phytocannabinoids

Faster test for cannabis quality

New method to help meet increasing demand for cannabis potency testing

May 17, 2018

Science Daily/University of British Columbia Okanagan campus

Researchers have developed a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids -- the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis -- that will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike.

 

With the coming legalization of cannabis in Canada, producers are increasingly looking for quick and accurate means of determining the potency and quality of their products.

 

Researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus have developed a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids -- the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis -- that will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike.

 

"There is growing demand on testing labs from licensed cannabis growers across the US and Canada who are under pressure to perform potency testing on ever-increasing quantities of product," says Matthew Noestheden, PhD chemistry student under Prof. Wesley Zandberg at UBC's Okanagan campus. "Traditional tests can take upwards of 20 minutes to perform, where we can do it in under seven. It will save a great deal of time and money for producers with enormous greenhouses full of thousands of samples requiring testing."

 

Noestheden says that not only can he test the substance in record time, but he can also test for a virtually limitless number of phytocannabinoid variants.

 

"Most people are familiar with THC as the primary bioactive compound in cannabis. But in reality, there are more than 100 different phytocannabinoid variants, many with their own unique biological effects," says Noestheden. "The problem is that it's very difficult to differentiate between them when testing cannabis potency."

 

The research team overcame the problem by using high-pressure liquid chromatography -- an instrument that isolates each phytocannabinoid to measure them independently. They were able to discern the potency of 11 unique phytocannabinoids in cannabis extracts, which is important for determining the safety and authenticity of cannabis products.

 

"We tested twice as many phytocannabinoids compared to what most labs are testing for now, and more than twice as fast," says Noestheden. "We limited our tests to 11 variants because these were the only ones commercially available at the time. We could just as easily test for 50 or even all 100 variants, including some synthetic cannabinoids that can be added to products to increase potency."

 

Noestheden says his method was designed to be rolled out in labs around the world. Having worked with Rob O'Brien, president of Supra Research and Development, a cannabis testing lab and industry partner of this study, Noestheden now hopes his new method can be put straight to good use by helping researchers connect variation in phytocannabinoids with the pharmacological effects of various cannabis products.

 

"It's an elegant solution because any cannabis testing lab with the appropriate instrumentation should be able to adopt the new method with minimal additional investment, making the whole process cheaper and faster."

 

The study was published in the journal Phytochemical Analysis with funding from MITACS, the University Graduate Fellowship and the Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellowship.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180517102254.htm

Cannabis extract can have dramatic effect on brain cancer

November 14, 2014

Science Daily/University of St George's London

Experts have shown that when certain parts of cannabis are used to treat cancer tumours alongside radio therapy treatment the growths can virtually disappear.

 

The new research by specialists at St George's, University of London, studied the treatment of brain cancer tumours in the laboratory and discovered that the most effective treatment was to combine active chemical components of the cannabis plant which are called cannabinoids.

 

Two of these called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) were tested as part of the research into brain cancer which is particularly difficult to treat and claims the lives of about 5,200 each year. It also has a particularly poor prognosis as the rate of survival after five years of patients' diagnosis is around 10%.

 

Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in cannabis and are also known more specifically as phytocannabinoids. There are 85 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

 

The new research is the first to show a drastic effect when combining THC and CBD with irradiation. Tumours growing in the brains of mice were drastically slowed down when THC/CBD was used with irradiation.

 

Dr Wai Liu, Senior Research Fellow and lead researcher on the project, said: "The results are extremely exciting. The tumours were treated in a variety of ways, either with no treatment, the cannabinoids alone, and irradiation alone or with both the cannabinoids and irradiation at the same time.

 

"Those treated with both irradiation and the cannabinoids saw the most beneficial results and a drastic reduction in size. In some cases, the tumours effectively disappeared in the animals. This augurs well for further research in humans in the future. At the moment this is a mostly fatal disease.

 

"The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before but the drastic reduction of brain cancers if used with irradiation is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future."

 

The research team are discussing the possibility of combining cannabinoids with irradiation in a human clinical trial.

 

The research has been published in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal.

 

Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in cannabis and are also known more specifically as phytocannabinoids. There are 85 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The primary psychoactive component of cannabis is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141114085629.htm

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Not a member? Sign up. Log Out