Interpret Cannabis Through Chemistry to Ensure Better Consumer Experiences: Guest Column

Interpret Cannabis Through Chemistry to Ensure Better Consumer Experiences: Guest Column

Rethinking strain names allows us to shift the conversation in cannabis.

March 8, 2018
Andrea Sparr-Jaswa

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Cannabis Dispensary. To subscribe, click here.

Despite the remarkable scientific and social progress we’ve seen with cannabis in recent years, the language we use to discuss its vast and varied effects is still stuck in the past. In some ways, this disconnect between common vernacular and scientific discovery is understandable. Cannabis is uniquely complex. It defies the narrow scope of conventional “single compound, single target” pharmacology. Yet the task of resetting the language of cannabis is vital. Learning to analyze, interpret and intelligently discuss this botanical powerhouse will help ensure better experiences for longtime users and newcomers alike.

Farma, a dispensary in Portland, Ore., has proven this process can be done on a small scale. Grounded in the work of the renowned neurologist and cannabis research pioneer Dr. Ethan Russo, Farma is one dispensary paving the way to cannabis curation according to chemical composition rather than plant morphology. By aggregating and analyzing reliable lab data—that is, by focusing on chemotypes rather than folklore and strain names—dispensaries can help guide patients and consumers through a spectrum of effects that more effectively target specific needs and desired experiences.

Sound Data Begets Sound Analysis

The process of analysis begins with ensuring safe access. In Oregon, this means partnering with independent, state-accredited labs capable of testing for more than potency and primary cannabinoid content, but the full spectrum of active compounds. Other states, such as California, are in the process of developing their own testing protocols.

To read the full article in Cannabis Dispensary's February 2018 issue, click here

Top photo courtesy of Farma