Can Opioids Be Replaced By CBD Oil?

Perhaps one of the more compelling arguments for legalizing medical cannabis is the fact that evidence heavily suggests that it is able to provide most of the benefits of widely-used opioids without the potentially lethal side effects that come from misuse.

Opioids are currently the most-abused type of prescription drug in the United States. In 2017, 47,000 Americans died as the result of opioid abuse, from drugs sourced from both legal and illegal sources. However, it’s difficult for many American medical professionals to avoid prescribing opioids due to the effectiveness of these drugs at managing pain.

This is exacerbated by the fact that pharmaceutical companies have been found complicit in lobbying for the wider use of these classes of drugs, which has led to unnecessary prescriptions and an increased potential for abuse. A number of cities have even sued the pharmaceutical industry for causing the crisis.

However, we already have a powerful equivalent to opioids for pain management that carries fewer side effects and reduced potential for abuse in medical cannabis – specifically cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil.

While medical cannabis, in general, has been found to have uses for the type of pain management normally treated by opioids, adoption has been slow thanks to fears and misconceptions about the psychoactive effects of cannabis, specifically its active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.

In the course of decades of medical cannabis research, it has been found that CBD has most of the benefits of THC, without the strong psychoactive effects that normally come with it. The potential for abuse is also much reduced from regular cannabis with THC, which in itself is already lower than the abusive potential of most opioids used for pain treatment.

CBD Oil and FibromyalgiaReasons CBD Oil hasn’t replaced opioids

So why hasn’t CBD oil been more widely adopted? Ultimately it has to do with the incredibly complicated nature of cannabis. Cannabis plants contain more than 500 chemical compounds. Isolating these compounds can be difficult and expensive, and it’s hard to recreate findings of previous studies create controls for studies involving cannabis due to the sheer complexity of the plant. Different strains of cannabis and varying levels of different chemicals in each strain can also affect different people in different ways.

There are also new discoveries made about cannabis that may dissuade its more widespread use. For instance, it was found that even relatively small doses can irreversibly alter the brains of teens, which may mean that in the near future, doctors may not prescribe cannabis for teens and young adults.

Conclusion

Even with these setbacks, however, it’s safe to say that CBD oil will likely have a role to play in helping solve the opioid crisis, though not by itself. The crisis is multifaceted, with economic and social angles to consider, which make it unlikely that any single solution will be workable.

Instead what is more likely to work might be a multi-pronged solution that involved weaning opioid abuse victims off drugs with different types of therapy as well as preventing the potential for abuse by substituting opioids with CBD when possible for pain management.

 

 

International Hemp Oil Company, Functional Remedies, Acquires New Lab, Increasing Production Capacity Ten-Fold

COLORADO: Functional Remedies, vertically integrated manufacturer of whole-plant hemp oil products, announced a major expansion of its lab and production facility from 2,000 square feet to a new 25,000-square-foot facility located in Louisville, CO to meet the rapidly growing demand for its products across the U.S. and globally. Additionally, Functional Remedies recently moved into new 4,000-square-foot executive offices to house its expanding team.

“We are excited with our rapid growth, and our latest production and office expansions will help us continue building the most-advanced operations in the industry to meet the increasing demands for our full-spectrum hemp products domestically and internationally,” said Functional Remedies CEO Anthony Mazzotti. “We are fully executing on our aggressive 2019 plans and exceeding consumer expectations of how highly efficacious, full-spectrum hemp oil can impact health and wellness.”

Functional Remedies also recently announced that it signed five new agreements with natural retail broker networks to expand the distribution footprint of its products from 21 to 48 U.S. states. This comes at a time when the global industrial hemp market size is expected to reach USD $10.6 billion by 2025 and expand at a CAGR of 14 percent during the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.

“Our state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot laboratory houses the production of the industry’s only hand-pressed, full-spectrum hemp oil using a proprietary whole-plant, lipid infusion process,” said Functional Remedies Chief Science Officer Tim Gordon. “Consumer demand is growing faster than education or regulatory structures can keep up, and many inferior products are willingly filling that grey market void. Functional Remedies’ mission is to continue educating consumers on the difference between lipid-infused, full-spectrum hemp oil and the majority of other products that are actually CBD isolate and concentrates made using harsh, CO2 extraction methods. Many of these products are mislabeled as full-spectrum which only adds to consumer confusion,” Gordon added.

 

 

Study: CBD Dosing Relieves Symptoms In Patients With Anxiety Disorders

COLORADO: The daily administration of CBD is associated with sustained symptomatic relief in patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders, according to the results of a case series published in The Permanente Journal.

Investigators at the University of Colorado, Denver and Colorado State University assessed the adjunctive use of low daily doses of CBD (typically 25mg capsules) over a three-month period in a cohort of patients diagnosed with either sleep or anxiety disorders.

Researchers reported that patients experienced a “mild improvement” in sleep scores, and a larger “more sustained response to anxiety.” They also reported that “CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications.”

Authors acknowledged that the therapeutic doses used in the study were far lower than those typically associated with anxiolytic action in prior clinical trials.

They concluded: “Anxiety scores decreased fairly rapidly, and this decrease was sustained during the study period. … Randomized and controlled trials are needed to provide definitive clinical guidance.”


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series,” appears in The Permanente Journal.

Tilray Launches New High-CBD Cannabis Oil

CANADA:  Tilray, a leader in medical cannabis cultivation, distribution, and research, has launched its newest product, Tilray 2:100, a high-CBD cannabis oil. Designed for patients with significant unmet medical need, Tilray 2:100 contains the highest concentration of cannabis-extracted CBD in a medical cannabis product available through Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

Tilray 2:100 has a target concentration of 2mg/ml THC and 100mg/ml CBD for a total cannabinoid amount of 80mg THC and 4,000mg CBD in each 40ml bottle. This product contains the same target concentration of CBD and THC as the study drug used in a recent trial on pediatric epilepsy conducted by pediatric neurologists at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto. That trial, which is proudly supported by Tilray, studies how children with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy, respond to adjunct therapy with a high-CBD medical cannabis extract. More information about the study will be shared as it becomes available to the public.

Tilray 2:100 is a whole-plant extract made at Tilray’s cGMP certified facility, using CBD and formulated with coconut-derived MCT carrier oil. Like all Tilray oils, the 2:100 formulation is fully decarboxylated and ready to ingest directly.

“We are excited to offer this highly concentrated CBD product to patients in Canada. We developed this product around a strong existing evidence base that CBD may be used in treating seizures when other anti-seizure drugs have failed,” said Catherine Jacobson, Director of Tilray’s Clinical Research Program. Tilray will first make Tilray 2:100 available to pediatric patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy. As supply increases, it will be made available to additional patients in need.

Montel Williams’ Lenitiv Scientific And Cura Cannabis Solutions Announce Deal

Lenitiv’s Hemp-Derived CBD Line Launches Nationwide

OREGON: Cura, a leading provider of cannabis oil, has reached an agreement to produce a hemp-derived and a cannabis-derived line for Lenitiv.

Lenitiv’s hemp-derived CBD Capsules are available online and can be shipped widely. The product was developed and formulated by media personality and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) survivor Montel Williams—one of the highest-profile medical cannabis patients in the United States.

Shortly before his diagnosis with MS in 1999, Williams had been on the set of Touched By An Angel filming an episode he guest starred in when his feet “caught fire.” Soon thereafter, Williams was diagnosed and learned that the all-consuming burning sensation in his feet was intractable neuropathic pain. After exhausting traditional remedies, Williams’ MS specialist, a neurologist, suggested he try medicinal cannabis, an idea he initially resisted, until he discovered that medical cannabis made the pain in his feet bearable. The Lenitiv brand benefits from Williams’ nearly two decades as a medical cannabis patient and was designed with his experience in mind.

Cura will produce Lenitiv products, starting with a hemp-derived CBD line, which launches nationwide today. Separately, Cura will produce Lenitiv’s cannabis-derived line which will be available with a number of new products this summer in Oregon and California in compliance with relevant state laws.

Lenitiv CBD Capsules are 100% hemp-derived and contain zero THC. Each bottle contains 30 gel capsules with 50mg of CBD each. Available in two options, Alert is designed to take in the morning, while Relax is designed to consume at night:

  • Alert: Formulated with terpenes known to: aid anxiety, depression; pain management; act as an anti-inflammatory and soothe stress; promote alertness and memory retention
  • Relax: Formulated with terpenes known to enhance mood, promote relaxation and restful sleep, quell anxiety, depression and insomnia; act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

“I’m excited to announce our agreement with Cura,” said David Racz, CEO of Lenitiv Scientific. “When I partnered with Montel to help him make his patient-focused vision a reality, we realized we would need like-minded partnerships that understood and shared the values that underpin it. Cura not only shares that vision but expresses it in their culture.”

Cura’s mission is to become the leading provider of cannabis oil in every market it enters and to become the first cannabis company with a billion-dollar valuation. Known for producing Select, the best-selling cannabis brand on the West Coast (CA/OR/NV, According to BDS Analytics), Cura looks forward to offering new and diverse products to the market through wholesale and white label agreements.

“When we first began talking to Montel and his team at Lenitiv, we were drawn to their people-focused vision,” said Cameron Forni, Cura’s President and co-Founder. “We’re really excited about this partnership because the values that underpin Lenitiv are synergistic with ours. It’s also an opportunity for us to support and participate in Montel’s advocacy for common sense cannabis reform, and we’re thrilled to welcome Montel and the team at Lenitiv to our family.”

Lenitiv CBD Capsules are available online and ship nationally.

HempMeds Wins Product Registration Hearing In Puerto Rico, Begins Selling First-Ever Approved Nutraceutical Product

CALIFORNIA: Medical Marijuana, Inc., the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, has announced that its subsidiary HempMeds had its product registrations affirmed in Puerto Rico, enabling the company to continue selling its CBD hemp oil products freely throughout the U.S. territory. This major milestone marks another historic first for RSHO as the first and only legally registered cannabis product to be sold in Puerto Rico as a nutritional supplement.

In September of 2015, Puerto Rico’s Departmento de Salud (Department of Health) approved 12 RSHO products through Medical Marijuana, Inc. subsidiary HempMeds for use in the territory. In Sept. 2016, the Department of Health notified Medical Marijuana, Inc. of its intention to cancel the registration of the Company’s CBD hemp oil products, stating that “HempMeds products contained a controlled substance (CBD) considered to be unlawful under the Classification or Schedule 1 of the Federal Law on Controlled Substances.”

In July 2017, per request of Medical Marijuana, Inc. for a reconsideration of this determination, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health repealed its initial determination, reinstating the registration of HempMeds products in Puerto Rico and providing the Company the right to sell them freely in the market of Puerto Rico. In appealing the decision, the Company asserted that its products were derived from the part of the plant, Cannabis Sativa L, that is exempt from the definition of “marijuana” under both the federal and Puerto Rico Controlled Substances Acts. Accordingly, the Company asserted, its products were legal under both federal and Puerto Rico law.  The final determination held that:

  • HempMeds products are neither marijuana, nor containing marijuana. They are natural – not synthetic – based products of industrial oil or “hemp oil” that is extracted from the stalk or mature stems of the plant Cannabis Sativa L. The products are not psychoactive and do not have the psychotropic effect of marijuana.
  • HempMeds products are not substances controlled under federal law. The federal CSA identifies “marijuana” as a controlled substance under Category or Schedule 1, but the definition of “marijuana” expressly excludes from its scope oil and other derivatives of the stalk or mature stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant L.

“We are pleased with the decision to reinstate the registration of HempMeds products in Puerto Rico, as we can now continue providing the more than 3.6 million residents of this territory with CBD hemp oil products that are helping people around the world,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “We are extremely proud to have been the first Company to provide the people of Puerto Rico with CBD hemp oil products, especially after the World Health Organization’s recent recommendation not to schedule CBD.”

CBD-Infused Foods Becoming A New Health Trend

NEVADA: CBD-infused foods are gaining strong momentum in the market as consumers demand more healthy food options. CBD is considered a healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals that have horrible side effects, like opioids. It can be used as one component in holistic health treatments. As CBD-oil infused markets continue to gain traction, healthy food options are growing.

Traditionally, consumers think of CBD-oil infused edibles as cookies, gummy bears, or brownies. Now companies are producing healthy food products to meet the needs of those seeking healthy alternatives to traditional CBD-infused snacks. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with several therapeutic properties. Infusing this compound into healthy foods is helping consumers fight anxiety, pain, over-eating, and insomnia.

Hemp Business Journal estimates the hemp industry will grow to $1.8 billion in sales by 2020, led by hemp food, body care, and CBD-based products. The enormous potential for expansion shows big revenue possibilities for investors and companies as operations and new products hit the market almost daily.

The CBD Submarket Plays Major Role In Legal Cannabis Industry

NEW YORK: A major submarket of the legal cannabis industry is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is the part of the plant that is not associated with the side effects of THC, so therefore CBD is usually used for medical reasons and not recreational purposes.

A report by The Hemp Business Journal projects that the CBD market will reach $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020, with $450 million of those sales coming from hemp-based sources. The report reveals that in 2015, the market for hemp-derived CBD products was worth $90 million. The addition of the $112 million in marijuana-derived CBD products were sold through dispensaries and the total CBD market was worth $202 million in 2015.

Others have similar or more optimistic estimates about the industry’s future. Matt Karnes from Greenwave Advisors stated, “In terms of the CBD market size, I estimate an almost $3 billion market by 2021. Right now there are 15 states that allow CBD only – this is in addition to the 28 states plus DC that have legalized medical marijuana.”

A report by Forbes points out there is evidence that traditional cannabis users are willing to give CBD a try. Outco, the largest licensed cultivator in Southern California published data that shows 38% of users and non-users claimed they wanted to learn more about CBD oil.

 

Makers Of Charlotte’s Web Launch CW Simply Capsules

COLORADO:  CW Hemp, makers of the world-renowned Charlotte’s Web™ hemp extract oils with cannabinoids, announced today the launch of their CW™ SiMPLY line of capsule products.  “CW SiMPLY was created to make it easier for our busy customers to integrate Charlotte’s Web into their daily routines,” said Ashley Grace, Chief Marketing and e-Commerce Officer for CW Hemp.  “Charlotte’s Web Hemp oils have been long trusted for their superior hemp genetics and industry-leading quality.  We are thrilled to extend this trust in the form of a convenient, user-friendly capsule.”

Two products, CW SiMPLY Hemp with 15mg of Charlotte’s Web Hemp extract per capsule, and CW SiMPLY Hemp+Extra with 35mg per capsule, will initially comprise the line. Each product will be available in 30 and 60-count offerings.  Additional CW SiMPLY products are planned for early 2017.

The CW SiMPLY line of products features proprietary Charlotte’s Web hemp genetics drawn from all over the world and refined over several years of tireless breeding by Colorado’s Stanley Brothers.  Charlotte’s Web hemp is organically grown on Colorado family farms and the oil is manufactured in an FDA registered facility in Boulder according to Good Manufacturing Practices.

After gaining global celebrity as the “low-THC medical marijuana” product first used by Charlotte Figi in Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentaries, the 2014 US Farm bill enabled Charlotte’s Web to be classified as “industrial hemp” and opened doors for the company to serve a variety of wellness needs under its purpose to empower a better quality of life.  To that end, CW Hemp donates a portion of sales to the Realm of Caring (RoC), who is working with Johns Hopkins University and others to research the potential impact cannabinoids could have on inflammatory conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, brain trauma, and many others.

“Hemp is non-psychoactive and has been used for a wide variety of wellness needs with no observed side-effects for thousands of years.  We’re excited to make Charlotte’s Web available in the more common supplement form of a capsule,” said Grace. “While we are clear in making no claims about our products, the US government actually owns patent 6630507 which documents cannabinoids potential application for many inflammatory conditions.  We encourage people to do their own research by searching for #WHYCW.”

 

Texas Department of Public Safety Releases Confiscated Hemp CBD Oil

TEXAS: On September 7, Texas Hemp Industries Association (TXHIA) received notice that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrived at People’s Pharmacy’s four (4) Austin locations to confiscate various industrial hemp Cannabidiol (CBD) products.  On October 11, DPS reported to People’s pharmacy’s attorney the following:

“Attached is the lab report regarding the ‘CBD hemp oil’ from People’s Pharmacy.  The report indicates the presence of cannabidiol (CBD). The report does not indicate any detectable tetrahydocannabinol (THC).  Given certain ambiguities regarding the status of CBD under the Texas Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the department, after consulting with prosecutors, does not intend to pursue enforcement action based on the tested substance.  This discretionary enforcement decision does not constitute a general opinion about the legality of any product,” wrote D. Phillip Adkins, General Counsel, Texas Department of Public Safety.

Sheila Hemphill, Policy Director for TXHIA states, “Since January of 2016, we are aware of seven known conflicts with law enforcement, fortunately none have resulted in a conviction. Ambiguity in the law related to the status of CBD under the TCSA has caused general confusion, unnecessary expenditures by law enforcement, legal expenses and untold stress to innocent consumers and businesses. This event with People’s pharmacy demonstrates the necessity for our upcoming Texas Legislature to define industrial hemp as an agriculture crop separate from the marijuana definition in the CSA.”

Industrial hemp is not new to Texas and prior to prohibition, a 1938 Popular Mechanics article stated, “hemp grows luxuriously inTexas.”  At a recent Cochran County Farm Bureau meeting near Lubbock, attendees interested in growing this historical crop adopted a resolution approving the cultivation of industrial hemp suitable for seed, oil, fiber, and CBD, with a vote of seventy to one.  Coleman Hemphill, TXHIA Executive Director emphasized that, “our farmers are expressing a need for new beneficial crops to remain solvent through drought and profitable in down markets.  Industrial hemp needs half the water required by cotton and historically cotton has been Texas’ largest cash crop.  Lowered market prices for commodities and the loss of subsidies are jeopardizing our Texas farmer’s viability.”