Let’s start by getting this week’s biggest cannabis story out of the way: yes, Canada legalized it!
And for our friends in the north, Bloomberg put together a Legal Weed Shopping Guide. Check it out for a ton of great information on the newly cannabis-friendly Canada.
But here in the US, the legality of cannabis products — including CBD — remains a gray area, caught between conflicting state and federal policy.
That hasn’t stopped retailers from meeting the demand for CBD in Texas. While the ambiguously worded state statutes leave consumers, sellers, and officials with different interpretations of the law, CBD shops have been popping up all over the place.
The Compassionate Use Act, passed in 2015, only allows medical CBD products to be sold through dispensaries to patients who suffer from rare forms of epilepsy. According to state Representative Stephanie Klick, “We legalized CBD through the Compassionate Use Act — that’s it. Even if it is a hemp-derived product (instead of marijuana-derived), Texas has not legalized hemp.”
In Rhode Island, parents will be able to use medical CBD to treat children with autism. But the state Department of Health established a few boundaries along with the decision:
- Doctors must consult with pediatric specialists
- They must use pharmaceutical grade CBD
- Doctors must consider other medications before recommending CBD
Officials say that these guidelines will ensure safe, effective treatment for patients.
Also this week, Democratic congressman Earl Blumenauer submitted a memo on cannabis to House Democratic Leadership. The memo contains a plan to legalize cannabis for adult use at the federal level. And if Democrats win a majority in the House this November, Blumenauer wants to get the job done by the end of 2019.
“There’s no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way.”
A new study in this month’s Journal of Psychopharmacology explores the mechanisms behind CBD’s anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. They found that in mice, CBD may affect the way the body copes with stress by interacting with serotonin 5-HTR1A receptors.
“Taken together, these data suggest the ability of cannabidiol to regulate acute stress hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activation might be explained, at least in part, by its action on 5-HTR1A receptors”
Another new study looked at the risks for drug interactions between cannabis and warfarin, a common blood thinner.
The researchers came to the conclusion that both THC and CBD can affect the way the body metabolizes warfarin. In one specific case study, a patient with epilepsy who was using warfarin and then added CBD to his regimen eventually had to decrease his dose of warfarin by 30% to get the proper effect.
If you’re curious about the future of the newly FDA-approved CBD drug Epidiolex, check out MarketWatch’s close look at GW Pharmaceuticals.
They look at why consumers want an FDA-approved drug, the controversy around Epidiolex’s price point, and the future of cannabinoid medicines.
If this Australian company is successful, we may be seeing a new CBD delivery method. Bod Australia just released the results of a clinical trial investigating whether they could accurately provide a dose of CBD using their innovative sublingual wafer technology.
There’s still research to be done before it hits the market, though. Next up are studies on how effective absorption is with the new method.
The American Pain Association (APA) wants insurance companies to cover CBD.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a pain management specialist and the president of the APA. He’s leading the charge for insurance companies to cover the treatment.
According to Dr. Gupta, the lack of insurance coverage pushes patients away from benign treatments like CBD. Instead, they choose the opioids that they can access with a low copay, or even free of charge.
But he says, “It would be much cheaper for insurance companies to cover CBD treatments compared to the costs of narcotic prescriptions and managing their side effects.”
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