Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world

WERC shop

Keep it Clean

impurities in pot

Purity of product is one of the most essential requirements of any medication.  To date, it is not something that has been overly emphasized for medical marijuana.  It’s a naturally occurring plant that grows in the ground; what could be wrong with it?  Well, usually nothing.  But that is no reason to assume that any crop is 100% pure cannabis.  So, what can go wrong with marijuana?  There are some naturally occurring problems that plague growers, like molds, fungus, and pests.  These strike during the growing process and can damage yields and potency of crops, but have minimal effects on users.  The other, more dangerous problems are those that are man-made.  The nefarious and artificial treatment of marijuana can be very dangerous and is popularly known as “laced weed.”  Both of these problems can be addressed through regulation and proper laboratory testing of marijuana.

The diseases that strike cannabis crops are usually detectable by the vigilant grower.  All diseases have symptoms, and the primary caretaker should know how to spot them.  Proper climate control is the key to maintaining crop growth.  Sometimes the plant’s environment will have a pH (acidity) imbalance and that can effect calcium intake, which severely impairs a plant’s life processes.  Calcium is key for proper osmosis within the plant’s cells, which is how plants take in energy and remove waste on a cellular level.  Growers will observe plants with yellow leaves or brown stalks, and these are indicators of imbalances in pH or nitrogen shortages.  Molds and fungus also strike at cannabis and must be treated immediately or else the crop will be lost.  Pythium is one such mold that leads to rot in the roots and stem.  Mold and fungus can be controlled with proper humidity.  And if a mold or fungus attack is spotted early enough, the effected plants can be removed or sometimes treated with fungicides.  However, be wary of treating plants with chemicals. They must be removed, or catalyzed before people can enjoy a safe product.

Pests can also be a big problem for growers, especially as grow operations continue to grow in size and complexity.  An unnoticed invader can easily spread and damage a whole operation.  One of problems with cloning operations is that all the plants in a crop will be identical. So, if one plant is susceptible to a pest or disease then all of them will be.  That makes it very easy for plagues to multiply across a garden in very short time.  Some pests that have been striking California growers include spider mites, white flies, and lice.  These bugs are small but they pack a punch.  But why do they attack our plants? For the sweet sweet sap, the plant’s life-blood.  The majority of these pests hide from the eye, underneath leaves but you will notice their presence.  They chew into the plant’s veins and suck out the sap.  This leaves white spots on leaves, buds and any affected area.  But there is good news for growers.  There are natural remedies for some of these killers.  Spider mites, identifiable by the webs they spin (and the fact they are spiders and not insects), are the favored snack of Phytoseiulus persimilis (Predator Mite). So, get a batch of those guys and a magnifying glass then you can watch as your enemies are eaten and destroyed!  White flies and lice can be treated with Assassinator wasps (awesome name) and Amblyseius cucumeris.  However, the most effective way to protect a crop is through proper climate control and sterile surfaces.  This prevents plagues and pests from finding their way to the plants in the first place.

By far the most notorious impurities in marijuana are those added to it by people, after it is harvested.  Manufactured drugs (cocaine, heroin, meth, crack) are routinely cut with impure chemicals to increase profit and decrease potency.  For years people have known that they can find sugar, baking powder, drano, other herbs, and even Crisco in their designer drugs (that’s if their drugs even have any of the real drug in it).  It doesn’t happen too often in the United States that laced marijuana makes it into the news.  Why would someone do that?  Sometimes a plant yields a weak potency (perhaps due to previously listed problems) or maybe a dealer wants to add weight to make it seem like a larger crop.  And sometimes, they’re looking to get users hooked on other drugs and use a sprinkle of coke or heroin to jump-start a smoker into a profit-bearing coke addict.  These are serious issues that can mean life or death for the unsuspecting cannabis user.  Marijuana effects people because the chemicals in it mimic those already in our bodies.  When foreign chemicals (pesticides, embalming fluids, meth) are inhaled the experience is much different and can be life-wrecking, even deadly.  The big problem for most people in this country, is that the majority of users must purchase their marijuana illegally from black market sources, and there is no accountability for purity from these suppliers.

The key to ensuring pure marijuana for patients is regulation and quality-control testing.  In states like California and Colorado where medical marijuana is legal, regulation is underway and patients have a communal voice that can call for enforceable standards.  In other states, patients have no way to ensure their products will be clean. All they can do is avoid known crop-adulterers and hope the next bag is clean.  The Werc Shop is one of the leading labs for cannabis control and testing.  They ensure that patients are getting 100% pure marijuana from their suppliers.  They test for anything that people should worry about. Their dedicated technicians spot spider mites, find fungi and fungicides, and sniff out poisons.  Also, they analyze and break down the chemical contents of the buds.  It helps patients figure out what to buy.  Some people want a higher CBD content for treating inflammation and pain.  Others want something with more THC to treat depression or anxiety.  And as research unfolds, letting us know which chemicals help treat which ailments, these “ingredients labels” will be a great aid for future treatments.

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Those Incredible Edibles

EDIBLES

Like a giant pink elephant in the room, detractors of marijuana only assume that intake is done via smoking.  Cannabis, the giving plant that it is, offers us so much and gives us many options for intake, rather than simply sparking up and inhaling.  Among the alternative methods are vaporizing and the world of culinary delight.  Hemp seeds are an excellent source of nutrition, but offer little in the way of THC or CBD.  And what about those patients who simply cannot inhale smoke?  How does one get maximum medical effects by eating this plant?  We do not recommend eating raw buds.  The human digestive system cannot handle all that plant fiber and will not extract the THC well enough to have the desired effect. But there are a variety of methods one can use to prepare this perfumed plant into palatable pastries.

It used to be the case that creating edibles was a D0-It-Yourself affair for those who had both the motivation and an abundance of medication.  But these days chefs and pharmacists everywhere are turning their hands to the world of “Medibles.”  In certain states with legalized medical marijuana, one can walk into a dispensary and bypass the bud jars and gaze upon the tasty edible medications.  On certain beaches in Maui, patients can find bakers distributing goodies too.  In fact, culinary cannabis has exploded into an extravagant field offering more choices than a banquet.  Many of us are familiar with brownies and cookies, or anything like that which uses oil or butter to cook with.  But the selection has grown even further.  There are tinctures and teas, colas, sprays, lozenges and lollipops.  If variety is the spice of life, then this is one spicy meatball.

It is important to take precautions when medicating with edible cannabis.  When ingested, its effects can be different than when inhaled.  It often takes longer to feel the effects, generally between 30 minutes and two hours.  And the effects will last longer in your body.  While operating heavy machinery always requires caution, it is even more imperative that caution is taken after the consumption of edibles.  Also, it can be easier to over-medicate when ingesting marijuana through edibles.  When THC hits the liver, it is metabolized into 11-Hydroxy-THC which has shown to have stronger psychoactive properties than the original THC compound. Be careful when purchasing products and ensure their potency is labelled.  Some manufacturers, like Cheeba Chews, label their products well and patients know what to expect.  Furthermore, they subject their product to rigorous lab testing to ensure safety and quality standards.  Unfortunately, some companies use packaging labels that do not include all of the pertinent information and patients are often unsure of what they are getting.  A good rule of thumb for those new to edibles is the wait and see approach.  Let’s say you’ve just gotten home with a batch of fresh brownies.  Don’t just pop it in and wait for the ride.  Cut the brownie into 2-4 pieces and spread out ingestion over the course of several hours.  This will help significantly reduce the likelihood of over medication.

There is a lot to be said for edibles. We hope you enjoy them safely, and check back with us for more on this subject.

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