Police, assisted by the Armed Offenders Squad in some cases, seized more than 80 grams of methamphetamine, $7,610, and recovered two stolen vehicles and a stolen motorbike. While executing the warrants, several loaded firearms were confiscated.” The operation also led to the discovery of 11,000 cannabis plants that were either “sprayed, recovered, or pulled from the ground” according to a 1News report. “The plants ranged in size from seedlings to fully grown plants 2m high. Police recovered 729 plants at one Western Bay of Plenty address, 1.6kg of harvested cannabis at a Taupo property, and more than 4kg of edibles at an Eastern Bay of Plenty address,” Anderson continued. “The Greazy Dogs gang will be feeling particularly hard hit, with more than 2,500 plants removed from paddocks surrounding their gang pad and residential properties in Tauranga.” Anderson added that the goal of these operations is to hinder the growth of illegal substances, and the warrants conducted in Bay of Plenty will have an “immediate effect” on gang activity. “Illicit drug operations on a commercial scale strengthen organised crime groups and harm our communities,” Anderson said. “The purpose of Operation Emerald isn’t to target recreational drug users—it’s to hit gangs and criminal entities, whose parasitic offending feeds off our communities. We’re thrilled to have hit their criminal networks and it’s pleasing to have results that have interrupted their offending. The large-scale production of illicit drugs is a high-risk activity and criminals arm themselves as protection. This increases the risk to innocent people and taking so many firearms out of the hands of criminals is only a good thing.” Anderson estimated that New Zealand gangs likely receive about $406 million per year because of illegal cannabis sales. “We don’t want them here, we don’t need them here, and we will target their offending every chance we get,” Anderson concluded. “If you choose to cultivate a drug that remains illegal and if you use it to fund your criminal lifestyle and perpetuate misery in our communities, you can expect police to hold you to account and to seize illegal firearms, drugs and ill-gotten gains.” In 2023, Operation Emerald seized or destroyed various illegal substances totaling a value of $128 million. Statistics about last year’s searches show that police found 35,097 cannabis plants (approximately 93.452 kg or 206 pounds of plant material in weight). New Zealand’s cannabis eradication program was initially cancelled in January 2021 because it cost too much to send out helicopters and airplanes out to investigate illegal cannabis grow sites. However, the program was revived in January 2022. Adult-use cannabis is currently illegal in New Zealand, but medical cannabis has been permitted since 2020. Meanwhile, the country’s first mushroom cultivation license was granted in October 2023. License holder Rua Bioscience is excited to offer legal psilocybin therapy options. “It is a privilege to be involved in this ground-breaking project and we are excited to be able to support this kaupapa,” said Rua Bioscience CEO Paul Naske. “It is exciting to see Australia and other jurisdictions embracing innovative and potentially life-changing medical research with psilocybin and exciting for Rua Bioscience to now be part of such a great national collaboration.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 10, 2024Cannabis News​ Ohio cannabis regulators last week released a draft proposal of rules to govern recreational marijuana production and sales. Voters legalized recreational marijuana in Ohio with the passage of Issue 2 in the November 2023 off-year election, making the state the 24th in the nation to largely end the criminal prohibition of cannabis. Issue 2, which passed with 57% of the vote, legalized recreational marijuana in Ohio for adults 21 and older, who are permitted to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates. The new law also legalizes marijuana cultivation for personal use, allowing adults to grow up to six cannabis plants at home. Households with more than one adult are permitted to grow a total of 12 plants. The successful ballot measure also created a new state agency dubbed the Division of Cannabis Control (DCC), which will have the authority to “license, regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories, and individuals required to be licensed,” according to the text of Issue 2.  Until last week, the DCC had not yet released any rules to govern recreational marijuana production and sales in Ohio, where medical marijuana was legalized by state lawmakers in 2016. Without regulations, consumers in the state were left without a legal avenue to purchase recreational weed, a situation Governor Mike DeWine characterized as “goofy,” according to a report from online news source Cleveland Scene. The new proposed regulations set rules for 13 areas of recreational cannabis production and sales, using the regulations from other states that have legalized marijuana as a guide. Among the new regulations is a requirement that retail pot dispensaries be located at least 500 feet away from schools, parks, playgrounds, churches and libraries.  Sales of recreational cannabis are restricted to adults aged 21 and over, who are required to show identification. Customers of dispensaries are required to be “escorted and monitored by an assigned registered employee at all times.” Retail dispensaries are required to close by 11 p.m. Additionally, dispensaries are not permitted to choose or change a business name without approval from the DCC. Before beginning operations, dispensaries are required to deposit $50,000 in an escrow account, while testing labs must deposit $7,500 and the largest weed cultivators are required to maintain an escrow account of $750,000. The regulations put limits on dispensary owners’ interest in other cannabis businesses, limiting them to one cannabis cultivator, one cannabis processor and eight retail dispensary locations. The proposed rules also set security requirements for cannabis businesses and mandate standards for the proper disposal of cannabis waste. Under the new rules, existing medical marijuana dispensaries could be licensed to sell adult-use cannabis as soon as June 7. Recreational dispensary licenses will be issued later, perhaps as soon as September 7. Brian Vicente, founding partner of the cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente LLP, characterized Ohio’s proposed adult-use cannabis regulations as “a sensible starting point for the Buckeye state.”   “Unlike recent legalization states like New York that opted to draft legalization regulations from scratch, the Ohio rules clearly borrowed ideas from earlier states—resulting in a refreshing level of sophistication and understanding of the needs of both cannabis consumers and business owners,” he wrote in an email to High Times. “These regulations include commonsense ‘best practices’ for businesses in important areas like waste disposal and quality assurance, which should lead to a smooth roll-out and ongoing operations. Consumers will be able to access cannabis from stores until 11 p.m. and through drive-up windows, which will foster widespread access.” The DCC is accepting public comments on the proposed adult-use cannabis regulations through April 17. The agency noted that the rules have not yet been finalized and are subject to change by state lawmakers. “The following information is based on the initiated statute ballot measure approved by voters. Because it is an initiated statute, it may be amended by the state legislature,” the proposal reads. “Any amendments to the statute could impact the timeline for the rulemaking and licensing processes, and dispensary sales.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 10, 2024Cannabis News​ Federal officials in New Mexico are apparently targeting state-licensed marijuana companies at border checkpoints and seizing regulated cannabis products, according to media reports.  New Mexico legalized medical marijuana in 2019, followed by the legalization of adult-use cannabis in 2021. Regulated sales of recreational weed began in the state on April 1, 2022, just under a year after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legalization bill into law. Since then, New Mexico’s licensed cannabis businesses have seen little interference from federal authorities, much like other weed-legal states over the last several years. The situation has changed recently, however, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seizing regulated cannabis products at least a dozen times over the last two weeks, according to Ben Lewinger, executive director of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce. Although 12 such seizures have been reported, the actual number could be even higher. “There still is a lot of stigma and a lot of fear so I imagine this is underreported,” Lewinger told KRQE 13 television news. “It’s hurting small businesses. It’s hurting all of us because of the loss of tax revenue.” CBP officers are permitted to establish immigration checkpoints to help stem smuggling and human trafficking within 100 miles of the international border with Mexico. In states with legal weed, these checkpoints are generally navigated without incident by licensed cannabis companies moving products within the state. But recently that has changed, although seemingly only in New Mexico. Lewinger said he believes the state’s cannabis businesses are being targeted by federal officials in the state and called on the Biden administration to step in. “Our brothers and sisters in California and Arizona, which also share a border with Mexico, they’re not seeing this kind of same increased activity. It seems like this is a situation that is particular to New Mexico and I think what needs to happen is The White House needs to direct the Department of Homeland Security to stop wasting resources on a product that poses no threat,” Lewinger said. “It’s just clearly outside of the scope of Customs and Border Patrol.” Nick Spoor, operations manager at Top Crop Cannabis Co., told reporters that the company has regularly transported cannabis products through CBP checkpoints successfully. “Normally they don’t have dogs, usually it’s just a, ‘are you a U.S. citizen, yes’ and then they wave you through,” said Spoor. But that changed when CBP agents seized products from one of the company’s vehicles at a checkpoint on Valentine’s Day. “We’ve been going through that checkpoint for over a year, no questions asked, so obviously we’re doing everything compliantly. It was manifested product,” said Top Crop Cannabis Co. CEO Matt Chadwick. “So, I was shocked, a little blown away and taken back.” Ethan Ramsey, an employee with Las Cruces cannabis producer Head Space Alchemy, was arrested by the CBP last week while attempting to go through an immigration checkpoint, according to a report from The Paper. The driver had been stopped at a checkpoint on Interstate 25, about 25 miles north of Las Cruces while delivering samples to a cannabis lab in Santa Fe.  Rob Duran, a managing partner of Head Space Alchemy, was following in another vehicle. The Paper obtained an audio recording of the interaction with CBP officials.  “We’ve been instructed to seize all cannabis—all illegal products,” the CBP officer can be heard saying. “It’s still federally illegal.” When Duran asked how the company and CBP could reach a solution to the situation, he was told that he could talk to a supervisor or contact the regional office.  “I can’t tell you anything that they already told you,” the officer says on the recording. “Or I can’t go above what they’re telling you … Everything’s going to get seized.” When Duran asks about Ramsey, he is told that the employee has been arrested. “He’s under arrest,” the agent says. “That’s what happens when someone gets placed under arrest. You’re trying to get a definitive answer out of me. I don’t know where we’re at. We’ve just started this process. We’ve just started this case, so I can’t give you a definitive answer.” Between last week’s seizure by CBP and an earlier one, Duran says the company has lost about $20,000 in product. More significantly, his workers now have a record with the federal government because of the interactions. “In both cases, have had their pictures taken and been fingerprinted, and have also been told that their names are going to now be in a federal database as being caught at a federal inspection checkpoint with cannabis,” Duran says. When contacted by local media, a CBP spokesperson denied allegations that officers in New Mexico are targeting licensed cannabis businesses. “Although legal for medical and/or recreational use in many states, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Therefore, U.S. Border Patrol agents will continue to take appropriate enforcement action against those who are encountered in possession of marijuana anywhere in the United States.” Chadwick of Top Crop Cannabis Co. said that his business can handle the loss from CBP interference. But he says that other companies could be irreparably harmed by the product seizures. “People’s lives are at stake here. Businesses are at stake here. And it can affect some people with, like I said, very dire circumstances and they could lose everything they’ve had,” said Chadwick. “They’ve put their hearts and souls into their businesses and it’s not fair.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 10, 2024Cannabis News​ In Freetown, Sierra Leone, a cheap smoking mix that causes a powerful high—made up of cannabis, fentanyl, tramadol, formaldehyde, and reportedly in some cases, ground-up human bones—is sweeping the city and nation as a whole. It’s less a “new drug” and it’s rather more like a new drug mix made by drug manufacturers cutting drugs with cheaper substances that cause an effect. Locals roll the ground-up blend of drugs into joints and share them with friends for a long-lasting high. Like the “zombie drugs” you see in the U.S. that cause addicts to be frozen in pose on the street (fentanyl or tranq), West African nations report their own version of a “zombie drug” that causes locals to be in a coma-like state. Sierra Leone leaders declared an emergency due to the prevalence of people, mostly young men ages 18-25 who are smoking “kush.”  Unlike the landrace strain from Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush mountain range, “kush” in Sierra Leone means a constantly changing mix of drugs in a smoking mixture that probably contains potentially physically harmful ingredients—namely various opioids or human bones. “One of the drug’s many ingredients is human bones—security has been tightened in cemeteries to stop addicts digging up skeletons from graves,” BBC reports. Smoking crushed human bones contributes to the drug’s hypnotic high that lasts about six hours. (Smoking human bones in a separate drug mixture also gained popularity in South America.) A disturbing now-deleted Reddit thread provided information on smoking human bones.  The reports of grave-robbing added to the nation’s frenzy over this drug, which reportedly took popularity about six years ago. It drew the attention of Sierra Leone’s president. “Our country is currently faced with an existential threat due to the ravaging impact of drugs and substance abuse, particularly the devastating synthetic drug kush,” said Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio. The country is also concerned about potential long-term effects, mostly due to the addictive properties of the “kush” mixture. Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital, the only hospital of its kind in the country, says that between 2020 and 2023, admissions specifically for “kush” addicts surged by almost 4,000% to reach 1,865. Dr Abdul Jalloh, head of the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital, said that the President’s emergency declaration is “the right step” and will be “crucial in addressing drug use.” Options for locals are limited. There is reportedly only one drug rehabilitation center in Freetown. The 100-bed facility was “hurriedly set up in an army training center” earlier this year. Locals, however, say it’s more of a holding center than a rehab center because of its lack of basic facilities. Locals hope the “kush” craze dies out and other, less harmful, drugs replace it. The demonization of drugs may also play a role in the reality of how much “kush” actually contains human bones. However, seven cemeteries in Freetown reported grave-robbing for valuables in 2016. Experiments with various substances that either produce a high or prolong a high have been introduced. Ground-up human bones also have been added to mixtures containing cocaine in other parts of the world. Vice reported that people in South America are also smoking human bones to get high. The drug mixture in this region also contains extremely harmful ingredients in some cases. Vice reported in 2022 that “Basuco” is now considered the cheapest drug in the world—about 20 cents a hit. It’s made from low-quality cocaine, brick dust, volcanic ash, sulphuric acid, kerosene, and sometimes ground-up human bones. Basuco is described as an epidemic in Colombia. As it contains cocaine, smoking it causes the smoker to compulsively crave another hit. The high for this drug is also shockingly addictive, reported as an epidemic of basuco dependency in South America.  So where exactly is “kush” being smoked? Mostly in countries in West Africa, where other types of drugs are scarce. The Conversation reports that the drug is reported in both Guinea and Liberia, which border Sierra Leone, making trafficking the drug easy. Kush costs around five leones per joint, and they’re typically shared between people, with up to 40 joints being consumed in a day. About twenty Sierra Leonean leones (SLL) equals a U.S. dollar. The annual income per capita is around $630. Drug mixes are common in some African countries, as drugs are cut with cheaper drugs. Another drug mix, “white pipe”, is a mixture of the hypnotic sedative methaqualone (Mandrax), cannabis, and tobacco, and the drug is smoked in South Africa. South Africa is the leading consumer of Mandrax worldwide, with between 70% and 80% of the drug ending up in this country.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 9, 2024Cannabis News​ The residents of Freetown Christiania, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, recently began to physically dismantle a part of its community where hash has been sold illegally for decades. According to recent reports, residents began removing the cobblestones on “Pusher Street” on April 6 to deter violence and illegal cannabis and hash sales. Prior to April 6, residents began to ask for help from volunteers to pull up the cobblestone street. Anyone was welcome to participate, and could take home one cobblestone as a souvenir. Removing cobblestones on Pusher Street was performed as a demonstration of the residents taking back their community and promising to rebuild. In doing this, they will be granted 14.3 million kroner (approximately $1.3 million USD) from the government to fund street renovation. According to AP News, two Christiania children were the first to lift cobblestones from Pusher Street. “For more than 40 years, Christiania and the illegal sale of drugs out here has been a huge thorn in the side of the established society,” said Danish Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard. “But now we have reached the point where the Christianians have also had enough of the gangs.” Copenhagen Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen spoke with Reuters about the historic decision. “Pusher Street has to die in order for Christiania to live,” Andersen said. “The crime scene we have seen here has been so violent… we cannot have a Christiania that is dying out because people don’t dare to be here and where we see the local Christianites being threatened by greedy pushers and dealers.” The future of Pusher Street will include “a new Christiania without the criminal hashish market,” according to a statement from Christiania public housing coordinator Mette Prag, who has called Christiania his home for 37 years. Another resident who has lived in the enclave for 40 years expressed their interest in removing hash from Christiania’s future. “We don’t want the gangsters anymore. There might be some people selling hashish afterward, but it’s not going to be in the open,” said Hulda Mader. Most locals are looking forward to Christiania’s new slate. “To me, Pusher Street is actually the least unique, right? It is what I associate with violence, gangs, murder, threats, and everything which are actually antonyms to what Christiania is,” said resident Mathilde Brandstrup. The government funds will help the community install new water pipes and pavement, while buildings near Pusher Street will also receive renovations. While the overall goal is to transform Christiania into what AP News calls “an integrated part of the Danish capital area,” but will still retail the “free state” spirit that it has long been known for. Christiania was first established in 1971 by hippies who occupied in former army barracks, and Denmark officials have allowed the unique settlement to remain independent, even though illegal cannabis sales in the area became known worldwide to curious tourists. Originally, residents who founded Christiania didn’t obtain permits to build houses, didn’t pay utility bills, and others could only move into the area if they were related to someone who was a resident. Residents received rights to their land in 2011, when the land (about 84 acres) was sold by the state to a foundation owned by Christianians. Now it’s home to 800 adults (25% of whom are over 60 years old) and 200 children. Christiania was the focus of Denmark law enforcement starting in 2004, which led to an increase in police raids. While many residents took down their hash sales booths for a time, they soon returned. However, an increase in violence and gang activity has also concerned both Denmark leaders as well as Christiania residents. In 2021, one individual was shot and killed at the entrance of Pusher Street, followed by another death in 2022 involved a hash seller. Most recently in August 2023, two masked gunmen open fired within a Christiania building, killing one individual and injuring four others. Mayor Andersen spoke out against the event, and asked tourists to avoid the area. “The spiral of violence at Christiania is deeply worrying,” Andersen said. “The hundreds of thousands of visiting tourists and the many new foreign students who have just moved to Copenhagen to stay away and refrain from buying weed or other drugs at Pusher Street.” Adult-use cannabis is illegal in Denmark, although medical cannabis is permitted through a limited pilot program that launched in March 2018. The Danish Parliament’s Health Committee announced in September 2023 that it had destroyed an estimated 320,862 pounds of dried cannabis, all of which came from the medical cannabis program. The government explained that the destroyed product was either “discarded” or “faulty.” The Denmark medical cannabis program produced a total of 4,656 pounds of medical cannabis in 2019, followed by 14,521 pounds in 2020, and 71,502 pounds in 2021.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 9, 2024Cannabis News​ Prison walls do little when drones can easily deliver drugs and other contraband to prisoners, and the tactic appears at prisons all across the country. Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced last week that 150 individuals were arrested in a drone drug delivery operation that served inmates in Georgia correctional facilities as law enforcement confiscated 67 pounds of pot and various other drugs. “Operation Skyhawk” was a joint investigative effort between the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Gang Task Force. Eight dirty GDC correctional officers who allegedly took part in the operation were also arrested and immediately terminated from their positions. NBC News reports that items that have been confiscated thus far during the operation include a full range of illegal drugs, with a total combined street value of over $7 million. This includes 87 drones, 22 weapons, 273 cell phones (which are banned in the prisons), 180 civilian cell phones, 185 pounds of tobacco, 67 pounds of pot, 12 pounds of meth, 51 pounds of ecstasy, 10 grams of cocaine, and 90 various pills. Photos of the confiscated drugs and weapons, including Wonka-branded products, were also released. Three large vacuum-sealed bags of flower can also be seen in the photos. The governor announced the arrests in a March 28 press release. Search and arrest warrants were served at two locations in the Metro Atlanta area—taking down a “sophisticated, multi-state criminal enterprise that included civilians, inmates, and staff involved in contraband introduction into GDC facilities.” “Georgia will not tolerate those who put our communities at risk by trafficking drugs, weapons, and contraband both in and out of our correctional facilities,” said Kemp. “I want to thank Commissioner Oliver, the hardworking men and women of the GDC, and all law enforcement who worked to shut these operations down and help keep both Georgians and our correctional facilities safe.” “Operation Skyhawk” led to over 1,000 criminal charges stemming from contraband introduction, drug trafficking, and felons in possession of firearms.  The governor also announced that many of the individuals arrested will also be facing Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges and Participation in Criminal Gang Activity in multiple venues across the state, resulting in what may be the largest Gang RICO investigation in the state’s history. Law enforcement officers warned that many other states may also be affected by the same criminal enterprise. Drone deliveries in California and Kansas recently led to a total of 10 indictments. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California posted a press release on Thursday, announcing that four defendants have been indicted in schemes to deliver drugs into prisons via drone. In that case, drones delivered not only weed, but spice/K2 drugs that mimic weed, butane oil, and an assortment of other drugs and contraband items. If convicted of conspiracy charges, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison and fines of up to $10 million. If convicted of possession with intent to distribute drugs, the defendants face a statutory penalty of five to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million. Meanwhile, another team of criminals allegedly used drones to deliver drugs into the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas.  Between August 2020 and May 2021, drugs on demand were available, and inmates into the prison yard could order specific drugs. Last September, an Australian woman and two accomplices pleaded guilty in court to using a drone in an attempt to traffic multiple different drugs and a USB stick filled with pornography into a Queensland, Australia prison yard. In that case, 27-year-old Cheyenne Anniki Petryszyn was on parole when a drone containing Buprenorphine strips, methamphetamine, and a USB thumb drive containing pornography was found in an exercise yard where it crash-landed. Prison staff said they found a drone on the ground near a baggie containing 79 strips of Buprenorphine which is a drug used to treat opioid dependence, 0.94 grams of meth, and the USB drive containing an undisclosed amount of pornographic material.  Law enforcement is also using drones to spot cannabis operations—particularly in California. A pilot program involving the use of drones to spot illegal cannabis grow operations took place in 2021 in Nevada County, California. In many areas in California, growers have the challenge of competing with illicit operations amid an epic oversupply problem—driving some operators into the black market.  Also in 2021, a House appropriations committee backed federal efforts to track down illicit grow operations on public lands in California. If issues around cybersecurity and domestic production can be resolved so that drones can be fully trusted, it could become a reality in more areas.   Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 9, 2024Cannabis News​ A majority of cannabis consumers who are likely to vote in this fall’s general election say they would vote for a pro-cannabis candidate regardless of their party affiliation, according to the results of a recent survey. The poll, which was conducted by the medical marijuana telehealth platform NuggMD, found that 59% of likely voters who use weed would cast their ballot for a pro-cannabis presidential candidate regardless of that candidate’s political party. NuggMD’s 2024 Election Poll surveyed 755 cannabis users about their opinions surrounding the relevance of cannabis reform in the upcoming presidential election. When asked whether a presidential candidate’s endorsement of pro-cannabis policies would increase their likelihood of voting for that candidate, 59% of the respondents selected the reply “Yes, this would make me more likely to vote for that candidate regardless of their party.” Only 14% of respondents said they are already locked into voting for their party or candidate of choice. “This poll shows that adopting pro-cannabis policies can move more constituents into either party’s camp,” Deb Tharp, head of legal and policy research at NuggMD, said in a statement from the company. “This is a large voting population we’re talking about, and its demographics are changing quickly.” The poll showed the Democratic candidate outpacing the GOP frontrunner in the November election among those who use cannabis regularly, a voting block that is approximately 35 million strong nationwide. The poll showed that 43% of respondents planned to vote for President Joseph Biden, while 36% said they intended to vote for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. Biden also polled well ahead of a generic Republican candidate, while Trump was roughly tied with a generic Democratic candidate. The Democratic Party also faired better when respondents were asked about cannabis policy in general. A majority of respondents (56%) said the Democrats in elected positions have better ideas for cannabis policy, while only 16% said the same of Republican elected officials Both political parties could be doing a better job of supporting cannabis policy reform, according to the survey. Nearly 40% of the poll’s respondents indicated that they believe Democrats “want to suppress the legal use of cannabis,” while two-thirds (68%) said the same of Republicans. The survey also found that 88% of respondents said understanding cannabis culture is a requirement for writing and passing effective cannabis legislation. However, 73% said elected officials in general currently lack that understanding. Overall, the survey showed that Democratic candidates in the upcoming election have an opportunity to gain votes from the cannabis community by leaning into weed reform, a move that would likely separate them from their GOP opponents. “Respondents say they’re motivated by policy commitments and wins, not by grievance politics, outrage, or red meat,” Tharp explained. “The degree to which this emerging constituency is moveable, and how to move them, will probably come as a surprise to insiders of both parties.” “To me, it signals that Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot by continuing to embrace the platform of prohibition,” she continued. “Democrats should double down on cannabis and expand their voting base by embracing full decriminalization and expungement for victims of targeted, unjust enforcement.” In an email, Tharp pointed to Florida, where the state Supreme Court ruled last week that a weed legalization bid can appear on the November ballot, as “an example of a state where cannabis consumers as a voting bloc could help drive an electoral surprise this November.” “Adult-use legislation is on the November ballot in Florida and needs 60 percent to pass,” she said. “It’s going to be close, and this will motivate turnout among the estimated two million voting-age Floridians who use cannabis every month.”  “Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and practically every other Republican elected official in Florida continue to rail against the measure,” she added. “While our poll doesn’t measure whether there’s an electoral punishment associated with loudly and wrongly rejecting common-sense drug policy, it does establish that there is an electoral reward for endorsing pro-cannabis policies, so the opening for Democrats is obvious.” “If Democrats want to win seats, they should use their platform to support legal cannabis,” Tharp concluded. “If Republicans want to keep their seats, then they need to wake up and realize their voting base is sick of seeing people imprisoned over cannabis when there are real issues that need our attention.” NuggMD.com conducted the poll digitally from March 25 to April 3 using a random sample of its first-party data. In total, 53,380 individuals were contacted and 755 completed the survey, resulting in a margin of error of 3.89% at a confidence level of 95%. Six swing states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) that could likely decide the outcome of this fall’s election were over-indexed to give the poll more electoral relevance.   Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 8, 2024Cannabis News​ Democratic strategists see opportunities to attract Florida voters to the party’s candidates now that constitutional amendment initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana and guarantee broader abortion rights have qualified for the ballot. The Florida Supreme Court announced on April 1 that Amendment 3 to legalize adult-use cannabis and Amendment 4 to protect abortion rights had fulfilled state requirements and would appear on the ballot for this fall’s presidential general election. If passed, Amendment 3 would legalize cannabis for adults aged 21 and older and allow Florida’s existing licensed medical marijuana retailers to begin serving all adult consumers. Amendment 4 says that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider,” with an exception for laws that require parental notification when minors get abortions. If passed, the amendment would effectively nullify a separate Supreme Court ruling issued last week that upheld the state’s 15-week limit on abortion and set the stage for approval of a six-week limit. With 30 electoral votes, both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns eye Florida as a significant step on the path to victory in November. Democratic strategists see the addition of Amendment 3 and Amendment 4 to the November ballot as an opportunity to attract young voters, who tend to support abortion rights and cannabis policy reform. “Both abortion and marijuana legalization are highly resonate with young people, which is a key demographic that the president has got to turn out,” Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of the grassroots progressive group Our Revolution, told The Hill.  On Monday, the Biden campaign released a memo indicating it would invest heavily in Trump’s home state of Florida, saying the policies of the former president and the Republican Party are “making Floridians’ lives worse.” Four years ago, Trump won the Sunshine State with 51% of the vote, while Biden took 48% of the vote. Julie Chávez Rodríguez, the campaign manager for Biden’s reelection bid, said that the campaign is running ads in Florida targeting young voters and other demographic groups including Black and Hispanic voters.  “Make no mistake: Florida is not an easy state to win, but it is a winnable one for President Biden, especially given Trump’s weak, cash-strapped campaign, and serious vulnerabilities within his coalition,” she said in the memo. To win the state, the Biden campaign will have to have a strong showing from Democratic-leaning voting blocks including Black voters and young adults. Nikki Fried, chair of the Florida Democratic Party and an ally of the medical cannabis industry while serving as the state’s commissioner of agriculture, said she has already observed increased enthusiasm among young voters since the court rulings last week. “Just based purely on watching social media in the last 24 hours, the youth vote is excited about the opportunity to be voting on cannabis and abortion in November,” she said. Michael Starr Hopkins has experience running Democratic campaigns in Florida, serving as senior advisor for former Congressman Charlie Crist’s unsuccessful bid for governor of the state in 2022. As the country gears up for the November vote, the Democratic strategist sees the views of many Republicans as incompatible with those of most younger voters. “Abortion and marijuana on the ballot could be an electoral earthquake for the youth vote in Florida. The GOP’s anti-choice, anti-cannabis stance isn’t just out of touch, it’s straight out of the stone age,” said Starr Hopkins. “Having these two hot-button issues front and center is going to turbocharge youth turnout, which is never a good thing for Republicans.” Democrats see similarities between the situation developing in Florida this year with the 2023 race in Ohio. The ballot for that election included an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana and an amendment to enshrine the “fundamental right to reproductive freedom” with “reasonable limits” in the Ohio Constitution. Propelled in part by a strong turnout of young voters, both ballot measures passed, handing Republican party leaders two losses in one fell swoop. In Alabama late last month, Democrat Marilyn Lands won a special election for a state House seat after leaning into abortion rights and protecting in vitro fertilization (IVF) as issues for her campaign. Only weeks before, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen human embryos are legally people, leading to a halt of IVF services in the state, at least temporarily. “Ballot initiatives can be game changing for campaigns. Just last week we saw a Democrat win a state house seat in Alabama focused on IVF, showing the power of the issue in a deep red state,” said Democratic strategist Andrea Riccio, co-founder of Velocity Partners. “With recreational marijuana use and abortion access on the ballot, the Biden campaign has a real opportunity to activate young voters and turn Florida blue.” Currently, Trump has a 0.8 percentage point lead over Biden overall, according to The Hill and Decision Desk HQ’s aggregation of polls. With weed and abortion on the ballot in Florida, however, Democrats believe they can overcome the deficit in the state, securing its 30 electoral votes for Biden. “If the GOP keeps underestimating the power of pissed-off young people, they’re in for a rude awakening at the ballot box. Florida could slip from their grasp as cash-strapped Republicans struggle to counter the surge of energized young voters,” said Starr Hopkins. “It’s a perfect storm that could spell disaster for the GOP’s chances in the Sunshine State.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 8, 2024Cannabis News​ It’s widely accepted that cannabis use in adolescence, while the brain is still developing, can lead to adverse effects. Of course, studies on cannabis as a whole are still catching up, and there are an abundance of gaps that researchers are still attempting to fill in. A recent investigation, published in the journal Psychopharmacology and performed by Portuguese researchers, attempts to close some of the gaps regarding adolescent cannabis use, looking specifically at the occasional use of cannabis among adolescent subjects. The research ultimately confirmed that subjects who occasionally used cannabis exhibited no significant changes in cognitive functioning compared to their non-cannabis-using peers. Researchers begin by breaking down some of the current barriers in cannabis research, specifically how cannabis interacts with our brains. Looking at the psychological, neurocognitive and brain changes during adolescence, researchers note that the adolescent changes in the endocannabinoid system, and its role with stress and anxiety regulation, “put adolescents at increased risk for emotional and anxiety disorders.” Still, they recognize further investigations employing longitudinal research designs are needed to address inconsistent findings in literature. “Most adolescents engage in infrequent cannabis use, with non-disordered cannabis use being four times more prevalent than instances of Cannabis Use Disorder,” authors note. “As such, it is important to examine the neurocognitive and psychological outcomes among adolescents who escalate to heavier cannabis consumption as well as those who do not.” Researchers utilized archival data from a large longitudinal cohort from the IMAGEN study, with participants mostly characterized by a low-to-moderate frequency of cannabis use. The study focused on whether preexisting differences in reward-related brain activity, psychopathology and cognitive functioning predict cannabis use initiation, if cannabis use leads to impairment of these levels of functioning and, if so, if the disrupted levels of functioning recover with abstinence. The dataset recruited participants at eight sites in England, Ireland, France and Germany. Participants were an average of 14 years old at the baseline measurement, 19 at the first follow-up and 22 at the second follow-up. Participants had to report no or low risk of alcohol use and nicotine dependence at the baseline.  Those who had used a specific illicit substance more than twice during their lifetime or more than eight total uses of any illicit substances in their lifetime were excluded from the set, resulting in 1,946 eligible participants. At each timepoint, participants completed a number of questionnaires to measure substance use, psychopathy and cognition. Researchers also used the Puberty Development Scale and a scale assessing family stresses on participants. Participants completed a cognitive task where they were asked to respond as quickly as possible to targets by pressing a button. Participants could win two, 10 or no points depending on their results, and they were informed they would receive a candy for every five points they earned. Researchers focused on brain responses during gain anticipation and reward feedback for successful and unsuccessful trials. They also performed statistical analyses to address if baseline characteristics predicted later cannabis use, matching those using cannabis at the first followup with non-users in four logistic regression analyses. Looking at the first question surrounding baseline predictors of cannabis use initiation at age 19, those participants with higher conduct problems scores and lower peer problems scores at age 14 were associated with a greater likelihood of using cannabis at 19. However, neither reward anticipation nor feedback processing predicted cannabis use at 19 years old. When comparing participants who used cannabis to non-users, researchers noted that the cannabis-using group had higher scores at 14 and 19, along with higher hyperactivity/inattention scores at 19, but no statistically significant differences in cognitive function, psychopathology or brain activity. “We did not find evidence of cognitive impairment in light CAN (cannabis users) neither before nor after cannabis use onset,” researchers state. “Indeed, it is suggested that despite the broad association that may exist between adolescent cannabis use and neurocognitive impairment, these effects appear to be minor and may not be clinically significant” At 22, persistent cannabis use exhibited “significantly higher” conduct problems compared to the control group, but “due to the absence of significant differences in cognitive functioning and brain activity, we did not test the hypothesis concerning recovery with abstinence,” researchers note. Authors note that a larger sample study could help to generate more robust statistical analyses and findings. They also state that a greater representation of heavy cannabis users would increase the generalization of findings, “even though the cannabis use patterns of our sample are comparable to those of previous works that have also found no group differences in reward-related brain activity.”  Researchers underscore that these findings may only reflect the effects experienced by low-frequency cannabis users, not heavy users or those with cannabis use disorder. “The current study’s design allowed an examination of potential preexisting differences in brain activity, cognitive functioning, and psychological symptoms in a developmental sample of adolescents who would engage in light cannabis use in the future,” authors conclude.  “We found no evidence of preexisting individual differences in reward processing or specific cognitive domains,” they continue. “However, cannabis-naïve adolescents with conduct problems and who were more socially engaged with their peers seem to be at a higher risk of taking part in persistent cannabis use in the future. Additionally, using cannabis during adolescence may result in the development of hyperactivity and inattention symptoms.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 8, 2024Cannabis News​ The House of Representatives in Missouri has approved a budget bill that allocates $10 million from the state’s opioid settlement funds for research grants. But not just any research grants. These are intended to explore the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating opioid use disorder, which is currently considered a public health crisis in the United States. Originally, thanks to an addition to the bill that came up in a House committee last week, the bill, HB 2010, would have used the $10 million to actually study ibogaine for treating opioid use disorder. However, on Tuesday, that was modified to redirect the funds towards psilocybin research instead. Currently, the measure would allocate a one-time sum of $10 million from the state’s Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund to pay for grants for research universities. These grants are created to finance the study of the role of psilocybin in healing for substance use disorder. Rep. Cody Smith (R), who introduced the original budget bill, noted that the shift in funding towards psilocybin research stemmed from a discussion he had with the state Department of Mental Health last week. “They had concerns about the ibogaine research they had read, and there are concerns about the dangers involved in that research,” Smith said. “However, they are interested in the psilocybin piece. And we’ve seen many other states use their opioid settlement funds to that end.” Smith isn’t the only Republican who backed the original ibogaine research plan. Rep. Chad Perkins (R), another supporter of the ibogaine research plan, told Marijuana Moment in an email: “I had several concerned individuals reach out and provide me with information regarding the potential benefits of ibogaine. After some research, I believed it was a worthy and prudent investment for the state to combat opiate addiction.” Missouri is expected to get hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid-related settlement funds, which were collected through various lawsuits against the opioid industry and related entities, over the next several decades, And psychedelic advocates are working to allocate that money toward treatment models to help stop the opioid crisis through treatment. Last year, Kentucky also considered putting money towards researching ibogaine for opiate use disorder. However, they ultimately also backed away from that plan, and advocates set their sights on other states, such as Missouri. Research indeed shows that ibogaine could be revolutionary for healing addiction. One study found that just a single ibogaine treatment not only reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms but “achieved opioid cessation or sustained reduced use in dependent individuals as measured over 12 months.” However, ibogaine is still illegal in the U.S., and unlike psychedelics like psilocybin, it can lead to cardiac arrest and death, which is likely why the lawmakers opted for psilocybin.  While many folks believe that the risks of a single ibogaine treatment are worth kicking a deadly opioid addiction, Perkins told Marijuana Moment that he’s satisfied with the shift towards psilocybin. “I’m not disappointed,” he said. “I believe that bringing more exposure to the benefits of psychedelics has been an ancillary effect of the pursuit of this budget item. This issue will hopefully raise the profile of psychedelics and provide a foundation on which we can base future policy decisions.” Psilocybin is also indicated for opiate use disorder. As TIME reports, a 2022 study featured in Scientific Reports analyzed data from 214,505 U.S. adults whose information was gathered in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) spanning 2015 to 2019. This investigation uncovered a link between a history of psilocybin usage (at any point in a person’s life) and a diminished risk of developing opioid use disorder.  The study examined 11 criteria used by scientists to identify opioid use disorder (such as dedicating considerable time to acquiring and consuming drugs) and discovered that previously taking psilocybin actually was significantly associated with a reduced chance for seven of these criteria, and slightly reduced odds for two additional criteria, giving folks a pretty awesome excuse to enjoy some magic mushrooms.  Missouri sets a precedent for even more conservative governments embracing psychedelic therapies to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. In just a handful of examples, recently, the Governor of Indiana signed legislation that included measures to support clinical research trials investigating psilocybin. And in Utah, the Governor established a pilot program that allows hospitals to offer psilocybin and MDMA as alternative treatments. Furthermore, a committee in the Arizona House endorsed a bill that would legalize psilocybin service centers, where folks use the psychedelic under medical supervision.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 5, 2024Cannabis News​ A New York state lawmaker is proposing legislation that would give regulators the authority to revoke the liquor, lottery and tobacco retailer licenses from stores that sell weed without a license. If passed, the legislation would go into effect immediately, giving officials new tools to combat the illicit pot shops that have proliferated since the state legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021. Democratic Assemblyman John Zaccaro Jr., a Democratic legislator from the Bronx, is the lead sponsor of the legislation in the New York State Assembly. The measure (A09520) has already attracted 70 co-sponsors in the chamber after being introduced late last month. A companion bill in the Senate (S08847), sponsored by Democratic Senator Jamaal T. Bailey, has 10 co-sponsors. The legislation “Provides for the revocation of licenses to sell cigarettes, tobacco products, alcohol and lottery tickets for the possession or sale of illicit cannabis in violation of the cannabis law,” according to the text of the measure. Businesses caught selling cannabis without a license would be subject to losing their licenses for one year on the first offense. A second offense within three years would subject the businesses to license revocation for three years and a third violation would result in the loss of cigarette, liquor and lottery retailer licenses for five years. The legislation was introduced as the state, particularly New York City, continues to deal with thousands of retailers selling cannabis without a license. The office of New York Mayor Eric Adams recently reported that approximately 2,500 unlicensed weed retailers were operating in the city. Meanwhile, a slow rollout of licensed cannabis retailers has seen only about 40 regulated pot shops open in the city since the first began serving customers in the closing days of 2022. Zaccaro said that the unlicensed shops are “choking” the regulated cannabis market as it struggles to get on its feet. Most of the retailers selling weed without a license are smoke shops and bodegas, businesses that would be severely impacted by the loss of the revenue streams provided by cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets. “We need to be able to go back to our districts and be able to let our constituents and people know that we took this issue seriously,” Zaccaro told the New York Daily News on Wednesday The lawmaker added that he hopes the legislation will pass quickly, either as a stand-alone bill or as part ongoing negotiations for the state budget, which have already exceeded a deadline of April 1. State and city regulators have already made several attempts to combat the proliferation of unlicensed weed shops with little lasting success. In the New York City Council, local lawmakers are supporting a plan to shut down unlicensed pot shops under a decades-old nuisance abatement law that allows the city to close some businesses, such as brothels. Despite having 26 sponsors on the 51-seat council, however, the plan has not had a hearing. While Zaccaro’s bill to revoke cigarette, liquor and lottery licenses from shops that sell marijuana without a license gives state and local officials new tools to combat the illicit operators, putting them to use is another matter. Cannabis attorney Fatima Afia said that state regulators at the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will have to commit significant resources to enforcement for the legislation to be effective. “I imagine that it would require a lot of resources, a lot of time, a lot of energy — basically all the things that OCM has clearly not had for purposes of enforcement up until now,”  Afia said, adding that the slow rollout of regulated cannabis retailers is exacerbating the problem. “The biggest supporter of the illicit shops is the fact that we don’t have enough licensed entities out there to compete with them,” said Afia. Zaccaro’s bill has been referred to the Assembly Economic Development Committee, while the Senate version is under consideration by the chamber’s Budget and Revenue Committee.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 5, 2024Cannabis News​ A New York court ruled in favor of Leafly Holdings and other plaintiffs that the state’s ban on third-party cannabis marketing is unconstitutional, striking down advertising rules, after the ruling initially invalidated all of the state’s adult-use regulations. Last September, a lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs Leafly Holdings, adult-use retailer Stage One Dispensary, and a customer who uses Leafly to inform her decisions about cannabis purchases challenged New York’s ban on third-party advertisers. Specifically, the plaintiffs sued over rules that banned third-party marketing for cannabis companies—think apps and platforms like Weedmaps and Leafly. Leafly documents over 5,000 cannabis strains and shows their terpene profiles, lineage, and effects among other data that can make choosing a strain safer. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) regulations on non-plant-touching third-party platforms, as is, would essentially block Leafly from doing business in New York. In the lawsuit, Leafly cited several allegedly problematic rules including one that bans retailers from paying for “marketing or promotion through a third-party platform, marketplace, or aggregator that lists cannabis products for sale”; and another that bans licensees from contracting with a “person or entity performing any function or activity directly involving the licensed activities authorized for the license type.”  State Supreme Court Justice Kevin R. Bryant ruled in favor of the plaintiffs Thursday, declaring that the New York cannabis industry’s rules are arbitrary, capricious, and therefore unconstitutional. Bryant’s April 4 decision invalidates OCM cannabis regulations parts 118-121, 123-125, and 131, saying that the OCM failed to show evidence to justify how the rules were developed. “We are reviewing the decision and exploring all possible legal options,” a representative of the OCM told High Times Friday morning. Leafly Holdings, Inc., et. al v. New York State Office of Cannabis Management, et. al reads, “For the foregoing reasons, the petition is granted, and the following sections are hereby declared null and void as arbitrary and capricious; The Third-Party Marketing Ban, Parts 9 N.Y.C.R.R. §§123.10(g)(21) and 124.5(a); the Pricing Ban, 9 N.Y.C.R.R. §124.1(b)(5)(ii) the Third-Party Order Ban, 9 N.Y.C.R.R. §123.10(g)(23); the Third-Party All-Licensee Listing Mandate, 9 N.Y.C.R.R. §124.l(b)(2); and the Third-Party Distributor Listing Mandate, 9 N.Y.C.R.R. §124.l(c)(l)-(2),” Honorable Kevin R. Bryant, J.S.C. Ruled. The original sweeping order appeared to invalidate all of New York’s adult-use rules, however the ruling was quickly clarified to apply only to marketing rules by the end of the day. Leafly was more than pleased with the news. “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of providing consumers with choices, and educational information when making purchasing decisions,” the company said in a statement. “It is critically important that licensed retailers have equal access to important advertising and marketing tools to help them succeed in a competitive landscape.” Leafly didn’t immediately respond to High Times for comment. For a few hours on Thursday, the ruling invalidated or appeared to invalidate the whole of New York’s cannabis regulations as it was originally written. Syracuse.com reports that Judge Bryant’s “jaw-dropping decision” applied to the regulations broadly, and it “strikes down all New York recreational cannabis rules.” Chris Roberts for MJBizDaily wrote that the decision could send New York’s into “chaos” as it was unclear if cannabis businesses could be operated without any rules in place, or what else might happen. Some people were happy to see the rules get tossed. Why? Lawsuits and bureaucratic problems have left New York’s adult-use cannabis market in bedlam. Only about two dozen legal dispensaries are open, as oversupply from farmers stacks up and black market shops step in to fill the void. Even Gov. Kathy Hochul called it a “disaster” so some didn’t exactly shed a tear when it appeared the rules were invalid. State Sen. Jeremy Cooney, chair of the Senate’s cannabis subcommittee, was among those who quickly slammed the ruling, before the ruling was amended. “Today’s State Supreme Court decision was another setback in a series of blows New York’s adult-use cannabis market has faced since legalization, three years ago,” he wrote in a statement. “While some changes to marketing regulations are needed, the decision by the Court to throw out all agency regulations will ultimately slow progress at a time when we need to more aggressively combat illicit shops to grow a stronger, more-equitable legal market.” Fox News reports that the court “dramatically scaled back his order from the previous day that had invalidated most of the state’s cannabis regulations in a case challenging rules for advertising marijuana.” Now that the court has clarified that the ruling only applies to marketing and advertising rules, it demonstrates how Leafly’s win will open up the doors to third-party companies looking to expand into New York’s market.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 5, 2024Cannabis News​ We’re announcing the return of the highly-anticipated High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan 2024!  It’s the fifth year we’ve set up a competition in Michigan—one of our most enthusiastic event markets—and the most recent rundown of winners showcases Michigan’s finest products. With a massive 20-category breakdown this year, we’re proud to display the winners of a variety of categories, as determined by our Michigan judges. Anybody can be a Judge and you don’t need to be an esteemed member of the cannabis community—just have the passion and grit needed to determine the next year’s winners. Act fast, as product submissions will be taken May 27 through June 7 in the Detroit area. Judge Kits go on sale June 22. Judges will analyze products in their Judge Kits and a backpack full of potent submissions, using a variety of criteria. For the categories involving flower, pre-rolls, vape pens, and concentrates, judges will take note of a product’s aesthetics, aroma/scent, taste/flavor profile, burnability, effects/effectiveness, and terpene profile. Edibles have a slightly different list of considerations, including packaging and labeling. For categories like Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals, judges will rank them based on ease of use as well. They’ll have about three months to narrow down their choices. Saturday, August 24 is the judging deadline for Cannabis Cup Judges. On Sunday, September 15, the winners will be announced! The entry categories include the following: Rec Indica Flower (4 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Sativa Flower (4 entries max per company)  (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Hybrid Flower (4 entries max per company)  (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Pre-Rolls (3 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Infused Pre-Rolls (2 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Solvent Concentrates (2 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Non-Solvent Concentrates (2 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Non-Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Edibles: Solvent Gummies (3 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Edibles: Non-Solvent Gummies (3 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Edibles: Non-Gummies (3 entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) Rec Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals (3 Entries max per company) (state-licensed adult-use) MEDICAL Indica Flower (4 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) MEDICAL Sativa Flower (4 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) MEDICAL Hybrid Flower (4 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) MEDICAL Pre-Rolls (4 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) MEDICAL Concentrates (4 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) MEDICAL Infused Pre-Rolls (4 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) MEDICAL Edibles (3 Entries max per company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility) One entry requires a $250, non-refundable fee, while two entries require a non-refundable fee of $100 per entry. Three or more entries requires a $100 refundable deposit per entry held, refunded when all entries are successfully submitted. Entry fees are waived for sponsorships. As medical patients are allowed to have higher amounts of certain forms of cannabis in Michigan, entry requirements vary for adult-use and medical products as follows: Recreational: Flower: (228) 1-gram units. We will not accept any 3.5-gram entries. Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (228) units: Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2-gram flower-only each; Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 3-gram flower-equivalency or 1-gram concentrate-equivalency each by METRC equations. Concentrates & Vape Pens: (228) .5-gram units. We will not accept any 1-gram entries. Batteries are required for Carts. Edibles: (100) units with 100mg THC max. Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals:  (60) units with 500mg THC max Medical: Flower: (228) 1-gram units. We will not accept any 3.5-gram entries. Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (100) units: Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2-gram flower-only each; Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 5-gram flower-equivalency or 5-gram concentrate-equivalency each by METRC equations. Concentrates & Vape Pens: (100) .5-gram units. We will not accept any 1-gram entries. Batteries are required for Carts. Edibles: (100) units with 200mg THC max. Let’s take a look back at a few past highlights in the Midwest. Michigan has hosted many Cannabis Cups with notable faces over the years, and we have some signature years underneath our belts. 2018’s High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan festivities, for instance, were headlined by Lil Wayne, Waka Flocka Flame, Vic Mensa, Machine Gun Kelly, Yo Gotti, and more.  The 2019 Michigan Cannabis Cup showcased amazing submissions of strains like Critical Mass by Mrs. Berry Kush or Tropicana Cookies by COCO Extracts. Last year, at the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan 2023, winners received the coveted High Times Cannabis Cup trophy, a longtime symbol of quality in the cannabis community. It was designed by Alex and Allyson Grey, made from zinc and 24k gold plating.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 4, 2024Cannabis News​ Around this time last month, Hawaii lawmakers and advocates were preparing for a possible shift to an adult-use cannabis market after the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would legalize and regulate recreational cannabis.  However, a key Hawaii House committee chair announced Tuesday that his panel would not hear the measure ahead of the legislative deadline next this week, effectively killing the bill for 2024. Hawaii remains the oldest medical-only cannabis market in the U.S., as the state legalized medical cannabis back in 2000. The Hawaiian Senate approved the bill, SB 3335, in a 19-6 vote on March 5 where it eventually hit the floor of a lower House chamber for consideration and narrowly advanced in a 25-23 vote last month.  From there, the legislation headed to the Hawaii House Finance Committee for consideration where House Finance Committee Chair Rep. Kyle Yamashita (D) ultimately shared that his panel would decline to hold a hearing on the legislation. He recognized that this was the furthest progression for adult-use cannabis legislation while calling the path to legalization a “deeply divisive issue” in a statement. “Due to numerous concerns regarding the implementation of the bill, the House has decided against further deliberation in the House Finance Committee,” Yamashita said. “This decision is strengthened by the prevailing ‘no’ votes from committee members expressed on the House floor.” Yamashita continues, citing the “abnormally fiscally challenging year” and that the committee needs to prioritize other expenses, like the recovery of local communities following last year’s wildfires in Lahaina and Upcountry Maui, as the full cost of implementing adult-use cannabis legalization “is unknown.” “As lawmakers, it would be remiss of us not to allocate funding to safeguard critical government services, including education, infrastructure, roads, and other essential services for Hawaiʻi’s residents and kūpuna, especially during a period of fiscal uncertainty,” Yamashita’s statement concludes. “We recognize that now is not the opportune time for its implementation, as we navigate the challenges of managing the largest wildfire recovery efforts in Hawaiʻi’s history.” The bill was primarily based upon Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez’s legalization plan released in November 2023 and would have allowed adults over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and five grams of concentrates while establishing a recreational cannabis sales framework. The proposal would have enforced a 14% excise tax on recreational cannabis products and a 4% tax rate on the medical cannabis market. It also included home cultivation provisions and would have allowed residents to grow a maximum of six plants and possess up to 10 ounces of home-grown flower.  Additionally, the original bill would have automatically expunged tens of thousands of arrest and conviction records for low-level cannabis convictions in the state, though that measure was later amended and limited to a single-county pilot program. Advocates criticized the bill for its creation of additional law enforcement protocols. It included provisions to impose THC blood limits for drivers (despite the practical issues with THC metabolites remaining in the body days or even weeks after consumption) and would have created a cannabis enforcement unit within the Department of Law Enforcement, along with eight positions in a drug nuisance abatement unit in the AG’s office.  The legislation also included a provision subjecting those found with loose cannabis, an open package for a cannabis product or a cannabis pipe in a car to up to 30 days in jail. The issue of adult-use cannabis legalization has been divisive among lawmakers in the state House and Senate, but a majority of Hawaii residents appear to support the move according to a recent poll finding that 58% of adult residents in the state are in favor. Even before the Hawaii House Finance Committee made its call, it was already evident that clearing the House was the main hurdle for the legislation.  Gov. Josh Green has already indicated that he would likely sign an adult-use cannabis legalization bill should it hit his desk. “I don’t think the sky would fall, honestly, if marijuana were legalized,” Green said recently in an appearance on Hawaii News Now. “I also have some thoughts that marijuana might blunt the effect, if you will, of people on these heavy drugs, these horrible drugs.” It’s a bit of déjà vu for advocates, as the Senate also passed an adult-use cannabis legalization bill last year only for it to stall in the House. House Speaker Scott K. Saiki (D) cited the “overwhelming testimony and serious concerns” from Hawaii’s law enforcement industry and that lawmakers need more time to consider the impact legalization will have on children, the economy and “overall well-being.” However, the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. David Tarnas (D), is already looking ahead and plans to introduce a revised bill next session, according to Marijuana Moment. “During the interim, I look forward to working with the Attorney General’s office to improve the language of the bill to address issues brought up during the House debate on this bill,” Tarnas told the publication in an email.  He also cited his plans to collect factual information about those public safety and health concerns, including those suggesting that legalization could increase youth use and fatal car crashes (though even Tarnas cited the abundant research affirming that recreational cannabis legalization does not increase youth use or car crashes). “We have lots of work to do on this important matter,” he said. Advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project’s Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies, told Marijuana Moment that this move will “condemn hundreds of Hawai’i residents to traumatic police encounters” while missing the opportunity for millions in additional tax revenue. “While this is a setback, this was also the furthest legalization has ever got in Hawai’i,” O’Keefe said. “Advocates are not giving up until we get legalization past the finish line.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 4, 2024Cannabis News​ The Iowa state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to cap the THC potency of consumable hemp products, sending the measure to the desk of Republican Governor Kim Reynolds for consideration. The legislation, House File 2605, was passed by the Senate by a vote of 31-18 after receiving approval from the Iowa House of Representatives last month. If signed into law by the governor, the measure would amend the Iowa Hemp Act to cap the THC potency of hemp products at 4 milligrams per serving, with a maximum limit of 10 milligrams per package. The legislation also requires warning labels on hemp product packaging and sets a minimum age of 21 to purchase hemp products containing THC. Additionally, the bill adds new restrictions and sanctions related to the manufacturing, possession and sales of consumable hemp products, including penalties for businesses that sell such products without first registering with state regulators. Republican Senator Dan Dawson, the sponsor of House File 2605, said the bill is “desperately needed regulation.” “There has to be some type of guardrails on here,” he said, the Des Moines Register reported on Tuesday. The senator said that the bill is needed to maintain separation between over-the-counter hemp products and those regulated by the medicinal cannabidiol (CBD) program, which was passed by state lawmakers in 2014 to legalize the possession of low-THC CBD products for medicinal purposes. “The Iowa Hemp Act, or the program that we’re talking about here today, needs to be at a milligram usage less than our medical cannabidiol program, otherwise the lines are blurred,” argued Dawson, according to a report from online news source We Are Iowa. “The medical cannabidiol program actually puts an individual with a doctor to get these products, that’s the biggest distinction,” added Dawson, the Capital Dispatch reported on Tuesday. “The Iowa hemp program has none of those barriers there. So if we want to protect Iowans with these products … there has to be some type of guardrails on here, to make sure that the medical cannabidiol program is the program that we can direct Iowans to when they have one of these diagnosed conditions.” During a House debate on the bill last month, Democratic Representative John Forbes told his colleagues that he has concerns the bill will have “unintended consequences” for people who use hemp products outside of the state’s regulated cannabidiol program, including people who are using THC or CBD to help them recover from opioid addiction.  “I think we’re not hitting the nail on the head here, when it comes to being able to help Iowans that are seeking out this as an alternative to maybe taking other prescription medications, and increasing quality of life, helping them,” Forbes said. Forbes also noted that many CBD products come in formulations such as capsules with 2 to 4 milligrams of THC per serving. Under House Bill 2605’s provisions, such products would only be available in packages of two to five capsules, a restriction that many manufacturers would find overly burdensome. If the bill is signed into law, many consumers may find that the hemp products they are accustomed to purchasing may no longer be available in Iowa. “It does have a major impact on, I think, the people here in the state of Iowa that sought out ways to manage their health issues,” Forbes said, according to a report from The Gazette. “A lot of the people that go to these do purchase them because they’ve been on chronic pain medications and they’re trying to reduce that.” “This legislation will make it much more difficult for people in the state of Iowa,” he added. “They’re going to go out and buy this stuff online … they won’t have a business they can go into.” In the upper chamber of the state legislature, Republican Senator Tom Shipley said that when he helped draft the Iowa Hemp Act in 2019, he knew that there were “some nefarious motives behind this,” including some businesses that had plans to sell products that were not covered by the law. “We found out some people could find an angle to get around things and do things that are not good for Iowans,” Shipley said. “And I just want to stand up in support of Senator Dawson’s bill to try and close some of these loopholes that even I could figure out were coming.” In addition to regulating hemp products that are being used by consumers therapeutically, supporters of the legislation said it is needed to help protect those who choose to use hemp recreationally. Dawson said the bill is “desperately needed regulation on this industry, to not only protect industry but also to protect the consumers who might indulge in these products.”  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
April 4, 2024Cannabis News​ At a recent legislative meeting by the Washington, D.C.’s Council of the District of Columbia meeting on April 2, the council unanimously approved the “Medical Cannabis Patient Card Extension 4/20 Medical Cannabis Sales Tax Holiday Week Emergency Amendment Act of 2024,” which addresses three primary changes by amending the DC Official Code Title 7. First, it makes medical cannabis patient and caregiver cards now valid for six years (previously it lasted only two years before requiring renewal). Second, it provides the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) with “emergency closure authority.” This gives the agency power to close unlicensed cannabis retailers and seize “any” cannabis products if it poses a threat to the safety of the public. And finally, it extends the currently existing medical cannabis tax holiday (April 20-24, which was approved in 2022) to now last between April 15 to April 28. According to councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, the measure is essential to the success of the district’s medical cannabis industry. “The popular tax holiday is critical to the district’s effort to attract qualifying patients back to the legal market as well as sustainable and viable medical cannabis program,” McDuffie said. Prior to the measure being passed, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote about pending legislation being considered by the council, urging them to consider the tax holiday extension. “This change will improve patient access to the program and would make the District consistent with Maryland’s six-year medical cannabis patient card,” Bowser wrote. “The bill further supports our local industry by implementing a Medical Cannabis Tax Holiday, which temporarily suspends sales taxes for purchases made at licensed medical cannabis dispensaries.” She added that approving the ABCA’s power to shut down illegal cannabis stores is crucial. “Most importantly, this measure explicitly authorizes the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration to close unlicensed cannabis retail stores,” Bowser explained. “As we saw in the recent tragic murder inside an unlicensed cannabis dispensary, these unlicensed stores pose a direct threat to our communities and we must take strong action to shut down bad actors.” The murder that Bowser referenced includes the death of local rapper, Phil Da Phuture, who was working at a dispensary when a robbery took place. Although he cooperated with the robbers, he was shot, and later died at a nearby hospital. During the meeting, council members said that there are approximately 200 illegal dispensaries operating through Washington, D.C., and only 70 of which have applied for a license. The council also chose to veto a measure that would have changed zoning rules for placing dispensaries near schools, and discussed another measure that seeks to revisit the authority of the ABCA. Currently, dispensaries must be located at least 300 feet away from schools or recreational areas that children frequent, although medical cannabis dispensaries are exempt from this if they stand in an industrial or commercial area. “This emergency legislation would remove that exception and prohibit all medical cannabis retailers from locating within 300 feet of schools or recreation centers,” said councilmember Brooke Pinto, who added that if passed, it would “…allow affected applicants to change their locations without negatively impacting their locations.” Only two dispensaries would be affected by the measure if it was passed, but McDuffie explained his disapproval. “It is tough work to find a location,” McDuffie said, adding that qualifying real estate in Washington, D.C. “…is not readily accessible when it comes to what they are required to use and the restrictions we put on them in terms of where they can locate. So I can’t support this.” Washington D.C. passed an initiative to remove criminal penalties for minor cannabis offenses in July 2014, which was followed by the passage of an initiative to tax and regulate adult-use cannabis in November 2014, which became effective in February 2015. Earlier this year in January, the council passed emergency legislation that cracks down on illegal dispensaries relying on the “gifting” loophole to make sales. “This gap in the law, if not fixed, will render the onramp meaningless, allow unlicensed establishments that do not apply to keep on operating, and significantly harm the good actors that have applied,” said councilmember Charles Allen in a January council meeting. The ABCA can now “issue warnings, fines, and cease-and-desist orders to unlicensed businesses that have not applied to the medical cannabis program,” according to a report from the DCist. Unfortunately, a local illegal dispensary called Kaliiva which had already started its transition from operating illegally to applying for a legal license recently raided earlier last month. Kaliiva was one of the first illegal dispensaries to receive a placard, according to The Outlaw Report, which is the first step toward receiving a license. The DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), as well as the Department of Health, and the DC Licensing and Consumer Protection, have the power to conduct inspections on their own accord, despite what the ABCA has established.  Read More The Latest Marijuana News Today | HighTimes Magazine  [...] Read more...
Cannabis Recipes
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 lbs of potatoes 4 tablespoons cannabutter 4 tablespoons sour cream or plain cream cheese Salt and pepper ¼ to ½ cup of milk or cannamilk for increased potency 2 cloves of garlic minced or 1 tsp of garlic powder Instructions Cut the potatoes in half or quarters to make medium-sized pieces. Place the potatoes in a saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, between 20–30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and remove their skins. Add the cannabutter, garlic and sour cream to the bowl along with a splash of milk (don’t add it all at once.) Mash the contents, adding just a splash of milk each time until you’ve reached the desired consistency. ​ Stir in salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is available for download HERE original recipe from satorimj.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients blender ¼ cup tahini ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed w/o seeds 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 garlic cloves ¼ cup CannaOil ½ cup ground cumin 2 tablespoons water salt and pepper to taste Instructions Combine lemon juice and tahini in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, garlic, Canna Oil, cumin and water. Blend for 1 minute until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency. Pour hummus in a serving bowl, or store in the refrigerator for later. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from eatyourcannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This soup can be enhanced with any of your favorite vegetables. Materials Soup Pot Frying Pan Hand-Blender or Regular blender (optional) Ingredients ​3 cups vegetable stock 1 cup chopped broccoli 1/2 red onion, chopped 2 stalks of celery, chopped 1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream (canna-cream may be substituted or blended with regular cream for increased potency) 2 TBSP olive oil Fresh cilantro (optional) Salt and Pepper to taste ​Canna-Oil (dose-dependent) Directions 1. Heat vegetable stock and broccoli in a large pot Boil for around 6 minutes 2. On another burner, saute garlic, onion and celery in olive oil until soft — about 4 minutes ​​ 3. Take the pan off the heat and add desired dose of canna-oil to vegetables Stir thoroughly and then pour mixture in to the big soup pot Be sure to scrape all material to get the maximum amount of canna-oil 4. Heat for another 6–8 minutes then reduce heat to low and add heavy cream, add salt and pepper to taste ​ 5. Let simmer for 5 minutes, serve hot  ​Garnish with cilantro if desired This recipe is available for download HERE The original recipe is from Royal Queen Seeds [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 4 eggs 1 cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar, packed 1 ¼ cups grapeseed oil ¼ cup canna-oil 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 ¾ cups pure pumpkin puree 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp pumpkin spice 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 1 tbsp orange zest, optional Directions Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a jumbo muffin tin with liners. Place the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, grapeseed oil & canna-oil into a bowl fitted for a stand mixer or use a whisk to thoroughly beat ingredients together. Blend in the pumpkin & vanilla extract. In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Add to the wet ingredients & mix until just blended. Stir in the orange zest (optional). Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups using a muffin scoop, about 3 ounces each. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake for 22–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. ​ Allow to cool, remove from the tins & sprinkle with cinnamon. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 slices of bread Cheese Canna-Butter Optional fillings: tomato, green onion, chicken, tuna Directions 1. Use a knife to coat both pieces of bread with canna-butter Be sure to coat both sides of the bread 2. Bring skillet to medium heat and add a small scoop of canna-butter ​ 3. One the butter has melted, place one slice of bread on the skillet 4. Add as much cheese and fillings as you like, then place the second slice of bread on top 5. Flip the sandwich when the bottom is golden brown, add more butter if needed for the new side 6. When the sandwich looks adequately fried and the cheese is melted to your liking, take it off of the skillet, slice in half, and enjoy! Original recipe from Satori MJ [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients ¼ cup cannabuter, room temperature ½ cup regular butter, room temperature 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup white sugar 2 eggs, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp sea salt 1 cup mini chocolate chips 1 cup mini marshmallows 18 graham crackers Coating chocolate, melted Directions Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream the regular butter, cannabutter, brown sugar & white sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda & salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Add the mini chocolate chips & mini marshmallows. Mix until evenly distributed. Evenly space the graham crackers on the prepared liner. Use a 2 oz scoop to portion the cookies & place in the center of the graham cracker. Bake for 12–15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool. Push all of the baked cookies together & drizzle with coating chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set & enjoy! This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This recipe can be used with your favorite vegetables and breakfast meats Ingredients Base: 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 6 eggs 1 cup of milk (canna-milk may be used for a more potent dish) 1 pie-crust, unbaked Filling: 1/2 cup of canna-butter 1 onion, diced 1 cup broccoli, chopped 1 head of garlic ​ Instructions 1. Melt canna-butter in a pan over medium heat ​ 2. Add vegetables to butter and cook on medium heat for about 5–8 minutes (or until veggies are cooked) Do not let the butter or vegetables burn, to maintain potency of the butter 3. Scoop cooked vegetables into empty pie crust and cover with shredded cheeses 4. Beat eggs and milk together and pour into the pie crust 5. Bake for 35–40 minutes at 360°F Allow quiche to cool 10 minutes before serving This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from cannabis.wiki [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Materials -Medium Sauce-Pan -​Thermometer -Mesh-sieve or cheesecloth Ingredients -​6 grams cannabis flower -1 pound unsalted butter Directions ​ ​1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis and cook, taking care not to let the temperature go over 200°F for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes 4. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve set over a bowl. Press carefully with a spoon to extract as much oil as possible ​The milk will keep for up to 6 weeks if covered and refrigerated. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 1 package of Instant Ramen Vegetable or Beef broth (use the amount listed on the package for water) Frozen vegetable medley One egg or tofu Dried seaweed (to garnish) Sesame Seeds (to garnish) Cannabis Tincture Directions 1. Follow the instructions on the ramen package, but swap the water out for broth 2. Add the frozen veggies when broth gets hot 3. Crack an egg in the hot broth and stir for a few minutes You can also use a hard-boiled egg or chopped tofu ​ 4. Add as much cannabis tincture that you want. If you are unsure, start with 1–2 drops 5. Top soup with dried seaweed and sesame seeds Original recipe from Satori MJ [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2/3 cup Cannabis oil (coconut or olive oil will work) 4 large potatoes peeled 3 tbsp salt Instructions Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your peeled potatoes into strips (cut them into fries!) and spread them evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cannabis-infused oil over them and season with salt. Try to coat each fry relatively evenly with the oil so that there is a consistent potency. Cook the fries until they are golden brown. Around 15–20 minutes. Allow the fires to cool down, around 5 minutes. Divide the fries into equal proportions and serve. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from thecannaschool.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 1 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 cup canna-milk 1 lb ground beef 1/2 lb ground pork 1/2 lb Italian sausage, casing removed 1 small onion, finely diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup grated parmesean cheese 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 large eggs, beaten 2 Tbsp canna-oil 1 (32oz) jar marinara sauce Instructions 1. In a small bowl, stir bread crumbs with canna-milk until evenly combined. Let sit 15 minutes, or while you prep other ingredients. 2. In a large bowl, use your hands to combine beef, pork, sausage, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then gently stir in breadcrumb mixture, eggs, Parmesan, and parsley until just combined. Form mixture into 1” balls. 3. In a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Working in batches, sear meatballs on all sides to develop a crust. Set meatballs aside, reduce heat to medium-low, and add sauce to skillet. Bring sauce to a simmer then immediately add meatballs back to skillet. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes more original recipe from eatyourcannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients Cupcakes: 2 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1 Tbsp baking powder 1/4 Tsp salt 1 cup milk 2 eggs 1/4 cup canna-oil (vegetable is best) 1/4 vegetable oil 2 Tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles Frosting: 1 cup sugar 1 cup egg whites 1lb butter, salted, room temperature 1 Tsp vanilla extract ​ Directions ​Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk all of the liquid ingredients together until blended. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients & mix until there are no large lumps. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the rainbow sprinkles until just blended. ​ Use a 2-ounce portion scoop & fill each cupcake liner with one scoop. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit before removing them from the pan. Frosting: Put 2 inches of water into a medium-size pot, & bring to a boil. Place the sugar & egg whites into a small stainless bowl that will sit on top of the pot of boiling water, or use a double boiler system. DO NOT allow the bowl with the egg white mixture to directly touch the boiling water or the egg whites will cook very quickly. Whisk constantly until temperature reaches 140°F/60°C or until the sugar has completely dissolved & the egg whites are hot to the touch. DO NOT leave unattended or you will have a sweet egg white scramble! Use a hand mixer or pour the egg white mixture into a bowl that is fitted for a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, begin to whip until the meringue is thick & glossy, about 10 minutes on medium-high. Place the mixer on low speed, add the cubes of butter, a couple at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing & it will become smooth. If the buttercream is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing. Add the vanilla & continue to beat on low speed until well combined. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, place a large star tip into a piping bag & fill with the buttercream. Pipe a rosette onto each cupcake & add the sprinkles on top. Serve immediately, the same day or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Cannabis infused sugar offers a simple way to enhance your baked goods or beverages. Materials Mason Jar ​Cheesecloth Baking Sheet 9in x 13in Baking Pan Ingredients -3 grams of cannabis flower -1/2 cup of high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear -1/2 cup granulated sugar Directions 1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Transfer the cannabis to a jar and cover with the alcohol. Screw the lid on tight and shake every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. 3. Strain through a cheesecloth set over a bowl, discarding solids. Mix the strained alcohol with the sugar and spread into an even layer in a glass 9-by-13-inch baking dish. ​ 4. Bake at 200°F, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has evaporated and the sugar is lightly golden. This recipe is available for download HERE The original recipe is from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 4 Pork chops Salt and pepper 1 Tbsp minced rosemary 2 Cloves minced garlic 1/2 Cup canna-butter 1 Tbps canna-oil Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Season pork chops with salt and pepper 2. In a small bowl, combine canna-butter with rosemary and garlic. Set aside 3. In an oven-safe skillet over medium heat, heat canna-oil and add pork chops. Sear until golden, about 4 minutes, flip and cook for another 4 minutes. 4. Brush pork-chops generously with the garlic canna-butter mixture and place skillet in the oven to bake for 10–12 minutes. Serve with more garlic butter. ​If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, you may use a regular one and transfer to a baking dish. Be sure to collect all the oil from the pan when transferring. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Eat Your Cannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Materials -Medium Sauce-Pan -​Thermometer -Mesh-sieve or cheesecloth Ingredients -​6 grams cannabis flower -2 cups oil (olive, coconut, canola or vegetable oil) Directions ​ ​1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis and cook, taking care not to let the temperature go over 200°F for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes 4. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve set over a bowl. Press carefully with a spoon to extract as much oil as possible ​The oil will keep for up to 6 weeks if covered and refrigerated. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This recipe may be used with heavy cream or whole milk. Materials -Medium Sauce-Pan -​Thermometer -Mesh-sieve or cheesecloth Ingredients ​6 grams cannabis flower 2 cups whole milk or heavy cream ​ Directions ​ ​1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Heat the milk or heavy cream, in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarboxylated cannabis and cook, taking care not to let the temperature go over 200°F for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes 4. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve set over a bowl. Press carefully with a spoon to extract as much oil as possible ​The milk will keep for up to 6 weeks if covered and refrigerated. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 3 Tbsp mayonnaise 2 Tsp Dijon mustard 1/2 Tsp salt 1/2 Tsp pepper 2 Eggs, lightly beaten 1lb Lump crab meat 2 Tbps finely chopped parsley 3 Tbsp canna-butter Instructions 1. Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and eggs. Then gently stir in crab meat, panko and parsley. 2. Shape mixture in to 12 (3-inch) patties, pressing gently to flatten. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1hr. 3. Melt half the canna-butter in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 6 patties to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining half of canna-butter and remaining 6 patties. The recipe is available for download HERE original recipe from eat your cannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (you may substitute some pitted cherries too!) 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup white sugar (you may add canna-sugar for increased potency) 1/4 tsp cinnamon 2 Tbsp canna-butter, cut into small pieces (you may substitute canna-coconut oil) 2x pie crust recipe or store bought Directions Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream the regular butter, cannabutter, brown sugar & white sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda & salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Add the mini chocolate chips & mini marshmallows. Mix until evenly distributed. Evenly space the graham crackers on the prepared liner. Use a 2 oz scoop to portion the cookies & place in the center of the graham cracker. Bake for 12–15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool. Push all of the baked cookies together & drizzle with coating chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set & enjoy! This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 4 Tbsp sugar (canna-sugar may be substituted to increase potency) 1 Tbsp baking powder ½ Tsp salt 2 large eggs 1 ½ cups whole milk (canna-milk may be substituted to increase potency) ¾ cup canna-butter, melted ​1 teaspoon vanilla extract Instructions 1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder 2. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients: beat the eggs with the milk, then add the vanilla extract 3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined ​Do not over-mix, batter will be thick and slightly lumpy 4. Bake in a preheated waffle-iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown This recipe is available for download HERE! Original recipe from allrecipes.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 4 quarts popped popcorn 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup light 1/2 cup cannabis butter 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp baking soda Instructions Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray and add popcorn. In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, corn syrup, cannabis butter, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; mix well. Pour syrup over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. ​ Enjoy! Keep refrigerated for extended shelf life. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from thecannaschool.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023This recipe can be used with your favorite vegetables and breakfast meats Ingredients Base: 4 large eggs salt and pepper (to tasste) 1 tbsp butter (canna-butter may be used to increase potency) 1/2 cup canna-milk Filling: 2 tbsp diced green pepper 2 tbsp diced green onion 2 tbsp ham or meat of your choice 1/4 cup shredded cheese ​ Instructions 1. Beat eggs in a bowl with a whisk. 2. Add canna-milk and season with salt and pepper 3. Add any vegetables and/or meat fillings to the eggs and whisk for a few minutes until egg mixture if foamy — beating in air makes the omelette fluffy​ 4. Melt butter in a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in egg mixture and twirl skillet so the bottom is evenly covered in egg. 5. Cook until egg starts to set. Lift the edges with a spatula and tilt the skillet so uncooked egg mixture can run towards the bottom of the skillet to set Repeat until no visible liquid egg remains 6. Carefully flip omelette and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute 7. Sprinkle cheese in one line in the middle of the omelette and fold it in half, cook another 20 seconds them slide the omelette on to the plate This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from the Canna School [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Servings: 12 Ingredients 1 cup soybean oil ½ ounce ganja shake 2 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon white vinegar ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ​Directions In a double boiler, combine the oil and ganja. Heat over low until the ganja smell is pronounced but not nutty or burnt. (The oil should have an earthy green tint to it.) Let cool. Remove and strain the herb, squeezing the weed in a metal strainer against the mesh with the back of a spoon to wring out every drop of oil. Make sure that all your ingredients have been brought to room temperature — this is crucial! ​In a small metal bowl, use an immersion blender or whisk to thoroughly blend the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and mustard. This can also be done in a food processor or blender. ​Using a ½ teaspoon measure, very slowly add the infused oil to the small metal bowl, a few drops at a time, while constantly blending on low or whisking until the mayo is thick and starting to form ribbons. (If it’s too thick, you can add room-temperature water in tiny increments.) If your mixture “breaks,” it can be repaired by whisking some more room-temperature egg yolks in a separate bowl, then slowly whisking those yolks into the “broken” mayo mixture. If that doesn’t do it, add a few drops of hot water. ​Cover and chill; it’ll keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Original recipe from: Boudreaux, Ashley. The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook. Red Eyed Deviled Eggs. https://saltonverde.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/10-High_Times_Cannabis_Cookbook.pdf [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 1 can whole peeled tomatoes 28 oz. 1 jar roasted red peppers 12 oz. 4 large eggs ½ cup plain Greek yogurt ¼ cup CannaOil plus more for drizzling 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 6 garlic cloves divided 2 medium shallots divided Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Mint leaves and crusty bread for serving Crush coriander and cumin seeds, pressing down firmly with even pressure. Transfer seeds to a small heatproof bowl. Slice 2 garlic cloves as thinly and evenly as you can; add to bowl with seeds. Finely chop the remaining 4 garlic cloves. Cut half of 1 shallot into thin rounds and then add to the same bowl with seeds and garlic. Chop remaining shallots. Open a jar of red peppers and pour off any liquid. Remove peppers and coarsely chop. Combine ¼ cup oil and seed/garlic/shallot mix in the skillet you used for crushing seeds. Heat over medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until seeds are sizzling and fragrant and garlic and shallots are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Place a strainer over the same heatproof bowl and pour in the contents of the skillet, making sure to scrape in seeds and other solids. Do this quickly before garlic or shallots start to burn. Reserve oil. Spread out seed mixture across paper towels to cool. Season with salt and pepper. Return strained CannaOil to skillet and heat over medium. Add remaining chopped garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often, until shallot is translucent and starting to turn brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Add chopped peppers to the skillet and stir to incorporate. Using your hands, lift whole peeled tomatoes out of the can, leaving behind tomato liquid, and crush up with your hands as you add to the skillet. Discard leftover liquid. Season with more salt and pepper. Cook shakshuka, stirring often, until thickened and no longer runs together when a spoon is dragged through, 10–12 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Using the back of a wooden spoon, create four 2″-wide nests in tomato sauce. Working one at a time, carefully crack an egg into each nest. Cover skillet and cook, simmering very gently and reducing heat if necessary, until whites of eggs are set while yolks are still jammy, 7–10 minutes. Uncover skillet and remove from heat. Season tops of eggs with salt and pepper. Top shakshuka with dollops of yogurt, sprinkle with seed mixture, then drizzle with more olive oil. Finish by scattering mint leaves over top. ​ Serve pita or crusty bread alongside. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from eat your cannabis.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients -1.5 cups all-purpose flour -1 Tbsp sugar (canna-sugar may be substituted to increase potency) -1 Tbsp baking powder -1 Tsp salt -1 large egg -1.25 cups whole milk (canna-milk may be substituted to increase potency) -3 Tbsp of melted canna-butter or oil -​1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) Instructions 1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients 2. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients 3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined ​Do not over-mix, batter will be thick and slightly lumpy 4. Heat a large frying pan with with a small amount of butter or oil 5. Pour 1 cup of batter in the center of the pan. Fry 2–3 minutes before flipping 6. Fry an additional 3–5 minutes or until pancake reaches your preferred doneness and remove from pan 7. Garnish with your favorite toppings; powdered sugar, syrup, butter, chocolate chips or whatever you might enjoy! Original recipe from cannabis wiki [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 2 cups shredded green cabbage 1 Tbsp lime juice 1/2 Tsp salt 3 Tbsp cilantro 1/4 cup canna-oil 1 tomato, diced 1/2 cup salsa 1/2 onion, diced 1 jalapeno, diced 1 avocado, sliced Meat of choice (fish or a ground meat like beef or turkey) 4 corn tortillas Directions 1. Cook choice of meat with fajita seasoning in frying pan, set aside 2. In a large bowl, mix shredded cabbage, line juice, salt and cilantro 3. In a separate bowl, mix canna-oil with tomato, onion, jalapeno and salsa 4. Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm 5. Fill each tortilla with meat, cabbage mixture, cannabis salsa mixture and diced avocado ​Serve with lime wedge The recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from Eat Your Cannabis [...] Read more...