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Tag: australia

back pain

Cannabis Spray Shows Promise For Cancer Patients With Refractory Pain

One area of cannabis research that is of particular interest to people around the globe, and for obvious reasons, pertains to how the cannabis plant can be used to help people suffering from cancer. It’s one of the most intriguing, and yet also controversial topics in the cannabis world.

A growing body of peer-reviewed research is finding that the cannabis plant can help effectively treat cancer and related symptoms. It is important to differential between the claim that ‘cannabis can help treat cancer’ versus ‘cannabis cures cancer.’

Many personal patient experiences back up the claim that cannabis may cure cancer, in some instances. However, it is a very cruel thing to tell someone that is suffering from cancer that something, cannabis included, will absolutely cure their cancer, guaranteed. After all, nothing is ever guaranteed when it comes to medicine and treatment regimens.

More research needs to be conducted, and hopefully one day there is a cure found for cancer, and if the cure does indeed prove to involve cannabis, that would be amazing. Until that time, the cannabis plant can still do other things to help suffering cancer patients, including when it comes to pain management.

A recent study out of Australia examined a specific cannabis spray to see if it helped treat cancer patients experiencing refractory pain, and the results of the study are encouraging. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

New South Wales, Australia: Terminal cancer patients with refractory pain respond favorably to a proprietary cannabis spray containing equal ratios of plant-derived THC and CBD, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.

A team of Australian investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of a novel water-soluble oro-buccal nanoparticle spray containing 2.5 mgs of THC and 2.5 mgs of CBD in a cohort of patients with advanced cancer and intractable pain.

Researchers reported that cannabis dosing was associated with improvements in pain relief among all patients, with those patients suffering from bone metastasis experiencing the greatest levels of relief. No serious adverse events were reported, though some patients did experience drowsiness following treatment.

Patients also reported improvements in appetite and emotional well-being.

“This study demonstrated that the administration of the investigative cannabis-based medicine was generally safe and tolerated in a short-term exposure in a cohort of patients with advanced incurable cancers with controlled pain or intractable pain despite opioid treatment,” authors concluded. “There was a reduction in pain overall for the study cohort of 12 percent by the end of the treatment phase. … [This] cannabis-based medicine … is of significant clinical interest given that this formulation was a self-titrated medicine, that showed preliminary analgesic efficacy in a subgroup of patients.”

Full text of the study, “Pilot clinical and pharmacokinetic study of delat-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol nanoparticle oro-buccal spray in patients with advanced cancer experiencing uncontrolled pain,” appears in PLOS One. Additional information on cannabis for pain mitigation is available from NORML.

australia

australia

The Greens Urge Australia’s Federal Parliament To Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

Australia is home to an emerging cannabis industry, although cannabis laws vary from state to state throughout the country. The most progressive region when it comes to cannabis policy can be found in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), where cannabis was decriminalized in 2020.

In fact, as we previously reported, the University of Sydney is launching a free cannabis testing program for residents of ACT that want to test their cannabis. The goal of that program is to gather insight into what potencies and varieties of cannabis consumers are actually cultivating and/or consuming in Australia. That insight, in theory, will help lawmakers craft policies and regulations.

Leadership among The Australian Greens, or The Greens as the party is often referred to, is urging the nation’s government to legalize cannabis for adult use at the national level, and in the process, supersede any local prohibition policies. Per The Guardian:

As the minor party ramps up its campaign to legalise cannabis ahead of a planned private member’s bill to be introduced next year, the Greens’ justice spokesperson, David Shoebridge, said the advice from constitutional lawyer Patrick Keyzer paved the way for new federal laws.

The advice suggests that there are three commonwealth heads of power that would enable it to legalise and regulate cannabis use, with the clearest pathway via a part of section 51, which relates to copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trademarks.

Whether or not that proves to be a viable path to adult-use legalization in Australia is something that we will all have to wait and see. Even if there is a viable path to legalization in Australia, and the other claims by The Greens are accurate regarding federal law versus local law, the political will to pass a legalization measure still has to be in place, and that is likely not the case right now, unfortunately.

According to a poll conducted earlier this year by Essential Research, 55% of voters in Australia want cannabis to be legalized and regulated like alcohol. It’s a public policy and industry approach that is already working in Uruguay and Canada, as well as at the state-level in the United States.

australia

university of sydney australia

University Of Sydney To Offer Free Cannabis Testing

The University of Sydney is launching a fairly robust study in an attempt to, as the university describes it, “investigate cannabis consumption, behaviours and attitudes among users.” Part of the study involves offering free, anonymous cannabis testing for people that cultivate their own cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Cannabis was decriminalized in 2020 in the ACT and the university is researching any societal issues that may have arisen from the public policy change, as well as gain insight into the potency and varieties of cannabis that patients and consumers are using.

Free cannabis testing is available to both medical patients and non-medical patients, although only people that are current residents of the ACT can participate.

“The cannabis collected from growers’ homes will be analysed for cannabis content, including its main psychoactive components – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-intoxicating cannabidiol  (CBD) –  as well as a range of other cannabinoids and biologically active molecules, free of charge.  Participants will be able to view, anonymously, the analysis results from their cannabis samples online.” the university stated in a news release.

Initial results from the University of Sydney study are expected to be released in early 2023 and will presumably be used by lawmakers and regulators to craft regional and national cannabis policies and industry regulations. International cannabis observers will likely also benefit from reviewing the results.

Studies like this one can be very insightful because it involves cannabis that is actually being cultivated and consumed by people in real life versus cannabis that is cultivated by the government that often does not resemble the cannabis that people are actually consuming. Results from the latter types of studies always have to be taken with a grain of salt.

australia

gold coast city queensland australia

Queensland’s Cannabis Driving Laws Are Inhumane

It is no secret that people that consume cannabis are often subjected to an enormous amount of stigma, including and especially from a public policy standpoint. After all, a vast majority of public policies directed towards cannabis consumers initially arose out of anti-cannabis fearmongering. Cannabis consumers, even patients, are often labeled as ‘dangers to themselves and others’ and a prime example of that is on display in Queensland where any amount of THC in a person’s system is a punishable offense, even if the person is a registered medical cannabis patient.

To be clear, I am not advocating for anyone to be driving on a public roadway while under the influence of cannabis or anything else for that matter. No one should ever operate a motor vehicle while impaired from any substance at all, including cannabis. Every responsible cannabis consumer on the planet feels the same way. With that being said, just because someone has THC in their system does not automatically mean that they are impaired at the time of the detection of THC. Detecting actual cannabis impairment is far more complicated than that.

Public Policy Built On Junk Science

Queensland is an Australian state located in the continent’s northeast region. It’s the third most-populated state in Australia, and currently has the highest population growth rate. Queensland is also home to a growing population of registered medical cannabis patients. According to Queensland law, “A patient living in Queensland must access medicinal cannabis through a doctor who is authorised under the Special Access or Authorised Prescriber Scheme administered by the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).”

Unfortunately, any person that consumes any amount of cannabis, even when consumption is in line with TGA guidelines, essentially gives up their right to drive in Queensland due to how their current law is written and how long cannabis stays in a person’s system. Whereas many substances only stay in a person’s system for hours or days, THC can stay in a person’s system for much longer. In fact, one study found that THC could be detected in a person’s system for as long as 100 days after the person quit consuming cannabis.

Obviously, if a person consumed cannabis over three months ago they are not going to still be impaired today. Furthermore, it’s quite possible that they were not even impaired when they last consumed cannabis. Cannabis impairment depends on a number of factors including potency, tolerance level, form of consumption, and the amount of consumption. Someone that has consumed cannabis for a long time will build up a considerable amount of THC in their system while simultaneously having a tolerance that is so great that true impairment rarely occurs. That creates a situation in which the cannabis consumers that are least impaired are the ones most likely to have THC in their systems for longer durations of time, and public policy needs to account for that scientific fact.

Increase in ‘Drug-Driving’ Offenses

While more people are consuming medical cannabis in Queensland, completely legal consumption I will add, more people are also being charged with driving under the influence for cannabis in Queensland. Given the readily available science that clearly demonstrates how fast ‘active THC’ is metabolized by the human body (1-4 hours) and how long ‘metabolized THC’ can stay in the human body (up to 100 days), there’s almost always a viable defense for a cannabis DUI charge. However, that defense can only be successfully deployed after the person is subjected to inhumane treatment, including but not limited to: arrest, incarceration, fines, lost wages, lost employment, and public shaming.

Fortunately, lawmakers in Queensland are reviewing the state’s cannabis impairment laws and hopefully they will arrive at the logical conclusion that a zero tolerance policy towards metabolized THC is inhumane and ineffective. The only purpose it serves is to subject cannabis users to selective enforcement and the criminal justice system, and no suffering patient should ever have to endure such things. Again, I am not advocating for medical cannabis patients to be able to operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of cannabis, however, that needs to be balanced with implementing public policy that is based on science and not reefer madness fear mongering.

australia, queensland

back pain

Study Finds Cannabis Extract Effective For Refractory Chronic Pain Patients

The most common health condition that people use cannabis to treat is pain. Patients can experience pain for any number of reasons, and to varying degrees of severity. For some patients the pain is only temporary, and medical cannabis helps during flare ups.

For others, pain can be so common in their lives that the pain becomes chronic, and in the worst cases, the pain can prove to be completely debilitating and not able to be treated by pharmaceutical medications (refractory chronic pain).

Pharmaceutical medications geared towards treating pain, even when they work, are often extremely addictive and the use of them can cause major health issues, including death. Cannabinoids alone, on the other hand, have never killed anyone in recorded human history, and in the cases of some patients with refractory chronic pain, the use of medical cannabis is very effective.

That was demonstrated in a recent study focusing on medical cannabis and refractory chronic pain out of Australia. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Sydney, Australia: The administration of cannabis extracts containing equal quantities of THC and CBD is associated with reduced pain intensity and improved sleep in patients with chronic refractory pain conditions, according to data published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

Australian investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of whole-plant cannabis oil in a cohort of 151 chronic pain patients. Participants in the trial used the extract daily for at least three months. All of the subjects in the trial suffered from conditions that were unresponsive to conventional analgesics, such as opioids and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Trial subjects were most likely to be diagnosed with neuropathy, musculoskeletal pain, or arthritis.

Researchers reported, “Pain impact scores were significantly reduced across the cohort. Additionally, most subjects reported improvements in sleep disturbances and fatigue.” The majority of side-effects reported by patients were categorized as mild; these most frequently included sleepiness, dizziness, and dry-mouth.

They concluded: “This analysis presents real-world data collected as part of standard of care. … The results of this study demonstrated a significantly positive effect of [a proprietary formulation of] oral medicinal cannabis oil on the impact of pain. … Amelioration of the impact of pain confirms continued prescribing of this formulation and validates our observational methodology as a tool to determine the therapeutic potency of medicinal cannabinoids.”

Survey data estimate that nearly one-third of patients suffering from chronic pain conditions acknowledge using cannabis products. Among patients in US states where medical cannabis access is permitted, over 60 percent are qualified to use it to treat pain.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis for the treatment of chronic refractory pain: An investigation of the adverse event profile and health-related quality of life impact of an oral formulation,” appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Additional information about marijuana for pain is available from NORML.

australia, pain

australia

Legalize Cannabis Australia Party Obtains Record Results In Queensland Elections

The single-issue party is poised to gain its first senate seat in Queensland. Is recreational reform on the cards nationally?

Elections in Australia’s third most populous state, accounting for 22% of its landmass, may indicate which way the tide is running when it comes to legalization Down Under. Legalise Cannabis Australia is now running 7th in a six-seat senate race according to Australia’s ABC News.

According to The Guardian, the party has also done well nationally – picking up between 2 and 7% of the vote in most states.

This year, they have also received a record number of votes.

With 34% of the votes now counted, LCA has so far received 74,972 votes – an increase of 5% of the votes they received in 2019. Regardless of whether they win one of the seats, they will get government funding for exceeding 4% of the votes in Queensland.

Party president Michael Balderstone is a long-time advocate. He has been involved with the party since its founding in the 1990s – in New South Wales.

Pain Relief & Cost of Cannabis Are Pillar of Campaign

One of the main planks of the party is the efficacy of the drug – and the still prohibitive cost of the same for patients. They are advocating for patient home grow.

There have been 130,000 applications for medical cannabis in Queensland. More than double any other state. One of the reasons for this is that this is a popular state for retirees.

And despite the criticism that the increased vote for the party is just a protest vote, one thing is clear. Cannabis legalization is not static in Australia.

Home Grow – The Revolution

As more and more countries recognize the medical efficacy of cannabis, there is a decided trend toward home grow – even as the first step to legalization. This trend is being seen very clearly in Europe right now. Malta and shortly, Luxembourg will allow home grow. Germany is now probably going to include the same in its recreational plans to be announced by this summer.

There is an obvious logic to this. Medical cannabis is still far too expensive for most patients – no matter who pays for it. Allowing home grow will do two things. It will allow patients to offset the costs of their medicine. And it will spare governments the cost of covering it.

Regulating that infrastructure, however, may prove to be tricky. In Canada, where patient collectives created the basis for the legal recreational market, there is a perennial debate about reigning this in because of its impact on recreational sales.

Regardless, the genie is out of the bottle. And that revolution is now clearly global.

australia

sydney australia

Australia Has Issues A Quarter Million Cannabis Prescriptions Since 2016

Medical cannabis is increasingly prescribed for a multitude of conditions. Where does this indicate that the market ‘down under’ is headed?

According to researchers from the University of Sydney at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, anxiety, chronic pain and sleep disorders are the top three reasons that Australians seek a cannabis prescription. This is despite the limited number of trials supporting its use for either anxiety or sleep disorders.

Prescriptions have also increased dramatically over the last two years – although researchers were unable to determine if the rise in such requests was due to the Pandemic. Another unexplained trend revealed by the data set that has been gathered since the beginning of medical reform showed that Queensland prescribers represented over half of the prescriptions written nationally.

How Does This Compare with Germany?

Australia is perhaps the closest “Western” country to Germany in terms of timing and approach to initializing the legal cannabis market. Both countries approved medical use on a federal level about the same time (within a year of each other). And while Germany’s total number of prescriptions outnumbers the Australian total so far, they are certainly comparable.

The difference between the two countries, however, is that Germany is now moving solidly towards a recreational market. Australia seems mired in indecision.

When Will It Get Dank Down Under?

In Europe, there is now a pressing regional political issue to deal with. Namely, there is no way that Germany can sit the recreational reform question out with countries all around it (and in two cases bordering it) now proceeding with federally regulated recreational cannabis markets. Australia is a bit isolated in this regard, although it is, as a country, clearly following the global trend.

Australian producers are also trying to export to Germany (as well as eastern Europe).

The latest poll numbers show that Australians are currently split, 50-50 on whether the country should proceed with a recreational market. That has moved fairly dramatically in the last several years.

For this very reason, it is also highly likely that, at a bare minimum, the initiation of a recreational market in Germany might tip the scales. Everyone right now is looking for a new industry or line of revenue post Covid.

And then of course there is the ability to export to a fully recreational market or two in Europe.

Given all the possibilities now at stake, it is very likely that Australia will be one of the next major western economies to make the switch. Even if so far unannounced.

australia

beer alcohol

55% Of Australians Want To Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol According To New Poll

Back in 2012, I was part of a network of activists pushing for legal cannabis at the state level here in the United States. We were able to get adult-use cannabis legalization on the ballot in three states that year – Colorado, Washington, and Oregon (Oregon is where I live).

The activists in Colorado had the best political messaging out of the three efforts, heavily relying on the ‘regulate cannabis like alcohol’ talking point. It proved to be a tremendously successful way to frame legalization with voters. Much better than the ‘regulate cannabis like tomatoes’ talking point that many activists (not me) were promoting here in Oregon as part of what would prove to be a losing effort for us on Election Day in 2012.

Alcohol is common in society, and unlike tomatoes it induces intoxication. Yet, people are able to consume it responsibly and governments are able to regulate it. Given that alcohol is exponentially more harmful than cannabis, the ‘regulate cannabis like alcohol’ message resonated with a wide voter base because it was a logical approach to implementing sensible public policy.

It’s a concept that has since expanded well beyond the borders of the State of Colorado, and it’s still something that resonates with voters, as proven by a recent poll conducted in Australia. Below is more information about the poll via an excerpt from Cannabiz:

The online survey of 1,086 adults aged 18-plus, conducted by polling company Essential Research from March 30 to April 2, found 50% of respondents support making cannabis use legal, double the number recorded in the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

And a majority — 55% — favour regulating and taxing cannabis sales like alcohol or tobacco.

Meanwhile, 58% want medicinal cannabis made more affordable and accessible by allowing people with prescriptions to grow their own, and 62% support scrapping current drug-driving laws.

All of the poll’s results are insightful. However, the 50% level of support for ‘making cannabis legal’ compared to the 55% level of support for ‘regulating and taxing cannabis sales like alcohol’ really stood out to me. It demonstrates how many more people will support reform when there is a regulated industry component being proposed, and that it would be based on a similar regulatory structure as alcohol.

In years past, the concept of regulating cannabis like alcohol was just a theory. Now that a number of jurisdictions have implemented the practice, including Canada at a national level, places like Australia can see it working in real-time.

Legalization works. Regulation works. Hopefully lawmakers in Australia see these poll results and work to get their country on the right side of history sooner rather than later.

australia

cannabis plant flower garden indoor

Australian Researchers Examine Motivation Behind Increased Support For Legalization

Support for adult-use cannabis legalization is stronger now at the global level than at any other time since the start of international cannabis prohibition. Now that Uruguay, Canada, and Malta have passed national cannabis legalization measures and the sky didn’t fall, that should only further add to the momentum for legalization in other countries.

Researchers in Australia recently examined survey data in an attempt to try to identify why support for cannabis legalization has risen in recent decades, specifically in the United States. The researchers leading the study were all affiliated with The University of Queensland, and they examined, “historical changes in legalization attitudes and the period-specific individual and external influences on these.”

“A systematic search was conducted for publications in PubMed, EMBASE, and PsycINFO up to October 2019. Six studies with a regionally or nationally representative adult US-based populations were included.” the researchers stated regarding their methodology.

“A secondary analysis was conducted using data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. Hierarchical age-period-cohort analysis assessed the trends in perceived harmfulness and availability of cannabis between 1996 and 2018. Ecological comparisons were made between these perceptions and support for cannabis legalization over time.” the researchers went on to state.

The researchers determined that support for adult-use cannabis legalization started to increase considerably in the 1990s, and that the increase continued in a linear fashion until 2019. That is reflected in the results of Gallup’s annual cannabis legalization poll, a graph of which can be seen below:

Gallup polling cannabis legalization 2021

Gallup’s polling is particularly useful because they have asked the same question every year since 1969. As you can clearly see, support for legalization was a dismal 25% in the mid-1990s, and it continued to rise nearly every year through 2020 when it leveled off at 68%.

“Most people developed more liberal views, with no evidence that changes within any one sociodemographic group was disproportionately responsible for the overall attitudinal change. Increases in the proportion of people who use cannabis, non-religious population and political liberalism may partially explain the increased support for legalization.” the researchers determined.

“The decline in perceived harmfulness of cannabis, as reflected in the media, may have contributed to the increased support for legalization.” the researchers stated.

“The US population has become more accepting of cannabis legalization. The attitudinal change is related to changes in the perceived risks and benefits of cannabis use, influenced by broader political and cultural changes over the study period.” the researchers concluded.

The researchers obviously have their views regarding why cannabis legalization has increased, however, I don’t necessarily agree with all of their conclusions. I definitely do not think that there was a ‘decline in the perceived harmfulness of cannabis reflected in the media.’

To back up that personal belief, I would point to the ongoing ‘coverage’ by media companies that are blatant reefer madness propaganda. Mainstream media outlets still regularly provide cannabis opponents access to their platforms and allow them to publish nonsense without any attempt to fact-check it from what I can tell. What has changed is the increased volume of peer-reviewed studies regarding cannabis, and the increased availability and awareness of the results of those studies, many of which directly refute long-standing anti-cannabis talking points.

I also don’t think that increasing support for cannabis legalization is the direct result of an increase in ‘political liberalism’ being that support for cannabis legalization has increased among voters from all major political parties. I personally believe that there are two major factors at play in the recorded increase in support for legalization, and this goes for polling data in the United States and everywhere else.

First, many people have always supported legalization and are only now willing to admit it since prohibition is crumbling and the stigma is reducing. Secondly, people that were on the fence about cannabis legalization quickly move to the ‘supporter’ category when they see that legalization is working wherever it is allowed.

Once legalization goes from a hypothetical to implementation, and it works, many cannabis prohibition talking points instantly die in the minds of many voters. The legalization supporter base expands to non-consumers that just want to see sensible public policy enacted. It also expands to people that want to see society reap the economic benefits of a regulated industry. That is likely why you see polling results continue to improve as legalization continues to spread, at least in my opinion.

australia, united states

driving driver car dui road duii intoxicated

Australian Lawmakers Want Public Input On Proposed Cannabis DUI Policy Change

Cannabis policy as it pertains to driving while under the influence seems to always be perplexing to lawmakers and regulators around the globe. Much of that is born out of decades of reefer madness propaganda, with mainstream media and cannabis opponents portraying cannabis consumers as threats to themselves and society.

With that in mind, it’s likely not a coincidence that cannabis DUI policies around the world are not based on science. A prime example of that comes in the form of per se DUI laws. A per se cannabis DUI law essentially means that if a person has more than a set amount of THC in their system then it is automatically assumed that they are impaired.

A per se limit for alcohol is common around the world, with a .08 limit being a popular threshold. However, what works for alcohol does not work for cannabis when it comes to per se thresholds and intoxication. An infrequent cannabis consumer can be highly intoxicated, past the point of being able to operate a motor vehicle safely, and yet they have very little THC in their system.

Conversely, a frequent cannabis consumer can have a significant amount of THC built up in their system and a tolerance level that is enormous. That results in the person being perfectly capable of driving safely, yet testing well beyond any THC per se limit threshold. Per se limits literally punish responsible cannabis consumers while not detecting drivers that actually shouldn’t be driving on public roadways.

Metabolized THC can stay in the human body for many weeks, well after intoxicating effects have subsided. The human body metabolizes THC very quickly, and once it is metabolized there’s no way to know if the person consumed cannabis mere hours ago or if the THC is in their system from use that occurred weeks prior.

Cannabis DUI Policy Reform In Australia

Australia is a country that currently has per se cannabis DUI laws. As the country continues to improve safe access for suffering patients, and more people are consuming medical cannabis, more and more patients are being subjected to DUI charges even though there’s no actual evidence that they were impaired.

Lawmakers in New South Wales, Australia introduced the Road Transport Amendment (Medicinal Cannabis-Exemptions from Offences) Bill 2021 in an attempt to address the growing issue facing the area’s medical cannabis patients. Lawmakers are seeking public input regarding the bill, as seen in the embedded tweet below:


“The person must have consumed a legally prescribed medicinal cannabis product and, importantly, they had to have consumed the product according to the guidance of their doctor. That guidance will include how to use the product in such a way as to avoid driving while impaired, as is the case for other prescription drugs like opioids. The bill does not provide a catch‑all defence for persons with a medicinal cannabis prescription who are demonstrably impaired.” stated a transcript of the measure’s second reading.

Sensible Cannabis DUI Laws

No responsible cannabis consumer or advocate is pushing for people to be able to drive while intoxicated from consuming cannabis. Cannabis opponents sure do seem to try to portray it that way, however, that is not actually the case. What is the case is that cannabis advocates want cannabis DUI laws to be based on science, not political opinion.

Even people that do not consume cannabis should want cannabis DUI policy to be based on science. When it is not, it results in a tremendous amount of wasted public resources. Law enforcement resources get locked up for the duration of the investigation and follow-up processing. The court then spends a significant amount of time affording due process, and after all of those public resources are exerted the attorney representing the person charged with the cannabis DUI says something to the effect of, “Your Honor, my client did have THC in their system that day, however, it was the result of cannabis use that occurred weeks ago and there’s no actual evidence of my client being impaired at the day and time in question.”

In the above scenario, which is now common in places that have cannabis per se limit laws, the person charged with the offense gets let go, and rightfully so, but only after spending huge sums of money on an attorney in addition to the public resources wasted during the process. For people that cannot afford an attorney, the DUI charge is upheld way more often than not, even though the person being charged was not necessarily guilty of what they were charged with. That’s a terrible approach to such an important area of public policy.

The negative ramifications that then follow for people convicted of a false cannabis DUI charge are enormous. It can literally ruin a person’s life by preventing them from gaining employment, housing, and various types of assistance. No one should ever have to deal with that when they are truly innocent. Australia needs to let science lead the way when it comes to cannabis DUI policies, and that goes for everywhere else on the planet.

australia

cannabis plant

Scientists Boost THCA Yield Using New Grafting Method

The cannabis plant is one of the most dynamic plants on earth, and as such, it’s also a very fun plant to cultivate. Whereas some plant varieties take a long time to grow from start to finish, the cannabis plant matures very quickly when cultivated properly.

As with most crops, there are different subvarieties of the cannabis plant, often informally referred to as ‘strains.’ Different strains have different properties, with some of those properties being more or less desirable than others.

The concept of differing desirability levels of properties and attributes among crop varieties is far from unique to cannabis, and cultivators of all types of crops have used a method known as ‘grafting’ over the years to combine the best attributes of multiple varieties of one or more crops.

Australian Study

Scientists in Australia recently grafted multiple cannabis varieties using what they described as a ‘new’ way to graft cannabis plants.

“We developed a grafting methodology specifically for medicinal Cannabis, involving a single step, in which a freshly cut scion is grafted to a freshly cut donor stem that will become the rootstock. This study also aimed to uncover a potential role for roots in influencing cannabinoid content.” the researchers stated.

“Two varieties with desirable attributes but cultivation limitations were selected to act as scions. The first, “CBD1” was a high CBDA accumulating variety with low biomass yield, and the second, “THC2”, was a high yielding, high THCA accumulating line with inconsistent root development during cloning. Two candidate rootstocks, “THC9r” and “THC8r”, were identified; both were high THCA, low CBDA varieties.” the researchers went on to say.

“Two varieties with desirable attributes but cultivation limitations were selected to act as scions. The first, “CBD1” was a high CBDA accumulating variety with low biomass yield, and the second, “THC2”, was a high yielding, high THCA accumulating line with inconsistent root development during cloning. Two candidate rootstocks, “THC9r” and “THC8r”, were identified; both were high THCA, low CBDA varieties. Our results present a new grafting method for medicinal Cannabis that improved yield in THC2 and required no additional cultivation time.” the researchers concluded.

What Is THCA?

For those that are new to cannabis or are not very familiar with the cannabis plant’s chemistry, the cannabis plant is comprised of dozens of cannabinoids. Two of the most popular and well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THCA is far less known, although that is changing as time goes by. THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and it is the precursor to THC. As with most, if not all, cannabinoids THCA possesses wellness properties.

The cannabinoid, which is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, has been found to possess anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties as well as the potential to reduce nausea and vomiting.

As more becomes known about THCA, global demand will increase, and that increase in demand will no doubt be met by savvy entrepreneurs that bring THCA to the marketplace in whatever manner is permitted.

With that in mind, being able to boost THCA yield is a good thing, especially when considering that the scientists in Australia indicated that no additional growth time was necessary to achieve the higher THCA yield when incorporating their grafting method.

australia

cannabis hemp leaf

Australia And New Zealand Renew Commitment To Medical Cannabis

The APAC region of the world continues to develop its medical cannabis industry – but no word yet about further reform

Australia and New Zealand may well be “down under” but they are continuing to develop their medical cannabis sectors.

In Australia, the British study and trial Project Twenty21 has announced that they are expanding to the country. Project Twenty21 was launched in 2019 in the UK. The goal was to establish a national body of evidence about the efficacy of cannabis and provide patients with cannabinoid medicines at a discount. The additional cost was underwritten by licensed producers who agreed to participate. Patients had to agree that their medical data could be collected by the organization managing the effort – Drug Science.

The plan originally was to enrol 20,000 patients by the end of 2021, but so far, only 2,000 patients have joined the study. The project has been extended in the UK until the end of this year. In the meantime, the project will unroll in Australia. Releaf Clinics will be the local partner organization. Study participants will have to complete annual questionnaires and attend the participating clinics. Current users of cannabis will be excluded from the trial, which is expected to enrol about 1,000 patients.

Just a skip and a hop across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand has also just announced that it is committed to its existing cannabis scheme. The health minister Andrew Little has reiterated that the government remains dedicated to its new Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, addressing critics who have said the program is too stringent. Little said that the country will source its cannabis via firms who comply with GMP standards even though critics have said this standard creates a cost barrier for patients that is often prohibitive.

How Will This Development Impact the Global Industry?

Both Australia and New Zealand are continuing to establish their presence on the international cannabis scene even while developing their own national markets. Australia has begun importing cannabis from other countries even as some of its producers are also finding their way to Europe. New Zealand has its sights set clearly on establishing a European market for its cannabis exports. Firms are already scouring the landscape for partners.

However, the continued expansion of both two country’s medical markets and additional demand (and supply) of medicinal cannabis will do several things. It will create two more viable medical markets and will contribute to the now continued downward pressure on the price.

Many cannabis patients are not able to participate in legal programs simply because the cost of the drug is still too expensive.

Be sure to attend the International Cannabis Business Conference events in Europe in 2022, including Barcelona, Berlin, and Zurich!

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