Curt’s Cannabis Corner: What is Delta-10 THC?

Welcome to the next installment in the new series of educational articles from technical writer Curt Robbins at Higher Learning LV and MJNews Network. This collection is intended for cannabis and hemp industry professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of the nuanced biochemistry of this specialand newly legalherb. 

This week we’re dealing with a newcomer to the world of commercial cannabinoids, delta-10 THC. Please remember to #LearnAndTeachOthers™!


CURT’S

CANNABIS

CORNER 

What is Delta-10 THC?

By Curt Robbins

 

 


All cannabis consumers and industry professionals are familiar with the phytomolecule THC that is produced by the cannabis plant. Many, however, aren’t aware that this popular psychoactive chemical compound is but one of several similar THC molecules produced by the plant called analogs (or, more technically, isomers).

The version of THC that differentiates hemp and cannabis, the measure of which has determined the market value of cannabis flowers and related products for decades, is delta-9 THC. However, a variety of analogs of the THC molecule exist. These include THCA (no psychoactivity), delta-8 THC (about two-thirds the psychoactivity of the delta-9 isomer), and THCV (the varin version that delivers psychoactivity, but only in relatively potent doses).  

Other cannabinoids are produced by the plant as similar isomer families, including cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG). In fact, each of these cannabinoids manifests as more than half a dozen isomers. (For CBD, these include CBDA, CBDV, CBDVA, and CBDP. Similarly, CBG offers the isomers CBGA, CBGVA, and CBGV, among others.)   

Recently, the delta-8 isomer of THC has gained attention. A variety of companies in the U.S. have begun selling delta-8 products, mostly in an effort to skirt the federal regulations that prohibit delta-9 THC. Meanwhile, an additional isomer of THC has attracted the attention of entrepreneurs: Delta-10 THC. 

History in California

The story of delta-10 THC is rife with irony. The phytomolecule was recently discovered by Fusion Farms in Adelanto, California. During a wildfire, a batch of outdoor grown plants became contaminated by fire retardant chemicals. These chemicals caused one or more of the cannabinoids in the plants to convert to delta-10 (most likely from cannabichromene [CBC], CBD, or delta-9 THCall of which feature very similar molecular structures). 

Thus, delta-10 THC has been dubbed an “artificial cannabinoid” because it may occur very rarely, or almost never, in nature. Modern manufacturing processes, however, offer the ability to produce the molecule in volume by converting closely related cannabinoids.

Some industry professionals believe that, during testing, delta-10 THC is commonly misidentified as similar cannabinoids, including CBC. “A lot of people had been seeing this mystery compound show up as a minor component on their distillate COAs [Certificates of Analysis], but they thought it was CBC,” said Josh Jones, an organic chemist who consults for Fusion Farms.

 

Business Opportunity

The tenuous nature of regulatory oversight of hemp and cannabis products in the United States means that the legal status of delta-10 is both ambiguous and could change at any time. 

The challenge for companies wishing to produce products rich in delta-10 THC is use of a production method that synthesizes the molecules in sufficient volume to satisfy potential market demand and cause true efficacy in consumers.   

The saga of delta-10 THC illustrates how industrious entrepreneurs and managers within the industry will pursue opportunities to develop novel cannabinoid isomers. These molecules will naturally feature a different binding affinity, which is the exact method by which they attach to specialized cellular receptors in the human body (part of the endocannabinoid system). As such, wellness professionals seeking novel approaches to the management of particular disease states and conditions may be able to fine tune the efficacy of molecules to match use case scenarios and bolster the safety profiles of molecules or particular products. 

Curt’s Cannabis Corner: What is Nanoemulsion Technology? Part 2

Welcome to the third installment in the series of educational articles from technical writer Curt Robbins at Higher Learning LV and MJBA’s MJNews Network. This collection is intended for cannabis and hemp industry professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of the nuanced biochemistry of this specialand newly legalherb. 

For the past two weeks, Curt has been teaching readers about the hot new manufacturing process for cannabis- and hemp-infused products called nanoemulsion

What is nanoemulsion? How can it help patients and consumers while offering additional marketing opportunities for entrepreneurs? How does it compare to traditional formulation technologies? Read on to learn!


CURT’S

CANNABIS

CORNER 

What is Nanoemulsion Technology?

Part 2

By Curt Robbins

 

 

Read What is Nanoemulsion Technology?: Part 1. In Part 1, readers learn the definition of nanoemulsion and how it is being employed in the cannabis and hemp industries for the creation of consumer products that feature enhanced bioavailability (including greater potency and faster onset). This formulation tech also allows more accurate dosing, a large advantage to millions of patients and their caretakers. 

In Part 2, let’s dive deeper into this excerpt from the Higher Learning LV course Cannabis Core Concepts by further exploring bioavailability issues, examining some real world metrics, and learning the latest scientific research about nanoemulsion technology! 

End Game: Increased Bioavailability

The purpose of packaging a medicine, wellness tonic, or lifestyle beverage in the form of a nanoemulsion is straightforward: To improve bioavailability. This includes not only greater potency, but also faster onset. 

Onset is an important issue for consumers who require quick relief from conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, seizure activity, and social anxiety, to name only a few. Most within this population cannot tolerate the approximately two-hour wait that characterizes the onset of standard infused edible products (especially given that peak potency requires an additional one to three hours). 

The exact onset period of a particular nanoemulsion depends on several factors, including consumption avenue and the biophysical circumstances under which it is consumed by users. This includes their age, relative health, genetic makeup, medical history, and use of commingling drugs.  

Edible cannabis products formulated with nanoemulsions typically involve an onset period of roughly 10-30 minutes, with 15-20 minutes being a common claim among companies offering infused beverages and edibles featuring nanoencapsulated cannabinoids and terpenes.   

A 2014 study entitled “Enhancement of the Oral Bioavailability of Breviscapine by Nanoemulsion Drug Delivery System” that was published in the journal Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy explored the ability of a “nanoscale drug delivery system to realize the improvement of its oral bioavailability.” 

Reported the study, “the relative bioavailability of [the nanoencapsulated drug] reached 250 percent.” The researchers concluded that the nanoemulsion enhanced the oral absorption of [the drug] due to “improved stability and permeation.”  

A 2017 study entitled “Nanoemulsion-based Delivery System for Enhanced Oral Bioavailability” that was published in the journal Drug Delivery investigated the relative bioavailability of various formulation approaches, including nanoemulsion. “Nanoemulsion of BBH showed a relative bioavailability of 440 percent compared with unencapsulated BBH.” The study’s authors also reported that the nanoencapsulated liquid remained stable following a six-month evaluation period.  

If performed properly and depending on the exact compounds involved, nanotechnology can result in faster onset and greater potency at lowerand significantly more accuratedoses. This approach offers not only more efficient treatment of conditions such as pain and seizures, but also the economy resulting from smaller volumes of a particular compound or drug that yield greater potency.

Detailed Definitions

Research has revealed that bioavailability of cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG may be increased from as low as six percent in traditional, non-nanoemusified preparations (revealed by this study) to as great as 90 percent with nanoemulsified products (demonstrated by another study). 

According to a 2010 study entitled “Nanoemulsion: A Pharmaceutical Review,” nanoemulsion-based products are “by far the most advanced nanoparticle systems for the systemic delivery of biologically active agents for controlled drug delivery and targeting.” The study noted that nanoemulsion droplet sizes within a particular sample, when accomplished successfully, feature “narrow size distributions” (variance).  

“Nanoemulsions are the thermodynamically stable isotropic system in which two immiscible liquids (water and oil) are mixed to form a single phase by means of an appropriate surfactant [or emulsifying agent] or its mix with a droplet diameter in the range of 0.5-100 nm,” reported the study’s authors. The research concluded that “nanoemulsion shows great promise for the future of cosmetics, diagnostics, drug therapies, and biotechnologies.”

According to a 2014 study published in the journal 3 Biotech, a nanoemulsion is a “fine oil/water or water/oil dispersion” featuring a droplet size range of 20–600 nm. The study explained that three primary types of nanoemulsions exist: “(a) oil in water nanoemulsion in which oil is dispersed in water, (b) water in oil nanoemulsions in which water droplets are dispersed in oil, and (c) bi-continuous nanoemulsions.”

Nanoemulsion Research Studies

Although a relatively new technology, serious peer-reviewed research reports have begun to emerge regarding nanoemulsions. These study results consistently demonstrate significantly greater bioavailability, including shorter onset periods and enhanced peak potency. Nanoemulsion tech has shown this effect for a variety of cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD.

A 2016 study entitled “Nanoemulsions: Formation, Properties, and Applications” that was published in the journal Soft Matter noted a number of advantages to the use of nanoemulsion technology for delivery of drugs, including a small size that “leads to useful properties such as high surface area per unit volume, robust stability, [and] optically transparent appearance.” 

The research also noted the different forms of drug delivery in which nanoemulsion technology can improve bioavailability, which include “topical, ocular, intravenous, internasal, and oral delivery.” 

The study reported that most nanoemulsions are transparent in appearance because the droplet size employed “is significantly smaller than the wavelength of visible light.” However, the researchers noted that product and drug formulators “can easily tune the appearance of nanoemulsions to range from transparent to milky white” through the adjustment of droplet size. 

A 2017 study entitled “Biocompatible Nanoemulsions Based on Hemp Oil and Less Surfactants for Oral Delivery of Baicalein with Enhanced Bioavailability” that was published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine aimed to “probe the potential of nanoemulsions consisting of hemp oil in ameliorating [improving] the oral bioavailability of [the flavonoid] baicalein.” 

The study involved a particle size of 90 nm and an impressive bioavailability (what the study called an “entrapment efficiency”) of 99.31 percent. It reported that the flavonoid’s oral bioavailability was increased by “up to 524.7 percent and 242.1 percent relative to the suspensions and conventional emulsions, respectively.” 

The research determined that the safety profile of the flavonoid-based nanoemulsion revealed safe oral consumption. “Our findings suggest that such a novel…preparative process provides a promising alternative to current formulation technologies” and that nanoencapsulation is suitable for “oral delivery of drugs that feature…bioavailability issues.”

A 2017 study entitled “Nanoemulsion: A Novel Eon in Cancer Chemotherapy” that was published in the journal Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry investigated the role of nanoemulsions in the effective treatment of cancer. 

The study’s authors observed that nanoemulsions offer a new approach to improving the sometimes poor bioavailability issues that have plagued traditional preparations and formulations for generations. Reported the study, “the research fraternity has acknowledged nanoemulsions as…capable of effectively addressing the low bioavailability…issues associated with conventional anticancerous chemotherapeutic dosage forms.”

A 2019 study entitled “Development of a Novel Nano­emulsion Formulation to Improve Intestinal Absorption of Cannabidiol” that was published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids observed the relatively poor bioavailability of CBD when ingested orally. “Cannabidiol (CBD) is highly lipophilic [fat loving] and its oral bioavailability is known to be very low in humans.” 

The study developed a novel nanoemulsion preparation of CBD involving a droplet size of approximately 35 nm “to improve the poor solubility and absorption of CBD.” The research reported that significant improvements in bioavailability were afforded by the nanoemulsification process. The period to achieve peak bioavailability (delay from time of consumption) was shortened by 330 percent and its potency was increased by 65 percent compared to a traditional non-nanoemulsified CBD oil. 

The study’s authors observed that their research was “the first to develop a CBD-based nanoemulsion formulation for testing,” which they observed to “extensively enhance the absorption of CBD and improve its bioavailability.”

A 2019 study entitled “Quercetin Loaded Nanoemulsion-based Gel for Rheumatoid Arthritis” that was published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy explored the advantages of a nanoemulsified topical application for the treatment of arthritis. 

The study found the nanoemulsified gel to feature improved bioavailability and “confirmed adequate rheological behavior with a good texture profile and improved drug permeation.” The report’s authors concluded that the nanoemulsified gel featuring the flavonoid quercetin “is an efficient topical treatment strategy for rheumatoid arthritis.” 

A 2019 study entitled “Emulsiogenesis and the Emergence of Nanoemulsions” that was published in the journal Matter investigated “the origin of the first natural emulsions and the evolution in production, classification, and nomenclature of extremely fine colloidal emulsions.”

The study reported that the first emulsions in nature appeared without the help of homo sapiens (and long before their appearance on the planet), about three to four billion years ago. It detailed how the emergence of waterborne microbes “produced organic hydrocarbon molecules, which were large enough in molar mass that collections of [them] formed liquid oil droplets surrounded by water.”

The researchers explained how the history of human-crafted emulsions dates back more than one hundred years. “Small-scale emulsions have been the subject of serious scientific investigations for more than a century, leading to very important milestones in condensed matter.”

The study emphasized how nanoemulsion tech remains in its infancy and that future developments will lead to novel and commercially enticing methods of encapsulating particular types of molecules for storage, distribution, and consumptionall while maintaining maximum bioavailability. 

“Regardless of the trends in nomenclature used for classifying emulsions, it is clear that emulsions having the smallest attainable droplet sizes, increasingly complex chemical compositions, and even multiple internal compartments represent a fertile area for basic research and important applications over many decades to come,” concluded the study’s authors. 

It’s a Wrap

Nanoemulsion technology offers patients and lifestyle consumersand the companies that serve thema way to encapsulate wellness molecules such as CBD, CBG, and THC that features improved stability and greater bioavailability than more traditional formulation techniques, including standard oils and liposomes. 

Heavily regulated industries such as hemp and cannabis benefit significantly from products that are formulated in a manner that leads to maximum shelf life and that can ensure sometimes lengthy storage periods. Greater bioavailability, in turn, offers both lifestyle consumers and multiple patient populations the advantage of rapid onset and enhanced potency. Medical professionals and caretakers are demonstrating an affinity for nanoemulsions based on not only enhanced bioavailability, but also more accurate dosing.   

Copyright © 2021 Higher Learning LV™. All Rights Reserved. 

Washington: Cannabis Testing Lab Praxis Shut Down For Falsifying Test Results

More than 1200 sample tests given elevated THC potency results by lab in Lewis Co.

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) issued a summary suspension of Praxis Laboratory’s certification to conduct quality assurance located in Centralia, Washington was found to have falsified testing data to provide high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency results for more than 1200 samples of cannabis.

During the investigation the lab owner attempted to destroy evidence of falsified data in an effort to obstruct LCB’s ability to conduct a complete investigation.

Labeling cannabis with falsely high THC potency levels is a form of consumer deception and is prohibited under Washington law. THC is the natural chemical compound responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effect. Because of this, cannabis users seeking more pronounced psychoactive results may choose to buy cannabis with higher levels of THC.

The summary suspension is effective for 180 days beginning December 10, 2020 until June 8, 2021. During that time the WSLCB will seek permanent revocation of the “marijuana laboratory” certification due to fraud, and the subsequent investigation obstruction. Moving forward, the lab will no longer be allowed to test cannabis for licensees in Washington.

The LCB educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis, vape and tobacco laws and regulations. The WSLCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law, the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.

Minnesota: Congressman Peterson Joins Smith, Craig and McCollum To Urge Federal Agencies To Clarify Hemp Rules

MINNESOTA: Representative Collin Peterson today jointed U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN 2), and Betty McCollum (D-MN 4) in calling on the leaders of four federal agencies to streamline hemp rules. Currently, contradictory federal guidelines are leading to uncertainty in the market and preventing Minnesota farmers and Tribes from fully reaping the economic benefits of growing hemp.

“The bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in order to create economic opportunities for farmers. Minnesota farmers appreciate the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts in implementing the Interim Rule on Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program. However, despite the Interim Rule there are still hurdles in place for Minnesota farmers to fully realize the economic benefits of growing hemp,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Sen. Smith and Reps. Craig, McCollum and Peterson go on to identify some of the inconsistencies that need to be addressed: “The federal regulatory framework has proven to be inconsistent. For example, the USDA’s rule stated that farmers will be held accountable – facing possible revoking of their licenses – if their crops test above a .5 percent THC level three times in a five year period. Despite this somewhat onerous and arbitrary level, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) instituted their own rule saying that exceeding .3 percent THC level deems the crop a controlled substance.

The burdensome competing rules don’t allow for remediation if the crop tests above the deemed inappropriate levels. Farmers should not be penalized for plants that they intended to grow as hemp, but for any number of reasons, the final THC numbers exceeded the arbitrary 0.3% THC level.  At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on CBD is still pending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which adds even more uncertainty to the marketplace.”

Creating An Improved THC For Edibles and Beverages

Cannabis Global, Marijuana Company of America and Natural Plant Extract Form Research Partnership for New THC Nano Technologies

CALIFORNIA:   Cannabis Global, Inc., a cannabinoid and hemp extract science-forward company developing infusion and delivery technologies and investing in fast-growing cannabis markets, today announced the inclusion of Marijuana Company of America Inc., as a research partner in its Project Varin research and development program. The two companies plan to collaborate on the development of new food and beverage products in conjunction with Natural Plant Extract of California, Inc., which operates a licensed cannabis manufacturing business operation out of Lynwood, California. Cannabis Global and Marijuana Company of America have both have equity stakes in NPE.

Cannabis Global and Marijuana Company of America will collaborate to develop new protocols and techniques for food and beverage cannabinoid infusion based on the experienced gained under the Project Varin program.

Arman Tabatabaei, commented, “Marijuana Company of America and Cannabis Global are both equity holders in NPE, which holds both manufacturing and distribution licenses within the State of California, so this collaboration between the three companies is a natural fit. Upon the filing of our next patent in this area, we plan to jointly work within the California regulatory framework to create a new method to infuse food and beverages with THC. The technology holds the promise to rewrite the industry dynamic relative to both cost of infusion and overall efficacy for not only THC, but also for other cannabinoids.”

The recent successes of Cannabis Global’s Project Varin includes the creation of highly loaded cannabinoid nano units made from all-natural ingredients. Whereas the current state of the art for cannabinoid nano infusion of foods and beverages relies on chemicals to maintain stability, Project Varin technologies use no such chemicals. This will allow product formulators to create foods and beverages with clean labels and do so without the introduction of bitter tastes. Additionally, with the extreme bioavailability expected, manufacturers can use less active ingredients to reduce costs or include the full amount of active ingredient to provide a superior effect of the chosen cannabinoid.

“Our hempSMART product line places strong emphasis on purity and natural ingredients, so the Project Varin technology suite is of great interest to Marijuana Company of America,” commented Jesus M. Quintero, CEO. “With both Cannabis Global and our Company being equity holders in NPE, and each holding equity in the other via our recently announced stock swap, the three-way collaboration makes tremendous sense and has the opportunity to yield extraordinary results. We welcome our expansion of the relationship with Cannabis Global.”

Is Marijuana A Better Alternative To Cigarettes?

Many smokers choose to make the switch from cigarettes to marijuana, whether it’s to simply give up smoking forever or to get more of a “buzz” from an inhalant. Marijuana and tobacco are both derived from naturally-occurring plants, but there’s a common misconception that “naturally-occurring” substances are always healthy. This simply isn’t the case.

Comparing marijuana and cigarettes requires some facts about both and their effects on the body, so you can choose for yourself. The answer to the question is a matter of personal preference, but you’ll find an in-depth comparison below for your consideration. If you’re a smoker, there are plenty of alternative products available aside from marijuana to get you off of cigarettes, including tobacco-less chew (Black Buffalo is a good start), CBD oils, and more.

Cigarette Facts

To get started, let’s look at some cigarette facts. Cigarettes are one of the most deadly and destructive products on the market to individual and public health and even the environment. Every year, the tobacco industry is responsible for millions of tons of litter, toxic waste, and thousands of deforested acres to make way for massive tobacco farms. This environmental damage affects wildlife, ecosystems, and perhaps more importantly, waterways.

You see, the tobacco industry is a fan of pesticides and fertilizers. After all, the crops can be worth billions of dollars in the final product form, so they must be protected and provide the highest yields possible. The problem with these chemical fertilizers and pesticides is that they’re loaded with dangerous and toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and other substances that offer a serious health hazard. And all of those nasty things end up in your cigarettes.

Cigarettes are said to contain anywhere from 3,000-7,000 chemicals, and at least 70 of those are known carcinogens (cancer-causing). Cigarettes have been linked to dozens of cancers and can cause serious damage to internal organs such as the heart and lungs. In fact, smoking makes you twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke because of its effects on the heart and blood vessels.

When you inhale cigarette smoke, the chemicals affect the red blood cells; specifically, the hemoglobin. Your blood thickens, and those platelets have a much more difficult time carrying and delivering oxygen to important organs and tissues. Not to mention, your blood pressure spikes, which causes serious strain on cardiac muscles and the inner lining of blood vessels. The bottom line?  Every time you take a drag on a cigarette, you’re taking minutes off of your life. And that’s a fact.

Marijuana Facts

Marijuana is a strain of Cannabis that contains higher concentrations of THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for marijuana’s classic “high” sensation. Users report feelings of euphoria and heightened physical sensation, as well as serious impairment. Let’s look at some marijuana facts to properly compare it to cigarettes.

Marijuana does not contain the enormous number of chemicals that tobacco does. While it has found use in some medical applications to help manage things like pain and anxiety, the exact benefits of inhaling marijuana smoke are still being studied. What we do know is that it shows great promise in pain management and perhaps even managing conditions like depression.

That being said, there’s a common misconception that you can’t become addicted to marijuana. Let’s clarify. While you can become chemically addicted to nicotine, you likely won’t become chemically addicted to THC, but that doesn’t mean you won’t become dependent on it for everyday life. You can become dependent on just about anything that brings you joy.

Is It Better?

The question still remains whether marijuana is a “better” alternative to cigarettes. The short answer? No. The lungs are designed to inhale oxygen, and that’s the only thing that should be entering them. Foreign substances can be dangerous, and hot smoke from any inhaled plant matter can cause damage to important lung structures.

Not to mention, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, despite being legalized in several states. That means you could potentially be prosecuted for possessing, growing, or using it.

Conclusion

Perhaps a better question to ask is, “what could I be doing instead of smoking?” Many of us suffer from a helpless addiction to a harmful vice, but even replacing that vice with something similar but “less harmful” can still be harmful in the end. Perhaps we should instead focus on art, literature, and other noble pursuits to better ourselves and spend our time more wisely. Vices, however minor they may seem, can lead us down a road we do not want to take. A more focused approach to our personal health will make us a happier, healthier society as a whole, which is something we definitely need during this pandemic. Don’t put yourself at risk for something that only damages your body!

Botanacor Offers A New “Dry Weight Potency (USDA)” Test

Botanacor Offers a New “Dry Weight Potency (USDA)” Test to Allow Hemp Producers to Achieve USDA Regulatory Compliance

USDA Will Soon Require Hemp Producers to Test Crops for Total THC Calculated on a Dry Weight Basis  

COLORADO: Botanacor Laboratories, the widely recognized leader in accredited testing of hemp biomass and hemp-derived CBD products, today announced that it offers a new test to hemp producers. Responding to new USDA regulations that will soon apply to U.S. states, territories, and tribes, Botanacor can now test hemp biomass for total THC calculated on a dry weight basis.

Offering the industry’s fastest turnaround times for its “moisture corrected” test results, Botanacor provides customers a Certificate of Analysis that includes Measurement Uncertainly for 15 cannabinoids.  Botanacor calculates the total THC using HPLC and accurately accounts for moisture content using the Karl Fischer Method for advanced titration.

Botanacor’s new test for total THC calculated on a dry weight basis recognizes that THC content is expressed as a percent of biomass weight.  However, moisture can add weight and distort the THC content calculation, with implications for product safety, consistency, potency, and regulatory compliance.  Only total THC calculated on a dry weight basis provides an accurate THC content across any type of hemp sample submitted for testing, no matter the initial moisture content of the samples submitted to Botanacor. (For background, link to the USDA Interim Final Rule.)

“Botanacor is known nationally for rapidly developing the validated tests required for our hemp-producing customers’ regulatory compliance,” said Mike Branvold, President of Botanacor.  “This new Dry Weight Potency (USDA) test is another example of Botanacor standing up a test in anticipation of USDA regulation to give our customers a competitive edge.”

How To Make and Cook With THC Coconut Oil

Making and cooking with THC coconut oil is not as difficult as it may sound. It is a nifty way to consume cannabis. You can bake cannabis coconut oil into different types of edibles or take it alone. Most cannabis strains complement the flavor of coconut oil. You can use Sativa, Indica, or other higher CBD strains of cannabis to get your desired effect. However, you will often need a canna-butter while cooking with cannabis.

If you have certain dietary restrictions or follow a vegan lifestyle, butter may not be an option for you. Fortunately, when it comes to binding to different types of plant or animal-based fats, cannabis does not discriminate. CBD and THC molecules tether easily to fat molecules since they are fat-soluble and lipophilic. In other words, they dissolve in fats quite easily. When you bind cannabis in this manner, you will enhance its benefits more than when you use alcohol or water bases.

Making THC coconut oil is very easy. It is also a great way to use up hash, kief, or trim from harvest. It is not necessary to overcomplicate the process or simmer it for a long time. The method outlined below will give you fancy, tasty, and potent cannabis coconut oil.

What You Will Need

To begin with, you will need a large measuring cup or bowl, cheesecloth, bowl to store the THC coconut oil, and sieve. You will also need two cups of unrefined coconut oil and 40 grams of decarboxylated cannabis. You can learn how to decarboxylate cannabis by doing a simple Google search.

Dosing, Strains, and Expectations

1.5 grams of trim per one tablespoon of cannabis coconut oil is quite a strong dose. It is ideal for people who suffer from frequent migraines, which require a stronger dose. You can use anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 grams of hash, bud, or trim per tablespoon of coconut oil. If this is your first time making and cooking with THC coconut oil, 16 grams of cannabis to two cups of coconut oil should serve you well.

If you prefer to use buds instead of trim, using a bit less is okay. This is because there will be more trichomes, which translates to more THC. Therefore, if you choose to use buds in the batch above, you should probably use 0.5 grams of buds for each tablespoon of coconut oil.

If you choose to take cannabis orally, it can take quite a while to feel it. However, the effects will probably linger for much longer. Cannabis coconut oil, on the other hand, it very potent and will likely make you sleepy. Therefore, if you have obligations later, do not take a new dose. Alternatively, you can use only Sativas in your coconut oil to combat sleepiness.

Combine the Cannabis and Coconut Oil and Simmer

Combine the coconut oil and cannabis in a saucepan and simmer over the lowest heat possible. Once the oil melts, let the mixture simmer for an hour while stirring every so often. If it turns out not green at all or too green, it is okay. The color does not have anything to do with the strength of cannabis coconut oil.

You need to use your cheesecloth in a sieve to strain the mixture over your measuring cup. Pour the hot mixture into the cheesecloth and let it drip for about an hour. Afterward, squeeze the rest out by hand. Finally, pour the THC coconut oil into a bowl or glass jar and leave it uncovered to cool. Once it is cool, close the container and store it in a cool dark place or the refrigerator.

Cooking With THC Coconut Oil

If this is your first time using THC coconut oil, try taking a tiny amount by mouth to test its potency. Before taking any more, however, you will need to wait at least three to four hours. This will help you get a baseline for how to use it on food and whether you need to increase or decrease the dose.

If you choose to cook with THC coconut oil, you should use recipes you are familiar with. Knowing how many slices of cake, muffins, or cookies that your recipe produces will help you figure out how much of the cannabis coconut oil you need to use per serving. If you need your edibles to be less potent, you can use half butter and half THC oil.

A Guide To Using CBD For Pain Management

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a term that’s gained quite a traction in the medical world. A substance that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, CBD doesn’t result in the “high” that is typically linked to cannabis. In fact, the “high” feeling is a result of using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another kind of cannabinoid.

So, why has CBD gained so much popularity recently? Well, studies suggest that topical CBD products, CBD oil, in particular, provide a remedy for chronic pain and decrease inflammation, pain, and discomfort linked to different health conditions.

Due to these benefits, it is a valuable alternative for people suffering from chronic pain and, hence, turn to stronger medications for relief. Such drugs, while useful, tend to result in side effects and cause dependency.

While research on CBD and its possible results are still ongoing, the future looks promising. Using CBD for pain is only going to become more common soon.

Capsules and Pills

Images: Pexels.com

Types of CBD Products

CBD is available in a variety of forms, and whichever type you choose depends on what you need to use CBD for. These forms typically include the following:

Tinctures and oils: Liquid infused with CBD is taken orally by placing it under your tongue with a dropper. This form is excellent for people who aren’t comfortable taking capsules or pills.

Lotions and creams: These topical treatments are great for joint and muscle pain. They can also be used for skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.

Capsules and pills: Such forms are commonly used to treat digestive issues and seizure disorders and may take some time to take effect once ingested.

Edibles: Ingesting gummies is one of the most common ways for CBD intake due to the taste, portability, affordability, and precision. 

Vaping: This form is the fastest way to experience the effects of CBD. Once CBD is inhaled through e-cigarettes, for instance, its compounds are directly absorbed into your bloodstream.

CBD For Pain Relief

Here are four ways CBD can help with pain:

Every person’s body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell-signaling system. According to research, what makes CBD effective is the impact it has on the endocannabinoid receptors found in a person’s immune system and brain.

These receptors are linked to a person’s cells and receive chemical signals from various stimuli and allow your cells to react. This reaction is what results in pain relief and anti-inflammation and, hence, helps manage chronic pain, such as post-trauma pain, back pain, and post-surgical pain.

Arthritis Pain Relief

Today, arthritis affects around 54 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The two most common kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The former is a degenerative disease that affects the bones and joints cartilage in the thumb, hip, and knee joints. The latter is an autoimmune disease where a person’s immune system attacks the joints and causes inflammation. It often occurs in the hands and feet.

While using CBD to treat pain related to arthritis does have a positive outlook, research has only been conducted on rats. Considerable research still needs to be carried out to prove if CBD is as effective in this area as it seems to be.

Cancer Treatment Pain Relief

Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation, come with their side effects, such as nausea, loss of appetite, and pain. According to research, CBD eases these side effects and also helps reduce inflammation and anxiety that results from these treatments.

Migraines

Throughout history, cannabis has been used as pain relief for headaches. While research isn’t specific, it does suggest that substances found in the cannabis plant result in therapeutic effects for headaches, especially migraines.

It’s important to note that these studies typically use the entire marijuana plant, which, apart from CBD, also contains THC. Hence, it is difficult to pinpoint whether these therapeutic effects are a result of THC, CBD, or both.

Side Effects

Intake of any product for medicinal purposes requires full awareness of its potential side effects. While CBD doesn’t have any significant risks associated with it, it may cause some side effects, such as:

  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Additionally, if you’re currently taking any dietary supplements, prescription medicines, or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, CBD may interfere with their results.

Conclusion

While research is still underway, CBD may provide pain relief for people suffering from various conditions. CBD should ideally be introduced to your body in small doses and then built up from there.

Moreover, it’s vital to consult your doctor to ensure it doesn’t interfere with any other treatments you may be undergoing. Your doctor can also help you figure out the dosage that’s right for you.

As more research is conducted, the uncertainty around using CBD for pain will decrease.

Have you used CBD to treat pain or any other medical conditions? Let us know in the comments below!

Cannabis and Hemp Extraction Explained: Ethanol vs. Supercritical

The hemp industry is projected to grow into a $16 billion industry by 2025, and the cannabis (legal marijuana) industry is expected to grow to a $66.3 billion industry during the same period. Keeping this trend in mind, it is now a good time as ever to invest in these burgeoning markets. And if you are a consumer of hemp or cannabis-based products, expect to choose from a wide variety of CBD based products ranging from oils, creams, and balms to foods, beverages, and tinctures.

So why is the industry booming? First off, the demand for CBD based products is on the rise. This is attributed to the fact that CBD has numerous health benefits, such as managing anxiety and depression, relieving chronic pain, treating acne, and alleviating cancer-related symptoms. As an organic option, it has gained considerable popularity among people who want to distance themselves from the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Secondly, the recent wave of legalization of the hemp industry has generated an influx of new entrants in the market. Many countries, including the US and most countries in Europe, allow the manufacture, sale, and purchase of hemp-based CBD products with regulated amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and it is responsible for giving the user a “high”. Therefore, with strict regulations on THC content, usually below 0.3%, CBD products are being made safe to consume.

As for cannabis-based CBD products, many analysts and professionals in the field claim that the legalization of cannabis is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”. While some countries, such as Australia, have only legalized medical cannabis, others, such as Canada, have made it completely legal. It is expected that the wave of global cannabis legalization is imminent.

Furthermore, changes in public perception regarding the legalization and consumption of CBD products have transformed the industry. With people favorably viewing both cannabis and hemp for their numerous medical benefits, the previously held stigma attached to cannabis plants is rapidly dissipating.

Since CBD-based products have garnered massive demand and attention, it is only logical to assume that consumers want the best products on the market. In this regard, it is exceptionally helpful for consumers to familiarize themselves with the different methods of cannabis and hemp extraction. Since the quality, purity, and potency of the final product directly depends on its extraction from the cannabis plant, it is helpful to recognize different extraction methods.

This article will explain the difference between the two most widely used cannabis and hemp extraction methods, namely ethanol extraction and carbon dioxide (CO2) supercritical extraction. So read on to find out the processes, advantages, and disadvantages of each method.

Ethanol Extraction of Cannabis and Hemp 

With rapid advancements in technology, companies have been able to build cannabis extraction machines that allow for safe, efficient, clean and environmentally friendly extraction of hemp and cannabis. These machines are specifically built to be sustainable and provide economies of scale for commercial production.

In this regard, one of the most innovative methods of extraction has been the development of the ethanol extraction system. While ethanol extraction has been used in the food and pharmaceutical extraction industry for decades, the latest ethanol extraction machines have successfully eliminated the need for post-processing methods such as winterization and filtration.

Ethanol

How Does Ethanol Extraction Work?

Since ethanol is a highly polar solvent, it can bind to virtually all the substances in the cannabis plant. This means that unwanted compounds, such as fats, lipids, waxes, and even chlorophyll can be extracted. Previously, attempts at extracting CBD from cannabis or hemp using room-temperature ethanol required post-processing techniques to separate the essential from the non-essential compounds.

However, engineering efforts have found a way around that. Nowadays, ethanol is supercooled and its polarity is manipulated so that it only extracts the desirable compounds from the cannabis plant or the biomass. The ethanol makes use of something called a negative pressure to “pull” out the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis or hemp plant.

This process requires a Solvent Storage Tank for the supercooled ethanol, a Holding Tank for the cannabis or hemp plant, and an Extraction Vessel for the ethanol to pass through the plant to extract the useful chemical compounds. Highly efficient machines may contain other pieces of equipment, such as sock filters and pneumatic actuators to help filter out the plant material and maintain pressure differentials, respectively.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ethanol Extraction

Following are the advantages of ethanol extraction:

  • It helps achieve a 98.6% efficiency during extraction.
  • It is safe to use since it eliminates the need for heat or high pressure. Ethanol is also FDA approved as a food-grade solvent.
  • It does not require post-processing.
  • The end-product is of superior quality and high concentration.

Following are the disadvantages of ethanol extraction:

  • The equipment may require considerable investment costs.
  • Skilled people will be needed to operate the machinery.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Cannabis and Hemp 

Carbon Dioxide is another widely used method of cannabis and hemp extraction. Since CO2 is a gas, changes in temperature and pressure are needed to convert the CO2 into a solvent state to enable it to extract the needed cannabinoids. This state, referred to as supercritical, allows the CO2 to behave both like a gas and a liquid at once.

How Does CO2 Extraction Work?

The CO2 extraction method primarily uses three different equipment. The Compression Chamber helps the CO2 to go beyond its critical state, therefore converting it into supercritical CO2. This is passed through the cannabis or hemp plant in the Extraction Vessel to pull out the useful compounds. The desirable components of the extraction process are then collected in a Separator while the CO2 is condensed and prepared to be reused for the next extraction cycle.

The process, which uses high pressure, requires somewhere between 1500 psi to 2000 psi. This makes it demanding in terms of power requirements. Furthermore, CO2 is considered a weak solvent, which means that that extraction cycle must last a minimum of two hours and still have a yield below that which is achieved from ethanol extraction. This makes it rather difficult to scale out the production process using CO2 extraction method.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of CO2 Extraction

Following are the advantages of CO2 extraction:

  • It doesn’t contain any residuals post-extraction.
  • The equipment can be tuned and customized for a specific type of extraction, such as temperature-sensitive extraction.
  • It doesn’t pull out any large unwanted molecules such as chlorophyll.

Following are the disadvantages of CO2 extraction:

  • CO2 is a weak solvent compared to ethanol.
  • The equipment is very costly and needs high safety standards for setting up.
  • The usage of high pressure and temperature requires superior safety standards.
  • The machinery is advanced and requires technical expertise.
  • The machinery is prone to wear and tear due to high-pressure used in the process.