What came first, the robot or the cone? Get ready for this: Canadian rolling paper company Papes are refining rollies with the help of robotic automation from RoboRoots. Believe me, that was as fun to write as it was to read. The process features proprietary technology and chlorine-free paper. It gives Papes the opportunity for competitive […]
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If you haven’t been paying attention, medical psychedelics are on the rise, with the new industry gaining an impressive foothold even before legalizations occur. In this new move, Wesana Health will acquire Psytech, Inc., giving the company new strength to dominate this new emerging market.
The world changes quickly. Not only is Wesana Health about to acquire PsyTech, Inc., signaling even more growth in the medical psychedelics industry, but our favorite psychedelic – cannabis – has more options for consumers than ever. Take Delta 10, THCV, THC-O or Delta-8 THC for example. This half-brother of delta-9 THC provides users with a slightly less intense psychoactive high, doesn’t produce anxiety, and leaves users clear-headed and energetic. This is amazing for anyone who wants a different option. Check out our array of delta-8 THC products – along with tons of other compounds offered, and take advantage of new drug technologies and formulations.
Wesana will acquire Psytech, Inc., what will this mean?
Wesana Health Holdings, is a life sciences company that specializes in developing and delivering therapies for neurological health issues. The Chicago-based company looks to help patients overcome the damage of physical brain trauma which results in neurological, psychological, and mental health problems. The company was founded recently, in 2020, and looks to develop therapeutic solutions using psychedelic therapies including drugs like: Ketamine (and esketamine, which is currently legal), mescaline, MDMA, and psilocybin.
Psychedelitech, Inc. (PsyTech, Inc.) is a company specializing in the medical psychedelics industry, which provides clinical tools and education, as well as clinical care. The company promotes psychedelic-assisted therapy, novel methods of care and the tools to go along with them, and integrative ways for mental healthcare delivery. The company focuses a lot on the use of psilocybin therapies. The company has three parts: Tovana Solutions – a SaaS platform, Tovana Clinics – which provides a psychiatric care network, and PsyTech Connect – a community for psychedelic practitioners.
It was announced on June 13th, 2021, that Wesana Health would acquire PsyTech for $21 million, making PsyTech a completely owned subsidiary of Wesana. This will give Wesana access to all three parts of PsyTech. Wesana is looking to expand its efforts into neurological healthcare. According to CEO Daniel Carcillo (who is also a former NHL hockey player and two-time winner of the Stanley Cup), Wesana is working on new treatments and medications to treat traumatic brain injuries. He made this statement about the acquisition:
“The acquisition of PsyTech will greatly accelerate our ability to understand, analyze and improve neurological health and performance by providing a data platform on which to build our technical strategy, clinics in which to apply and accelerate our neuroscience research and relationships with many thousands of the practitioners who will leverage our medicines, diagnostics, and technology to heal people.”
The three arms of PsyTech
PsyTech has three components that Wesana will be taking over. Tovana Clinics – soon to be Wesana Clinics is a chain of mental health clinics which specialize in the delivery of psychedelic-based care, which currently involves esketamine therapy (as this is the only currently legalized psychedelic medication), and looks to incorporate new compounds as they become legal. The chain currently involves two locations, with a third set to open later this year, and about 12 more in the works that should be operational by this time next year.
PsyTech’s Tovana Solutions platform provides data collection, tracking in real-time, patient management, and general analysis tools. It also provides healthcare professionals the ability to learn current protocols and track effectiveness. The platform will be renamed Wesana Solutions.
The last arm, PsyTech Connect, is a network of over 8,000 professionals who tune in to find out about best clinical practices and protocols. Besides the network of practitioners, it also provides conferences, and educational material. The idea for Wesana is to integrate with psychiatrists across the US to expand the company and its therapeutic model.
Wesana founder and Executive Chairman, Chad Bronstein, reminds: “There are over 50,000 psychiatrists and 15,000 psychiatric practices in North America alone who will require solutions to adopt the novel and effective psychedelic-assisted therapies that already exist and are currently in development.”
Both the boards of Wesana and PsyTech have approved the acquisition unanimously. In order for it to officially go through, 2/3 of PsyTech’s shareholders must also approve. With 67% of shareholders already signed onto an agreement of support for the measure, there shouldn’t be anything getting in the way of the acquisition happening.
What psychedelic medications are already used?
The medical psychedelic movement is massively picking up speed, even if it hasn’t quite filtered through to mainstream media just yet. There are, by the way, reasons that news of this industry’s growth hasn’t made major headlines in major publications. As of right now, there are a lot of smaller biotech companies like Wesana and PsyTech getting in on it, and that means competition for the major pharmaceutical companies, which so far do have the only legal offering. Until large pharmaceutical companies can fully profit off the industry, I expect it will be kept quiet, despite major growth.
So what is currently legal? Only one medication is out called esketamine. What is this compound? Esketamine, as the name implies, is a close relative of the dissociative and psychedelic party drug, (and animal tranquiller and human anesthetic), ketamine. In 2019 the FDA approved esketamine for treatment for major depression.
In 2020, the FDA updated the approval to cover prescription for suicidal thoughts as well because of how fast-acting the compound is. Esketamine is the first new medication approval for depression which does not fit the standard model of antidepressants, as its not an SSRI, tricyclic antidepressant, or MAO inhibitor. In fact, it entirely goes against the current model for the treatment of mental illness, meaning it does not work with monoamines.
Esketamine is sold under the name Spravato, being marketed by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. It has been approved as an anesthetic under other trade names like ketanest. Esketamine is a Schedule III substance in the US.
What psychedelic medications are on the way?
Obviously, if one psychedelic drug has been approved, which already breaks with the idea that all psychedelics are illegal (obviously not the case), then why shouldn’t it be expected that more are on the way? In fact, they most certainly are, and to show how clear it is these legalizations are coming, the US government is actually pushing for them through its own Food & Drug Administration. In fact, the two compounds its currently pushing, are specifically Schedule I drugs at the moment, but will not be for much longer. Here’s why:
In 2017, the FDA earmarked the drug MDMA as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for the treatment of PTSD. What does this term mean? According to the FDA, “A breakthrough therapy designation is for a drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.” This designation isn’t blindly made, but generally comes at the request of a drug company, which is currently doing research that shows the compound is more promising than current options.
This description is meant to quicken research and get products to market faster. What this means, is that the FDA is pushing for a Schedule I substance – defined as a highly dangerous compound with no therapeutic value, to be on pharmacy shelves sooner, rather than later. To make it even more clear, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) – which is the organization that won the designation for its research, is currently in phase 3 trials for an MDMA drug, which were put together in conjunction with the FDA to ensure the trials and outcomes would be in line with FDA regulation. Is there a better way to say the US government wants this drug out to consumers?
The thing is, MDMA isn’t the only drug being backhandedly pushed by the US government. In 2019, the FDA gave two separate ‘breakthrough therapy’ titles to psilocybin from magic mushrooms, for use with major depressive disorder. The first granting of this designation was given to Compass Pathways, which looks to treat the most severe treatment-resistant depression, and the second time around it went to Usona Institute, which has ongoing trials to test the efficacy of just one dose of psilocybin to treat major depression.
That Wesana Health is about to acquire PsyTech, is just another indication of the growing magnitude of this new industry. The acquisition also highlights not only the growing appeal of psychedelic compounds to treat mental illness, but of the networks now being put together, which will set up the entire framework of how these therapeutic services will run.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
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Cannabis has been a popular recreational substance for a long time, but the type of weed we consume today has changed dramatically from what our parents and grandparents were smoking decades ago. On average, cannabis available today is about 67% stronger than in the 1970s, and it grows faster and stays smaller in size. Cultivators no longer need 9 full months and space large enough to grow 12-foot-tall plants with buds that only had about 3% THC, if they were lucky. But what factors led to these rapid changes in growth and potency? As it turns out, the secret to getting stronger weed is sexually frustrated female cannabis plants.
As a dioecious plant, yes, cannabis be either male or female, and yes, it can be sexually frustrated. What you’re smoking on right now are flowers from a female plant; and if your current stash is really dank and covered in sticky THC trichomes, then those buds came from a sexually deprived female.
Cannabis is such a fascinating plant and we continue to learn more about it every day. In addition to learning about the plant itself, we also enjoy exploring the wide array of products available on the market today. If you’re interested in trying fun products, rare cannabinoids, and new strains, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, your top source for all things cannabis-related. If exotic products is what you want, such as Delta 8, Delta 10 THC, THC-O, & THCV make sure to subscribe below to Delta 8 Weekly, and enjoy from our exclusive deals.
Male vs Female Cannabis Plants
Female cannabis plants produce those large, resin-secreting, psychoactive buds. Females are the industry’s superstar because they’re the ones that produce the most cannabinoids. Anytime you buy weed or look at pictures of marijuana with flowers, you’re looking at female plants.
Male cannabis plants do not grow flowers. Instead, they develop pollen sacs around the nodes and tips of the branches, with which they can pollenate any nearby female plants. When female plants are pollinated, they begin to produce seeds, but since no one wants to smoke low-THC schwag with seeds in it, the males are usually thrown out pretty early.
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On the public side of the cannabis market, females get all the glory. However, when we look more at the botany behind the bud, male plants have some very important functions as well. Like humans, when a female plant is pollinated, half of the genetic makeup of the seeds produced will come from the male plant. Aside from potency and flavor, many other important characteristics can be passed on from male plants including growth rate, bud size and shape, resistance to mold and pests, and general resilience.
The buds we prefer to consume are seedless female plants with good genetics, referred to as “sinsemilla”, which means “without seeds” in Spanish. To ensure that plants will be sinsemilla females, growers can used feminized seeds or grow clones by replanting small clippings from their existing plants.
How To Tell The Difference
At first, you won’t be able to. Once your plants are roughly 4-6 weeks old and entering the flowering stage, you can start looking for “pre-flowers”. Cannabis pre-flowers are comparable to sex organs, and the females’ look quite different from the males’.
To determine their sex, you’ll need to look between the plant’s nodes (where the leaves and branches extend out from the stalk). Males will have pollen sacs to help spread pollen to the female plants, and females develop two bracts and hair-like stigmas to catch the pollen. Click here for a great guide with photos to help you more easily determine sex.
Sexually Frustrated Females
Back in the 1970s, cannabis growers made a game-changing cultivation discovery: isolating female plants produced extra potent flowers. When females are pollinated, they halt resin/THC production and begin producing seeds. However, when the sexes are separated, females do not get pollinated and thus, they don’t produce seeds and ramp up the resin production. Sinsemilla weed, on average, has a THC content around 6-10% higher than seeded strains.
Simply put, this cultivation method results in ‘sexually frustrated’ female plants. It’s strange, but it works, and the reason for this is because cannabis is one of the few plant species that elicits a physical response to prolonged virginity. Meaning, the longer she feels ‘sexually deprived’, or the longer pollination is put off, the larger and more resinous her sex organs (flowers) become.
Some growers would go so far as to say their plants are somewhat ‘masochistic’, in addition to being horny. Apparently, when the flowers begin to form, some plants will repeatedly bend their branches to the point of almost breaking, a process that helps facilitate resin production in the buds. As one popular Redditor so eloquently put it, “you’re all high on horny plant vaginas.” It’s strangely accurate.
Cannabis Resin, Pollination, and THC Production
Cannabis resin is a rich brown, sticky, gooey substance found on the flowers and leaves of the plant. It’s similar to tree sap, but the main distinction between the two is that cannabis resin is held together by fatty structures called trichomes. These are the plant’s resin glands that contain THC, CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and other therapeutic cannabinoids and compounds.
To us, trichomes are an amazing and delicious plant byproduct that offers endless medicinal and recreational benefits; but to the cannabis plant, trichomes are one of its most important defense mechanisms. As cannabis flowers develop, they are vulnerable to so much harmful external stimuli such as pests, infections, herbivores, damaging UV rays, and pollution. In the wild, trichomes offer a certain level of protection from all of these things.
Additionally, cannabis resin aids in seed production by catching pollen from the male plants. One male plant can produce an estimated 350,000 pollen grains, and cannabis pollen is airborne so a little bit can go a very long way. As a matter of fact, a study published in 2000 found that cannabis pollen made up just under 36% of total airborne pollen counts in Midwest states during harvest months. This is why it’s important to remove the male plants from the grow area as soon as you determine the sex.
The good news is, you don’t have to go through this process every time you want high-THC, seedless flower. Realistically, isolating your female plants would only be necessary if you’re using the male’s genetics to create new strains. To skip the pollination process, a modern grower can either buy already feminized seeds, or use a clone from an existing female plant.
Cannabis is a bit of a rarity because only about 6% of flowering plants are dioecious. However, on rare occasions, hermaphroditic weed plants containing both male and female parts are known to occur. In general, most plants are hermaphroditic, but this is not very common for cannabis. Sometimes, hermaphroditic cannabis plants can self-pollinate, but they usually produce seeds, lower levels of THC, and they can pass on hermaphroditic genes, so they’re not ideal. Also, true hermaphrodites produce sacs that need to rupture.
There are two types of hermaphrodite plants: those that develop both sexual organs (buds and pollen sacs), and those that develop anthers. Anthers are oval-shaped, pollen-producing sacs found at the end of the stamen. Some growers call them “bananas” because of their elongated appearance.
When cannabis plants turn hermaphroditic it’s sometimes referred to as “herming out”. This is usually a result of excessive environmental stress such as damage to the plant’s physical structure, bad weather, disease, and/or nutrient deficiencies. Bad genetics and previous hermaphroditic development can also be a risk factor. Basically, if you notice any pollen sacs or anthers, get that plant away from your females ASAP.
Final Thoughts on Female Cannabis Plants, Sexual Frustration, and THC Production
To reiterate, if you want big, potent buds that are covered in those flavorful, cannabinoid-filled trichomes, the key is sexually frustrated female plants. Cannabis plants basically live to be pollinated and produce more plants, so when pollination doesn’t occur, the female plant begins to overcompensate by creating bigger flowers with thicker resin.
The fact that cannabis plants are dioecious and respond in such complex ways to sexual stimulation (or lack of it), really makes them even more relatable. We are so incredibly connected to the universe around us which makes it that much more important to understand the complexities of other living creatures.
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Rolling papers are what our world can revolve around sometimes. When you need one, you can’t find one, and when you finally do…it’s ripped, or the glue doesn’t stick.
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We know about the dangers we pose to the planet – and therefore ourselves – by our use of plastic. Many of us also know that hemp can be used to make almost anything, and at one point, was a contender in the plastics industry. With the ridiculousness of prohibition slowly coming to an end, hemp plastic is a real thing, and the likely future of mass production if we want to keep living on this planet.
Using hemp to create plastic for mass production is an obvious answer to current issues. Just like, using cannabis instead of opiates is a better option for pain relief without addiction. Luckily, today there are more options than there were a few years ago. Like Delta-8 THC. A few years ago, this wasn’t an option at all, now its a great one. What is it? Its a half-brother to delta-9, which comes with slightly less psychoactive effect, less anxiety produced, and less cloudiness in the head (with more energy). Doesn’t it sound good to have options? Check out our selection of delta-8 THC deals, and figure out your own best option.
Prohibition and hemp
In 1937 Henry J. Anslinger, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, pushed through the Marihuana Tax Act which instituted massive taxation of hemp products, greatly minimizing the entire industry. He didn’t do it alone though, and the reasons behind this, and the eventual complete prohibition of cannabis, aren’t always understood well.
What does seem to be the case, and which is coming out more and more, is that Anslinger didn’t do this on his own. Sure, it might’ve been a personal move for his anger over failed alcohol prohibition, but he didn’t get a country of people to hate cannabis all on his own. For that, he had the help of partners, who also benefitted from the demonization of all cannabis in the public eye.
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One of the major players in the outlaw of cannabis, was William Randolph Hearst, a magnate of the paper industry, who essentially ruled the roost in terms of paper and publications. The last thing he wanted was for hemp paper to get in the way of his own industry. For his part, Hearst helped spur along hatred toward the black community and particularly Mexicans, filling his newspapers with all kinds of ‘yellow journalism’ and overall smear campaigns, to turn the American public against the plant and the people.
Then there was the burgeoning pharmaceutical industry, which did not have the ability to patent a plant, and which was threatened by cannabis and all of its medical applications. By the time that prohibition started, cannabis was in so many different every-day, and medical products, that something involving it could be found in almost any home. Prohibition cleared the way for these companies to push their own products, without a more natural, and better, alternative available to people.
Yet another family – and industry – which worked along with Anslinger to push through prohibition, were the DuPonts, and their plastics industry. Around that time, the family had gotten into developing synthetic fabrics, particularly, cellophane, made from petroleum. This – as we now know – ended up being a benchmark for packaging goods in America and beyond, among many other uses, and the last thing that was desired at the time, was for hemp to be a competitor in their business.
All of this pressure led to the Marihuana Tax Act, and then full prohibition in 1970 with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Though most of the stories that were put out for the public involved tying the plant to the ‘drug’ side, it was really the industrial uses of hemp that damned it in the end (even more than medical uses). So instead of not cutting down trees, or not filling our oceans with plastic, or not having a massive opioid epidemic, all those things happened at hyper speed, and for the most part, no one considered hemp at all while these problems grew out of bounds.
A little on plastic
Not everyone is fully aware of just how bad the plastics issue has now become in terms of our environment, and the health of the planet – and therefore, all of us living on it. So, to make it a little more clear-cut, why hemp plastic is so important for mass production, here’s a little info on the awfulness of the current petroleum-based plastics industry.
- In 1950, about 2.3 million tons of plastic was produced. By 2015, this number reached 448 million tons, with an expectation of this number doubling by 2050.
- About eight million pieces of plastic get into the ocean per day, making for approximately eight million tons per year. This also equals about one garbage truck worth of plastic, emptying into the oceans every minute.
- 165 million tons of plastic are sitting around the waterways of the world, getting as far down as 11km deep.
- Over one million sea birds and 100,000 marine animals die yearly from plastic pollution. Every sea turtle will have plastic in its body. One out of three fish caught for human consumption, has plastic within it.
- Less then 10% of produced plastic gets recycled.
- The US creates 80 million tons of plastic waste per year.
- The plastic microbeads in the oceans are one million times more toxic than actual sea water.
How is all this plastic made? Let’s remember that the DuPont family found a way to create cellophane from petroleum. While it doesn’t always seem like an obvious fact, the plastics industry relies entirely on the oil and gas industries. Though plastics aren’t made directly from oil and gas, they are made from the feedstock that is derived from oil and gas, making for an indirect, but important, connection.
The US Energy Information Administration will no longer give out information on exactly how much oil is used to make plastics, saying it doesn’t keep track of this information. This is odd, considering its kind of the agencies job to do so. Plus, it most certainly did in the past, putting out in 2010, the number 191 million barrels of LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and NGL (natural gas liquids) for the production of plastics in the US alone. At the time, this accounted for approximately 4% of worldwide oil production. That number is expected to be much higher by now. So why would the US government not release information on oil used for plastic production? Go ahead, and check the site, they don’t give any real information.
The hemp plastic alternative for mass production
Prior to prohibition, there was a massive hemp industry in America, including use for rope, sails, clothing, and industrial building materials. As much as 3,000 tons of hemp was being produced before the plant was illegalized. The word ‘canvas’, actually comes from the word ‘cannabis’, since cannabis was used so often as a fabric. This is emphasized by the fact that back in colonial times, the US instituted grow laws, forcing those with big enough plantations to contribute to the hemp industry, with fines for those who refused.
In the 1940’s, car manufacturer Henry Ford even created a near 100% hemp car, with only metal for the frame. The car weighed around 1,000 pounds less than a standard car, and the hemp plastic used, was better at resisting damage. Wouldn’t it have been interesting if these industries had not been stymied? What would the world be like now, if oil production had never been a part of creating building materials and packaging materials and even automobiles? It’s impossible to say, but luckily some of these old production uses, are coming back in the form of hemp plastic, hemcrete and more.
Can hemp plastic be as good?
This is a question a lot of people have, and it’s a good one. Yeah, of course it can be, in fact, it can be better. Whether made from oil, or from hemp, plastic relies on cellulose for structural issues. While petroleum can be used for this, so can a plant like hemp. Hemp hurds are about 80% cellulose, making hemp a great option, and, better yet, it can be grown organically, isn’t toxic, and won’t contribute to the soiling of our oceans, groundwater, landfills, and streets. It doesn’t contain harmful compounds like BPA (the stuff we’re told leaches into our food and liquids via plastic containers), and therefore isn’t linked to health issues like infertility, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Unlike oil-derived plastic, hemp products are biodegradable, and won’t add to the detriment of our pollution issues. Hemp is also renewable, unlike oil, doesn’t require dangerous processes like fracking, and creates a plastic that is 3.5 times stronger and five times thicker. This makes it better for the environment, and an overall better product.
So, why aren’t we already using hemp plastic for mass production?
It’s very simple, and for the same reason that prohibition was pushed in the first place. Oil and big business, which so often go hand in hand. The DuPonts weren’t invested in natural resources, and neither are any oil companies today. But we already know that upwards of 4% of oil production went into making plastic in 2010, with that number now being around 10%, and possibly higher. That means, if plastic stopped coming from oil, at least 10% of the industry would tank out.
Have we ever known big oil to take a loss like that lying down? In the US alone, in just the year 2020, oil companies contributed over $138 million to political campaigns, through donations to parties, through PACs, as soft/outside money, and from individuals. 84% went to republicans, 16% went to democrats. That money was paid out to ensure that operations could continue despite the known detriment to our planet, and with safer options available, like hemp.
It stands to reason that unless the oil industry finds a way to monetize hemp for itself, it will make switching to safer options, that much trickier. We all know how politics work at this point. That $138 million buys votes, and it will never matter what the voting public does, as long as that money is able to filter into politician pockets. The funniest part? Those people have to live on this planet too, so not only are they willing to damn other people with their greediness, but they’re actually dumb enough to hurt themselves in the process.
Can the industry be upended? Sure, most can be with the right catalyzer. And information itself can be a catalyst. But in a poor world, which has grown poorer due to the recent pandemic, (and the reaction to it), getting people to understand the value of making this switch, is difficult. People are fighting to survive, and caring about the status of the oceans, or what might happen in even as little as 20 years, won’t put food on the table right now, or keep the heat going. As long as people are kept poor, and uneducated, the oil industry will prevail.
For those who understand the gravity of the situation, and are looking to the future, these companies are leading the way in getting us back to hemp plastic for mass production purposes, and safer industrial materials: The Hemp Plastic Company, Cannopy Corporation, and Hemp Inc.
There are probably plenty of people that think we as a species can survive anything. They are incorrect. The more damage we do to the environment, the more it comes back around to smack us in the face. And the only reason we continue? Because it puts money in the pockets of people who care so little about the rest of us, that they’re willing and ready to continue on, making a mess of everything for their own profit.
Should we continue using standard plastic? No! We have alternatives like hemp plastic, and it’s what we should be using if the future is considered important at all.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
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The question of how a cannabinoid is “made” does not come up very often. That’s because it’s usually pretty simple, they are “made” by the cannabis plant. However, there are a few compounds that are byproducts of phytocannabinoids and some other type of chemical catalyst… meaning they aren’t 100% naturally derived. THC-O Acetate falls under this category. So, how exactly is this exciting and very potent cannabinoid created?
The psychedelic THC-O Acetate sure sounds interesting, and goes to show just how many different products can be made from cannabis. Compounds like that one, THCV, Delta-8 THC and Delta 10 are the newer face of the cannabis industry. We support the expansion of cannabis use, and have some really great deals for delta-8 THC and many other compounds. Take a look at our selection, and join the cutting edge of marijuana use.
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What is THC-O?
In short, THC-O is an analog of THC, meaning is has a similar chemical structure but, as is the case in chemistry, minor differences often lead to substantial changes. THC-O is short for THC-O-Acetate, or THC Acetate/ATHC. Most of the time you’ll see it written and referred to as THC-O. It’s important not to confuse ATHC with THCA, the parent molecule of THC which found in raw plants that have not yet been decarboxylated.
In tetrahyrdocannabinolic acid (THCA) the A stands for acid, NOT acetate like with ATHC. THCA can be converted to THC-O, but THCA is a natural phytocannabinoid and THC-O is not. THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid that can only be produced in a laboratory setting, preferably by an experienced chemist. With the rise of DIY technologies, it can be tempting to try and make THC-O yourself, but the process can be difficult and quite dangerous, so it’s best left to the professionals.
Because it is an artificially produced cannabinoid, what you see is what you get – meaning all you get is THC-O and none of the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids that are found in natural oils. This is an obvious issue for whole-plant advocates and proponents of the entourage effects, but when it comes to pharmaceutical formulations, isolated cannabinoids are always preferred.
The purity of these compounds means that 1 milligram of isolate equals measures out to exactly 1 milligram of cannabinoid, whereas 1 milligram of full-spectrum plant extract might have 0.5 milligrams of THC, 0.3 milligrams of CBD, and 0.2 combination of other terpenes and compounds. This makes isolate very easy to use for specific dosing and product production.
According to Serge Chistov, the inventor of Nanobidiol Technology, says his team has found a safe and efficient method to acetylate THC using only approved solvents. Chistov says his team “developed the analytical standard for testing for THC-O, as well as being in the final stages of introducing products to retail outlets.” So, if everything stays on track, we can expect to see THC-O therapeutics relatively soon.
THC-O potency: Delta-9 THC vs THC-O
We already know that THC and THC-O are chemically similar, but that small variation in molecular structure translates to a huge difference in potency. While it may seem like a stretch, this is very common in chemistry – think CO vs CO2, the former being a manmade potentially dangerous substance, and the latter a natural gas required for plant and human life. Another well-known example is H2O vs H2O2, water vs hydrogen peroxide. Small molecular changes can make a world of difference.
To be specific, THC-O potency is so high, that THC-O is considered to be three to four times stronger than Delta 9 THC. There are times when THC, despite how amazing it is, doesn’t seem powerful enough to accomplish the task at hand, especially when used for pain, digestive disorders, and other chronic health conditions. THC-O is not only much more potent, but our bodies recognize it as a completely different compound. This means THC-O can be used in place of Delta 9 THC if you have built up a tolerance.
“The prodrug [THC-O] enters the system as a Trojan horse. The body sees the horse, the body tries to destroy the horse, keeping the insides of the horse available for the body to process. This means the THC inside of the prodrug preparation will not be metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC at the same rate and speed as the native THC molecule. That change in the metabolic perception of the body is what is partially responsible for the effect that most people describe as different,” Chistov explains.
Even recreationally, it has its place in the industry, and honestly, it sounds like a lot of fun. There is a huge market of people searching for cannabis products with more of a kick, which is exactly how concentrates came to be. It’s certainly not for everyone, but for people who like to experiment with pot products and psychedelics (myself included), it sounds like something worth trying at least once.
Those who have had the opportunity to try it claim that THC-O produces a much more spiritual, psychedelic, and introspective high than what they are used to from Delta 8, 9, or 10. Even habitual cannabis users noticed a difference. As a daily user, this alone has me sold, and I know many other people who feel the exact same way (hey subscribers, products will be available in our newsletter very soon!)
How THC-O is Made
Circling back, let’s talk a bit more about the THCA and THC-O connection. I have already covered the difference between the two (acid vs acetate), now it’s time to discuss how THCA can be converted to THC-O. Again, it’s a complex chemical process that should only be attempted by experienced chemists, this is NOT something that can be done safely at home.
In raw cannabis plants, cannabinoids are found in carboxylic acid from. Carboxylic acids are any of class of organic compounds in which a carbon atom is bonded to a hydroxyl group via a single bond, and to an oxygen atom by a double bond. When exposed to heat, the compounds lose their carboxylic acid groups and become the cannabinoids most consumers are familiar with.
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Carboxylic acid and hydroxyl groups are both polar and hydrophilic, meaning small amounts of THCA (or any other cannabinoid acid) are water soluble. Using two chemicals – sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride – the conversion can begin. Summarized, the process goes like this: THCA + heat > D9 + sulfuric acid + acetic anhydride = THC-O Acetate. When THCA is converted to THC-O, the polar C-OH becomes C-O-CH2C=O-CH3. The carboxylic acid group is hydrolyzed by the heating with the sulfuric acid, which then reacts with excess anhydride to produce acetic acid. This acid reacts with regular THC at the hydroxyl group and becomes the potent THC-O-Acetate.
To reiterate, sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride are both very corrosive and hazardous chemicals that should not be in the hands of amateurs and everyday consumers. Attempting this process at home is incredibly risky.
THC-O Acetate Production – Final Thoughts
THC-O is such an interesting compound. Not only is it four times stronger than Delta 9, which as far as we know, is the most potent of THC’s, but it is so pure and had limitless therapeutic potential. You might be eager to try it, but since it’s too risky to make at home, your best bet is to check out some of the existing products the are just hitting the store shelves. For more articles like this one, and for access to exclusive deals on all the newest, rare cannabinoid products, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter.
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