CannaTech Israel 2018 Recap

CannaTech is the world’s premiere cannabis summit – connecting esteemed leaders of the industry to cover research, regulation, innovation, investment and sustainability, among other topics. At the recent CannaTech Tel Aviv conference in Israel, Constance Therapeutics founder Constance Finley shared her insights on the emerging science in cannabis. From Constance herself, here’s an insider look at this important global conversation.

We have a task -- representing cannabis science to its modern customers. Constance Therapeutics has always been driven by science, and as we move into a new era within the industry, we’ll not only continue along this path but push the limits even further.

CBD vs. THC

Currently we’re seeing a major influx in the marketplace of CBD-based products. No longer limited to the medicinal category, CBD is being incorporated into everything from face creams to enriched health foods. Touted for its non-psychoactive nature, CBD is being promoted as the “good” part of cannabis. Which, of course, it is – CBD can provide excellent results for people suffering from anxiety, migraines, low grade pain, ADHD, bipolar disease, menstrual cramps, depression, etc. But with “good” comes “bad,” and it’s crucial that we don’t allow THC to become CBD’s evil stepsister. Both CBD and THC, along with about 110 other minor cannabinoids just now being explored, are critical components of cannabis science.

We’re an evidence-based company, and the evidence points to the importance of keeping THC in the mix. For our own extracts, we’ve found that the synergy between CBD and THC makes both cannabinoids more effective in humans.  

Refining delivery methods

We need to place an emphasis on delivery systems that are developed for cannabis particularly and that take into account its properties and challenges. What are your symptoms? What are you doing that day? For how long do you need pain management, and how quickly do you need it? At Constance Therapeutics, we find that using at least two different delivery methods is the most helpful in the long term. I personally ingest cannabis directly at night an hour or two before I go to bed. I do not use or recommend edibles, because I am looking for a more reliable and controllable experience. I take a capsule, or from a syringe I take precisely-measured extract from a standardized dosing bottle into my mouth in the buccal area for more rapid and effective absorption. When you monitor the process, you can see the cumulative benefits of cannabis more clearly.

The future of cannabis

First and most importantly, whole-plant, botanical, FDA-approved prescription cannabis products need to be available through regulatory channels. If cannabis products could be prescribed by physicians and hospitals, the seriously ill would have full access to cannabis and what it has to offer. We’ve taken steps to ensure this happens; currently, Tetra Bio-Pharma has licensed our compounds into FDA-approved research in Canada – kickstarting our vision for the future.

If doctors were allowed to prescribe non-addictive options for pain like cannabis products, it could be life-changing for the tens of thousands of people using opioids or at imminent risk of using them again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. We’re currently facing an epidemic and need to proactively face it with science inclusive of cannabis. Modern science is plant medicine. A recent study conducted by the Department of Veteran Affairs found that patients who took opioids fared no better over the long term (a period of 12 months) than patients who used safer alternatives, which for the purposes of this clinical trial included drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. So why then are we relying so heavily on opioids when there are safer alternatives, or in truth, more effective alternatives like cannabis? There’s a growing body of scientifically significant data that shows that states that allow the use of medical cannabis also experience a reduction in opiate use. The demand is there – now we need to make it more accessible, and less stigmatized, through both education and proven science.

Second, let’s look toward alternative and integrative practitioners. If the health prevention category would embrace and be able to offer a suite of products that could be bought at health food stores or through a naturopath or osteopath, symptom management would become safer and more feasible for millions. Finally, there’s the recreational channel. International research is showing that even general lifestyle factors can be improved with cannabis. Why can’t cannabis be used for legitimate pleasure and relaxation? Of course it can be – and should be!

One thing that ties all three of these visions for the future together is the need for both quality products and education. Many of the side effects people associate with cannabis are actually coming from toxins from the growing or extracting processes. Choosing a high-quality product will help ensure you don’t confuse byproduct and its effects with the true effects of the cannabis.

I’m excited about the future of cannabis. At Constance Therapeutics, we approach our products with passion, honesty, intense scrutiny and a dedication to restless innovation – with the ultimate goal of bringing better solutions to people, whether they’re using medicinal cannabis or adult-use products. The people we serve remain at the forefront of everything we do.