Israeli researchers from The Medical Cannabis Research and Innovation Center at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus are leading research that suggests the effects of medical cannabis could be used as a method for treating some symptoms of seriously ill COVID-19 patients. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, clinical trials at Rambam hospital for the use of medical marijuana in treating and preventing the rapid, life-threatening inflammation in patients with COVID-19 are scheduled to begin in the next few months. Preliminary investigations have already indicated as much, according to the hospital. The researchers aim to prove these theories with evidence-based trials.
Researchers of the cannabis research center investigated multiple cannabis strains and were able to narrow the field to about 15 species strains that appear to have the ability to prevent the intense inflammatory response experienced by some COVID-19 patients. “We detected signs that cannabinoids contribute to the sophisticated fabric network of intercellular communications,” Dr. Louria-Hayon explained. “Intercellular communication based on cannabis-like substances also exists in the immune system. If we understand how cannabinoid components are used in intercellular communication, we can help influence this communication in the event of a disease, to disrupt it or empower the communication to convey desired messages.”
Malta’s COVID-19 response secures cannabis industry growth
Even from an economic point of view, Malta has been praised for the way in which we have handled the situation and supported the local industry in this time of need. In its report titled ‘The great lockdown’, the International Monetary Fund predicts that, of the EU Member States, Malta will be the jurisdiction to suffer the least. The GDP contraction for Malta is expected to be the lowest amongst the EU28, standing at -2.8% in comparison to the average EU contraction of -7.5%. In the post-virus economic landscape, Malta is predicted to grow its GDP by 7% in 2021.
The local manufacturing industry has weathered the first part of this crisis very well. Our sturdy manufacturing ecosystem, which operates in different niches, exports to different markets, and trades in different international currencies, has managed to overcome the initial impact of COVID-19. In no uncertain terms, this has been supported by the fact that the country never went into total lockdown, resulting in no days lost from production. In fact, some manufacturers effectively increased production and are now further expanding their operations.
This is very reassuring news to the booming and evolving medical cannabis sector, which is currently setting up its operations on this Mediterranean island. In fact, Malta’s cannabis sector has continued its activities as planned and predicted, with five projects that have set up their facilities and applied for the requisite license from the Malta Medicines Authority. Later on this year we should be seeing the first exports of medical cannabis originating in Malta.
New Australian law looks to boost cannabis exports after COVID-19 threat passes
Australia has amended pertinent laws in an effort to put its medical marijuana and hemp exporters in a position to “come out firing” after the COVID-19 crisis eases, the country’s agriculture minister said. The Export Control Legislation Amendment (Certification of Narcotic Exports) Bill 2020 was approved in the House of Representatives on June 10 and in the Senate on June 17.
“The amendments will remove unnecessary and unintended regulatory barriers imposed on Australia’s exports,” according to the bill’s explanatory memorandum. “This will facilitate trade and the growth of Australia’s legitimate export markets for low-THC hemp, medicinal cannabis industries, as well as other legitimate narcotic goods exports. “Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the bill broadens current legislation to allow for certification of medical marijuana and hemp exports.
The Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana As Reported by Users
Using cannabis for medical reasons has been linked in a study to outcomes including better sleep, less anxiety, and taking fewer prescription medications. The paper, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, involved 1,276 people recruited from the registry and social media pages of the Realm of Caring Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on therapeutic cannabis research and education. Of the total respondents, 808 were defined as cannabis users, either being patients with a health condition who took the substance (524) or their carers (284). The remaining 468 who acted as the control group were made up of 271 people considering using medicinal cannabis, and 197 careers thinking of giving it to a dependent child or adult.
Between April 2016 and February 2018, the researchers invited participants to complete online surveys every three months, with 33 percent doing one or more follow-up. In the study, the researchers referred to all those who filled out the surveys as participants, and those who had health conditions as patients.
Vaping Market Could See a Boom This Summer Post-COVID, Say Experts
Last year, the cannabis sector took a big hit due to the vaping crisis, which ironically emanated from the illicit market. As a result, companies have been on high alert, making safety a priority when crafting vape products. With COVID-19 still a reality, experts are foreseeing a boom in the vaping market this summer. So, what else do they see in their crystal ball post-COVID-19? Find out below. Among those weighing in are Tom Brooksher, CEO of Clear Cannabis Inc; Cortney Smith, CEO and founder of DaVinci; Dan Gardenswartz, the chief financial officer of Spherex; and Elizabeth Hogan, vice president of brands at GCH Inc (parent company of Willie’s Remedy and Willie’s Reserve). This Q&A has been edited for conciseness and clarity.
Iris Dorbian: Why do you think the vape market will see a boom in the summer?
Tom Brooksher: Traditionally, summer is a strong season for cannabis sales as people purchase our products to enhance their vacations and time spent outdoors. As restrictions are lifted, we expect pent-up demand for cannabis products that can be conveniently used in conjunction with outdoor activities. We also expect the phased reopening of tourism in key tourist/cannabis markets, such as Nevada, California, Colorado, and Florida, to positively impact vape product sales.