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Cannabis Gum For Fibromyalgia

Cannabis Gum For Fibromyalgia

Cannabis Gum For Fibromyalgia

cannabis gum for fibro

Living with fibromyalgia is living a life of pain. Day in and day out, fibromyalgia patients have to endure excruciating pain and pressure on tender points throughout the body. Other symptoms include difficulty sleeping, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning stiffness, painful menstrual periods, restless leg syndrome, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and many more.

To date, there is still no known cure for fibromyalgia. Since this condition was only discovered recently, many in the medical and scientific community still understand very little about it. But there is hope with cannabis: fibromyalgia is one of the several conditions that cannabis has been proven to treat effectively and without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

In 2014, the National Pain Foundation conducted a survey of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients. Almost a third of the respondents admitted to having used medical cannabis to treat their pain. Sixty-two percent of the participants reported that cannabis was “very effective” in alleviating their symptoms, 33% said that it “helped a little”, and only 5% that it didn’t help at all.

Now there’s new hope for fibromyalgia patients in the form of cannabis gum.

medchewRX

MedChewRx

The cannabis-infused gum is called MedChewRx, and has been developed by Quay Pharmaceuticals, the British partner of   AMIX Biotech, a pharmaceutical company that focuses on cannabinoid research and product development.  MedChewRx comes as a medical breakthrough for the company, who has been looking for innovative solutions to provide patients with CBD and THC medications for fibromyalgia that don’t have to be smoked.

Before MedChewRx, there has never been a product in the market that has been created specifically for fibromyalgia patients. AMIX released CanChew back in 2013, the predecessor to MedChewRx. CanChew was a CBD-based gum infused with vitamins developed with the intention of treating several conditions including joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome. CanChew was a novel idea; no one had ever seen anything like it in before. As a result, it quickly gained international recognition in media.

MedChewRx provides almost immediate relief because it was designed to be ingested and absorbed in the body through soft tissues found in the mouth. Known as the oral mucosa, the soft tissue combined with acidic juices in the mouth efficiently metabolize the compounds in the gum for quick absorption into the blood stream.

MedChewRx could just be the solution that many fibromyalgia patients have been hoping for. The gum contains 5mg of CBD and THC, offering relief from pain, anxiety, and memory loss all in one small but powerful piece of gum. Patients can also enjoy all the other medicinal properties of both cannabinoids offered in a gum such as protection from nerve damage, stress relief, and cerebral stimulation.

So far, there is no other cannabis-based solution in the market that targets fibromyalgia pain faster than MedChewRx. However, it’s definitely good news for fibromyalgia patients who will soon have more options in the market, such as the fibromyalgia patch. The cannabis community welcomes these developments with open arms, as patients no longer have to be confined to pharmaceutical drugs.

Clinical Trials

MedChewRx is still in its early phases of clinical trials. AXIM has collaborated with partners to obtain cannabis strains from the Netherlands as part of its study, in order to extract and purify them into medical-grade cannabinoids. Bedrocan, a Dutch company, is responsible for producing these strains for AXIM within a supervised facility of the Dutch government’s Office of Medicinal Cannabis. According to AXIM, European and American schools are also working to evaluate the effects of MedChewRx. Last year, they also announced that they had plans to offer MedChewRx for free to multiple sclerosis patients at the Free University of Amsterdam as a clinical trial, which they did in conjunction with Britian’s University of Plymouth and an unknown educational institution in the United States.

“The development of MedChew RX gum will be carefully formulated to ensure that the drugs are preferentially absorbed orally within a specific window of time to provide the best therapeutic outcome for the patients,” says Maireadh Pedersen, Quay CEO.

Although it’s going to be a while until MedChewRx hits the market, fibromyalgia patients can turn to the patch, or other forms of administering cannabis for safe and natural relief.

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Published at Wed, 11 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000

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Is Africa Poised For A Green Rush?

Is Africa Poised For A Green Rush?

Is Africa Poised For A Green Rush?

africa weed rush

African countries are now seeing the economic value of legalizing cannabis. According to a UN survey, over 10,000 tons of the plant are already being produced in the continent each year which could translate to billions of dollars in the legal cannabis market. 

Although governments in African countries still haven’t legalized cannabis, Lesotho has become a pioneer by becoming the first in the continent to grant a license to grow medical cannabis. This could signal the beginning of a more prosperous time for Africa as they embrace liberal policies.

Lesotho

Lesotho may be a small country in Africa, but it’s a large player in the continent’s cannabis industry. Lesotho’s health ministry recently licensed Verve Dynamics to legally grow cannabis; a company that calls itself “a vegan friendly manufacturer of highly purified botanical extracts and specialty ingredients.”

A UNESCO report says, “Cannabis is grown almost everywhere in the country,” stating that cannabis has helped improve the plague-stricken economy of Lesotho. However, most of the greens that are being pumped into the country are through illegal trades with South Africa, Lesotho’s wealthier neighbor. By awarding the first cultivation license to Verve Dynamics, the government has made a decision to make cannabis a source of legal revenue instead of criminalizing it. Since this is the first of its kind in Africa, it still remains to be seen how the locals will react to legalization but if done right it could develop into a lucrative model that the rest of the continent can follow.

In a statement, Verve Dynamics said that Lesotho’s health ministry makes the country “a pioneer on the African continent” in developing cannabis extracting technologies and refining the industry.

Cannabis has long been a cash crop for Lesotho’s farmers, who grow it to consume at home and export across the border to South Africa. Given the extreme poverty that small-scale farmers still face, they’ve turned to cannabis where just like in Swaziland, another impoverished monarchy, it’s helped put food on the tables for many families despite its illegal status.

South Africa

South Africa was expected to be the first country to legalize cannabis given that a terminally ill politician pleaded parliament to let him use cannabis as a treatment for his cancer. Mario Oriani-Ambrosini passed away in 2014, almost three years before the court ruled in favor of home use of cannabis.

South Africa is one of the largest economies in the continent and continues to be a leader in producing cannabis, locally known as “dagga”. A UN report states that South Africa produces roughly 2,500 tons annually. Despite this, cannabis still isn’t completely legal in South Africa; it remains illegal to smoke, sell, or cultivate the plant. The country is seeing several battles in court to legalize cannabis, and the South African government already released recommendations for medical cannabis, which paves the way for licenses.

Malawi

Malawi, a country that received international acclaim for the highly-coveted Malawi Gold strain, has also seen the potential economic benefits of legalizing chamba, the local word for cannabis. They’ve also already considered legalizing hemp. The Malawi government is already cultivating hemp on an experimental basis which is a significant development after long battles with religious leaders and drug control groups that strongly resisted loosening of the policy.

Malawi’s Rastafarian minority have long been demanding the legalization of cannabis and hemp, stating that smoking it is an important part of their culture.

Ghana

A UNODC report sates that despite the fact cannabis is prohibited, it remains well tolerated and is widely consumed by Ghanaians. In fact, a former head of the Narcotics Control Board has been supportive of legalization efforts and campaigns which has recently gained traction in Ghana. The cannabis legalization campaigns recently garnered even more support as the executive director of the Ghana Standards Authority proposed that cultivation and export of cannabis could be lucrative for the country.

However, mental health authorities and government officials counterattacked. Even the Christian Council of Ghana, a highly influential organization, also crushed the idea of legalization because they think that it would “destroy the future of our young people.”

Morocco

Morocco, a North African state, is well-known in the international cannabis community for being a top producer of world-class hashish.  The hashish trade gives jobs to at least 800,000 people and makes around $10 billion in sales. Morocco has clearly seen how lucrative and important the trade is to both economy and employment, which has fueled campaigns for legalization.

Back in 2014, the Moroccan parliament’s opposition party proposed a bill that would have legalized cannabis for medical and commercial purposes but it didn’t pass. Instead, the movement experienced major impediments especially since their prominent advocate Ilyas El Omari resigned. Religious groups also opposed legalization.

Swaziland

The last monarchy on the continent might be impoverished, but is wealthy in cannabis. Experts have recommended turning to cannabis as a means of improving the economy, which prompted the national police commissioner to request for a study. Reports say that the Swazi House of Assembly already established a committee tasked with exploring legalization.

Legalizing cannabis will no doubt help the economy, but the challenge would be regulation, an area that African countries still struggle with.

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Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000

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California Governor Vetoes Bill to Ban Smoking and Vaping at State Parks and Beaches

California Governor Vetoes Bill to Ban Smoking and Vaping at State Parks and Beaches

Legislation passed by California’s House and Senate to ban smoking and vaping at state parks and beaches has been vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Surfrider Beach in Malibu.

Senate Bill 386 would have banned smoking and vaping at all California parks and beaches and would have mandated that signage be posted alerting patrons to the new law. This would have effected nearly 300 state parks and nearly 300 miles of state beaches.

If the measure wasn’t vetoed, it would have instituted fines of up to $485 for those caught smoking tobacco or cannabis.

“Last year I vetoed Senate Bill 1333, a similar measure, because I believed that such a far=reaching prohibition in every state park and on every state beach was too broad”, Governor Brown stated in a public statement regarding the veto. “If People can’t smoke even on a deserted beach, where can they? There must be some limit to the coercive power of the government.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 03:33:25 +0000

Posted in News

Race for CBD medication breakthrough: Is pharma firm's boon the hemp industry's doom?

Race for CBD medication breakthrough: Is pharma firm's boon the hemp industry's doom?

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound touted for its medicinal promise — but marijuana- and hemp-derived extracts rich in CBD and low in intoxicating THC are facing a future yet to be determined.

The Cannabist’s special report “CBD, TBD” explores the issues with CBD — federal-state conflicts, national drug policy, pioneering research efforts and the paths toward the compound’s full legalization. This is the sixth installment in an ongoing series. Coming soon: A look at CBD’s path forward with hemp products.


This time next year, an investigational drug hailed as a breakthrough in the science of cannabidiol could be prescribed to children suffering from treatment-resistant epilepsy.

The prospect of its success, however, has caused some unease in the American hemp industry.

London-based GW Pharmaceuticals plc is steering its proprietary Epidiolex oral solution through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval pipeline.

Unlike other FDA-approved drugs that emulate the properties of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, Epidiolex (eh-pih-DYE-uh-lehx) utilizes another of the plant’s compounds: non-psychoactive cannabidiol. GW’s pharmaceutical formulation of purified CBD is targeted for treating rare, early onset seizure disorders including Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, as well as Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms.

The company is expected to wrap up its New Drug Application to the FDA in the coming weeks; the federal agency could conduct its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspection by June.

If the FDA were to give its blessing to that application, Epidiolex could be readied for commercial sale on the prescription drug market by this time next year, GW officials told The Cannabist.

Cannabis advocates and purveyors of hemp-derived, CBD-rich extracts fear FDA approval of Epidiolex could lead to a pharmaceutical commandeering of promising cannabis compounds.

The company and some prominent members of the medical community, however, trumpet the attempt to harness CBD’s potential and package it into a medicine that conveys the safety, consistency and clarity that FDA approval affords.

“I can’t tell you how happy I was to see those three letters (GMP) in relation to cannabidiol,” Dr. Amy R. Brooks-Kayal, chief of pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said earlier this year.

She was speaking in Denver at the annual meeting of the Teratology Society, which focuses on birth defects and pediatric health issues. During a symposium on Marijuana and Child Development, Brooks-Kayal spoke to the topic of cannabinoids for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy.

She described how Children’s Hospital Colorado saw an influx of patients whose parents packed up and moved to Colorado for the promise of CBD oil. In some cases, the parents stopped administering the other prescribed medications in favor of solely trying an array of dosings of CBD-rich extracts.

Some of those children would end up in the intensive care unit, Brooks-Kayal said.

Children’s Hospital Colorado does not prescribe or recommend medical cannabis products; however, Brooks-Kayal implores parents to let doctors know if they’ve given their child CBD or another form of medical cannabis — and to not stop the other medications cold-turkey.

GW’s efforts might not be the end-all, be-all solution for these hard-to-treat epilepsy conditions, but to have products put through rigorous testing, trials and regulations are steps in the right direction, Brooks-Kayal said.

GW expressed confidence that CBD is medicine and that the pharmaceutical approval was the appropriate path, despite the fact that extracts rich in the compound are already widely available in dispensaries — and online — in states that have legalized forms of medical cannabis.

“I think physicians, and I think patients, prefer to have a drug that’s been through that very stringent process,” said Steve Schultz, GW’s vice president of investor relations.

Accompanying the first-to-market designation, the hallmarks of the FDA approval process — potential for insurance coverage, directions on dosing, information about drug interactions, quality assurance, and other checks and balances — are important differentiators for GW as the company sets off to carve a niche for itself in cannabinoid drug development, Schultz said.

“You don’t ever get that kind of instruction with a dispensary-based product,” he said.

cannabidiol-cbd-oil-colorado
A dose of Colorado-made cannabidiol oil is measured by a parent preparing to give CBD oil to her child as part of a regimented treatment for seizures in July 2014. (Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

Uncertainty breeds contingency plans

GW Pharmaceuticals’ advancement of Epidiolex is being closely watched by America’s cottage CBD industry.

Some producers are cautiously optimistic, taking the proverbial wait-and-see approach, while others have begun taking precautions such as changing labels and branding to highlight their products as “whole plant hemp extracts” as opposed to “CBD oil.”

Executives at GB Sciences Inc., a Las Vegas firm aiming to develop and patent several pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid therapies, have extensively evaluated the potential regulatory issues that Epidiolex could raise, said Andrea L. Small-Howard, the company’s chief science officer.

In the event Epidiolex is approved, Small-Howard anticipates the FDA pathway to widen for the creation and testing of novel CBD formulations. At the same time, it would significantly disrupt the market for CBD products sold in dispensaries or online under state-regulated cannabis regimes, she said.

“These (state marijuana) programs are already in violation of federal law, therefore, an Epidiolex approval may push the issue of who has jurisdiction over pharmaceuticals, when CBD becomes an FDA-approved pharmaceutical ingredient,” Small-Howard said.

Others argue that consumers should have access to CBD products outside of the prescription-drug realm.

“All the products out there are special. One will work for one person, one won’t,” said Joel Stanley, chief executive officer of CW Hemp, the Denver-based company that rose to prominence after a CNN special on medical marijuana refugees and “Charlotte’s Web” CBD-rich oil.

Alternatively, siloing off CBD and other cannabinoids as pharmaceutical-only would limit the types of products available and result in them becoming more expensive, Stanley said.

There is still much to be learned about medical applications for CBD and other cannabinoids.

“It’s such a unique plant with unique abilities. I think we’re just scratching the surface on it,” said Gabriel Ettenson, general manager for Broomfield-based Elixinol, a manufacturer of CBD oils and hemp products.

Ettenson isn’t losing any sleep over GW and what may come from Epidiolex coming to market.

“There really isn’t any significant fear that I have about what may happen if GW gets approval,” he said.

Making hemp extract containing compound cannabidiol (CBD) at CW Hemp
Team lead Vanessa Cantu of pours an extract of hemp into a pan before putting it into a vacuum oven, which eliminates the last traces of solvents used in processing plant material into an extract oil form at CW Hemp’s facility in Colorado on April 21, 2016. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)

Heike Newman, a senior regulatory manager at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, said she is curious as to what ripple effects may come from Epidiolex making it to market.

Such an approval could ultimately trigger a federal down-scheduling of CBD, reducing the barriers to research for Newman’s colleagues, she speculated. Research on cannabis has been hampered by its designation as a Schedule I controlled substance.

“I think they’re showing that CBD has actually a medicinal benefit, and I think that’s huge,” she said.

Epidiolex hurdles include potential expense

For all the excitement and consternation swirling around Epidiolex, the drug’s approval is not a slam dunk, said Ken Trbovich, an analyst for financial services firm Janney Montgomery Scott LLC who follows GW.

Patients in GW’s study already were taking various anti-epileptic drugs, including Onfi (clobazam), an effective treatment for Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, Trbovich said. And there’s a correlation between the plasma levels of clobazam and the effectiveness of the drug, he added.

“In other words, the higher the dose, the higher the response,” Trbovich wrote via email to The Cannabist. “There is a drug-drug interaction such that treating a patient with Epidiolex increases the plasma level of clobazam and its active metabolite.

“Thus, it is unclear how much of the treatment benefit resulted from the increased plasma levels of clobazam as opposed to the independent response to Epidiolex.”

Then, late last week, word came that Zogenix, an Emeryville, Calif.-based pharmaceutical firm’s non-CBD drug showed positive data in late-stage clinical trials of patients with Dravet. The announcement sent GW’s stock tumbling and created additional questions for Trbovich.

“The strength of this data should cause investors to reconsider the relative efficacy of Epidiolex and the implications this has for its commercial success in Dravet, LGS and other epilepsy indications,” he wrote in a Sept. 29 report to investors.

To this point, consensus estimates pegged Epidiolex as a $1 billion drug by 2021, Reuters has reported, citing forecasts from Thomson Reuters Cortellis. 

Outside of the lab, GW is effectively “cooking with gas,” considering the prevalent industry of hemp-derived CBD extracts, he added.

“There is no other orphan drug, or orphan biologic, of which I am aware, that a patient has the option of going down to a vitamin store or local pharmacy and buying an over-the-counter alternative,” he said. “While GW (scientists) have been great pioneers in conducting the scientific research to prove CBD has some effect in well-controlled clinical studies, CBD oils are available in the overwhelming majority of states.”

Trbovich expects GW will charge a hefty price — some analysts have projected in the range of $35,000 to $50,000 per patient per year — for Epidiolex, resulting in insurers restricting the drug to those who have Dravet or Lennox Gastaut.

Even those who receive coverage, depending on the nature of their co-pays/co-insurance, may find the cost of Epidiolex to be too high and opt instead for CBD oil from a dispensary,” he said.

Schultz, in his interviews with The Cannabist, declined to provide an estimated cost for Epidiolex. He reiterated that GW expects the medicine will be covered by insurance — not an option for products sold online, in health stores or dispensaries.

Trbovich, as of his Aug. 8 research report, has a “sell” rating on GW.

A “David and Goliath” battle, or not so much?

Schultz also shakes off the notion that GW’s progress with cannabinoid drug development are a means to keep CBD under lock and key from the masses or to cash in on a plant that should be available to all.

“GW Pharmaceuticals is not Big Pharma,” he said.

GW (Nasdaq: GWPH) employs a staff of about 200, generates $10 million in annual revenue and has a market value of roughly $2.8 billion. Its stock closed at $114.54 on Thursday and has been trading in the range of $92.65 and $137.88 during the past year.

Comparatively, companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche each employ more than 90,000 people, bring in north of $50 billion in revenue each year and boast market caps with dollar values of the hundreds of billions.

GW may be a smaller player when sized up against the pharmaceutical giants, but it’s considered a behemoth by cannabis industry advocates who classify the juxtaposition as a “David and Goliath” battle.

“It’s not dissimilar to what the hemp industry has always gone up against,” said Patrick Goggin, an attorney representing hemp businesses in the Hemp Industries Association lawsuits against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Goggin referenced the hemp industry’s other adversaries, the “DuPonts of the world, the Hertzes of the world, the petroleum industry.”

“We are not engaged to fail,” he said.

Cannabis advocates claim officials for GW, which has settled in stateside as Greenwich Biosciences, have lobbied to ensure that state-based CBD laws solely favor FDA-approved products. South Dakota is one such state whose law hinges on FDA oversight.

GW is not trying to monopolize the market but rather aiming to ensure that patients can have access to medicine that is rigorously tested and approved, Schultz countered.

The state law changes are one part of a two-step process, Schultz said. The company would need to have Epidiolex rescheduled by the DEA — the company is hoping for a Schedule IV designation — and state rescheduling to ensure that patients have access for a prescription, he said.

“Where it requires legislative actions, we want to make sure we’re out in front of that and taking action as soon as possible,” he said, noting that the company is in a “mode of understanding” to learn about each state’s requirements and responding to those rules in advance of Epidiolex’s expected launch.

Schultz disputed claims that GW — with the might of the FDA at its side — would run the tables and stamp out sellers of CBD-rich oils. His firm, rather, aims to provide a compelling new addition to the market as a whole.

It’s ultimately up to the patients and the physicians to decide what works best for them, he said.

“Our objective, simply, is to make an FDA-approved medicine, purified CBD medicine available for patients who would be looking at an additional option,” he said. “Whatever is available at dispensaries is really not even an element of our consideration. Our goal is to just add to those options that are available.”

Hemp plants grown for production of cannabis oil containing cannabidiol (CBD)
Caitlin Jimenez waters hemp plants at the cultivation facility for Colorado company CBDRx on June 9, 2015, in Pueblo. The company is focused on developing hemp products such as cannabidiol (CBD) oils. (Denver Post file)

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Published at Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:16:09 +0000

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5 Most Common Reasons Cannabis Sends People To Emergency Rooms

5 Most Common Reasons Cannabis Sends People To Emergency Rooms

Study Reveals 5 Most Common Reasons Cannabis Sends People To Emergency Rooms

EMERGENCY ROOM CANNABIS VISITS

There’s nothing else on earth that helps humanity more than cannabis. It reduces opioid dependence and overdose, creates jobs, cures cancer, saves lives, saves the planet, and so much more. I’ll give you a month’s worth of my salary if you can name something else that does this job better than cannabis.

While ideally, our utopia would be a world where cannabis is free for all and available everywhere, we can’t ignore the small fraction of problems that some experience because of it. Addressing these issues is the only way that we can legalize cannabis effectively throughout the country with relevant guidelines. Some of the most common public health problems caused by cannabis were recently revealed in a new study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. The review uses data derived from Colorado to discuss the most common reasons why people are sent to the emergency room due to cannabis, which policy makers can use as a basis for improving the legal framework.

Butane Home Extraction

Inexperienced individuals still attempt to make their own BHO (butane hash oil) extractions at home, which can result in deadly explosions. BHO production is one of the most controversial topics in the industry and for good reason. Without state-approved equipment or professional training on making your own extractions at home, things can take a dangerous turn. If you really must make your own cannabis extracts at home, opt for safer options without the need for explosive solvents such as using a Rosin press. “In July 2015, a law was passed that explicitly made manufacturing hash oil using flammable solvents illegal,” write the study authors. “Anecdotally, the effect of this legislation has had a minimal effect on the number of burn patients admitted to our institution.”

Synthetic Cannabis

Fake cannabis is deadly, but people still continue to use it despite living in a state where adults over 21 can legally purchase the real thing? Synthetic cannabis, also commonly known as K2 or spice, is still all too easy to get a hold of and this is something that policy makers have the power to address. The Colorado report discusses the case of a 24-year-old man who had to be sent to the emergency department after suffering a seizure because he consumed synthetic cannabis bought at a head shop.

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a condition wherein individuals suffer from vomiting due to heavy cannabis consumption. Our knowledge on CHS is still in its infancy, but it seems to be curable just by quitting cannabis. “A 32-year-old man came to the Denver Health Medical Center ED with a 12-hour history of intractable vomiting and epigastric pain. Throughout the interview, the patient was retching uncontrollably. The patient reported several similar episodes over the past 2 months requiring medical care. Laboratory tests were conducted but unremarkable other than a THC-positive urine drug screen,” said the review. It’s clear that much more research is needed on this subject, as we know cannabis to be medicine for vomiting and nausea and not a substance that causes it in certain individuals who smoke daily, sometimes up to five times a day.

CHS was first discovered in 2004, when Australian scientists noticed that patients with cyclic vomiting symptoms were also chronic cannabis users.

Accidental Pediatric Consumption

Cannabis edibles has been placed on the hot seat for many reasons, but most worrisome of all is accidental pediatric ingestion. Should the parents be blamed for not keeping their edibles out of their children’s reach? “Children are at particular risk of cannabis toxicity because cannabis-containing food products, known as edibles, look extremely similar to regular candy,” write the authors. “Also, we have found that the severity of symptoms from marijuana exposure has worsened due to the high THC concentration in edibles.”

This is a problem that some states are already beginning to address, such as in California where a proposal has just been sent to Governor Jerry Brown prohibiting local companies from selling edibles that resemble an animal, person, fruit, or insect. Meanwhile, other states also require childproof packaging, or that packaging be devoid of cartoons or other images that may be attractive to children.

Acute Intoxication

Acute intoxication basically means that a person ingested too much cannabis. “The number of marijuana-related ED visits has nearly doubled since the drug’s use was legalized in Colorado,” said the review. They also mention that the rate is higher for non-residents, tourists who come to Colorado. With the increase in cannabis tourism, the statistics are higher because there are cases that inexperienced tourists just don’t know what “too much cannabis” means. Dispensaries in Colorado do take the measures needed to educate their consumers on cannabis but perhaps it isn’t enough to reach tourists.

What do you think the government can do better to prevent these problems?

 

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Published at Fri, 06 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000

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Justice Department Names New DEA Acting Administrator

Justice Department Names New DEA Acting Administrator

The Department of Justice has officially designated Robert W. Patterson as the Drug Enforcement Administration acting administrator.

New DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson.

Patterson’s appointment comes after the resignation of now-former DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg, who stepped down because he feels President Trump doesn’t respect the law. Patterson was appointed as DEA’s principal deputy administrator in November 2016. In that role, he served as DEA’s chief operating officer, overseeing all of the agency’s enforcement, intelligence, administrative, and regulatory activities worldwide. He is the highest ranking career special agent at DEA.

Patterson came to this position after serving as DEA’s chief inspector beginning in November 2015. As the chief inspector, he had oversight of the Office of Inspections, the Office of Security Programs, and the Office of Professional Responsibility. Collectively, these offices comprise DEA’s internal affairs, compliance, and security programs and provide guidance and support to DEA Headquarters and Field Offices.

Prior to his appointment as the chief inspector, Patterson served in a variety other positions within DEA, including assistant special agent in charge, and later acting special agent in charge of the DEA Special Operations Division, where he oversaw classified programs, and communication exploitation tools, in support of field operations.

Prior to his assignment at SOD, Patterson was a group supervisor in the agency’s Miami Division, where he led the operations of the Orlando District Office Task Force, and later served as acting ASAC.

Patterson began his career with DEA in 1988 in the New York Division, where he worked numerous racketeering influenced and corrupt organizations, known as RICO, investigations. He was also part of a special program established to combat the growing opioid epidemic and associated violence in the greater New York area.

At this point it’s unclear how long Patterson will remain as acting administrator before a permanent DEA Chief is named.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Thu, 05 Oct 2017 03:46:20 +0000

Posted in News

Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

In a unanimous vote Atlanta’s full City Council has given approval to a marijuana decrim measure.

Today the council unanimously approved Ordinance 17-O-1152, introduced by Councilmember Kwanza Hall on March 20th.

“Today we stand with every parent of Atlanta who is fearful of or has seen their children’s lives destroyed, or careers ruined because of a racist policy that unjustly incarcerated minorities by more than ninety percent,” said Hall following the vote.  “Reforming the racist marijuana laws on the book in Atlanta has been just one in a number of reforms that I have fought for.

Hall continued; “And one of the leaders who recognized the unfairness and harshness of the law was Dr. George Napper, who was our city’s first African American Chief of Police, and I’d like to thank him for his support”.

This legislation was one in a series of justice reform policies Councilman Hall has introduced, including “Ban the Box” which passed in 2014, the creation of the Pre-Arrest Diversion Pilot Program in 2015, a law enforcement transparency and accountability measure and legislation to end broken windows policing in 2016.

One of the most powerful speakers during the vote was Charnette Trimble of Council District 4.  “You destroy the black male, and you destroy the black family unit.”

The ordinance changes the penalty in the Atlanta Municipal code for possession of marijuana less than an ounce from the “general penalty” –which is a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail–to a maximum fine of $75 and no jail time.

The legislation had been held since May. A key fact presented during the debate is that in Atlanta, the overwhelming number of arrests for marijuana-related offenses are African Americans (92%), even though studies have determined usage is at similar levels across racial demographics.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 21:16:40 +0000

Posted in News

Cannabist Show: He directed “The Legend of 420”; He runs an Oregon cultivation biz

Cannabist Show: He directed “The Legend of 420”; He runs an Oregon cultivation biz

Featured guests: Filmmaker Peter Spirer, producer/director of “The Legend of 420” documentary, and Jesse Peters, CEO of Eco Firma Farms, an Oregon cannabis cultivation company.

LOTS TO TALK ABOUT

•  Documenting hip-hop’s influence on the cannabis scene: covering the counter-culture going mainstream over three decades.

•  Getting embedded: Taking a First Amendment-protected ride to observe and document the illegal (and dangerous) sides of the American drug trade.

•  Conservation, community and sustainability: The pillars of Oregon’s society are apparent in its cannabis cultivation.

•  Pesticide issues and the need for growers to find common ground, together.

TOP MARIJUANA NEWS

Over 5% of all arrests in U.S. are for weed: In 2016 more people were arrested for marijuana possession than for all crimes the FBI classifies as violent, according to 2016 crime data released by the agency on Monday. Marijuana possession arrests edged up slightly in 2016, a year in which voters in four states approved recreational marijuana initiatives and voters in three others approved medical marijuana measures. These figures should be regarded as estimates, because not all law enforcement agencies provide detailed arrest information to the FBI. But they do show that the annual number of marijuana arrests is down from their peak in the mid-2000s and stands at levels last seen in the mid 1990s. Marijuana use, particularly among adults, rose during this time. –Report by The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham

Former NFL pros say CBD oil vital pain-management tool: After years of managing pain through the use of alcohol, nonprescription anti-inflammatory drugs and highly addictive opioids, some former football players are turning to cannabis — particularly hemp-derived CBD oil — for relief. Mostly through word-of-mouth exchanges, interest in marijuana and hemp products has increased as 29 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for medicinal and, in some cases, recreational use. –Report by The Mercury News’ Elliot Almond

Only 15% of California’s cannabis growers can meet strict new standards, insider says: California consumers will soon have two choices in cannabis: clean, legal and pricey — or dirty, illicit and cheap. Think Whole Foods vs. El Chapo. The big difference will be the amount of pesticides in your weed. That’s because starting Jan. 2, when California’s vast legal marijuana market opens, all cannabis must be tested — and most chemicals will be banned. Much of California’s cannabis is tainted, including the “medicinal” stuff. But soon state-sanctioned weed may become the greenest in the nation. –Report by The Mercury News’ Lisa M. Krieger

Colorado cannabis safety regs limit edible shapes, enlarge potency labels: Out with the gummy bears, in with the squares … and circles, and triangles and diamonds. On Oct. 1, Colorado no longer will allow marijuana edibles shaped like humans, animals, fruits or cartoons — forms that could be confused with candy — and the state also will require more prominently displayed potency information on the labels of cannabis products. The new rules, which are more than a year in the making, are part of the ongoing evolution of Colorado’s pioneering foray into legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

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Published at Fri, 29 Sep 2017 23:09:54 +0000

Posted in News

Man who provided cannabis oil to Colorado teen MMJ patient faces felony charges

Man who provided cannabis oil to Colorado teen MMJ patient faces felony charges

DENVER — A man who made cannabis oil for a Colorado boy who was instrumental in passing a state law requiring schools to allow students to use medical marijuana is facing several felony drug charges.

Mark Pedersen had been providing the oil to Jack Splitt before the boy’s Aug. 25, 2016, death. Jack, who was 15 when he died, had severe cerebral palsy and dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions.

After he was denied the use of marijuana oil at his school in Jefferson County west of Denver, he became the impetus for a 2016 state law that allowed eligible students to use the drug on campus.

When he died, a Lakewood police officer who was assigned to the West Metro Drug Task Force began investigating Pedersen, 60, who is accused of manufacturing with the intent to distribute marijuana, Denver television station KMGH-TV reported Thursday.

Officers found several jars and bags of marijuana, suspected cannabis oil and other items related to the manufacturing of marijuana oil during a search of the boy’s family home shortly after his death, according to an arrest affidavit. Pedersen was renting a room in the basement at the time.

Officers also found notebooks that listed treatments for Pedersen’s “patients,” several of whom were minors, as well as Facebook posts written by Pedersen touting the benefits of medical marijuana.

“I need to be reminded my life is not my own. I have a purpose … I can make oil. I can provide hope,” one post read.

Pedersen’s attorney, Matthew Buck, told KMGH-TV the charges are unfounded and that the case would not have come about had it not been for Jack’s death. “We feel strongly he’s overcharged because they’re charging him with possessing a significant more amount of concentrate than he had,” Buck said.

Pedersen was not registered with the state as a medical marijuana caregiver, although he did have a medical marijuana card.

A phone call to Stacey Linn, Jack’s mother, was not immediately returned Thursday evening.

Information from: KMGH-TV

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Published at Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:30:04 +0000