Which Cannabis Cannabinoids Will Survive Into the Future?

There are a ton of new cannabis products coming out all the time now, some with more relevance and staying power than others. Which will really survive this stage and go into the next? It’s hard to say. Some cannabis discoveries have caught on better than others. Which cannabinoids will survive the current industry, any new decriminalization or legalizations that might occur, and prosper into the future? This still remains to be seen.

Is delta-8 one of the cannabis cannabinoids that will make it into the future? Of all the alternate cannabinoids on the market, delta-8 is the most popular, and most likely to make it big. We’re ahead of the game with tons of delta-8 THC products and deals for you to look into. But delta-8 isn’t alone in the game, other hemp-derived THC products, such as delta-10 THCTHCVTHCO, THC-PHHC are also selling very well and might survive into the future.

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Cannabis cannabinoids

Everyone knows about delta-9 THC. This is the main psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and the part that makes a person feel euphoric. THC was first isolated in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam, but it was first found by Roger Adams in the early 40’s, around the time that CBD was isolated. CBN was the first cannabinoid to be isolated, in an attempt to find the ‘intoxicating factor’ of cannabis, which it didn’t end up being. CBN was discovered by Thomas Easterfield at the end of the 1800’s.

Everyone also knows about CBD at this point, the other major cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, which is the primary cannabinoid of the low-THC hemp plants. Significantly less CBD is found in high-THC marijuana plants, and vice versa. CBD was discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams, although Alexander Todd discovered it at about the same time in the UK, making for dueling research and discoveries for several years.

The whole reason Roger Adams investigated cannabis at all, was at the behest of the US government. The US government, often through the military and CIA, has done all kinds of drug research and testing, from the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments, where THC-O-Acetate was given to military personnel, to MDMA tests during the Cold War era for use as psychological warfare. There are even various unconfirmed reports of unleashing chemicals like LSD in public places. That compounds like THC-O-Acetate and LSD were found on the streets at the time of such testing even indicates that street use might have been started by these organizations in an attempt to study the compounds further.

cannabis plant

This, of course, is supposition on my part, but in the 1940’s, the government did sponsor research into cannabis, with a main factor being the isolation of the intoxicating agent. In so doing this, and in the follow-up research when THC was isolated, several different cannabinoids were found, including other delta THC’s, like delta-8, delta-7, and delta-6, some naturally occurring, and some entirely synthetic. Other compounds were found around this time including CBL, CBC, and HHC.

Most of what has been mentioned are cannabinoids, but what exists in the actual cannabis plant, before decarboxylation, oxidation, or any other chemical process that changes the chemical structure, are phytocannabinoids. THCA and CBDA are the precursor acids to CBD and THC, and a range of other cannabinoids. These cannabinoid acids also have tons of medical benefits, but are different from their cannabinoid counterparts. THCA, for example, is not psychoactive, and does not cause the same response as its decarboxylated version, delta-9 THC.

Research into the cannabis plant has turned up tons of naturally occurring cananbinoids like delta-8 THC, THCV, CBC, CBG, and 11-hydroxy-THC, what delta-9 becomes after being ingested. There are also a range of purely synthetic compounds that can’t be found in nature. These include delta-10 THC, delta-7 THC, THC-O-Acetate, and HU 580.

How popular are these alternate cannabis cannabinoids?

This is an interesting question, and one without a formal answer, as there isn’t much data out on buying patterns for these products. This might be partly because this is an unregulated market, and a relatively new one, where that kind of information has not been collected as of yet. The best indication for establishing interest, come from individual sales statistics, mentions and conversations online, and overall population know-how about these compounds. Different researchers might turn up different opinions, since even these metrics involve personal research methods, and subjective analysis.

If a person is to blindly believe the marketing hype of an industry, delta-8 is about the biggest thing out there. But marketing campaigns are rarely real life, and looking at real metrics, (and over a period of time), is the better way of establishing where something actually fits into the grand scheme. Maybe delta-8 has raised in popularity, but if it has, will this be a passing fancy, to disappear in a year from now? And how big is this popularity to begin with?

It’s always good to remember that while it’s great to take the plant apart and find new ways to access different aspects of it, we never lose the original cannabis plant itself, which has been doing just fine keeping people happy for millennia. Whether these compounds really become stable market representatives or not, will likely do little to effect a worldwide cannabis industry that has propelled itself along, even under worldwide prohibition. This means, regardless of which currently out cannabis cannabinoids make it to the future, we’ll always have our standby.

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Sales statistics – there aren’t any

When it comes to sales, I don’t see any massive breakthrough reports about any of these compounds. Delta-8 THC gets the most press, but mainly only within the world of weed itself, and as a niche part of the cannabis market. For the most part, even delta-8 goes unnoticed in terms of sales statistics. Even in the articles where delta-8 is mentioned as a growing fad, none of them can offer any backup for this. In fact, an article like this one in Fortune Magazine, show this well. The article refers to delta-8 as the “fastest-growing segment of the market for hemp chemicals for roughly the last year.”

This makes it sound pretty big, right? But then it goes on to state that this happened only after “wholesale CBD prices plummeted amid oversupply and other issues.” This merely implies that with CBD leveling off (or possibly losing value), that delta-8 has taken its place as the top hemp chemical product. Even the comparison is weak, and shows a changing fad, from CBD to delta-8, with the inability to keep that trajectory long-term. Considering delta-8 isn’t likely to produce anything substantially new for users, the expectation of it getting to the point where it could threaten the longstanding regular cannabis industry, is sort of short-sighted.

One of the biggest indicators, which the authors of the Fortune article seemed to gloss over, is that if cannabis cannabinoids like delta-8 THC follow in the footsteps of CBD, they’re not going to make it into the future, especially if they don’t hit the same volume before leveling off. That CBD has lost momentum, is an indication that delta-8 is just a passing fancy too. 2021 numbers for CBD sales (when released) might help us understand how cannabis cannabinoids like delta-8 THC might fair in the future, better.

Mentions and conversations

Without sales statistics, one of the other ways to see how big something is, is simply in how much its mentioned and talked about. The internet is a huge place, so finding mentions of a subject is never that hard. But the questions become, how often is it mentioned, where is it mentioned, and what is being said? When it comes to delta-8 THC, the most popular of the alternate cannabis compounds, there are plenty of mentions online. Many of these mentions come from large scale publications that are non-cannabis related. Most mentions are of the fear variety, talking about the possible detriments, or mentioning new regulatory measures to keep it out. As an untaxed item with any amount of popularity, this makes sense. Delta-8 THC is undesirable for governments that can’t tax it.

But the general conversation is limited. Apart from what seem like pre-emptive fear-marketing campaigns, people aren’t talking about it all over the place. There aren’t a huge number of questions being asked, or reviews being given. Even a site like reddit, has some, but not too much. When I changed my search results to just the last month, only one reddit mention came up, and as a news article about issued warnings. A search for ‘Acapulco Gold’ turned up several mentions on Reddit just from the last month. And that says a lot. Since delta-8 proposes an issue to the government as an unregulated and untaxed product, the issues of legality and regulation are among the bigger talking points, when it does show up on-line.

Realistically, if the stuff is sitting on store shelves, at least some people are bound to buy it. Most of what’s written, however, seems like a reaction to the possibility of an out-of-control market, more than the reaction to an actually out-of-control market. This is also backed up by very few arrests being made, or government intervention beyond these articles.

cannabinoids

Do people know about it?

I find this question to be the most interesting one. It’s possible to get the wrong idea by something being seen online. It’s easy to forget how big the internet is, and how much is necessary to show real engagement with an industry or product. Marketers can fill internet pages with content that isn’t backed up by anything, and governments can put out campaigns in an effort to stop something before it starts. Neither has to indicate mass appeal, though they can be a factor in it. So, one of the best ways of assessing whether something has an influence, is to see if its actively influencing people. And this is where I see the biggest issue.

The vast majority of people have no idea what delta-8 THC is. Had I not been a writer in the cannabis industry, I probably wouldn’t know about it either. I know a lot of weed smokers, and somehow, not a single one has heard of this compound. First off, it’s only a US product that hasn’t gained popularity anywhere else, and that means we’re only looking at a US audience. On top of that, cannabis – as stated – is a stable industry, and its been there for a while. Even now it exists as bigger black markets than legal ones, which means, we already have a version we can use. It’s not like delta-8 is the answer to not being able to get any weed at all. We can all get it, and this will always be a roadblock to delta-8 sales.

Having said all this, I will point out one countering factor. Governments are making specific legislation to rule out delta-8 THC, even with other legalizations. This could indicate that sales are high enough to cause worry and necessitate these laws. But, it could also be a reactionary measure meant to stifle a possible industry, whether it would actually meet the potential indicated, or not. That it would be singled out by governments does say something for its existence, and ability for at least some popularity. However, even this doesn’t indicate that it’ll stick around.

Cannabinoids Future – Conclusion

None of this article really answers the question of what can be expected for all cannabis cannabinoids in the future. However, the most useful point comes from the fact that delta-8 seems to be following in the footsteps of CBD, which itself has been leveling off after a few years of being the golden product. If this is any indication, none of these products will last it out, not even delta-8 THC. In the end, there realistically isn’t a great reason for it. Does this mean it doesn’t have good or alternate benefits? No, it doesn’t mean that. But it’s also quite possible that the slightly lesser high and clearer head are more important  for medical patients, and might not be as desirable by those looking for a full effect. On top of that, reports of causing less anxiety have never been totally confirmed meaning it might not provide these effects the way we read about them.

Though this doesn’t mean something can’t catch on further, my best bet is that none of the newly released, bottom-feeding (let’s be honest) attempts to capture a greater part of the industry, will work. Alternate cannabis cannabinoids might be fun to try, but if they don’t provide a better answer, and if they come at a higher price, they’re likely to be dropped fast and never see the future. Luckily for us though, we’ll always have our regular weed. And if the last few years is any indication, our black markets for that aren’t going anywhere.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Which Cannabis Cannabinoids Will Survive Into the Future? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Legal Delta-9 THC, Is It Worth It?

The 2018 US Farm Bill created quite a stir by legalizing the production and manufacture of hemp products. With it came a possible loophole for products like delta-8 THC, which can be sourced from hemp. Now, that legal conundrum has gotten even more intense as products containing what is called ‘legal delta-9 THC’ are now available. Are these products legal? And are they worth it?

The world is definitely a changing place when legal delta-9 THC can be found on shelves. Truth is, it might not be completely legal, but it definitely is available. This is also true of compounds like delta-8 THC, delta-10, THCP, THCO, THCV, HHC and more. The cannabis world has gotten so big, that new products are coming out nearly every day. We’ve got a great overall selection of deals, and plenty of other products for you to check out and try for yourself.

Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 THC, sometimes just referred to erroneously as simply ‘THC’, is the primary psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and is responsible for the feelings of euphoria that come with use of the plant. Delta-9 is actually only a version of THC, which itself stands for tetrahydrocannabinols, and refers to several different compounds, not just delta-9. Often the term ‘THC’ will be used in place of ‘delta-9’, but in reality, the true name of the compound is not ‘THC’.

Plants that are higher in delta-9 than CBD, are called marijuana, with the federal cutoff being over .3% delta-9 in dry weight as the standard for ‘marijuana’. Cannabis with less delta-9 than this, is referred to as ‘hemp.’ Whereas hemp was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, high-THC marijuana, was not.

Delta-9 THC has been on the Controlled Substances list since its inception in 1970. Prior to that, the new age of prohibition started in 1937 with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, which stopped medicinal and recreational use, as well as stunting the hemp market. At that time, the hemp market contributed to tons of different industries, from building, to clothing, to paper, and so on. Delta-9 THC has this chemical formula: C₂₁H₃₀O₂, which is the same as CBD, as well as other cannabinoids like CBC (Cannabichromene) and CBL (cannabicyclo), and even the sex hormone progesterone.

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Is it legal?

No, and I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure where the debate on this one comes in. Here’s why… According to the 2018 US Farm Bill: ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.’

This definition includes extracts, so if something is extracted, like delta-9, it couldn’t legally be extracted in a higher percent than .3. To make matters worse for the claim, not only does the definition apply to the plant in question for production, but all products produced from it, and all parts of the processing procedure. If the delta-9 amount rises above .3% at any given point, then the product becomes illegal. Since these products are above .3% delta-9, they are automatically illegal.

There has been an ongoing debate about compounds like delta-8 THC, a naturally occurring oxidized version of delta-9. Though delta-8 occurs naturally through this oxidation process, it occurs at extremely low rates. This means, in order to make products with it, it must be synthesized in a laboratory, and this can then mean the use of chemicals or processes that can be dangerous. Since delta-8 can’t simply be extracted, it brings up the question of whether it should be considered natural or synthetic. Sure it occurs naturally in nature, but any product we use of it is synthesized. As a synthetic, it’s automatically illegal. Of course, there are other issues with delta-8, but this is a big one.

The difference with delta-8 and delta-9 in this regard, is that delta-9 is specifically mentioned in the definition of hemp, and so there is no question. It doesn’t matter where delta-9 is produced from, as any product that has over .3% of it would be illegal anyway on a federal level. Whereas the Farm Bill creates what appears to be a loophole for delta-8 (which really isn’t technically there), there’s really no such illusion with delta-9.

Is something illegal if you can’t do anything about it?

This, of course, brings up the question of why ‘legal delta-9 THC’ products are being advertised as legal, when there is no legal basis for them. And the answer, as far as I can tell, is actually pretty basic. Vendors can get away with advertising legal delta-9 THC, because no one’s going to do anything about it. And this begs the question, if there are no actual repercussions to an illegal activity, is it actually illegal?

The idea of ‘illegal’ depends on punishment. After all, if something is stated as illegal, but there’s never a punishment for it, it creates a form of a loophole. It’s not technically legal, sure, but anyone participating also won’t have to worry about criminal repercussions. It’s a strange loophole that exists, which can be created by different factors. In this case, the factors seem to be related to the ability to police the industry, which considering how many unregulated cannabis compounds are being sold from illegal dispensaries, isn’t happening.

cannabis cannabinoids

Taking a step back, and looking at the whole war on drugs, confirms that point further. The US government was never able to stop any kind of illegal cannabis trade, and has been generally weakened by the majority of its states adopting policies that go against federal mandate. Plus, the government has gotten plenty of backlash in the past for continuously attempting to give criminal penalties to people legally using by state law. It’s honestly hard to imagine the government really being able to do anything about it at this juncture.

What about actual legal THC?

Truth is, the US government knows it has to pass a bill very soon since it can’t keep its states under control. This can be seen in different places. One big giveaway is a state like North Carolina, and its republican-led medical cannabis bill. Republican representatives have made no bones in that state about understanding that the population wants it, and that they must comply if they want to keep their seats.

On a bigger level, the US government has two bills currently working their way through Congress, which would each work to end cannabis prohibition, though in slightly different ways, and with different laws and regulatory measures. The MORE Act, is a decriminalization act, which would also work as somewhat of a legalization measure. This is because it institutes tax rates on cannabis products, something that can’t be done in a simply decriminalized market.

A tax rate makes it on the up and up. Decriminalization only refers to a lack of criminal penalties; and decriminalization measures generally come with some kind of minor, non-criminal punishment. This bill passed the House last year, but didn’t make it to the Senate before adjournment. It’s up for another House vote this year to continue on.

Then there’s the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which is a full-on legalization bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. This would go further than the MORE Act, though they would both drop cannabis from the Controlled Substances list. This bill would also drop Section 280E from the IRS tax code, which would work to allow cannabis operators to access the same tax deductions as other businesses. Both bills come with their own structures for tax and regulation, with the Opportunity Act proposing much higher tax rates, but allowing for things like interstate sales.

Is it worth it?

In my opinion, absolutely not! And I doubt many people will care much for it. We have a stable and working black market for good weed in America, and 18 states with legal dispensaries (or which soon will have them if they haven’t gotten there yet). It’s not the idea of it being technically illegal, so much as simply unnecessary. Weed is accessible, that’s why the government has always had such a hard time stopping the industry.

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The more confounding issue in my mind, is that rather than just using the plant to access delta-9, this would mean using synthetization techniques, which in this case, are sort of ridiculous. The debate exists with delta-8, because you can’t access a large enough amount naturally, and it has good enough qualities to make synthesizing it worthwhile. We can access delta-9. Pretty much anywhere in the world.

This doesn’t mean it can’t be useful, especially if its sold in places where cannabis is illegal recreationally, and perhaps harder for some to get. Although I have to question if in such places, it would be wise to expect to see these products on any shelves. If so, then perhaps its something in place of nothing. Otherwise, apart from mild curiosity, my best guess is that this is a misplaced venture that will be invalidated before it has time to really catch on anyway.

Conclusion

Legal or not, it seems like delta-9 THC is being sourced from low-THC hemp, and sold as a (legal) product. Maybe I’m wrong and legal delta-9 THC will be the next big thing, but in a country on the brink of a legalization/decriminalization, and with the ability to easily get real cannabis in most places, I don’t think this is anything more than a gimmick, and not the best one I’ve seen.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Legal Delta-9 THC, Is It Worth It? appeared first on CBD Testers.

My Personal Experience with Cannabis Synthetics

There’s a lot that’s said about cannabis synthetics by different governments, and there’s accumulated information from many years of use by individuals. Sometimes, these two things don’t actually go together. Whereas tons of government smear campaigns are designed to cause fear in users over synthetics, I do not necessarily agree with any of this. As someone with a decent amount of experience with them, I’m more than happy to explain. Here is my own personal experience using cannabis synthetics.

While I have my own personal experience, the debate still rages on about cannabis synthetics. And we haven’t actually answered the question yet of whether delta-8 THC fits in this category. As a naturally occurring alternative to delta-9, delta-8 provides users with slightly less psychoactive effect, while also producing less anxiety and without sapping all a user’s energy. Synthetic or not, delta-8 provides a highly valuable experience which is great for both medical and recreational users. Test it out for yourself! We’ve got an array of delta-8 THC, delta 10, thcp, thco, thcv and even hhc deals, along with plenty of other compounds, for you to go ahead and get started.

What are cannabis synthetics?

This is an interesting question, but the answer is twofold, confusing (possibly deliberately), and devoid of much sense. However, having said that, my own experience is twofold, and most certainly describes why caution should be taken with cannabis synthetics. A synthetic cannabinoid, is a cannabinoid that either doesn’t exist in nature, and therefore must be created in a lab; or which does exist in nature, but in such small amounts that in order for human use, it must be synthesized in a lab to create enough for production. This latter point is indeed up for debate. Whether a synthesized version of something that does exist in nature, should be considered a synthetic, has not been 100% established, partially leading to the discrepancy in legalities when it comes to compounds like delta-8 THC.

So, to dive in, there are two kinds of synthetics, legal ones, and illegal ones. Legal synthetics are a part of the government authorized pharmaceutical industry that has sprouted up in response to cannabis legalizations. In America, the trend with legal synthetics started well before any medical or recreational legalizations, and began with the approval of Marinol (dronabinol) in 1985. The array of pharmaceutical – and therefore legal – synthetics, include Marinol, a synthetic of THC, Epidiolex, a cannabis -derived medicine based on CBD (with questions as to how synthetic it is), Sativex (Nabiximols), a synthetic based on THC and CBD, and Nabilone, another synthetic THC.

The one thing the medicines I just listed have in common, is that they are all approved legally for use by several different governments. This has not stopped governments, like France‘s, from trying to block out natural products in favor of the pharmaceutical version, even going as far as causing a whole lawsuit with the EU, just to protect pharmaceutical interest. We can all be glad that France didn’t win. When searching on the internet for ‘cannabis synthetics’, you’ll find something interesting, none of these show up, even though they are all examples of synthetic cannabis medicines. Your search results have been censored to only show illegal drugs when using those words.

create cannabis synthetics

On the other end are the illegal synthetics, which often get names like K2 and Spice. The funny thing though, is that these synthetics are directly based off of synthetics made by official cannabis researchers in the mid-1900’s when cannabis compounds were first being studied and mapped out. In fact, the main synthetics are actually based off of HHC, a compound that can be found on dispensary shelves itself, though its own legality is in question. It was, of course, studied by the government at one time, and tested for safety – which it showed to be. That it wasn’t used by the government has little to do with the fact that years after testing HHC, similar compounds were found on the black market.

According to the government, these untaxable black-market versions are considered dangerous, even though they are essentially the same as compounds discovered by the government and deemed safe. And according to the government, the only way for a synthetic to be safe, is for it to come from a taxable pharmaceutical company. Meaning while the government continues to demonize other government-made synthetics that simply are under no law for use at the moment, out of the other side of its mouth, its telling you that synthetics are not only just fine, but even preferable to the natural plant.

My experience with cannabis synthetics – flowers

My two modes of experience with synthetics come from smoking fake flowers, and from vaping synthetic vapes. As synthetic products are made to resemble the real ones, and don’t come with any accurate product labelling, I would never be able to say exactly which synthetics I’ve used. I can, however, say that my experiences are relatively consistent (on certain fronts), and my assumption when writing this, is that I likely used the popular forms of illegal synthetics that are around, namely K2 and Spice, which themselves denote ‘illegal synthetic’ more than anything with further specificity.

Now, to call the synthetic flowers I smoked, ‘flowers’, is disgraceful to actual cannabis flowers. The main brand of synthetic I smoked was called Mr. Niceguy, and this occurred in Israel from about 2010 to 2012, or so. At the time, it was actually very difficult to find weed in Tel Aviv, and Mr. Niceguy filled the gap. It appeared as crushed up leaves for the most part, nothing particularly cannabis-like about it. This makes sense as the synthetic is generally sprayed on. I found the effects of the synthetic to be consistent. I would get high, but it never felt exactly the same, or had the same intensity. It never made my head as cloudy as standard weed, but it definitely did get me high.

I will never say I consider this practice to be safe. By the end of my experience with it, I had tried another brand called Smart Joker, and this is where my bad experience came in. The problem with spraying a synthetic on leaves, is that where those leaves come from, and what else might be on them (fertilizer, pesticides, rat poison…) are not accounted for. So while the synthetic cannabis might not have been an issue (I honestly can’t say what the issue was for sure), the idea of random and unregulated chemical additives likely did become an issue.

I thought I was going to have a heart attack, and not in the standard THC overdose way. My heart began increasing in speed, and I began to lose the ability for motor control, to the point it became hard to control my body. It felt very much like being on a roller coaster that went out of control. Something was effecting me, and causing a massive speed-like response to my system. I happened to have a prescription for a light benzodiazepine, and in my somewhat-limited-understanding of the time, I did know that a benzo can often relieve other bad symptoms, especially those of an upper out of control.

cannabis synthetics

I was able to get enough inside me to stop the reaction, and bring myself back down. I do not know what would have happened if I had not been able to get to that medication in time, and I still find the whole experience to be one of the most frightening I’ve had. When there is talk of synthetics being dangerous, this is always the memory that comes to mind. And though I don’t automatically blame the actual synthetic, I am more than aware that I likely inhaled a very bad chemical that was also on the material. Having said all this though, about 99% of my experiences were not negative, and while everyone I know was smoking the stuff, I only heard of one other issue like mine. Meaning numbers-wise, the level of injury was incredibly low, and most likely not related to the synthetic itself.

My experience with cannabis synthetics – vapes

These days, the more relevant experience has to do with the synthetics used in cannabis vapes, as they are the popular product at the moment where synthetics can often be found. They also propose a different set of issues. Things like pesticides, rat poison, and fertilizers might not be an issue, but with vapes, we need to worry about chemicals used to thicken, or stabilize, or flavor, or preserve the oil, which much like with the additives on fake flowers, come with their own risks.

I have bought plenty of real vapes, but I’ve also bought vapes off the street and from illegal dispensaries. The one I have right now claims to be California Gold brand, Cherry Zkittles distillate, with 90% THC. I can smoke it all day and still get my work done and workout, two things that would never be possible for me if this cartridge was what it says it is. What it feels like, is exactly what I used to buy off the streets. It gives the same subtle high, but without messing with my head too much, and it’s rather short-lived. Basically, it feels like a less intense form of THC, and without other peripheral effects, much like what HHC was established for. It’s not bad, per say, but it certainly lacks the intensity I was hoping for. I don’t even know if I’d call it a sativa or an indica, because it doesn’t feel like either, and no synthetic I’ve had, ever did.

Now, in terms of safety, I can only tell you what I experienced. I can’t say if something I breathed in might cause cancer later, or if it damaged my throat or lungs more than a vape should have. But I can tell you how it feels. I find a lot of vapes can be harsh on the throat, which I do expect has to do with the heat and chemicals. Some vapes are smoother, which would indicate the chemicals used within do make a difference. For example, a real full flower cannabis oil cart won’t need flavoring, which means that’s one set of chemicals less.

I don’t know what hurt people in the past. No one really does, to be fair. There were so few actual injuries (despite government claims to inflate the problem), that its hard to know why. If vitamin-e-acetate was really the problem, and if it was widely used (maybe still is), then the death count would be much higher. That as few deaths as 68 have been confirmed in the US, from the advent of vaping to early 2020, due to vapes, says something about the actual level of danger. If vitamin-e-acetate is the biggest issue, then there doesn’t seem to be an issue.

In fact, with such few actual cases of injury and death, it presents as isolated incidences where a batch used an alternate chemical from the norm, thus causing these experiences. This mirrors my experience from above, as well as the nature of the history involving injury with cannabis synthetics. The one thing I can equivocally say for sure, is that I have harmed my body far less, (by ridiculously massive margins), by vaping over smoking. And as an asthmatic, I can also say this with complete medical certainty, as I have dealt for years with the damage due to smoking. And this means everything to me and my health.

smoking vs vaping

How to tell a synthetic cart from a real one

If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between a fake vape and a legit one, there are a few ways. For one, fake products usually have minor flaws or inconsistencies in packaging. If you are unsure if you have a real product, look up the specifics for that product and all the details in packaging. See if you can find subtle differences, but be careful, fakes operations are getting incredibly good at recreating accurate packaging, even down to test result claims, and the inclusion of QR codes. Next, synthetics will generally only be of distillates, not of full flower oils. The reason for this is that in real cannabis oils, the weed can be tasted, and that can’t be faked.

Since distillates have everything removed other than a specific cannabinoid like THC, there is no flavor to them. This means both distillates and synthetics (which have no flavor), require the same kind of flavoring chemicals, and will therefore taste the same, and never like real weed. If you ever by a full-flower vape oil that tastes like fake flavoring, it’s likely fake. The last thing to consider, is how it makes you feel. If you buy a distillate of a heavy indica, which claims 90% THC, that stuff should seriously weigh you down. Your mind should be cloudy, your body stuck to whatever it’s sitting on, and your mental processes slowed. If you get a semi-high without that intensity, its not real. In fact, if you can vape on that, and on one sold as a sativa, and get the same experience, it’s likely synthetic.

Synthetics don’t come with ranges, and you can’t pick what you’re getting. In my experience they feel about the same, and the high is – much like HHC was produced for, sort of minimalized. HHC was developed to be a paired down version of THC without any extra bells and whistles. It was meant to activate receptors and nothing else. Which is why the high is less extreme, almost in the periphery, and a lot can be smoked without causing THC sickness. If you find that you’re trying different distillates, and they all feel about the same, they’re probably synthetic.

Conclusion

While I can give my experience with cannabis synthetics, it’s not for me to tell anyone what they should feel comfortable with. As with anything else, I always implore others to do their own research, but to do it with eyes open. If something doesn’t make sense, question it. If something seems wrong, try to figure out why it’s being said. Most of all, use logic in life. If a story simply doesn’t make sense, there’s usually a reason, and that reason is 99.9% of the time monetary. But having said all this, also be aware of real dangers, and the things you can do to minimize your own exposure to bad products. These are huge industries that depend on you thinking a certain way to sell products. So do the best thing for yourself, and be your own informed buyer.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post My Personal Experience with Cannabis Synthetics appeared first on CBD Testers.

A Personal Experience: Mushrooms in Vietnam

“I had taken Ketamine in India, Acid in Thailand and Ecstasy in Berlin – but this was by far my favourite experience”

All great things in life come in pairs, don’t they? Knife and fork. Cheese and crackers. Fish and chips. Key and Peele. Lilo and Stitch. Mushrooms and Vietnam. Sometimes two things come together and perfectly unite in a beautiful way. This was the case with my experience when taking mushrooms in Vietnam. Despite what people may tell you of all the negative stories of psychedelics abroad, my experience was fortunately mind blowing. Was I just part of the lucky few? Who knows. Today I’m going to talk to you about the beautiful world of mushrooms, the beautiful land of Vietnam, and my beautiful experience from taking mushrooms in Vietnam. If you’re a psychedelic-fan then you’ll enjoy this story, if you’re not, then perhaps your mind will be altered. Let’s delve into it. 

Psychedelics are incredible. The therapeutic potential is staggering and the market is steadily growing. By far, the most popular psychedelic is still THC. For more articles like this one, and for exclusive deals on delta-8 THCdelta-9 THCTHCVTHCPdelta 10HHCTHC-O and other legal THC products, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, your top-source for all things cannabis-related.


Wanderlust

During my late teens and early twenties I was lucky enough to travel to far away parts of the world. Although many places I went to caused me to feel the famous ‘culture shock’, each place I arrived at, I was greeted by gorgeously kind people, and open-mindedness was rife. It changed my perception of the world. If you haven’t ever had the chance to then you must; travelling is a necessity for everyone (whatever age you are). As J.R.R Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, once said:

“Still round the corner, there may wait, a new road or a secret gate”

What one can take from this somewhat ambiguous quote, is that life will often greet you with new experiences if you have the courage to turn that next corner. That’s how I felt when I first arrived in Vietnam. 

Vietnam 

Vietnam is a country in South-east Asia, and is most known for its incredible beaches, wildlife, motorbiking trails and bustling cities. If you were to look at the nation on a map, it looks a bit like the letter S, winding its way down the coast of South-east Asia. The old leader, Ho Chi Minh, who now has the capital city named after him, was responsible for claiming Vietnam’s independence in 1969. 

Vietnam War

Vietnam has always had the reputation of being a highly tropical place. Even during the American-Vietnam war (1955-1975), many American soldiers were sold a propaganda dream of beautiful beaches and amazing greenery. Furthermore, they were sent to hunt and destroy a communist ideology. In the end, both seemed to be lies and the devastation of the Vietnam war hit both sides demonstrably. Whilst Vietnam’s beautiful scenery is unquestionable, those involved in the war did not have the time or strength to stop and enjoy it. The Vietnamese were able to use their knowledge of the forests, and attack Americans with gorilla warfare, which US soldiers would not have been used to. There were no front lines, or back lines, anywhere was a threat. Both the Vietnamese and the American soldiers were unjustly killed due to deceitful politicians…yet again.

Visiting Vietnam 

When deciding to visit Vietnam I was of course influenced by its incredible lustrous and interesting history. I had learned about the Vietnam war through history lessons and films, and I had seen images of the incredible landscapes. It was somewhere I had wanted to visit since I was a boy. However, I also wanted to visit because I had heard that Vietnamese psychedelics were supposed to be incredible – and those mixed with the unbelievable scenery of Vietnam was something I knew I wanted to experience. It was one for the bucket list. However, drugs in Vietnam are not accepted like drugs in Europe or America. In fact, they are extremely illegal. I use the word ‘extremely’ because using certain drugs in Vietnam can lead to the death penalty.

Mushrooms in Vietnam 

Drugs in Vietnam, and South-east Asia in general, are very much illegal. Although you may smell cannabis on the streets, or see many street-dealers waving baggies at you, don’t be fooled. Drugs are very much unlawful. The irony is that:

“American soldiers in Vietnam began using drugs while off duty to help cope with all their struggles during the war. The Department of Defense reported in 1971 that by that time, 51% of soldiers had smoked marijuana, 28% had consumed heroin or cocaine, and 31% had used psychedelics such as LSD or mushrooms”

However, despite this fact, the truth is that nowadays, Vietnam does not want people selling or using drugs. The consequences are huge

“Penalties for drug offences are severe. Under the Vietnamese penal code, a person caught in possession of even a small amount of heroin can be sentenced to death. There are over two dozen foreigners currently serving life sentences or facing the death penalty for drug trafficking offences”

It isn’t just heroin that can lead to such insane prosecutions. If you’re found with cocaine, ecstasy or even enough cannabis, you can also be sentenced to death. Whilst I was travelling out there, I met someone who’s father had recently been sentenced to death for possession of 5 grams of cannabis. It sounded as if he was finding a way to be released, but seriously, imagine if you didn’t have the connections to resist! 

My Experiences of Mushrooms In Vietnam 

As you can see, whilst Vietnam might seem like a fun-loving, drug-accepting place full of open-mindedness, it still has very very strict laws. However, most of the time, when you’re out of the authorities eye-line, it is a very free place. I took a few months out of my life and decided to travel from the top to the bottom: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh. It’s a classic route that many backpackers take. There were many stops along the way in a variety of different cities. I was fortunate enough to rent a motorbike and do the Hai Van Pass, which is one of the most beautiful roads in the world. In addition, I got to see the wonder-of-the-world: Halong Bay.

The trip was a psychedelic journey even without psychedelics. However, drugs were still on my mind; and something that I knew I needed to find and to try. During my journey I was greeted by many people who spoke about these cannabis cafes, or ‘high bars’ as they were called. They were tucked away in forests and on mountains and were not the easiest to find. I remember one day spending 6 hours trying to find one, going down dirt tracks and insanely steep hills, only to eventually give up. Google Maps could only get me so far.

But in one small town, I was finally directed to one. I went with a few people I had met in the hostel I was staying at, and we jumped on our mopeds and began the voyage. It took an hour or so, and we had to park a little down the track as it wasn’t the type of road a moped would survive on. But eventually we arrived, sweaty and a bit irritated by the long walk. However, the view was something that would turn any sweaty, irritated person into a bundle of joy. The whole place was made out of bamboo, with beautiful carpets to lie on, and small tables to sit by. It felt like a Buddhist Temple for the psychedelic-lovers. There was subtle trance-music playing quietly, which was a beautiful addition to the atmosphere of the place. Plus, as if it couldn’t get any better, the sunset was only hours away. 

I was excited to say the least. Once we’d settled and found a place to sit. I walked up to the counter and was greeted by a very smiley Vietnamese woman. I asked her if she had any of the ‘special shakes’, which were written all over the menu board. She replied: ‘Yes’. I had assumed these ‘special shakes’ were simply THC milkshakes. I wasn’t devastated because any experience would have been wonderful. However, before I was able to say anything else, she asked, ‘mushrooms or weed’? My dream had been answered. I was almost speechless with joy.

However, I found it in myself to reply, ‘mushrooms please’. And that was it. We ordered a couple; for myself and the rest of my group. When it arrived, I sat sipping the off-coloured but oddly nice flavoured drink, watching the sun dip into the earth, and feeling like I’d accomplished something incredible. Something that few people would understand, but for those that did – would be connected to me forever. 

The trip was incredible. It took about an hour to begin and lasted maybe 6. There was enough natural light to accompany my trip for the majority of it, but when it became dark the amazing atmosphere of the place was good enough. I spoke to people about the world, I danced to the music, I even sat and just watched the sun. I ended up having quite an intense relationship with a cloud in the sky.

There was one particular cloud, which I had convinced myself looked like a big fluffy bear, and I had created a narrative in which this cloud was slowly moving across the world – watching over everyone and everything. I had taken Ketamine in India, Acid in Thailand and Ecstasy in Berlin – but this was by far my favourite experience.

The sad truth is, I can’t really remember all of my elaborate thoughts I had during the trip, but I knew that I felt like I’d discovered something incredible. Whilst the memory of it might not be as pure as the original experience, I’m very glad I did it. And i’m very glad I’ve now been able to write it all down. 

Mushrooms in Vietnam are something very special, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It’s a journey and it may take a bit of time to get there – but when you do – it’ll be extraordinary.

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The MORE Act to Decriminalize Cannabis Advanced One Step Further

It’s been a long time coming, right? This wait for federal cannabis reform. To show the tides are turning, the MORE Act, which would decriminalize cannabis, advanced one step further in Congress, bringing the US that much closer to a federal decriminalization policy. Can this bill go through?

If the MORE Act does decriminalize cannabis, the USA will be an entirely different place. But even if it doesn’t there’s still a huge selection of cannabis products, like delta-8 THC, and a number of other minor cannabinoids. This is great for everyone, especially users who prefer slightly less high, and less associated anxiety. In fact, we’ve got great deals for delta-8 THC, and many other products, so stop by, and take a look at the options we’ve got for you.

Cannabis in the US of A

Most of us know the basics, but before getting into the changes that are coming, it’s best to go over where we currently stand. Cannabis, in the United States is illegal for both medical and recreational purposes. Cannabis used to be an important aspect of American life, with hemp grown for all kinds of industrial uses, and cannabis being found in tons of medical (and non-medical) products. By the beginning of the 1900’s, the one thing cannabis wasn’t used for as much, was getting high.

Getting into the story of marijuana illegalization is certainly controversial. While some will stick to the government story line of cannabis being dangerous and in need of eradication, the other story involves different factors, like pharmaceutical companies that didn’t want to compete with a plant that could be easily grown by the people themselves, or a paper industry that saw hemp paper as competition, or a chemicals industry that felt likewise about it. When it comes to the illegalization of cannabis, these two stories run counter, but regardless of why it happened, this was the outcome.

In 1937 the Marihuana Tax Act was passed which placed massive taxes and restrictions on marijuana, making it nearly impossible to either research it, without express permission, or use personally. This wasn’t a full illegalization though. Different laws were passed over the years, leading to cannabis being put in Schedule I of the DEA’s Controlled Substances list, with the advent of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. This made all uses of it illegal, with the plant seen as having no medicinal value, whatsoever.

decriminalize marijuana

Federal vs state

Obviously, this isn’t the end of the story, as cannabis is not regulated through the constitution, giving individual states the ability to create their own laws. Not only do many states have decriminalization measures, many stemming from the 70’s when cannabis was first completely illegalized, but the majority have comprehensive medical marijuana programs, and 18 (including two of the most populous states: New York and California), allow legal recreational use, essentially 100% going against the US government.

For those who have been paying attention over the years, this has caused many problems. In the earlier days of medicinal legalizations, the federal government still targeted users, often subjecting them to criminal punishments, though they weren’t breaking state laws. It’s even seen today still. The DEA just announced intentions to expand legal cannabis cultivation in the country, but with caveats that will likely keep former cannabis cultivators who have worked legally by their own state’s laws, from having a chance to participate, since the federal government still considers their past work as criminal activity.

For the most part these attacks have lightened over the years. I expect because there’ve been too many states going against federal regulation for the US to continue attempting to punish people. And with so many states essentially flipping the bird to federal law, it’s also not surprising that the federal government has been scrambling to change directions. This is likely to save face in this changing climate of weed acceptance, where the population has been steadily, and uncompromisingly, going in the opposite direction to federal mandate.

What is the MORE act, and will it decriminalize cannabis?

The first thing to understand about the MORE act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act), or HR 3617, is that it isn’t a legalization measure at all, but is meant to federally decriminalize cannabis. It would officially de-schedule cannabis out of Schedule I of the Controlled Substances list, and seemingly off of it entirely. This would officially take away criminal penalties for certain crimes. Under the law, individual states could continue to make their own decisions concerning full legalizations in their own domains.

The bill takes a complete 180 degree turn from current policy, essentially saying that cannabis is no longer dangerous, and that it has medical value. In fact, it’s practically a legalization. This is backed up by the fact that the bill would introduce a 5% tax on cannabis products. Usually when the government expects for something not to be sold, it doesn’t attach a tax to it. After all, it means the government fully accepts retail sales if its setting up a system to regulate taxes for it. So though this bill works to decriminalize cannabis, it also clearly promotes its legal sale (and therefore use) by way of setting a taxation amount.

The tax from the products would go to fund projects for criminal and social reform, and would eventually rise to 8% from 5%. Tax money would be distributed by a newly formed agency called the Office of Cannabis Justice, which would reside within the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. At least some of the money would be used for grants intended toward communities hard hit by the war on drugs.

MORE Act

Along with this, it would prevent benefits like public housing, or other federal benefits, to be denied to those who have been found guilty of cannabis crimes. It would also keep simple possession or use acts from causing an impact under immigration laws. The new law would do what most legalization bills do, it would expunge past convictions of those who have been found guilty of relevant cannabis crimes. This means, if a person served time for cannabis, or received any kind of relevant conviction, they will no longer have to state this, as it will no longer apply. Those currently under active convictions would be able to petition the courts for a resentencing.

Another aspect of the MORE act is that it would allow marijuana businesses to apply for, and receive, small business administration loans, as well as other banking services and insurance. These are things that have been repeatedly denied to cannabis companies due to federal regulation against the drug.

The MORE act was originally introduced in 2019, and it officially passed the US House of Representatives on December 4th, 2020. This is the first time a part of congress has approved a bill that’s meant to end cannabis prohibition laws. It didn’t have time to go through the Senate though, and therefore had to be reintroduced in 2021. In order to become law, it must pass a final vote in the House – again, as well as make it through a full Senate. The MORE Act has 76 co-sponsors, one of whom is republican.

MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis gets one step further

On September 30th, 2021, the House Judiciary Committee voted on the bill, and passed it by a vote of 26-15. The House Judiciary Committee is chaired by Jerrold Nadler, who is also a co-sponsor of the MORE Act. Though the vote went mainly by party lines with all 26 democrats voting in favor, they were joined by two republicans, while 15 voted no.

As stated before, this bill passed the House in 2020 in a vote of 228-165, but since the Senate never got to it, it couldn’t be passed fully. When a new congress took their seats in January, the whole process actually started from scratch with the reintroduction of the bill. This means that though the same bill was passed in the House already, it will need to repass it again to continue.

The House Judiciary Committee, upon passing the bill, referred the bill for a vote by the entire House once again. As it passed by large margins the last time, it is expected to do okay again, even with a different configuration of congressmen due to the results of the 2020 elections. The much bigger obstacle is for it to get through the Senate. Once it passes the House again, that conversation can begin.

cannabis reform

Will the MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis pass?

This is an interesting question, and it can really go either way. It’s not shocking to understand that much of government is still going to be against such a decriminalization, especially those with more conservative mindsets. However, there’s a growing and undeniable reality about all this. Nearly every state has some sort of decriminalization, medical, or recreational policy, even if only a minor one. And the news is constantly filled with mentions of new states pushing through comprehensive medical bills, or full-on recreational ones. About half the country is already living in recreational locations.

The US government weakens itself by allowing this, and since it can’t stop it, or reverse it, or bully it, or arrest it, or even lie about it anymore, it must change tack if it wants to save face. And ultimately, this is non-negotiable. The US can’t have a federal mandate that no state will follow, so the question of ‘will a decriminalization measure or legalization measure go through soon’, has the very easy answer of ‘yes, because it has to.’

Having said that, though the walls are certainly closing in, it could be the next one and not this one. While I expect things can’t go on this way for more than another year tops, it doesn’t mean it has to be this particular bill. I do, however, think the MORE Act has a great chance of passing, even if just because of the timing.

To give an idea of how much the government does understand this, there are now states like North Carolina, where republicans are pushing legalization measures. Not because they agree, but simply because they understand that it’s what their constituents want, and that if they want to keep their seats, this is the new deal.

There is even yet another bill making the rounds in Congress, this one an actual legalization measure. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and seeks to go a step further by legalizing cannabis and instituting a federal market for it. This is more extreme, making the MORE Act slightly more likely between the two, in my estimation. That a bill has to pass soon is a fact of US federal power and control, but chances are it will be a less aggressive one. Competition between the two bills could even cause problems, though they technically do different things, and could potentially both be passed.

Conclusion

This is certainly an exciting time in the world of weed. The MORE Act might just be the ticket to federal cannabis decriminalization, and the end to restrictive and silly prohibition laws. The one thing we can be almost certain of, is that a bill of this nature will pass soon. However, for now, we’ll have to carefully watch progress to see the fate of HR 3617.

Hello to all. Welcome to CBDtesters.co, the best internet location for the most relevant and interesting cannabis and psychedelics-related news from around the world. Read-thru the site regularly to stay on top of the ever-exciting universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up to receive our newsletter, so you always know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post The MORE Act to Decriminalize Cannabis Advanced One Step Further appeared first on CBD Testers.

MS Patients Continually Choose Cannabis for Treatment

When looking at the literature, there’s a big back-and-forth when it comes to the medical benefits (and detractions) of cannabis. Sometimes this is a result of a general learning curve, and the differences – and issues – with study methodology. And sometimes this is because there are different forces at work with their own agendas. Two articles have recently been brought up about MS patients who use cannabis as treatment for their symptoms. And while the author might paint cannabis in a strange light, the actual studies point toward cannabis as a major benefit for MS patients.

There’s a reason MS, cancer, AIDS, and epileptic patients continually choose cannabis as a treatment option. Whether you’re a medical patient, or recreational user, cannabis has tons of benefits, plus, these days, you’ve got major options. Like delta-8 THC, an alternate form of cannabis, which doesn’t cause as strong a psychoactive effect, and which leaves users more clear-headed and less couch locked. We’ve got great deals for THCV, THC-O, delta 10, delta-8 THC & even HHC as well as many other compounds. Check ’em out, whether you’re an MS patient looking for a treatment, or just want to kick back and relax.

What is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), also referred to as encephalomyelitis disseminata, is what is considered a demyelinating disease. It’s defined by the insulating covers of nerve cells being damaged in the brain and spinal cord. This damage inhibits the transmission of signals in the nervous system, and leads to many different kinds of symptoms as a result. Some of the more common symptoms associated with the disease have to do with vision, manifesting as double vision, or loss of vision in one eye, problems with coordination, issues with sensation, and muscle weakness.

Symptoms can be consistent with MS, but they can also come in phases, and then disappear for the most part, though as the disease progresses, patients will often experience residual neurological symptoms, even during these ‘off’ periods. There is no known cure for MS, and most treatments are a means of controlling symptoms, and helping patients be more comfortable. There are no great pharmaceutical answers, and those that have been known to help with symptoms, are generally associated with negative side effects, or simply not being tolerated well by the body. Many MS patients use cannabis – whether prescribed or not – to deal with their symptoms.

Neither the cause, nor the underlying mechanisms of the disease, are actually known. The expected underlying mechanism is thought to be related to MS either an autoimmune disorder – a disorder where the immune system attacks the body, or a failure of myelin-producing cells. In terms of what causes it, many in the medical community believe it has to do with genetics, or environmental factors, possibly in conjunction with a virus. In this way, MS is diagnosed only by symptoms.

MS patients cannabis treatment

According to the National MS Society, more than 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS. A study funded by the organization put the estimate for US cases at just under one million living with the diagnosis. This means one of the following: nearly half of the world’s MS population live in the US, global statistics are lacking, or that there are major issues with diagnostic statistics on this disorder. As a disorder without a true medical diagnosis (a way to define it exclusively and separately from other possible issues), the last might be the biggest reason.

MS patients and cannabis treatment

An article recently came out that highlighted two different studies that have recently been done on MS patients. The article was put out by Multiple Sclerosis News Today, and cautions MS patients who use cannabis for treatment of symptoms. The author doesn’t actually seem to take this tack in the end, but does highlight two different studies in the argument of why MS patients who use cannabis for treatment of their symptoms, should be careful.

The first study pointed to by the author is this one: Impaired awareness: Why people with multiple sclerosis continue using cannabis despite evidence to the contrary. The study used two different groups of MS patients who regularly smoked cannabis, and put them into two groups, with one group continuing as usual, and one group stopping cannabis use for 28 days. A baseline measurement was taken at the beginning, which measured processing speed, memory, and executive function, as well as the ‘modified fatigue impact scale’ (mFIS) to measure self-report of cognitive abilities. Baseline measurements were not significantly different in the beginning, but there were differences after 28 days.

After 28 days, the group that had stopped cannabis use had significant improvements in the cognitive functioning tests, though there was no difference in self-reported cognitive abilities. Those that had stopped smoking reported having a more difficult time being away from home, and all that had stopped cannabis for the study, resumed at the end.

So, let’s recap. We already know that cannabis use affects cognitive ability while being used. So it comes as no surprise that after 28 days of abstention, there would be a difference in comparison to active users. That’s literally comparing someone who is currently high, to someone who hasn’t smoked in a month. What it does help back up – probably inadvertently, is that cannabis doesn’t seem to cause long-term impairment. And that within 28 days (possibly considerably less), cognitive function is back to normal levels. And since we already expect this, it’s really not shocking.

What the study did show, were two important findings. One is that there was a statistical significance to the amount of cannabis abstainers who felt they couldn’t function as well away from home without the cannabis, indicating a medical need that cannabis had been actively helping with (or the perceived need – this is something that could use some more study). The other thing it showed, in the same vein, is that all users were more willing to deal with the minor cognitive impairment of using cannabis, if it meant helping their symptoms.

cannabis medicine

While some people like to talk about addiction to cannabis, this is debatable at best, and doesn’t even come close to comparing to the kind of addictions formed by drugs like opiates or nicotine. And certainly after 28 days, if there was an addiction issue, it would have been very much decreased. Yet all patients returned to using cannabis. I certainly can’t make the statement that they didn’t go back for other reasons, but the most likely reason (and perhaps there should have been a follow-up question about it) seems to do with MS patients wanting cannabis as a treatment for their symptoms…despite short-term cognitive impairments, which to them, weren’t even noticeable.

The article writer pointed out that depression issues were also decreased by stopping cannabis, but this seems to be a major error, and is a reference to another piece of research. The study in question doesn’t seem to have measured this, nor is it mentioned in their findings. However, it was mentioned that those who stopped, couldn’t function as well away from home, which points more in the other direction. This also could use follow-up study.

Another study on MS patients and cannabis for treatment

To be fair in my treatment of this article, I don’t believe the author was actually saying they believed cannabis shouldn’t be used for MS. In fact, while handing out a word of caution, the author went on to show this study: Cannabinoid use among Americans with MS: Current trends and gaps in knowledge. This study was to show trends of MS patients when it came to using cannabis for treatment of symptoms.

This study was done through data collection via nationwide surveys of MS patients regarding pain. The questionnaire included questions about cannabis use, like current and recent use, reasons for use, preferred type of cannabis (high CBD, high THC), and the perceived effects of the patients. There were 1,027 respondents. Symptom severity was measured through PROMIS. Type of pain was assessed through the painDETECT questionnaire and FMSurvey Criteria Questionnaires.

The study found that 42% of respondents had used cannabis recently, and that of them, 18% thought there should be healthcare guidance for this use. It was found that recent and current users generally had high pain scores, that sleep and pain were found to be the most common reasons of use for this population, and that there was a strong correlation for benefits with sleep and pain. CBD dominant formulations were preferred out of those who had preferences for one or the other. The study basically concluded that cannabis use is common among MS patients despite the lack of guidance from medical professionals.

The author of the article, despite starting out with a warning, seemed to break with their initial thought, saying that they expected the numbers for cannabis users reported in the study to be low, and that social media groups showed a much wider audience of MS cannabis users. In fact, one of the main concerns of the article writer, was not that people were using cannabis, but that they weren’t receiving any guidance, and this I completely agree on.

cannabis for MS

Back in the day, before cannabis was re-legalized for medical use anywhere, people who needed it medically would go to great lengths to obtain it, but this meant being lucky enough to grow a standard plant, or buy some flower off a dealer. These days, the medical cannabis world is massive and expanding, with tons of differentiated options based on tons of different cannabinoids and terpenes, and the ability for concentrated forms whereby the amount of CBD or THC present, far exceeds what is found in a standard plant. MS patients are choosing to use cannabis as their treatment, but they aren’t being shown how to do it best.

Why don’t MS patents receive guidance for cannabis treatments?

The problem with something like medical cannabis not being universally accepted, is that information and offered treatment options, will vary. In some places it won’t be legal to use it, some doctors might still be stuck on smear campaigns, some hospitals, clinics, or doctors might be pharmaceutically funded, and won’t push non-pharmaceutical products, and let’s be honest, it can be expensive to buy legally and insurance doesn’t cover it. Whatever the reason, much like cancer, AIDS, and epileptic patients that have broken laws for decades to get treatments, this is no different.

I don’t believe the author of the article is against using cannabis for MS, in fact, I think the author is all for it (though I cannot say for sure). But I don’t believe the publication supports it. If you take a look at Multiple Sclerosis News Today, it doesn’t even mention cannabis treatments, whether approved or experimental, under its treatment section. While the publication does mention news on cannabis treatments, it only mentions pharmaceuticals, with nearly every other article that mentions cannabis use by MS patients, being negative, especially when talking about non-pharma use.

What this article really shows, is how a publication can slant information based on who is funding it. In fact, multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com, is really BioNews Services, LLC. BioNews Services, LLC received all of its $350 million in funding from the US government. While it’s not technically bad to get funding from the government, when those funded are responsible for getting out medical information, it becomes a massive conflict of interest.

This publication is NOT funded by a 3rd party, or a group of investors, or private donations, or other independent medical sources, but from the actual federal government. This is a massive conflict of interest considering the publication is then used to fuel fear about cannabis, while only pushing pharmaceutical treatments. And doing so as if its not 100% funded by the government. Let’s be honest, the publication is fine with cannabis, so long as its pharma-sponsored, which is usually the way it works with the federal government and medications. And if you thought the federal government wasn’t involved with big pharma, take a look at how many lawmakers accept money from these companies!

Conclusion

When a whole bunch of people with the same medical problem, gravitate toward a specific treatment, it’s usually worth noting. You can even see public figures speak about their use of cannabis to treat MS. In fact, there’s literally no other treatment written about that gives MS patients more relief than cannabis, yet even an article like the one I’m referencing, which does seem to off-handedly promote cannabis, still promotes confusion and general fear about it. Yeah, there should be more information given to MS patients…obviously. But let’s be honest, when suffering from a debilitating disease, those suffering are a much better judge of what works, and with MS patients, what works best seems to be cannabis treatments.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post MS Patients Continually Choose Cannabis for Treatment appeared first on CBD Testers.

Magic Mushrooms Levitee Labs Entered Canadian Securities Exchange

If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, medical psychedelics are the next big thing, and there are great reasons why, that mare made clear through medical testing every day. To give an idea of just how quickly this is now happening, the magic mushrooms company Levitee Labs has just entered the Canadian Securities Exchange. What does this mean?

It’s not hard to tell medical psychedelics are on their way, with the inclusion of a magic mushrooms company in the Canadian Securities Exchange. It’s a story we know well from the current situation of fighting for legalization of cannabis, and all included products like delta-8 THC, THCV, and THCA. More legalizations means more products, and this is great for you. We can’t wait until we can offer you psychedelics, but for now, take a look at our delta 10, THC-O, THCV & delta-8 THC deals, and the rest of the compounds we have on offer, to find something that works well for you.

Medical psychedelics have been on the rise for several years, with esketamine legalized in 2019 in the US for use with treatment resistant depression and suicidal thoughts (updated 2020), and research on the way to legalize MDMA and psilocybin from magic mushrooms, complete with ‘breakthrough therapy’ status from the US’s FDA. This makes it not that shocking that a country that already legalized recreational cannabis, would be one of the first to allow a psychedelics company into a securities exchange, and that’s exactly what happened.

What magic mushrooms company just entered the Canadian Securities Exchange?

On July 19th, 2021, it was announced that integrative medicine company Levitee Labs, Inc., a producer of magic mushrooms and associated products, would enter the Canadian Securities Exchange on July 21st 2021, which it did, with a starting share price of $.50. This makes it the very first company geared toward the growth and sale of magic mushrooms to enter any global exchange. Which is obviously big news if you follow the expanding world of medical psychedelics, as this now makes it an acceptable route.

Levitee is now traded under ‘LVT’, after it announced that it received final approval from the CSE (Canadian Securities Exchange). Levitee operates under two names: Sporeo Supply, which offers premium cultivation feedstock for mushrooms, based out of a facility in British Columbia, and Monk-E Nutraceuticals, which focuses on a line of nutraceutical supplements based on mushrooms, as well as supplies for cultivating mushrooms. It currently works with non-psychedelic mushrooms, but is looking to include the psychedelic counterpart. The company has a main focus on mushroom extracts, and has already raised over $12 million CAD through private offerings.

mushrooms Canadian Securities Exchange

In order to get this clearance, Levitee needed to accomplish a few things, which were all done. First, it agreed on the acquisition of all of the operational assets of ACT Medical Centres, Inc. This is made up of five clinics for addiction and pain management across the state of Alberta – which came to a total of $350,000, all paid. These clinics have serviced over 35,000 patients in the last year.

Second, it also made a share purchase agreement (when a seller agrees with a buyer for a specific amount of shares at a specific price) to acquire three pharmacies in Alberta by taking over issued and outstanding shares. These pharmacies focus on medications for substance abuse, mental health issues, and chronic pain. The cost of acquisition was $3,685,262.

Lastly, the company made a share purchase agreement for BlockMD LTD, a telemedicine platform geared toward patients with addiction issues who are seeking to get prescriptions and find doctors in Alberta, Canada. This cost Levitee $1,475,000. This was paid with Levitee’s common shares upon closing. In the last year, this platform has hosted over 20,000 doctor visits remotely.

When Levitee completed these steps, it fulfilled the transaction, which made the previous owner, Alex Wylie the principal business operator and a consultant, and Carrie Wylie the General Manager of operations in Alberta. Company CEO, Pouya Farmand, made this statement about the agreement:

“The Agreements we have entered today are integral to our growth strategy and goal of building a platform that will set a new standard for substance abuse and mental health treatment in Canada. Through these acquisitions, we expect Levitee will become the largest non-government provider of addiction treatment services in Alberta.”

What is Levitee Labs?

‘Integrative medicine’ has become a popular term of late, which is almost funny, in that its essentially the same as ‘holistic medicine’ which was badly demonized by pharmaceutical companies not looking to have patients focus on their entire selves when establishing and treating problems. Both holistic and integrative medicine use alternate approaches, or combined approaches, that take into account the full spectrum of a patient, including other health issues, lifestyle, diet, and habits.

integrative medicine

Levitee Labs operates in this space as an integrative wellness company that specializes in providing a central point to complementary wellness services for patients. The company provides products for addiction, pain, and mental health treatments using psychedelic medicine and associated therapies. This includes alternative medicines through evidence-based research, and newly emerging psychedelic therapies like esketamine.

Levitee’s recent acquisition agreement, which allowed it’s shares to become publicly traded assets, is basically a starting platform from which the company intends to administer esketamine therapy, along with other psychedelic treatments, for mental health-related issues, pain issues, and addiction problems. The company is pushing to implement treatments using both psilocybin and ibogaine, once these treatments become legal, or exemptions are made. As the company is based around mushroom treatments, this is one of the major avenues it intends to go down.

How did Levitee make it happen?

The company is using 2021 to increase revenue and grow further, starting with its acquisitions as a base to do so. It plans to continue strategic acquisitions to further integrate into the Canadian market, and further develop itself and its platforms and brands. The company was able to make the moves it made thus far, partially based off of a non-brokered private deal which grossed the company $10,570,000 CAD, the majority of the $12+ million raised privately so far.

Levitee was able to bring in this money because of incredible interest in the company and its efforts, so incredible that the demand exceeded the company’s initial offering by 3.5X. The initial offering was $8 million CAD, with the increase made by issuing 21,140,000 subscription receipts at $.50 CAD/receipt, which came to $10,570,000 CAD. A subscription receipt is a receipt issued by a company before an offering, which is worth one common share of the company to whomever holds it.

This massive interest led Levitee to hire investors to finance special warrants (dividends where the holder has the ability to sell or buy a security before it expires, at a specific price), with each special warrant going for $.50 CAD. This brought in an additional working capital of $1,230,000. All of this, and being the first psychedelics company to enter an exchange, makes Levitee one of the premiere companies in the psychedelics space. In April, the company stated that it expected its 2021 revenue to top $26 million CAD.

Legalization issues and looking ahead

It’s a pretty big deal that a company in the psychedelics space, and which specifically pushes magic mushrooms and associated products, was just added to the Canadian Securities Exchange. In order to do it, Levitee has leveraged some pretty good deals for itself by acquiring already existent companies that have lines into different sectors, like BlockMD LTD which gives a base for a telemedicine network. Levitee has some interesting possible future moves up its sleeve already.

magic mushrooms

The company is also eying direct-to-consumer online supplements and health food wholesale company Earth Circle Organics Inc, which operates mainly in the US. This could help it expand into the US market. It’s also looking at a mushroom based tea company, called BODIE Phytoceuticals Ltd. Lastly, the company is looking toward receiving a license from Health Canada to be a Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer. It was a late-stage applicant for this license, which is necessary for suppliers of controlled substance treatments in accordance with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

As far as magic mushrooms in Canada, though the mushrooms themselves are still illegal, spores, grow kits, and mycelium are all legal, and sold outright. Psilocybin and psilocin, the two main active psychedelic components in mushrooms, are Schedule III under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Possession, sale, and transport of these substances is therefore illegal, as well as obtaining and producing them without licensing, or a specific exemption for them.

This does not stop online retailers from already selling psilocybin in micro doses, which could be a reason the country began to allow medical use for end-of-life patients in 2020. That same year, 19 health officials obtained the right to administer psilocybin to themselves in order to help in the creation of medicine in the future. Last month, legal actions were threatened by advocates because Health Canada stymied its approvals for psilocybin therapy, with a growing resistance and disapproval to such lagging behavior. Exemptions to use psilocybin therapy are obtained through section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This legal article better defines the current status of mushrooms, how an industry is likely to get started in the same way as cannabis, and what can be realistically expected in the near future.

Conclusion

In the same way that it becomes clear through the FDA’s designation of a ‘breakthrough therapy’, that MDMA and psilocybin are on their way toward legalization in the States, it says the same thing that Health Canada is already making allowances for psilocybin therapy in Canada. Added to this that Levitee, a company in the magic mushrooms space, was just added to the Canadian Securities Exchange, and the idea that magic mushrooms will be illegal forever goes out the window.

The question with Canada, much like the US, is not ‘will magic mushrooms be legalized for medical use’, but ‘when will magic mushrooms be legalized for medical use.’

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Magic Mushrooms Levitee Labs Entered Canadian Securities Exchange appeared first on CBD Testers.

How Many States Must Change Cannabis Laws, Before Federal Government Is Invalidated?

The state vs federal government issue has been raging on in the whole cannabis debate, since states started breaking with federal prohibition. With 18 states now legalized for recreational cannabis, (and more on the way), the question now becomes, how many states must change their cannabis laws before the prohibition mandate of the federal government is invalidated?

How many states must change their cannabis laws before a federal government mandate can be invalidated? Hard to say, but luckily, this question does nothing to stop the burgeoning cannabis industry where it has already been legalized. And a growing industry means more and better options for you. Case in point, delta-8 THC. This alternate THC compound doesn’t produce anxiety like delta-9, and provides a clear-headed, energetic high. Preferable for many users. Check out our array of delta-8 THC, delta 10, THCV & THC-O deals, and be glad that the constitution does not actually prohibit cannabis.

Federal laws vs states’ rights

One of the tenants of the US constitution is that the federal government does not get full and complete power, and that each individual state has the right to ‘states’ rights’. These laws, enacted by individual states, do not have to match with the federal government, and can be in direct violation of federal law. The cannabis issue is one of the best high-profile examples of inconsistency between federal and state laws.

However, this doesn’t always hold, and we know this. If the US Supreme Court makes a ruling to legalize something like abortion, no state has the ability to illegalize it, though they can institute a lot of measures that make receiving one difficult. When looking at a subject like gay marriage, it almost looks like states can go against the Supreme Court ruling of 2015 which legalized gay marriage federally. Almost.

But a closer look makes clear that though many states still have outdated laws on their books – and refuse to change them – that these laws are not actually enforceable. That’s because the same-sex marriage law, much like the law legalizing abortion, came from Supreme Court rulings, not from legislative measures. This is how it works: the federal government has something called the Supremacy Clause: Article VI, Clause 2 of the US Constitution. It says:

federal government

“All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be Required as a Qualification To any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

This sounds weird, because we do have states’ rights…right? States’ rights are given in the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution, and are stated as follows:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What this amendment actually makes painfully clear, is that individual states only have the ability for separate rights, if it doesn’t contradict with the Constitution. This is why when the Supreme Court makes a ruling, it must be followed, because the Supreme Court is a constitutional court, whose job it is to interpret the Constitution. Since a state cannot actually go up against the constitution, it must abide by Supreme Court rulings. This is also why, though many states still have laws against gay marriage, and even refuse to remove them in some cases, they don’t actually count for anything if someone wants to sue their state, because the 2015 Supreme Court ruling will back them.

Is cannabis in the constitution?

No, of course not! Not one mention is made to cannabis in the US Constitution, and realistically, at the time the Constitution was written, if cannabis was mentioned, it would likely have been to promote grow laws. There would have been a 0% chance at that time in history that a federal law would’ve been made to prohibit cannabis in any way at all.

cannabis laws

Cannabis is therefore not specifically ruled by the constitution, but simply by legislative measures. Measures that themselves, can be judged as either constitutional or unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Should that ever happen, then whatever law coming out of it would be binding for all states. As of yet, that has not happened (with the exception of minor and highly indirect rulings which don’t make a full judgement on legality). Therefore, individual states have the ability to set their own independent cannabis laws, in spite of the US federal government ban.

So, what would happen if an individual case about the constitutionality of banning cannabis came to the US Supreme Court? If the court ruled that such a ban was unconstitutional, then every state would be obligated to allow recreational cannabis. If, on the other hand, the Supreme Court made a direct ruling saying that the use of cannabis is unconstitutional, then every state would be obligated to illegalize cannabis. None of this has happened yet.

How many states must change cannabis laws before a federal government mandate is invalidated?

So, now we know that the federal government does trump individual states so long as the law in question is backed-up by the US Constitution. And we know that anything not held specifically by the Constitution is up for decision by individual states. The question now becomes, with a growing number of states changing their legal doctrines to allow medical or recreational cannabis, or decriminalization measures (over 80% of the country), all of which go directly against the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, how many states must change their cannabis laws, before the federal government mandate of cannabis being illegal, gets invalidated. Basically, when does the federal government, have to give it up?

Can it be that all states legalize, and yet the federal government still says its illegal? Wouldn’t that make the federal government look incredibly weak if not one state was willing to follow its doctrines? I imagine at a certain point this aspect will be what changes things. The US government won’t want to look horribly weak, so at a certain point, its likely to change tack completely, and go in the other direction. Realistically, it will have to.

The Mexican example

At the end of 2018, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that cannabis prohibition laws were unconstitutional. This was based on a concept called jurisprudencia in which the legislative government is overridden by five consecutive Supreme Court rulings that rule in the same manner. When this happened, the Supreme Court issued a directive to the government to update the written laws.

After dawdling like babies and asking for multiple extensions over 2.5 years of time, the Mexican Congress finally dropped the ball completely at the end of April, 2021, and not only did not provide a law at the deadline, but did not ask for an extension, thereby allowing the Supreme Court the ability to officially change laws itself. And it did, on June 28th, 2021, the Court officially dropped the laws of prohibition against personal recreational consumption and cultivation, making Mexico the 4th legalized country.

mexico cannabis legalization

Why was the Supreme Court growing so impatient? Well, that’s automatically fair, because the government was meant to be doing a job that it wasn’t doing, but on a more practical level, if the Supreme Court can’t give a directive to the legislature, and have it followed, it erodes the power of the court. The Mexican Supreme Court had to legalize, to make sure it was understood that when it gives a directive, it must be followed.

This example is different from the US in that no Supreme Court ruling has been made in the US. Where they are similar, is in the idea of a government body being able to maintain control by having its laws followed. In Mexico, the Supreme Court ultimately dropped the prohibition laws because it had made a ruling that wasn’t being followed, and this threatened its power, and the power of jurisprudencia. In the US, the question is, at what point is the federal mandate invalidated by enough states going against it? With a caveat of, what does that do to the power of the federal government, if every state is against it?

While it could take longer for all states to adopt recreational policies, over ¾ have a recreational legalization, medical legalization, or decriminalization measure, all of which go against the US federal government. While medical legalizations and decriminalization measures are one thing, recreational legalizations really go right in the face of the US government in a more profound way. And there are plenty more on the way, making this a very pertinent question.

What’s the answer?

As far as I can tell, there isn’t a direct one, or at least, not one that’s outright and specific enough to be easily found in online research. I will put this question to constitutional lawyers, and see if I can offer readers a better answer in the future. It is quite possible that there is no specific measure to govern this, and that case law would actually have to be introduced to set some kind of boundary or limit, by which a federal mandate is invalidated by states not following along.

The thing to keep in mind, is Mexico, and the idea of a government, or government branch, not wanting to look weak. How weak would the US government look if every one of its 50 states and five territories enacted contradictory laws? And what could the federal government realistically do if it allowed anything to get to this point? How could it enforce its laws?

On the other hand, after upholding it for so long, giving in is a massive concession that comes with its own amount of hurt pride and general saltiness for representatives who have pushed so hard to keep these prohibition laws intact. Pride can be very destructive, and it can lead people to make bad decisions, even in the face of their own failure.

Conclusion

The question concerning how many states must change their cannabis laws before the federal government prohibition mandate is invalidated, is one that we’ll have our answer to soon enough. It’s quite possible it will simply come in the form of the government realizing at a certain number of states, that laws must change, and then allowing it to happen. It could come through a Supreme Court ruling. And, unless I find something to say otherwise, this could all come to a strange head if all states do adopt contradicting policies.

For right now, the federal government still has enough followers to keep the law how it is. In another five years, the same thing probably can’t be said. After a certain point, if the government wants to maintain its power (or illusion of it), it must legalize cannabis for recreational use.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post How Many States Must Change Cannabis Laws, Before Federal Government Is Invalidated? appeared first on CBD Testers.

American Stoner – Comparing Cannabis Culture in Legal vs Prohibited States

As a real, through and through stoner, California is one of the best states you could possibly live in and I feel blessed to have grown up there. Sure, the golden state’s industry has some flaws, but as a consumer, you can find literally anything pot-related, and usually with great convenience and for a fair price. However, as journalist stoner, I’m also lucky (if you want to call it that) to be able to experience life in a fully prohibited state – my new home for the time being, Indiana – where I get to learn more about how the market works in states that don’t offer adult recreational products.

Cannabis culture is an interesting subject in the United States and the entire world, and it varies so much based on where exactly you are located. Your stoner experience will be completely different in a state like Colorado as opposed Alabama. Same with comparing Canada to Israel. To learn more about cannabis around the world, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter. To learn more about the new exotic cannabinoids, such as Delta 8, Delta 10 THC, THCV and THC-O, subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter.


Cultural and Societal Differences

When it comes to personal views on cannabis use, I’ve noticed a huge discrepancy between what the citizens of Indiana feel, and what our politicians enforce. Nearly everyone I have met either uses cannabis products or doesn’t care if other people use them, point being that most people would support legalization as it would improve quality of life for many and bring a lot of money and industry to the state.

As a matter of fact, regional surveys have found that 84% of locals support new and more lenient cannabis regulations. Approximately 39 percent of Hoosiers favor allowing cannabis to be used for any purpose, while 42 percent medical use only to permitted. Regardless, only 16 percent of Indiana residents support the current laws so suffice it to say, even in Indiana I’m a stoner among stoners.

Unfortunately, the laws are not in favor of what most people here support, they actually happen to be among the most restrictive in the entire country. Many attribute it to Indiana’s reputation of being extremely conservative, more so than other states. Others believe it’s because the state is basically bought and paid for by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, a known enemy of cannabis reform who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying against legalization.

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There are some obvious repercussions to prohibition, the main one being that cannabis possession is criminalized so anytime you have it you run the risk of getting arrested. And the penalties are pretty steep here. A first offense, possession up to 30 grams, is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and up to 180 days in jail. If you have priors, you’re looking at class A misdemeanors and even felony charges.

That aside, there are some more subtle differences to living life in one of these states, things you don’t necessarily think about until you experience them. For example, I noticed this when I recently took my elderly aunt to the doctor for a pain management appointment. In California, I could be very candid with doctors about cannabis use and we could have a real discussion – like adults – about the benefits of cannabinoid therapy for different conditions, if it could possibly interact with any prescription medications, and if there are any risks. In Indiana, we had to stay quiet on the subject.

Another area of concern is worrying about what my kids might say that could get me in trouble. A lot of people in the industry remember the story of Shona Banda, the mother from Kansas who got arrested and lost custody of her child after he mentioned at school that she was using cannabis medicinally to treat her Crohn’s Disease. The school contacted authorities, who went to her house and turned her world completely upside down. This is definitely something that has crossed my mind, being in the cannabis industry I’m pretty outspoken with my opinions on the subject, and the fear of my kids accidentally repeating something about it at school and causing an uproar, well, it’s making me seriously consider homeschool.

Product Comparisons

Product quality and availability is a huge downside to living in a prohibition state. Of course, people can still get weed, and usually, you can find good weed in every state, but being a cannabis consumer can be much more challenging in a state like Indiana. Going from having the ability to walk into a licensed dispensary and choose from any number of flower strains, concentrates, edibles, and even specialty products – to being stuck scrambling for buds is a bit of a culture shock. Back home, if a store I went to was out of the product I wanted I simply went to another store; out here, if my dealer is out of bud then I’m out of luck.

But ease of access is not the only discrepancy. I have definitely noticed a difference in taste and freshness of some strains that I’ve purchased. One in particular that I bought had a perfumy smell to it, I have legit never smelled pot like this before except one time in my life and that was in Texas, and other very strict prohibition state. There are numerous different reasons why it could have this aroma, from natural (albeit uncommon) terpene combinations, to pesticides, synthetics, and other contaminants.

One thing I find pretty interesting about the market here is that there seems to be much more demand for alternative THCs and synthetics like Delta 8, Delta 10, and THC-O. While most people in California don’t seem to know much about these products, or have any interest in trying them, they can be found at head shops and smoke shops all over the state. Here you’ll find entire racks full of 3Chi vape carts containing all these different, barely legal or not-yet-on-the-radar cannabinoid compounds.

Price Points

For me, this is the big one. I have a few people that I can get good quality flower from (except for the perfumy bud guy but that was a one-off purchase), but I pay quite a bit more here in Indiana than I did in California. I used to pay $120 per ounce for high mid/low top. Most people can expect to pay an average of $240 per ounce for the same quality. I’ve been lucky and found someone who I can buy from for $175/oz, and I’m sure many other people are finding good deals as well. But across the board, it is usually $200 or more for an ounce of decent flower. For really high-quality stuff, the top-of-the-line strains, you’re looking at well over $300 per ounce.

As far as pricing goes, the way it changes by weight is a bit different too. What I’m used to is that when you buy more, you get a prorated price; so the more you buy the less you pay per unit. For example, a half would cost $75 whereas a full ounce would be prorated to $120. This is pretty standard in California whether you’re buying from a dispensary or a dealer. That is not the case in Indiana and I have yet to find a single dealer that prices this way. I can be annoying at times, but there is a plus side to this, if you’re low on funds are stuck buying less than your normal amount, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for not getting a full ounce.

As far as concentrates go, those are hard to find and way more expensive than on the west coast. I typically by it by the gram and have been quoted double for live rosin, sugar, and shatter than what I was spending in California, which was about $15-$20 per gram.

Final Thoughts On Being a Stoner in America

You can see the contrast is striking. On one side, you have a flourishing consumer market with every product option and price point your heart desires, with no legal ramifications; and on the other side you’re limited on products, sneaking around and worrying about getting arrested while overpaying for average bud. It’s not ideal, especially being a true stoner coming from a completely unrestricted state, but it’s certainly educational. I know the comparison is focused on California verses Indiana, but it’s safe to assume the differences apply to any legal vs illegal state. And the silver lining here is that no matter where you are in the United States, and regardless of what the laws are there, you can guarantee that it’ll still be relatively easy to find decent flower, even if you have to pay more and work a little harder for it.

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TAGS: cannabis, cannabis industry, stoner, stoner nation, medical cannabis, indiana, california, united states

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Reefer Madness 2.0 – Is New Govt. Study Linking Cannabis To Suicide?

When most people think of government smear campaigns against cannabis, what usually comes to mind is Anslinger, Reefer Madness, and the onslaught of prohibition back in the 1930s. But a new study published June of this year in JAMA Psychiatry, claiming that cannabis use leads to suicidal ideation, shows that the practice of our government lying to us about marijuana remains alive and well to this day.    

According to the study, researchers state that cannabis use leads to an increased risk of suicide. Let me preface this by saying this particular study is different than most deceitful cannabis studies we come across. While conflicts of interest exist with nearly all of them – usually relating to competing industries or big pharma – this study is special because it’s funded by the US Government. It is literally a government smear campaign against cannabis, a real-life conspiracy come to fruition.

PLEASE NOTE – This article is my interpretation of the cited study, formed from the conclusions that I have reached based on numerous different sources of information. The US Government has a long and questionable history when it comes to cannabis legislation. For decades they’ve been lying to us about nearly every aspect of this plant, minimizing the benefits and exaggerating the risks. This is why cannabis industry writers, like myself and other CBD Testers authors, are very passionate about spreading unbiased information about marijuana. For more articles like this one, or to read about basically anything pertaining to cannabis, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter. And if you’re having thoughts of suicide or self harm, don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether you talk to someone from your personal life or a support group or hotline, there is someone out there who cares and can help you!


Initial Thoughts

The government does benefit from prohibition in numerous ways, so believe it or not, keeping cannabis illegal at the federal level is high on their list of priorities. This is why it has never mattered whether the president was a democrat or republican, or what kind of promises they made on the campaign trail, we have yet to see any substantial progress in the way of federal cannabis legislation. And don’t expect much to change anytime soon either.

Now back to the study. Even the authors admit that their research method is flawed and results may vary. Very few confounding variables were accounted for in the study, and, let’s face it, trying to pinpoint one specific factor that leads to increased thoughts of suicide is a long shot The main point that can really be taken home from this study is that both suicide rates and cannabis use have increased over the last decade… whether or not they are related is an entirely different story.

So, starting with the obvious, people are more stressed these days, financially and just in general – and this statement is confirmed by interviews with more than a dozen experts on mental health and suicide. Also, statistical data collection and record-keeping has vastly improved over the last 10 years resulting in a wealth of knowledge on people’s emotional health and daily habits, information that was less publicly available decades ago.

However, one of the most important questions that arises from this study, is what if increased cannabis use was associated with higher rates of suicidal thoughts because when people felt suicidal, they used cannabis to feel better? It’s more likely that cannabis didn’t cause the suicidal thoughts but actually alleviated them, and if suicidal thoughts returned a person may have gone through another period of more excessive consumption.

I sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression and when I’m going through a rougher point emotionally, I use more cannabis and stronger products because it helps with the symptoms I’m experiencing. So even in my own life, periods of depression do correlate with heavier cannabis use, not because the cannabis is causing my depression, but rather because I’m self-medicating with weed products. Correlation versus causation, it matters a lot when making heavy-handed claims such as this one.

About the Study

Over 281,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 35 participated in the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health between 2008 and 2019. The participants answered questions related to cannabis use, depression and major depressive episodes, suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempted suicide. Using SUDAAN Software and adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, nicotine dependence, alcohol use disorder, and cocaine use disorder, they basically put all the vague, self-reported, statistical data they collected to be analyzed through a computer-generated algorithm.

In reality, they didn’t do very much with the additional information and they didn’t even ask about prescription medications and illicit drug use other than cocaine, even though the rate of prescription drug misuse is nearly double that of cocaine. Researchers assembled four groups for the study — those who used no marijuana, people who used marijuana daily, people who used marijuana non-daily, and individuals with ‘cannabis use disorder’ (CUD). According to their results, even occasional marijuana use was linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, but the risk was greater for regular and CUD users. They also state that women were more strongly impacted than men.

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Apparently, there was even a risk for people who did not suffer from depression at all. “Regardless of whether you had a history of depression or not, cannabis significantly increased the risk of suicidal behavior. It wasn’t a small effect. It was a large effect. I expected an association, but it just took me aback,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA. “Cannabis use also increases impulsive behavior, and for some people suicide is an essentially impulsive act,” Volkow added. “You more or less feel OK and then all of sudden there’s this urgent need to kill yourself,” she said. “Those impulsive acts of suicide have been associated in the past with cannabis.”

So, as per this study, cannabis alone can make someone so crazy that they might spontaneously attempt suicide. In the event that someone is feeling totally normal one minute than dangerously suicidal the next, it much more likely that the issue is an undiagnosed mental health condition. Relating suicide to casually to impulsivity is also dubious and numerous experts claim that suicide is very rarely in impulsive act. Although people who commit suicide are often more impulsive in other areas of life, the act of killing oneself is usually a result of long-term thinking and planning and most suicide attempts have some level of foreseeability to them.

Correlation or Causation? Experts Weigh In

“It might be that people prone to suicide turn to marijuana as a potential form of relief, rather than pot spurring them to suicidal thought and action,” said Dr. Elie Aoun, an addiction psychiatrist with the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. “We have to think about whether it’s the cause or the consequence, or just factors that happen to coexist at the same time.”

Mitch Earleywine, an advisory board member for the advocacy group NORML and professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany., believes this is a self-medication issue. “We happen to be looking at data during a time when both suicidal ideation and cannabis consumption have increased, but the notion that one causes the other seems less likely than a spurious link among each of these and a lot of other economic, social, and legal issues,” said Earleywine.

According to Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, interest in using cannabis to treat mental illness has been growing. “Most people who use cannabis are not suicidal and most people who have attempted suicide may not have used cannabis, so cannabis is neither necessary nor sufficient to ‘cause’ suicide or mood disorders,” D’Souza said.

Major Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest pose substantial problems for professional, patient, and general public trust in research and healthcare. Conflicts of interest compromise the integrity of research projects, and these days, so many exist that you really have to dig deep into who’s paying for a study and what their underlying motives are. Usually, the focus has been on the relationship between authors and companies or pharmaceutical stocks, but we need to look closely at funding from government organizations as well.

There are a few different ways that research results can be manipulated. These include altering the research design, data falsification and fabrication, and suppression of results. Studies of government-sponsored research show that the “incidence of research misconduct is low, but still significant”. Various studies estimate the frequency of research misconduct in government-funded studies to be somewhere between 1% and 9%.

Now, think about the significance of a government-funded study against cannabis. Our government has had a long, questionable, and prejudice relationship with pot since the 1930s when Harry Anslinger led numerous campaigns against “marihuana”, funded smear campaigns, and assisted in the production of films like Reefer Madness.

As it currently stands, our government profits immensely from federal cannabis prohibition and they have their hands so deep in marijuana money that they actually get income from both – states that strictly enforce cannabis regulations and those that permit state-legal recreational programs. In short, the government is making a lot of money on cannabis in both legal and restricted states, and it’s safe to assume they’re not interested in switching things up anytime soon.

How Prohibition Increases Government Tax Revenue

Although cannabis is federally prohibited, state-legal recreational and medical programs are permitted. However, because these businesses are dealing with a schedule 1 narcotic, they aren’t allowed to claim deductions at tax time and are forced to pay effective tax rates as high as 70 percent, as opposed to the more typical 30 percent rate for other industries.

It’s hard to say an exact number regarding how much tax money the government makes off marijuana’s illegal status, but the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates they will collect roughly $5 billion dollars from state-legal cannabis businesses over the next few years.

The government’s gain on illegal enterprise all circles back to one small tax code provision known as 280E, which states that anyone in the business of dealing with Schedule I or Schedule II narcotics cannot claim and exemptions on their taxes. It was written into law back in the 1980s as a way to hit mobsters where it hurts, in their wallets, but it has recently become the focus of an ongoing dispute between state-legal medical and recreational cannabis businesses, and the federal government. As it stands, the government stands to make way more money off all the taxes they collect from 280E as opposed to what they would get if cannabis businesses were charged fairly like every other industry.

“In order for the legalization to be considered, there would need to be a significant excise tax imposed on the sale of cannabis,” says Pat Oglesby, an attorney who specializes in cannabis tax policy. “The federal government is not going to do this for zero, and an excise tax would need to be very high in order to compensate for 280E.”

Profiting Off Cheap Prison Labor

The prison system in the United States is very complex. Here, we have both private and public prisons, and there are some striking difference between the two as far as how they operate, what kind of inmates they house, and where they get funding and spend their budgets.

Public prisons are run by state governments, whereas private prisons are operated by private, third-party companies that receive their funding from various different government contracts. Most of these contracts are based on how many inmates the prison houses and their average length of time onsite. Private prison finances are unregulated and they are not required to report many details about their economic infrastructure, who the holding companies and executives are, how much they receive in funding, or how they spend their annual budgets. Also worth mentioning is that the majority of inmates in private prisons are low-level offenders serving for non-violent crimes.

All that said, the conflicts of interest are frighteningly apparent… but it gets worse. The federal government is the largest utilizer of private prisons in country. Let’s take a quick look at UNICOR, also known as the Federal Prison Industries Program. According to their own website, UNICOR is “a wholly owned, self-sustaining Government corporation that sells market-priced services and quality goods made by inmates.”

UNICOR makes just over $61 million per year in net sales by using prison labor, and while they sell ‘market-priced goods and services’, the inmates earn only 23¢ to $1.15 per hour. And despite getting paid only a fraction of the already-offensively-low federal minimum wage, they must immediately turn around and pay half of their earnings to cover expenses while incarcerated. UNICOR is only one of many companies making millions off almost-free prison labor.

Because incarceration is an industry, prisons are naturally incentivized to expand operations and get more funding. There are many politicians, private contractors, and even stockbrokers that all have a vested interest in keeping prisons profitable, and the only way they can do that is by cutting healthcare and security costs, pushing for extended confinement, and of course, filling any empty beds as quickly as possible. The fact that you can actually buy stock in a system that is supposed to rehabilitate people shows how prison has become a money machine and nothing more. But regardless, these are people with money and connections so lobbying for harsher punishments for low-level crimes, like marijuana possession, to keep people rolling through the prison system is a regular occurrence. Corporate-criminality is a phrase that certainly comes to mind here.

“Various complex financing entities that fuel a built-in incentive to consolidate, monopolize, and expand the incarceration system, and the sentencing and legal processes that keep it humming,” mentions Bianca Tylek, director of the Urban Justice Center’s Corrections Accountability Project (CAP). Tylek says their report aims “to help people understand just how big this space is,” particularly because, often, “companies spend their money in a way to further entrench or expand the use of our criminal-legal system, and who it ends up touching.”

Final Thoughts – Cannabis, Suicide, and Government Misinformation

It’s very common for people with all sorts of underlying mental illnesses, who may also have a pre-existing risk for suicidal thoughts, to use marijuana therapeutically. Numerous experts have chimed in to say that it’s impossible to link any one specific factor to a condition so complex and much more research is needed to understand the link between cannabis and suicide. And considering the government’s questionable history with cannabis, it’s not surprising people are skeptical of studies like this one.  

While we keep being told that cannabis needs to remain prohibited because it is ‘unsafe’, ‘immoral’, and ‘hasn’t been studied extensively enough’, it’s getting tough to ignore all the financial incentives the feds have for keeping it illegal. If the government continues to be motivated by the almighty dollar, it might be a very long time before we see any progress on the cannabis legalization front.


If you are having thoughts of suicide, don’t hesitate to get help because cannabis and other methods for self-medicating are not always effective. If you feel depressed, TALK TO SOMEONE! A friend, spouse, relative, support group, or suicide prevention hotline, there is someone out there who cares and can help you!

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*** This is an opinion piece that mainly reflects the author’s opinion about a subject ***

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