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New course offers expert advice on medical cannabis from doctors and patients

The Sativa Learning course includes insight from doctors and patients

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A new online course on prescribing medical cannabis will offer a detailed insight into the industry from both clinicians and patients. Cannabis Health speaks to course creator and CEO Ryan McCreanor.

Sativa Learning and the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (MCCS) have partnered to offer a new course on the prescribing of medical cannabis in the UK.

It will cover a comprehensive list of topics around cannabis as a medicine such as clinical evidence for medical cannabis, the practicalities of prescribing and side effects and contraindications.

The course, which will run online only, will also offer a variety of clinical and patient stories on a select list of conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, paediatric epilepsy, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Course: An advert for Always Pure Organics

Sativa Learning has already launched a successful online CBD course covering everything from the science behind the cannabinoid to UK regulations.

Ryan got the idea following his return from Canada to his hometown of Northern Ireland where he struggled to find decent quality CBD products. He started his career as a toxicology scientist before working for the Canadian government as an educator and trainer post legalisation in 2018.

“This was a way to bring a level of legitimacy to the industry by developing an accredited expert-led cannabis course,” said Ryan.

“The idea for the platform is that we want to provide education for all avenues of the cannabis industry. The CBD industry was a good place to start as I had a good level of knowledge myself so I put together a lot of the educational content myself.”

He continued: “I wanted to bring in real experts so we partnered with Professor Barnes and Hannah Deacon. All future courses will be CPD-credited. A lot of medical professionals will have to gain a certain amount of CPD points per year so they can take our course and feel comfortable that it is managed to a high started of further learning.”

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As well as Hannah Deacon and Prof Barnes, the course also includes expert panels from Dr Dani Gordon who will speak about cannabis and oncology. Other classes will include Dr Elie Okirie speaking about epilepsy and Dr Evan Lewis on paediatric epilepsy. When it comes to the syllabus, the MCCS has put together the content for the cannabis course.

Course: The two creators of the cannabis course standing next to each other looking into the camera

Sativa Learning founder, Ryan McCreanor and Professor Mike Barnes

Ryan explained that they selected the conditions they included carefully to give a broad overview of common conditions.

He said: “We picked out 10 of the most common conditions for which cannabis is prescribed. We have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, cancer pain and women’s health issues. The doctors explain how they prescribe for that condition and have a number of patients who speak on camera about their experience.”

 

Expert-led courses

When it comes to panel discussions, courses or expert lead videos, it can often feel as if patients are forgotten. Ryan highlighted that this is a key part of the course.

“Not only do we have the doctors educating on cannabis but we have a follow-up with a patient talking about their experience,” he said.

“They discuss what life was like for them before medical cannabis, what their prescription is like and how this changed things for them.

“The industry should be all about the patients so we want to make sure that their voices are heard.”

The course will be fully online, with an option to learn as you go and break and save your progress whenever you are ready.  At the end of the course, there will be an exam that will give you a presentation upon a passing grade. The exam is part of the CPD accreditation.

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Ryan added: “Some people have blasted through our CBD course in one day where they just sit down and get through it all which can take up to six hours depending on your existing level of knowledge. This course is going to be quite a bit longer but you can do it all in one day or you could do a few hours a night for six months.”

The platform will be available for anyone who wants to learn about cannabis although Ryan explained that it may be more suited towards industry professionals.

He concluded: “There are no barriers to entry. The course is going to be available for whoever wants to learn about cannabis medicine. The language we use is heavily targeted towards the medical professionals as it is aimed at that audience to teach medical professionals about the basics of prescribing.”

Access the course here

Read more: The importance of peer to peer learning in medical cannabis education

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Rapper Lil’ Kim announces new cannabis brand ‘aphrodisiac’

The New York rapper becomes the latest celebrity to launch their own cannabis collection which is due in 2022.

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Image: Instagram/lilkimthequeenbee

The singer has announced the launch of her own cannabis brand, Aphrodisiac which is being produced in partnership with Superbad inc.

Lil Kim’s new products will be available across California in 2022, although there is no official launch date announced.

The brand is being produced in collaboration with the innovative cannabis brand, Superbad inc. Superbad was established in 2020 combining cutting edge technology and sleek design for cannabis consumers. They currently have seven acres of indoor grow and a “state-of-the-art facility” employing over 200 people.

Kimberly Denise Jones who goes by her stage name, Lil’ Kim has been working on the brand for two years. She has also partnered with the brand CampNova, which offer vertically integrated marketing and a distribution platform.

The rapper wants the cannabis line to reflect her personal style and says she has personally tested her own products. The collection is tailored to Lil’ Kim’s own preference in genetics and strains.

Lil' Kim: A banner advert for Always Pure Organics

Lil’ Kim collection

There are plans to expand the range to other legal states such as Michigan, New Jersey and New York. Originally from New York, Lil’ Kim hopes to be able to release the collection in her home state.

In an interview with Forbes magazine, she said: “I’ve actually been working on this for about two and a half to three years. This is something that didn’t just come overnight. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Lil’ Kim is the latest celebrity to enter the cannabis space with her own collection. Earlier this year, Justin Bieber announced he would be releasing a collection of pre-rolls called Peaches with premium brand Palms. The products are currently available in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Florida.

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In a press release, he stated: “I’m a fan of Palms and what they are doing by making cannabis approachable and helping to destigmatise it — especially for the many people who find it helpful for their mental health.”

 

Image rights: Lil’ Kim

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Always Pure Organics: A day in the life with Chikako Yoshida

Regional Director of Asia, Chikako Yoshida, gives us a glimpse of her typical workday and discusses working in cannabis.

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Always Pure Organics: A man and a woman working on a laptop.

Chikako Yoshida, regional director of Asia for Always Pure Organics shares her experience of working in the cannabis industry.

Always Pure Organics is excited to give you a glimpse behind the curtain once again.

Join us for our latest episode of a Day in the Life, in which regional director of Asia, Chikako Yoshida discusses her experience working for Always Pure Organics and in the cannabis industry.

Always Pure Organics: A woman walking down a white and yellow hallway

In this episode, we follow our Regional Director of Asia, Chikako Yoshida, as she takes us through her typical workday. Having previously worked in counterterrorism for the United Nations, Chikako joined the APO team in May 2020. Chikako has such an interesting story to tell, we’re honoured to have her on the team as she embodies our mission to cultivate cannabis acceptance and accessibility worldwide. 

Chikako Yoshida said: “Upon learning about the power of cannabis and seeing the high potential growth of Always Pure Organics, I decided to change career from preventing illicit drugs to promoting cannabis to help people in need. I feel that by joining APO, I can help fulfil my life’s mission to support children and their families who fight against illness and sickness by providing them with cannabis products.”

Read more: Always Pure Organics achieves COSMO standard

Always Pure Organics: A banner explaining how the collaborative post works

READ MORE  Virtual roundtable to explore medical cannabis in the UK
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CBGA may be ‘more potent’ than CBD against seizures in Dravet syndrome

Dr Lyndsey Anderson said there is more to explore when it comes to creating more treatment options for Dravet syndrome.

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Seizure: A row of test tubes containing CBGA oil with a doctors white gloved hand holding one up to the light

Scientists say they have found the ‘Mother of all cannabinoids’ which may help to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome.

A new study on mice from the University of Sydney found that three acidic cannabinoids found in cannabis reduced seizures in Dravet syndrome, an intractable form of childhood epilepsy.

The three cannabinoids are cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA). All three but CBGA in particular “may contribute to the effects of cannabis-based products in childhood epilepsy” noted the researchers and were found to potentially have ‘anticonvulsant properties.”

The study marks the first time that three acidic cannabinoids were found to potentially help reduce seizures for Dravet syndrome.

Speaking with Cannabis Health News, the lead author of the study, Dr Lyndsey Anderson, said: “We found that CBGA exhibited both anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects. CBGA was more potent than CBD against febrile seizures in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. We also found that a combination of CBGA and clobazam was more effective than either treatment alone. Additionally, we found that CBGA was anticonvulsant in the maximal electroshock acute seizure model, a model for generalized tonic-clonic seizures.”

She added: “CBGA did, however, present some proconvulsant effects. The frequency of spontaneous seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome was increased with a high dose of CBGA. Also, CBGA was proconvulsant in the 6-Hz acute seizure model, a model of focal, psychomotor seizures.”

Although CBGA shows promise, Dr Anderson also stressed that it needs more research before it can replace CBD. She cautioned that Dravet syndrome patients may still need to proceed with caution.

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“Artisanal cannabis-based products are believed to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome patients,” she said. “As these oils contain rare cannabinoids like CBGA, it is possible CBGA then contributes to the anticonvulsant effects of these artisanal cannabis oils. However, there were proconvulsant effects observed with CBGA, suggesting that Dravet syndrome patients may need to proceed with caution. The proconvulsant liability of CBGA would need to be addressed before it replaced CBD as an anticonvulsant.”

What is CBGA?

Sometimes referred to as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids,’ CBGA is the precursor molecule to many different cannabinioids including CBD and THC. It is thought to help some diseases such as colon cancer, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid much like CBD.

Dr Anderson explains that more research is needed to explain how the three cannabinoids work together.

“We don’t know how they work together yet,” she said. “We found that CBGA, CBDVA and CBGVA were all individually anticonvulsant against thermally induced seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome. We did not investigate whether a combination of these three cannabinoids would result in a greater anticonvulsant effect than either cannabinoid alone. Future work will definitely explore this possibility.”  

CBGA future research

This isn’t the end of the research into CBGA for Dravet Syndrome. Dr Anderson said there is more to explore when it comes to creating more treatment options for Dravet syndrome.

 

She said: “Next on the horizon for this research is to explore whether the anticonvulsant properties of CBDVA and CBGVA translate to other seizure types including spontaneous seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome. Additionally, we have extensively interrogated the anticonvulsant potential of individual cannabinoids and identified ten with anticonvulsant properties.”

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“We are now interested in investigating what happens when we combine these anticonvulsant properties. It remains an open possibility that greater anticonvulsant effects are achieved when the cannabinoids are administered in combination.”

The study was recently published in the British Journal of Pharmacology (DOI: 10.1111/bph.15661)

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Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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