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European Cannabis Events 2019

The most comprehensive and updated list of all the major European 2019 Cannabis Events; cannabis expo, scientific, business and hemp conferences.

Cannabis is gaining worldwide attention, as more countries are beginning to implement medical cannabis and recreational laws. The European cannabis market is steadily growing and the interest in gaining knowledge about cannabis in at an all-time high (no pun intended).

The number of cannabis event in Europe in 2019 has increased, as some organizers are expanding their conferences to different European countries (ICBC, Cannabis Europa), and other biennial conferences are returning this year (IACM, GRC).

With so many choices this year, the planning, promoting and quality of organization will be critical components of a good cannabis event. Last year, some events were cancelled, due to financial problems, mainly lack of sponsors, and schedule problems. Before determining the date of an event it is essential to check for similar events happening in EU as well as in other countries.

Below you will find a list of all the major cannabis 2019 EU events. Some events still need to update their pages, other will be announced later in the year. I will try to keep the list updated as much as possible, so you will have the most comprehensive guide on European 2019 cannabis events.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

You can find more detailed information about the specific events in the following section where I have divide all the events into 4 categories for a more focused search. The categories are:

  • Cannabis Business conference EU 2019
  • Cannabis Expo EU 2019
  • Cannabis Scientific Conference EU 2019
  • Hemp Conference EU 2019

Cannabis Business Conferences EU 2019

Future Cannabis Strategies Europe 2019, 29-30.1.2019, London, UK

Future Cannabis Strategies Europe will bring together strategic business leaders from across the wider European Consumer-Facing Cannabis products category, this includes CBD/ Cannabis Products & Devices, Beverages, Tobacco, Cosmetics & Nutraceuticals, together with solution providers for 2 days of insight, discussion and debate into how manufacturers can:

  • Understand consumer trends & demands from European cannabis derived product consumers
  • Identify opportunities to introduce Cannabis/ Hemp infused products into existing products
  • Review recent product innovation to understand how market trends are adapting
  • Introduce the ‘Cannabis Products Directive’ to explain how this affects and regulates the industry across Europe

Cannabis Europa 8.2.2019, Paris, France

On the 8th of February 2019, the brightest and best from the medical cannabis industry will convene at the historic Maison de la Chimie in Paris for a one-day event. With attitudes towards cannabis changing in France and movement towards regulation stirring, now is the time to visit the City of Light.

ICBC Barcelona 2019, 14.2.2019, Barcelona, Spain  

Join us at the Auditori de Cornellà in Barcelona to learn about doing cannabis business in Europe and network with the top companies and agencies in today’s new marketplace.

Cannabis Business France 2019, 9-10.4.2019, Paris, France

The Most Important Event on the Development of the Cannabis and Hemp Market in France. Through a mix of case-study presentations, interactive roundtable discussions, Q&A sessions and hands-on workshops you will gain a diverse and inspiring perspective on the digital future. The multi stream format allows you to move freely between the conferences and choose the sessions of most interest and relevance. Create your program from the case studies and interactive round tables.

ICBC Berlin 2019, 31.3–2.4.2019, Berlin, Germany

Learn about doing cannabis business in Germany and network with the top companies and agencies in today’s new marketplace.

ICBC Zurich 2019, 15-16.5.2019, Zurich, Switzerland

The International Cannabis Business Conference will be held on Thursday,16 May. Early Bird tickets include all speaker sessions and exhibitor area and entry to an exclusive private after-party on Thursday night.

Cannabis Europa 24-25.6.2019, London, UK

Mark your calendars, Cannabis Europa is back with its flagship two day event in London on the 24th and 25th June 2019

Cannabis Expo’s EU 2019

Athens Cannabis Expo 2019, 11-13.1.2019

The purpose of the event is to inform the public about all the products and innovations that exist in the world of cannabis and the latest achievements in the medical, pharmaceutical and industrial use of cannabis. Come to get to know all the innovative companies that are active in the cannabis sector with many different products and services such as CBD (Cannabidiol), cosmetics, cocktails, seeds, medical, vaporizers, clothing and many more.

Canapa Mundi 15-17 February 2019, Rome, Italy

What is Canapa Mundi? It is the International Fair which has been bringing in Rome hemp fragrance and taste since 2015: the biggest event in Italy in exponential growth, the only officially recognized as International. In 2017: 7.500m², 120 stands, 23,000 attendances, 6,000 accredited professionals. In 2018: 9,000m², 150 stands, a relevant increase of visitors is expected.

Spanabis Barcelona, 15-17 March, Barcelona, Spain

Spannabis is the reference trade show for the cannabis sector worldwide.
Sixteen years of culture, innovation and cannabis industry, hand in hand with the most outstanding brands of the moment.

Konopex Ostrava,19.-21. 4. 2019, Ostrava, Czech Republic

The expositions dedicated to cannabis, seeds, indoor and outdoor techniques, as well as expositions focused on garden technology and other medicinal herbs will be prepared for you.

You will learn a lot of interesting information and news about the use of cannabis in medicine, construction, industry, or among animals. Vaporizers and smokers’ enthusiasts will also be there. Here you will find everything you want to know and need to buy for the coming growing season.

You can also look forward to a rich accompanying program, including lectures, conferences, conferences or hemp exchanges where you can discuss and trade with renowned experts. Last but not least, there are workshops, competitions and afterparty for you.

Hanfexpo – Erste Wiener Hanfmesse 2019, 26-28.4.2019, Vienna, Austria

For the first time a hemp fair will take place from 26-28 April 2019 in the MARX HALLE in Vienna. More than 140 exhibitors from Austria and abroad will present the latest trends on the hemp market, all in a 13,000 m² large venue. On display will be a large number of products for cultivation, care, fertilisation and the protection of plants. In addition cosmetics, clothing, food and literature with countless other novelties and sensations that are waiting for you around the hemp plant. A special focus is on the field of medicine with numerous lectures to round off the varied programme.

CannaTrade, 17-19. 5 .2019, Zürich, Switzerland

Welcome to CannaTrade, Europe’s oldest hemp fair! The history of CannaTrade begins in 2001, when the international cannabis trade fair CannaTrade was held in the halls of the BEA Expo in Bern for the first time from the “Swiss Hemp Days”. In 2008, CannaTrade moved to Basel for two editions and until 2016 it took place every two years in the Stadthalle Dietikon / Zurich. It has been held annually since 2018, in Hall 622 in Zurich-Oerilkon.

Mary Jane Berlin 2019, 21-23.6.2019, Berlin, Germany

Mary Jane Berlin starts it fourth edition in Berlin – with over 9,000 m2 of hall space and 5,000 m2 of outdoor space is “Mary Jane Berlin” the leading German Cannabis exhibition with more than 250 international exhibitors and 25,000 visitors. “Mary Jane Berlin” is not only an exhibition but also a festival. In combination with our exhibitors, Beach Area & Badeschiff, food stalls, live concerts and lectures about cannabis’ therapeutic effects an extensive cultural and entertainment program is offered. As a visitor of Mary Jane Berlin, we inform you about the variety of THE green power plant – as food, cosmetic, building material, medicine and much more!

Europe CBD Expo London 2019, 12-13.7.2019, London, UK

Welcome to Europe’s largest CBD Expo, 4000 square meters, 81 exhibitors including producers, manufacturers and distributors. This Expo is solely for CBD products, helping businesses connect and understand the CBD industry.

CannaFair 2019, 23-25.8.2019, Dusseldorf, Germany

The cannabis industry in Europe and Germany has experienced a noticeable upswing in recent years.
Now the time is ripe for a cannabis fair in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s biggest state and one of the most populous areas of Europe. The CannaFair would like to contribute to this upswing trend from 2019 onwards and offer all cannabis companies the best possible platform to present themselves and their products.

Product Earth Expo 2019, 23-25.8.2019, Coventry, UK

Product Earth Expo is the UK’s Only Cannabis and Hemp, Music, Exhibition, Seminar and Camping festival. Aimed at educating the public, sharing innovation and promoting the progress of the UK Cannabis and Hemp Industries. The 2 day camping weekend includes seminars, live music, DJ’s and exhibitors.

North Grow Expo , 6-8.9.2019, Herning, Denmark

Cultiva, 10-13.10.2019, Vienna, Austria  

Canapa in Mostra, 25-27.10.2019, Naples, Italy

The industrial and medical cannabis fair.

Cannabis Scientific Conferences EU 2019

STCM Conference 3.0 2019 «Medical Cannabis Today and Tomorrow» , 19.1.2019

After the very successful conference 1.0 of the year 2013 and 2.0 in 2016, the STCM conference 3.0 2019 aims again at presenting current basic scientific, clinical, legal and regulatory facts and trends, serving as base for an objective discussion of the re-medicalisation of Cannabinoids and Cannabis products. In addition, the market regulation for recreational use is discussed. The conference addresses to medical professionals, scientists, caregivers, patients, patient organisations, politicians, regulatory authorities, media people, and the broad public.

The 2nd International Annual Congress on Controversies on Cannabis-Based Medicines,23-24.5.2019, Barcelona, Spain

Med-Cannabis2019 follows the success of the first Congress held in Vienna and will continue to address the many controversies surrounding cannabis-based medicines. Strong public and patient demand has led to the decision to allow cannabis products for medical use in most European countries. There is a lot of basic-science and clinical research on the potential use of cannabis products for chronic pain and cancer management as well as controversies on the potential harms.

This Congress will bring together researchers, clinicians, trialists, methodologists, industry professionals, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, and national cannabis agencies to update the current state of knowledge and of controversies and to outline some visions of the potential of cannabis based medicines.

Cannabinoid Function in the CNS (Gordon Research Seminar) -Dissecting the Roles and Functions of Plant-Derived Cannabinoids, 20–21.7.2019, Castelldefels, Spain

The Gordon Research Seminar on Cannabinoid Function in the CNS is a unique forum for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas. This edition of the GRS on Cannabinoid Function in the CNS will focus on plant-derived cannabinoids.

Cannabinoid Function in the CNS – Gordon Research Conference, July 21 – 26, 2019, Castelldefels, Spain

Better Maps for the Retrograde Route: Molecular, Synaptic and Circuit Mechanisms Opening Novel Avenues for Cannabinoid Research to Leap from Bench to Bedside the major objective of the 2019 “Cannabinoid Function in the CNS” Gordon Research Conference is to showcase unpublished research data addressing the burning questions of cannabinoid research thereby stimulating the life science community to focus on solving these pending challenges

The IACM Conference 2019, 31.10-2.11.2019, Berlin, Germany.

The IACM Conference 2019 will be held on October 31 – November 2, 2019, at Estrel Hotel, Berlin, Germany.

Hemp Conference EU 2019

Hemp & CBD Expo: Birmingham, 2-3.3.2019, Birmingham, UK

The Hemp and CBD Expo will be held in Hall 18 of the Birmingham NEC, one of the UK’s most prestigious and dynamic venues. We aim to provide a fantastic weekend event over the 2nd and 3rd of March. The professional environment coupled with the opportunity for both education and enjoyment means our event is sure to be a hit, no matter what your reason for attending. Both B2B and B2C guests are encouraged to join us at what will be the first dedicated Hemp and CBD event the UK has ever seen!

Hempfest: Milan, 3-5.5.2019, Milan, Italy  

4.20 HEMP FEST has become the first International Cannabis Expo of Milan, Italy’s most important market within the industry. In the 4th edition of 4.20 HEMP FEST, you’ll be to enjoy three days of music, art, culture, hemp food, talks and conferences with international companies and new products of the sector.

Many more events will be announced later this year and I will add them to the list. If I missed any relevant cannabis 2019 events please let me know in the comments, so I can add them to the list.

Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis 2018

2018 was an eventful year for Canada; not only did they legalize recreational use of cannabis but the Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis took place for the first time outside of Leiden. This was a great opportunity to share valuable information about all aspects of medical cannabis to Canadians and anyone else who was willing to join us in from the 28th of October to the 2nd of November in Ottawa.

For those who are not familiar with the Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis, it is a 5-day intense course on all aspects of medical cannabis presented by some of the most renowned cannabis experts. As Dr. Arno Hazekamp, the founder creator of this course, likes to put it; it is a guided tour into cultivation, research and development of medical cannabis, a meet and greet with diverse professionals, and a place where you can ask questions, share insights and learn from other cannabis enthusiasts.

Ottawa, here we come!

The timing of the Masterclass was strategically planed, just a 2 weeks after Canada just legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Now, one expect that this meant you could legally buy cannabis in specialized shops – one would be wrong. To my surprise, the local government decided to only allow the selling of cannabis trough online stores, as brick and mortar stores would be allowed to operate only from April 2019. Despite these limitations, as predicted by many, there was a shortage of cannabis and cannabis products, and most shops, that actually were allowed to sell, run out of products in just a few days. We have seen this scenario happening in many times and yet nobody seems to learn from it.

The venue was the Novotel hotel, situated in downtown Ottawa right next to a labyrinth 4-story mall, where I got lost a few times, and the delightful ByWard market, full of restaurants, delicatessen and grocery stores. The weather was a bit gloomy, not ideal for sightseeing but good enough for keeping us in the classroom, where the learning commenced.

The program

The Masterclass is divide in to 5 main sections or the 5 P’s; Plant, Product, Patient, Physician and Policy. Each presentation was talking about one of the 5P’s

From top left to right: Dr. W. Brent R. Pollock , Nick Pateras and Dr. Ernie Small

This year we had the opportunity to listen to learn from some of the most influential cannabis experts (Dr. Ernie Small, Dr. John McPartland, Dr. Jahan Marcu), with a particular emphasis on Canada, as many presenters were locals (Prof. Lakshmi P. Kotra, Dr. Caroline MacCallum, Dr. W. Brent R. Pollock ), who provided us with specific insights on the Canadian cannabis situation (Mike McGuire, Dr. Bruno Battistini).

From left to right Dr. Bruno Battistini, Dr. Chris Spooner and Dr. Caroline MacCallum

Of all the great presentations and presenters, I will mention just two that stayed in my mind; Dr. Mike Dixon and Dr. Chris Spooner.

From left to right: Tal Lupo , Yewande Okuleye and Mike McGuire

Dr. Mike Dixon took us on a journey into the future, as alluded in the title of his presentation “Applications of Space Exploration Technologies in Medical Cannabis Production”. Most of us already know, that for producing standardized medical cannabis (cannabis flos), it has to be grown in a closed environment where you can monitor all the environmental aspects and achieve homogenous growing conditions. This is due to the fact that phytocannabinoids and terpenes are secondary metabolites, that the plant produces as an adaptation to environmental factors. Mike has taken this to another level with the help of space technology to finely tune and monitor, every aspect of plant growth and the impacts these changes can have on plant morphology and the production of secondary metabolites. Light, CO2, oxygen, nutrients, water, temperature, and air quality, are all important factors, that can be modulated, to achieve stability and maximal yields of the desired constituents. It was fascination to see, how different wavelength of light, in different areas of the plant, had such a profound effect on the production of certain cannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids. I am confident, that the implementation of this type of technology will greatly improve the standardized medical cannabis quality.

From top left to right: Joscha Krauss, Gregor Zorn and Dr. Mike Dixon

Dr. Chris Spooner presentation “Integrative Cannabinoid Therapeutics” gave us an insight into the endocannabinoidi system as a master regulator of our body’s homeostasis and how, via different mechanisms, we can help it in its important task. Several studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies can impair ECS function and integrating omega-3 fats, vitamin d and methylated B vitamins, can improve the overall efficacy of this crucial system. The gut microbiome also has an essential role in health, as these beneficial microorganisms have important roles in various aspects of our health. It is refreshing to see a doctor with such a holistic approach and I wish more physicians would embrace this kind of integrative treatment, that has been successfully used for centuries but was systematically eradicated and replaced by modern age allopathic treatment.

From top left to right Miri Ogintz, Prof. Lakshmi P. Kotra and Roy Upton

The information that all the presenters delivered was highly appreciated by the class of 2018 and they also had the possibility of continuing the conversation with the speakers, further deepening the knowledge of all the interesting cannabis subjects.

Filed trip to Smith Falls

The last day of the Masterclass is reserved for a visit to a licensed producer. Usually the visit was to Bedrocan’s facility in the Netherlands, but this year, being in Canada, we visited Canopy Growth and its facility in Smith Falls, just an hour away from Ottawa.

Bruce Lipton, the CEO of Canopy Growth at Smith Falls
The visit to Tweed

Bruce Linton , the CEO of Canopy Growth, introduced us to the Canopy’s beginnings, its current situation and future plans. We had a tour of the various rooms, where cannabis is cloned, grown and made into its final products. We also took a tour of the Cannabis museum, where I found myself teaching the guides about the ECS, cannabinoids, terpenes and their interactions.

Being the last day of the Masterclass, we had a farewell dinner, where besides having a great time, the students of 2018 also got their certificates, officially adding them to our Masterclass family.

Conclusion and MMC 2019

Once again, the Masterclass 2018 was a fantastic event, a gathering of old friends and new acquaintances, full to the brim with interesting information, people and a time to enjoy likeminded professionals with cannabis as the glue that held it all together.

What about the future? The Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis will return in 2019, this time expanded to both continents.It is still too early to divulge the details so be sure to follow this blog and the Masterclass page for updates.

Cannabicum 2018 – The Hungarian Medical Cannabis Conference

The historical city of Budapest hosted an important conference in early September of this year. Organized by the Hungarian Medical Cannabis Association (MOKE), Cannabicum took place over 2 days and provided important information about all aspects of medical cannabis. The conference was divided into two days; the first day was dedicated to medical professionals while the second was dedicated to patients.

Day 1

The program of the first day was an introduction to medical cannabis for medical professionals, politicians and other professionals wanting to know about this emerging field. It attracted people form all over Hungary, showing the demand for quality scientific information about medical cannabis.

From left to right: Dr. Pavel Pachta, Dr. Eva Milz and Gregor Zorn

Miki Szelestei, the president of MOKE, launched the conference with his introductory speech followed by Peter Sarosi who presented a historical review of medical cannabis in Hungary. Dr. Pavel Pachta gave us some important information about the legal situation of medical cannabis in the world, the recent Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) special session dedicated to carrying out pre-reviews of cannabis and cannabis-related substances and the potential changes it might have on the global level (you can find out more about the session here). I did a presentation about the endocannabinoid system and its important role health which was a great introduction to Dr. Bilkei-Gorzó András talk about the therapeutic possibilities of cannabis in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

From left to right: Kardos Tamás , Dr. Gil Lewitus and Dr. Bilkei-Gorzó András

After the lunch break, Miki Szelestei talked about the current hurdles of obtaining medical cannabis in Hungary and why it has to change. Dr. Gil Lewitus, a researcher from the Technion in Israel, presented interesting information on the importance of various combinations of various cannabis constituents in the treatment of nervous system disorders and autism.

For the last part of the day, I had a medical cannabis workshop/course for medical professionals, where I presented some important topics about cannabis constituents, methods of intake, dosing, tolerance, drug interactions, synthetic cannabinoids, toxicity, and side effects.

DAY 2

The second day was dedicated to helping patients understand the basics of medical cannabis therapies and giving them a chance to ask specific questions. Dr. Bonni Goldstein had a very insightful presentation about her experience with treating children with epilepsy, autism and ADHD. I then talked about the constituents of cannabis and their potential therapeutic use followed by DR. Eva Miltz who talked about her experience with cannabinoids in psychiatry. Kardos Tamás presented the current situation of medical cannabis programs in Europe.

The last part of the second day was focused on the possibilities of developing a medical cannabis program in Hungary, with talks from Horváth József and dr. Papp Szidónia on their experience with cannabinoid treatments, as well as patients sharing their own personal experiences with CBD preparations. This was especially important, as the audience could ask questions and also share their frustrations, fears and experiences, with the current situation of medical cannabis in their country.

CONCLUSION

The Cannabicum medical cannabis conference was a success and fulfilled its main objectives in education and informing medical professionals, patients and attendees about medical cannabis and it’s many uses.

The conference was executed very professionally, thanks to the dedication of a small group of very passionate people – Miki, Rita, Richárd, Borbála, Hanna, Timea, Péter and Ábrahám – the members of MOKE. Great job guys!

I would also like to thank all the other people who were crucial in the organisation and technical aspects of the conference and a special shootout goes to the two interpreter ladies, who had a daunting task in translating all the technical stuff, that we cannabis geeks like to talk about.

This is only the first part of this Hungarian story and I am confident the Cannabicum will become a staple in the European medical cannabis conference circuit.

European Cannabis Events 2018 August-December

The first half of 2018 has been packed with cannabis expos, symposiums and business events, showing us that there is a rising interest in these types of events in Europe. Record breaking attendances, sold out events and thousands of curious, knowledge seeking attendees, have demonstrated that this industry is growing exponentially in the EU, as well as worldwide.

New events are popping up all over Europe, so I decide to make a list of the events leading to 2019.

I listed the events by month and colour coded them, for better comprehension:

  • Business
  • Expo
  • Science/Education

August

Cannabis business Europe, 27-28 August , Frankfurt, Germany

The European Event on the Development of the Cannabis and Hemp Market.

Cannabis business Europe will offer a mix of case-study presentations, interactive roundtable discussions, Q&A sessions and hands-on workshops you will gain a diverse and inspiring perspective on the digital future. The multi stream format allows you to move freely between the conferences and choose the sessions of most interest and relevance. Create your program from the case studies and interactive round tables.

 September

North Grow Cannabis Expo, 7-9 September, Copenhagen, Denmark

We proudly invite you to the first Cannabis Expo on Scandinavian soil.

It is our ambition to organize an International event, to inform the Scandinavians about the benefits of Cannabis and Hemp. We hope to raise awareness about Cannabis with a 3 day event that offers exhibitors, speakers, debates and entertainment – right here in Copenhagen!

Cannabicum – Hungarian Medical Cannabis Conference, 8-9 September, Budapest, Hungary

The main objective of the Hungarian Medical Cannabis conference is to present the potential of medical use of cannabis, its international experience and the latest research results with the widest possible range of society; and to launch a wide-ranging social consultation on the possibilities of developing the Hungarian Cannabis program.

During the two-day event, the lectures of the area’s domestic and international experts will alternate with roundtable discussion on various themes.

Expogrow, 14-16 September, Irun, Spain

September 14th, 15th and 16th is marked in green on the calendar of professionals, cannabis industry experts, worldwide companies and those visitors eager to know the new advances of the sector that will be exhibited at EXPOGROW.

A unique trade show that never stops growing and innovating since its first edition in 2012.

The 7th edition will take place once again at the fairgrounds of Ficoba, in the frontier town of Irún. With its 5000 m2 divided in 4 pavilions and 7000 m2 outdoors, Expogrow is the largest cannabis fair in Europe.

Regarding the exhibition brands, in Expogrow you will find the most relevant seeds banks, growshops, distributors, growing products, accessories, lighting, fertilizers, etc… as well as new products made out of CBD, vaporizers or the novelties in machinery and technology.

Salonica Cannabis Expo 2018, 28-30 September, Thessaloniki, Greece

The International Cannabis Expo travels to Northern Greece, and specifically in Thessaloniki, from 28 to 30 September 2018 and invites you to Porto Palace, in order not only to teach you everything you didn’t know about this precious plant, but also to meet all the Greek and foreign professionals and their medical and industrial products. Our goal is for all patients to get in touch with each other as well as with the ventures that already operate in Greece with foreign innovative companies, so that they may exchange ideas, perspectives and expertise.

More than 70 exhibitors and a big variety of products such as: pharmaceutical products, food products, clothing, cosmetics, vaporizers, seeds, building materials, agriculture and industrial equipment and applications, are some of the innovations that the visitors of Salonica Cannabis Expo will get to experience.

October

Cultiva Hemp Expo, 12-14 October, Veinna, Austria

Here all revolves around the useful and medical plant hemp, including novelties and innovations concerning the – wrongly bedeviled – recreational and medical use, the usage as sustainable natural resource and of course also hemp as precious superfood.

The exhibitor list for Cultiva 2018 is complete and can be viewed on our online stand map. Various exhibitors with the thematic focal points CBD, seeds, grow, head, equipment, food, cosmetics, building materials and much more will be represented with booths. Workshops, Live-shows, innovations and product presentations as well as special offers, round off the program.

Cannapa in Mostra, 26-28 October, Naples, Italy

Cannapa in Mostra proposes hemp as an ecological resource in the agrarian, energetic, medical, recreational, textile, paper and bioconstruction industry, and in every other aspect and possible use, trying to demolish the socio-cultural preconception that goes against his real and massive re-introduction in the Italian context.

There are a lot of possible uses for this plant, but with the progress of technology and of scientific discoveries, they could be unlimited, furthermore the incessant request of new eco-friendly technologies asks for new researches on this adaptable material.

The purpose of the organization is to let people and institutions know about the potentialities of the hemp, and to restore the old tradition that links our country to the hemp, specifically the region called Campania, trying to bring togheter workers, experts, enthusiastic and whoever is intrigued by this rising and growing industry, allowing them to grow and to exchange knowledge.

November

EuroAmerican Cannabis Business Conference, 1–2 November 2018, Prague, Czech Republic

EuroAmerican Cannabis Business Conference

November 1-2, 2018

PVA EXPO PRAHA Letňany

International Cannabis B2B Conference in the Heart of Europe

Cannafest, 2-4 November, Prague, Czech Republic

The international trade show of cannabis and medicinal herbs Cannafest is the largest cannabis trade show in the world. It’s 9th year will take place November 2nd – 4th 2018, in the beautiful setting of the Expo Prague-Letnany.

Visitors can be looking forward to seeing exclusive exhibitions including cultivation technology, fertilizers, seeds, smoking accessories, vaporizers both on display and on sale. Don´t miss on purchasing various hemp cosmetic products and clothing and have some delicious hemp snacks with us!

Lisbon Medical Cannabis – 9-10 November – Lisbon, Portugal

Cannabis for Medicinal purposes was just approved by the Portuguese Parliament on June 15th 2018. New regulatory reforms will enable patients with a medical prescription to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes, but the information on this subject barely exist in Portugal.

LISBON MEDICAL CANNABIS will be an excellent opportunity for the general public and health practitioners to learn with some of the most renowned physicians and researchers in the field.

The event is organized by Cannativa — Associação de Estudos sobre Canábis — a non-profit association for the studies on Cannabis. We are a multidisciplinary team that contributes with reliable scientific information for the Cannabis regulation in Portugal.

 

 

Canna Douro, 17-18 November, Porto, Portugal

CANNADOURO in 2017 has established itself as the meeting point for cannabis culture of the entire Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, receiving visitors from the Algarve to Galicia. The city of Porto and Portugal became part of the international calendar of cannabis fairs held in Europe. The 2nd EDITION OF CANNADOURO will be held on 17 and 18 November 2018 again at Centro de Congressos da Alfândega do Porto.

The exhibition space of this year’s edition will be expanded allowing the presence of more national and international companies related to the current uses of cannabis and that represent all the innovative and entrepreneurial capacity of this business sector. THE CONFERENCES continue to be a strong commitment to promote public debate concerning the use of hemp in all its aspects: industrial, recreational and medicinal, fighting the prejudice regarding this multi-versatile plant. Regarding recreational use,  Cannadouro Conferences aims to promote the conscious use of cannabis in order to prevent and minimize problems of individual and public health. On medicinal use CannaDouro again seeks to make accessible all the therapeutic potentialities and faculties of cannabis.

Cannabizz Warsaw 2018, 30.11-2.12, Warsaw, Poland

We proudly invite you to the Cannabizz Warsaw 2018. The first weekend of December will be a nice end of this year’s Cannabis fairs season and a perfect start to the next year!

We welcome you in the heart of Poland’s economy – Warsaw. On 10,000 m² of floor space exhibitors from all over Europe will present their latest developments and trends on the hemp market. A wide variety of different products on the topics growing, indoor gardening, seeds for collectors, lightning, paraphernalia, medicine and cosmetics will be shown to the interested visitors. As a framework program a congress with international well-known speakers from science, medicine and industry will be held.

International Cannabis Policy Conference 2018, 7-9 December
Vienna, Austria

The International think & do tank, FAAAT joins specialized association ICACO in organizing an International Cannabis Policy Conference, attached to a major United Nations summit on cannabis and drug policies

Purpose of the International Cannabis Policy Conference:

● Bring together an International community of cannabis decision makers,
entrepreneurs, and scientists
● Review and explore existing & future international law and regulations
● Showcase potential of hemp and Cannabis policy reform for multiple Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
● Brief Countries, UN & WHO decision-makers about the potential of hemp and the social, economic and human rights-compliance benefits of supporting the descheduling of Cannabis on the International level
● Expand Cannabis regulation from only covering human health to cover all
potential uses as sustainable supercrops – Clarify and disprove hemp/ Cannabis misconceptions, and explore the vast array of uses of hemp as an effective tool for sustainable development and societies.
● Show up the existing, innovating and rising market.

 

I probably missed some event, so if you know of any cannabis related event happening in the second half of this year, let me know in the comments, and I will add it to the list.

The Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis 2018 Reunion

Right before the 29th ICRS conference, another event took place in the historic city of Leiden, the Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis® reunion. It was a 3 day gathering of all the 6 previous masterclass classes in the majestic setting of the Leiden botanical gardens.

The Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis® is the brainchild of Dr. Arno Hazekamp, a very well-known name to anyone in the cannabis scientific community, who has been studying medical cannabis for nearly 2 decades. It is a 5-day journey into all aspects of medicinal cannabis, presented by some of the most renowned cannabis experts.

84 participants form 28 different countries have shared this experience in the previous years, but this time, we got a chance to meet with all the past participants. This time, we also had the opportunity of having a presentation and share our work, passion and vision with the other attendees.

Masterclass Medicianl Cannabis 2018 reunion_gregorzorn.com

The venue

The MMC reunion was held in the north-eastern part of the Leiden botanical gardens, a green oasis in the middle of a vibrant city. Not only was the location magnificent, but also the gods were smiling upon us, as we had atypically sunny and hot weather for this time, with temperatures exceeding 25 degrees Celsius daily!

The program

All 3 days were packed with interesting presentations from the masterclass team, students and special guests. A big part of the presentations was dedicated to the medical cannabis situations in various countries; Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, USA, Brazil, Latin America and India. We also learned about blockchain technology, cannabis testing, cannabinoids and terpenoids, endocannabinoid dysregulation, and educational courses. It would take too long to write about all of the excellent presentations, so I am going to mention just two, form these year’s guest speakers.

Cannabis worldwide (left to right) Joscha Krauss (MH medical hemp), Dr. Ricardo Fereirra (SBEC) and Zena Prokosh (Zreyas Consulting).

The species issue

Dr. John McPartland was one of the invited keynote speakers and his presentation “New works of cannabis systemics – family, genus, species, subspecies” was a preview of the unpublished work that he also presented, partially, at the ICRS meeting.

John, in his typical historically accurate fashion, gave us a brief introduction on the history of the Leiden Botanical Garden (estd. 1590), it’s influence for botany and medicine in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, as well as its connections with the cannabis plant.

I could do a whole post just about this wonderful presentation (being a biologist I may have a slight bias) but to cut things short, the three main questions that stood out from his presentation were;

  1. The place of origin of the cannabis plant
  2. Its presence in Europe
  3. The one species, two species, indica-sativa nomenclature dilemma

His conclusions:

  1. The northeastern Tibetan plateau
  2. Older than we previously thought
  3. C.sativa and C. indica, once and for all, are NOT different species; they are different subspecies or different varieties

I won’t spoil it too much for, if you want to deepen your knowledge into this subject I suggest you read his papers.

Three masters of cannabis research (left to right) Dr. Arno Hazekamp (Hazekamp Herbal Consulting), Dr. John Mc Partland (University of Vermont) and Dr. Rudolf Brenneisen (University of Bern).

40 years of cannabis research

That is how long dr. Rudolf Brenneisen has been involved in cannabis research. With more than 50 publications stemming from his lab at the University of Bern, dr. Brenneisen was one of the pioneers of cannabis research and contributed to our better understanding of this healing plant.

In his presentation “My last 40 years of cannabis research: from forensics to clinics”, we got a glimpse on his work with cannabinoid analysis, cannabis fingerprinting and human pharmacokinetics.

I think his take home message “In contrast to the controlled therapeutic and recreational use of Cannabis, its research has a significant addiction potential!” is a great summery of how he feels about this this plant, it’s healing potential and his ongoing research.

Blue shirts in action (left to right) Dr. Jahan Marcu (ASA), Mark Lewis (NaproReserch) and Gregor Zorn (ECTA).

What would Erasmus say?

I would also like to mention Vincent van Zuilen, a cannabis-naïve local historian, who had a presentation, “From Erasmus to cannabis: a historical review of innovation in the Netherlands”, on the first day, which took us on a journey into Leiden’s fascinating history. At the end of the day, he also had the task of reassuming the day’s presentations, from an outsider’s point of view.

And this is where he really shined.

His summaries were incredibly concise, fresh and hilarious, giving us cannabis geeks and insight of the how “the others” see us. “What would Erasmus say?” was the leading question, (Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus was one of the greatest scholars of the Renaissance) and everything that followed was just a delight.

I also have to thank Vincent for taking his time and giving us a guided tour of the city and its most important historical parts. He could talk for hours about the rich history of this city and I could feel that he did this with utter dedication and passion of a true scholar.

Blockchain meets medical cannabis education (left to right) Lorenzo Rolim Da Silva (Brazil), Jerome McCormick (Ireland) and Dr. Gastene Zanette (University of Padua).

Time to relax

Apart from the intensive presentation program, a big part of the Masterclass experience is socializing with other students. This often leads to expanding your social circle, making new friends and even new business collaborations.

One of the traditional social events of the Masterclass is going to the Grandcafé De Burcht, located just on the south slope of the Burcht van Leiden, a stone keep on a mote, strategically positioned at the junction point of the two Rhine rivers (Oude Rijn and the Nieuwe Rijn). If you want to see a panoramic view of Leiden, this is the place to do it, as it is one of the few elevated landmarks, in this otherwise mostly flat landscape.

This year, we also had the opportunity to party together at, as my friend Gastone charmingly named it, “Arno’s discotheque”, a cozy club, with a live DJ and lots of fun people. This was a perfect transition to the ICRS conference, which started the next day. But that’s a story, for another post.

Conclusion

This special edition of the masterclass was unique in many ways, while still keeping its core values of bringing together different people from different countries, who share a passion and a deep connection for this plant. I am very grateful to have been part of it and met so many fascinating people, which made this experience unforgettable. I am already looking forward to the next event, to once again meet old friends, make new ones and learn more about my favorite plant.

MMC 2018

Wait, what about the 2018 Masterclass? Being a year of firsts, the 2018 edition of MMC will for the first time take place in another city, on another continent.

From the 28th of October to the 2nd of November the Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis® is reallocating to Ottawa, Canada. The choice of this new venue is particularly significant, as the 17th of October is the date, that Canada will officially legalizes the recreational use of cannabis.  This is a historical event as it is the first G7 country to do so and it will be interesting to see, how the rest of the world will react. Hopefully it will be a stepping stone to cannabis legalization worldwide. Hopefully.

 

* I would like to give a shout-out to the students of the 2017 masterclass,who came to the reunion; Antony, Igna, Jerome, Diego, Miri, Yewande, Avnish, Lorenzo, and Nedy. *

** I would also like to give a shout-out to the “Blue Blanket Crew” – they know who they are, no names needed. **

Cannabis Europa – converging science, policy, patients and business

The European medical cannabis market has the potential to become the biggest market in the world. With an estimated value of 35.7 billion euros in the medical cannabis market alone, there is a growing interest for businesses, organizations and governments to be part of this evolution.

Europe has been trying to get aboard the emerging cannabis market, that is happening all over the world, especially in USA, Canada and South America. In the USA , 29 states have a legal medical cannabis market and 9 states also have a legal recreational market. Canada has also a growing medical cannabis market and later this year, it will become the first G7 country with a legal recreational market. This is also reflected in the number of cannabis events that are happening this year all over North America.

In Europe we are also seeing a consistent increase in the number and quality of cannabis related events (conferences, expos, symposiums). One of the most prominent 2018 events, taking place in London on the 21st-22nd of May, will be Cannabis Europa.

Organized by Hanway Associates, Prohibition Partners and the European Cannabinoid Therapy Association, this event will bring together the major EU and global leaders in all the important fields of this emerging market. The invited speakers  are leaders in their fields of business, policy, science and patient advocacy.

Policy

In many EU countries we have seen a trend of implementing new medical cannabis laws. It is important to have policy makers, that understand the complexities and the benefits, that good a state implemented medical cannabis program can have on its residents.

Members of UK parliament- Jeff Smith, George Freeman and Crispin Blunt – will join the conversation with the European members of parliament, Estefania Torres (Spain) and Stelios Kouloglou (Greece), and Prof. Guglielmo Trovato from the European Medical Association, in discussing the current situation of medical cannabis policy in the EU.

Business

The European cannabis market is attracting a lot of foreign investors and companies that already have experience in medical cannabis. With an increasing number of EU countries implementing medical cannabis legislation, there is an increasing demand for medical cannabis products.

Tjalling Erkelens, the founder and CEO of Bedrocan International BV, which is currently the only EU licensed producer of medical cannabis, will join with the North American colleagues, Mike Dacks (MedReleaf), Dr. Shane Morris (Aurora cannabis), George Scorsis (Liberty Health Sciences) and Michael Abbott (Columbia Care), in discussing the legislative hurdles and business opportunities of an ever-growing EU cannabis market.

Science

Several countries in the EU have a long history of excellent cannabis scientific research. In Spain the Complutense University of Madrid is one of such research centers, where Dr. Cristina Sanchez has been doing very important research on cannabinoid mechanism of action in cancer, especially focusing on breast cancer.

Other researchers, such as Prof. Mike Barnes form Newcastle University, Dr. Saoirse O’Sullivan from the University of Nottingham, Dr. Lorenzo Calvi form the University of Pavia and Dr. Arno Hazekamp, have all contributed to our better understanding of the importance and potential therapeutic use of medical cannabis.

Patients

One of the best ways to learn about the benefits of medical cannabis is trough patients and their personal experiences. Jasmin Thomas, Chelsea Leyland, Jacqueline Poitras and Carola Perez are all avid advocates for the use and implementation of medical cannabis laws and they will share their own personal experiences.

Jacqueline and Carola are also representing their patient organisations; Mamaka (Greece) and OECM (Spain).

Patient organisations have and important role in giving patients the information they are seeking in their native country. They can also have other important roles; as an example, the German Cannabis Association, represented by Florian Rister and Verena Aßmann, is the biggest cannabis legalisation advocacy group in Germany and also the main association for the German cannabis industry.

Cannabis Europa is definitely an event you do not want to miss, if you want to be on top on the latest important updates and meet the global leaders in this new and exciting sector. See you in London!

North American Cannabis Events 2018

North America is exploding with cannabis events in 2018! New expos, symposiums and business conferences are popping all over the United States and Canada, with the already established events growing bigger and offering more to the visitors.

USA cannabis events 2018

If we look at the USA, it’s not surprising that the majority of cannabis events will be happening in the state of California. Since the 1.  of January it has become the sixth state to allow licensed shops to sell cannabis to anyone with an ID and according to Business Insider, the market is expected to hit $3.7 billion in 2018 alone, and that number will increase to over $5 billion in 2019.

The already established cannabis household state of Colorado will also be hosting several important events, as well as the states of Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, New York, Louisiana and Florida.

Canada cannabis events 2018

Canada will be legalizing cannabis in July this year, which has gotten the attention of a lot of local and international investors, as it is bound to become one of the biggest markets for recreational cannabis in the world. The age limit for buying cannabis will be 18 and older, but the provinces can decide their own minimum age requirements. Each province will also have to figure out how to regulate and sell cannabis to its citizens.

The number of cannabis events happening in 2018 reflects the upcoming changes especially in the number of business conferences that are already scheduled for this year.

Below you will find the major 2018 events in happening in North America, by month. I have divide them into 3 blocks:

    • Cannabis Scientific Conferences
    • Business Conferences
    • Expo & Conference

It is by no means a complete list, but it can give you a reference on what events you want to attend.

Cannabis Scientific Conferences

FEBRUARY

Emerald Conference – EXPLORING THE SCIENCE OF CANNABIS, 15–16 February, San Diego, CA, USA

The most technical conference in the cannabis science industry!

Join us in San Diego for an exclusive immersion in the latest breakthroughs in cannabis science and technology.

The 4th Annual Emerald Conference features top industry speakers sharing fresh research on:

      • Cannabis analytical testing
      • Revolutionary extraction techniques
      • Customized cannabis concentrates
      • And much more!
APRIL

Terpenes and Testing World Conference 2018, 10-11 April, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

Why attend Terpenes and Testing World Conference?

      • Discover the most cutting edge techniques and methods employed throughout the three arms of cannabis science. Take in action-oriented sessions on the subjects of extraction, testing, and cultivation from the world’s leading experts in the heart of beautiful Silicon Valley, where science and technology thrive.
      • Fast-track company success by reducing trial and error time. Experts at this even will empower new cannabis entrepreneurs and seasoned industry players to focus on what really works.
      • Network with the top tier in cannabis scientists. Imagine connecting face-to-face with thousands of people just like you—as you share stories, gather ideas and build relationships that last for years.
      • Meet the top cannabis science experts in the world. Terpene and Testing World Conference is the planet’s largest gathering of cannabis science thought leaders. We encourage all of our speakers to make themselves accessible to attendees

ICR Conference 2018, 26-28 April, Colorado State University Pueblo, CO, USA

The ICR 2017 Conference attracted over 500 attendees and researchers from every field of cannabis expertise. We look forward to making ICR 2018 an even bigger and more eclectic exploration of all things cannabis. The ICR at CSU-Pueblo will hold its second annual conference at CSU-Pueblo from April 26-28, 2018. The conference will be a 3-day forum where cannabis experts will share knowledge about scientific, medical, industrial, legal, economic, and social elements of cannabis research.

MAY

The Twelfth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, 10-12 May, Historic Jersey City, NJ, USA

The Twelfth National Conference will take place in a set of majestic historical landmark buildings in Jersey City, New Jersey, only 15 minutes by car or PATH train to New York City. Serving as a hub and transit and commerce since the Revolutionary War era, Jersey City is also a hub of medicine and innovation.

JUNE

Cannabinoid Therapeutics Symposium

Cannabinoid Therapeutics Symposium, 6-7 June, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

The inaugural Cannabinoid Therapeutics Symposium represents a status report from world-class biomedical researchers. This unique symposium highlights the cutting-edge of cannabis and ECS-based medicine, with a focus on the opioids-pain-cannabis nexus on Day One, while Day Two presents institutional reports and funding discussions. Participating hospitals, med schools, specialist associations, biomedical PIs, clinicians, internists, health officials, insurers, R&D scouts from pharma/biotech, cosmetics, and nutraceuticals, as well as Chief Scientists and Chief Medical Officers from “cannaceutical” developers, will share insights and collaborative projects. In addition, state regulators from the co-located CannaWEST Compliance Summit will join to understand implications for future policy-making. This Symposium is a must-attend event for all serious stakeholders in cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicine.

AUGUST

Cannabis Science Conference,  27-29 August, Portland, OR, USA

Cannabis Science Conference is the world’s largest cannabis science expo. Our conference pulls together cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, policy makers and interested novices. Our annual event is aimed at improving cannabis science. Join us in Portland, Oregon, for an exciting conference with keynotes, presentations, round table discussions and exhibits. At our inaugural event we hosted over 750 attendees from all over the world! Our second event hosted over 2,000 attendees from over 24 countries!!!

OCTOBER

CannMed 2018, 21-24 October, UCLA Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles, CA, USA

CannMed 2018 is a gathering of the greatest minds in medical cannabis, where they will further the convergence of medical cannabis research, treatment, and product development.

The world’s top medical cannabis researchers will present their latest findings with regards to the efficacy of treating a variety of conditions with cannabis, including epilepsy, pain, traumatic brain injury, cancer, autism, and more. Physicians and clinicians will also share compelling case studies and clinical pearls they have collected through their experience treating patients with cannabis. Laboratory professionals will also share their revolutionary technologies when it comes to cannabinoid and terpenoid extraction, delivery methods, and quality and safety testing.

 

Business Conference

FEBRUARY

ICBC San Francisco 2018, 1-2 February, USA

From an in-depth interview with California’s Cannabis Czar Lori Ajax to panels on Compliance, Tech, Distribution, Strategic Partnerships and Investment Opportunites, this year’s San Francisco ICBC is also home to a boutique Expo featuring the top players in today’s cannabis industry! Following the conference at 9 pm we bring you another legendary ICBC After Party, this time with Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs spinning music on the dance floor! The After Party is free for all ICBC ticket holders! Continue the networking and unwind after an intensive day of conference.

MAY

MJBizConNEXT, 9-11 May, New Orleans Louisiana, USA

Brought to you by the editors of Marijuana Business Daily, MJBizConNEXT focuses on the near future of the expanding Cannabis industry. For executives growing their companies and emerging industry professionals looking at cutting edge innovations, new technologies and how cannabis businesses grow in a rapidly advancing market, NEXT is your show!

With one fixed show price, MJBizConNEXT has educational pathways via traditional tracks, VIP executive sessions, as well as experiential content and exhibits throughout the show floor.

3rd Annual Canadian Cannabis Business Conference, 23-24 May, Toronto, ON, Canada

Following on the success of our cannabis conference series that begun in 2016, planning is already underway for our 3rd Annual Canadian Cannabis Business Conference – Toronto taking place from May 23-24, 2018.

By May 2018, the regulations for legalizing cannabis will have been set and in motion for a number of months, which means the next phase of development for business in the cannabis industry has already begun.

Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo, 30 May – 2 June, New York

The Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions are business-to-business events for the legalized cannabis industry and are held 3 times per year in the largest media, financial and business markets.

The Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions are held in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, and are the leading forums for dispensary owners, growers, suppliers, investors, medical professionals, government regulators, legal counsel, and entrepreneurs looking to achieve business success and identify new areas of growth in this dynamic and fast-growing industry.

JUNE

Canna West 2018: Compliance, Testing & Product Safety, 5-7, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

Building on three previous editions of this meeting, Infocast is proud to present Canna West 2018: Compliance, Testing & Product Safety. The meeting will be held in Los Angeles, considered the single largest urban market for cannabis in the world. In 2018 there will be no better to place to hear from, and share viewpoints with regulators; learn from peers; and absorb best practices for cannabis compliance, cultivation, testing, manufacturing, extractions, product development, labeling, distributing and retailing cannabis products. Please review the agenda and list of speakers—we’re confident you will find this a must-attend event.

 

O’Canna Biz Conference and Expo, 7-9 June, Toronto, Canada

Looking at the future of cannabis and the budding Canadian market, O’Cannabiz will explore the latest regulations, industry standards and best practices for medicinal and recreational marijuana. Join this ground-breaking event where patients, physicians, licensed producers (LPs), industry professionals and general public from across the world will gather to learn, network and advocate, while exploring the latest issues in Canada, a country at the vanguard of change in legislation and outlook.

 

ICBC Vancouver, BC  24-25 June, Canada

With the Canadian government legalizing cannabis nationally July 1, 2018, the International Cannabis Business Conference, occurring just one week before, is the perfect place to learn what’s right for your business, as well as to connect and network. With previous speakers including Brendan Kennedy from Privateer Holdings, Dr. Gabor Maté, and a host of other top industry personnel, this two-day conference will be the informational event of the year in Canada! Join us at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver June 24 and June 25, and be sure to check out our pre-conference VIP Reception June 23, as well as our legendary After Party the evening of June 24.

AUGUST

MJBizConINT’L, August, Canada

MJBizConINT’L – Bringing together companies and influencers from around the world focusing on the role of the cannabis global market place in the most impactful nation in the industry today.

Conference & Expo

JANUARY

Washington state Cannabis summit, 5 January, 2018, Seattle, WA, USA

The Washington Cannabis Summit is crafted with the goal of positioning WA State as a powerful thought leader in the industry. It is designed to challenge the current state of affairs with Cannabis legislation, research and education. It will push the envelope of the conversation past current problems, into a realm where we openly discuss opportunities for the future of the industry. As leaders we not only have the opportunity, but the responsibility, to craft a better future. This starts with intelligent dialogue about where we are, where we’ve been, where we want to go and how we intend to get there.

Maui Cannabis Conference, 6-7 January, 2018, Maui, Hawaii, USA

 

Maui Cannabis Conference is an event to promote cannabis awareness, explore the medical benefits of cannabis and network with cannabis industry leaders.  This conference will bring together a diverse group of cannabis experts to educate, network and create a dialogue about the amazing health and economical benefits of legal medical cannabis and industrial hemp.

Vancouver Lift Expo, January 12-14, 2018 Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada

Whether you’re a committed cannabis enthusiast, a cannabis industry professional or simply curious about this complex plant and the opportunities growing up around it, the Vancouver Lift Expo has you covered.

Featuring nearly 200 exhibitors from across North America and Europe, main stage talks by cannabis thought leaders, live cooking and growing demos, a vape lounge and a cannabis career fair, the expo is your chance to learn about medical and recreational cannabis, and to meet BC’s current and future brands.

The Lift Expo is Canada’s biggest and best-attended cannabis tradeshow, and we’re proud to be hosting our first event of 2018 in the city and province that paved the way for a flourishing cannabis culture in Canada.

CannaEast Compliance Summit, 17-19 January, Orlando, FL, USA

After two successful Cannabis Compliance Summits on the West Coast, we are bringing this highly anticipated event to Lake Buena Vista, Florida, January 17-19, 2018. The 3rd CannaEast Compliance Summit 2018 will help you navigate through various regulatory, compliance, legal, business and technical challenges, while trying to avoid the mistakes done in other states that have legalized marijuana. This has come to be known as the go-to event that brings the Cannabis testing labs, equipment and technology providers, operators, retailers and industry experts into the same room.

Cannabis Collaborative Conference, 24-25 January, Portland, Oregon, USA

 

The annual Cannabis Collaborative Conference is a show dedicated to growing the industry and connecting cannabis professionals.

Our 2018 conference will focus on resources and knowledge to help your business become PROFITABLE in the coming year!

Show-Floor Areas Dedicated to Businesses Profitability – Energy Pavilion: Tips for saving money, New Technology, Cultivation Corner, Lifestyle, Retail, “Canna Help You”​and much more.​

All State Outreach – We are inviting key representatives, lawmakers and businesses from across the USA for education, networking & collaboration.

 

Indo Expo, January 27-28, Denver Mart – Denver, CO, USA

INDO EXPO has the HomeTown advantage with an unrivaled First Quarter B2B business platform & solution. Indoor, Outdoor, Greenhouse: Production, Processing, Retail.  Seminars, Workshops, Demonstrations. 350+ exhibitors, 1000’s of buyers, owners, master growers, decision makers and more.

FEBRUARY

Seed to Sale Show, 7-8 February, Denver CO, USA

Seed to Sale Show is the only national show focused solely on innovative best practices, science, and cutting edge technology surrounding the whole life cycle of the cannabis plant grown, processed, and sold in a regulated market.

This February 7–8, more than 3,000 of the nation’s leading professionals will convene in Denver, CO, at the forefront of the cannabis industry’s technological advancement and modernization, to learn about the latest innovations behind the growing, extracting, infusing, marketing and retailing of cannabis in three highly-focused educational tracks.

CannaCon Seattle, 15-17 February, WASHINGTON STATE, USA

CannaCon serves as the global marketplace for education, innovative products, and businesses serving the cannabis industry. Enjoy a 3-day long interactive gathering of like-minded cannabis professionals and peers. Benefit from this immersive experience learning from leading problem-solving professionals, speaking on the wide range of topics on the latest developments in the industry. Place your hands on the latest cannabis technology and consumer products and learn about the trends influencing today and beyond.

MARCH

Cannabis 2018 Cultivation Conference, 12-14 March, Oakland, California, USA

Cannabis Cultivation Conference 2018 is different than any other event in the market. In addition to its unique combination of educational programming on both cultivation and business management, it has been developed by cultivators for cultivators.

The conference advisory board is comprised of cultivators and business owners (and those who are both) who were carefully selected for their level of achievement/success, their passion for the plant and vision for the advancement of the professional cannabis cultivation market.

Their expertise has been invaluable in crafting an educational program that will provide you with ideas and strategies you can implement today, as well as views of the future of the industry that will help you make more-informed business decisions tomorrow.

We have crafted an educational program that is unparalleled in the industry. There is no “pay to play” at Cannabis 2018. Each and every session is developed with the advisory board to best serve your educational needs.

Cannabis 2018 also features an exhibit hall filled with industry-leading businesses that provide the latest technology and solutions for the professional cannabis cultivator.

NECann Boston Cannabis Convention, 24-25 March, Boston, MA, USA

NECann Boston is far and away the largest gathering of Cannabis & Hemp industry professionals in the northeast, this is THE ‘can’t miss’ event of the year. Located at the Hynes Convention Center in Downtown Boston, the show attracted 150 exhibitors, 100+ speakers and over 6,000 attendees in 2017.

APRIL

Cannabis & Hemp Expo, 7-8 Aprila, Calgary, Canada

The Cannabis & Hemp Expo is an important step in showing the world the professionalism and maturity of the expanding cannabis industry. By getting involved you’ll be joining leading businesses from around the globe showcasing some of the best products and services the industry has to offer to thousands of eager and curious consumers.

Reno Cannabis Convention, 7-8 April, Reno, NV, USA

The Reno Cannabis Convention is a unique Cannabis industry trade show in that it serves both the B2B, B2C communities, as well as patients and caregivers in the state of Nevada. At this event, every facet of the cannabis industry is represented, including: Accounting, Insurance, Marketing, Banking, Payment Processing, Botanicals, Patient Advocacy, Storage, Packaging, Dosing, Equipment, Patient Education, Medical Experts, Displays & Fixtures, Grow Lights, Hemp Industry, Hydroponics & Cultivation Products, Infused Products, Inventory Tracking, Legal Resources, Licensing Services, Medical Resources, Smoking, Vaping, Dabbing, POS & Management Software, Private Equity & Investment Resources, Training & Education, Security Services & Equipment, Testing & Lab Services, Tinctures, Salves, & Topicals.

Terpenes and Testing World Conference, 10-11 April, San Jose, CA, USA

Why attend Terpenes and Testing World Conference?

Discover the most cutting edge techniques and methods employed throughout the three arms of cannabis science. Take in action-oriented sessions on the subjects of extraction, testing, and cultivation from the world’s leading experts in the heart of beautiful Silicon Valley, where science and technology thrive.

Fast-track company success by reducing trial and error time. Experts at this even will empower new cannabis entrepreneurs and seasoned industry players to focus on what really works.

Network with the top tier in cannabis scientists. Imagine connecting face-to-face with thousands of people just like you—as you share stories, gather ideas and build relationships that last for years.

Meet the top cannabis science experts in the world. Terpene and Testing World Conference is the planet’s largest gathering of cannabis science thought leaders. We encourage all of our speakers to make themselves accessible to attendees.

Cannabis & Hemp Expo, 28-29 Aprila, Edmonton, Canada

The Cannabis & Hemp Expo is an important step in showing the world the professionalism and maturity of the expanding cannabis industry. By getting involved you’ll be joining leading businesses from around the globe showcasing some of the best products and services the industry has to offer to thousands of eager and curious consumers.

MAY

CannaGrow Expo, 19-20 May, Palm Springs, CA, USA

A two-day educational expo dedicated to the art & science of growing cannabis.

The CannaGrow Expo is open to all, 18+, and is intended for cannabis growers, grow managers, dispensary owners, and grow enthusiasts to explore the latest cannabis cultivation technology, tools, and techniques.

CannaGrow Palm Springs will feature a selection of 35+ cultivation-focused educational sessions lead by world-class growers over two action-packed days, endless networking with cultivators from around the globe, and an expo hall packed with the latest tools & technology for growing cannabis.

JUNE

Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, 25-27 July, San Jose, CA, USA

The most influential, award-winning cannabis trade show in the U.S., hosted by the industry’s only national trade association, returns to the Bay Area, the epicenter of the cannabis movement, to celebrate five years of bringing together the industry’s best and brightest minds.

JULY

CannaCon Boston, 27-28 July, Boston Massachsets, USA

Join us in beautiful Boston for one of the industry’s most important events of the year.

Located in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood, CannaCon is in the heart of one of America’s most vibrant communities. From world-class restaurants to a wide array of attractions, enjoy all that beautiful Boston has to offer! The connections you’ll make, coupled with the insights and actionable ideas you’ll develop, will positively impact your future in the industry.

AUGUST

Indo Expo, August 4-5, Portland Expo Center – Portland, OR, USA

Oregon’s enthusiasm and devotion for Cannabis has spawned an endless amount of  business opportunities and with both medical and recreational sales legal,  a focused B2B Show was needed.   Portland, perfectly located on the West Coast, with it’s own industry infrastructure, brings a cache of people and pulls attendees from northern Californian, Washington, Canada and beyond.  INDO EXPO offers the right platform-with over 300 Exhibitors and 5000 attendees.  Join us for another stellar event featuring leading companies, breeders, growers/producers, processors and more.

SEPTEMBER

Grow Up Conference and Expo, 7-8 September, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

Grow Up Conference and Expo focuses on the growing aspect of the cannabis industry. Exhibitors and Delegates include Licensed Producers, Suppliers, Manufacturers, Automation Companies, Legal and Investment firms and many more.

If your are interested on what will be happening in Europe in 2018, check out this post.

THCV – The skinny cannabinoid (part 1)

THCV – Tetrahydrocannabivarin

Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules“ is the title of a paper by Andre et al. which eloquently shows the complexity and immense therapeutic potential of this plant. Cannabis sativa L. is most known for its cannabinoids and is the only plant that produces them in such high quantities. [1]

Besides phytocannabinoids (plant-cannabinoids) there are a vast number of other compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, strereoids and fatty acids that all together have a synergistic effect on the efficacy of cannabis therapy. [2]

In the past, most of the research has been concentrated on the psychotropic compound delt-9-tetrahydrocanabinol (THC), while other „lesser “cannabinoids have been mainly overlooked. One of the overlooked minor cannabinoids is THC’s little brother, (THCV).

The two cannabinoid families

There are two major cannabinoid “families” that dominate the cannabis plant and the difference is only in 2 carbon atoms. The pentyls have a phenolic sidechain of five carbon atoms, while the propyls have only three. This difference is due to two different acids being used in the synthesis of phytocannabinoid precursors. If olivetolic acid is combined with geranyl pyrophosphate, we get cannabigerolic acid (CBGa). CBGa can then be converted to other cannabinoid acids depending on the acid sythethase that is present. THCa sythethase transforms it into THCa, CBDa synthethase into CBDa and CBCa synthethase into CBCa.

If instead of olivetolic acid, divarinolic acid is combined with geranyl pyrophosphate, we get cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVa). The same acid synthetases that convert the pentlys also convert the propyls; THCa sythethase transforms it into THCVa, CBDa synthethase into CBDVa and CBCa synthethase into CBCVa

The discovrery of THCV

THCV was fist isolated in 1970 by Gill et al. by extracting it from a licensed cannabis tincture, that was available in UK at the time. The tincture was legally imported and made from Pakistani grown cannabis. The tinctures main constituents were THC (2,4%) and THCV (2%), an interesting 5:4 ratio, that can also be found in newer chemotypes (Doug’s Varin). [3]

As a side note, the propyl analog of CBD, cannabidivarin (CBDV) was isolated, as so many other cannabinoids, form hashish, by Vollner et al., in 1969. [4]

High THCV chemovars

THCV is inherently rare in the usual cannabis “strains” and it has been difficult to find chemovars with high percentages of this cannabinoid. Higher levels of this cannabinoid have been usually found in certain Asian and African landraces.

GW Pharma has developed their high THCV strain from selective inter-breeding of high 1:1 THC: THCV landraces (China, South Africa) and named (California orange, Malawi Gold) chemovars. By a selective process of self-pollination and cross breeding of the phenotypes with the highest levels of the propyl cannabinoids, they obtained a genotype with 96% of total propyl cannabinoids. [5]

One of the most well-known chemovars, with a high THCV, is the appropriately named Doug’s Varin. In tests done by Steep Hill Labs, they detected 19 % THC-A and a whopping 15% THCV-A. The main terpenes were beta-myrcene 1,5%, pinene 0,53 and limonene 0,48. They also performed an analysis on decarboxylated kief of this chemovar, and they measured 24,25% THCV and 21,13% of THC. The only measured terpene in the decarboxylated kief was beta-myrcene (0,38%), which shows us, how the monoterpenes are lost during this process. [6]

Recently, some chemovars have tested higher THCV values such as Jack el frutero (6%), Jack the Ripper (6%), Pink Boost Goddess (5%), and Black beauty (3-4%).

There might be other chemovars containing higher percentages of THCV, but sadly, a lot of analytical laboratories, still do not test for the presence of this cannabinoid.

THCV part 2

In the second part of this 2 part THCV article, I will be tackling the important question of THCV’s psychotropic effects (or lack thereof), its potential therapeutic applications in various diseases and if it really is the “skinny” cannabinoid.

References:

  1. Andre et al. Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules . 2016, Frontiers in plant science
  2. Roger Pertwee. The Handbook of Cannabis. 2014, Pages 14-19
  3. Gill et al. Preliminary experiments on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis. 1970, Nature 228:134–136
  4. Vollner, L., Bieniek, D., and Korte, F. (1969). Haschisch XX. Cannabidivarin, ein neuer Haschischinhaltsstoff. Tetrahedron Letters, 3, 145–147.
  5. P. M. de Meijer, E & M. Hammond, K. The inheritance of chemical phenotype in Cannabis sativa L. (V): regulation of the propyl-/pentyl cannabinoid ratio, completion of a genetic model. 2016, Euphytica. 210.
  6. THCV Update: Doug’s Varin Strain. 2014 http://steephilllab.com/thcv-update-dougs-varin-strain/

European Cannabis Events 2018

***UPDATE – EU Cannabis events from August to December 2018 can be found here***

It is going to be a busy 2018 for cannabis expos and conferences in EU. I have compiled a list of some of the major Cannabis events in Europe this year. For clarity, I have divided them into 4 categories:

    • Cannabis Scientific Conferences
    • Business Conference
    • Expo & Conference
    • Hemp conferences

In each category, the events are listed by date. Which cannabis event are you going to participate in?

Cannabis Scientific Conferences Europe 2018

MAY

Cannabis Europa, 22 May, Barbican, London, UK

Cannabis Europa is the foremost arena to share knowledge and shape the future of medical cannabis in Europe. This is a uniquely European conference. There is no universal model for cannabis regulation and Europe has a clear opportunity to take a global leadership position. The conference is your opportunity to connect with influential leaders in science, policy and business. Gain unrivalled access to the most inspirational and forward-thinking figures in the industry. To navigate the future of European medical cannabis, industry leaders and regulators alike must share insights and innovations if we are to develop a truly successful, patient-focused sector.

JUNE

The International Annual Congress on Controversies in Cannabis-Based Medicines, 25-26 June, Vienna, Austria

It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in The International Annual Congress on Controversies in Cannabis-Based Medicines (Med-Cannabis2018) which will take place 25-26 June 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

A strong public and patient demand has led to the decision to allow cannabis products for medical use in most European countries. There is a lot of basic-science and clinical research on the potential use of cannabis products for chronic pain and cancer management as well as controversies on the potential harms.

This Congress will bring together researchers, clinicians, trialists, methodologists, industry professionals and representatives of the European Union and the European Medical Agency to update the current state of knowledge and of controversies and to outline some visions of the potential of cannabis based medicines.

ICRS Symposium, 30 June – 5 July, Leiden, The Netherlands

The 28th Annual International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium on the Cannabinoids

Leiden, The Netherlands
Arrival date: June 30
Meeting: July 1- 4, 2018
Departure date: July 5

ICRS2018 will be our 28th annual Symposium. Another brilliant year of scientific progress!

Expo & Conference Europe 2018

JANUARY

 

Athens Cannabis Expo, January 12-14, 2018 | Faliro Sports Pavilion Arena (Tae Kwon Do) | Athens

The 1st International Cannabis Expo in Greece is happening! The purpose of the event is to inform the public about all the products and innovations that exist in the world of cannabis and the latest achievements in the medical, pharmaceutical and industrial use of cannabis. Come to get to know all the innovative companies that are active in the cannabis sector with many different products and services such as CBD (Cannabidiol), cosmetics, cocktails,  seeds, medical , vaporizers, clothing and many more.

FEBRUARY

Cannapa Mundi, 16-18 February, Rome Italy

Cannapa Mundi is the International Fair which has been bringing in Rome hemp fragrance and taste since 2015: the biggest event in Italy in exponential growth, the only officially recognized as International. In 2017: 7.500m², 120 stands, 23,000 attendances, 6,000 accredited professionals. In 2018: 9,000m², 150 stands, a relevant increase of visitors is expected.

MARCH

Spannabis Barcelona + International cannabis Forum, 9-11 March, Spain

Spannabis 15h Edition. What appeared to be a dream is now an outstanding reality: SPANNABIS, celebrating its eleven anniversary is consolidated as the most important Spanish cannabic event of the year, hand in hand with the Expocannabis fair in Madrid & Spannabis in Málaga.

APRIL

Konopex Ostrava, 20-22 April, Ostrava, Czech Republic

The Konopex Ostrava hemp expo will grow in the unique industrial area of Dolní  Vítkovice (- we call place WEEDkovice). Where we will again open the doors to the world of cannabis. There will be prepared exhibitions for you dedicated to cannabis, cannabis seeds, growing indoor and outdoor equipment and exhibitions focused on garden equipment and other curative herbs.You will find out lot of interesting information and news about usage of hemp in medicine, civil engineering, industry and livestock. Next you can look forward to a rich accompanying program including lextures, conferences and hemp exchange, where you can discuss and trade with respected experts. Finally, there will be workshops, competitions and afterparty ready for you.

CannaTrade ,27-29 April, Zurich-Oerlikon, Switzerland

We have the pleasure to welcome you to CannaTrade, the oldest hemp fair in Europe! The history of CannaTrade started 2001, in the fair halls of BEA Expo Bern, as a result of the Swiss Hemp Days in 1999 and 2000. The following editions of CannaTrade in 2008 and 2009 were presented at the exhibiton halls of Basel. Caused by the hemp related political situation, we decided to organize the fair CannaTrade in a two-years-rhythm. Until 2016, we did this successfully at Stadthalle Dietikon/Zurich.The next edition of CannaTrade takes place in the middle of Zurich!

MAY

Expo Canamo Sevilla, 11-13 May, Sevilla, Spain

Expocáñamo brings back to Seville the hemp culture fair, where you will enjoy a dynamic and comforting experience, you will dance with the best rhythms of reggae and rap, you will see the latest in cultivation technology, you will taste a wide variety of products with hemp and its derivatives and you can enjoy endless activities for your entertainment.

Indica Sativa Trade, 18-20 May, Bologna, Italy

Indica Sativa 2018

JUNE

BALKANNABIS EXPO, 1-3 JUNE, TECΗNOPOLIS ATHENS, GREECE

BALKANNABIS EXPO will host top cannabis traders, innovators, experts, industry professionals and scientists from all over the world in a rich and diverse 3-day programme that will include:

  • a large exhibition area and international trade show
  • two international conferences (Cannabis Science & Hemp Summit) with
  • keynote and guest speakers
  • cannabis culture workshops
  • networking spaces
  • masterclasses
  • market area
  • music and other artistic performances

MARY JANE BERLIN, 8 – 10 June, Arena Berlin, Germany

Mary Jane Berlin starts it third edition in Berlin – with over 6,500 m2 of hall space and 2,000 m2 of outdoor space is “Mary Jane Berlin” the leading German Cannabis exhibition with more than 200 national and international exhibitors. “Mary Jane Berlin” is not only an exhibition but also a festival. In combination with our exhibitors, food stalls, live concerts and lectures about cannabis’ therapeutic effects an extensive cultural and entertainment program is offered. As a visitor of Mary Jane Berlin, we inform you about the variety of THE green power plant – as food, cosmetic, building material, medicine and much more!

OCTOBER

Spannabis Madrid, 5-7 October, Madrid, Spain

Spain capital city will become from 5th to 7th of October the world cannabis capital by the hand of Spannabis. Spannabis will be held in Pabellón de Cristal of Casa de Campo, just a few minutes from Plaza de España. The results of the six previous fairs that we organized in Madrid suburbs, Leganés and Rivas, generated a great attendance of professionals and visitors. Because this edition will be held near the center of Madrid, we hope to have more attendance than in previous fairs.

Cultiva Hemp Expo, 12-14 October, Veinna, Austria

Cultiva Hemp Expo 2018

Cannapa in Mostra, 26-28 October, Naples, Italy

The association CANAPA in MOSTRA is pleased to present CANAPA in MOSTRA International Trade Fair of Industrial and Medical Hemp of Naples.

Hemp, known and used in all parts of the world, is recently returning to make space through a renewed social and economic interest.

In particular, we propose hemp as an ecological resource in the agricultural, energy, medical, recreational, textile, paper, green building and in every other possible field of application, trying to undermine the socio-cultural prejudices that oppose its real and massive reintroduction in the Italian context.

The fields of use of this plant are already very many, but with the advance of technology and scientific discoveries could become infinite, moreover the continuous demand for new eco-sustainable technologies imposes the need for new research on this extremely versatile material.

The intention of the association is to bring the general public and institutions aware of this potential and to bring to mind the long tradition that links our country to hemp, particularly the Campania region, trying to provide a place for aggregation , training and exchange for workers, experts, enthusiasts and anyone who is intrigued by this re-emerging industry in continuous turmoil and expansion.

NOVEMBER

Cannafest, 2-4 November, Prague, Czech Republic

The international trade show of cannabis and medical herbs Cannafest is the biggest cannabis fair in the world. Visitors can look forward to interesting expositions of exhibitors from all around the world. As usually, there will be cultivation technology, fertilizers, seeds, smoking accessories and vaporizers on display and on sale. People could also try and buy various hemp cosmetic products, clothing items or delicious hemp food, which shouldn’t be missed.

Business Conference Europe 2018

APRIL

ICBC Berlin, 11-13 April, Berlin, Germany

ICBC Berlin 2018

EuroAmerican Cannabis Business Conference, 1–2 November 2018, Prague, Czech Republic

EuroAmerican Cannabis Business Conference is an International Cannabis B2B Conference in the Heart of Europe

 

Hemp conferences Europe 2018

MAY

Hemp Food, Health & Beauty, May 25-26,The Palace at Nakło, Poland

This is a special invitation for you to join us May 25-26, 2018 for Hemp Food, Health & Beauty, part of the Hemp | 2020 Business Summit Series hosted by HempToday, the leading source for global business information about industrial hemp

We join with a group of independent entrepreneurs with strong bonds, and sharing key assets through which we strengthen our individual grass-roots businesses. We look for strategic and financial partners to join us as we work to synthesize our enterprises to further develop hemp industry value chains — from farming to processing facilities and product lines, B2B and B2C communications and marketing, sales and distribution channels.

To be held at HempToday’s center in the Palace at Nakło, Lelów, Poland, the Summit is an opportunity for current and future industry stakeholders to get up close and personal as we survey the vast opportunities in hemp food, health and beauty products worldwide, and explore investment and business opportunities together.

The aims of the Summit are to share knowledge and experiences, to foster business matchmaking among participants, to generate a body of content for broader distribution around the world, and to jointly explore the potential for hemp food, health and beauty products as an engine for sustainable local economic development.

We have invited entrepreneurs, consultants, investors, researchers and policy experts who’ll explore hemp’s market potential as a “super,” “nutritious” and “bio” food and health supplement, along with its promise in a wide range of topical, skin-care and beauty applications. We’ll look at value chain and economic development possibilities based on the production of hemp food and health products.

JUNE

International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association, 12 – 13 June, Maternushaus, Cologne, Germany

Specialists from all over the world will meet at EIHA 2018 in order to exchange information regarding the latest developments in hemp applications for fibres, shivs, seeds and oil as well as cannabinoids. Applications are biocomposites in automotive and construction, textiles, food, food supplements and pharmaceuticals. We are expecting again more than 300 international participants from more than 40 countries – we are looking forward to the biggest event on industrial hemp ever!

 

 

CBD does not convert to THC in our body…or does it?

Over the course of the past year, there has been a heated scientific debate, weather cannabidiol (CBD) converts into Δ9-tertrahydocannabinol (THC) in our bodies. It has been known for decades, that CBD can convert to THC in gastric fluid; the question was does this happen in humans, when taking oral CBD preparations. This is a particularly important topic, as more and more people are using CBD products and if true, could have economic and legal repercussions. In this article, I try to find an answer to this very relevant question

Simulated gastric fluid converts CBD into the psychoactive components Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC

The debate was initiated by a study done by Merrick et al., where they exposed CBD to simulated gastric fluid, to evaluate the potential formation of psychoactive cannabinoids. The reasoning behind these experiments was, that several studies with CBD on pediatric epilepsy, showed somnolence as the major side effect. Somnolence is also one of the main side effects of THC, hence the hypothesis that when taken orally, CBD could convert into THC and cause the somnolence.

Simulated gastric fluid converts CBD into the psychoactive components Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC

 

They also added “Delivery methods that decrease the potential for formation of psychoactive cannabinoids should be explored.” and comes into context, when we look at what projects, the authors are currently working on. (1)

Yes, but not in humans

Soon after, a rebuttal by Grotenhermen, Russo and Zuardi, three prominent scientists with decades of experience on therapeutic use of cannabis, was published in the same journal, disputing the allegations that this could happen in humans. If CBD did convert to THC in our bodies, it would be logical that we would feel some of the typical psychotropic effects of the latter. Also the main metabolites of THC, 11-hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) and carboxy-THC (THC-COOH), should be detected in body fluids.

Citing several clinical studies, where patients were given high doses of CBD, they did not find evidence that this happens in vivo. Their conclusion was “The overall available scientific data, and the serum level data suggests that oral administration of CBD is a safe and easy way to use CBD, even at high doses, in a therapeutic context with no indication of human bioconversion of CBD to THC”. (2).

Are you sure?

I did not take for a reply to the rebuttal. Bone-Miller eta al. addressed the argument against conversion of CBD to THC and its clinical implications in humans. By citing and interpreting several studies they concluded that “The current evidence indicates that gastric conversion of CBD to THC has been relatively consistently observed across multiple studies over the past half century; however, the circumstances in which this happens, and the subsequent clinical consequences, remain uncertain.” Regarding human clinical implications, they wrote “it is imperative that we continue to explore this issue among larger (particularly human) samples through a priori studies of potential side effects, including prospective evaluation of symptoms commonly associated with THC that employ validated instruments”. (3)

A Conversion of Oral Cannabidiol to Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Seems Not to Occur in Humans

This was the title of the reply by Nahler et al. to the conclusions and interpretations of Merrick et al. and Bone-Miller et al. The main focus was to “clarify a number of serious misinterpretations in the above mentioned articles and reinforce the arguments published recently”.  Their main issues were:

  • A transformation of CBD to THC in the stomach should demonstrate the presence of typical metabolites of THC in blood and urine
  • Simulated gastric fluid does not reflect in vivo conditions
  • A transformation of CBD to THC is likely to cause typical effects of THC

They concluded “both publications, that of Merrick et al. and Bonn-Miller et al., are unfortunately misleading in many aspects. Over 40 years of research on CBD does not suggest a conversion of CBD to delta9-THC and/or other cannabinoids in vivo after oral administration. Such transformation occurs under artificial conditions, but is without any relevance for an oral therapy with CBD.” (4)

What about recent animal studies? Could they give us an insight into the truth?

Pigs might fly, but they don’t convert CBD into THC

In a study done by Wray et al., they administered oral doses of 15 mg/kg of CBD, twice per day, to minipigs and analyzed the plasma levels of CBD, THC and 11-OH-THC. The also measured concentrations of the same cannabinoids in GI tract content samples. In both cases, they did not detect any levels of THC or its major first pass metabolite.

Ellegaard Göttingen minipigs

They concluded that “when dosed orally in a sesame oil formulation to give CBD plasma exposures similar to those known to be clinically relevant in patients, CBD does not convert to THC in the minipig”. Regarding the limitations of this study they suggested that “supplementary research in human subjects with the measurement of 11-COOH-THC and Δ8-THC, in addition to validated in silico modeling may be required to confirm the hypothesis supported by our results that the conversion of CBD to THC does not occur in vivo.” (5)

I smell a rat

Two studies, by two different groups, one Czech and one Italian, published at approximately the same time (November 2017), had conflicting results. Both studies were done on rats and measured the levels of cannabinoids, after oral administration of CBD.

The Italian group orally administered a single high dose of CBD (50 mg/kg) and then measured the levels of cannabinoids and their metabolites, at 3 and 6 hours after administration. Using an in-house developed, highly sensitive and selective LC–MS/MS method, they did not find any THC or it’s metabolites in the blood. (7)

The study by the Czech group was more extensive, but they also gave the rats a single dose of CBD (10mg/kg) and then measured the level of cannabinoids and their metabolites in the blood, as well as in the brain tissue, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 24h after administration. Using an in-house validated and certified GC–MS method, they found THC in the blood, ranging from 2.0 to 68.6 ng/ml, but not in the brain tissue.

They did an additional experiment with a higher dose of CBD (60 mg/kg) on 2 rats, and also found THC in the serum as well as in the brain tissue. Another interesting finding is that they also found THC in the serum after subcutaneous administration of CBD (10 mg/kg), but did not find any when CBD (20mg) was delivered via inhalation. (6)

Follow the money

When we interpret findings of published studies, we have to be careful, especially if they are funded by institutions, that have a financial gain in a certain outcome. So it is always good to check out who is funding the study and what their bias toward a positive outcome might be.

The studies by Merrick eta al. and Bonn-Miller et al. were funded by Zynerba Pharmaceuticals and the authors are also employees or paid consultants, of the same company. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is currently developing a CBD gel and as stated on their website is the “First and only pharmaceutically-produced CBD formulated as a permeation-enhanced gel being developed for neuropsychiatric disorders including fragile x syndrome, adult refractory focal epilepsy and developmental and epileptic encephalopathies.” and has been granted Orphan Drug designation for the use of CBD as treatment of patients with fragile x syndrome, by the FDA.(8)

All the authors from the Wray eta al. study are employees of GW Research Ltd. GW Pharmacuticals is developing Epidiolex which is “GW’s lead cannabinoid product candidate and is a proprietary oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol” and is doing clinical trials for use in “severe, orphan, early-onset, treatment-resistant epilepsy syndromes including Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms”.(9)

One can see how the results of the studies, could have important financial and other implications for these pharmaceutical companies, which are also both publicly traded companies.

Conclusion

It seems that we will need further studies, that can efficiently detect and accurately measure, the presence of THC and its metabolites, in patients who take CBD medications, to have a definitive answer.

We must also take into account that the presence of THC, in blood and brain tissue, was achieved at “doses several times higher compared to those typically used by humans” as quoted by Hložek et al.

As mentioned earlier, the implications of this phenomena are not therapeutic, as such low quantities of THC do not have a negative effect, I would argue quite the opposite. The main concern is what legal implications it could have, on workplace and roadside drug tests, as well as in countries, that still have archaic zero-tolerance THC laws.

References:

1. Merrick, John & Lane, Brian & Sebree, Terri & Yaksh, Tony & O’Neill, Carol & Banks, Stan. (2016). Identification of Psychoactive Degradants of Cannabidiol in Simulated Gastric and Physiological Fluid. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 1. 102-112.

2. Grotenhermen Franjo, Russo Ethan, and Zuardi Antonio Waldo. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. January 2017, 2(1): 1-4.

3. Bonn-Miller Marcel O., Banks Stan L., and Sebree Terri. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. January 2017, 2(1): 5-7.

4. Nahler G, Grotenhermen F, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. A Conversion of Oral Cannabidiol to Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Seems Not to Occur in Humans. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2017;2(1):81-86.

5. Wray L, Stott C, Jones N, Wright S (2017) Cannabidiol does not convert to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in an in vivo animal model, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 2:1, 282–287

6. Hložek, T., et al. Pharmacokinetic and behavioural profile of THC, CBD, and THC+CBD combination after pulmonary, oral, and subcutaneous administration in rats and confirmation of conversion in vivo of CBD to THC. European Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 27, Issue 12, December 2017, Pages 1223-1237

7. Federica Palazzoli, T., et al. Development of a simple and sensitive liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method for the determination of cannabidiol (CBD), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its metabolites in rat whole blood after oral administration of a single high dose of CBD. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Volume 150, 20 February 2018, Pages 25–32

8. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals http://zynerba.com

9. GW Pharmaceuticals https://www.gwpharm.com