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4Front Ventures Co-founder Kris Krane Is Most at Home in Uncharted Territory

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Building street cred in the cannabis industry is no easy task, but over the past twenty years Kris Krane has done it well.

As an activist and devoted policy wonk in college and beyond, he helped promote sensible, progressive cannabis policies on local and federal levels with some of the biggest reform organizations in the country. As a consultant, he helped win licenses during the first wave of legalization across the United States and has been a frequent speaker at cannabis conferences around the world. Krane also is a talented writer and analyst who regularly pens columns for Forbes, lending his insight on the latest issues and trends in the industry.

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Currently, though, he is “laser-focused” on 4Front Ventures’ bottom line. As co-founder and president, he is responsible for the daily operations of one of the largest multi-state operators (MSOs) in the U.S., with retail, cultivation, and extraction operations across the country. Even after watching the meltdown of the cannabis market in 2019, Krane is bullish about 4Front’s position in the market as the company methodically carries out its business plan. Ask him about the industry on the whole, though, and he’s not so gung-ho. Even before the COVID-19 crisis reared its ugly head, he saw economic warning signs.

“You know, businesses that aren’t able to get themselves to break-even or cash flow profitability over the next few months and rely on investor money to cover overhead are probably going to have a hard time,” he said. “It’s already been difficult raising money, so I think we will see a number of companies go under in 2020, and I would not be surprised at all if you see some major MSO names in that mix.”

2019: M&A mayhem

There have been a number of high-profile mergers in the cannabis industry over the past few years, most notably between iAnthus and MPX, Harvest Health and Recreation and Verano Holdings, Cresco Labs and Origin House, and Tilray and Natura Naturals Holdings.

Another significant deal took place in the summer of 2019, when Cannex Capital Holdings merged with 4Front Holdings and created 4Front Ventures Corp. Before the merger, Cannex brands was one of the top flower and infused brands in Washington state, and 4Front had won dozens of licenses in North America and South America. The merged entity believes its vertically integrated, scalable business strategy will be a recipe for success in a hyper-competitive space that suffered a market-crash-induced reality check in 2019.

While many MSOs are struggling to meet their debt payments, much less turn a profit, Krane said 4Front is in a solid position because it didn’t expand too fast or spread itself too thin in an industry where “vertically integrated” conventionally has been considered a winning business strategy.

“I think we need to be focused right now on the projects and the assets that are going to drive revenue and will get us profitability quickly,” Krane said. “We were more cautious, and as a result don’t have a ton of unfunded assets. We’re in a fairly rare place in the cannabis industry. Our big focus is getting ourselves to profitability by third quarter of this year, and we have a solid plan to get ourselves there. It’s going to involve a real focus on low-cost production at scale, on really nailing operations in markets we’re currently in. Once we get there, then we can spend our time focusing on expansion.”

Kris-Krane-4Front-Ventures-John-Taylor-Photography-2-mg-magazine-mgretailer-cannabis-news
Image: John Taylor / Instagram.com/iamjtphoto2.

After the merger, 4Front continued to build its operations across the board and has expanded its retail footprint with Mission-branded stores across eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. In 2020, the company will break into the California market in a big way with a 200,000-square-foot processing facility in the southern part of the state, ramp up its cultivation capacity in Michigan, and add new retail operations in Pennsylvania and more production in Arizona.

These are busy and sometimes hectic times for Krane, but he genuinely seems to enjoy the multi-tasking and 24/7 dedication required to excel in one of the most competitive new industries on the planet. 4Front is in the process of introducing about twenty different brands and 300 SKUs established in Washington to other markets, starting with Massachusetts, Illinois, and California.

“We think we’re going to be able to produce more efficiently than anybody’s been producing in California and really undercut pricing in the edibles market particularly,” he said. “We’re already the most efficient processor and producer in Washington, and this new facility [in California] should allow us to improve our efficiency even more.”

Humble beginnings

Activists and veterans of the medical cannabis world often complain too many of the large operators in today’s industry are controlled by investors and outsiders who had little or nothing to do with the movement to legalize the plant. Newcomers didn’t experience the industry’s growing pains or the perils of operating a business in the gray market. In this respect, Krane is an exception to the rule.

While he was growing up in New York City—during the height of the “war on drugs” when programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) were common—his father had a rare form of emphysema that he treated using cannabis, which relieved his symptoms and helped him breathe more easily. His father eventually succumbed to the disease, but the experience left Krane with a deep-seated skepticism about anti-cannabis propaganda.

In college, he became an activist for drug policy reform at NORML, where he served as associate director from 2000 to 2005. From 2006 to 2009, he served as executive director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy, growing the organization into one of the largest reform groups in the U.S.

After working for a decade on policy reform at nonprofits, Krane realized the private sector would be the next reform mechanism, so he moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 2009 to work with Steve DeAngelo, pioneering founder of Harborside dispensary in Oakland, California. With DeAngelo, Krane started a consulting business that developed operating guidelines and other intellectual property to help operators around the country run professional, compliant dispensaries.

“In the beginning, we were really focused on consulting, and we were not really comfortable touching the plant at that point,” Krane said. “We also wanted to have a sort of front-row seat to what was going on in the entire industry, and it was easier for us to do that by consulting with folks in multiple states.”

In 2011, he met investor Josh Rosen, who provided seed capital for 4Front Advisors. Rosen joined the executive team full time in 2014, when 4Front began exploring beyond consulting. He now serves as executive chairman.

“For a long time when we were thinking about initially developing our retail brand, our philosophy was that we need to help professionalize the industry and the cannabis retail experience, because that’s what will help people get comfortable with it and lead to an end of prohibition,” Krane said. “I think we’re at a point now in the industry where most of the big players run professional retail stores, so running a really good professional retail environment is no longer a differentiator.”

Retail activism

One of the priorities in 4Front’s retail plan is to incorporate activism into the shopping experience. Using a model pioneered by Harborside and Berkeley Patients Group, 4Front’s Mission stores encourage customers to engage in direct advocacy work, such as writing letters to politicians or contacting prisoners convicted and jailed during the war on drugs. Mission stores offer incentives for advocacy work by bestowing rewards points redeemable for products. “If somebody wants to just come in and buy cannabis, they don’t have to engage in any of this other stuff,” Krane said. “But it’s there, and we think that will create some goodwill.”

Chicago’s Mission dispensary is on the south side of the city, in a historically African American neighborhood that was ground zero during the drug war. The store offers the community a wide range of products in one of the most promising new markets in the U.S. Krane, who lives in Chicago, wants to make sure all the company’s retail outlets provide a historical perspective on the cannabis movement and encourage customers to get involved.

“We want our brand to reflect our advocacy roots and give people an opportunity to learn about the history of cannabis prohibition,” he said. “That’s who we are, and I think that can be a differentiator for us in terms of people feeling really good about shopping in a Mission store. They know we’re a mission-driven company and we’re not just about selling cannabis, but we are about something bigger. We do great work and hire good people who volunteer their time in their communities and also partner with advocacy groups and help raise money for them.”

Kris-Krane-4Front-Ventures-John-Taylor-Photography-3-mg-magazine-mgretailer-cannabis-news
Image: John Taylor / Instagram.com/iamjtphoto2.

Krane believes every company will need to demonstrate a serious commitment to social equity moving forward. “Looking at social equity and licensing, legalization is largely being passed by state legislatures, and largely in the progressive states with really diverse legislative bodies, strong black and Latino caucuses,” he said. “These legislators are now much more educated on this issue, so you’re not going to be able to pass legalization in any of these states without really strong social equity components. That’s a trend we’re going to continue to see over the course of the next year or so.”

2020: betting on the bottom line

Before legalization, Krane consulted with companies that operated in the medicinal and gray markets. While some went on to become licensed and legal, others remained in the “traditional” space for a variety of reasons. In California, hundreds of retail and delivery businesses still operate without licenses, supplying a large percentage of the market with unlicensed products. Krane understands, on a very personal level, who the real competition is for legal operators across the U.S.

“When you look at the California market, the biggest competition right now is not necessarily other legal products. It’s the illicit market,” he said. “We think an incredibly important trend in the industry is helping to get that price point down to a place where the legal market could better compete with the illicit market. The only way you can effectively beat the illicit market is to have higher-quality, lower-priced legal products. So that’s been a focus of ours, and I think will be an increasing focus in the industry in general.”

He also said raising capital has become much more difficult over the past year, and 2020 will be a make-it-or-break-it year for companies large and small.

“Who can either be profitable or demonstrate a clear path to profitability? That’s what 2020 is all about,” he said. “In 2019 it was really all about [mergers and acquisitions] and who had the biggest license portfolios in the most states, and that’s what was driving value. I think those days are done, and now it’s really about business fundamentals, who has the best management teams, the best business plans, and generating real revenues.”

When he looks at his own company’s profit-and-loss statements, burn rate, and forecasts, he likes what he sees, for the most part. Streamlining operations and generating revenue is the focus this year, he said.

Impact of COVID-19

Krane believes the COVID-19 pandemic will precipitate some dramatic and long-lasting effects with both economic and cultural ramifications.

“It’s going be harder for cannabis and some other businesses to stay afloat and harder for employees,” he predicted. “There’s no cannabis industry bailout coming, and even the [paid time off] and insurance protections that are being put in place by the federal government are probably not going to apply to cannabis businesses because we’re federally illegal.”

“We’ve always talked about cash as a security issue. Well, now it’s also a public health issue.”

On the upside, he sees the crisis as yet another reason to push for banking reform. An industry that operates in cash up and down the supply chain is a perfect vector for contagion. “The federally illegal status of [the industry] not only puts businesses at greater risk, but actually puts patients and consumers at greater risk because of cash,” Krane said. “Everybody coming into the stores and [the money has] been touched by lots of people, as opposed to being able to just put a credit card into a reader.

“We’ve always talked about cash as a security issue,” he added. “Well, now it’s also a public health issue.”

Krane also feels the virus will change the communal nature of cannabis culture. “There’s going to be a whole host of impacts on the consumer side,” he said. “I think cannabis consumption for the time being is going to have to look a little bit more like alcohol consumption, where people don’t share products. It has always been a really communal experience where you pass joints and you pass bowls, and you’re kind of expected to share as part of the experience. But now you have to get your own products and keep your stuff clean and disinfected.”

A big year for political reform

Krane has been involved in cannabis reform long enough to know all the major politicians’ views on the issues, and he’s cautiously optimistic Biden will support the industry if he is elected President. In addition, now that cannabis is treated as an “essential service” in many states and is gaining credibility across the country as a job creator and tax revenue generator, Krane believes the plant is on the verge of a nationwide embrace.

But not in 2020.

“The COVID-19 crisis has meaningfully reduced the number of states that are likely to legalize,” he said. “Due to a change in priorities, state legislatures have abandoned their legalization pushes as they focus on COVID relief, and some ballot initiatives will not qualify because advocates can’t collect the requisite signatures due to social distancing and shelter-in-place measures. While there will still be a number of initiatives in November, the overall number of states that are likely to pass legalization is much lower than was anticipated at the beginning of 2020.”

“Businesses that aren’t able to get themselves to break-even or cash flow profitability over the next few months and rely on investor money to cover overhead are probably going to have a hard time. I think we will see a number of companies go under in 2020, and I would not be surprised at all if you see some major MSO names in that mix.”

The year is shaping up to be a doozy at the federal level, though. “We had two enemies on the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress, certainly in the Senate, and that was Biden and Dianne Feinstein,” Krane said. “So, I’m not thrilled about Biden being the standard-bearer for those reasons, because he’s traditionally been about as bad as you can get on cannabis for a Democrat. That said, he has changed his tune quite a bit over the past couple of years.”

A Biden victory in November would owe much to African American voters, a community intensely interested in criminal justice reform and social equity. “It would be hard to see [Biden] advocating for draconian criminal justice policies at this point in his career,” Krane said. He also noted Biden has called for expungements and a decree saying states should be able to do what they want. “Those are really good things, and we should be hopeful about it,” Krane said. “The Democratic Party as a whole has moved really far on this issue, and the mainstream Democratic position is pro-legalization.”

Despite what happens on the legislative front, Krane said companies that want to survive during uncertain times need to focus on becoming profitable ASAP. He advised maintaining a laser focus on the bottom line.

“We’re really focused on our major projects, and we want to make sure we don’t need to raise a substantial amount of capital in order to get the cash flow positive by Q4,” he said. “If we can nail our timelines on these projects, which we’re on track for, we should be able to get there.” 

Source: https://mgretailer.com/business/4front-ventures-co-founder-kris-krane-is-most-at-home-in-uncharted-territory/

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Visit Cannabiz Media at CannaCon Midwest Chicago | Cannabiz Media

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CannaCon is coming to Chicago, Illinois from August 6-7, 2021, and Cannabiz Media will be there at Booth #705 on the expo floor! Our team had a great time at CannaCon Midwest Detroit in June, and everyone is looking forward to connecting with familiar and new faces in Chicago. 

Stop by Booth #705 to say hi and watch a demo of the latest and greatest Cannabiz Media License Database software.

CannaCon Midwest Chicago will feature more than 150 exhibitors and at least 20 educational seminars held at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The event will bring together cannabis industry professionals from the Midwest region of the country with tickets available for the expo and seminars or just the expo.

Educational Seminars at CannaCon Midwest Chicago

Seminars at the Chicago event will feature speakers from a variety of organizations, including Seed to Sale Funding, Allay Consulting, Grove Bags, GreenBroz, Agrify, Agro Lighting, Kush Masters, Specialty Testing Solutions, and more. 

The educational sessions will cover everything from seed to sale. Sessions are categorized as follows: Cultivation, Extraction, Processing, Retail, Business / Legal, Finance, Science / Genetics, Marketing and Branding, and Operations Management. All of the seminars announced so far are listed below by category:

Cultivation, Science / Genetics

  • Cannabis Ag-Tech Saves Food from Climate Change
  • Achieving Genetic Potential with Nutrition and Stress Mitigation
  • Getting the Most out of Your Cannabis Phenotype

Extraction

  • Profiting from Solventless: Tips and Tricks for Success (also in Marketing and Branding category)

Processing

  • Innovative Solventless Solution
  • Scaling Up Post-Harvest Processing with Automated Systems
  • Pre-Roll Industry Trends and Insights

Retail

  • The Changing Expectations of Dispensary Consumers

Business / Legal and Finance

  • Financing Your Cannabis Business
  • Cannabis License Opportunities in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Michigan in 2021
  • The Pot Brothers at Law
  • The Future of Indoor Cultivation
  • Life after SAFE Banking – Unlocking Payments, Lending, and Other Financial Services for Your Cannabis Business

Marketing and Branding

  • Modern Website Musts to Establish Credibility with Customers and Compete Online
  • Cannabis Packaging: Humble Beginnings to Global CPG (also in Operations Management category)

Operations Management

  • How to Level Up Your Cannabis Operations
  • Resident Analytical Insight in Cannabis Manufacturing
  • Introduction to Cannabis Testing
  • It’s Complicated: Workplace Safety in Cannabis

The conference will run from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on both Friday, August 6th and Saturday, August 7th, which gives attendees plenty of time to attend educational sessions, visit vendors on the expo floor, and network with other cannabis industry professionals.

Stop By Booth #705 and Visit the Cannabiz Media Team

Don’t be a stranger! If you’re attending CannaCon Midwest Chicago, stop by booth #705 to chat with the Cannabiz Media team and see the Cannabiz Media License Database in action.

Can’t attend CannaCon Midwest Chicago? No worries! Schedule an online demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/visit-cannabiz-media-at-cannacon-midwest-chicago

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Visit Cannabiz Media at CannaCon Midwest Chicago | Cannabiz Media

Published

on

Be the first to know when new content like this is available!

Subscribe to our newsletter to get alerts about new posts, local news, and industry insights.

CannaCon is coming to Chicago, Illinois from August 6-7, 2021, and Cannabiz Media will be there at Booth #705 on the expo floor! Our team had a great time at CannaCon Midwest Detroit in June, and everyone is looking forward to connecting with familiar and new faces in Chicago. 

Stop by Booth #705 to say hi and watch a demo of the latest and greatest Cannabiz Media License Database software.

CannaCon Midwest Chicago will feature more than 150 exhibitors and at least 20 educational seminars held at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The event will bring together cannabis industry professionals from the Midwest region of the country with tickets available for the expo and seminars or just the expo.

Educational Seminars at CannaCon Midwest Chicago

Seminars at the Chicago event will feature speakers from a variety of organizations, including Seed to Sale Funding, Allay Consulting, Grove Bags, GreenBroz, Agrify, Agro Lighting, Kush Masters, Specialty Testing Solutions, and more. 

The educational sessions will cover everything from seed to sale. Sessions are categorized as follows: Cultivation, Extraction, Processing, Retail, Business / Legal, Finance, Science / Genetics, Marketing and Branding, and Operations Management. All of the seminars announced so far are listed below by category:

Cultivation, Science / Genetics

  • Cannabis Ag-Tech Saves Food from Climate Change
  • Achieving Genetic Potential with Nutrition and Stress Mitigation
  • Getting the Most out of Your Cannabis Phenotype

Extraction

  • Profiting from Solventless: Tips and Tricks for Success (also in Marketing and Branding category)

Processing

  • Innovative Solventless Solution
  • Scaling Up Post-Harvest Processing with Automated Systems
  • Pre-Roll Industry Trends and Insights

Retail

  • The Changing Expectations of Dispensary Consumers

Business / Legal and Finance

  • Financing Your Cannabis Business
  • Cannabis License Opportunities in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Michigan in 2021
  • The Pot Brothers at Law
  • The Future of Indoor Cultivation
  • Life after SAFE Banking – Unlocking Payments, Lending, and Other Financial Services for Your Cannabis Business

Marketing and Branding

  • Modern Website Musts to Establish Credibility with Customers and Compete Online
  • Cannabis Packaging: Humble Beginnings to Global CPG (also in Operations Management category)

Operations Management

  • How to Level Up Your Cannabis Operations
  • Resident Analytical Insight in Cannabis Manufacturing
  • Introduction to Cannabis Testing
  • It’s Complicated: Workplace Safety in Cannabis

The conference will run from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on both Friday, August 6th and Saturday, August 7th, which gives attendees plenty of time to attend educational sessions, visit vendors on the expo floor, and network with other cannabis industry professionals.

Stop By Booth #705 and Visit the Cannabiz Media Team

Don’t be a stranger! If you’re attending CannaCon Midwest Chicago, stop by booth #705 to chat with the Cannabiz Media team and see the Cannabiz Media License Database in action.

Can’t attend CannaCon Midwest Chicago? No worries! Schedule an online demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/visit-cannabiz-media-at-cannacon-midwest-chicago

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How to Learn about State Cannabis Laws and Licensing Rules | Cannabiz Media

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Keeping up with changing cannabis industry news is easy when you read and listen to the right cannabis websites, blogs, newsletters, and podcasts, but what about learning the laws and regulations that are unique to each state? Where do you go to get current cannabis licensing rules?

Fortunately, there are a number of websites that keep updated information about state cannabis laws and rules. That means you don’t necessarily have to visit each state’s regulatory websites and read through pages and pages of legal code to get the information you need. 

Some of the go-to sources for finding the information you need about cannabis laws and licensing rules are shared below.

National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) State-by-State Policies

NCIA has dedicated an entire section of its website to providing timely information about cannabis industry laws across the United States. NCIA’s State-by-State Policies page is easy to navigate with a U.S. map that shows which states have approved cannabis for medical and/or recreational use as well as which states only allow limited use of cannabis (this typically refers to low-THC, CBD-only products).

When you select a state on NCIA’s map, you can click to view more comprehensive details about the state’s legal cannabis program. Most of the information focuses on business laws and licensing rules. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Annual sales volumes (past and projected)
  • Number of dispensaries, manufacturers, cultivators, and testing labs allowed
  • License types
  • Licensing fees
  • Licensee residency requirements
  • Vertical integration rules
  • And more

The data is compiled by NCIA’s employees and comes from sources like BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research – two recognized companies in the cannabis industry.

NORML State Laws

NORML offers a robust State Laws section on its website where laws in all 50 states can be accessed by clicking on each state on the U.S. map. Once you’ve opened a state’s data, you’ll find information about cannabis laws and penalties for individuals, including laws related to possession, cultivation, sale or delivery, hash and concentrates, paraphernalia, and more. Individuals can also find information about state-by-state impaired driving laws, expungement, legalization, medical marijuana, and more.

Some business-related rules can be found in the medical marijuana section for states that have approved medical cannabis programs in operation. This information includes details about:

  • When the state’s medical cannabis law was signed
  • If the state’s medical cannabis program is operational
  • If state licensed dispensaries are allowed
  • If state licensed dispensaries are operational
  • If reciprocity is allowed
  • Estimated number of registered patients
  • Qualifying conditions
  • Caregivers
  • Home cultivation
  • Possession limits

In addition, the medical marijuana information includes source information from various state laws, so you can easily find and read those statutes to learn more.

Marijuana Policy Project

Marijuana Policy Project’s State Policy page includes a map that makes it easy to see which states have legalized different types of cannabis use and possession. States are color-coded to show you which of the following categories they fall in:

  • States with medical marijuana laws
  • States that have removed jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana
  • States that have a medical marijuana law and have removed jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana
  • States where marijuana is legal for adults and is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol; the state also has a medical marijuana law
  • Marijuana is legal for adults (no sales); the state also has a medical marijuana law

Unlike the NCIA and NORML resources discussed above, you won’t find a list of specific rules when you click on a state in the U.S. map on Marijuana Policy Project’s State Policy page. 

Instead, you’ll see a reverse-chronological order series of articles that provide updates on significant regulatory changes affecting that state’s cannabis program. When you scroll down past the articles, you’ll find a list of the state’s cannabis-related bills with brief descriptions and links to view the full bills.

Key Takeaways about Resources for Cannabis Laws and Licensing Rules

There is no single source to get current information on all states’ cannabis laws and licensing rules. Instead, you’ll likely have to use multiple sites and resources to get all of the information you need. However, the three sites above provide great places to start your research.

If you’re looking for information about specific cannabis or hemp license holders in the United States, Canada, or international markets, you can get all of that data and more by subscribing to the Cannabiz Media License Database. Schedule a demo and see how it can help you build your business by connecting with license holders who need the products and services you supply.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/how-to-learn-about-state-cannabis-laws-and-licensing-rules

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THCV From Cannabis Might Be Best Bet For Treating Diabetes

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The diabetes issue is one of the many growing health problems in the US, and beyond, spurred on, no doubt, by modern food systems, and generally unhealthy lifestyles. Though taking a medication will never take the place of healthy living behaviors, cannabis compound THCV might be the best bet for treating the symptoms of diabetes.

For those with weight issues, using THCV for help with diabetes symptoms, might be the best bet. Cannabis and Hemp provides tons of useful medical and recreational compounds like THCV, Delta 10, THC-O and Delta-8 THC. This alternate form of THC produces less psychoactive effect, less couch locking, and less anxiety, while providing nearly all the benefits of delta-9. We believe in making sure people get the products they need. Take a look at our selection of Delta-8 THC products, as well as THCV, and many more compounds, to find the right product for you.

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes, technically called diabetes mellitus, is an entire grouping of metabolic disorders that relate to elevated blood sugar levels over time, and a lack of insulin. Diabetes is the root of many other health issues, and when left untreated, can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, the need to amputate body parts, and even death. Here are the different kinds of diabetes, though all types deal with the inability to produce enough insulin, or the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.

  • Type I – Often known as ‘juvenile diabetes’, this type of diabetes is a result of an autoimmune response which causes the death of beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are responsible for synthesizing and secreting insulin, which means in these cases, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, and those with this disorder require insulin from outside in order to survive. Why the autoimmune response happens that causes the loss of beta cells, is unknown. This type of diabetes is often referred to as ‘insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus’.
  • Type II – Often called ‘adult-onset diabetes’, this disorder has to do with insulin resistance, in which case cells don’t respond to the insulin around them appropriately. Progression of type II diabetes can lead to a lack of insulin overall. This type of diabetes is generally caused by being overweight or not getting enough exercise (or a combination of the two.) Since it doesn’t relate to an actual inability of the body to produce insulin, its called ‘non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus’.

What is THCV?

At this point, whether a person agrees or not, it should be well understood that the cannabis plant is being looked to as a remedy for a number of different health concerns, with varying amounts of research, historical evidence, and anecdotal data to back up claims. But this doesn’t mean every part of the plant is good for everything, and sometimes it takes researching different compounds within a plant to establish which parts can be beneficial, and for what.

As it turns out, one of the newer cannabinoids to make headlines recently, and enter into the unregulated cannabis market of America, is THCV. So, what is this compound? THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin, and it’s a homologue of delta-9 THC. This means it differs from delta-9 in terms of a repeating unit, but is otherwise the same. In this case it has to do with propyl side chains. Delta-9 has three carbon atom side chain, whereas THCV has a five carbon atom chain. This difference in the number of carbon atoms in the chain, makes for two compounds which a body responds to differently. THCV is a CB1 antagonist, and a CB2 partial agonist. This means, it disrupts – or interferes with – actions at the CB1 receptors, and binds to CB2 receptors where it can activate it, but not fully. In contrast, delta-9 is a CB1 agonist.

THCV does not start as THCA – like delta-9, but rather has a precursor of CBGVA (cannabigerovarin acid). This then breaks down to THCVA (tetrahydrocannabivarin carboxylic acid), which is then decarboxylated to form THCV.

Cannabis & THCV for diabetes

There are a couple things about THCV that make it a possible answer for the growing diabetes problem. The first thing about THCV is that it can effect appetite. Most of us are aware of the phenomenon of ‘munchies’ whereby you smoke a little pot and then get insanely hungry, sometimes to ridiculous and inhuman levels. This effect can often cause people to overeat, because the delta-9 THC is acting as an agonist at the CB1 receptor.

Conversely, THCV is an antagonist at the CB1 receptor, and has shown to reduce hunger, thereby reducing food intake (or the desire for food intake). While it hasn’t undergone testing in humans, it has shown hypophagia effects in mice, meaning it can suppress appetite and food intake. This was true in mice that had, and had not, eaten. It was found in this study: Synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non-fasted mice, that food suppression continued for 6-8 hours after administration, with the same results for four days straight.

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No rebound effect was noticed, meaning the animals went back to their regular feeding routine by the next day. It was found however, that when a THCV-rich extract was used (as opposed to pure THCV), the hunger and food intake suppression didn’t happen, which the scientists expect might have been because of residual amounts of delta-9, which impacted the THCV’s ability to work.

THCV has shown yet another useful property for dealing with diabetes, particularly as it relates to obesity. THCV seems to have properties that can help with the glucose intolerance often experienced by obese people. Once again done with mouse models, this study: The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity highlights how THCV can affect insulin resistance.

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Why do we care if THCV is good for treating diabetes?

To give an idea of why this condition deserves some extra attention, according to the World Health Organization:

  • The number of worldwide diabetes cases rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Considering that obesity levels have increased threefold since 1975 on a global level, with a staggering 42.4% of the US population weighing in at obese levels in 2017-2018, the expected number of diabetes cases will only rise from here.
  • There was a 5% increase in premature death rates between 2000-2016 due to diabetes.
  • In 2019 alone, there were approximately 1.5 million deaths directly related to diabetes.
  • In 2012 alone, 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood sugar levels.

When looking just at the US, according to diabetes.org:

  • As of 2018 numbers, about 10.5% of the US population has diabetes, which equals about 34.2 million people. Of these cases, only 1.6 million relate to type I diabetes, and the rest denote cases that exist purely because of bad health issues.
  • Only about 26.8 million of the previous number have been diagnosed. The rest are undiagnosed cases.
  • There are approximately 1.5 million new diagnosed cases per year.
  • As of 2015, 88 million people in America have prediabetes.
  • In 2017, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the US, accounting for 83,564 deaths where diabetes was named as an underlying factor on the death certificate, and a total of 270,702 death certificates that year which mentioned diabetes as a cause of death.
  • The previous bullet point only relates to reported diabetic deaths, whereas studies have found that as many as 60% of diabetic deaths may never be attributed properly to the disease, making it highly underreported.
  • The total cost of dealing with diagnosed diabetes is approximately $327 billion per year, based on numbers from 2017.

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Conclusion

That the world is getting fatter at break neck speeds is something we all kind of know. It’s everywhere around us. In the extra-large size clothing, in the horribly unhealthy food (and increasingly large portions of it), in the lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyles, and in the expanding waistlines that just seem to expand out further.

Technically, we don’t need a cannabis compound, we need to eat better and exercise more. But people don’t always have the time or education be as healthy as they should, and for this reason, having something that can aid those having issues, becomes more crucial. In a better world, we’d make sure people were actually taking care of themselves appropriately. In this one, we’re lucky to have cannabis compounds like THCV, which offer help for those suffering from ailments like diabetes.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your best online location for the most relevant and interesting cannabis-related news from around the globe. Give us a read-thru every day to stay on top of the ever-changing universe of legal cannabis, and sign up to get our newsletter, so you always know what’s going on.

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Source: https://cbdtesters.co/2021/07/26/thcv-from-cannabis-might-be-best-bet-for-treating-diabetes/

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