In the midst of a cannabislegalization boom, sometimes getting access to cannabis is easier than access to information about it.
While certain cannabis strains have been identified for pain relief and other medicinal purposes, there is still little standardization across regions, resulting in different plants with different strengths. Even the same strains can contain different compositions based on the nutrients in the soil and water.
The lack of clarity can sometimes lead to medical users experiencing difficulty obtaining the correct medicine.
A new gadget lets cannabis users detect the chemical make-up and learn what strain is right for them. The MyDx handheld device syncs with a smartphone app to inspect marijuana and create a detailed breakdown of the composition.
“There’s 400 different chemicals in cannabis, it’s a complicated story,” Yazbeck said. “We started here because cannabis needed a friend in science and technology.”
The MyDx app collects user data from thousands of other MyDx devices to compare and contrast cannabis profiles to find a user’s desired benefits for their conditions.
“Quality control, consistency — you want to be able to find a strain that works for you and it’s a very difficult task,” Yazbeck said.
As well as making strain suggestions, the device also predicts how users will respond to new strains of cannabis before they try them.
Yazbeck said it’s important that users start tracking what strains are working for them to deal with their illness. One strain may alleviate epilepsy symptoms but leave users feeling sluggish, the MyDx is aimed to keep track of those responses and steer the user toward different strains.
“Our whole premise was consumer based diagnostic,” said Yazbeck. “How do we take these big $15-20,000 machine and miniaturize them.”
Yazbeck said his goal was to take the expensive products that exist on the market today for monitoring chemical composition and drive down the cost as much as possible.
“I think we’re still too expensive,” Yazbeck said, hopeful that as sales expand the price will continue to drop.
Yazbeck said the next step will be monitoring cannabis extracts, pesticides used in cultivation and other elements, such as carcinogenics.
“Now you can use that data to legitimize this industry,” Yazbeck said.
Yazbeck looks forward to allowing users to be able to quantify what they’re putting in their body and how it’s making them feel.
“That’s the true vision of what this device, for cannabis, was meant to do,” Yazbeck said.