Top 5 Ways to Take CBD: Finding the Right Product for You

The CBD user has a vastly broad identity. People in their 20’s may use it for preventative care, children with serious conditions may use it for epilepsy, and even people age 50+ are starting to get on board. As you analyze the demographics, the market just keeps appearing broader and broader. So, it can be hard to decide what products to buy. We thought we’d break down some of the core items to help you decide which of the top 5 ways to take CBD is right for you.

1. Sublingual Tinctures

Top 5 Ways to Take CBD: Finding the Right Product for You

Pure CBD Exchange

The tincture is the CBD Industry’s “Old Standard.” This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get CBD into your body. Tinctures are comprised mainly of raw hemp oil that contains the actual cannabinoids. You’ll want to know how your oil was extracted and be able to verify who extracted it. The lack of regulation in the industry means you should stay close to integrated sources who control their supply. Avoid Ethanol or other solvents. There will typically be a carrier oil like Hempseed Oil or MCT. Look for the organics and don’t forget to ask what (if anything) is used for flavoring. At least one company uses strictly organic carriers and organic sunflower seed oil based flavors, essential oils, and terpenes.

Tinctures are for: Everybody. This is the most straightforward form of intake and is a great go-to for all users. Whether you want to mitigate anxiety, pain, sleep better, or you’ve got serious problems, this is the place to start experimenting.

2. Gel Capsules

Capsules have risen in popularity in the past few months. This is no surprise because of their similarity to traditional medicine. Users who switch from their typical medicines are often most comfortable with something that looks and feels the same as what they’re used to. For that reason, the typical capsule user often resembles the older, more traditional medical patient. Capsules provide the added benefit of being a pre-measured dose with no guessing and optimal control. Look for a capsule that is similar to an enclosed Liqui-gel. If it’s possible to pull the capsule apart from the middle, it’s also quite possible that it will leak. It’s also possible that it was assembled by sweaty employee fingers rather than a legitimate manufacturer.

Capsules are for: Once again, everybody. But this has a special place in the minds of older folks and people who are used to taking pharmaceuticals. If you’re like me and you’ve decided to convince grandma to get on board, this is the easiest way to bridge that gap. They are essentially the same as a tincture but are very approachable and familiar.

3. Dab & Create

Top 5 Ways to Take CBD: Finding the Right Product for You

Pure CBD Exchange

This is going to be your concentrated extracts. CBD Isolate, IsoTerp Shatter, and wax. Dabs are not for everybody. Some of us love them, some are skeptical of things like torches making it into the medicinal arena. However, there are more options for how to consume these products. A concentrate vape pen with an atomizer (G-pen, Dr. Dabber, etc,) is a great way to simplify the process. You also have endless versatility in creating your own product with CBD Isolate. But some people just love a nice fat dab. It’s quick, effective, and pairs incredibly well with the THC dabs that you’re probably already taking. It’s a great way to take the anxious edge off of your powerful concentrates. One customer described his anxiety “melting away” after a dab of IsoTerp.

Extracts are for: The smoker, the cannabis user, and the dabbers of the world. Granted, there are a million ways to use CBD Isolate. But if we’re focusing on the dabbers, you probably want to have some experience with how to actually use a concentrate before you wind up with a jar of wax or powder that you have no idea what to do with.

4. Vaping

This is another option that fits a particular segment of customers. It essentially resembles a tincture, but it uses carrier oils that are safe to vape. Do not buy MCT vape oils, it can be toxic when heated. Look for VG from trusted sources. If you’re currently vaping Nicotine, why not switch to something that tastes better, feels better, and appears to have fewer health risks? If you’re a vape connoisseur, give CBD oils a chance.  You’ll be pleased with your decision to make the switch.

Vape Oils are for: The cigarette smoker, the vape connoisseur, and the casual user who doesn’t mind inhaling any more than taking something orally. If you’ve begun the brave transition from cigarettes to nicotine vape oils, we suggest taking it one step further. Transitioning from the nicotine vape to a CBD vape is not a long trip. And it may help you completely disassociate from tobacco products that are easy to backslide into.

5. Topical Lotions or Salves

Top 5 Ways to Take CBD: Finding the Right Product for You

Pure CBD Exchange

This is an extremely popular way to get CBD into the body. The reason we put it a little lower on the list is because it still tends to be most effective when paired with a longer lasting method like Tinctures or capsules. A topical may provide nearly instant relief, but if you have persistent pain it may be wise to add something sublingual that will last throughout the day. Topicals are what originally sold me on the benefits of CBD. You use it, you feel it. It was the first thing that really jumped out and showed me that this really has an undeniable effect for the user.

Topicals are for: People with aches and pains that don’t constitute real ailments like fibromyalgia, MS, etc. Topical customers are often relying on these products for day to day soreness, neck/back pain, arthritis pains, and more.

PureCBDExchange.com is currently running a 48-hour 420 Sale of 20% off storewide when using the code “fourtwenty”

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12 Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

We’ve come a long way from clumsily rolled joints. The legal medical and recreational markets exploded, launching an impressive span of cannabis-infused edibles. And these dank delectables offer healthier alternatives to smoking. What’s more, they aren’t just your average fudgy brownies. Companies dabbling in marijuana consumables have innovated the cannabis plant, taking it further than ever before. You can conveniently chug a canna-coffee made from eco-friendly cannabis-infused coffee pods. With more states approaching the possibility of legalizing the plant, you could be able to enjoy your bud and your suds all in one big gulp thanks to some clever cannabis-focused brewmasters. But who needs the companies when a cannabis-infused beverage is so simple to make at home? We’ll show you the 12 best cannabis-infused drinks and how to make them.

Look no further for your guide to making reefer refreshments. After calculating the dosage, all you need to remember are these four basic recipes to build from.

Making the Base: Cannabis-Infused Milk

Not all of us live near a coffee shop with Venti-sized CBD-oil cappuccinos or “wellness lattes”. Some of us aren’t even lucky enough to be able to pick up a bottled bud-infused beverage to fuel our day. But having cannabis-infused milk handy to face the mornings can make your ritual coffee or tea an even more enjoyable experience. Keep in mind, weed is fat-soluble. So using something with a fattier content like whole milk will ensure the THC is in full effect.

You will need:

  • 0.5 – 1.0 gram of weed per quart of milk

Choose between two methods: one which is more labor intensive (stirring) and one which almost cooks itself. If you want to work your forearms with this recipe and following the first method, start with putting the broken down weed and milk into a pot. After this mixture reaches boiling, reduce to a simmer, and then begin periodically stirring for the next two to three hours.

Alternatively, bring water to a boil in a pot. Then, take a steel bowl and pour together the milk and finely ground marijuana. Let it simmer for a few hours. While this second method still needs an occasional stir, the lack of direct heat on the milk prevents the mixture from burning or curdling.

In both approaches, finish off the recipe by straining the liquid through a cheesecloth.

Get Crazy with Cannabis-Infused Milk

12 Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

Now, you are the proud creator of thick and potent cannabis-infused milk. This dairy concoction can provide a base for a limitless list of beverages. Anything that could use some canna-creamy goodness could stand a dollop (or two, or five). Try these creative recipes:

  1. Weed-Infused Matcha Tea
  2. Bud-Infused Boba Tea
  3. Pot-Infused Pumpkin Spice Latte
  4. Cannabis-Infused Pre=Workout Protein Shake
  5. Vanilla Cannabis Milkshake (try mixing and matching flavors!)

Making the Base: Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil

Of course, maybe you tend to prefer a drink that lacks lactose altogether. Easily accommodated. The best cannabis-infused drinks and how to make them doesn’t require dairy at all.

Try a cannabis concoction that skips the milk and opts for oil. A cannabis-infused coconut oil can add some nutty flavor, not to mention offers all the healthy benefits of coconut alongside the high of marijuana. Follow this simple recipe to start, then get creative!

This oil can be added to a number of different drinks to make them a little (or a lot) dank. Additionally, because coconut oil becomes solid at room temperature, this handy additive can be thrown into other edible recipes that aren’t liquids.

You will need:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup ground weed

After grinding the cannabis loosely (not into a powder!), use a double-boiling method. Put the oil and cannabis into a steel bowl over a pot of low-simmering water. Stick around the stove, you’ll be sporadically stirring the mixture for around at least 6 hours (8 hours, if you’re die-hard).

If pressed for time or the idea of standing stove-side all day doesn’t sound appealing, consider the slow-cooker method. To try, simply add the oil and ground herb to a slow cooker. Set the temperature to low, and stir only very occasionally.

As with the cannabis-infused milk, it is important that the mixture not overheat or it will scorch and potentially ruin your oil. Keep in mind for all the best cannabis-infused drinks and how to make them demands the cook always watch their infusions carefully so they do not burn.

In your slow cooker or pot should be a powerful potion ready to deliver the high of smoking pot. Strain through a cheesecloth and add it to any liquid you prefer.

Get Creative with Cannabis-Infused Coconut Oil

12 Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

Consider adding the cannabis-infused coconut oil to these recipes, but feel free to experiment and create your own.

Try a healthy hemp shake or a Pina Canna-lada:

You will need (for a 16 oz. drink):

  • 1 oz. dark run
  • 2 oz.  white rum
  • 1/4 cup diced pineapple.
  • 4 oz.  coconut canna-oil
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 4 oz. coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in the blender. The drink should be pourable and perfect to enjoy on a sunny day. Add a straw and mini umbrella, according to preference.

Making the Base: Cannabis Simple Syrup

Sometimes all a drink needs is the addition of a little something sweet to really tickle the taste buds. Imagine that the sugary sweetener added to your favorite drink contained the medicating and calming power of cannabis.

The best cannabis-infused drinks and how to make them could be a major success with the introduction of this sweetness. Make your own and bottle it, and this spoonful of sugar will also be medicine going down.

You will need:

  • 3 cups of filtered water
  • 3 cups of fine granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin (locate this at a health food store)
  • 2 grams of finely chopped or ground cannabis

Start with combining water and sugar into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar fully dissolves into the water. Add the weed to the boiling mixture and cover the metal pot for 20 minutes.

Ensure the boil remains gentle so that the cannabis does not scorch and the mixture reaches decarboxylation. Then, add the vegetable glycerin.

Watch as it simmers for 5 to 6 minutes, removing the lid to ooh, ahh, and stir occasionally.

Pour the hot liquid through the cheesecloth and into a jar or bottle for safekeeping and future use.

Sweeten Anything with Cannabis Simple Syrup

12 Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

This sweetener will be a necessary addition to anyone’s at-home bar. It jazzes up a gin and T with THC, enhances a Manhattan with the high of marijuana, and makes for a simple but delectable Sweet Iced Tea. The below recipes take this sweetener up a notch.

Super Duper Green Smoothie

You will need:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • a banana
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 1 cup water or almond milk (or for a really strong beverage– use the above recipe for canna-milk)
  • cannabis-infused simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon canna-coconut oil (see our handy above recipe)

Blend all ingredients in a blender. The results should be thick and delicious when guzzled through a straw.

Other recipes you can make are a Marijuana Malibu Mule or a Bloody Good Remedy (try replacing the cannabis tincture with the cannabis-infused simple syrup!)

Prefer a heartier, healthier sweetener? Try this recipe for a Cannabis-Infused Maple Syrup to add a tangy kick.

Making the Base: Cannabis-Infused Alcohol

12 Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

Combining two vices seems like it warrants confession or at the very least guilt at gluttony. But there’s no need to feel bad about drinking cannabis-infused alcohol. The duo together may be just the ticket for letting loose and keeping it classy.

Then, once you have cannabis-infused alcohol amongst your impressive (or not) collection of cheap whiskey, you can impress your guests with ganja drinks.

But before we send you off to play with fire, a few words to the wise. Alcohol is seriously flammable.

Because of this, avoid using a gas burner to do this infusion.

In fact, keep the project away from any open flame (including the J you rolled for this cooking process). Keep calm, safe and work in a well-ventilated area.

You will need:

  • one 1/8-ounce bag of high-grade weed for one 750-milliliter bottle of booze (choose whatever is your favorite liquor)

Begin by decarbing the weed. This process helps to bind the THC molecules to the alcohol. You can use the microwave or the oven (at a low 240 degrees for about an hour), but the microwave is just as efficient and in less time.

Put full buds into a microwave-safe bowl or container. Cover with a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for a minute and a half.

Flip the buds to the other side, then repeat the cooking process two more times, flipping each time and entering the time of a minute and a half.

Finally grind down the weed loosely, but not into a powder.

Now, it’s really cooking time. Fill the bottom half of a large pot halfway with water. Using an electric stove or hot plate bring it to boil, at 212ºF. Then, turn the heat to low.

Dump the booze and the ganja into another smaller pot or the top of the double-boiler with the water in it. Stir and then cover the mixture.

Be careful to watch the stove and ensure that the weed and alcohol alchemy you’re working on doesn’t exceed 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stick around and occasionally stir for up to three hours.

Collect a Bar of Your Own Cannabis-Infused Alcohol

12 Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

Repeat this process for any booze of your choice, But beware: this jazzed up juice will have you hosting guests more than ever before. Try these recipes to get started:

11. Mai High

12. Pot Toddy

No matter your poison, you can take it up a notch by infusing it with cannabis for the perfect libation.

The Cheat: Just Add Cannabis-Infused Honey, Oils, or Tinctures

Too much work to make your own infused milk, oil, sweetener, or alcohol? The best cannabis-infused drinks and how to make them doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

Try using tinctures and cannabis-infused honey. CBD oil provides an excellent additive as well, and it can often be purchased and delivered right to your doorstep or from a local head shop.

As with any edibles, know your body and be patient. Don’t guzzle too much right away, but progress into your dank drinkable high.

Final Hit: Best Cannabis-Infused Drinks And How To Make Them

Pulling together a bud-infused bevvy isn’t difficult. In fact, with a little preparation, you can stock your kitchen with the building blocks to many different types of cannabis-infused drinks.

Knowing these simple basic cannabis-drink starters will be your easiest path to the best cannabis-infused drinks and how to make them.

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Medical Marijuana Bill Moves Forward in South Carolina

After action by a legislative committee, the medical marijuana bill moves forward in South Carolina. Members of the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs (3M) Committee voted 14-3 to send the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act to the full House for consideration. The bill would allow seriously ill patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana to treat their conditions.

Janel Ralph is the executive director of the advocacy group Compassionate South Carolina. Her eight-year-old daughter has a rare seizure disorder. She said the that the committee’s vote is a step in the right direction.

“The diligent work of patients, advocates, and supportive lawmakers is paying off, and South Carolinians are closer to finding relief with medical cannabis than ever before,” Ralph said.

“This issue needs to stay at the forefront of the legislature’s attention, and we will continue working to educate them about the need for a compassionate medical cannabis program in our state. Patients will continue to suffer until this bill is passed and implemented.”

“We commend lawmakers for allowing the Compassionate Care Act to progress this far, and urge them not to delay taking it up when the next legislative session begins,” she added.

Democrat Leon Howard represents Columbia in the House and is the chair of the 3M committee. He told local media that the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would be a positive measure for the state.

“I believe we did the right thing by approving this bill,” Howard said. “Our intent is to help the thousands of patients who can benefit from this medical treatment, including retired military personnel and children who suffer from debilitating illnesses.”

But, he said, those patients will probably have to continue to wait.

“I want supporters of the bill to understand that it is highly unlikely that this bill or any other medical cannabis bill becomes law during this legislative session. That makes it all the more important to contact your elected officials and urging them to support this bill.”

Senate Passed Version Last Month

The Senate Medical Affairs Committee passed a similar measure in March by a vote of 8-6. Under the proposals, patients with “debilitating” conditions would be allowed to use medical marijuana and cannabis products.

The law defines an “allowable amount of medical cannabis” as up to two ounces. The law makes patients with cancer, HIV, PTSD and conditions causing severe pain, nausea or seizures eligible to use medical marijuana. They would have to receive a card from the Department of Health and Environmental Control in order to participate.

A 2014 law allows South Carolina epilepsy patients limited access to medicinal cannabis. But they can use only CBD, and only in approved clinical trials.

Final Hit: Medical Marijuana Bill Moves Forward in South Carolina

Legislative procedures will prevent the Compassionate Care Act from being made law this session because a key deadline has already passed. But activists believe the committee votes in the House and Senate will lead to passage of the bill next year.

A 2016 poll by Winthrop found that 78 percent of South Carolinians support legalizing medical marijuana.

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Bernie Sanders Announces He Will Co-Sponsor Marijuana Justice Act

Bernie Sanders supported marijuana policy reform way before it became popular. Back when he was running for president in 2016, the Vermont senator made history by supporting marijuana legalization. Since then, Sanders has continued to advocate for ending the War on Drugs. Furthermore, he has petitioned the federal government for policy changes and worked to reevaluate marijuana’s Schedule I classification. In his latest pro-marijuana move, Bernie Sanders announces he will co-sponsor Marijuana Justice Act. Here’s a closer look at the proposed marijuana policy and its growing political support.

The Marijuana Justice Act

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introduced the bill back in August. Since then, Representatives Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna have co-sponsored the House version of the Marijuana Justice Act. According to Marijuana Majority leader Tom Angell, “This is the single most far-reaching marijuana bill that’s ever been filed in either chamber of Congress.”

The act has four major components: It would legalize marijuana on the federal level, retroactively clear all marijuana-related federal convictions, allocate $500 million for job training in communities affected by the War on Drugs and cut law enforcement funding for states that arrest a disproportionate number of people of color.

The Act’s Co-Sponsors

Many other Democrats have stepped up to support the Marijuana Justice Act. To date, twenty-seven legislators are co-sponsoring the bill. Senior Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon was the first senator to co-sponsor the act after Senator Booker introduced it.

In February, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also announced her support. Senator Gillibrand has repeatedly spoken out against Sessions’ marijuana crackdown, tweeting that [Sessions] is “either willfully ignorant or cowing to corporate greed on behalf of pharma special interest profits.”

Advocates for marijuana legalization are hoping that the Democratic Party will work together to make lasting policy reform. NORML political director Justin Strekal told Forbes, “With Senator Sanders co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act alongside Senators Booker and Gillibrand, it’s time for the party to speak with one voice that they will legalize marijuana and expunge the criminal convictions of the millions who are being held back from achieving both employment and the American dream.”

Senator Sanders Has A History of Supporting Legalization

Bernie Sanders announces he will co-sponsor Marijuana Justice Act after years of work on marijuana policy. Years ago, Sen. Sanders introduced the first Senate bill to reschedule marijuana. This legislation also would have stopped private companies from running jails.

Sanders has been a longtime advocate for prison reform, and through it, marijuana policy change. When he ran for President, the Senator became the first serious candidate who said he would vote in favor of legalization.

Sanders has continued to champion legalization in 2018. Earlier this year, the Senator asked those who supported him in his presidential run to petition Congress. Sanders wrote in his mass email: “Marijuana prohibition is part of a larger failed war on drugs that has led to the great national crisis of mass incarceration.”

Final Hit: Bernie Sanders Announces He Will Co-Sponsor Marijuana Justice Act

Sanders has a long record of advocating for prison reform. Thus, the Senator’s co-sponsorship of the Marijuana Justice Act comes as no surprise to his loyal constituents. This does not make the bill’s growing support any less significant. Not only would the Marijuana Justice Act legalize marijuana nationally, but it would help undo decades of racial policing.

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Spilled Crystal Meth Sickens Five and Causes Jail Shutdown

Spilled crystal meth sickens five and causes jail shutdown, authorities in Ohio have reported.

The Darke County Sheriff’s Office reported that the incident began on Tuesday with the arrest of Stephen A. Garner, Jr., 37. The Ohio Adult Parole Authority had requested Garner’s arrest, according to deputies.

While Garner was being booked into jail and searched, “multiple plastic baggies containing a white powdery substance dropped from the subject’s body.”

When he attempted to retrieve the baggies, at least one of them opened and spilled white powder on Garner, deputies, and the floor of the jail. Corrections officers then arrested Garner and placed him in a holding cell.

A short while later, deputies reported feeling light-headed and ill. Garner then lost consciousness and was unresponsive in his cell. At that time, jail staff summoned help from additional deputies and the Greenville Township Fire and Rescue.

Multiple emergency units responded, as well as patrol deputies, detectives, and off-duty corrections officers. First responders transported four deputies and Garner to the hospital four care. As a precaution, paramedics treated some of the victims with Narcan during emergency care.

Authorities then closed and locked down the Darke County Jail for an investigation and decontamination. The facility remained closed for a total of about two hours. Deputies report that no other inmates were at risk during the episode.

Hospital staff at Wayne Healthcare treated and release the four deputies and Garner. The Ohio Adult Parole Authority took custody of Garner.

The Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab later identified the substance spilled in the jail by Garner as methamphetamine.

Next Day, Round Two

The following day, Wednesday, April 18, the jail was up and running again when deputies and corrections officers again fell ill. EMS returned to the jail and this time took five officers to the hospital. Additional jail personnel arrived to maintain staffing levels at the jail.

As crews investigated the cause of the problem, five more officers began to display symptoms of contamination and also required hospital care.

Authorities believe that when Garner spilled the methamphetamine on Wednesday, some of it entered the jail’s ventilation system. When the air handling system returned to service the following day, it spread meth throughout the facility’s prisoner intake and booking area. Workers then fell ill after exposure to the drug.

Final Hit: Spilled Crystal Meth Sickens Five and Causes Jail Shutdown

Officials closed the building entirely because the affected area of the jail includes the control room where mechanical security measures are operated. Authorities freed some inmates, either because their release had already been scheduled or was ordered by a judge. Others bonded out.

The facility transferred approximately 28 additional prisoners to jails in Miami and Mercer counties. Deputies from the clandestine drug labs force operated the security control room while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus to complete the evacuation of the jail.

The sheriff’s office plans to hire an environmental contractor to decontaminate the intake and booking area. Separate air handling units serve the other areas of the facility including inmate housing and the dispatch office, so they will not require cleaning.

The sheriff’s office initiated a criminal investigation to look into the case. Investigators plan to forward their findings to the Darke County Prosecutor for possible criminal charges against Garner.

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Berlin’s ICBC: Meeting the European Cannabis Industry

The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Berlin is now officially over. The speeches have been made, the parties have been attended. The hard-working crew behind it all has wrapped up, checked out and is off to Vancouver. And most of all, the marathon of meetings and deal discussions that were the mark of this budding and certainly by now established market are done. Even if there are still details to be ironed out in all the new business in the coming months.

As always, the dilemma for conference attendees was how to spend the limited time in this concentrated cannabis gathering. With all of the networking and excitement, people still wanted to hear the experts who spoke on topics ranging from cannabis financing to actually doing business in Germany to new medical advances. Traffic in the expo section was also heavy, as attendees visited the wide range of vendors. Producers and distributors of both plant and derived product were present, along with vape companies brave enough to compete with Storz and Bickel on their own turf, various tech solutions and of course, international consultants.

As the dust clears and the contracts get signed, what are the takeaways from the second edition of the ICBC in Berlin?

Germany Is Going Green

The simplest takeaway? The ICBC Berlin is not a market to be missed in the future for the global cannabis executive. Even if you are an American firm (and for the most part still largely excluded from a rapidly expanding worldwide trade that is establishing itself now with authority), you need to be here. The contacts you make are global, and you do not want to be left out. For foreign investors interested in this market, it is a must. For everyone else, this is a meet and greet, not to mention education, barnone. The German medical and even prosumer CBD market is attracting the world.

Yes, there have been ups and downs even in the last three weeks that include the crashing of the German bid along with news stateside that the Trump Administration is going to hang Jeff Sessions out to dry for Russia with his latest “Make American States Great For Cannabis Again” contortion.

Guenther Weiglein
Guenther Weiglein, activist patient, being interviewed in front of MedPayRx booth

But here on the other side of the Atlantic, it is clear that the federal cannabinoid horse has left the barn. There are now rumorsfloating that the bid is not yet entirely dead (now apparently in a legal purgatory of appeals and even potentially “bid amendments”) that nobody is willing to go on record to discuss. Beyond that, however, as was clear from the frenzied deal-makingon the floor and off it at the ICBC, the market is open, distributors are finding new channels to move product, and patients demanding access are not leaving the streets.

Far from it. In fact, the budding nascent umbrella national non-profit campaign designed to open access for patients and educate doctors, The German Patients Roundtable, had a huge second meeting during the conference, with both German and international attendees from countries including Israel and South Africa.

The CBD and THC genie cannot be stuffed back into the local bottle. And everyone knows it. This is federal medical reform, and even better, covered under German national public health insurance. Despite the hiccups and challenges that still remain, this is open blue water for a medical market that has never existed anywhere to date.

ICBC logoAnyone with a GMP facility, Euro cleared export rights and crop or product ready to ship will be welcome here in a market that at this point, cannot get enough plant or oil. Edibles are still a to-come discussion.

To the extent that this is also negative, it is very clear that the market is still highly inefficient. Producers who do have productare not being found by those on the ground who want to sell it to patients. That will also begin to change. But for now, many on the ground are playing a digitalized Rolodex game of “who do you know” that still consists of personal emails between conference-met colleagues if not LinkedIn contacts and impromptu (and freebie) favors. Those who hope to gain an income merely by connecting the source of product and outlets the old fashioned way are also about to be left in the dust by a market that will not be held back and activist businesses who are eyeing both the United States and Canada right now (if not Israel and Australia), and translating all of that into both euros and German.

It is also very clear that the savvy Germans who were largely left out of the bid proceedings last time do not mean to sit this party out – and are angling to get into the game however they can. This is taking some interesting forms, but processing and testing are going to be huge issues of the market here for a long time to come. And so is home-grown, high-quality CBD. The German government is even offering tax credits for growing certain kinds of hempright now. Sound familiar Kentucky?

Trends and Takeaways

It is not just the Canadians who are going to get market share. The Canadian LPs are still in a good position to dominate the early market but it is clear that there is still room for others to enter. Whether the government allows an appeal of the court’s decision to hold up, there is a quick bid “redo” for the top 10 finalists, or a second bid, the market has now arrived and is in its second year.

margueriteICBC
Marguerite Arnold presents on the impact of blockchain on the cannabis industry

CBD is going to be an important path to other kinds of provision and cultivation. Despite the widespread misconceptions about Germany being a “CBD only” market (it is not), it is clear that a consumer CBD only strategy will be an interesting path into the market here but not one for the faint of heart. The Canadian companies in particular are beginning to move into the realm of big pharma (their market caps certainly are). But it is also clear that more local competition is hip to the same. And as a result, even this part of the market will be a highly competitive one.

German firms are first at this gate, beyond the big Canadian LPs, but they are not the only ones now in the market. See Dutch, Austrian and Swiss firms, many with pharmaceutical company credits and market entry already under their belt.  Not to mention producers from both Greece and the Baltics. Everyone on the import side is eyeing the opening market and stalled bid as a fantastic opportunity. Look for products from these locales as testing and certification protocols become more effective.

Central to all of these developments? The conference is theplacefor the global cannabis industry to meet and get to know one another, put together by Alex Rogers and a seasoned, international team behind the ICBC.

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Cannabis Has Less Effect on Young Brains Than Once Believed, Study Says

Worried about all that weed you smoked in high school? Maybe you shouldn’t be. According to a new study, cannabis has less effect on young brains than once believed. This report compiled data from a host of previous studies on chronic use. Their findings offer encouraging findings on teenage and young adult cannabis use. Here’s what we know so far about cannabis’s effect on brain development.

Marijuana’s Short-Term Effect

This research, published by JAMA Psychiatry, took data from 69 previous studies into account. All these studies considered significant marijuana use’s influence on brain function. According to study author Cobb Scott, “this is the first one [study] to be done specifically in adolescent and young adult samples.”

How does marijuana affect cognitive function? The subjects that self-identified as frequent cannabis users had slower processing speeds, and experienced more difficulty learning, remembering, paying attention and conceptualizing than those who did not smoke marijuana.

The study focused on the subjects’ executive functioning skills. Assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Cobb Scott explained to CNN, “We basically showed that the largest effects—which was around a third of a standard deviation—was in the learning of new information and some aspects of executive functioning, memory and speed of processing.”

Cognitive Function Reduces Only For 72 Hours

However, after stopping marijuana use for 72 hours, the difference in cognitive function between heavy cannabis users and non-users is no longer discernible. These findings contradict earlier studies that could distinguish between frequent marijuana consumers and non-consumers after the 72 hour period.

Scott hypothesizes, “some of the effects found in previous studies may be due to the residual effects of cannabis or potentially from withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users.” This means that earlier studies’ subjects still felt cannabis’ influence, which skewed the evaluation of their cognitive function.

Earlier Studies Present Opposing Findings

This is only the latest in a series of studies on the effects of cannabis on cognitive function. Three separate studies contend that marijuana use is dangerous for developing brains.

A 2008 study published in Addiction Biology linked marijuana use during puberty to a higher risk of psychiatric disorders and negatively affected cognition. It also suggested that marijuana use at a young age leads to more illegal drug use and cannabis dependency.

Another study from 2012 compared the IQs of marijuana users and non-users from ages 13 to 38. It founds that people who used cannabis as adolescents had, on average, lower IQs by 8 points. According to NPR, the scientific community panned this study because it did not factor in income or home life.

Effects of Cannabis On the Adolescent Brain from 2014 also claimed that cannabis use affects brain development and functionality. This report argued that marijuana use has a long-term impact on cognition, specifically by altering prefrontal cortex development.

President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Yale professor Kevin Sabet warns, “There have been very important studies showing evidence for irreversible damage (from marijuana use), and so there needs to be more research in this area.”

Other Scientific Work Doesn’t Find That Marijuana Has Long-term Negative Effects

The most recent study that found that cannabis has less effect on young brains than once believed isn’t the only study with these findings. Nicholas Jackson of the University of California, Los Angeles compared sets twins. One twin in each set used marijuana, while the other didn’t.

The study did not find that the twin who used marijuana had a lower IQ.

Final Hit: Cannabis Has Less Effect on Young Brains Than Once Believed, Study Says

The effect of marijuana on young brains is one of the more thoroughly explored areas of cannabis research. Despite this, we cannot, with certainty, conclude that cannabis use has long-term effects. However, the size of this most recent meta-analysis suggests that cannabis has less impact on young brains than once believed. Published at a critical moment in cannabis history, this study could sway voters towards legalization.

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The Other Side of Cannabis: Terpenes

Have you ever wondered why all beers have that strong, characteristic smell? Or why you could tell the smell of cannabis apart from any other plant? The answer is simple – terpenes.

These 55,000 different molecules are responsible for a majority of the odors and fragrances around us, from a pine forest, to the air diffuser in your house 1–3. They all share the same precursor, isoprene, and because of that, they are all related and have similar molecular structures. Unfortunately, it is this uncanny similarity that makes their analysis so challenging; we still lack a complete list of which terpenes expected to be found in each given plant species 1,2.

Many different methods have been developed in an effort to provide a time-optimized and straightforward analysis. Gas chromatography (GC) is usually center stage due to the volatility of the terpenes. Therefore, there is significant concern with the type of GC detector used 2.

The flame ionization detector (FID) is a good quantitative detector for GC, but qualitatively it does not provide any information, except for retention time; the differentiation between terpene species is achieved solely by use of retention indices (RI), which are based on elution times from a particular GC stationary phase. The best part of the FID is its low cost, reliability, and relatively easy interface, which make it an effective tool for quality control (QC) but less so with respect to research and discovery 2.

The primary choice for a research setting is the mass spectrometer (MS) detector. It is more expensive and complicated than FID, but importantly, it provides both good quantitative capabilities, and it provides mass spectra for each species that elutes from the chromatograph. However, for terpene analysis, it may still not be the best detector choice. Since terpene class molecules share many structural and functional similarities, even their fragmentation and sub-sequential identification by MS may lead to inconsistent results, which need to be confirmed by use of RI. Still, MS is a better qualitative analysis tool than the FID, especially for distinguishing non-isobaric terpenes 2.

Recently, new technology based on vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy (VUV) has been developed as a new GC detector. The VUV detector enables analysis of virtually all molecules; virtually all chemical compounds absorb light in the range in the 125-240 nm wavelength range probed by the detector, making it an essentially universal detector 4–11. Previously, spectroscopic absorption detectors for GC have lacked sufficient energy to measure absorption of most GC-amenable species. The VUV detector fills a niche, which is complementary to MS detection in terms of the qualitative information it provides.

Terpene_KAS2
Figure 1: A, Section of the chromatographic separation of a terpenes standard mix; B, highlight of the co-eluting terpenes, camphor and (-)-isopulegol; C, differences in the absorbance spectra of camphor and (-)-isopulegol.

With the VUV detector, each compound exhibits its own unique absorbance spectrum. Even isomers and isobars, which are prevalent in terpene mixtures and can be difficult to distinguish different species by their electron ionization mass spectra, can be well differentiated based on their VUV spectra 6,9,10.  Nevertheless, because analytes exhibit different spectra, it is not required to achieve a perfect chromatographic separation of the mixture components. Co-eluting peaks can be separated post-run through the use of library spectra and software inherent to the instrument 4,10. This ability is called “deconvolution”, and it is based on the fact that two co-eluting terpenes will give a peak with an absorbance spectrum equal to the sum of the two single absorbance spectra 4. Figure 1 shows the deconvolution process for two co-eluting terpenes, camphor and (-)-isopulegol. Due to their different absorbance spectra (Figure 1C), it is possible to fully separate the two peaks in post-run, obtaining sharp peaks for both analytes 6.

The deconvolution process has been shown to yield precise and accurate results. Thus, chromatographic resolution can be sacrificed in favor of spectroscopic resolution; this enables the development of methods with faster run times. With the ability to deconvolve unresolved peaks, a long temperature ramp to chromatographically separate all isomeric terpenes is not required 6. Additionally, the presence of coeluting components, which might normally go undetected with some GC detectors, can be easily judged based on comparison of the measured spectra with pure reference spectra contained in the VUV spectral library.

The other issue in terpenes analysis is the extraction process. Terpenes can be extracted with the use of solvents (e.g., methanol, ethanol, hexane, and cyclohexane, among others), but the process is usually time-consuming, costly and not so environmentally-friendly 2. The plant needs to be manually crushed and then aliquots of solvent are used to extract components from the plant, ideally at least 3 times and combined to achieve acceptable results. The problem is that some terpenes may respond better to a certain solvent, making their extraction easier and more optimized than for others 2. The choice of solvent can cause discrimination against the extraction some terpenes, which limits the comprehensiveness of analysis.

Headspace is another technique that can be used for the sample preparation of terpenes. Headspace sampling is based on heating the solid or liquid sample inside a sealed vial, and then analyzing the air above it after sufficient equilibration. In this way, only volatile analytes are extracted from the solid/liquid sample into the gas phase; this allows relatively interference-free sampling 12–14.

How do we know whether our extraction analysis methods are correct and comprehensive for a certain plant sample? Unfortunately, there is not a complete list of available molecules for each plant species, and even if two specimens may smell really similar to our nose, their terpenes profiles may be notably different. When working with a new plant material, it is difficult to predict the extraction efficiency for the vast array of terpenes that may be present. We can only perform it with different extraction and detection methods, and compare the results.

The route for a comprehensive and fast analysis of terpenes is therefore still long; however, their intoxicating aromas and inherent medicinal value has provided a growing impetus for researchers around the world. Considering the evolving importance of Cannabis and the growing body of evidence on the synergistic effects between terpenes and cannabinoids, it is likely that newly improved extraction and analysis methods will be developed, paving the way for a more complete list of terpene species that can be found in different cultivars. The use of new analytical technologies, such as the VUV detector for GC, should aid considerably in this endeavor.


References:

[1]          Breitmaier E., Terpenes: Flavors, Fragrances, Pharmaca, Pheromones. John Wiley & Sons 2006.

[2]          Leghissa A., Hildenbrand Z. L., Schug K. A., A Review of Methods for the Chemical Characterization of Cannabis Natural Products. J. Sep. Sci.2018, 41, 398–415 .

[3]          Benvenuto E., Misra B. B., Stehle F., Andre C. M., Hausman J.-F., Guerriero G., Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules. Front. Plant Sci2016, 719, DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00019.

[4]          Schug K. A., Sawicki I., Carlton D. D., Fan H.,Mcnair H. M.,Nimmo J. P., Kroll P.,Smuts J.,Walsh P., Harrison D., Vacuum Ultraviolet Detector for Gas Chromatography. Anal. Chem.2014, 86, 8329–8335 .

[5]          Fan H.,Smuts J., Walsh P.,Harrison D., Schug K. A., Gas chromatography-vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy for multiclass pesticide identification. J. Chromatogr. A2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2015.02.035.

[6]          Qiu C.,Smuts J., Schug K. A., Analysis of terpenes and turpentines using gas chromatography with vacuum ultraviolet detection. J. Sep. Sci.2017, 40, 869–877 .

[7]          Leghissa A., Smuts J., Qiu C., Hildenbrand Z. L., Schug K. A., Detection of cannabinoids and cannabinoid metabolites using gas chromatography-vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy. Sep. Sci. Plus2018, 1.

[8]          Bai L.,Smuts J., Walsh P., Fan H., Hildenbrand Z., Wong D., Wetz D., Schug K. A., Permanent gas analysis using gas chromatography with vacuum ultraviolet detection. J. Chromatogr. A2015,1388, 244–250 .

[9]          Skultety L., Frycak P., Qiu C.,Smuts J., Shear-Laude L., Lemr K., Mao J. X., Kroll P., Schug K. A., Szewczak A., Vaught C., Lurie I., Havlicek V., Resolution of isomeric new designer stimulants using gas chromatography – Vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy and theoretical computations. Anal. Chim. Acta2017, 971, 55–67 .

[10]       Bai L., Smuts J., Walsh P., Qiu C., McNair H. M., Schug K. ., Pseudo-absolute quantitative analysis using gas chromatography–vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy–a tutorial. Anal. Chim. Acta2017, 953, 10–22 .

[11]       Schenk J., Nagy G., Pohl N. L. B., Leghissa A., Smuts J., Schug K. A., Identification and deconvolution of carbohydrates with gas chromatography-vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy. J. Chromatogr. A2017, 1513, 210–221 .

[12]       Van Opstaele F., De Causmaecker B., Aerts G., De Cooman L., Characterization of novel varietal floral hop aromas by headspace solid phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry. J. Agric. Food Chem.2012, 60, 12270−12281 .

[13]       Hamm S., Bleton J., Connan J., Tchapla A., A chemical investigation by headspace SPME and GC-MS of volatile and semi-volatile terpenes in various olibanum samples. Phytochemistry2005,66, 1499–1514 .

[14]       Aberl A., Coelhan M., Determination of volatile compounds in different hop Varieties by headspace-trap GC/MS-in comparison with conventional hop essential oil analysis. J. Agric. Food Chem.2012, 60, 2785−2792 .

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7 Ways Athletes Use Cannabis

When we look at the ways athletes use cannabis, one trend sticks: “stasis.” Most athletes want pluses from what they put in their bodies. But they know that sports cost lots of pain and time. Since they can only manage themselves, top performers crave relief after long training hours. They also need ways to relax between contests. Or a means to meditate on goals for the next match. Cannabis fulfills these needs and more. While the research in this area lacks, athletes have long known the effects. In fact, so many are speaking up about their cannabis use, sports leagues are changing their tune on pot.

For example, the NFL and its players’ union agreed studying cannabis makes sense. Although for years players have managed chronic pain by self-medicating, their bosses banned it. Now, they may gain support for safe use and pain treatment. Truth beats timing, however, and the facts about CBD remain undeniable.

With that in mind, here are some ways athletes use cannabis.

1. Eliminate Pre-Game Anxiety

7 Ways Athletes Use Cannabis

When the big game comes, no matter how much they prepare, top athletes pump enough adrenaline to get nervous. While those nerves spark, their focus may slip and no competitor wants that trade-off.

If cannabis enters the bloodstream, the endocannabinoid response kicks in too, relaxing the mind and body. That doesn’t mean dosing high amounts of THC before games helps everyone.

However you approach the pre-game routine, know that cannabis has helped some top athletes stifle their anxiety.

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Florida State Quarterback Avoids Jail For Marijuana Possession

In today’s day and age, petty marijuana arrests feel more like a witch hunt, rather than a productive usage of a police officer’s time and resources. With all that we know about cannabis today, jail time for marijuana possession just seems superfluous.

However, this hasn’t deterred authorities from giving it the old college try—literally.

Take, for example, the recent probe of Florida State Seminoles quarterback, Deondre Francois, a redshirt junior who has been the subject of a two-month investigation, after police were tipped off that the signal-caller was dealing cannabis from his apartment.

Unsurprisingly, the Florida State quarterback avoids jail for marijuana possession, after the search proved to be mostly fruitless.

Deondre Francois Avoids Jail Time

According to a search warrant obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, the entire ordeal started back in February when an anonymous source told police that Francois had been peddling weed out of a large paper bag in his apartment.

Following the anonymous tip, police proceeded to search the quarterback’s garbage on four different occasions between February and April. The officers were able to scrounge up plastic baggies with cannabis residue and dutch guts, which led to the police obtaining the search warrant.

However, when the police finally exercised the warrant last Thursday, they were unable to prove Francois had been selling marijuana. All they managed to find were 17 grams of cannabis, a Bob Marley grinder, a drug test cup, vials of pain medication and an FSU student ID card for teammate Zaquandre White.

When questioned about the cannabis, Francois simply claimed it had belonged to his girlfriend, Diamond Lindsey.

While Francois will not be required to serve jail time, he has been sentenced to community service and he is required to avoid any legal trouble for the next year, along with a$100 fine.

Final Hit: Florida State Quarterback Avoids Jail For Marijuana Possession

Although a petty marijuana crime certainly doesn’t warrant a two and a half month investigation, perhaps it’s Francois’ past which was to be a cause for concern.

In January, Francois was investigated on domestic abuse charges, stemming from accusations from the aforementioned Linsdey.

According to Lindsey, who was pregnant at the time, Francois was upset that she had been talking to another man. Per Lindsey’s report, Francois broke a door, threw her to the ground and attempted to drag her out of the house. However, the quarterback was never charged for the incident, and the two remain together.

Despite the quarterback’s transgressions, it appears Francois will remain a part of the FSU program moving forward.

“He’s still with our football team,” Taggart said to the New York Post. “ … We talked about his responsibility as a student-athlete here, and he understands my expectations and what I’m looking for, especially when it comes to our quarterback.”

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