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

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

Our Services

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

Our Mission

  • To Heal
  • To Educate
  • To Listen

Our Team

Benjamin Caplan, MD
Erin Caplan, NP

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

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

Patient Stories

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

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

Krista Pennell

To sleep well again is life-changing

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

Barbara M.

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

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

Mark L.

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

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

Rachel M.

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

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

Alan T.

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

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

Michael J.

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

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

Stephanie W.

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

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

Joshua C.

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

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

Heather F.

I can’t recommend Dr. Caplan highly enough

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

Steve G.

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

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

Nancy O.

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

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

Robert M.

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate

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

Justice S.

Excellent Experience, top to bottom

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

Ellison M.

I’m shy but felt comfortable and supported

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

Sara E.

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

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

Ryan H.

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

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

Elizabeth P.

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

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

Benjamin T.

Dr. Caplan is extremely patient and compassionate

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

Jeff E.

Very knowledgeable and compassionate

Very knowledgeable and compassionate.

Irene C.

I would highly recommend Dr. Caplan

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

Ashley S.

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

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

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

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

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

Laura M.

Dr. Caplan was very friendly, extremely helpful and knowledgeable

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

Timothy Y.

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

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

Anonoymous

The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook

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

Melissa Etheridge

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CED Clinic Blog
November 6, 2023Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk: Navigating the Nuances in Media and Medicine The spotlight on “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” has intensified, notably with a recent CNN article by a journalist hailing from Georgia, Sandee LaMotte, sketching a picture that points to potential risks linked with marijuana use. Unfortunately, this sort of impulsive, one-sided journalism prompts an important second look at the media’s role in scientific discourse and the nuanced reality of such health risks. The Intricacies of Cannabis and Cardiovascular Health Cannabis and cardiovascular health share a complex relationship. The interplay of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, with the cardiovascular system is a subject of critical research. Studies highlight that while nitric oxide (NO) serves a protective role in vascular health, THC may impede its beneficial effects, indicating the need for a nuanced understanding of these findings. Considering the ying-yang nature of CBD and THC, this also reminds of the importance of cannabis care that is guided by experts who can help inform patients what the real risks are, and which substances may present a reality that is not only low risk, but may even pose potential benefits in cardiovascular health. Comprehensive Perspectives Beyond THC (A narrow viewpoint) Broadening the conversation on “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” requires consideration of, and the roles played by other cannabis constituents, including CBD, other minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The method of cannabis consumption, from smoking or vaping to topicals, edibles, and other forms of delivery, is another important area that demands deeper discussion into their potential impacts on heart health. Ignoring the nuances of the wide range of constituents within cannabis, and demonizing it all, regardless of form, delivery, or patient, stinks worse than a skunk at a perfume factory, but perhaps not on account of the cannabis. Fast aside, did you know that, when threatened, skunks spray a potent and pungent liquid from their glands as a defense mechanism? The smell is notoriously difficult to remove and can linger for a long time.  … just saying. The Importance of Balanced Reporting in Science (Biased Science and Reporting) The tendency of health science reporting to sensationalize findings has become increasingly common, as seen in the CNN article. However, such reports must strive to mirror the spectrum of scientific research, encompassing not just the risks but also the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis. As with any reporting and all science, wise readers should consider the scientific sources underpinning published work, as well as the qualifications and historical perspectives/biases of experts that support the reporting and sharing of views.  Do the papers themselves pose the risks about which the journalism reports?  Are the experts qualified and experienced in the domain of discussion? Have those experts shown themselves to be repeatedly bull-horning one particular viewpoint? Does the perspective appear like a solo, unending tiki-torch march against cannabis? Or, does scientific commentary present itself evenly on both sides of the discussion topic, from which the reader may derive their own conclusions?  Do you like your reporting to make your decisions for you? or do these nuances matter to YOU as the reader?  All important questions! ….If the reporting is pushing you to come to their conclusion, you should beware that, chances are, you’re not getting a full picture or the whole story.   Beware Causation vs Association!  Baking Cookies (Causation): Imagine you’re baking cookies. You add sugar to the cookie dough. The sugar directly causes the cookies to taste sweet. This is causation: you do something (add sugar), and it directly causes a result (sweetness in cookies). Roosters Crow and the Sun Rises (Association): Now, think about a rooster crowing at sunrise. The rooster crows every morning as the sun rises. However, the rooster’s crowing doesn’t cause the sun to rise. They’re associated because they happen at the same time, but one does not cause the other. So, in causation, like adding sugar to cookies, there’s a direct cause and effect. In association, like the rooster crowing and the sunrise, two things are linked by timing or circumstance, but one doesn’t directly cause the other.   A Call for Rigorous Scientific Inquiry (Quality of Data) Recognizing that each study enriches the collective understanding, it is essentially for ongoing investigations to add more rigorous evaluations. Self-reports, lackluster patient selection, a disregard of patient environmental, socioeconomic, and a patent disregard for the medical backgrounds, ongoing treatment, or personal experience with cannabis is no longer acceptable for quality, peer-reviewed study,  The half-baked attitude supporting the current research should be cause for hesitation and doubt about the nature of relevant scientific knowledge about the interplay of cannabis and cardiovascular risk. (see references below, which highlight available good quality research that draws intrinsically opposing conclusions about the effects of cannabinoid-based phenomena on cardiovascular effect. For journalist claiming to make evidence-based conclusions, or for readers expecting to derive insights about the real world, the details matter! The Media’s Role in Scientific Discourse (limitations of the media) Journalists have a critical role in guiding the public discourse and in shaping the direction of health and science is shaped. The importance of how information is communicated cannot be overstated. Journalists should aim to convey research findings with accuracy, ensuring complex issues are not oversimplified. For the opinions or perspectives that belong in a domain of expertise beyond the reporter, appropriate expertise, on both sides of a debate, should be included to empower readers with a balanced offering of facts  The recent CNN report underscores the influence of the media and the need for precise and comprehensive communication, and unfortunately, precisely how information can be dangerously misleading or come out so one-sided as to be outright deceitful, from a scientific point of view.   Why do Journalists Do This ?  1. Overly Simple and Catchy News: Sometimes, reporters make complex science sound simpler so more people will understand it, but this can change the meaning. Headlines that say one thing causes another are more eye-catching than headlines that just show a connection, which can be misleading. 2. Getting the Science Wrong: Reporters might not always get the science right, especially if they don’t fully get the research methods or the numbers. They often use summaries or press releases that don’t give the whole story, which can lead to wrong ideas about what the research actually says. 3. Rushed Reporting and Using Secondhand Info: News moves fast, and the rush to get stories out can mean not enough time is spent checking facts, which can lead to mistakes or oversimplifications. Reporters also might rely on other articles instead of the original research, which can add to the chances of getting things wrong. What can consumers of information do to protect themselves? 1. Seek Comprehensive Understanding: Dive deeper than headlines by reading full articles to grasp the context of scientific findings. Enhance your critical thinking by educating yourself on basic scientific principles, such as distinguishing causation from correlation. This foundational knowledge aids in evaluating the credibility of news reports. 2. Cross-Reference Information: Verify news by consulting multiple reputable sources, including the original research studies when available. Accessing abstracts and conclusions can offer more direct insights, providing a broader perspective on the subject matter and helping to identify whether certain interpretations are commonly accepted or outliers. 3. Approach with Critical Analysis: Exercise healthy skepticism and be cautious of oversimplifications in science reporting. Recognize the limitations of journalism in conveying complex scientific data, and consider using fact-checking websites to validate claims. Engage with science communicators who can effectively distill intricate concepts for wider audiences. Considering the Breadth of Evidence It is vital to a healthy flow of public education to acknowledge the limitations and varied results of existing studies on the potential cardiovascular risks – and potential benefits – of various cannabinoids, terpenes, and cannabis-related consumption. Journalists have a moral obligation to ensure that the public and healthcare providers receive reliable information for informed decision-making. Unless journalists are broadcasting through channels that are openly based on personal opinion, where bias and a lack of rigorous standards in research, analysis, or message broadcasting are self-evident, it is irresponsible to disseminate questionable scientific information to sway readers toward one perspective or another. Navigating the Complex Landscape of Cannabis Research The impact of cannabis on heart health is multifaceted, laden with complexities, and marked by many unknowns. Comprehending how cannabinoids may influence cardiovascular function—including the production, release, and degradation of Nitric Oxide, as well as determining their potential risks or benefits—is a critical area of ongoing research that is far from being fully understood Moving the Discussion on Cannabis and Heart Health In light of the recent media attention, it is imperative that the conversation surrounding ‘Cannabis and Cardiovascular Risk’ progresses in tandem with scientific discovery, adopting a perspective that is both open-minded and rigorously analytical. Research must delve into the complex and dynamic nature of cannabis, recognizing it as a multifactorial substance. Much like how food is not a monolith but rather a vast array of types, varieties, and flavors, each with its own nutritional profile and culinary role, cannabis too is a tapestry of diverse elements, each with distinct properties and effects Final Reflections on Media and Medical Responsibility Considering the potential cardiovascular risks associated with cannabis use, it is essential to foster a media environment that promotes evidence-based discussions. Simplified narratives risk obscuring the intricate reality of cannabis research and its implications for health. This underscores the shared responsibility of scientists and journalists to cultivate a dialogue that is both knowledgeable and reflective of the dynamic pursuit of scientific understanding Simplifying Nitric Oxide’s Role in Cardiovascular Health As a brief primer on the significance of nitric oxide (NO) in cardiovascular health: Nitric oxide is fundamental to the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. It aids in the relaxation of blood vessels, which is essential for the regulation of blood flow. Grasping the fundamental role of NO in vascular dilation, its influence on blood pressure, and its critical role in tissue oxygenation is vital. This understanding is particularly important when considering clinical outcomes, especially in the context of heart attacks and strokes, where NO’s role becomes prominently significant. The Connection Between Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Risk The interaction between nitric oxide (NO) and cardiovascular health adds a significant layer of complexity to discussions about cannabis. NO is a critical mediator in cardiovascular physiology, influencing vasodilation and thereby impacting blood pressure and flow. It is through these mechanisms that NO can affect the likelihood of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. For instance, reduced NO availability can lead to vasoconstriction, increased vascular resistance, and subsequent hypertension, all of which are risk factors for heart attacks. Conversely, optimal levels of NO can promote vasodilation, improve blood flow, and potentially mitigate these risks. In practice, if cannabis were found to enhance NO production, it could theoretically support vascular health by helping maintain adequate vessel dilation and blood flow. However, should cannabis interfere with NO production or function, it might exacerbate cardiovascular risks by promoting vasoconstriction and hypertension. Understanding how cannabis compounds interact with the NO pathway is therefore essential, as it could inform both clinical practice and individual decision-making regarding cannabis use, especially for those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. As we conclude the conversation on how “Cannabis Cardiovascular Risk” is represented in the media, it is clear that both journalists and medical professionals must work together to ensure that public discussions accurately reflect the complex and developing nature of scientific research. This collaboration is essential for preserving the integrity of scientific study and patient education, allowing for well-informed healthcare choices and ensuring the accuracy of the information provided to the community.   Listen to Dr Caplan speaking with Dr Riley Kirk, PhD about this topic, here, on her podcast References Papers on Nitric Oxide 2 papers that describe cannabinoid-based Nitric Oxide support and protective effects https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nHxR5xv2bNbt0NNmEh1YsTqpFaRlMyFf/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MihQGU1I3yzDQNb1RgsZH37NtFhegM5l/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ERPC2n7U5taHYrJhhmbnlO6RlsfAutpR/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mCoEMyLyBUA1TBRI1LwOxZg4031vuSh2 THC as problematic, showing inhibition of NO: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nm_TKPyGIC3MSHuQ55EJo3-nZo0_Tfbu/ Some evidence that there is direct+indirect impact with the coupling: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q3aWLbAvZVasZToTdArw7L9D7ugEa6tl/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W9HTapsWBr232fRhGDYNOm-ZRG3kRWOH/ Confounding of tobacco flavorings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nd44QufxCiN_EriqVgFcGFLY0k66NaKK/ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tyXdXgeM-aJgXe4oaR3aT9z46r5dJT6d/view?usp=sharing Terpenes also have an impact: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tyXdXgeM-aJgXe4oaR3aT9z46r5dJT6d/ [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023A Fresh Perspective on an Intriguing Cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCV, popularly known as the “sports car of weed,” is a compound that’s attracting increasing attention, especially in California. It’s unique not just for its rarity but also for its purported effects—less munchies and more energy. In a cultural and medical landscape that has often stigmatized cannabis for making people “stoned” and “lazy,” THCV could be a game-changer. But what does science tell us about this intriguing cannabinoid? How do its actions differ from other, more well-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD? The Complex World of Cannabinoids: Diverse Effects, Varied Applications The nuanced effects of cannabinoids on the human body are mediated by their interactions with a complex network of receptors. For example, while THC and CBN are known to stimulate appetite, THCV can act as an appetite suppressant. The contrasting physiological impacts underscore the importance of understanding the science behind each cannabinoid, especially as the medical applications of cannabis continue to expand. The Complex World of Cannabinoids and Their Diverse Effects on the Body Cannabis is a highly complex plant that contains a plethora of biologically active compounds. Among these are cannabinoids, a class of compounds that engage with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to produce a wide range of effects. Importantly, not all cannabinoids are created equal; they can have vastly different impacts on physiological and psychological processes. For example, the two most well-known cannabinoids, THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol), have strikingly different effects: THC is psychoactive and can induce feelings of euphoria, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects in treating conditions like anxiety and epilepsy. Even cannabinoids that sound similar can have contrasting effects on the body. Take, for instance, THC, CBN (Cannabinol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin). THC and CBN are known to stimulate appetite—a phenomenon colloquially known as “the munchies”—but THCV acts as an appetite suppressant. This diversity of effects is mediated by these cannabinoids interacting with different receptors or the same receptors in varying ways, leading to distinct physiological outcomes. Understanding these nuances is crucial for both clinicians and patients looking to harness the therapeutic potential of cannabis, particularly as research into its medical applications continues to expand. THCV and Pancreatic Beta-Islet Cells: Simple Science THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) can interact with TRPV (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid) receptors on the beta-islet cells of the pancreas. In simple terms, this interaction can regulate the release of insulin, which is vital for glucose metabolism. By modulating insulin levels, THCV might affect how our bodies process sugar and influence metabolic rate, although the evidence is still emerging. The Multifaceted Effects of THCV: Glucose Processing and Metabolism THCV may have a role in glucose processing and in metabolic rate beyond its influence on pancreatic function. Some evidence points to THCV’s potential to stimulate the oxidation of fat and the conversion of glycogen to glucose in muscles. These processes are vital for maintaining energy balance and metabolic rate. Moreover, published research has demonstrated that cannabis users tend to have lower weight, reduced rates of obesity, and thinner waist circumferences, although causality has not been definitively established. A 2013 study in the “Nutrition & Diabetes” journal indicated that THCV reduced glucose intolerance in obese mice, and another study in the “British Journal of Pharmacology” suggested that it could improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic models. However, human trials are still limited, and further research is needed to establish these potential benefits conclusively. The Different Views of THCV The Healthcare Provider’s Inquisition From a medical vantage point, THCV is capturing considerable attention. Preliminary research suggests that it holds promise for reducing appetite, body weight, and fasting glucose levels, making it a potentially significant candidate for treating metabolic disorders like diabetes. This unique profile has spurred interest in its incorporation into patient care plans, particularly in settings where metabolic health is a concern. Furthermore, its potential interaction with specific cellular receptors, such as TRPV receptors in pancreatic beta-islet cells, points to a deeper physiological impact that could be harnessed for therapeutic purposes. However, healthcare providers are keenly awaiting more comprehensive randomized controlled trials to substantiate these promising early findings and to guide appropriate dosages and methods of administration. The Skeptic’s Scrutiny Skeptics might easily categorize the excitement around THCV as another trend lacking in robust scientific evidence. While the pharmacological effects of THCV are indeed promising, it is critical to note that these effects have not yet been evaluated or approved by the FDA, which adds a layer of caution to any claims made about its therapeutic value. Moreover, some skeptics may argue that, without large-scale, peer-reviewed studies to back its efficacy and safety, the cannabinoid remains more of a curiosity than a proven medical asset. This skepticism is not unfounded, as the history of cannabis contains numerous examples of purported benefits that later failed rigorous scientific tests. Ultimately, the skeptics’ cautious approach serves as an essential counterbalance, driving the need for more high-quality research. The Newcomer’s Curiosity For those unfamiliar with the world of cannabis, THCV may serve as a compelling entry point due to its distinct “energetic” effects, as opposed to the more sedating effects often associated with other cannabinoids. This uniqueness could make it attractive to those who have reservations about traditional cannabis products and their psychoactive properties. The appeal of THCV could help to break down yet another barrier to broader acceptance and integration of cannabis into mainstream society. Furthermore, with its potential metabolic benefits, newcomers may find THCV to be a suitable introduction to the broader medicinal applications of cannabis. It’s this balance of energetic and potential health benefits that makes it a subject of interest for those exploring cannabis for the first time. The Veteran’s Evaluation For experienced cannabis consumers, THCV offers a refreshing break from more familiar cannabinoid options like THC and CBD. Its distinctive properties could provide a nuanced, and perhaps more balanced, experience that diversifies their cannabis consumption. Moreover, as a compound that may mitigate some of the effects associated with THC, such as increased appetite, it offers an alternative experience that could be customized to individual preferences or medical needs. Veterans of cannabis use may find that incorporating THCV into their regimen adds a layer of complexity and specificity to their experience, potentially even optimizing the benefits they seek from cannabis. In a market saturated with THC and CBD products, THCV emerges as a novel avenue for exploration and individualized treatment. Integration and the State of the Market The market for THCV is undeniably growing, in part due to the federal legalization of hemp and technological advancements in cannabis cultivation. These factors have made it more accessible than ever before. However, accessibility does not necessarily equate to affordability. Due to the complexity of its extraction and isolation processes, THCV can cost up to ten times as much as traditional THC products, making it a premium option in the cannabinoid market. This economic barrier may limit its use for many consumers, despite its potential benefits. Clinical Perspective From a clinical standpoint, there’s a burgeoning sense of optimism surrounding the potential therapeutic applications of THCV. Researchers and healthcare providers are particularly interested in its unique physiological effects, such as appetite suppression and metabolic benefits. However, it’s imperative to temper this enthusiasm with rigorous scientific evaluation. Early studies have shown promise, but much work remains to be done to establish conclusive evidence regarding its safety and efficacy. Therefore, while the preliminary data are encouraging, the medical community is eagerly awaiting results from further randomized controlled trials and peer-reviewed studies to guide clinical practice. Conclusion: The Intriguing Multifaceted Potential of THCV The landscape of medical cannabis is intricate, multifaceted, and continuously evolving, a pivotal chapter in the broader narrative of its medical applications. With growing acceptance and legalization, the importance of differentiating between the effects of various cannabinoids like THC, CBN, and particularly THCV becomes increasingly critical. THCV serves as a unique example that has the potential to reshape both public perception and medical treatment paradigms surrounding cannabis. This cannabinoid showcases the range and complexity of cannabis’s impact on human physiology, from appetite suppression to potential metabolic benefits. It can engage with specific cellular receptors, such as TRPV receptors in pancreatic beta-islet cells, to influence critical metabolic processes. Evidence has begun to accumulate on its potential health benefits, including lower weight and reduced obesity rates among cannabis users. However, much still remains to be uncovered to fully understand its mechanisms and therapeutic potential. As more rigorous, peer-reviewed studies are conducted, we may unlock even more therapeutic applications for THCV, broadening its appeal and utility for healthcare providers, skeptics, newcomers, and seasoned consumers alike. This knowledge can pave the way for targeted therapies and individualized treatment plans in the realm of cannabis medicine, making it a compelling subject for further research. Some recent articles on the topic: Here References: Wargent, E. T., Zaibi, M. S., Silvestri, C., Hislop, D. C., Stocker, C. J., Stott, C. G., … & Cawthorne, M. A. (2013). The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity. Nutrition & Diabetes, 3(5), e68. Jadoon, K. A., Ratcliffe, S. H., Barrett, D. A., Thomas, E. L., Stott, C., Bell, J. D., … & Tan, G. D. (2016). Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(3), 1344-1354. Pertwee, R. G. (2008). The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin. British Journal of Pharmacology, 153(2), 199-215. Riedel, G., Fadda, P., McKillop-Smith, S., Pertwee, R. G., Platt, B., & Robinson, L. (2009). Synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non-fasted mice. British Journal of Pharmacology, 156(7), 1154-1166. McPartland, J. M., Duncan, M., Di Marzo, V., & Pertwee, R. G. (2015). Are cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin negative modulators of the endocannabinoid system? A systematic review. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(3), 737-753.   [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Today, discussion is the fascinating world of cannabis and mental health. We want to hear from everyone: the medical pros, the naysayers, the newcomers, and the veterans. And let’s not forget science—because numbers don’t lie, right? Ready for the deep dive? Here we go! Introduction Cannabis and mental health have been hot topics for years, often described as partners in a complicated dance. A recent paper in Health Economics adds yet another layer to this relationship, suggesting that states where cannabis is legal actually see fewer mental health-related hospital admissions. Intriguing, isn’t it? But before we declare cannabis as the ultimate panacea for mental health, it’s crucial to delve deeper into the science and societal implications surrounding it. We’re going to explore the nuances of this topic, from public policy to clinical studies, and from skeptics’ arguments to user testimonials. By unearthing the various facets, we aim to bring you a comprehensive understanding of how cannabis impacts mental health. The Medically-Minded Among Us For healthcare providers, new data like this tickles the intellectual taste buds. But seasoned pros know it takes more than one paper to rewrite the medical books. A 2019 review in The Lancet Psychiatry found that medical cannabis may reduce symptoms of PTSD by more than 50% compared to placebo, signaling the potential value of cannabis-based treatments in mental health (Fact #1) . Clinical Efficacy: According to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, medical cannabis has shown promise in reducing symptoms of social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD . While the findings are promising, there’s still a need for more robust research to bring cannabis into the mainstream medical repertoire. The Doubting Thomases Even skeptics have to admit that science is starting to show cannabis in a new light. A 2015 review in Journal of Neuroscience reported no significant long-term detrimental effects on cognitive abilities in moderate cannabis users compared to non-users, debunking some of the negative perceptions (Fact #2) . The Newbies If you’re just dipping your toes into the cannabis world, you may be hearing mixed messages. A review article in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggested that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, could be an effective treatment for psychiatric disorders, providing a potential alternative to existing medications (Fact #3) . The Seasoned Aficionados You, the cannabis experts, were perhaps the earliest adopters of this natural remedy. Did you know a 2020 review in The American Journal of Psychiatry reported that cannabis-based medications were effective in treating a variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression? Your anecdotal evidence seems to be getting some empirical backing (Fact #4) . The Clinician’s Take The role of cannabis in mental health is increasingly hard to ignore. Given that a 2018 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with medical cannabis laws had 24.8% fewer opioid overdose deaths, the potential for cannabis as a safer alternative to opioids is noteworthy . Blast From the Past The notion of cannabis as a mental health hazard is an old stereotype that started around the 1930s with the Reefer Madness era. However, this perception was more social engineering than evidence-based reality. Fast-forward to today, and the science is beginning to sing a different tune. Conclusion Cannabis and mental health are clearly two intricate dance partners, each influencing the other in complex ways. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing is certain: the science is compelling, and the conversation is far from over. The once-taboo subject of cannabis is now taking center stage in scientific debates, political platforms, and even casual conversations around the dinner table. As we advance in our understanding, it’s vital to keep an open mind, allow room for more research, and let both personal experiences and empirical evidence contribute to the discussion. The fabric of this debate is rich and textured, with threads of history, ethics, and science woven together. The end result? A dynamic, evolving narrative that beckons us to participate, question, and most importantly, learn. References Walsh, Z., et al. “Medical cannabis and mental health: A guided systematic review.” The Lancet Psychiatry (2019). Black, N., et al. “Cannabis use and mental health: A review of recent epidemiological research.” Journal of Clinical Psychology (2019). Schreiner, A. M., & Dunn, M. E. “Residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive performance after prolonged abstinence: A meta-analysis.” Journal of Neuroscience (2015). Zuardi, A. W., et al. “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug.” Frontiers in Pharmacology (2017). Bhattacharyya, S., et al. “Cannabis use and the development of tolerance: A systematic review of human evidence.” The American Journal of Psychiatry (2020). Bachhuber, M., et al. “Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999-2010.” JAMA Internal Medicine (2014). [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Introduction: The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card and the Quest for Reciprocity Obtaining a medical marijuana card often symbolizes a cornerstone moment in the health journey of many patients. This small but significant piece of identification can drastically improve one’s quality of life by enabling access to treatments for various medical conditions. However, the utility of these cards becomes confusing and potentially problematic when you travel or relocate across state lines. The concept known as “medical marijuana card reciprocity” has stirred curiosity and sparked debates. Is your card valid wherever you go? In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect the complexities surrounding medical marijuana card reciprocity through the lens of medical healthcare providers, skeptics of the cannabis movement, newcomers to medicinal cannabis, and those who have long relied on it. The Medical Quandary: A Healthcare Provider’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For medical professionals deeply embedded in the field of cannabis-based treatments, navigating through a labyrinth of differing state laws and regulations can be particularly challenging. Although meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials point towards the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, such as the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy1, the myriad of laws across different states complicates matters for physicians and patients alike. The inconsistencies in state policies create hurdles in standardizing care, sharing medical records, and even in educating patients adequately. Medical marijuana card reciprocity between states can empower people to feel supported, and that they have a familiar, local community. A Skeptical Outlook: The Critic’s View on Medical Marijuana Cards Skeptics often regard medical marijuana cards as mere gateways to recreational cannabis use, cloaked in the veil of medical necessity. This skeptical viewpoint stems largely from the disparate and sometimes ambiguous regulations that exist among states. Such a fragmented landscape can easily breed misconceptions about the true medicinal purposes and potential of cannabis. This outlook often overlooks the substantial body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and distracts from the issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care. First Steps: The Newbie Experience and the Complexities of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For those newly initiated into the realm of medical cannabis, the possibility of using a medical marijuana card across state lines can seem both promising and daunting. Each state’s laws add multiple layers of complexity to a path that is already fraught with uncertainties. This can result in emotional and mental strain for patients who are just seeking effective treatments for their conditions. Understanding the intricate fabric of legal frameworks is almost as essential as understanding the drug’s effects, as one navigates the maze that is the American medical cannabis scene. Tested and True: Seasoned Users Weigh in on the Value and Limitations of Their Medical Marijuana Cards Individuals who have been using medical cannabis for an extended period find their cards indispensable for managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. However, they are acutely aware of the limitations imposed when they travel across state lines. Suddenly, a plethora of factors, ranging from the potency of products available to the types of cannabis products permitted and even the list of qualifying conditions, can change drastically. Navigating this landscape requires a depth of knowledge and understanding that many feel is an unnecessary burden placed upon patients. The Reality Check: Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity is Not Universal The ultimate message here is that medical marijuana card reciprocity is not a straightforward or universal solution; rather, it’s a nuanced, state-dependent issue. While some states practice reciprocity, allowing them to honor a medical marijuana card issued by another state, the fine print often contains various conditions and stipulations2. The Road Ahead: The Clinical Future of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity Despite the numerous obstacles and inconsistencies, there’s a silver lining. Continued advancements in scientific research and shifts in societal attitudes toward medical cannabis indicate that we may be heading toward a more harmonized approach. Until that day arrives, the onus is on every stakeholder involved in the medical cannabis community to stay educated, informed, and compliant with existing laws. Footnotes Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31. [...] Read more...
October 22, 2023Review of Pain relief with THC In the world of medical cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stands out for its potent therapeutic potential. Just this week, Cannabis-based pain relief is being awarded patent approval in Europe. This post explores some of the therapeutic benefits of THC, focusing on its effectiveness in treating pain, insomnia, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). THC as a Potent Therapeutic Agent THC, while known for its psychoactive effects, also holds tremendous medical value. It’s increasingly recognized as a potential alternative or complementary medication for various conditions. Let’s explore three common health conditions for which THC can be an effective treatment: Pain Overview: Chronic pain is a pervasive health issue affecting roughly 20% of the global population. Traditional treatment options such as narcotics and opioids carry substantial risks, including addiction and other adverse side effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, offers an alternative avenue for pain management. Research Insights: Research in this area indicates that THC’s efficacy in pain management stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, THC activates CB1 and CB2 receptors found in nerve and immune cells, thereby modulating pain signals and producing analgesic effects. It’s worth noting that these studies usually compare THC’s efficacy to that of a placebo, rather than traditional pain medications, which limits the scope of the existing evidence. Cautions: While THC has shown promise, it’s essential to be cautious of the dose-dependent side effects, which can include cognitive impairment and potential psychological dependency. Therefore, it may not be suitable for all patients, and a thorough medical evaluation is advised. Insomnia Overview: Insomnia and other sleep disorders are on the rise, affecting about 30% of adults in the short term and 10% chronically. Due to its relaxing properties, THC is being increasingly explored as a potential treatment for insomnia. Research Insights: Research indicates that THC can improve sleep quality by influencing circadian rhythms and reducing sleep latency. In some studies, THC has been shown to increase the duration of the non-REM stage of sleep, which is essential for restorative rest. Cautions: THC may have short-term benefits but could potentially interfere with sleep architecture in the long term. The compound can also cause next-day drowsiness in some individuals. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Overview: IBD, affecting about 1.3% of adults in the U.S, is a chronic condition with limited treatment options. THC has been researched for its anti-inflammatory properties and potential utility in treating IBD symptoms. Research Insights: Multiple studies have suggested that THC can reduce inflammation in the gut by acting on cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract. Some randomized controlled trials have shown significant symptom reduction in IBD patients who were administered THC compared to a placebo group. Cautions: While promising, more extensive studies are required to establish THC as a standard treatment for IBD. Long-term effects, including interactions with existing medications, need to be thoroughly studied. Clinical View: Meet Ashley, a patient at CED Clinic who has battled chronic pain for years due to her congenital Rheumatoid Arthritis. For a long time, she relied on a regimen of anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and opioids to manage her symptoms. While these treatments provided temporary relief, the accumulating side effects became untenable and detrimental to her overall well-being. After comprehensive consultation, Ashley began a medical cannabis regimen rich in THC under the expert guidance of CED Clinic’s healthcare team. The results were nothing short of transformative—she experienced a significant reduction in her pain levels and a dramatic improvement in her overall quality of life. Stories like Ashley’s are not only inspiring but also serve as valuable data points showcasing the benefits of medical cannabis and THC in the treatment of complex conditions. If you’re intrigued by the medical potential of cannabis, I delve deeper into the science, the evidence, and transformative patient stories like Ashley’s in my new book, the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook,” available now on Amazon. Check out More on Pain at CaplanCannabis.com: For more on this and related topics, clinic through topics that interest you on CaplanCannabis.com 📗 Note: The diagram’s your prelude. The magnum opus? That’s inked in the book. Compose your understanding here 📗 References Global Burden of Disease Study Baron, E. P. (2018). Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 58(7), 1139–1186. American Academy of Sleep Medicine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lahat, A., Lang, A., & Ben-Horin, S. (2012). Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion, 85(1), 1–8. Gorelick, D. A., Goodwin, R. S., Schwilke, E., Schwope, D. M., Darwin, W. D., Kelly, D. L., … Huestis, M. A. (2013). Around-the-clock oral THC effects on sleep in male chronic daily cannabis smokers. The American Journal on Addictions, 22(5), 510–514.  Goldberg, D. S., & McGee, S. J. (2011). Pain as a global public health priority. BMC public health, 11, 770. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-770 Woodhams, S. G., Chapman, V., Finn, D. P., Hohmann, A. G., & Neugebauer, V. (2017). The cannabinoid system and pain. Neuropharmacology, 124, 105–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.06.015 Roth, T. (2007). Insomnia: definition, prevalence, etiology, and consequences. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 3(5 Suppl), S7–S10. Dahlhamer, J. M., Zammitti, E. P., Ward, B. W., Wheaton, A. G., & Croft, J. B. (2016). Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years – United States, 2015. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 65(42), 1166–1169. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6542a3 Hasenoehrl, C., Storr, M., & Schicho, R. (2018). Cannabinoids for treating inflammatory bowel diseases: where are we and where do we go? Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology, 11(4), 329–337. https://doi.org/10.1080/17474124.2017.1416148 [...] Read more...
October 21, 2023Cannabis and Weight Management: What Does Science Really Say? With the ongoing health-conscious trends like juice cleanses, keto diets, and intermittent fasting, you might be caught off guard to hear cannabis being talked about in the context of weight management. Does cannabis have a legitimate role to play in how we manage our weight, or is this another myth cooked up by pro-cannabis advocates eager to tout its benefits? This recent article was published on the topic by The Fresh Toast  The Fundamental Science Behind Cannabis and Weight Cannabis exerts its effects primarily through the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors in our bodies. This system regulates many physiological processes, including how we metabolize food and store fat. One interesting revelation comes from a study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology, which found that cannabis use was associated with a lower rate of obesity. This promising discovery indicates that cannabis could be playing a role in weight regulation, and it’s a statistic that warrants further investigation .   Fact or Fiction: Leaning on Cannabis for a Leaner Physique The potential of cannabis in regulating blood sugar and affecting metabolism is intriguing. But does this mean it can help us lose weight? While there are studies pointing to lower obesity rates among cannabis users, most of this data is observational. Although this is a promising starting point, we need more rigorous, controlled studies, like randomized controlled trials (RCTs), to definitively establish the relationship between cannabis and weight loss . Medical Perspective: A Double-Edged Sword? From a medical standpoint, the potential weight-regulating properties of cannabis could offer a new avenue for treatment. Weight imbalances are linked to numerous health issues, from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to poor mental health. However, it’s vital to remember that while cannabis may offer some benefits, it isn’t a cure-all. Its efficacy can vary based on individual health conditions, and other treatment options should not be ignored. Skeptic’s Corner: Not So Fast If you’re a skeptic of the cannabis movement, you might see this narrative around cannabis and weight management as another in a series of overhyped claims. Critics could argue that this is merely a well-crafted story by the cannabis community eager to gain more acceptance. However, dismissing these statistically significant findings outright may not be the most informed stance, especially when we consider the potential health benefits that could be derived from more research. New to Cannabis? Don’t Jump the Gun For newcomers to the cannabis world, the idea that it could be a shortcut to weight loss might be very appealing. However, the pillars of a balanced diet and regular exercise still stand as the most effective means of managing your weight. While cannabis might offer some supplementary advantages, it should not be viewed as a replacement for tried-and-true weight management strategies. Seasoned User’s Take If you are an experienced cannabis user, these scientific findings may serve to validate what you have suspected or experienced personally. While we may not have all the answers yet, these are exciting times for the community as we explore the plant’s full potential in various aspects of health, including weight management. Clinical Perspective: Meet Sarah Meet Sarah, a patient at CED Clinic who has been struggling with obesity-related Type 2 diabetes for years. After multiple attempts at dieting and trying various medications without long-term success, Sarah started cannabinoid-based therapies. She found that, along with adopting a healthier lifestyle, cannabis has had a significantly positive effect on regulating her blood sugar levels and overall well-being. Cases like Sarah’s are part of the ongoing dialogue in my forthcoming book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, which explores this subject in greater depth. Citations “Cannabis use is associated with lower rates of obesity” – The American Journal of Epidemiology “Cannabis and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for weight loss?” – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology [...] Read more...
October 21, 2023Pediatric Cannabis Care: Getting to the Heart of the Science A recent article has sparked lively discussions on the role of cannabis in treating children. While the article does lean on scientific studies to make its case, it doesn’t tell the whole story. This leaves room for misunderstanding. That’s where this blog comes in. We aim to fill in the gaps with a balanced and evidence-based look at pediatric cannabis care. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects What the Article Says The article shines a light on studies that point to possible short-term downsides of cannabis use in children, mainly focusing on issues like cognitive decline and increased risk for mental health problems. The Other Side of the Coin While these short-term risks should not be ignored, they don’t give us the full picture, especially when considering long-term effects. Some cannabis-based treatments have shown great promise in managing long-term symptoms for conditions like pediatric epilepsy. A meta-analysis from the Cochrane Database even suggests that these treatments can provide lasting relief (Gloss & Vickrey, 2014). The Importance of Specific Compounds What the Article Says The article takes a one-size-fits-all approach to cannabis, glossing over the different compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes that make up the plant. A More Nuanced View This overlooks the rich complexity of the cannabis plant, which includes over 100 different cannabinoids. Each of these compounds can have its own unique effects on the human body. For instance, while THC is known for its mind-altering properties, CBD has been shown to offer therapeutic benefits without making users feel “high” (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017). Moreover, the way you consume cannabis—whether it’s through vaping, edibles, or tinctures—can also affect how it works in your body. Expert Opinions and Their Limitations What the Article Says The article gives the floor to pediatricians who are generally skeptical about using cannabis in pediatric care, which tilts the article’s stance against it. Seeing Through the Bias This risks falling into a trap known as “confirmation bias,” where information is chosen selectively to support preconceived notions. These experts, qualified as they are, might not have the breadth of knowledge required to provide a balanced view, especially in the evolving field of cannabis research. Why Quality Evidence Matters It’s crucial to rely on top-notch scientific evidence like randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and peer-reviewed journals. Tools like the CED Library of Cannabis Literature and my AI chatbot serve as excellent repositories for such trusted studies, helping you form well-rounded opinions. Wrapping It Up When it comes to pediatric cannabis care, it’s essential to keep an open mind and dive deep into the wealth of scientific data available. For those who want to delve further into this multifaceted issue, resources like the CED Clinic website and “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” offer valuable insights. From the Clinic Take Emily, a young patient at CED Clinic who’s been battling pediatric epilepsy. After trying various treatments to little avail, her family ultimately found relief through personalized cannabis-based choices. Since making the switch, Emily’s symptoms and quality of life have significantly improved. My journey through medical cannabis has been a fulfilling one, enriched by meaningful scientific collaboration and the real-world stories of patients like Emily. These invaluable experiences will be shared in my upcoming book, “The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.” Please consider a read! References Gloss, D., & Vickrey, B. (2014). Cannabinoids for epilepsy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3). Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 139–154.   The original article: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/marijuana-in-ohio/how-can-marijuana-affect-a-developing-brain [...] Read more...
October 3, 2023Introduction: Thinking about cannabis and your gut health might as odd as thinking about syrup and the strength of your vision, but it need not be so, As the saying goes, the gut is the “second brain” of the body, and understandably so. From digestion to immune function, the gut plays a pivotal role. What you may find surprising is the emerging role of cannabis in the gut health narrative. From skeptical views to scientific studies, this blog aims to shed light on the evolving dialogue surrounding cannabis and gut health. If you are looking for explanations, definitions, and charts that explain the significance of gut health and many aspects of health and wellness that play into a healthy microbiome, please check out this page on CaplanCannabis.com:  https://caplancannabis.com/cannabis-and-the-gut-microbiome-a-comprehensive-guide The Many Facets of Cannabis & Gut Health Firstly, it’s essential to recognize the existing skepticism around cannabis. Critics often question its medical applications and sometimes categorize it as a mere recreational tool. However, this perspective tends to ignore the growing body of evidence-based research that has begun to illuminate cannabis’ potential benefits, particularly when it comes to gut health. For instance, studies suggest that cannabinoids like CBD can act as bacteriostatic agents, which inhibit bacterial growth, providing potential relief in conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (Nagarkatti et al., 2009). Then comes the newcomer, full of curiosity and a bit hesitant. You’ve heard about prebiotics in oatmeal and probiotics in yogurt, but cannabis? Interestingly, cannabis compounds like CBD and THC have shown promise in modulating the gut microbiome, potentially leading to anti-inflammatory effects (Alhouayek & Muccioli, 2012). Whether you’re just looking to ease digestive discomfort or manage a chronic condition, the possibilities are intriguing. For those seasoned in using cannabis for medicinal purposes, understanding its role in gut health can be an enlightening experience. Perhaps you’ve already felt some gut-related benefits, an experience that aligns with the evidence suggesting cannabis’ role as a bactericidal antibiotic (Appendino et al., 2008). This could represent a new frontier in battling antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. As a healthcare provider, one cannot overlook the nuanced and multifaceted nature of cannabis in medical care. While there’s promise, there’s also a call for more robust, large-scale studies to better understand both the benefits and potential drawbacks, including how cannabis interacts with the microbiome to affect conditions like IBS and IBD. Clinical Perspective: With compassion at the core of medical practice, it’s vital to recognize the potential cannabis holds, not only as a complementary treatment but perhaps even as a cornerstone in gut health management. The growing body of evidence offers optimism about the versatile utility of cannabis—from bacteriostatic to bactericidal properties. It’s a call to integrate this burgeoning knowledge into practice cautiously and judiciously. Who are the people who tend to have gut microbiome issues? Individuals with specific dietary patterns or lifestyle choices often face disruptions in their gut microbiome. For example, a diet rich in processed foods, sugars, and saturated fats but low in fiber can significantly alter gut bacteria, making the individual more susceptible to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. Similarly, those with excessive alcohol consumption or high-stress lifestyles often report an imbalance in their gut flora. Vegans and vegetarians might face certain deficiencies in gut microbiome diversity due to the absence of animal-based probiotics. Prescription medications, especially antibiotics, can also wreak havoc on the microbiome, wiping out both bad and beneficial bacteria. It’s a complex landscape, where one’s diet, lifestyle, and even mental well-being can significantly influence gut health. Additional Evidence & Citations: Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. Alhouayek, M., & Muccioli, G. G. (2012). The endocannabinoid system in inflammatory bowel diseases: from pathophysiology to therapeutic opportunity. Trends in molecular medicine, 18(10), 615–625. Conclusion: Cannabis and gut health—an intricate relationship, indeed. Whether you’re skeptical, new to cannabis, a healthcare provider, or an experienced user, the conversation around cannabis is getting more nuanced and evidence-based by the day. As we understand this fascinating plant better, we can hope to harness its full potential for the betterment of gut health. 📗 Note: This page is your first coffee of the day; the book’s your whole artisan coffee shop. Get brewing here 📗 [...] Read more...
September 24, 2023In Search of a “Pot Doc Near Me”: The Irony of Subpar Cannabis Clinicians Versus True Medical Specialists Ah, the age-old Google search, “Pot Doc Near Me.” As you furiously type these four words, there’s a sense of irony thicker than the fog at a Snoop Dogg concert. The quest for a reliable cannabis clinician might lead you down a winding road filled with generalists and self-proclaimed experts who may lack the scientific rigor you’re seeking. Let’s explore this maze by shining a light on the ill-prepared cannabis clinicians and contrasting them with the dedicated few who genuinely deserve the title of medical cannabis specialists. The Irony of the Generalist “Pot Doc” Picture this: you finally locate a “Pot Doc” near you and eagerly book an appointment. You enter the clinic, and what do you get? A 15-minute session (if that?) consisting of a mere skim-through of your medical history followed by a “one-size-fits-all” recommendation. The irony? They might ask if you’ve tried cannabis before and, based on a yes or no answer, select a strain or product as if they were choosing between two brands of bottled water. Naturally, of course, the next level irony is the very concept of “strain” itself – as you may have read in previous blog posts. Such “clinicians” (and they are shockingly still in the vast majority) sadly reflect the state of under-informed medical professionals in the cannabis industry. This isn’t merely anecdotal. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that while 80% of oncologists discuss medical cannabis with their patients, less than 30% felt knowledgeable enough to make recommendations1. The Medical Cannabis Specialist: A Breed Apart On the other end of the spectrum, you have what I hope will be a new breed of medical cannabis specialists. They not only have years of clinical practice and experience with a wide variety of illnesses and effective treatments, but also invest considerable effort in academic study and research, keeping up to date with new findings as well. Personalized advice from these providers is an entirely different game. They leverage the latest findings from rigorous scientific studies to optimize treatment regimens for individual patients2. Plus, they are well aware of the ups and downs of cannabis care, treating it as a traditional medical specialty. But what sets such a specialist apart? The key lies in their approach to personalized medicine. Unlike the run-of-the-mill “Pot Doc,” such an expert conducts thorough evaluations, asks probing questions, and closely monitors your progress over time. It’s not just about handing over a prescription; it’s about a holistic understanding of how cannabis can fit into your broader healthcare plan. This is the essence of CED Clinic. We strive to set the standard in cannabis care. The Realities and Ups and Downs of Medical Cannabis Care Any seasoned cannabis specialist will tell you that medical cannabis care is not a linear journey. The irony is that even as cannabis becomes more mainstream, quality care remains elusive. The experienced providers understand this. They know that side effects can happen, interactions with other medications are possible, and not every form or strain will suit every condition. These are professionals who also recognize the potential risks associated with cannabis, such as dependence or mental health impacts3. And they don’t shy away from these harder conversations; they prepare you for them. Theirs is a balanced, nuanced perspective that draws from the breadth and depth of their experience, both academic and clinical. The Value of True Expertise The irony in the search for a “Pot Doc Near Me” is that while finding a cannabis clinician is easier than ever, finding a knowledgeable one is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. And the stakes are high. Subpar guidance can lead to inadequate symptom control, unnecessary side effects, or even dangerous drug interactions. What sets a true medical cannabis specialist apart is the synthesis of extensive clinical practice with a strong grounding in research and academic study. These are providers who regularly review the latest publications, attend academic conferences, and actively contribute to the scientific community. The advice they offer is not just personalized; it’s backed by robust evidence and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of medical cannabis care. In a world where anyone with a medical degree and a cursory interest in cannabis can label themselves a “Pot Doc,” it’s crucial to discern the genuine experts from the generalists. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less. Please don’t take our word for it.  See for yourself.  Book an appointment today! References: Footnotes Braun, I. M., Wright, A., Peteet, J., Meyer, F. L., Yuppa, D. P., Bolcic-Jankovic, D., … & Prigerson, H. G. (2018). Medical Oncologists’ Beliefs, Practices, and Knowledge Regarding Marijuana Used Therapeutically: A Nationally Representative Survey Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36(19), 1957-1962. Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. B. (2014). Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370, 2219-2227. [...] Read more...
September 24, 2023Introduction: The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card Receiprocity and the Quest for Community Obtaining a medical marijuana card often symbolizes a cornerstone moment in the health journey of many patients. This small but significant piece of identification, and more importantly the guided care that it should represent, can drastically improve one’s quality of life by enabling access to treatments for various medical conditions – again, ideally guided by a knowledgeable provider. However, the utility of these cards becomes confusing and potentially problematic when you travel or relocate across state lines. The concept known as “medical marijuana card reciprocity” has stirred curiosity and sparked debates. Is your card valid wherever you go? In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect the complexities surrounding medical marijuana card reciprocity through the lens of medical healthcare providers, skeptics of the cannabis movement, newcomers to medicinal cannabis, and those who have long relied on it. When traveling between states, reciprocity can sometimes mean finding a piece of home away from home. The Medical Quandary: A Healthcare Provider’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For medical professionals deeply embedded in the field of cannabis-based treatments, navigating through a labyrinth of differing state laws and regulations can be particularly challenging. Although meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials point towards the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, such as the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy1, the myriad of laws across different states complicates matters for physicians and patients alike. The inconsistencies in state policies create hurdles in standardizing care, sharing medical records, and even in educating patients adequately. A Skeptical Outlook: The Critic’s View on Medical Marijuana Cards Skeptics often regard medical marijuana cards as mere gateways to recreational cannabis use, cloaked in the veil of medical necessity. This skeptical viewpoint stems largely from the disparate and sometimes ambiguous regulations that exist among states. Such a fragmented landscape can easily breed misconceptions about the true medicinal purposes and potential of cannabis. This outlook often overlooks the substantial body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and distracts from the issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care. First Steps: The Newbie Experience and the Complexities of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity For those newly initiated into the realm of medical cannabis, the possibility of using a medical marijuana card across state lines can seem both promising and daunting. Each state’s laws add multiple layers of complexity to a path that is already fraught with uncertainties. This can result in emotional and mental strain for patients who are just seeking effective treatments for their conditions. Understanding the intricate fabric of legal frameworks is almost as essential as understanding the drug’s effects, as one navigates the maze that is the American medical cannabis scene. Tested and True: Seasoned Users Weigh in on the Value and Limitations of Their Medical Marijuana Cards Individuals who have been using medical cannabis for an extended period find their cards indispensable for managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. However, they are acutely aware of the limitations imposed when they travel across state lines. Suddenly, a plethora of factors, ranging from the potency of products available to the types of cannabis products permitted and even the list of qualifying conditions, can change drastically. Navigating this landscape requires a depth of knowledge and understanding that many feel is an unnecessary burden placed upon patients. The Reality Check: Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity is Not Universal The ultimate message here is that medical marijuana card reciprocity is not a straightforward or universal solution; rather, it’s a nuanced, state-dependent issue. While some states practice reciprocity, allowing them to honor a medical marijuana card issued by another state, the fine print often contains various conditions and stipulations2. The Road Ahead: The Clinical Future of Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity Despite the numerous obstacles and inconsistencies, there’s a silver lining. Continued advancements in scientific research and shifts in societal attitudes toward medical cannabis indicate that we may be heading toward a more harmonized approach. Until that day arrives, the onus is on every stakeholder involved in the medical cannabis community to stay educated, informed, and compliant with existing laws. References Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 313(24), 2456-2473. Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31.     Questions You Might Be Asking About Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a myriad of questions on the subject of medical marijuana card reciprocity. We welcome you to ask them in the comments section below. Some questions you might be considering include: What states accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards? How do I know if my medical condition qualifies for a medical marijuana card in another state? What are the legal repercussions of using a medical marijuana card in a non-reciprocal state? Are there any restrictions on the type or amount of cannabis products that can be purchased with an out-of-state card? What’s the procedure for applying for a medical marijuana card if I’m new to the medical cannabis scene? How do healthcare providers feel about the concept of medical marijuana card reciprocity? Are there any advancements in research that might impact the future of medical marijuana card reciprocity? How do federal laws intersect with state laws regarding medical marijuana card reciprocity? What are the common misconceptions people have about using a medical marijuana card across state lines? Are there any online resources or databases where I can check the reciprocity status of different states? Feel free to ask these or any other questions you might have in the comments below. Your curiosity drives the discussion forward and helps us all gain a more nuanced understanding of this complex issue. [...] Read more...
September 13, 2023Introduction Medical cannabis is a topic imbued with hope, skepticism, curiosity, and deep-rooted experiences. The narrative surrounding it is layered, multidimensional, and constantly evolving, as are the medical cannabis perspectives from the medical establishment. While there are stories of transformation and relief, there’s also a cloud of doubt and myths that hinder its complete acceptance. Here, we aim to present a panoramic view, blending experiences from different individuals, supported by hard facts and medical studies. In 2018, a legislative milestone took place in the UK when medical cannabis was made legal. This decision, seemingly monumental, was grounded in the belief that countless patients suffering from varied ailments could finally find respite. Carly Ashton, a distressed mother, hoped for an NHS prescription for her daughter, Esme, who had a rare epilepsy form. Yet, despite the legislation, Esme’s relief remains a distant dream1. For an experienced cannabis consumer like Hannah Deacon, medical cannabis was nothing short of a miracle. Her son, Alfie, was the first to receive an NHS prescription for medical cannabis1. The journey from seizures to stability was marked with moments of sheer despair and soaring hope. Alfie’s story is a testament to the potential of medical cannabis. But what about those unfamiliar with the world of medical cannabis? Like Jasper, another child suffering from a rare epilepsy form. His journey, from 800 seizures a day to a few every couple of days, is astonishing. His parents describe the effect of whole-cannabis oil as “jaw-dropping”1. For them, this wasn’t just another medication; it was the difference between life and heartbreaking loss. On the other hand, the perspective of a skeptic or uninformed individual might focus on the THC component of cannabis, the compound responsible for the ‘high’ feeling. Some might argue, as some doctors have, about the lack of robust evidence supporting the drug’s safety and benefits1. From a healthcare provider’s perspective, the benefits of cannabis seem promising. Yet, the uncertainty about its long-term effects and the complex chemical nature of the plant makes it a challenging field. Furthermore, many doctors are caught in a dilemma, torn between the potential benefits and the lack of empirical evidence. Clinical Perspective on Cannabis for Treating Epilepsy In clinical settings, one of the most intriguing areas of research has been the potential use of cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy. While traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) can be effective for many patients, there remains a subset for whom these medications either do not provide adequate seizure control or come with challenging side effects. Given this, the search for alternative treatments is crucial. Recent research has shed light on the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), in epilepsy management. Preliminary findings suggest that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, might play a role in reducing seizure frequency and severity in some individuals. Furthermore, for those with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, the introduction of CBD-based treatments has been particularly promising. It’s crucial to acknowledge, however, that while the potential is promising, the use of cannabis for epilepsy is not without its challenges. Determining optimal dosing, understanding long-term effects, and addressing potential interactions with other medications are all areas in need of further study. Moreover, while anecdotal evidence abounds, rigorous, controlled trials are essential to establish the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy. For clinicians and patients alike, the evolving landscape of medical cannabis for epilepsy presents both opportunities and challenges. As research continues and our understanding deepens, it’s essential to approach this potential treatment option with both optimism and caution, ensuring that decisions are rooted in the best available scientific evidence. Conclusion Medical cannabis, as with many other treatments, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But its potential is undeniable. Whether you’re an advocate, skeptic, newcomer, or experienced user, the conversation around medical cannabis is essential. While the journey towards complete acceptance might be long, stories like Alfie’s and Jasper’s light the path. References: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66784170 Devinsky, O., Marsh, E., Friedman, D., Thiele, E., Laux, L., Sullivan, J., … & Cilio, M. R. (2016). Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial. The Lancet Neurology, 15(3), 270-278.  This trial investigates the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, showing positive results for a subset of patients. Stockings, E., Zagic, D., Campbell, G., Weier, M., Hall, W. D., Nielsen, S., … & Degenhardt, L. (2018). Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 89(7), 741-753. A comprehensive review that presents both controlled and observational evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in treating epilepsy. Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The endocannabinoid system and the brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 21-47. This review offers insights into how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the brain and potential therapeutic applications, including in epilepsy and other neurologic conditions. O’Connell, B. K., Gloss, D., & Devinsky, O. (2017). Cannabinoids in treatment-resistant epilepsy: A review. Epilepsy & Behavior, 70, 341-348. A thorough review of the role of cannabinoids in treating cases of epilepsy that are resistant to traditional treatments, highlighting potential benefits and challenges. Perucca, E. (2017). Cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy: Hard evidence at last? Journal of Epilepsy Research, 7(2), 61-76. This article discusses the solid evidence emerging regarding the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy treatment, emphasizing the need for more clinical trials and understanding of its mechanisms. [...] Read more...
September 13, 2023The Medical Cannabis Paradox: Canada’s Strange Stance Explored With the legalization wave sweeping across nations, medical cannabis has been thrust into the spotlight, garnering global attention. Particularly in Canada, the division between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis is becoming a topic of great debate. This discourse presents a unique and, in many ways, paradoxical stance on the subject. Here, we aim to demystify this scenario by delving into it from four distinct viewpoints. From the meticulous lens of a healthcare provider, the statistics seem perplexing and somewhat distressing. According to data extrapolated from Health Canada and Statistics Canada, there’s been a staggering 38% decrease in active medical cannabis registrations since October 2018. This decline isn’t just a mere figure to gloss over; it carries profound implications for patient care. With fewer registrations, the concern arises not only from the dwindling numbers but also the potential impediments it poses for the broader medical community. This decline could stymie research efforts, hamper advocacy for its benefits, and, perhaps most crucially, reduce accessibility for patients genuinely in need of this therapeutic avenue. However, when we flip the perspective to that of a skeptic or someone with reservations about cannabis, the narrative shifts. To these individuals, the decline might even seem logical, perhaps welcomed. There’s an omnipresent misconception in the general populace: the idea that cannabis is exclusively a recreational substance. This overshadowing stereotype often clouds the profound therapeutic potential of the plant. Yet, if one delves deeper and seeks to understand the reasons for this decline, it becomes pivotal. Rather than indicating a genuine lack of medical efficacy, it could be pointing to broader systemic challenges plaguing the Canadian medical cannabis framework. Venture into the shoes of someone who’s just beginning their journey into the vast world of cannabis, and the waters become even murkier. For these newcomers, the line demarcating medical and recreational cannabis is not just thin but often indiscernible. Adding to the confusion is the Canadian government’s taxation policy. Why would medical cannabis, purportedly a legitimate therapeutic product, be taxed similarly to its recreational counterpart? The message sent is convoluted. Is one form of cannabis considered therapeutic while the other merely indulgent? Or do both possess healing properties? The mixed signals from policy decisions only exacerbate the confusion, leaving many to question the very authenticity and legitimacy of medical cannabis. Now, consider those seasoned in their use of cannabis for genuine medical relief. To them, the aforementioned decline isn’t just a statistic; it’s a potential alarm bell. What could be driving this downturn? Is it a matter of diminished access or skyrocketing costs? Perhaps it’s an eroding trust in the medical system. Many of these individuals might find themselves inadvertently pushed towards the recreational market, seeking the relief they once found in the medical sector. Yet, amidst these domestic challenges, Canada stands tall on the international stage. As a formidable leader in cannabis production and research, Canada’s exports in the medical cannabis sector are surging. The juxtaposition is intriguing. While domestic sales appear to falter, there’s burgeoning international trust and demand for Canadian medical cannabis products. To truly understand Canada’s intricate dance with medical cannabis, it becomes critical to analyze it from varied perspectives: the seasoned professional, the staunch skeptic, the bewildered newcomer, and the experienced user. Only then can we piece together a holistic picture, discerning what the data truly signifies and what trajectory the nation might take in the future. Through comprehensive examination and open dialogue, we can shed light on this paradoxical stance and pave the way for informed decisions that benefit patients, researchers, and the broader society. Let us embark on this journey of understanding together. References: Health Canada and Statistics Canada. [...] Read more...
September 5, 2023Deep Reading: A Cultural Shift? It’s an unsettling reality to consider, but more and more, it seems like we live in an era where the ties to deep, reflective reading are unraveling. The allure of digital distractions and the siren call of “doomscrolling” screens now comes, like everything in modern life – in Tall, Grande, and Vente. Few seem to contest that the draw of our e-devices is overpowering the allure of turning pages. According to a report from the Pew Research Center, although a promising 72% of American adults reported reading a book in the past year, the median number of books consumed stood at a mere four. The startling fact isn’t the number itself, but what this decline suggests about our evolving cultural values and priorities. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has echoed similar concerns, pointing to a significant wane in literary reading, particularly among the youth. This isn’t merely a trend in leisure activities. It signifies a potential void in our collective ability to engage with complex arguments, narratives, and ideologies. The Double-Edged Sword of Short-Form Content Platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram have become monumental pillars in the world of information dissemination. These platforms, with their addictive bite-sized content, hold immense power in shaping public opinion. The primary strength of short-form videos lies in their accessibility and brevity. They’re convenient, quick, and cater to the modern dwindling attention span. However, their brief nature also stands as their inherent weakness. Dr. Maryanne Wolf of UCLA aptly warns, “The superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing.” The challenges posed by this format aren’t merely about retention. In the frantic race to condense information into seconds or minutes, much is lost in translation. Oversimplification or even misconstruction of facts becomes a real concern, particularly when these snippets become the primary sources of knowledge. Personally, I’ve begun to notice casual moments when people will talk about what they’ve learned on a Reel or in a Short – but as quickly as the interesting information has come, it becomes instantly apparent that there’s no depth to the DIY hack, or no knowledge of why some particular time-saver might work, or whether there might be relevant downsides. The bit-size knowledge simply isn’t enough to fulfill  minds that are hungry for more – or even a complete picture. Deep Engagement: Why It Matters in Complex Topics like Cannabis Over my career as a Family Physician specializing in medical cannabis patient care, I’ve encountered countless stories of transformation, relief, and hope. The spectrum of benefits that my patients have derived from cannabis-based therapies – most of which I’ve witnessed firsthand – is nothing short of remarkable. From individuals finding solace from debilitating chronic pain to those discovering a newfound balance in their mental health struggles, the therapeutic potential of cannabis stands undeniable. Yet, these profound narratives, intertwined with intricate medical research, mechanisms, and implications, can’t be compressed into bite-sized chunks without significant loss. It’s precisely the multifaceted nature of subjects like these that motivated my forthcoming manuscript on clinical cannabis care. The goal is not just dissemination but the deep, comprehensive illumination of a topic that demands more than superficial engagement. Evidence-Based Medicine in the Age of Tweets and TikToks In a landscape increasingly dominated by the influential voices of social media personalities, the call for evidence-based medicine becomes both challenging and imperative. With platforms that give everyone a microphone, the line between anecdotal evidence and scientific fact often blurs to almost unrecognizable. Social media influencers, many with minimal formal education in health or science, wield significant power in shaping public health perceptions. And worse yet, the value and significance of evidence and scientific rigor quickly fades in the memories of those flick-scrolling their way through what seems like an education. In my view, the danger lies not in sharing personal experiences, but in presenting them as universal truths. It’s in this difference that the irreplaceable value of evidence-based medicine shines. Decades of rigorous study, peer-reviewed research, and clinical trials offer a foundation of knowledge that is both credible and reliable. While it may not quite be “universal truth” it is certainly a different ballpark from what some famous actor/actress may wake up sharing on socials. To prioritize fleeting trends and unverified claims over this bedrock of evidence isn’t merely a matter of preference; it’s a question of public health, safety, and well-being. Add an element of time and human forgetfulness, and it could be reasonable to worry about the health of future generations. Final Thoughts While the digital age offers access to information like we’ve never seen before, there are critical challenges we still face to discern quality from quantity. Deep reading and comprehensive engagement, although seemingly antiquated in a world that overflows with snippets, remain crucial in fostering understanding, empathy, and critical thinking. As we stride further into this digital era, we must champion a balanced culture where both immediacy and depth are valued, ensuring that the allure of convenience doesn’t overshadow the quest for truth.   Citations: Pew Research Center. (2019). Who doesn’t read books in America? National Endowment for the Arts. (2007). To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence. Wolf, M. (2018). Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.   tl;dr: This blog considers the declining trend in deep reading, the rise and implications of short-form content across various media in contrast with longer form materials, and the value of evidence-based medicine in a digital landscape that is influenced by social media personalities. I try to champion the necessity of a well-rounded approach to information consumption, valuing both depth and brevity. And, hopefully anyone reading this will be that much more tempted to consider reading my own long-form book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook [...] Read more...
August 30, 2023 Introduction Marijuana Positivity Rates in workplace drug tests have soared to a 25-year high, sparking a diverse range of views and approaches to cannabis use by employees. Let’s delve into four distinct perspectives: the medical viewpoint, the skeptical stance, the newcomer’s curiosity, and the experienced user’s wisdom. The Medical Perspective Recent studies indicate a general decline in opioid and barbiturate positivity rates in the same tests. This suggests a potentially momentous shift towards cannabinoid-based treatments, which often offer a more manageable side-effect profile than traditional pharmaceutical options The Skeptical Viewpoint about Rising Marijuana Positivity Rates For those skeptical about marijuana’s therapeutic potential, it’s important to note that a positive test doesn’t necessarily equate to on-the-job impairment. Drug screens can detect usage from as far back as a month. Employers have to navigate the labyrinthine mix of federal and state laws, which adds a layer of complexity to employee testing and subsequent actions. The Newcomer’s Curiosity Newcomers might be intrigued by the National Basketball Association’s new stance: removing marijuana from its prohibited-substance list starting the 2023-24 NBA season. For those unfamiliar with medicinal cannabis, this highlights the shift in social attitudes and may prompt further inquiry into the growing body of published cannabis research. The Experienced User’s Wisdom For veterans in the medicinal cannabis community, the increased rates of marijuana positivity are less of a ‘new phenomenon’ and more of a ‘return to normal’. Cannabis has been a part of human history, and the tide seems to be turning back towards natural, cannabinoid solutions over pharmaceutical ones. Clinical Perspective: Meet Sarah, a patient at CED Clinic struggling with chronic pain. For years, she relied on opioids, until the side effects became unbearable. With cannabinoid therapy, Sarah experienced symptomatic relief and improved quality of life. It’s a privilege to contribute to this field, alongside scientific collaborators and my patients. My forthcoming book, The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, aims to address these very issues.  Read Sarah’s story on page 249 of the book! Order here: https://a.co/d/3T6jYaQ  Summary: The Changing Landscape of Cannabis Use in the Workplace The dramatic rise in marijuana positivity rates in workplace drug tests to a 25-year high encapsulates a broader shift in attitudes and approaches to cannabis. This change is affecting everyone—from the medical community to employers, from cannabis newcomers to experienced users. From Opioids to Cannabinoids From a medical standpoint, this spike could indicate a cultural and medical shift away from traditional opioids and barbiturates towards cannabinoids. Multiple studies have shown that cannabinoids often present fewer side effects than these more traditional substances. Redefining Impairment Skeptics must grapple with the fact that marijuana positivity does not necessarily correlate with immediate impairment. Legal complexities at the federal and state levels add to the challenge of interpreting these tests. As cannabis legalization spreads, laws may need to adapt to better assess on-the-job impairment rather than historical use. Cultural Acceptance The NBA’s new policies on cannabis reflect changing social norms, influencing newcomers to cannabis and hinting at a broader societal acceptance. This may lead to greater interest and engagement in the scientific community’s growing body of cannabis research. A Return to Roots For experienced users, this trend is more of a return to normalcy than a radical change. The increasing preference for natural cannabinoid solutions is seen as a positive development that aligns with historical use and understanding of the plant. Bridging Gaps in Clinical Practice From a clinical perspective, the stories of patients like Sarah highlight the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis. Through published research, clinical experience, and educational resources like The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, healthcare providers and patients alike can make more informed decisions about cannabinoid therapies. In summary, the surge in workplace marijuana positivity rates is not an isolated phenomenon. Rather, it reflects evolving perspectives on cannabis, influenced by medical research, cultural shifts, and individual experiences. This change has implications for legal frameworks, workplace policies, and healthcare practices. References 1: “Decline in opioid and barbiturate positivity rates in workplace drug tests,” Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2021. 2: Moeller, K. E., Lee, K. C., & Kissack, J. C. (2008). Urine drug screening: Practical guide for clinicians. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 3: Caplan, B. The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook, 2023. 4: Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Di Nisio, M., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., … & Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 5: “Marijuana Legalization and Workplace Safety: A Short Review of the Literature,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2018. 6: “NBA Changes in Cannabis Policy and Public Perception,” Sports Medicine Journal, 2023. 7: Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. To find these articles: https://cedclinic.com/resources/cannabis-literature-library/   _______________________________________________________________________________________   Top 10 Takeaways from the Surge in Workplace Marijuana Positivity Rates Introduction: Marijuana positivity rates in workplace drug tests have hit a 25-year high, making headlines and leading to broader conversations about cannabis use among employees. Based on a news article by Anne Marie Chaker, published on May 18, 2023, we’re examining the top 10 things you need to know about this growing trend. 1. Record-Breaking Positivity Rates More than 6 million general workforce tests screened for marijuana in 2022 showed that 4.3% came back positive, which is the highest rate since 1997. 2. Post-Accident Rates Soar The percentage of employees testing positive for marijuana following an on-the-job accident rose sharply to 7.3% in 2022. 3. Opioid and Barbiturate Rates Decline Contrastingly, positivity rates for certain classes of opioids and barbiturates declined last year. 4. Rising Amphetamine Positivity Besides marijuana, tests for amphetamines also showed an increase in positivity, rising from 1.3% in 2021 to 1.5% in 2022. 5. State Vs. Federal Law Complications The growing number of U.S. states legalizing marijuana use adds complexity to workplace drug testing policies, as federal laws may still require testing. 6. Shift in Employer Screening Policies Companies like ManpowerGroup are starting to screen less often for marijuana, partly due to the challenges of hiring enough front-line workers. 7. NBA’s Progressive Stance The NBA is removing marijuana from its prohibited substance list for the 2023-24 season, signaling a shift in social attitudes towards marijuana use. 8. Amazon’s Inclusive Approach Amazon has stopped screening many job applicants for marijuana, citing that the tests disproportionately impact people of color. 9. Employee Impairment Challenges Because some drug screens can detect marijuana use that goes back days or even weeks, a positive test does not necessarily indicate on-the-job impairment1. 10. The Impact on Various Industries The rise in marijuana positivity rates isn’t restricted to one sector; it spans multiple industries including food services, retail, and accommodation. Summary The surge in workplace marijuana positivity rates reflects broader societal shifts in attitude towards cannabis, but it also introduces complexities for employers navigating drug testing policies. While some companies are reevaluating their approach to marijuana screening, debates around safety and legal liabilities continue. Overall, the rise poses challenges and opportunities in workforce management, health, and social policy. Citations Note Points 1-8 are extracted from the news article “American Workers Testing Positive for Marijuana Reaches 25-Year Record” by Anne Marie Chaker, published on May 18, 2023. Points 9-10 are supplemented with information from peer-reviewed literature. Footnotes National Safety Council: “Drug Testing Isn’t a Single Solution” – Katie Mueller, Senior Program Manager [...] Read more...
August 21, 2023Discover the potential of cannabinoids in pain management. Explore medical insights, opposition viewpoints, and real experiences. Learn how cannabinoids could reshape the future of pain treatment. Introduction: The opioid crisis has become a public health emergency in the United States, with over 130 people dying every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. As the medical community grapples with this crisis, a new frontier in pain management is emerging: cannabinoids. Recent research suggests that medicinal cannabis may offer a promising alternative to opioids for pain relief. This blog post will explore the medical perspective on cannabinoids, address common misconceptions, and consider the viewpoints of both new and experienced users of medicinal cannabis. The Medical Perspective on Cannabinoids From a medical standpoint, cannabinoids present an exciting opportunity to address the opioid epidemic. Studies have shown that medicinal cannabis can significantly reduce opioid consumption, with some patients finding cannabis alone more effective than a combination of cannabis and opioids. However, the integration of cannabinoids into medical practice requires careful consideration of dosing, legal regulations, and patient education. Continued research and development of prescribing guidelines are essential to ensure safe and effective treatment. The opioid crisis has led to a search for alternatives, and cannabinoids present a promising solution. Research supports the use of medicinal cannabis to reduce opioid consumption and provide effective pain relief. The medical community is urged to consider this option, recognizing the need for proper guidelines and continued research. Misconceptions and Opposition to Medical Cannabis Despite the promising evidence, some individuals remain opposed to medicinal cannabis. Common misconceptions include fears about its psychoactive effects, potential for abuse, and lack of regulation. Clear, evidence-based communication is vital to dispel these myths and provide accurate information about the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis. Addressing legal and ethical concerns also requires collaboration between lawmakers, healthcare providers, and the community. Some individuals remain skeptical of medicinal cannabis, often due to misunderstandings about its effects and potential for abuse. Education and transparent communication about the scientific evidence supporting cannabis as a treatment option are essential to address these concerns. The Experience of New and Seasoned Cannabis Users For those new to medicinal cannabis, initial apprehensions may include concerns about side effects, social stigma, and legal issues. Comprehensive education and support can help alleviate these concerns. On the other hand, individuals experienced with medicinal cannabis often report significant benefits, including reduced opioid consumption and improved quality of life. Their insights and advocacy can foster acceptance and understanding within the broader community. Policy and Regulatory Considerations The legal status of medicinal cannabis varies across states, creating a complex regulatory environment. Developing consistent, evidence-based regulations is crucial to ensure safe and equitable access to this treatment option. Engaging with various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, researchers, policymakers, and patients, is essential to create a regulatory framework that supports responsible use.   The exploration of cannabinoids as an alternative to opioids for pain management is a multifaceted issue that requires a nuanced approach. By considering various perspectives and engaging in open dialogue, we can work towards a future where pain management is more effective, compassionate, and personalized. The potential of cannabinoids in reshaping pain treatment is promising, but realizing its full potential requires collaboration, education, research, and empathy.     This blog post delves into the medical viewpoint, opposition to medical cannabis, and the experiences of both new and seasoned medicinal cannabis users, but check out The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook for this and more: https://amzn.to/3QFToba          [...] Read more...
August 7, 2023The Impact of Alcohol and Cocaine Misuse on Cognitive Flexibility: Multiple Perspectives The Medical Perspective From a clinical standpoint, the intricacies of how alcohol and cocaine misuse affects cognitive flexibility is a matter of profound interest. The brain is a complex organ, with multiple pathways and neural connections that control not only our physical actions but also our thoughts, decisions, and emotions. The recent study provides a compelling look at the neural pathways, such as the impact on striatal cholinergic interneurons and the activity of direct-pathway medium spiny neurons, which are altered by these substances. Medical professionals are particularly interested in these findings as they can guide the development of therapeutics to treat substance use disorders. Furthermore, understanding the decline in cognitive flexibility can assist clinicians in devising therapeutic interventions, which might include cognitive-behavioral strategies, medications, or even neurofeedback sessions, to boost or restore this vital cognitive function. The Skeptical Perspective Some individuals remain wary of the current science, often comparing the misuse of substances like alcohol and cocaine to medical cannabis. This skepticism usually stems from preconceived notions, past experiences, or misinformation. They might argue that drawing conclusions from a rodent study might not translate effectively to humans, making such studies less definitive. In comparing it to medical cannabis, these individuals often point out the lack of long-term studies or the possible risks of misuse and addiction, even if used for medical purposes. While their concerns cannot be entirely dismissed, it’s essential to differentiate between misuse and medical application, and to stay updated with evolving scientific research. Newbie’s Perspective For someone new to cannabis or the broader discourse on substance misuse, the intricate details of how alcohol and cocaine affect the brain might be overwhelming. They might wonder: “How does this relate to cannabis? Is it equally harmful, or does it offer medicinal benefits?” These individuals often seek rudimentary understanding. They might find the concept of cognitive flexibility intriguing, especially if they can relate it to their daily life experiences. Perhaps they’ve noticed changes in their behavior or thought patterns after consuming alcohol or know someone battling cocaine addiction. Being new to the subject, they’re open to learning but might be vulnerable to misconceptions or biases, making it crucial to present them with clear, accurate, and digestible information. Experienced Cannabis User’s Perspective For those who consume cannabis for medical purposes, such a study on alcohol and cocaine might provide a dual reaction. On the one hand, they might be curious about how different substances can influence the brain in varied ways. On the other, they might feel defensive, anticipating that detractors could lump medical cannabis into the same category as alcohol and cocaine. These individuals have firsthand experience of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. They know that when used judiciously and under medical supervision, cannabis can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and various other ailments. When juxtaposing their experience against the backdrop of the study on alcohol and cocaine, they might assert the importance of distinguishing between “use” and “misuse”. For them, the underlying theme remains: everything in moderation, and under the right guidance. Conclusion:   the subject of substance misuse, brain health, and cognitive flexibility is multi-faceted. By looking at it from various perspectives, we can appreciate the nuances and complexities of this vital topic. Every viewpoint offers a piece of the larger puzzle, emphasizing the importance of open dialogue and continuous research. [...] Read more...
August 1, 2023In a surprising turn of events, more than a third of people aged 65 or older have tried marijuana, a figure that’s tripled since 2009. This trend is explored in depth in a recent article from The Washington Post, which also delves into the question of whether these older cannabis users are more likely to be NPR listeners. The article provides a wealth of information on the topic, including data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and insights from researchers and experts in the field. It also highlights the potential influence of legalization on the increased use of cannabis among older adults. What are your thoughts on this trend? Are you surprised to see the older generation embracing cannabis? And do you know any NPR-listening, cannabis-loving seniors? Read the full article here: https://wapo.st/3Kc4QXO [...] Read more...
July 31, 2023Introduction The name Shawn Collins may not have been a household name a decade ago, but in recent years, it has become synonymous with the burgeoning Massachusetts cannabis industry. As the Executive Director of the Cannabis Control Commission, Collins has played an instrumental role in the development and regulation of the industry, drawing both praise and criticism from various quarters. In this blog, we delve deeper into the impact of Shawn Collins’ work, examining it from the perspectives of medical professionals, typical customers, and those indifferent or new to cannabis. Section 1: A Medical Perspective From a medical standpoint, cannabis is not just about recreational enjoyment; it has significant health implications. Many health professionals have praised Collins’ efforts to regulate the industry, which have made it possible for patients to have access to safe, tested, and reliable cannabis products for therapeutic use. Under Collins’ leadership, the Commission has ensured the strict regulation of product quality, offering a degree of certainty that was previously lacking. For conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, cannabis has shown considerable promise. Thus, having a well-regulated supply chain has been crucial in patient care. However, not all feedback from the medical community has been positive. Some health professionals argue that the commission’s focus on commercial and recreational use might overshadow the importance of medical cannabis, pushing patients’ needs to the backburner. Section 2: The Customer’s Lens For the average customer, the rise of the cannabis industry under Collins’ watch has been a welcome change. The most obvious benefit has been the availability of a wider range of products. Consumers now have access to a variety of cannabis strains and related products, from edibles and tinctures to topicals and concentrates. Furthermore, rigorous quality checks mean that customers can trust the products they buy. Another important aspect from the customer’s perspective is the economic impact. The cannabis industry has generated significant revenue and created numerous jobs. Many customers appreciate that their purchases are contributing to local economic growth and job creation. Section 3: The View from the Sidelines Not everyone is a fan or user of cannabis, and for these people, the growing prominence of the industry can be a source of indifference or even resentment. Some fear that easy access to cannabis might lead to increased misuse, particularly among younger users. However, many recognize that regulation is preferable to prohibition. Having clear laws and regulations in place is seen as a way to control misuse while allowing adults who wish to use cannabis responsibly to do so. In this context, Collins’ work is acknowledged as necessary, even by those who might not personally support cannabis use. Conclusion Shawn Collins’ impact on the Massachusetts cannabis industry is undeniably substantial. His efforts have helped create a well-regulated, economically vibrant sector that caters to both medical patients and recreational consumers. While some criticism and challenges are inevitable, the industry’s growth is a testament to Collins’ dedication and the comprehensive framework the Commission has put in place. It remains to be seen how the industry will evolve in the coming years, but for now, Massachusetts seems to be on the right track. [...] Read more...
July 25, 2023The recent fluctuations in the market have sent ripples across industries, and one sector that has especially caught our attention is the cannabis industry. The intriguing part? Unlike the majority of stocks that are riding the upward wave, cannabis stocks are demonstrating a distinct trend, diving when others are soaring. This unexpected behavior, as perplexing as it is, offers us an opportunity to delve deeper into the complex world of the cannabis industry and its stock market performance. Why Cannabis Stocks Are Falling When discussing stock market trends, it’s important to understand that these trends are reflections of a multitude of factors, both tangible and intangible. In the case of cannabis stocks, these factors are as diverse as the products the industry produces. Firstly, let’s discuss the elephants in the room – regulatory barriers. Cannabis, despite its increasing acceptance, still finds itself tangled in a web of legal constraints. The varying laws from state to state and the federal illegality of cannabis in the US pose serious challenges for the industry. These uncertainties can make investors uneasy and lead to volatility in cannabis stocks. Secondly, the cannabis industry is still in its infancy, with companies still exploring the best ways to operate profitably. Many cannabis companies are focusing heavily on scaling their operations, often prioritizing growth over profitability. This can result in inflated valuations that are not backed by strong financials, making the stocks more susceptible to market downturns. Tilray: A Case Study Take Tilray, for example, a cannabis company that also has stakes in pharmaceutical distribution and alcohol businesses. Despite its diversified portfolio, Tilray has not been immune to the current downturn in cannabis stocks. Its stock has seen a significant dip in 2023, a worrying indication ahead of their Q4 report. This illustrates that the industry’s challenges can impact even the biggest players, regardless of their diversification strategies. Looking Ahead: What Could Potentially Turn Things Around? Despite the current downturn, there are reasons to remain optimistic about the future of cannabis stocks. One such reason is the potential for regulatory reform. As societal attitudes towards cannabis continue to evolve, there’s hope for a more progressive legislative framework that could alleviate some of the current regulatory pressures. Moreover, as the industry matures, we can expect to see companies beginning to focus more on profitability rather than just growth. This shift could lead to more robust financials, thereby making cannabis stocks more attractive to investors. Ultimately, the future of cannabis stocks remains uncertain. Investors and stakeholders must stay informed, adaptable, and open to new perspectives. With a thorough understanding of the industry’s fundamentals and a close eye on market trends, it’s possible to navigate through this uncertain terrain and make informed investment decisions. [...] Read more...
July 19, 2023I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you the upcoming launch of my very own “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook”. This has been a labour of love, the fruit of years of intense research, and a quest to bring forth the multifaceted benefits of this incredible plant – cannabis. Yes, you heard that right. My mission is not just to shed light on the often misunderstood world of cannabis, but to challenge our prevailing perceptions, and spark an informed conversation about its potential. Click to check out the amazing endorsements and to order: https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Approved-Cannabis-Handbook-Wellness-Marijuana-ebook/dp/B0BSKRN1M7 Can you believe that over the last decade, cannabis has undergone such a remarkable transformation? It’s moved from being a largely taboo topic to becoming a potential game-changing therapeutic tool within our medical community. This transition is undoubtedly encouraging, yet it has been clouded by widespread misinformation and a whole lot of uncertainty. To address this, I’ve written an all-inclusive guide that seeks to demystify the medical applications of cannabis. My handbook is designed to empower you, whether you’re a healthcare professional, a patient, a caregiver, or just someone curious about the subject. In Part 1 of the book, I take you through a guided tour around the cannabis plant, explaining its intricacies, and discussing the various products you can buy off the market. But that’s not all. I even delve into how you can DIY cannabis edibles and topicals, opening up an exciting world of homemade therapeutic treatments. As we move into Part 2 of the book, we dive deeper into the clinical uses of cannabis. Every single claim made is backed by an indexed, evidence-based, peer-reviewed reference. Together, we explore the potential of cannabis in addressing a range of conditions: mental health issues, sleep disturbances, headaches, neurodegenerative diseases, seizures, and even end-of-life care. But the journey doesn’t end there. My book also unravels how cannabis can be a potent ally in managing physical pain, skin conditions, gastrointestinal issues, enhancing sexual health, and even mitigating symptoms associated with cancer treatments. You see, the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” is not just another medical guide on the shelf. It’s a testament to the REAL opportunity that holistic, patient-centered healthcare presents. In a world that’s largely dominated by pharmaceutical models, I’m hoping (and trying my best!) to bring alternative approaches to the forefront. Can you imagine what it would mean if a cannabis-positive book made it to a best-seller list? It would not only command attention but also bring much-needed respect to an industry that has often been run over. More importantly, it could bring hope to millions of people who have suffered unnecessarily because of a lack of access to this information! As we embark on this path, we do recognize the challenges we face. Societal prejudices, regulatory complexities, and even the frustrating “algorithm” which often auto-cancels cannabis. But with informed knowledge and a shared understanding, we can overcome these hurdles together. After all, every paradigm shift begins with a single, daring step. So join me in this journey to redefine wellness. Pre-order your copy of the “Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook” today, and together, let’s command attention, respect, and inspire a change that could potentially save lives for the better. [...] Read more...
July 13, 2023The use of cannabis for self-medication is a growing trend, particularly among neurodivergent individuals. A recent poll found that 1.8 million people in the UK are using cannabis to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life, a 29% increase from 2019. This trend highlights the unique intersection of physical and psychological phenomena that cannabis research is uncovering. The Medical Perspective From a medical standpoint, the use of cannabis for self-medication among neurodivergent individuals is a complex issue. On one hand, cannabis has been shown to help improve attention, emotion regulation, concentration, and executive functioning, while also reducing anxiety and sleep problems. These are common symptoms among neurodiverse individuals, making cannabis an attractive option for self-medication. However, the medical community also recognizes the potential risks associated with self-medication, particularly when it comes to unregulated substances. Without proper regulation and oversight, individuals may be at risk of consuming cannabis with high levels of THC, which could induce paranoia, anxiety, or psychosis. The Viewpoint of Someone Against Medical Cannabis Those against the use of medical cannabis often cite the potential for abuse and the lack of comprehensive research as reasons for their opposition. They argue that while cannabis may provide temporary relief for some symptoms, it does not address the underlying causes of these symptoms. Additionally, they express concern about the potential for dependency and the long-term effects of cannabis use. The Perspective of Someone New to Cannabis For someone new to cannabis, the idea of using it for self-medication can be both intriguing and intimidating. The stigma associated with cannabis use can be a significant barrier, as can the legal implications. However, the potential benefits of cannabis for managing symptoms of neurodivergence can also be very appealing. The Perspective of Someone Experienced with Cannabis Consumption for Medical Purposes Those who have experience with using cannabis for medical purposes often have a more nuanced perspective. They understand the potential benefits of cannabis, but also recognize the importance of using it responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They may also have firsthand experience with the challenges of obtaining cannabis for medical use, particularly in regions where it is not yet legal. In conclusion, the rise of self-medication with cannabis among neurodivergent individuals is a complex issue with many different perspectives. As our understanding of both neurodivergence and the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis continues to evolve, it is crucial to continue the conversation and explore all angles of this important topic. [...] Read more...
July 11, 2023In the dynamic world of cannabis, THC-O-acetate has recently emerged as the new player on the field, largely due to bold claims of it providing a ‘psychedelic’ experience. But what does the science actually say? A new study led by UB has delved into these claims and found that the effects of THC-O-acetate are more aligned with inducing relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief rather than a psychedelic experience. This contradicts the current narrative floating around the cannabis community. Moreover, the study raises an important point of concern. The cannabis market, as it currently stands, is largely unregulated. This can result in product contamination, potentially causing unexpected and undesirable effects. Hence, it emphasizes the importance of being cautious in this seemingly Wild West market. As consumers, it’s crucial to be vigilant and rely more on scientific evidence rather than simply accepting manufacturer claims. In the rapidly expanding world of cannabinoids, safety should always be paramount. Dive deeper into the study here: https://bit.ly/46KsuEv [...] Read more...
March 14, 2023Whether you have tried other forms of treatment and failed to find relief, or you just prefer a holistic alternative, you may be wondering if medical cannabis is right for you. As a whole, over the last several decades we have learned so much about the benefits of cannabis and how this plant can help you find relief. However, we’re learning each day that the plant is complex in how it works with our bodies. No matter your symptoms or type of relief you’re seeking, it’s important to learn how to know if medical cannabis is right for you. History of Medical Cannabis Patients have touted the benefits of medical cannabis for not only years, and decades, but also through the centuries. Evidence suggests that cannabis was used extensively in what is now Romania, more than 5,000 years ago. And before that, archeological evidence has found cannabis in human culture as far back as 12,000 years ago.  In the U.S., cannabis was widely utilized as a patent medicine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, described in the United States Pharmacopoeia for the first time in 1850. In the grand scheme of things, cannabis prohibition only existed for a handful of recent years, as opposed to centuries of acceptance. Over the last several decades, many states, including Massachusetts have recognized the need and legalized cannabis in some capacity. Massachusetts now allows both recreational and medical cannabis use, but there are still a number of benefits to obtaining a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. How Does Cannabis Work? Every creature with vertebrae has an endocannabinoid system. A series of receptors exists throughout the body and serves the purpose of restoring and maintaining balance (homeostasis), as well as other multiple forms of neurological communication. Cannabinoids (cannabis molecules) interact with these receptors in different ways depending on their molecular structure. Some major cannabinoids include THC and CBD. Others you may have heard of include CBN, CBG, CBC many more (over 100 more, actually). There are a plethora of cannabis strains to choose from. Just like there are countless varieties and hybrids of roses, the same can be said for cannabis strains. Like any other plant, they can be cultivated to have specific properties like a higher ratio of CBD, or other plant compounds like terpenes, fatty acids, and proteins. Different combinations of cannabinoids and plant compounds may affect the body in slightly different ways. For example, the terpene linalool is also found in lavender and is known to have a calming effect, so strains with more linalool may be encouraged for those who are anxious or stressed. What Are The Benefits of Medical Cannabis? There are countless benefits of consuming medical cannabis, though it is important to note that your experience may not be exactly the same as someone else’s. In general, some of the primary ways medical cannabis can help you find relief is through:        • pain relief,        • decreased stress, anxiety, or worry        • better sleep habits and sleep patterns        • along with other more specific benefits depending on your specific need Qualified Conditions For a Massachusetts Medical Card In answering the question, “how do you know if medical cannabis is right for you,” it’s important to note how the condition you are seeking treatment for is certainly relevant. In order to obtain a medical cannabis certification, the state requires that you have a qualifying condition. Patients 18 and older with a Massachusetts medical cannabis card can buy larger quantities of cannabis than those who purchase recreational cannabis. Some of these qualifying conditions in a medical cannabis evaluation include:        • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)        • Cancer        • Crohn’s disease        • Glaucoma        • HIV/AIDS        • Hepatitis C        • Multiple Sclerosis        • Parkinson’s disease These conditions are governed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for medical marijuana doctors and patients and are continually updated as additional conditions are evaluated. The diagnosis of any of these qualifying conditions must be verified by a medical doctor, and the patient must go through an application process. If your exact condition is not listed above, do not let that be a deterrent. Dr Caplan has the ability to determine what conditions may benefit from medical cannabis and has the authority to issue cards for any condition where it is medically appropriate. How Do You Know If Medical Cannabis Is Right For You? Many people, with and without a medical condition can benefit from cannabis use. CED champions a holistic approach to healthcare and wellness that includes medicinal cannabis. Meet with our team of marijuana doctors in Massachusetts to discuss your medical marijuana card needs – through a cannabis evaluation, we’ll review your medical history, answer all your questions, address your symptoms and discuss how cannabis could better your health. If you think getting a Massachusetts medical marijuana card could be right for you, request an appointment online at your preferred time or call us to schedule one at (617) 500-3595 and we will be more than happy to guide you through the process. [...] Read more...
March 7, 2023Medical cannabis use was approved in 2006 for Rhode Island residents with a qualifying condition. The Rhode Island Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program administers all aspects of the state Medical Marijuana Act and all regulations for patients and certifying practitioners. This includes who is eligible to receive a Rhode Island medical marijuana card, based on their qualifying health or medical condition. Medical Cannabis Use in the United States Over the past few decades, the benefits of medical cannabis have become increasingly accepted. One survey showed that 86 percent of respondents believe in the positive benefits of cannabis for medical conditions. There are nearly 20,000 medical marijuana cardholders in Rhode Island. Because marijuana is not federally-regulated, each state that has a legal medical marijuana program has its own set of laws. Medical marijuana is available in Rhode Island for a variety of conditions. First, a patient must obtain a formal diagnosis in a medical cannabis evaluation to apply for their Rhode Island medical marijuana card. Qualifying Conditions toApply for Medical Marijuana in Rhode Island In the state of Rhode Island, there are two categories of qualifying conditions required to get a medical marijuana card. The first category lists specific health diseases or illnesses. Cannabis is also authorized to help with symptoms derived from the treatment of these conditions. • Cancer • Glaucoma • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) • Hepatitis C The second category of qualifying conditions can relate to a chronic or debilitating disease,medical condition, or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: • Cachexia or wasting syndrome • Severe, debilitating, chronic pain • Severe nausea • Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease • Agitation related to Alzheimer’s Disease Determining the Diagnosis of Your Qualifying Condition CED Clinic provides medical cannabis services for those seeking treatment for Rhode Island’s qualifying conditions. At CED Clinic, our cannabis doctors and physicians focus on individual patient care for specific needs. Our clinicians will review your health history in a medical cannabis evaluation to better assess the benefits for your medical concerns. During this cannabis clinic visit, it is important to talk to your doctor about all of the symptoms you are experiencing. Some chronic symptoms that do not respond to general medical treatment may qualify you for Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program – even if they are not in one of the two explicit categories. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not on the list of qualifying conditions but may be considered for a medical marijuana prescription. Applying for a Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Card The first step in the medical cannabis application process is to be formally diagnosed. CED Clinic offers telehealth options across multiple states, including Rhode Island. You can expedite the process by scheduling your appointment and filling out the intake form. Our cannabis clinicians will evaluate your health history and Rhode Island qualifying conditions for a cannabis medical card. We are here to walk you through the medical marijuana card application process and look forward to helping you feel empowered and educated about your cannabis choices. [...] Read more...
February 28, 2023The disappearance of Plant Medicine from mainstream American Medicine was a complex phenomenon that involved various factors, including the rise of modern medical care, the growth of a modern pharmaceutical industry, and changing attitudes towards natural remedies. One of the key events that contributed to the disappearance of plant medicine was the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. This legislation required manufacturers to accurately label their products and disclose any harmful or addictive ingredients. While this was a step forward for consumer protection, it also created an environment in which synthetic drugs could plant a foothold in the consumer market, as medicines/formulations could be patented and sold exclusively by their manufacturers, at great financial benefit. At the same time, the medical profession was undergoing a transformation, with doctors increasingly turning to scientific research and laboratory testing to guide their practice. This shift away from traditional remedies was fueled by the belief that science could provide more effective treatments for disease than natural remedies, which were more challenging to study. The Flexner Report, published in 1910, played a significant role in this transformation, as it called for medical schools to adopt a more scientific and rigorous approach to education and research. The rise of the pharmaceutical industry also played a crucial role in the disappearance of plant medicine. Pharmaceutical companies were able to invest heavily in research and development – and political lobbying efforts – and they could patent and market their products directly to doctors and patients. As a result, synthetic drugs began to replace natural remedies, which were often difficult to standardize and lacked the financial incentives of patented drugs. At the same time as the pharmaceutical industry blossomed and a more sterile system of ingredients and methods of study evolved, changing attitudes towards natural remedies also contributed to the disappearance of plant medicine. As modern medicine became more dominant, natural remedies were often seen as outdated and unscientific. This attitude was reinforced by the media, which often portrayed natural remedies as ineffective or even dangerous, relative to the more machined alternatives. The disappearance of plant medicine from mainstream American medicine was a complex phenomenon that involved a wide variety of interconnected factors, including the rise of the modern medical approach, birth and growth of the pharmaceutical industry, and evolving attitudes towards natural remedies by experts and professionals. While plant medicine is still used today by some healthcare providers, its disappearance from mainstream medical care was largely due to the emergence of synthetic drugs and the transformation of the medical profession towards a more scientific approach to treatment. [...] Read more...
February 8, 2023Once you have your medical marijuana card, it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own. Unfortunately, there is a trend among cannabis clinics of providing exceptional service until clients have their medical marijuana certifications, and then rushing them out the door. That’s not the case at CED Clinic. Current cannabis cardholders — not just those hoping to become patients — are welcome to make telemedicine appointments at any time with their medical cannabis doctor. Our Massachusetts cannabis doctors are here to provide holistic, cannabis-centered care throughout the duration of your treatment. These are just some of the reasons you might schedule a follow-up. 1. Your medical needs have changed. Life is dynamic. Whether you obtained your medical cannabis card last week or two years ago, your overall wellness may have changed since. The following are some examples of updates you may want to communicate to your cannabis doctor: New diagnosis Upcoming medical procedures Changing or worsening symptoms Dramatically improved symptoms Your cannabis doctor can answer questions, provide professional insight, and recommend any necessary adjustments to your medical marijuana prescription. 2. Your cannabis prescription isn’t working out the way you’d hoped. Perhaps you’re not seeing the results you wanted from cannabis use. This could mean you’re not feeling relief from your symptoms or the effect is minimal. Perhaps cannabis use is helping, but with other undesired effects. It’s important to remember that these issues occur with prescription medications, and you can consider a follow-up at our cannabis clinic the same way you would with your primary care provider. The truth is, there are myriad reasons why cannabis might not be delivering the desired benefits: it could be related to your dosage, the products you’re using, the method of consumption, or even other aspects of your routine or treatment regimen. By raising your concerns, you allow your canna-doctor to identify potential causes and make informed recommendations. 3. Your treatment used to work, and is now no longer effective. Sometimes cannabis loses its effectiveness — even when you’ve been using the same strain from the same company for an extended period of time. Trust us, you’re not crazy. There are several potential causes: Lack of consistency in medical cannabis products (which is a well-known problem in the industry) You’re building up a tolerance Changes in your medications, routine, or diet During your appointment, your cannabis doctor can shed some light on the issue, and offer suggestions on how to combat it. 4. There are updates to share with your cannabis doctor about your journey. When you have a traditional check-up, it helps your PCP stay informed of your wellbeing, monitor your progress with various treatments, and learn of any changes in your health. Our goal is for you to think of your care at CED Clinic the same way. Consider this: you want a medical professional to keep tabs on your overall well being, your prescriptions and whether they’re helping your symptoms; why wouldn’t you want the same as a medical marijuana patient? 5. You need a medical liaison to represent your cannabis treatment. Whether you have a regular doctor’s appointment approaching, are seeing a new specialist or have an upcoming medical procedure, your cannabis use may be relevant information. These are all opportunities for your cannabis doctor to offer support. Dr. Caplan can communicate directly with the providers involved, acting as a go-between or liaison for your medical needs. Further, receiving updated medical details allows him to make recommendations for your cannabis care routine if necessary — for example, increasing your dosage after a procedure, or altering usage to prevent adverse reactions with new medications. 6. You’re curious about new developments in the medical cannabis industry. Maybe you’ve heard about new cannabis products or formulations, or while conducting your own research, stumbled across new potential use cases, studies or data. As a result, you wonder, “How does this affect me, and what does it mean for my cannabis treatment? Should I alter my approach?” Luckily, you’re in the right place for this conversation. Dr. Caplan is not only the founder of other cannabis businesses (such as EO Care, Inc, a new digital therapeutics company that is changing the future of cannabis care), but shares access to the CED Clinic Library, (which is the world’s largest digital library of free medical cannabis research). By sharing free research with his medical cannabis patients, there are no barriers to learning cannabis health for all. You’re welcome to make an appointment to gain his professional insight and to discuss this research or other cannabis-related developments. 7. You want to learn how cannabis interacts with your medications, diet and more. If you’ve been experiencing altered effects in your cannabis use, have you noticed they correlated with changes in your health and wellness routine? If so, you could be onto something. The way that cannabis affects your body — specifically, how cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system — is directly connected with things like food, exercise habits, sleep patterns and much more. If you’re seeking information about the potential interactions of cannabis and related effects (especially if you’re starting a new medication), Dr. Caplan would be happy to address this with you. Remember: cannabis knowledge is power over your own health. Ready to schedule your appointment Just visit our website and request an appointment online for a medical cannabis evaluation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you! [...] Read more...
January 31, 2023The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has long been associated with how we process emotions, including stress and fear. Anandamide, the very first discovered, and likely most well-understood endogenous cannabinoid, functions as a neurotransmitter that actively combats the feelings of stress and fear. In the body, Anandamide is degraded by the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), so blocking FAAH activity can effectively increase anandamide in our bodies, much like how preventing a faucet from closing will set up for a flood of extra water. Fear extinction is one of the core known functions of the anandamide molecule. When a stimulus is un-coupled from a fear response in the body, this is a process governed by anandamide. For example, mice can be trained to associate a certain noise with a shock (fear training) and then dissociate the noise from the shock when they are presented with the noise by itself (fear extinction training). Research about the endocannabinoid system and fear In astudy published in Molecular Psychiatry, administration of an FAAH inhibitor in mice decreased fear when it was paired with a fear extinction training. Interestingly, however, the FAAH inhibitor did not impact fear if no extinction training occurred. Of particular interest, anandamide levels in the amygdala, another memory organ in the body, were increased, after fear extinction training, an effect that was increased further in the presence of a FAAH inhibitor. Considering these findings, the researchers speculate that variations in the FAAH gene, and therefore one’s expected level of anandamide breakdown, may be a relevant chemistry dynamic that underlies differences in one person’s ability to detect fear or cope with stress, from another’s. Consider, for example, a young boy who is afraid of a spider. When he notices the spider, consciously or not, his body immediately responds with a flight or fight response. This process happens in a synchronized way across multiple organs, including the amygdala, the adrenal glands, and traversing blood vessels throughout the body and brain. What does this mean for me? Toward a goal of minimizing the impact of fear, the natural response can be subdued in the presence of anandamide, perhaps aided and amplified by the actions or inactions of FAAH. Should someone have a gene which builds for them a very weak FAAH system, it is likely that they will have a much easier time recovering from fearful stimuli, because there will be less breakdown of anandamide. On the other hand, someone who has a very strong FAAH system would degrade their natural levels of anandamide and may have more persistent fear responses. In a world flush with fear, anxiety, and aggression, it is easy to imagine the relevance of a body system that helps to quell these negative emotions. Or, the contrary, it becomes simple to see the opportunity presented by a system of introducing molecular copy-cat molecules to some of the substances. To learn more about the endocannabinoid system and existing research about cannabinoids, explore the CED blog for our insights.   [...] Read more...
January 30, 2023Why is industrial hemp growth coming from the Cannabis Sativa L. strain of cannabis is restricted in many countries? Because it’s often confused with marijuana. But this lower THC strain has very little psychoactive properties, and is more often used for textile purposes. Also, essential oils from this low THC cannabis strain may have hidden benefits: antimicrobial activity. Can Hemp Oil Fight Bacteria? This essential oils of industrial hemp study looked at the antimicrobial properties of hemp oils against different types of bacteria. They looked at three different hemp oils (Carmagnola, Fibranova, and Futura) and found the oils might be most effective at fighting off gram positive bacteria (i.e. strep or staph infections). Futura Oil Fought Best Out of three different varieties of industrial hemp, oils from the Futura plant were the best at fighting a broader range of bacteria including food-born pathogens. Futura oils were virtually identical in composition to the other two essential oils, with the exception of a twofold increase in terpinolene compared to Carmagnola and Fibranova. The Key is Terpinolene Concentration Therefore, the higher terpinolene concentration is likely the cause of the increased antimicrobial activity. This effect is particularly applicable in the context of rising antibiotic resistance, where diseases such as MRSA become resistant to our current antibiotics. Topical hemp oils with antimicrobial effects could provide an alternative method of fighting off bacteria. Curious About Hemp and Cannabis as an Alternative to Antibiotics? To learn how the essential oils of hemp and cannabis could be used to help fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595). Dr. Caplan and his team at The CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you! Social Media Post This study finds yet another use for industrial Hemp – antimicrobial activity. The researchers here tested essential oils from three different types of industrial hemp plant (Carmagnola, Fibranova, and Futura) against bacteria. They found that Futura oils had the broadest and most pronounced antimicrobial activities compared to the other two hemp varieties. Futura oils had a higher concentration of the compound terpinolene compared to Carmagnola and Fibranova oils, which likely explains their higher antimicrobial activity. Hemp oils might be a beneficial alternative to fight bacteria, particularly in the context of increasing antibiotic resistance. Tweet Hemp oils have antimicrobial properties and could be used to help fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Infographic/Question Would you trust hemp oils over other antibiotic treatments such as neosporin? [...] Read more...
January 24, 2023Cannabis aversion in mice increases at higher doses of THC How much is too much when it comes to marijuana use? While marijuana in small doses can be rewarding, high doses could lead to anxiety and paranoia. Although anecdotally documented in humans, mice studies have found inconsistencies in the rewarding versus aversive (unpleasant) properties of cannabis. This review untangles the dose-dependent effects of THC in mice studies that use a place conditioning paradigm to determine the rewarding and aversive potential of marijuana. Do Mice Find Marijuana Rewarding? Using conditioned place preference and aversion tests determine whether mice find a certain stimulus – in this case marijuana – rewarding or aversive. Unsurprisingly, this review finds that mice given higher doses of THC found the THC aversive as opposed to rewarding. Priming mice with a low dose of THC a day or two before testing on the conditioned place paradigm seemed to increase the likelihood that mice would find THC rewarding. Interestingly, at smaller doses, mice were just as likely to have no preference for cannabis as they were to find it rewarding. Given the reported rewarding properties of cannabis among humans, perhaps these mice studies should be taken with a grain of salt. Worried About Anxiety or Paranoia from Cannabis? To learn if cannabis is right for you or how to avoid high doses, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595). Dr. Caplan and his team at The CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you! Social Media Post Aversion to THC in mice increases at higher doses. A comprehensive review of THC’s rewarding or aversive effects in mice shows that mice given higher doses of THC found the THC aversive as opposed to rewarding. Priming mice with a low dose of THC a day or two before testing their preference for THC increases the likelihood that mice will find THC rewarding. Interestingly, even at smaller doses of THC, mice were just as likely to have no preference for cannabis as they were to find it rewarding. Given reported rewarding properties of cannabis among humans, perhaps these mice studies should be taken with a grain of salt. Tweet A review shows that mice do not always find THC rewarding – even at small doses, but do find it aversive at high doses. [...] Read more...
January 17, 2023Peripheral nervous system cannabinoids may increase neuromuscular communication   Many studies focus on how cannabinoids function in our brains. Of course, most of us have heard about the cannabinoids which can make us feel joyful and light. Some are familiar with cannabinoids that can make you feel creative, giggly, sleepy, or hungry. As time marches on, people are starting to hear of cannabinoids that can help with improving focus or reducing appetite.   In addition to the many areas of exploration about cannabis and its action within the brain, there is a whole sector of the endogenous cannabinoid system that resides outside of the brain. Almost every immune cell, for example, has a cannabinoid receptor on it, ready to receive the signal to change its behavior.   Let’s explore the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids that are outside of the brain in our peripheral nervous systems.   Cannabinoids and the Neuromuscular Junction The neuromuscular junction is the name of the region which links the motor nerves in the body, which control movement, to our skeletal muscles.   In the brain, endogenous cannabinoids such as 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) have been shown to decrease neuromuscular junction transmission. They are also shown to promote reduced communication between motor neurons and skeletal muscles.   The opposite effect happens in the peripheral nervous system, where cannabinoids happen to actually increase neuromuscular transmission. The authors of this paper about neuromuscular transmission also found that cannabinoids may provide therapeutic potential for diseases such as myasthenia gravis. Here, there is a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles, as well as many other models of disease where neuromuscular communication is vital to normal functioning.   In a mouse model of myasthenia gravis, administration of the cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 increased neuromuscular communication, suggesting that peripheral nervous system cannabinoids are worth consideration for therapy for individuals with this, or related autoimmune diseases.   Enhancing Neuromuscular Communication with Cannabinoids If neuromuscular communication can be enhanced or suppressed by cannabinoids, it is logical that products will arise that can manipulate the neuromuscular junction toward desired aims, like:   Stronger grip More durable hold Muscle strength Endurance   These are interesting questions to consider as the medical cannabis industry matures.   Is the athletic community aware of these advances? Would this effect prohibit cannabis from the acceptable medicinal substances list? Is cannabis a performance enhancing drug?   The answers to these critical questions will present themselves in short time, as the industry matures and products become more specific. A clear understanding  of the relationship between products and illnesses needs to be honed.   Would You Like to Explore Cannabis for Performance? To learn how cannabis may be able to enhance or suppress your physical performance, book an appointment with our medical cannabis doctors through our virtual booking link or by giving us a call (617-500-3595).   Dr. Caplan and his team at CED Clinic in Chestnut Hill, MA are available to guide and support you!   Additional info provided- can probably be removed-   Social Media Post While most studies have looked at how cannabinoids act in the brain, this study finds a novel therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the neuromuscular junctions of the peripheral nervous system. Here they find that cannabinoids can increase communication between the nerves and muscles in the peripheral nervous system. This had the ability to negate the neuromuscular communication breakdown in a mouse model of the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis.   Tweet A preliminary mouse study suggests that cannabinoids in the peripheral nervous system may increase neuromuscular communication and are a therapeutic potential for autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis.   Infographic/Question How much do you trust preliminary mouse studies in the context of therapeutic treatments for humans? [...] Read more...
Cannabis News
March 2, 2024Cannabis News​ Compass Pathways (Nasdaq: CMPS) reported its financial outcomes for the fourth quarter of 2023 ended Dec. 31, 2023, noting advancements in its clinical trials despite enrollment challenges. The London-based biotech firm posted a net loss of $118.5 million, up from a net loss of $91.5 million for the same period in 2022. The nearly 30% increase was primarily due to rising research and development costs, according to the company. Those R&D costs jumped to $87.5 million in 2023, from $65.1 million in 2022, as the company intensified efforts to advance COMP360 through late-stage clinical trials. General and administrative costs rose modestly to $49.4 million in 2023 from $45.4 million the previous year. Despite the deficit, Compass had a solid cash position, finishing the year with $220.2 million in reserves, significantly up from $143.2 million at the end of 2022. That rise is partly due to additional fundraising activities, which have netted the company an extra $31.4 million in the first quarter of 2024 alone. The firm plans to spend between $17 million and $23 million on business operations in the first quarter. For the whole year, management expects to spend between $110 million and $130 million. Enrollment hiccups On a call to discuss the latest results, Compass executives broke down recent challenges in enrolling patients for its major Phase III trial, COMP005, which is aimed at addressing treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Management said that strict procedures for verifying TRD diagnoses have led to slower than expected patient enrollment. The difficulties stem primarily from the decentralized and varied nature of health care record management across the U.S., versus more centralized health care systems in Europe, where patient records are generally more accessible. “I should say there’s no shortage of patients, but the issues around verification have been real and that those are what have caused the problem,” Guy Goodwin, the firm’s chief medical officer, said. Despite those setbacks, the company remains confident that the trial’s completion timeline will not be significantly impacted, with top-line data expected by the end of 2024. It also maintained that the timeline for the COMP006 trial remains unchanged with results expected by mid-2025. CEO Kabir Nath said that the company is actively trying mitigate the enrollment issues by tapping specialized vendors to assist with verification of participants’ medical histories. Learning from Spravato Compass has also been gleaning different logistical and medical frameworks of existing treatments, such as Johnson & Johnson’s FDA-approved esketamine nasal spray, Spravato, to inform market introduction and patient care protocols for its flagship oral psilocybin-based treatment, COMP360. Nath explained that Spravato must be taken several times a month under a doctor’s supervision, and patients need to be watched for a couple of hours after each treatment because of possible side effects. He noted that COMP360 might only need to be administered a few times a year, which would be less often than Spravato. That could make it more convenient for patients and health care centers, as it would require less time in a medical facility and help reduce the need for a caregiver’s presence. Objectively, the opportunity in the mental health space is bearing out to be enormous, especially as looming Food and Drug Administration approval of MDMA-assisted treatment is expected to catalyze new growth. Spravato raked in nearly $700 million in global sales in 2023, now that clinical infrastructure has finally caught up with its commercialization. “A big part of the reason we’ve signed these collaborations with entities such as Greenberg and Hackensack – and we’ll do more – is exactly to understand how we are going to integrate psilocybin differentially from Spravato into those workflows and think of how they address reimbursement,” Nath said.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 2, 2024Cannabis News​ Nextleaf plans to launch nine new products across Canada in the next quarter. Canadian cannabis processing company Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. (CSE: OILS) (OTCQB: OILFF) reported a climb in revenue for the first quarter ending Dec. 31, 2023, driven by the company’s expansion into Alberta. The company achieved a record $4.1 million in gross sales for the quarter, a 190% year-over-year increase and a 25.1% rise from the previous quarter. Net revenue came out to $132,821 during the quarter versus a $559,013 net loss in the same period in 2022, according to regulatory filings. That’s still down sequentially from $387,640 in the previous quarter. The rise in revenue is linked to the company’s expansion into Alberta and a broadened product range. “I have a personal affinity towards Alberta and its success for us as a company, having spent over 20 years there,” interim CEO Emma Andrews said in a statement. “This was my first full quarter as interim CEO, so I spent time visiting retailers in Alberta to support our company’s launch. It was gratifying to see first-hand how the products are gaining immediate traction and how the value proposition is resonating early on with retailers, particularly with our softgel SKUs.” Nextleaf also outlined its plans for the upcoming quarter, including the launch of nine new products across Canada. “The company substantially increased its distribution province-wide and achieved successful sell-through of all initial purchase orders, receiving reorders on all items within the quarter,” the firm said. Overall, Nextleaf maintained its debt-free status while investing in inventory and manufacturing to support its sales expansion and commercialization initiatives. That includes “equipment purchases to support manufacturing. The company also engaged new contract manufacturing partners to increase capacity and meet growing demand.” Additionally, the company reported on recent equity and stock option activities, including the issuance of common shares to company executives and modifications to its stock option plan.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 2, 2024Cannabis News​California’s legal cannabis market continues to descend into financial turmoil, according to the latest annual tax figures released this week. The total market is shrinking in size, according to state-released data, and… The post Bay Area cannabis shops are closing as pot sales slump appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news. Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 2, 2024Cannabis News​ A pair of Senate committees in Hawaii has advanced a bill that would legalize marijuana in the state, adopting a number of amendments to the underlying proposal before sending it to the chamber floor where a vote is expected next week. Last year the Senate passed a separate legalization bill that later stalled the House, but advocates are hopeful this year’s proposal could get further. Gov. Josh Green (D) said last month that legalization is a “big social issue that remains” to be addressed in the state, signaling that he’d likely sign a bill to end cannabis prohibition if lawmakers send him one. There’s still more work to be done on this year’s more-than-300-page bill, which was formally introduced in both chambers in January and is largely based on a legalization plan unveiled by state Attorney General Anne Lopez (D). One change adopted by the Senate Ways and Means and Commerce and Consumer Protection committees on Friday, for example, blanked out all the bill’s funding numbers “to reflect the ongoing discussion going on at the legislature right now,” according to the bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D), who also chairs the commerce panel. The bill, SB 3335, faces a crossover deadline of next Thursday, March 7, meaning a Senate floor vote is likely in the coming days. Other changes adopted at Friday’s hearing adjusted provisions around hemp, criminal justice and licensing provisions. People with past felony cannabis convictions, for one, would be able to apply for licenses and employment in the legal marijuana industry. They would qualify after 10 years from the end of their incarceration, probation or supervised release. Another change approved by the committees clarified that possession and distribution of marijuana paraphernalia would be legal. Keohokalole told colleagues that activity is “already legal, so they’re conforming amendments to existing changes that the legislature has made.” The name of the regulatory agency that would oversee the legal marijuana market also was modified slightly. The newly proposed name, the Hawaii Hemp and Cannabis Authority, would reflect the body’s handling of hemp matters in addition to marijuana. “I think we’re really close,” Sen. Tim Richards (D) said at the joint hearing. “I’m going to be supporting with reservations, just because I think we still got a little bit we need to do, but I think we’re close.” Sen. Sharon Y. Moriwaki (D), meanwhile, said she had “concerns about the cannabis,” saying the state still has work to do around medical marijuana. She also said that as the state works to discourage alcohol use, “I see this as kind of counter to that,” warning of “a lot of problems in the community.” Republican Sen. Kurt Fevella said he couldn’t support the bill “because we have no parameters, really, on how this is gonna be.” “You guys all know I support hemp,” he said, “but with this cannabis pleasuring thing, I cannot support the bills.” In submitted testimony, law enforcement in the state sharply opposed the bill. The state Department of Law Enforcement, for example, said in submitted testimony that it has “serious concerns” about the bill. It cited a controversial report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), in Colorado, claiming that fatal car crashes that could be linked to marijuana “nearly doubled between 2013 to 2020.” “If cannabis were to be legalized in an adult use system for Hawaii, then it is highly probable that the rate of fatal car crashes and roadway deaths in Hawaii would very likely increase, especially amongst young drivers in Hawaii,” the department argued. If the measure does move forward, the Department of Law Enforcement added, it wants more money to “offset the substantial predictable illegal activity that our community will see,” asking for at least $2 million in funding to the agency’s enforcement unit and 17 new enforcement staff. The state Department of Education also expressed “strong concerns” with the proposal and “the potential impacts it could have,” noting that THC could impair brain development in young people and pointing to a study showing an increase in youth use after adult-use legalization. “Therefore, if Hawaii legalizes adult recreational cannabis use,” wrote Superintendent Keith T. Hayashi, “it must also invest in prevention and education initiatives.” Legalization advocates, meanwhile, have called on lawmakers to pass the legalization proposal—but only after making changes to address what they say is a incomplete plan for legalization. Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the group Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), said that the bill in its current form “takes an overly punitive approach and fails to include a sufficient commitment to equity.” “Alarmingly,” O’Keefe told the panels, “the bill could result in more people being ensnared in the criminal justice system for cannabis instead of less.” She also pushed back against some claims made by opponents, contending that “many prohibitionists’ claims are untethered to reality.” Teen use has in fact gone down since legalization in legal states, MPP’s testimony says, and there has not been an increase in psychosis in those jurisdictions. ACLU of Hawaii said it supports adult-use cannabis legalization, but complained that “this draft falls short of the of the robust social equity and reparative justice reforms required to address the harms and collateral consequences of cannabis arrest and conviction records that last a lifetime.” “Notably, these harms have disparately impacted Native Hawaiians,” ACLU added. “Native Hawaiians do not use drugs at drastically different rates from people of other races or ethnicities, but Native Hawaiians go to prison for drug offenses more often than people of other races or ethnicities.” A number of advocacy groups joined together as part of the Hawai’i Alliance for Cannabis Reform, which also submitted written testimony. That group, which includes member organizations MPP, ACLU of Hawaii, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i, the Last Prisoner Project, the Hawaii Innocence Project and Doctors for Drug Policy Reform, among others, wrote that while it’s important to end cannabis prohibition, it’s crucial it’s done so in a balanced way. “We heartily support protecting health and safety as part of legalization. However, the AG-drafted bill’s singular focus has resulted in an approach that is overly focused on law enforcement and recriminalization, and that will continue to do life-changing damage to responsible cannabis consumers for behavior that endangers no one,” the alliance wrote. “We urge an approach to cannabis legalization that focuses far more on reinvesting in communities, reparative justice, and building an equitable and inclusive industry — and that avoids ramping up law enforcement and criminalizing innocuous behavior.” Nikos Leverenz of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i told Marijuana Moment after Friday’s votes that “Hawaii should prepare itself for prospective participation in the national and global cannabis marketplace.” “Those who oppose adult-use legalization are not just on the wrong side of history,” he said. “They are on the wrong side of a more just, humane, and prosperous future.” Lopez, the attorney general, for her part, said in written testimony to the Senate panels that “while the Department does not support the legalization of cannabis, I am proud of what we presented here today.” “This is a reasonable, moderate bill,” she wrote, “that sought to balance a myriad of interests with significant known and unknown risks.” Here’s are the key provisions of the bill, SB 3335: The proposal would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and up to five grams of concentrates as of January 1, 2026. Home cultivation would be legal, with adults allowed to grow up to six plants and keep as much as 10 ounces of resulting marijuana. The measures would create the Hawaii Cannabis Authority to license and regulate adult-use cannabis businesses. That body would be overseen by a five-member appointed Cannabis Control Board, led by an executive director who would need to have experience in public health or cannabis regulation. Cultivators, processors, medical dispensaries, adult-use retailers, craft dispensaries and independent testing laboratories would be licensed under the plan, with regulators able to adopt rules around special events, social consumption and other special use cases. Adult-use cannabis products would be taxed at 14 percent, while medical cannabis would be subject to a 4 percent tax. Industrial hemp would continue to fall under the state’s general sales tax. Tax revenue from marijuana sales would be equally divided between a law enforcement-focused fund and another that would promote “cannabis social equity, public health and education, and public safety.” People with convictions for activities made legal under the bill would be able to petition to have their records expunged. People with past felony convictions for cannabis would be eligible to be licensed or work in the legal cannabis industry after 10 years from the end of their incarceration, parole or supervised release. Driving under the influence of cannabis would remain illegal, with the bill setting a legal limit of 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. The bill would provide state-level tax relief for licensed marijuana businesses, allowing them to take deductions that they’re barred from doing at the federal level under Internal Revenue Service code 280E. The bill also would create new criminal penalties for people under 21 found in possession of marijuana, who could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for possession of up to three grams. The bill currently includes an effective date of December 31, 2050 “to encourage further discussion.” Two other Senate panels previously amended and approved the cannabis legalization bill at a joint hearing last month, Democrats in control of Hawaii’s Senate said in January that cannabis legalization is one of their top priorities this legislative session, framing the reform as a means to boost the state’s economy. In November, the AG’s office defended an earlier version of the legislation it put forward earlier that month after Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said law enforcement are firmly against legalizing marijuana. David Day, a special assistant with the attorney general’s office, said at the time that Alm’s concerns were overblown and the legalization measure that’s been put forward deliberately took into account law enforcement perspectives. Advocates struggled under former Democratic Gov. Dave Ige, who resisted legalization in part because he said he was reluctant to pass something that conflicts with federal law. But since Green took office, activists have felt more emboldened. Green said in 2022 that he’d sign a bill to legalize cannabis for adults and already had ideas about how tax revenue could be utilized. Last April, the Hawaii legislature also approved a resolution calling on the governor to create a clemency program for people with prior marijuana convictions on their records. As for other drug policy matters, lawmakers last month advanced a bill that would provide certain legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval. The measure would not legalize psilocybin itself but would instead create an affirmative legal defense for psilocybin use and possession in the case of doctor-approved use under the guidance of a trained facilitator. The proposal has support from some state agencies, such as the Disability and Communications Access Board and governor’s Office of Wellness and Resilience (OWR), as well as a variety of reform advocates, including the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, the Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center and the Clarity Project. Opponents include some medical groups, including the Hawaii Medical Association and Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians, which said there’s still too little information about the safety and efficacy of psilocybin. Another Senator Signs Onto Marijuana Banking Bill, Saying It Will ‘Take The Target Off The Backs’ Of Dispensaries Facing Robberies Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. 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March 2, 2024Cannabis News​Michigan municipalities with recreational marijuana businesses are getting more than $87 million in payouts this week from taxes on marijuana purchases as sales continue to grow. According to the Michigan… The post Michigan local governments getting $87 million from marijuana sales appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news. Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Marijuana dispensary location analysis; New SAFER sponsor; AZ psilocybin; MD cannabis odor search bill; DE legal market rules; Denver psychedelics Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day. Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible… Hold on, just one second before you read today’s news. Have you thought about giving some financial support to Marijuana Moment? If so, today would be a great day to contribute. We’re planning our reporting for the coming months and it would really help to know what kind of support we can count on. Check us out on Patreon and sign up to give $25/month today:https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment / TOP THINGS TO KNOW Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) still doesn’t have “any interest” in signing a bill to legalize recreational cannabis sales that lawmakers sent to his desk this week, the governor’s press secretary told Marijuana Moment. A new Pew Research Center analysis shows that eight in ten Americans now have at least one marijuana dispensary in their county—and that high concentrations of retailers often “cluster” near borders abutting other states that have “less permissive cannabis laws.” Former Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) spoke to Marijuana Moment about the prospects for passing the cannabis banking rescheduling legislation he used to sponsor. He also offered his predictions on the timeline for federal rescheduling. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) became the latest cosponsor of a marijuana banking bill, saying it will “take the target off the backs” of dispensaries in her state that are facing a spate of robberies. The Virginia House of Delegates and Senate sent Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) legislation to prevent parental marijuana use from being used as evidence of child abuse or neglect. The Arizona Senate passed a bill to legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting. The Maryland House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a Republican-led bill to let police search vehicles based on the smell of marijuana, which is a legal product. Democrats on the panel and witnesses from NAACP and ACLU pushed back against the proposal. The Delaware Office of the Marijuana Commissioner posted a second set of draft regulations for the adult-use cannabis market, this time covering issues such as product tracking, transportation, health standards, packaging and advertising. Denver, Colorado officials are forming a new Natural Medicine Work Group to advise on local psychedelics regulations under a statewide legalization law. Kansas’s Republican Senate president said a medical cannabis pilot program bill will be filed soon and that lawmakers “will likely hear it.” / FEDERAL Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) tweeted, “A dramatic, reputable study just found that for daily cannabis users the odds of a heart attack were 25% higher compared to non-users and 42% higher for stroke.  Nearly half of the country now has legal cannabis laws. As a physician I have long said—the American people deserve to know the full effect modern marijuana has on the body before it is legalized for recreational use.” The House bill to legalize marijuana got two new cosponsors for a total of 84. / STATES A Kansas representative authored an op-ed arguing that medical cannabis legislation needs to have equity licensing provisions. North Carolina House candidates discussed their views on marijuana policy. Washington State regulators initiated rulemaking on the issue of allowing certain people under 21 years old on licensed marijuana business premises. California regulators filed emergency rulemaking concerning allowing cannabis cultivation licensees to make certain changes. Missouri regulators will begin accepting applications for a second round of marijuana microbusiness licenses in mid-April. Iowa regulators published a list of licensed hemp businesses. Colorado will hold a stakeholder meeting about legislation concerning safety profiles and potential for intoxication by cannabis products  on Friday. Massachusetts regulators will host the first in a series of marijuana social equity applications clinics on Saturday. —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.— / LOCAL Two Jersey City, New Jersey police officers who were fired for off-duty marijuana use filed another lawsuit over the city’s refusal to follow a state Civil Service Commission order to reinstate them. Several Ohio municipalities are enacting moratoriums on marijuana businesses. New York City’s mayor attended an event to celebrate the opening of the first Black woman-owned legal cannabis dispensary in Brooklyn. / INTERNATIONAL German state ministers are projecting that the government’s marijuana legalization law will not take effect on April 1 as planned but instead will be delayed six months. Thailand’s health minister reiterated plans to enact legislation clarifying that recreational marijuana is illegal by the end of this year. Netherlands lawmakers are expressing concerns about an ongoing experiment allowing legal access to regulated cannabis products. The Canadian government generated more excise tax revenue from cannabis than from beer and wine last year. / SCIENCE & HEALTH A review concluded that “the association between cannabis and anxiety is best explained by anxiety predisposing individuals toward as a method of self-medication” and that “a causal relationship in which CU causes incidence is less likely despite multiple longitudinal studies suggesting so.” A review concluded that “the use of psychedelics might contribute to improvements not only in the severity of PTSD but also in depression or pain.” / ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS The New York Daily News editorial board is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to do more to combat unlicensed marijuana businesses. The Florida Medical Marijuana Trade Association is a new organization headed by a former director of the state Office of Medical Marijuana Use. / BUSINESS Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $287 million and a net loss of $33 million. Verano Holdings Corp. reported quarterly net revenue of $237.2 million and a net loss of $72.6 million. Cronos Group Inc. reported quarterly consolidated net revenue of $23.9 million and a net loss of $45.2 million. Housing Works launched an incubator to support social equity cannabis entrepreneurs. A Vangst survey found that 86 percent of cannabis businesses plan to hire this year. / CULTURE The Late Show with Stephen Colbert made a trailer for a fake Werner Herzog film about his home country of Germany legalizing marijuana. Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. 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March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Braxia Scientific Corp. (CSE: BRAX) (OTC Pink: BRAXF)  reported its earnings for the third quarter ending December 31, 2023 as the company struggles to stay afloat amid a cash crunch. On a positive note, revenue increased 0.7% to $0.492 million in the quarter. The net loss of $0.904 million for the quarter improved over last year’s third-quarter net loss of $2.17 million. Cash crunch However, the company remains in a cash bind. At the end of 2023, Braxia‘s cash and cash equivalents were just $0.128 million with a working capital deficit of $1.81 million. The company said in a statement, “The Board has continued to look for strategic alternatives and alternative sources of capital or partnerships; however, challenges in accessing capital through public markets remain as a result of ongoing economic conditions.” The company cut staff significantly this fiscal year and the remaining members have agreed to defer salary to enable the company to reach its next phase. The company warned that if additional funding wasn’t found in the “very short term”, the company would have to have more cost reductions, restructuring, the potential scaling back of clinic locations, and creditor concessions. Despite the dire situation at the company, CEO Dr. Roger McIntyre preferred to remain positive and only said, “Treatment volumes across our clinical footprint continued to trend higher as our referrals for new patients also continued to increase in fiscal 2024 resulting in revenue growth. While our team aims to further reduce expenses, we expect to see improving efficiencies in the second half of this calendar year. Improvements underway to expand some of our clinical space will enable us to take in a higher volume of patients while adding new treatments and other support services that will increase revenues.” Braxia has yet to achieve profitable operations, has accumulated cash and non-cash losses of $118,011,233 since inception, and expects to incur further losses in the development of its business. In addition to that, the existing funds and operational cash flow are not sufficient to fund the company’s operations. Company turmoil The company has clinic operations in the Canadian cities of Mississauga, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Montreal. It said it continues to look to expand its clinic footprint in North America and beyond despite the turmoil within the company. In January 2023, the company announced that it was entering into a combination with Irwin Naturals but that was terminated in March 2023. In addition to that, the C-suite has been subject to numerous changes. KetaMD CEO Warren Gumpel stepped down but remained as a special advisor, while Dr. McIntyre assumed the role of KetaMD CEO. KetaMD will still be taking treatment requests but will not be conducting any new patient treatments. The company initially bought KetaMD in a deal valued at over $6 million. Dr. Josh Rosenblat has stepped down from his role as Chief Medical Officer and remains a Psychiatrist on staff at the company’s Clinics. In November 2023 Stephen Brooks stepped down as CFO and Olga Cwiek resigned from the board. Both positions are being filled by Peter Rizakos, the company’s general counsel. Braxia also got a notice of default on January 24, 2024, from its Toronto office landlord claiming arrears of rent for $149,440.75. The company was required to remedy the default by January 30, 2024, which it did not, and the lease was terminated. Braxia said the Toronto lease was not an operational clinic at the time of termination. Even though the company is struggling, it said it continues to experience strong demand at its clinics. Treatment volumes across the company’s clinics increasedapproximately 3.2% to 2,726 treatments from 2,642 treatments over the nine month periods ending December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022, respectively.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Following last year’s decision by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (ECBI) to legalize cannabis for adult use, the tribe has set a target date to open retail sales: April 20, 2024. If all goes as planned, the launch will mark the first-ever legal marijuana sales within the borders of North Carolina. “It’s the national cannabis holiday, right?” Lee Griffin, human resources director for the tribe’s marijuana business, Qualla Enterprises, said of the 4/20 start date during a ECBI tribal council work session on Wednesday. “Across the country, it’s the biggest revenue date annually” for cannabis. “It’s like New Year’s Eve at the casino,” he said. The retail store—located on the tribe’s 57,000-acre Qualla Boundary—will be open to any adult 21 and older, regardless of tribal membership. Members of the tribe voted last September to legalize and regulate adult-use sales, approving a ballot measure with a strong 70 percent–30 percent margin. Two years earlier, in 2021, ECBI’s Qualla Boundary became the first place in North Carolina where medical marijuana was legal after the tribal council adopted a regulated system. Registration for the program opened to all North Carolina residents this past June, and in October, the tribe issued its first round of medical marijuana cards. At this week’s tribal council meeting, which was first reported by The Charlotte Observer, Griffin said that about 1,400 people have already applied for cannabis-related jobs, though Qualla Enterprises aims to hire just over 350. Currently the business employs 69 employees, he said. Ahead of last year’s legalization vote, Qualla Enterprises published an op-ed in the tribal newspaper, Cherokee One Feather, championing the benefits of adult-use sales. It compared the opportunity to when, “thirty years ago, the Cherokee People decided to build a casino.” “This was highly controversial at the time, in part because nowhere in the surrounding region allowed gaming,” the company said at the time. “But we were not afraid to be different. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino has benefited this Tribe and its members in more ways than we ever imagined.” The bulk of new jobs created by the policy change, according to the company, would be filled by enrolled ECBI members. In the medical system as of last year, 84 percent of cultivation employees were tribal members, its op-ed said, “which represents the highest of any business owned by the tribe.” The op-ed also pointed to a statewide poll that found 73 percent of North Carolina residents support legal medical marijuana. And it cited estimates suggesting the state’s illicit cannabis activity amounted to nearly $3.2 billion in 2022. A more recent survey of North Carolinians, conducted by the Meredith Poll and published last month, found 78 percent support for lawmakers to pass a medical marijuana bill this year. The tribe’s moves to legalize despite North Carolina’s ongoing prohibition on marijuana drew criticism from some politicians, including U.S. Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC). Ahead of the election, Edwards, who is not Native, authored an op-ed in Cherokee One Feather warning that legalization on the tribal land “would be irresponsible, and I intend to stop it.” The congressman also filed a bill in the U.S. House that would slash a portion of federal funding from tribes and states that legalize marijuana. Then-Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed called the move “a big misstep” at the time. He told Marijuana Moment that he believed pushback from Edwards and others may have emboldened tribal members to support the measure. “The worst thing that a non-Indian elected official can do is tell a sovereign, federally-recognized Indian tribe how they ought to handle their business,” Sneed said in an interview. Marijuana legalization on the Qualla Boundary is expected to eventually bring in millions of dollars in revenue for the tribe. Forrest Parker, general manager of the Qualla Enterprises said last July that “If adult-use were legalized, revenue could conservatively reach $385 million in the first year and exceed $800 million by year five,” according to a Cherokee One Feather report. Tribal governments in a handful of U.S. states have entered the marijuana business as more jurisdictions legalize. Notably, in Minnesota, where state lawmakers passed an adult-use marijuana program last year, tribes are leading the way. Minnesota’s cannabis law allows tribes within the state to open marijuana businesses before the state itself begins licensing retailers. Some tribal governments—including the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, the White Earth Nation and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe—have already entered the legal market. It’s believed that in 2020, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, located in South Dakota, became the first tribe to vote to legalize marijuana within a U.S. state where the plant remained illegal. Meanwhile in North Carolina, a state judge recently declared that anyone who “has the odor of marijuana” will be barred from entering the North Carolina Superior Courts of Robeson County. The order, from Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James Gregory Bell, said that smelling like cannabis is grounds for removal from the courthouse, and the sheriff will be directed to “ask you to leave and come back without the odor owns your persons.” Virginia GOP Governor Still Doesn’t Have ‘Any Interest’ In Signing Marijuana Sales Bill As Democratic Legislature Approves Plan Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer. 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Michigan officials announced they are distributing a new batch of more than $290 million in marijuana tax revenue to localities, public schools and a transportation fund. The state Department of Treasury said on Thursday that 269 municipalities will be receiving $87 million, while education and transportation efforts will each get $101.6 million. That represents another substantial increase in cannabis tax-funded disbursements that are required under the state’s adult-use legalization law. In 2022, Michigan distributed about $150 million total to the three funding buckets, for example. The department said that 99 cities, 30 villages, 69 townships and 71 counties will be receiving payments from the Marihuana Regulation Fund over the comings days. Localities will get $59,000 for each cannabis retailer or microbusiness that operates within their jurisdiction. “This week, many Michigan municipalities and counties will begin seeing their share of adult-use marijuana payments appear in their banking accounts,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said in a press release. “Through a partnership, the dollars received from the adult-use marijuana taxes and fees are distributed to our participating communities,” she said. “These dollars may be spent how our local units deem fit to their needs.” The funding is made possible from tax revenue collected from legal marijuana sales in the state, which totaled more than $3 billion in 2023 alone. State officials said last November that tax revenue from legal marijuana grew by 49 percent compared to the previous year, surpassing the amount of revenue made from alcohol sales. Marijuana sales incur a 10 percent excise tax—among the lowest rates in the nation—as well as a 6 percent state sales tax. “The tax funding for municipalities and counties that comes from the marijuana excise tax is a very important benefit of the legal cannabis industry in Michigan,” Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) Executive Director Brian Hanna said. “The CRA is committed to doing our part in supporting our licensees so that they can continue to grow the local economy throughout the state with good-paying jobs and increased revenues for local government budgets.” —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.— Also, late last year, CRA announced the launch of a new social equity grant program that will award $1 million to eligible marijuana businesses for education, business needs or community reinvestment. Elsewhere in Michigan’s legal cannabis landscape, a change approved last July by the state Civil Service Commission took effect in October to end pre-employment marijuana testing for most government employees. The shift also gave people who’ve already been penalized over positive THC tests an opportunity to have the sanction retroactively rescinded. Also in October, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a pair of bills into law to allow state-licensed marijuana businesses to conduct trade with tribal cannabis entities. Both took effect immediately. Meanwhile, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce said last month that a rash of recent break-ins at legal marijuana retailers in the state underscores the need for federal cannabis banking reform, which the group says would reduce the risks of theft and fraud that stem from the industry’s current reliance on cash. Virginia GOP Governor Still Doesn’t Have ‘Any Interest’ In Signing Marijuana Sales Bill As Democratic Legislature Approves Plan 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​When Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana six years ago, the measure included an innovative mandate: using cannabis tax revenue to pay for research into the health benefits of the drug for… The post Michigan wants to study marijuana’s health benefits. It’s not easy. appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news. Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ “These piecemeal approaches are only going to cause a lot of victimization, frankly, for those who are falsely accused.” By Sophie Nieto-Munoz, New Jersey Monitor Cannabis experts are concerned about a lawmaker’s attempt to require motorists suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana to provide a blood sample to police. Critics of the recently introduced bill say it would not only give police more power that would likely be wielded disproportionately against people of color, but they also argue the testing methods called for in the bill don’t even work. Joshua Bachner, a cannabis attorney at law firm Mandelbaum Barrett, criticized the move as an example of government overreach. “The state should develop—and there’s many of us in the state happy to coordinate with them—a comprehensive, reliable method for determining impairment,” he said. “But these piecemeal approaches are only going to cause a lot of victimization, frankly, for those who are falsely accused.” Under current law, anyone in New Jersey who drives is consenting to provide a breath sample if police believe they are driving drunk—it’s called “implied consent.” The new bill would expand that to include a blood test and apply to any narcotic, hallucinogenic or other drug. Someone would be deemed under the influence of marijuana if they test positive for 3 nanograms or more of THC—the chemical that gets cannabis users high. The push to expand implied consent laws to apply to drivers suspected of marijuana use comes two years after New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market launched, and as legal cannabis becomes more prevalent nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the growing issue of drug-impaired driving a “major highway safety issue.” From 2007 to 2014, there was a 48 percent increase in drivers testing positive for THC, according to a NHTSA study. Bill sponsor Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) did not respond to a request for comment. Turner introduced a similar bill in the last legislative session but it never reached a committee vote. Bauchner pointed to a report from the National Library of Medicine that he says debunks the suggested method for testing laid out in the bill. The study also says people’s response to amounts of cannabis can change depending on their tolerance.  The handful of states with marijuana-impaired driving limits allow for varying ranges of THC amounts in a driver’s system. Nevada and Ohio allow for 2 nanograms, while Illinois and Washington allow for 5 nanograms. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there is no national standard for drugged driving, unlike the nationally recognized alcohol impairment level of .08 blood alcohol concentration. New Jersey currently has no THC limit in place for drivers. There’s no proven way to test whether someone is high from marijuana at the moment. Unlike alcohol, which breaks down in someone’s bloodstream over hours, cannabis can remain in someone’s system for over 45 days. Bauchner said that’s another problem with the bill. “This isn’t based on science, this is based on guesswork,” he said. Alex Shalom, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said it’s fair for the state to look for new ways to tackle impaired driving, but he echoed worries that the bill could result in people who are not impaired being arrested. He also wondered whether there is established science to determine when someone is impaired by cannabis. “We need a process where we rigorously figure out what the right level is to determine if people are impaired, and I’m not sure we’ve done that yet in New Jersey,” he said. One of Shalom’s largest concerns about the bill is that police could improperly force drivers to provide a blood sample without a warrant. He noted that cops can, under current law, seek a warrant for a blood sample, meaning there is judicial oversight involved. —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.— “It forces the police to have to get the approval of a judge before they invade a person’s bodily autonomy,” he said. “That is both consistent with the Constitution and consistent with our values that say, before the government can stick a needle in your arm, they better have an awfully good reason.” People of color already face disparate treatment from police, Shalom said. Black and Latino drivers are overrepresented in traffic stops, and are more likely to be searched than their white counterparts, even though the searches are less likely to result in evidence, according to a Northeastern University study into New Jersey State Police stops. Bauchner worries the behaviors police look for to gauge whether someone is an impaired driver are the same as those of a nervous person: sweaty palms, avoiding eye contact, sniffling, anxiety and increased heart rate. “If you’re an African American person getting pulled over by law enforcement in this country, you are manifesting those conditions. Not because you’re impaired, but because you’re a Black person getting pulled over and you’re afraid for your life,” he said. This story was first published by New Jersey Monitor. Police Union Asks Court To Dismiss Jersey City’s Lawsuit Over Testing Cops For Marijuana, Calling It ‘Pure Hogwash’ 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Marijuana use is associated with lower odds of subjective cognitive decline (SCD), according to a new study, with people who consume cannabis for recreational or medical purposes reporting less confusion and memory loss compared to non-users. The study—which showed that recreational cannabis use is “significantly” linked to lower SCD—is especially notable given that past research has connected subjective decline to the development of dementia later in life. The results, which were published in the journal Current Alzheimer Research this month, indicate that THC’s impacts on cognitive function may be more complicated than popularly assumed. “Compared to non-users,” the study says, “non-medical cannabis use was significantly associated with 96% decreased odds of SCD.” People who reported using marijuana for medical purposes, or for both medical and recreational purposes, also showed “decreased odds of SCD, although not significant,” the study found. To be sure, a number of earlier studies have indicated negative associations between heavy cannabis use and mental performance. Authors of the new study, out of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, pointed to past results linking long-term or frequent cannabis use to compromised verbal recall performance, worsened cognitive function and subjective memory complaints, for example. “However, the cognitive implications of cannabis are not only determined by the frequency of cannabis consumption,” they wrote, noting that other factors—including product formulation, method of administration and reason for use—may also “impact the cognitive effects associated with cannabis use.” “Our study addresses these knowledge gaps by comprehensively examining how reason, frequency, and method of cannabis use are associated with SCD among U.S. middle-aged and older adults,” their report says. The survey asked respondents, “During the past 12 months, have you experienced confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse?” They could respond yes, no, don’t know/not sure or refuse the question. Results were analyzed across three cannabis variables: frequency of use over the past month, ranging from 0 to 30 days; reason for cannabis use, which included non-user, medical, non-medical or both; and the method of cannabis consumption—non-user, smoke, eat, drink, vaporize, dab or other. “We found that non-medical cannabis use was significantly associated with reduced odds of SCD in comparison to non-users,” the study says, noting a number of possible explanations for the findings. To arrive at the findings, the researchers looked at health survey data from the 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The system’s cognitive decline module, they said, “was restricted to respondents aged 45 years and older in Washington DC and 14 U.S. states (GA, HI, MS, OR, PA, TN, TX, WI, CO, MD, MI, OH, OK, and NY).” The total sample included 4,744 observations with valid SCD responses, the study says. Authors suggested several possible theories for why cannabis use could be tied to lower self-reported cognitive decline, including that people often use marijuana to cope with insomnia and other sleep issues—noting that a recent study found that “more frequent sleep disturbances were associated with higher dementia risk in a national U.S. older adult sample.” “Several studies have found that cannabis use might enhance sleep quality, expedite sleep onset, and reduce sleep disturbances. Non-medical cannabis use could have contributed to the observed decrease in SCD due to its potential benefit on sleep quality,” the discussion section of the new paper says. The SUNY researchers also pointed out that “many people use cannabis to alleviate stress,” noting that past studies have “shown that CBD could effectively reduce stress, and elevated stress levels could be associated with reduced cognitive function among older adults.” They also pointed to a 2017 mice study indicating that very low doses of THC could improve cognitive impairment among older females. Some of the results of the new study were mixed, however, including that an association between the method of cannabis use and SCD. “In general,” the study says, “SCD was more common among those who used cannabis through any method. Especially for cannabis smokers, there was a higher prevalence of SCD (11.2%) compared to no reported SCD (4.7%).” Some tests also showed a statistically significant association between cannabis use frequency and SCD. “The average days of cannabis consumption for those who had SCD (mean=8.68, SD=3.14) was significantly higher than the average days of cannabis use for those who did not have SCD (mean=5.44, SD=1.20),” the study says. Nevertheless, authors wrote, “Although increased frequency and different methods of cannabis use showed positive associations with SCD, these relationships were not statistically significant.” Notably, the results also showed SCD was more common in people who reported using cannabis for medical or both medical and non-medical reasons compared to those who used it only for non-medical reasons. The study was published in its “article in press” stage, meaning that while it has been accepted by the journal, copyedited and formatted, it may receive further proofreading changes or corrections by authors before it’s final. Among its limitations, authors noted, is the possible bias in responses by people in states where non-medical cannabis use remains illegal. “Given that the information on cannabis usage was self reported,” it notes, “individuals in such states may be more likely to underreport or misreport their cannabis use.” The study also did not look at possible differences by geographic location, noting that some research has found cannabis use increases over the past decade were more significant in states that legalized adult-use marijuana. “Finally, all questions in the BRFSS cognitive decline module are self-reported by the respondent, including the SCD variable,” the report says. “Thus, further research is needed to examine whether our observed associations may remain for more objective measures of cognitive impairment.” The study is not a rejection of past findings that frequent or heavy cannabis use may carry cognitive risks but instead an indication that more detailed study is needed. “Our findings underscore the importance of considering multiple factors, such as the reasons for cannabis use, when examining the relationship between between cannabis and SCD,” authors concluded. “Further research is needed to explore the underlying mechanisms contributing to these associations.” The study is among a growing body of research around marijuana as more jurisdictions move to end prohibition of the drug. An analysis late last year by the advocacy group NORML found that journals have published more than 32,000 scientific papers on marijuana over the past 10 years, including upwards of 4,000 in 2023 alone. A separate study last year examining marijuana’s neurocognitive effects found that “prescribed medical cannabis may have minimal acute impact on cognitive function among patients with chronic health conditions.” Authors of that report, published in the peer-reviewed journal CNS Drugs, wrote that they found “no evidence for impaired cognitive function when comparing baseline with post-treatment scores.” While the long-term effects of cannabis use are far from settled science, findings from a number of recent studies suggest some fears have been overblown. A report published in April that drew on dispensary data, for instance, found that cancer patients reported being able to think more clearly when using medical marijuana. They also said it helped manage pain. A separate study of teens and young adults at risk of developing psychotic disorders found that regular marijuana use over a two-year period did not trigger early onset of psychosis symptoms—contrary to the claims of prohibitionists who argue that cannabis causes mental illness. In fact, it was associated with modest improvements in cognitive functioning and reduced use of other medications. “CHR youth who continuously used cannabis had higher neurocognition and social functioning over time, and decreased medication usage, relative to non-users,” authors of that study wrote. “Surprisingly, clinical symptoms improved over time despite the medication decreases.” A separate study published by the American Medical Association (AMA) in January that looked at data from more than 63 million health insurance beneficiaries found that there’s “no statistically significant increase” in psychosis-related diagnoses in states that have legalized marijuana compared to those that continue to criminalize cannabis. Studies from 2018, meanwhile, found that marijuana may actually increase working memory and that cannabis use doesn’t actually change the structure of the brain. And, contrary to then-President Trump’s claim that marijuana makes people “lose IQ points,” the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) says the results of two longitudinal studies “did not support a causal relationship between marijuana use and IQ loss.” Research has shown that people who use cannabis can see declines in verbal ability and general knowledge but that “those who would use in the future already had lower scores on these measures than those who would not use in the future, and no predictable difference was found between twins when one used marijuana and one did not.” “This suggests that observed IQ declines, at least across adolescence, may be caused by shared familial factors (e.g., genetics, family environment), not by marijuana use itself,” NIDA concluded. Four States Set To Consider Making Female Orgasmic Disorder A Medical Marijuana Qualifying Condition Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images. Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. 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March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) says it’s a “mistake” that President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons don’t cover possession offenses under military code, arguing that cannabis should be broadly treated the same as alcohol under federal law. The senator said during an interview with Ask a Pol’s Matt Laslo this week that cannabis reform is one area where his position departs from the president, as he’d like to see the substance legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco products. While the U.S. Army recently clarified in a branch-wide notice that marijuana possession violations under the military drug code weren’t eligible under the president’s pardons, there wasn’t a new announcement from the White House about it was indicated in the question posed to Fetterman. In any case, the senator took the opportunity to criticize the limitation. “I would urge him to reconsider that. I don’t think it’s helpful,” Fetterman said of the president. “If you’re willing to serve our nation in the military, to be penalized by using a substance that is statistically much safer than other legal kinds of things—I don’t really understand the logic, truthfully.” “I think marijuana—weed is no different than alcohol. Well, the only difference is one’s legal and one isn’t,” he said. “One can ruin your career and another one, you can walk into a store and buy it and drink as much of it as you can and then show up in morning and that’s not going to endanger your career.” The senator added that the issue “doesn’t, of course, diminish my enthusiasm for Joe Biden, and we’re not going to agree on every single issue, but this doesn’t happen to be one that I do.” Biden has faced questions over the limitations of his pardon actions, which cover people who’ve violated federal possession offenses, including those that took place on federal property. Advocates would like to see that relief extended further to, for example, include people with non-violent cannabis sale convictions as well as immigrants and people punished for violating military code. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, told Marijuana Moment last week that the pardons should be “extended all the way out, and any unintended or intended consequences of the war on drugs should be dealt with to repair the damage.” Former Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), however, told Marijuana Moment that he’s been “very pleased” with Biden’s clemency actions, arguing that the president has “taken some pretty, in my opinion, bold steps.” Fetterman, meanwhile, also said during the new interview that he personally does not use marijuana, despite his longstanding advocacy for legalization and frequent embrace of cannabis culture, including during his time as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor. “No, no, I really don’t use it,” he said. “But that doesn’t — I don’t use tobacco at all, but that should be legal. I don’t drink very frequently, but it should all be legal. So it’s the same kind of substance that it should be pure, safe and legal, and allowing adults to partake, because that’s their right.” Asked about the broader drug war, Fetterman said there are “drugs that are dangerous that shouldn’t be in a conversation of legalizing it,” but the current system of criminalization “isn’t working.” “I’m making it part of a conversation. I think we should be able to do that,” he said. The senator also led a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last month alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that called on the agency to fully legalize cannabis and answer questions about the agency’s ongoing scheduling review. Also last month, Fetterman said he doesn’t support Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) call for a crackdown on the nicotine product Zyn because it’s a matter of “freedom and personal choices,” drawing parallels to his reasons for supporting marijuana legalization. Meanwhile, the senator has complained that his home state of Pennsylvania is “falling behind” other states such as Ohio that are enacting legalization while it remains prohibited for adult use in the Commonwealth. Marijuana Consumers Have ‘Significantly Decreased Odds’ Of Cognitive Decline, Study Finds 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ “Criminalization for drug addiction is not the answer. I fear it may be taking a step backward.” By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle The Oregon House on Thursday passed a proposal to reshape the state’s response to the fentanyl addiction and overdose crisis and put more power in the hands of police and prosecutors to rein in drug users. The bipartisan vote of 51-7 kicks House Bill 4002 to the Senate, the last step in a long legislative process that started last fall. The bill would unwind voter-passed Measure 110 by putting in place a new misdemeanor charge for drug possession, a move intended to encourage people to enter treatment programs rather than face charges and go to jail. Potential jail time for misdemeanor drug possession would only kick in if a defendant violates their probation. The bill represents a bipartisan compromise between Democrats and Republicans that was hashed out over hours-long meetings dating to September, with dozens of witnesses from advocacy groups, law enforcement, family members of overdose victims and behavioral health providers giving testimony. Oregon’s district attorneys, police and sheriffs support it, as do cities and business groups like the Portland Metro Chamber of Commerce and Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “We are in the midst of a profound public health crisis and we must meet it with compassion and courage,” said Rep. Maxine Dexter, D-Portland. “These are humans.” The bill would undo a key provision of the voter-passed Measure 110, which decriminalized possession of small amounts of hard drugs and enacted a system of $100 citations that a person could avoid if they obtained a health assessment. Police have said the citation system lacked the teeth necessary to encourage people to enter treatment, and a majority of Oregonians in surveys have voiced support for repealing Measure 110 or parts of it. A group of prominent Oregonians, including Nike co-founder Phil Knight, launched a plan to ask voters in November to reverse the measure with restored criminal penalties and mandatory treatment for users. But after the House vote, the Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110, announced it would withdraw its petitions if the bill passes the Senate and Gov. Tina Kotek (D) signs it into law. The bill would create an unclassified misdemeanor that would carry potential jail time of up to 30 days only for probation violations or up to 180 days when a defendant’s probation is revoked. But they would get an early release from jail if they entered inpatient or outpatient treatment. The bill would maintain the measure’s provision that puts a share of cannabis revenue toward addiction services and programs. A solemn mood settled in the chamber at the start of discussions with Rep. Jason Kropf, D-Bend and co-chair of the joint addiction committee, introducing the bill. He thanked Oregonians who testified before the committee about their losses of loved ones and their hard-fought triumphs over addiction. “We have to acknowledge the tragedies,” said Kropf, also a former Deschutes County prosecutor. “We have to figure out a way to build on the successes.” Other lawmakers shared stories about people struggling with addiction they have met in their professional or personal lives. Dexter, a physician, talked about working with a man who had a methamphetamine addiction. And Rep. James Hieb, R-Canby, spoke about the loss of his younger brother to a fentanyl overdose in 2014, declaring, “I believe that this bill will help addicts.” Three Republican and four Democratic lawmakers voted against the bill, spurred in part by concerns that it either did not go far enough or would disproportionately put people of color in jail. “Criminalization for drug addiction is not the answer,” said Rep. Travis Nelson, D-Portland. Nelson, a Black lawmaker and nurse, said the bill falls short of the comprehensive strategy needed to tackle the issue and will disproportionately harm people of color. “I fear it may be taking a step backward,” Nelson said. When the Legislature’s joint addiction committee debated the bill, civil rights advocates, including the ACLU of Oregon, warned that Oregon’s system of dealing with drug users would deteriorate because of inequities in the legislation. For example, counties would have the option, but not a mandate, to set up new, state-funded deflection programs that offer people a chance to avoid charges after an initial encounter with a police officer. So far, 23 of Oregon’s 36 counties have signaled their intent to set up the new programs. Defendants in all Oregon’s counties, not just the 23, would have additional opportunities to enter diversion programs with treatment and the expungement of charges. The bill would provide about $30.5 million for counties and community mental health programs, which contract with counties to provide services to people in addiction. That’s part of an estimated $211 million that lawmakers want to put toward addiction-related services, treatment and programs. That total includes more funding for court programs, community mental health clinics, treatment programs, new residential treatment facilities and other services like addiction medication in jails. Measure 110 providers, who’ve already received $276 million in cannabis revenue, will continue to receive that funding for housing, treatment and services from peers, who have experienced addiction and recovery themselves and are trained to work with people in addiction. “The public health approach of expanding treatment without punishment was the right approach, but HB 4002 doubles down on the same mistakes the state made in implementing Measure 110,” said Tera Hurst, executive director of the Health Justice Recovery Alliance, a nonprofit with members and providers who give Measure 110-funded services. “Unfortunately, it will be people struggling with addiction—especially those living outside and Black and brown Oregonians—who will pay the biggest price. And our communities will be no safer for it.” This story was first published by Oregon Capital Chronicle. 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March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday called on social media companies and popular websites including Google and Yelp to stop running listings for unlicensed cannabis retailers. At a press conference, the governor appeared with licensed dispensary owners, who face stiff competition from the multitude of unlicensed weed retailers in New York City, to call attention to the situation. “If you type in ‘cannabis dispensaries’ in Google Maps or Yelp, you’ll get a long list of unlicensed illegal vendors,” Hochul said at the press conference on Wednesday. New York legalized recreational marijuana in 2021, with the state’s first licensed adult-use cannabis retailer opening in the waning days of 2022. But the pace of opening licensed pot retailers in New York has been slow, with regulators citing the complexity of the application and approval process and difficulties securing and renovating appropriate storefronts as some of the causes for the delay. To date, less than 70 licensed weed shops have opened statewide. The pace of opening newly licensed shops was also hindered by several court cases challenging the state’s process for awarding the first licenses for pot retailers, which were reserved for individuals with prior convictions for marijuana-related offenses. Several injunctions have stalled the awarding of new licenses, although recent settlements have resulted in the opening of 50 additional licensed weed retailers since December, including at least 30 new shops this week. Meanwhile, the number of unlicensed retailers in New York, particularly the Big Apple, has exploded. Estimates by city officials place the number of unlicensed pot shops in New York City at at least 1,300, perhaps as many as 2,000. There are more than 400 such retailers in Manhattan alone, according to a report from The New York Times. At the press conference on Wednesday, Hochul said that unlicensed shops are a public health risk and a threat to the state’s efforts to create opportunities in the regulated cannabis industry for those harmed by decades of marijuana prohibition. The governor also acknowledged that efforts to close down the unlicensed shops with raids and fines have been too limited and so far have been unsuccessful. “More and more cash keeps going in their doors and not the doors of our legitimate operators — and that’s what needs to change,” Hochul said. Hochul has a proposal pending before state lawmakers that would make it easier for the state Office of Cannabis Management to obtain orders to padlock unlicensed cannabis businesses. The orders would also be enforceable by local agencies with more personnel available to execute them.  While the proliferation of unlicensed pot retailers in New York continues, Hochul on Wednesday asked social media and tech companies “to not be posting the sites that are illegal and ensure that they’re posting the legal shops.” The sheer number of unlicensed cannabis shops appearing on websites and social media makes reaching new customers difficult for licensed operators, who face restrictions on how they can promote their businesses. Osbert Orduña has two licensed cannabis shops, one in the New York City borough of Queens and the other in New Jersey.  Orduña said that Google Maps has repeatedly removed listings for his shops. He has not run into any trouble with Yelp, although he said he agrees with Hochul and would like to see the website delist unlicensed retailers. “Four times, Google has taken us down off of their platform for ‘violating their terms of service.’ We’ve done nothing other than have our store hours and our basic business information listed,” he said. In a statement, consumer reviews website Yelp said that “consumers have a First Amendment right to read and write about all businesses, even if unlicensed,” according to a report from the Associated Press. “Allowing users to contribute and see information … about unlicensed businesses serves the public interest and provides a resource for regulators to determine whether any particular business has appropriate licenses,” the statement read. Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has previously said in a statement that its social media sites “prohibit content in both ads and organic pages that promotes the buying and selling of drugs including marijuana,” ABC 7 New York reported on Wednesday. Google also responded to Hochul’s call to eliminate listings for unlicensed cannabis retailers, saying the company bans weed ads in New York and would remove listings for unlicensed shops once they have been closed by regulators. “If we can confirm that a business has closed for any reason – including license issues – we’ll reflect that it’s closed in the listing,” the statement reads. “We also prohibit cannabis ads in New York and remove them upon detection, often before they ever run.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Due to a shortage in stimulant-based drugs for ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), the U.K.’s limited medical cannabis industry is seeing a spike in patients using cannabis for relief as an alternative. The exodus of patients resorting to medical cannabis shows its growing need. The Guardian reported last September that doctors in England were told not to prescribe ADHD drugs to new patients because of a national shortage. The medications affected include four out of the five top stimulants prescribed to ADHD patients in the U.K.: methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, guanfacine,  and atomoxetine. It’s been compared to the Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salts) shortage impacting the U.S. U.S. brand-name drug makers behind Adderall, Vyvanse and Concerta are able to keep up with the shortage, but the generic versions of all three drugs are struggling to keep up. Is it time to panic? Even with these shortages in medication, doctors still say ADHD is under-diagnosed and patients are under-prescribed. Some of them are turning to cannabis. BBC reports that a medical cannabis clinic said the U.K.’s medical cannabis industry had seen an 86% increase in ADHD patients nationally over the last year. Some people believe cannabis can alleviate many of the symptoms associated with ADHD as research advances. Medical cannabis, when prescribed by a registered specialist doctor, was legalized in the U.K., mostly in the form of oils and flower, in November 2018. Since then, treatments, including medical cannabis, that meet “appropriate standards” have been reclassified under Schedule 2, meaning that they have medical value. And while the U.K. has very limited availability for medical use, exports are another story: the U.K. was the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis in 2016. Research director Dr. Simon Erridge, who also works at Curaleaf Clinic, said it was “natural for people to explore other options” amid the shortage. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) told the BBC that while there were no cannabis-based medicines licensed for the treatment of ADHD on the NHS, specialist clinicians “can prescribe cannabis-based products where clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.” “Other ADHD products remain available but cannot meet excessive increases in demand,” the DHSC alert states. “At present, the supply disruptions are expected to resolve at various dates between October and December 2023.” Suddenly losing access to a stimulant-based drug that patients rely on leaves them with few options. “A lot of people with ADHD may try a number of different medications to find the one that works best for them, if that is suddenly taken away by shortages it’s only natural for people to explore other options and there’s no reason why that might not include medical cannabis,” Erridge said. Depending on the person, cannabis can both help and distract people from focusing. A January 2020 study called “Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Doses are Associated with Adult ADHD Status of Medical Cannabis Patients” arrived at mixed results, finding that whole-plant cannabis seemed to be more effective. “The use of purified THC:CBD in a 1:1 ratio (nabiximols) showed no effect on ADHD symptom severity; however, in a qualitative study, 25% of responses indicated that whole-plant cannabis was therapeutic for ADHD,” researchers wrote. “Here, we demonstrated an association between higher CBN and lower ADHD symptoms frequency. It has been previously demonstrated that the combination of CBN and THC is associated with increased psycho-activity of THC in humans. This indicates a more complex story than simply stratifying treatment based on THC and CBD alone.” Researchers acknowledged that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to tackling ADHD when it comes to cannabis.  “There is no ‘simplistic’ method for tracking only the dominant constituents of cannabis to better understand the medical potential of a cannabis cultivar,” researchers continued. “Thus, the novel perspective of our study is extremely valuable for the research field.” Medical professionals who spoke to High Times for an October 2019 article agreed that ADHD treatments are not one-size-fits-all. Brooke Alpert is a licensed cannabis practitioner and founder of Daily Habit. Alpert touched on the correlation between CBD and ADHD. “The studies that focus on ADHD and CBD have shown some conflicting evidence.”  She added, “I think more research needs to look at what relief people are finding with cannabis so we can have a better picture of how to further recommend CBD and cannabis for those with ADHD.” Energizing strains like Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Green Crack have been reported to actually have calming effects on people living with ADHD, even if they make others jittery.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ The Arizona Senate has passed a bipartisan bill to legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting. Senators approved the legislation from Sen. T. J. Shope (R) in a 24-4 vote on Thursday, sending it to the House of Representatives for consideration. The floor vote came after the measure cleared the Rules Committee and Health and Human Services Committee. If enacted into law, the Department of Human Services (DHS) would be authorized to license psilocybin-assisted therapy centers in the state, where trained facilitators could administer the psychedelic. The legislation would significantly expand on Arizona’s existing research-focused psychedelics law that provides $5 million in annual funding to support studies into psilocybin therapy. Shope’s proposal would establish an Arizona Psilocybin Advisory Board, comprised of members appointed by the governor and legislative leaders. Representatives of the attorney general’s office and DHS, as well as military veterans, first responders, scientists with experience with psilocybin and physicians would be among the members. A floor amendment that was approved also added an enrolled member of a Native American tribe with experience in the use of psilocybin in “culturally and spiritually significant ceremonies.” The board would be responsible for establishing training criteria for psilocybin service center staff, making recommendations on the implementation of the law, and studying the science and policy developments related to psychedelics. By July 31, 2025 and each year after that, members would need to submit an annual report on the status of “medical, psychological and scientific” studies into the safety and efficacy of psilocybin, as well as a “long-term strategic plan” on ensuring that psychedelic-assisted therapy remains “safe, accessible and affordable” to people 21 and older. Medical directors of psychedelic-assisted therapy centers would need to complete at least 132 hours of training under an approved program, which would need to involve lessons on the historical and traditional use of psychedelics, safety and ethics, facilitation skills and preparation, administration and integration. The bill, which is cosponsored by Senate President Warren Petersen (R), states that DHS would need to start accepting applications for psychedelics centers by January 1, 2026. The department would need to promulgate rules for the program, but it would be barred from requiring specific eligible conditions for participation in psilocybin services. Regulators could also license psilocybin centers that are carrying out clinical trials into the psychedelic that could lead to a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug. Meanwhile, last month an Arizona House committee approved a separate bill to protect the $5 million in funding that’s already been designated for psilocybin research from being redistributed amid a state budget deficit. The fund was enacted last year under an appropriations package signed by the governor that mandated research into the medical potential of psilocybin mushrooms for a variety of conditions. A Psilocybin Research Advisory Council that was established under DHS met for the first time last November prior an open application period for potential grant recipients. The grant money must be distributed to applicants with proposals focused on clinical trials that are meant to identify therapeutic applications that could receive FDA approval for treatment of 13 listed conditions. Arizona one of several states where lawmakers have worked to promote research into psychedelics amid growing public interest in expanding therapeutic access and ending criminalization. —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.— For example, the governor of New Mexico recently endorsed a newly enacted resolution requesting that state officials research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and explore the creation of a regulatory framework to provide access to the psychedelic. The Connecticut legislature’s joint Judiciary Committee filed a bill to decriminalize psilocybin this week. An Illinois senator recently introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin and allow regulated access at service centers in the state where adults could use the psychedelic in a supervised setting—with plans to expand the program to include mescaline, ibogaine and DMT. Alaska House and Senate committees are considering legislation that would create a task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy in anticipation of eventual federal legalization of substances like MDMA and psilocybin. Lawmakers in Hawaii are also continuing to advance a bill that would provide some legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval. This month, an Indiana House committee approved a Republican-led bill that would fund clinical research trials into psilocybin that has already cleared the full Senate. Bipartisan California lawmakers also recently introduced a bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where adults 21 and older could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators. A Nevada joint legislative committee held a hearing with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin last month. Law enforcement representatives also shared their concerns around legalization—but there was notable acknowledgement that some reforms should be enacted, including possible rescheduling. The governor of Massachusetts recently promoted the testimony of activists who spoke in favor of her veterans-focused bill that would, in part, create a psychedelics work group to study the therapeutic potential of substances such as psilocybin. A New York lawmaker have introduced a bill that would create a pilot program to provide psilocybin therapy to 10,000 people, focusing on military veterans and first responders, while the legislature also considers broader psychedelics reform. A Missouri House committee considered a proposal last month that would legalize the medical use of psilocybin in the state and mandate clinical trials exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic. Denver Launches Psychedelics Work Group To Guide Local Regulations Under Statewide Legalization Law Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Workman. 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Lawmakers in Virginia have given final approval to legislation to prevent the state from using marijuana alone as evidence of child abuse or neglect. The change is meant to protect parents and guardians from discrimination around cannabis use and possession, which the commonwealth legalized in 2021. On Monday the Senate signed off on SB 115, which the House passed 54–45 last week. An identical measure, HB 833, has also been approved by both chambers. The legislation now goes to Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who can sign the bill into law, veto it, suggest amendments or allow it to take effect without his signature. Should it become law, the measure would provide that drug testing in child custody and visitation matters “shall exclude testing for any substance permitted for lawful use by an adult” under the state’s alcohol, cannabis and drug laws. A person’s “lawful possession or consumption” of those substances, it says, “shall not serve as a basis to restrict custody or visitation unless other facts establish that such possession or consumption is not in the best interest of the child.” On its path to the governor’s desk, the legislation won unanimous or near-unanimous approval in votes on the Senate floor. The House was more divided, with Democrats generally in favor, though the proposal garnered some Republican votes, as well. The House version of the bill was sponsored by Del. Rae Cousins (D) and the Senate measure, meanwhile, was led by Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas (D). According to a Department of Planning and Budget summary of the legislation, an enactment clause would direct the state Board of Social Services to amend its regulations, guidance documents and other materials to comply with the new provisions. The changes would incur no fiscal impact, the department’s statement said. Chelsea Higgs Wise, executive director of the advocacy group Marijuana Justice, which backed the bill, told Marijuana Moment earlier this month that she was optimistic about the governor’s support for the bill, noting that the administration gave suggestions last year that were taken into account along with feedback from legislators. “We are excited that outdated prohibition laws are being changed in order to keep families together,” Wise said at the time. “This is an important part of ending the drug war and decriminalization that’s critical for generational survival in communities targeted by law enforcement.” JM Pedini, NORML’s development director and executive director for Virginia NORML, told lawmakers during committee consideration of the bill that the group had received numerous calls and emails about cases in which a parent or guardian’s status as a medical marijuana patient had been used to withhold custody or visitation rights. Also this week, lawmakers struck a deal on legislation that would legalize and regulate retail marijuana sales in Virginia following legalization of use, possession and limited home cultivation in 2021. On Wednesday evening, each chamber signed off on the bills approved in the opposite chamber, sending them to the governor’s desk. Despite legislative approval, the plan to legalize retail sales is not a done deal. The governor signaled last month that he doesn’t have “any interest” in legalizing sales under the Democrat-led plans, though he has not indicated whether he’ll veto the bill. “What remains to be seen,” Pedini at NORML told Marijuana Moment after Wednesday’s votes, “is if Governor Youngkin agrees with the majority of Virginians that it’s time to take control of the marijuana market out of the hands of illicit operators and instead place it behind an age-verified counter where it will be sold only to adults 21 and older.” The state legislature earlier this week also passed a bill to protect public sector workers, such as government officials and teachers, from being fired for medical marijuana use, sending the measure to Youngkin. Meanwhile a cannabis resentencing bill, SB 696, from Sen. Angelia Williams Graves (D), was reported out of a House committee Wednesday and next heads to the chamber floor. If approved, it would mandate that individuals incarcerated for certain marijuana offenses would receive automatic resentencing hearings and their punishments adjusted. Equity Advocates ‘Correct The Record’ On Biden’s Marijuana Actions And Shortcomings Of Anticipated Schedule III Move Photo elements courtesy of rawpixel and 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ The company said its operations are funded through 2025. Irish psychedelic biotech firm GH Research PLC (Nasdaq: GHRS), which is still in the pre-revenue stage as of New Year’s Eve, posted a $35.6 million loss for 2023 amid multiple ongoing psychedelic drug studies for potential new products that the company says are promising. GH Research had $222.7 million in cash left at the end of the year, and spent just $29.8 million on research and development through 2023, up from $20.5 million spent on R&D in 2022. GH Research also spent another $11.4 million on general administrative costs, but still, the company said it’s confident that it has enough capital to last through at least 2025. Meanwhile, GH Research has two DMT-related drugs undergoing clinical trials that are scheduled to be completed this year, and a third that’s still in pre-clinical development. All are based on mebufotenin, a Schedule I psychedelic that’s still illegal in the U.S. but has shown promising results in helping treat serious depression. The first of GH Research’s drugs still in trials, an inhaled version of DMT labeled GH001, is currently in its second clinical study with 80 depression patients. The trial is expected to wrap up in the third quarter of this year. The drug is also being tested with patients suffering from postpartum depression and bipolar disorder. The second drug, an intravenous version of DMT dubbed GH002, finished its first clinical study with 64 patients in the final months of 2023, and results show the drug “produced potent and ultra-rapid psychoactive effects,” and was “well-tolerated with no severe or serious adverse events.” In the past two months, GH Research obtained three patents from the European Patent Office, all related to varying forms of the company’s DMT products designed to treat major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression. GH Research is also working to get more research to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a New Drug Application it filed for one of its two DMT therapies, GH001, after the FDA put it on “clinical hold” until it can provide more info on inhalation toxicology.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Delaware marijuana regulators have released a second batch of draft rules as the state prepares to implement a legal adult-use cannabis market next year. The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) published the draft regulations on Wednesday, covering issues such as product tracking, transportation, health standards, packaging and advertising. This comes about two weeks after the office posted an initial round of draft regulations providing a basic framework for various cannabis business license types and requirements for the application process. The office has said it will be regularly releasing draft rules as it prepares for the implementation of the legalization under a pair of marijuana bills that Gov. Jay Carney (D) allowed to become law without his signature last year. An informal public comment period is now open for both sets of rules through March 29, but regulators have emphasized that this will not be the last chance to weigh in, as they’re aiming to have a formal comment window open once all rules are finalized between May 1-31. “Please take the time to review the sections of the regulations as they are posted. OMC will continue to add sections of the regulations over the next several weeks, so please check back to comment on subsequent section releases,” the office said. “Please be as descriptive as possible if you are suggesting any changes.” Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Robert Coupe previewed plans to publish the first proposed rules during a hearing before the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee earlier this month. He also disclosed that retail marijuana sales in the state may not start until March 2025, four months later than initially planned. But officials are also considering the possibility of allowing existing medical cannabis dispensaries to start serving adult consumers sooner. Coupe said that the current plan is to finalize rules for the adult-use cannabis program by July 11, start accepting license applications in September and begin approving different license types on a staggered schedule in October. Cultivation licenses could be approved beginning in November, followed by manufacturer licenses in December and retailer and testing licenses in March 2025. Meanwhile, the Delaware House of Representatives also approved a bill last month to significantly expand the state’s medical marijuana program. The legislation from Rep. Ed Osienski (D) would make a series of changes to the state program, including removing limitations for patient eligibility based on a specific set of qualifying health conditions. Instead, doctors could issue marijuana recommendations for any condition they see fit. It would also allow patients over the age of 65 to self-certify for medical cannabis access without the need for a doctor’s recommendation. —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.— Last year, after the passage of his two bills to legalize cannabis, Osienski gave advice to lawmakers in other states who are pushing for marijuana reform. “The key was just to keep plugging away at it and see what the other states have done and see what works best for your state,” he said last May. He also advised legislators to sit down with “affected state agencies” like the Departments of Health, Finance and Agriculture. “We had to sit down through meeting after meeting to try to work out a lot of the issues,” he said. Separately, the Delaware Senate separately approved a resolution last March that urges the state’s congressional representatives to support legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition. In 2022, Carney vetoed a more narrowly tailored bill that would have clarified that medical marijuana patients are not prohibited from buying, possessing or transferring firearms under state law. Eight In Ten Americans Have A Marijuana Dispensary In Their County, And Shops ‘Cluster’ Near Borders With Illegal States, Pew Analysis Shows 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Eight in ten Americans now live in a county with at least one marijuana dispensary, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. The analysis also shows that high concentrations of retailers often “cluster” near borders abutting other states that have “less permissive cannabis laws”—indicating that there’s a large market of people who live in still-criminalized jurisdictions who cross state lines to purchase regulated products. With cannabis still federally illegal, the report underscores the glaring policy disconnect as the number of states that have enacted legalization continues to grow. Using data from the market research firm SafeGraph and the U.S. Census Bureau, Pew found that 79 percent of Americans live in a county with at least one medical or adult-use marijuana dispensary. Since Ohio became the latest state to enact legalization last November, 54 percent of the U.S. population resides in a state where recreational cannabis is permitted, Pew said. And 74 percent now live in a state where marijuana is legal for either medical or adult-use purposes. California stands out among other legal states, with 3,659 dispensaries—”more than double the amount in the next-closest state.”  An entire quarter of all cannabis shops in the U.S. are located in California, and 99.5 percent of Californians have at least one dispensary in their county. “In fact, a single county in California—Los Angeles County—has more dispensaries (1,481) than any state other than California itself,” Pew found. Altogether, the U.S. now has nearly 15,000 dispensaries, the analysis concluded. Oklahoma, meanwhile, holds the record for most medical marijuana dispensaries per capita, with 36 shops for every 100,000 residents. Notably, the report also found that one in five dispensaries across the country are “located within 20 miles of a state border,” with 29 percent of those border dispensaries neighboring states with “less permissive cannabis laws.” That signals some strategic thinking on the part of the industry, with businesses seemingly aiming to capture the out-of-state consumer base in places where cannabis either isn’t available or with restrictive medical programs. “For example, Indiana, Kansas and Texas all have restrictive marijuana laws but are bordered by multiple states that have legalized the drug for recreational or medical purposes,” Pew said. “In fact, a person residing in one of these three states can find more than 100 dispensaries within 20 miles of the state’s borders.” Also, while early in the legalization movement some raised concerns that the industry would be overly represented in low-income areas, as has been the case for liquor stores, the analysis found that the situation is more nuanced. “In four states that have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes—Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia—median annual household incomes are at least $20,000 lower in areas with high concentrations of dispensaries than areas in the state with low concentrations of dispensaries,” it said. “In New Hampshire and New York, by contrast, median household incomes are around $20,000 or more higher in areas with many dispensaries than in areas with few dispensaries.” Meanwhile, a Gallup poll released last November found that support for marijuana legalization has reached a new record high nationally, with seven in 10 Americans—including a sizable majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents—now backing an end to prohibition. Arizona Senate Passes Bill To Legalize Psilocybin Service Centers Where People Could Use The Psychedelic In A Supervised Setting 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ This story was reprinted with permission from Crain’s Detroit and written by Dustin Walsh. Michigan counties and municipalities that allow marijuana businesses in their borders will split $87.1 million in tax revenue collected in 2023. That’s nearly $30 million more than last year. Under state law, counties split 30% of the tax revenue collected from the 10% excise tax on recreational marijuana sales with cities, townships and villages. The money is distributed based on the number of marijuana businesses in their borders. The amount of product sold from each license holder is not considered when distributing that tax revenue; it’s purely based on the number of license holders in each community. Marijuana has become a major source of revenue for the state and its municipalities and one of the largest “sin tax” generators in the state. During the 2023 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, the state of Michigan collected $73.6 million more in recreational marijuana excise taxes than beer, wine and liquor taxes combined, according to a House Fiscal Agency report released in November. The 198 cities, villages and townships that have opted to allow weed businesses to operate will receive more than $43.5 million, and the 71 counties in which those municipalities exist will divvy up the remaining $43.5 million, according to documents from the Department of Treasury obtained by Crain’s. That translates to each community receiving $59,086.35 per licensed marijuana business within their borders. That’s up from $51,841.21 per license in 2022. Cannabis sales in Michigan topped $3.06 billion last year, or about $305 worth of marijuana for every person in the state, according to data from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency. On a per capita basis, Michigan is the top cannabis market in the nation. During the 2023 fiscal year, total marijuana taxes collected totaled $290.3 million, according to the Michigan Treasury. Besides the distribution to municipalities, $101.6 million each will go the School Aid Fund and the Michigan Transportation Fund. That amounts to 0.57% of the $17.8 billion School Aid Fund and 2.75% of the $3.7 billion Transportation Fund. The city of Detroit will get the largest municipal distribution from tax revenue due to it having the largest amount of marijuana licenses at 33, surpassing Ann Arbor for the first time. The city will receive $1.95 million from the fund. Ann Arbor is set to receive $1.54 million, according to Treasury data. Wayne and Washtenaw counties will also receive the largest slice of the revenue for counties at $3.5 million and $2.7 million, respectively. But it’s small communities in the state that have opened up to marijuana that are seeing the greatest impact. The city of Big Rapids, with fewer than 9,000 residents and 15 marijuana license holders, will receive more than $886,000 in revenue from the tax fund. That’s nearly 13% of the city’s total tax collection. Emmet Township, a municipality with fewer than 12,000 residents and 13 marijuana license holders, will receive more than $768,000, or about 17.5% of its total tax revenue. Monroe Township, which is a hot locale for dispensaries given its proximity to the Ohio border, will receive more than $945,000 from the marijuana fund, totaling more than 22% of the township’s total revenue. Only about 15% of the state’s 1,773 municipalities have opted in to allow marijuana sales, meaning more than 1,500 municipalities in the state will receive no tax dollars from the Marihuana Regulation Fund. Here are the largest distributions for cities, villages, and townships: Detroit – $1,949,849.55 Ann Arbor – $1,536,245,10 Lansing – $1,418,072.40 Grand Rapids – $1,358,986.05 Kalamazoo – $1,063,554.30 Monroe Township – $945,381.60 Bangor Township; Battle Creek; Big Rapids – $866,295.55 Ypsilanti; Emmet Township – $768,122.55 Traverse City – $709,036.20 Adrian; Coldwater; Muskegon – $649,949.85  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ A day after the Virginia legislature sent a retail marijuana sales bill to Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), a spokesperson in his office told Marijuana Moment that there’s no new update on the governor’s stance on the issue, instead citing earlier comments in which he said he doesn’t “have any interest in” signing cannabis commerce legislation. While some supporters hope he’ll allow the measure to become law, others have predicted Youngkin will veto the bill. Reached by email on Thursday, Christian Martinez, the governor’s press secretary, was tight-lipped. “I would refer you back to the Governor’s comments during the gaggle after the State of the Commonwealth,” Martinez told Marijuana Moment in an email, “where he said he doesn’t have a lot of interest in pressing forward with marijuana legalization.” In those comments, on January 10—before any of the recent major changes to the now-passed legal sales proposal—Youngkin said: “I’ve said before, this is an area that I really don’t have any interest in. What I want us to work on are areas where we can find a meeting of the mind and press forward to the betterment of Virginia and there are so many of them. This is a chance for us to spend our time in places where we can transform our behavioral health system and make sure that we have the best education in America for our children, press forward with childcare options for Virginians, and overhaul our foster care program. There’s so many things that we can work on that I think we can get to the finish line and as I’ve said I just don’t have a lot of interest in pressing forward with marijuana legislation.” Asked for clarification on what that statement actually means in terms of possible action on the bill that’s now before him, Martinez didn’t directly respond. He replied that the office would provide an update “once we have one.” “For now,” he added, “the governor will review any legislation that comes to his desk.” Use, possession and limited cultivation of cannabis by adults is already legal in Virginia, the result of a Democrat-led proposal approved by lawmakers in 2021. But Republicans, after winning control of the House and governor’s office later that year, subsequently blocked the required reenactment of a regulatory framework for retail sales. Since then, illicit stores have sprung up to meet consumer demand. For months, lawmakers working to pass a legal sales bill have said they’ve received little or no response from Youngkin’s office despite efforts to reach out and see what the governor might be open to. In October, Sen. Adam Ebbin (D), who was then working to draft a legal sales bill, told Marijuana Moment that the Youngkin “has been a challenge to deal with because he hasn’t been forthcoming with his views on what he’s willing to support.” “I’m not sure what the governor will sign, since he’s been kind of cagey and not really supportive in his public statements,” Ebbin said at the time. Asked directly whether he thought Youngkin would veto a sales bill, Ebbin replied: “Yeah, I would say there would be a substantial chance of that.” A year ago, Youngkin seemed to leave the door open to the possibility of licensing and regulating the commercial cannabis market, saying he was anticipating lawmakers would lead the way. “I have said over and over again, I think that creating a market for cannabis is very complicated,” he said in February 2023. “There’s other states that have struggled, and they’ve got to go do the work. And I’ve looked at them for sending me bills.” When he was first elected, Youngkin also said he was “not against” allowing commercial sales categorically. House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D) warned in January that the governor should act with caution as he weighs the cannabis bill, opining that it’s “an important public safety matter that we have a regulated market.” “The governor should be careful,” Herring said at the time. “A bill gets to his desk, and he vetoes it, I’m not sure what that communication is going to be to the public about their safety.” Supporters of the sales bill, including sponsors in both the House and Senate, have repeatedly said the bill would not create a cannabis market in Virginia but instead regulate the state’s existing illicit market, which some estimates have valued at nearly $3 billion. The legislation sent to Youngkin this week would begin licensing marijuana businesses later this year, with sales slated to kick off on May 1, 2025. Sales to adults 21 and older of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower would be allowed, with purchases taxed at 11.625 percent. Local governments could ban marijuana establishments, but only with the support of local voters. Here’s what the marijuana sales legislation sent to Gov. Youngkin would do: Retail sales could begin as of May 1, 2025. Adults would be able to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a single transaction, or up to an equivalent amount of other cannabis products as determined by regulators. A state tax of 11.625 percent would apply to the retail sale of any cannabis product. Of that, 8 percent would go to the state, local governments would get 2.5 percent and 1.125 percent would fund schools. The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority would oversee licensing and regulation of the new industry. Its board of directors would have the authority to control possession, sale, transportation, distribution, delivery and testing of marijuana. Local governments could ban marijuana establishments, but only if voters first approve an opt-out referendum. Locations of retail outlets could not be within 1,000 feet of another marijuana retailer. Cultivators would be regulated by space devoted to marijuana cultivation, known as canopy size. Both indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation would be allowed, though only growers in lower tiers—with lower limits on canopy size—could grow plants outside. Larger growers would need to cultivate plants indoors. Secure greenhouses would qualify as indoor cultivation. Only direct, face-to-face transactions would be permitted. The legislation would prohibit the use of other avenues, such as vending machines, drive-through windows, internet-based sales platforms and delivery services. Existing medical marijuana providers that enter the adult-use market could apply to open up to five additional retail establishments, which would need to be colocated at their existing licensed facilities. Serving sizes would be capped at 10 milligrams THC, with no more than 100 mg THC per package. No person could be granted or hold an interest in more than five total licenses, not including transporter licenses. People with convictions for felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude within the past seven years would be ineligible to apply for licensing, as would employees of police or sheriff’s departments if they’re responsible for enforcement of the penal, traffic or motor vehicle laws of the commonwealth. An equity-focused microbusiness program would grant licenses to entities at least two-thirds owned and directly controlled by eligible applicants, which include people with past cannabis misdemeanors, family members of people with past convictions, military veterans, individuals who’ve lived at least three of the past five years in a “historically economically disadvantaged community,” people who’ve attended schools in those areas and individuals who received a federal Pell grant or attended a college or university where at least 30 percent of students are eligible for Pell grants. “Historically economically disadvantaged community” is an area that has recorded marijuana possession offenses at or above 150 percent of the statewide average between 2009 and 2019. Tax revenue from the program would first cover the costs of administering and enforcing the state’s cannabis system. After that, 60 percent of remaining funds would go toward supporting the state’s Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund, 25 percent would fund substance use disorder treatment and prevention, 10 percent would go to pre-K programs for at-risk children and 5 percent would fund a public health and awareness campaign. Adults could also share up to 2.5 ounces with other adults without financial remuneration, though gray-market “gifting” of marijuana as part of another transaction would be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor and a Class 1 misdemeanor on second and subsequent offenses. A number of other new criminal penalties would be created. Knowingly selling or giving marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia to someone under 21, for example, would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine, as would knowingly selling cannabis to someone reasonably believed to be intoxicated. It would also be a Class 1 misdemeanor to advertise the sale of marijuana paraphernalia to people under 21. Knowingly obtaining marijuana on behalf of someone under 21 would be a Class 1 misdemeanor. People under 21 who possess or use marijuana, or attempt to obtain it, would be subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 and ordered to enter a substance use disorder treatment and/or education program. Illegal cultivation or manufacture of marijuana, not including legal homegrow, would be a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $2,500 fine. People could process homegrown marijuana into products such as edibles, but butane extraction or the use of other volatile solvents would be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. —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.— A sales bill did advance through the Democratic-controlled Senate last session, but it stalled in committee in the House, which at the time had a GOP majority. Meanwhile, the state legislature earlier this week passed a bill that would protect public sector workers, such as government officials and teachers, from being fired for medical marijuana use, sending the measure to the governor’s desk. Lawmakers this week also sent Youngkin a bill that would prevent the state from using marijuana alone as evidence of child abuse or neglect. The change is meant to protect parents and guardians from discrimination. On its path to the governor’s desk, that legislation won unanimous or near-unanimous approval in votes on the Senate floor. Supporters are optimistic that the governor will sign that bill, noting that backers reached out to him prior to the start of the legislative session and incorporated his office’s feedback into the measure. Eight In Ten Americans Have A Marijuana Dispensary In Their County, And Shops ‘Cluster’ Near Borders With Illegal States, Pew Analysis Shows 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...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ Maryland cannabis company Curio Wellness was fined $26,000 by state regulators for reselling marijuana products some of its employees retrieved from a dumpster just weeks after adult-use sales began in the state. An inventory manager identified as A.J. at Curio’s Far & Dotter dispensary, on the north side of Baltimore, alerted the Maryland Cannabis Administration last year to the episode, The Baltimore Banner reported. According to an order from the MCA, the agency investigated and found that 224 grams – roughly half a pound – of cannabis product was thrown into a dumpster behind the dispensary on July 25, after the recreational market kickstarted on July 1. Then on July 27, a trio of employees from the shop dug the goods out of the dumpster and took them back inside the store, where the manager on duty insisted on repackaging the marijuana and selling it, The Banner reported. Curio disputed the characterization of the manager insisting on selling the cannabis in question, The Banner reported. Nevertheless, the dumpster cannabis – which needed repackaging because the original packaging was covered in some kind of “liquid” from the trash – was sold for $3,174.50. The inventory manager who blew the whistle, A.J., said he had advised against selling the cannabis, since doing so would be in violation of state rules, according to a consent order from the MCA. A.J.’s employment at the shop was ended on Aug. 20 last summer following the episode, and he informed the MCA of the incident four days later. The MCA fined Curio $26,000 over the sale, and also ordered the company to submit various records for ongoing monthly review to regulators, including its green waste logs, and also to retrain staff on waste procedures. In a statement to The Banner, Curio said that despite the incident, the shop did not sell tainted cannabis. “The aforementioned product was inside sealed jars, within sealed boxes, and it is undisputed that no outside material ever breached the jars or touched the product,” the company said. “Immediate action and appropriate steps have been taken to address the situation, including an internal investigation and additional employee training, so that this type of incident does not recur,” Curio said in the statement. “Non-adherence to safety and compliance procedures is not taken lightly nor tolerated.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ The Daily Hit is a recap of the top financial news stories for Feb. 29, 2024. On the Site BZAM restructures, to go up for sale under creditor protection order Cash-strapped Canadian marijuana company BZAM Ltd. (CSE: BZAM) (OTC: BZAMF) announced Thursday that it has obtained a court order protecting it from its creditors as it pursues a restructuring and looks for a new owner. The company also warned shareholders that it may cease trading on at least one exchange in the near future. Read more here. Trulieve beats on revenue, claims $113M in 280E tax refunds Stemming from plans the firm announced last year, Trulieve filed amended federal tax returns for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021, claiming refunds totaling $143 million. The firm also said it recently filed corresponding state tax returns, seeking an additional $31 million in refunds. Read more here. 269 Michigan municipalities to split $87.1M in cannabis tax revenue Michigan counties and municipalities that allow marijuana businesses in their borders will split $87.1 million in tax revenue collected in 2023. That’s nearly $30 million more than last year. Under state law, counties split 30% of the tax revenue collected from the 10% excise tax on recreational marijuana sales with cities, townships and villages. Read more here. Verano’s revenue jumps in 2023, but expects first quarter to dip Chicago-based Verano Holdings Corp. (Cboe CA: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) announced rising revenue for the fourth quarter and 2023 but cautioned that increased competition in New Jersey would hurt the first quarter’s revenue. Read more here. More earnings: • Record gains for Avant post-Flowr merger • Cronos Group delivers solid quarter despite Israeli-Hamas war pressure • Grown Rogue targets New Jersey as revenue soars 32% • Hydrofarm losses down in 2023, but so were sales In Other News SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals Unipessoal LDA , an EU-GMP European pharmaceutical and biotech company distributing cannabinoid-containing pharmaceuticals, entered into a definitive agreement with AKANDA Corp. (Nasdaq: AKAN), an international medical cannabis company, to acquire 100% off of the issued and outstanding shares of its Portuguese subsidiary RPK Biopharma (Holigen). Read more here. In a complaint filed Monday, Delos Group LLC said Murphy R. Kittrell Jr. and his son Niko Kittrell’s mismanagement has made Sixty-Six Management LLC insolvent, resulting in substantial monetary losses that can only be mitigated by selling off some of the properties involved. Read more here. MTL Cannabis Corp. (CSE: MTLC) reported revenue of C$22.4 million for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023, a 158% improvement over the C$8.7 million reported in the same quarter of last year. Read more here. Pervasip Corp. (OTCPK: PVSP) reported gross profit for the year ended Nov. 30, 2023, of $4.9 million on $15.8 million in revenues, compared to gross profit of $2.7 million during the same period in 2022. Read more here.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
March 1, 2024Cannabis News​ The U.S. cannabis industry is set for a hiring boom in 2024 after a period of layoffs and economic stagnation, according to cannabis jobs platform Vangst’s latest industry salary guide. The uptick comes after a period of contraction, driven in part by the normalization of consumer behavior post-COVID and a tightening of investment capital influenced by rising interest rates. Despite the gloomy headlines the last year, the industry recorded a sizable 12% rise in legal sales, reaching $29 billion in 2023, Vangst reported. That rebound, combined with the potential federal rescheduling of cannabis, is expected to fuel job creation, especially as more state markets come online and consolidation reshapes others. Vangst predicts that up to 100,000 new jobs could emerge if cannabis is reclassified to Schedule III. Such a move would reduce tax burdens and immediately drive up company valuations and investor interest, according to analysis from Viridian Capital Advisors. The retail segment, in particular, is expected to see huge hiring activity, with 93% of retail companies surveyed planning to increase their staff in 2024. “Nearly 90% of surveyed companies plan to hire in 2024, with two-thirds of retail companies preparing to hire five or more employees in the coming months,” according to Vangst. The report also suggests that the vast majority of cannabis companies have adopted optimistic hiring forecasts, with 86% indicating plans to expand their workforce. With that, companies are prioritizing candidates with direct industry experience and adaptability to rapidly changing legal and market landscapes. There’s also a focus on cultural fit and communication skills over traditional metrics like professionalism and problem-solving skills. Along with hiring’s upward trajectory, salaries have also seen a meaningful increase, with top-end wages growing by 4.7%. That outpaced the national non-cannabis average. But non-salary benefits still lag behind other industries, with only 74% of cannabis companies offering a comprehensive benefits package. That has a significant impact on employee satisfaction and retention. “The message here is loud and clear: Cannabis job candidates want health insurance and work-life balance,” the report said. Source: Vangst 2024 Cannabis Salary Guide Diversity and inclusion efforts strategies are taking a bigger role in cannabis hiring, as well, with nearly half of the respondent companies implementing D&I strategies. The sector employs a notable number of veterans and individuals with disabilities, indicating a diverse workforce, but the report highlighted the need for more progress in that arena. Employees noted a strong desire for higher pay, better benefits, and more significant career development opportunities, driving them to seek new positions externally.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 29, 2024Cannabis News​ Chicago-based Verano Holdings Corp. (Cboe CA: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) announced rising revenue for the fourth quarter and 2023 but cautioned that increased competition in New Jersey would hurt the first quarter’s revenue. Fourth quarter revenue rose 5% to $237 million over last year’s fourth quarter but declined 1% sequentially. Verano attributed the increase over last year to strength from wholesale adult-use sales in New Jersey, in addition to growth in Maryland and Florida retail.The net cash provided by operating activities was $32 million, up from $29 million for the fourth quarter of 2022. Verano made improvements in the quarter’s net losses, dropping from a net loss of $216 million in 2022 to $73 million. However, it did increase sequentially from the third quarter net loss of $18 million. Verano said the improvement in the quarter was due to a $229 million impairment charge in the prior year period. The company also said that the net loss for the fourth quarter was primarily driven by the increase in provision for income taxes as the company increased income from operations versus the fourth quarter of 2022. Looking ahead to the current quarter, Verano estimated that revenue would fall 5-7% as the growing dispensary count in New Jersey continues to normalize. Full-year results For the full year of 2023, Verano reported that revenue increased 7% to $938 million. Again, the increase in revenue for the full year 2023 was driven by a full year’s adult use contribution from New Jersey in addition to adult use launches in Connecticut and Maryland. The company also reported a net loss of $113 million or (12)% of revenue down from $269 million for the full year of 2022. Verano said the decrease in net loss was due to the above-mentioned impairment. In addition to the impairment comparison, there was an increase in the provision for income taxes as the company increased income from operations versus the full year 2022. “I’m incredibly proud of our performance in 2023, highlighted by key wins across all aspects of the business,” said George Archos, Verano Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “As excitement and anticipation builds in the industry, 2024 has the potential to be a game-changing year, and Verano is well positioned to continue capitalizing on growth opportunities both in the current regulatory environment and from any state or federal reform. While we’ve never been dependent on legislation to drive sustained growth, with adult use imminent in Ohio, on the horizon in Florida and Pennsylvania, and the growing anticipation of a federal rescheduling decision, there is limitless potential for Verano. I’m thankful for all that our team accomplished in 2023, and believe the sky is the limit for what we can achieve in 2024 and beyond.” At the end of 2023, Verano’s current assets were $394 million, including cash and cash equivalents of $175 million. The company reported it had a working capital deficit of $18 million and total debt, net of issuance costs, of $446 million. Verano’s footprint spans 13 states with 138 dispensaries, and 14 production facilities. It has more than one million square feet of cultivation capacity.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 29, 2024Cannabis News​ Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) announced its 2023 fourth quarter and full-year results. In the fourth quarter, net revenue rose slightly to $23.9 million from $22 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. It missed Yahoo Finance’s average analyst estimate for revenue of $25 million. Cronos attributed the increase to higher cannabis flower sales in Canada and sales to Germany and Australia, partially offset by lower cannabis flower sales in Israel driven by the war involving Israel and Hamas. Plus, the company cited pricing pressure as a result of competitive activity and an adverse price/mix in the Canadian cannabis flower category driving increased excise tax payments as a percentage of revenue. These results were additionally impacted by the weakened Canadian dollar and New Israeli Shekel against the U.S. dollar. Cronos Group also reported that its net losses fell 41% to $45 million from $76 million for the fourth quarter of 2022. The company’s cash and cash equivalents fell by 12% and are still at a hefty $669 million. “In 2023, we significantly improved our cash flow from operations driven primarily by operating expense savings, while simultaneously expanding our portfolio of borderless products in Canada and Israel and entering two international markets, Germany and Australia,” said Mike Gorenstein, Chairman, President and CEO of Cronos. Full-year results Total revenue increased to $120 million for the full year of 2023 from $109 million in 2022. The net loss dropped dramatically to $70 million from a net loss of $155 million in 2022. The company also noted that in the second quarter of 2023, it dropped its U.S. hemp-derived CBD operations. The exit of these operations qualified for reporting as discontinued operations in the condensed consolidated statements of net loss and comprehensive loss. “The operating expense savings combined with robust interest income and improved working capital management in the fourth quarter aided in increasing our cash balance by $22 million from the third quarter to a total cash and short-term investments balance of approximately $862 million,” continued Mr. Gorenstein. “In 2023, the Spinach brand became the number two overall brand in Canada, propelled by number one market share rankings in the flower and edibles categories, according to Hifyre. We also launched the Lord Jones brand in the Canadian market in 2023; this new line-up of products is off to an impressive start, and we are excited to bring new category-defining products to market under this brand in 2024. In Israel, despite the war, the country has shown incredible resilience.” Looking ahead Due to capturing operating expense savings earlier than anticipated, the company said it now expects an incremental $5 to $10 million in operating expense savings in 2024, compared to the previous target of $10 to $15 million. Cronos said that savings in 2024 will be primarily driven by savings in general administrative, and research and development. Cronos said it expects that the net change in cash will be positive in 2024. Israel-Hamas war Cronos Group said it hoped for limited impacts to its operations, facilities, and business in Israel due to the Israel-Hamas War; along with limited deterioration in foreign exchange rates due to the Israel-Hamas War. The company said it continues to monitor the Israel-Hamas War and the potential impacts the conflict could have on its personnel and business in Israel and the recorded amounts of assets and liabilities related to the company’s operations in Israel. The company’s statement read, “The extent to which the Israel-Hamas War may impact the Company’s personnel, business and activities will depend on future developments which remain highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. It is possible that the recorded amounts of assets and liabilities related to the Company’s operations in Israel could change materially in the near term.”  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 29, 2024Cannabis News​ Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (OTCQX: TCNNF) announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ending Dec. 31, 2023, showing lower revenues and higher annual losses as it stacks up cash for a potential adult-use wave in Florida. The company posted a 4% quarterly drop in revenue, down $89 million to $287 million for the period. That beat Yahoo analysts’ average expectations by $19 million, or roughly 7%. The firm saw $298 million in the same period last year, with the majority of sales still deriving from its retail operations. The company also reported a net loss of $33 million for the quarter, a 57% improvement versus last year’s $77 million loss in the same quarter. When adjusted for specific financial items, the adjusted net loss was reported at $23 million. “Last year we successfully executed on our plan to bolster our business resilience with a focus on cash generation and preservation while making investments to support future growth,” said CEO Kim Rivers said in a statement. “Fourth quarter momentum was underpinned by improved consumer trends. We entered 2024 in a position of significant strength just as the outlook for industry growth and reform brightened. With strong cash generation and a clearly defined strategy, Trulieve is best positioned for the coming wave of meaningful growth catalysts.” For the full year, Trulieve’s revenue came out to $1.13 billion, down 7% from the previous year’s $1.22 billion. Net loss for the full year clocked in at $527 million, up 114% from 2022’s $246 million net loss. After certain adjustments, the adjusted net loss came out to $70 million, up 139% from the previous year. Operational cash flow was $131 million for the quarter and a free cash flow of $122 million. Cash and cash equivalents were $201.4 million as of Dec, 31, 2023, an increase of $178.7 million, compared to $23.1 million in net cash the year before. “The improvement is due to the execution of the Company’s inventory wind-down strategy,” it said in filings. It also cited the impacts of income tax accruals, lower sales and marketing, as well as general & administrative expenses. In terms of its debt strategy, Trulieve redeemed $130 million of senior secured notes and secured a $25 million mortgage financing deal. Looking ahead, the firm expects 2024 cash flow from operations of at least $225 million. Trulieve also reported on its operations, including the opening of 17 new dispensaries throughout the year, increasing its total to 192 locations nationwide. The company exited the California and Massachusetts markets as well. There has also been momentum in the company’s quest to place recreational legalization on the Florida ballot this election season, led by Smart & Safe Florida. Trulieve has been the campaign’s principal funder, pouring tens of millions of dollars into the effort. The Florida Supreme Court has until April 1 to approve the ballot placement, though the state’s attorney general has ardently pushed back. “The posture of that court definitely leaned positive,” Rivers told investors at the time.  Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
February 29, 2024Cannabis News​By Hilary Bricken, Attorney at Husch Blackwell If you’re in house counsel at any company, you’re likely looking to cut down on the day to day, high volume minutia posed… The post Cannabis Corporate Playbooks appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news. Read More Feedzy  [...] Read more...
Cannabis Recipes
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 Cupcakes: 2 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1 Tbsp baking powder 1/4 Tsp salt 1 cup milk 2 eggs 1/4 cup canna-oil (vegetable is best) 1/4 vegetable oil 2 Tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles Frosting: 1 cup sugar 1 cup egg whites 1lb butter, salted, room temperature 1 Tsp vanilla extract ​ Directions ​Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk all of the liquid ingredients together until blended. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients & mix until there are no large lumps. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the rainbow sprinkles until just blended. ​ Use a 2-ounce portion scoop & fill each cupcake liner with one scoop. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit before removing them from the pan. Frosting: Put 2 inches of water into a medium-size pot, & bring to a boil. Place the sugar & egg whites into a small stainless bowl that will sit on top of the pot of boiling water, or use a double boiler system. DO NOT allow the bowl with the egg white mixture to directly touch the boiling water or the egg whites will cook very quickly. Whisk constantly until temperature reaches 140°F/60°C or until the sugar has completely dissolved & the egg whites are hot to the touch. DO NOT leave unattended or you will have a sweet egg white scramble! Use a hand mixer or pour the egg white mixture into a bowl that is fitted for a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, begin to whip until the meringue is thick & glossy, about 10 minutes on medium-high. Place the mixer on low speed, add the cubes of butter, a couple at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing & it will become smooth. If the buttercream is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing. Add the vanilla & continue to beat on low speed until well combined. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, place a large star tip into a piping bag & fill with the buttercream. Pipe a rosette onto each cupcake & add the sprinkles on top. Serve immediately, the same day or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. This recipe is available for download HERE Original recipe from myedibleschef.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 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, 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, 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, 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 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 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, 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 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 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, 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, 2023Cannabis infused sugar offers a simple way to enhance your baked goods or beverages. Materials Mason Jar ​Cheesecloth Baking Sheet 9in x 13in Baking Pan Ingredients -3 grams of cannabis flower -1/2 cup of high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear -1/2 cup granulated sugar Directions 1. Decarboxylate the cannabis Heat the oven to 225°F. Spread cannabis buds out into an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. ​Take care not to let the temperature go over 225°F and burn (if this happens, you can lose potency). Bake for about 35–40 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool before grinding into a coarse powder. ​ The decarboxylated cannabis will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months 2. Transfer the cannabis to a jar and cover with the alcohol. Screw the lid on tight and shake every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. 3. Strain through a cheesecloth set over a bowl, discarding solids. Mix the strained alcohol with the sugar and spread into an even layer in a glass 9-by-13-inch baking dish. ​ 4. Bake at 200°F, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has evaporated and the sugar is lightly golden. This recipe is available for download HERE The original recipe is from Vice.com [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 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, 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, 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 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, 2023Servings: 12 Ingredients 1 cup soybean oil ½ ounce ganja shake 2 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon white vinegar ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ​Directions In a double boiler, combine the oil and ganja. Heat over low until the ganja smell is pronounced but not nutty or burnt. (The oil should have an earthy green tint to it.) Let cool. Remove and strain the herb, squeezing the weed in a metal strainer against the mesh with the back of a spoon to wring out every drop of oil. Make sure that all your ingredients have been brought to room temperature — this is crucial! ​In a small metal bowl, use an immersion blender or whisk to thoroughly blend the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and mustard. This can also be done in a food processor or blender. ​Using a ½ teaspoon measure, very slowly add the infused oil to the small metal bowl, a few drops at a time, while constantly blending on low or whisking until the mayo is thick and starting to form ribbons. (If it’s too thick, you can add room-temperature water in tiny increments.) If your mixture “breaks,” it can be repaired by whisking some more room-temperature egg yolks in a separate bowl, then slowly whisking those yolks into the “broken” mayo mixture. If that doesn’t do it, add a few drops of hot water. ​Cover and chill; it’ll keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Original recipe from: Boudreaux, Ashley. The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook. Red Eyed Deviled Eggs. https://saltonverde.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/10-High_Times_Cannabis_Cookbook.pdf [...] Read more...
August 3, 2023Ingredients 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 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 -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 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, 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 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...