Finnish Food Authority has pulled CBD products from the market

European Union has designated Cannabidiol(CBD) as Novel Food. Novel Foods are not allowed to be placed on the market without authorization. In 2019 a German court’s ruling classified CBD as either a prescription medicine or Novel Food and most recently the Finnish Food Authority has issued a recall of extracts containing cannabinoids, such as CBD-A. Availability of products containing CBD in the EU market is changing.

Medical cannabis will be more readily available at a lower cost in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic Ministry of Health submitted an amendment to the Act on Addictive Substances for interdepartmental comment procedure. The amendment introduces completely new conditions to issue licenses to grow cannabis plants for medical use. The goal is to increase the number of cultivators and increase availability of cannabis for medical use, while at the same time reducing its price for Czech patients through commercial competition.

“We want more access to cannabis treatment to help patients who are no longer taking normal medications to treat chronic pain. Therefore, we decided to change the existing system and open the possibility of growing more subjects. For the first time, we will also open the possibility of exporting medical cannabis, which will reduce its price on the Czech market. In addition, as of 1 January next year, patients will receive 90% reimbursement for medical cannabis. Newly, the supplement will be only a few hundred, as with other drugs for chronic diseases. Patients who have so far had to pay high amounts for medical cannabis and have been very burdensome for them will be greatly relieved, ” said Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch.

Medical Cannabis coverage is a significant step forward to reduce barriers to access for patients.

Cannabis strains used in research in the US are more similar to hemp

Can we generalize the result of clinical studies to patients’ experience?

The genetics of cannabis strains used in research in the US is different from commercially available products. Therefore, the clinical effect of the studied strains may be different from the patient-reported outcomes.

According to a recent study analyzed the genetics of 49 cannabis strains from different sources including NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and dispensaries in Colorado, California, and Washington. The researchers found that strains can be grouped into two major categories: drug-type strains and hemp-like strains and the genome of both strains sourced from NIDA looks like hemp. Dr. Anna Schwabe, one of the authors of the study says that “I personally don’t think they’re providing something that’s similar to what any patient could get their hands on,”.

It worth noting that all scientists in the US have to get their cannabis strains for research purposes from DEA & NIDA approved sources. The only licensed source is currently the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi.

You can find the excerpt of the study in Nature and the original study here.

Manipulation of the endocannabinoid system could be a promising therapy to control Parkinson’s disease and l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia symptoms

According to a literature review published in the journal of Neurotoxicity Research, cannabinoids, provide a potential multi-targeted treatment strategy for patients with Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia.

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