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Thoughts on the Trump administration’s plan for a vaping ban

Not for the first time, the future of vaping in America is uncertain. On this occasion, the vape industry has been plunged into chaos following an announcement from President Donald Trump. His statement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would soon put out “very strong recommendations” concerning flavored e-cigarette use has come as a shock. Trump’s move follows successful efforts from Michigan lawmakers to prohibit flavored vape juices just this month. New York state has also voted to ban most flavored e-liquids.  San Francisco has banned e-cigarettes altogether.

Reasons given for these vaping bans are varied. They include products being too accessible and inviting to minors, and more recently a spate of mysterious lung illnesses that have been linked to vaping. But are these arguments credible? And even if they are, could prohibition of flavored e-cigarettes trigger a slew of unintended consequences?

What’s causing the recent vaping controversy?

The big media outlets have recently been picking up on the dangers of vaping “fake” cannabis cartridges. These products have become prevalent in recent months and have been linked to an obscure lung illness and a handful of deaths.

It seems clear that these illnesses are the result of counterfeit vape juices. These don’t just contain marijuana extract, but other ingredients that are used as carrier oils. Such cartridges are essentially “bootlegged,” and a serious concern to the public health. 

However, it must be stressed that these health concerns are due to vaping bad quality, or even fake products. These problems have not come from standard nicotine, cannabis or CBD vape juices. Many brands even get their products checked by accredited laboratories, and then publish the results. The worry is that these news stories about dangerous cartridges will be used to spread misinformation about vaping. This could make vaping sound more risky than it is. That would be a disaster for the industry, and it’s not all that unlikely. 

There are a lot of anti-vapers out there who don’t believe in harm reduction techniques, which present e-cigarettes as a safe alternative to smoking. Their view is that it replaces one unhealthy addiction with another. But this dismisses the fact that millions, who would otherwise smoke, are now vaping instead, and enjoying a healthier lifestyle because of it. 

Protecting vaping is not just crucial for our personal freedoms, but to not take away an option that has been life-changing for many. Any move against regular vaping should come only if there is comprehensive clinical evidence showing that vaping is bad for public health. Right now, the science suggests the opposite. Hopefully those in positions of power will recognize this, and make sensible policy decisions going forward.

What has the FDA said? 

The FDA’s announcement on vaping earlier this month shocked many people. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar plans to “clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes”. The stated goal is to curb the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Azar also spoke about not letting flavored e-cigarettes be an “on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction.” 

Government data shows that more than 25 percent of high school kids have vaped in 2019, with the numbers rising considerably year-on-year. Companies such as JUUL have been criticized for making their products too attractive for children. Azar called out flavored e-cigarettes that are “child-friendly,” such as bubblegum and mint. For now, the vaping ban is only intended for these kind of products, and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes will not be restricted. But Azar warns even tighter restrictions may follow if the data shows that minors start using tobacco-flavored products instead.

But one must question whether vaping is the problem here, or if this is just a continuation of the nicotine addiction problem among our youth. If so, then vaping is not necessarily the issue. Indeed, a ban could see youngsters take up smoking instead, or even purchasing e-liquids from the black market. All of these issues need to be addressed before such a large-scale ban is enforced – especially if the vaping ban seems like a knee-jerk reaction to a moral panic. 

The FDA has waged war on vaping for a while

Former FDA head Scott Gottlieb was also intent on a vaping crackdown. Azar’s 2019 announcement is a follow-up on Gottlieb’s efforts. Filing applications to the FDA for e-cigarette products has been a legal requirement for manufacturers since August 2016.

If an e-cigarette product isn’t backed up by such a document, it’s technically prohibited, and the federal government has the power to take action. However, these new regulations would allow the FDA to remove flavored vape juices from sale, without further warning. Manufacturers of tobacco-flavored products have a little bit more breathing room, and have up until May 2020 to submit applications to keep products legal.

Decoding Trump’s vaping tweets 

The Trump administration has become known for its unpredictability. Therefore, trying to work out what will happen next is often a fruitless task. Shortly after President Trump’s announcement that the FDA will clamp down on vaping, he sent out a tweet striking a quite different tone

Trump showed some support for vaping as an alternative to cigarettes, and mentioned his desire to get “counterfeits off the market,” and also to stop youngsters from vaping. On its own, this would help to settle the nerves of the vape industry – Trump clearly states that the issue is with fake products, and spoke positively of vaping, too. 

So, does Trump really believe this, or is the administration up to something? As far as we know, the FDA still plans to issue tighter regulations on vaping in the near future. There have been reports that Trump has close links with the vape industry, but that the proposed ban is a surprise. Maybe the tweet is simply an effort to calm their fears. 

While Trump’s Twitter account usually gives a good idea as to where his thoughts are, his tweets do not carry the same weight as actual government policy. We should certainly keep an eye on what the President has to say about vaping, but the really substantive information on a vaping ban will almost inevitably come from the FDA. That’s where our attention needs to be. 

How you can help to stop a flavor vaping ban 

Activism among the vaping community will be crucial to stopping a flavor ban. Thankfully, vapers are more than aware about the potential for crackdowns, and have swiftly organized to make their voices heard. A White House petition to stop President Trump from signing the flavor ban started on September 11 has already been signed more than 100,000 times. This is the threshold for a response from the White House. The petition remains open until October 11, and you can add your name to it by clicking here

If you have a presence on social media, sharing accurate information with your friends and followers will help. Misinformation and disinformation is rife online nowadays. It’s important that a narrative which makes all vaping sound dangerous and even deadly doesn’t take hold. Vaping has helped millions. Sharing positive stories and keeping public opinion on our side is vital. 

Contact your senators and House representatives. Tell them to campaign to keep flavored e-liquids on the market. It’s your democratic right to tell elected officials what you think about policy. The vaping community is large and enthusiastic. A well-organized and persistent movement could yet force a change. 

Final thoughts 

Vaping has a delicately poised future in the United States. As always, there are real concerns about nicotine addiction in teenagers.We should heavily scrutinize anything that may make this more likely. Finding a way to keep flavored e-liquids away from kids should take priority over a haphazard plan to ban them. This applies even if these products are problematic. Bringing regulation to the industry so that products are safer is more logical than simply banning them.

The Trump administration still has room to manoeuvre. Until the FDA comes out with its detailed policy plans, we can only speculate as to the exact approach they will take. Hopefully, Trump’s favorable tweet about vaping is rooted in genuine support for vaping. The worst-case scenario is that it’s just an effort to pay lip service to the industry. in the lead up to a ban.  

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Your detailed guide to CBD for pets 

We all want to do the best for our pets, especially when it’s clear that they are suffering from illness. Pet owners looking for fresh alternatives to regular medication are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) products, which are made from the hemp plant. But is it safe to give these to your pet, and if so, what exactly could CBD be useful for? And what CBD products are likely to be most effective? We’ll answer all of those questions and more in this comprehensive CBD for pets review. 

What is CBD?

CBD is a component of hemp, which has been shown to have health benefits, without the negative effects of a psychoactive cannabis “high”. CBD is a cannabinoid, one of several hemp and cannabis-based compounds that works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Experts are confident that the bulk of CBD’s effects come through ECS interactions. The system, which Israeli scientists identified in the 1990s, is found in humans, domesticated pets and many other life forms. This indicates the ECS is of vital and long-held importance to our health. The ECS appears to influence both our physical and mental faculties. 

Keeping your pet safe with CBD 

Safety is the most important thing of all when giving CBD to your pet. There are so many CBD products on the market, but there are key differences between them. With humans, just about every hemp-based CBD product is safe for consumption and unlikely to cause side effects. This isn’t necessarily the case with pets, whose systems are more sensitive than ours. Notably, cats and dogs are at a greater risk of harm from delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in cannabis. This risk applies even when THC is taken in very small doses. 

For this reason, you shouldn’t give regular hemp-derived CBD products to your pets. These are made for humans only, and it’s unclear how safe the ingredients in these are. Indeed, that’s why a whole market has opened up for CBD pet products. These products are made with special veterinarian formulas that have been developed just for pets. In comparison with standard CBD products, pet edibles and oils may be more expensive per milligram of CBD. But it’s worth paying a little extra to ensure that CBD supplements help your pet, and that they don’t trigger various side effects. 

How could CBD help your pet?

CBD for pets benefits are wide-ranging – the compound can have a positive mental and physical effect. But do bear in mind that there is little clinical evidence supporting CBD’s medical use right now, and that the products are sold as supplements. That doesn’t mean CBD’s effects are overstated, just that the studies haven’t been carried out yet. This makes sense as cannabinoid science is only just emerging. 

However, if you have any queries or hesitancies about treating your pet with CBD, be sure to contact a vet who is fully up to speed with your pet’s health circumstances. 

CBD for pain

There is a similar problem with pets and painkillers as there is with humans and painkillers: opioid drugs. These have been the first-choice class of painkillers for many years. Nobody doubts the analgesic properties of these synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, which are based on opium. But there are serious concerns regarding the safety of opioids. Side effects, tolerance and a high overdose risks make for a nasty cocktail. It’s no wonder that human patients, and now pet owners are seeking alternatives.

CBD is an attractive option for pain. It’s not intoxicating, has few side effects (besides drowsiness in large amounts), and does not cause the same tolerance issues. Clearly CBD is much safer, but does it actually help with pain?

The science is incomplete, but CBD looks to have analgesic value. Studies have demonstrated how CBD interacts – indirectly or directly – with receptors involved with pain moderation (e.g. CB1 receptor, vanilloid receptor). New research also suggests that flavonoids are crucial to getting pain relief from cannabis, and this may apply to hemp, as well. Flavonoids are non-intoxicating and this evidence deserves further investigation. 

We perhaps haven’t reached the peak of CBD and cannabinoid therapy for pain yet. But the signs are good, and treatments will likely be refined considerably in the coming years.  

CBD for pets with seizures 

CBD has been researched extensively for epileptic seizures in humans, and huge progress has been made. Following clinical trials, the United States has now approved a CBD-based treatment for certain forms of epilepsy. There are fewer studies on pets, but CBD already holds a lot of promise.

Colorado State University has been hard at work, and released a study in 2019 highlighting the therapeutic effects of CBD on a small batch of dogs with epilepsy. Out of the 16 dogs in the investigation, nine were treated with CBD while the other seven took a placebo. Seizure frequency reduced in eight of the nine dogs, over a 12-week period. The CBD used was derived from hemp and had less than 0.3% THC, making it the same type of CBD legal across the US. 

This is an important step, and hopefully a bigger study will highlight much more about how CBD works for seizures, and what treatment is best for dogs. Idiopathic epilepsy affects more than 5 percent of dogs globally. 

CBD for pets with anxiety 

Anxiety is very scary for pets. There are all sorts of things that can send them into a state of panic. Short-term factors include fireworks and other loud noises, unexpected guests and especially children. Anything out of the ordinary may be enough to throw off a sensitive pet. In the long run, moving home or the death of an owner could cause prolonged anxiety. Obviously, pets can’t tell us they are anxious! But excessive and compulsive grooming, hiding, aggressiveness and any behavior that’s unusual for your pet could hint at anxiety or stress. The good news is that CBD may help, and that the benefits could even be noticeable from the first dose.

CBD is thought of as calming and soothing. The research looking at CBD and anxiety gives us a good idea as to why. Scientists have shown that CBD operates in a traditional anti-anxiety mechanism, as a serotonin 1A receptor agonist. CBD also helps promote neurotransmitter balance, by regulating GABA receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Studies suggest that anxiety is exacerbated when the brain is an over-excited state, hence the need for more GABA. Pets have similar systems to us, and would likely benefit from CBD for anxiety in the same way that we do. 

CBD for pets with arthritis and inflammation

Older dogs are prone to getting arthritis, either due to wear and tear in their joints, or due to bigger problems in their immune systems. Joint issues are typically a sign of osteoarthritis; a dysfunctional immune system is more likely due to rheumatoid arthritis. But CBD may help with both. 

Several studies have found that CBD and other cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory properties. These are critical to slowing or stopping joint tissue destruction. Protecting the tissues helps to reduce bone exposure, and overall pain. 

Treating rheumatoid, an autoimmune disease, requires immune system regulation. Researchers have long been baffled as to how to achieve this. The immune system is notorious for its volatility, and triggering breakouts of inflammation all over the body. However, CBD and cannabinoids may deliver unique relief, by pushing immunomodulatory signals through the ECS. 

Some have suggested that CBD is capable of this therapeutic effect because it strengthens the lining of the gut. There is a minority view among researchers that a leaky gut is the cause of many health issues, including autoimmune diseases.

CBD for lethargy in old age 

This doesn’t exactly come under CBD for pets research, but there are lots of anecdotes about how CBD can make an aging dog or cat more spritely and energetic. As our pets age, they lose their agility somewhat, just like we do. This may be due to issues like pain or inflammation, but it’s often just a case of father time catching up with them. 

Lab-tested CBD is teeming with health benefits – full-spectrum CBD oil products for pets may be even better. CBD regulates the ECS, which is beneficial for mood, the immune system, appetite, and pain levels. Keeping your pet topped up with CBD is a great way of delivering all these benefits. The advantages of CBD for this purpose may not be easily quantifiable. But for many owners, simply seeing their pets with more energy and verve is all that matters. 

CBD products for pets 

Getting your pet to take their medication without drama must be the biggest hassle for owners. All of us with a four-legged friend knows how difficult it is to get them to sit still for a few seconds, while attempting to force a medicine – that they probably don’t even like! – into their mouths. If this scenario doesn’t ring a bell, you’re one of the lucky ones!

Before we get into the products available, let’s focus on some general qualities that CBD brands share. Nearly all of them have tried to solve the taste problem by manufacturing delicious CBD-infused treats for pets. These successfully mask the pungent, earthy hemp flavor, in favor of pet favorites, such as chicken, bacon and salmon.

Furthermore, most companies offer some recommended dosages. These are typically not that precise, but suggesting how much “small”, “medium” and “large” dogs should take is a good starting point for owners. With this information to hand, it’s fairly easy to find out what dosage is most effective for any particular pet. And remember these recommendations are just that – recommendations. It’s perfectly okay to be flexible with the dose, which usually isn’t the case with prescription drugs.

CBD oils and drops

Classic CBD tinctures are also made for pets. These are sold in a range of dosages, and owners have plenty of flavors to choose from. Oils are efficient. Measuring out the right dose is easy, and there is a standardized consistency of CBD throughout the bottle. If you have your pet on a strict treatment plan, drops are a good bet. 

CBD oil can be administered directly, dripping the drops straight into your pet’s mouth. However, this could be problematic if they won’t stay still for long enough! In this event, try stirring the oil into your pet’s – preferably wet – food, or even into their water. As many pet owners will be well aware, when treating your pet, obscuring the fact that it’s medicine often works wonders. 

CBD edibles and chews

Edibles and chews are perfect as they are essentially unrecognizable from regular pet treats. Your dog or cat will love the products made from leading brands, including CBD Genesis and Koi CBD. Pet edibles come in packs, with each treat having a set CBD dose that is stated clearly on the label. Advice on how to give these to your pet normally consists of a certain amount per day, depending on their size.

There aren’t really any downsides to CBD edibles and soft chews. The formulas used are generated with your pet in mind, as is obvious by how much they enjoy them! The only problem you could encounter is if your pet doesn’t like treats!

CBD pet sprays 

CBD sprays are a versatile pet product, and can be used to treat your pet in a number of ways. With a bit of luck, you may be able to administer the spray orally, but no worries if you can’t! These sprays are also perfect for adding to pet food, without ruining the flavor. CBD sprays blend in nicely, and your pet should lap them up. 

Again, companies have made finding the right CBD for pets dosage really simple with sprays. Bottles are generally designed to emit the same amount of CBD with each spray, indicating how many milligrams it contains on the label. Tips on how many sprays to add to a meal, and whether to give them at regular intervals throughout the day, or all at once, may also be offered. Brands must be careful about making medical claims about their products, but are permitted to mention how to use them.

Final thoughts

The future of CBD as a medicine for pets looks positive. In this post alone, we’ve discussed how CBD may be effective for:

  • Chronic pain
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis and inflammation
  • Sluggishness and lethargy in old age

CBD products are far from a gimmick, as critics may suggest. The rise of CBD treatment for humans and pets is rooted in ground-breaking science. While much about the exact interactions of CBD in humans, cats and dogs is still unknown, we can see from anecdotal evidence and small trials that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid is useful.

This could potentially make CBD a more viable treatment for some conditions than existing medications. For example, tramadol is a painkiller often prescribed to both humans and pets. The drug may work for pain relief, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Tramadol is also highly addictive and causes side effects, such as headaches, nausea, low energy and dizziness. It’s possible that when weighing up the benefits and downsides (or lack of them) of CBD with tramadol and other drugs, that the former is a better treatment. Of course, CBD’s therapeutic value should always be looked at on a case by case basis. 

 

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Vaping ban: could it really happen? 

vape ban

The vaping scene has been sent into shock, following an announcement by US President Donald Trump that his administration will pursue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. The move comes after several supposed vaping-related deaths, and concerns about products being too accessible for minors. But is this an overreaction? And if the ban goes through, what would be the consequences for vapers around the country? 

What’s the story? 

vaping banOver the past few weeks, reports of vaping-related illnesses and even deaths have grabbed the media’s attention. In excess of 400 lung illness cases have been reported in more than 30 states, with the average age of those affected just 19.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency, must now come up with a plan to take all non-tobacco flavored vaping products off the US market. This is not the first time that the FDA has come for vaping, after the announcement of a “deeming deadline” in 2016. This promised to put tight restrictions on vape manufacturers, but the initial August 2018 deadline was pushed back to 2022 for non-combustible products. 

There is some precedent for such an all-encompassing ban, with Michigan now prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes. San Francisco has gone further, with city lawmakers voting to ban e-cigarette sales altogether. According to Alex Azar’s press office, US Health and Human Services Secretary, the FDA’s full plan will be released in the “coming weeks.” 

Why a vape ban would be a bad move 

The US government must weigh up whether flavored e-liquids are a net benefit to public health. On one hand, these products are more attractive to those who have never vaped or smoked than regular tobacco cigarettes – especially youngsters. On the other, flavored vape juices have been a revelation for smokers who have tried and failed to quit. Nicotine e-liquids still offer the same hit, without exposure to all the nasty carcinogens in smoke. 

The CEO of JUUL, the wildly popular vaping company, recognizes the current issue with flavored e-liquids, calling them “problematic.” However, JUUL could perhaps benefit from a flavor ban. This is because they have already stopped selling most flavored products. A ban would force other companies to compete with JUUL, the dominant brand in the vape pod market. 

Obviously, children and teenagers getting hold of flavored nicotine e-liquids is a big problem. At best, they could end up with a nicotine addiction. At worst vaporizing these products could have serious health consequences. But why should law-abiding, vaping Americans be punished for something they have nothing to do with?

Moreover, even if flavored e-liquids are ultimately banned nationwide, these products wouldn’t disappear. Instead, they would likely re-emerge on the black market, where there are no quality checks, at all. Bootlegged vape pods are already a problem – particularly with marijuana. Indeed, exactly the same happened during alcohol prohibition during the early 20th century. Rather than banning flavored e-liquids, ensuring that products are safe and that only adults are able to access them would make much more sense. 

If the goal of an e-liquid ban is to make people safer, the signs point to it having the opposite effect.

Vaping is safer than smoking 

We now have strong research that long-term vaping is safer than long-term smoking. Public Health England have released studies highlighting this. The United Kingdom’s healthcare system even endorses e-cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking. The US should consider such pioneering research before making any hasty moves on vaping. 

While some advocate “cold turkey” as a way of quitting smoking, the reality is that many benefit more from a “harm reduction” approach. Reducing the risk to health by getting smokers to start vaping is better than trying and failing to get them to just stop smoking. By stopping the sale of flavored e-liquids, many smokers-turned-vapers could end up regressing back to combustible cigarettes. 

Furthermore, for regular e-liquid vapers who want to stop taking nicotine completely, CBD is a superb alternative. A small trial showed that CBD consumption helps to reduce nicotine cravings and cigarette intake. Many users enjoy the act of vaping, just as they previously did smoking. With CBD e-liquids, people can keep vaping, while minimizing the health risks. 

How to stay safe with vaping 

That said, there are some important precautions to take, whether you use nicotine, cannabis or CBD vape juices. As these industries are unregulated, it’s much easier for companies to put poor quality products on the market. In many cases, this isn’t harmful to anything other than your wallet. But some brands are prepared to put unproven and even dangerous ingredients into their e-liquids, and pass them off as legit. Cheap, untested vape juices could be responsible for the illnesses and deaths are occurring right now. It’s hard to know without extensive research, but nobody doubts these products are out there.

Thankfully, staying safe with vaping has been made easier by well-meaning e-liquid brands. They want to create a thriving industry, made up of safe and effective products. Trusted companies have no issues in sending their products to accredited laboratories for testing and analysis. Prospective customers are able to access the results. Brands willing to go through the third-party lab testing process are much, much more likely to be manufacturing safe e-liquids.

Final thoughts 

The plans for a flavored e-liquid ban are certainly concerning for the industry. The worst that could happen is for an ill-thought plan to be rushed through as a knee-jerk reaction to recent developments. It’s essential that any move from the Trump administration and FDA to make vaping safer is done via an evidence-based approach. 

Vaping has made a positive difference for millions of Americans. A strong response from vape advocates is very likely. Hopefully a resolution will be found that protects both health and personal freedoms. 

 

If you would like to vote to stop Donald Trump from signing the federal flavor ban of e-cig products please click here.

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7 cool pieces of cannabis equipment 

Want to take your cannabis experience to the next level? As the legal industry has developed, innovative manufacturers have come up with a range of exciting products, to speed up and simplify the process of rolling a joint, or making edibles. We’ve got several revolutionary devices to show you, including: 

  • An automatic joint roller 
  • A cannabutter machine 
  • A glass blunt 
  • Innovative 3-in-1 vaporizers
  • Bubblers 
  • Bluetooth-connected vapes 
  • Cannabis potency analysis devices 

The equipment featured in this post is compatible with both hemp and marijuana flower. In terms of using them, these are essentially the same. It’s only in the cannabinoids that there is a difference – hemp has lots of CBD; marijuana is stacked with THC. 

Automatic joint roller 

An automatic joint roller is almost certainly the invention of somebody who has tried – and failed! – repeatedly to roll a joint. For some, the art of rolling is as simple as can be, and they may have years of experience rolling joints. For others, it doesn’t matter how many guides they read or new techniques they try, their joints are still loose, and virtually unsmokable – that’s if they can even roll a joint at all. 

The automatic roller is perfect for those who cannot roll, and also for people just looking for high-quality joints on demand, with minimal effort. The Otto from Banana Bros is the leading product in this market right now. This device boasts awesome, one-touch simplicity. 

The Otto even grinds up the weed automatically. Just place the marijuana flower into the top of the device, and position a RAW paper cone at the bottom. Then just press the button, and wait for the Otto to work its magic. The grinder has sensors which determine the density and consistency of the flower being used. The Otto can grind clockwise or counterclockwise, and changes direction automatically, depending on what the sensors think is best. The speed of the grind also adjusts without any human input.

There’s a lot of talk these days about “the robots taking over”. Bet you never thought they would be able to roll the ultimate joint! 

Manual joint roller 

Don’t want to invest in a pricey automatic joint roller, but looking for a device to improve the quality of your joints? Manual joint rollers are available at a really low cost. They are easy to use, and will provide you with a smokable joint in just seconds. The only downside with these is that the joint will look more like a cigarette than a cone-shaped joint. 

Cannabutter machine 

Ready to make some edibles, but find the process too long, cumbersome or difficult? A cannabutter machine could make all the difference. With this device, you’re guaranteed to get quality, infused cannabutter time after time that can then be added to any recipe of your choice.

The most famous in this range is the MagicalButter Machine. While the makers of this product don’t specify that it’s for use with cannabis, preferring to talk about “herbal infusions,” nobody’s fooled about what this device is for! 

The MagicalButter Machine takes care of absolutely everything, from grinding up your hemp or marijuana flower, to heating, decarbing, stirring and steeping the extract, ensuring it comes out just right. With this machine, you can make infused butter, oil, cream, tincture oils, and more. For the marijuana enthusiast who wants to start making their own infused products, a device like this is a must-have in your kitchen. Not only will it save time, but it will likely be more cost-effective in the long run, too. Since the butter always comes out perfect, there’s no risk of a bad batch. 

Once you have cannabutter or an infused oil, there are so many recipes you can make. There are many cannabis-themed recipes online. And even if you can’t find the perfect one, as you can use the butter or oil in literally anything, there’s always room for experimentation. 

Glass Blunt 

Glass blunts have become more popular – but are they an expensive gimmick, or a necessity? Since most people still consume cannabis in joint or blunt form, there’s definitely a market for glass blunts, not least because – as we mentioned earlier – some people just can’t roll! As with the automatic joint roller, glass blunts resolve the issue of getting an enjoyable smoke. 

There are a few different glass blunts on sale, each with their perks and downsides. The ideal glass blunt is one that’s made with borosilicate glass, is easy to pack, and ideally doesn’t have the screw design which tends to be fiddly. 

Glass blunts are healthier than smoking a joint or blunt, as the only material burning and being inhaled is the plant. Companies like RAW have introduced safer rolling papers to the market in recent times, but nothing beats a smoke where no papers are needed whatsoever. As we all know, smoking isn’t the healthiest way of consuming cannabis. But for many, it’s their favorite way, or even the most therapeutic, thanks to the fast cannabinoid delivery. Glass blunts – or should we say “glunts” – help to make the smoking experience slightly safer, without detracting from the effects or flavor. For those reasons alone, this innovative piece of kit is a winner.  

3-in-1 vaporizer 

All new CBD and cannabis vapers have a question to ask themselves before they buy: which products do I actually want to vape? For those with no prior vaping experience, this can be a difficult question to answer, and one that incurs significant and unnecessary costs, as they rush to grab all the equipment and accessories they can find. Then it’s a case of trial and error, experimenting with different products and devices before settling on the perfect combination. 

But what if you didn’t need to do any of that? What if there was a vaping device that could handle dry herb, concentrates and e-liquids? Thankfully, now there are. And if you can’t find any of the heralded 3-in-1 devices, there are a plethora of 2-in-1 options to cover most vaping bases.

What’s more, 3-in-1 vaporizers aren’t even that expensive. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find a solid device for under $100. 

What can I use in a 3-in-1 vaporizer?

E-liquids: Vape juices are great as you can choose from a range of strengths and flavors. Moreover, it’s easy to mix different e-liquids together, to enjoy a combination of effects. Some choose to do this with multiple CBD e-liquids, others like to incorporate CBD or cannabis with their nicotine vape juices. With e-liquids, vapers have ample opportunity to experiment. 

Dry herb: Many vapers find dry herb the safest option when it comes to vaping, especially compared to THC vape cartridges. There are prescient safety concerns about psychoactive cannabis cartridges, and primarily those that are unregulated and not lab-tested. Marijuana flower is natural, and doesn’t contain any potentially risky carrier oils or other ingredients. Vaping dry herb also provides a classic, cannabis flavor, bringing the delicious terpenes to the fore, as opposed to artificial flavorings. 

Concentrates: Concentrates are typically more potent than e-liquids and dry herbs. This makes for a stronger high for recreational users, and extra therapeutic relief for medicinal users. Wax, shatter, crumble and crystals are among the most common CBD-rich and THC-rich concentrated products. 

Bluetooth-connected vaporizers 

Some vaporizers offer just a couple of temperature options – indeed, with vape pens, there may only be one temperature setting. But for CBD and cannabis vapers who want more control over their experience, a vaporizer that connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth is a great investment. Such a vaporizer is perfect for enthusiasts who want to learn more about the effects and flavors at various heat settings. It’s also great for vapers who know that they get a more efficient, economical and effective vape session when they can set the device to a particular temperature. For instance, perhaps your strain works best at a specific heat setting, because of how the cannabinoids and terpenes interact. With a Bluetooth-connected device, you can set your device to one-degree intervals.

A few brands are getting involved with these “smart” vaporizers, and they are at the upper end of the market. Some smartphone apps will have a range of settings, to give you a special type of experience. This may involve tweaking with the temperature settings mid-session, perhaps delivering a “boost” at various points. The PAX is renowned for this feature, which lets you relax and enjoy your vaping, while getting a better experience than normal.

Bubblers 

Sometimes, a pipe can be a little bit too hot, as the smoke barely gets chance to cool before it’s inhaled. On the other hand, bongs greatly reduce smoke temperature, but can be a hassle to set up and maintain. A bubbler meets the two in the middle. These are still really easy to smoke from, like a pipe. However, a bubbler can hold a small amount of water in the bottom. This helps to cool down the smoke significantly before it’s inhaled. Therefore, you can take a much bigger hit with a bubbler than is possible with a regular pipe.

Bubblers tend to be really classy and stylish. They’re a great addition to any cannabis user’s collection. Moreover, bubblers are relatively easy to clean, and only need a small amount of water to operate. To use a bubbler, all you need is some delicious dry herb, and a gauze to place on the bowl. This stops any flower from falling into the bubbler itself.

Cannabis potency analyzers 

Cannabis potency analyzers are an absolute essential if you want peace of mind when using marijuana or hemp products. It’s now effectively a responsibility for comapnies to get their products tested by accredited laboratories. Brands that fail to do this risk losing out to competitors who better meet their customers demands for authenticity. However, for those who are still skeptical about these unregulated industries, a cannabis potency analyzer is an ideal way to test products for yourself.

These analyzers used to really expensive, but have become much more affordable. A standard device checks for CBD and THC content, and sends the report directly to your smartphone. A potency analyzer is really useful for those making homemade cannabis products, such as oils and edibles. There’s always the risk that you make an infusion that’s too strong, or too weak. With a testing kit, you can stay safer with homemade edibles and oils.

Final thoughts

There are lots of exciting cannabis-themed products on sale nowadays – and marijuana still isn’t federally legal in the United States. That is perhaps an indication that we can expect even more super cool cannabis equipment to hit the market over the next few years, transforming your weed experience further. See anything you like here? Why not invest in a glass blunt or high-tech vaporizer, and then try it out with some of the CBD products for sale at CBDVapeJuice.net!  

 

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6 industrial hemp uses 

The industrial hemp plant is a type of cannabis sativa, and is part of the cannabaceae family. Cannabis is best-known for producing a potent psychoactive effect in those who consume it. Contrastingly, hemp is non-intoxicating. However, the plant has numerous uses and health benefits. These can be found by delving into the historical archives, and also by studying the emerging hemp industries today. 

In a world that is finally beginning to grapple with the realities of climate change, hemp products are likely to play an increasingly bigger role in the coming decades. The rise of both hemp and marijuana will perhaps coincide, just as their decline did due to prohibition in the early 20th century. 

This article introduces six uses for environmentally-friendly hemp cannabis sativa. Hemp products are now legal according to the federal government in the United States. Since 2018, states have been able to grow hemp. Kentucky, for instance, considers hemp a lucrative cash crop. The hemp uses we’ll be focussing on in this post include: 

  • Hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) oil products 
  • Quality hemp clothing 
  • Hemp paper 
  • Clean hemp fuel 
  • Hemp protein 
  • Hemp plastics, and more 

Hemp-based CBD products 

Hemp medicinal uses are not a new discovery. Indeed, hemp seed oil has been embraced by many years for its health benefits. However, the emergence of legal CBD products has taken hemp’s therapeutic profile to a new level. Previously, medical marijuana was largely centered around the medicinal qualities of psychotropic tetrahydrocannbinol (THC). When California, Colorado and other states legalized the plant medicinally, this was so that patients could get access to products with THC. 

But cannabinoid research has revealed that THC is just one of several compounds – and cannabinoids – in cannabis that has beneficial effects. CBD is also helpful, and unique in that it has a regulatory effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD is non-intoxicating, and is present in greater amounts in hemp than other varieties of cannabis. Moreover, the CBD to THC ratio is also much higher in hemp, meaning the psychoactive effects of THC are nullified. Therefore, hemp-based CBD is safer than THC-containing cannabis, and a possible medicine for all demographics. 

These CBD products have caught fire in America over the past few years. The industry formed in 2014, after savvy companies took advantage of wording in the Farm Bill. This allowed the sale of hemp-based products with less than 0.3% THC. What it didn’t explicitly permit was CBD products – CBD is a cannabinoid, all of which are classed as Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. For a few years, this put hemp-based CBD in a grey area. That changed in 2018 when an updated version clarified that CBD is legal, with the caveat that it must be hemp-derived.

CBD use on the rise 

A 2019 Gallup poll showed that one in seven Americans take CBD, with usage highest among younger age groups. CBD has a multitude of therapeutic uses, seemingly because of its impact on the ECS. CBD is most popular as a safe, natural, non-addictive pain remedy. The cannabinoid may alleviate inflammation, depression, anxiety and migraines. 

CBD shot to prominence in tincture oil form, for the safety and fast-acting effects of these products. However, as of 2019, you can also find infused e-liquids, edibles, creams, hemp flower and highly concentrated products. Some manufacturers separate the CBD from the hemp extract to make CBD-isolate products. Others prefer whole-plant extracts, typically known as full-spectrum CBD. A few brands use MCT or coconut oil to make CBD more effective. Researchers are exploring nanotechnology to boost bioavailability.

Any company selling CBD must market products as supplements, and not medicines. At present, there is only one clinically approved CBD drug, called Epidiolex. This is used to treat medication-resistant (mostly in children), and is made by GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company.

Hemp seed oil 

Hemp seed oil doesn’t have much – if any – CBD, but still boasts a wide range of benefits. Many use it as a health food ingredient, such as in salads. Hemp seed oil is teeming with minerals, vitamins, omega-3 and is a great source of fiber, making it excellent for gut health. Hemp seeds may improve cognitive health, heart health and reduce inflammation by regulating immune system functioning. Cold-pressed, organic hemp seed oil is good for the skin, easing acne and other complaints. Some have found it also helps with hair growth and weight loss. 

Hemp clothing 

Records show that people were spinning hemp into fiber at least 10,000 years ago. From this alone, we can deduce that hemp has played a crucial role in the human story. Hemp cloth remnants dated from around 8,000BC have been unearthed in Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization and modern-day Middle East. Hemp also has a history stretching back millennia in Ancient China, to the time of Emperor Shen Nong. The Chinese cultivated hemp for cloth.

More recently, early American presidents are documented as having an affinity for hemp. Back then, as today, hemp was a popular cash crop, used to make clothes, ropes, bags and fortifications. But what makes hemp so good for clothing as opposed to, say, cotton? 

Hemp vs cotton

Hemp is stronger, more durable, absorbent, and also a better insulator than cotton. This indicates why the US government was so intent on growing its own hemp during World War Two for army clothing, even though the Marihuana Tax Act had effectively prohibited the plant just a handful of years earlier. Hemp keeps it shape when pulled taut, so is an ideal, long-lasting material for furniture. However, bear in mind that stretchiness is sometimes preferable, like for jeans and t-shirts. Cotton also has a softer feel than hemp.

Hemp is much more eco-friendly than cotton. The cotton cultivation process is intensive, requiring plenty of pesticides and water. Conversely, not as much fertilizer or pesticides are needed to grow hemp, which produces three times as much per acre as cotton. Moreover, hemp is a bioaccumulator, and saps up any harmful toxins and heavy metals in the soil. This leaves the ground nutrient-rich for the next crop. 

Fashion trends may bring about a serious hemp comeback in the 2020s, as the plant becomes more a part of mainstream society. It may have a few drawbacks, but traditional, handmade clothing is certainly popular. And with hemp being much kinder to the environment than its alternatives, it’s an increasingly viable option.  

Hemp paper 

Hemp paper has several benefits over tree-based paper, when considering the environment. Firstly, hemp paper takes around 20 weeks to make, in comparison with regular paper. Trees take up to 20 years to grow before they are ready for making paper. Furthermore, much more hemp paper can be created per acre than paper derived from trees, and it can be recycled many more times. 

Hemp paper is tougher and more durable than regular paper textiles. Many famous historical texts, including the Gutenberg Bible, were scribed on hemp paper, which enjoyed massive popularity prior to prohibition. Hemp paper may be a great alternative to tree-based paper going forward. Deforestation is proving a huge problem, especially in the Amazon. Multiple climate scientists have argued that significantly reducing deforestation is a key step to conserving the planet in the 21st century and beyond. 

Hemp fuel 

Fossil fuels will soon be out, and a host of sustainable and – or – renewable options are already or soon to be on the table. These include solar power, wind power, tidal power, nuclear power and, that’s right, hemp power. Hemp is an exciting source of energy and fuel. Hemp is a bioethanol and biodiesel source.

Demand for bioethanol is set to increase in the coming years, judging by driving global economic and political factors. Many countries are looking to become more energy independent due to political uncertainties. Bioethanol is sometimes made from grain, but as these plants are also used for the food industry, it could drive prices of both fuel and food higher.

In contrast, while hemp does hold value for the food industry, this typically comes from the seeds. Cellulosic ethanol is taken from the leaves and fibres of the hemp plant. This means a single crop serves two economic purposes, and keeps food and fuel costs more affordable. 

Hemp biodiesel 

Opportunities for hemp-derived biodiesel are also promising, if a little way off. Biodiesel is preferable to petrol as carbon emissions are substantially lower. Moreover, diesel engines can currently take 20 percent biodiesel, whereas petrol engines can hold just 10 percent bioethanol. However, hemp biodiesel is, unlike cellulosic ethanol, made from hemp plant seeds. This makes it more expensive, and it may not be economically viable to use seeds for fuel if hemp has such high nutritional value. We discussed the benefits of hemp seed oil earlier in this post. 

Hemp protein 

Protein powders are big business nowadays as gym-goers look to make the most of their sessions. Plant-based products also tend to be the favored way of gaining muscle mass. There are myriad options available, but few – if any – offer the kaleidoscope of benefits that hemp does. 

Grinding up hemp seeds creates the base for hemp protein powder. This vegan-friendly power has a typical earth-like hemp taste, and is then added to smoothies and shakes. The protein boost is accompanied by helpful minerals, fats and amino acids. Hemp has the nine necessary amino acids, and is a prime protein source. Not to mention, the high digestion rate of hemp means nearly all the protein present is harnessed by the body. The rich fiber content may reduce hunger pangs and unhealthy snacking, a must if trying to get fitter.

Hemp plastics

Hemp plastic is just as the name suggests – a type of bioplastic made from hemp. Some hemp plastic products are made with a regular plastic and hemp fiber combo. Others are made solely from hemp. This form of plastic is more durable and stronger than polypropylene plastic, a general advantage offered by the plant.

Even products made with hemp fibers are better than regular plastics as they reduce pollution and make the plastic somewhat biodegradable. Hemp plastics are also safer than other forms of plastic, particularly those made with glass fibers. Humans have embraced plastic in the past hundred years or so. We can’t live without it, but we do need it to be more sustainable. Hemp may help.

Final thoughts 

Hemp is back, and it could become even bigger than ever before. When looking for solutions to several problems facing the world today, hemp answers the call. And even global warming skeptics can surely get behind something that is both safer and, in many cases, represents higher quality.

Whether it’s for the CBD extract, fuel, clothes or plastics, hemp has massive potential, that we are just starting to tap. And as its cannabis cousin gradually gets mainstream approval, the barriers that have stifled hemp research and entrepreneurship are at long last being broken down.

 

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How to roll a joint 

Many marijuana lovers enjoy rolling a joint as much as they do smoking one. It’s kind of sacred, and an art that is honed over time, with the aim of crafting the perfect joint to smoke alone or with friends. Those who know how to roll can skin an awesome joint in just seconds, but for those who don’t, at first it can be like learning a new language. 

Hopefully, you’ll have someone to teach you. But if you don’t, we’ve got all the instructions you need to start rolling awesome joints right away. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to roll a joint step by step. We’ll also look at some more intricate designs, such as Ls, crosses and the famous Dutch Tulip.  

How to roll a cone joint (regular)

To roll any joint, you’ll need quality rolling papers, a roach and, of course, some quality marijuana. A good grinder also makes things easier. A four-piece grinder, for instance, will grind your weed up finely and dispense it into a chamber below, while collecting kief at the bottom for you to sprinkle over a joint or bowl. Basic grinders will do the trick, but many users find that the weed gets stuck to the grinder with these, something that doesn’t happen with a three or four-piece. All set? Great. 

Grind your weed and make a roach 

The drier your weed, the better it will grind up. Ideally, you want your ground weed to separate up easily so it’s easier to spread evenly throughout the joint. Making a crutch or roach is the next step. Any thin card that folds effortlessly will do – perhaps a business card or some thin cardboard. Some brands sell roaches with joint rolling papers so you’ll always have them to hand. Take a smallish strip, fold back and forth a couple of times, and then roll the card until you’re satisfied with its thickness. Some smokers opt to forego a crutch or filter, but these help to make a joint sturdier, and stop weed from falling out or getting sucked into your mouth when you inhale. You’re also much less likely to burn your fingers as the joint burns down. 

For a cleaner and better-tasting smoke, roll a joint with a glass filter. These only cost a few bucks but are reusable, and may slightly cool the smoke down, as well. 

Fill and pack the joint 

Now, it’s time to add the weed. Get a paper and position the crutch at one end and in the middle, before sprinkling flower evenly. Depending on the size of your joint, you’ll need between 0.5g and 1g of cannabis. There are lots of papers to choose from, but many prefer hemp papers as these are made without nasty chemicals, and preserve the memorable and delicious flavor. 

Once you have enough weed, start to pack the joint down by pinching the paper and rolling it so that the flower beds down while keeping everything even. Repeat the pinching and rolling process as many times as is necessary until the joint is smooth and cylindrical. This part needs to be just right, or it will affect the appearance of the joint and how it smokes. 

Roll and add finishing touches 

Actually rolling the joint is the most important step, though. Each paper has a glued and unglued side. Tuck under the unglued part and roll the joint. Lick a small part of the glued side, toward the roach end and stick it down. Keep licking toward the other end, sticking the paper down as you roll. This is the preferred way of rolling a joint as the paper naturally rolls around. As you roll and stick the paper down, ensure that the joint is tight. This is fiddly, but worth giving extra care to. 

Excess paper at the end of the joint is normal. You could use a small, pointy stick to push the weed down and add extra flower (a pen or toothpick will work fine). Twist any loose paper to close off the tip of the joint if you plan on saving the joint for later in the day. 

This is the easiest way to roll a joint, and one that beginners will soon get to grips with. Perfecting your technique could take a few days, weeks or even months. Obviously, the more you practice, the better you’ll get! 

Rolling an L joint 

An L-shaped joint is just a longer version of the cone joint. It’s a simple modification, and only requires one extra paper and a pair of scissors – oh, and some more weed! Take the second paper and glue it to the end of the first paper, so that they make an L shape. Make a diagonal cut on the second paper, so there is a triangular piece of paper on top of the first joint. 

Then it’s just a case of rolling a regular joint. It may be a little trickier since the joint is longer. Take your time with the roll and make sure the joint stays straight. Since there won’t be any glue at the end of the joint, you’ll need to carefully wrap the paper triangle around it to seal the joint. 

Rolling a Cross joint 

Cross joints look really complex, and your friends are sure to be very impressed if you master one of these. But here’s a secret: they’re actually super simple to make. To roll a cross joint as good as Seth Rogen, just follow these steps.

Roll two standard joints – a slim one and a fat one. Only use a filter on the bigger joint, as the smaller joint is intended to be lit from both ends. Cut a hole through the middle of the bigger joint, using a paper clip or similar sharp and pointy item. Poke a large enough hole so that the smaller joint can fit through it, and then push the slim joint through to make the cross. 

To finish, take some sticky bits of rolling paper and wrap them around the cross section. This will make the joint airtight so that it smokes properly. Light up all three ends, and enjoy! 

Rolling a Dutch Tulip

The Dutch Tulip is a beautiful spliff to look at, and an even better one to smoke. This style hails from the Netherlands – as the name suggests – with the tulip being the country’s favorite flower. Indeed, the Dutch were so obsessed with tulips in the 1600s that, for a period, single tulip bulbs would sell for more than an entire house! So-called “Tulipmania” is considered to be the world’s first financial bubble. 

Form a square shape using two or three rolling papers. Make some diagonal folds, before sealing the paper together in a cone-like shape. Pack in some weed, and then twist the tube shut to seal off the weed inside the cone. Then it’s time to make the roach. Fashion a longer one than this usual, as this is key to making the joint sturdy and stable. Fill up the paper with weed like a normal joint. But instead of going for a cone joint, roll something more akin to a tobacco cigarette. Wrap the tulip cone over the top of the joint, and twist the paper until it joins nicely. Use some glued paper to strengthen the bond between joint and tulip. 

Rolling a Shotgun joint

Shotgun joints require much more weed than a regular joint. Grind up an eighth or so (3.5g) to start with. Make four filters, place them together like a square, but leave enough card so that it can wrap around all of the filters. Your goal is to make a roach four times bigger than normal so that it can hold all the weed without any falling out.

From that point, it’s plain sailing. Start packing the weed in, and finish the roll as you would a regular joint. It’ll probably be a little easier to stick the paper together, because of the larger size. But still be sure to make the roll as tight as possible. There’s a lot of cannabis in a Shotgun joint – you don’t want to waste any! 

Rolling a blunt 

A blunt has plenty in common with a joint, except it’s rolled with a tobacco leaf rather than a rolling paper. Get either a cigar or cigarillo and cut the leaf off using a sharp knife. Clear out all the tobacco – you won’t be needing any of that! 

Fill the leaf with marijuana. For a small blunt, use about a gram, but if you want something fatter pack in up to an eighth. You can add in hash and kief if you’d like – if so, add to the middle of the blunt, and cake the extract in flower. Then wet both sides of the tobacco leaf. This bit is super messy, but this is the only way to reseal the leaf and complete the blunt. 

Invest in an automatic joint rolling machine 

Perhaps you have tried and tried, but are still unable to roll a good joint. If you are exhausted trying and just want something simple, you could get a few pre-rolled joints, or some empty RAW cones to fill yourself. An automatic joint rolling machine may also be of interest. The Otto is just one example of a machine that grinds up your weed and fills a tightly-packed joint, ready for you to enjoy in seconds. 

It’s an extra investment, but one that eliminates the rolling process altogether, and makes the smoking experience much more convenient. You’re also guaranteed to get a great joint time after time. 

Smoking options 

There are so many different cannabis options to choose from nowadays, including:

  • Medical marijuana
  • Recreational marijuana high in THC 
  • CBD-rich hemp flower
  • One-to-one strains with equal amounts of CBD and THC 

CBD hemp flower is legal all over the US because it has less than 0.3% THC. Medical marijuana with some THC requires a medical card or prescription, depending on where you reside. Recreational marijuana is available to anybody over 21 in legalized US states. 

How to light a joint 

Lighting a joint requires a bit more care than lighting a cigarette. It’s vital to get an even light so that the joint burns at the same rate, and not down one side. Hold a flame to the tip, and slowly twirl the joint so that all parts are lit. Take a toke, and if all is good, blaze right through it. 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully this guide has helped you learn to roll both regular and fancy joints. There are several more we haven’t covered, and you can even get creative when rolling blunts and joints. Try one of our designs, or put your own spin on things. Just make sure you learn to roll!  

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Best cannabis studies of 2019 

Cannabis research is more important now than at anytime in history. As various forms of the plant become more widely used by society, it’s essential that scientists understand the medicinal effects of cannabinoids and marijuana in general. Experts also need more clarification on the short and long-term effects of recreational cannabis strains. 

Medical cannabis is legal in more than half of US states, and several countries around the world. However, in many regions, marijuana is only available on prescription for certain, rare conditions, such as childhood, medication-resistant epilepsy. However, this has only been possible thanks to several cannabis epilepsy studies. Cannabis appears to have widespread therapeutic potential, but this cannot be fully drawn upon until we get more clinical evidence. 

Barriers to research have made marijuana harder to study over recent decades than many drugs, albeit not as difficult as psychedelics. A trickle of cannabis studies has gradually turned into a steady, if not rushing flow. As of August 2019, several helpful papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Here’s a flavor of the cannabis-based studies we’ll be looking at in this post: 

  • Can an app help people to reduce their cannabis intake?
  • Are flavonoids the next big thing in cannabis research?
  • Do liberal cannabis policies lead to lower cannabis substance use disorders?
  • Does CBD block the negative effects of THC?
  • Does adolescent cannabis use cause brain abnormalities?
  • How a cannabis-based treatment can tackle cannabis dependency 

Your smartphone may help you cut back on cannabis 

Cannabis is now legal in more parts of the world than at any point since the early 20th century. This is a fantastic victory for freedom and personal liberty. But marijuana legalization has brought with it new challenges, and some people are worried about their cannabis consumption. It’s incredibly easy to use the herb in large quantities, given people now have such easy access to cannabis via dispensaries. And there are so many discrete products to choose from and enjoy. 

A 2019 study in the Journal of Cannabis Research looked at whether smartphone apps could help marijuana users reduce their intake. The scientists suggested that apps are a beneficial alternative to face-to-face treatment, as they are more accessible and convenient. But until now, no cannabis addiction studies have looked directly at if such applications could help people to cut back on or quit pot.

The study involved 111 participants – around a 2:1 male to female ratio – who had consumed cannabis in the past 30 days, and wanted to either quit or reduce their intake. Participants installed the app “Assess, Plan, Track and Tips” on their smartphones. This enabled them to keep a check on their usage habits and other issues. Overall, those using the app managed to decrease their dependence on cannabis. The researchers concluded that the application had potential, and that apps for quitting drugs like cannabis were a good concept and should be explored in more depth. 

CBD for addiction 

A future study may want to add CBD into the mix. Research has shown that this non-intoxicating cannabis constituent can have an anti-addictive effect, and reduces a cannabis ‘high’. Scientists have investigated how CBD can be used to break addictions to both cigarettes and heroin. A study on cigarette addiction used inhalers to administer CBD, and over a seven-day period, participants reduced their cigarette intake on average. CBD oil is federally legal and made from hemp plants. Products are available online and offline, and can be purchased without prescription. 

Exploring the power of flavonoids 

Recent cannabis studies have zoned in largely on cannabinoids, and in some cases terpenes, and their effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Experts have analyzed how CBD-isolate extracts work in comparison to full-spectrum products, and whether medical marijuana is better with or without THC. But a 2019 discovery promises to change our understanding of the cannabis plant and the future of research: we now know the plant’s flavonoids are critical, too. 

Firstly, this suggests that the effects of marijuana are more therapeutic in whole-plant or full-spectrum form. Isolates shed the benefits and synergy offered by the more obscure hemp and cannabis compounds, including flavonoids. 

Revelatory study in Phytochemistry

A ground-breaking study featured in Phytochemistry has been enlightening for the cannabis world. The study found that the flavonoids cannflavin A and B, which are produced uniquely by cannabis sativa have anti-inflammatory effects 30 times stronger than aspirin. Mild pain, headaches, fevers and more have been remedied by aspirin, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory for several decades. 

The effects of these flavonoids were demonstrated in animal cell models. Researchers noted that cannflavin A and B are non-intoxicating. The science is complex, but the revelation that these compounds have therapeutic value generates potential for increasingly potent and safe cannabis-based treatments going for. Right now, the medical community is debating the effectiveness of cannabis over opioids for pain. Flavonoids may be key to giving cannabis the edge, in terms of benefits and side effects, or lack of them. 

Are cannabis use disorders less likely in cannabis-progressive states?

Cannabis legalization is a positive, but it’s also an experiment. Even the most ardent and insightful marijuana advocates cannot foresee everything. Legalization is sure to bring challenges that were never even considered beforehand. Hence why it is important not just to study the effects of cannabis on the individual, but also its overall impact on society and the public health. Cannabis critics argue that legalization will increase the likelihood of problematic use. But a study in the International Journal of Drug Policy published this year has thrown cold water on that. 

The researchers took data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They compared cannabis use (CU) and cannabis use disorder (CUD) among three age groups – 12-17, 18-25 and 26+ – at state level. Each state was ranked as conservative, moderate, or liberal, depending on their medicinal cannabis laws. After crunching the numbers, they concluded that while CU was higher in legalized states, CUD was more prevalent in conservative states. This indicates that the medical cannabis laws are not more likely to increase CUD.

Does CBD block the negative effects of THC? 

THC and CBD may be cannabinoid cousins, but they work much differently. CBD seems to reduce anxiety, THC appears to make it worse. THC may increase the risk of psychosis; researchers are exploring CBD’s value as an antipsychotic. THC is psychoactive, CBD is not. Several studies demonstrated that THC acts oppositely to CBD in the ECS – the former is a CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist, while the latter is an antagonist. Many say that CBD makes a strain less potent, too. But is that true? 

A cannabis case study from Spanish and Japanese scientists analyzed the effects of CBD and THC in relation to learning and memory. The study was published in Molecular Neurobiology, a peer-reviewed journal. The researchers focussed on the hippocampus region of the brain. Cognition, and modulates memory, learning and emotion are all modulated by the hippocampus. Earlier studies have shown THC has a neurotoxic effect in large amounts, while CBD protects and heals the hippocampus through neurogenesis.

Yes, it does!

The study revealed that CBD does inhibit cognitive impairment induced by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD manages this by reducing CB1 receptor activation in the hippocampus by THC, through activation of adenosine type 2A receptors. When adenosine receptors are activated, THC is unable to switch on CB1 receptors. This reduces total CB1-THC connections, and the effect of the psychoactive cannabinoid has on the hippocampus. 

This further underlines the interplay between CBD and THC in the brain. CBD plays a vital protective role, that helps to preserve memory and learning functions, to prevent cognitive impairment. Strong marijuana with high THC and low CBD may exacerbate and accelerate cognitive impairment. A 2018 study highlighted that CBD helps to restore the hippocampus. We need more research on this particular part of the brain and the interactions between THC and CBD. This will help us to understand the relative safety and risk of cannabis with 20%+ THC.

Does teen cannabis use cause brain abnormalities?

We know that cannabis has a powerful effect on the brain. Therefore, a big worry is that consuming cannabis before the brain has fully developed could cause neurological changes and brain abnormalities. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this, but does the science really back it up? And if so, what can be done to keep marijuana out of teenagers’ hands?

Neuropsychopharmacology published a study this year from the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. They pointed out that previous studies using small samples had produced inconsistent results on teenage cannabis use changing brain structure. This comprehensive study analyzed 781 youths between 14-22 – 147 of these were cannabis users, with just under 30% of them frequent users. 

The investigation used magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to analyze gray and white matter, gray matter density and cortical thickness. They found that brain structures were similar across all groups. Any “small magnitude” changes were statistically insignificant. The scientists noted that this backed up findings of studies that had previously found little correlation between adolescent cannabis use and brain structural alterations. 

What’s next?

That said, the experts want more detailed research. Not to mention, some people are simply predisposed to psychosis and schizophrenia. Taking cannabis at an early age may trigger these conditions or make them worse. As cannabis goes legal in more and more locations, policymakers and cannabis companies will need to ensure products stay out of youngsters’ hands.

How a cannabis medicine may combat cannabis dependency

Cannabis is not addictive in the sense that heroin and cocaine are, or even nicotine. But the drug does have a pernicious effect on some users, who may become mentally dependent over time. Cannabis advocates shouldn’t shrug these risks off. Instead, it’s worth paying attention to CBD and its anti-addictive qualities. We can then harness CBD to make the cannabis experience safer, more sustainable and, ultimately, more enjoyable. 

The University of Sydney recently published a study laying out how a natural cannabis treatment can tackle such dependency. The paper is featured in the July 2019 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers used a cannabis concentrate with a near-equal mix of THC and CBD, in an oral solution designed to be taken sublingually. More than 120 participants took part, and the group given cannabis treatment reduced their illicit cannabis intake by more than the placebo group. The patients also received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 

The logic of treating dependency by reducing a drug’s risks by lowering and, in this case, changing the type of dose is similar to how nicotine addiction has been treated for years. The researchers noted that novel treatments for cannabis dependence are necessary since 80 percent of users trying to quit relapse within six months. The study also suggests that cannabis users may be better off taking strains with a more balanced THC to CBD mix in the first place.

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10 things you didn’t know about marijuana

The world of cannabis is full of shocks and surprises. From its use in ancient times as a spiritual tool, to its modern-day popularity as a recreational substance, weed has popped up time and again throughout human history. 

We can think of those studying the plant today as 21st century explorers. Rather than trekking to far-off lands, today’s explorers – or scientists – are looking inwards. They’re trying to establish how the incredibly complex brain works, and how various systems in the body interact with each other. Nowhere is this more apparent than with marijuana research, where multiple critical discoveries have been made in the past 60 years. 

In this post, we’ll bring together the most weird, wonderful and fascinating facts about cannabis, and look at how humans used in the past, how we do so today, and how we may harness the plant in the future. 

The body has a natural cannabis system 

The effects of marijuana are unlike those provided by any other substance. Medical scientists were miffed as to why, but now we are aware of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The body has many such systems, but the ECS has evolved to function with a specific type of compound called cannabinoids. Hemp and marijuana plants produce these in abundance.

Studies have shown that psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has an endogenous analogue, known as anandamide (AEA). AEA is one of several endocannabinoids, that are chemically comparable to cannabis-generated phyto-cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors control mental functions, such as mood. The immune system and CB2 receptors are closely linked. The ECS also affects: 

  • Cognitive health 
  • Reproductive health 
  • Bone health 
  • Pain perception 

Current research suggests there is still a lot we don’t know about the ECS. It’s possible that there is an as yet undiscovered CB3 receptor. Scientists have also mooted that ECS irregularities could be the root cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines and fibromyalgia. 

19th century physicians used cannabis to treat migraines 

It’s fascinating that cannabis sativa and cannabis indica is being researched as a migraine treatment based on what we know about how cannabinoids influence the body. Doctors in the West were known to prescribe marijuana products for the condition in the 19th century, up until prohibition. The cannabis plant became of interest in Europe after the Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy imported cannabis indica from Asia during the 1840s. The marijuana growing in this part of the world had different THC and CBD combinations to the hemp that was cultivated in Europe. Not that the intricate chemical differences were known about at the time. 

The West obtained new marijuana facts as they started to study its effects. Initially, advocates touted “Indian hemp” (the name for such weed) as a muscle relaxant and painkiller. But British physicians soon started advocating cannabis for migraines and headaches. In the early 20th century, multiple pharmacopeias in Britain and the United States mentioned marijuana for migraines. However, cannabis treatment was quickly halted after the herb was banned in the UK and US in the 1920s and 1930s respectively.  

It’s safer to smoke cannabis than tobacco 

Let’s go over some marijuana vs tobacco facts. Tobacco smoking is very dangerous. And not just because it exposes the body to harmful carcinogens. Tobacco also contains a highly addictive ingredient called nicotine, which is what leads to smoking dependency. Cannabis doesn’t have such a compound. Essentially, you can smoke weed and not get hooked.  

THC may induce some mental dependence, especially for those who use it as a crutch. But it doesn’t cause the chemical addiction that nicotine, opioids, cocaine and other narcotics are notorious for. While we’re on marijuana addiction facts, there is actually a substance in the plant that may help addicts to stop taking harmful drugs. CBD has exhibited anti-addictive effects in preliminary trials and investigations using a small number of patients. This may be down to how the cannabinoid modulates opioid receptors. 

Indians drink a cannabis-infused drink called ‘bhang’ 

Cannabis is illegal in India. But every year, during the Holi festival in springtime, many Indians happily flaunt the law by drinking ‘bhang lassis’. Holi is a time for celebration, and a festival that marks the victory of light over darkness. It’s famous for people throwing paint at one another while in joyful mood, and is particularly popular in the north of India. 

Bhang’s history dates back to around 1,000BC in ancient India, according to historical records. Westerners began writing about bhang during the 1500s, a time when the Portuguese occupied Goa, in the west of the country. You make bhang by crushing marijuana leaves and flowers into a paste, using a pestle and mortar. Since it is drank, bhang produces an edible-like effect.

Bhang is considered to have an array of medical properties, helping with digestion issues, dysentery, poor appetite and speech problems. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961 brought about global marijuana prohibition. But given the rich history of cannabis use in India, and for spiritual purposes at that, total prohibition would be and has proven impossible. 

Big businesses have their eyes on cannabis cosmetics 

Perceptions of marijuana are changing at an astonishing rate. Once a loathed illegal drug, marijuana legalization is now bringing the plant into all parts of society. And it looks like the cosmetic industry is next to see a major marijuana boom. Big brands including Estee Lauder are looking at how to incorporate Mary Jane into their products. Small cannabis companies are already making creams, lotions, gels, lubes and other topicals and selling them at legal dispensaries. 

Cannabis topicals with THC are only sold to the general public (aged 21 and over) in recreationally legal states. However, hemp-based products made with CBD only are gaining traction all over the country. CBD creams are non-intoxicating, but may relieve pain, arthritis and combat skin complaints sans side effects. 

Ancient Chinese and Indian medical practices used cannabis 

Psychoactive cannabis is a relatively recent discovery for the Western world. But China and India have been smoking marijuana and consuming it in other ways for millennia. Both countries have rich histories of unique medical practices. Traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine are practiced locally today. Both now have a global presence. Many patients in the West have become disillusioned with the pharmaceutical industries, and are trying more natural options for their ailments. 

In Chinese herbal medicine, cannabis was first mentioned back in 2737 BC by emperor and pharmacologist Shen Nung. Ancient records recommended cannabis for malaria, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Indeed, today’s researchers are studying how cannabinoids may tackle arthritis. 

In Ayurvedic medicine, cannabis (or to use its Sanskrit name, ‘vijaya’) is suggested in small quantities for a few reasons. These include as a “muscle relaxant, euphoriant and analgesic,” according to Alakananda Ma, a modern-day Ayurveda expert. However, many Ayurveda experts point out that marijuana was not used as a tool for enlightenment, as is sometimes suggested by people in today’s New Age movements. Way back when, cannabis was likely used as an occasional, ritualistic tool, and not as something for daily consumption.

Luxembourg may legalize marijuana soon 

Now for some marijuana legalization facts. Uruguay first, Canada second, Luxembourg third? The landlocked European country is considering legalizing recreational and medical marijuana in 2020, according to reports. Luxembourg’s health minister confirmed plans that legal cannabis is in the offing, and hopes that other European countries will make a similarly progressive move. Etienne Schneider bemoaned 50 years of failed drug policies in an August 2019 Politico interview. 

Schneider hopes that legal cannabis will make youngsters more inclined to learn about marijuana health facts, and take a more open-minded approach to drugs generally. If plans succeed, all Luxembourgians aged 18 or over will be able to buy cannabis within two years. Moreover, the government will decriminalize cannabis possession (up to 5 grams) for 12 to 17 year olds. However, those who break these looser regulations will face stricter punishment. 

Israel is home to some of the biggest cannabis discoveries

One would imagine that somewhere like the US, or drug-progressive Canada has led the way in marijuana research. But Israeal has made the most significant cannabis discoveries – albeit with a little help from the United States. In the early 1960s, scientists isolated THC and CBD. Isolating the former was key. This confirmed that just a small part of the plant has psychoactive properties. 

From the late 1960s, the National Institute of Health in the US funded Israeli cannabis research to the tune of $100,000 a year. During this time, ironically, the federal government was at work to restrict cannabis even further with the Controlled Substances Act. Dr Raphael Mechoulam made great use of this funding in the decades to follow.

In the 1990s, Mechoulam hit upon a discovery that he had anticipated for years. As he suspected, the body created a compound very similar to THC, called anandamide. This ‘endocannabinoid’ is just one component of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Knowing that cannabinoids operate as part of one big system has been key to establishing how and why CBD and other compounds are effective for different conditions.

Flavonoids, not cannabinoids, may be key to cannabis pain relief

Cannabinoids are important, but they aren’t the only relevant compounds in the cannabis herb. When discussing interesting facts about marijuana, we simply cannot leave out flavonoids. These are non-intoxicating, but are apparently vital to “unlocking” the plant’s analgesic effects. This is even more intriguing since pain is by far the most common reason to take cannabis or CBD. 

Phytochemistry published a study in 2019 on the effects of cannflavin A and cannflavin B. These compounds are unique to cannabis sativa, and are 30 times more effective as anti-inflammatories than aspirin. Flavonoids are a largely unknown quantity right now. More studies are coming, and we certainly need these marijuana science facts.  

Cannabis is stronger than ever before 

Weed may not look any different, but it has become much more potent in recent times. The spike in strength is all to do with the demand for more psychoactive strains. The recreational market deems powerful cannabis as the “best” cannabis. With this in mind, growers are breeding strains with the goal of maxing out THC content, and minimizing CBD content. 

There are some concerns about the effects this kind of cannabis has on the brain. Marijuana facts for teens repeatedly show that cannabis consumption at an early age can be harmful, and may increase the risk of psychotic disorders. We need more research. Just because cannabis is now stronger, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully these 10 facts about marijuana have been enlightening. The cannabis plant has a lively history and perhaps an even livelier future. And as it becomes more a part of the mainstream, weed is impossible to ignore, so it’s time to get up to speed.

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Medical cannabis: UK situation one year following legalization 

In mid 2018, the United Kingdom made the huge decision to legalize medical cannabis. The move followed growing debate and pressure, after a slew of stories hit the headlines about children with epilepsy who were forced to travel abroad to receive medical marijuana treatment. 

Media attention then reached fever pitch after officers at Heathrow Airport confiscated cannabis medication from the mother of Northern Ireland’s Billy Caldwell. Ultimately, then Home Secretary Sajid Javid approved a medical cannabis license for Billy. This led to the UK government having to admit that marijuana has therapeutic value. Javid ordered a review into medical cannabis, and a few weeks later, it was announced that specialist doctors would be able to prescribe marijuana-based treatment to patients. 

But a year on from this breakthrough, just how much has changed in Britain regarding cannabis? We’ll seek to answer the following questions in this article: 

  • Are Britain’s medical marijuana laws working?
  • Who is able to access medical cannabis in the UK?
  • Are private clinics fulfilling patients’ medical cannabis requirements?
  • What are new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s views on cannabis? 
  • Will the UK legalize recreational cannabis soon?  

A short history of cannabis in the UK 

Cannabis and hemp has more than 1000 years of history in the UK. Hemp was a popular source of fibre in coastal regions, and was likely used to make fishing nets, ropes and more. Hemp continued to be cultivated for much of the second millennium. However, it first came to Western focus as a medicine in the 1840s, when it was imported from India. 

Cannabis use was widespread among many British colonies during this period, including Jamaica and southern Africa. Cannabis was quite popular in the late 19th and early 20th century as a migraine medicine. There are also reports that Queen Victoria used a form of cannabis to relieve menstrual cramps. However, some historians have poured doubt on this. 

When was cannabis made illegal in the UK? The Brits banned weed in 1928, slightly earlier than the Americans. This was to bring the UK in line with the 1925 International Opium Convention. The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1920 also listed cannabis from 1928 onwards. As in the US, marijuana became demonized, but enjoyed a comeback in the 1960s. The counterculture movements were perhaps not as fervent in Britain as the US. But cannabis arrests spiked by almost 2,000 percent to 4683 at the end of the 60s, from just 235 at the start of the decade.

Cannabis in the modern era

 

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 clarified illegal drugs just like America’s Controlled Substances Act of the same year. Cannabis has nearly always been categorized as a Class B drug, with authorities deeming it less harmful than cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and LSD. Between 2004 and 2009, under a Labour government, marijuana was briefly downgraded to Class C.  

There have been some attempts to legalize marijuana in recent years. The Liberal Democrats, who were part of a coalition government with the Conservatives from 2010 to 2015, campaigned to legalise weed in 2017. Public perception of cannabis in the UK has gradually improved. A 2019 YouGov survey found that 53 percent either “strongly support” or “tend to support” legalising the drug. The public’s improved view of cannabis can perhaps be attributed to positive media stories, and the proliferation of hemp-based CBD oil products. The Cannabis Trades Association UK reported that the number of British CBD users doubled from 125,000 in 2017 to 250,000 last year. 

Are Britain’s medical marijuana laws working? 

Medical cannabis legalization was supposed to mark a new progressive dawn for the plant in the UK. Britain has always prided itself as being at the forefront of healthcare, with the National Health Service (NHS) an example of how a socialized healthcare system can work. However, the UK has undoubtedly been behind the curve on medical cannabis, having only legalized it in 2018. And patients have been critical about how the current medical program makes it difficult if not impossible to access medicinal cannabis oil on prescription. 

Only specialized doctors are able to prescribe cannabis, and the drug can only be imported into Britain after the prescription has been made.This strict regulatory framework has, according to a recent Guardian report, likely limited prescription cannabis to fewer than 100 UK patients. Doctors apparently have concerns about prescribing cannabis products due to the absence of clinical evidence. 

This is understandable in a way, but when patients are experiencing severe pain or hundreds of seizures per week, their quality of life is so adversely affected that, on balance, it makes sense to trial medical marijuana. Doctors have full control over what type of products they prescribe. If there are long-term concerns about the side effects of psychoactive THC, simply limit THC levels and supplement prescriptions with non-intoxicating and anti-psychoactive CBD.  

Interestingly, Sativex, an oral cannabis spray from GW Pharmaceuticals, has been licensed in the UK for several years. The drug has a mix of THC and CBD, and is prescribed for multiple sclerosis. This shows that the UK can get medical cannabis to patients when it wants to. However, Sativex is expensive and not considered a viable medical marijuana treatment for the wider population.

Carly Barton’s story 

Carly Barton has suffered from fibromyalgia since the age of 24. Doctors have tried treating the condition with increasingly strong opioids, including fentanyl patches. Barton was sceptical of trying cannabis for pain relief, having heard about the mental health risks. But after eventually smoking a joint, her pain subsided for the first time in years. Since then, Carly has steadily eased herself off opioids, and onto cannabis. Rather than smoking weed, she opts for a healthier option – vaping it. 

Barton hoped things would get better with medical cannabis legalization. But she was forced to go private after being unable to get an NHS prescription. However, the prices were crazy, at £1,400 ($1,700) a month. Can cannabis be prescribed in the UK? Yes, but it seems only for the wealthy. 

With this unaffordable, and street dealers rarely having the correct strains, Carly has taken to growing her own. The reality is that the only way she can get legal cannabis in the UK is to break the law. Her situation is truly bizarre. After starting to home grow, Barton went to the police explaining exactly what she was doing. They are yet to stop her. But she rightly says that she “shouldn’t have to look over her shoulder” to access what is meant to be a legal medicine. 

Private clinics are certainly not meeting the needs of medical marijuana patients, to answer one of the original questions. But it can be argued that this shouldn’t be their role, since, unlike many other countries, the UK has a comprehensive socialized healthcare system.

What are Boris Johnson’s views on cannabis?

There is a lot of political uncertainty in the UK right now. Britain’s impending departure from the European Union has brought down two Prime Ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May. Now, Boris Johnson, a leading architect of the Brexit vote, is residing in 10 Downing Street. 

As with the previous two PMs, Johnson is a Conservative. The party has never campaigned for legal recreational marijuana. As a socially conservative party, they would traditionally be less likely to support this than the Liberal Democrats, and perhaps Labour also. Johnson is unpredictable, though, and something of a maverick. This may make him less confined to ideology than previous Tory leaders. Johnson has even referred to cannabis as “jolly nice” in a GQ interview back in 2007, having had multiple experiences with the drug. 

On a more serious note, two senior aides in Johnson’s new government are in favor of legal cannabis: Blair Gibbs and Danny Kruger. But these comments are not indicative of policy, according to a government spokesman. Johnson is hardly the first politician whose personal habits are in contrast to his political stances.

Legal cannabis: a vote-winner?

Legal marijuana could be a vote-winning policy according to polling. Should Boris prove to be a populist leader, going legal may be the way forward. It could also attract younger voters who the Tories have been struggling to win over. Furthermore, if all other parties move toward legalizing cannabis, it may be harder for the Tories to oppose it than support it. Much will also depend on whether Johnson is able to secure his leadership. If he were to win a future selection and secure a sizeable majority, it would become easier for the Tories to push their political ambitions through Parliament.

How other countries get on with legal marijuana will also be of interest to British lawmakers. Recently, a cross-party team of MPs went to Canada, which became the second country to legalize recreational pot in 2018. David Lammy (Labour), Sir Norman Lamb (Liberal Democrat), and Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative) are now expecting cannabis to become fully legal “within five to 10 years.” At present, Labour, the official opposition in the UK, are still against full legalization.

Cannabis research is on the rise

Another plus for cannabis advocates is the increasing cannabis research in the UK. King’s College London has come out with a series of important studies. These have focussed on both the risks of high-THC strains and the potential upsides of medical cannabis. For instance, a 2018 study showed how CBD could “reset brain function” in people with psychosis. Peer-reviewed JAMA Psychiatry published the study.

Moreover, the world’s biggest medicinal cannabis farm just happens to be in the UK. The cannabis factory reportedly grows weed with an annual street value of £80m ($100m). This is all part of a GW Pharmaceuticals operation, which makes Sativex and Epidiolex, a CBD drug for epilepsy approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018. It suggests there could be plenty of cannabis jobs in the UK in the near future.

CBD in the United Kingdom

CBD products have enjoyed a similar rise in the UK as they have in the US. Hemp-based products are popping up in health stores and can be purchased online, along with cannabis seeds. These CBD products face the same kind of restrictions – products can have no more than 0.2 percent THC. Brands must market CBD as a supplement. Those wishing to sell CBD as a medicine need to obtain a licence from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Britain’s version of the FDA.

But the ability for anyone to buy CBD oils, e-liquids, wax concentrates, and edibles such as chocolate, candy and brownies has brought CBD to the masses. Brits are giving CBD a try and liking what they get from it. This bodes well for CBD’s future across the pond, and that of marijuana in general.

Final thoughts

The UK has made a crucial step in legalizing medical cannabis. But so far, the law is flattering to deceive. Now, more patients need access to cannabis medicine on the NHS, at no additional cost. Only then will the law have been a success.

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The 10 best CBD brands 

When the hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) market first sprung up in the United States back in 2014, it was considered to be a Wild West industry. In a few ways it still is. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate products, so no brands have received FDA approval (aside from GW Pharmaceuticals who make a special CBD-based drug for epilepsy called Epidiolex). 

To get around this problem and legitimize themselves, CBD brands have been proactive. The most authentic companies lab test their products, and make third-party lab reports available. This helps to confirm whether a CBD oil product is legal, has the specified concentrations of CBD, and is free from any harmful byproducts, like toxins and heavy metals. 

Many manufacturers selling both CBD-isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil are now taking these steps. The result is the emergence of a better quality CBD market, in which customers can place more of their trust, knowing that a product is safe and will be effective. This post will feature 10 of the best CBD oil brands in the industry, focussing on their approach to making CBD and the type of products that they sell. All of these companies are selling products with less than 0.3% THC, making them legal at the federal level, and therefore across the United States. CBD products can possibly help with:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress, and much, much more

CBD Genesis 

CBD Genesis have a huge selection of CBD products, including tincture oils, capsules and their famed Genesis hemp nugs. Their e-liquids and tinctures are available in low, medium and high strengths to suit all users, and are made from a CBD-isolate extract with no THC. 

Also popular is the Genesis pain cream, which can double up as an anti-aging product and natural topical for skin complaints. Genesis have a wide range of edibles, including a delicious chocolate bar, which ins infused with CBD and “superfoods” for extra health benefits. Recently, Genesis have started selling flavored dog treats, made from a CBD extract taken from the hemp plant. Their CBD lip balm is an ingenious and discreet way of tackling anxiety. 

Genesis hemp nugs are great for both smoking and vaping. The brand has a collection of indica, sativa and hybrid strains for users to pick from, and nugs can be bought in weights of an ‘eighth’ and a ‘quarter’. Genesis also makes pre-rolls infused with kief for those who want to smoke a perfect joint, without the hassle of having to roll it. 

Third-party lab reports are available for CBD Genesis products. Find these reports on individual product pages.

Koi CBD 

Koi CBD are one of the big players in the CBD industry. They’re one of the top-selling brands because they make some of the best quality products, many of which using CBD-isolate. E-liquids are perhaps Koi’s speciality. They offer users a comprehensive choice of flavors and potencies. Koi also make a flavorless ‘White’ e-liquid which can be used with other vape oils, even if they don’t have CBD.

Koi’s natural CBD tinctures are made with full-spectrum extracts, and are packed with the benefits of CBD, cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG) and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids. These CBD oil drops are sold flavored and unflavored. Koi haven’t forgotten about pets, and sell full-spectrum pet sprays and soft chews made from organic hemp. 

Koi CBD was born in 2015. They aim to bring standardization to the market. Their products are made in a pharmaceutical-grade cGMP certified facility, and are third-party lab-tested for quality. Koi takes pride in being fully transparent, and showing exactly how their CBD makes it from farm to bottle. 

Green Roads CBD

Green Roads CBD have a similar philosophy to Koi. They want to guarantee that consumers have access to premium products, made in pharma-grade conditions. Indeed, that’s why Green Roads – operating out of Florida –  make all their products with a licensed pharmacist on site, who oversees procedures. The company was set up in the early days of the CBD industry, and they claim their products are sold in more than 10,000 locations. Customers can access third-party lab reports by scanning the QR codes on the packaging of each product. 

As with all big-name brands, Green Roads have plenty of products to entice users. These include CBD vape oils and cartridges from their ‘Free the Leaf’ range – flavored products made from CBD-isolate. They also make a ‘Daily Dose’ syringe, made with Green Roads’ pharmacist-formulated, medical-grade CBD extract. Green Roads also make a cream for pain relief and general wellness. 

CW Hemp

Charlotte’s Web Hemp caught the attention of Americans all over the country after the story of Charlotte Figi hit the national headlines. The Colorado child suffers from a rare, and serious form of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome. Traditional anti-epilepsy drugs proved ineffective for Charlotte. Desperately seeking solutions, they turned to the Stanley Brothers, who were experimenting with a non-intoxicating, CBD-dominant cannabis extract. They were pioneers for this type of product since, at the time, medical cannabis invariably contained psychoactive THC, as well as CBD. 

Their CBD oil made a huge difference for Charlotte, reducing her seizures significantly, from a high point of 300 grand mal seizures per day. This has had a transformative effect on the child’s quality of life. The Stanley Brothers have since named their products after Charlotte. In addition to CBD oil, CW Hemp also make CBD gummies, capsules, creams and products for dogs. CBD may have a therapeutic effect for inflammation, anxiety and depression.  

CBDistillery

CBDistillery is one of the most-trusted CBD brands in the United States. Set up in Colorado back in 2016, CBDistillery has bloomed with an ethos of getting products onto the market for less, and giving customers a better deal. Over the past three years, their self-proclaimed #CBDMovement has taken them from a small startup to one of the nation’s best value manufacturers. 

CBDistillery have a range of full-spectrum tincture oils and several different vape pens made with unique terpene profiles. The draw-activated firing system on these disposable pens means they are efficient and a cinch to use. CBDistillery specializes in concentrated products. They have developed broad-spectrum wax, a ‘Terpsolate’ made of CBD-isolate and terpenes, and a CBD-isolate slab. 

CBDfx 

CBDfx products are completely organic and lab-tested for quality. They have an extensive selection of isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products. CBDfx really do have something for everybody. They have disposable vape pens made with or without terpenes, and flavorless vape additives to mix with your preferred e-liquids. CBDfx’s pain cream is infused with menthol, which embellishes CBD’s analgesic properties with a lovely cooling effect.

Recently, CBDfx has brought a CBD face mask to market. This topica hydrates, tightens and cleanses the skin and contains 20mg of CBD. It’s available with cucumber, rose, charcoal and lavender. This is a unique product which shows that CBDfx is always at the forefront of innovation. They are certainly setting an example for CBD beauty brands and this is one of our top picks. 

Heady Harvest

Heady Harvest CBD products are available all over the world, and product reviews suggest they are very popular with customers. This brand is known for putting a twist on regular CBD products to make them more effective and therapeutic. Take their CBD capsules for instance. Heady Harvest have a tub for extra relaxing effects, and a tub for extra energizing effects. Capsules are made with an array of natural extracts, drawn upon from throughout the plant world.

Heady Harvest make a CBD syrup to infuse into hot beverages. This is ideal for when you need several hours of CBD relief. They have also put a CBD twist on some of America’s favorite candies, with infused gummies, lollipops and pixie sticks all part of their collection. 

Funky Farms CBD 

Funky Farms are all about quality and transparency, and the lab-test reports for their products are accessible on their website. This CBD brand is based in Florida. Funky Farms has become one of the best-known names in hemp-based CBD over recent times. They have all kinds of products, from gel capsules to drink packs and a daily dose, but it’s their vape cartridges which caught our eye. 

Funky Farms’ excellent vape juice are made with broad-spectrum CBD and terpenes, but have 0% THC, so you can be assured of a clean drug test. A Funky Farms cartridge contains 1.25ml of e-liquid and a wickless coil. They have paid homage to some of the cannabis world’s favorite strains with their product names, which include Grand Daddy Purple and Gelato. Cartridges are 510-threaded so are compatible with all vape pens, but Funky Farms do make their own vape batteries. 

Select CBD 

Select CBD operates out of Oregon, and were listed in the top 100 Oregon-based companies to work for by Oregon Business Magazine in 2018. This is indicative of good company ethics, and Select CBD are dedicated to making sure their customers are satisfied. This is clear from their use of pure, quality controlled, third-party tested CBD extracts.

Select CBD Drops are a good, reliable tincture oil product. The drops contain 1000mg of CBD extract. Flavored options deliver additional beneficial effects, and successfully mask the hemp flavor. These drops are made with essential oils and fractionated coconut oil rich in MCTs, which increase CBD’s bioavailability.

Select CBD’s pet drops are of similarly high quality. The drops are flavored, so your pet will find them tasty. One drawback of many pet medicines is that the taste is foul, and Select CBD have sought to correct this with their salmon and peanut butter-flavored pet oils. 

Diamond CBD 

Diamond CBD operates all over the US. They are a massive name in the US CBD market. Their products are non-synthetic and contain no THC. Third-party lab test scrutiny confirms this. Diamond CBD uses supercritical Co2 extraction, a necessary procedure to remove harmful ingredients. 

Some of Diamond CBD’s products are made with terpenes, and they even have products infused with honey. Like most CBD brands, Diamond have oils, creams, capsules and products for pets, and a list of gummy products, including their ‘Relax’ range. Diamond CBD products are US-made. 

Final thoughts 

The CBD industry has gone from strength to strength since becoming legal, and that’s without FDA regulation. Key to the market’s success has been third-party testing. This has separated those selling CBD legitimately from companies making poor or fake products, just to score a quick buck. Nowadays, it’s much easier for customers to work out which manufacturers can be trusted, and which ones they should avoid. General interest in CBD is soaring. For that reason we can expect even more brands to emerge in the near future, reinventing what can be achieved with the non-intoxicating cannabinoid. If you are yet to experience CBD, you would do well to do so with one of these brands.