This Week in CBD: May 24, 2019
A promising new study on CBD and opioid addiction was published this week, giving hope to those struggling to break the cycle of addiction.
The double-blind, randomized, controlled study, conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York studied 42 heroin-addicted individuals who were abstaining from the drug. Half the group were given high doses of CBD (either 400 or 800 mg) once daily, while other participants were given a placebo.
Researchers found that participants who took CBD showed lowered feelings of anxiety and craving when they were exposed to environmental cues that would normally induce anxiety.
According Dr. Yasmin Hurd (first author of the study), “the specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.”
Dr. Hurd’s team is now moving on to two follow-up studies that will look more closely into CBD’s effects on the brain, paving the way for CBD medicinal formulations.
If you’ve strolled through Times Square in the last couple days, you may have seen a massive digital advertisement that reads: “Facebook: Stop Censoring Hemp.”
The ad campaign, led by the Hemp Industries Association, is an attempt to fight what they see as the unfair advertising policies of Facebook and Instagram. The campaign targets marketing limitations imposed by Facebook, which tend to conflate hemp with marijuana.
According to Colleen Keahey Lanier, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “Hemp entrepreneurs nationwide are currently being denied access to one of the most powerful marketing platforms in the world….Hemp advertisements are allowed in Times Square, so why not on Facebook? Hemp is completely legal under federal law.”
And Facebook’s policies don’t just apply to companies that are selling hemp-derived CBD products. They also prevent businesses from promoting news or informational articles about CBD and hemp (like the one you’re reading right now).
In banking news, the quest for financial services may have just gotten a bit easier for CBD companies. The merchant processing service Square has launched a new pilot program for CBD companies on an invite-only basis.
Earlier in the month, US Bank subsidiary Elavon beat a hasty retreat from the CBD industry, leaving many companies scrambling for payment processing solutions.
Though CBD was federally legalized by the Farm Bill in 2018, many CBD companies have continued to struggle to find financial institutions that will serve their businesses, forcing them to look overseas to expensive and inconvenient international merchant processors.
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Once again, the long arm of the law has found its way into the handbag of a CBD-loving grandmother. Lena Bartula was going through a customs checkpoint at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when a customs agent found a bottle of CBD oil in her bag.
“To be honest, I did not even think about the possibility of my CBD being illegal or being challenged,” Bartula said. “It is such an integral part of my wellness that it got thrown into my bag along with Vitamin C and oregano oil.”
Nevertheless, she was charged with possession of a controlled substance and spent two nights in jail before the courts declined to pursue her case and the charge was dismissed.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed a bill into law this week that will allow people suffering from profound illness to use CBD oils with low amounts of THC (less than five percent).
Named “Claire and Lola’s Law” after two girls who suffer from microcephaly, the law offers a defense against prosecution in state and city courts. Importantly, it also bars agencies from removing children from homes of parents who use the oil.
The law represents an incremental move towards a medical cannabis law, which Gov. Kelly addressed in her written statement: “This is the first step in addressing the health needs of many Kansans, but we still have a long way to go. I’m hopeful the legislature will review this issue comprehensively next session.”
Two other states made progress this week towards legalization of industrial hemp. The Texas House agreed to changes to House Bill 1325, which would set up a federally approved program for Texas farmers to grow hemp. The bill is now on its way to Gov. Greg Abbot, and he is expected to sign it in the near future.
In Louisiana, a bill that would allow for hemp farming in the state passed the Senate Agricultural Committee with a 5-2 vote. If signed into law, the bill will be a mixed blessing for hemp advocates in the state, as it is now burdened with a long list of regulations, both with regards to how hemp can be grown and how CBD can be sold in Louisiana.
“This just seems to me that we have absolutely overregulated in the name of good government, and it’ll never work,” State Sen. John Smith, R-Leesville said.