Health Officer Issues Warning After 7 Californians Hospitalized for Vaping

Health Officer Issues Warning After 7 Californians Hospitalized for Vaping

Original Post: High Times: Health Officer Issues Warning After 7 Californians Hospitalized for Vaping

[Canniseur: This is the second story this week about the dangers of vaping supposed THC carts. ARDS is only one of the myriad of problems that can occur when the distillate for carts is made with illegal chemicals, or processed incorrectly. If you’re going to use oil concentrates, at least get them from a licensed dispensary with a good reputation.]

A public health official issued a warning about the dangers of unlicensed cannabis products following the hospitalization of seven Californians who fell ill after vaping. In a notice released last week, Dr. Milton Teske, health officer with the Kings County Department of Public Health, said that those stricken had been taken to the hospital in the Central California community after experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms.

“Since June, seven cases of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) have been identified, requiring hospitalization and respiratory support among previously healthy adults,” reads the notice. “Some of these patients’ conditions were so severe they were admitted to the intensive care unit and required respiratory support through mechanical devices.”

Initial symptoms of ARDS include the feeling that one can’t get enough air into the lungs, rapid breathing, low blood oxygen level, low blood pressure, confusion, and extreme tiredness.

Six of the patients are in their 20s and the last is a 60-year-old experienced cannabis user who had tried vaping for the first time. Teske noted that all seven patients had recently used THC or CBD oil vape cartridges that they had purchased at unlicensed marijuana “pop-up shops” and urged consumers to purchase cannabis products only at regulated retailers.

“If you’re going to vape THC, get it from a licensed dispensary where you know there’s a certain amount of testing required to do,” Teske said. “It’s going to cost twice as much as the stuff on the street, but you don’t want to end up with a life-threatening respiratory condition.”

Similar Cases Across US

California isn’t the first area to see people experiencing lung problems after vaping, although it appears some cases may involve the use of nicotine vaporizers. Health officials in New York warned health care providers on Friday to be on the alert for pulmonary disease caused by vaping. The New York Department of Health is currently investigating 11 cases of lung problems related to vaping, most in the western part of the state.

“While many people consider vaping to be a less dangerous alternative to smoking cigarettes, it is not risk free,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said. “These latest reports of pulmonary disease in people using vaping products in New York and other states are proof that more study is needed on the long-term health effects of these products.”

Dr. Melodi Pirzada, a pediatric lung specialist at New York University Winthrop Hospital, said that she has seen two cases of patients who experienced lung problems after vaping, including an 18-year-old athlete.

“We’re all baffled,” Pirzada said, adding that the only common factor was that they had been vaping.

On Thursday, health officials in Wisconsin reported that 15 cases of lung trouble brought on by vaping had been confirmed and 15 more were being investigated. Health officials in Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota are also investigating cases of lung problems potentially caused by vaping.

Health Officer Issues Warning After 7 Californians Hospitalized for Vaping was posted on High Times.

WTF Is CBD Isolate?

WTF Is CBD Isolate?

Original Post: Merry Jane: WTF Is CBD Isolate?

[Canniseur: Isolates can enable researchers to be very precise with dosing for anything, in this case CBD. Most of what is sold in stores is “full spectrum” CBD. It’s a distillate of the whole plant. It’s possible to have some, but not a lot of THC in the product, but nobody knows what kind of THC. Obviously, we need a lot of research into the effects of CBD (and THC for that matter) on the human genome. It’s going to take a while to get a good body of research. The isolates can help.]

Practically everywhere you turn these days, you find yourself face to face with CBD (shorthand for cannabidiol) in one form or another. From news stories and online banner ads, to emails piling up in your spam folder, scads of people are anxious to share the miracle cannabinoid’s potential to treat anxiety, depression, pain, and a host of other health maladies.

If you add the myriad of CBD products available — drops, tinctures, ointments, gummies, capsules, vapes, patches, and on and on — you’ll find that separating reliable information from all the hype can be a daunting and sometimes confusing task.

Adding to that confusion is the fact that manufacturers have different types of CBD available to them to use in their products. Traditionally, most CBD products were made with industrial hemp (and, to a lesser extent, marijuana) whole-plant extractions. To make these CBD oils, a solvent such as butane, ethanol, or CO₂ is used to strip the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other botanic compounds from the hemp plant material, concentrating them into a viscous liquid commonly referred to as full-spectrum CBD oil.

But, now, a substance known as CBD isolate is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient and consumer product. Manufacturing CBD isolate also begins with a whole-plant extraction, which is then refined further through processes including filtration and winterization to remove all other compounds. The resulting CBD isolate, a white crystalline powder, is nearly pure cannabidiol, usually 99 percent or more. This purity gives CBD isolate several benefits, but can also be a drawback, depending on the user’s needs and point of view.

What Are the Benefits of CBD Isolate?

The purity of CBD isolate offers both manufacturers and consumers some advantages over full-spectrum CBD oils. CBD isolate is nearly 100 percent CBD, so it is very easy to measure accurate doses of the product: one gram of powder is about a 1000 milligram dose of CBD.

In addition, because CBD isolate doesn’t have the chlorophyll and other botanicals found in full-spectrum oils, it doesn’t add the strong, hempy flavor and odor often associated with them. This makes CBD isolate good as an ingredient for edibles and beverages, eliminating the challenge of trying to mask or complement the taste of the CBD oil with other flavorings. CBD isolate’s fine powder also mixes well into other ingredients, making it more versatile and easier to work with, either in the kitchen or on the production line.

Another aspect of CBD isolate that some users perceive as a benefit is the complete lack of THC in the product. Many people who want to enjoy the benefits of CBD would prefer to avoid any traces of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Some people are very sensitive to it, while others want to avoid it because they are subject to drug screenings for marijuana use.

To be legal, hemp and hemp products must be less than 0.3 percent THC by weight. But even this tiny amount of THC can be enough to show up on drug tests, especially for those taking high doses of CBD products. Consequently, many people whose careers depend on passing a drug test for marijuana use, such as members of the military or law enforcement officers, opt for CBD isolate as a safe alternative to products containing THC.

CBD Isolate’s Drawbacks

For many people, the purity of CBD isolate is actually its major drawback. Without the other constituents of full-spectrum CBD, including the small quantity of THC and minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other botanic compounds working together in what is known as the entourage effect, they believe that much of the therapeutic benefit of CBD oil is lost. And there’s evidence to back this idea up. In a 2015 study, researchers in Israel determined that mice demonstrated greater relief from inflammatory conditions due to the use of a full-spectrum CBD oil than with treatment with CBD isolate.

So, before choosing a CBD product, consumers should assess how they are planning to use it, and whether the small amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD oils is acceptable. For most people looking to add the wellness benefits of CBD into their daily routine or to treat a specific condition, the full-spectrum oil is likely to be more effective and could be the better choice.

But if you’re planning to create delicately-flavored recipes infused with cannabidiol, or might have to take a drug screening for cannabis, CBD isolate might be a better option for you. Whichever you choose, be sure to read package labels carefully to determine the amount and type of CBD the product contains. And, it should be noted, purchase your CBD from a reputable retailer.

Original Post: Merry Jane: WTF Is CBD Isolate?

Cheech and Chong to Help Tribal Cannabis Shop Celebrate Grand Opening

Cheech and Chong to Help Tribal Cannabis Shop Celebrate Grand Opening

Original Post: High Times: Cheech and Chong to Help Tribal Cannabis Shop Celebrate Grand Opening

[Canniseur: While I love Cheech and Chong, the real story here is the grand opening of a tribal cannabis store…on the reservation! This is important as the industry needs to have all kinds of people as part of the industry infrastructure.]

Pot icons Cheech and Chong will be on hand to celebrate the grand opening of the Puyallup Native American tribe’s new retail cannabis shop this weekend, according to media reports. The Commencement Bay Cannabis store in the Tacoma, Washington area made its debut on April 10 and will celebrate the grand opening this Saturday for the 420 high holiday.

Cheech and Chong to Help Tribal Cannabis Shop Celebrate Grand Opening was posted on High Times.

New Study Suggests Cannabis May Be Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

New Study Suggests Cannabis May Be Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Original Post: High Times: New Study Suggests Cannabis May Be Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

[Canniseur: This is a real, albeit small, study of a disease state where cannabis might be effective in the alleviation of symptoms. The study doesn’t claim cannabis is a cure, but helps manage RA. We love that we’re beginning to see lots of small and preliminary studies of cannabis and how cannabis can help manage symptoms. We need lots more. Lots.]

Cannabis may be an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study published in the journal Current Opinion in Rheumatology. Researchers, who noted that “an increasing number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are using cannabis to treat their symptoms,” wrote that “cannabinoids could be a suitable treatment for RA” and called for further study into the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.

Dr. Benjamin Caplan, a family physician and cannabis specialist, told Forbes that he has helped thousands of seniors use cannabinoid therapies to treat arthritis.

“I have patients with mild joint pain that can be satisfactorily addressed with a topical cannabis treatment,” Caplan said. “Others are nearly incapacitated, taking multiple medications for incomplete relief, and welcome any additional option that will help them cope with the pain and anxiety associated with their condition, and improve their quality of life.”

Caplan said that researchers were only beginning to learn how cannabis is able to relieve pain safely and effectively.

“We don’t quite understand the all the details of how it works, but we do know that cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, and that it operates in a different way than other anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, steroids, or even the biological options available for treating RA and other autoimmune diseases,” he said. “These traditional drug treatments can cause severe side-effects, many of which we do not see with cannabis.”

Cannabis Presents New Options in Health Care

Caplan said that the variety of cannabis products, dosages, and methods of ingestion available make cannabis an attractive option for some patients, noting that “one of the nice things about cannabis is that the wide range of choices at reputable dispensaries creates a lot of opportunity for flexibility and success for many different types of people with a wide range of ailments.”

“Fortunately, all of these options and opportunities for flexibility rest on cannabis’ high safety profile,” he added. “From this foundation of safety, armed with education, the potential benefits to patients often outweigh the risks.”

The doctor said that he believes that many patients are longing for new alternatives to effectively treat their health care challenges naturally.

“We are stuck in a paternalistic medical system that is dehumanizing people,” said Caplan. “We have a broken medical system that strips patients of autonomy and power over their own illness, and that in and of itself is unhealthy. We all know it, but it has been a very difficult thing to fix. Healing with cannabis does not follow a traditional model, where a physician authority decides what the right choice is for a patient. Instead it’s a process undertaken by the patient with the physician’s guidance.”

New Study Suggests Cannabis May Be Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis was posted on High Times.

Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive

Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive

Original Post: High Times: Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive

[Canniseur: It’s great driving while stoned is getting researched. My best guess is they find no issues for frequent cannabis users.]

Drunk driving has been the subject of a lot of research. Stoned driving has not.

Researchers in Colorado are investigating the effects of cannabis on driving and are seeking volunteers to get high and drive for the study. Participants in the research will be paid for their time, but they’ll have to bring their own weed to smoke, according to a report in local media. Ashley Brooks-Russell, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is the co-director of the research into how daily or less frequent cannabis use affects drivers’ performance behind the wheel.

“The goal is to better understand impaired driving so that we can prevent impaired driving,” said Brooks-Russell.

Micahel Kosnett, an associate clinical professor and medical toxicologist who is also co-directing the study, said that while drunk driving has been the subject of extensive research, the same is not true for marijuana.

“We know that certain drugs really deteriorate people’s performance behind the wheel. Alcohol is the classic example for that,” said Kosnett. “Our understanding of how cannabis affects driving is less well developed.”

To conduct the study, participants will have their driving skills tested before and after cannabis use. They will also be evaluated through other tests including one that tracks eye movements in virtual reality goggles and another which measures hand-eye coordination and decision making with an iPad. Researchers want to learn if such devices could be used to determine impairment by law enforcement officers in roadside sobriety tests.

“This is one more tool they could bring to the roadside to understand impairment,” said Brooks-Russell.

Are THC Limits Fair?

Unlike alcohol, levels of THC in the blood may not be an accurate indicator of driving impairment. Despite this, Colorado currently has a limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in effect for drivers. Medical marijuana patient Tyler Prock believes that such arbitrary restrictions are unjust.

“It’s not fair for the medicinal patients. Because cannabis stays in your system for about 30 days and if you use marijuana every day, the amount in your body is going to compound,” Prock said. “You might not have used cannabis that day, but there is still cannabis in your system, so that could cause you to be positive on a test where you weren’t inebriated at all.”

Prock said that while he regularly drives after using cannabis, he would never do so while impaired.

“Well, I’ve used it almost every day for the past seven years,” he said. “I feel like I’m a safe driver. I had one ticket in the past ten years ago and I’ve never had an accident.”

He even believes that he is safer behind the while after using cannabis “because back pain is tough, and it can be as distracting as anything else,” Prock said.

Participants in the cannabis driving study will be required to make two visits in a period of one week to the research lab in Aurora and will be paid $140 upon completing both sessions. For more information and to complete an eligibility survey, visit the Colorado School of Public Health website.

Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive was posted on High Times.

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