By Steve Elliott
Lab tests from Colorado indicate that while the legal cannabis on store shelves is more potent than the marijuana of 30 years ago, it is often contaminated with fungi, pesticides and heavy metals.
"There's a stereotype, a hippy kind of mentality, that leads people to assume that growers are using natural cultivation methods and growing organically," said Andy LaFrate, founder of Charas Scientific, one of eight labs in Colorado certified to test marijuana. "That's not necessarily the case at all."
LaFrate presented his findings this week at a meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver.
LaFrate said his group has tested more than 600 strains of marijuana from dozens of producers. Potency tests looked at tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive component responsible for the high. They found that modern cannabis contains THC levels of 18 to 30 percent, double to triple averages from the 1980s.
Breeding for more THC has led to less cannabidiol (CBD), a compound which is also medically beneficial in treating anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Huntington's, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, seizures and other conditions. Much of the commercial marijuana tested had very little CBD.
"A lot of the time it's below the detection level of our equipment, or it's there at a very low concentration that we just categorize as a trace amount," LaFrate said.
"I've heard a lot of complains from medical patients because somebody claims that a product has a high level of CBD, and it turns out that it actually doesn't."
State Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) and other Texas legislators will hold a news conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT in the Speaker’s Committee Room to discuss HB 3785 and SB 1839. They will be joined by Fort Worth cancer patient Barbara Humphries and other seriously ill Texans.
HB 3785, introduced by Rep. Márquez in the House, and SB 1839, introduced by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) in the Senate, would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It would also allow the Department of State Health Services to establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries.
The bills differ from previously introduced legislation that would allow access to CBD oils with little or no THC. Many patients have found that THC and other components of whole marijuana are needed in addition to CBD in order to effectively treat their conditions. Some have relocated to states with more comprehensive medical marijuana laws so that they can access whole marijuana and oils that include a more balanced ratio of CBD and THC.
“Thousands of Texas veterans use medical cannabis to treat PTSD, chronic pain, and other service-related disabilities,” said retired U.S. Army Major David Bass. “Veterans should not have to flee the state or depend on the criminal market to access the medication that best fits their needs. Now is the time for Texas to approve safe and legal access to therapeutic cannabis.”
Measures introduced in the House and Senate on Friday would allow patients with debilitating conditions — including veterans with PTSD — to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it
Texas state lawmakers on Friday introduced legislation that would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
HB 3785, introduced by Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) in the House, and a companion bill that will be introduced later Friday by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) in the Senate, would create a program through which individuals with qualifying medical conditions would receive licenses allowing them to possess limited amounts of medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It would also direct the Department of State Health Services to establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries.
“The law currently does not reflect marijuana’s legitimate medical use and denies access to patients, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, citizens suffering with cancer, and severe aliments of the aging,” Rep. Márquez said. “By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies.
Steep Hill, which specializes in cannabis testing and analytics in the United States and internationally, has announced intends to open a full service medical cannabis quality assurance laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, bringing advanced scientific tools and methodology to the state, for regulatory oversight of cannabis.
Steep Hill is currently the only laboratory licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health to conduct potency and contaminant testing in order to meet the recently adopted regulatory requirements pertaining to cannabis safety for medical patients in New Mexico, according to a prepared statement from the company.
"We are excited to bring our entire suite of products to New Mexico, including our QuantaCann2™ - an advanced cloud-based potency monitoring system," said David Lampach, CEO and cofounder of Steep Hill. "This will enable the state to meet its THC and CBD testing requirements, while also providing regulators with a real time window into the marketplace."
The State of New Mexico requires regular testing be done in a Department of Health approved laboratory as the only acceptable method to determine the quality, purity and potency required for the sale of medical cannabis products.
For more information about cannabis testing, you can visit the Steep Hill website: http://steephill.com
About Steep Hill
CBDpurUS.com, a supplier of pure natural CBD isolate (not a synthetic) in the United States, on Thursday announced that the medical and research community, as well as members of the public, can order CBD isolate from the company in 1 gram, 5 g, 10 g, 25 g and 50 g sizes. Delivery normally takes 72 hours.
Because this isolate is pure CBD, it is normally diluted by dissolving it in canola oil, sunflower oil, hemp seed oil, etc. The oil is heated to 155 degrees and the Pure CBD is dissolved therein.
Dosages of 10 mg to 25 mg are the most common. The individual's body naturally determines the amount of strength needed daily for relief. Thus we see 1g of CBD isolate will produce forty 25 mg doses when diluted in oil. This equates to a huge savings for patients in addition to research, manufacturing, etc.
Oregon Analytical Services has tested the CBD to be 99.8 percent pure, according to CBDpurUS.com. They suggest the oil be delivered in a eye dropper that can be obtained from any pharmacy.
The drops should be placed under the tongue and held there for maximum delivery via the sublingual, buccal, and Peroral membranes of the the body.
PyoorCBD on Wednesday announced they will begin to distribute their Cibamine Xtra CBD Infused Drink Additive and 7 Hour Sleep CBD Formula for the United States market.
Both formulas are PassionFruit flavored all natural, zero calorie, sugar free, gluten free, GMO free drink shots/additives that uses Carlsbad Alkaline Water as their water source for their formulas. The company already has these available for sale in THC Formulas in more 200 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California.
In the company's product line are Energy Drinks CBD and THC Infused, a complete pre- and post- workout supplement line infused with CBD Cannabinoids and Hemp to assist with muscle fatigue, rehabilitation from inflammation and extreme workout overload.
PyoorCBD says its products are herbicide and pesticide free, peanut-free, vegetarian approved, kosher certified, THC-free (NO THC, 100 percent legal), and tryspin inhibitor free.
PyoorCBD has developed a line of cannabis infused products targeting the health and fitness conscious consumer. The product line includes products developed in-house as well as products from partners that compliment the overall product line.
In partnership with an established health and fitness recognized brand name partner, PyoorCBD has a pilot retail store in San Diego to market cannabis infused beverages and food supplements. The products are infused with Hemp to include CBD, which is legal in all 50 states. Formulas that include THC are for when and where laws permit.
Stevia Corp., an international farm management company and healthcare company, has announced the filing of a second important provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for pain treatment using a combination of ibuprofen and cannabidiol (CBD).
The provisional patent application closely follows the company's previously announced first provisional patent application for pain management using acetaminophen and CBD. As in the previous application, this patent includes multiple claims including, but not limited to, combinations of cannabinoids including CBD and ibuprofen for the treatment of pain.
The provisional patent application, a legal document which establishes an early priority date for the benefit of claiming "first to file" status against other companies or individuals, "was filed with the assistance of an intellectual property attorney with extensive experience in the healthcare industry," according to a prepared statement from Stevia Corp.
CBD is a cannabinoid present in most varieties of the cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants. Unlike THC and some of the other molecules found in cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive.
CBD is also extremely well tolerated at high doses with little or no side effects; it is essentially non-toxic. It catapulted to national prominence after being an important part of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's 2013 CNN documentary, "Weed."
Utah-based Dose of Nature last week launched a state-of-the-art CBD (cannabidiol) product line, applying proprietary technologies to create what it calls "the first nano CBD and water-soluble CBD products in the market."
CBD has been at the forefront of the news lately in its application to treat pediatric epilepsy, autism, cancer, pain, PTSD, brain injuries, anxiety, and various neurological conditions.
Most CBD pastes or oils being used today have a very strong taste and are slowly and poorly absorbed into the body. Dose of Nature says it addresses these issues using its proprietary Hydrosome™ and BioXTrax™ technologies, making water-soluble CBD taste better, more rapidly absorbed, and more bioavailable within minutes of ingestion.
"The Hydrosome™ technology represents a shift in how nutritional supplements, and even pharmaceuticals, can be delivered," said Dr. Rick Potts, president of Dose of Nature. "This integrative approach is far superior to liposomes in terms of unlocking the true potential of natural remedies, optimizing the speed and breadth of nutrient delivery throughout the body."
The new Dose of Nature product line will include:
• Sweet CBD™: this water-soluble form of concentrated CBD is readily absorbed in the stomach, and is created through a multiplex bonding process of highly-refined RedStrap CBD Oil to 100% vegetable glycerin without the need for preservatives, flavors, or emulsifying agents.
Florida's medical marijuana initiative lost momentum in 2014 after falling just short of the 60 percent needed to pass. But most Floridians believe that it's no longer a question of it, but when, medicinal cannabis comes to the Sunshine State.
The fact of the matter is that nearly 3.5 million Florida voters supported Amendment 2 -- medical marijuana -- in 2014. United for Care has already begun the process of collecting signatures to get medical marijuana back on the ballot for 2016, and pressure is mounting on the Florida Legislature to expand the already existing CBD-only "Charlotte's Web" law to include higher-THC strains as well.
That's why Sheridan Rafer, founder of the Institute of Medical Cannabis in Boca Raton, says "2015 should actually be a big year for medical marijuana and we will continue to provide education and training."
According to Rafer, last year, the Institute of Medical Cannabis, or IMC Florida for short, signed up more than 300 members and trained more than 100 individuals. The Institute offers four courses, primarily focusing on cultivation.
At IMC, students learn about medical marijuana and the medicinal cannabis industry while attending lectures and receiving practical training in "fully operational grow rooms." However, the Institute notes, "Until changes are initiated in the state and/or federal law, all hands-on training at IMC will be conducted with vegetables and herbs which are organically similar to cannabis."
CannaVest Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) based products, announced on Thursday that "the results of independent testing have proved the safety and quality of its products."
In December, CannaVest Corp. commenced cooperative efforts with Project CBD to ensure the cannabis/hemp industry and the consuming public is provided with accurate and meaningful information concerning CannaVest Corp.'s CBD offerings. Project CBD is a non-profit educational service dedicated to promoting and publicizing research into the medical utility of cannabidiol (CBD).
CannaVest Corp. initiated its cooperative efforts with Project CBD in response to a special report on the hemp oil industry published by Project CBD titled "Hemp Oil Hustlers" on October 14, 2014 and revised on November 5, 2014.
Project CBD reported that a consumer product, which is labeled as containing hemp oil and which was produced by the company and then sold in 2013 to a distributor, tested positive for hexane and other solvent residues.
Following the publication of the Project CBD report, CannaVest agreed to work with Project CBD to independently test its products. Based on the results of this testing, Project CBD has concluded that CannaVest Corp.'s products are not contaminated with heavy metals or industrial solvent residues in amounts that pose health and safety issues for consumers, according to officially recognized safety standards.
CannaVest and Project CBD have released a joint statement.
By Steve Elliott
Brazil will soon study the possibility of legalizing the use of cannabidiol (CBD), a marijuana derivative, to treat people suffering from severe seizures.
The country's Health Surveillance Agency, ANVISA, announced that the "reclassification" of the cannabinoid CBD -- which is illegal in Brazil -- will be discussed starting next month, reports the Associated Press.
The statement came on Friday, one day after about 40 people protested in the capital city of Brasilia to demand the legalization of CBD.
Some Brazilians resort to an underground network of illegal cannabis farmers in Rio de Janeiro that extract the CBD and donate it. That network supplies Margaret de Brito with the oil she gives her five-year-old daughter Sofia, who was born with a genetic mutation that causes seizures.
"They won't even let you pay the shipping," Brito said of the clandestine growers' group.
Her daughter's seizures have decreased dramatically since starting the treatment more than a year ago, and she's been able to stop taking another medication that made her drowsy, Brito said.
The Federal Medical Council, which regulates the medical profession in Brazil, earlier this month authorized neurologists and psychiatrists to prescribe CBD to treat epileptic children and teenagers who don't respond to conventional pharmaceuticals. (You'd think a non-toxic alternative would be the first line of treatment, not the last resort!)
By Steve Elliott
South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), author of a bill which made it legal for parents to possess the marijuana derivative cannabidiol (CBD) oil to control their children's seizures, plans to introduce another bill on January 13, the first day of the upcoming legislative session, to allow low-THC marijuana to be grown in the state. But state law enforcement has already expressed opposition to the plan.
Davis said he first heard about CBD oil from a constituent whose granddaughter in Charleston was having 80 to 90 seizures an hour, reports Steve Jones at The State. Within two weeks of his constituent's granddaughter getting CBD oil, Davis said, the seizures were reduced by 80 percent.
After researching, Sen. Davis learned that CBD oil had helped people in other states, so he introduced a bill which passed and was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley last summer. The new law made legal the possession of CBD oil to treat children with uncontrollable epileptic seizures, as long as it was authorized by a physician.
The bill limits the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that can be in the oil (THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). It is limited by the bill to just 0.09 percent, far below what is needed to produce a high.
By Steve Elliott
Electronic cigarettes containing extracts of marijuana -- but no psychoactive THC -- are about to hit the market in France any day now. The e-cigs contain cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which give relaxing and pain-killing effects, according to the manufacturer.
Three young French entrepreneurs are launching the product, which launches before the end of December, and they claim it will be entirely legal, reports The Local.
"KanaVape brings you many of the benefits of cannabinoids without the psychotic effect of THC," claims the website of the product, due to go on sale this month in France.
"Vape pens" which allow consumers to inhale cannabis or tobacco vapor are increasingly popular in the United States. But they've been rare in Europe until now.
"By using only hemp with 5 percent CBD (Cannabidiol) and no THC, KanaVape provides you with a unique cannabinoids excperience," the company claims. "Cannabidiol is a non-psychotic cannabinoid, it will not make you 'high' but will help you relax." (Note the not-very-subtle substitution of the word "psychotic" for the proper term, "psychoactive," perhaps to demonize THC and make it seem more threatening -- a favorite, albeit quite deceptive, marketing strategy for "CBD-only" purveyors.)
CBD-rich hemp, which is grown legally to make products such as oil, rope, cloth, paper, and fuel, will be used to make the vapor mix.
By Steve Elliott
The federal Food and Drug Administration has given the University of Alabama at Birmingham the go-ahead to study the use of cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative, to treat seizures.
The university on Wednesday received FDA letters authorizing two studies, one for children and one for adults, according to UAB spokesman Bob Shepard, reports Kim Chandler at the Associated Press.
Parents of children with severe seizure disorders convinced the Alabama Legislature last year to pass a bill authorizing UAB's Department of Neurology to perform a study of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana.
Shepard said the FDA had requested some changes in the studies; those will go before a university review board next month, he said.
"It's hard to put in words the feelings you have as a dad with a daughter that could benefit from this," said Dustin Chandler. The legislation had become known as "Carly's Law" after Chandler's three-year-old daughter, who started having seizures at just eight weeks old.
Carly was eventually diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder CDKL5. Chandler, a police officer in Pelham, frequently appeared before the Legislature to advocate for the bill.
By Steve Elliott
A portable analyzer instrument called the Cannalyzer-420™ is now avaialble; the product is designed to measure marijuana potency including THC, CBD, and more, according to the makers, Seattle-based LightWave Science, Inc.
Infrared technology is used in the Cannalyzer, according to the company, similar to that used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on farm products for more than a decade.
The patent-pending instrument allows more growers, extractors, and dispensaries to quickly determine the quality their cannabis using infrared technology with repeatable accuracy within 1 percent, according to LightWave Science, Inc.
The idea is to save lots of time by not having to continuously send cannabis samples to expensive testing laboratories. "Use it when purchasing trim for your extracts or new product opportunities arriving at your back door," the company advises.
The Cannalyzer-420 measures marijuana flowers and leaves for the percentage of THC, CBD, and moisture, using non-contact, non-destructive infrared technology, according to the company. The Cannalyzer is a "grind and measure" unit which works by grinding the product into a sample dish, then placing it onto the measurement area to see instant results displayed onscreen.
The small, lightweight case is 6"x11"x14", with internal battery for 8 hours of operation in the field, according to the company. No internet connection is required.
Options are available to additionally measure extracts such as oils and dabs, according to LightWave Science, Inc.