Politics

Test Results anyone? THC, THCA, Formula...

States that have legalized in cannabis require testing for potency and contaminants in cannabis, and lab-testing cannabis is quickly becoming an important part of the industry. The tests for pesticides, mold, contamination, etc. don’t require any new or special analytical techniques and are part of standard practice for other agricultural products as well. With the right lab equipment, chemists can measure cannabinoids to a certain degree of precision if they do it right, but the lack of a standardized way of looking at the data has everyone confused.

The subject of this issue is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which occurs naturally in the plant. THCA needs to be heated so it changes into THC, the active form that gets you high. All cannabinoids occur naturally in their acid forms, that’s just how their enzymes make them. The difference between THCA and THC is a carboxy group. Upon smoking, cooking or vaping heat gets rid of the carboxy so THCA gives of CO2, loosing about 12% of its weight in the process. Why does this matter for lab testing? Because THCA is heavier than THC, and lab results are given in percent mass.

The root of the confusion is the fact that different lab techniques give inherently different potency values. Depending on the lab, the analysis machine might use one of two separation methods: gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC).

GC happens at high temperatures, enough to completely decarboxylate all the cannabinoids in the mixture. The oven it happens in decarboxylates THCA before passing on to the detector, so it only picks up THC. This makes GC almost useless for testing edibles, because you need to be able to tell the difference between orally inactive THCA and active THC. Furthermore, decarboxylation happens incompletely at those high temperatures in the injector port, conserving no more than 70% of THCA, according to one study.

Liquid chromatography happens at room temperature and does not decarboxylate any cannabinoids, giving separate values for THCA and THC, which are always both present. These results need to be interpreted correctly, and hold hidden information about how the sample was handled and temperatures it has been exposed to.

Let’s look at an example. Given one lab result you could get three THC potency readings depending on how you read it, but only one method really stands to reason. Consider a made up lab result of Hypothetical OG that used LC, say it has 22.32% percent mass of THCA and 2.41% percent mass THC (active THC).

If you just look at the THCA value, you might think it has 22.32% THC. If you add the THC value to that, you might think this strain has 24.74% THC. Neither of these values is correct.

To get a real potency value you need to consider both THCA and THC, but with a correction factor for THCA before you add in THC. To calculate THCTOTAL:

 

THCtotal = (%THCA) x 0.877 + (%THC)

 

0.877 is the molecular mass (mm) of THC divided by that of THCA; this factor boils it down to a simple formula: take 87.7% of the value for THCA, then add on the value for THC. This formula also holds true for finding the active CBD content (CBD TOTAL) because CBD and THC have the exact same mm. Therefore the correct value of THC TOTAL for Hypothetical OG is 21.98%, the weighted average of THCA and THC.

To get a real measure of the potency of a strain of pot, you need to look at THC TOTAL. This is because the relative amounts of THCA and THC depend on the amount of heat the flower, dry bud or extract has been exposed to. Since this is always different, lab testing needs to see past this variable.

Since GC doesn’t work for edibles, many labs are switching to LC to test for edibles. If you know you’re looking at a lab test that used LC, you’ll need to use this formula to get a consistent value of THC TOTAL.

When looking at lab results, make sure to take this into consideration. Be suspicious of lab results that just give you one number for %THC. If the lab used GC, you won’t have this issue at all. The %THC given from a GC machine roughly reflects THC TOTAL.

Read the original article from High Times HERE.

Why we need to rebrand the term "HIGH"

“My patients need that THC; they don’t really get a lot of benefit from CBD-only products,” says Bryan Krumm, a psychiatric nurse practitioner who currently works with about one thousand PTSD patients in New Mexico.

He has seen whole-plant cannabis heal all types of patients throughout 25 years in the psychiatry field. He has seen it relieve struggles with PTSD (including his own), as well as other psychiatric woes such as depression and addiction.

“There’s nothing wrong with that psychoactive effect,” he says. “People opposed to cannabis complain that this is a euphoriant and that it makes you high. But that’s what we do in psychiatry. We try to induce euphoria, to lift people’s moods. We don’t want people to be down and low and depressed.”

The difference between Krumm and a lot of other psychiatrists is this: he refuses to ever prescribe another pharmaceutical.

His only exception is the FDA-approved Marinol, a synthetic version of THC developed in the 1980s. A lot of cannabis physicians and practitioners frown upon Marinol because of negative studies and because whole-plant cannabis seems to be more therapeutic with its additional 100+ cannabinoids and multitude of terpene profiles.

But Krumm prescribes Marinol to certain patients when they travel out-of-state to places where cannabis remains prohibited. And some of his patients, contrary to what the studies tell us, actually prefer it to whole-plant medication.

By talking and listening to so many patients, Krumm has discovered that a lot of the studies out there are inaccurate.

In general, the term “high” is supposed to have good connotations, Krumm says.

“If you do the right thing morally and ethically, you’re said to be taking the high road. When we want to get smarter we pursue higher education. We set out to improve ourselves and lift ourselves, and we try to raise ourselves up out of poverty.”

But, like with so many other things applied to cannabis, the idea of getting high immediately gets a negative connotation, he says. “We need to change our understanding and reclaim that term as something positive – which is what it’s supposed to be.”......

Another expert I talked to, Sebastian Marincolo – a cannabis philosopher and writer who has been researching the herb for 10 years now – likes the difference between high and stoned. “When we say stoned we think of that couch-lock state of mind where you’re sedated, not thinking clearly – and for some people this is the desired effect,” he says.

“But the ‘high’ is something else,” Marincolo continues. “It is more euphoric and energetic – a different state of mind which comes with systematic changes in cognition and perception. And most people underestimate all of this and they don’t understand the full bouquet of changes.”

Where a lot of people view the psychoactive element as the adverse side effect of marijuana, Marincolo has methodically explored and laid out what he calls the bouquet of cognitive effects offered by the plant.

In Marincolo’s new book What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin, he writes about many of these cognitive effects:

  • Hyper focusing
  • Episodic memory retrieval
  • Pattern recognition
  • Enhanced imagination
  • Increased empathy
  • Associative & lateral thinking
  • Deeper introspection

“It doesn’t really give you a total enhancement of cognition, but there are a bunch of possibilities,” Marincolo says. “No matter what you do, you always have some functions enhanced and some that get worse.”

Read the whole article at GreenFlower Media HERE.

Happy Easter!

For our Easter celebration we are sharing some of the best Bible verses about cannabis!

Genesis 1:29, the most commonly cited pro-pot verse according to Driscoll, says, “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’”

Luke 6:37, a kind of catchall verse, says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Are there other verses that might lend themselves in support of lighting up? Hint: Look for verses that mention plants or crops. Here are five:

Genesis 1:12 says, “The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 9:3 says, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

1 Timothy 4:1-3, which is about people who will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits, says, “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.”

Revelation 22:1-2, which imagines the water of life flowing from the throne of God, says, “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

Matthew 15:11 says, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

CBD and THC Effects and Ratios

Research on the benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in isolation is well established. THC demonstrates analgesicanti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory properties, whereas CBD possesses anti-psychotic, anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety properties.

However, research on the simultaneous use of THC:CBD is less robust – its origins can be traced to Brazil in the mid-1970s. In this study, patients were given between 15-60mg of CBD in conjunction with 30mg of THC, and the effects were measured. Subjects reported more pleasurable effects and less anxiety with the combination of CBD and THC than they felt with THC alone.

Furthermore, a group of scientists examined the effects of administering CBD at a dose six times that of THC. They found that 73% of study participants reported a decreased feeling of being “high” when compared to THC alone.

Follow-up studies have demonstrated that the combination of the two cannabinoids reduced users’ experiences of tachycardia (increased heart rate), gait instability, and difficulty in eye tracking exercises. These results support the theory that CBD works to minimize some of the negative side effects of THC.

The most recent research into THC:CBD ratios comes out of the pharmaceutical industry, specifically around the GW Pharmaceuticals‘ Sativex, which has a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD. In the clinical trials phase of drug development, researchers examined the effects of THC, CBD, and combination extracts on sleep, pain control, and muscle spasms. They found that 1:1 THC-CBD extracts provided the most therapeutic relief across all categories.

Click HERE to read the full article.

"If you have to use pesticides...you're doing it wrong."

Oregon on Monday issued a list of more than 250 pesticides cannabis growers may be able to use on their crops. The list represents the first clear guidance from Oregon agriculture officials on what chemicals the state's marijuana industry may use to defeat mites, mold, mildew and other common pests and problems. Top state agriculture officials made clear that the list is a "starting spot" for marijuana growers, who still have to follow pesticide labels. Lauren Henderson, assistant director of the agency, said regulators combed through more than 12,000 pesticides registered with the state to see which had labels broad enough to include cannabis. Ultimately, the agency came up with about 250 products. The list will be reviewed quarterly, said Henderson.

Aviv Hadar, an owner of Oregrown, a dispensary in downtown Bend, said growers shouldn't use pesticides at all.

"If you have to use pesticides," he said in a text message to The Oregonian/OregonLive, "you're doing it wrong."

But it's clear many do. Though Oregon mandates pesticide testing for marijuana, a combination of lax state rules, inconsistent lab practices and inaccurate test results has allowed pesticide-laced products to enter the medical marijuana market, an investigation last year by The Oregonian/OregonLive found.

Rodger Voelker, a chemist at OG Analytical, a marijuana testing lab in Eugene, said Oregon's list doesn't include some of the more common pesticides he sees in cannabis that comes through his lab.

He also said growers will have to figure out how to safely apply the chemicals on the state's list. Some are included in state-mandated lab testing. That means growers may be able to apply the chemical to their crop, but the product will have to test below a certain level before it lands on store shelves.

Click HERE to read the full article.

 

Application is in!

Today was the first official day that the Oregon cannabis industry was able to start applying for licenses, and ours is in! #LEGALIZEDIT #HIGHINTHEHOOD

Sustainability-Driven Entrepreneurs

Right now “sustainability” still means pushing back against business as usual. As a young sustainability professional, I wanted to further explore the characteristics of successful sustainability-driven entrepreneurs.

1. Sustainable DNA

They make sure sustainability is baked into their business model. Over 1,300 companies have met B-Lab’s requirements and are officially recognized as a Certified B Corporation. According to B-Lab, “By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.” There are also 1,200 companies have partnered with 1% for the Planet to donate one percent of their net annual sales to non-profit organizations working to tackle environmental challenges. Whether sustainability-driven entrepreneurs get official certifications and partner with big networks or just participate in similar practices without official recognitions, they always make sure they are having a positive impact on the economy, environment, and community.

2. Compassionate

Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported on a German study that found, “heightened sensitivity to the suffering of other people” is a major “emotional and personality-based driver of environmental attitudes.” Since systematically improving the way we treat communities is a major part of sustainability, it makes sense that the people who choose to work in the field also tend to be mindful of how they personally treat the individuals around them, which makes for great coworkers.

3. Highly Motivated

Sustainable entrepreneurship isn’t something people usually get into unless they are truly passionate about the issues. They believe in their vision for how much better the world could be and have an insatiable need to keep working towards it, even with the knowledge that they may not live to see it come to fruition. Because as anyone in the business of improving the world knows—it is an ongoing process, not a destination.

4. Resilient

Working towards sustainability is inherently emotional work, and because it requires going against the status quo it is filled with roadblocks and naysayers. Successful sustainability-driven entrepreneurs must have strong emotional awareness and they develop strategies to help them keep moving forward when the world tries to burn them out. In an interview with Net Impact Adam Hammes, sustainability professional and author, cited high emotional intelligence as the most important skill successful sustainability professionals possess. He said, “Without the soft skills of dealing with interpersonal struggles, the hard skills will never be put to use. You will get overwhelmed and burn out. Once you have developed emotional intelligence and soft skills, it is also helpful to then know your strategy – to save time and energy – and know your audience – to frame your approach in ways that make it well-received.“

5. Holistic Approach

Successful sustainability-driven entrepreneurs know the importance of approaching their work systematically. They make sure their actions truly match their philosophy and that they are making the intended impact on their surroundings. For example, a if a sustainability-driven restaurant owner uses compostable food packaging, then they make sure there is an appropriate and user-friendly disposal system in place.

*Source:  http://www.purelabels.com/

Senate Approved Funding Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans

Just in time for Veterans Day, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Military Construction and Veteran Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which will include a stipulation for the first time ever to allow doctors in the Veterans Administration to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where it is legal.

This is not the first time that Congress has tried to gain medical cannabis access for veterans. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) of the House of Representatives has introduced the Veterans Equal Access Act not once, but twice in the past two years, only for the bill to stall in the Subcommittee on Health. This time, the bipartisan amendment was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and was included in the Senate Appropriations committee this past May.

Having passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee with an 18-12 vote, the funding bill will now be included and negotiated as part of a more comprehensive omnibus spending bill to determine federal funding for the next fiscal year. A version of the Daines-Merkley amendment was included as an extension of the much-lauded CARERS Act, and although the bill has generated bipartisan interest and gained numerous sponsors from both sides of the aisle, Congress has not taken action towards passing it.

Allowing veterans access to medical marijuana has proved to be controversial in the past, despite evidence that cannabis can help alleviate many severe symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which affects nearly 31 percent of Vietnam veterans and as much as 11 percent of veterans of the Gulf War and war efforts in Afghanistan.

Veterans, we salute your service, and we are grateful to see Congress offering a token of gratitude for the soldiers who risk their lives for our peace of mind.