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CBD Oil is everywhere,
but is it really safe and healthy?
Time asked this question of two scientists who are studying cannabidiol (CBD). Their answer? With one exception, no one knows.
Dr. Esther Blessing, associate professor of psychiatry at New York University, and Margaret Haney, professor of neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of the university’s Marijuana Research Laboratory, agree that CBD may one day be used to treat certain illnesses. Last summer, the Food and Drug Administration approved a purified form of CBD, Epidiolex, to treat rare forms of epilepsy.
But the scientists warn that most research on CBD is in the earliest stages, and we don’t know much about it, including what its long-term effects might be.
They stress the CBD available almost everywhere is not regulated by the government, which means it might contain other ingredients – or no CBD at all. Dr. Haney warns that much of the CBD on the market could be “snake oil.”
CBD can be extracted from the marijuana plant or the hemp plant, which is also marijuana but contains no more than three-tenths of one percent THC. Congress legalized hemp last December, but not marijuana.
CBD is being studied in early clinical trials for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. Other evidence suggests it may reduce anxiety, but again, it is in very early stages of testing, says Dr. Blessing.
Dr. Haney says CBD may also treat cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer’s and neuropathic pain, but that not enough is known right now about how CBD acts on the brain, its impact on brain development, or the effects of long-term use.
She warns that the medical claims marketers make for CBD “are not based on science,” adding that people should approach CBD with skepticism. “Because it’s not regulated, nobody is really checking what it contains,” she says. “There is no source of CBD I can recommend.”
Read Time article here.

Disclosure: The author holds stock in GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Epidiolex.
Unintentional pediatric marijuana exposures
prior to and after legalization and commercial availability of recreational marijuana in
Washington State
Researchers from Washington State, Colorado, and Pennsylvania studied unintentional pediatric marijuana exposures reported to the Washington Poison Center before and after the state legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Data from children age 9 or younger were included in the study. Between July 2010 and July 2016, there were 161 cases. Of these, 130 (81 percent) occurred in the period after legalization. The median age of exposed children was two years.
Monthly exposures increased after November 2012 when the drug was legalized and increased even more after marijuana became available in stores in July 2014.
Read the Journal of Emergency Medicine abstract here.

Recreational marijuana: What schools fear most about the legalization in New York
A powerful opponent of marijuana legalization in New York is the state Parent Teacher Association.
Kyle Belokopitsky, president of the state association, says parents and schools see the subject as a child welfare issue and are concerned about the impact of legalization on students already enticed by vaping, cigarettes, and opioids.
“As a society, we’ve been unable to stop the things we seem to think are legally allowable for adults from filtering down to children,” said David Little, executive director of the state Rural Schools Association.
“And yet somehow we seem to be marching ahead with the legalization of marijuana without factoring in the societal effects it will have when kids start using it and the implication that it’s legal so it must be okay,” he continued.
Ms. Belokopitsky asks New Yorkers to consider what will happen if the drug is legalized and school bus drivers can legally use marijuana. “It stays in the system long after use,” she says.
Police officers say legalization will be an enforcement nightmare for them and would lead to more impaired drivers on the roads. School officials agree and have joined forces with law enforcement to oppose legalization.
This long Lohud (part of the USA Today network) article presents the points of view of many players in the debate. It can be read here.

Sweet smell of success?
Big business bets on a marijuana boom
“To listen to some of the predictions about the future of the cannabis industry, you would think financial analysts had been partaking heavily of the product,“ notes The Guardian. Some estimate that the marijuana industry could be worth $500 billion to $1 trillion.
As hallucinatory as that sounds, however, big businesses are rushing to get involved. Canada’s Canopy Growth recently announced a partnership with lifestyle maven Martha Stewart to promote CBD. The strength of her brand indicates that marijuana products are “infiltrating respectable American households,” the article contends.
Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, paid $1.8 billion last December for 45 percent of another Canadian company, Chronos.
ABInBev, which makes Budweiser, invested $50 million in Tilray, a Canadian marijuana company that was incorporated in the US, to research weed-infused beverages.
All are positioned to jump into the US if marijuana is legalized nationwide.
A new entrant into the market is Jacana, whose owner, Alexandra Chong, Tommy Chong's daughter, is pictured above. The company grows marijuana in Jamaica. It recently raised $20 million from venture capitalists and has already exported two shipments to Canada, with plans to export marijuana for medical use to the rest of the world, including Britain.
Britain is about to welcome its first operating company to produce marijuana for medical use. Spinnaker Opportunities plans to buy Kanabo, a research company focused on cannabis oil, medically approved vaporizers, and marijuana cultivation.
“It’s an industry (recreational marijuana) that could rival tobacco and alcohol in terms of its impact in the world,” says Spinnaker’s chairman, Andy Morrison.
Read The Guardian story here.

If a majority of Americans want pot legalized, why are so many local communities banning it?
WXYZ Detroit has published a list of more than 200 communities that will not allow marijuana businesses in their areas. And this is a year before the regulations will be determined and stores start opening up across the state.
The ABC-TV affiliate published a list and plans to update it each time the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs adds to it.
Towns and cities in 70 of the state’s 83 counties have notified the department they will not allow the marijuana industry to conduct business within their borders.
Read WXYZ Detroit story here.

Cannabis drinks confront a serious buzz kill –
they taste terrible

Upstart companies tinker with ways to dial down “oily grass” flavors and notes of dish soap, urine
“Cannabis drinks are hitting the market, promising anxiety reduction, pain relief, and better sleep,” says the Wall Street Journal. “One thing none of them tout is taste.”
That’s because the oily based extracts from the plant don’t mix well with water. One advocate says the taste is like a barnyard. “The oil tastes terrible, and it floats. It’s very grassy and very funky,” he says.
One company, Trait Bioscience, uses an objective rating system by a panel of tasters to help identify flavors and scents they want to keep, such as blueberry, while eliminating less pleasant tastes such as dirty socks.
Undeterred by the taste problem, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Molson Coors Brewing Co., and Corona maker Constellations Brands have formed partnerships with Canadian marijuana companies to develop weed-intoxicating beverages and non-intoxicating "health" drinks.
Constellation’s chief executive, Bill Newlands, predicts the global marijuana market could eventually top the $100 billion annual US market for beer.
Read Wall Street Journal article here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action's website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor
Sue Rusche
Nicole Carter
IT Consultant
Lee Clontz
Social Media Coordinator
Margarita Eberline
We are grateful to our Board of Directors and Senior Adviser for their support of National Families in Action, which produces The Marijuana Report website and e-newsletter.
National Families in Action
Board of Directors

William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board
Realtor Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Georgia Properties, Atlanta.

Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta.

Richard L. Brown, Secretary
Attorney (Ret.), Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association 

Jeannine F. Adams, Director
President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta.

Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director
Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology
Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta

William H. Avery, Director
Partner (Ret.), Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta.

Margarita Eberline, Director
Strategy Director, 360 Marketing Plus, Atlanta.

Robert Margolis, PhD, Director
Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia.

Shannon Murphy, MD FAAP, Director
Birmingham, Alabama 
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.)
United Parcel Service, Atlanta.
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