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Labels such as turkey, sativa and hybrid, which are commonly used to distinguish one category of cannabis from another, say little to consumers about what is in their products, and can be misleading or misleading, according to a new study of nearly 90,000 samples in six states.

Published May 19 in the journal PLOS Onethe study is the largest to date analysis of chemical composition marijuana products. It was found that commercial labels “inconsistently with the observed chemical diversity” of the product. Now the authors call on Fr. weeds A labeling system similar to the Food and Drug Administration’s “nutrition facts panel”.

“Our findings suggest that the existing labeling system is not an effective or secure way to provide information about these products,” said co-author Brian Keegan, associate professor of information science at CU Boulder. “It’s a real challenge for an industry that is trying to professionalize itself.”

2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the legalization of marijuana for vacations in Colorado and Washington, the first two U.S. states to allow adult use. During this time, the industry has grown to multibillion-dollar, in which sativa strains are usually associated with energy, while Indica strains are associated with a relaxing effect.

However, there is no standardized labeling system.

What’s in the title

Commercial strain names, such as Girl Scout Cookies, Gorilla Glue and Blue Dream, have many that give consumers the impression that if you buy it in one place, you will get the same product or at least the same effect if buy it elsewhere.

While marketers usually have to disclose the dosage of the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) on the label, they are not required to include information on other compounds, including terpenes, which can affect not only odor but also – through The synergy hypothesis, called the entourage effect, is how the product makes you feel.

They are also free to name their product as they wish.

“A farmer can’t just take an apple and decide to call it Red Delicious. A brewer can’t just arbitrarily label his product as a Double IPA. There are standards. But that’s not the case for the cannabis industry,” said co-author Nick Gicames, director of science and science. cannabis e-commerce market innovation

To understand how similar products of the same name actually exist across the country, Keegan teamed up with Gicames and two other cannabis scientists to apply advanced data science tools to a massive database of chemical analyzes collected by Leafly from cannabis testing centers.

After sorting about 90,000 samples from six states according to their cannabinoid and terpene composition, the researchers found it not surprising that the vast majority of cannabinoids in recreational cannabis are psychoactive THC.

And when they took a closer look at samples, including terpene content, they found that products tended to fall into three different categories: high-terpene caryophyllene and limonene; those high in myrcene and pinene; and those high in terpinolene and myrcene.

But these categories do not quite fit the labeling scheme of Indica, Sativa and Hybrid.

“In other words,” the authors write, “it’s probably a sample with a label.” turkey will have indistinguishable terpene composition, like the samples indicated by sativa or hybrid».

Mismatch within strains

How biochemically similar are products with the same trade names?

It depends on the strain, the study showed.

Some strains, such as white tahoe cookies, were surprisingly consistent from product to product, while others, such as the poison called Durbin Poison, were “consistently inconsistent,” Gicomes said.

“Actually there was more consistency among the strains than I expected,” he said. “It tells me that cultivators, at least in some cases, may not get enough credit.”

The study also found that existing recreational cannabis available in the United States is fairly homogeneous, with many opportunities to introduce new breeds with different chemical profiles. It could be useful for both recreation and treatment, Keegan said.

“The founding fathers of cannabis research call it the pharmaceutical horn of plenty because it produces so many different chemicals that interact differently with our bodies,” Keegan said. “We’re just scratching the surface.”

As consumers are increasingly using hemp for specific purposes, including medical, accuracy in marking will become even more critical, Keegan said.

He predicts a day when products will be classified based on a better understanding of their chemical composition and labeled with details not only about their THC and CBD, but also about them patientflavonoids and other compounds.

“It’s as if your cereal box contained only calories and fat and nothing more,” Keegan said. “We, the consumers, need to seek more information. If we do that, the industry will respond. ”

Indica and Sativa labels are pretty much meaningless when it comes to the complexity of cannabis

Additional information:
Christian J. Smith et al., Phytochemical diversity of commercial hemp in the United States, PLOS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0267498

Citation: What do you have in the grass? You may be surprised (2022, May 19), received May 19, 2022 from

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