The growth of the marijuana industry has spurred the growth of private testing labs in states like Colorado and Washington. These labs are testing for potency of THC and CBD to measure the potency and medicinal value of today’s legal cannabis. The labs are also looking for contaminants such as bacteria, fungi, and leftover pesticides that can sometimes reside in flowers, edibles, and concentrates. These tests are often mandated to ensure safe products are sold to consumers in a flourishing and ever-expanding legal cannabis market. Before flowers and edibles hit the dispensary shelves, each batch is carefully tested for contaminants and common bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.
One lab in Colorado, Charas Scientific, has tested over 600 strains and have found the THC potency in some to be as high as 30 percent, markedly higher than 30 years ago. The high levels of THC are more desirable for consumers as it gives a more intense and gratifying high. With the majority of growers gunning for increasingly high THC levels, the medicinal properties of CBD in plants has been largely neglected other than a few choice strains. The high THC level is what gets users high, but the CBD level is what gives users medical relief from a range of ills.
Charas Scientific’s findings of CBD levels were close to non-existent in many of the strains that passed through. The consequence of low CBD levels leaves some medical marijuana patients missing out on the comforting effects for their burdensome aliments. The importance of cannabis testing is to correctly lead their consumers to the right purchase with accurate information of each product and the effects intended for consumer use. Previous to the required testing, sellers have been unknowingly misleading buyers about CBD levels.
Marijuana contains bacteria and fungus just like any other living organism. It’s to be expected that a natural product has microbes, but scientists are concerned with the question of how much is too much in terms of consuming microbes, especially if smoked. Bacteria and fungus, however, are not the only contaminants found among marijuana buds. Charas Scientific has also found small traces of butane, a toxic gas that is used to extract THC from cannabis for making various products like wax.
The future of cannabis testing could look very similar to practices currently being used by the FDA. As testing for quality becomes more widespread, scientists will be able to gauge the safe threshold of contaminants as well as look at the effects of smoking versus ingesting cannabis.
Tighter testing regulation are likely to improve the industry with more accurate testing information and safer products on store shelves. The states of Colorado and Washington are the self-designated guinea pigs for industry regulations and standards and are leading the newly legal industry in the right direction for safer consumption practices.
Winding down down from a long and stressful workweek, I went home looking forward to smoking the Lemon OG Kush that I recently acquired from a friend’s recommendation. The citrusy strain is known to treat depression, alleviate anxiety and induce a bit of drowsiness. I opened up the canister containing the indica-dominant hybrid strain and immediately smelled a vibrant and fresh citrus aroma.
As I packed my bowl to the rim, I noticed just how easy the bud was to break up with my fingers. It was well-cured yet not overly dry. Not knowing that the Lemon OG Kush would have such an immediate effect, I packed my bowl expecting to take more than two hits but I found myself to be completely satisfied at the end of my second puff. In my first drag the smoke hit the back of my throat harshly and I grabbed a tea to relieve the irritation.
After my second hit, I felt a euphoric sensation set into my arms, legs, and neck, and knew that I was set for the night. The high was uplifting and did not keep me glued on to the couch cushions which was perfect to enjoy the warm night and take a walk down to the grocery store. My intentions for the trip to the grocery store were to purchase my favorite fruit popsicles, but I got hung up on these interestingly packaged ice cream sandwiches and decided to give them a try instead.
I had an increase of appetite but it wasn’t uncontrollable like the effects of some other strains; only 1 ice cream sandwich tonight. After finishing the ice cream sandwich on the walk back home my munchies were completely satisfied. Getting back to the apartment I caught up on the news and resumed my Netflix marathon. The effects of the high were extremely enjoyable. I felt a continuous stimulation and interest in my activities, however I found that it didn’t help me with the pain in my back.
The Lemon Kush provided a subtle and mellow high. The fast onset enabled me to regulate how many hits I took, and allowed for the perfect dosage. When I started to feel the come down, I wasn’t left feeling exhausted or mentally wiped out. It did make me slightly tired however, which made for a great night sleep. The come down effects of Lemon OG Kush provide extremely desirable qualities for nighttime relief. I would recommend it for evening use to eliminate the day’s stressors and catch up on some needed z’s.
The relaxing and mellow high made me a huge fan of Lemon OG Kush, a strain that will stay in my medicine cabinet for restless nights. Waking up the next morning I felt relaxed and ready for the day after transforming my terrible case of bedhead from a night’s rest into groomed hair for work.
Brisbane, Australia | One brave Australian woman has announced to Queensland police that she will be breaking the law to provide her child with medical cannabis. Her defiant actions have reduced her son’s seizures from over 40 a day to just 5 a day. Her son, now 10, suffers from a severe form of epilepsy which has resulted in broken bones, loss of speech, motor skills, memory, and even bodily functions. This Queensland mother is taking a stand against the illegal use of marijuana and fully acknowledges her actions are against the law.
Recognizing the potential health benefits of medical marijuana, the Police Minister of Queensland, Jo-ann Miller, has recently become a supporter for medicinal marijuana. However, support for medical marijuana has only been extended to three trial cases as the police minister waits for the outcomes of those cases. Pending the results of these trial cases, the wait for treatment for others with severe illness could be as long as 12 months.
Beau Kilmer, senior policy researcher at RAND Drug Policy Research Center, says the government could really benefit from legalizing medical marijuana. Citing the United States’ $40 billion in revenues from marijuana sales, Kilmer states, “by legalizing the drug, revenues collected could got to some of the government tax agencies.
Sharman Stone, a political supporter for medical marijuana says the trials are just stalling the process as there have been successful trials in the United States, Canada, and Israel. She believes legalizing marijuana would open up a new industry for farmers just like medical opiates had on the poppy industry.
As the Australian government goes on to research the effects of medical marijuana, the Queensland mother is asking for amnesty and will continue to treat her son with cannabis oil for an improved life.