Cannabis news and notes: Americans for Safe Access new podcast, users prefer medical cannabis, and more

Aug 19, 2020

Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy organization that seeks to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, announced a new partnership with The Cannigma, a website that educates people about the healing properties of cannabis. Together, the two organizations will host bi-monthly podcasts to inform the public about medical cannabis.

According to a statement, in their most recent episode, ASA Executive Director Debbie Churgai and Interim Policy Director Dustin McDonald spoke with The Cannigma’s Michael Schaeffer about efforts to advance legalization and access.

“While the acceptance of cannabis continues to grow throughout the world, ASA and Cannigma recognize the need for a greater understanding of the science, research, and human stories that surround the therapeutic benefits of cannabis,” said Debbie Churgai, Executive Director of ASA in a statement. “We are excited to forge this new partnership with the Cannabis Enigma podcast to expand the ways in which we can educate the public on medical cannabis from a scientific perspective.” 

Most cannabis users prefer medical

According to a recent post from Oasis Intelligence, while many in the cannabis community are focused on the recreational cannabis front, most consumers use cannabis for medical or wellness purposes. According to their findings, 83 percent of people who consume cannabis do it for medical or wellness reasons. More interestingly, 16 percent of users don’t distinguish between medical and recreational use at all.

The report notes that these findings are essential for cannabis companies and the industry at large should they wish to focus their marketing in the proper direction in the future. However, Oasis does caution the industry as well. “We must acknowledge the sensitive area that cannabis and medicine sits in,” they write. “Cannabis brands and companies need to be cautious about promoting specific health benefits from their products or face potential penalties, but the reward will be high for those who can both operate within the parameters of FDA guidance while conveying that they can be trusted for wellness benefits.”

Vets, pets, and CBD

Leafreport interviewed several different veterinarians to determine how cannabidiol can help pets, such as cats and dogs. Although CBD has grown in popularity over the past few years, many people may not know that it can also help their pets cope with various issues. 

“CBD, not THC, is wonderful for pets for a number of ailments including chronic pain, behavioral problems, and more recently with immune system regulation and improvement of GI and skin issues,” Dr. Joseph Wakshlag (DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, DACVSMR), the CMO at ElleVet Sciences, told Leafreport.

He continued: “Joint and mobility issues are one area where we have had great success, along with stress from various situations, itchiness, and general quality of life issues that senior dogs are prone to. Cats respond very well to CBD and stress/anxiety is where we have seen huge improvements anecdotally.”

And in other cannabis news…

New Zealand medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics secured an all-new commercial Medicinal Cannabis Licence, allowing them to cultivate and process active cannabis ingredients. “This is the strongest indication yet that patients can expect high quality, affordable, certified New Zealand Grown cannabis medicines as soon as early next year,” said Paul Manning, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.

In, Andrew DeAngelo talks about COVID-19 and cannabis. “I had to learn to manage a certain amount of stress as I was engaged in criminal activity,” DeAngelo writes. “Meditation became an essential tool of the trade, as did push-ups and sit-ups. Copious cannabis consumption was a constant, followed by a mix of soothing euphoria and utter paranoia. Whenever I ventured out, I felt a deep sense of fear. Every person seemed like an undercover cop or a federal agent—my mind raced to think of every contingency, every possible outcome and every escape route.”

Most Americans have a “positive perception” of the cannabis marketplace according to data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors. “This data once again affirms that most voters do not experience ‘buyer’s remorse’ following marijuana legalization,” said NORML’s Paul Armentano. “In the minds of most Americans, these laws are operating as voters intended and in a manner that is consistent with their expectations.”

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