Feds Announce New Standard THC Dose for Cannabis Research

Feds Announce New Standard THC Dose for Cannabis Research

cannabis research by the government

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced on Friday it was setting the new standard THC dose for cannabis research at five milligrams, Marijuana Moment reports. The requirement took effect immediately.

Inconsistency in the measurement and reporting of THC exposure has been a major limitation in studies of cannabis use, making it difficult to compare findings among studies. A standardized measure of THC in cannabis products is necessary to advance research by providing greater comparability across studies of both its adverse effects and potential medical uses. — NIDA Notice of Information excerpt

NIDA said the five-milligram standard unit was selected following extensive stakeholder input, expert consultation, and a request for information from the general public.

In its notice, NIDA recognized that “the same quantity of THC may have different effects” depending on a number of variables, including the method of administration, other ingredients in the product, an individual’s genetic make-up and tolerance levels, and more. Additionally, the notice clarified that the newly standardized THC unit does not limit the quantity of THC permissible in cannabis research, only the way in which investigators must record and report their work.

While cannabis remains a Schedule 1 substance under federal law, research efforts are difficult but not completely blocked: a 20-year study by the University of Minnesota recently revealed that long-term cannabis use has little to no effects on cognitive abilities, while another recent study found cannabis use to be associated with increased rates of exercise and physical activity.

Cannabis Tests: fact or faux?

Cannabis Tests: fact or faux?

Cannabis tests have become essential for new cannabis businesses looking to get their products onto dispensary shelves. This is a good thing, but it isn’t as well-rounded as it should be, yet.

According to the most recent round of testing for legal cannabis distributors, one in five products have failed the cannabis tests conducted since July 1st. This does not mean that the cannabis may be poisonous or too risky to consume. It just doesn’t meet the standards of the testers and their criteria. Since July 1st, California has tested over 5,000 batches of legal cannabis, with roughly 20% failing.

Cannabis tests in California

Before legalization, there was still testing. It was way more limited, and only select people did it. Some used cannabis tests to show off their THC content with the lab tests backing them up to boost their credibility. Others would only get their product tested if it was required by the dispensary they were trying to get the product into.

The shady side of cannabis tests becomes apparent when you examine who was conducting the tests. Many were found to be merely scams. Their tests were faked or their results falsified. Others charged exorbitant prices to get the tests.

Not only were the testers an issue, but the tests themselves. Back in the day, growers had the option of just testing for potency, or testing for everything like pesticides and other potentially harmful additives. With the potency testing being the cheapest and fastest option —and the majority of consumers focusing on potency as a signifier of quality — most opted for this test.

Testing in the new industry is now much more strict. Cannabis tests will test a batch for everything, including potency and other chemicals without needing separate tests. But with more people trying to get into the industry legally, labs are backed up across the state. There are currently just 31 labs licensed to test products for distributors serving more than 400 licensed dispensaries in the state.

It’s clear that the legal industry in California has some way to go before it will truly be standing on its own.

Hear Chip and Tony talk regulation and other aspects of cannabis on this week’s episode of Tony Don’t Smoke OG, straight out of Humboldt, the cannabis hub of the Emerald Triangle.

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60 Nuggets Explained: how to know your cannabis

60 Nuggets Explained: how to know your cannabis

In this episode of The Real Dirt Chip talks about the Cultivate Showdown, a secret cannabis competition hosted by The Real Dirt. The best of the best growers from all over came to showcase their cannabis, with only one winner being chosen.

Check out the entries below as Chip and his guests analyze them on this episode!

You walk into the dispensary. There are a dozen different strains on the shelf, some are labeled as the “bottom shelf” strain choices, others are the supposed “top shelf” strain options.

You ask to see one of the bottom shelf strains — because let’s be real, if you can get solid cannabis at a cheap price, why not? — and they bring the jar closer for inspection. The bud might not look super frosty or appealing, but when they open the jar, you’re hit with a wave of smells that linger in your nose. Fruitiness, gassiness, dankness. All the smells you want.

Then you ask to see one of the top shelf strain options. It looks great; the bud structure is what you look for, it has a nice crystal to hair ratio. It’s everything you would look for in a top shelf bud. The keyword being “look”.

The budtender brings the top shelf jar over and cracks it open. You aren’t smacked in the face with the same smell explosion as before. In fact, this strain seems to be very mild in smell compared to the bottom shelf option. It might even smell a little bit like hay. This is where the average cannabis consumer gets lost.

The top shelf bud should be better. It looks way better, but most importantly, there has to be a reason it is priced higher than the bottom shelf stuff, right? Not always. One of the most important things to remember about cannabis, especially when it comes to dispensary cannabis, is that looks are not all that matters.

Dispensaries do not allow customers to touch the cannabis. Obviously this is due to contamination concerns, but an added benefit of this rule is just that; you aren’t allowed to touch the cannabis. An essential way of being able to judge the quality of cannabis is through touch.

A bud could look super dense and sticky in the jar, but once you get home you find out it was just a fluffy bud that looked dense, and it’s dry to the point you don’t even need a grinder. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to touch the cannabis at a dispensary, you must utilize your other senses, sight and smell, for the majority of your judgement. So you better make sure they are fine tuned!

In this episode of The Real Dirt, Chip sits down with Jess Baker, Jacob Sarabia and Travis Crane to go through a dozen different strains to analyze them all. Learn what to look for, what to smell for, and what to avoid before you decide to light up that next strain you see at the dispensary or in your smoke circle.