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News Briefs: August 5, 2019

FDA Warns CBD May Overpromise and Underdeliver

The FDA’s recent warning to CuraLeaf regarding unsubstantiated medical claims about CBD’s health benefits spotlights an ongoing issue about CBD products: Many claims about CBD-based treatments are unproven.

While CBD products have proliferated and experts agree there seems to be little direct risk to using CBD, consumers should know that the science still has a long way to go, according to Dr. Morton Tavel, a clinical professor emeritus of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

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Juul Launches ‘Smart’ E-Cigarette

Juul has just released a new e-cigarette which will monitor its user data, including when and where they vape, reports The Financial Times. In order to use the device, which is linked to an app on users’ smartphones, customers will have to go through stringent age verification and two-step background check with third-party databases. Juul’s C1 will also allow users to monitor how many puffs they take a day, as well as locate their vape if they lose it. It also has an auto-lock option that means the e-cigarette can be locked when out of the phone’s range in order to prevent others using it.

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Cannabis Advertising Needs Educational Component

One of the biggest challenges for cannabis communication agencies is finding creative ways to advertise while at the same time educating the audience, whether it be the difference between THC and CBD, or where the plant is legal, or what investors need to consider when looking at cannabis. From a mass communications perspective, major players in cannabis are still largely uninformed, including physicians and consumers.

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Colorado Doctors Allowed to Recommend Marijuana Instead of Opioids

A new law in Colorado allows doctors to prescribe patients medical marijuana instead of traditionally prescribed opiates for any condition as the state seeks to battle the opiate addiction crisis.

The law allows patients to choose medical marijuana as an alternative prescription for any diagnosis that would normally result in a prescription of an opioid-based medication.

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Is Your Throat Sore? Vaping May Be to Blame

According to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, when people vape, a chemical reaction forms as a vanilla flavoring chemical called “vanillin” mixes with nicotine and glycerols to form acetals which can irritate the nose and throat. High or repeated exposure to acetal can cause headache, dizziness and drowsiness. While the chemical vanillin is used for vanilla flavoring in many e-cigarette flavorings, it is banned in tobacco cigarettes.

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Emerging Regs for Cannabis Ads Include Prior Approval

As states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, some states, such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, require pre-approval by government agencies including the Department of Health. Billboard operators say prior approval has not caused problems; some managers appreciate the government sign-off.

One eventuallity may be self-regulation as has been adopted for liqour ads by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

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Texas Cops Told Not to Arrest in Low-Level Cannabis Cases

A memo obtained by The Texas Tribune instructs DPS officers to cite and release suspects in misdemeanor marijuana cases “as appropriate.” Officials said the goal is to continue enforcement even though some prosecutors aren’t taking new marijuana cases.

The difficulty arises from the fact that lab testing to differentiate between now-legal hemp and illegal marijuana is not currently available in government crime labs.

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