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Survey confirms higher risk of stroke for e-cigarette users




With the millennial generation moving towards the use of e-cigarettes, there is a huge risk of heart diseases moving in. This study conducted by researchers shall be presented on 6th February at International Stroke Conference by American Stroke Association held at Honolulu. Concerns around health concerns from e-cigarette use actually started using a lot in recent years. This has been fuelled by the surge in popularity as well as the wrong belief that e-cigarettes are actually safer than normal cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are commonly being used by the students at high school level that has increased almost 900 percent from the year 2011 to 2015. In the year 2018, 3.6 million+ young people were noted to be addicted to the use of e-cigarettes in the U.S. which included one from every 5 students in high school. The author of the study, Dr. Paul Ndunda, who is also an Assistant Professor for University of Kansas’ School of Medicine located at Wichita, mentioned that the youth today is blinded by the notion that these e-cigarettes are actually harmless. However, with recent studies conducted over the same, it has been proved that they might be less harmful when compared to normal cigarettes but they surely have their own set of risks.

The researchers taking a look over the use of e-cigarettes collected the data from a phone survey named Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System that was sponsored by various federal agencies that include CDC as well. This survey included people living in all the 50 states while asking about the risky behaviours related to health such as smoking or any recent diagnosis with health problems.

From the 400,000+ respondents that participated in this survey in 2016, about 66,795 had reported having used these e-cigarettes a minimum of once. This, when compared to the non-users, stated that the users were vulnerable to a 71 percent increased the risk of heart stroke, followed by 59 percent enhanced risk from a heart attack, and so on.

Ndunda mentioned that nature of analysis of the study didn’t facilitate research team for accurately calculating absolute heart attack risk & stroke from the database. Now, this isn’t to say that the e-cigarette users do not smoke conventional cigarettes. This can vastly affect the way these e-cigarettes deteriorate the health. Dual users might face harsher consequences from the use of these two addictives especially with an enhanced build up of the fatty deposits inside the arteries.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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High strength cannabis increases risk of psychotic disorders in users




A recent cannabis study on multiple patients claims that high potency cannabis with varieties combined with frequent use tend to increase chances of mental health problems among users.

Experts have previously flagged the link between cannabis and psychosis, especially among vulnerable people who consumed cannabis in high dosage. Moreover, recent studies suggest that potency of the cannabis consumed has a vital role to play in how many new cases of psychotic disorders arise in the city.

Prohibiting the use of high-potency cannabis would result in lower mental disorder as per the study which estimated that 30% of first-time of psychotic disorders in south London, and half of those in Amsterdam, were all results of high-potency cannabis consumption. The team says that this equates to almost 60 fewer cases per year in south London.

“If you are a psychologist like me who works in this catchment area and sees first-episode psychosis patients, this has a significant impact at the level of services and, I would also argue, family and society,” said Dr Marta Di Forti, the lead author of the research, from King’s College London.

High-strength cannabis contains high levels of Tetrahydro cannabinoid, popularly known as THC which is responsible for the “high” that one might feel after inhaling cannabis. It is a psychotic component found in the cannabis plant which can cause mental disorders and create an imbalance of chemicals in the body leading to several diseases.

Skunk, a high-strength cannabis has levels of THC above 10%. According to the data released last year, 94% police cannabis seizures in the UK were of high strength varieties, entailing minute traces of cannabinoid aka CBD which is a non-psychoactive component that could possibly reduce the high or prevent it altogether.

Writing in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, Di Forti and an international team of researchers report how they studied patient data – including cannabis use- recorded between mid-2010 and mid-2015 about 901 adults under the age of 65 who visited mental health services in one of the 10 locations in Europe, or one in Brazil, and received their first diagnosis of a psychotic disorder which did not result into, for example, brain tumours or acute drug use.

After considering an array of conditions including drinking habits, smoking cigarettes, educational background and use of other drugs like ketamine, the team discovered that patients with psychotic disorders were more likely to have consumed cannabis at some point of time in their lives as compared to those who were healthy.

The team also concluded that the chances of having a psychotic disorder were higher by 40% in those who used cannabis frequently – more than once a week – as compared to those who did it rarely or occasionally. Moreover, the chances of having a psychotic disorder were thrice in people who consumed cannabis on a daily basis as compared to those who rarely took it.

The most severe case of mental disorders is linked to people who consumed cannabis at a high frequency combined with high potency as compared to those who never did it or rarely did.

Daily cannabis use linked with psychotic disorders in people can be observed in Amsterdam, where the chances were seven times higher than for people who never used cannabis. Almost all the cannabis sold in coffee shops in Amsterdam are of high potency. On the other hand, varieties of cannabis with 67% THC can be found in Netherlands.

Registered cases of psychotic disorders were found highest in Amsterdam that other locations studied, with only south London surpassing it.

“Daily use of high-potency cannabis and how this varies across Europe explains some of the striking variations we have measured in the incidence of psychotic disorder,” said Di Forti.

However, she duly noted that not every person who consumes cannabis on a daily basis is bound to suffer from a psychotic disorder, she said that there are multiple reasons and factors contributing to these mental disorders, cannabis alone, cannot be taken as the only reason causing psychosis.

The study had its own limitations owing to the fact that it was self-reported use of cannabis and a small number of participants were involved. Also, THC and CBD were not measured in exact proportions, however, cannabis with high potency combined with increased frequency was a common factor noted in majority of the cases.

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Cannabis-Infused Beauty Products Grab a Piece Of a $167 Billion Market




Cannabis-Infused Beauty Products

With the inception of the legalization of cannabis in U.S, a colossal wave of cannabis-based products can be observed flourishing in the market. From stock market trades to infused drinks, cannabis is now sprawling over the market with an intent to create a revolutionary impact – fiscal and medicinal.

Being a step ahead in the game, multi-national firms and organizations are already partnering with cannabis producers and distributors to make appealing products to capture the consumer market by its hook. Intensives research and studies are being conducted to ensure safe usage and consumption of cannabis.


Market’s Transition to CBD-based Products

CBD, popularly known as cannabidiol is one of the two vital parts of the plants belonging to the cannabis genus. The other is known as Tetrahydro Cannabidiol (TCH) which when used in proper proportions can relieve stress.

CBD has come off clean in terms of its usage. There are negligent or minimal side effects associated with CBD and is safe to use by everyone. Many users in fact, claim that they have seen no side effects at all.

Several studies claim that CBD is non-toxic in nature even in high dosage. Even doses as high as 1,500 mg per day can be tolerated says NanoCraft CBD.


CBD Based Beauty Products

While many natural compounds are found in the Cannabis plants, CBD is linked with a range of potential health benefits – it is non-psychoactive and does not cause any high.Due to this cannabidiol is widely being used in making consumer-based products like tea, coffee, supplements, dog treats, beer alternatives and beauty products.

Whereas, tetrahydro cannabidiol (TCH) have proven to have therapeutic properties which makes you high and thus are not preferred for mass consumption or production.

Cannabidiol is being infused in a variety of beauty products entailing lotions, balms and creams. As with most of the CBD-based products, beauty products derived from marijuana are majorly available in dispensaries where cannabis is legal. However, hemp-derived products can be found in grocery stores and corner shops as well.

According to Jefferies, a wave of marijuana has also driven commercialization of CBD-infused beauty products.He further added that, “Beauty products infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, are predicted to grab hold of 15% of the $167 billion skincare market in a decade.”

“Consumers’ interest in wellness, natural ingredients, medicinal benefits and the legalization of marijuana in several states/countries have catalysed interest in CBD beauty,” Stephanie Wissink, an analyst at Jefferies said in a note out Tuesday.

She added that beauty products infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the most well-known of more than a hundred different phytochemicals found in cannabis – will generate $25 billion in revenue globally in a decade, representing 15% of the $167 billion skincare market.

Apart from majorly used in the development of beauty products, cannabidiol is also being used for making infused-drinks. They are set to hit the shelves by 2019 however the backend work has already begun.

Multinational companies are capitalizing on the nascent Cannabis legalization in the market. The brewer of Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch InBev is involved in a research partnership with Tilary Inc. and are looking to develop a unique, non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused drink with a decent taste using CBD and TCH, both.

While the invention of cannabis-infused drink is envisioned to lower down alcohol consumption, especially beer, the creation itself seems like a herculean task to many. It has been observed that cannabis-infused drinks taste like urine. However, a handful of companies have still managed to launch their infused drinks with minimum approved percentage of CBD.



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Cannabis infused drinks to hit the shelves by late 2019 – challenge for companies to overcome the urine-like taste




Cannabis Beer

Cannabis infused drinks are predicted to bring in a massive cash flow, worth $600 million in the U.S. by 2022, as estimated by Canaccord Genuity Group. This could be beneficial for an array of companies dealing with cannabis, considering the lowered beer consumption and legalized cannabis production and distribution in Canada and several states in the US.

However, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, infused drinks taste awful, almost like urine or soap dish, which would add up to the difficulty of curating a decently tasting drink that entails cannabis.

The smell of pot is a blend of citrusy, musty and sometimes a skunky stench which is quite easy to identify. An aromatic oil, Terpenes found in the cannabis plant is responsible for this fragrance. However, the question is how many people would be able to bear the smell and not gag when a bottle’s opened.

Companies have not yet discovered a solution for the pungent smell and taste. Drinks are concentrated with high amounts of sugar, additives and taste enhancers to cover up the bitter aroma and taste of the cannabis infused in liquids. Unsurprisingly, developing a decent infused drink comes off as a huge challenge to companies.

Intensive research has already begun, and companies have started coming up with alternatives and ideas that could render a decent product in the market for consumers.

CBD versus THC – Infused Drinks

Infused drinks are prepared by using two most important parts of the cannabis plant – cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydro cannabidiol (THC) or both. While CBD doesn’t get you high, THC does.

Both CBD and THC are insoluble in water, so the most common way users prepare infused drinks is by “shaking the bottle to mix it; using common emulsifiers and surfactants (ingredients that help mix water with oil) to create water compatible cannabinoids; or by using Nano emulsifications (small emulsion used to mix liquids) to create water compatible cannabinoids,” reads a report in New Cannabis Ventures.

However, the Toronto-based Province Brands is developing an infused drink which they claim would taste just like any other beer in the market. According to Bloomberg, “The idea is to replace the barley typically used in the brewing process with the stalks, stems and roots of the cannabis plant. Adding hops and water, the company is convinced it can create a line of non-alcoholic beverages that taste just as good as any beer on the market.”

Canada along with the U.S. too is inclined towards infused drinks. In 2018, beverage giant Constellation Inc. invested $5 billion in Cannabis Growth, an Ontario based cannabis producer. Multinational brewing companies are partnering with cannabis producers to create infused drinks that are appealing to the consumer market and generate solid revenue.

The brewer of Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch In Bev, in a research partnership with Tilary Inc. is looking to “develop a deeper understanding of non-alcoholic beverages containing THC and CBD.” Molson Coors, a multination brewing firm has partnered with HEXO, Que. based company “to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.”

Infused Drinks Introducing in the Market by late 2019

Infused drinks are presumed to hit the shelves by the end of 2019 under the second wave of cannabis production and distribution legalization. Along with extensive medical research and usage, cannabis is pumping up the market with its hype of creating a gamut of other products which a consumer can enjoy – infused drinks.

The standard measure as per the proposed regulations states a cannabis beverage may only contain 10mg THC per container, without any extra added vitamins or alcohol. Infused drinks are predicted to lower alcohol consumption and compensate for it in a healthy fashion.

However, the challenge is to come up with a good-tasting cannabis drink that outperforms alcohol, especially beer. Consequently, beverage companies are playing ahead of the game by building connections with cannabis producers to get a hold of the market in time.

Stock market trades and investments are also aligned with cannabis stocks, any fluctuation in future regarding its legalization, production and consumption could create massive ripples in the investment industry.

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