High-tech laboratories are shaking up the medical marijuana industry, and Genie Scientific safety equipment is at the forefront of the revolution. Dr. Oz recently took a sneak peek at one of these cutting-edge marijuana processing plants, and the segment revealed something interesting: At least one trailblazing company uses our advanced chemical hoods to ensure the safety of the laboratory environment during the production process.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a Genie Scientific fume hood in action, you’re in luck. Keep reading to learn more about the innovative manufacturing process and the lab equipment that makes it possible.
High-Tech Pot Plants: The Wave of the Future
Dr. Oz has been covering the debate over medical marijuana for quite some time. Now television’s favorite doctor has found what he believes is “the next big thing.” Joining him for one of his most recent pieces on the controversial topic was Montel Williams, a long-time advocate of medical marijuana who continues to speak out about his struggle with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Williams visited one of the first legal marijuana processing laboratories to give people a preview of what’s to come. The facility is run by BAS Research Center (BAS), the first group licensed by the state of California to manufacture and research medical cannabis. BAS offers business-to-business solutions, including white label products (they manufacture the product; other companies put their name on the label). If Dr. Oz and Montel Williams are right, their high-end “pot plant” in California may well be the wave of the future, but, hype aside, what is all the fuss about?
The Rise of Medical Marijuana
BAS is one of many businesses that are taking advantage of relaxed restrictions on the production and use of marijuana. With recent elections turning the tide toward pot legalization, there may well be many more in the future. That’s because an increasing number of states are repealing strict prohibition laws, leading many people to believe that full legalization may be just around the corner.
Medical marijuana is at the center of the debate. Of course, marijuana’s properties as a medicinal agent have been well known for quite some time. The FDA has already approved one of the key ingredients in marijuana, THC, to alleviate various conditions such as nausea and appetite loss. Now doctors are beginning to prescribe medical marijuana for a variety of conditions, most of which are pain-related. These days, the rank of medical marijuana users has swelled to include:
- People who suffer from the muscle spasms that accompany multiple sclerosis
- Cancer patients undergoing physically traumatic chemotherapy
- People diagnosed with HIV
- Those who experience seizures
- Patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease
The Problem with Traditional Marijuana
Even though it might be safer than the pot you can buy on the street, most marijuana sold in licensed medical marijuana dispensaries is still relatively unprocessed. It’s essentially raw—typically composed of dried leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers derived from the hemp plant. Most users smoke the leaves. Some use a vaporizer. Others ingest their pot through some form of edible. In any event, the typical delivery method is rather crude, not to mention highly inefficient.
In order to get a dose that’s high enough to mitigate their symptoms, the typical user must consume a large quantity of marijuana. To make matters worse, each batch varies wildly in terms of potency and purity. A dose that works perfectly well one day may be insufficient the next. That makes it hard for the average person to obtain the consistent relief they need.
Finally, pesticides or microbes can find their way into any bag of pot. While an increasing number of dispensaries are using laboratories to evaluate the quality of their product, many users still don’t know what other substances they might be inhaling with their marijuana. All of which poses problems for people who rely on medical marijuana to ease their pain and relieve their symptoms.
Pioneering a New Form of Marijuana
Thanks to advanced processing techniques, BAS offers a more convenient and effective solution for medical marijuana users. They do so by taking raw marijuana and processing it into a pharmaceutical grade oil. The result is a liquid that is incredibly pure and amazingly potent. The benefits are obvious: standard measurements, efficient doses, and a wider range of delivery options.
In some ways, the marijuana-derived drug created by manufacturers such as BAS has more in common with other pharmaceuticals, many of which are also extracted from plants, than it does with the pot historically sold on the street, or even the marijuana currently distributed in licensed shops. Producing such a groundbreaking product is no walk in the park: It requires high-tech laboratories, the latest manufacturing techniques, and state-of-the-art equipment like Genie Scientific’s chemical hoods and lab benches.
The Next Big Thing in Pharmaceuticals
The process of converting raw marijuana into medical grade oil is highly advanced yet relatively straightforward. It goes something like this: The laboratory receives the marijuana directly from growers. They immediately test it for potency using an Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography test. Then it’s sent to another lab to screen for dangerous additives—molds, pesticides, bacteria.
As long as the plant passes muster, it heads off to the next stages of development: dehydrating, and then crushing. Since grinding the plant into powder inevitably produces a large cloud of marijuana dust that can fill an entire room, workers who preside over this step are always outfitted in personal protective gear.
After separation, the plant is ready for processing. In order to transform the weed into an oil, a supercritical C02 extraction method is used to draw out the medication. After extraction, a two-stage process distills the cannabis into the final product: a highly potent cannabis oil. First, lab workers filter out the fats and lipids. Then the resulting liquid is put through a rotary evaporator.
Finally, the process of distillation takes place (inside a Genie Scientific fume hood of course).* That leads to final separation. The result is a level of purity and potency unmatched by any other form of marijuana currently on the market. As Montel Williams notes, BAS “set(s) the standard for medical marijuana processing, distribution, and potency.”
* See if you can spot the Genie Scientific fume hood in the video of Montel Williams touring the laboratory. See it?
Cutting-Edge Equipment for a Cutting-Edge Process
High-tech laboratories require high-tech laboratory equipment. Reliability is critical. Quality is key. Rigorous testing is indispensable. That’s why the advanced BAS medical marijuana facility uses Genie Scientific to perform its pioneering work. Our hardware—flammable storage cabinets, lab benches, and chemical hoods—ensures that every step of the manufacturing process remains safe and efficient.
Without the proper laboratory equipment, the manufacturing of innovative marijuana medicines would be impossible. Even worse, lab workers would be in harm’s way. While procedures like the oil extraction process use no caustic chemicals, they do involve putting gas under pressure. Only the best safety equipment will suffice for such dangerous lab work.
With three decades of experience under our belts, Genie Scientific knows how to produce the highest quality hoods, benches, and cabinets. We manufacture the most reliable safety equipment so lab workers can focus on doing their job: creating revolutionary new pharmaceuticals.
What Does It All Mean?
What does this breakthrough in marijuana technology mean for everyday people? It means medical marijuana users have more options. In addition to the traditional delivery methods such as smoking vaporization, people can now take a simple pill or liquid extract to relieve their symptoms. The strength and purity of the oil mean medical marijuana users don’t have to take large amounts or spend a great deal of time preparing or inhaling the drug. It also means they don’t have to worry about contaminants.
At nearly every step of the process, Genie Scientific lab equipment is there to keep the workers safe and the operation running smoothly. Whether or not medical marijuana facilities are the wave of the future, Genie Scientific will always be at the forefront of radical new discoveries in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.