Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. has pledged $10,000 to AHP for the production of the monograph, the company announced recently. The monograph and therapeutic compendium is currently under development, said Roy Upton, executive director of AHP.
The monograph will provide industry with a variety of scientifically valid analytical methods suitable for use in the identification, purity, and quality assessment of cannabis and its crude products.
As an illegal drug, cannabis has of course up to now been grown under conditions that are as far as possible from a controlled setting. The more recent legal medical use of marijuana has given rise to a more controlled industry, but still one that lacks clear reference standards for the product that ends up in the dispensaries, which is the gap the monograph is meant to fill.
“The monograph will address what’s the appropriate use of crude cannabis. That being said, the monograph will cover a significant amount of the information that’s out there on whole extract and some of the some of the pharmacology on isolated cannabinoids,” Upton told NutraIngredinets-USA.
“You guys are using it, you are using it for a bunch of stuff you think it might be good for and for which it might not be good for. You’ve heard a lot of different stories, but here’s an accurate representation of what the literature and history says.”
Abattis’ prime interest is in the medical marijuana trade in Canada. Health Canada has recently proposed changes to the Canada's Marijuana Medical Access Program that aims to treat marijuana as it does any prescribed drug, allowing for legal commercial production for those who meet specific requirements. Up to now, cannabis production was granted to only one company that grew the plant under controlled conditions in a mine in Manitoba.
Nutraceuticals from cannabis?
But the company is also interested in bringing to market nutraceuticals based on non-narcotic fractions of the plant, most notably cannabidiol or CBD. (Delta-9 THC is the narcotic fraction.) The company recently announced a deal to produce CBD-infused kombucha at a facility to be built in Colorado, one of two states (Washington is the other) where voters have passed laws making recreational cannabis use legal. CBD is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
The monograph would presumably make that easier by supplying reference standards and testing methods that make writing finished product specifications possible. But Upton was unsure of the regulatory status of the effort to bring products based on CBD to market.
“(Abattis CEO Mike Withrow) seems to believe that there is no regulatory restriction against isolated non psychoactive cannabinoids. I don’t know if that’s true,” Upton said.
A spokesman with the US Drug Enforcement Agency was unsure, too. The idea of splitting cannabis into regulated and non-regulated fractions is still so new (until recently the plant was illegal, period) that he declined to comment on the record until the matter could be investigated further.