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USA: Dr. Bruce Bugbee, Utah State University on Cannabis Cultivation Research
USA: Dr. Bruce Bugbee, Utah State University on Cannabis Cultivation Research
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cbd cbg
cbd cbg

First discovered in Israel in the 1960s by Professor Raphael Mechoulam and his team, cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds derived from the cannabis plant. These compounds are responsible for the many medicinal effects of cannabis, with each compound offering distinctive properties and benefits. To date, scientists have discovered over 113 cannabinoids, and more are likely to be found.

Cannabinoids

Your body responds to every cannabinoid compound differently thanks to a remarkable built-in mechanism: the endocannabinoid system. This complex system is made up of receptors scattered throughout the body, which regulate health and homeostasis. The receptors have been identified in nearly every major organ system, from the brain and spinal cord to the gastrointestinal tract. CB1 receptors are associated most closely with the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are linked to the immune system. These receptors, along with enzymes that aid in cleanup after many endocannabinoid system processes, help our bodies maintain a stable internal environment.

When activated by exposure to cannabinoids, the receptors of the endocannabinoid system become reactive. This means they’re able to affect key body processes including mood, memory, appetite, and pain. The specific effects of cannabis-derived products depend on the particular compound used and the location of the receptors that bind with that compound; we’ll look more closely at the receptor-cannabinoid interactions of various CBD compounds in the sections below.

CBD

The most familiar of the cannabinoids is CBD, an abbreviation that’s short for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other well-known compound derived from cannabis, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects. That means you can use it for medicinal purposes without getting high, so it’s safe to utilize even when you’re planning to work or drive. CBD is also an extremely adaptable compound, so it can be transformed into oils, gummies, pills, creams and more to suit various therapeutic needs.

CBD is the best researched of the cannabinoid compounds, and its applications are exceptionally wide-ranging. Studies show that CBD can be used for:

CBD — Reported Therapeutic Effects

1. Anxiety and stress

2. Depression

3. Schizophrenia

4. Panic

5. Withdrawal symptoms in cannabis and tobacco addiction. Inhibition of the reward-facilitating effect of morphine and cocaine.

6. Auto-immune diseases (diabetes type 1 for example)

7. Auto-immune-like diseases (GVHD, for example)

8. Conditioning

9. Inflammation (Crohn's disease, colitis, pancreatitis, rheumatoid arthritis).

10. Reduces infarct size and increase blood flow in stroke;

11. Obesity (food consumption; lowering appetite); metabolic syndrome.

12. Retinopathy associated with diabetes.

13. Antiemetic and anti-nausea

14. Protects against myocardial, liver, renal ischemic/reperfusion injury

15. Protects against hypoxia/ischemia injury.

16. Neuroprotection against neuronal damage due to neurological diseases or injury (Parkinson's disease; Huntington's disease; Alzheimer's disease; cerebral infarction; hepatic encephalopathy; traumatic brain injury; cerebral ischemia; spinal cord injury; memory rescuing effects; ).

17. Cancer and resistance to cancer chemotherapy; cancer cell migration (metastasis); inhibits angiogenesis.

18. Epilepsy and convulsions.

19. Chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain

20. Lowers cannabis and THC effects such as memory loss, psychotic-like symptoms, anxiogenic action

21. Protects against airway obstruction

22. Obsessive-compulsive behavior

23. Memory rescuing effects due to neurodegenerative disorders

24. Epigenetics

25. Reduces neuroinflammation and promotes neuroplasticity and functional recovery after brain ischemia

26. Restless leg syndrome

27. Disrupts the consolidation of specific and generalized fear memories

28. Preventing the development of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

29. Osteoarthritis

30. Gout

31. Kidney injury

32. Familial Mediterranean fever (auto-immune)

33. Aggressiveness

34. Cannabidiol Improves Cognitive Impairment and Reverses Cortical Transcriptional Changes Induced by Ketamine, in Schizophrenia-Like Model in Rats

CBDA

Cannabidiolic acid, generally abbreviated to CBDA, is a cannabinoid produced by the stems, leaves, and flowers of some cannabis plants. Through a process called decarboxylation, the acid is removed from CBDA, transforming it into CBD. This process is most often performed by heating or smoking cannabis varieties that are high in CBDA. For this reason, CBDA is sometimes considered the “precursor” to CBD.

CBD and CBDA share similar molecular structures, so their therapeutic effects are also similar; however, CBDA has been the subject of less extensive scientific study. Scientists have learned that CBDA works primarily as an inhibitor of the COX-2 enzyme within the endocannabinoid system, leading to exploration of its effectiveness as a treatment for inflammation. Recent studies have also tested the efficacy of CBDA for certain types of cancer, and as an anti-emetic.

CBN

CBN is the abbreviation for cannabinol, another compound within the cannabinoid family. In fact, CBN was the first cannabinoid isolated by scientists. CBN is produced when THC is heated or exposed to oxygen; it also occurs naturally as the cannabis plant ages. Even though CBN is derived from THC, it doesn’t share the psychoactive properties of THC.

Within the endocannabinoid system, CBN binds to receptors less effectively than many other cannabinoids. However, it has been studied extensively as a helpful compound to improve sleep health. Scientists have discovered that CBN acts as a powerful sedative, with effects comparable to common sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals like diazepam. In studies on mice, CBN has been shown to prolong sleep time; additional studies suggest that this effect is amplified when used in combination with THC.

Along with its implications for sleep health, CBN has been studied as a possible stimulant for bone tissue growth. Research shows that it may activate stem cells that facilitate the production of new bone, making it potentially useful for the healing of fractures. Additional studies have explored the analgesic, antibiotic, anticonvulsant, and anti-inflammatory applications of CBN.

CBG

Like the other compounds in this overview, CBG (short for cannabigerol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with a variety of promising medical applications. CBG is actually the precursor to its more famous cousins, CBD and THC. Like CBDA, exposure to light or heat breaks down CBG in the cannabis plant into these better-known compounds.

Most strains of cannabis contain relatively little CBG, often less than 1%. However, that doesn’t mean this cannabinoid is any less promising when it comes to potential applications. CBG interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system; during these interactions, it’s thought to naturally increase dopamine levels, which help to regulate sleep, mood, and appetite. CBG is also thought to obstruct GABA uptake in the brain and block serotonin receptors—both positive implications for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Studies have found CBG especially effective for certain physiological systems and symptoms, including:

Glaucoma

Endocannabinoid receptors are highly concentrated in the structures of the eye, and CBG has been shown particularly effective at reducing the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.

Cancer

A recent study offered promising results for CBG as a cancer-fighting compound, with the potential to block the receptors that cause cancer cell growth. Scientists saw inhibition in the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice that were treated with CBG, offering an exciting new avenue of treatment for cancer patients.

CBC

Discovered more than five decades ago, cannabichromene (abbreviated CBC) is considered one of the most promising cannabinoids in recent medical research. Like CBD and THC, CBC is derived from CBDA when the acid is broken down by exposure to heat or ultraviolet light.

Non-intoxicating like other CBD compounds, CBC is less well researched than some cannabis derivatives. However, scientists have discovered a variety of potential applications for this cannabinoid.

Within the endocannabinoid system, CBC binds most effectively with vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1); both of these receptor types are linked to the body’s perception of pain. This means that CBC may function as an alternative to traditional painkillers like NSAIDS, but without their potentially harmful side effects. CBC may be particularly effective for treating inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis, especially when used in combination with THC.

Additional studies have shown that CBC may be a potential cancer fighter, second only to CBG in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.  Though research in this field is limited so far, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBC may also make it an effective acne treatment; studies suggest that it could work to prevent the sebaceous gland inflammation at the root of many types of acne.

While these therapeutic benefits overlap with many other cannabinoids, CBC is differentiated by what’s known as the “entourage effect.” Researchers believe that CBC may work synergistically when used with other cannabinoids to provide even more effective treatments for many of the conditions outlined above.

CBDV

Last in our roundup of cannabinoid compounds is cannabidivarin, better known as CBDV. CBDV is extremely similar to CBD on a molecular level, but recent research has shown its applications are exceptionally unique and valuable for people with neurological disorders.

Preliminary studies on mice show that CBDV has enormous untapped potential in the treatment of epilepsy and similar neurological conditions. As an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic, CBDV may be able to help patients who suffer from epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions in which seizures may occur. Along with reducing the duration and intensity of seizures, CBDV could work to prevent convulsions in the event that a seizure does occur. Early research on these applications for CBDV is so promising that GW Pharmaceuticals, a cannabis-focused company based in England, is working to patent the use of CBDV for the treatment of seizures.

Along with seizure treatment, CBDV may be used by patients who experience vomiting and nausea, especially when those conditions are caused by chemotherapy. It has also been studied as an appetite suppressant, and as a treatment that relieves symptoms of Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Like all of the cannabinoids discussed above, CBDV is non-psychoactive.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function

Becky Lynn, MD,1 Amy Gee, MD,1 Luna Zhang, BS,1 and James G. Pfaus, PhD2

ABSTRACT

Introduction: With the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana in some countries and a few US states, its use has become more widely prevalent. Both exogenous cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have been shown to affect female gonadotropin pathways and female sexuality. Yet, our understanding of the mechanisms and effects on female sexual function is limited.

Aim: To review the literature regarding the effects of both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids on female sexual function in both animals and humans.

Methods: We performed a PubMed search for English-language articles in peer-reviewed journals between 1970 and 2019. We used the following search terms: “cannabinoids,” “endocannabinoids,” “marijuana,” “cannabis,” and “female sexual function” or “sexual function.” The main outcomes of the papers were reviewed.

Main Outcome Measure: The main outcome measure was sexual function in females.

Results: A total of 12 human studies and 8 animal studies that evaluated the relationship between cannabinoids and female sexual function were included. Study types in animals were blinded, prospective, placebo-controlled trials. Human studies were based primarily on questionnaire data. The data indicate dose-dependent effects on female sexual desire and receptivity, such that low doses generally facilitate or have no effect but high doses inhibit.

Conclusions: More research is needed to develop a better understanding of the effects of cannabinoids on female sexual function. There does appear to be an effect on both animals and humans, but whether the effect is positive or negative along dose and species lines requires more study. With the legalization of marijuana occurring in more countries and more US states, there needs to be more well-controlled studies evaluating the effects. Lynn B, Gee A, Zhang L, et al. Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function. J Sex Med 2019; XX:XXXeXXX.

Copyright   2019, The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the International Society for Sexual Medicine.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Key Words: Endocannabinoids; Cannabis; Marijuana; Female Sexual Function; THC; Endocannabinoid System

INTRODUCTION

Marijuana use has become more widely prevalent over the last decade. Its use has been decriminalized in México and has been accepted into law for both medical and recreational purposes in

Received May 9, 2019. Accepted July 22, 2019.

1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA;

2Centro de Investigaciones Cerebrales, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Copyright ª 2019, The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of

the International Society for Sexual Medicine. This is an open access

article  under  the  CC  BY-NC-ND  license  (http://creativecommons.org/

licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Canada and for use by the general population in several US states. As of the publication of this paper, 33 states and the District of Columbia had legalized marijuana for medical use, and 10 of those states legalized marijuana for recreational use.1 Good-quality research has long been lacking on the effects of marijuana on sexual function due to the illegality of the drug. The effects of marijuana on physiological mechanisms and be-haviors that drive sexual function have been studied primarily in rodents, and human research has had to depend on retrospective questionnaires. This paper aims to review the published data assessing the effects of cannabinoids on female sexual function.

METHODS

A literature review was performed in PubMed for publications in English with the keywords “marijuana,” “cannabis,”

“endocannabinoids,” and “sexual function” or “female sexual function.” We found 190 articles with these search qualifications, and the abstracts of these 190 articles were reviewed. Articles were included if they featured a study or survey that measured the impact of marijuana usage on female sexual function in an-imals and/or humans. Citations in these articles were then also reviewed for relevance. Given the scarcity of research done on humans relating to marijuana usage and sexual function, any relevant article was selected. No particular type of study was excluded or sought out. Twelve articles were identified relating to human research and were reviewed; of these 12 articles, 11 were retrospective surveys, and 1 was a prospective cohort study. Eight prospective, randomized, blinded animal studies were included. No particular animal species was included or excluded, but the animal studies relevant to this review were largely done on rats. Our main outcome measure was sexual function in females.

Endocannabinoid System

The first biologically active component of cannabis was identified in the 1960s as D9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a

potent drug classified as a sedative-hypnotic. This was followed by the discovery of 2 cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, in the early 1990s.2 Both are G-protein-coupled receptors and serve as the primary site of action for THC. Together, they are involved in a major neuromodulatory system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The primary goal of the ECS is to promote homeostasis.3 The main components of the ECS are the receptors CB1 and CB2; their endogenous ligands, ananda-mide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol; and the enzymes that modulate their breakdown (fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase). They are synthesized by fatty-acid metabolism and located in neurons, where they are released on demand by simple diffusion (Figure 1).4

The ECS is widespread throughout the body, including the central and peripheral nervous systems. The cannabinoid re-ceptors differ in their location of distribution. CB1 receptors are found throughout the central nervous system and some periph-eral tissues. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are primarily found in peripheral tissues and immune cells. Centrally, these receptors are more densely expressed in the neurons of

Figure 1. The endocannabinoid system: its functions, distribution, and components. Figure 1 is available in color online.

Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function 3

hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, cerebral cortex, parts of the basal ganglia, and cerebellum. Peripherally, cannabinoid re-ceptors are found in organs responsible for producing sex hor-mones, such as the adrenals, which provide a source of androgens, and the ovaries, which provide a source of estrogen, progesterone, and androgens.5 Other biologically active canna-binoids (reviewed in Cohen et al6) have been discovered in marijuana, including cannabidiol, which is beginning to show promise in blocking pain and inflammation and for use as an antiepileptic medication; cannabigerol, which can treat the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma; cannabichromene, which blocks pain and inflammation and shows encouraging anticancer effects; and tetrahydrocannabivarin, which acts as an effective appetite suppressant, reduces anxiety without altering mood, and shows efficacy in maintaining blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance. However, in addition to their inter-action with CB1 and CB2 receptors, these molecules modulate the binding affinity of other neurotransmitter receptors (eg, dopamine, serotonin). Importantly, the effects of these molecules have not yet been tested on sexual behavior.

ECS and the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis

Studies have shown that a relationship exists between the ECS and gonadal hormones. The ECS has been implicated in certain physiologic functions and behaviors that are known to be regu-lated by gonadal hormones. Many of the receptors and metabolic enzymes of the ECS are located extensively in the structures involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In animal models, studies show that THC suppresses gonadotropin release through the blockade of gonadotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus.4 This in turn causes decreased luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone release from the anterior pituitary, resulting in decreased estrogen release from the ovaries and decreased progesterone release from the corpus luteum.4 Thus, overall, THC blunts the activation of hormones that affect female sexual function.

Cannabinoids and the Neurotransmitters That Affect Sexual Function

CB1 is a presynaptic receptor that results in inhibition of neurotransmitter release when activated.7 CB1 receptors are located in the axon terminals of GABAergic, dopaminergic, adrenergic, glumatergic, and cholinergic neurons. Haring et al8 also found evidence of CB1 receptors in a subset of seroto-nergic neurons. Of importance, dopamine and serotonin play key roles in sexual functioning.9 Dopamine and norepinephrine play a role in excitatory processes of sexual function, such as desire and arousal, and serotonin plays a role in inhibitory pro-cesses, such as loss of desire. These neurotransmitters interact with testosterone, estrogen, melanocortins, progesterone, pro-lactin, and oxytocin to modulate the female sexual response.10

In the early 1970s, interest grew in studying the effects of marijuana on sexual function. It was known that marijuana had

effects on reproductive function. Marijuana was found to lower testosterone, decrease the weight of the testes, and affect sper-matogenesis in male rats.11 In female rats, marijuana was shown to decrease the luteinizing hormone surge and inhibit ovulation.12e14 It was therefore postulated that, due to its in-fluence on reproductive hormones, marijuana and other endo-cannabinoids might diminish sexual function. At that time, however, work on the effects of marijuana on sexual behaviors was limited; therefore, studies were done with animals, primarily rodents, to further elucidate the link between cannabinoids, including marijuana and sexual function.

Preclinical Studies of the Effects of Cannabinoids on Sexual Function

In 1978, Gordon et al11 evaluated the effects of THC on female lordosis, a posture assumed by some female mammals during mating, in which the back is arched downward. In rats, lordosis is a measure of female sexual receptivity. One goal of the study by Gordon et al was to determine if THC acted like es-trogen or progesterone. When these hormones were absent, these researchers found there was no effect on lordosis; however, when these hormones were present, THC enhanced lordosis, although at very high doses it did not.11

In 1981, Turley and Floody15 found that THC stimulated lordosis (receptivity) and sexual solicitation of a male (pro-ceptivity), along with precopulatory vocalizations, in ovariecto-mized, estrogen-primed hamsters. These results showed that the effects of THC could be extended to other species and other sexual behaviors. Mani et al16 found that THC infused into the third ventricle of the rat brain enhanced lordosis. This effect was blocked by the cannabinoid antagonists SR141716A and SR144528. The endocannabinoid antagonists were found to block progesterone-induced lordosis, also. Mani et al further evaluated receptivity when progesterone and dopamine were blocked and showed that receptivity was inhibited. These results imply that THC-induced receptivity is mediated by dopamine and progesterone.

Selective endocannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists have also been examined with regard to sexual responses in fe-male rodents. Memos et al17 carried out a series of experiments evaluating the effects of the endocannabinoid antagonist SR141716 and the effects of the endocannabinoid agonist AEA on partner preference when compared with a placebo in rats. Sexual motivation was measured by the number of visits the female rats made to the male rats. They showed that AEA enhanced sexual motivation as measured by more visits from the female rats, and SR141716 inhibited it. They also found that AEA and SR141716 did not affect lordosis. Zavatti et al18 had somewhat different results, finding that SR141716 inhibited lordosis but not motivation in female rats.

Not all animal studies have yielded similar results. Ferrari et al19 evaluated the effects of a potent cannabinoid receptor agonist, HU-210, in female rats and found that administration.

  Sexual motivation (runway test) Decreased Increased   Increased Decreased    
  Proceptivity(ultrasound vocalization or hops and darts) Increased   Increased    
    Receptivity (lordosis) Increased (low dose)Decreased(highdose)                    
    Increased Increased   Decreased Increased    
    Type of animal Simonsen Sprague-Dawley rats Golden hamsters Sprague-Dawley rats Long-Evans rats Long-Evans rats   Wistar rats Long-Evans rats Long-Evans rats    
Table1.Summaryofpreclinicalstudies Mechanism of action Agonist Agonist Agonist Antagonist Agonist   Agonist Antagonist/reverseagonist Agonist ¼¼AEAanandamide;THCtetrahydrocannabinol.  
  AuthorDrug Gordonetal(1978) TurleyandFloody(1980) Manietal(2000) Memosetal(2014) AEA   Ferrarietal(2000) Lopezetal(2009) Chadwicketal(2011)  
      THC THC THC SR141716     HU-210 AM-251 CP 55,940    
        15                  
      11   16 17     19 20 22    
                           

decreased both lordosis and the intensity of lordosis movements. The effect was dose and time dependent. Lopez et al20 evaluated receptivity, proceptivity, and sexual motivation as measured by a runway test. The runway test measures how fast a female rodent runs to a male rodent after being released from a chamber and is used as a surrogate for sexual motivation. They found that AM-251, an endocannabinoid antagonist/reverse agonist, enhanced these sexual behaviors. Lopez et al21 then evaluated a different cannabinoid receptor agonist, CP55,940, and found that sexual behaviors and motivation were decreased. Another study by Chadwick et al22 showed similar results with CP55,940. In rats, it decreased sexual motivation. Interestingly, female rats in this study showed no preference for a female or male mate when treated with CP55,940 but showed a male preference in the control group.

The varied findings in the animal studies likely reflect a series of factors. Different strains of animals, different types of agonist and antagonists, and different surrogate markers of sexual func-tion (proceptive vs receptive vs locomotor measures of motiva-tion) have been used. In addition, different compounds have different affinities for cannabinoid receptors. Routes of admin-istration are varied, as well (intracerebral vs systemic). Finally, the hormonal milieu in the animals varied among natural hormonal fluctuations, lack of hormones, or hormone replacement. Despite these limitations, animal studies provide some evidence that cannabinoids play a role in female sexual function, both directly and through interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (Table 1).

Clinical Studies of the Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function

Compared to the animal literature, there have been far more studies of the effect of marijuana on human female sexual function, although, to date, these findings have been limited to self-reported data. Despite the inability to conduct legal double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials at this point in time in the United States, some data have been published to support the hypothesis that female sexual function is improved when women use marijuana in moderate doses.23e25 These studies are based on questionnaires, which are potentially fraught with bias.

Surveys of Males and Females Evaluating Effects of Marijuana Use on Sexual Function

In one of the earliest studies, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drugs23 reported findings from an informal survey of about 200 marijuana users who were asked, “Do you think being high on marijuana stimulates your sex interest, or not?” Among these 200 users, 44% reported “definitely increases their sexual desire, ” with 50% of those being women. They found that women were more likely than men to report an in-crease in desire. They also looked at rare, frequent, and heavy everyday marijuana use. Frequent but not daily marijuana use when compared to heavy everyday use and rare use (less than 1 joint a week) was associated with increased sexual pleasure in around 70% of users.

In 1974, Koff26 performed a survey of 251 college-aged stu-dents, who were asked about the amount of marijuana smoked each time the drug was used (1 joint or less, 2e4 joints, or more than 4 joints) and whether their sexual desire increased, decreased, or remained the same. He also asked whether sexual activity was more or less enjoyable after marijuana use. Of the 251 college students surveyed, 128 were female. The results of the survey indicated that 39.1% of males reported an increase in sexual desire, whereas 57.8% of females reported an increase—a significant difference (P ¼ .048). Also, 43% of the female participants re-ported heightened sexual pleasure. Additionally, Koff found that the effects of marijuana appeared to be dose dependent, noting that, although 71% of female participants reported increasing sexual motivation after 1 joint, the percentage of women reporting increased desire decreased after a larger consumption of marijuana (greater than 4 joints) (49.5%). This study supports the idea that the effect of marijuana on sexual function is dose dependent, such that low doses of marijuana (1 joint) can be sexually stimulating but high doses of marijuana can have the opposite effect.

In 1976, Chopra and Jandu27 interviewed 275 chronic marijuana users (smoked for 6 months to several years) from India and Nepal about the effects of marijuana and included some questions evaluating its effects on sexual function. This study observed similar dose-dependent effects and speculated that sexual inhibition is caused by an increased sedative effect seen at higher doses of marijuana intoxication. They did not divide their findings by gender.

A survey of 84 graduate students of health sciences in the southeastern United States was conducted by Dawley et al28 (78% male and 22% female). This survey included 57 multiple-choice and true/false questions that were developed to determine the attitudes of individuals regarding the effects of marijuana use on sexual function. The 84 graduate students were categorized as “experienced” (having had a sexual experience while under the influence of marijuana), “non-experienced” (those who have been under the influence of marijuana but have not concurrently had a sexual experience), and “non-smokers.” The study found that the “experienced participants” reported increased sexual pleasure (88%), sensations (48%), and satisfac-tion when both partners used marijuana (76%), as well as an increase in the intensity of the orgasm (58%). However, this study did not explore any differences between males and females, specifically.

These findings were further replicated in a 1982 survey done by Halikas et al.29 One hundred regular marijuana users (37 female users) with an average smoking experience of 2 years were systematically interviewed to assess the psychosocial effects of marijuana use, including effects on sexual function. This study demonstrated that 76% of females reported an increase in sexual pleasure and satisfaction (14% of women reported variable feelings), and 63% of women reported feelings of emotional

closeness and intimacy. Additionally, 32% of women reported an enhanced quality of orgasm, and the other 8% and 60% reported variable or no effects, respectively. Overall, 81% of people (men and women) reported pleasure-enhancing effects associated with marijuana use.

Data by Green et al30 support the previous finding by Halikas et al. Their review showed that approximately half of marijuana users reported increased aphrodisiac effects from marijuana use. Among regular marijuana users, 25% of them used marijuana in preparation for sexual intercourse. Of these users, over half re-ported increased sexual desire.

In 2004, Johnson et al31 conducted a survey-based, commu-nity epidemiological sample looking at the incidence and prev-alence of sexual dysfunction in the general population (inhibited orgasm, functional dyspareunia, inhibited sexual excitement, and inhibited sexual desire). Out of the 3,004 participants, 60% were female. After controlling for multiple variables such as de-mographics, health status, and psychiatric comorbidities, mari-juana was found to be associated with inhibited orgasm, as well as inhibited sexual excitement and desire. As opposed to the other studies mentioned in this review, Johnson et al asked survey questions specifically about sexual dysfunction, as opposed to general sexual function, and about comorbid drug and alcohol use. They did not ask questions about the potential benefits or experiences of marijuana usage, which perhaps played a role in why their results suggest a negative effect from marijuana.

Sumnall et al32 surveyed 281 sexually active volunteers regarding the effects of alcohol and drugs on their sexual be-haviors; 131 (48.5%) of the volunteers were female. The most commonly reported drug used was marijuana (46.9%), although some individuals reported mixing alcohol with drugs. Their study reported that both marijuana and ecstasy were more frequently taken to improve the sexual experience than alcohol. Those who had taken illicit drugs reported greater sexual plea-sure, increased mental/interpersonal contact with their sexual partner, greater willingness to sexually experiment, and a more satisfying sexual experience overall, indicating a greater total scale score for sex on drugs compared to alcohol (z ¼ 5.696; P <

.001). Although Sumnall et al found that it was not possible to distinguish the effects of different specific drugs, the overall effect was a more positive sexual experience on illicit drugs, including marijuana, compared to consuming alcohol.

In 2018, Palamar et al24 evaluated self-reported sexual effects of marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol use in a group of 679 men and women (ages 18e25); 38.6% of the respondents were women. When focusing on marijuana users, both male and female, the majority reported increased sexual enjoyment (53.5%), orgasm intensity (44.9%), sexual intensity (61.8%), body sensitivity (49.1%), and either an increase (31.6%) or no change (51.6%) in sexual desire. Although this study did not specifically analyze male and female differences, the authors did note that females in their survey were more likely than men to report sexual

dysfunction (30.6%), which was defined for survey takers as “vaginal dryness,” after marijuana usage. They also noted that this definition of sexual dysfunction was limited and that par-ticipants may have experienced other forms of sexual dysfunction.

Female-Only Surveys Evaluating the Effects of Marijuana Use on Sexual Function

Sun and Eisenberg33 surveyed 28,176 women via household laptops in 2002, 2006e2010, and 2011e2015. Women were asked, “Now please think about the past 4 weeks. How many times have you had sexual intercourse with a man in the past 4 weeks?” This was followed by, “During the past 12 months, how often have you smoked marijuana?” with the choice of responses being never, once or twice during a year, several times during the year, approximately once a month, approximately once a week, or at least once a day. They found that a higher frequency of marijuana usage was associated with increased sexual frequency. Although association does not imply causation and potential confounders existed in this study, including the exclusion of homosexual encounters and acknowledgment that those who use marijuana regularly might already be psychologically more dis-inhibited in general compared to those who do not use, the authors suggested that marijuana’s impact on and potential benefit for sexual function should be further studied.

25 conducted a survey of 373 women from 2016 to 2017 to evaluate women’s perceptions of the effect of marijuana usage before sexual activity. Of the 373 women, 127 reported using marijuana before sex. The majority of women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, and a decrease in pain. Specifically, women who reported regular marijuana usage before sexual activity had 2.13 higher odds of reporting satis-factory orgasms. Women with frequent marijuana usage had 2.10 times higher odds of satisfactory orgasms than those with infrequent usage.  observed that there appears to be a link between marijuana usage and satisfaction with orgasm, as well as with improvements in other domains of sexual function, a better understanding of which may lead to the development of treatments for female sexual dysfunction.

Serum Endocannabinoid Levels and Sexual Function

In 2012, Klein et al5 chose a more direct method of studying the endocannabinoid system and its effects on female sexual function. Their aim was to measure circulating endocannabinoid concen-trations in relation to subjective and physiological indices of sexual arousal in women. They measured physiological sexual arousal with vaginal photoplethysmography, specifically measuring vaginal pulse amplitude, which reflects phasic changes in vaginal engorgement with each heartbeat. The overall concept is that higher amplitudes indicate greater genital engorgement. Endo-cannabinoid concentrations (AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) in 21 healthy premenopausal women were measured immediately

prior to and following viewing of both neutral and erotic films. Results indicated that increases in both physiological and subjec-tive measurements of sexual arousal were associated with signifi-cant decreases in levels of endocannabinoids. These findings support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in female sexual functioning and may well be inhibitory (Table 2).

DISCUSSION

Based on the above review of the literature, the most common sexual domains that have been evaluated include arousal, desire or “libido,” orgasm, pleasure, dyspareunia, vaginal lubrication, and duration of intercourse. Several studies have evaluated the effects of marijuana on libido, and it seems that changes in desire may be dose dependent. Studies support that lower doses

improve desire but higher doses either lower desire or do not affect desire at all.23,26,27

When evaluating sexual pleasure, most studies show that marijuana has a positive effect.27,30,31 Marijuana use with sex has

also been associated with prolonging orgasm or improving the quality of orgasm.5,24,34 Only 1 study that we reviewed reported

that marijuana use inhibits orgasm31; however, that study spe-cifically looked at dysfunction as opposed to overall function. Although our search revealed no articles that found an associa-tion between marijuana use and vaginal lubrication,35,36 this does not rule out such an effect, or an effect on vaginal blood flow, especially with a peripheral application.

Limitations

The body of evidence evaluating the effects of marijuana on female sexual function has several limitations. Although animal studies provide some information, there are no double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled human trials from which to form a conclusion. The available human studies rely on recall and questionnaires. They are also quite different from each other. No validated questionnaires have been used, making it difficult to compare the results. Moreover, the specific wording of the ques-tions regarding libido, orgasm, pleasure, and pain all differed in both content and positive or negative valence. Some studies used questionnaires, and some used interviews. Some focused on marijuana users specifically, whereas others focused on a general population. Populations ranged from university students to pa-tients in an obstetrics and gynecology practice. Most studies focused on sexual function, but a single study evaluated potential sexual dysfunction. No human studies were able to evaluate the exact dose or timing of use. It is therefore difficult to make broad generalizations about the effects of marijuana on female sexual function based on available evidence.

It must be noted here that the other cannabinoids in mari-juana have not been tested empirically with regard to their effect on the sexual behavior of female rats or humans, although a recent study by Carvahlo et al37 reported an overall decrease

Table 2. Summary of clinical studies

  Author Type of marijuana usage Gender Sexual desire Sexual pleasure Other findings
  US Commission on Rare vs frequent vs heavy Male and female (200 Definite increase in sexual Frequent, but not every
  Marihuana and   participants) desire reported by   day, marijuana use
  Drug Abuse (1972)23     44% (44, or 50%, of   (compared to usage
        whom were female)   every day) was
            associated with
            increased sexual
            pleasure in 70% of
            users
  Koff (1974)26 One joint or less vs 2e4 Male and female (251 Increase in sexual desire Heightened sexual Effects of marijuana
    joints vs >4 joints participants; 128 noted by 57.8% of pleasure reported by appeared to be dose
      females) females 43% of female dependent; 71% of
          participants female participants
            reported increasing
            sexual motivation
            after 1 joint, but this
            percentage decreased
            after greater
            consumption (>4
            joints) to 49.5%
  Chopra and Jandu Chronic cannabis users Male and female (275 Dose-dependent effects
  (1976)27 (smoking 6 mo to several participants)     with marijuana similar
    years)       to the findings by Koff
  Dawley et al (1979)28 Experienced (having had sex Male and female (84 Increased sexual pleasure Increased sensations
    while under the influence participants)   reported by 88% of (48%)
    of marijuana)     participants Increased satisfaction
    vs non-experienced       with both partners
    (under the influence but       using (76%)
    no sexual experience) vs       Increase in the intensity
    non-smokers       of orgasm (58%)
  Halikas et al (1982)29 Average smoking experience Male and female (100 Increase in sexual 63% of women reported
    of 2 y participants; 37   pleasure and emotional closeness
      females)   satisfaction reported and intimacy
          by 76% of females  
          Overall, 81% of 32% of women reported
          participants reported an enhanced quality of
          pleasure-enhancing orgasm
          effects  
  Green et al (2003)30 Male and female Increased sexual desire
      participants reported by w50%    
            (continued)
Author Type of marijuana usage Gender Sexual desire Sexual pleasure Other findings
Johnson et al (2004)31 Marijuana usage and Male and female (3,004 Inhibited desire Inhibited orgasm and
  comorbid alcohol/drug participants; 60%     sexual excitement
  usage female)      
Sumnall et al (2007)32 Marijuana usage and Male and female (131 Increased sexual pleasure Increased mental and
  comorbid drug usage participants; 48.5%     interpersonal contact
    female)     with sexual partner
        Increased satisfaction Greater willingness to
        with sexual experience sexually experiment
Klein et al (2012)5 Measured circulating serum Increases in both
  endocannabinoid       physiological and
  concentrations       subjective
          measurements of
          arousal, which were
          associated with
          decreases in serum
          endocannabinoids
Sun and Eisenberg Never, once or twice a year, Female Higher frequency of
(2017)33 several times a year, once       marijuana usage
  a month, once a week,       associated with
  or at least once a day       increased sexual
          frequency
Palamar et al (2018)24 Marijuana, ecstasy, and Male and female (679 Increase or no change in Increased sexual 44.9% reported
  alcohol participants; 38.6% sexual desire reported enjoyment reported by increased orgasm
    women) by 31.6% 53.5% intensity
          30.6% of women
          reported sexual
          dysfunction (vaginal
          dryness)
 (2019)25 Regular or frequent Female Increase in sex drive 2.10 times higher odds of
  marijuana usage   reported by majority of   satisfactory orgasm
      women   with frequent
          marijuana usage; 2.13
          times higher odds
          with regular marijuana
          usage

fertility in female Swiss mice. It is also the case that the THC and cannabidiol content differs dramatically in different strains of marijuana,38 particularly in the marijuana that has been used legally in research, relative to strains consumed recreationally.39 This makes it impossible both quantitatively and qualitatively to compare the effects of laboratory-based intoxication with studies that examine retrospective experiences.

Clinical Implications

A better understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in female sexual function has important clinical impli-cations. Sexuality is complex, and the ECS is only one small part of it. A clearer understanding may lead not only to the devel-opment of therapeutic options for women but also to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved in sexuality. With increasing legalization, there is the potential to carry out more rigorous trials evaluating the exact dosing and timing of use as opposed to using recall. This may lead to more substantive conclusions than the animal and human studies have allowed us thus far.

Conflict of Interest: None.

Funding: None.

STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP

Category 1

Becky Lynn; Amy Gee; Luna Zhang

Becky Lynn; Amy Gee; Luna Zhang; James G. Pfaus

Becky Lynn; Amy Gee; Luna Zhang; James G. Pfaus

Category 2

Becky Lynn; Amy Gee; Luna Zhang; James G. Pfaus

Becky Lynn; Amy Gee; Luna Zhang; James G. Pfaus

Category 3

Becky Lynn; Amy Gee; Luna Zhang; James G. Pfaus

CONCLUSION

Female sexuality is a complex interplay of environmental, psychological, and physiological processes. Multiple neurotrans-mitters and hormones play a role in sexual excitation and inhi-bition. The information we have is limited to rodent studies and questionnaires that rely on memory, with none of the human studies yet being capable of delineating dose, timing, or other objective measures. Although there appears to be a dose de-pendency that separates putative excitatory effects from inhibi-tory effects on female sexual desire, orgasm, and reproductive function, and frequency of use also plays a role, it is not clear to what extent the psychoactive properties of the various cannabi-noids play a role. For example, it is possible that the sedative hypnotic properties of THC and tetrahydrocannabivarin at low doses disinhibit sexual desire and arousal in response to erotic cues, but perhaps this occurs to a large extent in women who experience anxiety about sex or other interpersonal interactions. With recent decriminalization in México, and legalizations in Canada and certain US states, the Northern Hemisphere is now ripe to develop the high-quality, evidence-based studies necessary to answer important questions regarding marijuana and female sexuality. Like any drug, marijuana has risks and side effects and should be used with that in mind. A compre-hensive understanding of the effects of marijuana and its con-stituent cannabinoids on female sexual function remains to be elucidated.

Corresponding Author: Becky Lynn, MD, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Mary’s Hospital, 6420 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117; E-mail: beckyklynn@gmail.com

REFERENCES

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hypoactive  sexual  desire  disorder and  treatment  options.

J Sex Med 2017;14:1575-1584.

  1. Gordon JH, Bromley BL, Gorski RA, et al. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol enhancement of lordosis behavior in

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estrogen treated female rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1978; 8:603-608.

  1. Chakravarty I, Sheth AR, Ghosh JJ. Effect of acute delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol treatment on serum luteinizing hor-mone and prolactin levels in adult female rats. Fert Steril 2017; 26:947-948.
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  1. Turley WA Jr, Floody OR. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol stim-ulates receptive and proceptive sexual behaviors in female hamsters. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1981;14:745-747.
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related to alcohol and marijuana use among adults. Arch Sex Behav 2018;47:757-770.

Source: PDF

Allowing chemotherapy drugs directly into the cancer cells without harming healthy cells is the latest word in cancer research - there are chemotherapy drugs that are not stylized to penetrate the cancer cell program. Combining the chemotherapeutic drug with cannabidiol (CBD) to infiltrate the cancer cell and kill it from within - according to a new Israeli study conducted at the Hebrew University.

Shay Friedman

A new study from the Hebrew University published last month in the Pharmacology Frontier Journal found that chemotherapy with cannabidiol (CBD), the national ingredient for mastyl agri in the cannabis plant, should be believed that other entities while the movies were improving its efficacy and reducing its side effects.

Trials have developed a new method for injecting chemotherapeutic drugs directly into cancer cells, through such small channels as "TRP channels". In their previous studies, they have already been able to inject several different types of drugs directly into the malignant cells by this method.

The commander of the new method is significant - targeting the drug exclusively in cancer cells prevents it from damaging the healthy homes that are massive, as if significantly exposing the side-effects of the relationship and enhancing its services.

The researchers tried to use them as a method to introduce the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (doxorobicin) into liver cancer cells and actually kill them from the inside. Doxorubicin is a very effective drug for the core in various cancers, but it also damages healthy homes in the body and causes serious side effects, can be a cause of heart failure.

The researchers hypothesized that the drug doxorubicin directly into the cancer cells. The way to increase TRP using the method they developed would significantly reduce the histopathological side effects and increase its units. But docsorubicin is very difficult to penetrate a way to increase TRP, and this is where the CBD comes into play.

CBD improves chemotherapy penetration into cancer cells

The researchers found that CBD has the ability to activate the TRPV2 name protein, and its elevation opens access to the TRP in the liver cancer cells, and the doxorubicin can be introduced. In other words - CBD can be injected directly into the cancer cells and only to them can get the damage to the healthy homes around.

CBD is not the only material that Google has unlocked to raise the TRP - in the past it was already discovering a substance called 2-APB that does just that. In the present study, the researchers compared the role of docorubicin in combination with CBD, as well as in combination with 2-APB, and found that administering a drug with CBD is much more effective, requiring significant doses of necrosis.

"We have shown that a combination of CBD or 2-APB that triggers TRP elevation, together with dororubicin, results in america concentrations of the dorsorbucin within cancer cells that put the resources into repressing the single dororubicin," the study notes.

"In addition, we have shown that low doses of doxorubicin in combination with 2-APB or CBD result in a significant decrease. Liver cancer cells live and their colonies compared to doxorubicin alone. Finally, we have also shown that combining doxorubicin with CBD kills far more liver cancer cells and their colonies. Compared to the combination of doverorubicin with 2-APB.

The study was led by my colleague, Professor Alexander Beinstock

"Since the test used a chemotherapy component that is already equipped with clinical use, responsible for integrating the concept office into laboratory animals, moving to the next phase of a human trial that could be shorter," Professor Hinstock said when asked how long it would take to use the new method on the patient. cancer. "It's still too early to predict, but we're hopeful we have what a reactor can do at the end of the tunnel."

Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01198/full

Sales of the product have rocketed as people ditch traditional remedies

Anna Savva

The size of the UK CBD market is believed to be £300m per year

Sales of CBD oil have rocketed as consumers go wild for the cannabis extract which has become a popular food supplement.

CBD is a chemical substance found in cannabis or hemp that has reported medical benefits, such as reducing stress, inflammation and insomnia.

It is legal in the UK as long as it does not contain THC, the active ingredient in cannabis which gets you high and is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Despite a lack of rigorous scientific studies into the oil's benefits, people have reported it helps them with chronic pain conditions.

The size of the UK CBD market is believed to be £300m per year with 1.3m active users, according to the latest findings.

This is larger than the total UK Vitamin D (£145m) and Vitamin C market (£119m) combined.

The NHS warn the quality of CBD products can vary

The market is currently growing at a huge rate and is expected to be just short of £1bn by 2025.

This would be equivalent to the entire UK herbal supplement market in 2016.

However the NHS says on its website: "Many cannabis-based products are available to buy online, but their quality and content is not known. They may be illegal and potentially dangerous.

"Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as 'CBD oil' or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there's no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits."

CBD oil is now sold in high street food supplement stores across the UK

Supplement manufacturers are now calling on the UK Government to clear up the legislation around CBD use.

“The benefits of CBD are now being better publicised as a huge volume of research is released across the globe,” says Paul Waite, founder of company New Leaf CBD.

“Our aim is to help bring these benefits to their customers by producing carefully researched and diligently tested CBD supplements.”

"Within five years Yeruham will become the capital of Israel's medical cannabis"

The Yeruham Councilwoman spoke at the "Greenegev" conference with regulatory entrepreneurs and senior executives in the cannabis industry. The advantages we offer entrepreneurs in the field are of a package of economic benefits that give you breath length to profitability.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs, regulators and senior executives in the Israeli medical cannabis industry attended the Greenegev conference held in Yeruham. They came to observe the vision of Yeruham's ecosystem. "In five years, Yeruham is at least becoming the capital of Israel's medical cannabis, with 500 new quality jobs and research and production, and hopefully even export on a global scale," said Tal Ohana, mayor and head of the Yeruham Council.

"35 years that I grow and grow in the desert, until I realized that I must stop talking about the need for economic fields to blossom - I have to create them ... Yeruham's biggest opportunity is taking place, we must stop dependence on traditional industry and stop being woodcutters and water-drinkers," she said.  Head of the Council.

The conference was also attended by former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, chairman of CANNADOC company, who joined the vision of Yeruham's ecosystem, immediately after his declaration: "I came here because this issue is really important, we have a window of opportunity of several years and the potential of a huge market which is currently estimated at $ 17-18 billion a year and is going to grow dramatically, "said Barak," This is a window of opportunity of several years, which can then be closed to those who will not be able to enter in time. " In the western Negev, this is the largest growing area in Israel and one of the largest in the world.

According to Barak, Yeruham has all the advantages that exist in Israel for the field: "There is a Pharma DNA here, a special climate (in terms of height, dryness and access to land), Israeli knowledge in advanced agriculture, support from government ministries and, most importantly, quality and dedicated manpower. All of these allow investors the quick reaction time needed to become a significant global player in the field, and I see here at the conference the heads of the large companies, and here we have a real opportunity to jump-start the development of the Israeli medical cannabis industry. Patients in Israel and around the world will receive the best and most effective products. "

The city has managed to recruit a large number of government ministries and private entrepreneurs, and declare that the goal is to become a global center of research, start-ups and growth of the plant for medicine and cosmetics within a few years, while looking at the export of knowledge and products to the markets of Europe and the world.

"The advantages we offer to entrepreneurs in the field are not only of Zionism, but also of a package of economic benefits that give us breathing time to profitability, and these advantages exceed all the other possibilities that we face, and we are opening doors to all the relevant ministries, Head of the Yeruham Local Council, who initiated the idea and in recent months devotes a significant portion of her time to it.

"We have thousands of acres of land that can be allocated immediately for the establishment of medical cannabis incubators and adjacent to them, tens of thousands of meters of industrial space for immediate purchase or rental for production, research and development. Quality control and product marketing ".

According to the head of the council and its partners, including the medical cannabis authority in the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economics, the Authority for Innovation, the Investment Authority and the Volcanic Institute, the existence of all the development and production processes in one place is an economic advantage.

"If we add to this the tax benefits that Yeruham has, because it is in a national priority area, subsidized land prices, industry and housing, and our human capital, a very attractive package was created for entrepreneurs and investors," Ohana concluded.

At the conference, government ministries and the local council presented all the benefits to entrepreneurs, including land with a subsidy of 90%, return of 30% capital investment, corporate tax of 7.5% for approved enterprise, grants for employing new employees, and more.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who came to speak at the conference, said he expects the Yeruham vision to be an Israeli beer in the field soon to become a global capital. "I am standing here and saying that medical cannabis is not a bubble - it's a real thing - we are following the private investments in the field and are growing in significant leaps, because this is a global market, the potential is great and once the Israeli economy has a permit to manufacture the produce, in the field.

As someone who worked to advance the law and declare Cannabis as an agricultural crop, I see great importance in exporting medical cannabis because it will ease the suffering of the sick, provide a livelihood for the farmers, and bring prosperity to the Israeli economy.

Yuval Landesft, director of the medical cannabis unit at the Health Ministry, also declared his commitment to the unique move: "They have not done anything like this in the world yet, but we believe that with the quality of our manpower, we will succeed in raising this. We are talking about producing cannabis at the pharmaceutical level, at qualities that do not exist today. We, the YIC, are committed to doing everything we can to try and be the pillar before the camp as far as regulation is concerned, so that both Torah and production will come out of Israel. "

Source: https://www.sponser.co.il/Article.aspx?ArticleId=97269

Barak: A window of opportunity of several years

For the conference came also former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, chairman of InterCure+ 4.69% , Which was harnessed to integrate into the vision of Yeruham's ecosystem, immediately after his declaration. Barak arrived a moment after founding a party and he actually holds two hats at the same time - a politician alongside a businessman and chairman of Intecure (to expand - Barak is earning NIS 36 million in intecure, he does not intend to leave the position of chairman )"I came here because this issue is really important, we have a window of opportunity here for a few years, and the potential of a huge market, which is now estimated at $ 17-18 billion a year and is going to grow dramatically," Barak said.

"This is a window of opportunity of several years, which can then be closed to those who will not be able to enter in time," he said, adding that Kendok is currently building the largest growing area in Israel and one of the largest in the Negev.According to Barak, Yeruham has all the advantages that exist in Israel for the field: "There is a Parma DNA here, a special climate (in terms of height, dryness and access to land), Israeli knowledge in advanced agriculture, support from government ministries and, most importantly, quality and dedicated manpower.

All of these allow investors the quick reaction time needed to become a significant global player in the field, and I see here at the conference the heads of the large companies, and here we have a real opportunity to jump-start the development of the Israeli medical cannabis industry. Patients in Israel and around the world will receive the best and most effective products. "

Agriculture


Minister Uri Ariel, who came to speak at the conference, said he expects the Yeruham vision to become an Israeli capital in the field will soon become a global capital. "I am standing here and saying that medical cannabis is not a bubble - it's a real thing - we are monitoring private investments in the field and are growing in significant leaps, because this is a global market, the potential is great and once the Israeli economy has a permit to manufacture the produce, "I am of great importance in the export of medical cannabis because it will ease the suffering of the sick, provide a livelihood for the farmers, and will bring prosperity to the Israeli economy as a precious world capital, and I hereby declare that the Ministry of Agriculture is with Yeruham," said Minister Ariel.

Economic benefits for Cannabis entrepreneurs in Yeruham


The city has managed to recruit a large number of government ministries and private entrepreneurs, and declare that the goal is to become a global center of research, stratapim and growth of the plant for medicine and cosmetics within a few years, while looking at the export of knowledge and products to the markets of Europe and the world.At the conference, government ministries and the local council presented all the benefits to entrepreneurs, including land with a subsidy of 90%, return of 30% capital investment, corporate tax of 7.5% for approved enterprise, grants for employing new employees, and more."The advantages we offer to entrepreneurs in the field are not only of Zionism, but also of a package of economic benefits that give us breathing time to profitability, and these advantages exceed all the other possibilities that we face, and we are opening doors to all the relevant ministries, ,

Head of the Yerucham Local Council, who initiated the idea and in recent months devotes a significant portion of her time to it."We have thousands of acres of land that can be allocated immediately for the establishment of greenhouses for growing medical cannabis and adjacent to them, tens of thousands of meters of industrial space for immediate purchase or rental for production, research and development. Quality control and product marketing ".According to the head of the Council and its partners, including the Medical Cannabis Authority in the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economics, the Authority for Innovation, the Investment Authority and the Volcanic Institute, the existence of all the development and production processes in one place is an economic advantage."If we add to this the tax benefits that Yeruham has, because it is in a national priority area, subsidized land prices, industry and housing, and our human capital, a very attractive package was created for entrepreneurs and investors," Ohana concluded.

Javier Hasse

Cannabis In UK

When Shavo Odadjian, bassist of the band System of a Down, told me he was launching a cannabis strain called “Church,” I could not help but find it funny.

Weed and religion don’t go together, I thought.

However, a Leafly article by Natán Ponieman suggested otherwise. “Moderation seems to be the key to the enjoyment of non-medical cannabis in the Christian tradition,” he wrote.

In an exclusive conversation, Ponieman explained that, when you look at it from a historical perspective, “there is nothing in the basis of Christianity against medicine. Jesus himself was (and still is for many, today) a healer.

“The default relationship one would normally trace between the big churches and prohibitionism has more to do with their historical role as political agents, than it has to do with any directive derived from their core value system.”

A few months after my conversation with Shavo, and Ponieman’s article came out, I met Joy Smith, a grandmother who went from preaching the Lord’s word as a Christian minister, to preaching the benefits of pure CBD as a hemp entrepreneur – full story on Forbes.

It seemed that, step-by-step, cannabis and Christianity were getting closer.

The Queen’s Cannabis

Despite these small advancements, nothing (not even a big cloud of white smoke coming out of the Vatican) could have prepared me for the surprise I woke up to last weekend: the Church of England, the mother of the international Anglican Communion, led by Queen Elizabeth II, will be changing its investment fund’s rules to allow for investments in medical cannabis, which is now legal in the U.K. under certain circumstances – although actual access remains pretty limited.

The fund in question, the Church Commissioners for England fund, currently manages about £8.3 billion ($10.5 billion) in assets – although the Financial Times reported assets of $16 billion, based on this report. As a closed fund, no new contributions are accepted; the fund currently destines all of its profits to financing the Church’s ongoing expenses.

According to the Financial Times, Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners fund, said the organization makes a clear distinction between medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis, supporting only “proper medicinal purposes” at the time.

Adding to these comments, a spokesperson for the fund told ABC News they will “hold medicinal cannabis to the same standards” as other traditional pharmaceuticals, only investing in “properly licensed” companies with products “regulated for medicinal use.”

This does not mean that cannabis companies with small stakes in recreational plays will not be considered for investment. The threshold, however, was set at 10 percent of total revenue.

Ethical Investing Now Includes Cannabis

It’s all about investing in ethical businesses, “The Church Commissioners Annual Report 2018” explains. In fact, its “focus to be a leader in ethical and responsible investment showed excellent results,” says Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners.

“Our approach involves ethical exclusions; incorporation of environmental, social and governance issues; action on climate change risks and opportunities; engagement and voting; and impact monitoring and impact investments,” the report further elaborates.

Here’s a nice chart clearly illustrating the fund’s “engagement interactions by theme in 2018.”

Chart

Chart CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Commenting on the issue, Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of Israel-based iCAN and internationally-focused cannabis events company CannaTech, said exclusively, “Having the Church of England open up about cannabis is a great move that lends credence to the whole industry and helps to break the stigma around medicinal cannabis.”

Boris Blatnik, CEO of Switzerland-based KannaSwiss, added, “The support of the Church of England of plant derived medicine is a further endorsement to the growing amount of evidence to the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.”

But Ponieman disagrees. For him, “what's happening here has nothing to do with the Church of England loosening up, or becoming stoner-friendly.” Ultimately, what this event reflects is the change in perception our society is having around medical cannabis, he ended.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2019/06/13/the-church-of-englands-10-5b-fund-will-now-invest-cannabis/#7c93abfe17fd

Cannabis has gone from a criminalized drug to a multibillion-dollar global boom in just a few years. Here's everything you need to know about the emerging legal cannabis industry.

Jeremy Berke

Cannabis is the world's newest and most dynamic industry, borne out of close to a century of illicit trade.

Legal cannabis is one of the world's newest and most dynamic industries. Since Colorado legalized the drug in 2012, the previously illegal plant has birthed multibillion-dollar public companies, minted billionaires, and brewed social change not seen since the end of Prohibition.

As cannabis companies scale up, they're seeing interest from institutional investors, major consumer corporations, and Group of Seven governments.

Business Insider reports regularly on the latest developments of the cannabis industry.

Here's what we know about what's going on inside the world of the fascinating legal cannabis industry right now, from the largest publicly traded companies, to venture-backed startups, to the rapidly shifting federal policies around the drug.

Marijuana M&A

A Canadian investment bank is quietly pursuing a critical regulatory approval that would solve one of the biggest pain points for the US marijuana industry

Top cannabis CEOs say Canopy Growth's $3.4 billion purchase of pot cultivator Acreage 'shakes the foundation of what has been true' and will spur a cannabis M&A boom

Canadian marijuana companies are quietly pushing the Toronto Stock Exchange to allow them to invest in the lucrative US market and it could be transformative for the $75 billion industry

The lawyer who led Canopy Growth's groundbreaking $3.4 billion purchase of the US marijuana cultivator Acreage Holdings says the sale will 'untap the market' for companies hunting similar deals

Marijuana retailer Curaleaf is snapping up Cura Partners for $949 million in the largest US marijuana merger to date as a wave of consolidation sweeps the industry

Marijuana companies are using a 'backdoor' strategy to tap the public markets - and it's fueling an M&A boom

Sullivan & Cromwell, an elite Wall Street law firm, is working with a Canadian pot company on a $1.8 billion M&A deal. Here's why that's 'momentous' for the marijuana industry.

A top marijuana CPA says the 'bubble will burst' for weed M&A deals

A competitor is emerging to challenge the marijuana retail chain dominating the industry, and it just closed a $640 million acquisition

Marijuana retailer Cresco Labs is buying up a competitor for $825 million in one of the largest US pot deals as the company looks toward a US listing

Weed on Wall Street

Some Wall Street firms are reevaluating policies for drug testing employees. Here's where the biggest banks stand on testing workers for marijuana use.

A $1.2 billion asset manager that's quietly built one of the largest portfolios in the cannabis space is now raising a pure-play fund to chase down deals in the booming sector

Citigroup is considering working with pot companies as banks figure out ways to chase a $75 billion market

BNY has quietly started working with a marijuana ETF - and it's about to be the first major bank to help the world's largest funds invest in the booming industry

Citigroup is reevaluating its policy on testing job applicants for marijuana use as Wall Street banks weigh whether to work with the $75 billion cannabis industry

Big asset managers like BlackRock are sitting on the sidelines of the $75 billion US marijuana industry because of one big pain point

The CBD boom

Wall Street thinks CBD could be a $16 billion industry by 2025. Here's what the cannabis compound does to your brain and body.

Square has started working with a select group of CBD startups while other payments rivals shy away from the trendy substance

CBD companies were courted hard by a unit of US Bank - but they got ghosted despite having a 100% legal business

A California company tested 20 popular CBD products and found 'insanely high levels' of dangerous chemicals and misleading labels

A top venture investor that's backed companies like Bird and TheRealReal explains why CBD is primed to explode

The CEO of Whole Foods just dropped a hint it could soon start carrying marijuana products. It's a sign the biggest consumer companies are 'looming' over the industry.

Startups, venture capital and private equity

We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck buzzy marijuana tech startup Headset used to raise $12 million and ink deals with Nielsen and Deloitte

Top cannabis investors reveal where they're placing bets, but say there's 'pain to come' in the crowded CBD space

A New York private equity firm founded by JPMorgan and Guggenheim veterans is raising the largest-ever fund dedicated to the booming marijuana industry

Biotech, CBD drinks, and a hot vape company: Here's where all the top marijuana VCs are looking to write checks this year

The CEO of one of the hottest marijuana-vape startups says he's talking to bankers about an IPO in 2020

Policy

Illinois is poised to become the first state to legalize marijuana sales through the legislature - here are all the states where marijuana is legal

Regulators just gave some legal hope to food and drink makers using cannabis extract CBD

The FDA is putting together a group of experts to figure out how to handle the $1 billion CBD industry

Canada's rocky legal-marijuana rollout has been plagued by product shortages, out-of-control lines, and distribution issues - and people are turning to the black market

Lawmakers just took a huge step toward passing a critical bill that could pave the way for banks to work with marijuana companies

Profiles and interviews with industry leaders

A top Aurora cannabis exec dishes about what it's like working with famed investor Nelson Peltz, and reveals why he told the company not to rush into any CPG partnerships

The CEO of a cannabis company with a slick new dispensary in Brooklyn talks about expansion plans following the company's $1.4 billion public debut

A cannabis CEO who led turnarounds at FAO Schwarz and Patagonia explains why he's looking to poach 'nimble' people from small companies - rather than big-name execs

The CEO of the biggest cannabis company in the US reveals what's next following a $682 million acquisition

Green Growth Brands' CEO says he's gearing up for an M&A tear and explains the types of companies he's going after

These execs are leaving behind careers at companies like Coke and Victoria's Secret to tap into the $194 billion marijuana industry

The CEO of the newest cannabis company to list on the NYSE says it's a 'perfect time' to open up to investors as it goes head-to-head with Aurora and Canopy Growth

Lists

Top venture investors say these 11 tech startups in the red-hot cannabis sector are set to blow up this year

Top investors say these 11 buzzy, under-the-radar consumer cannabis startups are set to raise fresh rounds and blow up this year

The top 12 venture-capital firms making deals in the booming cannabis industry that's set to skyrocket to $75 billion

Meet the bigshot lawyers who are turning weed into a $194 billion industry.

Source: https://amp.businessinsider.com/latest-cannabis-business-news-2019-6

Sam Ruland

Pennsylvania will gain about $7.9 million from marijuana permit applicants this year.

Pennsylvania could see a drastic surge in medical marijuana prescriptions this August if the state approves this one ailment as a qualifying condition. 

The proposed addition? Anxiety, which affects hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.

Back in February, the medical marijuana advisory board approved adding anxiety to the list of qualifying medical conditions.. But ultimately the final decision lies with Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, who has been studying the ailment and whether medical marijuana could help. 

Shalawn James, a patient advocate who serves on the advisory board, also considers herself a mental health advocate. Last year, when the board approved the process that allows individuals to suggest new conditions on a rolling basis, James said she expected to see a larger push to make mental health conditions qualifiers. 

Medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania in

Medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania in April 2016.

"There is so much stigma surrounding mental health," James said. "And we ostracize the people who acknowledge their struggles. Instead of putting these people in a box, let's give them the validation they deserve and their illness deserves. You can't physically see the pain, but that doesn't mean it's not there."

Currently, there are 21 medical conditions for which people are eligible for a medical marijuana card. Of those conditions, the only mental health condition is PTSD.

When it comes to treatment for anxiety, medical marijuana is quickly gaining ground in states like New Jersey and West Virginia. 

Some conditions allowed in Pennsylvania are covered in other medical-marijuana states, such as cancer, Parkinson's disease and Crohn's disease. 

But Pennsylvania's law is one of the few to cover conditions like opioid use disorder, or addiction. It was the first state to add opioid addiction to the list of qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program. New Jersey, Illinois and New York have since followed.

The fact that Pennsylvania is starting to take mental illnesses into consideration is a big step forward, said PA Cannabis Law attorney Judith Cassel.

"Anxiety can be debilitating," Cassel said. "And if you can put people on medical marijuana in lieu of the medications we hear about with so many side effects, it could have an impact parallel to what we saw with the opioid epidemic."

The advisory committee plans to meet again on Aug. 14. Levine said she will make her decision regarding anxiety before then.

"Medical marijuana is not a cure for anxiety. It's not going to make the anxiety go away. But it could dramatically improve the quality of life for someone," James said. "If it works for just one person, why not make it available?"

Is this a good idea?

Not everyone agrees with that logic.

Sharon Engdahl, executive director of the American Mental Wellness Association, argues that medical marijuana can contribute to anxiety.

She fears Pennsylvania could be rushing into this decision. There hasn't been enough research done yet, Engdahl said. 

"Doctors recommend medical marijuana, but don't monitor their patients after to see what side effects it has on them," Engdahl said. "In some scenarios, medical marijuana has put people in a manic."

Some people argue that medical marijuana is a safer alternative than prescribing pills to people suffering from anxiety — "that's a completely bogus argument," she said. 

"A lot of studies have to be done to have those medications approved by the FDA," Engdahl said. "I'd rather have my loved one be prescribed a pill that we know the possible side effects of, rather than be given a medical marijuana card and never looked at again."

Engdahl said she is not against the medical marijuana program, but the rate at which conditions are being approved for it, concerns her. 

"We made alcohol legal and look what happened," Engdahl said. "This is another nightmare waiting to happen, like the one we're seeing with opioids now. Soon anyone is going to be able to get one of those cards."

What do we already know about anxiety and medical marijuana?

Number of patients: 1 in 5 adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Evidence: There is little research surrounding marijuana's effectiveness when treating anxiety. Engdahl said that is because under the federal government's scheduling system, marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug — the same category as heroin — meaning it’s perceived to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. 

A 2012 study by California researchers said marijuana could be promising, but more evidence is needed. 

States that have approved this condition: New Jersey, West Virginia

What illnesses are eligible for a medical marijuana card?

Even if Levine doesn't sign off on anxiety, there are already over 20 conditions that could qualify a patient for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program. 

Dr. Rachel Levine, state physician general, speaks

Dr. Rachel Levine, state physician general, speaks at Minnich's Pharmacy in York Dec. 5. (Photo: Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record)

Under current law, qualifying conditions include:

Source: https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2019/05/29/pa-medical-marijuana-anxiety-could-next-condition-approved-medical-card/1203896001/

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