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.

Canterbury Group Launches Jamaican Brew House, All Natural Cannabis Beverage Company

CAYMAN ISLANDS: Canterbury Group, a global investment firm with $6 billion of assets under management and custody, announced today the launch of Jamaican Brew House, a Jamaican-based cannabis beverage company that produces all-natural products for the health-conscious consumer who wants the benefits of CBD and THC.

Unlike others cannabis beverage companies that use a synthetic method to add in THC or CBD to existing products, Jamaican Brew House is the first and only company to use a patent-pending botanical process to naturally create a neutral base that offers both therapeutic benefits and delicious flavor. The base is produced from cannabis that is locally harvested and refined in Jamaica.

“We are excited to officially announce the launch of Jamaican Brew House and introduce our proprietary new botanical process to the beer industry,” said Erin Winczura, Founder and CEO of Canterbury Group, Jamaican Brew House’s parent company. “We saw a need in today’s current marketplace to create a great tasting and natural cannabis product that could also be commercially distributed.”

Backed by a leadership team with over five decades of beverage experience, Jamaican Brew House’s cannabis beverages will include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers, ciders and seltzers. Jaime Jurado, industry veteran and former International President of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, serves as Jamaican Brew House’s brewmaster, leading product development.

With test production underway, Jamaican Brew House plans to release cannabis-infused beers, ciders and seltzers through commercial distribution in Canada, Jamaica and other international countries where it is legal by early 2020. Jamaican Brew House will create two different blends, one with CBD made from hemp, which contains only 0.3% THC, and one made from marijuana plants, which has a higher concentration of THC.

Jamaican Brew House is a portfolio company of Canterbury Group. For more information about Canterbury Group, please visit canterburygroup.ky.

Why Researchers Recommend Using CBD After A Workout

By Hannah Jones

The workout is considered as trending physical activity these days. As interest continues to grow among health and fitness trends, people have begun to look for new ways to enhance their fitness regime.

Perhaps, eating a lot of protein and taking pre and post workout supplements can help you make the most out of your workout. This is where CBD comes in. Although CBD is not classified as a health supplement by the FDA – CBD helps restore the body, including muscle building and recovery.

A group of Colorado based researchers recently conducted a study to know how the use of cannabis affects athletes. And, it was found that there exists a possible role between the plant and pain management. The study took into account cannabis use patterns and its effects in a community-based cohort of adult athletes.

AIM OF THE STUDY

Athletes typically don’t sleep well and are anxious, so, the Athlete PEACE Survey aimed at examining cannabis use patterns and subjective effects of cannabis amongst adult athletes. Besides, it also observed the pain outcomes after the treatment.  Out of 1,161 athletes who completed the survey, 301 were current cannabis users.

The researchers determined cannabis user phenotypes and also created subjective effects factors. Additionally, over half of the cannabis users reported consumption three or fewer times per week.

  • Cluster analysis identified three statistically distinct cannabis user phenotypes

1) Athletes aged forty years and above – Primarily medical CBD users

2) Mixed age athletes – Recreational Cannabis users using both THC and CBD

3) Mixed age athletes – Long-time cannabis users using primarily THC and CBD.

  • EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis) showed three subjective effect factors:

a)     Well-being (To measure pain-relief)

b)     Calm (To measure anxiety-relief)

c)     Adverse (To measure side-effects)

The athletes exhibited the most benefit to well-being and calm with minimal adverse effects.

This methodology can be used to develop real-world evidence to inform future use of medical cannabis products.

IMPORTANT FINDINGS

The analysis revealed:

  • Three distinct cannabis user type clusters – (It intended to inform -the patterns of using cannabis by each phenotype-cluster to experience corresponding benefits)
  • The difference in subjective effects of cannabis by these cannabis user type clusters
  • Combined THC and CBD use provided the largest benefits which increased with frequent use.
  • Athletes experienced adverse effects at low frequency
  • More athletes achieved anxiety-relief as compared to ones experiencing pain-relief

In all the three clusters, positive effects were more often observed than adverse effects. However, amongst all the three clusters, long duration COMBO cluster showed the strongest positive and adverse associations to the use of cannabis. Henceforth, the full spectrum CBD oil which has CBD & THC is the most beneficial and plays a vital role in the well being and calming factors together with having low adverse effects.

The study shows that cannabis had an effect on athletes well being together with calming and adverse effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

WHAT THE RESEARCHERS HAVE TO SAY?

The cluster analysis in cannabis research focuses on the problem use behaviors. The analyses suggest that adult athletes are using cannabis responsibly and primarily for medical conditions such as pain and anxiety. In addition, current cannabis users exercised at a high frequency with about 63% exercising 5–7 days per week and 71% exercising 6–15 hours per week (data not shown), numbers that far exceed the weekly recommendation of 150 minutes per week of exercise.

The researchers hold the view that the research of cannabis use and especially for certain groups won’t be stopping anytime soon. They are more excited and enthusiastic to study cannabis use in more demographics.

Amongst all, the older adults are the fastest-growing demographic initiating cannabis use. Such research studies will also help you know how the products affect the consumers and how they’ll be used in future.

CONCLUSION

Scientific research has laid down the base to outline the possible benefits that CBD consumption can offer post workout to athletes.

Most importantly, CBD widens the therapeutic effects of THC and benefits more as a whole. It helps reduce some painful side effects caused by muscle recovery.

The effect of CBD differs from individual to individual. However, it can make a noticeable change in your workout routine or muscle soreness.

 

Centers For Disease Control: Initial State Findings Point To Clinical Similarities In Illnesses Among People Who Use E-cigarettes Or “Vape”

No single product linked to all cases of lung disease

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Initial findings from the investigation into serious lung illnesses associated with e-cigarette products point to clinical similarities among those affected. Patients report similar exposures, symptoms and clinical findings and these align with the CDC health advisory released last week. While many of the patients, but not all, reported recent use of THC-containing products, some reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products. A smaller group reported using nicotine only.

No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. However, it is too early to pinpoint a single product or substance common to all cases, according to authors of articles published today in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We are committed to finding out what is making people sick,” said Robert R. Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “All available information is being carefully analyzed, and these initial findings are helping us narrow the focus of our investigation and get us closer to the answers needed to save lives.”

CDC, FDA, and state partners are combining information about e-cigarette exposures, results from FDA testing of product samples, and clinical testing results to identify a cause or causes of these illnesses.

“The FDA appreciates the continued collaboration between our federal and state public health partners to get to the bottom of these distressing incidents and gather more information about any products or substances used. We are leaving no stone unturned in following any potential leads and we’re committed to taking appropriate actions as the facts emerge,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “Our laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses and have received more than 120 samples from the states so far. The FDA is analyzing these for a broad range of chemicals but no one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested. Importantly, identifying any compounds present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but won’t necessarily answer questions about causality, which makes our ongoing work critical.”

CDC launched a multi-state investigation into the lung illnesses on August 1, 2019, and has worked closely since then with FDA, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause. As of today, more than 25 states have reported possible cases of lung illnesses associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).

At least two deaths have been reported to CDC. Additional cases of lung illness are being investigated to determine whether they are linked to e-cigarette use and have similar clinical features. This includes looking back for older cases based on CDC’s case definition. States are in the process of classifying possible cases, and this information will be reported next week.

What CDC is doing

CDC has created an incident command structure to respond to these illnesses and is working with FDA and states to investigate whether the illnesses may be linked to specific devices, ingredients, or contaminants in the devices, or substances associated with e-cigarette product use. On August 30, 2019, states were asked to submit data to CDC about lung illnesses associated with e-cigarette product use, as well as information about the types of e-cigarette products used. CDC is currently receiving data from affected states and will share updates as more information becomes available.

What health care providers can do

CDC encourages clinicians to immediately report possible cases of e-cigarette-associated lung disease to their local or state health department for further investigation. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible cause for a patient’s lung disease, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources, and the devices used should be obtained, as outlined in the HAN (Health Alert Network), and efforts should be made to determine if any remaining product, devices, and liquids are available for testing.

What the public can do

While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products. People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, people who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers also can contact their local poison control center.

CDC and FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected health or product issues related to tobacco or e-cigarette products to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon.

The reports released today in CDC’s MMWR include “Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Electronic-Cigarette-Product Use – Interim Guidance” by CDC authors and “Notes from the Field: An outbreak of e-cigarette associated acute lipoid pneumonia — North Carolina, July–August, 2019,” from North Carolina cliniciansThe New England Journal of Medicine today released “Preliminary Report: Pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use, Illinois and Wisconsin,” with authors from the two states and CDC co-authors.

More information about the investigation is available on the CDC website.

Infusion Biosciences Develops Breakthrough Testing Methods to Detect Cannabinoids in Water Solutions to Meet Food and Safety Standards

CANADA: Sproutly Canada has announced today that Infusion Biosciences have developed and verified analytical methods that detect, identify, and measure cannabinoid molecules in water-soluble (“Infuz2O”) and oil preparations (“Bio-Natural Oil”) derived from cannabis and hemp using APP Technology (collectively, the “Developed Analytics”). APP Technology is a patent pending process that uses proprietary reagents to recover naturally occurring water-soluble cannabinoids as well as the cannabis oils.

The proprietary methods for the Developed Analytics were created and refined during the past year through the work of Sproutly’s Chief Science Officer and Director Dr. Arup Sen in collaboration with state certified US testing laboratories. The delivery of the Developed Analytics satisfies Sproutly’s Earn Out Milestones (defined below) in the Acquisition Agreements (defined below) dated August 1, 2018 for the purchase of Infusion Biosciences Canada Inc. and SSM Partners Inc.

The cannabis industry has faced challenges in testing and measuring cannabinoid content in water formulations fortified with marijuana ingredients. Standard analytical methods used today for the detection and quantitation of cannabinoids had been designed for isolated oils and lack the ability to reliably measure cannabinoid contents in finished edible and beverage products. Correctly and reproducibly measuring the potency of bioactive cannabinoids in recreational, health and wellness, and medicinal beverage products is critical for successful marketing of these products in compliance with applicable food safety standards.

Dr. Arup Sen and Infusion have been successful in developing a proprietary method for processing Infuz2O preparations in order to detect tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), cannabidiol (“CBD”) and several other cannabinoids. The proprietary process allows for independent third-party testing laboratories to prepare the cannabis and hemp samples of Infuz2O so that analytical methods used by these laboratories can then detect and measure the natural water-soluble cannabinoids. The results obtained in collaboration with third-party laboratories utilized for this research verify the predicted levels of cannabinoids recovered by APP Technology in Infuz2O.

Furthermore, lab result comparisons of cannabinoid profiles of the cannabis biomass before and after each step of APP Technology have revealed no detectable change in composition of the major cannabinoids and no indication of selective separation of cannabinoids from biomass in either Infuz2O or Bio-Natural Oil. Additional chemical tests carried out during this research further confirmed the molecular identity of cannabinoids in Infuz2O and Bio-Natural Oils to be the same as standard cannabinoid molecules.

Sproutly intends to provide technical guidance to qualified third-party testing laboratories in order to enable them to analyze Infuz2O products to meet applicable regulatory authority requirements for commercial sale of Sproutly’s products.

“The ability to test for cannabinoids in water formulations has been unreliable for cannabis beverages globally due to the existing testing standards and practices,” said Dr. Arup Sen, Chief Science Officer and Director of Sproutly. “With ever increasing food-safety standards that need to be met for cannabis beverage and edible products, the completion of our research and the Developed Analytics are significant milestones in the commercialization of APP Technology; this is another step forward towards reliable and accurate testing for ingestible cannabis products.”

FDA Warns Consumers To Protect Themselves By Avoiding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing Vaping Products

FDA Warning

The FDA is providing consumers information to help protect themselves while health officials investigate recent illnesses following the use of vaping products.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Consumers are likely aware of the recent reports of respiratory illnesses — including some resulting in deaths – following the use of vaping products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remains deeply concerned about these incidents and is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local public health partners to investigate them as quickly as possible.

While the work by federal and state health officials to identify more information about the products used, where they were obtained and what substances they contain is ongoing, the FDA is providing consumers with some information to help protect themselves.

In particular, many of the samples tested by the states or by the FDA as part of this ongoing investigation have been identified as vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, a psychoactive component of the marijuana plant) and further, most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is a substance present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements, but data are limited about its effects after inhalation.

While the FDA does not have enough data presently to conclude that Vitamin E acetate is the cause of the lung injury in these cases, the agency believes it is prudent to avoid inhaling this substance. Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. Additionally, no youth should be using any vaping product, regardless of the substance.

At least one of the associated deaths that has been publicly disclosed External Link Disclaimer appears to have been related to illicit THC vaping products. In many cases of illness reported by the states, patients have acknowledged recent use of THC-containing vaping products while speaking to healthcare personnel, or in follow-up interviews by health department staff.

It’s important to note that more information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses. To help gather and analyze as much information as possible, the FDA’s laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses.

The FDA is analyzing samples submitted by a number of states for the presence of a broad range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC and other cannabinoids along with cutting agents/diluents and other additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons, heavy metals and toxins.

No one substance has been identified in all of the samples tested. Importantly, identifying any compounds that are present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but will not necessarily answer questions about what is causing these illnesses.

Federal and state partners are following any potential leads, including the presence of Vitamin E acetate found in many of the samples containing THC. The FDA is committed to taking appropriate actions as the facts emerge and keeping the public informed as we have more information to share.

However, in the interim, we encourage consumers to help protect themselves and avoid buying vaping products of any kind on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. If you continue to use these THC-containing vaping products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. If you are concerned about your health after using a vaping product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers also can contact their local poison control center.

CDC and the FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.

Understanding The Medical and Recreational Benefits Of Cannabis

In 2012, the two states of Colorado and Washington sent shockwaves through the United States when they voted to legalize recreational cannabis. With these states legalizing, a domino effect has started around the country. As of 2019, the majority of states now have passed legalizations for recreational cannabis (11 states, including the District of Columbia), or medical cannabis (33 states).

People everywhere benefitted from these laws being passed. Consumers were able to go to the dispensaries for the first time to buy cannabis legally. Business owners set up dispensaries that people would flock to, and these businesses meant new employment opportunities for job seekers. Legal cannabis also saw revenue in cannabis-friendly states go nowhere but up.

With all of these new laws being passed in favor of cannabis comes a new awareness about the plant itself. More research about its medicinal qualities has come out in recent years. Cannabis is non-addictive and offers a variety of benefits for both medical and recreational users alike.

shutterstock_106154153The Medical Benefits of Cannabis

Cannabis offers many medicinal qualities to patients for all kinds of conditions. Recently, the DEA considered the reclassification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. While they regrettably didn’t reclassify cannabis, they did express their support to the further research of the plant, and worked on processes to make it easier for researchers.

Over the years, many studies have been made as to just what sorts of conditions cannabis can treat. Medical cannabis can help people with the following conditions:

  • People with epilepsy: Cannabis (notably the CBD found in the cannabis plant) can be a big helper for people suffering from epilepsy and seizures. Studies done on people taking Epidiolex (an FDA approved drug made of CBD) who were suffering from seizures experienced a mild drop in seizure occurrences.
  • People with severe pain and inflammation: Cannabis can help treat pain, as the effects felt after smoking may help to relieve the feelings of pain people with chronic issues experience.
  • People with eating disorders: Folks with eating disorders can benefit from cannabis, because it can increase a patient’s appetite and encourage them to eat more. 
  • Cancer patients: Not only can cannabis help control the feelings of nausea associated with chemotherapy, but it can also help control the vomiting. Research suggests that cannabis might also be able to reduce or even kill cancer cells, and possibly even slow the growth of tumors.
  • Depression: People who suffer from anxiety or depression can greatly benefit from cannabis. Cannabis can provide a feeling of happiness, and can help someone suffering from depression enjoy the little things more.

As you can see, cannabis offers medical patients a whole lot of healing qualities. What about recreational users, then?

shutterstock_116618575

The Recreational Benefits of Cannabis

Recreational cannabis has taken many states by storm. In some of the states where cannabis is legal, law enforcement has even seen a drop in drug related stops and arrests, as well as drops in drinking and driving incidents and violent crimes.

Recreational users experience several benefits from being able to enjoy cannabis. Not every recreational user is looking to “get stoned,” but rather enjoy the benefits offered by one of the most versatile plants on the planet.

  • Liven up social gatherings. Someone having some friends over to their house might enjoy breaking out some cannabis and sharing it. Many friends and social circles were built on smoking together, and it is still a bonding experience among both friends and families today. 
  • Have a great nightcap! There are many people in the world who start drinking the minute they get home from work to deal with the day’s stress. Recreational cannabis users look forward to going home and sparking up, then just enjoying some music or a good show on the couch. Another bonus: there are no hangovers from smoking cannabis. 
  • Cannabis can bring out your creativity. Anyone who considers themselves creative can reap some benefits from cannabis. A lot of musicians, writers, artists, and actors get inspired after a good smoke. Certain strains can really unlock your creativity and get those neurons firing!

Now that you know some of the benefits offered by medical and recreational cannabis, you have to decide how you’re going to enjoy it.

Luckily, whether you choose to smoke or vape your weed, there are plenty of options around to enhance and personalize your cannabis experience.

Smoking Cannabis

Smoking is the tried and true method. It’s faster and a little cheaper initially than vaping. All you have to do is find your flower and put it in your preferred smoking device, and you’re off to the races.

Speaking of smoking devices, there is no shortage of them on the market. Beautiful glass pipes and water vases of all sorts of different designs, hookahs, and more are on offer for you to choose from at dispensaries and head shops. You can also just roll up a good old fashioned joint and pass it around.

volcano vapingVaping Cannabis

Vaping has been in the public eye for a while in the form of nicotine delivery systems. Lately, legal states have sold a lot of cannabis vapes, too. You can choose from cannabis oil vaporizers or dry herb vaporizers.

Cannabis oil vapes are refillable tanks with batteries. You can buy your favorite type of THC or CBD oil and refill your tank whenever it gets low. These can be super convenient and very discreet.

Dry herb vapes are devices that heat up dried herb. These are perfect for relaxing at home. Just insert some fresh cannabis and press the button, and you’re good to go.

No matter which type of vape you want, you will have plenty of options available at your local dispensary or online. Many reputable and popular brands offer more vapor devices than ever nowadays, with popular kits like the Volcano Vaporizer for sale and more, you’ll find something that will agree with your personality and your wallet!

Puff, Puff, Pass

As we become more and more aware of the medical and recreational benefits of cannabis, more people will have access to it and more states will continue to legalize it. This is good news for anyone who is a cannabis enthusiast, or for anyone who depends on it for medical reasons.

What’s your story with cannabis? Are you a recreational or medical user, or maybe a little bit of both? Do you prefer smoking or vaping, and what are some of your favorite products?