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Is CBD The Solution For The Opioid Epidemic?

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Tennessee Hemp Laws

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Is CBD the solution for the Opioid Epidemic?

Science is working on that answer. Over the past two years, U.S. medical community has been studying and publishing reports on the affects of Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most abundant component of cannabis.  The speed of the scientific results, is influencing the pace of the legalization of the marijuana.

In 2015, the National Library of Medicine published a report about cannabidiol as an intervention for addictive behaviors. The results of the study proved that CBD’s anxiolytic properties and minimal adverse side effects support its potential viability as a treatment option for a variety of symptoms associated with drug addiction. However, significant research is still needed as CBD investigations published to date primarily relate to its effects on opioid drugs, and CBD’s efficacy at different phases of the abuse cycle for different classes of addictive substances remain largely understudies. Understandably research takes time.

In 2017, medical researchers found that cannabidiol blocks opioid reward suggests that this compound may be useful in addiction treatment settings. This is great news since the President Trump declared opioid epidemic a National emergency.  Because now cannabis has a future of being federally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

That’s what the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is waiting for. In their resource guide for 2017,  it states that there have been no deaths from a cannabis overdose. However the naturally made “drug” is still a Schedule I substance, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Apparently fake weed is okay but the nature made product is illegal and could land you in jail.  Marinol, a synthetic version of THC, the active ingredient found in the marijuana plant, can be prescribed for the control of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of cancer and to stimulate appetite in AIDS patients. Marinol is a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It’s ironic that a plant  is illegal and a schedule I drug while a doctor can prescribe a man made substance  that mimics the natural product.

The DEA was making an effort to acquire their own research on the plant. Last year the justice agency started accepting applications for organizations to grow for sanctioned studies. The agency received 25 applications from interested cultivators, according to DEA spokeswoman Katherine Pfaff. All of those applications are still being processed, she said, with no estimate for when any decisions might be made.  There won’t be any decision made soon.

Earlier this year Attorney General Jeff Sessions said,  “Dosages can be constructed in a way that might be beneficial, I acknowledge that, but if you smoke marijuana, for example, where you have no idea how much THC you’re getting, it’s probably not a good way to administer a medicinal amount. So forgive me if I’m a bit dubious about that.” He does have a point. However effectively blocking the Drug Enforcement Administration from taking action on more than two dozen requests to grow marijuana to use in research is not a proactive solution towards the legalization of cannabis.  Especially since  only the University of Mississippi is approved by the government to grow and conduct research on cannabis. In my opinion, you need multiple organizations conducting studies on weed and compare results. That way to see if results can be replicated.

Mother Nature put things on this earth for a reason. It seems like politicians are government agencies are still figuring out what that reason is for the cannabis plant and how they can make money off it. After all, money makes the world go round.



Hawaii’s medicinal marijuana economy is off to a rocky start. 

Medicial Marijuana has been legal in Hawaii since 2000. However access to the medicinal cannabis has been a challenge for everyone involved.
Fast forward seventeen years later. The state of Hawaii certified and opened its first marijuana testing lab on July 31st, 2017. A week later, the state’s first medicical marijuana dispensary (Maui Grown Therapies) was able to sell the cannabis flower to 329 medicinal marijuana card holders. Now, the state’s first medicinal cannabis dispensary has to close its doors for two days to give the state’s lab division a chance to unclog a backlog of products for Medical marijuana patients.

The summer of 2017,  has been a very productive year for the state’s medicinal marijuana rules and guidelines in Hawaii. At the end of June the plant count increased per resistered patient, more conditions were eligible for medicinal marijuana solutions, caregivers can grow for patients, and a new grow site limit was established. During the month of July, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) were added to the list of qualifying caregivers to prescribe medicinal marijuana and Department of Health’s Administrative Rules for the Medical Use of Cannabis were established.

While the government was making strides, potential medical marijuana business owners have been waiting potentially to open after paying hefty fees to get their dispensary licenses. Business Owners have spent upwards of $75,000, up front, and have had to maintain their licenses, with hefty six figure fees, while the state was getting their product testing lab situated and passing legal rules and regulations.

Maui Grown Therapies has been the only dispensary that has paid the fees and upfront costs to obtain and maintain their dispensary license and actually open. Now they are forced to close for two days after running out of product during their first week of opening because the state’s testing lab is overwhelmed.  It will be interesting to see how the medical cannabis industry in Hawaii  will overcome these challenges as the industry grows.





Tennessee Cannabis 

High Times recently reported about TN Senators being scared to pass a medicinal marijuana bill. When it comes to political views on the cannabis plant, Tennessee has a unique one. A few of the states major cities (Nashville and Memphis) decriminalized marijuana. It didn’t take long for TN Legislature to pass a bill that would bar cities in Tennessee from decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. At the same time, the state was accepting their third year of applications for an industrial hemp grower license and left room in the guidelines for marijuana to be included. To some it may be understandable for the Senate to be reluctant to pass a bill legalizing marijuana. They have passed bills legalizing the Hemp industry. And the results are lacking however there is room for growth. After all, The growing Hemp pilot program is still in its infancy.

In 2015, the state had about 50 farmers sign up to grow the crop for the first time in more than 700 years. In the Congressional research  2017 Report Titled, ‘Service Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity” , it states that TN had 41 licensed Hemp farmers in 2016. The number of hemp grow licenses issued for 2017 has yet to be announced.

Politicians could be waiting on more research to make a decision for passing a pro marijuana bill based on demand for hemp. In the 3 years that the hemp pilot program has been running, they have had a flux of applicants for a grow Hemp licenses. Tennesseans have an opportunity to actively be influential in their reps decisions on hemp laws and legalizing marijuana.

The best way is to start consuming more Hemp products. It’s all about supply and demand. According to the 1850 U.S. Census, Tennessee produced 454 tons of dew-rotted hemp and 141 tons of water-rotted hemp. If history has taught us anything, it’s that the cannabis plant can thrive in the state. Research has proven That hemp products can be beneficial.

One of the main reason why hemp’s cultivation environment is so important is because of hemp’s properties of absorbing contaminants from the soil while it grows. So if the soil it was grown on is not good, clean soil, then that plant might contain high levels of lead or mercury. In order for hemp farmers to keep their license, their needs to be tested. Since a plant sample is already being taken, it would be possible to test for other things besides THC levels. According to an industry insider, there have been instances where children have almost died taking hemp extracts that were high in lead. Essentially, “those companies have given the rest of the CBD industry a black eye because they were more interested in profiting off the sick instead of creating a quality product and testing it.”Tennessee is all about producing high quality product that is healthy to consume.

Now is the time for Tennesseans to create a demand for Hemp products. This will Show the representatives that they don’t have anything to fear. If the state is making money on Hemp, the government is more likely to expand the laws surround the cannabis plant.