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Cannabis Companies Seek Framework for Safe Additives in Concentrates

As the cannabis industry develops, regulators and cannabis manufacturers alike need actionable methods for toxicological risk assessment.

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Portland State University’s Department of Chemistry, PAX, and True Terpenes today announced that their joint paper titled A First-Tier Framework for Assessing Toxicological Risk from Vaporized Cannabis Concentrates has been published in Toxics, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal, published online by MDPI.

Vaporization is a popular method of consuming cannabis. However, there is little science-based guidance for consumers, manufacturers, or regulators to evaluate the safety of additives in cannabis concentrates. This paper presents a preliminary framework to conduct such risk assessments, to help manufacturers and regulators without significant toxicological expertise to evaluate the health risks of inhalable cannabis concentrate additives. Ultimately, it aims to increase safety standards across the cannabis industry and, most importantly, reduce consumer risk. This proposed approach leverages New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) that avoid the use of animal testing.

At present, 38 states and the District of Columbia permit cannabis in some capacity, for adult use or medical purposes. However, the federal status of the scheduling of cannabis and divergence across state regulations have created challenges for state-licensed cannabis manufacturers. Cannabis oil or extract products for vaporization (i.e., “vape pens”) are one of the fastest growing cannabis segments and often a starting point for new consumers. As the cannabis industry develops, regulators and cannabis manufacturers alike need actionable methods for toxicological risk assessment of inhalable cannabis concentrate additives.

“As researchers, scientists, and experts in this industry, it’s our responsibility to advocate for the consumer and protect their health,” said Dr. Shawna Vreeke, Head of Research & Toxicology at True Terpenes and PhD. “We created and implemented this methodology to review every ingredient that goes into every True Terpenes formulation and wanted to share this research with the community. This framework serves as a first step in giving regulators and manufacturers the guidance and tools they need to assess ingredient safety rooted in scientific data. Our hope is that they will use this information to make product and policy decisions that will ensure consumer safety.”

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