It’s almost as though the feds are trying to lose money.
As Smithers’ own pot shop opened its doors Oct. 17, the federal Cannabis Act opened its doors to cannabis edibles and extracts with a number of rules and regulations on their sale coming into effect.
Let’s start with the good: Canadians now have the ability to buy cannabis in edible or extract form.
That’s a much healthier way to ingest the various cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids beyond the well-known Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which a barrage of studies coming out of places like Portugal and Spain are pointing to as the key puzzle pieces to maximizing the medicinal effects of cannabis through things like the synergistic interaction between cannabinoids.
Edibles also can’t be “appealing to kids”, which is another positive (however I’m a little unclear on how this works as I would argue brownies and cookies — some of the most common edibles — are pretty kid-friendly).
I wish I could offer more praise, but these new rules are horrible.
By far the most notable restriction is capping edibles off at 10 milligrams of THC per package.
For perspective, I have friends back in Ontario who use cannabis to deal with conditions from scoliosis (high THC for pain and inflammation) to epilepsy (1:1 ratio of cannabidiol [CBD] to THC for pain management and anticonvulsant properties) to PTSD/depression (pure CBD or high CBD/low THC for mostly anti-anxiety and neuroprotective properties).
They all (legally) produce their own medicine, however I asked them if they would ever consider purchasing under the new regulations.
It was a resounding no (even the one who used CBD said it’s much cheaper for her to make her own).
Two of these individuals use over 150 mg of THC daily. Let’s say a 10mg edible costs two dollars (believe me — it will be more). That’s $30/day in medicine. All of a sudden the once-touted cheap alternative medicine is looking a lot pricier.
My prediction is this specific regulation will lead to low edible sales because the vast majority of edible users simply won’t be able to afford them.
That brings me to my other main issue with regulations: Neither edibles nor extracts may make health claims.
In the case of the latter, I get it: we’re just now beginning to recognize that perhaps vaporizing nicotine and cannabis isn’t as safe as once thought.
However in the case of edibles I disagree.
THC has been shown to inhibit in-vitro (within a test tube) growth of tumour cells; why can’t a producer adhering to rigorous testing standards mention this?
Likewise, there are many studies about the beneficial properties of CBD in helping with seizures, depression and PTSD.
We have no problem letting psychiatrists prescribe our ten-year-olds adderall because Big Pharma has said it helps with ADHD; why can’t a high-CBD brownie mention CBD has anticonvulsant properties and temporarily reduces stress and anxiety?
There are already many antidepressants and anticonvulsants on the market; why would Johnson & Johnson put money into research that shows their customers a drug they can make at home for much cheaper is as good as one they currently push?
I guess the silvery-green lining is despite the current stranglehold the medical-industrial complex has on cannabis regulations, the cultural zeitgeist is shifting.
At the start of the 21st century our medicinal understanding of cannabis was limited to a small number of circumstantial, non-peer reviewed studies.
Not even 20 years later, we know there are at least 113 different cannabinoids which all bind to our cannabinoid receptors and are expressed throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems in their own unique ways.
We know they can affect things like tumour growth, appetite, sensory perception, pain, mood and memory.
We know that temperatures involved in cooking and extract processes increase bioavailability of these cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes much more than traditional combustion of dried cannabis flowers.
What don’t we know?
Why the government has decided to (financially) restrict access to these medicinal compounds, as opposed to the least healthy method of cannabis use.
Joke’s on them, you can just make it yourself.