British Columbia remains at the forefront
The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is known for its cannabis, which once shaped BC Bud. For the most part, the province is still home to some of the highest quality cannabis strains in North America. Will research and development allow BC to advance its cannabis reputation?
BC Bud is booming – climate and culture
Is it any surprise that certain cannabis research pioneers can be found in a region that is ripe for cultivation?
BC Bud is said to have its famous origins in the lush Kootenay region, tucked away in the wild southeast corner of the province. BC’s lower mainland later became an iconic cultivation center. An ideal culture in this region sparked a booming cannabis influx. In addition to these ideal social conditions, cannabis thrives at sea level on the populated and subtropical west coast of BC. For some time now, BC’s cannabinoid-filled heart has been a respected effort to advance research and development.
A pioneering role in cannabis research
In Vancouver, BC, cannabis research laboratories such as Complex Biotech Diversity Ventures sprang up. But this was decades after the province saw cannabis spread like weeds.
Last year, this author phoned every licensed laboratory in Canada, at least west of Quebec, about smoke and vapor analysis tests. No laboratory could offer this type of test for cannabis. In the midst of the steam crisis prevailing at the time, brick walls were constantly being hit.
Since then, however, over 100 additional laboratories have been approved for cannabis research. And one of those laboratories now has the ability to analyze the cannabis smoke test.
CBDV is an outlier that goes beyond typical compliance testing and just focuses on the basics of security. Now we can quantify the health risks that are specific to bone-dry cannabis or vape pods. Cannabis smoke, which is rich in toxic aldehydes or ammonia, is noticeably toxic to many consumers compared to clean, marketable buds. For this reason, smoke analyzes are being moved from safety to cannabis quality. Currently, due to Health Canada compliance, manufacturers only need to test for much tighter parameters.
Keep secret profiles
One will discover deeper secrets hidden in the profile of cannabis as they continue through the field of exciting interests of CBDV. Processors and manufacturers are interested in analyzing unknown micro-components that define really famous bud varieties. CBDV has cleverly shaped itself into the resemblance of a rare cannabinoid that can be vital in treating certain types of epilepsy.
The metabolic process and the behavior of rare and smaller components during the growth, hardening, storage and extraction processes are still important. CBDV uses sophisticated IR and NMR spectrometers to ensure that any decarboxylated or nanoemulsified batch is consistent along with other highly sensitive analytical tools. Most cannabis laboratories only use HPLC to accurately quantify cannabinoids. This is an important piece of equipment in the field that is also slow and expensive for certain applications.
BC cannabis, outside the pot
CDBV uses a UBC partnership * that accesses NMR spectrometers for quick analysis of various cannabis products. Photo courtesy of UBC.
Unlike rare cannabis-focused research facilities, most accredited laboratories in Canada don’t move beyond the typical compliance testing required by Health Canada. Another tiny, compassionate laboratory on Vancouver Island admitted it is still capable of broader, but less accurate, pesticide screening. They only agreed, however, after we listed our workable curiosities. Others, even when the technician’s attention has fallen into the grip of this writer, have declined requests at the behest of senior management.
Research needs to be flexible given the variety of cannabis that reflects the parameters of the wall.
Stay tuned to find out what a team of cannabis researchers, hash enthusiasts, and new farmers are up to to learn from another BC ecosystem. A place that shares more features with the birthplace of cannabis, Qinghai Lake, compared to the lower mainland.
Courtesy photo by CBDV.