Light cannabis – also known as CBD weed – is washed down with pentane by some European growers to drop below the permitted THC percentage according to a recent CannabisIndustrie.nl article. Besides the health hazards, it is easily flammable and has already caused deaths in Italy.
You are probably familiar with the concept of CBD cannabis. After all, in several European countries you can legally buy cannabis that is low in THC and higher in CBD. But it often happens that the CBD hemp harvested contains more THC than is allowed in the country of sale.
In order to obtain cannabis light ccomply with the rules in terms of THC, namely not to exceed 0.3%, for example in France, manufacturers or traders “wash” the grass in hexane and/or pentane to rid it of excess THC .
What unearthed it: Deadly explosion at a cannabis lab in Italy
It was first a LinkedIn post that pointed the finger at these practices. This message concerned two deaths and the injury of two others, one of whom was a minor at the time, in an explosion and a fire at a cannabis laboratory in Italy, according to La Repubblica. Justice is still busy investigating what really happened. At the moment, the judiciary believes that the suspects violated the drug law since what they were doing in the laboratory is not authorized.
The complainant’s hypothesis is that the fire could have started as a result of a technique used to reduce the THC of light cannabis, “invented” by one of the company’s partners, without any technical knowledge and scientific and without any authorization. On the first floor, a laboratory had been installed with ultrasonic “washing machines” in which the cannabis was washed with pentane to reduce the level of THC and thus comply with the regulations to pass for CBD hemp.
This doesn’t sound new, as confirmed by a comment from Novel Food-specific API and validated ingredient expert Boris Baňas:
“Unfortunately, this is the case with most smokable hemp in the EU. EU hemp is basically hay that no one really wants to smoke […] So what’s going on? The purchase is made in Switzerland with a limit of 1% THC. This stuff is indeed smokable.
To bring the THC to 0.2/0.3%, the flowers are washed and dried. Then sprayed with a CBD solution and flavored with terpenes. »
No one would knowingly want to consume this. In addition, pentane is easily flammable.
In the Netherlands, CannabisIndustrie.nl observed CBD weed containing harmful synthetic cannabinoids being sold as high-THC weed. In addition to regulation, the solution would lie in analyzes provided by merchants.