14 Jul 2019

How About A Holiday?

June 24, 2019

By Dr. Dorothy Colagiovanni

The concept of a drug holiday is standard medical practice for chronic users of pharmaceutical medications.  Physicians use this abstinence tactic for a variety of reasons, including: limiting side effects of a medicine or allowing a patient to maintain sensitivity to a drug’s effect.  When using cannabis, we often talk about tolerance: the need for greater and greater amounts to achieve the same desired effect, be it for pain relief or simply to get high.  I would like to recommend the drug holiday concept for chronic cannabis users as a way to modulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and save the consumer some hard-earned cash.

The central piece of the ECS that is important to cannabis consumption is THC binding to the CB1 receptor.  As previously discussed in CBE, this binding is what leads to the psychoactivity (or, the high) of cannabis consumption.  With chronic cannabis use, the receptors are downregulated, or reduced in number, at the cell surface at sites of action.  This reduced response means that over time it requires more THC to bind to the receptors for an equal effect, all the while spending more and more money.

So, how can cannabis users save money and still get the same high?  Start taking a weekly cannabis break (or holiday, as they say in England)!

Read the full article here: How About A Holiday?

14 Jul 2019

Taking the Pulse of the Industry Today: Two Prominent Researchers Explain

By David Hodes

June 24, 2019

Abstract / Synopsis: 

As more developments in the industry increase – from the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp to hearings in Congress about fixing banking issues and enabling the government to provide small business loans – it’s time to take the pulse of the industry from some of the movers and shakers in the science community.

Here, two of the more prominent researchers in the cannabis industry – Dorothy “Dot” Colagiovanni, PhD, vice president of product development for Next Frontier BioSciences; and Cindy Orser, PhD, chief science officer for Digipath Labs – talk about how they see the industry today, what they expect going forward, and why they think the cannabis plant is finally beginning to emerge into the spotlight as one of the most intriguing, and beneficial, plants known to man.

Read the full article here: Taking the Pulse of the Industry Today: Two Prominent Researchers Explain

14 Jul 2019

High-Resolution Tandem MS Applications in Cannabis Product Development

By Kris Chupka

June 14, 2019

Abstract / Synopsis:

As cannabis legalization gains momentum, an emerging industry has been created that has a need for accurate, reliable and innovative analytical testing. In my role as Director of Analytical Chemistry at Next Frontier Biosciences, I chose high-resolution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to meet these needs. In this article, I will discuss applications in routine testing (potency and contaminants) as well as those more specialized (terpenes, lipids, etc.).

Tandem quadrupole/time-of-flight (QTOF) mass spectrometry is shown to be a valuable tool in routine and custom applications that will contribute to the next generation of cannabis products. LC/MS capability in the cannabis laboratory goes well beyond contaminate testing currently used in most cannabis third-party testing labs. 

Read the full article here: High-Resolution Tandem MS Applications in Cannabis Product Development

27 Mar 2019

Is the Endocannabinoid System the Key to Happiness?

A new article from the Cannabis Business Executive website: Is the Endocannabinoid System the Key to Happiness?


Have you ever heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life?”  What makes that wife happy?  Is it the peacefulness of her family?  A stable job?  A loving partner?  Or, a healthy endocannabinoid system?  Could a well-functioning endocannabinoid system (ECS) be the key to our level of happiness?  We have heard stories about endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome, but what, if anything, is the proof that this relates to happiness?


We are fortunate to have a tool to evaluate the ECS’ role in happiness: a clinical study from the pharmaceutical industry’s interest in altering this system.  Pharma has been exploring the ECS’ role in appetite suppression and satiety since the first stoner ate Cheetos.  One of the first prescription drugs approved in Europe to modulate the ECS was Rimonabant/Zimulti (Acomplia).  This drug acts on the CB1 receptor as an antagonist—it blocks the activity of the targets such as anandamide; it was hypothesized that this would suppress appetite and be a useful weight reducing agent.  While the drug was approved in Europe for weight loss, the FDA did not approve this drug for use in the US.


The U.S. clinical studies, however, revealed how the CB1 receptor is involved with a healthy view of the world.  Studies demonstrated negative side effects of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts while patients were taking the drug.  These documented adverse effects provide direct evidence that blockade of the CB1 receptor, one of the main components of the ECS, leads to depressed, anxious and troubled individuals. U.S. regulators believed the risks outweighed the benefits of modest weight loss seen in the study and blocked its approval.

09 Mar 2019

MyMilligram – Verra Wellness: Micromist Tinctures

MyMilligram – Verra Wellness: Micromist Tinctures

Marcia Gagliardi at MyMilligram reviews Verra Wellness micromist tinctures – Verra Wellness: Micromist Tinctures

“Their line of Micromist Tinctures comes in three different ratios: 20:1, 1:1, or 1:10 (CBD:THC). They also come in two flavors: a refreshing peppermint or fruity-zippy strawberry-ginger, and it’s really hard to detect any cannabis in either. The peppermint is my preference—it tastes natural and gives you fresh breath while it does its magic. “

16 Jan 2019

New mechanisms of activity for CBD revealed

Clinical studies indicate that cannabidiol (CBD), the primary nonaddictive component of cannabis that interacts with the serotonin (5-HT)1A receptor, may possess analgesic and anxiolytic effects. However, its effects on 5-HT neuronal activity, as well as its impact on models of neuropathic pain are unknown.

Cannabis triggers a complex set of experiences in humans including euphoria, heightened sensitivity to external experience, and relaxation. The primary noneuphorizing and nonaddictive compound of cannabis, cannabidiol(CBD), has recently been shown to possess considerable therapeutic potential for treating a wide range of
disorders such as chronic pain, nausea, epilepsy, pychosis, and anxiety.

Read more Todays Practitioner web site

12 Sep 2018

Devising next-generation products and the unmet needs of non-traditional cannabis consumers

Devising next-generation products and the unmet needs of non-traditional cannabis consumers

VP of Product Development Dorothy “Dot” Colagiovanni

Devising next-generation products geared towards the unmet needs of non-traditional cannabis consumers.

“I like to think that we’re a part of  ‘Cannabis 2.0’ at this point,” says Colagiovanni.


Colagiovanni considers “Cannabis 1.0” to include smoked cannabis, baked goods, products sometimes manufactured haphazardly; whereas, Next Frontier Biosciences has developed a line of products, called Verra Wellness, which includes topicals, sublingual sprays, and — perhaps most uniquely — nasal sprays.


The company doesn’t make the products itself; that’s done by third-party manufacturer, RMZ Colorado, which is licensed in Colorado to make marijuana-infused goods. Colagiovanni describes Next Frontier Biosciences as “an IP holding company and brand management company.” At its Westminster lab, Colagiovanni is doing R&D work on formulating pills and effervescent tablets, which will eventually contain cannabis. (There’s no cannabis present for research use at Next Frontier’s lab.)


The company’s slogan is “Where Biotech Meets Cannabis.” Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Paul Johnson spent “40 years in biotech in nasal drug development, particularly, with over 100 patents to his name — so, a lot of experience in that area,” says Colagiovanni. She adds, “Our scientific team is [made up of] analytical chemists and chemical engineers.”

See more at the Company Week article.

29 May 2018

Cannabis Science

Cannabis Science

Cannabis Science

Depending upon your industry perspective, when I use the term “cannabis science” you may be thinking of optimal plant growth conditions, the latest extraction techniques, or manufacturing technology. Cannabis science is broadly used and has many applications.


From my perspective, cannabis science relates to the interactions that take place in the body following consumption of a cannabinoid-containing product. By definition, a cannabinoid is a substance that binds to a specific cannabinoid receptor and can be produced in one of three ways: it can be produced in the body, derived from plants, or chemically.


The focus of this article is on the “why and how” that enables cannabis to act in the body.


The Endocannabinoid System

Why cannabis is able to cause biological effects because of the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). Only identified in the last 20 years, The ECS is increasingly recognized as essential to maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in the body. Detected in diverse species ranging from mushrooms to rats to humans, the ECS plays critical roles for regulating mood, sleep, pain and inflammation.


The components of the ECS include the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, the endocannabinoids that bind to the receptors, including Anandamide, NADA and 2AG, and the enzymes that synthesize and degrade these compounds. It is a “lock and key” system that allows only certain keys to open the locks and initiate a cascade of effects.  Each endocannabinoid binds differently to the receptors to activate or inhibit their responses. The pieces of the ECS work together to synthesize the endocannabinoids “on demand” and transmit chemical messages between cells.

Why Does Cannabis Alter My Brain?