Man with Tourette Syndrome Pleads with NHS To Increase Cannabis Prescriptions

Conor Ryder, from Dorset, England, a man living with Tourette syndrome, is urging the government to make medicinal cannabis more accessible through the National Health Service (NHS), the BBC reports. Currently, he spends thousands on prescriptions from a private clinic as it’s the only treatment, in his experience, that effectively manages his severe tics. The NHS is the U.K.’s publicly funded healthcare system.

Medical marijuana became legal in the U.K. in 2018. But the government insists they need more research to ensure its safety before making it more widely available. 

Cannabis remains illegal on a federal level and for adult use. 

Due to the scarce availability of NHS prescriptions, Ryder pays £300 every month, which, to afford, he dips into his savings. 

“I spoke to my doctor and he said that he… didn’t want to refer me, so I went and referred myself off. I went and looked at the clinics,” Ryder told the BBC. 

Ryder’s situation isn’t unique. Private cannabis clinics across the United Kingdom have grown substantially since legalization, with statistics indicating they’ve issued over 140,000 prescriptions in the past five years. The medicine they sell just isn’t always affordable for patients like Ryder. 

As research published in June of 2023 suggests, building on additional research that also indicates cannabis for the condition, evidence backs up what Ryder says, indicating that THC and CBD can improve the side-effect profile of Tourette syndrome. These include repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics) that one can’t always control — and can disrupt one’s personal and professional life. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, tics usually appear between the ages of two and 15, with the average age around six. Tourette syndrome is more commonly seen in males, who are about three to four times more likely to develop it than females.

In this study, they did a double-blind, cross-over trial with people who have severe Tourette’s syndrome. Using random assignment, they gave participants an oral oil-based tincture with increasing amounts of THC and CBD for six weeks, followed by six weeks with a placebo, or the other way around, with a four-week break in between. 

The researchers used the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) to measure their tics’ severity. They also used video assessments of tics to assess how they affected their daily life, anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. 

It’s worth noting that all of these comorbidities are also often treated with medical marijuana. 

They then checked if the results were related to the levels of cannabis compounds in the blood in addition to performing cognitive tests at the start and end of each treatment.

The results suggest that people in the active treatment group significantly reduced their tic scores more than those in the placebo group. This means that the treatment with THC and CBD helped reduce the severity of their tics. However, some people in the active treatment group reported problems with their thinking, memory, and concentration. The research indicates that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can help people with severe Tourette syndrome by reducing their tics and improving their quality of life. 

Mr. Ryder is not surprised to learn that the private sector of the cannabis industry is booming. For him, medical marijuana has become an absolute necessity. Diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at age 13, he lives with various noticeable tics, from animal-like sounds and loud bangs to physical gestures like winking, blinking, and shoulder rolling.

These tics cause him significant distress and currently make him unable to hold down a job, further compounding his struggle to pay for his medicine in a vicious cycle. But he’s able to manage his symptoms with medical marijuana and a vaporizer. 

“It’s something I dreamed of as a kid, taking a small pill and it would just disappear, and now I have it basically. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to work and maybe be able to manage it because that’s the only way if it doesn’t become available on the NHS. Every medication that they’ve been able to give me, they’ve made me into basically a zombie. Cannabis is the only thing that controls the tics,” he tells the BBC. 

The Department of Health and Social Care says that medical marijuana could be paid for by the NHS where there was “clear evidence of their quality, safety and effectiveness,” the BBC reports. “It is important to carefully review evidence on unlicensed cannabis-based treatments to ensure they are proved safe and effective before they can be considered for roll-out on the NHS more widely.” 

An NHS spokesperson continued that: “While there is limited evidence on the safety of these unlicensed products, we continue to encourage manufacturers of these products to engage with the UK medicines regulator, which would provide doctors with the confidence to use the products in the same way they use other licensed medicines.”

There are currently over 300,000 kids and adults living with Tourette Syndrome in the U.K.

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Method Man’s Tical Official Makes New York Debut

If someone would’ve told me that my favorite rapper—and one of the founding members of legendary East Coast hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan—would build an empire entirely separate from his storied music career while maintaining his status as one of the greats of the genre, I would have said that they’re crazy. But it’s true. Method Man, the gravelly-voiced MC from Staten Island, New York, who made a career synonymous with cannabis use or “TICAL” as he has affectionally dubbed it, has reinvented himself as more than just a hip-hop icon. The Renaissance man’s cannabis brand, Tical Offical, is led by three of his closest friends and is rapidly taking the US by storm.

Cannabis Now had the chance to sit with the three co-founders of Tical Official (T3 for short), Nathanial “Nutta” Vereen, Joshua “Raz” Rassin and Bryan “Z” Zabinski, to discuss the brand, its backstory, and what motivates them to keep pushing.

“This brand, our team, works so well because we are all close friends who share a common vision for TICAL as a movement,” Vereen says. “We are doing the best we can to ensure cannabis is seen as the life-changing medicine that it is.”

Tical Official NYC.

Tical Official has a colorful story of becoming a reality. “In the years of being close friends with Meth, I have always wanted more for him and his moniker. No matter where we go, Meth gives 110% of himself and fans love him,” Vereen says. “I knew whatever I ended up building with him needed to be special. Ultimately, after a few failed attempts at getting various projects off the ground, reconnecting with Raz and venturing into cannabis is where things started to go right.”

“I’ve known Nutt and Meth for a hot minute,” Raz says. “We always rolled in the same circles on tour and Nutt helping get my brand “Tree-Shirts” in front of (and subsequently on) Meth. We’ve always shared a connection and kind of knew one day we would eventually work together.” At the time, Raz was also working on the creative side at Under Armour and Nutt thought it could be great to connect them with Method Man for a signature shoe. “I mentioned a shoe, he (Meth) smiled, then I mentioned Under Armor and his excitement kinda changed,” Nutt says. But they didn’t give up there. The idea of creating a cannabis brand felt very natural, but there was some hesitation. “I knew I had one more kick at the can here with Meth, I couldn’t waste it,” Nutt says.

This is when they realized they needed one more person, Zabinski, to help make things a reality. “I have known Z for probably two decades; he has managed or worked with A-list celebrities and was, at the time, running Hunt and Fish Club in Times Square,” Raz says. “He knows the ins and outs of scaling companies.”

According to Zabinski, he and Raz have known each other for over twenty years and bonded over their shared love of cannabis, saying that the two have “maintained a very strong friendship.” Raz and Nutt approached Zabinski in 2018 with the opportunity to work on Tical Official. “I don’t think there is any reality where I would have said no to this opportunity,” he says.

And thus, like the snap of Thanos’ fingers, the concept was a go. After a very successful pitch, which included a Lacrosse stick (Easter egg trivia for all you Method Man fans), the decision to move forward was made. Meth gave his blessing to use his moniker and offered to come in as a fourth vote if a tie-break was needed. 

T3 banded together and decided to self-fund this venture, accepting no financial support from Method Man and only using his name and platform for marketing purposes. “We literally sold our cars to make this happen,” Nutt says. It didn’t take long for the idea—and the investors— to get going. Within three months, Tical Official had raised $500,000 US, vetted and chosen a state partner in California. It felt like nothing could stop them.

Then, COVID happened and the money stopped. All their grandiose plans were postponed and strategy pivoted for a few months to survive on the initial investment. “We were already kinda flying high (so to speak): we had a great product, killer branding and a state to sell into,” Raz says. “Rather than go heavy on marketing, we decided to go with the hand-to-hand approach, choosing four independent, black-owned stores to launch in.” And this strategy worked; soon after the launch in California, Tical Official identified partners in Colorado and Nevada and started selling into states that had already legalized adult-use cannabis. “Things have felt incredibly surreal; we feel blessed to have had so much support so early on,” Zabinski says.

Tical Official
Method Man.

Through trials and tribulations, Tical Official has thrived in a very saturated North American cannabis market. Currently operating in six markets—including Michigan, Arizona, Las Vegas and Arkansas—and expanding to 10 within the next 90 days, the brand is showing no signs of slowing down—not only in sales but also support from Meth himself, whose frequently spotted wearing the merchandise, doing retail store appearances across the country and Face Timing with customers. He’s currently on tour, so he took the opportunity to take Tical on the road by wrapping his tour bus.

The core team remains incredibly grounded in spite of the brand’s success. “I have been through a lot in my life and want to ensure, through the success of this brand, that I give back in a meaningful way,” Nutt says. “It’s really great to work with Meth, to meet—and partner with— licensed producers across the country and get our product out there. But, at the end of the day, if we don’t stay true to the culture and show love, this is all meaningless.”

Tical Official makes its New York State debut on September 15 and will be available at Housing Works, Strain Stars, Stage One, Greenery Spot and Flynnstoned.

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Federal Judge in Arkansas Blocks Hemp Cannabinoids Ban in Pivotal Ruling

The implications of a recent federal judge ruling have people in the industry asking: Did a federal judge just legalize help-derived cannabinoids like delta-8 THC, HHC, THCP, and THCa flower? In a nutshell, a judge in Arkansas ruled that the 2018 Farm Bill takes legal precedence over an Arkansas state ban on hemp-derived cannabinoids, which could lay out a blueprint for future legal actions in other states.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson ruled to block the enforcement of Act 629 of 2023, which was passed in Arkansas in the 2023 legislative session and banned sales and production of items containing delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC in the state. The judge found the hemp product ban to be conflicting and arbitrary. 

Act 629 was approved in the 2023 regular session of the state’s General Assembly, and it seeks to ban the production and sale of products containing delta-8, delta-9 and delta-10 as well as other THC isomers derived from hemp. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed Act 629 earlier this year, which bans “poorly regulated products” derived from hemp.

For the time being, hemp sellers in the state are celebrating it as a win. Award-winning attorney Rod Knight believes it could have significant implications for hemp laws in every state, not just Arkansas.

Four Plaintiffs in Arkansas Sue

Four businesses—Bio Gen LLC, Drippers Vape Shop LLC, The Cigarette Store LLC, and Sky Marketing Corp—filed a lawsuit  earlier this month. The companies spoke from several points of the hemp industry chain: a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, and retailer. 

Gov. Huckabee Sanders, Attorney General Tim Griffin, Dept. of Finance and Administration, Tobacco Control Board, Dept. Agriculture, State Plant Board, as well as the prosecuting attorneys of the state’s 28 judicial circuits, are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Lawyers representing those businesses argued that the law was unconstitutionally vague and that it was preempted by the 2018 Farm Bill. It appears that their argument holds up.

“Plaintiffs have been, and will be, harmed by Act 629,” the complaint reads, according to a report from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “as they are unable to transport in and through Arkansas hemp-derived cannabinoid products that have been declared legal under federal law.”

Senate Bill 358 was approved and enacted on April 11 as Act 629, and it criminalized all hemp-derived products “produced as a result of a synthetic chemical process” and “[a]ny other psychoactive substance derived therein.” 

But the plaintiffs argue that the Act is superseded by the 2018 Farm Bill and also that its provisions are unconstitutionally vague and therefore void. The Court agreed and entered an injunction that blocks the enforcement of the Act. 

Abtin Mehdizadegan, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said that his clients tried to avoid legal action before the ban was signed into law.

“Our suit asks the federal court in the Eastern District of Arkansas to enjoin the entirety of Act 629 because it unconstitutionally narrowed the definition of hemp-derived products in violation of the 2018 Farm Bill and impermissibly restricted the transportation and shipment of these products,” Mehdizadegan wrote. “Before the bill was signed into law, we had lengthy dialogues with the defendants during the 2023 legislative session as the bill was making its way through the legislative process.” 

Preempted by 2018 Farm Bill

In its ruling, the Court made three specific conclusions: that the Act is preempted by federal law under the principle of “conflict preemption”, that the Act is preempted by federal law under the principle of “express preemption”, and third, that the Act is unconstitutionally vague and thus void. 

Attorney Rod Knight explained that the Court’s first two findings are based on the legal doctrine of preemption. As the court states, “the federal preemption doctrine stems from the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which states that laws of the United States made under the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. State laws that interfere with, or are contrary to the laws of congress, made in pursuance of the constitution are invalid or preempted.” 

There are several types of preemption, and regarding this case, the Court found that two are applicable: “conflict preemption” and “express preemption”. Although similar in their effect, they are based on different premises. The court’s third finding is based on a separate legal doctrine referred to as “void for vagueness” under the due process clause of the Constitution.

Last May, Arkansas became the latest state with a legal cannabis industry to regulate or ban intoxicating hemp-derived products, and they’ve been on shelves since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production nationwide. Arkansas adopted the 2018 Farm Bill locally through the Industrial Hemp Act 565.

Local news agency KTHV reports that the case is set to go to trial on Aug. 27, 2024.

Congress is set to review the Farm Bill again this year, and there’s a possibility that federal lawmakers could address the unintended rise of hemp-derived cannabinoids, particularly intoxicating ones.

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Study Finds Inhaled Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Neuropathic Pain

The inhalation of vaporized herbal cannabis is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain, according to the results of a recently published study by German researchers. The observational study also found that inhaled cannabis helped neuropathic pain patients with sleep problems, a common symptom experienced by at least half of those diagnosed with the sometimes-debilitating condition.

Neuropathic pain is a condition caused by disease or injury to the nervous system that results in chronic pain, abnormal sensations known as dysesthesia or pain from normally pain-free stimuli. About 30% of neuropathic pain cases are associated with diabetes, according to information from the Cleveland Clinic, but other diseases including alcoholism, shingles and central nervous system disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can also cause the condition. Additional causes include chemotherapy or radiation treatment, amputation-induced phantom pain, nerve damage from trauma or surgeries and compression or inflammation of spinal nerves. Neuropathic pain is traditionally treated with medication, although the authors of the new study noted that many patients are unable to find adequate relief with commonly prescribed treatments.

“The expression of neuropathic pain is highly individual and symptoms, as well as response of patients to various analgesics, antidepressants, anti-epileptics or opioid therapy, vary greatly,” the researchers wrote. “Unfortunately, treatment of neuropathic pain frequently remains unsuccessful even after multiple trials with various analgesics.”

To conduct the study, researchers identified a cohort of 99 participants diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain lasting at least three months who had a high severity of symptoms and had exhausted other treatment options. The study was conducted in Germany, where the medical use of cannabis was legalized in 2017 for patients suffering from a chronic disease for which conventional treatment methods have already been exhausted. Participants were prescribed herbal cannabis, which is available at German pharmacies by prescription as dried flowers. All patients used cannabis with a THC concentration of 12-22%, while nearly two-thirds (64%) of participants used cannabis with a THC potency of 16-22%. Patients were instructed to use a vaporizer to inhale cannabinoids from heated cannabis flower. Participants chose their own plan of administration over a period of six months, deciding whether to use cannabis on a set schedule, as time permitted or when they experienced a pain attack.

Participants of the study completed a video consultation with a physician every four to six weeks throughout the six-month study period. Pain was assessed using a scale from 0 to 10. According to the German Pain Society, pain scores above 6 are defined as severe pain, which significantly affects a patient’s quality of life. Patients’ sleep disturbance was also assessed using a scale from 0 to 10. The National Institutes of Health reports that 50% to 80% of neuropathic pain patients experience sleep problems, with the severity of sleep problems often related to the intensity of pain.

“Within six weeks of therapy, median pain scores decreased significantly from 7.5 to 4.0. The proportion of patients with severe pain (score >6) decreased from 96 percent to 16 percent,” the researchers wrote. “Sleep disturbance was significantly improved with the median of the scores decreased from 8.0 to 2.0. These improvements were sustained over a period of up to six months. There were no severe adverse events reported.”

Study Participants Reported Improvements in Pain and Sleep

At the onset of the study, the majority of patients had severe neuropathic pain, with 96% of participants having a pain score above 6 and a median pain score of 7.5 for the group. At the first follow-up consultation, which was conducted within six weeks of beginning treatment, 90% of participants reported an improvement in their general condition and pain was significantly reduced to a median pain score of 3.75. At five subsequent follow-up consultations, pain scores continued to decline before stabilizing at about 3.

Before beginning medical cannabis, a majority of the patients suffered from severe sleep disturbance with a median score of 8 out of the maximum of 10. A significant improvement in sleep was reported in the first follow-up consultation. The median sleep disturbance score dropped to 2, an improvement that was sustained until the end of the six-month observation period. The researchers noted that the improvement in sleep was likely due to the improvement in pain symptoms but added that “it is also possible that a direct effect of the medical cannabis plays a role.” A majority of patients achieved an adequate quality of sleep, which is “a crucial parameter of life quality.”

Over the entire observation period, 97 (99%) patients reported an improvement in their general condition at one or more follow-up interviews. The study participants reported mild side effects including dryness in mucous tissue (5.4%), fatigue (4.8%) and increased appetite (2.7%). In their conclusion, the researchers wrote that the results “demonstrated that chronic neuropathic pain can be effectively, sustainably, and safely treated with medical cannabis.”

The researchers acknowledged some limitations of the study, including a “possible bias in selecting patients who are more open-minded for inhaling medical cannabis.” The authors also reported missing data points and incomplete data sets, which they said were “an intrinsic weakness of a retrospective and observatory study.”

A report on the research, “Medical Cannabis Alleviates Chronic Neuropathic Pain Effectively and Sustainably without Severe Adverse Effect: A Retrospective Study on 99 Cases,” was published last month by the peer-reviewed journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

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Israel: Other Than THC, All Other 140 Cannabinoids Are Safe

Summary: The Ministry of Health in Israel is considering the exemption of nearly all 140 active ingredients in cannabis from the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, with the exception of THC, the psychoactive component. This move is aimed at ensuring safer cannabis products for the Israeli public.

Major Changes in Cannabis Regulation in Israel: All Cannabinoids But THC Are Safe

The CEO of the Ministry of Health of Israel, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, has established a professional committee to examine the exemption of almost all 140 active ingredients found in cannabis from the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. This comes in light of the previous government’s decision to exempt CBD, known for its many medicinal properties, from the ordinance, a decision that was later revoked.

The main active ingredient that will be examined is CBD, attributed with anti-inflammatory properties. It can assist in treating depression, intestinal diseases, and other issues and is included worldwide in various cosmetics and food supplements. However, the committee will not consider the use of THC, the psychoactive ingredient known to produce a “high.“.

In the appointment letter issued by CEO Bar Siman Tov, he defined the committee’s roles, including recommending appropriate regulatory, testing, and enforcement mechanisms for products or substances that are not recommended to remain classified as “dangerous drugs.” This includes determining levels of non-contamination that contain THC and any other cannabinoid that is recommended to be included and remain under the ordinance.

The committee will hear from numerous experts, including patient representatives, and is expected to submit its recommendations by January 1, 2024.

It should be noted that the previous government had already decided to exempt CBD from the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, but the decision was canceled when it fell. The current committee has been given the mandate to recommend the exemption of almost all 140 active ingredients in the green plant, except for the “intoxicating” substance. If this happens, it will be great news for the cosmetics and food supplement industry in Israel.

Source: MAKO

And we would like to know what will be the status of synthetic cannabinoids, such as HHC and whether or not Delta-8 THC will be regarded as THC or not (however, knowing Israel, we can predict that both psychoactive cannabinoids won’t be included in the safe list…).

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Tina Gordon

Tina Gordon is a cannabis cultivator, founder and owner of Moon Made Farms in Northern California’s Humboldt County. Once a drummer with various musical outfits in the San Francisco Bay Area and later a documentary filmmaker, Gordon moved to Humboldt in 2007, establishing herself on the 40-acre plot that would become Moon Made Farms. 

Specializing in sungrown organic cannabis that’s cultivated in alignment with the lunar calendar and regenerative cultivation methods, Moon Made Farms has won a reputation for pioneering an ecologically sustainable model for the cannabis industry. Gordon serves on the boards of the International Cannabis Farmers Association and Sun + Earth Certified, which has developed standards and a certification process for socially and ecologically responsible cannabis.

“The most powerful plant on the planet expresses itself in the female form. Cannabis is femininity embodied in a plant.” 

This story was originally published in issue 48 of the print edition of Cannabis Now. Read it now on the Cannabis Now iTunes app.

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How Many Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids Does It Take To Screw in a Lightbulb?

Things have taken a very strange turn in the saga of the cannabis plant, as if anyone needed an extra dose of weirdness added to the mix. A loophole in the Farm Bill passed in 2018 has inadvertently created a huge money grab for hemp producers: hemp-derived cannabinoids which are isolated, concentrated and put into gummies, vapes, sprays and any number of other consumables able to be sold all across America and overseas.

This fun little segment of American hemp history has turned into a smorgasbord of strange new compounds designated with odd combinations of numbers and letters which can be daunting to almost any American consumer such as Delta-8 THC, THC-O, HHC, CBGA etc. I too have found myself “sketched out” as the kids say by smoke shop remedies for a good long while. Not because they’re all bad. The kratom conversation is insufferable to say the least but it does manage to, very occasionally, help people get off opiates, so I don’t want to detract from the value of allowing products that exist because of convenient loopholes to be sold. However, I do want to use all of my powers and skills to disseminate information that may help consumers be safer when trying diet highs and wavy supplements from their local Cheaper Cigarettes store. Harm reduction is the name of the game!

I reached out to some players in the hemp-derived cannabinoid space, which for timeliness sake will henceforth be referred to as “HDC’s” because I find mundane tasks reprehensible. I spoke to two gentlemen on the record and one off, all of whom are owners and/or operators of some of the largest if not the largest companies in the HDC space, so to speak and I have been enlightened to the ways of the weird weed chemicals.

I shouldn’t even call them that. Let’s back up. To begin with, we need to understand the difference between “hemp” and “marijuana.” Scientifically, biologically and logically speaking, there is absolutely no distinction other than the legal designations they have received. They are the same plant from the same family and the only difference is hemp plants have been bred to have low THC, making them legal under the current limit of .3% THC, and commercial cannabis has been bred to have high THC. 

“It’s all cannabis, regardless of the concentration of one arbitrary chemical constituent,” said Matthew Guenther, President of the American Cannabinoid Association. “What the passing of the Farm Bill has proven is that 0.3% Delta-9 THC was always an arbitrary limit.

The ancestral lineages/locations of origin of hemp vs what people generally consider to be marijuana are probably different, sure, but everything has been so hybridized over the years that making a distinction at this stage in the game is pointless. This is why the Indica/Sativa classifications are somewhat controversial, because they are misnomers at best (WEIRDOS has covered all of this if you want to follow these nice juicy looking hyperlinks). 

As such, when the laws classifying hemp and marijuana were written they were written based on Delta-9 THC percentage, meaning anything above .3% Delta-9 THC was illegal and known as “marijuana” and anything below that threshold is considered hemp. So when the 2018 Farm Bill legalized “hemp,” it opened up the floodgates for, by one industry executive’s count, 42 newly isolated compounds from the cannabis/hemp plant.

“They all start with hemp, not all of them are necessarily extracted directly out of the hemp plant. Most minor cannabinoids such as CBN, THCv, Delta-8 THC, Hemp Derived Delta-9 THC, THCp, CBGa isolate, CBDa isolate, you have to make through an isomerization process, hydrogenation, pressure reaction, or through other semi synthetic processes.” said Bret Worley, CEO of MC Nutraceuticals. “In order to make a Delta-8 molecule, you take CBD, through a ring closure reaction you create Delta-8 THC catalyzed by acidic conditions in heptane. After the ring closure reaction you neutralize the solution, remove the solvent and distill.”

The effects of these compounds are hard to generalize as there are, at the risk of being redundant, kind of a lot of them now but from what I’ve pieced together from in person testimonies it’s almost like if a traditional cannabis experience was a big pie, each minor cannabinoid is a tiny piece of that pie. You’re not going to get the whole experience but you’ll get a piece of it. 

“I have a high tolerance so I didn’t expect much but I did feel something. I wouldn’t really call it a high though, it honestly felt more like benzos,” a friend of mine relayed to me regarding his experience with Delta-8 gummies. Another told me it felt the exact same as weed to her and that she bought it in a smoke shop semi-unknowingly.

“It’s still psychoactive, obviously, but I see it more as like a soccer mom weed,” Worley said, referring to Delta-8 THC.

Some of these compounds, like CBN, seem to be good for sleep. Some of them seem to be good for digestion, and some of them may have the potential to help fight cancer, etc. etc. The problem is we don’t really know enough yet to be able to firmly say those things or speak to their safety. That said, no one I talked to who had money on the line seemed worried about the possibility of long-term repercussions, they seemed excited to find out more.

“That’s why it’s important that federal regulations are put in place to regulate what is essentially an entire new class of consumer product,” Guenther said. “What we’re fighting for is for the federal government to get involved and actively regulate the products we know are currently safe and effective, so that people don’t start producing and keep producing unknown untested compounds.”

Guenther referenced the Spice and K2 epidemic, which for those who don’t remember had some VERY strange and unwanted effects on its users. That’s not what HDC’s are. Spice and K2 are synthetic cannabinoids, which the National Institute on Drug Abuse has the following definition of:

“Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. These products are also known as herbal or liquid incense. These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant. Because of this similarity, synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes misleadingly called synthetic marijuana (or fake weed), and they are often marketed as safe, legal alternatives to that drug.”

These differ from HDC’s because HDC’s are ultimately derived from the cannabis/hemp plant itself whereas synthetic cannabinoids are not.

One very interesting and unexpected result of this whole confusing mad scientist clusterfuck is apparently: weed is legal?

If you’ve noticed any “THCA flower” in your local smoke shop, that’s (probably) not hemp flower sprayed with weird chemicals, it’s just weed that was processed and tested a certain way so that the “THCA” in the flower does not decarboxylate and convert to “Delta 9-THC.” In certain states, they don’t have laws about “total THC limit” they have laws about Delta 9-THC because that’s the one that has traditionally been associated with the “high.” Thus, Donald Trump sorta kinda made it legal to ship, sell, and consume weed in a lot of states that have some of the strictest “marijuana” laws. Do you see where I’m going with this? 

It doesn’t stop there. There is technically regular ol’ Delta-9 THC in “hemp” plants. Since the plant itself tested under .3% THC, any Delta-9 THC extracted from it is perfectly legal.

“They’re absolutely identical. It is the exact same chemical as Delta-9 THC. It’s just a much more effective way of getting there,” Guenther said.

Wheels are in motion on the federal level regarding HDC’s and no one is quite sure which way things are going to go. The DEA and FDA appear to be working on regulations and rules but their official commentary has been limited. The DEA considers Delta-8 to be a controlled substance and DEA Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section Chief Terrence Boos said in February that Delta-8 THCO and Delta-9 THCO are illegal because they can only be produced synthetically. The FDA is also supposed to release rules about Delta-8 and other minor cannabinoids sometime soon, not to mention the long anticipated federal movements on cannabis legalization or re/descheduling.

In other words, nobody knows what the hell is going on! We basically have two markets right now, the legal hemp market where they can kind of sell weed (to the tune of a huge profit) but consumers don’t really know what it is and then the individual state cannabis markets where operators are getting creamed, over-regulated and over-taxed but consumers know what they’re buying. Eventually those two markets have to merge, and the way that plays out depends on what the feds do. Don’t change that channel folks, the next episode of marijuana madness will begin shortly after a brief period of utter confusion.

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What’s So Scary About THC?

What’s so scary about THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)? If we listen to the “experts,” we’re led to believe that potent THC cannabis will lead to anxiety, depression, “cannabis use disorder,” and even psychosis like schizophrenia. Studies funded by special interests love finding “associations” between cannabis and anything negative. Is this the last vestige of reefer madness? Critics used to say cannabis made you dumb, destroyed your motivation, and contributed to memory loss. They also said smoking cannabis will lead to “harder” drugs […]

The post What’s So Scary About THC? appeared first on Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana | News.

Arkansas Vs US Over Delta-8

Arkansas recently passed legislation to ban cannabis compound delta-8, and other compounds; even when derived from hemp. This led to controversy due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which now involves federal courts. Did Arkansas go too far by including compounds derived from hemp? Read on for more info on this story.

Arkansas ban on hemp-derived delta-8

The current controversy in Arkansas stems from a bill (Act 629) that was signed by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders on April 11th of this year. The law is aimed at taming the growing illicit cannabinoids market; by instituting a ban on the production, sale, possession, and transfer of any products with compounds like delta-8, delta-9, delta-10, and so on. The state rescheduled these compounds to Schedule IV, which is the same for standard cannabis. Basically the ban is on anything potentially intoxicating.

According to the legislators who supported the legislation, the ban is necessary because of unregulated stores that sell unregulated products, without checking IDs. There is a logic point, of course; that these stores already function outside of regulation, so instituting regulation isn’t likely to help. I suppose it gives backing for raids, which must be the primary reason for passing such legislation anywhere it does pass…as otherwise it would be expecting non tax-paying businesses, to care about something they don’t care about.

Regardless of the missed logic, the law passed, was signed by the governor in April, and set to go into effect on August 1st. A day before it was scheduled to do so, four lawsuits dropped on the state, by hemp product makers. The four producers are: Bio Gen, out of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Greenbrier, Arkansas’s Drippers Vape & Hemp Relief; Hometown Hero CBD from Austin, Texas; and Smoker Friendly out of Boulder, Colorado.

Arkansas is not a recreational cannabis state

The lawsuits claim that Arkansas’s Act 629, is in violation of the 2018 US Farm Bill, aka the Federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; which legalized industrial hemp, and gave it a new definition that legally separates it from marijuana. The plaintiffs also argue that the law gets in the way of their industry and livelihood, and that it’s in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s commerce and supremacy clauses.

The latter is particularly important as it concerns protections for interstate commerce, and those tasked with bringing products over state lines. This law, according to plaintiff attorney Abtin Mehdizadegan, can now mean a person can face “criminal sanction for products now deemed illegal despite what the federal law says,” according to a thv11 article.

Arkansas defense for delta-8 ban

The 2018 US Farm Bill is a piece of federal legislation that legalized the production, sale, possession, and use of hemp products. It does not legalize any specific hemp or hemp-derived products for medical or other therapeutic use, but it doesn’t specifically disallow them either, creating a little gray area. Add onto that, that most products like delta-8 require some amount of synthetic processing, and the reality becomes that it’s not exactly a legal market.

Having said that, this is not Arkansas’s excuse exactly. The ban is not specifically about synthetics, though the topic is mentioned. Griffin stated “Arkansas recognizes that industrial hemp is a valuable commodity when cultivated as intended. Act 629 does not stifle such production, and instead, protects Arkansas from the adulterated products that result from chemical synthesis.”

The problem with what Arkansas did, is that it went beyond synthetics. It’s one thing to ban the compounds if they come from a marijuana plant, or to tighten the restriction on synthetic processes. It’s even within the limits of legality to really go hard on the .3% THC separating line. But what Arkansas did, is write off tons of products, that if made the correct way, are legal according to US government law. Or at the very least, not illegal. However, since the US government didn’t officially legalize specific products; this case has the potential to put the federal government in quite an odd position.

Arkansas’s Attorney General possibly dug the state in deeper, by actually using the line that the ban should stay, because it was instituted by the state, and that state law wins out over federal law. I repeat that this argument was put forth by Attorney General Tim Griffin in court, according to MJBizDaily.

Arkansas passed a new law that bans delta-8
Arkansas passed a new law that bans delta-8

Griffins is referring to the idea that if something isn’t constitutionally clear, that it can go in either direction; but at no point has this ever meant that a state automatically wins over the federal body. State cannabis legalization measures are based on the lack of constitutional finality on the subject; they did not simply go through because they trump federal policy.

On August 8th, Griffin asked U.S. District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson to dismiss the lawsuit, in which he made a cheap shot at the plaintiffs for not being of decent standing, and said they didn’t show irreversible harm from the law (which is too newly enacted for such proofs). The case was not dropped; and currently no hearings are scheduled. One could ask what Griffin is really after in this, and what he thinks will really happen. So far, he’s trying to argue that states rights should override federal laws, and he’s been wildly insulting to the plaintiffs in the case.

The only thing Arkansas has to go on for this law, is a stated fear of children getting high. This excuse is made all the time, even while beer cans continue to look like soda, and are sold everywhere. No one dies from cannabis products, with the exception of a few cases where bad additives were used. People do die from opioids, and guess what looks like a little piece of candy… a cute little yellow pill. That the new Arkansas bill says there should be a state of emergency over cannabis products, is an insult to those dealing with real drug danger; like opioids, or alcohol, or cigarette damage.

The case against Arkansas

The case against Arkansas regarding the delta-8 ban, involves several companies, who are together now suing the state. This creates an interesting conundrum for the US government, which they are appealing to. If the plaintiffs get a positive ruling by the court, it would make a ruling on overall legality of certain cannabis products, at least to a degree. This also happened recently when a federal court validated delta-8 products as having a valid trademark, something that an illegal product can’t have.

The federal government has three options. It can uphold its own laws which legalized hemp and hemp-derived compounds. This would work to legalize delta-8 THC, and the other cannabinoids, so long as requirements like not being synthetic, are met. Or, it has the choice of backing Arkansas, in which case it undermines its own laws. Last, it can drop the case, and make no judgement at all; although this too makes a statement in that Arkansas is specifically touting its supremacy over federal law. Really, its very much a catch-22 for the feds.

Arkansas is not the first state to ban compounds like delta-8 THC. Several states have moved to do such things, some with general bans on cannabis in general, and some that have legal markets. Perhaps the biggest issue with what Arkansas did, is that it made the ban without a stipulation for synthetic processing. It just went ahead and banned any of these compounds if they come from hemp, with little-to-no thought about the 2018 Farm Bill, and what it allows.

Legal hemp field post 2018 Farm Bill
Legal hemp field post 2018 Farm Bill

Maybe this case is just a right place at the right time situation. And maybe it goes to show that how a state writes its legislation is important. Overstepping happens, even with legislators trained on writing laws. That, and ego gets involved. Regardless of whether Griffin is agreed with or not on certain points, he was divisive and unnecessarily mean about the plaintiffs in the case; and that is a highly unprofessional, ego-motivated move. And that doesn’t say much for Arkansas right now.


This is certainly a case to watch, because it’s one of those cases that comes along at the right time. The federal government must now make a decision regarding the validity of the Arkansas ban on cannabinoids like delta-8. And in doing so, that decision might force a legal reckoning for certain products. Even throwing out the case makes a statement at this point, as it makes it look like the federal government can’t back up its own laws.

As a final note, I cannot find so much as one place where it says the federal court this case is filed in. This is a bit odd as all articles thus far speak of a federal case, yet there is not one document related. Perhaps the case is private. I note here that I don’t like situations where I’m passing on information that I cannot verify.

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Week in Review: Half of US Adults Have Tried Cannabis, Gallop Poll

In this week’s cannabis news round-up, a new Gallup poll confirms half of US adults have tried cannabis; Federal Appeals Court rules federal gun ban for cannabis users unconstitutional; newly revealed email confirms DEA’s position on delta-8 THC from CBD; Germany’s cabinet approves draft legalization proposal; Cann takes Roadie to 31 more states; and Edwin Eats An Edible Kickstarter campaign goes live.

PHOTO Elsa Olofsson

New Poll Confirms Half of US Adults Have Tried Cannabis

As the wave of cannabis legalization continues to sweep across the US, a recent Gallup poll has revealed a significant shift in cannabis consumption. According to the findings, a record-breaking 50% of Americans have experimented with cannabis at some point. While this marks only a modest uptick from 2022, it is a statistically significant surge from 2019’s figure of 45%.

The poll also found that more Americans are actively engaging with cannabis than with tobacco cigarettes, indicating that around 17% of American adults currently use cannabis, while only 11% are cigarette smokers.

PHOTO Google Maps

Federal Appeals Court Rules Federal Gun Ban for Cannabis Users Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court has ruled that the long-standing federal prohibition on cannabis users possessing firearms is unconstitutional. Based in New Orleans, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the 1968 law prohibiting firearm possession or sale to an “unlawful user” of a federally controlled substance should not be interpreted so broadly as criminalizing all gun owners with a history of cannabis use.

The case involved an individual sentenced to four years in prison after firearms and remains of a joint were found in his vehicle. Despite admitting occasional cannabis use, there was no evidence to suggest he was under the influence at the time of his arrest.

The court stated, “While our history may support limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, it does not justify disarming a sober citizen solely based on past drug use.”

This decision follows similar rulings by other federal courts, including one in Oklahoma and another in Texas, affirming that using cannabis does not warrant stripping an individual of their right to possess a firearm. A separate legal challenge, initiated by former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and medical marijuana patients, is still pending in the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Congress has also introduced bills seeking to remove federal firearms-related restrictions on cannabis consumers.

PHOTO Timothy Clemons

DEA Considers Synthesized Delta-8 THC from CBD Federally Illegal, According to Newly Revealed Email

A letter from the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section Chief Terrence Boos, dated 2021, has confirmed that the DEA views delta-8 THC, produced from CBD synthesis, as federally unlawful. While not new information, the explanation is presented in simple terms, dispelling any lingering uncertainties regarding DEA’s regulations: when derived from legal CBD, the DEA categorizes delta-8 THC as a banned controlled substance.

Attorney Shane Pennington shared the revelation via his “On Drugs” Substack page, “Arriving at delta-8-THC by a chemical reaction starting from CBD makes the delta-8-THC synthetic and therefore, not exempted by the [Agriculture Improvement Act]. Any quantity of delta-8-THC obtained by chemical means is a controlled substance.”

The Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, granted states the authority to establish their own hemp programs, leading to the emergence of companies selling hemp-derived cannabinoids. Some have taken it further by synthesizing these non-intoxicating compounds into more potent ones like delta-8 or delta-9 THC.

PHOTO Maheshkumar Painam

Germany’s Cabinet Approves Draft Cannabis Legalization Proposal

Germany has taken a significant step towards modernizing its cannabis policy. The nation’s federal cabinet has given the green light to a draft legalization measure, marking the first phase of this transformative effort spearheaded by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. The proposal is now going to the Bundestag, the country’s legislative body, for further evaluation.

The proposed measure aims to legalize personal cultivation, possession and consumption of cannabis for adults in Germany. The plan also entails the establishment of non-commercial cannabis clubs, which would distribute cannabis to their members. However, certain limitations would apply, including purchasing caps, designated ‘buffer zones,’ restrictions on club numbers per jurisdiction and a maximum membership limit of 500 individuals per club. The next phase of Germany’s cannabis policy reform will involve the implementation of regional cannabis pilot initiatives.

Photo courtesy of Cann

Cann Takes Roadie to 31 More States

Cann, the leading cannabis beverage brand, has expanded its Roadie product to 31 new states. Initially available only in California, these convenient drink sachets are perfect for on-the-go consumption. With no powders, it’s as easy as tear, pour and mix into any drink.

Roadie comes in Cann’s three core flavors: Grapefruit Rosemary, Blood Orange Cardamom and Lemon Lavender. Each Roadie sachet delivers a perfectly balanced and social experience thanks to a balanced 2mg of THC and 4mg of CBD.

“Edwin Eats An Edible” Kickstarter Now Live

Meet Edwin and his friends as they introduce a range of diverse ways they live their lives with plant medicine. The new book by 69&Sunny, Edwin Eats An Edible is an alphabet-style illustrated journey that celebrates the wonders of cannabis for adults—is now live. Launched this week and running until September 14, the Kickstarter campaign aims to secure the necessary funds for the completion and fall publication of the book.

This innovative project is brought to life by 69&Sunny, a Philadelphia-based arts collective founded by real-life cannabis-focused couple Calan and Bryce, who’s personal health journey and exploration of cannabis medicine inspired them to educate the local community through art.

The book features an introduction by Dr. Rachel Knox, an endocannabinologist and cannabis medicine specialist. With a blend of humor and curiosity, the initiative aligns with 69&Sunny’s mission to create inclusive spaces for learning and growth.

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