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What Cannabis Can (and Can’t) do for Chronic Pain. Pot for Pain Relief?

What Cannabis Can (and Can’t) do for Chronic Pain. Pot for Pain Relief?

(Story by Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY) reprinted 1/26/2023. 
A growing, but still incomplete body of research suggests the cannabis plant, the source of marijuana, can help fight some kinds of pain.

Rob Sims grew up hearing stories about what opioid addiction could do. The former Detroit Lions guard, whose father, Mickey, also played in the NFL, watched a number of his dad’s friends get hooked. Some died. He vowed his own story would be different.

Then, playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2008, early in his pro football career, Sims tore a pectoralis muscle in his chest. Primed for his best year ever, Sims was sidelined.

After surgery, he received an open-ended prescription for opioids. “Take when you have pain,” the bottle read. “That’s seared in my memory,” he said. As a football player, “I have pain all the time.”

Scared by the lesson he had learned as a child and with little to do besides focus on his recovery, he remembers thinking: “This could go in a bad way.”

That’s when he turned to marijuana.

It remains unclear whether cannabis can be an effective treatment for pain. Plenty of circumstantial evidence supports the idea, but exactly how, what kinds of products and what can be expected from them has yet to be determined.

“There’s some caveats before it’s ready for broad, prime-time usage for chronic pain,” said Dr. Devan Kansagara, a professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and a staff physician at the VA Portland.

It’s possible that cannabis helps with the psychological aspects of pain, said Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Cannabis may improve pain indirectly, for instance, through decreasing anxiety so that someone may be able to deal with pain better,” she said.

Rob Sims was a guard with the Detroit Lions and now runs a cannabis business with fellow former Lion Calvin Johnson Jr., right. © Carlos Osorio, AP

Detroit Lions guard Rob Sims during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, Dec 9, 2012.© Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports

One recent examination of previous studies found the benefits of cannabis were equal to the benefits of a placebo, which means that if people thought it would help, it did.

“There’s very limited evidence out there to support that cannabis is effective against pain,” said Karin Jensen, the Swedish neuroscientist who led the study. So far, most of the information showing its usefulness is anecdotal.

“People who use cannabis to relieve pain may have the experience that it helps – there is no doubt about that,” she said. “What’s needed is solid scientific evidence to determine how much of the relief is due to the cannabis and how much is due to other things, such as the placebo effect.”

The general public is already largely convinced.

Marijuana remains illegal in 12 states, but as of 2019, 18% of U.S. adults reported using cannabis at least once in the previous year, and 4% to 5% use it daily or nearly daily, Kansagara said.

In a 2017 study, the majority of people who used medical marijuana or self-medicated with the drug said they did so to relieve pain, and 65% of those who requested medical marijuana licenses said they wanted it to treat pain.

The marijuana plant provides a wide range of chemicals, including THC, which has psychotropic effects/

But cannabis comes with cautions.

At least 5% of Americans ages 12 and up abuse or are dependent on marijuana, and the risk for dependence increases the younger someone starts. Marijuana use directly affects parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision-making, coordination, emotion and reaction time. And long-term or frequent marijuana use, particularly at higher doses, has been linked to increased risk of psychosis or schizophrenia.

It’s not possible to predict ahead of time who will react badly to marijuana, said Dr. Charles Berde, co-founder of a pediatric pain clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital.

THC, the part of the plant that has psychotropic effects, “has narrow uses for nausea and appetite stimulation in patients with severe weight loss due to AIDS or cancer,” but the data for CBD for treatment of chronic pain is “murky,” Berde said. “All the more reason to be hesitant to prescribe it.”

Cannabis and pain relief

When a body is in pain, the brain releases its own pain relievers. There are special receptors in the brain designed to take in these natural cannabinoids and offer relief.

Ingesting or inhaling weed fills up those receptors, too.

Providing more cannabinoids than these receptors can accept overloads them making the person’s own internal cannabinoids ineffective, said Dr. Jordan Tishler, a cannabis specialist physician in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and founder and president of the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists.

That’s why higher doses don’t provide any additional pain relief compared with lower ones and can have “all sorts of risks,” he said. Side effects from cannabis can include increased heart rate, dizziness, impaired concentration and memory, slower reaction times and, more rarely, increased risk of heart attack and stroke and dependence.

Tishler said many patients come to him taking far too much cannabis, which increases the risk for side effects. He works to convince them that 5 mg to 20 mg a day will treat their pain better than the 200 mg they’re using.

Cannabis is now sold in many different forms.

“Just because (cannabis) doesn’t lead to breaking the law and incarceration and those sorts of troubles doesn’t mean people can’t have their lives significantly altered by getting overly involved with this particular substance,” he said.

There are also open questions about cannabis, including whether the pain-killing benefits seen in short-term studies will last. Some painkillers, like opioids, can actually make people more sensitive to pain. It’s not yet clear whether cannabis can have this effect.

“You’d like to see what happens with these products over a longer period of time, ideally,” Kansagara said. “I would like to see that before recommending wholesale to patients.”

Although legalization and decriminalization are making a difference, cannabis remains hard to study. Until recent years, it was extremely difficult to gain access to cannabis for research, and there was little federal funding for such work. In early December, President Joe Biden signed a law that will make it easier to research cannabis.

Dr. Donald Abrams, speaking in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act ballot measure in San Francisco on May 4, 2016. © Jeff Chiu, AP

Gold-standard studies compare a treatment versus a placebo, but it’s impossible to keep people in the dark about whether they’re getting high, said Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist and professor emeritus at University of California, San Francisco, who studies cannabis.

When Abrams studied cannabis use in his HIV patients, some critics thought patients must be too stoned to notice their pain. But Abrams said the patients reported that it did alleviate their pain.

Dosages of cannabis aren’t standardized, which adds to the difficulty of comparing one study against another, he said.

That’s why trials of cannabis for pain relief have shown mixed results, said Wil Ngwa, an associate professor of radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, who’s working to create such standards for drug trials.

This lack of standardization also means people have to use trial and error to find an effective dose for them, according to Staci Gruber, who directs the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program at McLean Hospital, a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital outside Boston.

In one study, Gruber followed 37 volunteers using cannabis for chronic pain. After six months of treatment, participants reported lower levels of pain, better sleep, more coherence and less use of conventional painkillers.

‘Positives, not negatives’

Sims experienced the same benefits.

Daily marijuana use after his pec injury helped cut the pain, allowing him to lift more weight and recover faster. “I was able to come back stronger than I was before.”

Playing NFL ball, Sims said, is like living through a train wreck every Sunday. The best players – the ones whose careers last the longest, he said – “have learned how to recover quicker and get ready for that next train wreck.”

During his career, marijuana helped Sims rebound and improved his sleep, which allowed him to push his workouts.

Asked about side effects from his marijuana use, Sims pointed to his athletic and financial successes. “I wouldn’t call those side effects,” he said, laughing. “I see positives, not negatives.”

In 2021, Sims co-founded the cannabis company Primitiv Group with fellow former Lion Calvin Johnson Jr. Sims and Johnson acknowledge they used cannabis during their professional careers, though there was a zero tolerance policy then, which has loosened only slightly since. Both men believe the restrictions should be lifted.

About a decade ago, Sims persuaded his wife, Natalie, to try cannabis, when a bout with the bowel syndrome Crohn’s disease left her on a morphine drip in an emergency room.

“This can’t be how we live for the rest of our lives,” he told her. She uses cannabis now and finds relief, Sims said.

“It made me very passionate about pain and help for pain.”

Challenges of cannabis care

Cannabis doesn’t make pain go away, like Advil might get rid of a headache, Tishler said.

Instead, “it makes it so it doesn’t bother you so much,” he said. “It divorces the pain from the suffering.”

Whether it’s the THC or the CBD in cannabis or both that might be helpful against pain remains an open question, Kansagara said. THC is what makes people feel “high.” CBD appears to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be useful to some.

Smoking joints isn’t a good approach for relieving chronic pain, said Tishler, who recommends his patients use edibles instead. The effect of inhaled cannabis wears off in three to four hours, while a gummy might last eight to 12 hours.

The yo-yo effect, when pain comes and goes over a few hours, can exacerbate suffering, Tishler said. “Short-acting actually turns out to be a bad approach in general in pain management.”

In Massachusetts, where medical cannabis has been legal since 2013 and recreational since 2016, doctors are more comfortable giving their patients permission to use cannabis, Tishler said. But they rarely bring it up themselves.

So, Tishler is trying to educate his peers. “If you were thinking the patient needs opioids, think cannabis first. Don’t wait for the patient to bring it up – it’s your job to bring it up,” he tells them.

Similarly, he’d like to get cancer patients on cannabis early in their care, rather than waiting until agony sets in. “Once people are at the end of their rope, things are worse and harder to treat than if we had started when things were still kind of OK.”

Most of the advice on what product to use now comes from the patient care advocates or “budtenders” who work behind the counter at dispensaries, Gruber noted with some concern. They typically don’t know the person’s medical history or history of cannabis use or whether they use other substances such as alcohol, other drugs or prescription medication. Product labels can often be misleading about their THC and CBD content.

The trial-and-error approach can be difficult and challenging for patients with major medical problems.

“Knowing what’s in your weed is critical, but also how you’re going to respond to it is an important consideration. And that’s something we don’t spend a lot of time on,” Gruber said. “You have to educate patients. They’re desperate for it, but it’s not easy, because we’re all different and cannabis is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution.”

Research may change future use.

For cannabis to reach its full potential as a painkiller, more research is needed, experts say.

“It’s really untapped right now, because of that lack of research,” Johnson said.

That’s why NFL players and owners have been supporting cannabis research. Owners have donated more than $1 million this year to two cannabis research programs.

“We need to become better educated about all these issues,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer© Rebecca Blackwell, AP

Ngwa, at Hopkins, collaborates with Sims and Johnson to lead some of that research.

He’s also looking at better ways to treat cancer pain with cannabis.

His studies suggest that not enough of the painkiller gets to a tumor when the cannabis is inhaled or ingested, so he has been exploring smart-drug delivery systems than can target the drug directly to the tumor. So far, he has tested only pancreatic tumors but hopes to rapidly expand to other cancer types.

Ngwa is concerned that preliminary research like his will encourage people to self-medicate, taking doses that may not be helpful. “You really have to wait for the clinical trials, but when people are desperate, they just do (anything). I definitely worry about that,” he said.

Until more is known, Sims will keep up his cannabis routine.

Now 39, he has dropped 50 pounds from his 320-pound playing weight, which has helped reduce the lingering bone-on-bone pain in his right knee. He rubs a Primitiv topical on it knee every day.

“My passion behind the plant and what it’s done for my family reigns supreme.”

Contact Karen Weintraub at kweintraub@usatoday.com.

Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.

Consuming medicinal cannabis oil improves sleep in adults with insomnia

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Paying Taxes With Duffel Bags Of Cash Like Scarface. SAFE Banking – It’s Not About Legal Pot.

As the cannabis industry holds its breath while waiting to hear if marijuana banking reform will be part of a must-pass omnibus spending bill, James Hagedorn, a CEO of the lawn care giant Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG) shared

Paying Taxes with Duffel Bags of Cash Like Scarface, Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO On Need For SAFE Banking Act© Provided by Benzinga

his thoughts on the importance of this bill.

Scotts Miracle-Gro’s 2014 development of subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening Company “to meet the demands of hydroponic (cannabis) was considered one of the first large investments by a major U.S. corporation in the marijuana space. Nevertheless, Hagedorn wants to see the SAFE Banking Act passed for more than merely personal reasons.

It’s Not About Legal Pot

In an exclusive interview with Fox Business, Hagedorn pointed out that the idea behind the banking legislation is not to make pot legal but to allow businesses that represent the legal cannabis market to use banks, instead of having cash everywhere.

“It’s very dangerous. It’s inefficient. It’s really dysfunctional for the banking industry, not to be able to take this money in, allow people to deposit in, make capital investments in illegal businesses,” Hagedorn said.

The interview came on the heels of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling the banking bill a “poison pill.”

It looks like the SAFE Act needs the support of both McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the reporter said and asked Hagedorn what he’d say to them if they were listening.

“Well, first of all, I think there are 60 votes to get this out of the Senate. It’s been passed multiple times on a bipartisan basis in the House with a lot of Republican support, and there are some really good people out there. The co-sponsor on the Republican side in the Senate is a guy named Steve Daines. He’s a really good Republican. I’m a Republican, out of Montana, and what he told me is – ‘Jim, I’m not in favor of marijuana,” Hagedorn said. “What I’m not in favor of is dysfunction and banking. In my state, by voter initiative, they made it legal. And if it’s going to be legal, my citizens should be able to bank.’”

Hagedorn continued. “This is not about pot. This is about dysfunction in banking, people today have to pay taxes on legal businesses with duffel bags of cash and counting machines like Scarface. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be in America. There are almost a half million people that are employed in this space. Americans that vote. They have problems getting mortgages this way. These are all people who are working in legal industries. This is dysfunctional and bad, and all the Senate has to do is allow legal businesses legal access to banking. “

Ifs the bill passes during the lame-duck session, Hagedorn says he doesn’t believe that big financial names like JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Fifth Third (NASDAQ: FITB), are going to embrace the industry in the same instant because there’s “a lot of sensitivity about compliance.”

While many believe the SAFE Act is a small step in much-needed marijuana reform, Hagedorn agreed with Senator Danes that it is indeed a big step forward in rationalizing banking for legal businesses.

“Let’s remember one thing when you have a lot of cash, it brings crime. There are people killed every day, where they have a lot of cash lying around. And people have to take this money in cash.”

Price Action

Scotts Miracle Grow shares were trading 0.39% higher at $48.50 per share during Monday’s pre-market session.

UPDATE ON OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL

Marijuana advocates were given a massive setback after the Senate did not include a provision to remove federal restrictions on cannabis businesses from receiving banking services in the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill.

The provision, which would have been modeled after the House’s SAFE Banking Act, was excluded from the Senate’s spending bill, likely thanks to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has been a fierce opponent of the legislation.

The CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council, a pro-marijuana group, said of the provision’s exclusion, “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement.”

US Cannabis Council Names Cannabis Veteran Khadijah Tribble as CEO

August 19, 2022

WASHINGTON–Today, the US Cannabis Council (USCC) named Khadijah Tribble, a leading figure in the cannabis reform movement and expert on equity and inclusion, as the organization’s CEO. Tribble succeeds Steven Hawkins, who led USCC since its founding in February 2021.

 

“We thank Steven Hawkins for his integral role in launching USCC, and we are thrilled to welcome Khadijah Tribble’s to the role of CEO at this critical juncture for the cannabis industry,” said Jessica Billingsley, chair of USCC and CEO of Akerna. “She is deeply respected for her leadership, expertise and wide-ranging experience and is well-positioned to advance our mission of ending prohibition and creating an equitable, values-based industry.”

 

Tribble serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at USCC member company Curaleaf, a role she will continue in during her interim term as CEO. She previously founded Marijuana Matters, a cannabis education and advocacy incubator, and served as CEO of the Marijuana Policy Trust, which helps develop and run DEI programs in the cannabis industry. Tribble, who has advocated for fair and equitable policies on behalf of marginalized communities throughout her career, also serves on USCC’s DEI Task Force. She holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

 

“The US Cannabis Council unites my deep commitment to cannabis legalization with my passion for addressing the harms of prohibition,” said Tribble. “My priority is advancing meaningful cannabis reforms through Congress this year that will provide the foundation for achieving our ultimate goal of federal descheduling while fostering an equitable and inclusive legal cannabis industry.”

 

Since launching last year, USCC has established itself as the leading voice for cannabis reform in Washington, DC. The organization has brought cannabis industry CEOs to meet with lawmakers in Congress, partnered with the sponsors of leading cannabis bills to advance reform and launched a campaign to advance passage of the SAFE Banking Act. Earlier this year, USCC launched its DEI Task Force with leaders in law, business and civil rights and partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to create an internship program for Black college students and recent graduates at leading cannabis companies and organizations.

 

US Cannabis Council Names Cannabis Veteran Khadijah Tribble as CEO (uscc.org)

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Marijuana Crop Growth Report for 2021. Green Lighted 2022?

‘Cannabis Harvest Report’ values US crops 5th in the nation in 2021. What is up for 2022?

David Downs and Bruce Barcott

Updated December 18, 2022

America has begun winding down its disastrous, century-long war on marijuana. We’re beating swords into plowshares. So, what’s coming in from the fields? The answer: America’s 5th most valuable crop.

The first-ever Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report, counted 13,042 cannabis farm licenses in the 11 legal states where retail stores are open. This unprecedented peek into US pot production found farmers growing 2,278 metric tons per year. It’s a mind-boggling number—enough to fill 57 Olympic-size swimming pools, or more than 11,000 dump trucks stretching more than 36 miles.

With US state cannabis prices ranging from about $500 to $3,000 per wholesale pound, you’re looking at a crop worth $6.175 billion per year. As measured against US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, the value of America’s legal cannabis crop ranks fifth nationwide, ahead of cotton. And yet state and federal officials generally do not track it or acknowledge it.

 


Tracking cannabis agriculture production

 

Cherry Cheesecake harvest at Sonoma Hills Farm, Petaluma, CA on October 6, 2021. (David Downs/Leafly)

Why did we count the crop? Because cannabis is as stigmatized as it is valuable.

USDA economists track annual yields, prices, and estimated values for nearly every commercial crop grown in America. But they do not track legal cannabis due to the plant’s status as a federal Schedule I drug.

Our goal with the Leafy Harvest Report is to quantify annual cannabis production in operational adult-use states, just like the USDA’s Economic Research Service does for all non-cannabis crops. This is the first time anyone’s done this, as far as we know.

Voters, lawmakers, and industry leaders need these basic facts to make informed decisions. The Harvest Report is the third in this year’s Leafly Reports series, including the Leafly Jobs Report and Leafly Seeds of Change: Strategies to create an equitable cannabis industry.

Highlights from the Cannabis Harvest Report

Leafly’s Cannabis Harvest report is one of the most comprehensive summaries on cannabis agriculture production. Here are a few of the biggest takeaways from the report.

Cannabis ranks 5th in value of crops produced in the US. (Leafly)

Cannabis Harvest Report methodology

Leafly News senior editors David Downs and Bruce Barcott teamed up with Beau Whitney at Whitney Economics to aggregate annual crop data from the 11 states with active, legal adult-use cannabis sales. 

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We followed the USDA’s method of computing crop value by finding the average wholesale price per pound in a state and multiplying it by the state’s amount of cannabis produced. In those 11 states, we counted crops destined for both adult-use and medical outlets. 

Freelance cannabis journalists Amelia Williams (Debunking Dispensary Myths, 2020) and Zack Ruskin assisted with research and reporting.

Read our full methodology on page 15 of the report.

What’s next for cannabis farmers?

(David Downs

Prohibition, over-regulation and over-taxation infringe on Americans’ constitutional right to pursue happiness with regard to cannabis gardening and farming.

The federal government must legalize cannabis for adults, and grandfather in legacy cannabis farmers by establishing low fees and easy licensing procedures.

The Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report summarizes the discrimination cannabis farmers face at both the federal and state levels—years of review and millions of dollars in extra expenditures—just to put seeds in the soil. 

Additionally, this $6 billion agricultural sector is under-banked and under-insured. Most farmers have to pay taxes in cash. Thirty-eight state attorneys general have called on Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act, which would increase public safety and tax compliance. Reform measures like the SAFE Banking Act, and especially the MORE Act (which would legalize federally) are long overdue. 

Cannabis agriculture predates our country’s union. And a more perfect union would acknowledge and respect the power of this plant.

UPDATED 12/2022

Harvest time has come, but U.S. cannabis farmers may not burst into cheers for the results achieved.

 

Although cannabis has become the sixth most valuable crop in the United States, the illegal status of the plant at the federal level doesn’t protect the industry’s farmers and affects the value of wholesale production.

 

The second annual harvest report published by cannabis information resource and marketplace Leafly has found that adult-use cannabis farmers grew some 2,834 metric tons of adult-use cannabis in 15 legal cannabis states in 2022.

 

Compared to the previous year, cannabis farmers grew 554 (24%) more metric tons of cannabis in 2022, but the crop’s value fell by around $1 billion due to the decrease in prices of legal cannabis.

The 2022 report estimates that cannabis grown in the U.S. is worth $5 billion a year, while the value of America’s legal cannabis crop ranked fifth nationwide in 2021.

“Only corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and cotton bring in more money on a wholesale basis,” the report reads.

Leafly’s data is limited to only the production of adult-use cannabis harvested in 13,297 active legal cannabis farms in 15 legal cannabis states. So, it doesn’t consider the crops for medical cannabis and the cultivation grown by illegal operators.

The report aims to fill a void of federal and state authorities in assessing the adult-use cannabis supply chain’s value.

In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t track adult-use cannabis production as the crop used for recreational purposes is still illegal at the federal level under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

But even some legal cannabis states still lack to gather information about adult-use cannabis cultivation.

“The federal government isn’t alone in ignoring the value of the harvest. Many legal states still fail to capture this important information,” the report reads.

Therefore, Leafly collaborated with the cannabis and hemp business consulting, data, and economic research firm Whitney Economics, to collect data, conduct interviews, and analyze wholesale prices and classes of cannabis quality.

Leafly estimates that cannabis ranks no. 1 crop in Alaska, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, but the report highlights that regulators don’t publish production totals in two of those states.

Today, 19 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized the adult use of cannabis. In 15 states, the legalization is fully operational, and cannabis can be sold under state license, while the remaining legal cannabis states are implementing the regulations to start the sales.

The illegality of adult-use cannabis at the federal level affects cannabis farmers’ ability to perform the most basic functions of a business, such as own bank accounts, obtain crop insurance, and get loans.

As farmers can’t sell their crops directly to consumers and don’t have enough legal retail outlets for their production, prices per pound of wholesale cannabis have fallen despite the rising inflation for most products and services in the country.

For instance, California farmers increased production by 63 metric tons on the legal side, but the cannabis harvest’s value slipped from 5th to 8th in the state because of those price drops.

“The average untrimmed, dried pound might have been worth $786 wholesale in August 2022, but individual outdoor pounds have drawn prices as low as $100,” the report reads.

Furthermore, the condition of cannabis farmers has also been worsened by the local municipalities that have ‘opted out’ from allowing legal cannabis sales, “creating economic protection zones for unlicensed, illicit cannabis sellers” at the expense of the legal operators.

Overall, the report shows a scenario in which Western U.S. cannabis farmers grew too much cannabis over the last year, while Midwest and Eastern farmers didn’t grow enough to meet their region’s demand.

As a result, western farmers haven’t enough demand to sell their harvests, while Midwest and East Coast customers overpay for cannabis products.

In addition, the fact that the illegal status of cannabis at the federal level prohibits farmers from selling adult-use cannabis across interstate lines has repercussions on cannabis prices.

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Can Cannabis Prevent Covid Infections? Research Now on POTUS Agenda.

Cannabis News Week: Can Cannabis Prevent Covid Infections?

Story by Tony Owusu

Researchers from Oregon State University are expected to present evidence that cannabis is an even greater miracle drug than previously known.

After decades of suppression, the medical benefits of cannabis are well known and are often used by advocates to push for more freedom for both recreational and medicinal users

But there are new studies being conducted constantly, and the medical community may just be scratching the surface of understanding the benefits of marijuana.

Researchers at Oregon State University are expected to present information on using natural products, including hemp, to treat covid-19 at a virtual event called “Natural Products and Hemp: Under-appreciated Sources for Covid-19 Therapeutic Agents” on Dec. 6.

This event comes about a year after the school published a study that found that compounds in cannabis could prevent the virus that causes covid from infecting human cells.

Richard van Breeman, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Oregon State and a team of researchers found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which then blocks a critical step in the infection process

The findings were published in the Journal of Natural products and, according to the university, set records for downloads and online views when it was released.

So, apparently there is an appetite for this type of research.

Righting an SBA Wrong for Cannabis

Access to capital has hampered the cannabis industry immensely even while state’s move to make the drug more legal than it has ever been in the United States.

Capital, especially for potential small business owners looking to get into the business, is nearly impossible to get due to the federally illegal nature of the drug.

But U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) has a plan to right some of those wrongs.

Sen. Rosen introduced legislation that would make regulated cannabis businesses eligible for loans and other programs from the federal Small Business Administration under the Fair Access for Cannabis Small Businesses Act.

The legislation will give proprietors access to the popular SBA 7(a) loans that other small businesses have access to, as well as disaster loans, microloans, and the Small Business Investment Company program.

“The unfair barriers to basic federal support and resources have hurt our state’s legally-operating cannabis small businesses,” said Sen. Rosen.

 

“This legislation will level the playing field so that cannabis small businesses… have access to the same federal resources and loans that other legal businesses are entitled to.”

Rosen’s legislation, when paired with the oft-discussed SAFE Banking Act, would create a regulatory framework that would ensure a diverse pool of players in the cannabis industry, according to Khadijah Tribble, CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council.

“Senator Rosen’s landmark legislation would help advance equity and innovation in the cannabis industry by leveling the playing field for independent cannabis operators,” Tribble said.

A Decade of Recreational Cannabis

We all know the tropes. Weed smokers are lazy stoners with little motivation and the constant munchies.

While the tropes have some basis in reality, cannabis can definitely relax a person to the point where they don’t want to move, but new research from the University of Colorado Boulder suggests that the tropes don’t tell the whole story.

Angela Bryan, a professor of psychology, and Brian Keegan, an assistant professor of information science, recently debunked some of the most prevalent misconceptions following the 10-year anniversary of recreational cannabis’ legalization in the Centennial State.

Data suggests, according to the researchers that pot smokers “tend to use cannabis in conjunction with exercise in some form or fashion and that’s either using before exercise or using it after exercise for recovery purposes,” said Bryan, according to CPR.

“We also have larger epidemiological data, not collected by my lab, but where we see patterns such that cannabis users have lower rates of type two diabetes, better waist-to-hip ratios and better insulin function,”

For decades, marijuana has had an image problem — of which the most prominent has been the “lazy stoner.”

Sunken into the couch, the marijuana user only gets up from their comfortable spot between commercial breaks to raid the fridge and pantry in search of munchies. Or so it used to be believed.

Today, liberalization of marijuana laws across the United States and changing attitudes about the drug have also helped to change what the image of a marijuana user looks like.

Furthermore, increasing interest in cannabis from the medical and scientific communities has provided valuable insight about the drug’s potential.

Recent research has consistently indicated that cannabis users are less likely to be obese and have a lower BMITrusted Source than the average American.

As for the munchies, a study published in March of this year found that over a three-year period, marijuana users put on less weight than those who didn’t use marijuana products.

Now, in a new study from the University of Colorado (UC) in Boulder, researchers are asking a bold question: What if instead of making people lazy, marijuana could actually get users to engage in more physical activity than they normally would?

A new kind of runner’s high?

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, looked at self-reported data from more than 600 marijuana users in states where the drug has been legalized.

The average age of users was 37.5 and was split almost down the middle in terms of sex, with slightly more males than females.

The vast majority — more than 80 percent of respondents — endorsed using cannabis in some form either directly before or directly after exercise.

Getting high and exercising also resulted in more physical activity as well.

Even after controlling for demographic factors like age and gender, co-users (those who used marijuana before or after exercise) on average took part in 43 more minutes of aerobic exercise per week and 30 more minutes of anaerobic exercise, such as weightlifting.

And co-users also surpassed the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations of a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week by nearly 10 minutes.

“The average cannabis user in our study was exercising a lot more than your average American,” said Angela Bryan, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC-Boulder and one of the study’s authors.

“It seemed that not only were cannabis users in general exercising quite a bit, but they were combining cannabis and exercise behavior at pretty high rates,” she said.

While it’s unclear why this association appears, the study does offer some clues.

Co-users frequently cited marijuana as increasing enjoyment of exercise and aiding in workout recovery. Less frequently, they said that it helped with motivation and physical performance.

According to Dr. Bryan, it’s possible that co-users were just having more fun.

“That can help people do it for longer as well. If you’re more motivated and you’re having more fun while you’re doing it, you’re enjoyment is higher. And we know from decades of exercise work that that’s going to be associated with more physical activity,” she said.

Hazy findings

However, the study is far from demonstrating any clear causal relationship between marijuana use and increased physical activity.

Others have weighed in saying that the self-reported nature of the study makes it hard to draw any real conclusions.

“These results may be more reflective of the fact that marijuana is a more significant part of these respondents’ overall lifestyle.” Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) told Healthline.

“It would be interesting to know if many of these respondents would similarly report that marijuana provides increased enjoyment with other routine activities, as well, such as eating dinner, watching television, playing video games, etc,” he said. “My presumption is that a similar trend would emerge if these questions were asked.”

Other confounding factors, which the authors point out, include the fact that states where marijuana is legal are “without exception more physically active than the national average.”

In short, there’s plenty of work still to be done on the issue.

But from a public health perspective, if marijuana is in fact helping some users get up off the couch instead of lounge on it, then ultimately that’s something worth investigating.

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Global Hemp Fiber Market Rising at an Annual Rate of 6.9% YEARS after its Legalization in 2019.

The demand for natural organic products over pharmaceuticals among customers across the globe acts as one of the major factors driving the growth of the hemp fiber market. The increase in demand for hemp fibers in various industries such as automotive, construction, food and beverage, personal care and textile, especially in emerging regions and the rise in the investment for the production of hemp-based products, is accelerating the growth in the hemp fiber market. We are just now beginning to realize the long time known for centuries along with the influence of ongoing scientific research that continually shows long term benefits of therapeutic use. 


Global awareness, as it relates to the therapeutic properties of the product and the low prices of hemp, is encouraging farmers to diversify their crop options, which ultimately influences the hemp fiber market. Additionally, the increase in use for numerous food applications, the rise in the legalization in the cultivation of hemp, emerging consumer trends, the surge in the number of social media influencers, is promoting the benefits of the product, the prevalence of chronic diseases and mergers and acquisitions among key players, is positively affecting the hemp fiber market. Furthermore, research and development activities and product development are extending the profitable opportunities to the hemp fiber market players in the forecasted period from 2022 through 2028.

 

Global Hemp Fiber Market Rising at an Annual Rate of 6.9% Digital Journal’s recent article from Data Bridge Market Research, which claims that the global hemp fiber market is rising at an annual rate of approximately 6.9% in the forecasted period of 2022 to 2028.

Data Bridge Market Research is a multinational management consulting firm, with offices in India and Canada. The Company provides a variety of services such as market verified industry reports, technology trend analysis, formative market research, strategic consulting, vendor analysis, production and demand analysis and consumer impact studies.

 

Data Bridge Market Research notes that the rise in the awareness regarding the benefits of hemp is escalating the growth of the hemp fiber market. Hemp is utilized in the processing and manufacturing of various products such as paper, textile, insulation and construction material, personal care products, nutraceutical, bio-plastics and bio-fuel. Hemp is also used in food and beverage products, as it is primarily grown organically, with no use of toxic chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides.

It is definitely an exciting time to be in the hemp market.

Thank you for consideration.

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MCOA’s New hempSMART” Brazil Operations Has Received Product Recognition From ANVISA – (USA version of FDA)

LOS ANGELES, CA October 11, 2021, Marijuana Company of America, Inc. Reprinted from a previous release 9/21/22 

a diversified holding company with operations and investments throughout the cannabis industry, today

 

announced that the Company’s new hempSMART” Brazil operations has received product recognition from ANVISA,

the Brazilian regulatory agency equivalent to the FDA to sell its premium hempSMART” products via physician prescriptions in Brazil, the biggest CBD market in South America.

The Company has begun to fulfill prescriptions and expects continued requests. ANVISA, the Brazilian regulatory agency,

in 2019 established a legalized environment for the sale and consumption of CBD and cannabis for medical use in Brazil.

ANVISA Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária

ANVISA is an autonomous agency that regulates most, if not all products and services in Brazil.

The institution assures that products follow the necessary standards and health regulations

before they can be sold to patients. hempSMART” products are available to physicians and patients in Brazil.

                                       Cannabidiols are Legal in Brazil with a Prescription

The ANVISA regulatory framework sets a comprehensive procedure for the manufacture and import of CBD products as well as the requirements

for commercialization, prescription, dispensing, monitoring and supervision of cannabis products for medical purposes.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil can be sold only in Brazil to cannabis medical patients who receive a special control prescription from their physician,

and must be renewed every 60 days. hempSMART” is now being shipped directly to the patient.

US

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