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Debunking Common Misconceptions about THC and CBD

While marijuana is said to be a relatively mild drug with few side effects in comparison to tobacco and alcohol. An alternative with a psychoactive cannabinoid, Delta 8 THC, is available and adjudged to be significantly less potent than Delta 9 THC, but does delta 8 THC actually make you high?

 

Delta 8

Joseph Hoelscher, a founding member of the Texas Association of Cannabis Lawyers and longstanding member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee talks about the hemp derivative. He said they emphasize that it won’t get you blitzed or make you wonder if a phantom person is following you. It’s also cheaper, taxed less heavily than legal pot, and available in unlicensed outlets that range from bodegas to truck stops to your corner newsstand.

Delta-8 extraction contains a psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. “It’s about one-third as psychoactive as regular weed,” Allison Krongard, co-founder of Her Highness and pot user commented. “For people who get paranoid from THC or are looking for an on-ramp [to getting high], Delta-8 is perfect. If you are a recreational user, wanting to get stoned out of your mind, it won’t get you there. But if you use weed to kill your anxiety or get to sleep, this is a great alternative.”

 

The Differences

The main difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is explained by Christian Peterson, the co-founder and COO of Wunder, a cannabis beverage company based in San Francisco. He said: “Delta-8 has the double bond on the 8th carbon in the chain, while Delta-9 has the double bond on the 9th carbon in the chai.

I think it’s been shown that there’s a difference, agreed on according to Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician at Harvard Medical School who specializes in medical marijuana. People report [Delta-8] as being less anxiety-provoking, less sedating, and a little more clear-headed than THC.

Grinspoon a board member of the advocacy group Doctors For Cannabis Regulation Delta-8 believes it can make an enormous difference for some patients. He said there is less confusion and spaciness or stonedness or whatever you want to call it. Whenever there’s another minor cannabinoid that people start puffing up, I always worry that the marketing claims and the desire to line people’s pockets are going to outpace the actual science. The research isn’t there yet to know for sure.

But before the market for Delta-8-THC products can get anywhere close to the current demand for CBD, entrepreneurs and doctors need to know: Is it even legal?

 

Legality

The perception that the Delta-8 is made from hemp makes a difference according to Ryan Cassell, co-founder and chief scientist of Crystal Creek Organics, a cannabis company based in Pensacola, Florida.

The entire industry … was assuming it was legal due to it being derived from hemp he says. The laws clearly define all hemp-derived cannabinoids and products with a Delta-9-THC level below 0.3 percent as legal. We shall see how all of that plays out in the coming months, as for now, our company has had to take a step back [from production] and wait for further clarification surrounding the laws and legal status of Delta-8.

These are early days and more research and studies into ailments being helped by Delta-8-THC will soon be available to the general public. Many scientists and doctors look at this as an exciting time.

 

Legal Marijuana Companies are on the Rise in Canada

Since Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, providers have seen demand spread ferociously. Provinces bordering the United States have gained extra sales from customers traveling across the border and a number of companies have diverted assets to invest in the new growth market. In 2020, a year struck by Covid-19, poor employment prospects, and an unpredictable economic future Canadians bought more than $2.6 billion worth of legal recreational cannabis products. That is double the amount Canadians purchased in Covid free 2019, according to year-end Canadian retail sales figures from Statistics Canada.

StatsCan figures confirmed that Canada’s recreational market was a phenomenal $2.62 billion last year, up 120 percent from 2019. According to StatsCan, the year ended with roughly 1,400 licensed cannabis stores operating in Canada, up from about 760 shops at the end of 2019. U.S. producers sold US$18.3 billion worth of cannabis products last year, a 71-per-cent increase over 2019.

 

The Pandemic

Despite Covid, the demand appears on the increase with 2021s figures expected to increase just as dramatically. The biggest demand in Canada at present is from Ontario who registered $727.5 million in sales last year, followed by Alberta with $573 million cannabis products sold according to StatsCan data.  Those in the know believe Canada’s retail cannabis sales to reach between $5 billion and $8 billion at maturity. Obviously, no one knows the sheer impact that COVID-19 can still have on the economy and buying habits but there is unlikely to be any less stress generated over the next few years, one of the main reasons this product is purchased. The product has gone from being illegal to be in huge demand. It has not always been easy to purchase since legalization but outlets like topshelfbc company in Canada are making buying more accessible across multiple platforms and simple to understand, so more people can buy their cannabis products online.

Proof that the rise of cannabis sales in Canada still on the rise is shown in StasCan’s analysis for December nearly $300 million of cannabis products were sold which is an increase of 14.3 percent from the prior. The country’s market is currently valued at an annual run rate of $3.58 billion. Canada’s COVID lockdown could affect retail figures for the first two months of the year, but online sales are a different matter.

 

High Demand

Why the demand for cannabis? Does it really help sufferers and how is it used? The British government health service stated: “Cannabis contains active ingredients called cannabinoids. 2 of these – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – are the active ingredients of a prescription drug called Sativex. This is used to relieve the pain of muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis. Another cannabinoid drug, called Nabilone, is sometimes used to relieve sickness in people having chemotherapy for cancer.

Clinical trials are underway to test cannabis-based drugs for other conditions including cancer pain, the eye disease glaucoma, appetite loss in people with HIV or AIDS, and epilepsy in children.

The benefits and risks of the use of marijuana have been detailed by healthline.com: “Just as synthetic drugs can help some conditions and not others, marijuana isn’t a one-size-fits-all line of treatment. It’s thought that marijuana’s benefits come from some of its compounds called cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD).

 

CBD

CBD is one of the most widely studied cannabinoids in marijuana. CBD is also found in another related plant called hemp. One major difference between CBD and marijuana is that the former only contains a trace amount of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is best known for its hallucinogenic effects on the brain.

Cannabis plants may contain up to 40 percent CBD. CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on the central nervous system. This can translate to multiple benefits in the body. Still, there remains concerned over the effects of THC in traditional marijuana. This is due to the fact that it can have stimulating or depressant effects in some people, which may lead to other side effects. Thus, when considering marijuana for any medical condition, your doctor will likely assess whether the anti-inflammatory benefits outweigh any psychological risks.

Currently, there are two synthetic versions of marijuana. Doctors prescribe them for the treatment of severe epilepsy and chemotherapy side effects.

The cannabinoids in marijuana may reduce pain by altering pain perception pathways in the brain. This may be helpful to treat conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and migraine. It may also minimize cancer treatment side effects, like loss of appetite. In some instances, medical marijuana is reported to have helped replace the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, which can have negative side effects.

Sleep disorders have been treated with Cannabis which is also thought to help reduce inflammation. Inflammatory conditions, such as Cronin’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis. Due to its effects on the limbic system, doctors have often prescribed cannabis to treat neurological and mental health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, anxiety, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).