President Joe Biden added his signature last week to a bipartisan bill that seeks to broaden and streamline research into medical cannabis.
Dubbed the “Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act,” the law “establishes a new registration process for conducting research on marijuana and for manufacturing marijuana products for research purposes and drug development,” according to a release on Friday from the White House.
Despite medical marijuana’s ubiquity throughout the country, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level, which has hamstrung the potential for research into the area. The newly signed bill aims to change that.
It passed the United States Senate last month with bipartisan support after it won approval in the U.S. House of Representatives with the Democratic and Republican votes in July.
It is the byproduct of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, which celebrated Biden’s signing of the bill on Friday.
The group of lawmakers touted the measure as “the first standalone federal marijuana reform law enacted since the adoption of the Controlled Substances Act in 1971.”
The law aims to “facilitate research on marijuana and its potential health benefit…by streamlining the application process for scientific marijuana studies and removing existing barriers for researchers that frequently slow the research process.”
“For decades, the federal government has stood in the way of science and progress—peddling a misguided and discriminatory approach to cannabis. Today marks a monumental step in remedying our federal cannabis laws. The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act will make it easier to study the impacts and potential of cannabis,” Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Brian Mast (R-FL) said in a joint statement following Biden’s signing. “Research is foundational for the path forward on cannabis policy. Research is essential to better understand the therapeutic benefits of cannabis that have the potential to help millions of Americans struggling with chronic pain, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, anxiety disorders and more.”
“We celebrate the enactment of this critical and long-overdue legislation, and we know there is much more to do to remedy the ongoing harms of the failed war on drugs,” the chairs added.
In the other chamber, Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein of California said that there is “substantial evidence that marijuana-derived medications can and are providing major health benefits,” and that the bill “will make it easier to study how these medications can treat various conditions, resulting in more patients being able to easily access safe medications.”
“We know that cannabidiol-derived medications can be effective for conditions like epilepsy. This bill will help refine current medical CBD practices and develop important new applications. After years of negotiation, I’m delighted that we’re finally enacting this bill that will result in critical research that could help millions,” Feinstein said.
The group of lawmakers said that the caucus “will continue working to reimagine the federal government’s approach to cannabis and enact further reforms,” including “the SAFE Banking package, the Veterans Equal Access Act, the PREPARE Act, and the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act.”
It marks the second action that Biden has taken on federal marijuana policy in the last two months. In October, the president announced pardons for those who have previously been convicted of simple pot-related offenses under federal law.
In addition, Biden also signaled his desire to move toward federal decriminalization, saying he has directed cabinet officials to reclassify marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, which enshrines federal prohibition on pot.
“As I often said during my campaign for President, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden said in his announcement. “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”
Does CBD modulate the effects of THC? No, says a new study. For years, both experience and research have indicated that CBD has a mitigating effect when consumed with THC. For example, budtenders suggest a THC-strain balanced with CBD for new consumers to avoid overwhelming them. When an experienced stoner has eaten an edible or taken some oil and feels too high – they use CBD to take the edge off. But a recent study suggests this is all placebo. […]
Sometimes when you’re searching for the best product on the market it can be especially difficult. Everyone is paying for promotion or using their networking to boost themselves to the top of the list. Where can you find the genuine best CBD gummies? Well, we’ve researched and collated the ideal list of cannabis sweets that are genuinely trialed and tested to be of great quality.
CBD is now legal in most of the world and, with this, transparency should come. We’re going to take you through all of the important information surrounding CBD and, of course, our top CBD gummy products. Let’s go.
What is CBD?
Whilst CBD is becoming a household name these days, with many nations legalizing the cannabinoid, there are still many who are unaware of what it actually is and what it does. There are 100 cannabinoids within the cannabis plant – these are responsible for the effects that it has. CBD and THC are two of the most prominent. THC is psychoactive, which means that it has mind-altering effects, whereas CBD is not. Cannabis with high percentages of THC are used for recreational purposes, which is why CBD is probably more likely to be legal in a country than its psychoactive cousin. The truth is, CBD is legal in most of the world, whereas THC is still fighting to be accepted. This does not mean, however, that CBD has no effects.
Benefits of CBD
CBD has many benefits on the user. The cannabinoid enters the body when consumed and reacts with the receptors in the central nervous system. It has a calming effect, and this has many positives for the body and the mind. CBD has proven to help with a variety of issues:
What are CBD Gummies?
There are many methods of consuming cannabis, and each of these has its own individual benefits. Some people prefer to smoke it, which will give a quicker high but also has its health risks. Combustion – when a joint is lit – triggers dangerous toxins and cancerous carcinogens to enter the body.
Alternatively, vaping CBD is now a very common method. As it’s vapor and not smoke, this is a healthier alternative of inhalation. However, when cannabis passes through the lungs it enters the body very quickly, this means that the high comes faster but the end of the effects do the same. Therefore, some prefer to use edibles as a way to have a more endured experience.
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This is where gummies come in. CBD gummies are sweets that are infused with the cannabinoid, and enter through the digestive system. Whilst it may take 30-60 minutes to kick in, the effects will last throughout the day. In contrast, smoking effects can kick in after 2 minutes but only last an hour or so. Gummies are a tasty and discreet way of consuming your CBD. They come in a vast range of flavors, colors, shapes and potency.
Benefits of Gummies
CBD gummies have all the same benefits as any form of CBD. However, the benefits of digesting your CBD in the form of gummies are vast:
Healthier than smoking
Legal (CBD flowers can be illegal in some countries, such as the UK)
Easy to dose correctly
Gummies vs Flowers
Whilst some countries have legalized all types of cannabis buds, others have not. This means that even though CBD may be legal in a nation, they still may not allow it in its flower form. This is the case in the UK and much of Europe. Therefore, in the majority of the world, CBD edibles are actually the easiest way to consume the cannabinoid. Plus, you avoid smoking buds, which can vastly damage your health when done. Whilst it may take longer to experience the high, the health benefits make it worth it.
Gummies vs Oil
CBD oil has many of the same benefits as CBD gummies. It doesn’t require combustion and is thus healthier than smoking. Oil, like edibles, can be digested in food or drinks and thus take the same amount of time. All you need to do is drop some cannabis oil in a meal or in a beverage and away you go. However, there’s also another way of consuming it.
If you place some CBD oil directly on the tongue, and leave it for 30 seconds, it will enter the blood this way and speed up the process of absorption. That means that oil offers two methods of consumption. Nonetheless, gummies do not require any extra work. You do not need to pour anything into anything else, you can simply eat a sweet, wait for the effects, and enjoy your day. It is by far the easiest method of consuming your CBD.
How Many CBD Gummies to Take Per Day?
There is no universal dosage when it comes to consuming CBD gummies. It will depend on the amount of the cannabinoid within each individual sweet, as well as your own needs. People’s bodies can react differently. Some professionals may advise that 1-5 gummies per day is a decent amount. Although it could be slightly more. Make sure to check with a doctor or the recommended dosage on the box.
Do CBD Gummies Contain THC?
THC and CBD are completely different cannabinoids within the cannabis plant and, with modern research, you don’t necessarily need one when consuming the other. Many countries around the world have a 0.3% THC cap, meaning that any more potency will deem the product illegal. Therefore, none of these products have a THC dosage higher than that. CBD, on the other hand, as we’ve mentioned, is legal in the majority of the world. However, some of these items do still include some Delta 9 THC, as the combination of cannabinoids can boost the overall effects.
The Best CBD Gummies
Here at Cannadelics, we are always on the lookout for the best products and brands. Over years we have collated some of the greatest cannabis-related items. But now we bring you our recommended CBD gummies. This list contains some cannabinoid combination options and a variety of gorgeous flavors and potencies – see what works best for you.
Koi CBD night time gummies are the perfect blend of cannabinoids. This product will give you the absolute sleepy chill you’ve been looking for and is perfect for sleep deprivation. Each tub comes with 30 gummies, with each individual sweet containing: 25mg of CBD, 10mg of CBN and 5mg of Delta 9. CBN is known by many as the sleep cannabinoid, which is why its addition in this product is the perfect asset to your night routine. But not only that, these gummies will calm your mind and relax your body. There are two optional flavors: black cherry or orange cream. Both are as flavorsome as the other. If you want to sleep deeply, these gummies could be your missing ingredient.
These delicious CBDfx mixed berry gummies are as tasty as they are effective. If you’re looking for a dose of CBD that is perfect for any time of the day, then these may be ideal for you. The entire jar contains around 1500mg of CBD, with each sweet having 25mg of the cannabinoid. They are vegan, non-GMO and broad spectrum. What does this mean? Well, broad spectrum means that the product contains other cannabinoids as well as CBD, which delivers a more potent experience. However, don’t be afraid, these gummies do not contain any THC. Due to the potency of the sweets, it is recommended that you stick to 2 gummies per serving (which is 50mg). This is the perfect product to quench your daily CBD needs.
Pinnacle Hemp has a wide variety of CBD products and exists as proof of the plethora of benefits that the cannabinoid can have. Their items are full of class and are of a high standard – they even sell dog treats! Their CBD gummies are just as impressive. There are three pots to choose from, with each containing a different amount of CBD: 200mg = 20 gummies, 500mg = 50 gummies and 1000mg = 100 gummies. Each sweet has 10mg of CBD. This means you can take at least 2-3 per serving. Yet again, Pinnacle Hemp are benefiting from the ‘entourage effect’, which means that they are using a combined variety of cannabinoids to boost the overall effects. These include CBN and CBG. The best part of this product is that there are an assortment of flavors, so you won’t get bored. Use these throughout the day and enjoy your CBD.
These delicious TreHouse gummies will make your mouth water. The flavour of the sweets are a yummy combination of peach and pear, which means you can have your dosage of CBD and Delta 9 in the most scrumptious way possible. Each bottle contains 400mg of the combined cannabinoids, with 20mg per gummy. This means that there is 10mg of CBD and 10mg of Delta 9 in each sweet. You are likely to feel relieved, productive, energised and mellow. The combination of the cannabinoids boost the effects of both, allowing the user to experience the true potency. In addition, Delta 9 products containing less than 0.3% THC are technically a legal substance – this makes this item legal in many nations. Legal and tasty, what’s not to like?
Wild Orchard Hemp is another exciting brand that is constantly bringing innovative and tasty CBD products to the market. These sweets are no different. If you’re someone who prefers to have treats with a little more personality, then these juicy and sugary peach-flavored rings will be right up your street. The item comes in three different sizes: 2 packs (60mg), 8 packs (240mg) and 20 packs (600mg). Each individual peach ring contains 30mg of cannabinoids – half Delta 9 THC, half CBD. Also, each packet contains 8 delicious sweets. Again, the combination of Delta 9 and CBD gives the perfect balance of productivity and chill. There is also less than 0.3% THC, again making these sweets legal in many states and countries. With 30mg per ring, you probably won’t need to take 1 or 2 per serving for you to feel the full incredible effects.
Why Trust Us?
Here at Cannadelics, we have been working tirelessly over the years to trial and test some of the best cannabis products on the market. In a saturated market, our aim is to brush past the useless and find the useful. Our mission is to lead the way in providing information that is accurate, effective and reliable. The benefits of CBD gummies can be life changing, if only people know where to get the right products. Well, hopefully you have come a little closer to that today. Let us know which products from our suggestions you prefer.
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The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved landmark legislation to expand medical marijuana research, marking the first time both chambers of Congress have passed a standalone cannabis bill. The measure, titled the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, received the approval of the House of Representatives during the summer and now heads to the desk of President Joseph Biden for his consideration.
Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, the co-sponsor of the legislation in the House along with Maryland Republican Representative Andy Hariss, noted the significance of the legislation after the Senate vote on Wednesday.
“After working on the issue of cannabis reform for decades, finally the dam is starting to break. The passage of my Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act in the House and Senate represents a historic breakthrough in addressing the federal government’s failed and misguided prohibition of cannabis,” Blumenauer, the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said in a statement. “As we have seen in state after state, the public is tired of waiting for the federal government to catch up. More than 155 million Americans—nearly half of our nation’s population—now reside in states where adult-use of cannabis is legal.”
In July, the bill was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 325 to 95, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in a time of intense partisan division in Washington, D.C. Passage of the bill could signal a new era for marijuana policy in Congress, where other legislation including a bill to allow regulated cannabis businesses access to the banking system are awaiting Senate approval. In the Senate, where the legislation was passed by unanimous consent on Wednesday, the bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii.
“For far too long, Congress has stood in the way of science and progress, creating barriers for researchers attempting to study cannabis and its benefits,” Blumenauer continued. “At a time when more than 155 million Americans reside where adult-use of cannabis is legal at the state or local level and there four million registered medical marijuana users with many more likely to self-medicate, it is essential that we are able fully study the impacts of cannabis use.”
Legislation Eases Restrictions on Marijuana Research
The bill is designed to ease federal restrictions on researching cannabis, which is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. The legislation streamlines the application process for the approval of marijuana-related scientific studies, making it easier for researchers to understand the potential medical benefits of cannabis.
Under the legislation, the U.S. attorney general would be given a 60-day deadline to approve an application for marijuana research or submit a request for additional information to the research applicant. The bill also includes provisions to encourage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support the development of medicines derived from cannabis.
“There is substantial evidence that marijuana-derived medications can and are providing major health benefits. Our bill will make it easier to study how these medications can treat various conditions, resulting in more patients being able to easily access safe medications,” Feinstein said in a statement from the senator’s office. “We know that cannabidiol-derived medications can be effective for conditions like epilepsy. This bill will help refine current medical CBD practices and develop important new applications. After years of negotiation, I’m delighted that we’re finally enacting this bill that will result in critical research that could help millions.”
President Expected To Sign Bill
While campaigning for office in 2020, Biden called for easing the federal restrictions on cannabis research. And last month, he directed the “Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.” In a statement, Schatz appeared to indicate that he expects the president to sign the cannabis research bill passed by Congress.
“The medical community agrees that we need more research to learn about marijuana’s potential health benefits, but our federal laws today are standing in the way of us finding those answers,” said Senator Schatz. “Our bill, which is now set to become law, will remove excessive barriers that make it difficult for researchers to study the effectiveness and safety of marijuana, and hopefully, give patients more treatment options.”
But not everyone is hailing the legislation as a step forward for cannabis policy reform. Shane Pennington, an attorney with the cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP, wrote in an email to High Times that the legislation “is a terrible terrible bill that will make research harder, not easier.” He explains the legislation unnecessarily complicates research into cannabidiol, among other issues.
“The bill imposes various DEA-registration requirements on entities seeking to handle CBD and/or ‘any [marijuana] derivative, extract, preparation, or compound.’ Under current law, however, neither CBD nor any non-marijuana cannabis ‘derivative, extract, preparation, or compound’ qualifies as a ‘controlled substance.’ Thus, as things stand today, you don’t need any special DEA registration to research them,” Pennington wrote on Substack. “By imposing registration requirements on these otherwise-non-controlled substances, this bill dramatically increases barriers to cannabis research.”
A study published Wednesday in Neuropsychology attempted to determine if CBD reduces the adverse effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory loss, but found little evidence to support this theory. Study participants were observed and both pleasurable effects as well as adverse effects like paranoia and memory recall were recorded.
The study, called “Does cannabidiol make cannabis safer? A randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial of cannabis with four different CBD:THC ratios” aimed to determine if increasing the amount of CBD can reduce the “harmful effects” of cannabis—notably from THC.
Cannabis products are typically marketed with CBD:THC ratios, with CBD frequently being touted to augment THC’s effects, leading researchers to explore the relationship between the plant’s two most popular compounds. But they found that CBD doesn’t necessarily show evidence of reducing adverse side effects.
Forty-six individuals, ages 21-50, who consume cannabis infrequently, were observed and given an initial baseline visit—followed by four visits for a dose, in which participants vaped cannabis containing 10 mg THC and either 0 mg (0:1 CBD:THC), 10 mg (1:1), 20 mg (2:1), or 30 mg (3:1) CBD, in a randomized, counterbalanced order.
The participants vaped the cannabis using a Volcano® Medic Vaporiser manufactured by Germany-based Storz-Bickel GmbH. The study participants were asked to take smaller hits and try not to cough, in order not to waste the dose via coughing it out.
Participants completed numerous tasks including a 15 minute walk around the hospital—which was previously determined to increase paranoia—and other activities such as memory exercises and questions about psychotic effects.
The results found little evidence of a reduction in paranoia and other adverse effects. “At the doses typically present in recreational and medicinal cannabis, we found no evidence of CBD reducing the acute adverse effects of THC on cognition and mental health,” researchers wrote. “Similarly, there was no evidence that it altered the subjective or pleasurable effects of THC. These results suggest that the CBD content in cannabis may not be a critical consideration in decisions about its regulation or the definition of a standard THC unit.”
They also suggested that people who report better effects from CBD:THC products say so because they consume less THC rather than any buffering effects from CBD.
“The data are also relevant to the safety of licensed medicines that contain THC and CBD, as they suggest that the presence of CBD may not reduce the risk of adverse effects from the THC they contain. Cannabis users may reduce harms when using a higher CBD:THC ratio, due to the reduced THC exposure rather than the presence of CBD. Further studies are needed to determine if cannabis with even higher ratios of CBD:THC may protect against its adverse effects.”
Does Nature Know Best?
There’s the ongoing argument that the entourage effect from cannabis and many other plants is better than consuming one compound alone. Consuming THC alone in a vape pen won’t provide nearly the same effects as smoking high quality flower, packed with terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids.
A similar argument, for example, is that coffee is better than caffeine alone in energy drinks, given the balance of bioactive compounds in coffee including antioxidants, diterpenes, chlorogenic acids, and trigonelline.
The data is likely inconclusive, given the array of other explorations into CBD. Other studies seem to suggest that CBD may reduce anxiety, and even boost cognitive performance in activities such as gaming.
In one review, it was determined that specific brain regions associated with anxiety behaviors were reduced when participants took CBD. More specifically, it was observed that CBD was able to reduce “amygdala activation and altered medial prefrontal amygdala connectivity.”
But simply adding one additional compound to the mix doesn’t necessarily make much of a difference, judging by these latest findings. CBD doesn’t necessarily reduce paranoia, memory loss, or the other side effects caused by cannabis.
Among learning about medical and recreational cannabis industries, the inner workings of a dispensary, various products being sold, and the legal aspects of cultivation, distribution, and possession are among the main topics of discussion.
In addition to this, students are taught about cannabis and CBD in a kitchen setting as well. According to Donnelly, who also holds the position of Cannabis Process Navigator for the city and county of Denver, explained that students will experiment with cooking using CBD. “We start with federally compliant CBD isolate which has no THC in it whatsoever,” Donnelly said.
While the class is a legitimate exploration of one of the nation’s most robust cannabis markets, Donnelly shared that not everyone agrees. “Most of the feedback when I tell people I’m cooking with cannabis is ‘no, that’s not actually happening,’” she said. “‘That’s not a real class for a college,’ and it’s like yes, it is, and your students can take it.”
Students are taught how to infuse vegetable oil with CBD, and after mastering that, they begin to experiment with different recipes. Donnelly told 9News that last week, they made barbecue shrimp and cornbread puree with a local chef.
The news outlet also spoke with one of the students, Liad Sherer who is pursuing a cybersecurity major, about why he chose to take the elective course. “I’m trying to just improve both as a cook as well as someone who enjoys cannabis and wants to know how to use it,” Sherer said. “I’d love to do this as a hobby, and I’d love to do this maybe as a part-time job.”
The class is an introduction to the many facets of the industry, which could help build early knowledge for possible careers. Roles such as a private chef, edibles creator, or budtending, are just a few of the many jobs that cannabis can create, and normalizing these jobs helps break down the stigma too. “That’s kind of this fun thing that I get to kind of help the students figure out,” she said. “Classes like this allow me and our students to realize there’s a pathway for them in this industry, which is what we need.”
Voters in Colorado approved recreational cannabis 10 years ago in November 2012. Since then, new data shows that the state has collected more than $2.2 billion in cannabis taxes and $13.4 billion in legal cannabis sales. According to the 2022 Leafly Jobs Report, Colorado offers 38,337 jobs (second only to California, which offers 83,607). The job market is thriving, and educated individuals are in high demand.
Colorado also recently saw a dip in its usual cannabis sales growth, month-by-month, according to data published in September 2022 for the month of June 2022. Medical marijuana sales sat at $19,235,656, which is a $34,534,293 decrease from numbers recorded for June 2021. Likewise, recreational cannabis sales only reached $127,157,358 in June, which is a decrease from $152,719,813 collected in June 2021. This downward trend is concerning to some industry members, who believe that it could lead to lay-offs, small shop closures, and the end of brands that can’t keep up.
Although Colorado is experiencing a downward trend in sales overall, newer cannabis markets are showing evidence of rapid growth. New Mexico adult-use sales went live in April 2022, and as of Nov. 7, the state has topped cannabis sales records for the last four months, through October, which netted $40 million. New Jersey’s adult-use sales also went into effect in April this year, and sold $80 million in cannabis within the first 10 weeks. In 2022 fiscal year earnings, the state of Nevada collected nearly $1 billion in sales.
Idaho’s ban on CBD and hemp-derived products only harms animals even more, because people give it to them regardless of regulations, according to a national group devoted to the wellbeing of animals and pets.
It’s a complicated issue that oscillates between the urgent need for CBD oil for dogs and cats that have seizures and other issues, and the need to prove CBD is beneficial in those areas before making medical claims and eventually getting the blessing from the FDA.
“Idaho Code 25-2712 (1) states that it is unlawful to “manufacture or distribut[e] any commercial feed that is adulterated or misbranded.” Therefore, pursuant to state law and consistent with the FDA and AAFCO [Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)], the ISDA has not approved hemp or hemp-derived products for animal use,” Department officials wrote.
But members of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) believe that Idaho’s ban puts animals in even more danger because CBD products need certificates of analysis and need to be vetted under a regulatory program.
So the NASC called people to action on the Council’s website and launched a petition on Change.org. Nearly 3,000 people have signed the petition at the time of writing.
“The Idaho State Department of Agriculture intends to stop the sale of dosage form pet products (animal health supplements) that contain hemp and CBD, beginning on November 1, 2022,” the petition reads.
“This decision will likely harm animals whose owners will no longer be able to access the products their pets rely on for a variety of health and wellness reasons. It will also have a serious economic impact on Idaho businesses that manufacture and sell these products.
Removing CBD pet products from the marketplace paves the way for a black-market industry of unscrupulous suppliers selling questionable products that could end up harming animals. It may also lead to pet owners turning to human products that aren’t formulated for pets or marijuana products that contain high levels of THC.”
The NASC has a very specific twofold mission: “to promote the health and wellbeing of companion animals and horses that are given animal health supplements by their owners, and to protect and enhance the animal health supplement industry.”
Viral videos show CBD oil stopping seizures in dogs in real time.
Professional British Boxer Anthony Fowler, for instance, posted a video of a dog having a seizure and how fast CBD oil stopped the dog from shaking. Another viral video shows CBD oil stopping a seizure in another dog in less than one minute.
But despite these anecdotal reports coming out of the woodwork, other national organizations say there is not enough known to say CBD products are safe for pets.
Not everyone’s onboard, however, which includes the FDA. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and several other organizations wrote a joint open letter earlier this year warning about health concerns regarding hemp and CBD in animal feeds and pet food.
Research by Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups found that social media content in the city featuring drugs saw over a threefold increase, from 927 in 2016 to 3,114 by the end of last year, first reported by RTHK News. The survey also takes aim at cannabidiol (CBD), as authorities consider a ban on the up-and-coming cannabinoid.
The study, released last week, also found an increase in video views in the same period for drug-related content, from about 3.4 million to 7.6 million.
Additionally, researchers noted that social media users posted a variety of content over the period, including popular memes, hashtags and non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) to promote drug use. NFTs have grown in popularity over the years as a unique digital asset, often taking the form of art, that can’t be copied.
“We found some NFT in the high-risk websites,” said Michael Leung, who works for the group’s youth crime prevention center. Leung added that high-risk users utilizing memes, hashtags, cartoon characters and NFTs to promote drugs “causes some users to underestimate the risks and severity of drug abuse problem.”
The group also polled around 1,300 younger adults, from November 2021 to July 2022, and found that 20% “underestimated the harm of drugs.” Specifically, more than one-fifth of respondents believed they were able to control “any cravings” for drugs. About 18% of interviewees also said they felt taking drugs could relieve anxiety.
The study also found that more than half of all drug-related posts originated on a platform, similar to Reddit, called LIHKG, followed by Instagram and HKGolden online forum. Half of all content logged by the study reference cannabis, while cocaine and methamphetamine were featured in 11.6% and 8.4% of posts, respectively.
Leung attributed some of the more recent interest around drugs to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many residents were confined to their homes and used social media more often since 2020.
CBD is among the specific drugs seeing an increase in traffic over this time period, too, with the number of related views increasing from 5,707 in 2019 to 11,840 in 2020 and 43,980 in 2021. Bob Lee Siu-chui, a supervisor of the federation’s youth crime prevention center, said that CBD in particular has been advertised as a stress-relief and healthcare product “for enticement, lowering the wariness among young people,” South China Morning Post reports.
CBD is legal in Hong Kong, so long as it doesn’t contain THC.
“Some products may contain THC, an easily addictive substance that is regulated by the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance,” Lee said. Lee also expressed concern that CBD could become a gateway for young people to start using and selling other drugs.
In turn, the city’s law enforcement agencies are currently pushing to outlaw CBD within the year, stressing the illegal status of cannabis in an attempt to dissuade residents from trying out the non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
“There is a trend in Hong Kong that some online users discuss CBD,” Leung said, adding that “many people” have underestimated the risks of CBD and the severity of damages cannabis can cause.
A spokesperson told South China Morning Post that the government would seek to ban CBD products in early 2023.
“The government has taken a firm stance against cannabis and repeatedly stated that the use, cultivation, manufacturing, trafficking…of cannabis and controlled cannabis products are illegal and will remain so,” he said. “We will continue to educate the public, especially young people, to correctly understand that cannabis is a drug and it is harmful to health.”
The 2016 Brookings Institution report, “A People’s War: China’s Struggle to Contain its Illicit Drug Problem,” notes that China has faced a growing problem of illicit drug use. The amount of registered drug addicts increased every year until publication since the government’s first annual drug enforcement report in 1998. This problem is arguably compounded by the fact that drug addiction is considered a personal failure and is highly stigmatized, with drug addiction not receiving much public sympathy or government funding in the country.
“There are two main strategies for treating addiction in China: (1) enrollment in compulsory detoxification centers, and (2) sentencing to ‘education through labor’ camps,” the report reads.
The authors, San Diego State University sociology professor Sheldon X. Zhang and Rutgers University criminal justice professor Ko-lin Chin, instead recommended that China apply a public health approach to the treatment of addicts. Additionally, they recommend China promote evidence-based treatment programs, based on scientific research; establish a reliable drug market forecast system, combining chemical composition analysis, reports and urine tests of arrested drug offenders and community informants on illicit drug use trends; and increase the efficiency of its international collaboration.
“While not a silver bullet, perhaps China … should also consider experimenting with a more compassionate approach oriented toward harm reduction,” the authors concluded.
Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and…CBD?
America’s pastime is getting in on with one of the country’s hottest trends, with Major League Baseball announcing on Wednesday that it is teaming up with Charlotte’s Web in what is being billed as the first sponsorship deal between a major professional sports league and a CBD brand.
The multi-year deal between the league and Charlotte’s Web, a CBD company based in Colorado, includes a line of MLB-branded products and will result in “increased CBD visibility to their professional athletes, millions of fans and communities,” Wednesday’s announcement said.
MLB said that it “officially opened the category for the league and its Clubs allowing sponsorships with CBD companies that are NSF Certified for Sport,” a program that assesses whether supplements contain any ingredients that are banned by professional sports leagues.
“As a leader in the CBD category, with products that provide health and wellness benefits, Charlotte’s Web is a welcome addition to the MLB family, representing a landmark partnership in baseball and sports,” Noah Garden, Major League Baseball’s chief revenue officer, said in a statement. “Charlotte’s Web products which receive the NSF Certified for Sport® designation have met the highest safety standards and can be promoted across MLB events and media platforms. We are excited about the possibilities this partnership offers as CBD becomes a more widely adopted part of the health and wellness regimen of our players and fans.”
Jacques Tortoroli, the chief executive officer of Charlotte’s Web, echoed those sentiments, saying the company applauds “MLB for being the first-mover in professional sports CBD and are thrilled to welcome their league as a respected strategic partner.”
“Bridging our industry-leading brands with science, innovation, and education, this pioneering partnership validates Charlotte’s Web’s core business principle and founding mission to open access to safe, quality and consistent CBD through our proprietary hemp genetics and industry-forging vision,” said Tortoroli.
John Travis, the principal technical manager of NSF, said the organization “is proud to play a role in this historic next chapter of America’s favorite pastime.”
“MLB showed great trust in the NSF mark earlier this year when it named NSF Certified for Sport® as the standard CBD brands must meet in order to sponsor MLB and its teams. The Charlotte’s Web and MLB partnership promotes clean sport and closely aligns with NSF’s mission to improve human health worldwide,” Travis said in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, “Major League Baseball now becomes the first major professional sports league to form a sponsorship agreement with a CBD company,” while Charlotte’s Web is now the first “Official CBD of Major League Baseball,” according to the announcement.
The press release provided more background on the partnership: “This historic multi-year agreement is the first league-wide partnership for Charlotte’s Web. The partnership makes MLB a strategic partner in Charlotte’s Web’s NSF-Certified for Sport® line and underscores the long-term value opportunity of entering the U.S. CBD market, which topped $4.7 billion in total sales in 2021. *The inaugural Daily Edge tincture will launch via Charlotte’s Web’s eCommerce platform on Oct. 12, 2022 during the Division Series with an exclusive run for the MLB Postseason, and in 2023, the expanded product line will debut in retail sports and health and wellness channels. Through the partnership, Charlotte’s Web will have a premiere brand presence at MLB’s Jewel Events, including All-Star Week, Postseason, and the World Series presented by Capital One through marketing, media, and ballpark activations that connect to the league’s fan base of over 180 million Americans.”
The US Food and Drug Administration could be signaling a new direction in the regulation of cannabis with the recent hiring of Norman Birenbaum as senior public health advisor at the agency’s Center for Regulatory Programs. In the position, a first for the FDA, he will advise the agency on cannabis research and regulatory policy. The FDA appointed Birenbaum, who formerly led cannabis regulation efforts in two states, on September 26.
Birenbaum is an experienced cannabis regulator, serving for four years as the head of the hemp and medical marijuana programs in Rhode Island, where he created the state’s Office of Cannabis Regulation. At the end of 2019, he was appointed New York’s first Director of Cannabis Programs, leading efforts to develop policy and regulate the state’s hemp and medicinal cannabis programs for more than two years.
While still at the helm of New York’s cannabis oversight efforts, Birenbaum joined with cannabis regulators from 18 additional states to form the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA), serving as the inaugural president of the group. As more states opted into the legalization of cannabis, the group was formed to facilitate collaboration between regulators and help stakeholders find objective data and evidence-based approaches to policymaking and implementation of regulation.
“The Cannabis Regulators Association will provide a much needed forum for regulators to engage with each other to identify and develop best practices, create model policies that safeguard public health and safety, and promote regulatory certainty for industry participants,” Birenbaum said in a statement from CANNRA when the group launched two years ago.
In his new position with the federal government, Birenbaum will be tasked with “advancing [the FDA’s] efforts related to research and regulation of cannabis,” according to an agency announcement cited by Stat.
Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, FDA deputy director for regulatory programs, said that Birenbaum’s wealth of experience in cannabis policy analysis and legislative outreach will help the agency form partnerships and collaborate with policymakers and stakeholders including the healthcare community, patients and patient advocacy groups, according to a report from Financial Assets.
Birenbaum’s Appointment Widely Praised by Cannabis Community
Birenbaum’s appointment as an FDA cannabis policy advisor has been well-received by hemp and cannabis policy reform advocates. Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP and co-chair of the law firm’s Hemp and Cannabinoids Department, wrote in an email to Cannabis Now that his hiring and subsequent efforts could lead to further action on both marijuana and hemp policy reform.
“Given Mr. Birenbaum’s significant experience and leadership in the regulated cannabis industry, especially overseeing NY’s robust medical marijuana and hemp programs and founding CANRA, I’m optimistic that this is a very positive step forward for responsible and sensible regulation of cannabis and hemp at the federal level, including for long overdue federal oversight over CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids.” Hauser wrote.
Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable, said that the move to hire Birenbaum could signal a new willingness by the FDA to regulate CBD. Despite the legalization of hemp agriculture by Congress with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the agency has still not issued regulations to allow for the legal use of the cannabinoid.
“After four years of inaction, we are hopeful that the appointment of Norman Birenbaum by the FDA signals a positive step forward for the regulation of hemp-derived cannabinoids such as CBD,” Miller said in a statement from the hemp industry trade group. “We appreciated working with Birenbaum on the development on New York’s landmark regulatory regime for hemp, and we look forward to working closely with him on the development of a regulatory framework for CBD products to ensure consumer safety and product quality across the country.”
And Morgan Fox, the political director for the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), also applauded the move by the FDA.
“Given the agency’s relatively ineffective approach to this issue over the years, it is good to see them being more proactive and bringing on people with actual cannabis experience,” Fox told L.A. Weekly. “The FDA’s work related to cannabis is likely going to increase and become more complicated in the not-too-distant future, and it should be preparing for this now by continuing to bring on additional staff with a wide array of expertise in the space.”
Birenbaum’s hiring by the FDA continues its measured pace of action on cannabis regulation. In May, the agency announced that Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock would chair the agency’s Cannabis Products Council, an intra-agency group tasked with working on cannabis product policy, enforcement and outreach issues, as well as helping the FDA implement a data collection plan for cannabis products.