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CBD Archives - Hemp Market Report

StaffStaffJune 30, 2020
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9min00

Editors Note: This is a guest post.

Marijuana, also known as Cannabis, is a psychoactive drug derived from the Cannabis plant. As you probably already know, Marijuana is mostly used recreationally but is being researched on more and more every day to be used as medicine. The effects of marijuana can be felt from smoking it, vaporizing it, putting it in food, or using it as an extract. 

In almost all countries, it is considered an illegal substance. In fact, it is actually only legal within four countries and 11 states of the U.S with 33 states allowing it for medicinal use.Cannabis can provide medical uses which lies within the chemicals found in it, these chemicals are called cannabinoids. There are two main cannabinoids, which are THC and CBD. The focus will be on CBD but it’s good to know the differences between the two cannabinoids and what the benefits are.

THC and CBD

On the molecular level, THC and CBD have the exact same structure but the difference is how the atoms themselves are laid out. The differing arrangements have vastly different effects on your body while also being chemically similar to your body’s endocannabinoids. The chemical similarity allows interaction between the cannabinoids and your cannabinoid receptors.

The main difference between THC and CBD is psychoactivity or how much the chemical affects the mind. THC is very psychoactive and therefore gives the “high” that THC is known for. CBD is the opposite of this as it is not at all psychoactive. It can actually even disrupt the connection of THC to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain which ends up weakening how much THC affects the brain.

 As for use in medicine goes, THC and CBD offer many of the same benefits. But the main difference between the two is that THC offers a sense of euphoria while CBD does not. As for side-effects, CBD has minimal effects, even in large doses. The same cannot be said for THC but its side-effects are still mild. It also should be noted that neither compound is fatal. However, THC can affect the growth of the mind in children and teenagers.

CBD and CBD Oil

CBD stands for cannabidiol and as mentioned, is the second most prevalent component of marijuana. Despite that, it is also directly derived from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of cannabis. And to reiterate, CBD is not a psychoactive chemical and therefore will not cause a “high.” According to the World Health Organization, it shows no indication of having abuse or dependency potential.

In the United States, its exact legal status isn’t definite, all 50 states have legalized CBD under certain restrictions while the federal government carries CBD in the same class as marijuana. In 2015, the FDA eased restrictions on it allowing researchers to conduct trials on it. The government’s position on CBD is confusing but CBD is readily available online without the need for a license.

One form that CBD can be acquired in is as an extract known as CBD oil. This oil is said to have wide-ranging medical benefits from aiding in seizures to helping with anxiety. And while there certainly is not enough evidence to say without a doubt this is all true, there still is some truth in the claims. 

Anxiety

A promising benefit found in early research of CBD is its capacity to aid in mental health such as reducing the effects of both anxiety and depression. It’s unclear how CBD directly affects the brain by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors but it is generally thought to alter serotonin signals. This is important because serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in mental health.

Serotonin is a chemical naturally produced in the body and has a wide range of functions. Serotonin can be referred to as the happy chemical due to how it contributes to your wellbeing and general happiness. In addition to that, it also helps to regulate the body’s sleep cycle and the body’s circadian rhythm.

Having low levels of serotonin is associated with those who have depression and having low enough serotonin can lead to anxiety. However, the association between serotonin levels and depression is unclear. The question being whether serotonin levels cause depression or if depression causes serotonin levels to drop.

Despite that, anxiety is generally treated with SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors but SSRIs are only available by prescription. It’s possible that CBD can do what SSRIs can without the nasty side-effects of prescription medicine. However, since the research in the field isn’t thorough enough, nothing is definitive. 

As just mentioned, there isn’t enough research in the field to make any definitive statements. What is definitive, however, is that there is some correlation to CBD usage and the reduction of anxiety. This is shown by a study that stated those with a social anxiety disorder who received CBD had overall reduced anxiety levels as compared to those who received a placebo.

The more research that is done on CBD, the more benefits and side-effects that can be found from it. And the more research that is done can also fine-tune the benefits that are already known. Essentially making it possible to decide the dosage specific to a particular patient with more accuracy in turn making CBD more effective without the need to deal with severe side-effects. 

CBD and Medicine

While CBD has the potential to treat a wide range of illnesses and ailments, one concerning aspect of it is how it interacts with other medications. An epilepsy study observed heightened blood levels of those on anti-epileptic drugs while also being on CBD. What this means is that changes in dosage will need to be made if both medications are used in tandem. It also raises the question of if CBD is safe to use with other medications no matter the dosage.

CBD and Anxiety

Overall, CBD is a new medicine that is being researched on more and more with each passing day. The effects that CBD has will be more understood as well as how to properly utilize it. Currently, there is a correlation between CBD usage and a reduction in anxiety. It’s probable that CBD affects serotonin levels thus reducing the effects of anxiety without having severe side-effects, consequently, potentially it is better than current SSRIs.


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 29, 2020
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5min00

Prior to giving Wana Brands’ Wana Wellness Quick line a test drive, I had the opportunity to speak with Mike Hennessy, Wana Brands Director of Innovation, and Dr. Christopher Shade, CEO of Quicksilver Scientific on their collaboration to bring this cost-effective, maximally potent, and botanically-enhanced CBD tincture to market. Wana Brands’ Quick line of CBD tinctures uses advanced nanoemulsion technology that dramatically enhances absorption and bioavailability, and botanical extracts selected to act as “assistants” to specific cannabinoids in an entourage effect, to offer what Hennessy and Shade believe put their CBD tinctures at the front of the pack.

Using botanical extracts to enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD and other cannabinoids is not an innovation exclusive to Wana Brands or Quicksilver, but Dr. Shade is eager to point out that Quicksilver Scientific is the market leader in developing enhanced nanoemulsified products whose efficacy is backed by data and in-house measuring devices that few if any other companies possess.  “Some companies use “nano” as a buzzword but are not getting the particles small enough,” Mike Hennessy confirms. “One hundred nanometers is the established definition, but almost no one has the ability to measure that apart from us.”

Advanced Nanoemulsion

According to Dr. Shade, Quicksilver’s mastery of advanced nanoemulsion effectively accomplishes what so many other products merely pay lip service to, in the form of a tincture whose therapeutic effect can be felt within mere minutes of ingestion with at least six times the bioavailability of other CBD formulas. “And by including botanical extracts with similar effects to the strains used,” he adds, “you increase the number of receptor sites in the body that can receive the effect.”

To better grasp the significance of “nanoemulsions” and “receptor sites”, I tried out the Wana Wellness “Relax” formula, which in addition to delivering 13mg of hemp and 10mg of CBD per bottle comes enhanced with 5-HTP, GABA, L-Theanine, skullcap, and rose essential oil for what Dr. Shade characterizes as a “purifying and calming effect.” 

The formula comes in a pump bottle, with each dose requiring four pumps. I found the delivery method a bit messy until I worked out that I needed to put the nozzle nearly in my mouth and depress the pump quickly and firmly. The taste was sweet verging on cloying, with a slight bitter aftertaste common to CBD tinctures. Though I’ve sampled dozens of formulations, this was my first experience with “advanced nanoemulsion technology”, and the difference was noticeable. I felt a pleasant lassitude within five minutes, with attendant muscle relaxation and a quieting of mental chatter. As I continued to use the product, the effects persisted, so much so that I began keeping it by my bed rather than on my kitchen counter, so quickly did the relaxation kick in.  

Quicksilver Scientifics and Wana Brands intend to continue developing out the union between cannabinoids and their botanical counterparts, which will include developing THC products for dispensaries. As far as this satisfied customer is concerned, that is welcome news indeed.


StaffStaffJune 26, 2020
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29min00

n August 2019, the NCUA issued NCUA Regulatory Alert, 19-RA-02, Serving Hemp Businesses, to provide interim guidance related to the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). This letter’s purpose is to provide additional information for credit unions that are serving, or considering serving, legal hemp-related businesses, as they, too, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like 19-RA-02, this letter is advisory and provides no new expectations or requirements for credit unions.

The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a national regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States. In response, USDA established the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program through an interim final rule,1 which outlines provisions for the USDA to approve plans submitted by states and Native American tribes for the domestic production of hemp, and outlines minimum requirements that all hemp producers must meet, including:

  • licensing requirements;
  • maintaining information on the land on which hemp is produced;
  • procedures for testing delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration levels;
  • procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants;
  • compliance provisions, and
  • procedures for how to handle violations of the production requirements.

While USDA must approve state or tribal plans before they are implemented, the interim final rule does not preempt or limit any law of a state or Native American tribe that regulates the production of hemp and is more stringent than the 2018 Farm Bill. The rule also establishes a federal plan to license, monitor, and regulate hemp production in states or territories of Native American tribes that do not prohibit hemp production and do not have their own USDA-approved plan.

It is important that credit unions stay current with the federal, state and Native American tribal laws and regulations that apply to any hemp-related businesses they serve. The information in this letter is not an interpretation of the USDA’s interim final rule or other applicable federal or state laws, and does not provide definitive guidance related to the various legal requirements applicable to credit unions that want to provide financial services to hemp-related businesses. The inclusion or exclusion of various matters does not signify their importance.

If you have legal questions about a hemp-related business, we encourage you to consult qualified counsel and the appropriate federal and state authorities. To stay current on the latest from the USDA, you can subscribe to the USDA mailing list for updates.

The following are responses to some frequently asked questions.

  1. What is the status of the USDA’s interim final rule on hemp production?On October 31, 2019, the USDA issued its interim final rule on hemp production and it went into effect immediately. In the preamble to the interim final rule, the USDA stated that it will publish a final rule within two years.2

    A portion of the USDA’s website is dedicated to hemp-related resources. The USDA also has a webpage dedicated to rulemaking documents, including the interim rule and a legal opinion on hemp production and transportation authorities.

  2. Does the interim rule mean that hemp can be legally produced in every state?No. The 2018 Farm Bill did not preempt state or tribal laws regarding the production of hemp that are more stringent than federal law. Further, hemp may be produced only under the 2018 Farm Bill with a valid USDA-issued license or under a USDA-approved state or tribal plan.

    Besides production authorized by licenses granted under the 2018 Farm Bill for the 2020 growing season, hemp may also be produced pursuant to research and development initiatives authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). This authority expires one year after the effective date of the USDA interim final rule (November 1, 2020). A number of states have opted to permit hemp production under the 2014 Farm Bill authorities for the 2020 growing season.

  3. How can I determine if a state or Native American tribe has submitted a hemp production plan to the USDA for approval?The USDA provides detailed information on the status of state and tribal hemp production plans submitted for approval, including notes about plans that are in development, states and Native American tribes that plan to operate under the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2020 growing season, and a list of approved plans. Copies of approved plans can be downloaded from the USDA site.3
  4. What if the state or tribal territory we serve has not had a hemp production plan approved by the USDA?A hemp producer that does not have a license pursuant to a USDA state or tribe approved plan has two options to receive authorization to produce hemp.
    1. Until November 1, 2020, states may allow hemp production under the research and development initiatives permitted by the 2014 Farm Bill.
    2. Hemp producers in states and tribal territories that do not prohibit hemp and that do not intend to develop and submit a plan to the USDA can also apply for a hemp production license under the USDA’s hemp production program.4
  5. Who is responsible for ensuring that hemp producers comply with a state, Native American tribe, or USDA-approved hemp production plan?According to USDA, for the states and tribal territories with approved plans, the state and tribal governments will be responsible for ensuring that hemp producers abide by the approved plans regulating hemp production. Producers licensed by USDA in states and tribal areas without a USDA-approved production plan will be subject to regulation and licensure by the USDA (provided the state or tribal government has not prohibited hemp production) and may also be subject to additional, stricter state regulatory restrictions around production that are not otherwise codified in a USDA-approved plan.

    In developing the compliance requirements of state and tribal plans, USDA recognized that there may be significant differences in how states and Native American tribes administer their respective hemp programs. Accordingly, as long as the requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill are met (at a minimum), states and Native American tribes are free to determine if a licensee under their applicable plan has taken reasonable steps to comply with plan requirements. As noted previously, USDA will be regulating and overseeing hemp producers licensed by the USDA in states and tribal areas without a USDA-approved state or tribal production plan.

  6. Aside from hemp production, does the USDA interim final rule cover other hemp-related businesses such as manufacturing, processing, distribution, shipping, and retail?No. The USDA rule only sets forth the requirements for engaging in hemp production as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. While the USDA notes that the rule “…will also provide sorely needed guidance to the many stakeholders whose coordinated efforts are critical to the success of the domestic hemp production economy…” there is no uniform state or federal system of regulations, plans, or licenses that applies to other hemp-related businesses at this time.

    While states do impose requirements on certain other types of hemp-related businesses, absent a uniform system, credit unions must be aware of the rules that apply in the individual states or tribal territories in which they serve other hemp-related businesses.

    In addition, as noted in NCUA’s August 2019 Regulatory Alert, other hemp-related businesses may now, or in the future, be subject to other federal and state laws and regulations that govern the production, distribution, sale, and use of hemp products. In particular, the 2018 Farm Bill did not affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Public Health Service Act. It also did not affect or modify the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to promulgate Federal regulations and guidelines that relate to hemp under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published substantial resources addressing hemp.

  7. Where can I learn more about FDA requirements applicable to cannabis-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD)?The FDA has noted that it is aware of the significant interest in cannabis-derived products and has published a number of resources that address cannabis and cannabis-derived products, such as CBD.

    Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and despite the fact that certain states permit and regulate businesses that manufacture and sell cannabis-derived products, including CBD, the FDA has reaffirmed that the legality of the sale of CBD products “depends, among other things, on the intended use of the product and how it is labeled and marketed.”5 The FDA has also reiterated that “[e]ven if a CBD product meets the definition of ‘hemp’ under the 2018 Farm Bill…, it still must comply with all other applicable laws, including the FD&C Act.”6

    Further, depending on the type of CBD product at issue, the nature of claims made about CBD products by businesses (including medical claims) and whether businesses infuse CBD into food and beverages or dietary supplements will determine whether or not the subject businesses are violating the FD&C Act and other applicable federal regulations around consumer products and consumer safety.

  8. Has the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) provided any guidance related to hemp?Yes. FinCEN, along with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in consultation with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, issued a joint statement on the provision of financial services to customers engaged in hemp-related businesses. The statement was issued “to provide clarity regarding the legal status of commercial growth and production of hemp and relevant requirements for banks under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.”

    The joint statement aligns with the information the NCUA provided in its 2019 Regulatory Alert. It also confirmed that FinCEN will issue additional guidance after further reviewing the USDA interim rule.

  9. Will NCUA examinations conducted in 2020 cover hemp?In 2020, NCUA examiners will be collecting data through the examination process concerning the types of services credit unions are providing to hemp-related businesses. This data collection is intended only to help the agency better understand how it can assist credit unions serving hemp-related businesses.
  10. Does the NCUA prohibit credit unions from providing services to hemp-related businesses?No. Many credit unions have a long and successful history of providing services to the agriculture sector. Credit unions may provide the customary range of financial services for business accounts, including loans, to lawfully operating hemp-related businesses within their fields of membership. Hemp provides new opportunities for communities with an economic base involving agriculture. The NCUA encourages credit unions to thoughtfully consider whether they are able to safely and properly serve hemp-related businesses.
  11. What should a credit union board consider when evaluating whether to provide services to a hemp business?Credit unions need to be aware of the federal, state, and Native American tribal laws and regulations that apply to any hemp-related businesses they serve. Credit unions that choose to serve hemp-related businesses in their fields of membership need to understand the complexities and risks involved, and ensure they have the necessary expertise and resources to conduct this activity safely and soundly and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  12. Can a credit union provide loans to a hemp-related business?Lending to a lawfully operating hemp-related business is permissible. Any such lending credit unions engage in must be done in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations for lending (in particular, part 723, Member Business Loans; Commercial Lending, or the state equivalent).

    Credit unions must also ensure such lending is conducted safely and soundly, consistent with sound commercial lending practices. This includes appropriate underwriting standards that consider the borrower’s management ability and experience with this line of business, the financial condition of the borrower, and the borrower’s ability to meet all obligations and service the debt.

  13. What is the credit union expected to do to ensure the hemp business is operating lawfully?As with any account, credit unions need to maintain appropriate due diligence procedures for hemp-related accounts. The needed level of due diligence is a business decision credit unions must make individually and can vary depending on the product. For example, the level of due diligence needed for a large business loan would likely be higher than what is needed for a deposit received from a hemp-related business. Credit unions may want to consult with legal counsel when determining the appropriate level of due diligence.

    As part of a credit union’s overall BSA/AML compliance program, the NCUA expects each credit union to employ sufficient customer due diligence procedures to reasonably ensure that credit union member businesses producing or selling hemp-related products are compliant with applicable laws and regulations. Credit unions should verify that hemp growers possess a valid state or USDA license to grow hemp. However, credit unions are not expected to serve as the enforcement authority tasked with policing the hemp industry for illegal activity.

    The NCUA expects credit unions to remain alert to any indication an account owner is involved in any illicit or unusual activities. Credit unions must comply with BSA and AML requirements to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) for any activity that appears to involve potential money laundering or illegal or suspicious activity.

  14. Can a credit union decide not to serve hemp-related businesses?While the NCUA encourages credit unions to thoughtfully consider whether they are able to safely and properly serve lawfully operating hemp-related businesses within their fields of membership, the decision to serve any business is made by each individual credit union.
  15. Is there a list of credit unions that serve hemp-related businesses?The NCUA does not maintain a list of credit unions serving hemp-related businesses at this time.
  16. Do credit unions need to file marijuana related SARs on legally operating hemp businesses, provided the activity is not unusual for that business?No. Provided the credit union reasonably believes they are operating lawfully and the activity is not unusual for that business, marijuana-related SARs are not required to be filed for the activity associated with a hemp-related business. Credit unions must remain alert to any indication an account owner is engaging in illicit or unusual activities and should follow current FinCEN guidance for filing regular SARs when they suspect the business is engaging in illicit, suspicious or unusual activity.
  17. Where can I learn more?The USDA has published numerous resources dedicated to providing further guidance related to hemp.

    Credit unions with questions regarding state or Native American tribal laws and regulations should contact the state or Native American tribe government. The USDA has provided a resource page that contains relevant state and Native American tribe contact information.

    Credit unions with hemp-related food, drug, and cosmetic questions should contact the FDA and relevant parties within state and tribal governments.

Lawful hemp businesses provide exciting new opportunities for rural communities, and credit unions should carefully consider whether they can safely and properly serve lawfully operating hemp-related businesses within their fields of membership. To that end, and as described in this letter, credit unions must be aware of the federal, state, and Native American tribal laws and regulations that apply to any hemp-related businesses they serve, as well as the complexities and risks involved.

The NCUA encourages credit unions that are serving, or considering serving, hemp-related businesses to review all available information related to this evolving industry. As more information becomes available, the NCUA will continue to provide additional guidance.


StaffStaffJune 25, 2020
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31min00

Reprinted with permission from AmericanMarijuana.org.

Should you consider CBD for pain relief? Studies upon studies on CBD’s effectiveness against pain relief has been put on the tables. Even though most of them came up with positive results, there still are a few studies that concluded otherwise, claiming that studies still ARE NOT enough.

In this study, AmericanMarijuana looks at 1,453 Americans that use CBD for pain relief to see how well it performed compared to opioid. Specifically, we’ll look at its effectiveness, advantages, potential downsides, and practitioner’s perception towards the application of CBD for pain relief.

Demographics

How is CBD Used in Pain Management?

  • 60% of CBD consumers use it to treat Chronic pain, followed by Migraine pain (34%), Arthritis pain (28%), and Cancer treatment pain (3%).
  • Smoking/Vaping is the most common CBD administration method with 41%, followed by Topical (32%), Tincture/Oil (31%), Edibles (27%), Capsules (26%), Sublingual (9%).
  • 55% of participants don’t use THC for pain relief.

CBD Efficiency in Pain Relief

  • 53% CBD consumers use it as their ONLY pain relief medication.
  • 32% don’t feel any tolerance to CBD despite long-time consumption.
  • 44% NEVER experience any side effects.

CBD vs Opioids

Among 259 participants who regularly used opioids before CBD:

Opioids Usage Changes after Using CBD

opioids-usage-changes-after-using-cbd

Major takeaways:

97% use fewer opioids after using CBD. Among them:

  • 15% entirely quit opioids to use ONLY CBD for pain relief.
  • 70% has tried other medications to replace opioids but ending up rely mostly on CBD to treat pain.

Opioids Withdrawal Symptoms after Using CBD

They ended/eased before using CBD

15%
They eased, but it has nothing to do with CBD use

37%
They eased. Thanks to CBD

36%
They didn’t ease after CBD use

3%
Didn’t have any opioid withdrawal symptoms

7%

Major takeaways:

  • 73% said that their opioid withdrawal symptoms eased after they used CBD. Half of them believe it thanks to CBD effects.
  • Only 3% didn’t see opioids withdrawal symptoms relieved after using CBD.

Can CBD Replace Opioids?

can-cbd-replace-opioids

Marjor takeaways:

  • 84% believe CBD can replace opioid.

The biggest advantage of CBD compared to opioids

the-biggest-advantage-of-cbd-compared-to-opioids

Marjor takeaways:

The two biggest advantages of CBD compared to opioids are:

  • CBD has fewer/less dangerous side effects (36%).
  • CBD is not addictive (35%).

Perception of Practitioners on CBD for Pain Relief

Major takeaways:

  • 44% of CBD consumers’ practitioner support using CBD for pain relief while only 9% are against it.
  • Surprisingly, 31% of CBD consumers don’t tell their practitioners about their CBD use for pain.

Experts’ comments:

One potentially concerning finding from the study was that ” 31% of CBD consumers don’t tell their practitioners about their CBD use for pain.” I would stress to anyone who is interested in using CBD that they need to disclose it to their physicians. Many people do not realize that there is a high potential for drug-drug interactions with CBD and many common prescription and OTC medications.

Tory R. Spindle, Ph.D

Experts’ comments

I would say that overall, these findings are consistent with other recent surveys that have also shown people are commonly using CBD to treat pain and that they report it is effective. This study suggests that what we now need is controlled research to understand CBD’s pain-relieving effects (there is surprisingly very little research published in this area on humans). Without controlled studies, it is difficult to know whether some people experience benefits from CBD due to expectancy effects. For example, they may have heard from a friend that CBD helps with pain and they then have an expectation it will help them (this is often referred to as the placebo effect). Controlled research will also help to determine if there are certain CBD doses that are more effective than others, routes of administration, etc.

Tory R. Spindle, Ph.D – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Our lab has been doing research on cannabinoids for over 20 years. Our studies on CBD have shown that it is highly effective against autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In fact, based on our studies, FDA has approved the use of CBD to treat autoimmune hepatitis as an orphan drug. Because inflammation also causes pain, it is likely that CBD-mediated suppression of pain may result from its anti-inflammatory properties

Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D – Vice President for Research, University of South Carolina

It is important for readers to understand the limitations of observational, cross-sectional, survey-based research such as this — particularly when the survey is only distributed to people who fit a certain pre-set criteria (here, people who already use CBD for pain relief). An individual’s belief that a drug treats certain symptoms is different from clinical, placebo-controlled evidence that the drug is actually effective. While these results may tell readers what a certain group of survey-takers thin about CBD, readers should not accept these results as evidence that CBD is effective as pain relief or will help them replace opioids — at least until more robust evidence is available.

Theodore L. Caputi, BS – Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland

The relationship between cannabis use and opioid use/mortality is still somewhat debated in the scientific literature, with most research focused on comparing states where marijuana is legal, with those where it’s not. Most of those comparisons seem to show a positive effect; that states with more relaxed marijuana laws have lower rates of opioid abuse. There’s also some debate around exactly which components of cannabis are most useful for pain relief, with different reports suggesting that both THC and CBD may help relieve pain. That your survey respondents clearly find CBD helpful for managing their pain helps to fill in another piece of this puzzle, and as a whole it’s a very encouraging set of results.

Matthew Wall, Ph.D – Senior Imaging Scientist, Imperial College London

This study demonstrates some of the benefit that consumers are finding with with CBD for pain. In our work, we found benefit for anxiety that was prompt and without significant side effects. We need more studies to clarify all of these findings, but the basic science and early clinical findings support a strong signal that echoes the relief indicated in this survey.

Scott Shannon, MD – American Holistic Medical Association

Information is vital. Heightened by the breadth of the opioid crisis, it strictly benefits us to learn about the efficacy and drawbacks of alternative forms of pain management. With additional information and evidence, we can make better choices in treatment.

Rhet Smith – Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Methodology

We launched the survey on MTurk. To make sure the participants are U.S weed smokers, we do two things:

  1. Set qualifications to ensure that participants are located only in the U.S.
  2. Set a qualifying question at the beginning of the survey. In this case, the qualifying question is “Do you use CBD for pain relief?”, those who answered “No” will be disqualified and can not complete the survey.
We also have an attention-check question in the middle of the survey to ensure participants do not randomly answer the survey.

Because the survey relies on self-reporting, issues such as telescoping and exaggeration can influence responses. Please also be advised that this survey’s results do not reflect our opinions.

Fair Use Statement

If you know someone who could benefit from our findings, feel free to share this project with them. The graphics and content are available for noncommercial reuse. All we ask is that you link back to this page so that readers get all the necessary information and we receive proper credit.

For Repost Purpose

Here is the document version of this study’s results. You can freely use it to repost the study on your site, as long as you respect our fair use statement: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cN-jE2F5nrlmqQGLjyt8cay3QpUdXqSihG4A98z4Hx4/edit?usp=sharing
Dwight K. BlakeWritten by:Dwight K. Blake

Dwight was a Mental Health counselor at Long Island Psychotherapy & Counseling in Westbury, New York for more than 15 years. He believes that CBD is the prime solution to this mental illness and more– with proper research, medical acknowledgment, and application.

Through his work at AmericanMarijuana, together with the rest of the team, he wishes to provide everyone with genuine results and high-quality product reviews for everyone to enjoy for free.

 


StaffStaffJune 23, 2020
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3min00

Hemp oil producer Entoura, whose legal name is AVF CBD, LLC is buying Kentucky-based Atalo Holdings, an agriculture, and biotechnology firm specializing in research, development, and production of industrial hemp. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“Entoura is committed to sustainable and trustworthy products that leverage the benefits of the renowned hemp plant. Bringing Atalo onboard, with its rich history of innovation in hemp, brings us closer to achieving that goal,” said Kevin Murray, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Entoura. “Atalo’s incredible legacy in hemp cultivation, innovation and advocacy is truly inspirational, and we look forward to continuing that story.”

Entoura is a vertically integrated, high-quality USDA certified organic and cGMP-certified hemp oil producer. The company was started after its founder discovered the potential for CBD and the hemp plant in assisting with his son’s autism symptoms. The team has grown to 15+ members, comprising decades of combined genetic, agronomic, processing & financial experience. The company said that team members include the Former National Cultivation Manager for Canopy Growth, an Agronomist with 38 years experience (24 years in crop production), and the Former Director of Cultivation for Kiona THC and horticulturist from Acreage Holdings.

Atalo is located in the heart of Kentucky’s hemp region and boasts a rich history in hemp cultivation and genetics, dating back to the 1800s. The company’s ability to produce farmer-focused food-grade hemp products further augments Entoura’s robust supply chain. Entoura said it plans to leverage Atalo’s existing brands and product scope to enhance its product suite and to offer private label services, including industrial hemp genetics, flower, and hemp oil extraction. Entoura plans to combine its advanced genetics and distillation capability with Atalo’s hemp seed oil for integrated and differentiated product development.

Entoura has the following processing capabilities:
• 40,000 sqft of facility space with an additional 30,000 by 2021
• 15,000 lbs of biomass/day with addition 10,000 by 2021
• CO2 Cryo Ethanol Extraction
Farming Capacity:
>1000 Acres Organic Capacity
>50,000 Acres Total Capacity

 

 


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJune 22, 2020
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6min00

Product Review: The Clear CBD

I received the Apothecary gift basket in the mail from The Clear CBD. From the minute you open the box, you can appreciate the time and thought that went into packaging the product. It is presented in a cute, wooden basket and it had decorative nesting for the products to rest in. In the bundle, I received a 750 mg CBD tincture, a CBD balm, chapstick, a nighttime CBD capsule with melatonin, and a daytime CBD capsule with caffeine. 

The gift basket retails at $165.92, but it looks like right now the website has it listed for $129.99.

The Tincture

The CBD oil tincture is packaged in a nice, minimalist looking box. Even with its minimal packaging, it is still really pretty. 

The oil itself is almost clear, which is usually indicative of a high-quality product. There isn’t any added flavor, so it is a mild and nutty taste that stems directly from the hemp and the MCT oil. 

The oil itself works very well. I felt very relaxed after taking it. I give my kids CBD oil as well and I definitely noticed it works for them. This is definitely my favorite product out of the entire gift basket, I was really impressed with it. 

The Chapstick

The packaging is minimal but again, very pretty. I appreciate that the lid extends all the way down the tube, unlike a lot of chapsticks where the lid unscrews only at the top. It makes the lid easier to keep track of and not a choking hazard for my children, so that is really nice.

The chapstick was really nice on the lips, but I did notice I had to frequently reapply. It has a minty taste, which is nice because it is a quick and easy way for a midday refresher. I probably wouldn’t repurchase, but then again I don’t really use chapstick anyway. 

The ingredients are really nice though if you are someone who is interested in natural ingredients only. Aside from CBD, it has coconut oil, peppermint oil, limonene (which is cool), beeswax, and unrefined organic shea butter. 

The Nighttime Capsules

I like the packaging of these capsules. I like the darkness of it so it is easy to quickly recognize which one is for nighttime. The capsules are also black which is cool. 

I personally didn’t notice much of a difference in my sleep taking these, but my husband says they are amazing and helped his sleep so much. I also wake up frequently anyway because I have a six-month old baby that still needs me in the middle of the night. They helped my husband though and that is definitely a win in my book. I’d definitely repurchase if he felt he needed them. 

The Daytime Capsules

The packaging is really nice. It is nice and airy, and the white capsules and white packaging make it easy to determine it is your daytime capsule. 

I am going to be honest – these didn’t really work for my husband and me. We don’t like to energize with caffeine anyway, so maybe that’s why. However, it may work for you. The evening capsules worked for my husband, so everyone is different.

CBD Salve

The salve is in a tin package, typical for CBD salves. 

The salve was definitely one of my husband’s favorite products. He had a severe neck injury last year and he uses CBD salves to combat his pain. He said it worked really well for him and he would definitely purchase it again. The salve contains 500 mg of CBD. 

Overall, I think the brand is really great and has a lot of awesome products. The tincture is definitely my favorite product. While some of them may have not been right for me, I am sure other people have great things to say. 

 


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 18, 2020
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5min00

CBD brand Elixinol’s claim of making “kind of amazing CBD products that work” is enticing without being truly hyperbolic—a claim that I recently investigated myself by sampling their “Stress Less” and “Body Comfort” capsules, as well as their “Daily Balance” tincture. 

Before trying the products from this Colorado-based company, I visited Elixinol’s website to learn a little bit more about them. In addition to an “Education” tab which led me to a helpful breakdown of FAQ’s with appealing graphics, the website specifies that their products are made from hemp grown within the USA, and that all partners are carefully vetted to meet Elixinol’s high standards of quality. Nothing groundbreaking there, but what is new is the growing trend towards pairing cannabinoids with botanical extracts in order to enhance targeted formulas. 

Elixinol’s “Stress Less” capsules contain 300mg of Ashwagandha, a root popular in Ayurveda for helping the body adapt and remain resilient under stress, and their “Body Comfort” capsules contain 275mg of Boswellia (the resin also called “frankincense”), which is a known anti-inflammatory. As someone with a fair amount of herbal training, I was excited to try these botanically-enhanced capsules and see if they produced noticeably different results from the 100% CBD products I’ve sampled. 

With the “Stress Less” formula, I did notice an enhanced capacity to maintain a sense of calm focus, and an ability to simply sit and enjoy a quiet moment rather than racing off to the next task. Falling asleep at night was also slightly less effortful. I exercise vigorously five or six times a week which can often lead to stiffness and soreness, especially after sedentary hours at my writing desk, so I was hopeful about the effects of the “Body Comfort” formula. While I can’t say that I noticed anything significantly different from the calm relaxation of the “Stress Less” formula (my neck pain persisted, as did the aches and pains when I hit the HIIT a little too hard), the overall sense of well-being was still most welcome.  

The “Daily Balance” tincture had a pleasant minty flavor and the light nuttiness of MCT oil that I prefer in my CBD extracts. At half a dropper (8mg) per recommended dose, I was able to take this one twice daily without fear that I would feel too sluggish or chilled out to tackle my to-do list. The effects were subtle beyond my ability to detect, but when paired with a dose of the capsules in the evening did seem to result in sounder, more restorative sleep. 

Overall I felt good about the ingredients and provenance of these products and happy with the results. At $54.99 per bottle of 60 capsules, which would last 30 days if taken per recommendations, the price point is a bit high for me to re-stock my medicine cabinet with this every month. I’d be more likely to pop for an ounce of tincture at $29.99, but with the capsules’ “botanical boost”, I’d say consumers are still getting their money’s worth.


StaffStaffJune 10, 2020
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9min00

A recent study by the peer-reviewed CBD educational platform LeafReport.com found that a majority of CBD products tested had CBD levels within 10 percent of what was stated on the label. Of the 37 CBD products tested, 27 (73 percent) contained a CBD amount that was within 90–110 percent of the amount advertised by the company, according to the independent investigation by LeafReport. However, the report’s analysts warn that 13 percent of products failed containing more or less than 30 percent of labeled CBD amounts.

“These findings suggest that the CBD industry is becoming more mature and transparent, resulting in accurate, higher quality products,” explained Noa Gans, Head of Product at LeafReport.com. This level of accuracy is consistent with emerging standards suggested by medical cannabis industry specialists. Meanwhile, only five products had CBD levels that were vastly different (40 percent higher or lower) than the label, one of which contained only six percent of the CBD indicated on the label.

The LeafReport study, conducted by Canalysis Laboratories, an independent cannabis testing lab in Las Vegas, Nevada, also found that most CBD products (84 percent) contained more CBD rather than less, suggesting that companies are taking care to ensure that customers get their money’s worth. Tests also showed that many of the products had notable levels of minor cannabinoids, which contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD.

The results of the study found that:

  • 73 percent of products received an A rating, indicating that CBD levels were within 10 percent of the labeled amount;

  • 11 percent received a B rating within 20 percent of the labeled amount;

  • 3 percent received a C rating within 30 percent of the labeled amount;

  • 13 percent received an F rating, indicating that the tested amount varied by more or less than 30 percent of the labeled claim.

Products made by popular, reputable brands had the best results, whereas those offered by lesser-known companies performed worse. “Our findings also confirm that it’s a smart choice to buy from reputable, leading CBD brands rather than cheaper, unverified companies,” according to Gans.

The complete report can be viewed on the LeafReport website.


StaffStaffJune 9, 2020
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3min00

e.l.f. Beauty (NYSE: ELF) has expanded its innovative skincare portfolio with the launch of a Full Spectrum CBD collection to refresh, revive, and re-center the mind and body.

“I think there’s a real desire at this time from consumers for wellness. And we’re extremely proud to provide consumers with this Full Spectrum CBD line that delivers prestige quality in mass at extraordinary value.”

 

The collection, launched on May 15, 2020, features face and body care products infused with Full Spectrum CBD. It awakens the senses with notes of invigorating Japanese citrus and calming chamomile, and its rich formula helps soothe, moisturize, and restore skin. Since its launch on the brand’s website, the collection has been among the top twenty selling products within skincare on the site with a high percentage of return customers.

“The skincare category has been outperforming cosmetics during the crisis, and CBD, in particular, is projected to be a 22-billion-dollar industry by 2022. It’s a category our customers have shown great interest in and we’re excited to be able to build based on this demand, all at e.l.f. speed,” said Kory Marchisotto, Chief Marketing Officer.

Last fall, e.l.f. Cosmetics introduced a Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Oil collection, which helped to fuel its growth in the skincare category with sales up 27 percent in fiscal year 2020.

Marchisotto continued, “I think there’s a real desire at this time from consumers for wellness. And we’re extremely proud to provide consumers with this Full Spectrum CBD line that delivers prestige quality in mass at extraordinary value.”

e.l.f. Cosmetic’s Full Spectrum CBD collection includes a 100 MG CBD Facial Oil, 50 MG CBD Moisturizer, 50 MG CBD Eye Cream and 50 MG Body Cream, as well as a 5 MG CBD Lip Oil. The collection is made from the flowers and leaves of the purest form of CBD. This proprietary blend of formulas delivers amazing textures and leaves skin revived.

Products from the collection are currently available for purchase on e.l.f.’s website (www.elfcosmetics.com) where customers can learn more information about the Full Spectrum CBD line, and will also be available through wholesale partner ULTA later this year.


StaffStaffJune 1, 2020
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4min00

A federal judge has ordered two individuals doing business as Sundial Herbal Products to stop distributing unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs until they comply with federal law. According to the complaint, despite previous warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and repeated promises to correct violations, Sundial continued to violate the law and distribute their products.

“Americans expect and deserve medical treatments that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective. Making claims that unproven drugs can cure or prevent diseases places consumers’ health at risk,” said FDA Chief Counsel Stacy Amin. “We remain committed to pursuing and taking swift action against those who attempt to subvert the regulatory functions of the FDA by repeatedly disregarding the law and distributing unapproved products.”

The court concluded that Sundial’s products have no published adequate and well-controlled studies to support their claims, and the FDA has not approved any application for any of Sundial’s drugs, despite Sundial claiming that their products can cure, treat, or prevent a wide variety of diseases, including syphilis, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. For example, Sundial claimed that its Sundial Organic Hemp Seed Oil “suppresses the growth of cancer” and that Sundial Cassava Meal “prevents heart disease.” The FDA is particularly concerned that products that claim to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent serious diseases may cause consumers to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment.

As a result of these violations, on May 27, 2020, U.S District Judge Edgardo Ramos in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered an order of permanent injunction against Rahsan Hakim and Adoniiah Rahsan, individuals doing business as Sundial Herbal Products. The complaint, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the FDA, sought a permanent injunction against the Bronx, New York, drug distributor and its most responsible individuals.

This action follows multiple FDA inspections conducted at Sundial between 2012 and 2017. The FDA issued a warning letterExternal Link Disclaimer to Sundial in 2013 for similar violations. Despite assurances that the violations noted in the warning letter would be corrected, follow-up inspections revealed that the defendants did not make the necessary corrections.

Under the injunction, Sundial and the individual defendants cannot directly or indirectly receive, label, hold or distribute drugs at or from their facility until they take certain steps to ensure that all of these products comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act and other requirements listed in the order of permanent injunction including, among other requirements, recalling their drugs, hiring qualified experts to ensure conformity with the FD&C Act and other requirements and receiving written permission from the FDA to resume operations.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.



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