The four biggest Dutch banks – Rabobank, ING, ABN Amro and Volksbank (formerly SNS) – have lent coffeeshop owners some € 1.1bn using 170 coffee shops as security. The figures come from a research project carried out by the Financieele Dagblad and investigative website Investico which looked at connections between Dutch firms, entrepreneurs and the public sector, and the cannabis industry. The research shows that brewers such as Heineken and AB InBev have lent money to people active in the sector while 46 of the country’s 570 coffee shops are located in property run by a housing cooperation. Earlier research suggests around 25% of coffee shops have links to organised crime.

Source June 28: druglawreform.info

How much weed is too much weed? The answer is largely dependent on who you ask. Terms like ‘greening out’ are floating around to describe the reaction that a number of people may have from smoking too much weed. But some say you can never have enough of the stuff. However, a recently conducted academic study published by the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Dependence claims to have the answer.

According to the Journal, 7.5 mg of THC is optimal in keeping one relaxed and providing stress-relieving results. Beyond that, researchers say, carries a greater likelihood of having a negative impact on overall mood.

Clinicians took 42 healthy volunteers and placed each of them in a stressful situation, then gave them a non-stressful task. The subjects were split into a placebo group, a 7.5 mg of THC group, and a 12.5 mg of THC group. After measuring subjective mood, vital signs and cortisol levels the findings revealed,

7.5mg THC significantly reduced self-reported subjective distress after the TSST (Trier Social Stress Test) and attenuated post-task appraisals of the TSST as threatening and challenging.

The 12.5 mg THC subjects had different results,

By contrast, 12.5 mg THC increased negative mood overall i.e., both before and throughout the tasks. It also impaired TSST performance and attenuated blood pressure reactivity to the stressor.

One major hurdle in the fight to legalise cannabis is in finding the optimum dosing requirements to find the desired effects. Federal agencies have often cited these issues when denouncing the use of cannabis in general. But while it’s a start, 7.5 mg of THC is a relatively small dose, as is 12.5 mg when compared to the THC sold in dispensaries.

According to NBC News, “in Colorado’s legal bud, the average THC level is 18.7 percent, and some retail pot contains 30 percent THC or more.” This means that just a puff or two of weed could soar beyond the 12.5 mg negative mood inducing dose that the study points out.

High Times also remarked on the study’s glaring issues; Study participants were dosed with THC Capsules-meaning pure THC, no other cannabinoids, no terpenes. As has been demonstrated time and again, cannabis’ net effect on the body and brain has everything to do with the other constituent cannabinoids present, as well as the strain’s terpene content.

The study also fails to take into account users with high tolerances. For them, 7.5 mg of THC just ain’t getting it done.

All-in-all, when it comes down to how much weed is too much, different strokes for different folks. Women, for instance, become high more quickly than men do. Women also develop tolerances faster than men. This most likely has to do with the fact that women have a higher body fat content to store and absorb more THC.

Individual metabolic levels are also key when attempting to understand which THC levels are optimal. So for now, only you know how much weed is best for your unique needs. If not, have lots of fun while finding out.

See more at the Journal reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/28599212/

Source: June 25 – herb.co

Thanks to the success of medical cannabis in humans, pet owners are becoming more interested how medical cannabis can improve the quality of life for their furry family members.

The extension from human to pets may be influenced by cannabis legalisation, but many medications for dogs and cats are also given to humans. Substances like muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications, steroids and opioid painkillers are all administered to pets, but in smaller doses. Logic dictates that a medicine that would help treat arthritis in a human would also treat it in another mammal, but there are some differences.

When it comes to cannabis, dogs are more susceptible to the effects of THC than humans. Research shows that dogs have a higher amount of CB1 receptors throughout their brains. Even if a dog weighed as much as a human, THC would ultimately have a stronger effect on a canine than a human thanks to these receptors. Because of this, it is recommended that any cannabis treatment for a pet be significantly higher in cannabidiol (CBD) rather than THC. In cats, THC also exhibits the same relaxing and sedative qualities, but about 25 percent of cats showed increased agitation and restlessness.

While cannabis may have a stronger effect in pets, the ailments that cannabis seems to help in humans is also true in dogs. Epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues, cancer and arthritis have been treated with cannabis in people as well as dogs and cats. While much of the evidence supporting this is anecdotal, veterinarians are starting to take notice.

Source: June 21 – MassRoots.com

The green rush in Germany is on, with a Canadian cannabis producer ready to spend millions to expand in the country ahead of the country’s launch of a medical cannabis market.

Maricann Group Inc (CSE: MARI), a licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis in Canada, has secured $42,500,000 in non-dilutive financing to further expand operations in Germany, the company has announced. The funds come from The Green Streaming Finance Company of Canada Inc., a Vancouver, BC-based company that provides non-equity financing to cannabis producers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Maricann will receive investment in two separate payments of $15,000,000 and $27,500,000.

The money be used to fund construction of a state-of-the-art, 150,000 square-foot expansion of cultivation operations at the company’s existing Ebersbach Facility (pictured above) as well as an additional 250,000 square-foot, two-tiered cultivation expansion project. An additional outdoor farm will assist Maricann develop its high-CBD cannabis products.

The facility, a former Cargill plant, is located west of Dresden. It was constructed 20 years ago at a cost of 80 million euros. There are multiple individual clean rooms, according to a Maricann press release, that are ideal for cultivating cannabis. “The Ebersbach facility offers Maricann a significant advantage in cost of overall construction and speed to market. The infrastructure for cultivation of cannabis in an indoor secured environment is already in place,” CEO Benjamin Ward said in a statement.

“We simply need to add the fertigation system, lights and benches for growing, and then can be operational,” he added. “Our competitors are spending north of $70,000,000 CAD for facilities with less than 1/3 the footprint of our Ebersbach location. To construct a similar facility today, the estimated cost would be over $120 million EUR.”

Source: June 14 (By Peake): leafly.com

The Ministry of Health asked the Trimbos Institute to research the health effects of cannabis regulation in four states in America from 2012 till 2016.

The report looks at features of the policy on production, transport, sales, possession and use of recreational cannabis in the states of Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska. Also described in the report are measurements to possibly reduce health impact of cannabis use, based on desk research and scientific documents. The report looks at use, addiction, accidents and acute incidents in states with cannabis regulation.

In all four States with regulation of recreational cannabis the medical use of cannabis was allowed first. The allowance of the recreational use of cannabis in these states  was implemented after a referendum, but the health objectives for not predominant in this matter, so the health impact policy with the regulation has its limits.
The regulation of cannabis looks like the regulation of alcohol in the USA, so it seems that cannabis has become a usual consumer product. The sales and production of cannabis is organised through state-licenses, but local governments don’t have to allow the sale or production on their territories.

The general conclusion of the Trimbos report is that it’s still to early to draw solid conclusions on the health impact of the implementation of recreational cannabis regulation.

Source: June 13 (including a link to the dutch report): drugsinfo.nl

The convictions for a man and a woman from Bierum, from the north of Holland for growing cannabis for coffeeshops still stand up in the highest Dutch court. The growers got three months prison on probation for a test period of two years.

The growers only provided two coffeeshops with weed of good quality tot heir own opinion, without using pesticides, paying the electricity bill for using lamps and paying taxes for their income. According tot heir lawyers the government is hypocrite for allowing the sale of cannabis in coffeeshops but not allowing the growing, also society finds this hypocrite and thus they should not get punishment their lawyers stated. But the court didn’t agree with this, politicians should decide what is punishable or not, not judges.
The court acknowledges the difference between the sales which is allowed, the growing which is forbidden and the discussion there is on the matter. But also that the discussion about this has not come to an end and that there is not a solid consensus to allow the growing of cannabis for coffeeshops as well.

The highest court in Holland confirmed their convictions.

Source: June 13: rechtspraak.nl

For more info on this item (Dutch VICE, 27-8-2015): vice.com

On June 8 the website of the national cannabis-alliance cannabis connect was launched on internet. The national coffeeshop entrepreneurs of organisations of The Amsterdam based: Bond voor Coffeeshopondernemers (BCD), the national Platform Cannabis Nederland (PCN) and The Epicurus Foundation who try to stimulate debate on a rational cannabis policy connect a total of 125 coffeeshops.
The goal of the alliance is to unite all energy for initiatives for a rational cannabis policy including needs of all the stakeholders. The initiatives should be realistic and based on practical experience.

Five examples found on the website:

1. Grasstrip – tries to include a many coffeeshops as possible and have visited 300 coffeeshops already (there are about 581 coffeeshops in the Netherlands)
2. Entrepreneur days – Organising days where central theme’s on cannabis policy are on the agenda and also to hold votes about standpoints of coffeeshops within the alliance.

3. Clean cannabis – An initiative looking at the possibilities to test cannabis on additives like pesticides.
4. Get the facts – Publishing united statements to press & politics on different cannabis-themes.
5. Grasspoll – An online survey in english and dutch for cannabis-consumers to get knowledge about their needs and opinions. The last year about 8000 surveys were taken and is still online, to participate check out: www.grasspoll.nl

To connect to cannabis connect: info@cannabisconnect.org

Source: June 8: http://www.cannabisconnect.org/

”The Latin name ‘Cannabis indica’, later ‘Cannabis sativa’ already suggests that cannabis grows, and is traditionally used in India.”

Cannabis grows wild in the Himalayas, in India from Kashmir in the east to beyond Assam in the west, but also in Iran and all throughout Central and West Asia. (The Latin name ‘Cannabis indica’, later ‘Cannabis sativa’ already suggests that cannabis grows, and is traditionally used in India.) Cannabis is nowadays cultivated mostly in the tropical and subtropical parts of India.

In traditional Indian medical texts, cannabis has first been mentioned a couple of thousand years ago in the Atharva veda, whereas ayurvedic traditional texts do not mention this plant until the Middle Ages. The ayurvedic names of cannabis are “vijaya” – ‘the one who conquers’ and “siddhi” – ‘subtle power’, ‘achievement’. Ayurveda differentiates between three therapeutic parts of the plant. They have somewhat different actions on the body, and are given separate names. Bhang is a name for the leaves of male and female plants, and in certain regions of India the name is also used for flowers of the male plant. The name ganja is given to the flowering tops of the female plant, and charas is the name for the plant resin, which naturally exudes from leaves, stems and fruits of plants that grow in the mountains between 2000 and 3000 m of altitude. Nevertheless, some confusion exists regarding the names in India – in South and West India the difference in meaning between the names bhang and ganja has almost disappeared: the name ganja is used to denote the cannabis plant in general, including the leaves; and the name bhang is in some regions given to a drink made from ganja.

In Indian pharmacopeia, all parts of the plant are denoted as somewhat narcotic (the most powerful narcotic is in the plant’s resin, charas). But different parts of the plant can also stimulate digestion, act as analgesics, nervous system stimulants, can have sedative, spasmolytic, diuretic, and aphrodisiac actions. The plant is, according to ayurvedic basic energy (virya) differentiation, warming, and its long-term use dries up the body. With moderate use, it works first as a nervous system stimulant and powerful aphrodisiac, later its action is sedating. Habitual, prolonged use of Cannabis leads towards disbalance of all three basic physiological forces in the body (as Ayurveda recognizes them) – vata, pitta, and kapha – and as the result of this disbalance chronically poor digestion, melancholy, sexual impotence, and body wasting.

In Ayurveda, bhang is used to treat high blood pressure (this therapy is usually of limited duration, until high blood pressure is corrected with other ayurvedic measures), the juice is used for lowering intraocular pressure (glaucoma), and for short-term stimulation of the nervous system… Some martial artists in northern India, mainly wrestlers, take bhang with a paste made of almonds, pistachios, black pepper, saffron, rose petals etc., mixed with fresh cow’s milk – to ensure long term concentration during exhausting all-day practice, and to help the body (as their art demands the body to be as heavy as possible) to ingest enormous quantities of food, without losing its digestive power. Fresh leaf juice (bhang) is also used to treat dandruff, as a preventive measure against parasites in hair; also in cases of earache, and against bacterial inflammations and infestations of the ear. The juice is also diuretic, and therefore is used in treating inflammations of the bladder and kidney stones. Dried leaf powder is applied on fresh wounds to promote healing (new granulation tissue development). A poultice of crushed fresh leaves is used on the skin in cases of different skin infections, rashes, neuralgias – for example erysipelas, Herpes zoster, Chickenpox, eczema, etc. – to diminish pain and itching. Combined with other herbs, bhang can be used against diarrhoea – for this purpose, it is most usually combined with nutmeg (ganja may also be used for the same purpose – mainly with nutmeg and honey). With digestive herbs (like cumin, fennel, anise, …) bhang can be excellent for stimulating appetite and digestion; with aphrodisiac herbs and foods (almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, saffron…) it becomes an excellent aphrodisiac. When the leaves (bhang) on the other hand are mixed with tobacco, the plant diminishes appetite, and acts as an anti-aphrodisiac. In these cases, the actions of the cannabis plant are modified by other herbs in the mixture.

The most powerful narcotic, as mentioned above, is in the plant’s resin, charas, and it is used in Ayurveda in aroused psychiatric states, in manic states, sometimes also (short term use) for chronic insomnia, but also for chronic pain in terminal phases of tuberculosis and malignant tumours. It is also administered in cases of chronic debilitating dry cough, like in pertussis, and in patients with lung cancer – ayurvedic doctors prefer cannabis over opium in these cases, as cannabis (compared to opium) does not produce nausea, loss of appetite, constipation or headache.

Literature: Indian Materia Medica & Robert Svoboda: “Ayurveda, Life, Health, and Longevity”

Courtesy to: Biljana Dušić, M.D. Counsellor of Ayurvedic medicine, ADITI.

Source: June 2nd – institut-icanna.com