We reported that there have been brands of fake shatter floating around the black market. No one yet knows the identity of the impurity hiding in some cannabis extracts. It only unveils itself after being soaked in alcohol. Pine resin is alcohol-soluble meaning something else has been found, but there are plenty of water-soluble stabilizers that could explain this. If you follow patent documents, you will have noticed a recent trend of binding cannabinoids to various stabilizers and gums. This technology appears to reflect fake shatter. If you think the tested legal market is going to be your safe haven for cannabis extracts, unfortunately, we have to be the bearer of bad news.
Cannabis Extracts under Canada’s legal definitions include inhalable and ingestable concentrate solids and liquids above 3% THC.
Regulations for ingestable and vaporizable extracts encourage the use of stabilizers, even requiring that cannabinoids are equally distributed throughout them. Oh, to put an extreme on dosage restrictions and forever ruin the future of diamonds.
Excluding extracts of the highest potency
Wizard stones, High Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extract (HCFSE), or Diamonds are highly purified nuggets of acidic cannabinoids like CBDa and THCa that bolster their glisten in jars, dripping in damp, dank terps. A beautiful thing that may not follow Canada’s rule that requires cannabinoids to be perfectly dispersed throughout extracts, likely to ensure an accurate dose. A single pure diamond could pass, but any terpenes would inconsistently absorb some THC, which would violate the rule. As for shatter, it’s structure should be perfectly aligned, hence its transparent appearance. This impeccable crystallization can be achieved in both raw diamonds and shatter, so they may have a chance in the legal market.
Particles are usually mixed for a length of time by a magnetic stir plate to ensure they spread evenly into a solution. Budders, sauces, distillates, and hash rosin will certainly have an expansive future. The dread is not over consistency though, that can be manipulated artificially. Producers are permitted to add carriers and stabilizes, just not sugars or sweeteners.
A legal market reflects it’s sin into the illicit
The water-soluble anomaly in Canada’s and even the USA’s black market cannabis extract right now has shaken an underground industry. Meanwhile, patents for the stabilization of cannabinoids are rampant with legalization catalyzing them. Those patents could very well have motivated the scammers operating in the unrestricted markets. Perhaps they are not scammers though, just unwise and out of place trying to stabilize a bad concentrate with cellulose gum or PVP, simply after reading a few documents on the internet. Beyond a little filler, the cannabinoids themselves could be fake. Unlike large producers though, black market dealers likely don’t have the means to biosynthesize and artificially create cannabinoids on their own.
Fake extract from the cannabinoid up
The solvents allowed for cannabis extracts are not exclusive to “solvents;” some substances are utilized as a base for cannabinoid synthesis. Completely fake cannabis has been a playground for certain producers finding the cheapest way to make cannabinoids. These synthetic compounds need to also be sold, yet the edible market is only one niche. Find a way to sell a completely fake shatter as the real thing and you have a con-artist gold mine. Alarmingly, that is an achievable goal with the allowance of flavouring agents, synthetic cannabinoids, and carriers in extracts.
The most stable form of acidic cannabinoids are sadly the new synthetic variations; natural THCa decarboxylates into its active form without as much difficulty. The easiest diamonds to produce for Canada’s failing legal market will be crystals blossomed either artificially out of chemicals, or biosynthetically from genetically hacked yeast or E. Coli.
Extracting regulated human damage
If pine resin causes you concern, you also want to avoid all of the upcoming carriers and false cannabinoids in Canada. Health Canada is starting to go through a major approval process for them right now. Our initial reaction to whatever ‘pine resin’ is, will hopefully be heard by the legal markets. That, unfortunately, becomes a false hope next to the deliberating noise of production costs. As long as an ‘inhalable extract’ passes the restrictions, it is not excluded from injuring people. This includes harm from an unlimited residual limit of legal pesticides. If someone concentrates enough sulphur into an extract, it will turn vile with the lethal gas, hydrogen sulphide.
“Our business model is price,” the President of Quadron Cannatech, Leo Chamberland stated in a facility tour CLN was invited to and attended. They are currently developing and marketing upscale cannabis and hemp extraction services with Soma Labs and Worldclass Extractions. They let venture partners handle the finalization of a product, rather than formulate their own stabilized distillate from crude cannabis oil.
Vitamin safety overlooked
Consumers know the only quality comes from good starting material that has been properly extracted. Despite the obvious dos and don’ts, producers have an arsenal of choices to feebly attempt to raise the quality of extract, all without improving their starting material. With a Vitamin E derivative being blamed for the vape crisis, you would expect vitamins to be banned as additives. Canada’s unofficial chart even says, “no added vitamins or minerals.” Well, with some dismay, according to Cannabis Regulations vitamins are indeed permissible stabilizers, if they are used to improve quality.
Extracting an actual ingredient list
It is unlikely we will see extract stabilizers as technical as one does in a pesticide formulation. Many inert ingredients lie in those labels, which are regulated under Health Canada‘s PMRA arm and the Pest Control Act. Cannabis, on the other hand, is regulated through several acts, including the Food and Drug Regulations. Under this, cannabis extracts do have to display an ingredient list. A sigh of relief, yes, but do not get too comfortable. Many ingredients can be exempt from this label when combined with something as a mixture, as long as it does not modify the “food.”
Splitting solvents from stabilizers
Interestingly, is that cannabis is a “natural health product,” not food. So, those various mixtures can be exempt from a cannabis extract’s ingredient list, despite only being allowed in the extract if they improve the quality.
Producers will certainly be careful with their claims here.
Rather than explore the effects of vaporization on a long extraneous list of regular food ingredients, we will first characterize groups of solvents that are approved in cannabis extraction in an upcoming series with CLN. In the meantime, a person can get ready for legalization 2.0 today. If they can find a good supply of free-market flower, hash and rosin that was pressed with good equipment, and generally, extract made by a skilled friend if they’re not fully capable, themselves.
Photo Courtesy of International High Life
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