Sometimes, you talk to someone, and the words they speak resonate so deeply, that you question most other things you’ve heard from the mouths of another. Could the previous philosophies of so many be mistaken? Could the new(er) kids on the block, having armed themselves with scientific guns equipped with a factual ammunition, really usurp the old traditions?
That’s the cool thing about the exhumation of cannabis; those dedicated to understanding the complexities of the plant are unlocking its botanical secrets. But with the arrival of previously foreign secrets comes the shock and awe when beliefs are proven to be suspect or just wrong.
Jon Cooper, of ebbu, previously didn’t trust the products in the cannabis marketplace. “As you get older, the idea of taking unpredictable psychoactives becomes less appealing,” Jon explained. “With alcohol, you know what’s going to happen.” This is something that more consumers are facing. Diverse demographics comprise the cannabis industry, now. As the medical attributes of various chemical constituents native to the plant have been and continue to be revealed, those numbers, and their diversity are escalating.
Is it possible, then, to create a predictable and reproducible experience, at minimum, for those who have found their effective panacea? For ebbu, the ignition to taking off on this journey began where it should have…in the trichome heads. “We were amazed when we viewed the trichome heads under a fluorescence microscope,” Jon said. “There were so many different compounds right next to each other. How could this complexity provide a path forward for consistency?”
And so, ebbu slowly pushed the pedal down, examining the scenery of their experiments along the way. “We considered looking to the model pharmaceutical approach to study cannabis, by just using THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] or CBD [cannabidiol]. That didn’t seem to make a lot of sense, though, from a recreational point, “Jon explained. “CBD, by itself, isn’t the best approach. It may make sense to the pharmaceutical companies since the path to getting products approved is shorter when there is only one active pharmaceutical ingredient.”
ebbu, on the other hand, set out to become the world’s polypharmacological leader by studying the entourage of what’s going on inside of our bodies. To achieve this, ebbu needed to separate out the individual compounds, and they do so using chromatography. This potentially arduous process enables them to construct their formulations from scratch, permitting the generation of repeatable products. “One hundred years from now, it will still be the same product!” Jon exclaimed.
With their fractionation strategy in place, ebbu also designed a drug discovery lab where they grow live human receptors, and in real time, add cannabinoids, and watch what happens next. “For years, we have been proving the entourage effect. We’ve considered different permutations of fourteen cannabinoids and thirty terpenes,” Jon proudly voiced. “Every week, it seems we have a new discovery.”
We’ve all heard the mantra “more research needs to be done”. While that can always be said, nearly about anything except the truly cool things in life that need no confirmation of “cool”, isn’t it time to change our dialogue to one of “cannabis researching is happening”? That much is at least owed to the many scientists and business entrepreneurs that have left other, less exotic industries to join in this grassroots movement to unlock cannabis’ mysteries. Sure, some are here to grab bags of loot. Others, however, have a more noble mission at heart: to help the world live and heal.
ebbu has evencreated a “human studies team” to test their formulations in a double-blind, randomized trial. The endgame is to determine “if the effects are real”. “We’ve been fascinated by the scores of people who report the same thing, the same effect, as what we were aiming for in our products”, Jon remarked. To date, ebbu has evaluated formulations targeting pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
“Most formulations can’t be just CBD and THC. The other compounds are needed. But how do you increase those compounds to make them more prevalent?”, Jon mused. “Cross-breeding? Maybe for some, yes, but not for all plants. Genetics? That’s an option, but the compounds need to be increased in a safe and ethical manner.”
This wasn’t a minor point with Jon, especially since his parents started the campaign in Colorado to demand proper labeling on genetically-modified organisms. Jon discussed a process called “genetic editing” to enable the proliferation of less common cannabinoids. Simply, genetic editing is the modification or replacement of DNA in the genome of a living organism. Thus, it becomes possible to create what is desired, such that a genetically-edited cannabis plant will only produce the cannabinoid of interest.
The belief that high-quality cannabis should be used in extracts,rather than waste left over after a trimming session or contaminated flowers, is surging. “Flower sales are something like 20% of the market”, Jon said. “The starting materials are becoming more of a commodity in the extraction market. We always say that we’re not in the cannabis business; we’re in the cannabinoid business.”
I asked Jon which cannabinoids besides THC and CBD he felt might be more in demand in the future. “Well, I can say that CBG [cannabigerol] will be super-important, and CBC [cannabichromene] might be the most important compound in the plant.” We’ll have to wait to hear more. Since ebbu’s work is patent-pending, Jon couldn’t say more. But he did proffer a shocking warning to those escalating the forklore and campfire stories regarding cannabis.
“50% of the common knowledge in the industry is wrong. Anecdotal knowledge has been passed around, and becomes the “truth”, Jon explained. “For example, if you’re too high, taking CBD because it blocks THC at CB1 receptors is a myth. In fact, the opposite is true. CBD amplifies THC at CB1 receptors. So, if you give someone CBD whose had too much THC, you’ve effectively ruined their night!”
All right. There you have it.
What shocks and awes hasebbuunveiled for consumers in the present? “There’s been a big focus on beverages. Our technology has been used in different beverages that seek to provide a reproducible effect on the consumer, like alcohol, even though the product has no alcohol. And unlike alcohol, where there are only so many styles of experience, we can create different products to bring about unique effects.” Hangover-free, cannabis-infused, 30 calorie beverages that don’t suck out your energy like a psychic vampire. That marketing speaks for itself.
What does it all mean? What mysteries will ebbu expose to us in the next year or so? “We can now say, without a doubt, that the medicine is real,” Jon concluded. “But only the tip of the iceberg has been revealed. With a focus on beverages, analogous to alcohol, which has one psychoactive, we’re creating beverages that have many cannabis-derived psychoactives. The plant is fairly limited. We can exponentially create new formulations that can’t be found in nature, while taking out the bad stuff, like constituents that cause anxiety.”
And Jon’s parting words? “Take nothing for granted. Test everything.”
Nothing further needed here.