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Some CBD Vapes Laced with Street Drugs Instead of the Real Substance

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CBD laced with street drugs

CBD or cannabidiol, the therapeutic cannabis extract as claimed by users, is increasingly popular in the vaping community due to its non-psychoactive property and ability to cure ailments. The only problem is that some vape CBD oil has been found to contain a potent street drug instead of the real thing.

CBD isn’t very cheap, but many vape operators are taking advantage of the current CBD craze by infusing synthetic marijuana to the mix, which is much cheaper and also very much illegal. Some similar instances also happen to edibles like gummies.

In the past two years, vape users have taken trips to the E.R. due to the intake of spiked products, which are sold by sinister distributors. These cheap yet impure CBD vapes make it easily accessible to users yet hard for law enforcers to catch culprit due to the overwhelming boom of the market.

The Testing

In an investigation conducted by the Association Press (AP), gathered evidence from law enforcement agencies across the states and tested 30 CBD vape products under a licensed third-party laboratory, focusing on flagged items that have initially been reported to contain synthetic marijuana. Of the 30 products tested, ten came our positive. Some did not contain any CBD at all.

Authorities are zoning in on such products because synthetic marijuana is still largely illegal and causes a “high” to its users. By law, chemicals that contain more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is considered a controlled substance under DEA regulations.

According to the director of the laboratory that conducted the tests, there are several inconsistencies in such products. Some vape pods contained synthetic marijuana but the exact chemical differed by flavor and location of purchase.

The investigation by the AP is reflective of what law enforcing agencies in the US have found in their respective tests. Synthetic marijuana is laced in 36 edibles like gummies, while many vaping products were also found to contain the illegal substance. Mississippi enforcers have reported fentanyl, a potent opioid, in some samples of CBD products. Fentanyl is a major cause of death by overdose, which totals to around 30,000 just last year.

The testing, however, does not represent the overall vape industry since there are hundreds of CBD items including vape oils in the market today.

US Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub stated that fly-by-night companies are common in a flourishing industry. While synthetic marijuana is cause for concern, she said that there are still a lot of reputable businesses and that counterfeiting is most often used as the scapegoat by erring distributors and suppliers.

In recent weeks, vaping has also met controversy due to users reporting they developed respiratory illnesses that have claimed the lives of several people. Impure CBD vape is now another problem to add to this growing list.

The issue is that there are numerous CBD products in the market, and law enforcers cannot check them all one by one. Quality control is therefore largely shouldered by manufacturers themselves.

Also, synthetic marijuana can be bought for cheaper. Some websites sell the substance for only $25/pound; CBD of that amount can rack up to several thousand dollars.

Case in Point

Jay Jenkins, then a freshman at the Citadel, was curious about the blueberry-flavored CBD vape brand Yolo! that his friend bought at a store. He remembers trying it from the back of the car, which immediately caused adverse effects like hallucinations and ultimately led to his loss of consciousness.

Jenkins was rushed to hospital by his friend and found to have suffered from acute respiratory failure. He went into a coma as stated in his medical records. He woke up the next day, with hospital staff handing over the Yolo cartridge sealed in a biohazard bag.

Authorities further unearthed 33 other cases similar to Jenkins in Utah, but the brand’s makers have not been identified.

Bookkeeping records showed that Yolo was sold to a distributor by the Mathco Health Corporation. Katarina Maloney, CEO of the said company, has since denied allegations of their involvement. She reiterated that the products are out of their hands once shipped to a distributor.

The investigation noted that a former business partner of Maloney, Janell Thompson, acted as the “exclusive salesperson” of Yolo. However, she refused to provide contact information or an interview.

CBD as an Emerging Hazard

CBD or cannabidiol, a derivative of Cannabis sativa L. hemp variety, is now being considered as an emerging hazard by the American Association of Poison Control Center because of reported cases of contamination and mislabeling.

CBD is known to cure intractable epilepsy. However, an eight-year-old in Washington was brought to the hospital after taking a CBD oil his parents bought online to help with his seizures. The chemical was later found to contain synthetic marijuana, which caused symptoms that include tachycardia and delirium. Similar instances have also been noted in the military bases of North Carolina and Mississippi.

One study in 2017 has proven that labeling of CBD products can be sketchy. In fact, around 70% of such products have been improperly labeled.

Various agencies like the US Hemp Authority are tasked to certify CBD products, but vapes aren’t included in such certification programs.

Since CBD is an active component of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved drug, regulations fall heavily on the said agency. However, if the CBD product is tested to have opioids or narcotics, an FDA spokesperson stated that the DEA should handle such cases.

DEA, meanwhile, is focused on catching culprits who distribute, sell and use more potent drugs like methamphetamines and fentanyl.

Several experts urge the federal government to put more light on the issue. Virginia Commonwealth University Forensic Scientist Michelle Peace found synthetic marijuana in her independent testing of CBD vape products, which leads her to recommend more regulation to be enforced to protect the general public.

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CBD Pillows: Is the Trend Getting Out of Hand?

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Cannabidiol or CBD has achieved a substantial following in the marketplace, with many users touting its efficacy. One alleged benefit of CBD that creates a buzz is improved sleep, which is a strong reason why people want to try it.

The usual forms of CBD that are popular among buyers are CBD-infused gummy bears and CBD oil capsules or tincture. As trends go, manufacturers get creative by making CBD pillows that target individuals suffering from poor or deprived sleep.

Consumer reports

A Consumer Report survey conducted recently revealed that 10% of Americans have used CBD products to improve their sleep. However, many of the respondents are yet to try CBD pillows, which in itself has an interesting concept.

In a study showcased in the journal Medicines, 409 respondents with insomnia initially rated their condition at 6.6 on average, with ten being the most severe. They were then treated with CBD in different combustion methods. The average rating after treatment went down to only 2.2, a significant decrease from the start.

However, there are still many questions regarding CBD for sleep, including the dosage, route, and timing. The effect of CBD in the sleep pattern of an individual also varies on a case-to-case basis.

Recent studies show that cannabis compounds can interact with the endocannabinoid system, or the receptors in the body, which include the brain. It is suggested that CBD affects the sleep and wake cycles due to one of these said receptors.

The CBD Pillow

The CBD pillow, the new addition to a broad range of cannabidiol products, works through micro-encapsulation. It is the process of capturing microscopic CBD particles into capsules that protect the substance from oxidation, evaporation, and contamination. It can only be released via friction, specifically your head on the pillow.

The released CBD is then supposed to be taken up through skin and hair follicle absorption. By theory, more CBD can be released if you are more restless when sleeping.

As of writing, two companies have started marketing the micro-encapsulated CBD pillow, namely Brookstone and CBD Pillow.

How it helps

Cannabidiol is one of the most popular cannabis derivatives, taken from the source plant Cannabis sativa L. that also produces marijuana. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance that causes psychoactive effects for cannabis users. However, CBD has little to no THC content, which makes it non-intoxicating.

CBD is thought to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which then prompts several physiological reactions, including appetite, pain, and mood.

CBD Pillow VP of Content said the pillow is made to release CBD micro-doses for many days to help the user sustain a healthy nighttime routine. It also aims to introduce CBD and its number of alleged benefits, which includes sleep.

The prominent issue, however, is that most pieces of evidence are anecdotal. There aren’t many studies and research that offer solid proof regarding CBD’s benefits. The FDA is yet to present a framework for the use and sale of CBD, which industry players feel should be hastened so that more people can try cannabidiol for themselves.

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CBD User Sues Former Employer for Firing Her After Testing Positive for Marijuana

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A drug counselor from San Antonio who uses cannabidiol oil as part of her treatment regimen for multiple sclerosis has sued her ex-employer for sacking her following a positive result on a marijuana test.

The 48-year-old addiction counselor, Melanie Farr, works for a Management and Training Corporation in Utah, an institution offering rehabilitation programs that cater to incarcerated persons.

CBD oil for MS

Melanie Farr started using CBD oil last year, placing several drops under the tongue to alleviate her symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This condition is lifelong and debilitating, wherein the immune system starts attacking the body, resulting in damaged nerves in the spinal cord and brain.

In a statement to the San Antonio Express-News, Farr stated the CBD oil helped ease her pain and correct her gait, and even reduced her blood pressure.

The lawsuit filed by her legally cited her capability to perform on her job despite suffering from MS, stating that the disease could have had limited her from performing in her daily activities such as balancing, walking, working and caring for herself.

Farr stated her bosses knew that she was using CBD oil for her MS. She maintains that they have discussed it many times. She also pointed out that she has taken cannabidiol while working for the company for a long time.

She insisted that no one had ever asked or mentioned that she looked high while on the job.

Farr is a licensed counselor for chemical dependency since October 2018 and has been assigned to handle prisoners from the Dominguez State Jail in San Antonio. Her company is in contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

False-positive drug test

Farr’s physician suggested she try using cannabidiol to alleviate her MS symptoms. In the lawsuit, she stated that CBD oil has helped her walk better since her pain has lessened.

Last February 14, 2019, Farr underwent a random drug test sanctioned by her employer. She mentioned that she was taking CBD oil as per doctor’s recommendation to the administering technician. A week after the test, her results came back positive.

Despite providing a doctor’s note and several news articles showing false-positive incidences of CBD users being subjected to a drug test, the firm still fired Farr on March 8, 2019.

Atty. Michael V. Galo Jr., Farr’s lawyer, filed the lawsuit last February 20 in the San Antonio Federal Court. He cited the company’s unlawful discrimination against Farr’s condition.

The company is being accused of reckless indifference or malice towards the patient’s rights, which is stated on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In a report published by researches in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, a third of vape users with CBD-laced tinctures had gotten positive urine drug test results. The proponents hope the study will warn CBD users of the implications of drug testing, particularly when taking products that have unclear THC content.

John Hopkins School of Medicine associate professor Ryan Vandrey stated the perception that CBD products are THC-free is not always true. Roadside, workplace or criminal justice testing purposes could come up positive despite CBD being touted as non-intoxicating and legal under federal laws.

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Four-time Champion Iditarod Musher Gives Race Dogs CBD Oil

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Some 800 dogs have started the 975-mile journey with their mushers to conquer the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday. Four-time winner Lance Mackey made news when he revealed giving CBD oil to his dogs against head veterinarian’s advice.

Mackey declined the suggestion, citing cannabidiol being excluded in the banned substances list found on the competition’s rulebook.

Enhancing recovery times

Lance Mackey, currently in fifth place at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, revealed to the Anchorage Daily News that he has been giving his race dogs cannabidiol oil to improve their performance and recovery times.

Iditarod head veterinarian Stuart Nelson has discouraged the use of CBD oil for competing dogs. Still, Mackey went against advice, saying there is nothing in the race’s rule book that mentions CBD oil as a banned substance.

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a derivative of Cannabis sativa L., which is also the source plant for marijuana, an addictive substance containing high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound. On the other hand, CBD is non-intoxicating due to a shallow THC content that causes the high.

CBD for pets has become a famous market currently, with owners praising its health and wellness benefits for animals. It is commonly used to manage pain and treat seizures, among others, despite the federal government’s lack of official standards for the said substance.

Mackey, a cancer survivor, considered getting medical marijuana treatment throughout his four-year consecutive victories from 2007. However, Iditarod barred marijuana use by 2010. He reasoned the other mushers were jealous of his wins; that’s why the ban was enforced.

In 2011, a year after the marijuana ban, Mackey bags his fourth consecutive championship.

CBD oil for pets

CBD oil has gained popularity over recent years for being a miracle remedy for many illnesses. Users have been lauding its efficacy to health conditions like arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety and more.

CBD manufacturers have entered the market successfully, producing a variety of products like lotions, gummies, tinctures, and others. CBD pet products have also found a great reception from owners who are curious about cannabidiol for pets.

Cannabidiol-based products for pets are mostly in the form of treats or oil. They are said to deliver promising results for alleviating pain and anxiety. However, there aren’t many studies to solidify the effectiveness of these items.

Pet experts advise that it’s best to consult with the veterinarian about the pet’s specific condition and evaluate whether CBD oil can be one of the viable options to improve their well-being.

About Iditarod

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race started on Sunday, with Paige Drobney, a Pennsylvania native from Cantwell Alaska, taking the lead last Wednesday. She was the first to leave among the mushers at the Ophir checkpoint.

The first to reach McGrath checkpoint was Jessie Royer who received handmade items as a token for the milestone.

The oldest musher to enter the race, Jim Lanier, 79 years old and a retired pathologist, withdrew from Iditarod last Tuesday at Rainy Pass for his well-being amid the virus outbreak.

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