Pests and contaminates are a given in the cultivation of cannabis, and most standards developed to control these on other agricultural products don’t apply. This is why the U.S. Pharmacopeia has stepped in to provide analytical methods and risk-based limits for the industry to help protect public health, including looking at how cannabis is grown, not just at how it hits the shelves.
“Cannabis is susceptible to pest infestation whether grown indoors or outdoors, which means cultivators often turn to pesticides to ensure their harvest. However, pesticides can be quite dangerous if not used appropriately to make sure residue levels are not higher than they should be. This could be especially true if consumed by someone with a health condition who may be taking the plant for medicinal purposes” said Robin Marles, Ph.D., chair of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Expert Committee.
USP has assembled an expert panel of clinicians, scientists and industry representatives from around the world to provide necessary information and guidance all laid out in the Journal of Natural Products, Cannabis Inflorescence for Medical Purposes: USP Considerations for Quality Attributes.
Recent cases in the U.S. and Canada of consumers being exposed to residues of pesticides unauthorized for use or used off-label on cannabis have resulted in recalls and increased public and regulatory concerns. In the U.S., crop-specific pesticide limits are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for foods, but no approved pesticide or pesticide limits exist for cannabis. And levels of pesticides deemed appropriate to protect public health and safety for food products may not necessarily apply to cannabis, since cannabis is typically smoked or vaped.
Although U.S. state requirements may provide some guidance to control specific pesticide contaminants, additional pesticide residues that are not expressly permitted by these states may also be detected on cannabis due to environmental drift or persistence or through incidental contamination.
Unlike the breathalyzer, which can detect alcohol impairment within seconds, Indiana’s new drug test experiment only shows that a motorist has used drugs.
As more states work to loosen their marijuana laws, and in many cases, make it part of legal society, some are still clinging to antiquated Drug War concepts in an attempt to disrupt progress. Indiana is one of those states. Not only are officials refusing to consider legitimizing cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes, they are also, at the same time, imposing policies that will undoubtedly lead to more marijuana-related arrests.
The state recently announced that law enforcement agencies are now using a new roadside drug detection tool to stop drugged driving. However, the test is seriously flawed and could put innocent people in jail.
More than 50 police forces all over the state (including Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lake County and Muncie) have started using a roadside drug detection device that can determine, within minutes, whether a person has illegal substances coursing through their veins.
The device, known as the SoToxa Mobile Test System, is supposed to sniff out drivers high on cocaine, opiates, meth, and, of course, marijuana. The test’s manufacturer touts its ability to flag stoned motorists within five minutes by testing their saliva. The problem with this technology is that it scans explicitly for the presence of illegal drugs, not intoxication, making it possible for more sober motorists throughout Indiana to be prosecuted for stoned driving in 2021.
Blue Dream, Purple Haze, Girl Scout Cookies, Red Headed Stranger, Acapulco Gold, Fruity Pebbles or Pineapple Express… all classic strain names and all of them meaningless.
“Strain names are absolutely misleading with considerable variation in the same cannabinoid content among different specimens of the same strain. You can get the same color and the same smell, but actually levels of the THC and CBD and some of the other compounds could be quite different,” says Robin Marles, Ph.D., chair of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Expert Committee.
USP has assembled an expert panel of clinicians, scientists and industry representatives from around the world to provide necessary information and guidance on critical quality attributes, including recommendations for naming , all laid out in an article in the Journal of Natural Products, Cannabis Inflorescence for Medical Purposes: USP Considerations for Quality Attributes.
“USP recommendations are entirely focused on the inflorescence of the cannabis plant, popularly known as the flower or ‘the bud.’ And as with any plant product, the first challenge was to determine how to classify the various varieties and subtypes that are currently in use.” said Ikhlas Khan, Ph.D., USP’s Cannabis Expert Panel chair.
USP has elected to recognize cannabis as a single plant species, Cannabis sativa L., with different varieties or subtypes that can then be classified based on their THC and CBD content. The expert panel provided guidance for organizing the plant material into three “chemotype” categories: THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or intermediate varieties that contain physiologically meaningful levels of both – intending to give prescribers or consumers greater clarity about what substances they are using.
Boffins have created a revolutionary anti-ageing skin spray - made from super-strength cannabis.
Scientists at Australian cannabis company Dolce Cann Global have developed a number of strains which boast a mix of cannabinoids with much stronger anti-inflammatory properties than standard CBD.
Wellness company Wellfully has teamed up with Dolce Cann Global to secure rights to use these strains for products to fight ageing, skin blemishes, acne and arthritis, via its proprietary drug delivery systems.
By merging beauty, science, technology, and proprietary cannabis strains, they aim to create products that use 'ultrasonic diffusion', 'magnetic misting' and other enhanced delivery systems to allow greater absorption and better penetration of the super-strength cannabinoids.
Ultrasonic diffusion allows the skin to absorb droplets, which are 50 times smaller than traditional spray, leaving no undesirable residue on the skin and hair.
The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) has decided to bring cannabis back into the fold and has provided guidelines for labs and cultivators around the globe to utilize to help provide consumers with quality cannabis products.
“There is a critical and growing need for the scientific articulation of quality attributes for cannabis and related products to help protect patients and consumers from harm. As more products become available and sourced more broadly, and states continue to adopt initiatives allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes, potential exposure to and associated risk of harm from contaminated, substandard, or super potent products is increasing and we must do what we can to mitigate that risk,” said Jaap Venema, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer at USP.
The organization’s goal in this area is to provide suitable methods and reference standards that can help the industry and regulators ensure cannabis quality, laid out in an article in the Journal of Natural Products, Cannabis Inflorescence for Medical Purposes: USP Considerations for Quality Attributes. Nomenclature is at the top of USP’s “to-do list,” an important quality attribute for labeling the ingredients, to help patients and healthcare professionals assess whether a product is suitable for particular needs.
“The thousands of so-called ‘strains’ are not consistent in either morphological or chemical profiles and cannot be relied upon for consistent categorization of different kinds of cannabis. Identity of cannabis and cannabis-derived products should be linked with clear nomenclature, including reference to plant part, product, and/or herbal preparation,” said Robin Marles, Ph.D., chair of the USP Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Expert Committee.
USP has elected to recognize cannabis as a single plant species, Cannabis sativa L., with different varieties or subtypes that can be classified based on their THC and CBD content. The guidelines in the Journal of Natural Products article organize the plant into three ‘chemotype’ categories: THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or intermediate varieties that contain physiologically meaningful levels of cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is arguably the most popular cannabinoid on the planet right now. Whereas THC is associated with intoxication, CBD is not.
That is a significant distinction because while many consumers are fans of THC’s effects, not everyone is.
Someone that has no interest in experiencing the euphoric effects of THC, and thus has avoided consuming cannabis, may still want to experience the wellness benefits of CBD.
The market for CBD is larger than the market for THC. That is not a knock on THC – the market size for THC is massive, and increasing as reform victories pile up across the globe.
With that being said, it is no secret why CBD is growing in popularity at an exponential rate because it is appealing to a wider audience.
The time is nigh for the DEA to cooperate in ensuring that medical marijuana research can move forward. Finally.
On December 3, 2020, MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) issued a press release regarding a lawsuit filed against the DEA and the Attorney General to “compel issuance of licenses to manufacture marijuana for clinical trials and potential FDA approval.” We have written about MAPS and its 35 years of advocacy and engagement with DEA before, and we are big fans of the nonprofit.
The announcement of this lawsuit comes on the heels of the United Nations Commission for Narcotic Drugs (CND) voting to accept the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal purposes from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The U.S. had already confirmed it would support the WHO recommendation and published a statement about its rationale for the vote:
“The vote of the United States to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the Single Convention while retaining them in Schedule I is consistent with the science demonstrating that while a safe and effective cannabis-derived therapeutic has been developed, cannabis itself continues to pose significant risks to public health and should continue to be controlled under the international drug control conventions. Further, this action has the potential to stimulate global research into the therapeutic potential and public health effects of cannabis, and to attract additional investigators to the field, including those who may have been deterred by the Schedule IV status of cannabis.”
In MAPS’ announcement of the lawsuit, it points out that “[e]fforts to conduct meaningful research into cannabis medicines have been blocked for decades; the continued obstruction is causing suffering for people with serious conditions,” which indicates the timeliness of this lawsuit in relation to the CND’s recent vote. According to MAPS and the lawsuit, the DEA has failed to process more than thirty outstanding applications to develop cannabis for research purposes for more than four years despite administrative guidance. The press release outlines the nature of the lawsuit as follows:
The US National Institute of Justice has ponied up a bundle of bucks to fund the development of simpler and cheaper THC testing.
The 2018 Farm Bill created a few headaches for law enforcement at a federal level when it legalised industrial hemp. Where previously all cannabis was (incorrectly) considered marijuana, it now had to be determined if seized cannabis was hemp or marijuana – the difference being hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3 % decarboxylated-Δ9-THC (total THC).
This can’t be distinguished easily – it all looks the same and smells the same. Lab testing used to be reasonably straightforward, but now more complex, time-consuming and costly laboratory tests are required in order to make accurate THC determinations.
The National Institute of Justice is looking to address this. Last week it announced it had awarded a USD $350,000 grant to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for it to develop simpler yet robust and more cost effective analytical methods.
“This effort will focus on the development of isotope dilution GC-MS methods, extraction protocols, a single laboratory validation study, and evaluations of benchtop and portable infrared spectrometers,” states NIJ.
The cannabis industry is booming all over the globe, mostly from a medical cannabis standpoint.
Dozens of countries now allow some form of legal medical cannabis industry to operate within their borders, and some of those countries also have some type of legal import/export industry.
Adult-use is far more limited.
Fortunately, a number of countries are exploring the idea of full legalization, and multiple countries such as Mexico are working to implement adult-use court-ordered mandates.
Anti-drug laws are putting a damper on fully exploring marijuana’s potential with respect to its possible health-helping benefits and how cannabis genomics may contribute to meeting that goal.
Researchers at Australia’s La Trobe University’s reviewed a raft of international studies of cannabis genomics and confirmed what many already believe.
Despite the many decades that cannabis has been studied, anti-drug laws are creating hurdles to identifying what scientists expect are weed’s unique medicinal properties, Mathew Lewsey, an associate professor at the university and the study’s lead researcher, suggests in a university statement.
That has left understanding of cannabis in the dust compared with some of its other plant brethren. “These rules have meant that while our understanding of the basic biology and properties of other crop species has advanced through the use of genomics, for example, our knowledge of cannabis has lagged,” says Lewsey.
“There is ample anecdotal evidence and an increasing number of clinical trials about the benefits of cannabis, but there remain challenges around the production of high-quality plant-based therapeutic grade products and their provenance,” Tony Bacic, a professor at the university and the paper’s co-author.
For many years cannabis consumption methods were fairly rudimentary.
The most common forms of cannabis consumption were typically a hand-rolled joint or a common smoking pipe.
Cannabis consumed in edible form was fairly rare, and more often than not involved brownies, cookies, or other sweet treats.
Cannabis topicals were extremely rare for most consumers and cannabis concentrates were often scarce.
When people could find concentrates, there wasn’t a lot of variety.
As part of an on-going consumer product safety investigation, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has identified that marijuana products sold in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market during the last two years contained additives, squalene and squalane, that have been linked to safety concerns similar to Vitamin E Acetate when vaped and inhaled. The OLCC is working to trace products and when necessary remove them from sale. OLCC will be considering immediate action at its December 2020 Commission meeting to prohibit future use of squalene and squalane, institute a mandatory recall of affected products, and create a more stringent and transparent review process of cannabis vaping products going forward.
The products under investigation by OLCC contained Viscosity, a non-cannabis diluent manufactured and sold by a third-party (non-OLCC marijuana licensee). Some of the product remains on the market, and the OLCC is working to trace and remove it.
Bulk Naturals LLC., dba True Terpenes, sold Viscosity that solely contained squalene, squalane, and an unidentified olive extract to OLCC recreational marijuana licensees between at least January 2018 and November 2019. Squalene is a “botanically-derived terpene” that can be derived from olives; squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene. Following OLCC’s confirmation of the presence of squalane in Viscosity via independent laboratory analysis by ChemHistory and SC Labs, True Terpenes has complied with all of OLCC’s requests for information. Viscosity has since been reformulated, and according to True Terpenes, none of their products have contained squalene or squalane since November 2019.
As a result of its investigation the OLCC has identified recreational marijuana licensees that potentially used Viscosity in their products. Because of their purchase of Viscosity, OLCC has requested additional information from several licensees about products they have manufactured.
One licensee – Oregrown, a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Bend – swiftly provided the requested documentation. Oregrown was the first licensee to confirm its use of the Viscosity formula under investigation, and since then has been working with the OLCC to voluntarily recall the limited amount of its remaining product containing Viscosity. OLCC has provided Oregrown with the information regarding affected items still on the market and their current location.
In addition to trying to get through the bureaucratic red tape that it takes to get approved to study marijuana, researchers have only been allowed to use weed grown by Uncle Sam at the University of Mississippi.
Politicians, drug warriors and other naysayers of the nug are always complaining that there’s not enough research available to prove the efficacy of medical marijuana for the treatment of various health conditions. But that’s difficult when the United States government continues to ensure that scientists only get the trashiest bud to gauge its therapeutic performance. However, Congress is working on a plan that would allow researchers to have access to higher quality cannabis products.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday afternoon designed to enhance medical marijuana research nationwide. The proposal, which is aptly titled “The Medical Marijuana Research Act (MMRA),” would provide scientists with the same cannabis grown and sold in legal states. It’s a positive step for cannabis researchers who have complained for decades that the government’s research-grade marijuana is subpar to what is available in states where it is legal.
Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who sponsored the measure with a number of Republicans, said before the bill’s passage that the time has come to change the antiquated protocols on research marijuana.
“The cannabis laws in this country are broken, especially those that deal with research. It’s illegal everywhere in America to drive under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or any other substance. But we do not have a good test for impairment because we can’t study it … This is insane and we need to change it,” Blumenauer said. “At a time when there are four million registered medical cannabis patients, and many more likely self-medicate, when there are 91% of Americans supporting medical cannabis, it’s time to change the system. Our bill will do precisely that.”
Is cannabis safe for pregnant women to use?
Is there a danger to secondhand cannabis smoke?
Does cannabis use clash with other medications?
All of these are fairly straightforward questions which should be straightforward to study, but not in the nascent grey industry that is legal cannabis.
Scientifically speaking, we know more about the effects of cow flatulence on the atmosphere than the effects of cannabis on the human body.
More and more countries have been loosening their policies when it comes to the non-psychoactive component of cannabis – CBD (cannabidiol). With a new amendment waiting for final approval, Israel says CBD is not dangerous, and is expected next week to remove it from its Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
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When it comes to cannabis, Israel is not the most lax country when it comes to regulation. However, this undermines the fact that Israel is about the most far ahead when it comes to medical research concerning cannabis. With the help of Raphael Mechoulam, whose work was roundly ignored for decades, and who in the more recent environment of cannabis acceptance has now been lauded for his work, Israel has been the world leader in cannabis research. This did not stop the drug from being completely illegal recreationally, with no personal use laws until only the last couple years. Now, in a move that shows its ready to play catch-up for real, Israel not only is discussing plans for a recreational legalization, but is set to remove CBD from its list of dangerous drugs, with the expectation that CBD products will soon be lining supermarket shelves.
Current Israeli cannabis laws
Israel only instituted a decriminalization policy for cannabis in 2019, which affords personal use rights for small amounts in the home. The term ‘small amounts’ was defined by the Anti-Drug Authority as 15 grams. Public use and possession still results in a fine of 1000 NIS, or $307 (by today’s conversion), though this is a vast improvement from what it was before, when offenders could be required to pay as much as 226,000 NIS, or $69,479 (by today’s conversion). The 1000 NIS is just for a first offense, and doubles with the second offence, and turns into a criminal act on the third. This comes with the loss of a drivers’ license and/or gun as well. Minors under the age of 18 who reject a treatment program when caught, can still be subjected to jail time.
Like pretty much anywhere in the world, selling and supply crimes are illegal, and offenders can find themselves with 20-year prison sentences. This can be increased to 25 years in the case of extenuating circumstances, like selling to a minor. Cultivation is technically illegal, but also seems to fall into gray area. According to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, growing can carry up to 20 years. In 2017, the publication Cannabis made public that there had been an order issued which stated that growing small amounts for personal use would only be seen as a minor violation. This was meant to be a way to separate large-scale, and small-scale growers. However, this order was obviously never meant to be public, and when Cannabis put out the news, the response from law enforcement was that no change had legally been made.
It’s early on a mid-March Friday morning at the Oregon CBD headquarters, outside Corvallis, Oregon. The company’s co-founder, Eric Crawford, is breaking up a piece of intimidatingly frosty cannabis as I watch with apprehension.
“Don’t worry, it’s only hemp,” Crawford jokes as he packs the flower into the bowl of a glass pipe. “It has no measurable THC or CBD, but about 15 percent CBG and it really helps with staying focused.”
Fridays are usually filled with non-stop meetings at the industrial hemp seed firm, especially as the cannabis growing season approaches. Clients travel from across the nation to sit down and pick the two brains behind the business: Eric Crawford and his co-founder and brother Seth Crawford. The brothers admit that with the barrage of questions visiting clients often lob their way, sometimes a little help with focus can go a long way.
While their innovative early-finishing, CBD-rich strains have brought them success in the past, the duo has spent the last two years working to stabilize the nation’s first production-ready, CBG-dominant varietals in seed form.
CBG, the non-intoxicating cannabis compound whose full name is cannabigerol, has been garnering attention for its promising effects in the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions.
For one, technology is creating more effective CBD products for the CBD market, and better, more efficient products.
Wall Street experts project the CBD industry to swell to more than 22 billion dollars over the next two years. Within a decade that number is projected to exponentially grow towards 75 billion dollars.
As is with any big industry boom, everyone wants a piece of the action. Fortunately, with CBD hemp there is plenty of pie to go around. And technology plays a big role in the CBD industry from seed to shelf and beyond.
This article goes over four important aspects of the CBD industry and how technology shapes and molds the big boom of CBD oil.
Tech-Centered CBD Hemp Farming
Farming is labor-intensive process that requires lots of tedious work. It’s no wonder that tech steps in to make certain processes and tasks more efficient. Equipment and machines that speed up tasks such as potting, planting, and digging aren’t the only kinds of technology on the farm. Visit a tech-centered hemp farm and you’ll find RFID tags on plants, biometric security systems, and incredibly advanced.
The House Will Vote On More Cannabis Legislation This Week
Most investors when looking at marijuana stocks to buy tend to focus on the market and the company’s finances. However, with each company comes a service or product that offers some form of value to the cannabis industry. Some people may skip past this part when searching for pot stocks to watch. Though if you take a deeper look into what a company needs to do in order for their product to be available for consumers there is a strict process. This is especially true when dealing with the cannabis plant its self or any kind of derivative from it.
What some may not know is the intricate process and stringent guidelines each company must follow before its product can be sold. With packaging alone, each spec must be documented and labeled on the product as well. Having the most accurate info for every cannabis product is important to know. Because not knowing what’s in your cannabis product can potentially do more harm than good. In the past, there has been a lack of resources to give consumers the most accurate info on cannabis. This has resulted in consumers getting sick or having a bad overall experience with their cannabis. Fast forward to today and it’s a whole new game with cannabis testing. Although much more progress has been made there is more work that needs to be done for more accurate results with testing cannabis.
How Does Cannabis Testing Work And Why Is It Important?
When a company like Charloetts Web Holdings Inc (CWBHF Stock Report)
or a company like Green Thumb Industries Inc (GTBIF Stock Report) develops a product testing must be done. In fact, any company that operates in a legal state within the U.S. must go through this process. Here’s how it works. So once your cannabis is ready to sell or you have made a batch of CBD or THC oil testing must commence. Two important reasons cannabis products are tested in cannabis testing labs are to verify the products are safe for human consumption. As well as to give consumers an idea of the potency of the product they are using.
A group of Canadian cannabis companies are working together to launch a national vape recycling program that will help consumers dispose vape hardware safely and responsibly.
48North, Aurora Cannabis, Aphria Inc. Canopy Growth, and Cronos Group, along with the Cannabis Council of Canada (C3) are looking to launch the program across more than 200 retail locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The program will supply stores with countertop collection boxes which will then be picked up by Quantum Lifecycle Partners, a Canadian electronic recycling provider.
“It feels good to be collaborating with industry on solutions that help consumers recycle their vapes,” said Steven Fish, senior manager of corporate social responsibility for Aurora Cannabis – and a catalyst for the program. “We will learn how much material can be recovered during this pilot project and where we can take this partnership next.”
Although there’s nothing quite like the stale smell that remains after smoking tobacco, weed smoke also deposits compounds on surfaces that new research suggests can be reduced by ozone, which is found in both indoor and outdoor air.
Plenty is known about second- and third-hand smoke (THS) — which are reactive chemicals that remain in the air or are deposited on surfaces like walls, windows, clothing and upholstery, respectively — from tobacco. The same cannot be said for cannabis smoke, which is less studied and chemically distinct from tobacco smoke.
Are weed contact highs real? | Weed Easy
To explore how ozone, a component found in both indoor and outdoor air, can react with the psychoactive cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), researchers coated glass and cotton cloth with a THC solution. They then exposed the surfaces to concentrations of ozone that could exist in indoor air.
Appearing in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) publication, Environmental Science & Technology, the reaction between weed smoke and ozone produced “new compounds, which they characterized for the first time,” researchers report.
“Over time, the amount of THC on glass and cotton decreased, while the quantities of three THC oxidation products (identified in the study abstract as epoxide, dicarbonyl and secondary ozonide THC reaction products) increased,” according to the ACS. That is important since third-hand smoke “lingers long after a person stops smoking.”