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Texas Expands Access to Medical Marijuana—But It’s Not Enough

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This article was created as part of the NPR NextGen / Texas Observer Print Scholars program, a new collaboration that aims to provide mentoring and hands-on training to student journalists and young graduates interested in careers in investigative journalism.

Every morning when Viridiana Edwards wakes up, she says her body feels like a roll of aluminum foil crumpled into a solid ball. Your legs are numb; the muscles in your arms and back are tense. She is so tense that she worries about pulling a muscle when she raises her arm to brush her teeth. “I can best describe it, a puppet that has been around for years,” says Edwards. “I feel like a puppet with all my threads in a knot.”

So every morning she starts a series of stretches and rubs her neck with a homemade body oil – one made from olive oil, chamomile, and arnica flowers Cannabidiol (CBD) from hemp. Almost immediately, she says that she is relaxing. “As soon as I use my CBD, it’s like the strings just fall off.”

Edwards, 33, is a U.S. Army veteran who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain on a daily basis. After serving in the military for about a decade, she retired due to injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Edwards, like others who have campaigned for action to expand medical marijuana legalization in Texas in recent years, says cannabis is the only remedy that has successfully treated its symptoms without the harmful side effects of drugs. Even a small amount has enabled her to reduce her other medications from a few dozen pills a day to one as needed.

Over the past two legislatures, Edwards has shared her experience with Texan lawmakers, urging them to expand the terms and dosage for legal cannabis. But it went slowly. In 2015, the Texas legislature passed the Law of Empathetic Use, which enabled people with persistent epilepsy to use medical cannabis with extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the high-causing ingredient, on prescription. Two years later, a bill to expand the program received widespread approval in the House of Representatives, but never got a full vote. In 2019, the program was expanded to include other diseases such as end-stage cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s still left out those suffering from PTSD. Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country and is one of 11 states that have a low-THC program. As of May 2021, there are 36 states that allow the use of medical cannabis, according to the National conference of the legislative bodies of the countries. Seventeen states allow small amounts of recreational use by adults.

This spring the Texas House passed House bill 1535 to raise the upper limit of the THC content in pharmaceuticals from 0.5 percent to 5 percent and to extend the eligible conditions to chronic pain and PTSD for the first time. But the measure was significantly narrowed in the Senate, where chronic pain was eliminated and the new THC limit was lowered to 1 percent. Republican State Senators Bryan Hughes, chairman of the Senate committee who heard the bill, and Charles Schwertner, the Senate sponsor, did not respond to requests for comment on why the bill was being narrowed. Something opponent to expand the legalization of medical marijuana have stated that they believe this could lead to more recreational cannabis use.

Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1535 into effect Tuesday.

Veteran Viridiana Edwards says cannabis is the only remedy that successfully treats symptoms of injuries sustained while on duty. Courtesy Viridiana Edwards

Veterans, advocates, and doctors say the 1 percent upper limit for THC is far lower than many who suffer from pain, PTSD, and other ailments actually need. Even the 5 percent allowed in the original House bill is a fraction of what Edwards says to fully treat their symptoms.

In 2005, Edwards, a first-generation US citizen, met a military recruiter in her junior year at her high school in El Paso. Her parents told her they didn’t have the money to pay for college, so she viewed the military as her way out of her hometown.

It was used four years later. On the way to Kandahar, Afghanistan, she says her flight was delayed due to a missile attack. “It wasn’t even an hour and then there was another missile attack. An alarm goes off and in an English voice the lady says, ‘Missile attack, missile attack’ and at that point you just fell to the ground, “she says. “So that was our welcome.” Edwards says she didn’t sleep at all the first night when the rockets continued, injuring people nearby and triggering requests for blood donations.

When Edwards returned to the United States almost a year later, her cycle of PTSD symptoms – anxiety and chronic pain – began. Soon her pain became too much to bear. She visited a Veterans Affairs clinic but found that the drugs she was prescribed did not help with her condition. Each drug had new side effects, such as extreme weight gain, drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. Soon she was taking other medication to treat these side effects. Edwards took a maximum of 23 tablets a day with six to seven drugs.

She also took botox for migraines, for which she received 42 injections between the neck, shoulders, skull and forehead on three separate occasions. Botox did provide some relief, but did not completely stop her migraines. “You just lose hope that you will find something that will help,” she says.

As a teenager, Edwards first tried cannabis with a homemade watermelon bong. In 2015, Edwards tried medicinal cannabis for the first time while on vacation in California. “I remember exactly that kind of silence in my body,” says Edwards of the experience. “The pain, the fear, just so many things that I had to go through every day were just gone.”

She has since advocated expanded access to legal medical marijuana at home in Texas and studied its effects on veterans while studying at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. While glad that PTSD was included as an acceptable condition under the new legislation earlier this year, she says she is frustrated with the still strict limits and the slow process of legalization. “When I raised my hand in Fort Bliss, Texas and said I would serve my country, I don’t remember choosing and choosing whom to serve and protect,” she says.

The new law is due to come into force in September.

This program is made possible by gifts from Roxanne Elder in memory of her mother, journalist and journalism teacher Virginia Stephenson Elder, Vincent LoVoi in honor of Jim Marston and Annette LoVoi, and other generous donors.

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Hemp-Growing CBD Oil Business Model Is Challenging

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Lyda helped set up the hemp grower Healthy Harvesting LLC with its line of CBD products under the HempOfy label. Most of their hemp is handled by hand under his direction. In 2020, they added 6 acres, enough to keep nine workers weeding, pruning, fertilizing and harvesting for weeks.

The harvest on its 6 hectares begins at the end of August and lasts almost three months. Workers cut the branches of the plants by hand, leaving a lonely stem in the ground. Then they wipe off the individual leaves and flowers by hand, which are placed on racks in one of six air-conditioned trailers at 60 degrees F with the dehumidifier running.

After three days of drying, the plant material is ready for processing, which is done by Healthy Harvest itself. Nevertheless, plant material from 2020 was still processed in the summer of 2021. There are often bottlenecks in processing. Lyda’s operation can only produce about 4 gallons of oil per day, which is derived from about 300 pounds of biomass.

Like Lyda, Adam Kline understood that Indiana’s Heartland Harvest had to process the hemp itself to tap existing margins for the company to pay off.

“Pricing is like this for two main reasons,” says Adam Kline. “First, a little oil is enough; and second, the rules about what hemp can be used for have been slow to evolve.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet enacted regulations on the various uses and sales of CBD oil products.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

For example, the lack of regulation and oversight has prevented the wider adoption of CBD oil in food and beverages. Heartland Harvest is working on formulations of water-soluble CBD that could be added to countless beverages such as coffee, water or beer.

“There is almost no competition in the beverage sector,” says Adam Kline. “Water-soluble CBD is released quickly and the targeted effect occurs faster.” According to a 2019 Gallup poll, one in seven Americans uses CBD as an over-the-counter treatment for pain, anxiety, or sleep problems. There are thousands of positive anecdotes about CBD, but few, if any, definitive scientific studies to back up the claims.

Originally, the Klines plan was to grow hemp, process the oil, and supply so-called “white label” oil in bulk to other companies and retailers who would then sell under their own label. While they can still do this, they are also preparing to make CBD oil products – for food, beverage, and pet products – under their own label.

“The oils have gotten a bit industrial,” says Adam Kline. “For us this is not necessarily a volume game. We would like to exclude some middlemen in order to get a more attractive price.”

In any case, there are currently more CBD oil than buyers, Adam Kline and Lyda agree. “It’s definitely a buyer’s market,” says Adam Kline.

North Carolina-based Lyda sees her business in continuing to make oil tinctures along with smokable hemp flowers from hemp plants grown indoors. “CBD oil sells (prices were between $ 700 and $ 1,200 a liter at the time this was written) when you have a good product,” he says. “Just not as fast as the industry would like it to be.”

Unsurprisingly, in a young, semi-unregulated market, growers like Lyda and Kline want value-added products.

“It’s as if a tomato grower produces the tomato, processes it into ketchup himself, and then markets the ketchup in a store to get shelf space,” says Lyda. “This is how you have to do it with hemp now.”

**

Demand now and in the future

In 2018, 3,500 licenses for hemp cultivation were issued nationwide on around 80,000 hectares. Although the harvest was not fully legalized until the following year, pilot programs were in place in numerous states. The next year, with legalization, there were 19,000 licensed growers planting hemp on 320,000 acres across the country.

“The market was hot,” said Eric Steenstra, a long-time industry veteran and president of Vote Hemp, a national political advocacy group. “The vast majority of farmers grew biomass for $ 3.50 to $ 4 a pound.”

Instead of pursuing full legalization of the USDA with regulations on labeling, marketing and handling of the plants, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised red flags or simply delayed the provision of guidelines on cannabidiol (CBD) products. Their ramblings prevented wholesalers and grocery chains from stocking these products.

The combination of thousands of new growers in the market with fewer than expected outlets for product created a “perfect storm” to cool the market down, explains Steenstra. Biomass prices dropped to 50 to 75 cents per pound. Adding to the dismay, many growers decided, on the basis of speculation, to grow hemp without signing a buyer.

There are 14,000 licensed producers in 2021, but according to Steenstra there are still processors and producers sitting on oil and biomass from last year and even from 2019.

However, CBD oil isn’t the only product made from hemp. After all, the cultivation of hemp as fiber hemp was once common in the United States, especially for use in ropes during World War II. In addition, the hemp seed itself is used as a grain like most others. There are already breeders in the US who produce cannabis seeds for $ 1.15 per pound with an average yield of 700 to 800 pounds per acre, says Steenstra.

BMW and other companies already use hemp fiber in dashboards and other composites in vehicles.

**

For more informations:

– Healthy Harvest: Healthyharvesting.com

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Peels™ Debuts The Purest And Safest CBD On The Planet Made From Orange Peels, Guarantees Zero THC

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Peels, a data and science driven CBD company that brings better wellness products to you, was founded by 11-year-old NFL veteran and seasoned CEO Chris Hetherington, who has high expectations for his new venture.

“Since our CBD is made from orange peel, we have a tremendous opportunity to reach audiences and potentially enter channels that our competitors cannot, expanding the existing CBD market and improving the lives of more people. Our priority becomes always consist of putting our consumers first. ” through continuous innovation and development of data-driven and science-based products to meet their wellness needs. “

“We are very proud of our CBD oil and know that peels will revolutionize the way people see and use CBD,” continued Hetherington. “This amazing herbal supplement has so many benefits and we’re excited to finally offer 100% certified THC- and pesticide-free products for those who have not tried CBD in the past. With Peels, we believe that our CBD- Products deserve a place next to your vitamins as part of your daily wellness ritual. “

Peels’ molecularly identical CBD works in the body in the same way and has the same holistic benefits as cannabis and hemp-derived CBD, but without the impurities and variability associated with cannabis and hemp-derived CBD. CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system to produce powerful, natural results. Consistent use of Peels CBD Oil can restore balance and inner calm, cope with everyday stress, relieve pain and calm joints during exercise, and help maintain healthy sleep cycles.

The use of CBD in many stressful and physically demanding work areas such as professional sports, the military and first aiders was previously prohibited even for medical purposes. This is due to unregulated levels of THC found in many cannabis and hemp-derived CBD products that can be detected through regular drug tests. With guaranteed zero THC, Peels offers a worry-free CBD experience.

In addition to the holistic benefits of its CBD, peel also delivers unmatched taste and aroma. Peels gets its scent and taste from the addition of natural, organic citrus aroma and organic medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil (from coconut), which gives Peels CBD oil its characteristic orange cream-like taste.

How do you make CBD from oranges? Peels’ proprietary process for extracting high quality CBD from orange peel is called Cyclic Terpene Assembly, a proprietary technique for combining organic molecules without fouling them with solvents or destroying their essence. In this process, terpenes from orange peel are combined with olivetol, a naturally occurring organic compound, under heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. After minimal further processing, the result is crystalline CBD that is unparalleled in terms of purity and consistency. Everything that goes into the process is found in nature and everything that comes out of it is found in nature.

Each bottle of Peels is manufactured in FDA-approved facilities under the conditions of current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) and the guidelines of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). All Peels products are subjected to strict quality assurance tests in accredited third-party laboratories. In fact, Peels’ new CBD oil has won multiple awards from the prestigious Clean Label Project, an organization that tests everyday consumer goods for hundreds of harmful environmental and industrial contaminants, toxins, herbicides and pesticides. The new THC-free CBD oil from Peels has received the Clean Label Project’s Purity Award, the Certified THC-free Award and the Certified Pesticide Free Award so that consumers can be sure that they are using the highest quality, purest CBD in the world .

Peels CBD oil is available nationwide through Peels.com. Buy a CBD Oil Bottle (1 FL OZ, 30 Day Supply) for $ 94.95 MSRP or buy a monthly subscription for $ 71.21 per bottle. For more information, visit Peels.com and follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

ABOUT PEELS

Peels offers the purest and safest CBD in the world made from orange peel and offers the highest quality, lowest risk cannabinoid product on the market. Peel’s CBD is bioidentical to its hemp-derived counterpart, but 100% THC-free and delivers unparalleled purity and taste. Headquarters in The angel, Peels is a data and science driven CBD company that brings you better CBD wellness products. Peels is committed to its innovation philosophy and passion to improve consumers’ lives. #getpeels

Contact: Alex Jessup, Jessup PR, [email protected]

SOURCE Peels

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The Quickie Kit From Foria is Perfect For Adventurous Partners

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While travel is slowly opening up again, a very big draw for naughty air travel with a partner is also becoming: entry to the elusive Mile High Club. The Mile High Club is still welcoming new and eager members, even after quite a long history. A sex brand took note: Foria created the perfect on-the-go kit so you can have the best possible experience while you dress it up in the sky. His quickie kit has all the bells and whistles to get you up to the ultimate cruising altitude as comfortably as possible.

What is the quickie kit?

Foria’s Quickie Kit is the next best thing that can happen to the CBD sexual wellness space. It offers travel-friendly mini versions of the brand’s bestselling and bedroom miracle workers. Every product included in the quickie set is designed to show all of the wonders of CBD-infused intimacy. Take advantage of the increased blood flow that the CBD promotes to keep muscles relaxed and comfortable where it matters.

costs

Foria’s site offerings are obviously the big draw for intimate CBD aficionados. However, there is something else that piques my interest as well as the products themselves. Finding a brand that thinks about pricing in a sustainable way always suits me very well. There are two pricing options for the intimacy products that you can find in the quickie kit. Complete with a 15 ml pipette of the Awaken Arousal Oil, a 15 ml pipette of the Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD, and two of the Intimacy Suppository pills, the Quickie Kit comes at a well rounded $ 44. If you think half the amount of product isn’t worth it, comparing the full-size products (as well as taking into account the website’s built-in payment plans) can have a huge impact on your decisions!

What’s in the quickie kit?

Awaken Arousal Oil

The Awaken Arousal Oil comes in a 15 ml (0.5 fl oz) glass bottle with a pipette. For comparison: In the standard size, you get twice the product at 30 ml (1 fl oz). This oil was specially developed for people with vulva to support and increase arousal and pleasure. This oil is designed to be applied before sexual activity in order to experience its effects with full force. The Awaken Arousal Oil doesn’t just work with your body to increase pleasure. It also relieves discomfort and helps make great sex feel even better with a blend of broad-spectrum CBD and organic botanicals.

By adding as much as needed or desired to the clitoris, vagina and inner labia, the user can enjoy the full body experience that the CBD oil brings with it. It’s also worth noting that Awaken Arousal Oil is orally friendly and safe to take! The only things users want to avoid is latex or polyisoprene. All toys, condoms or diaphragms must be made of oil-safe materials.

Intimacy sex oil with CBD

Foria’s new and improved Sex Oil is less of an oil and more of a long-lasting lubricant with a zap. Formerly called Intimacy Natural Lubricant, Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD has returned. Get ready for an even sexier experience with the same look and double the CBD! It’s the same travel-friendly 15 ml (0.5 fl oz) glass bottle with a dropper as the Awaken Arousal Oil for maximum ease of use on the go. This all-natural moisture with 400 mg of broad-spectrum arousal-boosting CBD is designed to soothe and arouse.

Even better, this sex oil was made with safety in mind. It is truly all natural, free of added chemicals, and contains only two organically grown ingredients. Due to the organic MCT coconut oil it is formulated with, the lubricant is not suitable for use with latex or polyisoprene. All toys, condoms or diaphragms must be oil-safe materials.

Intimacy suppositories

Foria has developed Intimacy suppositories for targeted relaxation and enjoyment, which are intended for vaginal or anal insertion. We know it sounds like a big commitment right? Well, to be honest, it really isn’t! Even if the suppositories require a little patience and preparation, they go very far. These pills are for those who love penetration but want it to be a little smoother around the edges. With 50 mg organic broad-spectrum CBD you increase your arousal, relieve discomfort through increased vaginal lubrication and relieve tension.

In addition to all of these positive effects, these Intimacy suppositories are filled to the brim with natural ingredients. Organic certified fair trade cocoa butter and USDA organic certified regeneratively grown USA hemp (CBD) are the only two ingredients you’ll find here. The product is also vegan and gluten-free, has never been tested on animals and contains no alcohol, no petroleum-based ingredients, phthalates, glycerine, parabens or dyes.

The suppositories are definitely more complicated to use than the other two companions in The Quickie Kit. Users are instructed to insert them vaginally or anally 30-60 minutes before sexual activity. Let the CBD suppositories melt and absorb for 15 minutes for the best result. This provides pinpoint pleasure and is really recommended for those who are used to experiencing high levels of discomfort or low levels of lubrication and arousal.

Is it worth it?

Ultimately, the products included in the Quickie Kit are no joke. The Awaken Arousal Oil causes an overwhelming tingling sensation in the vagina and slowly brings it to life. The ingredients cinnamon and ginger help to shape and build up the initial feeling of enjoyment. The essential oils of vanilla, cardamom and peppermint give a bright scent and bring another level of enjoyment for the senses. The Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD offers a long-lasting lubricant that has a punch the size of 400 mg in the right places. And finally, the intimate suppositories deliver precise lightness and excitement with little waiting time. For a quick trip to heaven or a test run on the ground, both the Quickie Kit and its big siblings are excellent products to keep in your travel bag or bedside table!

* First released: August 4, 2021 at 10:08 a.m. CDT

Beck Diaz

Beck Diaz is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn New York. With previous experience at COOLS Magazine and Paper, she specializes in lifestyle and NSFW content.

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