A shock report has revealed a dangerous practice taking place in the European CBD cannabis industry that has labs washing cannabis in hexane or pentane. The practice is intended to reduce the THC levels in CBD cannabis to comply with EU laws, which require CBD products to contain no more than 0.2-0.3% THC. The event that led to the discovery was a deadly explosion in an Italian lab.
Light cannabis – also known as CBD cannabis – is washed down with pentane by some European growers to drop below the permitted THC percentage, according to a recent CannabisIndustrie.nl article. Besides the health hazards, it is easily flammable and has already caused deaths in Italy.
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What’s Really Happening With CBD Cannabis in Europe?
You are probably familiar with the concept of CBD cannabis. After all, in several European countries, you can legally buy cannabis that is low in THC and higher in CBD. But it often happens that the CBD cannabis harvested contains more THC than is allowed in the country of sale.
To obtain CBD cannabis that complies with the rules on THC, namely not to exceed 0.3%, for example, some European manufacturers or traders “wash” the grass in hexane or pentane to rid it of excess THC.
A Deadly Italian Cannabis Lab Explosion Exposed the Practice
It was first a LinkedIn post that pointed the finger at these practices happening in the production of CBD cannabis. This post concerned two deaths and the injury of two others, one of whom was a minor at the time, in an explosion and fire at a cannabis laboratory in Italy, according to La Repubblica.
Justice is still busy investigating what really happened. At the moment, the judiciary believes that the suspects violated the drug law since what they were doing in the laboratory was not authorized.
The complainant hypothesizes that the fire could have started due to a technique used to reduce the THC of CBD cannabis, “invented” by one of the company’s partners, without any technical knowledge and scientific and without authorization.
On the first floor, the company had a laboratory with ultrasonic “washing machines” in which the cannabis was washed with pentane to reduce the level of THC, thus allowing it to comply with the regulations for CBD cannabis.
Expert Not Surprised By CBD Cannabis Practices
This doesn’t sound new, as confirmed by a comment from Novel Food-specific API and validated ingredient expert Boris Baňas:
“Unfortunately, this is the case with most smokable CBD cannabis in the EU. EU CBD cannabis is basically hay that no one really wants to smoke […] So what’s going on?”
To bring the THC levels down to 0.2-0.3%, the cannabis flowers are washed and dried. They are then sprayed with a CBD solution and flavored with terpenes. In other words, it’s a product that no one would knowingly want to consume. In addition, pentane is easily flammable.
In the Netherlands, CannabisIndustrie.nl observed that CBD cannabis containing harmful synthetic cannabinoids was being sold as high-THC cannabis.
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