Beyond the Terpenes: Volatile Compounds in Cannabis

As judges for the Emerald Cup for nineteen years, Nikki and I have had the unique privilege of sampling several thousand cannabis flowers from the world’s premier cannabis cultivation counties in California. One year, we sampled over 600 entries in the space of a month. These bouts of concentrated sniffing have shown me that there’s an enormous range of smells, aromas, fragrances and stinks that cannabis flowers can present.

Identifying Aromas

In the early days of the Cup, most entries were OG’s, diesels and “chemies” or solvents. Soon, entries with floral smells were entered and then some “blueberries.”  For convenience’s sake, the judges began to organize the hundreds of glass jars on the table into rough categories—at first, mostly gasses or florals.

One year, “In the Pines,” with its refreshing new pineapple smell, swept the competition away. A few years later, the tangy and citrusy smells arrived; after that came the cakes and desserts. Many of the same aromas were sensed on numerous samples, but some fragrances were very rare.

Over the years as judges and connoisseurs, we have experienced cannabis flowers smelling like burnt rubber, tar, chlorine, sour milk, baby poop, garlic, roast beef, roast chicken, mothballs, banana, strawberry, airplane glue, diesel, kerosene, gasoline, pine sol, citri-sol, guava, vinyl, new car smell, fresh mown grass, fresh air, jasmine, gardenias, honeysuckle, apple pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, orange, pineapple…the list goes on.

Here are the aroma notes Nikki and I have for several random flower entries in the 2023 Emerald Cup:

  • Entry # 1: canned pineapple, Hyacinth, shoe polish, smokey leather
  • Entry # 2: watermelon, cherry, redwoods, honey, hyacinth, sage
  • Entry # 4: modeling clay, orange juice with fish in it, formaldehyde
  • Entry # 7: tar, mango, Doug fir forest, Fabreeze, thyme, eucalyptus

In time, it became clear that in order to judge such a large number of flower entries, we needed some way to categorize the multiplicity of aromas into distinct groups of smell in order to compare a given bud against other buds with the same or very similar smells. This enabled us to determine the best entry in that aroma category. But what should the categories be and how could they be measured?

Swami exploring the aromas with Tim Blake, founder of the Emerald Cup.

THC Potency Isn’t Everything

In 2010, the Emerald Cup began testing the entries for cannabinoids at SC Labs in Santa Cruz, with the seemingly surprising result that the winner did not have the highest THC. Every year since then, the winner of the Cup has never had the highest THC.

Soon, many cannabis labs were testing for the most dominant terpenes, as well as for cannabinoid ratios, on the assumption that the smell of the highest measured terpene would define the nose.

After ten years of testing over 200,000 samples, SC Labs performed a meta-analysis of their data. This revealed that about 40% of the tested flowers were myrcene dominant, followed by about 28% beta-caryophyllene, then terpinolene, pinene and limonene measuring between 12% to 10%, and ocimene measured dominant in about 1% of samples.

This was new and valuable information, bringing a whole new dimension of scientific understanding of what came to be called the entourage effect. Credit to Alec Dixon and Josh Wurzer at SC Labs for analyzing all the data and to Mark Lewis of Napro Labs for creating Phytofacts.

Volatile compounds in cannabis
Alec Dixon from SC Labs shows the terpene key.

Understanding Terpenes

Beginning in 2021, the Emerald Cup entries, after testing by SC Labs, were organized according to Phytofacts’ six categories based on their dominant terpene. Using the percentages of nine primary and secondary terpenes in cannabis, the entries were divided into six categories: OGs and Gas Class; Tropical and Floral Class; Jacks and Haze Class; Sweets and Dreams Class; Desserts Class; and finally, the Exotics Class.

As a result, all the judges’ awareness of terpenes and their combinations was greatly advanced.

For the Emerald Cup in 2022, SC Labs measured the two highest terpenes, and in 2023—in some cases—they measured the highest three. As the judges learned more about these aroma classes and worked through the hundreds of anonymous entries in numbered glass jars, it became evident to the sophisticated and finely tuned noses of the flower judges that all the different smells couldn’t be explained by the dominant terpenes alone.

Some entry samples listed in the “OGs and Gas” class based on their dominant measured percentage of terpenes, actually had a floral or fruity “nose,” dry hit and flavor. Similarly, samples placed as “Desserts” were found to be gassy, or sometimes even floral. Many were clearly a mixture of several aroma classes.

Then there are always the savory smells: grilled or smoked meat, garlic, onion, burnt or tar aromas. What terpenes could they be? And where did the earthy smells come from: leather, oak and maple wood, or cedar, mushroom, forest duff, chocolate, coffee. None of these could be assigned to the classes based on the dominant terpene.

Even many fruity fragrances—strawberry, banana, and pineapple—it turns out, aren’t created by terpenes. In fact, they are created by esters.

We talk about terpenes because they clearly make up perhaps 40 to 50& of a cannabis flower’s aromas, but also because they are what the labs test for. Many other volatile organic compounds are produced by the plant but are not tested.

Where, then, do all of these various aromas and flavors come from?

Volatile compounds in cannabis
Nikki exploring the volatile compounds in cannabis during Emerald Cup judging.

Taking It Further: The Aromatics of Cannabis

The aromas that all plants produce are for the purpose of attracting, repelling or signaling other organisms. These are called volatile organic compounds, or as I like to call them, “The Aromatics”. The particular fragrance produced by any plant is rarely from only one volatile compound or even one type of aromatic.

When Kev Jodhry, previously an Emerald Cup judge, organized the Golden Tarp Awards 2014, he decided to divide the entries into four distinct “categories of perception”: Floral, Fruit, Earth and Fuel. He says that this way of organizing the contest came from years of growing, breeding, selling and smelling cannabis, through which he began to recognize patterns of aromas and flavors. When this scheme was challenged by Dr. John Abrams of UCLA and the Clinical Endocannabinoid System Consortium (CESC), Jodhry sent him all the test lab data from the contest, and the scientist realized that the lab data supported the four categories of perception. That is, the “nose” of a cannabis flower—the aroma and flavor profile produced by the volatile compounds in cannabis—produced measurably different brain wave graphs in human lab testing, depending on which of the four smell categories were dominant in the sample.

Recently, a book was recommended to me by Aaron Varney, a fellow teacher in the Ganjier Training Program: Nose Dive by Harold McGee. In simple but scientific language, McGee explains which volatile organic compounds produce which aromas. In numerous charts he lists the component volatile smells of animals (cats, dogs) and humans (toe jam, urine, excrement, sweat), insect smells, barnyard smells, thousands of plant smells: fruits, flowers, mosses and trees and tree resins, spices, grasses, roots various gasses, solvents, alcohols, acids, nitrogen and sulfur volatiles, hydrocarbons, aldehydes, butane, hexane octane rubber, tar and so much more.

Cannabis plants can produce many of these volatile organic compounds, such as alcohols, acids, phenols, esters, thiols, benzenoids and sulfidic sulfides—all of which have a smell. It only takes a trace amount of these other compounds when combined with the terpenes to completely change the nose of the bud even though the cultivars may have the same dominant terpenes.

It would be reasonable to assume, then, that the numerous different volatile compounds in cannabis cultivars—not just terpenes—form many different aroma profiles to produce the total smell of the flower. And that these different volatile compounds would produce different mental states. This is the basis of aroma therapy. This is why we say: The nose knows!

The post Beyond the Terpenes: Volatile Compounds in Cannabis appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Cannabeginners: Cannabinoid Ratios, Why They Matter

Full-Spectrum cannabis contains the entire spectrum of more than 100 phytocannabinoids, but those cannabinoids are not present in equal amounts. Knowing the ratio of one cannabinoid to another can help you predict what the effects of that cannabis could be.

How Breeding Influences Cannabinoid Ratios

It is hypothesized that before THC was identified as the cannabinoid responsible for making people feel “high,” that there were more balanced cannabinoid ratios in landrace cultivars (those bred by nature rather than intentional human breeding). “They kept getting bred to go higher and higher in THC, so most strains have very low CBD,” said Dennis Hunter, cofounder of Cannacraft, who produces CBD-rich products under the brand name Care by Design.

Thankfully, in 2008, the first cannabis testing lab in the United States opened their doors, and Steep Hill Labs modernized the science of cannabis lab testing, with help from Harborside. Thanks to their testing and research, Steep Hill and Harborside can “even be credited with rediscovering CBD.” Other early CBD pioneers responsible for this industry gamechanger are Fred Gardner and Martin Lee, who worked with the grower Wade Laughter to start Project CBD, beyond starting Project CBD, Wade also is the breeder who created Harlequin, one of the earliest CBD-rich cultivars identified by Steep Hill. Now, more and more cultivators are breeding for the complete cannabinoid and terpene profile, rather than just THC.

How Do Cannabinoid Ratios Affect You?

Every cannabinoid ratio will produce different, sometimes radically different, outcomes, so it is important to know what the expected effects of a given ratio could be. You should also pay attention that the bigger number in the ratio is the cannabinoid you want it to be (i.e. If you don’t want to be very high, make sure that 4:1 is CBD:THC instead of the opposite).

Ratios With More THC than CBD

It is unlikely that you will see cannabinoid ratios offered with more THC than CBD, but if you do, a 1:2 or 1:4 CBD:THC ratio would probably be the most common and would still make you feel high but there would be some CBD to potentially calm some of the intoxicating effects. These ratios would likely be good for people who are sensitive to THC but still curious about trying it, though a 1:1 ratio might be a better way to start, as it would contain even more CBD. 

1:1 – A Balanced Ratio

A 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC is equal parts of each cannabinoid and is possibly the most common ratio found in cannabis products, in a wide variety of product types (edibles, tinctures, capsules, topicals, and possibly even flower or extracts). This is a good ratio to start with for people who are new to THC but curious what it would be like to feel “high.” This ratio is wonderful for people suffering from pain, as both THC and CBD work as analgesics using different mechanisms in the body.

Low CBD to THC

The most common low CBD:THC ratios are 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1, which all have similar effect profiles, with minimal euphoria from the THC and more medical benefits from the CBD, made even stronger by the presence of THC through the ensemble effect. These ratios are also very good for pain,  but as CBD has benefits for numerous conditions, ranging from cancer to skin conditions like eczema, these ratios can be used for a wide range of medical conditions. 

High CBD to THC

There is a bit of a jump between the low and high CBD to THC ratio products, with the lowest high CBD:THC ratios sold being around 8:1, and ranging as high as 40:1. While the low CBD:THC ratios still have some minimal euphoria from THC, unless someone is taking a very high dose, it is unlikely that 8:1 and higher ratios will produce feelings of intoxication. Specifically, ratios above 18:1 CBD:THC are commonly used in cases of pediatric epilepsy as they do not produce intoxication. Aside from epilepsy, high CBD:THC ratios can be useful for a wide range of conditions just like lower ratios of CBD to THC, but the additional CBD may change the impacts in your body. Just like one needs to do some trial and error to know their dose with edibles, there is some trial and error to figure out the best cannabinoid ratio for your needs.

What’s the Research On Ratios Say?

Most research on cannabinoid ratios can be lumped into two categories, research on a 1:1 balance on THC and CBD and research on high CBD:THC ratios for epilepsy. The research on high CBD:THC ratios for epilepsy is pretty unanimous that CBD is beneficial for some types of epilepsy in some people. The research on a 1:1 balanced ratio has primarily focused on the product Sativex, which is a tincture taken orally and is approved for “symptomatic relief of pain in advanced cancer and multiple sclerosis.” Cinnamon Bidwell is a neurobiologist at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science, and has offered a caveat emptor to cannabis consumers, “The marketing and the consumer lure is far ahead of what the research can really support.”

Ratios: Not Just CBD and THC

While this article has focused on the ratio of CBD to THC, it is important to consider the more than 100 other phytocannabinoids, as well as terpenes and other chemicals, like alkaloids. For example, as we discussed in our last Cannabeginners, while the research on it is mixed, some people see benefits for sleep from using CBN. As both CBD and THC can also have benefits for sleep, rather than just using one cannabinoid, consider using ratios of all three, such as 2:1:1 CBN:THC:CBD. On this topic, the American Society for Testing and Materials’ D37 Committee on Cannabis was just meeting in Denver, and one of the standards they are working on is regarding how cannabinoid ratios can be best presented to consumers. 

The post Cannabeginners: Cannabinoid Ratios, Why They Matter appeared first on High Times.

Ghost Extrax Double Up: Celebrate 4/20 with This Unbeatable Deal

Get ready to double up on flavor, relaxation, and pure enjoyment with the Ghost Extrax Double Up! In celebration of the 4/20 event, Delta Extrax is offering a whopping 40% discount on this remarkable collection. Use code 420SPECIAL for this limited-time offer, valid until April 23rd.

Indulge in the Ghost Extrax Collection, a collaboration that features two 3.5-gram disposable devices, each filled with a THC blend of THCA, HXY9-THC, and Delta-9 THC (7,000mg total) along with mouth-watering terpenes.

Take adavantage of great opportunity to try this premium product and get it with a 40% Discount, using the 420SPECIAL coupon code. Don’t forget to check our other Deal Of The Day offers to see what is on sale.

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The Ghost Extrax Double Up – Cheesecake + XXX OG

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Elevate Your Vaping Experience: Introducing Ghost Extrax Double Up Collection

The Ghost Extrax Double Up Collection features three incredible flavor combinations, each containing a duo of THC-filled disposable devices for an unforgettable experience. Dive into the unique cannabinoid blends, including THCA, HXY9-THC, and Delta-9 THC, and discover their potential therapeutic benefits. Take advantage of the 4/20 event by using the code 420SPECIAL to get a 40% discount on this limited-time offer.

Ghost Extrax Double Up: Flavors

The Ghost Extrax Double Up offers three flavors to choose from:

  1. Lemon Pie + Apple Sundae: Sativa strains that provide an uplifting and energetic kick with hints of citrus, spice, sour fruit, and sweetness.
  2. Cheesecake + XXX OG: Indica strains that offer a mellow, relaxing feeling with flavors of sweet cheese, vanilla, spicy pine, and subtle earthy notes.
  3. Horchata + Lava Cake: Hybrid strains that create a double dose of sugary goodness and relaxation with subtle hints of coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, mint, chocolate, and natural Earth.

Each disposable device contains approximately 7,000mg of THC goodness, making it the perfect way to experience the great blends. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the unique cannabinoid blends and their potential effects.

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Lemon Pie + Apple Sundae: The Energizing Blend

The Lemon Pie + Apple Sundae disposables use Sativa strains that provide an uplifting and energetic kick. This blend is perfect for daytime use or for those moments when you need a little pick-me-up, or when you need to enhance creativity and focus. The combination of THCA, HXY9-THC, and Delta-9 THC provides a balanced and invigorating experience.

Cheesecake + XXX OG: The Relaxing Blend

The Cheesecake + XXX OG disposables use Indica strains that offer a mellow, relaxing feeling. This blend is ideal for nighttime use or when you need to unwind after a long day or when you want some relaxation and stress relief. The combination of THCA, HXY9-THC, and Delta-9 THC creates a calming experience that helps ease stress and tension.

Horchata + Lava Cake: The Balanced Blend

The Horchata + Lava Cake disposables use Hybrid strains that create a double dose of sugary goodness and relaxation. This blend is perfect for those who desire a balanced cannabis experience that combines the uplifting effects of Sativa strains with the calming effects of Indica strains. The combination of THCA, HXY9-THC, and Delta-9 THC offers a well-rounded and harmonious experience.

Ghost Extrax Double Up - Lemon Pie + Apple Sundae
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Understanding the Synergistic Effects of Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Benefits of THCA:

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis plants. It has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-emetic properties. Some research suggests that THCA may help manage symptoms related to conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and nausea. However, when heated (as when vaped), THCA converts into Delta-9 THC and becomes psychoactive, so you may expect it to feel it like regular THC.

Benefits of HXY9-THC:

HXY9-THC is a lesser-known cannabinoid that has been studied for its potential benefits in managing pain and inflammation. Though research is still in its early stages, HXY9-THC may offer a unique way to alleviate discomfort without producing the psychoactive effects typically associated with THC.

Benefits of Delta-9 THC:

Delta-9 THC is the most well-known and psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. It is responsible for the plant’s euphoric effects and is the main reason people all over the world, and aliens visiting earth, are using cannabis.

 Horchata + Lava Cake
Ghost Extrax Double Up – Horchata + Lava Cake

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One of the most exciting aspects of the Ghost Extrax Collection is the inclusion of various cannabinoids and terpenes in each blend. These natural compounds work together to create a synergistic effect, also known as the “entourage effect,” which enhances the overall experience and potential benefits of each strain.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They play a crucial role in the plant’s flavor, aroma, and effects. Some common terpenes found in the Ghost Extrax Collection include limonene (citrus), myrcene (earthy), and linalool (floral). These terpenes may offer additional benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, mood-enhancing, and sedative effects, depending on the specific terpene and its concentration.

The entourage effect suggests that cannabinoids and terpenes work best when they are consumed together, rather than in isolation. This means that the unique blends found in these products may offer a more comprehensive and effective experience compared to products containing only one or two cannabinoids.

Have you ever tried getting higg using only terpenes?

An Incredible Deal for a Limited Time

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Ghost Extrax Double Up Collection – Conclusion

The Ghost Extrax Double Up Collection offers a unique and enjoyable way to experience the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. With three distinct flavor combinations and a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, energy, or balance, this product has you covered.

Remember to use code 420SPECIAL to take advantage of this limited-time 40% discount on the Ghost Extrax Double Up. Experience the ultimate combo of flavor, relaxation, and therapeutic benefits today!

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Don’t Miss Out on Exclusive Deals and Stories

The Ghost Extrax Double Up Collection is just one of the many premium products we offer. To stay updated on the latest and greatest in the world of cannabis, as well as receive exclusive deals on premium products, we invite you to join our newsletter, the Cannadelics Sunday Edition.

Simply place your email below:

By signing up, you’ll receive a weekly digest of our top stories, expert insights, and curated content, all delivered straight to your inbox. Additionally, you’ll be the first to know about our special promotions, discounts, and new product launches.

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Happy vaping, and we look forward to sharing our passion for cannabis with you!

Simply the best deal on premium cannabis and psychedelic products

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Delta Munchies’ New Approach to Hemp-Derived Consumables

At the intersection of California’s high-tech innovation and its infamous high-quality cannabis cultivation, Delta Munchies’ executive team has planted their passion for showcasing the diversity and complexity of the cannabis plant. With over 16 years of experience working with the cannabis plant, they specialize in hemp-derived cannabinoids Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and HHC. And while competition is fierce in the Delta-8 space, Delta Munchies is standing out with accessible products that incorporate alternative cannabinoids and botanical terpenes.

With a bit of a rebellious attitude, the Delta Munchies team is devoted to pushing the industry forward by merging the uplifting and free-spirited nature of cannabis culture into a fun, approachable brand that fills a void between newbies and aficionados. Delta Munchies primarily educates and informs consumers about the potential euphoric and relaxing benefits of their edibles through informative blogs. Ensuring that customers enjoy the cleanest, most potent Delta-8 products on the market is at the forefront of their mission. However, education and proper dosing are equally important, which is why you’ll find a dosing chart on their website. Quality ingredients aren’t enough—they want to make sure you truly understand which product and how much of it is going to help you attain your desired experience. 

Delta Munchies has a plethora of products to choose from, including strain-specific offerings, abundant high and low-dosing options and reimagined sweets and vapes. Here are just a few that caught our attention.

Delta Munchies boasts an extensive line of innovative products.

2-Gram Delta 8 Dart XL Vapes

Delta Munchies is the first cannabis brand to introduce 2-gram Delta-8 disposable vapes crafted with a unique blend of cannabis-derived and botanical terpenes. This first-of-its-kind disposable vape pen is known for delivering an incredibly smooth, powerful draw. Built with an innovative, easy-to-carry, rechargeable design, its 2-gram chamber contains its potent, customized Delta-8 THC formulas.

With strain-specific vapes, you can enjoy your favorite flavors and smells while feeling confident about the efficacy and quality. Delta Munchies offers 12 different flavor profiles, including many iconic strain-specific options. From Strawberry Dream and Forbidden Fruit to Apple Fritter and Kosher Kush, there’s something for everyone.

Delta-8 THC Gummies 

Delta Munchies’ Delta-8 Gummies also come in a wide array of flavors, shapes and sizes. From Sour Worms, Tropical Punch Gummies, Rainbow Sour Belts, Peach Rings and Gummie Bears, there’s no doubt you’ll find a gummie that keeps you wanting more. The Sour Belts are certainly a fan favorite. Available in Strawberry, Berry Blue and Green Apple, each bag contains 3000mg Delta-8 with 300mg Delta-8 per belt. They’re one of the most powerful gummies out there!

HHC Gummies

Hexahydrocannabinol, or “HHC,” is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, an organic compound found in cannabis plants. While hemp-derived HHC may make you feel high, relaxed and less anxious than other hemp-derived organic compounds, Delta Munchies HHC Gummies are made with only American-grown hemp. This means, their expert team knows the exact growing conditions and can ensure a higher quality of edibles.

Delta-8 THC Cartridges

In addition to their 2-gram disposable vape, Delta Munchies makes a 1-gram Delta-8 THC cartridge using a combination of natural terpenes. Delta Munchies carts are built with an ingenious, medical-grade glass tank that fits most 510 thread batteries. You can enjoy a clean and potent trip without MCT oils or other harmful cutting agents in the Delta-8 THC distillate.

Full-Spectrum Delta-9 THC Gummies

Made with 11 different cannabinoids combined with Delta-9, Delta Munchies’ full-spectrum Delta-9 gummies may provide stress relief with a gradual psychoactive high. Full-spectrum means the highest amount of natural cannabinoids is extracted during harvesting and cultivation. Using full-spectrum cannabinoids encourages the entourage effect, which highlights the potencies of each cannabinoid to produce the ultimate psychoactive experience, and each of their gummies creates a unique, potent and synergistic cannabis experience. Each Delta-9 gummie contains 10mg Delta 9, 1mg CBN, 1mg CBG, 1mg CBD, plus traces of eight additional cannabinoids: CBC, CBCa, CBGa, CBDa, THCV, THCva, D8, and THCa.

Hemp Reimagined

Hoping to shift the view on alternative cannabinoids and redefine hemp as a user-friendly, beneficial plant, Delta Munchies employs rigorous research before bringing new products to market, ensuring safety and reliability. They engage in third-party, full-panel lab testing protocols to ensure you’ll always enjoy the cleanest and most potent products on the market. Generally, a full panel analysis consists of six critical tests, including potency, heavy metals, pesticides, mycotoxins, residual solvents and terpenes. Going the extra step in using full panel testing allows for greater customer confidence. Skip the dispensary next time and try their easy online ordering.

Disclaimer: Delta Munchies is NOT providing any medical or legal cannabis advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the legality of cannabis or its potential effects of cannabis or any of its components, please reach out to a trusted medical or legal professional.

All statements made by Delta Munchies regarding delta 8, delta 9 THC, delta 10, HHC, CBN, CBG, CBD, and any/all other cannabinoids mentioned in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. No entity at Delta Munchies is a medical professional, nor is Delta Munchies giving any medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the potential effects of cannabis, please reach out to a trusted medical professional. Delta Munchies fully adheres to the federal legal standards of hemp cultivation and distribution in the United States. For more information, visit the company’s full disclaimer page.

The post Delta Munchies’ New Approach to Hemp-Derived Consumables appeared first on Cannabis Now.

CBD May Magnify Effects of THC in Edibles, Johns Hopkins Study Suggests

According to a study published Feb. 13 in JAMA Network Open, when THC was combined with CBD in edibles, they produced significantly stronger subjective drug effects, greater impairment of cognitive and psychomotor ability. 

The study supports what Harvard Professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon and many others have said all along: that CBD combined with THC produces stronger effects, part of what’s often called the entourage or ensemble effect.

The findings indicate that CBD in edibles inhibit the metabolism, or breakdown, of THC, which may result in stronger and longer effects. In the study, impairment was considered an adverse effect. 

Researchers observed 18 adults, 11 male and 7 female from January 2021 to March 2022 at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Study volunteers took part in three sessions eating infused brownies, separated for a week or more. In each session, participants ate a brownie with either 20 mg of THC, 20 mg of THC and 640 mg of CBD, or no THC or CBD as placebo. Neither the participants nor the investigators knew in advance what was in the brownie that participants ate as a double blind study.

Participants were also given a drug cocktail consisting of five cytochrome (CYP) probe drugs: 100 mg caffeine, 25 mg losartan, 20 mg omeprazole, 30 mg dextromethorphan, and 2 mg midazolam, 30 minutes after eating each brownie.

Researchers noted that the maximum amount of THC measured in participants’ blood samples was almost twice as high after consuming a brownie containing a CBD-dominant extract (with 640 mg of CBD) than after eating a brownie with only THC, even though the dose of THC in each brownie—20 mg—was the same. 

Researchers acknowledged that edibles are metabolized very differently than other delivery methods.

“The fact that THC and CBD were orally administered was very important for the study, and played a large role in the behavioral effects and drug interactions we saw,” study author Austin Zamarripa, Ph.D. said, as quoted by News Medical.

“Overall, we saw stronger subjective drug effects, greater impairment of cognitive [thinking] and psychomotor [moving] ability and greater increase in heart rate when the same dose of THC was given in a high CBD cannabis extract, compared with a high THC extract with no CBD,” said Zamarripa.

To allow for comparison, blood samples were collected from study participants before each session, along with their vital signs, and their cognitive and psychomotor performance were measured. Participants provided blood and urine samples at timed intervals for 12 hours and then again about 24 hours after eating a dose. 

Self-reported effects were measured using the Drug Effect Questionnaire (DEQ), a standardized tool used to measure aspects of subjective experiences after being given a psychoactive drug (in this case, cannabis).

Using the DEQ system, participants rated subjective effects from the edibles with a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 being “not at all affected” and 100 being “extremely affected.”

Participants reported greater increases in overall drug effects when they took the high oral dose of CBD.

“We have demonstrated that with a relatively high oral dose of CBD [640 mg] there can be significant metabolic interactions between THC and CBD, such that the THC effects are stronger, longer-lasting, and tend to reflect an increase in unwanted adverse effects,” says Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s senior author.

The study differs from previous findings. A study published in November 2022 in the journal Neuropsychology attempted to determine if CBD reduces the adverse effects of THC, which could be considered as including impairment. But they found that CBD doesn’t necessarily show evidence of reducing adverse side effects.

Researchers said that future studies are needed to better understand the impact of CBD and THC doses.

The post CBD May Magnify Effects of THC in Edibles, Johns Hopkins Study Suggests appeared first on High Times.

Zimbabwe Increases Hemp THC Limit to 1%

Zimbabwe increased the THC limit for industrial hemp from 0.3% to 1%, making significant changes for the African country’s hemp industry.

In 2018, Zimbabwe became the second nation in Africa to legalize medical cannabis and cannabis production for medical and scientific purposes.

Zimbabwe Independent reports that the THC level increase makes significant changes for CBD manufacturers, who will now be able to produce the entourage effect combined with other cannabinoids. 

The amended bill, called the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, 2002 is proposing the amendment of section 155 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) to remove industrial hemp from the list of dangerous drugs.

“By the insertion of the following definition,” the bill reads, “‘Industrial hemp’ means the plant cannabis sativa L and any part of that plant, including the seed thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than one per centum on a dry weight basis.”

Zimbabwe, like many other countries, is technically in conflict with the United Nations international drug convention, which still dictates global drugs policy over the past 60 years.

However, by amending the legislation and providing clarified definitions as outlined in the Amendment Bill 2022, Zimbabwe is establishing an environment in which a wider range of line mixes and ultimately hemp varieties may be produced and supplied.

An increased THC level gives industrial hemp farmers a bigger trove of options, allowing them to select genetics worthy for the production of a broader range of markets.

This is particularly important, Zimbabwe Independent notes, because studies have shown that certain genetics that combine CBD and THC produce better fiber qualities and also an entourage effect with synergistic therapeutic benefits.

As new CBD products are currently being tested by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, they may be more effective and therefore more appealing to consumers.

The Tobacco Research Board (TRB) was directed to “reform and restructure by 2025,” making itself a center for national research, development, and innovation in tobacco and alternatives.

The country developed an objective to advance agricultural profitability and development in Zimbabwe. Industrial hemp was among the crops of interest. TRB has been testing and developing hemp varieties that are acclimated to Zimbabwe’s climatic conditions over the last few years.

The 0.3% THC requirement is an arbitrary quantity—mirroring THC limits in the U.S.—that makes it difficult for breeders to create and grow varieties with other desirable synergistic properties.

Five Years into Medical Cannabis in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe legalized medical cannabis in 2018, making it among the first countries in Africa to do so.

In 2019, Zimbabwe abolished its ban on cannabis cultivation, which set the stage for the country’s farmers to begin cultivating industrial hemp to export. That same year, the country issued the first license to a medical cannabis company to begin cultivation.

In May 2022, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned a $27 million medical cannabis farm and processing plant to be run by Swiss Bioceuticals Limited in West Province, Zimbabwe.

“This milestone is a testimony of the successes of my Government’s Engagement and Re-engagement Policy. It further demonstrates the confidence that Swiss companies have in our economy through their continued investment in Zimbabwe. I extend my profound congratulations to the Swiss Bioceuticals Limited for this timely investment in the medicinal cannabis farm, processing plant and value chain, worth US$27 million,” Mnangagwa said in the announcement of the plant.

The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe said on July 26, 2022 that it would begin accepting applicants from cannabis and hemp producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters, and retail pharmacists, in a seismic shift away from tobacco.

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Can You Get High Off Terpenes? Maybe…

The more we learn about weed, the more we learn about the different compounds within, and how those compounds affect our health and how we feel. When we talk about feeling high, we’re generally talking about the THC aspect, or even the CBD. But what about terpenes? Is it possible to get high off terpenes, and if so, which ones are best for this purpose?

What does it mean to get high?

Kind of weird question, right? To a certain degree, we all understand what this means, but at the same time, there are sometimes misconceptions. Consider people who never do drugs. Their idea of what ‘high’ means could be very different from a person who regularly uses different substances. And getting high off of different drugs produces different subjective experiences. So how do we define this idea?

According to Wictionary, the term to ‘get high’ means “To intoxicate oneself with drugs or other substances.” Merriam-Webtser uses the word ‘stoned’, and defines it as 1) “Drunk sense,” or 2) “Being under the influence of a drug (such as marijuana) taken especially for pleasure : high.”

These definitions are interesting. Both say that it involves taking something, but the first definition also implies that it merely involves intoxication, which itself does not have to be a pleasurable experience. Intoxication is defined as 1) “The condition of having physical or mental control markedly diminished by the effects of alcohol or drugs,” 2) “A strong excitement or elation,” and 3) “An abnormal state that is essentially a poisoning,” meaning it doesn’t have to be associated with a good feeling.

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Under these definitions, any drug that effects personal control or creates an abnormal state, is considered intoxicating, and therefore a part of getting high. This, indeed involves CBD as well as THC when it comes to the cannabis plant. Though often touted as a non-psychoactive compound, CBD’s sheer ability to affect mood, proves this an untrue statement. And depending on personal reactions, it can certainly have an effect on physical control.

All this is simply to say that the idea of ‘getting high’ isn’t as explicit as some think, and can be applied to different feelings, not necessarily just feelings of euphoria. However, for our purposes, we’ll stick to looking at getting high, as taking some substance to make a person feel good, to whatever level this means.

What are terpenes?

Now that we’ve covered what it means to get high, let’s look at the compounds in question, terpenes. The word has certainly gained popularity of late, as the cannabis plant in general gains prominence for its many benefits. And while we usually spend more time looking at the cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, and CBC, among others, there are other entirely different compounds to consider; both in how they create a synergistic effect with cannabinoids, and for the effects they specifically give.

Terpenes are compounds produced almost solely by plants, and usually of the conifer grouping. They’re unsaturated hydrocarbons, meaning they’re made up of only hydrogen and carbon. There are also terpenoids, which differ in that they can have other elements like oxygen included. The number of carbon atoms is a differentiator for different kinds of terpenes. Monoterpenes have 10 carbon atoms, sesquiterpenes have 15, and diterpenes have 20.

Terpenes are a part of a plant’s defense system against herbivores and pathogens; while also being what attracts pollinators, mutualists (anything that forms a symbiotic relationship), and promotes possible communication between plants as well. They do this by way of strong smells and flavors, which is how we know them. These constituents are primary in essential oils, because of their very potent smells and tastes.

When it comes to cannabis, we know that terpenes play a role in creating a synergistic effect with other compounds like cannabinoids and flavonoids. A synergistic effect – often called the entourage effect when speaking of cannabis – simply means that the different components work together to create a combined effect that wouldn’t exist if one of the components was missing.

Cannabis compounds have synergistic effects

The cannabis plant is still very much under construction in terms of what we know about it. We know a lot, sure, but scientific research uncovers new things every day. So, when speaking about it, it’s always good to remember that we don’t know everything yet. What we do know, is that an average cannabis plant has approximately 400 different terpenes.

It’s said that over 30,000 exist across the plant kingdom. Of these, we really can only identify the effects of a few, though as research continues, this number should increase. Since we can’t say what they all do, we can’t rule in or out effects, but we can speak to the ones that have already been flushed out more.

In the cannabis plant, some of the main terpenes (or, at least, main ones that we talk about now), are pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene. You know how some strains smell a little lemony? Well, that’s likely limonene. Or maybe it has a strong earthy pine scent? That’s the pinene. These compounds don’t just come with funky scents though, they also come with their own effects.

Can you get high off terpenes?

There isn’t a definite answer to this question. Some sources say they just contribute to a THC high, others claim psychotropic effects. And anecdotal evidence backs up both. If the claim of psychoactive effects is true though, then it certainly seems like if those psychotropic effects are positive, and make a person feel good, then they’re producing a high.

In today’s cannabis world, many products are based on the idea of extracting something that might only occur in small amounts, and making concentrated products. This is true of terpenes too. Though they exist in tiny amounts in the cannabis plant, some companies are already selling products such as terpene tonics, which are chock full of the compounds. And anecdotally, these concentrated terpene products are said to make people feel differently. In fact, terpenes are already associated with certain effects.

Like myrcene, which is associated with pain relief, and that intense couch locking feeling that weed can sometimes produce. Couch locking is when you essentially don’t feel like doing anything except lay on your couch. It’s a sort of mental and physical laziness. For me, it comes with a cloudy head, and a feeling of impairment…which classifies as intoxication as it affects my abilities.

Does terpene myrcene get you high?
Does terpene myrcene get you high?

Myrcene is thought to produce feelings of relaxation; it stimulates the release of endogenous opioids, which help with pain relief. Conversely, though this happens in higher levels, in lower levels, myrcene is associated with producing more of an energetic effect.

Linalool also has a reputation of producing relaxing effects. It’s used in sleep aid products, and has anti-convulsant abilities. By bringing on feelings of relaxation, it has a psychotropic effect. Likewise, the terpene limonene is associated with anxiolytic, anti-stress, and sedative effects due to upping serotonin and dopamine levels. Pinene on the other hand, is more associated with energizing effects.

Then there’s caryophyllene, which is said to have anti-depressant and anti-anxiolytic qualities; and terpineol, thought to be calming while boosting mood. All of these effects mentioned, change a mental state, and it could be considered that they make you high.

Whether these effects mean you get high off terpenes, is perhaps more subjective, and based on personal definitions, than anything else. A microdose of mushrooms is still considered getting high, even though the effects are minimalized. In that same sense, terpenes can be considered high-inducing, even if not the standard idea of high. And who knows, perhaps in the future scientists will identify a terpene that really does cause a strong euphoric effect. It could already be argued that they do now, so long as they’re in concentrated form.

Terpene products

Terpene products exist in the market already. In California, interested buyers can enjoy Olala infused sodas which use both THC and terpenes. Sodas come in Blue Raspberry, Guava, Orange Cream, and Mango.

Then there are companies like the Terpene Store, which sell a range of materials for use by producers in their own products. The store functions online, and through retailers, and sells products which are FDA approved for food and flavor use. The company sources terpenes from many different plants, with just a selection coming from cannabis plants (specifically hemp). Its catalogue includes different formulations, including a line called ‘Vibe’ which breaks it down to physical/mental states: Awake, Focus, Passion, Relax, Relief, and Sleep, each with a multi-terpene profile meant to create this effect.

Does terpene limonene get you high?
Does terpene limonene get you high?

True Terpenes is yet another terpene vendor in this burgeoning market. It also sells high grade formulations to producers for product infusion. Much like the Terpene Store, it uses terpenes both from cannabis, and other botanical sources. It also offers a line of products based on physical/mental states. It’s offerings here are: Rest, Recovery, Creative, Energy, Focus, and Calm.

Since one of the benefits of terpenes is their powerful scents and flavors, many companies are now capitalizing on this through making terpene-infused rolling papers which smell great, while also giving a nice burst of terpenes. Like the well-known Zig-Zag, which puts out terpene-infused hemp cones in flavors like Limoncello, and Clementine.

Another well-known company, RAW, also gives some terpene-infused offerings. Like the terpene-infused Strawberry Tree Cones, as well as a limited offering Terpene candle, and a Terp spray that you can spray onto your regular paper or cone, to get the full terpene flavor and effect. Sprays come with different terpene variations, and include RAW Sour Apple Terp Spray, RAW Orange Soda Terp Spray, and RAW SFV OG Terp Spray. Interested buyers must find a local RAW retail location.

In fact, terpene-infused papers were one of the biggest trends at 2022’s Las Vegas based MJBizCon convention. With some products I had to question whether it was terpenes used at all, or some other chemical agent; as the flavor seemed unnatural and wouldn’t quickly wear off what the paper touched (like my hands, or bag). This could signal that new production methods have intensified them, or that some companies might be using non-terpene chemical agents, and masquerading them as terpenes.


Can you get high from terpenes? Well, maybe, depending on which terpenes, the concentration, and how you define being high. The reality is that terpenes might not cause a massive effect on their own in the amounts found in plants; but in today’s biotech world of chemical enhancement, its more than possible to make concentrated products that can do a lot more.

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2023 Cannabis Industry: 3 Trends to Watch For

What will the 2023 cannabis industry look like? Mergers, acquisitions, branding, and the entourage effect, according to HEXO‘s President and CEO, Charlie Bowman. HEXO is an award-winning cannabis brand with a solid reputation among Canadian consumers. After acquiring their competitor Redecan, they became the number one cannabis company in Canada in the third quarter of 2021. Since then, the company has been busy building its brand and maintaining its loyal customer base. Their president and CEO, Charlie Bowman, was able […]

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Self-Medication and Recreational Drug Use in Animal Communities  

We know that plant-based medicine has been part of civilization since the earliest humans walked the earth. Even today, up to 25 percent of OTC and pharmaceutical drugs contain plant extracts, or synthetic versions of the natural compounds. But we’re not the only animals that use substances to relieve pain, regulate the body, or alter our minds. Many of our animal brethren – from intellectually advanced primates to instinctive insect colonies – do the exact same thing.  

Think about some of our most common animal companions, cats and dogs. If your furry friends spend any amount of time outdoors, there’s a strong chance you’ve seen them eating grass. Some experts believe it’s to aid in digestion, treat intestinal worms, or boost vitamin levels; but the bottom line is, this is a self-medicating behavior that has been observed in wild, feral, and domestic species.  

In Eastern medicine and many societies where people live a more traditional and natural lifestyle, the difference between food and medicine is negligible. Take the term “ishoku dougen” a Japanese phrase that directly translates to “medicine and food are of the same origin”. This can explain why so many people report substantial health benefits (such as lowering of blood pressure and managing diabetes) after switching to a plant-based diet. If we consider that natural medicine has healed us and kept us alive for so long before modern pharmacology came into play, the idea of animals self-medicating the same way we do becomes much more plausible.  

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What is Zoopharmacognosy? 

The act of animals self-medicating is referred to as zoopharmacognosy (“zoo”, “pharmaco”, “gnosy”), a term with Greek roots that can be roughly translated to mean “animal”, “remedy”, and “knowing”.  It’s a relatively new field of biology, officially documented for the first time in 1987 and still considered a somewhat fringe concept.  

That said, there are hundreds of instances of animals, even carnivores, using plants medicinally and sometimes recreationally. Similar to us, animals self-medicate with a few different delivery systems, depending on the compound and the condition they’re trying to treat. Like our prescription medications, plant-based treatments can be eaten, inhaled, applied topically, and so on.  

For instance, chimpanzees swill the leaves of Aspilia plants in their mouths, which releases toxins that kill gut bacteria. Another example would be formic acid created by ants, known to kill bird lice. Over 200 species of birds are known to roll around in ant nests to aggravate them into spraying this lice-killing acid. And speaking of ants, wood ants control disease and fight pathogens within their colonies by building their nests out of conifer tree needles, whose sap contains potent antimicrobial compounds – this is the equivalent of disinfecting your home.  

Animals also use plants in proactive and preventative ways, akin to our utilization of vitamins and supplements. A great example of this is seen in various tropical species such as parrots, bats, and sifakas, who consume dirt and clay containing very high levels of minerals and nutrients. Brown bears have also been observed taking an active stance on plant medicine, by making pastes out of mashed, wet osha root and rubbing it on their bodies to prevent insect bites. And of course, our beloved dogs and cats eating grass as mentioned earlier, which has been reported by many pet owners, but you can also find a published study on the topic here.  

Learned or instinctive? 

Most actions and behaviors of modern-day humans are learned through a combination of personal experimentation, observation, and passed-down information. Because adult humans rely so much on higher reasoning and technology, we have very little reason to be instinctive in today’s world. At this point, we barely even need to have a sense of direction anymore. Sure, we might get some gut feelings that seem important, and we try to listen to them, but we tend to override these so-called instincts with logic and experience.  

An instinct, on the other hand, is “an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli.” Lions hunt instinctively, snakes brumate instinctively, and human babies cry instinctively – but at around 6 months of age, our instincts, often referred to as “baby reflexes” begin to give way to learned behaviors and intentional actions.  

Crotalus pyrrhus (southwestern speckled rattlesnake) – Photo taken by Alexandra Hicks @unearthedimagery

Self-medication has always been thought of as a learned methodology, perfected over centuries thanks to trial-and-error coupled with the detailed record-keeping of our ancestors. However, emerging research on both, animals and natural healing, has poked a few holes in this theory. The first documented examples of animals self-medicating came from studies on primates, a species that also can watch and absorb information (monkey see monkey do), but the fact that this behavior has also been observed in several different insect species indicates that it could be more hard-wired.  

Animal communities and social medicine 

We tend to think of medicine as being very personal and individualized, which it is to an extent, but there are many social aspects to it as well. Medicine varies culturally, and society often decided collectively what type of medicine is practiced and how it is applied. Even in psychiatric settings, society concludes what is considered abnormal behavior, and how such behavior should be dealt with.  

Historically, many different forms of medicine existed throughout the world. Although some overlapping practices and theories did exist, overall, physical and mental disorders were known to be caused by a number of different factors, many of which were genetic and regional – such family medical history, diet, and weather. Initially, the diagnosis and understanding of health disorders was social, and based on people simply making observations about themselves and others. Over time, we developed multidisciplinary approaches to better recognize and manage these disorders.  

A good example of social medicine is in the implementation of vaccinations or quarantines. Pandemic craziness aside, just during bad flu seasons it was common for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to recommend that people be extra vigilant about washing their hands and avoiding crowded spaces. I gave birth to my second son during a particularly nasty flu season, and the hospital had a lot of restrictions in place regarding cleanliness and visitation. For example, I could not have more than one person in the room with me at any given time, and no one under the age of 18 was allowed in the labor and delivery area.  

In nature, animals often live in groups, and when we look at insects, many live in colonies of up to millions of other organisms; like some of the world’s most populated cities. Social insects such as fruit flies, bees, and ants participate in a phenomenon known as social prophylaxis, a process consisting of various methods to preserve the health and well-being of their society, but often it’s accomplished by collecting antimicrobial resin from trees. The insects consume it, and also feed it to their young in order to prevent disease. Although resin-collecting is practiced by many different species of insects, they time and method of collection varies.  

Do animals like getting high too? 

This is the million-dollar question. The idea of animals using plants therapeutically is not so farfetched, but animals getting high… is that even a thing? As it turns out, yes. Animals are much more like us than many realize. Not only do they learn how to harness their local resources in a medicinal fashion, but they’re not afraid of a good time either. 

Just like us, different animals prefer different highs. Some like to trip, others just want to relax, and quite a few prefer to get drunk. The Smithsonian reports on adventurous dolphins who intentionally instigate toxic pufferfish. When threatened, pufferfish release a chemical cocktail that can be extremely potent and dangerous, but in small doses may produce a trance-like, hallucinogenic state. Cats like getting high too, using a plant in the mint family called Nepeta cataria – commonly known as catnip, nicknamed so because roughly two-thirds of cats exhibit an intense attraction to this plant.  

Cat enjoying fresh catnip

In Siberia, it’s not uncommon for reindeer to eat Amanita muscaria mushrooms to experience their psychotropic effects, although how ‘high’ they actually get still remains up for debate. Some experts theorize that, while humans seek out these specific compounds to foster feelings of spiritual connection, the reindeer might use them to make the monotony of a cold, bleak, depressing winter a bit more tolerable. 

Horses also engage in recreational drug use. They enjoy a plant known as locoweed, which has similar effects on horses as pot does on people. Locoweed is the only green plant that grows throughout the winter in some areas, so horses initially find it as a food source then keep coming back for the high – to the point that ranchers have to constantly monitor their pastures out locoweed plants to keep their stables sober. Then we have elephants, which are pound-for-pound the largest land animals on earth, and they enjoy getting drunk. And elephants can get pretty destructive when they’re on a bender, often wandering into towns and demoing small buildings and other structures.

And the observations don’t stop there: bees high on orchid nectar, goats eating magic mushrooms, birds affinity for marijuana seeds, rats, mice, lizards, flies, spiders and cockroaches on opium, moths gravitating to the hallucinogenic datura flower, drunk monkeys abandoning their children, and mandrills tripping on iboga root. 

Even my grandmother used to have an alcoholic parrot that would dip its beak into any uncovered glass of alcohol that it came across, until it was wobbling drunkenly all over the kitchen counter. And it wasn’t just a one-time thing, it was a regular occurrence for this party bird. I currently have a cat that looooves the smell of weed. When I start smoking, he’ll often come over and get in my face to try and catch a whiff; then he’ll purr and paw at me until I finish.  

Why this all matters 

As resistance of microorganisms to various forms of medication continues to rise, researchers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to fight illness and infection. Since so many of our existing therapies already contain plant compounds and synthetic isomers, it makes sense to continue searching in nature for novel treatment options.  

Making note of what plants the animals are using can be helpful in determining what we can treat with these compounds as well, and while that may seem like a somewhat foreign concept to many, it was a smart survival strategy in a time when doctors, pharmacies, and antibiotics were not available. Take the brown bears I mentioned earlier. Several Native American tribes witnessed them using osha root paste, and they adopted the method for themselves.  

And just as important as finding new medicines, if not more so, is the knowledge that we gain about the environment around us, the importance of natural food, and how to conserve it. Much like the idea of the entourage effect, when we eat from the earth we benefit from the diverse interlinking of primary compounds and secondary metabolites found in plants. When we, as humans, truly understand the importance of plants in their natural state, as opposed to mass-produced factory-farmed vegetables, we will put in the necessary effort to salvage what is left of our environment.  

In that same vein, research about animal self-medication can help us learn about the most effective ways to care for certain species. Take the common honeybee. For decades, beekeepers have been choosing bees that collect less resin, because excess resin makes it much more challenging to collect honey. However, resin is known to protect bee colonies from pathogens, and knowing how quickly an entire beehive could succumb to disease, it could be worthwhile to let the bees collect resin as they naturally would.  


As far removed as we are from some the animals on this list, we still share similarities. It seems that all species on earth have a want, urge, or instinctive need to feel “good”, whatever that means to them. It could be as simple as relieving minor pains or stomach aches, to a full-on psychedelic trip that completely alters one’s perception of the world around them, and everything in between.  

Psychopharmacologist Ronald Siegel sums up the “rampant drug use” in the animal kingdom in his book, Intoxication, like this: “[The] pursuit of intoxication with drugs is a primary motivational force in the behavior of organisms.”  

Sounds about right.  

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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.

The post Self-Medication and Recreational Drug Use in Animal Communities   appeared first on CBD Testers.

Comparing Hemp and Cannabis-derived CBD

When browsing major US media outlets on any given day, you’ll likely find a fresh article about cannabis, if not several. Make no mistake about it: When it comes to legal weed, business is booming. Though once relegated to the shadows, today the public’s appreciation and desire for the plant known scientifically as Cannabis sativa has surged to historically high levels. And, as a result, modern consumers are now being bombarded by a whole new lexicon of terms. Understanding how hemp and cannabis-derived CBD products stack up can help you make purchase products best suited for your needs.

It can be a bit overwhelming, certainly, but before you stress over the nuances of different concentrate forms and dig into the deeper end of terpene research, the best place to start is establishing a firm appreciation for the differences between cannabis and cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD). When we talk about cannabis, we’re referring to the whole plant, whereas CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a specific cannabinoid that plant produces. You’re likely already familiar with the other cannabinoid Cannabis sativa naturally produces in high concentrations: THC (short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). 

Choosing the Right CBD and Cannabis Products

In the simplest of terms, THC is the cannabinoid that makes one feel intoxicated or “high.” CBD, on the other hand, can’t be felt psychoactively, but it can offer many physical and mental benefits, such as easing anxiety or soothing aching muscles. Adding to the complexity is the fact that today’s marketplace is fractured into what one will find at a licensed dispensary and what’s available at your nearest gas station.

The key distinction in that situation stems from the source of the CBD, which can be derived either from hemp or Cannabis sativa. Unlike Cannabis sativa, however, hemp does not naturally produce significant levels of THC, though both are, technically speaking, types of cannabis plants. Thanks to the success of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3% THC) are now federally legal, though some state laws continue to prohibit them. 

By contrast, cannabis-derived CBD products remain illegal in the eyes of the federal government but are available in states with legal cannabis markets. Given the CBD produced by both types of cannabis (hemp and sativa) is molecularly identical, you may wonder why it would be necessary to shop at a dispensary—and pay a higher price—for CBD when you could just grab some on your next run to the grocery store. 

Consider the Source

There are, it turns out, several valid reasons to consider, including the fact that a lack of regulation on the part of hemp-derived CBD products makes the validity of what you’re purchasing difficult to trust. It could be as advertised, no question, but very little is happening behind the scenes to ensure that is the case.

However, the CBD you’ll find on dispensary shelves and available through licensed delivery services is beholden to strict regulations that include testing for safety and accuracy. Furthermore, there’s another facet of the equation: the entourage effect. The idea behind this concept is that cannabinoids may be the most effective when they’re working together. Thus, taking a form of CBD with no more than 0.3% THC may not be as potent, in the medicinal sense, as consuming cannabis-derived CBD products that also feature minor amounts of a given strain’s other cannabinoids and terpenes. Collectively, such formulas are what’s known as “full-plant medicine,” which remains the gold standard for entourage effect disciples.

Adding ballast to this deluge of information are the encouraging studies and testimonials we’re seeing that highlight the ways in which CBD is helping people live better lives. 

At present, the benefits of CBD are being researched in the treatment of everything from epilepsy and seizure disorders to opioid withdrawal. THC, meanwhile, is commonly cited as a treatment tool in relieving conditions ranging from insomnia to pain. Naturally, the two cannabinoids share a sizeable stretch of common ground when it comes to their potential powers, but as researchers continue to probe further, it’s likely we’ll also soon know more about what sets them apart from one another.

Arm Yourself with Knowledge

In the interim, the best course of action is to wield your purchasing power as an informed consumer. Know if what you’re buying is hemp or cannabis-derived CBD. The verdict on CBD’s efficacy is still out, at least in the court of public opinion, so trying to ensure the products you’re using are valid, high-quality reflections of this essential cannabinoid is imperative if we’re to create a marketplace that ultimately consists not of choices between real versus fake, but simply brand of preference. 

We may not be there yet, but the day is rapidly coming, so with a full appreciation for the differences between cannabis and CBD, hopefully you now feel empowered to make the most of what this incredible plant — and some of its most notable cannabinoids — have to offer.

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