CBD on a log, CBD for your dog…

June 3, 2019

Today, bio-burrito-droids are on the rise, while ATMs in the Scottish countryside are close to demise, but first…
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The FDA held its first CBD hearing last Friday

On Friday, the FDA held its first hearing with manufacturers and scientists to learn more about the possible impacts of long-term CBD use.

Manufacturers urged the FDA to set up a regulatory framework to legally add CBD to food products and dietary supplements, suggesting that the longer the FDA waffles, the more nefarious manufacturing practices become.

But the FDA insists that “critical questions” remain about the safety of cannabis-related products. In other words, they want some hard evidence before giving it the FDA stamp of approval.

The FDA’s consensus: More research

Cannabis-related products have shot from a proverbial cannon into the mainstream, flooding the market with health claims including pain relief, immune function, and anxiety and depression.

What’s more impressive, though, is how limited the research is corroborating these health benefits (see Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece).

In the hearing, regulators requested data on how companies develop dosage recommendations, as on CBD’s benefits for both humans and animals.

Data no one could provide…

When asked the functional purpose of adding CBD to beauty products, James Shults of Wildflower (which sells CBD-infused soaps and topicals) told panelists that it’s based on the “opinion of the consumer” — Uhhhhhh.

“The theme of the day is data, specifically about dosage, interactions and why are you putting this in products, and unfortunately, I don’t think anybody is giving good answers,” Jonathan Havens, co-chair of the cannabis law practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, told CNBC.

The brainiacs have spoken 

Scientists continue to be neutral observers, warning regulators how little they know about CBD, while also confirming the importance of regulations to keep bad actors at bay.

“If you’re talking about putting some CBD salve on an elbow, maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t. We don’t know,” Igor Grant, a cannabis researcher at UC San Diego, told regulators.

   @ Me Anything
Wes Schlagenhauf, News Writer at The Hustle

Seriously, why is there CBD in makeup?? Weed is tight. But if companies are going to use it to profit, it’s time to prove that the miracle drug actually does what we think it does.
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Human-guided burrito bots raise questions about the future of robo-delivery

Kiwibots — rolling robots that deliver burritos and smoothies — have become a fixture on UC Berkeley’s campus thanks to their creepy-cute “faces” and low delivery prices.

But while the robots appear to be autonomous, the San Francisco Chronicle reports they’re actually operated by remote workers in Colombia who make $2 an hour.

The bodies behind the bots

Kiwi Campus’ technology page shows several videos of Kiwibots using complex-looking computer vision to cross streets and identify obstacles.

But the site doesn’t show the remote workers who use GPS and cameras to send the robots instructions every 5-10 seconds.

Since Kiwibots also max out at 1.5 mph, they also rely on flesh-and-bone humans to pick up food in town and bring it to them on campus — where the bots, on average, transport the food only 200 meters.

Will the robots ever lose their human training wheels?

Kiwi Campus insists its robots are more than remote-control cars carrying Chipotle, calling its system “parallel autonomy.” 

But Kiwi’s business model would be strained without human hands — it’s cheaper to pay people $2/hour than build a cutting-edge Lidar system.

Many analysts are unconvinced autonomous delivery bots will ever be financially feasible — anywhere outside of controlled campuses, that is.

» Just roll with it

A frantic fleet of ATMs-on-wheels is trying to stop Scotland’s bank-pocalypse

The number of bank branches in Scotland has fallen from 18k to less than 8k, and cash-crazed customers are starting to get cantankerous.

To address the shortage, banks are building automated teller-mobiles that drive around the countryside offering angry Scots a way to withdraw cash — for as few as 30 minutes a week.

The Scottish cash crash

Last year, 460 Scottish ATMs disappeared each month as banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays scaled back physical infrastructure to compete with digital-only banks like Monzo, Revolut, and Starling — leaving 1.5k formerly bank-filled towns bank-less.

But Scottish customers — particularly older people in rural areas — didn’t adopt online banking alternatives as quickly as expected, and when they were suddenly forced to travel 2 hours to get to an ATM, they got cranky.

Now, people rely on ‘banks on wheels’…

But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. 

When armored, Wi-Fi-enabled RBS bank-mobiles visit rural towns, angry Scottish grandmas and peeved pub owners routinely curse out the cash carriers.

But, for now, the cash trucks are needed to cater to the bill-and-coin crowd — which still accounts for 38% of the UK’s population.

» 2019’s Braveheart

The American bread industry uses additives that many countries have banned

Over the last decade the US has taken strides to catch up to the rest of the world making healthier bread. 

But the sexy side of baked goods continues to stick with many fillers and whiteners that are probably unchill to the human system — but great for yoga mats, pesticides, hair straighteners, explosives and petroleum products.

Will you be my bromate?

According to the Guardian, American white bread uses optional dough whiteners, conditioners and rising agents that aren’t necessarily harmful to human health, but most likely will bore a metaphorical hole through your gullet as they pass through your mouthhole… potentially.

Potassium bromate, an agent that helps bread rise, has been linked to kidney and thyroid cancers in rodents — yeah, but it’s delicious (no, no, bad!).

Conagra Brands says they intend to phase out potassium bromate in their chicken pot pies… yeah — not yet, but soooon.

Basically what the US does, do the opposite

The US bakery industry is huge business for sure, making up 2.1% of the GDP, yet other countries like China, Brazil and members of the EU have outlawed potassium bromate and several other agents in all food.

India banned it in 2016, and the UK has forbidden it since 1990, but despite petitions from several advocacy groups — some decades old — the FDA still considers these to be “Gras” — which stands for Generally Recognized As Safe to eat. Of course, many experts call BS…


» Things are good

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