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THE SECRET PARTS OF CANNABIS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT

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Most people recognise the big fan leaf of the cannabis plant, but when you take a closer look, you’ll notice there are many complex formations that hold unique functions. We prepared this brief guide so you can familiarize yourself with the different cannabis parts.

Female vs. Male

Cannabis plants can either be male, female, or hermaphrodites. Gender matters a lot to the grower because only females will produce buds. They produce the large resin-secreting flowers with buds rich in cannabinoids. When the flower is grown, they are dried and trimmed.

The male plants are used for seed production and their DNA is essential in determining the subsequent offspring. Good quality males are used for breeding purposes and provide pollen to female plants. They are usually chosen based on their ability to resist mold, growth rate, and overall health. These traits are passed down but the flavor and potency profile is retained from the female plant.

Hermaphrodites produce both male and female flowers. Whilst this occurs naturally, it is an undesired trait for consumption. Hermaphrodites can produce a plant full of seeds which reduces the quantity and quality of the final product.

Nowadays it is easier to grow female plants thanks to auto-flowering and feminized seeds, as well as genetically identical clippings which produce clones of the original plant.

Cannabis parts

There are several cannabis parts which are not much different from any other flowering species. Cannabis grows on tall stalks ringed with huge fan leaves extending out from areas called nodes. It is from these flowers where many intricate formations occur. Let’s take a look at them.

Cola

It refers to the section where the female flowers bloom. The cola on the top of the plant is called the main cola. The number and size of colas are determined by a variety of growing techniques – topping, low-stress training and screen of green.

Calyx

Calyx is the bud itself. It consists of small sugar leaves, nodules, and pistils. Calyxes come in different sizes, colors and shapes depending on the strain. Typically, the calyx is covered by trichomes. This is a key part of the flower concerning cannabis consumption, since most of the cannabinoids are located here.cannabis parts

Pistil

The red/orange/purple hairs on the bud are known as pistils. Their primary function is to collect pollen from male plants. While the plant grows, they change color from white to yellow, orange, red, purple or brown. The color depends on the strain you grow and the stage of maturity of the plant. They’re important for reproduction, but there is little to no effect on potency and taste.

KNOW YOUR CBD: METHODS OF INGESTION

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If you are like most consumers with an interest in cannabis, you have seen ‘CBD products’ popping up everywhere in recent years.

CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis, seems to generate new studies every day claiming a new usage. It can be difficult for consumers to make sense of the products they find advertised online and at their local dispensary, and even more difficult to decide which is right for them.

With CBD suddenly being touted in food products and cosmetics, in the form of different oils, crystals, e-liquids and teas, it’s no surprise many are confused by it all. To help make sense of so many options, we’ve created a guide to some of the most common CBD products available.

CBD-rich oil

How it’s made:

CBD-rich oil is a specific oil that contains CBD and doesn’t contain THC. CBD-rich oil is obtained via extraction made from cannabis flowers, most of the times from hemp strains rich in CBD. Then this extract can be mixed with hemp seed oil, olive oil or other types of oil to facilitate ingestion. These CBD-rich oil products are non-psychoactive.

NOTE: It is important to know the difference between CBD oil and Hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil is a hemp extract taken from the seeds of the plant. Industrial hemp is the only plant used for this type of hemp oil. The seeds of the hemp plant can be cold pressed, peeled or unpeeled (preferably cold), to create a delicious oil. There are no cannabinoids such as THC or CBD present in the oil since hemp seeds are not psychoactive. Hemp oil is legal in most countries and can be found in food markets, together with more common types of oil, like olive oil.

CBD methods of ingestion

How you use it:

CBD-rich oil can be consumed in many ways. Users looking for the strongest effect from the oil can take it directly by placing a drop on or under the tongue so the oil is absorbed through the mouth and digestive tract. Others who want to enjoy the experience of consumption may choose to add a drop of oil to cooking or baked goods or dissolve a drop in their smoothie or tea.

Hemp seed oil can be found in food markets, together with more common types of oil, like olive oil. Hemp seed oil is known for its great taste and for its high values of unsaturated fats, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. It can be used in many different applications such as Lotions or soaps, a base for plastics, instead of petroleum and eco-friendly paints.

CBD Crystals

How they’re made:

After hemp oil is removed from the plant, it can be further refined to isolate only CBD. To isolate pure CBD crystals, extracted hemp oil is put through a ‘winterisation’ process- or slowly heated to remove fats and lipids. Then, a machine called a rotary evaporator is used to remove any remaining plant traces. The final product is decarboxylated through another meticulous heating process to activate the cannabinoids, making chemicals bioavailable for consumers.

URGENT NEED FOR CBD REGULATIONS IN EUROPE

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Cannabidiol, or CBD— in case you haven’t already heard the chorus singing its praises, is the second most commonly found cannabinoid in cannabis and hemp plants. It is responsible for a host of physiological responses that could have some amazing applications, but unlike cannabis’s primary active compound THC, CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects.

Cannabidiol is already of great interest to many consumers and entrepreneurs as new studies continue to show its potential benefits. This has created an exploding CBD industry in Europe and around the world and has opened the doors for companies like Harmony to create and distribute a wide variety of CBD products.

But there’s a problem

Unlike THC and any plant containing it, CBD is not specifically mentioned under the individual Narcotics Acts of any European country and is not considered a controlled substance under European law. This is great because it means companies can produce and distribute CBD products derived from non-psychoactive hemp (which must contain less than 0.2% THC) and provide consumers access to an extremely useful cannabinoid.

However, on the flipside, it means that CBD products are not currently subject to any standard regulations. This leaves consumers with no legal protection or guarantees about the product they are purchasing. While many high-quality CBD producers are meticulous in their production methods (like Harmony!), the current, ambiguous patchwork-regulations allow for huge variations in the quality, strength and even safety of CBD products available on the market. Products are not subject to testing and CBD producers are currently given little guidance on dosage, labeling, and the necessary information they should provide to their consumers. Given the exponential growth rate of the CBD industry in the last few years, members of the industry have begun to recognise the lack of standardisation as a problem and have decided to speak out about the need for regulation.

The EIHA position

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) is a professional alliance that represents the interests of hemp farmers and producers both within individual countries and on a European level. Their members come from 31 nations and span several hemp-related industries.

At the end of 2016, the organisation released an official position paper on the need for CBD regulations in Europe. At the time of the statement’s release, major pharmaceutical companies both in Germany and the UK were pushing for CBD to become a prescription drug which they, of course, would own the rights to in the respective countries they were petitioning. The EIHA statement speaks strongly in opposition to their efforts, which it claims would greatly restrict access for consumers and destroy a budding industry for the profit of a few.

The paper argues for the development of “harmonised legislation in the field [of CBD] to make sure that consumers are protected, to sustain the industry’s current double-digit growth rate, to attract new investors and to boost product development.” It uses cited reports illustrating the cannabinoid’s safety as evidence against the need for harsh restrictive measures, and goes on to propose a regulatory system based on the quantity of CBD a product contains.

Harmony Super Lemon Haze: The Unique CBD E-liquid With Terpenes

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A few weeks ago we launched the first ever e-liquid containing terpenes from the original cannabis strain – OG Kush. Today we are happy to announce a new flavour, Super Lemon Haze! We created this unique aroma in the same way as our OG Kush; from the original cannabis terpene profile. The unique flavour of Super Lemon Haze is based around the terpene, limonene.

There are several terpenes produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. Now, let’s take a look at limonene in more detail.

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Where can you find limonene?

Limonene is present in citrus rind, and gets its name from, you guessed it, lemon! You will find around 1 – 2 % of limonene in cannabis but it depends on the strain, growing and curing process. Generally sativas are richer in limonene compared to indicas. Super Lemon Haze is not the only cannabis variety where limonene appears, OG Kush, Lemon Skunk and Jack Herrer also have a considerable amount of the terpene present as well.

You can find limonene in other plants and herbs like rosemary, juniper, and peppermint. This natural aroma has been used by manufacturers today to create air fresheners, perfumes, and soaps.

There you have it, you now have an e-liquid with a naturally occurring flavour for your enjoyment! You can buy the new Super Lemon Haze CBD e-liquid here.

MYRCENE: DISCOVER WHAT MAKES YOU LOVE THE MANGO KUSH

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he new Mango Kush flavour finishes the trio for the delicious Harmony CBD e-liquids containing terpenes from the original cannabis strains. We brought you OG KushSuper Lemon Haze, and now it’s time to try Mango Kush! It tastes primarily like mango, but you can taste and smell tropical hints of banana and pineapple. This unique sweet and musky flavour is based on the myrcene terpene, which is also present in mangoes.

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis. In some strains such as Mango Kush, there is more than 50 % myrcene present. That’s not all, myrcene is a building block for other terpenes and the amount present will influence if the strain becomes an indica (>0.5% myrcene) or a sativa (<0.5%). The most abundant strains containing myrcene besides Mango Kush, are Jack Herer, Warlock CBD, and Pink Kush.

mango kushMyrcene helps other cannabinoids and terpenes pass through the cell membranes, allowing them to reach receptors all over the body. Terpenes interact with cannabinoids creating a different effect than if one cannabinoid or terpene acting alone. This is known as the “entourage effect”.

Cannabis is not the only plant or herb where you can find myrcene, it’s present in basil, lemon grass, and menthol too. Chances are, if you love beer, you would have tried myrcene as it is the key contributor to the “green hop aroma”, which is commonly found in dry-hopped beers.  So guys, there you have it, try this tropical CBD treat to complete the ultimate cannabis-flavoured CBD e-liquid range!

VAPORISATION: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

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Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the three main chemicals found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, has gained a lot of attention in recent years as more studies show a variety of potential applications for it. You can find CBD in almost every type of cannabis plant including:

  • cannabis plants containing THC, the psychoactive chemical that makes you feel ‘high’
  • varieties of the cannabis plant specifically bred to be high-CBD/ low-THC
  • industrial hemp plants that contain no THC and have no psychoactive effect

There are a number of ways of extracting CBD from any of these varieties of cannabis. If the plant you start with contains only CBD (like industrial hemp or a high-CBD cannabis strain); there are multiple extraction methods which are very simple and require little equipment.

The most common methods use some type of solvent. This can be a liquid solvent, CO2, or an oil solvent. If the plant material you start with contains THC as well as CBD (such as smokable cannabis), the process to separate CBD from other cannabinoids is more complex and generally requires professional equipment. To avoid getting too technical, let’s look mainly at extraction methods for CBD-only plants.

Liquid Solvents

In this method, plant material like flowers and trim are put into a container. Liquid solvent (usually butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or ethanol) is run through the plant matter to strip it of cannabinoids and flavours and transfer them into the liquid. Then, the liquid is evaporated away from this mixture to leave only concentrated chemicals and flavours in the form of an oil.

CBD extraction
benefits of this method are many— it is the most simple, equipment-free, and inexpensive way to extract CBD, but not without some downsides. One concern is that solvents can leave traces of impurities in the finished CBD oil (meticulous processing methods and the right solvent can minimise this). Also, some liquid solvents remove chlorophyll from the plant along with cannabinoids and flavours, giving the finished oil a greener colour and more bitter taste.

Also, some liquid solvents remove chlorophyll from the plant along with cannabinoids and flavours, giving the finished oil a greener colour and more bitter taste.
However, because these negative effects can usually be countered by adjusting specifics in the process, this remains the most common method for CBD extraction.

C02 Extraction

Carbon Dioxide (C02) is a unique molecule that can function as any state of matter— solid, liquid, or gas— depending on the pressure and temperature it is kept under. Because variables like pressure and temperature have to be kept very specific in a C02 extraction, this extraction method is usually done with a piece of equipment called a ‘closed-loop extractor’.
This machine has three chambers: the first chamber holds solid, pressurised C02 (commonly known as ‘dry ice’), the second chamber contains dry plant material and the third chamber separates the finished product.

When performing the extraction, the solid C02 from the first chamber is pumped into the second with the plant material. This second chamber is kept at a specific pressure and temperature which causes the C02 to behave more like a liquid (although it’s actually somewhere between a liquid and gas in this state, referred to as supercritical C02) so that it runs through the plant material and extracts chemicals and flavours, much like in the liquid solvent process. Then, the C02-cannabinoid mixture is pumped into a third chamber where it is kept at an even lower pressure and higher temperature so that the C02 gas rises to the top of the chamber while the oils containing chemicals and flavours from the plant material fall to the bottom to be collected for consumption.
CBD Extraction C02

There are many benefits of this method. It doesn’t require a long evaporation process like a liquid solvent extraction and there is minimal risk of contaminants in the finished product.
Because this method carefully controls temperature and pressure, it can also be used to separate CBD from cannabis also containing THC.

CBD extracts from the plant at a lower temperature and pressure than THC, so careful adjustment of the pressure and temperature in the second chamber can isolate the specific cannabinoid you want to extract. Closed-loop extractor systems are very pricey, however, which is why this type of extraction is generally only used by professional CBD producers.

Oil Extraction

Using oils, especially olive oil, to extract cannabinoids from hemp and cannabis is a practice that dates back to biblical times or even earlier.

Many home-producers who make their own CBD products still employ this simple extraction method. First, raw plant material must be decarboxylated, or heated to a specific temperature for a certain length of time to activate the chemicals in the plant. Plant material is then added to olive oil and heated to 100°C for 1-2 hours to extract the cannabinoids. With this method, the olive oil cannot be evaporated away after the process, so users must consume much higher quantities of this type of extracted oil than the highly-concentrated oil produced by other methods. Infused olive oil is also highly perishable, and so must be stored in cold, dark place.

This makes it unviable for commercial CBD producers, but a simple, safe, and inexpensive option for individual enthusiasts.

CBD oilWhile these are currently the most common methods in which CBD is extracted from cannabis or hemp; technology in this exciting new field is constantly updating, so new methods will surely be seen in the coming years as the industry expands.

Each extraction method is best suited to specific circumstances: whether you are a company or an individual, for what type of product you are extracting CBD, desired flavour, strength and consistency all play a part in which method should be chosen. Companies producing CBD often put extracted CBD through subsequent processes to make a variety of other products, such as Harmony’s CBD e-liquidsCBD crystals, cosmetics and much more.

Interested in CBD and related topics?

Keep an eye out for new educational articles from our online magazine, OR join us for our next MeetUp event in Barcelona where we have professionals from the cannabis, hemp and CBD industries give educational presentations every month!

CBD extraction from hemp

HOW IS CBD EXTRACTED FROM HEMP?

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Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the three main chemicals found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, has gained a lot of attention in recent years as more studies show a variety of potential applications for it. You can find CBD in almost every type of cannabis plant including:

  • cannabis plants containing THC, the psychoactive chemical that makes you feel ‘high’
  • varieties of the cannabis plant specifically bred to be high-CBD/ low-THC
  • industrial hemp plants that contain no THC and have no psychoactive effect

There are a number of ways of extracting CBD from any of these varieties of cannabis. If the plant you start with contains only CBD (like industrial hemp or a high-CBD cannabis strain); there are multiple extraction methods which are very simple and require little equipment.

The most common methods use some type of solvent. This can be a liquid solvent, CO2, or an oil solvent. If the plant material you start with contains THC as well as CBD (such as smokable cannabis), the process to separate CBD from other cannabinoids is more complex and generally requires professional equipment. To avoid getting too technical, let’s look mainly at extraction methods for CBD-only plants.

Liquid Solvents

In this method, plant material like flowers and trim are put into a container. Liquid solvent (usually butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or ethanol) is run through the plant matter to strip it of cannabinoids and flavours and transfer them into the liquid. Then, the liquid is evaporated away from this mixture to leave only concentrated chemicals and flavours in the form of an oil.

CBD extraction
benefits of this method are many— it is the most simple, equipment-free, and inexpensive way to extract CBD, but not without some downsides. One concern is that solvents can leave traces of impurities in the finished CBD oil (meticulous processing methods and the right solvent can minimise this). Also, some liquid solvents remove chlorophyll from the plant along with cannabinoids and flavours, giving the finished oil a greener colour and more bitter taste.

Also, some liquid solvents remove chlorophyll from the plant along with cannabinoids and flavours, giving the finished oil a greener colour and more bitter taste.
However, because these negative effects can usually be countered by adjusting specifics in the process, this remains the most common method for CBD extraction.

C02 Extraction

Carbon Dioxide (C02) is a unique molecule that can function as any state of matter— solid, liquid, or gas— depending on the pressure and temperature it is kept under. Because variables like pressure and temperature have to be kept very specific in a C02 extraction, this extraction method is usually done with a piece of equipment called a ‘closed-loop extractor’.
This machine has three chambers: the first chamber holds solid, pressurised C02 (commonly known as ‘dry ice’), the second chamber contains dry plant material and the third chamber separates the finished product.

When performing the extraction, the solid C02 from the first chamber is pumped into the second with the plant material. This second chamber is kept at a specific pressure and temperature which causes the C02 to behave more like a liquid (although it’s actually somewhere between a liquid and gas in this state, referred to as supercritical C02) so that it runs through the plant material and extracts chemicals and flavours, much like in the liquid solvent process. Then, the C02-cannabinoid mixture is pumped into a third chamber where it is kept at an even lower pressure and higher temperature so that the C02 gas rises to the top of the chamber while the oils containing chemicals and flavours from the plant material fall to the bottom to be collected for consumption.
CBD Extraction C02

There are many benefits of this method. It doesn’t require a long evaporation process like a liquid solvent extraction and there is minimal risk of contaminants in the finished product.
Because this method carefully controls temperature and pressure, it can also be used to separate CBD from cannabis also containing THC.

CBD extracts from the plant at a lower temperature and pressure than THC, so careful adjustment of the pressure and temperature in the second chamber can isolate the specific cannabinoid you want to extract. Closed-loop extractor systems are very pricey, however, which is why this type of extraction is generally only used by professional CBD producers.

Oil Extraction

Using oils, especially olive oil, to extract cannabinoids from hemp and cannabis is a practice that dates back to biblical times or even earlier.

Many home-producers who make their own CBD products still employ this simple extraction method. First, raw plant material must be decarboxylated, or heated to a specific temperature for a certain length of time to activate the chemicals in the plant. Plant material is then added to olive oil and heated to 100°C for 1-2 hours to extract the cannabinoids. With this method, the olive oil cannot be evaporated away after the process, so users must consume much higher quantities of this type of extracted oil than the highly-concentrated oil produced by other methods. Infused olive oil is also highly perishable, and so must be stored in cold, dark place.

This makes it unviable for commercial CBD producers, but a simple, safe, and inexpensive option for individual enthusiasts.

How To Vape CBD E-liquids

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Mastering each process of CBD vaporization doesn’t need to be daunting – with our helpful guide we can show you the simple steps of how to set up and enjoy your vaporizer for CBD e-Liquids.

1 – First Steps with the Joyetech eGo AIO

First, we’ll get you started with your first vape pen for CBD Vape Juices: The Joyetech eGo AIO.

Harmony’s Starter Kit contains everything you need to join the fabulous world of CBD vaporization. The vaporizer box contains 1  e-cig (perfect to start with CBD), the accessories kit, starter guide and care tips.

HEMP TEA: WHY YOU SHOULD DRINK IT

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Marijuana herbal tea and green cannabis leaves

The Hemp plant is an incredibly versatile and healing herb, the entire plant can be eaten, cooked, brewed, or extracted – from roots to flower, leaf, and seed. We have already written about the CBD oil, hemp seeds, and juiced cannabis, now, lets have a look at hemp tea.

Let’s take a look at hemp tea

Tea is an ancient drink originating from Asia.  Traditionally it is prepared with tea leaves, however, steeped hemp leaves can do the job just as well.

Hemp tea has a greenish color which is caused by plants growing mature longer and by harvesting at the time when the CBD content is at its highest level.

Don’t worry about THC (the cannabis compound getting you high) because hemp contains no more than 0.2 %. At this small concentration, you will not feel any kind of  “high” after consuming the tea.hemp tea

Is there CBD in Hemp tea?

Hemp teas made from the finest flowers and trim from hemp plants are rich in antioxidants and cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in the trichomes of the female cannabis plant and hemp. It is non-psychoactive, non-toxic and doesn’t have side effects. Because CBD is no water soluble, it’s recommended to drink hemp tea with a dash of fat as milk. Coconut oil or a small piece of regular butter will work too.

CBD VS THC: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

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The cannabis plant secretes hundreds of chemical compounds, among which cannabinoids. 140+ cannabinoids have been discovered so far, and two of them are produced in greater quantity. You guessed it: THC and CBD.

They’re both cannabinoids

The cannabis plant secrets hundreds of chemical compounds, among which cannabinoids. 85 cannabinoids have been discovered so far, and two of them are produced in greater quantity. You guessed it: THC and CBD.

With different effects:

THC is credited with causing the « high » in cannabis consumption. Its psychoactive effects have known recreational and spiritual applications since 2,700 B.C., only to be isolated in 1954 by scientist Raphaël Mechoulam.

More discreet was CBD: it does not make you “high”. Its use and applications can be traced back to centuries. Mechoulam (yes, him again) actually discovered it a year before THC! The first “CBD study” came in 1980, and it was only in 1998 that the case was made for the use of CBD-rich cannabis varieties.

And a different legal status:

Because of its psychoactive effects, THC has been listed as a substance by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, making it illegal in most countries.

However, CBD was never considered a psychotropic substance and was therefore never listed as a controlled substance. The only countries where it is officially controlled is Israël and Canada.

cannabis-sativa-1

High THC cannabis plants are called Sativa and are illegal

Remember:

  • THC and CBD are both natural compounds of the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids.
  • High THC cannabis plants are called Sativa while high CBD strains are called Indica
  • THC is a controlled substance because of its psychoactive effects.
  • CBD has no psychotropic effects. It is legal almost everywhere, and it is being studied and used by millions of people around the world.
  • cannabis-powered product that contains CBD, but no THC, is legal in most of the world.

Puzzled? Ask us any questions! We’re scientists, passionates, experts, so we love talking about what we do?