Cannabis Testing

Catching Up with Murphy Murri on Benzene, Medusa Stones, and Owning the Quality of Your Lab | BTS #75

In this behind-the-scenes episode we caught up with Murphy Murri for an extended discussion about the current state of the Cannabis industry, extraction supply chain quality issues, medusa stones, mushroom extraction and more.

Medusa stones are concentrated lumps of cannabinoids that, rather than having a clear “diamond” appearance, has a chalky appearance. And like you might expect, the “diamond” disintegrates after being handled, turning into a sticky, chalky mess. So what causes the medusa stone phenomenon in Cannabis extracts? During this conversation, Murphy breaks down the phenomenon and the controversy surrounding the hunt for the cause behind these disappointing creations.

Due to some technical difficulties on the day of recording, this discussion was recorded on Zoom instead of our usual platform, resulting in some compromised audio quality.

Sniffing Out the Skunk in Cannabis with TJ Martin of Abstrax Tech | BTS #74

In this behind-the-scenes episode we caught up with TJ Martin of Abstrax Tech to discuss their research into Cannabis extracts and the chemistry that impacts the plant’s aromas and flavors. We talk about their discovery of a family of sulfur compounds in Cannabis that are largely responsible for the skunk smell of Cannabis. We also discussed their prior research into vape pen additives and what kinds of compounds may be emitted from heated vape pen additives.

To learn more about Abstrax Tech, visit www.abstraxtech.com

Abstrax is a flavor and fragrance manufacturer that specializes in cannabis and hop raw materials, terpenes, and aroma compound research to innovate terpene driven product formulations that shape consumer packaged goods. Abstrax specializes in botanical research, ingredient manufacturing and formulation science with a specific focus on terpene research.

T.J. Martin graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from CSU Polytechnic Pomona. He gained experience with a wide array of analytical techniques and research applications by collaborating with groups in the fields of chemistry, solid state physics, green chemistry, materials science, and polymer science. Currently T.J. is the VP of Research and Development at Abstrax where he creates custom flavor solutions and research fundamental and applied facets of cannabis science via Abstrax Labs.

Research Articles Mention in This Episode:

Identification of a New Family of Prenylated Volatile Sulfur Compounds in Cannabis Revealed by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography

Iain W. H. Oswald, Marcos A. Ojeda, Ryan J. Pobanz, Kevin A. Koby, Anthony J. Buchanan, Josh Del Rosso, Mario A. Guzman, and Thomas J. Martin. ACS Omega 2021 6 (47), 31667-31676. http://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.1c04196

Characterization of Vaping Emission Products from Commonly Used Vape Juice Diluents
Huanhuan Jiang, C. M. Sabbir Ahmed, Thomas J. Martin, Alexa Canchola, Iain W. H. Oswald, Jose Andres Garcia, Jin Y. Chen, Kevin A. Koby, Anthony J. Buchanan, Zixu Zhao, Haofei Zhang, Kunpeng Chen, and Ying-Hsuan LinChemical Research in Toxicology 2020 33 (8), 2157-2163. http://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00174

Want a Successful Cannabis Business? Be a Crock Pot, Not a Microwave! with Alisia and Chris Ratliff | BTS #72

In this behind-the-scenes episode we join up with Alisia Ratliff once again, this time joined by her husband Chris as we catch up and learn about the work they are doing in their consulting agency, Victus Consulting Ventures. We dive into a number of topics including the science of surfactants for Cannabis products, lessons learned from years of Cannabis business consulting, issues facing Cannabis cultivators that try to scale, and more!

The takeaway? Be a crock pot, not a microwave.

Learn more about Victus Consulting Ventures at https://www.victus-cv.com/

Inspiring a Passion for Extraction Science and Technology with John MacKay, PhD | BTS #70

In this behind-the-scenes episode of The Curious About Cannabis Podcast we drop in with natural products extraction expert John MacKay, PhD. Dr. MacKay has been involved in both extraction and analytical technology for decades and has gained a lifetime of experience that he is eager to share with others. An avid educator and lifelong learner himself, Dr. MacKay teaches about Cannabis and mushroom extraction through the John MacKay Institute of Extraction Technology where he offers engaging hands-on workshops to teach the fundamentals of natural products extraction as applied to Cannabis and mushrooms. He is also a professor through several universities where he teaches about biochemistry. John is a wealth of information and has a solid sense of humor, so I hope you enjoy this conversation!

Learn more about the John MacKay Institute of Extraction Technology: https://www.extractioninstitute.com/

Learn more about Synergistic Technologies Associates: https://www.synergistictechassociates.com/

Delta-8-THC and Other Obscure Cannabinoids | Narcotica #63

Recently I spoke with Troy Farah on the podcast Narcotica all about cannabinoid science, delta-8-THC, issues around vaping and legalization, and more! Thanks to the team at Narcotica for allowing us to share this episode! I hope you enjoy! Stay curious, and take it easy.

About this Episode of Narcotica:

“Nearly half the U.S. population now have access to adult-use cannabis. Marijuana is a medicine, if it’s cultivated or extracted right, and millions of people find relief or pleasure from this fantastic plant. But as legalization accelerates, regulations have struggled to keep up. Most experts and maybe many consumers would agree that cannabis is not well regulated or could use some improvements.

Meanwhile, new cannabinoids like delta-8-THC, THC-O and more are hitting the streets, licit and illicit. This is a rapidly changing environment, which is far beyond THC and CBD, the two most well-known drugs in marijuana. It leaves a lot of questions: Are these ‘new’ cannabinoids safe? What do they do in the body? What about vaping them?

Narcotica co-host Troy Farah speaks with Jason Wilson of Medford Oregon, host of the Curious About Cannabis podcast, and author of the book of the same name, which can be found at CACpodcast.com. Jason is a biologist and science educator that has been studying the biochemistry of the cannabis plant and cannabis-derived products for nearly a decade. Jason has done work with groups like the International Institute for Cannabinoids (ICANNA) and serves as a member on the board of directors for the Oregon Cannabis Education and Resource Center.

Follow Jason on Twitter @AboutCannabis

If you liked this episode, here are others you might enjoy:
Episode 53: A Life of Getting Lit with Tommy Chong
Episode 49: Salvia: Psychedelic Oddity (Plus, Canada’s Emerging Psilocybin Scene)
Episode 25: Banning Kratom Will Escalate the Opioid Overdose Crisis with Walter Prozialeck

Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel
Co-producer: Garrett Farah
Music: Glass Boy / Done With Fish
Intro voice: Jenny Schaye
Image: Flickr — Willpower Studios // edit: Troy Farah

BTS #61 Markus Roggen PhD on Optimizing Cannabis Extraction and Research

In this behind-the-scenes episode we sit down with chemist Dr. Markus Roggen of Delic Labs (formerly Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures) to talk about his journey to help Cannabis processors and researchers optimize their processes, make better products and uncover better data about Cannabis and cannabinoids.

Throughout the conversation we talk about his journey coming from Germany to California and what it was like getting involved in Cannabis research. We also discuss many of the different research projects that he has been involved in and the insights that he and his teams have been able to gain about extraction science and cannabinoid chemistry. Finally we discuss some of the work that Delic Labs is doing with psychedelics and what they hope to uncover about nature’s mind manifesting molecules.

You can learn more about Delic Labs at: https://deliclabs.com/

Stay curious and take it easy!

BTS #43 Murphy Murri (Returns!) on CRC, Color in Extracts, Concentrate Remediation

In this behind-the-scenes conversation we are rejoined with extraction technologist and Cannabis educator Murphy Murri to talk all about CRC aka “Color Remediation Cartridges”. CRC has gained a lot of buzz, both positive and negative, in recent years as extractors experiment with refinement techniques that manipulate the appearance of the extract. The concept of “colorless” Cannabis extracts was largely popularized by The Clear years ago, and now has become commonplace. But what is CRC? And what is happening to these extracts when their color is “remediated”? And does CRC present any risks to consumers or extraction technicians?

Murphy Murri provides a common sense take on CRC for anyone wanting to wrap their minds around this popular topic.

BTS #39 Arno Hazekamp PhD on Cannabis Chemovars, Controversies, and the Need for Better Education

In this behind-the-scenes interview we are joined by Arno Hazekamp, PhD. Arno is based out of the Netherlands and has been researching Cannabis since 2001. He is probably most famous for proposing the concept of Cannabis chemovars to replace the idea of “strains”. His work has primarily focused on examining the chemical constituents of Cannabis and Cannabis products including Cannabis teas, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and more. He has also published numerous papers on other topics like Cannabis sterilization via gamma irradiation, review papers on human clinical research around Cannabis, and many more.

Arno shares my passion for science communication and science education, which came through very clearly in this conversation. We discussed many different topics over the course of the two hours including common Cannabis misconceptions, evidence for therapeutic applications of Cannabis, how to think about “strains” and indica/sativa vernacular, the best way to make Cannabis tea, the importance of writing scientific papers with a lay audience in mind, and a whole lot more!

Connecting with Arno was a delight and I look forward to talking to him again in the future. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Learn more about Arno’s work at https://hazekamp.info/

BTS #38 Jeffrey Raber PhD on The Werc Shop, Cannabis Testing, Delta-8 THC Impurities, Product Standardization

In this behind-the-scenes episode we talk with Dr. Jeff Raber of The Werc Shop, a Cannabis and cannabinoid science and technology company that began testing Cannabis products in California back in 2010. Our conversation explores Dr. Raber’s background in biochemistry, the turbulent history of Cannabis testing labs, how Cannabis companies began leveraging Cannabis test results to improve products, impurities found in delta-8 THC products, the future of The Werc Shop and more!

Learn more about The Werc Shop: https://thewercshop.com/

The Curious About Cannabis Podcast is produced by Natural Learning Enterprises, a mission driven company focused on enhancing critical thinking skills and public scientific literacy about life and the natural world. If you enjoy Curious About Cannabis, consider checking out some of these other programs by Natural Learning Enterprises:

Learn more about Natural Learning Enterprises at www.NaturalEDU.com

BTS #32 Mark Scialdone PhD on Cannabis Chemistry History, Hydrogenated Cannabinoids, Science and Art

In this behind-the-scenes episode we sit down with Mark Scialdone PhD, a chemist responsible for inventing hydrogenated cannabinoid acids, semi-synthetic cannabinoids that could be effective at battling certain types of cancer. We discuss the history of cannabinoid science, controversy around cannabinoid boiling points, how Mark learned from his research with catnip essential oil hydrogenation and how he adapted the technology for Cannabis essential oil, the importance of balancing science with art, the future of Cannabis research, his role in helping the American Chemical Society’s Cannabis Chemistry subdivision get started, and much more.

This episode was cut for time. To listen to the extended 2+ hour version, visit www.Patreon.com/CuriousAboutCannabis

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