Marijuana edibles are the hot topic of another meeting today in Colorado. Colorado health authorities intend to once and for all decide which marijuana edibles are too indistinguishable from every-day treats. It is reported that the aim is to establish a new state commission responsible for the “pre-market approval” of ingestible marijuana products before they can be sold in state-licensed dispensaries.
At this time, there are no regulations to limit the different forms in which ingestible cannabis may be produced. There are, however, regulations establishing retail packaging, potency, and serving size requirements. Back in October of this year, Jeff Lawrence of the Colorado Department of Public Health recommended a ban on most forms of edible marijuana products that would allow only tinctures and lozenges to be sold in Colorado. That recommendation was quickly rescinded for being unconstitutional, but now lawmakers are looking for a compromise.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division of Colorado has reportedly been hosting workgroups made up of health officials, law enforcement officers, people from the cannabis industry, and parents to discuss all aspects necessary for coming up with the best plan of action for regulating cannabis edibles. The final meeting will be held today, and the final decision will be made by legislators next year.
Colorado state representative of district eleven, Jeff Singer, told Huff Post Live that he does not support this particular proposal, but he does support marijuana edibles being marked in such a way that would facilitate easy identification of cannabis products by people of all ages. He wants to establish a way of marking the outside of every marijuana infused treat so that any person could quickly identify any product as containing cannabis just by looking at it, rather than limiting the permissible forms in which edibles may be sold. He feels that this would be the best compromise by maintaining the constitutional right of the people to ingest cannabis in whichever form they so choose, while also preventing accidental ingestion. He summarized his reasoning behind the importance of reaching a happy medium,
“If we regulate this industry too much it, you force it into a robust black market where criminals don’t care who they are giving the marijuana to. If we do not regulate it enough, the federal government will step in and squash the whole program, which is another way to open up the black market again.”
Producers of cannabis edibles are standing up against this possible policy change, however, because the voter-approved amendment 64 allows all forms of marijuana infused products, and consumers need to take responsibility for cannabis consumption just as they do alcohol consumption. Elyse Gordon, owner of Denver’s Better Baked cannabis edibles manufacturer explained,
“We’re governed to death, and people need to take responsibility for themselves. I don’t think anyone in the industry is looking to make products for children, and we resent this idea that people aren’t responsible for the products they bring into their home.”
All sides on this issue are feeling the growing pains of this newly budding industry. Just as, today, alcoholic beverages are easily identified by children, ingestible cannabis products will eventually be similarly identifiable because of these necessary steps. This industry is still in stages of infancy, and fewer gray areas will remain in years to come. During these times of establishing precedence, it will be very important that lawmakers and citizens alike remember to view regulative decisions without the reefer-madness colored glasses of the past so that constitutional rights are not squashed. Many people still view cannabis with a certain fear of the unknown, and that could fog the decision-making process for some. These times may prove to be difficult, but are necessary to legitimize the industry. Still the message must remain that cannabis is no more harmful than alcohol, and therefor should not face tighter regulations.
photo credit: NBC
One of the Health Canada-licensed medical marijuana growers in British Columbia has promised $350,000 in sponsorship money to fund a study to focus on the safety and effectiveness of marijuana treatment on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition that occurs after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Many military veterans have publicly declared for years that marijuana helps to keep their PTSD symptoms at bay, or at least to manage them, but a new, unbiased study needs to be completed to determine why cannabis may be effective in treating PTSD.
The medical marijuana facility offering up the funding is called Tilray, and it is located in the city of Nanaimo. The sponsored study is to be run by researches from the University of British Columbia, but in order to begin in early 2015, as hoped, the university’s ethics board must first approve the study. The lead investigator, should the study receive the green light to start, will be Zach Walsh, a UBC professor of psychology. Walsh told the Vancouver Sun,
“Physicians and patients are hungry for research on marijuana. Medical research is playing catch-up with cannabis use so we really need to do these kinds of controlled studies. My professional interest is in developing effective therapies for psychological disorders.”
Forty participants will be selected for the study, and each person will try multiple different cannabis strains to find which strains are best suited to treat which symptoms. Tilray already grows medical marijuana for one-hundred-fifty patients suffering from PTSD, so they do not anticipate having any issues finding willing study participants. In order to receive the medication, all participants must be local enough to drive to the secret location near the research facility where each must personally pick up their marijuana and a study-issued vaporizer to administer the medication.
Each person selected must agree to go through a two week cleansing period before the trials begin. This means that participants who already use marijuana to treat PTSD symptoms, will have to stop medicating for two weeks prior to the start of the study. Two weeks cleansing periods will also be initiated in between administration of each new cannabis strain. This will ensure clear results for which strains best treat which symptoms, or which strains do not work to treat PTSD at all.
Incredibly important and useful information would be learned from this study for the future of marijuana in a whole new world of medicinal uses and therapy options. If successful, it may also open doors to other studies for the safety and effectiveness of marijuana to treat other medical conditions.
A man in Colorado says that ingesting cannabis paste may be able to help a person’s immune system fight off the Ebola virus. Brad Morehouse is the founder of New Cure out of Peyton, Colorado. He believes so strongly in the healing power of his product that over the course of the last year, his team has sent out several press releases to spread the word. The most recent press release from News Wire proclaims:
“Cannabis Paste is the most promising natural defense against Ebola”
New Cure Cannabis Paste is made using a high CBD, low THC strain of hemp, which Morehouse named “Ditch Weed.” THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana that is known for creating the feeling of being high. CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has put cannabis on the medicinal map recently, showing successful results in the treatment of epilepsy and other medical conditions in young children as well as adults.
The Whaxy Team had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Morehouse over the phone on Thursday October 16. Combining what we learned from him, the information on the New Cure website and a lot of research, here is what we found.
Morehouse does not have any medical proof or clinical studies to reference in the matter of cannabis successfully being used to fight the Ebola virus because no studies have been conducted on the subject. He does, however, have reasoning behind the idea.
A study published in Augusts 2014, by the online medical journal, Science, states that the Ebola virus genetically mutates very rapidly inside every host. The virus’s rapid rates of mutation and replication combine to allow it to evolve quickly. Therefor the ability to develop a vaccine for the virus is very unlikely. The Ebola virus and the Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have this in common.
The Ebola virus and HIV are similar in genetic makeup (RNA), mutation, and replication. Both viruses perplex the immune system of a host in such a way that the immune system defensive cells attack the host’s body by mistake, destroying itself internally in a confused effort to kill the viral invasion. Marijuana’s cannabinoid, CBD, has been linked to slowing the replication of the HIV virus, and therefore, it may have the same reaction when in contact with the Ebola virus.
Both viruses also induce inflammation inside the body, which may cause severe hemorrhaging, possibly resulting in death. The inflammation is caused when proteins in the body, known as cytokines, tell the immune cells to go fight the virus. Over-activity of this immune system response can create what is called a cytokine storm, where far too many immune cells get caught in an endless loop of calling more and immune cells to the area to join the virus fighting forces. This reaction causes inflammation in the tissues surrounding the infection.
Cannabinoids found in marijuana have been linked to reducing inflammation as well as helping to slow over-activity of the immune system response (cytokine storm). Therefore, cannabis treatments may give a person’s immune system the help and “back-up” needed to allow the body to win the fight against these viruses.
It’s not that cannabis will cure Ebola, but it may be the extra reinforcement the human immune system needs to fight off the virus on it’s own.
Click here to learn more about New Cure Cannabis Paste.
photo credit: New Cure, Ivan Konstaninov