By Shuki Greer, Esq.

A friend of mine posted that during these times the marijuana industry has done more to keep people safe, inside their homes than our leaders have. Without opining on the intelligence of our leaders or their decisions, it is clear that she is at least partly right. The cannabis industry is playing a large role in people’s decisions to remain inside. Many people have reported using cannabis to get through the long days, and that it is the only thing keeping them cooped up inside. The days of “Netflix and Chill” are truly upon us. 

The numbers also confirm this notion. Dispensaries from Alaska to Colorado have reported lines around the block, similar to those seen at supermarkets and drugstores around the country. Some are seeing a spike in sales of 33%, while others are reporting a 159% jump from the same time last year. One San Francisco dispensary reported having the biggest day of business since recreational sales began there in January of 2018.  

Most noteworthy, however, has been the official treatment of dispensaries in this time when nonessential businesses are being forced to close across the country. One state after another is announcing that cannabis businesses are to remain operational. Nevada and Colorado both issued advisories to dispensaries on how to observe social distancing. New York encouraged businesses to allow patients to schedule appointments in an effort to limit overcrowding. Illinois also exempted dispensaries from the list of non-essential businesses that must cease operations. In San Francisco, the city initially didn’t list cannabis businesses as essential, and its health department asked dispensaries to shut down. However, after an outcry from the community and patients across the city, they reversed course and allowed cannabis businesses to remain open. Ultimately California announced that cannabis business was deemed “essential”, allowing them to remain open statewide. 

Because not all states have made similar moves, the Marijuana Policy Project, a cannabis legalization organization, penned a letter to all governors urging them to declare medical cannabis businesses “essential” and ensure that they remain open during this crisis. The letter is signed onto by several reputable organizations and can be found in its entirety here:


Think about what all of this means. States are not only declaring dispensaries to be essential businesses, but they are putting out guidelines as to how to expand remote services, maintain good business practices, and safely deliver cannabis to the consumer. Just a few years ago, this would have been unimaginable. The notion of deeming a dispensary to be an “essential business” would have seemed laughable from a governmental perspective. The thought of advising them on how to remain operational in a time of crisis seems even less likely. 

In this time when everything seems chaotic, it is important that we take time to reflect on the good in our lives. It is important to remember the blessings we have and to appreciate the times we are living in. The cannabis industry remains young, but it seems to have established itself as a legitimate industry in the minds of our leaders. This is something that should not be taken for granted. I encourage all to take a moment to think about this and appreciate how far we’ve come. 

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Endocannabinoid System may provide a target for schizophrenia treatment

Association of smoked cannabis with treatment resistance in schizophrenia 

A recent study conducted in Pakistan revealed that the endocannabinoid system may provide a target for novel schizophrenia treatments. Patients in the study who self-reported cannabis use, either acute or chronic, were more likely to show resistance to treatment. Schizophrenia is notoriously difficult to treat in general as the exact underlying mechanism is unknown, but the correlation between cannabis use and treatment resistance suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in the biological processes of schizophrenia. Further research into the relationship between schizophrenia and the endocannabinoid system. 

This study highlights the amount of information that can be gained from open communication between patients and physicians. In the United States, there is a stigma surrounding cannabis use that frequently prevents users from speaking out despite the possible negative effects. The featured study relied on self-reporting use, which is an inconsistent and unreliable measure, but it gave the researchers a foundation that may spur future use. Open communication, in a general sense even beyond cannabis use, will only benefit researchers and patient outcomes. 

The study is available for review or download here

View more studies like this in the CED Foundation Archive 

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDEndocannabinoid System may provide a target for schizophrenia treatment
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The Effect of Cannabis Use During Preconception and Pregnancy Outcomes

In Summary

 A recent study has revealed that women who used cannabis during preconception had lower fecundability but cannabis had no effect on pregnancy outcomes. Researchers screened women attempting to get pregnant for previous cannabis use through urine testing and self-reporting. Women who tested or reported positive for cannabis use were less likely to conceive during the primary menstrual cycle when attempting to get pregnant but the use of cannabis had no effect on the rate of live births or loss of pregnancy. The authors call for further research as some women may not report cannabis use due to stigma despite the importance of gathering data for possible effects of cannabis use on conception. 

The study is available for review or download here

View more studies like this in the CED Foundation Archive 

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Effect of Cannabis Use During Preconception and Pregnancy Outcomes
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New Year, New Celebration!

2020: A new year with a brand new vision of success! 

By: Callie Farmer 

From Tokyo to Tennessee, New Year’s Eve hails celebrations among friends, luxurious preparations, sharing celebratory beverages and cheers with family and strangers alike, often to excess. Festivities reflect cultural norms, personal preferences, and regional customs.

How will you bring in the new year!?

Let’s consider alcohol for a moment: A cross-cultural icon, for millennia, alcohol is the prototypical celebratory libation. Why is it that at every social gathering, from holidays to periodic festivities, including birthdays and funerals, alcohol is often the beverage of choice? For some, these social gatherings carry elements of anxiety or nervous discomfort. Meeting new people, striking up small-talk with an old friend on queue, or lurching oneself into celebration mode in the midst of an otherwise normal life, can all be stressful events. The qualities of “social lubrication,” that alcohol offers may be enticing in such circumstances. Over the years, marketing alcohol to the public as “Spirits” “a good time!” and “a socially acceptable way to shut off your brain” has promoted and sustained the giant alcohol industry’s lasting dominance.

Anxiety is one of the top 3 reasons that patients report while applying for access to medical cannabis programs. Although it may be ingrained in global culture to share beverages at social occasions, might it be possible for the alcohol ingredient to be peeled away from these social customs? Might cannabis present itself as an alternative ingredient to quell anxiety inside a delicious, beneficial, and also fun concoction?

Choosing not to wake up feeling anxious, nauseous, and irritable from an alcohol hangover, for New Years 2020 many celebrators will be embarking on a new tradition: Tincture “Mock-tails!” Below you’ll find a wonderful recipe for a medicated Moscow Mule! 

As always, when consuming anything with potential intoxication, be mindful of dosage! Cannabis can have adverse effects just like alcohol, including dizziness, dry mouth, itchy eyes, and delayed cognitive ability, and increased appetite. 

recipe: medicated moscow mule. picture of copper mugs with ice, cannabis leaf and lime wedges



16 oz Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)

1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice

2-3 drops of Lemon-flavored tincture (Try a 1:1 CBD/THC blend) 

1 lime wedge

½ cup ice

(Optional) Copper Mug


Fill your preferred drinking vessel with ice, then ginger beer.

Add tincture and stir.

Top with lime juice, and stir again!

Garnish with lime wheel, and enjoy.

Special thanks to Curaleaf for this wonderful recipe! 

Curaleaf’s Moscow Mule
Benjamin Caplan, MDNew Year, New Celebration!
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Commentary on the Legalization of Cannabis Identifies Limitations of Previous Research

The cannabis conundrum: thinking outside the THC box

A commentary on cannabis-based medicine points out some of the limitations in previous research, suggests implications of those limitations, and recommendations for future research. The legal status of cannabis, at the national level, hinders researchers’ ability to discover more beneficial or harmful effects. Furthermore, the variability of cannabinoids present within different strains of cannabis limits real-world applications of cannabis-based medicine. Currently, there is no scientific foundation for policies or regulatory practices, leaving room for improvement as states continue to legalize the use of medical cannabis.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:     http://bit.ly/31CmXOU    inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDCommentary on the Legalization of Cannabis Identifies Limitations of Previous Research
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Ruth Fisher’s Cannabis Primer Book

Ruth Fisher, PhD (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rfisher/) published a wonderful compilation of introductory cannabis info, rich summaries of cannabis literature, wrapped nicely in a gorgeous soft cover layout, and stunning photography. 2 thumbs up for “The Medical Cannabis Primer” !

Benjamin Caplan, MDRuth Fisher’s Cannabis Primer Book
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“organic cannabis”

A lack of knowledge has kept people from demanding higher quality marijuana, and the absence of a central regulation system leaves standards up to growers and states, themselves. As more information is released, quality becomes more important and consumers deserve to know what they are consuming. http://bit.ly/2VUrDvq

Benjamin Caplan, MD“organic cannabis”
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Cannabis Reduces Tumor Growth and Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patients can use medical cannabis to manage symptoms and slow cancer growth

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be used to both mitigate the symptoms of breast cancer and slow tumor growth. Both cannabis components are active against estrogen-resistant breast cancer cells and reduce disease progression by inhibiting the cell cycle and inducing death in cancer cells. Cannabis is already used to treat late-stage breast cancer, but with additional research, could also have therapeutic potential at earlier stages.

CED Foundation Google Drive:   http://bit.ly/2YQZqHG

Read Here or Download:

Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabis Reduces Tumor Growth and Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients
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