Josh Crossney also gave an informative and interesting talk titled “In the Know: Cannabis Science, QC Testing & Academic Research Updates. products for analytical cannabis testing, sample prep, and production. university programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis. The Cannabis Science Conference will be held August 27–29, in Portland, Oregon. in academic research and quality control (QC) testing, genomics, This year we also have technical updates from several cannabis testing labs, Additionally, many QC and research scientists lack a fundamental.
QC Academic Cannabis the Updates Research In Science, Testing & Know:
By contrast, several double-blind studies report comparable subjective effects for dronabinol and smoked cannabis when dose and time after administration are taken into account Haney et al.
Few laboratory studies have been undertaken using actual cannabis-infused edibles. Participants experienced drug effects that were rated as favorable, with peak responses occurring an average of 3 hours after ingestion and effects dissipating within 24 hours. Physiological measures of drug effect i. Although more recent research on the subjective effects of oral administration of cannabis is lacking, one study found that nabiximols, which contains a 1: Certainly, the continued use of edibles despite initial nonpreference by many users suggests other advantages of this route of administration.
One of these advantages may be the longer duration of action for edibles Huestis, For medicinal cannabis users with chronic conditions, an extended duration of action might be helpful in the workplace because smoking cannabis in public is often still prohibited, even in states where medicinal cannabis use is legal e. In addition, despite an overall increase in acceptance of cannabis, qualitative studies indicate that patients still report perception of stigma associated with its use Bottorff et al.
Edibles avoid issues of odors and stigma because they can be consumed discreetly. For example, medicinal users may choose to consume edibles during the work week and smoke or vape when not at work. Consumers may also favor edibles because they are easier to transport, particularly into states where their use is not legal. One of the most significant factors in the decision to use cannabis-infused edibles is the perception that edibles avoid the harmful toxins and health risks that may be associated with smoking Murphy et al.
Because the health risks associated with smoking tobacco are substantial reviewed in Center for Disease Control and Prevention, , the risks of smoked cannabis are often assumed to be similarly severe. However, the accuracy of this assumption is unclear. Qualitatively, cannabis smoke and tobacco smoke seem similar in toxicity, given that both contain a variety of toxins and known carcinogens Moir et al.
Although lung inflammation may predispose users to pulmonary infection, the degree to which these changes in lung function may lead to chronic pulmonary disease e. At any rate, eating cannabis-infused edibles does not seem to affect pulmonary function or to increase cancer risk, which provides a solid rationale for choosing this route of administration as opposed to smoking cannabis, particularly for medical conditions such as cancer.
Yet use of cannabis-infused edibles is not without its own set of challenges. In addition to health issues that are likely confined to smoking cannabis, research has suggested that regular cannabis use may have detrimental effects on brain development, psychiatric health, and heart health Volkow et al. In the next section, we describe some of the challenges associated with use of edibles. Despite the potential promises of edibles for treatment of a variety of ailments, there are also dangers inherent in edible use that present challenges for users and policy makers.
Generally, in healthy adult users, psychotic symptoms brought on by an overdose of cannabis last only for the duration of intoxication, but in some cases, these symptoms can persist for as long as several days.
Factors directly related to the oral route of administration of edibles may contribute to this finding of a strong association between edible use and overconsumption. Edibles introduce cannabinoids through the gastrointestinal tract. Factors such as weight, metabolism, gender, and eating habits also contribute to how soon and for how long someone will feel intoxicated following oral ingestion Grotenhermen, ; Huestis, The lack of consistency and the delayed intoxication may cause both new and experienced users of cannabis to consume higher than intended amounts of the drug.
Edible products are responsible for the majority of health care visits due to cannabis intoxication, which is likely due to the failure of users to appreciate the delayed effects Monte et al.
Similarly, dosage estimation for retail products may also be inexact e. Anecdotal reports from medicinal cannabis patients confirm that even daily users may consume a higher dose than expected Hudak et al. Patients reported that, having eaten the suggested serving size initially, they consumed the entire edible product after not feeling any effects.
They also reported that it was practical to consume the entire edible product in one sitting, just as they would a normal baked good Hudak et al. In order to minimize risk of accidental overdose, it is recommended that users of edibles gradually up-titrate their dose until they find an effective dose.
Another concern surrounding the use of edibles is that some products available for retail sale are packaged to resemble commercially available products in forms that may be appealing to children e. A review of data from the National Poison Data System from to found that decriminalization of cannabis was associated with increased reports of unintentional exposures in young children up to 9 years of age; Wang et al.
Cannabis-related calls to poison control centers in decriminalized states increased by In contrast, the rate of cannabis-related calls to poison control centers in nonlegal states showed an average increase of only 1.
However, despite the increases in calls to poison control centers, emergency room visits resulting from pediatric exposure to cannabis remain relatively low, even in decriminalized states. In , the same emergency department treated eight children mostly under the age of 3 who ingested edible cannabis. The number increased to 14 children in Baskfield, Another emergency department in Colorado showed an increase in visits from 0 percent to 2.
Not unexpectedly, ingestion was the most common route of exposure resulting in most of these emergency room visits Wang et al. In addition to emergency room visits by children, the number of cannabis-related emergency room visits by adult non-Colorado residents compared with those by in-state residents has also increased since recreational cannabis use was legalized in Colorado. Out-of-town patient visits to a hospital in Aurora, Colorado, for health issues following consumption of edibles almost doubled from 85 per 10, visits in to per 10, visits in ; statistically significant differences were not observed for Colorado residents during the same time period Kim et al.
Reports of inadvertent ingestion of cannabis edibles by adults are widespread. For example, a group of preschool teachers in California experienced nausea, dizziness, headache, and other symptoms after consuming brownies containing cannabis.
One of the teachers had purchased the brownies from a sidewalk vendor and placed them in the breakroom Fogleman et al. In focus groups with teenagers, females who did not use cannabis expressed more concern than female cannabis users and males users and nonusers about edibles and compared them to drinks that could be spiked with drugs Friese et al.
Tragically, at least one death has occurred following ingestion of an edible cannabis product. However, having not felt intoxicated within 60 minutes, the man ate the whole cookie within 2 hours of ingesting the initial serving.
Similar requirements are in place for Washington State Wash. Another challenge related to edibles is the perception that they represent food products containing cannabis, when in reality the cannabis extracts used to produce edibles can be very different from the actual plant material used for smoking. Myriad techniques are used to extract cannabinoids from the cannabis plant in a form that can be integrated into the countless forms that edibles can take, resulting in considerable variation in the amount and homogeneity of cannabinoids that make it into the final products.
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of chemical constituents, including around cannabinoids Radwan et al. Other cannabinoids, most notably cannabidiol CBD , are believed to modulate these effects Russo, ; Schubart et al.
Yet, despite evidence of the value of including CBD in edibles, especially those intended for medicinal use, few edible manufacturers report the CBD content of their products. Further, even among products reported to contain CBD, many contain only trace amounts or none at all Vandrey et al. In fact, although the FDA has yet to acknowledge the therapeutic applications of the cannabis plant, it has issued warning letters to several manufacturers of products purported to contain CBD.
These actions by the FDA highlight the lack of consistency in formulation and labeling of cannabis products. Text , amending 1 Colo. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, the recreational and medicinal cannabis industries are not subject to federal quality control regulations, but rather are regulated on a state-by-state basis.
Consequently, the edibles sold at medicinal and recreational dispensaries do not face the stringent quality control measures that are used to ensure the quality and consistency of medications or other legalized drugs e. Even if accurate drug content labeling for edibles can be achieved, this information is only useful if it is used and understood by consumers. A nationally representative survey of US adults conducted by the US FDA found that 50 percent of adults reported that they often read the label on food products when buying a product for the first time and 29 percent sometimes read the label Lin et al.
Among respondents who reported that they never read labels, 59 percent strongly agreed or agreed that they do not use the information on food labels because it is too hard to understand.
This review found that consumers understand some of the more simple terms on nutrition labels but are confused by more complex information. Similar concerns have been identified when assessing consumer understanding of label information on prescription medications. Further, among patients who understood the labels, only a minority could correctly demonstrate how to take the medication. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, the recreational and medicinal cannabis industries are regulated on a state-by-state basis.
As of , four states Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have legalized recreational sales and use. In Alaska, the Marijuana Control Board regulates cannabis. In , Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize retail sale, purchase, and possession of cannabis by anyone 21 and older. After voters approved legalization, the states spent more than a year setting up regulatory frameworks to develop regulatory systems.
Each state put into place a tax structure and set up a licensing system to regulate the cultivation and distribution of cannabis products before allowing retail stores to begin selling to consumers in Oregon and Alaska are still in the process of establishing regulatory systems for legalized cannabis.
In Oregon, the sale of edibles at retail outlets began on June 2, Or. In Alaska, the first business licenses have been issued, and retail sales, including marijuana edibles, are expected to begin before the end of , once the state has completed the process of licensing testing facilities Thiessen, Although recreational cannabis policies continue to evolve, all four states with legalized retail sales require labeling of edible cannabis products.
For example, warning labels or accompanying material in the states of Colorado, Washington, and Alaska must state that cannabis has intoxicating effects 1 Colo. Washington and Oregon also require or will require that additional informational material be distributed to buyers of edibles with each sale or displayed on posters in the dispensary Wash.
Nutritional information labels for edible cannabis products also vary across states. For example, Colorado 1 Colo. All four states require that information about quality control testing be made available to the consumer 1 Colo.
Furthermore, the labels, accompanying material, or information available upon request at retail stores in Colorado, Washington, and Alaska mandate disclosure of all pesticides that were used during production 1 Colo. Each of the four states with legalized retail sales also has specific requirements about how edible cannabis products are manufactured.
All four states prohibit packaging edibles in a manner that appeals to children 1 Colo. Washington, Oregon, and Alaska each prohibit the manufacturing of edibles that are likely to appeal to children, such as candy Wash. Specifically, Washington and Oregon do not allow manufacturers to process cannabis items that are modeled after non-cannabis products consumed by children, such as cotton candy or lollipops, or that are shaped like animals, vehicles, persons, or characters Wash.
Alaska prohibits manufacturers from packaging any product in bright colors or with cartoon characters or other pictures that would appeal to children Alaska Admin. Furthermore, pesticides are allowed under certain circumstances in all four states as long as records are kept of all pesticides used during certain stages of cultivation and manufacturing and the pesticides do not exceed the allowable amount 1 Colo. Edibles have emerged as a popular method of cannabinoid administration in the legalized cannabis market and have proven to be quite lucrative for states, dispensaries, and manufacturers.
However, many questions remain unanswered regarding the basic effects of edibles and how consumers understand and use these products. Further research into cannabinoids, and edibles in particular, is needed so that policy makers can be well informed when establishing regulations regarding the manufacture, labeling, and sale of edibles.
The need for additional regulation of edibles is evident given the frequency of cannabis overdoses and accidental pediatric exposures. Such risks can be reduced through standardization of product formulations, adequate quality control measures, and appropriate product labeling. In summary, on the production side, much remains to be done to ensure that edibles provide a consistent dosage.
Barrus conducts nonclinical behavioral pharmacology and toxicology research. Capogrossi conducts economic analysis of nutrition policy, food safety regulation, food production and marketing, and related areas using econometrics, simulation modeling, statistical analysis, and other methods.
She conducts studies to assess consumer use and understanding of labeling features and response to alternative label formats. Her research also assesses the impact of educational interventions on outcomes related to healthy eating and foodborne illness prevention.
His research concentrates on the etiology, correlates, and consequences of psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on early intervention for adolescents and young adults.
Peiper works with Dr. His current work focuses on characterizing the epidemiological trends and identifying the at-risk populations for prescription drug abuse and co-occurring illicit drug use.
Lefever has been conducting preclinical behavioral research for over 13 years and has been testing the effects of cannabinoids in these models extensively during the past 5 years.
Wiley , PhD, is a leading expert in behavioral pharmacology. Wiley designs and supervises a program of in vivo research at RTI International, including the synthesis and development of candidate medications and investigation of neural mechanisms underlying substance abuse.
As the cannabis testing industry developed, the more expensive and technical methods of liquid chromatography - high-performance liquid chromatography, and ultra-performance liquid chromatography - have usurped gas chromatography as the industry standard. This is largely due to their ability to detect neutral and acidic forms of cannabinoids without lengthy work-up reactions, as well as detecting the presence of secondary cannabinoids and terpenes that may be of interest to cannabis producers.
Arguably the most significant shift in the cannabis testing landscape over the past few years has been its progression from a voluntary process to a legal requirement. Though this evolution in regulation is ongoing, the process uncovered many important questions and in doing so shaped the development of the cannabis testing industry. Challenges for Testers and Regulators With the introduction of mandatory testing, it became essential to identify the most effective and practical analysis techniques for the job.
It was clear that liquid chromatography methods had advantages over gas chromatography for measuring cannabinoid potency. However, cannabis testing is about more than simply testing for cannabinoids- it must also function as a way to test for more unwelcome chemical compounds, such as harmful pesticides or microbiological contaminants.
The presence of cultivating agents, such as pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, on consumable products would usually be a matter for the Environmental Protection Agency EPA , but due to cannabis federally remaining a Schedule 1 drug , the EPA cannot be responsible for determining safe levels for these compounds in cannabis products. This means that the safe limits and best practices for preventing cannabis contamination were left entirely up to state-level legislators.
Similarly, decisions regarding the testing for microbiological and heavy metal contaminants, as well as full cannabinoid and terpene profile analysis reports, have been left to individual states. Eventually, officials believe many areas of research at SIU could become involved with the effort, including most agriculture programs, engineering, chemistry, business, marketing, microbiology, medicine and sports medicine, among others.
They need the science we can provide, and we are positioning ourselves to help. Industrial hemp has a long history with humans, serving as one the earliest cultivated fiber plants and allowing the production of everything from paper, to clothing to sails for sailing ships. It currently is grown around the world, in Canada and in handful of U.
A cousin of marijuana, to qualify by law as industrial hemp the plant may only have a miniscule level — less than 0. Hemp can be grown outdoors with minimal security measures, and crops are tested to ensure the level of THC conforms to the law. While prized for its fibers, modern techniques and science have led to even more efficient and complete utilization of the hemp plant, including using its leaves, seeds, cell fluids and branch tips to make everything from hemp oil to animal feed and human foods to building materials.
As she does with other crops, Gage would like to study weed control issues in an industrial hemp crop. Of particular interest to Gage is how it might impact the prevalence of herbicide-resistant weeds in a long-term crop rotation system.
Three Gurus of Cannabis Analysis
Cannabis Sciences is a growing field of medicine and research, with a regulatory landscape that is By bringing together cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical Current Landscape . As a medicine it is useful to know the basic principles of cannabinoid therapy. Visit us at the Cannabis Science Conference Booth # . PTSD Study Advances Medical Cannabis Research. the latest methods, brush up on analytical science fundamentals, learn the scientific world we know well with the cannabis industry we are .. Quality Control Testing in Regulated Markets. We have blended science and regulatory factors in order to provide an overview . edibles, which account for a substantial percentage of current cannabis use in both Additional research finds that edibles are especially popular with medicinal .. All four states require that information about quality control testing be made.