The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued an advisory to clarify the agency’s cannabis policy for pilots. In a medical advisory published in the current issue of FAA Safety Briefing, FAA Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Michael Berry noted (in dated language) that as cannabis legalization in its various forms continues to spread across the country, the flying community has repeatedly shown interest in marijuana and CBD.
“The Federal Air Surgeon’s office has received a number of inquiries about marijuana, due to the recent increase in the number of states around the country that have approved its use for medical and recreational purposes,” Berry wrote. “Specifically, airmen are concerned about the safety of cannabidiol (CBD) oil use and how such use impacts an airman’s medical certificate. Be aware that federal law — not state law — governs FAA medical and pilot certification.“
Berry reminded pilots that they could be subject to drug screenings that detect the use of marijuana and could affect their certification to fly.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test includes THC, and its presence at defined levels constitutes a positive drug test,” he wrote in the advisory.
Pilots Warned Against CBD Use
Berry also acknowledged the growing popularity of CBD and noted that the FDA has approved Epidiolex, a cannabidiol-based medication, for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. But he warned that other CBD formulations are unregulated products that may be contaminated with other substances including THC, which is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Berry also noted that using CBD products would not be an acceptable excuse for a pilot who fails a drug screening for THC.
“Although most CBD products claim to have under 0.3-percent THC, they could contain high enough levels of THC to make a drug test positive,” said Berry. “Use of CBD oil is not accepted as an affirmative defense against a positive drug test.”
Before pilots will be permitted to use medical marijuana, Berry said, much more research would have to be conducted and evaluated by regulators. Until then, no allowances will be made by the FAA for pilots who wish to use cannabis medicinally.
“We need to understand much more before considering the use of marijuana and its derivatives for airman certificate holders,” Berry continued. “Please also be aware that no special issuances have been granted for conditions treated with medical marijuana.”
What About the Farm Bill?
It seems unlikely that Berry’s advisory will be the final authority on the use of cannabis products by pilots, however. Although he cited federal law several times in the article, he failed to mention that hemp and hemp derivatives such as CBD were legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, and are currently undergoing a regulatory review by the FDA.
With only a few days remaining in New York’s state legislative session, leading civil and racial justice organizations are forcefully advocating for the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MTRA). The organizations have produced a joint statement highlighting the extensive shortcomings of a standalone decriminalization bill, and urging Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to pass the MRTA before the end of session.
The statement was signed by the following groups: Alliance for Quality Education, Brooklyn Defender Services, Citizen Action of New York, Communities United for Police Reform, Drug Policy Alliance, Empire State Indivisible, JustLeadershipUSA, Latino Justice PRLDEF, Make the Road New York, NAACP, True Blue NY, VOCAL-NY, and New York Working Families Party.
The full text of the statement is as follows:
“The legislature has recently presented a bill that would serve as an alternative to comprehensive marijuana legalization. That bill has been pitched as a ‘decriminalization’ measure that would meaningfully address staggering racial inequities and systemic social injustices rooted in prohibition.”
“In truth, the alternative measure is not an acceptable substitute for the comprehensive reforms that the MRTA would accomplish. Under the ‘decriminalization bill’, racially biased arrest rates for marijuana possession, as well as for violations of parole and probation tied to prior convictions for possession, would continue and non-citizens would remain at risk. The bill would also fail to implement automatic expungement, and instead would force those affected by prohibition to navigate burdensome and costly bureaucratic processes that are limited to only certain categories of low-level arrests. In short, the collateral consequences of marijuana criminalization that devastate our communities would continue to exist.”
“Any measure falling short of the MRTA will provide inadequate relief from racially biased arrests and would fail to create a regulated system for the already existent marijuana market in New York. Marijuana has been decriminalized in New York since 1977, and various county district attorneys have suspended prosecutions for marijuana possession in their jurisdictions, and yet discriminatory and draconian enforcement against New Yorkers of color has continued. Meanwhile, the MRTA would create 10,000 to 20,000 jobs; generate roughly $300 million in revenue initially; and begin to finally repair the harms of broken marijuana laws and the injury done to Black and Latino communities across this state.”
“Governor Cuomo, Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie: We call on you to bring marijuana justice to New York State by passing comprehensive legislation that legalizes marijuana, creates an equitable and well-regulated industry, provides for automatic expungement and reinvests funds in communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition.”
A new article published by researchers from University of Puget Sound and University of Washington reports that, based on analysis of public wastewater samples in at least one Western Washington population center, cannabis use both increased and substantially shifted from the illicit market since retail sales began in 2014.
Led by chemist Dan Burgard, the research team analyzed wastewater samples collected from 2013-2016 from two treatment plants that service a community of two hundred thousand in Western Washington.
“We set out to perform a wastewater-based analysis that explored the impact of newly legalized retail cannabis sales on its use, and to determine if this approach could estimate the size of the legal market place,” says Burgard, who chairs the chemistry department at Puget Sound.
The researchers estimate that THC-COOH (the metabolite of psychoactive THC in cannabis created within the human body) found in wastewater has increased by 9% per quarter, on average, from December 2013 to December 2016. During this time, cannabis sales increased at nearly 70% per quarter, on average, for stores operating from August 2014 to December 2016.
“Given that wastewater represents a total population measure, these findings suggest that many established users switched very quickly from the illegal to the legal market,” says Burgard. “This is the strongest statement possible regarding displacement of the illegal market.”
Caleb Banta-Green, interim director and principal research scientist at University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, is a co-author of the article and was a key researcher on the project.
“This project was designed to aid the understanding of how the sales of adult recreational cannabis impact its total consumption within a population,” says Banta-Green. “We believe this will be a valuable tool for local, state, national and international policy makers as they assess and consider Washington’s recreational cannabis law.”
In the past six years nine U.S. states (Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, and the District of Columbia), as well as the countries of Uruguay and recently Canada, have legalized the adult use of recreational cannabis.
“Existing measures, particularly surveys are subject to important biases and limitations, including potential changes in self-report as social norms change as well as very limited information on the amount of THC actually consumed,” Banta-Green notes. “Wastewater based estimates help address these limitations.”
The researchers note that their findings suggest that legalization is, in part, achieving one of its primary objectives which was to eliminate black market sales.
Funded in part by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the research process included testing samples from 387 days spread over three years. The team utilized a new method that enables a complementary and potentially more timely and objective assessment of illicit drug consumption compared to existing measures.
Raw wastewater samples representing a full day are collected at a treatment plant and analyzed for drugs and their metabolites at extremely low concentrations (part per billion or part per trillion levels). These data can be used to track drug consumption trends, both legal and illegal, but not individual users. In some instances, the concentration of the metabolites can be used to “back calculate” to the actual number of doses of drug used in a particular area.
Somewhere between three and six million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome that doctors scarcely understand and struggle to effectively treat. But for years, many fibromyalgia patients have shared their stories and experiences treating their symptoms with cannabis.
Yet while patients frequently self-report using cannabis to manage their fibromyalgia, there are only a few clinical studies that have assessed whether cannabis can be an effective treatment for the disease. The studies that do exist, however, all present positive results. And a new investigation into the characteristics, safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis therapy for fibromyalgia just added more evidence to the pile. According to the authors of that study, a team of medical researchers in Israel, cannabis may be a suitable treatment option for fibromyalgia.
Marijuana Helped Reduce Pain for 81 Percent of Fibromyalgia Patients
“Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia,” a study published this month in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, assessed 367 fibromyalgia patients’ use of cannabis over a six-month period. Of those patients, 301 were women, and at the end of the six-month assessment period, 261 patients participated in a survey. (Some patients stopped their medical cannabis treatments.) That survey aimed to gather data about how well cannabis managed pain symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. It also asked patients about any side effects associated with their medical cannabis treatments.
The results reveal just how effective cannabis can be as a treatment option for fibromyalgia. According to the study, patients began the six-month trial with a baseline pain intensity of 9.0 on a scale of zero to 10. At the end of the six-month assessment period, median pain intensity reduced to 5.0. Furthermore, 194 patients (81.1 percent) experienced at least some improvement in their condition without any serious side effects.
Overall, researchers found that patients were most likely to report reductions in pain and other quality of life improvements following their six-month medical cannabis therapy. Cannabis therapy also helped fibromyalgia patients replace or reduce their use of prescription opioids. The study reports that 22 percent of patients “stopped or reduced their dosage of opioids.” Furthermore, 20 percent of patients reduced their use of benzodiazepines.
Medical Cannabis “Safe and Effective” Fibromyalgia Treatment
In addition to the data on the effectiveness of medical cannabis, researchers also gathered data on the side effects associated with using cannabis to treat fibromyalgia symptoms. Of the fibromyalgia patients who completed the six-month study, less than 8 percent experienced adverse side effects.
According to the data, the most common adverse effect was mild and included dizziness, which 7.9 percent of patients reported. In other words, some of the study participants found the psychoactive effects of THC a little too disorienting. The two other most common side effects were dry mouth, affecting 6.7 percent, and gastrointestinal symptoms, affecting 5.4 percent. Compare that to the side effects of opioid painkillers, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms and of course, dependency and addiction, which can be fatal.
Weighing both the success of the cannabis treatments and their lack of significant side effects, researchers concluded that “medical cannabis appears to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.” And that’s good news for the many patients for whom standard fibromyalgia medications aren’t working.
“Considering the low rates of addiction and serious adverse effects (especially compared to opioids), cannabis therapy should be considered to ease the symptom burden among those fibromyalgia patients who are not responding to standard care,” the authors wrote.
The study’s findings add to the existing literature on medical cannabis and fibromyalgia. A 2006 study by German researchers found oral cannabis treatments ranging from 2.5 to 15 mg THC significantly reduced pain symptoms for nine patients over a three-month period. And in 2011, a study in Spain compared the benefits of cannabis treatments to fibromyalgia patients who didn’t consume cannabis. That study found that cannabis not only alleviated pain but helped to reduce nearly every symptom associated with fibromyalgia, from stiffness to drowsiness.
The presence of THC in blood is not a consistent predictor of either driver performance or impairment, according to the conclusions of a new Congressional Research Service report assessing cannabis and psychomotor performance.
The report acknowledges: “Research studies have been unable to consistently correlate levels of marijuana consumption, or THC in a person’s body, and levels of impairment. Thus, some researchers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have observed that using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence to date.”
It further reports that data is “conflicting” with regard to whether marijuana usage plays a substantial role in traffic accidents, noting, “Levels of impairment that can be identified in laboratory settings may not have a significant impact in real world settings, where many variables affect the likelihood of a crash occurring.”
It concludes: “There is as yet no scientifically demonstrated correlation between levels of THC and degrees of impairment of driver performance, and epidemiological studies disagree as to whether marijuana use by a driver results in increased crash risk. … Based on current knowledge and enforcement capabilities, it is not possible to articulate a similarly simple level or rate of marijuana consumption and a corresponding effect on driving ability.”
The findings are consistent with prior studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others reporting that the presence of THC in blood, particularly at low levels, is not consistently correlated with either psychomotor impairment or crash culpability.
Six states – Illinois, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington – impose various per se limits for the presence of specific amounts of THC in blood while twelve states (Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota Utah, and Wisconsin) impose zero tolerant per se standards. In those states, it is a criminal violation of the traffic safety laws to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable levels of THC in blood. Colorado law infers driver impairment in instances where THC is detected in blood at levels of 5ng/ml or higher.
Last week, the US Border Control announced a gigantic drug bust had been made by Mexican authorities using technology and training from US government agencies. Mexican officials torched a 13 square mile marijuana growing operation six miles from the US-Mexico border in La Rumorosa, Baja California. Law enforcement officials destroyed more than 42,000 plants that weighed 70,000 pounds.
“This significant drug seizure is an excellent example of the effective collaboration among law enforcement agencies in the United States and Mexico,” said a US Customs and Border Protection communiqué about the massive destruction of cannabis, whose cannabis supposedly would have retailed at $276,900,000 USD.
The announcement comes at a politically weighted moment. President Donald Trump has made enforcing border security one of his top issues in 2019, even going so far to shut down the federal government for 35 days in the hopes of wresting an agreement from House Democrats to fund the way (the plan failed).
More recently, Trump announced that he had come to “the agreement that everybody says I don’t have” when it came to talks with Mexico over expanding its role in stopping the flow of Central American refugees, who the president blames for high crime rates and unemployment in the United States. Indeed, when Mexico released the actual text of said “agreement”, it turned out to be more of a commitment to continue talks than the confirmation of a comprehensive partnership. In it, Mexico agreed to a “binding bilateral agreement to further address burden-sharing and the assignment of responsibility for processing refugee claims of migrants.”
News of the June 11 La Rumorosa bust also served as an announcement for a US government project called the Binational Academy, which imparted training in April and May to Mexican federal police in the areas of “intelligence gathering, situational awareness, target enforcement operations, building entry, land navigation, and first aid.” The Binational Academy also provided the Policia Federal with “new equipment”.
The press release stated that a US Border Patrol specialty unit provided “training and equipment to Mexican officials which later supported their discovery and eradication of a huge illegal marijuana grow site.”
The June 11 bust was complicated by the fact that Mexican officials couldn’t get to the grow site, which was located far from serviceable roads. Luckily for them, the US government’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs was able to provide “4×4 trucks and all-terrain vehicles” to get the job done. GPS equipment already received via the Binational Academy came in handy as well in the raid.
Another point of pride for the US when it comes to border law enforcement collaboration is “Big Berta”, an aerostat balloon step up in 2014 six miles from the border that can record images up to 20 miles away on a nice day. Officials say the balloon sees 500 to 600 undocumented border crossings every week.
President Trump has long held that refugees drive up crime rates and take jobs, a view that delights his voter base, many of whom have cheered on his drive to lock down the southern border even when it has meant hundreds of thousands of federal employees going without a paycheck.
But at least now Mexico is equipped with better cars to burn more weed. Feel safer yet?
Hemp buds, CBD bud, CBD blooms or high CBD strains of cannabis square measure energizing product of the CBD and medicative cannabis development. Hemp might be an assortment of marijuana plant, and ‘hemp buds’ square estimates the blossoms of the hemp plant.
What are Hemp Buds: Hemp buds hold high groupings of cannabinoids contrasted with the stalk, leaves, and foundations of the plant. CBD-rich hemp buds supply a substitute to CBD oil as a supply of CBD which will be smoke-dried, vaped or want to make edibles and eaten.
For quite a while, the principal objective of cannabis reproducers and producers was to broaden the mind-modifying medication levels in cannabis strains to fulfill the market request.
In the market there are lots of hemp buds are rolling but among all of them, IHF LLC hemp buds are the best in quality. Lately, in light of the fact that the upsides of CBD wound up the total, a prerequisite for CBD-rich strains of cannabis has risen. Inside the setting of hemp buds, CBD lavishness is concerning the CBD substance of a cannabis strain.
A ‘CBD-rich’ strain has been exceptionally reproduced to contain a high-CBD content anyway low-THC content, allowing it to be sold-out legitimately crosswise over America. Strains each has their very own particular cannabinoid profile, dictated by what cannabinoids they contain and in what amounts.
At this stage, 113 very surprising cannabinoids are disengaged from the cannabis plant. CBD and mind-modifying medication square measure the dominating 2, trailed by CBDa, THCa, THCv, CBC, CBCa, CBG and CBGa among a few others.
How to use Hemp Buds: There zone unit a few captivating manners by which to utilize hemp blooms. The 3 most runs of the mill territory unit vaping, smoking, and in all honesty, heating. somewhat like a genuine weed, hemp buds are wont to manufacture brownies, treats, CBD joints, and undeniably more!
Using a Dry Herb Atomizer: The first we’ll talk about is vaping utilizing a dry herb atomizer. This may sound kind of a venture since hemp buds zone unit emphatically ordered into the dry herb domain, aside from a few clients, endeavor and keeping up such a machine is basically an inordinate measure of work.
Before you kick the dry herb atomizer to the check, remember that the cannabinoids inside the hemp blossoms should be enacted utilizing a warming method.
Vaping hemp blooms zone unit more advantageous than smoking the entire bud, and since there isn’t any fire worried as there would be with smoking, no smoke matter or burning will be concerned. The assimilation rate is also a great deal of quicker once used in a vaporizer instead of smoking or processing.
To utilize hemp blossoms during a dry herb atomizer, verify you check your gadget’s handbook to ensure your gadget is prepared to do such utilize.
These notes zone unit horribly conventional, any way you should most likely get a general arrangement of an approach to use a vaporizer to expand the outcomes of the CBD hemp blooms.
Pound the buds into a powder by separating each blossom or by exploitation A herb processor. this can create the most degree that might be presented to the glow.
Empty the base hemp bloom into the vaporizer. start out with a minor low amount and see any way you are doing, and remember you’ll perpetually include extra. make certain exceptionally modest of the vaporizer load is covered with ground buds, as you don’t wish to consume them, anyway conjointly verify you don’t over pack it.
Gradually breathe in the vapor for at least 10 seconds, gradually unharness, and revive your noses with contemporary air. This strategy has functioned admirably to ensure the most ingestion is earned. beat freedom to try different things with the sum you use, additionally as anyway firmly you pack inside the ground buds.
Everyone is entirely unexpected, subsequently, though it’s smarter to start out nearly nothing and well ordered increment your portion, you have a lot of adaptabilities to determine what works best for you!
Smoking in a Joint: A great many people region unit mindful of what a joint is. a few clients have either observed, attempted, or as a rule utilized weed joints to extravagant the benefits of psychoactive medication. as of now, you’ll see anyway CBD joints work and judge in the event that they’re directly for you.
Though it’s one among the less complex manners by which to splash up CBD, restrict mind you’ll even be eupneic the ignition and smoke from the consuming joint, which may cause metastasis issues for a few clients.
The smoke inward breath of CBD is immediately ingested into the blood, making it quick gratitude to harvesting the upsides of CBD. huge numbers of us aren’t enthused about the idea of eupneic the smoke of any sort, therefore remember that once you try different things with elective approaches to utilize CBD hemp blossoms.
A few clients see this procedure of CBD utilization compelling, especially those that smoke tobacco product or real joints. This procedure would be favored for those needing to downsize their utilization of psychoactive medication from genuine cannabis joints or those that as a rule share of tobacco stock, similar to cigarettes and stories.
The nature of making one thing between your fingers may help your progress from tobacco and pot into one thing rather progressively valuable alluded to as CBD hemp blooms.
Though the style and aroma could likewise be intensely comparative, restrict mind that the biggest refinement between CBD hemp blossoms and genuine strains of weed is that these hemp blooms contain wherever from 14-17% CBD and less than zero.3% THC, that will be that as far as possible and cannot get the client high.
In conclusion, there’s the least complex approach to extravagant the hemp blooms while not the prerequisite for extravagant dry-herb vaporizers or moving papers. You’ll only join this bloom into your everyday room undertakings!
CBD sweets do offer a truly necessary quiet for those covered with nervousness, melancholy, and diverse restorative ailments.
CBD edibles don’t function as fast as smoking a CBD joint or eupneic the vapor from ground CBD blooms. Indeed, they’ll take wherever from a 30-an hour and a half to really kick in;
Anyway, their delayed consequences can keep going for any longer than the 2 unique ways as a result of the body processing the CBD instead of being consumed into the blood.
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New research from the Danish psychiatric project, iPSYCH, shows that a specific gene is associated with an increased risk of cannabis abuse. The gene is the source of a so-called nicotine receptor in the brain, and people with low amounts of this receptor have an increased risk of cannabis abuse.
Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in both Denmark and internationally, and around one in ten users becomes addicted to the drug. Researchers from iPSYCH have discovered a gene that they associate with the abuse of cannabis.
“We discovered that the disorder was associated with a genetic variant. This variant affects how much of a certain nicotine receptor is formed in the brain,” explains Associate Professor Ditte Demontis from Aarhus University, who is behind the study.
The genetic variant discovered by the researchers affects how much of a specific nicotine receptor is formed. People who have less of this receptor in the brain are at greater risk of becoming cannabis abusers.
Ditte Demontis and her colleagues used a nationwide Danish cohort to analyse the complete genome of more than 2,000 cannabis abusers and the genome of 50,000 control subjects. The researchers subsequently repeated these findings in an analysis of a further 5,500 cannabis abusers and more than 300,000 control subjects.
The researchers also included genetic data from studies in which researchers examined the underlying genetics for cognition such as e.g. the ability to complete an education.
Here, they found that people with a higher number of genetic variants associated with impaired cognition also have an increased risk of cannabis abuse.
“People who abuse cannabis often do worse in the education system, and our results show that this can be partly explained by genetics. That is to say that people with an abuse problem have more genetic variations in the genome which increase the risk of cannabis abuse, while at the same time negatively affecting their ability to get an education,” explains Ditte Demontis.
The study is the first of its kind on this scale and represents a step towards understanding the particular biological mechanisms, which lie behind the abuse of cannabis.
“We need to undertake even more research into how the genetic differences in the genome contribute to the development of cannabis abuse, and we need to map out the precise biological mechanisms that lead to one person having a higher risk of becoming a substance abuser than another. Our hope is to be able to improve treatment and perhaps in the long-term even prevent this abuse,” says Ditte Demontis.
Materials provided by Aarhus University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
This is an action alert from the national office of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML):
Later this week, there will be a crucial vote on an amendment that would be our biggest federal victory yet and we need your help to make sure we win.
Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
It is time to expand similar protections to states that have also legalized the use and sale of marijuana to all adults. Today, more than one in five Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute.
Known as the Blumenauer-McClintock amendment, after Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Tom McClintock (R-CA), the amendment would simply remove the word “medical” from the current language.
The fix is literally that simple.
Send a message right now to your member of the House and urge them to vote yes!
Please CLICK HERE to send a personalized letter to your federal representatives in support of this crucial advancement in cannabis law reform!
Click HERE to visit Michigan NORML’s website to learn about that group and become a member.