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Medical Cannabis: 2018 in Review

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Each year medical cannabis gains more popularity throughout the United States and beyond. In 2018 specifically, we saw huge cannabis industry expansion from newly legalized states and countries to innovative medical cannabis studies.

Here’s what we believe to be the top legislative news in international medical cannabis for 2018:


  • FDA Recognizes Epidiolex, a medical marijuana derivative of synthesized CBD (cannabidiol) recognized for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome for anyone over the age of 2. Read more from FDA…

  • Oklahoma becomes 30th state to legalize medical marijuana and could set the pace for other predominantly red states. Read more about Oklahoma…


  • Canada legalizes all marijuana consumption, both medical and recreational, which paves a new way for legalization. Most states typically move to legalize medical marijuana first, then pass recreational marijuana later. Read more about Canada…


  • Marijuana legalization becomes major platform for Government Official Elections across the board, both in local government elections and federal elections.

  • Jeff Sessions, Attorney General and well-known in the cannabis industry as the #1 federal anti-pot advocate, is ousted from public office.

  • Missouri and Utah legalize Medical Marijuana. Missouri had three different ballot options for legalization, while Utah will offer cannabis pharmacies that will be mostly state-run. Read more…


  • New Zealand legalizes Medical Marijuana and plans for recreational legalization for 2020. Keep Reading…

  • Thailand amends laws to allow Medical Marijuana with a license. In a country where you can get a life sentence in jail for smoking a cigarette in the wrong place, the passing of this marijuana licensing paves a new path for new medical benefits in Thailand. Read more about Thailand…

  • Israel’s Parliament unanimously votes yes for medical marijuana exportation with a permit. Read about Israel’s Decision…

  • South Korea amended the Narcotics Control Act which will allow limited access to medical marijuana. Keep reading about South Korea…

Medical Studies 2018

Medical News Today dives into large overview on potential medical marijuana benefits for chronic pain and comparisons on CBD and THC. Read the overview here…

Keeping up with the age of technology. Recently a cellphone App, Releaf, was launched to document common medical issues and severity of symptoms before and after medical marijuana use. This is new technology and could help with more accurate reporting for medical marijuana effects. Many consumers use medical marijuana but are afraid to speak to their doctors and physicians about their use for fear of criticism. This app allows for in-home use and personal monitoring for each individual user. Two studies were brought about through the app: Raw Cannabis & Insomnia and Symptom Relief Following Cannabis Use. With the insomnia study, there was an average of 3-4 point reduction (on a scale of 1-10) for insomnia & insomnia-related effects with minimal negative side effects. The second study was much wider, tracking the side effects of 27 different health conditions. Overall, 94% of participants saw a reduced intensity in their conditions after medical marijuana use.

Another unique study showed a strong correlation between medical cannabis dispensary openings and lower opioid prescriptions filled. This compared medical dispensaries in legal states with the average opioid prescription fill rates. On average, states with medical dispensaries saw a daily reduction of 15-20% for hydrocodone & morphine prescriptions filled.

We can all agree that medical cannabis in Denver and throughout the world gained speed in 2018. All of us at Standing Akimbo cannot wait to see what 2019 brings for our favorite plant! Cheers 2018, see you all in 2019!

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