Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Is there product in your products? If so what is it?

I am a Chiropractor, Sports Medicine Expert, Former Olympic Team Physician and Cannabis Consultant to my patients with a variety of complaints, diseases, and severity.  As you know, I have the honor of writing articles for Edibles Magazine. The Editor & Chief of Edibles List Magazine, B. Bo LeGrand, recently invited me to judge products for their “best of” Edibles competition. Bo is a very committed activist in this area and an expert in her own right in their regard. We agree on many things, but one thing is clear, we are committed to the quality of the products that we endorse and advertise. The following will be an unpopular view of the emerging edible’s market, but I am speaking from a medical management position, and with my experience with 30+ years of treating patients. The products that came to the panel for review spanned products from Vapes to Cookies, and cakes to truffles with everything in between. Every foodstuff that you can think of has been infused, cooked, injected with some form of cannabis. They included indicia, saliva, High CBD, High THC. The main categories that we all paid considerate attention to were effects and strength, without real specification or proof these products contained what they said they contained. And here it is! Now I say this for the record I use these products because smoking is not an option, and I am searching endlessly for the right products to treat my chronic pain and  my patients ‘ as well. Now, remember I am a customer representing my patients but a liaison and coach to other physicians attempting to help patients with cannabis. I was concerned about recent reports of products without a hint of cannabis were being sold to “patients”1.  As one panel member remarked, “it's like it's a race to see how potent they can make these products”. It appears the products are for one purpose and one purpose only, that is to see how stoned one can become?  So back to my medical colleges, this is contrary to our microdose philosophy and recommendations in our treatment regimes.

As I stated, we received numerous items in all forms of culinary delight to evaluate. One thing is clear, they are not medical products. This judge position has two objectives for me: One, become more versed on the variety of edible options for my patients. Second try to find products that we can use to help our patients.

After conferring with my colleagues at Dedicated To Health Medical Group, in Pasadena, CA about the labels, ingredients dosing everything, just like it was a nutraceutical or prescription medication that we can recommend to our suffering patients. Their consensus, the products are just “junk food with weed”. It can't be used or recommended because of the purity concerns. We and I'm speaking professionally, we have no idea where the weed comes from, the strain used and, more importantly, the product ingredients. The ingredients that most products used violated diet restrictions in fat, sugar, carbohydrates, preservatives as well as some ingredients that react with the medications we prescribe for common problems. In my experience, attempting to make recommendations that my patients can weave into their treatment regime. The concept of product “manufacturer” can be loosely interpreted to mean, made in the garage or in a professional kitchen. We have no idea what you the “manufacturer”, is producing in the name of “medical foods”.  In most cases, the patients are unable to get assistance from doctors as the products “do not meet” dietary recommendations, so the doctor cannot even consider their use. However, the patient in a lot of cases is on a quest to save their own life, go to dispensaries that are teaching, consulting, or guiding patients to edible products for ease of use, which will cause more medical problems. Speaking for the medical community, you want to work with us and have access to our patients to better their lives, you have a responsibility to ask us, what we want for our patients. To put it in an economic framework, you’re losing significant sales to Vapes, oils, and tinctures. These are in most cases pure products that have a lineage of stains, ingredients etc. that we can use to make educated opinions.

Other important criteria for this competition were label clarity, product taste, and how it worked. Products from companies like “Something Chocolate” have clear labeling, dosage, and one thing I noticed is the product is very potent. Or is the potency directly related to the brand of the company? I'm using “Something Chocolate” because I know the owner, Mitch  Koulouris and when consulting with him, I suggested they reduce dosage because the 20mg THC worked fast and reduced symptoms within almost pharmaceutical precision and timing.

 I found this to NOT be  the norm among the larger of manufacturer's. It was represented in “Something Chocolate’s” transparent ingredient list, purity of products and most importantly strain specific dosages for proper use. Most  companies are still not compliant with known dietary regulations. However,  they are attempting to enter our medical arena and are open to change or adding non-GMO, Low Fat, Low Carbohydrate, no sugar, NATURAL PRODUCTS.

I must say you have some hurdles to overcome, my patients want good or no green taste, non-GMO, Natural products that will fit their diets. My company demands hypoallergenic ingredients in its products we utilize for our patients and that we sell through our 50 retail centers.

You are losing credibility and market share because your products do not fit our description of a medical food. Your packaging is deficient in most cases as it relates to the lineage of the plant strain, how it's made, what its made with and most importantly proof. I regularly confer with Bo LeGrand of Edibles List Magazine, Rudy Roma of 420Insight and that family extends to Dan Herer. You manufacturers want us to use the products for our patients, however,  I don't see anything that remotely looks like a medicine in any of the products we tested. It is not enough to just have products that contain CBD or THC, but it has to be a medical food. If you want us to buy your products,  you have the responsibility to make products that fit within our purvue.