Zelira Therapeutics Completes World’s First Clinical Trials for  Treatment of Insomnia with Medical Cannabis

Zelira Therapeutics Completes World’s First Clinical Trials for Treatment of Insomnia with Medical Cannabis

Original Article: Green Market Report: Zelira Therapeutics Completes World’s First Clinical Trials for Treatment of Insomnia with Medical Cannabis

[Canniseur: This is a VERY interesting clinical trial about insomnia and a cannabis product. This was a clinical trial for a new cannabis product and was very successful. Its efficacity has been validated by this trial. On a larger scale, we know that couch-lock cannabis can get us to sleep and sleep well. Having an insomnia product come out of the cannabis industry is critically important.]

Industry’s first clinically validated cannabinoid-based insomnia medication will launch globally

PHILADELPHIA, April 7, 2020 /AxisWire/ Zelira Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD,OTCQB: ZLDAF), a global leader in the development of clinically validated cannabis medicines based in both Perth, Australia and Philadelphia, is pleased to announce it has received the final report for its ZTL-101 medicinal cannabis trial for insomnia. Its findings represent a world-first clinical validation demonstrating that ZTL-101 cannabis treatment is safe and effective for chronic insomnia. These results open prospects to launch and distribute this product in global markets including the USA in the second half of 2020.

The trial was undertaken at the world-class University of Western Australia (UWA) Centre for Sleep Science and was led by principal investigator Professor Peter Eastwood, and used a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design to evaluate the efficacy of Zelira’s proprietary cannabis formulation (ZTL-101) to treat patients diagnosed with chronic insomnia. Twenty three patients were treated for 14 nights with ZTL-101 and 14 nights with placebo, separated by a one-week washout period. After dosing commenced, each participant was able to take a single (0.5ml of 11.5mg total cannabinoids) or double (1 ml of 23mg total cannabinoids) their dose of the medication, delivered sublingually, according to their symptoms.

Dr. Oludare Odumosu, Managing Director Zelira USA said, “We are pleased with the results of the study. This trial has yielded a comprehensive data-pack that supports our plans to launch the world’s first clinically validated cannabinoid-based insomnia medicine into global markets this year.”

Odumosu continues, “We acknowledge the dedicated team at the UWA Centre for Sleep Science and we thank the patients and supporting investigators who participated in the study.”

An estimated 70 million Americans have insomnia where the market for prescription and over the-counter medications is forecast to be worth over US$4 billion in annual revenue by 2022. Zelira is leading the development of clinically validated full spectrum cannabis medicines to access global markets for insomnia medications. 

Professor Peter Eastwood, Principal Investigator for the study, and Director at the Centre for Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia said, “This study represents the most rigorous clinical trial ever undertaken to assess the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis to treat the symptoms of chronic insomnia. The fact that ZLT-101 treatment achieved statistically significant, dose responsive improvements across a broad range of key insomnia indices is impressive, particularly given the relatively short two-week dosing window.” 

Analysis showed treated patients slept significantly longer, went to sleep faster and went back to sleep sooner after waking. Patients also reported significant improvement in quality of life measures including feeling rested after sleep, feeling less stressed, less fatigued and improved overall functioning.

Insomnia is a large unmet medical need. It affects -30% of the US population and is a major risk factor for patients suffering chronic pain, neurological disorders (Parkinson’s, dementia), mental disorders (anxiety, depression, anorexia) and cardiovascular disease. 

The market for prescription and over-the-counter medications to treat the condition in the US generates more than US$2 billion (A$3.3 billion) in annual revenue. As well as the US, Zelira will also aim to supply its insomnia formula in other markets where medicinal cannabis has been legalized including the US, Australia, Germany and the UK.

These positive results add ZLT-101 to the portfolio of Zelira products being commercialized including the recently launched HOPET range, in global markets including the US, Australia, Germany and the UK. The company is also undertaking further human clinical trials for autism and opioid reduction and is on-track to bring additional products for aged care and oral healthcare to market later in 2020. 

Osagie Imasogie, Chairman of Zelira, commented, “The positive outcome to this trial represents an important milestone for Zelira and its commitment to address the unmet need for clinically validated cannabis medicines and offer more treatment options to physicians and patients. Zelira’s clinically validated products, such as ZLT-101, continue to play a disruptive role in the traditional pharmaceutical industry.”

Full AXA version: https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200407/pdf/44gs3s7427zrmt.pdf 

About Zelira Therapeutics (www.zeliratx.com). Zelira Therapeutics Ltd is a leading global therapeutic medicinal cannabis company with access to the world’s largest and fastest growing cannabis markets. Zelira owns a portfolio of proprietary revenue generating products and a pipeline of candidates undergoing clinical development that are positioned to enter global markets from 2020. The company is focused on developing branded cannabis products for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

The Company is undertaking product development programs targeting specific conditions (e.g. HOPETM) and human clinical trial programs focused on insomnia, autism and opioid reduction with activities in Australia and the USA.

The Company conducts this work in partnership with world-leading researchers and organizations including Complutense University in Madrid, Spain; Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia; the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth; the University of Western Australia, in

Perth; St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia; and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in the United States. 

The Company has developed two proprietary formulations (HOPET) already launched and generating revenues in Pennsylvania, has laboratory capabilities to develop formulations in Pennsylvania and Louisiana with ability to conduct clinical trials and is establishing a national footprint across the US for the licensing of its products. 

 

 

The post Zelira Therapeutics Completes World’s First Clinical Trials for Treatment of Insomnia with Medical Cannabis appeared first on Green Market Report.

Original Article: Green Market Report: Zelira Therapeutics Completes World’s First Clinical Trials for Treatment of Insomnia with Medical Cannabis

Cannabis on the Brain: Does it Inspire Creativity?

Cannabis on the Brain: Does it Inspire Creativity?

[Canniseur: The several studies cited here are older, but demonstrate the dangers of attempting to determine how something affects someone. In this case, the something is cannabis, but none of the studies used control groups to help analyze their data. These studies are not true indicators of whether cannabis does enhance or inspire creativity, but they’re important to know how ‘behavioral scientists’ try to determine creativity.]

Ed. Note: There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in this article as well. Can you spot the smoke? Or the mirrors? Was this written for someone who has an open mind? You need to decide for yourself. We’ve made up our minds. But this is worth a read even if it’s not objective. 

Is the claim all just smoke and mirrors? | University Observer

Canada has become the second country in the world to formally legalise cannabis for recreational use, following in the footsteps of Uruguay, and analysts suggest the Canadian cannabis market will be worth more than $4.2bn annually. This legal change, alongside its decriminalized status in Portugal and the Netherlands, reflects the change in public perception of the drug. Recent reports show the number of adolescents who believe that regular cannabis use is harmful is declining, but cannabis has become the dominant reason for young people to seek addiction treatment across Ireland. Recent research has aimed to measure the impact of cannabis on brain function, but the extent of its effects remains poorly understood.

There are a variety of active substances in cannabis, but the two most prominent are D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the “high”, and it effects memory, motor functions, pain response, and sleep. THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells. When activated by THC, nerve cells are less likely to fire messages to their neighbouring cells, and this triggers the brain’s reward system to produce pleasure chemicals such as dopamine. The way in which CBD interacts with the body is not fully known due to its complexity, but CBD is not psychoactive, and it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some research indicates it counteracts the disordered thinking and anxiety caused by THC.

The effect of cannabis on creativity has been the subject of several studies recently, to bring some clarity to the situation: On one hand, some cannabis users claim, based on experience, that the drug leads to more unusual and original thoughts, with more than 50% of users reporting heightened creativity while high in a 2003 study. “[Marijuana] would make me relaxed and creative,” Steve Jobs once said, and there is no shortage of great musicians who wrote music while high. However, the results from experiments have not backed this up, but the way in which researchers define and measure creativity has made it difficult to take into the laboratory.

A recent study aimed to settle the debate by studying how cannabis affects creativity in regular users. To quantify creativity, the researchers divided the problem into divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking refers to brainstorming, where one is seeking many solutions to a problem. (e.g. “How many words can you list that rhyme with ‘boat’?”). In contrast, convergent thinking involves trying to find one specific solution to a problem (e.g. “Which of the following words rhymes with ‘boat’: observer, goat, university”).

These two types of creative thinking relate differently to the levels of dopamine in the brain, where divergent thinking is expected to peak with medium dopamine levels. THC has been shown to indirectly induce dopamine release in the brain so, coupled with the fact that THC is known to reduce one’s inhibitions, it was theorized that THC would have a beneficial effect on creativity stemming from divergent thinking.

The results were clear-cut: The researchers found that high doses of cannabis for regular users was detrimental to their divergent thinking, and less potent cannabis had no effect, positive or negative, on this aspect of creativity. The researchers note that the feeling of heightened creativity from the user’s point of view may be illusory, concluding that “a joint may not be the best choice when in need of breaking the writer’s block, and smoking several of them might actually be counterproductive.” However, one drawback of the study is that they looked at the effects on heavy users, not non-users or even casual users.

Not only has cannabis not been shown to lend a creative hand, several large studies go further and highlight the detrimental effects of long-term use on the brain. Professor Zalesky from the University of Melbourne examined MRI scans of marijuana users and found that the neural connections between the two hemispheres were impaired, relative to the non-users. As well as this, the earlier someone started smoking, the more pronounced the impairments were. A New Zealand study followed over a thousand people from birth until the age of 38 and found that those who started smoking cannabis during their teenage years had a lower IQ in their thirties than they did in their childhood. As in the study by Zalesky, those who were youngest when they started smoking and those who smoked most heavily showed the greatest decline in cognitive performance.

It is unclear the extent to which abstinence can alleviate the negative long-term effects, but we know that the neuroplasticity of the brain makes it remarkably good at compensating for damage. While a 2014 study found that cognitive impairments associated with cannabis use can persist even after abstinence, a different experiment found no cognitive defects in former users after only three months of going cold-turkey.

Perhaps the most serious side-effect is the evidence linking cannabis use to an increased risk of developing psychosis. A Swedish study of 45,000 individuals found that those who used high amounts of cannabis were six times more likely to develop schizophrenia. The higher the THC content, the greater the risk, and Dr Johnny Connolly, University of Limerick, claims that this can be seen in Ireland, where the THC of cannabis and the rate of drug induced psychosis are both rising.

Cannabis use may provide short-term relief from anxiety because THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala, reducing the brain’s threat response. However, while some suggest it as a treatment for mental disorders like anxiety, the consensus of medical professionals is that using cannabis will ultimately exacerbate any underlying conditions. The plant is not without any medicinal value though, and some benefits for treating specific conditions have already been identified. For example, there is evidence that THC and CBD medications can help people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and CBD can reduce seizures in children with Dravet syndrome.

While the question of prevention and prohibition versus education and decriminalization is not straightforward, it is clear that legislation is currently outpacing our scientific understanding of the drug. Establishing the positive and negative effects of cannabis should be a research priority as the information is needed to shape the public debate. In many respects, the Canadian situation should provide a novel research opportunity for this.

 

Cannabis Start-Up Develops COVID-19 Test That Can Detect Virus Within Minutes

Cannabis Start-Up Develops COVID-19 Test That Can Detect Virus Within Minutes

Original Post: Merry Jane: Cannabis Start-Up Develops COVID-19 Test That Can Detect Virus Within Minutes

[Canniseur: Now this this is what cannabis legalization should be all about. Innovation, not just in growing, but in meeting needs. These new cannabis companies are full of the creative spirit of cannabis…and some capitalism as well…and that is what used to make America great: Creativity and Chutzpah! The author never mentioned the name of the company responsible for this; It’s name is Facible.]

In the continued fight against COVID-19, testing for the virus has become one of many pitfalls in the country’s delayed crisis response. Without enough test kits to check everyone who seeks one, and long wait times for results, asymptomatic carriers have been freely spreading the virus in their communities.

Now, in an effort to help solve the US COVID-19 testing crisis, one Idaho cannabis start-up is converting devices built for roadside THC tests into coronavirus screening tech that works in five minutes. By checking for viral proteins instead of antibodies, Facible CEO Steven Burden is confident that the cannabis tech company can use its machines to help with the public health crisis.

“It’s not the traditional test which is what most — 90 percent of the market right now — [is using], and it’s not a stereological test, meaning you don’t need blood for it, so we’re not testing for antibodies. We’re actually testing for the presence of viral proteins, and it’s actually different from anything else on the market right now, in terms of how fast it is and how accurate it is,” Burden told news station KTVB.

The machines still need to pass clinical trials before they can be used to test the American public. But due to the dire crisis that COVID-19 presents, FDA approval timelines have been shortened for test kits, giving Facible a potential fast-track to production.

“We’re launching with COVID-19 because the regulations have dropped; they don’t have that year-long FDA approval process,” Burden said.

Across America’s northern border in Canada, health officials have already reached out to cannabis testing labs to see if cannabinoid testing equipment can be used to run COVID-19 screenings. Meanwhile, cannabis businesses across the globe are donating personal protective equipment to healthcare workers in need, and are looking into whether THC or CBD’s anti inflammatory properties could help reduce COVID-19 symptoms in patients.

For Facible, the next step in turning their THC and CBD testing machines into COVID-19 screeners will be securing FDA approval and then funding to produce more of this potentially game-changing technology.

Follow Zach Harris on Twitter

Original Post: Merry Jane: Cannabis Start-Up Develops COVID-19 Test That Can Detect Virus Within Minutes

Study Suggests Even One Joint May Result In Temporary Psychiatric Symptoms

Study Suggests Even One Joint May Result In Temporary Psychiatric Symptoms

Original Post: High Times: Study Suggests Even One Joint May Result In Temporary Psychiatric Symptoms

[Canniseur: I can wish the story below was complete, but I can keep wishing. It’s not. This peer-reviewed study is just incomplete as presented here…not that High Times is a peer-reviewed publication…but more information is needed about this research to give the story validity. In this coronavirus age of information and misinformation, we need to have complete information. Are you or anyone you know at risk? Can’t tell from the story.]

A new study published this week helps illuminate the psychiatric effects of cannabis.

The research, which was published by The Lancet Psychiatry, found that “the acute administration of THC induces positive, negative, and other symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other mental disorders in healthy adults with large effect sizes.” As reported by CNN, the researchers concluded that “a single dose of the main psychoactive ingredient (THC) in cannabis — equal to one joint — in otherwise healthy people, can temporarily induce psychiatric symptoms, including those associated with schizophrenia.”

“The first takeaway is that for people in general there is a risk, even if you are healthy and taking a single dose, a one-off, you could have these symptoms,” said Oliver Howes, one of the study’s authors, as quoted by CNN.

“They are distressing and could affect your thinking. You might not behave in a safe or rational way. It’s not just something that’s going to affect people with a history of mental health problems,” added Howes, who is a molecular psychiatry professor at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

Howe and his colleagues researched 15 studies involving 331 “healthy” people who received both THC and placebo. He told CNN that they wanted to examine the effects of THC on otherwise healthy individuals who were not at risk of psychiatric problems. “This allows us to really test whether these cannabis components themselves lead to psychiatric symptoms,” Howe said.

More Cannabis Research Being Done

The study is part of what has become a flowering of academic research on marijuana in recent years that has dovetailed with governments and companies reconsidering longstanding prohibitions on pot. In October, researchers at the University of Georgia announced that they will study the effects of legalized medical cannabis on those suffering from chronic pain thanks to a multi-million dollar grant. Last April, the cannabis investor Charles R. Broderick made a $9 million donation that was split between Harvard and MIT to support research into how marijuana affects the brain and behavior. Broderick said the gift was driven by a desire “to fill the research void that currently exists in the science of cannabis.”

Study Suggests Even One Joint May Result In Temporary Psychiatric Symptoms was posted on High Times.

This New Device Can Tell If You’re Stoned by Reading Your Mind

This New Device Can Tell If You’re Stoned by Reading Your Mind

Original Post: Merry Jane: This New Device Can Tell If You're Stoned by Reading Your Mind

Image via

[Canniseur: OMG! This is too funny. And too scary. And just crazy. There have been too many claims of testing devices that will tell if you’re stoned. None of them have worked. Not. One. I’m just amazed that all this snake-oil (even if it’s electro-mechanical, it’s snake-oil) gets any traction in the marketplace. It more than cracks me up. Next, law enforcement will be arresting us because we were thinking of smoking a joint! Kudos to Minority Report. Even though this is in our Science & Medicine category, it’s really Pseudoscience.]

Detecting if people are stoned is now starting to look a lot less like 1984 and a lot more like Minority Report.

Zentrela, an Ontario-based company, announced that its “The Cognalyzer” device can tell if someone is high on marijuana with a quick EEG scan. The portable device sits on a person’s head like a crown of circuits, then runs the individual’s brain waves through a computer for analysis.

“Within five minutes employers and law enforcement will have a result of the mental state of their subjects,” the company’s founder and CEO, Israel Gasperin, told CBC News.

And, since The Cognalyzer isn’t looking for THC, the company claims it won’t produce false positives for intoxication like saliva, urine, blood, and sweat tests can.

“Employers are having the same issue [as police] in administering random drug tests,” Gasperin told CBC News. “It’s limited evidence, and their employees know it’s limited evidence, and they are legally challenging any decision taken, and it’s costing thousands of dollars to employers.”

“Now they will have that confirmatory evidence to eliminate false accusations and strengthen their safety practices to mitigate the risk of impairment,” he continued.

THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana, is fat-soluble, meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water, but it does dissolve in fats and oils. When someone consumes cannabis, THC and its metabolites get stuck in the person’s fat cells for days, weeks, or months at a time. That means when someone is tested for weed impairment through chemical tests, they can test positive for THC long after they were actually stoned. In other words, chemical tests can’t tell if someone’s currently high; they can only tell if someone got high sometime in the past few days, weeks, or months.

Right now, The Cognalyzer is being tested in the UK as British police and employers also wrestle with legal complications caused by pot prohibition’s conflicts with the nation’s new medical marijuana program. Additionally, Ontario’s government gave Zentrela a $1 million grant to further develop the technology.

Lately, scientists are busy with finding new, non-invasive ways to determine drug impairment since some people can easily beat roadside sobriety tests. You know, the tests where the cops have you look up, touch your nose, recite the alphabet backwards, then perform a handstand — on one hand.

In February, AI specialists at IBM announced they could detect if someone was rolling on MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy or molly, by analyzing speech patterns alone. Other scientists are trying to find ways to apply this same speech analyzing technology to detecting weed intoxication, as well, so The Cognalyzer may have some competition soon.

Follow Randy Robinson on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Original Post: Merry Jane: This New Device Can Tell If You're Stoned by Reading Your Mind

Here’s How Scientists Think Cannabis Can Repair Brain Cells and Improve Memory

Here’s How Scientists Think Cannabis Can Repair Brain Cells and Improve Memory

Original Post: Merry Jane: Here’s How Scientists Think Cannabis Can Repair Brain Cells and Improve Memory

[Canniseur: Holy Smoke! This is wonderfully surprising. I was always told that cannabis was hurting my brain. Obviously didn’t listen, so here I am; An addled editor who consumes cannabis thinking my brain cells were all dead or dying. I’m not going to complain. The old dogma of “cannabis is bad” is slowly dying and here’s more proof of that. Cannabis helps the brain!]

For decades, governments and academics told us that smoking weed would lower our IQs, slow our reflexes, and even destroy our brain cells. These Reefer Madness-like claims were based on faulty studies, and they ignore new research that not only suggests cannabis doesn’t harm the brain, but that the plant could potentially regenerate brain cells, too.

The process where cannabis could repair our brains is called neurogenesis. That means cannabis may regrow brain and nerve cells contained in the spinal cord and found throughout the rest of the body. The science remains contentious, but practically every month a new study comes out supporting the weed-enhances-neurogenesis side of the debate.

Clearing the Air: Debunking the Myths Surrounding Weed and Brain Damage

First off, let’s get rid of any misconceptions you may hold regarding marijuana and brain damage.

Science has long debunked the myth that cannabis causes us to lose brain cells. This myth started in Egypt when the North African nation was under British imperial rule. Back then, a single British doctor concluded that hash smoking made Cairo’s residents go crazy. The myth later spread through the United Nations and ended up catching Harry Anslinger’s ear in the US, the architect of Reefer Madness in the 1930s, as well as the catalyst for cannabis prohibition. Anslinger used the Egyptian marijuana madness claims to spread lies that weed made black and brown men turn into axe-wielding rapists — supposedly due to brain damage caused by blazing joints.

In the late ‘60s, shortly after Anslinger’s Marihuana Tax Act was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, President Nixon rigged a scientific study using rhesus monkeys to falsely show that pot killed brain cells. Years later, neuroscientists commissioned by Playboy magazine found that the experiment suffocated the monkeys with ungodly amounts of smoke, which likely caused their brain damage. Regardless, the US government continued funding research that linked lower IQs to pot smoking, which have never, ever demonstrated causation, only correlation.

Recently, twins studies — a gold standard for scientific research in humans — have found that cannabis does not lower IQ nor does it harm the brain. Furthermore, brain scans of cannabis users also fail to show any significant differences between tokers’ brains and those of non-tokers.

The evidence remains inconclusive for marijuana’s neurogenerative properties, but keep in mind this field is still new. Prohibition stifled opportunities for research into cannabis’s positive health effects, though that’s rapidly changing as legalization sweeps the planet.

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Weed Improves Memory

Read the rest of the story:

Original Post: Merry Jane: Here’s How Scientists Think Cannabis Can Repair Brain Cells and Improve Memory

Safe Vaping in 2020: Key Questions and Answers After the Health Crisis

Safe Vaping in 2020: Key Questions and Answers After the Health Crisis

Original Post: Merry Jane: Safe Vaping in 2020: Key Questions and Answers After the Health Crisis

[Canniseur: This is a fabulous wrap up of what we’ve learned, and we should all know, about the recent vape crisis. It’s apparent cartridges using vitamin E acetate are the culprit. It’s great news there have not been any new cases yet in 2020. Let’s make sure everyone knows how to vape safely.]

There’s a lot we still don’t know about vaping. But in this piece, we dive into the facts and how you can stay safe in a world chock-full of misinformation and fake news.

Welcome to 2020, a time when marijuana prohibition is crumbling and tons of adults are enjoying the ease, convenience, and options of consuming THC. We’ve really got it all — you can eat THC edibles, drink it in your tea, smoke sweet flowers, or vape. All of which should be safe. 

Before getting high, let’s be honest about something: Last year’s vaping crisis was no joke. A lot of people died from vaping products — a method of consumption that was heretofore marketed as safer than smoking flower. The scare remains a real-world issue, one that’s awaken us to the fact we need a lot more education, research, and vigilance around safe vaping — and what we inhale into our lungs in general. 

But in the age of fake news, we’re all constantly bombarded with false claims, inaccurate information, and unbridled hype blended with legitimate sources and reliable facts. What can you believe? Who can you trust? And how can you know your next vape won’t hurt you — or worse?

Thankfully, MERRY JANE has the facts to set the record straight. So, chill, read on, and get ready to vape smarter.

What was the 2019 Vaping Crisis All About?

On April 28, 2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded its first incident of THC vape-related illness. Since then, the CDC has reportedly tracked 2,290 severe lung-related illnesses as result of vaping (called EVALI), along with 47 deaths. That’s nothing to take lightly. Fortunately, a number of vape companies are responding and taking action. As consumers, we need to do that, too. 

Is There a 2020 Vaping Crisis?

So far into 2020, the CDC has reported no new incidents of illness or death caused by vaping THC. Let’s keep it that way by exercising due diligence and patronizing only legitimate companies that are fully committed to safety. 

How to choose a safe THC Vape? 

One vape company we recently checked out is iKON. The brand just launched a new proprietary vape pen and cartridges in four flavors in LA via a limited release in Connected Dispensaries.

With a deep understanding of the vape crisis, iKON built their hardware and company around consumer safety by using the best manufacturing and thoroughly testing their product. iKON also launched an informational website called Facts About Vapes to help teach consumers how to vape safely and spot a bad vape. 

What Caused the Crisis?
Almost all cases of vape related illness were traced back to black market products.

The CDC tested 29 lung samples from EVALI patients and determined Vitamin E Acetate was the leading cause of the vaping injuries and deaths. Vitamin E was found in every sample tested.

CDC tests on black market vapes revealed toxic materials like heavy metals, pesticides, and residual solvents such as Vitamin E Acetate. The brands determined to be most responsible for the harm were Dank Vapes, TKO, Smart Carts, and Rove (a knock off of the real Rove brand).

What’s Dangerous About Vaping Vitamin E?

Bogus vape manufacturers can easily obtain empty vape cartridges and use Vitamin E Acetate to make the oil in them appear thicker. As a result, their counterfeit products look legit. 

However, when heated to a high temperature, Vitamin E Acetate vapors are inhaled into the lungs, where they eventually cool into a sticky, honey-like solid that coats and clogs the inner lining of users’ lungs. The result is serious — and for some fatal — respiratory issues. 

How Have Vape Companies Stepped Up to Ensure Safety?

Transparent third-party testing is the most effective way to ensure safe products are hitting the shelves. Testing labs are now incorporating stringent searches for Vitamin E and other residual solvents in their processes. On that note: The CDC found no heavy metals, pesticides, or Vitamin E in the three tested products that came from legal dispensaries in California. 

What’s the Best Way to Find a Safe Vape Pen?

Only purchase vape products from a legally vetted and licensed retailer, dispensary, or delivery service. In California, legitimate products display an official government symbol. Check every brand by name and verify every credential! 

Even after making a purchase, go to the manufacturer’s website and compare your product with what they display online. Use QR codes, serial numbers, and lab test results on the packaging to make sure you’ve got the real deal. 

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What draws us to iKON is the innovative hardware used along with their brand transparency around the recent health scare.

  • iKON THC oil cartridges are proprietary mich makes them hard to tamper with or alter
  • The unit has a nice Integrated battery contact for safe & reliable use
  • Extra large coil with 4 air holes in-take makes it more efficient use and gives it much longer battery life than other vape pens 
  • Patented engineering design to prevent back-flow and oil leakage
  • It’s made in an ISO 9001 certified factory to ensure strict quality control 

Learn more about iKON’s industry leading vape design.

What Are Some Red Flags That Might Indicate Black Market Products?

Unreasonably low prices are an instant indicator of stuff to avoid. Any price point that seems too good to be true is exactly that. Also, never buy a cartridge (or anything) that comes without proper packaging. 

An instant red flag is if the brand packaging contains your favorite TV or Video Game characters. This includes Mario, Bart Simpson, The Monopoly Man, and Luke Skywalker. Underground vape dealers use unlicensed branding on products to win over aloof users. 

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And, like we stated previously, if a brand doesn’t have all their lab results posted on their website — or doesn’t have a website at all — they’re probably not legit. 

What Are Some Fake Brands to Avoid?

Doing your own research is critical to the education process, and we can’t emphasize it enough. But based on our intensive research, we can also say that our findings on the following brands are entirely reliable. 

These brands are 100 percent illegal and can potentially hurt or kill you: Dank Vapes, TKO Extracts, Rove Vape Cart (the knock offs!), Exotic Vape Cart, West Coast Cure Vapes, Dabwoods Vape Carts, VSOP Space Vapes, Heavy Hitters (the knock offs), King Pen (the knock offs!), Stiiizy (again, the knock offs), and Cartnite Vape

If you see them — ask questions, and whatever you do, don’t consume the vape oil. Getting high isn’t worth risking your life.

Disposable Vape Pens vs. Rechargeables: Is There a Safety Factor?

The short answer is no — as long as you have researched the manufacturer to determine if they make safe and reliable products — but each has its pros and cons. 

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Disposable vape pens cost less, don’t require upkeep, and are great on the go. However, disposables suffer from relatively short battery life and typically contain smaller amounts of vape liquid. Also, with disposables, we must consider our endangered environment

Continuing to lead by example, IKON has initiated a recycling program to repurpose their disposable vapes. Vapes are collected from participating dispensaries, helping drive greener initiatives in the cannabis industry. 

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Rechargeable vape pens cost more up front and provide deeper, stronger draws. Still, you have to be wary of maintenance and recharging. But, rechargeable is sustainable and better for our precious planet

Smoking Vs. Vaping

Generally speaking, inhaling burnt plant matter isn’t the best way to treat your lungs. Smoking tobacco cigarettes has long been the leading cause of preventable death in the United States — a fact that the Big Four Tobacco Companies attempted to distract the public from in 2019 by exploiting a relatively miniscule number of injuries attached to vaping THC.   

According to a Time magazine article published during the peak of the 2019 vape crisis, vaping THC “is thought to be healthier than traditional smoking, since burning substances such as tobacco or marijuana creates byproducts that can harm the lungs and overall health.”

The same article also cites Ziva Cooper, research director of the University of California Los Angeles Cannabis Research Initiative, as indicating “a handful of studies on vaping cannabis have suggested that using e-cigarettes is less harmful to the lungs than smoking marijuana.”

Vaporizers don’t burn cannabis, they heat it up so that it becomes an aerosol, thereby avoiding the harsh effects of carcinogens being inhaled into the lungs. smoking on the lungs. A 2010 study from the International Journal of Drug Policy reported that cannabis users who suffered breathing issues were able to recover some lung functions after switching from smoking to vaping. 

In terms of getting high, 2018 research from Johns Hopkins University indicated that vaping THC packs a more powerful punch than smoking it. So, in terms of health and enjoyment, many would consider vaping over smoking a win-win. 

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Want to Learn More Vape Facts?

Once again, iKON has an informational site called Facts About Vapes. This is where consumers can stay updated on the latest information from regarding vaping and user safety. 

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Original Post: Merry Jane: Safe Vaping in 2020: Key Questions and Answers After the Health Crisis

What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Cannabis?

What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Cannabis?

Original Article: Marijuana Times: What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Cannabis?

[Canniseur: Eating raw cannabis won’t make you high, but it might relieve some of your aches and pains. This is anecdotal evidence. And to repeat my mantra for the 2000th time…We need more research. Lots more. It’s an old saw, and one politicians hide behind for voting “No” on cannabis legalization. Enough is enough and there is enough research to show that cannabis isn’t harmful. Eating it in your salad though? Never thought about it and now I have cartoon-brain visions of cannabis being in the little boxes at the grocery with a title on the box of “Baby Cannabis” leaves. I wonder what dressing it goes best with?]

By now, we are all aware of the myriad of ingestion methods for cannabis – smoking, vaping, consuming edibles, etc. But there are some cannabis enthusiasts that are raving about the benefits of eating raw cannabis, or even making smoothies with it. Raw cannabis is not psychoactive and is rich in nutrients, including amino acids. Why might raw cannabis be a good addition to any healthy diet?

The cannabis plant contains 421 distinct known chemical compounds. Over 100 of those are molecules called cannabinoids. There also may be some benefit in saving cannabis leaves and throwing them in a smoothie or on a salad. Leafy greens, like the leaves of the cannabis plant, tend to be high in fiber. Consuming the right amount of fiber is essential for immune function and some even believe it can help your mental health.

Raw cannabis leaves and stems also tend to be high in nutrients like folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and K. Introducing cannabis leaves into your diet may also help protect against various cancers. Perhaps even more nutrient dense than raw cannabis leaves and buds, raw hemp seeds and hemp oil are high in omega-3 and other essential fatty acids.

Many patients have anecdotally reported positive pain-relieving results when consuming raw cannabis, which is likely due to cannabinoid acids in the plant. The lack of psychoactive properties found in raw cannabis is also attractive to older patients who are seeking pain relief without the high.

If you’re looking to add hemp seeds to your diet, you can find them at health food stores and online. There has been some speculation that hemp oil could be beneficial for patients who are suffering from arthritis. This research has also shown that consuming hemp oil could treat symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Like so many other things regarding medical marijuana, the truth of this is still unclear, as there have been little to no studies, trials or conclusive research conducted on raw cannabis consumption due to the plant’s federal illegality. As we continue to peel back the layers of prohibition, we could see more and more people adding leafy cannabis greens and hemp seeds and oils to their daily diets.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Cannabis?

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