american chemical society

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US: Scientists Develop Method To Detect Marijuana Amounts In Edibles


A group of scientists say they have invented a new technique for measuring levels of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in food made with marijuana, according to a press release from The American Chemical Society (ACS).

Most edibles are analyzed using a high performance liquid chromatograph, or HPLC, but the readings are notoriously inaccurate.

"These machines were never designed for you to inject a cookie into them," Jahan Marcu, director of research and development at Green Standard Diagnostics Inc. and a senior scientist at Americans for Safe Access said. "The sugars, starches and fats will wreak havoc on HPLC equipment. They can really muck up the works and lead to inaccurate results."

Marcu, along with others working with the ACS, developed a new method of testing that breaks down the edible into distinct particles that are better read by the HPLC.

Scientists first place samples of food laced with cannabis into a cryo-mill with dry ice or liquid nitrogen. Then they add abrasive diatomaceous earth and grind the mixture to create a homogenous sample.

Using a technique called flash chromatography, the scientists are able to separate the various chemical components of the sample which allows them to inject liquid containing only the cannabinoids into an HPLC for analysis.

U.S.: American Chemical Society Creates Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision


The Cannabis Chemistry Committee and the Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Tuesday announced the creation of the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision (CANN) within CHAS.

"The Division and CANN are excited about this new relationship and are looking forward to expanded collaboration and education efforts," said spokesman Ezra Pryor. "Growing faster than ever, CANN is eager to offer membership and showcase the benefits of getting involved."

According to Pryor, member benefits are numerous and growing, from a free subscription to the peer-reviewed Journal of Chemical Health and Safety to receiving discounted membership and services with other organizations.

"Having relationships with organizations like Americans for Safe Access, The International Association of Cannabinoids as Medicine, American Oil Chemistry Society, Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, and several others, our members can receive exclusive access to content, events, and a network of leading professionals in the cannabis industry," Pryor said.

"Members of CANN are always preparing for the next opportunity to engage and educate others," Pryor said. "By joining CANN and getting involved, you have a say in what kind of cannabis programming is presented at ACS meetings."

Colorado: Marijuana Often Laced With Pesticides, Heavy Metals and Fungus


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Lab tests from Colorado indicate that while the legal cannabis on store shelves is more potent than the marijuana of 30 years ago, it is often contaminated with fungi, pesticides and heavy metals.

"There's a stereotype, a hippy kind of mentality, that leads people to assume that growers are using natural cultivation methods and growing organically," said Andy LaFrate, founder of Charas Scientific, one of eight labs in Colorado certified to test marijuana. "That's not necessarily the case at all."

LaFrate presented his findings this week at a meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver.

LaFrate said his group has tested more than 600 strains of marijuana from dozens of producers. Potency tests looked at tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive component responsible for the high. They found that modern cannabis contains THC levels of 18 to 30 percent, double to triple averages from the 1980s.

Breeding for more THC has led to less cannabidiol (CBD), a compound which is also medically beneficial in treating anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Huntington's, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, seizures and other conditions. Much of the commercial marijuana tested had very little CBD.

"A lot of the time it's below the detection level of our equipment, or it's there at a very low concentration that we just categorize as a trace amount," LaFrate said.
"I've heard a lot of complains from medical patients because somebody claims that a product has a high level of CBD, and it turns out that it actually doesn't."

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