Introducing the 0.00 Percent THC Cannabis Variety – DOPE Magazine – DOPE Magazine

Just when you thought you had seen it all in the wonder world of cannabis—one company just released a new variety of cannabis that they claim contains 0.00 percent THC. According to a September 15 press release, Orlando-based Bazelet Oglesby is taking an entirely new approach to cannabis marketing—releasing a plant without the prime cannabinoid responsible for heady, psychoactive effects.

The company is now introducing a new plant variety: Cannabis America, which is “100% genetically-free of the psychoactive and illegal compound delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol [THC].”

The team behind Bazelet Oglesby utilized tissue culture development in conjunction with molecular biology in genomics laboratories at universities located in both the US and Israel, which helped them to establish a genetic and genomics library. This, they say, ensures that the plants contain no traces of THC.

“Cannabis America plants have as much THC as wheat, corn or potatoes,” stated Gary Hennen, who serves as director of Bazelet Oglesby and president of Oglesby Plants International. He continued, “The Cannabis America plant variety is 100 percent THC-free and will help expand hemp production exponentially, particularly here in the US. Farmers who have been reluctant to grow Hemp for fear of possessing an illegal controlled substance can now be a part of the hemp economy without fear of breaking the law and losing their investment.”

Both cannabis grown for recreation and hemp are descended from the same genus and the same species, and separated only by THC content (and a handful of other characteristics). The appeal of cannabis plants free of THC is ideal for children suffering from epilepsy, for instance. Charlotte’s Web—a prime example of low-THC/high-CBD cannabis—was developed by the Stanley Brothers and named after Charlotte Figi, who was a source of inspiration behind the medical cannabis movement. Since then, several other low-THC strains have gained popularity in recent years.

The variety Cannabis America could be used for a variety of applications. However, it may be most useful as medical applications for people who need CBD without any traces of THC.

Crackdowns on hemp farms have been initiated based on minute variations in THC content, and based off of only tiny samples that represent entire crops. “The definition of hemp does not automatically exempt any product derived from a hemp plant, regardless of the delta-9-THC content of the derivative,” the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states. “In order to meet the definition of ‘hemp,’ and thus qualify for the exemption from Schedule I, the derivative must not exceed the 0.3 percent delta-9 -THC limit.”

Considering that the DEA’s definition of hemp is draconian for farmers who accidentally grow hemp with too much THC, thus losing thousands of dollars, Bazelet Oglesby officials hope that some farmers who were reluctant to join the hemp industry will reconsider.

A patient’s guide to medical cannabis certifications in Missouri – Greenway

Over the past several months, I have had multiple family members, friends, and business associates ask me about the recent DHSS investigations into fraudulent medical cannabis certifications.  They ask me how this could happen, what the ramifications will be to our industry, and most importantly, how can we prevent such actions in the future.  The honest answer, I tell them, is that while there are certainly ways to improve the safety and security of medical cannabis certification process, not all bad actions can be predicted or prevented, and some level of risk will always remain.  The good news is, there are some simple questions patients can ask themselves when selecting a physician or group for medical cannabis certification to ensure that they receive their certification in an ethical, private, and fully legally compliant manner.  Even better, the questions apply not just to medical cannabis certifications, but also to any situation when choosing a medical practitioner to provide for your health!  To help, here are some examples of questions I would ask myself when choosing a doctor:

Who is the physician with whom you will be meeting?  Will you be able to reach this person later if you have questions or need follow-up care? Are they local to Missouri or based out of state?  Do they have a regular medical practice with an office where you can be seen in person, or are they only available online?

Since the legalization of medical cannabis in Missouri, there has been an explosion of websites online advertising medical cannabis certification.  I personally cringe when I see an ad with the phrase “one of our licensed doctors” in it, because largely that is code for the entity being a profit-driven organization which is likely not physician-run, potentially based out of state, which has frequent turnover of physicians, and is purely driven to maximize the number of certifications provided in a short-term profit-grab.  It is in the patient’s best interest, however, to select a physician with demonstrated commitment to the Missouri medical cannabis segment, who is ethical, and who is properly motivated by the goal to care for patients, not just take their money. There are many physicians in our state who run patient-centered professional medical practices which cater to the cannabis community, who understand the legal aspects of medical care such as HIPAA compliance, maintaining appropriate malpractice insurance, proper record keeping with a compliant electronic medical record system, and who are committed to providing health care to the cannabis community, whether through medical certifications or primary health care services.

Is the physician or practice ethical? What is their reputation in the Missouri medical cannabis community?

   

In medical school, every physician is educated in medical ethics.  Ideally, for a medical practice to be considered “ethical,” it must respect all four principles: autonomy, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence.  For the lay person, this comes down to 1) Does the practice or physician allow the patient to make their own informed decision, free of coercion, after educating them about the risks or benefits of a certain course of treatment, 2) Is the care being provided with the intent of benefitting the patient involved, and 3) Is there a risk of harm to the patient or society which should prevent certain therapies being employed?  What this means, is that every physician has the ethical obligation to meet directly with the patient, inform the patient of the risks and benefits of a potential therapy, and work together to make an informed, collaborative decision in providing care that is in the patient’s best interests.  It also means that a physician “should do no harm,” meaning if a therapy is likely to make a condition worse or otherwise harm a patient, it should not be provided, and the physician should have the courage to withhold such care if ethically indicated.  In the field of medical cannabis certifications, this means that at times, patients are denied certifications, not just rubber-stamped through in pursuit of a quick buck.

Is the physician or practice established, will they be around to provide care for years to come? Is the physician experienced or knowledgeable about cannabis?

These are admittedly hard questions to answer right now – we have already seen many groups come and go over just the past year, and there is no recognized medical subspecialty for cannabis medicine.  It is becoming clearer, however, that there is a core group of physicians and medical practices dedicated to the Missouri medical cannabis community, practices which are physician-run, Missouri-based, and borne out of regular medical practices that have served their communities for years before expanding into cannabis medicine and medical cannabis certifications.  These physicians have joined national organizations, such as the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, actively seek out educational opportunities in cannabis medicine, and employ the considerable experience they already have in dealing with the many certifiable medical conditions, such as chronic pain, with the added tool of medical cannabis.

The take-home message is this: as a patient, your interests are best served by selecting a physician with whom you can discuss your medical condition, review any risks of cannabis therapy, and develop a collaborative relationship for your healthcare moving forward. The risk of fraud is minimized when you know the physician’s name, are able to reliably get in touch with them after certification, and when they are preferably based in Missouri with a track record of providing quality medical care in the community.  They should be knowledgeable about cannabis, take the time and be able to answer your questions, be discerning enough to request records when appropriate, and even deny certification if ethically indicated.  By selecting a physician committed to serving your healthcare needs in the manner described above, you not only improve your own health, but support the building of a strong, respected Missouri medical cannabis community at large.

Medical cannabis companies cleared for London stock market – The Guardian

Medicinal cannabis companies have been cleared by the UK’s financial regulator to float on the London Stock Exchange but firms that sell marijuana to recreational users will still be banned.

The Financial Conduct Authority said businesses that grow and sell recreational cannabis, even in countries such as Canada where it is legal, cannot list in London because of the Proceeds of Crime Act. Income from the sale of cannabis and cannabis oil outside the UK could constitute “criminal property” under the act, because it covers conduct abroad that would constitute a crime if it happened in the UK.

But the regulator said UK medical cannabis firms could float in London, as could overseas firms, although they would have to satisfy the regulator that they should be allowed to do so because of the more nuanced legal position.

The rules for overseas firms are complicated by the UK’s restrictive regulatory environment for medicinal cannabis, legalised in 2018. Cannabis growers require a licence from the Home Office, while any imports of the drug require patients to get a prescription first.

The FCA said regulations, which limit the extent to which medicinal cannabis is being used in the UK, meant overseas firms could not automatically be granted the right to list in London, even if they only sold a medical product. While firms might have a licence to sell in other countries, that did not mean they would be able to secure the same permissions from the Home Office, the regulator said.

“For medicinal cannabis and cannabis oil companies with overseas activities, the company will need to satisfy us that their activities would be legal if carried out in the UK,” the FCA said. “We will also need to understand the legal basis of the company’s overseas activities, for example the nature of the local licensing and the licences the company holds.”

Despite the complex position for overseas producers, the fast-growing cannabis industry is expected to celebrate the clarity from the markets regulator, which will help firms tap funding from new investors.

Nick Davis, chief executive of law firm Memery Crystal, which counts cannabis companies among its clients, said: “This is great and overdue news for the medicinal cannabis sector in the UK, both for medicinal cannabis companies themselves, but also for patients, who have yet to receive easy access to the products they need.

“Our firm, and a number of our clients, have worked hard over the past few years to have medical cannabis companies admitted to the London markets. With greater clarity from the FCA we hope investors will also support companies coming to market to drive the sector forward.”

5 Free-Wheeling Questions With GotBars510 Legal Craft Cannabis Entrepreneur – Forbes


I’ve always believed that the best stories in cannabis yet to be told were the ones that revealed themselves without saying too much. The plant has that essential effect and friends that I’ve made (and the ones not yet met) within this often silent craft will all say the same thing. Sometimes what you might want to say is best left unsaid in weed. It’s just how it we have survived for so long.

Our essential medicine is still illegal in many places. Cannabis is a powerful curative, but physically benign plant has been greatly misunderstood over the past seventy-five years or so.

My experience with the emotional reasonings surrounding cannabis are deep and authentic. I can picture the event as clearly as yesterday. Growing up in the western leafy suburbs of New York City, cannabis was both celebrated by my long-haired friends in prep school, trotting off to NYC to see Grateful Dead shows at Madison Square Garden and coming home really late, only to be chastised by our parents for “smelling like weed”. They never let me forget that weed was illegal. And still is in New Jersey.

This experience of being yelled at for smoking cannabis is the reason why cannabis has suffered much by stigmas over the past decades. Our parents hated cannabis because they couldn’t accept that cannabis had healing properties. All they saw was getting high or stoned or whatever they said at the time. It was mostly that smoking cannabis will prevent you from becoming successful. How we would never amount to anything. It’s refreshing to meet and eMeet young, vibrant cannabis entrepreneurs who see the benefits of the plant and the healing.

How wrong they were to assume back in the 1970’s that cannabis wouldn’t bring success. I’ll let my interviews with successful cannabis entrepreneurs speak volumes without saying a word. That is success.

Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me where you are from? Where now? Why cannabis instead of law or medicine, or the arts? When was the first time that you discovered the plant? 

GotBars510: What’s up to all my people out there. My government name is Joey but everyone in the Bay (SF Bay Area) where I’m born and raised and still reside refer to me as GotBars510. I discovered weed at the age around 11-12 yrs old while I was in middle school as a 6th grader. I always used weed to self medicate only didn’t realize it until I got more into the legalization and learned how the plant benefited me. Being as how it is legal, it has been and always will be my choice to not only medicate, but recreationally enjoy on a daily, or should I say hourly basis, ha ha ha.

WB: What are you known best for? What is the difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis? Why does the recreational consumer chase THC? 

GotBars510: The thing I’d say I’m best known for that separates me from most other people like myself is the fact that I don’t really put anything on what I do. I’m just a real live stoner. I can’t be bought, I am not a sellout, I just promote what I like, and on social media I show what I do. No acting, no pretending. To me, that’s what weed is all about. There has always been a line everyone tried to define between medicinal cannabis and recreational weed, but for me, it’s all the same unless you really try to sit me down to explain the difference. I think people on either side of that line smoke for the same reason people wear glasses, to improve their view of the world. 

WB:What are your six and twelve month goals? What obstacles do you face? Tell me about what you do for your company? 

GotBars510: If you had to ask me what my goals where both short and long term, it’s pretty simple. I just want to work with as many farms and hash companies that I can to share with the masses. I have homies who own so many clubs that always ask what it is I’m smoking, that I decided to do these collaborative projects so that I could put my stamp on a package for everyone to grab and share. All my packages feature the companies I’m involved in too. We go by the BrokeBoyz which is a term we use to not forget where we came from, Terpenstein which is a hash company my very good homie and mentor I refer to as my “Street Pops” who got me in the game with, and of course my own name which is my brand GotBars510. We literally act as brokers for any products we find and love, and we also have farms running with genetics we provide for them to grow. On top of it all, we work with the best design and packaging company in the world to showcase our partner farms hard work over at Sticker Farmer in Redwood City. Without Ben at the Sticker Farm, we’d never look so good. 

WB: What is your favorite food memory from childhood? What is your favorite food now? Do you cook? If so, who taught you? What does a typical breakfast look like to you? 

GotBars510: If I had to have a favorite food memory, it absolutely would be Dino Bites. I think the funniest part about then and now? My favorite food is still Dino Bites only nowadays, the best ones are made from my homie who is a Michelin Star recipient over at Rasoi in Burlingame. If I knew how to cook, I’d probably have more variations of them, but Asif has figured out the perfect recipe to keep Dino Bites as my #1 favorite food to eat. Other than Dino bites, I do love to eat my breakfast and if I had to pick my favorite, it’s simple, bacon, eggs, well-done hash browns and some toast.

WB: What is your passion? 

GotBars510: My passion is my job. It’s kinda a trip that I fell into the generation where prohibition ended and working in weed is what I live to do. My pops always told me, if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life, and it’s true. My passion is what I do on a daily basis and I am very grateful to be here for however long the universe sees fit.

Recreational cannabis stocks blocked from listing in London – Yahoo Sports


A demonstrator smokes marijuana during the ‚Cultivate Your Rights’ march demanding its legalisation, in Santiago, Chile. Photo: ernetti/AFP via Getty Images

British investors hoping to get in on the boom in legal weed in places like Colorado and Canada will have to wait a while longer before buying exposure in their home market.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday said companies making any money from recreational cannabis use can’t list in London.” data-reactid=”24″>The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday said companies making any money from recreational cannabis use can’t list in London.

While cannabis has been legalised for recreational use in may places around the world, it remains illegal in the UK. The FCA said anyone investing in a company linked to recreational cannabis would be violating British laws related to the proceeds of crime. As a result, listings on the London Stock Exchange are off the table.

The FCA said it issued the guidance after “queries from cannabis-related companies interested in listing in the UK.”

Trump bans TikTok and WeChat from US app store

The recent decriminalisation of cannabis in parts of the world created a mini-investment boom in 2018, with the first dedicated ETF tracking the sector surging almost 75% that year. Pot stocks plummeted last year and have continued to struggle in 2020 but the sector is still seen as a promising growth market over the longer term.

While UK investors can’t get a slice of the recreational weed market through any London listings, they can buy exposure to the medical marijuana market. Medical marijuana was legalised in the UK in 2018 and the FCA said UK-based medical cannabis companies can list in London.

However, overseas medical marijuana companies need a closer look.

“We can’t assume a person who has been licensed in an overseas country would receive a licence here in the UK as licensing regimes differ globally,” the FCA said.

The regulator said it would have to review overseas companies looking to list in the UK on a case-by-case basis to make sure they don’t break proceeds of crime laws.

Cannabis Consumption Surges During Pandemic As Sleep Issues And Anxieties Mount, Says New Poll – Forbes


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a nearly double-digit increase in cannabis consumption among users as well as a „massive, lasting uptick” in those turning to cannabis delivery services to deal with sleep issues and rising anxieties. These are two key findings according to a new poll conducted by California-based Ganja Goddess, an online shopping, delivery and lifestyle brand that caters to cannabis consumers statewide.

The study, which polled more than 850 people, also found that flower is the primary method of consuming cannabis and that convenience and safety were top reasons for selecting a delivery service.

Zachary Pitts, CEO of Ganja Goddess, said in a public statement that the poll’s findings show „a lasting shift in consumer behavior as the pandemic goes on and consumer behaviors evolve, which is reflected in the more than 100 percent growth year-over-year we are experiencing.” Pitts added that the majority (55 percent) of respondents consuming cannabis during the ongoing pandemic increased by 9 percent since Ganja Goddess conducted its last poll in April 2020.

When asked if they used cannabis to help manage any conditions, a majority (78 percent) of respondents said yes, with 69 percent citing sleep, 68 percent stating anxiety and 32 percent invoking chronic and acute conditions as conditions that cannabis is helping them manage.

And, with a majority (89 percent) of cannabis consumers stating they are receiving cannabis through delivery services during this period, only six percent listed retail as their primary method. This shows a 57-point difference and a „22 percent sustained uptick for cannabis delivery services,” versus the April poll’s findings, according to a news release. It also revealed a 17-point drop for brick and mortar.

As for why they were turning to cannabis delivery services during a pandemic, 52 percent of respondents cited convenience while 32 percent said safety and 3 percent claimed product selection and saving time.

Although 56 percent of respondents said flower was their primary method of consumption during the pandemic, 51 percent cited edibles, 36 percent preferred vape pens, 14 percent said tinctures and 13 percent said pills/capsules. Interestingly, prior to the start of the pandemic, 61 percent of consumers selected flower as their main method of consumption while 50 percent selected edibles, 42 percent preferred vape pens and 12 percent opted for tinctures.

With this new study, flower and vape pens had a 5 percent and 7 percent drop, respectively. And, edibles saw a one percent increase, tinctures had a two percent increase and pills/capsules a 3 percent increase. What this means is that flower, edibles and vape pens continue to be the most popular methods of consumption, thereby disabusing the widening notion that more users are moving away smoking.

Namaste Debuts „VendorLink” Cannabis Accessory Marketplace Platform – Technical420 – Technical420

Namaste Technologies Inc. (TSXV: N) (FRANKFURT: M5BQ) (OTCMKTS: NXTTF), a leading platform for cannabis products, accessories and education, announced today the launch of VendorLink, a proprietary marketplace platform for brands and vendors to upload and sell their cannabis accessory products to CannMart customers directly. The first brand to utilize VendorLink is Canada Puffin, a leading Canadian hardware company focused on premium handblown glass and natural maple pipes and accessories.

Namaste Technologies Inc. Logo (CNW Group/Namaste Technologies Inc.)

VendorLink allows brands and vendors to upload their product catalogue directly to CannMart.com, to be displayed alongside CannMart’s own accessory inventory. With an expanding national presence and a strong base of loyal repeat customers, CannMart is in a unique position to leverage its online real estate with like-minded industry partners looking to expand their reach and introduce a true marketplace experience in the cannabis accessory space. Brands and vendors interested in establishing a presence on CannMart.com and accelerating their growth using VendorLink can join the waiting list by visiting https://cannmart.com/sell-on-cannmart.

“Having been first conceived two years ago, we are thrilled to present VendorLink as the answer for cannabis accessory vendors large and small, looking to introduce their products to a fresh, Canada-wide audience through CannMart.com via a marketplace model,” said Meni Morim, CEO of Namaste Technologies. “Our debut partner, Canada Puffin, is the perfect brand to celebrate this launch with, as a dedicated proponent of both cannabis and Canadian culture.”

Determined to raise Canada’s national profile as a leader in the cannabis accessory movement, Canada Puffin is the first leading brand to work with CannMart and establish their own VendorLink marketplace presence.

“Namaste’s VendorLink offers a great way for Canada Puffin to introduce our premium accessories to a new audience of dedicated, cannabis-positive Canadians,” said Dale Falkenstein, CEO of Canada Puffin. “We look forward to expanding our presence through the Namaste network and are excited to be featured within this marketplace amongst some of the most notable brands in the industry.”

Canada Puffin’s glass accessories are thoughtfully designed as art pieces, intended to be proudly displayed. Made with authentic, natural Canadian Maple, each unique piece depicts elements of Canadian heritage and culture throughout.

About Canada Puffin
Canada Puffin is committed to creating an open and inviting culture in the ever changing smoking landscape. Through its unique product designs, quality and presentation, it strives to reshape the perception of cannabis and the community.  For more information please visit: https://canadapuffin.com/

About Namaste Technologies Inc.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Namaste Technologies is a leading online platform for cannabis products, accessories, and responsible education. The Company’s ‘everything cannabis store’, CannMart.com, provides medical customers with a diverse selection of hand-selected products from a multitude of federally-licensed cultivators, all on one convenient site. The Company also distributes licensed and in-house branded cannabis and cannabis derived products to recreational consumers in Canada through a number of provincial government control boards and retailing bodies. Namaste’s global technology and continuous innovation address local needs in a burgeoning cannabis industry requiring smart solutions.

Information on the Company and its many products can be accessed through the links below:

NamasteTechnologies.com
NamasteMD.com
Cannmart.com

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Cision

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/namaste-debuts-vendorlink-cannabis-accessory-marketplace-platform-301133743.html

SOURCE Namaste Technologies Inc.

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2020/18/c4232.html

Incite Capital Markets, Eric Negraeff / Darren Seed, Meni Morim, CEO, Namaste Technologies Inc., Ph: 604.493.2004, Email: ir@namastetechnologies.comCopyright CNW Group 2020

Exploring real world applications of cannabis – Health Europa

Exploring real world applications of cannabis
© iStock-FatCamera

Dr Hance Clarke tells MCN about the Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence clinical trial.

Dr Hance Clarke, MSc, MD, PhD, FRCPC is the Medical Director of the Pain Research Unit at Toronto General Hospital. He is leading the pioneering Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence clinical trial, which aims to gauge the effects of various forms of cannabis and cannabinoids on patients, using validated and standardised products to eliminate the common issue of batch-to-batch variance.

Participants in the trial will be able to select their preferred method of cannabis delivery using a dedicated portal and their experiences will be monitored over a six-month period. Dr Clarke tells us more.

What first drew your attention to the potential offered by medical cannabis?

As an anaesthesiologist and a pain physician I have had many patients over the years speak to me about the benefits of cannabis for pain, sleep, anxiety etc; and I could only listen and nod my head. As of 2014 with the new guidelines created in Canada, cannabis became a substance more accessible to patients and for healthcare providers to authorise and scientifically study. For decades patients have claimed that cannabis was useful for conditions such as HIV neuropathy (Toronto had one of the largest cannabis dispensaries for decades that served the HIV community). Furthermore, my pain patients would tell me that inhalational cannabis at night was what took the edge off their neuropathic pain symptoms and afforded them a great night’s sleep.

Over the past seven years the cannabis sector has exploded in North America and a global industry has developed. This is a moment where we start to identify products with therapeutic benefit. For the most part, we have no idea what the major constituents are in the products that patients are currently consuming and there is a huge variability from one purchase to the next. As a medically complex patient, you want to ensure that the product you consume today is the product that you will acquire three to four months from now and this certainly has not been the case. I would like to help create a sense of reliability and safety for my patients, given they must spend their hard-earned dollars on these products.

What are the key goals of the Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence study?

To describe the effectiveness of medical cannabis on pain, sleep, anxiety and depression in a cohort of patients authorised to use validated medical cannabis products, using pre-defined, validated self-assessment scales. The study will gauge patient-reported improvement of symptoms at baseline, six, 12 and 24 weeks for pain, sleep, depression, anxiety, and depression; as well as overall quality of life.

The secondary endpoints examined in the study will include:

  • Demographic and clinical characteristics of patients authorised for medical cannabis in Canada (for example age, sex, comorbidities, concomitant medications, etc)
  • Patient satisfaction with the online medical cannabis prescription platform Medical Cannabis By Shoppers, to be determined using a final user survey at the conclusion of the study
  • Changes in prescription medications of interest such as opioids, antidepressants, anxiolytics and high dosage anti-inflammatories, from baseline to six months

Participants will be enrolled in the study at the time of their initial medical cannabis consultation, which can be conducted in person or through scheduled telemedicine appointments. All patient reported outcomes and medical history questionnaires are completed online; and study participants will be compensated for their time in completing the validated questionnaires.

By examining the different effects of differing strains and strengths of cannabis products, could the data gathered over the course of the study be used to develop personalised treatments in the future?

It absolutely could. This initial study will serve to inform future studies that will examine a specific validated and verified medical cannabis strain, dosing and therapeutic outcomes for each patient.

While there is growing evidence that medical cannabis may be an effective therapeutic option for patients suffering from chronic medical conditions, clinical research on medical cannabis has focused primarily on short-term outcomes, with limited attention to long-term benefits of specific strains and dosing regimens. In addition, patients using medical cannabis are generally unable to maintain a defined treatment regimen (whether defined by strain name, biochemical composition, or mode of ingestion) over a long period of time, because there is allowance for recreational and licensed medical producers to change their strains and product lineup without notice – in effect, no quality standards for medical cannabis have been fully defined.

Subtle changes in strain composition may have significant clinical effects; and with so many strains to choose from, these small changes complicate patients’ ability to optimise their overall health outcomes, as well as researchers’ ability to study long-term effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis in general, and specific strains in particular. The current real-world study addresses these complexities by providing patients defined medical cannabis strains and products, allowing them to maintain their treatment if desired or alter its composition in order to identify dosing regimens that work for them.

Cannabis products can now be ‘genetically fingerprinted’ and clearly identified. Key information, including DNA genetics and cannabinoid and terpene compositions, can be collated into a Master Strain Certificate. This certification can then be embedded into a cannabis barcode which carries comprehensive information about the strain.

Have you experienced any challenges in getting the study set up or approved?

We have been very successful at getting the study approved through ethics co-ordinators. We have also been fortunate to have great partners at the table, including the pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart, who have developed a unique e-prescription portal for healthcare practitioners; as well as a large number of licensed producers who have committed to validate their medical cannabis products into the study formulary.

Many physicians are still sceptical or unsure about prescribing cannabis as a medical treatment. What are the main factors affecting this scepticism?

The average physician has not had exposure to the body of literature that speaks to the potential of medical cannabis in clinical care. As such many physicians are uncomfortable authorising medical cannabis use, often because they lack the clinical knowledge to provide recommendations to patients. Continuing medical education, modules such as the one being created by the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids – which will be launched in the autumn of 2020 – would be a great source for physician education. It will include key basic science knowledge as well as clinical evidence via a balanced lens as it relates to benefits and risks of cannabis use.

Could better education or a broader evidence base improve the situation?

A broader evidence base is a must, however it must be compiled with scientific rigour; and we need to start with reliable products that are validated, reliable and replicable. There must be continued efforts to ensure that patients, healthcare providers, policymakers and regulators understand the cannabis industry’s strengths and pitfalls. Medical, nursing and pharmacy schools should discuss the role of the endogenous endocannabinoid system within the context of the decades of basic science research to date.

Dr Hance Clarke, MSc, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Director, Pain Services
Director, Good Hope Ehlers Danlos Clinic
Medical Director, Pain Research Unit
Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management
Toronto General Hospital

This article is for issue 4 of Medical Cannabis Network. Click here to get your free subscription today.

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