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THC – O Acetate

THC-O Acetate is currently enjoying a return to mainstream interest in the cannabis community, as many users and manufacturers seek alternatives to cannabinoids. THC acetate ester was investigated as a possible non-lethal incapacitating agent as part of the Edgewood Arsenal experiments at some point between 1949 and 1975 by the U.S. DEA and classified as a Class A drug.

Try not to confuse THC-O Acetate with THC-A. THC-A is THC acid, one of the purest compounds to be synthesized from cannabis, but is not psychoactive until decarboxylated or heated. When people say “diamonds and sauce” they typically mean “THC-A in terpene sauce.”

THC-O Acetate is not a phytocannabinoid meaning it is not naturally occurring in the cannabis sativa plant. Many are still seeking scientific arguments to support the theory that THC-O Acetate can naturally occur in cannabis, however, no concrete evidence has yet to be uncovered. THC-O Acetate is synthetically prepared and requires a strong acid (in this case sulfuric acid) and a solvent, in this case, acetic anhydride. The reaction must be performed in a Nitrogen atmosphere as the acetic anhydride can react with water in the air and violently explode.

Synthetically prepared cannabinoids are regarded differently in the cannabis community since they are not naturally occurring in the plant.

THC-O Acetate is purported to be 2-3x stronger than THC. Although this may vary, it is always extremely potent. The addition of the acetyl group (acetylation) increases the polarity of the molecule allowing more of the cannabinoid to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Delayed effects up to 30 minutes are expected after inhalation as enzymes in the body must break down the acetyl group.

Another analog that might arise again is THC-O Phosphate. It was created to allow greater solubility in water to increase bioavailability in pharmaceutical administration. Invented in 1978, THC-O Phosphate was largely synthesized to make it easier to inject for the purposes of animal research and associated pharmacological practices. The main disadvantage of THC-O Phosphate is its delayed onset of effects felt by the user, and lower potency than the parent drug.

The Discovery of CBD as a Cannabinoid

For thousands of years, humans have been using cannabis for both its medicinal and ornate qualities. One fateful day in 1945, a British soldier found cannabis seeds in a pumpkin and gave them to his roommate, who passed them along. The journey didn’t stop there. Many years later, Doctor Russell Edgington stumbled onto a compound called CBD while researching ways to treat soldiers experiencing common spasms. When his team sprayed CBD into the bloodstream of their test subjects, an unexpected result occurred: their afflictions stopped.

Cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD, is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, and it has garnered tremendous interest from pharmaceutical companies and physicians due to the potential in treating a variety of ailments. Plants with an abundance of CBD often have ample amounts of CBDV and CBDO, as they are derivatives of CBD. Scientists believe that certain portions of the CBDV and CBDO compounds may act as potential treatments for a variety of conditions, including cancer, arthritis, inflammatory conditions, inflammatory bowel disease and more.

With CBD under the microscope, scientists had the power to study the effects of cannabinoids on humans. As it turns out, cannabinoids are really, really interesting. Cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant and have a wide range of therapeutic effects. They are also responsible for relaxing everything from your muscles and bones, to your brain and immune system. In addition to having a wide range of therapeutic effects, CBD has been recommended as beneficial for immune system health, arthritis, and other inflammation.

Are you interested in trying the highest quality CBD isolate, custom distillates, and oils? Visit Abundant Labs to learn more about the CBD products offered out of our state-of-the-art facility in Western North Carolina.

Is CBD Useful for Post-Workout Muscle Recovery?

Athletes are always seeking that extra edge, whether it’s an advantage against an opponent or supplements to enhance muscle recovery. While there are age-old treatments for aches and pains following workouts, more recently athletes have found supplementing cannabidiol, or CBD, to  be effective. Cannabidiol is one of over 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant, other well-known cannabinoids include THC, CBN and CBG. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, and there is evidence that suggest these compounds have therapeutic properties for treating various health conditions, including pain management and decreasing inflammation.

Since CBD is not mind-altering like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana, many athletes are turning to CBD as a treatment supplement.

How do Muscles Recover and Grow after a Workout? 

First, it is important to gain an understanding of what happens to your muscles during a workout.  As you work out or perform strenuous physical activity, muscles begin to form tiny tears in  muscle tissue. As a result the muscle becomes inflamed causing muscle stiffness and soreness, which triggers the body to respond and repair. These tears alarm cells within the muscle to send signals to organelles outside the muscle, telling them to come into the cell and repair.

As these  cells enter the muscle, they repair by replicating and becoming part of the muscle fiber. As you continue to workout and progress, these newly formed cells develop into new muscle protein strands and allow muscles to grow and strengthen.

Does CBD Help with Muscle Recovery, Soreness, and Stiffness?

So does CBD help with muscle soreness, stiffness and recovery? Research has demonstrated how CBD and other cannabinoids could potentially be used as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. One of CBD’s most well known benefits is its anxiolytic, or anti-inflammatory properties. As CBD is introduced to the body following a workout, it interacts indirectly with the CB2 receptors found in the body’s immune system. CB2 receptors play an essential role in immune function, pain management, and inflammation as they help modulate inflammation and immune response (1).

When the muscles are being repaired  following a workout, CBD can potentially aid by minimizing inflammation. We recommend administration of CBD before or after a workout. Recalling from previous posts, to receive the  desired effects from CBD it is recommended to administer CBD on a regular basis. One time or sparingly use of CBD will yield desired effects but it limiting the full potential of CBD and other cannabinoids.

But are the proposed anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol enough to help with muscle fatigue?

CBD as an Anti-inflammatory Agent 

While more studies in humans are needed, there is an abundance of research on animal models that support claims for CBD lowering pain and inflammation. A study from the European  Journal of Pain showed CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. A separate study demonstrated supplementing CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain mechanisms (2).

A research article published in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry discussed the anti inflammatory properties of CBD. The reviewers found that CBD reduces inflammation through several pathways including changes to receptor binding, signaling events and functional effects reported for CBD (3).

Another study in the journal Pain, examined the effects of CBD on osteoarthritis. After two weeks, acute inflammation of the joints was reduced by local CBD treatment applied to the area.

A 2016 study in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation researchers demonstrated that CBD treatment reduced inflammation in the pancreas and CBD was shown to lower the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice by inhibiting the invasion of immune cells causing pancreatic inflammation (4).

A 2020 study in Nature stated CBD is a “non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from Cannabis  sativa that has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in several inflammatory conditions including arthritis. However, CBD binds to several receptors and enzymes and, therefore, its mode of action remains elusive” (5).

CBD and Joint Pain 

The administration of CBD was also found to prevent the development of nerve damage and joint pain (6).

A 2018 research study published in Neurology demonstrated that CBD binds to and desensitizes receptors known to mediate pain and sensory perception, inflammation, and body temperature (7).

Thus, the endocannabinoid system has shown involvement in regulation of both in vivo and in vitro in the immune system and does so by utilizing multiple pathways. As more peer-reviewed research and clinical trials become available on humans, we’ll continue to gain a better understanding of cannabinoids and the chemical reactions and pathways that aid our immune and  nervous systems.

Where can you purchase cGMP and Kosher certified hemp extracts for muscle recovery? 

When seeking out CBD and hemp derived products, be sure to look for cGMP-certified processors such as Abundant Labs and always ask for a Certificate of Analysis to ensure the quality and purity of hemp extract. We’d be happy to discuss the different types of extracts we produce and how they would most benefit you or your customers.


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Is CBD Good for Glaucoma and Blurry Vision?

Many of our customers ask about the benefits of CBD (cannabidiol) and the relief it has shown to provide to patients with various health conditions. One of the conditions we’re most often asked about is glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions caused by abnormally high eye pressure that can lead optical nerve damage. If not treated properly, glaucoma can lead to blindness in some individuals. It has been reported that nearly three million individuals suffer from glaucoma, making it one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness.

Medical advancements for treatment, including surgical procedures, for eye conditions have improved significantly in recent years but individuals continue to seek alternative  forms of treatment whether it be holistic options, dietary changes or additions of  supplements.

The use of cannabis for medical treatment has vastly expanded in recent years, now 35 states having medical marijuana programs for patients with certain medical conditions.  Nearly all medical marijuana legislation lists glaucoma as a condition that qualifies individuals access to a medical marijuana card. Since cannabis includes at least 120 different cannabinoids the question arises, should patients be seeking out CBD, THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) or other cannabinoids to relieve symptoms of glaucoma?  Will CBD help minimize blurry vision? Does cannabis and the introduction of cannabinoids help treat glaucoma?

Does CBD Lower Intraocular Pressure?

The naturally occurring endocannabinoid system found in all humans (and our furry canine friends) is a biological system made up of  neurotransmitters and receptors found throughout the central nervous system. Prior research demonstrated that the administrations of cannabinoids can lower intraocular eye pressure, however, this was only for administration of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.  Researchers actually found that administration of 20 milligrams of CBD did not decrease intraocular eye pressure and administration of 40 milligrams of CBD increased intraocular eye pressure. This would suggest that CBD is not a suitable treatment for glaucoma and could actually do more harm that good.

Does THC Lower Intraocular Pressure?

But what about THC, or delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol? Does THC show efficacy in lowering intraocular eye pressure? The short answer is yes. Research has demonstrated that administering THC does lower intraocular eye pressure, however, patients with glaucoma require 24 hour pressure remediation to protect eyes from damage to the optic nerve.

Thus, THC provides only short term relief for intraocular eye pressure and suggests why the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society do not recommend THC as a treatment for glaucoma. The risks far outweigh the benefits of using THC for glaucoma treatment as patients would be required to administer THC several times throughout the day, each day, to reduce intraocular eye pressure.

Not only does this present health concerns but would also not be financially justifiable for patients. Since THC is psychoactive, patients  consistently administering THC would not be able to take on everyday activities, such as driving a motor vehicle.

THC Free and Broad Spectrum Definitions and Specifications

The CBD industry is a new and burgeoning industry with roots in the more established cannabis industry; sharing similar processing equipment, supply chains, finished goods and retail opportunities. Many of the jargon or industry terminology in CBD is taken directly from the THC industry with one notable exception, the niche we know of as THC-free products. This unique area of the CBD world is driven mainly by legal, moral, or personal considerations.

Legal Drivers of THC Free Products

The legal drivers of THC free products concern retailers worried about the legal limit of THC in consumer products as well as the requirements for some employers for the absence of THC in their employees. Legal drivers come with declared limits that are objective and quantitative. The moral and personal considerations deal more with not wanting to ingest psychoactive compounds like THC and in that case there are no hard numbers, it is more subjective and qualitative.

So where does this leave the stakeholders in this niche of the CBD economy? There are retail customers in this space who want to purchase safe and reliable THC free products, though these buyers may be misled as to what that actually means as we will see. We have processors, manufacturers and brokers looking to meet this demand with a variety of products featuring nebulous names and wide ranging specifications for THC levels.

What Does THC Free Mean?

The industry as a whole has so far settled on the terms Broad Spectrum distillate or THC free distillate to describe the intermediate distillate products used to make the retail edibles, tinctures, and topicals which have little to no detectable THC. This term “detectable” is where we can start to make concrete definitions and place some context around the discussion of what is a “THC-free” product and why definitions matter.

For context, it is important to realize that there is no such thing as THC Free. THC is removed from hemp derived material using either physically or chemically, physical separations are achieved through chromatography or distillation and chemical conversion of THC into other cannabinoids is achieved using heat and sometimes catalysts. These processes are effective but there is always some amount of THC left, even if it is 1 part per million (1ppm, 0.0001%) there is still THC present. The fact that there is always THC present means that all you can ever guarantee is that a product does not have THC present above a certain detection limit.

Limit of Detection for THC

The detectable amount of any substance is determined by the Limit of Detection (LOD) for a given instrument and/ or method and is derived empirically. This LOD changes depending on the instrument being used, the sample processing method, and can vary between two identical instruments in the same laboratory nevermind variability between different labs.

Since the LOD is so variable between labs and methodologies a product tested at one lab can be “Non-detectable” and then test as detectable at another lab. The notion by retail consumers, shop owners, or finished goods manufacturers new to the CBD world that “Non-detectable” is something concrete and standardized is a reality that we as an industry will have to work hard to address.

We here at Abundant Labs strive to educate our customers and clients on what it means to be non-detectable and really try to understand the needs of our customers. Some manufacturers want to buy TFree THC distillate, while what they really want is to ensure that their finished retail products are guaranteed nondetectable. If you look at the tables below, you can see that a broad spectrum distillate with THC at 0.1% (detectable at any lab) will produce a product that is non-detectable at most labs.

Detection limits, TFree, chromatography, conversion…so many words and terms to learn!!! To summarize what can seem esoteric or needlessly complicated; THC will always be present in a hemp derived product and what the discussion becomes is how much is tolerable for a manufacturer and their customers. At Abundant Labs, we take pride in our ability to understand the needs of our clients, customers and partners; collaborate to meet the desired and acceptable levels of THC my manufacturing safe, effective, and consistent products for the marketplace.