The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is well known for its cannabis, once infamously coined BC Bud. For the most part, the province is still home to some of North America’s highest quality cultivars of cannabis. Will research and development allow BC to jump ahead with its cannabis reputation?
BC Bud booms – climate and culture
Is it a surprise that certain forefronts of cannabis research can be found in a region ripe with cultivation?
BC bud allegedly made its famous origins in the lush Kootenay region, tucked into the wild southeastern corner of the province. BC’s lower mainland later became an iconic cultivation hub. An ideal culture in this region sparked up a booming cannabis influx. Next to these ideal societal conditions, cannabis prospers at sea level on BC’s populated and sub-tropic west coast. For some time now, BC’s cannabinoid-filled heart has been prestigious in its attempt to drive research and development.
Last year, this author made forty phone calls to every approved lab in Canada, at least the ones west of Quebec, regarding smoke and vapour analysis tests. No lab could provide this type of test for cannabis. Brick walls were constantly met amidst the vaping crisis that was prevalent at the time.
However, over 100 additional labs have since been approved for cannabis research. And, one of those labs now possesses the ability to analyze cannabis smoke inquiry.
CBDV is an outlier, breaking beyond typical compliance testing that only focuses on the basics of safety. Now we can quantify the health risks specific to bone-dry cannabis or vape pods. Cannabis smoke rich in toxic levels of aldehydes or ammonia will be noticeably poisonous to many consumers compared to clean, marketable buds. For that reason, smoke analyses cross-over from safety into the realm of cannabis quality. Currently, Health Canada‘s compliances only require producers to test for much narrower parameters.
Preserving secret profiles
One will discover deeper mysteries hidden within cannabis’s profile if they continue through CBDV’s field of exciting interests. Processors and producers are keen on analyzing unknown micro-components that truly define famous varieties of bud. CBDV has cleverly coined themselves in the likeness of a rare cannabinoid that can be crucial for treating certain types of epilepsy.
Important still is the metabolic process and the behavior of rare and minor components during growth, cure, storage, and extraction procedures. CBDV employs sophisticated IR and NMR spectrometers to ensure every decarboxylated or nano-emulsified batch is consistent, alongside other highly sensitive analytical tools. Most cannabis labs strictly utilize HPLC to accurately quantify cannabinoids, a critical piece of equipment in the field that is also slow and expensive for specific applications.
BC Cannabis, outside of the pot
CDBV utilizes a UBC partnership*, accessing NMR spectrometers for rapid analysis of various cannabis products. Photo courtesy of UBC.
Unlike rare cannabis-focused research facilities, most approved labs in Canada do not budge past the typical compliance tests required by Health Canada. One other tiny, compassionate lab on Vancouver Island admitted they are still capable of a wider but less accurate pesticide screen. However, they only agreed after we cited our viable curiosities. Others, even with the technician’s attention caught in this writing author’s grasp, have refused requests at the behest of upper management.
Research needs to be flexible given the diversity of cannabis which reflects brick wall parameters.
Stay tuned to find out what a team of cannabis researchers, hash enthusiasts, and new farmers plan to learn from another ecosystem found in BC. A place that shares more characteristics with the birthplace of cannabis, Qinghai Lake, compared to the lower mainland.