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We must study marijuana’s influence on the environment before it’s too late

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We must study marijuana influence on the environment before its too late

At a flurry of global news, after decades of false starts and political wrangling, it was eventually written into legislation: Justin Trudeau‘s government legalized recreational marijuana use at Canada.

Ironically, the path of true legalization never did run smooth. A plethora of complicated province-specific policies and regulations have emerged which have functioned to signify the fractured political character of Canada’s federation, but in addition to puzzle its own citizens.

A lot of the advice that was shared before the big day was meant to clear up a number of the people confusion concentrated on the human health dangers of cannabis intake. Billboards and advertisements in green ribbon have cautioned Toronto and Vancouver’s denizens of smoking marijuana may impair the ability to induce, activate schizophrenia and other mental health difficulties, and stoke dependence.

While all commendable and essential warnings, this attention on individual health has emphasized the notable absence of governmental or public discussion on the possible effect of cannabis on the environment, and specifically on North America’s abundant supplies of fresh water.

Often including at the lower rungs of priority in regards to ascertaining the safety of a medication, the effects of a pharmaceutical on the freshwater environment could be important to the health of rivers, lakes and people who reside near.

Also Read: Cannabis rules accepted by City of Carpinteria, now head to Coastal Commission

The gamut is broad and stressing — out of limpets from the UK no more able to cling to stones for survival since they “bathe at a soup” of antidepressants to Canadian man bass growing eggs in their testes after being subjected to the artificial estrogen found in birth control pills.

These examples should serve as a reminder that if deeming a medication fit for economy, we ought to research and variable in its influence on the environment and water systems.

Since the wave of marijuana legalization appears to be steadily crossing North America, in addition, it highlights the way the USA and Canada, together with our shared watersheds and borderless water motion, have to put our minds together on this particular situation.

If it comes to marijuana, a great deal of the study and laws is patchy and regionally specific. In Canada, some laws exists to restrict the usage of over 95 pesticides which could be employed by accredited cannabis producers. There’s also advice to protect against these chemicals out of leeching into nearby water bodies and attaining its flora and fauna.

However, we must understand more.

It is difficult to overstate the value of water into North America’s market and individuals. The five mammoth fantastic Lakes alone accounts for 21 percent of the world’s freshwater supplies and no fewer than 35 million Americans and Canadians rely on them to get their drinking water.

Historically, economic development of the continent has relied on its own networks of rivers and lakes, and now it provides areas to fish, and ship — helping fuel economic activity from the tourism and recreation market. To put it differently, every financial sector in North American is dependent upon fresh water.

We’re nevertheless limited in our comprehension of just how much recreational use of cannabis in Canada increases thanks to legalization. Some projections indicate a steep growth, but we will need to be monitoring ingestion to understand what might be leeching to our water.

Also Read: Marin cannabis researchers claim breakthrough against chronic diseases

Secondly, when cannabis itself is metabolized by both people and excreted to our water supplies, it may lead to risks which are yet poorly understood which aren’t accounted for when only applied pesticides are analyzed. We need further research to meet these information gaps.

Our warm water flows freely across our continent; cannabis flowing from British Columbia won’t stop short in the boundary with Idaho.

North America’s authorities, scientists and business have to work together to ensure a detailed comprehension of the effects of marijuana on new water,and upgrade wastewater treatment centers and regulations to help protect our rivers and lakes.

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CBD Industry Goes Local, citing ‘Wild Wild West’

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CBD Industry Goes Local, citing ‘Wild Wild West’

CBD is being hyped up across states, but the budding industry in Michigan is still navigating through the unclear regulatory landscape. CBD or cannabidiol was initially dismissed as a marijuana relative, but its alleged health and wellness benefits make it an early crowd favorite.

Today, CBD is everywhere in Michigan and is touted as a wellness product that doesn’t give the users a high, unlike its cousin marijuana. It’s found in shelves of Kroger and Family Video, and are sold as oils, bath products, and lotions. Some people feed it to their pet horses or infused them in ice cream.

Banking on CBD

Mother Earth Natural Health sibling owners Arianna and Tory Welsh started in 2016 when their father wanted a pain reliever that does not have psychoactive effects like medical marijuana. Today, they have three store branches and two more in the works for next year. They expect a 300-400% growth in sales for 2019.

The local market is now filled with the first harvest of industrial hemp since World War II. Michigan’s pilot program prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to view the hemp industry as a potential enterprise creator. In early November, Michigan issued 572 licenses for growers and 433 permits for processor-handlers.

Welsh believes that Michigan-made CBD oil will be made available in as early as December or in January.

Urban Roots CBD LLC, a Monroe-based manufacturer, produces CBD tinctures, gummies, pet oil, topical creams, and more using out-of-state sourced hemp. However, the company’s co-founders Alex Kolpacke and Brandon Koz are hoping to become entirely Michigan-sourced.

All about hemp

Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa L. that does not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, the active component responsible for the high in marijuana. CBD is the non-psychotropic compound that can be extracted from the hemp and marijuana variety, but the federal law based on the 2018 Farm Bill specifies hemp-derived CBD as legal.

Last March, the Michigan DA and Bureau of Marijuana Regulation released CBD guidelines, although rules are still shifting due to the new interim rules issued by the USDA regarding industrial hemp. However, not one agency claims to govern sales for CBD in Michigan, adding to the confusion and murky regulation on the substance.

CBD has gotten famous over the years due to its alleged health and wellness benefits, alleviating conditions like pain, anxiety, stress, and even sleep deprivation. There has been strong clinical evidence for CBD’s effectiveness in helping with epilepsy in children, but experts believe that more research should be done to prove the other therapeutic claims of CBD.

Trey Malone, assistant professor, an economist at Michigan State University expresses his uncertainty on where the CBD market is headed. There is a lot of confusion, especially considering that the substance was included as a Schedule 1 in the Controlled Substances Act not long ago.

The CBD industry is dubbed by many as the “Wild Wild West” due to the inconsistency of quality, regulations, and health benefits. Malone cites the lack of data for consumer trends on CBD.

Growth and uncertainty

CBD’s lack of clarity in regulations was evident when the Detroit Health Department cracked down the sale of CBD-infused drinks, which are currently still not FDA-approved for purchase and consumption.

However, known retailers like Family Video now sell gummies, edibles, and CBD water in Michigan. Several others are doing the same amid the FDA’s lack of approval on CBD food intake.

CBD as food additives is still not federally legal, according to Detroit-based lawyer and owner of a law firm, Atty. Scott Roberts. He also notes that the rule is not actively enforced due to the current period of uncertainty in the CBD market today.

Based on a report by The Nielsen Co., the cannabis market can grow to a $6B industry in 2025. Brightfield Group also predicts the market to grow to $5B by the end of this year, with a foreseeable growth of up to $23.7B by 2023.

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Senator Relays Personal Experience with Cannabidiol

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Senator Relays Personal Experience with CBD

A confirmation hearing for the Food and Drug Administration commissioner by the Senate veered towards the discussion of cannabidiol or CBD, as senators asked about the federal regulation circling the substance.

Lawmaker Pat Roberts recounted during the discussion his personal experience with the use of CBD oil, for which he expressed particular interest in the agency’s take on the said product.

Roberts Points Out Issues on CBD

Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican lawmaker, recalls his wife encouraging him to try applying topical CBD oil on his bad “football” knees. However, the substance failed to bring pain relief, which also prompted him to discuss the lack of regulation regarding the product.

The Trump nominee for FDA commissioner being questioned at the confirmation hearing was Dr. Stephen Hahn. Roberts pointed out to him that there have been several reports and studies that show labeling inaccuracy on CBD products. He also voiced concern on the unregulated market, saying that there are many questions about the safety of these hemp-derived products.

Roberts also mentioned how CBD is now being used for everything, jokingly adding hair growth as an example. He went on to say that farmers are also pushing for a robust framework for such products since it is an expanding market, and growers want in on it.

Hahn answered by agreeing that CBD is now widely accessible and needs more data, research, and science to prove its efficacy and safety for consumers. He also stated that the FDA is in the process of creating a transparent and precise framework for CBD from a medical perspective.

Roberts is currently the Agriculture Committee chairman of the Senate.

CBD’s lack of federal regulation

Several industry critics call out the FDA for dragging the rulemaking process so that issues can be addressed with official rules. As of writing, the agency is yet to release federal guidelines on CBD use, which also frustrates industry players like growers, manufacturers, and sellers.

Hemp-derived products like CBD have been federally legalized since December 2018, when the Farm Bill was successfully passed into law. However, the market is still mostly unregulated since the FDA has not issued an approval for many CBD products that are circulating the industry today.

There is only one CBD-infused medication that the FDA recognizes, which is the Epidiolex. This drug is used to treat intractable epilepsy.

The agency is struggling to hand out regulations, and it may partly be due to the lack of quantifiable scientific research discussing this hemp derivative. There is a significant lack of evidence when it comes to proving therapeutic claims involving CBD.

Although lacking proof, cannabidiol is widely popular for its non-psychoactive properties since it does not have tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the cannabis component responsible for the high that users experience in marijuana.

CBD is believed to be a natural cure-all for many health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, several types of pain, and more.

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Borderland Businesses Experience the CBD Wellness Boom

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Borderland Businesses Experience the CBD Wellness Boom

Nanette Lattimer-Gamboa relayed to KVIA TV how her job as a licensed massage therapist was at risk after sustaining rheumatoid arthritis, which has affected her hands. She told the news outlet how her condition has almost prompted her to quit her work due to intense pain.

Lattimer-Gamboa opted for a natural cure and ventured on CBD or cannabidiol for her arthritis. Later on, the pain she felt every after massages have considerably lessened and the inflammation more bearable after using CBD.

Starting a CBD business

After her remarkable pain relief, Lattimer-Gamboa got the idea to incorporate CBD with her products. CBD has made its way to the wellness market in the form of lotions and creams, and the most popular cannabidiol product that is the CBD oil.

Nanette Lattimer-Gamboa, with her partner and Co-Owner Anthony Rincon of Infused Massage & Wellness, decided to infuse CBD oil into their massage and facial. Rincon stated that there is a special feeling in receiving a CBD-infused massage as opposed to rubbing it into oneself.

CBD is a derivative compound industrial hemp, a cousin plant of marijuana. Both plant varieties have the same source plant species, which is the Cannabis sativa L. that most people only associate with the illegal substance. However, CBD does not cause a high, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the active compound in cannabis with psychotropic effects.

In Texas, CBD is legal and may contain THC as long as it does not go over the limit of 0.3% THC content.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved only one CBD-containing drug as of writing. Epidiolex, the medication used to treat intractable epilepsy, is the only cannabidiol drug that can be prescribed by a doctor. This means that CBD products in stores still have questionable legality at the federal level, especially those that are ingested.

Calls for more CBD research

José Rivera, UTEP School of Pharmacy founding dean, said that more CBD research should be done. He stated that products, especially those from the internet, are not equally made. Many of such items have various claims about ingredients and therapeutic effect.

Rivera further said that what’s on a product’s label does not necessarily include what is actually in the product. Minimal studies on CBD may confuse many consumers.

Anthony Rincon noted that their town, El Paso, is small and still holds a lot of stigma regarding CBD and its related products.

For other users, CBD is allegedly life-changing for them. Ciara Horton, a CBD user, claims to go for two CBD-infused massages per month to manage her anxiety and relieve pain. She stated that she is happy to have discovered such massages that give her both relief and enjoyment.

For Lattimer-Gamboa, being able to aid people like Horton makes her feel good and gives an avenue to inform more people about CBD. She is delighted to change people’s perspective of the said substance.

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