For much of the past year, the threat of the COVID-19 virus has overshadowed one obvious fact: the major cause of death in America traditionally has been heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 655,381 U.S. citizens died in 2018 from heart ailments (edging out cancer, which placed second at 599,274).

And when it comes to heart problems, many experts in the health field blame refined sugar as a major cause.

“(O)ne area that may surprise many men is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health,” said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Speaking to the Harvard Medical School newsletter, Harvard Health Publishing, he added, “Excess sugar’s impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented.”

In a 15-year study, published in 2014, Hu and a team of colleagues discovered that those who consumed between 17 and 21 percent of their calories from added sugar had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who consumed 8 percent or less.

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We all know about delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. Recently, delta-8 THC started making a strong impression as an alternate form of THC, with slightly different benefits. We even know there’s a delta-10 THC. So, how many THCs are there out there, and how are they similar?

Well, it’s finally happening, the new vape ban will stop retailers from being able to send vape products through the mail in the US. Luckily, you can still pick up products in dispensaries, and you can still order until the ban starts. Just a few days left, so check out these great Delta-8 THC deals before we can’t send them out to you anymore!

Delta-9 and delta-8 THC

The first guy to synthesize THC was chemist Roger Adams. He was the first to identify the compound in the 1940’s, although he was not able to isolate it. This was done in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam and his team, although Adams was the first to isolate CBD. Mechoulam was able to benefit from Israel’s less restrictive cannabis research laws. He and his team wanted to figure out what it was in Indian hash that was making people act so intoxicated.

The answer, he found, was THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. To be more specific, he isolated the most common form of THC found in cannabis plants, delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC itself does not actually exist heavily in any cannabis plant, but is instead produced from THCA which decarboxylates (generally through sun exposure or heat) to become delta-9 THC. It was learned in the 1940’s that there were many different forms of THC, although how many THCs can be created, was a mystery (and still is).

In the last year or so, another form of THC has been getting more popular, partially due to the 2018 US Farm Bill which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp for certain purposes. As a form of THC which does not exist in large enough amounts on its own, delta-8 THC requires being sourced from delta-9 THC. It’s formed through an oxidation process, which results in a compound that has shown in testing to have less psychoactive response, to produce less associated anxiety and panic symptoms, to be effective for use with nausea and vomiting due to illness and treatments, and which, due to the oxidation process, is actually more stable over time than delta-9.

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One of the terms that is often used in the cannabis industry is “purity.” From a scientific perspective though, purity doesn’t actually have a lot of meaning; it simply implies that a substance is free of contaminants. And when it comes to a regulated consumable product like cannabis, that’s really a no-brainer.

When many people discuss purity in cannabis, they’re often talking about the more complete makeup of the plant or product. Making sure the contaminants are below a safe and acceptable level is part of the story, but the ideal goal is to have full knowledge of all the compounds that are present in a cannabis sample. This includes THC and CBD, as well as dozens of other molecules that must be tested and measured. After all, people deserve to know what they are putting into their bodies. This is where advanced analytical testing comes in.

To get this comprehensive view, a sample goes through a series of tests to provide the necessary data. It’s a complicated and highly scientific procedure — those who aren’t familiar with cannabis testing are often surprised to find how closely it resembles standard pharmaceutical work, with measures in place to protect sample quality and built-in procedures to validate the results.

All of this testing falls into two main categories: testing for safety and testing for efficacy. There are different tests for unprocessed cannabis and for the products (isolates and distillates) derived from cannabis, and these tests should happen at every step of the cannabis production lifecycle in order to protect the consumer and ensure a quality product.

Testing purity to ensure safety

Cannabis is an agricultural product and ensuring purity of the plant material shares a lot of similarities with the tests performed on any consumable agricultural product. The main priority is to make sure it’s safe to consume.

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Delta 8 THC is a shelf-stable, mildly psychoactive, minor cannabinoid that has been quickly gaining popularity over the last couple years. Also climbing into the mainstream are products made with cannabis distillates, which allow for incredibly potent products with accurate dosing. When combined – Delta 8 THC Distillate – we have a powerhouse product that’s full of therapeutic benefits and steadily flying off the shelves.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Before we talk about the medical benefits of this cannabinoid, let’s talk about what exactly Delta 8 THC is, and how it’s different from the more well-known, Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring, minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Although it’s structurally similar to Delta 9 THC, there are some major differences as well.

For example, Delta 9 THC is the cannabis plant’s most abundant psychoactive compound, whereas Delta 8 is only found in trace amounts. As a matter of fact, Delta 8 is not even produced by the enzymes in cannabis, rather, it is created when Delta 9 THC oxidizes and slowly degrades into Delta 8. Further degradation of Delta 9 would create the cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol).  

When it comes to the chemical difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9, it all comes down to one molecule. In chemistry, “Delta” refers to the double bond in a compound’s molecular structure. Delta compounds have more electrons and will interact with the body in a different way than single bond cannabinoids. The difference between the Delta THC analogues comes down to where the double bond is located on their chain of carbon atoms. Delta 9 has this bond on the 9th carbon chain, and Delta 8 THC has the double bond on the 8th carbon chain. It seems like a small difference, but it can be significant.

Similar to its more dominant counterpart, Delta 8 THC is a partial agonist for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, although it seems to have a stronger affinity for CB1. This means there are effects to be felt in numerous different parts of the body, despite having weaker psychotropic potency. The National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) describes delta-8 THC as follows: “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

What Medical Conditions Could Be Treated With Delta 8 THC

Insomnia

Inadequate sleep can have a profound impact on one’s health. In the short-term, it can affect mood and judgement, the ability to learn and retain information, and it can increase the possibility of an immediate accident or injury. Over a longer period of time, lack of sleep can lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even early death.

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The enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) and the legalization of hemp and hemp derivatives, including cannabidiol (CBD), has led to a massive CBD craze in the Yes, workout clothes!) According to a 2019 study conducted by Cowen Research, the sales of these products are expected to reach $16 billion by 2025.

Yet, the potential of hemp lays beyond CBD. Indeed, as the market becomes saturated, and the value of hemp and CBD declines (the aggregate price of hemp biomass dropped by 79% from April 2019 to April 2020), U.S. companies will need to — and should — turn to other product offerings.

The good news is that they need not look far. The hemp plant is an underappreciated and high-value crop used in a wide range of products and product types, ranging from food, textile, automotive parts, and construction supplies, just to name a few.

Virtually every part of the hemp plant has a purpose.

Hemp seeds are rich in protein, fiber, omega-3 fats and other essential nutrients and vitamins, and can also be ground into flour.

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On March 17, the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that it has invested over $8.5 million in funding for 29 research and extension grants. 

"These grants are part of NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and include some projects co-funded by commodity boards through a Farm Bill provision by the American Pulse Association and The Cotton Board,” the organization stated in a news release. 

Out of the 29 funded projects, two of them are geared towards the hemp industry.

According to the release, nearly $300,000 will be awarded to Colorado State University for "Diversity, Distribution and Host Resistance to Emerging Viruses and Viroids of Hemp."

Additionally, the NIFA will also provide nearly $300,000 to Oregon State University for "Feeding Spent Hemp Biomass to Cattle: Cannabinoid Residuals, Animal Health, and Product Quality."

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It’s great to see increasing attention being paid to the potential for using hemp waste as livestock feed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently awarded nearly $300,000 to Oregon State University to fund research into feeding spent hemp biomass to cattle.

The research aims to see the safe use of hemp byproducts as stock feed, taking advantage of their nutritional and potential medicinal properties to improve animal health and product quality.

Feeding hemp products to livestock remains banned in many parts of the world due to concerns regarding the potential of cannabinoids such as THC accumulating in meat and milk. While it shouldn’t be a problem given that hemp by legal definition contains very low levels of THC, this  needs to be scientifically proven.

The team’s bid was backed by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkle, both of whom played a role in legalizing industrial hemp at a federal level through the 2018 Farm Bill.

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Since Delta-10 THC is a specific form of THC, you can expect that consuming this variant of THC will give you some psychoactive high. But not as much as other strains.

Sure, you’ve heard of other cannabinoids and compounds that are quickly gaining popularity these days. But what about Delta-10 THC?

The spotlight isn’t on just THC and CBD anymore, folks. There’s so much more to the world of cannabis than these two primary compounds. But today we’re going to talk about Delta-10 THC, and why we think it could be the future of cannabis.

What is Delta-10 THC?

Delta-10 THC is the molecular sibling of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. However, it’s not a naturally occurring compound in cannabis. Unlike its other siblings, it appears in such minute amounts that consciously extracting it from hemp or cannabis strains would take you a serious amount of time and effort. In many cases, Delta-10 can be so elusive that it’s not uncommon for scientists and laboratories to still mistake it for other compounds when they check for it using High Performance Liquid Chromatography, which is the standard for compound testing, explains Extraction Magazine.

How was Delta-10 THC discovered?

Delta-10 THC was actually discovered accidentally by a cannabis company in California called Fusion Farms. They bought some outdoor cannabis for the production of concentrates. However, there was an onslaught of wildfires in California, and unbeknownst to them at the time, they purchased cannabis biomass that was already contaminated with fire retardant.

Cannabis testing

CBD bioavailability measures how well and how quickly your body absorbs a substance. But many oral CBD products —like capsules, gummies, or oils you add to your morning coffee or mix into a smoothie—are notorious for having low or unpredictable bioavailability. That's because CBD is an oily substance: Our bodies are around 60 percent water, and oil and water don't mix. One report estimates that the bioavailability of CBD oil is as little as 6 percent. In other words, when we take CBD oil, as much as 94 percent of it might not be absorbed.

Bioavailability solves this problem. When you ingest something that's highly bioavailable, you're absorbing all of it—or nearly all. That's why with so many forms of CBD to choose from, you'll get the most value when you pick the form that's most bioavailable. 

CBD pharmacokinetics

To understand a product's bioavailability, you need to apply Pharmacokinetics (PK)—the science of tracing the path bioactive substances (like CBD) take in the body. It reveals the differences between what we consume, what we absorb, what we excrete, and the rate and efficiency of absorption. 

Many CBD products make claims to "high bioavailability" or "better absorption" based on studies with lab animals or extrapolate from research conducted with similar, non-cannabinoid substances like curcumin (turmeric). But humans are not lab rats, and intrapersonal variability of absorption is varied enough as is. 

In 2021, researchers from Colorado State University published the first-ever human clinical study of commercially available CBD products in the medical journal Pharmaceuticals special issue. The study was a breakthrough in our understanding of the pharmacokinetics of CBD. Researchers followed rigorous protocols: The study was double-blind, meaning neither the researchers nor the subjects knew which products they were being given. It also used a crossover design. Each participant received each product in random order, and each served as their control, ensuring that the results accounted for the differences in people's body chemistries.

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When California first passed Proposition 64 legalizing recreational cannabis, voters waited in eager anticipation for natural, quality products to purchase.

What they found instead was 84.3% of sampled cannabis tested positive for pesticide residue. 

The research, conducted by Steep Hill Labs, Inc., further concluded that 65% of cannabis samples submitted to their lab contained Myclobutanil, a pesticide that when smoked or vaporized is converted to Hydrogen Cyanide.

As the name suggests, the chemical is extremely toxic for humans to ingest. 

Discoveries like these underscore the importance of lab testing requirements for cannabis operators.


It’s fascinating how people choose their cannabis products, especially terpenes and flower. It wasn’t that long ago when the only option was cannabis flower via a local unregulated dealer, and likely only one or two options were available at that. The “I will take what I can get” strains were the most popular because, well, that was all that was available.

Zoom forward to today, and cannabis is legally available in several markets for medical and/or adult-use purposes, and the options are staggering.

THC Hunting

Arguably, the most common factor for consumers and patients purchasing flower in legal markets is the THC level associated with the particular flower, rather than terpenes. Veteran consumers typically want the strongest THC flower available. For rookies and newbies, the opposite is often the case.

The problem with that method is that THC testing levels can be misleading. Many producers know that THC levels drive sales, so they will get multiple tests performed and go with whatever test result comes back with the greatest amount of THC, even if it’s not necessarily accurate.

Another popular method for selection is searching for specific strain names and/or indica, sativa, or hybrid designations. Those factors can also be misleading because of how much cannabis crops vary from grower to grower and harvest to harvest. A much more applicable set of criteria is becoming more popular at dispensaries, which is good news for patients and consumers.

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We're soon going to learn a whole lot about cannabis in California.

An often overlooked provision of California's landmark legalization measure — Proposition 64 — set aside funds for research grants to study the impacts of cannabis. Well, the Bureau of Cannabis Control recently announced that it is awarding nearly $30 million in grants of up to $2 million to a host of public universities across the state — including Humboldt State University — to study various aspects of cannabis, including public health, public safety and economic and environmental impacts.

"The research conducted through these public university grants will provide critical information for evaluating our legal cannabis system and its impacts," Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said in a press release. "This research will be a valuable tool to inform future cannabis policy in California."

Included in the grants are some massive studies. For example, the University of California at San Francisco received $2 million to conduct a "comprehensive analysis" of cannabis exposure on the developing brain, while UC Santa Barbara got $2 million to study the impacts of farm practices on the quantity, quality and toxicity of surface water emissions from cannabis cultivation sites. UC Davis, meanwhile, got $1 million to study cannabis use's impacts on early psychosis, while UCLA received $1 million to assess "the feasibility and consequences of implementing a cannabis potency tax in California" and UC Berkeley received $465,000 to explore issues surrounding tribal sovereignty over cannabis permitting on Native ancestral lands.

Closer to home, HSU received $183,000 to study the economic impact of cannabis legalization in rural Northern California. The study will be headed by Sonoma State University professor of economics Robert Eyler and done in collaboration with the Humboldt Business Development Center (HBDC) and the California Center for Rural Policy at HSU.

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All cannabis greenhouses take advantage of sunlight for plant growth, but building construction and climate control strategies can vary so much that some growers say that “if you visit one greenhouse, you have visited one greenhouse.” To optimize building systems for peak productivity, consider managing infiltration through building envelopes so cannabis can be sun-grown while photosynthesis can be optimized with active climate controls.

 

Seal the Envelope

Greenhouse construction materials range in performance, and influence how growers can control climates to maintain optimized environments for cannabis plant growth and development. The choices you make for building materials and controls strategies for sun-grown cannabis affect your ability to maximize yield and quality characteristics.

Greenhouse buildings are constructed in many different ways, and to describe them, it is useful to understand some building system terms. Thermal envelopes are sometimes referred to as a building’s skin, or shell; you can think of them like your greenhouse’s coat in the winter and sunscreen in the summer. Weatherization describes activities you can do to improve thermal envelopes. Weatherization activities include insulating , which minimize unwanted heat losses and gains, and air sealing, which reduces the infiltration of outside air. Insulation is rated using R-value (a higher value is better) or the U-value (the inverse of R-value, where a lower value is better). Air leakage from infiltration is rated using the number of air changes per hour (ACH, the volume of air moving through a greenhouse each hour described in terms of the size of your greenhouse) or CFMX, the cubic feet per minute at a pressure change of X Pascals (for example, CFM50 tests air leakage rates at a change in building pressure 50 Pa).

There are two major components to greenhouse envelope performance: external coverings and internal equipment. Greenhouse thermal envelope performance is dependent on the design and construction of the facility: building materials and their insulative quality, and the integrity of the envelope’s seal. Contact your local utilities and efficiency programs; air sealing and insulation projects may qualify for financial incentives in your region for new construction and retrofit projects.

Insulation

Greenhouse materials vary; popular covering types include rigid plastic, film plastic, and glass, and each can vary in cost, durability, light transmission, and insulation. Their insulative quality is dependent on the type of covering and its thickness. Rigid plastic products like polycarbonate, acrylic, and fiberglass are popular as they can feature multiple layers of walls which trap air for higher R-value. Film plastic is attractive due to its low cost, but provides no insulation. Some growers use two layers of film and inflate the house with a fan to maintain an air gap. Glass has varying insulation ratings, and can be very well sealed to the structure compared to plastic materials which experience high levels of thermal expansion, which increase infiltration.

Greenhouse Systems Pyramid

The future is bright for the expanding herb industry, and there’s never been a better time to grow your own bud business.

Despite the damages caused by the global pandemic, the cannabis industry had a remarkably successful 2020. While most businesses closed their doors, many local governments deemed dispensaries and equipment shops essential, allowing them to remain operational.

The public gained a new appreciation for flower, using it as a form of stress-relief, causing sales to skyrocket. Market expansion snowballed a new wave of legalization efforts in states such as New Jersey and Arizona, with an estimated one-in-three gaining recreational herb access in their state.

Additionally, the booming industry produced countless prosperous entrepreneurs. Between herb-centered boutiques and flower-infused food trucks, there are endless ways to run a successful ganja business. Every niche market and curated head shop raises the industry to new heights, and experts estimate the market will be worth $73 billion by 2027.

In the years ahead, the budding community will undoubtedly reach new peaks and face new obstacles. Before you join the flower power movement, consider these seven challenges the industry will face in 2021.

More Legal Marijuana Equals Less Crime? Not So Fast

While CBD is generally known for its calming effects, it can also be an effective natural stimulant. But, getting a CBD regimen together can feel like a chore unto itself, requiring hours of research and some trial-and-error to find the right product and get the dosing just right. Enter an easier, more potent CBD solution: transdermal patches.  

The buzzy, science-backed product is currently taking the CBD space by storm. Patches take less than three seconds to apply and last for hours on end, powering you from morning to night (and back again) with little to no effort on your part. Think of it as a boost for your wellness toolkit — one that you can take daily, like any other supplement, or break out anytime you feel like you’re dragging instead of coasting. 

Patches of the past

While they’re just getting more recognition in the CBD space, the science behind transdermal patches is far from new. The FDA didn’t approve the first adhesive transdermal delivery system (TDDS) until 1979 — and even before that, topical therapies had already been around for centuries. As outlined in the Papyrus Ebers (one of the oldest surviving medical records that date back to 1550 BC), ancient Egyptians used topical and transdermal remedies to treat many ailments, including headaches, hair loss, and skin conditions. 

Similarly, the Ishinpō (the oldest Japanese medical record from 984 AD) describes chopping herbal medicines into fine pieces; then applying them to the skin using a compress. This knowledge informed the Japanese’s modern concept of shippu — a hot or cold pain-relieving patch with a mix of herbs, anti-inflammatories, and analgesics. Shippu are still used today to treat stiffness in the shoulders and back and general stress.

Today, the transdermal patch continues to be a reliable format for a laundry list of medications, notably bubbling up in smoking cessation and hormone therapy markets. It was only in recent years that cannabis entrepreneurs began parlaying the technology into the CBD space — and it’s quickly drummed up a broad set of fans.

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As the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for hemp production, the use of hemp in medicine, food, and other sectors will only continue to grow.

Did you know that hemp is considered one of the most nutritionally balanced superfoods in the world? To a skeptic mind, it might sound like a marketing gimmick for hemp products, but this doesn’t change the fact. Hemp seed has rich nutritional content with iron, amino acids, the right balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and vitamins that provide holistic health benefits.

You might be wondering if hemp is so rich in nutrients and good for health, why is there so much controversy surrounding it? If its use is legal, why does it still gets a raised eyebrow even from medical professionals every time they come across hemp products?

The Anatomy of Hemp

Hemp is a plant that belongs to the cannabis species. While this fast-growing deciduous plant has various uses, it is mostly used for medicinal reasons.

The fats, protein, and other nutrients of the plant promote various health benefits. For instance, omega fatty acids found in the plant help to reduce pain and inflammation. Hemp is also antioxidant-rich, making it useful in various neurological conditions.

how to use CBD oil to fight inflammation

IN 2012, when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, cannabis users everywhere rejoiced. Legalization continues to spread across the United States, with Virginia becoming the latest state to embrace pot.

Fans of legalization list the prospect of taxing legal weed and generating new jobs, as reasons to go big on marijuana. In 2019, the legal cannabis industry generated $13.6 billion in annual sales in the U.S. That number could reach a staggering $130 billion by 2024.

 
 

But another aspect of legalization is overlooked: the negative effect cannabis production has on the environment.

In a new study, a Colorado State University research team examined the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and cannabis cultivation. They found shockingly high amounts of emissions baked into marijuana processing — a dangerous side-effect of the Jolly Green

WHAT’S NEW — This finding was published Monday in the journal Nature.

Cannabis growing under LED lights

Cannabis concentrates are perhaps the trickiest form you may come across. They are highly potent, and the consumption techniques are also complicated, whether you choose to smoke, vape, or dab. Still, using the right gear can make things a lot simpler for beginners, and you get better with practice and experience. The choice of equipment depends on several factors, so you need to consider them while taking your pick. Here are some helpful tips that you can follow while choosing the right gear for using concentrates.

Size and convenience 

You will want to choose your concentrate gear according to your skill level. For a beginner, the simplest is the best because it will be easy to handle and use. Handling the potency and managing dosages for cannabis concentrates may be hard enough for you. So you will want only the gear that is easy to use. Size also matters because larger pieces can be difficult to operate. Thankfully, there are lots of choices in bongs and bubblers, from large, table-top pieces to small, handheld ones.

Method of consumption

The next factor to consider is the method of consumption and the form of concentrate. When it comes to types of concentrates, you come across a lot, from wax to shatter, resin, rosin, oil, hash, and more. Consumption methods also vary, depending on your preference, and the equipment you use will differ accordingly. For beginners who want to learn how to smoke resin, a bowl gives you a good start. You can graduate to a bong or bubbler as you learn the ropes. Similarly, you will need a vaporizer for vaping a concentrate and a dab rig for dabbing it.  

Quality of smoke

The quality of smoke makes all the difference when it comes to experience, both for beginners as well as seasoned users. You will want cooler, smoother smoke that gets you high without irritating your throat or lungs. A bong with an ice catch is a good option as it helps in cooling the smoke before you inhale it. If you are more experienced, you can work with a nail and rig as it lets control the temperature for an optimal hit. Lower temperatures deliver a smoother vapor, while higher temperatures make it harder-hitting.

Durability

When you spend on smoking or dabbing gear, you will want it to last. Durability is another factor that needs attention when you buy it as a beginner. Look for ones made with high-quality material, even if it means that you have to spend a little extra. You need to be extra careful about glass gear because there are chances of dropping the bong when you do not have much experience of using it. Always stick to a reputed seller because they go the extra mile with quality and durability.

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Although we started off our journey at CBD Testers with a strong emphasis on minor cannabinoids, lately, we’ve been taking a closer look at the most abundant one – THC – and all of its many applications and benefits. Another interesting, and sometimes confusing, point about this compound is how many variations of it exist.

Most people know that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the dominant compound found in marijuana, and also the one that holds the plant’s psychoactive properties. It’s the most popular cannabis compound, for obvious reasons, and it also has numerous medical benefits that we as a society are only beginning to fully understand.

There are 4 major types of THC that are naturally occurring in the plant: THCA, THCV, Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC. There is also another type that was very recently discovered – Delta 10 THC. Although this one was accidentally manmade, it still has some interesting properties that are worth covering. All of these different types of tetrahydrocannabinol are chemically unique with varying therapeutic potential.

To learn more about cannabis, and for exclusive deals on Delta-8 THC and other products, subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter

THCA – Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll start at the very beginning by looking at THC in its most natural form: THCA. In short, THCA is the type of THC found in raw cannabis plants. So, when you walk into a dispensary and start looking at different bud samples and see how much THC is in each one, what you’re actually looking at is the levels of THCA. Once heat is applied, THCA loses its carboxyl acid group (in a process known as decarboxylation) and becomes THC.

THCA is found virtually everywhere in the plant, including the stems, leaves, and flowers. On its own, it has no psychoactive properties. The mind-altering effects come into play after decarboxylation, as THCA is just a precursor to all the other tetrahydrocannabinols.

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“We need long-term studies! There is a ‘painful’ parallel between medical marijuana and the past and present situation with opioids, where the short-term demonstration of efficacy on chronic pain led to the promotion and broad scale prescription of opioids in the absence of high quality evidence.” – Dr. Thorsten Rudroff

Recently, The Fresh Toast shared an article about Dr. Thorsten Rudroff’s study in partnership with the National Institute of Health and the University of Iowa that focuses on understanding how aging and mobility is linked to medical marijuana.

Already garnering attention all over the globe, the study sought participants to discuss if the use of marijuana could increase the risk of falls or cognitive impairments in aging adults.

Dr. Rudroff, whose background includes a PhD in neurophysiology and a degree in physical therapy, recently spoke in depth with The Fresh Toast about common misconceptions and barriers to research currently in place when studying medical marijuana or CBD.

Q: Other researchers often discuss the red tape that surrounds marijuana and CBD studies. Have you experienced this with your current study?

A: We have to distinguish between intervention and observation studies. Intervention studies, the investigators tell the subject how to use medical marijuana, are difficult. You need a special license to conduct these studies. To get this license can take more than 2 years. Observational studies, like this one) are easier to perform. We invite users to the lab and test them. However, it took some time to get approval from the UIOWA IRB (Institutional Review Board). For example, we had to make sure that we follow strict Iowa Marijuana laws. Furthermore, my lab is the first at UIOWA who is doing this kind of research. I hope that the next marijuana study will get approval much quicker.

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