Category Archives: Cannabidiol

Fentanyl, a Deadly Bait and Switch Game

The United States Fentanyl Crisis

The opioid crisis in the United States has resulted in approximately 192 deaths per day. Oxycodone and heroin were not responsible for these deaths. The drug currently killing people is called fentanyl. Fatal drug overdoses significantly increased from 1999 through 2017 due to fentanyl. This drug is classified as a synthetic opioid between eighty and 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl has been used for many years in anesthesia cocktails and cancer patches to relieve pain. During the fairly recent past, fentanyl has become an extremely popular recreational drug. 

 

The Centers for Disease Control has recently issued a report stating fentanyl is involved in more fatal overdoses than any other drug throughout the United States. In 2016, nearly one-third of all fatalities involved fentanyl. There was an increase of approximately 113 percent of fatal overdoses between 2013 and 2016. A minimum of two-thirds of the deaths related to fentanyl involved a minimum of one additional drug. This is partially due to drug dealers lacing cocaine and heroin with fentanyl to increase potency while cutting costs. 

 

This means when an individual purchases opioids, they are receiving a deadly combination. Fentanyl was involved in two of every five overdose deaths related to cocaine. Almost one-third of all deaths resulting from fentanyl involved heroin as well. Fentanyl overdose has become an extreme legitimate danger. 

 

The Truth About Fentanyl

 

Fentanyl works just like other opioids. The drug binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. These receptors control both emotions and pain. As the individual continues to use fentanyl, the brain adapts. The effects of the drug are weakened which results in the individual using larger quantities. This often results in dependency. Due to the potency of the drug, fentanyl is used for the treatment of chronic pain or severe pain resulting from surgery. 

 

Although a prescription can be written for fentanyl, the most common drug overdose is linked to the fentanyl produced in underground laboratories, manufactured into pills created to look like another prescription, added to nasal sprays and eye droppers, and even just sold as a powder. Drug suppliers and dealers are literally killing people to increase their profits. Fentanyl has a lot of harmful effects and symptoms. This includes:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Heartbeat changes
  • Shallow and slow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Chest, back and stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Itching

 

Continually using or overusing fentanyl can result in fainting, respiratory complications, depression and ultimately overdose, resulting in complications. 

 

The Fentanyl Epidemic

 

The opioid crisis in America is now a fentanyl epidemic spiraling out of control. There is a fentanyl overdose occurring every day. There were painkillers containing fentanyl created using counterfeit prescriptions by a man in Utah. He became a drug kingpin by mailing this deadly drug to people all over the United States. He will be going to trial, along with a small group of individuals, regarding allegations of using the basement of his home to send hundreds of thousands of packages with pills containing fentanyl. 

 

Issues the federal government’s prosecutors will bring to light: the drug is being imported from China, it is being poorly manufactured in to fake pills that are then sold and dispersed throughout every state via the online black market, sequentially killing tens of thousands of people by drug overdose The allegations of the prosecutors state dozens of customers died from a fentanyl overdose. Despite this, the charges for the ringleader include just one death: an individual 21 years of age who died after snorting what was believed to be prescription oxycodone but was laced with fentanyl. 

 

The ringleader began as a workout buff and aspiring entrepreneur. He said he did not realize the danger of his actions and was simply trying to make money. He never saw the people he was harming, just the numbers on his screen. At the time he was arrested, the bust was one of the biggest in the country’s history. According to documents from the court, the raid on his home revealed thousands of pills, a pill press in the basement and garbage bags containing in excess of $1 million in cash. 

 

The group began two years previously, eventually including over a dozen individuals. According to the allegations of the court documents, they met the ringleader while working at an eBay call center. The partnership began with two men. They started out by importing steroids, then reselling them to their friends from the gym. Another man pled guilty for assisting in the development of the recipe and pressing the pills laced with fentanyl. The fentanyl was shipped to several homes of the group’s members directly from China. The authorities stated the residents were then paid to turn over the drug. 

 

The powder was allegedly cut, fillers added and then pressed into pill form. According to the prosecutors, stamps and dyes were used to replicate the appearance of legitimate pills. Public health experts have issued warnings regarding the danger of small drug trafficking networks. Fentanyl is being cut and mixed despite the fact just a few flakes can be deadly. Due to the amateur equipment being used, one pill may only contain a small amount of fentanyl while another may have enough to cause immediate death.

 

According to the prosecutor, the pills being shipped were poison in disguise. Average people purchased these pills such as someone who became addicted due to an injury or surgery. The pills were sold at a dark-web marketplace on the internet called Pharma-Master. Reaching the dark web requires a special browser and is frequently used for dark activity. The dark-web also has user-friendly sites a lot like eBay and Amazon. The court documents stated Pharma-Master is one of the more prominent dealers often processing as many as fifty orders per day.

 

The pills were counted, vacuum-sealed and shipped to homes throughout the United States in envelopes. According to the prosecutors, the packages had phony return addresses and fake invoices. Mailboxes throughout Salt Lake City were used to drop the packages so the group could hide from the police. Some of the orders were smaller while others contained thousands of pills. The prosecutors stated these were sent to drug dealers and gang members who sold them on the streets. The cost of making each pill was less than one cent yet the prosecutors said they sold on the street for $20.

 

Preventing Deaths from Fentanyl

Preventable injuries and deaths such as fatal overdoses are often referred to as accidental. This implies these deaths are unable to be prevented. Overdoses can be prevented when the individual can easily access the help they require. The third highest cause of death in the United States are preventable injuries. As the government attempts to establish control of the opioid epidemic, new chemicals are being produced to subvert the law. Enforcement and strict regulations are not enough to eliminate the market for illicit drugs or prevent access. 

 

Regulations are being pursued to decrease the fentanyl being received in the United States through China. The increasing demand for these types of drugs must also be addressed to ensure a real impact. This means the people must be educated regarding the true dangers including possible overdose and death resulting from fentanyl. The reasons individuals started using these drugs are just as important. If these reasons are not addressed, the war on illegal drugs will never end. 

 

“Cannabidiol, (CBD) What You Need To Know”

CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol is all the rage these days! Recent studies and research evidence have revealed the potential applications of CBD to the field of healthcare. However, this is not the first time that CBD has been used; Cannabidiol has been used as early as the 1940s. 

 

History of Cannabidiol

 

CBD was an accidental discovery made by Roger Adams in the 1940s. His aim was to extract a substance from the Cannabis sativa plant; however, a name was given to his discovery several years later. Lab testing soon began on animals to determine the extent of the benefits associated with the consumption of CBD. In the late 1960s, the British Pharmacopoeia released the first CBD Oil for medical use. A few decades later, a breakthrough was made when a connection between treating epilepsy and the consumption of CBD was found through a study.

 

What is Cannabidiol?

 

CBD is one of the two major active ingredients in marijuana; however, while marijuana-derived CBD is illegal, hemp-derived CBD is not. Because both marijuana and hemp contain levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, we may also find this in trace amounts in CBD products. Thus, the legality of CBD is very controversial. 

 

Scientific studies have allowed us to believe that we may use CBD as a treatment option for certain ailments such as chronic pain, acne, anxiety, sleep disorders, arthritis, and a variety of similar conditions. CBD works by interactions with our body’s endocannabinoid system, the system responsible for regulating bodily functions such as appetite, pain, sleep, mood, and our immune system’s response to disease and infection. These interactions allow for a reduction in the symptoms felt by the mentioned conditions.

 

Cannabidiol also has anti-inflammatory characteristics that make it a viable treatment option for inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. In addition, CBD gives off an overall calming effect that makes it efficient in treating anxiety and mood disorders.

 

Difference Between Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate

These substances are different in the sense that CBD Isolate refers only to the crystalline powder that contains CBD. This product is often mixed with additives and synthetic chemicals which makes the effectiveness less great. Research shows that the effectiveness of this substance falls in a bell curve which creates limitations to its effectiveness when taken in different dosages.

 

Full Spectrum CBD refers to the plant oil containing CBD and other natural substances such as phytonutrient, chlorophylls, and terpenes. The natural substances make this form of CBD a more viable option when choosing an effective treatment. Some compare this consuming this CBD to taking vitamin supplements.

 

When making a purchase of CBD products, be sure to ask about the extraction method and the type of CBD. This can make a huge difference between whether the product will be effective in treating your ailment or not. It is an excellent idea to purchase your products from companies that perform third-party testing. Some companies may provide low-quality CBD products that have been derived from industrialized hemp that has been subject to large amounts of pesticides or synthetic chemicals. These products more often than not also include a larger than allowed concentration of THC that may have undesired effects.

 

The Legality of CBD in America

 

CBD products and supplements are currently legal in the entire nation with a few exceptions. While these exceptions are determined by the governing body of each state, the one common exception is where the CBD is originally derived from. In the year 2014, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missippi, Utah, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Missouri legalized CBD for medical use. Despite this recent legalization, CBD is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law. This regulation does not only pertain CBD but to the cannabis plant in general.

 

The one exception to this federal regulation is the approval of Epidiolex, a form of pediatric epilepsy treatment containing a concentration of CBD. Because this treatment was approved by the Federal Drug Administration, CBD became later classified as a Schedule 5 drug meaning that it has the lowest potential for abuse or drug addiction. Schedule 1 drugs are normally prone to drug addiction which may require an individual to enter drug rehab at a drug treatment center. Using CBD does not run the risk of having to enter drug rehab at a drug treatment center and therefore, it is a popular choice for patients across the nation.

 

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill changed the situation regarding the legality of CBD. This federal regulation allowed for the legality of hemp-derived CBD in all fifty states. This allowed for businesses selling CBD products to prosper and boom into the CBD industry we know today.

 

Restrictions of Using CBD Products

 

CBD products are sold in a variety of places including local grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and even retail. These products include vapes, gummies, tinctures, oils, topical lotion, and more. While there is no specific law regarding the sale of CBD products to minors, most stores will not sell any products to anyone under the age of eighteen. 

 

This is due to one main reason: certain CBD products may include a small concentration of THC. Because THC is psychoactive, it is best to not allow minors to purchase these products. However, it is a completely different story online. Anyone with access to an account of an adult aged twenty-one or over can purchase CBD products on any online retailer.

 

Flying with CBD Products

 

With the controversial nature of CBD products, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you may bring these products with you on your vacations or ventures out of the country. The simple answer to this is: yes. The Transportation Security Administration has recently updated its policy concerning traveling with medical marijuana. Consequently, it is now completely legal to travel aboard a plane with hemp-derived CBD products. This is great news for frequent flyers with anxiety!

 

The Future of CBD

CBD products have become one of the most sought out treatments and supplements in the nation and as a result, major companies are now looking to add this substance into their products. Coca-Cola has recently released a statement pertaining to the future addition of a minor concentration of CBD to their drinks and even Oreos has discussed doing this! The current generation demands safe-to-use products that are all-natural and organic. CBD meets both of these requirements and is one of the most talked-about substances among the Millenials. 

 

With this in mind, citizens are demanding that states legalize cannabis for both recreational and medical use. Three states have already done this and more are considering doing the same. Experts estimate that cannabis may be fully legal within the next decade to meet high consumer demands within the United States.