The Emerald Conference: 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Cannabis Science Event – Ticket Discounts Available!

The Emerald Conference (7th annual) is the longest running interdisciplinary cannabis science event, and the place to be for cultivators, extractors, physicians, product manufacturers, and anyone else interested in learning more about all the most important research going on behind the scenes of this multi-billion-dollar industry.  

Science and research are the backbone of the legal cannabis industry, especially in the medical sector. Without cannabis science, not only would we stay lagging on best practices in cultivation, production, and safety standards; but much of the western world would be still in the dark, largely unaware of the therapeutic potential of cannabis.  

For a 10% discount on tickets, make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, your top source for industry news, all the latest information, and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products.  

Over the years, The Emerald Conference has become a who’s-who event of decision-makers in many cannabis industry niches including extraction methodology, analytical testing, research and development, formulations and blends, and clinical research.  

Aside from the connections to be made, the wealth of knowledge and expertise at this event is unmatched. In addition to some incredibly educational presentations and sessions, event curators make sure to provide plenty of time for open dialogue, so attendees can discuss the topics in depth.  

The goal is to “overcome black-market paranoia” through irrefutable scientific data and education of the masses. And the best way to do this is by bringing as many from the scientific community as possible to put things into perspective.  

According to David Dawson, Ph.D. Senior Scientist at Via Innovations, “The Emerald Conference is integral to this process, as its high standards for peer-reviewed work and desire for open collaboration amongst participants sets it apart from the vast majority of cannabis conferences.” 

This year’s conference 

This event is more tight-knit than other conferences, so don’t expect a turnout in the tens of thousands like MJ Biz Con. In my opinion, the low-key environment makes it considerably easier to stay focused. Plus, it’s better for meeting people, learning, and making those lasting industry connections.  

Hundreds of people from around the world are expected to attend. During the event, there will be more than 20 speakers, 25 presentations, and 50 exhibitors and sponsors. Furthermore, there will be 3 scheduled networking events, a welcome reception, and evening reception, and a “mimosa & Bloody Mary bar break”.   

The Emerald Conference will take place from February 27 – March 1, 2022, at San Diego Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California.  

For a 10% discount on your tickets, subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for a coupon code! 

The main areas of focus at this year’s event will be pre-clinical/clinical research, cultivation and alternative strategies, extraction and separation, formulation and fill/finish, and analytical testing solutions. 

MJ Biz acquisition  

In January 2020, Marijuana Business Daily purchased Emerald Conference from Emerald Scientific, who established the first event in 2015. The deal highlights the growing importance of legitimate research in the industry, as it continues.  

“When looking at where cannabis is going, we identified science as a pillar of the industry’s future,” says Chris Walsh, CEO and president of MJBizDaily. “With the legalization of hemp and inevitable changes to federal marijuana laws in the coming years, the amount of scientific research is going to balloon – as will the needs of the scientific and business communities. 

MJ Biz Daily has been partnering with Emerald to put on this conference ever since its second year running, and this partnership is what led to the eventual acquisition years later. MJ Biz is known for putting on excellent events, and the merger has proven to be beneficial for everyone involved. 

Get your tickets now! 

If you’re an industry stakeholder or another interested party that would like to learn more about cannabis science, The Emerald Conference is an event you don’t want to miss.  

Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for a 10% percent discount on your tickets to The Emerald Conference – February 27th to March 1st, see you there! 

Hello to everyone..! Thanks for dropping by, the #1 internet source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering up current and relevant stories from the industry today. Join us daily to stay on top of the fast-paced universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a single thing. 

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Pfizer Entering Cannabis Space Through $6.7 Billion All-Cash Acquisition

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. is getting involved in the medical cannabis industry through the $6.7 billion, all-cash acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, a California-based company specializing in autoimmune and cardiovascular treatments, who also has a cannabinoid medication currently in their pipeline.  

The two publicly traded companies confirmed the deal last week. As per the agreement, Pfizer will own all outstanding shares of Arena, which they purchased for a total of $100 per share. This marks their eighth major acquisition over the last 20 years.  

Like with most other beneficial compounds, big pharma is looking to take over cannabis too. Only, when pharma comes in, you get much less of the natural healing compounds and a whole lot of synthetics and derivatives. That said, now is the time to shop for products, while we still can. For more articles like this one, and for exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other legal products, remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!

Pfizer and their rise to fame 

Pfizer Inc. is a multinational, American-headquartered, pharmaceutical and biotech corporation based in Manhattan, New York City, NY. The company was founded by two German immigrants in 1849, Charles Pfizer and his cousin Charles F. Erhart.  

By the 1950s, Pfizer was now a global company with offices in Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, as well as many locations throughout the United States. In 1960, their major US research facility was moved from New York City to Groton, Connecticut.  

In 1980, Pfizer released its first billion-dollar product – Feldene (piroxicam), a prescription-only anti-inflammatory treatment. Their next major product to receive approval was Diflucan (fluconazole) in 1981, an oral medication used to treat several types of fungal infections including candidiasis, blastomycosis, coccidiodomycosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, dermatophytosis, and pityriasis versicolor. 

In 1989, Pfizer accidentally created one of their most popular medications, Viagra. Initially intended to treat high blood pressure and angina, early trials showed it was not effective for these conditions. It did, however, have an interesting side effect. Trial volunteers reported increased erections after taking the medicine. It was patented for this purpose and received approval from the FDA in March 1998. By the end of 1999, Pfizer had already made $1 billion off Viagra sales.  

Along with Viagra, Pfizer also released Zoloft around the same time. Zoloft is a highly controversial anti-depressant that has been the central focus of hundreds of lawsuits. At the heart of many cases was an increased risk of violent behavior, mania, aggression, and even suicidal tendencies; the exact conditions a medication like this is supposed to alleviate. These symptoms were common at the start of treatment or anytime the patients’ doses were changed.

Additional side effects of Zoloft include: agitation, hallucinations, fever, overactive reflexes, tremors; nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination; trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing, or breathing that stops. 

COVID-19 Vaccine 

Despite their long list of existing – albeit sometimes questionable – medications and practices, it wasn’t until the start of this year that Pfizer truly became a household name in nearly every country on earth, following the development of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. As controversial as this vaccine may be, there is one thing that no one can deny – it’s a serious money maker.  

By June, the company had already made roughly $11.3 billion off the vaccine, based on their Q1 and Q1 reports. Now that the booster is available, Pfizer expects its Covid-19 vaccines to bring in roughly $33.5 billion in revenue by the end of 2021, which would make it one of their best-selling medications, ever.  

According to a review of 120,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations between June and September 2021, 15 percent are breakthrough cases, and that number is expected to rise significantly with the omicron variant. Some experts believe that soon, most Covid cases will be breakthroughs. A “breakthrough” case refers to new covid cases in vaccinated patients.  

Considering the short-lived efficiency of the vaccine, and the fact that pharmaceutical companies are pushing for boosters every six months, there’s certainly a lot of money to be made in the vaccine game, for those who were able to get a foot in early on.  

Who is Arena Pharmaceuticals? 

Arena Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company based San Diego, California and founded in 1997. Their main area of study, up until now, has been in the fields of autoimmune, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal diseases and they’ve been working on different small molecule medicines for these conditions.

The cannabinoid medication they’re formulating is called Olorinab (APD371). It’s an oral medication that will function as a full agonist of the CB2 receptors. They are researching the effectiveness of this treatment against numerous different health conditions and symptoms, but they are focused primarily on visceral pain associated with gastrointestinal illness.  

In other, non-cannabinoid areas of the pipeline, Arena has been working on medications for the treatment of many different immuno-inflammatory diseases, heart conditions, gastroenterology, and dermatology. Currently, all their drugs are still in the development stage.  

About the $6.7 billion all-cash deal 

“The proposed acquisition of Arena complements our capabilities and expertise in Inflammation and Immunology, a Pfizer innovation engine developing potential therapies for patients with debilitating immuno-inflammatory diseases with a need for more effective treatment options,” stated Mike Gladstone, global president & general manager, Pfizer Inflammation and Immunology.  

“Utilizing Pfizer’s leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of etrasimod for patients with immuno-inflammatory diseases,” he added. Etrasimod is Arena’s prime future treatment option for immune-mediated inflammatory disease.  

President and CEO of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Amit D. Munshi, stated that they are “thrilled” to have been acquired by Pfizer, and remarked on “Arena’s potentially best in class S1P molecule and our contribution to addressing unmet needs in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Pfizer’s capabilities will accelerate our mission to deliver our important medicines to patients. We believe this transaction represents the best next step for both patients and shareholders.” 

Big Pharma Entering Cannabis Space 

As big of news as this is, it’s not the first example of a large pharmaceutical company getting involved in cannabis, and it certainly won’t be the last. Most recently, earlier this year, Jazz Pharmaceuticals purchased GW Pharmaceuticals, a cannabinoid drug company from the UK that developed Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved CBD medication. It has also earned approval in Japan and most of Europe. Epidiolex is used to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.  

Back in 2018, Tilray, a major Canadian-based cannabis corporation, finalized a supply and distribution deal with Novartis AG, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company. Johnson & Johnson is also eyeing the industry, and has even allowed cannabis company Avicanna to utilize their 40,000-square-foot research facility, Innovation JLABS@Toronto. This type of setup can provide startups with flexible and stable labs to test products, without the “investor” actually taking a financial stake in the company.  

Final Thoughts 

The main takeaway here is that big pharma is very familiar with the benefits of cannabis, and once it’s federally legal, large pharmaceutical companies will be making major moves in the medical sector. With companies like this, it’s all about the money, and they’re just waiting for the right time to pull the plug. But keep in mind that the minute real THC (not synthetic) is used in a pharmaceutical drug, it can no longer be sold as a wellness supplement or recreational product. So if the day ever comes that pharmaceutical companies start using plant-extracted THC in their formulations, the industry as we know it will cease to exist.

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most interesting stories of today. Join us frequently to stay on-top of the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletterto ensure you’re never late on getting a story.

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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What is THCh? Learn Everything About Tetrahydrocannabihexol

In the modern-day recreational cannabis market, there is a constant, ongoing race to isolate and utilize the most potent, safe, and legal compounds from the cannabis plant. Since Delta 9 THC is the unlucky one to fall into the category of federally prohibited, we look to alternative THCs to get the job done. At this point, most people have heard of Delta 8 THC, or maybe even Delta 10 and THCV, but the newest one to make waves in the industry is THCh, or tetrahydrocannabihexol.  

Discovering new cananbinoids is always exciting, with THCh we’re at 150 so far, and still counting! To say up-to-date with more articles like this one, make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter – your top source for industry information as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other legal products. And save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!

What is THCh and how was it discovered? 

Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabihexol (THCh, Δ9-THCh or n-Hexyl-Δ9-THC), along with is cannabidihexol (CBDh), are phytocannabinoids that were discovered in 2020 by the same group of Italian researchers who first isolated THCP and CBDP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol and cannabidiphorol).  

In short, THCh is a hexyl homolog of delta 9 THC. A homolog is simply a molecule that has a nearly identical structure and function to another molecule, and primary cannabinoids have many homologs. Many of the alternate THCs, like Delta 8 and Delta 10, share terpenophenolic profiles with Delta 9 but the double bond on their linear alkyl side chain varies in location (ie Delta 8 has the link on the 8th chain, whereas Delta 9 has it on the 9th chain).  

However, in the case of THCh, this compound bears a n-hexyl side chain. These are the first hexyl derivatives of cannabinoids that have been discovered thus far. The definition of a hexyl group is “an irregular, saturated radical compound of hydrogen and carbon, derived from hexane.” Often this is the result of the loss of one or more hydrogen atoms.  

THCh can be both naturally-derived and synthetically produced. When it comes to consumer products, expect the latter, as it exists in much too low of concentrations to be successfully extracted from plant matter on a regular basis. Most likely, hemp-based CBD will be converted into THC, and that would then be turned into THCh, although I’m personally unfamiliar with the exact process of how to do that. 


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Effects and Benefits 

Any specifics on what exactly THCh can do for us are still up for debate, but experts do have some theories on what conditions it could best treat. Initial reports indicate that THCh is effective in elevating the mood and relieving pain.  

The team that discovered this cannabinoid tested these hypotheses on mice and found that THCh was able to block the neural pathways that are responsible for the physiological detection of pain. So basically, it subconsciously stops our brains from recognizing pain. More studies are needed to back up these results, as well to further explore its potential for providing mental health relief.  

When it comes to THCs in general, the way the work is via their ability to bind with one of the two cannabinoid receptors found in the human body. CB1 receptors are found in our brains and nervous systems and CB2 receptors are found throughout the immune system and surround structures. CB1 receptors are the primary binding points for THC, which make the psychoactive effects make that much more sense.  

As far as effects go, there isn’t much to go on there either. I haven’t tried it and have not been able to find any accounts from anyone who has. That being said, it’s believed that THCh is more potent than Delta 9 THC but slightly less potent than THCP, if that helps put it into any kind of perspective.

More about CBDh 

During this experiment, researchers also discovered CBDh; it was actually the focal point of their entire study, and THCh was the added bonus. What’s unique about CBDh, compared to other compounds in the same family like CBD and CBDP, is that it binds directly to the CB receptors.  

Most CBD-type cannabinoids have very little affinity to CB receptors. They typically bind to TRPV1 receptors, which are known to encourage higher levels of anandamide production. Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter and the first endocannabinoid to be discovered. Anandamide does bind directly to CB receptors. So, simply put, CBD does stimulate those same receptors, but in a secondary, roundabout way.  

But, since CBDh is different and does engage these receptors, its pharmacological benefits could be much greater than CBD’s. In the initial study, it was determined that much less CBDh is need for pain relief and management than CBD or CBDP.  

1.2 mg/kg of CBDH reduced pain response and 2 mg/kg of CBDH significantly blocked the physiological detection of pain. Conversely, higher doses (3 and 5 mg/kg) had no pain-relieving effects. This isn’t entirely uncommon – with some compounds, going over a certain dose does absolutely nothing as the body will only process and utilize so much at a time. 

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Delta 8 THCh?  

Another isomer being discussed is Δ8-THCh, or Delta 8 THCh. It’s currently a synthetic cannabinoid categorized under the code number JWH-124 in Clemson University’s, John W. Huffman’s, research group list of cannabinoids. In total, this group has identified about 450 cannabis plant compounds, about a third of which are cannabinoids.  

Theoretically, this could be a naturally occurring compound as Delta 8 is found in very small concentrations in cannabis and is also sometimes a degraded form of Delta 9 THC; but Delta 8 THCh has not yet been isolated in the plant.  

To expand more on that degradation: Delta 9 THC, although very abundant in marijuana strains, is an extremely unstable compound. When exposed to heat and light, THC molecules start breaking down at a rapid rate. During this process, roughly 90 percent of THC becomes CBN (cannabinol, non-psychoactive), but the other 10 percent will turn into other compounds, often Delta 8 THC.  

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Any products available? 

So far, I have not been able to find any products that scream safety or legitimacy. Doing a quick google search I found a couple companies selling vape carts that supposedly contain THCh combined with Delta 8 THC. The jury is still out regarding how these two compounds work together, or if it’s even THCh in those carts. 

*** UPDATE: THCh products are arriving soon. Subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter and be the first to know once those products are available.

Currently, you can experience THCh in regular, full spectrum cannabis products, since it’s naturally occuring in small amounts, but you won’t find many items containing an isolated version of this cannabinoid just yet. But make sure to check back with us because as soon as decent products are available, we will do what we can to get them to our readers.

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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 advice, 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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Biden Signs Infrastructure Bill, Includes Cannabis Study Improvements

President Joe Biden signed an infrastructure bill Monday, which includes the opportunity to allow researchers to use commercial cannabis in their studies, rather than government-grown cannabis.

President Biden signed a major bill on November 15 that will go down in history as a major infrastructure overhaul. HR-3648, also called The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is a $1.2 trillion, bipartisan package aimed at supporting essential services. 

“The bill I’m about to sign into law is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results,” Biden said. “We can do this. We can deliver real results for real people. We see in ways that really matter each and every day, to each person out there. And we’re taking a monumental step forward to build back better as a nation.” The bill passed in the Senate in August 2021, followed by the House earlier this month.

The bill will provide numerous federal investments that will go toward repairing roads, bridges and airport runways and terminals, and replacing school buses with low-emission versions, among other transit-related improvements. It also donates funds to increase access to reliable high-speed internet services, updating power grids and providing drought protection. 

More importantly, it also includes a provision to allow researchers to study cannabis that consumers use every day, rather than the less-than-potent cannabis grown by the government. Biden did not address this provision in his November 15 speech.

The bill mentions a “report on marijuana research” in Sec. 25026. It states that two years from now, Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services must submit this public report that addresses the recommendations for following points: 

  1. Increasing access of cannabis “samples and strains” to researchers to study.
  2. Establishing a “national clearinghouse” that will assist researchers in distributing those cannabis products.
  3. Increase cannabis sample access for researchers who live in states that have not yet legalized medical or recreational cannabis.

Separately, cannabis received a brief mention in Sec. 24102 “Highway Safety Programs” as well. The section notes a requirement for states with legal cannabis to educate drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis, with the hopes of reducing further injury and/or deaths.

It’s not an uncommon fact that government-grown cannabis, which is currently only legally allowed to be produced by the University of Mississippi, is weak in potency. According to a side-by-side comparison of commercial and government-grown cannabis by The Washington Post in 2017, commercial cannabis is thick, chunky and covered in trichomes. A sample of government-grown cannabis was thin, and seemingly made of stems instead of cannabis flower.

The inclusion of cannabis in this bill is brief, but nonetheless important to improving research materials. Many political responses to federal legalization and medical cannabis access have been that there isn’t enough research to prove the effectiveness of cannabis. The infrastructure bill’s required cannabis report, due to be released in 2023 if all goes according to plan, could help pave the way for researchers to improve upon their study materials for more effective results. 

There are a number of other cannabis-related bills currently being proposed. The most recent of which is the States Reform Act, which was introduced by South Carolina Senator Nancy Mace on November 15. 

Mace’s bill would remove cannabis from the list of Schedule I substances, and would give states the power to establish cannabis reform. “My home state of South Carolina permits CBD, Florida allows medical marijuana, California and others have full recreational use, for example. Every state is different. Cannabis reform at the federal level must take all of this into account. And it’s past time federal law codifies this reality,” Mace said in a statement.

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VA Committee Recommends Medical Cannabis Research Bill to House

On November 4, the House Veterans Affairs Committee passed a bill that would allow the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study medical cannabis as a treatment option for military veterans.

Sponsored by Representative Lou Correa and Peter Meijer, HR-2916, also called the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2021, instructs the VA to study medical cannabis research. “This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct clinical trials of the effects of medical-grade cannabis on the health outcomes of covered veterans diagnosed with chronic pain and those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Covered veterans are those who are enrolled in the VA health care system,” the bill summary reads.

The bill also states that the trials must include both a control group and an experimental group that include a balanced representation of the veteran community (similar size, structure and demographics). Most importantly, any veteran who chooses to participate in these trials would not have to worry about their VA benefits or eligibility.

At the November 4 meeting, Chairman Mark Takano spoke briefly about HR-2916. “Veterans and veteran service organizations have told us that they overwhelmingly support medical cannabis research at VA. So many veterans already use cannabis to ease their suffering. Veterans can purchase medical cannabis in 36 states and recreational cannabis in 19 states,” Takano said.

Takano continued, “We simply must equip VA and its healthcare providers with scientific guidance about the potential impacts, benefits and/or dangers of cannabis use to treat chronic pain and PTSD. Now VA tells us that it is monitoring smaller research projects on cannabis outside VA. This really is not sufficient. The bill directs VA to bring the important methodological rigor with a clinical trial framework to bear on these important questions. We owe our veterans no less.”

Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks proposed an amendment at the meeting in response. She proposed the replacement of HR-2916 with her own bill, HR-2932, which she calls the Veterans Cannabis Analysis Research and Effectiveness, or Veterans Care Act. Although she acknowledges that her and Correa’s bill share some goals, she believes Correa’s bill is not the ideal way to assist veterans. “…his bill takes an overly prescriptive approach to requiring the VA conduct research on medical marijuana,” she began. “I am sure that it is well-intentioned. However, what that would do is unfairly tie the hands of the VA researchers who are responsible for designing and conducting these studies and undermine their work to such an extent as to render it meaningless.”

“That is why my amendment, in the nature of a substitute, would replace the text of Congressman Correa’s bill, with the text of my bill which would also require VA to conduct research regarding medical marijuana but would also give VA researchers the flexibility to design that research for themselves,” Miller-Meeks continued. “This would help ensure that politics plays no role in the results of this research and that scientists and researchers, not politicians, inform the VA’s work on medicinal marijuana research so that it yields the best and most useful research results for veterans.”

Chairman Mark Takano stated that, “Unfortunately, I cannot support your amendment which would give VA far more leeway in determining how to study the possible use of cannabis and treating pain and PTSD and veterans,” Takano said. “With all due respect, VA could be doing that level of research now and simply has chosen not to. VA’s Office of Research and Development can absolutely handle a clinical trial. It already conducts many of them. And it’s time to bring the scientific weight of that gold standard approach to the issue of cannabis use.”

There was continued discussion on Miller-Meek’s bill by Ranking Member Mike Bost, but ultimately her bill was not agreed to by the committee. The committee did, however, agree to recommend HR-2916 to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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Bank of America Closes Cannabis Research Account

One of the nation’s most popularly used banks decided to close the account of one of the country’s DEA-approved cannabis and psychedelic research institutions.

The Bank of America suddenly closed the accounts of the Scottsdale Research Institute with very little notice or explanation last week. The Scottsdale Research Institution received a letter dated October 12, stating that the account would no longer be accessible in 21 days and fully closed within 30 days. The letter also states that the “this decision is final and won’t be reconsidered.”

Dr. Sue Sisley, a prominent, longtime researcher of medical cannabis (specifically for its efficacy as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder) is the President and Principal Investigator at the Scottsdale Research Institute. She posted on Twitter on October 15 about the situation. 

“Bank of America closes down account of Federally-licensed cannabis researcher. SRI conducts FDA approved controlled trials evaluating cannabis as medicine for treating pain/PTSD in military veterans & terminally ill patients this TRAGICALLY shuts down our research @BankofAmerica.” She also included a screenshot of an official document, entitled the Controlled Substance Registration Certificate, which was issued to the Scottsdale Research Institute by the DEA on June 29, 2021.

The Scottsdale Research Institute has federal permission to study both medical cannabis and psychedelic substances. Most recently, in May, the institute was one of three organizations who received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to cultivate cannabis for research purposes. 

“Pending final approval, DEA has determined, based on currently available information, that a number of manufacturers’ applications to cultivate marijuana for research needs in the United States appears to be consistent with applicable legal standards and relevant laws,” the DEA wrote in its release. “DEA has, therefore, provided a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to these manufacturers as the next step in the approval process.”

Aside from its promising research results, Dr. Sisley and the Scottsdale Research Institute have also taken an active approach to push the industry toward legalization and descheduling cannabis. In Sisley vs. DEA, which was filed in May 2020, she alleged the Schedule I status of cannabis violated the constitution and that it should be descheduled. After a year and a half, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the petition. However, one of the presiding judges, Judge Paul J. Watford, stated that the DEA may eventually be forced to reconsider reclassification under the Controlled Substances Act in the near future. 

“I agree that the petitioners in this case failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and therefore join the court’s opinion dismissing their petition for review,” Watford wrote. “I write separately to note that, in an appropriate case, the Drug Enforcement Administration may well be obliged to initiate a reclassification proceeding for marijuana, given the strength of petitioners’ arguments that the agency has misinterpreted the controlling statute by concluding that marijuana ‘has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.’”

This is just the most recent example of the continuing problem that all cannabis businesses, in nearly every aspect of the industry, are having with banking solutions. On September 21, the U.S. House approved the SAFE Banking Act as a part of the defense spending bill, which is the fifth time that cannabis banking legislation has been approved in the House. Whether this provision is approved by the Senate remains to be seen.

Cannabis businesses continue to struggle with legitimate banking solutions. It remains an issue to witness not just a dispensary or cultivation company, but a federally approved organization, having its account closed without any previous warning or reasoning. For now, Dr. Sisley said in a statement to Marijuana Moment that the Scottsdale Research Institute will be moving to a new banking solution with a bank that is supportive of “scientific freedom.”

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Busted Australian Cultivator Pleads Leniency in Name of Science

An Australian cultivator claims that his growing of cannabis should be allowed for research purposes. 

It is a topic familiar with any advocate if not caretaker in every jurisdiction where cannabis is on the edge of becoming legit (and for any purpose). What role does the “informal” researcher play in advancing knowledge about the drug—particularly if the investigation is not tied to any kind of formal program?

Australian Advocate

This idea has been put to the test lately in Queensland, Australia. Joshua James Waldron, caught with 18kg of cannabis in his property when searched by the police a year ago last September, pleaded for leniency as well as guilty at his recent sentencing.

Waldron told the Brisbane court that he cultivated his stash for medical purposes, gave it away to patients rather than selling it and was engaged in “phenotype-selection process” to create stable plants.

Despite the noble intent, Waldron pleaded guilty to one count each of producing and possessing dangerous drugs at trial. The crown prosecutor not only referred to the “sophisticated” property and setup, but the defendants decided lack of remorse in breaking the law—he admitted to continuing to supply medical cannabis to literally hundreds of people despite prior convictions for similar offenses.

The Fate of Advocate Growers During Legalization

This is not a story that is heard as often in North America anymore, particularly as the industry mainstreams at minimum at a state level, but it is not that long since there have been similar cases. Perhaps the best-known recent, national case in the U.S. is the Harvey family, who is facing down federal drug charges. Washington State legalized in 2014, which ended up splitting the legalizing industry away from patient growers.

In Europe, such advocates are still also facing jail—the most recent, high-profile case being Albert Tio, who was prosecuted in Spain for organizing the club movement and lost his appeal at the European level. In Germany, patient growers are also still being prosecuted, including with jail time.

The idea of the advocate-cultivator-investigative cannabis scientist is not one that has so far caught on in any legalizing market. Certainly not officially.

The Need for More Cannabis Trials

Despite the home-grown nature of Waldron’s scientific efforts, the reality driving such activism is that there have not been enough medical cannabis trials—anywhere. Furthermore, patient access, just about everywhere, is one of the biggest issues in every country where cannabis is becoming legal, even for medical reasons.

What is further complicating the overall picture is that formal medical trials, accepted and developed by the pharmaceutical industry, are expensive and largely out of the purview of the “average” sick person seeking such treatment on a regular basis—particularly for people with rare conditions. Cannabis has largely been left out of the development of the formal pharma industry, which developed, largely as the plant was being demonized during the 1930s. 

In the meantime, patients are being largely left out of the equation, particularly if they are poor or have rare conditions, and cannot get formal medical care.

The Role of the Advocate-Cultivator

One of the most intriguing aspects of modernizing the cannabis trial equation is the use of technology to create hybrid programs. In the past (for example during the AIDS crisis) the legality of cannabis as a medicine drove compassionate programs and the experimentation that existed out of the rare formal medical trial.

In the legalizing medical and hybridizing markets of Europe (see Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Portugal) as well as the UK, governments are beginning to set the parameters of the trials that have existed here since 2017.

These, however, resemble more traditional pharmaceutical trials—namely because they must.

One of the more interesting national experiments beyond Europe may create a more open paradigm, depending on how successful the program is. In Thailand, alone of legalizing countries, local farmers are cultivating crops for medical dispensation in local hospitals. This appears to be the first and only country trial where this is the case.

Until the idea of this paradigm spreads, or is allowed to, there will continue to be experimentation by patient advocates. And until there is either recognition of the legitimacy of this model, potentially with accepted procedures which create a scientific basis for the same, the fate of such informal experimenters very much hangs in the balance of the flavour and acceptance of cannabis by the legal system.

The post Busted Australian Cultivator Pleads Leniency in Name of Science appeared first on High Times.

High Potency: How THC-O Acetate Is Made

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.

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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 Acetate: More Potent, Psychedelic and Spiritual Than Delta 9 THC

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.

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THC-O Vape Cartridge Maui Wowie
THC-O Vape Cartridge Maui Wowie

“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.

Best THC-O Products
(Summer 2021 Edition)

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New: THC-O Products

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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Breaking News: Langara College receives $3.3 million for applied research in cannabis

Vancouver, BC – A press release on July 13 detailed a ground-breaking grant awarded to Langara College. The grant, which totals $3.3 million, consists of $2 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and $1.3 million from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, is the largest grant received by a post-secondary institution in the province. “These […]

The post Breaking News: Langara College receives $3.3 million for applied research in cannabis appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Global Cannabis Leaders – Most Advanced Countries for Medical Research

The United States cannabis market is the largest in the world with sales expected to surpass $92 billion by the end of 2021. Despite this, cannabis is still federally illegal. It is difficult to gauge the full scope of the health and societal problems caused by cannabis prohibition, but we do know that the plant’s illegal status has put millions behind bars, blocked safe access for patients who could benefit from its use, and drastically hindered the ability of researchers to discover more about marijuana’s therapeutic potential.

Although the United States is way behind on the cannabis research front, thankfully a handful of other countries are picking up the slack. A growing number of people are using already using cannabis therapeutically and providing anecdotal data, so the pressure is on for science to catch up by conducting appropriate clinical research and create fair and progressive new laws. Nations like Israel, Canada, and The Czech Republic are changing the global narrative surrounding this plant by offering the world ground-breaking medical studies, quality control laboratory testing, and numerous other types of important research-based services.

Cannabis medicine is the way of the future, and so much more research is needed to understand the full scope of benefits one can experience from using this plant therapeutically. From relieving mental health conditions to curing cancer, it seems there is nothing that marijuana can’t do for our bodies. To learn more, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter for other articles like this one, as well as exclusive deals on events and products.


No country in the world is better known for cannabis research than Israel. Not only is this the nation where it all began, but they are still paving the path with their modern research efforts today. Back in the early 1960s, Israeli scientist and University Professor, Raphael Mechoulam, first identified and isolated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the cannabis plant. His discovery jumpstarted the medical cannabis revolution and helped change how the entire world looked at this plant.  

Today, Mechoulam is President of The Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is leading a team of researchers that continue to uncover the numerous medical benefits associated with the now hundreds of compounds that have been found in cannabis. He has received millions in grants to create cannabis-based treatments for aggressive forms of cancer, and he was recently awarded the Technion Harvey prize for his work in the field.

By 2017, many in the industry had nicknamed Israel “The Holy Land” for medical cannabis; still known as an international hub for some of the most advanced scientists and researchers in the industry and it’s one of the few countries in the world where doctors prescribe cannabis-based medications with some regularity.

A great number of our most important cannabis studies come from Israel, including many about the endocannabinoid system, cannabis and cancer, mental health, addiction, and the list goes on. Israel has seen so much success with cannabis research that more restricted countries (like the U.S.) rely on Israeli data for their own scientific and legal initiatives. Although Israel has been shipping out cannabis products for some time now, many believe the small country’s most valuable export is medical data.


Although Canada tends to get all the glory, Uruguay is actually the first country to legalize the sale and possession of recreational cannabis, which has now been in effect for almost a decade, since 2013. In the industry, Uruguay is known for jumpstarting the federal legalization movement in many different nations, as well as creating the first medical cannabis export program in Latin America that launched in 2019.

Shortly after legalizing adult-use cannabis, Uruguay began to seriously invest in scientific research and was soon recognized as a “hotbed” of medicinal cannabis innovation. Uruguay has many unique advantages that make it a prime location for cannabis research and emerging trends. First is the country’s size and political stability, which make it easy and safe to control cannabis production and distribution.

Also, it is also worth noting is the country’s prime growing location, at a latitude that allows for off-season production to North America and Europe. Their short and mild winter season lasts from around June to August, which means Uruguayans can cultivate cannabis almost year-round. All that, combined with other factors such as transparency, reliability, legal and economic security make Uruguay a perfect region for cannabis industry development.


Malta, officially referred to as The Republic of Malta, is a small Mediterranean country formed by a small group of islands, located south of Italy and east of Tunisia. With a population of just under 500,000 and occupying only 122 square miles, Malta is the smallest country in the European Union, both by land size and population.

However, this small European archipelago is set to become a major global hub for medicinal cannabis research and production. In March of 2018, medical cannabis was officially legalized in Malta, which was followed by the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act a month later. This legislation included all the stipulations for cultivation, processing, consumption, importing and exporting, therein.

Earlier this year, TechforCannEU announced that it had secured funding of up to 2.5 million euros from Malta Enterprise, the nation’s economic development agency, to begin establishing the world’s first medical cannabis industry tech accelerator.

This program offers up-and-coming cannabis entrepreneurs in the areas of healthcare, biotech, agriculture, infrastructure, and digital technology to receive government funding for their work, and thus allows them to reach milestones faster, with less error and expense, ultimately increasing their probability of commercial success. The funds will go directly to the start-up companies selected to participate in the program’s first round.


Canada is the largest to country to legalize recreational cannabis for adults. In 2018, five years after Uruguay, cannabis became the second nation to end prohibition. As one of the most economically secure countries, with a large land mass and decent sized population, Canada has positioned itself as a global leader in numerous different industry sectors including agriculture, investment opportunities, and research.  

Lab testing is a big part of Canada’s cannabis market and the country is home to a very large number of labs across all of its provinces. Well known labs offer the industry a wide variety of testing services including cannabinoid and terpene content, contamination levels, analytical chromatography, and much more. Only lab tested material can be used in the production of cannabis-based medications, and Canada has cornered that sector.

Some of the largest cannabis research centers in the world, including Michael G. DeGroote Centre, McGill, and McMasters, are located in Canada; as well as some of the biggest corporate names in the industry. Companies like Tilray’s, HEXO, and GW Pharmaceuticals – to name a few – are well known to researchers, investors, and consumers alike.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands, Amsterdam specifically, is a region that is well-known for cannabis. Although it is illegal (which is a shock to many), the Netherlands has one of the most lenient marijuana decriminalization policies on earth. Recreational cannabis is used freely by adults and available for purchase and consumption in coffeeshops around the city, some of which have become famous for this exact reason.

In 2003, the Netherlands launched its national medical cannabis program and the country that has long been synonymous with cannabis tourism and redlight districts, suddenly began to make a name for itself as a beacon of marijuana science and testing.

The Netherlands has since received funding for numerous different studies, some of which were very large scale and covered everything from medical applications to treatment of mental disorders, and even limitations on academic performance. Facilities where these trials are conducted can be found all over the country.

Since Amsterdam is stuck in a legislative catch 22 (similar to the US), where cannabis is legal for adults to purchase in the coffee shops, but illegal to produce and sell, the Netherlands are conducting what they refer to as “weed trials”. Starting this year, cafes in 10 different cities will get a legal supply of quality cannabis to sell in their shops as part of a four-year experiment to see if they can deter the nation’s illicit suppliers.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic legalized medical cannabis in 2013 and is one of many EU countries that have been loosening cannabis restrictions in recent years. What makes the Czech Republic unique, however, is that this Eastern European nation is now home to one of the most advanced and expansive cannabis research facilities in the world: The International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI).

The ICCI launched in 2015 when a few prominent organizations – Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Prague KOPAC, and Dioscorides Global Holdings (DGH) – joined forces with the Czech Republic’s Minister of Health and created this medical marijuana research hub. The goal is to create a center of excellence that offers the cannabis industry a variety of science-based research services.

According to the website, “The main work of the ICCI is to provide scientific instruments to public and private institutions all over the world. The purpose is to enable scientific examination of the relation between bioactive cannabis compounds and the effect on the human organism in the treatment of specific syndromes and, in the future, systemic health disorders,” said the ICCI CEO Pavel Kubů.

The research conducted at ICCI focuses on three main subjects: Biomedicine, Life Science, and Policy Science. ICCI is an organization that “combines various institutions (universities, high-tech companies, associations) and their capabilities to provide service to the broad array of entities around the world interested in the development of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine.”


Spain is one of the first European nations to decriminalize personal use of cannabis products for adults, but their medical laws leave much to be desired. It might have something to do with the high rates of tourism in the country. Earlier this year, the committee of the Spanish Congress voted in favor of a that will establish a subcommittee to investigate the effects of regulated medical cannabis programs in other countries.

Regardless of the difficult laws, Spain is the location of numerous largescale cannabis research projects that have helped shed new light on its pharmacological uses. In 1998, researchers at Madrid’s Complutense University found that THC can be used in the treatment of cancer, by activating programmed cell death in certain brain tumor cells without harming surround cells and tissues.

More recently, pharmacologist José-Carlos Bouso, alongside Professor Raphael Mechoulam and Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen from Germany, as well as other leading industry scientists, founded the Spanish Observatory on Medical Cannabis (OECM). The organization is comprised of the top cannabis minds in the industry, and the observatory is said to “promote the works of its members and also highlight the ongoing research done by other Spanish health professionals who are looking into marijuana research.”

What About The United States?

You likely noticed by now that the United States didn’t even make the cut. It may seem surprising that the country with largest global cannabis market is not on the list. So let’s quickly cover the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act, which still, to this day, categorizes “marihuana” as a Schedule 1 narcotic with high likelihood of leading to abuse and addiction, and no known medical applications. According to the scheduling, cannabis is more dangerous than cocaine, but sure, let’s pretend none of that is part of their political smear campaign against a healing plant.

Regardless, US cannabis prohibition has thrown a huge wrench in the wheel of the fast-paced medical research movement. Many of these restrictions can be somewhat avoided during the formation of a recreational market, but when it comes to clinical research, certain criteria needs to be met in order to secure funding and authorization to conduct studies on human subjects. One of the criteria is that the product in question also needs to be legal.

Ultimately, not much has changed here in the last five decades and researchers who do wish to study the plant are limited to acquiring subpar and very limited samples from the only government-approved cannabis production facility in the country – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s National Center for Natural Products Research, which established the “marijuana project” in 1968.

Weed politics in the US are not pretty, but pressure from the public is mounting to deschedule cannabis and open the gateways for proper research initiatives. Until the laws change, patients will continue fighting for fair access and prominent companies will get their data from elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

As a fun, recreational, adult-use product, all the most popular industry trends will likely come from the US. When considering cannabis as a powerful medicinal product with hundreds of therapeutic compounds to be harnessed and thoroughly studied, look elsewhere in the world. The countries on this list may be lacking the pizazz that our flashy recreational markets possess, but they are leading the way when it comes to research and development, testing, analysis, and data.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your source for all things cannabis-related. Make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter for more informative articles like this one.

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