North American Cannabis Events 2018

***UPDATE – 2019 USA Cannabis Events can be found here and Canadian Cannabis events 2019  here***

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


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!

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.


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.


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.


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!!!


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


  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

European Cannabis Events 2018

***UPDATE – EU Cannabis Events  2019 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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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



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!


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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

9. GW Pharmaceuticals

2017 – A year of conferences, expos and symposiums

A year of conferences, expos and symposiums

New medical cannabis laws

2017 was a very busy year for cannabis. In Europe we saw some important changes happening to the medical cannabis laws in several countries, such as Germany, Poland, Greece and Malta. On the 10 of March the draft of the new medical cannabis laws went into effect in Germany, which received a lot of national and international attention. This could be partly seen at the ICBC in Berlin, where hundreds of participant, from all over the world, came to see what the new laws were and tried to get into this potentially very lucrative market.

Business conferences vs. Expos

Another trend that I noticed is that expos are becoming more customer orientated and less interesting for businesses working in the cannabis field. We can see a trend of seed banks and local specialised stores increasing in these venues and a decrease of other cannabis businesses. The main complaint is that these expos are becoming a “smoke fest” and it is not worth the money to exhibit at these events.

To counteract this trend, Business conferences have started popping up all over Europe (ICBC Berlin, EUROAMCBC, ICACO) and big expos, like Cannafest and Cultiva, are doing separate events, dedicated for business professionals.

Below are some of the highlights of the events I attended this year.

6th Annual Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis

The 6th annual Masterclass was organized by Arno Hazekamp, in collaboration with Bedrocan, in the young, vibrant city of Leiden. They say that it is like “Amsterdam without the tourists” and it certainly feels very that way; under the hotel I stayed there were 2 coffee shops.

The masterclass was 5 days of intense lectures by renowned specialists such as Danial Schecter MD, Linda Klumpers PhD, prof. Renger Witkamp, William Nottcut MD and Noel Palmer PhD.

The last day of masterclass was a trip to the Bedrocan Netherlands facility, which most of the participants were looking forward to. Besides the presentation of the Bedrocan history, quality control and R&D, we also got to see the actual grow rooms, where the various chemotypes of Bedrocan are grown.

ICBC Berlin

The timing of this event was fortuitous as it was just 2 days after the German government announced the rules for applying for the cultivation of medical cannabis in Germany. As you can imagine, hundreds of cannabis businessmen, from all over the world, came to get this valuable information and try to get a piece or the potentially huge German medical cannabis market. It was great to see and hear Tommy Chong, always smiling and with great positive energy.

IndicaSativa Trade Show

The fifth year of this expo at the Unipol Arena in Bologna (Italy) was an exciting event with even more diverse cannabis related products, than the last edition. They intelligently moved the date of the expo to an earlier term, as the arena can get very hot in the summer.

8th European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research

The 8th European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research was held at the Univeristy of Roehampton in London, where scientist in the field of endocannabinoid research scientific research gathered in one place. The 3 day event fetured talks form prominent authorities in the field of endocannabinoid sciences such as Professor Ben Cravatt, Dr Matt Hill, Professor Cecilia Hillard, Professor Vincenzo di Marzo, Dr Ben Whalle and Dr Guillermo Velasco.

IACM 9th Conference on Cannabinoids In Medicine

The main cannabinoid scientific conference this year, with more than 350 participants from 37 countries. The number of scientist attending the IACM confernce was amazing and the presentations reflected the newest findings in the area of cannabinoid medicine research. The schedule was very intense with interesting back to back presentations from the leading experts in this field. Frankly, it was too much to digest in just 2 days and I think I didn’t even get the chance to talk to over half of the people I intended to. A fantastic event, a must for any cannabis researcher. Sadly its biennial and we will have to wait until 2019 for the next event.

Cultiva Hemp Expo 2017

This year’s expo was larger due to the fact that they moved the symposium part to a separate area, where you did not need a ticket to go and listen to the presentations. This seemed like a good idea, but the distance and location of the conference room was very impractical and I hope they restore it to how it was before. It was also interesting to see the increase of various CBD products and terpene blends.

EuroAmerican Cannabis Business Conference

Euro American Cannabis business conference

Following the trend of business conferences alongside expos, the organizer of the Cannafest expo hosted the first Euro American Cannabis business conference. It took place at the beautiful neo-renaissance Žofín Palace, located in the very heart of Prague on an iconic Slavonic island. As it was it0s first year, there weren’t many participants, but that offered a chance to have more 1 to 1 time with all the invited international speakers.

HHI Expo & Symposium 

Health Hemp Expo and Sympsium Melbourne 2017

To top off this intense and exciting year, I was honoured to be invited to speak at the HHI Expo & Symposium held in Melbourne, Australia. The symposium offered 2 days of presentations from Australia’s top cannabis advocates such as Dr Teresa Towpik , Justin Sinclair, Paul and Sharlene Mavor, Prof Ian Brighthope, Carol Ireland, Michael and Ben Oakley. The expo offered a wide variety of things to see and to try out, but there was one thing that was evidently missing. The sale of cannabis seeds is forbidden, which means that seed companies are not present in Australia. This is in direct contrast to what you can see in EU expos, where the majority of the exhibitors are seed companies. On a more positive note, Australia legalized the sale of hemp products for consumption, on the 12 of November – people can now legally enjoy the benefits of these natural healthy products.

What will 2018 bring to the table? Even more fantastic expos, conferences and symposiums…more details in my next post.


How much  ∆9-THC is in cannabis flowers?

The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids in the form of acids, like delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (∆9-THC-A). It does not enzymatically produce a single molecule of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC). That does not mean, that there is no ∆9-THC in the flowering tops; ∆9-THC-A and other acidic cannabinoids get converted into their neutral forms via heat, light or exposure to oxygen.

The presence and ratio of acid: neutral cannabinoids can also be an indicator of storage and age of the analysed cannabis. Improper storage can decrease the level of acidic cannabinoids, which in turn increases the level of neutral cannabinoids. Other volatile compounds, such as monoterpenes, are also susceptible to improper storage.

By doing a quick search and calculation from 15 analysed samples of type 1 (high THC) from Analytical 360’s archive website [1], the average ∆9-THC (compared to ∆9-THC-A) was 7,1% (2,4 – 12,4, n=15). From 5-10% of the total THC is usually in the neutral form, in properly stored cannabis.

If we compare this data to a study by Wang et al. [2], where they analysed DEA confiscated samples and samples from the University of Mississippi, the average % of ∆9-THC was 33,2% (19,2 – 54,7, n=11) in the DEA samples and 28,5% (10,5 – 41, n=6) in the Mississippi samples. While the number of samples analysed is relatively small, it can still give us an indication of the storage and handling of the plant materials.

Even worse results can be seen in a recently published study by Souleman et al. [3], where they analysed confiscated cannabis flowers and hashish. In the flower samples, 80% of the total THC was in the form of ∆9-THC and only 20% of ∆9-THC-A.

Another usually used indicator of cannabis poor storage is cannabinol (CBN), the oxidative product of ∆9-THC (or CBN-A). The samples form 360 analytical had no detectable CBN, while all the DEA samples had CBN present, on average 0,79 % (0,18 – 1,44, n=11). Only 2 of the 6 Mississippi samples had detectable CBN and no information on CBN levels was included in the Egyptian study.

In the discussion section of the same study they also commented that “marijuana, has shown a higher THC content than we expected based on the world drug reports.” If we compare the 11% total THC that hey reported, to the other newer published studies 12% [4] 13.9% [5] [ 14.88% [6], we can see, that it was in the lower end of potency for today’s standards.

A more indicative report, of the potency of the cannabis present on the market, can be gathered form analytical reports from laboratories. As an example, in the 15 samples analysed by 360, the average of total THC was 18% (13,25 – 23,22, n=15).


1. Analytical 360

2. Wang YH, Avula B, ElSohly MA, Radwan MM, Wang M, Wanas AS, Mehmedic Z, Khan IA. Quantitative Determination of Δ9-THC, CBG, CBD, Their Acid Precursors and Five Other Neutral Cannabinoids by UHPLC-UV-MS. Planta Med. 2017 Dec 20.

3. Ahmed M.A. Souleman, Alaa El-Din M. Gaafar, Omar M. Abdel-Salam, Shaimaa A. El Shebiney. Determination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol content of cannabis seizures in Egypt. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Volume 10, Issue 3, March 2017, Pages 311-314

4. Mahmoud A.El Sohlya, Zlatko Mehmedica, Susan Fostera, Chandrani Gona, Suman Chandraa, James C.Churchb. Changes in Cannabis Potency Over the Last 2 Decades (1995–2014): Analysis of Current Data in the United States. Biological Psychiatry, Volume 79, Issue 7, 1 April 2016, Pages 613-619

5. D.J. Potter, P. Clark, M.B. Brown. Potency of delta 9-THC and other cannabinoids in cannabis in England in 2005: implications for psychoactivity and pharmacology. J Forensic Sci, 53 (1) (2008), pp. 90-94

6. W. Swift, A. Wong, K.M. Li, J.C. Arnold, I.S. McGregor. Analysis of cannabis seizures in NSW, Australia: cannabis potency and cannabinoid profile. PLoS One, 8 (7) (2013), p. e70052

7. Lewis, Melissa & Yang, Yi & Wasilewski, Ewa & A. Clarke, Hance & P. Kotra, Lakshmi. (2017). Chemical Profiling of Medical Cannabis Extracts. ACS Omega. 2. 6091-6103.

2nd annual Terpestival™ 2016 Hopland, CA

On the 23rd of July The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy (CASP) organized the 2nd annual Terpestival in Hopland CA.

The festival’s main goal is to  was designed to educate the public on the contribution of terpenoids to cannabis plant-based medicine. The keynote speaker was Dr. Ethan Russo who had a presentation entitled “Terpenoids and Cannabinoids.” There were several interesting panels all concentrated around the importance of terpenes in the hemp plant.

Total Terpene Aggregate Results

As the name suggest, in the The Terpene Tournament™,  the terpens were the stars of the show while cannabinoid content was not so relevant. All the flowers and CO2 concentrates were tested to determine the cannabinoid and terpene content. The  average flower terpene content was 1.4%, due to the loss of terpene content from harvest time. The average terpene content in concentrates was 9,7%.

An important take-away message from the event was that cannabis shouldn’t be defined only by the cannabinoid profile. Terpenes and other aromatic molecules give cannabis its distinct taste/smell and are very important not only for their medicinal value but also for the enhancement of the connoisseur experience. You can find more info on the event here.

Three new cannabinoids identified in Indian hashish

In a recently published article by Hanuš et al. (1), three new cannabinoids have been identified from a sample of Indian hashish; cannabiorcochromene,  cis-D9-tetrahydrocannabivarol and cannabinerol.

The main cannabinoids content in hashish samples seized in Israel and Czech Republic Lumír O. Hanuš, Rina Levy, Dafna De La Vega, Limor Katz, Michael Roman & Pavel Tomíček To cite this article: Lumír O. Hanuš, Rina Levy, Dafna De La Vega, Limor Katz, Michael Roman & Pavel Tomíček (2016): The main cannabinoids content in hashish samples seized in Israel and Czech Republic, Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, DOI: 10.1080/07929978.2016.1177983
Cannabiorcochromene, cis-D9-tetrahydrocannabivarol, and cannabinerol.

The study focused on identifying the main cannabinoid content of hashish samples from Morocco, Lebanon and India seized by Czech and Israel police forces. In the Indian sample from the Czech republic they also preformed a quantitative analysis of cannabinoids and terpenes which led to the identification of the three new cannabinoids. This brings the total number of cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant to 120, although according to Dr. Hanuš lectures, the total sum is higher, amounting to 144 identified cannabinoids (Hanuš, march 2016).

Analysis of the the different hashish samples from Lebanon, Morocco and India also showed some interesting results. In Lebanese hashish the content of CBD was high and THC was low (2-3:1 CBD:THC ratio) while the Moroccan samples showed the opposite, high in THC and low in CBD (1:2-3 CBD:THC ratio). Indian hashish had a mixed range of ratios but showed higher
amounts of propylcannabinoids, such as D9-tetrahydrocannabivarin
(THCV) or cannabivarin (CBV). From the results of the analysis,  hashish of Lebanese origin was indicative of fiber-type phenotype and Moroccan pf the drug-type phenotype.


  1. Lumír O. Hanuš, Rina Levy, Dafna De La Vega, Limor Katz, Michael Roman,Pavel Tomíček (2016): The main cannabinoids content in hashish samples seized in Israel and
    Czech Republic, Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, DOI: 10.1080/07929978.2016.1177983