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How CBD can reduce stress and boost productivity at work

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Using CBD can help reduce work-related stress and anxiety

CBD is being researched as a potential treatment for a diverse range of different health conditions, from PTSD and depression to epilepsy, chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases.

But what about people who don’t suffer from such conditions? Can CBD benefit the average person in their daily life? The answer is, yes.

Despite its association with the cannabis plant, CBD is becoming increasingly popular as a supplement for taking at work. People are taking CBD to reduce stress, manage anxiety and boost their productivity.

Journalist Brenna Kilbane wrote in an article for GQ: “My CBD gummies…live in the top drawer of my desk. When I take one, I feel slightly but markedly better. My chair feels like it is mangling my body less. It’s harder to make a fist. It’s easier to navigate an hour or two of bullshit, which means it’s easier to do my job. It doesn’t matter if anybody notices that I am 10% more pleasant, because I feel 10% more pleasant, anyway. Simply: Every day is a better day.”

Stress linked with work is a widespread issue in the UK with a 2020 study finding that 79 per cent of people felt work stress frequently.

In an effort to deal with this stress, many people are turning to CBD. Early studies show that the calming properties of the compound has a lot of potential for helping people deal with the day-to-day pressures of their working life.

With prolonged periods of stress come long-term effects, called oxidative stress which can cause fatigue, “brain fog”, muscle and joint pain and headaches. CBD is thought to help reduce these effects due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Another key area of cannabis research looks at the possible benefits of CBD for managing social anxiety; a common mental health disorder which affects people’s ability to give presentations, speak up in meetings or even engage in conversation with colleagues and clients.

Lack of focus and concentration, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns, are common factors that affect workplace productivity. Everyone experiences slumps in their motivation at times. Some people have employed the help of CBD to battle these feelings and boost their focus.

Other professionals who take CBD cite its impact on their mood. This may be due to the compound’s effect on one of the body’s serotonin receptors, serotonin 1A.

Serotonin is known as the ‘happy chemical’ for a reason. It is responsible for the release of hormones such as oxytocin which affects social behaviour and cortisol which regulates metabolisms and the brain’s reaction to stress.

CBD affects every individual differently. For some, CBD creates a released state conducive to sleep, whereas others report a boost in energy levels following a dose of CBD.

How your body is affected will also depend on the dosage, concentration and quality of the product. To boost your energy levels, you should try taking a small dose at the beginning and end of the day.

Staying motivated and productive isn’t just about keeping your energy levels high while at work. Equally as important is giving your body and mind a chance to recharge when you’re away from your desk.

Poor sleep can have a disastrous effect on productivity by casuing fatigue, poor concentration and irritability. Although scientists are uncertain about how CBD affects sleeping patterns, early research shows that CBD has the potential to improve quality of sleep.

There are lots of different ways to take CBD, from beverages to creams. Sublingual application is a great method for producing a quick onset time and increasing bioavailability (the amount of CBD absorbed into the bloodstream). Sublingual means placing a CBD oil or other dissolvable product under the tongue, allowing the mouth’s tissues to absorb the CBD into the bloodstream.

It is also important to ensure the quality of the product you buy. Given the limited regulation of the CBD industry, consumers should always check the label and company websites for indications of quality. Things to look out for include certificates from third party tests, THC content of less than 0.03% and extraction methods using CO2 or alcohol rather than hydrocarbon extraction which can contain dangerous toxins.

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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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