CITIVA Submits Application to Grow Cannabis for LSU

On Friday, CITIVA was one of seven companies to complete an application to Louisiana State University (LSU) for their medical cannabis program. LSU and the state of Louisiana accepted 7 final applicants for consideration. The chosen applicant would run the cannabis cultivation site at LSU, with oversight by the university.

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Louisiana became the first state in the Deep South to pass a law creating a functional medical cannabis program in 2015. Though the state had medical cannabis law on the books since 1976 it was largely symbolic. The 2015 bill allows patients true legal access.

Currently the program is restricted to patients suffering from one of the following conditions: chemotherapy for treatment of cancer, glaucoma, and spastic quadriplegia, a rare form of cerebral palsy that causes chronic muscle stiffness. However, the number of disease states could expand during next year’s legislative session.

Should CITIVA be selected as LSU’s cannabis cultivator, this would be our second medical university-based program and of the first of its kind in the United States. CITIVA’s flagship Research, Cultivation and Product Development Center is located on the medical campus of the University of the West Indies with current research focused on epilepsy and diabetes amongst others. If selected, this would allow CITIVA to bring the level of expertise needed to ensure Louisiana patients receive safe and effective cannabis medicines and expand the available research for physicians nationwide. We look forward to bringing our experience and passion to the Bayou State.



Dr. Jack Explains: CBD vs. THC

Dr. Jack D’Angelo is CITIVA’s Chief Medical Officer and renowned pain specialist. He has spent years understanding the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Here he explains the differences between and the medical applications of CBD and THC.

Though many (if not most) of you are very familiar with the cannabinoids known as THC and CBD many are still unclear about the differences and why they matter. THC and CBD are being used more often both in the form of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to treat a wide range of conditions yet doctors, pharmacists and regulatory bodies have a very poor understanding of them and can offer little guidance as to their use and effectiveness. Since patients must learn about this medicine on their own, let us provide a general overview.

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THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in cannabis plants that would be considered medicinal or recreational quality. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive effect associated with cannabis. Patients who consume cannabis products with THC should not drive or operate heavy machinery.

When taken carefully on a standardized and consistent regimen, THC can ease a variety of symptoms without significant intoxication. Starting with doses as low as 5 mg THC can begin to alleviate pain, nausea, and insomnia.

CBD or cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in cannabis plants that would be considered medicinal or hemp quality. Since cannabis that is high in CBD does not produce an intoxicating effect, it’s unnattractive for recreational consumers. Because of its medicinal qualities CBD remains in high demand among medicinal users.

CBD becomes effective effective in doses as low as 10 mg and can treat a wide range neurological and inflammatory symptoms. CBD has shown remarkable effectiveness in treating epilepsy, PTSD, anxiety, and neuropathic pain.

THC or CBD can be taken alone to great effect. (Though natural cannabis extractions will always carry at least trace amounts of the other.) However, they show a powerful synergizing effect when used in concert. Patients tend to report more symptom relief when these cannabinoids are taken together. Also, CBD appears to temper the intoxicating effects of THC so patients can enjoy its therapeutic qualities without the more pronounced psychological effects.

We hope this information is helpful to you. We aim to be a resource for people hoping to navigate the complexities of medical cannabis so if you have any questions please reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter @CITIVAllc, Instagram @citivacannameds, or email info@citiva.com.



Germany’s Medical Cannabis Program Could Be Game Changing

Last week, Germany joined a growing list of countries and territories that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. The German medical cannabis program is not expected to be very large and will be strictly limited to “patients suffering from serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, serious appetite loss or nausea from chemotherapy who receive a prescription from their doctor.” Though this may seem like a relatively small victory, it may be the impetus for massive progress medical cannabis.

The legislation that created Germany’s medical cannabis program may have passed with little fanfare or controversy but it could potentially have far reaching international implications. As Europe’s largest economy, Germany is quite influential in the EU and around the world. With its support on the national level (as opposed to the US where states have taken the lead), the German example could encourage other smaller nations to follow suit. This would be especially true should the program help the country save on healthcare costs as it has in the US states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes

The fact that Germany’s program will be carried out by doctors and pharmacists could be a major boon for research and cause greater understanding in the medical community. One of the hurdles facing medical cannabis is the fact that few doctors understand how it works and how it should be applied in a clinical setting. This program will likely encourage doctors to be better informed so they can better server their patients. As understanding grows, that information will be shared throughout the world’s medical community. Also, Germany has long been a world leader in pharmaceutical research so with some of the legal barriers removed companies in the country may invest and see major advances.

Another important bit of progress is that the German government has officially recognized cannabis as a medicine. As such insurance providers will be required to cover its cost. One of the major barriers facing patients seeking access to medical cannabis is the cost. While cannabis medicines are often far cheaper than their pharmaceutical counterparts, they are rarely covered by insurance providers. Therefore many patients, particularly elderly patients on fixed incomes, often stick with pharmaceuticals that are more dangerous and less effective due to their out of pocket costs. This change could set an important example for the world.

It is still too early to fully grasp the developments that will come from this important change to German law but there are some very hopeful signs. The world needs more countries to provide access to medical cannabis, doctors must be better informed, research must be performed, and patients need cost effective means of obtaining this life changing medicine. Germany’s medical cannabis program provides hope that the world is moving toward achieving these goals.



CITIVA Joins LSU to Discuss the Future of Cannabis Medicine

CITIVA’s CEO, Kim Volman, and Chief Medical Officer, Jack D’Angelo M.D., joined researchers at Louisiana State University for a discussion about the future of cannabis medicine. As the nation’s medical community begins to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis, universities and research institutions across the country, including LSU, are seeking to understand the plant and the most effective ways it can be applied medically.

Mr. Volman discussed how he found his way into the medical cannabis business and his vision for its future. A successful pharmacist by trade, he told of how before getting into the industry he was unfamiliar with cannabis’ medical properties. As he he sought to become more educated on the subject he became convinced that he must get involved. Seeing a lack of professionalism in the industry as a whole CITIVA’s team stressed the need to provide a truly medical model with standardization of products and involvement with doctors.

Dr. D’Angelo tackled the subject of the medical community’s involvement with cannabis medicine. Following two informative presentations on defining what cannabis is and how it works in the body, and also another very promising study on cannabis and HIV onset, , Dr.D’Angelo spoke of the need for greater understanding from the medical community and available physician education in order to treat chronic conditions.

Dr. D’Angelo a successful pain management specialist, continues to see first hand the ravaging effects of the nation’s opioid epidemic and discussed how medical cannabis can be used as a safe alternative.

Speaking to his audience of medical professionals and political leaders, he outlined the’ need to incorporate medical cannabis into the patient practice as they would any other medicine in order to create better patient outcomes. He effectively demonstrated the benefit of collective patient monitoring and evaluation of outcomes for the continued betterment of the industry and our understanding of the effectiveness of cannabis as a medical treatment.

CITIVA is very excited to see that prestigious institutions like LSU are finally taking the science of cannabis medicine seriously. We stand ready to support this important research.