It's a New Age of Precise Pot Dosing, Labeling, and Pinpoint Highs
Designing your own high will be the future, and it all starts with the label.
“Dosing is already hard enough with edibles,” Franco Brockelman, co-founder of Releaf app, writes in a release provided to KINDLAND. Releaf is a mobile app that empowers cannabis users and medical marijuana patients to “discover, track, and analyze what works best in treating their ailments.”
For consumers, accurately dosing any cannabis product is more of a guessing game than a calculated action. A simple dab to one consumer, is simply too much for others, and can lead to an intense, unanticipated experience. Which, for the record, most likely will not have the user en route to the emergency room, or suffering from a heart attack. The fallout is generally no more than spending an afternoon locked in one’s own closet, talking to the voices in the head, or downing an entire family size bag of Doritos.
Even those freakout scenarios are the exception. Weed, in 2016, is less about getting high, and more about enhancing the human experience or treating the symptoms that ail us.
Brockelman’s Releaf app was recently updated to include a feature it calls Insights. The update “organizes users’ cannabis by feelings they’ve experienced while using cannabis, making it easy for them to know what makes them sleepy, hungry, or energetic and go back to those strains in the future for consistent results,” according to the release. The new and said-to-be improved Releaf app also allows users to track the amount of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or cannabidiol (CBD), they might be consuming in various weed edibles, tinctures, concentrates, and topicals.
Rick Simpson extract oil (via)
“We really believe that with better information you can have better experiences,” Brockelman writes.
Releaf’s hope for informed experiences is part of a wider industry shift toward targeted, predictable highs. A number of pot brands are currently selling or developing cannabis products that rely on the plant’s particular terpenes to deliver consistent, reliable results.
Los Angeles-based hmbldt is another brand disrupting the smoking circle, marketing specific highs with its targeted formula dose pens. Each pen––Bliss, Calm, Relief, and Sleep––is a packaged functional means to an experiential end.
“Cannabis is very complex. It’s important to view terpenes from a more holistic perspective,” hmbldt chief science officer Samantha Miller previously told KINDLAND. “It is less about what individual terpene elicits a given effect, and more about the terpene profile,” Miller said. “Our goal is to accentuate the benefits of the plant, and to bring complete terpene profiles to drive the efficacy and reliability to the patient.”
As reported by the International Business Times, Colorado-based Chooze Corp offers its own choose-your-high-experience via the brand’s LucidMood “hemp pellets.” The line of vape products is “designed to customize a user’s psychoactive experience, leaving the user energized, or relaxed or focused, depending on what sort of experience is desired.”
Ebbu, another Colorado outfit navigating the designer-weed space, took its time in getting its predictable-high-product, Feelings, onto dispensary and retail shelves. Former ebbu CEO and founder Dooma Wensdschuh previously told KINDLAND of the company’s ambitions:
“We are going to create safer and more effective medical products the right way, by doing the appropriate tests to ensure their safety and efficacy; and taking all necessary steps to ensure consistency, while eliminating any contaminants.”
Though ebbu is reportedly releasing the line in 2017, Wendschuh—who before entering the legal weed game wrote the “Assasin’s Creed” video game franchise—is no longer with the venture.
In the future, perhaps the near future, the cannabis consumer’s option to “design” a personalized high will be the status quo of bougie weed retail. But that luxury isn’t an industry-wide standard just yet.
Marijuana edibles labeling in Colorado (via)
In many markets, the labeling on marijuana edibles isn’t a surefire indicator of just what type of high a cannabis product will provide—or how intense it will be. In October 2016, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division updated the Rocky Mountain State’s legal weed rules: All edible cannabis products must come in child-resistant packaging marked by a universal logo to designate the consumable as marijuana-infused. Labeling cannot feature design artwork, or marketing that might appeal to children.
“The No. 1 goal here: It’s about public safety, it’s about public health, and, above all, it’s sensitive to the risk this poses to children,” Jim Burack, director of Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division said to the Cannabist, of the labeling update.
“[Colorado] requires edible cannabis to test within 15 percent of its labeled potency,” Andrew Schrot, founder of BlueKudu, a Colorado-based edibles maker previously told KINDLAND.
“BlueKudu aims to be within 5 percent of our labeled amount. We triple-test every batch we produce; first insisting the cannabis we use proves to be pesticide and microbial free, second we test the THC and CBD we extract from the plants using a natural ethanol-based process for potency, and finally we test for homogeneity so that each breakable 10-mg square of chocolate has an equal amount of THC and CBD.”
Other states have followed suit. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 64, the recreational use initiative approved by California voters in November, has weed regulated similar to alcohol, which means edibles can't even look like they are for kids. According to the Los Angeles Times, per Prop 64, “marijuana products and labels cannot be designed to appeal to children, nor be ‘easily confused’ with commercially sold candy. They must be in childproof packages. Items must be scored into standardized serving sizes, and each serving can contain no more than 10 mgs of THC.”
There is no law anywhere, unfortunately, making edibles adult-proof.