Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reasons Behind My Residual Solvent Awards

Introducing CannaDad's new Cannabis Cup category:

~Highest PPM residual solvent Award.

It has been brought to my attention that my recent postings on Social Media about certain producers oils and my “award” for highest ppm residual solvents in their extracts.  Some people have gotten offended by my approach and the wording of my criticisms. There is no reason to take offense, instead take to change-

What are residual solvents?
Hydrocarbon gases like butane and propane as well as organic solvents like ethanol, isopropanol and hexane are commonly used to extract the essential oils from cannabis to create concentrated medicinal products. Residual Solvents are any solvents that remain cannabis oils, shatters, waxes and budders after extractions purification processes such as winterization and vacuum purging. They can remain in the products that are inhaled or consumed by users in significant quantities.

 Let me be clear:

If you are a producer of cannabis, a cannabis infused product or concentrate of any sort then you should strive to make the cleanest, purest and most medicinal products possible, you are not working for you, you are working for the consumer- whether they are a patient or recreational user. Without the consumer there would be absolutely no reason for you to be producing anything. A producer should value the opinion of the consumer above all else- this is basic business practice.

A cannabis competition is supposed to showcase the best of the best. In my opinion this should include a pure and clean product. If you are a producer of Cannabis, a cannabis infused product or concentrate of any sort and you enter your product into a cannabis competition (High Times Cup, Secret Cup, MMJ cup) that is publicized and the biggest award possible is industry fame and notoriety then you have to be willing as well to field any criticisms that may come your way. Public attention comes in a variety of forms.

I have a high expectation for any product at all that are geared toward the mmj patient, pediatric or adult. High levels of ppm residual solvents in your product does not present a clean nor pure product; Yes there are solvents that are more dangerous than others, but alcohol can be just as toxic to a chemo patient as butane- especially for a child. Residual ethanol can contribute to pediatric liver damage, this can be seen with rising liver enzymes in pediatric chemotherapy patients. I have seen this with my own eyes in a few patients including my own daughter (7% ethanol tincture). Chemotherapy is already hepatotoxic, adding to your livers burden is unnecessary. That being said I have the duty of maintaining my high expectation with all extracts, products and producers regardless of what they are who they are. A level of 10k ppm residual alcohol in a product is the equivalent to 1% of the entire product.

If you submit a product with high levels of ppm residuals, fungus, microbiological impurities or toxic Heavy Metals, I will talk publicly discuss it. After each competition, I take time to view the laboratory analysis reports- producer, product, cannabinoid profiles, and impurities are all given. Once I have viewed them, I then converse and open the floor for debate about them. If you are concerned with my criticisms, then you should do one of three things:

#1. Better your product.
#2. Do not enter a competition where your products lab results are public.
#3. Don’t make products if you cannot better them.

The controversy that I knowingly created surrounding industry competitions is a means to push for bettering of available products, holding producers accountable for mistakes, lackluster techniques or less than ideal products and to raise the awareness and expectations of all patients and consumers. The discussion and issues surrounding high ppm residual solvents in medicines and recreational items is one that needs to be had.
My Expectations:

If <10 ppm of residuals can be attained, then in my opinion <10ppm should be a requirement to enter a competition. Why settle for less, when we can demand the best?

Here are some examples of lab results that show various ppm levels in different producers products. When you view these, notice that amount of concentrates with <10ppm residual solvents.

Actual Results per Analytical 360 Labs.


The United State Pharmacopeia has established a general guideline including limits concerning residual solvents in food and water products.

I have found in the many lab reports available from various laboratories online that less than ten ppm is successfully achieved by many producers.
“Residual solvents as defined for pharmacopeial purposes: residual solvents in pharmaceuticals are defined as organic volatile chemicals that are used or produced in the manufacture of drug substances or excipients, or in the preparation of drug products. The residual solvents are not completely removed by practical manufacturing techniques.”
It goes on to classify three types of residual solvents:

 Class 1-

 Residual Solvents: Solvents to be Avoided, Known human carcinogens, Strongly suspected human carcinogens, Environmental hazards
Class 2-
  Residual Solvents: Solvents to be Limited Non-genotoxic animal carcinogens or possible causative agents of other irreversible toxicity, such as neurotoxicity or teratogenicity solvents suspected of other significant but reversible toxicities.
Class 3-
 Residual Solvents: Solvents with Low Toxic Potential Solvents with low toxic potential to humans
[NOTE—Class 3 residual solvents may have PDEs of up to 50 mg or more per day.]*

“Unless otherwise stated in the individual monograph, Class 3 residual solvents are limited to not more than 50 mg per day (corresponding to 5000 ppm or 0.5%). If a Class 3 solvent limit in an individual monograph is greater than 50 mg per day, that residual solvent should be identified and quantified.
There are no long-term toxicity or carcinogenicity studies for many of the residual solvents in Class 3. Available data indicate that they are less toxic in acute or short-term studies and negative in genotoxicity studies.”

Examples of Class 3 solvents:

Acetic acid, Heptane, 1-Butanol Methyl acetate, 2-Butanol, Butyl acetate, Methylethylketone, Pentane, Ethanol, 1-Pentanol, Ethyl acetate, 1-Propanol, Ethyl ether, 2-Propanol, Ethyl formate, Propyl acetate and Formic acid

Each of these solvents as per the US pharmacopeia has a daily limit of </=5000ppm. If one gram of concentrate is analyzed and the results show a residual solvent level of over 5000ppm then this concentrate would violate USP standards and limits defined. Therefore every single concentrate, liquid or product produced should fall below the 5k ppm standard at any given time. Concentrates, liquids or food products that enter a competition for best in class should go above and beyond the call and reduce those residual solvents to <10 ppm, then and only then can they be considered best in class.

Controversy = Change

When I called attention to the high levels of residuals in the 2014 PacificNorthwest Secret Cup entrants, the founder of the cup, Daniel de Sailles, made this statement in response:
“It was not a part of the rules to disqualify anyone based on test results, and I believe the rules are a contract between competitors and I. No, even that high number is not going to hurt anyone. Yes, of course our goal should be zero ppm period. Moving forward we are going to implement a residual cutoff/dq (disqualifying) point. Now, think on this: No one would have anything to talk about if the contest didn't happen and we didn't share the test results with the public. The main point of The Secret Cup is for hash makers to do better, to generate data, to improve our craft. When people enter the Secret Cup they know they're putting it on the line, they will be put on blast good or bad. How many other events happened this year where the results aren't released?”

The controversy that my concern created effectively created a change that will help lessen the risk of residuals while at the same time raising the standard of the Secret Cup franchise. My hat pin covered hat is off to Daniel for taking the opportunity to make these changes instead of taking offense.

Watch for coming rounds of “CannaDad’s Highest PPM” awards in this years’ Cannabis Cup Circuit.  


Links, Resources & further reading:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dispensing Discrimination Against Dispensaries: Why is Medical Cannabis Signage Regulated

Anywhere you drive in America, you are bombarded by strategically placed signage advertising a plethora of products to consumers on their daily commutes. Major retail chains and event centers advertise on billboards, along with alcohol and pharmaceutical companies.
CigarettesBusinesses are allowed a certain amount of signage according to their community standards and never fail to utilize all available space. One look at a store and you cannot only tell what kind of store it is, but the quality of the store and the products they sell. Most businesses advertise their biggest selling items. The average convenience store’s windows are masked in tobacco and soda advertisements, with extra signs littering their parking lots boasting the lowest beer prices in town.
On the corner of many busy intersections you will notice “sign-spinners” – these are people hired to catch your eye with bright, bold and moving advertisements. From time to time you’ll also find uniformed store employees trying to convince you to come to them for your high-dose flu vaccine.
But there still seems to be one advertising taboo: advertising medical cannabis or that you are a dispensary. Even with the most discreet signage at a dispensary location, offense is taken. City councils in medical marijuana states are constantly fielding complaints about what their local dispensary looks like and how this inconveniences their eyes every  day. Complaints are made about logos ranging from green crosses to brightly–lit neon pot leaves. No matter how a dispensary seems to declare their business is open and ready for clientele, someone in the community around the club is displeased.
But the question is, why are people so offended by medical cannabis advertising?
The answer is simple: the average citizen is still barely tolerant of and not entirely open to medical cannabis, let alone the attached culture that has been stigmatized and disparaged by conservatives for decades. Patients, producers and providers share the same label no matter how they go about conducting their business- “Pot Heads.”
Coors and Keystone proudly buy up advertise space all over communities, and local businesses add to the alcohol-laden advertising litter. Where are the city council meetings discussing the removal of these questionable advertisements? Do they not influence our children as they pass by as people claim that neon pot leaves do? I find it difficult to believe that a green cross is actually more revealing about the nature of the business than a gigantic bottle of whiskey is or a tower can of Copenhagen.  Do these same upset citizens also feel the same way about their children being exposed to pharmaceutical drug access each time they enter Wal-Mart or Rite-Aid?
A discreet dispensary - Collective Awakenings in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Brandon Krenzler
A discreet dispensary – Collective Awakenings in Portland, Oregon.
Photo: Brandon Krenzler
Here I will discuss a normal everyday business in the manner that dispensaries are often discussed.
In the local township of Pendleton Oregon, the busiest intersection in town has 4 conglomerate chains one on each corner. These stores are Wal-Mart, Safeway, Rite-Aid and Walgreens.
Each one of these stores is home to a highly-trafficked pharmaceutical drug dispensing operation. There are people of all types that traverse in and out of these large buildings daily. The quantity of dangerous drugs stored in these places lands in tonnage. It is estimated that the daily revenue earned in the trafficking of these pharmaceuticals and narcotics skyrockets into the hundreds of thousands a month. These drug salesmen also conveniently provide access to other dangerous intoxicants such as caffeine, nicotine, and ethanol alcohol to their clients. These opportunists also willingly hand out these toxic drugs to children and disabled people with little or no discussion of the potential side-effects and dangers inherent in the products.
Let’s look at the facts according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
In 2010, 30,006 (78%) of the 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the United States were unintentional, 5,298 (14%) of suicidal intent, and 2,963 (8%) were of undetermined intent.
In 2011, drug misuse and abuse caused about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits. Of these, more than 1.4 million ED visits were related to pharmaceuticals.
Between 2004 and 2005, an estimated 71,000 children (18 or younger) were seen in EDs each year because of medication overdose (excluding self-harm, abuse and recreational drug use).
Of the 22,134 deaths relating to prescription drug overdose in 2010, 16,651 (75%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,497 (30%) involved benzodiazepines.
That parody paragraph above is shocking- though it really is not parody. Most do not discuss a pharmacy in this nature, but it is a reality. This is, though, how news media and community leaders talk about medical marijuana dispensaries publicly.
Maybe it is time for communities to step down from their crusade against Cannabis and Cannabusiness and set the tone by promoting acceptance and understanding. A cannabis industry business owner should have no more advertising regulation than their commercial counterparts.


 Article Reprinted with Permission, Original Article Written for LadyBud Magazine

If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf: Children’s Book Illustrator Geneva Carman

If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf: Children’s Book Illustrator Geneva Carman
As medical and recreational cannabis use gain acceptance and even appeal, one stone has been left unturned: how to communicate these worldly changes to our children. A great way to broach the subject is using a story that paints a picture in a child’s imagination.
peacockThe children’s book  If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf by Morgan Carman is sure to become a family favorite. The story chronicles an adventure of a lone, depressed peacock named Peter. Peter stumbles upon a unique leaf that he has never seen before and proceeds to ask all the wonderful animals he meets up with in the forest about it. One by one, animals ranging from cute little spiders to wise old owls to rasta pigs give Peter their take on the leaf. Each animal is based on a real human patient who uses cannabis, and each relates their reasons for using the plant medicinally.
By the end of the story, not only are you looking forward to the sequel, If a Peacock Discovers Hemp Island, you also have many of the complex questions surrounding the medicinal use of Cannabis touched on and even answered for your child.
I reached out to Geneva Carman, the mother of the author and the illustrator of the story – here is what she had to say:
Brandon Krenzler: When did you begin using Cannabis?
Geneva Carman: I was actually a late starter when it comes to smoking Cannabis. I started when I was about 22.
medsBK: That is an unusual age to begin, what made you take up toking?
GC: I am manic-depressive and cannabis is the only thing I have found that makes me feel better. I noticed that once I began using cannabis regularly, I actually was able to reduce the amount of pharmaceutical drugs that I had been prescribed. Once I realized this, I began researching and found amazing facts which changed my life forever.
BK: In what ways does being a Regular Cannabis user affect your parenting?
GC: I feel that it makes me a better parent, and there are so many reasons why that is. I am more outgoing person; I do not feel the need to withdraw. I am not as aggressive and irritable over minor life stressors and that is always a good thing. I am able to communicate better; I can sit and talk with people, including my daughter more. I spend more quality time with Morgan. I find that I am more creative and open-minded artistically. When I was only taking prescriptions all I did was sleep; I didn’t want to do anything, totally non-productive.
BK: Do you allow your daughter to use Cannabis? Why do you allow this?
GC: I didn’t allow it until she needed it. She actually wasn’t interested in it all: she thought it smelled of cut grass and was adamant about not smoking it. Then she got sick; they had her on prescriptions, anti-nausea medicine usually reserved for chemotherapy patients. Nothing really worked for her. Her doctors basically said she had cyclical vomiting issues. With my background in Clinical Psychology, I had a feeling it was something psychological. She was eventually diagnosed with Acute Anxiety Disorder, OCD and PTSD. I decided that she should try Cannabis. And it instantly worked for her.
BK: What made you and Morgan decide to create the book?
peacock4GC: We were sitting on couch one day hanging out watching shows about children using cannabis for different ailments and each benefitting from it. Each of the stories that were on, Brave Mykayla and Jason (David), were touching and inspiring; we wanted to help! We just didn’t know how we were going to do that. Around a month later, Morgan randomly said, “What if a peacock found a pot leaf?” It was an instant children’s book title and we knew what we were going to do to help: we were going to write that book. We started making characters right away. We chose animals because not only are they really kid-friendly characters, they would of course use natural plant medicine from the forest. It took Morgan two and a half days to write the story. It took me around two and half weeks to illustrate the entire tale.
BK: Why the peacock – is there a reason behind this animal?
Geneva: Yes totally, since I was a little girl I’ve loved everything peacock: the feathers, the colors, the grace all of it I absolutely adored. My Grandmother had a whole room that was peacocks and I loved going in there whenever I would visit her. Peacock has depression because I have depression; the peacock is me.
peacock2BK: What is the purpose behind the book?
GC: The purpose is simple. It is to normalize the use of cannabis, especially in families that use cannabis medicinally for themselves or their children. It is medicine for a lot of people; it is not just used recreationally, it is also used for a better quality of life.  We want to show that it is not something that needs to be hidden, or hushed. We want people to become comfortable with the idea of cannabis use in families, because it is what is really going in homes across America – and that needs to be addressed in the children’s eyes as well.
BK: Tell about the feedback you have gotten…Positive? Negative?
GC: We have gotten way more positive feedback than negative. When we decided to do the book we had prepared ourselves and were ready for a rush of negativity, but we didn’t get that at all. It really has been more positive than we could ever have imagined; it just goes to show that eyes are being opened and the world is changing for the better in some ways.
BK: What kind of publicity has it gotten?
GC: We have gotten tons of publicity from the cannabis community. They have been so supportive of Morgan and I – we feel so much love radiating our way, and it is beautiful. We have been featured in a couple magazines; we have been invited on air on the radio. We are thankful for the amount of generous support that we have received. We are breaking ground in a new market; our medical marijuana children’s books are just beginning of a wave that is sure to come.
photo 4BK: What would you say to a parent who is considering buying the book??
GC: I would say definitely do so; everyone needs to have a copy of this book because it is a great conversation opener. You can use it to give examples and give a visual. It is friendly to all viewers so you could use it to initiate conversation with basically whoever you’d want to.  It is a nice tool to use for a variety of different age groups. It is really meant to be on everyone’s coffee table, and we would like to see them there.
BK: In what ways do you feel your book influences children?
GC: We have been told that it helps a lot of parents that are cannabis users, medicinal or recreational. We have gotten emails from parents all over thanking us for our work, because it made it easier for them to talk to their children about it. Children have been writing book reports for school about Peter and his pot leaf. It has been used as evidence in a medical cannabis CPS case to win the court case.
The book helps prove that cannabis is an effective medicine that helps adults and children alike. It is helping to breaking stereotypes and helping parents and children bond on an entirely different level. I think we have affected the children in a positive way; it gives the children who use cannabis as medicine something to share with their friends. This book can help your children growing up knowing that cannabis is medicine, not a street drug.
hempislandBK: where do you see your books going in the future?
GCI honestly don’t know where it is going to go – we are working hard on getting it out there as far as possible. We self-published, and do all of our own marketing, so we are just going with the flow. We are creating more books, because the more the merrier. We’ve just completed and published a second book, If a Peacock Discovers Hemp Island. The second in the series is more vivid and colorful. We knew more about what we were doing the second time around.
BK: Series? Are there going to be more Peter the Peacock Books?
GC: Yes! We haven’t decided on the subject just yet – it is in the brainstorming stage, but a third is definitely in the works. We would eventually like to cover nearly all aspects of the Cannabis world to help usher in an era of complete acceptance.


Article Reprinted with Permission, Original Article Written for LadyBud Magazine

Disqus it Here