Project CBD

Bugs, mold and excrement: Welcome to the Brave New World of California cannabis

On November 16, 2017, California officials released a new set of regulations for cannabis manufacturing, testing, and growing. In many respects, these updates are a significant improvement to the initial draft regulations, however, some major problems remain. 

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Pot and Hops: A Family Reunion

Once upon a time, cannabis and humulus (hops) were the same plant.

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Green Rush Blues -- California Cannabis After Legalization, Part II: Black Markets Matter

Old Kai is an Emerald Triangle-based distribution business licensed by Mendocino County to transport cannabis from the farms and brands it works with to the main marketplaces in cities to the south. The company took all the steps required by the state and county to make their business compliant with the new laws and regulations, and they were excited to provide product to Bay Area dispensaries in anticipation of the January 1st roll-out of legal sales.

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Green Rush Blues: California Cannabis After Legalization

The huge underground cannabis economy was woven into the commercial fabric of California long before the 2016 passage of Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana for adult use. Transforming a shadowy, multibillion-dollar industry into a heavily taxed and regulated structure presents unique and enormous challenges. Who will gain and who will lose under the new regime? Will the expected financial dividend from legalization be broadly distributed throughout the Golden State? California’s cannabis regulations are supposed to accomplish two key objectives: Curtail illicit sales and rein in extensive harm to the natural environment caused by black market growers. But the way legalization is being implemented could have the opposite effect. Steep taxes, higher operating costs, and an insatiable out-of-state demand for California cannabis all but ensure that the black market will survive – if not thrive – in the near term and ecological abuse will continue, as Angela Bacca reports in this special, three-part series.

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9 Ways Scientists Are Exploring the Body’s Relationship with Marijuana

In recent years, cannabis has been at the center of one of the most important developments in modern science, which has significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease.

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So, Is CBD Legal Or What?

Highlights: 
  • The FDA has issued more warning letters to hemp CBD companies for making unsubstantiated medical claims.
  • A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that 69 percent of hemp CBD products tested did not contain the amount of cannabidiol indicated on the label.
  • Sporadic police raids continue to target CBD retailers in several states.
  • A legal battle over the status of hemp-derived CBD looms in federal court.

A series of police raids in North Dakota has set the stage for a courtroom showdown regarding the legal status of cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabis component with significant medical properties. Thus far, it’s not going well for purveyors of the claim that hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 U.S. states.

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Cannabis and Sleep Disturbances: What You Need to Know

Highlights: 
  • Sleep disturbances are the most common health problem in America. Those with sleep issues are poorly served by prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills and other pharmaceuticals, which have serious risks.

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Fire, Brimstone, and Dioxin: Toxic Smoke from Wine Country Wildfires Threatens Cannabis Crop and Public Health

Highlights: 
  • Smoke from major fires will contaminate crops in Northern California’s prime cannabis-growing region.
  • Cannabis, a bioaccumulator, will uptake heavy metals from the soil that have deposited on the ground.
  • Analytical labs should test cannabis products for an array of fire-related heavy metals, aromatic hydrocarbons, and dioxins, even those that are not mandated by regulations.

The October firestorms raging in Northern California have incinerated nearly a quarter million acres and displaced more than 100,000 residents. Heavy smoke has blanketed the skies in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, poisoning the air to an unprecedented degree and prompting air quality alerts and health advisories throughout the region.

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Statement on Cannabidiol (CBD) for the FDA

The legal and regulatory status of cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the cannabis plant with a huge therapeutic upside, has emerged as a contentious subject in the United States, even though CBD is not intoxicating, has a stellar safety profile, and has no intrinsic abuse liability. When, as expected, CBD becomes an approved pharmaceutical, it will be a matter of enforcement discretion on the FDA’s part as to whether producers of artisanal CBD-rich formulations will be allowed to operate. Accordingly, Project CBD makes the following recommendations to the FDA:

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Cannabis Use During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

What do we know about marijuana's effects on unborn children?

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The Cutting Edge of Marijuana Medical Research Will Leave You Wondering What It Can't Help Cure

During the last week of June, more than 400 scientists from 25 countries met in Montreal for the 27th annual symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Several presentations and posters showcased new findings about cannabidiol (CBD), the non-euphoric component of the cannabis plant that is transforming the medical marijuana landscape.

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Why Cannabis Can Help Even with Difficult Diseases Like Parkinson's

Highlights: 
  • The endocannabinoid system plays a major role in Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
  • PD is associated with impairment of motor control after the loss of 60-80% of dopamine-producing neurons in a critical brain region.
  • Digestive imbalance may play a role in the advancement of PD & the severity of symptoms.
  • Cannabinoids have neuroprotectant, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for managing PD.
  • Various combinations of CBDTHC, and THCV may provide relief for Parkinson’s symptoms.

Scientists at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky have identified a previously unknown molecular target of cannabidiol (CBD), which may have significant therapeutic implications for Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

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Marijuana for the Masses

It’s been 50 years since the fabled “Summer of Love” in San Francisco. The City by the Bay was the epicenter of a countercultural uprising fueled by cannabis and LSD, which happened so vividly and with such intensity that it generated worldwide attention.

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Dosing THCA: Less is more

Cannabis doesn’t actually produce THC or CBD. The plant produces all cannabinoids in an acid form. Instead of making THC and CBD directly, it synthesizes tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) from their cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) precursor.

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Burning Issue: The Cannabis Industry Has a Pesticide Problem

As cannabis is legalized for medical and recreational use on a state-by-state basis, safety regulations regarding cannabis products are becoming increasingly important. One aspect of safety regulations involves setting maximal allowable limits on pesticides. Such regulations are particularly significant given that medical populations, including young and immunocompromised patients, are among the intended consumers of cannabis products.

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Raids or Riches? The Uncertain Future of Marijuana's Medicinal Molecule

It began when U.S. postal workers in Alaska spotted an unidentified substance oozing from several packages. Upon inspection they found 1,000 leaky vials, some labeled, others not, of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil. A call went out to Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board.

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How Prozac Cleared a Path for Medical Marijuana

Everybody who knows the history of the medical marijuana movement knows that Dennis Peron started the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in response to the AIDS epidemic circa 1990. Less well known is that it was also the beginning of the Prozac epidemic. Eli Lilly's brilliant, pervasive marketing scheme would change how US Americans thought about “Depression," and what constitutes a "serious illness," and the "medical use" of drugs to improve mood.

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What's in Your Medical Marijuana Vaporizer? Toxic Vape Oil Endangers Patients

In the summer of 2015, Project CBD published a report by Dr. Jahan Marcu that exposed the potential hazards of heating and inhaling propylene glycol (PG), a widely used thinning agent in many cannabis oil products, including vape pen cartridges. Project CBD was the first cannabis industry watchdog to call attention to research showing that when PG is heated in an electronic vaporizer, it can decompose into formaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. We noted with concern that thinning agents such as PG are typically present in hemp-derived CBD oil extracts. Nearly every hemp CBD vape oil brand we examined included PG or, even worse, polyethylene glycol (PEG), another toxic additive.

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Provocative Study Points to Humans Being Best Adapted to a High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet

Cannabis has been a friend to humankind since before the written word, providing fiber for cordage and cloth, seeds for nutrition, and roots, leaves and flowers for ritual and healing. During the Neolithic period, our ancestors discovered uses for every part of cannabis, which was one of the first agricultural crops, perhaps the first, ever to be grown and harvested some 12,000 years ago.

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Indoor or Outside: What's the Best Way to Grow Weed?

Blessed with ample sunshine and a conducive climate, Hawaii also has some of the richest, volcanic soil suitable for growing cannabis outdoors. But recent medical marijuana regulations crafted by Hawaiian officials mandate that all cannabis grown for dispensaries must be cultivated indoors.

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Distorted Science: Does CBD Change to THC in the Stomach, and Who Benefits By Claiming It Does?

In 2016, a new journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published a paper suggesting that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) converts to psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the stomach. The controversial paper was coauthored by several scientists employed by Zynerba Pharmaceuticals in Devin, Pennsylvania. It was not the first time that researchers addressed this issue.

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Mind Over Matter Over Mind: Cannabinoids and the Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is a pervasive medical phenomenon. It occurs when someone responds to an inert treatment or an expectation of benefit in the same way that they would respond to an actual treatment. Experts don’t know exactly how or why, but there’s no disputing that a person given a placebo — be it a sugar pill, a saline injection or even sham surgery or sham acupuncture — will often experience a perceived or real improvement in their condition.Placebos with no active drug ingredients can trigger changes in brain chemistry, heart rate, and blood pressure. A placebo can even enhance short-term memory. Brain imaging techniques have shown that placebos have a measurable impact on brain activity.

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Weed Power: Milk Thistle, Liver Disease and the Endocannabinoid System

What do cannabis and milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have in common? Both of these versatile “weeds” have a rich history of medicinal use going back thousands of years. And both convey significant therapeutic benefits that are mediated by the endocannabinoid system.

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How the New York Times Gets it Wrong on "Fake Pot" -- A Neuroscientist's Critique

It would be nice to get even a slight journalistic reflection from The New York Times on why people turn to weird black market synthetics to get high. Would that really happen if cannabis was legal?

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The DEA Bursts the CBD Bubble

The DEA has rained all over the CBD hemp oil parade.

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CBD Science: How Cannabinoids Work at the Cellular Level to Keep You Healthy

In 2012, French scientists reported the presence of cannabinoid receptors on the membranes of mitochondria, the energy-generating organelle within cells. This discovery laid the groundwork for subsequent investigations into the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating mitochondrial activity, which is critical to how cells function. Defects in mitochondria have been linked a wide range of neurodegenerative, autoimmune and metabolic disorders -- Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, cardiovascular and neuromuscular disease, and more.

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Mad Science, Bad Science and the Cannabis Plant

Mark Twain once said, “A lie can travel half way around the world before truth even gets its boots on.” When it comes to reporting on cannabis science, in many ways we’re still traveling barefoot.

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Is Kratom the CBD of Opioids?

It’s been used traditionally as both a medicine and a textile. It’s reportedly helpful for treating drug addiction, and its consumption has never resulted in a documented death from toxic overdose. But the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers it a dangerous drug with no medical value.

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I’m Just Mad About Saffron (and Other Spices That Activate the Endocannabinoid System)

Modern science is starting to catch on to the wisdom of our ancestors, who knew a lot about using aromatic herbs and spices for medicinal purposes. The use of spices for cooking, healing and dyeing fabric has shaped much of human history. In ancient times these highly precious commodities were traded along well-traveled spice routes throughout Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe. Some spices were literally worth their weight in gold.

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Marijuana, Not Monoculture: How to Make Your Pot Crop Sustainable

Finding a Companion for Those Lonely Cannabis Plants

We have a pesky, non-organic thorn in our side. Our current agricultural system is not based on sustainable means of cultivation and, unfortunately, this also applies to much of cannabis farming today. While the “organic” marijuana movement is gaining momentum, the vast majority of cultivators grow cannabis as a monocultural crop, which often entails the use of toxic pesticides and plant growth boosters to maximize profit.

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