New from Budder Pros: Chocolate Pudding Mix.
Just add your milk and enjoy!
Now available in Albuquerque and Grants.
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New from Budder Pros: Chocolate Pudding Mix.
Just add your milk and enjoy!
Now available in Albuquerque and Grants.
Get them soon — they won’t last long!
A bill that would allow the use of medical cannabis at schools zoomed off the Senate floor Monday afternoon.
Senate Bill 204, co-sponsored by Sens. Candace Gould, R-Albuquerque, and Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Gail Armstrong, R-Socorro, would allow children who are qualified patients to use the medicine in school settings and permit school personnel to administer it.
With little discussion, 35 senators voted to pass and two did not.
Gould told Senators the bill addresses the problem of students choosing between going to school every day and taking their medicine.
"My constituent came to me, torn between using medicine that's working more effectively for her child's epilepsy with less side effects than the Valium she was using and being able to go to school," she said.
That constituent is Lindsay Sledge, whose daughter Paloma uses cannabis oil regularly to control severe seizures.
Sledge has been pushing to change the law in the state.
Sledge told the Journal she's "very excited" about the Senate's approval of the legislation.
"I'm sort of blown away by the amount of support we've had for the bill," she said. "When I first started doing this whole process, I had several people say this was going to be next to impossible."
Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, supported the bill during Monday's debate, saying it addresses a problem across the state.
"Since it is the policy of this state to support medical marijuana this is an opportunity to let our schools know that they need to support it for our children as well," she said.
There are currently 175 other children in the state using medical cannabis, Gould said.
Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, who voted not to pass the bill, pushed on SB 204 because it did not appropriate money for storing the medicine.
Gould said the medical cannabis probably would be locked up with other prescription medicines that are allowed on school campuses now.
The bipartisan bill approaches the use of medical cannabis at school much like the use of other drugs at schools.
But districts are allowed to opt out if they can determine they'd lose federal funding because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. SB 204 has a provision that allows parents to appeal to the state Public Education Department if districts are exempted from allowing the medicine at school.
The bill now heads to the House.
"I'm hopeful it will pass its next step quickly," Sledge said.
Courtesy of Las Cruces Sun.
SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - Legal recreational pot is inching closer to becoming a reality in New Mexico as state lawmakers push measures forward in Santa Fe.
passed the House Judiciary Committee Saturday and is now headed to the House floor for a vote -- a first in state history.
Meanwhile, Republican senators had their own Cannabis Regulation Act heard in a Senate committee Saturday, too. It also passed."We came to the conclusion that legalization is coming," Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, said. "How can we do it in a way that's more responsible, so we don't have the negative social impacts that Colorado and other states have had?"
"So we wanted to sit down at the table and give our solution, as Republicans, to how we would like to see the regulation of cannabis," he said.
The House bill is sponsored by Democrats and would make it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of pot and grow up to six mature plants in their home. It allows towns and cities to prohibit sales, but not ban the use or growing of plants in private homes.The Senate bill, however, does not allow for homegrown marijuana. It would create a cannabis control commission to regulate cannabis production, sales, and testing, also setting standards on the packaging.
The Republican lawmakers want childproof packaging and labels showing where the pot came from, but these aren't the only concerns when it comes to legalizing weed. Medical marijuana patients want to make sure their cannabis is protected.
"It is not like a batch of cookies where you can go buy ingredients and get more. You have to wait for a whole plant to grow itself before you can get more medicine," said Ginger Grider, a medical cannabis patients advocate. "Even with fines imposed, producers always choose to sell out on the recreational side first because they are going to make money.
"The sponsors of the Senate bill say they agree with her, which is also something Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham wants. While the House and Senate bills may not be identical, the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Mexico appears to be on the horizon. The specifics of the idea just need to be worked out.If the House bill passes on the floor vote, it heads over to the Senate for consideration. The Senate bill still has to get through a few more Senate committees before it gets a floor vote, then heads over to the House to repeat the process.
Courtesy of KRQE
Legislation is pending, House Bill 356, to permit the use, possession, and retail sale of cannabis for adults 21 and over.A separate proposal is also pending to permit adult use marijuana sales, Senate Bill 577, with retail stores being regulated and operated by the state government as opposed to being privately operated.
Statewide polling data shows that 60 percent of likely voters support legislation to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana sales to adults 21 and over.
Follow the link to message your lawmakers in support of legalization.
Courtesy of Norml.
The House Financial Services subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions held a hearing Wednesday to address the lack of access to basic banking services by state-legal marijuana businesses.
Currently, state-licensed marijuana businesses face a web of conflicting regulations and federal prohibitions largely prohibit these businesses from partnering with financial institutions, processing credit cards, and taking standard business deductions.
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano submitted written congressional testimony, which you can read here.NORML Political Director Justin Strekal published on op-ed on the topic in The Hill Newspaper, entitled Businesses need bank accounts — marijuana shops included.
One of the best ways to speed up marijuana legalization is by allowing the existing companies access to basic banking services and it is encouraging to see Congress begin the conversation.
You can watch the hearing below.
Courtesy of NORML.
For those who don’t have big properties or extra space, don’t worry: You don’t need a huge space to grow cannabis. Cannabis is an eager plant that will grow nearly anywhere given the right light and nutrients, making a grow room of any size feasible.
Growing in a tiny space has benefits too, allowing you to produce cannabis discreetly, in case you’re afraid of what the neighbors will think. A small grow also won’t create as much noise from machines or generate as much smell and will therefore attract less attention.A small grow doesn’t necessarily mean small returns, but, you do want to be growing as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips to maximize your tiny space to get the best and biggest returns.
A grow space can be as small as a 2’ x 2’ x 4’ grow tent or as big as a warehouse, but they all have a number of things in common.
Many small-space growers use grow tents, small units where you can grow one to a handful of plants—they can be as small as the size of a laundry hamper. These self-contained units will provide a controllable environment for your plants without the hassle of building out a big grow.
One of the biggest concerns with a tiny grow is lighting. Grow lights run very hot and need to be kept at a safe distance from your plants so they don’t burn buds or leaves. Either the plants must be kept short or your lights need to be elevated—the latter can be hard to pull off in a confined space, so usually plants need to be kept small through topping and pruning.LEDs are changing the game for small-space growing by providing quality full-spectrum light with minimal heat. This allows plants to grow closer to the light source without damage from heat, while also reducing the need for climate-control equipment to bring down the temperature in your grow. It should be noted that LEDs can still burn your plants, but there is less of a risk than with older lights.This will give your plants more room to grow and therefore give you a bigger return when it’s time to harvest.
With a limited space, you can also train your cannabis plants to increase yields. Some effective methods include:
Scrogging is probably your best bet for getting a high return with minimal space. This process involves weaving the stalks and branches of a plant through a screen—mesh sizes usually range from 3-6 inches square—before switching to a flowering light cycle.This spreads out the plant’s branches, allowing all nodes to receive more light and also opening up the plant so that middle and lower branches can receive more light. This will give you a level canopy that will fill out with big colas.Everything below the canopy can be pruned to save energy and keep the space clean and free of pests while the buds have direct exposure to light, increasing your yield.Low-stress training involves tying down parts of the plant to create offshoots that will lead to additional cola sites.A more aggressive method, high-stress training increases cola sites through topping or super cropping to promote an even canopy and increased cola sites.
Sativas, indicas, and hybrids all grow differently. Sativas are known for their lanky growth and more open bud structure, while indicas tend to grow short and stocky and have denser buds. Hybrids can have traits from both.For a tiny grow, indicas will probably be easier to maintain when looking to maximize your space and yield because of their short and stocky nature. Sativas can work too, but you might have to spend more time and attention in pruning them.
Keep in mind that this is a generalization of strains—some indicas grow tall, and some sativas grow short. Be sure to check out Leafly’s strain explorer for growing tips on specific strains.You can also try growing autoflowering cannabis, plants that start flowering when they get to a certain age, rather than when the light changes. They also grow short and small.
The grow medium is the home for roots, which send water and nutrients to the rest of the plant. A quality grow medium is especially important for a tiny grow in order to get the most out of a plant in a cramped condition.Try using complete soils or super soils—they have a majority of the nutrients a plant needs and they allow a plant to efficiently store water for a longer time between waterings.Be sure to include enough soil in your pots to prevent roots from getting bound. Frequently check to see if roots are exposed. If you see them coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, it’s time to transplant it to a bigger pot.
A stunted plant that appears droopy even after watering can also be a sign of roots being bound and needing more soil.
Climate control is also crucial in a tiny grow. Ideally you want to maintain a healthy temperature of 70-75 degrees with a relative humidity between 40-75%. Using LED lights will reduce the overall temperature and your need to cool down your grow, but you will still need a fan to pull fresh air into your grow space.Fresh air circulation is crucial to getting high yields, as your plants use CO2 in the process of photosynthesis. Fresh air will give them a boost of growth and will also be effective in cycling new air into your garden while pulling out stale air, keeping the temperature and humidity in check.
Tiny grows can be a lot of fun and will give you insight on the growing process and these methods will improve the quality and yield of your cannabis.https://www.leafly.com/news/growing/tiny-cannabis-grow-space-tips
Users describe the Purple Haze high as one with almost immediate high-energy cerebral stimulation accompanied by an intense sense of creative inspiration and blissful contentment. You may experience a mild body buzz that is warming and spreads from your head and neck throughout the rest of your body. Due to these potent effects, Purple Haze in ideal strain for treating patients suffering from conditions such as fatigue, mild to moderate cases of depression, and chronic stress or anxiety.
Purple Haze has a sweet earthy berry aroma and a pungent berry taste with a hint of spice.
King Tut the strain is a sativa-dominant hybrid (sativa/indica ratio of 80:20) with an uncertain parentage, though it’s known to descend from the legendary sativa-dominant AK-47. The high is cerebral and peppy, making this a good choice for daytime errands, social events, or creative endeavors. Use this strain to treat depression, chronic pain, stress, inflammation, and nausea. King Tut tastes like fresh fruit and flowers and has a sour, Skunky smell.
Recreational marijuana is one step closer to becoming a reality in our state.
On Saturday, HB 356 advanced in the House Health and Human Services Committee. HB 356 would regulate the use, production and sale of cannabis and cannabis products for those over the age of 21.
"It's time that we end the prohibition of cannabis," said Rep. Javier Martinez, one of the sponsors of the bill.
"This proposed legislation ensures that we lead the way with a legalization framework that protects medical cannabis patients, ensures public safety, and advances social justice for low-income, communities of color."
The bill includes public health and safety provisions, as well as investments in safety and education.
It would potentially create a Community Reinvestment Fund that would be used to fund numerous resources like legal services, medical care, outreach services and education for youth.
The bill now moves to the House Judiciary Committee.
Courtesy of KOB.
Congressional Democrats are already moving ahead with plans to consider broad changes to federal marijuana laws in 2019.
Whereas the Republican-controlled House for the past several years had blocked votes on most cannabis-related measures, the chamber's new Democratic majority on Wednesday announced it has scheduled a hearing for next week to examine the difficulties that marijuana businesses face in opening and maintaining bank accounts.Titled, “Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses,” the hearing will take place on February 13 before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.Although a growing number of states are moving to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, cannabis remains federally prohibited. As a result, and despite a 2014 guidance memo released on the topic by the Obama administration aimed at clearing up the issue, many financial services providers remain reluctant to work with the industry out of fear of violating money laundering or drug laws."When we introduced this bill six years ago, we warned that forcing these businesses to deal in cash was threatening public safety. No hearing was given," Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) said in an email, referring to marijuana banking legislation he and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) have filed for the past several Congresses.He lamented that Republican leadership didn't schedule a hearing on the proposal even after a security guard at a Colorado dispensary was killed during a robbery."Chairwoman Waters has made it one of her first priorities to address this urgent and overdue issue, demonstrating that she understands the threat to public safety and the need for Congress to act," Heck said of the committee's new leader. "We have a bipartisan proposal to allow well-regulated marijuana businesses to handle their money in a way that is safe and effective for law enforcement to track. I am eager to get to the work of refining it and passing it into law."That a hearing on the issue was in the works was first noted earlier this week by Politico, and Marijuana Moment reported that the full committee is also actively planning to vote on a marijuana banking bill in the coming months.The newly scheduled marijuana hearing is a signal that Democrats intend to move cannabis legislation this year, and is likely to be the first in a series of committee-level actions across the House on the issue."The upcoming hearing presents a real opportunity for the Democratic Party to assert their leadership by finally beginning the conversation on how we end the failed policy of marijuana criminalization," Justin Strekal, political director for NORML, said.While two limited medical cannabis research bills were able to advance out of House committees last year, they never made it to the floor for votes. Meanwhile, Republican leaders consistently prevented members from offering marijuana-related amendments—including ones on banking issues—to larger legislation.In contrast, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) suggested in a memo to party leaders late last year that they pursue a step-by-step approach to legalize marijuana in 2019. His plan recommends that Financial Services and other committees first begin holding hearings on incremental reforms like banking access, research expansion and medical cannabis for military veterans before passing bills on those issues as part of a lead up to ultimately approving broader legislation to formally end federal marijuana prohibition by the end of the year.A House bill to protect banks from being punished for working with state-legal marijuana businesses that Heck and Perlmutter introduced garnered 95 cosponsors in the last Congress, and 20 senators signed onto a companion bill, but neither were given hearings or brought up for votes."Depriving state-legal cannabis businesses of basic banking services and forcing them to operate entirely in cash presents a significant safety risk, not just to those businesses and their employees, but to the public," Don Murphy, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in an email. "Support for addressing the cannabis banking problem is strong and bipartisan, and it appears Congress may be ready to adopt a real, commonsense solution. Members concerned about public safety should be jumping at the chance to express their support for this legislation."Congress has held only a handful of hearings on marijuana reform issues in recent years, and never before has any come at a time when broad cannabis reform legislation seemed to be conceivably on its way to passage."This hearing is historic for cannabis policy reform advocates, business owners and the banking sector, and could directly lead to the first in what is hopefully a series of positive changes in the 2019 legislative cycle," Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, said in an email. "Allowing banks to work with cannabis businesses more easily will benefit public safety, increase transparency, provide more financing options for small businesses and communities that have been targeted by prohibition, and help companies thrive so they can further displace the illicit market."Outside of the two committee markups of cannabis research legislation last year, which were not preceded by formal hearings on the relevant issues, Senate panels have on a few occasions held lengthy discussions on marijuana.In 2013, for example, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a hearing to dig into the fact that a growing number of states were legalizing marijuana in contrast with federal law.The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, which is not a formal standing committee of the body, hosted a discussion on federal marijuana enforcement in 2016. Its two cochairs, Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), have long been among Congress's most vocal opponents of cannabis reform, though Feinstein began to shift her position last year.Also in 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing on the risks and potential benefits of medical cannabis, but it did not lead to votes on any marijuana legislation.Meanwhile, pressure to address cannabis banking has been growing. Several top Trump administration officials have indicated they support clarifying the issue.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for example, suggested in testimony before a House committee early last year that he supports letting marijuana businesses store their profits in banks.“I assure you that we don’t want bags of cash,” he said. “We do want to find a solution to make sure that businesses that have large access to cash have a way to get them into a depository institution for it to be safe.”In a separate hearing Mnuchin revealed that addressing the issue is at the “top of the list” of his concerns.Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the growing gap between state and federal marijuana laws “puts federally chartered banks in a very difficult situation... It would great if that could be clarified."And last month, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting called on Congress to "act at the national level to legalize marijuana if they want those entities involved in that business to utilize the U.S. banking system."Meanwhile, although many major financial institutions are staying away from the cannabis industry, federal data does show that an increasing number of banks are beginning to work with marijuana growers, sellers, processors and related businesses.It hasn't yet been announced who will be testifying at next week's cannabis banking hearing before the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee.https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2019/02/06/the-first-marijuana-hearing-of-the-new-congress-has-been-scheduled/?fbclid=IwAR22s-A1QFcanrQ8rppOX7YW-ylaEQcEaEVPOkeTGvFtB-kTkHuo0D6gv9c#2ff91b281287
Picture this. You are preparing an elegant dinner for yourself and your significant other. You head into a liquor store looking for the perfect alcoholic beverage to complement the flavors of your meal. Do you walk up to the counter and ask the shopkeeper for the bottle with the highest alcohol percentage? Most likely not, as Everclear doesn’t really have the most appetizing taste.
But with the advent of state legal marijuana, many dispensaries in the United States report that medical patients or recreational users tend to do just that when selecting their strains. “Which one has the highest THC content,” is a question often heard by the ears of bud tenders, suggesting that anything with a lower count isn’t worth their dollar. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. After all, what is the reason that sometimes one drinks a beer, another time one enjoys a glass of wine, and yet another night one savors a smooth whiskey on the rocks?
The problem with selecting cannabis strains based solely on the THC content is much like stomaching the worst swill at the bar just because it has a high alcoholic percentage. By doing this, the consumer is robbing themselves of not only the rich scents and flavors of the strain, but also missing out on the beneficial effects that can be delivered through a strain’s specific terpene profile.
Terpenes are essential oils that determine all of these factors and make each strain unique. Together with the cannabinoid content — compounds such THC or CBD — we get what’s often referred to as an “entourage effect,” which ultimately has the final say in what kind of benefits you can receive from a particular strain. In fact, it has almost gotten to the point where one can zero in on what exactly they would like a strain to do for them, and by studying the effects of the individual terpenes, with a little trial-and-error, they can find the perfect strain to suit their needs.
But because of the limited scientific research done inside the United States on marijuana, many of these discoveries have been made “in the field” by the underground cannabis users.
“It’s almost as if the rest of the scientific community is in the present, but as far as marijuana is concerned, we are sitting at the forefront of the scientific revolution,” says Adam Laikin, Director of Marketing for Tryke companies.
Darin Carpenter, Director of Cultivation at Tryke, feels passionately about the science of terpenes. We spoke to him to get a better idea about the fascinating discoveries happening in this space.
Mike Pizzo: When did people really start looking at terpenes as a variable in the cultivation process for marijuana?
Darin Carpenter: I think generally people were looking at terpenes — whether they knew it or not — way back in the underground days, because terpenes are what give the cannabis its smell. Some people prefer very strong, pungent types of smells. Others prefer the sweet types of smells. Other growers didn’t want any type of smell. But it was all based on the concentration and makeup of the terpenes.
More recently, I think, the terpenes became more of a major subject of interest, once states started mandating analytical labs to test the different potencies of various compounds. This caused people to start truly questioning the effects and combinations of terpenes and cannabinoids.
What are some good examples of how the entourage effect works or how cultivators zero in on what is going to work together in a strain?
It’s synergy; multiple elements that work together to amplify an effect. When the cannabinoids are paired with terpenes and certain concentrations of them, that’s what generally provides the particular effect. What science understands now is that the combination of those terpenes actually has the ultimate say in the type of effect and intensity that one experiences when consuming cannabis.
Cannabinoids do have a very specific effect, but the terpenes work to amplify that effect and move it to a more particular subset, whether it’s anti-anxiety, paired with pain remediation, or helping people with insomnia, etc. CBD, for instance, is known to be a neural protectant. So that’s the effect of it, helping people with seizures, etc. When people are consuming a CBD plant with one profile of terpenes, they might get a different effect than consuming a different CBD plant with a different terpene profile.
What are some of the more popular terpenes, or are they well known enough to be popular?
Well, for instance, myrcene gives off the sweet smell, more indicative of indica plants. Then you have limonene, which has more of a citrus odor, which leans heavier into sativas. There are over 200 terpenes out there, it’s just the molecular composition that changes its odor and effect.
I think there is a lot more experimentation that needs to be done. Certain labs are actually increasing the number of terpenes and cannabinoids that they are actually looking for, in an effort to understand the entourage effect of the molecular profile of that particular genetic and how it effects individuals. You can break the terpenes down to a core group, but there might be some other compounds that actually are enhancing that core group for the total enhancement. There is a lot more work that needs to be done.
Probably because there are so many combinations out there, right?
Right. So, for instance, Medusa, some people just don’t like Medusa. It doesn’t work for them. But for me, it might be the thing that takes my pain away. It might be the thing that helps me with anxiety, or symptom I am trying to control. One strain might work for you, that may not work for me the same way. One may make you feel relaxed and comfortable, while I might get a feeling of paranoia.
Everyone is harping on, “I have to have the highest THC concentration.” To me, it’s not about that. It’s the effect and finding the strain that works for you, particularly. Yes, THC gives you that psychoactive effect, but some of the better strains out there aren’t higher THC. It’s the combination of the flavors and the terpenes that are paired with the THC and the cannabinoids that make it so powerful. People see THC as a value proposition, like “I am spending $25 an eighth and this one’s got 30% THC. Why would I spend $35 or $45 on something that’s got 15%?” If they tried it, they might see that it’s not all the THC. They actually might get a better effect, taste and experience because of the terpene/cannabinoid profile that works best for them.
Federal law has made it really difficult to study cannabis in the United States, so there is not a lot of scientific research done on this here, right?
Yeah, not a lot in the United States. Israel and England is where most of the research is being done.
That actually brings up another point, that a lot of the “testing” is going on in the field, where people are going “This worked for me, this didn’t,” etc. And through word-of-mouth, those findings are kind of going “viral” in the cannabis community, is that right?
Yeah. A lot of the guys in Mendocino and Santa Rosa, the Emerald Triangle area, they were kind of growing and breeding what works for them and what speaks to them. That’s really kind of how it’s been, but nobody that I am aware of has really started a targeted breeding program to develop strains to create a library with a wide range of particular effects, quality and yield.
So do you think people that are purchasing based only on a super high THC levels are doing so out of naivety?
It’s not always about the concentration of the psychoactive ingredients in the flower. It is the combination of the terpenes and cannabinoids that provide that effect. So if people are looking for something, they don’t need to go for that super high-potency strain. Yes, it may work for them, but there are other options that may or may not.
For me, I hate expensive beers. If you take some super craft, micro brew with a heavy amount of hops and for me it just tastes too bitter. It doesn’t quench my thirst. I prefer other types of flavors when enjoying a beer. I think when educating the patients, we need to explain that you will still get the desired effect in most cases, and because of that, you should enjoy something that has the flavor profile smell and look that speaks to you and controls their individual symptoms.
The overuse and misuse of opioid medications is major public health problem for which we don’t currently have an effective solution. Nearly 2.5 million Americans struggle with opioid addiction and over 100 people die every day from opioid overdose. Though controversial, more and more evidence is showing that medical cannabis could be a lifesaving component of a strategy to solve to this epidemic.
I recently had the opportunity to work with Sanjay Gupta on the fourth installment of his groundbreaking series on CNN, Weed 4: Pot vs. Pills, which aired last month, helping to explain how cannabis can be a solution to this epidemic.
Thousands of people have used cannabis to help them reduce and replace opioid medications, as demonstrated in numerous recent scientific papers and strongly supported by animal research.Like the reports in the scientific literature, I’ve seen the same positive results firsthand in my medical practices. From a survey of our patients in 2016, of the 542 opioid users who added cannabis:
Cannabis alone isn’t enough to completely solve this epidemic, but we know it can help replace the opioids, improve their safety, and increase adherence to addiction treatment programs.
It’s essential that everyone who is concerned with this problem learn about the potential solution that’s right within reach, so we can make this life-saving treatment available for those dependent on opioids. For this reason, I have created guidelines based on my experience treating chronic pain with cannabis in 8 years of clinical practice, conferring with my colleagues, and closely following the scientific literature. These guidelines apply to patients from any walk of life, including those with chronic pain, PTSD, addiction, non-medical use of opioids, etc.
In How to Use Cannabis to Reduce and Replace Opioid Medications, you’ll find the advantages of adding cannabis, complete with scientific references and specific dosing strategies for successfully relieving the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and enhancing the safety and medical benefits of opioids.The guide includes links to several of my free online cannabis education programs for both patients new to cannabis and experienced cannabis consumers, and other programs that can help improve your likelihood of successfully using cannabis to reduce and replace opioid medications.
This guide is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. It is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. I strongly suggest that patients:
Those who are most successful in using cannabis to replace opioid drugs always use a combination of pharmacologic and behavioral interventions. No medication is powerful enough to accomplish this goal on its own. By prioritizing and organizing the proper resources for sleep, exercise, counseling, support groups, and social support, you can ensure your success.If you decide to follow this path of treatment to reduce or replace medications, I want to learn from your experiences. Please share them with me here.https://www.leafly.com/news/health/using-cannabis-to-reduce-opioid-dependence
Pain is the number one reason people seek medical care—and quite possibly medical cannabis—and it affects more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. In the clinic, pain is often treated with opioid drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and Fentanyl. This has traditionally been a first-line treatment approach because they work—at first.
But opioid use has spiraled out of control and we find ourselves amidst an opioid epidemic that cost the U.S. $504 billion in 2015 alone, claims the lives of over 30,000 annually, and damages the quality of life of countless others. Clearly, we must do something to curb the growing opioid epidemic, but unfortunately, it appears that the federal government is ignoring one of its strongest solutions: cannabis.
We know that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain. We understand its ability to effectively substitute for opioid medication, and that CBD can combat opioid abuse by reducing its rewarding effects. Here, we’ll take a look at how cannabis enhances the effects of opioids—an interaction worth exploring in an era plagued by opioid dependence and overdose.
The original natural painkiller, opium, dates back to 3,400 B.C. in Southwestern Asia. Cannabis followed a half a century later. It’s unclear if they were ever used together to treat pain, but consumers would have found profound pain relief from low doses of both drugs when used together.Science is revealing that the cannabinoid and opioid systems can work synergistically to achieve greater pain relief. This interaction becomes clear when you consume super low-doses of THC or opioids; on their own, these low doses do not relieve pain, but in combination, they do.
For instance, a recent double-blinded, placebo-controlled study (the gold-standard in clinical research) investigated the effects of low-dose cannabis (5.6% THC) and the opioid drug, oxycodone (2.5 mg) on pain thresholds in human subjects. Neither THC nor oxycodone independently affected pain, but when used in combination, participants were able to withstand higher levels of painful stimuli consistent with substantial pain reductions.To achieve these pain-relieving effects, could THC’s primary target, cannabinoid type I (CB1) receptors, and opioid receptors be working together? There’s evidence that they do.Take mice that have been genetically engineered to not express CB1 receptors (that’s right, you can create mice without CB1 receptors!). These mice enjoy nicotine, amphetamines, cocaine, and they’ll eagerly press a lever to self-administer these drugs. But they won’t do it for the opioid drug, heroin. Normal mice do, but not the mice without CB1 receptors. This tells us that CB1 receptors are important in the euphoric effects of heroin. Extending these findings to pain, blocking the activity of CB1 receptors weakensmorphine’s ability to reduce pain.
So CB1 receptors are important in opioid drugs’ ability to make you feel good and reduce pain.These are two critical elements driving the opioid epidemic and an integral component of the pain experience. After all, pain is subjective. The severity of pain is determined by numerous factors including:
Opioid medications predominately target two of these factors. First, they weaken the strength of the pain signals from the site of injury to your brain, and second, they improve your mood by boosting levels of the pleasurable dopamine chemical.
These dual effects make stopping opioid use difficult, especially when repeated opioid use leads to long-term brain changes that reduce the number of opioid receptors in the brain and body. Lower numbers of opioid receptors enable stronger pain signals to enter your brain and reduces the levels of mood-boosting dopamine. This is the phenomenon of tolerance, which leads to increased opioid consumption, the transition to stronger drugs, and increased risk for overdose and death.
Pain signals begin at the site of injury, then make their way into the spinal cord and travel up to the brain. After exiting the spinal cord, they activate brain cells in critical pain processing regions including the periaqueductal gray, thalamus, and cortex. If you were to design a pain medication, you’d try to (a) weaken pain signals as they enter and exit the spinal cord and (b) dampen their effect in the brain.CB1 receptors and opioid receptors, specifically the µ-opioid receptors that modulate pain, are found expressed together in the spinal cord, the periaqueductal gray, and the brain’s reward centers. That is, you find these two receptors together in all the places that are important in pain relief.
Once activated by either opioids or cannabinoids, they share many common downstream signaling features. In fact, if you activate one receptor, it affects how the other one responds. This has led many to believe that the CB1 and µ-opioid receptors physically interact. The consequence of this interaction depends on where in the brain they’re found, but in some cases, it means that their co-activation by low amounts of drug leads to a stronger effect than what would be predicted by activating either CB1 or opioid receptors on their own.While the physical interaction between CB1 and opioid receptors is likely important for the pain-relieving effects of cannabis and opioids, cannabis can enhance the effect of opioids by also increasing the body’s endogenous opioid levels, themselves. The effect is reciprocal; THC can increase opioid levels to help relieve pain, and using drugs to boost the body’s own opioid levels enhances THC’s pain-relieving effects.
So, taken together, cannabis can increase opioid’s pain-relieving effects by modulating opioid-receptor signaling directly through physical interaction between CB1 and opioid receptors, and by increasing the body’s own opioid levels.
THC’s other primary target, the CB2 receptor, can also interact with the opioid system but these effects are less well-studied. The greatest evidence for CB2’s effects on opioid signaling occurs at the site of injury, where activating CB2 receptors stimulates the release of endogenous opioids to help dampen the pain where it starts. As discussed in part one of this series, CB2 receptors play a large role in regulating inflammation.https://www.leafly.com/news/health/how-opioids-marijuana-work-together-for-pain-relief
Chronic pain can be an incredibly debilitating condition. For many who live with it on a daily or near daily basis, the condition can be so oppressive, it affects other parts of their lives, impacting their mood, health, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, many treatment options are only nominally effective. Worse, commonly prescribed drugs like opioids are highly addictive and potentially toxic; 28,000 people died from an opioid overdose in 2014, more than any other year in history. No wonder a growing number of the estimated one in five Americans who suffer from chronic pain are turning to cannabis as an alternative.
While many people believe cannabis to be an effective treatment, what does the science say? Is it really more effective and safer than other drugs? Fortunately, when it comes to cannabis and cannabinoid-based formulations, chronic pain is one of the best studied conditions. However, the causes of chronic pain are diverse. Moreover, chronic pain can be nociceptive or neuropathic. Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation. Neuropathic pain is caused by nervous system damage or malfunction.
Everyone’s biology is unique and will respond differently to cannabis depending on a number of variables, including what type of chronic pain they experience, dosage, strain, and administration method (vaping, edibles, tinctures, etc.).
In a comprehensive, Harvard-led systematic review of 28 studies examining the efficacy of exo-cannabinoids (e.g. synthetic formulations or cannabinoids from the plant) to treat various pain and medical issues, the author concluded, “Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high quality evidence.”Of the studies reviewed, six out of six general chronic pain studies and five out of five neuropathic pain studies found a significant improvement in symptoms among patients. Notably, while most of the studies were limited to synthetic preparations of cannabinoids, three of the five neuropathic pain studies investigated “smoked” cannabis, while two examined an oral spray preparation.
Dr. Donald Abrams, a professor and Chief of Hematology/Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, supports cannabis to treat chronic pain, suggesting the following:
“Given the safety profile of cannabis compared to opioids, cannabis appears to be far safer. However, if a patient is already using opioids, I would urge them not to make any drastic changes to their treatment protocol without close supervision by their physician.”
North America has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Prescriptions have increased 400% percent since 1999, and with this trend a shocking increase in fatal overdoses has followed. Every day, 40 people now die from prescription narcotic overdoses. Many also move on to heroin because it is cheaper, easier to find, and more potent.Could cannabis be part of the solution? Quite possibly. An increasing number of studies provide evidence that many patients can use cannabis instead of opioids to treat their pain, or they can significantly reduce their reliance on opioids.
“We are learning that the higher the dose of opioids people are taking, the higher the risk of death from overdose,” said Dr. Daniel Clauw, one of the study’s researchers and a professor of pain management anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “[The] magnitude of reduction in our study is significant enough to affect an individual’s risk of accidental death from overdose.”Kevin Ameling, a chronic pain patient who now works for a Colorado-based non-profit cannabis research advocacy group called the IMPACT Network, is a success story. Ameling believes cannabis saved him from a life of dependency on prescription drugs. In 2007, he suffered a severe fall and was prescribed a cocktail of prescription drugs that included OxyContin, Tramadol, Clonazepam, and Lexapro. The pain became so severe that he had to progressively increase dosage while the OxyContin became less and less effective.
Living in Colorado, he decided to try medical marijuana in 2013. He claims he achieved results immediately and was able to significantly reduce his prescription intake. He cut his OxyContin dosage by 50%, reduced Clonazepam from 3 mg to 0.5 mg, Lexapro from 30 mg to 5 mg, and Tramadol from 300 mg to 75 mg.“It’s hard to express in words what a life changer medical marijuana has been for me,” said Ameling. “I was becoming increasingly worried about having to take higher doses of prescription drugs that can be highly addictive and toxic. Not only was I able to cut back significantly, with cannabis I can often skip the OxyContin with no adverse effects, something I couldn’t do before.”
Ameling added, “Everyone will respond differently. For me, I found smoking can worsen my symptoms, while low dose edibles work the best.”No doubt, the chemical composition of the strain you choose and how you consume will affect the outcome. It may take a little trial and error before you find the most effective cannabis strain, dose, and preferred method of administration for your pain. Most importantly, if you are currently using opioids, exercise extreme caution. A change in treatment protocol should be done under medical supervision.
And, finally, heed the advice of Dr. Michael Hart, head physician at Marijuana for Trauma in Canada: “When considering cannabis to treat chronic pain, the adage ‘less is more’ rings true. Patients seem to find more relief in indica strains which are higher in THC than most sativa or hybridstrains. What we’ve found is that these strains can be highly effective in low to moderate doses, but could actually make pain worse in higher doses. So it’s important to start low, and titrate up as appropriate.”https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-for-chronic-pain-vs-opioids
Turns out, the nose did know.
Cannabis lovers the world over are missing out on optimized highs because they don’t know enough about terpenes. We’ve all been lured toward high percentages of THC—the main active ingredient in cannabis. But is THC the main ingredient?
More and more people are learning that title may go to the terpenes, the molecules responsible for cannabis’ smells and tastes. There are over 150 of them like terpineol, linalool, and pinene, and they have measurable effectson mood, all on their own.
Many have heard of the cannabinoids THC and CBD, but terpenes are a huge part of the chemical fingerprint of cannabis—its chemotype. New data is augmenting our old folk knowledge of strains, families and classes of cannabis like indica, sativa and hybrid.
Science is confirming that you have to look beyond the THC score of a plant to tell its true effects. If THC is the engine, terpenes are the steering wheel and tires.
“Nobody likes a person without personality, same for weed,” said Ed Rosenthal, leading cannabis horticulture author. He co-wrote the 2017 crop science book Marijuana Harvest. [Full Disclosure: Marijuana Harvest is also co-written by David Downs]
“Terpenes are absolutely the driving force behind the diverse effects of cannabis,” said Stephen Rechif, a San Francisco dispensary operator of The Bloom Room and a veteran cultivator. “When you break it down to a chemical level, there is much more evidence of the importance of terpenes over the traditional indica vs. sativa conversation.”
“Experienced cannabis enthusiasts always lead the with nose and there’s a good reason for that—you’re much more likely to enjoy a strain that is pleasing to your nose rather than going by only THC potency. That’s the effects of the terpenes and that’s what makes every strain of cannabis special.”
The most award-winning strains aren’t often the highest-THC, but they all have riotous terps.
“Since 2010, when The Emerald Cup began testing, the winner has never had the highest THC. It’s all about the ensemble of terpenes and cannabinoids,” said Nikki Lastreto and Swami Chaitanya of Mendocino County, judges in in the world largest outdoor organic cannabis competition since it began in 2003.
This week, Leafly celebrates terpenes and the science behind them with Terpene Week, where we present never before seen terpene data and dig into how our knowledge of cannabis is changing.
We also arm you, good reader, with the info to dial in the exact cannabis effects you want, and avoid the ones you don’t.
Turns out, it’s got a lot to do with the terps! So clear your nostrils and get ready to take more than a whiff. It’s time to inhale deeply.
Cannabis is known to relieve pain, but pain can arise for a variety of reasons which makes choosing the right cannabis product tricky. Knowing which cannabinoids (e.g. THC, CBD) have been shown to treat different pain types is useful information to take with you on your next dispensary visit.The different types of pain fall into three general categories:
Since each type of pain has a different origin, each type has an optimal treatment strategy.
Pain results from the coordinated activation of brain cells. While these brain regions lead to the sensation of pain, they can also modulate the strength of the pain signals. In some instances, you can have physical injury (i.e., nociceptive pain) without the sensation of pain (imagine a car accident victim who can walk around pain-free in the initial moments after the accident).But the opposite is also possible, where you can have pain in the absence of physical injury (i.e., central pain). This highlights the importance that factors like mood, context, and attention-to-injury play in the sensation of pain, which can also be used to inform optimal cannabis-based treatment strategies.
Nociceptive pain (i.e., inflammatory pain) results from tissue damage. It is subjectively described as sharp, aching, or throbbing pain that follows physical damage. When you get injured, the damaged tissues recruit numerous inflammatory and immune cells to repair the damage. These cellsrelease proteins and chemicals that activate receptors on nerves that make their way into the spinal cord and up to the brain, causing the sensation of pain.
Nociceptive pain can be weakened by reducing the pain signals at the site of injury by blocking the inflammatory process itself or the signals they elicit. Another strategy is to dampen their effects as they make their way up the spinal cord to the brain. Cannabis can target both of these processes to reduce pain.The abundant cannabinoids, THC and CBD, can reduce pain at the site of injury. Both have potent anti-inflammatory effects. THC’s anti-inflammatory properties are primarily driven through activation of CB2receptors on immune cells which dampens the body’s pain-inducing response to injury. CBD also reduces inflammation by blocking inflammatory mediators and shifting the activation macrophage repair cells from the pro-inflammatory type to the anti-inflammatory type. Indeed, the benefits of THC and CBD on relieving nociceptive pain have been well-documented in rodent models of inflammation and in human clinical trials.
CBD also has a host of targets beyond the endogenous cannabinoid system(ECS) that can relieve pain. Of particular relevance, CBD enhances the activity of receptors for the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. Through this inhibitory effect, CBD can dampen pain signals as they make their way into the brain.When you’re feeling good, you’re less likely to focus on the things that hurt. Not only does a positive mood shift your attention away from the things that bother you, but it can also directly reduce the strength of pain signals that enter the brain. It’s a mind-over-matter phenomenon and it can be powerful when it comes to pain, at least at the beginning.
Over time, it becomes more difficult to achieve the positive feelings associated with cannabis consumption and weaken its pain-relieving effects. This is the consequence of tolerance to THC’s activation of CB1 receptors, which can be mitigated by CBD. Consequently, to retain pain-relieving efficacy while reducing tolerance risk, one should consider balanced THC and CBD products for long-term pain treatment.CBD can also improve mood by activating serotonin receptors, which has anxiety- and stress-reducing effects. Since depression and anxiety are common among those in chronic pain, the mood-improving effects of CBD makes it a valuable addition in pain therapy.
Neuropathic pain is different from nociceptive pain in that arises from damage to the body’s nervous system. And it’s quite common. Neuropathic pain affects 7-10% of the population and can result from forceful injury, pinching, or stabbing that damages nerves. Disease is also a common underlying cause of neuropathic pain. For example, in multiple sclerosis, the insulation of nerve cells breaks down which leads to neuropathic pain. Other diseases that cause neuropathic pain include Parkinson’s disease, HIV, diabetes, and shingles, to name a few. Chemotherapy is an additional common cause of neuropathic pain due to its destructive effects on many types of cells in the body.
Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat because it doesn’t result from inflammation that can be targeted by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. However, whether it’s due to disease, amputation, or chemotherapy, many are turning to cannabis for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. Cannabis is turning out to be a promising treatment option, and its benefits have been observed in both cancer and non-cancer-related forms of neuropathic pain across rodent models and human clinical studies.CBD-rich cannabis is protective against the development of chemotherapy-induced pain through activating serotonin receptors. Importantly, CBD is protective without impairing the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug to destroy the cancer, making it a potentially promising prophylactic strategy for chemotherapy patients.
Sciatica is an example of a non-chemotherapy type of pain in which there’s a pinching of the sciatic nerve that causes pain in the lower back and down the leg. In sciatica, there’s an increase in CB1 receptors, that when activated, reduce pain. The common benefits of activating CB1 receptors in both chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy types of neuropathic pain suggest that cannabis’ can relieve neuropathic pain by weakening the strength of pain signals in the spinal cord and their processing in the brain. Like with nociceptive pain, over-activation of CB1 receptors with THC can eventually lead to weaker effects. Therefore, balanced THC and CBD cannabis would be more efficacious in the long-term.
Central pain has recently emerged as a catch-all term for types of pain that arise from dysfunction to the nervous system. While sometimes central pain can result from injury, it often arises in the absence of any known cause. As a result, it can be particularly hard to treat. Fibromyalgia is a classic example of central pain which arises from dysfunction in the way pain signals make their way to the brain and are processed. Like other types of central pain, the origin of fibromyalgia is largely unknown.
Because of the diversity in central pain, there are few studies investigating the benefits of cannabis in this pain category. However, the most well-established benefits of cannabis in treating central pain is for fibromyalgia. In a study of 26 fibromyalgia patients, all reported benefits from cannabis use and half stopped taking their other medications. This suggests that cannabis can provide much-needed relief for those with fibromyalgia and possibly other central pain conditions of unknown origin.
An increasing number of studies are demonstrating that cannabis is an effective pain treatment with fewer side effects than many alternatives. However, some reports still claim only “weak” evidence for cannabis’ pain-relieving benefits. Some of these negative effects may stem from the use of high-THC/low-CBD cannabis strains, which are known to induce more adverse side effects and weaken in efficacy with tolerance development.While high-THC products may be effective pain relievers initially, they don’t represent an optimal pain relief strategy. Instead, consider balanced THC/CBD products, or CBD-rich products as they may provide better long-term treatment for chronic pain conditions.https://www.leafly.com/news/health/how-marijuana-relieves-different-types-of-pain
At the close of 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on the federal government to rethink marijuana’s classification as it pertains to medical research. While the Surgeon General did not go so far as to condone legalization for recreational use, he did say that medically, marijuana should be studied, noting, “While I support local solutions to help solve our national public health challenges, they must be led by science driven policy. Currently, NIH funded research on marijuana is pressing forward and we are making progress in studying marijuana and its impact on the human brain, body, and behavior as well as on our communities. We should continue to seek ways to encourage and enable research to best inform policies regarding the potential medicinal properties of marijuana.”
Because the cannabis plant is made up of hundreds of different chemical entities, there is much to learn about the array of chemical compounds– individually and in combination– that could provide medical treatment across many health states. The FDA has already approved cannabinoid oil and other derivatives of the plant for treatment of everything from anxiety to epilepsy. Further, as the nation faces an opioid epidemic, discussions surrounding non-opioid pain relief options are growing around Capitol Hill, with cannabinoids at the top of the list.While the Surgeon General is right in his position on medical research, the move would serve other purposes as well. The change he proposed could be significant for justice system reforms and an economic triumph for the U.S. His belief– and that of researchers around the world– is that the current U.S. classification of marijuana inhibits research for medical advancements that include cannabis and cannabinoids, with the U.S. falling behind in both knowledge and financing. Not only are countries such as China and Israel lapping the U.S. in medical innovations and research, but G7 countries like Canada are earning billions of dollars by having legalized cannabis. For example, in the latter six months of 2018, Canada’s market has run wild with IPOs, including American-based cannabis companies flooding the market.“The relevance of the Surgeon General’s call to reschedule cannabis cannot be understated,” says Dr. Mark Rosenfeld, CEO of ANANDA Scientific. “The chemistry found only in cannabis plants can provide relief across an incredible array of adverse health states. It does this with minimal side effects and with the prospect of being eminently cost-effective in its use.” He goes on to explain that, "The medicinal use of cannabis today has its roots in the 1960s, when Israeli scientists began studies on its unique chemistry. A government program for administering medical cannabis has been in place there for 12 years, and doctors do not hesitate to encourage its use as an effective pharmaceutical alternative. Meanwhile, the United States remains regrettably behind because of its draconian and antiquated anti-cannabis laws. In no small way due to the regulatory and legal nightmare defining the situation for medical cannabis in the U.S., the science supporting its medicinal efficacy remains tentative. But reversing the excessively harsh and prohibitive laws for cannabis in the United States remains essential for making cannabis chemistry real human medicine. It is important to realize that states have approved the medicinal use of cannabis through legislative processes, not scientific or medical ones. That has gotten in the way of scientists determining with certainty the therapeutic impact of cannabis and thus of patients wishing to beneficially use it.Billions On The TableThe Surgeon General’s public comments come alongside a congressional report released this week entitled, “The National Cannabis Economy,” highlighting economic benefits of legalized cannabis at the state and national levels. The report concludes that this year alone more than $11 billion will be earned by the marijuana industry, and that sales will reach $23 billion by 2022 due to, “job creation, more tax revenue, and better patient care.”
Garyn Angel, CEO of MagicalButter.com, an American company that has seen the global market leave the U.S. in the dust, adds that from an economic perspective, “As cannabis legalization moves forward globally, we are leaving a huge market opportunity on the table here in the U.S.— there are billions of dollars to be made in research, innovation, cultivation, product development and retail sales.” He claims, “By reclassifying cannabis, the U.S. could potentially capture millions in tax revenue, bolstering our economy and encouraging funding of scientific innovation in the process. Every day that we aren’t working to lead the charge in this new “green rush,” we risk being left behind as the global market grows more sophisticated.”In June, Canada became the second nation in the world after Uruguay (first G7 nation) to fully legalize cannabis. The result has been global surges in stocks and private sector deals with pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis to research and distribute medical marijuana.In addition to sales and tax revenue being left on the table, the U.S. is also trailing when it comes to R&D, as well as intellectual property (IP). Countries like China and Israel, where federal funds are appropriated for cannabis research, are seeing vigorous innovations that could shift the entire global market for pain relief within the world’s aging population alone. Not to mention medical breakthroughs for rare and chronic diseases across the life span. China, which has become the world’s powerhouse in research, holds more than half of the world’s 600 cannabis-related patents. And Israel currently has more than 110 clinical trials involving cannabis.The DEA Is In The WayThe U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs into five distinct categories or “schedules” depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. According to the website, “The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes– Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential– Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse.”Schedule I drugs, substances and chemicals–like marijuana– are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use. Further, they are considered to have a very high potential for abuse. In comparison to marijuana, other drugs in this category are heroin, lacid diethylamide (LSD), 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone and peyote. Which begs the question how the FDA can have already approved cannabis for medical use, and yet the chemical stays with the likes of LSD and heroin.Moreover, Schedule II drugs (which are considered less dangerous and less addictive) include the likes of substances that many cannabinoid compounds could prevent individuals from becoming addicted to, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Adderall and Ritalin. Making it hard to believe that even a federal agency classifies marijuana as meaningfully more dangerous than meth.However, in recent months, the DEA has released a Final Order rescheduling FDA-approved cannabis-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) with no more than 0.1% THC under Schedule V. The decision came after pressure from both the FDA and HHS, but has since gone in circles between the agencies.But the biggest step forward might be taken with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Buried in the 1,000-plus-page document (Section 7415) are removal of hemp from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), and redefining how extracts, cannabinoids and derivates of CBD can be legal. Despite this progress, many regulatory questions remain unanswered, and the growing, selling, purchasing and research associated with various components of plants will come under much scrutiny in coming months.https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2019/01/07/surgeon-general-believes-its-high-time-for-marijuana-reclassification/#354506645686
The cannabis community could learn sooner than later just how enthusiastic the 116th Congress is about changing the marijuana laws in this country. A piece of legislation submitted last week designed to legalize marijuana nationwide like alcohol could be the document that shows advocates just how serious Capitol Hill is about ending prohibition once and for all. There is also a distinct possibility the bill will go down in history like a flaming piece of legislative hype, a waste of paper the same as other wildly-hyped cannabis proposals of the past. Every Congress needs one of those, right?
Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, one of the founding members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, managed to secure a fair amount of press last week with the introduction of what is being referred to as the “420” bill. The measure intends to eliminate marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow the herb to become an unshackled product of American commerce. It’s a good bill and, more than that, it is representative of where cannabis legalization is heading in the United States.The actual title of the proposal, however, is the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,” only it was filed with the sigil of the stoner culture (House Resolution 420) as a tongue in cheek nod to its stoned supporters. And why not? Although the cannabis trade has been working for years to disassociate itself from marijuana stereotypes, the scene continues to embrace the 420 reference as though it were a new religion. It is celebrated with much fanfare every April 20.
There are some who believe that 2019 is the year that cannabis reform takes hold in the halls of Congress. Not only have Democrats gained back control of the House of Representatives, but this partial overthrow of Republican domination has spawned the largest showing of cannabis support ever in that chamber.By all accounts, this should mean immense success this year in the House when it comes to approving legislation like Blumenauer’s 420 bill. But will it? Well, probably not how you think.
Even with a new and improved Congressional Cannabis Caucus (CCC) in place, some kind of miracle would have to unfold for all the bricks to fall in 2019. Members of the CCC seem to believe that the best shot for legal weed in the coming months is by hitting it from the angle of state’s rights.“Since the initial launch of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus we’ve seen an exponential growth in interest, legislation, and membership many would not have expected,” Representative Don Young said in a recent statement. “The idea of States’ Rights has been a central tenet of this movement and one that I believe will ultimately carry the day,” he added.So, the most likely scenario, if anything related to permanent marijuana reform is to get pushed through Congress this year, is the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act – or something like it. In a nutshell, this piece of legislation would allow states to legalize marijuana without the threat of federal interference. It would not, however, legalize the leaf in the eyes of the federal government. For whatever reason, this is the bill that the cannabis industry has decided to get behind. It has become so desperate to set up a sliver of a shield to make financial institutions more comfortable about taking its money that it’s willing to settle for a steaming pile of anything just to claim a win. And let’s not forget that President Trump said last year that he would “probably” sign it if it crossed his desk. So, rather than push for a more appropriate bill – one that actually deals with weed the same as alcohol and tobacco – a select few industry peeps are out there tossing money at lawmakers in exchange for a shot at mediocrity.
Seriously, a team of pot lobbyists is reportedly in Washington D.C. right now trying to persuade lawmakers to get behind this bill. “The STATES Act, it’s a bipartisan bill that the president has said he will sign into law," Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) CEO Neal Levine told The Hill. "So it’s the one piece of legislation from our intel that we think we have a legitimate chance to pass into law that would fundamentally address all of the major issues that the cannabis industry faces today.”If that statement doesn’t ooze desperation, I don’t know what does.Instead of chasing some half-assed legislation, the CTF should be pressuring lawmakers to sign on with Blumenauer’s 420 bill – or a measure containing that kind of meat. Then and only then will marijuana legalization start to shape up nationwide. It’s the most logical way to open the doors for cannabis and allow it to become recognized as a legitimate part of the American marketplace while, at the same time, catapulting the cannabis trade to heights that it would struggle to achieve under a bill designed to reiterate state’s rights and put fraidy-cat financial corporations at ease.But the outcome is up to Congress. This will be the year that cannabis advocates learn just how many House Democrats are really on the side of pot reform. They will find out soon enough if the issue is going to be met with broader acceptance or whether it will continue to be sandbagged inside the same political cesspool that it has been all of these years. Within the next few months, true colors will be shown.Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner said last year that the votes would be there when it comes time to put weed on the national stage, but as far as “when,” all he would say was that “we won’t be waiting five years.”But if cannabis advocates don’t hear substantial chatter on marijuana legalization by summer – regardless of whether it is the Blumenauer’s 420 bill or something styled like the STATES Act -- rest assured the following months will be full of let downs and disappointment. Somebody still has to convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that this is the right thing to do before it has a shot at going the distance. Representative Blumenauer said last year that if the issue can gain substantial traction in the House, it will be easier to get the Senate onboard. So, it’s really up to the Democrats to get the ball rolling. One thing is certain if they don’t budge on this issue, nobody will. At least not until President Trump makes federal legalization a part of his reelection campaign.It could happenhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeadams/2019/01/14/cannabis-advocates-will-learn-sooner-rather-than-later-how-congress-will-handle-marijuana/#5c5c52e87122
This day is for all the Seniors 55+ come in and get 15% of your purchase.