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CAN CANNABIS PREVENT CANCER?

THE TRUTH VERSUS HOPE


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There has been endless speculation about the power of cannabis the plant, in particular, certain cannabinoids in fighting and preventing cancers but what is the truth behind the hype? A more prudent question is what does the science says?

When seeking these answers our only option is to refer to the clinical research in this field. Below I explore such evidence on the effects of CBD on certain cancers including breast, bladder, colon, leukemia, lung and prostate as well as the effects of cannabigerol (CBG).

We take a look at the evidence available at the minute to support the theories on cannabis and cancers.  We outline the results and look at evidence suggesting that the non-psychotropic cannabis-derived compound, cannabidiol (CBD), has antineoplastic activity in multiple types of cancers, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

It is said that Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exhibits antitumor effects on various cancer cell types, but its use in chemotherapy is limited by its psychotropic activity. A study carried out in the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Pozzuoli National Research Council, Italy investigated the antitumor activities of other plant cannabinoids, i.e., cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidiol acid and THC acid, and assessed whether there is any advantage in using Cannabis extracts (enriched in either cannabidiol or THC) over pure cannabinoids. Results obtained in a panel of tumour cell lines clearly indicate that of the five natural compounds tested, cannabidiol is the most potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth (1) May 25th 2006.

Evidence supporting the anti-tumor effect of cannabinoids is still in its infancy but quickly becoming a growing area of scientific investigation. Numerous studies have demonstrated the anti-tumor effects of various cannabinoids and even some terpenes, independently. However, it’s unknown if these anti-tumor effects could be enhanced through the “entourage effect”. The entourage effect is defined as a beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation, in the case of cannabis it is the benefit of multiple cannabinoids and terpenes working together to enhance the treatment effectiveness. In a recent study by scientists (Sandra Blansco-Benito, Marta Seijo-Vila, Miriam Caro-Villalobos, Isabel Tundidor, Clara Andradas, Elena Garcia-Taboada, Jeff Wade, Stewart Smith  Manual Guzman, Edwardo Perez-Gomez, Mara Gordon, Cristina Sanchez) at the Complutense University, Madrid, Spain. The entourage effect was put to the test on breast cancer tumors in female mice. Scientists compared the effect of THC alone against a whole-plant cannabis preparation in the ability to limit tumor growth and kill its cells. As predicted by the study, the whole-plant preparation had stronger anti-tumor effects than THC alone. Furthermore a combination therapy of just the five most abundant terpenes (Beta-Myrcene, Limonene, Alpha-pinene, Beta-Caryophyllene, Linalool) in the preparation had no effect on tumor growth, either on its own or in combination with THC, suggesting that the anti-tumor properties of the whole-plant preparation resulted from a combination of the many cannabinoids. (2) October 24, 2018

Furthermore, research has shown CBG works to fight inflammation, pain, nausea and works to slow the proliferation of cancer cells and it also significantly reduces intraocular eye pressure caused by glaucoma. Strains high in CBG will be beneficial in treating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and cancer. (3, 4, 5 & 6) .

The anti-cancer effect of the plant-derived cannabinoid, cannabidiol, has been widely demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro. However, this body of preclinical work has not been translated into clinical use yet. Many variables may be the reason for this non successful clinical evident, namely, narrow dose effects, the cell model used and incomplete efficacy.

These study results indicate that cannabidiol causes a reduction in cell size, which persists post-treatment. However, more clinical evidence is required.





REFERENCES TO PRIMARY LITERATURE

  1. ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF PLANT CANNABINOIDS WITH EMPHASIS ON THE EFFECT OF CANNABIDIOL ON HUMAN BREAST CARCINOMA. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/16728591

  2. THE ANTI-TUMOR EFFECT  HTTPS://WWW.LEAFLY.COM/NEWS/HEALTH/MEDICAL-MARIJUANA-RESEARCH-STUDIES-FALL-2018

  3. COLON CARCINOGENESIS IS INHIBITED BY THE TRPM8 ANTAGONIST CANNABIGEROL, A CANNABIS-DERIVED NON-PSYCHOTROPIC CANNABINOID. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/25269802

  4. A CANNABIGEROL QUINONE ALLEVIATES NEUROINFLAMMATION IN A CHRONIC MODEL OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/22971837

  5. A CANNABIGEROL DERIVATIVE SUPPRESSES IMMUNE RESPONSES AND PROTECTS MICE FROM EXPERIMENTAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALOMYELITIS. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/24727978

  6. BENEFICIAL EFFECT OF THE NON-PSYCHOTROPIC PLANT CANNABINOID CANNABIGEROL ON EXPERIMENTAL INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/23415610



ADDITIONAL READING

  1. CBD ANXIOLYTIC PROPERTIES HTTPS://WWW.SEMANTICSCHOLAR.ORG/PAPER/EFFECTS-OF-CANNABIDIOL-(CBD)-ON-REGIONAL-CEREBRAL-CRIPPA-ZUARDI/128EFABADA8288561B7D452D597AF22B0ECF4ED4

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF PLANT CANNABINOIDS WITH EMPHASIS ON THE EFFECT OF CANNABIDIOL ON HUMAN BREAST CARCINOMA. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676 PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION

  4. HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  5. ANTITUMOR EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL, A NONPSYCHOACTIVE CANNABINOID, ON HUMAN GLIOMA CELL LINES. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/14617682



GLOSSARY

Anxiolytic

Also, antipanic or antianxiety agent - is a medication or other intervention that inhibits anxiety.

Apoptosis

The death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development.

Cell proliferation

The process that results in an increase of the number of cells and is defined by the balance between cell divisions and cell loss through cell death or differentiation.

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis.

CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays an important role in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. CBG reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBG, however, acts as a buffer to the psychoactivity of THC by working to alleviate the paranoia sometimes caused by higher levels of THC.

Entourage Effect

Beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation

In vitro

Latin for within the glass - refers to the technique of performing a given procedure in a controlled environment outside of a living organism

Non psychotropic

Any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior is psychotropic

adjective- affecting mental activity, behavior, or perception, as a mood-altering drug.

           

BREAST CANCER & CANNABIDIOL 

A SOLUTION OR ASPIRATION?


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Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. (1) Although early diagnosis and development of new treatments have improved their prognosis, many patients present innate or acquired resistance to current therapies. New therapeutic approaches are therefore warranted for the management of this disease. Extensive pre-clinical research has demonstrated that cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, trigger antitumor responses in different models of cancer. Most of these studies have been conducted with pure compounds, mainly Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The cannabis plant, however, produces hundreds of other compounds with their own therapeutic potential and the capability to induce synergic responses when combined, the so-called “entourage effect”.  The entourage effect is defined as a beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation.

In the study ‘Appraising the “entourage effect”: Anti tumor action of a pure cannabinoid versus a botanical drug preparation in preclinical models of breast cancer’

the scientists compared the antitumor efficacy of pure THC with that of a botanical drug preparation.  The botanical drug was more potent than pure THC in producing antitumor responses in cell culture and animal models This increased potency was not due to the presence of the 5 most abundant terpenes in the preparation. While pure THC acted by activating cannabinoid CB2 receptors and generating reactive oxygen species, the botanical drug modulated different targets and mechanisms of action. The combination of cannabinoids with estrogen receptor or with cisplatin produced additive antiproliferative responses in cell cultures. (2)

Combinations of these treatments in vivo showed no interactions, either positive or negative. Altogether the study results suggest that standardized cannabis drug preparations, rather than pure cannabinoids, could be considered as part of the therapeutic medicine technique to manage breast cancer. (2) November 2018

 In a study carried out at the California Pacific Medical Center, Research Institute, San Francisco

the scientists study the theory of pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.  They show that CBD inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion through differential modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species pathways, and that both pathways lead to down-regulation of Id-1 expression. Moreover, they demonstrate that CBD up-regulates the pro-differentiation factor, Id-2. Using immune competent mice, we then show that treatment with CBD significantly reduces primary tumor mass as well as the size and number of lung metastatic foci in two models of metastasis. (3) Sept. 22 2010

 The studies data demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical models of breast cancer. What all this means is that these results have the potential to lead to the development of novel non-toxic compounds for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES TO PRIMARY LITERATURE

 

  1. HTTPS://WWW.NATIONALBREASTCANCER.ORG/BREAST-CANCER-FACTS

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER. HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION, INVASION, AND METASTASIS. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676

 

 

ADDITIONAL READING

  1. CBD ANXIOLYTIC PROPERTIES HTTPS://WWW.SEMANTICSCHOLAR.ORG/PAPER/EFFECTS-OF-CANNABIDIOL-(CBD)-ON-REGIONAL-CEREBRAL-CRIPPA-ZUARDI/128EFABADA8288561B7D452D597AF22B0ECF4ED4

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF PLANT CANNABINOIDS WITH EMPHASIS ON THE EFFECT OF CANNABIDIOL ON HUMAN BREAST CARCINOMA. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676 PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION

  4. HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  5. ANTITUMOR EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL, A NONPSYCHOACTIVE CANNABINOID, ON HUMAN GLIOMA CELL LINES. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/14617682

 

 

 

GLOSSARY

Anxiolytic

Also, antipanic or antianxiety agent - is a medication or other intervention that inhibits anxiety.

Apoptosis

The death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development.

Cell proliferation

The process that results in an increase of the number of cells and is defined by the balance between cell divisions and cell loss through cell death or differentiation.

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis.

CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays an important role in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. CBG reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBG, however, acts as a buffer to the psychoactivity of THC by working to alleviate the paranoia sometimes caused by higher levels of THC.

Entourage Effect

Beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation

In Vitro

Latin for within the glass - refers to the technique of performing a given procedure in a controlled environment outside of a living organism

Non psychotropic

Any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior is psychotropic

adjective- affecting mental activity, behavior, or perception, as a mood-altering drug.

KINASE

An enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of phosphate groups from high-energy, phosphate-donating molecules to specific substrates.

Metastatic foci

Foci are cells located in a specific organ of the body that are notably different from the surrounding cells. These differences are caused by mutation or other types of cellular damage, and they're generally the first sign of a developing lesion, tumor or other disease


CANNABIDIOL & PROSTATE CANCER

HOW DOES IT WORK?


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Manju Sharma and her team investigated the anti tumor and anti-inflammatory activities of cannabidiol (CBD) in human prostate cancer cell lines. Assessed whether there is any advantage in using cannabis extracts enriched in cannabidiol and low in THC. Their results, obtained in a panel of prostate cancer cell lines clearly indicate that cannabidiol is a potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth, with significantly lower potency in non-cancer cells. overall findings support the concept that cannabidiol, which lacks psychotropic activity, may possess anti-inflammatory property and downregulates both cannabinoid receptors. High CBD cannabis extracts are cytotoxic to androgen- responsive LNCaP cells and may effectively inhibit spheroid formation in cancer stem cells. This activity may contribute to its anticancer and chemosensitizing effect against prostate cancer. Therefore, they concluded that cannabidiol and other non-habit forming cannabinoids could be used as novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of prostate cancer. (1) July 2014


Animal and human studies have suggested that cannabidiol (CBD) may possess anxiolytic properties, but how these effects are mediated centrally is unknown. A study by José Alexandre Souza Crippa et al published in 2004 took healthy male volunteers, randomly divided into two groups of five subjects. Each subject was studied on two occasions, 1 week apart. In the first session, subjects were given an oral dose of CBD (400 mg) or placebo, in a double-blind procedure. SPECT images were acquired 90 min after drug ingestion. The Visual Analogue Mood Scale was applied to assess subjective states. In the second session, the same procedure was performed using the drug that had not been administered in the previous session, comparisons were performed using statistical parametric mapping. These results suggest that CBD has anxiolytic properties and that these effects are mediated by an action on limbic and paralimbic brain areas. CBD significantly decreased subjective anxiety and increased mental sedation, while placebo did not induce significant changes. (2) 2014







REFERENCES TO PRIMARY LITERATURE

  1. IN VITRO ANTICANCER ACTIVITY OF PLANT-DERIVED CANNABIDIOL ON PROSTATE CANCER CELL LINES. HTTPS://WWW.RESEARCHGATE.NET/PUBLICATION/266317566_IN_VITRO_ANTICANCER_ACTIVITY_OF_PLANT-DERIVED_CANNABIDIOL_ON_PROSTATE_CANCER_CELL_LINES

  2. EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL (CBD) ON REGIONAL CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW.  HTTPS://WWW.SEMANTICSCHOLAR.ORG/PAPER/EFFECTS-OF-CANNABIDIOL-(CBD)-ON-REGIONAL-CEREBRAL-CRIPPA-ZUARDI/128EFABADA8288561B7D452D597AF22B0ECF4ED4

ADDITIONAL READING

  1. 128EFABADA8288561B7D452D597AF22B0ECF4ED4

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF PLANT CANNABINOIDS WITH EMPHASIS ON THE EFFECT OF CANNABIDIOL ON HUMAN BREAST CARCINOMA. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676 PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION

  4. HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  5. ANTITUMOR EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL, A NONPSYCHOACTIVE CANNABINOID, ON HUMAN GLIOMA CELL LINES. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/14617682



GLOSSARY

Anxiolytic

Also, anti panic or anti anxiety agent - is a medication or other intervention that inhibits anxiety.

Apoptosis

The death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development.

Cell proliferation

The process that results in an increase of the number of cells and is defined by the balance between cell divisions and cell loss through cell death or differentiation.

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis.

CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays an important role in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. CBG reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBG, however, acts as a buffer to the psycho activity of THC by working to alleviate the paranoia sometimes caused by higher levels of THC.

Non psychotropic

Any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior is psychotropic

adjective- affecting mental activity, behavior, or perception, as a mood-altering drug.

KINASE

An enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of phosphate groups from high-energy, phosphate-donating molecules to specific substrates.

VISUAL ANALOGUE MOOD SCALE

Is a reliable and valid measure of eight specific mood states: Afraid, Confused, Sad, Angry, Energetic, Tired, Happy, and Tense

SPECT IMAGES

A single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan lets your doctor analyze the function of some of your internal organs. A SPECT scan is a type of nuclear imaging test, which means it uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create 3-D pictures.


THE CANNABIS DRUGS.

ARE THEY WORKING ON BRAIN CANCERS AND ADHD?

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GLIOBLASTOMA

In a release by the International Association for Cannabinoid medicines in February 2017 they refer to a cannabis extract with THC and CBD improved survival of patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive brain tumour, if given together with standard therapy. This is the result of a placebo-controlled study with 21 patients, which was reported by the producer of the cannabis extract Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK. The study showed that 83% of patients with documented recurrent glioblastoma treated with THC and CBD had survived the first year compared with 53% of patients in the placebo. A press release says directly from GW states: “GW conducted substantial pre-clinical oncologic research on several cannabinoids in various forms of cancer including brain, lung, breast, pancreatic, melanoma, ovarian, gastric, renal, prostate and bladder. These studies have resulted in approximately 15 publications and show the multi-modal effects of cannabinoids on a number of the key pathways associated with tumor growth and progression.” (1) February 2017

ADHD

In a randomized-controlled trial on cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder it was stated that The cannabis extract Sativex improved hyperactivity and impulsivity in patients with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The study was carried out by researchers of King’s College London and other medical institutions from London, UK. There was a significant improvement in hyperactivity/impulsivity and a trend for improvement in inattention, cognitive performance and emotional liability. Authors wrote that “although individual findings did not reach conventional significance levels, effects across multiple measures showed consistent improvements in cognition and behavior. ADHD may represent a subgroup of individuals that gain cognitive enhancement and reduction of ADHD symptoms from the use of cannabinoids.” The data were presented at the 29th ECNP Congress, 17-20 September 2016 in Vienna, Austria, and published in the European Neuropsychopharmacology. 30 patients with ADHD received either Sativex or placebo for four weeks. (2) August 2017

REFERENCES TO PRIMARY LITERATURE

  1. SCIENCE/HUMAN: CANNABIS IMPROVED SURVIVAL OF PATIENTS WITH AGGRESSIVE BRAIN CANCER IN CONTROLLED CLINICAL STUDY.  HTTPS://WWW.CANNABIS-MED.ORG/ENGLISH/BULLETIN/WW_EN_DB_CANNABIS_ARTIKEL.PHP?ID=499

  2. CANNABINOIDS IN ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER: A RANDOMISED-CONTROLLED TRIAL. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/28576350

ADDITIONAL READING

  1. CBD ANXIOLYTIC PROPERTIES HTTPS://WWW.SEMANTICSCHOLAR.ORG/PAPER/EFFECTS-OF-CANNABIDIOL-(CBD)-ON-REGIONAL-CEREBRAL-CRIPPA-ZUARDI/128EFABADA8288561B7D452D597AF22B0ECF4ED4

  2. APPRAISING THE “ENTOURAGE EFFECT”: ANTITUMOR ACTION OF A PURE CANNABINOID VERSUS A BOTANICAL DRUG PREPARATION IN PRECLINICAL MODELS OF BREAST CANCER HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0006295218302387

  3. ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF PLANT CANNABINOIDS WITH EMPHASIS ON THE EFFECT OF CANNABIDIOL ON HUMAN BREAST CARCINOMA. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/20859676 PATHWAYS MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL ON THE REDUCTION OF BREAST CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION

  4. ANTITUMOR EFFECTS OF CANNABIDIOL, A NONPSYCHOACTIVE CANNABINOID, ON HUMAN GLIOMA CELL LINES. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/14617682




GLOSSARY

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis.

CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that plays an important role in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. CBG acts as a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. CBG reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBG, however, acts as a buffer to the psychoactivity of THC by working to alleviate the paranoia sometimes caused by higher levels of THC.


Cannabis going high end with Barneys Department Store

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February 20th 2019

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Barneys to Open Legal Luxury Cannabis Shop

While we see a tailwind of laws and regulations regarding cannabis globally, forefront wellness store Barneys New York Inc. takes a pivotal leap in launching its own legal luxury cannabis shop in March. In a Facebook post on 12th February, Barneys gives a sneak peek of a competitively landscaped and inviting mini shop to be named, none other than, “The High End”. It will be in Barneys Beverly Hills and will feature Cannabidiol beauty products, Beboe limited edition silver vape pens, gold rolling papers, jewellery, and other exclusives.


The Demand for High-End CBD products

"CBD products are the next big thing in beauty, "says Neiman Marcus' beauty buyer Kim D'Angelo. This brand has just also recently been cashing in on the demand for products with cannabidiol while hoping that there will be changes in law and regulations that could soon benefit retailers. Putting aside the beauty industry, there is also a high demand for health and wellness.

The development of the medicinal cannabis market includes increasing acknowledgement of health and therapeutic benefits, increasing plea for cannabis in the treatment of several illnesses such as cancer and other auto-immune diseases, and the rising number of research and development activities.

Marijuana and hemp have so far 85 recognized cannabinoids and CBD is one of them. Different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychotropic. In other words, it won’t cause a high and won’t alter the brain functions. To support this claim, worldwide studies have confirmed that CBD evidently possesses a powerful array of healing benefits, including antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.


How ‘The High-End' Sells

An excellent initiative, Barneys is partnering with Beboe, an upscale cannabis company based in California that produces luxury products. Dubbed as The Hermes of marijuana, they are the famous makers of Instagram-worthy cannabis vaporizer pens and edible pastilles. This partnership has literally placed cannabis in the limelight. Since cannabis is still a scheduled drug that’s under regulations, the store will not sell marijuana openly. Barneys will have samples of Beboe’s products on display and representative from the said cannabis company will be in sight to educate people about what they sell. There will also be a delivery service so people who want their products can order immediately. The concept is for consumers to feel, touch and have the product delivered to them shortly. Furthermore, this allows non-consumers to get familiar with cannabis in a valued and controlled setting, with high hopes that their minds are renewed, and the stigma is removed.

The Next Gold Rush

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If you look at any plant-based industry, the scalable value is so huge. The worldwide medical cannabis market is expected to develop significantly from USD 8.28 billion in 2017 to USD 28.07 billion in 2024 and at a CAGR of 19.1% from 2018 to 2024, according to data published by Energias Market Research. The widespread global legalization and regulation of cannabis are believed to be the number one driver for this rapid growth rate.  The world is clamouring for well-defined commercial products and this will, in addition, mark the creation of revolutionary brands.



Cannabis Use, Social Norms, and Legal Status

Over the past decades, many countries have started looking at permitting and regulating the medical use of cannabis. The researches and experiments are intended to provide a solution for patients who suffer from unbearable medical conditions. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is strengthening cannabis control by targeting drug supply and trafficking, rather than personal use and minor possession. Portugal and the Netherlands have also permitted cannabis use. The legalization of cannabis in Uruguay, Colorado, and Washington, where recreational cannabis use has been legalized with control, have been accompanied by increasing support for decriminalization and legalization of cannabis across the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and many European countries. The states of Colorado and Washington have established 21 as the minimum legal age for buying cannabis. Additionally, cannabidiol itself is not listed in the Controlled Substances Act like THC and marijuana. With the latest influx in the market and the need for strongly defined regulations, consumers are advised to educate themselves to ensure they are purchasing high-quality CBD. 





 Reference Links…


https://thewindow.barneys.com/the-high-end-cannabis-barneys-new-york/?fbclid=IwAR1lvSKOf6Px_q1aTqxqEnGj5cGgO0nfOuxgnTTZSvqnrncKOzva41zmRcg&utm_campaign=high_end_article&utm_source=facebook.com

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/12/business/cbd-cannabis-dsw-neiman-marcus-barneys-retail/index.html

https://www.fcgov.com/mmj/pdf/amendment64.pdf

Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, Victor R. Preedy

Uruguay, 2014

State of Washington, 2011

https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-business/the-importance-of-barneys-new-partnership-with-a-high-end-cannabis-company

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-demand-for-legal-cannabis-products-are-expected-to-grow-677259283.html

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-24.5/


Cannabis Industry Global Activity Update

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“Cannabis will become a whole body supporter, not just a novel skincare ingredient!”

Where the US leads, the UK inevitably follows, especially in beauty and wellness, and a new development at the Beverly Hills branch of Barneys New York – a luxury cannabis shop – shows green shoots for this blossoming market: ‘The High End’ will feature cannabidiol beauty products, Beboe silver vape pens, gold rolling papers and jewellery, and will open in March.

The scalable value of the market for cannabinoids (with their healing, antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits) – and CBD in particular – is huge: research by Energias suggests that the worldwide medical cannabis market is expected to develop significantly from $8.28b in 2017 to some $28b by 2024, and the global legalisation and regulation of cannabis is believed to be the number one driver for this rapid growth rate. Here, a number of savvy proponents are preparing for the demand.

The Chelsea Drugstore recently had a CBD pop up and Belfast-based Clinical Aromatherapist & Cannabis Researcher Colleen Quinn, who consults to cannabis farms across the US, believes the hemp and marijuana movement is the next big thing in UK beauty and medicine.

“In the next five years CBD will be a standard beauty ingredient”, she says. “However, innovative formulas which intelligently combine other plant terpenes with the cannabinoids within hemp will be the science that will greatly impact our skin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant function. Moreover, utilising hemp as a daily internal supplement will ultimately be the driver to stimulate our endocannabinoid system and consequently support our immune system”. She adds that “the focus will shift from CBD to the cannabis plant as a whole with research emerging from the States and Israel primarily to support the effect of using all the cannabinoids and terpenes collectively.”

 

Further reading if interested

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https://britishbeautycouncil.com/index.php/2019/02/27/cannabis-station/

Cannabis Industry Global Activity Update

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It has been a busy month for regulatory movements within the cannabis industry globally.  World Health Organization reportedly made positive recommendation while the EU’s EFSA move to class CBD as a novel food.  What does this all mean for the consumers?

 World Health Organization (WHO) made meaningful overdue recommendations with respect to cannabis on the 1st of February. Those recommendations have not been formally released but are expected to be released soon. If implemented, wholesale by the United Nations (UN), the recommendations will have a significant impact globally as to controls placed on cannabis and its constituent parts.

The WHO recommendations are reported as follows:

  • Remove whole plant marijuana and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the single convention on narcotic drugs of 1961 (the “Single Convention”) but leave them on Schedule I of that treaty. (Under international law, Schedule I drugs are relatively safe, and Schedule IV drugs are the most heavily controlled.)

  • Place cannabis extracts and tinctures containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Schedule III of the Single Convention.

  • Remove THC and its isomers completely from the 1972 protocol to the Single Convention. (The 1972 Protocol is a follow-up treaty requiring states to actually enforce laws on their books against cannabis cultivation.)

  • Clarify that that cannabidiol and CBD-focused preparations containing no more than 0.2 percent THC are “not under international control” at all.

So, what would all of this mean? Firstly, cannabis containing more than trace amounts of THC would still be controlled. Whole plant marijuana would no longer be in the same class of drugs as heroin and fentanyl, but it would not be eligible for trade in the same way as coffee or even tobacco. Second, concentrated preparations of THC would be controlled more strictly than flower, but not at draconian levels. Third, penalties for possession and distribution of cannabis in any form would significantly decrease. And fourth, CBD could be treated more freely. In all, the WHO approach is measured and scientific.  They ultimately seek to isolate various parts and preparations of the cannabis plant to distinguish their effects.

Will the UN adopt these recommendations by WHO?  It is important to note that the WHO is not recommending the unfettered legalization of marijuana so don’t expect a free for all on marijuana.  Still, the WHO development is welcome news after nearly 60 years of unmerited and unexamined prohibition of marijuana under international law.

It is expected that at some point later this year the UN will vote on the WHO’s cannabis rescheduling recommendations.  According to Forbes.com ‘The WHO recommendations were initially expected to be released at a meeting in Vienna in December, but the announcement was delayed for unknown reasons. The proposals will next go before the UN's Commission on Narcotic Drugs, potentially as soon as March, where 53 member nations will have the opportunity to vote on accepting or rejecting them.’

What impact this will have in the US and globally is uncertain.  These days, though, things are changing fast – both domestically and worldwide.

 

Across the water

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The month the EFSA have moved forward to classify CBD as a novel food.  This is not surprising as last year with MHRA declaring CBD to be medicinal by function and the FSA stating that CBD would be considered to be a novel food if the CBD content in the product is greater than the CBD concentration in the plant it was extracted from.  This move comes with great controversy as the question of legality is being asked? Have the EFSA acted legally in this classification will be determined in time as legal challenges are likely to be brought. This is a big market sector and there is a lot of money involved.

Technically this classification doesn’t affect topical CBD products as the EFSA's remit only covers food.  However, it does instil a fear that retailers and distributors may be cautious of handling CBD related products generally now.


Where does the UK/EU sit in terms of topical CBD products?

In the UK/EU at least in theory CBD that does not contain THC is not banned or restricted for use in cosmetics/skin care products. Cannabis sativa extracts that meet the definition of narcotic in the 1961 ‘single convention’ includes all extracts from Cannabis sativa except cold pressed seed oil (hemp carrier oil). So distilled hemp oil is not permitted in cosmetics as it meets the definition of a narcotic.  

All this is of course medicinal and food use. None of it includes topical use provided that medicinal claims are not made for it.

 The question for those companies that are marketing skin care products containing CBD is what the consumer and ultimately MHRA (Medical Regulatory Association) think they are buying when they buy skin care products containing CBD.

Based on current research CBD applied topically has well defined anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. It also has documented antioxidant properties but there is a lack of evidence that it is antioxidant in the skin, the site of action for antioxidant properties is the nerve endings. As more and more companies market CBD containing skin care, albeit without making specific claims for it other than including it in the ingredients and marketing information there is an inevitability to some kind of reaction from MHRA especially if the MHRA feel this CBD skincare products are associating their products with the potential medicinal claim associated with CBD

A greater misleading occurring in the market today is the use of cannabis sativa seed carrier oil to promote CBD concentrations within skincare.  The skin care properties of cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil are well known and have been promoted for years in our industry. Their omega 3 and 6 content being hero properties, but the seed oil contains considerably lower levels of CBD than the cannabis sativa extract which can have up to 45% of the cannabinoid in focus, CBD.  Consumers are not in a position to know this therefore the promotion of CBD within the cannabis sativa carrier oils is gravely misleading.

 So, whilst the regulators make up their mind on what move to make next and off course we wait to see the impact Brexit will have on the cosmetic regulations, savvy marketers have boarded the green rush train and they move forward at speed.


 Reference Links…


https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2019/02/01/world-health-organization-recommends-rescheduling-marijuana-under-international-treaties/#207903466bcc

https://www.naturalproductsglobal.com/europe/eu-regulators-slam-brakes-on-skyrocketing-cbd-category/?fbclid=IwAR2tX11gQQFwZtSxuCBjb4NM4m00FR-FENoQfn0WOctx1Ww8bvpcUMxwM-w


Op-Ed: How Will The 2018 Farm Bill Affect The Beauty World?

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IN BRIEF

20 December, 2018

Cannabis researcher Colleen Quinn on the impact of the 2018 Farm Bill in the U.S., which loosens restrictions on hemp usage, on the skincare, wellness and beauty industries, and why securing sustainable, authentic supply chain will become brands' top priority

It’s been an eager 6 months wait since the Senate passed the bill in June but finally, is hemp now legal?

The long-awaited farm bill moved quickly through the House and Senate in early December, and is now ready to be signed into law by the president. Up to now, industrial hemp production in the U.S. has been restricted to mostly research and pilot programs. This bill removes industrial hemp from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, making it a lawful agricultural commodity.

The 2014 farm bill allowed some growers to plant the crop as part of experimental, state-run pilot programs. Under those pilots, 25,000 acres of land has been planted with hemp in 19 states.

However, businesses associated with Hemp faced stringent regulations when importing seeds, and many banks won’t loan to farms or processing facilities that work with hemp and many insurance companies threatened to pull policies.

Arguably the most important and impactful aspect of this Farm Bill is the newfound freedom to carry out research on hemp. It is time to start gaining quantitative data on the power of CBD for our body and skin. How can we more accurately affect the endocannabinoid system and the CB receptors? To what extent is it more anti-inflammatory to our skin than the other plant ingredients we have to add at our hand for decades?

CNBC reports that the hemp industry could grow into a $20 billion industry by 2022. Speculated as a $800 million market today, the majority of this hemp market is attributed to products that include the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, or commonly known as CBD. Products infused with CBD are used for a wide range of beauty, wellness, pet, nutritional and medical products, with certain medical conditions getting special attention—namely epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, arthritis and chronic pain. However, the laws involving CBD products still differ in each state.`

The influx of CBD-focused beauty, wellness, pet, nutritional and healthcare brands is inescapable. How do you break through the noise and stand above the competition?

As the 2018 farm bill moves through the final stages of the legal process, you the brand owners will face your greatest challenge: supply chain. Going forward as the market demand for hemp and CBD based products grows, securing sustainable, authentic supply chain will become your priority. The rush of farms converting their crops to hemp is inevitable now that the bill is moving forward; however, it is critical to source and work with experienced cultivators when sourcing your hemp supply.

In order to remain legal and gain the security in your supply chain, you need farms who understand the plant, its chemovars, its chemistry and therapeutic benefits—while also serving the need for scientific laboratory evidence. Serious hemp suppliers will need to provide pesticide, contamination, potency and terpene tests. This level of scientific plant data is vital in order to understand the quality of the hemp you are purchasing.

Interestingly, in order to sell CBD products, retailers including the big guys like Barneys New York will have to disclose who grew their hemp, and it also has to be tested to ensure it has less than a 0.3% concentration of THC to guarantee the product will be used for its anti-inflammatory—rather than psychoactive—effects. The big names in retail, from Sephora to Neiman Marcus, are joining the green rush as well offering a wide range of CBS products with a focus on beauty and wellness promoting the anti-inflammatory and anxiety-relief abilities of CBD.

Understanding the material the hemp plant provides to us is essential, in addition to the professional and data supply chain aspects. Understanding full-spectrum hemp oil, the cannabinoids and terpenes it possesses is vital to creating innovative therapeutic formulations that stimulate an anti-inflammatory reaction in the body. Appreciating other terpene-rich plants and creatively blending them to offer a more intelligent product to the market is fundamental in order to rise above the typical brands that will hit the market overnight. We don’t need another CBD coffee, so let us plant intelligence to create products with purpose.

Furthermore, this attractive market growth is drawing investors to the table at speed. Where investors were previously careful of putting their money into hemp due to the legal and social uncertainties surrounding the plant, this farm bill opens up the possibility of greater financial opportunities for them and their brand owners with less risk.

When a market is growing at a rate of 700% annually like hemp is and moving into our mainstream consciousness, there is money to be invested and money to be made. The creators and leaders in the beauty space are set to gain a quicker-to-market speed, with greater financial backing market demanding to be met.

CBD Supply Checklist
● Know the farm and the farmer who grew your plant, ask about growing techniques
● Always use full-spectrum for best therapeutic effects
● Have access to all lab data including terpene analysis
● Have access to contamination and pesticide tests
● Gain an understanding of your farm’s capacity to supply your need long term

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Establishing smart, data-savvy supply chain married with chemistry-based innovative formulations that hold therapeutic purpose as the nucleus of your products is the intelligent way forward. This is the way to leave the competition behind.

Colleen Quinn is a clinical aromatherapist, formulator & researcher. Committed to delivering functional therapeutic plant-based products, Colleen has traveled the globe on a quest for knowledge innovation and the best quality ingredients from dedicated sustainable farmers in order to create therapeutic benefits in skin and health care. Colleen currently specializes in cannabis research, formulations and sourcing. For guidance on what a trusted hemp supplier looks like to be the right partner for you and your brand, contact Colleen at colleen@colleenquyinnconsultancy.com or reach her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleenquinnconsult/.

Further reading if interested

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https://www.psfk.com/2018/12/op-ed-farm-bill-cannabis-hemp-beauty.html