As the second wave of coronavirus is spreading across the whole globe, people have gone into another lockdown to help slow the extension of the virus. Faced with an invisible but looming threat and this ‘new normal’, most individuals are struggling to cope with the enormous uncertainty of the current situation, which in turn is […]
The use of face masks has been controversial during the pandemic considering a lack of adequate scientific study, even though they have been used in hospitals for decades without noticeable issues. However, scientific evidence does suggest masks can restrict a user’s ability to breathe. Respiratory inhibition led us to a link between masks and decreased […]
Can you treat COVID-19 with CBD? Can you reduce mortality rates of COVID-19 in patients with sever cases by using cannabinoids? A new Israeli clinical trial, approved recently, believes that a possible treatment for COVID-19 could be a blend of CBD and steroids.
Exciting news coming from Israel suggests that you can treat COVID-19 with CBD! According to this research, the possible treatment for COVID-19 patients might be coming from a special blend of CBD and Steroids. Unlike other cannabinoids-based medicine, aimed to treat but not to cure, the current clinical trial, held in the Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson) is using CBD and steroids to reduce mortality rates among the among COVID-19 patients in the worst states of health. If this clinical trial produces positive results, we might see a new wave of global attention toward CBD, cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicine.
A new clinical trial, by the Rabin Medical Center, (RMC), is testing a promising CBD (Cannabidiol) based treatment for patients with severe and critical COVID-19 pulmonary infection. The study, which runs in cooperation of Stero Biotechs, an Israel-based company focused on Cannabidiol (CBD) formulation research and Mor Research applications, the TTO arm of Clalit, the largest state-mandated health service organizations in Israel, is trying to establish whether a new formula, based on CBD (infused in pharma grade olive oil) and steroids can reduce COVID-19’s mortality rates.
The clinical trial already received Helsinki Committee approval and is planned for 20 patient treatment as a Proof of Concept (‘POC’), using Stero’s CBD-based treatment, conducted by Dr. Ilya Kagan from the intensive care department with the support of Dr. Moshe Yeshurun, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, at Rabin Medical Center, Israel.
The study aims to benefit and help COVID-19 patients in severe states with respiratory failure from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The treatment cycle will be for 14-28 days with a subsequent follow-up period of the same length. Pending the success of this POC, Stero plans to expand and scale phase 2a multi-center study, with an additional 40 patients, under FDA clinical trial guidelines and regulations.
According to David Bassa, Founder & CEO of Stero Biotechs after six years of researching CBD they already gathered alot of data about CBD’s safety, its effectiveness in treating inflammation and its ability to moderate the ammune system when it is becoming over-active.
In addition, the company has already researched the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of acute (Grade 3-4) Graft versus Host Disease (“GvHD”), when combined with steroids. That’s why, after learning from Oxford that steroids are effective in treating COVID-19 they have decided to use their own experience research a blend that uses both CBD and steroids. They believe that a formula that uses both CBD and steroids will be more effective in treating patients in severe states and that by adding CBD they will be enhancing the therapeutic effect of a steroid treatment.
About Stero Biotechs, Ltd.
STERO Biotechs Ltd., founded in 2017 and headquartered in Israel, is a clinical-stage company committed to the research and development of novel Cannabidiol (CBD) based treatment solutions that will potentially benefit millions by: 1) Enhancing the therapeutic effect of steroid treatments. 2) Lowering the dosage needed in steroid treatments, thus lowering the treatment’s horrific side effects. 3) Allowing refractory patients to begin responding to the steroid treatments needed.
All by using Stero’s CBD-based treatment.
Stero has 2 ongoing phase 2a clinical trials in Crohn’s Disease & in Urticaria (Hives) in Israeli hospitals and is planning to commence more clinical trials in 2020-2021 on various indications.
Stero has established a strong partnership with one of its shareholders- MOR Research Applications, the TTO of CLALIT HEALTH SERVICES. The partnership with MOR allows deep support to Stero’s clinical trials.
It’s easy to sit back in seclusion and complain about what a difficult year 2020 has been. Yes, we have all encountered great tribulations and changes we never expected. But as an old hippy, I highly recommend you get comfortable, smoke a fatty, go with the flow and consider the benefits of living during a pandemic. There is always a silver lining, if you just take the time to look.
Of course, in the world of cannabis, the number one reward for Californians was issued last March when Governor Newsom announced that all licensed marijuana businesses in California could continue with business as usual during the imposed lockdowns, deeming it an “essential” business. Wow – from illegal to essential, thanks to COVID-19. Cannabis sales sky rocketed, although now they are primarily executed by delivery services or curbside pickup services at dispensaries. More time at home equals more time to get high.
Thinking Outside the Bowl
During these singular times, many people experiencing loneliness have undoubtedly turned to cannabis as a companion to heighten creativity and elevate their mood. While the old-fashioned art of sharing a joint may be gone forever, here at the Swami Select farm, we have been learning how to smoke out of our own bowls or personal paraphernalia. We’ve even had Zoom calls where we pretend to pass the doobie. And the cool thing is, we can do this with friends all across the globe! Having a big imagination helps a whole lot during lockdown.
It’s funny how quickly a word can become so ubiquitous. Take “Zoom” for example. It’s a noun (“Are you on Zoom?”); a verb (“Let’s Zoom”); and even an adjective (“She has Zoom burnout”). We found that Zooming is a great way to have a seshin’ with your friends, share stories and music, and even check out cannabis together.
While the traditional December Emerald Cup is cancelled for the first time in 17 years, we do still plan to hold the contest virtually in March. Judging will happen with the help of some sort of Zoom arrangement. It’s simply the time to think outside the bowl.
Another benefit from the shelter in place orders is recent studies indicate that alcohol use and cigarette use is down, complementary to the increase in cannabis use. Seniors who gave up smoking marijuana in the past are taking it up again and exploring other means of ingesting, and embracing the medical use of tinctures, salves, creams and ointments. Pain relief, sleep aid and anxiety relief are a major reason more people of all ages use the magic herb.
And while you are staying home, you’re probably eating better than ever before, as home cooking is generally healthier than most highly salted restaurant fare. Even if you’re not a great cook, when you get high and sit down to a meal you made yourself, it just tastes better. And while in the kitchen, many stoners, including myself, have begun to make their own edibles. Here’s a great recipe for canna butter and now I enjoy tasty cookies with a solid buzz. Before coronavirus, I never would have taken the time to do that.
Slowing It Down
Of course, the other benefit of being stuck at home is more time with your animals, your plants and your hobbies. Even your favorite TV shows! For us on the ranch, it meant we had more time in our gardens this summer which was a real plus. Before the coronavirus, life was so busy, and we were constantly pulled away by the responsibilities and go-go-go of the outside world. It’s fun and wonderful, but it keeps us away from the cannabis plants during the growing season. This was a real bonus!
I’ve heard from friends who live in the city that things have slowed down there too. They can hear the sounds of birds singing, and the skies are a brilliant blue that hasn’t been seen in decades. What a great lesson to know we truly do have the ability to heal our planet if we all become conscious of our fossil fuel use and recognize what’s needed from us to survive.
Working from home has taught so many people how nice it is to avoid a long commute or dressing up for the day, and it spares the costs associated with transportation and eating lunch or dinner out. Instead, we stay comfy at home with our computers working harder than ever — what else is there to do? But the benefit is that “Safety Meetings” throughout the day are so much more admissible!
Consider cannabis as your best companion during these quiet times. Let her guide you into sitting in meditation, doing exercises, reading that book that’s been sitting on your shelf, or doing something creative. If we can look at this down time as a gift from the universe, it has a whole different feel to it. Open your heart to those in need around us all, whether they be ill or in need of support. The cannabis culture has always been about sharing.
The Power of Community
Our hearts go out to those who have personally suffered or lost a dear one from COVID-19. Plagues and pandemics are as old as life on this planet. In the Great Plague of the Middle Ages, from India to Scandinavia and the British Isles, nearly two thirds of the population died.
Thankfully, while the number of deaths is high, we are still nowhere near that number. By acting together to protect ourselves and those around us through socially distancing and wearing masks, we can see that it really does make a difference – we really can slow the progress of this pandemic and ultimately bring it under control.
This is a great lesson in the power of community, similar to the power we have discovered over the years as we have struggled to free cannabis and erase the stigma around this most beneficial plant. When we act together for the good of all, it makes a difference.
As we all learn to live with less and recognize our true priorities in life, we can thank this most unusual year for teaching us that. So, whether you stay cozy at home or enjoy a quiet walk in nature, getting high while you do it will calm your nerves and put a smile on your face. And when we can freely gather again, I pray we retain these lessons and appreciate the love we share even more.
We are back with our favorite cannabis chemist, Dr. Marcus Roggen! The topic for this week’s episode of Ask An Expert is cannabis and covid. Living in a pandemic is easier when you stay informed and the weed lovers of the world have got questions. Some may seem silly to ask but the truth is, […]
The harvest was glorious, mellow and abundant. It was sunny and mostly warm up until the first week of November, when forecasts of the first rain and then a hard frost mandated that we cut the final cultivar a few days early.
Other than the unfortunate farms that burned and lost their whole crops, and some other growers in the immediate area who were smoked out, the 2020 California sungrown cannabis crop doesn’t seem to have suffered much testable damage.
Every harvest is different, but I would be lying if I didn’t report the unique challenges the cannabis community endured this season. Repeating the litany of crises can become wearisome, and I don’t want to sound like I am complaining. However, in spite of being declared an essential industry and evidence of a growing market for cannabis as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, I am not sure anyone in the legal cannabis business is actually making a profit.
Most businesses in the legal market are just happy to be “still standing” at this point. We clearly are in a moment of transition, or in astrological terms, we are on a cusp, about to enter another phase. How much of the predicted events will in fact transpire – no one knows.
An Extra Helping of Hurt
For the cannabis farmers of the Emerald Triangle, the challenges came thick and fast in 2020. Like everyone else, we have been affected by “the virus,” a presidential election, Black Lives Matter, social distancing and the lock down. But as 2020 started, the cannabis community received an extra helping of hurt.
First, there was the rise in the California cannabis cultivation tax, which doesn’t make much sense since excessive taxation is the reason for a thriving illicit market. This was followed by the COVID-19 lockdown, which brought the cancellation of most public cannabis events, including the 420 national holiday.
Initially, cannabis dispensaries were shut down as part of the shelter-in-place orders. A ray of hope came when cannabis was declared an essential business in late May, and sales picked up, especially delivery and the newly authorized curbside pick-up.
Cultivators took this as a green light to carry on with the springtime garden preparations. However, at the start of the planting season, it was realized that even including all the drought years since 2000, the previous eight months had received the least rainfall since 1979-80. Subsequently, springs and creeks began to run dry, and farmers who are dependent on trucked-in-water were freaking out as towns put a limit on withdrawals.
This was followed by the belated realization that two thirds to three quarters of all cannabis licenses in California are provisional because they had not met the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The January 1, 2022 CEQA deadline suddenly seemed awfully close as county and state officials realized there were not enough working hours, staff or money to pay them to process the approximately 7,000 provisional licenses before they expired. This meant that 90 percent of the compliant cannabis businesses in the state could be shut down due to an unrealistic deadline.
Some counties even require an additional report of threats to sensitive species posed by cannabis cultivation in the mountains. The cost for the licensee to secure these clearances was estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Suddenly, it seemed that virtually the entire cannabis economy would be reduced to the biggest and richest operations while the small pioneer legacy businesses would go under.
To top it all off, the fire season started earlier than usual. As anyone living in California in the summer of 2020 knows, the sky turned a dark, apocalyptic orange while ash fell like warm snowflakes that didn’t melt. It was so dark at mid-day that cars had their headlights on, and the street lights were lit.
Many people lost homes, farms and crops. Fires blazed throughout the Emerald Triangle, the Santa Cruz mountains, Big Sur, the foothills of the Sierras, and even up into southern Oregon. Watching the fire lines, shown on the Cal Fire maps, as they inched closer to one’s neighborhood and ranch was daunting and stressful.
The only good news was that, for the most part, the fires were in forest land, which meant the ash was not nearly so toxic as a town or city on fire. But still, everyone was afraid that the entire crop for the whole state would be ruined by the smoke and ash. The talk among the cannabis community was focused on how to remove ashes from the leaves and flowers. Most people used leaf blowers or gently shook their plants.
In spite of all this, the harvest turned out great. The days of August and September were hot and the nights were cool, furthering the development of THC and the terpenes. When we finally started cutting in the first week of October, there had been no significant smoke or ash for several weeks, and our feelings of hope began to rise. Even though we desperately needed the rain, everyone was glad that it held off until the end of harvest.
Once the cutting actually began, everyone shifted into high gear – literally. At Swami Select Garden, we harvest in the wee hours of the morning when it is still dark out. Because of all the smoke and ash, we added extra precautions: After each plant was brought in and weighed, we dipped every branch in a diluted hydrogen-peroxide solution. Next, we dipped them in clean water before hanging them outside on wires strung between trees for a brief drip-dry.
As the sky slowly begins to lighten, and all the plants for that day’s cutting are hanging, we take a break for breakfast, when I cook omelets or pancakes for the crew. Then, we go back to hanging everything in the official drying area.
Interestingly, the need to get up at 5 a.m. creates a bond between the team members. It is really a magical time under the moon and stars. The terpene aroma is delightful, the buds are at their peak, and there is a sense of pride seeing the giant colas come down and loaded onto the trailer. It’s hard work, but one can literally see the fruits of their labor.
All during October, the humidity was in the twenties and thirties, so the issue was preventing the flowers from getting too dry. Then, as the drying area filled up and the rain came in November, we had the dehumidifiers going full time. Drying takes between 10 days and two or three weeks depending on outside humidity and how many fans and dehumidifiers there are.
When sufficiently dry, the smaller twigs snap rather than bend. This signals that it’s time to take the branches down, off the drying nets, and roll them up in brown Kraft paper – like three-foot tall burritos. Now they are ready for bucking, when we remove any large fan leaves and take every bud off of its branch in preparation for the fully manicured trim at the processing center.
The farmer’s harvest work may be over, but it’s time to prepare for next year’s grow already. First, we planted a cover crop of nitrogen-fixing plants followed by spreading compost on top of the soil to discourage the turkeys from flying over the fence to eat the seeds. Finally, all the equipment and gardening gear must be put away for the winter. A good farmer is always thinking ahead to the next season.
The 2020 election has brought some positive news for the cannabis industry as 30 cities and counties in California passed cannabis legalization measures, which hopefully means we’ll see more retail outlets soon. The election wins in five states were also a boost, proving cannabis is the one thing most Americans can agree on. News like this is encouraging for us farmers who work so hard to grow the best cannabis in the world. We will not give up!
It’s not the first time. It’s not even the second. We can only hope it’ll be the last. As the third country set for federal recreational cannabis legalization, once again Mexico delayed its cannabis bill. New date? Not until April 2021.
The holidays mean just one thing: time to buy gifts! We’ve got the best Delta-8 THC dealsfor everyone you love this year.
A couple weeks ago the bill passed the Senate and was looking to make it all the way through. Mexico, and the rest of the world, waited for today to come so that the government could meet its new official deadline for this cannabis bill. But what seemed like a sure thing days ago, turned into a not-gonna-happen today, when officially Mexico delayed its cannabis bill again.
Some background on the issue
The whole issue of cannabis legalization came up in an interesting way in Mexico. In most countries, when a person or group in government wants to initiate new legislation, they draft a bill that then must be discussed, fought over, changed to meet others’ needs, and then finally voted on in some way. Mexico does this too, but it’s not how cannabis got the free legalization pass.
Mexico also has something called jurisprudence (jurisprudencia). This allows for laws to essentially be changed through the court system, and not the legislative system. In the case of Mexico, Mexican law uses a form of it called jurisprudence constantia, meaning, if there are five separate supreme court rulings on a single subject, with at least eight justices giving approval, and if those rulings are consecutive, the outcome becomes binding for all lower courts. A couple supreme court rulings in October of 2018, sealed the five consecutive rulings concerning the ability to use cannabis for personal use.
It didn’t start in 2018, but rather 2015, when four members of The Mexican Society for Tolerant Self-Consumption, won through the Supreme Court the ability to grow, possess, and transport cannabis. The court’s Criminal Chamber made the decision that individuals have the right to grow and distribute cannabis for their own personal use. Then, in 2018, two more supreme court rulings came out to round out the necessary five for jurisprudence. In fact, the rulings were made on the very same day in October of that year, with the ruling being that offenders in individual use cases must be allowed to use cannabis recreationally. The court made the order for the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk to allow the complainants to consume cannabis, so long as they do not commercialize it.
To be clear, the five court rulings don’t actually legalize cannabis for recreational use, but they do create a legal contradiction that must be fixed. Since nothing changed in terms of written legislation, all written legislation concerning cannabis in Mexico still technically stands. However, since no lower court can rule in opposition to the Supreme Court now that the five rulings have been made, it means that the courts must allow it, even if the written laws do not. This puts the Mexican legislative system in opposition to the judiciary system.
The main reason given by the courts for their decisions to allow cannabis use, is that as personally developed human beings – who are given the right to personal development by the Mexican constitution – people have the right to choose their own recreational activities, with no government interference. The ruling also stated that cannabis does not contain enough psychoactive properties to justify completely prohibiting use.
What is legal, and what is not?
A case like this can be a bit misleading because it implies more than it actually allows. For anyone who thinks they can get away with any cannabis crime because of these supreme court rulings, this isn’t true at all. Even with the court ruling that recreational use is fine for individuals, it certainly doesn’t mean that courts can’t find offenders guilty of plenty other cannabis crimes.
Mexico, like most of the world, illegalized cannabis use in the early 1900’s, however, the country decriminalized it, and many other drugs, in 2009. The decriminalization was a measure taken to try to curb Mexican cartel activity and violence, one of many tactics used over the years. This also instituted personal use rights which allow individuals to have up to five grams, with more than this leading to possible prison time.
Any sale or supply crime is illegal in Mexico, and according to Mexico’s Federal Criminal Code, offenders caught doing these crimes can land themselves in prison for 10-25 years. The Criminal Code has been updated to essentially decriminalize cultivation for personal use when caught the first time, though repeat offenders can still face prison time.
When the final two supreme court rulings came out in 2018, it created the necessity for the legislative system to come up with new legislation to go in-line with the court rulings. Originally slated to be released at the end of 2019, the Supreme Court gave Congress a six-month extension and Mexico delayed the cannabis bill. Whether it was due to the coronavirus or infighting, that date was postponed once again in April until December 15th. The day it was due in, the Supreme Court once again allowed another delay, this time setting yet another deadline for April 30th, 2021. This is now the third time Mexico delayed its cannabis bill. The extension was requested by the Lower House’s Dulce Maria Sauri in a statement to the court, which complained about the complexity of the issue and needing more time.
Just last month, the Mexican Senate passed a legalization bill with a vote of 82-18 which would allow individuals to have up to 28 grams (one ounce), to grow up to six plants, and for the initiation of a licensing framework for a free market trade. While it passed the Senate with flying colors, the Lower House obviously was having a harder time coming to a decision. When Mexican legislators do finally come up with a fully passable bill, it will make Mexico the third country to be fully federally legal, behind Uruguay, and Canada, and create possibly the largest cannabis market to date.
Why is this happening, and what to expect?
The spread of the coronavirus took the blame for this most recent delay, however this undermines the fact that plenty of legislating has been done in Mexico during this time, including the Senate passing the bill. The politics of passing a bill can be nauseating, with each side trying to make sure it gets what it wants out of it. Funny enough, one of the holdups seems to be that a majority of citizens actually are not for legalization, at least according to recent polling. However, in a country with a lot of cartel activity, and which is situated just south of legal US markets, perhaps there are other issues holding it up that aren’t being spoken about as much.
Since Mexico delayed its cannabis bill, there has been no change yet in law, and there isn’t any way of saying yet what the final bill will be. However, the last published details when it passed the Senate included the following as part of the new law: Adults can have up to one ounce, but up to 200 grams is decriminalized. Smoking would also be permitted in public, and would be treated much like cigarette smoking, with not many further restrictions (which is unlike other legalized places). According to the draft legislation, about 40% of licenses would be reserved for low-income, indigenous communities, and while this does offer some protection to local farmers, cultivators would still have to install security equipment which could be rather costly.
It’s nearly impossible to say how a market will really do, as this is dependent on the buying behavior of the public, and the basic price points established. But some estimates say that when Mexico joins the global market, it can increase it to over $100 billion by 2024. Not only would this bring in a large amount of tax revenue for Mexico, but it could also reduce spending on law enforcement related to cannabis by as much as $200 million a year. For a poor country, these are very helpful financial factors. The new industry would bring new jobs, with the same source expecting 75,000 new jobs to be created. The bill also sets a 1% THC limit for hemp, and requires the creation of a new agency to oversee the entire cannabis market.
The both frustrating and reassuring aspect to Mexico’s delayed cannabis bill is that while it’s a requirement that must happen, there doesn’t seem to be a law to ensure that deadlines are met. So we know it’s a part of the future, but we have no idea when it can be expected for sure. What we do know, is that 2020 will finish itself out, and Mexico will still be waiting for its recreational cannabis legislation.
Thanks for dropping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 location for all cannabis-related news. Join us frequently to stay on top of what goes on in the industry, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a beat!
Maskne – the latest in COVID colloquialisms – refers to breakouts, pimples and skin irritation from your face mask. Since face masks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, what better time for a quick 101 on your skin type and the care you need? Here are 5 ways you can keep yours from causing breakouts so […]
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has been an unpleasant experience, for some more than others. Here’s a list of tips to help you take care of your emotional health during Covid-19. These simple steps have helped me slowly dig myself out of the negative hole that the pandemic slipped me into, and I sincerely […]
For an unforgettable experience of Halloween, it starts with the very enthusiasm that you have in store for the evening for yourself and your loved ones. So to inspire a sense of fun and adventure, here are 6 stoner activities that will ignite the Halloween spirit in you during the pandemic. Video-Chat Since public gatherings […]