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CBD newsletter: Google loosens ad ban, new report exposes gummy testing, FDA plots new regs

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Welcome back to your one-stop shop for all things CBD, Leafly Nation.

While much of the country has been focused on the oh-so-juicy political drama cooking in DC, the raging world of CBD doesn’t sleep. Rest assured, we’ve been working diligently to dig up the biggest, freshest news for you.

This month, we’ve got a round-up of hot CBD stories from across the globe: Google’s ban on CBD ads begins to thaw. France gives CBD flower the green-light. Consumer Report calls BS on CBD content in gummies. Plus, we review some hot CBD products to help you kick off 2023: a buzzy bevvy, a premium sleep-friendly gummy, and an excellent no-frills tincture.

Top CBD news of December

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Google’s CBD ad thaw begins

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Beings of Content at Google Ads announced that, beginning January 20, they will permit ads for CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC (the legal limit). 

Here’s the catch(es): Google will only permit CBD ads in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico. Furthermore, The Gatekeepers will only green-light businesses that have received certification from a third-party, a company called LegitScript, to advertise. It ain’t great, but at least it’s something.

FDA: CBD Regulations could appear in next few months

Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD that contains no more than 0.3% THC, most hemp-derived products largely remain unregulated in the United States. But that could soon to change: The FDA recently announced that regulations for CBD products could appear in the next few months.

“Given what we know about the safety of CBD so far, it raises concerns for FDA about whether these existing regulatory pathways for food and dietary supplements are appropriate for this substance,” FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock told the Wall Street Journal in a story published on December 29.

France says ‘oui’ to hemp flower, reversing ban

Even though the EU regulates CBD flower, the French government has insisted on nonetheless banning it. On December 29, however, that changed when the country’s Council of State reversed the ban, opening the doors to a new market in the country.

Soon, my friends, people from Paris to Marseille will be able to smile, frown, and gesticulate into the middle distance with a hemp cigarette in hand. Phew.

Consumer Reports calls BS on CBD content in popular gummies

Who said Consumer Reports can’t drop a bombshell? Last month, the company announced that they had tested CBD gummies from four major manufacturers: Keoni, Medterra, Royal, and Smilz. Of the four, only Medterra’s gummies contained the quantity of CBD that they advertised (actually, the gummies boasted a little more than advertised). The Keoni and Smilz gummies also contained trace amounts of lead. Yikes.

Buffalo CBD shop suffers Christmas break-in

Man, this is weak AF. On Christmas night, three robbers broke into the Buffalo, New York CBD store Quality Canna. In fifteen minutes, the thieves stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of products while the store’s hiring manager watched the events unfolding on his smartphone. The store’s security guards had the night off to celebrate with their families. Quality Canna opened just eight months prior; the robbery could impact its ability to get off the ground.

Hot CBD products to start 2023

Courtesy of CBD Mall

Day One sparkling water

While the significance of the name “Day One” has not revealed itself to me in any state of consciousness, the effects of this CBD-infused sparkling water are much clearer. Each can of the bubbly packs 20 milligrams of broad-spectrum CBD for a super soothing sipping experience.

Personally, I’m here to vouch for the Grapefruit variety: While it can’t fully mask the slight musk of hemp extract, I found the grapefruit robust and enjoyed its just-right amount of CBD.

Equilibria sleep gummies

Hats off to Equilibria for designing a cherry-flavored gummy that doesn’t taste like cough syrup. The Chicago-based brand’s Bordeaux Cherry chewies boast a pleasantly mild flavor and a terrific chewiness, as well as a notably calming cocktail of compounds that helped me get a great night’s sleep.

Each gummy contains 12.5 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, as well as 2.5 milligrams of sleep-inducing CBN. The good folks at Equilibria also throw some Chamomille and L-Theanine into the mix to help you mellow out.

Vitality’s full-spectrum tincture

Sometimes you just can’t beat a tried-and-true classic. Buffalo-based Vitality offers a full-spectrum tincture that’s mostly neutral on the palette, terrific for any time of day, and made from USDA Organic hemp.

Bonus points: Vitality offers its tincture in various sizes, so beginners can try it without spending much cash.

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Max Savage Levenson

Max Savage Levenson likely has the lowest cannabis tolerance of any writer on the cannabis beat. He also writes about music for Pitchfork, Bandcamp and other bespectacled folk. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. His dream interview is Tyler the Creator.

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Huge decision: FDA won’t restrict CBD sales, calls for ‘new regulatory pathway’ to assure safety

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After a nearly four-year study regarding the best way to regulate CBD, officials at the FDA have concluded that their existing rules don’t fit the unique substance.

What that means to you: The FDA has the power to halt all CBD sales nationwide. They chose not to do so. CBD sales and possession will remain legal, and FDA officials will work with Congress to create a new type of safety protocol for cannabidiol (CBD).

FDA officials first began looking into CBD in earnest in early 2019, when sales began taking off around the nation. Then-FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless hosted the agency’s first-ever public hearing on CBD, on May 31, 2019, by noting that “we’ve seen an explosion of interest in products including CBD, [but] there is much we don’t know.”

After 10 hours of testimony at that hearing, two things had become clear: The American public had a strong desire for CBD products, and too many CBD manufacturers were delivering shoddy goods.

Shortly after, FDA officials announced the formation of a high-level agency study group to explore potential regulatory pathways for CBD products.

Related

5 takeaways from the FDA’s hearing on CBD

FDA wants “a new regulatory pathway” for CBD

In today’s announcement, FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock said: “Today we are announcing that after careful review, the FDA has concluded that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks.”

“The agency is prepared to work with Congress on this matter. Today, we are also denying three citizen petitions that had asked the agency to conduct rulemaking to allow the marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements.”

In other words, FDA officials found that CBD shouldn’t be heavily regulated like a pharma-derived prescription drug (a process that would take years), nor should it be relatively unregulated like a dietary supplement.

Recognizing that the existing rules don’t fit CBD

Today’s announcement marks a historic acknowledgment from a major federal government agency. Cannabidiol, like cannabis itself, is a substance that refuses to sit easily within the strict definitions and pathways created for most regulated substances. But instead of simply outlawing CBD, and creating a dangerous illicit market, FDA officials have acknowledged that existing regulatory structures need to be expanded in order to safeguard public health.

“A new regulatory pathway would benefit consumers by providing safeguards and oversight to manage and minimize risks related to CBD products,” said FDA officials in the announcement. “Some risk management tools could include clear labels, prevention of contaminants, CBD content limits, and measures, such as minimum purchase age, to mitigate the risk of ingestion by children. In addition, a new pathway could provide access and oversight for certain CBD-containing products for animals.”

“The FDA’s existing foods and dietary supplement authorities provide only limited tools for managing many of the risks associated with CBD products. Under the law, any substance, including CBD, must meet specific safety standards to be lawfully marketed as a dietary supplement or food additive.”

 

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Bruce Barcott

Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

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CBD Shows Promise In Treating Epilepsy In Asian Population

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A recently published Japanese study has yet again demonstrated CBD’s potential in epilepsy. This is the first study of this nature  to be conducted in the Asian population and has thus confirmed the benefits of CBD-based medications for treating severe forms of epilepsy.

The researchers administered questionnaires to 38 patients with intractable forms of epilepsy who were on CBD as a form of medication. The participants responded to questions regarding their demographics, medical history, diagnosis and type of seizure, CBD use,  and adverse events related to CBD use.

They also reported on changes observed after medicating on CBD such as seizure frequency and intensity, effect  on sleep, need for and dosage of supplemental anti-seizure medications, and quality of life. A total of 28 patients responded to the questionnaire.

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Promising Results for CBD Use in Epilepsy

The median intake for CBD was 12.0 mg/kg/day. Nine patients experienced some adverse effects, but they were mild and did not lead to discontinuation of the CBD treatment. Fifteen patients (over 50%) experienced a decrease in the frequency of seizures while two became seizure-free while taking CBD. No correlation was observed between the diagnosis or  type of seizure and the efficacy of the CBD treatment. The researchers hence concluded that:

According to researchers, “CBD may be an effective option for Asian patients with refractory epilepsy, regardless of diagnosis or seizure type.”

Here are a few things to note about intractable epilepsy and using CBD as a cure.

What Is Intractable Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that is associated with frequent  seizures that occur when clusters of damaged neurons (brain cells) fire abnormal electric signals. This usually results in strong and uncontrollable muscle spasms that may result in loss of consciousness. Epileptic seizures are usually treated using antiepileptic drugs that  include sodium valproate, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine among others.

RELATED: Whole Plant Medicinal Cannabis Could Be More Effective Than CBD In Epilepsy Treatment

Unfortunately, these medications cause serious side effects when they are used for prolonged durations. As may be required of epilepsy patients. About 20% of epilepsies fail to respond to anti epilepsy medications and are hence referred to as refractory or intractable forms.

FDA Approves Epidiolex

In 2018, a drug known as Epidiolex was approved by the food and drug administration (FDA) to treat severe forms of drug-resistant epilepsy, specifically Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome. This drug was created and patented by GW Pharmaceuticals and has been approved for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet’s syndrome, and seizures related to tuberous sclerosis complex.

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CBD for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Lennox-Gastaut is a severe form of epilepsy that usually affects less than 5% of children. Some children suffering from this form of epilepsy experience up to 300 seizures in a day. Clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of CBD in Lennox-Gastaut where drop seizures were reduced by 48%-71% while  total seizures were reduced by 48%-68%.

CBD for Dravet Syndrome

Dravets syndrome is a very rare type of intractable epilepsy that has been linked to a genetic mutation (SCN1A mutation). A 2017 trial demonstrated the suitability of CBD in managing  Dravet’s syndrome seizure attacks.

Does CBD for Seizures Cause Any Side Effects?

A majority of people, including children, are able to tolerate CBD quite well. When side effects are observed they are usually mild and do not necessitate discontinuation of CBD treatment. These include:

  • GI symptoms
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Low appetite
  • Low blood pressure

RELATED: Asian Americans Embracing Marijuana Legalization Despite Cultural Hurdles

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What Is the Right Dosage of CBD for Epilepsy?

From clinical studies, it appears that a dosage of 5-6mg/kg/day is effective at managing severe seizure disorders in children. A physician may, however, choose to adjust the dosage accordingly, depending on the patient’s physiological characteristics, severity of the  seizures, and response to  treatment. The recommended Epidiolex dosage is 5mg/kg/day or 2.5mg/kg administered twice daily.

Does CBD Interact With Epilepsy Medications?

Yes, CBD interacts with some epilepsy medications including sodium valproate and clobazam. Before you start medicating on CBD, it is advisable to consult your pharmacist and let them advise you on a route that’s most suitable for you.

This article originally appeared on MyCannabis.com and has been reposted with permission.



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Decarboxylation – What Does it Mean?

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Decarboxylation is the process of removing carbon dioxide from carboxylic acids by heating them. When you smoke cannabis, you’re heating up the THC and other cannabinoids in this plant so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream. This process causes decarboxylation to occur naturally, but if you want to maximize what’s delivered through inhalation, it’s best to do it yourself by gently heating your cannabis before smoking or vaporizing it.



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