Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world

purple urkle

Medical Marijuana Laboratory’s Quest for Safer Medicine goes National

werc shop

As politicians still take a wait and see approach on the “research” associated with marijuana, they ironically often avoid speaking to those who have been in the field gathering piles of data on the subject.  As this industry shows it is here to stay, we must accept that patients need safe and tailored medicine which can only be ensured by quality lab testing after proper cultivation.

Unlike a pharmaceutical pill which takes hundreds of millions of dollars to get to the market and cannot easily be altered, marijuana strains can be cultivated in a way that addresses the specific concerns of the patient.  We are happy to see that Jeffrey Raber Ph.D and The Werc Shop are being well received across the country.  Getting past the typical talking points and eye rolls can be tough, but Jeff has started to notice a change in this trend.  Authorities are also starting to realize that medical marijuana is here to stay and it is going to need regulation.

Recently Jeff took The Werc Shop’s message across the country as he traveled from California to New Jersey.   At the New Jersey Association for Forensic Scientists (NJAFS) annual conference, Jeff was asked to address the attendees.  He made a great presentation and described many of the cutting edge techniques they are utilizing for terpene profiling, microbiological screening, and cannabinoid profiling.  With years of experience, Jeff may be able to help the east coast states get up to speed on the sophistication of the testing done out west.  While New Jersey government officials may have delayed their medical marijuana program from starting, Jeff feels the members of the NJAFS are ready and willing to do a thorough job once the program starts serving patients.  One impressed crime lab chemist told him that he tests cannabis  everyday but has never looked at it quite the way Jeff does.  They were also amazed at how benign marijuana cannabinoids are in comparison to the synthetics found in recently outlawed products such as “K2” and “Spice”.  Overall, it seemed that those who took part in the conference were very receptive to Jeff’s presentation and are looking to increase their scientific knowledge of the cannabis plant.

Jeff was excited to finally get to speak to audiences about utilizing terpene data to identify phenotypes and accurate strain names.  As many of us know, “The Marijuana Name Game”, while fun, has been a bit of a roadblock for this industry to gain total mainstream support.  A silly name such as “Purple Urkle” does not exactly tell patients if the medication is suited to their needs. and The Werc Shop are both working hard to bring uniform definitions to strains.  Jeff’s excitement was shared and he was immediately approached to give a similar presentation at Rutgers University.  Jeff agreed and again noticed an engaged audience.

For those who question a lack of research in medical marijuana, they need only look to labs like The Werc Shop.    The benefits of medical marijuana are constantly becoming more widely known.  When conventional treatments fail, it is not realistic to assume patients are not going to seek alternatives, especially when these alternatives can relieve pain and produce little side effects.  Medical marijuana is here and the future of this industry needs to rely on regulation and testing to endure the best and safest medicine gets out to patients.

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The Marijuana Name Game

marijuana name game

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2-Scene 2 (The famous balcony Scene)

As Juliet so poetically stated, what truly is in a name?  What lies under the surface is infinitely more important and while name games can be fun for some, they may not be for serious medical marijuana patients.

The safety of the medical marijuana industry needs to be an important concern.  When someone is seeking relief from MS symptoms or other ailments, what are they to make of strain names such as “purple urkle” or “green crack”.  The famous “Northern Lights” alone has many different variations and dispensaries are not always clear about which one they are selling or including in their hybrid strains.  Another large problem is that many hybrid strains can be considered an Indica or a Sativa.  While to some this is unimportant, there is a clear cut difference between the two.  If one is seeking to alleviate insomnia but instead is given a strain that increases cerebral activity and paranoia, their experience may be less than enjoyable.

The need for a consistent industry is clear.  Many of these concerns can be neutralized with lab testing.  Imagine going to buy Tylenol and not knowing if it will be the same formula as the last time you purchased it for a headache.  FDA regulations and the multi phased clinical trial model help to greatly increase consistency.  Being close or pretty sure of a strains genetic makeup simply is not good enough.  A brother and sister could have over 99% of the same genetics, but are they the same?  Will they react to stimuli in identical fashion?  Additionally, many medical marijuana users are concerned specifically with the chemical makeup of a particular strain.  Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major component of marijuana and has been known to deliver more treatment and relief for medical issues.  While a high level of THC is important for some, patients have other concerns and need to rely on lab testing in order to ensure that their medication is addressing their situation.

Much of this responsibility will have to fall on the collectives/caregivers for now.  In order to serve their patients properly there needs to be a demand for medications to be tested on-site or in laboratories.  In addition to a complete chemical breakdown, labs can also test for mold, insecticides, and other harmful hazards that can potentially be a part of the cultivation process.  Juliet was correct in identifying that there is not much in a name, but ultimately we need to prove her wrong.

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