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Testing & Processing Cannabinoid analysis, Tools & technology, Addiction, Adverse effects, Cancer, Medical research, Business, Education, Legislation & policy, Psychedelics

What’s Happening in Cannabis Science?

Every month, we carefully curate the top stories from across the fields of medical research, testing, processing, and plant science. We also bring you the latest in the world of cannabis business and legislation. Want it all in your inbox? Sign up here.

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The Cannabis Science Conference approaches

In September 2023, the Cannabis Science Conference is due to take place at Rhode Island Convention Center in New England, USA. This event focuses on various forms of cannabis science, from medical applications to analytical science. There are plenty of interesting talks planned; one in particular that caught my eye is hosted by Melinda Urich, covering the efficiency of cannabinoid extraction for potency analysis. With so many potency analysis techniques available, I’m interested to see what Urich prioritizes for efficiency and suitability. We’ve already been in contact with several speakers – so stay tuned for some exciting cannabis science content in the not so distant future!

Is cannabis legalization causing a rise in acute poisoning?

If cannabis becomes more available as a result of legalization and decriminalization, will we see more poisoning cases? In search of an answer, researchers from The University of Sydney, Australia, undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of 20 studies across the USA, Canada, and Thailand to see if cannabis legalization and decriminalization is associated with increased acute poisoning rates. They found it was. “With changing attitudes and perception of risk, there is a need for greater public awareness of the risks of cannabis poisoning, particularly to young people,” concluded the authors.

What’s Going On?

Research and Medicine

A systematic review of relevant medical literature reveals a lack of evidence that medical marijuana and cannabis-containing products are safe and effective in reducing symptoms in children with cancer. Link

The National Institutes of Health report that marijuana and hallucinogen use and binge drinking are at an all time high amongst adults aged between 35 and 50 in the US. Link

Testing + Processing

Researchers develop a sensitive method utilizing alkaline liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and liquid chromatography – time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-MS) for targeted screening of synthetic cannabinoids and opioids in whole blood. Link

Business + Regulation

As of August 1, 2023, adults aged 21 and over in Minnesota can legally possess and home-cultivate recreational cannabis for personal use. Link

The UK Court of Appeal announce that hemp flowers with a THC content below 0.2 percent aren’t considered a narcotic drug – providing trading hope for UK CBD flower businesses. Link

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) picks a new mobile high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system – Orange Photonics’ LightLab 3 High Sensitivity (HS) Cannabis Analyzer – to regulate and test food-related products that contain CBD and Delta-8. Link

And Finally...

Fighting gambling with psychedelics 

Four top neuropharmacologists in the UK are set to run the world’s first clinical trial utilizing psilocybin in magic mushrooms to treat gambling addiction. The government-funded trial will feature five patients and is due to take place in October 2023. Leader of the study, Rayyan Zafar said: “[psilocybin] shares very similar brain characteristics as we see in people with other addictions like alcohol and heroin and we think psychedelic therapy can be very beneficial to people with gambling addictions.”

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About the Author
Jessica Allerton

Associate Editor, The Analytical Scientist

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