CBD Pioneer Elixinol is Helping You Rest Easy

Whether the result of a demanding lifestyle or medical issues, improper sleep health affects 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and stages. Lack of sleep can impact alertness, reaction speeds, learning ability, mood, hand-eye coordination and short-term memory accuracy. The new Sleep Collection from Elixinol promotes a quality night’s rest while also supporting calmness and relaxation.

Considered a pioneer in the hemp industry, Elixinol was founded in 2014 with a mission to deliver high-quality CBD products that provide real results for real people. As one of the first CBD brands on the market, the company has spent the last seven years focusing on the science, research and creation of world-class cannabinoid products.

Founder Paul Benhaim has been working with the hemp plant for more than 25 years and is considered an expert in the industrial hemp industry. The environmental and wellness advocate was first attracted to hemp as a dietary supplement and, according to an interview with The Big Smoke, he has “strived to create the best quality products, for the best end-user experience through science and technology, using whole plant-based products as naturally as possible.”

The Elixinol Experience

Elixinol’s products are formulated for a targeted experience, whether that’s for supporting balance, recovery, immunity or sleep.

Data suggests that 25% of adults report inadequate sleep for at least 15 out of every 30 days. Now, those seeking more natural sleep remedies can turn to Elixinol’s line of sleep supporting CBD products, which includes capsules, gummies and oils. Let’s take a closer look at these products and how they work.

Sleep Good Night Capsules

This full-spectrum blend contains 15mg of CBD and 2mg of melatonin in each capsule to help you relax and get a solid night of sleep. The small amount of melatonin in Sleep Good Nights Capsules won’t leave you feeling groggy the next morning. Additionally, these capsules are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, lactose-free, cruelty-free and include supercritical CO2-extracted full-spectrum hemp oil.

Sleep Gummies THC Free

Elixinol CBD Sleep Gummies

Elixinol’s Sleep CBD Gummies contain natural fruit extract and are packaged in a discreet, pocket-sized container. Each gummy contains 15mg of CBD and 2mg of CBN. Made with broad-spectrum hemp extract the gummies contain no detectable amounts of THC, are GMO-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Liposome Technology

Elixinol is one of the few CBD companies featuring products with liposome technology for efficient absorption. Liposomes enhance the capabilities of the active compounds encased in an aqueous interior or lipid bilayer and are typically found in pharmaceutical delivery systems. Essentially, they create microscopic bubbles that encapsulate CBD and allow for a more effective delivery. This means your body receives more CBD per serving that might otherwise be lost in the digestive process.

Elixinol has two liposome products: Sleep Rapid Rest and Everyday Rapid Reset.

Sleep Rapid Rest Liposome

Sleep Rapid Rest contains a custom blend of CBD (5mg per serving) and CBN, a cannabinoid that’s known for helping with sleep, along with other calming ingredients, including chamomile and lemon balm. Sleep Rapid Rest supports feelings of calm and relaxation, and the advanced liposome technology will help you hit the pillow with purpose.

Everyday Rapid Reset Liposome

Sometimes, you just need a little help resetting. Everyday Rapid Reset is here to help you relieve any occasional stress, help physical discomfort, and just get that overall balanced feeling. This custom blend of broad-spectrum hemp extract contains 5mg of CBD per serving and is flavored naturally with orange and lemon extracts for a zesty pick-me-up.

Elixinol CBD Tinctures

Elixinol & CBD Education

All Elixinol products are certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, so you can rest assured the products you’re consuming have been stringently regulated and tested. Elixinol conducts rigorous third-party laboratory testing and quality control across its full range of products and provides clear and detailed certificates of analysis.

Elixinol only uses the cleanest, highest-quality extraction processes that leave behind no harsh solvents or chemicals. By using CO2 extraction, the resulting high-quality hemp extract is better for you and the environment.

Finally, Elixinol is a resource for education and transparency for consumers. In 2016, Elixinol became the first company in the world to receive the seal of approval for its CBD products from the cannabis research, education and support group, the Realm of Caring.

“Education and research is an important core mission of Elixinol,” Benhaim explains. “The more people understand about CBD, the more they can make informed choices, and we want to help them get the best information and the highest-quality product.”

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Major League Baseball to Allow CBD Sponsorships

The MLB stated in a conference call on June 21 that CBD is now an “approved category” which means that teams are now allowed to sell CBD sponsorships as long as the brand has received an NSF certification (a verification that a product has no THC).

According to Sports Business Journal, MLB Chief Revenue Officer Noah Garden explained the reason for the change. “We’ve been watching this category for a while and waiting for it to mature to the point where we can get comfortable with it,” said Garden. “We told the clubs if you want to do a deal in the CBD category, it will require two things: One is NSF certification—and none of them are there yet, although around three to five [brands] are in process. The other is to get approval from the commissioner’s office…Our fans are very much the kind of customers they are looking for, and we like being first. It’s a good opportunity for us and the clubs. The last few companies that came to see us about this, the process of NSF certification was embraced. That gave us a comfort level to be able to move forward.”

Recently, analysts shared that CBD could generate up to $4.9 billion across the globe in 2022, with a projection of reaching $47 billion by 2028.

The MLB “patch program,” which began in March 2022, allows each team to feature a brand and logo on their team uniforms for on-field players. The San Diego Padres was the first team to embrace this new sponsorship by partnering with Motorola. With this in mind, Garden added that a CBD brand could possibly be featured in a patch deal too. “We are open-minded to doing a patch deal here, depending on the brand and what that brand represents,” Garden said. “It has to have a brand that represents sports.” 

It’s a landmark milestone for CBD in the MLB, but the conversation spans most other sports organizations as well.

NBA athlete Kevin Garnett said in an interview with Sports Business Journal last week following his attendance of the Brand Innovation Summit that was held in Chicago, Illinois on June 13-15, “I think with the emergence and where CBD is going, not only are you going to see a deal [in the NBA], you are going to start see the sponsorships on the jerseys.” Garnett continued, “You are going to start to see a more active role of CBD products actually signing players, both women and men. And then I think you’re going to see the education come out a little more because we’re all looking for it now. I think CBD is here, it’s a disruptor, it has disrupted pharma, as it should, and it’s a great, different solution. If people are not using it, I recommend people to go out and have your own testimonials and your own experiences with it. It really does work.”

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Vice President of Global Partnerships Grant Norris-Jones also spoke at the event on the topic CBD and its benefits for athletes. “It’s a better alternative to addictive products, like pain killers, opioids, and sleeping aids,” said Norris-Jones. “The big problem has been the different standards and practices by our various broadcast partners when it comes to CBDs…In the U.K., [UFC sponsor] Love Hemp is sold in the equivalent of Walgreens and CVS. Here, their activations have to be outside of ESPN currently. So it’s been a lot of digital, social and a brand ambassador program with our athletes.”

The MLB first made waves towards allowing cannabis consumption for athletes over two years ago. Following the events of baseball player Tyler Skaggs who died of an opioid overdose, the organization announced in December 2019 that it would be removing cannabis from its list of “abused drugs” (but would still test for substances such as fentanyl and cocaine).

However, the MLB still said in March 2020 that players may receive punishments for appearing under the influence of cannabis at any practices or games.

The NBA was next to make history when it announced in October 2021 that it would not be testing its athletes for cannabis during the 75th season, which began in October 2021 and ended in May 2022.

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Can Cannabis Help Glaucoma Patients?

In 1976, a glaucoma patient named Robert Randall became the first person in the US to be granted legal status as a medical marijuana patient. As a teenager, Randall had been diagnosed with glaucoma and was told by doctors he would likely lose his eyesight before his 30th birthday. After learning of research that indicated THC could be an effective treatment for the disease, he began smoking marijuana. He was subsequently arrested for marijuana cultivation in Washington, D.C., but wasn’t convicted of the charges based on a defense of medical necessity. Thus, the cannabis and glaucoma debate began.

Randall then petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to provide marijuana to treat his disease. In 1976 the FDA approved the petition, later launching the Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) program to provide unapproved but promising drugs including cannabis to Randall and patients like him. After receiving shipments of joints from the federal government for 25 years to treat the disease, Randal died at the age of 53 in 2001. During that time, he never lost his eyesight.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of related diseases of the eyes characterized by a buildup of fluid in the eye resulting in an increase in interocular pressure (IOP). The condition causes pressure on the optic nerve leading from the eye to the brain, leading to a slow loss of vision that can culminate in blindness. Traditional treatments for glaucoma include eye drops, oral medications and surgery. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among people older than 60, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Some research has shown that THC, the cannabinoid largely associated with the classic marijuana “high,” can temporarily reduce IOP, thereby reducing the pressure on the optic nerve. A review of research into cannabis and glaucoma published in 2019 found that five randomized clinical trials found evidence that cannabis could lower interocular pressure. However, the researchers noted that the studies reviewed had design flaws including a small sample size and inadequate controls. But the glaucoma and marijuana studies also failed to compare the effects of cannabis on glaucoma to traditional treatments. The study concluded that randomized clinical trials (RCTs) showing the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for the disease were necessary before its use could be recommended.

“The studies that were reviewed were highly variable in their methods and patient population selected, and therefore no current evidence supports the use of any form of cannabis to replace existing,” the authors of the review wrote in their conclusion. “Until further research in the form of RCTs with more evidence to support the use of cannabis for lowering IOP, it should not be recommended at this time.”

Noting that the effect that THC has on IOP is short-lived, the authors also added that if patients decide to use cannabis to treat the disease, “they would require frequent dosing, which has the potential to reduce patient adherence and increase side effects of the medication.”

Other research that supports cannabis as a treatment for glaucoma include animal studies that suggested cannabis might improve blood flow to the eyes and promote healing. Animal research also suggests that cannabis may have neuroprotective effects that might prevent damage to the optic nerve.

What About CBD?

However, not all forms of cannabis and glaucoma are effective and shouldn’t be used as a treatment for the disease. A study published in 2006 found that while THC reduced interocular pressure, CBD actually increased IOP. The educational website Glaucoma Today notes that cannabis varietals “with higher THC content can be expected to lower IOP, whereas strains with higher CBD content can be expected to increase IOP. It is therefore important that eye care providers caution patients who are interested in treating their glaucoma with medical cannabis that products with a high CBD content may have a detrimental effect on their disease process.” Patients who choose to treat their glaucoma with cannabis should choose products with negligible amounts of CBD.

Proponents of medical cannabis as a treatment for glaucoma argue that it’s a natural medication with few side effects. Advocates for the glaucoma and marijuana marriage also believe that cannabis can help the pain often associated with glaucoma and reduce the need for surgery. However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) maintains that cannabis is not a practical treatment for glaucoma, primarily because of the temporary nature of its effect. The AAO notes that to effectively reduce IOP, patients would have to ingest 18 mg to 20 mg of THC six to eight times daily. The AAO also cites evidence that cannabis might have the opposite effect than intended, increasing IOP and causing additional damage to optic nerve. As a result, the professional group does not recommend the use of cannabis to treat glaucoma.

“Several current, effective treatments for glaucoma are more reliable and safer than marijuana,” the AAO wrote in 2021.

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Results From One of the Largest Clinical Trials on Cannabinoids, Pain Treatment Published

The results of a clinical study were announced on June 15. Conducted by Radicle Science and Open Book Extracts (OBX), the study claims to be one of the largest cannabinoid trials to focus on pain treatment.

The study analyzed 1,629 U.S.-based participants over a four-week period, with the focus of examining “the synergistic impact of rare cannabinoids like Cannabichromene (CBC) and Cannabigerol (CBG) on pain.” Although there are many studies being conducted regularly on the vast topic of medical cannabis, few are conducted as a blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial.

OBX CEO Dave Neundorfer released a statement about providing scientific evidence that will help patients. “We at OBX are fundamentally dedicated to supporting all consumers in their endeavor to feel their best from the inside out through a holistic universe of effective, evidence-based cannabinoid products of the highest quality,” said Neundorfer. “While existing studies suggest that cannabidiol and rare cannabinoids, including CBG and CBC, have considerable potential to support wellness, there has been a glaring gap in scientifically valid research dedicated to guiding effective product development. That’s why we collaborated with the renowned medical experts and data scientists at Radicle Science to better understand the potential of rare cannabinoids as an ingredient and, in particular, their ability to support better quality of life outcomes relating to pain.”

Dr. Jeff Chen, MD, who is Radicle Science’s CEO as well as UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative’s founder and former Executive Director explained the importance of studies such as this one that will pave the way for medical cannabis treatments in the future. “It’s a privilege to make history with OBX,” said Chen. “Rare cannabinoids are present in a variety of health and wellness products containing cannabis and hemp, but there has been virtually no clinical data on their effectiveness for any medical condition, including pain. Radicle Science assessed for the first time in history the potential synergistic effects of certain rare cannabinoids on pain and demonstrated that these natural products can make a measurable positive impact.”

The results of “The OBX Pain Study on CBD and Rare Cannabinoids” found promising evidence of how using CBD along with other cannabinoids, known as the entourage effect, can help strengthen certain treatments. Patients were randomly selected to receive a 40 mg of CBD per serving, but some patients also received varying levels of cannabinoids such as CBG or CBC as well.

Participants were asked to report on their levels of pain, and other relative improvements to “pain severity, general activity, sleep quality, anxiety symptoms and overall quality of life.”

The results report that 44.8% of participants experienced improvement in pain, anxiety, sleep quality and quality of life. Those who experienced moderate pain and were given the 40 mg CBD as well as 20 mg CBC, saw improved pain relief when taken for more than two weeks.

According to Radicle Science Co-Founder and Executive Chair Pelin Thorogood, more studies are being planned for the future. It was promising to see that the addition of a rare cannabinoid could augment the effects of CBD,” Thorogood said. “We will be further exploring the entourage effect with an upcoming study, Radicle Spectrum, which will be the first head-to-head study comparing full or broad spectrum CBD to isolate and placebo. It is our hope this study will provide data to help the FDA ascertain whether CBD isolate is a drug.”

Other interesting studies have been published recently as well, which will continue to bolster the reputation and effectiveness of medical cannabis as a reliable treatment. One such study found evidence that weekly cannabis use has minimal impairment on physical health. A recent South Africa-based clinical trial was announced to examine the relationship between psilocybin on women with HIV and depression. Another identified that medical cannabis reduces cancer patients’ pain and need for opiate treatments.

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Canna River’s Delta 8 Blue Dream Delivers a Pleasant, Subdued Consumption Experience

First developed in the mid-80s, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta 8, has seen incremental growth over the past 20 years. Its most recent surge comes after federal lawmakers legalized hemp as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, though some still view it as a dubious compound.

By 2021, product popularity was soaring. The sales influx had numerous states imploring federal agencies on Delta 8 classification and regulation. In September, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stated that products containing .3% or less THC were not considered controlled substances. Therefore, sales could go forth.

In response, state lawmakers spent the past few years enacting anti-Delta 8 legislation. As of May 2022, 20 states have passed legislation regulating, restricting, or outright banning the products within its jurisdictions. Despite the ban, scores of companies remain in the market, offering an alternative to THC.

California’s Canna River has been in the CBD game since launching in October 2019. Billed as a CBD company without gimmicks, the company feels that each person’s cannabis consumption experience is unique and that its products are “just helping you live it.” The company offers a plethora of products featuring Delta 8, CBD, and hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), another hemp-derived cannabinoid making waves in recent years, all in a bid to satisfy various unique consumer preferences.

The company’s one-gram Delta 8 vape carts are a featured item. While Delta 8 isn’t for everyone, namely those seeking the potent effects of THC, Canna River’s Blue Dream cart does a commendable job offering up the best of the cannabinoid. Whether you’re a patient, someone looking for more minor psychoactive effects, or otherwise, this modestly priced option may hit the mark for you.

Courtesy of Canna River

The Canna River Brand

Canna River is a CBD company selling a range of consumer options. While carts will be the focus today, it would be an oversight not to mention the company’s broad line. In addition to vaped products, CBD staples like oils, topicals, and capsules are also available—including flavored CBD options ranging from Watermelon to Bacon. I’m glad we’re focusing on the Blue Dream this time around, truth be told. But hey, each person’s consumption preferences are different. If you want some bacon flavor in your CBD, Canna River has it for you.

The company’s brand is vibrant, bursting with color made evident on social media. Underneath the vibrance is a range of products that could appear in the aisles of a pharmacy or beauty store. That is the case with the Delta 8 cartridges. Blue Dream’s packaging is a mix of bright blueberries over clean black and white background and straightforward text. The combination is sure to attract the eye of various consumers, medical and personal use.

The company also offers its lab results via a QR code on its box, allowing customers to confirm product contents and lab results before buying. Whether picking up Canna River or any other cannabis line, do yourself a favor and check the lab results to verify the product’s plant profile and other critical tests.

Courtesy of Canna River

Blue Dream Delta 8 Cartridge Specs

Eye-catching packaging isn’t enough to keep customers coming back. Without a quality product inside, a sleek design won’t do much long-term. Canna River understands this quite well, offering consumers a line of Delta 8 distillate carts that live up to their billing as easy to use and enjoyable for various cannabis consumers.

Each one-gram cart is 510 thread battery compatible and Farm Bill compliant. Sourced from U.S. hemp, products contain some percentage of THC, totaling less than .3%. Each cart contains pharmaceutical-grade terpenes, with Blue Dream’s terp combination made to complement what the company calls “a superior head high.”

Canna River offers five additional Delta 8 cart strains alongside Blue Dream. They are:

Banana Split
Cherry AK
Hawaiian Snowcap
Sour GMO
Watermelon Zkittles

Each cart retails on Canna River’s website for $35. Packs of 10 are available for $175.

Courtesy of Canna River

Does The Delta 8 Cartridge Taste Like Blue Dream?

This cart lives up to the billing, tasting like Blue Dream. Still, its subtlety may leave some longing for more from their pulls.

The flavor notes were apparent, coming through more subtle than one might get with other carts that pump flavor in. The inhale tastes relatively flavorless, keeping the vapor as the focal point of the act. The subtle blueberry notes briefly came through on the exhale. The flavor cameo may not be enough for some consumers seeking an abundance of aroma or taste. But on the flip side, Canna River’s offering does not leave any unwanted lingering tastes in the mouth, as some terp pumped-up carts do.

What Are The Effects?

Canna River’s Blue Dream cart delivered what most expect from Delta 8: A consumption experience with subtlety.

The effects feel similar to consuming a 10:1 CBD:THC product. You may experience a bit of the heady sensations, but much of the results are felt in the body. The peak of the impact came around the one-hour mark, with additional pulls helping keep the momentum going. Overall, the effects seemed to last as they would with other vaped cannabis products, totaling about four to five hours.

With Blue Dream, I was able to get through the day seeing friends without feeling too high to socialize. At work, I stayed on track while feeling slightly more relaxed than usual. Throughout the day, I was able to stay creative and not lose track of my to-do list.

A bit of caution: Some vape restraint may be required, especially if the lessened effects leave you wanting more. Delta 8 may compel some regular consumers to take additional pulls for an elevated yet still subdued effect. Certainly possible to attain, consumers can find themselves overdoing it. Granted, it should take a significant amount to push that threshold on regular consumers. But newcomers may get tripped up. If you’re a newcomer, start with one or two small pulls, wait 30 to 60 minutes, and evaluate if you’d like another dose.

Delta 8
Courtesy of Canna River

In Review

Canna River’s Delta 8 carts offer consumers a subtle, pleasant consumption experience.

You won’t find an abundance of flavor or overwhelming effects from just a pull or two. Instead, you’re getting a consumption experience that should play a supporting role in your day. For personal use consumers, that may mean getting that type of high that makes the weekend much more enjoyable without locking you to the couch. For medical consumers, this type of experience can allow consumers to medicate using a cannabinoid-specific treatment that may help address their medical conditions.

Most Delta 8 carts tend to retail at around $25 to $35. Still, others on the market have gone higher, sometimes doubling the price per unit. The price point seems justifiable when considering the quality of the cannabis and the reliability of the cart used. At $35 per cart, Canna River keeps the wallet impact minimal without cutting costs via substandard materials. Retailing at this price should make Canna River’s carts accessible to newcomers and returning customers.

Delta 8 will continue to face scrutiny from lawmakers and within some pockets of the cannabis community. While true, there is clearly a market catering to various consumers. If you find yourself in this camp or are interested in finding out about Delta 8 first-hand, consider Canna River.

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Oregon Cracks Down on Lab-Made Cannabinoids

Regulators in Oregon will enact a ban on cannabinoids produced through laboratory processes, making the state the first in the nation to restrict the sale of so-called synthesized cannabinoids at grocery stores and other general retailers. The ban from state cannabis regulators, which goes into effect on July 1, prohibits the sale of lab-made cannabinoids including delta-8 THC at supermarkets, drug stores, and other retailers that have not obtained a special license. The new regulations will go into effect only weeks after a federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal under federal law.

Delta-8 THC and minor cannabinoids derived from hemp have become business across the country since the federal legalization of hemp agriculture and processing with the 2018 Farm Bill. Although these cannabinoids are generally found in hemp at very small concentrations if at all, many of the substances can be created in a lab through the chemical conversion of CBD. But the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is concerned about the safety of the process and the chemicals used to carry it out and more than a dozen states have instituted bans on delta-8 THC.

Steven Crowley, the hemp and processing compliance specialist with the OLCC, told Oregon Live that delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids became increasingly popular with hemp processors after a glut of CBD flooded the market.

“The supply of CBD was outstripping the demand for CBD,” said Crowley. “And so, the people who had CBD on hand were looking for other ways that they could market it. People started working on different products that they could convert the CBD into. This is where you get the delta-8 THC products.”

FDA Issues Delta-8 THC Warning

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about delta-8 THC, noting that more than 100 reports of adverse effects caused by products containing the cannabinoid were recorded over the span of 15 months. And the OLCC is concerned about the safety of the chemicals used to process CBD into other cannabinoids and whether trace amounts of the substances can be retained in finished products.

“We have testing for pesticides,” said Crowley. “We have testing for residual solvents from the extraction process. We don’t have any testing for any of the whole universe of chemical reagents that you could use to synthetically turn one cannabinoid into something else, or for any of the byproducts of that reaction.”

The new OLCC regulations prohibit the sale of products containing synthesized cannabinoids at general retailers beginning on July 1. At that time, the sale of such products will be allowed exclusively at retailers licensed by the OLCC, but only after they have undergone rigorous safety testing and receive approval from the  FDA.

The decision by the OLCC is opposed by companies that produce and market cannabinoids derived from hemp including Wyld, an Oregon firm that manufacturers gummies with the cannabinoid CBN, which can be processed from CBD and has been shown to promote sleep. Gabe Lee, general counsel at Wyld and Wyld CBD, said that the new regulation will help the company’s bottom line and have a negative impact on consumers, as well.

“The Wyld elderberry CBN gummy is the number one selling gummy on earth right now,” said Lee. “It’s 20%-30% of our revenue depending on the state. People love it.”

Instead of a complete ban, Lee said that Oregon should draft best practices to be followed in the production of hemp-derived cannabinoids.

“There are ways to regulate it and there are definitely ways that we can ensure that the end product that’s being sold is subject to enough safety testing and safety standards to ensure, to the degree possible, the safety of the product without any sort of larger federal research grants or anything like that,” Lee said.

The attorney also noted that with the ban, consumers who have already been using the products without problems will see higher prices at licensed retailers.

“They may not want to go shop at an OLCC retailer or pay the prices that are up there,” Lee said, “because they are definitely charging a higher price in the OLCC regulated market than they are at New Seasons,” referring to a chain of neighborhood grocery stores popular in the Pacific Northwest.

The new regulations go into effect only weeks after a federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. In an opinion from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals released last month, Judge D. Michael Fisher wrote that products made with delta-8 THC are generally legal under federal law, which defines hemp as “any part of” the cannabis plant, including “all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids,” that contains less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by weight.

Federal statute “is silent with regard to delta-8 THC,” the court said in its 3-0 ruling.

“Regardless of the wisdom of legalizing delta-8 THC products, this Court will not substitute its own policy judgment for that of Congress,” Fisher wrote in the appeals court’s unanimous decision.

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The German Crossroads—Somewhere Between Los Angeles and Germany

Of all the countries on the old continent, good old Germany is the one that is on the verge of a large-scale legalization of cannabis, which will significantly change the cannabis culture and will have to decide between two paths. Does it go the traditional way of the green Amsterdam school or does it follow the zeitgeist of the purple American-Californian philosophy in its then-new financially strong market? This editorial looks at the current situation in the economic powerhouse of the E.U., ventures a glimpse into the future and clarifies whether there might not be a third alternative path for Germany.

But before we can dare to look into the crystal ball and make predictions, we need to take a look at the current situation. An analysis of the current state before we can turn our attention to the target state. Germany does not have a national, recognized cannabis culture in the classical sense. Nor does Germany have any hotspots for cannabis culture, as Barcelona is for Spain or Copenhagen is for Denmark. While the judiciary in the south of the Federal Republic of Germany is still partly tough on small offenses, the police in other metropolises of the country are already wiser and in Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, or Cologne much more generous towards private cannabis users. Nevertheless, in the 16 years of Angela Merkel’s and the conservative CDU’s chancellorship, no sustainable cannabis culture has been able to develop. This does not mean that cannabis has not developed in Germany.

Since 2017, cannabis has been legally available for medical use. CBD products are everywhere and available at every second kiosk (bodega) and every Späti (the German’s favorite word for a small deli). Although the regulations are high you can find CBD flower everywhere, even the recognition factor has developed. The idea of a cannabis culture is in demand, even if THC is missing and cannabis containing THC still often has to be bought in parks around the corner or dubious areas. However, the current state of things also includes the fact that in the country of Bayer and BASF, a new branch of biochemical innovation has quietly emerged, which has already made financially strong experts in the industry such as Boris Jordan of Curaleaf become active. The great hunger in Germany for a social cultural embedding of cannabis and the German spirit of innovation in medical cannabis are two sides of the same coin, which could open up a path between green and purple fronts for Germany and, upon closer examination, make it a logical place for the further development of the worldwide cannabis culture. Clearly, the starting signal for legalization came from politics.

The new government elected in 2021 under the Social Democrats of Olaf Scholz has initiated a turning point. From a German perspective, this seems almost paradoxical, as Scholz took office promising to be the continuation and male version of Angela Merkel, who was known in U.S. circles as the so-called “Teflon chancellor.” So there is no point in looking at the current chancellor and his Social Democrats from the SPD on this issue, since he, like Merkel before him, does not let any issues stick to him. As a matter of fact, the focus has to be turned to the two parties that govern together with Scholz. The more left-wing Green Party Alliance 90/The Greens and the Free Democrats of the liberal party FDP. This government (SPD=red; FDP=yellow; Greens=green), known as the “traffic light coalition”, has defined in its coalition agreement that cannabis will be legally available in licensed specialized shops. The fact that three parties are governing in Germany is a novelty and had been expected with great excitement, as the last attempt at a three-party coalition had failed in the exploratory talks. The hype is real.

The legalization of cannabis had been on the agenda of the Green Party and liberal FDP for some time and was therefore an important unifying factor with media impact. The Greens were founded as a pacifist and alternative party and thus legalization was woven into the party’s DNA. The Liberals recognize the potential of a new market and trust in the individual’s personal responsibility in deciding for or against cannabis. They can also trust in the functions of a newly forming free market.

Despite all the justified criticism of capitalism, the example of cannabis shows some of the strengths of this economic system. The forces of a free market (with state framework conditions for all) set continuous improvement processes in motion, because companies want to set themselves apart from their competitors in terms of quality. Innovation, passion, and product understanding drive the industry to new heights. The customer and their needs must be understood and cannabis must be thought of in a holistic way in this new market. There must be full vertical integration without abusing the credibility of cannabis as a cultural property and allowing cannabis to degenerate as a profit-driven vehicle, as some German lobbyists are already trying to do. This is also a paradox, as some of them come from the CDU.

The best case of how to do it right is the company Boris Jordan invested in. Europe’s leading medical cannabis company—The Bloomwell Group. The Bloomwell Group, based in Frankfurt a. M., shows how cannabis in its dual function as a medicinal plant and cultural asset can work in a corporate context. The company houses three entities. Algea Care, which as the leading telemedicine company on German soil, stands for ensuring therapy and access to medical cannabis. Ilios Santé, the importer and trading arm, and the slumbering giant Breezy. The latter, through a cooperation in the near future, will enable the cashing of prescriptions for medical cannabis and position itself in the German market as the leading lifestyle brand in the cannabis space. Breezy will satisfy the hunger after legalization.

Germany’s sophisticated industry is already positioning itself as a global leader in medical use with cannabis in some areas, showing a clear case. The technical know-how and entrepreneurial spirit are there. The social desire for a credible cannabis culture is great and the political will for legalization is there. Breezy operates in a wonderful biotope where a thriving cannabis brand can manage to combine culture and technology.  In my column for the nationally-published startup magazine Business Punk, I wrote about “the respectful treatment of culture.” Cannabis is the unifying factor of several cultures that need to be embedded industrially and legislatively in a sensible way. It is important to take the different influences and communities with us. My work as a designer in the fashion industry has shown me that it is important to use synergies. First anchored in the niche and subculture, I launched my own streetwear collaboration with soccer team VfL Bochum 1848, a first division team of the Bundesliga. Bloomwell not only knows how to use synergies, but also how to create them.

In my role as VP of Marketing, I was able to win rap star and entertainment mogul Xatar as our first brand ambassador and partner. Germany offers high-growth investment opportunities in the coming years and it’s up to the cannabis enthusiasts from the beginning to pave the market with an emotionalized approach and help shape our common culture.

Maybe we’re gonna be talking about the German Blue strains soon? Who knows…

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Science Confirms: You Can’t Get High on CBD

Can CBD get you high?

It’s not quite right to say that CBD—or cannabidiol, which, after THC, is the best-known and most abundant cannabinoid (“active ingredient”) found in the cannabis plant—isn’t “psychoactive.” Of course, CBD has some effect on the mind; if it didn’t, why would CBD, which adherents say helps alleviate brain-powered problems including insomnia and anxiety, be so popular?

What is right is to say is that unlike THC, CBD is “non-intoxicating.” In fact, CBD is non-intoxicating to a such a degree that you can consume great gobs of the stuff and still be relied upon to safely operate a motor vehicle, according to a recent study.

So, can CBD get you high? No. However, this isn’t to say that CBD isn’t without some risks, biological as well as legal. Depending on what CBD formulation a patient is using, and depending on what state they’re in, they may indeed be able to operate a motor vehicle without any issue while on an epic amount of CBD — while still running the risk of a “cannabis DUI” charge. And depending on what other pharmaceuticals and other drugs a patient may be taking; CBD does carry some risks.

Safe at any Speed

In this most recent study, researchers in Australia—where doctors have written more than 55,000 prescriptions for medicinal CBD since medical cannabis was legalized in 2016—gave doses of either a placebo or synthetically derived CBD ranging from 15 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams to 17 study participants. Each participant was then asked to perform basic tasks in a driving simulator between 45 to 75 minutes after taking their dose, and then again between 3.5 to 4 hours later.

And, according to findings published last month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, even a massive, prescription-only dose of CBD “has no impact on people’s driving or cognitive abilities,” as the University of Sydney, where the lead researchers are employed, reported in a news release.

The question of can CBD get you high? has been answered: Not only did the study participants report no feeling of intoxication, but they also exhibited no signs of intoxication whatsoever.

These findings are consistent with past research, and they “suggest that unlike some other drugs, CBD can be used without the risk of being unable to operate a motor vehicle,” said Danielle McCartney, the lead researcher and a professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology. “This could certainly make CBD more appealing than other therapies to some patients (e.g., those with jobs requiring them to operate heavy machinery).

Previous research found that low doses of vaporized CBD also had no impact on driving ability. But the CBD used in the study isn’t the CBD most people are using.

What’s in Your CBD?

In Australia, it’s already legal for consumers to drive a car while using CBD. The same is true in the US, where neither state nor the federal government imposes any limits on how much CBD can be in the human body while operating a vehicle.

But the same isn’t true for THC. In theory, it’s possible to consume enough CBD oil to trigger a positive result for THC in a drug test, as well as exceed the “per se” limit for cannabis intoxication in states that still have a per se limit.

That’s because in the US, “hemp” is classified as cannabis with 0.3 percent or less THC. While formulations and ratios will vary—and while product quality and consistency are issues that continue to bedevil the CBD industry—what this means is that a CBD product will likely have some THC, and the larger a dose of CBD, the larger the potential dose of THC.

While that still probably won’t be enough THC to create any kind of intoxicating effect, or at least an effect that the user would recognize as THC-driven intoxication—in part because CBD is a THC agonist, and tends to ameliorate or even eliminate THC’s psychoactive properties—patients in a situation where a drug test could trigger loss of employment or housing should be aware of the risk of a positive drug test, said Dr. Sherry Yafai, a Santa-Monica, CA-based physician and board member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

“It’s really important to highlight that,” Yafai told Cannabis Now. “I bring this up because I do have patients who test positive for THC after using a CBD product, and then get booted out of their pain-management doctor’s office.”

Yafai, who wasn’t involved with the Australian study, was also surprised that study participants reported “no lethargy or sleepiness” even at high doses. “That’s a little bit strange,” she said. “Practically speaking, a 1500 milligram dose will make most people tired for a couple of days.”

That said, this latest study is the latest demonstration of what should now be accepted as gospel: CBD is non-intoxicating.

“That’s been shown over and over again,” she said. “CBD shouldn’t be considered a drug of intoxication.”

The post Science Confirms: You Can’t Get High on CBD appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Could the U.K. Eliminate Novel Food Regulations for Cannabis?

In what would be a major boon to the regulated cannabis industry in the U.K., a Parliamentary group has now suggested that products containing cannabidiol should no longer be subjected to Novel Food regulations. Firms who wish to manufacture CBD-containing food products to date across Europe have all had to submit such applications to prove that cannabidiol is not hazardous to human health.

In both the U.K. and the E.U., this has been rocky territory.

On the British side, in March, the Food Safety Authority (FSA) gave 3,536 products preliminary approval before complaints caused the agency to expand that list to 6,000 with more to be added. Critics have said that the system is complex, costly, anti-competitive, and has no benefit for consumers.

Those wishing to amend that path to market also argue that submitting every CBD product to this process is like using an elephant gun to shoot a mouse. Here is why. Novel Food applications are usually required only of large corporations with international reach. There is almost no chance that smaller firms would have the wherewithal to perform such processes.

The British group has also suggested that the manufacturers of such products should be required to submit COAs—or certificates of analysis—to prove that they are not hazardous to human health.

This move would drastically speed up the development of this part of the industry, with implications for THC as well. COA analysis is also the standard used routinely in the backend of sourcing for the industry. People looking for bulk cannabis flower, distillate, or isolate share COAs before purchase agreements are signed—on both the medical and non-medical side.

These recommendations, as a result, are incredibly good news indeed, especially given the unbelievably bureaucratic and frustrating lack of progress so far on both sides of the Brexit divide.

In the U.K. at least, politicians appear to be listening.

The news is not so good on the E.U. side of the discussion. The fact that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) broke the news on Tuesday that they were delaying 19 pending applications is probably not coincidental. Even if it is, their decision puts the entire discussion about the process firmly in the spotlight within the E.U. too.

What Is Novel Food and Why Does This Matter to The E.U. Cannabis Industry?

For those outside of Europe, the idea of “Novel Foods” has never blighted the discussion about the acceptance of any cannabinoid. In fact, foreigners do not know what the fuss is about. This is also why edibles are now about half of the total U.S. market. They simply are not subjected to this analysis.

Those in Europe have had to face a bizarre series of regulatory hurdles—beyond the “normal” issues of legalization and certification—because CBD-containing products have been subjected to a regulation adopted at the beginning of the European Union. Novel Food regulation was implemented in 1997. The idea was to prevent food that is “foreign” and potentially hazardous to human health from entering distribution within the block. Approvals are an exceedingly long, arduous, and expensive process. On the U.K. side, after Brexit, the same structural regulatory process was also applied; it was just moved under the purview of a domestic agency, not a European one.

On one level of course this regulation (sans cannabis) makes a world of sense. In fact, similar regulation exists in the United States and Canada (as it does in most countries). Cannabis products, however, have not been subjected to this kind of scrutiny in either country because of the trajectory of cannabis reform. In Canada, the edibles business did not lead the discussion. In the United States, there has been no federal regulatory environment that applied to anything in the industry because so far, legalization has only existed on a state level.

In Europe that conversation has been very different.

This is unbelievably frustrating considering that hemp, much less extracted CBD, is not “novel”. It was widely consumed in the region long before there was an E.U.

Regulators, however, don’t share that perspective. Yet.

More Delays in Europe for Pending Applications

The new stance from the British Parliament is even more refreshing given current events on the ground.

On the E.U. side, as more delays were announced this week, according to Professor Dominique Turck, the chair of the Novel Foods and Food Allergens panel for the EFSA. “We have identified several hazards related to CBD intake and determined that the many data gaps on these health effects need filling before these evaluations can go ahead. It is important to stress at this point that we have not concluded that CBD is unsafe as food.”

The specific reason for the newest approval delay on the E.U. side is that the committee claims that there is insufficient data on the effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine, nervous system, and people’s psychological well-being.

As a small sop to companies with pending applications, Ana Alfonso, Head of Nutrition and Food Innovation at the agency said, “Stopping the clock on a novel food assessment is not unusual when information is missing. It’s the responsibility of applicants to fill data gaps. We are engaging with them to explain how the additional information can be provided to help address the uncertainties.”

The agency will hold an online session on June 28 which is open to applicants and other interested parties to discuss how applicants might provide information the agency claims is incomplete.

The post Could the U.K. Eliminate Novel Food Regulations for Cannabis? appeared first on High Times.

Recreation or Wellness? At Canna River, They’re the Same.

Canna River prioritizes both cannabis health and recreation with their unique approach to the plant.

When states began legalizing cannabis, it was a huge gain for everyone who consumes it—no matter the reason. The same can be said for the 2018 Farm Bill. However, the legalities of cannabis also created divisions that don’t exist beyond the law. For instance, hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant, except hemp contains less than .3% THC. Their names are a legal distinction, not a scientific one. 

Similarly, laws formalized the distinction between medical and recreational cannabis. Now the assumption is that if someone consumes it for fun, it is not supportive. Hemp wellness brand Canna River would argue this reasoning does not reflect the big picture, and they are doing their part to break down this division with their affordable selection of high quality Farm Bill compliant delta 8, delta 10, and HHC products.

Courtesy of Canna River

CBD Beginnings

Canna River started out with a handful of low-cost, high potency full spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD tinctures. Their goal was to make premium lab tested CBD affordable.

“During the initial mainstream CBD boom, it seemed like people had two choices: buy something of questionable quality cheap from a fly by night or buy expensive products with barely any CBD in them from vetted brands. I wanted to do things differently,” said Canna River co-founder Grant Boatman. “Instead of a few hundred milligrams a bottle for $75 to $200, our CBD tincture strengths start at 1000mg for $35. That’s full price, and we still do lots of sales.” 

The brand grew quickly, expanding tincture flavors and adding CBD products like topicals and capsules within the first few months of launching in 2019. Early adopters remember their rustic earth tones. These days, Canna River has colorful branding and over 100 SKUs, including hemp-derived alternative cannabinoids.

“Our messaging stayed the same, but our new look was huge for us. It helped make our vibe more reflective of the diverse products we carry,” said Boatman. 

Canna River
Courtesy of Canna River

High-Potency Delta 8  

The Canna River Delta 8 Tincture was the first alternative cannabinoid product to hit their site. They make it at their state-of-the-art facility in Southern California using the same premium materials in their CBD tinctures—organic MCT oil and food grade flavoring like berries, strawberry lemonade, guava, and their best-selling lemon raspberry. They are lab-tested, sugar-free, vegan, and non-GMO. 

At the time of the tincture’s release, they didn’t think of delta 8 in terms of recreational use. “We’re big proponents of the entourage effect, and delta 8 just felt like the latest and greatest in hemp support. But everyone who tried our tincture said ‘Whoa. This is strong!’ It was hilarious.”

For context, their premium delta 8 tinctures come in impressive 1500mg and 3000mg bottles for just $35 and $65, respectively. “We discovered when it comes to delta 8, our love of crafting high-potency products meant a powerful experience people weren’t getting elsewhere.”

For Canna River, this discovery also meant expanding product offerings to be more inclusive of their customers’ needs. “Some people want a mix of CBD and alternative cannabinoids, but others only want delta 8 or only want THC-free broad spectrum CBD. The same goes for the type of product. Some people love capsules but hate tinctures, don’t like to vape but love gummies. We say there’s no wrong way to get hemp support.” On a mission to let people do hemp their way, they added delta 8 gummies and cartridges. 

The Canna River Delta 8 Gummy comes in 20 piece 500mg bottles (25mg delta 8 per gummy). They are available in six delicious flavors, including Blue Razz, Dragon Berry, Hazy Apple, Caramel Pear, Island Splash, and Major Melonz. The edibles secured their place as a top stop for delta 8, but their Delta 8 Cartridges were the brand’s first real gamble on the expansion. “Even though our delta 8 tinctures are powerful, they’re still tinctures. The connotations are different from vape,” said Boatman. “Once we introduced carts, it was a new day.”

Their 1 gram cartridges come in classic strains like Blue Dream, Banana Split, Cherry AK, Hawaiian Snowcap, Sour GMO, and Watermelon Zkittles for just $35. They also sell them in discounted boxes of 10 and 60 units. Although the cartridges launched as faithful strain replications, they have evolved into proprietary terpene blends inspired by their namesakes. This transition is all thanks to Canna River’s latest leap into the alternative cannabinoid game—their ultra-popular Highlighter pens. 

Canna River
Courtesy of Canna River

Game-Changing Disposable Pens

In the hemp-derived alternative cannabinoid space, pens reign. “It isn’t easy to sell it and CBD under the same roof, just from a regulatory red tape aspect. CBD is in department stores, while laws and attitudes toward stuff like delta 8 or HHC are constantly changing,” said Boatman. “But despite our low prices, we spare no expense in manufacturing compliant goods. People can trust they are getting a quality product.” 

Canna River Highlighters are disposable rechargeable neon-colored 2.5 gram vape pens. They cost $40 and are currently available in HHC and a delta blend. The HHC Highlighter comes in Blue Dream, Mango, Lemon Raspberry, Green Crack, Dragon Berry and Watermelon Zkittles. The Delta 8 + Delta 10 Highlighter comes in Blue Dream, Cherry AK, Green Crack, Hawaiian Snowcap, Sour GMO, and Watermelon Zkittles.

While the effects are notable, the flavors also set them apart. These are not direct strain copies. The Green Crack is a bold caramel apple. The Hawaiian Snowcap? It tastes like a slushie. “How it tastes is part of the experience,” said Boatman. “I wanted our terpene profiles to be memorable and stand out from the crowd, even if that meant straying from tradition.” 

Canna River
Courtesy of Canna River

Why Not Both?

With so many recreation-friendly products, it may be hard for some to believe that Canna River is still the same support-centric brand it was when it first launched with a few CBD tinctures. They are, and they are proud of it.

“Our mission hasn’t changed. We believe in the power of hemp and craft everything we carry using the highest quality materials then sell them at low prices. We don’t take shortcuts, no matter which cannabinoids we’re working with,” said Boatman. 

So how does a company that sells Broad Spectrum CBD Multivitamin and Immunity gummies also sell powerful delta 8 edibles with ease? “Our slogan is: Hemp Wellness Redefined. It is about taking care of yourself and feeling good, not just physical support. Many people enjoy cannabis recreationally as a form of self-care in a chaotic and stressful modern world. How is that not wellness?”

Experience your own float down the river. Browse Canna River’s full suite of premium lab tested hemp products at CannaRiver.com, and be sure to join their loyalty program for even deeper discounts on their already low prices. 

The post Recreation or Wellness? At Canna River, They’re the Same. appeared first on High Times.