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Research & Development Adverse effects, Potency testing, Mycotoxin analysis

The Synth Sense

Interesting trend alert. Enter the alteration of low THC cannabis to include synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists – effectively increasing activation of cannabinoid receptors, carrying risks for those who use the modified cannabis.

In response to this, the Trans European Drug Information (TEDI) network have tracked a highly potent and most common form of this modification, MDMB-4en-PINACA, across Europe – finding that, since April 2020, nine different drug checking services across eight countries identified this synthetic adulteration in low THC cannabis (1).

From the 1,142 cannabis samples tested – in e-liquid, herbal, or resin form – a shocking 270 contained MDMB-4en-PINACA, resulting in three reports of hospitalization. As it stands, cannabis users aren’t a usual group that would be targeted for drug checking services, but, in light of this research, maybe that needs to change.

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About the Author
Geoffrey Potjewyd

Associate Editor, The Ophthalmologist

The lion’s share of my PhD was spent in the lab, and though I mostly enjoyed it (mostly), what I particularly liked was the opportunity to learn about the latest breakthroughs in research. Communicating science to a wider audience allows me to scratch that itch without working all week only to find my stem cell culture has given up the ghost on the Friday (I’m not bitter). Fortunately for me, it turns out writing is actually fun – so by working for Texere I get to do it every day, whilst still being an active member of the clinical and research community.

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