With winter underway, we’re all in need of a cosy drink to fend off the cold right now. And, amid COVID-19 and the usual flu season, many of us are looking for ways to also boost our immune system. CBD-infused herbal tea may well be the perfect tonic.
The likes of vitamin C, B6 and E are all said to be essential for maintaining a good immune system and there have also been some inconclusive reports that vitamin D can help fight COVID-19.
Whether or not vitamin D does indeed protect against COVID-19, with the nights drawing in, it remains an essential supplement. In fact, according to the NHS, between October and March, the body cannot receive enough vitamin D from sunlight alone and so supplements are becoming evermore popular.
Meanwhile, CBD is also gaining prominence on shopping lists of the health conscious. A recent report, for example, shows that the global cannabis beverages market size is expected to reach USD 2.8 Billion by 2025.
One cannabis-infused beverage that has been growing in popularity in recent years is CBD-tea, with customers across the globe embracing its calming, warming and soothing properties.
In the UK, CBD Wellcare is pioneering two varieties of CBD-infused teas that also pack in the immunity-building properties of key vitamins.
Its lemon-flavoured CBD tea is enriched with vitamin C, with the unique flavour profile of the tea derived from cannabis terpenes. The company’s raspberry-infused tea is also enriched, with both CBD extract and vitamin B, which is proven to be good for the heart.
Aside from its range of teas, one of CBD Wellcare’s most popular products, particularly at this time of year, is its cocoa tablet. This is a CBD-infused tablet that is placed underneath the tongue, with the flavour of the tablet being meticulously crafted to emanate the taste of the much-loved chocolate bar, the Milky Way.
CBD Wellcare is a family business, based in Bedford, England. Chris Harris, who runs the company with his wife Julie, was inspired to launch his own venture after using CBD to help treat his son’s health condition.
Harris says: “My son was given lots of different tablets from his GP which came with quite unpleasant side effects. So, around four years ago, we went down the route of CBD and he now no longer takes any medication from his doctor; just a few drops of CBD oil a day.”
Harris says the thing that sets his company apart is its scrupulous testing of all its products, with data collected through the entire process from seed to shelf.
“We test our products before they’re planted in the ground, when they come out of the ground and right the way through the production process.
“Although the CBD industry is booming right now, it has never been about the money for me. It’s because I believe in this marvellous product.”
To find out more visit www.cbdwellcare.co.uk.
Daniel Gauci – the crowdgrowing pioneer aiming to revolutionise the cannabis industry
The ‘Gentleman Smoker’ is a stylish, family man – and cannabis influencer. His mission is to break down stigmas by promoting responsible use of cannabis among its many benefits.
Under this public figure we find Daniel Gauci, CBDO at JuicyFields, a medicinal cannabis crowdgrowing platform that is revolutionising the fast-growing industry.
Today he is with us to talk about his relationship within the cannabis industry and the medicinal resources that offer the world’s most famous green plant.
What is it like to be The Gentleman Smoker? Tell us about the positive and negative aspects.
The Gentleman Smoker came about from the want of promoting the positive aspects of medicinal marijuana from a realistic albeit different perspective.
To break the stereotypes of what a typical cannabis user is and to show that a modern day cannabis user is a professional, responsible person.
I have a vast history with cannabis and most if not all is positive, from positive, personal points of view regarding introspection, mental health and productivity matters to the medicinal benefits within many diseases including ones my children suffer from.
The negative aspects, if I have to view it that way, would be that my private and professional life are now as one, and that my thoughts and motives are there for all to see, but that also has positives.
Many people still deny the health benefits that cannabis has to offer, what do you think about that?
The evidence is there. I am still surprised to hear the claim that there is not enough research, data or studies regarding medicinal marijuana and the benefits that it offers.
There are more than fifteen thousand peer reviewed studies and trials freely available for review and many more recently that focus on the endocannabinoid system that is clearly recognised throughout the medical world, with many clinicians prescribing cannabis for a multitude of treatments.
It does pain me that people can deny something when the information is freely available, however, it is understandable due to the many years of negative propaganda campaigns.
More and more countries are changing their legislation and perception of medical cannabis. Will we ever see a world in which medical cannabis is legislated and socially accepted?
I hope so. However, let us not forget there are places in the world where it is still a crime to be gay or to favor one religion over another.
There are many challenges that marijuana legislation faces but I see them being overcome one by one.
Let us take Europe as an example, the shift for positive legislation has come quick with governments and medicine authorities realising the potential that medicinal marijuana offers not only as medicine for patients but as an industry for the nation.
If we look at the current predicted figures the industry is expected to boom in the coming years, this will only speed up favourable legislation ultimately benefiting the consumer.
If we look back 10 or even 5 years, progress is gaining insatiable momentum that was not predicted by many so soon.
You have a background experience in the pharmaceutical field. Could you list some new medical benefits that can be found in cannabis if research continues?
Everyday I wonder where the research will take us. I read almost weekly of new applications and possible uses that medicinal marijuana can offer.
Not just in relation to cannabinoids but also in relation to terpenes and also the entourage effect, the innovation is truly outstanding.
When I studied pharmacology we touched upon cannabis in relation to the psychoactive elements in relation to the body and mind but since then microbiology and the understanding of chemical relationships has advanced so much I believe that we will keep learning more about this wonderful plant and what she has to offer for many years to come.
The most curious aspect for me is the relationship between the creation of amino acids and the importance of synapse connection in relation to speech. I am very much looking forward to the progress in this particular field of research.
On a personal level, what influence has medical cannabis had on your life?
Cannabis has held a different influence over me at various stages during my life. From one off theory and research to that of actively keeping members of my family alive.
The gap is profound and stretches so far but to narrow in on the practical medical applications in a personal scenario, it would be that of helping to save our baby daughters life.
It showed me how persecution from ignorance was prevalent in many avenues in life, not just in the medical marijuna world. In reflection it influenced me to be a better person, father, husband and member of society.
Having seen with your own eyes the benefits of medical cannabis, what would you say to those who want to try but are not sure about it?
Go and do it and do not waste time. Seek medical expertise prior but do not wait for any condition to worsen. Cannabis, while not 100% safe in all methods and for all people, has very little side effects with very, very high quantities needed for any type of overdosing classification.
Medicinal marijunana can have an immediate effect in certain conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease with other conditions and symptoms being alleviated within minutes.
There are numerous resources available that can guide and help you to make an informed decision. Currently we are treating our severely autistic, non verbal son with CBD oil.
The results are proving positive, the studies and trials undergoing currently, particularly in Spain, are very encouraging.
My daughter was treated with high strength (and dosage) of full spectrum THC oil when undergoing chemotherapy for a tumor on her kidney, not only did it help with managing negative side effects of the harsher treatments, we believe also stopped the tumor from growing. (However, we have no medical evidence to present for this claim).
What is the role of JuicyFields regarding the medical cannabis industry?
JuicyFields enables people to support the medicinal cannabis industry by keeping the supply chain within grassroots and community cultivation level operations.
JuicyFields is adamant that the people working within this industry for years, fighting for legislation and research should be the ones to benefit now that legislation is positive and the industry being legalised.
We operate so that the money generated in this industry goes back to the community farmers and cultivators and processors so that they can continue to support themselves and grow, rather than having to sell their lands or businesses to multinational corporations eager to monopolise the industry for profit.
Is crowdgrowing going to change the course of the cannabis industry? How?
I believe so, yes. The other role of JuicyFields is to provide easy access to those wanting to support and invest in the medical cannabis industry.
For those who have looked, it is very expensive and prohibitive to enter. High costs, many licenses, industry knowledge and a highly skilled workforce is required if one were to venture in the industry as a normal business might.
That is where crowdgrowing comes into play. JuicyFields provides a platform that these budding entrepreneurs and investors can not only support the grass roots level cultivators but to also make a profit for themselves without the heavy time and financial commitment usually required.
The cultivation partners on the platform are all vetted to the highest of standards and comply with every regulation required where they operate and beyond.
All with full compliance and cultivation licenses from the relevant authorities and are also insured. This means that crowdgrowers are fully legal and compliant to enter into what is traditionally an exclusive yet very profitable and fast growing industry.
Fibromyalgia and cannabis: What does the latest research say?
Cannabis Health rounds up the latest research into the impact of cannabis on fibromyalgia.
There are thought to be around 1.5-2 million people in the UK currently living with fibromyalgia, a condition which causes chronic pain around the body, muscle stiffness and fatigue.
With no cure for the illness and symptoms severely affecting day-to-day life, research is focusing on therapeutic treatments – including medical cannabis.
In 2019, research published by Sagy, Schleider, Abu-Shackra and Novak showed that cannabis can help reduce fibromyalgia pain. The study of 367 patients found that pain intensity decreased when treated with medical marijuana, leading the team to state that “cannabis therapy should be considered to ease the symptom burden among those fibromyalgia patients who are not responding to standard care”.
Chaves, Bittencourt and Pelegrini further supported these findings in October 2020, concluding that phytocannabinoids can serve as an affordable yet well-tolerated therapy for fibromyalgia symptom relief and quality of life improvements.
After the randomised controlled trial, the researchers went as far as to suggest that the cannabinoid therapy “could become an herbal or holistic choice of medicine for treating fibromyalgia as part of Brazil’s public healthcare system”.
A study in Italy, published in February 2020, also demonstrated that medical cannabis improves the efficacy of standard analgesic fibromyalgia treatments.
Researchers concluded: “This observational study shows that medical cannabis treatment offers a possible clinical advantage in fibromyalgia patients, especially in those with sleep dysfunctions.”
Published in the Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology journal, the study followed 102 fibromyalgia patients who had not responded well to conventional treatments. These participants were given two forms of medical cannabis oil extracts and researchers then collected data over a six-month period from patients, who self-reported fibromyalgia symptoms, how well they slept, and feelings of fatigue, as well as depression and anxiety levels.
While only a third of fibromyalgia patients reported reduced symptoms of the disease overall, cannabis did improve overall quality of life for some. Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety were found in around half of patients, too.
Despite fibromyalgia being more common amongst women – up to 90 per cent of sufferers are female – one study has found that cannabis may provide better pain relief for men.
The preclinical studies, conducted in 2016, compared the analgesic, subjective and physiological effects of active cannabis and inactive cannabis in male and female cannabis smokers under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions, and measured pain response through the Cold-Pressor Test.
Among men, active cannabis significantly decreased pain sensitivity relative to inactive cannabis. However, in women, active cannabis failed to decrease pain sensitivity relative to inactive, indicating that in cannabis smokers, men exhibit greater analgesia compared to women.
Researchers concluded: “Sex-dependent differences in cannabis’ analgesic effects are an important consideration that warrants further investigation when considering the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for pain relief.”
While further research is necessary, it is clear to see that medical cannabis can make a huge difference to treatment and relief of pain caused by fibromyalgia.
The best ways to take CBD for pain relief
CBD is becoming a popular tool for pain management, but with so many options out there, how do you know where to start?
With research constantly emerging to support the health benefits of CBD, more and more people are turning to the remedy – especially when it comes to alleviating pain and discomfort.
But how does it actually work? There are several ways to take CBD, each offering various pros and cons – we’ve rounded up some of the best methods.
In terms of pain relief, one of the most common methods is on the skin. Topical products like lotions and balms can be applied to skin over painful joints or bones and are particularly effective when used to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
However, research is still ongoing to determine whether these products deliver CBD below the skin. It is also difficult to pinpoint the exact effect CBD delivers – with many including common over-the-counter ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin and camphor, it’s uncertain whether the positive relief is solely due to CBD, or if these other ingredients play a significant role.
Several studies have hailed CBD oil as one of the most helpful methods when it comes to relieving pain symptoms, especially when combined with other forms such as topicals.
Medical nutritionist and health author Dr Sarah Brewer said: “Cannabidiol oil has direct effects on the endocannabinoid system in the brain. This enhances the effects of other brain chemicals, such as serotonin and anandamide, to reduce pain perception. It is also a powerful antioxidant which suppresses inflammation.”
Something to digest
Another well-known method for using CBD is by mouth. Whether in capsules, food or liquid, CBD that is swallowed is absorbed through the digestive tract.
Despite its popularity, this method does have its downfalls. Absorption is slow and dosing can be tricky due to the delayed onset of effect (it can take one to two hours to fully have an impact), plus many believe there isn’t enough research into how recent meals and other factors affect consumption.
But it has been widely reported that after a safe and effective dose has been established, capsules can work for daily use.
While it may not taste particularly pleasant, CBD can also be effectively absorbed directly into the bloodstream by holding liquid from a spray or dropper under the tongue. Research shows effects can the be felt in as little as a few minutes.
Give the vapors
CBD can also be inhaled via a vaporising, ‘vape’ pen. However, it’s possible that inhalation can carry unknown risks, particularly in those with respiratory issues and ailments such as inflammatory arthritis, and so isn’t widely recommended as a method for use.
With all methods, the common downfall is wavering dosage guidelines. Measures can change depending on a number of factors including age, weight and reason for use, however resounding guidance from experts is to ‘go low and slow’. Start with just a few milligrams twice a day, and if relief is inadequate after one week, increase the dose by the same amount, in small increments over several weeks if needed.
It’s clear that more research is needed to determine exact details into these methods, but this is only set to increase as the number of people turning to CBD for pain relief continues to grow.
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