NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE ICBC

Author: Frank Schuler

Frank Schuler is originally from Switzerland and reports on cannabis industry and policy news from around the world.
canada flag

Who Is Conducting The Legislative Review Of Canada’s Cannabis Act?

Canada is one of only three countries on earth where cannabis is legal nationwide for adult use. The only other two countries are Uruguay and Malta. Uruguay initially passed its legalization measure back in 2013, making it the first country to ever pass a national adult-use legalization measure. Malta passed its law, which is much more limited compared to its legalization peers, late last year.

Unlike Uruguay and Malta, Canada allows legal sales to people of legal age regardless of their residence status. Uruguay limits legal sales to residents only, and Malta has yet to issue any adult-use license of any kind, and as a result, adult-use sales are still prohibited in Malta.

As part of Canada’s legalization policy, a four year review is being conducted to determine what lessons can be learned from what is often described as ‘the biggest cannabis policy and industry experiment on planet earth.’ Canada’s government recently announced who will be conducting the legislative review. Below is more information about it via a news release from the Government of Canada:

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced the members of the Expert Panel on the legislative review of the Cannabis Act

The Panel will provide independent, expert advice to both ministers on progress made towards achieving the Act’s objectives and help identify potential areas for improving the functioning of the legislation.

The ministers have taken a number of factors, such as geography, expertise, and demographic representation, into consideration when making their selection. They have carefully selected individuals who represent Canada’s diversity, and collectively hold significant public sector experience, expertise in public health and justice, and experience engaging with Indigenous communities and organizations.

The Expert Panel, chaired by Morris Rosenberg, will lead a credible and inclusive review with the following members:

  • Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde
  • Dr. Patricia J. Conrod
  • Lynda L. Levesque
  • Dr. Peter Selby

The ministers have mandated the Expert Panel to engage with the public, governments, Indigenous peoples, youth, marginalized and racialized communities, cannabis industry representatives, and people who access cannabis for medical purposes, to gather their perspectives on the implementation and administration of the Cannabis Act. The independent Expert Panel is also expected to meet  and consult with experts in relevant fields, including, but not limited to, public health, substance use, criminal justice, law enforcement, Indigenous governance and rights and health care.

To help inform the Panel’s work, Health Canada has extended their online engagement process for Indigenous peoples. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are invited to read and provide feedback on the Summary from Engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples: The Cannabis Act and its Impacts, which is open until January 15, 2023.

Quotes

“The Expert Panel will provide us with an independent, inclusive and evidence-informed review of the Cannabis Act and its economic, social, and environmental impacts, as well as the progress that’s been made displacing the illicit cannabis market. We welcome the Expert Panel members and look forward to reviewing their findings to help address the ongoing and emerging needs of Canadians while protecting their health and safety.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“The Cannabis Act has been instrumental in our efforts to protect youth from accessing cannabis, displacing the illegal market, and providing adult consumers with access to a safe supply of cannabis, but there’s more work to do. We congratulate the new members of the Expert Panel, and look forward to their work assessing our progress in meeting the goals of the Act and guiding our next steps.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health 

“It’s my great pleasure to begin working with the members of the Expert Panel. Each member brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, which will be essential as we conduct a thorough, independent review of the Cannabis Act.”

Morris Rosenberg
Chair of the Expert Panel

Quick facts

  • The Act requires the Minister of Health to conduct a review of the legislation, its administration, and operation three years after coming into force, and for the Minister to table a report on this review in both Houses of Parliament 18 months after the review begins.
  • The legislative review will assess the progress made towards achieving the Act’s objectives, and will evaluate:
    • Impacts on young persons;
    • Progress towards providing adults with access to strictly regulated, lower risk, legal cannabis products;
    • Progress made in deterring criminal activity and displacing the illicit cannabis market;
    • Impacts of legalization and regulation on access to cannabis for medical purposes;
    • Impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples and communities; and
    • Trends and impact of home cultivation of cannabis for non-medical purposes.
  • The Panel will broaden that focus to include:
    • Economic, social and environmental impacts of the Act;
    • Impacts on racialized communities, and women who might be at greater risk of harm or face greater barriers to participation in the legal industry based on identity or socio-economic factors.
  • Budget 2022 included a commitment that Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) would establish a cannabis industry engagement mechanism to advance industry-government collaboration.
  • ISED is presently designing a cannabis forum that will foster industry-government dialogue, and provide a means for industry and government to examine issues relevant to the long-term competitiveness and stability of the sector.

Associated links

Contacts

Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Maja Staka
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
343-552-5568

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Inquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

 

Canada

dublin ireland law legal court criminal justice

Limited Legalization Measure Introduced In Ireland

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has formally filed an adult-use legalization measure that would legalize cannabis possession for people 18 years old or older in Ireland. The long-anticipated measure was introduced late last week, and if passed into law, would legalize the personal possession of up to seven grams of cannabis flower and 2.5 grams of concentrates. The bill would not legalize cannabis sales.

“I believe that if passed, this bill will provide a stepping stone to a more progressive drug policy in Ireland.” TD Gino Kenny stated on Twitter.

The legalization bill is now before the lower chamber of Ireland’s legislative body (the Dáil Éireann). It is not expected that the bill will advance this year, with TD Gino Kenny indicating at the time of the bill’s submission that he expects it to be debated in 2023.

This particular measure’s future is uncertain, as it faces an uphill battle to gain traction among Ireland’s lawmakers. One leading lawmaker has already come out fairly forcefully in opposition to the measure. Per excerpts from Independent:

The Taoiseach has warned against cannabis being “glamorised” after new proposals are due to be brought before the Oireachtas on legalising possession of up to 7g.

The former health minister said he would be in favour of a more healthcare-based approach to addiction and warned about the harms of cannabis.

“I think we have to be careful that we don’t glamorise cannabis either because there are real concerns within the health community and the medical community about what cannabis can do to young people.”

Currently, the Misuse of Drugs Acts in Ireland provides for a fine of €1,000 in the District Courts for first and second offenses involving personal possession. Larger fines can be handed down in some instances. If someone commits the offense of personal possession and it’s their third or greater offense of its type, the offender can be sentenced to up to one year in prison.

The Criminal Justice Act in Ireland mandates that courts must consider giving a community service penalty in place of a prison sentence, and that affects some cases. A poll from 2021 found that 93% of people in Ireland support medical cannabis legalization, yet only 40% support adult-use legalization.

ireland

colombia flag

Legalization Moves A Step Closer In Colombia

Colombia has served in many ways as ‘ground zero’ for the war on drugs over several decades, and while cocaine was largely the focus of eradication and enforcement efforts, cannabis has played a significant role in the South American country as well.

Infamous cannabis smugglers in the 1970s, such as Robert Platshorn, would purchase cannabis by the ton in Colombia and smuggle it back to the United States where the ‘Colombian Red’ and other well-known strains would then make their way around North America.

Colombia, along with every other nation in South America, has explored reforming its cannabis laws with a new focus in recent years after Uruguay became the first country on earth to pass a nationwide adult-use cannabis legalization measure. Uruguay initially passed the measure in 2013, however, legal sales would not launch until a handful of years later.

By virtually every measure, cannabis legalization is working in Uruguay. And just as it is working in Uruguay, so too could it work in Colombia. Fortunately for sensible cannabis policy, legalization moved one step closer to becoming reality in Colombia this week, with Senators voting to advance a legalization measure. Per Marijuana Moment:

A bill to legalize marijuana in Colombia has been approved in a Senate committee for the first time, weeks after it also advanced in the country’s Chamber of Representatives.

Lawmakers have met several times in recent weeks to debate the reform proposal, which would amend the country’s Constitution to end cannabis prohibition for adults.

It passed the First Committee of the Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 11-4, though there are still more legislative steps that must be taken before it’s potentially enacted into law.

It’s absolutely worth noting that just because there is support for a legalization measure in general among lawmakers, and even though a measure is working its way through the political process, nothing is guaranteed. Mexico is a great example of that.

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled years ago that cannabis prohibition as it pertained to individuals was unconstitutional. Lawmakers were tasked with passing a legalization measure and standing up a regulated industry, which has failed to happen so far. Hopefully we don’t see legalization stall in a similar fashion in Colombia and legalization continues to move forward without delay.

colombia

cannabis plant bud flower

Pilot Project In Switzerland To Import Cannabis From Canada?

Cannabis pilot programs are part of an interesting public policy concept that is springing up in Europe. Essentially, cannabis pilot programs provide for limited adult-use cannabis commerce in a designated area and research from the pilot programs provide insight to lawmakers for if/when they craft national cannabis laws and regulations.

A cannabis pilot program already exists in Copenhagen, Denmark and lawmakers there are trying to expand pilot programs to other cities in the European country. All cannabis for Copenhagen’s pilot program is domestically produced.

Two other European countries previously announced plans to launch their own pilot programs, the Netherlands and Switzerland, although both countries have experienced setbacks. For the pilot program in Basel, Switzerland specifically, domestic cannabis failing to meet stringent pesticide requirements has resulted in the program looking elsewhere to source it’s cannabis, particularly in Canada. Per SRF News:

Possibilities of importing hemp from neighboring countries were clarified. According to the health department, the focus was on Germany. But because no solution was found, the Basel company switched to imports from Canada. “Canada has individual suppliers who legally sell organic hemp products.”

The ball is now in the hands of the Federal Office of Public Health, which grants approval for the pilot test and must also approve the import. Investigations are ongoing. “Whether a possible import is eligible for a permit, we can determine if there is a corresponding application or after its examination,” says the Federal Office.

How cannabis is sourced for adult-use commerce is tricky, which is being demonstrated by the ongoing effort in Germany to legalize adult-use cannabis sales. Germany is reportedly going to source all of the cannabis for its eventual adult-use market domestically. Apparently lawmakers and regulators seem to feel that while cannabis can be imported and exported for research and medical use, it cannot be imported for adult-use sales.

What is being proposed in Basel is somewhat interesting, in that someone could make a strong argument that the cannabis is indeed for research purposes, albeit to research whether adult-use sales can be properly regulated at a local level prior to being regulated at a national level. Only time will tell if the request in Switzerland is granted, and if so, what it would mean for other pilot programs.

Switzerland

Thailand flag

Thailand’s Health Minister Dismisses Calls To Re-Outlaw Cannabis

From a regional standpoint Thailand is leader in many ways when it comes to cannabis policy. Earlier this year Thailand implemented a very progressive change in cannabis policy that made it the most cannabis-friendly country in Southeast Asia.

Cannabis is legal for medical purposes in Thailand, however, it remains illegal for recreational use. All legal cannabis has to be below a .2% THC threshold. That threshold may not sound like much to some people, yet, a growing industry is built around low-THC cannabis varieties in Thailand now.

Leading up to the policy changes back in June, cannabis hardliners inside and outside of Thailand predicted doomsday scenarios for if/when cannabis laws became less harsh. Despite the sky still remaining above Thailand post-reform, opponents have continued to call for reversing course on cannabis policy. Fortunately, they are not getting a sympathetic audience from the nation’s health minster. Per Bangkok Post:

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Monday dismissed a plan to return marijuana to Type 5 narcotics status, saying that would fall under the remit of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

According to Mr Anutin, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has, after much discussion and debate, already been decided upon.

Despite reassurances from Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, cannabis activists in Thailand are planning a rally this week to put pressure on a meeting of the Narcotics Control Board to help ensure that cannabis is not returned to Type 5 narcotics status.

“The attempt to return cannabis to a narcotic drug will affect millions of people who are planting it. Moreover, the remit would restrict people from accessing cannabis in the long term,” stated Prasitthichai Nunual, a representative of the People’s Network for Cannabis Legislation in Thailand, on Facebook according to The Bangkok Post.

Cannabis policy in Thailand can be confusing, with some people describing it as cannabis being legal in the Southeastern nation for recreational use. There’s quite a bit of confusion inside Thailand as to what is legal and what is not, which makes further reform and regulation necessary.

Thailand

sri lanka beach

Committee Of Experts In Sri Lanka To Explore Cannabis Exports

Sri Lanka, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, has experienced tremendous economic and political turmoil in 2022. A fuel and food crisis spread across the country earlier this year, which then led to national protests that resulted in the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

President Rajapaksa temporarily fled the country in July, months after Sri Lanka defaulted on its estimated $50 billion external debt and declared bankruptcy. A multi-billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund has helped to some degree, however, the nation is in desperate need of any economic boost it can find.

One idea that has gained traction lately is to cultivate medical cannabis and export it. The emerging legal cannabis industry is spreading across the globe and already providing economic boosts wherever it is permitted to operate. A group of experts is being assembled to explore how Sri Lanka can get in on the action. Per News 1st:

Sri Lanka is proposing to explore the possibility of exporting marijuana.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering the 2023 Budget speech said that a committee of experts will be appointed to explore the possibility of cultivating marijuana in Sri Lanka ONLY for export purposes.

Cannabis policy is complicated in Sri Lanka, but views regarding cannabis prohibition are evolving within the nation’s borders, just as they are elsewhere throughout the region ever since Thailand started to lead the way.

Sri Lanka is in a rough spot, in that it doesn’t share a land border with any other nation, which limits economic opportunity in some ways. Fortunately, the cannabis industry can operate in some form anywhere on earth, including in Sri Lanka.

The faster the reported committee of experts can come up with a viable plan, the better, as other countries are not waiting around for Sri Lanka to get things in gear. The opportunities for exports today will not be the same in a year as the legal international cannabis industry becomes more crowded and more competitive every passing month.

sri lanka

cannabis joint lounge social use space consumption

UK Study Finds That Inhaled Cannabis Reduces Pain And Anxiety

When it comes to medical cannabis, inhaled consumption methods can be seen as controversial within certain medical and political circles. After all, so much effort has been spent encouraging people to not smoke tobacco cigarettes, and many people see the two products as being one and the same. However, tobacco and cannabis are not the same thing, and studies demonstrate that.

Many lawmakers around the globe seem to be hesitant to legalize medical cannabis in forms that involve inhalation, which is unfortunate. For many suffering patients, inhaling cannabis is the cheapest and easiest way to consume their medicine, and given that inhaled cannabis interacts with the human body quicker compared to ingested cannabis, many patients prefer it for one reason or another.

Suffering patients should be able to consume cannabis in any manner that helps them, including inhaling it. A recent study from the United Kingdom found that inhaled cannabis may help treat pain and anxiety. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

London, United Kingdom: The sustained vaporization of THC-dominant cannabis flowers improves health-related quality of life measurements in patients suffering from chronic pain and anxiety-related disorders, according to observational data published in the journal Biomedicines.

A team of British and Spanish investigators assessed cannabis’ efficacy in a cohort of 451 British patients authorized to consume cannabis flowers for treatment-resistant pain and/or anxiety. Patients in the study were all enrolled with Project Twenty21, “the first U.K. multi-center registry seeking to develop a body of real-world evidence to inform on the effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis.” All of the study’s participants had failed to respond to at least two prescription treatment options prior to obtaining an authorization for medical cannabis. All participants vaporized cannabis flowers for a period of at least three months.

Researchers reported that cannabis inhalation was associated with sustained (6+ months) improvements in both patient populations and that side effects were “minimal.” Investigators reported more significant improvements among those diagnosed with treatment-resistant anxiety.

“Our results indicate that controlled inhalation of pharmaceutical grade, THC-predominant cannabis flos [flowers] is associated with a significant improvement in patient-reported pain scores, mood, anxiety, sleep disturbances and overall HRQoL [health-related quality of life] in a treatment-resistant clinical population,” authors concluded.

Numerous surveys indicate that patients most frequently self-report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain and anxiety.

Full text of the study, “Controlled inhalation of THC-predominant cannabis flos (flowers for inhalation) improves health-related quality of life and symptoms of pain and anxiety in eligible UK patients,” appears in Biomedicines.

United Kingdom

CBD oil

Plant-Derived CBD Extracts Effectively Manage Symptoms In Autistic Patient

Cannabidiol (CBD) is arguably the most popular cannabinoid on planet earth right now. As proof of that, consider the fact that according to Google trends ‘CBD’ was searched for by platform users more than twice as often as ‘THC’ over the course of the last year.

Of course, THC remains extremely popular both as a search topic and as a consumable. However, CBD is often seen as the more favorable cannabinoid between the two from the perspective of lawmakers and researchers, as demonstrated by the growing availability of legal CBD products around the globe and the increasing number of CBD-focused research projects being funded.

A recent study in Canada examined CBD-dominant extracts that were plant derived and their potential effects on autism as part of a case study. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Toronto, Canada: The twice-daily administration of plant-derived CBD-dominant extracts is “an effective treatment for managing symptoms associated with autism,” according to a case report published in the journal Cureus.

A team of Canadian investigators documented the treatment of a nine-year old patient diagnosed with nonverbal autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The patient received twice-daily dosing of a high-CBD/low-THC extract oil.

Researchers reported, “The child patient responded positively to the introduction of CBD oil treatment with reduced negative behaviors, better sleep, and improved communication.” No adverse side-effects were reported.

They concluded, “With the increasing clinical studies on the use of cannabidiol in treating patients with mood disorders, anxiety, chronic pain conditions, and other behavioral problems, it should be considered as a treatment option in managing symptoms related to autism.”

The findings are consistent with several other studies similarly reporting improvements in pediatric patients’ ASD symptoms following the use of cannabinoid products, particularly CBD-rich extracts. Survey data published in 2021 by the publication Autism Parenting Magazine reported that 22 percent of US caregivers or parents have provided CBD to an autistic child. Survey data from the United Kingdom recently reported that autistic adults were nearly four times as likely as controls to report having used CBD within the past year.

Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder: A case study,” appears in Cureus. Additional information on cannabis and ASD is available from NORML.

Canada

blood pressure hypertension heart health

Study Finds Cannabis Inversely Associated With Hypertension In HCV Patients

We previously reported that a peer reviewed study in France determined that medical cannabis use was associated with a lower BMI in patients diagnosed with hepatitis C (HCV). A separate study from France also found that cannabis is inversely associated with obesity among HCV patients.

It is estimated that as many as 58 million people suffer from hepatitis C worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 1.1 million deaths occurred in 2019 due to hepatitis B and C, and their effects include ‘liver cancer, cirrhosis, and other conditions caused by chronic viral hepatitis.’

Hepatitis C is spread by contact with contaminated blood, such as from sharing needles or from people using unsterile tattoo equipment. Yet another study in France examined cannabis and HCV, and the results of this latest study indicate that cannabis use is inversely associated with hypertension in HCV patients. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Marseille, France: HCV (Hepatitis C virus)-infected patients who consume cannabis are less likely than non-users to suffer from either hypertension or other metabolic disorders, according to data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

French researchers assessed the relationship between current and/or lifetime cannabis use and metabolic disorders in a cohort of 6,364 subjects infected with HCV.

Investigators reported, “Former and current cannabis use were both inversely associated with hypertension in both analyses (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.74 and 0.45).” They also possessed fewer metabolic disorders (e.g., obesity, diabetes, etc.) than did those with no history of cannabis consumption.

They concluded: “In a large cohort of people with chronic HCV infection living in France, current or former cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of hypertension and a lower number of metabolic disorders. … Future research should also explore the biological mechanisms underlying these potential benefits of cannabis use, and test whether they translate into reduced mortality in this population.”

Prior studies have identified an association between cannabis use and lower rates of diabetes and fatty liver disease in Hep-C infected subjects. Other studies have consistently identified a relationship between marijuana consumption and lower rates of obesity.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use inversely associated with metabolic disorders in Hepatitis C-infected patients,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Additional information on cannabis and Hepatitis C is available from NORML. Additional information on cannabis and hypertension is available.

France

back pain

Inhaled Cannabis “Safe And Effective” For Treating Lower Back Pain According To New Study

Since at least 1990, and likely prior, lower back pain is the leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, roughly 7.5% of the world’s population experiences some level of lower back pain.

The study defined lower back pain as, “pain in the area on the posterior aspect of the body from the lower margin of the twelfth ribs to the lower gluteal folds with or without pain referred into one or both lower limbs that lasts for at least one day.”

Lower back pain can be caused by a number of factors, including work-related injuries. For some suffering patients, lower back pain comes and goes. However, for many others, the lower back pain is chronic in nature and continues for weeks or months on end. In severe cases, the pain never goes away at all.

A growing number of patients suffering from chronic lower back pain are turning to cannabis for relief, including via inhaled consumption methods. According to a new study out of Israel, inhaled cannabis is safe and effective in those instances. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Haifa, Israel: The inhalation of THC-dominant cannabis flower long-term safely mitigates symptoms of chronic lower back pain in a manner that is more effective than the use of CBD-dominant extracts, according to observational trial data published in the Israeli journal Rambam Maimonides.

Israeli researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of THC-dominant flowers and CBD-dominant sublingual extracts in a cohort of patients with low back pain. Study participants engaged in the daily use of extracts for one year, followed by the use of cannabis flower in year two.

Researchers reported, “THC-rich smoked cannabis inflorescence was more effective than CBD-rich cannabis-extracts for inducing symptom relief in LBP [lower back pain],” as assessed on a visual analogue scale and by a disability index. Additionally, patients’ use of analgesic medicines fell significantly during year two of the trial. No serious adverse events were reported.

Authors concluded: “Our findings indicate that inhaled THC-rich therapy is more effective than CBD-rich sublingual extract therapy for treating low back pain and that cannabis therapy is safe and effective for chronic low back pain.”

An estimated 111,000 Israelis are currently licensed to use medical cannabis products. More than half of those patients utilize cannabis to treat chronic pain conditions.

Several prior studies have similarly demonstrated that cannabis use is associated with reduced opioid consumption in patients with chronic back pain.

Full text of the study, “Comparing sublingual and inhaled cannabis therapies for low back pain: An observational open-label study,” appears in Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal. Additional information on the use of cannabis for chronic pain is available from NORML.

israel, pain

cannabis seeds

Thailand Department Of Agriculture Gives Green Light To Cannabis Seed Imports

Prior to last week, the only way that cannabis seeds could be imported legally to India was via air transport, and even then, imports were greatly restricted and involved considerable hurdles. That is changing, with many provisions related to cannabis seed imports being eased to some degree.

Thailand’s Department of Agriculture announced late last week that the import of cannabis seeds would now be allowed via other means than just air transport. The policy change involved various other provisions as well. Per Thai PBS World:

A new edict has been issued by the Department of Agriculture to ease restrictions on the import of cannabis and hemp seeds.

Effective today (Saturday), cannabis and hemp seeds can be shipped to Thailand from abroad by air, sea or overland, instead of by air alone, as previously stipulated.

There is no longer a requirement for the seeds to be treated with fungicide and, hence, there is no need to specify the fungicide or the amount used in the disinfection process in the plant safety certificate.

All imported cannabis seeds must not be genetically modified, cannot contain organic or inorganic contaminants, and be must be licensed by authorities. All seeds still have to go through the customs process before they can be legally imported to Thailand.

It’s unclear how popular the new policy will prove to be, as Thailand is presumably home to a number of amazing cannabis genetics already, and many people have reported on social media that acquiring seeds and clones is actually quite easy in Thailand.

With that being said, there are always advantages to cultivating certain cannabis genetics compared to others, and having a wider selection of cannabis genetics for domestic cultivators to choose from is almost always a good thing.

Thailand

anxiety depression

Study Finds That CBD May Offset THC-Induced Anxiety

The cannabis plant is one of the most versatile plants on earth, and quite possibly could be the most versatile plant on the planet. Although, that can prove to be a two-edged sword of sorts, in that when cannabis’ complexities interact with human biology it can yield some undesirable consequences.

To be clear, I am not stating that cannabis is harmful in the manner that cannabis prohibitionists describe. However, it is a fact that when some people consume cannabis, particularly if they consume an amount of cannabis that exceeds what they are usually comfortable consuming, it can contribute to the person experiencing some level of anxiety.

It is never fun to experience anxiety, whether it’s a little anxiety or a lot of anxiety. Typically, the effects of THC are responsible for the person experiencing an increased level of anxiety, and fortunately, another cannabinoid appears to be able to offset those effects to some degree according to a recent study out of The Netherlands. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Maastricht, The Netherlands: Subjects who consume cannabis containing equal amounts of THC and CBD report experiencing less anxiety than they do after consuming THC-dominant cannabis, according to trial data published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

Dutch investigators assessed perceived anxiety levels in a cohort of 26 subjects following single doses of vaporized cannabis. Subjects vaporized cannabis samples that were either high in THC (13.75 mgs), high in CBD (13.75 mgs), contained equal amounts of both CBD and THC, or that contained no cannabinoids.

Investigators reported that THC-dominant and THC/CBD equivalent samples significantly increased participants’ self-rated state of anxiety compared to placebo, but subjects reported less anxiety after consuming the latter. Specifically, they reported, “Combined treatment of THC and CBD delayed the onset of … anxiety, reduced its magnitude and shortened its duration compared to inhalation of THC alone.”

The study’s findings are consistent with those of prior studies documenting CBD’s anxiolytic effects, and determining that subjects who consume cannabis flowers containing equal ratios of THC and CBD are less likely to report experiencing adverse effects, such as feelings of paranoia.

Authors concluded: “The present study showed that cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of THC and CBD induces less self-rated … anxiety compared to THC-only cannabis in healthy volunteers. … The THC/CBD combination might be more favorable in clinical settings, and it may be a reasonable public health strategy to encourage cannabis breeds containing THC/CBD mixtures where recreational use of cannabis is now legal.”

Full text of the study, “Cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) induces less state anxiety than THC-dominant cannabis,” appears in Psychopharmacology.

CBD, netherlands

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