This Is What It Looks Like When Evil Infiltrates the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is all the craze right now, especially CBD.

Most products are perfectly fine and useful to ingest, however, when something is this hot, there are bound to be some sketchy people getting involved.

This has proven to be the case of OTC listed company Pot Network Holdings (POTN.OTC). A popular line of cannabis-derived CBD products from a POTN subsidiary was found to be tainted with a dangerous synthetic cannabinoid known as 5F-ADB and DXM.

The manufacturer of the allegedly tainted products, Diamond CBD, markets a line of hemp-based oils and e-liquids, the best known of which is Chong’s Choice, endorsed by the 1970s comedian and celebrity stoner Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong.

Diamond CBD’s chief executive officer said he was surprised to learn about tainted e-liquids. “Our products are all subject to third-party testing,” said Kevin Hagen, who was in Las Vegas attending the MJBiz Con, the world’s largest marijuana and hemp business conference. “I suppose any type of product could be tampered with or modified by someone with a syringe.”

However, something doesn’t quite add up. 

The researchers at Virginia Commonwealth, in Richmond, recently tested a suite of nine Diamond CBD products. In two separately purchased samples, they found the synthetic cannabinoid 5F-ADB in Liquid Gold Strawberry e-liquid. The toxic compound also was discovered in Liquid Gold Jungle Juice e-liquid and Diamond CBD Vape Additive.

In another sample of the vape additive, they found Dextromethorphan (DXM), a chemical normally used as a cough suppressant.

“The finding of both 5F-ADB and DXM were both unexpected,” said researcher Justin L. Poklis, who was the primary author of the article published in the journal Forensic Science International.

Chemical Breakdown Of Tested Products

According to Pubmed, N-[[1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3-yl]carbonyl]-3-methyl-D-valine methyl ester (5F-ADB) is one of the most potent synthetic cannabinoids and elicits severe psychotic symptoms in humans.

To investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying its toxicity, we examined the effects of 5F-ADB on midbrain dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, which modulate various basic brain functions such as those in reward-related behavior. 5F-ADB-induced changes in spontaneous firing activity of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons were recorded by ex vivo electrophysiological techniques. In dopaminergic neurons, 5F-ADB (1 μM) significantly increased the spontaneous firing rate, while 5F-ADB failed to activate dopaminergic neurons in the presence of the CB1 antagonist AM251 (1 μM).

However, the same concentration of 5F-ADB did not affect serotonergic-neuron activity. These results suggest that 5F-ADB activates local CB1 receptors and potentiates midbrain dopaminergic systems with no direct effects on midbrain serotonergic systems.

“The addition of 5F-ADB and DXM compounds to the CBD products may lead to unexpected psychoactive effects,” Poklis said. “The inclusion of these drugs in e-liquids can lead to dangerous consequences, particularly when the users are unaware, and the products are used for therapeutic reasons.”

What This Means

The lesson in all of this is to buy products from reputable companies, especially newer products like CBD which have become such hot commodities.

With the ability to buy CBD extract in bulk and sell it through an online portal like Shopify (SHOP.T), (or dropshipping it like Namaste (N.V) does) it’s easy to create products DIY style.

Make sure products have solid reviews and come from trusted companies to stay on the safe side.

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