Archive for the ‘Cannabis’ Category

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online, Cannabinoid Profile – CBGa!

Formula: C22H32O4
Molecular Mass: 360.48708 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: ????

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): Currently Unknown, likely similar to CBG, 300mg/kg for mice  (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg),

Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) is formed when geranyl pyrophosphate combines with olivetolic acid within the cannabis plant. It is thanks to CBGa that all other medicinal effects of cannabis are possible. Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) can be thought of as the stem cell cannabinoid, which becomes THCa/THC, CBDa/CBD, CBCa/CBC, and CBG. It does this through different types of biosynthesis, where chemicals combine to form new compounds, examples being the  THC biosynthase and the CBD biosynthase. During these different chemical processes the acid grou Hemp species of cannabis have higher amounts of CBG due to a recessive trait, which may imply higher amounts of CBGa present in those strains as well.

Image Courtesy of Steephill/Halent Labs and Elemental Wellness

Image Courtesy of Steephill/Halent Labs and Elemental Wellness

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth through apoptosis.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

 

 

Currently Being Studied For

Cannabinoid Biosynthase: Nearly all current research on CBGa focuses solely on its role in the biosynthesis of other cannabinoids. Virtually no money is going to study its analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative properties.

We learned in 2005 that the enzyme controlling the conversion of CBGa into THCa and further THC is held within the trichomes of the plant. This makes sense, as the trichomes have long been known to be the home of THC. Sirikantaramas did a follow up study on his 2005 research which showed they could grow THCa in a laboratory using a yeast culture as a host. If you want to know more about the THCa synthase, which is the first biosynthase to see any major study, you can look at this 2009 literature review profiling it. It wasn’t until 2014 that any of this research turned back to focus on CBGa again, when Alaoui et Al (2014) identified how and where CBGa binding happened, then explored how it was converted into THCa. Their research could be key to better understanding how THCa production happens and thus how much THCa will be resulting in the plant material.

Cancer: While there are no current studies being done on CBGa for it’s abilities to help with cancer it has been shown to be an anti-proliferative just like CBG, THC, and CBD. CBGa encourages apoptosis, which is programmed cell death. Defective apoptosis is believed to be a major reason for the formation and progression of cancer, one obvious solution to a person having depressed levels of apoptosis is to stimulate that bodily response. Cannabinoids appear to stimulate apoptosis in previously unknown ways posing a novel way to mitigate and potentially cure cancer. While this much is known about CBGa more research should be done.

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

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See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online, Cannabinoid Profile – CBDa!

Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.2144 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 120+ °C (248 °F)

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 5,000mg/kg for rats, Inhalation TCLO (human): 15,000 mg/m3 mg/kg (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg),

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) is one of the four possible outcomes of Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) being processed into cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromic acid (CBCa), Tetrahydrocannabibolic acid (THCa), and CBDa. CBGa is processed into other cannabinoids by synthase enzymes, the CBDa synthase was first purified and isolated in 1996. Coincidentally, this was the same year California passed Prop 215 and became the first medical cannabis state.

Until recently, CBDa was thought to be a minor cannabinoid and only be a small part of the overall cannabinoid profile. Higher amounts have been seen in ruderalis strains and recent hybrids like Cannatonic C-6 and ACDC have elevated levels of CBDa, potentially more than THCa. Just like THCa, when heated up CBDa becomes CBD. Like CBD, CBDa is not psychoactive. While there hasn’t been much research done on CBDa yet, the research that has been done is quite promising. It appears to have anti-emetic effects as well as anti-proliferative effects, making it ideal for fighting cancer.It also has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory and to possess anti-bacterial properties.

Therapeutic Uses

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Anti-Bacterial: Leizer et al (2000) mention a strong correlation between the levels of CBDa in a plant and the CBD levels of the plant after synthase. They also mention that more CBDa present will mean greater antimicrobial potency in the resutling CBD. They do not explain the mechanisms at work.

Anti-Emetic: A 2013 study shows that CBDa reduces vomiting and nausea by increasing activity at the 5-HT1A receptor. This means that CBDa can be used as a non-psychoactive alternative to THC to prevent vomiting and nausea. This isn’t the first study to show this, a 2011 study found that CBDa functioned as an anti-emetic but did not pin the relation to the 5-HT1A receptor. More research should be done to properly explore this exciting new medicinal use for CBDa.

Anticipatory Nausea: Anticipatory Nausea (AN) is a condition where someone vomits due to neutral stimuli, before they are actually nauseous. AN is very common in patients receiving chemotherapy, roughly 29% will develop it. AN appears to be the result of classical conditioning; given enough exposures to neutral stimuli, like the smells of the chemotherapy room, a susceptible person will begin to vomit before even receiving treatment. In a 2014 study, CBDa was shown to be a very effective treatment for sufferers of AN. In 2013, the same group of researchers found that  CBDa was an effective treatment for acute nausea in chemotherapy patients.

Cancer: In 2012 CBDa joined THC, CBD, and numerous other cannabinoids that are anti-proliferatives. These cannabinoids control the growth of cancerous tumors. Takeda et al (2012) found that CBDa could inhibit the migration of human breast cancer cells. This government funded study recognized CBDa’s potential to mitigate the effects of cancer, even aggressive ones.”The data presented in this report suggest for the first time that [a] component in the cannabis plant, CBDA offers potential therapeutic modality in the abrogation of cancer cell migration, including aggressive breast cancers.”

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

Hey readers,

While I am working on some more meaningful posts to get on here, some Burning Man oriented ones to get people ready for the impending Burn, I wanted to add a short personal post.

As most of you are not aware I was just given a paid position as a writer for The Leaf Online, a very excellent online cannabis newspaper. You can find all my posts here, including many of my cannabinoid profiles from this blog. I am trying to find a way to cross post all my Leaf articles to this blog, but haven’t quite figured out a good way yet. Until then you’ll all need to go over there to read my cannabis posts (though some will still end up here, such as my cannabinoid profile on CBN).

I’m ever grateful for the opportunity and support The Leaf has given me, but never fear, Well Suited For Life will not be forgotten either. I’d love it if you read over and share around my Leaf posts, especially this one about the much-discussed cannabis strain Charlotte’s Web.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – CBN!

Formula: C21H26O2
Molecular Mass: 310.4319 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 77 °C (171 °F)

Boiling Point: 185 °C (365 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 13500mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

Cannabinol (CBN) is what tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will break down into over time due to exposure to oxygen and heat. CBN is a mild psychoactive, much less intense than when it was THC. CBN is the strongest cannabinoid identified for promoting sleep, this makes cannabis rich in CBN an ideal treatment for insomnia. Indica strains appear to have more CBN than sativa strains, this would explain the commonly held belief that indicas make you sleepy and give you a body high. CBN is a CB2 and CB1 receptor agonist and may inhibit immune cell functionality.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Appetite Stimulant – CBN appears to be a mild appetite stimulant.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth by stimulating osteocytes.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

 

 

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: Both THC and CBN have been identified as pain killers, though THC is far more powerful. A 2002 study identified that both THC and CBN cause a release of certain gene-related peptides from sensory nerves and they are the only identified cannabinoids to use this mechanism.

Appetite Stimulant: Everyone knows that THC stimulates the appetite, giving users the  ‘munchies’ that many people describe. It was only in 2012 that it was discovered that CBN also stimulates the appetite, though it appears to be not as strong as THC.

Cancer: A 2006 study revealed that CBN joins THC and numerous other cannabinoids in having the ability to control the growth of cancer cells. CBN specifically was found to control a type of lung tumor known as a Lewis carcinoma.

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat or exposure to sunlight.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – THCa!

Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.4733 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: ???

Boiling Point: 105 °C (220 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 5628mg/kg for rats (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

 

Found in the trichomes, Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is the acidic precursor to THC, which actually exists in only minute quantities in the living plant. In living cannabis, THCa is the most abundant cannabinoid and terpenoid, potentially reaching over 30% of the dry weigh of the cannabis. Once the plant is harvested it begins a clock where, over time, the THCa begins to be converted into THC, a process quickened by exposure to heat and sunlight. One main reason cannabis is cured is to convert the THCa into THC, as well as drying it out to make it easier to burn, thus releasing the remaining THCa as THC. Knowing about decarboxylating cannabis is crucial in making edibles, where one pre-cooks the bud  before making it into butter to raise the potency by converting THCa into THC.

Like all cannabinoids that exist in the living cannabis plant, THCa is non-psychoactive, though it still stimulates the appetite like THC. It also is a powerful anti-inflammatory, helps fight cancer and other tumors, aids with sleep, and more. Also like THC, an oral test has already been developed to detect THCa. While some sources show THCa to be a stable compound, Aphios research chemicals claims that it is very unstable and will breakdown into THC within weeks. It may have to do with the preparation of synthesized THCa used in their laboratory versus an active live-plant based THCa, but without further research the stability of THCa and how quickly it converts to THC is unknown.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Antispasmodic –  Suppresses muscle spasms.

Modulates Immune System – THCa has been shown to both improve and potentially suppress the immune system functions.

Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

 

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Anti-Emetic: THC has long been recognized as a valuable tool in combating nausea, but research done in 2013 found that THCa may be even more effective at preventing nausea and vomiting than THC. This means that patients suffering from nausea who do not want the psychoactive effects of THC should consider THCa.

Cancer: Many sources online claim that THCa helps fight cancer, but few studies have been done examining the cancer-fighting properties of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid. This 2011 study hints at the anti-tumor properties of THCa but its main focus was on the interaction of various cannabinoids and the TRP protein receptor channel. A 2013 study looking at prostate cancer also found THCa to be effective but did not elaborate on the mechanisms used or recommend further study.

Lupus: While no formalized studies are being done on THCa and Lupus, Dr. William Courtney and his wife Kristen have anecdotally demonstrated that fresh juiced cannabis high in THCa can control Lupus. As Kristen is still alive and managing her Lupus this study is ongoing, and still a success.

Neuroprotective: A 2012 study done on cell cultures shows that THCa may be a mild neuroprotective compounds for certain classes of brain cells, preventing unwanted cell death. These effects do not seem as notable as the neuroprotective qualities of THC and CBD but they are certainly worth more research.

The THCa/CBGa Process: Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), CBG, THCa, THC, CBD, and CBC are all related compounds formed from the same chemical processes. CBGa and THCa are the originator compounds that appear to morph into the others. This linkage was explored in this 2012 study but needs further research to fully understand the mechanisms it works through.

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat or exposure to sunlight.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – CBC!

Cannabichromene

Formula: C21H30O(Same as CBD but configured differently)

Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ???

Boiling Point: 220°C (428°F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 270mg/kg for monkeys (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

 

Cannabichromene is a little understood non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has recently been seeing a lot more research. Like THC and CBD, CBC is an end product of CBG being processed into CBGa, and then into new cannabinoids. As a result, CBC has the same chemical formula and weight as CBD and THC but they all have a different configuration of the molecules. The lack of research hasn’t stopped it from being patented for various uses, recognizing its wide range of medical uses. CBC is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, like THC and CBD though less potent. CBC is anti bacterial and CBCa has been shown to be an antifungal agent. Like CBD, cannabichomene is both a bone stimulant and neurogenic compound, helping grow both body and mind. Perhaps its most important use is as an anti-proliferative, slowing tumor growth and combating cancer, just like CBD and THC. CBC has also been shown to be ten time as powerful as CBD at reducing anxiety and stress.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.

Antifungal  Inhibits the growth of fungus.

Anxiolitic – Relieves anxiety.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.

Neurogenesis – Promotes the growth of new brain cells.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: While only a study on rats, CBC was been shown to have great promise as an analgesic painkiller, perhaps as good as CBD.

Antidepressant: In this 2010 study, both THC and CBC were shown to display significant antidepressant qualities and “contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.”

Anti-Inflammatory: In two other recent studies on rats CBC was shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Interestingly it was found that the mechanism of action did not involve CB1, CB2, or the TRPA1 receptors, like with THC and CBD; this is certainly worth more research as it could imply another type of receptor site is present.

Neurogenesis: study done last year confirms that CBC stimulates bone growth. As neurogenic compounds are very rare this makes CBC a very important cannabinoid worth significant research. This could make CBC useful in treating the Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative conditions, but that will need more research.

 

References:

  1. Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide; http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
  2. Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info; http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
  3. SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://www.scanalytical.com/the-cannabinoids.html

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

Hey everyone, this post was meant to go up months ago at the beginning of February but feel by the wayside. I can safely say the recipe has held it’s own and it definitely worth trying out. This recipe picks up where my post on cannabis infused coconut oil left off. Hope you like it!

For this recipe I will be discussing more creative types of edibles that cannabis patients can make that are much healthier than your run of the mill pot brownies. As an advocate of cannabis as a medicine I feel medicine should be healthy and not contribute to obesity and diabetes like many sugar/butter loaded edibles do. Some people, like those with a wasting syndrome, need all the calories they can get and high fat/sugar edibles may be advisable, but they’re still better off with nutrient rich food rather than nutrient devoid brownies.

This recipe is a wonderful one for medical cannabis patients like myself because curry sauce is pretty much all fats and oils which can all be infused with cannabinoids. The coconut oil is also healthy saturated fat which may contribute to weight loss and has other benefits. While I have made numerous curries over my past year of branching into this area of cooking this is the first batch I have ever made medicated with cannabis. The curry flavor is also a wonderful way to mask the robust flavor of cannabis. I was splicing together the bits I liked of these recipes and tweaking it to my own tastes.

I’m using the general basic recipe I improvise off (a thai curry with coconut) and adding some optional peanut for more flavor. I make my curries sweet because I have a low tolerance for spicy food but love lots of good rich spiciness in my food. Remember, you can always make a sauce spicier but it is infinitely harder to make it less spicey. If you over spice something your options are add more coconut milk, add more salt, or add more sugar, all of which run the risk of ruining your overall spice balance. I advise to err on the side of sweeter rather than going bold and risking a ruined batch.

I am making this batch to jar and save so I am not adding any fresh cilantro or basil to it, as I would when serving it fresh. I will just be adding dried spices for now, but normally there would be some fresh spices going on. This batch turned out amazing and I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who enjoys cannabis edibles but cannot stand the taste.

01

Step One – Spices: Curry sauce is an assortment of the right curry spices in the proper proportions. While there is a curry tree whose leaves are commonly used in South Indian and Sri Lankan curries, curry does not need to include it and most do not. I make my curries sweeter with coconut milk, soy sauce, and less cayenne pepper, more like a Thai curry than an Indian curry. I advise premixing your spices, making a curry powder, then you can add it all at once to your coconut milk, medicated coconut oil, and for the curry I am making tomato sauce.

02

Step 2 – Prepare Your Fresh Veggies: For me this is just garlic, as I am not adding any cilantro or basil until later. To mince garlic first you must get it out of its shell and the easiest way to do that is to crush it under a large chef’s knife, as depicted. This will crack it open and often smash it down beginning the work of mincing. If it has sprouted a green leafy core just remove that and use the rest, this doesn’t mean the garlic has gone bad but it does mean you can plant it and grow a garlic plant.

0607

Do Any Final Prep Work…
My last prep work consists of crushing peanuts to throw into the mix. I don’t have a mortar and pestle, instead I used the freshly washed bottom of a glass spice jar and a pyrex dish. It worked like a charm.

08

 

This is more or less what your finished curry should look like. Color and consistency depend largely on what ingredients you use. Let me stress again that there are few wrong choices with curry as it tends to vary dramatically from region to region. If something doesn’t work for you try a new blend of spices or start from a store-bought curry powder and add more spices to the mix to make it yours.

Me at the 4/20 Celebration at the University of Santa Cruz, 2009.

Me at the 4/20 Celebration at the University of Santa Cruz, 2009. Note the pendant and T-Shirt.

I would have got this up on 4/20 itself but I was busy working a ten day week at the world’s largest dispensary, making sure our festivities went off successfully (they did). Now I am back with the facts on this unique American holiday.

Growing up in California, specifically in Marin county and San Francisco, I have been steeped in cannabis culture all my life. This makes sense since San Francisco is where the hippie movement originated. So it is no surprise that I have known the significance of 420 and the myths behind its origins from a tender age, since before I knew the significance of 666 (one of those side effects of being raised as a Buddhist hippie). Over my twenty six years in the Bay Area I have heard all manner of stories about why 420 is associated with cannabis, ranging from the plausible to the ridiculous. I’ll be profiling and debunking the most prevalent ones then giving you the real low down on how 4:20 became the time to smoke and April 20th became the day.

I’m going to start with the most ridiculous then move to the most plausible.

Bob Marley’s Birthday/Death: April 20th is not either Bob Marley‘s birthday or the day of his death.

April 20th is the Best Day to Plant Cannabis: Any experienced grower will tell you this is a load of bull. The best time to plant depends on where you live, current climatic conditions, whether you are planting indoor or out, and numerous other contextual factors. Many people choose this day as a day to begin planting but there is no real reason other than a personal choice.

The Number of Chemical Compounds in Cannabis: While more plausible still wrong, there are currently 315 identified chemicals in the cannabis plant. We still don’t have the full chemical profile of cannabis, and we knew even less back in the 70’s when 420 was started.

Police Code for Cannabis: Police codes change from one country to another and from one region to another, but to my knowledge 420 is not a police code for cannabis related activities anywhere for any agency. 420 does happen to be the code for a homicide in Las Vegas though (in many area’s it is 187).

The Number of the Congressional Bill to Legalize Cannabis: Unfortunately no, there is no bill currently introduced that would legalize cannabis this session, usually there is and there is bipartisan support for it. 420 is the number for Senate Bill 420 which expanded California’s medical cannabis program in 2003.

That’s it for the major rumors and myths in need of debunking. You may now be left wondering, if that is all bogus then what’s the real story?

The Waldos

The real story on how 420 became the magic number for everything marijuana related is the story of a group of kids from San Rafael High School in the early 1970’s. This group was known as the Waldos because they would gather and smoke around a wall after school at 4:20pm. Or at least that is how the Waldos’ legendary story was first passed on to me many years ago, when I was a highschool student myself, smoking near a wall at 4:20pm after school. But here is the full story of the Waldos and how 420 originated in the words of Waldo Steve himself.

One day in the Fall of 1971 – harvest time – the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of this free bud.

The Waldos were all athletes and agreed to meet at the statue of Loius Pasteur outside the school at 4:20, after practice, to begin the hunt.

“We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis and we eventually dropped the Louis,” Waldo Steve tells the Huffington Post.

The first forays out were unsuccessful, but the group kept looking for the hidden crop. “We’d meet at 4:20 and get in my old ’66 Chevy Impala and, of course, we’d smoke instantly and smoke all the way out to Pt. Reyes and smoke the entire time we were out there. We did it week after week,” says Steve. “We never actually found the patch.”

But they did find a useful codeword. “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, 420, and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Steve says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”

You may be wondering how something that began 40 years ago as an inside joke to keep things discreet in front of teachers has since become a world-wide phenomenon spawning any army of “genuine 420” Made in China swag. The rest, they say, is history. The Waldos weren’t just ‘some kids’ they were some kids who had connections to people like Phil Lesh, David Crosby, Wavy Gravy, and The Grateful Dead. 420 spread out along the same vectors as Tim Leary‘s acid trip and the hippie movement, spilling out to touch every corner of the globe.

In 1990, Steve Bloom of High Times was given a 420 flier at a Grateful Dead show and High Times began to incorporate 420 into their magazine. Rick Pfrommer, former Director of Education at Harborside Health Center, was working for the Cannabis Action Network at the time and they used their access to Kinko’s to print thousands of copies of the original 420 flier that Bloom saw. Thanks to Pfrommer and Bloom 420 went viral in a very short period of time and soon April 20th became a day for smoke outs and concerts everywhere.

Unfortunately, not everyone is okay with the spread of cannabis culture and the mass acceptance of this utterly harmless drug (seriously, less harmful then potatoes).

I take comfort that it was only angry white men with signs. Soon they will die out from a lack of mates as crazy as they are.

I take comfort that it was only angry white men with signs. Soon they will die out from a lack of mates as crazy as they are.

Hey readers, I’ve got another great cannabis themed blog for you today discussing the various types of cannabis concentrates out there on the market. This isn’t one of my usual cannabinoid profiles but it is just as necessary. Doing a quick Google search I can tell there is a ton of misinformation out there  about concentrates and I hope this post can help clear things up.

A couple notes before we start, pre-empting some questions. While every purity rating given is in THC ever type of concentrate listed here can be made from CBD-rich cannabis making the resultant concentrate also CBD-rich. A method of vaporizing cannabis will be discussed called dabbing, this method is usually done with only super melt hashes but in actuality you can dab anything over 55% THC. Dabbing involves super heating a titanium “nail” with a small blow torch and dropping a hash of sufficient purity onto it, which causes the hash to vaporize.

The Concentrates

Kief.

Kief – Kief is the term for the trichomes of the cannabis plant once they have been removed from the plant. Usually kief is obtained during trimming when it falls off the plant and can be gathered with a mesh screen. Kief can also be made with a machine resulting in exponentially more potent kief, more accurately labelled a kief-melt (a play on full melt hash). Kief generally is between 10-25% THC but at Harborside we’ve had kief test upwards of 55% THC, which makes it potent enough to be dabbed. Kief is always dry sieved cannabis, without any water processing.

Hash.

Hash – Hash can be made through many different methods, the simplest being pressing kief and resin together with ones fingers to make so-called “finger hash,” perhaps the oldest form of concentrated cannabis known. Hash tests a little more potent than most kiefs but not quite as strong as bubble hash, usually between 15-35% THC. Aside from the method of creation, hash is distinguished from bubble hash by the fact that it burns rather than bubbling up.

Bubble Hash.

Bubble Hash – Bubble hash is a water-based hash that is made using a series of bubble bags filled with freezing cold water and ice cubes. Bubble bags are a series of increasingly finer mesh bags that trichomes pass through creating various qualities of bubble hash in each bag level. The trichomes are dislodged from the plant by being frozen then smashed off by the ice. This type of hash gets its name because it bubbles rather than burning, but it doesn’t melt like a full melt hash. These hashes range in the 20-45% THC range.

Full melt hash. Not always this color but always this consistency.

Full Melt Hash – Full melt hash is the highest quality of bubble hash, it is what you find in the bottom bag that has passed through every purity grade. These hashes while still being cold water derived more resemble the oily super melt concentrates I will discuss below. These hashes get their name because unlike bubble hash they do more than just bubble, they melt fully into a liquid form. These hashes range in purity from around 45-70% THC. Here is one method to make full melt hashes that can test nearly 70% THC, without any sort of a chemical solvent used.

BHO/Super melt, this one looks like melted shatter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Melt Hash – Super melt hashes are not made with bubble bags and usually use some sort of a chemical solvent, though so-called solvent free varieties exist. They are called super melts because they  melti super-fast from a solid form into a vapor form, sublimating without fully being a liquid. This is a result of the purity of the product and method of use, not a result of the chemical solvents. Commonly used solvents are butane, isopropyl alcohol, and CO2. Common slang names are ISO hash, Butane Honey Oil (BHO), shatter, wax, oil, dabs, and numerous more.

These hashes contain between 55% THC on the low end to over 90% THC on the high end, most are between 55-80% THC. While these hashes can be made by anyone in their garage the best ones are coming out of scientific grade laboratories; you won’t find someone making 90% pure hash in their bathroom. The most common method of use is dabbing, effectively freebasing cannabis. Many in the medical community have expressed concerns over people getting over-medicated and more serious health concerns, such as lung collapse, resulting from dabbing.

A Note on Super Melt Hash Legality: IT IS ILLEGAL TO MANUFACTURE ANY CONCENTRATE THAT USES A CHEMICAL SOLVENT. Unfortunately state law on this issue lags behind medical cannabis as a whole and the creation of super melt concentrates is regulated under the same law as meth labs. As you probably know making meth is very illegal, a felony; in the eyes of the law making super melt concentrates is also a felony. Be very careful if you are making BHO or any other concentrate, especially is traveling through local areas that are tough on medical cannabis rights. Individual state laws may be different but this is written with California laws in mind.

To quote directly from California state law: “Section 11379.6(a) states: Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance – shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years and by a fine up to $50,000

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – THCv!

Formula: C21H30O2? (All the information I read online said THCv had the same molecular formula as THC, but it looks like it might be bound in a different configuration.)
Molecular Mass: 314.47g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ???
Boiling Point: <220°C (428°F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose):  Unknown, likely comparable to THC. (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

THCv is a non-psychoactive variant of THC. The other major difference between the two is that instead of stimulating appetite, the famed ‘munchies,’ THCv actually suppresses appetite. For that reason THCv is being heavily researched as a weight loss tool. Like many cannabinoids it is an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, though less strong than CBD and THC, but using different mechanisms in the body.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Anorectic – Appetite suppressant, promotes weight loss.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.

Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.

Euphoriant – Produces feelings of euphoria, promotes happiness and relaxation.

Currently Being Studied For

Diabetes: A combination CDB/THCv tincture is in a phase 2 clinical trial as a way to mitigate diabetes. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company, is a world leader in cannabis research. GW is presently examining CBD/THCv’s abilities to ameliorate insulin sensitivity.

Weight Loss: The same mechanisms that allow THCv to combat diabetes combined with THCv’s anorectic properties make it an effective way to combat obesity and control weight gain. GW Pharmaceuticals is also leading this research. GW believes in THCv so much they have even patented its abilities to combat weight gaining and diabetes.

Parkinson’s Disease: THCv is a cannabinoid that has been identified that can aid in Parkinson’s Disease by attenuating the motor inhibition caused by 6-hydroxydopamine. It also has various related mechanisms that assist in treating Parkinson’s.

Anti-Inflammatory: This study was only done on mice but if other studies are any indication of success it should apply similarly to humans, but THCv shows to be an anti-inflammatory. It works through a different mechanism than other anti-inflammatory drugs, THCv inhibits cyclic AMP production by hCB(2) CHO cells, but does not inhibit other affiliated cells. The whole thing seemed to rely on the CB 2 receptors.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15302527

http://www.google.com/patents/EP2356987A1?cl=en

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

References:

  1. Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide; http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
  2. Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info; http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
  3. SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://sclabs.com/learn/learn-cannabinoids.html

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.