More Than THC

As a long-time cannabis consumer, I’ve been conflicted from the start about legalization of the substance in Canada. To be clear, I think it absolutely should be legally available to adults in our country, but the early years of its attaining such status have been fraught with missteps imposed by government. Beyond problems like excessively wasteful packaging, supply vs. demand issues, bizarrely restrictive edible strength caps, etc., the constraints placed on its sale and marketing create somewhat of a barrier between the information that companies wish to relay about their products and the consumers who seek it out. For example, the Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act explicitly places limitations on promotion of cannabis via testimonial or endorsement, or by associating it with vitality, among other restrictions. Whereas the general effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) tend to be common knowledge among typical cannabis consumers, comprehensive cannabidiol (CBD) awareness is less ubiquitous, and therefore such boundaries have a marked impact on relaying the potential benefits of that component in particular. 

Supra Research and Development, a laboratory based in Kelowna, BC, aims to help remedy a component of this latter dilemma. According to CEO and CSO of Supra Rob O’Brien:  

“THC content should not be the primary metric to indicate Cannabis flower quality and the Cannabis community should do more to educate people about this.”  

Not that THC does not have significant value itself when it comes to the effects sought by both recreational and medicinal users, but such information is already readily available in comparison. And from Supra’s perspective, this places an unfortunate emphasis on that aspect of the product at the expense of useful data on CBD content. As a brief description of the differences between THC and CBD for anyone unfamiliar, the former is a psychoactive ingredient that contributes to the often-euphoric experience of “being high,” while also being useful for treating such conditions as glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, and more. The latter does not produce a high, but is effective in alleviating symptoms of depression, inflammation, seizures, and other such impediments to one’s general well-being. Still other ailments, like pain and nausea, can be addressed by either. Overall, it seems obvious that easily accessible information about both should be a priority. 

This is where Supra’s promotion “More Than THC” comes in. Since May, and through to the end of June, the company has begun offering free, full cannabinoid profiles for anyone who sends a cannabis sample to their lab using a provided form with the promotional code “#MoreThanTHC.” Licensed organizations and individuals alike are encouraged to have their own cannabis strains tested, and interested parties can email for additional information.

As outlined by Jas Litt, a representative of the company: 

“The goal is to publish a full list of samples submitted to highlight the diversity of cannabinoids present in different varieties of cannabis. With permission, we will also identify and highlight a number of the cultivators who produce some of the more interesting strains.” 

She adds that “moving forward, we hope that we see a decrease in the push by government run Cannabis stores to bias against Cannabis strains with less than 20% THC,” with Supra’s efforts envisioned to support further research of the positive uses of cannabinoids.

This, to me, sounds like a beneficial endeavour for the cannabis industry and community in general.

– Cory Stumpf

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