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The Cannabis Industry Is Changing

In examining the current state of the cannabis market, it is clear the use of artificial intelligence technology is not a passing trend but a real opportunity to provide solutions to a pressing market need.

Imagine that you have a day-by-day record of how your plants are reacting to all the different inputs (environmental conditions, nutrient feed, pH, CO2, light spectrum, etc.) and your software is now making millions of calculations to draw insights on what is making a difference to your output. The output may be yield, energy consumption, labor cost, etc., but it may also be modeling what will happen if you change your way of growing.

The access to a vast amount of data, allows growers to optimize for environmental changes and variables and can even change the strain of the product. Growers can even adapt to what CBD or THC levels that they want and change the genetic makeup to consistently produce the types of strains that sell best.

The Medical Cannabis market alone offers more than 30,000 different Marijuana strains, each used to treat a different set of symptoms and concerns. This creates a big confusion both at the buyer side and the dispatcher end. With so many strains available, the purchaser is often at a loss as to which one is best for their specific needs or condition. Artificial Intelligence is useful in using existing data from studies and peer-reviewed journals to match symptoms and ailments to one of the strains available.

Cannabis in everyday items

Innovators are taking up the gauntlet to cultivate this versatile plant for a medley of biodegradable materials including plastic polymersbuilding productsfabricswoodbiofuelpaper and even car components.

It’s not new. The fiber from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) has been used for thousands of years to make paper, rope, cloth and fuel.

Hemp is a weed, so it grows prolifically with little water and no pesticides. It takes up relatively little space, produces more pulp per acre than trees, and is biodegradable. Hemp crops even give back by returning nutrients to the soil and sequestering carbon dioxide.

Morris Beegle, co-founder and president of WAFBA (We Are For Better Alternatives) is a staunch advocate of industrial hemp.

Beegle set up his hemp company in 2012 and then launched the NoCo Hemp Expo, which has grown to be the largest in the world.

With a merchandising company called TreeFreeHemp, Beegle produces a vast array of custom products including paper, business cards, flyers, posters, CD and DVD sleeves and more. Drawing from his background in the music industry, he even produces boutique, custom-made guitars, using hemp for the body, straps, picks and volume knobs.

Currently, there are less than a million acres of hemp growing across the planet. Beegle sees this starting to grow exponentially over the next five to 20 years. “I don’t think there’s any way to stop it now.”

The silly CBD products

Sellers around the world are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the CBD products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements.

The new CBD products include; CBD water, to cooking or massage oils, pills, chewing gum, transdermal patches, pessaries, gin, beer and lube. The crown for silliest CBD product of the year, however, belongs indisputably to the CBD-infused pillowcases sold by one hopeful firm of US fabric-makers. 

There is now no denying the medicinal value of CBD and THC – not even by several European governments, which for years maintained that lie even as it rubberstamped the cultivation and export of the world’s largest medicinal cannabis crop.

In many cases, the CBD industry is taking consumers for a ride. Lab tests have analysed high-street offerings and found that more than half of the most popular CBD oils sold do not contain the level of CBD promised on the label. And a look at the label of those products shows that many are sold at such low concentrations that even the guesstimated doses, measured in drops, cannot deliver more than a scant few milligrammes of the active ingredient – whereas medical trials use many times more.

Scientists and politicians are, thankfully, catching up with hundreds of years of folk wisdom: it’s not news to anyone who regularly smokes a spliff that cannabis is relaxing, or that it can help you sleep far more soundly than a glass of red wine, or improve your mood. The interplay between THC, CBD, and the hundreds of other active compounds in the cannabis plant could one day be isolated, identified, tested and proven to offer symptomatic help or even a cure for dozens of life-threatening conditions. But decades of pointless prohibition based on specious moral arguments have prevented proper medical research that could have benefited millions.

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CBD From Cannabis Is A Powerful Antibiotic

Depending on whom you ask, CBD seems to be the cure for what ails you, no matter what’s wrong. Trouble sleeping? Take CBD. Got inflammation? CBD! Now we can add bacterial infections to that growing list, and there’s even evidence to back it up.

New research presented at the the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology has demonstrated a novel topical formation containing cannabidiol (CBD) is effective at killing bacterial infections in the skin. The formulation was also found to kill certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Furthermore, the results showed that CBD didn’t seem to induce antibiotic resistance in the bacteria tested. This particular finding will need to be confirmed with further research, of course, but for now, these early results are promising signs that CBD could aid in the global fight against drug-resistant “superbugs.”

Cannabidiol, the main non-psychoactive chemical compound extracted from cannabis and hemp plants, has been approved by FDA for the treatment of a form of epilepsy, and is being investigated for a number of other medical conditions, including, anxiety, pain and inflammation. While there is limited data to suggest Cannabidiol can kill bacteria, the drug has not been thoroughly investigated for its potential as an antibiotic.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in healthcare, one that the World Health Organization called a “global health crisis” as far back as 2015. And recent research has suggested that antibiotic-resistant bacteria hang out in lots of dark corners of hospitals, including privacy curtains, so any tool that could aid in fighting infections without contributing to the resistance problem would be a huge deal for public health.

It is important to note this new research has not been peer-reviewed or published in a journal, but has also only been demonstrated in laboratory conditions and animal models, so further work will have to be done to verify efficacy in human subjects.

Asked for his advice for those who might see the study as an excuse to ditch regular antibiotics in favor of using cannabis-based home remedies, he responded: “Don’t! Most of what we have shown has been done in test tubes—it needs a lot more work to show it would be useful to treat infections in humans.”

“It would be very dangerous to try to treat a serious infection with cannabidiol instead of one of the tried and tested antibiotics,” he stressed.

The most significant limitation in CBD’s potential as an antibiotic is the fact it seems to be only effective at killing Gram-positive bacteria and not Gram-negative bacteria. This means CBD may never become the magic bullet against the broader rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but these new innovative ways to target specific bacterial skin infections suggest the marijuana-derived compound still offers promising novel therapeutic outcomes.

The work comes as cannabidiol has emerged as a treatment for conditions such as epilepsy and inflammation.

Last month, a separate team of researchers published work showing it could one day be used to treat people addicted to heroin and in turn help tackle the opioid crisis.

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Cannabis Sales Could Reach $15 Billion Globally This Year

Industry insiders are forecasting that global cannabis sales could total $14.9 billion in 2019, up 36% from 2018, according to a new report released Thursday.

The surge of CBD products coupled with Canada starting legal recreational cannabis sales in 2018 helped to buoy the industry’s growth, according to the report published by the market research arm of cannabis investment firm Arcview Group and data firm BDS Analytics.

The seventh edition of the report — like publications Arcview published previously — includes a calculated gaze into the crystal ball, projecting industry sales. Arcview and BDS’ latest expectations are that cannabis sales in dispensaries, retail stores and pharmacies will hit $44.8 billion globally by 2024.

“North America will almost certainly continue producing the lion’s share of legal spending, particularly as more U.S. markets transition from medical-only access for a limited pool to full legalization with sales open to all legal adults,” Tom Adams, managing director of industry intelligence at BDS Analytics, wrote in the report.

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Latest In Cannabis: Negative Side Effect Of CBD, More Pregnant Women Use Cannabis And More News

It is a hot trend that got started several years ago after Dr. Sanja Gupta showed the nation in his documentary ‘Weed 2’ just how this non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant was preventing epileptic children from having seizures. 

Since then, CBD, a substance often touted as being safer than popping pills, has risen to infamy as an alternative treatment for a variety of common ailments from anxiety to chronic pain. But a new study suggests that CBD may spawn its fair share of health issues. Specifically, scientists have learned that this substance could be damaging our livers in the same way as alcohol and other drugs. READ MORE

Marijuana use doubles in US pregnant women

Overall, 7 percent of pregnant women, or 1 in 14, said they used marijuana in the past month. That’s from a nationally representative health survey in 2016-17 and compares with a little over 3 percent in 2002-03.

“Because we don’t know exactly how harmful it is, it’s better to err on the side of caution,” said Volkow, one of the authors of the government study. Marijuana use during pregnancy “is not worth the risk,” she said Tuesday.

The study was presented at a medical meeting Tuesday and published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association. READ MORE

Arthritis Patients Have Tried Cannabis. 90% Found It Helped

A new survey of more than 1,000 arthritis patients found that 57% of those questioned had tried cannabis for their symptoms, and more than 90% said it helped ease their pain.

The survey was conducted by CreakyJoints, an online arthritis support community that’s part of the nonprofit Global Healthy Living Foundation. The results, published earlier this month, illustrate the extent to which medical cannabis has been embraced by mainstream patients managing conditions like arthritis.

Over the years, cannabis been studied for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies have even illuminated patient preference for cannabis where chronic pain is concerned. READ MORE