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Problems in The Industry? Cannabis Giant Canopy Growth Sells Retail locations

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It’s the coolest industry in the world, right? Well, maybe it is, but for all the government claims of tax flow, it doesn’t seem to be the most lucrative. Now, as industry giant Canopy Growth makes deals to sell its retail locations, what does this really say about our coolest new industry?

Canopy Growth selling its retail locations could signal a big problem in the retail weed market. This news site is an independent resource for stories in the growing cannabis and psychedelics industries of today. Subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for regular updates to your email, and to get access to a host of awesome deals on a range of products including vapes, smoking devices, edibles, other cannabis paraphernalia, and the highly-in-demand cannabinoidThis post contains affiliate links! compounds Delta 8 & HHC. You can find more info in our ‘best of’ lists, so head on over, and pick out the products you’re most happy to use.


Who the heck is Canopy Growth?

A decade ago, cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! companies weren’t much of a thing. Sure, there were some medical markets opening, but recreational was still years away, and the same issue of federal government illegalization kept anything from really popping on a huge level. Plus, weed was still illegal for all purposes nearly everywhere in the world at that time, so no large global markets existed.

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Since then, the cannabis industry has become a real thing, complete with verticals from seed to sale. And while we hear of all the money its worth, and projections for how big it *could get, the reality has been creeping alongside the whole time; that it’s not quite the lucrative industry so many predicted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, a very much struggling industry. This is exemplified by recent news of industry giant Canopy Growth, making plans to sell off its 28 brick-and-mortar retail locations.

Canopy Growth isn’t a nobody in the industry. The company, based out of Swiss Falls, Ontario, in Canada, was the largest cannabis company in 2019 in terms of stock value. Canopy Growth came out of a merger between Tweed MarijuanaThis post contains affiliate links!, Inc, and Bedrocan Canada, in 2015. The company has the designation of being the first Canadian cannabis company to be federally regulated, licensed, and publicly traded in North America.

It trades under WEED on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and opened in the New York Stock Exchange under CGC in 2018. It was the first cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! producer to enter the NYSE. Canopy was also the first company to make a recreational cannabis sale when it was officially legalized in Canada. This took place in a Tweed store located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Back in November 2016, the company was singled out as the first unicorn of the weed industry, with a $1 billion valuation according to the Financial Post. The company operates dispensaries through its subsidiary Tweed, Inc. in the provinces that allow a private sector market, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. It operates as well in Manitoba and Ontario under the brand name Tokyo Smoke.

By 2018, the company had market capitalization exceeding $14 billion, and Canopy even funded Professorships in Cannabis Science at University of British Columbia in Vancouver. However, the company’s quick rise, started to falter in 2018. The biggest issue stemmed from Canopy’s attempt to make greenhouses in British Columbia and Quebec larger, which led to pretty big losses. How big? In the last quarter of 2018, the company posted losses of $335.6 million for shareholders. Constellation Brands, which held four out of seven board seats at that time, was unhappy with the company’s direction.

All this led to an emergency board meeting where CEO Bruce Linton was thrown out; but this didn’t stop stock prices from falling. In 2019, stock prices slid further down for Canopy, and it was reported that all of the cannabis industry was suffering, showing the lowest numbers since 2017. The company instituted new CEO David Klein in December 2019. By 2020, Canopy was already announcing the closing of stores.

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Canopy Growth has operations globally. It’s partnered with Alcaliber S.A. pharmaceutical company in Spain; owns Spectrum Therapeutics GmbH in Germany for medical cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! imports; is partnered with Spectrum Cannabis Denmark ApS, which cultivates medical cannabis; acquired Annabis Medical, a Czech Republic distributor; as well as Daddy Cann Lesotho, an African medical cannabis supplier; has a partnership with the UK’s Beckley Foundation for medical cannabis; and has other operations in Australia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Jamaica.

Canopy Growth sells retail locations

It was already a downhill slide for the weed giant, so this latest news isn’t surprising, but it is a little depressing; especially in what it signals for the legal marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! industry as a whole. On September, 27th, 2022, the company announced that it was forging agreements to sell off its retail market locations throughout Canada. This includes retail stores under both the Tweed and Tokyo Smoke brand names.

OEG Retail Cannabis, already a Canopy partner that owns and operates franchises of Tokyo Smoke stores in Ontario, will take all of Canopy’s corporate stores outside Alberta, and all intellectual property related to Tokyo Smoke as well. Canopy also reached an agreement with the company 420 Investments Ltd., in which the latter will take ownership of five retail locations within Alberta. Neither deal is officially closed, as they are both subject to regulatory oversight and approval.

While this doesn’t necessarily say good things about how Canopy Growth sees the retail market, it’s certainly not the end of the company, which is using this move as a way to refocus attention elsewhere. According to its press statement, the company will continue on with a focus on premium cannabis consumer packaged goods.

According to David Klein, “We are taking the next critical step in advancing Canopy as a leading premium brand-focused CPG cannabis company while furthering the Company’s strategy of investing in product innovation and distribution to drive revenue growth in the Canadian recreational market.”

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Premium cannabis goods
Premium cannabis goods

He continued of the deals, “By realizing these agreements with organizations that possess proven cannabis retail expertise, we are providing continuity for consumers and team members. Through the best-in-class retail leadership that OEGRC and FOUR20 have demonstrated, they will continue to serve Canadian consumers with the high-quality in-store experiences that are essential for success in a new industry.”

It’s expected that this change will lead to operational savings for the company. These savings are projected to put the company back at the high end of their yearly target range. The company announced its overall cost reduction plan earlier this year in April.

What does this mean for the cannabis industry?

Companies switch direction all the time, or take on new ventures. Technically, it’s not that weird for a company to see a different aspect of a market, and go towards it. Cannabis food products are getting quite popular, so it could be seen as Canopy Growth simply changing lanes for the drive forward.

But there are some other stark realities to this situation. Realities that are often hidden behind announcements of all the cannabis tax income for states. The reality that this industry is not bringing in nearly as much revenue as expected. That the black market is a formidable opponent that many still prefer, and that legal markets were instituted with taxes so high, that it makes legal operators struggle to stay afloat. Sure, some companies are making money, but not that many.

It’s easy to forget that one of the biggest winners in the weed game is not private companies, but government entities. And for them, this is all new income; so whether its high or low, its adding money to government coffers. Think of how much cigarettes cost because of those ‘sin’ taxes meant to dissuade us from buying them. Obviously, sin taxes don’t work, but what they do mean, is that as we continue to buy these sinful products (in the same quantities as when they weren’t taxed to kill us), the government reaps the benefits.

Philip Morris still makes plenty of money from cigarettes, but probably not as much as the government. In Mexico, for example, its reported that an entire 70% of the price of a pack of cigarettes, is taxes. That governments have turned taxing items into a full industry, means that governments can profit off an industry as much, or more, than the actual companies within it. Such is the case right now with cannabis, where tax money is coming in, but the markets themselves are waning.

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This whole concept was exemplified well by economists Daniel Sumner and Robin Goldstein, who together put out the book Can Legal Weed Win?: The Blunt Realities of Cannabis Economics. The two UC Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics professionals, who did an interview for TIME magazine, point out how the legal weed industry is very much weighed down by overly strict regulatory measures, a market competitive within itself and with the black market, and because of a host of agricultural issues that come up in the industry.

As Sumner put it, “There are companies that have done well and there are lots of companies that have not done well at all. There are growers that are doing OK and there are lots of farms that are not doing OK at all… It’s been a gold rush and a few people have found some gold and a lot of people haven’t.”

Canopy Growth retail cannabis
Canopy Growth retail cannabis

Goldstein explained further about investing in the industry, that “The ones that are probably making the safest money are probably the ones who were taking flat fees… But folks who took their compensation in the form of shares in these big cannabis holding companies, those stocks have not done well on the whole.”

If this doesn’t sound like the headlines blaring about a massive and growing weed industry, with no obstacles in its way, that’s because those headlines mainly speak in market projections, and market projections aren’t real. That’s the nature of projections, they’re just someone’s thoughts, but they’re not facts, or indicative of what will actually happen. Market projections were extremely high for the cannabis industry, but that never meant they had to be realized.

In actuality, according to Sumner, “People say this is a $100 billion industry. Robin and I are skeptical of that, but there could be a $10 billion industry, which is a lot of money if shared among a few players… We’ve seen nothing like the consolidation yet where the really big money could be coming. We haven’t even seen an indication that it’s going that direction.”

Canopy Growth is one of those big players, which is why this move is a possible signal of a bigger problem; namely an inability to really make enough money outside of projections. After all, why would a leader in the retail cannabis industry, give up that part of their business in an effort to recoup losses? As Canopy Growth sells its retail locations and exits that part of the game, we should wonder who can survive in the market, if this company can’t.

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Conclusion

The news that Canopy Growth is selling its retail locations to focus on other aspects of the market in an attempt to recoup losses, is a pretty big indication that its a bumpy ride in the cannabis retail industry. What will happen next for Canopy Growth and the market in general? Stay tuned to life to find out.

Welcome to the site! We appreciate you taking the time to visit us at Cannadelics.com, where we work hard to get you fully-rounded coverage of the cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! and psychedelics fields of today. Check us out on a regular basis to stay on top of everything going on, and subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, for all the best news and product offers, straight to your email.





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Where is Cannabis Legal in Europe?

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Europe is a huge continent with over 40 countries included. Therefore, it is often hard to generalize when it comes to their view on cannabis laws. Each nation has its own opinion and this can differ drastically from one country to another. We’re going to be delving into every European country and displaying their summarized laws on weed. Let’s go. 

Albania 

Medical: No

Recreational: No

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Due to the Law of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances that was made in 1994, cannabis is firmly included on the list of illegal substances. Therefore, cultivation, possession, production and essentially anything involving weed is illegal. This includes even the medical use of the substance. In July of this year, Albania drafted their first cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! law to attempt to legalize it for medicinal purposes but it faced opposition. 

Andora

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Cannabis both medically and recreationally is strictly illegal in Andorra. You can face up to two years in prison for the trafficking of the substance, and individual use can also leave you with a large fine of up to 600 euros and an arrest. The only hope is that it borders Spain, where there are far more liberal views on cannabis. 

Austria

Medical: No

Recreational: Decriminalised

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In Austria, it is illegal to consume, buy, sell or grow the plant. They also still do not have a medical cannabis market. However, in 2016, the personal use of it was essentially decriminalized. 30-40% of the nation’s young people, aged 15-24, enjoy hash and cannabis.  

Belarus 

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Belarus is very strict when it comes to cannabis laws. It is illegal in every way you look at it, even the industrial use of hemp.  

Belgium

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalised 

Belgium is definitely in the higher end of Europe when it comes to acceptance of cannabis. Medical cannabis exists, although it’s limited to only Sativex products. Plus, whilst recreational weed is illegal in Belgium, possession of under 3 grams by a person of age is decriminalized. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Similar to Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina have banned cannabis both medically and recreationally and do not look to be changing that any time soon. 

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Bulgaria

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Medical and recreational cannabis is illegal in Bulgaria. However, farmers can grow industrial hemp with a permit, so at least that’s something. Plus, in 2019, Bulgaria was the first EU country to legalize the selling of CBD products. As one of the EU’s poorest members, many believe that legalizing THC could benefit their economy. 

Croatia

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalised 

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In 2015, Croatia legalised the use of medical cannabis. Plus, the personal use of the substance is also only considered a misdemeanour and not a crime, meaning at worst you’ll face a fine. They are not quite at the stage of having a recreational cannabis market yet, but perhaps this could change. 

Cyprus

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

As of 2019, Cyprus legalized the use and cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. However, the use of the substance for recreational purposes is dealt with heavily by authorities. 

Czech Republic

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalized

As of 2010, the Czech Republic decriminalized the use of the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use. You do need a license to grow it. Medical usage was also legalized in 2013 for certain conditions. 

Denmark

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalized

Denmark is considered one of the most liberal nations in the world, but how do they fair when it comes to cannabis? Denmark legalized medical cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! in 2018, but the access to it remains limited and only certain products like Sativex are available. The substance remains illegal but they are lenient with small amounts for personal use. 

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Estonia

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalized

Estonia is another example of a nation that legalized medical cannabis a while ago, but have yet to really do anything about it. You can expect leniency if you’re found with a small amount of weed but, overall, it’s illegal.

Finland

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

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Since 1972 it has been illegal to use cannabis recreationally and that has not changed since. However, as is the case with many nations in Europe, a small amount will probably be given only a small fine. Medical cannabis is also legal, but the industry is far from booming, with only around 250 people actually having access to it. 

France

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

It is illegal to produce, import and sell recreational cannabis in France. In January 2022 the government dismissed a drafted law that tried to legalize it. In fact, it is believed that France has some of the harshest drug laws in Europe. As you can predict, even the medical weed is limited and hard to access. 

Germany

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Almost

Germany has recently laid out plans to legalize cannabis for recreational use. This would make it one of the first and largest countries in Europe to do so. As of yet, there is no exact date that this could happen. Medical cannabis has also been accessible since 2017.

Greece

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

Greece has legalized medical cannabis but the industry has not yet gotten off the ground. In regards to recreational use, it is completely and firmly illegal. A small amount won’t amount to a criminal record. 

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Hungary

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Hungary supposedly treats cannabis use with the same amount of seriousness as heroin. The use of the substance is illegal both medically and recreationally. 

Iceland

Medical: No

Recreational: No

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The best cannabis product you’re going to get in Iceland is maybe some CBD and prescribed Sativex. Other than that, it is completely illegal. 

Ireland

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

Medical cannabis and CBD in Ireland has been legal since 2019, however it requires approval by the Minister for Health. Recreational weed is completely illegal.

Italy

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalized

Recreational cannabis is illegal in Italy, however some cannabis-lite products are available for purchase in smart shops with very small amounts of THC. Medical cannabis is, yet again, legal but strictly regulated.

Kosovo

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Kosovo is another strict nation, no use of cannabis is legal here. However, yet again, people are suggesting it be a good idea for their economy to create a legal weed market. 

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Latvia

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Latvia has banned all use of cannabis except hemp production, but if you’re found with a gram or so then you can expect only a fine. 

Liechtenstein

Medical: No

Recreational: No

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Liechtenstein does not even have Sativex available for medical use, the nation has made weed illegal in all ways. 

Lithuania

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

Since 2018, medical cannabis has been legal in Lithuania, but the industry is limited and hardly accessible. You can expect a small fine if found with limited cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! in this country but larger amounts will be an issue.

Luxembourg 

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Yes

In 2021, Luxembourg shocked the world by becoming the first country in Europe to legalize growing and using a limited amount of cannabis for personal use. However, it’s now being revealed that – without a cannabis market being created – it feels more like decriminalization than actual legalization. Nonetheless, it has paved the way for the rest of the continent. 

Malta

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Yes

Malta is the most progressive nation in Europe when it comes to cannabis. Both medical and recreational use is legal and has been since 2021. However, as of yet, there has been limited news on how this change of law has been actioned. 

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Moldova

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalised

Medical cannabis in Moldova is legal but limited. Recreational weed is illegal but decriminalized – in essence, simple drug use is not a crime. 

Monaco

Medical: No

Recreational: No

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Tax avoidance may be legal in Monaco, but cannabis most certainly is not. 

Montenegro

Medical: No

Recreational: No

Montenegro is far from legalizing cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! in any way. In 2014 a political party attempted to present a bill but it was instantly rejected.

The Netherlands

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalized

The Netherlands have the most successful recreational cannabis market in Europe, with hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to Amsterdam to enjoy their coffeeshops. However, the actual use of cannabis is still technically not legal, it is just completely decriminalized. 

North Macedonia

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

Medical cannabis is legal but limited in North Macedonia, and products containing 0.2% THC or less are also available. There is no likelihood that their stance on recreational weed changes any time soon. 

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Norway

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalized

Norway only allows for the medical use of the cannabis plant and nothing else. However, they are lenient to small amounts for personal use, probably only resulting in a fine. 

Poland

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

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As of yet, hemp cultivation and a 2017 medical cannabis program is all that Poland currently has. Yet again, small amounts will be dealt with leniently. 

Portugal

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalized

In Portugal it is possible to access medical cannabis if other methods have proven to fail for your specific condition. The use of small amounts of cannabis will not give you jail time but may result in a fine. 

Romania

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalized

In 2019, Romania stated that they are looking to make their medical cannabis more accessible. Whilst recreational cannabis is illegal, they do not deal with the substance strictly due to it not being a high-risk drug. 

Russia

Medical: No

Recreational: Decriminalised

Russia has made possession of up to 6 grams a smaller crime, and therefore will result only in a fine. However, there is still a long way to go for the country, without even a medical cannabis market. 

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San Marino

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

In 2019, San Marino came close to legalizing recreational cannabis after a citizen’s initiative but backtracked at the last minute, stating they would rather wait for Italy to do it first. Limited medical cannabis is also available. 

Serbia

Medical: No

Recreational: No

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Serbia is another strict nation when it comes to cannabis.

Slovakia

Medical: No

Recreational: No

The best you will find in Slovakia is prescribed Sativex and some CBD products, the rest is completely illegal. 

Slovenia

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalized

Medical cannabis and CBD products are legal in Slovenia, but not always easy to access. There is also quite a lenient approach to small amounts of the illegal use of the substance. In fact, there’s even a secret cannabis bar in the capital Ljubljana. 

Spain

Medical: Decriminalized 

Recreational: Decriminalized 

Spain has their own underground coffeeshop market, with cannabis cafes that require membership to smoke in them. You are also able to indirectly purchase cannabis here. However, their medical weed market is basically non-existent and the drug is completely illegal when used in public.

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Sweden

Medical: Yes

Recreational: No

You would expect more from Sweden, but their medical cannabis industry is highly limited and seems to have no future for recreational weed legalization.

Switzerland

Medical: Yes

Recreational: Decriminalized

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If you’re found with less than 10 grams of cannabis then you can expect a lenient fine in Switzerland. They are also currently in the process of improving their medical cannabis industry. 

Ukraine

Medical: No

Recreational: Decriminalised

Whilst both medical and recreational cannabis use is illegal in Ukraine, technically possession of small amounts is only a petite offence. The president is also a fan of legalizing medical cannabis, so perhaps when the war is over this could be his next move. 

United Kingdom

Medical: Yes

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Recreational: Decriminalized

The United Kingdom is working on improving their medical cannabis industry, which began in 2018. In fact, the UK is the biggest exporter of medical cannabis in the world, and yet a limited amount of their population actually have any access to it. Small amounts of weed are often ignored in the nation but it is unlikely that the UK will legalize recreational cannabis until other major players in Europe do it first.

Conclusion

Europe has definitely been slower in accepting cannabis than other places, especially North America. However, it is the smaller nations that have been the heroes of the story, with Luxembourg and Malta paving the way. But now with Germany looking imminent to legalizing cannabis, this could completely change the way the rest of Europe sees the substance. 

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New Trend of Vape Sensors in Hotels

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At MJBizCon this year, we got to see what the biggest trends were, from growing equipment, to rolling papers, to vapes, to branding. But one big trend wasn’t actually showcased at the convention, (though some going to it were subjected to it). The new trend of smoke and vape sensors in hotels, which require a sign off by the guest. Here’s what you need to know.

Ew, I can smell your smoke!

Smoke detectors in hotels are hardly new, and nor are the charges that guests must pay when those detectors pick up unwanted smoke. If you’re in a non-smoking room, you can pretty much expect that if the hotel has its stuff together, that you’re going to pay out for breaking the rules. Sure, some probably use the detectors as a way to dissuade people from smoking, while not performing the upkeep to make them actually useful, but many will use their ability to collect fines for illegal smoking.


Thank you for joining us. Remember to sign up for the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter to keep up-to-date; and to get access to awesome deals on cool stuff like cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! flowers, vapes, edibles, smoking devices, cannabinoidThis post contains affiliate links! compounds (including delta-8), and much more. Come on, and get stoned responsibly.

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The main reason given, is that it disrupts other guests, and this does hold some value. It’s not fun to pay out for a hotel room and not be able to get away from the cigarette smoke from the room next door. If a hotel is offering guests a smoke-free stay, then the quality of air matters if they want to be reviewed well. Smoke gets everywhere. It doesn’t like to stay in the room where it originates, and so all of this really does make sense.

Plus, for a hotel, it’s an easy and valid way to make some extra cash. All they have to do is lay out the rules, and all you have to do is break them for the hotel to collect. While it sounds like it shouldn’t be an issue, since smokers can simply take smoking rooms, this isn’t always how it works out. Sometimes available smoking rooms are full in a hotel, or priced outside of a budget. Sometimes a person doesn’t intend to smoke, but changes their mind, or has a guest over who lights up. There are tons of scenarios by which a person likely to smoke, ends up in a non-smoking room.

Smoke and vape sensors
Smoke and vape sensors

And realistically, the extra charges make sense. Not only is someone else’s cigarette smoke a nuisance, but it’s also a health concern. Beyond the general dangers of secondhand smoke, which many non-smokers would prefer not to be subjected to, there are tons of issues, from asthma to bronchitis to cancer that require no smoke be around. People often complain about baseless things, but in my opinion, dealing with the detriments of someone else’ bad habit, in a paid-for place like a hotel, shouldn’t have to happen, and these rules are on the up and up.

Hey, I can smell your vapor too?

But vaping? While I’ve heard complaints over being bothered by smoke, and even had them myself, I’ve yet to hear someone complaining about the vapor from the room next door. In fact, that’s one of the benefits of vaping, it doesn’t produce a smoke. Sure, it doesn’t mean someone not vaping wants to smell the often sickly sweet chemically smell of a vape, but I have yet to hear of it being bothersome enough in a place like a hotel, for anyone to complain.

It also, whether mildly irritating when blown directly in the face, or not, doesn’t come with the same health detractions. I’m not saying that the chemicals making up that sickly sweet smell are good for anyone – they’re probably not, but they also haven’t been fingered with provoking the same damage as smoke, in either the vaper, or the secondhand vaper. Mildly irritating or not, it doesn’t come with that death toll, making it not as much of an actual medical issue.

It also doesn’t get into furniture, or make your hands and hair smell. And it doesn’t burn holes in anything or require fire. I get why hotels don’t want smoking in non-smoking rooms. Beyond it bothering paying customers, it can cause damage to property as well, and make for hard-to-get-rid-of smoke odors. None of this applies to vaping, and a hotel would be hard-pressed to know if a vaper just left a room.

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For a place like a hotel, vaping is a clearly better option than smoking. It means less issues with unapproving guests, and less damage to property. Yet in a new play to charge even more fines, hotels are now using special vape sensors that pick up not just cigarette smoke, but according to the hotels, vape vaper as well. And they’re making guests sign off on having these smoke and vape sensors in the rooms.

My experience

I’ve stayed in plenty of non-smoking rooms with smoke detectors in my life. Not until my most recent trip to Vegas did I stay in a place with vape senors as well, and which made me sign off on having these sensors in the room. The sensors that the hotel I stayed at are from the company Noise Aware, and according to the statement by the hotel via my email confirmation:

Hotel policy
Hotel policy

“Smoking tobacco, pipes, vapes, e-cigarets is strictly prohibited in nonsmoking rooms. State law prohibits use of marijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! on property.” And that, “NoiseAware is a smart device that allows hotel management to respond to smoking events without disrupting your stay. You hereby agree and consent to the use of such sensor in your room and acknowledge and agree that it is 100% privacy compliant and required by the hotel.”

So automatically, the hotel is lumping in vaping with smoking, but more questionably, its using state law as a backing, when in reality, Nevada is a weed legal state. The hotel doesn’t have to ban it by law. So long as the cannabis is not smoked in public, it shouldn’t legally be an issue in a non-governmental building, which the hotel certainly is. All that logic aside, what I had to sign, said that “By acknowledging the foregoing, you agree to waive any future claims related to the presence of the sensor in a room you may book. Tampering with the sensor is strictly prohibited.”

Not only did this show up in my email, but I signed a sheet upon check-in with a $250 fine attached, and had a card in my room to remind me of this the entire time. I cannot speak to how useful the vape senors are for their stated purpose. I was lucky enough to have a Cannabolish spray from the convention, which I used when vaping in my room, and I was never charged a fee.

While I cannot say whether this is because the product worked well, or the vape sensors are not as awesome as described, I can say that I wasn’t charged anything extra by the hotel. I should also mention that one night I had guests in the room, where blunts were smoked, with just the Cannabolish spray for cover. Perhaps this is really just a ringing endorsement of the Cannabolish product.

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What are these sensors?

So, what are these newfangled smoke and vape sensors? And are they really that great that they can pick up vape smoke? A look at NoiseAware’s site, and smoking isn’t a part of it at all. It’s quite possible that the same company did provide the hotel some kind of smoking/vaping sensor, but if so, it doesn’t have information for this product or service on its site. The product seems generally geared toward making sure there isn’t overcrowding or partying in rooms.

However, a wider look on the internet at large shows there is absolutely a market for products making the claim of picking up vape vaper. One company, Halo, says it “provides both a real-time Air Quality and Health Index that sends alerts when either index falls into danger zones.” In fact, it claims to pick up “MarijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! (THC) • Vape • Masking.” It claims to do so by “monitoring Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Particulate concentrations, Humidity, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in the air.”

Vape in hotel room
Vape in hotel room

Another company, Forensic Detectors, claims to have the best vape-detection technology, and that a “PM2.5 detector is an excellent low cost detector in an indoor environment to confirm if vapers or e-cigarettes were used.” It continue that “A sensitive PM2.5 detector can be considered a vaping, vaper, or e-cigarette detector. PM2.5 detectors can be used by hotel staff, landlords, or even for property inspections to confirm vaping or e-cigarette use.”

Under its pros, the company lists, “1) Vape and e-cigarette vapor detectors (PM2.5) are relatively low cost, 2) Many detectors that are able to detect the use of e-cigarettes or vaping can also detect the presence of cannabis and weed smoke, and 3) PM2.5 detectors can help landlords and hotel owners solve problems associated with vaping and e-cigarette use.” However in cons, it goes onto say that “Limited product options exists to detect vaping and e-cigarette vapor”, which is odd considering how many options there are online. Unless it means to say that most (or all) don’t actually do this.

Conclusion

The jury is out on whether these new age smoke and vape detectors in hotels can actually pick up vape vapor with their sensors. But it is a growing trend to use them, and for anyone who isn’t sure of their accuracy, and doesn’t want to pay a fine… best to get the smoking room. Or just go outside if you’re unsure. As nearly all info out on these technologies comes directly from the companies, it’s hard to know the quality of what they’re peddling. My guess? They probably don’t work that well, though I expect this technology will improve with time.

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Should I Buy a Rosin Press?

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If any cannabis lover had all the money in the world, their house would be full of all of the many weed accessories that are now available in the 21st century. The innovation that is now behind the cannabis industry is booming and, consequently, there are a plethora of exciting, strange and beautiful products.

The rosin press, a device that allows the user to create their own potent cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! concentrates, is one of the more advanced accessories that a weed lover can buy. But in the capitalist world we live in, with thousands of new products coming out every week, it’s hard not to wonder: is it actually worth it? Should you bother buying a rosin press when the heat and pressure from a pair of hair straighteners could – theoretically – do the same job? Let’s find out. 

What is a Rosin Press?

Don’t stress, the cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! industry has so many random devices and tools that it’s not hard to get lost in them all. What ever happened to the days of a gram of bud and a lit joint, eh? Well, times have changed. There are now vapes to unlock the flavorsome terpenes and potent effects of weed, as well as edibles if you’d rather not inhale anything at all. But there is also something else, an industrial level rosin press that allows you to unlock the world of cannabis concentrates.

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This device comes in many shapes and sizes, but it is worth noting that they are often large – definitely too large to take around in your pocket. Some are so big that you probably wouldn’t even be able to pick them up at all without some help. Remember – rosin press’ use heat and pressure to turn cannabis buds into concentrates. 

How Does it Work?

Whilst a rosin press might look like a highly advanced and complex machine, it actually is pretty simple. The press has two slabs of metal that are heated to a certain temperature. These two slabs then press together – with the cannabis buds or hash between them – and eventually this results in a batch of concentrates, such as rosin or wax. It is important to remember that concentrates can be super sticky, so placing the cannabis in some baking paper before placing it on the machine is essential. This way, when the process is over, you can unfold the paper, slowly scrape out the wax and enjoy it. The common rosin press is powered by either pneumatic, hydraulic or manual power.

Pneumatic Rosin Press

This type of device uses air or gas in order to create pressure. A pneumatic rosin press is usually bigger as it needs an air compressor, but it usually has a higher yield. This is because air pressure can work quicker than water pressure.  

Hydraulic Rosin Press

Hydraulic powered machines usually come smaller and more portable. These use heated liquid in order to create the pressure. The issue is that the yield can be lower with these machines. 

Manual Rosin Press

This type of device is the simplest. It allows the user to use their own force to press the cannabis. These rosin press machines are the easiest to use and usually the most portable. 


Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter to stay in-the-know; while also gaining access to sweet deals on cool products like cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! flowers, vapes, edibles, smoking devices, other paraphernalia, cannabinoidThis post contains affiliate links! compounds (like delta-8), and more. Come on, let’s all get stoned… responsibly.

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Cannabis Concentrates

A key factor to consider when debating whether to purchase a rosin press is whether you actually want to create cannabis concentrates. For some people, the idea of consuming a 40-70% THC product is close to a dream. For others, a 10-15% THC joint or vape hit is potent enough. Concentrate and its strength is not for everyone. NIH writes:

MarijuanaThis post contains affiliate links! concentrates have very high levels of THC. Solvent-based products tend to be especially potent, with THC levels documented at an average of about 54-69% and reported to exceed 80%, while non-solvent based extraction methods produce average THC levels between 39-60%”

A rosin press is just one way of creating these sorts of substances, there are many other ways that involve both solvent and non-solvent solutions. Solvent methods use CO2, alcohol or hydrocarbons. Whereas non-solvent methods can use ice water, sifting or the rosin press (pressure and heat). 

Types of Concentrate

There is a wide range of cannabis concentrates that exist in the world, and many of them seem like they are just the same substance but with a different name. Nonetheless, people find strict differences in each of them. Here are some of those:

How much is a Rosin Press? 

Cannabis concentrates – if purchasing from a dealer – can cost you anywhere from $50-150. The market is wide open, and often many buyers don’t know how much they should be paying. This is why many cannabis fanatics are considering purchasing a rosin press and making the concentrates themselves. If you’re one of those people, then let’s take a look at the average price of a rosin press. To be brutally honest, finding a device that costs less than $300 will be a stretch, with some larger ones easily surpassing $1000. Remember, these are industrial-quality machines. However, there are smaller ones – such as the Nectar Pollen Pincher – that acts as a great beginners rosin press. 

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If you think of it mathematically, the purchase of a rosin press only really makes sense if you’re going to use it reasonably frequently. The cost of a device can be around 5 times the cost of a gram of concentrate – at the least – which means that you’ll be starting in a deficit but can quickly reach a profit. This, of course, will only happen if you’re a cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! concentrate connoisseur. Picture this: 

You buy a gram of concentrate once a week for 2 months:

8 x $75 = $600

But what if you bought a rosin press?

Let’s say a rosin press costs $300

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8 grams of usual bud, which you’ll use to put in the machine, costs around $100

This totals a $400 expense. 

Therefore, in around 2 months you’ll be spending less than you would have done. However, if you’re not going to use it that much, then perhaps an alternative option is better. 

DIY Rosin Press

On Amazon, you can buy a pretty basic hair straightener for around 20 bucks. If you want to invest a little more than you can purchase one with specific heat controls, which will increase the yield of your concentrates. That’s right, you can use a device like this to create these substances too. It might sound crazy, but many people use this method as a cheaper and beginners way into the world of cannabis concentrates. It has heat and it has pressure. The issue is, the yield of a pair of hair straighteners is going to be a lot less than an industrial rosin press. For your information, the yield essentially means the amount of concentrate you get from your cannabis buds, and how much is or is not wasted. Nectar Medical Vapes writes:

“The usual yield received from a DIY rosin press (hair straighteners) is only about 5%… It’s harder to manually change the temperature and pressure of hair straighteners, whereas with a rosin press it’s built into the system… However, with a shop bought rosin press the usual yield increases to about 40%, which is a great deal better and more efficient.”

It’s also important to note that the durability of straighteners is far less than a rosin press, which is literally designed to create wax. But, again, if you’re only wanting to try to concentrate every so often then it probably isn’t worth investing in an expensive rosin press. Straighteners will do the job if you’re looking to experiment and don’t mind wasting a bit of your stash. 

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Is it Worth It?

So, the question still remains, is buying a rosin press actually worth the money? Well, now you understand a little better about the different types, the price and what these devices can do, the answer to that question is left to you. It is evident that if you’re a concentrate lover then, in the long term, purchasing a rosin press will eventually become far more worth it. However, if you’re someone that simply wants to try these substances and are not looking to indulge in a long-term, industrial creation process, then why not just buy some straighteners? A rosin press is a powerful and wonderful device, but only if you really need it.

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MJBizCon: Still No THC, Still Alcohol Sales

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The biggest cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! business convention happened in November, and it gave us some great insights into the current trends in the world of weed. It also emphasized where there is still some funky discombobulation in cannabis laws. Once again at 2022’s MJBizcon, there was still no THC on the floor, while alcohol was still openly sold.

Why it matters – reason #1 – it’s literally a convention for weed

There are three main reasons why it matters that MJBizCon didn’t allow THC, but did allow alcohol. The first is basic logic. What’s the point of going to a convention, where you can’t sample real products? And therefore, what’s the point of being an exhibitor, if you can’t really get consumers, or potential business partners, to really know what you’re making. This doesn’t apply to every company, or every part of the industry, but it applies to many.

This is a business convention that revolves around making consumer products in some form, and as a business that revolves around THC, not having that main ingredient, means making it difficult for a lot of companies.

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Can you imagine going to a wine festival, or a whiskey festival, or a cheese festival, and being told that you couldn’t try any of the respective products. Imagine a wine festival with fake wine, or a cheese festival where you could eat the product, but without that specific ingredient. Whether you’re a consumer, or looking to make business connections, not getting a good idea of a product, stymies the entire process.

Functionally, as a convention about weed, in a state where weed is legal for recreational use, it becomes absurd that actual weed products, couldn’t be sampled or sold. As in, the entire purpose for many people to be there, was hindered by not getting a good idea of what the specific offering was. And that also meant ruling out a lot of companies from even showing, as not being able to preview their actual products, would make attending such a convention unnecessary.

Plenty of what was there didn’t technically need weed. Apparatus for mass growing or packaging, branding companies, insurance… But even those selling rolling papers or vapes had no way for their specific products to be tested, and therefore separated in any way from everything on either side. Realistically, when having a convention for something, its best to have that something there. In places without legalization measures its more understandable when this doesn’t happen, but in Las Vegas…?

Cannabis convention with no THC
Cannabis convention with no THC

Why it matters – reason #2 – it means weed is treated as more dangerous than alcohol

Maybe the bigger reason it matters that MJBizCon said no to THC, and yes to alcohol, is simply in the comparison it makes to a much more dangerous drug; which was openly sold and used, when weed products couldn’t be. Yup, I’m talking about alcohol. According to the CDC, in the US alone, alcohol kills about 140,000 people a year, while also being said to take as many as 26 years off a person’s life. While most of these deaths are not direct, they still make alcohol the #2 death-toll drug behind smoking.

Considering there is no death toll associated with cannabis, its odd that cannabis regulation often makes it harder to get to, than it is to get to the much more deadly alcohol. While real cannabis (and anything related to THC) was not allowed on the floor of MJBizCon, alcohol was openly sold and drank, sometimes right next to stalls where cannabis products were swapped out for fake plant material.

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And while so much of the business industry focused on packaging (specifically child-proof packaging), a can or bottle of beer is still just as easy to open as a can of soda, and high proof alcohol requires nothing more than twisting a cap.

If you didn’t know better, and you saw this scene, you’d probably think cannabis actually is dangerous. And certainly way more dangerous than alcohol. In a scenario like this, without knowing more, it would appear that cannabis proposes incredible danger, while alcohol does not. Let’s remember, no one lives at that convention center, and everyone had to drive in if they didn’t get a ride, meaning plenty of people having drinks and driving back out. Seems like the convention organizers, and the state in general, were fine with that, but not with a person smoking a joint.

No THC, yes alcohol
No THC, yes alcohol

Why it matters – reason #3 – it means inconsistency and misunderstanding in cannabis regulation

Let’s be honest, I complained about this last year. This problem has existed for as long as the legal weed industry has been around. And pretty much every place with a legalization, follows these same crazy guidelines, wherein cannabis use must follow weirdly strict regulation, whereas alcohol, doesn’t. From where its sold, to who can use it, to where its legal to use. All these favor alcohol consumption over cannabis consumption, yet alcohol has only medical detractions, while cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! is also used as a medicine.

That’s right, it’s not just that its consistently shown to be way less dangerous than alcohol for recreational use (like, not even in the same category), but it also helms a massive and growing world of medical use. People depend on it to live. We have study after study talking of the benefits for both medical issues, and general health, and yet its still easier to buy and use alcohol.

How long does it take for logic to set in? Why haven’t these laws been updated at all in a place like Nevada that has recreational use? And for that matter, how is it still federally illegal, while alcohol is one of the most ubiquitous drugs around? How can we ever expect this industry to function better, when we can’t even get regulators to regulate the industry honestly? It’s been years since many states passed measures, yet this inconsistency in regulation, never seems to go away. And when the biggest business convention, MJBizCon, says no to THC, while allowing alcohol, we know there really is a problem.

Why it REALLY matters at MJBizCon

This harks back to the first reason, but its an incredibly important point to make. MJBizCon is for the promotion of the weed industry, and all the businesses therein. It’s not a school, or a playground, or a bingo game. It’s a convention set up by industry insiders to help empower those in the industry by setting up a way for them to make new connections, and learn more about the industry.

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In that sense, MJBizCon comes to represent the industry. And it’s not put on by parent groups, or teachers, or politicians. It’s put on by a weed-centered publication, and weed-centered businesses. Which makes me wonder how these proponents of weed, are okay with having this scenario. Why didn’t it come up as a major point of conversation?

Why didn’t we all sign a petition to get things to change? Why are we so complacent with having logic ignored in the face of nonsensical federal law? Am I the only person it occurs to that this inconsistency, when not focused on and fixed, just leads to more future inconsistencies?

Inconsistent cannabis regulation
Inconsistent cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! regulation

It’s important for those within the industry, to stand up for it appropriately. That this issue has never been brought up at the convention, is sad to me. That there seems to still be a misunderstanding about these dangers in government regulation and statements, is sad to me. It means organizers are more interested in making a buck off alcohol sales, than working to make sure the public at their events is understanding of the regulation issue.

As long as nonsensical laws aren’t challenged, it means they’ll just continue on. Weed prices might have gone down in some places despite ridiculously high taxes, but that has more to do with overproduction driving down prices, than a realization that such heavy taxation, particularly sin taxes, make the industry less appealing than the black market. In the case of alcohol vs weed, we already have plenty showing us the danger of one, and the benefits of the other, yet the lack of consistent regulation, is constantly ignored, even though it too, hurts the industry.

Conclusion

MJBizCon was a great time, but it still represents through its barring of THC and allowance of alcohol sales, that the weed industry is very unevenly regulated, especially compared to the alcohol industry. Will this ever change in the future? We’ll have to wait and see.

Welcome everyone!! Thanks for making your way to Cannadelics.com; a news platform where we work hard to bring you the best cannabis and psychedelics reporting, in the industry today. Join us frequently to stay updated on everything important, and sign up to our Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you always know what’s going on.

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The Detriments of Long-Term Opioid Use

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We hear about opioid overdose deaths everyday in the US, but there’s a whole other downside to remember: the effects of long-term opioid use on health in general. So aside from falling down dead from overloading the system, here are some other things that can be expected if you’re popping these pills for years at a time.

Well, what about that overdose risk?

Obviously, ancillary medical problems are an issue, but what we hear about most are not the long-term effects of opioid use, but of the more immediate overdose issue. How much of an issue is this? Well pretty big, and growing at an incredibly fast rate. In fact, that’s part of the general scariness of this issue, not that it exists, but that it seems to grow massively at every juncture.

The last numbers put out on the issue came from preliminary data released by the CDC for 2021. According to this data, there were approximately 107,000 overdose deaths in 2021, up from 93,000 in 2020, and 71,000 in 2019. These numbers account for all overdose deaths from illicit drugs, but we know opioids make up the lion’s share of them. Though we don’t have a more specific breakdown for 2021, we know that of the 93,000 of 2020, that about 68,000 were related to opioids. And that of 2019 numbers, about 48,000 of the deaths came from synthetic opioids. For comparison, that year, there were less than 15,000 heroin overdoses.

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This problem has gotten so out of hand, that states like New York and Rhode Island are already instituting safe-use site measures to give those in need, a safe place to use their drugs. Along with testing to ensure no fentanyl, emergency services, and other social services.


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It’s even got to the point that some places, like British Columbia, in Canada, are working to decriminalize all drugs, just to make it easier for people using opioids, to do what they have to without further punishment. Whether these are actually measures to help people, though, is questionable, as they mainly seek to promote the general problem, rather than finding ways to fix it.

If you want to know how ubiquitous needle disposal apparatus is in America, consider that at this year’s MJBizCon, which took place in the Convention Center of Las Vegas, there were needle depositories in the women’s bathroom. Apparently it’s expected that literally anywhere, someone may need to get rid of needles.

Damage from long-term opioid use: colon

Maybe you started on opioids the way many people do, to deal with a pain issue. And maybe you’re one of those people that loves the way the drugs feel. It almost doesn’t matter why a person started if they’re going to take them for years of time. Maybe you’re one of those people who takes them in a controlled enough way that you don’t have to worry about overdosing on them. Well, hate to break it to you, but these are hardcore medications that your body doesn’t expect to deal with, and they come with a myriad of long-term health issues, which vary by user.

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One of the big problems, is issues in the gut. Opioids decrease general activity in the guts, which is why another one of their uses is for diarrhea. It essentially works to control it, and in doing so, can create constipation instead. This effect of creating constipation isn’t acclimated to, and in fact, tends to get worse over time. Meaning long-term opioid users can develop different issues related to their guts and colon.

Take Matthew Perry, for example, who we all know as Chandler from the long-running Friends. Throughout his professional life we’ve heard different stories of his issues with drugs, but perhaps the most daunting came recently from an autobiography he put out. In it, he details how his colon burst as a result of opioid activity in the guts. In his case, the incident led to a two-week coma, and nine-months with a colostomy bag. For anyone unfamiliar with the latter term, it’s a bag worn outside the body, which is hooked up directly to the body, and which collects the feces, as they can no longer go through the damaged colon. Sound like a fun way to conduct your social life?

This happens due to the colon stretching out of shape, which it can’t always heal from. If a person already has a bowel issue, opioids can make it worse, even causing perforations, which is apparently how Perry ended up in the situation he did. What happened to Perry might be one of the rarer cases, but with increased use of these medications, rare cases become more of a norm.

Damage from long-term opioid use: blood-oxygen levels and endocrine system

Many aspects of opioids are acclimated to with regular use. This unfortunately can include the effects on pain and sedation, but doesn’t include the effects on breathing. Opioid are known for depressing the respiratory center of the brain, the part that controls breathing. If enough is taken, a person can stop breathing, and this is how many people overdose.

However, even if a person doesn’t die, this can also lead to lowered blood-oxygen levels. This happens a lot when doses are increased, which becomes standard for these medications since other effects, like pain-relieving effects, are acclimated to, leading to a need for more to get the same relief. As large increases are often experienced in a short period of time, this creates a problem with users having low blood-oxygen levels.

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Opioid long-term effect on colon
Opioid long-term effect on colon

And then there are the effects on testosterone. Called hypogonadism, this applies to both men and women with extended use of the medications, and means a fall in testosterone levels. As these issues become more evident through time and increased overall use of the medications, this issue has presented itself, but with little known as to how reversible the effects are.

What has been noticed as well, are symptoms like amenorrhea in women, reduced desire for sex, as well as infertility (in both sexes), and erectile dysfunction in men.

Damage from long-term opioid use: the brain and other issues

Let’s be honest for a second, the reason people often get addicted to opioids, is because they’re affecting the brain, and bringing on feelings of euphoria. Anytime something is taken repeatedly that can impact the brain, there’s a question of what it’s doing long-term. In the case of these meds, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that long-term opioid use can cause changes in behavior and cognition, though much is reversible.

In the short term it does get in the way of the ability for concentration, as well as affecting abstract thinking. Not only that, use of the drug can lead to a diminished experience of pleasure, and can cause people to lose interest in activities that used to make them happy.

Effects of long-term opioid use
Effects of long-term opioid use

Another thing often seen, related to the sedation and disorientation effects of the drugs, is simply that people are more likely to hurt themselves. This is seen mainly though falls where bones are fractured or broken. It applies most to the elderly, and is similar to another class of drugs, benzodiazepines, which also cause sedation and disorientation.

Opioids have also shown to have an effect on the immune system and immunity. The immunomodulating effects of the drug, seen in both human and animal studies, effect immune effector cells, as well as the central nervous system, in the form of immunosuppression. This means the immune system is being suppressed, and won’t work as well. In animal studies specifically, opioids have shown to effect antimicrobial response and anti-tumor surveillance in the body.

Just to finish it all off, long-term opioid use can actually do something paradoxical, it can create a greater sensitivity to pain, which, when you think about it, is really not helpful considering their main purpose is in pain suppression. This phenomenon, called hyperalgesia, is generally only seen when there is no tolerance built to the analgesic effects of the meds. This pain doesn’t relate to the original pain suffered, and is generally less-well defined from the original pain issue. No matter how you look at it though, a pain medication that goes on to cause new forms of pain, is certainly not ideal.

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Conclusion

Opioids cause much damage, both in the overdose deaths they promote, as well as the long-term issues that come from extended use. More and more, it should be asked why other, less dangerous drugs like ketamine, aren’t immediately being substituted to help ease this growing opioid issue.

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What Is the Role of an API in Pharmaceutical Medicine?

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Everything these days is an acronym, and sometimes the world of acronyms gets confusing. In fact, sometimes the very same letters, are used for more than one acronym, and it requires knowing what you’re dealing with, to know the meaning. One of the terms that shows up a lot is API, which relates to pharmaceutical medicine, (as well as computing).

What is an API in pharmaceutical medicine?

The first time I heard this term, I immediately thought of the computing definition: ‘application programming interface.’ It gets used a lot in the world of tech, and it was the main place I’d heard it. Until it came up in a more medical way. The letters API have a totally different definition when speaking of pharmaceutical medicine.

An API in pharmaceutical medicine, translates to ‘active pharmaceutical ingredient.’ Which, of course, is a wildly different concept from its computing counterpart. What does this actually mean? An active pharmaceutical ingredient is “the biologically active component of a drug product (tablet, capsule, cream, injectable) that produces the intended effects.” These can be ingredients in drugs for a number of ailments, including the treatment of issues: “pertaining to oncology, cardiology, CNS and neurology, orthopaedic, pulmonology, gastroenterology, nephrology, ophthalmology, and endocrinology.”

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So, basically, they’re just ingredients. Or, rather, active ingredients. Think about when you read the label to a medication, and it lists both active and inactive ingredients. Sometimes you might wonder about the difference. Inactive ingredients are often related to keeping a tablet held together, or making sure a drug doesn’t spoil. Sometimes they’re for coloring, or consistency, or texture. But they’re not for therapeutic use.


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The active components are the ingredients that do whatever it is that the drug is supposed to do. And much like baking in a kitchen, both active and inactive ingredients are required. If you’re baking a chocolate cake, perhaps the chocolate could be seen as the active ingredient, along with eggs and flower. But you also need baking soda to make things rise. This might not add to the flavor of the cake, but its still important.

However, you might spend more time, making sure you have the right chocolate. Should you use super sweet chocolate chips, bitter chocolate, chocolate powder? This chocolate is equivalent to an API in pharmaceutical medicine…albeit an admittedly strange analogy.

APIs allow for medications to be made in specific strengths, and in desired concentrations. They also require being made in conjunction with good manufacturing practices, and up to codes, as they relate to pharmaceutical medicine, which is very, very precise.

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Think of every bottle of Tylenol you buy, over years and years of time, and how every pill is exactly the same. Since APIs are often made by third parties, they also allow for the white-labeling of pharmaceutical ingredients. Several different companies can buy from the same API provider, and then make their own labeled medications with the ingredients.

Where does an API come from?

Much like anything else, whether synthetically or naturally made, An API used in pharmaceutical medicine, comes from some kind of raw material. When dealing with the idea of an herbal supplement, let’s say a mint capsule, the API is the mint, and in this case it probably comes directly from a mint plant. Many APIs do come from plant or animal origins. A great example of this today, is the medical cannabisThis post contains affiliate links! industry, and the API’s used to make cannabis medications.

In terms of the official names of these ingredients, the US uses generic names assigned by the United States Adopted Names (USAN) program, which works in conjunction with the American Medical Association, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, and the American Pharmacists Association. The legal name of the drug that the FDA recognizes, is given by the USAN.

Where do APIs come from for pharma medicine
Where do APIs come from for pharma medicine

In terms of a broader global scale, the World Health Organization also recognizes API ingredients, as per International Nonproprietary Names (INN). Though they are often the same between the US and the WHO, they sometimes do differ. One example is Tylenol. The API is acetaminophen in the US, but referred to as paracetamol by WHO.

The raw materials are used primarily by pharmaceutical companies in their home labs to create their patented formulations. However, to cut costs, the manufacture of these APIs is often now outsourced, leading to a myriad of issues related to quality and regulation. It is now common for APIs to come from Asia, mainly India and China.

Who are the biggest providers of APIs? Some of the bigger names are TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy’s, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. These companies generally specialize in different APIs. In terms of where the raw materials come from, that can vary hugely. Sometimes from chemical product manufacturers, and sometimes from growing fields. Raw materials are converted to APIs through different chemical processing techniques. When in the process of a raw material becoming an API, its called an ‘intermediate’.

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Raw materials for an API in pharmaceutical medicine

While this isn’t the most specific of answers, the raw materials for APIs are gathered through raw material providers. Yeah, I know, it almost sounds like I’m trying to be evasive. I promise, I’m not. But the truth is that raw materials can come from one of hundreds or thousands of providers depending on what they actually are. Think of all the chemical companies out there, and all the different kinds of ingredients in life. And then think of how many medications there are, and how different.

A general process, at least according to Teva-API, is that once a medicine is approved, a team then goes out looking for all the correct chemical companies to get the component raw material parts. It comes down to the company to judge the reliability of a source. Sometimes to ensure no issues in sourcing, a company like Teva will require two sources for each material. The R&D team that created the medication, essentially gives a list of the necessary raw materials to the team responsible for collection, and then the search into the correct chemical companies begins.

And to be honest…there isn’t a lot of better or more specific information out there. Most of the information that is available comes from companies selling APIs, or pharmaceuticals, and none of them really get into the nitty gritty of exactly where their chemical components are sourced as raw materials.

Sourcing raw materials for APIs
Sourcing raw materials for APIs

I guess at this point its fair to imagine that sourcing likely involves things like mining for the minerals that make up the periodic table of elements, which are used to produce all inorganic materials. As well as whatever biologically sourced ingredients come from different plant and animal sources.

Right now, the API industry in pharmaceutical medicine is quite big. API-producing companies generally produce powder versions and sell in bulk to pharma companies. Their production and sale comprises a multi-billion dollar industry that white-labels the ingredients of pharmaceutical medications.

And while the idea of APIs might be a bit confusing when reading about them in terms of business, the reality in the end, is that the pharma ingredient market is the same as nearly all others. One company takes stuff out of the ground somehow, sells it to another company which uses it to make a specific chemical compound, which sells it to another company which uses that compound in a product. Just like nearly every product made; whether food, a toy, equipment, or whatever else.

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Conclusion

APIs in pharmaceutical medicine represent just another form of white-labeling. Of course in this case, the products white-labelled are the ingredients in your pharmaceutical medications. Perhaps we as the public should know more about the process and the safety requirements that do – or don’t – exist. But as in most parts of life, the business of these ingredients and how they move, stays largely out of the public eye. Much like nearly every other big business consumer industry.

Kind of makes those herbal remedies that can tell you exactly what’s inside, and exactly what field the ingredients were sourced from, nice in comparison.

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