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The diluents in marijuana – how to identify them and what their risks are.

This text describes the most common impurities and diluents in marijuana, explains how to recognize them, and what risks they pose.

Breeders love to remove the very THC-rich resin layer by sieving. This dusty layer of pollen is then hidden and can be sold again on the black market as a visually high quality and heavy herb. This low-grade weed is unlikely to be recognized by the buyer.

Both cannabis and hashish are blended with various substances to improve quality and stretch. They range from grated hemp leaves, spices, fats and oils to shoe polish, sand, wax, sugar and hairspray, and products like brix.

Brix is ​​produced in the USA and Australia and is used exclusively to stretch cannabis flowers. It is a liquid in which hemp flowers are dipped after harvest and then dried. It is composed primarily of sugar, but also amino acids, hormones (including triacontanol, the growth hormone of green leaves), and liquid plastic that air-solidifies. Brix and other synthetic substances such as synthetic wax found in shoe polish, for example, are particularly harmful additives. Smoking produces carcinogens that should be avoided if inhaled. Some of these substances are especially harmful.

Likewise, burning organic matter (such as spices or herbs) produces carcinogenic substances. For example, smoking joints due to combustion products, especially tobacco smoked with it, is one of the most harmful forms of cannabis consumption.

There is a fundamental risk of silicosis when inhaling sand containing silica. It is a lung disease in which an inflammatory change in connective tissue occurs with scarring of the lungs. Bronchitis develops. This occupational disease occurs mainly in miners who inhale large quantities of sand containing quartz. However, even a heavy cannabis smoker cannot even come close to these amounts. Sand, finely crushed glass and similar substances irritate the lungs, but are only marginally harmful to health. Synthetic substances with which they are applied to the flower pose a great danger to inorganic substances, because the sand does not stick on its own.

Therefore, various fillers pose significant health risks and should be avoided anyway! The best protection is reliable sources or, if low quality is suspected, immediate disposal!

Exposure to pesticides.

Pesticide contamination of domestic grass has been discussed for a long time, but until now it has been dismissed as a myth. The Dutch government estimated in 2001 that at least 50% of cannabis producers in the Netherlands use pesticides. For some time, CannaResearch has been examining samples from cafes for pesticide residues, thus making a valuable contribution to health. The most common active ingredients are fluralaxil, propamocarb and abamectin.

Furalaxil, which is contained in the plant protection product Fongarid. It is a fungicide used to combat root and stem rot that enters the plant system through the leaves and roots. Therefore, such fungicides are also called “systemic fungicides”. It takes almost 50 days to halve the concentration of this pesticide in the tips of flowers, but it is also used shortly before harvest. It is noteworthy that in the Netherlands this active ingredient can only be used in ornamental plants and in horticulture. Since hemp is grown illegally, the Pest Control Act is of course not valid.

Propamocarb is found, among others, in Previcur N (Bayer). Like furalaxil, it is used against fungi that cause stem and root rot. It is also used to combat downy mildew (Plasmopara spp.). Only after 25 days, the concentration of the agent in the tips of the flowers is halved.

Abamectin is the active ingredient in Vertimec. This well-known insecticide is equally toxic. It is mainly used against spider mites, but is also effective against leaf miners and thrips.
All three pesticides can cause serious harm to human health!

Exposure to mold and bacteria.

In a study by Leiden University in the Netherlands, a microbiological study was conducted on ten samples from different cafes. All samples were contaminated with bacteria and / or mold to such an extent that the permissible limit values ​​for inhaled drugs (as defined by the European Pharmacopoeial Commission) were exceeded.
Some of the microbes found can produce toxins that are not completely destroyed by temperature, such as smoking cannabis, allowing them to enter the lungs. Such microbes and toxins can be especially dangerous for people with already weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS or cancer. Aspergillus mold, which has been found among other things in samples, in the worst case leads to fatal pneumonia in immunologically compromised people.
The study also looked at two types of cannabis available in Dutch pharmacies. They showed only minimal traces of mold and bacteria, which were well below the relevant limit values. Accordingly, these varieties are recommended for medicinal use.

Summary and conclusion.

The extent and consequences of contamination of cannabis products are largely unexplored. However, there is a lot of evidence that hashish and herb stretching pose a serious health threat to consumers.

DHV criticizes the cannabis ban, which only leads to the black market and uncontrollable excesses. In a legal marketplace, control through food laws, etc., would be taken for granted.
DHV addresses various government agencies (for example, DHV’s open letter to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) about herb):

  •  Analyze cannabis for impurities and determine the health risk!
  •  Make factual information available to consumers and help businesses accordingly!
  •  Create an opportunity for consumers to anonymously analyze cannabis for foreign substances and impurities (drug testing)!
  •  Create an opportunity for self-improvement for consumers!

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Scientists publish the results of a study on micro dosing of psychedelics

For several years now, the topic of the use of small doses of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes has been actively discussed in scientific journals, as well as in publications on the subject of hemp. Recently, this topic has begun to leak into the materials of major news publications.

In general, this practice involves the regular use of very small doses of hallucinogens that do not show a noticeable psychoactive effect in order to obtain exclusively their tonic and therapeutic (in particular, sedative and analgesic) effects. Some consumers of such micro doses completely claim that in similar quantities, psychedelics acquire a noticeable nootropic effect (that is, improves the general processes of the mental activity of the organism of the consumer).

In any case, a group of scientists from different universities of the world set out to examine in more detail the effects and properties of such psychedelic doses, in order to confirm or refute the arguments of such stories. At the beginning of last week, the results of the study that lasted a year were published for public review on the PLOS One resource .

Research procedure:

To begin with, the authors of the work had to develop a psychedelic drug participants ’supply system, since, technically, international laws, as well as US laws (where most volunteer participants were located), strictly prohibit any form of distribution and use of this category of substances.

As a result, it was proposed to entrust the task of supplying the project with psychedelics to the observation participants themselves. Actually, for this reason, the experiment involved people who have long been personally practicing the use of LSD micro-doses. In other words, the researchers simply sent out to the participants instructions for conducting the experiment, as well as a list of questions designed to evaluate their subjective sensations of the therapeutic effects of micro-doses.

A new list of simple questions was sent every day to the personal mailbox of each participant in the experiment. The longer-term effect of micro-doses was measured at the end of each month, using a larger list of questions.

At the end of the year of observation, the authors conducted a complete analysis of all the collected data, establishing a list of the general effects of the micro dose of LSD, both with short-term and long-term use.

The positive effect of LSD micro-doses:

One of the scientists who worked on the project, named Vince Polito, briefly described the findings of the study to The Conversation journalists , immediately emphasizing that in general, all the participants in the trial noted only positive effects for the micro-doses.

From the most noticeable positive effects of small doses of LSD, volunteer participants identified their ability to stimulate the brain’s mental and creative abilities, as well as to improve the overall tone of the body at times. In addition, most participants noted that micro doses greatly improve the ability of consciousness to concentrate on a particular work. It is possible that similar effects of LSD also explain that some participants in the experiment noted their extremely high effectiveness in combating various types of depression, as well as the ability to quickly alleviate the state of chronic stress and fatigue.

Negative effect of micro-dose LSD:

Of the minuses, most of the participants noted a slightly increased level of arousal and nervousness, especially with regular use of several micro-doses per day.

Scientists also claim that at the initial stage of the experiment several participants dropped out of it, who noted that even in such small doses, LSD has a rather strong psychoactive effect on them.

In general, such feelings of increased nervousness were noted in volunteers after about 6 weeks of regular use of several doses of LSD per day. Although this limit ranged from 1–2 weeks, on average, malaise began to manifest itself over a period of 5–6 weeks.

Future research on micro-dosing

In any case, this work is only the first project dedicated to the use of LSD micro-doses for therapeutic purposes. It is quite possible that further tests on the micro-dozing of this drug, as well as other hallucinogens, will be able to more accurately clarify the peculiarities of the effect of such small doses of psychedelics on the physiological functions and psychological state of a person.

Dr. Polito himself reminds journalists that, due to the limitations of the study, scientists had to rely on the subjective feedback from participants in the experiment, which cannot be verified objectively. It is quite possible if the authorities of the United States or any other country in the world allow the legalization of psychedelics for medical and scientific research, the following similar test can be carried out in a laboratory with well-adjusted and verified doses of pure LSD.

In general, the available findings provide us with only one obvious fact: LSD has a certain neuro-stimulating and therapeutic effect in small doses, which, in turn, is not accompanied by noticeable negative side effects.

“In other words, the work only demonstrates that in micro-doses, LSD has a much more controlled and useful effect in work and creative processes than when used in recreational dosages,” notes Dr. Polito. “Certainly, we observe certain negative effects with prolonged and frequent use of micro doses, however, it is not yet known how dangerous it is for long-term human health.”

“So far we know that in small doses, the substance can cause a neuro stimulating and tonic effect on a person, while carrying a certain risk of increasing nervous excitability. How exactly these doses produce a similar effect will be known only through more in-depth and detailed studies, ”

– he adds.