Light cannabis or low THC hemp derived flowers used to be sold freely at shops all across the country before Italy’s interior minister declared a war against the substance using a legal loophole.
People are still skeptic whether or not will the substance be allowed to sold again and used without any stringent restrictions from June onwards. The nation’s Supreme Court of Cassation is expected to look into the matter and discuss the legality of hemp-derived cannabinoid later this month.
According to a new study, the sales of medicinal drugs declined dramatically after light cannabis was introduced in the market. The pharmaceutical industry as a whole saw a massive drop since the new light cannabis came into action around 10 months back.
Researchers in York University, UK wrote that after the introduction of the policy which legalized light cannabis in a given province, they noticed a reduction in the number of dispensed boxes of anxiolytics by almost 11.5%, decrease in dispensed sedatives by 10% and a gradual decrease in anti-psychotics by 4.8%.
In 2016, a new law was enacted in Italy regulating hemp production which unintentionally set off a “green gold rush”: Cannabis flower with 0.2% or fewer traces of THC became legal to sell and purchase as a collector’s item. People can buy jars filled with hemp flower but can’t consume it.
Contrary to the federal law which passed the Farm Bill 2018 in the United States that removed hemp derived cannabinoid from its list of Controlled Substance Act with a set of regulatory reforms, Italy removed certain restrictions which resulted in the prompt actions taken by companies and retailers that allowed them to sell hemp flower as a “technical product.”
A study published in the Health Econometrics and Data Group Working Paper series is a new study which sheds light on the newly legalized low THC levels cannabis.
The study’s authors found that the unintended liberalization of light cannabis opened up new pathways for cannabis research and led to some jaw-dropping research revelations that could prove to be a turning point for the medicinal industry. It also created a great entry point to study the behavioral pattern of the users taking hemp flowers for their medicinal use and how it could reduce the consumption of medicinal drugs.
The light cannabis overpowered other pharmaceutical drugs including opioids, anxiolytics, anti-migraine, anti-depressives, antipsychotics, sedatives and anti-epileptics.
For their research, they gathered monthly data on pharmaceutical drug sales for all 106 Italian provinces from January 2016 to February 2018. On a monthly average, they found that the Italian health authority provides reimbursements for 28 packets of sedatives and 72 boxes of anxiolytics per province.
They also recorded the reimbursement of 12,610 packets for opioids, 27,198 packets for anti-depressants, 4,802 packets for antipsychotics, 27,198 for anti-depressants, 2,504 boxes for anti-migraines and 18,460 packets for anti-epileptics.
With the ease of accessibility to light cannabis at retail stores, the average number of dispensed pharmaceuticals decreased by approximately 1.6%. The most common ailment targeted by these drugs were mental disorders or stress issues that patients were suffering from.
It is known that hemp derived cannabinoid with low levels of THC or 0% THC can help reduce pain, anxiety, inflammation, stress, depression and also cure severe ailments such as Cancer, epilepsy, and seizures. Though there is no internationally recognized study which supports these claims, patients have reported significant benefits after using CBD just for a few days.
The study concluded that even a mild form of liberalization may generate a significant effect on the pharmaceuticals market. Researchers encourage lawmakers and stakeholders to form regulatory policies to ensure safe and healthy consumption of the substance without putting any lives at risk or harm.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has announced a public hearing on May 31, where it will discuss the regulatory model and the impact of CBD with stakeholders. They have kept the forum for discussion open until the next month after which serious evaluation will be done and a final decision can be expected. However, as per Scott Gottlieb, the Commissioner of the FDA said it could take several years for the regulatory model to be announced.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers should keep away from Marijuana and CBD warns the FDA
The FDA has strictly warned people against the usage of marijuana or products containing CBD or cannabidiol especially when one is pregnant or is breastfeeding. In the USA, the popularity of CBD products has swerved a new high with 1 in 7 people ingesting products containing CBD. This study conducted by Gallup on adults is proof of how CBD has caught upon people. CBD contains THC like Marijuana but in lower quantities. Marijuana has intoxicating effects on the user which CBD does not have. The main concern is the usage of THC in it that might pose risks while breastfeeding and pregnancy.
In the meantime, when states are making marijuana legal, products containing THC also is increasing in popularity. Many people believe that both marijuana and CBD have their health benefits. People who vouch by CBD have claimed that they have found relief from conditions like depression, anxiety, acne, insomnia, and even inflammation because CBD is anti-inflammatory.
Known benefits were also experienced by people suffering from epilepsy and cancer. Although cancer was not cured yet it relaxed the very many disturbing symptoms of the disease. People often confuse with marijuana with CBD because it can be extracted by both hemp plants and marijuana. But the CBD found on upper portions of the plant has less than 0.3% THC levels which are the legally acceptable limit.
But there are two sides to every coin, and marijuana has its side-effects too. Much is now known about them especially women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding. Dr. Jennifer Conti who is an OB-GYN at the Stanford Health care spoke to Healthline that nothing does have to be in trend, but when something lacks the scientific backing and research data, it is medically right to proceed further with caution.
Some of the major risks are
FDA believes that are apparent risks associated with using marijuana while pregnant or lactating. FDA had earlier warned that THC can reach the brains of the fetus through the bloodstream of the mother. It can cause damages to the brain development of the child when he or she is born. The other risks include low birth weight, premature birth or even stillbirth.
While breastfeeding, if the THC goes into the baby’s system through mother’s milk, the child’s brain development will surely get affected in addition to poor cognitive abilities. The more the THC taken, the greater is the loss. When it comes to CBD and its ill-effects, not much literature is yet available in the market to determine its exact ill-effects. But only with time, the risks can be known and it does not imply that there aren’t any risks at all.
But in studies conducted on animals, it was revealed that the male fetuses suffered a hampered reproductive system. FDA also fears that CBD products may, after all, be contaminated with a lot of harmful chemicals like pesticides, fungus, and bacteria which in turn will harm the baby.
Dr. Jennifer wants users to be safe until more is known about them. She tells women to play safe and use alternative therapies like serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat pain and depression instead of using CBD.
CBD market is predominately unregulated. FDA approval is not necessarily required for it and many products are already available on racks. The nature, usage and the ingredients inside the product is still a big mystery and needs to be unraveled. People and FDA are unaware yet of the possible side effects barring some studies that have shown side-effects like toxicity and sleepiness especially when they interact with other drugs.
Many research scientists are curious to know how CBD can help and what its potentials are and that is why they believe that research is needed. Even to prove that the use of CBD, while pregnant or breastfeeding has ill-effects, cannot be proven by FDA as there is a lack of any human evidence for the same.
There have been studies conducted on animals, but the results cannot be applied to humans chiefly because of the different physiological order. Until there is more in hand in terms of data and rules, it is advisable for women to refrain from such things that might cause harm.
The FDA had released warning early this month clearly warning people against the use of marijuana or CBD containing THC levels especially when one is breastfeeding or is pregnant. The potential risks are far too risky than to take the risk of having it mixed in the bloodstream affecting the growth of the fetus.
Meta: FDA issues warning to lactating and pregnant women about the potential damages of using CBD and marijuana during this stage.
American Google Search for CBD Surpass Meditation, Exercise and Acupuncture, Study Suggests
People are more curious about cannabidiol or CBD than other trends in health like exercise, apple cider vinegar, acupuncture, and veganism, as stated in a new study.
CBD has grown increasingly more popular that people have been observed to Google search it as much as e-cigarettes and yoga.
According to a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proponents analyzed data on Google searches from January of 200 until April of this year. Results showed that cannabidiol and CBD was a dormant keyword before 2014. Searches continued to spike following that year.
Details of the review
In 2017, keyword searches relating to CBD grew by 126% in comparison to the previous year. It then increased to 160% high in 2018 and is again expected to grow by 117% this year based on the forecasted volumes and observed trends last year.
Authors stated in the paper that the national interest for CBD in the US is accelerating as seen in the substantial increase of keyword searches. In the longitudinal cross-sectional study, Google is the search engine of focus and reflects CBD’s curiosity rather than CBD use.
They also attribute the trend to various health-related behaviors like e-cigarette use. They further suggested that CBD investigation should be prioritized as a public health matter to keep up with consumer demands.
The researches also encourage further studies on the use of CBD and their purpose for taking it. They also call for the development of safety standards for CBD products because a number of such items are adulterated or mislabeled. They suggest standardized marketing practices to further develop consumer trust in evidence-based medicine.
Key statistics from the study
Americans searched for cannabidiol around 6.4M times in April of this year alone. The states with the most CBD searches for 2019 include New Hampshire, Colorado, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
CBD searches in April 2019 surpassed Google inquiries for meditation by 3.38, apple cider vinegar by 5.17, and acupuncture by 7.49. Also, CBD eclipsed trends like veganism by 1.12, marijuana by 1.13, the exercise by 1.59 and vaccination by 1.63.
The paper also showed how CBD ties up with searches for e-cigarettes (factor by 0.96) and yoga (factor by 1.59) and is also searched for nearly half that of dieting (0.51).
Based on a survey released by Gallup in August, usage of the said compound has increased and indicated that 1 in 7 Americans are taking CBD and CBD-infused products.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a derived compound from the cannabis plant species Cannabis sativa L. It’s every bit as controversial as marijuana, it’s cousin derivative, but not for the negative reasons. CBD is believed to alleviate and/or cure various health conditions. The advantage is that it does not have any psychoactive effects like that of marijuana.
CBD is federally legal across all of the US but is still subject to various state laws related to the matter. CBD and CBD-containing products can be purchased, sold and used provided that it does not exceed a THC limit of 0.3%.
Beware CBD Users: Failing Drug Test Without THC Consumption is Possible
Rose Maxey, a Fresno resident, relayed to ABC30 how her use of CBD pills for her chronic back pain led her to fail a drug test for her temp job.
She told the news outlet how THC was found in her urine despite not taking drugs or even smoking a cigarette. At 61, it’s also the first time she flunked a routine drug test.
CBD and its link to THC
CBD is a derived compound from the cannabis plant that is popular for its alleged therapeutic properties. THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive component of the same plant species.
According to federal law, CBD is legal as long as it is derived from the hemp plant and contains 0.3% of THC and below. Marijuana, also a cannabis product, has 5% or more THC.
CBD gets embroiled in drug test failures is because regular urine testing cannot distinguish CBD from THC.
Dr. Alan Barbour, a forensic toxicologist, stated that screening for THC might mistake CBD as the psychoactive substance. Professional blood testing might be a better indicator of whether a person consumed THC.
Barbour was the first one to launch a marijuana screening facility in the Valley.
Another reason for CBD causing a false positive drug test result is that the CBD industry is mostly unregulated, or even self-regulated.
Scott John Van Horn from CBD Center said that most CBD products do not come from government-sanctioned programs, making regulations a bit slow to keep up with the trend.
Central Valley CBD Pure’s Steve Penn stated that CBD users are responsible for what they take. They can’t blame anyone when they haven’t paid attention to the product, read the label, or asked their questions before using it.
CBD is considered legal, but there are still several gray areas existing in the industry.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to release official guidelines for CBD and hasn’t reviewed or evaluated CBD products for safety or effectiveness in treating diseases.
In a letter penned by lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the FDA is urged to finalize rules and regulations for cannabidiol, which includes official testing to ensure that the THC level of a product is legal.
Various CBD businesses are also pushing for regulations, seeing as some owners meet run-ins with the law due to uncertainty of whether their products are lawful to sell. Specific issues like which parts of the hemp plant are legal to have gotten CBD shop proprietor in trouble.
Regulation is a good thing, so consumers and businesses have something to fall back to, adds Tower Health Food’s, Shannon Johnson. It’s especially relevant now that people who get tested for drugs suffer from false-positive results after taking CBD.
As for Rose Maxey, she insisted on taking cannabidiol since it works for her. However, she plans on cutting back if she ever gets another mandatory drug screening.
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