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Cannabinoids

What Is HHC (Hexahydrocannabinol) and Is It Safe To Use?

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The race is on to discover and develop new, more potent cannabinoids. It seems like everywhere you look there are novel compounds, different types of THC, or various cannabis synthetics hitting center stage. For the most part, these compounds have been met with initial interest that eventually wavers, so longevity in these markets is questionable. The latest on the market is hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC,

Cannabis is the name and products are our game. If there are new products on the market, we always strive to be among the first to try them and write about them, so our readers can have a clear idea of what they’re getting into before making a purchase. Now that HHC is finally available, make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for exclusive deals on Delta 8, Delta 10, THCV, and THCO, and to learn more about the industry.


What is HHC?

Honestly, the available information on HHC, scientifically known as 9-Nor-9β-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, is extremely limited and somewhat contradicting. Let’s start with whether it’s natural or synthetic: well, it can be both. There is a biologically active naturally occuring (−)-hexahydrocannabinol, as well as its synthetic enantiomer (+)-hexahydrocannabinol – the latter being what you’ll find in consumer products since natural HHC is only present in very trace amounts.

As the name suggests (Hexahydrocannabinol vs Tetrahydrocannabinol), HHC has many similarities to THC. It’s basically a simplified version of Delta 9 THC. Both HHC and THC have very similar molecular structures and comparable effects. It was discovered during research in the 1960s and 70s in which the goal was to find the most basic cannabinoid-like substances that could still bind to CB receptors.

HHC Vape Cartridges Sunset Sherbert
HHC Vape Cartridges Sunset Sherbert
(From the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter)

Very limited studies indicate that HHC has a decent safety profile in animal models and that it could have some medical potential, but we’ll get more into that a bit later. However, claims made by retailers regarding its legality and where it comes from are misleading at best.

What the Retailers Say

Let me start by saying that not many retailers are selling HHC yet. As a matter of fact, I’ve been able to find only three so far. All three of them have almost the exact same description on their sites for HHC, claiming that it is a naturally derived compound (found in cannabis pollen), extracted from hemp and federally legal.

I personally could not find anything to support the claim that HHC is found in cannabis pollen, or where exactly in the plant it’s found in highest concentrations. Also, what you’re getting in an HHC vape cart is a synthetic, as it would take way too much plant matter to extract a noticeable amount of this cannabinoid.

And because it’s synthetic, it’s also likely not legal. Because a version of the compound is naturally derived, that could fall under the industrial hemp legal loophole. The unnatural enantiomer of HHC is illegal because it is created using a chemical catalyst.

It’s important to remember that retailers might not always have all the information about rare and specialty cannabinoids. Their goal is to sell, so naturally, they will try to paint their new products in the most favorable light. This why you have to do your own research before trying new things, just because a statement is posted on a retailers website does not necessarily mean it’s true.

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Cancer Research

As far as HHC research goes, it’s nearly non-existent. However, both natural and synthetic cannabinoids have been found to suppress tumor growth in numerous different animal studies. One study in particular examined the angiogenic effects of several hexahydrocannabinol analogs to see how they can be used in cancer therapies.

As per the study: “Two analogs LYR-7 [(9S)-3,6,6,9-tetramethyl-6a,7,8,9,10,10a-hexahydro-6H-benzo[c]chromen-1-ol] and LYR-8 [(1-((9S)-1-hydroxy-6,6,9-trimethyl-6a,7,8,9,10,10a-hexahydro-6H-benzo[c]chromen-2-yl)ethanone)] were selected based on their anti-angiogenic activity and lack of binding affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Both LYR-7 and LYR-8 inhibited VEGF-induced proliferation, migration, and capillary-like tube formation of HUVECs in a concentration-dependent manner.”

HHC Vape Cartridges lucid blue
HHC Vape Cartridges lucid blue
(From the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter)

“The inhibitory effect of the compounds on cell proliferation was more selective in endothelial cells than in breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and tamoxifen-resistant MCF-7). We also noted effective inhibition of VEGF-induced new blood vessel formation by the compounds in the in vivo chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. Furthermore, both LYR analogs potently inhibited VEGF production and NF-κB transcriptional activity in cancer cells.”

“Additionally, LYR-7 or LYR-8 strongly inhibited breast cancer cell-induced angiogenesis and tumor growth. Together, these results suggest that novel synthetic hexahydrocannabinol analogs, LYR-7 and LYR-8, inhibit tumor growth by targeting VEGF-mediated angiogenesis signaling in endothelial cells and suppressing VEGF production and cancer cell growth.”

Simply put, these compounds block the growth of the blood vessels that feed tumors, rather than blocking growth of the tumor itself. So, it basically works as an angiogenesis inhibitor that starves any tumors.

Final Thoughts – HHC

Again, since research on HHC is so limited on this cannabinoid, there really is very little for me to share with you all. However, since it is being sold online already, you will have to do your due diligence and make sure that the product you’re getting is safe and the company you’re buying it from is legit. Other than that, we will continue to make updates to this article as more information on hexahydrocannabinol becomes available, so check back periodically for more.

Thank you stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. Remember to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one, and check out The CBD Flowers Weekly for exclusive deals on flowers and other cannabinoids.

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Which Cannabis Cannabinoids Will Survive Into the Future?

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There are a ton of new cannabis products coming out all the time now, some with more relevance and staying power than others. Which will really survive this stage and go into the next? It’s hard to say. Some cannabis discoveries have caught on better than others. Which cannabinoids will survive the current industry, any new decriminalization or legalizations that might occur, and prosper into the future? This still remains to be seen.

Is delta-8 one of the cannabis cannabinoids that will make it into the future? Of all the alternate cannabinoids on the market, delta-8 is the most popular, and most likely to make it big. We’re ahead of the game with tons of delta-8 THC products and deals for you to look into. But delta-8 isn’t alone in the game, other hemp-derived THC products, such as delta-10 THCTHCVTHCO, THC-PHHC are also selling very well and might survive into the future.

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Cannabis cannabinoids

Everyone knows about delta-9 THC. This is the main psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and the part that makes a person feel euphoric. THC was first isolated in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam, but it was first found by Roger Adams in the early 40’s, around the time that CBD was isolated. CBN was the first cannabinoid to be isolated, in an attempt to find the ‘intoxicating factor’ of cannabis, which it didn’t end up being. CBN was discovered by Thomas Easterfield at the end of the 1800’s.

Everyone also knows about CBD at this point, the other major cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, which is the primary cannabinoid of the low-THC hemp plants. Significantly less CBD is found in high-THC marijuana plants, and vice versa. CBD was discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams, although Alexander Todd discovered it at about the same time in the UK, making for dueling research and discoveries for several years.

The whole reason Roger Adams investigated cannabis at all, was at the behest of the US government. The US government, often through the military and CIA, has done all kinds of drug research and testing, from the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments, where THC-O-Acetate was given to military personnel, to MDMA tests during the Cold War era for use as psychological warfare. There are even various unconfirmed reports of unleashing chemicals like LSD in public places. That compounds like THC-O-Acetate and LSD were found on the streets at the time of such testing even indicates that street use might have been started by these organizations in an attempt to study the compounds further.

cannabis plant

This, of course, is supposition on my part, but in the 1940’s, the government did sponsor research into cannabis, with a main factor being the isolation of the intoxicating agent. In so doing this, and in the follow-up research when THC was isolated, several different cannabinoids were found, including other delta THC’s, like delta-8, delta-7, and delta-6, some naturally occurring, and some entirely synthetic. Other compounds were found around this time including CBL, CBC, and HHC.

Most of what has been mentioned are cannabinoids, but what exists in the actual cannabis plant, before decarboxylation, oxidation, or any other chemical process that changes the chemical structure, are phytocannabinoids. THCA and CBDA are the precursor acids to CBD and THC, and a range of other cannabinoids. These cannabinoid acids also have tons of medical benefits, but are different from their cannabinoid counterparts. THCA, for example, is not psychoactive, and does not cause the same response as its decarboxylated version, delta-9 THC.

Research into the cannabis plant has turned up tons of naturally occurring cananbinoids like delta-8 THC, THCV, CBC, CBG, and 11-hydroxy-THC, what delta-9 becomes after being ingested. There are also a range of purely synthetic compounds that can’t be found in nature. These include delta-10 THC, delta-7 THC, THC-O-Acetate, and HU 580.

How popular are these alternate cannabis cannabinoids?

This is an interesting question, and one without a formal answer, as there isn’t much data out on buying patterns for these products. This might be partly because this is an unregulated market, and a relatively new one, where that kind of information has not been collected as of yet. The best indication for establishing interest, come from individual sales statistics, mentions and conversations online, and overall population know-how about these compounds. Different researchers might turn up different opinions, since even these metrics involve personal research methods, and subjective analysis.

If a person is to blindly believe the marketing hype of an industry, delta-8 is about the biggest thing out there. But marketing campaigns are rarely real life, and looking at real metrics, (and over a period of time), is the better way of establishing where something actually fits into the grand scheme. Maybe delta-8 has raised in popularity, but if it has, will this be a passing fancy, to disappear in a year from now? And how big is this popularity to begin with?

It’s always good to remember that while it’s great to take the plant apart and find new ways to access different aspects of it, we never lose the original cannabis plant itself, which has been doing just fine keeping people happy for millennia. Whether these compounds really become stable market representatives or not, will likely do little to effect a worldwide cannabis industry that has propelled itself along, even under worldwide prohibition. This means, regardless of which currently out cannabis cannabinoids make it to the future, we’ll always have our standby.

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Sales statistics – there aren’t any

When it comes to sales, I don’t see any massive breakthrough reports about any of these compounds. Delta-8 THC gets the most press, but mainly only within the world of weed itself, and as a niche part of the cannabis market. For the most part, even delta-8 goes unnoticed in terms of sales statistics. Even in the articles where delta-8 is mentioned as a growing fad, none of them can offer any backup for this. In fact, an article like this one in Fortune Magazine, show this well. The article refers to delta-8 as the “fastest-growing segment of the market for hemp chemicals for roughly the last year.”

This makes it sound pretty big, right? But then it goes on to state that this happened only after “wholesale CBD prices plummeted amid oversupply and other issues.” This merely implies that with CBD leveling off (or possibly losing value), that delta-8 has taken its place as the top hemp chemical product. Even the comparison is weak, and shows a changing fad, from CBD to delta-8, with the inability to keep that trajectory long-term. Considering delta-8 isn’t likely to produce anything substantially new for users, the expectation of it getting to the point where it could threaten the longstanding regular cannabis industry, is sort of short-sighted.

One of the biggest indicators, which the authors of the Fortune article seemed to gloss over, is that if cannabis cannabinoids like delta-8 THC follow in the footsteps of CBD, they’re not going to make it into the future, especially if they don’t hit the same volume before leveling off. That CBD has lost momentum, is an indication that delta-8 is just a passing fancy too. 2021 numbers for CBD sales (when released) might help us understand how cannabis cannabinoids like delta-8 THC might fair in the future, better.

Mentions and conversations

Without sales statistics, one of the other ways to see how big something is, is simply in how much its mentioned and talked about. The internet is a huge place, so finding mentions of a subject is never that hard. But the questions become, how often is it mentioned, where is it mentioned, and what is being said? When it comes to delta-8 THC, the most popular of the alternate cannabis compounds, there are plenty of mentions online. Many of these mentions come from large scale publications that are non-cannabis related. Most mentions are of the fear variety, talking about the possible detriments, or mentioning new regulatory measures to keep it out. As an untaxed item with any amount of popularity, this makes sense. Delta-8 THC is undesirable for governments that can’t tax it.

But the general conversation is limited. Apart from what seem like pre-emptive fear-marketing campaigns, people aren’t talking about it all over the place. There aren’t a huge number of questions being asked, or reviews being given. Even a site like reddit, has some, but not too much. When I changed my search results to just the last month, only one reddit mention came up, and as a news article about issued warnings. A search for ‘Acapulco Gold’ turned up several mentions on Reddit just from the last month. And that says a lot. Since delta-8 proposes an issue to the government as an unregulated and untaxed product, the issues of legality and regulation are among the bigger talking points, when it does show up on-line.

Realistically, if the stuff is sitting on store shelves, at least some people are bound to buy it. Most of what’s written, however, seems like a reaction to the possibility of an out-of-control market, more than the reaction to an actually out-of-control market. This is also backed up by very few arrests being made, or government intervention beyond these articles.

cannabinoids

Do people know about it?

I find this question to be the most interesting one. It’s possible to get the wrong idea by something being seen online. It’s easy to forget how big the internet is, and how much is necessary to show real engagement with an industry or product. Marketers can fill internet pages with content that isn’t backed up by anything, and governments can put out campaigns in an effort to stop something before it starts. Neither has to indicate mass appeal, though they can be a factor in it. So, one of the best ways of assessing whether something has an influence, is to see if its actively influencing people. And this is where I see the biggest issue.

The vast majority of people have no idea what delta-8 THC is. Had I not been a writer in the cannabis industry, I probably wouldn’t know about it either. I know a lot of weed smokers, and somehow, not a single one has heard of this compound. First off, it’s only a US product that hasn’t gained popularity anywhere else, and that means we’re only looking at a US audience. On top of that, cannabis – as stated – is a stable industry, and its been there for a while. Even now it exists as bigger black markets than legal ones, which means, we already have a version we can use. It’s not like delta-8 is the answer to not being able to get any weed at all. We can all get it, and this will always be a roadblock to delta-8 sales.

Having said all this, I will point out one countering factor. Governments are making specific legislation to rule out delta-8 THC, even with other legalizations. This could indicate that sales are high enough to cause worry and necessitate these laws. But, it could also be a reactionary measure meant to stifle a possible industry, whether it would actually meet the potential indicated, or not. That it would be singled out by governments does say something for its existence, and ability for at least some popularity. However, even this doesn’t indicate that it’ll stick around.

Cannabinoids Future – Conclusion

None of this article really answers the question of what can be expected for all cannabis cannabinoids in the future. However, the most useful point comes from the fact that delta-8 seems to be following in the footsteps of CBD, which itself has been leveling off after a few years of being the golden product. If this is any indication, none of these products will last it out, not even delta-8 THC. In the end, there realistically isn’t a great reason for it. Does this mean it doesn’t have good or alternate benefits? No, it doesn’t mean that. But it’s also quite possible that the slightly lesser high and clearer head are more important  for medical patients, and might not be as desirable by those looking for a full effect. On top of that, reports of causing less anxiety have never been totally confirmed meaning it might not provide these effects the way we read about them.

Though this doesn’t mean something can’t catch on further, my best bet is that none of the newly released, bottom-feeding (let’s be honest) attempts to capture a greater part of the industry, will work. Alternate cannabis cannabinoids might be fun to try, but if they don’t provide a better answer, and if they come at a higher price, they’re likely to be dropped fast and never see the future. Luckily for us though, we’ll always have our regular weed. And if the last few years is any indication, our black markets for that aren’t going anywhere.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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My Personal Experience with Cannabis Synthetics

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There’s a lot that’s said about cannabis synthetics by different governments, and there’s accumulated information from many years of use by individuals. Sometimes, these two things don’t actually go together. Whereas tons of government smear campaigns are designed to cause fear in users over synthetics, I do not necessarily agree with any of this. As someone with a decent amount of experience with them, I’m more than happy to explain. Here is my own personal experience using cannabis synthetics.

While I have my own personal experience, the debate still rages on about cannabis synthetics. And we haven’t actually answered the question yet of whether delta-8 THC fits in this category. As a naturally occurring alternative to delta-9, delta-8 provides users with slightly less psychoactive effect, while also producing less anxiety and without sapping all a user’s energy. Synthetic or not, delta-8 provides a highly valuable experience which is great for both medical and recreational users. Test it out for yourself! We’ve got an array of delta-8 THC, delta 10, thcp, thco, thcv and even hhc deals, along with plenty of other compounds, for you to go ahead and get started.

What are cannabis synthetics?

This is an interesting question, but the answer is twofold, confusing (possibly deliberately), and devoid of much sense. However, having said that, my own experience is twofold, and most certainly describes why caution should be taken with cannabis synthetics. A synthetic cannabinoid, is a cannabinoid that either doesn’t exist in nature, and therefore must be created in a lab; or which does exist in nature, but in such small amounts that in order for human use, it must be synthesized in a lab to create enough for production. This latter point is indeed up for debate. Whether a synthesized version of something that does exist in nature, should be considered a synthetic, has not been 100% established, partially leading to the discrepancy in legalities when it comes to compounds like delta-8 THC.

So, to dive in, there are two kinds of synthetics, legal ones, and illegal ones. Legal synthetics are a part of the government authorized pharmaceutical industry that has sprouted up in response to cannabis legalizations. In America, the trend with legal synthetics started well before any medical or recreational legalizations, and began with the approval of Marinol (dronabinol) in 1985. The array of pharmaceutical – and therefore legal – synthetics, include Marinol, a synthetic of THC, Epidiolex, a cannabis -derived medicine based on CBD (with questions as to how synthetic it is), Sativex (Nabiximols), a synthetic based on THC and CBD, and Nabilone, another synthetic THC.

The one thing the medicines I just listed have in common, is that they are all approved legally for use by several different governments. This has not stopped governments, like France‘s, from trying to block out natural products in favor of the pharmaceutical version, even going as far as causing a whole lawsuit with the EU, just to protect pharmaceutical interest. We can all be glad that France didn’t win. When searching on the internet for ‘cannabis synthetics’, you’ll find something interesting, none of these show up, even though they are all examples of synthetic cannabis medicines. Your search results have been censored to only show illegal drugs when using those words.

create cannabis synthetics

On the other end are the illegal synthetics, which often get names like K2 and Spice. The funny thing though, is that these synthetics are directly based off of synthetics made by official cannabis researchers in the mid-1900’s when cannabis compounds were first being studied and mapped out. In fact, the main synthetics are actually based off of HHC, a compound that can be found on dispensary shelves itself, though its own legality is in question. It was, of course, studied by the government at one time, and tested for safety – which it showed to be. That it wasn’t used by the government has little to do with the fact that years after testing HHC, similar compounds were found on the black market.

According to the government, these untaxable black-market versions are considered dangerous, even though they are essentially the same as compounds discovered by the government and deemed safe. And according to the government, the only way for a synthetic to be safe, is for it to come from a taxable pharmaceutical company. Meaning while the government continues to demonize other government-made synthetics that simply are under no law for use at the moment, out of the other side of its mouth, its telling you that synthetics are not only just fine, but even preferable to the natural plant.

My experience with cannabis synthetics – flowers

My two modes of experience with synthetics come from smoking fake flowers, and from vaping synthetic vapes. As synthetic products are made to resemble the real ones, and don’t come with any accurate product labelling, I would never be able to say exactly which synthetics I’ve used. I can, however, say that my experiences are relatively consistent (on certain fronts), and my assumption when writing this, is that I likely used the popular forms of illegal synthetics that are around, namely K2 and Spice, which themselves denote ‘illegal synthetic’ more than anything with further specificity.

Now, to call the synthetic flowers I smoked, ‘flowers’, is disgraceful to actual cannabis flowers. The main brand of synthetic I smoked was called Mr. Niceguy, and this occurred in Israel from about 2010 to 2012, or so. At the time, it was actually very difficult to find weed in Tel Aviv, and Mr. Niceguy filled the gap. It appeared as crushed up leaves for the most part, nothing particularly cannabis-like about it. This makes sense as the synthetic is generally sprayed on. I found the effects of the synthetic to be consistent. I would get high, but it never felt exactly the same, or had the same intensity. It never made my head as cloudy as standard weed, but it definitely did get me high.

I will never say I consider this practice to be safe. By the end of my experience with it, I had tried another brand called Smart Joker, and this is where my bad experience came in. The problem with spraying a synthetic on leaves, is that where those leaves come from, and what else might be on them (fertilizer, pesticides, rat poison…) are not accounted for. So while the synthetic cannabis might not have been an issue (I honestly can’t say what the issue was for sure), the idea of random and unregulated chemical additives likely did become an issue.

I thought I was going to have a heart attack, and not in the standard THC overdose way. My heart began increasing in speed, and I began to lose the ability for motor control, to the point it became hard to control my body. It felt very much like being on a roller coaster that went out of control. Something was effecting me, and causing a massive speed-like response to my system. I happened to have a prescription for a light benzodiazepine, and in my somewhat-limited-understanding of the time, I did know that a benzo can often relieve other bad symptoms, especially those of an upper out of control.

cannabis synthetics

I was able to get enough inside me to stop the reaction, and bring myself back down. I do not know what would have happened if I had not been able to get to that medication in time, and I still find the whole experience to be one of the most frightening I’ve had. When there is talk of synthetics being dangerous, this is always the memory that comes to mind. And though I don’t automatically blame the actual synthetic, I am more than aware that I likely inhaled a very bad chemical that was also on the material. Having said all this though, about 99% of my experiences were not negative, and while everyone I know was smoking the stuff, I only heard of one other issue like mine. Meaning numbers-wise, the level of injury was incredibly low, and most likely not related to the synthetic itself.

My experience with cannabis synthetics – vapes

These days, the more relevant experience has to do with the synthetics used in cannabis vapes, as they are the popular product at the moment where synthetics can often be found. They also propose a different set of issues. Things like pesticides, rat poison, and fertilizers might not be an issue, but with vapes, we need to worry about chemicals used to thicken, or stabilize, or flavor, or preserve the oil, which much like with the additives on fake flowers, come with their own risks.

I have bought plenty of real vapes, but I’ve also bought vapes off the street and from illegal dispensaries. The one I have right now claims to be California Gold brand, Cherry Zkittles distillate, with 90% THC. I can smoke it all day and still get my work done and workout, two things that would never be possible for me if this cartridge was what it says it is. What it feels like, is exactly what I used to buy off the streets. It gives the same subtle high, but without messing with my head too much, and it’s rather short-lived. Basically, it feels like a less intense form of THC, and without other peripheral effects, much like what HHC was established for. It’s not bad, per say, but it certainly lacks the intensity I was hoping for. I don’t even know if I’d call it a sativa or an indica, because it doesn’t feel like either, and no synthetic I’ve had, ever did.

Now, in terms of safety, I can only tell you what I experienced. I can’t say if something I breathed in might cause cancer later, or if it damaged my throat or lungs more than a vape should have. But I can tell you how it feels. I find a lot of vapes can be harsh on the throat, which I do expect has to do with the heat and chemicals. Some vapes are smoother, which would indicate the chemicals used within do make a difference. For example, a real full flower cannabis oil cart won’t need flavoring, which means that’s one set of chemicals less.

I don’t know what hurt people in the past. No one really does, to be fair. There were so few actual injuries (despite government claims to inflate the problem), that its hard to know why. If vitamin-e-acetate was really the problem, and if it was widely used (maybe still is), then the death count would be much higher. That as few deaths as 68 have been confirmed in the US, from the advent of vaping to early 2020, due to vapes, says something about the actual level of danger. If vitamin-e-acetate is the biggest issue, then there doesn’t seem to be an issue.

In fact, with such few actual cases of injury and death, it presents as isolated incidences where a batch used an alternate chemical from the norm, thus causing these experiences. This mirrors my experience from above, as well as the nature of the history involving injury with cannabis synthetics. The one thing I can equivocally say for sure, is that I have harmed my body far less, (by ridiculously massive margins), by vaping over smoking. And as an asthmatic, I can also say this with complete medical certainty, as I have dealt for years with the damage due to smoking. And this means everything to me and my health.

smoking vs vaping

How to tell a synthetic cart from a real one

If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between a fake vape and a legit one, there are a few ways. For one, fake products usually have minor flaws or inconsistencies in packaging. If you are unsure if you have a real product, look up the specifics for that product and all the details in packaging. See if you can find subtle differences, but be careful, fakes operations are getting incredibly good at recreating accurate packaging, even down to test result claims, and the inclusion of QR codes. Next, synthetics will generally only be of distillates, not of full flower oils. The reason for this is that in real cannabis oils, the weed can be tasted, and that can’t be faked.

Since distillates have everything removed other than a specific cannabinoid like THC, there is no flavor to them. This means both distillates and synthetics (which have no flavor), require the same kind of flavoring chemicals, and will therefore taste the same, and never like real weed. If you ever by a full-flower vape oil that tastes like fake flavoring, it’s likely fake. The last thing to consider, is how it makes you feel. If you buy a distillate of a heavy indica, which claims 90% THC, that stuff should seriously weigh you down. Your mind should be cloudy, your body stuck to whatever it’s sitting on, and your mental processes slowed. If you get a semi-high without that intensity, its not real. In fact, if you can vape on that, and on one sold as a sativa, and get the same experience, it’s likely synthetic.

Synthetics don’t come with ranges, and you can’t pick what you’re getting. In my experience they feel about the same, and the high is – much like HHC was produced for, sort of minimalized. HHC was developed to be a paired down version of THC without any extra bells and whistles. It was meant to activate receptors and nothing else. Which is why the high is less extreme, almost in the periphery, and a lot can be smoked without causing THC sickness. If you find that you’re trying different distillates, and they all feel about the same, they’re probably synthetic.

Conclusion

While I can give my experience with cannabis synthetics, it’s not for me to tell anyone what they should feel comfortable with. As with anything else, I always implore others to do their own research, but to do it with eyes open. If something doesn’t make sense, question it. If something seems wrong, try to figure out why it’s being said. Most of all, use logic in life. If a story simply doesn’t make sense, there’s usually a reason, and that reason is 99.9% of the time monetary. But having said all this, also be aware of real dangers, and the things you can do to minimize your own exposure to bad products. These are huge industries that depend on you thinking a certain way to sell products. So do the best thing for yourself, and be your own informed buyer.

Welcome all! You’ve made it to CBDtesters.co, the ultimate one-stop-shop for all the most relevant and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Read-thru the site on a regular basis to stay informed on the constantly changing world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and make sure to sign up for our newsletter, so you never miss a single thing.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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Alexander Todd

Roger Adams and the Unexpected Discovery of CBD

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The name Raphael Mechoulam has gained prominence in the last several years, as he is the man who first isolated delta-9 THC. Not as many people are familiar with the scientist Roger Adams, though he was just as important in the early research on cannabis. The story of Roger Adams and the unexpected discovery of CBD marks one of the biggest milestones in today’s cannabis research. Here’s how it happened.

Not everyone knows the name Roger Adams, or that he made the unexpected discovery of CBD. Just like not everyone knows what delta-8 THC is, or how it relates to marijuana. Both are very important. Roger Adams made some of the biggest discoveries related to identifying cannabinoids; and delta-8 THC represents what that research provided – an alternate form of THC which causes less psychoactive high, less anxiety, and less cloudy head. We support cannabis research, and all the great stuff that comes out of it. Check out our deals for delta-9 THCdelta-8 THC, and for a range of other minor cannabinoids like THCVTHCPdelta 10HHCTHC-O and more, to experience the outcome of decades of research!

Who is this Roger Adams?

Born in 1889, Roger Adams was an organic chemist from Boston, Massachusetts. Adams is from the same family as former presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and is a direct descendent of John Adam’s grandfather. Adams attended Harvard University starting in 1903, and completed his undergraduate degree in three years. He went on to earn his PhD at Radcliffe College in 1912. He was such an outstanding student that he won the Parker Traveling Scholarship for 1912-1913, and used the money to work in laboratories in and around Berlin for that time period.

In 1913, Adams returned to the US, and began working as a research assistant, teaching organic chemistry at both Harvard and Radcliffe. He left the world of Harvard in 1916, upon accepting an assistant professor position at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He remained at this university for 56 years. Adams spent the majority of this time as the department head for chemistry, taking the role from his predecessor William A. Noyes.

While working in this position, Adams accomplished several things. Together with students he created the Adam’s Catalyst, something used in hydrogenation reactions along with an apparatus for using this catalyst. He also elucidated the composition of complex vegetable oils and plant alkaloids. In the late 1930’s he began research into the cannabis plant and isolated the cannabinoids CBN and CBD, synthesized both, found delta-9 THC, and did a partial synthesis of that as well. He also synthesized analogues of these compounds. In this way, Roger Adams was the first guy to create a synthetic cannabinoid.

discovery of cannabinoids

Thomas Easterfield & Robert S. Cahn, the guys before Roger Adams

Before getting into Roger Adams, and his discovery of CBD, there’re two other guys who need to be mentioned, Thomas Easterfield and Robert S. Cahn. As science builds on itself over time, Easterfield’s and Cahn’s discoveries were what led into some of the bigger milestones in cannabis research. It all started with the desire to find what ended up being THC. In the search for the compound that caused intoxication, cannabis was first distilled into a ‘red oil’, which was the first form of it to be studied in modern times.

This red oil was discovered in the late 1800s by Doctor Thomas Hill Easterfield, a member of the Cambridge Group, who had been lecturing at Cambridge University at that time. In the late 1800s when he wrote about the red oil, he called ‘cannabinol’ a narcotic, which it was later clarified not to be by Cahn. At that time cannabinol was the main focus of the cannabis plant, first thought to be the intoxicating factor, but there was intense confusion around it.

Both the red oil, and the compound within, were given the name cannabinol. Though deeper questions were not answered at that time, cannabinol was the first cannabinoid to be isolated, and this was done by Easterfield.

All research was stopped, and Easterfield moved to New Zealand, following a couple incidents. One that involved the death of two collaborators in a lab accident, and one that involved the voluntary ingestion of a large dose of cannabinol by another collaborator, which led to the guy being out of his mind, and wondering around the lab as it caught fire around him. The fire was put out, and he returned to normal, but the news of these accidents was exaggerated and used in smear campaigns against cannabis, with claims that it was causing death and injury to researchers. This stymied research at the time, and it took about three decades for the next major breakthrough, brought by Robert Cahn.

In the 1930s, Doctor Robert S. Cahn began studying the structure and bioactivity of CBN. Cahn called the red oil ‘crude cannabinol’. He used the name ‘cannabinol’ specifically for the pure compound within the oil which he was able to show did not have intoxicating properties, ending the idea that CBN was the psychoactive constituent of the plant. Cahn was able to map the structure of CBN, using the relative position of specific atoms and groups of atoms within the compound, but there were still several questions that didn’t get ironed out until Roger Adams and Alexander Todd began studying the compounds later that decade.

Roger Adams and the unexpected discovery of CBD

The whole idea with the research previous to Adams, was to locate the intoxicating element of cannabis, which was first thought to be cannabinol. Roger Adams began his research into cannabis after the Marihuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, meaning he couldn’t legally study the plant anymore, and had to receive authorization to do so. Prior to getting into cannabis research, Adams had been studying biphenyls and their atropisomerism. What this means is less important for our purposes, than the understanding that cannabinol is a biphenyl derivative, meaning Adams was already well versed in compounds similar to cannabinol, and this made him a great choice to study it.

Hemp-derived Delta 9 THC

It was actually the Bureau of Narcotics of the US Treasury Department which requested Adams do the research into cannabinol, in an effort to locate and isolate the intoxicating element. Funny enough, it was the general misunderstanding about cannabis at the time, that led to the confused discovery of CBD.

You see, cannabis was not well understood, and instead of providing Adams with high-THC cannabis (marijuana), he was provided with high-CBD cannabis (hemp). Using hemp to study THC is much harder, as there is considerably less of it there. THCA is the precursor to CBN, and it only exists in small amounts in hemp, whereas CBDA is more prevalent, but is the precursor to CBD, not CBN. This made it very difficult for Adams to isolate the already-known-about CBN from the plant.

It was this attempt to isolate CBN from the red oil which led Adams to try different methods of isolation. He could not get a direct crystallization of CBN by acetylation (a specific kind of chemical reaction). He instead tried other reagents, eventually finding himself with a previously unidentified crystalline substance. This substance ended up being CBD. In order to isolate the CBN, Adams had to go through a process of purification from the crystalline CBD, which means Adams had to identify a new cannabinoid, in order to isolate the one already found.

What about Alexander Todd?

The story of the discovery of CBD, is twofold. Though Roger Adams is the one who gets credit, there was a parallel discovery around the same time, and that was made by British chemist Doctor Alexander Todd. The two scientists were rather competitive in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, each publishing their discoveries as they came across them, and likely spurring each other on to work harder and do more.

There was even some contention between them as they both raced to find the same thing – THC, and though neither did find it, they did identify the other major component of the plant. In later years they actually became friends and formed a partnership, but I expect the competitive nature between them is what sped up the discoveries they made.

Anyway, Alexander Todd is more notorious for his winning of a Nobel prize for his work with nucleotides, but before this happened, he got into studying cannabis at the relatively young age of 32. He worked out of the University of Manchester with a very small research group, but was still able to isolate CBD from a sample of Indian hash. The hash had to be carefully gotten to him, as cannabis was illegal in Britain starting in 1928. When he published his paper in 1940, Todd was required to register at the Home Office for holding 2.5kg of hash.

Indian Hash

Part of what was interesting about the rivalry between Todd and Adams, is that they both made great discoveries, but were a generation apart in age and training, and used different means to make their discoveries. Todd identified CBD in an entirely different way, which was more in line with the principals of Cahn. Todd found he could take all the CBN out of the red oil using a type of chloride, and that in so doing, he could isolate a different cannabinoid – CBD.

In terms of who was technically first to make the discovery of CBD, it’s hard to say. In terms of published work, Todd had his first discoveries published in the journal Nature on March 2nd, 1940, but without any detail. Later that month, he published a full, detailed, version in the Journal of Chemical Society. On the other hand, Adams submit his first notes about CBD to the Journal of America Chemical Society in 1939, technically giving him the win, though the discoveries were essentially made in tandem.

These two scientists exemplify the often meandering line it takes to get from point A to point B in scientific research. And though neither reached the goal of finding the intoxicating agent, in attempting to do it, they both became pioneers in the world of cannabis research. Together, yet separately, they discovered one of the main aspects of the cannabis plant.

Conclusion

It’s quite possible that Roger Adams and the unexpected discovery of CBD was very much helped along by his rivalry with Alexander Todd. Either way, neither scientist reached the goal of isolating THC, though Roger Adams was able to identify it. It took another 25 years until Raphael Mechoulam finally did the job in 1964.

In a way, CBD was found completely accidentally. Though it would likely have been discovered at some point, it wasn’t even conceived of at the time it came to light. Roger Adams and Alexander Todd were trailblazers when it came to cannabis research, paving the way for Mechoulam, and the industry as we know it today.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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