Sales of an oil extracted from cannabis are soaring as more people become convinced of its benefits.
And it is legal because it doesn’t make you feel high.
Products containing CBD – cannabidiol– are cropping up on the High Street more than ever.
From creams to getting a shot in a morning coffee, it is hard not to notice the trend.
Sales of CBD products have doubled in a year, according to data from Wowcher.
Ranges are even stocked in pharmacies and chains such as Holland and Barrett. Now Jersey has just become the first place in the UK where hemp for CBD oil can be grown legally.
But what is the difference between cannabis and CBD? And are the health benefits real? We give you the lowdown.
Sales of oil extracted from cannabis are soaring as more people become convinced of its benefits
Cannabis vs CBD
Cannabis is an illegal class B drug, whereas CBD is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. But it does not contain the chemical that makes users high.
Expert Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “The cannabis plant contains many different chemicals, including cannabinoids.
“This includes one called delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC for short. When someone consumes cannabis, THC interacts with brain receptors to produce the familiar effects of feeling high. We’re learning more about CBD but we know that this acts in different parts of the body from THC and probably doesn’t directly act in the brain, so doesn’t produce the same feelings as THC.
“CBD can still indirectly affect how the body and brain functions, and this underlies some of its medical properties.”
There’s a growing amount of research into CBD as treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions(Image: Brother Dwight/SWNS)
Put to the test
The use of CBD to treat conditions such as epilepsy is under the spotlight.
Professor Sumnall said: “There’s a growing amount of research into CBD as treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions.
“But it’s important to note that evidence is still quite limited and there’s a big difference between what might be shown to be effective in lab animals and what might be useful in humans. So far, the best evidence suggests it could be useful with epilepsy, especially used in conjunction with anti-epileptic medicines or where other treatments have not worked as well.
“There are also encouraging findings with regards to CBD as a treatment for inflammation, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and even psychotic symptoms such as those experienced by people with schizophrenia.
“Clinical trials are under way on CBD as a treatment for rare forms of brain cancer.”
CBD is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant(Image: Getty)
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Diana’s brother selling funeral eulogy
Man dies after 4am hit-and-run
Mum’s holiday hotel 'nightmare'
Teen in coma after vaping every day
Should you buy it?
It is not yet known how effective High Street CBD products are. Research into the medical benefits use far higher doses than those on shop shelves.
Professor Sumnall said: “The scientific basis for most of the claims is extremely weak and there is also a big difference between treatments tested in laboratories and High Street products.
“And because the UK CBD market is unregulated, consumers cannot always be sure of what they’re buying.
“It’s plausible that some High Street products could be effective in what they claim but almost none have been tested to see if they do actually help.
“Consumers would be advised to treat CBD products with the same degree of scepticism that they might do towards a “miracle” anti-ageing cream.
“By all means investigate products but don’t be surprised if you don’t get the results you are looking for.”
An 18-year-old showed up in a Long Island emergency room, gasping for breath, vomiting and dizzy. When a doctor asked if the teenager had been vaping, he said no.
The patient’s older brother, a police officer, was suspicious. He rummaged through the youth’s room and found hidden vials of marijuana for vaping.
“I don’t know where he purchased it. He doesn’t know,” said Dr. Melodi Pirzada, chief pediatric pulmonologist at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., who treated the young man. “Luckily, he survived.”
Dr. Pirzada is one of the many physicians across the country treating patients — now totaling more than 215 — with mysterious and life-threatening, vaping-related illnesses this summer. The outbreak is “becoming an epidemic,” she said. “Something is very wrong.”
Patients, mostly otherwise healthy and in their late teens and 20s, are showing up with severe shortness of breath, often after suffering for several days with vomiting, fever and fatigue. Some have wound up in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator for weeks. Treatment has been complicated by patients’ lack of knowledge — and sometimes outright denial — about the actual substances they might have used or inhaled.
Health investigators are now trying to determine whether a particular toxin or substance has sneaked into the supply of vaping products, whether some people reused cartridges containing contaminants, or whether the risk stems from a broader behavior, like heavy e-cigarette use, vaping marijuana or a combination.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to teenagers and other consumers, telling them to stop buying bootleg and street cannabis and e-cigarette products, and to stop modifying devices to vape adulterated substances.
The illnesses have focused attention on a trend that has been overshadowed by the intense public concern about soaring teenage use of e-cigarettes, with its potential for hooking a new generation on nicotine: the rise of the vaping device itself. It has introduced a wholesale change in how people consume nicotine or marijuana, by inhaling vaporized ingredients.
Vaping works by heating liquid and turning it into steam to be inhaled. Broadly speaking, e-cigarettes are considered less harmful than traditional cigarettes, which work through the combustion of tobacco that sends thousands of chemicals, many carcinogenic, into the lungs.
But vaping has its own problems: To become inhalable, nicotine or THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana, must be mixed with solvents that dissolve and deliver the drugs. The solvents, or oils, heat up during aerosolization to become vapor. But some oil droplets may be left over as the liquid cools back down, and inhaling those drops may cause breathing problems and lung inflammation.
“Inhaling oil into your lungs is extremely dangerous behavior that could result in death,” said Thomas Eissenberg, who studies vaping at Virginia Commonwealth University. “That is probably the biggest message we can get out of this.”
Many vaping ingredients are not listed on the products. Vitamin E oil appears to have been a common substance associated with the severe and sudden respiratory problems in some of the New York cases, according to state health officials. It is not known how it was used. Vitamin E is sometimes advertised as a supplement in cannabidiol oil, which is not designed for vaping but has been used that way.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said he suspected a link to illicit products — perhaps related to ingredients including THC — because the main manufacturers of e-cigarettes had not suddenly altered their ingredients on a wide scale. “It’s probably something new that has been introduced into the market by an illegal manufacturer, either a new flavor or a new way to emulsify THC that is causing these injuries,” he said.
Vaping, said Dr. Melodi Pirzada, a pediatric pulmonologist on Long Island, “is very, very dangerous. We already have one death in Illinois and we don’t need more.”CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times
The outbreaks have created a crisis for two emerging industries — e-cigarettes and legal cannabis — that have pitched themselves as beneficial to public health. E-cigarette supporters consider the technology a safer alternative to smoking, while cannabis has been sold politically as “medical marijuana” and as a substitute for tobacco growers.
Now some subset of these products is causing a serious lung disease that even cigarettes, while lethal in the long run, don’t cause in young people. Lobbyists and company officials in both industries are scrambling to blame unregulated products.
The spate of illnesses has made news again of Juul Labs, maker of the blockbuster e-cigarette device blamed for the surge in teenage vaping. In a television interview, Kevin Burns, the company’s chief executive, said he did not know of evidence linking the recent cases to Juul’s products.
On lung scans, the illnesses look at first like a serious viral or bacterial pneumonia, but tests show no infection. “We’ve run all these tests looking for bacteria, looking for viruses and coming up negative,” said Dr. Dixie Harris, a critical care pulmonologist in Salt Lake City, who has consulted on four such patients and reviewed case files of nine others in the state.
On Aug. 6, Dr. Harris was working in a Salt Lake City-area hospital — she declined to provide more detail in order to protect patient privacy rights — when she was called to the intensive care unit to consult on a patient with the severe lung ailment.
The patient was in his 20s and a heavy e-cigarette user who also vaped THC.
She later consulted with two dozen hospitals around the state on patients with difficult pulmonary or critical care issues. “I saw a second case,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Wait a second, this is weird — two hospitals, two young people, almost identical story.’”
The next morning, she called Dr. Joseph Miner, the chief medical officer for the Utah state health department, who told her he would try to figure out what was going on.
In the ensuing weeks, Dr. Harris saw two other patients firsthand and reviewed nine other cases for the hospital group where she works, Intermountain Healthcare, which has 24 hospitals in Utah and Idaho. She said the first 10 cases were from eight different hospitals; over all, the state of Utah reported 21 cases.
Dr. Harris said that the four patients she had been directly involved with “have been doing e-cigarettes with nicotine constantly, like round the clock. Maybe there’s some sort of accelerant effect causing inflammation in the lung caused by the THC oil.” She added that her interviews with patients suggested they were getting the marijuana liquid from friends in states with legal supplies of the drug, like California and Colorado.
Some patients are suffering from another condition known as lipoid pneumonia, doctors said. When vaped oils get into the lungs, the lungs treat them as a foreign object and mount an immune response, resulting in inflammation and the buildup of liquids, which can cause lipoid pneumonia.
A CT scan of a vaping injury patient, looking up from the patient’s feet, with the cloudy areas in the lungs showing damage.CreditIntermountain Healthcare
The surge in these illnesses comes at the start of a school year, one in which parents, teachers and administrators had already braced for the challenge of educating in the age of the vape pen, which is easy to conceal.
While educator and parental concern has focused on Juul, the reality is that the market for vaping devices and the liquids that fill them is vast and filled with counterfeiters and do-it-yourselfers, making it hard for regulators and scientists to home in on a specific product.
The Vapor Technology Association, an e-cigarette and vaping industry trade group, asked “public officials to thoroughly investigate the circumstances which might have led to each reported hospitalization before making statements to the public as to whether certain products are implicated in these incidents.”
The regulation and study of the marijuana industry is particularly complex. Even though the federal government still considers cannabis a controlled substance, 33 states now allow it to be sold for either recreational or medicinal purposes or both. Hundreds of cannabis products are sold, legally and illegally, such as THC oil, or cannabis oil with THC.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned some sellers of cannabis product supplements not to make health claims, but more are doing so than the agency can keep up with. The F.D.A. oversees CBD products sold as dietary supplements, but does not regulate THC, which is illegal under federal law. Liquid nicotine and THC, sometimes sold in cartridges for use in vaping devices, can each contain oils that may be safe to swallow but can damage the lung when vaporized into a mix of unknown chemicals.
Vaping devices confiscated from students at a middle school in Boulder, Colo.CreditNick Cote for The New York TimesE-cigarettes accessories for sale in a store in Manhattan.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times
While e-cigarettes have been presumed less harmful over the long run than cigarettes, the ultimate impact from years of vaping is simply not yet known.
Mr. Eissenberg, director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University, said seven cases of similar lung injuries from e-cigarette vaping had been reported in previous years.
“A common ingredient was vegetable glycerin, which is made from vegetable oil,” he said. “If there is some incomplete process, there can be oil left in the vegetable glycerin when that person is using it, and inhaling oil and getting oil into your lungs is what is causing some of the lung injuries we see.”
“Basically what the F.D.A. should be doing is testing every one of these liquids to see if they have any oil at all and making a regulation that would ban oil in any of these products, whether it is a THC product or a nicotine product,” said Mr. Eissenberg, who is researching vaping with a grant from the agency.
A Juul user in San Francisco.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times
Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health, said she was surprised at the severity of the lung disease involved in this summer’s cases, but not by the possibility that vaping products were causing such illnesses.
“There is no oversight,” Dr. Volkow said. “No one is actually evaluating the products to see whether they are pure, or if they contain toxic substances. There has to be some way of regulating them.”
The Long Island teenager, who was on a ventilator at one point, has a long road to recovery and doctors still haven’t identified the cause of his illness.
“They tested for infectious diseases. They tested for bacteria. They tested for a host of issues. It all came back negative,” his father said. He requested anonymity to protect the identity of his son. “We were helpless. We didn’t know what to do. The doctors didn’t know what to do. They would treat the symptoms first and figure out what was killing him later.”
Another recent case involves a 31-year-old Queens resident named Kevin Corrales, who in late July was in the back seat of a car heading to a Long Island beach when he started gasping for air.
“It was terrifying,” he said. “I was really gasping. I should have been rushed to the hospital. They thought I was exaggerating.”
He called an Uber to take him home. Too tired to climb the stairs of the home he shares with his parents, he stayed in a basement room for several days, until he felt better.
That day, in the car, he had been vaping a Juul, the popular e-cigarette. But he also occasionally vapes THC oil in a separate device. “I can buy these oils like a bag of potato chips,” Mr. Corrales said.
“It’s hard to say whether it was the THC or nicotine,” said Mr. Corrales, who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking.
Mitch Smith contributed reporting from Chicago.
Summer’s series of vaping illnesses
Don’t Use Bootleg or Street Vaping Products, C.D.C. Warns
First Death in a Spate of Vaping Sicknesses Reported by Health Officials
Dozens of Young People Hospitalized for Breathing and Lung Problems After Vaping
But the wheels have decidedly fallen off the wagon since the beginning of April. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF, the first tradable cannabis ETF, has shed more than 31% of its value since the end of the first quarter, with nearly every major marijuana stock down by a double-digit percentage over the past five months. Persistent supply issues in Canada, high tax rates in major recreationally legal U.S. markets, and the resilience of black-market producers has been hurting most of the industry.
Image source: Getty Images.
What pot stock weakness?
However, a combination of 13 pure-play and ancillary cannabis stocks have managed to buck this weakness. The following 13 pot stocks, listed in descending order by their gains since the beginning of April, have all moved higher as marijuana stocks, as a whole, have been clobbered.
Let’s take a closer look at three trends that stand out after analyzing this list of top performers.
Image source: Getty Images.
Ancillary players with alternative revenue streams have excelled
Arguably, the first thing that’s apparent is that there aren’t too many pure-play cannabis stocks on the list. Or put in another context, companies that dabble in marijuana and don’t rely on pot as their primary source of revenue have done fine since the beginning of April.
Take a look at Modelo and Corona beer-maker Constellation Brands. Despite owning a 37% stake in Canopy Growth, whose stock has been taken to the woodshed over the past five months, Constellation’s share price has excelled. That’s because Constellation has been able to consistently deliver high-single-digit growth in beer sales — partly due to higher pricing, but mostly as a result of premium brands outperforming their competition — and mid-single-digit growth in wine and spirit sales. When combined with ongoing share repurchases, Constellation Brands could continue to grow earnings per share by roughly 10% on an annual basis.
Then there’s Shopify, which provides e-commerce and point-of-sale solutions for select Canadian provinces but generates the bulk of its sales outside of the cannabis industry. During the second quarter, Shopify saw sales grow 48% year over year, with merchant solutions revenue up 56% and subscription solutions up 38%. Further, the amount of gross merchandise volume handled by Shopify’s e-commerce solutions soared 51%, to $13.8 billion, in the second quarter.
Suffice it to say that results like these make ancillary investors forget about problems in the cannabis industry.
Image source: Getty Images.
Extraction-service providers are arguably the hottest thing since sliced bread
You might have also noticed that three of the top-performing stocks since the end of March are extraction-service providers: MediPharm Labs, Neptune Wellness Solutions, and Valens GroWorks.
The reason extraction-service companies are all the rage has to do with the upcoming launch of derivative products in Canada in December and projections of incredible growth in U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) sales. According to the Brightfield Group, CBD sales in the U.S. could average more than 100% growth annually through 2023. These extraction service providers are being tasked with taking cannabis and/or hemp biomass (depending on the country) and turning them into resins, distillates, or cannabinoids that can be used in high-margin derivative products.
In recent months, all three extraction-service providers have landed big-time deals.
MediPharm Labs nabbed a $30 million contract for cannabis concentrates from Cronos Group over an 18-month period that could be expanded to $60 million over 24 months.
Neptune Wellness Solutions signed three-year extraction deals with Tilray and The Green Organic Dutchman totaling a respective 125,000 kilos and 230,000 kilos of cannabis and hemp biomass.
In short, extraction companies are going to be busy and have plenty of predictable cash flow for years to come.
The facade of the Planet 13 SuperStore in Las Vegas, Nevada. Image source: Planet 13.
Truly unique cannabis plays have stood out
Lastly, you’ll note that the pure-play cannabis stocks that have outperformed tend to be unique.
For example, vertically integrated dispensary-operator Planet 13 Holdings isn’t anything like its peers. Instead of trying to open as many retail locations and grow farms in as many legalized U.S. states as possible, Planet 13 has focused on creating the most unique experience possible for consumers. The company’s flagship SuperStore, just west of the Las Vegas Strip, will span 112,000 square feet when complete (that’s the largest dispensary in the world, to my knowledge), and it’s seen rapid growth in average visitors per day, as well as a $12 increase in average ticket since the store opened in November 2018.
Auxly Cannabis Group, even though it’s only up by 1%, is also unique. Auxly is predominantly a streaming company. It has more than a dozen licensed partners that it supplied capital to in exchange for a percentage of their output at a below-market cost. The company also secured a 123 million Canadian dollar convertible-note investment from tobacco giant Imperial Brands in July, relieving any near-term cash concerns and allying Auxly with an experienced global retailer and marketer.
Though cannabis stocks are mostly being taken to the woodshed right now, there are bright spots in the group.
Analysts predict the CBD pet care market will reach $125 million by 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of the CBD market.
Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images
When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, it wasn’t something veterinarian Stephanie McGrath thought much about day to day. But then the phone calls started coming. Pet owners and family veterinarians wanted to know what she thought about medical marijuana in relation to animals, and whether she was researching it.
This story discusses substances that are legal in some places but not in others and is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You shouldn’t do things that are illegal — this story does not endorse or encourage illegal drug use.
At the time, McGrath had no interest in cannabis and didn’t even know what cannabidiol (CBD) was, so she mostly ignored the topic. But the combination of receiving phone calls and seeing CBD products already lining pet store shelves made her realize she needed to get up to speed.
„Around 2013 or 2014, I started looking into what research was already out there and I realized that there was essentially no real, good scientific literature in the human world, let alone the veterinary research world,” says McGrath, assistant professor of neurology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. „And so I started investigating whether it would even be plausible for me to conduct any research.”
Now playing:Watch this: Our best gadgets to keep dogs safe in cars
McGrath went on to become one of the pioneering researchers in the field veterinary cannabis but even with her early efforts, research (and regulation) has struggled to keep pace with demand, as people increasingly turn to CBD products to treat their pet’s pain, anxiety, and seizure disorders.
For such a rapidly growing industry, there are still a lot of unknowns. Below, what you need to know if you’re considering CBD for your furry friend.
What is CBD?
Dried hemp leaves, like those shown here, naturally contain higher levels of CBD than other varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Picture Alliance/Getty Images
Cannabidiol is part of the cannabinoid family, a class of chemical compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps the body maintain homeostasis.
Unlike its cousin delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD doesn’t produce a „high” but it is psychoactive. Last year, the US Food & Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, an oral CBD solution, to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare and severe pediatric seizure disorders. CBD is also being investigated as a possible treatment for pain, anxiety and schizophrenia symptoms in humans.
How is CBD administered to animals?
CBD pet care products come in many of the same forms you’re probably used to seeing for humans, including edibles (think: chewable treats and capsules), oils that can be added to food or placed under the tongue and topical creams or balms that are rubbed directly on the skin. Like the CBD products meant for humans, each of these CBD pet care product types appears to have a different effect on the body — in dogs, anyway.
When McGrath started studying CBD in 2016, one of her first studies analyzed how three different delivery methods — a capsule, an oil and a cream — affected the way CBD moved through the bodies of healthy dogs.
Chewable treats are a popular form of pet care CBD.
Pharma Hemp Complex/Unsplash
„We measured the pharmacokinetics, which basically means you give the dogs a single dose of all three delivery methods and then you measure a bunch of different blood levels over a 12-hour period,” says McGrath. „So how quickly is the CBD absorbed, how high the blood concentration gets at that single dose, and then how fast the CBD is eliminated.”
McGrath found that out of the three specific formulations they tested, the oil had the best pharmacokinetic profile, meaning it reached the highest concentration in the blood, stayed in the bloodstream the longest, and performed the most consistently across the different dogs. The capsule also performed well but the cream less so. It performed too inconsistently for McGrath and her team to draw any conclusions.
These results line up with what we know so far about CBD absorption in humans, but the research is too preliminary to be used to make any medical decisions.
How does CBD work in animals?
It’s unclear — and a puzzle researchers are still trying to solve in humans as well. For instance, dogs have an endocannabinoid system but whether CBD interacts with it in the same way experts think it does in humans remains to be seen. For now, all McGrath knows is that in dogs, like in humans, CBD appears to be metabolized by the liver.
Are there any health benefits to giving your pet CBD?
Veterinary CBD research has focused primarily on dogs, leaving a lot of cat owners with unanswered questions.
Again, it’s too early to tell. A 2018 study found that CBD can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis and the following year McGrath published a study showing CBD may help reduce the number of seizures experienced by epileptic dogs. But although these studies were well-designed and peer-reviewed, they’re still small and very preliminary.
„All we’ve basically done is give this drug to these dogs and said, okay, this is what we’re seeing,” says McGrath. „But whether or not the blood levels achieved are adequate enough to treat certain diseases, we don’t yet know.”
Still, McGrath is optimistic. Veterinarians don’t have a wide variety of drugs available to treat these conditions and some of the ones that do exist often come with debilitating side effects, such as weight gain and lethargy. „If CBD works, then I think it would hit the mark of being both effective and not carrying a lot of side effects,” says McGrath. „So that’s kind of what we’re hoping for.”
McGrath and other researchers nationwide are currently conducting larger studies on CBD’s effectiveness in treating osteoarthritis in dogs and cats, epilepsy in dogs and post-operative pain, but it will be a while before the results are published. Until more is known, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian before giving your animal CBD.
Is CBD safe for animals?
CBD, in its pure state, appears to be safe and well-tolerated by animals, according to a 2017 World Health Organization report. However, both subsequent 2018 canine studies mentioned above noted an increase in the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) during CBD treatment.
As part of her study, McGrath ran a simultaneous liver function test to make sure the dogs' livers weren’t failing and everything came back normal so it’s unclear whether the elevated ALP levels were caused by something completely benign or could develop into a more serious problem long term.
„I would definitely be a little concerned about giving CBD to a dog that has known liver issues,” says McGrath. Similarly, because CBD appears to be metabolized by the liver, McGrath says she’d also be wary about giving CBD to a dog who already takes a medication that’s metabolized by the liver. „We don’t really know these things interact right now,” she says.
The other big thing pet owners need to be aware of is quality control. Because the CBD market isn’t well regulated yet, CBD products can contain ingredients that aren’t listed on their labels — including THC, which is known to be toxic to cats and dogs.
When shopping for CBD pet care products, look for companies that support research and will provide a certificate of analysis, or COA, for every batch they sell.
One way to avoid potentially harmful ingredients is to only use products that come with a certificate of analysis, or COA (the batch number on the COA should match the number on the product’s label or packaging). A COA is issued when an independent lab tests the product to confirm its ingredients and potency, among other things.
Legally, CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC, which should be safe for animals. But there’s no reason to take chances. Whenever possible, stick to CBD pet care products that contain 0.0% THC and be on the lookout for symptoms of THC poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, restlessness and trouble standing.
Bottom line: „We haven’t found anything that’s super alarming about CBD,” says McGrath. „But on the flip side, we still know very little about it and it’s really important for owners to know that and use it with caution until we have more information.”
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
WASHINGTON — Health officials are recommending people who vape consider avoiding e-cigarettes while they investigate more cases of a breathing ailment linked to the devices.
While the cause remains unclear, officials said Friday that many reports involve e-cigarette products that contain THC, the mind-altering substance in marijuana.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are looking at 215 possible cases across 25 states. All the cases involve teens or adults who have used e-cigarettes or other vaping devices. Symptoms of the disease include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
The CDC and Food and Drug Administration warned the public not to buy vaping products off the street. And officials recommended people concerned about the health risks “consider refraining from using e-cigarette products.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement the government is “using every tool we have to get to the bottom of this deeply concerning outbreak.”
E-cigarettes generally heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable aerosol. The products have been used in the U.S. for more than a decade and are generally considered safer than traditional cigarettes because they don’t create all the cancer-causing byproducts of burning tobacco.
But some vaping products have been found to contain other potentially harmful substances, including flavoring chemicals and oils used for vaping marijuana, experts say.
The mysterious illness underscores the complicated nature of the vaping market, which includes both government-regulated nicotine products and THC-based vape pens, which are considered illegal under federal law.
These days you can get CBD products just about anywhere. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who use CBD for its myriad health and wellness benefits, that may sound like a good thing. But it’s not. Thanks to a lack of government oversight at both state and federal levels, the vast majority of CBD products you find at your local cafes or gas stations are inferior products made with outdated extraction techniques and little-to-no quality control. As a result, most of them don’t work or contain illicit amounts of THC, which can result in unwanted psychotropic effects and failed drug tests. If you want pure CBD products that actually work, you need to find a brand that’s committed to scientific precision and quality control. And nobody is more committed to those things than Mellowment.
For years there have been mountains of anecdotal evidence suggesting the cannabinoid compound CBD can be very effective in relieving discomfort caused by pain, inflammation, insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Now, at long last, scientists studying human neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids are finally starting to understand why. However, for CBD products to be useful, they have to contain zero THC, and they have to be easily absorbed by the body. And those are two things most CBD companies are very bad at.
Why? Like all cannabinoids, CBD is an oil found in hemp plants. In order to isolate CBD, it must be carefully extracted with specific solvents at precise temperatures. When done correctly, the extraction process results in pure CBD. When done incorrectly, the extraction process can result in CBD that’s tainted with THC, the psychoactive compound that gets you high when you smoke marijuana. But proper extraction is only the first step in producing an effective CBD product. Pure CBD oil does not dissolve in water. If it is not emulsified, the CBD will be difficult for your body to absorb, which means most of it will just pass through your system without producing the desired effects.
Mellowment’s CBD extracts are meticulously engineered from Colorado-grown hemp using an advanced chromatography process that removes all THC, eliminating the risk of failed drug tests and undesired psychoactive effects. After that the extracts go through a sophisticated nano-emulsification process that essentially shrinks the active ingredients. This makes them water soluble so they can easily permeate cell walls. It also decreases the amount of time it takes for the ingredients to take effect. The end result of all this is the most effective, fastest-acting broad spectrum phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp extract on the market.
Mellowment doesn’t just stop there, though. They also create unique blends of their advanced PCR extract, mixing it with other natural compounds to target specific needs such as inflammation, insomnia, and anxiety.
If you’re looking for high quality CBD products—high quality CBD products that can be delivered right to your front door—there’s no better time to check out Mellowment. Right now their best-selling products are all $10 off the regular price.
High Impact is Mellowment’s most concentrated CBD-only product. Each softgel contains a powerful 25mg dose of Mellowment’s PCR nanoemulsion designed to sooth nerves and promote calm comfort and focus. Most customers take 1 to 2 softgels per day. However, you can take up to 4 per day.
Inflammation is an immune system response that is a key factor in numerous ailments, from hypertension and diabetes to depression and arthritis. Recently scientists have started to realize that manipulating the endocannabinoid system with external cannabinoids like CBD can be an effective treatment for inflammatory disorders. That’s why Mellowment designed Mellowment High Impact for Inflammation. It contains a powerful 25mg dose of their PCR nanoemulsion, plus a 10mg dose of curcumin, the active ingredient in tumeric that has long been hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties.
For those who use CBD to relieve the stress and anxiety that interfere with sleep, Mellowment has partnered with Gravity—makers of the famous Gravity Blanket—to develop the best CBD-based sleep aid on the market. In addition to a powerful 25mg dose of PCR nanoemulsion, each Mellowment + Gravity PM softgel contains 1mg of melatonin and 1mg of chamomile. It’s specifically formulated to help you fall faster into a deeper sleep.
There aren’t too many MDs who work with cannabis at this moment in time in the NY/Metro area. Maybe out on the left coast there are more open minded MDs, but here in the New York City and the environs, traditional medicine has completely stigmatized even the most basic conversation surrounding the use of cannabis for anything other than purely recreational use. I know firsthand. I have several MDs and even a heart surgeon in my own family who are stigmatized by cannabis. Cannabis is treated by them as a pariah instead of a cure. My conversations with these people of healing have been pretty heated surrounding our healing plant.
When I discovered the break-through video and consultative work being practiced by Dr. Mary Clifton, I felt that her science and passion for cannabis-based healing should be celebrated, instead of negated. This information is easily accessible on her website for the canna-curious on all sides of this brand-new, yet five thousand year old subject. It’s not easy to talk about cannabis to an MD who is from the „Old School” of medicine. They don’t want to hear about it as I found out a couple years ago with a concern I had. I was able to get relief at a time when very few people were approved for the medical cannabis program in New Jersey. Hopefully through the inclusive work that Dr. Clifton is practicing around her footprint, more and more „traditional” doctors will at the very least, take note and learn from her enthusiasm for change. Cannabis is not that bad!
Thank you. WB.
Warren Bobrow=WB: Why teach cannabis use instead of a more traditional career in your field of medicine? What was your inspiration for this path? What sets you apart from your competition? (Other doctors) What do think about thc and cbd together?
Mary Clifton MD= MCMD: For years I heard my patients speak about the benefits of cannabinoids for their conditions. But it wasn’t until I experienced the death of two people very close to me — my brother and my friend — that I saw firsthand the difference between death with and without cannabinoids. these deaths were important enough to me that I handled the hospice at bedside myself, instead of through hospice nursing over the telephone. The difference with cannabis between these bedside experiences was striking — it was so much easier to manage the dying process — I thought it was likely just a coincidence. But when I did some research, I realized there is extensive data on death and dying, as well as data on so many other conditions, and no one knows the research to make an informed decision on their health. I’m making the research available to everyone, at no cost.
WB: Please tell me about what you do? How do you integrate video into your training?
MCMD: I am doing the research so you don’t have to — so people can have the information they need to use cannabinoids safely and effectively for recreational and medicinal needs. I have the most extensively researched and referenced free video library on the internet, and I’m adding a video each day for one year. Anyone should be able to set aside a half hour and know everything they need to know to make a great selection for themselves online or at the dispensary. And if there are still lingering questions, telemedicine consultations through my trained providers or myself are available at a low cost that should be accessible to everyone.
WB: Do you cook? If so who taught you? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Where? Style of food?
MCMD: I love to cook. My father was a cook on the steamboats in the Great Lakes for twenty years. He cooked relatively exotic food on the boats and brought home unusual foods for us to try, so I may have become an accidental foodie because of him. My mother was utterly disinterested in cooking and never made anything from scratch, so between the two of them, it was a bit of a bipolar kitchen.
When I grew up and went away to school, it was time to learn how to cook for myself and my little girl. And that’s exactly what I did —I cooked through all kinds of ordinary and exotic cookbooks and learned make nearly everything. So I think my own cooking is amazing —until I walk out of my building and find better food within a block of me in every direction.
WB: What is your six month and one year plan? What markets would you really like to break into?
MCMD: My website is the one people use to answer questions they have about cannabinoids. I will continue to create referenced, researched content that is easy to understand and work on every potential distribution channel, including launching a TV show and syndication of my videos for companies and organizations within the cannabis community.
5. If you could be anywhere in the world, right now- where would that be? Doing what? With whom?
I’m currently loving my NYC life and can’t imagine a better place to be or an improved circumstance. After a few months of travel this summer, I’m a little homesick for my obscenely small and wickedly expensive Manhattan apartment, where I can watch the sun go down over the Hudson. At night in NYC I feel like I’m living in a jewelry box. The city twinkles all around me.
The energy of the city in general, and within the cannabis community in particular, always make me so excited to create and innovate when I come home. I love to work and shoot video and cook my meals, and get a little exercise wandering around this amazing town. However after a few weeks in NYC I’ll start to miss the charming south and the woodsy midwest, and all of California has such a pull. When the weather chills I start to think about mountains. Anytime of year, anywhere where water meets the earth and the creator has seen fit to give us a few feet of warm white sand, I’m grateful for all those places too.
When the baby left for college I told her she’d be lucky if she knew where to find me, and I’ve been hard to pin down for a couple of years now. I’m definitely not a homebody.
The cannabis industry is becoming increasingly dominated by big firms, but there still is room for small, craft marijuana producers who peddle high-end products ranging from flower to edibles.
In fact, according to advocates of small cannabis businesses, if the sector evolves under the right conditions, craft will be the future of the marijuana sector.
Conversely, they say, under the wrong conditions, craft will perish and leave the space to a handful of cannabis conglomerates.
“We are in danger of rushing into implementation of this large industry so quickly and in such a way that it crushes the craft industry that does exist,” Adam Smith, president of the Oregon-based Craft Cannabis Alliance (CCA), told Marijuana Business Magazine.
“That is the main danger … that it will get crushed.”
To understand the dangers that a craft cannabis company faces, it helps to understand how industry stakeholders define “craft.”
Generally, it comes down to a set of factors:
The business is majority-owned by locals and also sources its inputs locally, produces locally and employs locals.
The business produces a smaller amount of product compared to larger competitors. (Exact numbers haven’t been defined.)
The business stresses values – such as compensating employees well and contributing to the community – and puts them ahead of the bottom line.
The business uses only organic or natural products and environmentally friendly methods.
Growers, processors and other employees are able to offer personal care to individual plants and products that larger operations can’t provide.
“A craft product is something that is sourced with intention, that has a connection to the community that it’s produced in, whether that’s through the sourcing of ingredients or paying homage, respect and tribute to the culture where the facility is in,” said Bryce Berryessa, CEO of La Vida Verde, a craft infused product company in California. La Vida Verde, which has a 5,000-square-foot grow, sources additional marijuana and organic ingredients from other craft businesses in Santa Cruz County.
You can read more of this story here. And click on the links below for related content that includes:
Jack Herer is one of the most well-known men—and cannabis strains—in the whole wide world of weed.
The man, for those unfamiliar, is a famed cannabis activist who authored The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a comprehensive book on cannabis and hemp, and the various uses and benefits of them. This article is not about him.
The strain is THC-dominant, and terpene-wise, it mainly has terpinolene, caryophyllene, and pinene. These terps push fresh pine and black pepper flavors, reminiscent of many Haze-influenced cannabis strains.
Terpinolene: The Least-Common Common Terpene
For some people, this famous strain is exactly what they want from cannabis. For others, like me, absolutely none of this is appealing. I’ll tell you why.
The Flavor Tastes Like Bad Breath
When it comes to cannabis, I’m very much aware of how individualistic all of our experiences are. I know that some of us like sweet strains, some of us like fruity strains, and some of us like strains like Jack Herer that taste of earth and black peppery spice.
What’s the Difference Between Sweet and Fruity Cannabis Strains?
I enjoy the first two, but that earthy flavor of cannabis is absolutely disgusting. Sure, most cultivars producing these terpenes are powerful and get you stoney baloney, but if you don’t enjoy the smell or taste of your buds, you definitely will not enjoy the complete experience.
When I smoke Jack, regardless of grower or phenotype, the flavor simply tastes like dirty air that makes me think, “Oh yeah, my breath is going to smell terrible after this.” And that’s on both the inhale and exhale.
The High Is Sooooo Blah
Have you ever smoked a strain that was potent, but the high was so heady that you never actually felt stoned, you just felt like your head was on fire and you couldn’t wait for it to end? That’s what Jack Herer did to ya boy on July 16, 2017.
It’s said that Jack Herer gives consumers a boost of cerebral stimulation, resulting in a clear-headed and blissful experience. My experience was anything but clear-headed or blissful.
I smoked a joint of this strain before a flight and after an entire gram of rolled flower, I felt like my mind was all cloudy and bogged down, while also feeling super duper alert, to the point where I got anxious and sweaty.
How to Help a Friend Who Got Too High
If that type of high sounds appealing to you, then yeah, grab this hazy cannabis strain and catch your thrills. But if you’re like me and prefer to be high and happy, then do yourself a favor: Be wary of Jack Herer genetics.
Jack Herer Is a Terrible Teammate
Speaking of Jack Herer genetics, there are plenty of popular Jack-crossed strains that I’ve tried since my first Jack experience, and guess what? They either hit the same, or they dilute the effects from the strain(s) in the cross, because those Haze genetics are so dominant and overpowering.
Which Terpenes Are Found in ‘Haze’ Cannabis Strains?
So if you’re smoking something crossed with Jack, you might as well just get the original, because chances are this parent will shine through. A perfect example of this is Candy Jack. It crosses Skunk #1 with Jack Herer, and even though the Skunk genetics win the aroma and flavor side of things, those effects are still dominated by Jack’s presence.
As you can see, Jack is a ball hog that thinks there’s an I in TEAM. Even though Jack Herer boasts a very strong 4.4 star rating on Leafly, it is a very overrated cannabis strain.