News circulated recently that the DEA had rescheduled cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive ingredient in cannabis, but the technicalities of the agency’s decision actually show their ruling is highly restrictive.
By: James Holley, Molecular Biologist, Scientific Officer, Mike Robinson, Co-founder, Research Institute, and Dr. David Ostrow, M.D., Research Director
International Cannabinoid Cancer Research Institute
With review by: (Pending)
Abstract: (This is not the final draft, the final is being submitted for Journal Publications)
Recent studies on the effectiveness of cannabidiol in the rare seizure disorders Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome have prompted a biopharmaceutical company to perform clinical trials of its own to bring a cannabidiol based drug to the American market through the process of FDA approval. Side effects were very prevalent in 79% of all patients taking a refined CBD product, some of which were severe like thrombocytopenia and transaminase elevations in the liver. However, there are indications from studies done with cannabidiol-rich cannabis extracts in Israel that indicate that less side effects (46%) are achieved with a natural cannabis plant extract containing a 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC. This paper seeks to answer why refined cannabinoids have more side effects than the natural cannabis product, as well as the possible etiology of said adverse reactions. Also discussed are other attempts at affecting the cannabinoid system from a singular standpoint. Ultimately, the cannabinoid system works by way of multiple molecules affecting multiple receptors at once – the entourage effect, and thus such singular approaches to treatment by way of the cannabinoid system are not effective. Traditional plant extracts contain many compounds in addition to THC and CBD that contribute to the medical benefits of cannabis.
Recently, a formulation of cannabidiol was approved by the United States FDA. It is extracted from hemp grown using conventional agricultural methods like pesticides and fertilizers and extracted using supercritical carbon dioxide, crystallized, and put into a formulation with sesame oil, strawberry flavoring, alcohol, and sucralose, to be used alongside existing anti-seizure medications like clobazam. This differs sharply from the conventional course of cannabis medicine, which is to use whole, clean plant extracts to treat epilepsy and to gradually discontinue use of conventional pharmaceuticals. The question is, is there truly a difference? It might be argued by some that a compound is a compound, carbon for carbon, and thus it would have the same effects. However, it is sometimes the case that the pill binder or other carrier causes a medication issue. A review of the research must be done to find if natural plant extracts have an advantage over synthetic delivery systems.
FORBES The federal government wants your input on whether marijuana should be reclassified under global drug treaties to which the U.S. is a party.
Specifically, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking for public comments about the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use” of cannabis and several other substances now under international review.
A note from our dear reader, Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA
Please correct the “DNA swab” misinformation. They are not testing for DNA! They are simply testing saliva for THC. That’s messed up enough, since THC can remain in the system for weeks after use (because it is stored in fat and slowly released into body secretions).
(October 11, 2018) The White House is planning on tackling cannabis reform after the midterm elections, according to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
Rohrabacher tells FOX Business that the Trump administration has made a “solid commitment” to fix marijuana regulation.
“I have been talking to people inside the White House who know and inside the president’s entourage… I have talked to them at length. I have been reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise.”
Rohrabacher says the president has spoken in support of legalizing medical marijuana on the federal level – and leaving the question of recreational marijuana use up to the states.
“I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real,” he said.
The California congressman, who is up for re-election this November, is battling to hold onto a seat that national Democrats have identified as part of their strategy to win the House majority this midterm election.
Rohrabacher faces Democrat Harley Rouda. RealClearPolitics has listed the seat that Rohrabacher has held for five years as a toss-up – and the polling average has both candidates in a dead heat – with both at 48 percent of voter support.
Recreational marijuana was just recently legalized in California this year – but reforms on the federal level have been stalled for decades. Yet, according to Rohrabacher, that will soon change: “It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session.”
via Fox News
(ANTIMEDIA) — For the second year in a row, arrests for cannabis in the United States have gone up, also dwarfing the number of arrests for violent crime. The increases have come in the form of arrests for possession, not manufacture and sales.
According to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, out of 1,632,921 arrests for “drug abuse violations,” 36.7% were for possession of cannabis. That amounts to 599,282 people, which is up from the previous year’s figure of 587,516. In contrast, as Forbes noted, arrests for the sale and manufacture of the plant dropped from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017.
Considering the drop in arrests for the sale and manufacture of cannabis, it is apparent that the increase in arrests for weed is due to possession offenses. In total, just under 91 percent of cannabis arrests were for possession. Despite a ten-year decrease in arrests prior to 2016, the last two years’ crime data show enforcement is now on the rise.
Forbes calculated that according to the figures, a cannabis bust occurred every 48 seconds in the United States last year.
Meanwhile, arrests for violent crime in 2017 reached 518,617, a figure 21 percent lower than total cannabis arrests. Though numerous states have legalized cannabis, the federal government continues to classify it as a dangerous drug.
“Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” said Justin Strekal, the political director for NORML, a cannabis advocacy organization. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”
Though those arrested for cannabis possession are not always cycled through the prison system, the fact that they are processed through the courts at all highlights a monumental waste of resources spent to penalize victimless crimes.