10 Questions To Ask Your Cannabis Scientist

Guest blog by Samantha Miller – The current cannabis laboratory environment is unregulated so consumers have to be savvy. Knowing what questions to ask a prospective cannabis lab is key.  To help the process a group of laboratory service providers* from various states along with an international advisor compiled a list of 10 questions to ask a cannabis scientist. This can act as a quick reference guide for those looking for a qualified laboratory partner.

10 Questions to ask your cannabis scientist

1. What training or expertise do you have to be able to perform cannabis analysis?

2. Which cannabinoids do you test for? Do you have reliable reference standards for all of them?

3. How is CBN related to THC, and why is it important to test for it?

4. What kind of samples do you test (flowers, edibles, tincture)? Have you optimized your extraction and analysis protocol for each kind of sample?

5. What do you do with left-over samples?

6. Are you aware of acidic cannabinoids? In samples such as edibles and tincture they can be present at high levels. How do you deal with that?

7. What is your analytical methodology for testing cannabis (HPLC [liquid chromatograph], GC [gas chromatograph], TLC, other)? What are the limitations of your selected method?

8. What is the average THC/CBD content your lab has measured?

9. Did your lab ever test the same cannabis twice, with very different results? What was the explanation for that, and what has been changed to prevent it from happening again?

10. Analytical methods need to be ‘validated’ before you can be sure they are fully reliable. Have you done this already, and how did you do this.  Did it include a third party?  If you didn’t do it yet, how can I be sure my results will be accurate?

* Contributors: Arno Hazekamp (Netherlands), Samantha Miller (Pure Analytics), Paula Morris (Medea Labs), Noel Palmer (Montana Botanical Analytics), Jeff Raber (The Werc Shop) and Eric Taylor (California Botanicals).  Collectively the ACS, Alliance for Cannabis Science.

For some guidance on answers please read: Cannabis Laboratories: The Testing Landscape in America

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business, affiliates or Freedom Is Green Media Group LLC. The information provided in this blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Questions? science(at)freedomisgreen.com

Big Apple Goes Green with Most Expensive Pot in America

Empire State NORML logo

Marijuana consumers in New York City already know that pot prices are sky high. But how about dropping a cool grand on a few grams? Professor Harry Levine and the Drug Policy Alliance released a landmark report this week showing that NYC sinks $75 million dollars annually into arrests for small amounts of marijuana. Read the full report

“We are spending all of this money to basically to get nickel bags, dime bags … a joint,” Levine said at a press conference last Thursday.

That would equate to $1,500 per nick’ or joint, assuring that New York City taxpayers own the most expensive pot in the country. Too bad no one will get to enjoy it.

Douglas Greene at Empire State NORML organized the press conference and it was a privilege for me to speak alongside some powerhouses of reform. Our job was to take an important message to the streets: Smoking marijuana is much safer than drinking alcohol for St Patrick’s Day.

Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist and popular author made a compelling case: “Alcohol withdrawal comes with a 30% chance of death. This is much more deadly than even heroin withdrawal.” She went on to emphasize the overwhelming safety of marijuana, a substance that never caused a single human death.

Doug Greene and Rev. Jay Goldstein (friend but not related) spoke on behalf of the local effort to change cannabis laws including a medical marijuana bill active in Albany.

Daniel Jabbour of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) emphasized that most pot arrests are young people of color who may loose their financial aid over a joint.

Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance closed out the talks with the appeal that all substance prohibitions should end.

The public gave us us a tremendously positive response. Scores of passersby gathered on both sides of Broadway listening to the passionate and informed speeches.

NYC saw gorgeous spring weather on Thursday for the celebration of everything Irish. The warm and welcome sun brought out a lot of green. There were emerald ties with every suit, prolific shamrock buttons, giant Leprechaun hats, more than few lime colored wigs and even bagpipes (ok those were plaid).

My own quote: “I say we wear green every single day until we get legalization because marijuana is safer every day not just on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Doug Greene, Chris Goldstein, Professor Harry Levine, Dr. Julie Holland, Rev. Jay Goldstein – photo by Jim Bissell

The second annual St. Patrick’s Day press conference was inspired by the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert.

10 Fast and Freewheeling Weed Quotes

Quotes are kinda like quick and easy snack food for the brain. Here’s some mental potato chips for your mind munching, thanks to the good folks at Baked Life.

1. “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”- William F. Buckley Jr.

2. “Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn’t like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton.” – Jay Leno

3. “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan

4. “The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it.” – J.W.D Henderson Director of the Bureau of Human Drugs, Health and Welfare, Canada

5. “Casual drug users should be taken out and shot.” – Darryl Gates Head of Los Angeles Police Department, United States Senate Judiciary Committee

6. “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.” –Bill Clinton

7. “When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” – Barack Obama

8. “Now, like, I’m President. It would be pretty hard for some drug guy to come into the White House and start offering it up, you know? I bet if they did, I hope I would say, ‘Hey, get lost. We don’t want any of that.” – George W. Bush

9. “I think pot should be legal. I don’t smoke it, but I like the smell of it.” – Andy Warhol

10. “I used to smoke marijuana. But I’ll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening – or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, midevening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early midafternoon, or perhaps the late-midafternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning. . . . But never at dusk.” – Steve Martin


“I used to do drugs. I still do, but I use to, too.” -Mitch Hedberg

“Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.” – Thomas Jefferson

Editor’s Note – The TJ quote was unattributed – LINK. The following however is fully attributed.

“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!”
George Washington in a note to his gardener at Mount Vernon (1794), The Writings of George Washington, Volume 33, page 270 (Library of Congress)