A joint venture between cannabis research company CiiTECH and top scientists in Israel is leading the way in diabetes and weight-loss studies. Cannabis Health speaks to CEO and founder Clifton Flack to find out more.
In May 2020 CiiTECH labs announced that it had developed a patent-pending breakthrough technology. Developed together with leading metabolic researcher Dr Yossi Tam and the Hebrew University in Israel, the groundbreaking cannabis formula has the potential to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), obesity and a number of other metabolic disorders.
Having co-founded iCAN Israel-Cannabis and together with his team brought the world CannaTech, we spoke to Clifton Flack about his latest venture.
CH: Tell us about your partnership with Dr Tam and the Hebrew University?
Clifton: Working with Dr Tam and ‘Yissum’ the tech transfer arm of the Hebrew University, CiiTECH Labs is leveraging the full potential of Israel’s cutting-edge cannabis innovation. Dr Tam is head of the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory and his current focus is on uncovering the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of obesity and its metabolic complications, with CBD as a prospect for the development of an effective maintenance therapy. Since its inception in 1964, Yissum has registered more than 10,000 patents covering 3,000 inventions and licensed over 950 technologies, with global business partners including companies such as Novartis, Merck, Intel and Google.
Why is the patent-pending technology significant?
Our patent-pending technology aims to explore the therapeutic potential of CBD in combination with additional cannabinoids in reversing the accumulation of fat thus providing the means for treating or preventing type 2 Diabetes and NAFLD.
What has your research found so far?
Through CiiTECH’s past and current clinical studies, researchers have identified the cell genes that influence the uptake of fat and secured a provisional patent for the technology of a unique cannabinoid formulation to potentially treat obesity, diabetes and their causes in NAFLD. Recent findings from CiiTECH Labs have revealed the significant role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in the development of NAFLD via the regulation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Why is this research important now?
Obesity is reaching epic proportions in Western societies, with more than one-third of US adults now considered to be obese. It has been described as a catalyst for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and NAFLD. According to the NHS, one in every three people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD. If left untreated, it can lead to liver damage, scarring, and cirrhosis and patients are at a much higher risk of developing more serious conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Why did you choose Israel to carry out this pioneering work?
Israel has been at the forefront of cannabis research for over 50 years and this gold-label institution has the richest history of cannabis breakthroughs and cannabinoid therapy patents in the world. While the rest of the world was preoccupied with prohibition and propaganda, Professor Raphael Mechoulam and his team of scientists at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, were working to unlock secrets of the cannabis plant. Prof Mechoulam was the first person to study the endocannabinoid system and isolate the compounds THC and CBD.
After finding success as a global cannabis pioneer why did you turn your attention to the UK?
After a number of years building the global cannabis community, I saw a huge opportunity in my home country, the UK, where an unregulated CBD industry had begun to explode. With many brands making unsubstantiated claims and mislabeling their products, I recognised the need for consumers to be protected – and the key to this is research. CiiTECH developed a proprietary CBD brand PROVACAN, which has formed a number of joint ventures to bring the best of CBD and science to the UK. It continually works with leading formulators and innovators to bring to market the most efficient and cost-effective products and has seen the formation of CiiTECH’s other CBD brands IMPACT and HUGG.
How are you preparing for the UK’s Food Standards Authority’s (FSA) Novel Food regulations coming into force at the end of March next year?
The team has taken the necessary steps to ensure we are ready for the new regulations to take effect. We have been working closely with all industry stakeholders to ensure that all our brands adhere to the guidance set forth by the FSA and Novel foods. Our products comply 100 percent with the stringent EU and UK agricultural directives and we expect all our brands to be ready when the new regulations come into effect next year.
What impact do you think the introduction of the regulations will have on the industry?
The new regulations will clean up the market, getting rid of any products that do not comply with new regulations. This will make all CBD users more confident in what they are buying with more clarity and precise labelling.
What does the future hold for CiiTECH?
It is a very exciting time at CiiTECH as we continue to develop new patents, formulations and brands that meet the growing needs of niche markets around the world. Our global expansion tells us that we are doing something right and that our products are filling in a market that is lacking something that consumers need. Although the landscape will likely look very different this time next year, with the technology, research and expertise we have, CiiTECH is set to be at the forefront of this ever-changing industry
CBD distillates, isolates & full spectrum – what’s the difference?
With so many CBD products on the market, do you know your distillates from your isolates? The experts at US manufacturer Fresh Bros break it down.
Las Vegas manufacturer Fresh Bros have nearly a decade of experience in the hemp industry.
But with so many products on the market Fresh Bros want to help consumers find the best products for their needs.
Here they explain the differences between CBD distillate, CBD isolate, and full-spectrum CBD products, as well as highlighting the key differences between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most researched compounds of all the known phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
CBD isolates are, unsurprisingly, isolated forms of CBD. During the extraction process, cannabidiols are removed or filtered out of the hemp plant except for CBD, resulting in a pure product.
CBD isolate is great for anyone who struggles with the original earthy flavors of other conventional oils or edibles, so if you’d prefer a high-potency CBD product that is tasty, doesn’t contain THC and or any “extra” cannabinoids that are found in a distillate or full-spectrum product — CBD isolate may be the way to go.
Unlike CBD isolate, CBD distillate (aka broad-spectrum CBD) typically contains an array of cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and fatty acids that are very beneficial to the body. CBD distillate contains only negligible amounts of THC after going through special processing.
CBD isolate is an incredible healing source, of course, but there are hundreds of other beneficial cannabinoids found in the hemp plant besides CBD – cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) to name a couple.
Therefore, if you want to reap all of the potential benefits of CBD without the high, and you don’t mind the stronger taste, CBD distillate may be the best option for you.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials – including the naturally occurring small amount of THC in hemp.
Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC
The cannabis plant has more than 120 cannabinoids, but only a fraction of these have really been studied and marketed. Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and has received a lot of attention over the last few years.
However, consumers are slowly noticing the lesser-known Delta 8 THC (a less available double-bond isomer of the more common Delta 9 THC, also derived from hemp) due to its unique properties. The main differences between these two types of THC are found in the molecular structures of both, and it’s worth noting that Delta 8 THC is capable of producing a milder, more manageable, and more enjoyable high compared to Delta 9.
Delta 8 also has added therapeutic benefits and less severe and functionality-impairing side effects.
Five ways CBD can help you cope with anxiety
With at least half of the population experiencing some anxiety since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hardly surprising sales of CBD have soared. This is what the research says.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, with an estimated four per cent of the population suffering from some form of the condition.
With global issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic causing the number of people with anxiety to continue to rise, many are left searching for solutions – so, could CBD be the key to alleviating symptoms?
Although more research is needed in the area, a 2019 Gallup poll found that 37 per cent of CBD users take the supplement to relieve anxiety. Here are five ways it could help…
While low serotonin levels are generally linked with depression, there is evidence to show it could also be a cause of anxiety. In conventional mental health care, cases of low serotonin are treated with a category of anti-depressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine (Prozac).
However, CBD may have the potential to change serotonin signals in the body through the interaction with CB1, a receptor found in the central nervous system, meaning it can ‘boost’ your overall mood by changing the way your body reacts to serotonin.
Anxiety and trouble sleeping have been linked for years, but recent studies have found that CBD could be a solution to both issues.
Research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects experiencing anxiety and/or poor sleep. In the first month, 79.2 per cent of patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 per cent reported better sleep.
While research into this area is still ongoing, preliminary studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rates.
Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioural signs of anxiety, and physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.
Help with relaxation
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. CBD, however, will not get you high, but may offer similar feelings when it comes to relaxation.
While THC activates CB1 receptors that are associated with euphoria, CBD is a CB1 antagonist and will block or modulate THC’s intoxicating effects. This has led many to believe that CBD is a good way to decrease the negative side effects of THC, such as anxiety, and help you relax and de-stress without feeling high.
Improve quality of life
In a 2020 study, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults living in New Zealand, with study participants receiving medical CBD prescriptions for a variety of ailments, including mental health symptoms.
All groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain and anxiety or depression symptoms.
Around 70 per cent of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment, ranging from good to excellent.
Self-care in 2021 – why it’s a big deal
Sweet Pink CBD shares tips for taking care of yourself in 2021.
Almost one-year ago, the UK was plunged into a national lockdown as the threat of Coronavirus reached our shores. The new virus caused shops, schools, leisure centres and most workplaces to close-down – the country came to a stand-still.
As so many people began to work from home, or faced a future of uncertainty due to extensive furlough periods or redundancies, health and well-being made a quick and bold move into lives.
While many people have always prioritised their self-care routines, it became clear that a large amount of people did not. Getting carried away with working late hours, spending the weekend going out on the town, or simply not eating or sleeping right, we all found something new – a better way to take care of ourselves.
So; as we approach the New Year, why is self-care in 2021 going to be such a big deal? Coronavirus isn’t going anywhere sometime soon; we all need to check-in with ourselves, and with others.
Look after your mental health
Your mind is just as important as your body; it needs to be kept happy and healthy. After the festive period, where so many of us have tried to make it as normal as possible, it is important to check-in with yourself before stepping back to reality.
Mental health isn’t just about looking for positives in everything or putting a smile on your face. No, it’s also about being more mindful. Practicing mindfulness is a way to live in the present, becoming more aware of your thoughts and what is happening around you, without feeling overwhelmed and worrying about tomorrow.
It’s also important to keep in touch with friends and loved ones. We don’t yet know how much longer we will be in lockdown, or in tier restricted areas, so keeping in touch via video calls or text messages is a must.
Keep your body active
Whatever your age, whatever your ability, it is important to keep active in some way. Exercise is one of the biggest methods of self-care. Why?
When we exercise – either by running a marathon, or enjoying a home workout on YouTube – we release endorphins. These chemicals are released into our brains and help to reduce pain or stress and boost our mood.
Regularly working out can also mean you find your mind becomes sharper. Exercise can help your memory in many different ways; often holding onto information for longer and having more accurate thoughts.
If you keep active the right way – for a prolonged period of time – you’ll probably find you’ll start to manage your weight. Either losing the few pounds you gained over Christmas, or building back the muscle you lost in lockdown. Whatever your reason for working out; you’ll feel so much better than if you don’t.
Improve your overall health and wellbeing
CBD use for health and wellbeing has slowly been increasing in popularity since medical cannabis became legalised in 2018. However, since the start of lockdown in March 2020, so many more people have turned to CBD.
The power of the plant has been developed into oils, beauty products, foods and even clothing.
What are people taking CBD for? It has been seen to help a variety of people throughout 2020, with health conditions including:
- Chronic pain
Such a versatile product, it is fast becoming an essential part of our day to day lives.
Remember, no amount of CBD will ‘get you high’. You are able to consume CBD Oil in each day, and use additional products in the afternoon or evening such as the massage oils or bath salts.
When purchasing CBD products, it is important to ensure the products you’re buying are from a safe, trusted brand. At Sweet Pink, our analytical reports are available for download, and all our products are developed with only natural, plant-based ingredients.
Available to buy online, Sweet Pink’s range of luxurious natural products make ideal presents for friends and family, or for your own self-care and wellness routine.
News6 months ago
NHS lines up cannabis medicine manufacturing
News2 months ago
Community extends support to cannabis icon Rick Simpson
Case Studies10 months ago
CBD oil and fibromyalgia – a case study
Insight3 months ago
I’ve gone from a wheelchair to walking thanks to cannabis
Feature7 months ago
Medical cannabis could help long-term effects of COVID-19, says David Nutt
News4 months ago
“I’m not a bad person” – chronically ill woman convicted of growing medical cannabis
News4 months ago
Cancer survivor claims cannabis oil helped her beat brain tumour
News4 months ago
Mum of three-year-old with ‘one in a million’ condition fights for medical cannabis funding