The FDA’s Stance on CBD Food

During the past year or so, restaurants and trendy coffee shops around the country have been steadily adding CBD infused items to their menus. Everything from drinks, snacks, to full meals containing CBD oil are being offered throughout the country, particularly in New York City and LA, where novelty food is sought after.

It sounds interesting and we’re all curious about trying different CBD infused snacks… But, how legal is it?

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CBD Food: What exactly is out there?

Several restaurants, chefs and coffee shops in the U.S. have been including CBD infused items in their menus in an effort to respond to the growing CBD demand. Lattes, gummies, chocolates, cupcakes, juices, cookies, golden milk… The list is endless. And Canada has been going through a similar process.

CBD drinks and CBD food are the top food trend for 2019, according to a survey carried out by the National Restaurant Association, which also determined that 3 in 4 chefs agree with this.

The amount of edible products containing CBD rose immensely after the Farm Bill was signed by President Trump in December 2018, legalizing the growing of industrial hemp in the whole country. Signs outside small shops now read “CBD Drinks!” along with drawings of cannabis leaves, or pictures of yummy-looking lattes or matcha tea, and it’s not that hard, in some states, to come across small food trucks that sell CBD cupcakes or cookies… Yes, they cater to our sweet tooth.

State laws differ, however, when it comes to recreational cannabis, so in states like Colorado, for example, it’s much easier to obtain cannabis products, not just hemp.

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Large restaurant chains have stayed away from the trend, since they’re more exposed and likely to be affected by the illegality of the matter; however, exclusive restaurants, trendy coffee shops and independent chefs are risking it for the sake of not staying behind and trying new things.

Mondelēz, the company that makes Oreo, Cadbury and several other well known brands, even stated that their team is preparing to add CBD to new brands or some of the existing ones, but have made it very clear that they’re waiting for the FDA to regulate it before they actually commercialize the products.

The FDA’s Position

The Farm Bill made it clear that the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating the application of CBD in everyday products. The FDA itself reiterated their authority in the matter of regulating cannabis products almost immediately.

Because the regulation for food, medication and supplements is still pending, mainstream drug stores like CVS and Walgreens have dipped into the CBD market with topical versions of the products (creams, sprays, patches, among others).

Currently, the FDA is looking into regulating CBD infused in food, which several restaurants are already doing, despite the lack of regulations. Not to mention the cosmetic brands who are also dipping into the new market without waiting for the official green light.

The FDA and State authorities have already officially warned a few restaurants that they have until June 30 to stop adding the cannabinoid to food, since that date marks the end of the “educational period” after which their products can be confiscated by the authorities. Plus, some states have chosen to discourage the use of CBD additives by lowering inspection scores.

The FDA calls people to participate in the upcoming regulation

The sense of urgency for regulation after the Farm Bill was signed was felt immediately, but it is unlikely that the Food and Drug Administration will have it ready this year, since they need to look into different scientific studies.

It’s important to remember that a public hearing will be held on the 31st of May, where expert opinions and case studies will be heard in an effort to ensure that as much information and as many concerns are addressed and taken into account for the upcoming regulation.

This hearing is specifically aimed towards the use of CBD in consumer products (food, beverages, among others). However, in December, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil can be marketed freely as long as they make no claims to cure or treat any health conditions. So these products are already in the clear.

Concerns

The FDA has reasonable concerns about these products. And one of the reasons is that, since CBD began growing as a market, illegal synthetic versions of the cannabinoid have been developed in labs and marketed as CBD supplements.

The issue with these synthetic versions is that they have been observed to have less medicinal properties and several detrimental effects on health, having even caused 16 documented deaths.

Though the FDA has sometimes approved synthetic versions of natural components, like opioids or THC (Marinol), the new, illegal synthetic CBD versions are not approved and are incredibly dangerous, causing alarm within the FDA and the medical community, since they often pass as natural CBD, making it unclear whether or not they are safe.

The FDA approved medication Epidolex, which is CBD based, has highly complicated the upcoming regulations, since it is a delicate matter to allow the active ingredient of an approved drug to be mixed into food, but the public hearing will be helpful in understanding important details about its effects in certain populations, like pregnant women, babies, or people who suffer from different medical conditions and take medication for them.

About this matter, the FDA stated that:

“Under section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 331(ll)], it is prohibited to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which has been added a substance which is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 355], or a drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public.”

Based on the above, it is even prohibited to add CBD to animal food or treats, which causes a huge issue, considering all of these products are already being marketed; CBD dog treats, for example, are very common for pet owners.

Homemade CBD Infused Food

Though selling CBD infused foods is not yet technically legal, using it for personal consumption is allowed. If you’re wondering how to use CBD to cook, keep an eye out for an upcoming article that’ll explain everything you need to know about CBD in the kitchen! And we’ll even give you a delicious recipe for yummy CBD chocolate treats; these are a mouth watering perfect option for those days when you’re feeling low.

Benefits of Cooking CBD Food at Home

Using CBD at home for personal consumption is NOT illegal! And it won’t get you, or anyone else, high.

Putting natural CBD oil in food isn’t much different than mixing a little curcumin into your eggs; you want to add as many beneficial components into your diet as you can, in order to complement your nutrition. Of course, the effects of CBD are, for some, immediately felt, and they highly influence the body’s functions, which is why it’s constantly being studied for possible medicinal application.

Is it safe to eat?

As far as has been observed, CBD is safe to consume in food, as long as it is well measured and as long as it is NOT the synthetic version of the component.

Actually, for children with severe forms of epilepsy, CBD is sometimes administered along with food, so the flavor and texture don’t cause the child to spit it out or get upset. This is important, since, for epilepsy, the oil is consumed daily by these children.  

People who suffer from chronic pain due to arthritis, neuropathy, or other conditions, often calculate their ideal daily dosage and mix it into homemade, portioned desserts or thick drinks in order to mix it up a bit.

These people have reported feeling better after adding the cannabinoid to their daily routine, which is made easier by adding it to meal prep. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t good at remembering to carry a bottle around all day or take multiple doses, so having it as a snack helps.

The Outlook

So, based on what is currently happening, it is very likely that CBD Food and products will be regulated in the next two years or so. However, during this time, CBD will be in a legal limbo that will continue to confuse and annoy companies around the country.

While large chains will be too afraid to try introducing it, small restaurants and coffee shops will likely continue offering CBD products.

I hope this limbo will come to an end soon, because the market has a mind of its own, and eventually the FDA and state authorities will no longer be able to contain the demand and the subsequent offer.

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Happy 420! Special 2019 Edition: Latin America




…and stay on top of the latest buzz on medicinal cannabis legalization in Latin America.

April 20 is an international cultural day when the pro-cannabis community traditionally gets together to express its thoughts on the legalization of cannabis in all its forms.

The term 420 has been used since about 1971, both referring to the date (April 20) and the time of day (4:20pm), as code for cannabis. It has been since adopted by the pro cannabis community, and is now used to bring attention to the issues of legalization and medicinal use.

A new dawn…

The end of the decade is bringing with it a new dawn for cannabis as a medicine. It is slowly but steadily transforming into a scientifically recognized medicinal substance and leaving its social stigma behind.

Currently, a lot of countries around the world are debating the possibility of legalizing cannabis for medicinal or recreational use, while some have already moved past the issue.

This new, worldwide debate has opened the doors for a new market full of possibilities since, until recently, cannabis was solely monopolized by the illegal market and violent criminal groups, which caused the quality of the products to be unsupervised and poor. However, legal cannabis would bring with it regulation and standards which would prevent quality issues that can cause negative health consequences (such as mold or chemicals in the plant making consumers sick).

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Cannabis and CBD in Latin America

Latin America has become an important player in the recent journey of worldwide cannabis legalization. Several Latam countries have taken steps, in recent years, to legalize and produce hemp and different cannabis strains for medicinal purposes, and they are expected to soon become extremely competitive in the international market of processed derivatives, like oils, creams, sprays, and all the different presentations currently available.

It is predicted that by 2028, medicinal cannabis will account for two thirds of the regional total value of the cannabis market, because production is about 80% cheaper than in the US, Canada or Europe.

There are currently more than 40 licensed cannabis producers in Latin America. Some countries, however, seem to be more ahead than others. For example, up until December of 2018, Colombia accounted for 44% of the world production quota.

The estimated total market value of cannabis in Latin America is 9.8 billion USD, and legal sales within the region are expected to rise to 12.7 billion by 2028.

Canada is currently the strongest market for cannabis, since it has fully legalized cannabis use for both medicinal and recreational purposes, and Canadian companies have invested more than 100 million dollars in Colombia for growing purposes. This means Colombia is positioning itself to become one of the largest cannabis exporters in the world.

Legalization

In Latin America, legalization has vast differences from country to country, which comes to show how culture varies from one to another, even if they are thought to be very similar.

The Latin American countries where medicinal cannabis is legal are:

Some insight into the most cannabis-relevant Latin American Countries

Uruguay

In 2013, Uruguay became the first, and so far only, Latin American nation to legalize adult cannabis consumption. Only registered Uruguayans are allowed to purchase cannabis, and it can only be sold by authorized pharmacies.

In 2014 it was made legal to grow up to 6 plants at home.

Brazil

Brazil has the highest cannabis consumption in Latin America.

In 2015, CBD was transferred from the list of prohibited substances to the list of controlled substances, and is now fully covered by the health care system. However, authorizations for the import of cannabis oils are individually evaluated for compassionate use, which means it’s only for patients whose condition is resistant to all other treatments available.

Mexico

Mexico has a history of conservative policies regarding cannabis; but in 2015, special access to CBD Oil was granted to a little girl, and in 2018, the country finally made it legal to grow for private personal use, and declared the prohibition unconstitutional, which suggests that legalization of non medical use will come in 2019.

Chile

Chile has the highest consumption rates per capita in Latin America. And, interestingly, out of all Latin American countries, it has the longest history with successful hemp cultivation for fiber, so the have a lot of experience on good growing practices and know the plant well.

Panama

In Panama, cannabis is still illegal, even medicinal. In 2016 a “legalization” bill passed, but regulation is pending. Only personal dose is allowed, and there are exceptional sanitary permits.

This year, the national assembly is due to vote on bill 595, which legalizes medicinal consumption, but prohibits domestic cultivation.

Like Panama, some Countries around the world have this strange phenomenon, where regulation is pending. Colombia had this issue in 1986, when a law was passed, which allowed regulation, but the regulations took a couple of decades to arrive.

Colombia

Colombia has quickly become one of the strongest countries when it comes to cannabis cultivation. And, at the moment, it’s the only one aggressively promoting cannabis exports.

It has several conditions that favor it in this particular industry, like:

  • A variety of climates.
  • 12 hour day/night cycle, which allows for year round outdoor cultivation.
  • Long culture of exportation.
  • Central location, which is good for commerce.
  • Fertile soil.
  • Existing legislation.
  • The government’s commitment.

In 2018, Colombia was granted a growing quota equivalent to 44% of the world production authorized by the International Narcotics Control Board.

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Legalization

Colombia had an interesting journey. Though legalization technically happened in 1986, the country’s issues with drug trafficking and violence prevented further regulation, which caused cannabis to still be treated as illegal. It took several years before any other legal disposition was made concerning cannabis. The timeline is as follows:

February, 1986: Colombia legalized manufacture, export, sales, medical and scientific use of cannabis. However, due to the lack of regulation, production could not be initiated.

1994: Consumption was decriminalized.

2009: The Constitution is modified, criminalizing possession and consumption, except with medical prescription.

2012: Possession is decriminalized (up to 20gr).

June, 2015: Home cultivation of up to 20 plants is decriminalized.

December, 2015: Cannabis is legalized for medical and scientific purposes.

May, 2016: The Ministry of Health defined licensing requirements for production and manufacture of cannabis derivatives.

June, 2016: The first manufacturing license was issued to a large-scale cannabis corporation.

July, 2016: Law 1797 established a regulatory framework for medical and scientific use of cannabis.

April, 2017: Decree 613 amended law 1787, ensuring government support for small growers, distinguishing between psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis, and creating regulations for seeds.

At the moment, Colombia is the only latinamerican country that distinguishes between psychoactive and non psychoactive medical cannabis. Psychoactive cannabis is only permitted in its processed form (oils, pills, and different topical presentations), but not as flowers or dried plants. Cannabis-based medication (like Sativex) is only available with a medical prescription, and can only be distributed in government authorized pharmacies.

Since November 2018, several cannabis licenses have been granted:

  • 19 for use of seeds
  • 62 for psychoactive cannabis cultivation
  • 89 for hemp cultivation
  • 73 entities were granted licenses for psychoactive cannabis derivative manufacturing (68 for export, 64 for domestic use and 28 for scientific research)

Colombia aims to grow as a cannabis derivative exporter, starting with the regional market before expanding to other countries, like Canada.

Foreign operators are welcome in the Colombian cannabis industry, and residency requirements have not been established, though the company must at least have a local branch or independent company within the territory, and is expected to comply with the local tax regulation.

At the moment, several major Canadian cannabis companies are already involved in Colombia. And the government has now granted benefits to small and medium growers, which benefit the country’s growing economy.

According to BBC Mundo, “Colombia has the best conditions in Latin America for investing in the [medical] marijuana industry.” And Canadian analyst, Michael McCune, a member of the Canadian lobbying group called iTrust Cannabis, said, “We see Colombia as a global leader in the cannabis industry, with enormous production and export capacity.”

This is an important view, since Colombia and Canada are currently the two main leaders of the cannabis market.

Colombia’s economy is slowly being reborn from the ashes of the conflict that has plagued it for decades. And it’s interesting to see how cannabis is one of the industries that has begun to take shape after the illegal drug-fueled conflict. Not to mention that the economic development brought by it is reaching some of the most conflict-affected areas of the country, like Valle del Cauca and Magdalena.

It’s perfect timing, since the government is questioning itself on how it can generate rural development without relying on hydrocarbons, which are now an unstable market. And by 2025, Colombia’s cannabis exports are predicted to exceed those of coal, while Procolombia also believes that the country is capable of quickly capturing one fifth of the cannabis market in the next few years.

The Change….

The punitive approach to cannabis in Latin America and the rest of the world is changing steadily due to the increasing number of patients who have been successfully treated with it; and that change will only be accelerated by the fact that the World Health Organization has recommended its rescheduling as a controlled substance. This encourages a debate between the medical and scientific world and those who still feel that it is necessary to maintain the punitive approach towards cannabis.

Each Latin American country has its own regulations, which vary depending on their individual culture and history. These regulations have different implications for companies that wish to enter the country’s economy or expand in it.

The two most commonly used business models for this industry in Latin America are:

  • Vertically integrated operations (a license-holder is allowed to produce, process, sell, and export their product).
  • Corporate model for agriculture (small and medium-sized producers sell their harvest to a company that processes, packages, and distributes the product).

This is something the region needs. An estimated 4.5 million Colombians and 60 million Latin Americans suffer from cancer, MS, or epilepsy. The region is in need of better, less harmful treatments that can help people have a better quality of life.

What will legalization bring to the table?

Legalization is a game changer. It brings with it regulations that keep products in check and set a standard for quality and good practices. It stops being a business lead by criminal organizations that take advantage of the low standards and becomes a market pushed forward by doctors, scientists and serious entrepreneurs who know how to provide good service and quality products.

It also opens the doors wider for medical and scientific studies, trials and research that will allow us to look into new treatments and even cures for devastating illnesses.  

Vicente Fox, board member of Khiron Life Sciences Corp. and former president of Mexico, believes that moving from prohibition to legalization is a good thing. It takes money and power away from violent, illegal organizations and gives it to entrepreneurs, farmers, the legal side of economy; it generates jobs, medical and scientific research, and accelerates development.

Though public opinion is quickly shifting and people are now less fearful than they have ever been about cannabis, this particular industry needs to be more careful than others. Every company needs to be on its best behaviour because one mistake can ruin everything. The cannabis industry hasn’t yet established credibility, so it is up to the new companies to do so.

If everything goes well, people will understand that there’s a big difference between an industry run by criminals and an industry run by doctors, experts, and farmers.

There seems to be a misconception about cannabis being an extremely harmful drug, but this is nothing more than a misconception, which will, in time, hopefully change.

“I have never heard of anyone dying from cannabis; on the other hand, billions have perished from alcohol, sugar excess, and cigarettes.” Vicente Fox

For it to work…

For this industry to succeed, different factors need to come into play.

  • The collaboration between different countries will surely bring the best of two worlds together, and result in a product that has outstanding quality and good manufacturing practices.
  • Operational costs must be maintained low for Latam countries to become competitive and maintain that competitiveness when others begin exporting.
  • Brands need to stand out globally and have exceptional quality and good practices.
  • It is important for companies to understand and adapt to the individual regulations in the countries they have chosen to work in, in order to avoid unnecessary legal issues.
  • t’s important to maintain supply, since demand can jump unexpectedly.
  • It is also necessary to stimulate home grown market and inform people on good home growing practices in order to avoid widespread health issues.
  • Cannaturism is also a broad opportunity for Latin Amercan countries while legalization moves forward.

2020s?

There’s a lot of hope for the 2020s! It’s the beginning of a new era for medicine, science, and society. A new era for less prohibition and more regulation in order to ensure quality and good practices in the marketing of cannabis products.

If regulations continue to advance, the next decade will possibly bring with it better medical treatments for painful, debilitating illnesses and a significant improvement in mood disorders, anxiety and depression.

Having a legal cannabis market will also serve as a strong blow to violent organizations that take advantage of circumstances and are not interested in the community’s well-being. They have caused a lot of harm to individuals and entire counties. So taking away some of their power, is bound to be a positive change…

Happy 420!

And here’s to a new era.   

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CBD Oil for Seizures: Childhood Epilepsy

Epilepsy can be a devastating diagnosis for children and families alike. Feeling like your child’s life has been interrupted and they can no longer enjoy the activities they once had, or that you thought they would, is heartbreaking.

But parents and doctors all over are making a fuss about cannabis and CBD oil. Most of us have heard something about it.

If you’re still wondering what it’s all about, and how it can help, then here you go…

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High CBD Strains for Epilepsy

There are several high CBD cannabis strains out there; some old, some new. Hemp is the better known one, since it’s been around for centuries, and has been used for different purposes, both medicinal and industrial.

When it comes to epilepsy, some popular high CBD strains are Valentine X, AC/DC, Cannatonic, Therapy A, among many others. But Charlotte’s Web, which was originally called “Hippie’s Disappointment”, is one of the better known ones when it comes to use for minors, due to it being high in CBD and extremely low in THC (30:1 ratio), which means it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects, even in small children. But, hemp and other high CBD strains are very similar to it and more easily obtained. Plus, they also have the beneficial effects that people seek when searching for alternative treatments for epilepsy.

What can CBD do for epilepsy patients?

CBD has anti seizure, antispasmodic and neuroprotective properties, which help epileptic patients reduce the frequency of seizures, loosen the muscle spasms that they are prone to, and slow, or even reverse, the deterioration that the seizures cause in the brain.

There have been several heartwarming success stories of epileptic children who have been treated with CBD oil. And Hippie’s Disappointment, for example, was renamed after a patient that responded very well to it in 2012.

Real Children have benefited from it…

Charlotte Figi, who was five when she started taking CBD, suffers from a very complex type of epilepsy, called Dravet syndrome, which was causing her to have around 300 seizures per week. And, since most children who suffer from this illness die before the age of 10… At this point she was already halfway through her life expectancy.

Her parents eventually came to the realization that traditional medication was not going to do much for their daughter’s condition. And as they looked into alternative treatments, they came across cannabis, which was already being used for epilepsy patients.

They wanted their daughter to enjoy life and have as much quality time as possible, since she was only five. Her illness was not allowing her to be a child and experience life the way she should have been able to.

“During that time, she lost the ability to walk, talk, eat, and really just, like, participate in life at all; she couldn’t do anything, she just sort of laid in my arms, catatonic. And I just thought that was it…” Charlotte’s mom said.

After trying “Hippie’s Disappointment”, Charlotte improved dramatically, only suffering from three or four seizures per month. And, in an impressive turn of events, she was able to completely go off her strong epilepsy medication.

Epilepsy in Children

There are several cases like Charlotte’s. This isn’t an isolated situation, epilepsy affects an alarming number of children and adults in the country, and in the entire world, and it has no cure at the moment, so finding the best, least harmful treatment, should be a priority.

What is it?

Epilepsy is a chronic illness that affects the brain, and is characterized by frequent, unpredictable seizures which are not caused by any other underlying condition (such as fever).

People who suffer from epilepsy can be affected by it in a variety of ways because there are different types of seizures and different causes for the illness. So there’s no way to know how much a person’s quality of life will be altered before they have lived with epilepsy for a while.

In 2015, epilepsy affected more than 3.4 million people in the United States. That is 1.2% of the country’s population. Of these, 470.000 were children, and 3 million were adults.

It is estimated that, today, 0.6% of children suffer from active epilepsy. Though it might not seem like it, it’s a lot.

Causes

Mostly, the cause for epilepsy in children is unknown. However, stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, and central nervous system infections can cause epilepsy in people who didn’t previously suffer from it.

Types of Seizures

According to Epilepsy Ontario, there are two main types of epileptic seizures, and each has its own subtypes respectively:

1. Focal Seizures: limited to one point in the brain.

  • With retained awareness
  • With loss of awareness

 

2. Generalized Seizures: there is seizure activity in both hemispheres of the brain.

  • Absence seizures: the child abruptly becomes unaware for a period of time.
  • Tonic-clonic or convulsive seizures: first, the child loses consciousness, stiffens, and falls to the floor. Then, the extremities begin twitching uncontrollably.
  • Atonic seizures: the child loses consciousness and collapses.  

 

  • Clonic seizures: the person loses control of their body and starts twitching involuntarily; it might involve loss of consciousness, followed by confusion.  
  • Tonic seizures: muscle spasms, flexion or extension of the arms or legs, and impaired consciousness.
  • Myoclonic seizures: abrupt muscle jerks in different parts of the body.

 

Depending on the type of seizure a person suffers from, it will look different to those around them, which is why it’s so scary for parents who witness their child’s first ever seizure; it’s something no parent expects to see, and most don’t recognize it for what it is. It can be extremely alarming.

Why are CBD and Hemp getting so much attention from parents of epileptic children?

Before Charlotte’s Web was popularized for pediatric seizure disorders, strains like hemp and AC/DC were already being used as an alternative treatment for epilepsy patients, including children. And they still are, since CBD has no side effects and no risk of overdose as far as we know.

In the past few years, actual medical studies and trials have been conducted in different countries, with very positive results, which brings a lot of hope to the medical community.

There are a lot of illnesses, epilepsy among them, which have not yet been fully unravelled, and medication for it hasn’t been perfected. Symptoms and complications are tough to deal with, so science is constantly trying to figure out which medication could be developed in order to help without causing side effects that are worse than the actual illness.

Since cannabis has had such a bad reputation due to its known recreational use, looking into it medicinally has been generally frowned upon. This preconception has slowed the research and the studies, especially when it comes to children. However, we’re coming to a point when illnesses are becoming less deadly, but more impairing. Yes: people now have a longer lifespan, but a very poor quality of life.

It is particularly harrowing for parents to see their young children suffering and not enjoying life. This gives them the courage to try options that might be unpopular, because they really have nothing to lose.

This is the reason why, in the past few years, CBD has had a lot more buzz. Parents are looking, the internet is showing, and, when something works, those parents want to share their experience with the world and with other parents.

Concerns

Parents and healthcare professionals have several concerns: does CBD oil affect a child’s development? Does it get them high? Does it make them more likely to develop an addiction in the future?

The answer to all of these is NO.

Brain Development

CBD in no way affects a child’s development. In fact, in cases where a child suffers from epilepsy or autism, where the cognitive development is impaired, CBD treatments have been shown to stop, and even reverse this deterioration and improve psychosocial abilities.

Does the Child get High?

It doesn’t get children “high”. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects, and people who consume it retain their full capacity and awareness.

Does it Generate Addiction?

CBD has been proven to be non-addictive; it does not create habit or make children or adults more likely to develop it in the future.

The benefits, however, have the potential of preventing brain damage which would have been caused by years of frequent and strong seizures.

CBD: Improving the Quality of Life

Today, thousands of parents and doctors swear by CBD. Remember these are families who have known heartbreak closely by seeing a crippling illness reduce their child’s quality of life immensely.

This is the hardest part of chronic illnesses. Surviving, but not living. Or seeing someone survive, but not live.

CBD is able to not only treat an illness, but to return joy and life to a person, child or adult, who has forgotten what it feels like to enjoy day to day activities. It doesn’t just reduce seizures; it gives something back. And it’s not just for epilepsy patients. CBD helps with a number of symptoms, chronic or acute.

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What should I do if someone is having a seizure?

If you see someone having a seizure, it can be very scary. You might feel extremely worried and be afraid to hurt the person by trying to help.

If there’s a doctor in the room, he or she will likely identify themselves and take charge of the situation. Let them! And be ready to assist them if needed, but don’t get in the way.

If there are no doctors in the room, keep calm and here’s a video that shows you what to do!

CBD Testimonials: How CBD Saves Lives

You have probably heard a little about the different health benefits CBD can provide for us, such as pain relief, lowering inflammation, lessening irritation… However, at times, CBD does a little more than make our lives more comfortable; it can save people from devastating illnesses and improve their quality of life significantly. Could it be true?

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There are all sorts of stories like that, about patients who struggle with epilepsy, cancer, and other complicated conditions, and they or their families end up trying CBD oil as a last resort, having nothing to lose, only to be surprised by the almost unbelievable effects.

In the near future, we will probably continue to see countless stories like these before CBD is officially recognized as medicine…

CBD: 5 Real Life Stories

We have finally reached a time in history when the medical and scientific communities are being allowed to conduct serious studies and randomized trials on CBD, and cannabis in general, which are having a lot of positive results. And there are also a lot of individual stories where CBD has been a life-saver. Here are some of these stories:

1.  Hunter

Hunter Elwell is a young Australian teen who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a severe and debilitating form of epilepsy. His first years of life were spent in a haze; between the seizures and medication, he slept through most days.

Right before his eighth birthday, his parents decided to try medicinal cannabis in order to reduce the seizures, which were causing him to deteriorate rapidly.

The supplement he’s taking now, as part of his routine, has reduced the frequency of his seizures and has reversed some of the cognitive deterioration he suffered because of them. He has become more aware of his surroundings, started recognizing people, and is relearning some of the skills he had previously lost. His mom, found it amazing that her son learned how to say “mom” all over again.

Currently, due to the positive effect CBD oil has had on epilepsy patients like Hunter, there is a lot more research being done about cannabidiol and other cannabinoids, since it has been suggested that several others might also be responsible for the positive effects of cannabis oil in patients.

2. Charlotte

Charlotte Figi is a young girl who is well known by those who have followed the journey towards legalizing medicinal cannabis. She, like hunter, also suffers from Dravet syndrome.

At five, this illness was causing the little girl to have around 300 seizures per week, significantly lowering her quality of life, and causing neurological deterioration. She first experienced a seizure at only 3 months old and, by the age of two, she was already showing signs of cognitive decline. Most children who suffer from this illness die before the age of 10, due to the devastating effects of the constant seizures.

At this point, her parents were able to find a doctor who recommended medicinal cannabis for the treatment of her condition. She began taking CBD oil made from a high CBD strain of cannabis, which had an immediate and almost unbelievable effect.

During her first week taking the prescribed amount, Charlotte had no seizures, which was a first for her. She began being able to participate in life, eat, and even play with her twin sister and her older brother.

3. Zaki

Zaki Jackson suffers from another severe form of epilepsy called Doose syndrome. At the age of nine, his mom was desperate for any treatment, since her son’s doctors had told her there was nothing else they could do.

When she first heard of CBD, it seemed like there was nothing to lose by giving a less than experimental treatment a chance, so she began the journey towards getting her son what he needed in order to lead a better life.

In 2013, Zaki celebrated his first one year anniversary without any seizures at all; something that had previously seemed unthinkable to his mom and his doctors.

4. Lachie

Lachie Davidson is a young adult who has had a rare, benign brain tumor since he was a child. The tumor causes him to have several “laughing seizures” throughout the day, and, every once in a while, it causes severe seizures.

Medication for his condition has affected his ability to speak, which is very frustrating for him. He is currently participating in a medical trial which aims to find evidence of the effects of cannabinoids in seizures, though he doesn’t know if he’s taking the placebo or the actual medication. So he’ll have to see…

5. Kalel

Kalel Santiago’s parents are some of the many who have been desperate to find something that could help their kids suffering from severe forms of autism. Kalel, at his worst, wasn’t able to speak at all and would have self harming behaviours like banging his head against hard surfaces.

After beginning his CBD treatment, which consists of spraying CBD oil into his mouth twice a day, he started speaking his first words and his behavior changed in an impressive way, probably due to being able to communicate more openly than before.

Studies have shown that autistic children have significant differences in their CB2 receptors, compared to non autistic children. Doctors came to the conclusion that the reason CBD works so well for autism is that it stimulates the CB2 receptors, improving certain functions related to communication. Research is still being carried out.

What about THC? – 3 Bonus Stories

Though THC requires a more careful management, since it produces psychoactive effects, it has been shown to have significant anti carcinogenic properties. Essentially, it has the ability to cause the death of cancer cells, which are then flushed by the body.

Though it’s not legal, a lot of patients who have no other options, opt for THC treatment, feeling like there’s nothing to lose; and a lot of them have obtained astounding results. Here are some of them:

1. Deryn

At the age of 10, Deryn Blackwell was diagnosed with leukaemia and went through chemotherapy in order to treat it. Two years later, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer called Langerhans cell sarcoma, for which the only available treatment was bone marrow transplant.

After four unsuccessful transplants, and an unexpected infection his body had no way of fighting, doctors gave Deryn one week to live.

He planned his funeral and couldn’t wait for all the treatments and the illness to be over. He was tired of the pain and the emotional effects that came with it. At that point, the antibiotics were keeping him alive, the morphine had stopped working, and he was now on fentanyl and sleeping pills.

As a last resort, his mother managed to get her hands on cannabis tincture and decided to give it to her son in secret, in hopes that it would at least lessen his suffering, since he was in a lot of pain and was very anxious.

The effects were almost immediate; Deryn was a lot calmer and the pain had lessened. A few days later, the bloodwork showed new white blood cells. This meant that his body was now recovering and was beginning to be able to fight infection.

His mom wondered if it had just been a coincidence, so she stopped giving him the tincture, and his white cell count started going down again… Deryn is now perfectly healthy against all odds; he’s able to do regular activities, and wants to be a chef.

2. Joy

Joy Smith was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016. About a year later, after it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her stomach and intestine, she was told she only had six weeks to live… Think about that for a second; six weeks, less than two months. Sometimes we have holidays planned that are more than two months away. In an instant, she was pretty much told that it was over.

It has been almost three years since she was first diagnosed, and now she’s in remission. Why? She decided to try cannabis extract, which was still illegal in her home country.

She decided to stop chemotherapy and has only been taking the cannabis oil for a while. In her latest checkup, her doctor said that the cancer had almost entirely disappeared, only a little remaining in her stomach. And, even though she knows she could be accused of committing a crime, she decided to share her story publicly in hopes of helping others.

3. Rick

Rick Simpson is a relatively well known name in the world of medicinal cannabis. He came across it while looking for a way to treat symptoms that had been leftover from a work accident.

However, later he was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer and, rather than go on topical chemotherapy, he decided to use topical cannabis oil to treat it. He had heard about a study from the National Cancer Institute about THC, and chose not to expose his body to aggressive chemo.

He left a cannabis soaked bandage on the cancerous growths for a few days and, when he uncovered them, they were gone. He was so moved by the experience that he began making his own oil and giving it away to people who needed it.

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So, why are CBD and THC treatments still struggling to become recognized?

Scientists and doctors who believe in the medicinal properties of cannabis have different theories as to why these compounds have yet to be recognized and standardized as official medical treatments. Some theories point to the prevalent bad reputation that cannabis and hemp haven’t been able to shake, due to the recreational use for which they are better known.

However, others believe that the reason is more financial. Since CBD and THC are natural compounds easily obtained from hemp and other cannabis strains, they cannot be patented or kept as a secret formula, which implies that the financial gain that could be obtained from them by pharmaceutical companies is far less than the profits that come from other medication that is a lot less available.

Though we can’t really be sure of the ultimate reason behind the delay in regulating and recognizing the medicinal properties in CBD and THC, the truth is that this is rapidly changing. Real life stories about how cannabis can be an amazing alternative, are more and more common, so there will come a point where lawmakers around the world will have no choice but to regulate it.

Here in the US, for example, the FDA is currently working on the regulation of CBD, which is good news, but it’ll take a while before we get to see any official documents.

Hemp Towns: 7 Cities in the World that Honor Hemp with their Names

Last year, just before summer was about to end, Mount Vernon’s community set upon the task of honoring George Washington. How? By growing Hemp. Just like the first president of the United States of America did in his old plantation house.

Hemp has been a part of the country’s history since colonial times. The Mid-Atlantic States grew it intensively. Hemp was used to create ropes used in ships, while others used it for textile purposes as a replacement for cotton.

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Thomas Jefferson even grew hemp on his plantation in Bedford County, Virginia.

Hemp was everywhere. And it has been for thousands of years. Not only in the United States, but all around the world. If you want proof, just take a closer look at the names of some places around Europe and the United States. Hemp was such an important plant that some cities and small towns were named after it.

Currently, the European Union allows hemp to be produced, and its derivatives to be sold. However, to be treated as hemp by the E.U., cannabis must contain less than 0.3% of THC.

Let’s take a quick look at how hemp became such an important crop and how some cities were named after the almighty plant.

A brief history of hemp

According to “Hemp Bound”, a book by Doug Fine published in 2014, China was the first civilization to grow hemp. The Chinese began using hemp to make rope and fishing nets on 4.500 B.C. It was a crop as important as, and cultivated along with, wheat, beans and rice. Yes, as important as rice!

The Chinese were also the first to transform hemp into paper. As hemp interest grew across agricultural communities in China, it was important to record plantation techniques. This is how the very first hemp paper industry was created.

Hemp arrived in Europe through the Mediterranean, through trade routes established across the sea. Ancient Greeks used it for textile purposes, while Moorish Spain created its first paper mill. The British Empire soon became one of hemp’s most important growers. Because of their naval domain, hemp was crucial for ropes used in ships. Fine says in his book that hemp was the most important crop in British economy. Along the coast, some cities were even named after Hemp, and when the British empire arrived in North America, they started growing hemp to fill the demand. These cities across the ocean were also named after the plant. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Hemp crops later expanded to Germany and France. By the eighteenth century, hemp crops were present in Asia, Europe and North America. No wonder there are some places that honor cannabis in their own names, flags and coats of arms.

Hemp is now legal in the United States.

7 cities and towns named after hemp

Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania, United States

This small community from the Lancaster County was the mecca of hemp during the 18th century. It also included the small townships of East and West Hempfield. William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1681 for one specific purpose: to produce hemp for the British. This is where the name Hempfield Township comes from. It is said that between 1720 and 1870, the Lancaster County had more than 100 mills to process hemp fiber.

Remember George Washington’s love for hemp? Well, the Founding Father personally visited and frequently inspected the mills to find new ways to improve his crops in Mount Vernon. You can even visit museums like Landis Valley Museum and Hans Herr House Museum, located in Lancaster County, and find some of the mills used during that time to process hemp.

Cañamares (Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, España

As we explained above, Spain has also cultivated hemp for centuries. And there are small towns that even have the plant on their flag and coat of arms. Cañamares is one of them. Just a two-hour drive from Madrid, this town with a population of 700, built itself on hemp. The Cañamares economy was based on hemp production during the middle ages. Its name comes from “cáñamo”, the Spanish word for hemp. Although today there are few hemp crops, the town still honors the hemp days.

Santa Cruz de los Cáñamos (Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, Spain

“Holy Cross of Hemp”, would be the direct translation. Located in the same region as Cañamares, this very small town, with a population of over 500 people, also honors hemp in its flag and coat of arms. The town was named after hemp in the sixteenth century because of the large crops of the plant present during that time.

Furthermore, hemp can return importance to this small Spanish community. The town is suffering from depopulation. With just 500 people, business and schools are suffering because, as time goes on, there are fewer people in town. A group of teenagers is looking to start cultivating hemp again to attract investment opportunities and create jobs.

Way to go, Santa Cruz!

Chennevières, France

This is also a small town that grew hemp for a living. The French word for hemp is “le chanvre”. And, translatied, the town’s name would be something like “people who grow hemp”. Chennevières is located in northern France and is part of Île-de-France or the Parisienne region. Its population is just over 300 people.

On the coat of arms, you can see that the hemp plant is at the center and is the main object in it. The importance of hemp in this small northern French town is more than obvious.

Hennef, Germany

The German word for hemp is hanf. This town, one of the largest of the North Rhine Westphalia, also is named after hemp. Hennef was first called Hannafo. Later, the name suffered some changes passing from Hannapha, Hanfbach and now Hennef. As you can see, the root hanf is present in all of them.

Hannef has hosted a lot of cannabis related events. It even hosted one of the first big events of cannabis called CannaBusiness Expo, from 1996 to 2003.

Kanepi, Estonia

Kanepi has an interesting history, related to hemp. Its name comes from the Balto-Slavic language, where the word for hemp is kanep. However, Estonia is not a Balto-Slavic territory. But it has a lot of words derived from it, as does Russia. In their language, hemp is called kanep. Kanepi means “town of hemp”.

This small town, near the Russian border, is one of the oldest towns that has a record of growing hemp in the region. For centuries, Kanepi grew hemp for clothing, ropes and oil. But in 2018, through an online poll, citizens decided to choose hemp as the new town flag and logo.

“Hemp-type cannabis has been used in practical ways for years and it has hundreds of uses”, said Kanepi council member Andrus Seeme.

Canepina, Italy

Last but not least, Italy! The town of Canepina owes its name to the Italian word for hemp, canapa. But the first name of this town from the Viterbo province was Canapina, an even more direct relation to the plant. During the seventeenth century, Canepina was surrounded by hemp crops. Out of hemp, Canepina made paper and textiles products, which were fundamental for the economic growth of the town.

Today, the importance of hemp is still very present. In 2016 and 2017, Canepina hosted an event called “I Love Canapina – La Canapa in Mostra”. There is also a very popular restaurant called Agriristoro Il Calice e la Stella, where the menu is based on hemp seeds and hemp oil.

Mamma mia!

Hemp, yesterday, today and always

As we saw, hemp is one of the most ancient plants cultivated for industrial uses. Paper, oil, textile and even ropes for ships were created from hemp. In the United States, you can see towns that have hemp on their names, such as Hempfield, Hemphill, Hempstead, NY, Hempfork, among others around the world. It all changed in 1937.

That year, Marihuana Tax Act banned its use, production and sale. This act did not differentiate psychoactive cannabis from non psychoactive cannabis, or hemp. A huge mistake that banned a plant that was fundamental for the economic growth during the colonial ages.

Late last year, President Trump signed the Farm Bill. This bill, among other things, will remove hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from the Schedule I substance list. The significance is huge. It will reactivate hemp cultivation throughout the country.

According to Forbes, this bill will signify an explosive growth of the industry, which is expected to grow up to 10.6 billion by 2025. A new industry will emerge, thousands of jobs will be created and millions of dollars in tax will be harvested.

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Hemp is going legal! This is how hemp can make a better world

The moment has finally come. It’s so close you can even smell it. On Wednesday night, the House approved the 2018 Farm Bill, which, among other issues, will remove hemp from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. The last step for the bill to become a federal law is President Donald Trump, who will very likely sign it. If he does, as it is widely expected, it will be the ground point for the hemp industry to emerge once again as one of the most important crops in the United States.

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

The vote in the House was decisive with a vast majority in favor: 396 to 47. One of the most important issues in the Farm Bill regarding hemp is the redefinition of cannabis plants. When signed by president Trump, cannabis plants with no more than 0.3% of THC will be considered hemp.

This is a crucial point, because all of the cannabis plants with 0.3% of THC or lower will not be considered illegal plants on a federal level. For the first time since the Controlled Substances Act was approved in 1971, there will be a distinction on psychoactive and not psychoactive cannabis plants. Until now, cannabis, hemp included, was a Schedule 1 Drug, making it illegal to grow across the United States. The solution was to import hemp from Europe.

The vote in the House was decisive with a vast majority in favor: 396 to 47. One of the most important issues in the Farm Bill regarding hemp is the redefinition of cannabis plants. When signed by president Trump, cannabis plants with no more than 0.3% of THC will be considered hemp.

This is a crucial point, because all of the cannabis plants with 0.3% of THC or lower will not be considered illegal plants on a federal level. For the first time since the Controlled Substances Act was approved in 1971, there will be a distinction on psychoactive and not psychoactive cannabis plants. Until now, cannabis, hemp included, was a Schedule 1 Drug, making it illegal to grow across the United States. The solution was to import hemp from Europe.

According to Marijuana Business Daily, if President Trump signs the bill, this will remove hemp’s low amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) from the Controlled Substances act. It will allow nationwide hemp production regulated by the Department of Agriculture and guarantee interstate commerce for hemp products, including CBD.

But why is there such a fuss about hemp legalization? Well, because hemp can basically save the world. Almost nothing, right? Let’s take a look at why hemp is one of earth’s most sustainable plants. As some activist say: “It’s rope, not dope!”.

What is Hemp?

There is much confusion about what hemp is and the difference between hemp and marijuana. Well, they are actually brothers, and their mama is the cannabis plant. Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is a variety of cannabis sativa and refers to the plant that has less than 1% of THC. Therefore, industrial hemp has no psychoactive effects.

What is Hemp used for?

From high nutrition food to building houses. Yes, hemp is that good. Prohibition is responsible for people forgetting that this plant was used for multiple purposes for centuries. Here are some uses of this wonder crop. Here comes the hemp “tuturuuuu”…

Hemp seeds are the next superfood

If you want a healthy body, you should definitely try hemp seeds. They contain almost every nutrient you need for a perfect diet. It has a perfect balance between omega 3, omega 6, plus iron, vitamin E, and all of the essential amino acids. It has all the nutritional component you need.

The best way to get it’s full range of nutrients is trough oil, which you can obtain by pressing the seeds. You can also grind it to make flour or protein powder. You can easily add it to you daily diet.

Hemp can be a used as biofuel

In 1941, Henry Ford presented his newly and innovative invention: a car that was built and fueled by hemp. Yes, Henry Ford and hemp. Always ahead of his time, Ford knew that hemp could be a fuel source. With hemp legalization, you can say goodbye to dark contaminating, war detonating and soil harmful oil.

Hemp blooms on poor and dying land with almost no intervention. It can produce almost four times more oil per acre than soybeans. Today, the only crop used for biodiesel is precisely soybeans. But to obtain fuel out of hemp or any other crop you need a vast production, and because of prohibition, this was not even considered. Until now…

Hemp can replace plastic and paper

Plastic is earth’s most imminent threat. According to Ocean Conservancy, 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste are produced around the world. Of those, 275 million metric tons are plastic waste. And every year, more than 8 million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean. The solution was there all along. The only problem was that it was illegal.

Cellulose is an organic compound that is used to create plastic. And guess what? Most of the cellulose used to create plastic is obtained from petroleum. And because it comes from petroleum, plastic made out of it takes between 500 and 1,000 years to decompose?

But, it turns out that hemp is a great source of cellulose. Cellulose from hemp is biodegradable, and in only takes from three to six months to decompose. And furthermore, plastic made out of hemp has no toxins at all. Also, you can use it to make paper. It is widely used to make rolling paper, but it can easily replace daily use paper, therefore contributing to less tree felling.

Hemps can build houses, too

Ladies and gentlemen, we introduce hempcrete. Engineers around the world are starting to develop green buildings out of what has being called hempcrete, a building material combining the inside of the hemp steam, lime, sand and water. According to Green Flower, hempcrete “can be used for wall insulation, flooring, walls and roofing”. It is said that hempcrete is three times more resistant to earthquakes than regular concrete. It is environmentally friendly, fire and water resistant, durable and sustainable.

Hemp is the future

High nutrition food, biodegradable plastic, paper, building material for houses, medicine and even fuel. Hemp has it all. Although it took the US Government and politicians more than half a century to amend hemp’s prohibition, it’s better late than never. When President Trump signs the 2018 Farm Bill (he has 10 days to do it), hemp will once again be legal nationwide, as it was during colonial times. But this measure will not only affect the United States in a positive way. The European Union already allows hemp production with THC levels below 0.3%, while Latin American countries are moving towards legalization of medicinal and industrial cannabis. If this tendency continues, this could mean a worldwide hemp production. It’s not too late for hemp to come and save the world.

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Since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed this past December by the President, the FDA, lead by Scott Gottlieb, has been judiciously looking into the subject in order to figure out how to regulate Hemp, CBD and products infused with it…

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