Now in Effect: West Virginia Law Maintains Legal CBD Sales Despite Ongoing Federal Prohibition

By Mike Maharrey

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (June 7, 2019) – Today, a West Virginia law that modifies the state’s hemp licensing program and ensures the sale of CBD can continue in the state went into effect. This will not only open up markets in West Virginia, but also takes a crucial step given the FDA’s continued regulation and prohibition of CBD.

Del. Gary Howell (R-Keyser) introduced House Bill 2694 (HB2694) on Jan. 28. The new law makes changes to the state’s hemp licensing program to conform it to the legal environment created when the federal government legalized hemp last year.

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The House passed HB2694 96-2. The Senate approved the measure 33-1. With Gov. Justice’s signature, the law went into effect June 7.

In practice, the new law won’t change much. In 2017, West Virginia removed provisions in its hemp program restricting it to research only. From that point, any person with a license was authorized to plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, and buy industrial hemp. This directly contradicted federal law at the time that limited hemp production to research purposes only and prohibited commercial production. With commercial hemp production fully legalized in West Virginia back in 2017, the passage of HB2694 merely ensures farmers in West Virginia will be able to continue producing hemp as they have since that time.

But the new law won’t be without any practical effect. HB2694 includes important provisions related to CBD.

It establishes that hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD, are not controlled substances, and products intended for ingestion containing CBD are considered foods, not adulterated products. Under the new law, derivatives of hemp, including hemp-derived cannabidiol, can be added to cosmetics, personal care products, and products intended for animal or human consumption, and the addition is not considered adulteration of the products. HB2694 also allows the sale of hemp products and CBD produced in other states as long as those states maintain substantially the same requirements for processing as West Virginia.

These provisions ensure the state will not ban the sale CBD or CBD products. This is crucial because despite removing the plant from the list of controlled substances late last year, the federal government still prohibits the sale of CBD products under FDA rules.

2018 Farm Bill and CBD

With the passage of the farm bill, the federal government now treats industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity instead of a controlled substance. While the DEA will no longer have the authority to regulate hemp, the provisions of the farm bill have no bearing on FDA rules and regulations regarding CBD. In fact, a section in the farm bill makes this explicit.

Section 297D, paragraph (c)(1) “Regulations and Guidelines; Effect on Other Law” states “nothing in this subtitle shall affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Practically speaking, the passage of the farm bill does not mean CBD will now be federally-legal in all 50 states, as some hemp supporters claim. In fact, the FDA still maintains a strict prohibition on the sale of CBD in the U.S.

To date, the FDA has only approved one medication with cannabidiol as an active ingredient – Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures. But the FDA classifies CBD as “a drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted.” Under federal law, that designation means the FDA maintains full control over the substance and it cannot be marketed as a “dietary supplement.” The agency maintains that the sale of CBD or any food products containing the substance is illegal.

At this time, the agency hasn’t changed its position on CBD. In a recent congressional hearing, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he understands that Congress wants a pathway to CBD availability, but said “it is not a straightforward issue” due to the fact that the agency has approved CBD for treatment of epilepsy and it is ““subject of substantial clinical investigation.” Both of these factors prohibit CBD from being sold as a “health supplement” and from being added to food.

Gottlieb said, “the law does allow us to go through a regulatory process and go through a notice and comment rule-making to establish a framework to allow it to be put into the food supply.”

The FDA held its first public meeting relating to CBD in May. FDA principal deputy commissioner Amy Abernethy said there is a need to “further clarify the regulatory framework to reduce confusion in the market,” and “Key questions about product safety need to be addressed. Data are needed to determine safety thresholds for CBD.”

In effect, the agency can continue to enforce these same rules even with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. While farmers can now legally grow hemp for commercial purposes, including the production of fiber, biofuel, building products, paper, clothes and even food products that don’t contain CBD, the sale of cannabinol or food products containing CBD remain federally-illegal, as it has been all along, unless the FDA changes its policy or Congress passes legislation specifically legalizing CBD.

With the enactment of  HB2694, West Virginia will not interfere with the sale of CBD products produced in the state regardless of continued federal prohibition.

Without state cooperation, the FDA will likely have trouble regulating it in West Virginia.

Despite past and ongoing federal prohibition, CBD is everywhere. A New York Times article asserted that “with CBD popping up in nearly everything — bath bombs, ice cream, dog treats — it is hard to overstate the speed at which CBD has moved from the Burning Man margins to the cultural center.”

This was happening when both the DEA and FDA prohibited CBD. It will undoubtedly continue as long as market demand remains and states don’t interfere. The FDA can’t effectively enforce prohibition without the assistance of state and local officials.

According to the FDA, the agency prioritizes enforcement based on a number of factors, including “agency resources and the threat to public health. FDA also may consult with its federal and state partners in making decisions about whether to initiate a federal enforcement action.”

Even with both the FDA and DEA theoretically enforcing federal laws and regulations banning CBD, state and local action have already nullified federal prohibition in practice and effect. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue as long as states maintain the same stance on CBD as they did under the 2014 farm bill. Simply put, the federal government lacks the personnel and resources to crack down on CBD – even if the FDA wants to.


Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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Pine Nut Shells Increase Physical Endurance

For several decades, the number of chronicle diseases has been growing. The main reason for this is the imbalanced diet. Biologists and chemists study natural foods concerning the fact that it can help strengthen health and prevent numerous diseases.

They have designed a new concept, which is “functional food products”.

Wild growing raw materials are the prospective sources of biologically active compounds. The Russian Federation has one of the biggest reserves of raw materials.

The Eastern Siberia has endless cedar forests that cover territories of the Tyva Republic, Krasnoyarsk Region, Altai Region and the Republic of Buryatia, which is 18 million hectares.

Annually, more than 1 million tons of pine nuts are harvested in Siberia.

Pine nut shells are the source of carbohydrates, minerals and various organic compounds.

Olga Babich, Svetlana Noskova and Stanislav Sukhikh, the researchers of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, together with their colleagues from Kemerovo State University have studied the processed product of pine nut shells.

The carbohydrate-mineral complex is rich in fibres and vitamins.

The researchers have also discovered that it is non-toxic and increases physical endurance, which is why it is recommended as a sports nutrition product.

Lately, the authoritative scientific journal Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre has published the article under the title “Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre”.

According to the article, dietary fibres are necessary for the health of the digestive system. They have a positive effect on blood vessels and lower blood sugar level.

Article by Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. Image from Pixabay.

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Can You Fail a Drug Test After Taking CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound produced by the marijuana plant that seems to be everywhere these days. Maybe you’ve even been asked if you’d like it added to your morning cup of joe!

Interestingly, the chemical structure of CBD is very similar to THC, which is the marijuana-derived compound responsible for getting people high and the one screened for by drug tests.

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This structural similarity begs the question: Could using CBD make you fail a drug test? In this episode of Reactions, we break down the chemistry behind the possibilities:

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Vitamin D Helps Cancer Patients Live Longer

Michigan State University physicians have found that vitamin D, if taken for at least three years, could help cancer patients live longer.

The findings suggest that the vitamin carries significant benefits other than just contributing to healthy bones and were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting on June 3, 2019.

In the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vitamin D had a significant effect on lowering the risk of death among those with cancer, but unfortunately it didn’t show any proof that it could protect against getting cancer,” said Tarek Haykal, a lead author on the study and an internal medicine resident physician at Michigan State University and Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.

The researchers looked at data related to disease prevention from more than 79,000 patients in multiple studies that randomly compared the use of vitamin D to a placebo over at least a three-year period. Haykal and his team zeroed in on any information that involved cancer incidence and mortality.

The difference in the mortality rate between the vitamin D and placebo groups was statistically significant enough that it showed just how important it might be among the cancer population,” Haykal said.

While these findings show promise, Haykal cautioned that the exact amount of the vitamin to take and what levels are needed in the blood are still unknown. He also said that it’s unclear how much longer vitamin D extends lifespan and why it has this result.

“There are still many questions and more research is needed,” Haykal said. “All we can say is that at least three years of taking the supplement is required to see any effect.”

Results show enough promise, however, that Haykal would like to see more doctors, especially oncologists, prescribe vitamin D to patients in general.

“We know it carries benefits with minimal side effects, he said. “There’s plenty of potential here.”

Article by Michigan State University. Other authors on the study included MSU and Hurley resident physicians Varun Samji, Yazan Zayed, Inderdeep Gakhal, Vijaysai Veerapaneni, Michele Obeid, Babikir Kheiri and Sunil Badami. Ghassan Bachuwa, internal medicine residency program director at Hurley, and Rizwan Danish, oncologist at Genesee Cancer and Blood Disease Treatment Center, also contributed to this research. Link to the original paper: https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.1534

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Cannabis Use Among Older Adults Rising Rapidly

Study is first state-wide investigation of cannabis use among older Americans and the outcomes they experience

Cannabis use among older adults is growing faster than any other age group but many report barriers to getting medical marijuana, a lack of communication with their doctors and a lingering stigma attached to the drug, according to researchers.

The study, the first to look at how older Americans use cannabis and the outcomes they experience, was published this month in the journal Drugs & Aging.

“Older Americans are using cannabis for a lot of different reasons,” said study co-author Hillary Lum, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Some use it to manage pain while others use it for depression or anxiety.”

The 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Health showed a ten-fold increase in cannabis use among adults over age 65.

The researchers set out to understand how older people perceived cannabis, how they used it and the positive and negative outcomes associated with it.

They conducted 17 focus groups in in senior centers, health clinics and cannabis dispensaries in 13 Colorado counties that included more than 136 people over the age of 60. Some were cannabis users, others were not.

“We identified five major themes,” Lum said.

These included: A lack of research and education about cannabis; A lack of provider communication about cannabis; A lack of access to medical cannabis; A lack of outcome information about cannabis use; A reluctance to discuss cannabis use.

Researchers found a general reluctance among some to ask their doctors for a red card to obtain medical marijuana. Instead, they chose to pay more for recreational cannabis.

Lum said this could be driven by feeling self-conscious about asking a doctor for cannabis. That, she said, points to a failure of communication between health care providers and their patients.

“I think [doctors can] be a lot more open to learning about it and discussing it with their patients,” said one focus group respondent. “Because at this point I have told my primary care I was using it on my shoulder. And that was the end of the conversation. He didn’t want to know why, he didn’t want to know about effects, didn’t want to know about side effects, didn’t want to know anything.”

Some said their doctors were unable or unwilling to provide a certificate, the document needed to obtain medical marijuana. They also said physicians need to educate themselves on the latest cannabis research.

Some older users reported positive outcomes when using cannabis for pain as opposed to taking highly addictive prescription opioids. They often differentiated between using cannabis for medical reasons and using it recreationally.

“Although study participants discussed recreational cannabis more negatively than medical cannabis, they felt it was more comparable to drinking alcohol, often asserting a preference for recreational cannabis over the negative effects of alcohol,” the study said.

The researchers also found that despite the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and other states, some older people still felt a stigma attached to it.

“Some participants, for example, referred to the movie `Reefer Madness’ (1936) and other anti-marijuana propaganda adverts that negatively framed cannabis as immoral and illegal,” the researchers said.

The study adds to the growing literature on the diversity of marijuana use patterns in older adults, said co-author Sara Honn Qualls, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychology and director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

“Older adults who use marijuana are ingesting it in a variety of ways for multiple purposes,” she said. “This and other papers from the same project show growing acceptance of marijuana use for medical purposes by older adults, and a clear desire to have their primary health providers involved in educating them about options and risks.

Lum agreed.

She said Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, provides a unique laboratory to gauge public attitudes toward cannabis.

“From a physician’s standpoint this study shows the need to talk to patients in a non-judgmental way about cannabis,” she said. “Doctors should also educate themselves about the risks and benefits of cannabis and be able to communicate that effectively to patients.”

Article by University of Colorado. The study co-authors include: Julie Bobitt; Melissa Schuchman; Robert Wickersham; Kanika Arora; Gary Milavetz and Brian Kaskie.

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Ben & Jerry’s to Start Selling CBD-Infused Ice Cream as Soon as Possible

By Emma Fiala

Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont-based occasionally political ice cream company, is ready to jump into the CBD game as soon as the non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid is legal in all 50 U.S. states. As of now, an FDA regulation prevents the cannabidiol from being added to both food and beverages.

The company announced on Thursday its “commitment to including CBD in its ice cream innovations,” in a press release.

While it may seem like the logical next step for a company manufacturing flavors such as Cherry Garcia, Half Baked and Magic Brownies, the issue is less about expanding on those groovy flavors and more about the fact that activism is “in the DNA of Ben & Jerry’s,” according to 2018 CNBC interview with CEO Matthew McCarthy.

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Ben & Jerry’s is poised to jump on the CBD bandwagon as soon as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows. It is currently illegal under the Food Drug & Commerce Act to add CBD or THC to food and to market it as a dietary supplement.

However, some states are independently dealing with the legality of CBD-infused foods and beverages. Earlier this week, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled that cannabis extracts—including infused food and beverages—are legal in the state. But for a manufacturer that produces products sold nationwide, the idea has to wait on the back burner until given a green light by the feds.

This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s has mentioned the possibility of adding the cannabidiol to ice cream. Back in 2015, founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield spoke with HuffPost Live and hinted at the possibility.

“Makes sense to me,” Cohen said at the time. “Combine your pleasures.”

Barring any hiccups in the process, Ben & Jerry’s may not have to wait much longer. A public hearing is set to take place today, May 31st, to discuss the full legalization of CBD, to which Ben & Jerry’s has submitted comment.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the move is part of a larger effort to build “lawful pathways by which appropriate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed.”

Hopefully the FDA will consider Ben & Jerry’s CBD-infused ice cream to be an appropriate product. And when that happens, Ben & Jerry’s will likely source the CBD used from Vermont, according to the Guardian.

McCarthy said in a statement:

We’re doing this for our fans. We’ve listened and brought them everything from Non-Dairy indulgences to on-the-go portions with our Pint Slices. We aspire to love our fans more than they love us and we want to give them what they’re looking for in a fun, Ben & Jerry’s way.

A message on the Ben and Jerry’s website reads:

You probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy. So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend: cannabidiol, or CBD. We are committed to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalised at the federal level.

The company is also urging its fans to contact the FDA to voice their support for modifying the current regulations.

This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.

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73% of Oncology Providers See Benefit of Medical Marijuana

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2019 shows that while 73 percent of surveyed oncology providers believe that medical marijuana provides benefits for cancer patients, only 46 percent are comfortable recommending it. Major concerns included uncertain dosing, limited knowledge of available products and where to get them, and possible interactions with other medications.

“I think in some cases we’re missing out on providing a useful tool. Providers think it has benefit, but aren’t comfortable recommending it,” says Ashley E. Glode, PharmD, assistant professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the study’s first author.

Survey respondents included 48 specialized oncologists, 47 physicians, 53 registered nurses, 17 pharmacists, and 7 “other” oncology providers. Seventy-nine percent reported that educational programs both during training and as continuing medical education courses could increase their comfort level with medical marijuana prescribing. Interestingly, 68 percent of providers reported receiving information about medical marijuana from their patients – the next most common sources of information were news media (accessed by 55 percent of providers), and other providers (53 percent).

“We asked and most providers didn’t train in a state where medical marijuana was legal. We need to adapt our healthcare education to include this, and also offer trainings on medical marijuana to current providers,” Glode says.

Providers also reported legal and regulatory concerns, especially providers working in academic medical centers who expressed uncertainty whether recommending medical marijuana could jeopardize federal funding (marijuana remains a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Schedule 1 drug). Providers felt as if additional clinical data describing the effectiveness of medical marijuana and endorsed guidelines describing the conditions and situations in which it should be used would increase their comfort in prescribing.

“Still, the biggest issue that providers saw is the lack of certainty in dosing,” Glode says. “The issue is it’s not regulated – a dispensary might say a product has this much THC and this much CBD, but no one is testing that for sure. Limited data suggest that patients should start low and slow, no more than 10mg of THC in a dose, but we don’t know that’s what patients are really getting. Then from a consumption perspective, inhalation and smoking is the least preferred due to possible damage to the lung. So many doctors recommend edibles, oils, and tinctures, but we still don’t have good data comparing dosage across these forms.”

Glode and study colleagues including Stephen Leong, MD, hope to expand the survey to gather a more nationally representative sample.

“Knowledge is an issue,” Glode says. “If we could do a better job educating our healthcare providers, it might be used more often and potentially more safely.”

Article by University of Colorado.

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Eating Blueberries Every Day Improves Heart Health

Eating a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease – according to new research led by the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard and across the UK.

New findings published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that eating 150g of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15 per cent.

The research team from UEA’s Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, say that blueberries and other berries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – particularly among at risk groups.

The team set out to see whether eating blueberries had any effect on Metabolic Syndrome – a condition, affecting 1/3 of westernised adults, which comprises at least three of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of ‘good cholesterol’ and high levels of triglycerides.

Lead researcher Prof Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Having Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this risk.

“It’s widely recognised that lifestyle changes, including making simple changes to food choices, can also help.

“Previous studies have indicated that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This may be because blueberries are high in naturally occurring compounds called anthocyanins, which are the flavonoids responsible for the red and blue colour in fruits.

“We wanted to find out whether eating blueberries could help people who have already been identified as being at risk of developing these sort of conditions.”

The team investigated the effects of eating blueberries daily in 138 overweight and obese people, aged between 50 and 75, with Metabolic Syndrome. The six-month study was the longest trial of its kind.

They looked at the benefits of eating 150 gram portions (one cup) compared to 75 gram portions (half a cup). The participants consumed the blueberries in freeze-dried form and a placebo group was given a purple-coloured alternative made of artificial colours and flavourings.

Co-lead, Dr Peter Curtis, said: “We found that eating one cup of blueberries per day resulted in sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness – making enough of a difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15 per cent.

“The simple and attainable message is to consume one cup of blueberries daily to improve cardiovascular health.

“Unexpectedly, we found no benefit of a smaller 75 gram (half cup) daily intake of blueberries in this at-risk group. It is possible that higher daily intakes may be needed for heart health benefits in obese, at-risk populations, compared with the general population.”

Article by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Southampton, the University of Surrey, and the University of Cambridge. It was funded by the US Highbush Blueberry Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).’Blueberries improve biomarkers of cardio metabolic function in participants with metabolic syndrome – results from a 6-month, double blind, randomized controlled trial’ is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Manuka Honey Better at Killing Respiratory Infections Than Antibiotics

Manuka honey alone outperforms antibiotics in treating respiratory infections. Combined with antibiotics, Manuka honey killed 90% of the bacteria tested

Manuka honey could provide the key to a breakthrough treatment for cystic fibrosis patients following preliminary work by experts at Swansea University.

Dr Rowena Jenkins and Dr Aled Roberts have found that using Manuka honey could offer an antibiotic alternative to treat antimicrobial resistant respiratory infections, particularly deadly bacteria found in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) infections.

Using lung tissue from pigs, experts treated grown bacterial infections mimicking those seen in CF patients with Manuka honey. The results showed that it was effective in killing antimicrobial resistant bacteria by 39% compared to 29% for antibiotics, whilst improving the activity of some antibiotics that were unable to function effectively by themselves, honey and antibiotics combined killed 90% of the bacteria tested.

CF is one of the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited diseases, with around 10,400 people in the UK suffering according to the CF Trust. A government review led by Lord Jim O’Neill also highlighted the threat of antimicrobial resistance, estimating that a continued rise in resistance by 2050 would lead to 10 million people dying every year from antimicrobial resistant infections.

A problem that CF patients suffer from are chronic and long-lasting respiratory infections which often prove fatal due to the presence of certain bacteria that are resistant to many (if not all) the antibiotics that doctors currently have at their disposal.

Bacteria that cannot be removed from the lungs through antibiotic treatment can, as a last resort, be removed by providing patients with newly transplanted lungs. This has some associated risks, however, as the bacteria that caused the original infection can still be found in the upper airway, and migrate into the new lungs, thus making the transplant ineffective.

Some patients have a worse prognosis as they are infected with deadly types of bacteria, such as Pseudomonas and Burkholderia cepacia complex, which are difficult to kill (due to multiple antibiotic resistance) and cause extensive damage to the lungs. In some instances, merely their presence within a patient can prevent them from receiving life-saving lung transplants.

The effectiveness of antibiotics against these deadly infections is a huge concern, making the need to find suitable, non-toxic alternatives, which are effective at killing the bacteria a top priority.

Honey has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal product. More recently, research has shown that Manuka honey is capable of killing antibiotic resistant bacteria present in surface wounds. Funding from The Waterloo Foundation and The Hodge Foundation has allowed research to look at it as an antibiotic alternative in CF infections.

Dr Rowena Jenkins, Lecturer in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Swansea University, said:

“The preliminary results are very promising and should these be replicated in the clinical setting then this could open up additional treatment options for those with cystic fibrosis infections.

“The synergy with antibiotics and absence of resistance seen in the laboratory has allowed us to move into the current clinical trial, investigating the potential for Manuka honey as part of a sinus rinse for alleviating infection in the upper airway.

Article and study by Swansea University.

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Researchers Hunt For Secret to Kratom’s Natural Pain-Relief Benefits

Kratom is a Southeast Asian tree with a long history of use in traditional medicine. In the region, the plant’s leaves are widely consumed for pain relief, treatment of opioid addiction and other uses.

Though its efficacy and safety are unproven, kratom use has spread to the U.S. and Europe. Now, researchers report in ACS Central Science that a metabolite of a kratom alkaloid could be responsible for the treatment’s therapeutic effects.

Currently, kratom is legal and available in the U.S. as a gray-market product, but it has an uncertain regulatory future. In the meantime, scientists are investigating the substance’s physiological effects.

Some prior research attributed these effects to mitragynine, the major active alkaloid in kratom, and its binding to an opioid receptor. However, 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-OH), another alkaloid present in the leaf at far lower concentrations, also interacts with that receptor.

To clear up the matter, Jonathan A. Javitch, Susruta Majumdar, Dalibor Sames and colleagues set out to probe the pharmacological and metabolic mechanisms behind kratom’s analgesic effects.

Through studies in cells and mice, the researchers showed that most of the analgesic effect is from 7-OH rather than mitragynine.

They also found that metabolism of mitragynine in mouse and human liver preparations actually produces much more 7-OH than is present naturally in kratom.

The team says that the results shed light on some of the seemingly contradictory reports on kratom, but more studies are still needed to see whether their findings in mice extend to humans.

Article by ACS.

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