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Could the Cannabis Transdermal Patch Be Abused?

Could the Cannabis Transdermal Patch Be Abused?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

The growth of medical marijuana reform in America continues to make headway. Some new states are beginning the process of establishing new regulations and policies concerning medical marijuana, and others have already begun to debate fringe issues like drugged driving or workplace drug tests. Medical marijuana is no longer as taboo as it once was, and now innovations are beginning to reinvent the way marijuana is used medically. Something else you may not know about medical marijuana technology is the cannabis transdermal patch.

A few months ago there was the story of the new cannabis inhaler, utilizing the same kind of device that people use for asthma. This unique method of administration has nothing else like it so far. There is enthusiasm about how this could change how people utilize medicinal marijuana to fight cancer and other serious diseases. It may even change how some people view the use of cannabis for medical reasons. So looking at the concept of cannabis transdermal patch, it sparks some curiosity.

Cannabis Transdermal Patch: How Patches Work

To explain, a transdermal patch is basically an adhesive attached to the skin which allows medication to be absorbed through the skin. Of course, transdermal patches already exist for all types of other medications. The nicotine patch is probably one of the most popular forms of transdermal medication. The extremely potent and potentially lethal drug Fentanyl has also been used in the patch form before.

The cannabis transdermal patch would release certain chemicals over time to combat the neurological nerve pain for many patients. According to initial reports from one company, Cannabis Science, so far the research has shown no notable negative side effects.

Cannabis Transdermal Patch: Mary’s Medicinals

This actually isn’t a brand new concept. Since 2013, Mary’s Medicinals is a company that has been focused on medical cannabis. The company was the first to ever offer a cannabis transdermal patch as a method of delivery.

The cannabis transdermal patch from Mary’s has actually won numerous awards at the CannAwards in 2015. In defense of their intentions with the product, they have even said,

“We don’t cater towards the recreational market”

One report says that 80% of the companies products don’t even contain THC. THC is the chemical in marijuana responsible for the “high” people experience.

Cannabis Transdermal Patch: Cannabis Science

The cannabis transdermal patch was created by a company called Cannabis Science. According to one statement from the company about the cannabis transdermal patch,

“An advantage of a transdermal drug delivery route over other types of medication delivery, such as oral, topical, intravenous, intramuscular, etc. is that the patch provides a controlled release of the medication into the patient, usually through body heat melting thin layers of medication embedded in the adhesive which will be containing high potency cannabinoid (CBD) extract that slowly enters into the bloodstream and then penetrates the central nervous system of the patient delivering the pain relief sought.”

So essentially the idea is to create a controlled dosage system for medical cannabis extract that can eliminate other complications of administration. The CEO of Cannabis Science also states,

“The development of these two new pharmaceutical medicinal applications are just the tip of the iceberg,” then later adding, “We are also busy researching more potential needs for cannabis related medical applications and developing the methods for delivery of these medications.”

So it would seem that this team believes the future of medical marijuana could very well be in finding new ways to apply the substance and administer it in a medicinal capacity.

Cannabis Transdermal Patch: Can it be Abused?

So as an individual in recovery and when looking at news in the field of drug abuse, medication and addiction treatment, of course my question is could these patches be abused. As with most people, when you hear anything to do with marijuana you have the stigma attached to it that has become so standard. But in reality, we have seen science support that there are uses for the substance medically.

Same can be said for Xanax or OxyContin, but these are still powerful drugs and with the nation facing an opioid crisis it is probably safe to say that even legal medicine with good intention has the capacity to destroy lives.

So, can the cannabis transdermal patch be abused?

Surely some could be. Depending on the chemical make-up the patch could probably be used as a sneaky way for people to get high. Surely there will be people who go out of their way to figure out how to misuse the cannabis transdermal patch. Still, for most companies the idea behind them has been to specifically develop a method of administering medical marijuana extracts without the “high” side effects.

Regardless of the legal standing of a medication, marijuana or otherwise, the dangers of substance abuse are very real. So perhaps as the use of the cannabis transdermal patch becomes more relevant more research about abuse.

Any substance can be abused and develop into an addiction, even marijuana. If you are struggling with marijuana addiction, do not hesitate to get help today. You are not alone! If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.

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Big Pharma Getting in on Medical Marijuana

Big Pharma Getting in On Medical Marijuana

Author: Justin Mckibben

This probably comes as bad news to everyone out there who held out some hope Big Pharma would be blocked from the medical marijuana industry. That’s right, soon there might be coming to a dispensary near you as soon as the first half of 2016 the first naturally-derived, Big Pharma-produced medical marijuana product.

Big Pharma is in the building ladies and gentlemen.

The Epidiolex Empire

Introducing Epidiolex. This liquid formulation of pure, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is currently being manufactured by the British company, G.W. Pharmaceuticals and is currently on the FDA Fast Track to the final Phase 3 study for pediatric epilepsy disorders such as Dravet’s and Lennox-Gastaut’s syndromes.

So far all evidence suggests Epidiolex will pass this final stage with flying colors and will thus have cleared the FDA’s testing requirements, excluding the unlikely event of some drastically dangerous discovery. There are also already plenty of indications of government officials literally paving the way for this new player in the medical marijuana industry.

So is Epidiolex on its way to changing the entire medical marijuana game in the early days of next year? What does this mean for the future of medical marijuana reform?

The TRE Treatment

To test the usefulness of Epidiolex children and young adults with severe, childhood onset treatment resistant epilepsy (TRE) participated in an expanded access compassionate use program for CBD at a site in NYU and another at UCSF.

The subjects entered a baseline period of 4 weeks when parents/caregivers kept prospective seizure diaries, noting all countable motor seizure types. Then the patients received a purified 98% oil-based CBD extract in a gradually increased dosage along with baseline AED regimen.

Patients were then seen at regular intervals of 2-4 weeks after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of CBD therapy for laboratory testing for:

  • Hematologic
  • Liver function
  • Kidney function

After 3 months of therapy 39% of patients had 50% or more reduction in seizures!

Big Politics for Big Pharma

Among the most significant parts of politicians getting involved in this new angle at the medical marijuana market was a hearing by the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, on June 24 where the representatives took on the decidedly domestic issue of what to do about medical cannabis.

The meeting was chaired by two unlikely medical cannabis proponents:

  • Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley
  • California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein

For long-time medical marijuana advocates it was a surreal moment to watch these two veteran senators work their way through supporting medical marijuana, when normally they would be expected to propose tougher penalties and increased enforcement.

But this was not the case, and both Grassley and Feinstein supported:

“expanding compassionate access programs where possible, to benefit as many children as possible.”

So now there are a couple of big questions haunting senior observers of the medical cannabis movement like a series of splinters in the forefront of the mind:

What will the federal government do once Epidiolex is on the market?

Will there be restriction on the growing and enthusiastic CBD market that is flourishing online?

(CBD is produced from hemp and contains less the 0.03% delta-9 THC.)

With Epidiolex scheduled in the Controlled Substances Act will authorities tighten the control of natural CBD?

Consider Marinol, which is a synthetic version of the most psychoactive ingredient in cannabis (THC) that went through a similar round of debate and discussion on the medical marijuana front years prior. Marinol is Schedule III while the cannabis plant itself is Schedule I. So what does Epidiolex really mean for the future of medical marijuana?

Epidiolex was not without side effects, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite

But research data stated reducing the dosage improved these issues.

At the end of the day, if the medication is going to help sick people then more power to them, but we have continued to see how some big names in Big Pharma have a way of taking advantage of the public with some drugs, and concealing the facts about others, so it is probably a good thing that drugs like Epidiolex are looked at especially close for being derived from cannabis. And some would say for addicts it presents a temptation either way.

Is Big Pharma going to revolutionize the medical marijuana industry for the better? Or is it going to try and corner the market based on growing support for medical marijuana and use profits as a reason to prevent it from moving forward? Results may vary, just like current opinions, but it was only a matter of time before they got involved.

Pharmaceutical companies have already earned a reputation as the new drug dealers, and marijuana reform is only expanding their market. Regardless of the substance, addiction is a very real concern in our country, and we need real solutions to eliminate the dependency on Big Pharma as much as possible. There is always a solution, and always people who want to help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Medical Pot Passes in Pennsylvania Senate

Medical Pot Passes in Pennsylvania Senate

Author: Justin Mckibben

Ladies and gentlemen, medical pot is on its way to passing into law in Pennsylvania! This is a huge announcement considering the current political climate, and the fact that Pennsylvania is one of the swing states that is essential to sealing the deal on a presidential election.

For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past few years, let me get you caught up on what’s going down. Marijuana reforms and legalization movements have been taking the country by storm, noting that medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, recreational marijuana is legal in 3, and both are legal in Washington, D.C. the 2014 November midterms set us up for a domino effect of legislation, with anyone wagering against weed coming up empty handed in most cases.

The 2016 presidential election campaigns starting to rev their respective engines in regards to reforms concerning addiction and mental health, and the issue of legalizing marijuana on a state by state basis could be one of the deciding factors for the presidential hopefuls.

Bipartisan Backing Senate Bill 3

Tuesday took the Pennsylvania Senate by storm when an overwhelming bipartisan majority approved the medical cannabis bill according to Democratic State Senator Daylin Leach for Delaware. Leach sponsored Senate Bill 3 from its initial formation, along with Republican Senator Mike Folmer, was just one of the politicians backing it. All in all including:

  • 19 Democrats
  • 21 Republicans

The measure passed by a 40-7 margin, a total landslide victory in the chronicles of chronic history. Leach said in a press release,

“Today, the Senate showed it stands with the 88% of Pennsylvanians who support medical cannabis. A huge, bipartisan majority supported SB3 because it will allow children suffering from devastating seizure disorders, veterans suffering from PTSD, and cancer patients being ravaged by the side effects of chemotherapy, among others, to get the medicine they need.”

Now by the typical standards of marijuana reform, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes, this is a pretty impressive majority.

Pushing for Pots Potential

Under the regulations set forth by SB3 Pennsylvania residents would be eligible to be treated with medical marijuana for a wide variety of illnesses. But, for everyone getting all excited about breaking out the new bong, the legislation text states they will not be able to smoke it. Leach added that in his opinion, legalizing marijuana is a “moral issue, not a partisan issue.” He also went on to add said in a speech on the floor of the Senate after the bill was passed:

“If any one of us had a sick child, a sick mother, a sick brother, that’s the only thing in the world we would care about. This is going to make a huge difference in the lives of so many people.”

In the past Leach has cited the economic opportunity which legalizing marijuana could present, beyond just medicinal marijuana. During a trip to Colorado in July 2014, he noted in an Op-Ed that marijuana growing facilities employed a number of positions that included:

  • Doctors
  • Medical technicians
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Extensive support staff

He talked about how dispensaries created other forms of employment, such as:

  • Security
  • Technicians
  • Sales force (known as bud-tenders)

Leach stated that these individuals had to be highly educated about their products, and thus were paid a very respectable salary.

Leach talked about the potential for state income, saying that in Colorado the tax revenues coming into the state are “astronomical.” According to his report in the first 6 months of legal cannabis the State of Colorado estimated to have generated well over $50 million in direct tax revenues, plus millions more from licensing fees, and indirect businesses such as:

Sealing the Drug Deal

Now SB3 must be approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives before getting a final signature into law from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. While there is still a possibility this will stop it in its tracks, considering the broad bipartisan support the bill received in the Senate, it would seem a probability that SB3 will pass the House and become legally binding.

However, don’t count the fight completely over. This would be the first time a bill passed through the Pennsylvania Senate just like that only to fail in the home-stretch. In the fall of 2014 another bill similar to SB3 was rejected in the House after passing the Senate, so nothing is guaranteed just yet folks. Opponents of the bill were largely social conservatives concerned with family values, and many are not convinced with the dependability of marijuana’s medical value, some even citing research that contradicts the argument that marijuana is good for seizures, and some saying it actually worsens them.

Still, if this revolutionary new bill becomes a law, Pennsylvania would become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. And again, with this being a swing state it could influence the path the future president takes, and even the entire country. Only time will tell, now all eyes are on Pennsylvania. Next… Ohio?

Medical marijuana may be uniquely beneficial to many patients in need, but for the addict it can only continue to create an unnecessary risk that could cause even more harm down the line. While there are already plenty of risky medications out there, a drug is a drug and this one can still be abused. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

So Florida is NOT Getting Medical Marijuana… Yet

So Florida is NOT Getting Medical Marijuana… YetAuthor: Justin Mckibben

The latest bit of news on the subject of whether or not the newest wave of marijuana law reforms will be washing up on the beaches of the sunshine state is not looking so bright for those in favor of medical marijuana. This past Tuesday the Florida House of Representatives cut short its legislative session three days ahead of schedule, meaning that any hope of getting any kind of medical marijuana initiative passed will have to wait… at least until 2016.

Sunshine Swing State

The Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll was released regarding the 3 swing states that are huge in the new 2016 presidential elections and the views those citizens had on legalizing marijuana. Florida was one of those states, and according to those statistics:

  • 55% of voters in Florida support recreational marijuana use
  • 84% of voters in Florida support medical marijuana
  • 17% of Florida voters say they “definitely” or “probably” would use it
  • 81% of Florida voters say they “probably” or “definitely” would not use it

So with Florida being one of the historically essential states in elections, it seems that the states stance on adjusting pot policies is a huge influence. So it does make a lot of sense that any officials in the state would want to take their time and be able to take every aspect into consideration before leading a charge that could change the country.

Looking For the Right Legislation

There are already a couple of medical marijuana bills that had been introduced in the current session, including HB 683.

  1. HB 683

This particular piece of politics is being sponsored by Representative Greg Steube, and HB 683 calls for a non-smokable form of marijuana for medical purposes, and it would only be available to be prescribed to patients suffering from:

  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • ALS
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Terminal illness

Now those all seem like pretty legitimate reasons to seek out forms of treatment that would generally be unorthodox. But others suggest that even more lenient restrictions should be put in place.

  1. Florida Medical Marijuana Act

Senator Jeff Brandes introduced the Florida Medical Marijuana Act in late January designed to give doctors the ability to use medicinal marijuana to treat patients afflicted with similar diseases.

Senator Brandes had also introduced another bill with another senator, meaning Senator Bob Bradley, which was intended to assist patients with debilitating diseases by giving them faster access to a medicinal marijuana containing lower levels of THC.

Brandes had already admitted defeat and accepted that his initiative was off the table for the current session, but while that battle was lost Brandes believes he has not lost the war. He expressed a desire to go back over the initiative this summer to get more info from experts and rehash the bill for another try at consideration.

Calling It Early

Regardless of the status of any bill, the House’s decision to shut things down with three days left before it was scheduled effectively killed any chance of moving forward with all medical marijuana bills. The House cited the ongoing debate over health-care expansion as the reason for calling it early, but some think this is an unacceptable excuse. United for Care Campaign Manager Ben Pollara said via a statement:

“Today the people we elected to represent us in Tallahassee literally abdicated their responsibility to Floridians. The House of Representatives decided to simply quit work, three days before the end of session, and with that, medical marijuana legislation is dead in Tallahassee.”

Pollara was one of many that appeared outraged that the House decided to simply tap out on account of deadlock about something as important as healthcare, especially when so many still need answers. In regards to the Houses closing up shop Pollara stated:

“Hundreds of thousands of patients across this state are sick, suffering, and dying, but the House simply quit. Nearly 3.4 million Floridians voted ‘yes’ for medical marijuana, but the House simply quit. Despite courageous leadership from senators and representatives in both houses and both parties, Tallahassee has failed us again.”

This definitely isn’t the first problem Florida has had with getting medical weed legalized in Florida. Back in November during the midterm elections the Amendment 2 initiative fell short of passing by a mere 2% points! Leaving supports disappointed but not discouraged. Amendment 2 was as close as Florida has ever come to joining 23 other states and Washington, D.C., in legalizing marijuana.

Still, United for Care and other groups in the area were hopeful that the improvement in the polls was a sign of positive change. As a result, the group began an online petition to get the initiative back on the ballot for 2016, so to some degree they were already preparing to take this movement on the long hall. Pollara and others are extremely confident that medical marijuana will make it to the polls, and that the “voters will pass what the legislature failed to.”

One fun fact- with the numbers: did you know in Florida more people voted for medical marijuana than voted for Rick Scott?

Marijuana legalization is firmly set to become a popular topic in the coming months, especially placed in the path of the presidency. It may be on the other side of the debate on drug law reform and improving mental health and addiction treatment, but what does this mean for those already struggling with the disease of addiction?

A drug is a drug, and all of them can be dangerous for an addict. While many advocate for the medical advantages that marijuana can create, others are troubled by the potential it has to affect those who battle with substance abuse and recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Recreational Weed vs Medical Marijuana in Washington

Recreational Weed vs Medical Marijuana in Washington

Author: Justin Mckibben

After all the news about weed winning over the midterm elections this past November, plenty of states are already making moves to get marijuana moving in their areas. Washington State had its first recreational marijuana stores opening for business this past July, ahead of the trend which only furthered the culmination of the collective effort to legalize the drug, but since then it has not all been smooth sailing.

Recently it has become apparent that some recreational marijuana outlets feel that they are being cheated by medical dispensaries thanks to one-sided policies, and many are lobbying for change.

Backtracking  

Back in 1998 voters in Washington passed a ballot initiative offering protection for those who smoke marijuana with a doctor’s note saying they needed the drug for medical reasons against prosecution. This was a legal loophole created that allowed marijuana dispensaries sell pot to people with the notes. Washington at this point was lightly the only state that didn’t set up a patient registry or issue ID cards, and had a very laxed system that allowed a medical marijuana market to flourish.

Later on Washington passed a ballot measure legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use as well, which was a popular topic in 2012. Adults were now able to get high without a medical excuse, and no notes were required.

Money Makes a Difference

The 2012 initiative also established a tax and licensing regime for growers, processors, and retailers overseen by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which dictates the product testing and package labeling for marijuana products in the area.

The taxation actually made purchasing recreational marijuana about 50% more expensive than medical marijuana. Lynsee Swisher is the director of Nine Point Growth Industries, a licensed grower of strains such as Opal OG Kush, who feels that these are extra costs being imposed on growers that medical marijuana does not have to deal with.

Marijuana Monopoly

Now retailers are trying to get more regulation put on medical marijuana, and many new retailers are hiring lobbyists to push state legislators in Olympia to get things in motion. The general goal for these growers and dispensers is that they want medical marijuana to meet the same safety standards as recreational cannabis, and for customers who aren’t true patients to be required to purchase the products from the high-tax retail markets.

Amber Lewis was hired in November by an alliance of medical and recreational businesses that want to figure a way that’s fair to both sides, as many dispensaries are bringing in their own lobbyists to make sure they get a fair stake in the changing market. Lewis stated,

“I’ve learned that in the cannabis industry, things are very loose, until they’re not,”

There is so far no exact census of how many medical dispensaries are operating in Washington, but it is safe to say that medical marijuana establishments greatly outnumber the recreational cannabis shops. That’s a tall order considering there are 334 recreational marijuana stores licensed to open.

300 marijuana dispensaries operate just in Seattle, but only 21 retail licenses were issued according to the director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board Rick Garza.

The licenses for the new retail stores have an application fee that alone made the state a lot of money.  The licenses were divided by random lottery last May, and at a cost of $250 to enter with over 1,000 people applying for licenses, that little chunk of change makes a difference.

Pursuit of Change for Pot Laws

Lynsee Swisher joined the newly formed Washington CannaBusiness Association last fall, which represents licensed recreational pot sellers working with executive director Vicki Christophersen.

CannaBusiness Association is currently backing a bill sponsored by the state’s Republican Senate Majority Whip Ann Rivers, which would require medical dispensaries to meet licensing and product testing standards. That bill also aims to restrict the state’s medical-use designation of:

  • Oils
  • Edibles
  • Other concentrated forms of cannabis

Under this legislation only recreational stores would be permitted to sell dried bud for smoking.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles has also proposed another bill that would make retail dispensaries in Washington responsible for distributing medical pot alongside commercial products. Some feel that medical marijuana markets are cornering the market with unfair tactics to slip under the tax-man’s radar, and so many individuals in the weed business want to do all they can to make sure everyone growing and distributing marijuana is held to the same standards.

Marijuana legalization may be getting a little bit of momentum these days, but for those recovering from serious issues with drugs and alcohol; this is just one more reason to have the right kind of starting point and support for sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-851-6135

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