I recently had the opportunity to try out a great new high-CBD topical cream called Liberty Lotion. It reportedly achieves transdermal absorption deep into dermal layers through a proprietary formula that ensures maximum CBD bio-availability.
I found Liberty Lotion to be a very qualityhigh-CBD lotion. I tried Liberty Lotion for several weeks and found it helpful with my own joint inflammation, aches and pains. I have several fractures and disc bulge in my neck and back – from my time when I was injured as a sworn police officer. I personally found Liberty Lotion quite effective in easing my neck and shoulder pain.
Dad & Dudes Breweria created a huge buzz last year at the Great American Beer Festival when it introduced Sativa IPA, the first commercial beer made with cannabis oil. Although the hemp extract used in the beer isn’t the psychoactive kind — meaning it can’t get you high — people still lined up to try an ounce or two, based on curiosity, Colorado’s legal environment and pro-cannabis beliefs.
This year, the Parker brewery’s packaged-beer arm, Dudes Brews, will bring cannabis-infused beers back to the festival, October 6-8, in a big way, this time with a new name and plans to distribute them in Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and other states. The line of is called General Washington’s Secret Stash, which Dudes Brews says is a nod to our country’s “most famous cannabis-growing rebel leader.” (Washington, leader of the revolutionary forces, later grew cannabis for its textile uses.)
The spark? The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau had given Dad & Dudes the country’s first federal approval for a non-THC cannabis-infused beer. The process took about a year, says brewery co-owner Mason Hembree, since the TTB required a thorough analysis of the ingredients and the recipe before it gave formula-approval for Dudes’ patent-pending process and its beer. (A spokesman for the TTB didn’t return a calls seeking confirmation or comment.)
“It took forever,” Hembree says, adding that the brewery had to prove that there was no THC in the beer, submit it to variety of lab testing, and explain the process and the source of the hemp.
“The non-psychoactive compounds are so important and have so many benefits,” he says. “Part of the goal — is bigger than just creating a cannabis beer. My partners, my dad, our investors, they are following suit with some of my personal beliefs, which is that cannabis should be removed from scheduling.”
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Sativa IPA won’t get you high, but it will almost certainly cause a healthy buzz at the Great American Beer Festival next month. The beer, made by Dad & Dudes Breweria in Aurora, is infused with cannabidiol oil, a non-psychoactive hemp extract. Although there are several hemp beers made in the United States, this may the first beer made with CBD.
The brewery, which already makes an IPA called Dank, is also brewing a stronger CBD-infused beer called Indica Double IPA, which will only be available at the brewery. The two beers are part of the company’s new Canna-Beer Series, which was started as a way to acknowledge and support Colorado’s booming marijuana industry. “I think beer and cannabis should should be treated equally,” says Dad & Dudes co-founder Mason Hembree, who adds that he is a longtime supporter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “Alcohol has also gone through its fair share of prohibition and misunderstanding. And I think Colorado is leading the way nationally when it comes to reform, and I hope we keep moving in that direction.”
Nevertheless, Sativa IPA and Indica Double IPA – which are named for the two species of marijuana that cause an energetic or mellow high, respectively – won’t contain pot. Rather, they’ll be made with a large amount of cannabidiol, which is extracted from the cannabis plant and sold by companies in Colorado and California.
“This is a 100 percent legal product nationwide,” Hembree says. “It wasn’t an easy process. I have been working on this for like two years, and we had been pussyfooting it, for lack of better words, until finally I said, you know, let’s just do it.”
Sativa, at 5 percent ABV, and Indica, at 10 percent ABV, will be brewed with the same piney, resinous hops that Dad & Dudes used for Dank, West Coast varieties that have an aroma reminiscent of marijuana. The CBD itself doesn’t impart much flavor.
Commercial brewers can’t make marijuana-infused beers, even in Colorado, since breweries are licensed by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and pot is still illegal nationwide. Making pot-infused beer is also cost-prohibitive for now.
A few other breweries have run into trouble with the TTB – which also has to approve most beer labels on cans, bottles and kegs – for giving their beers pot-themed names. The most famous examples are California-based Lagunitas Brewing’s Kronik, which was changed to Censored, and Michigan-based Dark Horse Brewing’s Smells Like Weed IPA, which became Smells Like a Safety Meeting IPA.
While most brewers have shied away from direct ties to the pot industry in Colorado, a few, like Oskar Blues and Ska Brewing, make clear references to pot either in their marketing materials, their packaging or in small promotions. Oskar Blues, in particular, has released a couple of beers that are drenched in marijuana-related themes, like Pinner Throwback Session IPA and Oskar Blues “Blue Dream” IPA.
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Marijuana has long been known to bring on the munchies, so you may be surprised to learn that certain marijuana strains can actually reduce your appetite and help balance your blood sugar levels.
Rates of obesity and diabetes are at epidemic proportions
– A new diagnosis of diabetes is made EVERY 30 SECONDS! – Diabetes can cut 8 1/2 years off your life span.* * Per a study by the National Academy on an Aging Society
Yes, it’s true – pot can give you the munchies and root you to the couch. But that’s not all marijuana strains and its definitely not the whole story to how pot can effect you. As it turns out, marijuana is a far more complicated and nuanced plant and its phytochemistry is every bit as intricate and complex.
Did you know that certain marijuana strains will actually suppress your appetite, energize your mind and body, and even boost your thinking and creativity? Ever wonder what kind of marijuana an artist like Willie Nelson might smoke when he’s looking for creativity and inspiration? Well read on and find out. You’ll be amazed as to the many benefits cannabis can make to your waistline, your health and your mind!
Still think cannabis will make you fat?
Let’s look to science and see what the clinical research tell us. In published study, after study (e.g. Am J Drug Alcohol & Abuse & American J of Epidemiology) cannabis is associated with a lowered incidence of obesity, a leaner body mass index (BMI) and healthier blood sugar levels. That last one, healthy blood sugar levels, is super important because over 29 million people in the US alone have diabetes! That’s 1 in 9 of every man, women and child in the United States.
Fortunately, cannabis use is associated with a lowered risk of Diabetes Mellitus (DM), and may even prove effective in its treatment. GW Pharmaceuticals is now investigating a cannabis based drug to replace insulin injections for diabetic patients. It’s a combination of two key cannabinoids, CBD (read CBD 101) and THCV. THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is a chemical cousin of THC – the principle psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Like THC, THCV is psychoactive.
THCVtends to produce an energizing, immediate and more clear-headed high than THC alone.
However THCV is found in far lower concentrations than THC, only in select cannabis strains, and may (among other things) actually improvethe high produced by THC. Cannabinoids may even influence how and when we store fat!
In addition, cannabis has been found to help protect your body and mind – as an established anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatoryand neuro-protective phytochemical.
Complex and rich, the odor of marijuana is as varied as are its effects. In fact, there appears to be a strong correlation between how a strain smells and how it will effect you. So sit back, grab a gram of your favorite bud – and give it a good long sniff. Now don’t puff just yet, just take another long sniff. You’re about to engage your weed superpowers to divine the very best cannabis flower; flower with a rich array of potent cannabinoids, medically relevant and empowering terpenes and an inviting palette of flavonoids to match your needs, mood and desires.
Check out this 2.5 min – Introduction to Terpenes
That strong, pungent odor of pine, lemon or hops you smell in your weed, just might be a more reliable indicatorof its potencyand of how it will make you feel – than the name of the strain.
It is the plants phytochemistry – its particular phenome, that will ultimately determine the quality (and potency) of the high and its therapeutic effectiveness.
So what does give marijuana its strong odor? The odor comes from tiny organic aromatic molecules that are secreted by the female plants flower. These molecules are called terpenes and are produced within the flowers glandular trichomes – generally as part of an arsenal of defensive measures to deter insects, bacteria, mold and disease from injuring the plant.
Learn more about Terpenes in Cannabis on Weedmaps TV
In humans, terpenes are being investigated for their role within the entourage effect– the synergistic effect between cannabinoid and terpenoid (and possibly flavonoid) that significantly enhances the therapeutic effectiveness and overall experience of cannabis.
In fact, terpenes are likely what helps to provide each strain of cannabis with its signature effect. Study after study has demonstrated that the name of the strain is actually a poor indicator of its chemical composition (see – Cannabinoids and Terpenes as Chemotaxic Markers in Cannabis– Elzinga, Fischedick, Podkolinski, Raber 2015).
Since every strain is a product of its genetics (set by the genetics of the strain) AND a product of its environment (growing conditions, fertilizers, processing, etc.), a strain’s name may not be enough information to go on. The name of the strain tells you little about how the plant was fed, grown, harvested or processed. Without knowing these environmental variables (and many more), it’s nearly impossible to predict how the plants genetics will ultimately be expressed.
True cannabis aficionados, like wine connaseurs, know that the name on the bottle (or strain on the bag) only begins to tell the story.
Start with a sniff
Little did you know that you are already supplied with a built in cannabis divining superpower – its your nose. Your nose can give you the superpowers to sniff out the good weed from the bad. Want some marijuana that will lift you up in the morning, keep you clear-headed and inspire your creativity? Try sniffing out cannabis that smells strong of pine needles, cloves and packs the sweet smell of citrus.
Looking to quell intense pain, migraines or stress? Reach for a relaxing Kush that smells strong of pine (pinene), hops (humulene) and the woody smell of cloves (caryophyllene).
Experiencing chronic joint pain that keeps you up at night? The smell of mango, musk and clove will likely point to a strain high in myrcene – a powerful terpenoid that is associated with a powerfully sedating and relaxed body high.
Be advised. There are numerous terpenes in cannabis and many smell alike. It takes time to discern. Use the following as a guide to get you and your nose started. Always remember to square the smell with the actual lab results detailing the phytocannabinoid and terpene profile. The three taken together will tell you enough to find the best weed for your individual need.
Welcome to the CBD Business Blog! CannabisIndustry News | Cannabidiol (CBD) Industry Focus Ξ Written from a Medical and Business Perspective Ξ
CannabisSativa and Cannabis Indica flowers and extracts have been used medicinally by people around the world for thousands of years! The Cannabis plant’s flowers (and to a lesser degree the stems and seeds) contain a cornucopia of naturally occurring and pharmacologically active compounds.
Of key medical and recreational interest are the cannabinoids (over 100) and terpenoids (over 200) found (principally) in the cannabis plants flower.
CBD & THC | Cannabinoid Heavy Weights
There are over 100phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, and nine have known medical significance (THC | CBD | THCA | CBDA | CBN | CBGA | CBG | CBC | THCV). The bulk of clinical research has been focused on the physiological effects of the two cannabinoid heavy-weights: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the principle psychoactive substance in cannabis. It is the ingredient in marijuana responsible for producing the high, often referred to as “feeling stoned.”
THC is a wondrous and potent drug, with a multitude of therapeutic uses. By modulating your endocannabionoid system and your central nervous system, THC becomes a powerful phytochemical that can effectively block neuropathic pain, rid you of insomnia, reduce inflammation and eliminate nausea. That’s quite a powerhouse phytocannabinoid!
THC and Possible Side-Effects
THC does produce side-effects. And young patients with disorders such as Dravet Syndrome, often require around-the-clock cannabinoid dosing. Taken frequently and in large amounts, THC can produce significant side-effects such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.
As it turns out, many of the same symptoms that THC is so effective in treating can also be generated by consuming too much THC – especially in the absence of CBD.
How low a THC concentration does one need in order to avoid noticeable side-effects? Most clinical research indicates that THC levels below 0.5%do not produce discernible cognitive side-effects. It’s quite possibly that significantly more THC can be tolerated by you without mental impairment, the science just isn’t quite there yet. You may just have to go out and try varying amounts of THC for yourself. Tough assignment huh?
High-CBD Cannabis | Good For You and Your Brain
CBD is arguably the (alright, second) most significant substance found in cannabis. What is truly remarkable is that it is considered to be completely non-psychoactive. I would argue that it is psychoactive – just not in an adverse manner. Want to avoid any psychoactive effects? It’s fairly well established that one can consume high-CBD | ultra low-THC (<0.5%) flower and concentrates – without feeling high or becoming mentally impaired.
In fact, science is only now appreciating the myriad of important entourage (synergistic) effects that the cannabinoids and terpenoids together provide – all without the need for a significant psychoactive high.
I personally favor cannabis strains with a balanced phytochemical profile. In a balanced phytochemical profile, I would expect to see both CBD and THC, along with a signature terpene expression that is robust and consistent from yield to yield.
CBD to reduce anxiety
CBD as a stress reliever has been well demonstrated in numerous preclinical trials and studies. Additional clinical studies are now underway to better explore the potential for CBD as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety agent) and as an anti-psychotic.
First and foremost, CBD balances (some argue it enhances, others say reduces) the psychoactive high – brought on by THC.
Beyond its use as an anti-psychotic, CBD is known to mitigate (reduce or eliminate) the potential anxiety produced when consuming high-THC cannabis. Your cannabis is better with CBD, than without. One can debate how much CBD is best, but in my experience zero CBD is rarely the better choice.
CBD modulates and balances the phytotherapeutic effects of THC – arguably producing an overall improved high and enhanced therapeutic experience.
Despite CBDs demonstrated ability as a stress reliever, high-CBD flower and extracts (e.g. CBD Oil) are even more widely recognized as a medicine for treating neurological disorders such as Dravet syndrome – a severe form of early onset epilepsy. In addition, CBD is also under investigation as a potentially safe and well tolerated adjunctive treatment for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, CTE,Alzheimer’s disease and a host of other severe neurological disorders.
Terpenes | Part of a Balanced Whole Plant Profile
I would be remiss if I did not shed a little light on the importance and significance of the terpenes found in cannabis. Terpenes are organic molecules synthesized in secretory cells within the glandular trichomes of the female flower. Some are considered quite potent, pharmacologically active (yet poorly understood) and have anti-microbial, anti-depressive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpenes (not cannabinoids) are responsible for the pungent order cannabis is known for.
More importantly, terpenes are now being investigated for their role as part of the entourage effect – the synergistic effect between cannabinoid and terpenoid that enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of cannabis.
Terpenoids, which are abundant in cannabis, are considered a GenerallyRecognized as Safe (GRAS) food additive by the US FDA. One of the most well known and abundant terpenes is Myrcene, which has the distinct smell of hops. If a particular strain smells strong of hops, it’s likely a C. Indica dominant strain. Myrcene is commonly associated with a body-high, lowered inflammation, pain reduction and muscle relaxation.
Limonene is another distinct and important terpene. It has a decidedly lemon fragrance and is highly bioavailable and a potent immune-stimulant, while also possessing stress relieving properties.
Pinene is a known anti-inflammatory and has been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine as a natural anti-cancer agent for many years. It is also being investigated as a potent bronchodilator.
Selective cross-breeding of high terpene and high-phytocannabinoid-specific strains will lead to unique phenome and create potent new Cannabis Phytochemistry.
The future of Cannabis Phytochemistry and You –
is very exciting indeed!
Why High-CBD Cannabis? | Who Is It For?
BRAIN DAMAGE? | CBD can Help
It’s really not that hard or that uncommon to inflict some damage to your brain. In fact, according to brainline.org, 3.8 million people suffer concussions and 1.7 million people suffer Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each yearin the U.S. alone! How many times do you recall accidentally smacking your head hard against something? How many times over the course of your lifetime?
Athletes Support CBD
While CBD has demonstrated its usefulness as a medicine, what about its role with otherwise healthy adults? What about professionalathletes in sports like the NFL, NABF, MMA, NHL and others? Athletes don’t just damage their knees and shoulders; they receive significant damage to their brains over the course of a career.
Did you know that in the U.S. alone, 5 – 10 % of all athletes will experience a concussion this season alone? This doesn’t even take into account injuries our kids are receiving daily, from youth athletic programs and after school activities.
Welcome to the CBD Business Blog guide to cannabidiol (CBD) rich cannabis and hemp products available within Colorado. Learn about high-CBD cannabis flower, CBD Oil, tinctures and concentrates, shatters and even transdermal patches and pens.
They are available today, and many – only in the great state of Colorado!
Read on and learn which CBD product is right for you. But first, a quick recap of what high-CBD cannabis really is.
– A CBD Business Blog 101 –
What: is High-CBD Cannabis?
Cannabis (marijuana) is a remarkably complex and pharmacologically active plant. It consists of over 80 terpenophenolic compounds referred to as phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids). Two of the most prominent cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
The rich interplay of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids present in each and every strain of cannabis is unique and complex. Each strain expresses a distinct pharmacological profile and each will effect you in a markedly different way.
CBD is the most abundant, non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis and can make up as much as 40% of the plants cannabinoid extract. CBD has natural anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anti-oxidant properties, and yet it generates little to no side-effects.
Numerous preclinical studies demonstrate that CBD acts like a counter-weight to the potential anxiolytic (anxiety) producing effects of high doses of THC, the other chief cannabinoid found in cannabis.
In addition to modulating the effects of THC, CBD has been found to reduce anxiety – possibly, even more effectively than Valium (Journal of Psychopharmacology Zuardi, Jan 1993).
High-CBD cannabis can help your mind to unwind and you tofocus; it can heighten your creativity, while quieting the mental chatter and relaxing your entire body.
Artists like Bob Marley, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Morgan Freeman, Danny Devito, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg (I could go on forever) – are all out-spoken advocates for the legalization and use of cannabis. Why? It’s a natural relaxant and stress reliever. What better way to stimulate one’s creativity than to quiet the mental chatter with a smooth yet energizing sativa?
” When you smoke the HERB, it reveals you to yourself ”
– Bob Marley
Who: High-CBD is for You
The CBD Business Blog is here to provide a roadmap to enjoying high quality, high-CBD cannabis. From cannabis strains with little to no THC and stunning 40:1 CBD|THC ratios, to those with evenly balanced phytocannabinoid profiles.
Want more choices? CBD comes in a variety of concentrated forms, including the most common – CBD Oil, made from hemp or cannabis. But did you know that High-CBD shatter is now available in select locations?
Real choices are starting to emerge for the discriminating (educated) consumer. Read on and find the right high-CBD product for you.
Categorized as hemp by the federal government due to it’s ultra low THC content, Charlottes’ Web is a sativa strain with a strong pine-like smell. It is bred by the Stanley brothers in Colorado. and named (in part) after Charlotte Figi, a child with a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Exhibiting the highest CBD to THC ratio of any strain that I’ve seen, Charlottes’s Web is the strain to beat if avoiding the psychoactive properties of THC (“feeling stoned”) is key to you. With less than 0.3% THC, it is considered non-psychoactive.
Charlottes Web is consumed by many as a CBD Oil; available in varying strengths on their web site.
Availability: Curiously enough, its only (widely) available as a concentrate or clone within Colorado. It is available as flower in other states where cannabis is legal medically or recreationally, such as Washington and Oregon.
The following four cannabis companies in the northwest are on a trajectory to disrupt and shape the future of the industry. I’d like to take a moment to shine a light on each, and tell you a little about why I think these are four companies to watch in 2016.
HiFi Farms is a really terrific craft cannabis company located in Oregon, and run by CEO Sara Batterby. Sara has established herself as a local community leader thru her work with the Portland Women Grow chapter. Under Sara’s leadership, Hifi Farms has secured a joint venture with none other than the Meriwether Group – the same firm that took Dave’s Killer Bread from a local farmer’s market stand to a company worth more than $250 million! Meriwether knows how to spot a winner and thinks the Hifi brand could be worth more than $100M.
Hifi Farms has a solid product – craft cannabis grown sustainably in Oregon, to strict Clean Green Certified standards. What does Clean Green Certified mean? Well for starters, it means that their craft cannabis is cultivated using organic practices certified by a nationally-recognized third party guarantor. Hifi Farms can’t label its product organic, since the federal government still does not recognize cannabis as a legitimate organic crop. However, Clean Green Certified is the next best thing and guarantees that HiFi Farms cannabis is free from synthetic pesticides, fungicides and mold. HiFi Farms is also committed to sustainability, quality and community engagement – not to mention killer parties with live music and really good people.
Golden Leaf Holdings
A big player in the production and distribution of cannabis flower and oils in North America, is Golden Leaf Holdings headquartered in Toronto, Canada with grow and retail operations in both Washington and Oregon. Golden Leaf Holdings is traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange (GLH), so you know their financials are in order.
GoldenXtr, GLH’s flagship brand of 100% pure cannabis oil is obtained using CO2 extraction techniques and sold within artisanal edibles or as smokeless vape cartridges that work with most third party vape pens. Proper is GLH’s brand of premium BHO (butane-extracted hash oil) shatter. Shatter is essentially super concentrated hash oil that will make your eyes flutter when inhaled. It’s strong and not for the faint-of-heart; but all the rage with the younger cannabis enthusiasts.
A Seattle-based private equity firm founded in 2010 by Brendan Kennedy, Michael Blue, and Christian Groh – three cannabis entrepreneurs with a background in venture capital and investment banking.
The firm started off with a bang, by acquiring Leafly in 2011 – a popular cannabis information and strain review mobile app. I use the app regularly myself and see a bright future ahead for the company.
By 2013, Privateer had landed $7M in first-round funding and soon after opened Tilray – a $26M research and production facility federally-licensed to produce commercial cannabis, with a team of more than 100 industry experts. Tilray’s focus on amassing industry expertise while utilizing precise grow techniques to facilitate scientific research into cannabis plant strains and their cannabinoid profiles could be the winning formula to uncompromising innovation and success in the industry. What’s the latest with Tilray? They have just become the first company to export medical marijuana from North America to Europe (CBS News Story link).
By 2015, Privateer had already acquired an additional $75M in round-two funding! Wait a second, let me take a moment to let that sink in. That’s a 10x fold increase from round-one funding that ended only two years prior! These guys have something special up their sleeve. In February of the following year, Privateer launched Marley Natural – a premium cannabis product line that includes flower, body care infused Hemp Oil and smoke accessories.
New Vansterdam markets are the most successful retailers of recreational cannabis markets in Washington state (as of May 2015 – Link to source). In their first year of sales, New Vansterdam markets sold more than $8.5M worth of product! Now that’s a lot of flower! All this success is built upon a solid reputation of product quality, commitment to community engagement, educating consumers and authentic and ethical business practices.
I can’t wait to see what is coming next for these NW innovators! Keep an eye on them and on this blog, for the latest industry news and insights.
Worth a mention – GW Pharma
Not a Northwest cannabis company, and not one I would personally invest in for ideological reasons – GW Pharma is still worth a brief mention.
GW Pharma is a UK-based biopharmaceutical company, that has recently received impressive results with a series of FDA clinical trials on their cannabis extract based medicine called Epidiolex. For more information on this company, their new drug and their anti-medical cannabis industry stance – please read my blog post entitled – “FDA Trial of Marijuana Drug Epidiolex – On Track for Approval?“
GW Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: GWPH), a UK based biopharmaceutical company, has announced impressive new FDA clinical trial results for its cannabis (marijuana) based drug, Epidiolex. Epidiolex is being studied as a potential treatment for rare forms of childhood epilepsy, namely Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The drug could represent a life-line to children suffering from this intractable form of epilepsy. It may also represent a milestone in cannabis medical research, and a sign of things to come in the burgeoning legal cannabis industry.
Cannabis contains over 100 known pharmacologically active substances called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are known to influence the Endocannabinoid system in the human body and have been shown to produce a multitude of beneficial health effects (pain suppression, anti-tremor, anti-nausea, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, neuroprotective, etc.). THC and CBD are the two most widely studied cannabinoids. Both are known to have anticonvulsant and neuroprotective properties (Devinsky et. al, Journal Epilepsy – June, 2014) and are now being considered as potential adjunct therapies for a variety of neurological disorders, including (PTSD Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others). For more details, see my blog post entitled
Epidiolex contains a highly purified, plant derived form of CBD. It is not a synthetic cannabinoid, like Marinol (anti-nausea Rx). It is a highly purified derivative of cannabisplant extracts. Since Epidiolex contains no THC (not that there is anything wrongwith THC), the drug has few noticeable side-effects. And unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not produce the intoxicating high that marijuana is known for. The lack of a psychoactive effect is a big reason why medical researchers are so excited about the potential for CBD based medicine.
GW Pharmaceuticals received orphan drug designation by the FDA in 2014, enabling it to start clinical trials to determine the efficacy for treatment of Dravet, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). Now in late stage trials, the results are coming in and they are very impressive. After 12 weeks of treatment, almost half (47%) of all patients treated with Epidiolex saw a better than 50% reduction in the frequency of their seizures! That’s huge! Plus the drug was very well tolerated. Less than 5% dropped out of the study due to perceived side-effects from the drug.
GW is not a new entrant into cannabis based pharmaceuticals. Quite the opposite actually. The GW lead product is a cannabis based medicinal called Sativex, perhaps you have heard of it. Sativex contains both principal cannabinoids THC and CBD, along with other cannabinoids and non-cannabinoid plant ingredients. Sativex is approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis in 27 countries. In the US, GW is pursuing FDA Phase 3 trials for the use of Sativex as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, as well as for the relief of cancer pain.
Although I’m impressed with what GW has been able to accomplish with such a complex biological extract, I’m dismayed at GWs social/political stance with respect to medical marijuana in the US.
From GW Pharmaceuticals:
“Is GW supportive of state medical marijuana programs and the use of herbal cannabis – smoked or otherwise – as medicine?
No. GW supports the evidence-based approach to developing new medications according to the FDA approval process.”
In my opinion, the healing properties of cannabis exist independently of their being co-opted by big pharma and validated by the FDA. To withhold this natural pain-suppressant, while endorsing dangerous alternatives, is unconscionable and not aligned with the public good that the DEA and FDA are sworn to protect. For GW to stand in support of the FDA processes and federal bureaucracy that has marginalized medical cannabis use and research, while profiting from marijuana’s effectiveness and safety profile – is more than disappointing.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was enacted in part due to international concerns over heroin and opioid abuse. Unfortunately, the remedy proposed at the time – the War on Drugs, did little to stem opioid drug abuse or deaths from prescription drug overdoses. Cannabis was included as a controlled substance in the CSA, in large part at the behest of President Nixon, for largely ideological and political reasons. It’s time to end the ban on open research permanently, and reschedule cannabis to a Schedule III.
Dr. Erik Muenker D.C. is the Publisher and Editor of the CBD Business Blog, an online blog and journal – your source for exclusive business, scientific, health and political news impacting the recreational and medical marijuana industries.
Our focus is on cannabidiol(CBD), a non-addictive, non-psychotropic and medically powerful cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp. Disclaimer