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How this brand is “setting a new standard” for CBD in Europe

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Janus is currently working with a range of professional athletes, including UFC fighter Leon Edwards

The online wellbeing platform, Elements of Green, has launched its first line of CBD products under the brand Janus, which it hopes will “set a new standard” for CBD products in Europe.

The company says its Janus range aims to help people with “everyday goals”, including fitness, recovery, relaxation and general wellness.

The brand is launching with a range of tinctures, capsules and cosmetics under two product lines: Janus Organics and Janus Elite.

The latter has both professional and amateur sportspeople in mind. The isolate-based range has a higher-than-average potency (up to 3,000mg CBD) to aid fitness fans in their recovery and relaxation after intense workouts.

The company is currently working with a number of professional athletes, including Leon Edwards, a professional mixed martial artist ranked at number three in the UFC welterweight rankings.

“We’d like to build a community of fitness enthusiasts,” president of Elements of Green, Julian Davies, tells Cannabis Health.

“At the head of that we have these amazing elite athletes who are doing this unbelievable sport, which requires huge levels of fitness and endurance.

“But whether you’re an elite athlete, like those guys, or whether you’re just a fitness fan, what we try to do with Janus Elite is build up a world around supporting an active lifestyle.”

The Janus Organics range takes a more holistic approach to wellbeing, offering consumers a range of zero percent THC, full-spectrum products. These oils and capsules incorporate the entire plant and its multitude of compounds, including cannabinoids, oils and terpenes in addition to CBD.

Janus products are currently available exclusively from the Elements of Green website; however, Davies says the company intends to partner up with bricks and mortar retailers as the UK and Europe emerge from lockdown. The brand also hopes to build new partnerships with professional athletes like Edwards to help push the brand forward.

Julian Davies – President of Elements of Green

Davies adds: “I can’t tell you how excited I am about being able to get back out into the world. It means that people can start getting back into exercise, start getting back to the gyms, and we can start doing even more with the athlete partnerships that we’re building.”

Elements of Green was launched in 2020 after its founders identified a gap in the market for a retailer that provides a “personal touch”. Formed by a team of CBD advocates, the retailer says it trials and tests each product they sell.

“The idea behind Elements of Green was to build a trusted retailer; a trusted place for people to come and look at all aspects of CBD,” Davies explains.

“I think the gap that Elements of Green tries to fit is that desire for personal endorsement and careful curation of products. So, when a consumer comes through our website, they know that we’re only working with credible, transparent, and ethical businesses.”

The company hopes that it can help guide people who are new to CBD through the journey of discovering the supplement. In addition to selling products, the site also aims to provide reliable information and educational resources to keep its customers clued up on CBD.

“We’ve built the online platform to make sure that we’re giving people as much knowledge and information about CBD as possible and we’ve been on quite a rapid trajectory from building that up,” Davies says.

“People coming to the website are looking to use it as a credible source of information.”

Although the company launched amongst challenging circumstances, it has had a successful first year and is now selling products across the UK and Europe, including Germany and Poland.

“We’ve launched at an interesting and difficult time,” Davies continues.

“It’s a relatively new business but we’re building out as fast as possible. Obviously, the category is moving incredibly quickly; a year in CBD is like four or five years in other FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sectors. It’s a rapid evolution for us.”

Looking ahead, Davies says the company has ambitious plans to become Europe’s most popular online repository of CBD products. Over the coming year as the world emerges from lockdown, the company aims to recruit new team members and expand its reach in Europe.

“Hopefully the only way is up,” Davies adds.

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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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