HIGH TIMES U.S. Cannabis Cup panels, WA 2014

Canna-business 101: How to open yours (09/07/2014)

• Jen Bernstein (moderator), HIGH TIMES
Adam Mintz, Steep Hill Halent
• Garyn Angel, Magical Butter
• Brett Albanese, Cloud Penz.
• Kitty Dunleavy Miller, Cannabis Farmers Markets, Kit-Tea’s Herbal Remedies
• Aaron Justis, Buds & Roses LA, Kushman Veganics

The Science of Cannabis: Understanding Our Medicine (09/06/2014)

Adam Mintz (moderator), Steep Hill Halent
Rev. Dr. Kymron deCesare, Steep Hill Halent
• Dr. Benson Hausman, Elemental Wellness Center

The New Washington Apple: Navigating i502 (09/06/2014)

• Kurt Boehl (moderator), criminal defense attorney
• Adam Smith, Avitas Agriculture
• Michael Devlin, consumer goods professional
• Lauren Downes, Herbal Nation
• James Lathrop, Cannabis City
Adam Mintz, Steep Hill Halent

CBN: A Sleeping Synergy

Many who have heard of the cannabinoid Cannabinol (CBN) have a negative impression of the compound, as it is typically believed to be a degraded compound that appears in old, poorly stored cannabis. However, this bleak perspective is not entirely accurate.

Unlike most cannabinoids, CBN rarely results from the decarboxylation of its acid form (CBNA). Most of the CBN found in cannabis is due to the degradation of THC, wherein the THC has oxidized to CBN.

CBN is either non-psychoactive or very mildly psychoactive. It reduces intraocular pressure in the eye (similar to D9THC), so it can be used in the treatment of Glaucoma without the psychoactive effects of THC. CBN is synergistic with THC for treatment purposes. CBN also fights free radicals in the bloodstream, and it performs similarly to THC in pain reduction treatments.

Of all the cannabinoids, CBN appears to be the most sedative. Not only is it sedative, it takes very little to do the job. The consumption of 2.5mg to 5mg of CBN has the same level of sedation as a mild pharmaceutical sedative, with a relaxed body sensation similar to 5mg to 10mg of diazepam. CBN is synergistic with both CBD and D9THC for inducement of sleeping, and when mixed in the correct ratios, CBN becomes an effective sleep aid of 5-6 hours duration.

As we do more research focused on CBN, we will no doubt discover more fascinating properties of this often misunderstood cannabinoid. In the meantime, CBN appears to be a beneficial alternative to THC for treatment, and patients that require low (or no) adverse psychoactive effects.


GC (decarboxylate) cannabinoid profile of Tangie Cookies Oil sample with noteable CBN concentrations

Download full PDF report — Tangie Cookies Oil

Read more — Indica or Sativa: Here’s How to Know

Lemberger, L., and H. Rowe. “Clinical pharmacology of nabilone, a cannabinol derivative.” Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics 18.06 (1975): 720-726.
Boissier, J. R. “Clinical pharmacological study and eeg changes of delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol effects in human volunteers.” Biochemical Pharmacology23 (1974): 751-755.

Mycotoxins, Molds, & Cannabis

Microbiological Screening at Steep Hill Halent

Molds (fungus) are living organisms that are often involved with the decomposition of organic matter. During the lifespan of a mold, it produces chemicals, by-products, and metabolites (like the alcohol produced by yeast during beer fermentation), including mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are so-named because they have been shown to be highly toxic to humans, animals, and plants. Along with acute toxicity (an immediate illness), continuous exposure to a specific mycotoxin often results in an allergic reaction resulting from buildup over time, that has the potential to be lethal to some patients. Once a patient becomes sick with a mycotoxin-induced type of allergy, the patient can remain allergic, becoming progressively sicker with each new exposure. Testing for  mycotoxins — and removing them from cannabis flowers — is critical.

The most commonly seen mold is mildew, which luckily is also the least harmful. For most cannabis consumers, mildew has nothing more than a very unpleasant taste, but to those with lung impairments, compromised immune systems, or allergies to molds, mildew can become a serious problem. Making matters more serious, in general terms, very little research has been done to date to measure the effects of smoking or inhaling mold or mold spores into the lungs, so we have very little understanding of how serious these issue are.

Microbiological contamination macro X200

Microbiological contamination macro X200

Aspergillus is a very toxic mold sometimes seen in cannabis. Aspergillus can be black, green, brown, white, yellow or blue in color. Some strains of Aspergillus contain a highly toxic mycotoxin called Ochratoxin. Ochratoxin is carcinogenic, destroys the kidneys, and causes neuropathic pain throughout the body. Routine laboratory testing for Aspergillus and Ochratoxin is done on coffee beans, red wine, cereals and dried fruits because of these concerns.

Another commonly-appearing Aspergillus strain is a mycotoxin called Aflatoxin, which is among the most carcinogenic chemicals known. Aflatoxin has been found in the breast milk of mammals eating contaminated feed, peanut butter, cooking oils such as olive oil, and in patients using contaminated cosmetics. Liquid chromatography (LC) testing has shown at least faint traces of Aflatoxin in at least 50% of food samples tested.

There are a variety of other molds and mycotoxins of concern. Under normal circumstances, the U.S. government, (through the F.D.A.) does an excellent job screening out these toxins from our food and drug supplies through mandatory testing. Unfortunately, since cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 substance, no mycotoxin testing is mandated by our government to protect us from these illnesses. Also, as mentioned previously, almost no testing has been specifically conducted to test the impact of inhalation of these molds and mycotoxins.

Cannabis patients and consumers need to be their own best advocate, and get in the habit of asking if the cannabis products they use are tested for mycotoxins, and if not, advise their supplier to test for mycotoxins.

Not Detected

Excerpt from Steep Hill Halent liquid chromatography report; mycotoxin and pesticide levels are below detectable limits. Solvent [hydrocarbon] cannabis concentrates may still contain mycotoxins, even though microbiological contaminants do not survive processing.

THCV Update: Doug’s Varin Strain

Doug's Varin Strain

Doug’s Varin Strain

Steep Hill Halent has finished analyzing kief from Doug’s Varin strain. Below are 2 lab reports; the first is unheated, and the second decarboxylated.

In the unheated sample, the THCA:THCVA ratio is a whopping 5:4, with 19% THCA and 15% THCVA. This means that each gram of this kief contains 190mg of THCA and 150mg of THCVA. This ratio is the lowest we have seen in this strain as other samples previously tested had slightly more THCVA than THCA.

Also note the 1.5% Myrcene. This large amount of Myrcene allows THC and THCV to enter the brain more quickly and in larger concentrations. Normally, with that level of Myrcene content, one would expect the kief to have a strong couch lock effect, but as it turns out, the extremely energetic effects of THCV negate the couch lock effect entirely.

When consumed, Doug’s Varin is exceptionally robust in its energetic properties, and also highly appetite suppressive. It is also very clear-headed, similar to Super Silver Haze, except Doug’s Varin delivers a more energetic reaction over a shorter duration as compared to Super Silver Haze.

The mother plant of this exceedingly rare strain has now been stabilized by three different expert horticulturists, who ultimately plan to release this strain for use in treatment of P.T.S.D., Parkinson’s, and other ailments for which it is exceptionally suited.


Doug’s Varin Kief

Download full PDF report — Doug’s Varin Kief


Doug’s Varin Kief – Decarboxylated

Download full PDF report — Doug’s Varin Kief [Decarboxylated]

Read more — THCV: The Sports Car of Cannabinoids

Rev. Dr. Kymron deCesare Chief Research Officer Steep Hill Halent

NextMarket Podcast: A Look at the PotTech Landscape with Steep Hill Halent’s Dave Lampach

NextMarket Podcast with Michael Wolf
Guest: David Lampach, Steep Hill Halent.

“While Mike doesn’t use pot, he’s been fascinated to watch the unfolding of a new legal market for it in his home state of Washington after voters approved the legal sale of pot at retail in 2012.

So when he was pitched a chat with Steep Hill’s CEO Dave Lampach, he said why not? After all, there’s a good chance legal market will be a multibillion market in the coming years, and there’s a gold rush in terms of new VC and investor money pouring into the pot-tech space.”

A big thank you to Michael Wolf for making this happen. Listen to more NextMarket podcasts at: