Winners of the 2018 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup

This past weekend, we traveled abroad to the Netherlands for this year’s Amsterdam Cannabis Cup. The competition brought attention to dozens of hard-working and inspiring people—growers, innovators, and company owners. Here are the seed companies that are the winners of the 2018 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup:

Hash

1st Place: Gelato 41 by Field Extracts x Connected Canabis

2nd Place: Headbanger by Nature Boyz x Karma Genetics

3rd Place: Sour Power OG by Karma Squad x Flawless Extract

Hybrid Flower

1st Place: Biscotti by Connected Canabis

2nd Place: Rainbow Rider by Karma Squad

3rd Place: Smarties by Kush for Breakfast

Indica Flower

1st Place: Wedding Cake by PhenoFinders Seeds

2nd Place: Spumoni by The Plug Seed bank x Alien labs

3rd Place: Gelato 41 by Connected Canabis

Sativa Flower

1st Place: Gelonade by Connected Canabis

2nd Place: Purple Strawberry Sherbert by PhenoFinders Seeds

3rd Place: Purple Lemon Punch by The Plug Seed Bank

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Study: CBD May Be Useful In Treating Breast Cancer

CBD may be a useful treatment for various breast cancer subtypes, according to a new study published by the journal The Breast.

“Studies have emphasized an antineoplastic effect of the non-psychoactive, phyto-cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD)”, begins the study’s abstract, which was epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health. “However, the molecular mechanism underlying its antitumor activity is not fully elucidated. Herein, we have examined the effect of CBD on two different human breast cancer cell lines”.

In both cell lines, “CBD inhibited cell survival and induced apoptosis in a dose dependent manner as observed by MTT assay, morphological changes, DNA fragmentation and ELISA apoptosis assay.”

The results “suggest that CBD treatment induces an interplay among PPARγ, mTOR and cyclin D1 in favor of apoptosis induction in both ER-positive and triple negative breast cancer cells, proposing CBD as a useful treatment for different breast cancer subtypes.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt, can be found by clicking here.

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‘Trifecta of Opportunity Within One Plant’: Prairie Hemp Farmers Could Win Big With New Cannabis Rules

Allowing cannabidiol harvest could generate $10 billion in economic activity over the next 10 years, government estimates.

While the federal government is legalizing marijuana to regulate and tax the psychoactive drug, Prairie farmers growing non-smokable hemp appear set to become major beneficiaries of the new regime.

The updated industrial hemp regulations, released this week alongside Health Canada’s recreational cannabis rules, will allow hemp growers to harvest the flowers and leaves from their crop for non-psychoactive compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD).

– Read the entire article at Financial Post.

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A Bethlehem Woman’s Uneasy Journey From Opioids to Cannabis

Toma Giuffre has binders full of newspaper clippings, personally annotated doctor’s notes, letters from lawmakers — all pieces of a puzzle she’s been trying to solve for decades: How to make the pain go away.

For the last year, Giuffre, 74, has been collecting every published scrap of information on medical cannabis she can find, underlining the articles in different colors as she’s studied them time and again. When the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened in Bethlehem in January, she went to Keystone Canna Remedies’ informational sessions on every topic.

“I researched this marijuana like I was paid by the hour,” she said.

Like millions of Americans, Giuffre takes opioids such as Vicodin and morphine to reduce her chronic pain. And until recently, she had a prescription for fentanyl, the powerful opioid responsible for a surge in overdose deaths across the country.

– Read the entire article at The Morning Call.

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David Staples: New Lamp That Mimics the Sun Has Major Impact on Cannabis Growing

The power of simulated sunlight is showing remarkable results in growing cannabis.

A high-tech lighting system that mimics the huge variety of sunlight — manufactured by Edmonton company G2V and developed in a University of Alberta lab by research scientist Michael Taschuk — is now being tested in four cannabis grow operations across Canada.

The results have been astonishing, so much so that this lighting system could have numerous beneficial applications for food and plant growing.

Travis George of Endless Sky cannabis in British Columbia has been testing high-end lighting systems for three years but found the G2V lights grow cannabis plants much faster. “It’s an Alberta-manufactured product that exceeds all other lighting on the market … It kicked their asses.”

– Read the entire article at Edmonton Journal.

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First Alcohol Association Supports Recreational Marijuana

For the first time, an alcohol industry trade association has expressed support for the states’ right to legalize recreational marijuana. The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) announced the policy shift in a recent press release. The WSWA represents wine and liquor wholesalers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The 370 companies that make up the group distribute more than 80 percent of the alcohol that is sold wholesale in the U.S.

The WSWA called on the federal government to respect the right of states to legalize cannabis. The trade group also noted that the legal marijuana market generated more than $7 billion in economic activity in 2016.  Dawson Hobbs, the WSWA Acting Executive Vice President for External Affairs, compared the fledgling legal cannabis economy to his industry’s challenges of the 1930s.

“Eight decades ago, Americans acknowledged that the Prohibition of alcohol was a failed policy. The state-based system of regulation, adopted after Prohibition, created a U.S. beverage alcohol market that is the safest, most competitive, and best regulated in the world,” he said.

Regulation is Key

The WSWA said that cannabis should be regulated similarly to alcohol, and included a specific list of recommendations. The group

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Oklahoma Health Department Sued Over Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Two separate lawsuits have been filed in response to restrictions tacked onto Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law by government regulators. Voters passed State Question 788 (SQ 788) by a margin of 57-43 percent in a June 6 election. SQ 788 legalized the medicinal use of cannabis and created a framework for a regulated supply chain.

Earlier this week, the State Department of Health released proposed rules to govern the program. But then the Oklahoma State Board of Health voted to add restrictions to the rules, including a provision banning the sale of smokable forms of cannabis at dispensaries. Another requires medical marijuana dispensaries to have a pharmacist onsite.

Activists Fight Back

One of the lawsuits has been filed in Oklahoma County by Green the Vote. The advocacy group is suing the state, Gov. Mary Fallin, the Oklahoma State Health Department, and five members of the board. In a release, the group said the board’s actions do not comply with SQ 788.

“The lawsuit filed today is our endeavor to undo the wrongful acts of the Oklahoma Department of Health in adopting amendments to the regulations implementing State Initiative 788. It is our hope that this lawsuit will quickly resolve the improper regulations and

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New Yorkers May Now Replace Opioid Prescriptions With Medical Marijuana

One month after announcing it would dramatically overhaul qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use, the New York State Health Department of Health announced Thursday that it had filed emergency regulations instituting the new policy. Effective immediately, New Yorkers may now replace opioid prescriptions with medical marijuana.

New York’s Massive Medical Marijuana Expansion Just Went Into Effect

The number of New Yorkers who qualify for medical cannabis recommendations just skyrocketed. As of July 12, any condition for which a doctor can prescribe an opioid now counts as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.

The new regulation has major implications for patient access across the state. Beyond approving marijuana as a replacement for opioids, the rules expand the definition of qualifying pain disorders.

Before the emergency regulations took effect yesterday, New York permitted chronic pain as one of its qualifying conditions. But there are other severe pain disorders that don’t fall under that definition.

Yet physicians often prescribe pharmaceutical opioids for those severe pain disorders also. And over-prescribing is a contributing factor of the rising tide of opioid use and abuse across the US.

Can Expanded Qualifying Conditions Reduce Prescription Opioid Use in New York?

Between 2013 and 2016, New Yorkers died at a 135 percent higher rate in opioid-related deaths. In 2016, the state ranked two points higher than the national rate.

The State Health Department hopes the new provision to its Compassionate Care Act will accomplish two things. Helping to expand access to the state’s struggling medical cannabis program while simultaneously addressing New York’s ongoing struggle with prescription opioid abuse.

State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said as much last month when he announced that the Dept. of Health was finalizing the rule change.

In the announcement, Zucker expressed a hope that the changes would help individuals to “hopefully come off prescription opioids“.

Studies attest to the effectiveness of cannabis for treating chronic pain. As does substantial patient testimony. And that evidence has made chronic pain one of the most common qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, next to epilepsy.

There are a few exceptions to the consensus, however. Last week, Australian researchers published the results of a 4-year-long cohort study that cast doubt on the effectiveness of cannabis as a chronic pain treatment.

NY DOH Hopes Medical Marijuana Will Ween New Yorkers Off Opioids

New York’s recent policy revisions have consistently increased health practitioners’ ability to prescribe medical cannabis for pain disorders.

And their latest move frees doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for the same non-chronic pain symptoms for which they might otherwise prescribe opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin and Fentanyl.

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Cannabis for Kids? Almost Half of Canadian Pediatricians Didn’t Know They Could Prescribe: Survey

Dr. Michael Rieder wants it made clear that cannabis is not a side-effect free, cure-all.

The London, Ont., pediatrician has had many children referred to him by doctors who know Rieder wrote the Canadian Paediatric Society’s position statement on cannabis use and aren’t sure whether to prescribe.

The conversations, Rieder says, are rather interesting.

“The families usually come in with a certain set of ideas,” he says.

“Medical cannabis is imbued with a certain mythological character … a panacea for all ills quite unlike most other drugs.”

– Read the entire article at Global News.

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Study: Eating Raw Cannabis Associated With Significant Improvements in Insomnia Patients

Consuming “raw, natural medical cannabis flower” is associated with “significant improvements” in insomnia patients, finds a new study published by the open access journal Medicines.

For the study 409 people with a specified condition of insomnia completed 1056 medical cannabis administration sessions using the Releaf AppTM educational software during which they recorded real-time ratings of “self-perceived insomnia severity levels prior to and following consumption, experienced side effects, and product characteristics, including combustion method, cannabis subtypes, and/or major cannabinoid contents of cannabis consumed.” Within-user effects of different flower characteristics were modeled using “a fixed effects panel regression approach with standard errors clustered at the user level.”

Researchers found that “Releaf AppTM users showed an average symptom severity reduction of -4.5 points on a 0⁻10 point visual analogue scale.” Use of pipes and vaporizers was associated with “greater symptom relief and more positive and context-specific side effects as compared to the use of joints, while vaporization was also associated with lower negative effects.” Cannabidiol (CBD) “was associated with greater statistically significant symptom relief than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the cannabinoid levels generally were not associated with differential side effects.”

The study concludes; “Consumption of medical Cannabis flower is associated with significant

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