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Potency Claims - only as Accurate as your Reference Material. Challenges with unstable THC and related Cannabinoids

Authors: Mitzi Rettinger
Presented at The Emerald Conference, Las Vegas, NV, January 21-22, 2016

A growing body of research suggests that cannabinoids may offer therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of many ailments from arthritis and chronic pain to glaucoma, epilepsy, and cancer. Therapeutic effects and potency of Cannabis are highly dependent on the particular strain, since each strain contains various quantities of different cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD). 
Recent studies have highlighted potential dangers associated with Cannabis dosage. For example, in studies treating depression, Cannabis has shown therapeutic efficacy at low doses, but in high doses THC can worsen symptoms of depression and other psychiatric conditions like psychosis.
Epidemiologic research suggests that Cannabis may have a dose-dependent influence on seizure threshold, provoking and prolonging seizures at certain doses in adults and children with epilepsy.
Accuracy of Cannabis profiling and potency testing using accurate Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) is therefore critical to ensuring safe and successful patient outcomes when using Cannabis-based medicines. This presentation addresses the analytical challenges encountered with testing Cannabis cannabinoid biomarkers, the role of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) in assuring accuracy and reliability of analytical results, and the robust manufacturing practices required to produce Cannabis solution based CRMs.

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