Assessing ingredients for safety is one of the most critical ways manufacturers of cannabis products can ensure they are protecting consumer safety and maintaining regulatory compliance. It’s also the best way for regulators to establish guidelines for product safety and compliance that are backed by scientific data. But without an in-house expert in toxicology, the ability to assess ingredients has been out of reach for producers and regulators alike.
A new paper published by thought leaders from True Terpenes, PAX, and Portland State University has just made it feasible for producers and regulators without significant toxicological expertise to assess the safety of ingredients intended for use in vape products.
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 is a first step in giving them the tools they need to assess ingredient safety based on scientific data.
A First-Tier Framework for Assessing Toxicological Risk from Vaporized Cannabis Concentrates was published this week in Toxics, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal. The paper covers research performed by Shawna Vreeke, Ph.D., Head of Research and Toxicology for True Terpenes, Echoleah Rufer, Ph.D., Director of Health Sciences at PAX, and Diplomate American Board of Toxicology, Robert M. Strongin, Ph.D., Professor of Organic Chemistry and Researcher at Portland State University, and David M. Faulkner, Toxicologist at PAX Labs.
“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,” said Dr. Shawna Vreeke, Head of Research and Toxicology at True Terpenes.
“As researchers, scientists, and experts in this industry, it’s our responsibility to protect consumer safety,” Dr. Vreeke continued. “The best way we can do that is to educate the decision makers who are creating products and setting regulatory standards and ultimately impacting people’s lives. This is a first step in giving them the tools they need to assess ingredient safety based on scientific data.”
An Important Step Forward
Vaporization is becoming an increasingly popular method of consuming cannabis products and is an accessible way for individuals who are new to cannabis to experience the benefits of the plant. However, due to the historic limiting effect of federal prohibition on scientific research, little guidance exists for producers and regulators alike to assess the safety and limits of additives (including those naturally found in cannabis) used in vape products.
This paper provides guidance and tools (including a Safety Limit Assessment Calculator) that will enable producers and regulators to make safety assessments for the purpose of informing manufacturing and policy making decisions.
“Research limitations have created an environment where clear, actionable guidance doesn’t exist the way we’d like to see around inhalation safety. We view this framework as a starting point and look forward to continuing to evolve it as research evolves and testing capabilities are developed,” said Dr. Echo Rufer, DABT, Director of Health Sciences at PAX.
A Commitment to Creating a Sustainable Future for Cannabis
This paper is the latest example of the commitment True Terpenes has made to supporting the establishment of policy that is both based in science and best serves the interest of patients and public safety. This work is especially critical as we move toward the inevitability of federal legalization.
It’s also part of a larger mission to continuously drive the standards for safety quality and fill a gap for research in our young industry. This critical research informs our own formulations and helps us to advise manufacturers on their ingredient lists and reformulate blends for new customers. “I have spent the last two years developing and implementing a safety assessment program at True Terpenes,” said Dr. Vreeke. “This work is continuously evolving and updating as new research is released. With the groundwork set, I am excited to work with producers and manufacturers to assist them in producing the best products backed by scientific data.”
“We are incredibly proud to be the only GMP, ISO9001, & FSSC22000 terpene supplier in the world,” said Chris Campagna, Founder and CEO of True Terpenes. “After creating the most stringent testing specifications for heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents, we wanted to go further. The science and methodology to review ingredients didn’t exist, so we created it from scratch. We believe that quality and safety are fundamental and must be the foundation for all innovation. Our customers will be more prepared for the increased regulation that comes with federal legalization. It’s also just the right thing to do.”
This research project marks a significant contribution to the sustainable growth of our industry, and we’re proud to have collaborated across industry and academia to create this guidance.