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

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Welcome to CED Clinic, where we’ve created a warm and professional space for you to comfortably discuss the benefits of medical cannabis with the industry’s experts.

Welcome! If you’re seeking:

1) Personal care from a board-certified Family Physician,
2) A genuine, lasting doctor-patient relationship,
3) Expertise from the author of “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook,” launched by Random House with Ben Bella Books….

You’ve found the right place.

Our Services

  • Expert Medical Cannabis Consultations Available Globally via Telemedicine
    • Medical Card Certifications (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine)
    • Adult Cannabis Care
    • Pediatric Cannabis Care
  • In-Depth Consultations & Care Plans
    • Personalized Services
    • Medical Second Opinions
    • Talk Therapy
    • Advice, Support, and Cost-Savings Tips!

Our Mission

  • To Heal
  • To Educate
  • To Listen
  • To Learn and Understand

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

Genuine care and great medical advice

Dr. Caplan’s genuine care and commitment are evident in every interaction. At CED Clinic, I received more than just medical advice; I gained a trusted advisor in my health journey. His use of personalized treatment plans and educational resources helped me understand and manage my condition better than ever before.
– Michael T.

Michael T

Awesome experience!

I never felt like just another patient at CED Clinic; Dr. Caplan made sure of that. His thorough understanding of my health needs, paired with his deep knowledge of cannabis therapy, provided a tailored experience that truly catered to my well-being. Every visit felt like a step forward in my journey dealing with sleeplessness, stress, and PTSD.
– Denise H.

 

Denise H

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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May 17, 2024Cannabis and Sexuality: 4 Key Benefits for Intimacy The interplay between cannabis and partner intimacy (sexuality as well as deep, non-sexual relationship connection) is an area of consistent interest and research. As societal acceptance of cannabis increases (with this week’s announcement by the DOJ that cannabis will be rescheduled from CSA Schedule 3 to Schedule 1)  and its therapeutic potential becomes more widely recognized, understanding its effects on sexual health and intimacy has garnered significant attention. This relevance spans across diverse groups, each benefiting uniquely from cannabis’s role in enhancing sexual experiences. For couples seeking to deepen their connection, cannabis can introduce new dimensions of intimacy, fostering shared experiences that strengthen bonds. Individuals dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression might find that cannabis helps alleviate these barriers, allowing them to relax and engage more fully with their partner. Those exploring their own sexual health can use cannabis to better understand and enjoy their bodies, enhancing both solo and partnered experiences. Additionally, the therapeutic potential of cannabis extends to those with specific medical conditions affecting sexual function. Patients undergoing cancer treatment or those with chronic pain may find that cannabis eases physical discomfort and improves overall quality of life, including sexual health. Whether through various strains, consumption methods, or products like infused lubricants, cannabis can be tailored to suit different needs. This article will explore how cannabis can influence sexuality, offering insights into its benefits and applications for a wide range of individuals, promising a more satisfying and enriched experience. Category Benefits For Relationships – Enhances shared experiences and intimacy – Fosters better communication and emotional connection – Reduces stress and anxiety, creating a more relaxed atmosphere – Encourages exploration and playfulness in the bedroom For Partner Sexuality – Increases overall arousal and sexual desire – Enhances sensitivity and pleasure during sexual activities – Improves relaxation and comfort, reducing performance anxiety – Promotes deeper emotional and physical connection For Men Specifically – Can increase testosterone levels, boosting libido – May improve erectile function by enhancing blood flow – Reduces anxiety and stress, which can positively impact sexual performance – Can help manage premature ejaculation by promoting relaxation For Women Specifically – Can alleviate pain and discomfort during sex, enhancing pleasure – May increase lubrication and reduce dryness – Can boost arousal and desire, especially for those with low libido – Promotes relaxation, helping to ease anxiety related to sexual performance or body image issues 1. Cannabinoids as Relaxation Agents Cannabinoids, the active compounds found in cannabis, are known for their relaxing properties, which can play a crucial role in enhancing sexual experiences. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common inhibitors of sexual desire and performance. By alleviating these mental health issues, cannabinoids can help individuals achieve a more balanced and neutral mood, which can be conducive to increased libido. Combating Stress and Anxiety Cannabis has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress, which are often significant barriers to sexual intimacy. For many people, the pressures of a demanding workday can dampen sexual desire. Cannabinoids can provide a sense of calm and relaxation, helping to mitigate these negative feelings and create a more favorable mental state for sexual activity. Enhancing Mood In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, cannabis can elevate mood, making individuals more receptive to sexual advances. This mood enhancement is particularly beneficial for those who struggle with depression, as it can help them feel more connected and engaged with their partner. 2. Topical Cannabinoids in Sexual Lubricants The use of topical cannabinoids in sexual lubricants is an innovative approach that is gaining popularity. These products can enhance sexual pleasure by providing localized effects, such as increased sensitivity and relaxation of the muscles. Experimentation and Playfulness Cannabis-infused lubricants can add an element of playfulness to the bedroom. The unique sensations they provide can enhance intimacy and create a more enjoyable sexual experience. Experimentation with these products can help couples discover new ways to connect and enjoy each other’s company. Increasing Sensitivity Topical cannabinoids can increase blood flow and sensitivity in the genital area, leading to more intense and pleasurable sensations. This increased sensitivity can make sexual activities more enjoyable and satisfying for both partners. 3. Energizing Products and Sexual Stimulation Certain cannabis strains are known for their energizing effects, which can be beneficial for sexual activity. These strains can increase overall arousal and stimulate sexual energy. Although the discover process for what compounds within those strains brings on those sensations is still just beyond reach – the cultural rumor mill does serve some good to share these benefits! Blood Flow and Stimulation Energizing cannabis strains can increase blood flow throughout the body, including to the genital area. This heightened circulation can enhance arousal and improve sexual performance. The stimulation provided by these strains can be compared to the excitement and adrenaline of a night of dancing or other physical activities. Heightening Interest The stimulating effects of certain cannabis strains can heighten sexual interest and desire. By increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue, these strains can make individuals more eager and willing to engage in sexual activities. 4. Shared Experiences and Relationship Closeness Cannabis can foster shared experiences that strengthen relationships and enhance intimacy. Whether through the pleasurable effects of the plant or the novelty of trying something new together, cannabis can play a significant role in bringing couples closer. Sensory Menagerie Cannabis offers a wide range of sensory experiences, from heightened taste and smell to enhanced tactile sensations. These sensory experiences can be particularly enjoyable during sexual activity, helping to create memorable and pleasurable moments for couples. Strengthening Bonds Shared experiences with cannabis can help couples build stronger bonds. By exploring the effects of cannabis together, couples can develop a deeper understanding of each other’s preferences and desires. This increased understanding can lead to greater intimacy and a more fulfilling sexual relationship. One of the most surprising benefits of cannabis, for many couples, is learning that they can strengthen their relationship by sharing the experience of cannabis together.  Just like a trip to a new place, the shared pleasure of new activities, the experience of new internal sensations, shared between partners, can do wonders to help strengthen the ties between! The Science Behind Cannabis and Sexual Desire Research into the relationship between cannabis and sexual desire is ongoing, and the findings thus far are promising. The endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating various physiological processes, plays a key role in sexual motivation and behavior. Endocannabinoids and Sexual Motivation Studies have shown that endocannabinoids, the body’s natural cannabinoids, are involved in sexual motivation processes. For example, blocking CB1 receptors, which are part of the endocannabinoid system, can release sexual motivation from inhibitory control. This suggests that cannabinoids can modulate sexual desire by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Hormonal and Neurotransmitter Effects Cannabinoids can influence the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that are involved in sexual desire and behavior. For instance, they can affect the release of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in sexual arousal and orgasm. Additionally, cannabinoids can interact with other neurotransmitter systems, such as serotonin and dopamine, further influencing sexual desire and behavior. The Potential Benefits of Cannabis-Infused Lubricants Cannabis-infused lubricants are marketed as products that can enhance sexual pleasure and comfort. While the science is still evolving, there is evidence to suggest that these products can offer several benefits. Relaxation and Muscle Soothing Cannabis-infused lubricants can have a relaxing effect on muscles, which can be beneficial during sexual activity. This relaxation can help reduce discomfort and increase pleasure, making sexual experiences more enjoyable. Enhanced Sensations These lubricants can also enhance sensations in the genital area, making sexual activities more pleasurable. By increasing blood flow and sensitivity, cannabis-infused lubricants can intensify the sensations experienced during sex. Increased Blood Flow Cannabinoids in lubricants can promote increased blood flow to the genital area, which can enhance arousal and improve sexual performance. This increased blood flow can lead to stronger and more satisfying sexual experiences. The Future of Cannabis and Sexual Health The relationship between cannabis and sexual health is an exciting area of research with significant potential for growth. As more studies are conducted and new products are developed, we can expect to see further advancements in this field. Emerging Products and Innovations In regions where medical cannabis is more established, such as California and Colorado, there are already numerous companies producing products that claim to have sexual effects. On the East Coast, several startups are working on developing cannabis products that support sexual health. These companies are exploring various formulations and delivery methods to enhance sexual pleasure and intimacy. Ongoing Research Ongoing research into the effects of cannabis on sexual health is crucial for understanding its full potential. Studies are being conducted to explore the various ways in which cannabinoids can influence sexual desire, arousal, and performance. As the body of evidence grows, we can expect to see more targeted and effective cannabis products for sexual health. Cultural and Social Implications The cultural and social implications of cannabis and sexual health are also significant. As societal attitudes towards cannabis continue to evolve, the acceptance and use of cannabis for sexual health are likely to increase. This shift could lead to greater openness and exploration of sexual health and intimacy, ultimately benefiting individuals and couples alike. Concluding Thoughts Cannabis has the potential to positively impact sexual health and intimacy in various ways, making it relevant for a wide variety of readers from different backgrounds. Whether you’re an individual looking to improve your sexual health, a couple seeking to enhance intimacy, or someone facing specific sexual health challenges, cannabis offers versatile benefits. Cannabis and sexuality need not be a taboo topic! For many, the relaxing effects of cannabis can be transformative. Stress and anxiety are common barriers to a fulfilling sex life, and cannabis can help mitigate these feelings, creating a more relaxed and comfortable environment. This can be particularly beneficial for people with demanding jobs, busy lifestyles, or those who struggle with mental health issues. By promoting relaxation and reducing inhibitions, cannabis can help individuals and couples feel more at ease, thereby enhancing their sexual experiences. Topical cannabis products, such as infused lubricants, can also enhance sensations and pleasure during sexual activities. These products can be used to explore new sensations and add a playful element to intimacy, making them appealing to those who enjoy experimenting and discovering new ways to connect with their partners. For individuals dealing with physical discomfort or pain during sex, these products can provide relief and make sexual activities more enjoyable. Cannabis can also foster a deeper emotional and physical connection between partners. Shared experiences, whether through the act of consuming cannabis together or enjoying its effects, can strengthen bonds and improve communication. This is especially relevant for couples looking to rekindle their connection or those who want to explore new dimensions of their relationship. Additionally, cannabis has specific benefits for men and women. For men, cannabis can help reduce performance anxiety, improve erectile function, and manage issues like premature ejaculation. For women, it can alleviate pain and discomfort during sex, increase arousal, and improve lubrication. These benefits can be particularly significant for individuals dealing with medical conditions that affect their sexual health. As research continues and new cannabis products are developed, the relationship between cannabis and sexuality will likely become even more prominent. By understanding and exploring this relationship, individuals and couples from all walks of life can discover new ways to enhance their sexual health and intimacy. This exploration can lead to more fulfilling and enjoyable relationships, regardless of one’s background or personal circumstances. In conclusion, the versatile benefits of cannabis make it a valuable tool for enhancing sexual health and intimacy. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, pain relief, or new sensations, cannabis offers a range of options that can cater to a multitude of needs and preferences. By embracing the potential of cannabis, individuals and couples can enhance their sexual experiences and build stronger, more intimate relationships. More Reading? For those who may not know, the CED Library houses the world’s largest library of free cannabis publications. Built into a private Google Drive, anyone who wants can search for papers, and even search WITHIN and across many papers, for topics of interest. For further reading on this topic, check out these 150+ published  comprehensive reviews on health and cannabis and sexuality. and in particular this folder on female hormones and cannabis Free CED Cannabis Research Library For more cannabis reading in general, see the full CED Clinic Library:  bit.ly/CEDarchive The CED Library contains 500GB of free published papers! ….and for just the new additions in 2024, bit.ly/CEDarchive24 Snippet from “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook“ Page 233: Antidepressants and Sexual Function “Sex hormones are governed by a cascade system that starts in the brain. In a series of sequential steps that feed one on the other, this cascade ultimately leads to the production of local hormones in the ovaries or testes. But when you medically adjust the chemistry at the top of the cascade, it will change the hormone production of the entire system. That’s why some people who are taking antidepressants may feel less depressed, but with fewer hormones available, they may also develop symptoms of sex hormone imbalance, such as weight gain or acne, or find that they are less interested in having sex and/or have difficulty achieving an orgasm. For many, cannabinoids provide a different, more appealing alternative to anti- depressants, alleviating the heaviness of depression without affecting the hormone cascade manifestations that they don’t want. If you remain on the antidepressants, cannabis can help reverse the hormonal and sexual side effects. If you can get off antidepressants using cannabis as a bridge, your normal level of sexual interest will return. And if you opt to replace antidepressants with a regular cannabis regimen, your sexual interest may be greater, and more enjoyable, than it was before.” CED Clinic Blog Links Explore more on cannabis and its health benefits across other CED Clinic Blogs: 5 Ways Cannabidiol Alzheimer’s Treatment Benefits Brain Health 7 Insights from a New Study on Cannabis Oil for Chronic Pain 5 Transformative Effects of Cannabis Rescheduling: Medical Insight Cannabis Mental Health Insights: Navigating Through the Haze 5 Key Insights: Cannabis and Cardiovascular Health 2024 Unveiled [...] Read more...
May 16, 2024Cannabis Use in Pregnancy: 10-Year Study Findings Cannabis use during pregnancy is a topic that often invokes strong opinions, fierce emotions and societal biases on both sides of the discussion. Some in the “pro-cannabis” camp either have an impression that cannabis can do no harm at all, or that the potential benefits far outweigh the potential benefits. On the other side of the debate, the “anti-cannabis”  camp often paints a doomsday perspective that cannabis is harmful in any amounts, and in all circumstances.   Pro-Cannabis Camp Anti-Cannabis Camp Perceived Benefits Health Risks – Symptom Relief: Many women report significant relief from pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, and pain. – Potential Harm to Fetus: Studies have linked cannabis use during pregnancy to adverse outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues. – Natural Remedy: Cannabis is viewed as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals, potentially with fewer side effects. – Neurological Impact: Concerns about the potential impact on fetal brain development and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. – Historical Use: Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, suggesting a long history of perceived safety and efficacy. Insufficient Safety Data Mistrust in Conventional Medicine – Lack of Robust Research: Critics argue that there is insufficient high-quality research to guarantee the safety of cannabis use during pregnancy. – Negative Experiences: Some women have had adverse reactions to prescribed medications or feel that their concerns were dismissed by healthcare providers. – Precautionary Principle: Given the potential risks, it is argued that cannabis should be avoided during pregnancy until more conclusive evidence is available. – Autonomy and Choice: Advocates argue that women should have the right to choose their form of treatment based on their personal experiences and beliefs. Public Health Messaging Lack of Conclusive Evidence – Consistency with Guidelines: Most health organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, advise against cannabis use during pregnancy. – Inconclusive Studies: Some studies on cannabis use during pregnancy have limitations and do not conclusively prove harm. – Avoidance of Mixed Messages: Consistent messaging is crucial to prevent misunderstandings about the safety and risks of cannabis use. – Potential Bias: There is a belief that some research is biased against cannabis due to historical stigmatization and legal issues. Potential for Dependence Mental Health – Substance Use Disorders: There is a risk of developing a dependence on cannabis, which could complicate pregnancy and postpartum recovery. – Self-Medication: Some women use cannabis to manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, which could otherwise worsen during pregnancy. – Gateway Theory: Some believe that cannabis use can lead to the use of other, more harmful substances, although this theory is debated. Legal and Ethical Considerations – Child Protection Concerns: Continued use of cannabis during pregnancy may trigger involvement from child protection services. – Ethical Duty of Care: Healthcare providers have an ethical obligation to recommend treatments that are evidence-based and proven safe for both mother and child.   The  study presented here,  “Predictors for Cannabis Cesssation During Pregnanc y: A Ten-Year Cohort Study,” published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, takes a tour through this intensely complex issue by exploring the factors that influence cannabis discontinuation during pregnancy and its impact on neonatal outcomes. What is the Study All About This study took place over ten years at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain. It involved 142 pregnant women who either reported using cannabis or tested positive for THC. The researchers aimed to find out what factors helped women quit cannabis during pregnancy and how stopping cannabis use impacted their newborns. They looked at things like the women’s backgrounds, pregnancy details, and mental health support. Key Findings Cannabis Discontinuation Rates: About 24.6% of the women stopped using cannabis during pregnancy. Women who were identified as cannabis users during their pregnancy were much more likely to quit than those identified at the time of birth. Predictive Factors for Discontinuation: First-Time Mothers: Women who were pregnant for the first time were more likely to stop using cannabis. Early Detection and Mental Health Support: Women who were identified as cannabis users early in their pregnancy and received mental health support were much more likely to quit. Mental Health Interventions: Counseling and support from mental health professionals played a significant role in helping women stop using cannabis. Neonatal Outcomes: Babies born to mothers who quit cannabis had better outcomes, including lower rates of preterm birth, higher birth weights, and fewer admissions to intensive care units. What Does This All Really Mean? A Discussion: These findings highlight how important early detection and mental health support are in helping pregnant women stop using cannabis. But they also raise questions about our societal attitudes towards cannabis use, especially during pregnancy. Reconsidering Implicit Bias As noted above, many in society view any cannabis consumption negatively, especially during pregnancy. This study encourages those who prefer independent, critical thinking to reconsider and examine these biases by considering WHY pregnant women might use cannabis in the first place: Perceived Benefits: Many women use cannabis to manage pregnancy-related symptoms like nausea, anxiety, and pain. They believe it helps and doesn’t harm the fetus, and sometimes see it as safer than traditional medications. Mistrust in Traditional Healthcare: Some women prefer cannabis over pharmaceuticals due to negative past experiences with the healthcare system or concerns about the safety of prescribed medications. Perceived Benefits Mistrust in Traditional Healthcare Symptom Relief: Cannabis helps manage nausea, anxiety, and pain related to pregnancy. Negative Past Experiences: Some women have had adverse reactions or ineffective outcomes from prescribed medications. Appetite Stimulation: Useful for those experiencing severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum. Concerns About Medication Safety: Fear of potential side effects or long-term impacts on the fetus. Sleep Aid: Improves sleep quality, especially for those dealing with insomnia or restless sleep. Perceived Lack of Understanding: Feeling that healthcare providers do not fully understand or acknowledge the benefits of cannabis. Mood Regulation: Helps stabilize mood and reduce feelings of stress and depression. Cultural or Historical Use: Preference for cannabis due to its historical medicinal use in some cultures. Alternative to Pharmaceuticals: Seen as a more natural remedy with potentially fewer side effects. Autonomy and Empowerment: Using cannabis as a way to take control of health and make autonomous treatment decisions. Lower Perceived Risk: Belief that cannabis poses less risk to the fetus compared to certain prescription drugs. Stigma and Judgment: Fear of judgment or stigma from healthcare providers for their choices. Pain Management: Alleviates chronic pain or discomfort related to pregnancy, such as back pain and joint pain. Lack of Personalized Care: Experiences of receiving generic or impersonal care in the traditional healthcare system. Reduction of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension: Belief that cannabis can help manage high blood pressure caused by pregnancy. Skepticism of Pharmaceutical Industry: Distrust in the motives and practices of pharmaceutical companies. Holistic Approach: Fits into a broader lifestyle of using natural and plant-based treatments. Inadequate Pain Management: Traditional healthcare providers may inadequately address pain management needs. Control Over Dosage and Consumption: More control over dosage and form of consumption compared to standardized pharmaceuticals. Community and Peer Influence: Recommendations and positive experiences from friends or community members. What If ….     Cannabis Use Was Banned?  (Thought experiment) If cannabis use were forcibly prohibited, what would happen to these women? Let’s consider what the “alternative might be, and suggest a few potential outcomes: Increased Suffering: These women have chosen cannabis of their own free will. With the available information, seeing and hearing from the doctors that they see, and learning from the media and friend groups that they have. So… without cannabis, women who rely on it for symptom relief might experience more discomfort and distress, no? Forced Medication: If they are “really” ill, should these women be forced (either directly or indirectly) to take medications they don’t want to?   Does this not raise ethical concerns about their right to choose their own treatment? Risk of Stigma and Judgment: Pregnant women using cannabis face significant stigma and shaming already – wouldn’t we expect this to turn them away from cannabis? If they are shamed for consuming cannabis, as they are today – are we not worried that they will be discouraged from seeking prenatal care or disclosing their substance use?  Do we not want everyone to be open and honest with their healthcare providers?! The Role of Healthcare Providers Healthcare providers have a crucial role in addressing cannabis use during pregnancy. Instead of imposing blanket bans or judgments, they should: Provide Non-Judgmental Support: Have open, empathetic conversations with pregnant women about their cannabis use, understand their reasons, and provide evidence-based information about the risks. Promote Informed Decision-Making: Give women accurate information so they can make informed choices about their health and their baby’s health. Offer Alternatives: Suggest alternative treatments that might offer similar benefits without the potential risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy. Healthcare Provider Actions Description Provide Non-Judgmental Support Have open, empathetic conversations with pregnant women about their cannabis use. Understand their reasons and provide evidence-based information about the risks. Promote Informed Decision-Making Give women accurate, comprehensive information so they can make informed choices about their health and their baby’s health. Offer Alternatives Suggest alternative treatments that might offer similar benefits without the potential risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy. Create a Safe Environment for Discussion Ensure women feel comfortable discussing their cannabis use without fear of judgment or repercussions. Continuous Monitoring and Follow-Up Regularly check in with patients to monitor their health, cannabis use, and overall well-being throughout the pregnancy. Collaborate with Mental Health Professionals Work closely with mental health specialists to provide comprehensive care and support for women who use cannabis to manage anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. Educate About Legal and Social Implications Inform women about the legal and social implications of cannabis use during pregnancy, including potential child protection issues. Provide Personalized Care Plans Develop individualized care plans that consider each woman’s unique circumstances, preferences, and medical history. Advocate for Research and Education Support and advocate for more research into the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy and better education for healthcare providers. Integrate Multidisciplinary Approaches Utilize a team approach, including obstetricians, mental health professionals, social workers, and other specialists to provide holistic care. Respect Patient Autonomy Respect women’s autonomy and their right to make informed choices about their healthcare, providing support rather than coercion. Stay Updated on Emerging Evidence Keep abreast of the latest research and guidelines regarding cannabis use in pregnancy to provide the most up-to-date advice. Facilitate Access to Support Groups Connect women with support groups or peer networks for those who use cannabis or are considering cessation during pregnancy. Utilize Motivational Interviewing Techniques Employ motivational interviewing techniques to help women explore their cannabis use and consider the benefits of cessation. Provide Resources for Education and Support Offer educational materials and resources that women can access to learn more about cannabis use and pregnancy. My Summary Thoughts The study “Predictors for Cannabis Cessation During Pregnancy: A 10-Year Cohort Study” provides important insights into the factors influencing cannabis discontinuation and its impact on neonatal outcomes. There may be real concerns with pregnant women consuming cannabis, and very real impact on the growing fetus.  Whether these are “meaningful” or truly shaping the fetus in lifelong ways (whether bad, or possibly even beneficial) is not yet clear to science.  We know that, in some cases, babies are born early, and in some cases babies are born with lower birthweights.  We don’t know whether this is “clinically significant,” that is, whether this makes a difference in the life of the baby, in a way which is permanently harmful. Science does not yet know this. This paper challenges us to reconsider our perspective and our biases and approach towards pregnant women who do use cannabis. By fostering a more understanding, compassionate, and supportive healthcare environment, we can better address the needs and concerns of these women, ensuring healthier outcomes for both mothers and their babies. Ultimately, the choice to care about oneself with medicines, especially during such a personal and vulnerable time as pregnancy, is a matter of basic human freedom and personal choices. Society and healthcare systems should respect and support this choice, providing the necessary resources and information to help women make the best decisions for themselves and their children. Would you want someone to force you to do something against your personal choice? Everyone deserves that same freedom. Snippet from “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook“ Page 111: “Don’t take if pregnant or breastfeeding. Cannabis can cross the placental safety barriers and enter the mother’s milk. Cannabis taken at smaller doses and/or at later stages of a pregnancy appears less likely to impact the fetus, but there are measurable effects in both circumstances that are still insufficiently understood. In time, it seems likely that some forms of can- nabis may be compatible with pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, but until we know that potential benefits clearly outweigh the risks, the purest plan is to avoid cannabis.” Visuals from the Paper [...] Read more...
May 15, 2024Exploring Cannabidiol Alzheimer’s Treatment: A New Hope Does Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Treatment seem insane? Futuristic? CBD, the now-famous non-altering compound found in cannabis, is capturing attention worldwide for its potential therapeutic effects in the treatment and management of what can seem like an endless number of illnesses.  A recent paper, “Alzh eimer’s disease, aging, and cann abidiol treatment: a promis ing path to promote brain health and de lay aging” has turned the spotlight on the complex interplay between aging, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and potential treatments like CBD that can influence brain health and delay the overall aging process, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and age-related cognitive decline. Many recent studies suggest that CBD may play a powerful role in neuroprotection and the promotion of brain health. This post explores the nuanced relationship between CBD, Alzheimer’s disease, and the aging brain, highlighting five key impacts of CBD that could help delay the onset of cognitive impairments and improve quality of life for those affected. Does it Really Work? HOW? ….here are 5 specific mechanisms that this stuff works: 1. Inhibition of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Production One of the primary drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and general brain aging is called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between the production of damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to fend them off with antioxidants (this is why consuming foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and whatever product happens to be the latest fad claiming they are “rich in antioxidants”).  CBD has demonstrated potent antioxidant effects that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the brain, and throughout the body. This action helps to maintain nerve health and healthy functionality, which is essential for slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative disorders like AD. 2. Inhibition of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) We are all born with an endocannabinoid system, the most widespread communication system in the body. CBD influences the endocannabinoid system by inhibiting (slowing down/blocking) an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which breaks down anandamide, one of the natural cannabinoids in our bodies. When the body is flush with higher anandamide levels, this enhances neuroprotection, decreases inflammation, and improve our body’s ability to handle stress. (Did you know: anadamide is the body’s “bliss” molecule? The happier we are, the more likely we are to be flush with anandamide. The more stressed, the less anadamide.  THC (yes, that THC)  is almost identical to anandamide.)  The presence of CBD, as with higher levels of anandamide,  works to boost the body’s  endocannabinoid system, which then has the ability to further benefit managing symptoms of stress, depression, pain, loneliness, and other aspects of aging and slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. It’s a cycle of healthy, helpful body communication! 3. Activation of the Wnt/β-catenin Signaling Pathway CBD activates a signaling pathway called the “Wnt/β-catenin” pathway, vital for regulating nerve cell function and promoting neurogenesis (growth of nerves). This action is crucial for maintaining and forming new connections between nerves (called “synaptic connections” and helps to combat the synaptic deterioration that is commonly observed in Alzheimer’s disease. Boosting the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway can counteract the synaptic loss and neuronal dysfunction we see happening more and more as we age. 4. Modulation of Calcium Homeostasis Calcium is crucial for all nerve signaling in the body and it is also vital for the overall health of all cells, but when calcium is dysregulated, it can lead to neurodegenerative diseases. CBD helps to regulate intracellular calcium levels, preventing overload and petering-out that can lead to neuronal damage. By maintaining calcium homeostasis, CBD supports the survival and health of brain cells. By maintaining nerve health generally, it can help to prevent the degenerative changes that contribute to cognitive decline, when they build up over time. 5. Neuroinflammatory Reduction Chronic neuroinflammation is a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s and is associated with the progression of cognitive decline. CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can significantly reduce the activation of microglia and the production of pro- inflammatory cytokines in the brain. By calming these overactive inflammatory processes, CBD helps preserve brain function and protect neurons. If you literally think of inflammation as fire – the foods we eat, the stress we endure, the environments we expose ourselves to, are heating up our bodies.  CBD, depending on how its taken, when, how often, and in what doses, can act as a damp cloth, a splash of water, or a fire-extinguisher. Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes and Mechanisms Alzheimer’s disease involves complex interactions of genetic, environmental, and physiological factors. Key genetic mutations in genes like APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 are linked to Alzheimer’s that is passed from generation to generation, while factors such as age, the APOE4 allele, and lifestyle factors are associated with random, non-familiar Alzheimer’s. A deeper understanding of these factors is critical for developing targeted treatments like CBD.We must understand the mechanisms that underlie the development of the disease process just as we must also understand how cannabinoids work to help.  With many systems – we need many specific studies to better understand the details, but we also have to observe macro trends, to grasp what’s actually going on, even before we understand what’s happening under a microscope. 👉  (More visuals at the end of the blog) The Role of Cannabinoids in Health Beyond CBD, other cannabinoids like THC, CBN, CBG, and THCV offer a spectrum of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, each with subtle differences.  Understanding which compounds may impact which body systems (your mind, your liver, your metabolism, your muscles, etc) can be the key to taking control over your own health and happiness, when it comes to aging. Each cannabinoid interacts uniquely with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which then influences various other body processes across the cardiovascular, immune, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, and respiratory systems. Just as nutrition and sleep have important for all of these systems and has far-reaching effects, so does the endocannabinoid system. Measurable Effects on Nerve and Brain Senescence Aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s are characterized by several key changes in brain function: Cognitive Decline: Cellular aging contributes to reduced memory and cognitive abilities. Increased Neuroinflammation: Aging cells promote chronic brain inflammation, hastening neurodegeneration. Altered Gene Expression: Age-related changes in gene expression can impact neuronal communication and functionality. Accumulation of Protein Aggregates: Older neurons often struggle to clear harmful protein build-ups, leading to further cellular damage. Impaired Synaptic Plasticity: Aging disrupts synaptic connections, getting in the way of efficient communication between neurons.   Closing thoughts + a preview of my book on the topic!  Exploring the potential of CBD in the context of Alzheimer’s disease and brain aging not only offers hope for mitigating the symptoms associated with these conditions but also opens avenues for preventative strategies against cognitive decline. Through ongoing research and clinical studies, the nuanced benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids continue to unfold, promising a future where these natural compounds play a crucial role in promoting brain health and delaying the effects of aging. Chapter 9 of The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, is titled “Neurodegenerative Diseases: Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  I spent years pouring over the published literature and the thousands of patients I am privileged to see in clinic, and in this book, I translating the most impressive benefits and the science which best reflected the realities of what I see with the patients I see every day at CED Clinic.  If you enjoy this material and the way I simplify complex science, I hope you’ll consider grabbing a copy for yourself! Here’s a snippet on the second page of the chapter: Cannabis is thought to assist the flow of nutrition to the brain by improv- ing arterial blood flow by lowering inflammation and relaxing the smooth muscle tissue that lines all arteries. This is done by enhancing the release of a naturally occurring chemical, nitric oxide, along arterial walls (referenced). It can also enhance brain growth factors. Low doses of cannabis molecules initially suppress brain-derived neurotropic factors (BDNF), which are needed to provide nutrition to brain cells.(referenced). When BDNF is suppressed, the brain has a built-in feedback mechanism to increase production. However, when there is an excessive amount of cannabis available, it can handicap brain growth, as this feedback mechanism cannot keep up with the demand. Cannabis is thought to support the well-being of both the neural sheath and the nerves themselves. For every sequence of nerves, the stimulation of cannabinoid receptors where two nerves come together activates the originating nerve.(referenced). This activation enhances normal cell functions and encourages the nerve to thrive. When your brain is full of healthy nerve connections, it is able to correctly process sensory input, higher cognitive function, and often, deeper analytical skills. It can also foster a healthier response to the buildup of plaque or tangles of proteins in the brain that may be impeding the brain’s ability to function optimally. Ultimately through these mechanisms, cannabis can help orchestrate the reversal of some structural damage and provide an environment that is better able to nourish the cells so that they continue working.        Visuals for these processes   [...] Read more...
May 10, 2024Cannabis Oil for Chronic Pain Chronic pain—a relentless companion for millions worldwide—has a knack for dodging the best efforts of conventional treatment regimes, leaving countless individuals in a perpetual state of discomfort and annoyance. It’s as if pain has its own agenda, stubbornly refusing to leave the party no one invited it to. Enter a beacon of hope: a recent study has illuminated a rather unconventional hero—cannabis oil for chronic pain. This blog post does a deep exploration of the study, extracting not one, not two, but seven notable insights to pull from this pioneering research. So buckle up, as we embark on an enlightening journey through the world of cannabis oil, where science meets relief (and maybe a bit of the munchies). Study Overview This recent structured, prospective cohort study was meticulously designed to assess the long-term effectiveness and safety of cannabis oil extracts in managing chronic pain. The research was conducted in Israel, where adult patients who were officially licensed to use these extracts were meticulously followed over a period of six months. The primary aim was to meticulously track and document changes in pain intensity and overall quality of life, providing a comprehensive view of the therapeutic potential of cannabis oil. Researchers employed a detailed methodology, ensuring the collection of robust data at multiple points during the study, specifically before treatment initiation and then again at 1, 3, and 6 months post-treatment commencement. This allowed for a dynamic observation of the effects and changes over time, providing a rich dataset for analysis. Results Summary The findings from this comprehensive study were quite promising, demonstrating a statistically significant reduction in pain intensity. Patients reported a decrease in their average weekly pain score from a high of 7.9 at baseline to a more manageable 6.6 by the end of the six-month period. This significant reduction highlights the potential of cannabis oil as a viable treatment option for chronic pain management. In addition to the primary outcomes, the study also explored several secondary outcomes which included improvements in quality of life and various related symptoms. These areas also showed notable improvements, further underscoring the therapeutic benefits of the treatment. Particularly significant was the classification of 24% of the study participants as “responders.” These responders experienced a remarkable 30% or more reduction in their weekly pain, indicating a substantial positive response to the cannabis oil treatment. This subgroup analysis provides valuable insights into the potential for personalized medicine approaches in the management of chronic pain. tl;dr Results Summary The study’s findings present compelling evidence: Pain Intensity: The average pain score dropped significantly from a high 7.9 to 6.6. Quality of Life: Improvements were noted in overall patient well-being. Dosage Efficiency: Precise dosing led to consistent pain relief. Responder Rate: 24% of the patients saw over a 30% reduction in pain weekly. Symptom Relief: Enhanced sleep and reduced anxiety were commonly reported. Patient Satisfaction: High levels of satisfaction were noted regarding the treatment’s ease and efficacy. Continued Usage: A large proportion opted to continue the treatment post-study. Discussion on Effectiveness of Cannabis Oil for Chronic Pain The results of this study are consistent with findings from other observational studies, reinforcing the notion that cannabis oil can have a modest yet significant impact on chronic pain management. This particular study demonstrated that with controlled dosing and consistent administration, cannabis oil extracts could provide reliable relief, which is a notable advancement over previous studies that used varying dosages and methods of administration. Furthermore, the precision in dosing facilitated by the oil extracts in this cohort not only enhanced efficacy but also contributed to the reproducibility of the results across different patient groups. The study’s findings are backed by robust statistical analysis, with pain reduction metrics showing a clear trend of improvement over the six-month period. This consistency in results underscores the potential of cannabis oil as a standardized treatment option in pain management protocols. Safety Profile of Cannabis Oil While the study affirmed the therapeutic benefits of cannabis oil, it also provided a detailed examination of its safety profile. Adverse events, while common, were predominantly non-serious and included symptoms affecting the central nervous system such as dizziness and fatigue, as well as gastrointestinal disturbances like nausea and upset stomach. These findings are consistent with the known side effects of cannabis-based treatments, highlighting the need for ongoing monitoring and management of side effects in clinical settings. Serious adverse events were infrequent, occurring in a small fraction of the study population, but they emphasize the importance of vigilant clinical oversight and patient education regarding potential risks. The data suggests a need for healthcare providers to maintain a careful balance between therapeutic benefits and the potential for adverse effects, particularly in long-term use scenarios. Implications for Future Research and Practice This study contributes significantly to the existing literature by providing well-documented evidence supporting the use of cannabis oil extracts for pain management. It calls for further research to optimize dosing strategies and to explore the long-term effects and safety of chronic usage of cannabis oil. Additionally, the study highlights the importance of identifying patient subgroups that respond most favorably to this treatment, suggesting a potential for personalized medicine approaches in the future. Researchers are encouraged to conduct longitudinal studies to better understand the dynamics of cannabis oil treatment over extended periods, which could lead to more refined protocols that maximize benefits while minimizing risks. Wrap Up Summary: Cannabis & Pain The findings from this study underscore the potential of cannabis oil extracts as a compelling treatment option for chronic pain management. In a medical landscape that continually seeks more effective and less invasive pain relief solutions, cannabis oil emerges as a promising alternative. It offers significant pain relief and an improvement in the quality of life for many patients, aligning with the broader goals of medical care in chronic pain conditions. As research progresses, cannabis oil could potentially become a cornerstone treatment in pain management regimens, particularly for patients who have not found relief through conventional treatments. FREE – Read this study on cannabis oil for chronic pain, in full here For more interactive insights into effective pain management strategies, ask questions of this ChatGPT evidence-based chatbot about Understanding Chronic Pain Management Techniques or anything else on your mind!   Snippet from “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook“ Page 184: “In modern times, with modern medicines, the body’s preprogrammed, and often extreme, inflammatory reaction is not necessary for survival, as pain is no longer a useful signal to remind the brain of your physical limitations. In essence, pain isn’t required to prevent further injury. One of the functions of the endocannabinoid system is to tamp down the inflammatory response. Cannabis has a direct effect on inflammation of all types, from acute to chronic, localized to systemic.5 For example, pain caused by tissue or nerve damage responds well to cannabis’s strong anti-inflammatory action. Even as it works to lower inflammation in one region, there is a positive down- stream benefit that incrementally reduces systemic inflammation: the cannabis lotion you apply to an arthritic knee is going to combat the inflammation at your knee, and as it gradually enters your bloodstream, you may also notice that you feel fewer symptoms of stress. The converse is also true: for those who use cannabinoid therapies as a system-wide anti-inflammatory to treat autoimmune conditions, they also find that their acutely inflamed tissues, such as acne, may improve. What’s more, excessive swelling, which might sometimes shield damaged tissues from further insult, can also unnecessarily delay healing. In the presence of a strong anti-inflammatory medicine like cannabis, extraneous immune elements dissipate while more essential repair elements remain, and a more appropriate response can begin. Many of my patients who are athletes apply lotions to swollen or painful joints for rapid relief and can continue to play their sport with reduced pain. My senior patients with local pain often prefer an edible choice that brings lasting relief. Cannabis therapies can be tolerated by a wide range of people, including those with organ damage (whether due to aging or injury), kidney disease, liver disease, sensitive stomachs, or allergies or aversions to other analgesics.”  other FREE resources for cannabis and pain from me:  1. Children and Medical Cannabis: Understanding Therapeutic Potentials and Precautions 2. Cannabis and Chronic Pain: A Comprehensive Guide 3. Medical Cannabis in Palliative Care for Infectious Diseases 4. Cannabis routes of administration, detailed overview 5. Disease Progression and Medical Cannabis 6. Therapeutic Applications of Medical Cannabis in Chronic Genetic Diseases 7. Comparing pain treatments, cannabis and non-cannabis 8. Explaining types of pain and the therapeutic potential of cannabis 9. Comparing pain treatments (cannabis and non-cannabis) 10. Cannabis regimens for pain 11. Effect of Cannabis Terpenes When Inhaled 12. Options in cannabis for treating headaches 13. Comparing Pain Treatments [...] Read more...
May 2, 2024In a recent landmark announcement on Cannabis Rescheduling, President Biden expressed his administration’s commitment to support the rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 of the Controlled Substances Act. This shift could potentially alter the landscape of cannabis regulation in the United States, impacting everything from medical research to business operations. Schedule 1 Substances: This category includes drugs that are deemed to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse:” 1. Heroin 2. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) 3. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) 4. Methaqualone 5. Peyote 6. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) 7. Bath Salts Schedule 3 Substances: These are drugs with a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence:” 1. Buprenorphine 2. Codeine and acetaminophen combinations 3. Ketamine 4. Anabolic steroids 5. Testosterone 6. Dronabinol 7. Benzphetamine The goal of this blog is to explore the implications of this potential rescheduling. I’m going to pull apart how such a change could affect different aspects of society, including medical practices, business landscapes, legal frameworks, and public perception. I’m going to sift through both the benefits and concerns, and share an overview of what rescheduling cannabis might mean for different sectors and the broader cultural context. The coming earthquake at the intersection of healthcare and policy I find the topic of cannabis rescheduling particularly fascinating. The momentous shifting of cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 in the controlled substances list is not just a simple regulatory change; it’s an epic societal shift with broad implications across our entire culture. Economics, Law, Medicine, Social Life, Parenting, even Schooling will feel the rift of this earthquake, in time. Here, I’m hoping to help readers explore what these changes might mean in a nuanced way, understanding both the opportunities and the challenges that could come.  Naturally, nothing like this has ever happened in the modern world, and nothing can truly prepare us.  Medical Perspective on Cannabis Rescheduling The medical community stands on the brink of a new era with the rescheduling of cannabis. Here’s how: BENEFITS ➕ Increased Research Opportunities: The move to Schedule 3 would open the doors to more comprehensive research, allowing scientists to explore the therapeutic potentials and side effects of cannabis more freely. ➕ Improved Patient Access: This change could simplify the prescription process, making cannabis more accessible for patients suffering from chronic pain, epilepsy, and other conditions. ➕ Professional Acceptance: As cannabis loses some of its stigma, more healthcare providers may feel comfortable recommending it as a treatment option. ➕ Insurance Coverage: With official recognition, insurance companies might start covering cannabis treatments, which would be a HUGE step forward in patient care. ➕ Regulated Quality Control: Standardized quality control can ensure patient safety, providing consistent, reliable medical cannabis products. Perhaps less of a one state does things …. However, this shift isn’t without its potential pitfalls: CHALLENGES ➕ Regulatory Complexity: Healthcare providers may need to navigate a new set of guidelines which could complicate treatment protocols. ➕ Potential for Misuse: There’s a risk that easier access could lead to misuse or dependency, a concern that medical professionals need to manage carefully. ➕ Cost Implications: The cost for medical cannabis might rise due to the regulatory changes and additional taxes. ➕ Limited Understanding: As a relatively new treatment paradigm, there will be quite a learning curve associated with its use in mainstream medicine. Few doctors are trained with any knowledge of the ECS, and even fewer follow patients to have developed any expertise. ➕ Pharmaceutical Resistance: Traditional pharmaceutical companies will likely push back against the widespread use of cannabis, seeing it as a competitor. They have invested billions in pharmaceutical medicines, hundreds of millions in lobbying efforts, and far less in research & development of cannabinoids. Cannabis Rescheduling, The Business Perspective .…For entrepreneurs and businesses, cannabis rescheduling could be a game-changer: BENEFITS ➕ Market Expansion: Easier federal regulations could pave the way for businesses to expand into new markets. ➕ Banking and Finance: With a lower schedule classification, banks might be more willing to provide services to cannabis-related businesses, easing a significant barrier that has hindered the industry’s growth. ➕ Reduced Legal Risk: A lower risk of federal intervention could stabilize the business environment for cannabis. ➕ Increased Investment: More investors might be drawn to the industry as it sheds some of its legal ambiguity. ➕ Improved Public Perception: As cannabis becomes more mainstream, public perception is likely to shift, potentially increasing customer base. Yet, challenges remain here too: ➕ Regulatory Adjustments: Companies might face new compliance and reporting requirements. ➕ Increased Competition: As the market becomes more accessible, competition will likely intensify. ➕ Taxation: Higher taxes could be implemented as part of the regulatory framework. ➕ Cost of Compliance: Meeting new health and safety standards could drive up costs. ➕ Shift in Consumer Base: Some consumers attracted to the “rebel” nature of cannabis might be put off by its mainstreaming. Overall Sense of What to Expect The potential rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 is a complex tapestry of opportunity and challenge. Each sector—from medical to business—will experience its unique set of impacts, and it’s hard to imagine them being either all good or all bad. As we all watch these changes unfold over the next few years (it will take politicians and the US bureaucracies several years to get it all done!), it’s important to approach them with a balanced mindset, appreciating that there will be discussions, arguments, talking heads, and potato heads, on both sides.   I will be the first to proudly announce that what I can see of the challenges that lie ahead suggests that we are all woefully unprepared. One specific challenge arises in Medicine, and particularly those medical practices that attract anyone who is either ill or paying attention to modern life -and likely both. As patients begin to ask questions and seek guidance on cannabis from clinicians who may have little to no knowledge about its medical use, they are going to face a very awkward reality. For instance, a patient suffering from chronic pain might inquire about cannabis as an alternative to the traditional pain medications his/her specialist might typically recommend. If cannabis is rescheduled to schedule 3, such inquiries are likely to increase. However, many healthcare providers currently lack the necessary training and certainly lack the experience-based knowledge (which comes from experience counseling and learning from patients over a career) to advise their patients properly about cannabis products, adjustments over time, and expectations, which could lead to misinformed or inadequate patient care, and some unhappy patients, which will likely make its way around to making some very unhappy providers. It is for this reason that CED Clinic has dedicated efforts over the last decade to build resources to educate both patients and healthcare providers alike. Understanding the complexities and potential of cannabis is essential for making informed medical decisions, and everyone wants (deserves!) those. Moreover, resources such as “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” play a pivotal role in bridging this Grand Canyon-sized knowledge gap. My handbook serves as a comprehensive, though hopefully simple tool, offering evidence-based guidance that can help navigate both patients and the medical community through the evolving landscape of cannabis treatments. Other tools that I’ve shared over the years include the world’s largest library of free cannabis education, the CED Library, the AI chatbots I’ve been building more recently, the Green Table Talk Podcast I’m in the process of building in order to share patient insights into the every day life of cannabis realities, EO Care, the digital platform that is scaling medical cannabis guidance with curated products, GreenAXS. Capital, a medium-sized post-revenue startup cannabis investment fund, for which I serve as Subject Matter Expert, and a diverse lot of other less public ongoing efforts to help partner and support all types of businesses and institutional efforts to spread knowledge. By arming healthcare providers with an unbiased understanding of the available evidence-based information, we can ensure that the transition towards the rescheduling of cannabis is smooth and beneficial. This will not only enhance the therapeutic outcomes for patients but also solidify the role of informed, scientific guidance in the integration of cannabis into mainstream medical practices. As we move forward, the collective effort of education and adaptation will be key to harnessing the full potential of cannabis rescheduling, turning challenges into opportunities for growth and improvement across various sectors. Learn More: The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook Audiobook Free Cannabis Education CED Clinic    Snippet from “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook“ Page xviii Introduction: “I’m also an advocate, working to raise awareness, share my knowledge, and bring new, effective products to market. As you’ll learn, there’s more to cannabis than THC and CBD: there’s a cornucopia of other molecules in the cannabis plant that should be made more readily available. (While it’s easy to get many of the most basic products, some of the more medicinally beneficial properties remain hard to find in the marketplace, so I will teach you how to make what you need at home: more on that later, too.) Lastly, I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with Howard Kessler, who almost single-handedly created the credit card industry we know today. Howard’s passion matches my own for helping people address the normal ailments of aging that are neglected by modern medicine. Our vision is a complete restructuring of the national approach to medical cannabis. He’s coordinating private/public partnerships for cannabis-based therapies between senior care businesses and the US government toward creating broad, national acceptance. There aren’t many people who could do that, and to have the privilege of playing an educational role in that discussion is a tremendous honor for me to complete my mission. All of this is to say that you’ve come to the right place. While I’m very famil- iar with a wide range of cannabis resources, be assured that you’ve chosen the most authoritative voice in the field. No other website, book, or podcast will match the range and scientific knowledge found in this book. Dispensary agents might have personal experience with cannabis but no formal medical education. Pharmacists are just beginning to become well versed in the literature, but as of this writing there are only nine states that enable pharmacists to serve as educators and dispensers of product: Arkansas, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Utah, New Hampshire, and Maryland. Instead, you will benefit from my formal medical training, my extensive research, and my clinical experience treating thousands of patients with cannabis, so that you can address your specific needs.” [...] Read more...
April 26, 2024Introduction The complexities and intersection of cannabis use and its impact on mental health, let’s call that “Cannabis Mental Health,” particularly during the formative adolescent years, is more important than most of us can imagine. Adolescents as well as adults are seeing cannabis everywhere, have access to it like never before, and it is doing real good in unprecedented ways.  Just recently, the WHO announced just how central mental health should be in modern wellness, reporting that it is among the most under-addressed illnesses in modern times. Through this lens, we must consider the nuanced findings of recent research that highlights the opportunity for cannabis, and compares it against traditional outlets and vices. The interplay between substance use and mental health issues like depression presents both a challenge and an opportunity for deeper understanding.   Here is the new paper, “Testing longitudinal relationships between binge drinking, marijuana use, and depressive symptoms and moderation by sex” by  Andra L. Wilkinson, M.S.P.H.a,b, Carolyn Tucker Halpern, Ph.D.a,b, Amy H. Herring, Sc.D.a,c, Meghan Shanahan, Ph.D.b,d, Susan Ennett, Ph.D.e, Jon Hussey, Ph.D.a,b, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, Ph.D.a,f  ___ The short-list ( tl;dr, how this relates to medical cannabis) Insights on the Benefits of Medical Cannabis from this review 1. Sexual Dimorphism in the Association Between Binge Drinking and Depressive Symptoms Comment: The finding that the association between binge drinking and depressive symptoms is more pronounced in females highlights the need for sex-specific approaches in both research and treatment. This could influence how medical cannabis is utilized and studied, particularly in how it might serve as an alternative or adjunct therapy in managing depressive symptoms where traditional substances like alcohol have detrimental effects. 2. Adolescents May Self-Medicate Depressive Symptoms with Marijuana Use Comment: The support for the Self-Medication Model across both genders underscores the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis, particularly in its ability to alleviate depressive symptoms. This raises important considerations for its regulated use in psychiatric settings, emphasizing the need for controlled studies to better understand its benefits and risks. 3. Concurrent Association of Marijuana Use and Binge Drinking with Depressive Symptoms Comment: The notable concurrent association, especially among females, suggests that interventions might need to address both substance use and mental health simultaneously. For medical cannabis, this could mean a focused investigation into its role as a safer alternative to substances that contribute negatively to mental health. 4. Importance of Moderation in Pathways by Sex and Race/Ethnicity Comment: The study’s emphasis on examining variations by sex and race/ethnicity points to a more nuanced understanding of how medical cannabis could be tailored to meet diverse patient needs. This calls for inclusive research designs that consider these factors to optimize therapeutic outcomes. 5. Greater Applicability of the Stress Model for Females Comment: This finding enhances our understanding of gender differences in substance use impact, suggesting that medical cannabis interventions could be specifically designed to mitigate stress-induced depressive symptoms in females. 6. Depression Predicting Marijuana Use in African American Adolescents Comment: The specific evidence from African American adolescents highlights the critical need for targeted research into how cannabis affects different demographics. It suggests that medical cannabis might be particularly beneficial in these communities if integrated responsibly and with cultural competence. 7. Non-Support for Self-Medication with Binge Drinking Comment: The lack of support for binge drinking as a form of self-medication reaffirms the potential role of safer alternatives like medical cannabis. This finding could help shift public and medical perspectives towards more beneficial and less harmful therapeutic options. 8. Utilization of Nationally Representative Longitudinal Data Comment: The use of robust, representative data strengthens the reliability of findings regarding cannabis and its effects, providing a solid foundation for advocating for medical cannabis research and its integration into clinical practice. 9. Screening Recommendations Based on Study Findings Comment: The recommendation for dual screening of depression and substance use could lead to earlier and more comprehensive treatment approaches. Including medical cannabis as part of this screening could help identify potential candidates for whom cannabis might offer therapeutic benefits. 10. Emphasis on Tailored Interventions and Continued Research Comment: The study’s call for tailored interventions reflects a growing recognition of the complex interplay between substance use and mental health. It underscores the necessity of continued research into how medical cannabis can be effectively and safely integrated into treatment protocols. _____ Understanding the Dual Models A new landmark study by Wilkinson et al. (2016) provides a robust framework for examining this interplay through two theoretical models: the Self-Medication Model and the Stress Model. These models help elucidate the directionalities of the relationship between cannabis use and depressive symptoms, particularly how these interactions are moderated by sex. The Self-Medication Model According to the Self-Medication Model, individuals may turn to substances like marijuana as a way to lessen their depressive symptoms. It’s a concept that sees individuals attempting to manage their emotional pain with the tools available to them, albeit not always the healthiest options. The recent study strengthens this model by demonstrating a notable increase in marijuana usage as depressive symptoms escalate from adolescence into young adulthood. This pattern wasn’t just isolated to one gender; it appeared across the board, suggesting that the inclination to self-medicate is a common human response regardless of gender. This finding encourages us to consider how medical cannabis might be harnessed responsibly to provide relief without the downsides of unregulated substance use. The Stress Model On the flip side, the Stress Model offers a stark contrast, proposing that substance use doesn’t soothe but rather sparks or worsens depressive symptoms. This connection was especially strong among females in the study, shedding light on how substance use might amplify emotional distress more so in women than in men. This suggests a gender-specific vulnerability to the negative impacts of unmoderated substance use. Recognizing these differences is crucial for developing targeted treatments that not only address the root causes of substance use but also provide protective measures against its potential to aggravate existing mental health issues. The implications for medical cannabis are profound, highlighting the need for gender-sensitive research and approaches in its application for mental health treatment. Examining the Evidence The study draws on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, analyzing the trajectory of substance use and depressive symptoms over time. The findings suggest that increases in marijuana use are consistently associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, especially among females. This supports the Stress Model, positing that substance use can indeed be a precursor to, or a catalyst for, depressive episodes. Highlighting Disparities and Future Directions While the study confirms some aspects of both theoretical models, it also highlights significant sex differences in how these processes operate. For instance, females showed stronger concurrent associations between substance use frequency and depressive symptoms, suggesting a gender-specific preventive approach could be beneficial. Integrating Broader Findings The insights from this study are echoed across the broader landscape of adolescent mental health research. It has been well-documented that a significant portion of the youth population—nearly one in five adolescents—experiences major depressive episodes during their formative years. This statistic alone highlights the prevalence and the severity of mental health challenges among teenagers. More telling, however, is the fact that those who experience these depressive episodes are significantly more likely to engage in marijuana use, with reports suggesting that they are twice as likely to use marijuana compared to their peers who do not suffer from depression . This correlation between depression and increased substance use underpins the complex interplay of mental health issues and substance use behaviors, often referred to as comorbidity. The relationship suggests that many young individuals might be attempting to manage their symptoms via substances that are accessible but potentially harmful. This comorbidity not only complicates treatment approaches but also worsens the long-term prognosis for these adolescents if not properly addressed. Recognizing this, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes important provisions for preventive mental health care that could be crucial for addressing these challenges . The ACA advocates for comprehensive screening and preventive services, which are aimed at early identification and intervention for mental health issues in young populations. By integrating these services into regular health care practices, it is possible to identify at-risk youths early and provide them with the necessary support and treatment before their symptoms escalate into more severe conditions or lead to substance dependency. Thus, the need for integrated screening and preventive services is more pressing than ever. Effective implementation of these measures could significantly alter the trajectory of mental health care for adolescents, providing a framework that supports early intervention and comprehensive care strategies. This approach not only aligns with the ACA’s health care objectives but also sets a standard for future health care policies aimed at mitigating the impact of mental health issues and substance use among the younger populations. The Role of Digital Health Platforms In the context of the complex interplay between cannabis use and mental health, digital health platforms such as EO Care are emerging as critical tools in the healthcare landscape. These platforms harness the power of technology to provide scalable, data-driven solutions that can be customized to individual needs. By integrating clinical data, patient-reported outcomes, and research insights, platforms like EO Care facilitate a more nuanced approach to health management. This enables healthcare providers to deliver more precise and informed care, enhancing patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans. Digital health platforms are particularly valuable in areas like cannabis medicine, where the need for education and accurate patient monitoring is critical due to the varying effects of cannabis on different individuals . Conclusion Our journey through the intertwined areas of cannabis use and mental health uncovers a terrain filled with both hurdles and possibilities. The insights we’ve gained underscore the importance of bespoke healthcare interventions tailored to meet the unique needs of each patient. As we refine our comprehension of these complex relationships, the necessity for nuanced, research-backed approaches in both clinical and investigative spheres becomes apparent. The future of cannabis-related healthcare lies in the ability to adapt and respond to individual circumstances, paving the way for more effective and personalized treatment modalities in mental health care. Snippet from “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook“ Page 119: “While we might think about our feelings, moods, and emotions as intangible and impermanent states of mind, addressing concerns surrounding them turns out to be a solvable and tangible endeavor. Our emotional life, including the highs and the lows, is governed by cascades of chemistry that communicate messages from one brain region to the next. Like flowing water that carves deep channels in the ground, over time these chemical signals create strong, committed patterns of thought and emotion. For instance, your emotional response to crisis may always look like increased attention and anxiety, or, if you’re battling daily stressors, toward the end of the day, you may regularly embrace the opportunity for calmness and a desire to retreat into a place of security. When your mental health is strong, you can operate through the world at your peak, and you’re more resilient when facing daily stumbling blocks. But when your day-to-day life is hindered by an inability to control your thoughts or emotions, I know that it can be debilitating. However, you don’t have to suffer—or take medications with intolerable side effects. I’ve found that while cannabis works best when paired with other medications, it can also work well as a singular tool for address- ing a wide variety of mental health issues. I’ve seen people with crippling PTSD, incapacitating anxiety, intense depression, and frustrating ADHD effectively address these issues and resume their lives. For some, the change is rapid and dramatic.” Further Reading For more on cannabis and mental health, check out this discussion from last year.  For more on heart health: Here and here Check out More on this topic at CaplanCannabis.com Kessler R, McGonagle K, Zhao S, et al. Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States. Arch Gen Psychiatry1. 1994; 51:8–19. Link. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings. Published 2014. Link. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act. Published 2012. Link. Hilty, D. M., Ferrer, D. C., Parish, M. B., Johnston, B., Callahan, E. J., & Yellowlees, P. M. (2013). The effectiveness of telemental health: a 2013 review. Telemedicine and e-Health, 19(6), 444-454. This source provides insights into the effectiveness of digital health platforms in delivering mental health services, which can be extrapolated to understand the potential of platforms like EO Care in the realm of cannabis-related mental health treatment. 5. Firth, J., Torous, J., Nicholas, J., Carney, R., Pratap, A., Rosenbaum, S., & Sarris, J. (2017). The efficacy of smartphone-based mental health interventions for depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. World Psychiatry, 16(3), 287-298. This meta-analysis offers evidence on the efficacy of digital health interventions on depressive symptoms, supporting the argument for integrating such technologies into mental health and substance use treatment plans. 6. Ashford, R. D., Brown, A. M., & Curtis, B. (2018). Technology-based interventions for substance use and comorbid disorders: An examination of the emerging literature. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 26(4), 204-215. This review discusses the current state of technology-based interventions for substance use disorders and their co-occurring conditions, relevant to the discussion on cannabis use and mental health. 7. Campbell, A. N. C., Nunes, E. V., Matthews, A. G., Stitzer, M., Miele, G. M., Polsky, D., … & Turrigiano, E. (2014). Internet-delivered treatment for substance abuse: a multisite randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 171(6), 683-690. This randomized controlled trial provides evidence on the effectiveness of internet-delivered treatments for substance abuse, which can bolster the case for digital platforms like EO Care in providing similar services for cannabis-related treatments. 8. López-Pérez, B., Wilson, E. L., Dellinger, K., & Gulliford, L. (2020). The costs and benefits of healthcare information technology: An updated systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(9), e23844. This systematic review updates on the costs and benefits of healthcare information technology, which is crucial for understanding the economic and clinical viability of digital health platforms in the context discussed. [...] Read more...
April 25, 2024Medical Cannabis Ethics and Industry Integrity This post comes in follow up of this previous post here In the rapidly expanding field of medical cannabis, the significance of medical cannabis ethics and the quality of patient care cannot be overstated. However, organizations like Medwell and DocMJ have displayed a troubling trend of prioritizing profits at the expense of patient-centered care. This approach not only tarnishes the reputations of such companies but also casts a shadow over the legitimacy of the medical cannabis industry as a whole. The recent settlement involving Physician Compassionate Care, operating as DocMJ, where they agreed to pay over $736,000 to resolve allegations of sending spam text messages to consumers, is a case in point. This incident under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) reflects broader ethical concerns. It illustrates a model of operation where the focus is on maximizing client intake through aggressive marketing tactics rather than providing genuine medical advice and follow-up care. This case is particularly significant because it not only reflects non-compliance with federal regulations but also indicates a disregard for the personal and sensitive nature of patient communications in healthcare. Effective and ethical medical cannabis care should involve personalized consultations, tailored treatment plans, and privacy-respecting communication—qualities that are evidently lacking in these high-volume, low-engagement business models. Moreover, treating medical marijuana recommendations as quick transactions undermines the critical role of comprehensive patient evaluations. Such evaluations are essential to ensure that cannabis treatment is appropriate, safe, and beneficial in the context of a patient’s overall health status and other treatments. This conveyor-belt approach to medical recommendations can lead to inadequate patient education on the use of cannabis, potential drug interactions, and management of side effects, which are crucial components of safe cannabis therapy. The impact of these practices extends beyond individual patient experiences. They erode trust in the medical cannabis industry, which is still fighting stigmas and striving for acceptance within broader medical and patient communities. As more states legalize medical cannabis and more patients seek cannabis-based treatments, it is imperative that the industry is seen as credible and trustworthy. For the medical cannabis sector to maintain its integrity and continue to grow in a positive direction, it is vital for all involved to adhere to high standards of medical cannabis ethics and ethical business practices. Patients should be treated with respect and care, receiving not just a prescription but a thorough understanding of their treatment. This ensures not only compliance with legal standards but also fosters a positive perception of cannabis as a legitimate medical option. As the industry evolves, it becomes increasingly important to spotlight and challenge the practices of companies that diminish its credibility. By demanding higher standards and choosing providers wisely, patients and advocates can help shape an industry that truly prioritizes health and care over profit. Quality of Care at Stake At CED Clinic, we often encounter patients who have previously engaged with services like those offered by Medwell and DocMJ. These patients frequently report a stark lack of follow-up or genuine care from these providers. Medwell, for instance, is known among some circles more for its rapid issuance of medical marijuana cards than for its patient care. This ‘card flipping’ approach neglects the essential standards of medical cannabis ethics, including understanding a patient’s complete health profile and ensuring their treatment aligns with their specific medical needs. The practice of spamming potential patients with text messages further underscores the impersonal and transactional nature of these businesses. It’s hard to imagine a reputable medical institution adopting such invasive marketing tactics. Would you trust your health to a provider whose main communication method is akin to that of a relentless sales campaign? The Hidden Costs of Discounted Medical Marijuana Cards: Quality Care vs. Quick Deals The appeal of low-cost medical marijuana cards can be tempting, especially to those seeking relief on a budget. However, as with many things in life, cheaper options often come with hidden costs. This is particularly true in the realm of medical cannabis, where the complexity and delicacy of treatments necessitate a high level of care and expertise. Fast Food vs. Fine Dining: A Health and Quality Comparison Just as fast food offers a quick, inexpensive meal at the cost of nutritional value and dining experience, discounted medical marijuana cards typically offer a rapid approval process at the expense of thorough medical oversight. Fast food, while convenient and economical, often leads to long-term health consequences and lacks the culinary satisfaction of a meal prepared with care and expertise. Similarly, the quick and impersonal service provided by some low-cost cannabis card services can result in inadequate patient education, improper dosage recommendations, and a lack of follow-up care, which are vital for safe and effective cannabis treatment. The experience of consulting with a dedicated, knowledgeable professional who takes the time to understand and address individual health needs is akin to dining at a fine restaurant. The attention to detail, the ambiance, and the quality of service enhance the overall experience and contribute positively to one’s well-being. This level of care and interaction is often missing when services are stripped to their bare minimum in the name of cost-saving. The Benefits of Fair Compensation for Healthcare Professionals Investing in quality healthcare services by paying clinicians a fair wage yields significant benefits. It motivates professionals to deepen their expertise, stay updated with the latest research, and develop better care protocols. In the medical cannabis field, where ongoing research and patient feedback are crucial to optimizing treatment plans, the value of informed and engaged healthcare providers cannot be underestimated. Fair compensation also fosters a sense of value and respect within the profession, which is essential for attracting skilled practitioners to the field of medical cannabis. When clinicians are paid well, they are more likely to invest time in patient education, engage in community outreach, and contribute to the advancement of the field through research and innovation. Moreover, well-compensated professionals are generally more motivated to provide personalized care and follow-up, ensuring that patients receive comprehensive support throughout their treatment journey. This not only improves patient outcomes but also enhances patient satisfaction and trust in medical cannabis as a legitimate therapeutic option. Prioritizing Quality over Cost in Cannabis Medicine Ultimately, the choice between a discounted medical marijuana card and a more costly, comprehensive care option should consider more than just the immediate financial outlay. The long-term health benefits, the quality of medical advice, and the ongoing support system are crucial factors that can significantly influence treatment efficacy and patient safety. Patients and healthcare systems alike would benefit from viewing medical cannabis care as an investment in health rather than an expense to be minimized. By choosing providers who offer detailed consultations, continuous education, and robust follow-up, patients can ensure they receive the best possible care—maximizing the therapeutic potential of cannabis while minimizing risks. In conclusion, while the allure of cheap medical marijuana cards is understandable, the real cost of such services often extends beyond the initial savings, affecting both patient health and the overall quality of care. Investing in high-quality medical cannabis care, therefore, not only supports individual health outcomes but also contributes to the legitimacy and growth of the entire field. A Call for Higher Standards This situation serves as a reminder of the need for higher standards within the medical marijuana industry. Companies involved in this sector must not only comply with all regulatory requirements but should also strive to uphold the dignity and integrity of medical practice. Patients seeking medical cannabis deserve the same level of professional care and consideration that is expected in any other medical context. CED Clinic: A Beacon of Excellence in Cannabis Medicine As the medical cannabis industry expands, the importance of supporting institutions that uphold high standards of quality, ethics, and patient-centric care becomes ever more crucial. CED Clinic exemplifies such dedication, continuously pushing the boundaries of cannabis medicine through meticulous patient care, extensive educational efforts, and a deep commitment to enhancing patient well-being. Personalized Care and Lasting Relationships At CED Clinic, we believe that effective medical treatment goes beyond the initial consultation. We invest time in each patient, ensuring they receive as much attention as necessary to address their unique health concerns. This approach allows us to develop personal relationships with every patient, fostering a trusting and supportive environment that is conducive to healing. Our healthcare providers are consistent figures in our patients’ medical journeys. Some of these professional relationships span years, and in some cases, decades. This continuity of care is not just about maintaining a standard of treatment; it’s about deepening the understanding of each patient’s evolving needs and experiences. By following our patients over time, we learn about their challenges and victories, gathering insights that help refine our care strategies and improve outcomes. Building on Therapeutic Relationships CED Clinic is built on the foundation of therapeutic relationships, which are not only central to our philosophy but are also supported by evidence as being critical to ideal healing outcomes. These relationships create a safe space for patients to discuss their concerns and experiences openly, ensuring that treatments are adapted to real-world effects and patient feedback. Our commitment to these principles is reflected in every interaction within our clinics. From detailed initial assessments to ongoing management and follow-up, each step in our process is designed to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, enhance trust, and promote a holistic approach to health. Education as a Pillar of Care Comprehensive education is another cornerstone of our practice at CED Clinic. We strive to empower our patients with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their treatment options. Our educational efforts extend beyond the individual, reaching out to the community to increase awareness about the benefits and complexities of cannabis as a medical treatment. This not only aids in demystifying cannabis use but also helps elevate the discourse surrounding cannabis medicine, promoting a more informed and accepting public perspective. As the landscape of medical cannabis continues to evolve, CED Clinic remains steadfast in its mission to provide top-notch cannabis care grounded in ethical practices and patient-centered approaches. We continue to advocate for and embody the kind of healthcare that not only treats but truly cares and connects with each patient. Through ongoing dedication to these values, CED Clinic stands as a leader in the field, advocating for a future where medical cannabis is recognized as a vital and viable part of healthcare. Navigating Your Choices in Medical Marijuana Care Choosing a medical marijuana provider is a decision that should be approached with care and consideration. It’s not merely about obtaining legal access to cannabis; it’s about forming a partnership with a healthcare provider who truly values your well-being and is committed to the long-term management of your health. Seek Providers Committed to Comprehensive Care When selecting a medical cannabis provider, look for clinics that prioritize holistic, evidence-based care. These providers take the time to understand not just your symptoms, but your overall lifestyle, health history, and treatment goals. They should offer comprehensive assessments that go beyond the surface, ensuring that the cannabis treatment plan is not only effective but also safe given your unique health circumstances. Follow-Up: A Key Component of Effective Treatment Continuity of care is crucial. Your provider should have a robust system in place for following up on your treatment. This means regular check-ins to assess the efficacy of the cannabis regimen, adjustments based on your feedback, and ongoing support to address any side effects or concerns that may arise. Providers who invest in follow-up care demonstrate their commitment to your health outcomes and are more likely to deliver personalized care that adapts to your evolving needs. Holistic and Patient-Centered Approaches Ideal cannabis medicine providers integrate holistic approaches that consider the full spectrum of physical, emotional, and lifestyle factors affecting your health. They should work collaboratively with you to explore all available treatment options, including complementary therapies that can enhance the effectiveness of cannabis. This patient-centered approach ensures that care plans are not only targeted but also aligned with your personal health goals and preferences. Prioritize Quality and Ethical Practices It’s essential to choose a provider who views your health as more than just a transaction. Ethical practices in medical cannabis care are indicative of a provider’s dedication to the field and to their patients. Research potential providers, read reviews, and perhaps most importantly, schedule a consultation to discuss their approach to care. This initial interaction can provide significant insight into how they value patient relationships and whether they prioritize quality care. Making Informed Decisions Finally, remember that the quality of service you receive can significantly impact your treatment outcomes. Providers who are knowledgeable, transparent about the benefits and risks of cannabis, and attentive to your needs will contribute positively to your treatment experience. These providers will not only guide you through the initial phases of cannabis treatment but will be your partners in long-term health management. Choosing the right medical marijuana provider is crucial for ensuring that you receive the best possible care. By prioritizing quality, comprehensive care, and ethical practices, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your health needs and ensures a supportive, effective treatment journey. References Barnes, M. P. (2018). “The importance of high-quality care in medicinal cannabis.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 43(6), 848-850. This article discusses the critical need for high-quality care in the prescription and management of medicinal cannabis, emphasizing the complexities and nuances in patient care that require detailed attention from healthcare providers. Haug, N. A., Kieschnick, D., Sottile, J. E., Babson, K. A., Vandrey, R., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2017). “Training and Practices of Cannabis Dispensary Staff.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 298-305. This study highlights the variability in training and knowledge among cannabis dispensary staff, suggesting a gap in the quality of patient education and guidance, which can significantly affect patient outcomes. Ziemianski, D., Capler, R., Tekanoff, R., Lacasse, A., Luconi, F., Ware, M. A. (2016). “Cannabis in medicine: a national educational needs assessment among Canadian physicians.” BMC Medical Education, 16, 107. This research outlines the educational gaps among physicians regarding medical cannabis, stressing the importance of comprehensive healthcare provider education to ensure high-quality patient care. Blair, S., & Hall, B. (2016). “An investigation of patient motivations for their use of medical cannabis and barriers to healthcare in medical cannabis patients.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 26, 108-111. The paper explores patient motivations for using medical cannabis and identifies significant barriers to high-quality care, including inconsistent consultation practices and limited follow-up. Corroon, J., Mischley, L. K., & Sexton, M. (2017). “Cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs – a cross-sectional study.” The Journal of Pain Research, 10, 989-998. This cross-sectional study provides insight into how patients substitute cannabis for prescription drugs and the need for quality control and professional guidance to manage such substitutions safely and effectively. [...] Read more...
April 25, 2024In the medical marijuana industry, until the field of medical practice is formally established and practiced over time, ethics play a crucial role. These ethics cover the responsibility of providers to maintain the highest standards of care, transparency, and respect for patient rights. Ethical considerations shape the practices and policies that guide how patients are treated and how treatment plans are made. As such, medical marijuana ethics influence both the trust patients place in their providers and the overall integrity and acceptance of cannabis as a therapeutic option. The importance of ethical practices and the value of quality patient care cannot be overstated. I believe the entire trajectory of the future of medical cannabis, as a specialty, is at play. It can be done well, and so will encourage progress and improvements, or it can be done really wrong. Organizations like Canna Care Docs, Medwell, Veriheal, EZMedCard, and DocMJ, have displayed a troubling trend of prioritizing profits at the expense of patient-centered care. This approach not only tarnishes the reputations of such companies but also casts a shadow over the legitimacy of the medical cannabis industry as a whole. The recent settlement involving Physician Compassionate Care, operating as DocMJ, (MedWell was recently acquired by DocMJ) where they agreed to pay over $736,000 to resolve allegations of sending spam text messages to consumers, is a case in point. This incident under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) reflects broader ethical concerns. It illustrates a model of operation where the focus is on maximizing client intake through aggressive marketing tactics rather than providing genuine medical advice and follow-up care. This case is particularly significant because it not only reflects non-compliance with federal regulations but also indicates a disregard for the personal and sensitive nature of patient communications in healthcare. Effective and ethical medical marijuana care should involve personalized consultations, tailored treatment plans, and privacy-respecting communication—qualities that are evidently lacking in these high-volume, low-engagement business models. Moreover, treating medical marijuana recommendations as quick transactions undermines the critical role of comprehensive patient evaluations. Such evaluations are essential to ensure that cannabis treatment is appropriate, safe, and beneficial in the context of a patient’s overall health status and other treatments. This conveyor-belt approach to medical recommendations can lead to inadequate patient education on the use of cannabis, potential drug interactions, and management of side effects, which are crucial components of safe cannabis therapy. The impact of these practices extends beyond individual patient experiences. They erode trust in the medical marijuana industry, which is still fighting stigmas and striving for acceptance within broader medical and patient communities. As more states legalize medical cannabis and more patients seek cannabis-based treatments, it is imperative that the industry is seen as credible and trustworthy. For the medical marijuana sector to maintain its integrity and continue to grow in a positive direction, it is vital for all involved to adhere to high standards of medical care and ethical business practices. Patients should be treated with respect and care, receiving not just a prescription but a thorough understanding of their treatment. This ensures not only compliance with legal standards but also fosters a positive perception of cannabis as a legitimate medical option. As the industry evolves, it becomes increasingly important to spotlight and challenge the practices of companies that diminish its credibility. By demanding higher standards and choosing providers wisely, patients and advocates can help shape an industry that truly prioritizes health and care over profit. Quality of Care at Stake  At CED Clinic, we regularly care for new patients who have previously engaged with services like those offered by Medwell and DocMJ. These patients frequently report a stark lack of follow-up or genuine care from these providers. Medwell, for instance, is known among some circles more for its rapid issuance of medical marijuana cards than for its patient care. This ‘card flipping’ approach neglects the essential standards of medical practice, including understanding a patient’s complete health profile and ensuring their treatment aligns with their specific medical needs. The habit of bombarding potential patients with text messages really highlights how impersonal and transactional these businesses can be. It’s tough to picture a respected medical institution using such intrusive marketing strategies. How can you trust your health to a provider that reaches out like a pushy salesperson?   Will share an evidence-based expanded version of this post, next!     [...] Read more...
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...
Cannabis News
May 16, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles The continued success of the Bay State’s legal weed business will need a “tough, strategic thinker” to oversee day-to-day administration of the agency in charge of the $7 billion pot industry, according to the Cannabis Control Commission. The CCC has begun a nationwide job search for its second Executive Director, the person responsible for “administering and enforcing Massachusetts statutes and regulations regarding the state’s marijuana industry and reports to the five Commissioners who are appointed by the governor, state Treasurer, and Attorney General for expertise in public health, public safety, social justice, regulated industries, and corporate management/finance/securities.” The about $187,000 per year job, according to Commissioner Bruce Stebbins, is an “exciting opportunity” for anyone willing to “plan and make difficult decisions to execute the competing priorities of an independent state agency that regulates a still-federally illegal substance.” Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 16, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles Rapper Afroman has performed many shows in Colorado and each time he visits, the people here always seem to make him uncomfortable with how nice they are. “One time I was looking for an address and three strangers came from out of nowhere trying to help me find it. I didn’t know if someone was trying to steal my wallet,” he said with a laugh. “I never been uncomfortable with people being nice ’til I got to Colorado. It was giving me the goosebumps.” Still, Afroman keeps coming back because of the vibe – “I call it California in the deep freezer,” he said, in large part because of the abundance of weed here. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 16, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles If you’re looking to make some pot brownies at home to celebrate 4/20 this weekend, state cannabis officials want you “to be careful.” Ahead of the high holiday on Saturday, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission sent out a reminder to those making edibles. “If you are planning to make edibles at home in honor of 4/20 this week, make sure you understand the challenges involved with controlling potency and dosage,” the CCC posted. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 16, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles A move by the Biden Administration to change how marijuana is treated by federal authorities was met with cautious approval by Massachusetts state regulators, cannabis sellers, and national marijuana advocates alike. The Drug Enforcement Agency will drop marijuana from the list of banned substances found under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, where it currently sits alongside heroin and LSD. It will instead move it to Schedule III, among the likes of Tylenol with codeine and anabolic steroids. This follows the recommendation of the Department of Health and Human Services “Rescheduling cannabis is a monumental step forward for the federal government, one that can open new avenues to research, medical use, and banking for the regulated industries states like Massachusetts have built across the country,” said Ava Callender Concepcion, the acting chair of the Bay State’s Cannabis Control Commission. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 15, 2024Cannabis News​Post Content Read More   [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles The Mile High 420 Fest returns to light up downtown Denver this year with a mix of legendary rap stars, viral sensations, and the latest names in hip-hop. Related Articles Music | Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles Gov. Maura Healey asked a group of elected officials to approve a plan that would pardon misdemeanor cannabis possession convictions, a move she said could impact “hundreds of thousands of people.” Healey pitched her proposal Wednesday as the “most comprehensive action” by a governor since President Joe Biden pardoned federal cannabis possession convictions and called on state leaders to do the same. The initiative needs the sign off from the Governor’s Council, a seven-member group tasked with reviewing pardons and judicial nominations. Related Articles Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles A former lawyer who was accused of trying to bribe the Medford police chief to get city approval for a pot shop has been sentenced to prison. Somerville man Sean O’Donovan, 56, was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. O’Donovan was also ordered to pay a $150,000 fine. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court issued rulings Monday allowing the state’s voters to decide whether to protect abortion rights and legalize recreational use of marijuana, rejecting the state attorney general’s arguments that the measures should be kept off the November ballot. ABORTION RIGHTS The proposed amendment would protect the right to an abortion after the state in back-to-back years passed tougher restrictions currently being challenged in court. Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody argued that the proposed amendment is deceptive and that voters won’t realize just how far it will expand access to the procedure. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles That’s a whole lot of green. A woman was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport over the weekend after she reportedly tried to transport nearly $400,000 worth of marijuana, according to police. The 28-year-old Michigan woman — Nalexus Palmer — has been ordered held on $3,000 bail after being arrested at Logan for attempting to move 74 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana to London, the Suffolk DA’s Office said Monday. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles Rapper Afroman has performed many shows in Colorado and each time he visits, the people here always seem to make him uncomfortable with how nice they are. “One time I was looking for an address and three strangers came from out of nowhere trying to help me find it. I didn’t know if someone was trying to steal my wallet,” he said with a laugh. “I never been uncomfortable with people being nice ’til I got to Colorado. It was giving me the goosebumps.” Still, Afroman keeps coming back because of the vibe – “I call it California in the deep freezer,” he said, in large part because of the abundance of weed here. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles The long-awaited meetings between suspended Cannabis Control Commission Chairwoman Shannon O’Brien and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will not take place as scheduled Wednesday and Thursday, Goldberg’s office said Tuesday afternoon. “Chair O’Brien’s attorneys have informed us that due to unforeseen circumstances, they are unable to attend the meetings scheduled for April 10 and 11. They again have requested a postponement and we have agreed,” Goldberg spokesman Andrew Napolitano said in a statement. “We have been attempting to meet with the Chair since September and we hope to avoid further delays in scheduling the meetings.” A spokesman for O’Brien was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles Massachusetts is now the first state to pardon the crimes of offenders charged with simple pot possession — after President Joe Biden did the same two years ago. Gov. Maura Healey’s first-in-the-nation plan to issue a blanket pardon for simple marijuana possession was met with the unanimous approval of the Governor’s Council on Wednesday, when councilors expressed broad support but wondered if it went far enough for the potentially hundreds of thousands of people hit by the state’s now-defunct marijuana laws. Healey’s pardon, according to the request for consent she sent to the council, would apply to “all adult persons who, on or before the date of this letter, have been convicted of a misdemeanor of possession of marijuana.” Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Related Articles Cannabis advocates in Colorado cheered the Biden Administration’s reported move to reclassify marijuana and said the decision likely would reduce businesses’ tax burden significantly. Industry leaders cautioned that such a move — if finalized — would not resolve some major challenges facing the industry, such as limited access to banking. But they pointed to the symbolic importance of preparations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to downgrade the substance’s drug classification. A man pours cannabis into rolling papers as he prepares to roll a joint the Mile High 420 Festival in Civic Center Park in Denver, April 20, 2024. (Photo by Kevin Mohatt/Special to The Denver Post) Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
May 8, 2024Cannabis News​[[{“value”:” Coloradans have until 4:20 p.m. on Saturday to bid for the rights to cannabis-themed license plates in a state auction. The annual auction features 10 phrases, including 420, COHEMP, HASHISH, HILIFE, REEFER, among others. Proceeds from the auction will go toward grants and state programs to support people with disabilities. Since the auction launched in 2021, the state has raised more than $96,000, according to a news release from the governor’s office. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com. “}]] Read More The Cannabist  [...] Read more...
January 18, 2024Cannabis News​ At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. DeWine called out the products for targeting children. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called for state lawmakers to ban “intoxicating hemp” goods, including all delta-8 products, as part of their work on amending Issue 2, the ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana last November. On Wednesday, DeWine said at a press conference that a law enforcement sting operation had caught at least one gas station selling hemp-based delta-8 goods to minors, Fox 8 News reported. During the gathering with reporters, Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson showed pictures of THC-infused candies and alleged that the companies were targeting children. DeWine held up several edibles that were allegedly purchased at a gas station, obvious underground knock-off goods that stole NBA star James Harden’s name and likeness to market delta 8-infused gummies in the shapes of “little shoes,” DeWine said. He also held up another labeled “Toasted Flakes” cereal bars, with the stolen image of Tony the Tiger, the mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. “I’m sure it’s not Tony,” DeWine observed, adding that the products were “something really aimed at children.” Wilson said that a sting involving 15-year-old high school students this week shows how easy it is for kids to buy delta-8 goods. “Within 10 minutes, and within three miles of their school, they walked into a BP gas station and purchased these THC gummies with no questions asked,” Wilson said of the sting operation. “When you make a product like this, it does in fact appeal to kids,” DeWine said. “We know they’re harmful for kids. We know they’re readily available. And today, I’m asking the state legislature to take immediate action. Local police cannot do anything, I cannot do anything, without action by the state legislature.” A bill to ban such goods is still in the drafting phase, Fox 8 News reported. A separate bill, HB86, was approved by the state Senate in December, and includes a prohibition on intoxicating hemp products. But the bill has not yet been taken up by the state House of Representatives.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 18, 2024Cannabis News​ The Daily Hit is a recap of the top financial news stories for Jan. 17, 2024. On the Site Cannabis Hydroponics Firm Embroiled in SEC Stock Fraud Case The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit against three individuals, Jonathan Farber, Aarif Jamani, and Brian Keasberry, for their involvement in a sophisticated stock manipulation scheme involving County Line Energy Inc., a small public company based in California. Read more here. Panama Hands Out Seven Medical Marijuana Business Permits The Central American nation of Panama has awarded medical marijuana business licenses to seven companies, another step towards launching the nation’s cannabis market. Read more here. New York Retail License Winners Find Creative Ways to Sell Already While many of the cannabis retail license winners in New York to date have been working excitedly toward getting their shops open, others have been trying to figure out ways to sell and exit – and such deal making is on the rise, industry insiders say. Read more here. New Jersey Lawmakers Seek to Decriminalize Psychedelics New Jersey lawmakers were able to legalize cannabis, and now they have their sights set on psychedelics. District 22 State Sen. Nicholas Scutari sponsored legislation that would authorize the production and use of psilocybin to promote health and wellness, decriminalize the products, and expunge past offenses involving psilocybin production, possession, use, and distribution. Read more here. In Other News Wisconsin Wisconsin Republicans appear to be at an impasse over a proposal to legalize medical marijuana. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Tuesday that he would not compromise with state Senate Republicans to address their concerns with his proposal. Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu last week said the bill’s proposed creation of state-run dispensaries was a “nonstarter.” Read more here. Alabama An Alabama federal judge rejected a bid to block the state’s medical cannabis agency from issuing its processor licenses, an effort by a company that claims the state improperly rescinded its license award. Read more here. New York Cannabis Taxes Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget released Tuesday proposes repealing a state “potency tax” on marijuana products that industry stakeholders said has deterred legal retail sales and driven more consumers to buy cannabis from unlicensed vendors. Read more here.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 18, 2024Cannabis News​ In a historic move Friday, officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in documents that they support reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule III substance. This would make medical cannabis and the research supporting it legal at the federal level but still heavily regulated like hormone replacement therapy or ketamine. The 252-page document recommended to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that cannabis should be reclassified from a Schedule I to Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The documents start with a letter to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, which reads that “marijuana meets the findings for control in Schedule III.” The FDA’s Eight Factor Analysis (which are always the same) found cannabis “has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “is not an immediate precursor of another controlled substance.” Under section 21 U.S.C. 811(b) of the CSA, the eight factors that are determinative of control of the drug are the following:  Its actual or relative potential for abuse.  Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.  The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.  Its history and current pattern of abuse.  The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.  What, if any, risk there is to public health.  Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.  Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled. Clearly cannabis has been deemed to have medical value, and the documents note that  43 U.S. jurisdictions are authorized to recommend the medical use of cannabis. It marks the first time that the FDA has recommended that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) place cannabis in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Medical and adult-use cannabis laws across America are generally based on laws at the state and local levels, and they’ve always existed in discord with federal law. Keep in mind that Schedule III drugs are still heavily regulated and need prescriptions: Tylenol 3’s, ketamine, anabolic steroids, or testosterone. Schedule III substances are defined as drugs with a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence,” with less abuse potential than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, but more than Schedule IV. Under Schedule III, Internal Revenue Code 280E (IRC 280E) would no longer apply to cannabis businesses, so you’d see things like tax deductions. Rescheduling to Schedule III, however, will not legalize state-level cannabis programs. Several organizations and cannabis companies sent statements to High Times. The National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) applauded the historic acknowledgement that a federal agency has recommended cannabis be reclassified. The NCR announced that they have been instrumental in advocating for and informing the heads of the HHS in a memo, and the DEA in an open letter, as to the scientific facts and medical value of cannabis meriting its reclassification to at least Schedule III. They acknowledged, however, the limitations of the authority of HHS and DOJ when it comes to the CSA and urged the DEA to follow the scientific findings of HHS and the FDA in this process.  “A move to Schedule III would mean 280E no longer applies to regulated cannabis companies,” Saphira Galoob, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Roundtable, told High Times in an email. “Not only does this reduce the extreme tax burden currently faced by the industry, but it allows them to take advantage of critical tax credits on things like payroll and other routine businesses costs regularly used by other legal entities. Cannabis companies continue to face issues with access to capital and banking services, resulting in cash intense operations. The ability to reinvest more of their revenues in their operations, instead of a majority of all revenue going to taxes, will be extremely impactful for the regulated cannabis industry—particularly small and minority operators.” Other active players in the industry reacted as well, acknowledging both the pros and cons of Schedule III. “Health officials’ recommendation for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a pivotal moment for our industry,” Wurk CEO Deborah Saneman told High Times. “The relentless efforts of the cannabis sector to destigmatize the plant have played a crucial role in challenging the long-standing unjust classification of cannabis. Despite facing various challenges, the cannabis industry has demonstrated resilience, adapting swiftly while upholding exceptional standards. As a leading player in the industry, Wurk remains committed to sustaining our position as the most dependable payroll, HR, and time-keeping platform in the market.”  “The recommendation to reclassify cannabis to a Schedule III substance is progress towards undoing generations of cannabis prohibition and a significant step in recognizing the plant’s medicinal and societal benefits,” Socrates Rosenfeld, co-founder and CEO of Jane Technologies, told High Times. “While this reclassification is not a ‘perfect’ solution, we will continue our mission until there is legal access around the world—and everyone in prison for cannabis is free. Still, this moment in history should be celebrated, and the end of cannabis prohibition has never felt closer to becoming a reality.”  “As the son of a convicted cannabis smuggler,  reading the full report from HHS (akin to a confession) that finally said the hard part out loud regarding the cannabis plants medicinal and societal value left me feeling both vindicated and excited for the future of cannabis reform,” Brady Cobb, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist and CEO of Sunburn Cannabis told High Times. “This is a groundbreaking step forward in the 70 plus year fight to end the ill fated war on the cannabis plant, and I eagerly await the DEA’s ruling to hopefully reschedule cannabis to schedule III. If that happens, this budding market will finally have a chance to operate in the sunshine with access to banking, U.S. financial services,  much needed tax reform and this move would serve as a springboard to much needed criminal justice reforms as well.” Last October 6, 2022, President Biden directed federal agencies to expeditiously consider reclassifying cannabis from the most restrictive category on the CSA schedule. Several organizations and businesses provided feedback on the FDA’s recent move. The move was partly spurred by attorney Matthew C. Zorn, who sued the federal officials after using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the rescheduling memo. He’s done it before: In 2019, Dr. Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute sued the DEA for blocking medical cannabis research. Two Texas-based attorneys, Shane Pennington and Zorn, took the case pro bono. NORML wrote that the DEA is essentially monopolizing cannabis research. Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA, and the DEA have only allowed one man—Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly at the University of Mississippi—to grow cannabis for clinical studies.  On Aug. 29, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended to the DEA that cannabis be reclassified from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III. Schedule III would change everything, especially in terms of opening up the doors to cannabis research. Zorn first published the documents on his On Drugs blog on Friday. Before Friday, a highly redacted clip of the documents released to Zorn were released a month ago with a single page of it last October. The industry grappled with the pros and cons Schedule III would bring as pressure mounts on the DEA to act on the recommendations from the HHS and FDA.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ Tens of thousands of people are wrongfully arrested for crimes based on a false positive result from a field drug test each year, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The research, which analyzed data available from public agencies across the country, found that the use of presumptive field tests in drug arrests is likely the largest known factor contributing to wrongful arrests and convictions in the United States. The research was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Penn Carey Law School’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, a national research and policy center created to foster structural improvements to the U.S. criminal legal system. The study analyzed survey data and national estimates of drug arrests to determine the impact of field drug tests on wrongful arrests, as well as their impact on subsequent prosecutions and criminal convictions. The study found that approximately 773,000 of the more than 1.5 field drug tests conducted in the United States each year are performed with color-based presumptive tests despite known reliability issues, including false positive results that incorrectly indicate the presence of controlled substances. Although the exact error rate for the tests has not been determined, the data suggests that about 30,000 people who do not possess drugs are falsely implicated by the tests each year. “Every year, tens of thousands of innocent Americans are arrested on the basis of $2.00 roadside drug test kits that are known to give false positives. Now, this landmark study by the Quattrone Center demonstrates the scope of the harm done by these inaccurate test kits, including the disproportionate impact to African Americans,” Des Walsh, founder of the Roadside Drug Test Innocence Alliance, said in a report from the Penn Carey School of Law. “Based on this study, we look forward to working with law enforcement and other interested parties to implement policies and adopt better testing techniques to substantially reduce the tragic number of innocent people arrested and convicted because of these false tests.” The report notes that the tests were originally adopted as only a preliminary test for the presence of controlled substances because of their unreliability and potential to return false positive results. However, the widespread use of the tests has negatively impacted the integrity of the legal system. Nearly 90% of prosecutors surveyed by the researchers said that guilty pleas are permitted in their jurisdictions without verification of a field test by an accredited toxicology lab.  “Presumptive field drug test kits are known to produce ‘false positive’ errors and were never designed or intended to provide conclusive evidence of the presence of drugs,” said Ross Miller, Quattrone Center assistant director and lead author of the report. “But in our criminal legal system, where plea bargaining is the norm and actual fact-finding by trial is exceedingly rare, these error-prone tests have become de facto determinants of guilt in a substantial share of criminal cases in the United States and, as a result, a significant cause of wrongful convictions.” About two-thirds (67%) of the drug labs in a national sample reported that they were not asked to verify the results of positive tests in cases resolved by a plea agreement. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they do not receive samples for testing when the results of a field test are available. When samples are received, nearly half (46%) of the labs surveyed do not conduct tests to confirm the field test if a guilty plea has already been entered in the case. The research also reveals racial disparities in the impact of false positive test results. The study found that a Black person is three times more likely than a white person to be arrested with a false positive from a field test. The research also suggests that the manufacturers of field test kits for drugs are not being transparent with law enforcement officials about the reliability of the tests. When the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) in Florida recently discovered that field-testing kits for cocaine had produced false positives, the agency immediately discontinued the use of the kits. When the owner of the cocaine test kit company used by JSO was asked about the false positives, he responded that this was not the first time they had false positives and that this is the “nature of the beast,” according to a policy brief from the Quatrone Center. In another interview, he stated, “I have no sense of the scale. I don’t know if it’s been one case or five. But I can’t imagine it’s horribly widespread.” The report recommended several policy changes to reduce the reliance on presumptive field drug tests and subsequent wrongful arrests and convictions. Recommendations include regular blind audits of cases using field tests to determine the error rate. The report also recommends that police cite and release people arrested for drug possession until a lab test can verify the results of a field test. The report also calls for confirmatory testing whenever a guilty plea is accepted. The researchers also recommended that the use of field drug tests be reduced or eliminated or that more accurate tests be used. “The relative volume of drug cases in criminal cases overall, combined with the widespread reliance on error-prone field testing in arrests, indicate that this is a significant and underexplored vector for wrongful convictions,” said Quattrone Center academic director and law professor Paul Heaton. “Law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the public all want an accurate criminal adjudication process. Reforming how presumptive tests are used could advance this shared goal.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ Two Tasmanian hemp business owners are founders and operators of the island state’s hemp processing operations. Andi Lucas of the hemp processing facility X-Hemp and Tim Crow of Hemp Harvests proudly embrace the benefits of hemp, but in a recent interview with ABC News, both of them expressed the need for regulations to change. “I’m effectively being treated as though I’m dealing with some sort of narcotic when in actual fact it’s a crop like grain, or barley, or wheat,” said Lucas about the state of the industry. “I think we missed an opportunity, the rest of the world has the ability to utilize the whole … plant,” added Crow. In November 2023, the Tasmania government tabled the Industrial Hemp Amendment Bill 2023 in parliament. New regulations associated with the bill would have changed both the 2015 Industrial Hemp Act and the Industrial Hemp Amendment Regulations 2016 to free up restrictions encountered by people like Lucas and Crow. At the time, Jo Palmer, the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, explained that legislators are committed to improving the state’s hemp industry. “Proposed amendments will improve clarity, efficiency, and transparency for licensees,” Palmer said in a press statement. “It will also provide consistency with existing legislation in relation to police powers, the assessment of suitability of applicants, and definitions for fit and proper persons and responsible officers.” X-Hemp was founded by Andi Lucas (who is also the Tasmanian Hemp Association’s president). According to her website, X-Hemp is the only cannabis fiber processing mill in Tasmania, and one of only a few throughout all Australian states. “X-Hemp grows its own crops and works with our state’s licensed hemp farmers, converting the grain stubble left from the hemp seed harvest—which was previously being burned off as waste—into saleable products,” the company website states. “X-Hemp sells hemp for building materials, mulch for landscaping, bast for specialty paper production, and other outputs for alternative uses such as animal bedding.” Lucas told ABC about the benefits of hemp processing and hempcrete production. “Hempcrete as a building material is highly insulating, it’s non-combustible, so it actually won’t ignite,” Lucas said. “It’s fantastic for bushfire areas, that type of thing, it’s a very attractive option for people who are looking to build environmentally sustainable homes. Hemp basically sequesters carbon through the growth cycle of the plant and the building’s life cycle.” X-Hemp is making hempcrete to be used in the interior construction of the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) forestry building, which was announced in January 2023. “We’re incredibly excited to be asked to supply material to a huge project that UTAS are building in Hobart and the old forestry building,” Lucas explained. “It’ll be the largest hempcrete building in the southern hemisphere and all of that hemp is being locally grown and processed in Tassie, which is amazing.” Crow founded Hemp Harvests, a hemp seed processing company which sells hemp seed hearts, hemp protein concentrate, and hemp seed oil. In the ABC interview, he explained that traveling in France and the Netherlands showed how hemp has truly become mainstream. “That’s where they produce fiber which is put into composites—BMW and Mercedes put them into car door panels.” He added that hemp insulation is more beneficial and takes less energy to create versus traditional methods of insulation, although it’s currently more expensive. He also explored the North American and Canadian hemp markets, specifically how they have evolved and expanded hemp production. “Now there’s a lot of investment going into using the fibers, including building materials—there’s people making natural insulation and flooring,” Crow said. When the Tasmanian Industrial Hemp Amendment Bill 2023 was shelved last November, the government stated that the industrial hemp industry could be worth $10 billion by 2050, and is an important contribution to help the state move toward sustainability. Overall, Australians have shown overwhelming support for cannabis in a variety of ways. A recent YouGov poll showed that 50% of Australians are in favor of legalizing a bill that would allow residents to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. The poll also showed that 54% of Australians support decriminalization, with 33% saying they do not support decriminalization, and 12% didn’t know. Last July, Australia became the first country in the world to allow doctors to prescribe psilocybin and MDMA therapy. It was a three-year process and decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration that eventually led to moving psilocybin and MDMA from Schedule 9 substances to Schedule 8. If recreational cannabis were to be legalized throughout Australia, a May 2023 report shows that the industry could earn $243.5 million per year within the first five years. “This is the first time anyone has shown their working, and set out exactly how their figures were arrived at,” said Legalise Cannabis WA party leader Brian Walker. “On the spending side we’ve got stuff like your police—for chasing a cannabis crime—the courts and the corrective services for managing that. Altogether, that’s about $100 million per year.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ While Arkansas approved its medical cannabis initiative back in 2016, there are still a number of limitations when compared to other states that have made similar moves.  For example, patients can only purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis in a 14-day period, patients under 21 cannot consume herbal forms of cannabis, dispensaries cannot provide cannabis-infused foods or drinks with more than 10mg of THC and home cultivation is not allowed, among other limitations. With a newly proposed constitutional amendment, a cannabis industry group is looking to loosen some of the state’s current limitations. On Friday, Arkansans for Patient Access said it was submitting the ballot language for the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2024 to Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, as reported by the Arkansas Advocate. “The goal of this ballot proposal is to reaffirm and build upon Amendment 98 to better serve patients,” said Amy Martin, owner of The Greenery dispensary in Fort Smith. “This amendment reflects a commitment to the principles established by the state’s voters. It reduces barriers and streamlines processes so qualifying patients can access the medicines and treatment options that best serve them.” The ballot initiative introduces a number of changes to the current medical cannabis program.  If passed, it would allow patients and designated caregivers over the age of 21 to grow up to seven mature plants and seven younger plants. Currently, only doctors can grant patients medical cannabis cards, though the amendment would also allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to do so.  It would also allow providers to grant medical cannabis cards based on any medical need, instead of being limited to the state’s current 18 qualifying conditions. Healthcare providers would also be allowed to conduct patient assessments via telemedicine. Additionally, the amendment would expand access to out-of-state residents and recognize patient cards from other states, along with allowing non-residents to obtain Arkansas medical cannabis cards. The initiative would also remove application fees for prospective patients seeking medical cannabis cards and increase the expiration dates for new patient cards from one to three years. Along with the proposed changes to the state’s current medical cannabis program, the proposal would also create a recreational cannabis trigger law. This comes in the midst of the Biden Administration’s ongoing consideration to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The trigger law would permit Arkansas adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis should the federal government remove cannabis from the CSA or if cannabis possession is no longer considered a federal crime. The trigger provision would limit commercial growth and distribution to cultivation facilities and dispensaries currently licensed under the state’s medical cannabis law. Arkansas previously attempted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2022 through Issue 4, which still came with a number of strict limitations, though it was ultimately rejected by voters. Attorney David Couch drafted the state’s original Amendment 98 to legalize medical cannabis, and while he opposed the 2022 effort, he’s shown public support for this new initiative. Similarly, patient advocate Melissa Fults was against the 2022 measure but stands behind the new effort on behalf of Arkansans for Patient Access. The attorney general will have 10 business days to review the measure and ballot language before indicating whether or not it is fit to appear on the upcoming Arkansas ballot for voters this November. Should it be approved, canvassers have until July 5 to gather 90,704 signatures from registered voters, which would effectively qualify the initiative for the ballot.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​Summary: Researchers uncovered how cannabis triggers appetite in the brain. Using calcium imaging technology to observe brain cells in mice exposed to vaporized cannabis sativa, the team discovered that cannabis activates… The post Munchies Mystery Solved: Cannabis Activates Brain’s Appetite Neurons appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news. Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Ukraine has now been “unblocked” from advancing to the president’s desk after an attempt to overturn the reform failed in the parliament. Lawmakers approved the medical cannabis legislation last month, but the opposition Batkivshchyna party used a procedural tactic to block it by forcing consideration of a resolution to repeal the measure. That resolution failed this week, earning just 25 of the required 226 votes. On Wednesday the bill was formally sent to the desk of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who supports the reform. MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak of the Holos party announced the development on Telegram on Tuesday, Ukrinform reported. Opponents previously tried to derail the marijuana bill by filing hundreds of what critics called “spam” amendments, but that attempt similarly failed, with the measure ultimately passing with 248 votes. The bill that’s heading to the president would legalize medical cannabis for patients with severe illnesses and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from the nation’s ongoing conflict with Russia, which launched an invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago. While the text of the legislation as introduced only explicitly lists cancer and war-borne PTSD as conditions for which medical cannabis could be dispensed to patients, the chair of the health committee said in July that lawmakers hear daily from patients with other illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. The bill moves marijuana from strictly prohibited under List I to available for medical use with a prescription under List II of the country’s drug code. The Agrarian Policy Ministry will hold regulatory responsibilities over cannabis cultivation and processing operations. The National Police and State Agency on Medicines will also hold oversight and enforcement authorities related to the distribution of the medicine. In order to ensure patient access, the measure additionally allows raw cannabis materials to be imported from other countries. Zelensky, for his part, voiced support for medical marijuana legalization last June, stating in an address to the parliament that “all the world’s best practices, all the most effective policies, all the solutions, no matter how difficult or unusual they may seem to us, must be applied in Ukraine so that Ukrainians, all our citizens, do not have to endure the pain, stress and trauma of war.” “In particular, we must finally fairly legalize cannabis-based medicines for all those who need them, with appropriate scientific research and controlled Ukrainian production,” he said. The law will become effective six months after Zelensky signs the legislation. During his presidential campaign, Zelensky also voiced support for medical cannabis legalization, saying in 2019 that he feels it would be “normal” to allow people to access cannabis “droplets,” which is possibly a reference to marijuana tinctures. The policy change would put Ukraine is stark contrast to its long-time aggressor Russia, which has taken a particularly strong stance against reforming cannabis policy at the international level through the United Nations. The country has condemned Canada for legalizing marijuana nationwide. New York Governor Proposes Repealing Marijuana Potency Tax To Reduce Costs And Combat Illicit Market Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ A person would need to “smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole” to get high from hemp, even if it marginally exceeds the 0.3 percent THC threshold that separates the federally legal crop from prohibited marijuana, a Justice Department researcher says. It’s part of what makes the federal definition of hemp, as set out in the 2018 Farm Bill, a bit perplexing. While the intent of the low THC standard is to prevent people from accessing an intoxicating product, the origin of the specific 0.3 percent rule doesn’t appear to be especially grounded in science. “It’s just a really hard line, and it’s a really low line,” Frances Scott, a physical scientist at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences under DOJ, said in an episode of the Justice Today podcast that was posted this month. In 2022, Scott helped lead a study that involved testing dozens of products that are marketed as legal hemp. The findings, published in Police Chiefs Magazine, revealed that the “vast majority” crossed the 0.3 percent THC threshold, making them “legally marijuana.” “Some of these were like 0.35 percent, 0.4 percent, okay? So they’re really tiny amounts,” she said. “The implication is, this is legitimate farmers legitimately trying to grow hemp. They’re not trying to grow illicit marijuana and get you high because, quite frankly, you’d have to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole to get much off of that 0.35 percent, right?” “It’s sort of fascinating where that 0.3 percent came from, too. It seems to have come from, like, one mention hypothetically in an article from the 1950s, and kind of got picked up and run with,” Scott said. The specificity of the 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by dry weight definition also creates complications when it comes to non-flower products like “lotion or an oil,” the researcher explained. The NIJ podcast conversation hits on a topic that’s likely to be reared again in Congress this year, as lawmakers get back to work on the next iteration of the Farm Bill after the prior version was extended. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently outlined how differing policy priorities among industry stakeholders could complicate the task, but there are several areas of agreement within the top industry groups. One of those shared interests is amending the law to raise the THC limit to one percent for compliant hemp—a proposal that was also addressed in a standalone bill from Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) in 2022. There have been a number of other hemp bills that were filed this session that lawmakers may also consider folding in to the broader agricultural legislation. One bipartisan bill filed last March seeks to end what critics say is a “discriminatory” federal policy that bars people with prior felony drug convictions from owning or leading legal hemp businesses. Another measure introduced with bipartisan sponsors last year would reduce regulations on farmers that grow industrial hemp for non-extraction purposes. Top of mind for other hemp stakeholders and legislators is their interest in finding a regulatory pathway to allow for the lawful marketing of hemp products like CBD oil as dietary supplements and in the food supply. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory jurisdiction over that issue, but at the beginning of the year, the agency said it didn’t have a pathway to make it happen and instead offered to work with Congress on a solution. In response, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), filed legislation last July that would remove regulatory barriers that FDA claims prevents it from allowing CBD marketing. Meanwhile, recent reporting could prompt additional reform proposals, as it’s come to light that USDA has been revoking certain hemp licenses for businesses that dually retain state licenses for marijuana. For the time being, the hemp industry continues to face unique regulatory hurdles that stakeholders blame for the crop’s value plummeting in the short years since its legalization. Despite the economic conditions, however, a recent report found that the hemp market in 2022 was larger than all state marijuana markets, and it roughly equaled sales for craft beer nationally. Congressional Researchers Detail Limitations Of Marijuana Rescheduling For State Markets And Criminal Justice Reform Photo courtesy of Brendan Cleak. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit against three individuals, Jonathan Farber, Aarif Jamani, and Brian Keasberry, for their involvement in a sophisticated stock manipulation scheme involving County Line Energy Inc., a small public company based in California. According to the SEC’s complaint filed by the Southern District of New York, the scheme, which took place from 2017 to 2021, led to profits of approximately $5 million. The main focus of the SEC’s case is on the alleged stock manipulation scheme, not specifically on the cannabis aspect of County Line Energy’s business, which was described by its founders as “manufactur and sell self-contained hydroponic systems for growing plants, vegetables, and cannabis.” The defendants are accused of gaining control of County Line by placing associates in key management positions and then manipulating the company’s stock. The SEC alleges that they created a false appearance of market interest in County Line stock, which had minimal trading activity before the defendants began the scheme. The complaint details how Farber, Jamani, and Keasberry coordinated to sell County Line stock to friendly buyers under their control, effectively trading the stock among themselves to simulate active market interest. The strategy was to attract retail investors to purchase the stock, which the defendants were unloading for profit. Further allegations include that the defendants funded an online promotional campaign to falsely hype the stock’s potential. The SEC states that the trio did not disclose their control over the company or the fact that they were actively selling the majority of the stock during the promotion. “To evade limitations placed on company insiders and sell the massive quantities of County Line stock they had accumulated, Jamani and Farber had to conceal their status as County Line affiliates,” the agency wrote. “They did so by lying to County Line’s transfer agent and by selling shares through offshore nominee accounts.” The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants, along with the disgorgement of all profits made from the unlawful conduct, including prejudgment interest and civil penalties. The Commission also seeks to bar the defendants from participating in any offering of penny stock and from serving as officers or directors of any public company. countylineSECfraud  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ Democratic lawmakers are weighing a proposal that would also allow misdemeanors for drug possession, but with smaller potential penalties than those proposed by the Republicans. By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle Oregon House Republican lawmakers on Thursday released details of a proposal that would end Measure 110 by mandating misdemeanor penalties for drug possession and treatment to avoid jail. House Republicans want to make possession of small amounts of fentanyl, heroin and meth a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $6,250, or both. Under the bill, users could avoid jail time with mandatory addiction treatment. The bill also would impose a similar misdemeanor penalty for public drug use. In the coming weeks, Democratic lawmakers, who hold the majority in the Legislature, plan to release detailed proposals to address drug addiction for the short, 35-day session, which starts February 5. Oregon voters in 2020 passed Measure 110, which decriminalizes possession of small amounts of hard drugs and puts a share of cannabis revenue into addiction programs and services. Criticism since then has mounted, with reaction split: Measure 110 supporters are urging Oregonians to give the measure a chance to succeed as programs begin. Others say smaller changes to the law are necessary to address public drug use and allow police to intervene. And others want Measure 110 repealed. “The citizens of Oregon understand the failures of Measure 110,” said Rep. Rick Lewis (R-Silverton) one of the six GOP chief sponsors of the proposal. “We see the results on the streets, in the unacceptable overdose death rate and in the catastrophic consequences to our communities, to public safety and to livability. Change is needed, and we can’t afford to take small steps that fail to adequately address the problem.” The proposal would require tougher prison sentences for drug dealers and manufacturers, including a mandatory prison sentence of at least three years for unlawful delivery or manufacturing of a controlled substance if they have a prior conviction within the last five years. The bill’s chief sponsors include Reps. Kevin Mannix (R-Salem) and Christine Goodwin (R-Canyonville), who serve on the joint committee tasked with addressing the drug addiction crisis. In a statement, Mannix said the bill would return accountability to the state and provide public safety and “compassionate rehabilitation services to addicted persons.” Goodwin said the state needs to change direction and this bill starts that work. “People do not feel safe,” Goodwin said. “Businesses are leaving. People are afraid to do business in our state.” A Democratic proposal Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton) said lawmakers are working on a comprehensive proposal. “We are working, in conversation with our Republican colleagues, to put together a proposal that connects people to addiction treatment, gets drugs off our streets, and keeps our communities safe,” Lieber said in a statement to the Capital Chronicle. “We know we cannot go back to the failed war on drugs, and we cannot continue to allow Oregonians to die of drug overdoses on our streets. A policy has not been finalized, but once we do have a proposal to put forward, we look forward to thoroughly vetting the ideas through a public process.” Among the potential ideas: Democratic lawmakers are weighing a proposal that would also allow misdemeanors for drug possession, but with smaller potential penalties than those proposed by the Republicans. The Democratic proposal would make possession a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a possible jail sentence of up to 30 days. That proposal, which could change, would give people an opportunity to avoid the misdemeanor charge if they talked to a provider about treatment and other services. If they declined to get help, the charge would go to the courts, but they could still get the case discharged before trial if they entered a program. For cases that proceeded, people would be likely to access drug courts to get help and have charges expunged. Democratic lawmakers have said they want tougher penalties for drug dealers, prevention and education and the courts to all have a role in the state’s response to the addiction crisis. Congressional Researchers Detail Limitations Of Marijuana Rescheduling For State Markets And Criminal Justice Reform Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ Psychedelic-assisted therapy provider Numinus Wellness Inc. (OTCQX: NUMIF) released its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2024, which showed a nuanced performance, with a modest slump in revenue but increased operational efficiency. The company’s revenue for the quarter ending Nov. 30, 2023, was $5.9 million, a 3% decline from the previous quarter. Revenue was up 4.9% versus the same quarter the previous year. That fluctuation is partly due to a shift towards more profitable operations, according to the company, leading to a lower number of appointments at its wellness clinics. Numinus reported a $4.4 million  net loss versus a $6.3 million net loss in the previous year’s first period, according to filings. According to CEO Payton Nyquvest, Numinus has focused on enhancing its practitioner training program and clinical infrastructure to meet growing demand for novel mental health treatments. “This infrastructure is built on Numinus’ synergistic combination of a clinic network that delivers high-quality patient care, clinical research support that works with leading psychedelic drug developers, and training programs that ensure effective and safe support is available for patients into the future,” Nyquvest said. A key aspect of the firm’s strategy has been cost containment. The company reported a monthly cash burn rate of less than $1 million for the period, a continuation of efforts that began in October 2023. That has resulted in a 19.9% decline in operating expenses versus the previous quarter and a 30.6% reduction versus the first quarter of last year. Consequently, the gross margin improved to 36.1% from 29.5% in the previous quarter. The performance of Numinus’ wellness clinics also alluded to that rightsizing, with revenue of $4.9 million for the quarter, a slight year-over-year slump. The company’s emphasis on higher-margin services led to a reduction in the number of clinical appointments. Regarding clinical research, the company reported mixed results. Revenue from clinical and contract research fell by 12.9% from the previous quarter, but it rose 49.5% versus the same quarter last year. Numinus said it continues to participate in clinical trials and has introduced comprehensive psychedelic programs at its facilities. As of the end of the quarter, Numinus reported a total cash balance of $4.7 million and working capital of $4.6 million. The company’s board of directors kickstarted a strategic review process to explore options for enhancing shareholder value, with no specific timeline set for its completion.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget released Tuesday proposes repealing a state “potency tax” on marijuana products that industry stakeholders said has deterred legal retail sales and driven more consumers to… The post Hochul proposes repeal of NY’s marijuana ‘potency tax’ appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news. Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ Vermont’s House of Representatives has passed a bill to create and fund overdose prevention centers in the state, part of a pilot program aimed at quelling the ongoing epidemic of drug-related deaths. It’s another attempt by lawmakers to allow the facilities following Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) veto of a 2022 measure that would have established a task force to create a plan to open the sites. If the measure, H.72, is enacted into law, Vermont would join Rhode Island and Minnesota in authorizing the facilities, where people can use illicit drugs in a supervised environment and be connected to various support services, including treatment. Led by Rep. Taylor Small (D) and 28 other co-sponsors, the bill in its current form would earmark $2 million to support the creation of two overdose prevention centers along with $300,000 to study the impacts of the program. After adopting a number of amendments, the full House passed the measure on Thursday, advancing the proposal to the Senate. “People around the country are acknowledging that old, stigmatizing approaches aren’t working, while evidence is clear overdose prevention centers save lives,” said Grey Gardner, senior policy council for the advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which supports the legislation. Since 2010, Gardner noted, overdose fatalities in Vermont have climbed by nearly 500 percent. “The priority needs to be saving lives, improving connections to care, and benefiting communities,” he said, “and that’s exactly what overdose prevention centers are proven to do.” Among the more notable recent changes ahead of House passage, an amendment offered by Rep. Eric Maguire (R) added a local opt-in provision that would allow sites to open “only upon an affirmative vote of the legislative body of the municipality.” Earlier House amendments to the bill doubled the funding for the sites—from $1 million to $2 million—and directed that funding to study the pilot program should come from the a state opioid abatement fund. Even if the overdose prevention center legislation passes the Senate, where it has been referred to the Health and Welfare Committee, it still faces a possible veto from Scott. “I just don’t think that a government entity should be in the business of enabling those who are addicted to these drugs that are illegal,” the governor said of the measure, according to WCAX. Scott wrote in his 2022 veto message on the earlier legislation that “it seems counterintuitive to divert resources from proven harm reduction strategies to plan injection sites without clear data on the effectiveness of this approach.” Though Rhode Island and Minnesota have state laws on the books allowing safe consumption sites, New York City became the first U.S. jurisdiction to open locally sanctioned harm reduction centers in November 2021, and officials have reported positive results saving lives. An early study published by the American Medical Association (AMA) found that the facilities had decreased the risk of overdose, steered people away from using drugs in public and provided other ancillary health services to people who use illicit substances. And separate research published by AMA late last year found that the centers have not led to increased crime despite a significant decrease in arrests. Meanwhile the federal government is fighting an effort to open an overdose prevention center in Philadelphia, with the Biden administration arguing that the facilities violate federal law. The Supreme Court rejected a request to that hear that case in October 2021. —Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.— Congressional researchers have highlighted the “uncertainty” of the federal government’s position on such facilities, pointing out last November that lawmakers could temporarily resolve the issue by advancing an amendment modeled after the one that has allowed medical marijuana laws to be implemented without Justice Department interference. Meanwhile, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow has tacitly endorsed the idea of authorizing safe consumption sites, arguing that evidence has effectively demonstrated that the facilities can prevent overdose deaths. Volkow declined to say specifically what she believes should happen with the ongoing lawsuit, but she said safe consumption sites that have been the subject of research “have shown that it has saved a significant patients from overdosing.” Rahul Gupta, the White House drug czar, has said the Biden administration is reviewing broader drug policy harm reduction proposals, including the authorization of supervised consumption sites, and he went so far as to suggest possible decriminalization. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) put out a pair of requests for applications in December 2021 to investigate how safe consumption sites and other harm reduction policies could help address the drug crisis. Gupta, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), has said it’s critical to explore “any and every option” to reduce overdose deaths, which could include allowing safe consumption sites for illegal substances if the evidence supports their efficacy. Congressman Delivers ‘Angry’ Floor Speech About Stalled Federal Marijuana Reform, But Says It’s ‘Not Too Late’ To Act Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
January 17, 2024Cannabis News​ As the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) weighs a marijuana rescheduling recommendation from health officials, congressional researchers are laying out the limitations of the policy change— emphasizing that state cannabis markets would continue to run afoul of federal law, and existing criminal penalties for certain marijuana-related activity would remain in force. In a report published on Tuesday, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) explained the “legal consequences” of moving cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has advised DEA to do following its comprehensive scientific review. “Moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, without other legal changes, would not bring the state-legal medical or recreational marijuana industry into compliance with federal controlled substances law,” CRS said. “With respect to medical marijuana, a key difference between placement in Schedule I and Schedule III is that substances in Schedule III have an accepted medical use and may lawfully be dispensed by prescription, while Substances in Schedule I cannot,” it continued. However, in order for marijuana to be legally prescribed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would need to approve its use, and plant medicines do not typically go through that approval process. “Moreover, if one or more marijuana products obtained FDA approval, manufacturers and distributors would need to register with DEA and comply with regulatory requirements that apply to Schedule III substances in order to handle those products. Users of medical marijuana would need to obtain valid prescriptions for the substance from medical providers, subject to federal legal requirements that differ from existing state regulatory requirements for medical marijuana.” Importantly, the report explains that only certain criminal penalties “depend on the schedule in which a substance is classified,” while others are specific to marijuana and would not automatically change with a Schedule III reclassification. “If marijuana were moved to Schedule III, applicable penalties for some offenses would be reduced,” it says. “However, CSA penalties that apply to activities involving marijuana specifically, such as the quantity-based mandatory minimum sentences discussed above, would not change as a result of rescheduling.” CRS did point out, however, that the scheduling change would “allow marijuana businesses to deduct business expenses on federal tax filings” that they’ve been barred from under an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E. “Other collateral legal consequences would continue to attach to unauthorized marijuana-related activities,” the report says. Regardless of what scheduling decision is ultimately made, CRS said the Justice Department would continue to be blocked from interfering in state medical cannabis programs under an appropriations rider that Congress has annually renewed each year since 2014. “Thus, so long as the current rider remains in effect, participants in the state-legal medical marijuana industry who comply with state law would be shielded from federal prosecution,” the report says. “If the rider were to lapse or be repealed, these persons would again be subject to prosecution at the discretion of DOJ.” The researchers also offered considerations for Congress, stating that if lawmakers want to change the legal status of marijuana “it has broad authority to do so before or after DEA makes any scheduling decision.” It listed a number of existing legislative proposals that “would relax federal regulation of marijuana,” while noting that “Congress could also seek to impose more stringent controls.” “Rescheduling or descheduling marijuana under the CSA could raise additional legal questions,” it continues. “For instance, FDA regulates certain cannabis products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, so Congress might also consider whether to alter that regulatory regime or create some alternative regulatory framework. In addition, relaxing the CSA’s restrictions on marijuana could implicate the United States’ international treaty obligations.” In September, CRS released a related analysis that focused on how rescheduling would have “broad implications for federal policy” in areas such as taxes, housing, immigration, military eligibility, gun rights and more. Researchers also assessed that it is “likely” DEA will abide by the HHS recommendation, based on past precedent. HHS finally released the full recommendation and scientific findings it shared with DEA last week, and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said his agency has “communicated” their “position” on marijuana rescheduling to DEA and has continued to offer additional information to assist with the final determination. As CRS said in its new report, DEA has steadfastly maintained it has “final authority” over the matter and can make any scheduling determination that it sees fit. “DEA has the final authority to schedule, reschedule, or deschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act, after considering the relevant statutory and regulatory criteria and HHS’s scientific and medical evaluation,” the agency said in a letter to lawmakers last month. “DEA is now conducting its review.” The statement came in response to an earlier letter from 31 bipartisan lawmakers, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), that urged the agency to consider the “merits” of legalization as it carried out its review. DEA has faced pressure on both sides of the marijuana policy debate over recent months, with advocates pressing for a Schedule III decision, or complete descheduling, and prohibitionists urging the agency to keep cannabis in Schedule I. Prior to the HHS documents’ release, a coalition of 12 Democratic state attorneys general implored DEA to move forward with federal marijuana rescheduling, calling the policy change a “public safety imperative.” In another letter last month, 29 former U.S. attorneys called on the Biden administration to leave cannabis in Schedule I. Last month, the governors of six U.S. states—Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Louisiana—sent a letter to Biden calling on the administration to reschedule marijuana by the end of last year. Meanwhile, six former DEA heads and five former White House drug czars sent a letter to the attorney general and current DEA administrator voicing opposition to the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. They also made a questionable claim about the relationship between drug schedules and criminal penalties in a way that could exaggerate the potential impact of the incremental reform. Signatories include DEA and Office of National Drug Control Policy heads under multiple administrations led by presidents of both major parties. In October, Advocates and lawmakers who support cannabis reform marked the one-year anniversary of Biden’s mass marijuana pardon and scheduling directive this month by calling on him to do more—including by expanding the scope of relief that his pardon had and by expressly supporting federal legalization. Two GOP senators, including the lead Republican sponsor of a marijuana banking bill that cleared a key committee in September, also filed legislation late last year to prevent federal agencies from rescheduling cannabis without tacit approval from Congress. A coalition of 14 Republican congressional lawmakers, meanwhile, has urged DEA to “reject” the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana and instead keep it in the most restrictive category under the CSA. Michigan Marijuana Sales Surpassed $3 Billion In 2023 As Retailers Smashed Monthly Record In December Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
Cannabis Recipes
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 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...
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, 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, 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, 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 -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, 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, 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, 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, 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 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 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 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 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, 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, 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 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, 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 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, 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 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 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 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...