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Can the CBD Pillow give you the sleep you’ve always dreamed of?

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The CBD Pillow is one of the latest products to hit the market promising big things, but how does it work and is it worth the hype?

For many of us the quest for a good night’s sleep is one that will last a lifetime and will see us buying into any gimmick that claims to offer eight hours of undisturbed shut-eye.

And that was before coronavirus.

With added stress, anxiety, changes to our routine and bedrooms becoming home offices overnight, has anyone had a decent sleep in 2020?

Enter the CBD Pillow. Bursting onto the market at the beginning of the year its parent company, US home textiles firm Plush Living, is leading the charge among homeware brands slowly cottoning on to the appeal of incorporating the cannabinoid into our everyday lives.

But before you switch-off at the prospect of another over-hyped, over-priced CBD product, this is one match that might actually make sense.

Why do I need a CBD Pillow?

Early studies indicate that high doses of CBD could help aid sleep, and consumers report that taking oils or tinctures before bed helps them relax, unwind and wake up feeling better-rested.

Described as ‘the world’s most relaxing pillow’ the CBD Pillow aims to bring together Plush Living’s expertise in bed wear and sleep, with the benefits of CBD to give customers the sleep of their lives.

“The founders wanted to find the safest and least intrusive way to deliver CBD to people who could benefit from it most, whether that’s to reduce stress, aid sleep or ache and pain relief,” said Michael Howe, managing director of Distrobros, the UK distributors of CBD Pillow.

“Their area of expertise is sleep and the two seemed to go hand in hand. They are all about trying to be innovative to give people the best sleep possible.

The timing couldn’t be better, with The National Sleep Survey reporting earlier this year that almost half of respondents are finding it harder to fall asleep since the outbreak of Covid-19, with unease around the current situation affecting sleep for three quarters of people.

“The CBD market is exploding, especially during the pandemic and this is a much-needed product for a lot of people,” continued Michael, who insists that a great deal of research went into the technology behind the CBD Pillow.

How does it work?

Each hypoallergenic pillow is handmade in California, with a gel memory foam core to provide the neck and back support of most high end pillows on the market.

The pillowcase, which is patented by CBD Pillow, uses microencapsulation technology to create the effect of microdosing CBD throughout the night.

Millions of microcapsules of CBD varying in size and thickness are infused into the fabric of the pillowcase. The capsules are timed to burst at different intervals, when triggered by friction and movement, and the CBD is then absorbed through the follicles to react with receptors in the hair and skin.

“The feedback we have had is that people have had an all-round better sleeping experience,” said Michael.

“This is due to a combination of things, the pillow itself gives you that spinal alignment that you potentially miss in an ordinary pillow, but the CBD element of it is also having a positive effect on people.

“When it comes to CBD, you’re not going to wake up bursting with energy, but day to day, it does aid you in getting a better sleep so you wake up feeling more refreshed.”

Michael recommends using the pillow alongside other CBD products before bed to feel the greatest benefit.

“One of the most effective ways that the product can be used is in conjunction with other oils, tinctures or edibles before you go to sleep,” he said.

“The effects of those are typically going to last for a couple of hours, so the idea is that the microdosing from the CBD pillow helps to sustain those effects throughout the night.”

What does the science say?

Although most of the evidence on its efficacy is anecdotal as of yet, the team behind CBD Pillow has teamed up with Stanford University in the US to launch its own study.

Although this is currently on hold due to Covid, it hopes to commence in 2021.

“That will be quite a pivotal moment for products of this nature,” said Michael.

“As more evidence comes to light I think innovation will speed up and we’ll see greater interest.

“It’s safe to say in the UK people are more sceptical, but we are starting to see a pickup and in the next few years that I think this will continue.”

What should we expect next – CBD coffee tables?

“I expect we’re going to see quite a lot of innovation in home furnishings and textiles, especially as people move towards more natural ways to improve their wellness,” said Michael.

“But hopefully we will only see things that are going to be beneficial to people.”

He added: “The key is making sure consumers are aware of what could actually help them and what is just a gimmick.

“We provide a 30 day money back guarantee, so if people don’t feel it has made a difference to them, they can then return it for a full refund. I think that shows the levels of confidence that we have in it.”

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Six big cannabis sector stories you might have missed this week

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It’s been another week of big news in the cannabis world.

At Cannabis Health, our in depth coverage of the ongoing growth of cannabis as a medical and wellness product continues

Meanwhile, over at Cannabis Wealth, we’ve been following all the big industry and policy news in a week which has seen some important developments..

Been busy and want to get caught up in a hurry?

Here are the six things you need to read to stay in the loop this week.

1. Reprieve for medical cannabis patients

The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.

Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year.

Medical cannabis

Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020.

Read the full story.

2. UK largest’s medical cannabis trial reports back

The first findings from the UK’s largest medical cannabis patient study show quality of life improved by more than 50 percent.

Preliminary results from Drug Science’s Project Twenty21 study, have found medical cannabis significantly improves quality of life for people with life-limiting conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS) Tourette’s syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Published on Tuesday 11 May, the report is the first real-world data to be collected on medical cannabis in the UK.

Read more here.

3. Harrowing first-hand account of medical cannabis user
Diagnosed with a personality disorder and experiencing debilitating anxiety which left him housebound, Craig – whose name has been changed – had exhausted all treatment options and was losing all hope.
He speaks about how medical cannabis helped save his life here.

4. CBD market set to shrink

The UK’s CBD sector looks set to shrink significantly as the roll out of new regulations continues to batter the industry.

The FSA has confirmed to Cannabis Wealth it received applications for 803 different CBD products – but only 42 have been advanced to the next stage of the process so far.

More than half of all applications (445) were ‘incomplete’ and a further 41 have been withdrawn altogether.

Read the full story here.

5. CBD not linked to single doping case

CBD has not been linked to a single failed drugs test in UK sport despite fears about the undeclared levels of THC in some products.

The World Anti-Doping Agency removed the cannabinoid from its banned substances list in 2017 and since then several high profile athletes have publicly endorsed CBD products.

Even though CBD – which has no psychoactive properties – is not banned, the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) still warns athletes to be cautious with treatments.

Read our exclusive report here.

6. School’s out for cannabis class

The first class on a pioneering university medical cannabis course have concluded their first year of studies.

The research programme at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin examines the medical and nutritional uses of cannabis, production and the legal and economic frameworks of the business.

It’s the latest sign that medical cannabis is becoming a part of the mainstream education offering and a positive indication that new industry leaders will emerge in the coming years.

Full story here.

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Science finds a way for medical cannabis to relieve pain without side effects

Researchers have developed a molecule that allows THC to fight pain without the side effects.

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Medical cannabis
Many people living with chronic pain have found that cannabis can provide relief. 

Scientists may have developed a molecule which could allow medical cannabis to provide pain relief without any side effects.

Many people live with chronic pain, and in some cases, cannabis can provide relief. 

But the drug also can significantly impact memory and other cognitive functions. 

Now, researchers have developed a peptide that, in mice, allowed THC to fight pain without the side effects.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 20 percent of adults in the states experienced chronic pain in 2019. 

In some studies, medical cannabis has been helpful in relieving pain from migraines, neuropathy, cancer and other conditions, but the side effects can present hurdles for widespread therapeutic use.

Previously, researchers identified two peptides [molecules which are made up of amino acids] that disrupt an interaction between a receptor that is the target of THC and another that binds serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates learning, memory and other cognitive functions. 

When the researchers injected the peptides into the brains of mice, the mice had fewer memory problems caused by THC. 

Now, this team, led by Rafael Maldonado, David Andreu and colleagues, has gone one step further to improve these peptides to make them smaller, more stable, orally active and able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Based on data from molecular dynamic simulations, the researchers designed two peptides that were less than half the length of the original ones but preserved their receptor binding and other functions. 

They also optimised the peptide sequences for improved cell entry, stability and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. 

Then, the researchers gave the most promising peptide to mice orally, along with a THC injection, and tested the mice’s pain threshold and memory. 

Mice treated with both THC and the optimised peptide reaped the pain-relieving benefits of THC and also showed improved memory compared with mice treated with THC alone. 

Importantly, multiple treatments with the peptide did not evoke an immune response. 

Reporting in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, researchers say that these findings suggest the optimised peptide is an ideal drug candidate for reducing cognitive side effects from cannabis-based pain management.

The abstract that accompanies this paper can be viewed here.

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Dutch Government to supply medical cannabis for UK patients until 2022

The Department of Health has reached an agreement to continue the supply of Bedrocan oils

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The Dutch Government will supply medical cannabis to UK patients until 2022

The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.

Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year. 

Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020. 

After outrage from campaigners, the Dutch government agreed to continue supplying the life-saving products until 1 July, 2021 while a more permanent solution was reached.

This waiver period has now been extended until 1 January, 2022.

Health ministers promised to work with officials in the Netherlands to find a “long-term” solution, but according to those at the forefront of the campaign, there is still “some way to go”.

Hannah Deacon and son Alfie Dingley

Hannah Deacon’s son Alfie Dingley, who is prescribed Bedrocan products for a rare form of epilepsy, recently celebrated one year seizure-free.

In a letter to Deacon on Thursday 13 May, the DofH said it was working with the Dutch government, Bedrocan and the Transvaal pharmacy to proceed as “quickly as possible” with the UK production of these medicines.

It added that domestic production is “complex” and that manufacturing “unlicensed herbal medicines” comes with “significant challenges”. 

Deacon said that the UK production of Bedrocan products was the “only solution”.

While other cannabis-based medicines are available in the UK, experts have warned that there is ‘significant variation’ from one product to the next and switching an epilepsy patient’s treatment could be ‘life-threatening’.

“With the 1 July deadline for Bedrolite supply to cease from the Netherlands looming ever closer, we made it clear we wanted an extension to the agreement to stop the situation becoming dangerous for Alfie and the other patients receiving this vital medicine,” commented Deacon.

“The long term solution of Bedrocan products being made in the UK still has some way to go, but it can be the only solution and we thank everyone who is working very hard to achieve this. 

“This is still a long way off from being okay, but for now we have the pressure taken off on the supply issue.”

With limited access to medical cannabis on the NHS, families are still calling for the Government to help fund their children’s prescriptions, which can cost thousands of pounds each month.

Deacon added: “The ever-pressing issue of financial burden on the many families and patients wishing to use medical cannabis in the UK remains and this is a huge issue which needs dealing with.

“There are many ways in which the Government could step in and help access for very vulnerable people and we will continue working as hard as we can to make things better for all.”

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