The Fyllo Regulatory Database creates unparalleled visibility at every level of government across the United States with access to more than 800,000+ files and entries addressing cannabis regulations. Today’s leading MSOs, SSOs and law firms rely on Fyllo to accelerate research, track licensing opportunities and make better decisions. To learn more or schedule a demo, please visit hellofyllo.com.

Despite doubts that a Missouri ballot initiative to legalize cannabis would garner enough signatures to qualify for the election, voters will get to have their say this November. In August, the Secretary of State confirmed that the measure would appear on the ballot. The legislation would establish an adult-use licensed cannabis market, permit personal cultivation and work to release and expunge the records of those with cannabis related non-violent criminal convictions.

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The Fyllo Regulatory Database creates unparalleled visibility at every level of government across the United States with access to more than 800,000+ files and entries addressing cannabis regulations. Today’s leading MSOs, SSOs and law firms rely on Fyllo to accelerate research, track licensing opportunities and make better decisions. To learn more or schedule a demo, please visit hellofyllo.com.

A North Dakota ballot petition to legalize recreational cannabis has officially been verified for the November 8, 2022, election. The group New Approach North Dakota submitted nearly 26,000 signatures in July, approximately 10,000 more than required for qualification. If approved by voters, the measure would allow personal possession and retail sales of cannabis by adults 21 and older. A licensed marketplace could be ready to launch by the fall of 2023.

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There’s no doubt about it, cannabis is the most recognizable plant in the world. Either through pop culture, propaganda, or religion most people can identify its signature leaf. The reason for this is simple, humans love the feeling that comes from ingesting the unique compounds found in cannabis.

It’s ironic though. That famous leaf produces very little of the compounds that get you high. That function is the responsibility of a much lesser-known part of the plant, the trichome. Trichomes are tiny hair-like structures that coat cannabis flower. They’re what make great weed look “frosty,” feel sticky and smell unique. Broken down, they are tiny chemical factories that focus on one thing: making cannabinoids and terpenes.

Trichomes are far from unique to cannabis, however. More than 30% of plants have trichomes. Go check the tomatoes you’re growing on the patio. Did you see them? All over the leaves, stems, and in some cases, the tomato fruit itself. Nearly any herb you cook with has trichomes on the living plant. Pine trees have specially designed trichomes referred to as resin ducts inside their needles. Trichomes are everywhere in the plant world and serve various plants with various functions. Some trichomes protect the plant from insect invaders. Others provide a way to send signals to their neighbors. Others help with attracting animals that help with pollination and seed dispersal.

Let’s start with the basics. Plants perform photosynthesis. To refresh a 7th-grade biology class, plants turn carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. Trichomes generally don’t do this. Trichomes take sugar from their neighboring leaf cells and turn that sugar into special chemicals, like terpenes and cannabinoids. Its because of these tiny special cells that the global cannabis industry exists.

To recap: trichomes = good. Great, you’ve got the basics. As the cannabis market has matured, so have its consumers. While compressed trichome products, like hashish, are likely as old as written history, the past decade has seen an explosion of consumer products focused on trichomes. Starting with the rise of BHO (butane hash oil) in the legacy market of the early 2000s, trichome concentrates now makeup>20% of legal cannabis sales. With that growth has come great innovation in producing concentrated cannabis products.

One of the concentrate segments that has seen massive growth over the past two years is solvent-less rosin. Flower, or isolated trichomes (hash), is pressed between two heated plates to produce a waxy concentrate used typically for dabbing or vaporizing. This is a product that is considered more of an art than an exact science.

Science does play a part though. As this product has exploded in popularity, rosin producers have identified which traits make for exceptional rosin quality. The most referenced plant trait for rosin production is the trichome cuticle. Where the bigger the cuticle, the higher the rosin quality. To supply superior cultivars for rosin production, breeders have now turned their attention toward breeding for bigger trichome cuticles.

While the cannabis flower (and its leaf) get the credit for a multi-billion-dollar industry, the trichome is the true workhorse that should garner the spotlight and will continue to drive innovation in consumer-focused cannabis products.

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Part III – Beyond Cannabinoids

Terpenes, thiols, and esters expand Cannabis characterization

U.S. federal regulation of Cannabis based products is inevitable. For regulatory purposes, Cannabis products are likely best categorized as dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are not considered food or medicine. Consumers use dietary supplements for diverse reasons, including improving or maintaining general health and wellness.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 sets the regulatory framework for dietary supplements defining products that contain one or more of the following ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or botanical, or a concentrate, metabolite, extract, or combination of these ingredients. Cannabis products are primarily manufactured and marketed as botanical, thereby fitting the description for dietary supplements.

Cannabis contains several hundred naturally occurring ingredients. Beyond the set of unique cannabinoids are compounds that contribute to flavor, color, aroma, and health effects. This broad spectrum of active constituents presents the biggest challenge to characterizing Cannabis products. As a solution, Cannabis characterization should include a comprehensive lexicon of the multiple chemical classes intrinsic to the plant.

The CESC’s Dosing Project initiative addresses the problem by analyzing the terpene content of Type I (THC-dominant) Cannabis flowers. Understanding that flowers are the primary source of all Cannabis botanical products, Dr. John Abrams, co-founder, and Chief Science Officer of the CESC explains the approach, “We started by looking under the light. Our initial goal was to chemically describe subtypes of THC-dominant flowers, the most popular Cannabis product category.”

Terpenes are a class of natural products and dominant constituents in Cannabis essential oil. The CESC has identified (mono)terpenes beta-pinene and limonene, which together serve to define major subtypes of Type I Cannabis. Consequently, the relative amounts of these two terpenes can be used to correlate and ultimately predict the energizing (Sativa) or relaxing (Indica) effect common to smoking or vaporizing different Cannabis flower subtypes.

The traditional approach to distinguishing Cannabis flower subtypes involves aroma. Cannabis flower aromas are attributed to different experiences. Cannabis terpenes, thiols (sulfur-containing organic compounds), and esters are major contributors. These and other volatile organic compounds may ultimately predict Cannabis effects.

As a next step, CESC deployed a computational algorithm that evaluates over 500,000 chemical signals using an approach that discriminates Gas Chromatography (GC) results based on sample categories. The GC signals are untargeted (not dependent on the use of calibrated reference standards) allowing for the discovery of new and unanticipated compounds. This approach was developed in collaboration with Veda Scientific and SepSolve Analytical. Leo Welder, CEO of Veda Scientific, explains, “With this new platform, we are identifying new or previously unidentified compounds found in Cannabis flowers and derivative products. Our analysis casts a very broad net.Veda Scientific, a California-based Cannabis analytical laboratory, uses the untargeted analytical approach to facilitate Cannabis research and development.

Advances in Cannabis science are imperative for the growth of a revitalized Cannabis industry. Years of prohibition have left a gap in the fundamental understanding of how to characterize and categorize the Cannabis plant. Currently, most marketed products are presented in botanical forms or their herbal extracts. As such, the DSHEA pathway is, in the near-term, the best fit for the federal regulation of Cannabis products sold in the U.S. The CESC and its partners have led the industry by introducing novel analysis of Cannabis flowers. As a result, growers and manufacturers can rely on an algorithm that characterizes Cannabis beyond cannabinoids.

The CESC is a non-profit organization that relies on community support for its ongoing investigations. DONATE to Cannabis Science

For more information visit the CESC at www.thecesc.org

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