cannabis supplies are being contaminated with harmful glass particles?!
Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:31 AM
02 January 2007 06:00
Drugs users across East Anglia were last night warned to exercise extreme caution after research showed cannabis supplies are being contaminated with harmful glass particles.
Campaign bodies lobbying for the legalisation of cannabis claim small glass beads - believed to be an industrial spray used for glass frosting - are being added to herbal cannabis in a bid to increase its weight and making “deals” more expensive.
Norwich-based group Cannaprag.net says police raids during the summer of 2006 which saw large scale cannabis farms - including several in Norwich, Yarmouth and King's Lynn - closed down have created a shortage of the drug meaning dealers are contaminating supplies in a bid to meet demand.
But this could have serious health consequences for thousands of users with some already reporting mouth ulcers, sore throats and chesty persistent coughs.
Cannaprag spokesman Derek Williams said the cannabis using community has had suspicions about contamination for about six months but has only now obtained evidence by analysing samples of the drug. At first the substance was thought to be a relatively harmless material such as sands but the results are far more worrying.
Mr Williams added: “What has become clear through this incident is that the government has no method of warning illegal drug users of dangers such as this and seemingly has no desire to do so.
“Government policy towards illegal drugs should not act in such a way as to increase the danger of using them by adding unknown risks.
“Cannaprag is calling for public information campaign to raise awareness of this contamination as a matter of urgency. It will be affecting a huge number of people. A public health warning is urgently needed to inform users that they should not smoke this contaminated cannabis and dealers should not sell it.”
Mr Williams said that such contamination is a result of prohibition and legalising cannabis would allow the government to ensure the safety of supplies.
“The reality is that people are going to use cannabis and, if that is the case, the government should have some way of ensuring their safety. The only way of doing this is through legalisation,” he said.
Magnification of three samples shows small beads 50 - 120 micrometers diameter, made of non-soluble high melting point glass like substance.
If smoked without a filter - as is common - these glass beads are drawn into the lungs.
The author of the research has remained anonymous but Cannaprag and other legalisation campaign groups are calling on the government to conduct its own research.
JUST SAY NO, TO GLASS, SAND AND SUGAR SPRAYED DRUGS!!
Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:42 AM
Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:48 AM
Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:11 AM
Herbal cannabis on sale in the UK is now suffering widespread contamination. Analysis shows it to be small glass beads 50 - 120 micron in diameter. Sources suggest that this contaminant is industrial etchant spray used for glass frosting, a high pressure aerosol consisting of propellant, lubricant and silicate abrasives. This product has been identified as a likely candidate.
During the summer of 2006 police staged a series of raids against large scale cannabis grow-ops all over the UK known as "Operation Keymer", this had the effect of creating a sudden shortage of cannabis - no doubt it's desired effect.
However, within a very short period of time this shortage was at least partly filled by cannabis which was highly contaminated. Seemingly high quality "bud" - herbal cannabis - was found to contain some form of grit or sand. The website www.ukcia.org began hearing of this contaminated cannabis on sale from the far south west to the north of Scotland within weeks of the raids.
At first, the contamination was thought to be fairly benign with something inert being added simply to increase the weight of the deal, making the cannabis more expensive but otherwise not posing a danger. As time went past however, it became clear there was a potential danger which may be of great significance for the health of the user.
Photo's of the contaminated bud seemed to show some kind of glass fragments
The contamination found by analysis is actually small beads 50 - 120 micrometers diameter, made of some non-soluble high melting point glass like substance. If smoked in a joint or chillum with no filter - as most cannabis smokers do - these glass beads will be drawn into the lungs with possibly devastating results, it's doubtful that using a pipe with a gauze will prevent this happening either.
Of course, given the illegal nature of cannabis and the workings of the law, this analysis cannot be verified and the author of it is unknown, but the methodology provided and the conclusions drawn seem reasonable.
This contamination is a direct result of the policy of prohibition and the danger it represents is in addition to any danger that may exist from using pure cannabis. It is a very graphic illustration of how the policy of prohibition not only increases the dangers associate with illegal drugs but also creates dangers of its own.
There is an urgent need to publicise this contamination in order to advise cannabis users not to smoke this "grit weed" and dealers not to sell it.
Derek Williams of Cannaprag said:
"What has become clear through this incident is that the government has no method of warning illegal drug users of dangers such as this and seemingly has no desire to do so. We do have a very expensive advertising campaign known as "Talk to Frank" which makes strange adverts but seems unwilling or unable to respond to such incidents.
"Government policy towards illegal drugs should not act in such a way as to increase the danger of using them by adding unknown risks, however contamination of supplies is used as a measure of "success" of the prohibitionist drugs policy.
"Cannaprag is calling for a public information campaign to raise awareness of this contamination as a matter of urgency. It will be affecting a huge number of people, literally millions. A public health warning is urgently needed to inform users that they should not smoke this contaminated cannabis and dealers should not sell it".
The analysis - author unknown.
The following analysis and comment has been obtained by www.ukcia.org and can be seen on the forum:
Under microscope at 50x magnification, contaminants appear as very small (50-120 um) beads, with regular circular shape and small pores/ single holes present.
Beads do not dissolve in non polar solvents (pet ether) or polar solvents (ethanol, acetone).
Beads are insoluble in conc NaOH solution, conc H2SO4.
Melting point is above 400C, but cannot perform TG, DTG analysis at the moment so cannot specify any transition temperatures or accurate melting points.
The beads have a significant sodium and silicon content, suggesting that the comments previously about silicates are correct.
Reliable sources say that this contaminant is industrial etchant spray used for glass frosting, It is a high pressure aerosol of propellant, lubricant and silicate abrasives. This accounts for the high permeation levels displayed in all 3 samples, with particulates presents inside even 'tight' buds all the way into the stems. This also may account for the non plany oils present in the bud which have been previously described as a 'glue'
Obviously a further qualitative analysis is needed and I may be able to perform MS, IR, NMR and thermal methods on the samples, in particular the oil 'glue' and the gritty particulates.
The tests were rudimentary to the extreme but allowed for a qualitative analysis of the contaminants.
As you will appreciate, cannabis bud is plant tissue and so is an extremely complex subject. The contaminants which cause the most worry (the crystals) are a very un complex subject.
So I burnt away all of the material in a methane-air flame (about 1500C) until there was no appreciable plant material left (a reasonably homogenous charred mixture).
The oils were extracted with a non-polar solvent- that is one which is immiscible in water, petrol and cooking oil being two examples, however I used petroleum ether which is a low boiling fraction of oil.
Acetone was used as a polar solvent to strip the material of more polar oils which would still be water insoluble. The sample was then further oxidised with concentrated sulfuric acid, sulfuric acid is a very strong dehydrating agent, stripping hydrogen and oxygen from a substance in the ratio 2:1.
The sample was then neutralised with household bicarb and washed with water.
It was then dried to a constant mass. Using a fine mesh I was able to remove the majority of the contaminant from the charred sample and study it under a microscope. Unfortunately I was unable to make a further qualitative analysis of its oxygen, silicon, aluminium or sodium content as I do not have access to expensive analytical instruments or reagents such as HF for at least a month.
I am almost certain that it is an aluminosilicate and I think that the information about etchant could well be correct.
The author who provided this analysis makes the following comments:
Smoking this has resulted in mouth ulcers and sore throats/ chesty coughs which never occur when smoking normally due to the good health and only occasional cannabis use of the subject.
DO NOT SMOKE THIS, IT MAY POSE A SIGNIFICANT HEALTH HAZARD AND WE MAY SEE A DRUG TAKING COMMUNITY CRISIS ON A LARGER SCALE THAN THE MPTP CRISIS OF THE EARLY 80'S.
BUYERS: PLEASE RECONSIDER BEFORE BUYING ANY MORE OF THIS, AND CONSIDER THE DAMAGE YOU MAY BE CAUSING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.
OTHER CONTAMINANTS SUCH AS NATURAL SAND ARE PROBABLY THE RESULT OF SUPPLIERS COPYING THE ETCHANT METHOD WITH WHATEVER THEY HAVE TO HAND.
Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:13 AM
These are samples of the Glass Contaminated weed:couch2:
Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:22 AM
Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:32 AM
The Article was just released.. I remember growers that sprayed their buds with Sugar Water.. when the H2o evaporated it looked like Tricones if you didn't look too close. I know I am keeping an eye open for it.
Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:55 AM
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Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:14 AM
Capt. Zigzag said:
Also, anyone consider that this might be a sinister plot to scare us away from commercial MMJ?
Either we grow our own or we get it from Rx.
Rx. definitely recognizes the benefits of MMJ. They just need to corner the market. In their own way. Just waiting for the right time to strike.
This could, and I emphasize the word could, be a first strike.
Amateur scientist working with serious professionals using serious tools to unravel the mysteries of this plant as a medicine. Stay tuned.
Author - "The Cannabis Pharmacy" coming 2013
Member - American Herbal Products Association
Supporter: ASA, Patients Out of Time, AHP monograph, IACM
Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:16 AM
Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:53 PM
if it isnt a plot derived from some higher power (officials, etc).. then it would suck if it just all boiled down to greed and heartless "caregivers".
I know if anything... i can look into getting better methods of magnifying my herb to see if its tainted... But, are there any suggestions that could fall under taste, smell, touch, etc. that would help spot such dangers?
What a fuhked up head trip to put on our shoulders when we already have enough pain, stress, and life in general to worry about.
Im still hoping for that day when honesty and love for humanity will be in full effect so that we can live life like it was intended...
Take care out there trackers.
Posted 05 January 2007 - 12:42 AM
Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:41 AM
Posted 05 January 2007 - 06:51 AM
Anyone old enough to remember "Green"? Formaldehyde laced weed. There was an batch that killed a couple of people in DC. in the 80's.
Too many slimebags in the world....
If you can.. Grow your own. It's the only way you are 110% sure of what you are getting.
Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:07 AM
I would imagine it is pretty difficult to differentiate between 50 micron particles of glass and trichomes, even at some magnification.