Sunday, 02 February 2014 15:58 Published in Blog

With many significant scientific studies coming out on the therapeutic benefits of the compounds in cannabis there has been a growing interest in understanding how these compounds are produced in the plant. In 2011 these interests resulted in the formation of the company Medicinal Genomics, the first group to sequence the cannabis genome.

Kevin McKernan founder and CEO of Medicinal Genomics states that there are 84 compounds other than THC that could be used to treat a variety of ailments, however anti-drug laws make it difficult for scientists to breed and study the plant in most countries. That’s one of the reasons why he decided to publish the data for free on Amazon’s EC2, a public data cloud. McKernan hopes that their data will help scientists breed cannabis plants with lower THC content and higher amounts of the lesser known cannabinoids.

Check out the Medicinal Genomics website here: www.medicinalgenomics.com

Friday, 03 January 2014 11:08 Published in Blog

Being located in such a cannabis oriented community its no surprise the city of Santa Cruz has it's own cannabis cup, and a very successful one at that. This event has experienced quite a bit of growth in just this last year with over triple the attendees of the previous year. This didn't surprise me since the event was embraced with warm weather making for a perfect outdoor festival environment. The event consisted of educational exhibits, booths from local businesses, and Santa Cruz Cup collectives.  The cup also had musical performances by Coastal SageEcho StreetAncestree, and Omani.

SC Laboratories received over 90 entries for the cup, most of which were flowers. To see a full list of the competitors and winning entries check out the Santa Cruz Cup's Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

Friday, 03 January 2014 12:45 Published in Blog

On December 14th and 15th thousands of medical cannabis patients and enthusiasts congregated at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds for the 10th annual Emerald Cup. The Emerald Cup showcases the best in California outdoor grown cannabis and solventless extracts and is my favorite cup I've been to thus far in my two years in the cannabis industry. Though this was my first year at the Emerald Cup all the regular attendees I spoke with were thoroughly impressed with the set-up and turn out. This year they saw their highest attendance ever which was no surprise with over two hundred and fifty flower entries, fifty concentrate entries, tons of vendors, panels, and musical headliners that were fit for a large music festival there was a little something for everyone.

 

Check out the top twenty flowers from the cup here.

 

This cup also seemed to have much more attendees that were very active in the cannabis community and knowledgable about the science behind cannabis. When at the SC Laboratories booth the majority of people I spoke to were very familiar with analytical testing methods and were interested in the future of lab testing and terpene profiling. 

There were many informative panels with knowledgable speakers on all sorts of cannabis matters from the politics to the science. A noteworthy dialogue was the dabs panel on Friday where SC Laboratories CTO Josh Wurzer and Director of Client Relations Alec Dixon spoke alongside other extract pioneers.

There were other notable events that happened at the cup in terms of awards and life events for some of the VIP's in the cannabis industry. One such event was the lifetime achievement award which was given to Debby Goldsberry for over 25 years of dedicated work in the cannabis movement. Another happening at the cup that involved a prominent figure was the marriage of Denis Peron who co-authored California's proposition 215 to his long time partner John.

In short this was an awesome event that I intend to attend over other cannabis cups for its genuine vibe and great atmosphere. We'd like to give a shout out to Tim Blake, Taylor Blake, and Samantha Michelojewski for putting on such a great event every year for the last decade. 

 

 

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 14:04 Published in Blog

Asthma is an inflammatory condition that constricts the airways and causes increased mucus production. The lungs of an asthmatic are inflammed making them sensitive to a variety of triggers such as allergens or exercise. The presence of such triggers can cause further agitation leading to an asthma attack where the smooth muscles around the lungs constrict and the airways narrow resulting in wheezing and breathing difficulties.  

It’s a seemingly paradoxical idea, smoking a plant to alleviate constriction of the airways, but it works. Of course smoking it is far from the cleanest method of delivery but its been known since 1973 that THC acts as a bronchodilator because of the work of Dr. Donald Tashkin. He and his team at UCLA investigated the effects of smoked cannabis and ingested THC on the lungs and found that both methods of intake dilated the airways.  

Recently further investigation into THC’s effects on the lungs by French researchers determined it can inhibit the contraction of lungs, a mechanism that many current asthma medications utilize to alleviate the condition.

So how does this happen?

Much of the difficulties breathing caused by asthma can be attributed to the contraction of the smooth muscle surrounding the lungs. This contraction is caused by the neurotransmitter actetylcholine, the release of which is greatly reduced when the CB1 receptor is activated. This decrease in cholinergic transmission leads to decreased muscle contractions making for easier breathing for the patient.