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Marijuana Users 22% More Likely To Need Emergency Care, Per New Study

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A new study on marijuana posits that its use is not as safe as some paint it out to be. The study claims that marijuana users are more likely to be hospitalized and visit emergency rooms when compared to non-users.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research, relied on self-reporting from Canadian residents between the ages of 12-65 over a six-year period. After adjusting for counfounding factors, cannabis users were 22% more likely to visit the ER or to be hospitalized.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

RELATED: How To Avoid Going To The Emergency Room For Marijuana Overdose

Per the study’s abstract, its objective was “to evaluate the association between cannabis use and respiratory-related emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalisations.” Researchers didn’t find a link between cannabis use and respiratory emergency occurrences, instead, they found that people who consumed cannabis often visited the ER due to physical bodily injury.

“Physical bodily injury was the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations among the cannabis users, with respiratory reasons coming in a close second,” said study author Nicholas Vozoris, in an email exchange with CNN.

“Although no significant association was observed between cannabis use and respiratory-related ER visits or hospitalisations, the risk of an equally important morbidity outcome, all-cause ER visit or hospitalisation, was significantly greater among cannabis users than among control individuals,” concludes the research.

Marijuana use has long been associated with slower response times from users, which is why most experts recommend avoiding the use of heavy machinery or doing any physical task that demands coordination after consuming cannabis. This is a valid concern, yet one that shouldn’t be mythologized and brought out of proportion.

emergency room
Photo by MJFelt/Getty Images

RELATED: Heat Waves And Weed: 5 Ways Summer Heat Can Affect Your High

There are a lot of things we don’t know about cannabis, making it a priority for researchers and experts to analyze every possible aspect of the drug and how it could impact the population as a whole. Still, it’s important not to fall back on fear mongering; as we continue to embark on this new stage of cannabis use on a national level, responsible authorities should advocate for safe and responsible use of the drug.



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Is Cannabis A Threat To Alcohol Sales? It’s Complicated But Here’s What The Experts Say

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By Maureen Meehan

With the U.S. legal cannabis industry on track to pull in upwards of $46 billion by 2026, many in the alcohol and beverage space are eyeing the cannabis industry as a unique opportunity to expand and reach new consumers although there are just as many who are ill at ease over the impact this could have on alcohol sales.

Roy Bingham, co-founder and CEO of BDSA, said there’s no need for anyone to worry, that coexistence is where it’s at these days. BDSA is the leading provider of market research solutions for the global cannabinoid industry.

“Today, more consumers are pairing cannabis with alcohol than ever before, especially when relaxing or hanging out with friends,” Bingham said.

Consumption of cannabis by alcohol consumers is on the rise per BDSA’s Consumer Insights data, but consumer attitudes also show that consumption occasions for alcohol and cannabis differ enough that the supposed threat to alcohol sales posed by legal cannabis is minor. The number of cannabis consumers who report co-consuming cannabis with certain types of alcohol has seen an appreciable rise.

Anti-Marijuana Folks Credit Legalization To Alcohol-Related Deaths
Photo by Adam Jaime via Unsplash

“We’ve also seen a rise in more unexpected use occasions as consumers branch out and use cannabis in new ways, such as while indulging in fine dining or working out. This shift offers a unique opportunity for brands to focus on innovation and create new products to meet these varied use occasions,” Bingham told Benzinga.

Additional BDSA insights show that cannabis and alcohol are doing just fine together:

The share of consumers in adult-use markets who report pairing cannabis with spirits or liquor rose from 12% in Spring 2018 to 22% in Spring 2022, while the share who report cannabis with cocktails doubled to total 20% in Spring 2022.

RELATED: Americans Are Choosing Marijuana Over Alcohol

High energy social occasions such as bar nights, special events, and date nights present a lower risk of cannabis impact to alcohol sales, while consumption for health/wellness, creative endeavors, and certain outdoor activities are more often cannabis-specific.

Continued growth in the cannabis space will create opportunities for brands to produce products with targeted formulations designed to meet the varied needs and use occasions for consumers.

BDSA’s newest wave of Consumer Insights data demonstrates that more than 50% of those surveyed in cannabis-legal states have consumed cannabis in the past six months. Diving deeper into the data clearly shows that the cannabis consumer base is knowledgeable, open to trying new product formats and willing to experiment with incorporating cannabis into more occasions throughout their lives.

Marijuana Is Replacing Alcohol During The Pandemic And May Have Long Term Benefits
Photo by Cavan Images/Getty Images

RELATED: More Than 40% Of People Admit To Doing This While Using Weed Or Alcohol

In just a few short years, BDSA noted that attitudes towards cannabis across the country have shifted rapidly, with the share of those who have “bought in” to cannabis consumption skyrocketing while fewer and fewer report not being open to consuming cannabis.

Overall consumer participation is lower in medical markets, but BDSA data suggest that consumer participation is growing at a similar rate.

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



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What Is CBDA And How Does It Help The Human Body?

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This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is a minor cannabinoid with significant medicinal promise. Recent research suggests that CBDA could be an alternative treatment for managing or curing inflammation, anxiety, cancer, and seizures. The therapeutic potential of CBDA is the newest discovery of cannabinoid-based drugs.

Introduction to CBDA

Although research is still in the infant stage, researchers believe that CBDA could be the next big medication for treating and maintaining overall mental and physical well-being. Many cannabis-based scientists are optimistic that CBDA would reduce the need for conventional drugs with long-term side effects.

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CBDA is mainly found in cannabis plant material. Like other major and minor cannabinoids, it reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and receptors in the central nervous system and immune system.

This less-famous cannabinoid exists as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) before it is converted to its true form. The mother cannabinoid CBGA is not only a precursor to CBDA, but also to Tetrahydrocannabinolic (THCA) and Cannabicheomenic acid (CBCA)

Conversion of CBGA to CBDA

CBGA is converted into CBDA by an enzymatic process. Once formed, it remains this way until the decarboxylation process takes place. Decarboxylation is the conversion of acidic cannabinoids to their decarboxylated forms. CBDA is converted to CBD, THCA to THC, and CBCA to CBC. When cannabis is heated, the decarboxylation process takes place. Cannabinoids’ molecular structure changes when they are heated, dried, or treated. The method alters the substance’s chemical structure by removing one acidic carboxyl group.

While certain cannabis plants have been cultivated to contain balanced quantities of CBDA and THCA, CBDA is often only found in very small concentrations in cannabis plants. Mainly hemp plants are well-known for having significant levels of CBDA and traces of THCA.

The cannabinoids found in hemp plants can be concentrated through an extraction procedure. These cannabinoids alter how cells communicate response signals, which can have a variety of positive impacts on the body and mind.

CBDA was first discovered and isolated in 1965 by Israeli scientist Rafael Mechoulam. It was subsequently activated to CBD for its medical benefits. New studies suggest that CBDA could be more effective in its acidic state than CBD for curing or treating some medical conditions.

Is CBDA psychoactive?

CBDA does not induce any form of psychoactivity. Like CBD, it is unable to cause intoxication. It is often used for medical patients that do not want to feel impaired, couch-locked, or lose focus. CBDA does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors because it is acidic. Instead, it inhibits the Cox-2 enzyme without impacting the CNS.

RELATED: CBD, CBDa & CBGa: What’s The Difference?

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Benefits of CBDA in hemp products

CBDA is perceived as an effective treatment for certain medical illnesses. Its affinity to bind to serotonin receptors allows it to affect most symptoms, including mood swings, nausea, fatigue, and inflammation.

Compared to CBD, CBDA has been found to have a stronger activation of 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. Numerous physiological processes, including the control of mood, motion sickness, migraine, and intestinal movement, are influenced by serotonin.

According to the available studies, CBDA’s potential as a medication is still in question. Clinical investigations have mainly utilized animal models up until now. We won’t fully understand CBDA’s potential until clinical trials focus on people’s health and its mechanism of action.

Anti-inflammatory effect of CBDA

Due to its features as a specific Cox-2 inhibitor, CBDA has anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective in lessening inflammation. The functions of cyclooxygenase (Cox) enzymes 1 and 2 vary.

The stomach and intestinal walls are maintained by Cox-1. Cox-2 causes inflammation. Ibuprofen and aspirin are examples of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) that function by obstructing the actions of these enzymes. The gastrointestinal tract may be harmed by long-term reliance on certain medications.

Because of this, scientists have been working to develop selective Cox-2 inhibitors that don’t block Cox-1 enzymes without running the danger of seriously harming the stomach lining and intestines. CBDA functions similarly to NSAIDs but without the adverse effects on the digestive system.

Anti-nausea effect of CBDA

Guelph University researchers discovered that CBDA was an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting brought on by toxins and motion sickness.

The study discovered that CBDA was particularly fantastic at lowering anticipatory nausea. This happens when a patient has nausea just before receiving chemotherapy. Since there are no recognized cures for this type of nausea, CBDA is an up-and-coming alternative.

The study team also examined the interactions between the anti-nausea medication ondansetron and the CBDA. The researchers discovered that even a minimal amount of CBDA enhances the medication’s antiemetic effects.

RELATED: Beyond CBD And THC: The Hottest Cannabinoids And Terpenes You Should Know

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Photo by Nastasic/Getty Images

Anti-seizure effects of CBDA

Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication, became the first prescription medicine product to receive FDA approval for treating treatment-resistant epilepsy, launching CBD into the public eye. It suggests that its acidic counterpart may lessen the severity and duration of seizures in some cases.

The manufacturer of Epidiolex, GW Pharma, has conducted tests contrasting the effects of CBDA and CBD. According to research, CBDA can have a quicker-acting effect than its parent molecule and higher bioavailability.

Their research showed that smaller doses of CBDA were needed for effectiveness, reducing the possibility of harmful side effects. In several instances, CBDA outperformed CBD in terms of lowering seizure frequency.

Last words: How to use CBDA

There are natural and synthetic CBDA products. However, CBDA extract is more prevalent in the budding CBD market.

CBDA cannot be inhaled in its natural form since doing so would cause the cannabinoid acid to transform into CBD. You can use uncooked cannabis blossoms and leaves in recipes. To get your greens without getting high, try eating the leaves raw in a salad, blending them into a smoothie, or producing natural cannabis juice.

You can also create tea from raw flower buds high in CBDA. Simply put, you have to put them in a cup and let them steep. The CBDA will be partially decarbed by the water instead of infused into your beverage. Many cannabis products contain CBDA. Customers can purchase raw hemp oil items like tinctures, capsules, and raw CBD oil.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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The COVID Cannabis Bubble has Popped – Cannabis (Weed)

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In March 2020, when governments worldwide – even in so-called “liberal democracies” – put their citizens under house arrest, people started consuming many more substances, including cannabis.

This boom was artificial, though. Fuelled by stimulus checks, unemployment insurance, and general fear and hopelessness about the future – the great cannabis boom of 2020 is now over.

Sales are softening, retail businesses are closing their doors, financing is drying up, and consumer demand has returned to pre-covid levels.

In other words, the COVID cannabis bubble has popped.

What the Data Says

The COVID Cannabis Bubble has Popped

The data comes from Headset, which uses real-time sales reporting by cannabis retailers using their point of sale systems.

What they found was staggering. U.S. cannabis markets in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington are declining in year-over-year sales growth.

From March 2020 to 2021, Colorado’s sales grew by 25.8%. In the first few months of 2020, Colorado saw a 63% increase.

But now, average monthly year-over-year sales in Colorado have declined by 11.3%.

The same is true in Oregon. Despite a 36.6% year-over-year growth between March 2020 and March 2021, Oregon has been experiencing recent declines of up to 20%.

Yet, despite these declines, the long-term trends are showing positive growth. The data shows that there was indeed a COVID cannabis bubble. One that has now popped.

The COVID Cannabis Boom Bubble 

The COVID Cannabis Bubble has Popped

The above graph looks at monthly sales in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington before and after the first year and a half of COVID.

As we can see, cannabis sales exploded in the first six months of the pandemic. Colorado’s sales grew by 63% compared to 43% in 2019 over the same period.

Sales remained high through the rest of 2020. There was a surge of growth in Q2 2020, followed by continuous 20% to 40% year-over-year increases into early 2021.

But then sales started to decline.

COVID Cannabis Bubble Begins to Deflate 

In the second half of 2021, especially in the United States, COVID was retreating into the background. Governments lifted restrictions, stimulus cheques dried up, and the sense that it was the end of the world faded from memory. Life began to return to some semblance of “normal.”

And cannabis sales began to drop. This trend continued into early 2022. During Q2 2021, year-over-year growth began to plummet as sales stabilized.

By July 2021, Colorado, Oregon and Washington experienced negative year-over-year growth, with Nevada and California joining soon after.

You can see from the graphs how dramatic this increase was during 2020 and what it means now that sales are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

It may look as if sales growth since June 2021 sits at -10%. But the long-term trends are hopeful.

What if the COVID Cannabis Bubble Had Never Happened

Somewhere in an alternate universe, there’s no First World War and no Federal Reserve. So the remaining 20th century is one of prosperity, innovation, and liberty instead of constant wars, genocide, and centralizing states.

In this alternate universe, no sane citizen of a republic or constitutional monarchy would permit a government-ordered shut down of the private sector. Especially over a flu virus with a 99% survival rate.

In this alternate reality, what does the cannabis industry look like?

Headset’s data can remove the COVID cannabis bubble from the equation. The graph below shows monthly sales totals across U.S. cannabis markets, except for the sales data pulled between February 2020 and February 2022.

With no COVID cannabis bubble interrupting the market, you can see a clear upward trend from early 2020 to 2022.

So while cannabis sales may appear to be collapsing, what’s happening is a market correction. The COVID cannabis bubble has popped, and now we can experience real market growth. (Or as real as it can be in a fiat debt-based economy).

Long-term Cannabis Trends

Comparing June 2019 to June 2022, we can see sales have grown in every market. Colorado had the slowest growth at 4%, but this makes sense given their arbitrage advantage with cannabis is now over. With more states legalizing, fewer people travel to Colorado for legal weed.

Despite a 20% decline in monthly sales, Oregon has been up 25% over the last three years.

The sales decline in recent months isn’t indicative of a long-term trend. In fact, the opposite is true. The COVID cannabis bubble was unique, and sales should stabilize now that the market is correcting to a pre-pandemic normal.

However, the market is still in correction mode. The bad news is that we haven’t seen the end of layoffs and closing retail chains.

The good news is that long-term trends are still demonstrating growth across all cannabis markets.

Footnote(s)

https://www.headset.io/industry-reports/an-analysis-of-declining-growth-in-recent-us-cannabis-sales





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