Marijuana

Snoop Dogg Is Right: Legal Weed Would Benefit From More Accurate Dosing Information

Giving consumers more accurate dosing for vaped THC is a huge market opportuntiy, but it has important public policy implications too.

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Even if you've never had a sip of alcohol in your life, you probably understand that not all booze is created equal.

A light beer will affect you differently than a strong Belgian tripel. Wine has even more of a kick. Shots are the quickest way to get where you're going, but you might regret them in the morning.

Figuring out how much to drink takes time and experience, but at least there are some guideposts along the way. It really comes down to a combination of potency and dosing. Want to know how strong a drink is? Just check the label to find the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage for your drink. A good afternoon beer will have less than 5 percent ABV; a nice after-work cocktail might be made with 40 percent ABV gin or whiskey. Dosing is more a matter of tradition. Beer comes in pints or bottles, wine by the glass, and stronger stuff in a shot glass.

With marijuana, it's much the same thing. Thanks to legalization, it's now much easier for recreational users to find out the potency of the weed they're buying. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). the main psychoactive element in marijuana, is measured in milligrams (mg)—a good beginner dose is about 10mg, while 30mg will leave you with a sustained, strong high.

But vaping is growing in popularity among marijuana users, and it creates a conundrum. A vape pen loaded with THC-infused fluid is the equivalent of a whole bottle of whiskey. Sure, you could drink the whole thing, but you'll probably have a better time if you understand how much to consume.

Snoop Dogg—yes, really—might be part of the answer.

The rapper known for his love of green is also a partner in Casa Verde Capital, a venture capital firm that backs marijuana-related businesses. Earlier this month, they made headlines for delivering $3.5 million in funding to Indose, a vaping startup that promises to solve the marijuana dosing problem. The disposable vape pens sold by Indose include a small sensor that measures the precise amount of THC delivered with each hit.

"Dosage control is key to an effective and consistent cannabis experience, and there is no such thing as a universal dosage that is right for everyone," Indose co-founder and CEO Benzi Ronen tells Green Market Report, a cannabis industry journal.

As marijuana becomes more widely legalized, many Americans will be trying it for the first time. While you can't overdose on weed the way you can on booze, there's still a certain amount of trial and error for first-time users. Maureen Dowd might not have gotten so hilariously stoned if she'd had access to this sort of tech (and if she'd stayed away from the edibles).

There's obviously a market opportunity in being able to offer weed consumers, especially those who are just starting out, the ability to so precisely control their THC intake. This is exactly the sort of innovation that becomes possible only with legalization.

But there's an equally important policy angle here—one that might undercut a new argument being rolled out by anti-legalization forces in states where weed is legal or soon could be.

In an op-ed published last month at Cal Matters, a website covering California politics and policy, Alex Berenson argues that "the harms" of marijuana legalization "are real—and if the scientific studies and data from Colorado and other early legalization states is any guide, they are only going to grow." He points to data showing that emergency room visits for "marijuana-related" issues have increased in Colorado since recreational weed was legalized there in 2012, plus an increase in car accidents in which victims had THC in their blood.

Some of this is easily debunked. If more people are using marijuana, that means it's likely more people in car crashes will have THC in their system—that doesn't prove causality. As Reason's Jacob Sullum has explained, THC can remain in the blood stream long after the impairment that comes from being high has faded, potentially inflating these statistics.

Still, legalization advocates should not turn a blind eye to these critiques. There certainly are public health consequences to marijuana legalization, even if they are far less horrific than the consequences of prohibition. Reasonable rules limiting marijuana use and driving, for example, will be part of the next iteration of marijuana policy.

With products like Indose now available, the market is already providing the best method for dealing with the problems created by getting too high to function. Giving individuals greater control over what they put in their bodies is a win for both personal freedom and public responsibility.

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55 responses to “Snoop Dogg Is Right: Legal Weed Would Benefit From More Accurate Dosing Information

  1. Combining marijuana and vaping? Does Snoop have investments in in the clutchable pearls industry? Someone fetch my fainting couch.

  2. There’s only 1 comment before this, so let’s make this the open thread. Unfortunately right now I got nuthin’, but you’ll think of something.

  3. In a few hours we’ll have election results from overseas, right?

  4. THC is not the only psychoactive cannabinoid present in MJ, and most people making vape products are doing simple extractions of the plant, with little (if any) further purification. Even if they were to quantify the THC content that might not tell you the full story about what it’s going to do to you or how long those effects are going to last.

    Either that, or all the fuss about different strains of weed being sold at the shop are just cork sniffing bullshit.

    1. You hit the nail on the head with your last remark.

      Either that, or all the fuss about different strains of weed being sold at the shop are just cork sniffing bullshit.

      —-

      Yes, the marijuana snobs with their hint of ‘citrus,’ and what not.

      1. Different cultivars absolutely have different combinations of terpenes which greatly influence the effect.

        1. Ah – terpenes. I just looked up what that is. Thanks.

          I found this interesting.

          Taste Buds Workshop – Terpenes
          http://terpeneliteracy.com/taste-buds-workshop-terpenes/

        2. Also different combinations of different cannabinoids.
          Though I think people are just beginning to understand how all that contributes to the subjective effects and medicinal value.

      1. AlmightyJB;
        Thank you.
        For me, I enjoy Indica more than Sativa.
        What I was referring to is this description=======

        What is Bubba Kush?

        Bubba Kush is an indica strain that has gained notoriety in the U.S. and beyond for its heavy tranquilizing effects. Sweet hashish flavors with subtle notes of chocolate and coffee come through on the exhale, delighting the palate as powerful relaxation takes over. From head to toe, muscles ease with heaviness as dreamy euphoria blankets the mind, crushing stress while coercing happy moods. Bubba Kush exhibits a distinctive, bulky bud structure with hues that range from forest green to pale purple.

        https://www.leafly.com/indica/bubba-kush

    2. “Either that, or all the fuss about different strains of weed being sold at the shop are just cork sniffing bullshit.”

      The effects are dramatically
      different between strains, one will knock you out and an other will add more like a stimulant.

  5. I tried a vaporizer and it was the biggest pain in the ass to use. Most, if not all, required maintenance and the high I got was a lot different from smoking or eating weed. Also, many of the vapes require cartridges and/or batteries.

    Yea, the vape is supposed to be less harmlful than smoking but why not make some marijuana cookies? If you’re afraid of the dosage, cut a cookie in 4, 6, or 8 pieces. Take one piece and wait an hour or so, if you’re not feeling anything, take another piece to find your correct dosage.

    1. Also, smoking weed is very safe. The most unhealthy aspect of it is the inhalation of butane from the lighter. Could this be just a public perception problem?

      1. Horseshit. Inhaling combustion byproducts is bad and (unless you are using a water pipe) doing so at near combustion temperatures is even worse.

        1. ThomasD:

          It seems like just a blanket statement. I’m not a scientist but aren’t there some kind of limits before it becomes ‘bad? ‘

          Say you smoked one joint, this is ‘bad’ compared to what? What about just walking outside in a city? Your body is taking in exhaust and who knows what else.

          Sorry if I’m not using the right terms, but there seems to be harm in most things from driving a car to swimming. It’s up to an individual to make the choice. For me, the problem is in getting unbiased information, if there is such a thing.

          So for me, a vape is too complicated and expensive. I’d rather smoke some weed in a pipe. I even use a bic lighter (the horror) to fire it up. But I also bake my own marijuana cookies. For an instant high, I fire up my pipe and then take a cookie.

          Of course, some people may want to know what ingredients are in the cookie !

          1. “Say you smoked one joint, this is ‘bad’ compared to what?”

            It is bad compared to eating an equivalent dose, or vaping an equivalent dose.

            This has nothing to do with what psychoactive (or not) compound(s) are being ingested and everything to do with inhaling soot and tar into your lungs, potentially at very high temperatures.

            It doesn’t matter what you smoke, it cannot in an way be called ‘very safe.’

            1. I disagree. Smoking cannabis is very safe relative to tobacco. By far, the main concern with tobacco is the carcinogenic effect which is not present with cannabis.

              1. The process of smoking itself is carcinogenic. Doesn’t matter what you smoke.

              2. “…relative to tobacco”

                Then you are not disagreeing with me, you are making an argument about relative risk. IOW trying to change the subject.

                Both are bad. But they are also quite different. MJ smokers rarely smoke as much or as often as tobacco smokers. That is probably the greatest difference. But, as a single event smoking one decent sized joint is way more damaging than one commercial cigarette. The smoke from the joint is hotter, has many more volatile compounds (those terpenes mentioned above) is not filtered, and is typically retained in the lungs longer – leading to greater deposition of soot and tar.

                Wishful thinking is wishful thinking.

                  1. Carcinogenesis regards cancer, and cancer only.

                    Which is not the only endpoint of concern. Cancer is catastrophic, but it is also rather rare. I’d be more worried about the effect upon your lung function, and cardiovascular health. Risk and severity of COPD and heart disease both rise substantially with any sort of chronic smoking.

                    But if cherry picking the information that soothes you helps, then carry on.

                    1. Bad faith argument ^ unless you couldn’t spot it already

        2. Vaping is much less unhealthy. inhaling smoke fobers is always unhealthy.

    2. Each method is likely to yield different results. How different depends on multiple factors. Combustion creates different compounds than might be produced by steam or solvent extraction. Oral ingestion will show different rates and extent of absorption as compared to extraction as well as first pass metabolism in the liver prior to systemic circulation. Never mind how any particular person might respond to those subtle to dramatic differences.

      And don’t forget these are all coming from plant material – where the absolute amounts present can vary substantially plant to plant and crop to crop.

    3. I use an Atmos Jump most of the time. It’s got a rechargeable battery and is really easy to use. You have to clean off the mouthpiece periodically with an alcohol wipe or something like that, but it’s no big deal. No more work than a glass pipe. I get way more out of a small pinch of weed than I ever would with smoking it or eating it. And it tastes way better. It’s just overall easier and cleaner than any other method and it makes your weed go way longer.

      why not make some marijuana cookies?

      Oh yeah, that’s not a pain in the ass or anything.

    4. A cartridge with a 510 battery is less trouble than rolling a joint.

  6. If they could just dose oxy through a vape. It might keep Perdue out of bankruptcy.

    1. Is it me or has Reason been silent on drug lawsuits?

    2. Just use aluminum foil.

  7. Just wait until it’s legalized federally. Big tobacco is gonna step in and put all the little mom and pops out of business. Imagine buying a pack of joints at the convenience store. Standard dosing and perfect rolls every time.

    1. Utter hogwash.

    2. It will make it worse. WA pot has lost some quality with legalization. That’s what happens when govt. involves itself.

  8. Is it me or am I hearing less Michael Jackson music on the radio?

    1. What are these post saying?

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    1. Wow, people are still trying to use 1337speak? Is it still 2004? Are we still spelling it pr0n?
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    2. Vlad, Vlad, Vlad. What are you doing? Don’t rush in like that. Start subtle. Tell Allen what a good post he made. Talk about how you like what it contributes to the discussion. Spam is all about seduction. Lure them in. Make it seem like you might be a real commenter and not a bot. Waste cognitive resources – get ’em liquored up. Then, when they’re nice and ready, make the move.

      If you just wham-bam it they’re not going to call you back.

      1. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it!

  10. The centrists got their asses handed to them in the European elections, but it wasn’t just centrist voters fleeing for right wing nationalists–it was centrist voters fleeing everybody in the center, including the center-left.

    In Germany, Merkel’s party got smacked around, but Alternative for Germany (the typically branded “anti-immigration party”) didn’t do as well as they have in recent elections. A lot of it was centrist Germans dumping Merkel’s party (Christian Democrats) was well as her center left coalition partner (Social Democrats)–and voting for the Greens instead.

    With the deciding vote breaking for anti-immigration nationalists on one side and the Greens on the other, this is pretty class “center fleeing” political science stuff.

    In France, National Rally (Le Pen’s newly named party) did better than Macron’s party ruling party. Le Pen is calling for new elections, but the results would likely be the same. The French hold a wide open election in which Le Pen might get a third of the vote, with everybody from the Greens to the outright communists and the center left all lining up behind candidates and getting less than Le Pen. Then the French hold a run-off between the top two–and everyone on the left would likely vote against Le Pen and either put Macron back in or someone else like Macron.

    The sad thing is that none of these is about free markets on one side and socialism on the other. Le Pen is somewhere to the left of Donald Trump on free trade and capitalism. That’s classic “Third Way” stuff.

    All this stuff is interesting because we tend to see American politics as a self-contained thing, but the whole world is subject to the same kinds of political trends, certainly when they’re driven by culture and markets. China coming online with the world impacted everybody, changes in technology impact everybody, social trends impact everybody. The nationalist vs. globalist kinds of sentiment we saw in the rest of the developed world shouldn’t have been ignored before Donald Trump won in the U.S., and it shouldn’t be ignored now.

    I thought the center fleeing forces in Western politics might have abated over the last two years, but I see that’s not the case. If there’s a recession between now and November 2020, all bets are off, but otherwise, If Donald Trump is seen as being to the right of wherever the Republicans are these days, that’s probably exactly where he needs to be to win. If Democrat candidates are further to the left than Nancy Pelosi, that probably positions them well in a center fleeing political climate, too. Buckle up. Things are about to get kooky.

    1. This should be the article and the Snoop Dogg weed stuff should be in the comments.

      1. Agree, the media is trying to spin what’s going on. I’m shocked !!

        1. But if they weren’t there to tell us what to think, how would we know?

  11. How can I get in on this venture?

    1. Accessories; just look at all the doodads for smartphones.

  12. “…Alex Berenson argues that “the harms” of marijuana legalization “are real—…”
    First, we have a major competitor in the Straw Grasping event.
    And then, please compare and contrast “the harms” of legalization and prohibition.

  13. I’d hate to be the Secret Service guy tasked with following this account.

    1. Should be pretty easy. It’s suspended.

  14. “THC can remain in the blood stream long after the impairment that comes from being high has faded, potentially inflating these statistics.”

    It hurts to read every time Reason tries to be scientific. You can’t just presume that every single person found with THC in their system blazed it a month ago. The facts and studies say nothing about when these people got high and self-reporting bias is a common problem. What we do know is that all else held constant, drivers with THC in their blood are crashing at higher rates than the ordinary population.

    1. I’m sure you could find many categories of people who crash cars at higher rates than the ordinary population. The question is when is it appropriate to punish everyone found to belong to such a category.

    2. It hurts to read every time a commenter tries to be scientific. You can’t just presume that every single person found with THC in their system blazed it an hour ago. The facts and studies say nothing about when these people got high and self-reporting bias is a common problem.

      What we do know is that we don’t know enough to say if THC use and crashes are causally linked.

  15. No, Snoop Dogg is wrong- *marijuana* will not benefit from anything because marijuana is an inanimate object. *SOME* marijuana users would benefit from dosing labeling.

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