What Is the Role of an API in Pharmaceutical Medicine?

Everything these days is an acronym, and sometimes the world of acronyms gets confusing. In fact, sometimes the very same letters, are used for more than one acronym, and it requires knowing what you’re dealing with, to know the meaning. One of the terms that shows up a lot is API, which relates to pharmaceutical medicine, (as well as computing).

What is an API in pharmaceutical medicine?

The first time I heard this term, I immediately thought of the computing definition: ‘application programming interface.’ It gets used a lot in the world of tech, and it was the main place I’d heard it. Until it came up in a more medical way. The letters API have a totally different definition when speaking of pharmaceutical medicine.

An API in pharmaceutical medicine, translates to ‘active pharmaceutical ingredient.’ Which, of course, is a wildly different concept from its computing counterpart. What does this actually mean? An active pharmaceutical ingredient is “the biologically active component of a drug product (tablet, capsule, cream, injectable) that produces the intended effects.” These can be ingredients in drugs for a number of ailments, including the treatment of issues: “pertaining to oncology, cardiology, CNS and neurology, orthopaedic, pulmonology, gastroenterology, nephrology, ophthalmology, and endocrinology.”

So, basically, they’re just ingredients. Or, rather, active ingredients. Think about when you read the label to a medication, and it lists both active and inactive ingredients. Sometimes you might wonder about the difference. Inactive ingredients are often related to keeping a tablet held together, or making sure a drug doesn’t spoil. Sometimes they’re for coloring, or consistency, or texture. But they’re not for therapeutic use.


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The active components are the ingredients that do whatever it is that the drug is supposed to do. And much like baking in a kitchen, both active and inactive ingredients are required. If you’re baking a chocolate cake, perhaps the chocolate could be seen as the active ingredient, along with eggs and flower. But you also need baking soda to make things rise. This might not add to the flavor of the cake, but its still important.

However, you might spend more time, making sure you have the right chocolate. Should you use super sweet chocolate chips, bitter chocolate, chocolate powder? This chocolate is equivalent to an API in pharmaceutical medicine…albeit an admittedly strange analogy.

APIs allow for medications to be made in specific strengths, and in desired concentrations. They also require being made in conjunction with good manufacturing practices, and up to codes, as they relate to pharmaceutical medicine, which is very, very precise.

Think of every bottle of Tylenol you buy, over years and years of time, and how every pill is exactly the same. Since APIs are often made by third parties, they also allow for the white-labeling of pharmaceutical ingredients. Several different companies can buy from the same API provider, and then make their own labeled medications with the ingredients.

Where does an API come from?

Much like anything else, whether synthetically or naturally made, An API used in pharmaceutical medicine, comes from some kind of raw material. When dealing with the idea of an herbal supplement, let’s say a mint capsule, the API is the mint, and in this case it probably comes directly from a mint plant. Many APIs do come from plant or animal origins. A great example of this today, is the medical cannabis industry, and the API’s used to make cannabis medications.

In terms of the official names of these ingredients, the US uses generic names assigned by the United States Adopted Names (USAN) program, which works in conjunction with the American Medical Association, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, and the American Pharmacists Association. The legal name of the drug that the FDA recognizes, is given by the USAN.

Where do APIs come from for pharma medicine

In terms of a broader global scale, the World Health Organization also recognizes API ingredients, as per International Nonproprietary Names (INN). Though they are often the same between the US and the WHO, they sometimes do differ. One example is Tylenol. The API is acetaminophen in the US, but referred to as paracetamol by WHO.

The raw materials are used primarily by pharmaceutical companies in their home labs to create their patented formulations. However, to cut costs, the manufacture of these APIs is often now outsourced, leading to a myriad of issues related to quality and regulation. It is now common for APIs to come from Asia, mainly India and China.

Who are the biggest providers of APIs? Some of the bigger names are TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy’s, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. These companies generally specialize in different APIs. In terms of where the raw materials come from, that can vary hugely. Sometimes from chemical product manufacturers, and sometimes from growing fields. Raw materials are converted to APIs through different chemical processing techniques. When in the process of a raw material becoming an API, its called an ‘intermediate’.

Raw materials for an API in pharmaceutical medicine

While this isn’t the most specific of answers, the raw materials for APIs are gathered through raw material providers. Yeah, I know, it almost sounds like I’m trying to be evasive. I promise, I’m not. But the truth is that raw materials can come from one of hundreds or thousands of providers depending on what they actually are. Think of all the chemical companies out there, and all the different kinds of ingredients in life. And then think of how many medications there are, and how different.

A general process, at least according to Teva-API, is that once a medicine is approved, a team then goes out looking for all the correct chemical companies to get the component raw material parts. It comes down to the company to judge the reliability of a source. Sometimes to ensure no issues in sourcing, a company like Teva will require two sources for each material. The R&D team that created the medication, essentially gives a list of the necessary raw materials to the team responsible for collection, and then the search into the correct chemical companies begins.

And to be honest…there isn’t a lot of better or more specific information out there. Most of the information that is available comes from companies selling APIs, or pharmaceuticals, and none of them really get into the nitty gritty of exactly where their chemical components are sourced as raw materials.

Sourcing raw materials for APIs
Sourcing raw materials for APIs

I guess at this point its fair to imagine that sourcing likely involves things like mining for the minerals that make up the periodic table of elements, which are used to produce all inorganic materials. As well as whatever biologically sourced ingredients come from different plant and animal sources.

Right now, the API industry in pharmaceutical medicine is quite big. API-producing companies generally produce powder versions and sell in bulk to pharma companies. Their production and sale comprises a multi-billion dollar industry that white-labels the ingredients of pharmaceutical medications.

And while the idea of APIs might be a bit confusing when reading about them in terms of business, the reality in the end, is that the pharma ingredient market is the same as nearly all others. One company takes stuff out of the ground somehow, sells it to another company which uses it to make a specific chemical compound, which sells it to another company which uses that compound in a product. Just like nearly every product made; whether food, a toy, equipment, or whatever else.

Conclusion

APIs in pharmaceutical medicine represent just another form of white-labeling. Of course in this case, the products white-labelled are the ingredients in your pharmaceutical medications. Perhaps we as the public should know more about the process and the safety requirements that do – or don’t – exist. But as in most parts of life, the business of these ingredients and how they move, stays largely out of the public eye. Much like nearly every other big business consumer industry.

Kind of makes those herbal remedies that can tell you exactly what’s inside, and exactly what field the ingredients were sourced from, nice in comparison.

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Delta-8 VS Delta-9 THC

Delta-8 is the cannabinoid compound getting a lot of attention these days, but what is it exactly, and how does it compare vs delta-9 THC? Read on to find out more about how these two compounds stack up.

What is delta-9 THC?

We all know delta-9, we all love it. Sometimes referred to as simply THC (which is incorrect), delta-9 is the most famous of the THCs, and the main psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It’s found in higher amounts in some plants, and lower amounts in other plants. We generally refer to high-THC plants as marijuana, and low-THC plants as hemp.

In actuality, delta-9 barely exists in raw cannabis plants, and is actually a product of decarboxylation of its parent compound THCA. THCA is not psychoactive, but in the presence of light and heat it loses a carboxyl group, and goes from the chemical formula of THCA (C22H30O4), to the chemical formula for delta-9 THC (C₂₁H₃₀O₂), which is psychoactive.

Delta-9 THC is very closely related to other forms of THC, which we refer to as delta-THCs. They all share the same chemical formula. In fact, the only difference between these separate THC compounds, is the placement of a double carbon bond. For delta-9 THC, it takes place on the 9th carbon atom. For delta-10 THC its on the 10th atom in the chain. For delta-7 it’s on the 7th atom, and for delta-8, its on the 8th. All these delta-THCs only differ in the physical presentation of their molecules.


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Delta-9 is a naturally occurring compound, meaning its found in nature. This is not true of all delta-THCs. Delta-10, for example, was made accidentally through the use of a catalyzer, and doesn’t actually appear in this configuration in nature. Other delta THCs like delta-8, do appear in nature, and are therefore also considered naturally occurring compounds.

What is delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC, as explained, is another delta-THC, which means its an isomer of delta-9. Isomer means they have the same chemical formula, but with a different configuration of atoms. As also explained above, this means it differs from delta-9 THC only in the placement of a double bond, and is chemically identical otherwise.

Also like delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC is naturally occurring, which means it can be found in nature, although in much smaller quantities than delta-9, regardless of whether dealing with marijuana or hemp. It’s not entirely understood how delta-8 is formed, but the main belief is that it’s a product of the breakdown of delta-9. Delta-9 is mainly known for breaking down into CBN, but there is a small amount that does not, and its thought that this small amount degrades to other compounds, including a tiny amount to delta-8 THC.

Delta-8 and delta-9 THC

When made industrially however, delta-8 is made from either delta-9 or CBD. And its done through synthetic processing meaning rather than being extracted directly, its made from component parts of other compounds, put together with unnatural processing. You can technically do these processes yourself if you have the know-how.

Delta-8 was discovered around the same time as delta-9, in the original research by Roger Adams and then Raphael Mechoulam. It was synthesized for the first time by Mechoulam in the 1960’s. It was even the subject of studies by Mechoulam into nausea and vomiting of cancer patients, but most of that research remained buried for many years, and there has been very little research into the compound since that time.

Delta-8 vs delta-9

The reality of delta-8 vs delta-9 is that they’re practically the same chemically, and have shown to have many of the same medical benefits. Delta-8 has been indicated for use with nausea and vomiting, as well as anxiety, and likely can be used for many of the other purposes as delta-9, though since the actual research doesn’t exist, its hard to say this for sure.

Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC

One of the interesting aspects of delta-8 vs delta-9 is that though delta-9 products are generally direct extractions of the plant, most delta-8 products (possibly all) are not actually directly extracted, but synthesized in a lab. This is a direct result of the minuscule amount that shows up naturally, which is not enough for product production. So even though it is naturally occurring, the form that’s used, is always a synthesized version, at least commercially.

This puts it in a strange legal place. As a naturally derived compound, its legal under the definition of hemp, so long as it comes from the hemp plant (not over .3% THC). If its from the marijuana plant, it’s automatically illegal federally, just like delta-9. In theory, it can therefore be extracted from hemp, and sold legally, except for that little confounding factor, that it ends up being synthesized from delta-9 or CBD, which means using processes that no longer fit under the definition of hemp. Even despite this discrepancy, not much has been done to stop the ‘hemp-derived’ delta-8 market, likely because it’s difficult and expensive for the US government to fully go after it, especially in this climate of growing cannabis acceptance.

In terms of whether they actually have different effects, this is hard to say. Original research by Mechoulam turned up evidence that delta-8 is less intense vs delta-9, providing less psychoactive high, at a ratio of 3:2. It’s also pointed to as causing less anxiety, and providing a clear-headed high, with less couch locking, and more energy. Unfortunately, with the lack of follow-up research, these points really aren’t confirmed at all. Plus, ‘less strong’ always comes with the stipulation that if more is taken, the same high can still be reached.

Another differentiating factor between the two compounds? The degradation process that creates delta-8 comes from oxidation of delta-9. And through this process, the loss of electrons makes the resulting delta-8 more stable, and with a longer shelf-life.

Legality delta-8 vs delta-9

The thing is, its become commonplace for delta-8 products and other cannabinoid products to be sold all over the place. I’m not even talking dispensaries, but corner stores, gas stations, any little side store out there. Because of the seeming loophole attached to it as ‘hemp-derived’, and the inability of the government to stamp it out, it ends up in a lot of places where delta-9 isn’t accessible. This doesn’t mean its technically legal, but it does mean it’s widely available.

Even delta-9 products under the term ‘hemp-derived’ have started popping up in the same way. The state of Minnesota became an unwittingly legal state when it legalized hemp-derived THC for edible products. Both the hemp-derived version of delta-8 and delta-9 can be found in illegal states, as they are sold outside standard regulation.

Laws for delta-8 vs delta-9
Laws for delta-8 vs delta-9

Just to clarify, the term ‘hemp-derived’, much like ‘naturally-derived’, doesn’t mean that something is actually extracted directly from hemp, or in the case of ‘naturally-derived’ directly from something natural. It just means it has some of those natural components, along with other unnatural components or processing. How much something specifically fits under the definition of hemp, is determined by the presence of these other unnatural ingredients or processes used. The DEA even recently confirmed that synthetic delta-8 is most certainly illegal because of these definitions. This was backed-up as well by Shopify refusing to allow such products on its platform.

When it comes to delta-8 vs delta-9, some will say delta-8 is legal, whereas delta-9 is not. Some states have even made their own regulation to try to tamp down this market, either legalizing or illegalizing delta-8 THC because of the confusion. What’s the real answer? Well, it’s not for me to say, and it’s hard to say anyway. After all, does it matter if something is illegal if no one will do anything about it anyway? As it seems the delta-8 market relies a lot on not having access to standard weed, one must wonder if a full cannabis legalization, will wipe out the industry anyway.

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Conclusion

What’s the real deal with delta-8 vs delta-9? Honestly, its hard to say in the end because we just don’t know. What we do know is that they’re nearly chemically identical, and seem to provide mainly similar effects and benefits. One is well known, and one is a product of the 2018 US Farm Bill, and a desire to provide a legalized version of the psychoactive part of cannabis.

For anyone looking to use delta-8 products, best to know there’s no regulation in this industry, that testing facilities have shown to be bogus, and that its going to be hard to know what exactly you’re getting, and of what quality. This is just a reality of the industry. On the plus side, delta-8 has shown to be just as safe vs delta-9, so unless you’re dealing with the most unscrupulous of vendors, using the worst of additives, you’ll probably get a decent enough product.

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The Interesting Lack of Info on How Synthetic Cannabinoids Are Made

We hear warnings all the time for these compounds, usually labeled ‘K2’ or ‘spice’, and how dangerous they are; despite a lack of actual deaths directly related to them. But the most interesting part of these warnings, is that they come with no information. If you want to know how synthetic cannabinoids are made, where, or by who, it’s as if the information doesn’t exist, even with our wide-ranging internet. What does this all mean?

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What are synthetic cannabinoids?

These days there are three types. Two get a bad rap, despite not being that bad, and one gets pushed directly at consumers. A real cannabinoid is something like THC, CBD, or CBN which is naturally made by the cannabis plant, and can be extracted in its natural form, without any change to the compound.

A synthetic cannabinoid is a cannabinoid that is made using processing techniques that either change the original molecule, or create a molecule by using component parts, and synthesizing them together with synthetic processes. Therefore, a synthetic cannabinoid is either a direct replica of a real cannabinoid, just made synthetically (like delta-8 THC), or it’s a compound that doesn’t exist in nature, and is simply closely-related to the natural cannabinoids – like delta-10 THC. Synthetic or not, some synthetic compounds mirror compounds found in nature, while some don’t exist in nature at all.

One of the big debates in this industry, is whether these compounds fit under the definition of hemp, a definition that doesn’t allow for synthetic processing of compounds. There are also issues of too-high THC amounts in preparations, as well as additive chemicals. The latter issue has shown to be the actual problem in cannabinoid-related deaths. Something even stated by a recent UK report, though this was about vapes specifically, not synthetic cannabis. As the two fear campaigns for vapes and synthetic cannabinoids are similar, its still interesting to note.

Cannabinoids can be natural or synthetic

The 3 kinds of synthetic cannabinoids we deal with

What are the three types we deal with today? Technically they could all be lumped together, but essentially they make up three different industries. The first has to do with what’s referred to as the cannabinoid market. The biggest products in this market are delta-8 THC and HHC. Though the compounds are sold under the term ‘hemp-derived’, meaning they came from the hemp plant, this doesn’t mean they’re not synthetic.

As only CBD exists in high enough quantities for direct extraction from hemp (in amounts usable for product manufacturing), these compounds are not directly extracted, but made through processing from CBD. Or through some other process not made clear. Whether they are technically legal or not, they are openly sold all throughout the US in stores. How many direct deaths have they caused? None.

The second type is considered downright illegal cannabinoids, and they’re the main reference point when bringing up ‘synthetic cannabis’. These compounds are nicknamed ‘spice’ and ‘K2’, and the reality is that we don’t know much about them. It’s often said that the main chemical constituent is a compound called cannabicyclohexanol (aka (C8)-CP 47,497), or rather, a derivative of it called CP 47,497. The interesting thing about this compound, is that its related to HHC, which was actually discovered by the US government in an attempt to make a watered down version of THC.

We are constantly warned about these drugs. Sometimes we’re told they’re super strong and can therefore cause a bad reaction, sometimes we’re told they’re poisonous. But, are they? Usually, synthetic weed comes as broken up foliage with something sprayed on it. I, myself, once got very sick from fake weed, a story detailed here. But the reaction was so isolated (smoked it a million times, this happened only once), that blaming it on the compound that got me high, is silly. However, if I had died, it would’ve been blamed on the synthetic THC, no doubt.

Thing is, when a drug is sprayed on random foliage, the foliage could have anything on it from rat poison to insecticide; and breathing in chemicals of this nature, can be deadly. It seems no one died directly from the synthetic cannabinoids, but rather from other additives or chemicals used to make the product. The synthetic cannabinoids are directly related to THC, and as of yet, none of the researched cannabinoids – synthetic or not – have ever been associated with causing such problems. They might not have been taken up by the government, but the research around them never showed a deathly issue.

The last type of synthetic cannabinoid? The one sold directly to us. That involves approved pharmaceutical medications like dronabinol and nabilone. Yup, we’re told to fear cannabis synthetics, right alongside being told that if we buy them from a pharmaceutical company, somehow the danger disappears.  Pharmaceutical companies are not in the business of providing non-synthetic medications by default, because they can’t.

Synthetic cannabinoids
Synthetic cannabinoids

Their legal inability to patent a plant dictates that they must create synthetics if they want to use similar compounds. So automatically, these companies are making the same things as the cannabinoid market sells, yet we’re told its totally cool.

These, of course, aren’t any more or less dangerous than any of the other cannabinoid compounds, whether synthetic or not. But they do create a logical discrepancy. It’s not advertised to us that these medications are synthetics, but they are. Just as much as the compounds we’re constantly warned away from. Which means the government, even without legalizing cannabis for medical use, allows the sale of synthetic cannabinoid medicines, while telling the public that synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous.

Okay, so how are synthetic cannabinoids like K2 and spice made?

And this is where it really gets interesting. I want everyone reading this to open an internet browser page, and type in any of the following terms: “how is K2 made”, “how is spice cannabinoid made”, or “K2 recipe”. Seriously, go for it. You’ll find what I did. Tons of fear articles, tons of explanations of how its sprayed on foliage, and tons of stories of injury, sometimes without explaining the idea of additives and other chemicals involved, yet never explaining how exactly the cannabinoids caused the death either.

What you fundamentally won’t find, is how these synthetic cannabinoids are made, where they’re made, or by who. A search of Tic Tok videos turned up some videos of wetting paper in chemicals, which still doesn’t help us at all. And this paper by EMCDDA, which gives about the most detail possible in terms of the compounds, still falls short of explaining how they’re actually made, only giving a few thoughts on it. However, what it does do, is say nothing bad about these compounds, likening them for the most part, to THC. It doesn’t even have a section on danger.

If you’re thinking that this information is never provided for illicit drug markets, you’re wrong. Go back to the browser page. Now search these terms: “meth recipe”, “crack recipe”, and “fentanyl recipe”. You’re going to find plenty of information, even if you specifically don’t have the skills to make them. Sure, it can involve high level chemistry, but the point, is that the information is there. You can also find plenty of information about where these drugs are illegally made, and by who. So easy, that I was able to give a little overview here, in an article about making delta-8 THC, because even that has instructions online.

We have the internet, guys. Even if no step-by-step process is given for making fentanyl, you can gather so much information, that this can be gleaned by those who understand the science. The information is there. And meth? Meth actually kills about 19,447 people a year according to 2020 data.

How meth is made
How meth is made

And yet finding instructions for it…super easy. When it comes to how to make synthetic cannabinoids, where this is done, and with what methods, it’s like all of a sudden, an internet blackout. So we’re told of this danger repeatedly, yet given no backup information for what the stuff really is. To the point that it must be questioned if any of the information we’re given, is correct.

Maybe it’s made by the government and put out on the street. Maybe its fully known that approved or not, there’s no danger. Maybe it’s just used as a fear campaign to drive people toward pharmaceutical options which we’re told are safer, even though they’re essentially the same thing. Let’s not forget how many FDA approved medications consistently must be recalled due to safety issues. And this after passing safety trials, which doesn’t say much for our drug approval process, or the safety of what’s on the market.

If not one death has come directly from these compounds, and just from additives, or other chemicals involved, then any of these removed FDA medications, are way worse than spice or K2 could ever be. Its way easier to scare someone off something, if you control all the information about it. With not one word online about how the stuff is made, the only thing we have, are government fear campaigns telling us of addictions, poisonings, and lack of medical benefit.

Conclusion

How are synthetic cannabinoids made? Well, unlike drugs like meth and crack, the internet doesn’t have a recipe. Or information about who is making it. Or where. It’s kind of like there’s a story out that’s being pushed on us, but all real information is withheld.

I want to take a minute to say that I don’t love this industry. I doubt there’s a problem with any synthetic cannabinoid thus far. But I do understand the detriments of added chemicals, and for this reason, this industry can be dangerous. How dangerous? People have certainly died. However, on its very worst day, it’s not even in the same danger ballpark, realm, or universe, as opioids, meth, benzodiazepines, or cocaine. Two of these are highly prescribed, one is still legal medically, and one is completely illegal, but anyone can find instructions to make it. Just something to keep in mind.

Also, I’ve repeated over and over that no deaths have come directly from a cannabinoid compound, whether natural or synthetic. This is based on no articles being able to specify that the cannabinoid compound was responsible, with the majority actually mentioning the other chemicals involved that did the poisoning. This is highlighted by the CDC itself, which has a page on lung injury from vapes, where it admits that its an additive issue, and literally can’t say that injury came from either tobacco or cannabis directly.

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Top 5 Reasons Its Insane That Plants Are Illegal

Maybe it’s a norm in life that we’ve grown up with, but does that make it right? Or, is it one of those things that needs an overhaul in how we’ve been trained to think about it. And yes, trained. When something prevails throughout your life, or a pattern of behavior happens within it that you’re obliged to go by, it does create a certain level of training in thought. We are all accustomed to the weird idea that part of nature, is banned from us, and we seem to think this makes sense. Or at least, some of us do. But some of us don’t. So, in light of that, here are the top 5 reasons it’s absolutely ridiculous to make plants illegal.

Why are we so complacent with the government telling us which plants we’re not allowed to use? Here are the top 5 reasons this practice of making plants illegal, is insane. Thanks for stopping by our comprehensive and independent news site, featuring the best in cannabis and psychedelics reporting. Subscribe to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for regular updates; and product offerings on tons of cool stuff like vapes, smoking devices, edibles, cannabis paraphernalia, and the super popular cannabinoid compounds including Delta 8 & HHC. Take a trip to out ‘best of’ lists for more info, and pick yourself out the products you’re most happy to use.


5) Nature can be illegal???

Ever since I was a child there have been plants that were legally off-limits, and somehow, in my child brain, this made sense because it was authoritative bodies telling me they were. As I got older, I started thinking about it more, and questioning it more. Why is any part of nature off limits to any of us? People sleep in live volcanoes and jump out of airplanes. We swim in shark-infested waters, and hike through areas with animals that can kill us. And according to government, these dangerous nature experiences are fine.

The truth in life is that when something is truly poisonous, or dangerous, like really in need of staying away from, we will. That’s how animals in general work. If we really have to do it, we have senses for these things, and the ability to learn from experience. Yeah, maybe someone gets poisoned here or there, but that happens anyway, and in nature, these little experiences help entire species to know what they can partake in, and what they can’t. No animal population makes a habit of eating plants that kill them. Consider how dumb governing bodies must think we are, to tell us what to be afraid of in the natural world.

We’re always told we’re the most intelligent species, right? So, why then are we considered incapable of assessing which plants we want to come into contact with? There are actually poisonous plants out there that will kill immediately upon consumption, and somehow, plenty of them are legal. But a few that make a person feel good, or worse, help them in some way? Apparently all those are off limits. The #5 reason its insane to make plants illegal, is because it illegalizes part of the natural world. As animals, we have no reason to have a governing body tell us which parts of nature we can use. If it grows out of the ground, it should it be automatically accessible to everyone who wants it.

4) Here, have a fake version

The reality of the pharmaceutical industry, is that its based on natural plants, even if the medicines produced are all synthetic. The only reason for this? That plants growing naturally can’t be patented. This means, companies aren’t allowed to take a plant in its natural environment and claim it legally. This, obviously, is a good thing. If it wasn’t this way, Johnson & Johnson could literally take a plant like cannabis, pay a certain amount, and then have all control of it.

Since plants can’t be patented, their chemical abilities can’t be monopolized by one company. Instead, many companies can use the same plant to come up with their own synthetic formulations, and this is how the pharmaceutical industry works. Not every medicine is taken from a plant, but the vast majority are, as there is less basis to know how to treat things without the backbone of natural medicine. For as much as Western medicine likes to degrade Eastern medicine, it is still nearly 100% based on it, since pharmaceutical medicines are based in real plant structures.

When plants are illegal, and only their synthetic counterparts are legal, it means pushing synthetics over the real thing. Much like the idea of making part of nature illegal, this is a weird concept we’ve been acclimated to; that a fake version of a real thing is somehow better, and the real thing is somehow dangerous. A great example of where this fails, is antibiotics, and the oft mentioned issue of antibiotic-resistance.

Antibiotics fail because they’re simple, and bacteria can adapt to them and change. But they can’t do this with the original plant compounds, as those are way more complicated. It’s almost funny that this fear of antibiotic resistance continues, when the plants will always work. That brings us to the #4 reason plants shouldn’t be illegal. Because its means pushing people toward the fake version, instead of the real one.

3) They’ll save you if you let them

Natural medicine traditions didn’t persist through thousands of years because of how useless they are. They maintained through history because they work, and they work using natural plants with no synthetic components or processing, because back in the day, these things weren’t possible.

One of the interesting things about natural medicine traditions, is that there are tons of them. Think of how many little cultures of people came and went through history, or still exist in their tiny corners of the earth. These traditions have mostly been separated by space and time, with often no knowledge from one reaching another. After all, can you imagine natives in Siberia sharing their wisdom of fly agaric mushrooms with natives in Brazil, 1,000 years ago…wouldn’t have been possible. Yet, many compounds found their ways into the exact same places of treatment and spiritual use, in tons of different cultures.

Or, as native cultures use the plants relevant to where they are geographically, similar compounds from similar plants are used in different traditions, for the same ailments. This is a massive backing up of these plant attributes, that unrelated cultures would use them through history, in the exact same ways. If none of this worked, this repetition of use wouldn’t be seen, and it most certainly is.

Plants are extremely useful for treating nearly anything, so long as the right plant is used. There have even been studies showing plant compounds that effectively fight coronaviruses, something not mentioned during a two year pandemic in which synthetic vaccines were actually forced on people in some places. When plants are illegalized, these medical benefits, often used for thousands of years, are also barred from us. The #3 reason to question why plants are made illegal? It makes it harder to benefit from their natural properties.

2) Cocaine and heroin aren’t natural…they’re processed versions

We’re often told of the danger of plants like poppies and coca, because of the psychoactive effects. However, the drugs used as scare tactics, like cocaine and heroin, are not direct constitutions of the plants, but instead are processed versions. The actual plant versions are much weaker. Try chewing some coca leaves, it’s not the same as snorting a line of cocaine. Most of the time, the drugs we’re most warned about, are not what a person would pick out of the ground, making it even more insane that the plants take the blame.

When it comes to psychedelics and other psychoactive components from plants, like DMT, psilocybin, mescaline, fly agaric mushrooms, and salvia, the plants/compounds don’t need to be changed in order to gain effects. However, in all cases just mentioned, there’s also no death and disability toll, making for no actual danger. If it’s really not about death and disability, why does the government intervene for our safety? Doesn’t make a lot of sense. If the government doesn’t want coca leaves being processed into cocaine, or poppy leaves to be processed into heroin, then it should make those practices illegal, but the whole plant? That makes no sense as the plant itself doesn’t generally cause the extreme effects of the processed version.

And for that matter, considering all pharma products are a processed version of something, the idea that processing a plant to make an incredibly strong version of it, is sort of what Western medicine is all about. If you look up statistics for opium overdose deaths, you’ll be hard pressed to find them. What you will find plenty of, is opioid death statistics, and that relates to the pharmaceutical synthetic versions.

Which means a deadly processed version is legal and pushed by the government, while the unprocessed version which is unlikely to kill you, is banned from use. The #2 reason why its crazy to take plants and make them illegal is because the actual plants aren’t what’s causing the problem in the first place. If you look at the picture below, it highlights the misunderstanding between natural and synthetic medicine. It labels Western medicine as ‘classic’ medicine, and natural medicine, as ‘alternative’ medicine. In reality, these terms should be switched, as natural medicine is the classically used form, and Western medicine is the synthetic alternative.

1) Too much government control

Perhaps all the other reasons back up the #1 reason…it means a ridiculous amount of government control. We elect government officials to make laws and keep society functioning, but where’s the line? And if it’s crossed, how do we do anything about it? Maybe seat belts are good, and speeding limits. Maybe its good there are requirements for building engineering, and behaviors we don’t allow in workplaces.

However, this body meant to protect us, often does the opposite. It allows weird chemicals in our food that have helped the population balloon out into obesity. It allows toxins in the air that hurt our lungs and affect our ability to breathe. It allows trash to be dumped into our oceans, where it affects all marine life, including that which we eat. And it doesn’t seem to care about things like instituting a workable healthcare system, and instead will watch a sick person get themselves into debt, and then penalize them when they can’t pay.

Yet this same government which can’t get guns under control enough to not have schools shot up, and which constantly has to recall FDA approved medications due to horrifying health issues that are sometimes known about but not published, also thinks it should be able to tell us which plants are cool to use, and which are not. I mean, come on, guns are legal, but the cannabis plant isn’t? Is anyone else facepalming this massive logical discrepancy?

Where does it end? Especially when the same government promotes dangerous versions of the same thing through regulation? I mean, shouldn’t a person have the right to choose if they’d prefer to use the poppy plant over a way-too-strong synthetic opioid like fentanyl? The #1 reason its insane to make plants illegal, is that it allows the government a level of unnecessary control, that no government should have.

Conclusion

As more states legalize cannabis and plant-based psychedelics, or create ballot measures for their legalization, perhaps we should ask why we have to argue about this in the first place. Not only is it insane to illegalize a plant, its even more insane to make the residents of a state have to fight just to get legal access to something that should never have been barred in the first place.

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BnOCPA & The New Way to Kill Your Pain

With the opioid epidemic underway, the question of how to reverse direction is on everyone’s mind. Governments are succumbing to pressure; passing decriminalization measures, and opening safe use sites, but none of this attacks the problem. Though a ketamine answer exists, its been all but ignored in terms of the general public, which is 100% unaware of this. And now, a new pain pill is under research, but is still completely untested. What is BnOCPA, and how does it measure up?

There’s a new non-opioid painkiller under research called BnOCPA, and it might be a very much needed alternative to the current and awful opioid situation. We’re a cannabis and psychedelics news site which specializes in breaking news and ongoing stories in these industries, and beyond. We provide the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for readers to stay updated, as well as obtain access to an array of product promotions on vapes and other smoking devices, edibles, and cannabinoid compounds including the super-popular Delta 8 & HHC. Head to our ‘best of’ lists for more info, and buy yourself some awesome new swag.


Why it matters

There are a ton of pharma products on the market, and plenty for pain. Aside from opioids, which dominate the scene, we’re pretty used to our Tylenol, and NSAIDS like aspirin, and ibuprofen. For the entirety of my life, the process has been to pop a pill for pretty much anything. Skin your knee? Take a pill. Got a headache? Take a pill. That time of the month? Take a pill. It’s a wonder anyone knows what pain feels like anymore.

Prior to our new-age pharma world, if you hurt yourself, you just had to deal with it. Or use the natural medicine version, which, let’s be honest, isn’t the worst. All those opioids that are causing so much problem, are all based on compounds from the poppy plant, and those compounds have existed, and been implored in local medicine traditions, for as long as people have lived in organized communities.

In light of the massive addiction and death numbers of late, it’s a wonder people are more willing to pop the pill, than simply tough it out. After all, it was standard once to have children without an epidural, or to cut off diseased limbs without an anesthetic. While I’m not saying progress isn’t good, I am saying that in this case, it came with a cost. Obviously, the logic of ‘we didn’t need it before, so we don’t need it now’ isn’t the best, but it’s not worthless either. It mainly fails because if nothing else, we live way longer than humans used to, meaning an increase in pain related issues from aging, and overall more years to experience accidents and mishaps.

BnOCPA vs opioids

As of right now, that issue of trying to get away from the pain, is manifesting in the form of overdose deaths from opioids. According to preliminary data released by the CDC in May of this year, 2021 had approximately 107,622 overdose deaths. And while we don’t know the exact breakdown of causes, we know that of 2020’s 93,000 overdose deaths, that over 68,000 were opioid related. That’s a lot of people dying from drugs prescribed by a doctor. How prevalent are these prescriptions? As of a 2021 analysis, in 2019, 22.1% of all US adults with chronic pain, obtained an opioid prescription within the last three months of the question. In 2017, it accounted for 191 million prescriptions.

BnOCPA – What is this stuff?

Right now, when it comes to dealing with chronic and extreme pain, opioids are the go-to prescription medication, though this has shown to be a very bad idea in terms of addiction rates to the medications, and accompanied overdoses. Opioids are synthetically made compounds based on the poppy plant. When compounds are taken directly from the plant, they’re called opiates, but when made synthetically, but based on the compounds of the plant, they’re opioids. Opioids include drugs like fentanyl and the main component of Oxycontin, oxycodone.

Opioids assert their action by attaching to opioid receptors in the nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract. The three main opioid receptor classes are mu, kappa, and delta – μ, κ, δ, though there are 17 of these receptors currently known about. They operate as heavy pain relievers, as well as anesthetics; with prescription uses for things like diarrhea and cough suppression as well.  

BnOCPA is a newly made synthetic compound that recently came to global attention with the results of a recent investigation. BnOCPA, or benzyloxy-cyclopentyladenosine, is a G-protein-coupled receptor agonist (GPCRs). Research into this compound was carried out by a group of investigators based out of the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences (in conjunction with University of Bern, University of Cambridge, Coventry University, Monash University, and different industrial organizations). According to their study, Selective activation of Gαob by an adenosine A1 receptor agonist elicits analgesia without cardiorespiratory depression, this compound:

“…is a potent and powerful analgesic but does not cause sedation, bradycardia, hypotension or respiratory depression.” This occurs because of “BnOCPA’s unique and exquisitely selective activation of Gob among the six Gαi/o subtypes, and in the absence of β-arrestin recruitment.”

They go on to explain that the compound “demonstrates a highly-specific Gα-selective activation of the native A1R,” which “sheds new light on GPCR signalling,” and which “reveals new possibilities for the development of novel therapeutics based on the far-reaching concept of selective Gα agonism.” This is different from other adenosine receptors, like the A1 receptors, which though showing potential in this realm, are weighed down by side effects of sedation and cardiorespiratory depression.

BnOCPA as opioid alternative
BnOCPA as opioid alternative

How does BnOCPA differ from opioids?

When it comes to extreme, chronic pain, medications like Advil and Tylenol can’t help much, and we know this because enough time has gone by to understand where their abilities end. Different kinds of pain medication vary in how much coverage they can realistically provide. When looking at other options to opioids, this has to be considered, because the medication must be strong enough to solve the problem, while not including the negative side effects that lead to overdose and death.

Opioid receptors are also G-protein-coupled receptors, meaning opioids attach to the same kinds of receptors as this new compound, BnOCPA. But that doesn’t mean the two different compounds create the same response, and there’s a particular reason why. G-proteins cause a lot of different effects, and drugs like opioids inadvertently set off several kinds of them because they’re not selective in where they bind. The pain-relieving effects are therefore included with unwanted effects (or side effects), as well.

BnOCPA functions a bit differently in that its way more selective about where it binds, thus only triggering one kind of G-protein. This ability for selection can minimize the amount of side effects that come with the medication, hence the aforementioned ability for pain control, without causing sedation or respiratory depression. As sedation and respiratory depression lead to overdose when too much of a drug creating these actions is taken, the ability to get around this means a possible way to treat pain, without worrying about a death toll.

According to lead researcher Dr. Mark Wall, “The selectivity and potency of BnOCPA make it truly unique and we hope that with further research it will be possible to generate potent painkillers to help patients cope with chronic pain.”

This finding came unexpectedly. Says Professor Bruno Frenguelli of the research team, “This is a fantastic example of serendipity in science. We had no expectations that BnOCPA would behave any differently from other molecules in its class, but the more we looked into BnOCPA we discovered properties that had never been seen before, and which may open up new areas of medicinal chemistry.”

What do we actually know beyond these statements? Unfortunately, nothing. While it sounds super awesome thus far, it should be remembered that this is one study on a compound that’s never been used before. It must be researched further, and undergo a slew of testing, including human trials, before anything further is known for sure. We don’t know what kind of pain it can handle, how safe it is for long term use, or if there is an addiction potential. Right now, the only thing we know is that an untested compound was created, that might provide an alternative to opioids.

Why not ketamine?

Ketamine as opioid alternative
Ketamine as opioid alternative

I harp on this a lot, but for good reason. Yeah, there’s a massive issue right now with opioids killing people. So massive that to cope with it, some locations are giving up and decriminalizing the drugs, or instituting programs like safe use sites to try to minimize deaths. However, despite all measures, overdose rates are very clearly rising, indicating that nothing is getting better, and that even bigger problems should be expected in the future.

So, yeah, its great that alternatives are getting some attention, but let’s be honest for a second, BnOCPA is new, and untested. Maybe it provides a better option, but we won’t know that for quite some time, because long term data requires a lot of time, or its not long term data. We can only know those answers by people using it through time, or studies that follow long-term use. Meaning since we have this problem right now, if there is another method that is tested, and safe, and which might provide extra benefits, like long-lasting relief between administration sessions, it should be used. Immediately. Right?

Well, we have a drug that is comparable to opioids in terms of chronic and acute pain management. One which, like BnOCPA, has that ability for pain relief without causing sedation or cardiac depression, and which actually has the capacity to work for months after administration (find me an opioid that lasts the amount of time its supposed to, let alone longer). And yet here we are talking about a new and untested compound, instead. Maybe BnOCPA does work, is safe, and isn’t addictive, but you know what we already know works, is safe, and isn’t addictive? Ketamine.

The real question when a story like this comes out, isn’t whether BnOCPA can provide a better option to opioids, but why we aren’t talking about the already tested and safe medications we actually have access to now. Sure, its great to create and research new compounds, but when it comes to an answer to the opioid epidemic, and one that is accessible immediately, BnOCPA isn’t it. However, ketamine is.

Conclusion

The pharma world is a confusing place, and its not always clear why one thing is pushed and another is not. While BnOCPA might be a new contender in the opioid battle, if we really want to win this war, we need to use all the artillery in our arsenal. And right now, a new and untested compound doesn’t compare to one that’s been around since the 60’s, with accumulated use and safety information since that time.

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Foxy Methoxy: What is 5-MeO-DiPT? 

Foxy Methoxy is a relatively new synthetic tryptamine that’s becoming increasingly popular for recreational use. Aside from the fact that it’s somewhat easy to manufacture and access, there is not very much to say about Foxy, specifically. But it does open the door to further discussion on tryptamines, how they work, and why so many people are opting for synthetic psychedelics.  

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What is Foxy Methoxy? 

Foxy Methoxy (5-Methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine (5-MeO-DiPT) goes by the chemical formula C17H26N2O, and is also sometimes referred to simply as Foxy. Foxy is a synthetic, psychedelic tryptamine and the methoxy derivative of diisopropyltryptamine (DiPT). Another comparable drug called “Moxy” often gets mixed up with “Foxy”, because of obvious similarities in name, as well as appearance and effects. They are slightly different in chemical structure though (Moxy = 5-MeO-MiPT). 

Foxy comes in tablet, powder, or capsule form and is popular in rave and club scenes where it’s used mainly for its mood enhancing and energizing properties. It’s also said to be great for boosting libido. When it comes to the hallucinations, DiPT is interesting because the effects produced are primarily aural, whereas most psychedelics (both natural and synthetic) come with at least some level of visuals. 

I have never tried it, but this was one Redditor’s experience with Foxy: “I can’t say that it’s like any other [psychedelic]. The come up reminds me of LSD sometimes. It’s not visual most times. Sometimes it is though. Each time was an entirely different experience. It is quite an amazing substance.” Others describe various reactions including: “mild but fun”, “a very crazy body buzz”, “everything felt so surreal”, “incredibly intense mind melding” and “really, really horny”, (that last one came up a lot).  

Overall, a person’s experience will vary based on a myriad of different factors including mood/state of mind at the time of use, personality, set and setting, tolerance, and so much more. Not to mention that, as the above user mentioned, one person can use the same drug on numerous occasions and have a unique experience with different effects every single time. What we can say for sure is that for most users, it changes their mood and lowers inhibitions to some extent – but the level at which that happens is more of a your-mileage-may-vary, kind of thing.  

More on Tryptamines  

On a broader scale, tryptamines (and all derivatives) are indolealkylamine molecules that come from Tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in many plants and animals. In humans, the digestion of dietary proteins in the small intestine leads to the release of tryptophan, which is absorbed by the intestinal epithelium and released into the bloodstream. Once it reaches the brain, the tryptophan undergoes a decarboxylation process and becomes a tryptamine compound, then presenting as a number of different regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin.  

In nature, most tryptamines are psychoactive hallucinogens. Some of the better-known ones include N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), psilocybin and psilocin, and ibogaine. 5-MeO-DMT, or toad DMT, is another popular one. Over the last decade or so, a new generation of synthetic tryptamines have emerged; one of more established one is LSD, but in recent years, drugs like Foxy and Moxy have gaining a bit of notoriety. 5-MeO-DPT, AMT, 4-AcO-DMT and 4-AcODiPT DMT are a few other synthetic tryptamines to make note of.  

Tryptamines act as agonists of the 5-HT2A receptor and are known for creating profound changes in thought processes, temperament, and sensory perception. Tryptamine is a partial agonist of the trace amine-associated receptor hTAAR1. Activation of hTAAR1 is believed to be a potential treatment mechanism for various mood and neuropsychiatric disorders, of particular interest is schizophrenia. Research on other hTAAR1 agonists has found that they produce anti-depressant activity, increase cognition, reduce stress, and minimize addictive behaviors.  

Why Synthetics?  

In the realm of recreational psychedelics, a large portion of users prefer to go all natural with classic entheogens like shrooms and ayahuasca. However, when availability is lacking, people seeking these types of experiences will eventually gravitate to whatever is accessible to them, and in many cases, that just so happens to be something synthetic.  

A few of the main reasons people may choose synthetics over natural compounds include: ease of use and dosing, discretion (think vaping synthetic cannabinoids vs smoking actual weed), and more availability. However, sometimes it’s as simple as preference and how these drugs make a person feel. For example, a lot of people prefer the effects of LSD to psilocybin, despite the former being synthetic. 

Another interesting selling point for synthetics, is that many of them are legal by default. On a global scale, the only tryptamines that are regulated under the 1971 UN convention on psychotropic substances are psilocybin, LSD, DMT, and MDMA. Several others are controlled at the national level in many different countries, but a bunch of the new synthetics manage to fly under the radar for years, even decades, before getting banned.  

For the record, Foxy is illegal in the United States. It became a designated Schedule 1 narcotic on the DEA’s controlled substances list back in 2003, but it’s been known about since back in the mid-1990s. So, Foxy enjoyed quite a few years of slipping through the cracks until federal regulators caught up; and that’s the same song and dance for pretty much every new drug to hit the streets. It’s impossible for lawmakers to create laws against something they have never heard of, and once it reaches the point of needing to be regulated, you can bet there is a large number of people who are already using it.  

Final Thoughts  

Although I wouldn’t describe Foxy as a “popular” drug, it does seem to be making a comeback from its initial appearance in the 90s. I have not had the opportunity to try it, so I can’t draw anything from personal experience on this one, but from what I gathered, the high does seem to be a pleasant and unique experience, like no other. Is it safe? Probably safer than other street drugs, but as a somewhat underground synthetic, not very much information is available. Is it worth trying? Well, that’s up to you to decide. If I’m being completely honest, I prefer natural entheogens in most scenarios, but I’m not 100% against synthetics either and sometimes, the opportunity is ripe to try something new.

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Got Synthetic Milk? Coming Soon To A Store Near You

It’s probably not the headline it could be, because we’ve already been introduced to synthetic meat, and there are plenty of non-dairy milks on the market. Even so, a new synthetic version of milk is under creation, soon to be on a store shelf near you. So, what is the stuff, and are there advantages to this new fake milk? Or is this another example of the synthetics industry unnecessarily taking over for no good reason?

First synthetic meat, and now synthetic milk is rearing its head. Should we get ready to gulp it down? Welcome to an entirely independent news publication focusing on the burgeoning cannabis and psychedelics industries (and some other stuff too). We provide the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for updates on breaking news and ongoing stories, and to offer our readers exciting deals on a range of products from vapes and other smoking paraphernalia, to edibles and cannabinoid products including Delta 8 & HHC. Head to our ‘best of’ lists for more info, and please purchase the products you are most comfortable using.


What’s the difference between real and synthetic?

These days we have products sold to us that come from nature, right alongside products that are made in a lab. What’s the ultimate difference? Sometimes not that much in the final product. A natural product is one made by nature, whether in the form of an animal, plant, or mineral. A synthetic is something that is made by man, or for which man institutes synthetic processing. Sometimes the final product is identical, and sometimes it’s not.

According to dictionary.com, a synthetic is: “something made by a synthetic, or chemical, process; substances or products made by chemical synthesis, as plastics or artificial fibers; and/or the science or industry concerned with such products”. That a product is synthetic, doesn’t mean it can’t have a natural counterpart that it was made to mimic. For example, when delta-9 is extracted directly from the cannabis plant, it’s a natural compound. When it’s made by transforming CBD into delta-9, it must undergo chemical processing, making it synthetically-made.

There is a big debate in the cannabis world over the use of synthetics. While they are often demonized for their danger (which is related to added compounds, not those derived from the cannabis plant or made synthetically based on it), they are also the basis for all pharmaceuticals, meaning we’re warned about the same thing we’re sold.

Synthetic designer bags

The world of synthetics goes way beyond cannabis compounds. Besides many product markets coming from plastics, it even affects other products. Think of that Prada purse your friend got that fell apart after two weeks, or the Dolce & Gabanna top bought from a street corner, that the dye leaked off of. Fakes markets are also synthetics markets, and they’re huge. If a brand name version of something exists that sells well, you can bet there’s a fake version sold somewhere out there.

In terms of synthetics for food, many years ago we were introduced to fake meat, a strange concept that not everyone caught onto, and which is still in its infancy in terms of an industry. For many of us, this idea is more a point of confusion, than some savior to the food industry. It comes with many issues which are not worked out, and which are cause for many health concerns. Yet, even with synthetic meat still under construction, apparently, the next big thing on the horizon is the introduction of synthetic milk.

What is synthetic milk?

Synthetic milk is a liquid made synthetically that mimics milk, but which doesn’t come from a cow, or any other animal. In fact, no animal is used in the making of this milk, which in and of itself is a plus for those who support animal rights, veganism, or who are just appalled by the horrors of our current industries. It also makes it different from fake meat, which is not 100% cruelty-free.

So how is this synthetic milk made? Through a process called ‘precision fermentation’. This process is different from the regular fermentation process that gives us yogurt, cheese, bread, and alcohol. In that process a substance is converted with microbial cells in an oxygen-free environment. Precision fermentation is a kind of biomass fermentation, and involves mycelium, the same thing used by mushrooms to grow and share information. Fungal mycelium, and its fiber branches, are cultivated in tanks, using sugar and other nutrients that promote growth.

This is done through genetic engineering of the microbes, which are reprogrammed with new genetic information that instructs specific proteins to produce specific molecules. The reprogramming makes the cells into immortal cells, which act like cellular factories and can continue to reproduce new cells indefinitely, unlike regular cells which eventually stop. The mycelium itself is harvested, cut, and flavored to make different products made of mycoprotein (a protein made by fungi). The fungal mycelium offers a good source of protein and fiber, as well as other vitamins, and minerals. In this case the mycelium is not used to grow something else, like mushrooms, but is the the main ingredient, meaning the protein doesn’t have to be extracted or purified.

Besides the cruelty-free appeal, there are a couple major benefits. For one, no hormones or antibiotics are necessary. And second, synthetic milk doesn’t lead to the same negative environmental factors. For years we’ve been told that cows passing gas (methane) is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases that promote global warming. This makes no sense (no matter how much its repeated), as animals have been grazing all through history without it causing a problem. The bigger issue, is human input in the form of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which are where most meat and milk come from, and which are known for their incredibly negative environmental impact. This milk can cut down on the number of those. But realistically, so can any other fake milk.

Isn’t fake milk already popular?

Plant-based fake milk
Plant-based fake milk

Truth is, we already deal a lot in fake milk. Think of how popular almond milk and coconut milk are. You can make milk-like substances from many different plants, and this new synthetic milk is technically plant-based as well. Other plant-based milks don’t require genetic modification though, and are entirely different, and made naturally from a plant.

In a way, this idea of going away from real milk makes more sense, than say, synthetic meat. Whereas humans are known to eat meat throughout their lives, milk should only be consumed in infancy. It’s been known for some time that there is no need to consume it past that point, and humans are the only species to continue doing so into adulthood. Even the often touted line that milk is necessary for strong bones has never been proven, and nor does it make sense, as its not a part of standard nature.

Yet for all this lack of need, the milk industry is pushed constantly, and up to 80% of the global population regularly consumes dairy. Not only is this not necessary, but some research goes as far as to say it comes with the added detractions of promoting cancer in adults, as well as leading to more bone fractures, which goes directly against the logic of making bones stronger.

When it comes to the milk industry, neither the real thing, nor the new synthetic version, sound particularly appealing. The plant-based options are the best ones in terms of health and medical issues. Since these fake versions come from plant sources, they do offer health benefits, that make them better than standard dairy milk. As most alternatives are produced from high fat or high protein sources, they provide good options for a healthy beverage, and without the issues of regular milk, including lactose intolerance, or the issues of synthetic milk, which comes chock full of GMOs.

What about synthetic meat?

Fake meat has been around for awhile, but a new version was introduced about a decade ago. If you go into most supermarkets, there is an array of fake meat options, like tempeh burgers, soy hotdogs, and other plant-based products. Most of these offer a (sometimes) tasty alternative, but are not necessarily meant to taste just like regular animal meat. In the world of fake meat, ‘cultured meat’ is the newer addition meant to mimic meat, but which is grown in a Petri dish.

This meat is produced from animal cells that are cultured, meaning it really is meat. It’s just not meat that grows as part of an animal. The cells are grown in a bioreactor (like the milk), and arranged in exactly the same, or very similar way, so that they mimic the actual feel and texture, as well as the nutritional capacity, of regular meat. The cells are fed a cell culture medium which is oxygen-rich, and comprised of amino acids, glucose, vitamins, and inorganic salts. It’s also supplemented with proteins and other things to promote growth, including hormones. This last part is dicey because we don’t know how far a particular company will go with it, and added hormones are already an issue with the standard meat industry.

Fake meat
Fake meat

Cultured meat is advertised for being environmentally responsible, cruelty-free, and antibiotic-free. However, it’s not as cruelty-free as advertised. For one thing, cells must be harvested, which means some animals are hurt, as opposed to plant-based meat where none are. Plus, growing mediums can involve the use of fetal bovine serum, which is extracted from a cow fetus when the mother is slaughtered. The newer alternative is to use a bioreactor to create immortal cells through genetic engineering, so the cells continue to proliferate endlessly. That this is an entirely GMO industry is a major detraction. Genetic engineering, and genetic constructs are not flushed out, and can be associated with causing cancer, as well as other health issues.

Truth is, very little is known about how the processes used to make synthetic meat and milk affect human health in the long run. But with the use of bioreactors and GMO methods, it stands to reason that there could be problems. One of the main ones? That genetically-modified immortal cell lines show a similarity to cancerous cells, including overgrowth of the cells. And though it’s great the meat has no antibiotics, there is nothing saying that it won’t be inundated with hormones.

Conclusion

It’s more common to find synthetic clothes than natural fiber clothes today. It’s even common for furniture to come from plastics, even if it looks like wood. Most of our food barely resembles food anymore, with ingredient lists that contain long chemical names. Its not shocking that synthetic meat and synthetic milk are making their way in. At least when it comes to fake milk, the product being replaced, is one we don’t need anyway. Maybe the better question is whether synthetic milk offers us anything better than the nut milks that already took over.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this story, is simply the idea that we’ve become so accustomed to synthetics, that we no longer question a fake industry taking over a real one. Sure, it’s great to do away with an industry that unnecessarily hurts animals for a product we don’t need, but what about where it does matter? Have we become so desensitized to fake, that we’re totally cool with it replacing the real thing?

*As a positive side note, it’s nearly impossible to find the words ‘genetically-engineered’ in relation to synthetic milk or meat, though they are most certainly genetically-engineered products. Perhaps this indicates the public is a little hesitant about such processes, leading marketers to attempt to separate the products from the terms, in the minds of the people.

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Study Shows Real Cannabis Products More Popular Than Synthetics

Okay, so for most people this is common sense. However, in a world without real sales market data from the cannabinoid industry, and patchy info on the cannabis industry at large, we rely a lot on speculation. A new study, however, makes clear a certain point, even if it wasn’t the intended point. By measuring issues with synthetic cannabinoids, this study found that real cannabis products are more popular than synthetics. Read on to find out why.

A recent study highlights how real cannabis products are more popular than synthetics for consumers, as evidenced by rates of issues with synthetics in hospitals across states. Cannadelics is an independent publication offering coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics fields, complete with the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for regular updates on important events. Subscribe today and also gain access to tons of products like vapes, edibles, and cannabinoid compounds including the seemingly-everywhere Delta 8 & HHC. Head to our ‘best of’ lists for product deals, and make sure to pick the products you’re totally comfortable using.


What are cannabis synthetics?

We all know what the cannabis plant is. And most of us are aware that compounds like THC and CBD can be directly extracted from the plant. Whether thinking of the plant as a whole, or the cannabinoids directly taken from it, these constitute the natural version. The term ‘synthetic’ in the drugs industry, means a drug that’s made by a human using component parts, rather than coming from nature. A synthetic compound won’t come out of the ground, however something that does come out of the ground, can also be made synthetically. In the world of cannabis it relates to synthetic cannabinoids like HHC and delta-10, as well as Spice, K2, and every government approved cannabis medicine.

While smear campaigns throw out terms like ‘Spice’ and ‘K2’, the very same governmental agencies pushing fear in those terms, also allow the sale of pharmaceutical cannabis synthetics like dronabinol and nabiximols. As synthetics means anything not directly from the plant, the term encompasses both the pharmaceutical version, and the street version.

The thing is, the ‘street’ versions are essentially the same, or similar-enough to the pharmaceutical versions. In fact, much of what is often complained about by the government, was actually made by the government, or comes from something made by the government. This includes the compounds like spice and K2, along with much of the cannabinoid market, which also represents synthetic compounds.

Now, the thing about this cannabinoids market, is that its an illegal market, which is unregulated, and which we already know falls prey to dirty tactics like using fake labs to show safety results, to keep consumers feeling safe about their purchases. And truth be told, while this is certainly a shady industry, the rate of actual death related to it, is small at best, and so far, never related – as in NOT ONCE – to the compounds themselves, as evidenced by this Australian study looking at an entire 18 years! Which makes the idea of the fear marketing around these compounds, weird, and nonsensical.

How dangerous are cannabis synthetics

If you read the previous paragraph, not dangerous at all. Pharmaceutical companies sell them every day, even in the US where cannabis is federally illegal for both recreational and medical purposes. Interesting, right? That not only does the US government demonize cannabis in general, but it actually allows under certain circumstances, not the plant itself, but synthetic versions of it.

This doesn’t mean all synthetics sold are created equally. Just because there are some totally cool versions, doesn’t mean they all are, especially in a black sales market. Though the reality is that even the less tested compounds really aren’t hurting anyone, people do get hurt by dirty products, particularly in the following two ways:

  • Taking too much. Synthetics might be just fine, but like with cannabis in general, too much can be bad. Synthetics are often packaged like regular cannabis products, but often without the THC limits – sometimes there isn’t THC in them anyway. Especially for kids getting into edible candies, this can cause a problem. But it’s the same problem that exists with regular weed products, as well as all those household cleaners under the sink, the prescription medications in the bathroom, and even the Tylenol bought over the counter.
  • The other issue is simply one of additives. Additives are anything used in a product for whatever reason, that aren’t the main compounds of action. When it comes to vape carts this can mean chemicals used to thin or thicken the oil, for flavoring, or as preservatives. For fake cannabis as a plant, it can mean pesticides, herbicides, or anything else sprayed on the random vegetation used. Plus, considering anyone selling a synthetic is unregulated by definition, anything can be in there. Even something like fentanyl, if desired.

People like to mess with products, and that’s the real issue of cannabis synthetics. I got sick once from smoking the weed-looking stuff which is actually just crushed foliage with something sprayed on it. Besides whatever the product maker put on it to cause a high, there could also have been fertilizer, rat poison, or insecticides on that foliage, and all those things, while having no relation to the synthetic compound, can certainly make a person sick.

synthetic additives

Though it likes to spout out fear messages all the time, even the FDA technically concedes that all the 68 confirmed deaths related to vapes – like 68 from the inception of vaping until early 2020 (including 29 states and DC), were all really because of additives. This same concept was reiterated in a report by the UK, in which vaping was promoted as a way to stop people from smoking.

So yeah, there are reports of people getting hurt, but I have yet to see a death statistic specifically related to either regular cannabis, or the synthetic cannabis compounds, directly. As far as getting a little sick – well that happens with THC products, and is generally more related to ingesting too much. Something also relevant to all those prescription medications in the bathroom, and even the Tylenol which is bought over the counter. Incidentally, Tylenol causes approximately 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths a year, yet I don’t remember the last time I heard fear marketing from the government about using that product.

What study shows real cannabis products more popular than synthetics?

The purpose of the study wasn’t to establish if real cannabis products are more popular than synthetic products, but it established this information in the point it did make. The study is called Synthetic cannabinoid poisonings and access to the legal cannabis market: findings from US national poison centre data 2016–2019, and is meant to examine “trends in synthetic cannabinoid exposures reported to United States (US) poison control centres, and their association with status of state cannabis legalisation.”

How did they do this? With “Mixed-effects Poisson regression models” which “assessed synthetic exposures associated with legal status, first among all states using annual counts, and then among states that implemented permissive law alone using quarterly counts.” For this, they pulled data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS) for the years 2016-2019.

What did the study find? 7,600 reported exposures in the time frame investigated, with an overall decline through time. 64.8% of these required medical attention, and there were 61 deaths…though we already know they were unlikely directly related to cannabis compounds – synthetic or not.

States that had implemented medical cannabis laws had 13% fewer reported issues per year, while states that adopted more permissive policies during this time period saw a 37% lowered rate. As far as states that already had a permissive policy in place, there were 22% fewer reportings. Overall, states with retail markets, clocked in with 36% fewer issues than states without such policies.

Synthetic cannabis

Investigators concluded that “Adoption of permissive cannabis law was associated with significant reductions in reported synthetic cannabinoid exposures. More permissive cannabis law may have the unintended benefit of reducing both motivation and harms associated with use of synthetic cannabis products.”

What’s the other takeaway? Simply that the cannabinoid market itself (whether we’re talking about delta-8 THC or K2) relies on states being non-permissive. Given the chance, most people will choose the real thing over a synthetic product, making real cannabis more popular than its synthetic counterparts.

Conclusion

I don’t often speak well of the cannabinoid industry, because it is a dirty, shady place. But life is about comparisons, and compared to opioids, alcohol, and cigarettes, there’s so little issue with synthetic cannabinoids, that its hardly worth mentioning. On the other hand, with compounds like fentanyl finding themselves in tons of unwanted places, the unregulated aspect of the market could certainly pose problems.

For now – let’s be honest, bigger issues exist. And at least now we know that if the desire is to have synthetics fazed out, it’ll mean legalizing the actual plant, since real cannabis is more popular than synthetic cannabis.

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British Columbia Set to Decriminalize Hard Drugs

While some countries remain uptight with drug policy, others are so loose, they’re practically coming apart at the seams. Now British Columbia follows in the footsteps started by Portugal in 2001, with an announcement that the Canadian Province is set to decriminalize hard drugs.

British Columbia and the announcement to decriminalize hard drugs does not paint a very good picture of what’s going on with overdoses these days. Is decriminalizing drug possession really helpful in this situation, though? We’re an independent news site specializing in cannabis and psychedelics reporting. Follow along by subscribing to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, and also get yourself in first place for future product promotions.


What’s going on?

Canada was the second country after Uruguay to pass a nationwide recreational cannabis legalization back in 2018. And now, one of its provinces is stepping it up even more. On May 31st, 2022, the federal government of Canada announced that the province of British Columbia would decriminalize hard drugs in the upcoming year. By January 31st, 2023, adults (18+) in the province will be able to possess small amounts of hard drugs in the amount of 2.5 grams or less. This applies to opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA.

How did this come about? It’s not a part of general Canadian policy to allow hard drug possession. In November 2021, British Columbia applied for a federal exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It requested a 4.5 gram threshold, which the federal government reduced to 2.5 grams upon approval.

This threshold might be debatable in the future according to federal minister of mental health and addictions, Carolyn Bennett, who called the current limit a ‘starting point’, that could be adjusted as per need. Bennett explained that 85% of seizures are for under two grams.

This comes from the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police, which says the average amount taken in seizures of hard drugs varies from about 1.3 grams to 1.9 grams, depending on location. However, if you ask those who use the drugs, their story is that 2.5 grams isn’t enough to cover the reality of what hard drug users must use daily to maintain themselves.

This entire measure is seen as a harm reduction measure due to the massive drug issues in the province. British Columbia isn’t set to decriminalize hard drugs just to do it. It’s trying to placate its growing number of addicted drug users, who must continue taking their drugs to feed their addictions. Many of whom are on opioids, which were legally provided to them.

Issues with this

The whole fact this is happening indicates a massive issue to begin with. Could the government’s acquiescence to such a measure indicate a level of guilt? Governments don’t usually substantiate the drug use of their people, yet that’s exactly what’s happening. And its not comparable to Portugal, which was dealing with illegal drug problems, and which saw improvement by decriminalizing. This issue is based on the idea that doctors are now the primary drug dealers. This current and rising opioid epidemic is a government-sanctioned drug epidemic, so it cannot be gotten rid of so long as doctors are writing prescriptions, and this isn’t stopping.

There are many worrying factors about this decriminalization. As per Ryan McNeil, director of harm-reduction research at the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, who is also an affiliated scientist at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use:

“Two-point-five grams is difficult to eyeball — how are police necessarily going to be equipped to eyeball that in the field? Does that mean this might become a mechanism by which anything above that threshold becomes understood to be potentially possession with the intent to sell, or marks someone as potentially selling drugs. We need to raise questions about how this will actually be implemented in real world settings and whether it might perpetuate the inequities that we see in the policing and potential incarceration of especially Indigenous people but also other folks who are racialized.”

Many of those currently reliant on hard drugs argue that the limit itself is problematic in that many users require more than this. Vice-president of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Kevin Yake, who uses hard drugs himself, said the policy sets users up to fail. He put it this way:

drug overdose epidemic

“At 4.5 grams, I thought that was low. Two-point-five grams, I think that’s ridiculous. I need that to wake up in the morning. For people with higher tolerances it doesn’t really cut it at all.” He explained that this might impact how people buy, forcing them to buy in smaller amounts, which means increased transactions, more money spent, and more risk. “Now it’s a new ball game — make sure I have enough for that day because I’ve got to score again.”

British Columbia and drug overdoses

The opioid epidemic is often referenced in America, but the reality is that many countries have growing issues with drug overdoses, particularly from synthetic opioids. And British Columbia is not exempt. In fact, British Columbia has so many deaths, that this is why its set to decriminalize hard drugs, in an effort to help those who are strung out. British Columbia is the third most populous province in Canada with about 5.2 million inhabitants.

In 2016, the province declared a public health emergency due to drug overdoses. Since that time, more than 9,400 people in the province died from overdosing, which makes for an average of six people a day. In 2021 alone, 2,224 or more fatal overdoses happened in the region. The rate of death from illicit drugs went up 400% in the past seven years. 2021 numbers are 26% higher than the previous year.

It should come as no surprise that in 2021, 83% of samples from overdoses tested positive for fentanyl, and another 187 results showed positive for fentanyl analogue carfentanil, which is close to triple the number of positive samples for that compound found in 2016. In 2021, 71% of suspected overdose victims were between 39-59 years old. Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria were the townships with the highest overdose volumes in the province.

So British Columbia is having a massive drug overdose problem, and at the center of it is synthetic opioids, which are legally produced and sold. This is not a black market drug issue, but the continuation of a pharmaceutical company started problem, which has been promoted by governments allowing the medications through regulation. Now, a huge problem is ballooned out, and the best Canada can think to do with all these people it helped get addicted, is make drugs more socially acceptable to have.

Why isn’t ketamine used?

The saddest part to all this, is that there is an answer. It’s just being ignored by local governments. Sure, it’s a highly complicated issue, with lots of moving pieces. You’ve got the pain issue that got a lot of people addicted in the first place, you’ve got the current addictions which are now formed and must be treated, and you’ve got the issues related to drug cessation for an addicted person. On top of all this, you’ve got the fallout from these addictions in the form of money lost to individuals, as well as the taxpayer money paid out for everything from emergency services to healthcare costs.

ketamine

So anything that can help should be used, and should be used immediately. Which is why its baffling that ketamine, a Parke-Davis founded dissociative hallucinogen, is not so much as brought up to help this situation.  In America, ketamine is only approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression (in the form of esketamine), but its widely used off label in clinics for pain control. In Canada, it’s a Schedule I drug, which means it requires prescription for sale.

It’s been known that ketamine is a good pain control drug since the 1960’s, when it was the subject of prisoner studies. It worked well enough at that time, that it was subsequently used on the fields of Vietnam. Part of the reason it provides a good method, is that it doesn’t lower heart rate or breathing rate, and therefore makes overdosing that much more difficult. Ketamine has no real death toll, and I have yet to find a statistic for ketamine deaths that doesn’t include the use of other drugs. Ketamine’s lack of physical addiction, means users won’t get addicted and can stop when they want.

Just in case there’s a misunderstanding about how ketamine can be used, it’s already been investigated as an opioid alternative. In this review of 76 papers, its found that ketamine is a safe and effective alternative treatment to opioid therapy. Another example is this study, which was done using 870 adult patients, all of whom showed up to emergency rooms with severe pain. The study demonstrates how ketamine performed as a comparable treatment measure to opioids for acute pain control.

One last thing about ketamine, is its shown useful for the circular and compulsive thoughts of addiction, an important aspect when dealing with addicts. This is evidenced in studies on eating disorder patients, where after ketamine treatment, the majority reduced or eliminated their compulsive thoughts. Something that persisted well after the ketamine was given. Ketamine, like other hallucinogens, seems to have the ability to help people leave their normal thought patterns, and create entirely new ones. Though there are certainly some safety issues involved with ketamine use, these issues are generally related to how its given, and are not associated with death.

Conclusion

Canada could be looking into getting its addicted population switched over to ketamine in order to save lives, but instead, is changing laws to make drugs more available and socially acceptable, without mentioning ketamine at all. Why? If you’re a citizen wondering how this problem can actually be solved, and not just temporarily placated, this is a question worth asking.

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FDA Going After Delta-8 Companies

It was coming. We knew it by Shopify. And whatever happened is probably just the beginning of the story. We know the government isn’t thrilled about the cannabinoid industry, and now its making its first big, direct move, by using the FDA to go after delta-8 THC companies.

The FDA going after delta-8 companies is a predictable move, but who knows how this will end. We specialize in cannabis and psychedelics reporting, which you can follow along with by signing up for the THC Weekly Newsletter. You’ll also get prime access to deals on an array of cannabis products like vapes, edibles, and smoking paraphernalia. Plus, we’ve got tons of cannabinoid compounds like delta-8 THC as well. Please remember, *cannabinoid compounds are not preferred by everyone. We only support people buy products they are comfortable with.


What’s the news?

The CBD industry is already aware of how much the FDA doesn’t like it. The FDA has sent out letters to tons of companies over the years, reminding them about federal laws, and to stop producing and selling products that go against them. For the most part, this hasn’t had the biggest impact, and CBD, which is now cleared for medical use by the UN via updates to the Single Convention, is found pretty much everywhere.

On May 4th, 2022, the FDA made its first big, direct move in the cannabinoid space, by sending out warning letters to delta-8 companies, warning them that the products they are producing and selling, violate federal law. Five companies were targeted thus far, but perhaps more will receive letters in the future. After all, Shopify had to remove a lot of products, and the very same vendors are the targets of such letters.

The companies targeted by the FDA for their delta-8 products, are ATLRx Inc., BioMD Plus LLC, Delta 8 Hemp, Kingdom Harvest LLC, and M Six Labs Inc. These warning letters don’t leave CBD out, making mention of the company violations on that front too. According to Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Cannabis Law Practice and the Food and Beverage Practice, “the five warning letters represent the first enforcement actions taken by FDA against delta-8 marketers.”

Part of the issue has to do with medical claims. According to the government agency, there are no approved drugs that contain delta-8, and so using delta-8 to make any claim for a medication, means making an unapproved claim, for a drug which is also unapproved. The FDA also attacked the idea of the mis-branding of products, with the complaints of not giving good enough instructions, as well as putting delta-8 in food products.

Said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, “The FDA is very concerned about the growing popularity of delta-8 THC products being sold online and in stores nationwide… These products often include claims that they treat or alleviate the side effects related to a wide variety of diseases or medical disorders, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea and anxiety. It is extremely troubling that some of the food products are packaged and labeled in ways that may appeal to children. We will continue to safeguard Americans’ health and safety by monitoring the marketplace and taking action when companies illegally sell products that pose a risk to public health.”

Of course, delta-8 THC has, indeed, been found useful for all the conditions mentioned, which does beg the question of why the government is trying so hard to protect its population from these compounds, especially in light of the no-death count attached. It has repeatedly been shown that additive products are the real main issue, and that cannabis compounds have yet to be associated with death. This is important because another government agency, the CDC, just requested to lower prescribing guidelines for opioids, which already kill as many as 70,000+ a year, even as other non-addictive, no death-toll measures like ketamine and cannabis, exist.

How did this come about?

This newer issue is a counterpart to the CBD issue, which has been going on for awhile now. The cannabinoid industry, led by delta-8 THC, is based on the idea of extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant for use in products. But there’s a problem with this. Though some of the compounds can technically be extracted from hemp, like delta-8, they can only be extracted in tiny amounts, so that for product production, synthetic processes must be used. This takes these products out from under the definition of hemp, making them federally illegal.

CBD on the other hand, can be extracted in large enough quantities that the same issue of synthetics isn’t relevant. However, neither is cleared by the US federal government for internal use, and the only reason there’s a conversation, is as a result of the 2018 US Farm Bill. The bill instituted a new definition for hemp, in order to promote the industrial hemp industry. In so doing, it separated high-THC cannabis from low-THC cannabis, and defined ‘hemp’ as only certain parts of the actual plant, without including synthetics. It should be noted, however, that even though the US government says CBD is not legal in this way, it did approve epidiolex, a big-pharma synthetic version of CBD. It has also approved synthetic versions of THC (dronabinol).

Synthetics of any Schedule I substance (which are not big-pharma made and approved), are also Schedule I under the Federal Analogue Act. When compounds are made using synthetic processes, or that don’t exist in nature (delta-10), they are not covered under the definition of hemp. Nor is anything (plant or product) that has over .3% delta-9 THC.

hemp

Two of the many issues with the cannabinoid market, are that large amounts of delta-9 THC are often found in products, and that synthetic processing is used to make them. Though the industry uses the term ‘hemp-derived’, this only means that some aspect of it came from the hemp plant, although in reality, even this isn’t necessarily true. As the industry is not regulated, we simply don’t know what we’re buying, and that presents its own problem.

Though regulating the market could settle much of this, the federal government doesn’t want to do that. But it also doesn’t want to lose tax revenue, and that creates a conundrum. The government tends to take money from big pharma, not little mom-and-pop, so anything that can’t be transformed into pharmaceutical profits easily, isn’t desired by the government. It’s just like with Quaaludes, which were too easily made outside of pharma companies, making for a black market that the US couldn’t control.

What else has been done?

The FDA sending warning letters to delta-8 companies is the first big, above-board move by a government agency to try to stop this industry, but it wasn’t the first move made. A couple months ago, the biggest shopping sales platform, Shopify, started sending out its own similar letters, telling vendors they could not sell products with more than .3% delta-9 THC, and that they had to be in general compliance with federal law, which also rules out synthetics. Thus, tons of companies were affected.

Shopify didn’t stop with letters, and immediately forced companies to drop products from their online catalogues, that don’t meet regulation. This most certainly was a hit to the industry, though the lack of overall sales figures in general, makes it hard to know how much. Cannabinoid products are sold all over the place, and show up in a lot of small roadside stores. How much the industry relied on on-line sales, particularly from Shopify, is not clear.

Shopify didn’t make a statement about the US government making it do this. Nor did the US government make a statement about being involved in the Shopify issue. But most companies won’t shoot themselves in the foot if they don’t have to, and it’s hard to believe that Shopify would all of a sudden care about something it never cared about before. This was not an ongoing fight, but a directive that came out of nowhere. It suffices to say there was likely pressure from higher up, and that Shopify itself could have been shut down if it didn’t comply.

Are these products dangerous?

The US government hasn’t legalized cannabis yet, but we already know that that specific legalization is not what determines the safety of the plant. So regardless of whether something is federally illegal or not, whether it’s dangerous or not is an entirely different question. It’s almost joke level funny that Ms. Woodcock would speak about the dangers of compounds with no death toll, while close to 100,000 people die a year from government sanctioned opioids.

opioids

On top of that idea, the US government is getting close to passing a bill to legalize cannabis, whether it wants to call it a ‘legalization’, or a ‘decriminalization’. The MORE Act already passed the House and is now up for the Senate. And if that doesn’t make it, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has his own baby, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which he’s carefully shopping around for support, and which hasn’t been officially offered, so as not to run out the clock prematurely.

Though a lot of reasons could be given for why the federal government is working hard now to pass something, one of the biggest reasons is that it must play catch-up with its states, so as not to seem powerless. Legalization measures are moving in only one direction, and its away from federal mandate. Soon enough, more and bigger publications, will point out how few people actually live under federal law concerning cannabis at this point. And as the government can no longer stop this train, it must now get on it, and pretend that was always the goal.

Conclusion

How much of an effect these FDA letters will have on the delta-8 industry is not known, and it might take some time to see results. The US government is obviously frustrated, but it’s also not in a position of power considering failed drug wars, and the lack of danger associated with this particular drug.

Maybe the delt-8 market isn’t the most savory. Maybe there are problems associated. But if the government really wanted to protect its people, it would do something substantial about the opioid epidemic, instead of railing against a plant (or its synthetic counterparts) which doesn’t realistically hurt anyone.

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