Designer Cannabinoids: The Hemp Industry is Playing “God” and That May Not Be A Good Thing
(Chemists in the hemp and cannabis industry don’t look like the wacky guy in the picture. I thought is was kinda funny and helped prove the bad side of my point.)
Human innovation is awesome until it isn’t.
It’s why we have A/C, cars, smart phones, medicine, and gummy bears. However, it is also why we have to fear nuclear weapons, VX nerve agent, and fentanyl. It’s human nature to try to improve things, so if your job is to figure out how to kill lots of people, all of the innovations are unbridled successes.
A problem is the seed of innovation. We identify a problem and then we try to figure out better ways to fix. Back in the day, when it was too hot, humanity’s best solution was to get naked and fan their faces with their hands. Then some smarter people discovered fanning themselves with big leaves, then fans, then A/C was discovered. There may have been a few steps I glossed over, so don’t use this for your history of A/C school projects.
If you’ve done any research on the hemp and cannabis industries, you’ll quickly see there are LOTS of problems. These problems include things that need to be fixed like advertising bans, restricted access to banking and financial services, consumer quality protections, and an arbitrarily low limit of .3% D9 THC.
Delta-9 THC not being psychoactive enough IS NOT a problem that needs to be ‘innovated.’
Which leads me to the newish craze of designer cannabinoids.
I’m talking about THC-0-Acetate (THC-0), hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), and tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP).
The main selling points of these ‘novel’ cannabinoids is that they are stronger than D9-THC and legal. In fact, they say that THCP is 33x stronger than D9 THC. I won’t take it, so I’m taking their word for it.
Advocates of these cannabinoids will say that these cannabinoids are natural because trace amounts of them have been found in plant samples. While this is true, consuming something with .0002% is different from consuming something that’s 10%…like a 100,000x different.
Advocates also say that because they’re natural (sort of) and no one has ever died from using marijuana, then the compounds are automatically safe. I guess the transitive property works for salesmen logic. The truth is that we don’t know if THC0, HHC, and THCP are safe. The cannabis plant makes these chemicals in such miniscule concentrations, that humans have not consumed these concentrations ever before. It could literary be something as crazy as 1 x 20mg THCP gummy may have more mg of THCP that Tommy Chong has cumulatively consumed his entire life.
Here’s something else. Synthesizing THC0 involves acetalizing THC. Heroin is made by acetizing morphine. Heroin is stronger than morphine, so I believe that THC0 is stronger than THC.
What are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to discover a way to make cannabis deadly or dangerous?
Once of cannabis’ biggest benefits is that it is an incredibly safe and non-toxic compound – IN ITS NATURAL STATE.
But concentrating pure CBD, converting it D9 THC, and then acetalizing the D9 into THC0 is not a natural state.
You first have to question the cleanliness of solvents used, the reaction conditions’ perfectness, and the thoroughness of solvent removal and neutralization. Performing these reactions perfectly is very, very, very, very complicated. Performing these reactions “good enough” to show up as THC0 on a GC Mass Spec calibrated to see “good enough” THC0 isn’t as hard. Go YouTube it, there’s tons of people showing you how to do it. The problem is that if the reaction isn’t done exactly how the cannabis plant does it, it may not be the same. It’s like Judd Crandall from Pet Cemetery, “What you put in the ground isn’t what comes out.” Or go read about thalidomide and chirality.
This isn’t what’s even the scariest part. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that all the THC0 and THCP are identical to the molecules produced by a cannabis sativa plant. We still don’t know what high dose, long-term use of these compounds do. No one does. It’s possible that they can cure cancer. It’s also possible that they could cause cancer. The point is these are very bioactive compounds that we know barely anything about.
Don’t you think it’s kinda interesting that before THC concentrates and 500mg brownies were mainstreamed, you never even heard of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome and THC Psychosis.
It’s because they didn’t exist. We used to think that cannabis was 100% safe, but now we are learning that if we play God and start ‘innovating’ it, we can do to cannabis what we’ve done to everything else…make it bad.
The truth is no one knows if these new cannabinoids are safe or not. There’s a chance that are as safe as traditional THCs. There’s a chance that they cause horrible long-term damage. Like everything else in life, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of the extremes.
I hope that I don’t lose any customers, but I don’t plan on Better Than Nine ever carrying THC0, HHC, THCP, or anything else that they make up in a lab. If 1 delta 8 gummy isn’t enough, eat 2 delta 9s, but don’t go get a crack pipe. God made the cannabis plant the way it’s supposed to be. Humans have lived with it harmoniously for 1000s of years. Let’s not create the ‘fentanyl’ of marijuana.
They already figured out how to make Delta 9 THC stronger and it was called K2 and Spice. Go read about how great that worked out.
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