Cannabis smoke the good the bad the ugly
The last few days we’ve seen a flurry of activity related to smokable cannabis products. It’s been tough to keep track of everything that’s gone on, so today I’m going to take a page out of legendary Italian director Sergio Leone‘s book and break down the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in all things related to cannabis smoke.
The Good. On September 13, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana struck down Indiana’s ban on “smokable hemp” deeming it unconstitutional (shout out to Kristen Nichols, editor of Hemp Industry Daily, for covering this case and for linking to the court’s Order at the top of her story).
Why is this decision good? Preemption! When a state law conflicts with federal law, federal law wins due to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. With that in mind let’s take a look at the match-up between Indiana’s smokable hemp ban and the 2018 Farm Bill.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) and defined “hemp” as the Cannabis sativa L. plant with 0.3% or less THC “and any part of that plant, including . . . all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids . . . whether growing or not[.]” The 2018 Farm Bill did specifically did not preempt states or Indian tribes from passing laws regulating the production of hemp more stringently than federal law. However, the 2018 Farm Bill did explicitly preempt states and Indian tribes from passing laws that “prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with” the 2018 Farm Bill.
In response to the 2018 Farm Bill, Indiana passed SEA 516 to legalize the commercial production of hemp in Indiana while also criminalizing the manufacture, finance, delivery, and possession of “smokable hemp,” i.e., hemp derivatives that can be introduced to the human body through inhalation. Notably, the ban on smokable hemp did not reference the “production” of hemp. This lead to the Midwest Hemp Council and several other hemp stakeholders to sue Indiana for violating federal law and to enjoin the state from enforcing portions of SEA 516 pending the lawsuit.
To recap, federal law says that states can’t interfere with the right to transport hemp products in interstate commerce. Indiana law says that it’s illegal to manufacture, finance, possess, and deliver certain smokable hemp products and does not limit that prohibition to intrastate activities. The court ruled that the Plaintiffs had a high likelihood of success on challenging SEA 516 as being preempted by the 2018 Farm Bill and granted the injunction.
It’s also worth noting that the court considered Indiana’s legitimate claim that the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill made it difficult for law enforcement to differentiate between hemp and marijuana, especially smokable hemp. However, the court was not convinced that these challenges were enough to justify an outright ban on smokable hemp especially when other options were available (e.g., earmarking funds to purchase THC testing equipment; increasing penalties for knowingly selling marijuana packaged as hemp).
This court order won’t immediately impact states outside of Indiana but does show the impact of the 2018 Farm Bill on all hemp products, including smokable hemp.
The Bad. Donald Trump found out about vaping and announced that his administration would ban flavored vaping products. The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a News Release shortly after Trump’s announcement stating that:
the FDA intends to finalize a compliance policy in the coming weeks that would prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.
As this is the Canna Law Blog, you may be wondering how this ban will impact cannabis, including both marijuana and hemp-derived vapor products. We’ll certainly get more insight once the FDA announces its compliance plan referenced above, along with promised guidance on how the FDA will regulate Hemp-CBD generally.
However, even though we don’t have the full picture, we already know this ban is bad policy, and likely to lead to an increase in unregulated and illegal vapor products. To understand this, I want to break down the vapor market into five major categories:
- Legal vapor products containing nicotine or tobacco;
- Illegal vapor products containing nicotine or tobacco;
- Largely unregulated hemp-derived CBD vapor products;
- State-legal marijuana-derived vapor products; and
- Illegal vapor products containing marijuana.
Trump’s ban will have the biggest impact on lawful manufacturers of tobacco products in category one, who can no longer sell flavored vapor products. For years, the FDA has been focused on moving tobacco product manufacturers from category two to category one. The FDA even provides resources specifically designed to allow small businesses to comply FDA regulations in manufacturing tobacco products, which have changed a lot in the last few years.
In 2009, the Tobacco Control Act (“TCA”) granted the FDA regulatory authority over any “tobacco product,” that is, a “product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product.” In 2016, the FDA expanded its regulatory authority to include as e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes and waterpipes. Trump’s ban isn’t going to make it easier for the FDA to get illicit manufacturers to “buy in.”
Trump’s ban is also likely to cast a shadow on categories three and four: manufacturers of Hemp-CBD and state-legal marijuana vapor products. The FDA’s website (here and here) seems to suggest that the agency currently does not interpret “tobacco products” so broadly as to include products free of nicotine or tobacco. Accordingly, it’s plausible that the FDA will not enforce Trump’s ban to explicitly ban Hemp-CBD and marijuana vapor products that are nicotine or tobacco-free.
Despite these jurisdictional issues that may limit the FDA’s enforcement ability, Trump’s ban places a target on all flavored vape products. This could mean seizures of cannabis-based vapor products in states where they are legal. It could also cause state regulators to ban certain marijuana and hemp vapor products.
In reality, the only products that won’t be impacted are likely marijuana and tobacco vapor products that are currently being manufactured illegally under federal and state law.
The Ugly. People are getting sick and dying as a result of vape-related illnesses and it’s likely going to get worse before it gets better because no one really know what’s going on. Let’s assume for a second that I’m totally wrong about Trump’s ban and it effectively kills the flavored vape market. If that happens do we really think vaping will be safe? Probably not because it doesn’t seem like flavoring is what’s causing illness and death.
What about vitamin E acetate? On September 6, a few days before Trump’s ban was announced, the Washington Postreported that FDA investigators found vitamin E acetate present in samples of cannabis oil linked to vaping illnesses across the country. Vitamin E acetate is an oil derived from vitamin E that naturally occurs in certain foods like almonds and olive oil. It’s found in topical products and dietary supplements. However, it’s very dangerous when inhaled. This is a chilling reminder that otherwise harmless articles can be dangerous when inhaled.
To further complicate things, vitamin E acetate may not even be the biggest problem. In a warning about THC vaping products the FDA wrote:
No one substance has been identified in all of the samples tested. Importantly, identifying any compounds that are present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but will not necessarily answer questions about what is causing these illnesses.
Scientific American also reports that though these vaping illnesses are popping up across the country, the symptoms vary wildly from person to person. This is an ugly, and frankly scary situation with more questions than answers.
We’ll continue to monitor smokable hemp, Trump’s ban, and these troubling vape-related illnesses and report the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Under pressure: Turn a favourite cannabis strain into a flavourful hash concentrate
tips on cannabis strains that taste better as hash
July 4, 2019
When selecting a cannabis strain to press into hash, terpenes are keySageElyse / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Looking to turn a cannabis strain into hash? Certain strains respond more favourably to the process.
- Four myths about cannabis concentrates
- Modern Grower | Concentrates with Precision Extraction Solutions
When selecting a cannabis strain to press into hash, terpenes—the aromatic oils that are secreted from the same plant glands as cannabinoids like THC and CBD—are key. Terpene profiles are responsible for scents such as mint, pine, citrus, floral and berry that are often used to come up with strain names.
Strains high in caryophyllene make the best hash, suggests a new article from Leafly. The pungent and hearty terpene withstands processing well and creates a robust flavour. Caryophyllene is found in aromatic oils like clove and rosemary, and it naturally in spices like oregano, cinnamon, basil and black pepper. Typical strain names with high caryophyllene profiles are Girl Scout Cookies, Lavender and Blueberry Cheesecake.
#Cannabis concentrates provide the most flavorful experience, but some strains are more suited for the process than others. https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/cannabis-strains-taste-better-as-hash …
Another excellent terpene for hash concentrates is limonene, which is found in strains like Lemon OG, Hindu Kush, Sour Diesel and Grapefruit. Limonene has a strong citrus profile and is the terpene responsible for the fragrance from fresh citrus fruit peels.
Cannabis concentrates are gaining popularity among adult-use consumers, but many concentrates use involve solvents and oils during the extraction process.
Hash is a solventless concentrate, meaning it does not rely on chemicals or carriers during extraction, but rather utilizes natural processes like dry sifting, pressure techniques and ice water extraction. This keeps the trichomes and terpenes in tack providing a more robust and flavourful experience for the consumer.
Jaw Dropping Benefits Of Smoking Marijuana
According to research by United Nations, more than 150 million people in the world use marijuana. That makes around 3% of the world’s population. However, that should not be surprising because this drug continues to get legalized by many states.
Although marijuana is always seen as a notorious drug, there is no escape from the fact that it has several medical benefits. Despite its harmful side effects as a result of over-consumption, the sales continue to boost every year, and the numbers are rampantly thriving.
Just last year, taxes from the sales of legal marijuana crossed the $1 billion mark.
Why do people use marijuana?
Marijuana is a drug that is extracted from the cannabis plant. This plant is being cultivated in several countries across the globe now. People have their reasons to use it. Most doctors prescribe marijuana drugs owing to the medical benefits it has whereas many smoke it to reduce stress and cut off depression.
Young adults and teenagers are using marijuana more than ever because of its legalization in several states. However, smoking should be done cautiously to avoid any issue. You can consult Grasscity the world’s oldest headshop if you are looking for smoking accessories that can help in using marijuana better.
Medical Benefits of Marijuana
Helps in Chemotherapy Treatment
Chemotherapy treatment is given to patients who suffer from cancer. The aftermaths of the treatment include nausea and vomiting. Smoking marijuana can help in cutting down these aftermaths, thus making a person feel better.
It can relieve chronic pain
This is one of the main reasons why elderly people make frequent visits to marijuana stores to buy it. Marijuana is known to cure chronic pain in the muscle and joints. Though it might not be able to directly cure severe muscle damage or pain, it can surely cut down the chronic pain.
Helps in reducing migraine attacks
Migraines are severe headaches that disturb a patient’s routine completely. One who goes through these attacks can exactly tell what they’re going through. Marijuana helps cope with these attacks and provides relief to a patient. Marijuana is inclusive of cannabinoids which are strong activators of the endocannabinoid system.
Can help in cutting down Alzheimer
Alzheimer is a widely growing disease across the globe. The potential damage is inclusive of the loss of brain cells. There are some hormones excreted by the brain that kill the cells in it. Marijuana can help by forming plaque enzymes which will stop the process of dying brain cells.
Marijuana can help in reducing high blood pressure
Patients who suffer from hypertension are at great risk of heart strokes and nervous breakdown. Though it is still not confirm as to how the mechanism works but a study from 1979 did conclude that it helps in cutting down hypertension. Moreover, people who suffer from the issue have reported to having a stabilized heartbeat after marijuana intake.
Helps in reducing anxiety
Overconsumption of marijuana is the major cause of anxiety but reverse done; it can help in reducing it. People who smoke marijuana have deduced that it reduces anxiety and relieves their stress.
Can Cure Sleep Disorders
People with sleep disorders are often prescribed with marijuana. This is true; the drug can be used to treat patients who suffer from multiple issues related to sleep. Many people often complain of sleepless nights, nightmares and hallucinations. Smoking marijuana before bed or taking it in a drug form can help in getting a good night sleep.
Helps in reducing Acne breakouts
Acne is a major skin disease that affects many people globally. Not only does it make a person look less appealing but also disrupts the routine life of an individual in terms of communicating with the rest of the world. Acne breakouts result from over-production of a hormone in the skin. Marijuana can help by stopping the production of that element.
Lastly, marijuana has several other benefits that are lesser known to people. The legalization of the drug is enough evidence that suffices for the notion of medical benefits. The use of marijuana continues to grow with higher revenues for the manufacturers and more taxes for the state. It is no wonder that a drug that was infamous at once is now famous for all the right reasons in the medical industry.
Jaw Dropping benefits of smoking Marijuana
According to research by United Nations, more than 150 million people in the world use marijuana. That makes around 3% of the world’s population. However, that should not be surprising because this drug continues to get legalized by many states. Although marijuana is always seen as a notorious drug, there is no escape from the fact Read the full article...